Monday, June 4, 2012

Lock 'n' Load 2012 Roundup

First off, there's nothing like travel to make you appreciate sleeping in your own, comfy bed.

That aside, I had a blast at Lock 'n' Load 2012.

First Off...
I want to put out a huge thanks to all the folks that busted their butts to make this happen, from PP staff to the small army of volunteers, to the folks in production who were busting their humps over the weekend to box up Mountain Kings.

I arrived Thursday, as my buddies were doing the same.  Sadly for them, I left Thursday morning, they left Wednesday; I got there an hour after them.  Whoops.  Apparently Dallas Fort Worth got absolutely SLAMMED by weather.

As an aside, fresh seafood is AWESOME.

This was store day / From Concept To Tabletop Panel day, and State of the Faction address.  Store spoils included a Kraken, Ashlynn resculpt, extreme Carnivean, and some smaller odds and ends like a metal base for the extreme Carni.  Oh, and Farilor.

The Concept-to-tabletop panel was pretty interesting.  I did not know the Iosan names were actually pulled from Welsh; I kinda thought they jammed the alphabet into a blender, removed vowels and added apostrophes.  The entertainment ended with brainstorms on league models.  Some of these included:

1) Borka's Wingmen
Originally the Kriel Stone Mosher, this turned into the Caber Tosser solo with 8 wounds, 12/14 defensive stats, MAT6, Smite and Stumbling Drunk with the FA:3.  This was one of the most entertaining designs we did.

2) Suneater the something-or-other
Bane Lord Tartarus got chopped into a 3pt Bane Knight UA.  Trade stealth for Sac Pawn, add a to-hit buff, and Death Toll for knights.  There were some other things, but it was otherwise interesting to watch the process.

3) Melee-based Mage Hunter Assassins
Tweak the UA.  This was the center of some discussion; Phantom Hunter is HUGE for these guys, so they need something pretty s olid to increase their melee skill.  We kicked around Gang and a few other options, and ended up thinking about making them Big Game Hunters with an additional dice in damage to warbeasts, just to make 'em hidious.  Maybe add Gang for the to-hit bonus.  This was still on the drawing board when we broke.

So, I ended up getting into both Blood, Sweat & Tiers AND Speedmachine.  Cliff bars and a canteen were my friends on this day, and some hot subs from around the corner.

Blood, Sweat, Tiers roundup -
I brought eVayl T4 (triple Angelius, spawning vessel, Hex Hunters + Bayal, Shepherds) and Saeryn T4 (double Angelius, double bolt throwers, Neph soldier, protector, and double Shepherds).

Round 1 was Vlad2.  Turns out there were just too many Pikemen to get through, and I clocked out after failing to kill Vlad.  He suffered massive casualties and I kept my battlegroup alive, but just could not bring Vlad down with Angels and since he went first, he locked down his scenario.  Shield Wall on IFP means Hex Hunters are kinda sad.

Round 2 was closer, with eVayl versus Nemo2 and a handful of heavies.  I took an early shot at Nemo with a Refuged Angelius, missed, and then watched him feat, shoot and spell it to death.  I know Nemo2 can DO that, but it's rare to see that.  I managed to get several hex hunters and Bayal into position to hurl a buncha magic at Nemo, but only managed to carve him halfway down.  I screwed up, paied the price.

Round 3, I swapped over to Saeryn against a Swedish fellow playing Kaya2.  We had reinforcements; his was a Satyr of some sort while I cracked out a Harrier and another Nephilim Soldier.  My feat bought me another turn of stabbing him to death...and then I failed to hit with armor-piercing attacks.  Whoops.  He took an assassination run at me, failed.  Saeryn pegs Kaya with a Deathspur and Hellfire, and then...nothing else hits.  Death ensues for Saeryn, but at least I scored a control point.

Round 4 was my one win against a Garryth tier.  I saw five Mage Hunter Assassins and decided that it's a good time to play Saeryn against all that, as a few lucky roles would see my beasts dead.  He lost his battlegroup to Angelius charges (...a Griffin and Aspis, so yeah, not that hard) and the Mage Hunters had issues dragging down the beasts, though he still managed to KO a couple Nephilim and an Angel.  Garryth bought it to a couple Blight Bringers and melee stabs.

Round 5 was against eVayl T4; he brought a pair of Angels, a Seraph, Shredder, Throne, and the requisite soup ladies.  I shrugged and brought Saeryn out, since I'd been having fun with her, and being 3-1 meant this was mostly going to be good experience against stuff I haven't run into before.  He went first and rammed the Throne down my throat; with Slipstream and Chain Strike that thing has a HELL of a threat range.  It almost totalled a Nephilim, and I had to commit my Angels to taking it down.  I managed a control point, but blanked on feating at the right time and took horrifying losses and couldn't push him out in time.

OVERALL: 1-4-0, though a couple were close.

I opted for one list - Thagrosh1, Carnivean, Scythean, Ravagore.

Round 1 - Harkevich, 3x Juggernauts, Decimator.  I managed an assassination thanks to some hot dice; the Ravagore managed a shot at Harkevich...missed, deviated an inch, set him on fire, and blew him half away.  The Carnivean managed an assault-spray and took out more; Harks burnt to death in a couple turns.

Round 2 - vs Kromac, same good Swedish sport as before.  It turned into an epic brawl in the middle, with him getting some hot dice on a Satyr and it soloing a Carnivean.  Losing Spiny Growth hurt.  A lot.  He managed a win with about four seconds left.  Comically, the Carnivean frenzied at the wrong time and ate the Ravagore.  Whoops.

Round 3 - Rahn, Griffin, Sphinx, Banshee, Phoenix.  I lost on scenario.  He took a look at what he was up against, and decided that capping out at dice minus 7 wasn't gonna work for him in a straight up fight.  HE threw a Griffin out early as a speed bump, then used Rahns' movement abilities and two-handed throws to chuck me out of the zone.  It was one of the most memorable and comical games, as I had Rahn down to one box when the fire went out, as the Ravagore kinda lit 'im up.

Round 4 - Nemo3, Stormwall, Hammersmith
Scenario win - those Colossals have some damage output.  Spiny Growth did a number on him, and he ate the carnivean.  The Scythean beat down a chunk of him (...after rolling snake-eyes and blowing a chance to chain attack Blood Bath the Stormwall and Hammersmith) and Thags cycled Draconic Blessing onto the Ravagore, which finished the job.  The Hammersmith didn't really have a prayer against what was left, and after it died, that was pretty much it.

Round 5 - Gorten, 3 Gun Bunnies, 2 Bashers, Rockram
I played against one of the writers from Hand Cannon Online (the bloke who did the Darius series).  I derped out and let gun bunnies shoot some health off Thagrosh early on, then engaged him in the zone.  Turns out his feat and his ability to slam anything that gets back into the zone makes Gorten a hell of a scenario caster in Overrun in Mangled metal.  He played a solid game with a good army for the format, and noted I was the first guy he'd had to shove OUT instead of reel in and crush.

Round 6 - eKaya, 2 Ferals, 1 Stalker
I pulled off Scenario on this, by killing Laris, the stalker, and pushing him back.  Spiny Growth and Death Shroud carried the day here.

Heavily fatigued, I managed to get up in time to get one of the last seven Mountain Kings in stock, and stay awake for the State of the Faction address.  Doug Seacat was pretty damned funny during this in an understated manner.  The Cygnar version of "...well, ok, we lost the Thornwood, but it had trees.  We have trees elsewhere.  And it turns out there were a lotta Cryx in there, so Khador can have it."  There was an interesting note about Ossyan finding Nyssor, 'almost like someone told him.'  Wonder if I'm reading too much into that...

I enjoyed it, and would certainly do this again.  I made a few mistakes in the tourney, and had some nasty dice every now and then, but everyone was pretty cordial, courteous, and in general pleasant to be around.  It went well, and I'd certainly do it again next year.

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