Walsall Warmasters Inaugural Tournament

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in our very first tournament run out of Asgard games in Walsall. It was a 24 person event, run by the inestimable Chris Daker and Jacob Graham. The venue itself is fantastic. Lots of room, fantastic food, fairly easy to access. I opted to bring Strakhov 1 and Zerkova 2, mostly because Strakhov is fun and Zerkova is a pretty good list to scare opponents into dropping sub-optimal lists, and does well into current meta boogey-people such as Falcyr. Lists below:

Because reading these lists just screams a laugh a minute.

Round 1

First round sees me paired against local Menoth and Convergence maestro, Tez. He’s running Cyrenia and Amon, in Faithful Masses and Creators Wrath respectively. Amon has the Covenant in his list, which makes Zerkova a hard no (shuts down magic with very little way of her actually killing it). So down goes Strakhov.

His lists below:

No description available.
Pictured above: A whole load of bullshit I want no part of.

Tez drops Cyrenia, leaving us with Strakhov vs an armour brick. Oh boy….

Tez wins the roll off and goes first. Scenario was Spread the Net, and I pick the side with a forest on my side of the central zone, to block off a big part of my deployment with the Jaws forest. He deploys Tristan, his jack and a Menite archon on the left; Sancitfier, Cyrenia and the Avatar centrally, and the other Mentie Archon on the right. I deploy the jacks centrally, eliminators on the flanks and pop Ol Grim on the right hand side. AD sees the Idrians go down centrally, staring across at Yuri, the Marksman and Eyriss. Prey goes on Torch

Turn 1:

Tez decides to stay fairly conservative. He moves up the jacks as far as they will go, and decides to keep the Idrians and Archons close by. The Idrians dig in.

No description available.
Here they come, to ruin my day.

My turn and I could probably kill a couple of Idrians. Eyriss and Yuri likely kill one each, and the Marksman has a reasonable shot at one. But that just triggers one or both Archons. Instead, I cut out the middle man and shoot the Archons, dealing 5 damage to the right one and 3 to the left.

On more mundane considerations, Torch gets Superiority, the Marksman gets Sentry and Behemoth gets Occultation (because there is nothing funnier than a stealthed Behemoth), and everything runs up to take board space.

No description available.
Blurry Picture is Blurry.

Turn 2:

Tez is stuck in the standard Menoth position, that of walking into the punch. So that’s what he does. Invioable Resolve gets put on the left hand Archon, and everything moves up, with some random shots into Torch, scratching his paint a bit. The rock wall goes up in the centre to make it difficult to get something on the Avatar. Feat also goes up.

My turn and the Marksman decides not to shoot. I spend some time pondering what I want to accomplish. Tez’s jacks are still not in threat range, and I can contest pretty easily this turn. I decide to load up Torch and drop a focus onto Behemoth. The Snipers go to work, pinging damage off of the Archons and assorted shield guards. I realise that the Avatar is unguarded and tag him with a disrupter bolt. Torch gets given overrun, Boundless charge and goes off to have fun with the left hand Archon. He murders it, Overruns backwards, kills some Idrians and sprints back to where he started (What? Am I playing Legion or something?). The left hand Eliminators also go in, murdering a couple of Idrians and contesting. I pass turn, scoring 1.

No description available.

Turn 3:

Tez is having tonnes of fun at this point (sarcasm detected!). He decides to charge with the Idrians, (after the Avatar and Indictor murder an Eliminator each) banging up my jacks a bit and forcing a tough on Yuri. He then runs up the Sanctifier behind them and plops down the wall. The right hand Archon runs to the back of his flag, bringing his right hand Initiates over to guard it. The left hand Initiates run over to try and protect the Avatar from Disruptor bolts. He scores 2, contesting my zones.

My turn and I decide the the best thing is to murder everything in front of me and to not commit too heavily. I pass out focus to the right hand Juggernaut, and 1 to Behemoth. Between Torch, Strakhov and the central Juggy, I clear off the Idrians. The right hand Juggernaut gets Boundless and murders the Sanctifier. The Rager runs to the right hand zone, Yuri to the Flag. I opt not to contest his zone, but an Eliminator runs to contest his flag. Behemoth, the Marksman and Eyriss tag team Avatar, with Behemoth and the marksman killing the 2 Initiates in shield guard range, and Eyriss tags the Avatar again. I pass the turn, scoring 2 to Tez’s one.

No description available.
End of turn 3.

Turn 4:

Tez shifts into scoring mode. He clears his flag and charges his Idrians to kill my objective. The Avatar decides to hide behind the building (far from Elves and their crossbows). He shuffles stuff around and passes turn, scoring 3 to my 1.

My turn, and I take my sentry shot into the left hand Indictor. I spend most of this turn moving up and mopping up the table. The right hand intitiates go down to a combination of the Rager charging, an Eliminator and Ol Grim shooting. I also run Yuri to the the left hand corner of the top zone, out of charge range, to contest Tez’s zone. I shoot the left hand indictor a bit, to put damage on the shield, and pass turn, scoring 2.

At this point, the game devolves into score and counter score. I have won attrition, and Tez tries to score as much as possible. We end up going to turn 7, with me winning 4 points ahead.

Victory for the Motherland.

I think the key to this battle was Tez not forcing the issue. He didn’t see the overrun/sprint play coming from Torch, and didn’t have any real way to retaliate. Him not drowning my side of the field with bodies meant that Strakhov could take his time and accumulate damage over a number of turns.

Round 2:

Round 2 sees me paired against Ben Thomas. He’s running Minions, with a Helga 2/Maelok pairing. I’m a bit torn, as Strakhov is likely the drop for Maelok and Zerkova the drop for Helga. I opt to drop Zerkova, as the emergency assassination option is better. He drops Helga, and off we go.


[Theme] Vengeance of Dhunia

[Helga 2] Helga on Wheels [+28]

  • Pyre Troll [8]
  • Pyre Troll [8]
  • Pyre Troll [8]
  • Road Hog [15]
  • Storm Troll [8]
  • Troll Axer [9]
    Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
    Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
  • Boom howler 3 [8]
  • Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes (5)
    General ‘Thunderstone’ Brug [4]
    Gudrun the Wanderer [5]
    Dhunian Knot [0(6)]
    Farrow Valkyries [8]
    Pyg Burrowers (min) [7]
    Trollkin Barrage Team [8]

We dice off and I win the roll. Scenario was Recon 2. I go first and Ben takes the side with a big house, so he can get some cover from the wave of spells coming his way. I deploy with ponies on either flank, jacks in the middle and the various wizards deployed around the centre.

Turn 1:

I move everything up, trying to stay out of range of any shooting. Banishing ward goes out on the left hand unit, whilst Telgesh Mark goes on a pony on the right.

Ben’s turn. He drifts a bunch of shots, managing to kill a pony. Everything moves up an amount. The Burrowers get Primed and Hoof it, running up to jam my right flank. Escort also goes up, leaving Helga camping 2.

No description available.

Turn 2:

Helga is stood just behind the building, and I can get most of the list onto her. I opt to go all in for the assassination. I allocate nothing, as the Jacks are not in range, apparate the right hand ponies forward and get ready. All the wizards either walk and cast, or run, with Aiyana running from the back line, the left hand koldun lord walking forward and brittle frosting the Storm troll and the left hand Koldun lord putting out puppet master on the right hand ponies. Once everyone is in position, Zerkova spends focus for Occult secrets, then Feats, getting Puppetmaster and boosting a Hoarfrost into Helga, needing a 13 to hit. I roll double 6, double 1 and get the crit, and from there it’s matter of chipping down her health until she dies. Helga gets Brittle Frosted and Kissed, and dies to my 2nd last attack (I had one more spray from the Void Archon).

Victory for the Motherland!

This was kind of a bad game for both of us. Zerkova is in my pairing as a meta answer to the likes of Falcyr and Beth 2, but it’s pretty good into a lot of lists that don’t have an out for spells. Unfortunately, it’s not a very entertaining game for either player. C’est la vie.

Feels Good Zerkova: Warmachine
When you win top of 2 on Assasination.

Round 3:

Round 3 has me paired against Dean Booth, who is running Legion. He has Saeryn and something I don’t remember. Strakhov is the obvious drop into Legion, as Torch is an excellent warjack into the high def, low arm style of a lot of Legion lists. He drops Saeryn and off we go.


[Theme] Children of the Dragon

[Saeryn 1] Saeryn, Omen of Everblight [+28]

  • Carnivean [17]
  • Nephilim Bloodseer [8]
  • Nephilim Bloodseer [8]
  • Nephilim Bloodseer [8]
    Blight Archon [8]
  • Angelius [15]
  • Thagrosh 0 [0(5)]
  • Angelius
    Blighted Nyss Shepherd [0(1)]
    Blighted Nyss Shepherd [0(1)]
    Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion [6]
    Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion [6]
    Blackfrost Shard [9]

We roll off and I win, choosing to go first. Scenario was Invasion. I deploy in standard formation, with the jacks fairly central. He deploys a Hellion on either flank, with Thagrosh and Saeryn central and the Archon on the right.

Turn 1:

Torch gets Superiority, Behemoth gets Occultation and Ol’ Grim gets Sentry. Everything runs up, staying out of advance and shoot range (if he wants to assault the Archon, more power to him). I position Torch on my side of the central zone, so he can charge anything that enters it.

His turn, and he charges up the table. He puts up spiny growth on everything that can, throws Dragons Blood onto the Carnivean and puts the Carnivean and a Blood Seer in the rubble by his objective, with a Blood Seer ending up in the zone as well. He stays well back with his squishy infantry, and puts up Respawn on a blood seer.

That’s a nice Bloodseer you got there, shame if anything should…. happen to it.

Turn 2:

I spot an opportunity to take models and decide to take it. Torch gets full focus, Behemoth gets 1. The Blood seer without Respawn has cover, which is an issue, but I try for a couple of shots into him with Behemoth. Both miss, doing nothing. The Marksman aims and manages to tag it, doing 3 damage. Torch gets overrun and Boundless Charge and goes in, cranking the damage on the charge and killing the Bloodseer with 3 attacks. Torch then moves back with Overrun and Sprint, ending out of threat range. The rest of the jacks jostle for position, not moving too far up.

Dean decides to feat this turn. He puts up Spiny Growth everywhere again and runs everything forward, blocking out the Carnivean with a couple of Bloodseers. Feat goes up, and the Black Frost Shard flanks hard for next turn.

No description available.
Arm 23 Bloodseers are no joke.

Turn 3:

I spend about 5 minutes deciding what to do about this wall of beef. I decide, in the end, to run away like a coward. Everything moves back, with Torch getting full focus and overrun again to charge and murder the left hand Hellion. Eyriss manages to kill the contesting Shephard. I score the left zone, contest the middle zone with the Rager, and don’t bother to contest the right.

His turn, and the only thing in range is a blood seer onto the Rager. He sends it in, doing some damage. He also takes the right zone, killing a couple of Elims in the process. He kills the Objective as well, scoring 2.

Turn 4:

I allocate out everything, filling up Behemoth, the right hand Juggernaut and Torch. Torch and Behemoth get Boundless Charge and I ping some damage off of some of his beasts, whilst Ol Grim gets Guidance and manages to kill the Kiss caster of the BFS. The jacks go in, with Torch killing an Angelius, Behemoth and the left hand Juggernaut killing the Carnivean and the right hand Juggernaut crapping out and leaving the left hand blood seer on 2 health. Yuri charges in and finishes the job. At the end of the turn, I score 1 and contest everything.

His turn and he sends in the Archon and Angelius onto the right hand Juggernaut, failing to kill it, which the BFS manage to finish off. Yuri is also killed. Thagrosh 0 goes in on Behemoth and leaves him with no arms. Saeryn starts a journey away from the big scary Torch over to the right flank. He scores 1 and passes back.

At this point, the turns devolve into me cleaning up. I kill everything except Saeryn and score 5 clear.

Victory for the Motherland!

I think the defining moment of this game was choosing not to engage on his feat turn. By setting my tempo right from the start and making sure I scored early as well as contesting, I got to slow roll through his feat. His lack of threat range helped as well. Play of the tournament goes to Behemoth this round, as he headbutted Thagrosh over, then slapped him to death with his crippled arms.

Round 4:

Finals time, and it’s me vs the Man, the Myth, the Legend: Andy Gerrard. He’s running Crucible Guard with Syvestro and Lucas. I’m pretty sure he’s going to drop Syvestro and decide that Zerkova is the better drop. I’m correct, so off we go.


Crucible Guard
[Theme] Magnum Opus

[Syvestro 1] Aurum Adeptus Syvestro [+28]

  • Liberator [10]
  • Suppressor [13]
  • Vanguard [10]
  • Vindicator [15]
  • Vindicator [15]
  • Aurum Ominus Alyce Marc [0(5)]
    Ascendant Mentalist [0(4)]
    Crucible Guard Mechanik [2]
    Trancer [0(3)]
    Trancer [0(3)]
    Containment Operatives [8]
    Failed Experiments (max) [14]
    Railless Interceptor [16]

We roll off, and Andy wins, choosing to go first. Scenario was I deploy in standard formation. He deploys the Train and failed experiments on the right, the jacks on the left and centre.

Turn 1:

He runs everything forward, getting as much distance as he can. He puts out transmutation on the Failed Experiments, and puts up his cloud.

My turn, and I don’t have much room to place models. Next turn is going to be feat turn, so I need to preserve as much as possible. The Thamarite and Void archon move up, and everything stays as safe as possible. Banishing Ward goes on the left unit, and Telgesh Mark on a pony to the right.

Turn 2:

Andy attempts to spray the Void Archon to death, but fails, rolling very poorly. He drifts some AOEs as well, but fails to kill anything he hits. He passes turn with the train in the right zone surrounded by Failed Experiments, and his jacks just behind the midline.

No description available.
Bottom of 2.

It’s feat time. I got lucky and nothing died, but that won’t last long. I decide I want to prioritise the Vindicators and the train. Everything moves, casts and waits for feat. The Void Archon runs to engage the train. Feat turn goes, and by the end, the Train and a Vindicator is dead, with the other Vindicator stationary with no cortex.

Turn 3:

Andy feats this turn, and between the Experiments, suppresor and the rest of his jacks, manages to wipe out all my Greylords but the Koldun lords and a pair of Ternions. He passes turn back, with both of us scoring one.

I try to wipe the Experiments, but keep coming up short of damage. I manage to finish off the Vindicator and kill some back line models. We both score again.

After this, we wind down the game. Over the next few turns, he gets a lead on scenario, reviving any Experiments that go down and just continues to attrition.


Looking back, I think I picked the wrong targets to focus on. I should have concentrated on wiping the right flank, and getting the Suppressor. The Vindicator is not great at dealing with the Outriders, but the Experiments and Suppressor were. If I had Kissed the Experiments instead of the train, I probably could have wiped the unit and not suffered so many losses the next turn.

Round 4 was the final round, and in the end I went 3-1, coming 2nd in my pod. It was a fantastic day, and I look forward to the next one.

For the Motherland!