Spiteclaw‘s Swarm VS Sepulchral Guard

This time my opponent was Alex! He switched from orruks to skeletons and this was his first match with the most beautiful warband (in terms of design, not game-design). As we played right after work before heading home it was an one round fight.

Turn 1: I was lucky once more and lost the first roll – had to place the board first and got three objectives. As I play semi aggro/objectives I was quite sure to score Our Only Way Out and/or Supremacy later during the game. My card-draw wad solid as I got a convenient combo with Change of Tactics and Ready for Action! Skellies were unable to reach me during turn 1 so it felt a bit awkward to go on guard with Skritch. It felt good again when he charged his Harvester and scored CoT immediately. I used the glory to provide Mr. Skritch with Acrobatic enabling me to trigger Ready for Action and smashing the Harvester to pieces. We both used the remaining activations to position ourselves for turn 2. 2:0 for the ratmen.

Turn 2: Alex opened the turn by respawning the Harvester three fields away from Skritch. If I simply charged in he could have counter-charged me with multiple models this turn. Luckily I was in possession of Sidestep inspiring Skritch (as he was chosen) while bringing him back in range. He now was able to one shot the poor Harvester and still able to move or attack during that turn. With three defence dies (Acrobatic & inspired) he withstood the Champion’s smash and was able to insta-kill him with the next activation in return. Alex revived his champ to close the gap in his defensive wall. I had to start preparing for my objectives Supremacy and Our Only Way Out which I planned to score in turn three, so I left the front the way it was and placed the hungering skaven on the first objective and my lovely Krrrk on the second. At that point I actually held only Our Only Way Out which seemed sufficient for me. Turn 2 I actually scored Shining Example, Skritch is the Greatest, Yes-yes and Arm’s Length. Alex scored two or three glory by returning his minions from the cold grave and if I remember correctly by moving all of his models. Approx. 7:3 at that stage.

Turn 3: A sweet combination of cards brought the decision in turn 3. Quick Thinker, Musk of Fear and Time Trap… Wonderful ploys with strong synergies! Beside that I held three objective cards which I would easily score this turn: Precise Use of Force, Our Only Way Out and Determined Defender. This turn I took the lead and charged in with Skritch. I killed one of his three-wounds-models first to score Precise Use of Force and draw a new objective card (I forgot which one, sorry). The beauty of Time Trap and Musk of Fear is: both can be used after a charge without limitations which means a charged character may take another attack or go on guard (See FAQ). Accordingly I could land one more attack killing yet another undead. Skritch was surrounded by foes and I had to get him on guard. During that turn he dodged three bullets and survived this bloody mess. Meanwhile I moved my third skaven onto the required objective. Alex knew what I was up to and pushed the hungering skaven (which luckily did not move yet) from the objective before his last activation. Once more he charged Skritch helping me to move the hungering skaven back onto his pile of cheese (Quick Thinker). Skritch ruined each and every plan the Warden must have kept secret during the last two turns and eventually I won this match 15:3 (seems I scored more objectives or killed more bone-dolls than I remembered).

Lessons learned: The game reminded me of this “Every first dungeon of RPGs”-GIF where the skeletons are thrown all over the place. I saw no big mistakes on Alex’s side, yet the Guard’s small range makes it pretty easy to calculate moves and attacks against them. I tried to think about alternative ways of playing Sepulchral Guard, but I am yet to find a reliable playstyle. My skaven performed very well and according to plan. I felt sorry for Alex, but he is a tough guy growing with his losses!

Next time I will be back with more cheesy combos (such as Time Trap, Ready, Illusionary Fighter). Peace, out!

Khorne does not care

After crawling on the floor for a while (Nurgle took his toll on me) I was able to eventually play against Andrej again.

Last time he crushed me with Magore’s – this time he was set to let even more blood flow by throwing Garrek and his rascals into the ring.

Since we both work full-time and fill our off time with diaper shot put we had just enough time to squeeze in one match.

Turn 1: I lost the first roll and had to place the first board. We both own the new lethal hexes boards, but did not dare to place them. I knew Andrej would try to get someone killed as quickly as possible, so my rats went to the backline. I had Supremacy on my hand as well as Alone in the Darkness, but was unable to score either of them. At least none of my guys hit the fan and we ended this turn 0:0. Strange thing: We both tried to score Alone in the Dark and were unable to pull it off!

Turn 2: Dropped Alone in the Darkness and another objective to obtain Our Only Way Out and Change of Tactics. Good hand, but I first had to aggressively get rid of these Khorne crooks. So turn 2 pleased Khorne more than I wished for. Andrej made kebab out of my lurking skaven during his first activation. My first activation on the other hand featured the glorious Scritch, a Time Trap and two dying Reavers. Unfortunately somehow this was also Andrej’s plan. Beside having all of his hoodlums inspired he was able to score multiple objectives end of turn 2 (and in turn 3). He further killed my other two baby-rats leaving me lonely with Krrrk and Scritch. Unable to score Supremacy and Our Only Way Out I used two activations to 1) position Krrrk on an objective and 2) to draw a card. I could have scored Change of Tactics which would have been much better, but missed that chance… One or two glory points down the gutter.

Anyhow, turn 3: Everything was well planned and prepared. I decided to let Andrej begin as I held Quick Thinker and was sure he would charge Krrrk with Garrek (which he did). As I had Great Concussion on hand as well, I moved Krrrk next to a new objective (right side of the board; right side of the objective). And that was when my downfall began. I placed the moved-marker on Krrrk’s card. And forgot about it.

Andrej was unable to charge any of my skaven, so I could easily follow my plan. First activation: revive the hungering skaven right beside the same objective Krrrk was waiting next to, but on the left side (see picture below for reference). Second activation: Scritch charged Garrek and sneaked next to my second objective… Still believing I was going to move Krrrk soon I placed Scritch on the left side of the objective (which was also on the left board-side). Yes… the left side. The wrong side. For no reason. Third activation: That was when I realised what a gigantic moron I am. Nothing I could do to score my objectives now. Since both Krrrk and Scritch already moved.

I lost this match by five (5) glory points. Exactly the amount I lost by not scoring my two objectives.

Lessons learned: Place tokens where you actually see them! Mine will be found next to the miniatures as off now. If you are able to score objectives immediately do it! Not only did I waste one glory point by not changing my tactics, but I also missed the chance of drawing a new objective card.

Cards from the Leader pack: I really tried to like them, but let’s face it. 90% of these cards are not usable in a competitive environment. Even those which are cool are strictly situational which means they might end up blocking your hand in most other situations.

The cool cards: Shining Example is one of the easiest objective cards in game and easily the best card from the Leader pack. Spoiler alert: I scored this one in the upcoming match again – a no brainer for most warbands. Quick Advance is my second choice. Inspire two skaven and move them one hex each? Hell yeah! Also interesting for other warbands without the inspiring magic stuff. That’s it for me. I saw Shining Example on Andrej’s side as well.

You ask if it is worth buying the pack? I can’t live without my Shining Example any longer. Therefore I do not regret the purchase. But basically I paid more than 10 bucks for two cards. Who knows? Perhaps some cards will celebrate a comeback with future releases…

I’ll get some sleep now and will be back with another battle-report soonish. Cheerio!

Reavers on picture painted by Andrej.

Back from the grave

No, I did not play Sepulchral Guard. Remember when I wrote I’d be flying to Dubai soon? I caught some rough virus while traveling and was struck down for three weeks.

Anyhow back there in Dubai I was invited to Battlezone Dubai. I had a great time there thanks to the kind people working there and those hanging out there (picture taken at Battlezone).

One of them was Steve who was kind enough to play five rounds of Shadespire with a stranger.

He played Bloodreavers and brought a glory-massacre upon my tiny rats. However after having seen his deck in action I was well prepared for the following rounds. I learned that it is alright to lose the first round, as long as you draw the right conclusions.

To cut it short: I was able to win the following four rounds by denying him the options to score glory. It was only after the matches that I got to know Steve only used cards from the core game… How dumb I felt. Next time in Dubai I hope I will get the chance to play him again with a fair setup!

If you ever get to Dubai make sure to get in touch with Battlezone. I am sure they will invite you to their Shadespire-WhatsApp group.

Tomorrow I will be back with two short battle-reports (one against Reavers, one against Guard) which feature cards from the new Leader’s pack. Stay tuned!

Easy glory in Shadespire

Cheap Combos 1: Glorious Charge

During my first match-ups I was mainly struggling for two reasons:

1) In Shadespire your attacks allow you to throw a small number of dies only. If you fail one or two attacks in turn one you might find yourself in a bad position – unable to score objectives – unable to equip upgrades – last but not least standing adjacent to enemy models ready to punch the crap out of your model.

2) My objectives mainly required my opponent to play along (e.g. let me hold specific objectives, let me kill his warband, etc.).

It is crucial to have a variety of easy-to-score objectives in your deck which do not require your opponent to fall for your battle-tricks. I will introduce a series of cheap combos allowing to do exactly that.

First one: the “Glorious Charge

This works best with Spiteclaw’s, but Change of Tactics works just fine with other warbands as well. Change-of-Tactics

The beauty of having Skaven pull this off is that Musk of Fear will let you go on Guard without activation while inspiring the chosen model (keyword: Choose).Musk-of-Fear

With Bodyguard for a Price we can score Change of Tactics without an Guard-activation as well.Bodyguard-for-a-Price

Even having Change of Tactics in hand without a combo-card wouldn’t be too bad. It is more or less a free glory-point scored immediately. True, the cost is rather high with two required activations. However having one of your frontliners on Guard and charging later on is not the worst thing to do.

Will keep you posted with the next cheap combo soon!

Warhammer Underworlds: Dubai

I’ll be flying to Dubai on Friday and staying for a few days to get some work done. Usually I would stay inside my hotel room most of the time as it is simply too hot outside to do anything meaningful.

Well that was before I got to know there are multiple table-top shops located in Dubai. Even though our friends in the Middle-East celebrate Eid (couple of days during which all businesses are shut down) while I am there, these shops are open!

If you know somebody living in Dubai interested in throwing some dies between 16th – 19th of June hit me up please! Let’s take a dive into the desert-meta.

The „cheese-map“

I am currently including “Supremacy” and “Our Only Way Out” in my deck (gain glory at the end of turn for holding three objectives).

The map-picture shows how I usually open with my first three skaven, when I had to choose a map-tile first and the enemy placed the other map-tile opposing to them.

I am playing this along with “Earthquake” and “Great Concussion” next time which both allow me to move all three skaven towards the three objectives (The corner token shows where I would let the great concussion hit the board).

Until now I never had the right card on my hand on turn one (not even with a mulligan), but I still had the feeling my board set-up did ok.

Do you have certain favorite map set-ups for your war-bands?

Woo let the dogs out…

So tonight I had a candle fight dinner with Andrej aka Pancake aka Woo. Yeah, now you get the title.

He brought Magore’s Fiends to table which my skaven were clearly not amused about. We played two matches which left me with a deep knowledge of what not to do when facing Khorne’s puppies.

Match one: I scored well in round one and two, but was left with only Krrrrrrrrk on the table. I love this name. Krrrk. He ran as fast as he possibly could when I sneaked away in the first activation of round three (using great concussion to increase the distance between the fiends and Krrrrrrrrrrrk). From a distance I scored another four glory to bring home the victory 12:7.

Lessons learned: Don’t let Skritch die after giving him 4 upgrades. Running is good. Activate Krrrrrk more often to say his name.

Match two: I had the urge to draw both Mulligans at the beginning of the match. It was only after the Mulligan that I knew that was a horrible, horrible mistake. How can I summarise what happened? I scored literally 0 glory until round three’s end phase (where I got 1 glory by dumping all other cards…). Andrej’s golden retriever killed all skaven quickly and without problems. I lost this massacre 1:10.

Lessons learned: Keep Mr. Mulligan in your pocket. Don’t let Skritch die (seriously just make sure this guy survives). Running is only good when you are winning.

I will replace 4 cards from my deck (next article will focus on this).

100 cheeseburger

My first matches I fought with the base game and my skaven. Which means my deck was rather simple (yet efficient). Today 100 cheeseburger worth of plastic and paper arrived (all other warbands) allowing me to eventually build my deck the way I want.

I decided to take this deck to my next fight on Thursday against Andrej’s super secret warband (he is painting them right now, but not telling me what it is…). Andrej, if you read this: do not open the link above and read no further!

Straight forward trying to push Spiteclaw as hard as possible. Many ploys targeting my Skaven and movement shenanigans should do the rest.

A month of pain and agony

Let me quickly introduce myself: Rob, 34 years, married, 2 children, full time working, living in Germany – country of beer and unhappy people!

I do not consider myself unhappy even though I have been living in Germany for most of the 34 years. However if we keep looking for things we do not need, but want, we quickly find a way to be unhappy!

And herewith I present to you what I totally do not need, but somehow need in my life: Shadespire trophies (see image below – the shiny bling bling in the middle).

Since I spend my time either with work or my family I have 0 time left to win one of those. Someone is selling one on ebay I saw today?! What is wrong with you? No, not buying it…

Now you ask yourself: Why is this blog entry that long? And why do you write a blog if you can’t play? Ok: 1) Sorry. Next one will be shorter. 2) My wife and children will visit our relatives abroad for a full month. Which will leave me back in rainy Bonn working my ass off. Yet I will have time in the evenings and weekends to play every single organised play event of Shadespire crossing my eyes (within reason. Sometimes not within reason…).

I will share my tournament losses with you as well as cool things I found on the webs related to Shadespire. Would be happy if you comment whatever garbage I may throw at you. Let’s enjoy this month of pain and agony together!

You can only do well with aggro Skaven if you’ve got a blog. — John Wynne Rees

Picture by Games Workshop (please don’t sue me!)