Now, onto the tournament. I was pleasantly surprised to see a turnout of 12 players! There is definitely a good scene building here. In addition, many of the enthusiastic participants were students of NYU's Games Center: guys (and girls) who study games for a living. I found that even newer players among them had a firm grasp of the rules and strategy, even if they didn't have a lot of games under their belt. I'd say the field was 50% newer players, 25% semi-experienced players, and 25% experienced players.
Cato was well-represented, as expected, but so was every other faction with the exception of Eldar. While I'd like to see all factions represented, Eldar are the bane of my existence, and I was encouraged by their absence. My deck was one that I had been practicing with leading up to the tournament, although I made pretty big changes 2 days before the tournament. This was my deck:
All along I had been using Orks as the ally faction for my Chaos forces, but 2 days before the tournament I made the switch to Dark Eldar. Why? They simply bring more to the table when it comes to winning command struggles and pulling off combat tricks. I felt that they made up for certain deficiencies of a Chaos deck, whereas the Orks simply added to the strengths Chaos already has.
The other change I made was to swap Chaos Fanatics for the new Rotten Plaguebearers. They're far more multi-faceted than the Fanatics, and I now had Incubi to provide a 2-cost, 2-command icon unit.
My first game was not only against Cato, but against the player who won the store's previous tournament! Right off the bat I'd be playing against a great warlord and a great player (named Mike). Luckily for me I drew an almost ideal opening hand. Promise of Glory, Bloodletters, Fetid Haze, and a few other goodies combined to give me a leg up in the opening stages of the game.
We were making a real slugfest of it, and each of us had two planets when the 5 minute warning sounded. Unfortunately for my opponent my planets gave me an easier path to victory, and would give me a modified win regardless of the outcome of the current 1st planet under contention. In a true display of sportsmanship he urged us to play it out, and in the last battle a couple of shield cards protected enough of my units to secure the win. Great opponent and a great game!
My second game was against a newer player named Mauricio, who was running Orks. The splendor of my opening hand in the first game was countered by an abysmal starting hand in this game. Despite being very new to the game, Mauricio, a member of NYU's Games Center, quickly established a good board state despite losing the first two planets.
A well-timed Battle Cry decimated my forces and gave Mauricio the 3rd planet, and suddenly I was reeling. At the battle at the 4th planet I was saved by a 2 shield Tzeentch's Firestorm, which allowed my bloodletters to get in two AoE attacks. Nevertheless, Ku'Gath had been bloodied, and if this game had gone any further I probably would have lost. Another tight game!
In the last round I once again went face to face with Cato, this time being led by a guy named.... Alex? So sorry bud, I'm terrible with names. I have to say, his opening hand, despite a mulligan, doomed him. Too many high-cost units in his hand allowed me to dominate the command phase, and I quickly established an advantage in card and resources. On top of that, after winning one planet and sending his pricey units back to HQ, I managed to combine Atrox Prime with a Warpstorm that completely wiped him out. After that I just had to mop up his forces and got the final win.
When the scores were tallied I was the proud recipient of the game mat that is given to tournament winners! That's really all I wanted - the mat is so cool!
The Uncommons was a great venue, and the players were outstanding. I highly recommend trying to get down there for a tournament if you're in the area; there's a growing Conquest community so get in on it!
Closely-fought game in Round 3
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below with any questions/concerns, or reach out to me on Twitter @PIflamesofwar
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