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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

NYC Conquest Store Championship Report

On March 14th I had the pleasure of playing in The Uncommons Cafe's Conquest LCG store championship. Fourteen awesome players showed up to battle it out over the length and breadth of the Traxis Sector, all of us politely competing for the very high-production-value store champion plaque (no sarcasm at all, the plaque is actually pretty impressive).

There was some more tournament action going on just out of frame

I can't say this enough, but The Uncommons is a very unique and cool shop. They have an incredible game library, as well as food and drinks, including craft beer. Anyway, on to the tournament!

I had wanted to bring a Ragnar deck, but my planned playtesting schedule never materialized, so in the end I went with my much more familiar Zarathur deck, which now included the awesome Gleeful Plague Beast (GPB)!

A pretty typical Chaos deck, I think. In my opinion the GPB is more effective than the Bloodletters, but the Bloodletters definitely still have a role to play. My original version of this deck included 3 Fall Back's and 2 Ork Kannons, but in the end those cards made way for Promotions and another Khorne Berserker. The cost curve is a little high, but I've built the deck around 5 cost-reduction cards.

My first game was against Graham and his Orks, which were led by Nazdreg (one brave soul did bring Zogwort) with Guard allies. Orks and Guard/AM have, arguably, the best supports in the game, and Graham meant to capitalize on them by also including Infantry Conscripts. Unfortunately for Graham he didn't get the most important Ork support, Kustom Field Generator, out until it was too late. I bloodied Nazdreg on turn 2, and started rolling up the planets soon after. Graham conceded when he started turn 5 with 5 cards in his hand, but no units to play.

In game 2 I went up against Stuart, who was also running Nazdreg. Stuart was relatively new to Conquest, but was quickly getting the hang of the Orks. The planet setup dictated that the game likely wouldn't end until the 6th planet, so we each prepared for the long haul.

My Bloodletters were champs in this game, effectively clearing out 2 planets worth of Orks. Stuart fought back hard though, and Enraged Orks proved as difficult to deal with as ever, especially Enraged Orks with Hostile Environment Gear! His Killa Kans were also a persistent thorn in my side.

I eventually broke his army upon a combined Warpstorm-GPB-Bloodletter damage storm. There was no recovering for him after that.

My third game was against Ed, who brought my old friend Ku'Gath to the tournament. I'll make this report quick: on turn 2 Ed managed to drop a Helldrake at a planet that I needed to win. I would have survived thanks to my 3-shield card, but immediately after the combat ended he dropped a Warpstorm, which bloodied Zarathur. I made a game of it toward the end, but the outcome was never really in doubt. Ed had an odd deck but he played it well, and I can't take anything away from him: he cleaned my clock!

After the game I realized what I should have done differently. At the time that the Helldrake dropped I had Shrine of Warpflame on the table and Tzeentch's Firestorm in my hand. I first played Tzeentch's Firestorm against the Helldrake to force Ed to spend a shield card, then I played the action on Zarathur's Flamers. Thus, when I eventually killed the Helldrake, it was the Flamers that returned to my hand instead of the 2 shield Firestorm, which would have saved Zarathur from the Warpstorm (also, Iridrial was on the table). I was so taken aback by the Helldrake that I didn't stop to think about the exactly correct order of play.

The fourth game was against John and his Astra Militarum. John was a solid player, and I remain very unfamiliar with AM. The climactic battle came on turn 3. As we committed our warlords it seemed clear that John was going to win the planet, but in the command phase I drew 2 Infernal Gateways, which allowed me to drop a Berserker and a Zarathur's Flamers for a total of 2 resources. After a complete slugfest I managed to limp away with the planet. Plus, although my forces were depleted, Zarathur was still healthy, whereas Straken was bloodied.

In the next turn I brought in 2, count-'em, 2 Gleeful Plague Beasts, which dealt a combined 4 damage to every enemy unit at the start of the combat phase! Game over.

At the end of 4 rounds there was only one undefeated player, Eric, who was running Cato/Tau. The players who would make the cut to the top 4 decided to let to results stand, and Eric was awarded the store championship! Congrats Eric!

Again, this was a great tournament with an awesome turnout. The camaraderie was fantastic, and I can't wait for the next one.

For more gaming content, follow me on Twitter @PIflamesofwar. If you can't get enough Conquest info, listen to our new podcast, Actions at One.

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