Tuesday, March 14, 2017

On Breaks, Anticipation, and Pairings

I've been pretty quiet recently, probably mostly because my cell phone camera is almost completely useless so I haven't been taking any pictures. Part of it, though, stems from not playing as much as I had been. Felt burned out at the end of February, and despite being really excited by the new things in Skorne and having a dozen lists I wanted to try out I haven't really had an avenue to do so. I'm also currently not committed to any event until the SOO, and despite feeling pretty good about my chances there this year I haven't been doing as much prep as I'd like to.

Breaks

Or how to burn out without fading away

I played a lot of this game in February and January. Probably more games than I'd normally get in during a 3-4 month period. I then switched over to practice for a guild ball tournament, which I took first in. Overall I probably played around 50 games of the miniature variety from the dropping of the Skorne Errata to the end of February, where in a non-tournament week 4 games would be a lot for me. 

This was especially problematic, as near the end of 2016 I had all but stopped playing - I dropped in for a few tournaments just because I like the community, and kept showing up for game nights, but had kind of lost the desire to play knowing that the faction was going to be upended. Felt like going from 0 to 60 overnight when the errata dropped, painting up tons of swordsmen, getting a hydra ready, figuring out lists, and playing every chance I could. I started to feel like a bit of a local meta-boogeyman, and wound up pushing things a bit too far towards competition for competitions sake than I'm honestly comfortable with.

Repainted to reflect newfound awesomeness

So... I took a step back. My last few games have been a bit more toned down - no clock, keeping the Rasheth to a minimum, trying new things. I know Rasheth is going to be one of my warlocks for the foreseeable future, but I have no idea who the other 2 are going to be. I'm thinking of going back to using ADR, maybe playing around with those four until I land on a three list pairing and a champions pair that I really like.

Anticipation

So, the Southern Ontario Open is coming up. I still haven't picked up a ticket, or registered for anything, or set up my housing - I'm debating sleeping in my car, though, parking is way cheaper than paying for a room. I'm really looking forward to the Iron Gauntlet, and hopefully have a chance to redeem myself after losing round 1 of masters at CaptainCon. Masters here does tend to be way more competitive, but I think if I can move off the Rasheth crutch and focus on ADR I can do really well. It has been and still is my opinion that we can do really well in the ADR environment, thanks to our deep support bench and flexible casters.

The issue is... SOO is in a month and a half. Between then and now I don't have any tournaments planned. I'm running two, but that is it right now. Hopefully some more stuff crops up that catches my eye, and I can swing over to them. After that there is the Battle for the Keystone tournament in Pennsylvania, which is a pretty nice high stakes tournament. I took it down last year, and with it coming post-SOO this year I think my odds of placing are pretty decent.


Pairings

RASHETH! No, wait, fuck! Err...

I have a serious problem with not knowing what I don't want to drop Rasheth into. I feel like Rasheth in Winds of Death is just a super good all-comers list, with few weaknesses. It offers a great game of ranged and magic superiority. I know he'll be in my lists for Iron Gauntlet at SOO, but that leaves 2 open spots. Right now I'm trying to figure out something to bring as an anti-Menoth list, as a solid jack brick from them can be really hard to handle when running guns. There is some great play into killing the choir, though, thanks to catapults, sentinels, and dark rituals.

So, who goes well with him? I've been trying to work Zaadesh into my games more recently, going back to triple soldiers with him and immortals. It... hasn't been going as well as I'd remembered. It might simply be a matter of people being more used to him, or me playing more conservatively etc. I'll keep working on it, though, as I like his melee-focus, hard hitting, anti-shooting style, and bringing 3 beasts with RFP seems like a key thing to have against Menoth in this day and age of the High Reclaimer.

I've been really looking at trying out Xekaar with a Hydra, but haven't had the chance. I used him more than was probably healthy pre-errata, but haven't tried this tech out yet. I think there's a lot to it, and it again is a list with a lot of RFP and anti-shooting. 40 points of side board can make the core of such a list really flexible, as well.  Again the Hydra brings some key power against Menoth, and has some really solid threat ranges. Against anything save Amon he should be able to pull out an alpha, and even there his feat can help neuter the alpha fairly well (agonizer in the side board, probably).

Mordikaar I really want to like... I had a lot of fun with him early Mk3, and he hasn't changed. Despoiler and the Gladiator going up a point, though, really did impact my list building more than I'd expected. Still, he turns on our infantry at least from a survival standpoint incredibly well (and even if they die, who cares), and turns void spirits into infantry mulching machines. I definitely see him as worthwhile into squishier casters, infantry, and with list flexibility he can easily switch it up and play with a bunch of heavies.

Naaresh games always end with me either counter assassinating, or dying to dice spikes on an assassination run. I'm not sure if that is a just me thing, or if that is how he goes. Either way, I'm not sure I'm willing to run him quite yet. Though I am intrigued by the thought of using him with a derp turtle to make full use of double min handlers.


Final musings....

Looking at ADR as the source for my other 2 lists has been incredibly helpful, though I'm not sure I can pull together a full three list pairing I'm comfortable with in time for SOO. I'll probably still use them, though, because ADR is fun and it'll force me out of my comfort zone for awhile. If it leads to me losing early on and making a fool of myself, well, shit happens. At least I'll be able to walk around carrying almost the entire faction just to fill out my 3 lists thanks to ADR.



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