I played in my first Steamroller tournament over the weekend. It was run by my friend Jim and had a total of seventeen people show up - so it was pretty big!
I played Cygnar, I brought two lists. The first was my usual Darius list (Darius, 2x Centurian, Ironclad, Lancer). The second was the new Caine list I'm tooling about with (Caine, 8x Trenchers, 10x Long Gunners, 10x Stormguard, Journeyman, GMCA, Alexia).
There was lots of Cygnar in the house - four or five players. Cryx also made a good showing, with three or four. I believe there were only two Khador, and two Menoth. Plus there were, I think, three Merc players.
The first game was Assassination, and I lined up against Dom - Dom's a Cygnar player and is very good. He's the guy I've gotten most of my Caine advice from so I knew I was about to get pasted, badly. His list was Stryker with a Lancer and Centurian, some Long Gunners, I think some Stormguard, and the Piper. I knew this was going to be ugly.
He gets to go first, and on the first turn just smokes my Trenchers - blasting them to bits with his Long Gunners. Stryker hides in cover while the Centurian and Lancer advance. I snipe my LG's and start firing at the Lancer - my one correct decision of the game was recognizing that the arc node on that lancer was a big threat.
The game mostly went downhill from their. The Trenchers were dead by turn two as his Centurian continued to advance. Alexia pushed up the left flank with the Stormguard to try and hold up that Centurian. The LG's blew out the Lancer's legs (thus removing the threat of the arc node) and then got in a shooting duel with Dom's Long Gunners - one they were not destined to win. On the third turn he popped Stryker's feat, which left me unwilling to feat with Caine - his guys had come out to play with the Stormguard advancing but I'd have to wait to buzzsaw them. Caine took a few potshots and then ducked behind my own Stormguard to hide.
Game ended on the top of turn four with Dom killing me. He pushed Stryker out by charging the Piper; following the charge he was going to Quake at Caine and hope for a good deviation. Of course he killed the Piper - which amusingly gave Alexia a Risen. Previously he'd wiped out all my other risen, so I got to create a new unit - right in Stryker's face! "He can still cast when engaged," Dom points out to which I reply "yeah, but he can't see Caine any more." I was a bit pleased with myself; it was literally half of the good moves I'd managed to make that game. Undaunted, Dom quaked at the Stormguard in front of Caine and got a perfect deviation - catching both Caine and almost all of the Stormguard. The Centurian had three focus on it, and it trampled over the Stormguard and right into Caine. I didn't understand how Trample worked, which is why I had put caine there - I thought that if you fail to kill a model you're trampling over your movement ends. Not so! I didn't even make Dom roll to kill Caine, there's no way he's eating two piston spear attacks.
I don't feel too bad about this loss - Dom is an awesome player and I'm.... not. Additionally it came down to a ballsy earthquake (which I like, I like my Warmachine played with balls). If his quake doesn't knock Caine down, the odds are probably 95% that Caine kills Stryker.
So I'm 0-1. At the time I thought I hadn't earned a VP at all (VPs were being used as tiebreakers in the standings for matchmaking) but I now realize that in killing the Piper, Dom gave me a VP. I gave up a lot to him. Dom would go on to play for the tournament championship as well as the Cygnar coin.
Game two was against another local player, a fun guy named Andy. He had a Khador list that consisted of Irusk, some Man o' War Demo crew, some Iron Fangs with UA, Widowmakers, Doom Reavers, and the Elf. I took the Caine list again - I really wanted to get better with it. Game was Killing Fields.
My deployment was designed to give me two objectives - the one in the middle and the one on the right. The left and middle objectives were both on hills, the rightmost was in open terrain. I deployed my LG's in the center right of my deployment zone, so they could blast at both the middle and right objective. Trencher's AD'd to grab the center objective, GMCA and Junior would go for the right. His widowmakers took up the left.
This game came down to Irusk's inhospitable ground spell - he was very quickly able to pressure my trenchers with Doom Reavers, killing half of them on the first turn. I couldn't get the Stormguard in quickly enough to back them up. Caine was also useless, owing to me mistakenly thinking his SPD was 7. "God he's taking forever to get into the fight."
Alexia's risen went up the left to try to engage the widowmakers who had camped the left control point. His Man o' Wars pushed up the right side and just ate LG fire - I was dropping one per turn and I think I probably could have dropped two if I hadn't had to move the LG's to guarantee line of site. Irusk eventually feated, and following I feated Caine (I had to, game was ending). Despite the 4+ "invulnerable save" that his units had, Caine decimated him - killing half the IFPs, most of the remaining Doom Reavers, and even tapping Irusk. It wasn't enough though. We tied on Control Points, he won on VP's (having killed my trenchers, the GMCA, and most of my Stormguard.
Highlight of the game was a big mistake he made - he had his Doom Reavers charge my Stormguard. He could only get one model in on them, but he had at least five Guard in his melee range. The DR leader was engaged with a nearby trencher - and he just settled that first; killing my final Trencher. He went to attack the Stormguard, but I pointed out that the DR leader was within 2" of the DR about to murder my stormguard. Needless to say the Stormguard breathed a sigh of relief at their temporary reprieve while Irusk just kind of looked disgusted. Inhospitable ground prevented me from making much of it though. So now I'm 0-2 but hey, at least I got a couple of VP's that game!
The third game was Pendulum against a guy playing Feora. Never met him before, and he was alright to play - kind of quiet, and not really clear on the rules (for example he claimed that one of the Choir songs gave his jacks immunity to both magic and range; he also said his wrack couldn't be hit by magic attacks either). I take Caine again, even though Feora will own my all infantry army with her feat. His army is Feora, Vilmon and a single Paladon, Knights Exmplar and a Seneschal, a Wrack, and two Jacks. One was the new flame fist jack from Superiority, and the other was the guy with the blast template gun and the wrecking ball.
I deploy my LG's on the left side with some support from the solos. Alexia and the Stormguard are going to push up the right side - I'm trying to keep my army spread out so Feora can't catch all of it with her feat. The Trenchers AD in the middle, and he AD's his wrack right in front of them. On the first turn I decide which trencher I like the least and he gets to kill the wrack and eat the explosion. The rest of the Trenchers dig in. Alexia and the Stormguard push up the right side, the LG's push up a bit and get a 6" snipe. His Jacks push at the trenchers under the "no shooting me" song. I wanted to tstrike one of them with Caine, but the guy indicated that the song also prevented magic attacks. Oh well. Caine stays back. His army pushes forward.
Second turn decided the game - the Trenchers smoke, the LGs stand there, Alexia stands back a bit. I start shooting at his knights with the GMCA and a Thrall Warrior gets in on them too - I knew it was important to mob up that right flank; if I can hold back his knights then all he can get onto my side is a pair of Jacks. I'm confident my LGs can buzzsaw a pair of heavy warjacks pretty quickly. Score is one to nothing.
For his turn he sends the jacks in, but inexplicably doesn't engage the trenchers. The fire fist jack does his effect where everything around him takes damage, and trenchers die. The other jack shoot at the LGs and kills maybe one or two. His examplars try to kill some thralls and risen but are pretty well tarpitted. He still is not on my side of the table yet, so I will score again.
My turn three sees the LGs buzzsaw the legs off of his rearmost jack with some nice location rolls. The Stormguard get in on the knights Exemplar and just hold them there. Caine moves up a bit and takes some shots at Feora (he had moved her up) and then flashes away - he's stripped down about half of Feora's health.
Turn three for him he got a jack across to my side of the table. Feora feated, Exemplars killed some risen. The feat cost me the last of my Trenchers, a few LGs and most of my stormguard - as well as lots of risen. Fortunately I had alexia placed to get risen from just about everyone - so the giant tarpit on the right just gets bigger. We ended the game here because even if we got another turn he couldn't possibly win as he was down 2-0. I was OK with ending it because I didn't want to be a dick - but Caine would have easily killed Feora on the next turn, netting me another 9VPs for her and her two jacks.
So now I'm 1-2 and not feeling bad. I played that game very well.
My opponent got to pick the final scenario of the Steamroller (we had disqualified King of the HIll because it sucks). He picked assassination - he is one of the guys who thinks caster kill should always end the game.
My final opponent was a guy named Erik. I had met him the week before at a team tournamenet where he was playing a Bile Thrall army from hell. He's a good player, and lots of fun to play against. He also has the most atrocious dice of anyone I've seen - the guy couldn't consistently roll a six. This week he had mercs - he threw down with Gorton, Crow's Cutthroats, a full unit of HIgh Shields, Alexia, Eiryss, and a Driller. I let him go first and he deployed, throwing down mostly in the center. There was a hill in the center of the table on my side, so most of the fighting would involve him cresting that hill and walking into my gun line. Croe's AD'd on the hill, my Trenchers went down a little in front of them. I'm a little torqued off that he didn't tell me Croe's got stealth - I moved my LG's and declared I was shooting them and at that point he let me know they were stealthed. It only torques me off slightly because when he was deploying them I asked him what Croes can do (because I've never seen them before) and he mentioned the AD, murder weapons, but not the stealth part. I don't imagine he did it deliberately either - it was just one of those things that nags at me. It wasn't a huge deal, the Trenchers advanced and had their way with 'em - but it was slightly annoying nonetheless.
The game was a brutal bloodbath - the High Shields followed Croe over the hill and ripped up my trenchers. He managed to plug Alexia. I've played Gorton lots before (my friend Wolf plays him) so I knew to keep Caine away from his feat. The LGs started sawing away at the High Shields. His Driller trampled in amongst the stormguard and killed a few as Alexia's risen poured into the gap left by the dead Trenchers. At this point I brought Caine in and feated. He killed 15 of 17 risen, then plugged Alexia (I was doing the order deliberately to make sure she had no risen to keep her alive). A few high shields died to the feat too, and he finished off the last of them along with the Piper before flashing away.
I won the game by VPs. He killed my trenchers, journeyman, GMCA, Alexia, and half the Stormguard for a total of 6 VPs. I killed Croes, the High Shields, Eiryss, Alexia, and the piper for a total of 7. At the end of the game all he had left was Gorton and a Driller. I had like 8 of my LGs, a few stormguard, and Caine. Brutal fight.
So I went 2-2 playing a list I'd never ever played before and a caster I'd only played once. Better than I had expected. I don't think I"m using anything at all efficiently, so I think I'll end up being very competitive with Caine.
Dom ended up playing in the finals against Geoff, who won. The prize was an invitation to the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Masters Tournament - an 8-man invitiation only tournament. Geoff also won the Cygnar coin; his lists were both Siege.