Saturday, November 2, 2013

Grail Quest 2013 Review, part 1

As you can see, it has been a while since I posted.  I have, however, a couple of things that I want to talk about, so you'll probably see three or four posts here over the next few weeks.  The first thing on my agenda is a quick review of Grail Quest, which ended last week.  I had a great time for three reasons:  the rules pack allowed me to take an interesting list, I played six really great opponents, and Ben, Tom, and the folks at Atomic Empire did a great job with the event.

First, let me talk about the list.  The rules pack allowed us to take a Storm of Magic monster in the rare slot. Of course, I took a Frost Dragon to go with my Star Dragon and Dragon Mage.  I backed that up with lots of cavalry, a small unit of spears, and a unit of dragon princes with the banner of world dragon.  The maneuverability and speed of the army made for some very interesting and tactical games, and I (and I think my opponents) had a lot more fun that when I was using my horde list at NOVA and Southern Assault.  The event used Swedish Comp, and according to their assessment, I had the second softest list at the tournament.  Despite that, I was able to pull down 23 out of 60 in battle points.  With my comp bonuses and soft scores, I ended up finishing 10th, which I was very pleased with.  I was also happy to win the award for 2nd best army.  I don't have any pictures of it right now, but I think it is the best army I have taken to a tournament.  If you want to see it, I played Shimmergloom in a practice game, and he has it on his YouTube channel.  Here's the video; you can find a link to his channel in my favorites:

Next, I want to give a shout out to my opponents.  Except for Power Posey, who is always I blast to play, everyone I played was a new opponent to me.  I'd love to have a rematch against any of them.  I thought all of the armies were reasonable, and they all played in a competitive but friendly fashion.

Finally, the tournament was very well run.  We had a great space, it was always on time, and there were tons of awards given out.  They had a very fun little Monster Mash battle royal where everyone took a monster and fought it out.  I managed to pull second place with a borrowed Terrorgheist.  Because the event was so close to Halloween, there was a costume contest which included one guy dressed up as a marauder (complete with long locks, no shirt, flail, and tattoos) and another dressed as an Ogre Irongut (imo this was the best costume ever.  His wife had sewn some striped pants.  He had an irongut breastplate, a banner that matched his army's, and fanged teeths).  Good stuff all around.

To close, I thought I'd make a couple of observations about my perceptions of the SE meta as it stands right now:

  • Despite there being a ton of warriors army (I think there were eleven or twelve), the warriors are not really dominating the battle point standings.  My guess is that people see them so much that most everyone knows what to do against them.  I also think that most people have Warriors in mind when building a list, so the Warrior players are probably getting tougher matchups than some of the other power armies.  For what it's worth, the top ten in battle went Daemons, Dark Elves, Chaos Dwarfs, Warriors, High Elves, Empire, Ogres, Wood Elves (!), High Elves, Ogres.
  • The above point made, I think the inclusion of the Storm of Magic monsters evened the playing field a little bit as it allowed some of the weaker armies to take units to cover their weaknesses.  This probably gives us a hint of the balancing effect that I believe allies will bring to the game when 9th hits.
  • Several of the top armies have moved to a coven of light build.  It seems to be very popular with Empire and High Elves right now.  
It'll be interesting to see how this develops over the next few months.  Anyway, I just want to reiterate how good a tournament that the Bull City Wargaming folks (Ben, Tom) and Atomic Empire put on.  If you have a Fantasy army and are in the SE do yourself a favor and get to Brawler Bash next year.  You will not be disappointed.

That's it for now.  Like I said, expect some more posts soon. I need to do a short game by game report of the tournament so that everyone can see how awesome Dragon Mages are (and how terrible skycutters are).  My High Elf army is all but finished (all I have unpainted is a unit of dragon princes and a handmaiden).  I want to put some shots of the whole army up as sort of a farewell to arms with them (even though I am still planning to make them a proper display base).  I also want to show of a couple of models from the new army on which I am working.  In addition, since I made all five of the mid-Atlantic GTs, I'd like to get up a review of the whole tournament season.  Finally, my finish at Grail Quest allowed me to qualify for the Master's, so I'm planning to do cover those events in some detail.  Those are big plans.  I heard Vegas has the over/under at two more posts.  Place your bets now.