Hey folks, how’s it going?
The BritRollerSix blog coverage of the UK WKOs with my own re-cap of last Sunday’s event at Chimera Games in Nottingham.
There were 27 players present in total (fell just a little short of the projected 32) and the mood was energised & jovial as players arrived. Some were getting re-acquainted after meeting at other events and got to chatting while filling in their team sheets & others made their way around, networking the room, and introducing themselves to the newer players. I could definitely sense a buzz in the air for a good, solid day of Dice Master-ing ahead.
The staff at Chimera Games were prepped & ready to go and swiftly set about confirming the attendees & making sure everyone’s details were correct on the WIN. Andy, Chimera’s Manager, briefed us all around how the day was going to go: four rounds of Swiss, then Top cuts. Each round was going to be 45 minutes, best of three, with five rounds at time, and finished off with all the practical stuff around breaks, house rules around food & refreshments, loos & fire safety stuff. Tim, the Dice Masters Community Volunteer at Chimera, did a quick call out that the new first turn rule was in effect and checked that everyone was aware of what that meant.
I played a Bolt Ring team. Here’s the list;
- Big Entrance (WOL) – Basic Action Card
- Blink – Transmutation (FUS) – Basic Action Card
- Lantern Ring (WOL) – Limited Only By Imagination, 2
- Iceman (UXM) – Too Cool for Words, 3
- Wasp (AOU) – Founding Avenger, 2
- Dwarf Wizard (FUS) – Paragon Zhentarim, 2
- Professor X (MP) – Recruiting Young Mutants (Alt.), 1
- Foot Ninja (TMNT) – Shredder’s Army, 3
- Bleez (WOL) – Controlled Rage, 2
- Static™ (GATF) – Virgil Hawkins, 4
Once the briefing was done the Swiss pairings were ran on the WIN and everyone hustled around to their tables and meet their round one partner. We were off!
Round One – Chelsea
First up I was playing Chelsea, who had brought along a Dragon themed build.
In the first game I turned to my ‘Dwarf Wizard’, ‘Constantine’, and ‘Captain Cold’s Gun’ to protect me from the ‘Breath Weapon’ while I cracked on with my own agenda to build towards a lethal ring swing.
My timing was a bit off on a few occasions and Chelsea swung through a couple of good hits and I was starting to get a little twitchy at nine life, but soon got my act together to hold the line to get myself sorted.
At one point I ballsed up completely. Chelsea had knocked out my ‘Foot Ninja’ but I had got so in the habit of swarming I drew the wrong amount from my bag when two ‘Foot Ninja’ die came through. Fortunately I hadn’t rolled & clocked it just in time (“oh… wait a minute… why are all three of my ‘Foot Ninja’ in my Dice tray? D’oh!”) so I called it out to Chelsea and we agreed to put the board state back as it was and start the turn again. Thanks again Chelsea – you were very patient & sportsmanly with this dunce!
With the Ring out, my defensive line in place, and the ‘Foot Ninja’ rotating around it was just a matter of time & I swung in with a lethal Ring blast.
The second game followed much the same path, minus the absent minded faux pas. My defensive strategy worked perfectly so I replicated my moves of the first game by lining up ‘Dwarf Wizard’ and ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ to keep the ‘Breath Weapon’ attacks at bay.
I once again soaked up a few cheeky blows from Chelsea’s Dragons but my damage limitation strategy was working. I stayed the course and lined up a lethal Ring swing once again to take the second game and the round.
So far, so good…
Round Two – Rhys Williams
My next round was against Rhys, who was playing my first (and thankfully only!) Bard match up of the day.
Both games of this round were gruelling – I played hard, really hard, to keep the Bard list at bay and take solace in the fact that, while I may have lost both games, I lasted a full 45 minute round of 2 games against the lute playing behemoth.
How did I stay in the game so long in both the matches of the round? Mostly because of ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ and a wall of sidekicks.
It wasn’t a sustainable strategy. In the first game Rhys was ramping hard with PXG, and even with my ‘Wasp’ in the field he was quite happy to take the sting from her in the early part of the game to build his forces. ‘Wasp’ also became a liability in this environment as, with all that lovely ramp, he was able to use her Global to clear out my defensive line. I took out ‘Bard’ a few times with the Cold Gun but it was merely a stay of execution – I had completely neglected to move on my own Win Con (didn’t even buy my ‘Lantern Ring’) and he eventually overwhelmed me.
The second game was a similar story, but with a couple of small differences. Seeing how the ‘Cold Gun’ was keeping him at bay Rhys bought up his ‘Breaker the Magical Warrior – Mana Breaker’ to mitigate the gun and I bought up my ‘Constantine – Hellblazer’ to keep him out the picture.
I was, however, once again on the back foot playing defensive, and was spending turn after turn using my ‘Cold Gun’ and ‘Constantine’ to keep threats at bay. I was also, again, not working towards my own Win Con. I used ‘Static’ a few times to thin the sidekick herd out too – and there was a few rounds where I kept his attack potential below 20 Damage with this strategy.
the other difference was how Rhys finally delivered the killer blow – in the second game he bought ‘Cloudkill’ to open the field for his final, lethal assault.
It had been a pleasurable match to play, with lots of great “cut & thrust”, and much learning on my part (regular readers will know I have limited experience playing against Bard).
By the close of round two I was at 1W – 1L – 0T.
Round Three – Matt Haley
Next up I was competing against Matt, who I had met at the Nationals back in June.
Matt was playing a team that centred around ‘Nitro – Stamford Incident’. His strategy was pretty straight forward and potentially lethal: bump the defense on ‘Nitro’ up with cards like ‘Groot – We Are Groot’ and ‘Agent Venom – Thunderbolt’ to guarantee an un-blockable attack and then maximise his damage using the Globals on ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘The Outsider’. There was ‘Kobold – Greater Humanoid’ for ramp to provide Fist energy for his Globals and ‘Escape Incarceration’ to bring ‘Nitro’ back around faster. It was a really interesting team.
As usual – I was slow on the uptake and didn’t quite clock what Matt’s strategy was until a few of the wheels were in motion. This cost me greatly in the first game as I wasted my ‘Dwarf Wizard’ early doors on ‘Ronin – Between Employers’ and then couldn’t get him KO’d for a re-field to take ‘Nitro’ off the board.
I kept him at bay for a few turns here & there with ‘Constantine’, ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ and ‘Blink Transmutation’ but with ‘Groot’ out I didn’t have anyone even close to a defense stat to block him. I ploughed forward with setting up my Ring Swing and it all came down to a showdown on one turn.
I was one good ‘Nitro’ hit away from dead, but I was about to roll my Ring die with a bunch of ‘Foot Ninja’ and Sidekicks. With the characters in the field I only needed a handful of Bolts and the Ring to swing for lethal so NEEDED that Ring. I took my first roll: double bolts. Took my second roll: single bolt. What I wouldn’t have give for a ‘Parallax’ at that moment.
I put the best turn together I could, but Matt knew an opportunity when he saw one and finished me off in his next go. It’s happened to us all one time or another.
The second game didn’t go much better. Matt flew out the gate picking up his ‘Nitro’ die and using ‘STAR Labs’ global to get him prepped tout sweet. It worked wonders – I took a 7 point hit in the Matt’s second turn, before I’d even got to roll my ‘Dwarf Wizard’.
Soon enough ‘Groot’ was out and ‘Nitro’ was guaranteed un-blockable. As with the first game: I played some shenanigans with my defensive cards but Matt just sat tight and fired him through whenever a strong opportunity presented itself. (Like when I failed to roll a mask for ‘Blink Transmutation’ global or when my ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ was chilling in Used – pun intended 😜) four good hits was all it took with ‘Nitro’ to finish me off before I could get my Ring in place.
Once again; the game’s lasted nearly the full 45 minutes, with tonnes of fun back & forth gamesmanship, but I just couldn’t make it happen in the end.
I’d lost my third round…
Round Four – Steve
Last up was Steve, a fellow “Elemental” from my FLGS Element Games.
Steve was playing a ‘Human Torch – Johnny Storm’ based team with a support from cards like ‘Storm – Goddess of the Plains’ for removal, ‘Ronin – Between Employers’ for protection, and ‘Hulk – Green Goliath’ for muscle & board clear. His strategy was to use ‘Human Torch’ burn to soften the ground and then use ‘Storm’ and ‘Hulk’ to clear the field out to walk a big attack through.
By this point in the day I knew there was little hope of getting into the top 8 cut, so decided to go all out aggro and relentlessly drive towards my Ring swing and stop fannying about – I recognised that I’d spent all day playing defensively; getting too wrapped up in what was going on on the other side of the table and delaying my own Win Con too much.
It worked wonders. I had to soak up a little damage from ‘Human Torch’ and was slowed down by ‘Storm’ a few times but largely a bloody minded focus on the Ring swing did the job. I bought up my ‘Foot Ninja’ die and lined up some ramp with Ste’s PXG to put ‘Iceman’ to good use and was able to get the killer blow in pretty swift.
I used the same strategy in the second game. Ste moved quickly to setting up his ‘Human Torch’ then set about ramping up to ‘Hulk’, and buying a few ‘Ronin’ along his way. I soaked up a bit of Torch burn but elected to holdback my ‘Dwarf Wizard’ for the impending ‘Hulk’, but thankfully I was moving just a touch quicker than Ste with my laser-beam win con focus. Things were a little slower than the first game (I had to wait until I could blank ‘Ronin’ with my ‘Cold Gun’ because I was saving D Wizz for the ‘Hulk’) but the rinse & repeat of aggressively sticking to my Win Con brought me a second win, with a reserve of 7 bolts (with a little help from the swarming Ninjas and ‘Iceman’) and a field of three characters I took the win with a 21 point blow.
I had won my fourth round and ended on 2-2-0
So… there we go. I didn’t make top 8 and ranked 13th, pretty much dead centre, which is about right for my ability. My hope had been to be a little higher, not top 8, but a bit more around the 10th mark. That said – I had a cracking time of a hard day’s Dice Master-ing and enjoyed myself thoroughly, so that’s enough for me.
I stuck around for a bit and participated in a ‘Green Arrow and The Flash’ draft side event to keep the funsies going, and to hang on to see how the top 8/4 shook down. As we played out the draft the winner took the event: a big congrats to Michael Power for his top spot position and qualification for the National final. Great job dude!
A big ‘Thank you’ to Chimera for hosting the event and keeping things running smoothly (and on time too! Don’t see that often!) you were very warm & welcoming gents, and we appreciate all your hard work for us on the day. If you’re ever in the Nottingham area and looking for a well stocked FLGS with friendly, knowledgeable staff, then Chimera’s is your place to go.
I’ve already posted the team lists for each competitor HERE – thanks once again to Tim & Andy for getting those typed up and distributed through Facebook so quickly. Keep an eye out for Michael & Ben’s ‘Special Guest’ posts in the coming days for some other perspectives and for a more detailed view of the Top 8 games.
Thanks for reading. 😀