So it was off to Nottingham for my second WKO this season, and with me I carried hopes & dreams of bettering my last performance of ninth in Swiss with an aim to try for some top 8 action.
There were 15 players in attendance (a ‘bye’, boo!) so we were going to run 4 rounds of Swiss and then Top 8/4/2 cuts. The guys down at Chimera games had everything all set up & ready, so after a quick run to the coffee shop we all set about filling out our team sheets and generally chatted, got caught up, and bantered. (Chimera Games, btw, have never been anything but super friendly & tip top when it comes to organising WKOs – thanks again guys)
My podcasting partner in crime Andy was there too, so we had a natter, put a little bit of audio down for the podcast pre-event, and discussed strategy & teams.
I took along an adapted version of my team used at the previous WKO, a Villain “Nobby” team, which now looked like this:
- Blink – Transmutation
- Superhero Registration Act
- The Spot – Portal Jumper
- Danger Room – Flame Throwers & all that other stuff
- Norman Osborn – Don’t Call Me ‘Nobby’!
- Captain Cold’s Cold Gun – Frozen “Firearm”
- Blob – Appetite for Destruction
- The Collector – Taneleer Tanveer
- Bishop – Butterfly Effect
- Thanos – Throwing Down the Gauntlet
I had been practicing quite a bit with the team so felt a little more prepared with it, but my last version had seemed a bit slow. After trying out a handful of ideas in the week between WKOs, I took one of Andy’s suggestions to speed it up and acquiesced to adding the ‘Danger Room’ (I had been a bit nervous about it’s global initially, but as Andy rightfully pointed out, asides from ‘The Spot’, the rest of my team had pretty big rears), and chucked ‘The Collector’ in following some chatter about it over the Slack channel.
Here’s how it got on…
Would you believe it, here he was, I only drew Paul Fullwood in a WKO match… again! The next battle in our epic Dice Masters saga was to take place in Nottingham.
Paul had brought along a ‘Boom Boom – Time Bomb’/Storm – Extra Lightning’ Action Team. It was loaded up with all the fun: ‘Cold Guns’, ‘Cosmic Cubes’, and ‘Shocking Grasps’ – and the aim was to ping off weenies with ‘Shocking Grasp’ to deal the direct damage from the character’s abilities and cycle it to prep with its own game-text.
I followed my plan and got my ramp mechanic going with ‘The Spot’ and ‘Superhero Registration Act’ to get some nice spending energy together. I used that spending energy to get a ‘Blob’, ‘Cold Gun’ and a ‘The Collector’ purchased.
Paul was moving fast though, and had already got ‘Boom Boom’ in the field and got a few early pings in. I fielded ‘Blob’ and targeted the ‘Cosmic Cube’ to stop that piece of nastiness happening, got my ‘The Collector’ out to do some ‘Nobby’ hits for some pings of my own, and turned my attention to buying ‘Bishop’ for some breathing room on those “thousand cuts” that were about to catch up with me.
I followed the plan, and used the ‘Nobby’/’The Collector’ combo to great effect, particularly on my turn when I could also fire off a ‘Danger Room’ to maximise damage. I also used my ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ as often as possible to run interference & generally be annoying to ping off ‘Boom Boom’ as often as possible & hope for a mis-roll on Paul’s part. (Which he dutifully obliged with a few times)
I took the first game & we racked up for the second, and this time Paul went all out aggro – rushing in ‘Boom Boom’ and buying up his ‘Shocking Grasps’. This was were I made my first mistake of many of the day; rather than doing what, in hindsight, was the obvious course of action & buy out his ‘Shocking Grasp’ die out from under him I fanny-ed about with getting my ramp mechanic of ‘The Spot’ and ‘Superhero Registration Act’ together and wasted precious time I could have better used.
By the time I had lined up my ramp and got my damage combo anywhere near going on time had been called and we were in rounds, and I just couldn’t keep up with efficiency of the ‘Shocking Grasp’ die prepping after they shot my weenie ‘The Spot’ or my fielded Sidekicks (Another dumb move on my part, although, in my defense, I was fielding Sidekicks to thin my bag out to get my ‘Danger Room’ die round quicker, I wasn’t completely without a plan LOL) and Paul finished me off with ‘Boom Boom’ damage.
Once again Paul and I had tied a round in a WKO. The saga continues…
In my second round I drew another Manchester player & someone in the community I had played a number of times before: Phil Ball.
Phil was playing a variation of the ‘Two-Face’ team that had been doing the rounds in the UK – he was loaded up on popular control cards like ‘Shriek’, ‘Scarlet Witch’, ‘Oracle’ (The global one), and ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ to lock out his opponent’s strategy then was using ‘Two-Face – Double Deal’, supported by pump globals & ‘Giganta’ global to deliver his lethal damage.
I followed my plan of ‘The Collector’/’Nobby’ combo, but was initially slowed by Phil using his ‘Shriek’ to blank my ‘Spot’. With my ramp cut off I elected to not hang on for ‘The Collector’ and just bought my ‘Nobby’ to deliver my damage – after all; Phil’s field was full of Villain dice too, so I was already maximising damage without the like’s of ‘Danger Room’. We went back & forth quite a bit, but Phil seemed to have just exactly the answer to each of my moves just as he needed them to keep me locked down. Whichever way I went, the corresponding control piece on Phil’s team turned up next turn. When I needed ramp Phil’s ‘Shriek’ came to blank ‘Spot’, When I ‘Danger Room’ global’d ‘Shriek’ Phil’s ‘Oracle’ turned up, when I picked up ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ Phil’s ‘Scarlet Witch’ turned up. That said – I still managed to get a handful of ‘Nobby’ hits in and knocked a good chunk of life off Phil, so I weathered ‘Scarlet Witch’ messing with my Action Die and ‘Shriek’ blanking my dudes pretty well, I felt.
It all came down to me saving Masks to use my ‘Blink-Transmutate’ to hold ‘Two-Face’ at bay and cycling my ‘Nobby’, but at the crucial moment of need Phil, with his ‘Oracle’ out making my global usage expensive, was able to bide his time until I rolled too little energy to afford some ‘Blink – Transmutate’ global, and with two ‘Two Face’ die in the field, Phil was able to over take me & deliver lethal. I was one good ‘Nobby’ hit away from taking the game, but thems the breaks, and I learnt a hard lesson in managing my bag better.
the second game of the round went much the same way I think, although I’ll admit my memory was a bit hazy overall. The one notable difference I seem to remember was that Phil used ‘Shriek’ to blank ‘Nobby’ this time directly, and used ‘Oracle’ & ‘Scarlet Witch’ to lock down my anti-‘Shriek’ tech.
At the end of round two I was at 0-1-1.
My third round was against Joseph, another WKO regular who I had faced off against a few times in the past too.
Joe was playing a Mask Control team, with the new ‘Morph – Change of Heart’ combo’d with the ‘Betrayal’ basic action for his win condition.
The first game went super well for me. My ramp mechanic worked like a charm and I had ‘The Collector’ purchased & fielded nice & early and was able to get a handful of decent ‘Nobby’ hits in. Joe moved to buy his ‘Madame Masque’ to slow me down but she was elusive and by the time she hit the field I had delivered a nice chunk of damage.
Once she was in the field I was locked out – so I did what any desperate Dice Masters player would do in my situation… I started buying Joe’s ‘Betrayal’ dice and used them against him. It worked a charm, and I took the first game.
The second game went a little different. Now Joe was onto me he quickly scooped up his ‘Ronin’ to mitigate my direct damage and ‘Raven’ to protect his own dudes. I decided to stay the course and look to overwhelm his ‘Ronin’ with lots of direct damage sources, and loaded up on ‘Nobby’ die and ‘Betrayal’ die to get my blows in. I also used ‘The Collector’ to pilfer his ‘Morph’ to get a cheeky bit of extra damage in.
Joe bought up his ‘Morph’ dice to keep my sticky ‘Collector’ fingers off them and started to deal damage of his own, as well as get his ‘Madame Masque’ out to lock my strategy down. I got a few good licks in with the ‘Betrayal’ dice but was pretty much frozen out of any other option by ‘Raven’, and was eventually done in by Joe’s ‘Morph’.
0-2-1 at the close of round three.
Last up I was facing Gareth, last year’s advocate of the Mask Ring strategy and all round top notch bloke.
Gareth was playing a Fist Ring team loaded up with cheap Fist characters like ‘Guy Gardner’ and ‘Goblins’ and backed up with the classic ‘Lantern Ring – Limited Only by Imagination’.
I set about my plan to get ramping up with ‘The Spot’ and SRA for buying power with the aim of getting ‘The Collector’ out to start my damage combo, but found Gareth had quickly rustled together a small army of ‘Guy Gardner’ dice to relentless smash across the field at me, seriously messing with my plans as I had to keep saving Masks to keep the mighty aggressive one off my case.
It soon became too much though, and Gareth eventually overwhelmed me with damage from the angry red one.
Game two went a little differently. I re-adjusted and saw to it that I fielded some early Sidekicks, providing blockers who would also contribute to my ramp as the Guys came at me. I also had a fortunate turn when Gareth whiffed his ‘Big Entrance’ roll meaning he wasn’t able to fire all those ‘Guy Gardner’ dice straight into his bag. I was able to turn my attention to my win condition strategy with a little bit more breathing room and got my ‘The Collector’/’Nobby’ game plan in action, aided in no small part by Gareth conveniently providing a ‘Gorilla Grodd’ energy fixer global to keep me well flush with Fist energy to spend. I took the second game.
Game three went in a similar direction, except that it took us up to time & rounds, and I once again got caught in the classic Chris trap of not quite having it all together to win. I was one good ‘Nobby’ hit away from winning, and all I needed to do was field the ‘The Collector’ I had just pulled from my bag and use him to fire a ‘Nobby’ in. I had also drawn a ‘Danger Room’ and a ‘Superhero Registration Act’. Here’s the blow by blow of that last turn: I rolled in ‘Danger Room’ & SRA but whiffed ‘The Collector’. I re-rolled the ‘The Collector’. Energy face. again. I fired off the SRA and got some more spends and used Gareth’s ‘Parallax’ global to re-roll ‘The Collector’. Energy face. ‘Parallax’ global’d again. Energy again.
I did this a total of four times (six if you include the original “roll & re-roll step” attempts) until I had only a Mask & a Fist left. Even if I did use ‘Parallax’ global to roll ‘The Collector’ once again with one of my two remaining energy I possibly couldn’t field him AND get the ‘Nobby’ die purchased. I was trapped with, I thought, nowhere to go.
I got Gareth down to two life with what I could cobble together and we ended on 1 game each and 1 tied game at time – making it a draw in the end. We shook hands and packed up, at which point Gareth pointed out his ‘Luke Cage’ global. Aaaaaaarrrrrgggghhh! I could have just kept two Fists (instead of ploughing them into ‘Parallax’ global) and pinged the last two life off! I had learnt another hard lesson – to better pay attention to the team I was facing. Classic Chris Numptiness! LOL
So there it was – I ended on 0-3-1 at the end of Swiss and no chance of getting into the top 8 cut (Good thing really – I would have been annihilated up there LOL). I was a little confused by the WIN placing me dead last despite having more points than three of the guys above me but I’ve long been resigned to the fact I’ll never understand the mystical algorithmic properties of the Wizkids Info Network’s event system.
I hung around to play a draft with some of my fellow “not 8ers” and to capture some more audio for the podcast.
That was the last WKO for me this season, but we’ve got one more to come in the UK so come back next week for more coverage of the remaining event.
See you soon…