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Alignment Wheel 2016: Winner's Battle Report

alignment wheel

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For those that have yet to see the final match, here's the link:




Firstly, thanks to kwarrend for organising this tournament. It was really good fun and I'd highly recommend that everyone signs up for season 2. The tournament, especially during the later rounds, adds a really interesting dynamic to the games in that the faction selection limitations can be both a hindrance and a blessing (especially if they're a hindrance for your opponent). Many players were aiming to keep certain factions "safe" for the finals, but still needed to win enough games to actually make it that far.


Personally, I started off with a few factions in mind to keep for the finals. AM, Orks and Necrons were my "safest" factions and I had a decent level of confidence for DE, Eldar and Nids. Interestingly, as time went on throughout the tournament I felt more/less comfortable with certain factions and regretted my choices for certain rounds, less for the faction I played but rather more for the warlord, because I happened to come across a better build just after using up the faction. The main example of this for me was Tau, since at the beginning of August I was testing out a Starblaze build, which was did really well for the first few games. I decided to commit to it for the Tyrannic league and use him for my Tau round in this league, but then realised that it wasn't any where near as good as I thought it was. A few weeks later I was messing around with a reducer heavy Aun'shi deck and found that it worked a lot better in my hands than Starblaze ever did, making me wish I could have redone my Tau round :P


However, in all honestly, half of the time I picked a faction because I happened to have that faction's deck already built in OCTGN, thereby making it an easy pick.


Moving in, here's a list of what I played and when. I've included decklists where possible, however I might have one or two mistakes here and there given I've switched computers a few times throughout the tournament.


Round 1: Tyranids

Kaloo (Subject Omega) vs NecRus888 (Subject Omega)

I picked Subject Omega here since the deck was already in OCTGN and I had some decent experience with it (I won a GNK with it a few months before and, I now know, it caused Kingsley to try to cheat with his Eldorath). The mirror is always interesting since neither of us were ever sure whether we were actually willing to infest planets or not, however I managed to lock down a later planet with a Genestealer Harvester that was infested early on, and as the game progressed I dumped more and more Harvesters + Venomthropes onto it. I think by the end I had 3-4 Harvesters (since I stole one from my opponent) and 2 Venomthropes there, which made it an income heaven planet. Ended up bloodying his warlord I think in the 3rd round, which practically gave me the game given my income streams.








Round 2: Tau

Kaloo (Starblaze) vs xRAVEx (Mavros?)

I can't remember what Rave was playing, but I do know that it was Space Marines. I was keen on Starblaze at the time and wanted more practice in ready for the Tyrannic league, so I thought I'd use him for this round. I think this game + my first 1-2 games of the Tyrannic League made me realise just how bad Starblaze is and subsequently resulted in me giving up on him. Needless to say, it didn't go well.


I can't remember the exact decklist, but it revolved around ranged with Scion Strike Forces + Crisis Battle Suits. A later version included the Sniper Drone Teams, but I don't think they were released at the time of this game.





Round 3: Chaos

Kaloo (Chaos) vs PootJenkins (Tau)

We scheduled for a game on the Saturday, however OCTGNs servers were down and we had no other free time for the game. As such, we opted for a tie since it was neither of our faults, and accordingly picked our worst factions to jettison off. In hindsight I probably should have picked Space Marines, but at the time I had an idea of what I'd play with Space Marines but no idea what I'd play with Chaos (this was before Ominous Wind was released)





Round 4: Astra Millitarum

Kaloo (Worr) vs BunnyNinja14 (Anrakyr)

At this stage I was a little tepid with respect to what I needed to keep for the finals as my score wasn't exactly within the "safe" boundaries, so I decided to play something that my opponent wouldn't expect given my remaining factions, especially since I'm seen to be a Worr player following the Euros and the last BCL. This was also just after the UK nationals, so I wasn't really fussed to hold onto Worr anymore especially since I felt I should have taken Nazdreg instead. I can't remember the details of the game, but I know how Anrakyr works inside and out so it wasn't too hard to predict.


Decklist: http://www.cardgamed...odern-worr-r993






Round 5: Orks

Kaloo (Nazdreg) vs Blacklanner (Chaos)

This was simply a busy week for me, so I didn't have the time to think of a deck given the factions I had left. As I was playing Nazdreg in the BCL, I just thought "screw it" and used the only half decent deck left in my saved decks folder. I think he was running a typical Ku'gath Elite deck, but I've had a fair amount of experience playing against such decks at this point thanks to the BCL that I was pretty confident in how to deal with it.


Decklist: http://www.cardgamed...cl-top-16-r1038






Round 6: Space Marines

Kaloo (Mavros) vs StingerMK2 (Worr?)

This was our defacto "rematch" given we played each other the week before in the BCL and I stomped him. I can't really remember this match, but I do remember that I played terribly and he played well, inevitably stomping me. I thought I was probably guaranteed to make it to the cut (should have checked the numbers beforehand) but I really didn't want to use Space Marines in the cut as I'm just not that good with them, so I thought I'd use my janky unit low/elite high Mavros deck. Yeah... it didn't really work.






This is where things get interesting. I had 17 points at this stage, whilst BunnyNinja14 had 14 points and Blacklanner had 12. Bunny was meant to play Black in round 6, however due to Black not being free the game never occurred, and given the "no concessions in the final round of swiss" rule, it meant that both would have taken the loss, rather than than Bunny getting the mod win (putting her into the cut). As such, I was offered the spot in the cut but felt that it wasn't exactly fair on Bunny given she wasn't given the opportunity to fight for her spot (Black would have lost to me on SoS if he played and won that game), so we agreed to have a play off between each other where I was restricted to Black's faction choices (SM, AM, DE, Tau). Her choices were SM, AM, DE and Eldar.



Round 6a: Dark Eldar

Kaloo (Kith) vs BunnyNinja14 (Mavros)

The way I saw it was that I'm not so confident with SM or Tau and I already played against Bunny with AM in this tournament, so I'll go for DE. In hindsight, I should have played Morn as I play her better than Kith, but I hadn't played with DE in so long that I just wasn't sure. The game ended up being quite close, but I just about won it in the end (an early Khymera Den certainly helped).







Top 8: Dark Eldar

Kaloo (Morn) vs xRAVEx (Kith)

The guy who barely scraped into the cut against the guy whom went undefeated in Swiss ... ended up in a faction mirror match. My choices at this stage were DE, Eldar and Necrons against his DE, AM and Necrons. The way I saw it was that DE would cause real issues for my Necrons and AM's control options could be problematic, which means it's safer for me to play Elves. Eldar is fine against his Necrons, but potentially problematic against DE and AM given the builds that beat one are weak to the other, whereas my Morn deck is content with dealing with all 3 options, so I stuck with Morn.


This was the first time I had either played with or against the Kabalite Blackguard, and it sure put in some work for me. Round 2 I dropped a Soul Grinder + Blackguard to planet 1 (total cost 5 thanks to it being a red planet and me having used a PoG) and proceeded to trigger that Blackguard's ability 3 times over the course of the game, giving my Archon's Palace was choking his cards. Burnt through a lot of resources early on via the sig support, but it was enough to keep seeing what I needed and ultimately winning the game.


Decklist: http://www.cardgamed...-place-23-r1035


Top 4: Eldar

Kaloo (Eldorath) vs StingerMK2 (Zarathur)

At this stage we were playing each other for the 3rd time in a month in a tournament setting, with a 1-1 record between us, so this was a defacto double decider game. I had Eldar and Necrons left, whilst he had Chaos and Tyranids. Ku'gath elites was the only concern for my Necron deck whereas neither factions were a concern for my Eldorath, however I was worried about whom would win the other top 4 game (kwarrend with SM/AM vs spearton with DE/Eldar). If kwarrend won my Necrons had a safe final, whereas if spearton won my Necrons would have a tough final. Playing Necrons against Stinger meant a potentially difficult game to get to the final, followed by a less risky final game, or play Eldar early and get an easier win so that I'm actually in the final, and just hope that kwarrend wins. I went for the latter.


I probably shouldn't have mulliganed my hand, and made some really questionable first turn choices, but ultimately was able to keep the pressure on and eventually take the win. The game can be viewed here (filmed and commentated by me, so only my hand is visible during the game): 







Final: Necrons

Kaloo (Anrakyr) vs spearton1509 (Eldorath)

Dammit kwarrend, I was betting on you to win! I thought I'd modify my heavily tested Anrakyr deck to better suit the match-up as well as being updated for the current cardpool. I already had it in mind to replace the SM units with Exarchs, but I thought I'd stick to pure Eldar allies for this game and removed the Scrab Nabbas for Saim-Hann Kinsmen. I also removed the Warriors of Gidrim since there would be little to no chance of them actually triggering, and added in the Freebooter/Drudgery combo to help contest command and add in a combat trick. Since my dial could be fixed to Eldar for the whole game, it would give my Immortal Legions the freedom to trigger without affecting my ability to play things.


Turns out he barely saw any command all game. The game was tough with plenty of big plays on both sides, but it mostly boiled down to "does he have Doom" in the penultimate round. He didn't, so we had our big showdown in which I came out on top. By the end of the game I had 1 card left in my deck even after using Awake the Sleepers, which was pretty crazy.


The game can be watched here (thanks again to Mitch for providing the commentary and recording the match):





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