I went head to head with Kennedy S., and he sent me to a .500 record.
After a wild Sunday, not 48 hours went by before I had the chance to take on my buddy Kennedy. Kennedy has also been playing Factions since the early days as a prototype. He is a great player who really uses abilities and spells well, and always seems to be a step ahead, even when you think you have him on the ropes! Now on to the games!
Game 1: Kennedy (Ihalaban) vs Pete (Parada)
I was left with an empty feeling after poor performance with Parada last time I played. The whole night and next day I tossed and turned, stared at the ceiling all hours of the night, and pulled out half my hair…. Maybe not all that, but I for sure knew I could do a lot better! Kennedy chose Ihalaban to warm up with and get back in the groove as it had been awhile since he played. I started off again with the Elf Bladelord, and matched it with the Centaur Scout, while Kennedy went with the Tikbalang Blazestrider and Ihalaban General. The Ihalaban warband was a good choice, because the Blazestrider is exceptionally fast. This enabled Kennedy to snag the center resources, and outpace the Centaur Scout, eliminating it, and eventually the Elf Archer I had recruited in round 2.
The Bladelord struck back, claiming a couple of kills, and creating enough space for me to bring out the Elf Sharpshooter, a unit I regretted not using last game. This game was a different story however, as the Sharpshooter paired with the Bladelord to wreak havoc on any Ihalaban unit that crossed into it’s range. The Sharpshooter maneuvered around nearby forest spaces, never crossing into the center row, and simply shooting over the Ihalaban tiles or mowing down anything that got to the center tile.
As I began to seize control, Kennedy knocked out the Elf Bladelord with the Feral Gowrow, which had the toughness to handle a skirmish attack. While still comfortably ahead, I knew I could not let Kennedy stabilize and play one of Ihalaban’s massive units, so I quickly recruited the Centaur Stampeders to smoke out the well fortified units deep in Ihalaban territory.
Between the Elf Sharpshooter and the Centaur Stampeders I was able to clear out some of the lurking Ihalaban units and secure a 31-24 victory!
Game 2 Ihalaban (Kennedy) vs Kragg (Pete) (Pete is 1-0)
Kennedy felt he could give a better showing with Ihalaban and since I have been tired of losing to Kragg lately I decided to try them out myself! I went with the Goblins/Razortusk starting warband that is low on health, but great for snaring resource centers and seems to be a popular and effective vangaurd. Kennedy had a good answer though, using the explosive Tikbalang Blazestrider again to speed over to the corner gold mine on the side of the board, and use Sear to incinerate a goblin along the way. The gold mine was in a spot that it would take a lot of effort/risk to claim, and I had a stable gold influx coming in, so instead I proceeded with my plan to outmuscle Kennedy on the frontlines.
I had enough gold to start getting some solid units out. Kennedy did too, but as I planned, the Veteran Orc/Ogre Berserker/Troll Ravager trio overpowered most of Ihalaban’s mid game units, including the Feral Gowrow and the Tikbalang, as well as a few others, giving me a nice 19-7 advantage. Kennedy was adept at buying time though, moving Amphibious units around to gather resources. By the time I had tracked down and eliminated most of his army, he had enough in the reserves to summon the Grand Bakunawa, which scored 12 quick points on heavy hitters that were caught on his tiles.
I was able to hit the Bakunawa with a couple ranged attacks and had it lured into a position where my newly recruited Ogre Mauler could take a command and activate before it, delivering a HUGE hit! It left me a point away from victory, but unfortunately Kennedy pulled a victory out of thin air, bringing in the Regal Minokawa via Runestone. It’s tremendously hard to beat Ihalaban when both the Minokawa and the Bakunawa are able to hit the board in the same battle, but I got very close! The Minokawa got hit with a couple of ranged attacks as well, but it took out my shooters.
With the Ihalaban Berbalang and the Ihalaban General moved back to defensive spaces far out of reach, I had to go for through the Minokawa… but infortunately just did not have the juice as it valiantly eliminated enough units to get Kennedy to 30 points, for a final score of 30-29.
This game, I was not upset with, we both played to the strengths of our chosen factions and it could have gone either way.. I probably should have taken that corner gold mine to make it harder on Kennedy, but overall it was well played and mistake free…
Wish I could say the same about game 3!!
Game 3 Kennedy (Moonshadow) vs Pete (Baazaria) (Pete is 1-1)
Kennedy had his fill of Ihalaban and switched over to Moonshadow. I went with Baazaria, one of my favorite factions to play. Kennedy went with the Jabari Shadow Knight in the Vanguard, and I went with the Kichwavore Ravager and Asanbosam Assassin. I moved the Kichwavore out 2 spaces and the Assassin over 2 spaces. Technically, the 4 speed Shadow Knight could get one of them, but that would leave it as the only unit, deeeeep in my territory……. Well that’s exactly what happened. I did not expect the JSK to charge ALL THE WAY across the board and take out the Ravager round 1. It was extremely risky, but also extremely impressive!! For Kennedy, it paid off. He was able to also joust out my Asanbosam Assassin, who went for the resources and was out of range for a Slayer…The risk with the Shadow Knight payed off! 10-0 Moonshadow.
Unfortunately for Kennedy, that was where the highlights stopped for most of the game, until some very, very impressive epic moves at the end, but we will get to that.
I had 7 gold, enough to “re-set” so I basically brought in a whole new Vanguard. This one consisted of the Skeleton Bladelord and the Nightfall Geist. I used the Geist to glide to towards a mana pool, as I decided to try to wear down some of Moonshadow’s low prowess with rengenerating undead. It worked. Led by the Skeleton Bladelord, I was able to knock out several units, while only having to renegerate once. With enough mana coming in, I also recruited Shambling Wight and Zombie Goliath to do the same. Kennedy countered with the Ahool Nightstalker in an attempt to take the battle to the air, but then I countered with the Skirmisher Wraith, which zoomed in to eliminate the Ahool. Overall, it was a 28-7 run, making the score 28-17, and when the middle round smoke had cleared, I was 2 points away from victory with 6 units on the board.
Led by the Skeleton Bladelord, I was able to knock out several units, while only having to renegerate once. With enough mana coming in, I also recruited Shambling Wight and Zombie Goliath to do the same. Kennedy countered with the Ahool Nightstalker in an attempt to take the battle to the air, but then I countered with the Skirmisher Wraith, which zoomed in to eliminate the Ahool. Overall, it was a 24-6 run, making the score 24-16, and when the middle round smoke had cleared, I was 2 points away from victory with 5 units on the board to Moonshadow’s 0. The one Moonshadow unit that did manage to hold back the pressure for awhile until it’s inevitable death was the Mishnari Bladethrower, which used a couple of key ranged attacks.
Following the carnage from the vanguards, Baazaria was able to re-set much better than Moonshadow.
Those extra points would prove absolutely critical… Moonshadow was barely making enough gold to get out a new unit, but Kennedy picked the one unit he could afford with the limited gold he had that would not lose him the game instantly…. the Elite Spearfighter. Why was that?
Because of Skirmish. He got the Spearfighter to the corner gold mine and took up position.. The units I had on the board either would not survive the Skirmish attack (Skeleton Bladelord, Bloodreaver Wraith), were too far to get there in the same round (Zombie Goliath) or a combination of both (Obayifo Aeromancer, Shambling Wight)
Begrudgingly, I had to recruit the Asanbosam Warlord and use it’s ranged attack to eliminate the Spearfighter, and it did so successfully leaving me 2 points from victory. However, Kennedy had saved up enough thanks to claiming the gold mine for the Jabari Stormchief.
In an effort to try to eliminate the Spearfighter and protect the resource centers I had, while making sure I stayed out of the way of something like a big Winjaru, I had compromised my spacing, and by needing to recruit that Asanbosam, I had to move other units out of it’s way to get a clean shot. In doing so I compromised my spacing.
It set up an AWESOME 15 point Lightning storm that killed 3 units, and gave Moonshadow an improbable but admittedly really cool 31-28 point win!
Despite dominating the game for 80% of the rounds, 2 things doomed me, I put myself in a big hole by getting my vanguard smashed, and then I did a bad job of getting the right units in place to finish the game! Great job by Kennedy to do exactly what was needed to get the win.
For those of you keeping score at home (which is probably just me) I went 1-2 on the day. That puts my record at 7 wins and 7 losses in our playgroups. I’m hoping to go on a little winning streak next time in order to get back to a solid winning record! (Oh and I’m 0-0-0-1 in 4 player games!)