Benoit here, also known as ‘Bennep’ online. For those of you who might remember, I contributed once before on a report for the 2019 WTC on the LoS site, which you can read here: https://www.loswarmachine.com/theory-and-tactics/2019/10/28/ao245ng7atl4n3879ojn8jinz4tdib
I’m here once again to regale you of the story of the Eisenhammer VII: Call of the Hunt; Eisenhammer is a team tournament which was regularly held before COVID, and the organizers want to pick up the tradition again!
It was held in Düsseldorf, the same venue which has regularly hosted multiple editions of RheinCon before. It’s got plenty of space and the restaurant attached to the venue provides food aplenty (BBQ this time!). It even hosted a Malifaux tournament at the same time as the WMH one!
Due to it being a sporting hall, the high ceilings and multiple large open doors provide some airflow and do away with most of the gamer musk after a long day of gaming!
The Belgian delegation came from across the country, and counted 9 of which 7 WTC players. We were mainly hoping on fine tuning lists and getting reps in with our lists into a different meta than our own – trying to check if all our ideas and tactics pan out.
With that in mind, I rejoined Klaw (https://twitter.com/KlawSpeaks) and Niels, 2 locals rocking Protectorate of Menoth and Khador. Our team name was: ‘Now Not So Sure’, which I believe is an injoke somewhere but I don’t believe I’m in on it.
Klaw was bringing some PoM lists which either blow you off the table or … some Feora4 jank which I don’t completely understand?
Niels doesn’t want to play Karchev/Deathjack, he brought one comfort pick (Sorscha1 Wolves of Winter) and one list he wanted practice with:(Vlad2 Armoured Korps).
I have a handle on one of my lists, but I’m still not sure about the second. I tried out Matt M’s Jalaam list but I ended up bouncing off of that one which is probably more a ‘me’-issue rather than an issue with the list itself. I decided to go for an oldie but goldie in Xekaar ‘Brute Squad’:
[Theme] Disciples of Agony
[Xekaar 1] Beast Master Xekaar [+31]
– Agonizer [0(5)]
– Blackhide Wrastler 
– Cyclops Brute 
– Cyclops Brute 
– Cyclops Brute 
– Desert Hydra 
– Aptimus Marketh [0(4)]
Bog Trog Mist Speaker 
Hermit of Henge Hold 
Makeda of House Balaash [0(4)]
– Basilisk Krea 
– The Terrorizer 
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor 
Swamp Gobber Chef 
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) 
[Theme] Masters of War
[Xerxis 1] Tyrant Xerxis [+28]
– Agonizer 
– Archidon 
– Tiberion 
Extoller Soulward 
Makeda of House Balaash [0(4)]
– Basilisk Krea 
Mortitheurge Willbreaker 
Cataphract Cetrati (max) 
– Tyrant Vorkesh [0(5)]
Legends of Halaak 
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) 
Praetorian Ferox (max) 
Praetorian Keltarii (max) 
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer [0(5)]
For our team specifically, Klaw wanted more practice overall and Niels wanted to get at least 1 Sorscha1 assassination off after some trash talk – and get practice with Vlad2 in there. I wanted to get some matchups where I feel I need more experience in: Legion of Everblight, Retribution of Scyrah, Circle Orboros and Crucible Guard. To that end we tried to make it so that at least some of us had a chance of winning (and try to protect each other from the really bad matchups) and try to check where we could chuck people into good practice games.
The team tournament follows the ‘German’-style of 3-person team pairing:
- Captains roll off. Winner gets to choose one of the side tables to put a player down
- Both teams put down a player (concealed) on their respective tables
- Both teams exchange player sheets (so both teams have their opponent team’s remaining lists) and reveal the players that were put on the side tables
- Both teams put down one of their opponent team’s players to go up against the side table player, and put the remaining player on the middle table
- Reveals and games played!
That’s the process in a nutshell. All tables were playing the same scenario (I’ve also seen instances where a 3-person team tournament has preset scenarios on each table) and plenty of new and old terrain was relevant to table picks.
While I can’t remember each round’s pairing process specifically, I can give you the matchups and results:
In round 1 we were paired up against team Germany Red with Minions (Azazello/Rask), Cryx (K2D2/Deneghra1) and Crucible Guard (Gearhart/Syvestro). The matchups:
PoM vs Cryx
Khador vs CG
Skorne vs Minions
I wanted to avoid Cryx with K2D2/Deneghra1 Ghost Fleet because I feel like I have a good matchup there and I wouldn’t learn much from that. The others weren’t fussed about which matchup they wanted to take I believe.
I always try to take some pictures without having faces in them because I don’t know if people like their images being online. I also oftentimes forget to take plenty of photos unfortunately
The matchup was Xerxis1 vs Azazello on King of the Hill and let me tell you: going second against that list is scary.
We both moved up, put out our respective buffs and the action started on the second turn.
He killed some Keltarii on the right with Flugwug and a Gun Boar, but I managed to get the frogperson down and contest while I bricked up in the middle/left zone.
My opponent decided to get the Road Hog, Gun Boar and Thrullg into the left zone and bait me out. Well it worked, I feated and Tiberion went on a journey to destroy everything in the left zone. I also got some cats involved there for feat B2B purposes (Xerxis’ feat gives an additional die on melee damage rolls and while Friendly Faction models are base to base they get +2ARM). I had hoped to keep Tiberion alive through all of Azazello’s nonsense….
However, with the counterfeat, the scalpeling of models B2B with Tiberion, the Hermit, a Void Archon and a very angry Primal Archon Tibbers went down without too much of a hassle. I lost a Cetratus in the middle and some Keltarii on the right.
On my counterpunch I had some difficulties clearing my frontlines, though the Hermit’s Master of Ruin aura helped a bit there. The Primal Archon’s Roiling Earth-ability also gave me headaches and this turn took quite a while to complete. In the end, Xerxis managed to clear a Void Archon (though he had to use all of his fury to do it), I cleared some irrelevant stuff in the right zone and failed to kill the Primal on the left. While I did have Xerxis surrounded by Defender’s Warded Cetrati and an Agonizer, I was still apprehensive after I couldn’t clear the Primal.
My opponent immediately started going for the assassination as he only had 4 minutes left and I only had 2. However, trying to be quick he had put his Hermit and the Primal Archon in the way of Azazello’s charge lane (after the Primal cleared the way through the Cetrati wall). Azazello charged a cat and killed it, while only camping 1.
This was in charge range of Xerxis though. with DEF 18 (Wind Rush) the pigman wouldn’t be easy to crack, but I did away with a quick activation first: the Krea advances and shoots Azazello, boosting to hit….
And hitting the 14 needed. After that, Xerxis made bacon.
Without the Krea hitting I would have needed to either get Makeda0 in a position where she could trigger Hero of the People AND be in range of Xerxis after the latter’s charge. The time needed to do that might have clocked me, but I could also have charged with Xerxis and boosted attack rolls, this would be dicey but would be much faster. As Az was only on 1 camp, it could have still worked but would have been a lot more riskey.
The team went 2-1, with our Khador player getting that Sorscha1 assassination. Which meant he was free to play Vlad2 the rest of the weekend 😉
For round 2 we were paired against They Who Fight With Monsters, bringing Trollbloods (Kolgrimma/Madrak3), Mercenaries (Ossrum/Thexus) and Circle Orboros (Krueger1/something else). The matchups:
Skorne vs Trollbloods
Khador vs Mercenaries
PoM vs Circle
I went second vs Koldgrandma on Invasion, which is annoying against Fire Eaters not gonna lie.
Behold, my photo-taking skills when trying to catch multiple tables.
After we both moved up and did our buffing and things, his Fire Eaters managed to take out my Krea and put some damage here and there. Luckily, they were now all within killing range, so I very much obliged them.
Afterwards we postured a bit around each other’s threat ranges, with an early feat from Kolgrimma pushing me out of the right zone and scoring her a point. The bad news bears also came in on the left side of the table, pretty much behind my lines which caused me some order of activation issues.
After dispatching some of the bears on the left and pushing my feat and Xerxis up the table, I spaced on the fact that a combo smite can’t actually move an Earthborn with Bracer on it, so there went my plan to Energizer/Tactical Supremacy back after hitting that. Which meant my buff-less Cetrati needed to wall up around Xerxis after breaking the dire troll down.
I spaced on Madrak0’s positioning as well, right until the very end after my cats and Cetrati were cleared out from his charge lane by Kolgrimma’s sprays, Brawler and Champions and a fully fuelled Madrak0 managed to put a 2-camp Xerxis in the dirt (after taking some big damage rolls from Kolgrimma’s sprays) on his last attack.
I think even with Xerxis staying back I could have killed that Earthborn, I should have just moved a bit more forward with Cetrati to layer them in front of Xerxis. Or not been there in the first place. Ah well, lessons learned I guess.
Our team went 1-2, with our PoM player bopping Krueger1 over the head with Feora3 and Vlad dying to Thexus shenanegans.
For round 3 we came up against Germany Red 2. In their lineup: Skorne (Xerxis1/Zaal2), Skorne (Xekaar/Jalaam) and c-c-combobreaker Cygnar (Haley2/Stryker1). We paired as follows:
Skorne vs Skorne (X1/Z2)
PoM vs Cygnar
Khador vs Skorne (Xekaar/Jalaam)
I went first this time on Recon II as both of our Xerxis lists were similar. Only he had a Supreme Guardian and a Gladiator, where I had Keltarii, Legends of Halaak and an Archidon.
We both went up, putting out our buffs and posturing. However for several turns we kind of circled each other like predators, not very willing to do the first strike / feat first.
He gave up his (Defender’s Warded) Ferox for board position, however with the amount of accuracy the list can bring, I didn’t have much trouble clearing them off. It did leave Tiberion exposed and me forgetting to put a Ferox in the Supreme Statue’s landing spot, so with the feat and all of the trappings he managed to clear some Cetrati and Tiberion off.
On the left the Keltarii were playing with the Cetrati, constantly getting some guys in back arcs to avoid the shield wall and the Agonizer’s Gnawing Pain aura and killing one or two each turn. The Cetrati were doing work back as well, though I had more Keltarii than he had shield wally bois.
With the counterfeat and counterpunch onto his Supreme Guardian, I managed to get the Ferox onto the Agonizer, then roll hot fire onto the biggun to lay it low. I even managed to get the Gladiator that was B2B with it down with some spicy rolls from both Makeda0’s Flashing Blade and remaining Cetrati. 4-5 dice rolling on damage does not get tiresome, though math does
After this, the game was pretty much played out as he was running low on clock, had no more Cetrati and too much in his face to go on. Notice also how I forgot to reposition the Ferox in the picture above.
The team went 1-2. Feora3 got riddled with arrows from Thamarite Archons and Xekaar managed to wrangle Vlad2 down.
We retreated to the hotel for food and evening dinings with the other Belgian teams who went 2-1 (Cryx/Retribution/Trollbloods) and 1-2 (Khador/Cygnar/Minions). A good time was had and with the relaxed schedule (only one game on Sunday) we were able to get plenty of sleep before the last round.
A note on round 4: Due to the uneven amount of teams, one team always had to have a bye. This was filled in with games vs each other and/or organizers.
However, the only two teams who did not have a bye yet who were due a bye round were the Belgian teams that went 1-2. The organizers spoke to the remaining 1-2 German team and agreed that since they were locals and several of the Belgians were not, the German team accepted the bye so that all the foreign teams could still have a round 4 played. This is an amazing display of sportsmanship, understanding and organization on part of both the German team and the organizers and I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all of them!
In the last round we came up against Die Scheune. These beautiful people had the following in their roster: Cygnar (Haley2/Stryker2), Retribution of Scyrah (Kaelyssa/Goreshade4) and Legion of Everblight (whose lists I don’t remember unfortunately). The matchups came out as follows:
PoM vs RoS
Khador vs LoE
Skorne vs Cygnar
I went second on Spread the Net with Xerxis1 taking the side that had the least amount of annoying terrain to play around versus my opponent’s Haley2.
We both went up and on my opponent’s second turn Haley had her Brickhouse run to engage a bunch of Cetrati to lock down the middle zone. Some potshots took some Keltarii and a cat. This was also Haley’s feat turn to lock down my big pieces like Xerxis, Tiberion and cats.
I responded by having my Legends and the TyCom take down Brickhouse so that I could move up my Cetrati and destroy the Firefly (as well as missing some attacks on Stormblades).
The counterpunch had him contemplating an assassination, but he didn’t go through with it. Dynamo and Nemorb kept clearing Keltarii. The Strider and Stormblades managed to clear off quite a few Cetrati but due to positioning of Krea and building, none of them died.
My penultimate push saw the Archidon and remaining Keltarii take down Dynamo, the cats, Cetrati and Makeda0 clearing the middle by destroying all of the Stormblades, the Storm Strider and engaging the remainder of Haley’s forces.
My opponent’s clock ran out, but we decided to keep playing. He tried for a last ditch assassination but with the forest in front of him he couldn’t clear enough room to get the Krea away from a 1 camp Xerxis, which meant I lived on 12hp.
We went 1-2 this round, with a final record of 1-3 and taking 7th place. The other Belgian teams took 2nd and 8th place.
All of us had great fun, our opponents were all amazing people and we were happy to see several folks who had not played in a bit come back to the game after the last dynamic update.
I cannot recommend the Düsseldorf convention/tournament scene enough – all great people, easily reachable by car or plane (venue is close to Düsseldorf airport) and the organization always puts on a fantastic show!
Until next time friends!