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I went to play the Store Championship at I'm Board today. The store was full of Magic players participating in the Pre-release event. I figured that only my friend Scott was going to show up and I was sad when I realized he was working this weekend.

There were two other players. Jason and his brother Chris. I suggested we play semifinals (one player with a bye) and the winner plays the player with a bye in the final. They wanted everybody to be involved and suggested we play a 3-player game. That's what we did, knowing that things would be more casual what has its own advantages.

Tired of seeing mixed yellow and blue armies, I brought a Chaos army and was delighted to see the other player with Vampire Counts and Orcs. A true battle among the forces of darkness.

My army was straight forward. Valkya, Kairos, 2 Blood Thirsters and 6 Daemonettes. Blood for the Blood God, Nurgle's Rot, Intimidate and Lure. Very heavy in Swift what is great but keeps the damage timing quite flat making it harder to deal with multi-wound disks although the Blood Thirster is formidable with those. Again, Kairos over Archaeon as it is easier to protect.

Jason brought a Vampire Counts with Mannfred, Isabella, 2 Knights, at least 1 Wolf, a couple of Skeletons, a Necromancer and a Zombie Dragon. Dark Majesty, Gaze of Nagash, Raise the Dead and Intimidate. This army has the engine that I like to use when playing the VC. A fair amount of Reanimate with long movement Impact units. Isabella is a beast and Mannfred is impossible to kill.

Chris came with Grimgor, Grom, Boar Boyz, Wolf Rider, Black Orc, Shaman, Big Boss and a few Orc Boyz. He had Waaaaaag, Intimidate, Strength of Gork and Eager Troops. It was more of a horde style army.

I won initiative and picked the Warhammer giving number 2 to Jason and number 3 to Chris. I knew Jason had come to play before, I suspected that he was likely to have played more than Chris and I didn't want him to have too much control over the battlefield. I got the objective that awards points for disks in the opposing deployment zones. Definitely the one I was hoping to avoid. Always tricky to achieve but, at least, my army is mobile.

Chris chose Champions Arise as he scenario giving champions an Empower token upon activation. Chris picked the Ambush deployment zone which is certainly a classic choice, Jason chose Skirmish getting one extra movement what made his army even more dangerous. I got Rendezvous which is just broken. Reinforcing without placing an activation token is just a tremendous advantage. The second deployment zones did not add much.

Terrain was just miserable. There was a lot of Impact in the opposing armies and I had quite a few frail units. I was hoping for a good amount of Fortified terrain but only he Rocks/Gully was available.

Chris placed the Rocks toward the middle of the battlefield. Jason positioned the Graveyard between him and Chris. I used the Large Woods to make it harder for the Orcs to get to me. Finally, Chris put the Hills between the VC and the Graveyard, definitely a classy move.

I have played Chaos vs Orcs multiple times and the war of attrition is almost always won by the beefier Orcs. Chaos can pull out a win when it keeps its eyes on the prize and denies Orcs points. Always dicey.

I figured it was going to be almost impossible to get through the Orcs to get to their deployment zone. On the other hand, the VC have a reputation of being pretty soft. My strategy was going to be to position myself to get points at the VC deployment zone.

The first two turns were very aggressive. The VC didn't care if the Reanimate disks died and the Orcs were not going to hold back. The Zombie Dragon died very quickly to Impact damage. A solid scrum took place between the VC and the Orcs on the Hill.



I fought Grimgor, the Shaman, the Wolf Rider and Orc Boyz between the Woods and the Rocks. And, I battled the VC in the open field. The VC had an advantage against the Orcs and I broke even in my battles but I did not like the result against the VC since I was left with units in the open and their destroyed units were just going to be Reanimated. I had started to advance a bit toward the VC but between the second and third rounds, I shifted toward the Orcs. Additionally, my opponents took notice of the double Blood Thirster feature and that made me a bit of a target.

The third and fourth rounds were decisive I pinned the Shaman with a Blood Thirster hoping to lure enemies in. Sure enough, 3 Orcs jumped on it. The other Thirster pinned all of them and was Empowered. A Daemonette on top of the Thirster protected it from Intimidate. The VC came to the rescue and a Knight took that Daemonette out with Impact pinning the Thirster as a consequence. It was ugly. One Thirster, 4 Orcs and a couple of VC died in the process. One Thirster lived and was just one flip away from Isabella. A previously wounded Grimgor who also had a Nurgle's Rot token received a second wound from Kairos' Magic and died to Valkya during melee. Since the Black Orc was destroyed by a Daemonette in the Woods, the Orcs were out.

It was very important to win initiative in the fourth round. I wanted to get to Isabella before the Thirster could be pinned. I guessed right and Jason played Dark Majesty which went second to my Lure. Kairos could not make it to any opposing deployment zone in the two remaining rounds. It got just close enough to be able to Empower the Thirster. A flip later and the humongous demon was pinning Isabella. Next, I played Blood for the Blood God and since it beats Intimidate, there was nothing that could be done to save her. Valkya and a Daemonette dashed to the Orcs deployment zone.

In the final round, the Blood Thirster was a big distraction to Mannfred, a Skeleton and the Necromancer. It died but my two disks in the enemy deployment zone weren't bothered as the game ended.

Jason revealed his objective which awarded points for enemy casualties. I had 7 and the Orcs had 11 casualties giving the VC 18 points. My objective gave me 5 points per opponent for each disk in an enemy deployment zone. Since I had 2 opponents and 2 disks in the deployment zone, I got 20 points and won a very close game.

Diskwars is a game that just makes me happy and today was not different. It has little to do with the result and more to do with the experience. The fact that I played with 2 very nice people is certainly part of it.

It was great to be back playing Diskwars and reminding myself how excellently designed it is. Streamlined rules but with a multitude of options and deep gameplay. It is a well oiled machine with each piece working to perfection.

I can't stop to think what a pity it is that there will be no more Organized Play as this is one of the best designs out there and the game lends it self to excellent competitive play. But, realistically, the game didn't really catch on and I can't blame FFG for dropping the OP. I can't say they didn't give it a fair chance.

There are still some kits at the store and I will try to schedule a couple more tournaments. In the end, I could not be happier with FFG to put some of the best designers to bring back one of my favorite games and give it a new edition that is every bit what a fan could hope for. The game lives on and it is reassuring to know that it will continue to deliver a great gaming experience every time it is pulled out of the shelf


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Benjamin Bottorff
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Thanks for sharing.

Sometimes I wonder if it might not be worth trying to get another Vassal tournament going then I remember just how difficult it is for players to make and keep schedules for international online turn based games (at least it isn't like wesnoth where the matches are of indefinite length and should at least be a best of three).

If more people showed an interest in Vassal I'd definitely be willing to host such a tournament and we could certainly go by the rules of organized play.
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Charles Stampley
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Our Spring 15 tournament kit just arrived and we are hoping to host an event in May but frankly the Teclis/Karl Franz combination you mentioned has a couple of people thinking about not participating. Has anyone found a counter for this combo? Blue/yellow really seems broken. I thought about making the tournament armies faction pure but that seems overkill.
Thanks!
 
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MGS
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stampdog316 wrote:
Our Spring 15 tournament kit just arrived and we are hoping to host an event in May but frankly the Teclis/Karl Franz combination you mentioned has a couple of people thinking about not participating. Has anyone found a counter for this combo? Blue/yellow really seems broken. I thought about making the tournament armies faction pure but that seems overkill.
Thanks!


I think the power of that combination is overstated. I think it is very difficult beating François no matter what army he plays and I think that while the army is naturally good, it is not as scary in anyone else's hand.

There are many playable armies and the game will go to the player who makes the best decisions. I didn't bring a Chaos army to be cute. I thought I could win playing it. I think the Blood Thirster is great against that army. It will usually not going to take a wound from the Dragon's breath weapon, it is resistant to Magic and, it will kill Teclis, the Dragon and just about every other disk when combined with Blood for the Blood God. Even though the Order will go first if they play the Shield, having two Thirsters should give you the option to move and resolve an engagement against an unShielded disk.

If everybody plays Order, it is bound to continue to win. Again, François played it but the other finalist didn't.
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Benjamin Bottorff
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It's important to note, that the majority of the strength of that army is in the level of free 'poking' it can do; picking off enemies before the main engagement starts very reliably. This is devastating to most non-artillery based order army designs. Most destruction armies on the other hand are built to take a few loses and then be so devastating with their remaining pieces that they can make up for it.

That does not mean that it isn't incredibly strong but it does mean that it'll fall just like anyone else if it takes the full blunt of an orc or chaos charge.
 
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Charles Stampley
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Our group here are casual players--a couple of them don't even own the game. In an environment where everyone is a newbie and they are throwing together a list 10 minutes before the tournament starts--that combo is devastating. That is why some of the people who played back in December and who have not played since aren't too excited about potentially facing it again. I don't think it is an auto win with more experienced players.

It is hard for a new player to recover from losing several units before the armies actually engage.
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I wonder if it has to do with the difference in skill. I think in this case, you have to do something to keep it fun. Single faction army sounds like a great idea. Or, run one of the special scenarios.
 
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