We traveled to the tournament with a ferry and just before we took off I managed to squeeze a quick game in versus Robin and his Circle. We have been facing each other a lot the past months; including twice in the final games of tournaments with one victory each. This time he had some secret-tech in place, putting some Bloodweaver ambushers in instead of the Mist Speaker and Blood Shaman. The warm-up game went really poorly, and he decisively smashed my Siege1 list before getting on the boat.
Him also being undefeated we paired up in the fourth and final round of the day, and we played a rematch of the training game from the night before. His army was:
Circle Army - 74 / 75 points [Theme] The Devourer's Host [Baldur 1] Baldur the Stonecleaver [+31] - Storm Raptor  Lord of the Feast [0(6)] Tharn Ravager Shaman  Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron  Bríghid & Caul  Shifting Stones  Tharn Bloodtrackers (max)  - Nuala the Huntress  Tharn Bloodweavers  Tharn Ravagers (min)  - Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)] Tharn Ravagers (max)  - Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
In contrast to the earlier games between Robin and myself I manage to win the starting roll and get to go first. This is a huge advantage in this matchup and the first starting roll that really, really mattered. This board had, on his side, a long soft wall on the left, a forest in the middle, a piece of rough terrain and a hard wall on the far right. My side had a piece of water in the zone, a hill by the objective and a forest on the right.
I deploy symmetrically around the middle and he swings slightly to my left where there is less open ground and more terrain to hide behind. I foresee this a bit and put my Risen of the left to counter his Bloodtrackers. All his ambushers position fairly offensively, just barely respecting the 24″ threat from Triumph.
Cygnar Turn 1
I push my army up aggressively, putting a few of the Risen within 14″ but otherwise stay out of threat ranges. Triumph is 3.2″ away from Siege, preventing Lord of the Feast to make an early desperate attempt for my caster.
Circle Turn 1
By going first I force Robin to pop his Feat already in his first turn or he will lose most of his army trying to close the gap. He moves up and covers most of his army in the feat (everything but the Bloodtrackers on the far left), and kills the front line of Risen before repoing back into cover.
Cygnar Turn 2
Even against his feat my army is able to get quite a lot of work done. On the left side the Risen run in to be spark nodes and a combination of electro leaps and Trickshots kills most of the Bloodtrackers. In the Centre; Siege, the Strider and the two Chargers simply hard-roll the dice to kill almost all Ravagers in the small unit and Bridget who was killed with leaps. Triumph tramples up and shoots one of the Shifting stones to prevent them from teleporting other units, and Caul valiantly Shield Guards the shot and joins Bridget in an early grave.
Circle Turn 2
Having lost quite a lot despite his Feat, Robin elects to push for scenario. He spent quite some time looking for an assassination out on Siege, but I had done my homework and measured 3.2″ to Siege from all models within shooting range of LotF. He almost finds an opening by shooting the Strider and then Repulsing off it to get closer to Siege, but Triumph being able to Shield Guard the shot puts a wrench in that plan. Instead, LotF shoots the objective and forces me to waste quite a few attacks getting rid of him before starting to work on the rest of his army. He kills the objective and clears the left round zone for a 3-0 lead and then clocks to me.
Cygnar Turn 3
At this point I’m very happy with how attrition is going, but I’m worried (too worried?) about an assassination run on Siege. I mop up some of his models, Feat, and send the Strider in to kill the objective. (In hindsight; I should just have run Alexia and the Risen and scored the right-hand zone here too). I put some hurt on the Bird, contest his zone and clock back for 1-3 in scenario and a comforting attrition lead.
Circle Turn 3
Robin sees his out on scenario and mobilises everything to clear the zones and going for a 1-6 scenario win. Again, hindsight, but Triumph should have toed into the middle zone to prevent it, but alas I was too scared of the potential assassination run and instead elected for him to block LoS to Siege. Baldur goes in to kill the Strider, the Bird kills the Charger and combined shooting from the Bird and the Bloodtrackers kill the Risen and mechanics off. Bloodweavers ambush from the right (thankfully I remembered and measured their threat to the Squire), and Robin is unable to find the last attack needed to kill the Squire and close up the game. Instead he scores to 1-5 and ends his turn.
Cygnar Turn 4
Robin has positioned his remaining models very well to prevent me from scoring a lot of points back, leaving attrition and assassination as the two possible outs for me. I elect to go for the throat, Ace aims and puts Shadow Fire on the Bird and now there is a low-camping Baldur standing in front of my entire army. I shoot the bird with things not within range of Baldur, and after the dust has settled neither bird nor caster is left standing from his side.
Winning the roll to go first is so important in this matchup and really puts pressure on him to find a way to win. In this game especially I should have done a better job contesting; the first push towards 3-0 is more or less something that will happen every time but the second opportunity for him to score three points was sloppy by me. I’m very impressed that Robin managed to keep his cool and almost steal the win after the very heavy losses so early in the game, well played!