TaKtiX: Laurence J Sinclair

Laurence J Sinclair has been playing the Warlord CCG since the release of the game - mainly thanks to that killer Rathe art. He even stuck with it through that dark time involving Campaign Rathe art. Now he is a playtester and a member of the Warlord Story Team - guiding the armies of the Accordlands into an uncertain future.


Warlord Advent Calendar

Beginning in December, there's the traditional count-down of days before Christmas, and most people will probably be making ready to set up a piece of cardboard with windows hiding chocolates to aid with the anticipation. Twenty-four days and windows, all told.

Warlord booster boxes in Epic now hold twenty-four boosters each. One is enough to see one through the whole process, at a booster a day...

I'm pondering the idea currently. I don't have many Temple of Lore cards, for one thing, my only purchases so far having been for the coupla drafts that we've held here recently, where I got to witness the hideousness of Sir Lucien and Jeffrey in this format first hand. The artificer sets are also quite deadly. Poor old Aquiela (my warlord for the last draft, on Friday) found herself quite unable to generate much offence; sure, Lorand and three copies of Consume From Within meant that I was never short of characters, but that just drew the game out while I waited for my little Frost Shocks to show themselves... Still, she'll be awesome in constructed. Already got decks for her, Biana the Mystical and Xiathe built, and they look none too shabby.

Looking at the decks that I have built, however, I can see a dramatic change in my faction favouritism. Once upon a time, I was all about elves, looking at nothing else (save the occasional foray into using Kerebrus, Azhraan or Rr'egjen) but now...

My Dev count is three (Biana the Mystical, The Bloody Countess and Cardinal Creigh), dwarves zero (though I plan to do something with Trespass and/or Jorn of the Summit in the near future), elves but two (Aquiela and Laurena Kennet), Free Kingdoms one (Jin Valford, with Huntress Volda waiting for me to get around to updating her for ToL), Mercenaries a mighty four (Ablung the Maker, Black Tom of Corinth, Ter-Soth and Xiathe) and NoThRoG one (Syvonne Ashenstorm is the only one that piques my interest).

What happened? At what point did I diverge so greatly from my initial direction? And when did I go insane and decide to want to build a dwarf deck? Ah, I guess that diversity is a good thing, really. At least I'm getting back into the swing of making wizard decs again, even if most of my wizard rares remain in my folder. My recent rogue amnesty (taking apart all those rogue decks that I had) has freed up numerous Sewer Worms and Cloudracers that were at a premium. Spare No Prisoners! now as well...

But yes, the advent calendar. The plan should give a pleasant surprise throughout the month, and should I pull a copy of The Nemesis in the process, I think that Christmas Day is being rescheduled for then...


Debrief Regarding Failure

So, back from KoHIT. It was a blast, and Arne and co. should be congratulated for hosting such an awesome spectacle and tournaments. Great to meet so many different players from across the world, and have the opportunity of playing against them. To those that I didn't talk to much, my apologies; I'm not the most outgoing of people, and tend to speak only when spoken to. Anyway, enough of this. I'm sure that you all want to hear about my actual performance in the tournament than my social problems...

In the end, I went for a sniper-y Cathel Rowan deck for the Epic singles (arrived too late on Friday to have Lord Netheryn pwn all comers at the Open tournament). Shooting people in the face is strong right now, so I went with it because it's easy. My character pool was decided upon by the direction of aim in the art; only those firing 'to the left' were allowed to make the cut, so Terlacha was exiled for failing to follow the status quo. The decklist follows, and hopefully its tactics should be fairly simple to work out: shoot people In. The. Face. The Worm and Shadow were only there for protection against a possible counter-sniper attempt, in which case an Enemy at the Gates type scenario would be sure to develop.

Cathel Rowan
Crimson Rigel x2
Dex Glyn x3
Eirlas x3
Javvyn x3
Jigoral x3
Kyrthelia x3
Maxt Stormcrow x3
Vivian x3

Strain the Shot x3
Tracking x3

Angel's Tears x3
Camel x3
Collapsing Bow x3
Falter Stones x2
Farglass x3
Hawthorne's Arrows
Roc Fletching x2
Sewer Worm
Shadow of Jealousy

Round one saw me facing off against Andi Leide and his Adonis deck. he was trying to blow me up with the Gambits of the Medusan Lords, but while they on occasion did injure Cathel, their fatality proved too low to impede his acquisition of a killshot. A win for me.

Round two I was dismayed to witness Vince Turner piloting another Adonis deck, doing much the same thing. His draws were truly atrocious, and so once again Cathel took the illusionist's head for a trophy.

Round three was more Deverenians, Jens Brouwer having Aleron as his champion. At this point, the law of averages came back to bite me, ensuring that I could not hit an Astral character to save my life, which proved rather unfortunate when the paladin collapsed Cathel's ranks to bring his down hard. The epic struggle ended one-nil, as the huge AC of Aleron in the second game prevented me from landing that telling sixth wound (!) on him.

Round four: David Haffner using Sargok. The barbarian does exactly what Cathel wants by running to the front, and with Jevae preventing him from summoning any back-up behind him, he was isolated and easy meat for the elves.

Fifth round I was paired against Dominic Swinnen and Trevaine Cartwright, shoty rogue versus melee rogue. While I did have him on the ropes at several points, the well-timed use of Alert to get Cartwright back on his feet and slaughtering my troops gave him the match.

Round six saw a pairing between the ol' Battle Box rivals, as Lenny Leysen was playing Jorn of the Summit. Far from a foregone conclusion, it could have gone either way, with only Jorn's scale mail protecting him from many killing shots and giving Lenny victory.

The seventh and final round had me fighting off Jiri Jindra's Allisara deck. It's almost a dream opponent for Cathel, as wizards have very little protection, and my slew of ranged strikes prevented her from maintaining a rank structure capable of bringing out those big dragons with any consistency.

So, with four victories and three losses, where did I finish in the Swiss? Thirty-third out of a cut to thirty-two. Oops. With no one dropping (and why should they, really?) I was out of the running. Oh well. Tavis would probably have pwned me anyway.

Sunday was doubles, and I teamed up with Steve Redpath, our Etra Bloodvine/Huntress Volda pairing determined to show off the strength of the FreeK/Elf alliance that is developing. Our dream wasn't quite realised, with double Dev delight smashing us utterly, a dwarven union holding us to a nil-nil draw (four cleric warlords - d'ya think anyone died?), our sole triumph being over the Lady of Mercy and her friend Aleron (!) shortly before a tight draw against Laurena and Cathel. Still, got to see Spencer Latham make warlord and promptly run away to the back rans in one game, which was a laugh.

There was also a fair amount of random gaming going on all through the event, but I think that this entry is more than long enough already, so I'll leave you to digest it for now. What did I learn from the experience? SS-ithiss is where it's at. What was I thinking, not using a sutek at all? Well, next time Temple of Lore will be tournament legal, and everything will be different then. Those pesky Deverenians shall feel my wrath...