It’s been a while in coming, but it’s time for the inaugural No Gitz, No Glory Tournament Report!
Yesterday my long-time gaming buddy Alex and I drove down to a small tournament held by Spieledelxue, in Melbourne, Victoria.
|The Royal Mail Hotel had some interesting decor. I can't wait to start using the word 'vulva' in more conversations!|
All told we had six players, though it seemed that everyone was pretty experienced, and I recognised many of their names from various Underworlds-related Facebook pages. Everyone attending had a different warband, which is always nice, with Grymwatch, Cursebreakers, Ravagers, Guardians, Eyes of the Nine, and Gitz (fancy that!) represented.
I took my fairly standard Tomes build. Recent changes included adding Rebound mostly because it's such a wholesome, feel-good card, but also because it gives me some much needed game against warbands like Mournflight, Mollog, and various flavours of Stormcast. Also, a recent addition is Mischievous Spirits. Over the course of the day I only used it once. I think it will go back to being Distraction.
James – Grymwatch
Game two was much less explosive. My objective hand was Mad Scurry, Fired up and Shortcut. Not ideal, but playable (Yes, this is a sign of the crazy Temporary Victory world we live in, where having two easy score end phase cards and a surge card is ‘not ideal’; but more on that later). I believe James won the roll off and made me choose a board. I chose the Mirror Well board (I mildly freaked myself out by noticing the screaming skull face in the jacuzzi for the first time*). Having not much of a plan, I thought I would attempt to slow down the ghouls’ advance. I spent my first two actioins charging with squigs. Bonekrakker (who had a bad day all told) missed Ribcage-Suit-Man; but Gobbalukk (who had a good day; and is the best boy) made up for his colleague. Chomp. Sadly Gobbalukk was then subjected to some extreme vegetable cruelty, afterward I gave Bonekrakker Survival Instincts, who survived the game, and kept the Ghouls from inspiring until round two. I also made tactical use of Restless Prize to deny him Path to Victory.
*That might be my favourite sentence ever
The rest of the game was something of a blur. James had a heartbreaking moment where he would have pulled ahead, simultaneously scoring In the Name of the King and Temporary Victory, until we realised the bats can’t hold objectives. I was able to close it out with a big library bag of Tomes.
Round 2 - Rob – Cursebreakers
|Amis is clearly the only one who shampoos her beard|
|If you frame by frame, you can pinpoint the moment when he realises I'm not going to activate Snirk|
Rob won boards and refused to share his delicious hexagonal biscuits again. Rude.
I had Zarbag and Stikkit dangling in the centre of my territory, Z-bags got shot for his trouble, but fortunately only for one. Rob fortunately missed with Sphere of Aqshy, which allowed me to run Zarbag and Stikkit onto objectives (via lethal hexes in both cases. I had Calculated Risk, but Rob still raised his eyebrows). Fortunately, a Cry of Thunder centered on Prog (who’d been pulled into a lethal hex with Centre of Attention again – clearly a set play from Rob), which would have also taken out Stikkit, failed. The game went back and forth from there. Rob was killing enough goblins, but my objective deck was more or less behaving itself and enabled me to keep pace.
|Beer is made of hops. Hops is a herb. I'm basically drinking herbal tea.|
Round 3 - Alex - Despoilers
Alex really couldn’t get going in this game, and it ended 24-9. My biggest blowout of the day.
In game two, I won the roll for boards, and opted to take objectives. As I had the last objective, I knew Alex would be wanting it placed on an edge hex in my territory. So that’s exactly what I didn’t do. Alex had put one objective token in my board already, so I returned the favour.
I kept a slow hand but learned from my game against Rob and would have mulliganed if I didn’t have push ploys. Early doors, Alex took the lead, and but for a timely Rebound on one of his archers (for those playing at home, that’s 5 successful Rebound rolls in 7 games!) would have been all over me. I stayed in the hunt and did as best I could. There were a few crucial moments towards the end of the match, including Alex having to discard Supremacy to keep his objectives ticking over (not saying that was the wrong move, but I was able to relax about objectives once Path to Victory, Despoilers and Temporary Victory had all been scored (More James Harden parallels – if you let them score then you don’t need to worry about them scoring!).
So, a 1-2 finish for the stump-jumping country Jethros! That was a very good feeling, and made for a good drive home. It was particularly nice for us to have turned a few heads with warbands that don’t often feature in the top of the rankings of major tournaments. Before things kicked off a few of the guys were a little bit down on the Ravagers compared to the Grymwatch, which I think, and Alex demonstrated, that’s a bit unfair. I’m also proud to have won some more glass with the Gitz, especially as I was a little concerned that the rotation had been unkind to them.
|Soft Focus - Sensual Gitz|
So, all told a very impressive outing! I must confess I was surprised by how well the deck behaved and how consistent it was at scoring high volumes of glory. Across the seven games I raked in 143 glory, which felt great, but as I’ll go on to talk about in a second, at times I felt like I wasn’t earning the glory I was receiving. I’d set myself the goal of winning more games than I lost, and I certainly did that. I was also very proud to have the opportunity to play my best mate for the glass, which made for something of a win-win situation! Thanks to Steve for TOing, and thanks to James, Rob, Huw, Patrick, and Alex for being excellent sports and great company.
Oh, look, there’s an elephant in this room!
Temporary Victory needs to be banned*. Not restricted. Banned.
I’ll explain why. While most warbands (not Mollog) can make use of Temporary Victory, there are four factions that stand head and shoulders about others in terms of their ability to abuse it. Those are Grymwatch and Ravagers (who double up with in-faction varieties and good push cards), while Gitz and (especially) Thorns can score it in one activation. Each of these factions could comfortably make room for Temporary Victory.I threw together a Thorns deck the other day it had one restricted card in it (Sudden Growth). Restricting Temporary Victory would do NOTHING to Thorns. Similarly, with my Gitz, I’d merely replace Warning Shot with Martyred and call it a day. No biggie at all.
Grymwatch and Ravagers might have slightly more head-scratching to do, but would invariably take it.
Now, Temporary Victory opens up some interesting build options for other factions, Godsworn, Profiteers and Reavers in particular, but those factions can’t use it as well as the others, and have fewer other objectives that dovetail with Temporary Victory. Ironically, those factions also have a higher requirement on other restricted cards. So in effect, the warbands who would be most affected with Temporary Victory’s restriction would be those factions that use it least effectively, resulting in a ‘rich-get-richer’ phenomenon.
Grymwatch and Ravagers’ in-faction varieties feel strong, but at the same time, they feel fair. That’s their schtick. That’s what makes them different. Some factions have good spells, some have good abilities (Varclav, Scurry etc), and some have good objective cards. I have absolutely zero problem with either of those cards.
|Alas, I while I have Doctor's Scrawl, I don't have Doctor's Salary|
“Now wait a cotton-picking minute!”, I hear literally every aggro player say, “We deal with randomness every day, and we have to put up with Rebound!” Well, yes, you do, BUT staple ploys and upgrades like Inspired Attack, Sitting Target, Spirit Bond, the endless varieties of Lightning Assault, Archer’s Focus and so on, all work quite well to reduce that randomness. Steven Vann, the OG Zarbag’s enthusiast, has broken down Snirk’s numbers*, and they are reasonably impressive, being roughly equivalent to 3 Hammer attack in terms of being able to consistently deal 3 damage if Snirk starts adjacent to his target, but there are vastly fewer options to mitigate dodgy dice.
Now, I’m not saying that Gitz are weaker because Snirk isn’t the badass he used to be. Nor am I saying that Snirk is objectively bad now, I’m just finding it challenging to use him effectively. Now, what Snirk could very much benefit from, would be a card like this: “Snirk’s Best Friend – Ploy – Reaction: Play this during an action or gambit that uses the scatter token, after the scatter token is placed but before any dice are rolled. The scatter roll has an innate [hammer].
I think the Gitz have earned a bit of a rest. They’re still consistently fun to play with, but I fear until Temporary Victory is ousted from the meta, I don’t think they’re particularly fun to play against. Perhaps it’s the hipster in me, but with objective token play being all the rage, I’m keen to throw a few more attack dice around. Even with all my moralising about how much better dresses are than wolves, Rippa’s Snarlfangs look quite interesting. Perhaps the game has shifted now to where Mollog is wholesome now? I never thought I’d see the day.
As ever, please drop me a line on Facebook or via the comment feature below (though I’m not super great at checking that). I’d love to hear your thoughts about Temporary Victory or the meta in general.