Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pete's Masters Form Guide - Fantasy Part One

Okay it’s time for my Masters run-through ahead of the weekend. I know Rory has done his and you can check it out over at Sam’s blog but I know you dear readers want the definitive guide.

Now I’m going to say at the outset that this is probably the most competitive Masters that we have had in the five years it has been running. I say that in spite of the fact that there are nine players from the centre of the country, one from the Deep South and two from Auckland. Why do I say “in spite”?

Well only one non-Auckland-based player has won any of the previous four events – Raymond Dick. The other three winners have all been from the northern reaches. Is this just luck or are they actually better up there?

So for ten of the participants they will have to overcome that hurdle.

Rather than put people in finishing order – that’s far too hard an exercise – I’m going to split the participants into three groups.

The Bottom Six
Now some are unlucky to be here just skirting the top of the table while others I feel are going to struggle versus some of the lists (or in Neil’s case the clock). So here are places #7 to #12 (in alphabetical order).

Mike King

Mike is my most regular opponent and we’ve probably played about 20 times this year. After threatening to run Beastmen, he has plumbed for the Lizards he was running earlier in the year. Based around three blocks of Saurus and Light magic the list isn’t the current meta Lizard list. However there are a few tricks up his sleeve and if he gets to go first – activating the Engine – and then plays loose with his Magic dice (Cupped Hands), it’s going to be a hard task for people to break him down.

Backed up by Sallies, skinks and chameleons, if Mike gets Magic dominance – due to the absence of your caster – then he may push into the Top 5. Otherwise I see him being in the middle reaches.

Antony Kitson

We’ve got history. Last year at the Masters I bottled the last round, rolled over on my back and let Antony tickle my tummy. In so doing he managed a 20-0 and took out the event. Antony….that won’t be happening again.

That said, I think that Antony has brought a greatly underestimated army. The Brets are a real dark house in the current meta with long charge threat, a strong warmachine option and solid characters. Antony has chosen the current net fav Heavens/Beasts gambit for his magic. I’m surprised that he is missing the charge banner as I expected that staple however with three strong Lances I can see him ripping some of his opponents apart.
It’s just not going to be me…..again.

Locky Reid

I played Locky last weekend and that was his first game in about nine months, three games with Lizards at Skitterleap excepted.

For me, that is going to be Locky’s major problem – ring rust. Last year he had his rats working really well. Since that time there have been ongoing changes and his list looks more 2010 than 2012. That said, he gave me a sound trouncing in our game Sunday so I may have played him into form.

His list is all about the Furnace and he lives and dies on how that performs. That that is restricted to the combat phase may mean he finds it dragged off in directions he doesn’t necessarily want.

Neil Williamson

I gotta say….I love Neil’s list. Absolutely love it. It is not in the least bit subtle and has the ability to grind face. However……

There’s always “However”. Two things stand between Neil and the Top 5. The first is that he is not the most aggressive player. Yet this is probably the most aggressive list I’ve seen taken to the Masters. Neil will have to change the habits of a lifetime to get the best out of this.

The second is speed of play. This list needs six turns to maximise its potential. To put it simply…Neil would need to speed up his game to get the best out of it. I don’t necessarily thing that will happen to the extent it needs too.

Peter Williamson

I’ve looked at the list and I’ve got to admit….I just don’t see it. Now Peter is a smart gamer so I am worried I am missing something.

For me there is not enough of anything to dominate a phase of the game. The Spearmen aren’t strong enough, resilient enough (even with the Shield of Saphery) to withstand prolonged punishment. The White Lions are too small, the chaff too expensive, Lore choice is diffident etc.

As I said, I don’t see it. Based on the list, Peter is in for a hard weekend. But there is something nagging me….what have I missed?

Joel van de Ven-Long

I expect this placement will be a controversial choice. Joel is bringing the Wall of Steel backed up by two cannons. The list looks great on paper, Joel is running into form, coming off a win at Vermintide.

But I’ve got this niggle. I look at Joel and I see a man with a reliance on his Angry Birds. If they go down what happens then? I’m guessing there is no Plan B…..or if there is it has been hastily scribbled on the back of an envelope in felt pen.

Am I right Joel? Can you afford the 50/50 shot?

So that’s my first part. Looking at the names I’m already worried I’ve got it wrong. Check back tomorrow for Part Two.


  1. Hmmmm......Kitson in the bottom 6....really? The others definitely agree with your rationale.

  2. Can't fit everyone in the Top 5 Rory....actually can only fit five :-)

  3. Totally agree with the HE list, just don't see it. Maybe we are all wrong! I think the Empire list played well should do better. Might be your toughest potential game Pete? Especially if he can roll 4+ to fire the cannons at the bell before the gutter runners get them.. Brets could be a big dark horse but easy win for the skaven in theory. Gutted I couldn't put my theory into practice but Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are consoling me. Bring it home Rory!

  4. Fair call on the Brets Pete. They are clearly the softest list in Wellywood this weekend (reference the Aussie Masters army comp scores). As for the guy pushing them around, he wouldn't have been invited if he hadn't had the best army at last years Masters.

    Underdog by a long way.


  5. Everyone knows only chump hobby gamers use Brets.


  6. Good run down as always Pete.
    Almost totally agree with the six (I would have swapped Joel for Ray).


  7. I like Peters HE list and i think its the wild card

    1. @warpy - why? What do you like? What's the hook?

      @Locky - basing that one on experience. The wily old fox vs. the bright eyed fawn

      @Ant - the Brets are a good list Ant. You'll be there or thereabouts

    2. @Pete You getting the Jitters Pete?:)))))))

  8. Haha,I'm sure you are matey.

    Have a good one all