Ich habe das nach Anfrage bei Stefano einfach mal von den Realms kopiert, das brauchen wir hier auch in unserem Forum. Ein sehr guter detailierter Einblick in sein Erlebnis der EM. Viel Spaß!
Essen - Euro Championship 2013 – My point of view
So I’m back home, the daily routine has started again, the bags are (mostly) unpacked and I’m at the computer to write down a couple of notes on my personal experience at Essen. Let’s get the ball rolling.
As some of you probably already know, I ended up playing:
New Mutants + 7 Charcters + ATA
Shatterstar + UB (Costume, 5 Slots) + ATA
2 Fear Itself Bystanders (Super Fan and Tourist)
This was my choice after 3 months of weekly playtesting with my precious teammates Marco (ZemoTheSinner on the realms), Stefano (AKA StephenStrange87), Antonello and Andrea (who won the French National Championship three weeks ago). Since the announcement of this tournament, we decided to go hardcore on this and start playing only top notch competitive builds against each other to figure out which would have been the best performing force to field. We tried GCPD Cruisers, X-Men Blue Strike Force, Hellfire Club, Fantomex builds, Book of Skulls lists and obviously Ghost Rider and Iron Fist variants involving Spiral, Shatterstar, Batmite and / or Batcycles for mobility, At the end of playtest New Mutants resulted as the toughest combination to beat of the bunch, having tools to contrast most of the threats of this meta and turn Alpha Strike driven strategies into attrition wars.
This is possible thanks to a combination of the giant-slayer skills of UBelted Shattestar, who can easily keep at bait an IF or GR by outwitting their Charge (via Prep Time to UB click 3) while negating them the use or H4H ATA (via Battle Plan), and of the crowd control potential of the TB, who can easily one-shot most of the popular support pieces of this meta (Scarlet Witch, Astral Strange, Loki, Aldrich Killian, Bystanders…) and then freeze all of the opposing team with the game-breaking Embarrass the Hellions trait. This until the moment in which Shatterstar will go to the offensive outwitting the opposing defense power and flurrying for 4 damage a hit (never roll blades if you’re on a +2 click) or handcuffing an opposing Team Base.
This team also excels in mobility, being able to ignore all kinds of hindrances to movement with his Improved Movement and first Asset Ability and having access to Magik via Solo Adventure, one of the best aggressive/supportive taxis around. She can easily carry Shattestar on the other side of the map phasing trough terrain and opposition if needed, and after that she’s an excellent support with Prob, excellent secondary attacker with high values, Pulse Wave and then BCF and incredibly hard to kill thanks to ESD, Invulerability, Mystics and the often forgotten second trait of the TB, Self-Sacrifice for My Friends.
And this isn’t over yet, since she’s only 102 points, you’re allowed to Solo Adventure one more figure. I usually go for Sunspot, since the good overall damage potential and the awesome Third to last click (check the Self Sacrifice Trait if you don’t know why that’s important). Wolfbane is also a really good choice if the base is in Blue colored clicks and you’re in desperate need of damage output (or you want to catch someone off guard using Shatterstar’s X-Portal)
Some people prefer to pop out Warlock.
Sure, his uber-perplex is cool and his Ram ability could surprise an unprepared opponent, but his best damage output his on his first click and if you chose to turn him into a vehicle he will take damage every time he rolls for an attack, burning down slowly and painfully while being less and less effective. Plus, if you chose him you can’t Solo Adventure anyone else and it’s more difficult to out-action the opponent.
On top of all that, the ATA gives you strong Alpha Strike enduring potential, but don’t count too much on that, since sometimes you’re just one Battle Plan away from a bad beating. Also remember that, unlike mastermind, the ATA damage transfert works also from lower points characters to higher points characters. So, if you really want to save Shattestar from a killing blow you might consider giving the base a token and the damage, if they’re adjacent.
I actually got the epiphany for the perfect map to pick if you play this team (and trust me, with a +8 on initiative you will pick the map more often than not) the night before leaving, during my last playtest match with Marco.
The Negative Zone Prison!
The advantages of the perfect symmetry and of the 4x4 starting areas of this map are many:
First of all you can be virtually untouchable during your first turn even if giving actions to the team base. All you need is place the TB with her back against the border of the map, the two bystanders in the next row on one side and Shattestar on the other. During your first turn you’ll use Working Together to either break the wall adjacent to Shatterstar (to create debris and offer him Stealth protection since he most probably has the Bat Cowl) with a move action (remember, Asset ability) or shoot a dangerous Object (to lower the opponent’s damage potential) AND Solo Adventure Magik in the empty spot in the front row. This way the opponent won’t be able to attack you from the sides (due to unbreakable Blocking Terrain) and from the front (due to characters blocking LOS and adjacency). He’s free to attack Magik, if he wants, but most probably he’ll end out dealing himself 2 Mystic feedback damage and removing two Low Utility teenagers from the base (I usually go for Magma first, then Wolfsbane, then Mirage) because of the Self Sacrifice trait, while putting Ilyana in her most dangerous CC click.
After the first turn, if the opponent’s turtling you can first of all Solo Adventure with Sunspot, then dig your way to the side cells while hiding behind a screen of figures and bystanders (keep in mind that Magik can Taxi both Shattestar and Sunspot with her trait) until he decides to go on the offensive or you end up in range for a devastating Running Shot + Ranged Combat Attack, maybe destroying his Barrier with you’re movement portion.
If he remains in his area but with no cover from Barrier or Smoke Clouds you can easily go on the offensive and cross the map in one turn with the double movement of Magik (carrying SS, obviously) and a Move + Running Shot on one of his short dialed clix, maybe clearing line of sight for Shatterstar’s Outwit/Battle Plan. Then your enemy will have to face tough decisions on which figure push, who attack, how to protect his key figures while you will be ready to unleash hell on him.
This is most of the times the perfect map, however consider also Crime Alley for it’s good protection against ranged heavy teams and Robinson Park against close combat oriented / barrier obsessed builds.
Event Breakdown – Qualification
Me and my teammates arrived in Essen Wednesday evening and were ready for the first qualifier on Thursday morning, after an abundant healty continental breakfast (how I miss those meatballs!) The Judges are Adrien from France and Roberto from Spain, alongside our beloved Munchoboy.
I face Azad, a very nice German player at his first high level tournament experience, it is also the first time he faces a Team Base. He plays Ghost Rider +UB + H4H, Spiral and Madame Web. The match is quick, I pick the map and go for my standard opening, he forgets about First Turn immunity and the Self Sacrifice traits, attacks Magik only to have her resurrected a couple of times, then it’s my turn and both the Spirit of Vengence and Madame Web fall to my counterattack. Spiral is soon to follow.
We have a long chat after the match and he tells me about his wife and child (I recently got married too an that’s a particularly sensitive topic, for me) and that he was playing that team for the first time. He asks me for some suggestion and I gladly share some tips on how to play that particular build with a little more prowess. He also ends up telling me that his venue never received any WatX. When I told this to my teammates, they immediately decided to donate them all of the spare commons and uncommons they got out of their side events later during the week end.
MY SCORE 1 - 0
I face Mathias, another very nice German fellow playing Iron Fist (+ UB + ATA), Spiral, Scarelt Witch, Madame Web, Astral Dr Strange + 2 bystanders. Despite his high theme count, I end up picking the map again. Standard opening, he simply Prep Times and covers the line of sight to IF with a pog. I then go to the offensive, Prep Timing Shatterstar, Double Timing Magik and rushing through all the map to ko that single annoying Bystander with my TB. All of his team gets tokens and I can now easily shut down IF with Outwit + Battle Plan. He tries to save the day by putting a Smoke Cloud at IF’s defense with the Astral (Fist has the Cowl and I still have no Night Vision Goggles, at the moment) and then free move behind a wall, but my base pushes to shoot the wall down and then the Astral, incapping his whole team once again. I keep shooting his supports down one by one with Magik and the Base while our favorite 90’s nostalgic keeps holding off Fist until it’s time for him to go to town and end the game with a Flurry.
MY SCORE 2 - 0
I face Patricia Lam. She plays Ghost Rider (+ H4H + UB ), 2 Scarlet Witches, 30 point Loki and a protester Token. The team’s well rounded and smart, but the abundance of short dialed support and her relatively short extent (compared to Spiral or Batmite teams) weights the scale in my favor a little bit. She enters the side cells and locks in with back to back barriers, I pop out Magik and Sunspot then take the digging approach on the same side until she realizes she has to take the Initiative or be overwhelmed. She the charges Sunspot with her belt on a +2 click, oneshotting it effortlessly. The Self Sacrifice trait kicks in, however, and she’s then based with a dangerous Pulse Wave attacker. She says she’s been surprised by this because in her playtest session, the opponent always popped out Warlock. She panics a little bit then, and uses her Hero for Hire token to try and break away and flee, but she’s under both the team base’s and Magik’s Prob so she stays in place. Then the usual counterattack routine and I end up winning my third game, qualifying at the first opportunity.
MY SCORE 3 - 0
I end up second after the young Spanish Fausto, runner up for his national championship this year. Patricia’s still in the top 8 and qualifies herself as well. After qualifying so soon and beating such a renown player in the process I feel much more confident in my chances for a good result in the finals. More so, my participation prize for the event were the Night Vision Goggles, that will come pretty handy during the finals.
Marco also gets qualified that day while Stefano is still in play.
I spend Friday playing side events, scouting the opposition, getting to know some amazing people like the Blue Rat team from Britiain or the Judge Roberto, cheering up my Italian and French friends and tutoring Azad during the other 2 qualifiers, he will eventually end up qualifying in the last one, along with Stefano. Azad wants to play a different team in the finals, but he has a very limited figure selection with him. I suggest him to go with the Iron Fist (+ UB + H4H), Brother Voodoo (+H4H) and Spiral, which is btw one of my worst matchups.
Event Breakdown – Finals
Here we are, the big day.
I face Maik, the guy running the German Heroclix forum (also responsible for the editing and sharing of the final round footage). He’s extremely nice and respectful, like he’s somewhat intimidated. He plays the exact same team I suggested Azad. I pick the map, do my standard opening, he opens a portal to my frontline, tries to MC Magik but fails, then goes in full on assault with IF on my Magick again. As you might expect, that ended in one click of Mystics for him and one less figure on my TB. The match went downhill from then, but I was very lucky that that initial mind control failed, he could have phased Ilyana out of action and then cuffed my base that very same turn. I wish him the best of luck and proceed to the next match.
MY SCORE 1 - 0
I face Romuald, probably the best French player. I befriended him three weeks before, at the French Nationals, during an extremely tough and funny sealed match, in which he got the upper hand by one single click. From that moment on, we kept in touch constantly exchanging strategic analysis for this event. He played Iron Fist (+ UB + H4H), Shattestar, Piloted BatCycle, Autopilot Cop Cycle, Scarlet Witch and Astral Dr Strange, a very clever build based around the synergy between piloted vehicles, Shatterstar and free action attacks from Heros For Hire.
He turtles a bit at the beginning, so I take the side route but mistakenly leave a square of possible adjacency for the base. He exploits it promptly, teleporting the Bike piloted by a Prep Timed Fist with Shatterstar, Ejecting the pilot as a free action, flurrying my base and then transporting IF away with the Cycle, while covering him with a Smoke Cloud. My base is badly hurt, but still alive and goes chasing his support figure trying to slow him down, but fails shooting Scarlet Witch. In the meantime Magik transports Sunspot and Shatterstar in the optimal position for shutting down IF (who Shattarstar has now trouble seeing thanks to his newly acquired Goggles on a free to use slot). We struggle for careful positioning and attack landing for a couple of rounds until he fails a crucial Flurry with his Shattestar on my Team Base, who could have dramatically changed the course of this tournament. I’m at that point able to shoot down both of his bikes in one single turn, freezing everyone in place while Magik helps my Shatterstar take position for his final attack on Iron Fist and Sunspot takes care of his four bladed mutant.
The match ends with a hug between two friendly rivals, he will end up gaining a well-deserved third place.
MY SCORE 2 - 0
I face Ivan, the only other Italian in the tournament except for me and my teammates, who became honorary member of the crew on the fly. He plays my exact same team since the first qualifier and we exchanged a lot of strategic opinion on the way to this match. I lose the map roll for the first time in the tournament, but he picks the Prison Map nonetheless.
I change my standard opening for this match, keeping the Bystanders well protected behind the base to avoid undesired mass incapacitations. He drops Warlock and passes, I drop Magik, Prep Time my SS and pass. He then goes on full offense teleporting a pog with his Shatterstar (hidden into an object) to tie up my Magik and SS, perplexes up his TB’s Attack with Warlock and then moves and runningshoots my base, crit hitting after my reroll.
My TB then proceeds KOing his bystander, his SS and Warlock push as a result, my Shatterstar uses Goggles and Battle Plan to make his SS visible and Magik strikes him at distance. She kills him the turn after, then the only Shatterstar remaining goes all Flurry the enemy base, while maneuvering around possible Rammings from Warlock. The match is then quickly in my favor, I decide to not frustrate further a fellow Italian and “forget” to trigger my Self-Sacrifice trait on Warlock’s last attack on Magik, allowing him to score 102 points in the process.
MY SCORE 3 - 0
I face the only Belgian player at the competition, also a member of the Francophone Heroclix community (I’m deeply embarrassed by not remembering his name, despite having met him at the French Nationlas too. I only remember his nickname which is Fallen). I’m at table 2, while at table 1 the other 2 undefeated players face off, they’re Patricia and my teammate Andrea (who could skip the qualifications being National champ). He plays another Iron Fist variant, this time sporting Spiral, Loki, Astral strange and Scarlet Witch. I go first, standard map, standard opening. He lacks some experience in the matchup probably, and on his first turn does not put a Barrier or a Smoke Cloud. I then cross the board to kill the Loki who was covering Iron Fist and put him under the usual Outwit-Battle Plan gambit. The game from now one proceeds very similarly to the one I had with Mathias in the qualifier.
MY SCORE 4 - 0
In the meantime, in table one, Andrea suffers a loss from Patricia who’s playing the same team she played in the qualifier. I find it odd since Andrea’s team (basically the same team the Fallen played but with Skadi’s Warbot instead of Loki) was especially designed to fight Ghost Rider builds. We talk about the match a little bit and we discover that an accidental shortclicking happened during the crucial first attack of his IF on Patricia’s GR, putting in him on is last click instead of KOing it. Patricia admitted the mistake but the match was already over. The judges are called in for a decision, wich ends in resolving the match result with a rolloff. Pat rolls 11, Andrea rolls ten, he loses. He accepts the arbitral decision with plenty of Zen and this will win him one of the Fellowship Prizes, ad the end (a WatX Factory set)
We’re the only ones at 4 victories, so It’s me against Patricia once again. She did her homework, though, and even if the match starts very similar to our preceding confrontation, she ménages to put me in serious treat oneshotting Shatterstar (despite my attempt to save him by absorbing the first 6 damage attack on the base with the ATA). The base is seriously hurt, Ghost Rider is in a small stealthed niche, safely protected behind a barrier from Scarlet Witch number 1, and my giant killer is gone.
I panic a couple of seconds, then I take a deep breath and realize that I still “cheated” into play almost 200 points worth of figures, so losing Shatterstar is not going to cost me the game at this point. Plus his support is scattered through the corridors, far from each other and unable to be of immediate help to mr Nicholas Cage hiding in his closet.
I then go for the counterattack, the base Charges Loki smashing trough some walls to clear the path for Magik’s Pulse Wave, then finishes Loki with another close combat attack paralyzing the Flaming Skeleton and his Magical Cheerleading squad. Sunspot and the bystanders hide behind a wall so Ghost Rider will be the only available target when Magik unleashes her magical fury next turn. Patricia Chain Whip’s her, resulting only in an attack increase for Ilyana, while the Witches clear. My base then KOs witch number one and moves closing Witch number 2 in a cell. Magik Pulse Waves for 3, then Sunspot charges out of his hideout, failing his attack on Ghost Rider but succeeding in his most important task, keeping him still for a couple of turn while the base ko’s the last Witch and comes back for a running shot on him. Then Magiks Charges for the last, definitive attack.
MY SCORE 5 – 0
So, I became European Champion for 2013
I dragged this whole report far longer than I expected, and if you managed to read the whole thing trough you deserve a purple square on your defense slot. However I’d like to add some brief thanks at the end of this.
To my teammates first and foremost, without them none of this could have been possible.
To each of my opponents, especially Romuald and Patricia for offering me the two most intriguing games of my playing career in these finals.
To each one of the new friends I met at this tourney, expecially Elliot, Chris, Justin and Ed from team UK, Fausto from Spain, Azad and all the other formidable German guys.
To the French players, who confirmed the extremely good impression I had at their national with an excellent showing.
To the both Judges for being wonderful people and extremely competent in their job.
To Neca, Wizkids, Jerome and JustinZ for giving all European players this great opportunity
And finally, to my adored wife Maria, who supported me all the way through, to whom I’d like to dedicate this victory.