Last year's event
Firestorm Fours last year was a fantastic event. I was brought in as a mercenary by captain Rob (Rufio!) Symes. After nearly breaking WhatsApp in the lead up to the event, Rob, Nathan Prescott (#LongLiveTheHoodedVillain) and Rob Crouchley arrived for what turned out to be an epic event. The atmosphere and all 6 games were exceptional.
I got kerbstomped hard by Terry Pike game one - nothing like drawing the Facehammer Team for the first round of an event - learned a lot from talking to him - chatted about the TeleThanquol combo - Double Deceiver plus Thanquol - they were awesome. I avenged our defeat in part by beating @Lez at The Warlords.
In the final game, I had the pleasure of facing @Dan.Ford, the godfather of Tomb Kings and a truly formidable opponent. He opened my eyes to the possibilities of alpha strike lists, extreme movement and Tomb Kings in particular. He used a very effective strategy of sitting well back and lobbing in an expendable unit each turn that had been buffed up to the maximum. In this case, it was an obscenely fast unit of 3 Chariots, which would receive at least +2 to hit, +1 to wound and Righteous Smiting. The game was surprisingly close, Dan committed to killing my Verminlord Deceiver (who I had left on the backline by himself outside of my bunker, thinking that he was safe from rendless chariots).
While it's fairly obvious (especially almost a year later), I believe I was the first person to use Vanhels Danse Macabre on top of Settra's buff and two Tomb King Buffs on a unit of Necropolis Knights at SCGT (as part of @Vincent Venturella's last March of the Tomb Kings. This made them even more brutal with the double pile-in. I put these to good effect, but was outplayed in some games along the way - nothing like seeing the Necrosphinx's 10 mortal wounds special bonus rule come off turn one - against your own Necrosphinx - sigh....
After SCGT, I was determined to build armies for the other two Grand Alliances - the results being Mostly Grots (how can you not run 5 Forgeworld Monsters and 23 Grots in one list); a mixed Order force, which continues to grow; and Mostly Grots II. The Tomb Kings lurked on my shelf for some time waiting for their chance to return to the fore!
Overall - I cannot recommend team events highly enough - especially if you're a less experienced player - as your team mates can support you (or viciously blame you for dragging down their otherwise perfect scores - joking). Mo's scoring system works really well for team events and ensures that it's always worth fighting a losing battle just to pick up a point here or deny a point there. The setting - Cardiff - and the venue - Firestorm Games - are both superb!
Firestorm Fours 2017
I had high expectations for how fun the event would be this year and was not disappointed. The South London Legion was out in force. I was leading a team of Ben Raven @Thanatos Ares, Tom Lambert and James Grant (all club mates), while @Tom Loyn was captaining Team Wales. We rocked up on the Friday and managed a practice game - which helped us to chill out and gel as a team. As a practical bit of advice if you can take a day, a few days or ideally a week off before a tournament, then do so, it makes such a huge difference to how your perform, your enjoyment of the games, your resilience when things go wrong or you have a draining 3 hour game at the end of the first day. We'd not had much preparation time for this one - due to real life commitments; and this was the first tournament of any kind for Ben.
The lists were very unusual for those familiar with the GH as we were using Mo's Clash Comp. The salient points were that heroes and single models could never score, but there was also no hero cap. This has a huge effect on the game - last year the emphasis had been on remorselessly killing the scoring units while completely ignoring everything else. Riderless Monsters and Artillery (cf. units of Kurnoth Hunters) are generally garbage under this pack. DoT were not allowed at the event, although the book was out and one spectacularly drunk player had brought a Changehost (it's an old Battalion).
@Thanatos Ares took his Flappies with a sideboard of Ghouls.
James Grant took a combination of the Skyborne Slayers and the Hammerstrike Force (mixing it up compared to the usual Warrior Brotherhood ) with a Drakesworn Templar as a sideboard.
Tom was taking his deceptively killy Dark Aelves - the Thrall Warhost, Witch Aelves, plus a Black Dragon as the sideboard (@Paul Buckler might be interested in this). The secret weapon was Volkmar the
Broken Grim (100 points well spent - I suspect @Thomas Lyonswould agree). His army was the best painted of our team and had a really striking scheme.
The Krell Bomb
The Krell Bomb was something I've been pondering for a long time. I had the model already, but at some point it clicked in my mind that despite having only movement 4, Krell could be used as a devastating and cheap cannonball. Furthermore his small base size would allow him to get into spaces that 6 Necropolis Knights couldn't fit into. Finally, Krell is surprisingly durable, with a 3+ save and halving wounds mechanic.
Krell starts off at 4 attacks 3+, 3+, -1, D3 damage. However, his special rules also mean that he gets +1 to hit vs Heroes and if he inflicts any wounds on an enemy model, then he can roll a dice and try to beat the number of wounds remaining for an autokill!
The +1 to hit was huge as it synergised with Tomb Kings key synergy. Krell is also both a Skeleton and Deathrattle. As a result, by taking Settra, a Necbromancer, a Liche Priest, a Tomb King (or two), a Vampire Lord on Abyssal Terror, a Necrotect and Krell, I could unleash the following:
Movement goes from 4 to 8 (Hellish Vigour only working on the movement statistic itself), then adding 3 to 11 and then doubled to 22.
4 Attacks, hitting on 2s, exploding on 3s against heroes, then 4s, then 5s, then 6s (under the SCGT partial nerf to exploding attacks), 2+ to wound, rerolling ones, -1 rend, D3 damage. If Krell survived the opponent's activation (3+ save, halving wounds taken), then he could move a further 3" (even if there was no enemy unit within 3" as he had charged this turn) and keep on chopping!
I converted the VLoAT from a Gorebeast and a Daemon Prince with some greenstuff (it's my Twitter profile photo). it will soon be a Tzeentch Lord on Manticore. However, I never found an opportunity to unleash the Krell Bomb. His mysterious absence from the General's Handbook put an end to such plans - hopefully he's going to be an epic new model for a brand new Death faction. "Lord of despair rules the rime-frozen Helspoint, the lord is said to be far older than the age of myth."
Another concern was the unreliability of relying on casting 3 spells to get a combo off the ground, one of which was vital. Even if the cast rolls were 5, 6, 6, this isn't trivial.