* Work out a two-list pairing you're going to bring.
* Pick a team from the WTC lineup (most recent event, generally).
* Evaluate your match-ups Round by Round as if you were paired against each player during the tournament. Assume D&C as you want, I'll go with 0.
There are a number of advantages to this theorymachining - the lists were created for a hypothetical meta, which is highly comparable with going to a meta where you've never been before, for example.
I went with a random number, and got 42 (D'uh!). I choose the leaderboard order of teams, and draw...
... Norway Blue. Eeeek!
My current two lists, for reiteration:
Koldun Kommander pZ -6 Obavnik Kommander eZ -4
> Behemoth 13 & Reaver Guard
Greylord Outriders (max) 9 > Conquest 19
Ironfang Pikemen (max) 8 Greylord Outriders (max) 9
w/ Officer & Standart 2 Greylord Ternion 4
Great Bears of Gallowswood 5 Kayazy Eliminators 3
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt 4 WG Riflecorps (max) 8
Orin Midwinter 2 Tactical Arsonist Corps 4
Ragman 2 w/ Kapitan Valachev 2
Eiryss2 3 Kovnik Joe 2
Reinholdt 1 Eiryss1 3
Sylys Wyshnallyr 2
Gorman di Wulfe 2
Ogrun Bokur 3
Btw, the models with italic numbers are either painted or well along in the process. To briefly reiterate the list goals: pZ - crack ARM, eZ - crowd control. I will not post the full opponent lists here - you can find them easily on the WTC Website.
Round 1: Retribution (Kaelyssa - Force Wall T4 / Ravyn - Will of the nine voices)
This is particularly rough. Usually, you'd expect Ravyn, since both Zerkova can roll over dead rather quickly from mage hunter bolts. However - both Zerkova's really quite intensely on spells for their game plan, as well as both having an out for the Magehunters (Feat Attrition and Feat Denial, to be precise) and that's why I'd say that an experienced player will rather drop Kaelyssa - Witch Hound will generally turn this into a nightmare for eZ, and that many Manticores can easily do their numbers on Conquest. Both Zerkovas also dislike the Force Wall Tier Benefit of "Just Walking Speed, kthxbye".
So this boils down to how experienced/savvy I expect an opponent to be, and it'll either be a pZ/Kaelyssa fight (50:50), or a eZ/ravyn fight (60:40). If I goof up, it'll be an eZ/Kaelyssa (40/60) or pZ/Ravyn fight (30/70). So I guess, in a pinch, eZ's getting the edge.
Round 2: Cygnar (Caine2 / Haley2)
Ahhh. The blue-golden end of the food chain. At the very least, I can expect having to face Haley2 - a faction with a limited number of guns, relying on charges greatly dislike not being able to charge. Sure, Caine can potentially one-round the Conquest, but seriously, Haley2, it's not even a debate, right?
I think this is where pZ has the better suite of abilities, starting with: People know about eZ & Outriders (experienced opponents assumed - if I get any clue otherwise, oh yeah, I WILL try and spray here face off) threating really far - so they will be cautious. Which isn't bad, mind you, but an opponent that thinks himself safe is a fruit ripe for picking, so I would pick pZ for the sheer ability of walk/charge, lense Razorwind of DOOM. Best case, she's not camping so I roll 6-6-6 on 5d6 drop two and she dies. Generally, I'll like pout a good chunk of damage into her and that'll keep her honest from thereon out. Also, pZ's feat shuts down Blazers, Stormlances... and she can deal with Anastasia (Thanks, Ghost stone) handily. I'll give it a 50:50, maybe 60:40 if I get my predictions right. With the army's small number count, and Conquest being seriously outthreatened by the bonded Stormwall, eZ is just not the right choice.
Round 3: Khador (Butcher2 / Vlad1)
It's one of my WTC favourites! Unfortunately, I don't think I will face it - here's my reasoning: 12 Doom Reavers are not that many, esp w/o UA and with max Outriders in both lists - and we all know how to get around targeting with sprays. Also, eZ still registers as the stronger list, and she's got rifle corps, which make mincemeat of DR any day of the week. I don't think anybody fancies playing 12pts down, so I will (boldly) assume facing Vlad1, which plays a very strong combined arms with S&P (surprise!) boosting two Spriggans as well as WGRC (w/ Joe) and Nyss Hunters w/ Valachev.
This one could go to either of the two, but there are some convincing arguments for eZ: a) since his army can hang back to a certain extent, trying to feat on them will put me uncomfortably close to a BoK Vlad. Until the Grolar comes out, that's a no-go. Also: Eliminators and Eiryss are Stealthed, unless the Spriggans don't do anything besides walking that turn, which might buy me enough time to get Conquest on (one of) them first. I could - and would - also do the feat cloud wall from hell, which should, in theory buy me more than enough board space to get the drop. Sure, he can see Conquest, but would he be able to reach him? Not if I can stop it. I'll be bold and give this match-up up to 70:30, assuming I don't fuck myself over. It's probably closer to 60:40 in general. Should he drop Butcher2, I'd still go with 60:40, so eZ it is.
Round 4: Khador (Sorscha1 / Zerkova2)
This'll be horrible. For both of us. Why? We both rock two Warcasters that base a lot of their stick around doing stuff with cold, and are immune to cold, and Outriders, who are as immune as well. Two top it off, one of our Casters is completely untargetable by spells, and my other is as difficult to touch with spells as is one of his Warjacks. When all the groaning will have worn off, I presume it'll look like this: He'll probably pick Sorscha1, because his Zerkova2 list has 12 models that rely on Ice Sprays to do real work, while both of my lists have 6 models that are both important and immune to cold, plus 1 model/unit under Banishing ward. The Sorscha list, at the very least, has a lot of guns.
And I will probably deploy pZ, because, a) she's got a feat that says no to guns, and b) I wouldn't want to roll into the eZ/eZ matchup. Neither of us will want that. c) She also stands good chances should he drop eZ, which would be... a 60:40. pZ/Sorscha I'd give a 60:40 too, which a eZ/Sorscha match at 70:30 no sweat, an 80:20 when played really well by me. An eZ/eZ probably degenerates into a 50:50 (run at each other and roll dice), so that's why I'm going pZ.
Round 5: Cygnar (Haley3 / Siege)
I guess this is another simple prediction: Siege. Why? Well, Haley3 does stuff with spells and DEF, and both of my Casters have ways around that. They can also both do stuff to end the cloud wall at an inopportune time. So yeah, Siege - unless the opponent is not that savvy, is sick of playing Siege, locked into Haley3 (unlikely), or else. Also, it's a straight ARM cracker with tanking power list, so it has a really good game if he gets ahold of my single Jack.
I guess I'm kinda torn here. pZ certainly has a 50:50 (in both matchups, actually), being able to shut down his guns on a key turn, but I feel that he, with his range advantage, might be able to take off enough key pieces to make going after Stormwall a miserable experience. With eZ, I could use her feat to return the favour and get the drop on his pieces (that'll just drop dead against Occult Whispers Frostbites), so she might have a potential 60:40 chance here.
So that's my wholly optimistic analysis of this theorymachine tourney draft... I wouldn't even feel to bad about it. Winning the shindiq? Nopety-nope-nope. Doing well? That's certainly doable. Round 1 and 2 are the most difficult by my estimate, but not having any matchup in this run that goes below 50:50 is fine, because this means it boils down to player skill...
...yeah, about that. I should get a game in sometime. ;)
But until then,