Hey Everyone, part 2 of Jason’s Adepticon write up is coming soon, but I wanted to provide you all with something a little special. I had the chance to pick Aaron “Cooki” Cook’s brain about Adepticon after taking home first place. Without further adieu I present to you the Omaha Onlsaught, The Midwest Mayhem — Aaron “Cooki” Cook
I’ve been miniature gaming since I was about 10-11 years old, so about 16 years now (currently 27) I’ve played a ton of games from any Clix series, any GW game, warmachine/hordes, malifaux, etc… I haven’t won many major events but have placed/won a decent amount of smaller events. I don’t consider myself a “power gamer” because most of the time I just try and make things I like work. I’m notorious around the Midwest for using sub-par stuff and doing well with it. Batman is probably the “hardest” I’ve gamed in a while and even then it’s only about half of the time.
How long have you been playing Batman; moreover, how long have you been playing in BMG specific tournaments?
I’ve been playing Batman for around 2 years. Been going to Batman events since I’ve started. The Des Moines guys and us (Omaha) have hosted a few events for BMG.
What were your thoughts going into Adepticon from a player/strategic standpoint? Tell me why you chose your lists and what you aimed to accomplish with them if anything specific. What were you hoping to see or not hoping to see at Adepticon from a strategic standpoint? (IE: weaknesses/strengths)
Last year I placed second and Karl from Canada placed first. We both used basically identical lists. How the rounds and VPs went, we dodged each other and were both undefeated. So this year I knew I had to step up my game, Omaha thinks Freeze and Owls are the top two crews in the game currently after Society nerfs (which now has changed because of Joker’s bikes and that sweet DKR box, but that’s another discussion). So my buddy was taking Owls for sure, so I could have borrowed another friends Owl crew or just run Freeze. I went with Freeze because I like using big badass free agents a lot. That being said I knew I was afraid of Owls, Penguin, and Militia probably the most. So I built both of my lists to be able to feel comfortable enough to handle either in any scenario. I knew most of the time I’m dropping The Batman Who Laughs list anyways. The Enchantress was just to list-chicken some people. I dropped the Batman Who Laughs list 3 of 4 games.
Give me a brief rundown of how you felt about the games you played in specifically, and
what were your thoughts on your fellow players as a whole?
I got to play against completely new opponents for this tournament, which is a nice change.
First round I played against Jason Thompson in Secure the area. He dropped Ivy, Harley, Tet, Kabuto, Dreadnought Op, and 3 plants and I dropped my The Batman Who Laughs list. I picked Ice Field, Change of Plans, and Vandalism. I probably should have picked something else besides change of plans. He picked 2 patrols and Ivy’s strategy. I knew going into this match that it was going to be cagey and a very low VP scoring game because Freeze plays defense very well and Ivy’s plants are annoying. He made some very clutch Ice Flash rolls on Tet and he was tearing up my flank of High Security and double shovel guys. The game changed in my favor when I tempted Ivy into mind controlling High Security and a shovel with good counters on them, he took the bait and I failed both of my willpower rolls but then managed to take down Ivy with Freeze and Batman Who Laughs. It came down to my shovel guy surviving Dreadnought Op last turn to contest his Medical Supplies, which pushed it to a minor win for me. Very close game and a very cool and chill opponent in Jason Thompson. I got in a total of 3 pick up games with Jason over the Adepticon weekend.
Second game was against one of the Canhammer guys, Andrew Atkins. The scenario was looting and I went with the Batman Who Laughs/Freeze list and he dropped an Arkham Asylum Joker, Rebirth Harley, Borgon, Rasta Clown, Hobo, Master of Ceremonies, Pipe Clown, and Punker list. I went with double Fast Advance and Andrew picked Joker’s strategy, and Change of Plans. I knew going into this match up I needed a bunch of VPs because I was way behind the top three on VPs scored after the first round. Playing against Joker with only five rounds I needed to jump on objectives quick and out-last him, which is why the double Fast Advance was picked. I think Andrew’s biggest flaw, to me, was that it seemed like he didn’t have a game-plan throughout the game. At one point of the game he threw Joker’s explosive weapon at The Batman Who Laughs and did damage, I told him to use luck and fish for a knockdown. He didn’t realize ranged attacks can knock down large/huge guys. He got the crit and proceeded to chop The Batman Who Laughs in two with Master of Ceremonies, but Andrew had taken massive causalities and couldn’t come back. That game ended in a major victory for me. Andrew was a easy going guy, I enjoyed the game.
Game three was against Matt from Minnesota. We were playing Asphalt Jungle. He only had one list and it was the Penguin bat-box with a Scope on Tanner. I was about to drop the The Batman Who Laughs list again and then changed my mind because the Enchantress list was designed to fight crews more like the penguin bat-box (IE: some scary guns and lots of low powered henchman). I was afraid of tanner just 1-2 rounding The Batman Who Laughs before he got stuck in the mob of henchmen so that’s why I went with the Enchantress list. Matt is a fairly new player, I believe he said this was his 5th game and he had never played against Enchantress nor Freeze, so I knew it was going to be brutal for him. He deployed Tanner on a far flank with decent line of sight but then I counter deployed High Security with Bulletproof Vest/Grapple Gun within 12” and out of line of sight to threaten him right away. Tanner was my biggest concern from the start. He pulled first and shot my Whistle-Shovel and put 6 blood on him, then he used a sewer to go on top of a building near my deployment zone. I put my sewers all on top of buildings for the sole purpose of knowing that I could out-fight Penguin, so if he wanted to use sewers then I could out score him as well. I saved Enchantress for going last and zipped up the field to mind control Lark. Second round of the game is where it got brutal, I knew I had a good chance to pull first and with Tanner out of the game for this turn (sewer placements) I positioned myself for a good round of double sprays. Between Enchantress and two sprays his crew fell apart quick. We only got to round 5. Matt took the loss well and this is a situation where a second list designed to fight more of the top tier free agents and more games under his belt could change everything.
So going into the final round I was in fourth place. The top three guys were running VP farming type lists, so the only chance of me winning the tournament was for the top table to pull a draw and me to win. So knowing this I just needed a 5 point lead and hope for the best. My opponent was another guy from Canada, Will Paul. I was looking at his crew the entire tournament and was a bit afraid to play against it. I don’t have much experience against Riddler bots and hoped for a decent scenario against it as well (which two of the four scenarios that I would want to play against him in were already played). He was using Modern Age Riddler as the Mechanic Riddler which I didn’t know until we sat down and discussed lists, once he told me that I was a bit more at ease because I was thinking he could use regular objectives, drop riddles, and clues. His list was just the bot-spam clue and riddle farm with Ratcatcher. We were playing skirmish, a decent scenario to fight the bots against. I knew the bots don’t really want to fight and I need to get on them right away. So double Fast Advance was the choice, needing 4 strategy points to use two fast advances I needed to drop The Batman Who Laughs list. I set up super aggressively and was looking to match his points along the way and hope that I could make him run away (kill 70% of his crew). He set up his bots along his entire deployment but then clustered Riddler, Bodyguard Bot, and two other bots with the riddle dropping equipment in threat range of my two sprays and The Batman Who Laughs. To me this was his biggest mistake of the game. I pulled first and used freeze to inspire, ice flash, and spray 5 guys. Then my second activation was Coldy with the same 5-man spray. I didn’t care if I was wounding on 5’s because of the bot trait/Light Armor. I was just putting on a bunch of early damage that can only be healed by Riddler. It got crazy fast with High Security/The Batman Who Laughs and both shovels getting into it by turn 2. The mistake I made that game was forgetting he used Riddler’s strategy on one of my shovel guys and forgetting about it until he mentioned it in the recount phase, not a huge mistake but something to remember. After the first three rounds he didn’t have much left and I was up 1-2 points. At the end of round three I counted up rep and he made his run away check and failed it. So that pushed me to a major win due to bonus points. Will Paul was a great opponent and would play against him any time.
What are your plans for Batman moving forward?
I told myself after Adepticon to tone down my lists a little and I’m probably going back into Bane or Central City. I picked up a bunch of scatter terrain at Adepticon and need to start demo-ing around my area and build the community here.
What advice could you give to other players that are either interested in competitive play or interested in improving their play?
My biggest advise for players is to really start talking about things you don’t know how to play against/have troubles against and figure them out. Even in friendly games my buddies and I will talk to each other and figure out what the best course of action is at any state of the game. It helps with knowing our own crew better but more importantly knowing what the enemy wants/plans to do.
How do you think BMG could be improved? Or what changes would affect the game’s quality for the better?
I think Knight should tap into their community a bit more and get some more feedback. In all fairness though Knight has been doing a pretty good job with the game more recently.
I would like to say that I enjoyed the Batman tournament at Adepticon. There has been talk about how terrain was terrible and there was a pairing issue round 2, but all in all it was worth going to still. I even stated that at first glance the tables didn’t look amazing but they played fine, maybe besides 1-2 of them. The pairing issue was a bit frustrating but to be honest I think if I hadn’t said anything, people probably wouldn’t have really noticed/cared. I just love the game and want to play, that’s really the only thing I care about.
Aaron “Cooki” Cook