GP London – How It Went

In my last post I shared my “fun casual” deck list for GP London. I was expecting to play a few rounds, get my arse handed to me and progress to side events. In the end that’s not quite how it went.

As a reminder here is the deck list:

[d title="BW Warriors - August 2015"]
2 Brutal Hordechief
2 Arashin Foremost
2 Mardu Strike Leader
4 Chief of the Edge 
4 Seeker of the Way
2 Battle Brawler 
2 Blood-Chin Rager 
4 Bloodsoaked Champion 
4 Mardu Woe-Reaper

4 Hero's Downfall 
2 Ultimate Price

2 Secure the Wastes 
4 Valorous Stance 

4 Temple of Silence 
4 Caves of Koilos 
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
7 Plains
6 Swamp 

1 Ajani Steadfast
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
2 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Blood-Chin Fanatic
2 Mardu Strike Leader
2 Banishing Light
4 Thoughtseize 

Oh yeah, I lost every dice roll so just assume I’m always going second in the first game.

General Impressions

I have to say well done to SCG, the entire day was run as smooth as anything. The morning of the event I got an email confirming everything and giving me my seat number for the player’s meeting, which was kept pleasantly brief (with an improvement to the god-awful PA of the previous GP London) and (seriously this made the day so much better) gave out a web address where you could enter your name and get your pairings for the current round. I cannot stress enough how much more pleasant this was than the pairings sheet scrums I’ve seen in all my other large events.

There were no inexplicable delays between rounds (there was one fairly long one but we decided it was probably a GW Devotion mirror as there was a crowd around an ongoing game).

Also there was what seemed to be too much space booked for the main event so there was a lot of space to spread out in so there were plenty of tables for casual play and space to get away from the crowds (which were nicely spread out). Having spent the day hardly seeing anyone overly serious or in a bad mood I really do think that the extra space, more elbow room at tables, online pairings etc really contributed to the general good mood.

Within a few minutes from the start of the players meeting pairings appeared online and everyone was able to meander off to their games without any undue kerfuffle.

Round 1 – Esper Control

My first round was against an opponent playing a home-brew Esper control deck.

In the first game he started with [mtg_card]Harbinger of the Tides[/mtg_card] backed up by [mtg_card]Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy[/mtg_card] and assorted removal. Harbinger at least slowed me down but Jace did almost nothing after flipping (eventually dying to a [mtg_card]Hero’s Downfall[/mtg_card] I had no other targets for. He was able to play a [mtg_card]Dragonlord Ojutai[/mtg_card] but it was too late for it to do anything on the defensive but die to first strike damage so he swung to get the mini-[mtg_card]impulse[/mtg_card]. I was never able to get a massive game winning swing due to removal and bounce so I just had to grind the game out with [mtg_card]Battle Brawler[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Seeker of the Way[/mtg_card] and a [mtg_card]Chief of the Edge[/mtg_card].

In the second game I opened with [mtg_card]Chief of the Edge[/mtg_card] into [mtg_card]Arashin Foremost[/mtg_card] (all star of the entire day for me) into [mtg_card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/mtg_card] and my opponent wasn’t able to make a defence quickly enough.

Standing: 1-0

Round 2 – GW Hardened Scales

My second opponent was playing a GW Hardened Scales build. In the first game I didn’t really see much of this beyond a[mtg_card]Servant of the Scale[/mtg_card] and a [mtg_card]Den Protector[/mtg_card] as he got stuck on 2 mana for most of the game.

In the second game he went off pretty fast with a very early pair of [mtg_card]Hardened Scales[/mtg_card] followed by a [mtg_card]Managorger Hydra[/mtg_card], a [mtg_card]Dromoka’s Command[/mtg_card] and some things which didn’t really stick in my mind due to the 14/14 [mtg_card]Managorger Hydra[/mtg_card]. Luckily I had a [mtg_card]Valorous Stance[/mtg_card] in hand after taking a hit down to 6 life. At that point he had burned through enough of his cards that I was able to beat him down.

Standing: 2-0

Round 3 – Bant Heroic

By this point I was in a state of disbelief that I was doing this well (as I said I was expecting 3 rounds, drop, side events). Next up was Bant Heroic.

I lost the dice roll, as was the style at the time, and he opened up with favored hoplite, quickly buffing it up with a Dromoka’s Command and swinging for 3 then 4 a turn. I had an early [mtg_card]Seeker of the Way[/mtg_card] and removal to get each of his other creatures out of the way (leaving me gaining life to offset the hoplite and being able to keep hitting), eventually winning with a [mtg_card]Chief of the Edge[/mtg_card] and a bunch of EOT [mtg_card]Secure the Wastes[/mtg_card] tokens.

Game 2, on the draw I took a risky hand of a single [mtg_card]Temple of Silence[/mtg_card] and no other land with an aggressive 2 mana hand. It paid off with me drawing a basic off of the scry while my opponent mulliganed to 4 without seeing a land. What followed was basically a massacre.

Standing: 3-0

Round 4 – GR Ramp

It is at this point that things started to go downhill. This game in particular was pretty much the worst match up I can imagine.

Abzan I knew would be bad but I had some ways around that ([mtg_card]Blood-Chin Rager[/mtg_card] to get the team around single large creatures, a big [mtg_card]Secure the Wastes[/mtg_card] at EOT to swarm around defenders etc) but I hadn’t thought about some of the cards here.

In the first game I didn’t see a huge amount of his deck beyond ramp creatures and a pair of [mtg_card]Whisperwood Elementals[/mtg_card]. The quick production of lots of moderately sized guys pretty much put a wall up in front of my guys and I was beaten fairly easily.

Game two went in my favour due to mana screw on my opponents part (the great thing about aggro decks is being able to walk over any misstep from an opponent, even in a bad match).

Sadly in game three he got pretty much the ideal setup, ramp into [mtg_card]Whisperwood Elemental[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Dragonlord Atarka[/mtg_card] to clear my board and then [mtg_card]Genesis Hydra[/mtg_card] into [mtg_card]Polukranos, World Eater[/mtg_card]. Yeah, suffice it to say I lost that game hard.

Standing: 3-1

Round 5 – Abzan

It’s at this point in the day that i wrote “[mtg_card]Hangarback Walker[/mtg_card] Everywhere” in my notebook. Every direction I looked I could see them. Even the heroic deck had them. Anyway…

This was the Abzan match-up I was actually ready for. In game 1 my opponent started with [mtg_card]Fleecemane Lion[/mtg_card] followed by [mtg_card]Anafenza the Foremost[/mtg_card]. It amounted to little though because I got a couple of guys (I want to say a [mtg_card]Seeker of the Way[/mtg_card] and a [mtg_card]Chief of the Edge[/mtg_card] but that might be wrong) along with a pair of [mtg_card]Arashin Foremost[/mtg_card].

Game two was relatively easy too, going from [mtg_card]Seeker of the Way[/mtg_card] into [mtg_card]Chief of the Edge[/mtg_card] into [mtg_card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/mtg_card] pausing along the way to remove a series of big creatures to get the lifelink triggers.

Standing: 4-1

Round 6 – Abzan 2, this time its personal.

For my second Abzan match of the day I started by rapidly losing to a series of [mtg_card]Siege Rhino[/mtg_card]. I think I had to accept that would happen at least once.

Game 2 I made a pretty good opening and was a turn away from a massive game winning swing. Then [mtg_card]Drown in Sorrow[/mtg_card] happened. Sadface. I managed to rebuild a board presence to try again and was hit by [mtg_card]Languish[/mtg_card].

A double boardwipe followed up by big creatures is pretty much death to an aggro deck and I was rapidly killed, unable to build back up again.

Standing: 4-2

Round 7 – WRb Aggro/Burn

Game 1 opened with us both playing [mtg_card]Seeker of the Way[/mtg_card]. I lost mine to removal but followed up with a [mtg_card]Battle Brawler[/mtg_card] into [mtg_card]Arashin Foremost[/mtg_card] and was able to just pound my way through the opposing tokens and [mtg_card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/mtg_card].

Game 2 I lost most of my guys to a succession of burn spells and died to a pair of Rabblemasters (that adds up seriously quick…gotta get me some for modern goblins).

I had some hopes for the final game but while I made some good early progress I lost it to my opponent playing a [mtg_card]Soulfire Grand Master[/mtg_card] then wiping the board with [mtg_card]Anger of the Gods[/mtg_card] and then out come the Rabblemasters.

Standing: 4-3-Drop

The End

4-3-Drop may not seem like a huge deal but I was seriously happy to get that far, especially with a casual deck and no practice (beyond my weekly draft and the odd bit of casual).

I will say that aggro decks provide one serious benefit that the midrange and control player’s don’t get to experience. Every round was done in 20-30 minutes, leaving me plenty of time to chat to my opponents (seriously I had a really nice run of opponents, really made the day go smoother). A solid day of Magic is a very different experience to alternating Magic and a nice stroll in the sun/Lunch/bit of shopping.

And as a souvenir I was just able to catch Karl Kopinski before he finished and get a [mtg_card]Battle Brawler[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Blood-Chin Rager[/mtg_card] from my deck signed.

GP London – Deck Selection

At this point in my magic playing career I’ve come to the conclusion that my skill level is inversely proportional to the number of players attending the event in which I am competing. I’ve gone from winning and placing well in local leagues and tournaments to mediocre placements in large pre-releases to a pretty consistent 1-4/0-5 then drop in large events.

Part of it is a don’t play a great deal online and only have limited testing opportunities. Another part came down to odd match ups and completely consistently getting awful match ups (5 straight rounds vs merfolk in modern when playing as BG infect was a particularly bad one). Plus I think there may be an element of I just don’t play as well in that kind of environment.

In the last GP I went to (the sealed GP london for … I think it was gatecrash) I crashed out after an abysmal series of rounds (bad pool, plus I was worse at building sealed back then than I am now). Despite all of that I want to go anyway for another GP [mtg_card]Griselbrand[/mtg_card], to get the mat (I like Chandra and it’ll go nicely with my M14 game day mat) and for some general fun, after all if I do terribly I can just wander off to side events and buy stuff.

Given it’s been a fair old while since I’ve played standard or had any idea of the meta game (beyond knowing [mtg_card]Siege Rhino[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/mtg_card] are big deals) I doubt that I’m going to have any particular success with a very meta-gamey type arrangement so I may as well go for a fun option.

I had two major options in mind, the first being a pretty simple abzan midrange build. It was a traditional assortment of [mtg_card]Courser of Kruphix[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Siege Rhino[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/mtg_card] along with removal and some guys to fill out the list.

I eventually ruled this out on the basis that it’s never been a deck type I’ve been that great at playing and given how common the big chunky midrange deck type is at the moment everyone will be well set up to deal with it.

My other option (and pretty much the only thing I have all the cards to build the deck in a half decent way) is warriors. I’ve had a few versions of this as we go from set to set. The original was a super budget build with [mtg_card]Raiders’ Spoils[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Spear of Heliod[/mtg_card] 4 of both chiefs and an assortment of budget creatures.

With fate reforged I bought in [mtg_card]Brutal Hordechief[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mardu Strike Leader[/mtg_card] and the fantastically flexible [mtg_card]Valorous Stance[/mtg_card]. I also experimented with [mtg_card]Merciless Executioner[/mtg_card] but he rapidly got downgraded from main to sideboard to “in the box of cards again”. I like the card, he just doesn’t fit with what you’re trying to do in this deck.

With dragons the option to add this blocks “Three mana double white two two double strike with upside” dude came up. He isn’t [mtg_card]Silverblade Paladin[/mtg_card] but in this deck he’s better.

[d title="BW Warriors - August 2015"]
2 Brutal Hordechief
2 Arashin Foremost
2 Mardu Strike Leader
4 Chief of the Edge 
4 Seeker of the Way
2 Battle Brawler 
2 Blood-Chin Rager 
4 Bloodsoaked Champion 
4 Mardu Woe-Reaper

4 Hero's Downfall 
2 Ultimate Price

2 Secure the Wastes 
4 Valorous Stance 

4 Temple of Silence 
4 Caves of Koilos 
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
7 Plains
6 Swamp 

1 Ajani Steadfast
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
2 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Blood-Chin Fanatic
2 Mardu Strike Leader
2 Banishing Light
4 Thoughtseize 

With this version, pre sideboard at least, I’m going for a lower curve than I usually would with only [mtg_card]Brutal Hordechief[/mtg_card] at 4.

I was sad to drop [mtg_card]Chief of the Scale[/mtg_card] but this deck is very much trying to be aggressive and I think in the end that Rager and Brawler are better (the mass menace in particular could swing a few games).

[mtg_card]Seeker of the Way[/mtg_card] should be an asset against more aggressive opponents, especially considering the large amount of instant speed removal. “Shoot guy A, my seeker now survives and kills blocker B” isn’t an implausible scenario.

As mentioned, for removal I’ve gone for all instant speed and as much versatility as I can. [mtg_card]Hero’s Downfall[/mtg_card], for me at least, is an auto include in any black deck. The option to kill an opposing Sorin or Ajani (or just big dumb blocker) is too useful to turn up. Ultimate price is just for additional cheap removal. [mtg_card]Valorous Stance[/mtg_card] is replacing a full set of [mtg_card]God’s Willing[/mtg_card] that I ran in the previous version of the deck. I can see missing the option to just make a guy semi unblockable but the option for yet more removal is too good, especially vs the aforementioned rhinos.

Another bonus of the all instant speed removal is the possibility of holding up removal and, should it not be needed, dumping all my mana into secure the wastes at opponents EOT. even if its only for 3 the tokens still play pretty nicely with [mtg_card]Chief of the Edge[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Brutal Hordechief[/mtg_card] etc (and Sorin post board)

The sideboard is still a work in progress but it gives me some options to take the deck a couple of ways.

[mtg_card]Blood-Chin Fanatic[/mtg_card] is an experimental option to use against midrange decks as an alternate way to get the last few points of damage through once they stabilise. The off-tribe [mtg_card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/mtg_card] is here as an anti aggro option, but also strikes me as possibly useful vs control brought in along with the extra [mtg_card]Mardu Strike Leader[/mtg_card]s.

[mtg_card]Banishing Light[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Thoughtseize[/mtg_card] are generic catch all options. [mtg_card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/mtg_card] is a more fun option which I imagine I’ll bring in in any matchup where I don’t see him immediately dying without providing much value.

Finally as is traditional my 15th sideboard card is just a random throw in for fun (call me OCD but I hate 1 and 3 ofs), although [mtg_card]Ajani Steadfast[/mtg_card] could come in handy against creature heavy decks to keep a guy that would otherwise die alive in combat every go.

All this being said everything above is wild conjecture so I’m looking forward to actually…you know…playing the damn thing.

What do you reckon the odds are on a traditional 0-4, drop, shop for cube foils result?

Skyrim – The Crusher Chronicles Pt.3: So there you are…

My break in the town turned out to be less relaxing than I originally intended. Had a fight with this guy. He was a pretty good sport about the whole thing.

2015-08-08_00075 I won.


Then the Jarl asked me to investigate a burnt out house. That strikes me more as a job for the local fire department but I won’t complain. You would think that ONE of the townsfolk would have noticed the creepy ghost girl occupying the place. She challenged me to play hide and seek to tell me who torched the place. Given the fact she was already dead and that my usual persuasive techniques (smashy smashy) would be largely ineffective I complied. Then a vampire attacked me.

2015-08-08_00080It turns out there was some kind of vampire love triangle thing going on. I wasn’t really paying attention. The gist of it was there was a “master vampire” in a cave just outside the town. I was not entirely sure at the time whether this was literal or a BDSM dungeon type thing.

It turned out to be literal vampires so the town and I “Torch and Pitchforked” our way over to the vampires lair and slaughtered them all. I caught a nasty case of turning into a vampire but I had a thing for that.

Work done I set off back on the road to Whiterun. Then a dragon happened.


The problem in the end didn’t turn out to be keeping them on the ground as I expected but getting close enough to hit them while they try and breath blast you to death. Full frontal charge followed by repeated face smashings do seem to be the way to go.

I did die a couple of times in the process. I found that any time I tried to be clever and flank it I would lose a ton of health then it would take off again.

2015-08-09_00013 2015-08-09_00014

Luckily on the final attempt he was kind enough to stay on the ground, and I got a free recharge from leveling up mid fight.

Now back to the road. I’m sure things can’t get worse from here.


Oh, it’s snowing, delightful.


And bandits. Great. Are there not policemen or soldiers or something around here. Like some guys on horses with armour and weapons. I don’t think its asking a lot, I mean what do you pay your taxes for in a place like this. It’s not like they’ve invented proper sewage or rubbish collection yet.


Oh and vampires. That’s it, I’m talking to the Jarl.


Ahh, finally I’m back. I’m gonna sell my stuff and get started on an actual proper quest. First though I’m going to go and have words about some things.


Well that was the plan, I was going to dramatically march in and “have words” with the Jarl. As it turns out though someone happened to appear out of nowhere just when I was getting my angry on (literally, she wasn’t in the room when I walked in, maybe she finally caught up to me because I’d not been fast travelling).


Good Lord Lydia where the hell have you been?

“Right behind me….but…for…fucking hell Lydia I got the crap beaten out of me by a necromancer, I nearly turned into a vampire twice and A BEAR ATE MY FUCKING HORSE!!”

*sigh* “I am sworn to carry your burdens”

“You know what Lydia I am not in the mood for your shit, just carry this dragon bone for me”

OK, fine, let’s just set off now and deal with some shit. It’s time to go and see the Greybeards and the walks going to take a while.

More bandits. I think I might be going seriously the wrong way. Well at least this time I have some backup.


And they had some nice armour in their chest. Not sure why they weren’t using it really. Not sure about the colour though. Kind of clashes with the green. It will have to do for now though.


The remainder of the Journey to Ivarstead was largely uneventful.

2015-08-09_00037 2015-08-09_00038 2015-08-09_00047 2015-08-09_00052

Now just to stop in the town for the night before we head on up the mountain, that’s bound to be a lengthy and tiring trek full of trip hazards.


You know what…You could just ask, you don’t need to go all out on the hints. I’ve got an axe as big as you, it’s probably a safe bet I would be interested in new and interesting things to hit with it.


You could probably convert that into like 10 flats (sorry “luxury apartments”), maybe add a second floor, really maximise rental income, you know?

Eurgh, I feel dirty now.


Yeah, actually, you go first Lydia. Make up for the horse. Wait what’s that noise.


Wow, how’s that for a shit welcome. I come all the way out to this place and a ghost tells me to fuck off. Charming.


Dude’s got a nice office though, classy you know. Ambient. Just need to randomly pull some levers until I can follow that translucent dickhead and…There we go.


Surprisingly solid for a ghost. Oh its just an old weirdo with a special potion that makes him look like a ghost that he uses to terrorise the townsfolk. And he would have gotten away with it all if it wasn’t for this meddling orc.


Oh, it’s not your fault…I think it’s probably all the meat and beer fumes making you unusually susceptible to poorly implemented shenanigans.

What’s that, a gift you say?


Oooo, a shiny thing. I know what these do (interesting aside it took me a disturbingly long time to work out that you could rotate items in the inventory the first time I played, made these dungeons a lot more hassle).


These things strike me as very over engineered for a huge stone door. In fact how long have these things even been here. I mean how does it even work, it’s like the tomb at the start of raiders of the lost arc, none of that shit should be working.


Hmm, this could be dangerous. Lydia take point.

Hey Mr Skeltal, you’re back!

Hmm, skeletons. I can handle skeletons. And zombies. Rather a lot of skeletons and zombies.


Giant pools of oil like this make me miss bows. Tried to unrelenting force the lamps down but, of course, they flew off and missed. Need to find a way to heave half a brick at them.

2015-08-09_00095 2015-08-09_00098

For a draugr overlord he didnt take too much killing. Still, theres a wall of shoutiness. Worth the effort to get that.


Oh, “Kyne’s Peace”. Great, if I anger a mudcrab thatll really help more than FusRoDa ing the snippy little sod over the horizon. *sigh*

Now all that’s left to do here is rest up once more at the inn and set off up the…wait…oh my god what the hell happened to you?!


I mean that broom literally went straight through you…did you trip and fall onto it? Is…is no one else horrified by this. No? OK then, everyone seems fine with it. Maybe they’re waiting for shock to set in or for that flute to fill up with blood before they do anything.


Maybe…maybe she hasn’t noticed and no one wants to alarm her in case she causes a scene. I think I shall just back slowly away.


It is picturesque as fuck up here.


This is a really pretty game. It’s easy to forget it came out in 2011.


Dammit Lydia, you don’t shoot a guy in the dick! I realise I killed him with an axe anyway but it’s the principle of the thing.


Nice place they’ve got up here. Commutes a pisser but the views are pretty nice. I suppose if you walk up and down this mountain every day you can at least skip leg day due to your huge over developed leg muscles. Probably good for kicking in any doors that refuse to do your bidding as well.


Hmm, typical courier just dump your shit anywhere,

Hmm….This doesn’t feel right to me. It’s like there’s something missing. Wait, I know just the thing.


There…That’s better. Class the place up a bit.

The personal touch really makes a difference, doesn’t it?

Skyrim – The Crusher Chronicles Pt.2: A Comedy of Cockups

I continued my quest for adventure by riding to the far north west.


The first town I stumbled on was Solitude, in which some random peasant was complaining about oddities in a cave. Prevailing opinion was that he was probably mental but I thought id have a look.

Most impolitely the proprieters of Wolfskull Cave had left some Skeletons loitering outside. That’s practically fly-tipping, theres a reason you don’t just dump gran in the woods. Yeah she’s not causing any trouble now but a few weeks from now and some time with the crows and the daft old biddy could constitute a major public health hazard.

Oh Noes!! Its Mr Skeltal.
Oh Noes!! Its Mr Skeltal.
Doot Doot motherfucker. Fat lot of good all that calcium did for you....I'm keeping this.
Doot Doot motherfucker. Fat lot of good all that calcium did for you….I’m keeping this.


There’s still no sign of Lydia. I really should look for her. She had all my dragon bone. Probably sold it all for skooma money and passed out on a heap of kitty-people. So I guess I’ll be going in on my own.


You call that a welcoming party, hah. Smashy smashy. Maybe the next thing they throw at me will be a tad more impressive.


Or not as the case may be. For a traditionally high intelligence class this guy doesn’t strike me as the top of the class. No worries though, repeated axe blows to the face will solve most problems in a “whole new heap of problems” kind of way.

Then all of a sudden the cavalry comes running. With backup. Like the entire population of the cave. Now I remember why I used to kill the enemies one at a time from a great distance.


His buddies drop easily enough but this guy just refuses to drop dead. You’d think repeated axe blows would do a bit more damage. Nevermind, im running out of potions and this guy just wont drop. That means one thing: RETREAT.

That was highly embarrassing, but even Orcs don’t have a death wish. Well not for the most part anyway. It would appear though that I’m not quite ready to take on the world single handed. Perhaps the best plan is to ride back to Whiterun, clear a little of the main story and upgrade Unrelenting Force a little. Maybe buy a house to store my stuff and track Lydia down.


What’s this then? Poor murdered travellers? That’s more my level. I shall investigate and avenge their deaths.



Lord it get’s even worse…wait…what’s this?


NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Abandon righteous crusade. Run away.

So…yeah. Back to the road. My it’s a long way to whiterun. No wonder I usually use fast travel. But that’s the point, I don’t want to miss all the fun on the road. Like this, look, its some guys…standing by some barely dressed corpses.



That’s…something. Lets say hi.

On second thought I don’t think soldiers usually stand by the road demanding money from passers by.



Yes, I think you might be right on that.


Now, lets get back to business. Now…where the hell is my horse. Oh…


Oh, for god’s sake where did you come from.



Yep…He definitely killed my horse. Look’s like it’s RAGE TIME.

Just because you’re a huge hairy creature doesnt mean reapeatedly being smashed in the face with a two handed battleaxe won’t kill you. In fact it will, quite nicely.

Still, feeling a tad angry still, especially given now I have to walk all the sodding way to Whiterun. I do still feel a little rampagey. Gonna need to kill some more thing’s. Not hugely specific on what.


Yes, that. That’ll do nicely. Whatever happens to be in there.


Killed these guys.



And this one. So much for magical wards.


“Oh I do declare”


This one just got the vapors and fainted.


Killed this guy so hard he exploded.


This one didn’t explode. Just fell over dead.


I DO like these guys taste in interior decoration. I’ll give them that one.


Doesn’t mean that any of them will be saved from my post horse rage party.

Ahhhh….That’s much better. Now what was I doing…Oh yeah, walking to Whiterun. Back to the road it is.

Lordy there’s a lot of road. Should stop somewhere. That’ll be nice.


This place doesn’t look too bad. They’ve probably got some problems with damp but I imagine that won’t be a problem if I only stay ONE night.

Skyrim – The Crusher Chronicles Pt.1

I have now officially had it with playing Elder Scrolls games as a stealth archer.

I’ve tried many times to play an interesting character and then by the time I step blinking out of the starter dungeon I’m somehow wearing a full set of leather armour and carrying a bow. Not entirely sure how that keeps happening but what can you do.

It’s not that I don’t like the stealth archer, there’s something deeply satisfying about clearing an entire bandit fort without a single guy spotting you, but it does lead to playing the same game over and over again. And on top of that some high level baddies can be a nightmare for the stealth archer. Anything that can survive a critical and then spot you can very rapidly violate you with a sledgehammer. On top of that I always end up a werewolf as well. And usually play as a wood elf or similar. Basically “Shouty Hairy Legolas”.

So I want to play something completely different. In fact I want to play two completely different things. A full on walking tank and a magic only wizard. For now its tank time.

Ive settled on a couple of rules for this run through:

  • Never equip a bow or crossbow.
  • Never equip light armour.
  • No becoming a werewolf (ive never done vampire, might go for that)
  • No magic (potions and food for healing).
  • No fast travel via the world map, but carts are OK (I will almost definitely abandon this one once I get bored).

I think there’s a clear correct answer on what race to play as for this type of character.

This is crusher. Likes include heavy bladed and blunt weapons, huge lumps of meat, shouting at things and running shouting at people waving a heavy bladed weapon. Dislikes include non-violent resolution, small hard to hit things and enemies that arent dead yet.

Pretty soon I’d settled on axes as weapons. The swords seemed a little too close to my backup weapons from the stealth archer days. Hammers were frustratingly slow.


As soon as I left the starting dungeon I settled on a nice stroll to Whiterun, stopping on the way only to upgrade my weapons and armour in that town with the mill in it. Well I was going to go to Whiterun but Bleak Falls Barrow was right there where I could see it and do the Golden Claw quest.

Luckily by the time I finished that and made it to Whiterun I had money enough for an extravagant purchase.

Sad Donkey
OK, not quite but not THAT far off the cheapie starter horse.

I never usually buy a horse this early, if at all, but if I’m swearing off of fast travel then he should be a help, in that traditional Skyrim “my horse is walking down a vertical cliff face, holy shit the thigh muscles my guy must have to hold on”.

Fun Bonus: Now that I’m playing a melee tank mounted combat isn’t as bad as I remembered. Riding through a group of weaker enemies, circling them and smashing them with a big axe is kind of satisfying. I feel like I should have a lance and shout a lot.

The first dragon was quite the change of pace too, I’m used to hiding behind a tree stump until they stop shouting at me and then shooting them in the personals but that’s obviously no longer an option. Things went to a much less controlled “OH SHIT ITS LANDED, HIT IT HIT IT, SMASH ITS FACE IN SON WAAAAAGGGHHH” kind of style (this is NOT a complaint by the way).

It wasn’t too hard for the first one but I’ve a feeling that later on when they spend more time in the air it’ll become a challenge.

Then I picked up Lydia to carry all my shit around (at least until I buy a house) and rode off into the sunset for a nice jaunt around looking for some side quests. And immediately lost Lydia. She didnt even turn up when I rested at inns or waited. I might have to console her back…Why cant she have a horse?

You know what I feel like this run needs some mods….