Both teams opt for maximum infantry and spider queens, the Dwarves selecting a small squad of archers and one dwarf, whereas Civil Order take four dwarves and no archers. The Plaid forces plan to push the balls up onto the edges of the map with spiders, where they will be uncontestable by foot troops; their main army goes to the middle to engage the Civil forces.
Meanwhile, the Civilians are sending out tentacles of warriors, and soon have surrounded the dwarves from three sides. There are red dots all over the map, but the Dwarves continue advancing right into the middle, prompting the Civil forces to swing in and hit them on both sides, as their thrall come forward.
A huge battle erupts in the middle, the Plaid dwarf inflicting quite a bit of damage on Civil's thrall. However, Bellendaine's two dwarves absolutely slaughter Crazy Ike's warriors in the melee, killing about fifteen warriors inside a few seconds.
Civil's thrall take the brunt of the Plaid attack, and they are almost all killed. However, after the Plaid army lies strewn on the ground, Civil have almost half their warriors left.
Meanwhile, the Plaid spiders have been busily running around the map, pushing the balls up onto the edge where they cannot be contested by Civil's warriors. The Civil forces split up and commando raids with spiders inflict heavy casualties on straggling warriors. And when the Civil warriors do get to the balls, they are sitting up out of reach, still owned by #CP#D.
The game ends, and although Civil have taken three of the thirteen balls back, their lack of spiders means that they are unable to take the remaining ten.
See next game for explanation of scoring...
Both armies have a similar strategy this time, but Civil are more aware of the importance of spiders this time, and send them off in a group to attack the enemy spiders.
The main armies clash in the middle again, Stinger slamming his warriors broadside into the #CP#D force as soon as contact occurs. The rest of each army is quickly embroiled in the confrontation, and dwarves play a large role on both sides. An exciting battle ends with Civil once more standing, with a large fraction of their warriors and thrall intact.
At the same time as this battle is taking place, Ruiner's spider squad finds the enemy spiders in the south. He orders them to attack, but one spider gets caught on a tree and taken out of combat for a few brief seconds. And just like that, it's over. Although the Civilians have fought well, the result of the game has been decided off at the edge of the map, where a few spiders stand waving their feelers in triumph.
The Dwarves' spiders (the three survivors) push all of the balls that they can up onto the edges of the map. Because the spiders are so fast and have a paralyzing attack, Civil's substantial forces are unable to do anything about this, and ball after ball is placed completely out of reach.
The tactic of placing balls out of reach with spiders is not one that I considered when drafting the rules for the semi-finals. I believe that it profoundly violates the spirit of the rules, and reduces the game to a millisecond confrontation between four units on each side. Therefore, I asked the teams to please replay the two Raisin Barn games, with the additional proviso that balls which cannot be contested by foot troops (i.e. non-spider troops) are ruled to be out of play.
The Clan Plaid Dwarves refused to replay the games in question, despite many hours of (ultimately fruitless) debate. For what it's worth, they have summed up their position as:
"After many e-mail exchanges, internal deliberation, and consulting with other members of our Clan and the Myth Community, we remain firm on our submitted films as our contribution to the semi-finals of MWC. We acted in accordance with the rules posted on the MWC pages. The actions of our players in games 1 and 2 were based on an honorable and valid strategy focused on winning the particular game choice: Captures. This strategy was effective and successful. We are not interested in replaying these games."
"This was a difficult decision in a tournament many of us consider one of the best to have graced the Myth community. However, rule changes made after games are completed undermine the spirit of the tournament and place undue burden on the participants. We choose not to compromise our integrity by replaying games in which we followed the letter and the spirit of the rules."
#CP#D started in the center and the southwest, while Civil started in the northeast and southeast. Both Civil armies mounted an attack on the center flag with fetch and berserkers, however Ananab Tilps' army was rather slow in arriving. This allowed #CP#D's fetch to attack Stinger's berserkers (coming up the southeast pit) without fear of retaliation, and Stinger's berserkers were badly scorched, then forced to charge (and die). When Ananab Tilps' fetch and berserkers eventually decided to attack, the fetch was easily diverted and killed, and the poor berserkers stood no chance against a veteran mixed warrior / berserker force.
#CP#D were able to clean up the remaining warriors and dwarves without even breaking a sweat.
This game, Civil started in the center and northeast, while the Dwarves' armies started in the northwest and southeast. Civil's two armies linked up in the center, and everybody tagged the free southwest flag. Ananab Tilps moved all of his zerks to tag the northeast ally flag (really, a spider would have done instead), which left the center flag critically unguarded. Blackbeard saw his chance, and killed Ananab Tilps' fetch, dwarf, and most of both Civil armies' warriors. Ananab's zerks came back in time to stop Blackbeard from completely annihilating the center flag's defense, but it was close.
At this point, everyone had three flags. Civil's two armies were on 33% and 34%, with mostly warriors, a dwarf and a handful of zerks. This contrasted with the #CP#D armies, on 48% and 18%, with a large number of warriors. Blackbeard's warrior forces went romping, and were able to easily overrun the northeast flag. Civil's center force dithered around for a long time, and failed to take the almost unguarded southeast flag; when Blackbeard came a-calling their warriors just ran away, giving #CP#D the game.
Civil Order's fondness for dwarves and lack of coordination really let them down in these games.
In the final game, Civil were out for revenge. Both armies took a similar makeup, but #CP#D chose a journeyman while Civil took more soulless. At the start of the game, the Plaid horde charged to the middle, while Civil's zerks split two ways and converged on the center after tagging two edge flags.
In a beautiful bait-and-switch maneouvre, Civil used undefended thrall and soulless to get the enemy berserkers to commit, and then hit them with a small zerk force. The Plaid berserkers were forced to engage this new enemy, leaving themselves open to the undead's axes of doom. The other zerk group came in to clean up, and it was all over.
Match Summary (films)
Since the teams involved are not prepared to provide games that match those selected for this round, the result of this match is determined based on the other games that were played.
Thus, the Clan Plaid Dwarves advance to the grand final in an incomplete match. I am not satisfied with this result, but it seems that this is the best outcome that can be reached given the attitudes of those involved.