My bets for Clash of Kings Champ 2018

Predicting who exactly will win a tournament is near impossible, especially one as large as Clash of Kings. I’m still going to give it a go, but discuss a few different people.

Now, you could just go through the top rankings players but that’s a bit obvious and a bit boring. I want to discuss a few obvious choices as well as outsiders that I think are in with a great chance.

To complicate matters, I don’t know if they’re all even attending. I’ve reached out to some but they don’t know themselves and others I don’t have contact information for. Regardless, if these guys are attending then I think they’re each in with a good chance of taking that trophy home.

#1 Tom Robinson

Image may contain: 1 person, phone and selfieThis one is no surprise.

Tom is certainly the best Kings of War player in the UK at the moment. He is in first position in the rankings and it is very well earned with seven first places at tournaments this year out of nine attended. He’s a very strong player who just doesn’t make mistakes.

I’ve seen previews of his potential army lists this year – one of them aptly named “Elves + Nature + No fun for you”. He rarely fails to bring his A game and this year is no different.

He’s no stranger to winning either, having won 1st place in 2016.

If I had to put money on any one single person winning, it would be Tom. However, matchups, dice, scenarios and many other outside factors can seriously dent a person’s standing, especially at a large event. Despite Tom’s seemingly unstoppable winning streak this year, there is a very strong chance that someone could leapfrog him.

Paul Welsh

Humble Paul will probably be surprised to see his name up here, but it is.

Paul is a very strong player, much stronger than he thinks he is. He performed fantastically at Lonewolf GT in Texas this year, securing 1st overall. While he wasn’t 1st in battle points, his excellent soft scores put him over the top.

Paul is the honorary 4th member of Northern Kings for this event since Elliot has decided he’d rather go on his honeymoon than to a nerdhammer tournament (the cheek!). We’ve been discussing army lists with him in the Northern Kings chat and his is very brutal – potentially the most powerful that he has used so far.

In game I think that Paul will only have one struggle – getting clean charges with his Fallen. He was used to running them with Pathfinder and struggled with them losing it in CoK18. I believe he’s now got a handle on them but good positioning on them to get clean, unhindered charges will make or break his chances of winning.

The other aspect is that of confidence. Paul is humble and doesn’t realise how good a player he is. It’s easy to be defeatist if you’re going up against someone you think is better than you (very guilty of this myself) and it can be self fulfilling prophecy with that mindset. If Paul finds himself up against a player that he feels is better than himself, I hope that he plays as good as he can without settling into a defeatist “I’ve already lost” mindset and lose the game through psychology.

Pauls excellent soft scores that secured a win in Texas won’t be in play here, but I think his gameplay is strong enough and his list hard enough that a good mindset could see him clutching the trophy.

Robert Phipps

The first “outsider” on my list.

I played Rob at South West Clash 2 and I have to say that I find his rankings quite surprising. He is fairly high up at the 13th spot however has few events under his belt and hasn’t won one. Despite this, I think he has a hell of a chance.

I was very impressed with his gameplay at SW Clash 2, impressed enough to be beaten by him!

Image result for obsidian golem

He has a great grasp of Surge and an eye for unconventional charges, taking advantage of a positioning mistake I made to get a charge against an exposed corner of another unit.

His list is dead ‘ard too, with a solid golem brickline backed up with plenty of cavalry and nasty heroes. He’ll have some very easy games against armies with little or no piercing/crushing strength and can easily compete against the top lists.

He made one major mistake in our game, leaving a Golem horde to be flanked by my Archfiend that he forgot had a 22” charge rather than 20”. Despite such a massive mistake (which vaporised his unit), he was still able to pull off a win against me with relative ease. Making a mistake like that can easily cost someone a game.

Last year he achieved 7th out of 84 at Clash of Kings, but I think 1st is easily within his grasp. He has the skills to be a top player and is backed up with a solid list.

Matt James

It’s surprising that Matt doesn’t win more events. This is often because he’s running them and… well it’s not a great look to win events that you’re TO’ing.

Matt is another one who is solid on the field and perhaps has had bad dice or other bad luck steal victory from his grasp. I’ve seen him stand toe to toe with and on occasion beat the very best.

With a bit of luck I can easily see him in the top spot.

John Quayle

Another outsider.

I didn’t really know John until recently, but he’s been storming up the rankings! Last year he came 48th at Clash of Kings but hit the ground running this year with two 1st places and a 4th place at the last Northern Kings event.

I played John in the third round and he’s another solid player with a great list. He really shows what Empire of Dust is capable of with a rather beautiful army (which got my “best army” vote) and a brilliant grasp on strategy. He certainly caught my tactical blunders a few times and took full advantage of them. I was only able to scrape a win against him due to dice rather than any skill on my part.

Having played him, I really think that he’s got what it takes and his list (assuming he takes a similar one to CoK this year) is unconventional enough that some of the power house lists will struggle against it. I certainly think that he will be the most improved player on the field.

Adam Padley

I mean, I had to list the final Northern Kings member attending, didn’t I? It’s charity really.

Adam is a WHFB veteran who we convinced to start playing last year just so we could shore up our team numbers! His tactical skills were finely honed from WHFB and Warmachine but a lack of experience was holding him back. He’s definitely worked on that this year playing many practice games on Universal Battle and against the other Northern Kings players.

I think me, Elliot and Tom viewed Adam as a bit of a padawan when it came to Kings of War. He’s certainly standing toe to toe with us now and knows the game inside out. Another definite contender.

Me

But just kidding. I fluked myself into top spot last year and won more to my final opponent giving me the game rather than any actual skill at it. I highly doubt that I stand a chance this year.

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