Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 26Jun2019

Once again Joe and I went for a game of Warmachine. I wanted to try out a different list this time so I asked Joe to pick a slightly less ‘infantry swarm’ option for me to face, and he duly obliged me.

Game 5 – Stand Off vs Joe’s Mercenaries


Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [9]
– Gun Boar [9]
– Road Hog [16]
– Road Hog [16]
– War Hog [15]
– War Hog [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Kwaak Slickspine & Gub, Croak Sorcerers [0(4)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

I love the idea of Dr Arkadius and played a handful of games with him in Warmachine mk2. This is probably the simplest list I could think of for him; basically 2 of most of the classic Warbeasts, Underchief Mire with a Blackhide Wrastler to apply Rage as needed and then fill up with free solos. I expect that there will be some changes but that is part of the game-playing process. Hutchuk is being represented by an Ironhead and Mire by Rask.

This is theoretically the other part of the pair for my Jaga Jaga list; the idea being that I would use this against tougher (i.e. battlegroup heavy) options and Jaga Jaga against lighter, more numerous forces. It probably shows a lot about my experience in Warmachine that I haven’t really thought about this in much more detail.


Mercenary Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Irregulars

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
Alten Ashley [0(6)]
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]
Kell Bailoch [0(5)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [6]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [6]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]

I did have a feeling that Joe would give me General Ossrum to face against. I find this Warcaster a tough nut to crack as his feat is really strong and that one turn of moving fast, hitting hard and being resilient has often been enough to force me out on scenario. The cannons are proxying for the Horgenhold Artillery Corps.

I win the roll off and choose to go first. I skew slightly to the left, with some idea of parking Dr Arkadius in that nice trench near the flag and therefore having plenty of room for him to run away if things go a bit sour. I feel like there should be some clever tactics around exactly which order I deploy the warbeasts but somehow it still seems like I’m dropping them in an almost random order.

Turn 1: Minions
Surprisingly, everyone runs forward. I debate between Guardian Beast and Aggravator on Dr Arkadius, eventually figuring that the former will make Joe play around it a bit more and prevent me from getting over-excited and sending one of my Warbeasts to an early demise. Forced Evolution is put on the right hand Road Hog and Mire drops a cloud to slightly extend the cloud wall already in the centre. The Witch Doctor puts Shadow Walk on the Wrastler to help it though the forest.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Ossrum uses Energiser for a bit of extra forward movement and casts Fire For Effect on the left cannon. After some deliberation, Joe decides to Feat early to blunt my attack. Alten Ashley and the first cannon shoot at the left Road Hog, crippling its spirit. The Basher on the left is in range of my lead War Hog over there (I knew that it could get to me, but I wanted to get some board presence on too) so it slams my Warbeast into the Gun Boar and damaged Road Hog for some nice damage across all three. The other Cannon missed the other Road Hog and it scatters onto Dr Arkadius for a couple of points of damage.

Turn 2: Minions
I debate for a while about how to approach this. I could back off a bit, leaving minimal stuff to contest the zones and then use my own Feat once Ossrum’s is out of play. Or I could just go all in now. In the end, I decide to back off and hope to make my contesting pieces at least awkward to remove. Dr Arkadius upkeeps both spells and I choose not to bring Hutchuk on (as opposed to normal, where I just plain forget about him). On the right, the Wrastler backs up slightly into the zone. Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery and boosts Crippling Grasp into the Basher; the War Hog makes heavy work of killing it but does finally get the job done on the last attack. The left Gun Boar runs to toe the zone while lurking in the forest, the right one toes the central zone and misses an optimistic shot in the direction of the nearest Eliminator. Both Road Hogs miss her too. Mire puts a couple of clouds in front of the Gun Boar to stop the Driller from charging after being Energiser-ed though the first cloud. Kwaak moves to the flag and puts Enliven on both heavies.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Ossrum allocates 2 to the lead Driller and upkeeps Fire For Effect. That Cannon and Alten Ashley are enough to kill the Gun Boar on the left so Joe can score that zone. Ossrum uses Energiser to move his wall of Warjacks toward me and the loaded Driller tramples in to kill the contesting Gun Boar in two attacks. I think that he had options to get more damage there but I was hoping that the little chap would last a bit longer. The Eliminators on the left charge in and smack the leftmost War Hog and then a Blaster comes over and sprays through it to kill Kwaak. Well, so much for him. The other Eliminators contest the right zone and claim the central one. Joe scores the left and central zones plus his flag; 3 – 0 to him. I was hoping not give up all three points this turn but Joe did exactly what he needed to do.

Turn 3: Minions
Right, now that Ossrum’s Feat is out of the way, it is time to hit back with my own. Both spells are upkept again. Hutchuk charges into Kell on the flag but misses him. Mire puts Rage on the Wrastler and the nearer of each Road Hog and War hog. The Wrastler kills the Driller but misses the boosted attack on the Eliminator after Overtaking into her. The right War Hog charges to scraps the Basher in front of it and maxes out smacking the Driller around too. Arkadius puts Primal on the left War Hog so it has a hope of hitting those Eliminators, heals everyone a bit with Psycho Surgery then Feats. First the Primalled War Hog eats one of the Eliminators. The Road Hog over there gets some nice damage on the Blaster that killed Kwaak and the other Road Hog finished the Driller in the centre. This frees up that War Hog to go into the next line of heavies (do they never end?) and put some tasty damage into the Driller. Finally, the Battle Boar charges in the general direction of the Eliminator to get a bit of range; in its own activation it walks into her back arc and boosts an attack to kill her and Overtake into the right zone. The Raged, Forced Evolution Road Hog finishes off the Driller in the middle and starts chewing up the Basher. The left War Hog moves as far round the Eliminator as possible, kills her and Overtakes into the Blaster to scrap it. The left Road Hog charges Alten Ashley, killing him in melee and getting an entire artillery team with the flamethrower. Unfortunately, some poor placement on my side means that this Road Hog is almost sure to be the War Hog’s Frenzy target. Finally, the Soul Slave moves to my flag. I score the left and right zone plus my flag; 3 – 3.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Ossrum allocates two to the Basher. The Cannon can’t quite kill off the Soul Slave so the last Eliminator runs to contest the flag. Annoyingly, she ends up within 6” of Dr Arkadius but I forget about Guardian Beast; I could have had the Primalled War Hog walk over to her as a Frenzy target. On the right, two Blasters team up to kill Hutchuk and the last one moves into the zone to contest it while spraying the Battle Boar and Wrastler. The last Basher smacks a bit more damage into the War Hog in the middle and Ossrum sticks Bullet Dodger on himself and Energises around a little. Joe scores his flag; 4 – 3 to him.

Turn 4: Minions
I upkeep Forced Evolution but drop Guardian Beast. The left War Hog kills the left Road hog with its Frenzy attack and the Battle Boar Frenzies to tickle the contesting Blaster on the right. The Eliminator is going to be almost impossible to remove with what I have available; in the end I decide that she’s just going to have to live. The Witch Doctor starts a run for my flag because the Soul Slave is not going to last much longer. Mire puts Rage on the Road Hog and Wrastler; the latter wrecks the contesting Blaster and Overtakes to contest the flag. The War Hog finally deals with the last Basher then uses the Overtake to engage the Cannon and the Road Hog gets another Basher but misses Ossrum with the assault spray; he Dodges away to the right. I score the central and right zones; 5 – 4 to me.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Joe is out of options so now it is down to a last gasp shot at Dr Arkadius. Ossrum drops Bullet Dodger. He puts Snipe on Eiryss who rolls the 10 needed to knock off Dr Arkadius’s Fury even in the comfort of his trench. The Cannon disengages from the War Hog by getting killed and allowing the unengaged crew member to Take Up (I will admit that I was quite surprised that was how the rules worked) but they can’t roll the 6,6 that would allow them to actually hit Dr Arkadius. Amusingly (from my point of view) the blast scatters onto the Eliminator and kills her. Joe has seen enough and concedes; Minions win… by scenario I suppose. It seems that I forgot to take one last picture.

Wow, I really enjoyed that. Dr Arkadius is even more entertaining to play than I had dared to dream. Of course, it helps that Joe is a great teacher, guiding me to learn the game better every time we play. The whole game felt like it was on a knife edge until the end of my Feat turn when I think I understood that I’d done so much damage that I was really only likely to lose to an assassination (which, considering Dr Arkadius’s stats, is never out of the question). Things I learned:

  • The Soul Slave is not a good fit here. I mainly included it since I already have the model, but I think that I have to consider Targ instead as just allowing a free upkeep a turn is not a great return on the investment.
  • Hutchuk continues to be a bit useless for me. I think that probably he is offering some value by affecting what Joe can put out on the sides but so far he’s done more or less what he dis in this game – run on and contest a flag, miss his single attack at something, then die.
  • Kwaak will be an interesting piece to play more of. I think that perhaps I was a bit careless to let him get killed by that spray from the blaster here. Enliven seems like the kind of ability that could really change games if only I could learn how to leverage it.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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