Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Khador (75 points); 21Nov2019

Joe has bought yet another faction so our game of Warmachine / Hordes for this week featured a Khador list. I haven’t played Jaga Jaga for a while so, since I just painted her, I decided it was time to roll her out. I think that this might have impacted Joe’s list selection a bit, but I don’t recall what his other one was going to be anyway; for my part I was going with Jaga Jaga regardless of what he played.

Game 15, Scenario: Spread The Net


[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Brun Cragback [16]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (max) [17]

No changes to the Jaga Jaga list since the Scottish GT back in July. I have got a few things in mind that I might move around but gaming time is limited and I preferred to go into the next tournament with a list that I’m at least slightly familiar with.


[Theme] Winter Guard Kommand

[Vladimir 1] Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Prince [+28]
– Grolar [18]
– Marauder [11]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [7]
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich [0(4)]
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew [4]
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew [4]
Winter Guard Mortar Crew [0(5)]
Winter Guard Mortar Crew [0(5)]
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (min) [8]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (3) [6]
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (min) [8]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (3) [6]
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (min) [8]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (3) [6]
Winter Guard Gun Carriage [17]

I assume that the basic idea here is to sit back and explode all my stuff via Signs and Portents enable rockets, while occasionally contesting scenario elements with cheap infantry.

Joe wins the roll and picks his side; this is partly because he set up the terrain before I arrived and was already sitting there. We are tactical geniuses. The Totem Hunter picks the right-most unit of Winter Guard as Prey. There didn’t seem to be many good targets that he might be able to get remotely near; I would have liked to pick off Alexia but assumed that she would be hiding right at the back of the gun line.

Turn 1: Minions
Everything races forward trying to keep as much cover as possible so I don’t loose too much to shooting early. Jaga Jaga casts Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter and Battle Host on herself. Both the lesser Warlocks put out their upkeeps since they’re free anyway thanks to Will Work For Food’s theme bonus. Orin Midwinter realises that there isn’t much point staying near Jaga Jaga to deter spell (since Joe doesn’t have any available) and moves over to the left for Flag duty.

Turn 1: Khador
Vlad casts Blood Of Kings and walks up rather aggressively. The Gun Carriage drops some rough terrain right in the middle of the board and the rest of the army moves up to set up good shooting positions for next turn.

Turn 2: Minions
I upkeep all my spells. Looking at the board state I don’t think that I can get any real work done here so I back off a little and try to stay in places where I’m not going to get shot too much. If we were playing on the clock (which we aren’t) this would be useful to save me a bit of time. In the end I don’t actually make a single attack, which has the odd side effect of denying Alexia any souls to make Thralls which I think were planned for scoring flags next turn.

Turn 2: Khador
Vlad casts Signs and Portents and walks back a bit to make sure I can’t get any janky assassination runs on him. The Gun Carriage attacks the Totem Hunter (eating a Lug counter charge / return in the process) and rolls the hard 10 to flatten him. I’m sure the Predator wasn’t this easy to deal with in the films. It also repositions to contest the right zone. Everyone else pumps bullets into my infantry, which really thins out the Boomhowlers in particular. Joe scores the left zones and score my flag; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
I think that I can get some good work done on the scenario here. Jaga Jaga casts Sign and Portents then Rages Lug; I was thinking of doing it with the Wrastler but wanted to have him available for a follow-up attack if needed. Lug wrecks the Gun Carriage with a couple of attacks to spare, though I was annoyed that he couldn’t headbutt the battle engine since I almost never manage to trigger the chain attack. Orin Stealths himself and strolls to my flag. The surviving Boomhowlers shuffle around to contest things again. One Swamp Horror gets Ghost Walk from the Soul Slave and goes on a highly amusing rampage through the central Winter Guard unit, clearing the zone and pulling the first few victims out of range for Alexia’s soul collection (she gets filled up anyway though). I looked at ways to get Brine onto the Marauder but I think that without Rage he just doesn’t have the hitting power to actually do anything useful; in the end I decide to keep both Rorsh and Brine safely behind their cloud. I score the right and central zones plus my flag; 4 – 1 to me.

Turn 3: Khador
Vlad loads up the Grolar, then shuffles around a bit before using his Feat and casting Signs and Portents. The Grolar casually saunters through the forest and smites Lug and a Valkyrie, then nearly drops Brun too. The Marauder clears the Trollblood to clear the left zone, then massed shooting from the rest of the list wipes out all the rest apart from Boomhowler himself as well as dropping the Swamp Horror. Alexia creates three Thrall Warriors; one runs to my flag to contest, one runs to Joe’s flag to score it and the last one Toughs a Valkyrie. The mortars shell Orin who survives with a couple of boxes left. Joe scores for the flag and left zone; 4 – 3 to me.

Turn 4: Minions
Jaga Jaga puts Signs and Portents back up (I love that spell!) and casts Rage on the Wrastler; the big chap wrecks the Grolar with plenty of attacks to spare. The Valkyrie stands up and removes the Thrall that just attacked her, Brun walks through the forest and kills another Thrall as well as making good headway into the infantry hanging around that side of the board. Rorsh annoyingly fails to kill the last Thrall with Diversionary tactics so Boomhowler has to do the job instead. The second Swamp Horror repeats the antics of the first, clearing the zone thanks to Ghost Walk cast from the Soul Slave and also helpfully killing a Field Gun by dragging it clear of Take Up range. Brine rolls terribly even with the help of Signs and Portents and ends up doing not much more than eating a couple of Winter Guard and contesting the zone. I again score the right and central zones plus my flag; 7 – 3 to me.

Turn 4: Khador
Vlad puts two Focus on the Marauder then casts Signs and Portents. After measuring where the Signs and Portents aura needed to be, while also not allowing me to somehow kill Vlad, he walks left to hide more heroically behind the house. The Winter Guard on the right make short work of Brun, then more shooting plus a fresh batch of Thrall Warriors put paid to the second Swamp Horror. The Marauder goes to sort out Brine but I get a super lucky critical knock down on the Retaliatory Strike and the remaining shooting on that side isn’t enough to finish the big pig. Joe noted afterwards that he would have been better served to just go for the push from the Marauder to ensure that the zone was clear, then worry about whether Brine could be shot to death or not from the safety of an extra scenario point. Somewhere in here, optimistic shelling from the mortars gets Orin. Joe does score his own flag though, bringing us to 7 – 4 in my favour.

Turn 5: Minions
I start to look at ways to leverage my unexpected advantage in having a heavy Warbeast available on the left when Joe points out that I only need to score two points to win the game. Rorsh saunters casually to my flag and stand on the remains of Orin. The last Valkyrie runs over to the WinterGuard who is contesting my zone and then Jaga Jaga moves across to kill both of them with her Feat. Survival of the fittest, baby. The Wrastler runs to contest Joe’s flag. Minions win on scenario by 9 – 4, though it seems that I forgot to take a photo of the (admittedly not very different) board state.

As ever, thanks to Joe for a fun game and for talking through options at various times. As is probably obvious from these battle reports, he has significantly more experience (and time to play) than I do so I try to learn as much as I can from him; I assume that he goes easy on me by trying lists he rarely uses. For example, I probably wouldn’t have noticed how close I was to a scenario victory until Joe mentioned it. Things I learned:

  • Always be aware of what you need to do to win. If you can be sure to get the needed scenario points it is fine not to leave your pieces safe because the game will be over before they can get killed.
  • The Totem Hunter got killed again without achieving anything of note apart from wasting some of my Fury. Perhaps I should be generous this time and state that it forced the Gun Carriage to commit to killing it which started a piece trade somewhat in my favour (though I was trading Swamp Horrors for Winter Guard in the centre so maybe I shouldn’t be so pleased with myself). I wonder if I should think about replacing the Totem Hunter with a utility solo instead. Any suggestions that could work well?
  • I need to find a way to scalpel out solos hiding in the back. There was no way that I was going to trouble Alexia or the Kovnik with this list and that let them do their thing with impunity. Ironically after having little success with Hutchuk in my Dr Arkadius list I think that he could actually have been quite handy here. In the past I’ve used Jaga Jaga’s Feat plus Ghost Walk to deal with troublesome solos but that would not have been an option here as she would need to sit in the middle of the zone getting shot at by everything available.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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