Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: November Pain (75 points); 30Nov2019

I took my Minions to another Warmachine / Hordes tournament run by Allan Gibb at Common Ground Games in Stirling. There were three rounds with a possibility to extend to four based on the need to reach a clear winner. That wouldn’t be likely to apply to me and anyway I had to leave after round three anyway to go to a friend’s birthday party.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0LbOfCjVnd4c___-2njP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [8]
– Road Hog [15]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Kwaak Slickspine & Gub, Croak Sorcerers [0(4)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

Minions
[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]

This is the same pairing that I’ve been using for a while with only very minor changes. There are certainly new options available (notably the various Archons) that would probably make a better list for both Jaga Jaga and Dr Arkadius but I don’t own them and anyway I am still at the stage in my game where I will get more value out of just playing better than adding yet another different set of options to my armies. Broadly I’m looking to use Jaga Jaga into lists with a lot of infantry and Dr Arkadius to face into heavily armoured lists with a smaller model count.

Round 1 –King of the Hill vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth (game 16)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1q1b1q1X1G1G3ImelUoRlM1q3z3z2_2_3G3H___-1O0T1OgSeVlVf73t3z3z3B2_2K2L

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Reznik 1] High Executioner Servath Reznik [+28]
– Dervish [7]
– Guardian [15]
– Redeemer [11]
– Redeemer [11]
– Scourge of Heresy [16]
– Hierophant [3]
Exemplar Warder [0(5)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Dervish [7]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (max) [15]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]

Protectorate
[Theme] Guardians of the Temple

[Severius 1] Grand Scrutator Severius [+28]
– Blessing of Vengeance [13]
– Eye of Truth [20]
– Hand of Judgment [18]
– Judicator [35]
Pyrrhus, Flameguard Hero [0(5)]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Temple Flameguard (max) [11]
– Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard [0(4)]

Two sets of big armoured things with a couple of relatively minor infantry options? Sounds like a job for Dr Arkadius either way. Marc chooses to play Reznik. I have a huge advantage over him in terms of threat range, so my idea is to leverage this with a few Road Hog sprays and Sprints and then Feat at some point when there is enough in range to make it worth doing so. If Marc plays very defensively then I can hope to lock him out of the scenario. It did occur to me partway through set-up that some Protectorate models are immune to fire which could be a bit of a problem, but it seems that this was not the case here.

Marc wins the roll and chooses to go first. His Idrians choose the Wrastler as Prey and they start with Ignite on them as part of the Theme benefit.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Everything rushes at me as quickly as possible to claim some board space before I start threatening into Marc’s deployment zone. Severius casts Road To War to get a bit of additional threat range on his Dervish.

Turn 1: Minions
Most of my list has no concerns about taking meaningful damage next turn so it heads forward as far as their little legs will carry them; I’m not likely to stay out of range of the Redeemers regardless of where I go. Over on the left I realise that the Wrastler is going to have to eat a turn of shooting from the Idrians so it moves up and Mire covers it with some clouds (it is probably worth noting that I only had one cloud template of the correct size handy; the larger blast template is still being used for the 3″ ring). Kwaak casts Enliven on both Road Hogs and Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator and casts Forced Evolution on one of the Road Hogs.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
The Redeemers get some Focus and the Vassals finish loading them up. Reznik upkeeps Ignite and Severius upkeeps Road To War and fuels up the Dervish. The Choir sing Battle on the light Warjacks and Passage on the heavies, then the Hermit moves up rather aggressively to cover the lead Road Hog with Master of Ruin. The Redeemers open up and chip some damage off my Warbeasts; the Road Hog Enlivens away from the Hermit at the first opportunity. Slightly to my surprise, the Idrians run for board position rather than shooting my Wrastler to death.

Turn 2: Minions
I drop Aggravator but upkeep Forced Evolution. Hutchuk ambushes in on the left and kills the Idrian Chief with a grenade and another in melee (sadly I couldn’t reach the Guide). The Wrastler overtakes its way through a bunch more Idrians but can’t quite make it into the zone. The Witch Doctor gives Ghost Walk to the Battle Boar which clears the Idrian jamming the left War Hog and enables it to smash the Objective and overtake into the zone. Sadly, I’ve run out of things to kill off the last jamming Idrian. Dr Arkadius stabs both Road Hogs with Adrenaline; one wrecks the Dervish and the other one gets the Hermit down to a single box and is therefore unable to Sprint back to relative safety. The Hermit is on fire though, so it’s not all bad. I score a point for the Objective; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Both upkeeps are dropped. The Redeemers and Scourge of Heresy get a Focus each and the other Dervish is fully loaded up. The Choir put Battle on everything, and the Vassals top up the Redeemers. On the right, the Dervish makes short work of the Gun Boar and then chops some boxes out of my Objective. The Redeemers kill one of my Road Hogs but the other one is able to Enliven back to safety. The Guardian charges over and finishes off my Objective and Reznik goes for a desperate casting of Perdition which would allow Scourge to get into the action; luckily (for me) he misses. Scourge runs up to contest the centre instead. Marc scores the right zone and my Objective; 2 – 1 to him.

Turn 3: Minions
Well, Reznik is just right there waiting to be killed. The Wrastler clears the left zone and then I decide it is assassination time. The Battle Boar kills an Idrian and puts Primal on the left War Hog. Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery to get all my Warbeasts active again, puts Primal on the right War Hog and then Feats. Feat attacks from the three Warbeasts in the centre are enough to almost wreck Scourge and the left War Hog gets across and kills one of the Choir. The Road Hog then finishes off Scourge, and the Primalled War Hog goes in and eats first the Warder and the Reznik himself. Minions win by assassination.

That went rather as expected. I think that Marc’s army just didn’t have enough of a threat to take me out of my comfort zone. I could just hang around on the edge of my zones and force him to come to me, the Feat and kill off half of his stuff. Even if he had played more defensively and kept Reznik back in a safer place I could have done so much damage that I think I would have had an insurmountable lead on attrition; I didn’t even use two of the War Hogs after Dr Arkadius’s Feat. Things I learned:

  • Sometimes you just have to accept the damage from very long-ranged pieces (i.e. the Redeemers) while the rest of the army gets into position.
  • Overtake on Warbeasts allows crazy assassination angles on the one hand, and also enables a surprisingly effective infantry clearing option.
  • When Ambush works it is really useful. I think I’ve valued it a bit low as Joe (my main opponent) is just really good at avoiding it.

Round 2 –Recon II vs Sean’s Legion of Everblight (game 17)

https://conflictchamber.com/?ca201b_-2iewepkK2828eJbwaO29292929bebeoRcob9fTfT___-2hbskEkBcocob5kLkFkGkJkJfTfT

Legion
[Theme] Ravens of War

[Absylonia 2] Absylonia, Daughter of Everblight [+28]
– Blight Wasp [3]
– Golab [17]
– Harrier [0(3)]
– Harrier [0(3)]
– Neraph [12]
– Proteus [19]
– Seraph [14]
– Shredder [4]
– Shredder [4]
– Shredder [4]
– Shredder [4]
Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion [0(6)]
Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Spell Martyr [1]
The Forsaken [4]
Hellmouth [6]
Hellmouth [6]

Legion
[Theme] Primal Terrors

[Kallus 1] Kallus, Wrath of Everblight [+30]
– Blightbringer [32]
– Ammok the Truthbearer [4]
Spell Martyr [1]
Spell Martyr [1]
Blighted Ogrun Warmongers (min) [8]
– Gorag Rotteneye [0(6)]
Blighted Rotwings (min) [7]
Blighted Rotwings (max) [12]
Chosen of Everblight (max) [20]
Chosen of Everblight (max) [20]
Hellmouth [0(6)]
Hellmouth [0(6)]

I don’t think I’ve ever played against Legion of Everblight before and certainly not against either of these Warlocks. Taking a look at both lists, I feel that Dr Arkadius is probably a slightly better bet against Kallus1 and also preferable into Absylonia2 so I go with him again. Sean selects Absylonia2 and kindly explains what she actually does. It seems that this is going to be an interesting game of threat ranges!

Sean wins the roll and picks to move first. I pick the side with houses to hide Dr Arkadius behind, though on reflection I wonder if the other side would be better as Sean’s Warbeasts can mostly just fly over the houses anyway.

Turn 1: Legion of Everblight
Absylonia casts Bracer on Proteus, Slipstreams Golab and charges up. Most of her army take the same approach of rushing headlong at me; this is probably the only opportunity they’ll have to move up without worrying about my threat ranges.

Turn 1: Minions
So now if is me who has to worry about ridiculous threat ranges. I move up mostly trying not to offer up my whole army too easily. Dr Arkadius casts Forced Evolution (on a Road Hog) and Aggravator.

Turn 2: Legion of Everblight
Bracer is upkept. The Seraph Slipstreams the Neraph forward and lights up the Wrastler with Flare Absylonia gives herself Dodge and Feats. On the right, the Neraph makes short work of the Wrastler and Sprints back to the centre. A couple of Lesser Warbeasts hurt my left War Hog quite badly.

Turn 2: Minions
That didn’t end up quite as bad as I had hoped but my poor positioning last turn has left my Warbeasts in a bit of an awkward position. I decide it’s time to Feat anyway, and am able to take out Golab, the Neraph and a few of the Lesser Warbeasts. Hutchuk appears on the right and kills one Sorceress and the Gun Boar blows up the other one. Kwaak sits on my Flag; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Legion of Everblight
The Hermit strolls into the scrum of my Warbeasts and uses Master of Ruin. Shredders start eating a War Hog and Absylonia personally finishes off a Road Hog. Proteus finishes the first War Hog and puts some tasty damage into the other Road Hog; the Seraph finishes it. No-one scores; still 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
That hurt more than the Feat turn! On the other hand, Absylonia is sitting right in front of me with no transfers. Hutchuk misses a Quake grenade into her, then Kwaak misses a pair of Venoms and finally Mire does about two damage with a pair of fully boosted attacks (rolling hilariously low on four damage dice). So I guess that is off the table; I probably needed to get a bit lucky to make it work out. The lead War Hog kills the Hellmouth on the left and Dr Arkadius runs away from all the scary blighted beasties. I score the left zone; 2 – 0.

Turn 4: Legion of Everblight
The Hellmouth kills Mire, the Seraph kills Kwaak and Absylonia kills Hutchuk. Proteus takes care of my Objective. Sean also scores the right zone and flag; 3 – 2 to him.

Turn 4: Minions
I kill off the Hermit and Objective; Dr Arkadius runs to my Flag. I don’t have anything that can contest on the right. 5 – 5 as we both score one flag and one zone.

Turn 5: Legion of Everblight
The Seraph contests the left zone and kills the Witch Doctor. A Tentacle contests the flag while Sean scores on the right side; 7 – 5 to him.

Turn 5: Minions
The Gun Boar kills a couple of Tentacles that are in my way and Dr Arkadius Primal Shocks the last one. This clears the War Hog to deal with the other Hellmouth and conveniently also contest the zone. We both score our flags; 8 – 6 to Sean.

Turn 6: Legion of Everblight
The Seraph flies to a place that I’ll never realistically get to it. Proteus makes a real mess of dealing with the War Hog thanks to some awful dice from Sean but does eventually pull my Warbeast away from the zone where Shredders eat it. 10 – 6 to Sean as he scores on the right again while contesting on the left.

Turn 6: Minions
I’m pretty much out of options here. In the end I try to kill Proteus with the last War Hog in the hope that I can then run the Gun Boar into contesting range and hope that Sean clocks out before he can wrap up the game. I can’t even kill off Proteus, so I concede to Sean. I think that this is, strictly speaking, a scenario win for Legion of Everblight.

That was a tight game, and I think that with better positioning at the start I could have hoped to win it. Sean used his superior mobility well and I got caught up trying to work my way round the central house. For example, I had two War Hogs just slowly trudging their way round the board in the late game and I wasn’t really able to bring both of them to bear. By contrast, the threat of Proteus remained relevant in the centre for the whole game.  It would have been interesting to play this again with me going first as I feel that getting the initial board position is probably quite important in this match-up. Things I learned:

  • I actually think that Guardian Beast would probably serve me better than Aggravator in this match-up now that I’ve played it out. I was initially worried that there would be a lot of long range shooting from the Seraph but actually Sean just jumped down my throat at the first opportunity.
  • I used Witch Doctor poorly here; I could have probably had some good value out of Ghost Walk as I stumbled around the house in the centre.
  • Despite their abject failure to kill Absylonia, I was quite pleased with the performance of Kwaak, Mire and Hutchuk. They jammed up the right on a turn I needed it, scored me a point on the flag and killed off a couple of annoying little things. The assassination was probably a long shot but it felt like it could have been achievable.

Round 3 –Bunkers vs Nick’s Skorne (game 18)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c9201b_-1sey6r4v4xm_n46Nf4ea5G5U___-2c6I6r4x6S4C6N6un2n2n2ncn3f4n9n1n9n1mBmB

Skorne
[Theme] Disciples of Agony

[Xerxis 2] Xerxis, Fury of Halaak [+28]
– Agonizer [0(6)]
– Basilisk Drake [8]
– Basilisk Krea [0(7)]
– Desert Hydra [35]
– Mammoth [35]
– Aptimus Marketh [0(5)]
Swamp Gobber River Raider [1]
Tyrant Zaadesh [4]
– Titan Gladiator [15]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]

Skorne
[Theme] The Exalted

[Rasheth 1] Dominar Rasheth [+28]
– Agonizer [6]
– Basilisk Krea [7]
– Cyclops Raider [9]
– Cyclops Shaman [8]
– Aptimus Marketh [0(5)]
Ancestral Guardian [5]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]
Immortal Vessel [3]
Swamp Gobber River Raider [1]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Supreme Guardian [16]
Supreme Guardian [16]

I’m torn here. I think I want to put Dr Arkadius against Xerxis2 but probably slightly prefer Jaga Jaga into Rasheth. In the end I select Dr Arkadius, figuring that Immortals should be as flammable as anything else and at least I’ll have the armour cracking power to deal with the Supreme Guardians. Nick chooses to play Rasheth so we’ll get to see how I play into a recursion swarm of tough, no knock-down infantry. Actually I’m pretty sure I’ve never played Skorne at all before so this should be interesting.

I win the roll off and pick to have first turn, hoping to set a high line of engagement and keep Nick out of my zone entirely.

Turn 1: Minions
I race everything forward at top speed. Mire puts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler in case it ever becomes relevant. Dr Arkadius as usual casts Aggravator (not much shooting but it might be handy to if the Supreme Guardians fire a late-turn shot) and puts Forced Evolution on one of the Road Hogs.

Turn 1: Skorne
A swarm of statues runs towards me. Two of them position to extend the cloud wall once Rasheth zaps them in the back; one even survives. Initially Nick was going to have three of them out but realised that even with Harmonious Exaltation this would leave Rasheth sitting on zero camp so I let him take back the moves. I’m not certain that I could have got many big shots into Rasheth but it would have felt like a pretty rubbish way to finish the game.

Turn 2: Minions
Hutchuk comes on the right and blows up an Immortal Vessel. One Road Hog gets the Adrenaline needle an Assaults the Immortal in the cloud before Sprinting back to safety. A combination of low damage rolls and good tough rolls means that I only get one, so I pretty much trigger Vengeance for nothing. Mire puts a couple of clouds out and the Gun Boar ensures that I don’t have to worry too much about the left flag by blowing up the River Raider.

Turn 2: Skorne
The Immortals on the right Vengeance forward, getting a few of them into range of my Warbeasts. On the left they spread out; one hits my Gun Boar for a little damage. Rasheth uses his Feat and puts Blood Mark on the central War Hog and Carnivore on the unactivated Immortals. The Extoller Novitiates power up the lead Immortals a bit more and they all charge in and put some rather tasty damage on both Road Hogs and the Blood Marked War Hog. The Supreme Guardian on the right sets Hutchuk on fire and the Raider finishes him off. We both score our zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
Dr Arkadius uses his Feat. The War Hog on the left gets Primal and wrecks the Supreme Guardian over there, while the one on the right Overtakes his way to the Agoniser during his activation and the kills it with the Feat attack. The rest of the Warbeasts chew their way through a lot of Immortals but Nick has jammed me quite effectively so my board position is quite week. Kwaak runs onto my flag and we both score our own zones; 2 – 1 to me.

Turn 3: Skorne
The Novitiates turbo charge the Supreme Guardian and Hakaar. It turns out that Supreme Guardians have Thresher (which I didn’t know) and that I’ve left a whole load of my Warbeasts in perfect Thresher formation. The Supreme Guardian charges in and kills both War Hogs and Kwaak; Hakaar finishes the Road Hog. Rasheth swaps Carnivore on to the other Immortals and they kill the third War Hog. We continue to score our own zones; 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 4: Minions
The Witch Doctor comes over and puts Ghost Walk on the Wrastler, and Mire adds Rage. The Wrastler walks into the Supreme Guardian’s back arc and kills it satisfyingly. I needed Ghost Walk as I doubted it could survive the Defensive Strike. The Road Hog kills Hakaar and the Gun Boar kills a couple of Immortals (looking back, I think I forgot to activate the Battle Boar at all). We score our zones again; 4 – 3 to me.

Turn 4: Skorne
Immortals kill the Battle Boar in the middle. Nick throws all the ranged attacks he has at the Wrastler but leaves it standing on a single box. The Road Hog takes a bit of a beating from the Ancestral Guardian and the remaining Immortals on the right but stays standing. Yet again we fail to contest each other’s zones; 5 -4 to me.

Turn 5: Minions
The Wrastler gets healed and Raged by Mire. It then charges the Novitiate in the centre and Overtakes its way over to the Krea, which it also eats and finally takes a nice bite out of the Shaman. The Witch Doctor gives the Road Hog Ghost Walk and it strolls out of melee to immolate a few Immortals, admittedly to depressingly little effect. I couldn’t quite get the Wrastler into Nick’s zone so we both score again; 6 – 5 to me.

Turn 5: Skorne
At this point I notice that Nick has only about 35 seconds on his clock. In his haste last turn he forgot to drop any Fury from Rasheth so his Warbeast both Frenzy. That eats up his remaining time, though I don’t think that he could have pulled out a win even if they hadn’t Frenzied. Minions win by deathclock.

Wow, that was rather close. I feel like I could probably have held on for a victory even if Nick had been able to use his last minute or so freely instead of resolving Frenzy moves, so I guess that from his side the learning point is to be a bit more decisive. Things I learned:

  • Supreme Guardians have Thresher, and I shouldn’t form a neat semi-circle of important models for them to exterminate in one go. In fairness I think that Nick probably was going to warn me about this but the last Warbeast moved into place to allow the charge as basically my last move of the turn. I suppose that this is more broadly ‘know / ask what the other army does’ although there are so many options now in WarmaHordes that it seems unlikely that any but the most dedicated players could conceivably know them all.
  • Playing efficiently can be enough to win the game, even if your stuff is being pulverised every turn.
  • Pay attention to what you have done each turn. I think I forgot to move the Battle Boar at all one turn, and it was only Nick pointing it out that stopped me from using the Wrastler twice early on.

In the end I’m listed as 8th place of 14 players though presumably not playing the last round might have impacted that a bit.  I had a really good time and learned a lot, even playing against two factions that are new to me.  Thanks to Marc, Sean and Nick for three fun games of WarmaHordes, and of course to Allan for running the show.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: November Pain (75 points); 30Nov2019

  1. Ann

    Interesting, seems like you learned quite a few things. It is noteworthy to read that the “what the other army does” question applies to Warmachine as much (maybe more, I have no idea) as it does to 40K. In any case, it is amazing what some of those little blobs of metal, resin, and plastic can do!

    • I certainly try to learn in all that I do; after all – every day is a school day. I would say that the ‘what the other army does’ is a bit more relevant in Warmachine than in 40K (at least in my experience) because in 40K basically everything a unit does can be encapsulated by reviewing it’s attacking and defending stats whereas in Warmachine there are a lot of options for threat extenders, ‘time walks’ or denial too. Or perhaps I’m being a little down on 40K since I play it comparatively infrequently.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: