Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Leap Year Tournament (75 points); 29Feb2020

After a long gap in playing Warmachine / Hordes, I took the opportunity to attend another tournament at Common Ground Games in Stirling, this time organised by Frazer Penman. I’ve been painting up some Cryx and had originally intended to take them along but since I have literally not managed to get a single game in with them yet I decided to stick with Minions for one more time so that there might be some chance of at least remembering the stats and abilities of my own armies.

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]

No changes at all to my lists, mainly because I haven’t played any games since the last tournament.

Round 1 – Bunkers vs Andrew’s Infernals (game 19)

https://conflictchamber.com/?cg201b_-1yo7oaoaoaoaoaolosonoSoqoqopofogou___-1yo8oeoaoaoaolosonoSotoqoqopogovogohou

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Omodamos 1] Omodamos, The Black Gate [+28]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
The Wretch [4]
The Wretch [4]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (min) [5]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
Infernal Gate [12]

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Zaateroth 1] Zaateroth, The Weaver of Shadows [+26]
– Foreboder [4]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Nicia, Hound of the Abyss [4]
The Wretch [4]
The Wretch [4]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
– Master Preceptor Orin Midwinter [4]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Until this morning I had pretty much not been aware of the existence of Infernals as a faction, at least not to any useful level of detail. Andrew kindly and patiently explains what everything does and I decide to pick Dr Arkadius as it looks like I’ll be chewing through a lot of heavies here.

I win the roll-off and move first so that I can get some board presence at least.

Turn 1: Minions
I run up as far as I dare (which is quite far in this case) and cast some spells. Mire puts Weald Secrets on a War Hog and Dr Arkadius casts Guardian Beast on himself and Forced Evolution on a nearby Road Hog. I picked Guardian Beast as I felt that it might be more useful than some desultory movement from Aggravator, not to mention that I often feel that I’m giving my opponent a free threat range increase when I trigger hyper-aggressive.

Turn 1: Infernals
Nicia shoots a Road Hog to no effect and then immediately gets sacrificed to bring in a Desolator. Zaateroth also puts up Road to War and casts Scything Touch on one of the Tormentors. Regna summons a Lamenter (edit: I originally wrote Desolator in error).

Turn 2: Minions
Both of my casters upkeep all their spells. Hutchuk ambushes in at the back and kills a couple of Cultists. Dr Arkadius puts Adrenaline on both Road Hogs and they kill a few nearby Grievers and Sprint back to safety. Kwaak Enlivens both of them too in case things get a bit too dangerous.

Turn 2: Infernals
The lead Tormentor gets Pathfinder from the Objective and Zaateroth decides to drop Scything Touch. The Desolator on the left drops Hutchuk with ease, triggering Road to War to move the lead Tormentor. Grievers fly up to get in my way, though the lead one is killed by a Guardian Beast attack (hurray, I actually remember to use it!). The Gate places the front Tormentor forward a bit more and then shoots the nearer Road Hog which Enlives back out of reach. Zaateroth Feats and summons a Soult Stalker from a Wretch who has run forward. Valen runs to score the central flag and Regna casts Deceleration, presumably out of habit since my Gun Boar would be the only thig affected. Andrew scores his flag and we both score our zones; 2 – 1 to him.

Turn 3: Minions
Wow, that Feat is hard to deal with if you don’t have any kind of accuracy spell. I was worried about time here so stopped taking detailed notes, but basically I ended up having to Primal most of my hitters and then still boost to hit to even have a chance to actually land damage. In the end I take out the front row (and the gate, since at least I can hit that) and clear enough space to get onto the central flag. On a couple of occasions when I do hit, Orin forces a re-roll into another miss. Most depressingly, much of what I’ve killed has been summoned in anyway, so the net impact in the game is not very impressive. I also both score my zone; 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 3: Infernals
Zaateroth and Regna both cut to full Essence. One Tormentor kills a War Hog by throwing it in ot a Road Hog which is eventually killed off by some other random attacks. Roget puts Ghost Walk on the Cultists to get them forward. Other heavies take out both the Wrastler and the exposed War Hog on the far right. Zaateroth summons another Tormentor from Roget and Regna summons a Desolator. The Foreboder contests my zone (though I will admit that I thought it was a Griever at the time). Andrew scores his zone; 3 – 3.

Turn 4: Minions
I try to clear out as much as possible but there is too much there and not enough of my stuff, not to mention that the few remaining models I have are obliged to Frenzy. The Battle Boar does kill the arc node to clear my zone so at least I score a point (as does Andrew from his zone); 4 – 4.

Turn 4: Infernals
Two Cultists and the Hermit fill up most of the heavies with Essence, then they kill my remaining heavy warbeasts mainly by chain attack throwing them around the place. Andrew contests my zone and scores his own; 5 – 4.

Turn 5: Minions
I try to clear my zone and the left flag to get Mire onto it but clock out before doing anything useful. Minions lose on deathclock and I also fail on photo-taking.

Well, that was certainly pretty hard. Knowing what I know now, I suppose that Jaga Jaga might have been the better approach as I could have leveraged Signs and Portents to at least hit my targets and Swamp Horrors could possibly do some amusing work pulling models back in when they teleport away on the Feat turn. On the other hand, I’m not sure that list has the hitting power to work through the Infernal summoning and get any useful result out of it. The game itself was a lot of fun; Andrew is a very nice chap to play with.

Interestingly, Andrew opined that Infernals are rather over-tuned compared to other factions, and he eventually won the event. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t have beaten me even if we had our armies the other way round as he’s a much better player than I am. It was, in some ways, pleasing to continue my run of always losing to Andrew or his brother at every event I attend. Things I learned:

  • I probably should have Feated one turn earlier as it was wasted into Zaateroth’s Feat.
  • Although the Infernals seem largely immune to knockdown I probably should have considered a few throw options just to get some board position. Andrew used them very well and it is certainly something that I don’t usually even think about.
  • Ambushing Hutchuk is hard to do right. He’s not hard for a heavy to kill, but doesn’t really do great work clearing infantry. Perhaps I should just give up on him entirely.

Round 2 – Anarchy vs Nick’s Infernals (game 20)

https://conflictchamber.com/?cg201b_-1CpglVosgbomlUonlM1Goqorop30ohou___-1yo8oeoeoaoaolomonoSot4ioqoropofogoyovohou

Infernals
[Theme] Hearts of Darkness (Protectorate)

[Feora 3] Feora, the Conquering Flame [+27]
– Judicator [35]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Deliverer Arms Master [3]
Eilish Garrity, the Dark Seeker [5]
Exemplar Warder [5]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [6]
– Redeemer [11]
The Wretch [4]
Umbral Guardian [0(6)]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Choir of Menoth (max) [6]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Zaateroth 1] Zaateroth, The Weaver of Shadows [+26]
– Foreboder [4]
– Foreboder [4]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Eilish Garrity, the Dark Seeker [5]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Nicia, Hound of the Abyss [4]
Saxon Orrik [4]
The Wretch [4]
Umbral Guardian [0(6)]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (min) [5]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
– Dark Sentinel (3) [0(6)]
– Master Preceptor Orin Midwinter [4]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Well, this is quite the tutorial on playing into Infernals. Despite my losses last time I feel that Dr Arkadius is still needed here if I’m to have even a hope of dealing with the Judicator, and Nick helpfully backs me up by playing the Feora list. I out threat the Judicator in melee but it can do a lot more at range than I can so I will need to be a bit circumspect about distance here. I’m not actually too worried about anything else as Feora’s long threat range is hampered a bit by the fact that I can go further than her on my Feat turn. Severius improving everything that the army does is pretty annoying though! I also think that this is the first time that I’ve seen an army choose not to take the Hermit in a long time.

Nick wins the roll and picks to move first. His theme benefit is to start with his upkeep spells out so Redline is on the Judicator, Banishing Ward on Feora and Road to War on Severius.

Turn 1: Infernals
Nick races up to be just a hair outside my melee threat ranges with Feora and the Judicator, everything else hangs back a little. Regna summons a Shrieker.

Turn 1: Minions
I realise that since Nick didn’t take the Eyeless Sight objective, I can cloud up behind the central forest and stay clear of the Judicator as much as possible. So Mire drops a few clouds to extend the forest and most of my warbeasts take up position behind it. On the right one of my War Hogs moves in to keep Nick honest on his positioning with Feora. The Judicator can’t get to it so I’m hopeful that the ranged attacks available on the right aren’t enough to put the War Hog down. Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator (which I’ll forget instantly, of course) and casts Forced Evolution on a Road Hog.

Turn 2: Infernals
Feora and Severius upkeep their spells and Allocate one to their Warjacks. Regna eats a Choir boy and Allocates three to the Shrieker. The Choir sing Battle on the Warjacks. The Shrieker and Redeemer pepper the exposed War Hog with what felt like rather tasty dice and the Grievers eventually finish it off. That’s unfortunate, I was hoping not to lose that for nothing. Runewood comes forward and puts Shadow on another War Hog. Finally, and slightly to my surprise, the Judicator backs right up.

Turn 2: Minions
I decide not to Feat this turn as I doubt that I can get to the Judicator and I can instead use Sprint on the Road Hogs to put some nice damage out and stay fairly safe. Plus, I’m not so worried about the Judicator when it is standing far away. Dr Arkadius needles both Road Hogs and they charge in and kill Runewood, Eilish, the Shrieker and most of the Grievers. One Sprints back toward my lines and the other one (with Forced Evolution) jams itself deep to contest the right flag. I’m not really sure if this is the right play but I figure I’ll never find out if I don’t try. At the very least it’ll take up some of Nick’s activations to deal with it. The Witch Doctor gives Ghost Walk to Kwaak who runs onto the left flag; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Infernals
Feora and Severius upkeep their spells and allocate to their Warjacks again. Feora Feats and charges into the lead Road Hog, killing it easily. The Umbral Guardian kills Kwaak but can’t quite touch the flag itself. The Choir sing Battle on both Warjacks and Regna summons a replacement Shrieker, seemingly mainly for the Focus efficiency. The Judicator gets a line on the second Road Hog and kills it, then turns its attention on the central War Hog. Almost everything else available targets the War Hog too, and it finally goes down to a Griever. Again, I felt like the odds rather favoured the War Hog surviving but it was not to be. The Gate pulls Feora back and resummons a few Grievers. Neither of us score; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Minions
I was hoping to have a bit more punch available to work with here but I’ve given away far too much on Feora’s Feat turn. I end up turbo charging the last War Hog with Forced Evolution, Ghost Walk and Primal, then Feating it forward and hoping to get it directly to Feora. Unfortunately the positioning of Valen and flag don’t allow me to get straight into the Warcaster so I’m obliged to try to Overtake into her. Even with Primal the War Hog misses all three initials into Valen and so doesn’t have enough to put down Feora. Mire kills the Umbral Guardian and sits on my flag to score it again; 2 – 0 to me.

Turn 4: Infernals
Well, I am certainly in trouble here. But on the other hand, Nick has taken a lot of time over his turns so he only has about 2 minutes left to seal the deal through Dr Arkadius’s 3 transfers. Feora does a bit of jiggery-pokery to clear a lane to charge Dr Arkadius and burns a transfer before Fire Stepping away to clear space for the Judicator. The big machine has time to ignite its flamethrowers before the clock beeps, letting me away with yet another literally last-second reprieve. For amusement, we roll it all out and Dr Arkadius does not get the astonish luck that would have been needed to not die to the Judicator. Minions win by deathclock.

Yikes, that was close. I played pretty badly there and gave up far too much of my army far too easily. Part of that was mistaking the threat ranges on Nick’s stuff, part of it was not accounting for slight high-rolling taking two Warbeasts where I might have held on to them both, and part of it was constantly forgetting that all the Infernals can just move through each other with no problems. On the other hand, I did it all in a timely and efficient manner whereas Nick spent a lot longer thinking about his moves. It was very lucky for me to get a win here as Nick outplayed me all the way through; to his immense credit he didn’t get frustrated about crushing me through the entire game and then losing to the clock, but rather he took it like a gentleman. Things I learned:

  • I waited a turn too long on the Feat here. I think that there was an assassination on in turn 2 by Overtaking through Grievers etc into Feora; instead I got too greedy thinking I could just let the Judicator sit at the back.
  • I didn’t position my solos well to score flags and ended up having to run Kwaak into danger just to score a point. If I’d thought out where he needed to be on turn 1 I could have used Enliven and maybe kept stuff alive.
  • More accurately – a thing I didn’t learn. Hutchuk stayed off the table entirely. In this match-up I wonder if I might have been better served starting him on the table anyway as there was nothing going wide enough to be threatened by an ambusher.

Round 3 – Invasion vs Marty’s Skorne (game 21)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c9201b_-2cfkm_mZ6u6un2n2n2ncn8n1n9n1mBmB___-2c6Qm_n46un2n2n2ncn9n1mB

Skorne
[Theme] The Exalted

[Zaal 2] Zaal, the Ancestral Advocate [+29]
– Desert Hydra [35]
Abidan the Keeper [0(5)]
Ancestral Guardian [5]
Ancestral Guardian [5]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]
Immortals (min) [8]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Supreme Guardian [16]
Supreme Guardian [16]

Skorne
[Theme] The Exalted

[Hexeris 2] Lord Arbiter Hexeris [+27]
– Desert Hydra [35]
– Mammoth [35]
Ancestral Guardian [0(5)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Supreme Guardian [16]

Both lists involve clouds of high armour statues and a load of huge based models such that I feel that I need to leverage the pure hitting power of Dr Arkadius [edit: I’ve added Marty’s actual lists now]. So even though I quite fancied putting Jaga Jaga down, there is no way that she’s getting picked before Dr Arkadius. The extent to which I out-threat these lists is also significant. Marty picks Zaal2 apparently because he forgot to pack the Mammoth from his other list.

I win the roll off and pick to have first turn again. I want to pin the Skorne back as far as possible so that they have to either come to me or just surrender the scenario.

Turn 1: Minions
I race everything forward as fast as possible. Mire puts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler in case it ever becomes relevant (which I doubt). Dr Arkadius casts Aggravator and puts Forced Evolution on one of the Road Hogs as per usual. There probably isn’t enough shooting for Aggravator to be relevant but with Marty’s list I can’t see Guardian Beast helping much either.

Turn 1: Skorne
The Immortals and Supreme Guardians race up the outsides as quick as they can manage. The Hydra casts Sand Storm on itself, which could mildly inconvenience the Gun Boar if it was remote near to anything I might actually shoot. Zaal also puts Vision on the Hydra and then Feats.

Turn 2: Minions
There doesn’t seem to be much point in committing this turn as Zaal’s Feat means I’ll get almost nothing done and then be killed by the Supreme Guardians in return. My only attack is the Gun Boar taking a random shot into right Supreme Guardian for some trivial damage (after an amusingly high roll). I definitely don’t want to trigger Vengeance on the Immortals. One Road Hog ends up in range of the Supreme Guardian on the left as I need to contest that zone somehow; hopefully Enliven will keep it going.

Turn 2: Skorne
Both units of Immortals and their support staff swarm out to take up as much of each zone as possible. The right Supreme Guardian take a desultory shot at the Gun Boar; the one on the left gets a couple of swings into the Forced Evolution Road Hog before it Enlivens back out of reach with some fairly large chunks missing. The Desert Hydra continues to clog up the middle. No-one scores.

Turn 3: Minions
I’m never going to get a better Feat turn than this one. Hutchuk appears on the right and lands a Rust bomb on the Supreme Guardian before clobbering the Novitiate hanging around at the back. The Gun Boar blows up an Immortal and positions charge a pesky one when I Feat (but it will fail to kill anyway). The Wrastler eats its way through an entertainingly high number of Immortals thanks to Overtake and Mire kills one right the middle of the board before applying Rage to a couple of War Hogs. Over on the left, the Battle Boar Primals a Road Hog. Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery to heal up that badly damaged Road Hog, Primals the last War Hog and lets fly with his Feat. The Feat attacks position the right War Hog in range of the Supreme Guardian, the centre one gets a very tasty swing at the Hydra (which is then cancelled with Vision) and the left one and both Road Hogs charge into the other Supreme Guardian, leaving it already looking rather peaky. When the individual actions come up, the War Hog on the right smashes the Rust-ed Supreme Guardian with attacks to spare and Overtakes its way through a few more Immortals. On the left, the Feat attacks leave the War Hog able to finish that Supreme Guardian without even using all its initials so it also Overtakes away to chop up some more Immortals. The central War Hog rolls like a champion and drops the Hydra after maxing out on Fury. The two Road Hogs eat an Ancestral Guardian and Hakaar, mainly because there are not any better targets. Marty has seen more than enough and concedes. Minions win.

I had some excellent dice during that game and it contributed hugely to the result; it says a lot about Marty that he just took it in his stride. That said, I think that with the board state at the start of my final turn I was more or less sure to take out all three huge bases as I had a lot of spare attacks to go round. Marty could have made my life a lot harder by forcing me to go through the Immortals before getting to swing at the Supreme Guardians. Things I learned:

  • Getting a good Feat turn with Dr Arkadius is a really sweet feeling, especially if the dice are kind to you while it happens. What a nice way for the Doctor to sign off on our journey together.

So when it was all wrapped up I came in a nice mid-table position of 5th of 12 players. Many thanks to Andrew, Nick and Marty for three very fun games, and of course to Frazer for running the show. That is probably it for my Minions for now as I’m planning to get some games in with Cryx over the next few months.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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