This a Steelhead Cannon Crew, a unit for my Mercenaries for in Warmachine – specifically the Soldiers of Fortune theme force. They’re pretty straightforward in application; there is one shot from the Cannon itself that does a decent amount of damage but most interestingly causes knock down on hit. So ironically the main use I’ve found for the Cannon hasn’t been so much about the damage but rather to knock down models either to inconvenience them or to enable the rest of my stuff to hit them more easily. As they’re a unit, they also have a secondary value in scoring circular zones but in practice in the armies I use the Cannons in have so many other units that this is rarely relevant; plus they’re so slow that it’s hard to actually get them anywhere interesting.
I painted the Cannon crew themselves in the same style as the rest of the Steelheads and I think that the green and yellow scheme works pretty nicely. I was torn over how to paint the Cannon itself; initially I considered painting the screen in green to match the crew. Eventually I decided that Steelheads would be pragmatists, not bothering with fancy painting on their kit and so left it metallic apart from the wheels. A fun little unit to paint… now I just need to assemble and paint the other one.
Here are another pair of Grundback Blasters for my Warmachine Mercenaries army. There isn’t much more to say about them than the last time I painted some of these except that I’ve been playing a list with three of them; hence I picked up another pack.
I kept the general colour scheme the same as the other Rhulic Warjacks I’ve painted lately but made sure to put a couple of the armour panels for each in a cream colour to give each Blaster a bit of individuality.
Next on the painting table: Steelhead Cannon Crew.
This is Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios, another solo in Warmachine for the Mercenaries faction. This particular Eiryss is Eiryss1; there are 4 versions of her in existence at the moment representing her at various stages in her story. For this reason and others, I suspect that Eiryss is a PC in a hypothetical ongoing RPG played by the developers at PP; she shows up a lot in the stories and is one of only a handful of characters to get a fourth iteration. Eiryss has lots of rules that enable her to mess with Focus allocation and she’s ridiculously accurate with her main crossbow. I just never seem to have the space to fit her into a list; in theory she would be brilliant in Soldiers of Fortune (where she can be free) but in practice she has never made the cut for me. I’ve been stung by Eiryss in Joe’s hands plenty of times though, so I have no doubt of her efficacy.
This version of Eiryss is the first and therefore the oldest sculpt, and it shows. The miniature itself is rather two dimensional and the detailing around the face in particular leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, I do really like the dynamic pose and I think that the sculptors did well for the time. Even though Eiryss could theoretically appear in a Soldiers of Fortune army I wanted her to be very distinct from any Steelheads as she is very much a free agent. That, combined with the cloak and hood that she wears, led me to for a Little Red Riding hood look which I think works rather nicely. She was a quick and easy paint and I’m very satisfied that she’s ready for the tabletop.
Last night’s adventure in Warmachine/Hordes was a new experience for me as I played someone on Wartable that (at least as far as I know) I’ve never met in real life. My opponent was Dave, who seems to be well known on the Scotland scene and also on Lormahordes as The Buoyancy of Water.
Game 28 – Recon II (scenario 6) vs Dave’s Legion of Everblight
I stuck with Jaga-Jaga for much the same reasons as last time, i.e. that I wasn’t sure how long the game might last and I didn’t think that I could get a Dr Arkadius Feat turn done in a reasonable amount of time on Wartable and without practice. I’ll save that for a game with Gareth sometime, as I think as he’s more patient with me.
My experience playing against the Legion of Everblight is limited to probably a single game, way back in the distant past when we could meet people face to face and play with our toys together. I assume that the plan is to set all my stuff on fire with the Archangel, then send in the Chosen to kill everything and tank any return attacks long enough for the second wave of Warbeasts to eat any survivors.
Dave wins the roll-off and picks the first turn. I take the bottom of map as the terrain looks slightly less annoying, though the fact that much of the terrain is clouds is not ideal against all the Eyeless Sight on the Legion side. I put both Void Archons on the right as I think that they’re the key to dealing with Chosen in a timely manner. This leads to Brine facing off against the Archangel on the left which is a problem since the only cover over there is a cloud… which the Archangel ignores. I put some Valkyries and a Dhunian Archon out there to protect him a bit and hope for the best.
Turn 1: Legion of Everblight
Kallus puts up Burning Path and everything races up at me.
Turn 1: Minions
Gosh, that’s a scary amount of scary stuff, a scary distance up the board already. My moves are very cautious as I don’t want to give up too many first turn charges, though there is nothing that I can do to stop Overrun going on the Archangel and having it fire Golab or the Neraph into me. The Void Archons spray down a pair of Hellmouth Tentacles on the right. Rorsh casts Pig Pen (I dream of a day when that actually becomes relevant), Jaga-Jaga puts up Battle Host and casts Grave Wind on the nearer Void Archon.
Turn 2: Legion of Everblight
Kallus upkeeps Burning Path. The Archangel kills a Valkyrie and sets another one plus Brine on fire. To my great surprise, almost everything else just backs off with the exception of a few thngs to contest scenario elements. Kallus does arc a Brand of Fire through a hapless Spell Martyr to set Jaga-Jaga, both Swamp Horrors and the Soul Slave on fire.
Turn 2: Minions
I can score my own flag without too much pain and it won’t be hard to contest the other one; scoring the zones seems unlikely though. Otherwise my main plan is to deliver a Void Archon and one Swamp Horror to do as much damage to the Chosen as I can and hope to pin Dave’s forces back a little while dealing with them. The fires do surprisingly little and the right Swamp Horror gets Eyeless Sight from my Objective; the Wrastler puts Rage on it. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells, shuffles a bit and casts Signs and Portents. On the right, one Void Archon tucks in behind a wall and knocks a few boxes off the lead Chosen, then the other one goes in and Void Walks to maximise the positioning of Entropic Force. The fully-loaded Swamp Horror kills three of the Chosen and hurts the Objective. The Valkyries on the left take a few pot shots and contest the flag. My big mistake here is dithering too much with Brine. I didn’t want to throw him into the screens too early but in the end I did nothing at all with him; at the very least I could have had him eat a couple of tentacles or something as he was never going to stay far enough from the Archangel to be safe. I score my flag with a Dhunian Archon; 1 – 0 to me.
Turn 3: Legion of Everblight
Kallus upkeeps Burning Path again, puts Overrun onto Golab, Battle Lust on the Rotwings and then Feats, moving to the left a little. Tentacles spawn around the place; one kills a Valkyrie on the left but on the right they miss both the Void Archon and the Chef. The Neraph boosts a charge attack which kills the Void Archon despite Grave Wind and the remaining Chosen go into the Swamp Horror and Valkyries to pleasingly little effect. The Rotwings swarm all over the burning Swamp Horror and make short work of it – hilarious dice sees it die to the second attack. On the left, Golab charges the burning Valkyrie and kills her on its second initial (I cancelled the first hit with the Dhunian Archon) and hurts Brine; the Archangel charges in to finish the job. The last Spell Martyr sits on the flag to score it; 1 – 1.
Turn 3: Minions
I think that it’s probably possible to clear both zones here if I get a little lucky which would give me a nice scenario lead and a local attrition advantage on the right, which would be just as well as I’m rapidly running out of anything to work with on the left. The Valkyries on the left take Vengeance attacks on Golab and helpfully land the critical knock down on the very first attack which rather changes the game. Jaga-Jaga shuffles a bit and recasts Sign and Portents. The Valkyries then go again and take Golab down to two boxes. Rorsh finishes it off with a Pig Iron, detonates the right Tentacle and a pair of Rotwings with dynamite but then fails to break armour on the last contesting Tentacle. Good work Mr Pig, but unfortunately I don’t have any further attacks to deal with it; the Dhunian Archon is a bit too far away and anyway has to run to contest the flag. The Void Archon charges a Tentacle and then Void Walks to kill the Hellmouth with boosted damage attacks thanks to the glut of souls it is carrying around. The Valkyries clear the zone and the Swamp Horror Overtakes its way through some Rotwings to score it. I get the right zone and the flag; 3 – 1 to me.
Turn 4: Legion of Everblight
Burning Path gets dropped. The Hellmouth pulls in the Dhunian Archon and hurts her but the tentacle helpfully misses Rorsh. The Mechanoshredder puts its Animus on the Neraph which adds a second Void Archon scalp to its collection; slightly to my surprise it sprints back rather than putting more pressure on me. The Forsaken runs up to contest instead. Kallus kills the Dhunian Archon (I have to admit that I was hoping for a bit of Tough / no knock down shenanigans here but it was not to be) then puts Battle Lust back on the Rotwinds. The Archangel aims, puts up its Animus and shoots at Rorsh. The first one gets taken on a Valkyrie (which dies) but Rorsh does survive, albeit on fire. The few surviving Rotwings again roll like heroes to nearly polish off the Swamp Horror but it lives with a few boxes remaining in Body. Dave scores the flag on the left; 3 – 2 to me.
Turn 4: Minions
I’m losing too much on the left to have any chance of dealing with the Archangel before it guns down Jaga-Jaga so I need to finish this. I can’t pick up enough points to close out a scenario win (possibly I could have managed it if I’d got the left zone in my last turn) so it’s time for assassination. The Valkyrie survives the fire but Rorsh needs a successful Tough roll to stay in the game. The Valkyrie sidles round into Kallus’s back arc but misses her attacks entirely, never mind the cheeky knock down that I was hoping for. In the process of doing this I also realise that I’ve moved her out of the zone so that removes any chance of holding on for a scenario play. Jaga-Jaga heals the crippled Swamp Horror, casts Signs and Portents and kills a blocking Rotwing with her snake. The Valkyries clear the rest of the Rotwings to free up the Swamp Horror. It charges the Objective, kills it and Overtakes into the Tentacle (with its tentacles, fittingly), kills it and Overtakes into the Spell Martyr, kills him and Overtakes into tentacle range of Kallus. I need a Signs and Portents 7 to land this… and make it. Kallus is dragged, probably kicking with his spare legs and screaming, into charge range of the Wrastler. Rorsh stands up and unloads his guns into Kallus. The Blackhide Wrastler doesn’t need a second invitation and kills Kallus through his transfers. Minions win by assassination.
That was a very fun game, many thanks to Dave for being a lovely opponent. I felt that this was quite a fortunate end to the game from my perspective in the sense that I probably couldn’t have held on for another turn before my attrition disadvantage became completely insurmountable. Still, it was a nice contrast to my previous game – there I was winning nicely and lost to assassination and here it went the other way round.
Things I learned:
Not so much a ‘thing I learned’ but rather something that I want to point out. I’ve heard Jaga-Jaga described as quite a boring Warlock in the sense that she mainly just hangs around casting Signs and Portent every turn, and that is true. But the flip side of this is that Signs and Portents just smooths out the probability curves such that things simply work more often; for example on the assassination at the end here I had to hit lots of targets needing 6s or 7s, and most of the time I’d probably want to boost. But under Signs and Portents I have a much lower risk of missing those, which means that when I do need to boost I can really make it count. Also the combination of Ghost Walk, Overtake and Pull enables some truly hilarious plays, though of course the first wasn’t really needed in this case.
My use of Brine was very poor here. I should have recognised that the Archangel was going to be able to drop him in turn 3 unless I pulled him right back to the point of uselessness. Instead of standing around in a cloud I should have fired him off into the cloud of Rotwings and just Overtaken through as many as I could.
I’m still not precise enough with my positioning of Valkyries. I often needed them to Shield Guard something only to find that I’d left them 3.1” away from it.
Here is a Steelhead Arcanist, a solo for my Mercenaries in Warmachine. Like (almost) all Steelhead models, he is at home in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force; Steelhead refers to the name of the mercenary company to which most of the nominally professional mercenaries belong in the game story. This is as opposed to loads of the other Mercenaries who occupy various statuses along the lines of outlaw, desperado, pirate etc. The Arcanist is a pure support piece, being able to give a Focus to a Warjack or remove cloud effects from the game; he also passively gives all nearby friendly Steelheads magical weapons which can be critical in some match-ups. I like him especially with Fiona the Black as in the late game once the Warjacks are all gone and I’m at the stage of desperately throwing everything I have left into the fray, she can channel spells through the Arcanist and he has enough health to survive the experience at least once.
The Steelhead Arcanist is a newer miniature so it’s a mix of very crisp resin and a few frustrating metal pieces. I went with the same general colour scheme as Sgt Verendrye (and, spoiler alert, the rest of the Steelheads will get the same treatment) as I felt that a co-ordinated colour scheme matched the flavour of a professional group of soldiers. In addition, I’m really enjoying painting yellow at the moment so it works well. The miniature itself is a really lovely pose; it would probably make quite a good option for RPGs, for example as a Cleric character.
Next on the painting table: Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios.
These are Thrall Warriors, solos in my Mercenaries for Warmachine. Thrall Warriors are quite unusual in that they can’t actually be chosen as part of your army but rather are summoned by Alexia as she gathers souls. They’re easy to kill so my main experience is to summon them, send them off to hit something (and usually miss) and then they get killed next turn. Still, being a solo that can score flags, apply Mark Target (in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force), get in the way etc, has it’s own value and I don’t hesitate to include Alexia2 in my lists.
I actually got these Thrall Warriors as part of a second hand lot and wanted a quick and easy paintjob since they’re barely more than tokens in the actual game experience. I’m not even sure if the one with no head is supposed to be that way or if it just got lost somewhere; luckily since they’re meant to be dead already it’s not so important. They must have ended up being my quickest finished miniatures in ages but I think that the simplicity has worked quite nicely here.
Frazer and I got together virtually to play Warmachine / Hordes (or, more accurately, just Hordes) via Wartable. Frazer is going back to Trollbloods, apparently his main faction throughout MK2, which everyone seemed to find quite exciting.
Game 27 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Frazer’s Trollbloods
This is the same Jaga-Jaga list I’ve been playing separately. I theorise that Dr Arkadius would be a better option into Trollbloods but I’m way out of practice with him and didn’t fancy putting Frazer through the tedium of watching my Feat turn take about an hour.
[Ragnor 1] Ragnor Skysplitter, the Runemaster [+30]
– Dire Troll Bomber 
– Dire Troll Brawler 
– Pyre Troll 
– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]
Trollkin Champion Hero [0(5)]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max) 
– Stone Scribe Elder 
Trollkin Champions (max) 
– Skaldi Bonehammer [0(5)]
Trollkin Fennblades (max) 
– Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer 
Trollkin Warders (min) 
Plus or minus a couple of points for CID changes, plus Boomhowler3. None of this is live in Conflict Chamber yet.
Frazer is using some of the final CID rules so I guess that they are still subject to change before release. My knowledge of Trollbloods is no more than cursory anyway so I’m not likely to get tripped up on a minor rules change now. The Band Of Heroes theme benefit cancelling my Dhunian Archons’ Mother’s Embrace ability will be quite annoying.
Frazer wins the roll-off and eventually opts to take the first turn. I give him the bottom side where he can hopefully feel safe hiding behind a house that I can eventually Ghost Walk something through to kill Ragnor. My battlegroup goes centrally with the idea that I can try to take that zone; I’m looking to clear on the right with the Void Archon and Rorsh. On the left I just want to contest in a fairly cursory manner by running the Swamp Gobber Chef around that house while the Benny Hill theme plays in the background.
Turn 1: Trollbloods
Ragnor casts Chosen Ground and puts Pulveriser on the Fennblades, then moves through the corrosion pool. The Krielstone choses Combat Warding to avoid any awkwardness with the Corrosion. The Runebearer casts Earth’s Sanctuary on the Krielstone, though I’m not sure what Frazer thought I was going to do to get to it at this range. Everything else runs full-tilt at me.
Turn 1: Minions
I do my usual turn 1 stuff; Pig Pen on Rorsh, Battle Host on Jaga-Jaga and Grave Wind on the left Void Archon. I run up as far as I can, though I do make sure to keep everything out of charge range.
Turn 2: Trollbloods
Ragnor upkeeps Chosen Ground and Pulvreiser. The Bomber chips away at the Dhunian Archon on the right. Ragnor uses his Feat and digs in. The Fennblades, not having anyone to charge, flood the right zone and jam where they can. Boomhowler gives the Bomber Hoof It so it can retreat behind a carpet of Fennblades.
Turn 2: Minions
With good dice I could possibly take out the Champion Hero and score the left zone but I think that my main objective here is to stay in the game while I ride out Ragnor’s Feat and not give too much away in Frazer’s next turn. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells and casts Signs and Portents. On the right, the combination of the Valkyries, Dhunian Archon (who removes Pulveriser too) and Void Archon pick off a good number of Fennblades; one Valkyrie gets a fortunate critical knockdown on Boomhowler to make Frazer rather sad. Rorsh guns down a couple more. The left Void Archon gets Ghost Walk from the Soul Slave then misses both attacks into the Champion Hero (5s to hit under Signs and Portents turns out to be surprisingly hard) then sprays a couple of members of the Krielstone unit to Void Walk into the most annoying place I can find in Frazer’s backfield. I still expect to lose it but hopefully it’ll be enough of a distraction that I can buy myself some more time to handle the Champions. Speaking of the Champions, one Swamp Horror gets Rage from the Wrastler and between the two Horrors and the Valkyries I manage to polish off a couple of Champions and spread out some damage across the rest of the unit. Neither of us score.
Turn 3: Trollbloods
Ragnor upkeeps Chosen Ground and Vengeance achieves nothing. Skaldi gets Eyeless Sight from the Objective. Boomhowler sighs, stands up and misses a Valkyrie then uses Shout Down on the right-most Valkyries. The Krielstone uses Stone Strength and the Runebearer puts Harmonious Exaltation on Ragnor. The Champion Hero takes a swing at the Valkyrie engaging a Champion so I stop it with the Dhunian Archon. The Pyre Troll puts Flaming Fists on the Brawler then misses the Void Archon and gets pushed away; Ragnor puts Flaming Fists on a couple of Champions and Pulveriser on the unit. They charge forwards (spreading out a nice free-strike from the Valkyrie across Sanguine Bond) and drop the Dhunian Archon and one of the Swamp Horrors, leaving the other on 5 boxes. The Brawler makes short works of the Void Archon on the left. On the right, the Fennblades use their mini-feat and charge in with the Warders but only end up dropping a single Valkyrie. The Bomber Toughs the Dhunian Archon. Again, neither of us score.
Turn 3: Minions
I think that I can score the left zone (just need to drop the Champion Hero) and the centre zone since I need to pick off all the Champs anyway and I reckon that I can get something into the Objective with judicious use of Ghost Walk. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps Battle Host for free, heals the crippled aspect of the Swamp Horror and casts Signs and Portents. Apparently the Wrastler doesn’t get the message, missing all three initials into the Champs and finally filling up on Fury to eat them all apart from Skaldi. The Valkyries on the left get stuck into the Champion Hero, forcing a tough roll which he passes. Rorsh comes across and boosts two Pig Iron shots into him, both resulting in passed tough rolls. He also lands some dynamite on Skaldi which causes another successful tough roll; at least he doesn’thave Steady. On the right the Valkyries, Dhunian Archon and Void Archon take out all the Fennblades except the Drummer, two Warders and Boomhowler. The only downside is that I needed some awkward positioning from the Void Archon that leaves its back very exposed. The Soul Slave casts Ghost Walk on the Swamp Horror which strolls through the building and eats Skaldi, two members of the Krielstone unit and the Objective; I love Overtake. I score for the central zone and the Objective; 2 – 0 to me.
Turn 4: Trollbloods
The Bomber helpfully Frenzies into the last Warder, killing him. The Rune Bearer Hex Blasts the Swamp Horror and the Pyre Troll charges over and kills it. Ragnor charges my Void Archon in the back and one-shots it, then fires a Shockwave into the Valkyries, killing one of them. Neither of us score.
Turn 4: Minions
I’m still trying to deal with that Champion Hero since his death will let me score the left zone. I can clear the central zone but it will probably cost me the Wrastler next turn. Over on the right I have the choice of getting Brine onto the Bomber or Ragnor. Vengeance attacks on the Champion hero result in another pair of passed Tough rolls and the loss of another Valkyrie to Retaliatory Strike. Jaga Jaga upkeeps Battle Host again, casts Signs and Portents plus Rage onto Brine then shuffles into the central zone. Rorsh clears the blocking models from Brine, who receives Ghost Walk from the Soul Slave and goes into Ragnor. Even under Signs and Portents he misses his boosted charge attack, and both initials into the last Krielstone Bearer. A boosted final attack does some damage to Ragnor which of course is transferred. On the left, the last Valkyrie sidles into the Champion Hero’s back arc and causes another two passed Tough rolls. Getting desperate now I charge the Chef into the big chap’s back and finally kill him off. Now we know how he became a Hero in the first place – remarkable toughness. In the centre I dither over committing the Wrastler and eventually decide that it’s worth it for another point. Another round of poor rolling (charging bite in the back under Signs and Portent? Miss!) sees the Pyre Troll and Runebearer both dead but the Wrastler is maxed out on Fury again. I do score the left and centre zones, 4 – 0.
Turn 5: Trollbloods
I’m well up on scenario and I can probably hold it for long enough to grind out what’s left of my attrition and advantage so Frazer goes for the assassination. The Brawler uses Beat Back to push Brine off Ragnor, and he charges into the Wrastler. This gives range to land a pair of Shockwaves on the Objective to knock down Jaga-Jaga and do a bit of damage with boosted blast rolls. The Bomber then saunters away from the Dhunian Archon and kills Jaga-Jaga to the box with the first bomb. Minions lose by assassination.
That was a very fun game, as all my games with Frazer have been. I feel a little bit disappointed to have let a good position slip away at the end but Frazer played his pieces well and I made a couple of poor choices in turn 4 that cost me the game. In some ways, this is what I love about WarmaHordes – that you can be down in the game but turn it around with a good assassination – even if I will admit that I prefer it to be the other way round (i.e. that I play the last-gasp assassination rather than being its victim)!
Things I learned:
First and most obviously, I got sloppy with positioning Jaga-Jaga in turn 4. I could have tucked her in behind the building so that the Bomber couldn’t even see her, or I could have been just far enough away from the Objective (and Soul Slave) to avoid the Shockwave. Both options would have been even better.
Also in turn 4 I was too keen to send Brine into Ragnor. I still think that there was a possible kill on if the dice had been a bit kinder. But the better play would have been to finish off the Bomber instead, clearing the zone and letting me keep the Wrastler back far enough to bully the Brawler for another turn while I picked up points in the outside zones.
Void Archons are fantastic into Trollblood infantry and, although I did lose them both I felt that I lost them in ways that were still positive overall for me. On the left the Void Archon tied up both the Brawler and Pyre Troll for a turn and left out of position for another turn, while on the right the Entropic Force aura made it much easier for me to deal with a large number of the infantry models.
This is the (or perhaps ‘a’) Tharn Blood Shaman, a caster attachment for my Circle of Orboros forces in Hordes. She has various abilities to enhance the effectiveness of a Circle Warlock, most notably from my point of view being able to cast of their spells through the Spell Slave action. So far I’ve mainly used the Blood Shaman with Morvanha1 as the extra Mortality is really effective in some match-ups. The hard part for me has been doing that but then not immediately dying to retaliation as, possibly not surprisingly considering that she’s completely un-armoured, it is extremely easy to kill the Blood Shaman once she’s in range.
I went with a bright yellow cloth colour to contrast with the Blood Shaman’s skin and I think that this brings some needed lightness to what could otherwise be a very naturalistic miniature. I imagine that metal is not easy to get in the primitive society that Tharn apparently have so I used metals only on her spear tip and some decorations; even the little dagger was painted to suggest bone. A fun, quick paintjob of a nice characterful miniature. I think that the Blood Shaman miniature is sufficiently generic that it could easily find it’s way into an RPG somewhere; she could be a good Monk or Druid in D&D for example.
It feels like a long time since I was able to play Allan at Warmachine / Hordes but we both had a free night and decided to spend it pushing pretend dollies across a pretend table. Allan has temporarily cut down to a single physical faction and he played them here.
Game 26 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Allan’s Retribution of Scyrah
No changes from my Jaga-Jaga list as I’m pretty happy with how it works; any errors are on my side. Looking at the match-up I’m interested to see how my plethora of shield guards will fare into the Valkyries. I think I’ve only played into the Retribution once or twice ever so I’ve no real idea what I’m going to do.
Allan stated that this is a variation on a favoured list of his, dropping the Hermit as it doesn’t add much that the list needs. I guess that the idea is to leverage the shooting power of the Tridents while threatening to flood the board with Halberdiers.
Allan wins the roll-off and decides to move first. There’s not much to choose between the table edges so I go with the bottom one as the house in the centre at the top will be quite annoting to work round. Allan’s deployment is almost symmetrical; I skew a bit to the right in the hope that I can collapse that side quickly and swing into the centre.
Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Everything runs up. Issyria casts Admonition on Hemera, Inviolable Resolve on the left Trident and then uses Velocity to move back a bit (though I have no idea what Allan though I was going to do to get his Warcaster from such a distance).
Turn 1: Minions
I can’t stay out of threat ranges so I just send everything in. I try to limit how many Halberdiers can get to any one thing even if Allan casts Crusader’s Call, and I keep the Valkyires spread out to catch as many bullets as possible. The Void Archon on the right gets Grave Wind and sits in the rubble; I’m hopeful that will tempt Allan to commit a Trident to kill it and I’m probably OK with that trade. Rorsh casts Pig Pen which I’ll never remember to use and Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host.
Turn 2: Retribution of Scyrah
Allan spends a lot of time thinking about his options here. In the end he allocates no focus but upkeeps both spells. Hemera runs right into my face. Issyria moves forward to cover a landing spot for the Trident on the right, Feats and arcs a boosted Blinding Light into the right Void Archon which misses. The Trident charges it and kills it in melee anyway, then guns down a couple of Valkyries and hurts Rorsh. On the left, the other Trident kills the Chef and another Valkyrie and the Harpy takes out two more. The incidental healing does get most of my other models up to full health though. The Halberdiers walk up and adopt Shield Wall.
Turn 2: Minions
I could possibly score the right zone but I think that leaves Brine in the awkward position of sitting around twiddling his huge meaty thumbs. Instead I decide to do as much damage to Allan’s big hitters as possible. Jaga-Jaga casts Signs and Portents and moves a bit further away from the scary Trident on the left. The Wrastler helpfully misses all three initials into the Chimera, then casts Rage on Brine who wrecks both the Trident and the Chimera. Rorsh guns down the Ghost Sniper on the right. One Swamp Horror triggers Admonition on Hemera (which I had forgotten about) but the other one pulls it in and teams up with a Valkyrie to leave it on a single box in movement. On the left, the surviving Valkyries and Void Archon do some damage to the Trident and the latter sprays a couple of Halberdiers down to teleport to the back of the zone engaging the Ghost Sniper. Neither of us score.
Turn 3: Retribution of Scyrah
Issyria upkeeps Inviolable Resolve and allocates one Focus to the Harpy. It guns down my Objective (I was tempted to take one shot onto the last Valkyrie but I figured she was doing a better job gumming up the Halberdiers) in two shots, taking it out exactly to the box. The Trident turns around and explodes the Void Archon easily and kills one Valkyrie but the Ghost Sniper misses the other one. A Halberdier charges through the Trident to finish her though which clears that zone. Issyria puts Admonition on herself and stays safe. The other Halberdiers mostly just derp around; one of them hits the blocking Valkyrie but the Dhunian Archon stops the attack. Allan scores the left zone and killed the objective; 2 – 0.
Turn 3: Minions
The left zone is going to be a massive problem from here on as I don’t think that I can get anything to it in a single turn which means that Allan will always be able to gun down anything I send in that direction. I also need to think of how I’m going to deal with scoring the right zone as I kind of need Jaga-Jaga and my Warbeasts to head left. In the end I figure I can have Brine sit in the right zone this turn as my Warbeasts will get in each other’s way around that central forest if I use too many of them; fortunately Brine doesn’t Frenzy. The central Valkyrie finishes off Hemera with Vengeance. Jaga-Jaga, of course, upkeeps Battle Host and casts Signs and Portents. The Swamp Horrors kill off the Harpy and eat a handful of Halberdiers and I send one Dhunian Archon to make a token effort around contesting the left zone next turn. I score the right zone and Allan scores the left; 3 – 1 to him.
Turn 4: Retribution of Scyrah
The Objective and the Mechanic repair the Trident which easily kills the Dhunian Archon and repositions back into the zone. Issyria casts Crusader’s Call and moves to safety with Velocity. The remaining Halberdiers go into both Swamp Horrors, killing the left one and mauling the right one quite badly. Allan scores the right zone; 4 – 1 to him.
Turn 4: Minions
I need to get the centre cleared so that I can stop Allan just running away with the scenario. Rorsh clears the right zone with his Pig Irons and Brine reluctantly stays there to score it. The Wrastler and Swamp Horror clear the flag and the Dhunian Archon sits on it; sadly I couldn’t quite clear the whole zone. I score the flag and right zone, Allan scores the left; 5 – 3 to him.
Turn 5: Retribution of Scyrah
The Trident continues to get repaired. It shoots the Swamp Horror and the Halberdiers eventually kill it. The latter also kill the Dhunian Archon with a truly heroic dice roll and she sadly fails to Tough. We both continue to score the same zones; 6 – 4 to Allan.
Turn 5: Minions
Jaga-Jaga swaps places with Brine in the left zone. I clear off the flag for the Soul Slave to run onto but I can’t quite pick off the last model contesting the central zone. I move Rorsh round the building as I’ll need another solo to sit on that flag soon. I score the flag and right zone, Allan takes the left; 7 – 6 to him.
Turn 6: Retribution of Scyrah
The Trident easily guns down the Soul Slave but can’t quite take out the Valkyrie. We both continue scoring the rectangular zones; 8 – 7 to Allan.
Turn 6: Minions
I finally clear out the central zone, but now I don’t have anything that can get to the flag. Brine swaps again with Jaga-Jaga as I’ll need to have her control range more central for the last turn. Rorsh continues to move toward the centre but critically I move him to exactly within range of the Trident; obviously I didn’t notice this until it was too late. I score the centre and right zones and Allan scores the left; 9 – 9.
Turn 7: Retribution of Scyrah
The Trident is now back to full health. It lines up on Rorsh and I know that this is going to be rough as Allan rolls up the maximum 9 shots and 3 power tokens. His dice slightly desert him as several shots are missed and I transfer the boosted damage ones to Brine; in the end Rorsh lives on a couple of boxes. The Ghost Sniper makes no mistakes, killing off my Farrow. Allan scores the left zone and contests the centre with the final Thane; 10 – 9 to him.
Turn 7: Minions
I ‘only’ need to score two scenario points and contest the left zone for a win; in a pinch either would do as I’m probably ahead on points destroyed too. Jaga-Jaga casts Ghost Walk on herself (as I need it to get to the flag) and the Wrastler, and applies Rage to the latter too. The Wrastler walks round to the back of the Trident and wrecks it in a highly satisfying way, then Overtakes and kills the Objective too. Sadly, the second overtake move is millimetres short of getting into the zone to contest it. The Valkyrie at the top charges into the Thane and misses both attacks. The other skirts round into his back arc and misses her first attack. She hits the second… and rolls low enough to leave him on a single box. Allan scores his zone again and I only get the point for the objective; 11 – 10 to Allan (note that we forgot to note the point I scored in the screenshot). Minions lose on scenario.
Wow, what a close game! Many thanks to Allan, that was a terrific way to spend an evening. I can see what he means about the power of the Tridents, I think that they basically killed almost my whole force between the two of them.
Things I learned:
I’m still getting sloppy with threat ranges. If I’d kept Rorsh 1mm further back in turn 6 he would probably have lived.
I need to remember Jaga-Jaga actually has a Feat, even though I often joke that her real Feat is casting Signs and Portents every turn. If I’d remembered to use it in the final turn I could probably have made sure that the Thane would go down.
My plan to stack the right side did work, but it came at the cost of losing the left; I do recognise that this is quite a predictable outcome in a symmetrical wargame of course. In this case my lack of ranged threat compared to Allan’s meant that this probably ended up as an advantage to him. I’ve been thinking of this as rather an ‘anti-shooting’ list with all the Valkyries but maybe I also need to consider what I’m going to do when, as here, almost all of my Valkyries explode in one turn.
Here are three more Ghordson Gunners, Rhulic Warjacks in my Warmachine Mercenaries. If I’m being honest, the two of these I had is probably more than enough but I got this trio as part of a second hand lot of various other Mercenaries so they went into the queue. Probably somewhere there exists a decent list with a whole raft of gun-bunnies but I haven’t taken the time to think about it yet.
For admittedly not-very-inspiring sculpts I did really enjoy painting the little cuties. I continued with my green and bronze colour scheme but I did mix in some cream sections to break them up and individualise them a bit. With so few different colours it was nice to just get the Gunners done and off the tray in a short time.