Battle reports

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Convergence of Cyriss (75 points); 19Dec2020

I got another game of Warmachine / Hordes in via Wartable. My opponent this time was Andrew who is working on a Convergence list with more than a little jank in it.

Game 33 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Andrew’s Convergence of Cyriss

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nqr1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Lord Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

This is the same list as I’ve used for the last few games. I think it’s useful to play a list for a few games regardless of how good or bad the match-up is so that you can see where it has good options and where you’ll struggle. More importantly, I’ve been finding it really fun.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cc201b_-2od2nBnBoRnHpMoNoNpB1hpNpNpN2525

Convergence
[Theme] Strange Bedfellows

[Aurora 1] Aurora, the Numen of Aerogenesis [+29]
– Mule [14]
– Mule [14]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Prefect Hypatia [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Asphyxious the Sanctified [14]
– Stalker [8]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Soulhunters (min) [11]
Soulhunters (min) [11]

Andrew is using the Convergence theme that incorporates a load of random Mercenary and Cryx options. I assume that the point of this list is to turbo-charge those Soul Hunters and fire them into me from across the board.

I win the roll-off and choose to move first. Against such a fast force I’m worried that I’ll be jammed up in my own deployment zone if I let Andrew take the first turn; he gives me the side with a slightly more annoying house. I keep my deployment quite symmetrical as usual, with one of each Archon and one unit of Valkyries on each flank and everything else going straight up the middle. My JAIMs picks the left unit of Negation Angels as Prey; Andrew’s JAIMs chooses the Void Archon on the right.

Turn 1: Minions
Everything runs forward. I can’t avoid being in range of the Negation Angels with the leading Valkyries so I spread them out to ensure that I should only lose one per unit if Andrew commits them (which I doubt). Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself and Phantasm on the leftmost unit of Valkyries.

Turn 1: Convergence of Cyriss
Everything moves up but mostly stays clear of my threat ranges. Aurora casts Aerogenesis and Arcane Might; Asphyxious puts some clouds on the left to cover some Soul Hunters.

Turn 2: Minions
I’m not really in range to do much so my plan is just to rush up and claim some table space where I can, then Feat and hope not to lose too much. Azazello drops Phantasm but upkeeps Storm Rager; he also Feats and shoots a couple of wounds off the central Void Archon. Over on the right the Valkyries drop a Soul Hunter and I send Flugwug in to eat a pair of Negation Angels; I figure that he’s cheap enough to make that a worthwhile trade. Then I pass the turn and cross my fingers.

Turn 2: Convergence of Cyriss
Aurora upkeeps Arcane Might. Various things move with Swift Vengeance or Apparition; JAIMs triggers a Counter Charge from the Primal Archon which misses anyway. Aurora Feats (catching pretty much her entire army), casts Aerogenesis and then charges a Valkyrie on the right and repositions onto the flag. We mess the rules up a bit here as we forget to give her Shadowbind from the Primal Archon and I also take a Riposte attack when she misses the Valkyrie even though she’s too far from Azazello to get Riposte. We figure that this evens out fairly, and anyway Aurora could have just run to the flag if she really needed it. The Hermit uses Whispers at the Gate and repositions deep into my right side. JAIMs kills her Void Archon and sidesteps into my zone; the lone Negation Angel flies right to the back of my zone too. The Soul Hunters on the right charge into the Dhunian Archon; the first one amusingly misses an impact attack on Flugwug and dies to Riposte but the second one leaves the Archon on a single box. The Stalker and a unit of Negation Angels team up to kill the Primal Archon on that side. The lead Void Archon finishes the wounded Dhunian Archon and also incidentally kills Flugwug with the spray. Asphyxious kills the two contesting Valkyries on the right and puts down a cloud in the centre to block my view. On the left, Andrew pulls back most of his models, though the Negation Angels do get stuck into the Void Archon for a little damage. Andrew scores his zone and the right flag; 2 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Ouch! I’ve lost a lot and my first thought here is to go for assassination. I upkeep Storm Rager. The Valkyries in the centre have a go at clearing the way for Azazello to get to Aurora but I would need to get extremely lucky to get everything (in fact I’m not at all certain that I even have enough attacks to make it work) and abandon the attempt as it’s clear after just this activation that it isn’t going to work out. Instead, I switch to seeing what else I can do to stay in the game. On the left, JAIMs and the Dhunian Archon clear the Negation Angels off my flag, though due to poor positioning and order of activation issues I need to waste the Void Archon’s activation to just sit on the flag. The Road Hog sets JAIMs and the lead Void Archon on the right ablaze and Boomhowler knocks down JAIMs but can’t get lucky enough to kill the contesting Negation Angel. Crucially, I forget to put Special Orders on Azazello. My Warlock uses Wind Rush to get round the building and walks over to kills Asphyxious (and JAIMs by using Flashing Blade) but it takes all of his Fury to do so, meaning that I can’t use Sprint to get back to safety. We each score the edge flags; 3 – 1 to Andrew.

Turn 3: Convergence of Cyriss
Aurora upkeeps Arcane Might and the Hermit puts up Whispers again. The Negation Angels make full use of Arcane Might to Paralyse Azazello and kill him easily without any other models even needing to activate. Minions lose by assassination.

Many thanks to Andrew for being a fun opponent, and sorry to him for not putting up more of a fight here. Andrew made very good use of his mobility to pivot me round that building in the middle and ensure that most of my hitters were stranded away from where I could use them. I need to think of a way to deal with such an army; I’m just not certain how to position against an alpha strike with such a long threat range, Flight and Parry. Any suggestions will be gratefully received. That said, I think it’s easier to learn from a defeat than a victory so hopefully this will help me improve as a player.

  • Always use one of Boomhowler’s Fell Calls. Repositioning Azazello 3” backward behind the house in my last turn might well have been enough to keep me in the game.
  • Also on the subject of Boomhowler, I could have made much better use of him further on the right; his gun is perfect for handling the Hermit in particular since the low POW doesn’t really matter. Critical knock down can be clutch too.
  • I’m not really getting good value out of the Primal Archon’s counter charge. Perhaps it is just something where I need to opportunistically take advantage of a positional error from my opponents but in general I find that it is very easily shut down.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Retribution of Scyrah (75 points); 07Dec2020

Allan’s adventures in the CID for Retribution of Scyrah continue and I was happy to oblige him for another game of WarmaHordes via Wartable.

Game 32 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Allan’s Retribution of Scyrah

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nqr1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Lord Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

Hurrah! Conflict Chamber is updated to include Azazello.

In the interests of my sanity I kept the same list as before. I figure that this also helps Allan’s testing a bit by giving him a stable baseline to work against, but the main reason was definitely my quest to get a handle on my own rules.

Retribution of Scyrah
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

[Falcir 1] Falcir, the Merciless [+28]
– Gorgon [9]
– Aeternae [17]
House Ellowuyr Warden Executioner [5]
House Ellowuyr Warden Executioner [0(5)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Scythe [0(6)]
House Ellowuyr Swordsmen (max) [16]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
House Ellowuyr Swordsmen (max) [16]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Dawnguard Trident [16]
Dawnguard Trident [16]

Allan wanted to try out the new Warcaster, Falcir the Merciless. These are week 2 rules which is probably good for me as she seemed to be regarded as quite oppressive in her original incarnation. Much of the rest of the force is also either brand new or under test for CID, but as per the previous game I just don’t know enough about the original rules to comment on the changes. I’m assuming that the basic plan is to jam me up with those Swordsmen units, use Falcir’s Bounty rules to hamstring any reply, then finish up any survivors with the Executioners and the Warjacks.

Allan wins the roll-off and asks to have the first turn. The terrain on the bottom looks a bit less annoying so I give Allan the top; I might be able to use that house to score my own zone. I go with my usual set-up with a unit of Valkyries accompanying one of each Archon out on the flanks and everything else in the middle. I do put Flugwug out on the left as I might be able to use his stealth and mobility to get a cheeky score on that flag. JAIMs chooses the left unit of Swordsmen as her Prey.

Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Falcir casts Flashing Steel on the left Swordsmen and uses Cyclone to move further forward; everything else rushes me.

Turn 1: Minions
My stuff also runs, though I’m careful to keep out of melee threat range. I can’t stay out of Trident shooting range but with all my Shield Guards I’m not too worried about them, whereas my Road Hog and Void Archons will make short work of the Swordsmen if Allan wants to play keep-away. Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself and Phantasm on the Henchwomen Valkyries in centre.

Turn 2: Retribution of Scyrah
Falcir gets Pathfinder from the Objective and drops Flashing Steel. She moves up to cover pretty much my entire army and Feats to give Bounty tokens to Azazello, both Void Archons, the left-most unit of Valkyries and the Road Hog. Falcir also casts Pay The Price on the War Hog to give it a token too, then Cyclones back to safety behind the wall. At this point, she chooses Azazello’s token to be Falter Courage and the War Hog’s to be Snare. Scythe shoots the Road Hog; the first one is deflected back by the Wastelander (and the damage is cancelled by the Hermit’s Mad Visions) and the others do some nice damage. The Valkyries’ Bounty is chosen as Snare and all the others (both Void Archons and the Road Hog) are Confuse. Both Tridents use Telekinetic Wave to move a Swordsman forwards but rather surprisingly elect not to bother shooting. I suppose that this was to avoid triggering Vengeance but I’m not sure that it is worth avoiding Vengeance if the cost is not killing any of my stuff. The Swordsmen run to jam on both sides; one makes sure to contest my zone.

Turn 2: Minions
Looking at the effect of these Bounty tokens, I don’t think that they’re going to be as crippling as Allan seems to expect. I can definitely score my zone and I can probably get the left flag as there are only Swordsmen around it. Otherwise, Allan has offered up enough Swordsmen that I reckon I can more or less take them all off the table this turn and get a nice leg up on attrition. The Objective heals my Road Hog and Azazello upkeeps Storm Rager but drops Phantasm. I start on the left where the Valkyries shuffle a bit to maximise Gang coverage and clear out the front row of Swordsmen. The Primal Archon then charges through and eats a couple more and threatens as far forward as I dare while the Void Archon sprays down several more (using the glut of souls acquired to boost in order get round Confuse) then Void Walks back behind the Valkyries. Flugwug moves round, Jumps to the flag and kills the last two contesting Swordsmen to make sure that I can score the flag. On the right, things work out more or less the same, though the Primal Archon manages to knock down a significant number of Swordsmen plus the Gorgon and Executioner. The Void Archon takes the opportunity to kill off the knocked down Executioner and Void Walk back to safety. The Henchwomen Valkyries clear the Road Hog and knock down the Hermit; Boomhowler finishes him off. The Road Hog slightly strands itself by killing its Swordsman target with the assault spray to stop it Sprinting back (I thought that this still worked but Allan assured me otherwise) and setting the Gorgon ablaze. JAIMs runs to contest Allan’s zone. Finally, Azazello moves forward, Feats rather defensively, kills the Gorgon with his pistol and Wind Rushes back a bit. I had to strike a balance here between covering my models on the left under his Feat and staying in Shield Guard Range; I opt more for the former on the basis that his stats are probably good enough. I score my zone and the flag on the left; 2 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Retribution of Scyrah
Allan’s going to have to assassinate me here or he’ll run out of models long before I do. The Aeternae gets Pathfinder from the objective and gets Empowered by both Mechaniks. Scythe one-shots JAIMs, presumably just to clear her out of the way. The left Trident trundles forwards but fails to deal with the leader of the Henchwomen Valkyries. The Executioner also fails to kill her (but I don’t get a cheeky Riposte knockdown either, sadly) and shoots the War Hog. Aeternae also fails to kill that Valkyrie so Falcir has to take the long route. She walks forward, Cyclones into melee with Azazello but fails to even hit him. I had the Hermit and two transfers in case that is needed too. Killing Falcir from here would be trivial so Allan [virtually] shakes my hand; Minions win by concession.

I had a fun game here and Allan’s always a nice chap to play with. I think that he made too much of a mess of his second turn, mainly over-estimating the impact of Falcir’s Bounty tokens, for this to be much of a learning experience on my side. Still, it is quite satisfying to have a turn where everything just plain works.

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Retribution of Scyrah (75 points); 04Dec2020

Allan asked for a game of WarmaHordes to try out some of the legacy models in the current Retribution of Scyrah CID. Lucky for me that I don’t know what most of them did before so I’m not burdened by having two slightly different sets of rules to worry about.

Game 31 – Recon II (scenario 6) vs Allan’s Retribution of Scyrah

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nev1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

(Note that Azazello isn’t in Conflict Chamber yet so the link uses Helga1 instead as she has the same number of Warbeast points)

No change for my Azazello list. It seems to be doing quite nicely and when I consider swapping out solos I always seem to find some case where the current load-out works fine. Since my main issues with the list at the moment are 1) remembering what the rules of my many solos actually are and 2) working out where to apply said solos for best impact in the game, I figure that minimising changes is probably for the best.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c5201A_-1nf10v0vhQhJ3y4141oNhO3uhO3umpmp

Retribution
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

[Thyron 1] Thyron, Sword of Truth [+27]
– Manticore [14]
– Manticore [14]
– Fane Knight Guardian [0(4)]
Aelyth Vyr, Blade of Nyssor [0(5)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Void Archon [8]
Ryssovass Defenders (max) [16]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Ryssovass Defenders (max) [16]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Dawnguard Trident [16]
Dawnguard Trident [16]

(Note that this adds up to 77 points; this is because Ryssovass Defenders are being tested at 15 points for a max unit)

Allan’s list is mostly legacy models that he’s testing for the CID process; we’re using the week 2 rules. Thyron is pretty much the elf version of Azazello so this should be quite an entertaining match-up. I also note that neither of us have any great way to speed things up, nor any meaningful ranged threat (apart from the Tridents) so I’m expecting a big brawl in the centrefield.

I win the roll-off and choose to move second. This is partly so that I can force Allan to deal with the annoying house in the right zone, partly to keep practicing playing second (since at least locally almost everyone seems to prefer to move first) and partly because with the movement ranges on offer here I think that I’m unlikely to get jammed out of anything. Giving the Tridents a shot at before I move twice is a little annoying, but I’ve got plenty of Shield Guards so I’m unlikely to lose anything that I don’t want. JAIMs chooses Aelyth as her Prey; I figure that she’s got to come forward if she’s going to do more than just apply Veteran Leader to the Defenders.

Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Thyron puts Storm Rager on himself and Fury on the left Defenders. Then everything runs right down my throat.

Turn 1: Minions
All my stuff also runs. I figure that Allan will direct the Tridents to take out my Void Archons, so I make sure that they’re well surrounded by Shield Guards. Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself (so, it’s going to be one those games!) and Phantasm on the leftmost Valkyries though I don’t expect the latter to actually be shot directly by anything.

Turn 2: Retribution of Scyrah
Both spells are upkept, but no Focus is allocated. Both Tridents shoot at their Void Archons and I spread the incoming fire across the Valkyries and Dhunian Archons; in the end I have Vengeance on both units and the Void Archons aren’t even touched. I will also note that Allan rolled a lot of 7s here when he needed 8s to hit the Void Archons which was perhaps a bit improbable. The Manticores on each side put down Covering Fire in the zones, then the Defenders flood forwards.

Turn 2: Minions
Allan hasn’t contested my flag, so I need to make sure that I get at least one point. The Objective is probably within reach too, but I think that I’ll be better served taking out the Void Archon if I can get that far. Otherwise my plan is to tidy up as many of the Defenders as possible, contest all the scenario elements and use Azazello’s Feat to weather the following turn. I drop Phantasm but upkeep Storm Rager. The Valkyries on the left kill a few Defenders though one does die to a Last Word attack. The Void Archon there sprays down a few more and Void Walks back to relative safety and the Primal Archon moves forward to be an annoying counter-charge threat. Boomhowler gives the Henchwomen Valkyries in the centre Reposition then lays down his own covering fire to keep the remaining Defenders bottled up at the back of their zone. The central Valkyries clear some of the Defenders in the middle and Reposition back a little, then Azazello takes his turn. He Feats, casts Wind Rush to move forward and then charges the Void Archon. After killing the ghostie in one swing he casts Lightning Strike to Sprint back and sit at 20/20 (in melee) with a couple of transfers and the Hermit handy, daring Thyron to come for him and hoping that he won’t get knocked down by anything. That felt very satisfying. JAIMs is apparently awestruck by this display and missed both attacks into a Defender so the Void Archon lines up a perfect spray to kill five of them and make her lack of contribution irrelevant. The Valkyries move to block a landing spot for the Trident to get into melee with the Void Archon and gun down another couple of Defenders. Allan’s tough rolls were truly awful; I think that he made only one or two all turn. I score my flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Retribution of Scyrah
The Objective gives Thyron Pathfinder; he drops Fury from the tattered remnants of the Defenders unit and upkeeps Storm Rager. The left Manticore gets Empower from the Mechanik. The Ghost Sniper shoots a Valkyrie on the left so I Shield Gard it to the one which won’t automatically die. Thyron uses his Feat and charges Azazello. Flashing Blade attacks kill a nearby Valkyrie and JAIMs and force out both my transfers and the Hermit, but Azazello is untouched; Thyron Side Steps clear at the end. Aelyth goes in but misses her swing. The left Defenders poke at the Primal Archon and a Valkyrie in the way, though I use the Dhunian Archon to save the Valkyrie; in the end the Manticore has to kill her to clear a landing zone for the Trident. It now goes for the big play by slamming the last Valkyrie, but Allan doesn’t manage the 5” slam he would have needed to contact Azazello. The Trident lets rip with its gun anyway but only a single fully boosted shot gets through (though that does really hurt). Back on the right the Trident slams the Primal Archon and shoots up my Valkyries a bit for pleasingly little effect while the Defenders jam me up. One of them kills Aelyth to make room for the Fane Knight to charge in out of nowhere but luckily (for me) he doesn’t manage to hit. I score my flag again, 2 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
There is probably some way that I can score my flag plus another couple of points to just win on scenario, but Thyron is right there and it would be rude not to just kill him. Azazello upkeeps Storm Rager and cuts back to full fury. The Valkyries kill the Fane Knight and a couple of Defenders to clear off the right Void Archon. It charges into Thyron’s back but misses both initials; it does chip a few point of damage off with the spray and Void Walks to a open up more landing spots in case I need them. Azazello takes off most of Thyron’s boxes with boosted attacks (dying now to a cheeky Riposte would be rather sad) then the Wastelander reminds me what I pay him for by rolling a hilarious damage roll and over-killing the Warcaster about three times over. Minions win by assassination.

Many thanks to Allan for a fun game on a Friday evening. It felt very good to do what I dreamed with Azazello and have him tank pretty much Allan’s whole army though I would have also found it quite cool if the Trident had managed the slam and got the kill even under such high stats. I’m enjoying the learning process of what I can and can’t get away with using such an interactive front-line caster.

Things I learned:

  • I need to get better on my planning for movement. Too much of my army ended up bottled up in the centre between the big rock and the burning rubble and getting them clear of it ended up being blocked in with my other stuff.
  • Each solo is an interesting packet of tools; I am still trying to work out when I need to use each one. This is easier with pieces like Boomhowler and the Dhunian Archons as they can stay safe at the back and still contribute but Flugwug, JAIMs and the Wastelander are quite easy to squander if I send them in at the wrong time.
  • DEF20, ARM20 turns out to be quite a tricky stat-line to deal with. Obviously I knew that intellectually but it was quite fun to experience it in the game.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Convergence of Cyriss (75 points); 28Nov2020

Andrew and I managed to find time for another Wartable game of Warmachine / Hordes after several rearrangements. It’s a mystery how we ever got proper face to face games considering how hard it can be to schedule even a remote game!

Game 30 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Andrew’s Convergence of Cyriss

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nev1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

(Note that Azazello isn’t in Conflict Chamber yet so the link uses Helga1 instead as she has the same number of Warbeast points)

This is the same list as last time. There are a few pieces that I’m not sure about (mainly Boomhowler and Flugwug) but I think that it’s probably operator error here so I plan to keep using them while I work out what they’re good for.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cc201b_-1-d8dndndBdedgdgpBnVpx8j

Convergence
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Axis 1] Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]
– Conservator [12]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [6]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Asphyxious the Sanctified [14]
– Blockader [33]
Artificer Prime Nemo [18]
– Freebooter [9]

Andrew’s list is comprised mainly of the big cool toys he bought during lockdown and wants to convince himself will actually see play. Fortunately, the Blockader, Nemo4 and Asphyxious4 are all solid pieces that can probably fit in almost anywhere. Since the Conservators (and the Corollary, I suppose) have Counter Charge thank to Axis, the interactions with the Primal Archons could get quite silly.

I win the roll-off and pick second. If I’m being honest, this is mainly because I almost always pick to go first when I can so I wanted to see if a more reactive gameplay where I can potentially score first might be interesting; however when I remember what Axis’s Feat does I think that this is probably the wrong choice. I do at least lumber Andrew with the most annoying terrain. Andrew’s deployment is skewed a little to the left (presumably because of the building in the central zone) so I do the same with my Battlegroup. I make sure that the Wastelander goes on the right near Nemo as that’s pretty much the only shot that he can deflect. JAIMs also chooses Nemo as her Prey in the hope that will make him a bit more cagey. We both pick Observatory for our Objectives in case that central cloud becomes relevant.

Turn 1: Convergence of Cyriss
Axis allocates a Focus to a Conservator that will be passed around the Vectors as needed. Most things run at me; the Reflex Servitors advance and Dig In. Nemo magics up a Frustrum Locus, puts Lightning Shroud on the Freebooter and moves it up with Locomotion.

Turn 1: Minions
Almost all of my stuff also runs up. On the one hand I don’t want to make it too easy to kill all my stuff but on the other hand Andrew will certainly use Axis’s Feat next turn so I need to be far enough up to get any work at all done. In the end, I push hard on both flanks but stay a bit more cautious in the centre and use Valkyries to gum up the middle and hopefully keep the Blockader from taking out the War Hog too easily. Boomhowler puts Reposition on the central Valkyries to get them a bit further upfield. Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself and Phantasm on the right unit of Valkyries.

Turn 2: Convergence of Cyriss
The central Conservator gets Eyeless Sight and Lightning Shroud is upkept. That Conservator received three Focus and the Blockader gets two (possibly from the Corollary a little later). Axis puts Iron Aggression on the Blockader moves forward and uses his Feat. The central Valkyrie needs to go so that the Blockader has a landing spot to get my War Hog. First a Reflex Servitor blows itself up for no effect. Then the fully loaded Conservator goes in, misses a couple of attacks and has the Dhunian Archon block the one that does hit. The Blockader, denied a chance to get stuck into the War Hog, vents its frustration by smashing the awkward Valkyrie and also one-shotting my Primal Archon. The Arcane Mechaniks use Empower on the Freebooter and super-tune Nemo, but the Freebooter can’t actually get to anything relevant this turn. Nemo shoots JAIMs and ends up killing a Valkyrie due to Shield Guard. The rest of the Servitors mostly run up to jam me.

Turn 2: Minions
It’s an Axis Feat turn so I’m not going to get much useful done here. With a bit of luck I might possibly clear the right zone, otherwise my plan is keep the Blockader bottled up with Valkyries and take out the lead Conservator. Azazello upkeeps Storm Rager but drops Phantasm. After numerous attempts to knock down that Conservator with re-rolled hammer attacks from the Valkyries and shots from Boomhowler, I still can’t get it down; in the end the War Hog has to trudge forward and wreck it the old-fashioned way. The Road Hog sprays down the side of the building to set a few things (notable Axis) on fire. On the right I almost clear the zone but one cheeky Servitor survives to contest. Finally, Azazello uses his Feat and Wind Rush to hopefully buy me another turn in which to actually do some work. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Convergence of Cyriss
Iron Aggression and Lightning Shroud are both upkept. The fire on Axis annoyingly goes out, though the corrosion on the Blockader chips a single point of damage off. The Blockader gets two Focus, then the Mechaniks Empower the Freebooter and super-tune Nemo. Nemo uses Locomotion to clear the Freebooter around the corner of the building then shoots the Primal Archon; the Wastelander deflects the first (though sadly Nemo is immune to his own weapon) and a Valkyrie catches the second. Asphyxious moves into position to Interface with the Blockader once it shuffles to the right; it makes short work of the War Hog and my Objective. Axis swaps Iron Aggression to the Freebooter which charges into the Road Hog. A free strike from a Valkyrie fails again to get the critical knock down (though in retrospect it’s immune anyway due to Lash) but does crank the damage to take out the Movement system and therefore fail the charge. It’s better to be lucky than good! The Conservator on the left bops a Valkyrie and then various spare attacks kill the Mechaniks to stop me doing any shenanigans with Void Archons. Andrew scores for the Objective; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Now I can get some work done. I can pick up the right zone quite painlessly but the main goal for this turn will be to swing attrition in the centre; in particular the Blockader needs to go. Storm Rager is upkept again and Azazello cuts for one. On the right, the Valkyries take the jamming Servitor at the back. The Void Archon charges the Servitor on the right and sprays a truly ridiculous roll to one-shot the Frustrum Locus. That handily gives the Primal Archon a clear lane into Nemo though the damage isn’t too exciting; JAIMs and the Wastelander follow to threaten for next turn. The Hermit moves up to cover the Blockader, Freebooter and Asphyxious with Whispers At The Gate; it’s also covering most of my army too so my plans will have to work! The left Valkyries shuffle around to put a little damage on the Warjacks and mainly to stop the Conservator doing a cheeky Counter Charge. The Void Archon charges the Blockader to apply Dark Shroud and knock off a load more boxes. The Henchwomen Valkyries pleasingly finish it off, saving me from having to send in the Dhunian Archon too. The Road Hog polishes off the Freebooter and Lightning Strikes clear of Azazello who Wind Rushes in to kill Asphyxious and Sprint back. That felt like a pretty effective turn but Azazello couldn’t quite get clear off the Hermit’s aura so I’ll be in danger here from an assassination attempt. I score the right zone; 1 – 1.

Turn 4: Convergence of Cyriss
A Servitor puts Flare on Azazello by shooting from out of range so I can’t Shield Guard it; the scatter is lucky and lands on him. Axis casts Unstoppable Force and hits Azazello with a Battering Ram for a bit of damage. The Corollary Bulldozes the nearest Valkyrie out of Shield Guard range of Azazello. Nemo moves away from the Primal Archon (which Counter Charges but he can still shoot) and shoots Azazello, hitting and forcing my one transfer with a massive hit. Luckily, Azazello also gets pushed out of range of the second shot so I survive.

Turn 4: Minions
The Primal Archon knocks Axis down and punches him a few times, then JAIMs finishes the job. A real robot killing a human cosplaying as a robot; justice is done. Minions win by assassination.

As always, Andrew is a fun opponent and I really enjoyed this game. Playing via Wartable always takes ages, of course, and we spent plenty of time chatting here and talking through our options so it was after midnight when we finished. I was very pessimistic about my chances after turn 2 with a Blockader in my face and having done basically nothing that turn due to Axis’s Feat but I guess that Andrew found Azazello’s Feat comparably annoying.

Things I learned:

  • Boomhowler is more of a toolbox than I had originally thought. Beat Back and critical knock down on his gun is quite useful (though I didn’t trigger it even once this game) and the Covering Fire template feels like it should be effective with so many single wound infantry around.
  • Sending Azazello in on turn 3 to kill Asphyxious was just as satisfying as I hoped. It’s been an interesting change to have a Warlock who can contribute to the game; Dr Arkadius and Jaga-Jaga are rather passive.
  • Using the Hermit is going to take a lot of practice. That armour debuff is great but it’s going to be hard not to have it bite me back in my turn if I use it too freely.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Cygnar (75 points); 23Nov2020

It’s been a while since we’ve been playing any Warmachine / Hordes games here at Chateau Argentbadger; I think that many of my friends had been hoping that face-to-face wargaming might become an option again soon. Gareth and I did find a bit of time to throw down last night, so I decided to try something new (to me); part of the appeal was that rather surprisingly none of the Archons got any rules adjustment in the dynamic change yasterday.

Game 29 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Gareth’s Cygnar

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2nev1d0LpkoPoPp-oRnHoOoOq9oNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

(Note that Azazello isn’t in Conflict Chamber yet so the link uses Helga1 instead as she has the same number of Warbeast points)

So this is Azazello, the Castellan. He doesn’t seem to do a lot for Warbeasts so I took a Road Hog for the Lightning Strike animus, and then a War Hog in case I actually want to smash things. The neatly fills up his entire Warbeast points so the rest of the army was filled up with all six Archons and three units of Valkyries to catch bullets for them. Finally, I added all the cool solos that I always fancied including but somehow never quite manage to fit into a list. The plan is to skirmish a bit with Void Archons and Valkyries, then abuse Counter Charge from the Primal Archons to knock things down before mopping up with a wave of solos and finally my Warbeasts. If I play carefully I should be able to get some work done with Azazello each turn between Storm Rager, Wind Rush, Sprint and Special Orders.

Yes, that’s right: six Archons. You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1K919GawicamoTifieiealiMiha2igig9U9V

Cygnar
[Theme] Gravediggers

[Brisbane 1] Major Markus “Siege” Brisbane [+28]
– Ironclad [12]
– Minuteman [9]
– Triumph [18]
Captain Maxwell Finn [0(6)]
Grand Master Gabriel Throne [7]
Patrol Dog [2]
Trench Buster [0(5)]
Trench Buster [0(5)]
Trencher Master Gunner [4]
Trencher Commandos (min) [10]
– Trencher Commando Officer [4]
– Trencher Commando Scattergunner (3) [6]
Trencher Express Team [5]
Trencher Express Team [5]
Trencher Infantry (max) [16]
– Trencher Infantry Officer & Sniper [5]

Gareth is trying Brisbane1 in Gravediggers. I assume that the plan is to gum me up with cheap Trenchers, then shoot all my stuff dead with Triumph, the Express Teams and Trench Busters under Brisbane’s Feat. This might be a favourable match-up for me as I have three units of Valkyries plus the Wastelander to deal with all this ranged firepower.

Gareth wins the roll-off and opts for the first move. I lumber him with the top side of the map where he’ll have to worry about that massive forest. I end up going for a somewhat symmetrical deployment (my standard approach for when I don’t know what to do) with a unit of Valkyries and one of each Archon for each flank, and my Battlegroup and most of the utility solos in the centre. The central Valkyries are Azazello’s Henchwomen and are marked with purple bases accordingly. JAIMS picks the Trencher Infantry as her Prey on the basis that they’re going to have to engage and die if Gareth is going to make anything of the scenario, and once they’re gone I can start threatening whatever else needs to afraid of her. I choose the Eyeless Sight Objective in case Gareth has anything cheeky that he can do with that massive cloud on the right.

Turn 1: Cygnar
Throne tells the Trencher Infantry to March so that they can get through that forest and then things run up to take board space; everyone seems very keen to avoid being in threat range of the Void Archons though, which sets the line a bit further back than I expected.. Brisbane puts Explosivo on himself and then makes a Foxhole in the middle of the open ground on the right. We didn’t notice until later that he should have cast this before things moved into it but it had no impact on the game as Gareth could easily have activated in a different order.

Turn 1: Minions
I don’t think that I can get anything much done here and I’m going to have to accept a bit of shooting before I can get to grips in melee; even the Void Archons can’t spray anything. Boomhowler puts a Covering Fire template in the way of the Trenchers and then gives Azazello some Special Orders. The latter casts Storm Rager on himself and boosts Distraction into the Trencher Infantry before repositioning back a bit. This does leave him on zero camp but between the Valkyries, the Hermit and the Wastelander I think he is probably safe.

Turn 2: Cygnar
Triumph guns down a Valkyrie on the right with Rapid Fire and Brisbane upkeeps both spells. The Commandos use their mini-Feat on the right Primal Archon and pull it down on the last attack which is a bit awkward. The Express Team on the right helpfully misses the Dhunian Archon; the team on the left fares just as badly, missing the Void Archon once and having the second shot (courtesy of the Master Gunner) Shield Guarded onto a Valkyrie and then stopped by the Dhunian Archon. Finally Triumph blows away Flugwug; it turns out that it has True Sight. Oh well, I had been looking forward to some shenanigans with Flugwug.

Turn 2: Minions
I don’t think that I can score anything here so I want to make some progress with attrition. Ideally I would get Azazello to Feat, charge in and kill some Trenchers then Sprint back to safety but due to my poor positioning I’ve blocked him in and it’ll be an order-of-activation nightmare to get anything useful done with him. Azazello upkeeps Storm Rager. The left Void Archon sprays down some Trencher Infantry, Void Walks to the Express team and kills the Ogrun, then slaps the Objective. The Primal Archon smites a random Trencher since there is nothing really exciting to kill and I want it as far forward as possible to be annoying with Counter Charge. Over on the right, the Void Archon flies over the building and sprays to kill the Patrol dog, the other Express Team gunner and a couple of Commandos, then Void Walks to the far corner of the zone and kills some more. The surviving Valkyries on that side drop a couple more but can’t get in the zone so I’ve just got the Archon contesting it once the Objective inevitably goes down. Over on the left, the Valkyries jam the midfield and put a bit more damage onto the Objective. The Road Hog lights a few Trenchers up and Sprints back before Azazello recasts Distraction on the Trencher Infantry and Feats in a rather half-hearted, defensive manner. Most of my solos mill around uselessly as I’ve positioned them too far back to be relevant. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Cygnar
Triumph starts us off with a tasty shot into the Objective. Brisbane drops all his spells and allocates two Focus to the Minuteman. The Trenchers in the middle try to stab some Valkyries to no effect (actually I forgot that Azazello grants them all Riposte but I guess that Gareth wouldn’t have even bothered to make the attacks if we remembered). The surviving Commandos drop another Valkyrie from the unit on the right and Finn zooms over to one-shot Boomhowler. The Ironclad wrecks my Objective in a single swing but I get lucky as the Minuteman leaves the Void Archon on a single box. Various other things with ranged attacks try to finish it off but only Triumph is able to hit and the last Valkyrie jumps in front of that bullet so that I can contest the zone for one more turn. Back on the left, Throne gives the Trench Buster March and they both charge into the Void Archon, killing it easily. Gareth scores for destroying my Objective; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Time to clear up the left and centre; I’ll just need to try to hang on for the right zone. The Void Archon sprays various Commandos and boosts to hit and damage the Trench Buster (but only does two points of damage anyway), then Void Walks behind the Minuteman and leaves it on a couple of points in one arm. The Dhunian Archon also charges in to contest the zone and bop another Commando on his noggin. The War Hog kills Finn and a nearby Trencher; the Wastelander clears the one jamming the Road Hog and Sprints forward. The Road Hog then sets most of the remaining Trenchers ablaze before the central Valkyries finish them off to clear the zone and the flag for my Hermit. JAIMS swaps Prey to the Trench Buster on the left, kills him, swaps Prey to Throne and side steps into him for a second swing; the Primal Archon kills Throne and Prey moves to Brisbane. The left unit of Valkyries clears up the remaining pieces over there and takes out the Objective. Azazello once again find himself without any particular targets so uses Wind Rush and sits in a forest in the centre to threaten for next turn. I score the Flag, Objective and centre zone; 3 – 1 to me.

Turn 4: Cygnar
Brisbane allocates two to the Ironclad. The Minuteman drops the Void Archon at last but the Commandos mostly bounce off the now-enraged Dhunian Archon. One of them runs to engage the Wastelander and the Trench Buster rushes over to smite the ronin in a single blow thanks to Flank. Brisbane uses his Feat and drops a Ground Pounder between my Road Hog and Dhunian Archon. The latter manages a Tough Roll and the former takes massive damage but survives with a few boxes. All the Valkyries are missed due to the DEF bonus from being Henchmen. On the right, the Ironclad realises that it can’t quite make it to the War Hog so instead leaves the other Dhunian Archon on a single box. Triumph take a shot to finish the Road Hog but a Valkyrie takes the bullet; this also triggers Mother’s Embrace to heal the crippled aspects on the Road Hog. Neither of us score; 3 – 1 to me.

Turn 4: Minions
I think that I’m going to have to give up on the right zone as I’ll never get enough over there to contest it in without the Ironclad being able to pound it into the ground like a tent peg. I should be able finish Triumph and that might leave an opening for Azazello to assassinate Brisbane if I’m careful with positioning. Azazello continues to upkeep Storm Rager. The War Hog clears out the Trench Buster and Commando in the centre zone. My Hermit moves to cover Triumph and Brisbane with Whispers At The Gate, then the Valkyries and Road Hog go in. The second Valkyrie gets a handy critical knockdown which makes things easier but in the end Triumph remains alive, admittedly only with a couple of boxes in its gun arm and on fire. It seems pointless to send Azazello in at this stage and risk a long shot assassination so I just keep him a bit safer. I score the Flag; 4 – 1 to me.

Turn 5: Cygnar
Triumph rather helpfully burns to scrap. The Minuteman clears the Dhunian Archon out of the right zone but it’s too little, too late and Gareth recognises that Brisbane doesn’t have enough output to turn this game around (plus, it’s midnight by now) so he concedes. Minions win by concession.

Thanks, as always, to my best friend Gareth for fun game of WarmaHordes. As mentioned at the start, I think that perhaps this was a bit of a mis-match between Gareth’s shooting and my Shield Guards but he played it out gamely anyway. I really enjoyed this list and I look forward to playing it enough that I actually remember all the rules in one game. For now I think that I’ll just focus on a few things each game and try to get them right; everything will come together eventually.

Things I learned:

  • Azazello has some nice potential for personal output and has good enough defensive stats to be able to stay safe against a lot of retaliation so I can afford to be a bit bolder with him. In this game I think that his personal threat really affected Gareth’s movement in the centre so in that sense Azazello was still contributing but it would be nice to actually make some attacks.
  • I’m not quite sure what to do with Boomhowler. Reposition is quite good, of course, but he’s not cheap and his damage output isn’t too exciting. He’s definitely in consideration for being dropped, perhaps for Orin Midwinter or Eilish Garrity.
  • I have to decide where to put the Warbeasts. I can’t really afford to lose the Road Hog early since I’m relying on it for Sprint, but the War Hog is so slow here that it’s not really threatening much. Having them as a third wave behind the Valkyries and combat solos seems like quite a lot of points just hanging around not doing much for a lot of the game. On the other hand, I suppose it worked OK here.
  • The Wastelander didn’t look to have much of an effect but the worry of him batting a massive shot back an Express Team or something was definitely changing Gareth’s targetting priority. I enjoyed him a lot more than I expected since I figured that he was initially just a slightly janky combat solo.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Legion of Everblight (75 points); 13Oct2020

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

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD

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)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

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.

https://conflictchamber.com/?ca201b_-2hg-kOkKqceJcococob9kGkJfTfT

Legion
[Theme] Primal Terrors

[Kallus 2] Kallus, Devastation of Everblight [+28]
– Archangel [35]
– Golab [17]
– Mekanoshredder [4]
– Neraph [12]
Spell Martyr [1]
Spell Martyr [1]
Spell Martyr [1]
The Forsaken [0(4)]
Blighted Rotwings (max) [12]
Chosen of Everblight (max) [20]
Hellmouth [0(6)]
Hellmouth [0(6)]

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.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Trollbloods (75 points); 08Oct2020

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

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD

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)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

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.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c7201b_-26fL0rjnjojq6O0l0miTbK0b0ccA

Trollbloods
[Theme] Band of Heroes

[Ragnor 1] Ragnor Skysplitter, the Runemaster [+30]
– Dire Troll Bomber [17]
– Dire Troll Brawler [16]
– Pyre Troll [8]
– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]
Trollkin Champion Hero [0(5)]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max) [9]
– Stone Scribe Elder [3]
Trollkin Champions (max) [16]
– Skaldi Bonehammer [0(5)]
Trollkin Fennblades (max) [15]
– Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer [5]
Trollkin Warders (min) [10]
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.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Retribution of Scyrah (75 points); 01Oct2020

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

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD
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)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

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.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c5201b_-1ndU1gjshI3y4141dPdP35363u35363umpmp

Retribution
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

[Issyria 1] Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn [+29]
– Chimera [8]
– Harpy [9]
– Hemera [16]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Houseguard Thane [0(4)]
Houseguard Thane [0(4)]
Houseguard Halberdiers (max) [13]
– Houseguard Halberdier Officer & Standard [4]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Houseguard Halberdiers (max) [13]
– Houseguard Halberdier Officer & Standard [4]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Dawnguard Trident [16]
Dawnguard Trident [16]

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 24Sep2020

Marc offered a game of Warmachine / Hordes via Wartable and I was very keen to take him up. We discussed a bit about a fun match-up between my theoretical pair (Jaga-Jaga and Dr Arkadius) and his (Durst and Reznik2).

Game 25 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD
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)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

This is the same version of the Jaga-Jaga list I’ve played for the last few games. I think that in general Dr Arkadius would be a better drop into the Protectorate but Marc felt that Reznik2 into Dr Arkadius would be a pretty rubbish game so I went for Jaga-Jaga. The Valkyries are a bit less valuable here than in some match-ups since there are no incoming shots for them to Shield Guard, but they’re still quite effective body-blockers and they’re fun too.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1peU1X1XgagagajCjC3EoLoL3r3r3r3B2_nini

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

[Durst 1] Anson Durst, Rock of the Faith [+28]
– Guardian [15]
– Guardian [15]
– Purifier [8]
– Purifier [8]
– Purifier [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon [0(6)]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Paladin of the Order of the Wall [4]
Paladin of the Order of the Wall [4]
Paladin of the Order of the Wall [4]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]

Having asked me not to play Dr Arkadius into Reznik2, Marc realised that Reznik2 into Jaga-Jaga would also be a terrible game so we ended up with Durst. I’ve never played against Durst but I think that Marc has pretty much never played with him either so maybe we’re on the same level there.

Marc wins the roll-off and chooses to move first so I take the side that will allow me to do annoying tricks with Ghost Walk through that central building. I realised after set-up that I wanted the Wrastler further right to have the option of putting Rage onto Brine so Marc kindly allowed me to fix this before we actually started. I’m stacking the right side a little here as I’m hoping to clear things on that side early and then pivot round (or through) the house in the middle. Marc comes at me with a symmetrical deployment. The Menite Archons are out on the flanks where it will be hard for me to bring anything notable to bear on them.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Durst casts Bulwark and puts Hallowed Avenger on the left Guardian. Otherwise, everything runs headlong at me.

Turn 1: Minions
I also run everything forward at top speed since I’m not at all worried about the threat range that Marc’s army projects. Rorsh casts Pig Pen since it is free to upkeep anyway, and Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Void Archon on the right. I took this screenshot before I remembered to move that Void Archon.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
Durst upkeeps Bulwark, casts Deceleration then moves up and uses his Feat. Everything continues to lumber towards me, the Paladins go into Stone and Mortar stance and the Choir sing Passage.

Turn 2: Minions
There isn’t much point in engaging anything near Durst as I’ll have to deal with Warjacks at ARM25 or so. I’m pretty sure that I can take out the Menite Archon on the right so I will aim to contest where possible as make the most of Marc’s short threat ranges to keep safe. Brine gets buffed up with Rage from the Wrastler and then goes into murder the Menite Archon; the overtake move keeps him facing the incoming Champion. The Void Archon on that side gets a lucky roll under Signs and Portents to kill one of the Initiates so Void Walks back behind a line of Valkyries. Over ont he left I mainly pull back, though the plucky Chef stands in the zone where I think that nothing can get to him. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Durst upkeeps Bulwark and allocates nothing. The Initiates on the right charge into Brine to hurt him a little. The Champion there charges one of my Valkyries; the impact hit doesn’t kill her so the Dhunian Archon cancels the lance attack; this means that in the end the Purifier has to finish the job which causes a bit of a traffic jam on that side. The other Champion charges into my Objective and leaves it on fire on a single box. The Choir sing Passage and Durst makes a little Warjack fortress for himself and recasts Deceleration. No scoring again.

Turn 3: Minions
My objective burns to death. I don’t think that I can score anything this turn but I can probably remove both Champions and all the light Warjacks so I go for that option. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells, casts Signs and Portents and puts Rage on one of the Swamp Horrors. The Wrastler puts Rage on the other one and makes a total mess of attacking the Champion, eventually leaving him on a single box, still on his horse. Brine kills both Initiates on the right the dismounts the other Champion. Rorsh aims and boosts two shots into him, resulting in two passed tough checks. The Valkyries on that side poke ineffectually at the Purifier on that side and generally gum things up; one further back aims and forces another successful tough check on the Champion. Over on the left, the Valkyries and the Void Archon miss all their attacks into the Initiates, leaving all three just standing there untouched. I make a mistake and send in both Swamp Horrors up the centre; this allows me to take out both Purifiers and the Champion but I didn’t need to get both Warjacks; I could have kept one back for a counter punch next turn. The Dhunian Archon sidles over and uses Shepherd’s Call to reduce my Fury on the board. Marc scores his point for my Objective dying; 1 – 0.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Vengeance moves hurt the lead Swamp Horror but the Champion amusingly misses Brine. Durst drops Bulwark and allocates two Focus to the left Guardian and one to the other. The Choir sing Battle. Vilmon and a Paladin poke the leading Swamp Horror then Durst charges in and explodes it with a massive damage roll. This is actually a bit awkward for Marc as he planned to charge it with the Guardian and then buy attacks on the other Swamp Horror but now he can’t see a target. Durst puts Boundless Charge on that Guardian. The Initiates shuffle a little to open up line of sight to a Valkyrie on the left of the cloud, then the Guardian goes in. It kills the Valkyrie with the charge attack then annoyingly finishes the Swamp Horror to the box with spear attacks. Various Paladins and the other Guardian attack Brine, also killing him to the box on the last attack. Finally, the Menite Archon shrugs off the pitiful free strike from the Valkyrie to set up a beautiful Thresher attack which kills one Valkyrie and the Chef; the Dhunian Archon cancels the hit on the last one so I still contest that zone. Neither of us score; 1 – 0 to Marc.

Turn 4: Minions
I’m pretty much out of Warbeasts and even if I can deal with both Guardians (which I doubt) Durst is still enough to take out any remaining big targets on his own. Instead, it’s time for assassination. Jaga-Jaga puts up Signs and Portents and puts Rage on the Wrastler. The Soul Slave applies Ghost Walk so I don’t have to worry about that building being in the way. The right Void Archon charges the Guardian and uses Dual Attack to spray first, killing both the Champion and the Paladin. It then Void Walks behind Durst and boosts a nice hit into him; the main point, of course, was to get Dark Shroud over there. I think that this is OK in the rules but if please correct me if not. The other Void Archon aims and puts some more damage on Durst, also killing off a couple of the intervening Paladins; it also Void Walks to Durst and hits him. Finally, the Wrastler strolls through the building, overtakes off the last Paladin and eats Durst with a single boosted bite. Even if I couldn’t have made the attack with the first Void Archon I feel that the Wrastler was enough to do the job. Minions win by assassination.

Another fun game with Marc who is always a lovely opponent. The game was an interesting mix of my mobility versus Marc’s sheer staying power. I think that perhaps Marc used Durst’s Feat a turn too early, but I might have had the firepower to pull down some of his models in the centre in turn 2 if he had held off. The threat range on the Swamp Horrors is enough that he has to Feat proactively.

Things I learned:

  • I keep getting greedy and going for big plays like using both Swamp Horror when one would do. If I kept the second one back in turn 3 and just dealt with the Champion, I could have made Marc commit his left Guardian for just one Swamp Horror instead of giving him both of them.
  • I was probably too conservative with the Void Archons. Especially on the right I could have made good use of Entropic Force and then body blocked with Valkyries (or just relied on Def16 under Grave Wind) rather than timidly Void Walking backwards after each attack.
  • On the other hand, the mobility of the Void Archons to put Dark Shroud where I want it is truly amazing. I think that I got them where they were needed right at the end, but I have to work on getting more use out of them turn by turn.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 10Sep2020

It’s a good week for playing Warmachine / Hordes via Wartable. This time Frazer was up for a game so we racked up via the magic of the internet. Frazer actually rolled up King of the Hill again but I asked for a re-roll since my previous two games used that scenario.

Game 24 – Spread The Net (scenario 3) vs Frazer’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD

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)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

This iteration of my Jaga-Jaga list removes Dahlia and Skarath for another two units of Farrow Valkyries. I went back to the second Dhunian Archon instead of the Hermit as I think that there is now enough infantry to warrant coverage from them both. Finally, I added a Chef on the basis that it is just one point and I needed to fill that spot. I don’t envisage it doing anything other than standing cheekily on a flag or contesting something.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1q171q1q1ql_l_1LmelUlUoLoLlM1G3t3t3z3z3B2_2_
Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Amon 1] High Allegiant Amon Ad-Raza [+29]
– Dervish [7]
– Dervish [7]
– Dervish [7]
– Indictor [14]
– Indictor [14]
– Vigilant [9]
– Hierophant [3]
Exemplar Warder [0(5)]
Exemplar Warder [5]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Redeemer [11]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

Frazer randomised his Warcaster and ended up with Amon. I’ve no idea what he does so Frazer summarised him as ‘Synergy and Mobility on a stick’. Seems fair to me since I’m playing ‘Signs and Portents on a stick’ in the form of Jaga-Jaga. It’s a Protectorate list so of course it has the expected Sev0 and two Menite Archons.

I win the roll off and opt to move first so Frazer gives me the side with the slightly more annoying building. Rorsh and Brine go on the right where that forest won’t be in their way and the Wrastler makes sure to be close enough to Brine to put Rage on him if needed. The rest of my forces are spread across the front line with my battlegroup fairly central and the Valkyries sprinkled liberally throughout. Actually their Shield Guard will be close to irrelevant in this match. Frazer also deploys rather symmetrically. Both Warders take an Archon as their Client. Severius starts with Road to War up and Amon has Synergy on himself and Fortify on the right Indictor.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host and puts Grave Wind on the left Void Archon. Rorsh casts Pig Pen even though it is never relevant, and I’m sure that I’d forget about it if it ever came up.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Amon casts Mobility with the assistance of the Hierophant, then everything runs an alarming distance toward me. The Vassals both Enliven the Dervishes and the Choir sing Passage but some Warjacks have outrun them so actually the ones that I would want to shoot aren’t affected. Severius casts Mystic Wards. The Redeemer lobs shells at my Void Archon in the forest, eventually shipping a couple of wound off it.

Turn 2: Minions
I don’t think that I can get enough damage out to make any kind of alpha strike worth it so my plan is to contest where I can. I’ll leave the right flag as I’ll certainly lose anything that goes over there. Otherwise I think that I can leverage the relatively long threat of the Swamp Horrors to keep Frazer’s heavies back. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells and casts Signs and Portents, then the Valkyries shoot at Dervishes who both Enliven backwards. On the left, the Void Archon goes in and hurts the Menite Archon and sprays to tickle the Warder but does kill one of the Choir so I Void Walk it deep to hopefully keep one of the Dervishes out of my hair for a turn. In the centre my Warbeasts all just shuffle forward while staying out of threat range. Finally, the left Dhunian Archon sits on my flag to make Frazer commit something to contest it and the Chef makes a cheeky end run to contest the left zone.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
All spells are upkept. Two Focus are allocated to the Redeemer and one each to the Dervishes. All the support stuff gets going while Frazer decides how to play this turn out, so the Hierophant does Harmonious Exaltation, Severius runs up to keep an eye on things, the Mechanics repair Dervishes (apart from the one still in Entropic Force range on the left) and Vassals Empower some Dervishes. Amon casts Mobility and takes a Focus from the Wrack. On the right, the Choir sing Battle and on the left they use Passage. Over on the left, a Dervish charges into a Valkyrie and misses both initials so no Sidesteps; the Dhunian Archon prevents it killing off bought attacks. The left Indictor goes in and Toughs another. The Menite Archon shows that killing single individuals is rubbish for a 14 point heavy Warjack and, as an 8 point solo, it easily Threshers down three Valkyries. On the right, the Indictor backs off behind the building. The Dervish on that side comes into my zone, Sidesteps off a Valkyrie and does a bit of damage to the Void Archon. The Redeemer moves up and boosts three rockets into the Soul Slave and improbably misses all three; they scatter nowhere interesting. The last Dervish charges my Void Archon on the left, manages to land the initial and kills it off. Frazer scores his flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
OK, I need to clear off my flag on the left and the zone on the right. If I’m lucky I might possibly be able to score the central zone. I also need to make sure that the Menite Archon on the left goes away. Annoyingly, Jaga-Jaga is in range of the Indictor so can’t upkeep Battle Host; she backs off and casts it as I need the extra move on a Swamp Horror, she also predictably casts Signs and Portents. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk on the left Valkyrie and the Wrastler puts Rage on it then maxes out Fury killing the Dervish in my zone as it misses all three initials. The turbo-charged Swamp Horror does me proud, strolling through the building and killing off the Indictor, the Dervish and pulling the Archon out range of the Warder and hurting it badly. The remaining Valkyries finish it off and I breath a sigh of relief. On the right, the Valkyries charge into the Indictor, Redeemer and Warder for trivial damage on the first two but ‘killing’ the latter; the main purpose was to get in the way of course. Brine continues to stare at the Menite Archon from slightly outside of its threat range while the Void Archon moves into the centre. I score my flag and the right zone; 2 – 1 to me.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Amon drops all his spells and upkeeps nothing in anticipation of a Feat turn; Severius upkeeps Road To War and allocates two Focus to the Redeemer. Both sets of Choir sing Battle and the Hierophant does his Harmonious Exaltation. The Menite Archon kills one Valkyrie and the Dhunian Archon prevents the hit on the other one. A Vassal Mechanic runs to contest on the right and the Vassals Enliven the surviving Indictor and Dervish. Amon Feats then casts Mobility (two Focus to the Dervish), Synergy (two Focus to the Vigilant) and Fortify on the Indictor (allocating two Focus to it in the process). He also takes a Focus from the Wrack which explodes this time. The Indictor clears the Valkyries (actually if I’d been a bit more careful with positioning here I could possibly have blocked the Indictor from getting to one of them due to the position of the left one and the Redeemer) which allows the Redeemer to go into the Void Archon and kill it. Somehow I just hadn’t expected that; I just thought of the Redeemer as a gun platform; at the time I was bit annoyed with myself there but actually I was going to lose something to a fully-loaded Warjack so it might as well have been the Void Archon. The Dervish and Vigilant kill off my Swamp Horror in the centre. Frazer scores his flag and contests mine; 2 – 2.

Turn 4: Minions
I think that I can pick off the Menite Archon and all the remaining Warjacks apart from the Indictor here so if I don’t give up too much on the scenario then I can probably grind out attrition after that. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps Battle Host for free but has to cut for one. She casts Signs and Portents after shuffling to a slightly safer position, then puts Rage on the surviving Swamp Horror; the Soul Slave applies Ghost Walk to it. Rorsh uses Diversionary Tactics to move Brine forward and the Wrastler puts Rage on the pig. It also wrecks the Redeemer and Overtakes back into my zone (credit to Frazer here for letting me amend my Overtake move a couple of activations later after I realised that I put the Wrastler about 0.1” outside the right zone). Brine makes pretty hard work of it but does kill off the Menite Archon so job done there. The Valkyries knock down the Vigilant but the Dervish Enlivens into a slightly more annoying place in front of my Swam Horror. Luckily Ghost Walk lets it ignore free strikes so it just strolls round into the Dervishes back arc, kills it and pulls in the Vigilant to wreck it too. The right Dhunian Archon kills the jamming Mechanic to clear my zone on the right and the Valkyrie kills the Warder but of course he stays around long enough to contest my flag. I score the right zone, 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Amon drops Synergy as it’s no longer efficient but does upkeep Fortify; he also allocates two Focus to the Indictor. The Vassal Enlivens it and the Choir on the right sing Battle. On the left, the Choir rather optimistically charge in to the Swamp Horror, doing nothing but guaranteeing that they are next on the menu. The Invictor charges into the Wrastler (I constantly forgot about Field Marshal: Parry in this game) but misses one attack to leave my Warbeast alive on a few boxes. Incidental healing from the Dhunian Archons’ Mother’s Embrace ability eventually fixes the crippled aspects. On the left, the Vassal finally deals with my Swamp Gobber Chef which allows Amon to charge into the zone there and kill a Valkyrie. Severius goes ninja and kills one of the Valkyries in the centre and Toughs the other. Frazer scores the left zone and I score the right; 4 – 3 to me.

Turn 5: Minions
I just need to deal with the Indictor and stop Jaga-Jaga from dying to some shenanigans from Amon, then I can close out the game. Brine Frenzies and eats one of the Choir on the right which is a bit annoying as I could possibly have cleared the flag there and got something onto it. Jaga-Jaga again has to drop Battle Host due to the Indictor, so she moves away then puts Rage on the Wrastler and, of course, casts Signs and Portents. The Archon on the right bops Fortify off the Indictor but sadly can’t break armour so doesn’t trigger Enliven. The Swamp Horror reaches out a tentacle to fix that (the Indictor moves such that I can’t get any back strikes on it) then eats all the Choir and Severius for good measure. Rorsh guns down another Choir member but rolls really low on damage and doesn’t get the Vassal. The Wrastler easily kills the Indictor and the left Archon kills the contesting Vassal. I score the centre zone and left flag; Frazer scores the left zone; 6 – 4 to me.

Turn 5: Protectorate of Menoth
We’re pretty much done here. Frazer moves his few remaining models to contest zones, then moves Amon to go for a wildly optimistic ranged assassination on Jaga-Jaga. It doesn’t work. Minions win (by scenario next turn, I suppose) as we don’t play out the rest since it’s already close to midnight.

I really enjoy playing against Frazer; he’s a lovely chap with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the games rules and minutiae. I think I played this one solidly if not particularly well, but it has to be said that I was definitely aided by Frazer’s frankly terrible dice. I think that I like the list change to swap Dahlia and Skarath out for the Valkyries and the Chef; this makes better use of the Dhunian Archons and I think that I prefer the improved board presence over the power of Skarath. They’re probably more useful if there is any incoming fire from the other side so that Shield Guard becomes relevant.

Things I learned:

  • My positioning of things around Menite Archons continues to be rubbish. I left brilliant Thresher targets for both Archons and at least the first was very avoidable.
  • The Void Archons need some more thought on when to commit them. In this list they’re by far the most mobile option and I sometimes feel that throwing something deep into an opponent can be quite useful just to keep them off balance (especially if playing on a death clock, which we were not here) but on the other hand they’re not cheap and I don’t like to lose them too easily. Perhaps this is just a case where more practice is needed.
  • It’s not something that easily fits into battle reports, but the incidental healing provided by the Dhunian Archons’ Mother’s Embrace ability as I gradually get models sanded down is really helpful.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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