Battle reports

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 24Oct2019

I’ve signed up for another Warmachine / Hordes tournament, so it felt like I should get organised enough to actually play a few more games. As usual, Joe was on hand to provide satisfaction.

Game 14, Scenario: King of the Hill

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0LbOfCjVnd4c

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

The only slight tweak to my Dr Arkadius list from last time was to drop Targ and replace him with Kwaak & Gub. I don’t feel like I’ve been getting much value out of Targ’s abilities (though this is more my failing that his, I imagine) and so I thought it would be good to try and learn how to use Kwaak’s interesting list of spells. In particular, I had an idea that I could perhaps do something amusing with Enliven although I will admit that it is a spell with possibilities far in excess of my capability to make use of it.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-1HoHnVoTe59b9boUoM6iaeoYp2oYp2

Mercenaries
[Theme] Flame in the Darkness

!!! This army contains pre-release entries.
!!! This army contains CID entries.

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
Grand Master Gabriel Throne [7]
Lieutenant Allison Jakes [0(4)]
– Charger [9]
– Charger [9]
Thamarite Advocate [3]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen [10]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]
Order of Illumination Vigilants (max) [10]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Order of Illumination Vigilants (max) [10]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]

Joe is playing Fiona again, this time with a load of (fresh from CID?) models in a theme I’ve never even heard of. There are proxies galore in here: Gun Mages are Vigilants, some random unpainted metal things that I don’t recognise are the gobbers in the mechanic crews, the Thamarite Archon is played by another Archon, Stannis Brocker is Gabriel Throne, the alt sculpt of Sylys is a Thamarite Advocate and Valkyries are playing as Thrall Warriors. This could have been confusing if I had already been familiar with any of their rules – score one for inexperience!

Joe wins the roll and picks to go first, which seems important in this match-up.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Throne gives the Risen Pathfinder and everything moves up to claim as much board space as possible. The Priests kindly offer themselves as Vengeance bait in case I want to over-extend myself early on. Fiona puts Occultation on Jakes, who uses Energiser to speed up her own Battlegroup.

Turn 1: Minions
Surprisingly, almost everyone runs forward; I try to respect the shooting threat at least a little bit and make sure that anyone who wants to shoot me will at least have to move first. Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator to stop any Befuddle shenanigans then casts Forced Evolution on the painted Road Hog. Mire casts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler (because it is free to upkeep anyway) and extends the cloud wall a little to my right. I make sure that the Road Hogs will both be in range to get a nice little adrenaline needle from Dr Arkadius next turn.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Fiona upkeeps Occulation (for free) and Allocates two to the Blockader and Jakes Allocates each Charger a single Focus. Fiona Feats and arcs Curse of Veils onto the central War Hog. The Vigilants on the right put a few shots into my poor Warbeast before the Blockader finishes the job. Jakes carefully stays out of range of Hutchuk ambushing and her Chargers pump shots into the War Hog on the left. I do avoid a couple of shots by using Hyper-Aggressive to move it into melee with one of the Priests though.

Turn 2: Minions
I upkeep all my spells. Fiona’s feat is really limiting for a melee army like mine and although I consider using my own Feat here I decide to hope that I can weather the storm and come back strong next turn. The Gun Boar starts off with a fully boosted shot into the Archon who is helpfully not standing close to a Shield Guard and takes off a good chunk of its health, along with a couple of careless Vigilants. Not bad considering I just wanted a Fury on the board to Maltreat back to Dr Arkadius. The Doctor then needles both Road Hogs in the back with adrenaline and casts Psycho Surgery to fix up some splash damage (mainly self-inflicted) across my Battlegroup. Both Road Hogs then make charges that keep them out of Fiona’s Feat and allow some nice sprays, taking out a good number of Vigilants and the lead Thrall Warrior but sadly failing to hit the Archon who gratefully Dodges back to relative safety. They use Sprint to get back out of range of big retaliation. I’m not getting anything useful done on the right under Fiona’s Feat so Kwaak puts Enliven on both the Wrastler and War Hog; the former eats another Priest and Overtakes back out of the clouds to be a little bit more annoying. I try to put them where the Blockader can’t just kill them both with a single activation. Finally the War Hog on the left kills the Priest and Objective without even using any Fury. I’m pretty sure he’s going to get exploded by Chargers next turn though. I score the Objective and left zone; 2 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Fiona and Jakes do exactly the same Allocation and upkeeps as last turn. Jakes takes a shot into the War Hog who uses Hyper Aggressive to move into melee with the nearer Charger. On the right, the Blockader walks into range of the Wrastler but rolls triple 1s for damage and my Warbeast gratefully Enlivens away (taking another load of damage and getting knocked down on a critical from the free strike, sadly). Instead, the Blockader casually beats my Objective into scrap. The Thrall Warrior follows up into the Wrastler but can’t do much damage. Joe throws pretty much everything he has at the big alligator and finally the nearer Charger gets it after Throne kills the War Hog in melee. Dang, I was really hoping to be able to use Rage next turn! Finally Fiona arcs Befuddle to move one Road Hog out of the central zone. Joe scores my Objective, the flag and the central and right zones; 4 – 2 to him.

Turn 3: Minions
Dr Arkadius upkeeps all his spells again. Hutchuk Ambushes in on the right (Joe is never going to give me Jakes and coming in to her and the Chargers would just be suicide), misses a grenade at the Blockader and misses his melee attack against a Vigilant. Good work Hutchuk. Mire, now that he’s reduced to being a super-solo, makes a total meal of killing off the Priest on the right. The Gun Boar comes good again though, finishing off the Archon and moving into the left zone. Dr Arkadius Maltreats a Fury off it again, casts Psycho Surgery to heal things and stabs the Road Hog facing him with adrenaline. He then puts Primal on the Battle Boar and Feats before scuttling off behind the forest. The Battle Boar takes his Feat attack into the Thrall; the main purpose is to get close enough to apply Primal to the War Hog. The latter uses the Feat to charge into the Blockader and scrapes a column or so off it and finally the Road Hog who is facing the right way dents the Charger. The Battle Boar applies Primal to the War Hog and uses its Dial, then does nothing useful against the mess of infantry just waiting to be eaten in front of it (I think it took out just one Vigilant). The adrenaline-d Road Hog walks up and sprays Alexia, killing a good number of Risen as she kept herself alive. The War Hog satisfyingly wrecks the Blockader with a Fury to spare and so Overtakes into a Vigilant and kills him too, while the Road Hog scraps the Charger. I score the left zone; 4 – 3 to Joe.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Fiona upkeeps Occultation and Jakes Allocates a single Focus to the surviving Charger. On the right, the Vigilant tickles Hutchuk. Fiona Chastens Forced Evolution off my Road Hog and then lands Curse of Veils on it; Alexia burns through some more of her Risen to kill it. Everything else with a gun works together to kill my Gun Boar. No one scores; 4 – 3 to Joe.

Turn 4: Minions
I upkeep Aggravator as I figure that one Fury a turn is probably still worth it to avoid Befuddle shenanigans. Mire runs into the central zone to be a spray target for Kwaak’s Venom spell (he’s immune to Corrosion and I can’t target Alexia directly with spells); sadly Kwaak misses his first spray in her back anyway and I’m stupid and forget that he can do it twice. The Road Hog kills it her in the end. Dr Arkadius can clear the zone by killing both Risen but sadly misses one of the Primal Shocks (only needing a 3 to hit). Neither of us score this time either; 4 – 3 to Joe.

Turn 5: Mercenaries
Same as before, Jakes Allocates a Focus to her Charger and Fiona upkeeps Occultation. Fiona, who is rapidly running out of underlings, puts Curse of Veils on the last Road Hog, the Charger and Jakes shoot it and Throne finally comes in to kill it in melee. The Charger finally makes it into the left zone; 5 – 3 to Joe.

Turn 5: Minions
I finally drop Aggravator on the basis that it’s probably no longer efficient for Joe to spend Focus Befuddling them instead of killing them in the first place. The Battle Boar casts Primal on itself and kills a Risen and a couple of Mechanics. Mire charges into Throne and helpfully misses four out his five attacks; Kwaak follows up with a couple of Venoms that also don’t kill him but do at least stick continuous Corrosion on. Thanks Mire. Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery to shore up my ailing few Warbeasts and kills the Thamarite Advocate with Primal Shock. Finally the War Hog polishes off the last Vigilant. I score the right zone and Joe scores the left; 6 – 4 to Joe.

Turn 6: Mercenaries
Throne has no trouble at all killing Mire in return. Fiona arcs Curse of Veils and Chasten through Throne into Arkadius, spiking high on damage and making me rather nervous (and also doing as much damage to Throne in the process as Mire and Kwaak managed between them the last turn). The Charger moves out to shoot Dr Arkadius and I’m left on a couple of boxes when it gets Energiser-ed back into the left zone. We both score the outside zone again; 7 – 5 to Joe.

Turn 6: Minions
Time to run far away with Dr Arkadius so his old man stats don’t just randomly get him killed. The Battle Boar, Kwaak and the Witch Doctor combine to finally remove Throne’s last box and sit on the flag, but now I don’t have any attacks left to get into Jakes which I was really hoping for. Dr Arkadius scoots over to hide in the clouds, far out of range of that nasty Charger’s gun. I score the right zone and flag this turn while Joe gets the left zone; 8 – 7 to Joe.

Turn 7: Mercenaries
Fiona drops Curse of Veils from my Warlock. Jakes and the Charger neatly gun down all three of my solos in the centre (particularly galling considering how useless the lot of them had been all game) but Fiona doesn’t quite have the firepower to drop the Battle Boar. We both score the zones on the sides; 9 – 8 to Joe and it seems that I forgot to take a picture.

Turn 7: Minions
Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery to get the Battle Boar up and running again and hopefully take out Jakes but before it even starts moving, he spikes a high damage Primal Shock into her. This scores me the right and centre zones and the inert Charger now does not score the left zone. Minions win 10 – 9 on scenario.

Well, that was certainly close. Thanks, as always, to Joe for a great fun game and for talking through my options to share his experience of the game. There were some rather odd rolls; notably Mire’s (and Kwaak’s) total failure to do anything to Throne in the late game; that alone could have won me the game if they’d killed him a turn, or even a couple of activations, earlier. On the other hand, I got lucky with the Blockader’s low damage roll against the Wrastler forcing Joe to waste much of his turn dealing with it. Things I learned:

  • Timing Dr Arkadius’s Feat is hard when the other player has a denial Feat. On the one hand, I can wait it out and try again; clearly this is in my favour. But on the other hand, I feel that I’m giving up a lot of board presence if I back up and otherwise I’m letting a big part of my army take a beating if I don’t.
  • The Gun Boar is a useful part of my list because it allows me to extend my threat without using Dr Arkadius’s Feat. Of course, the same applies to Road Hogs using the Assault / Sprint combination. I might consider a list where I drop the third War Hog for another Gun Boar and something else entertaining.
  • I’m not getting good work out of my solos at all. I suspect that this game was a bit of an aberration for them dice-wise, but they just seem to get killed so easily after doing very little. Maybe I need to stop thinking of them as gaming pieces and more like single-use counters for specific tech (e.g. Ghost Walk from the Witch Doctor). Still, I won the game so I can’t really complain too much; I certainly had luck in other places.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 06Sep2019

Joe and I seem to keep missing each other lately with our schedules but finally we caught up to play some more Warmachine / Hordes.

Game 13 – Recon 2 vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0L0YbOfCnd4c

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [8]
– Road Hog [15]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– Targ [0(3)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

The list itself remains static from the last iteration. My main intention here is to learn how to utilise the Adrenaline part of Dr Arkadius’s melee weapon along with the Road Hog’s Sprint animus to clear infantry more efficiently.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-1_b_94929292phppnwiririqiqhXhX

Mercenaries
[Theme] Hammer Strike

!!! This army contains a pre-release entry.

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
Balthazar Bamfist [4]
Harlowe Holdemhigh [0(5)]
Steelhead Gunner [3]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [0(6)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [0(6)]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (max) [16]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (max) [16]
Hammerfall Siege Crawler [18]
Hammerfall Siege Crawler [18]

Joe’s working toward representing a team in the WTC this year so the gloves are off. In some ways, this list is perfect for my specific game objectives (i.e. testing my infantry clearing powers) but in practical terms I have doubts about how I’ll fare against recursion on Forge Guard. Even if I do manage to deal with all the infantry I have to then handle all the armour of the battle engines and the Warjacks.

Joe wins the roll and chooses the board edge (due to the highly tactical reason of ‘I’m already sitting here’) so I go first. I put the Road Hogs next to Dr Arkadius for turn 2 Adrenaline shenanigans. I also helpfully forget to do photos for the first turn.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator mainly because I think that Guardian Beast isn’t going to do me any good then casts Forced Evolution on a Road Hog. Mire casts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler. The Road Hogs make a convenient screen right in front of Dr Arkadius.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Ossrum casts Fire For Effect on the left Artillery Corps and Snipe on the left battle engine. Most things run forward except for Holdemhigh who backs off to be sure of being safe.

Turn 2: Minions
I don’t’ think that I can get into anything useful so I’m just going to contest the edges of the zones and take what I can at range. All my spells are upkept. The Gun Boar shoots at the cannon on the right but it’s tough; the blast splashes a Forge Guard and actually kills him but that’s only a temporary inconvenience. Dr Arkadius stabs a Road Hog in the back (who also received Eyeless Sight from my objective) and it sets the Driller on fire. The rest of my stuff hangs back as much as possible.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Ossrum upkeeps both spells. The left Siege Crawler puts a few shots into a Road Hog while the right one gets the critical Stagger on the Gun Boar. Forge Guard flood the zones on both sides and Ossrum swaps Snipe onto Harlow (but I didn’t note what he actually did with it). Joe scores his own flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Again, all of my spells are upkept. I decide to try and wait the game out a little longer and so I won’t Feat. The Wrastler kills a couple of Forge Guard on the right and Mire puts a cloud in front of it (though this doesn’t actually help because of my placement). The Gun Boar strolls up to another Dwarf and kills him with a bought attack, mainly so that Dr Arkadius can Maltreat it off later. The Doctor casts Psycho Surgery to clear up some of the chip damage and stabs both Road Hogs from behind with the Adrenaline needle. The both use the combination of Assault and Lightning Strike to clear out a good number of Forge Guard from both zone and return to relative safety, while setting all sorts of things on fire. Bamfist, who is sitting on the flag, sadly survives as I roll low on damage for him. We both score our own flags; 2 – 1.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
A handful more Rhulfolk die to fire and then the full six Forge Guard get back up / emerge from the battle engines / appear from thin air thanks to the Siege Crawlers (yes, I don’t know the fluff for that rule). Ossrum upkeeps both his spells again. Ossrum Feats, puts Bullet Dodger on himself and retreats to safety. The left Siege Crawler and Artillery Corps shoot up the left War Hog and it is eventually finished off (exactly to the box) by Holdemhigh. Over on the right, the Forge Guard drop the Gun Boar (also exactly to the box) and badly hurt the Wrastler. Joe scores his flag and the left zone; 4 – 1.

Turn 4: Minions
Well, this is going to have to be a good Feat turn. I drop Aggravator. Mire puts Rage on a War Hog and heals the crippled aspects on the Wrastler before smacking the nearest Forge Guard. He ends up on the flag and empty on fury because I need to get some points and I can’t see any realistic case where I don’t lose Mire and Wrastler easily. The Wrastler itself chews through a nice number of Forge Guard, Overtaking off some and Snacking a few others. The Battle Boar makes a total mess of dealing with the lead Forge Guard and I eventually have to rely on a Feat attack from a War Hog to deal with him. The remainder of the Feat is mainly used to line up nice charges where possible. The right Road Hog goes into the left [BE], doing little more than scratching the paint but lighting up an amusing number of Rhulfolk behind it. Annoyingly, low damage rolls leave both Holdemhigh and the Steelhead Gunner alive and kicking (albeit also ablaze). Both War Hogs on the right use their Aggression Dials but a lot of low damage rolls plus the armour boost from Ossrum’s Feat means that they don’t manage to kill it. Looking at the board state, I offer my hand in defeat and Joe accepts. I don’t actually prefer to give up when all is not over, but in this case we had gamed quite late into the night and I felt that the result had become an inevitable win for Joe. Minions lose!

It was really nice to play Joe again, he’s always so relaxed and encouraging even when I’m making suicidal decisions throughout the game. Indeed, I need to up my skill level a bit to give him a chance to practice his WTC lists by doing more than strolling forward and effortlessly crushing me. On the plus side, I did feel that I was getting the hang of the Road Hog yo-yo, so in that sense I did achieve my objective for the game. Things I learned:

  • I should have used Dr Arkadius’s Feat one turn earlier. The board position wasn’t quite so good but the impact of attacking into Ossrum’s Feat really blunted my offensive.
  • I’m not getting much value out of Targ. I might consider swapping him for Kwaak & Gub (especially since I’ve just painted them).
  • Hutchuk is just not performing well for me either. He didn’t even appear on the board this game, but that wasn’t because I forgot about him (though I will admit that does happen). In this case, there just wasn’t a time that I could have done more than stop Joe from scoring his flag for a single turn before he would be killed off. I’m not sure who to replace him with though. Orin has been quite effective in my Jaga Jaga list so that is one option (and of course, I own the model so that’s a mark in his favour).
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Scottish GT (75 points); 03-04Aug2019

I traveled to Common Ground Games in Stirling to take part in the Warmachine / Hordes (just Warmachine from here on in) Scottish Masters. Note that, despite the name being ‘masters’ it wasn’t necessary to be some kind of expert player; just as well really as otherwise I’d never get a look in. Just like the only other Warmachine event I’ve attended, this was run by Allan Gibb and all the organisation in the lead-up was smooth. I had been really looking forward to the tournament as it’s been a long time since I took part in a competitive wargaming event.

My objective here in terms of performance is not to come last. If I can get two wins, I’ll be delighted.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g___-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0L0YbOfCnd4c

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [8]
– Road Hog [15]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– Targ [0(3)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

My lists are the same two I’ve been using for Minions for the last few games. Dr Arkadius is there to threaten an assassination but can attrition surprisingly well against Warbeasts (because I can get a good alpha strike with Dr Arkadius’s Feat) and a limited amount of infantry (because Overtake lets me pinball around, and two Road Hog sprays can be quite effective. The Jaga Jaga list is intended to be used against infantry, and especially to use her Feat to take out annoying solos and unit attachments; it also has a bit of hit-fixing with Signs and Portents.

Round 1 – King of the Hill vs Ross’s Retribution of Scyrah (game 8)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c5201b_-1ohH1gms3y3y3A3J0w4L2wfW2zmo31___-1ndUhImx9v3y3y4141dP35363u3536hT

Retribution
[Theme] Legions of Dawn

[Goreshade 4] Lord Ghyrrshyld, the Forgiven [+28]
– Chimera [8]
– Imperatus [20]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Dawnguard Destor Thane [7]
Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir [0(4)]
– Hydra [15]
House Shyeel Artificer [0(5)]
– Griffon [8]
Lys Healer [3]
Dawnguard Destors (max) [20]
Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]
– Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [0(4)]

Retribution
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

[Issyria 1] Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn [+29]
– Hemera [16]
– Hyperion [32]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [0(4)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
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]
Arcantrik Force Generator [17]

I picked Dr Arkadius here as I was worried about how I would deal with the colossal in the Issyria list. Ross chose Goreshade, so that wasn’t helpful. I’m a bit worried about chewing through Dauntless Resolve, Steady, Tough Destors (or Sentinels, depending on how things go) as they seem tailor made to kill my Warbeasts. On the other hand, I think that Ross has to use his Feat early or play very cautiously with Goreshade unless he wants to risk a Feat / Overtake assassination.

Ross wins the roll and chooses the board edge so I go first. I’m aiming most of my army for that bottleneck in the centre as I think I’ll need to get through there. The Gatorman Witch Doctor seems important here to be able to get through the terrain.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator in case of any cheeky late-turn shooting and casts Forced Evolution on the left Road Hog. Mire casts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler simply because it would be free later on. Some of my Warbeasts don’t run as otherwise I’ll end up with too much Fury on the board and I’m not confident about leaving Dr Arkadius on zero camp.

Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Most of Ross’s list also runs full-tilt toward me. Goreshade puts a couple clouds up in between the central forests to ensure that I can’t see his army. Dauntless Resolve goes on the Destors along with the Steady aura, so I can see that I’ll have a tough time getting through them. The Sentinels form a loose screen in front of Goreshade while the Griffon goes for the left zone.

Turn 2: Minions
I think that I can use a trick with Dr Arkadius’s Feat to get the assassination this turn since Goreshade didn’t use his Feat. Hutchuk runs in from the left and fails to do much of anything to the Griffon. The Gun Boar runs into the clouds to be a Frenzy target and the Witch Doctor casts Ghost Walk on the War Hog. Mire and the Wrastler put Rage on the right-hand War Hog and Road Hog while the Battle Boar and Dr Arkadius put Primal on the left pair. Dr Arkadius then Feats, sending the left heavies into the cloud wall (and banging up the Gun Boar in the process) and the right ones round the other side of the forest. Over on the right, the War Hog makes a bit of a meal of killing the lead Destor but the Road Hog gets an amusing charge which lights Goreshade on fire with the Assault shot and then Overtakes though a handful of Sentinels. The left Road Hog puts some more damage into Goreshade with its flamethrower and clears a path through the Sentinels before eventually Overtaking out of the War Hog’s way. The Primalled War Hog has Goreshade in its sights and puts the Warcaster down in the first swing. Minions win by assassination!

Well, that went surprisingly well. Ross was a really nice chap, explained what his stuff did and took his Warcaster’s early demise with a smile on his face. I think that this was the narrowest win possible in Warmachine; I didn’t get any scenario points and the only thing I scored army point from was Goreshade himself. Things I learned:

  • I need to get more value out of Ancillary Attack and the Adrenaline option on Dr Arkadius’s Needle. I’m not really using either to any great effect.
  • Taking down Destors with Dauntless Resolve, Steady and Tough is really hard to do. In general, I don’t have any tech against Tough other than just spending Fury and hitting them again.
  • Cloud Walls are a bit of a problem as I have no way to see through them. Luckily in this case I was able to Frenzy onto one of my own models to get through Goreshade’s clouds, but if positioning had been a bit different that could have been off the table too.

Since that took such a short amount of time, we re-racked back to end of Ross’s first turn, and applied Goreshade’s Feat. I had to back off and cede some ground and lot of damage but eventually I managed to land a fully powered-up War Hog on Goreshade again and get a second assassination. No photos or clock from that game though, we were just chatting our way through options.

Round 2 – Recon II vs Kyle’s Protectorate of Menoth (game 9)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1qfZgS9xg9e49x9xlM9x9x2_2____-1r1l1q1rm3l-l-m03p7z2mbQ2m2jfV2jfV

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Malekus 1] Malekus, the Burning Truth [+30]
– Eye of Truth [20]
– Repenter [8]
– Revelator [37]
Initiate Tristan Durant [0(4)]
– Repenter [8]
– Repenter [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Repenter [8]
– Repenter [8]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
[According to my notes there should also be a couple of Vassals of Menoth in here but for some reason it isn’t working out in Conflict Chamber]

Protectorate
[Theme] Exemplar Interdiction

[Vindictus 1] Vice Scrutator Vindictus [+29]
– Dervish [7]
– Devout [9]
– Fire of Salvation [14]
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal [0(5)]
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal [0(5)]
High Exemplar Gravus [8]
Knights Exemplar Seneschal [0(5)]
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord [4]
Exemplar Errants (max) [16]
– Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard [4]
Exemplar Errants (max) [16]
Knights Exemplar [9]
– Knights Exemplar Officer [4]
Knights Exemplar [9]
– Knights Exemplar Officer [4]

My knowledge of game match-ups is only at the most basic level possible. In this case, I looked at Kyle’s pairing and mentally broke it down to ‘lots of Warjacks’ and ‘lots of infantry’. Since we were playing a scenario that didn’t have any zones that could be scored by infantry, I figured that he would go for the Warjack list and selected Dr Arkadius accordingly. It was a bit of shock when Kyle picked Vindictus and I ended up facing a huge swarm of light infantry across the table, especially as I couldn’t set them on fire with Road Hogs.

Kyle wins the roll off and chooses to go first so I pick the side with slightly less annoying terrain. His army is more or less evenly spread across the line and I do the same, except that Mire and the Dracodile are in the middle since they are Amphibious (and have Immunity: Corrosion in Mire’s case) and hence can get around that irritating corrosion swamp.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
A huge swarm of infantry races toward me, ably assisted by True Path. Defender’s Ward goes on the Errants on my right, and Rhupert makes them Tough too. Everything other than the Infantry is a bit more cautious and hangs back behind the woods.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward as usual. I don’t want to let too much of Kyle’s infantry get into me, but on the other hand I certainly can’t afford to get jammed out of the scenario. Dr Arkadius casts Aggravator in the vain hope that I can use it to shut down some cheeky potshots without exposing myself too much, then casts Forced Evolution on the nearer Road Hog. The Road Hogs put out a few sprays to minimal effect.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
Defender’s Ward is upkept, the Vindictus strolls up and uses his Feat. The various Exemplars jam me hard, and I lose the Road Hog on the left to charging Knights Examplar.

Turn 2: Minions
We weren’t sure of whether Dr Arkadius’s Feat would allow me to charge into Vindictus’s Feat so decided to assume that I couldn’t do it. I un-jam myself as well as I can with Overtake moves, and the Battle Boar lives the dream by Primalling itself and then eating the entire unit of Knights Examplar. 1 – 0 to the Protectorate as I can’t clear my own flag and forgot to ambush Hutchuk on to contest Kyle’s.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Defender’s Ward is upkept again as Kyle judges that there are enough Errants left to be worthwhile. On the right, the infantry jam back in but I somehow don’t lose any of my Warbeasts. On the left, it’s less pretty as the War Hog is slammed out of the zone by the Bastion Seneschal (and eventually killed by Errants) and the Battle Boar is killed by the Dervish and Knights Exemplar Seneschal. Vindictus casts Admonition on Fire of Salvation. 3 – 0 to Kyle as he scores his flag again and the left zone.

Turn 3: Minions
Hutchuk makes an appearance and runs to contest Kyle’s flag. The Wrastler and Mire do some sterling work on the left, taking out the Dervish, both solos and a few more Errants. Dr Arkadius uses his Feat to get an extra few attacks out on the right and I’m feeling more comfortable about how much stuff Kyle has to come back to me with. One of the War Hogs heads for Fire of Salvation but it Admonitions away. Dr Arkadius gets on my flag; 3 – 1 to Kyle.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Kyle throws all he has at me. Fire of Salvation gets fully fuelled and kills the lead War Hog. On the left, the Devout manages to leave Mire on a single box. No-one scores as everything is contested.

Turn 4: Minions
Hutchuk leaves Rhupert on a single box so the Gun Boar has to kill him from range (and a high damage roll hurts Hutchuk quite badly too). Mire and the Wrastler clear the Devout from the left zone and I think Kyle is out of things to meaningfully contest it. Over on the right, the War hog and Road Hog finally finish off the last of the infantry but I can’t pin down the Fire of Salvation with Admonition. I’m reduced to trying to block his route in, and Dr Arkadius applies Crippling Grasp to hopefully keep it out of my face. I score the left zone and both flags to bring the score to 4 – 3.

Turn 5: Protectorate of Menoth
Kyle is down to almost nothing on his clock. Vindictus personally polishes off my War Hog, then Fire of Salvation gets fully fuelled and just barely makes it into Dr Arkadius. Fortunately, my Warcaster survives the round and Kyle’s clock runs out. Minions win by deathclock.

That was tight! Kyle was a really lovely man, and on discussion with him was probably about as experienced at Warmachine as I am (i.e. not very). So in that regard this was really a perfect game for both of us. Things I learned:

  • Positioning of my Warlock is of paramount importance. I could have moved Dr Arkadius to various positions of safety but ended up needing the dice to save me.
  • The match-up into this cloud of light infantry wasn’t as bad as I expected. The warrior models need to clump up if they’re going to do anything of note to my heavy Warbeasts and doing so leaves them really vulnerable to sprays or Overtake chains in retaliation.
  • Getting the Berserk attacks off with the Battle Boar was extremely satisfying. It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to use that ability and it felt good.

Round 3 – Spread The Net vs Billy’s Protectorate of Menoth (game 10)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1q0ylV7jlUk9e4lVlM1G1G3t2____-1pm11UlVme3k3k7jjCjClR3C2_3F3Hninini

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Kreoss 1] High Exemplar Kreoss [+29]
– Judicator [35]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Exemplar Warder [0(5)]
Exemplar Warder Elias Gade [0(5)]
Initiate Tristan Durant [4]
– Judicator [35]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Redeemer [11]
– Redeemer [11]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

[Harbinger 1] The Harbinger of Menoth [+27]
– Crusader [10]
– Judicator [35]
– Hierophant [3]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Hand of Silence [7]
The Covenant of Menoth [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (min) [9]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]

I’m well and truly in the shark tank here; Billy is regarded as a potential winner of the whole event, plays in WTC and so on. Both his lists have Colossals in them so I figure I need the sheer damage output of Dr Arkadius again. Billy chooses to play with Harbinger. I’m just hoping for a lucky opening to get a Road Hog onto Harbinger or something.

Billy wins the roll-off and chooses to take first turn.  Neither side has much to recommend it so I take the one with a wall that I can hope to hide behind a little.  The Wrastler and two War Hogs go to the right in order to face off the Judicator; perhaps the threat of a long range attack from Raged War Hogs will make it play a bit further back.

The Idrians pick the painted Road Hog as Prey.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Billy tuns his stuff up in a brick, making sure that Harbinger is far enough back that I can’t possibly land any assault sprays on her from the Road Hogs.

Turn 1: Minions
I move up and try to leverage my larger threat ranges. I’ve got Aggravator up in case I can get any moves out of cheeky shots from the Idrians that won’t also involve the Judicator getting an easy route into my heavies, and Forced Evolution goes on the nearby Road Hog.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
The Idrians and Judicator drop one of my War Hogs at range, and Harbinger casts Purification to clear off my upkeeps. The Champion and some Initiates are careful to block me off from the Judicator. The Allegiants move to be annoying, one of them runs to the right flag.

Turn 2: Minions
Hanging back isn’t likely to help me as I don’t have any ranged threats so I figure that I need to pull the trigger now and hope to do enough chipping away at the infantry that Harbinger will slow down on the Martyrdom. I need to get that Champion out of the way, but I seriously underestimate how tricky it is to clear a model with high armour, Tough, no-knockdown under Awe, when Harbinger can just take a bit of damage to keep him up. Now that I write it, possibly this should have been more obvious! In the end, my heavies get completely hung up on this one model and I can’t make any progress into the Judicator despite using my Feat, Primal, Rage and any thing else I could bring to bear. It didn’t help that the Champion passed his first five Tough checks before even needing to be Martyred. I do set a few things on fire but Harbinger Martyrs away any significant damage. Over on the left, I dismount the other Champion but have to Primal the Road Hog to get anything done at all. Hutchuk ambushes over to contest the right flag and Targ scores me for the left one. Billy scores for the left zone; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Harbinger loads up the Judicator and it kills the Wrastler and another War Hog. The Idrians take out the right Road Hog and Anastasia comes on the left and Toughs Targ. Billy scores his zone again; 2 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
There isn’t much that I can do here. The Battle Boar kills Anastasia so that I can at least score another point. Just for fun I power up the last War Hog and it leaves the Judicator on a five boxes, so at least that was satisfying. Mire kills a few Idrians but I can’t get the whole unit. I score the left flag and right zone while Billy scores the left zone; 3 – 3.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
It’s just mopping up here. All but my rear-most miniatures are efficiently killed off with the Judicator and surviving Idrians doing most of the work. Minions lose on scenario (I think; from my notes I believe it was only 6 – 3 in Billy’s favour when we called it… anyway, I wasn’t coming back into this).

Overall that went more or less as I expected. Billy was a classy opponent, always polite and friendly even when he was crushing all my stuff. Spoiler alert: he did go on to win the whole event, so I don’t feel bad about being comprehensively crushed by him. Things I learned:

  • Despite the result I think that I picked the right list to use here; at least, I think that Jaga Jaga would have been even worse. It seems to me that I would need to bring some very different tech to give myself a fighting chance here. But perhaps I’m wrong, and the difference here was simply the vast gulf in skill and experience between us and I could have done more by simply playing better. If you have any thoughts on how to approach this match-up then I’ll be really glad to read them.
  • I need to get better at using power attacks. The Champion gummed me up completely trying to get my heavies into the Judicator. I think that it could have been possible to use one of them to throw him out of the way without messing about trying to kill him.
  • As with the Destors in game 1, I don’t really have a good answer for Tough, Steady models other than hitting them lots of times. In this case, the combination of Awe and Martyrdom made it even harder to deal with.

With that, the first day ended and most of us went out of some drinks and a rather lovely Italian restaurant. It’s one thing I do really appreciate about two-day events – being able to make an evening of the tournament and get to know people outside the context of the game that brings us together.

Round 4 – Bunkers vs Sean’s Grymkin (game 11)

https://conflictchamber.com/?ce201b_-2khvh2nlnlnlnlnlnlh4h4nFhmhmhmhn___-2khth2nlnlnlh4h6h3h3hmhmhmhmhr

Grymkin
[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[King of Nothing 1] The King of Nothing [+28]
– Cage Rager [14]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Baron Tonguelick, Lord of Warts [4]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [3]
Lady Karianna Rose [4]

Grymkin
[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[Dreamer 1] The Dreamer [+28]
– Cage Rager [14]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Gorehound [6]
– Skin & Moans [15]
– Skin & Moans [15]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Death Knell [13]

I’ve literally never seen Grymkin on the table before, so Sean very kindly talks me through his lists. I see that there are nine Clockatrices between the lists so I figure that they must be The New Hotness; after Sean’s explanation I decide that Swamp Horrors are probably the tech I need to deal with them so I go with Jaga Jaga. Sean picks his Dreamer list with a mere three Clockatrices.

Sean wins the roll off and chooses to go first. I pick the side with a trench to hide Jaga Jaga in. I’m aiming to use Brun and Rorsh to get on the outside flags and then run the rest of my stuff up the middle. The Totem Hunter goes behind the forest in the hope that I’ll be able to abuse that for some cheeky charges, although there aren’t really any great targets for him here.

The Arcana chosen are All Fall Down, Sacrifice and Labyrinth. I forgot to note what the Totem Hunter chose as Prey; I think it was probably the Clockatrice on the far right.

Turn 1: Grymkin
Everything just runs right at me. The Dreamer puts out an Artifice of Deviation on the right, presumably to stop any shenanigans with Rorsh. She also casts Mirage on the right Skin and Moans

Turn 1: Minions
Those Clockatrices have me out-ranged so I move up far enough to hopefully bring them into my range if they want to spray my Warbeasts. Jaga Jaga puts Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter (not that it ever saves him!) and Battle Host on herself. Brun and Rorsh cast their upkeeps since they’re free to keep in play thanks to the new theme benefit. Lug is relatively far forward in the hope that I can bait out some awkward positioning to gt round counter-charge.

Turn 2: Grymkin
Mirage is upkept and the Gremlin Swarms predictably stroll onto the flags. I have a plan to deal with the ones on the left but I can’t see myself doing more than contesting the right now. All three Clockatrices come in and apply a variety of penalties to both Swamp Horrors and Brine; the rest of the army moves up to counter punch if I can take them out. Another Artifice of Deviation appears to stop me doing anything useful with Brine.

Turn 2: Minions
I upkeep all my spells. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk onto the Boomhowlers and they run around and plink away a little at the front line. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Feats, killing the left Gremlin Swarms, one of the Crabbits and otherwise clearing some of my own models out of the way. She also puts Rage on one Swamp Horror and the Wrastler does the same for the other one. The Swamp Horrors, slowed as they are, do manage to get both Clockatrices (actually the Totem Hunter has to finish the last one). Sean did good work having them Stutter to places where I couldn’t pull them in for bite attacks but eventually they went down. I’m a bit more stuck on the right and Rorsh is resigned to just taking a couple of potshots and contesting the flag. Somewhere in here Labyrinth was played. We each score our own zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Grymkin
The Dreamer moves slightly and casts Manifest Destiny. The Skin and Moans on the right kills Brine but Rorsh lives on a single wound. The Cage Rager takes out the Swamp Horror on the right, saving me some worries about Fury management. The Gorehound charges across and eat Orin; I’m a bit annoyed with myself on this one as it was totally avoidable – I hadn’t realised that Gorehounds have Ghostly but more importantly Orin could easily have been a few millimetres further back and remained safe. The last Clockatrice kills the Totem Hunter and the heavies on that side start to pressure me through the forest on the right. The Crabbit contests the left flag and a Phantasm runs into my zone so only Sean scores his zone for 2 – 1 to Grymkin.

Turn 3: Minions
Battle Host is upkept for free, then Jaga Jaga kills the small Phantasm, puts Rage back on the Swamp Horror and casts Signs and Portents. Lug swats the Crabbit and Brun moves to be slightly less irrelevant while still scoring. The Soul Slave is going to need to get on the left flag so moves into range to run onto it next turn. The Swamp Horror eats both the Gorehound and Cage Rager and the Wrastler takes out the Death Knell. Boomhowlers run to contest the back zone and generally get in the way. I score the left flag and my zone; 3 – 2 to Minions.

Turn 4: Grymkin
Turns are moving quite quickly now as we run out of miniatures. The Phantasms move to contest and the Dreamer zaps the contesting Boomhowler before casting Manifest Destiny. The pair of Skin and Moans drop the Wrastler (needing to work quite hard for it) and the Clockatrice clears the right flag by killing Rorsh. Sean scores his zone and the right flag; 4 – 3 to Grymkin.

Turn 4: Minions
I need to send the Soul Slave to sit on the left flag this turn so I enjoy my last free upkeep of Battle Host. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and waves goodbye to the Soul Slave. The Valkyries and Boomhowlers contest, jam and clear Phantasms as best they can manage and the Swamp Horror takes care of a Skin and Moans. Brun and Lug both leg it to the centre flag. I score my zone and two flags, Sean gets one to bring the score to 6 – 5 to Minions.

Turn 5: Grymkin
Unfortunately, it turns out that I’ve left Jaga Jaga close enough to my objective that the Skin and Moans can charge it and buy attacks on her. So the Clockatrice takes care of the blocking Valkyrie and the Dreamer moves up to cover the landing spot with Manifest Destiny, and it does just that. Minions lose by assassination.

This was the only game a felt a little disappointed in my performance. Not because I particularly expected to win, but rather because the manner of the defeat was so avoidable; simply moving Jaga Jaga about 1” to my left would have left her safe. Of course, there were still plenty of options for Sean to win it, but I wanted to push him a little further to get the win. Oh well, just something else for me to try to think about in these games. Sean was a lovely opponent throughout. Things I learned:

  • As above, I’ve got a bit of a habit of not checking for threats onto my Warlock until after I’ve finished their activation. I really need to consider positioning for them much more carefully. I guess I didn’t really learn my lesson from game 2.
  • Signs and Portents showed it’s worth again and again in this match-up. On the other hand, Sean was casting Manifest Destiny for one Fury less and getting the same value out of it so maybe I should be wishing for that spell instead!
  • Swamp Horrors were as good into Clockatrices as I hoped. Sean did a good job of Stuttering them round the base of another model so I couldn’t drag the Clockatrices in for a good beak attack though.

Round 5 – Anarchy vs David’s Cryx (game 12)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c4201b_-1WnUc31hkpe2kwkr2IoIkgkk1____-1U0Z19193ci2dWdWhZh_hZh_bB

Cryx
[Theme] Scourge of the Broken Coast

[Rahera 1] Captain Rahera, Terror of the Wailing Sea [+28]
– Kraken [35]
– Stalker [8]
– Satyxis Blood Priestess [4]
Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius [4]
– Kharybdis [17]
Axiara Wraithblade [0(6)]
General Gerlak Slaughterborn [0(6)]
Ragman [4]
Blighted Trollkin Marauders (max) [15]
– Jussika Bloodtongue [0(5)]
Bloodgorgers (max) [15]

Cryx
[Theme] Dark Host

[Coven 1] The Witch Coven of Garlghast [+26]
– Deathripper [6]
– Deathripper [6]
– Desecrator [14]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Wraith Engine [15]

I had a feeling that David was going to go for the swarm of Banes here and decided that my Dr Arkadius list would want no part of that. In addition, there is no incentive for the Witch Coven to play even remotely far forward so there wasn’t even much danger of getting a cheeky assassination. Jaga Jaga came out to play and David did indeed pick Witch Coven.

David wins the roll and decides to go first. I put both lesser Warlocks on the left to try to hold that flag and stick the Boomhowlers on the right with the hope of holding that zone at some point. The battlegroup goes in the centre so that I can see where things end up, although with such a wall of warrior models coming at me I suppose that the answer is ‘everywhere’.

The Totem Hunter picks Bane Lord Tartarus as Prey; I figure it might make David play him further back at least.

Turn 1: Cryx
Everything rushes right at me. David is careful to measure out proper landing zones for the Witches and Egregore. Occultation is cast on the right Bane Riders, Infernal Machine goes on the Desecrator and a Veil of Mists is put out to extend the wall of forests and theme-benefit clouds.

Turn 1: Minions
There’s not much to do but run right at them. I try not to offer too much to the alpha next turn, but on the other hand I also want to get deep enough that I can do some work under the inevitable Coven Feat. On the left, the Valkyries stay out of range of the Bane Riders as I can shoot them next turn unless they back right off the zone. Grave Wind is on the Totem Hunter and Battle Host goes up, along with the upkeeps from the lesser Warlocks.

Turn 2: Cryx
All spells are upkept. The Coven move up and, predictably, Feat to cover much of my army. The Bane Riders on the right come in and slap through the leading Boomhowlers. One of them kills the Totem Hunter too (actually it missed the impact attack but I let David take that back as he said he wasn’t aware of the Poltergeist thing); poor Totem Hunter. Otherwise everything is surprisingly cautious. The Wraith Engine swaps sides but I’m not really sure I understand why.

Turn 2: Minions
I look to see if there is any way that I can trample anything into the Witches while they’re far forward and eventually decide that it won’t work out. Jaga Jaga, Brun and Rorsh upkeep all their spells for free. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Rages the Wrastler, which then goes in and Overtakes its way through three Bane Riders. Boomhowlers move out to get in the way a bit more; I’m hoping that there will be enough of them left to be worth using my Feat by the time next turn comes round. Rorsh uses Diversionary Tactics to get an additional move out of Brine, who walks into the Desecrator. Frustratingly, even under Signs and Portents Brine misses half of his attacks and leaves the Warjack on a couple of boxes. On the left, I realise that I can’t give away too much to the Bane Riders so the Valkyries gun one of them down. Brun scores my flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Cryx
The Coven drop all their upkeeps and load up the Desecrator; the objective also heals it back to full functionality. The Bane Warriors on the left drop Brine without any problem after the first one runs to stop Lug’s Counter Charge. The Desecrator and one Bane Rider kill Lug too, along with most of the Valkyries though helpfully the last one Toughs and contests the left zone for me. The Bane Riders and Warriors on the right plow through a bunch of the remaining Boomhowlers (clearing the zone) and gum me up in the centre; finally Tartarus remembers to sit by his flag. 2 – 1 to Cryx.

Turn 3: Minions
Right, I feel like now I can get some work done as I can actually get to the Cryx army this turn. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk on the few remaining Boomhowlers and they walk up to stab a few of the Bane Warriors. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Feats on the rest of the Boomhowlers apart from the Trollblood himself, clearing a bit more of the mess on the right. The last Valkyrie sacrifices movement to take a shot at a Bane Rider, then Rorsh gets to work. He aims and starts unloading, killing the Desecrator and a Warrior. Brun kills the contesting Bane Rider to clear my flag. The Wrastler and both Swamp Horrors go on a highly entertaining Overtake rampage, wiping out the last Bane Riders on the left and seriously thinning out the remaining Bane Warriors on either side. We each score our flags; 3 – 2 to Cryx.

Turn 4: Cryx
The Bane Riders on the left clear the Valkyrie to claim that zone while the Warriors move to contest my flag and kill off my Swamp Horror. Over on the right, the Deathripper charges into Boomhowler but crucially misses him. Later Warrior attacks just force him to Tough, which he makes to stymie David’s plans. The rest of the Warriors put some fairly desultory attacks into the Wrastler. Finally, the Wraith Engine goes Incorporeal and rushes forward. Cryx score their flag and left zone; 5 – 2.

Turn 4: Minions
Orin runs to the flag and Rorsh aims again to finish the left Bane Warriors. Brun charges into the left zone to kill a Rider, but mainly to contest. Boomhowler, the Wrastler and surviving Swamp Horror do great work on the right but can’t quite polish off the Deathripper nor one Warrior that snuck behind them. The Swamp Horror does pull in Tartarus and eat him as part of another Overtake chain though, so that felt pretty good. I was actually planning to send the Swamp Horror into the Wraith Engine until David kindly reminded me that it was Incorporeal this turn. I score my flag; 5 – 3 to Cryx.

Turn 5: Cryx
David is pretty much out of clock at this point but canny observers will note that, once again, I have neglected to move my Warlock a tiny amount to safety. The Deathripper runs toward Jaga Jaga and the Coven first put Curse of Shadows on her then follow-up with a couple of Stygian Abysses (luckily none of them get a critical hit). The Wraith Engine then charges her but misses enough attacks that she survives. David has 1 second left on his clock so he concedes. Minions win by deathclock.

Another close game, though in this case I think that David had run out of things to really threaten me with once I tidied up his Wraith Engine. It was nice to play into this kind of list as I’ve not really had experience into anything like it, and David ensured that it was a fun way to play. Things I learned:

  • Yet again, I failed to follow my own advice about keeping my Warlock safe. In this case, I thought that I would have the Wraith Engine in hand anyway but I had forgotten that it was Incorporeal so I couldn’t attack it. Nonetheless, I could have had Jaga Jaga playing less far forward than she was.
  • Sometimes it can be worth throwing something unexpected at a player to get them out of their comfort zone. I gave away Brine in exchange for most of the Desecrator but it was probably still effective as it meant that David had to slow the Bane advance on that side to deal with him. Of course, I was hoping that I wouldn’t miss so many attacks and actually kill the Warjack but it wasn’t to be.
  • The game is long enough that I can afford to back off and cede some scenario points to avoid a really bad situation (like strolling into David’s threat ranges under the Witch Coven’s Feat). No need to rush in as long as I can contest at least on my turns.

When all the scores are in, I somehow finish a remarkable 10th place out of 30ish people. Far, far better than I had expected, and actually slightly above Joe on whatever tiebreaker comes first (I think it is Strength of Schedule); more personally I surpassed even my stretch goal to win two games. Many thanks to Ross, Kyle, Billy, Sean and David for five fun games of Warmachine, and of course to Allan for running the whole show.

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 31Jul2019

Oblivion has gone live and so my WarmaHordes lists needed changing. On top of that, we have a fairly big tournament here in my local area this weekend and I wanted to get one more game in against Joe before it so that I wasn’t going in with completely unpractised lists.  Plus, most importantly, I really love to play this game and Joe is a truly lovely opponent.

Game 6 – King of the Hill vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0L0YbO4nnd4c

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [8]
– Road Hog [15]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– Targ [0(3)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

Thanks to all the Oblivion changes to Farrow, there are lots of options open now to modify the Dr Arkadius list from last time. In the interests of simplicity dropped Kwaak and Gub (not free any more) and a Gun Boar, then took advantage of other points drops to add a third War Hog. I have a feeling that another version of this list which keeps closer to original one but adds a Bellows Crew for a unit would be better, but this one looks easier to pilot and that is a big consideration for me. I intended to use Hutchuk here but left him at home, so I tried the Totem Hunter instead.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-20oHnV9v2Tj67yoI7F72chch8MoEoF

Mercenaries
[Theme] The Irregulars

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alten Ashley [0(6)]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [0(5)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Ragman [4]
Rorsh [15]
Croe’s Cutthroats (min) [10]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
Precursor Knights (max) [14]
– Precursor Knight Officer & Standard [4]

Oblivion and recent CIDs have changed a lot for Mercenaries. This is an experimental list for Joe, also with an eye on the weekend. Note that Dahlia and Skarath are representing Rorsh and Brine here.

I end up going first and aim more or less for the middle. Ideally, I want Dr Arkadius to hide behind that house in the centre. Mire and the Wrastler get sent out left as I guess I’ll want to make some effort to score that zone and I can’t cover all three with my Battlegroup. The Totem Hunter goes on the right with the hope of using the forest for some cover. The Totem Hunter picks Alten Ashley as Prey. Croe’s Cutthroats select the unpainted Road Hog, and are also chosen as Fiona’s Cultists.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Dr Arkadius puts up Guardian Beast (spoiler alert: Aggravator was the right choice) and casts Forced Evolution is put on a Road Hog. Mire drops a cloud in the centre and sticks Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler simply because it would be free later on. I think that Joe can’t get anything serious on me here so both Mire and Dr Arkadius end the turn on zero Fury.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Alten Ashley starts us off by sticking Grievous Wounds on the Gun Boar. Eilish puts Puppet Master on Fiona and Sylys gives her Arcane Secrets, then she knocks Forced Evolution off with Chasten through a Cutthroat and follows up to put Veil of Mists on that Road Hog. The advance is a bit more cautious to respect my Feat threat ranges.

Turn 2: Minions
I don’t think that I can get anything interesting with my Feat this turn, and I probably need it to deal with the Blockader. Dr Arkadius upkeeps Guardian Beast. The Totem Hunter misses both swings at an Eliminator (how I hate those ladies!) but the Gun Boar gets me smiling again by vapourising Alten Ashley, along with a Precursor Knight who was standing too close. My Battlegroup mostly shuffle round to avoid giving up too much to the Blockader while still being relevant to the scenario elements. Dr Arkadius puts an adrenaline needle into one Road Hog and it sprays down a Cutthroat and a couple more Precursors, and Targ uses Ancillary attack to get a few more. On the left, I put the Wrastler into the zone so it’s contested, and Mire clouds in front of it to give Joe something to play round.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Veil of Mists is upkept for free and two Focus go to the Blockader. The Eliminators have no trouble dealing with the Totem Hunter. Aiyana puts Kiss of Lyliss on the lead Road Hog and Holt shoots it a few times; the Blockader finishes it off. This allows Prey to be moved to the Wrastler. Eilish and Sylys turbo-charge Fiona and she Befuddles and Veils the Wrastler before the Cutthroats and Rorsh finish it off. Fiona also feats, covering a whole load of the board. The Precursors jam the centre in Shield Wall. Brine scores the left zone; 0 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
I don’t fancy ramming my Feat into Fiona’s, so it’s another turn of playing cautious for me. The Gun Boar moves into the right zone and shoots the Eliminator at a short enough range that the scatter will still hit and kill her. Most of my Warbeasts durdle around just outside the Blockaders melee threat range but Dr Arkadius needles the other Road Hog and it sprays a couple of Precursors. He puts Forced Evolution on the far left War Hog and positions so it’ll be in control when it gets to Brine. The Battle Boar Primals it for good measure and I send it off. The War Hog isn’t quite in range to get directly into Brine so it smashes the Objective and Overtakes into Brine and tear him to bits. It felt good not having to force for Aggression Dial. 3 – 1 (left and right zones plus the objective).

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Another two Focus are allocated to the Blockader. On the right, an Eliminator storms in and kills Targ and Aiyana Kisses the central War Hog. The Precursor Knights use their mini-Feat but can only get a few onto the War Hog and mostly roll very low, doing a pleasingly small amount of damage. The Blockader kills my Objective and leaves the Gun Boar on a couple of boxes and on fire. The Sylys and Eilish pit crew do their tricks for Fiona and she Befuddles and Veil of Mists the far left War Hog who is then shot down by Cutthroats and Rorsh. Fiona moves right back to the edge of the Killbox. Ragman runs to the Flag, the score goes to 3 – 3 (flag, objective for Joe).

Turn 4: Minions
Sadly, the Gun Boar burns to death, leaving only a delicious bacon smell to remember him by. Dr Arkadius continues to upkeep Guardian Beast. Mire charges over and kills an Eliminator as I decide I need to start thinning out Joe’s forces a bit more effectively. The Battle Boar moves across and Primals the left War Hog then the Witch Doctor charges the Eliminator in the back and hits her… but rolls 1,1 for damage. The Road Hog aims and clears out all three Precursor Knights gumming up my lines. Now for the fun time. Dr Arkadius maltreats a Fury back off that Road Hog, casts Forced Evolution on the Primalled War Hog and Feats. The frenzy charges get me some position and Lady Aiyana, plus the Battle Boar finally deals with the Eliminator on my right. Then the super-charged War Hog uses Aggression Dial and scraps the Blockader from full, even having a spare Fury to Overtake across and eat another Precursor. My back-up War Hog sheepishly kills Holt and Overtakes into the right zone, scoring me up to 4 – 3.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
The left Eliminator kills Mire and the other one moves to contest the right zone. Sylys, Eilish, Fiona, the Cutthroats and Brine repeat their cool Befuddle and kill trick on the Road Hog; no one scores.

Turn 5: Minions
The War Hog Frenzies and kills the Precursor Knight officer. The Battle Boar move to the right zone and kills the Eliminator there and the other War Hog runs to the centre to be relevant next turn. Dr Arkadius heals with Psycho Surgery and kills a Cutthroat with Primal Shock. I score the right zone again; 5 – 3.

Turn 5: Mercenaries
Sylys and Eilish power-up Fiona again and she Chastens Forced Evolution off one War Hog and Befuddles the other. Some bad rolls from Rorsh and the Cutthroats (and also because I’ve actually killed some of them now) mean that the War Hog survives. Orin runs to contest the right zone, right at the back where I’ll never get near him. No-one scores; 5 – 3.

Turn 6: Minions
Again, I upkeep both Forced Evolution and Guardian Beast. I realise that I’ll never deal with Orin so the Battle Boar abandons the right zone and moves to the centre, casting Primal on a War Hog when it arrives. The Witch Doctor runs onto the Flag. Dr Arkadius misses a Primal Shock into Sylys but does heal the Warbeasts with Psycho Surgery. The War Hogs combine to clear the zone. I get the Flag and centre zone; 7 – 3.

Turn 6: Mercenaries
Orin zaps the Battle Boar for a small amount of damage and one of the leaps lands on Dr Arkadius too. Rorsh kills the most damaged War Hog and hurts the Witch Doctor. Fiona Befuddles the other one and kills the Witch Doctor with Chasten once she arrives in the left zone. The remaining Cuthroats can’t manage to kill the last War Hog. Sylys runs to the flag; 7 – 5 (left zone and flag).  Looks like I forgot a photo on this one.

Turn 7: Minions
The War Hog smacks Rorsh in a frenzy but he Toughs. The Battle Boar kills Sylys and Dr Arkadius kills another Cutthroat with Primal Shock (in retrospect I would probably have been better going for Rorsh, though this did clear the zone for me). The score moves to 8 – 6 (centre zone for me, left zone for Joe).

Turn 7: Mercenaries
Orin hurts the Battle Boar a bit more with lightning. The last couple of Cutthroats shoot at the War Hog and Fiona finishes the last couple of boxes. Rorsh, who is now free, shoots the Battle Boar and kills it on his last shot. Joe scores the left and centre zones, bringing the score to 8 – 8 and wins on army points destroyed. Minions lose!

What a game! I don’t think that I’ve had such a close game before; it literally came down to the last activation of the very last turn. Farrow Warbeasts, and especially the War Hog, feel really nice now that you don’t have to Force for their dials. The game was filled with entertaining things but I really loved the Feat turn for Dr Arkadius. Things I learned:

  • I should have cast Aggravator instead of Guardian Beast as it would have meant that I could avoid losing a Warbeast per turn to the combination of Befuddle and Croe’s Cutthroats. To make matters worse, the one time that Guardian Beast could have been relevant (letting the Battle Boar attack Sylys when he ran to the Flag on turn 6) I forgot about it until we’d started the next turn anyway. Unfortunately, this didn’t occur to me until the following morning.
  • The Totem Hunter needs slightly easier victims than Kayazy Eliminators. The chance to miss and get stranded was just too high. Alternatively, I guess I could have put Prey on them but I was worried that they were fast enough to just run laterally and avoid the Totem Hunter entirely.
  • The wide scenario is a bit of a problem for a Battlegroup based list like this one. I didn’t really want to put the Wrastler out for scoring purposes but I felt like I didn’t really have a choice. I suppose that my plan will be to use Hutchuk to stymie scoring by Ambushing into a zone I’m not committing to; at least he’s a lot cheaper than a Warbeast.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 26Jun2019

Once again Joe and I went for a game of Warmachine. I wanted to try out a different list this time so I asked Joe to pick a slightly less ‘infantry swarm’ option for me to face, and he duly obliged me.

Game 5 – Stand Off vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0P13fy0M0M1d1d0L0LjWbOfCjVnd4c

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [9]
– Gun Boar [9]
– Road Hog [16]
– Road Hog [16]
– War Hog [15]
– War Hog [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Kwaak Slickspine & Gub, Croak Sorcerers [0(4)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

I love the idea of Dr Arkadius and played a handful of games with him in Warmachine mk2. This is probably the simplest list I could think of for him; basically 2 of most of the classic Warbeasts, Underchief Mire with a Blackhide Wrastler to apply Rage as needed and then fill up with free solos. I expect that there will be some changes but that is part of the game-playing process. Hutchuk is being represented by an Ironhead and Mire by Rask.

This is theoretically the other part of the pair for my Jaga Jaga list; the idea being that I would use this against tougher (i.e. battlegroup heavy) options and Jaga Jaga against lighter, more numerous forces. It probably shows a lot about my experience in Warmachine that I haven’t really thought about this in much more detail.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-0Jb_9o9o9o949494929292922T3W7mirirchch

Mercenary Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Irregulars

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
Alten Ashley [0(6)]
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]
Kell Bailoch [0(5)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [6]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [6]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]

I did have a feeling that Joe would give me General Ossrum to face against. I find this Warcaster a tough nut to crack as his feat is really strong and that one turn of moving fast, hitting hard and being resilient has often been enough to force me out on scenario. The cannons are proxying for the Horgenhold Artillery Corps.

I win the roll off and choose to go first. I skew slightly to the left, with some idea of parking Dr Arkadius in that nice trench near the flag and therefore having plenty of room for him to run away if things go a bit sour. I feel like there should be some clever tactics around exactly which order I deploy the warbeasts but somehow it still seems like I’m dropping them in an almost random order.

Turn 1: Minions
Surprisingly, everyone runs forward. I debate between Guardian Beast and Aggravator on Dr Arkadius, eventually figuring that the former will make Joe play around it a bit more and prevent me from getting over-excited and sending one of my Warbeasts to an early demise. Forced Evolution is put on the right hand Road Hog and Mire drops a cloud to slightly extend the cloud wall already in the centre. The Witch Doctor puts Shadow Walk on the Wrastler to help it though the forest.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Ossrum uses Energiser for a bit of extra forward movement and casts Fire For Effect on the left cannon. After some deliberation, Joe decides to Feat early to blunt my attack. Alten Ashley and the first cannon shoot at the left Road Hog, crippling its spirit. The Basher on the left is in range of my lead War Hog over there (I knew that it could get to me, but I wanted to get some board presence on too) so it slams my Warbeast into the Gun Boar and damaged Road Hog for some nice damage across all three. The other Cannon missed the other Road Hog and it scatters onto Dr Arkadius for a couple of points of damage.

Turn 2: Minions
I debate for a while about how to approach this. I could back off a bit, leaving minimal stuff to contest the zones and then use my own Feat once Ossrum’s is out of play. Or I could just go all in now. In the end, I decide to back off and hope to make my contesting pieces at least awkward to remove. Dr Arkadius upkeeps both spells and I choose not to bring Hutchuk on (as opposed to normal, where I just plain forget about him). On the right, the Wrastler backs up slightly into the zone. Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery and boosts Crippling Grasp into the Basher; the War Hog makes heavy work of killing it but does finally get the job done on the last attack. The left Gun Boar runs to toe the zone while lurking in the forest, the right one toes the central zone and misses an optimistic shot in the direction of the nearest Eliminator. Both Road Hogs miss her too. Mire puts a couple of clouds in front of the Gun Boar to stop the Driller from charging after being Energiser-ed though the first cloud. Kwaak moves to the flag and puts Enliven on both heavies.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Ossrum allocates 2 to the lead Driller and upkeeps Fire For Effect. That Cannon and Alten Ashley are enough to kill the Gun Boar on the left so Joe can score that zone. Ossrum uses Energiser to move his wall of Warjacks toward me and the loaded Driller tramples in to kill the contesting Gun Boar in two attacks. I think that he had options to get more damage there but I was hoping that the little chap would last a bit longer. The Eliminators on the left charge in and smack the leftmost War Hog and then a Blaster comes over and sprays through it to kill Kwaak. Well, so much for him. The other Eliminators contest the right zone and claim the central one. Joe scores the left and central zones plus his flag; 3 – 0 to him. I was hoping not give up all three points this turn but Joe did exactly what he needed to do.

Turn 3: Minions
Right, now that Ossrum’s Feat is out of the way, it is time to hit back with my own. Both spells are upkept again. Hutchuk charges into Kell on the flag but misses him. Mire puts Rage on the Wrastler and the nearer of each Road Hog and War hog. The Wrastler kills the Driller but misses the boosted attack on the Eliminator after Overtaking into her. The right War Hog charges to scraps the Basher in front of it and maxes out smacking the Driller around too. Arkadius puts Primal on the left War Hog so it has a hope of hitting those Eliminators, heals everyone a bit with Psycho Surgery then Feats. First the Primalled War Hog eats one of the Eliminators. The Road Hog over there gets some nice damage on the Blaster that killed Kwaak and the other Road Hog finished the Driller in the centre. This frees up that War Hog to go into the next line of heavies (do they never end?) and put some tasty damage into the Driller. Finally, the Battle Boar charges in the general direction of the Eliminator to get a bit of range; in its own activation it walks into her back arc and boosts an attack to kill her and Overtake into the right zone. The Raged, Forced Evolution Road Hog finishes off the Driller in the middle and starts chewing up the Basher. The left War Hog moves as far round the Eliminator as possible, kills her and Overtakes into the Blaster to scrap it. The left Road Hog charges Alten Ashley, killing him in melee and getting an entire artillery team with the flamethrower. Unfortunately, some poor placement on my side means that this Road Hog is almost sure to be the War Hog’s Frenzy target. Finally, the Soul Slave moves to my flag. I score the left and right zone plus my flag; 3 – 3.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Ossrum allocates two to the Basher. The Cannon can’t quite kill off the Soul Slave so the last Eliminator runs to contest the flag. Annoyingly, she ends up within 6” of Dr Arkadius but I forget about Guardian Beast; I could have had the Primalled War Hog walk over to her as a Frenzy target. On the right, two Blasters team up to kill Hutchuk and the last one moves into the zone to contest it while spraying the Battle Boar and Wrastler. The last Basher smacks a bit more damage into the War Hog in the middle and Ossrum sticks Bullet Dodger on himself and Energises around a little. Joe scores his flag; 4 – 3 to him.

Turn 4: Minions
I upkeep Forced Evolution but drop Guardian Beast. The left War Hog kills the left Road hog with its Frenzy attack and the Battle Boar Frenzies to tickle the contesting Blaster on the right. The Eliminator is going to be almost impossible to remove with what I have available; in the end I decide that she’s just going to have to live. The Witch Doctor starts a run for my flag because the Soul Slave is not going to last much longer. Mire puts Rage on the Road Hog and Wrastler; the latter wrecks the contesting Blaster and Overtakes to contest the flag. The War Hog finally deals with the last Basher then uses the Overtake to engage the Cannon and the Road Hog gets another Basher but misses Ossrum with the assault spray; he Dodges away to the right. I score the central and right zones; 5 – 4 to me.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Joe is out of options so now it is down to a last gasp shot at Dr Arkadius. Ossrum drops Bullet Dodger. He puts Snipe on Eiryss who rolls the 10 needed to knock off Dr Arkadius’s Fury even in the comfort of his trench. The Cannon disengages from the War Hog by getting killed and allowing the unengaged crew member to Take Up (I will admit that I was quite surprised that was how the rules worked) but they can’t roll the 6,6 that would allow them to actually hit Dr Arkadius. Amusingly (from my point of view) the blast scatters onto the Eliminator and kills her. Joe has seen enough and concedes; Minions win… by scenario I suppose. It seems that I forgot to take one last picture.

Wow, I really enjoyed that. Dr Arkadius is even more entertaining to play than I had dared to dream. Of course, it helps that Joe is a great teacher, guiding me to learn the game better every time we play. The whole game felt like it was on a knife edge until the end of my Feat turn when I think I understood that I’d done so much damage that I was really only likely to lose to an assassination (which, considering Dr Arkadius’s stats, is never out of the question). Things I learned:

  • The Soul Slave is not a good fit here. I mainly included it since I already have the model, but I think that I have to consider Targ instead as just allowing a free upkeep a turn is not a great return on the investment.
  • Hutchuk continues to be a bit useless for me. I think that probably he is offering some value by affecting what Joe can put out on the sides but so far he’s done more or less what he dis in this game – run on and contest a flag, miss his single attack at something, then die.
  • Kwaak will be an interesting piece to play more of. I think that perhaps I was a bit careless to let him get killed by that spray from the blaster here. Enliven seems like the kind of ability that could really change games if only I could learn how to leverage it.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 17Jun2019

For various reasons I haven’t been playing Warmachine for several months, but I got the opportunity to head over to Joe’s place again and get another game in with my Minions.

Game 5 – King of the Hill vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

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

It’s the same list as before, except that now I actually have the correct miniatures for everything (though some of them are borrowed). At least in theory I have a Dr Arkadius list to pair with it, but I haven’t actually put that on the table at yet and didn’t really plan to, regardless of what Joe was bringing here.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-0JoHlLlL2Tj6nH6i3G3H3G3Hchch8Mca

Mercenary Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Irregulars

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Toro [13]
– Toro [13]
Alten Ashley [0(6)]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [0(5)]
J.A.I.M.s [0(5)]
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen [10]
Idrian Skirmishers (max) [15]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]
Idrian Skirmishers (max) [15]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
The Commodore Cannon & Crew [7]

Joe is at least as much of a faction butterfly as me. In the time since I last played even a single game of Warmachine, he has spun through Khador and Circle before coming back to Mercenaries.

I win the roll off and choose to go first. My vague plan is to hide Jaga Jaga behind the house, hold the right zone with the Wrastler and the left with the two lesser Warlocks, then bully the centre with anything I have left. My Totem Hunter Preys the right Idrians. They Prey the right Swamp Horror, the left Idrians Prey Brine and JAIMS Preys the Totem Hunter. This might get messy…

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Brun casts Stonehold, Jaga Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter. Brun and Rorsh are a bit circumspect and decide to make some use of the cloud for this turn before being forced to advance into the teeth of the Idrian guns.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Alten Ashley saunters forward and slaps Grievous Wounds on Lug, and some of the leading Idrians take pot shots at it too. Fiona puts Roth’s Mercy on the right Idrians and Occultation on herself. Everything moves up but Joe is careful not to offer me anything too juicy.

Turn 2: Minions
Jaga Jaga and Brun upkeep their spells. The Totem Hunter cuts down the two lead Idrians and Sprints off to hide behind the forest. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents from the comfort of her little shelter behind the house (obviously I should have done this before using the Totem Hunter but I guess he didn’t need the help). The Boomhowlers mostly run; one misses an opportunistic swing at a nearby Idrian. Lug kills one and moves back to the edge of the Zone with Return, and finally Orin zaps three Idrians on my right.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Fiona upkeeps Roth’s Mercy but drops Occultation. The Commodore Cannon kills a couple of Boomhowlers by slamming one into another. The right Idrians get a few models into the range to do a CRA on the Totem Hunter and roll the exact number of boxes to kill him in one go (JAIMS swaps Prey to the right Swamp Horror). Alten Ashley continues to pump bullets into Lug, crippling his Spirit and making me sad. Over on the left, the Idrian and a Thrall kill a few more Boomhowlers; Lug does get an entertaining Countercharge / Return combo to eat a cheeky Idrian though. Fiona goes quite far forward and Feats. No-one scores.

Turn 3: Minions
It would be quite nice to get at Fiona while she’s so close but I can’t think of any realistic way to do it under her Feat and with a bunch of Risen in the way. Brun upkeeps Stonehold (in retrospect, I’m not sure why I bothered since nothing was looking like knocking him down) and Jaga Jaga upkeeps Battle Host. The Soul Slave sticks Ghost Walk on the Boomhowlers and they move in and deal with a couple of Risen (the only targets they were likely to hit under Fiona’s Feat). Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and uses her Feat to kill all five remaining Boomhowlers in exchange for some tasty damage on Alexia and all four Kayazy Eliminators. On the right my Swamp Horror clears all the contesting Idrians since it is far enough away from Fiona to avoid her Feat. Rorsh kills a couple of Idrians on the left but mainly I back off on that side. I’m going to lose Lug so I just end up leaving him in the zone to contest it. I score the right zone; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Fiona drops all her spells. Alten Ashley takes his customary shot at Lug and eventually the Idrians on that side of the board kill it. Eilish puts Puppet Master on Fiona. She drops a Valkyrie to Tough with Chasten (burning the Puppet Master re-roll on damage) then puts Curse of Veils on the Swamp Horror and backs right away. Sadly, taking down the Valkyrie means that I can’t Shield Guard the Commodore Cannon’s shot so it slams the Swamp Horror back out of the zone. A random shot from an Idrian deals with the knocked down Valkyrie and JAIMS comes in to kill a second on the other side of the building. Joe scores for the left zone, centre zone and flag; 3 – 1 to him.

Turn 4: Minions
I finally realise the Stonehold is not helping me so drop it. Jaga Jaga upkeeps Battle Host though; it is free, after all. She heals the crippled system on the left Swamp Horror and casts Signs and Portents. The right Swamp Horror kills the contesting Idrians but apparently rolling an 8 und Signs and Portents to hit JAIMS is just out of the question so eventually the Blackhide Wrastler has to come in and deal with her. Orin zaps the Toro just to get an electroleap to kill a couple of Risen; I’m also sort of hoping that the Toro will take the bait to get Orin so I can have the Wrastler deal with it. The Soul Slave tags a Thrall with Bone Shaker but sadly a Risen free-strike kills it before I can take a cheeky swing at Holt. The other Swamp Horror comes back into the zone and goes through a highly satisfying chain of pulls and overtakes to eventually kill both Aiyana and Holt. I probably would have been better dealing with the last Risen within 4” of the Flag so I could score, but I was on a roll and probably killing Holt was more useful in the long run. Brun kills a few Idrians and gets a lucky critical Stationary on the left Toro; sadly Brine can’t do more than scratch the paint on it. I score the right Zone; 3 – 2 to Joe.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Fiona upkeeps Curse of Veils and allocates two Focus to the left Toro, which then shakes Stationary. Alten Ashley, a load of Risen and the right Toro combine to kill the Swamp Horror in the zone. Eilish puts Puppet Master on Fiona and teleports to the Flag. Fiona swaps Curse of Veils onto Brine and the combined efforts of the Toro and Idrians kill him off (the Idrians choose the last Valkyrie as their new Prey). The Commodore blows away the Soul Slave. Joe scores the left Zone and the Flag; 5 – 2 to him.

Turn 5: Minions
Jaga Jaga upkeeps Battle Host, paying an actual Fury for it this time like a peasant; she then casts Signs and Portents. Orin has had enough of the Toro ignoring him and the Commodore Cannon blowing up all my stuff so he kills two of the crew and toughs the third. The Swamp Horror kills the contesting Thrall. The last Valkyrie (hidden behind the building in the photos) kills two of the Risen she’s surrounded by to clear a lane for the Wrastler to get to Alexia. It only takes a single bite to end Alexia, then the Wrastler overtakes to kill a third Risen (Joe let me do this after I’d activated some other stuff because I couldn’t actually see the Risen doe to the building). Brun, clearly not in the mood for anyone’s nonsense after Lug’s demise, walks into the centre zone and combines Frost Hammer and his gun to kill five Risen and Eilish and get a cheeky critical Stationary on the central Toro. Rorsh gets to be the contesting piece on the left; he does finally gun down Alten Ashley though. I score the right Zone; 5 – 3 to Joe.

Turn 5: Mercenaries
Fiona allocates two Focus to the central Toro, which shrugs off Stationary. She planned to put Curse of Veils on the Wrastler but Orin’s presence will stymie that plan. Instead the Commodore takes a shot at Orin but luckily for me it misses. Fiona instead kills Brun with Chasten. The left Toro kills Rorsh and the loaded Toro combines with the remaining Idrians to put some damage into the Wrastler. Joe scores the left Zone and I get the right Zone; 6 – 4 to Joe.

Turn 6: Minions
Hmm, I am feeling like I’m in trouble here with so much of my army gone. On the other hand, the Mercenaries force isn’t looking much better. Jaga Jaga drops Battle Host and walks round to apply Ghost Walk to the Wrastler. She also applies Signs and Portents just to be sure. Orin boosts some Chain Lightning into Fiona to burn one of her camped Focus (and kill an Idrian in the process). Finally the Wrastler charges into Fiona and eats her in a single bite. Yummy. Minions win by assassination.

I’ve really missed playing Warmachine, especially against Joe. He was taking it pretty easy on me since I’m quite rusty and very kindly pointed out some obvious things that I was missing; this is really helpful for my learning as it allows me to see how things look from his side of the board too. Things I learned:

  • Lug is a massive bullet-sponge against Joe and yet again didn’t really get to do anything. I guess that I was taking those shots (especially Alten Ashley’s) anyway so someone was going have to take them.
  • Contesting Zones seems to be a problem for me since most of my pieces are quite valuable. And the only jamming I have (Boomhowler and company) tend to get any survivors of the opening rounds evaporated by my own Feat on either turn 2 or 3. On the basis that I theoretically would use Dr Arkadius to cover a more elite Battlegroup-heavy match-up, perhaps I should consider dropping one of the lesser Warlocks to load up on some more infantry. I am considering either Nyss Hunters or yet more Valkyries for this role. I would be happy to read any advice from others.
  • Positioning for the Valkyries (and Orin) is quite precise and important. I’m still working on this but I did feel that at least in this game Joe had to work around them a little; therefore they must be closer to being the right places.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Khador (75 points); 03Mar2019

Following on from the game against Colin, I got the chance to face Paul’s Khador. I think I’ve never played a Khador force in either Mk2 or Mk3 so I was really interested to see what they did.

Spread The Net (scenario 3) vs Paul’s Khador

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

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

No change to my list from the last few times. Once again, the Troll warbeasts are Swamp Horrors and Lanyssa is Orin.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b76kWkWkUjy8t8y87fS8e7S7V

Khador Army – 74 / 75 points

[Vladimir 1] Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Prince [+28]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Spriggan [17]
Kapitan Sofya Skirova [5]
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich [4]
Yuri the Axe [6]
Battle Mechaniks (max) [5]
Black Dragons (max) [17]
Widowmaker Scouts [8]
Winter Guard Infantry (max) [10]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (2) [4]

Paul mentioned that this was intentionally an army of things he either owns or finds interesting. It’s not in Theme so no freebies for him (and either I’ve made a mistake with my notes or he’s also playing 1 point down). Still, there seem to be quite a lot of Khadorans facing me.

Paul wins the roll off and again makes me move first which is totally fine with me. I put Brun and Lug on the left hoping that Brun could camp on the flag while Lug abused the forest to threaten Pathfinder charges at whatever ended up on the other side. The Totem Hunter selects Yuri as his Prey, mainly on the grounds that with his bigger threat range he’d be able to drop one of the larger threats to him that Paul was fielding (apart from the Warjacks and Vlad himself, of course).

Turn 1: Minions
My whole list runs forward as fast as their feet, hooves or tentacles will carry them. Brun casts Stonehold, Jaga Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk on the Boomhowlers so that they can clear the rough terrain.

Turn 1: Khador
Everything runs forward, staying out of my threat ranges apart from a couple of Black Dragons on the right. Kovnik Joe tells the Winter Guard to be Tough and Vlad casts nothing.

Turn 2: Minions
I Upkeep all my spells. Brun saunters onto the flag. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and moves forward to cover where the Totem Hunter is about to go. He goes through the rough terrain, shanks a Winter Guard and then Sprints back to hide in the rough ground again. Rorsh caps a couple of Black Dragons and the Valkyries all make sure that they’re in the centre zone.

Turn 2: Khador
Paul realises that I’ve put both Swamp Horrors and Lug in range of his Warjacks if he Feats, so Vlad allocates 2 Focus to each of the Warjacks on the right. The Winter Guard move forward and those close enough to the Totem Hunter put a big CRA into him and leave him on a single box. The Rocketeers shoot the nearer Swamp Horror for some impressive damage and the Widowmakers gun down a couple of Boomhowlers. Vlad Feats and camps the rest of his Focus. The Spriggan goes into kill one Swamp Horror and the Juggernaut gets the other. Ouch. The left Juggernaut goes into Lug and leaves him on a few boxes. I score the right zone and Paul scores his flag; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
Jaga Jaga and Brun upkeep all their spells (I’m not sure if that was the right move for Brun since the only things likely to attack him were the Juggernaut and the Widowmakers). The Totem Hunter charges into Yuri and one-shots him to proclaim himself King of the Woods then Sprints off to engage the Widowmakers. The Soul Slave casts Ghost Walk on the Boomhowlers who kill a few Winter Guard. Then Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Feats, using only a single Boomhowler to kill Kovnik Joe. The Valkyries chip some boxes off the Spriggan, then the Wrastler Rages itself and kills it off. Sadly it can’t get the Juggernaut too; this is not helped by missing a bite even under Signs and Portents. Brun heals Lug and opts to stay on the flag; Lug maxes out on Fury and leaves the Juggernaut on two boxes; one each for Cortex and right arm… oh dear. Orin misses a Chain Lightning into the Black Dragons so Rorsh shoots a couple of them. I send Brine in for entertainment and he Overtakes through a few more. The store is closing and we’re out of time. I’m pretty sure I lose this on Assassination (or scenario if I want my defeat to last longer) as I’ll be out of things to hurt the Warjacks once the Juggernauts kill the Wrastler and Lug. Minions lose by Assassination (probably).

It was really nice to play Paul again after such a long time and we had a really fun game. I made a lot of mistakes though. Overall, I think that the game was very playable but perhaps I need to make sure that a list pair has an answer for anything packing very heavy armour.

  • The most important was giving him a chance to take out three Warbeasts on Feat turn. I should have either only offered up one and make him spend his Feat for it, or use the Boomhowlers as a screen in front of my Battlegroup.
  • On the left, once Lug and the Juggernaut were engaged I should have used Lug’s Chain Attack to throw the Juggernaut out of Vlad’s control as that would have given me more time to score that flag. Alternatively, I should have abandoned the idea of scoring the flag that turn and charged Brun into the Juggernaut as well.
  • After I lost the Swamp Horrors, I should have spent Jaga Jaga’s last two Fury of turn 3 to put Rage on the Wrastler. It was clear that I would need to fill the Wrastler up on Fury if I was going to have any chance to clear those Warjacks so I wouldn’t have been able to transfer anything anyway. Two extra attacks might have made the difference.
  • I should have continued to keep Brine in the right zone since he was the one that was scoring it. On the other hand, perhaps denying Paul the flag was at least as effective (I could possibly have eaten Sofia too if we had the time).
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Convergence of Cyriss (75 points); 03Mar2019

Although there is a competent tournament scene in my country, there is also a whole load of people here picking up Warmachine / Hordes for the first time. I met up with a group of friends I know from Malifaux events who are at about the same level as I am for the game (i.e. terrible); the first was against Colin.

Standoff (scenario 2) vs Colin’s Convergence of Cyriss

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

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

No change to my list from the last few times. I’m back to proxying Troll warbeasts as Swamp Horrors and Lanyssa is representing Orin this time because I left him at home again.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cc201c_-0id8dmd5d5d9d6dog5dCdfdfdgdgdz

Convergence Army – 71 / 75 points
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Axis 1] Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]
– Assimilator [16]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Inverter [15]
– Mitigator [7]
– Modulator [10]
– Prime Conflux [37]
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex [2]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]

I’m not familiar enough to comment on the contents of Colin’s army, though he did mention later on that he would have preferred to have a couple of the battle engines present. I think that this force is actually a little under on points because Colin swapped from Iron Mother to Axis when he realised that one of Iron Mother’s spells only works on Warjacks and not Warbeasts (or maybe I just missed something out in my notes).

Note that when I arrived the scenario had already been set up but with flags instead of objectives. Neither of us noticed so we just played it as they were. Colin wins the roll off and makes me move first. Nothing too special about my deployment but I did remember to put the Totem Hunter close enough to receive Grave Wind. The Valkyries are around my battle group on the right in order to catch any tow cables from the Prime Axiom. The Totem Hunter selects the left Reflex Servitors as his Prey.

Turn 1: Minions
Everything runs up. Brun casts Stonehold, Jaga Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter. The Valkyries mill about in Shield Guard range where possible.

Turn 1: Convergence of Cyriss
One Focus is Allocated to the Diffuser. The Reflex Servitors all move up and Dig In a bit higher up the field and the Vectors follow them, sharing the Focus very neatly between them. Axis casts Onslaught, puts a Razor Wall in the middle of the forest and saunters up behind them.

Turn 2: Minions
Jaga Jaga and Brun Upkeep their spells. The Totem Hunter charges to the left and kills a pair of Reflex Servitors (engaging the third so it couldn’t Counter Charge) then Sprints back behind the forest. Brine kills the last one (Totem Hunter chooses the other set as Prey) and gets brought back with Souie, though I possibly mess up the positioning by keeping them too safe and both end up behind the cloud on the left. Brun misses a shot at one of the Reflex Servitors on the right so Lug charges in, tanks a Counter Charge from the one I couldn’t engage (which also blows up another of them), kills the last and uses Return to move back out of easy retaliation range. The Totem Hunter changes Prey to the left Elimination Servitors. Everything else just jockeys a bit for position. I don’t put anything in to contest the rear zone as it feels like it would be too easy to kill.

Turn 2: Convergence of Cyriss
Axis Upkeeps his spells and Allocates once to the Modulator. The left Elimination Servitors, Modulator and Diffuser gun down a few Boomhowlers. The Prime Axiom realises that ranged attacks are not a major strength under Axis as it misses both Tow Cable shots into Lug (though I probably could have covered them with the Valkyries anyway). A Galvaniser goes into my right Swamp Horror and Axis sits on his flag. We both score the rectangular zones and respective flags. 2 – 2. I did suggest that this might be a good time to use Axis’s Feat but Colin wanted to save it until he could use the bonus strength part.

Turn 3: Minions
Again Brun and Jaga Jaga upkeep their spells. The Boomhowlers move up; one of them tries to contest Colin’s zone but gets killed by the Counter Charge from the Diffuser. They do manage to kill all the Elimination Servitors on that side with their guns (Totem Hunter shifts Prey to the Diffuser). Rorsh uses Diversionary Tactics to move Brine somewhere he can actually see the Modulator and he goes in to cripple one of the arms and leave it knocked down. The Totem Hunter goes into the Diffuser and neatly leaves it with a single functional box in every system. Jaga Jaga moves round a bit (mainly I’m wary about the Prime Axiom) and casts Signs and Portents. I should have done this a couple of activations earlier but got carried away. The Soul Slave gives Orin Ghost Walk so that he can move through the Wrastler and kill all three Elimination Servitors on the right with Lightning. The left Swamp Horror charges into the Inverter but the counter charge from the nearby Mitigator cripples its Mind which is quite annoying. It does still take a good chunk out the Vector in the process though. Brun shoots the right Galvaniser hoping to kill the Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex behind it but misses the latter. Lug charges in, almost wrecks one of the light Vectors by throwing it onto the ADO (which does kill him this time) and actually finishes off the Galvaniser that Brun shot. My other Swamp Horror kills the Galvaniser right next to it and pulls in the Mitigator for the Wrastler to finish off. Finally, the Valkyries move into the right zone and deal the last few boxes to the knocked down Assimilator. I score three zones and we each score our flags. 6 – 3.

Turn 3: Convergence of Cyriss
Axis drops both Upkeeps and Allocates two to the Prime Axiom and one to the Modulator. He also Feats and beats Brine down to have only Spirit left, though the combined efforts of the Modulator and Diffuser don’t manage to kill my pig. The Inverter smashes the Swamp Horror down to a couple of boxes and the Prime Axiom walks over to kill it and Lug. I score my flag, my zone and the left zone. Minions win by Scenario; 9 – 3.

It was terrific to play Colin at a new game and I’m sure he’ll get much better as he gets more and more experience. I’m not sure how much the flag / objective scenario error affected play but I guess it was the same for both of us. Things I learned:

  • Lug is lots of fun to play when he actually gets to do stuff.
  • I need to think about how early I can afford to activate Jaga Jaga in order to get more value from Signs and Portents.
  • Not using Jaga Jaga’s Feat didn’t feel like a big disadvantage. In this match-up there aren’t any suitable targets. Perhaps this is an indication that I should use a second list to cover such a match-up.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 28Feb2019

Joe and I ran another game of Warmahcine / Hordes as we’re both really enjoying it. He got a big load of second hand Cephalyx this week so that was an easy choice for him on what to play. I have a few ideas about things that I might to change from last week’s list but I plan to play this one a few more times to see where I think it is weak (other than the player, of course).

Spread The Net (scenario 3) vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

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

No changes from the list I played last time; it seemed to play well enough and anyway, there is not much point changing it up too often or I’ll never remember anything.  Orin, who I own but have left at home, is proxied by one of the Witch Coven.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_Z07enelememei6iejehehcjcjckckchej

Mercenary Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Operating Theater

[Thexus 1] Exulon Thexus [+29]
– Warden [10]
– Wrecker [14]
– Wrecker [14]
Cephalyx Agitator [3]
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen [10]
– Cephalyx Dominator [1]
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max) [11]
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max) [11]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Overlords [0(8)]
Cephalyx Overlords [0(8)]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
– Cephalyx Dominator [1]

Well, that is a lot of bodies, and if I kill them then they’ll come back as Risen. I’m not really sure how I’m going to deal with them for scenario. On the other hand, Joe has to be super careful about his positioning otherwise I can abuse Overtake and munch my way through loads of them at a time with the Swamp Horrors. The Cephalyx Overlords are represented by Thorn Gun Mages.

I win the roll-off and opt to go first. Joe chooses the table side that he’s already sitting at, further demonstrating the depth of our tactical play.

Turn 1: Minions
Brun casts Stonehold, Jaga Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter (who I remembered to put close enough to cast it on this time). Everything else rushes forward as fast as their legs / tentacles will carry them. I’m not too worried about Joe’s threat ranges here; if he’s willing to put Thexus up in range to TK something then he’s welcome to do so.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Thexus Allocates a Focus to each Monstrosity. All three move up and are followed by Eliminators, Overlords or the Agitator and poked gently to fill up on Focus for next turn. The infantry rush up and spread out to cover Joe’s side of the board in a sea of bare-chested weirdos. Exulon Thexus floats up behind them and casts Psycho Surgery to heal up the chip damage that the Monstrosities took.

Turn 2: Minions
I upkeep all the spells. The Totem Hunter charges through the forest to punk a Mind Slaver Drudge and Sprints back. Rorsh and the Valkyries cap another couple on the right and the Boomhowlers gun down a few more on the left. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and sends in one of the Swamp Horrors which eats a few more of the leading Drudges on the left, though an annoying number of them Tough. Careful observers will note that I’ve neglected to contest Joe’s flag or the right zone. Oops.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Nothing is Allocated since all the Monstrosities are full anyway. Thexus TKs the right Wrecker forward a bit and Feats. The Totem Hunter gets moved into the forest, my clump of support models is pulled apart so neither the Soul Slave nor Orin are in range to do their thing for Jaga Jaga and the Boomhowlers are tidied up into a neat cluster. He ends activation camping 6 since he is so far forward. Both Mind Benders turbo charge a trio of Mind Slaver Drudges. On the right they hurt Brine (and contest my flag) and miss the Totem Hunter. On the left, join the Risen (and later, a Thrall Warrior) in punching the Swamp Horror but helpfully leave it with all aspects functional. My joy at having the Totem Hunter available is short lived as the Wrecker comes over and smashes it to paste. The other Wrecker gets buffed up by the Agitator and comes into leave Lug on three boxes and Beat Back in to contest my zone. The positioning required does mean that the Agitator isn’t on the flag though. Finally, the Warden lumbers in front of Thexus to make it harder to assassinate him. Joe scores the right zone; 1 – 0. I’m not really sure why Joe clumped up all the Boomhowlers with Thexus’s Feat; presumably he planned to spray them somehow.

Turn 3: Minions
Since the Soul Slave got moved away from Jaga Jaga, I have to pay to upkeep Battle Host like a peasant. On the plus side, I think I can take out Exulon Thexus this turn even through 6 camp. The Soul Slave moves across and puts Ghost Walk on the Boomhowlers. They mostly charge into the morass of Drudges and Risen in front of them but a few run through as deep as I can get them. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents, walks round the Wrastler and attacks the Risen in front of it. Sadly it Toughs and I can’t buy an attack as I need to cast Rage on the Wrastler. Instead, she Feats to kill off a couple of Cephalyx officers, a few Drudges in awkward positions and the blocking Risen. She hurts Thexus too because why not? The back Swamp Horror charges into the Warden at an angle to pull it clear of the Wrastler’s charge lane and leaves it on about five boxes; Orin fries the Swamp Horror in the back and finishes the job. The other Swamp Horror kills a couple more Drudges and Risen to Overtake closer to Thexus and pulls him in for a good Beaking. Finally the Wrastler charges in and kills Exulon Thexus with the first bite. Minions win by Assassination.

Another fun game with Joe. I think that he really suffered from this being his first time with Cephalyx and I don’t expect that I’ll get him playing Thexus so far forward again. On the other hand, if he’d played a bit further back I could have afforded to be a bit more cavalier with my own placement and could have cleared out a lot of his infantry in turn 3 instead of going in for the kill. Jaga Jaga’s feat allowed me to scalpel out some of the tasty Cephalyx unit leaders which I think would neuter their impact quite nicely. I almost want to play turn 3 again and go for attrition instead to see where we end up.

  • Swamp Horrors are highly amusing into victim stat infantry like Risen and Drudges but Tough is really annoying when you want to use Overtake.
  • The Totem Hunter really needs to stay away from things that cast boost to hit.
  • Another bad day for Lug since the Wrecker out-threats him. I would have been interested to see what he could do in return once Brun healed up his crippled aspects.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Mercenaries (75 points); 14Feb2019

When I first started this blog I wrote up a lot of battle reports but as time went by I found that I was only doing tournament reports. So here is a one-off report for Warmachine, a game I love to play even though I’m quite awful at it.

I’ve had a hankering to run Minions again in Warmachine, but this time we were using (mostly) the correct miniatures so I thought I’d set up another thread to document my ineffectual flailing through this wonderful game. Joe wanted to try out some of the CID Pirate stuff so we threw down.

Invasion (scenario 4) vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-0PjP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

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

The basic idea of the list is to leverage Rage-d, Signs and Portents, Overtake Swamp Horrors because that sounds quite amusing. My main dilemma was what infantry to take for Jaga Jaga’s Feat turn. In the end I settled on Boomhowlers as they have decent armour and could possibly contribute in a jamming role even if I couldn’t get a good Feat turn out. I probably slightly prefer Nyss in the role but in this case the high defence / low armour is obviously less helpful. I had a Dr Arkadius list as a back-up that I’m also quite excited to try out but never really intended to use it here. Thanks to the extensiveness of Joe’s collection, Calaban is a proxy for Jaga Jaga and a pair of Trolls are representing the Swamp Horrors.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-0QnTnV8jnQnQnQnM8SnPnPnP8Mca

Mercenary Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Talion Charter

!!! This army contains CID entries.

[Rahera 1] Captain Rahera, Terror of the Wailing Sea [+28]
– Blockader [35]
– Freebooter [9]
– Swashbuckler [8]
– Swashbuckler [8]
– Swashbuckler [8]
Bosun Grogspar [0(5)]
Lord Rockbottom [0(4)]
Powder Monkey [0(2)]
Powder Monkey [2]
Powder Monkey [2]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
The Commodore Cannon & Crew [7]
Scharde Pirates (max) [14]
– Scharde Pirate Officer [4]

I think almost everything here is in CID one way or another. I’m not going to comment on any CID game balance matters because a) I’m terrible at WarmaHordes and b) I have no idea what the Pirate stuff did before so any change is meaningless to me. Needless to say, there are a ton of proxies here but I think that most of them are quite straightforward; notably the Scharde Pirates are represented by some of my old Press Gangers and the Commodore Cannon is played by a Road Hog.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Captain Rahera casts Escort and Rough Seas, then pretty much everything runs forward. Slightly to my surprise, Joe has the light Warjacks screening his Scharde Pirates and not the other way around.

Turn 1: Minions
I also run my stuff forward, though I’m a bit more circumspect about it in order to respect the threat ranges of Joe’s front line. I’m not so worried about the shooting elements as that has me outranged anyway. I’ve deployed the Totem Hunter in a stupid place so it has to run over to the middle to get Grave Wind (I’d planned to start with it in the centre and run to hassle the flanks). Battle Host is also cast.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Rahera upkeeps Escort and allocates one Focus to the Swashbuckler on my left. The Commodore Cannon slams Lug back and knocks it down. Various Powder Monkeys Empower the left Swashbuckler and the Blockader so they’re both full. The Blockader saunters forward and vaporises the poor Totem Hunter (100% player error on my side) and a couple of random Boomhowlers. The Swashbuckler charges through the Blockader and kills another.

Turn 2: Minions
The Soul Slave upkeeps Battle Host on Jaga Jaga’s behalf. Lug stands up and runs toward the action. The Soul Slave puts ghostly on the Boomhowlers; four of them run deep in preparation for their untimely death at the hands of their employer (they’re mercenaries, they knew what they were signing up for) and the rest move to get in the Blockader’s way. Boomhowler himself sings Cacophony. I have a slight activation order issue in that I’ve blocked Jaga Jaga from moving forward so the Wrastler puts Rage on the right Swamp Horror and takes a nice chunk out of the Freebooter. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Rages the second Swamp Horror. She also Feats on four Boomhowlers, killing Aiyana, Holt, Lord Rockbottom and putting a little damage onto Rahera. The Swamp Horrors go in with crazy dice; the one on the right finishes the Freebooter and drops the Swashbuckler while the one on the left kills its Swashbuckler and smacks the Blockader a little. Finally, the Valkyries ding up the last Swashbuckler and Brine finishes it off. Sadly, I’m an idiot and don’t move the third Valkyrie into the right zone which would have allowed me to score. 0 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Rahera allocates nothing but upkeeps Escort. The Monkeys fill up the Blockader again and the Commodore Cannon slams Lug to the ground again. Rahera Feats, charges Boomhowler through the Blockader and sprints back behind the house where she started. The Blockader repositions slightly and kills the last Boomhowler, Lug and the Swamp Horror. The Scharde Pirates use No Quarter and slam into my front line. 0 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Battle Host is upkept. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and backs nervously away from Rahera and the Blockader. The Valkyries begin the process of clearing out the Scharde Pirates (and are careful to all end up in the right zone this time) and Rorsh contributes too. Brine charges across and kills Bosun Grogspar and overtakes nicely around to deal with some more of the Pirates. The Wrastler kills even more to heal up and clear the Swamp Horror. Orin hits the Objective with Chain Lightning and the electroleaps kill all three Powder Monkeys. One of them kills him in return after falling from the sky from halfway across the board which was quite surprising. The Soul Slave puts Rage on the Swamp Horror and it goes all in on Rahera [edit: actually this isn’t allowed. Oops!]. Sadly for me she toughs the last attack and I have nothing left to finish her with.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Rahera drops Escort and stands up. She then charges Jaga Jaga and burns through all my transfers. The Commodore Cannon slams the Swamp Horror but I’m less annoyed this time because at least the Horror has Steady. The Blockader walks round but can’t finish Jaga Jaga. 2 – 0

Turn 4: Minions
Brine annoyingly Frenzies into the Wrastler, taking out its mind. We discuss whether it is worth casting Signs and Portents and eventually decide that it is not. So Jaga Jaga kills Rahera on the first attack; she doesn’t get tough this time. Minions win by Assassination.

I really enjoyed that game, and of course each time I play Joe it is a pleasure. The Swamp Horrors were just as entertaining as I had hoped, though the dice were really on my side in my turn 2. Things I learned:

  • Lug is probably best when he is actually standing up instead of being constantly knocked down and slammed back. I’ll try him again.
  • My deployment and positioning need a lot of improvement. In particular it cost me the Totem Hunter before it could do anything more useful than waste some precious Fury casting Grave Wind on it.
  • Boomhowlers were adequate as Feat targets in this list; they were good enough to contribute while also being high enough armour to make the Feat effective.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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