Battle reports

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Cygnar (75 points); 10Aug2020

Gareth and I got in another game of Warmachine / Hordes; he wanted to try out some Gun Mage stuff and I wanted to test my Ossrum list into Cygnar as, realistically, I’m not likely to choose to play Fiona into so many guns.

Game 10 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Gareth’s Cygnar

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24b_9o9o949494929292pb7jplfinvnsnsiBiB

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]

This is the same list as last time; I just need to actually run it the way I planned. I suspect that some changes are going to be needed as there are just too many things trying to trudge up the same space and even Ossrum’s Tactician ability makes this a tight fit in the middle of the board.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1M8Wf5f6akfMagaj9cjz9K9Mp0cX

Cygnar
[Theme] Sons of the Tempest

[Caine 2] Captain Allister Caine [+27]
– Ace [10]
– Hurricane [35]
– Squire [0(5)]
Arcane Tempest Rifleman [4]
Gun Mage Captain Adept [0(5)]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
– Firefly [8]
Lieutenant Bastian Falk [0(5)]
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages [11]
Black 13th Strike Force [10]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (1) [2]
Tempest Blazers (max) [18]

Gareth is a long-time fan of Caine in the stories and the Sons of the Tempest force is a fitting home for him at least from a thematic perspective. I have the impression that this is pretty much one of everything and then some fun Warjacks on top. I’m not too worried about the Hurricane; it’ll wreck a few Warjacks but I think that I have enough to keep it in check.
I win the roll off and choose to move first; Gareth gives me the side with the most scenery in the way. This time I do put the Halberdiers more central; this has the downside that some of my Warjacks are starting even further back then normal which might be a problem since they’re so slow. I’m not expecting the Halberdiers to last too long but I guess I only need them to survive long enough for my force to make contact since I’m seriously disadvantaged in a shooting match here. My basic plan is jump right down the Cygnar force’s throat.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Everything runs forward; even with the long range on Gareth’s guns I don’t think that he can get too much damage on me this turn. Ossrum puts Fire For Effect on the left Cannon and Snipe onto Dez.

Turn 1: Cygnar
Caine takes a Focus from the Squire but doesn’t allocate anything. The Journeyman casts Arcane Shield onto the Hurricane; I thought Gareth might use Fire For Effect. Instead, that goes on the Rifleman (who guns down the nearest Steelhead), Bullet Dodger goes on the Captain Adept and Heightened Reflexes is cast on Caine himself. The force advances very cautiously; I do suggest that Gareth might want to take up a bit of board space but he feels happier to stay back and vapourise my infantry next turn instead of getting engaged in melee.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
I just need to make sure that I end up contesting all the scenario elements enough that I’m not ceding too many points. Ossrum upkeeps both spells and allocates nothing. Anastasia comes in from the left and stabs a Tempest Blazer to death; it’s not super useful but the Blazer costs more than she does anyway. Both Halberdier units run as deep as possible as I want to jam Gareth’s stuff as far back as I can. The left Cannon rolls rather well to hit the Firefly but then rolls abysmally on damage; the one on the right sends an optimistic shot in the general direction of the Gun Mages and gets a lovely scatter to kill one. Ossrum puts Bullet Dodger on Alexia as he has more Focus than I really know what to do with this turn.

Turn 2: Cygnar
Caine allocates two Focus to the Hurricane and one to Ace, then upkeeps all his spells. The Journeyman upkeeps Arcane Shield and allocates one to the Firefly, which it immediately uses to shake knock down. The ATGM roll pretty poorly and take out 3 Steelheads on the right, and Falk clears the jammers in front of the Hurricane. The big robot then knocks down both of my Bashers and kills a couple more Steelheads; the Black 13th finish the entire unit to a man while standing in the freshly cleared right zone. Ace misses a trick shot into Dez that leaves me breathing a sigh of relief; the Rifleman leaves her on one box and the GMCA hits her too but I get very lucky and she passes her tough roll. Over on the left the Firefly zaps 3 Steelheads and one Tempest Blazer who was standing in just the wrong place; the other three kill off all but one Halberdier. Caine makes short work of Anastasia. So in one turn I have lost 19 Halberdiers… impressive. Gareth scores the right zone; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
This is going to be an attrition turn as I‘ll have to be very lucky to clear the central zone (Hurricane in it) or left zone (not enough tools in the right places to handle those Blazers) and on checking it turns out that the Cannon on the right is too slow to walk into the zone there and I’d rather have them shooting. Ossrum drops Bullet Dodger and Snipe but upkeeps Fire For Effect; he allocates two and one Focus to the lead pair of Drillers and the Arcanist tops up the latter. Both Bashers shake knock down. Dez misses Ace; knocking it down would have made my life rather easier. The Cannon on the left knocks down the Firefly again and does a nice chunk of damage. Ossrum Feats and casts Energiser to get some nicer angles though the left Basher is still poorly positioned to deal with the Firefly. It goes in anyway and leaves the light Warjack on a couple of boxes so a Blaster trundles over and wrecks it, killing the Rifleman at the same time but sadly not rolling quite heroically enough to explode the Journeyman through his Focus point. The other Basher rolls high to connect with a slam into Ace; this kills one of the Black 13th and the GMCA dies to a lucky roll of the Flak Field. I position poorly with the first Driller to go into the Hurricane which prevents the other one getting there at all (what a waste of Focus) and it does around a quarter of the boxes of the colossal. The other two Blasters and some Thralls get in about Falk and the rest of the ATGM and Black 13th. Neither of score so we remain at 1 – 0 to Gareth. Annoyingly, my screenshot didn’t work here.

Turn 3: Cygnar
Gareth reckons that he’s far enough down on attrition that it’s now assassination or bust. After we measure it out there isn’t any way for Caine to get close enough to Ossrum so he throws in the towel; Mercenaries win by concession.

It’s worth pointing out two things here. Firstly, I originally was going to place Ossrum a bit further forward, but Gareth warned me of the sheer range of the assassination threat. I had some stuff that would have been blocking (notably that pair of Drillers) but there are various options for knock down, Shadowfire, etc that could have been used to open up line-of-sight. Secondly, we decided to roll out the assassination run anyway as if Caine had been in range and he handily put Ossrum down even through his Feat and the one Focus left on him. That assassination run would be no joke.

Many thanks to Gareth for a very fun way to spend an evening, even if it did turn out to be a bit of a mismatch. The amount of light infantry clearing across the board from me was hilarious but in the end there was only Hurricane (and Caine on Feat turn, I suppose) which was going to do much to my heavy Warjacks. As much as anything else, this is part of Gareth learning the game as he finds out the balance of what he needs in a theoretical list pair.

Things I learned:

  • Although I feel like I got the initial positioning of my Warjacks a bit better in the sense that they had a screen, it was terrible after that. My heavies in particular were tripping over each other as I tried to keep them central to threaten the Hurricane but the terrain was just constantly in my way. Gareth did a far better job than I did of unpacking his list.
  • Further to that, I am getting sloppy about keeping the Blasters in particular within Ossrum’s control area. I’ve wanted to use them on the edges of my Battlegroup to harass lighter targets but between the places they need to be and the fact that I want Ossrum to stay back and not be killed meant that two of them would have been out of control if I had had another turn. Actually, this was also true of the lead Driller but that concerns me less as I was expecting to lose that to the Hurricane anyway.
  • Although the Halberdiers are just there to die, the efficiency with which they were killed was quite surprising. Considering that I’m trying to use recursion I wonder if I need to make more of an effort to keep one back further just to avoid losing the entire unit. Alternatively, perhaps I should make my peace that they are there purely to soak up attacks that would otherwise go into something more expensive, i.e. literally anything in my army.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Mercenaries (75 points); 05Aug2020

It’s been quite a long time since I managed to get a game of Warmachine / Hordes in with Joe but our timings lined up nicely for some Wartable action. This was preceded by a long round of gentleman-machine in the group chat used for arranging games, with much ‘after you’ ‘no, after you’ going on until finally a few matches were sorted.

Game 9 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24b_9o9o949494929292pb7jplfinvnsnsiBiB

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]

I’m looking for a list that is somewhat more gun-resistant than my Fiona list and am currently trying out Ossrum in Soldiers of Fortune. The theme is selected for practical reasons in the sense that having both of my lists in the same theme reduces the number of minis to buy and paint even if it ends up being a bit less powerful overall. The basic thinking is to jam with Halberdiers as hard as I can, then send in some Warjacks as a second wave. I can use Ossrum’s Feat to extend threat for the Warjacks or make them a bit more resistant; in an ideal world it would be both. The Blasters also provide a bit of shooting to thin out infantry and avoid the inconvenience of Shield Guards, though the latter is not relevant here.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-2582nVnVpj8SnPnPnP8MnLkoo18oo4

Mercenaries
[Theme] Talion Charter

[Montador 1] Captain Bartolo Montador [+28]
– Blockader [33]
– Blockader [33]
Black Bella, Duchess of Dread [0(4)]
Lord Rockbottom [4]
Powder Monkey [0(2)]
Powder Monkey [0(2)]
Powder Monkey [0(2)]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
Press Gangers (max) [12]
Scharde Dirge Seers [0(6)]
Sea Dog Pirates (min) [7]
– Mr. Walls, the Quartermaster [4]
– Sea Dog Pirate Rifleman (2) [2]

I suppose that the plan here is to jam two Batten Down The Hatches Blockaders into me as hard as possible and stymie any counter attack with Bart’s Feat. Note that Black Bella is actually Bella2 using the not-final rules.

Joe wins the roll-off and picks to go first so I give him the side with the slightly more annoying houses. I immediately forget my plan about screening Warjacks and put the Halberdiers out on the flanks. I probably had some concern about board space but really the Rhulic Warjacks are so slow that I should be more concerned about keeping them alive until they can do something; getting in the way is what I have the Halberdiers for in the first place.

Turn 1: Bad Mercenaries
Joe throws everything he has right at me. Bart casts Batten Down The Hatches and puts Hot Shot on the right Blockader. Aiyana uses Ayisla’s Veil though I’m not sure what Joe thinks I’m going to shoot her with from this distance.

Turn 1: Good Mercenaries
Most of my stuff also runs forward and spreads out a bit. One Cannon splatters a Press Ganger, the other tries an optimistic shot toward the Sea Dogs but it scatters somewhere inconsequential. Ossrum puts Fire For Effect on the right Cannon and Snipe on Dez. Note that I make a big mistake putting pairs of heavy Warjacks close enough to each other that the Blockaders can get two with a spray.

Turn 2: Bad Mercenaries
No Focus is allocated but Hot Shot is upkept. The Powder Monkeys Empower the Blockaders. Rockbottom gives Payday to the Pressgangers who kill a Halberdier on my right, and Money Shot to the Sea Dogs who do rather better and kill 6 Halberdiers on the left. The Blockaders advance and take advantage of my bad positioning to half-kill both Bashers and two Drillers; in between activations Bart rushes forward, Feats, recasts Batten Down The Hatches and swaps Hot Shot over.

Turn 2: Good Mercenaries
I consider trying assassination here but I can only get Dez and the Cannon onto Bart; since he can’t be knocked down that seems pretty improbable. I don’t think that I can contest Joe’s zone without it costing too much so my plan is just to hold up the Blockaders in the centre and clear the left flag. On the right, the Halberdiers knock down a bunch of Pressgangers but they all pass their Tough rolls. It goes better on the left as the Cannon vapourises Mr Walls and the Halberdiers kill all but one of the contesting Sea Dogs. Unfortunately, my newly created Thrall Warriors aren’t able to get the last one, so I don’t score that flag. The Bashers run to block the Blockaders (how ironic) as I figure that their defence is poor enough that being knocked down by Bart’s Feat is probably not a big problem. I don’t Feat either as I’m losing those anyway and I can hopefully make it hard to get the Drillers. Dez takes a shot at Bella but I forgot about Call to Sacrifice so end up just killing a random Pressganger. We both score our zones; 1 – 1. I’m feeling in a pretty poor position though with those Blockaders right in my face.

Turn 3: Bad Mercenaries
Bart allocates one Focus to the left Blockader and upkeeps Hot Shot; the Monkeys top up the rest of the Focus to the colossals. Bella hurts the right Basher to get out of the Blockader’s way, then it moves laterally and wrecks both Bashers. The other Blockader comes forward and wrecks on Driller and leaves another on a handful of boxes. Aiyana Kisses one of my Blasters and Holt shoots it fairly ineffectively. Bart walks back to a slightly safer location and casts Batten Down The Hatches again. The Sea Dogs and Press Gangers kill a handful more Halberdiers but slightly to my surprise Joe doesn’t contest my zone (he’s normally very strong on scenario elements). We both score our own zones again; 2 – 2.

Turn 3: Good Mercenaries
This turn I need to bring down one of those Blockaders before they over run me, and I need to start picking up some points on the scenario because it’s clear I’m not going to get a win by attrition. I drop Snipe as there are plenty of targets for Dez now, but upkeep Fire For Effect. The left Driller gets two Focus and the other gets one, which the Arcanist immediately tops up to full. Anastasia runs on from the right and engages one of the Monkeys. The Steelheads thin out the infantry on both sides. One Thrall runs to contest Joe’s zone; Alexia sits on the left flag and creates another. Ossrum Feats and I throw everything I have into the left Blockader and bring it down to about half damage. This is probably pretty bad news for me. I do score my zone and the left flag; 4 – 2 to me.

Turn 4: Bad Mercenaries
Bart drops Hot Shot, allocates two Focus to the left Blockader and one to the other. Bella improbably misses an inconveniently-placed Halberdier in the back with her melee attack but shoots him thanks to Dual Attack and Black Penny. A Pressganger can then run to contest my zone and the others mill around my Halberdiers fairly ineffectively. The Dirge Seers pick off a pair of Thralls and another Steelhead, clearing Joe’s zone in the process. Bart casts Batten Down The Hatches as misses Anastasia with his gun; Rockbottom gives Money Shot to Holt who also misses her twice. The Blockaders smack my remaining Warjacks silly and make sure to contest the centre and right flags. However the placement of one of the Dirge Seers means that nothing can get into contesting range of the left flag. Joe scores his zone and I score that flag; 5 – 3 to me. It looks like I forgot to take a screenshot this time.

Turn 4: Good Mercenaries
I need to finish this or I’ll end up with a Blockader in melee with Ossrum which I fear will not be very good for him. Fortunately since Joe couldn’t contest the left flag last turn I just need to pick up three scenario points. The Cannon fires a truly heroic set of damage dice into Joe’s Objective to get me most of the way there. A Blaster sprays to clear my zone, and Ossrum puts Snipe back on Dez. She rolls terribly for damage but it’s enough to finish the Objective so Anastasia saunters into Joe’s zone and I end my turn. I score my zone, the left flag and one for taking out the objective; 8 – 3 to me. My Mercenaries win on scenario.

That was a very enjoyable game and I always learn a lot from playing with Joe. I felt like I was on the back foot for the entire game but, as Joe pointed out afterwards, the whole point of having scenario is so that you can’t just focus solely on killing everything. Joe could have won pretty handily if he’d paid a bit more attention the scenario; for example I think that on turn 3 he could have cleared enough from the centre flag to let something (probably Bella or Rockbottom) score it.

Things I learned:

  • I should have actually deployed in accordance with my plan to use the Halberdiers to screen my Warjacks. As it was, they ended up in a fairly irrelevant fight on the periphery with Joe’s infantry. Apart from fueling Alexia’s Thrall engine, I think that if we’d both just played about 20 points down and ignored the outside edges of the board there wouldn’t have been a big difference in the game.
  • I should have been far more careful of my Warjack positioning on turn 1; as it was I gave Joe a free head-start of about half of the boxes of two heavies because each Blockader could hit two at a time with their sprays.
  • Keep my eye on victory conditions. Even games where I’m down heavily on attrition can be won if I just keep plugging away at the scenario or can find an assassination option.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Cygnar (75 points); 05Aug2020

I’ve been working on getting my best friend / arch-nemesis Gareth into Warmachine / Hordes lately. We’ve played a few games at lower point values to get him used to the rules and now we have just moved to playing 75 point games. It’s pretty arbitrary to only report 75 point games, but that’s the commonly played points level here so I prefer to write-up the more accessible matches.

Game 8 – Recon II (scenario 6) vs Gareth’s Cygnar

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnxnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Ironhead [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

Playing Fiona into Gareth is probably quite rude since her Feat really annoying to play around, but I decided to do it anyway for two reasons. Firstly, since Gareth doesn’t know his own stuff too well (due to lack of experience) I didn’t want to slow the game down further by also not knowing the rules on my side. And secondly, Gareth loves a challenge and would hate it if he felt that I was pulling any punches. The only change from previous games is to remove the second Arcanist in favour of a Steelhead. The Arcanists are mainly powering up the Blockader at the moment and I’ve felt a lack of Repair in my list. The cheeky threat extender of Power Lifter might also come in useful.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1KidiPicaminoTieieiMiha2igig9Uik

Cygnar
[Theme] Gravediggers

[Brisbane 2] Colonel Markus “Siege” Brisbane [+28]
– Hunter [10]
– Triumph [18]
Captain Maxwell Finn [0(6)]
Commander Anson Hitch [4]
Grand Master Gabriel Throne [7]
Trench Buster [0(5)]
Trench Buster [0(5)]
Trencher Commandos (min) [10]
– Trencher Commando Officer [4]
– Trencher Commando Scattergunner (3) [6]
Trencher Express Team [5]
Trencher Express Team [5]
Trencher Infantry (max) [16]
Trencher Long Gunners (max) [18]

Gareth’s list is mainly set this way because he finds Trenchers highly amusing to play with. I think that he likes Siege2 so that he can turbo-charge their melee power to insane levels.

I win the roll-off thanks to Anastasia and take the first turn. My basic plan is to grab as much table space as I can without losing too many Halberdier to small arms fire and then bully the right zone with my Blockader. On the left I’m just going to contest the zone and flag with Halberdiers and Cavalry unless an opportunity comes my way. I’m not too worried about the centre; that massive cloud will minimise the shooting threat and I don’t think that Gareth has enough melee to punch through in a timely manner. The Halberdiers on the left are Fiona’s Cultists; we both pick Observatory objectives.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
All my stuff runs up the board. The Ironhead helps Dez along and she Digs In near my Objective. Fiona casts Roth’s Mercy on the Halberdiers on the left and then adds Occultation to the Cavalry. The latter are careful not to get close enough that they can be shot through their stealth. Annoyingly, my screenshot corrupted and wouldn’t upload.

Turn 1: Cygnar
The left Express Team picks up Eyeless Sight from the Objective. Siege gives Desperate Pace and Fury to the Trencher Infantry and puts a Razor Wall template in my way on the left. He also puts down his rocket turret on the flag. The Trencher Infantry come forward and gun down the lead Halberdiers on both sides; on the left I use Roth’s Mercy to ensure that the ones that die do at least feed Alexia with souls. Triumph shoots the Blockader along with the Express Team on the right. The other one and Finn drop another couple of Halberdiers from my Cultist unit. This time I just forgot the screenshot.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
My plan this turn is to clear what I can from the right zone, get the Blockader into it and have something on that flag. I don’t think that Gareth can get his Warjacks over to the left zone and I doubt he’ll move Siege into it so early so I don’t need to specifically worry about it but I will have to get something to contest that flag. Fiona allocates a Focus to the Blockader and the Arcanist tops it up. I consider moving the big Warjack deep into the zone but I think that will make it far too easy to kill so I just cautiously edge it into the back of the zone and kill a few Trenchers with flamethrowers, being careful not kill my own Steelheads in the process. Alexia creates three Thrall Warriors who charge in to kill a couple more Trenchers but more importantly apply Mark Target fairly deep. Dez (who picked up Eyeless Sight at the start of the turn) boosts a shot into the left Express Team gunner, killing him and slamming him into the Trench Buster over there. Both of my cannons manage to miss with 1,1 rolls and I’m lucky not to lose a Thrall Warrior to one of the scatters. Fiona Feats and kills a few Long Gunners with an arced Soulfire but misses a second one with another hit roll of 1,1. Finally my Cavalry are cautious; one of them misses a shot into a Long Gunner and the others keep out of walk plus see-into-stealth range.

Turn 2: Cygnar
The Hunter receives Eyeless Sight; Siege upkeeps Fury but drops the Razor Wall. The Trencher Infantry flounder rather ineffectively as Gareth comes to realise how annoying Fiona’s Feat is when you’re in melee. Siege zooms over to the right, gives Desperate Pace to the Commandoes, Fury to the Trench Buster and then Feats. The Commandoes gun down the entire unit of Halberdiers on my right. The surviving Express Team gunner stands outside Fiona’s Feat and shoots down Sylys who I’ve left rather vulnerable. Hitch gives Target Priority to the Long Gunners and then caps one of the engaged Thralls, stopping me from contesting the left flag. Both Warjacks shoot the Blockader and the Long Gunners take a couple of CRAs to drop the lead Cavalry. Gareth scores the left flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
I think that I can pick up a few CPs here and take a decent attrition lead, so my number 1 priority is not to end up with Fiona somewhere that she can be killed too easily. Anastasia comes in on the left and shanks Finn who annoyingly passes his tough roll; in fairness I think that this was just about the only important tough roll that Gareth passed all turn. The Ironhead moves the Cannon forward, repairs a few boxes on the Blockader and sits on my flag. Thralls, Halberdiers Dez and even Sgt Nick chip in to clear out almost all of the Trencher infantry, clearing my flag in the process. My Cannons shoot Triumph (the first one is Shield Guarded to the injured Trench Buster, killing it) to knock down both it and the Hunter. My Cavalry get in about the Long Gunners, killing six and gumming up most of the rest of the unit. Over on the right, the Blockader strolls forward and clears the zone with flamethrowers, seriously thinning out the Commando unit in the process. A Thrall Warrior kills the rocket pod and sits on the newly cleared flag. Fiona edges around the cloud to stay away from Siege, then arcs a Soulfire into Finn. The blast might kill Anastasia but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. The attack rolls 1,1 anyway so Fiona camps on 3 and I cross my fingers. I score the right zone and both flags, 3 – 1 to me. I could actually have possibly got an extra point by getting Fiona into the left zone, but I’ve managed to block her out with my own models.

Turn 3: Cygnar
Siege allocates one to Triumph and two to the Hunter; they both shake their knock down. Triumph takes its free shot into the Blockader (this is an error as we thought that it came after the opportunity to shake effects, not before as is actually the case) and the objective gives the Hunter Eyeless Sight. Throne kills a blocking Thrall and repositions back out of the way. Siege keeps moving to the right and puts Fury onto the surviving Commandoes. Both Warjacks take shots into Fiona and she survives after spending a couple of Focus. The Commandoes use their mini-Feat go into my Blockader; the first three roll like heroes for damage but the last one makes up for it by missing entirely so it survives on half a dozen boxes. Finn makes short work of Anastasia and one of the Cavalry despite missing his first attack. Finally, the sole unengaged Long Gunner caps the Thrall standing on left flag, however Gareth wasn’t able to get anyone in to contest the right flag so the score goes to 4 – 1 to me.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
It’s late, and I can win this just by running Fiona into the zone (and scoring the flag on the right again with the Ironhead); 6 – 1. Mercenaries win on scenario.

It’s great to be able to play this fantastic game with Gareth and I really enjoyed the game. There were plenty of areas where his inexperience cost him, notably around scenario elements, but this wasn’t just a simple ride for me. Fiona is very killable by this list and even on Feat turn I’m potentially quite vulnerable as there are a lot of options for Gareth’s models to back away from Fiona and shoot my stuff down.

Things I learned:

  • The Ironhead repairing the Blockader was a lot more useful than second Arcanist would have been so I think that it will be staying in my list. There was enough chip damage across the turns that I think that it would have been wrecked if I hadn’t had a couple of opportunities to repair it.
  • Using the Thrall Warrior (and Anastasia, to a lesser extent) to apply Mark Target where I need it is an amazing ability. I don’t think that there is any doubt about how good Alexia2 is, but she really shines in this list.
  • I suspect that the reality of list pairs is that I would need to use another list into Cygnar as Fiona is just not sufficiently gun-proof. I’m tinkering with an Ossrum list (also in Soldiers of Fortune to make the number of models I need to paint manageable) for this purpose and will aim to try it out shortly.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Khador (75 points); 23Jul2020

Allan and I got together via Wartable for another round of Warmachine. I did ask if he wanted to avoid yet another game into Fiona but he was happy this time.

Game 7 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Allan’s Khador

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

This is more of the same; I’m very happy with the way that the list plays together despite a few missing options (mainly I seem to miss repair) so I’ve not changed anything. I’m tinkering with an Ossrum list in Soldiers of Fortune but I can’t get it to line up quite right and I’m not really sure that it answers any different match-ups anyway. Also, I’m not really good enough at the game to assess what is or isn’t a good match-up yet. Note that I accidentally clicked Volley Guns instead of Cannons when we played so the pictures are slightly wrong. It’s kind of embarrassing to have proxied models in a browser version of the game.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1m7akTkTkTkTkTkT8fhFhFlOkZoM6ichch

Khador
[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

[Karchev 1] Karchev the Terrible [+30]
– Marauder [11]
– Marauder [11]
– Marauder [11]
– Marauder [11]
– Marauder [11]
– Marauder [11]
– War Dog [3]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
Greylord Forge Seer [4]
Kovnik Apprentice Kratikoff [4]
– Rager [10]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen [10]
Kayazy Eliminators [0(5)]
Kayazy Eliminators [0(5)]

This, or at least some variation on it, is Allan’s list to pair with a swarm of Doom Reavers. It certainly asks very different questions, specifically ‘can you chew through all these boxes at ARM20?’ I was really interested to see how this game would go.

I win the roll-off but decide that I prefer to lumber Allan the side with all the annoying terrain; he takes the first move. My vague plan is to gum up his Warjacks on Halberdiers for as long as possible and score scenario until I win. Looking at the right side of the board I reckon that I can jam up his Warjacks with that house and keep them out of the zone to hopefully rack up a decent score elsewhere. The Halberdiers on the right are Cultists.

Turn 1: Khador
Everyone runs! Slightly to my surprise, Sorscha also runs instead of casting any spells. Karchev casts Battle Charged and makes sure to stay close to the Rager, though I doubt I can get anywhere near him.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
All my stuff also runs. Allan’s limited threat ranges mean that I can just go full speed ahead with the Halberdiers as long as I don’t trigger Counter-Charge; even if any Marauders can get into a Halberdier I don’t really care. Fiona puts Roth’s Mercy on the Halberdiers on the right and eventually I end up putting Occultation on the Cavalry as the only things in range are spell-immune Risen.

Turn 2: Khador
Karchev upkeeps Battle Charged but nothing is allocated. The Risen run and the Thamarite Archon shoots them in the back to create a cloud wall on the left. Over on the far left the Eliminators kill a couple of Steelheads, but they’ll be back. I forgot to take a screenshot.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
The Cavalry and Halberdiers on the right kill off one Eliminator; annoyingly, I roll triple 1 on a damage roll for the other to leave her alive. The Cannon on the left takes a shot at Karchev which of course is Shield Guarded onto the Rager; Dez and the other Cannon knock down a couple of Marauders. The Blockader gets powered up by the Arcanists and immolates both Eliminators on that side and takes out the objective. Fiona uses her Feat but I forgot to note if she did anything else of interest. I score both the left zone and the objective for 2 – 0, but if I’d been playing a bit more cleverly I could have had the central zone (with one of the Cannon crews) and the flag (with Sylys or Dez). Annoyingly my screenshot didn’t save properly so I can’t upload it.

Turn 3: Khador
Battle Charged is dropped and three Focus are allocated between Marauders 2 and 3. The Thamarite Archon kills a few of the blocking Halberdiers on the left and Karchev picks off another but not enough to prevent anything going into the Blockader from having to sit in Fiona’s Feat. Karchev uses his own Feat and casts Jump Start to sort out those Warjacks that I knocked down last turn. The Marauder that can get into the Blockader cripples its right arm. Alexia creates a Thrall that rather helpfully misses it’s attack in the centre and most of the Warjacks on the right have to run to contest. No scoring so we stay at 2 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
The Blockader clears the left zone. All my firepower goes into the Marauder sitting by the flag but I can’t finish it. I was hoping to kill it and sit something on the flag, then run Fiona to the right zone and just win the game there and then which is why I didn’t Befuddle or Curse of Veils the big lump. In the end, the Steelheads on the right mess about and still fail to deal with the Eliminator and then Fiona just runs to the zone camping 7. I’m hoping that between that and the sea of Halberdiers that she’ll be safe from the Warjacks over there. I score the left and right zones; 4 – 0.

Turn 4: Khador
Allan’s in a tricky position here because he needs to get enough work done on my army without just ceding the scenario entirely. In the end, he allocates two focus to Marauder #6 and one to #1. The Thamarite Archon kills one of my Arcanists and a hatful of Halberdiers on the left. Sorscha puts Boundless Charge on Marauder #1 and it tramples into the Blockader killing three Halberdiers in the process. A second Marauder leaves my colossal on two boxes and the Forge Seer finishes the job with Hoarfrost. In the centre the last Risen and Thrall fail to kill the Halberdier, then various Marauders kill a bunch of Halberdiers but Roth’s Mercy ensures that the ones I need to stay alive are indeed alive. Karchev moves to the zone and tries to kill Dez but misses. We both score the outside zones; 5 – 1.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
I just move to contest the left zone and score the right again; 6 – 1. Mercenaries win by scenario.

That was a very fun game, and it was nice to have a game where it felt like I really had the tools to do everything needed. I think that I’m quite advantaged against this kind of list as I can snarl up the Marauders for ages with recurring Halberdiers and having a small number of quality melee attacks is exactly what I want to have stuck on Fiona’s Feat.

Things I learned:

  • I spent a lot of time messing about on the left in turn 2 deciding how to get around the cloud wall before eventually giving up. I forgot that I could have just used the Steelhead Arcanist to cast Wind Thrower to make them all go away.
  • Also in my turn 2 I missed a gifted chance to get up to 4 – 0 at the cost of only Sylys (who wasn’t really doing a great deal) and maybe a Cannon crew. I think that would have made the game unplayable for Allan as he would have had to spend much more effort stopping me from just winning outright on scenario.
  • This list is really going to struggle against high armour as I just don’t have the hitting power outside the Blockader. On the other hand, I do have some good control in the Cannons, Dez and Befuddle, although Karchev’s Jump Start rather negates some of that.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 18Jul2020

Marc and I arranged another game of Warmachine / Hordes via Wartable. We ended up rescheduling a couple of times before finally getting online at the same moment but it was worth it. Being able to scratch my wargaming itch without even leaving the house is an unexpected upside of this global pandemic.

Game 6 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

I’ve stayed again with the same list. I feel like its biggest weakness is going to be against gunlines that can take my force apart without dealing with Fiona’s Feat and tinkering with the solo loadout here isn’t going to improve that match-up.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1q1b1q1X3ImelUlUoRoLoLlM1q3C3z3z3B2_3G3H

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Reznik 1] High Executioner Servath Reznik [+28]
– Dervish [7]
– Guardian [15]
– Scourge of Heresy [16]
– Hierophant [3]
Exemplar Warder [0(5)]
Exemplar Warder [5]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Dervish [7]
The Covenant of Menoth [4]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (max) [15]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]

Marc’s stated goal here was to remind himself that Reznik1 is a bad Warcaster. I think I’ve only faced Reznik1 a single time before (also under Marc’s control) so I’m not in much of a position to comment, but anyway my experience with Warmachine in general has been that good players can beat me even with ‘bad’ Warcasters so it might not matter anyway.

Anastasia helps me win the roll-off and I pick to go first so that I can get my spells out and claim some board space before the Idrians get in my way. That house right in the middle of my zone makes deployment a bit awkward as I either need to leave a huge gap in my lines to pass it, or spend some of my turn 1 movement getting round it laterally. In retrospect I possibly should have had Stannis and some more Steelheads in that area so at least they wouldn’t have jammed each other up. The Halberdiers on the left are my Cultists. Both Warders have an Archon as their Client and the Idrians choose my Cavalry as their Prey. The Idrians start with Ignite.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
To no-one’s surprise, everything I have runs forward. Fiona casts Roth’s Mercy on the left Halberdiers and Occultation on the Cavalry; being able to Channel spells through my Cultists is really useful.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Reznik Allocates two to Scourge of Heresy. Most of Marc’s force runs up fairly circumspectly and I wonder if I can jam him out of the centre entirely and just keep the Archon on the right busy by contesting that Flag all game. Severius casts Road To War. The Vassals give Enliven to the Guardian and Scourge of Heresy and the Choir sing Passage.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
The Halberdiers on the right run to get in the way of the Archon without giving away too many of themselves to a Thresher. I make sure that at least one is tucked in behind the house to contest that Flag while being annoying to remove. My Cannon shoots the Guardian, knocking it down along with Scourge of Heresy and the Dervish. I’m feeling a bit more like I can bully with the Blockader now so it gets Empowered by the Arcanists and stomps up to immolate Severius’s Dervish (leaving it on a handful of boxes) and also put some damage into the Covenant. The Halberdiers on the left run to jam and one makes sure to engage the Archon. The Cavalry go in so I can get a full Flank charge attack into the Menite Archon but it doesn’t even manage to hit. I do take out a few Idrians in the way, but this was rather half-hearted as I was originally hoping to avoid boosting the Archon’s armour until I realised that I probably couldn’t even get a single attack without killing at least one Idrian. Fiona Arcs a fully boosted Soulfire into Severius but sadly I roll low on damage and leave the old man alive. I’m feeling fairly safe in the centre and my Feat won’t really stymie the Archons as the Halberdiers are spread too wide so I decide not to use Fiona’s Feat.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
The Archon on the left kills one of my Steelhead Cavalry with Vengeance. All the Warjacks shake Knock Down. Reznik Allocates two to Scourge of Heresy and both he and Severius drop their upkeeps. The Vassals Empower Scourge and the Guardian, the Choir sing Battle and the Hierophant uses Harmonious Exaltation. The Hermit strolls forward and uses Telemetry. Reznik casts Engine of Destruction, uses his Wrack (which explodes) and boosts a Perdition into a Steelhead. I kill a different Steelhead with Roth’s Mercy and Marc realises that his plan has failed. We rewind to have the Menite Archon knock Roth’s Mercy off the Halberdiers and eventually Reznik Feats, kills the blocking models and Scourge of Heresy is launched forward toward my zone. The terrain means that it has to waste the charge attack pulverising Dez and only one attack actually hits Fiona; it’s not enough so Marc concedes as there is no way he can stop the Blockader from flattening Reznik next turn. Mercenaries win by concession; it seems that I forgot to take one final picture.

That was a fun game, if unexpectedly short. In retrospect, I think that Marc was always and only aiming to go for the jank assassination sending Scourge of Heresy across the board from downtown so once he saw his opportunity he just went for it. If I had used Fiona’s Feat in my turn 2 the assassination would have been (even more) impossible and I’m not sure if he had enough firepower to really make inroads into my force without just having the Blockader bully the centre.

Things I learned:

  • Feating in turn 2 might almost always be the right play as it can stop some crazy assassinations as well as protect my army.
  • Knock Down from the Cannons (and Dez) is really fun when the other army isn’t loaded down with Shield Guards, Steady, Rise etc. Just wasting a focus to shake the effect makes it worth it, even if I can’t get more attacks in.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Khador (75 points); 15Jul2020

I found another free evening (funny how clear my social calendar seems to be at the moment) to get in a game of Warmachine with Allan over Wartable. I was planning to put down a list with General Ossrum but got side-tracked and didn’t want to delay further so I stuck with the same Fiona list in Soldiers of Fortune since there is still a lot to learn with it.

Game 5 – Anarchy (scenario 5) vs Allan’s ‘Khador’

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

No change to the list for the last few games. I’m really enjoying it; there are choices to make every game, and opportunities for me to get order-of-activation wrong.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1Gp9lVjCjCoR3E8p8poLoL3z3z3B2_nini

Khador
[Theme] Warriors of the Old Faith

[Reznik 2] Servath Reznik, Wrath of Ages [+29]
– Judicator [35]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon [0(6)]
Man-O-War Drakhun [9]
Man-O-War Drakhun [9]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Initiates of the Wall [7]
Initiates of the Wall [7]

Allan is using ‘Khador’ this time, by which I mean Protectorate with a pair of actual Khador cavalry in it. It would in theory be paired with a proper Khador list but it amuses me that it could also be paired with another Warriors list and therefore be categorised as either Khador or the Protectorate depending on what the player wanted to call them.

I get to go first and Allan gives me the bottom side so that I have to work with that house in the middle of where I want my army to go. I put one unit of Halberdiers on that side and figure that I’m pretty much going to abandon them to their fate. Everything else goes on the left of the house with the Cavalry on the very far left in the hope that I can push through and take the centre if the game goes on for a long time. I pick the Eyeless Sight objective so that I can shoot through the big central cloud if needed. The Halberdiers on the left are my Cultists.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
I run forward to set the line of the game as high as I can. Fiona casts Roth’s Mercy on the left Halberdiers and Occultation on the Cavalry.

Turn 1: Khador
The Vassals Empower the Judicator and the Choir sing Passage on it. It strides forward and explodes a couple of Halberdiers. This is fine for me as it gives Alexia a couple of Souls for next turn and Sgt Nick can just bring them back anyway. Reznik casts Lamentation and puts Death March on the Initiates on the right.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
The Halberdiers on both sides run and spread out to block off as much space as possible. The Cannon on the right dismounts the Drakhun on that side. Alexia creates a pair of Thrall Warriors that run to apply Mark Target in the centre, then the Blockader walks up and knocks both Champions off their horses (the Hermit prevents one attack but I had enough to bring them both down anyway). Fiona misses an Arcane Secrets Soulfire into Reznik. I was hoping to keep him a bit on the back foot by sticking some early damage onto him, plus I didn’t want to trigger all the various forms of Vengeance attacks in case I actually did kill something. She puts Curse of Veils onto the Judicator, also in the hope that it will keep it a bit further back so that I can bully more effectively with the Blockader, then she uses her Feat. I took the screenshot before I moved the Halberdiers on the right.

Turn 2: Khador
Reznik upkeeps both spells and the Vassals and Choir do their thing. The Hermit runs to get in the way of my Blockader. Reznik applies his Curse to the left Halberdiers but otherwise stays well back. The solos in the middle kill a few of my disposable infantry though the Menite Archon knocks Roth’s Mercy off the Halberdiers. The Judicator rains fire and rockets across the battlefield, killing a good number of Halberdiers, then the Drakhun and Initiates move to make it hard to get into effectively. On the right, the Menite Archon kills another couple of Halberdiers. Allan scores his flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Anastasia comes in on the right. The Steelheads over there make a couple of good CMAs into the Menite Archon, leaving it on only a single box. Anastasia follows up with a back-strike and then fails to break armour. I am sad, but this is going to make for an epic Thresher attack next turn. After a lot of wangling I get Dez to shoot the Hermit, slamming him clear of the Blockader. It walks forward and shoots Reznik by targeting the Menite Archon but between low rolls and the many Focus Reznik had available I don’t end up doing a great deal. The Halberdiers and Cannon put a little damage onto the Judicator; I really want to get the Cavalry in there with the Flank bonus but Allan has played well to block landing spots. I do use them to take out a couple of the Initiates on that side. Alexia creates some more Thrall Warriors and they run to take up as much space as possible. I score my flag with Dez; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Khador
Various Vengeance attacks kill some the lead Thralls and Halberdiers. Reznik upkeeps Lamentation but drops Death March. The Vassal and Choir power-up the Judicator again, and the Hermit stands up and uses his -2 ARM aura. The Menite Archon and the Initiates put some tasty damage into my Blockader. Reznik Feats, Curses the Halberdiers, charges into the Blockader and scraps it easily. He then hilariously misses a couple of swings into Halberdier, wasting his Focus. The Menite Archon on the right gets the world’s greatest Thresher, killing Anastasia and all of the Halberdiers bar 1; one of them was killed by a Feat explosion. The Drakhun saunters over and stabs the survivor. The other Drakhun clears some space for the Judicator and it walks up and immolates Alexia to the box and then kills the Cannon crew on the left with a perfect shot of the rocket pods. Neither of us score.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Reznik is definitely killable this turn. The surviving Cannon gets Eyeless sight and shoots Reznik but I forgot that Vilmon is also a Shield Guard so he gets exploded instead. Dez shoots Reznik and my dice roll crazy high. Fiona backs out of Lamentation Range and channels a couple of Soulfires into Reznik, and Stannis contributes with his handcannon now that Reznik has used up his Focus. The last couple of Halberdiers go in and finish the job; even if that failed I had a Cavalry who could probably have made it, and also a surviving Thrall Warrior. Mercenaries win by assassination.

That was a highly satisfying game. I would almost have liked to have ‘saved the game’ at the start of my turn 3 as I really wonder if a better move with the Blockader would have been just to shuffle around and immolate the Hermit, Drakhun and Initiates instead of putting some fairly unexciting damage onto Reznik.

Things I learned:

  • Arcanists handing out magical weapons to Steelheads in their command range is really nice if you have Cannons that you want to shoot into Reznik. Admittedly, that feels like a rather specific niche but it’s rather nice for plenty of other cases too; being able to keep Incorporeal models in check is good on a model that I’m mainly just taking to Empower the Blockader anyway.
  • I still don’t have a good way to deal with Menite Archons. Their defensive stats are really high and even once I get through those they have a lot of boxes. This is hardly new news but I really had it brought home to me after the Archon on my right took a full Steelhead unit and Anastasia, survived and then wiped the lot out next turn.
  • I’m really finding it hard to get work out of the Blockader. Perhaps unsurprisingly, other players are keen to box it in with chaff and then when I do move it up I almost always lose it. I guess that this is probably OK if, as here, it forces something big to come in to do the job and let’s me get them in return. But I’m always left with the feeling that I could have had it do more.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Khador (75 points); 13Jul2020

Allan and I got together again via the magic of Wartable for another Warmachine match-up. We use a group Discord channel for the voice which is quite fun as we sometimes get other friends joining in to heckle and/or change the names of our objectives to something amusing.

Game 4 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Allan’s Khador

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

This is the same list as before and I’m really enjoying it. Not everything plays well in each game but I do feel that all the pieces have their place. For example, Dez could easily be one of the numerous other good Merc solos but there are times when being able to reach out and slam someone around has been very handy.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1S787p7phFhF8h8hoMpipinfnfnfnfnn
Khador
[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Irusk 1] Kommandant Irusk [+27]
– Destroyer [14]
– Destroyer [14]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
Koldun Lord [4]
Koldun Lord [4]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Allan is back on the Doom Reavers in his endless quest to apparently play them with every Warcaster apart from the one that they are famous for being good with. This time I’m up against Irusk1.
Despite Anastasia’s assistance I once again lose the roll-off and Allan chooses to go first. I give him the side with the houses in the hope that it’ll cluster up his onrushing swarms of Doom Reavers enough that I can actually do something to them on the way to me. I go for a somewhat symmetrical deployment with the Blockader near the objective so that it can get Eyeless Sight and attack through those clouds and the Cavalry on the right to take advantage of the slightly wider spaces. I end up with a cluster of solos in the centre which is probably not ideal but I’ll aim to spread them out a bit as I unpack on turn 1. The right unit of Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists.

Turn 1: Khador
Everything runs right at me, probably screaming in the case of the Doom Reavers. Irusk puts Superiority on the left Destroyer.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
I run up too; I’m tempted to try to stay out of ‘walk and stab’ range of the Doom Reavers but that will cede far too much board space to Allan so I just spread out with the Halberdiers as much as possible to limit the number that can go down to a single Berserk chain. Between the various shots I can send downrange I do drop a few Doom Reavers though more than I’m comfortable with pass Tough checks and hence require a second attack. The Cannon on the left takes Eyeless Sight from the Objective and shoots the Destroyer on that side but I sadly am informed that Superiority prevents knock down. Oh well, the damage is quite good. Fiona uses her Feat to blunt the incoming Doom Reaver avalanche and badly hurts the right Void Archon with a channelled Soulfire. The blast damage helpfully kills the Koldun Lord on that side, then she finishes by putting Roth’s Mercy on the Cultist Halberdiers.

Turn 2: Khador
Superiority is dropped and the Objective gives Irusk Eyeless Sight, though I am not really sure why. The Forge Seers Empower both Warjacks, then Irusk moves forward (just outside of Fiona’s Feat, in fact) and uses his Feat. He shoots a Steelhead, casts Inhospitable Ground and then uses Airburst to get another couple of Halberdiers. The right Destroyer lobs a shot forward and kills Dez to the box. The Void Archon sprays to kill more Halberdiers on the right, then teleports to safety behind the building. The Thamarite Archon kills some Steelheads on the left, turning two of them into clouds of ash, and the other Void Archon strolls up to sit on the left flag. Doom Reavers come forward to take out what is left of my front line of Halberdiers, leaving them looking rather depleted. Finally, the Koldun Lord moves up to just catch the Blockader under Wind Ravager.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Clearing out a substantial number of Doom Reavers will be needed here and that could be dicey under Irusk’s Feat. On the other hand, Irusk is within range to be barbecued by the Blockader if I can make a bit of space so it gets Eyeless Sight. The Halberdiers and Cavalry on the right strip back most of the front line of Doom Reavers, though this is made harder when Allan passes the first 8 Tough checks in a row. Ironically, it’s completely unnecessary since I was only doing it to get a clear path for some Thralls to Irusk for Mark Target but because of Inhospitable Ground they can’t get remotely near him. The Cannon on the left shoots the Koldun Lord to remove Wind Ravager. The Cannon on the right takes an opportunistic shot at Irusk and it’s my turn to be lucky, getting the hit and rolling like crazy for damage; sadly Irusk is Steady due to his Feat. Fiona hears Arcane Secrets from Sylys and the Arcanists Empower the Blockader. I might as well use Fiona so she slings a fully boosted Soulfire into Irusk for some very tasty damage and follows up with a Curse of Veil just because by this point I was all-in on the assassination. The Blockader strolls over and immolates Irusk with the first flamethrower; it turned out that he was only on a single box by that point. He does not pass his Tough roll. Mercenaries win by assassination.

Many thanks to Allan for being a fun opponent. We were having a good chat during the game and I was a bit sorry in that sense to bring the game to an end with an assassination that, had it not worked, would have surely had me counter-assassinated the following turn. Still, it was quite gratifying to find that my list had a lot of tools for putting damage onto a Warcaster. I got rather lucky with the dice to shoot Irusk with my cannon but even with that missing I had plenty of things that could put more damage around. If I’d gone for attrition, I’m not sure how well I might have fared. The Doom Reavers need a lot of attacks to handle under 4+ Tough and Steady and even without them there is the small matter of three Archons and two Destroyers.

Things I learned:

  • Fiona has a lot of tools that I’m not really using well. I struggled to work around Inhospitable Ground and only realised this morning that I could have used Chasten to get it off Irusk. That alone would probably have given me more tools to deal with the Doom Reavers by applying more Halberdiers to the problem.
  • Thinking back on it, I wonder if it was right to use Fiona’s Feat in turn one. In the end, Allan killed everything he went for and I think that most of what survived was out of reach anyway. So possibly I would be better to save it for one more turn where the lines really clash. On the other hand, perhaps the fear of the impact of the Feat kept Allan from committing into my second line and did save some of my models.
  • Having to choose between shooting Dez’s bazooka and using Dig In is really hard. This time I managed to slam two Doom Reavers into each other which was probably worth it but almost every game I have a moment when I wish I had chosen the other option.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Khador (75 points); 09Jul2020

I’ve really been enjoying getting in games a lot more than normal thanks to Wartable. Normally family life makes it awkward to do face to face gaming but now we’re all stuck at home so everyone else is available for gaming. In this case, Allan asked for another Warmachine match-up.

Game 3 – Anarchy (scenario 5) vs Allan’s Khador

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

I’m really enjoying playing the Soldiers of Fortune list; it feels strong and thematic with a lot of options but without getting too many of the things that I find overtuned in the game right now… specifically the Archons.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1QhDf8didijyoM8xbR7H7I7H7I

Khador
[Theme] Legion of Steel

[Strakhov 2] Assault Kommander Strakhov [+22]
– Victor [34]
Iron Fang Kovnik [0(4)]
Iron Fang Kovnik [0(4)]
Kapitan Sofya Skirova [0(5)]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Uhlan Kovnik Markov [7]
Great Bears of the Gallowswood [9]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]

Allan seems to be making the most of Wartable allowing him to use any model in the game and is really mixing things up. He felt at the start of this game that the Iron Fang list was just going to be a weaker version of Doom Reavers in Wolves of Winter so we’ll see if that turns out to be true.
Allan wins the roll-off and chooses to go first so I pick the side with the houses right in the way. I put the Blockader behind the forest so that it can ignore the trees as it crashes through, then if it lives long enough my Arcanists can Empower it while cowering on the safe side of the forest The right unit of Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists.

Turn 1: Khador
A cloud of Iron Fang Pikemen run at me. Everything else is a bit more restrained and makes sure to stay out of Cannon range at least. Strakhov puts Inviolable Resolve on the Victor and Quicken on the left unit of Iron Fangs.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
I run up too. I can’t keep out of range of the Iron Fangs if I think I’m going to be able to stay in the game on scenario so I lead with a couple of hapless Halberdiers on each side and then try to keep the second line safe. There’s no point trying to stay out of the way of Victor’s main gun so I just accept that will shoot whatever it likes. The Cannon on the left kills a few Iron Fangs. Fiona takes Arcane Secrets from Sylys and channels a fully boosted Soul Fire at the Thamarite Archon, sadly leaving it on a single box. She also cases Roth’s Mercy on the right unit of Halberdiers.

Turn 2: Khador
Strakhov drops Quicken but upkeeps Inviolable Resolve; he allocates nothing. His unit chooses to reposition with Battle Manoeuvres, shoots at the Blockader (amusingly Strakhov himself manages to miss on 1,1) then fails to break armour with Lock The Target. He Feats to cheer up a rather sad activation. The Iron Fangs on the left get the front few into the Blockader for some nice damage and then use their mini-feat to reposition into Shield Wall in an annoying position. Victor shoots a bit more damage into my colossal but misses with the main gun and lights up most of the jamming Iron Fangs. Over on the right the Thamarite Archon shoots a couple of Halberdiers and the Iron Fangs kills some more and mini-feat into Shield Wall; I use Roth’s Mercy to make sure that the most annoying ones die while some at the back feed Alexia with their souls.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
The Halberdiers on the right don’t get a lot done under Shield Wall plus Strakhov’s Feat and I manage to lose one of the Cavalry to a counter-charge from the Drakhun. Alexia creates some Thralls that run to gum up the centre. The Blockader doesn’t get too much done (mainly because I forgot that I could heal its crippled left arm with my objective) but does at least remedy the situation of having some Iron Fangs on that side of the board who were not on fire. Fiona manages to kill one of the Great Bears with a channelled Soulfire and then Feats as far forward as I dare. Neither of us score; 0 – 0.

Turn 3: Khador
Lots of the burning Iron Fangs succumb to the flames, including the Drakhun which will make things a lot simpler. Strakhov drops Inviolable Resolve and Allocates two to Victor. We start off with the last Great Bear cutting up the Blockader a little. The Iron Fangs on the left kill a Halberdier to give Victor a landing zone and Strakhov puts Quicken on the giant robot. It comes in and smites my Blockader but leaves it on 8 boxes thanks to Fiona’s Feat. A few shots from the Thamarite Archon aren’t enough to finish the job. The Iron Fangs on the right shuffle back into Shield Wall and stab a couple more Halberdiers. Everything is still contested; 0 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
I heal both crippled arms on the Blockader with my Objective and Anastasia runs in from the left. Actually that was a bit pointless as Strakhov is within 4” of the flag so even if she could reach it I can’t clear it without killing Strakhov and thereby winning the game anyway. Instead she lurks behind the burning cloud in case this becomes relevant next turn. The Arcanist Empower the Blockader and it beats up Victor in a highly satisfying manner. Eventually both Cannons, Dez (who has strolled onto my flag) and one of the Halberdiers bring Victor down. The Halberdiers also finish off the left Iron Fangs and the Thralls from last turn take out the last Great Bear and Kommando. In the mess on the right I kill a few more Iron Fangs and make sure to drop Sofya last so she doesn’t heal up, though of course she won’t actually die until she has contested my flag for one last time. Fiona kills the Archon with a channelled Soulfire [but we forgot to remove the hapless Halberdier who gave her life for that until after I took a screenshot] and then retreats as fast as her little legs will carry her. Alexia makes some more Thralls and they run to get in the way as well as I can manage. Still no scoring but surely I can get something next turn; 0 – 0.

Turn 4: Khador
Allan looks at the board state for ages and theorises that he could possibly kill the blocking Halberdier with Lock The Target then charge in and Overtake his way into Fiona. We play it out and it doesn’t work (amusingly by missing the Halberdier on the first shot), we put the Thamarite Archon back into play and it still doesn’t work. In the end we decided that he probably would need to roll nothing but sixes to pull this off so I guess I’m quite happy with that result. Mercenaries win by concession.

That was a fun and interesting game. I especially enjoyed having the giant robot slugging-match in the centre on turn 2 and was quite pleased that I was lucky enough to have my giant robot be the one still standing at the end. I felt like our forces were quite similar in the sense that we had a time-walk feat, one Colossal, a couple of units and some support solos. But the Soldiers of Fortune recursion engine is quite good and being able to throw disposable Thralls around the place was probably the difference in the end. I will note that Allan’s dice were quite awful at the start when attacking the Blockader so probably I got a bit lucky.

Things I learned:

  • I hardly ever make an attempt to attack enemy Colossals early in the game and am constantly surprised when random charges strip off a few boxes on mine which eventually ends up being relevant. I think that I need to be a bit more proactive in dealing with them.
  • Also on the subject of the Blockader, I deliberately tried to be as aggressive as possible with its turn 1 positioning this time. I think that I need to screen it a bit better, but this felt more useful than my more cautious approach in previous games where I couldn’t get into the targets I needed. As usual, more practice is needed.
  • Not really a learning but I realised that I haven’t been mentioning in detail the impact of the combination of Roth’s Mercy, Sgt Nick and Alexia on attritional play. Being able to choose which Halberdier dies then turning the dead ones into Thralls and bringing back live ones each turn has been both effective and satisfying.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 06Jul2020

Time for more Warmachine. One advantage of the Wartable system is that I can play with friends who would be awkward to reach normally; in this case Marc who is based on the opposite side of our (admittedly not very big) country.

Game 2 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

This is the same list as last time. There was nothing that I felt needed to be changed so I’m going to keep playing it this way until I fancy a change or some alteration suggests itself.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1plTl_3Ume2e3kjCjCoLoL3B2_3F3Hninini

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

[Cyrenia 1] High Exemplar Cyrenia [+28]
– Indictor [14]
– Sanctifier [14]
– Hierophant [3]
Avatar of Menoth [18]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Wrack [1]
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)]

Marc isn’t playing the underpowered part of the Protectorate options. In fact, apart from the absence of a Judicator or Severius0, I think that this list has all the stuff I find most annoying to deal with in it: Allegiants, Initiates and Champions of the Order of the Wall and Menite Archons. This should be interesting.

After a couple of ties and rerolls, I eventually win the roll-off thanks to Anastasia; Marc gives me the top side presumably so that Cyrenia can hide behind that house in the middle. I end up splitting my force around my own central house though I am somewhat skewed to the right in terms of my power. The right unit of Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists and the Idrians choos my Cavalry as their Prey.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Everything races forwards, though I do make a bit of an error and box my Blockader in a little bit. Fiona puts Roth’s Mercy on the right Halberdiers and Occultation on the Cavalry.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
The Heireophant starts us off with Harmonious Exaltation on Cyrenia, and will do so every turn so this will be the only time I mention it. Cyrenia casts Dash, puts Inviolable Resolve on the Avatar, sticks a Rock Wall in my way and then uses her Feat. The Choir sing Passage on the Warjacks.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Fighting into Cyrenia’s Feat feels like a bit of a waste of time. The Cannon on the left takes a shot at the Avatar but it gets Shield Guarded away to an Initiate; needless to say he doesn’t die and can’t get knocked down either. Both units of Halberdiers run to jam as hard as I can. Fiona Befuddles the Champion on the right forward but with the dismount option I can’t do more than get my Cavalry to knock his horse out from underneath him. She uses her Feat as well to make life as hard as possible for Marc.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
Cyrenia drops the Rock Wall but upkeeps Inviolable Resolve. She casts Dash and adds Positive Charge to the Avatar. On the left, the Champion kills a couple of Steelheads and the Menite Archon gets another pair. The Champion on the right also kills one but I save that particular Halberdier using Roth’s Mercy. The Menite Archon on the right takes out a pair of Cavalry and dispels Occultation in the process. Idrians disengage and Marc manages to get a couple of them out of Fiona’s Feat to lead CRAs, dropping another two of my Cavalry. The Monk moves into a very annoying place and stands in Shifting Sands and finally the Choir sing Passage again. We both score our zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Anastasia comes in on the left and fails to even hurt the Champion with her throwing knives. On the plus side, she does provide Mark Target. Annoyingly, Dez and the Cannon both roll low on damage and leave the Champion on a single box, still on his horse. Fiona takes two tries but does manage to Befuddle the Allegiant out of my way. The Blockader is Empowered by both Arcanists and goes in on the Avatar. On the last swing, with the Avatar on two boxes and knocked down, I take a shot at the Menite Archon but miss. That turns out to be a big mistake; I should have just finished the Avatar. Alexia creates some Thrall Warriors who unjam the Halberdiers from the Idrians and run to get in the way a bit; the Halberdiers do at least wipe out the Idrians. Stannis goes in to Bulldoze the Archon away from the flag on the right and smacks the Champion but he Toughs so I don’t score it. Again, we both score our own zones; 2 – 2.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Cyrenia Allocates two to the Indictor; the Sanctifier has plenty of souls on it already. The Archon on the right Threshers, killing the last Cavalry but amazingly leaving Stannis and a Halberdier alive (though the former is on one box and on fire). Initiates kill the Thrall in the centre who was blocking the Indictor, which then receives Positive Charge and scraps half of the Blockader. The Allegiant and the Initiates over on the left kill more Halberdiers which lets the Avatar get stuck into the Blockader. Considering that it has only two boxes left, both in movement, it does a highly impressive amount of damage; I definitely should have finished it last turn. The Santifier leaves the Blockader on a single box which the left Archon removes neatly along with another four Halberdiers. Rather incredible for 8 points. The Champion on the left kills Anastasia and repositions back to sit on the flag. We both score our zones but Marc also gets the left flag; 4 – 3 to him.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Stannis rather unhelpfully burns to death. Dez and the Cannon kill the left Archon at last; the right Cannon knocks down the Indictor. The Halberdiers on the left finally deal with the dismounted Champion. The Arcanists, realising that their job of fueling the Blockader is now done, run forward to jam, apply Mark Target and be channelling options. The one in the centre survives being the conduit for a Soulfire that finally kills the Allegiant and also gets an Initiate and also for a Curse of Veils onto the Sanctifier. Alexia creates even more Thralls who charge into knock plenty of boxes off the two warjacks in the centre. I score my own zone and am contesting everything else; 4 – 4.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
The surviving Archon kills yet another Steelhead with Vengeance and Cyrenia allocates two to the Indictor. The Initiates do various combinations of CMAs and single attacks to kill a Thrall, both Arcanists and a couple of Halberdiers (how are they base MAT6 on top of all their other stuff?); the Sanctifier kills a couple more Thralls. The Avatar kills Dez and contests my zone. Marc scores the left flag and his own zone; 6 – 4 to him.

Turn 5: Mercenaries
The left Cannon bounces off the Avatar so the other one has to finish it off. Thralls continue to beat up the Warjacks in the centre; they end with only a couple of boxes between them. On the right, the Halberdiers try to contest the flag in such a way that the Archon can’t just Thresher and get the lot. Fiona gets Eyeless sight and clears the Champion and the left Initiate from the flag on the left with Soulfires but I don’t have a solo handy to run onto it. At this point we call it a night since we’ve taken ages and we’re after midnight (we would have clocked in about turn 2!); Marc thinks that I probably have enough of an attrition advantage now as I can bring Thralls into the game that I can probably close out a scenario win and I kind of agree that it is at least my game to lose from here.

Well, that was a hell of a game. It was super nice to get another game in with Marc and we played very casually, both allowing take-backs so that we can learn these rather tricky armies. It almost felt like the game could only properly start after we had both Feats out of the way as they’re very strong denial.

Things I learned:

  • I need to finish off Warjacks. I keep thinking that when they have crippled systems they would be less of a threat but there is still a lot of damage potential in there. Especially for the Avatar that doesn’t need a cortex. I think that at one point I had all three of Marc’s warjacks only fewer than 5 boxes but they were still fighting.
  • Steelhead Cavalry are only resistant relative to Halberdiers, they still die like flies. I need to be aware of threats to them.
  • The abundance of solos (and especially disposable ones like Thrall Warriors) in this list means that I am always in with a chance of scoring a cheeky flag here or there… even if I didn’t actually do it this time.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 04Jul2020

I got another game of Warmachine in with Frazer, this time trying out some Mercenaries. Partly I’m keen to play them as I have had a bunch of Mercenary models sitting in my house in various states of painting for several years, and partly I keep getting trounced by them with Joe at the helm and felt like trying this out. Wartable continues to be my outlet for gaming while face-to-face is impossible so I might as well make full use of being able to try out any options that I come up with.

Game 1 – Recon 2 (scenario 6) vs Frazer’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

I like Steelheads, and I particularly like the idea of dead Steelhead Halberdiers being recycled back into living Halberdiers plus Thrall Warriors with Mark Target so both Alexia2 and Sgt Nick go in the list. Since I have Mark Target I might as well take Steelhead Cannons, and since I have Halberdiers, I want to take some Steelhead Cavalry to actually hit hard. Having all those Steelheads means that Tactician is going to be really handy, so I took Stannis. Fiona and a Blockader are my choice of Warcaster and battlegroup since they look fun. I looked to Joe for advice on the rest of the list and went with his suggestion of Sylys, Dez and Anastasia. Time to see how this all hangs together.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1O0-3NlVoLf72_dS2P3R2K2L

Protectorate
[Theme] Guardians of the Temple
[Feora 1] Feora, Priestess of the Flame [+31]
– Blood of Martyrs [16]
– Judicator [35]
Menite Archon [8]
Pyrrhus, Flameguard Hero [0(5)]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Flame Bringers (max) [17]
Flameguard Cleansers (max) [15]
– Flameguard Cleanser Officer [0(4)]
Temple Flameguard (max) [11]
– Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard [0(4)]

So Frazer’s list came about because he couldn’t decide what to play, and asked me what I fancied. I don’t know anything much about the Protectorate so I arbitrarily picked a Warcaster and Theme and let him have it. I think that I accidentally picked the weakest of both, but again the advantage of Wartable is that there is no financial commitment to bad models. Nonetheless, both a Menite Archon and the Judicator are in the list since, as Frazer said, ‘Just because I am playing the bad theme doesn’t mean I can’t take the great models.’

Frazer wins the roll-off and chooses to move first. I give him the top side as I seem to remember slightly preferring the bottom; however now that I look at the screenshots I don’t really remember why. I put a unit of Halberdiers and Cannons on each side but I back up the right with Cavalry as I have some kind of vague idea that they might want to get stuck into the Judicator. The Blockader and Fiona are slightly more on the left, and my recursion team are in the middle along with the majority of the solos. The left unit of Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Everything races at me. Feora casts Ignite on the Flamebringers and the Choir sing Shielding on the Warjacks. The Judicator fires some rockets into the distance but they don’t scatter anywhere interesting.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
All my stuff runs forward too. Fiona gets Arcane Secrets from Sylys but still manages to miss a Soulfire at the lead Flamebringer. She does Chasten off Ignite but rolls low on damage and doesn’t even get the kill.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
The Judicator is Allocated two Focus. The Flameguard use Iron Zeal and kill a couple of Halberdiers; the Judicator kills a couple more. Feora reapplies Ignite to the Flamebringers and puts a Flame Wall in the right zone. The Cleansers kill another Halberdier. Two of the Flamebringers wreck the entire right side of the Blockader with some rather hot dice and the Choir put Shielding back on the Warjacks.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
The Arcanists power up what is left of the Blockader. Alexia brings a trio of Thrall Warriors into existence, they run up and stab a couple of things but mainly I’m looking to get some Mark Target out there. On the right, my Halberdiers fail to do anything useful to the Flameguard; they do try to make sure that the zone will be hard to score. The Cannon on that side does take out a Flameguard as I need to whittle them down a bit. Dez misses her shot but does at least sit on my flag. The Halberdiers on the left stab a few Flamebringers but annoyingly are unable to finish off the one engaging the Blockader; in the end Fiona has to kill her with a Soulfire channelled through one of the Cannon crew. To continue my run of good dice, she then misses a Curse of Veils into the Menite Archon (I was going to put it on Blood of Martyrs, but Frazer reminded me that the Choir said ‘no’). Fiona does at least use her Feat to make things awkward for Frazer next turn. The Blockader charges across the field and smashes the Menite Archon and slamming its corpse across three unlucky Cleansers. It punches Blood of Martyrs and pushes the heavy Warjack back out of Feora’s control range which was certainly rather lucky. Dez scores my flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Feora upkeeps Ignite and Allocates the usual two Focus the Judicator. The remaining Flamebringers kill one of my Thrall Warriors but bounce off the Blockader. The Choir since Battle on the Warjacks this time and Judicator leaves my Blockader on two boxes; the Cleansers finish it off. It also kills a couple of Halberdiers and an unlucky Flamebringer with an amusing rocket scatter. Over on the right the Flameguard contest my flag and engage the Cannon; Feora puts up a Flame Wall to protect the second wave. Neither of us score; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
I’ve lost my Blockader and I am not sure that I have enough punch to deal with the Judicator any more so it’s time to focus on scenario and not getting Fiona killed. Anastasia run in from the left and kills a Flamebringer. The Arcanists run forward to apply Mark Target as needed. The Cannon on the left knocks down the Blood of Martyrs; eventually the Steelheads and a couple of Thrall Warriors finish it off. Unfortunately I need to use the last Thrall Warrior to kill the Warjack as I had hoped to run it to the flag instead. Over on the right, the Halberdiers and Cavalry clear my Flag and the Cannon, killing a handful of the Flameguard and Cleansers in the process. Dez and the Cannon take out Frazer’s Objective. Fiona walks into the now-cleared left zone and kills a few Cleansers who were standing too close to each other with Soulfires. I score my flag, the left zone and for killing the Objective; 4 – 0.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Feora drops her Flame Wall and, of course, Allocates two to the Judicator. Pyrrhus kills the jamming Halberdier and Cavalry. The Choir sing Battle again and contest the left zone and flag. The Judicator strolls into the right zone, finishes off the Halberdiers on that side and kills Sgt Nick with a handy scatter; however the Cannon survives the onslaught. The Cleansers use their mini-feat but there are only two left; even so they kill four Halberdiers, an Arcanist and one of my Thrall Warriors. Feora casts Engine of Destruction and sprays the Cannon to clear the right zone; she also Feats to get what’s left of the right side of my army. Finally, the Flameguard kill Dez. Frazer scores the right zone; 4 – 1 to me.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
On the one hand, Feora is right up in my face and I feel like she’s quite killable from here. But I can just clear off the left zone and one of the flags and win on scenario instead, so that is much easier. Firstly though, fire kills a Thrall and another one of my Cavalry which seems pretty uninspiring for a Feat. Stannis kills a Flameguard and repositions to score the right flag, so that is one thing down. Anastasia, the Steelheads and a Thrall clear out the left zone and I end my turn to go to 6 – 1. Mercenaries win on scenario.

I really enjoyed playing this list; many thanks to Frazer for being a fun opponent and gamely playing the terrible option that I had suggested for him. I was pleased that my strategy worked broadly as I had planned though of course there were plenty of tactical and positioning errors that I should work on. In particular, the combination of Sgt Nick and Alexia2 recycling Halberdiers into more Halberdiers plus Thrall Warriors was every bit as satisfying as I had hoped. I do recognise that, list-wise at least, this game was a pretty easy ride.

Things I learned:

  • My positional play continues to be too clumped up behind the front lines which allows sprays and blast weapons to be highly effective. In particular I need to find a way to keep the Cavalry relevant while there are enough Halberdiers left alive to trigger Flank, but without just getting them killed.
  • Since I can upkeep two spells for free each turn (Cultists and Sylys) I might as well have cast them on turn 1. Occultation might not have been much use in this match-up but I’m sure that I could have had some value from putting Roth’s Mercy on some Halberdiers at least.
  • I’m normally terrible at recognising scenario options so I have to continue to have this in mind. Especially with the option for Bulldoze on the Cavalry and Dez’s Momentum weapon I should look to clear zones without even needing to attack many things.
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