Battle reports

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: The Bearded Card Trader Monthly 08Jan2022

Allan and I (without Gareth this time) travelled down the A1 again to Stanley to take part in a Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament at The Bearded Card Trader. The turnout was similar to the last time but with a different mix of locals which is probably a good sign of a healthy scene in the area.

This time I opted to play Criminal Syndicate. This is mainly because I recently acquired Omega Red and wanted to try him out, but also the scenario-focused playstyle of Kingpin’s leadership makes them a lot of fun to put on the table. Adding to the interest are the recent changes to Bullseye making him an in-affiliation two threat character, plus the presence of one of my favourite MCP characters (to play, I’m not particularly fussed about him in the comics) in the form of MODOK. The game plan is basically to sit on the Secure points and rack up VPs while either annoying the other team over the Extracts or, more likely, beating them senseless to cement an attrition advantage. If I lose Priority I can get it back with the All According To Plan tactics card which I’m aiming to play in round 3 if necessary. In terms of out-of-affiliation picks, I took Beast (has a cheap throw and I love to play him), Ant-Man (very mobile so I could use him to jump on an unguarded Secure late in a round), Okoye (another two threat, plus she’s disproportionately hard to kill in a brawl) and Black Dwarf (really hard to kill, has a cool throw and is quite hard to get off a point without special tech). I also borrowed the Research Station card from Allan to use as an Extract since it’s pretty much a Secure in disguise.

[Characters]
– Ant-Man: 3
– Beast: 3
– Black Cat: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Bullseye: 2
– Crossbones: 3
– Kingpin: 4
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Okoye: 2
– Omega Red: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All According to Plan
– Brace for Impact
– Carbonadium Synthesizer
– Climbing Gear
– Cruelty
– Disarm
– Field Dressing
– Shadow Organization
– Tactical Analysis

[Extract Crises]
– Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? [C]: 19
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses [C]: 16
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

Game 1 – Martin playing Midnight Sons

First round I got paired up with Martin. I’ve never played him before but I recall that he played Allan to a standstill at the last tournament so he must be pretty good. I win priority and, since I can live with all of his Secures I pick to select Extracts.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 19
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Crossbones, Beast
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Martin’s team: Blade, Black Cat, Doctor Voodoo, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight
Martin’s cards: Bats the Ghost Hound, Climbing Gear, Medpack, Patch Up, Siege of Darkness

I figured here that if Martin wanted to meaningfully contest the centre then he’d have to commit far enough forward that MODOK could sit on my back point and zap whoever came in. Ideally I could pin Martin back close to his home Portal, score the centre one with either Kingpin or Omega Red (preferably the latter considering his own good range) and then just harrass with Beast. Crossbones got the nod on the basis of being cheap and being able to ignore the damage from any Cubes he happened to pick up.

Round 1: Beast zips forward and picks up the central Cube while Moon Knight and Crossbones collect the ones on the right. Ghost Rider and Doctor Voodoo zap Beast and MODOK bounces an ineffective shot off Ghost Rider. Kingpin and Blade collect the last two Cubes and the latter pings a damage off Omega Red who has come onto the central Portal. The score is 5 – 3 to me.

Round 2: Beast goes crazy and dazes both Ghost Rider and Moon Knight, picking up the latter’s dropped Cube. He’s going down this turn anyway so I figure I might as well make Martin work for it. Black Cat uses the Midnight Sons leadership to get in range of Crossbones and gives him Stagger – if ever there was a character who didn’t want to get even slower it is surely him. Omega Red uses Carbonadium Synthesiser to get rid of Incinerate and Bleed and pokes Doctor Voodoo for fairly minimal effect. Blade dazes Beast without much effort and scoops up those Cubes, then Medpacks Doctor Voodoo. MODOK sadly can’t finish Doctor Voodoo, sadly leaving him on one wound with Bleed; at least it’ll force an interesting decision from Martin on what to do with him. This also draws out Martin to use the Bats the Ghost Hound card to keep him in the game so it’s not totally worthless. He then goes on a rampage, dazing Omega Red from full in one attack then hurting Kingpin and making him drop the Cube fragment before finally dying to Bleed. Kingpin is in a bit of an awkward position in that he can either collect the dropped Cube or get into the action but not both; I decide to have him move up to contest Martin’s home Portal and he also applies Field Dressing to Omega Red on the way. The score moves to 9 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: I play All According To Plan to get Priority back. Beast throws Blade into Black Cat to damage him since he’s been badly hurt by the three Cube fragment he was holding last turn, then KOs Moon Knight to get him out of my hair; he only has enough power left to collect one of the Cubes lying around. Martin plays a very effective Siege of Darkness with Black Cat and Ghost Rider teaming up to daze Kingpin and Doctor Voodoo easily dazing Omega Red. Ghost Rider then follows up by also dazing Crossbones. MODOK is clearly impressed with this show of power as he then does nothing whatsoever to Doctor Voodoo who uses this opportunity to collect a Cube and Black Cat collects another two. The score moves to 11 – 11.

Round 4: Kingpin fails to hurt Blade with his attacks but he does at least Stagger him and throw him off the Portal. Blade uses Patch Up to heal Black Cat and then nearly kills Beast. Beast goes after Black Cat but sadly can’t quite get her before he KOs himself by not clearing the Bleed condition. Doctor Voodoo throws everything he has at Crossbones but leaves him on a single wound (rather a theme for this game!) so Crossbones throws him off the Portal and KOs Ghost Rider. Martin passes, which I think is a mistake – I reckon that he should have activated Black Cat and had her run away. Instead Omega Red moves over and pulls her in with Ensnare, dazes her and collects one Cube before using Climbing Gear to get back on the Portal. Time is called before we go any further and we get to 15 – 12 in my favour so I get the win.

Wow, that was such a tight game. Martin was a tremendous opponent and pushed me at every step. As mentioned, I think that he made a mistake in not running away with Black Cat right at the end but that was pretty much the only thing that I could capitalise on. Most of my game went according to plan (rather fittingly for Criminal Syndicate) and I even managed to use most of my tactics card which is a bit of a change. MODOK’s performance was a bit of a disappointment but Doctor Voodoo is a hard target for him and he did keep my Portal safe and score 4 points so maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Game 2 – Sam playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Sam had just finished a very tight Guardians mirror match to beat Allan so I was looking forward to seeing how he played. Interestingly there were four Guardians players at the event, albeit one of them was dual-affiliation with Asgard. Sam won priority and, slightly to my surprise, picks Extracts. I choose the slightly lower threat on the basis that he has both Angela and Hulkbuster in his roster and I want to make it hard for him to use them.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, Bullseye, Crossbones, Beast
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Sam’s team: Star Lord, Ronan the Accuser, Nebula, Enchantress, Groot
Sam’s cards: Brace For Impact, Crew of the Milano, Loveable Misfits, Medpack, We Are Groot

I picked the same team here except swapping MODOK out for Bullseye to account for the lower threat. Kingpin and Crossbones are both fine with Cubes and I actually think that Criminal Syndicate don’t mind the Crisis anyway as they can stay ahead with the Secures and are happy if the other team take the chip damage from holding Cube fragments. I’m basically going to send Kingpin to stand on one Witness and Omega Red on the other and then send the rest to plug gaps as required. I put Bullseye and Beast in the middle; if Sam collects the Cube in turn one then I can try to start taking him down with them and if he doesn’t then I’ll send Beast in later on and cross my fingers.

Round 1: Star Lord, Ronan and Enchantress get Winging It tokens. Not very surprisingly, Star Lord zooms to the centre and picks up the Cube there. Bullseye saunters forward and casually rolls four successes to no blocks against him so this is looking quite spicy already. Groot, Crossbones, Enchantress and Omega Red collect the other cubes but only Omega Red actually bothers to move to a Witness token. Over on the right, Ronan, Nebula and Kingpin stand by the Witness; Nebula’s not actually close enough but since she doesn’t context objectives it doesn’t matter anyway. Beast moves up and dazes Star Lord, picking up his fallen Cube in the process. The score is 7 – 2 to me.

Round 2: The same three characters get Winging It tokens again. Sam moves the Witness tokens such that Crossbones, Kingpin and Omega Red take the damage and the stun. I’ve rather unwisely positioned Bullseye and Beast right next to each other so Enchantress dazes them both with her beam attack and picks up the Cube that Beast drops. Oops! Kingpin dazes Nebula to keep her out of my hair but can’t do much more than Stagger Ronan. Ronan then plays Crew of the Milano to get rid of that annoying Stagger, Medpacks himself and beats up Kingpin. Omega Red puts some nice damage into Enchantress and Star Lord zaps a few wounds off Crossbones, who in turn gets Ronan down to a single wound. Sam uses Lovable Misfits – Ronan does a bit more damage to Crossbones and Kingpin before Star Lord and Groot move. the score moves to 13 – 5 to me.

Round 3: Once again Star Lord, Ronan and Enchantress get Winging It tokens. The Witnesses get moved to do some slight damage to my characters, though Crossbones and Kingpin both pay to ignore it and they’ve all got Stun already. I start the round out with All According To Plan and Bullseye uses Hit and Run and his I Never Miss power to daze Enchantress, pick up her Cube (surely the most hotly contested in the game!) before moving to join Omega Red on the left. That’s basically the game right there as Sam doesn’t have anything remotely near that Witness and even if he did it’s pretty unlikely that he can deal with Omega Red in one go. Nonetheless we play on for the sheer pleasure of it. Ronan dazes both Kingpin and Crossbones, perhaps not surprising considering the pasting they’ve both taken. Beast uses Climbing Gear to get back in the action, hits Groot for not much effect and throws Nebula into Ronan to daze him. Sadly Ronan’s revenge strike hurts Beast pretty badly and Nebula has no difficulty KOing him. Groot collects a Cube lying on the ground and Star Lord moves over to see if he’s in range to deal with Bullseye, but can’t get there. We finish up at 18 – 9 in my favour.

Sam was a very nice chap to play with and I enjoyed the game a lot. I made a few positional mistakes, notably with Bullseye and Beast at the end of round 1 which let Enchantress pick them both off for free (though in fairness she could have used Siren’s Call to line it up anyway if needed) but Sam didn’t really use Groot at all and never even tried to tackle Omega Red for the Witness or Cube on the left which meant that I could just rack up points on that side.

Game 3 – Anthony playing A-Force

For the final game I get paired up against one of the two other undefeated players (the other one gets a pair down against Martin from game 1) with a nasty looking A-Force roster. I’d ideally like to keep the threat low here but I win Priority so that’s not likely to happen. I don’t fancy Anthony’s Secures much so I pick them.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes In Downtown!
Secure: Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0
Threat: 20
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Black Cat, Black Dwarf
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Anthony’s team: She-Hulk, Angela, Black Cat, Enchantress, Okoye
Anthony’s cards: Battle Lust, Blind Obsession, Follow Me, Medpack, Special Delivery

I did briefly consider going wide here but this is not going to be fast scoring game and if I take squishier characters then She-Hulk et al will just wreck them one at a time long before I can hope to eke out a scenario win. I put in Black Dwarf as his huge sack of hit point, Stagger on his spender and epic throw are likely to come in useful. Black Cat is a no-brainer for a single-extract scenario like this one, but when I see that Anthony has (not surprisingly) also picked her in addition to Enchantress I’m going to struggle to hold on to the Power Core. In deployment Anthony makes a mistake putting Enchantress next to She-Hulk instead of Angela which will prevent him using Special Delivery until the mid game – neither of us spotted this at the time but Anthony realised it early in round 2. I’m also a bit surprised to see She-Hulk all the way out on the left but Anthony is clearly a more experienced A-Force player than me so perhaps this was part of a cunning plan.

Round 1: Omega Red finds the Power Core in the very first turn all the way over on the right. This is a huge stroke of luck for me as She-Hulk and Enchantress are stranded all the way over on the far side of the board. Anthony’s Black Cat moves up very agressively and Black Dwarf beats her up a bit before MODOK leaves her on a single wound. Angela comes in and throws digger at my Black Cat who uses this extra power to Stagger the Asgardian. She-Hulk moves onto the left point and I decide that I’m quite happy to leave her there so Kingpin moves more centrally. The score is 4 – 2 to me.

Round 2: MODOK attacks Angela in teh hope of getting enough power to throw something at Black Cat but does no damage. Oh well, I attack Black Cat instead and fail to damage her either. Good work MODOK, only needed to do one damage to Black Cat. Predictably, Black Cat pinches the Power Core off Omega Red and hoofs it back up the board. Black Dwarf dazes Angela. Critically, we forget at the time that Black Cat will take a point of damage from the Power Core at the end of her activation, which would have dazed her. Since we’ve already rolled the dice on Black Dwarf, we agree to just play the game as it lies, so a grateful Okoye rushes over to pick it up. Omega Red can’t drop her so Okoye gets to keep it this round. Enchantress moves back to the back Secure and my Black Cat follows her. Kingpin puts a bit of damage on She-Hulk and throws her off the left objective but can’t get there to score it himself. The score moves to 7 – 4 in my favour.

Round 3: Enchantress dazes my Black Cat then MODOK does a bit more damage to She-Hulk and Angela before moving the latter away with Bow to the Will of MODOK. Okoye plays Battle Lust and moves to the centre so she can push MODOK off the back point. Kingpin applies Stagger to She-Hulk and moves to score the left objective. Angela now plays Special Delivery and drops She-Hulk on Kingpin but between the two of them (and including She-Hulk playing Blind Obsession) they can’t bring down the big chap. Black Dwarf fails to hurt Enchantress but does at least stand on my back objective since MODOK has been moved off it. Omega Red pulls Okoye in with Embrace but unfortunately she ends up close enough to use Martial Artist and he can’t drop her. The score is now a rather tight 9 – 8 to me.

Round 4: Kingpin Staggers She-Hulk and KOs Angela which is certainly a relief. Okoye flees Omega Red but this is probably an error on Anthony’s side as she walks right into range of my Black Cat who steals the Power Core and legs it up the board, using Grappling Hook to increase the distance from Anthony’s Black Cat. A bit of a possible mistake from me here too as I had enough power to use Climbing Gear to increase the distance still further and this turns out to be critical as Enchantress races over and uses Siren’s Call to bring my Black Cat into range of Anthony’s. Also critical though is that this move ends up with Enchantress within range 2 of Omega Red so she gets Poison. MODOK just moves back to his point and fails yet again to hurt Enchantress and She-Hulk finally dazes Kingpin. Omega Red puts some nice damage into Enchantress and the A-Force Black Cat races over and collects the Power Core off mine, but ends up next to Omega Red and gets Poison for her trouble. Finally, Black Dwarf moves to sit on the back point – note that I’d actually premeasured this earlier (when he couldn’t fit as Black Cat was standing in the landing spot) which I shouldn’t have been allowed to do, and Anthony very kindly let me away with it. The score changes to 12 – 11, still in my favour.

Round 5: I play All According To Plan, and Omega Red uses Death Factor to daze Enchantress and hurt Black Cat, then finishes off the latter and picks up the Power Core. She-Hulk hammers Kingpin but he survives on a single wound (and with Stagger) after judicious use of Intense Physical Conditioning. Black Dwarf tries to deal Okoye’s final couple of wounds but of course bounces off her, and he doesn’t even have enough power to throw her. Okoye makes a last desperate attack to finish Kingpin but I roll really well on defence and it doesn’t work, so Kingpin throws She-Hulk off the objective and stands on it himself. The game ends at 18 – 11 to me.

Well, that could have been the most intense game of MCP ever. The dice were very interesting in that we seemed to roll consistently no successes or a yahtzee of criticals; I don’t think it favoured one of us over the other, but it made the attacks very spiky. Anthony’s positional play (apart from his error with Okoye in round 4) was spot on – I constantly found myself millimetres out of range to attack his pieces. Otherwise, I think that our skills matched up well and the game errors (especially with the Power Core dazing Black Cat in round two) were not decisive. He was also considerably better than me at using his tactics cards while I yet again had a handful of them left at the end.

When the final scores come in, I’m the only player left undefeated as Martin won in the pair-down. This is probably greatly to the relief of tournament organiser JP as Longshanks (the tournament matchmaking and stats software) went down during round 2 and I’m sure that he was very glad not to have to manually calculate tie breaks. Once again I had a great time playing a very lovely group of people. Many thanks to Martin, Sam and Anthony for three very fun games of Crisis Protocol, JP for running the show very smoothly and of course to Allan for kindly driving us down to Stanley.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: The Bearded Card Trader Monthly 11Dec2021

For the first time in a long time I was able to take a road trip out of my local area to attend a tournament, this one for Marvel Crisis Protocol at the Bearded Card Trader near Durham. Allan kindly drove Gareth and me down the A1 and it was a pleasure to be able to do the pre- and post-game chats on the road… just like in the times before COVID made all this travel harder and more fraught than the past. The shop itself was bright and spacious, though it’s not easy to find, and the locals were very welcoming. It was particularly nice to meet Nate and Scott again, both of whom I’ve played Malifaux with in the past.

For this event I’ve decided to play X-Men. If I’m honest about it, part of this is because I really enjoyed the X-Men comics and cartoons of my youth, and the Bryan Singer films were (along with Blade, Batman and the Tobey Maguire Spiderman films) the beginnings of the modern superhero franchises on the big screen. Mechanically they seem to be regarded as rather middle-of-the road but they’re a lot of fun, especially Beast who feels very dynamic and is never short of cool things to do. Storm’s leadership allows a friendly characters to ‘jump’ across each other once per round so I picked the three biggest based characters I own – Black Dwarf, Hulk and MODOK. Hulk recently got a notable power-boost with the balance pass in November while all three benefit a lot from the addition of size caps (usually at size 3) to many of the control elements in the game like Shuri’s Panther Gauntlets. Finally, I took Okoye in case anyone forced a 14 threat SWORD on me so that I had the option to go 5 wide.

[Characters]
– Beast: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Cable: 5
– Cyclops: 4
– Domino: 3
– Hulk: 6
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Mystique: 3
– Okoye: 2
– Storm: 3

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– Brace for Impact
– Children of the Atom
– Deception
– Disarm
– Field Dressing
– First Class
– Follow Me
– Gamma Launch
– To Me, My X-men!

[Extract Crises]
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan [F]: 17
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Cosmic Invasion! Black Order Descends on Earth [D]: 16
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18

Game 1 – Liam playing Inhumans

I got paired up with Liam playing an Inhumans roster. I’ve never played against any of the Inhumans apart from Medusa before so this was sure to be interesting; I figured I’d aim to play my game and worry about how Liam could disrupt me reactively. I win priority and choose Secures as I want to force ‘pay to flip’ objectives and get value out of my First Class card.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Liam’s team: Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Lockjaw, Deadpool
Liam’s cards: Attilan Rising, Elemental Infusion, Bitter Rivals, Last Minute Save, Grievous Wounds

I’ve enjoyed Hulk lately so I just picked the 3-threat core of X-Men (Storm, Beast and Domino), then Mystique as another fun 3 threat option and finally Hulk to bully the centre. I sent Storm to go for the left Portal as she can fly and I thought that might be handy with that huge building but in retrospect I might have been better served sending Mystique that way and made use of Storm’s range in the centre.

Round 1: I play First Class, though with Research Station being more of a ‘secure in disguise’ I’m not sure it made too much difference. Storm flies up on the left and flips the Portal and Crystal immediately zooms over to take it back. Domino flips the right Portal and Deadpool moves forward to contest the Researcher in the middle. Mystique takes a couple of potshots at him for no damage, then flips my home Portal and gets teleported backwards for her trouble. Over on the right, Lockjaw teleports Medusa forward and she pushes Domino off the Portal and flips it herself. Hulk flips over Beast (what a cinematic image!), Gamma Leaps forward and smashes Deadpool into the turf; Beast follows to the centre to make sure that I control it. Black Bolt zaps Beast a bit but hasn’t positioned close enough to the back Portal to flip it. X-Men lead by 3 – 2 and I move the Researcher closer to Liam’s board edge.

Round 2: Hulk smashes Black Bolt, giving him the Stagger token and throwing him away. He then throws Deadpool away from the Researcher to waste one his actions coming back into range. Deadpool shoots Hulk to minimal effect. Storm zaps Crystal a couple of times, giving her Shock but not actually damaging her; she does manage to take back that left Portal for me. Mystique gently tickles Lockjaw, Black Bolt takes the Portal on Liam’s side of the board but Crystal is as effective into Storm as the other way round (i.e. not at all) and fails to flip the Portal back. Beast flips over Hulk to daze Lockjaw, then throws Deadpool further away from the action. Over on the right, Domino shoots Medusa a couple of times and takes that Portal again for me, so Medusa dazes her and takes it right back again. The score moves to 7 – 4 in my favour and I move the Researcher onto the Evac Point.

Round 3: Domino starts us out by dazing Medusa and taking the right Portal back to me yet again; she gets teleported backwards in the process. Crystal Dazes Storm but rolls terribly to retake that Portal and I get to move her right so she’s in range for Mystique to attack. Hulk dazes Black Bolt and throws poor Deadpool even further from the action; the latter continues to fire back without much effect. Beast pushes Lockjaw away from the Researcher so the Good Boy takes the right Portal back from Domino. Mystique puts a couple of ineffective shots into Crystal then moves to flip Liam’s home Portal. Now that the Researcher is safely on my Evac Point, the score moves to 14 – 5 to me.

Round 4: The game seems pretty comfortably in my favour now but there is still plenty of fun to be had. Black Bolt lines up his cool Whisper attack on Beast and Mystique but some fairly uninspiring dice from Liam means that neither of them get dazed. He does flip back his home Portal though, so that’s helpful. Domino KOs Lockjaw and drops Medusa to a single hit point with some fairly spicy rolls and good use of her superpowers; Medusa is having none of this and KOs her right back. Storm finally gets her act together and dazes Crystal. Deadpool comes into the scrum and spreads some damage around with Maximum Effort but it’s too late. As the game is done I don’t bother using Hulk, Beast or Mystique to try to pick off Black Bolt, Deadpool or both as it seems rather needless. The final score is 20 – 7 to me.

That was a very fun game. Of course, it’s always nice to start with a win but more importantly Liam was a lovely opponent and we were keeping up the cinematic commentary as the game went along. It turned out that Liam is quite new to MCP so hopefully he learned from that game and will carry on his good attitude. From my side of the board Storm’s actual output continued to disappoint; that four dice builder just seems to roll low so often. On the other hand she’s only 3 threat and her leadership ability is really good so it’s not like I’m not going to play her.

Game 2 – Scott playing Midnight Sons

This time I got to play Scott; a real pleasure as I’ve known him and (I’m pretty sure) played a few games with him back when we were both regulars at Malifaux tournaments. He had a combined Midnight Sons and Convocation list but opted to play the former based on the Secure that was flipped. Scott won priority and picked Extracts.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Scott’s team: Blade, Moon Knight, Black Cat, Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Winter Soldier
Scott’s cards: Siege of Darkness, Trip Up, Mission Objective, Advanced R&D, Patch Up

That team from the previous round seemed quite effective so I decided to just use it again. The time Storm was assigned to the right to deal with that massive building by just flying over it; Domino and Mystique got the left together as the building there was going to make positioning a bit tricky for anyone who wasn’t a Wall Crawler or could Fly. My hope was that Scott would send a hero to the centre to collect that book and I could then use Hulk to beat them senseless.

Round 1: I play First Class, of course. Moon Knight and Storm claim the back left and near right Traps; the former also moves toward the centre. Domino takes the opportunity to put a few bullets into Moon Knight but fails to claim the near left Trap marker so Mystique has to do that. Blade takes the back Book and positions cautiously and Black Cat moves to pick up the central one. Hulk flips off Beast and Gamma Leaps to be close to both Black Cat and Moon Knight, then exceeds my wildest expectations by dazing both (and collecting Black Cat’s Book in the process). Over on the right Winter Soldier takes the final Trap and Beast picks up the last Book. The score is 4 – 3 to me.

Round 2: Moon Knight pokes Hulk and moves toward Storm but does little to her. Hulk KOs Black Cat and Staggers Doctor Strange, also throwing the latter into Blade. Doctor Strange clears the Stagger and pays to Scalpel himself next to Hulk and uses Shining Circle of Seraphim to heal a bit (though due to the way that Stagger works, this wasn’t also able to clear Stagger as Scott had planned). Beast hurts Winter Soldier and Doctor Strange again, flipping the back right Trap, so Winter Soldier pushes him off and flips it right back. Storm continues her run of poor attacks, failing to damage Winter Soldier at all (though she does at least stick Shock on him). Mystique takes the back left Trap but doesn’t manage to hurt Blade who then dazes her and takes it back. We continue to score the same; 8 – 6 to me now.

Round 3: Scott plays Siege of Darkness; Blade stabs Mystique and Mon Knight hits Storm. Doctor Strange then dazes Beast, picks up his Book and retreats behind the big building at the back left. I’m honestly a bit perplexed here as it would be a great way to eke out the last couple of points and claim a win but the game is nowhere near ending and anyway I’m in the lead. Perhaps Scott just didn’t want Hulk to hit Strange again. Instead, Hulk dazes Winter Soldier, KOs Moon Knight and flips the back right Trap to my side. Blade KOs Mystique and takes the near left Trap; Domino leaves him on a single health. Storm uses Field Dressing on Beast who flips the back left Trap and then immediately dazes again due to Bleed. The score is now 12 – 9 in favour of the X-Men.

Round 4: Blade dazes Domino and flips the back left Trap again. Hulk KOs Winter Soldier then Doctor Strange comes back into the fray and zaps Storm a little. Beast throws Blade into the building to get rid of his last hit point and then flips both Traps on that side. The final score in 18 – 10 to the X-Men.

I enjoyed that game, and it was especially lovely to play against Scott after all this time. Scott’s dice weren’t great in the first couple of rounds (especially defending against Hulk’s attacks on Black Cat and Moon Knight in round 1) and I think that frustrated him a bit. The game ended up being very dynamic as heroes, particularly Blade, scurried back and forth trying to claim the Traps. From my side, I was aiming to use Hulk to get an attrition advantage and it paid off when Black Cat went down early in round 2.

Game 3 – Stu playing Defenders

One of the other games was a draw so this ends up very neatly with only Stu and my on 2 – 0 so we’re playing for the tournament here. Unfortunately Stu has another engagement that means he’ll have to leave partway into the round. He offers to play as much of the game as we can, then we agree that we can try to assess the likely winner at that point based on the board situation; he also very kindly offers to favour me if it’s looking even as it’s his appointment that will cut the game short. I don’t want to win based on a biased judgment call so hopefully we can end up with one side clearly ahead when we have to stop playing. Stu was an absolute gentleman about all this; there was no drama and we (and the TO) were both fully in agreement about how to proceed. Stu wins priority and chooses Extracts.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Stu’s team: Doctor Strange with the Soul Gem, Valkyrie, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Shuri
Stu’s cards: Brace For Impact, Heroes For Hire, Patch Up, Pentagram of Farallah, Seven Suns of Cinnibus

We somehow end up with the exact same combination of Extraction and Secure cards as my last game. Since it worked out fine last time, I decide to stick with 18 threat and use the same team. There isn’t so much terrain for Storm to worry about so I put her on the left; that turns out to be a bit hairy as Stu stacks that side; on the other hand I guess it means that Domino and Mystique can try to deal with Luke Cage on the right before swinging toward the centre.

Round 1: As always, I start out by playing First Class. Shuri takes her home Book and moves toward the middle. Storm, Cage and Domino all take their Traps but I get a bit too aggressive with Storm’s placement and she ends up in walk + Charge range of Valkyrie. I’m a bit lucky on defence and she takes little damage but that was a definite unforced error. Mystique takes the central Book and uses Deception to lure Shuri into Hulk range. Doctor Strange flips the final (back left) Trap. Hulk flips off Beast’s base and Gamma Leaps up to daze Shuri and take her Book while Beast picks up the last one. The score is 5 – 2 to the X-Men.

Round 2: Doctor Strange zaps Beast then plays Seven Suns of Cinnibus to unleash a tasty beam attack which dazes Beast and hurts Hulk; he also picks up the Book dropped by Beast. Hulk knocks Shuri down to a single hit point and Staggers Valkyrie leaving her also on a single hit point and a throw also leave Iron Fist on a single hit point which is a little awkward. Iron Fist kicks the absolute hell out of Hulk, leaving the big green chap on just four health remaining. Storm throws Valkyrie at Iron Fist and Stu uses Brace For Impact, after two attacks she does at least manage to push through the remaining single point of damage to daze Valkyrie. Luke Cage marches up and punch Domino, paying the power to also apply Hex. Mystique guns down Shuri to finish her off and then flips the back right Trap. Finally, Domino clears Hex and shoots half of Cage’s wounds off him. The score moves to 9 – 4 in my favour.

At this point, Stu has to pack up and leave. We briefly discuss the probable outcome of the game. On the right, Cage may daze Domino if he gets to go before her but will probably eventually fall to her and Mystique; I’ve also got both Traps on that side nicely under control. Over on the left, I’ll probably lose either Hulk or Beast to whoever activates first but it’s not likely that they both go down; whichever is left can then throw Iron Fist around to daze him and probably drop Valkyrie. In the end, Stu decides that it’s likely that I hold on to my substantial points lead for the eventual win and so that gets recorded.

Despite the very speedy turns we took and having to cut the actual game short, I really enjoyed that. Stu was an absolutely terrific chap to play with and I hope to get the chance to do so again. He’s clearly very talented at the game and apparently has only recently started playing so he’ll clearly be a force to be reckoned with. My plan was going quite nicely, taking Shuri out early for an attrition advantage but Iron Fist’s dice absolutely exploded on Hulk and that made everything a bit more worrying! Stu is the only person so far just to focus fire on Hulk and perhaps that is the best approach to dealing with him.

So when the scores are added up, I’m the only player left on three wins so I get first place and a very nifty little trophy to take home with me. Allan finished in second place with two wins and a draw but Gareth has a bit more of a tough time including losing his last game to Allan; fortunately the only match drawn between those of us who travelled down together. Many thanks to Liam, Scott and Stu for three very fun games of MCP and of course thanks to JP for organising the whole thing. We’ll definitely be back for another event when schedules allow.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Not Quite Halloween Heist 16Oct2021

It’s been a long time since I was at any kind of wargaming tournament, but this weekend Gareth and I had the opportunity to join in a Marvel Crisis Protocol event put on by my good friend Allan at Common Ground Games in Stirling. The scene for this game, which is currently my favourite, is still growing locally but we got 10 players joining in which is more than enough for a fun time.

My roster is a combined Black Order and Web Warriors option. The idea is that I can switch between primarily control options with the Web Warriors or straight-up brawling with the Black Order as dictated by the crises chosen. I have competent (if not actually good) options at all threat levels from 14 to 20 but my preference is going to be either to force Gamma Waves at 15 and just beat people up with Thanos et al, or go wider at 18 threat under the leadership of Miles Morales Spider-Man (just Spider-Man from here on in for my teams as Peter Parker doesn’t feature at the moment).

[Characters]
– Black Cat: 3
– Corvus Glaive: 4
– Ghost-Spider: 3
– Infinity Gem: Mind: 1
– Infinity Gem: Reality: 1
– Nebula: 2
– Proxima Midnight: 3
– Spider-Man (Miles Morales): 3
– Thanos, the Mad Titan: 6
– Venom: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All Webbed Up
– Brace for Impact
– Execute
– Field Dressing
– Lethal Protector
– Mothership
– Uneasy Allies

[Extract Crises]
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership [C]: 17
– The Montesi Formula Found [E]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest [E]: 15
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18
– Portals Overrun City with Spider-People [D]: 18

Game 1 – Callum playing Avengers

I’m drawn against an old friend I know from playing Malifaux, Callum. Callum is new to Crisis Protocol but is always a good player of wargames and I will have to be on my toes if I’m going to beat him here. Callum wins Priority and opts to choose Secures.

Extraction: Infinity Formula Goes Missing!
Secure: The Montesi Formula Found
Threat: 17
My team: Thanos (Mind Gem), Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight, Nebula
My cards: Advanced R&D, Brace For Impact, Execute, Field Dressing, Mothership
Callum’s team: Captain America (Sam Wilson), Black Widow, Valkyrie, Warmachine, Baron Zemo, Winter Soldier
Callum’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Field Dressing, Mission Objective, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up

I just wanted to play a straightforward brawl here; I don’t think that my chosen team is especially good at this combination. My idea was to send Thanos up the middle to collect a book and then split either left or right depending on how well Corvus and Proxima were doing on the left, while Nebula did annoying Nebula things on the right. Callum’s team is pretty well set here to collect some books and play keep-away with their greater numbers while just picking up points from the Secures that I couldn’t stand on.

Round 1: Captain America moves to take the central book and Nebula takes a random pot shot at him; this turns out to roll like crazy and drop four points of damage onto the poor hero. Black Widow picks up a second book and the uses Avengers Assemble to try to get Captain America back to safety. I scent blood here so after Thanos picks up a book he rolls into the centre and Mind Gems Sam back into the middle. Annoyingly Proxima fails to put the last damage point on him with a thrown spear but it works out fair as Valkyrie has similar luck with a speculative move and charge into Thanos. Everyone else just saunters onto scoring positions. The score is 5 – 2 to Callum.

Round 2: Proxima dazes Sam who uses Mission Objective to hand his book to Valkyrie. A clever play, but Proxima and Corvus daze her too and Corvus one-shots Warmachine for good measure with a little help from Thanos in the form of Death’s Decree. In a bit of a misplay from me, I make the book drop into a place where the lamp post stops Corvus from picking it up and scoring the Secure on Callum’s side so it’ll just sit there for a turn; still, I guess I can’t complain about the way the dice fell there. Over on the other side, Zemo leaves Nebula on a single hit point but then she doesn’t deal with him in one go (I guess we can’t all be Corvus Glaive!) and Zemo finishes the job with a Counter Strike. Thanos Portals Proxima onto my left Extraction point since she was a bit shy of scoring it after she was done with Sam and Valkyrie though this does require the use of my Advanced R&D card. He then walks to my right Extraction point and Mind Gems Zemo out of the way. The score moves 7 – 6 in Callum’s favour.

Round 3: Proxima hurts both Warmachine and Valkyrie, then Corvus KOs both Captain America and Warmachine; only Odin’s Blessing saves Valkyrie from the same fate. Valkyrie throws everything she has at Corvus but in the end he stands on one hit point. Winter Soldier takes one look at Thanos and high-tails it across the board to stand on the back left Infinity Formula; Thanos dazes Black Widow and Nebula dazes Zemo. The score is now 12 – 8 to me, though the swathe I’m cutting through Callum’s team means that he now has Priority.

Round 4: Valkyrie doesn’t make a mess this time, dazing Corvus and throwing Proxima off her point. Proxima gets back in place with a spear throw that KOs Valkyrie and uses Field Dressing to get Corvus running again; not surprisingly considering how my dice have been this game, he easily dazes Winter Soldier. Zemo applies a lot of damage to Thanos who embarrassingly fails to finish off Black Widow before dazing from Bleed damage. Black Widow puts Stagger on Nebula but the latter only needs one action to KO Nat. The game finishes 17 – 8 to me.

That was a very fun game, but I was helped both by Callum’s inexperience and my hot dice whenever Corvus was rolling. I’m not sure that Montesi Formula is particularly good here for me and I’m thinking about swapping it out; I think that Black Order probably want Secures in the middle to force victims to brawl with them, rather than Extractions where the other team can pick up the goodies and run away. Demons Downtown is pretty appealing in terms of objective placement but I’m not sure I want my elite crew to be easier to drop with all the Incinerate there; maybe having Incinerate on the other team is overall a benefit if my game plan is primarily to stay in the game on objectives and win by KOing stuff and scoring for doing it with Thanos’s leadership.

Game 2 – Adam playing Web Warriors

This time I’m drawn with Adam, a nice chap I’ve played against in a recent Crisis Protocol open play day. I consider him to be a strong player who know how to focus on winning the game rather than being distracted by brawling so I need to make sure that I have a plan to keep on top of the scoring. Adam wins Priority and decides to choose Extraction.

Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Threat: 18
My team: Spider-Man, Ghost-Spider, Venom, Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight
My cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Execute, Lethal Protector
Adam’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales; leader), Ghost-Spider, Black Cat, Amazing Spider-Man, Medusa
Adam’s cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Medpack, Spider-Tracker

I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that Adam selected 18 threat here (17 was also available) as we’d played a match-up previously with similar rosters and he noted that 18 threat was a bit awkward for him; presumably he’d tweaked things in the interim to cover that weakness. I need to go wide here as I can’t just allow the Spider-Infected to be left lying around and each hero can only carry one at a time, so that indicates Web-Warriors. I like this particular team at 18 threat and have played it several times so it has the advantage of being comfortable and familiar. The particular layout will allow me to gain priority by moving with Corvus to collect a Spider-Infected, flip a Portal (which he’s amazing at, thanks to the Reality Gem) and still be in range to chain activate Proxima. I will also note that we’re playing a Web Warriors mirror match using a Spider-related Secure and Extraction; how thematic could we get?

Round 1: To no-one’s surprise, Amazing Spider-Man races out to pick-up the center Spider-Infected and then moves back to safety. Black Cat uses Advanced R&D to give him her power so that he can also flip the nearby Portal. I use Corvus on the left to collect the nearby Spider-Infected and flip the left Portal before using the Husband and Wife combo to activate Proxima who flips the central Portal. Adam hesitates over on the right and this allows me to send in Ghost-Spider to stand next to the Portal there having picked up a Spider-Infected on the way. My Spider-Man eventually flips the Portal over there, getting placed forward by it, and I back him up with Venom; meanwhile Adam’s team seem a bit unsure and don’t commit at all on that side. The score is 5 – 4 to me, then both Corvus and Amazing Spider-Man get moved away from the action by their Spider-Infected while Adam’s Ghost-Spider is moved towards my team.

Round 2: Venom helpfully dazes Medusa, so that is one thing out of my hair. Adam’s Spider-Miles takes my home Portal so my Ghost-Spider takes his. Black Cat attacks Ghost-Spider rather too effectively for my liking which gains her the power to steal her Spider-Infected before running to the right Portal and failing to flip it thanks to Venom’s hulking presence. Adam’s Ghost-Spider and Proxima take our respective home Portals back over and the latter also pokes Spider-Miles a bit; Adam then cleverly uses the Spider-Tracker card to move Miles to safety when Corvus comes after him scenting blood. Amazing Spider-Man decides that scoring points is more useful that punching a few of my heroes and heads out on his own to the left and flips my Portal over. The score evens up nicely at 9 – 9; Corvus gets pushed around again by his Spider-Infected.

Round 3: Venom continues his good run by KOing Medusa even after she uses Brace For Impact to avoid an ambulance being thown at her; it doesn’t help me with points but it’s a huge relief not to have her messing up all my plans by pushing my heroes out of position. Adam’s Ghost-Spider dazes mine and uses Medpack on Black Cat and pushes my Spider Man back. He gets revenge by dazing Black Cat anyway, picking up her Spider-Infected, then hitting Ghost-Spider with Venom Blast to make her drop her own Spider-Infected. It doesn’t lie there for long as Adam’s Spider-Miles rushes over to pick it up before Corvus comes over and dazes him to drop it again. Amazing Spider Man puts some damage onto Proxima but doesn’t have enough power to web swing to my Portal and also flip it. Proxima walks to the Spider-Infected that’s just lying on the ground, uses her spear throw to daze Ghost-Spider and place near the newly uncontested Portal on Adam’s side of the board and flips it to me. The game ends at 16 – 10 to me.

Wow, what a great game. The sheer mobility of both teams just meant that none of the Secures were ever safe from a cheeky switch and any Spider-Infected on the ground would be snapped up in the next activation. I had to be very careful with Venom and Medusa as they both counter each other very effectively; here I was able to use Corvus and Proxima to guarantee turn 2 priority to make sure that Venom got the drop on Medusa and I was lucky enough that I got to put her down both times.

Game 3 – Grant playing Avengers

For my final game I’m drawn against Grant, a new face to me. I really like the way that these tournaments match me up with new and old friends and I hope to get many more games with Grant. He’s also on two wins here so clearly no pushover. This time I win priority and choose secures; I was hoping to force a 15 threat Gamma Portals but it gets discarded.

Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Threat: 18
My team: Spider-Man, Ghost-Spider, Venom, Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight
My cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Execute, Lethal Protector
Grant’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Deadpool, Baron Zemo, Hawkeye, Amazing Spider-Man
Grant’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Brace For Impact, Disarm, Escort To Safety, Eyes On The Prize

I picked 18 threat here pretty much purely to play this team again as I felt happy that it could do what I needed here; pick up a bunch of Cubes and then run around with the fast elements and pick off unattended Secures. I made a mistake during set-up by putting down Venom early which let Grant counter-deploy Hawkeye.

Round 1: Proxima takes the centre Cube, then Deadpool and Corvus take the ones nearest them; the latter also switches the right trap to me. I don’t need to chain activate this pair this time as I will already have Priority going into round 2. Zemo fails to roll any successes on his right trap so I zoom Ghost-Spider over there and take it myself. Spider-Man also fails to take my left Secure and so strolls forward, sadly I misplay here and put him too far forward so Hawkeye shoots him; no damage but does cause Shock which (spoiler alert!) will be annoyingly relevant for much of the game. Venom and Captain America take the Cubes on the left and finally Amazing Spider-Man punches Ghost-Spider a bit and fails to switch the trap over to me. The score is 5 – 3 in my favour and Amazing Spider-Man takes a bit of damage from the nearby trap.

Round 2: Ghost-Spider plays All Webbed Up to slow Amazing Spider-Man, Deadpool and Zemo, but it’s at this point that my dice just start to say ‘no’ as two attacks into Deadpool get me a single point of damage. Captain America and Hawkeye get Venom down to a single wound left; return attacks from him and Spider-Man achieve nothing except throwing Captain America backwards into the shipping container with Klyntar Rage. Corvus and Proxima both go into Zemo but can’t drop him; Zemo’s return attacks daze Corvus and he picks up the Cube while Deadpool dazes Ghost-Spider. Amazing Spider-Man plays Eyes On The Prize to take the Secure back, then dazes Proxima and takes the Secure on my side of the board too. The score moves to 10 – 7 in Grant’s favour.

Round 3: In the power phase, the Cube dazes Venom which is awkward timing. Well, at least I have Priority and Corvus and Proxima are all revved up. It doesn’t help much; Proxima does daze Deadpool (taking his cube) and flip the back right trap but Corvus just can’t take the needed two wounds off Amazing Spider-Man. Zemo KOs Ghost-Spider, but at least Amazing Spider-Man fails to repeat the performance of last turn and largely bounces off Corvus while failing to take back that trap. Over on the right, I try a desperation play to deal with Captain America and Hawkeye; Spider-Man Web Swings over and fails to damage on one attack, then gets the wild throw on the second which of course Grant sensibly uses Brace For Impact to ignore. In fairness, Captain America was able to use his Vibranium Shield and Bodyguard to great effect here so I would have to have been very lucky to do anything substantial to either of them with Spider-Man. He does at least pick up Venom’s dropped Cube before Captain America Shield Bashes him away and Hawkeye takes some shots to little effect. The turn ends 15 – 10 to Grant and Zemo suffers a damage from the trap in that corner.

Round 4: Well, I’m up against it now as I either need to stop Grant scoring at all or somehow ourscore him by six points, both of which seem a bit improbable. Helpfully both Captain America and Baron Zemo suffer the same fate as Venom did last time, taking their last point of damage and dazing in the power phase. Corvus and Proxima do team up to finally put down Amazing Spider-Man; the latter uses Spear Throw very effectively to cover the ground needed to swap the near right trap back to me and the former ends up holding both Cubes on that side of the board. On the left, Hawkeye picks up the cube that Captain America dropped and runs for the corner, even using Avengers Assemble to get further away from Spider-Man. Venom takes the back left trap for me and then Deadpool gets stuck into Corvus Glaive. After using a huge amount of the power he’d accumulated, Deadpool couldn’t quite put down Corvus who stands on a single wound but proudly still clutching both Cube fragments and also causing Deadpool to fail to switch back that trap. Finally, Miles Web Swings and walks toward Hawkeye who has just a single remaining wound but can’t drop him. This is super tight but when we add up the points I get the win 18 – 17.

That was as close and as fun a game as I’m ever going to get. I genuinely thought that I was out of it after Corvus and Proxima’s continued failure on the right during rounds 2 and 3 combined with the ease with which Zemo, Deadpool and Amazing Spider-Man were able to deal with me on that side. In the end I was able to make more of the board positioning due to my high mobility; on Grant’s side only Amazing Spider-Man and Baron Zemo were likely to push through to the Secures on my side and they were both on the same flank. This meant that Venom and Spider-Man could leave the near left Secure and ensure that their fight with Hawkeye and Captain America was always threatening the trap on Grant’s side of the board rather than mine. Grant was a very fun opponent and I look forward to getting more games in with him.

When the final scores were counted up, I was the overall winner with three wins. I had a great time and I’m already looking forward to the next event. Many thanks to Callum, Adam and Grant for three very fun games of Crisis Protocol, and of course especially thanks to Allan for running the whole thing. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with (some variation on) this roster for the next one; there are so many heroes that I’m keen to put on the tabletop it might be interesting to switch around for a while. In the meantime, here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Montesi Formula isn’t particularly useful for Black Order so I either need to make a plan to do that one with Web Warriors or swap it out.
  • I’ve been consistently terrible at remembering to use my Tactics Cards; I must make a concerted effort to use them in my games as it feels like a wasted resource at this point. I think I always ended up with at least two cards left over. I’m also not finding that I want to use Uneasy Allies so I might try to find something else to put in for that.
  • Web Warriors have a lot of pulls and pushes that I’m using as a second thought after attacking people with them. Perhaps I should aim to make that part of their game play be ‘plan A’ to starve the other team of power.
Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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

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

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

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

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

Convergence
[Theme] Strange Bedfellows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

Hurrah! Conflict Chamber is updated to include Azazello.

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

Retribution of Scyrah
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

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

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

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

Retribution
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

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

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

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

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

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

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

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

Convergence
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

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

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

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

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

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

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

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

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

Cygnar
[Theme] Gravediggers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

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

Last night’s adventure in Warmachine/Hordes was a new experience for me as I played someone on Wartable that (at least as far as I know) I’ve never met in real life. My opponent was Dave, who seems to be well known on the Scotland scene and also on Lormahordes as The Buoyancy of Water.

Game 28 – Recon II (scenario 6) vs Dave’s Legion of Everblight

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

I stuck with Jaga-Jaga for much the same reasons as last time, i.e. that I wasn’t sure how long the game might last and I didn’t think that I could get a Dr Arkadius Feat turn done in a reasonable amount of time on Wartable and without practice. I’ll save that for a game with Gareth sometime, as I think as he’s more patient with me.

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

Legion
[Theme] Primal Terrors

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

My experience playing against the Legion of Everblight is limited to probably a single game, way back in the distant past when we could meet people face to face and play with our toys together. I assume that the plan is to set all my stuff on fire with the Archangel, then send in the Chosen to kill everything and tank any return attacks long enough for the second wave of Warbeasts to eat any survivors.

Dave wins the roll-off and picks the first turn. I take the bottom of map as the terrain looks slightly less annoying, though the fact that much of the terrain is clouds is not ideal against all the Eyeless Sight on the Legion side. I put both Void Archons on the right as I think that they’re the key to dealing with Chosen in a timely manner. This leads to Brine facing off against the Archangel on the left which is a problem since the only cover over there is a cloud… which the Archangel ignores. I put some Valkyries and a Dhunian Archon out there to protect him a bit and hope for the best.

Turn 1: Legion of Everblight
Kallus puts up Burning Path and everything races up at me.

Turn 1: Minions
Gosh, that’s a scary amount of scary stuff, a scary distance up the board already. My moves are very cautious as I don’t want to give up too many first turn charges, though there is nothing that I can do to stop Overrun going on the Archangel and having it fire Golab or the Neraph into me. The Void Archons spray down a pair of Hellmouth Tentacles on the right. Rorsh casts Pig Pen (I dream of a day when that actually becomes relevant), Jaga-Jaga puts up Battle Host and casts Grave Wind on the nearer Void Archon.

Turn 2: Legion of Everblight
Kallus upkeeps Burning Path. The Archangel kills a Valkyrie and sets another one plus Brine on fire. To my great surprise, almost everything else just backs off with the exception of a few thngs to contest scenario elements. Kallus does arc a Brand of Fire through a hapless Spell Martyr to set Jaga-Jaga, both Swamp Horrors and the Soul Slave on fire.

Turn 2: Minions
I can score my own flag without too much pain and it won’t be hard to contest the other one; scoring the zones seems unlikely though. Otherwise my main plan is to deliver a Void Archon and one Swamp Horror to do as much damage to the Chosen as I can and hope to pin Dave’s forces back a little while dealing with them. The fires do surprisingly little and the right Swamp Horror gets Eyeless Sight from my Objective; the Wrastler puts Rage on it. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells, shuffles a bit and casts Signs and Portents. On the right, one Void Archon tucks in behind a wall and knocks a few boxes off the lead Chosen, then the other one goes in and Void Walks to maximise the positioning of Entropic Force. The fully-loaded Swamp Horror kills three of the Chosen and hurts the Objective. The Valkyries on the left take a few pot shots and contest the flag. My big mistake here is dithering too much with Brine. I didn’t want to throw him into the screens too early but in the end I did nothing at all with him; at the very least I could have had him eat a couple of tentacles or something as he was never going to stay far enough from the Archangel to be safe. I score my flag with a Dhunian Archon; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Legion of Everblight
Kallus upkeeps Burning Path again, puts Overrun onto Golab, Battle Lust on the Rotwings and then Feats, moving to the left a little. Tentacles spawn around the place; one kills a Valkyrie on the left but on the right they miss both the Void Archon and the Chef. The Neraph boosts a charge attack which kills the Void Archon despite Grave Wind and the remaining Chosen go into the Swamp Horror and Valkyries to pleasingly little effect. The Rotwings swarm all over the burning Swamp Horror and make short work of it – hilarious dice sees it die to the second attack. On the left, Golab charges the burning Valkyrie and kills her on its second initial (I cancelled the first hit with the Dhunian Archon) and hurts Brine; the Archangel charges in to finish the job. The last Spell Martyr sits on the flag to score it; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
I think that it’s probably possible to clear both zones here if I get a little lucky which would give me a nice scenario lead and a local attrition advantage on the right, which would be just as well as I’m rapidly running out of anything to work with on the left. The Valkyries on the left take Vengeance attacks on Golab and helpfully land the critical knock down on the very first attack which rather changes the game. Jaga-Jaga shuffles a bit and recasts Sign and Portents. The Valkyries then go again and take Golab down to two boxes. Rorsh finishes it off with a Pig Iron, detonates the right Tentacle and a pair of Rotwings with dynamite but then fails to break armour on the last contesting Tentacle. Good work Mr Pig, but unfortunately I don’t have any further attacks to deal with it; the Dhunian Archon is a bit too far away and anyway has to run to contest the flag. The Void Archon charges a Tentacle and then Void Walks to kill the Hellmouth with boosted damage attacks thanks to the glut of souls it is carrying around. The Valkyries clear the zone and the Swamp Horror Overtakes its way through some Rotwings to score it. I get the right zone and the flag; 3 – 1 to me.

Turn 4: Legion of Everblight
Burning Path gets dropped. The Hellmouth pulls in the Dhunian Archon and hurts her but the tentacle helpfully misses Rorsh. The Mechanoshredder puts its Animus on the Neraph which adds a second Void Archon scalp to its collection; slightly to my surprise it sprints back rather than putting more pressure on me. The Forsaken runs up to contest instead. Kallus kills the Dhunian Archon (I have to admit that I was hoping for a bit of Tough / no knock down shenanigans here but it was not to be) then puts Battle Lust back on the Rotwinds. The Archangel aims, puts up its Animus and shoots at Rorsh. The first one gets taken on a Valkyrie (which dies) but Rorsh does survive, albeit on fire. The few surviving Rotwings again roll like heroes to nearly polish off the Swamp Horror but it lives with a few boxes remaining in Body. Dave scores the flag on the left; 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 4: Minions
I’m losing too much on the left to have any chance of dealing with the Archangel before it guns down Jaga-Jaga so I need to finish this. I can’t pick up enough points to close out a scenario win (possibly I could have managed it if I’d got the left zone in my last turn) so it’s time for assassination. The Valkyrie survives the fire but Rorsh needs a successful Tough roll to stay in the game. The Valkyrie sidles round into Kallus’s back arc but misses her attacks entirely, never mind the cheeky knock down that I was hoping for. In the process of doing this I also realise that I’ve moved her out of the zone so that removes any chance of holding on for a scenario play. Jaga-Jaga heals the crippled Swamp Horror, casts Signs and Portents and kills a blocking Rotwing with her snake. The Valkyries clear the rest of the Rotwings to free up the Swamp Horror. It charges the Objective, kills it and Overtakes into the Tentacle (with its tentacles, fittingly), kills it and Overtakes into the Spell Martyr, kills him and Overtakes into tentacle range of Kallus. I need a Signs and Portents 7 to land this… and make it. Kallus is dragged, probably kicking with his spare legs and screaming, into charge range of the Wrastler. Rorsh stands up and unloads his guns into Kallus. The Blackhide Wrastler doesn’t need a second invitation and kills Kallus through his transfers. Minions win by assassination.

That was a very fun game, many thanks to Dave for being a lovely opponent. I felt that this was quite a fortunate end to the game from my perspective in the sense that I probably couldn’t have held on for another turn before my attrition disadvantage became completely insurmountable. Still, it was a nice contrast to my previous game – there I was winning nicely and lost to assassination and here it went the other way round.

Things I learned:

  • Not so much a ‘thing I learned’ but rather something that I want to point out. I’ve heard Jaga-Jaga described as quite a boring Warlock in the sense that she mainly just hangs around casting Signs and Portent every turn, and that is true. But the flip side of this is that Signs and Portents just smooths out the probability curves such that things simply work more often; for example on the assassination at the end here I had to hit lots of targets needing 6s or 7s, and most of the time I’d probably want to boost. But under Signs and Portents I have a much lower risk of missing those, which means that when I do need to boost I can really make it count. Also the combination of Ghost Walk, Overtake and Pull enables some truly hilarious plays, though of course the first wasn’t really needed in this case.
  • My use of Brine was very poor here. I should have recognised that the Archangel was going to be able to drop him in turn 3 unless I pulled him right back to the point of uselessness. Instead of standing around in a cloud I should have fired him off into the cloud of Rotwings and just Overtaken through as many as I could.
  • I’m still not precise enough with my positioning of Valkyries. I often needed them to Shield Guard something only to find that I’d left them 3.1” away from it.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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

Frazer and I got together virtually to play Warmachine / Hordes (or, more accurately, just Hordes) via Wartable. Frazer is going back to Trollbloods, apparently his main faction throughout MK2, which everyone seemed to find quite exciting.

Game 27 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Frazer’s Trollbloods

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

This is the same Jaga-Jaga list I’ve been playing separately. I theorise that Dr Arkadius would be a better option into Trollbloods but I’m way out of practice with him and didn’t fancy putting Frazer through the tedium of watching my Feat turn take about an hour.

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

Trollbloods
[Theme] Band of Heroes

[Ragnor 1] Ragnor Skysplitter, the Runemaster [+30]
– Dire Troll Bomber [17]
– Dire Troll Brawler [16]
– Pyre Troll [8]
– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]
Trollkin Champion Hero [0(5)]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max) [9]
– Stone Scribe Elder [3]
Trollkin Champions (max) [16]
– Skaldi Bonehammer [0(5)]
Trollkin Fennblades (max) [15]
– Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer [5]
Trollkin Warders (min) [10]
Plus or minus a couple of points for CID changes, plus Boomhowler3. None of this is live in Conflict Chamber yet.

Frazer is using some of the final CID rules so I guess that they are still subject to change before release. My knowledge of Trollbloods is no more than cursory anyway so I’m not likely to get tripped up on a minor rules change now. The Band Of Heroes theme benefit cancelling my Dhunian Archons’ Mother’s Embrace ability will be quite annoying.
Frazer wins the roll-off and eventually opts to take the first turn. I give him the bottom side where he can hopefully feel safe hiding behind a house that I can eventually Ghost Walk something through to kill Ragnor. My battlegroup goes centrally with the idea that I can try to take that zone; I’m looking to clear on the right with the Void Archon and Rorsh. On the left I just want to contest in a fairly cursory manner by running the Swamp Gobber Chef around that house while the Benny Hill theme plays in the background.

Turn 1: Trollbloods
Ragnor casts Chosen Ground and puts Pulveriser on the Fennblades, then moves through the corrosion pool. The Krielstone choses Combat Warding to avoid any awkwardness with the Corrosion. The Runebearer casts Earth’s Sanctuary on the Krielstone, though I’m not sure what Frazer thought I was going to do to get to it at this range. Everything else runs full-tilt at me.

Turn 1: Minions
I do my usual turn 1 stuff; Pig Pen on Rorsh, Battle Host on Jaga-Jaga and Grave Wind on the left Void Archon. I run up as far as I can, though I do make sure to keep everything out of charge range.

Turn 2: Trollbloods
Ragnor upkeeps Chosen Ground and Pulvreiser. The Bomber chips away at the Dhunian Archon on the right. Ragnor uses his Feat and digs in. The Fennblades, not having anyone to charge, flood the right zone and jam where they can. Boomhowler gives the Bomber Hoof It so it can retreat behind a carpet of Fennblades.

Turn 2: Minions
With good dice I could possibly take out the Champion Hero and score the left zone but I think that my main objective here is to stay in the game while I ride out Ragnor’s Feat and not give too much away in Frazer’s next turn. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells and casts Signs and Portents. On the right, the combination of the Valkyries, Dhunian Archon (who removes Pulveriser too) and Void Archon pick off a good number of Fennblades; one Valkyrie gets a fortunate critical knockdown on Boomhowler to make Frazer rather sad. Rorsh guns down a couple more. The left Void Archon gets Ghost Walk from the Soul Slave then misses both attacks into the Champion Hero (5s to hit under Signs and Portents turns out to be surprisingly hard) then sprays a couple of members of the Krielstone unit to Void Walk into the most annoying place I can find in Frazer’s backfield. I still expect to lose it but hopefully it’ll be enough of a distraction that I can buy myself some more time to handle the Champions. Speaking of the Champions, one Swamp Horror gets Rage from the Wrastler and between the two Horrors and the Valkyries I manage to polish off a couple of Champions and spread out some damage across the rest of the unit. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Trollbloods
Ragnor upkeeps Chosen Ground and Vengeance achieves nothing. Skaldi gets Eyeless Sight from the Objective. Boomhowler sighs, stands up and misses a Valkyrie then uses Shout Down on the right-most Valkyries. The Krielstone uses Stone Strength and the Runebearer puts Harmonious Exaltation on Ragnor. The Champion Hero takes a swing at the Valkyrie engaging a Champion so I stop it with the Dhunian Archon. The Pyre Troll puts Flaming Fists on the Brawler then misses the Void Archon and gets pushed away; Ragnor puts Flaming Fists on a couple of Champions and Pulveriser on the unit. They charge forwards (spreading out a nice free-strike from the Valkyrie across Sanguine Bond) and drop the Dhunian Archon and one of the Swamp Horrors, leaving the other on 5 boxes. The Brawler makes short works of the Void Archon on the left. On the right, the Fennblades use their mini-feat and charge in with the Warders but only end up dropping a single Valkyrie. The Bomber Toughs the Dhunian Archon. Again, neither of us score.

Turn 3: Minions
I think that I can score the left zone (just need to drop the Champion Hero) and the centre zone since I need to pick off all the Champs anyway and I reckon that I can get something into the Objective with judicious use of Ghost Walk. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps Battle Host for free, heals the crippled aspect of the Swamp Horror and casts Signs and Portents. Apparently the Wrastler doesn’t get the message, missing all three initials into the Champs and finally filling up on Fury to eat them all apart from Skaldi. The Valkyries on the left get stuck into the Champion Hero, forcing a tough roll which he passes. Rorsh comes across and boosts two Pig Iron shots into him, both resulting in passed tough rolls. He also lands some dynamite on Skaldi which causes another successful tough roll; at least he doesn’thave Steady. On the right the Valkyries, Dhunian Archon and Void Archon take out all the Fennblades except the Drummer, two Warders and Boomhowler. The only downside is that I needed some awkward positioning from the Void Archon that leaves its back very exposed. The Soul Slave casts Ghost Walk on the Swamp Horror which strolls through the building and eats Skaldi, two members of the Krielstone unit and the Objective; I love Overtake. I score for the central zone and the Objective; 2 – 0 to me.

Turn 4: Trollbloods
The Bomber helpfully Frenzies into the last Warder, killing him. The Rune Bearer Hex Blasts the Swamp Horror and the Pyre Troll charges over and kills it. Ragnor charges my Void Archon in the back and one-shots it, then fires a Shockwave into the Valkyries, killing one of them. Neither of us score.

Turn 4: Minions
I’m still trying to deal with that Champion Hero since his death will let me score the left zone. I can clear the central zone but it will probably cost me the Wrastler next turn. Over on the right I have the choice of getting Brine onto the Bomber or Ragnor. Vengeance attacks on the Champion hero result in another pair of passed Tough rolls and the loss of another Valkyrie to Retaliatory Strike. Jaga Jaga upkeeps Battle Host again, casts Signs and Portents plus Rage onto Brine then shuffles into the central zone. Rorsh clears the blocking models from Brine, who receives Ghost Walk from the Soul Slave and goes into Ragnor. Even under Signs and Portents he misses his boosted charge attack, and both initials into the last Krielstone Bearer. A boosted final attack does some damage to Ragnor which of course is transferred. On the left, the last Valkyrie sidles into the Champion Hero’s back arc and causes another two passed Tough rolls. Getting desperate now I charge the Chef into the big chap’s back and finally kill him off. Now we know how he became a Hero in the first place – remarkable toughness. In the centre I dither over committing the Wrastler and eventually decide that it’s worth it for another point. Another round of poor rolling (charging bite in the back under Signs and Portent? Miss!) sees the Pyre Troll and Runebearer both dead but the Wrastler is maxed out on Fury again. I do score the left and centre zones, 4 – 0.

Turn 5: Trollbloods
I’m well up on scenario and I can probably hold it for long enough to grind out what’s left of my attrition and advantage so Frazer goes for the assassination. The Brawler uses Beat Back to push Brine off Ragnor, and he charges into the Wrastler. This gives range to land a pair of Shockwaves on the Objective to knock down Jaga-Jaga and do a bit of damage with boosted blast rolls. The Bomber then saunters away from the Dhunian Archon and kills Jaga-Jaga to the box with the first bomb. Minions lose by assassination.

That was a very fun game, as all my games with Frazer have been. I feel a little bit disappointed to have let a good position slip away at the end but Frazer played his pieces well and I made a couple of poor choices in turn 4 that cost me the game. In some ways, this is what I love about WarmaHordes – that you can be down in the game but turn it around with a good assassination – even if I will admit that I prefer it to be the other way round (i.e. that I play the last-gasp assassination rather than being its victim)!

Things I learned:

  • First and most obviously, I got sloppy with positioning Jaga-Jaga in turn 4. I could have tucked her in behind the building so that the Bomber couldn’t even see her, or I could have been just far enough away from the Objective (and Soul Slave) to avoid the Shockwave. Both options would have been even better.
  • Also in turn 4 I was too keen to send Brine into Ragnor. I still think that there was a possible kill on if the dice had been a bit kinder. But the better play would have been to finish off the Bomber instead, clearing the zone and letting me keep the Wrastler back far enough to bully the Brawler for another turn while I picked up points in the outside zones.
  • Void Archons are fantastic into Trollblood infantry and, although I did lose them both I felt that I lost them in ways that were still positive overall for me. On the left the Void Archon tied up both the Brawler and Pyre Troll for a turn and left out of position for another turn, while on the right the Entropic Force aura made it much easier for me to deal with a large number of the infantry models.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.