Posts Tagged With: Battle reports

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

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

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

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

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

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

Khador
[Theme] Legion of Steel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

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

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

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

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

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

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

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

[Cyrenia 1] High Exemplar Cyrenia [+28]
– Indictor [14]
– Sanctifier [14]
– Hierophant [3]
Avatar of Menoth [18]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (min) [9]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

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

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

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

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Khador (75 points); 26Jun2020

Last week was quite the busy week of Warmachine / Hordes. I finished up with a game against Allan who is one of the heroes organising tournaments in central Scotland… at least when there is no global pandemic.

Game 8 – Bunkers (scenario 2; but note that we removed the central flag as this seems to be intended for SR2020) vs Allan’s Khador

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-2acGmOoP54mUmj5wmj5wmHmT

Circle
[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Morvahna 2] Morvahna the Dawnshadow [+27]
– Storm Raptor [34]
Dhunian Archon [6]
Tharn Ravager Shaman [4]
Tharn Wolf Rider Champion [0(7)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Wolf Riders (max) [18]
Well of Orboros [10]

No change to my list; I feel like it is good enough and that the issue is really around my capabilities.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1S7b7p7p8fno8h8hoMpipinfnfnfnfnn

Khador
[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Zerkova 1] Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova [+28]
– Destroyer [14]
– Destroyer [14]
– War Dog [3]
Fenris [8]
Koldun Lord [0(4)]
Koldun Lord [0(4)]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Allan is actually playing Khador with Khador models (or at least, Khador sprites on Wartable). I think that the idea here is to deliver the Doom Reavers with a cloud wall, then get Zerkova’s Feat to more or less skip my turn and have them spend two activations carving up my stuff.

I get lucky again and win the roll-off which feels like it could be quite important with the long threat ranges of the Doom Reavers. I put the Wold Riders out on the right where they’re a bit more open for javelin-throwing. The Ravagers go up the middle and on my left, accompanied by the Dhunian Archon. Allan puts his Doom Reavers out in a line across his whole force and keep the rest tightly bunched in the centre.

Turn 1: Circle
To no-one’s surprise, I run up with my whole army. The Wolf Riders can get hilariously far with their run move. The Well gets a lucky scatter onto three Doom Reavers on the right but my luck balances out as I don’t break armour on two of them; it creates a Ravager Shaman to accompany the second unit. Morvahna puts out Carnivore onto the Ravagers and casts Fog of War.

Turn 1: Khador
Zerkova uses her cool magical toys and puts four clouds out; the Doom Reavers pace up behind them, being careful to stay out of walking threat from my Ravagers. One of the Destroyers gets revenge for my lucky shot with the Well by scattering a shot directly onto one of my Wolf Riders, killing her to the box. The Koldun Lords do various things to stop shooting.

Turn 2: Circle
Morvahna upkeeps Carnivore and drops Fog of War. The Well has a target rich environment so I deliberately shoot something out of range in the hope of getting better blast damage. I luck out spectactularly getting a couple of Doom Reavers but more importantly rolling like a champion to dismount Fenris. The Wolf Riders take out most of the right and unit of Doom Reavers. My Storm Raptor wastes a load of Fury and Morvahna’s hitpoints by repeatedly missing the Void Archon on the right. Finally, the Ravagers run to jam a bit and Morvahna recasts Fog of War.

Turn 2: Khador
The central Doom Reavers use Apparition for a better threat range. One unit of Doom Reavers gets hung up on the central jamming Ravager; I use the Dhunian Archon to make the last attack miss too. Fenris walks up and smashes the poor chap, taking out a pair of Doom Reavers in the process. Zerkova walks up and zaps a Ravager to turn him into an Arc Node; she kills another Ravager with channelled Frost Hammers and then uses her Feat. The left Void Archon vapourises half of my left unit of Ravagers including the Chieftain, leaving me wondering yet again how the Archons made it out of playtesting. The other one, along with the few remaining Doom Reavers on the right, kills a couple of Wolf Riders. The Thamarite Archon guns down a pair of Ravagers in the centre. We both score our zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Circle
Morvahna drops both her spells. One Ravager in the centre Vengeances forward and is torn apart by a counter-charge from the War Dog (Kommader Barkevich, the Iron Woof) so I guess I’m glad that I didn’t bother to upkeep Carnivore. I hatch a cunning plan to shoot Zerkova with the Storm Raptor until I realise that, surprisingly, being with 14” range of the its gun will also mean being within 14” of Zerkova and therefore not allowed to shoot due to her Feat. Thinking are hard. Instead Morvahna puts Carnivore on the slightly larger left unit of Ravagers, recasts Fog of War (I might as well have upkept this but I made a big error with my activation order) and bring back some Ravagers and Wolf Riders with her Feat. The Storm Raptor kills the Void Archon on the right at last, the Wolf Riders clear the Flag over there and the Champion sits on it to score. The Ravagers on the right get stuck into the Doom Reavers over there but Allan’s poor luck earlier with Tough rolls evens out and I end up only killing one of them. We both score our zones in addition to me getting the right Flag; 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 3: Khador
Nothing is Allocated. The Doom Reavers kils a few more Ravagers and both Koldun Lords casts their ‘no shooting’ spell, which is fittingly called Wind Ravager. The Dhunian Archon cancels the one spell from the Greylord Ternion that hits the surviving Chieftain; the Thamarite Archon guns him down instead. Fenris kills a Wolf Rider on the right and one of the Destroyers lumbers over to stop me scoring the Flag. The Void Archon and Doom Reavers on the left wipe out my Ravagers over there, though the Doom Reavers do helpfully thin their own numbers a little with Berserk attacks. The War Dog carries on its reign of terror by killing another Ravager and Zerkova kills the last one herself while heading back away from my few remaining pieces. We score our zones again; 4 – 3 to me.

Turn 4: Circle
Zerkova is standing in the open, and I have lost far too much to contemplate any kind of attrition play now, so it is definitely assassination time. The Dhunian Archon kills the nearer Koldun Lord, allowing the Well to shoot again. It drops the other Lord and a couple of fools standing near him at the wrong time. The Wolf Rider Champion fails to kill the War Dog, who is certainly earning her pay today. The Wolf Riders sneak into Zerkova’s back arc and throw javelins; I get lucky and hit twice which forces Zerkova to use her remaining Focus. Morvahna casts Skyfire and moves to within range of Zerkova, being careful to stay away from that counter-charging War Dog as it has done enough damage for the day. The Storm Raptor comes in and electrocutes Zerkova on the second shot. Circle win by assassination.

It was lovely to get a game of WarmaHordes with Allan; despite him being so involved with the community here I think I’ve only ever played him at Malifaux many years ago. If I’m being honest with myself, the game was Allan’s to lose at the end of his turn 3 as he had pretty much eliminated my forces and he just needed to move Zerkova to somewhere that I could have shot her. That said, I was pleased with the way that the assassination came together at the end, with all my remaining pieces having a role to play.

Things I learned:

  • Once again my positioning behind the front line was too clumped, allowing the teleport / dual shot / entropic force combination on the Void Archon to wreak havoc on the left.
  • The Wolf Riders are good for dealing with light foes but were outmatched when the Destroyer came over. In retrospect I should have been less worried about keeping them with the Fog of War / Scales of Fate aura and just sent them as deep as possible to kite Allan’s army from the rear.
  • Although the attrition ended up going against me quite badly, I did feel that Morvahna’s Feat bought me enough time to enable the Skyfire / Storm Raptor assassination. I was also pleased to play the Storm Raptor such that it contributed without getting destroyed (notwithstanding the poor run of dice shooting the Void Archon on turn 2).
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Khador (75 points); 25Jun2020

Last night’s game of Warmachine / Hordes was against Lewis, another local player that I’ve never previously faced. I had the impression that, despite his modest protestations to the contrary, he might be quite good at the game.

Game 7 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Lewis’s ‘Khador’

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-2acGmOoP54mUmj5wmj5wmHmT

Circle
[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Morvahna 2] Morvahna the Dawnshadow [+27]
– Storm Raptor [34]
Dhunian Archon [6]
Tharn Ravager Shaman [4]
Tharn Wolf Rider Champion [0(7)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Wolf Riders (max) [18]
Well of Orboros [10]

The exact same list as last time. I feel that this could do good work if I can just find the right balance between attrition and not getting assassinated.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1GbWlVjCjCoR3EoLoL3z3z2_2vdR

Khador
[Theme] Warriors of the Old Faith

[Vladimir 3] Vladimir Tzepesci, Great Prince of Umbrey [+27]
– Judicator [35]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon [0(6)]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Exemplar Vengers (max) [20]
Flame Bringers (min) [11]

I’m listing this as a Khador force since it has a Khador Warcaster, but due to rules oddities and cross-faction themes it could easily be part of a Protectorate pair. I’ve never played against Vlad3 before but I know that Hand of Fate on Judicators is a bad sign. Double Menite Archons is also likely to cause me a problem as they’re so hard to remove.
I win the roll-off and choose to go first. I put the Ravagers in the centre and right with the Wolf Riders and Storm Raptor on the left. The unit on the right can hopefully abuse that forest and I prefer the Wolf Riders to be the ones out in the open on the left so that I can worry about the cloud only with some Ravagers.

Turn 1: Circle
My first turn is the same as usual. Everything runs up about as far as possible; I stay out of melee threat range but there’s no point worrying about the Judicator as it can get just about anything with its guns. Morvahna casts Fog of War and puts Carnivore on the central unit of Ravagers. The Well magics a second Ravager Shaman into existence.

Turn 1: Khador
Vlad puts Hand of Fate on the Judicator (surprise!) and casts both Dash and Windwall. The Vassal and Choir power up the Judicator and it strolls forward. Despite me cancelling one damage roll with the Archon, the Judicator rolls like a champion, killing one of the Ravagers and knocking down two more.

Turn 2: Circle
Morvahna upkeeps Carnivore and drops Fog of War. The Storm Raptor uses its animus and zaps a couple of Vengers (granting various forms of Vengeance to just about every solo in Lewis’s army) and backs up to be mostly out of range of the Judicator. The Wolf Riders go in and hurt a couple more and jam lightly on the left. The Ravagers all rush up as deep as I dare. On the one hand, I don’t want to just get them all killed but on the other hand Lewis’s threat range is rather higher than mine so I feel like I need to try to get some board position and hope to pin the Khador army out of scenario.

Turn 2: Khador
Hand of Fate gets upkept and Vengeance attacks kill a Ravager in the centre. The support team power the Judicator up to maximum, then Vlad uses his Feat and casts Dash and Windwall again. The Champion on the right kills a Ravager and sprints away so that the Judicator has a landing spot. The Judicator stride forward and unleashes its firepower at the Storm Raptor, leaving it on a dozen or so boxes (I didn’t know that Flying High was among the many things ignored by spray attacks). The Archon on the left rushes in and kills my Archon, the Ravager Chieftain and a regular Ravager and applies Grievous Wounds to the Storm Raptor and the Champion on that side goes in too and leaves it on 6 boxes. The Vengers finish the job and take out a pair of Wolf Riders; Vilmon gets another. Back on the right, the other Archon does a lovely Thresher attack to finish the last member of my central Ravager unit and gets another and the Flamebringers kill one each. At the end of each activation the cavalry all make use of Dash, Parry and Sprint to get way back out of retaliation range. We both score our zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Circle
That hurt a lot more than expected. Vengeance attacks kill the only Flamebringer in range. The Wolf Riders kill most of the Vengers and the Champion gets one and repositions to the left flag. On the right the remaining Ravagers kill all the Flamebringers and put a few wounds on the Archon. The Well, a few Wolf Rider javelins and finally Morvahna kill the central Archon and dismount the Champion; Morvahna then Feats back three Wolf Riders and four Ravagers and repositions back to the zone and hopes for the best behind the cloud. The Ravager Shamans both sit on flags; the central one uses a re-roll from Morvahna to finish the dismounted Champion. I score all three flags and we both score our zones; 5 – 2 to me. But Morvahna is left on 1hp and no transfers.

Turn 3: Khador
The Judicator gets cleared off, walks up to within 10” of Morvahna and immolates her with its flamethrowers. Circle lose by assassination.

Many thanks to Lewis for being a great fun opponent. I wasn’t really prepared here for the sheer impact of Menite Archons – high melee impact models with Flight, Parry (from Vlad’s Feat), Thresher and Grievous Wounds are very bad for me. That said, I got too greedy with the Storm Raptor and could have done the same kind of damage in turn two from much further back simply by boosting damage instead of using the animus. Losing it for a couple of Vengers was not much help and once it went down I was pretty much out of the game.

Things I learned:

  • My positioning was poor here, allowing lots of spots for Menite Archon landing zones to remove swathes of my stuff at a time. They’re so hard to kill (for example, compared to light Warjacks of the same point cost) that unless I commit heavily into them then I will end up letting them do it again.
  • I still don’t have a plan to deal with a Judicator.
  • I have to work on the right balance of offense and defense. Here, I went ‘all in’ with my units in turn two to keep board space and ended up losing just about all of them. Thinking about this, I do wonder if it could have been a broadly successful strategy if I hadn’t also let the Storm Raptor die so easily. With the Gargantuan alive, I would at least have been able to transfer some damage in turn three. Oh well: ‘could have, would have, should have’. I’ll be back.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine, Hordes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Mercenaries (75 points); 23Jun2020

Joe and I arranged another game of Warmachine / Hordes via the excellent Wartable system. After realising that Morvahna1 would not be a good fit into too many match-ups, I inevitably continued my love affair by switching over to her next incarnation, Morvahna2.

Game 6 – Recon (scenario 6) vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-2acGmOoP54mUmj5wmj5wmHmT

Circle
[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Morvahna 2] Morvahna the Dawnshadow [+27]
– Storm Raptor [34]
Dhunian Archon [6]
Tharn Ravager Shaman [4]
Tharn Wolf Rider Champion [0(7)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Wolf Riders (max) [18]
Well of Orboros [10]

This list is kind of an evolution of what I was playing with Morvahna1. I wanted relatively high value individual models in the lists to make use of Morvahna’s Feat and so the Bloodtrackers were cut for a second unit of Ravagers. I’m hopeful that Fog of War will keep things a bit safer from shooting and that therefore a screening element with Stealth will be less needed. I removed the Blood Shaman as Morvahna doesn’t have any spells that I think I would want her to cast. The Well remains, not only for an amusing gun and a ‘free’ solo, but mainly to increase Morvahna’s control range for Scales of Fate, Fog of War and Imperishable Conviction. Finally, I picked up the Dhunian Archon as I think that it should synergise nicely with the general healing and recursion in the list.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-1HoH9boGpboToRoKoMoMaeoWoYp2oYp2

Mercenaries
[Theme] Flame in the Darkness

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Charger [9]
– Gallant [17]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [7]
Grand Master Gabriel Throne [7]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Morrowan Archon [8]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]
Order of Illumination Resolutes (max) [13]
Order of Illumination Vigilants (max) [10]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Order of Illumination Vigilants (max) [10]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]

Fiona, how I hate her and her Feat. Still, at least this time I don’t have to worry about Eliminators running around stabbing all my Tharn in the back. I assume that the list is intended to blunt my attack on Vigilants while using the Battle Priests to trigger Vengeance via Shield Guard, then kill everything with Archons, Resolutes and Gallant. Note that the Battle Priests are two per unit; it’s a known issue with Conflict Chamber that they appear in threes for each unit instead. Joe is playing a couple of points down while he sorts out how the list should look.

I win the roll-off and choose to go first; Joe gives me the top so that he can hide Fiona with the house. I end up with a fairly symmetrical approach; a unit of Ravagers on each side of Morvahna and the Wolf Riders and Storm Raptor to either side. The rest of the support crew cluster in the middle until I can work out what to do with them. Slightly to my surprise, Joe almost exactly mirrors my deployment.

Turn 1: Circle
Everything runs up but respects Joe’s shooting threat ranges a bit. Morvahna casts Fog of War and puts Carnivore on the left unit of Ravagers. The Well magics a second Ravager Shaman into existence.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Fiona Allocates nothing. The Vigilants move up and spread out to avoid getting caught by the Well’s AoE shot. One of them gets Eyeless Sight from the Objective but misses a Wolf Rider anyway. Throne makes the right Vigilants Tough. Fiona casts Roth’s Mercy on the left Vigilants and Occultation on herself.

Turn 2: Circle
Morvahna upkeeps Carnivore but drops Fog of War as it’ll be annoying for my own shooting attacks. The Wolf Riders and Champion move up, kill a couple of Vigilants and Reposition backwards. The Ravagers on the left rush up to jam where I can; I’m not able to make attacks as the Vigilants are too far away (and I’m not going to be getting anywhere next turn as it’s sure to be Fiona’s Feat turn). My plan is to make Joe kill them, then Feat back enough to ride out the Feat. The unit on the left moves more centrally to exert pressure from behind the forest. The left Thamarite Archon is in range of the Storm Raptor and out of Shield Guard Range, so I try to shoot it down. Boost attack, miss; re-roll with Scales of Fate, miss again. I get the hit on the second boosted attack but both damage rolls are a bit low and it survives. Morvahna puts Fog of War back up.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Fiona drops Roth’s Mercy, upkeeps Occultation and Allocates a single focus to the Charger. She also takes Eyeless Sight from the Objective. The right Thamarite Archon helpfully misses my Wolf Rider Champion even with the re-rolls. To keep up Joe’s bad dice, the Charger shoots at one of the Ravagers on the left and fails to kill it. The Vigilants make up for this though, dropping five Ravagers across the two units. At least all this is healing Morvahna back to full. The Morrowan Archon strolls through the forest, kills one Ravager and Blinds another which I keep alive with the Dhunian Archon. Fiona fails to finish the Ravager Chieftain on the left with Soulfire and then Feats.

Turn 3: Circle
I upkeep Carnivore again and then immediately forget about it. I think it’s because on Wartable I don’t get the little marker next to the miniatures, but maybe it’s because I’m awful at WarmaHordes. I can do a bit of work on the fringes where Fiona’s Feat isn’t covering. The Ravagers on the left kill off the Thamarite Archon at last and then get in the way of the Vigilants as well as I can manage. The Wolf Riders throw some javelins around at the Vigilants on the right then the Well and the Ravagers polish off the unit. The Storm Raptor does some trivial damage to the Charger because my brain fails and I forget that Fiona’s Feat also affects damage rolls; I compound this error by maxing out its Fury. Spoiler alert, this will be relevant in a minute. Morvahna recasts Fog of War and Feats back five Ravagers and two Wolf Riders.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Joe takes a look at the fact that I’ve now got almost a full army again and decides to go for the assassination since Morvahna is only on 9 boxes. One Focus goes to the Chargers and all the Vigilants try to clear out a Ravager with hilariously ineffective results. They eventually knock it down but still can’t kill it, thereby clearing room for the Charger to get range to Morvahna. Ironically, this is actually a better result for Joe as I could have healed a few boxes on Morvahna if the Ravager had died. Anyway, the Charger misses both shots thanks to the trench, but the Thamarite Archon makes no such mistake and kills her to the box on the first try. Circle lose by assassination.

It’s always fun to play with Joe and this was no exception. I really enjoyed playing Morvahna2 and will certainly be doing so again. I’m very pleased despite losing to a fairly straightforward assassination as I felt like I could have done several things to avoid it. To start with, just not filling up the Storm Raptor on Fury would have let me transfer away damage and probably take assassination off the table entirely. Alternatively, moving back round the Well could have made it really hard to even get shots into Morvahna. While Joe could obviously have shifted to focus on scenario, I doubt that he could clear both zones or get to my flag so I would have had more time to use my attrition advantage to hopefully come into the game. Notwithstanding assassination avoidance, here are some things I learned:

  • It’s fine for Morvahna to cut for Fury since her health goes up and down constantly in the game. I was initially worried about having only a single Warbeast for this reason but I think that I can get away with it… at least as long as I leave room for transfers.
  • Counter-intuitively, removing Bloodtrackers from the infantry loadout gives me a bit more room to move forward with Ravagers and Wolf Riders. Previously I felt hemmed in my own deployment area as I needed to give the Bloodtrackers room to work and wanted them to screen the rest of the force.
  • The Dhunian Archon really needs some forward planning as I spent too long thinking about which attacks I would need to block with her Threads of Life ability. Definitely more practice is needed here.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine, Hordes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Convergence of Cyriss (75 points); 13Jun2020

Last weekend Andrew kindly accepted a game of Warmachine / Hordes with me. I was planning to use Morvahna1 again but since Andrew wanted to play Convergence I realised that would not be a great idea; having a Feat and main spell relying on living or undead enemies isn’t going to make a favourable match-up against an army of clockwork robots. I threw together a fairly simple Wurmwood1 list for the game instead but this gave me a bit more context about using Morvanha1 further; more about this at the end.

Game 5 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Andrew’s Convergence of Cyriss

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-295v4QjGjFjFjF4Hg4g45e5e5f5fmT

Circle
[Theme] Bones of Orboros

[Wurmwood 1] Wurmwood, Tree of Fate [+27]
– Megalith [20]
– Wold Guardian [16]
– Woldwarden [14]
– Woldwarden [14]
– Woldwarden [14]
– Woldwyrd [9]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [0(5)]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]
Well of Orboros [10]

I think that this is probably as simple a starting point as I can manage for Wurmwood in the Bones of Orboros. The idea is to use the Wold Wardens to hold heavies back with Stranglehold so that I can either pick them off one at a time or eventually grind out a scenario win. It feels like there is a lot of support in this list, mainly the Shifting Stones so that Wurmwood can actually move without Cassius.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cc201b_-1Zd8dndndBd4napMoNoNpBnVpNpN

Convergence
[Theme] Clockwork Legions

!!! This army contains CID entries.

[Axis 1] Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]
– Conservator [12]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [0(6)]
– Diffuser [0(6)]
Frustum Locus [4]
Prefect Hypatia [0(5)]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Asphyxious the Sanctified [14]
– Blockader [33]
Negation Angels [6]
Negation Angels [6]

So it seems that the main draw for this list is to abuse Mage Static and Iron Aggression on the Blockader. It can also use an obscene amount of Focus in a turn between Power Up, the Corollary and Asphyxious himself. The rest seems comparatively manageable. Note that I’ve somehow missed something here as this looks to only end at 73 points, and also that I don’t think that the Diffuser made it to the table in the end.

I win the roll-off and choose to go first; Andrew gives me the side with the annoying house. I skew toward the right and Andrew puts the Blockader there which is going to be hard to deal with.

Turn 1: Circle
I run forward at top speed; surprisingly fast for a load of old stones, but still not very fast. Wurmwood puts a Rapid Growth forest to extend the actual forest and block lines of sight.

Turn 1: Convergence
The whole of the Convergence force also runs at me. Mage Static goes on the Blockader, and most of the important things stroll into the central trench.

Turn 2: Circle
The Well drops the left most Angel and clips the Void Archon on that side for a bit of damage. Somewhat later, Andrew reminds me that I didn’t create a solo from it yet and generously allows me to do so out of sequence so I get a Blackclad Wayfarer. The Mannikins on the right set up a spray that kills another Angel. On the left, the Wold Warden fails to break the Conservators armour with a boosted Stranglehold so Wurmwood has to do it via Cassius; the latter gets pulled back with Dark Path. The Shifting Stones teleport Wurmwood to the right a little. Megalith boosts to hit another Angel with Stranglehold but also misses; the other Shifting Stones bring him back.

Turn 2: Convergence
The Blockader gets a full stack of Focus. It stomps forward and vaporises the Sentry Stone with guns, then leaves the Wold Wyrd on a handful of boxes; the Void Archon finishes the job. Axis puts Iron Aggression onto the Blockader and Feats. On the left, the Negation Angels swarm one of my Wold Wardens for a little damage. Andrew scores the right zone; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Circle
Well, it’s Axis’ Feat turn so I’m not going to get a lot done. The Well misses the Void Archon so I have to kill it off with a Geomancied Stranglehold. Cassius stabs one of the Angels on the left and a Mannikin sprays both of the others to death while one of its buddies stops the Conservators from charging. On the left, I completely fail to land any spells on the Void Archon but Wurmwood does at least manage to put Curse of Shadows on the nearer Conservator. It also Feats and I’m disappointed to find that the forest is only Command Area, not Control Area as I had assumed. That felt a bit rubbish. Neither of us score; 1 – 0 to Andrew.

Turn 3: Convergence
The fires from the burning clouds all go out (not that they were going to do much anyway) and Iron Aggression is upkept. The Void Archon on the left kills the Sentry Stone. The Corollary fills up the Blockader with Focus and Asphyxious4 moves to end up in base to base with the planned landing spot. The Blockader then tramples into my forest and uses Iron Aggression, its three original Focus and five Focus from Asphyxious4 to beat both Wold Wardens to death and leave the Wold Guardian on a handful of boxes. The Conservators kill Cassius and one stone from each of the Shifting Stone units. Andrew scores the right zone again; 2 – 0.

Turn 4: Circle
I need to take out Asphyxious4 or the Blockader will kill my entire army single handed. Wurmwood clears a bit of room with a Hellmouth into my own Shifting Stone and the right Blackclad Stoneshaper gets a couple more jammers with his spray. The other Stoneshaper gives Earth’s Power to the Wold Guardian and it saunters over to pound Asphyxious4 into the floor, thereby rendering the Blockader inert. At this point, I could move to attrition as I could probably have Megalith deal with one Conservator and the last Wold Warden do some tasty damage to the other, perhaps even Chain Attack: Smite it into the Void Archon. However, I think I have a reasonable shot at getting Axis. The Wold Warden kills off the Shifting Stone in Megalith’s way, and the Wayfarer puts Hunter’s Mark on the Frustrum Locus. Megalith charges in, smacks the Frustrum Locus once then turns his attention to Axis. Sadly he misses the boosted 7 needed to start applying damage and put Weight of Stone on the Convergence Warcaster and the follow-up attacks don’t roll the crazy dice that would have been needed. It’s clear that Andrew can just tidy up in his turn so we call it there. Circle lose by concession.

Many thanks to Andrew for being a fun opponent, and especially for being helpful during the game. He’s played Circle in the past and knew all of the various things that my stuff could do so he gave good advice while we played. Wurmwood1 was really hard to play; there are just so many things that can be done each turn, and also so many limitations on movement that every activation felt like an opportunity to lose. Things I learned:

  • Shifting Stones and Wurmwood1’s own movement rules means that I need to think one turn ahead about where things need to go.
  • Sentry Stones are surprisingly easy to destroy considering stealth etc. Possibly I need to be more cautious about positioning them, but the short command range on the Mannikins means that they can’t keep a very high screen if I want the Sentry Stone to be safe.
  • Wurmwood1’s Feat forest is smaller and considerably less useful than I had thought. I had hoped to use it to blunt offence for a turn (a bit like the Witch Coven’s Feat) but it is just too small to do more than keep the tree safe. And I could probably get away with casting Strange Growth and sitting in that forest if I just want to use Prowl.

I realised as part of the lead-up to this game that Morvanha1 was going to have issues into a lot of the game at the moment since there are plenty of lists out there with no living or undead infantry. So, as amusing as I have found playing her, I’m going to move onto a different Warlock as I’m nowhere near good enough at this wonderful game to start a chunk of games with no Feat and a non-Spell. I’m not actually sure where I’ll go from here, probably Morvanha2 in Devourer’s Host is the obvious choice. Wurmwood1 in Bones of Orboros might be too complex for me at this stage so I’m considering a pair with Krueger2 in the same theme.

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 05Jun2020

There is quite a lot of Warmachine / Hordes going on at the moment within the Scotland-based scene, and I’ve tapped into it to spend some more evenings on War Table. Joe and I matched up again as I continue to blunder my way around the Circle Orboros with Morvanha1.

Game 4 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-2amXmOmRmUmSmF5qmj5wmHmT

Circle
[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Morvahna 1] Morvahna the Autumnblade [+28]
– Storm Raptor [34]
– Tharn Blood Shaman [0(4)]
Tharn Wolf Rider Champion [0(7)]
Bríghid & Caul [7]
Tharn Bloodtrackers (max) [15]
– Nuala the Huntress [4]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Wolf Riders (max) [18]
Well of Orboros [10]

Two big changes to my list this time. Firstly, I’m just not getting much value out of my Warbeasts so I decided to go all in and pick a big one with a useful gun. I have some concerns about generating enough Fury with single Warbeast but Morvanha has other ways to collect Fury so hopefully this will suffice. I also swapped one unit of Ravagers for Wolf Riders as their greater manoeuvrability might make it easier for me to avoid traffic jams with my own stuff.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-1Hq7oG5IoQoToRoKoKoIoJoUoUo_p2o_

Mercenaries
[Theme] Flame in the Darkness

[Ashlynn 2] Ashlynn d’Elyse, the Queen’s Blade [+22]
– Gallant [17]
– Talon [7]
Alexia, The Undying [5]
Grand Master Gabriel Throne [7]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Morrowan Archon [8]
Morrowan Archon [8]
Ragman [4]
Savio Montero Acosta [0(6)]
Thamarite Advocate [0(3)]
Thamarite Advocate [0(3)]
Legion of Lost Souls (max) [18]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Legion of Lost Souls (max) [18]

I have no idea what this list is supposed to do apart from abuse the Legion and Archons to make my life really hard. I’m not sure that Ashlynn2 synergises very interestingly with this list but Joe is better than I am at Warmachine so I expect that he has seen something clever that I haven’t. Note that the Battle Priests were split between the two units of Legion of Lost Souls; Conflict Chamber won’t allow me to do that for some reason.

I win the roll-off and choose to go first; Joe gives me the top of the board. I put the Well in the water as it can’t move anyway, the Ravagers are on the left so that if I end up getting pushed back I can use that forest to jump out of, and Brighid and Caul go on the right to hopefully get some work done from behind that forest. Bloodtrackers Prey the Legion on the left; Brighid and Caul pick the Archon on their side of the board.

Turn 1: Circle
Everything runs up to claim as much board space as I dare. The Well magics a Ravager Shaman into existence (in retrospect, I think that a Whitemane might have been more useful). Morvanha casts Harvest on herself and the Blood Shaman puts Restoration on the Bloodtrackers.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Ashlynn moves up a tiny bit and puts an Artifice of Deviation underneath herself. Throne makes the left Legion Tough and shoots the lead Bloodtracker before scooting back. Everything runs up; the lead Legion offering themselves up as targets for Vengeance and the rest staying out of my threat ranges.

Turn 2: Circle
Morvanha upkeeps her spells and return the dead Bloodtracker. The Well lobs a shot at one of the Legion; it misses and deviates nicely onto Throne, Alexia and a pair of other members of the Legion; the latter both Tough, the Hermit cancels the damage roll on Alexia and Throne suffers a bit of damage. Morvanha walks forward quite boldly, applies Mortality to the left Legion and uses her Feat. Brighid shoots the Archon but Gallant Shield Guards it. The Wolf Riders come forward and throw some javelins into the right Legion; this achieves depressingly little and they reposition backwards. My positioning is pretty poor here; I should not have committed them so half-heartedly. On the left, the Bloodtrackers take advantage of Morvanha’s Feat to RFP a load of the Legion of Lost Souls and the Storm Raptor takes a shot at the Archon which is shield guarded to the Battle Priest.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Both sets of the Legion come forward with Vengeance. Ashlynn drops the Artifice and allocates nothing. Alexia clears a Bloodtracker with Hellfire, then Ashlynn casts True Path and sends Marie Aguillon up to kill another. Throne gives Stir The Blood to the Legion on the right and shoots another Bloodtracker. The Hermit runs through the cloud to sit right in front of my Storm Raptor. The Archon on the left races into my lines and kills another couple of Bloodtrackers and the Advocate follows as far as the flag. Acosta smites a Wolf Rider, then the Legion follow and drop the Champion and a couple more due to my poor placement. The other Archon kills Caul and Gallant strolls into the right zone. Back on the left, the Legion and the Talon kill a couple of Ravagers who both fail to Tough. Joe scores the flag and the right zone; 2 – 0.

Turn 3: Circle
The Ravagers all miss their Vengeance attacks, then Morvahna restores 4 Bloodtrackers and upkeeps her spells. The Wolf Riders take out a satisfying number of the Legion on the right. The Blood Shaman lands Mortality on the central Archon, then Nuala uses her mini-feat to make it her Prey. The Bloodtrackers drop it, swap Prey to Throne and kill him too, swap Prey to the newly created Thrall Warrior and finally swap Prey back to the Legion of Lost Souls. The Ravagers kills a couple of the Legion too and knock the right arm off the Talon. I badly misposition most of the unit in the process though, this means that I would need Joe to trigger Vengeance if I’m going to get much work out of them next turn. Morvanha stabs Acosta to death and kills the Advocate on the flag with an Eruption of Life. The Raptor flies over the Hermit and shoots at the Archon but does nothing except scratch Gallant’s paint after another Shield Guard; finally it repositions back to block access to Morvanha. Neither of us score; 2 – 0 to Joe.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Legion of Lost Souls turn out to have a ludicrous interaction with Vengeance; they eat almost all the Bloodtrackers and return to almost full strength on the left. Ashlynn allocates nothing. The Hermit and Ragman both use their armour de-buffs on the Storm Raptor; the latter also sits on the flag. The Legion on the right kill a Wolf Rider and hurt the Storm Raptor, and the Archon finishes the last Wolf Rider. The left Legion wipe out almost all the remaining Bloodtrackers ut carefully avoid triggering Vengeance on my Ravagers since Joe has seen my misplay on that side. Ashlynn and her friends hurt the Storm Raptor and she Feats back Acosta. He briefly gives me cause for hope by rolling 1,1 for his first attack but then cranks the damage on the second sword to kill my Gargantuan. Joe scores the right zone and flag again to take the score to 4 – 0.

Turn 3: Circle
Time for assassination, otherwise I’m done. Luckily Ashlynn is very much in range to attack. The Blood Shaman starts me off with a very lucky landing of the 8 needed to stick Mortality on Ashlynn’s unit via Marie Aguillon. The Well takes a shot but misses and scatters nowhere significant. Morvanha takes matters into her own hands and kills Ashlynn with some fully boosted swings of Equinox. Circle win by assassination.

That was a great way to spend an evening. I’m happy to have my first win playing Circle, even if it was a last-gasp assassination while I was getting crushed on attrition and scenario. Joe was a lot of fun to game with and I’m kind of sorry that his loss was really due to some kind dice in my final turn. It’s probably worth noting that immediately after the game Joe recognised a variety of ways that he could have positioned better to avoid the assassination without letting the Storm Raptor live, so I won’t get that opportunity again. It’s probably worth noting that this felt like quite a nice match-up for Morvanha, featuring swathes of living/undead models that really care about RFP effects.

The Storm Raptor felt like it had a lot of potential, even if I didn’t get much value out of it this time, so I think that I will try this battlegroup again. Using the Wolf Riders instead of a second unit of Ravagers relieved a lot of the pressure on my first turn spacing as they don’t really compete for the same area.

Things I learned:

  • Legion of Lost Souls are really crazy when they get Vengeance. I need make sure that I don’t just let them refill back to full strength; good positioning is going to be important for this.
  • Ravagers are hard to get good work out of. Either I offer up only a one or two as bait for Vengeance and it doesn’t get taken, or I mis-play the unit entirely and either block them behind terrain or lose the lot. More practice is required.
  • The Wolf Riders have a lot of output, but they aren’t too hard to dispatch once they commit. I’m going to keep playing with them and I might learn when to skirmish and retreat, and when to commit all the way in and make the most of all their attacks.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine, Hordes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 01Jun2020

Thanks to the magic of Wartable, I was able to get in another game of Warmachine / Hordes. This one was against Scottish WarmaHordes legend Frazer; despite seeing him at various events I’ve never had the pleasure of getting a game in.

Game 3 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Frazer’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-2amXmKmJmV545imSmF5qmi5wmj5wmT

Circle
[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Morvahna 1] Morvahna the Autumnblade [+28]
– Ghetorix [19]
– Warpwolf Stalker [17]
Gallows Grove [2]
Tharn Ravager Shaman [4]
Tharn Ravager White Mane [0(5)]
Bríghid & Caul [7]
Tharn Bloodtrackers (max) [15]
– Nuala the Huntress [4]
Tharn Ravagers (min) [10]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Well of Orboros [10]

I did a bit more swapping around here; most notably getting rid of Brennos in favour of a Warpwolf Stalker as Brennos just never seemed to achieve too much. I also removed the Spirit Cauldron and swapped a couple of other items around in favour of adding a Well of Orboros; it seems to do the job of handing out corpses just as nicely as the Spirit Cauldron and increases Morvanha’s control range to boot.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1r0JlVm0lM9x3t2_lZlS2v3F3Hm2

Protectorate
[Theme] Exemplar Interdiction

[High Reclaimer 1] The High Reclaimer [+32]
– Judicator [35]
High Exemplar Gravus [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Repenter [8]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Exemplar Cinerators (max) [13]
– Exemplar Cinerator Officer [0(5)]
Exemplar Vengers (max) [20]
Idrian Skirmishers (min) [9]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [0(5)]
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard [9]

I don’t know anything notable about the Protectorate except that I hate to see a Judicator across the table from me. A Judicator with the option of getting Hand of Fate seems even worse.

Frazer wins the roll-off and chooses to move first, so I take the bottom side as it means that I can hope to hide behind the house a bit and make Frazer worry about all the forests. In retrospect, I wonder if I might have been better the other way around as I can just ignore those forests anyway. I deploy Brighid and Caul away on the left in the hope that they can make it to the forest over there without getting gunned down. The rest of the Tharn are deployed in the centre; I’ll work around that acid pool as required. Bloodtrackers and Idrians Prey each other; Brighid and Caul choose the Judicator.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth

Everything rushes up at me with Gravus giving the Cinerators Desperate Pace. The Judicator lobs a few rockets towards me, but they scatter off to empty spots. The High Reclaimer puts a few clouds down between the central forests.

Turn 1: Circle

My Well pops out a Blood Shaman (note that it hadn’t occurred to me that she wouldn’t get the Attached rule if I did this; in future I would shuffle my plans a bit differently) then fires an optimistic shot in the general direction of the Idrians. I get the most ludicrous scatter and kill four Idrians, though I do get a little measure of bad news by clipping a Cinerator too and triggering Vengeance. Everything else runs up as fast as their little legs will carry them. In the centre this turns into a really annoying traffic jam. Morvanha casts Harvest on herself and Restoration on the Bloodtrackers.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth

The Judicator and Repenter are allocated two Focus each. The Cinerators move up under Vengeance and then receive Desperate Pace again from Gravus. Severius puts up Road To War and strolls around in the backfield. On the right, the Vengers charge in and drop a Bloodtracker and also kill my rather poorly placed Gallows Grove; they reposition back away from my lines. The remaining Idrians kill a few Bloodtrackers before repositioning back and going to ground and the lead Cinerator kills another Bloodtracker. The High Reclaimer puts Hand of Fate on the Judicator and then puts a few clouds out; it kills a Ravager on my left and the Repenter gets another and then uses Road To War to get back to relative safety.

Turn 2: Circle

I upkeep both of Morvanha’s spells and return three Bloodtrackers. On the right, the Stalker kills the nearest Venger and Sprints back with Lightning Strike. The left Ravagers move in on the Repenter and Idrians and achieve basically nothing with some truly awful hit rolls and the Well misses a shot too. Brighid and Caul make a run for the forest. Bloodtrackers kill a Cinerator and jam up where I can. Morvanha gets a clear shot into one further back and RFPs it with Eruption of Life; I have to admit that felt quite nice. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth

Both Protectorate Warjacks get fully loaded with Focus, spells are upkept and Vengeance from the Cinerators kills another couple of Bloodtrackers. Rhoven and his bodyguards charge in to clear out the lead Ravager and the Choir sing Battle for the Warjacks. The Judicator marches up and gets a line on Caul (I hadn’t moved him quite far enough behind the forest) and toasts him thoroughly with a flamethrower; Caul makes his Tough roll but is knocked down and on fire… not a great situation for the big chap. It then launches rockets, killing my Blood Shaman (saving me the awkwardness of not having the attached rule after all), the Ravager Shaman and a bunch of other infantry. Quite the effective turn. The Cinerators charge in, mini-feating back into a shield wall after killing another Ravager and Bloodtracker. The Vengers kill my Objective, the Idrians all bounce off the last Ravager in the centre due to some truly awful dice and finally the Repenter takes out the Chieftain from the left Ravager unit. Frazer scores for getting my Objective; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Circle

Caul burns to death. Morvanha drops Restoration but upkeeps Harvest, and my Vengeance moves achieve depressingly little. Morvanha uses her Feat, puts Mortality on the Cinerators and Restoration on the larger unit of Ravagers. This all takes her to zero Fury but I figure that if I can’t kill a good chunk of Frazer’s forces here and Harvest back to a decent camp then Fury would be the least of my worries. The Well kills Rhoven and a Choirboy as well as hurting the bodyguard who inevitably Shield Guarded the shot and Brighid drops the Vassal Mechanik at the back. My Ravagers kill all of the Cinerators except the one hiding at the back, RFPing them due to the Feat. The Stalker kills a Venger and Lightning Strikes into the zone on the right; the Bloodtrackers ding up another couple of them and generally try to get in the way. Ghetorix moves to the right to threaten the Vengers a bit. No scoring so we remain at 1 – 0 to Frazer.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth

The Warjacks get two Focus each and both Road To War and Hand Of Fate are upkept. Gravus kills the second Ravager Chieftain and repositions onto the flag. The Choir put Shielding onto the Judicator which then blows up a bunch of Ravagers and a Bloodtracker. High Reclaimer Feats back a Venger, a Cinerator, Rhoven and 4 Idrians (actually we got mixed up here as Rhoven and most of the Idrians had been RFPed earlier… however, I don’t think that the end result is in doubt) then swaps Hand Of Fate onto the Vengers. At this point my centre collapses entirely as various things clear the contesting Bloodtrackers and wipe out the remaining Ravagers. It’s late and I can see that this is all over, so I concede before the Vengers probably drop my Warbeasts. Circle lose by concession.

That was a very enjoyable way to spend an evening; Frazer is a very fun opponent. There are a lot of individual things I did wrong here, starting with my initial deployment and unpacking. I need to find a way to move my pieces out of their initial deployment positions that doesn’t end up with an awful traffic jam in turn 2. Possibly I could be a bit less conservative with the Bloodtrackers (especially if I’m going to try to recur them anyway), or maybe I need a wider deployment. I think that my general idea with Brighid and Caul was reasonable, I just needed to start with them a bit wider and make it so that if I’m going to lose them then it really cost something to do it. Still, despite another loss I felt that I played a bit better in some regards; in particular I used Morvanha herself far more effectively and even remembered to use her Feat when it would have an impact. The Well of Orboros felt very useful considering its low cost, although I will admit that some truly heroic dice rolls might have led me to overvalue its performance.

Things I learned:

  • I should practice unpacking my force out of deployment. In theory this shouldn’t be too hard since they almost all have Pathfinder but in practice it’s clear that all my units are tripping over themselves. It is also hard to place the Ravager Shaman and the Whitemane in places where their abilities are relevant since the sheer mass of bodies in the way keeps them back from affecting the front line.
  • I need find a way to get work from my Warbeasts; currently I seem to have them hiding away at the back, then when I do send them to do something they just get killed too easily (admittedly in this game we didn’t actually play the part where Vengers killed them). Possibly this comes in with the ‘traffic jam’ problem above; if I can clear a lane then I should at least be able to do some work with the Stalker using Lightning Strike to come back to safety.
  • I have to get better at assessing where I need Mortality. In this game on my turn 3 it would have been more useful on the Vengers as I had enough attacks to handle the Cinerators I could reach anyway; in the meantime, the Vengers just laughed at the Bloodtracker attacks.
  • I need to get some kind of plan for dealing with big beasties like the Judicator. Since it can shoot so effectively long before anything of mine can get anywhere near it, I’m really struggling for how to approach this. The Choir can also stop me casting spells at it too so I can’t even use Mortality to make it easier to wreck. I would definitely appreciate advice.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine, Hordes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Leap Year Tournament (75 points); 29Feb2020

After a long gap in playing Warmachine / Hordes, I took the opportunity to attend another tournament at Common Ground Games in Stirling, this time organised by Frazer Penman. I’ve been painting up some Cryx and had originally intended to take them along but since I have literally not managed to get a single game in with them yet I decided to stick with Minions for one more time so that there might be some chance of at least remembering the stats and abilities of my own armies.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0LbOfCjVnd4c___-2njP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

No changes at all to my lists, mainly because I haven’t played any games since the last tournament.

Round 1 – Bunkers vs Andrew’s Infernals (game 19)

https://conflictchamber.com/?cg201b_-1yo7oaoaoaoaoaolosonoSoqoqopofogou___-1yo8oeoaoaoaolosonoSotoqoqopogovogohou

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Omodamos 1] Omodamos, The Black Gate [+28]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
The Wretch [4]
The Wretch [4]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (min) [5]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
Infernal Gate [12]

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Zaateroth 1] Zaateroth, The Weaver of Shadows [+26]
– Foreboder [4]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Nicia, Hound of the Abyss [4]
The Wretch [4]
The Wretch [4]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
– Master Preceptor Orin Midwinter [4]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Until this morning I had pretty much not been aware of the existence of Infernals as a faction, at least not to any useful level of detail. Andrew kindly and patiently explains what everything does and I decide to pick Dr Arkadius as it looks like I’ll be chewing through a lot of heavies here.

I win the roll-off and move first so that I can get some board presence at least.

Turn 1: Minions
I run up as far as I dare (which is quite far in this case) and cast some spells. Mire puts Weald Secrets on a War Hog and Dr Arkadius casts Guardian Beast on himself and Forced Evolution on a nearby Road Hog. I picked Guardian Beast as I felt that it might be more useful than some desultory movement from Aggravator, not to mention that I often feel that I’m giving my opponent a free threat range increase when I trigger hyper-aggressive.

Turn 1: Infernals
Nicia shoots a Road Hog to no effect and then immediately gets sacrificed to bring in a Desolator. Zaateroth also puts up Road to War and casts Scything Touch on one of the Tormentors. Regna summons a Lamenter (edit: I originally wrote Desolator in error).

Turn 2: Minions
Both of my casters upkeep all their spells. Hutchuk ambushes in at the back and kills a couple of Cultists. Dr Arkadius puts Adrenaline on both Road Hogs and they kill a few nearby Grievers and Sprint back to safety. Kwaak Enlivens both of them too in case things get a bit too dangerous.

Turn 2: Infernals
The lead Tormentor gets Pathfinder from the Objective and Zaateroth decides to drop Scything Touch. The Desolator on the left drops Hutchuk with ease, triggering Road to War to move the lead Tormentor. Grievers fly up to get in my way, though the lead one is killed by a Guardian Beast attack (hurray, I actually remember to use it!). The Gate places the front Tormentor forward a bit more and then shoots the nearer Road Hog which Enlives back out of reach. Zaateroth Feats and summons a Soult Stalker from a Wretch who has run forward. Valen runs to score the central flag and Regna casts Deceleration, presumably out of habit since my Gun Boar would be the only thig affected. Andrew scores his flag and we both score our zones; 2 – 1 to him.

Turn 3: Minions
Wow, that Feat is hard to deal with if you don’t have any kind of accuracy spell. I was worried about time here so stopped taking detailed notes, but basically I ended up having to Primal most of my hitters and then still boost to hit to even have a chance to actually land damage. In the end I take out the front row (and the gate, since at least I can hit that) and clear enough space to get onto the central flag. On a couple of occasions when I do hit, Orin forces a re-roll into another miss. Most depressingly, much of what I’ve killed has been summoned in anyway, so the net impact in the game is not very impressive. I also both score my zone; 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 3: Infernals
Zaateroth and Regna both cut to full Essence. One Tormentor kills a War Hog by throwing it in ot a Road Hog which is eventually killed off by some other random attacks. Roget puts Ghost Walk on the Cultists to get them forward. Other heavies take out both the Wrastler and the exposed War Hog on the far right. Zaateroth summons another Tormentor from Roget and Regna summons a Desolator. The Foreboder contests my zone (though I will admit that I thought it was a Griever at the time). Andrew scores his zone; 3 – 3.

Turn 4: Minions
I try to clear out as much as possible but there is too much there and not enough of my stuff, not to mention that the few remaining models I have are obliged to Frenzy. The Battle Boar does kill the arc node to clear my zone so at least I score a point (as does Andrew from his zone); 4 – 4.

Turn 4: Infernals
Two Cultists and the Hermit fill up most of the heavies with Essence, then they kill my remaining heavy warbeasts mainly by chain attack throwing them around the place. Andrew contests my zone and scores his own; 5 – 4.

Turn 5: Minions
I try to clear my zone and the left flag to get Mire onto it but clock out before doing anything useful. Minions lose on deathclock and I also fail on photo-taking.

Well, that was certainly pretty hard. Knowing what I know now, I suppose that Jaga Jaga might have been the better approach as I could have leveraged Signs and Portents to at least hit my targets and Swamp Horrors could possibly do some amusing work pulling models back in when they teleport away on the Feat turn. On the other hand, I’m not sure that list has the hitting power to work through the Infernal summoning and get any useful result out of it. The game itself was a lot of fun; Andrew is a very nice chap to play with.

Interestingly, Andrew opined that Infernals are rather over-tuned compared to other factions, and he eventually won the event. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t have beaten me even if we had our armies the other way round as he’s a much better player than I am. It was, in some ways, pleasing to continue my run of always losing to Andrew or his brother at every event I attend. Things I learned:

  • I probably should have Feated one turn earlier as it was wasted into Zaateroth’s Feat.
  • Although the Infernals seem largely immune to knockdown I probably should have considered a few throw options just to get some board position. Andrew used them very well and it is certainly something that I don’t usually even think about.
  • Ambushing Hutchuk is hard to do right. He’s not hard for a heavy to kill, but doesn’t really do great work clearing infantry. Perhaps I should just give up on him entirely.

Round 2 – Anarchy vs Nick’s Infernals (game 20)

https://conflictchamber.com/?cg201b_-1CpglVosgbomlUonlM1Goqorop30ohou___-1yo8oeoeoaoaolomonoSot4ioqoropofogoyovohou

Infernals
[Theme] Hearts of Darkness (Protectorate)

[Feora 3] Feora, the Conquering Flame [+27]
– Judicator [35]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Deliverer Arms Master [3]
Eilish Garrity, the Dark Seeker [5]
Exemplar Warder [5]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [6]
– Redeemer [11]
The Wretch [4]
Umbral Guardian [0(6)]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Choir of Menoth (max) [6]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Zaateroth 1] Zaateroth, The Weaver of Shadows [+26]
– Foreboder [4]
– Foreboder [4]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Eilish Garrity, the Dark Seeker [5]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Nicia, Hound of the Abyss [4]
Saxon Orrik [4]
The Wretch [4]
Umbral Guardian [0(6)]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (min) [5]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
– Dark Sentinel (3) [0(6)]
– Master Preceptor Orin Midwinter [4]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Well, this is quite the tutorial on playing into Infernals. Despite my losses last time I feel that Dr Arkadius is still needed here if I’m to have even a hope of dealing with the Judicator, and Nick helpfully backs me up by playing the Feora list. I out threat the Judicator in melee but it can do a lot more at range than I can so I will need to be a bit circumspect about distance here. I’m not actually too worried about anything else as Feora’s long threat range is hampered a bit by the fact that I can go further than her on my Feat turn. Severius improving everything that the army does is pretty annoying though! I also think that this is the first time that I’ve seen an army choose not to take the Hermit in a long time.

Nick wins the roll and picks to move first. His theme benefit is to start with his upkeep spells out so Redline is on the Judicator, Banishing Ward on Feora and Road to War on Severius.

Turn 1: Infernals
Nick races up to be just a hair outside my melee threat ranges with Feora and the Judicator, everything else hangs back a little. Regna summons a Shrieker.

Turn 1: Minions
I realise that since Nick didn’t take the Eyeless Sight objective, I can cloud up behind the central forest and stay clear of the Judicator as much as possible. So Mire drops a few clouds to extend the forest and most of my warbeasts take up position behind it. On the right one of my War Hogs moves in to keep Nick honest on his positioning with Feora. The Judicator can’t get to it so I’m hopeful that the ranged attacks available on the right aren’t enough to put the War Hog down. Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator (which I’ll forget instantly, of course) and casts Forced Evolution on a Road Hog.

Turn 2: Infernals
Feora and Severius upkeep their spells and Allocate one to their Warjacks. Regna eats a Choir boy and Allocates three to the Shrieker. The Choir sing Battle on the Warjacks. The Shrieker and Redeemer pepper the exposed War Hog with what felt like rather tasty dice and the Grievers eventually finish it off. That’s unfortunate, I was hoping not to lose that for nothing. Runewood comes forward and puts Shadow on another War Hog. Finally, and slightly to my surprise, the Judicator backs right up.

Turn 2: Minions
I decide not to Feat this turn as I doubt that I can get to the Judicator and I can instead use Sprint on the Road Hogs to put some nice damage out and stay fairly safe. Plus, I’m not so worried about the Judicator when it is standing far away. Dr Arkadius needles both Road Hogs and they charge in and kill Runewood, Eilish, the Shrieker and most of the Grievers. One Sprints back toward my lines and the other one (with Forced Evolution) jams itself deep to contest the right flag. I’m not really sure if this is the right play but I figure I’ll never find out if I don’t try. At the very least it’ll take up some of Nick’s activations to deal with it. The Witch Doctor gives Ghost Walk to Kwaak who runs onto the left flag; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Infernals
Feora and Severius upkeep their spells and allocate to their Warjacks again. Feora Feats and charges into the lead Road Hog, killing it easily. The Umbral Guardian kills Kwaak but can’t quite touch the flag itself. The Choir sing Battle on both Warjacks and Regna summons a replacement Shrieker, seemingly mainly for the Focus efficiency. The Judicator gets a line on the second Road Hog and kills it, then turns its attention on the central War Hog. Almost everything else available targets the War Hog too, and it finally goes down to a Griever. Again, I felt like the odds rather favoured the War Hog surviving but it was not to be. The Gate pulls Feora back and resummons a few Grievers. Neither of us score; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Minions
I was hoping to have a bit more punch available to work with here but I’ve given away far too much on Feora’s Feat turn. I end up turbo charging the last War Hog with Forced Evolution, Ghost Walk and Primal, then Feating it forward and hoping to get it directly to Feora. Unfortunately the positioning of Valen and flag don’t allow me to get straight into the Warcaster so I’m obliged to try to Overtake into her. Even with Primal the War Hog misses all three initials into Valen and so doesn’t have enough to put down Feora. Mire kills the Umbral Guardian and sits on my flag to score it again; 2 – 0 to me.

Turn 4: Infernals
Well, I am certainly in trouble here. But on the other hand, Nick has taken a lot of time over his turns so he only has about 2 minutes left to seal the deal through Dr Arkadius’s 3 transfers. Feora does a bit of jiggery-pokery to clear a lane to charge Dr Arkadius and burns a transfer before Fire Stepping away to clear space for the Judicator. The big machine has time to ignite its flamethrowers before the clock beeps, letting me away with yet another literally last-second reprieve. For amusement, we roll it all out and Dr Arkadius does not get the astonish luck that would have been needed to not die to the Judicator. Minions win by deathclock.

Yikes, that was close. I played pretty badly there and gave up far too much of my army far too easily. Part of that was mistaking the threat ranges on Nick’s stuff, part of it was not accounting for slight high-rolling taking two Warbeasts where I might have held on to them both, and part of it was constantly forgetting that all the Infernals can just move through each other with no problems. On the other hand, I did it all in a timely and efficient manner whereas Nick spent a lot longer thinking about his moves. It was very lucky for me to get a win here as Nick outplayed me all the way through; to his immense credit he didn’t get frustrated about crushing me through the entire game and then losing to the clock, but rather he took it like a gentleman. Things I learned:

  • I waited a turn too long on the Feat here. I think that there was an assassination on in turn 2 by Overtaking through Grievers etc into Feora; instead I got too greedy thinking I could just let the Judicator sit at the back.
  • I didn’t position my solos well to score flags and ended up having to run Kwaak into danger just to score a point. If I’d thought out where he needed to be on turn 1 I could have used Enliven and maybe kept stuff alive.
  • More accurately – a thing I didn’t learn. Hutchuk stayed off the table entirely. In this match-up I wonder if I might have been better served starting him on the table anyway as there was nothing going wide enough to be threatened by an ambusher.

Round 3 – Invasion vs Marty’s Skorne (game 21)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c9201b_-2cfkm_mZ6u6un2n2n2ncn8n1n9n1mBmB___-2c6Qm_n46un2n2n2ncn9n1mB

Skorne
[Theme] The Exalted

[Zaal 2] Zaal, the Ancestral Advocate [+29]
– Desert Hydra [35]
Abidan the Keeper [0(5)]
Ancestral Guardian [5]
Ancestral Guardian [5]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]
Immortals (min) [8]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Supreme Guardian [16]
Supreme Guardian [16]

Skorne
[Theme] The Exalted

[Hexeris 2] Lord Arbiter Hexeris [+27]
– Desert Hydra [35]
– Mammoth [35]
Ancestral Guardian [0(5)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Supreme Guardian [16]

Both lists involve clouds of high armour statues and a load of huge based models such that I feel that I need to leverage the pure hitting power of Dr Arkadius [edit: I’ve added Marty’s actual lists now]. So even though I quite fancied putting Jaga Jaga down, there is no way that she’s getting picked before Dr Arkadius. The extent to which I out-threat these lists is also significant. Marty picks Zaal2 apparently because he forgot to pack the Mammoth from his other list.

I win the roll off and pick to have first turn again. I want to pin the Skorne back as far as possible so that they have to either come to me or just surrender the scenario.

Turn 1: Minions
I race everything forward as fast as possible. Mire puts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler in case it ever becomes relevant (which I doubt). Dr Arkadius casts Aggravator and puts Forced Evolution on one of the Road Hogs as per usual. There probably isn’t enough shooting for Aggravator to be relevant but with Marty’s list I can’t see Guardian Beast helping much either.

Turn 1: Skorne
The Immortals and Supreme Guardians race up the outsides as quick as they can manage. The Hydra casts Sand Storm on itself, which could mildly inconvenience the Gun Boar if it was remote near to anything I might actually shoot. Zaal also puts Vision on the Hydra and then Feats.

Turn 2: Minions
There doesn’t seem to be much point in committing this turn as Zaal’s Feat means I’ll get almost nothing done and then be killed by the Supreme Guardians in return. My only attack is the Gun Boar taking a random shot into right Supreme Guardian for some trivial damage (after an amusingly high roll). I definitely don’t want to trigger Vengeance on the Immortals. One Road Hog ends up in range of the Supreme Guardian on the left as I need to contest that zone somehow; hopefully Enliven will keep it going.

Turn 2: Skorne
Both units of Immortals and their support staff swarm out to take up as much of each zone as possible. The right Supreme Guardian take a desultory shot at the Gun Boar; the one on the left gets a couple of swings into the Forced Evolution Road Hog before it Enlivens back out of reach with some fairly large chunks missing. The Desert Hydra continues to clog up the middle. No-one scores.

Turn 3: Minions
I’m never going to get a better Feat turn than this one. Hutchuk appears on the right and lands a Rust bomb on the Supreme Guardian before clobbering the Novitiate hanging around at the back. The Gun Boar blows up an Immortal and positions charge a pesky one when I Feat (but it will fail to kill anyway). The Wrastler eats its way through an entertainingly high number of Immortals thanks to Overtake and Mire kills one right the middle of the board before applying Rage to a couple of War Hogs. Over on the left, the Battle Boar Primals a Road Hog. Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery to heal up that badly damaged Road Hog, Primals the last War Hog and lets fly with his Feat. The Feat attacks position the right War Hog in range of the Supreme Guardian, the centre one gets a very tasty swing at the Hydra (which is then cancelled with Vision) and the left one and both Road Hogs charge into the other Supreme Guardian, leaving it already looking rather peaky. When the individual actions come up, the War Hog on the right smashes the Rust-ed Supreme Guardian with attacks to spare and Overtakes its way through a few more Immortals. On the left, the Feat attacks leave the War Hog able to finish that Supreme Guardian without even using all its initials so it also Overtakes away to chop up some more Immortals. The central War Hog rolls like a champion and drops the Hydra after maxing out on Fury. The two Road Hogs eat an Ancestral Guardian and Hakaar, mainly because there are not any better targets. Marty has seen more than enough and concedes. Minions win.

I had some excellent dice during that game and it contributed hugely to the result; it says a lot about Marty that he just took it in his stride. That said, I think that with the board state at the start of my final turn I was more or less sure to take out all three huge bases as I had a lot of spare attacks to go round. Marty could have made my life a lot harder by forcing me to go through the Immortals before getting to swing at the Supreme Guardians. Things I learned:

  • Getting a good Feat turn with Dr Arkadius is a really sweet feeling, especially if the dice are kind to you while it happens. What a nice way for the Doctor to sign off on our journey together.

So when it was all wrapped up I came in a nice mid-table position of 5th of 12 players. Many thanks to Andrew, Nick and Marty for three very fun games, and of course to Frazer for running the show. That is probably it for my Minions for now as I’m planning to get some games in with Cryx over the next few months.

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