Posts Tagged With: Battle reports

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

It feels like a long time since I was able to play Allan at Warmachine / Hordes but we both had a free night and decided to spend it pushing pretend dollies across a pretend table. Allan has temporarily cut down to a single physical faction and he played them here.

Game 26 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Allan’s Retribution of Scyrah

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD
Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

No changes from my Jaga-Jaga list as I’m pretty happy with how it works; any errors are on my side. Looking at the match-up I’m interested to see how my plethora of shield guards will fare into the Valkyries. I think I’ve only played into the Retribution once or twice ever so I’ve no real idea what I’m going to do.

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

Retribution
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

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

Allan stated that this is a variation on a favoured list of his, dropping the Hermit as it doesn’t add much that the list needs. I guess that the idea is to leverage the shooting power of the Tridents while threatening to flood the board with Halberdiers.

Allan wins the roll-off and decides to move first. There’s not much to choose between the table edges so I go with the bottom one as the house in the centre at the top will be quite annoting to work round. Allan’s deployment is almost symmetrical; I skew a bit to the right in the hope that I can collapse that side quickly and swing into the centre.

Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah

Everything runs up. Issyria casts Admonition on Hemera, Inviolable Resolve on the left Trident and then uses Velocity to move back a bit (though I have no idea what Allan though I was going to do to get his Warcaster from such a distance).

Turn 1: Minions

I can’t stay out of threat ranges so I just send everything in. I try to limit how many Halberdiers can get to any one thing even if Allan casts Crusader’s Call, and I keep the Valkyires spread out to catch as many bullets as possible. The Void Archon on the right gets Grave Wind and sits in the rubble; I’m hopeful that will tempt Allan to commit a Trident to kill it and I’m probably OK with that trade. Rorsh casts Pig Pen which I’ll never remember to use and Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host.

Turn 2: Retribution of Scyrah

Allan spends a lot of time thinking about his options here. In the end he allocates no focus but upkeeps both spells. Hemera runs right into my face. Issyria moves forward to cover a landing spot for the Trident on the right, Feats and arcs a boosted Blinding Light into the right Void Archon which misses. The Trident charges it and kills it in melee anyway, then guns down a couple of Valkyries and hurts Rorsh. On the left, the other Trident kills the Chef and another Valkyrie and the Harpy takes out two more. The incidental healing does get most of my other models up to full health though. The Halberdiers walk up and adopt Shield Wall.

Turn 2: Minions

I could possibly score the right zone but I think that leaves Brine in the awkward position of sitting around twiddling his huge meaty thumbs. Instead I decide to do as much damage to Allan’s big hitters as possible. Jaga-Jaga casts Signs and Portents and moves a bit further away from the scary Trident on the left. The Wrastler helpfully misses all three initials into the Chimera, then casts Rage on Brine who wrecks both the Trident and the Chimera. Rorsh guns down the Ghost Sniper on the right. One Swamp Horror triggers Admonition on Hemera (which I had forgotten about) but the other one pulls it in and teams up with a Valkyrie to leave it on a single box in movement. On the left, the surviving Valkyries and Void Archon do some damage to the Trident and the latter sprays a couple of Halberdiers down to teleport to the back of the zone engaging the Ghost Sniper. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Retribution of Scyrah

Issyria upkeeps Inviolable Resolve and allocates one Focus to the Harpy. It guns down my Objective (I was tempted to take one shot onto the last Valkyrie but I figured she was doing a better job gumming up the Halberdiers) in two shots, taking it out exactly to the box. The Trident turns around and explodes the Void Archon easily and kills one Valkyrie but the Ghost Sniper misses the other one. A Halberdier charges through the Trident to finish her though which clears that zone. Issyria puts Admonition on herself and stays safe. The other Halberdiers mostly just derp around; one of them hits the blocking Valkyrie but the Dhunian Archon stops the attack. Allan scores the left zone and killed the objective; 2 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions

The left zone is going to be a massive problem from here on as I don’t think that I can get anything to it in a single turn which means that Allan will always be able to gun down anything I send in that direction. I also need to think of how I’m going to deal with scoring the right zone as I kind of need Jaga-Jaga and my Warbeasts to head left. In the end I figure I can have Brine sit in the right zone this turn as my Warbeasts will get in each other’s way around that central forest if I use too many of them; fortunately Brine doesn’t Frenzy. The central Valkyrie finishes off Hemera with Vengeance. Jaga-Jaga, of course, upkeeps Battle Host and casts Signs and Portents. The Swamp Horrors kill off the Harpy and eat a handful of Halberdiers and I send one Dhunian Archon to make a token effort around contesting the left zone next turn. I score the right zone and Allan scores the left; 3 – 1 to him.

Turn 4: Retribution of Scyrah

The Objective and the Mechanic repair the Trident which easily kills the Dhunian Archon and repositions back into the zone. Issyria casts Crusader’s Call and moves to safety with Velocity. The remaining Halberdiers go into both Swamp Horrors, killing the left one and mauling the right one quite badly. Allan scores the right zone; 4 – 1 to him.

Turn 4: Minions

I need to get the centre cleared so that I can stop Allan just running away with the scenario. Rorsh clears the right zone with his Pig Irons and Brine reluctantly stays there to score it. The Wrastler and Swamp Horror clear the flag and the Dhunian Archon sits on it; sadly I couldn’t quite clear the whole zone. I score the flag and right zone, Allan scores the left; 5 – 3 to him.

Turn 5: Retribution of Scyrah

The Trident continues to get repaired. It shoots the Swamp Horror and the Halberdiers eventually kill it. The latter also kill the Dhunian Archon with a truly heroic dice roll and she sadly fails to Tough. We both continue to score the same zones; 6 – 4 to Allan.

Turn 5: Minions

Jaga-Jaga swaps places with Brine in the left zone. I clear off the flag for the Soul Slave to run onto but I can’t quite pick off the last model contesting the central zone. I move Rorsh round the building as I’ll need another solo to sit on that flag soon. I score the flag and right zone, Allan takes the left; 7 – 6 to him.

Turn 6: Retribution of Scyrah

The Trident easily guns down the Soul Slave but can’t quite take out the Valkyrie. We both continue scoring the rectangular zones; 8 – 7 to Allan.

Turn 6: Minions

I finally clear out the central zone, but now I don’t have anything that can get to the flag. Brine swaps again with Jaga-Jaga as I’ll need to have her control range more central for the last turn. Rorsh continues to move toward the centre but critically I move him to exactly within range of the Trident; obviously I didn’t notice this until it was too late. I score the centre and right zones and Allan scores the left; 9 – 9.

Turn 7: Retribution of Scyrah

The Trident is now back to full health. It lines up on Rorsh and I know that this is going to be rough as Allan rolls up the maximum 9 shots and 3 power tokens. His dice slightly desert him as several shots are missed and I transfer the boosted damage ones to Brine; in the end Rorsh lives on a couple of boxes. The Ghost Sniper makes no mistakes, killing off my Farrow. Allan scores the left zone and contests the centre with the final Thane; 10 – 9 to him.

Turn 7: Minions

I ‘only’ need to score two scenario points and contest the left zone for a win; in a pinch either would do as I’m probably ahead on points destroyed too. Jaga-Jaga casts Ghost Walk on herself (as I need it to get to the flag) and the Wrastler, and applies Rage to the latter too. The Wrastler walks round to the back of the Trident and wrecks it in a highly satisfying way, then Overtakes and kills the Objective too. Sadly, the second overtake move is millimetres short of getting into the zone to contest it. The Valkyrie at the top charges into the Thane and misses both attacks. The other skirts round into his back arc and misses her first attack. She hits the second… and rolls low enough to leave him on a single box. Allan scores his zone again and I only get the point for the objective; 11 – 10 to Allan (note that we forgot to note the point I scored in the screenshot). Minions lose on scenario.

Wow, what a close game! Many thanks to Allan, that was a terrific way to spend an evening. I can see what he means about the power of the Tridents, I think that they basically killed almost my whole force between the two of them.

Things I learned:

  • I’m still getting sloppy with threat ranges. If I’d kept Rorsh 1mm further back in turn 6 he would probably have lived.
  • I need to remember Jaga-Jaga actually has a Feat, even though I often joke that her real Feat is casting Signs and Portents every turn. If I’d remembered to use it in the final turn I could probably have made sure that the Thane would go down.
  • My plan to stack the right side did work, but it came at the cost of losing the left; I do recognise that this is quite a predictable outcome in a symmetrical wargame of course. In this case my lack of ranged threat compared to Allan’s meant that this probably ended up as an advantage to him. I’ve been thinking of this as rather an ‘anti-shooting’ list with all the Valkyries but maybe I also need to consider what I’m going to do when, as here, almost all of my Valkyries explode in one turn.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD
Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

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

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

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

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

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

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

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Cygnar (75 points); 08Sep2020

I managed to squeeze in another game of Warmachine / Hordes, this time with Gareth. Spoiler alert – there is some seriously poor play from me here as I got confused on a rule.

Game 23 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Gareth’s Cygnar

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWbHoPoR7FoNoNjD

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)]
Dahlia Hallyr [17]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

It turns out that Void Archons aren’t quite as good as I had thought since they can’t actually buy attacks using Soul tokens, but they’re definitely still good enough to put a pair of them in my list. I decided that a single Dhunian Archon was enough and swapped the second for the Hermit, who should hopefully assist with armour cracking a bit.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1I7D9b9y9IoQpjoToRoMoMaep2o_p2oW

Cygnar
[Theme] Flame in the Darkness

[Stryker 2] Lord Commander Stryker [+28]
– Charger [9]
– Lancer [10]
– Ol’ Rowdy [18]
Alexia, The Undying [0(5)]
Black Bella, Duchess of Dread [4]
Grand Master Gabriel Throne [7]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Legion of Lost Souls (max) [18]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Order of Illumination Resolutes (max) [13]

This is the same list as Gareth’s last play with Flame in the Darkness. This time he was adamant not to give away a cheap assassination by just leaving Stryker too far forward. I’m actually not so worried about this list now as the lack of infantry on my side makes the Legion much less punishing – the ones I kill will mostly stay that way.

I win the roll off and decide to move first. Gareth gives me the bottom side which I think I would have picked anyway with the objective of hiding Jaga-Jaga in that neat pocket within the central zone but behind the forest. I put a lesser on each side to at least threaten to score the rectangular zones and the rest of my force stays central; I need to keep Jaga-Jaga able to cover as much ground as possible with Signs and Portents. Gareth puts the Legion on the right so that they can at least eat the Valkyries. The Resolutes take a position on the far right, presumably to cover for whichever light Warjack gets assigned to sit in there.

Turn 1: Minions
Needless to say, all my stuff runs up the board. In theory I stay out of threat range of the Resolutes’ shooting but in practice I don’t think that I can get in range anyway. The lesser Warlocks cast their upkeep spells and I’m sad to note that Dahlia’s will be of no use whatsoever against the onrushing Legion of Lost Souls. Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host and puts Grave Wind on the left Void Archon.

Turn 1: Cygnar
Gareth’s stuff does likewise, moving up the board and spreading out a bit to minimise the number of models I can spray to death. Throne makes the Legion Tough and Stryker casts Deceleration.

Turn 2: Minions
I need to contest the central flag and make sure that the left zone isn’t too easy to score. Gareth helpfully has no Warjacks on the right so I don’t have to worry about bleeding points over there. I have to decide how to play the left zone. If I put Brine in there he’ll die for no gain so in the end I figure I’ll throw him forward and try to cause a bit of chaos. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells, strolls forward and casts Signs and Portents. Skarath, the Valkyries and the Void Archon on the left kill a decent number of the Legion; the latter also Void Walks back to safety. The Void Archon on the right sprays across the Lancer, doing trivial damage to it but at least dropping one of the Battle Priests over there; it then Void Walks back behind the cloud (before I find that the Resolutes ignore clouds anyway). Brine get Rage, Rorsh uses Diversionary tactics to move him forward and then I throw him away. He scraps the Lancer and one of the Resolutes before accepting his inevitable fate. In the centre I out-threat Rowdy (apart from under Stryker’s Feat) so my battlegroup mainly hangs back. I also make a mistake with the Hermit, putting him 4.1” away from the Flag which is pretty stupid of me.

Turn 2: Cygnar
Vengeance attacks from the Resolutes hurt Brine and the Morrowan Archon eventually finishes him off. Stryker allocates two Focus to Ol’ Rowdy. The Resolutes shoot the Void Archon who thought that it was safe behind the cloud. The Charger considers lining up a shot to deal with it until I remind Gareth that he can score the left zone just by running into it. Stryker shuffles forward, Feats and casts Positive Charge on Ol’ Rowdy who runs to prepare for a Feat attack. Throne puts Stir The Blood on the Legion and they come forward (along with the Morrowan Archon) to beat up my Objective, Skarath and kill a Valkyrie. Gareth’s Hermit runs to the flag and thumbs his nose at my Hermit from 4.1” away. Feat attacks hurt the left Swamp Horror and both Valkyries and finish off my Objective; I get very lucky not to lose either Valkyrie to this. Gareth scores the left zone, Flag and Objective; 3 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
I’m going to end up bleeding points on the left so I need to contest it now to get enough time to play the rest of this game. On the other hand, I can probably score on the right without too much trouble. Finally, I have to deal with Ol’ Rowdy before it kills Jaga-Jaga and I want to tidy up the rest of the Legion so that I don’t have to worry about those annoying buggers. I upkeep everything and Vengeance kills one of the Legion. Jaga-Jaga casts Signs and Portents and kills another. My Hermit risks the free strike moving past Ol’ Rowdy who, of course, gets the critical knockdown. At least he made it to within 4” of the Flag now. Over on the right, Skarath clears the zone and remembers to cast Counterblast this turn; the Void Archon and Valkyries finish off the last of the Legion so I ‘just’ have the Archon and Throne to worry about on that side. Rorsh moves to be just within the left zone and hucks some Dynamite at a Resolute. The Archon takes it with Shield Guard and I decide to change priority and boost damage on him with the Pig Irons too, leaving it on a couple of boxes. The Void Archon kills it but ends up with its back to the Resolutes which I sense will end poorly next turn. Then comes a huge error as I send the Wrastler in to eat the Hermit which of course triggers Dark Shroud and messes up the rest of my plans. To compound this, I get mixed up on how this works* and spend the rest of my turn fumbling Swamp Horrors around the place and still not quite finishing off Ol’ Rowdy, though I do cripple everything except the buckler. I score the right zone; 3 – 1 to Gareth.

*We left the Hermit icon in place with an aura marking what was affected by Dark Prophecy so it was clear what was in it. I got confused and played as though this was an actual aura and made moves to get out of this aura so that I could buy extra attacks. Gareth didn’t spot that this was my intention and instead assumed that I was trying some shenanigans with Pull.

Turn 3: Cygnar
Stryker camps all his Focus since the Charger is out of Control and Ol’ Rowdy’s Cortex is crippled. Bella hurts the Void Archon but doesn’t finish it off; the Resolutes can’t do it either but they do at least deal with Rorsh to clear that zone. On the right the Morrowan Archon kills my Void Archon and contests the zone. Throne tells Stryker to March, and then it’s go time. Stryker uses Velocity three times to get toward Jaga-Jaga, then Overloads. Hilariously, he rolls 1,1,1 for the strength boost, which not surprisingly is not enough to kill Jaga-Jaga especially as he also misses a couple of attacks. I figure that this is karma for my errors and misunderstandings next turn. We don’t both rolling out my entire army murdering a no-camp Stryker next turn; Minions win. For completeness, we re-rolled the strength boost and re-ran the assassination and a Str25 Stryker made short work of Jaga-Jaga.

That was a very fun game, as is every game I play with Gareth. My colossal blunder on turn 3 with Gareth’s Hermit was annoying and easily avoidable, but not nearly as annoying as my misunderstanding of the rules causing me to make a mess of the rest of my turn. Oh well, maybe it’ll help me to remember for next time. As a result, perhaps there isn’t a great deal to learn from the outcome here, but there are still lots of things that I did wrong during the game.

Things I learned:

  • Stryker’s personal threat is much further than I had understood. Admittedly I was planning to have something (probably a Swamp Horror) a bit further forward to body-block him but even so that is a scary distance that he can move and explode my Warlock.
  • My positioning of the Void Archons was not great. I feel like I should be Void Walking them to make better use of Dark Shroud, especially turn 3 onward.
  • This list really misses something cheap and disposable that I can use to contest scenario elements. Having to give up Rorsh in turn 3 just to avoid ceding a CP in the left zone felt very painful. I’m not sure if there is an easy answer here or if I need to rejig the list entirely to include some Gobbers or something.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 07Sep2020

It’s been a while since I put my Minions on any table, even a virtual one, for Warmachine / Hordes but I felt that there was an itch to scratch. Marc was also looking to play via Wartable so we racked up our armies together thanks to the magic of the internet.

Game 22 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWbHoPoP7FoNoNjD

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)]
Dahlia Hallyr [17]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

I love playing Jaga-Jaga so I started out with the list I’d used before in real-life games. Then, since I’ve been vocal about Void Archons being far too good for their points, I naturally added them at maximum FA. That cost me Boomhowler and Co which does feel a bit tough as I have no screen and a very slow, killable front line. I also reshuffled the solo load-out to remove the notably under-performing Totem Hunter and replace them with Dhunian Archons. I think that probably one Dhunian Archon would be enough and I could maybe use the Hermit instead of the other, but this way also was simple enough to be practical for playing.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1qqb1q1XeVga9xmek9oLoLlM1q3t3t3z3z3B2_3F3H

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Feora 4] Feora, the Forsaken [+28]
– Dervish [7]
– Guardian [15]
– Hand of Judgment [18]
– Purifier [8]
– Repenter [8]
– Hierophant [3]
Exemplar Warder Elias Gade [0(5)]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Dervish [7]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (min) [9]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]

Marc was testing out Feora4. If I understand the list here, the plan is to gum up my stuff until Feora is fully-charged up, then saunter over and explode everything she touches.
Marc wins the roll-off so I give him the side without the houses to hide behind. I stuck the lesser Warlocks out on the flanks where they can hopefully work somewhat independently and then mixed the Void Archons and Valkyries somewhat to the left so that they can Shield Guard if possible. Marc takes a fairly symmetrical approach. Those Menite Archons out on the sides really will need early attention to stop them just rolling inwards until they kill Jaga-Jaga. The Idrians pick the Wrastler as their Prey, Gade chooses Brine. Feora utilises the theme benefit to it’s maximum extent by starting with a whopping four upkeeps in play: Hellwrought on the Guardian, Death March on the Idrians, Firestarter on the Dervish and Road to War on Feora herself.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
The entire Protectorate force races up at me. The Idrians also use their mini-Feat, not that I have much in the way of shooting anyway, and Severius puts up his own Road to War.

Turn 1: Minions
All my stuff also runs up. I stay out of melee threat ranges (other than the Idrians) but I’m going to have to accept a bit of shooting unless I cede scenario entirely. The lesser Warlocks cast their upkeep spells on the basis that they’re free from now on. Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host and puts Grave Wind on the nearer Void Archon.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
All spells are upkept but no Focus is allocated. The Guardian runs over to within Arc Node range of Brine. Gade puts a couple of bolts into him and Feora channels three Scorns into my big ninja pig. The Guardian and the left Dervish get Enliven and Hand of Judgment shoots a Valkyrie; I figure that this is basically the only shot coming in so one of the Dhunian Archons stops it. In the centre some Idrians charge in and jam up my Swamp Horrors.

Turn 2: Minions
I’m going to try to clear the flag, deal with the Guardian and take out at least one Menite Archon. All spells are upkept, then Jaga-Jaga shuffles around a bit and casts Signs and Portents. I decide to take a chance on Brine dealing with the Menite Archon without Rage and he does so on his last attack, then Overtakes to face the oncoming Dervish. The Wrastler strolls up and eats one Idrian, then puts Rage on the nearer Swamp Horror. The Void Archon clears the other jamming Idrians and teleports out of my way behind the Horrors. The Raged Swamp Horror moves up and pulls in the Guardian but it Enlivens behind the corner of the building so I can’t pull it in for a good Beak-ing. Actually, I should have used the Soul Slave to put Ghost Walk on the Swamp Horror and had it move through the building itself, thereby blocking off that route. The other one eats up almost all the infantry within 4” of the Flag but leaves the Repenter on a single box (even more annoyingly, in it’s right arm). Over on the left, Skarath wrecks the Objective but the Dervish Enlivens to safety. Many thanks to Marc letting me correct my order-of operations here and having Dahlia put Mist Walker on Skarath first so that it could actually reach the Objective in the first place. I resign myself to losing the big snake shortly. The score goes to 1 – 0 me as I did at least pick off the Objective.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Feora drops Death March from the handful of surviving Idrians and Severius gives up his Road to War. Severius’s Dervish gets allocated two Focus, as does the Guardian; Hand of Judgment gets one in anticipation of being topped up by a Vassal later. The Dervish kills Brine neatly to the box, allowing Gade to swap Prey onto Rorsh and shoot him twice. The Mechanic repair Hand of Judgmnt and, crucially, the Guardian’s spear. It then uses said spear to kill one of my Swamp Horrors and Hand of Judgment critically wounds the other. The Menite Archon almost one-shot’s Skarath and the Dervish leaves it on a couple of boxes. I wonder why Marc is obligingly leaving a load of my Warbeasts at the ‘almost dead’ stage instead of finishing them off when he explains to me about Feora’s Feat. That goes off, finishing Skarath, the Swamp Horror and two Valkyries; she kills the last one with a channelled Scorn. The ‘good’ news from all this carnage is that the Dhunian Archons have healed almost everything else back to full. Marc scores the left and centre zones; 2 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
I’m quite far behind here, but I still have some good plays possible and I think I could possibly get back into the attrition game if I can handle both heavies and do something about the Menite Archon; a tall order but probably not out of the question. On the other hand, I have Void Archons who are glutted on souls from losing most of my army last turn and they’re just as dumb as Menite Archons, so it’s time to kill Feora instead. Jaga Jaga uses Signs and Portents, then the right Void Archon kills a handy Idrian to Void Walk up to Feora. Between the spray and three bought attacks under Signs and Portents [edit: turns out that Void Archons can’t buy attacks], Feora is down to a single box despite burning through her three Focus camp. The other Void Archon turns out to be annoyingly just out of melee range of Feora after Void Walking off another Idrian but she has only one box left so a fully boosted spray finishes the job. Minions win by assassination.

It was great to get back to playing Jaga Jaga, and it was also lovely to get in another game with Marc who is a terrifically nice opponent. I felt quite rusty with this list but Signs and Portents just makes things work so nicely and that’s always and enjoyable feeling. [edit: As pointed out by some lovely posters over on Lormahordes, Void Archons can’t actually buy attacks so clearly I cheated Marc out of a deserved win this game. I’ve apologised to him accordingly.]

Things I learned:

  • Not really a ‘thing I learned’ but Void Archons are ridiculously good. It blows me away that they made it out of playtesting with these rules. One of them was a single box away from one-shotting an unhurt three-camp Warcaster who has some very nice defensive stats (admittedly, under Signs and Portents) while having to cross both of our front lines. [edit: OK, so they’re only that good if you don’t read the rules properly and cheat. Oh well.]
  • I could have done more to support that assassination run. I should have had the Soul Slave cast Ghost Walk on the lead Dhunian Archon and probably got it within range of Feora to blow-up using Jaga-Jaga’s Feat. That would have nicely placed a bit more damage onto Feora and made the assassination even more of a sure thing.
  • I need to get a bit more clever with my Swamp Horrors. Notwithstanding that cleverer use of Ghost Walk could have netted me the Guardian in turn 2 as mentioned above, I seem to be very good at letting them get killed for little gain. Perhaps I’m overestimating the effort that will be required to kill them each time; Impervious Flesh only goes so far with only ARM15.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Cygnar (75 points); 20Aug2020

Gareth asked for another game of Warmachine / Hordes and I was very pleased to oblige him. Strictly speaking, I guess it’s just Warmachine since neither of us is playing a Hordes faction, but on the other hand I don’t really know why Privateer Press keep the separate branding anyway.

Game 12 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Gareth’s Cygnar

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

I went back to Fiona this time for the highly sophisticated reason that I felt like playing her again. Theoretically my list pair would be Fiona and Ossrum but we haven’t really been doing the whole ‘list chicken’ thing for these friendly Wartable games.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1I7D9b9y9IoQpjoToRoKoKaeo_p2oWp2

Cygnar
[Theme] Flame in the Darkness

[Stryker 2] Lord Commander Stryker [+28]
– Charger [9]
– Lancer [10]
– Ol’ Rowdy [18]
Alexia, The Undying [0(5)]
Black Bella, Duchess of Dread [4]
Grand Master Gabriel Throne [7]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Morrowan Archon [8]
Morrowan Archon [8]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]
Legion of Lost Souls (max) [18]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Order of Illumination Resolutes (max) [13]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]

By contrast, Gareth did come equipped with a proper pair of lists; the above Stryker2 option (which he selected) and something with Kraye that I didn’t pay much attention to. I guess that the main thrust of this list is to make use of the unholy interaction between Blood Bound on the Legion of Lost Souls, Vengeance (from the theme benefit) and Stryker’s Feat, then use stacking strength buff and armour debuffs to get them to hit like tanks. I’ll need to make good use of Fiona’s Feat and clear them out as efficiently as possible; I think that Roth’s Mercy also gets around Blood Bound so that is potentially another tool to keep them honest.

I win the roll off and decide to move first; interestingly Gareth gives me the side that I would have chosen anyway. He must have felt that the bottom edge had terrain that worked better for him. I set up somewhat symmetrically with the Cavalry on the left and the Blockader on the right. Gareth puts the Legion on the far left; I guess that this is probably to stay away from the Blockader’s sprays but their fantastic hitting power seems like it’ll be wasted against the Steelheads on that side. The number of Shield Guards here is going to be really annoying for my Cannons and Dez. My basic plan is to try to put Ol’ Rowdy down early and then focus on taking out the Legion. Stryker can probably one-shot the Blockader on his own if he Overloads high enough, but if he does I can hopefully just assassinate him. The left unit of Steelhead Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
As usual, everything runs forward as fast as possible. Fiona puts Roth’s Mercy on the Cultist unit and Occultation on the Cavalry. In retrospect, I think that this was a bit of a mistake and Occultation would have been far more useful on the other Halberdiers.

Turn 1: Cygnar
Everything on the Cygnar side also runs up. Stryker arcs Rebuke onto the left unit of Halberdiers and casts Deceleration.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
I decide that this turn I’m just going to do what I can to the Warjacks since Gareth has helpfully left them out of Shield Guard coverage and otherwise just batten down the hatches and cower under my Feat. The Cannons knock down both Ol’ Rowdy and the Lancer, and the Blockader walks over and liberally douses the former in flames. I see that Gareth has left Alexia where I can get to her so Fiona kills her off with an Arcane Secrets fully boosted Soul Fire then Feats.

Turn 2: Cygnar
Stryker drops Rebuke, allocates to the Charger and both of the other Warjacks shake knock down. The mechanics repair both of them too, undoing almost all of my work from last turn. Stryker casts Positive Charge on Ol’ Rowdy and then kills a couple of Halberdiers with Lightning Storm. Ol’ Rowdy and the Lancer kill a couple more and the Legion jam me up as hard as they can on the left while Throne makes them Tough. On the right my Halberdiers fare rather poorly (although it has to be said that this is pretty much as expected) as the Charger kills a couple and the Resolutes pick off one each. Neither of us score and my screenshot didn’t save properly.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
I start planning an attrition turn where I take out the bulk of the Legion with the Cavalry and Thralls, and then use what I have in the centre to deal with the two central Warjacks. Before I move, I realise that I can get to Stryker so I go for the assassination instead. The Blockader gets allocated one Focus and the Arcanist Empowers it up to full; it strolls over to the Charger. Unfortunately needing 7s to hit turns out to be hard and it lands only one of five swings. In retrospect I should have just boosted the last swing and made one less as I just needed to move the blasted machine out of my way anyway. To make up for this, the Charger obligingly rolls 1,1 on a free strike to move the engaged Halberdier out of the way; actually I wouldn’t have minded it they had died as I had plenty of other options for arcing spells into Stryker but it saved me some spacing issues. The Cannon on the left shoots the Objective but it turns out that the rightmost Gobber isn’t under the template so survives and continues to block my access to Stryker. I do a bit of jiggery pokery to move Alexia forward so that I can get a Thrall in for Mark Target before I recognise that the Lancer isn’t going to miss more free strikes and give up. Luckily Dez comes to the rescue and slams the surviving Gobber into Stryker to knock him down. Gareth has seen enough as I have more than enough ranged attacks now to finish him off even with the Hermit negating one. Mercenaries win by assassination.

Many thanks to Gareth for a fun evening playing with our virtual toys. In some ways this was a fairly unsatisfactory game for both lists as Gareth’s stuff did virtually nothing and mine only really served to clear enough space to Stryker and kill him. In the end, I think that only Alexia3 died on Gareth’s side other than targets that were stopping me getting to Stryker. This is the kind of game where I really want to be able ‘save my game’ video game style and see how things work out if I play attrition in turn 3. Still, full credit to Gareth for taking this as another learning opportunity; in this case that he needs to keep his Warcaster safe because this list can reach out quite a long way.

Things I learned:

  • I played the boosting poorly on the Blockader in turn 3. I didn’t actually need to kill the Lancer once I decided that I was going for the assassination and I just have just boosted an attack to push it out of the way of the lane I was trying to clear near the building.
  • I need to make better use of Fiona’s spell list. I’m always terrified of Befuddle when I’m playing against Fiona so I should try to use it more. Especially against lists like this one that don’t pack a colossal to stop me doing just that.
  • My positional play continues to be woeful. The pictures don’t really show it but I really jammed myself up in the centre on my last turn trying to get the relevant pieces to have line of sight to their needed targets.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Circle Orboros (75 points); 14Aug2020

Andrew and I managed to arrange another game of Warmachine / Hordes via Wartable. Our group is playing a lot of the Brawlmachine format lately, but my preference has still been to play full 75 point games and Andrew was happy to oblige me.

Game 11 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Andrew’s Circle Orboros

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

Still no change in my Ossrum list as I work out which parts are failing because I’m playing poorly versus which parts should actually change. I’m not sure that Fiona isn’t a potentially better drop into Circle as they probably mostly want to be in melee and I can use Befuddle, but anyway I wanted to play Ossrum so here we go.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-1xfcmKmOmJmJ5AmVmIjXeE

Circle
[Theme] The Wild Hunt

[Kromac 2] Kromac, Champion of the Wurm [+28]
– Ghetorix [19]
– Storm Raptor [34]
– Warpwolf Stalker [17]
– Warpwolf Stalker [17]
– Druid Wilder [0(4)]
Gallows Grove [2]
Lord of the Feast [0(6)]
Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron [5]
Death Wolves [9]

I don’t have any cool insight into Andrew’s thinking for the list; I guess to use the Lightning Strike animus on his Stalkers to pick off leading threats and then bully the board with his Storm Raptor and Ghetorix. Even with Ossrum’s Feat I will be at a bit of a disadvantage in threat ranges here.

Andrew wins the roll off and chooses to have the first turn, so I give him the side with more buildings in the hope that he jams up his Storm Raptor. I go with a fairly symmetrical deployment but put the Warjacks very close together in the centre; I don’t really know if this is a better option to screen them or if it cedes too much movement on the already-slow Rhulic Warjacks. I’m hoping to take the brunt of Andrew’s first wave on the Halberdiers and just gradually push him back with my own heavies. Critically, he has three heavy Warbeasts and I have three really simple ways to cause knock down so perhaps I can also mess with his fury efficiency by making the Stalkers and Ghetorix repeatedly waste a fury to shake knock down.

Turn 1: Circle Orboros
Everything runs forward as usual. Kromac puts Vengeful on Ghetorix and the Boil Master gives the Lord of the Feast some corpse tokens.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
I also run forward as fast as possible. Andrew’s army out-threats mine by a lot so there’s no point in trying to stay out of range. Ossrum puts Snipe onto Dez and Fire For Effect on the right Cannon; all three shots miss the Stalkers. There is a bit of a traffic jam in the centre of my lines; in retrospect I should perhaps have put Dez somewhere else as she isn’t affected by Ossrum’s Tactician.

Turn 2: Circle Orboros
Kromac upkeeps Vengeful. Ghetorix puts up Spiny Growth and kills a single Halberdier on the left to make a landing spot for the Storm Raptor. This allows it to Energy Pulse and kill every single Halberdier from that unit, plus one of the Cannon crew. It reloads for another couple of attacks to finish the Cannon unit too. Well, at least Alexia is full of soul tokens now. Kromac moves up and Feats then the left Stalker kills my lead Driller and Sprints back to safety. The Boil Master loads up the Sköll who then single handedly Pac-Mans his way through the entire right-hand unit of Halberdiers with Overtake. So I’ve lost all 20 Halberdiers in a single round; that feels somehow impressive.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
I’m well on the back foot here so I need to make some headway into the Circle heavies, contest the central and right zones and deal with the Lord of the Feast and Sköll before they murder Ossrum. I upkeep Fire For Effect and allocate a couple of Focus to Drillers. The Arcanist Empowers the Basher on the right and it kills Sköll. Alexia creates some Thrall Warriors who run to apply Mark Target. Dez knocks down Ghetorix and the surviving Cannon gets the Stalker on the right. Ossrum Feats, casts Energiser to move my Warjacks into slightly better positions and crosses his fingers. One Driller takes out the knocked down Stalker and the Lord of the Feast, the other one pokes Ghetorix fairly ineffectively. The Blasters on the right spray down the remaining Death Wolves (one survives because they had a corpse token) and contest the zone. The Basher misses a boosted slam into the standing Stalker; I had hoped to use Grand Slam to follow-up and keep Kromac busy. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Circle Orboros
Kromac drops Vengeful and Ghetorix shakes his knock down. The Stalker and Ghetorix scrap the Basher to clear a lane for Kromac. The Storm Raptor kills a Thrall and Sgt Verendrye with the Energy Pulse but is careful to leave the more central Thrall Warrior alive so that Kromac has a charge target. The big Tharn king casts Carnage and charges in, splats the Thrall on the charge and then sets about Ossrum. Andrew gets pretty unlucky by missing a couple of attacks but he rolls quite high on damage for the ones that do hit; Ossrum lives on five boxes. I’m not sure how likely it is that Ossrum dies here but it certainly felt tight. The rest of the list moves to try to tie up everything I have; in particular the last Death Wolf runs around the building to tie up my Cannon crew. We don’t score for scenario again.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Time to finish Kromac since if I don’t, he certainly won’t make a second mistake. Ossrum upkeeps Fire For Effect. Anastasia ambushes in on the right and stabs the Death Wolf in the back to free up my Cannon. It aims and smacks a cannon ball into Kromac, knocking him down (which is probably game over anyway) but also rubbing salt in by rolling crazy on damage. Ossrum finishes the job personally, but I had plenty of other options to apply damage by that point. Mercenaries win by assassination.

Thanks, as always, to Andrew for being a fun and engaging friend to game with. I felt like I was on the back foot as soon as my entire screen evaporated in two model’s activations. Andrew could easily have won this game just by using Kromac to kill the Driller in the central zone and the Storm Raptor dealing with the other one. But he wanted to have the satisfaction of a caster-on-caster assassination and the dice just didn’t work out. If I’m honest with myself, this game is really a loss as I don’t imagine that Andrew would have taken such a needlessly risky approach if this was a tournament.

Things I learned:

  • The sheer number of models to unpack continues to be a challenge in turn 1; I just can’t seem to get everything where I want it. As mentioned above, I probably need to keep Dez out of the centre as she’s a major stumbling block as the Warjacks can’t just move through her with Tactician.
  • I didn’t appreciate amount of light infantry killing power that Andrew had here. I’m not sure that I could have positioned to keep many Halberdiers alive but even one would have let me use Sgt Verendrye’s Reinforcements rule and therefore had a few more blocking bodies if I had needed them.
  • Once I had Ghetorix knocked down in turn 2 I should have just left him alone; the stacking armour from Kromac’s Feat plus Spiny Growth was just hopelessly inefficient to attack.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

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

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

Cygnar
[Theme] Sons of the Tempest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

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

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

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

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

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

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Talion Charter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

  • I should have actually deployed in accordance with my plan to use the Halberdiers to screen my Warjacks. As it was, they ended up in a fairly irrelevant fight on the periphery with Joe’s infantry. Apart from fueling Alexia’s Thrall engine, I think that if we’d both just played about 20 points down and ignored the outside edges of the board there wouldn’t have been a big difference in the game.
  • I should have been far more careful of my Warjack positioning on turn 1; as it was I gave Joe a free head-start of about half of the boxes of two heavies because each Blockader could hit two at a time with their sprays.
  • Keep my eye on victory conditions. Even games where I’m down heavily on attrition can be won if I just keep plugging away at the scenario or can find an assassination option.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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

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

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

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

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

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

Cygnar
[Theme] Gravediggers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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