Posts Tagged With: Cygnar

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

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

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

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

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

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

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

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

Cygnar
[Theme] Gravediggers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

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

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

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

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

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

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

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

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

Cygnar
[Theme] Gravediggers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I learned:

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Cygnar (75 points); 28May2020

Another evening, another chance to test my mettle against Joe at Warmachine / Hordes. We went back and forth a few times to pick a suitable match-up for my Morvanha list as he felt that some of his ‘main’ lists were probably not a good fit to make this an entertaining game. In the end, he modified someone’s Haley3 list and off we went.

Game 2 – Anarchy (scenario 5) vs Joe’s Cygnar

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-2amXmNmKmRmVmVmV54jXmSmF5qmj5wmj5w

Circle
[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Morvahna 1] Morvahna the Autumnblade [+28]
– Brennos the Elderhorn [15]
– Ghetorix [19]
– Tharn Blood Shaman [4]
Gallows Grove [0(2)]
Gallows Grove [0(2)]
Gallows Grove [0(2)]
Tharn Ravager Shaman [4]
Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron [5]
Bríghid & Caul [7]
Tharn Bloodtrackers (max) [15]
– Nuala the Huntress [4]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]

I made a slight change here, removing the Tharn Whitemane in favour of the Spirit Cauldron. With all the potential corpse token users in my list, I felt that this could be more useful than Veteran Leader (though indeed, that is pretty sweet). Everything is just the same as last time.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1NeS9G9Aak7jaj9cpqoWadpvlL

Cygnar
[Theme] Storm Division

[Haley 3] Major Prime Victoria Haley [+25]
– Ironclad [12]
– Thorn [13]
– Squire [0(5)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Journeyman Warcaster [0(4)]
– Firefly [8]
Sir Dreyfus the Storm Knight [0(5)]
Order of Illumination Resolutes (max) [13]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Artificer Prime Nemo [18]
– Toro [13]

I’m not sure that Joe had any firm plans for this list except thinking that maybe it wouldn’t overrun me too hard, while also including some living models for me to Harvest. He did remove Ragman and a Nomad in favour of a Toro and Anastasia Di Bray. Ragman is certainly not needed here as I’m not really packing a lot of armour.

Joe wins the roll-off and chooses to move first again. I take the top side as the terrain looks a bit less annoying; note that we agreed that the burning clouds blocked line of sight. I put the Ravagers on each flank and hope to use repositioning Bloodtrackers plus Brighid and Caul to mess with the forest in the centre while camping on the flag inside my trench. Bloodtrackers Prey the Resolutes; Brighid and Caul pick Nemo.

Turn 1: Cygnar
Haley puts Tactical Supremacy on herself and summons both of her echoes. Nemo creates a Gun Mage Captain Adept from somewhere and the Journeyman casts Arcane Shield on the Resolutes.

Turn 1: Circle
I run up and stay outside threat ranges on the flanks. In the centre, I just dive right in with the Bloodtrackers and hope for the best. The Spirit Cauldron creates a few corpses and fills up Caul’s supply. Brighid and Caul mill about near the flag which is probably a mistake; I should have put them behind the forest and forced Joe to react to them. Morvanha puts Restoration on the Bloodtrackers and Harvest on herself.

Turn 2: Cygnar
All spells are upkept and nothing is allocated. Nemo gets Eyeless sight from the objective. Haley Past and Haley Prime send Chain Blasts into the Bloodtrackers, killing a couple, and Haley Prime also puts up Temporal Distortion. The Resolutes and GMCA drop another couple of Bloodtrackers. Nemo zaps Caul down to a single box and kills a Grove. I had thought that Caul had Vengeance but it seems that I was mistaken. Sir Dreyfus turns out to be a bit more mobile than I had expected and kills another pair of Bloodtrackers. Over on the left, the Storm Lances zap a few Ravagers and reposition backwards.

Turn 2: Circle
Morvahna takes a chance and returns 4 Bloodtrackers as well as upkeeping both spells; I’m hoping that I can Harvest enough Fury to stay safe. I need to move Caul out of the Blood Shaman’s way, Brighid shoots at a Resolute but fails to break armour. The Spirit Cauldron gives the Blood Shaman Puppet Master, but she fails to land Mortality on the Resolutes anyway. I send in a couple of Ravagers to ding up the Toro on the right; keeping the rest back a little so I don’t give away the whole unit. I also try to keep the Chieftain a bit further in from the board edge so it’s a little harder for Anastasia to murder him. The Bloodtrackers throw spears at Sir Dreyfus and the Resolutes but roll abysmally and do a couple of points of damage to a single Resolute after the dust has settled. Brennos kills a Storm Lance and the Ravagers on that side advance rather timidly. I do score my flag though; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Cygnar
Again the Objective gives Eyeless Sight to Nemo; all spells are upkept and no Focus is Allocated. Anastasia ambushes in on the left. Nemo’s team of Mechaniks power him and the Toro up. Thorn stabs a Bloodtracker in melee to get some space. Haley Future Revives a Storm Lance; Haley Prime casts Temporal Distortion and then she and Haley Past kill a couple of Bloodtrackers with Chain Blasts. Nemo shoots Brighid; I shield guard it to Caul who dies then Nemo’s next shot kills Brighid anyway. He also casts Lightning Shroud on the Toro which kills both Ravagers. More Bloodtrackers are killed by Resolutes and they contest my flag. Anastasia hurts the Chieftain but her failure to kill him means that she’s in the middle of a big pile of Vengeance attacks. The Ironclad and Storm Lances kill a couple of Ravagers on the left, and Sir Dreyfus sits on Joe’s flag. 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Circle
Ravager Vengeance attacks kill Anastasia and do a bit of damage to the Ironclad and Toro. Morvanha returns another 4 Bloodtrackers and upkeeps her spells. The Spirit Cauldron gives the Blood Shaman Puppet Master again and this time she lands Mortality on the Resolutes. Sadly, the Bloodtrackers are pretty useless even with Mortality and Prey and still only manage to drop a single Resolute between all their attacks. Brennos kills a Storm Lance and Battle Wizards his Ravaging Winds spell into Sir Dreyfus for no effect whatsoever. The left Ravagers drop the Ironclad, and one Storm Lance but leave another sitting on a couple of boxes. On the right, the Ravagers almost wreck the Toro but I get greedy and want to let the last one start an overtake chain through the Mechanics too. This means that I don’t buy an attack with the Chieftain even though he’s full of corpse tokens. And, of course, the last one misses his charge and fails to break armour on the bought attack, leaving the Toro on a couple of boxes. I send in Ghetorix to kill a Resolute without going into the forest hoping that it and Spiny Growth will suffice to keep him safe. This does at least clear my flag; 2 – 1 to me.

Turn 4: Cygnar
All spells are upkept, two Focus allocated to the Firefly and Thorn, and Nemo gets Eyeless Sight again. Thorn stabs a couple of Bloodtrackers. Haley Feats. Haley Past Revives a Storm Lance and puts Ghost Walk on the Firefly. Haley Prime uses Repudiate to strip Spiny Growth off Ghetorix and recasts Temporal Distortion. Haley Past, the Firefly and Sir Dreyfus bang up Ghetorix really badly. On the right, one Mechanic repairs the Toro’s Cortex and the other gives it some Focus; the last supercharges Nemo as usual. The Toro kills a Ravager and the Resolutes kill another. The Squire trundles onto the flag. Joe realises that he can just get Nemo into the forest and able to see Ghetorix, so he guns my big beastie down. The Storm Lances on the left drop three Ravagers and a Grove with a handy electroleap; they put out a lot of attacks for such a small number of models. Joe scores his flag; 2 – 2.

Turn 4: Circle
I take my Vengeance attacks but actually achieve almost nothing. Morvahna returns three Bloodtrackers and upkeeps her spells. The surviving couple of Ravagers plus their Shaman on the left clear the zone. Brennos moves up and boosts Ravaging Winds into Haley Past, boosting damage to kill her by sheer good fortune; the boosted blast also polishes off the last Storm Lance which is rather nice. On the right, things go less well as the Ravagers fail to achieve anything more than finally stripping the last couple of boxes off the Toro; they can’t even manage to hit the Mechaniks. I need to deal with Nemo, but it seems unlikely that I can really do it since most of my Bloodtrackers are engaged by the giant melee ranges on the Resolutes and Haley. In the end, the Spirit Cauldron puts Puppet Master on the Blood Shaman to land Mortality on Nemo, and Nuala uses her mini-feat to put Prey on him. Even with all that it’s nowhere near enough and I only take off about half of his boxes. I do at least score the left zone; 3 -2 to me.

Turn 5: Cygnar
It’s time to finish this. Thorn and the Firefly get their full allocations and all spells are upkept. Thron strolls over and stabs Brennos like a champion, neatly taking about both mind and spirit with some truly heroic damage rolls. Nemo takes off, killing a few Bloodtrackers I’ve jammed in there with Spatial Vortex but missing Morvahna with both of his shots. Haley Prime casts Temporal Distortion and Haley Future stabs my Warlock to death in two swings, killing Brennos via transfers in the process. Even if that hadn’t worked, I think that Joe had plenty more attacks available to kill Morvanha with. Circle lose by assassination.

Another fun game of Warmachine with Joe. I really should have played this much better strategically. I knew at the start of the game that I would need to leverage the forest in the middle for repositioning Bloodtrackers and to deliver Brighid and Caul, but I was far too timid and gave Joe too much room to play with. The end result was that he dictated the line of play and not me. I also went the wrong way with the Ravagers. Instead of starting them on the outside and bringing them in, I ought to have started them closer to the centre and then fanned them into the zones only if Joe ceded them to me. In all, I didn’t get my attacks where I needed them. I also need to work out what I actually want to do with Morvanha; I’m not sure when to Feat in particular… and indeed I didn’t do it at all this game.

Things I learned:

  • Feat earlier (i.e. at all) with Morvahna. I keep wanting to save her to activate late in the turn so that she might get additional fury via Harvest and therefore contribute further. But in fact what happens is that by the time she has enough fury to do anything interesting, anything that could benefit from her activation has already finished.
  • If I’m going to be bringing back Bloodtrackers three or four at a time, I can probably afford to be a bit more aggressive jamming the front line with them. Possibly I need to activate them later in the turn and use them more as highly mobile jammers rather than worry about what they get done with their spears.
  • Brighid and Caul are really easy to kill if I don’t hide them. I should either get them to total safety right at the back so that they can come in late game to damage surviving heavy targets or put them somewhere forward but awkward so that if anything does try to kill them then I can get it the following turn.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Starting Warmachine and Hordes

The next Big Thing here at Chateau Argentbadger is Warmachine and Hordes, hereafter known as WarmaHordes. Of course, there are always reasons for choosing to buy into one game or another, and (for me at least) there has to be a good reason to spend my limited time, money and attention on a particular game. This goes double for a new game where we all have to learn new rules and buy new books and miniatures.  Since this is one of the few games I’ve bought into with even a modicum of thought beyond ‘looks cool’, I decided to show my workings.

This story started when I started using my Ogre Kingdoms in Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I am not an especially good player, but I have literally never lost with this army, and in almost all battles I felt that there wasn’t even much of a threat of that happening. The feeling of being unduly powerful was compounded by Furycat picking up Tomb Kings at the same time and going through the sort of process I expected – i.e. losing a lot until finally getting the hang of the army after significant practice. Worse, I proxied a single game of Lizardmen against the Tomb Kings and won crushingly despite playing terribly for the entire game. This contrasts with my experience with Beastmen, where I always feel that I have to either play well or get lucky (or both) to avoid defeat. To summarise, I felt that there were serious balance issues between the Warhammer Fantasy armies. This isn’t going to stop me from playing the game, as it’s still a lot of fun (especially with Beastmen), but I have been a bit frustrated by the feeling of choosing to play on ‘easy’ or ‘hard’ mode depending on which army I select.

The first part of what I needed was a game with tolerable balance between armies so that I wouldn’t feel like the army was playing itself without me, or that one side was facing a significant uphill struggle solely as a result of faction choice.  For clarity, I’m not thinking about army building here (which I see as a skill in wargaming) but rather selection of which faction to play.

Next, Mrs Argentbadger and I have decided to try a bit of wargaming together. She isn’t a natural geek like I am, so we’re going to take this slowly and see how this goes.  We have busy lives, so this was suggested as a possible way to dedicate an evening to sharing a hobby rather than watching television, or simply indulging our own separate forms of entertainment even when we’re in together.  The main criteria here for game selection are rules which are tight and reasonably simple (by which I mean that they can be followed with logic rather than interpreted) and low model count armies for speedy games.

So, in a slightly roundabout way, I found that I was looking for a wargame with good internal balance, with a simple set of core rules and a relatively small model count. A bit of looking around suggested WarmaHordes as that game.  Let us see if that turns out to be right.

A few tries with the free-to-download rules seemed to be fun enough to entice Mrs Argentbadger back for more tries. I imagine that I am going to need to give myself a bit of a handicap to begin with, but I think that if this proves to be fun then she could easily become strong enough at the game to beat me without assistance. She can defeat me at chess without difficulty, though admittedly that can be said of a lot of people.

In the interests of putting some pretty pictures into the post, I have selected Circle Orboros as my faction. Choosing a force in any wargame always begins with the miniatures for me, and I like the variety of styles in Circle Orboros, ranging from werewolves, stone monsters, druids and barbarians.

I’ve (somewhat arbitrarily) decided to use Morvahna the Autumnblade as my initial Warlock to learn how to play, since her rules look amusing.

Mrs Argentbadger has chosen the Retribution of Scyrah, a faction of angry Elves. After a bit of research they seem to be regarded as a ‘new’ faction with fewer unit choices compared to the others. This might turn out to be an advantage as it will be easier to focus on learning how to play the units that do exist well, rather than swapping out frequently (which I expect to do).

Furycat has, as expected, decided on Cygnar. He always seems to prefer to play the protagonists in any setting (Empire in Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Imperial Guard and/or Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000). We’re going to get in at the deep end and play larger games straight out of the gate as it looks like the test games we’ve had have been a bit imbalanced due to the low army size.

Finally (out of those who’ve expressed an interest in playing at all) Aramoro has looked at Cryx. They’re the evil undead faction, and seem to revolve around crippling the defence of their foes. Still, as he put it: “I don’t always select the annoying faction on purpose”. Here’s a random picture of a group of Cryx Warcasters that I think look cool.

Categories: Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.