Posts Tagged With: Retribution of Scyrah

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Scottish GT (75 points); 03-04Aug2019

I traveled to Common Ground Games in Stirling to take part in the Warmachine / Hordes (just Warmachine from here on in) Scottish Masters. Note that, despite the name being ‘masters’ it wasn’t necessary to be some kind of expert player; just as well really as otherwise I’d never get a look in. Just like the only other Warmachine event I’ve attended, this was run by Allan Gibb and all the organisation in the lead-up was smooth. I had been really looking forward to the tournament as it’s been a long time since I took part in a competitive wargaming event.

My objective here in terms of performance is not to come last. If I can get two wins, I’ll be delighted.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g___-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0L0YbOfCnd4c

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

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

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [8]
– Road Hog [15]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– Targ [0(3)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

My lists are the same two I’ve been using for Minions for the last few games. Dr Arkadius is there to threaten an assassination but can attrition surprisingly well against Warbeasts (because I can get a good alpha strike with Dr Arkadius’s Feat) and a limited amount of infantry (because Overtake lets me pinball around, and two Road Hog sprays can be quite effective. The Jaga Jaga list is intended to be used against infantry, and especially to use her Feat to take out annoying solos and unit attachments; it also has a bit of hit-fixing with Signs and Portents.

Round 1 – King of the Hill vs Ross’s Retribution of Scyrah (game 8)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c5201b_-1ohH1gms3y3y3A3J0w4L2wfW2zmo31___-1ndUhImx9v3y3y4141dP35363u3536hT

Retribution
[Theme] Legions of Dawn

[Goreshade 4] Lord Ghyrrshyld, the Forgiven [+28]
– Chimera [8]
– Imperatus [20]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Dawnguard Destor Thane [7]
Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir [0(4)]
– Hydra [15]
House Shyeel Artificer [0(5)]
– Griffon [8]
Lys Healer [3]
Dawnguard Destors (max) [20]
Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]
– Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [0(4)]

Retribution
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

[Issyria 1] Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn [+29]
– Hemera [16]
– Hyperion [32]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [0(4)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
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]
Arcantrik Force Generator [17]

I picked Dr Arkadius here as I was worried about how I would deal with the colossal in the Issyria list. Ross chose Goreshade, so that wasn’t helpful. I’m a bit worried about chewing through Dauntless Resolve, Steady, Tough Destors (or Sentinels, depending on how things go) as they seem tailor made to kill my Warbeasts. On the other hand, I think that Ross has to use his Feat early or play very cautiously with Goreshade unless he wants to risk a Feat / Overtake assassination.

Ross wins the roll and chooses the board edge so I go first. I’m aiming most of my army for that bottleneck in the centre as I think I’ll need to get through there. The Gatorman Witch Doctor seems important here to be able to get through the terrain.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator in case of any cheeky late-turn shooting and casts Forced Evolution on the left Road Hog. Mire casts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler simply because it would be free later on. Some of my Warbeasts don’t run as otherwise I’ll end up with too much Fury on the board and I’m not confident about leaving Dr Arkadius on zero camp.

Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Most of Ross’s list also runs full-tilt toward me. Goreshade puts a couple clouds up in between the central forests to ensure that I can’t see his army. Dauntless Resolve goes on the Destors along with the Steady aura, so I can see that I’ll have a tough time getting through them. The Sentinels form a loose screen in front of Goreshade while the Griffon goes for the left zone.

Turn 2: Minions
I think that I can use a trick with Dr Arkadius’s Feat to get the assassination this turn since Goreshade didn’t use his Feat. Hutchuk runs in from the left and fails to do much of anything to the Griffon. The Gun Boar runs into the clouds to be a Frenzy target and the Witch Doctor casts Ghost Walk on the War Hog. Mire and the Wrastler put Rage on the right-hand War Hog and Road Hog while the Battle Boar and Dr Arkadius put Primal on the left pair. Dr Arkadius then Feats, sending the left heavies into the cloud wall (and banging up the Gun Boar in the process) and the right ones round the other side of the forest. Over on the right, the War Hog makes a bit of a meal of killing the lead Destor but the Road Hog gets an amusing charge which lights Goreshade on fire with the Assault shot and then Overtakes though a handful of Sentinels. The left Road Hog puts some more damage into Goreshade with its flamethrower and clears a path through the Sentinels before eventually Overtaking out of the War Hog’s way. The Primalled War Hog has Goreshade in its sights and puts the Warcaster down in the first swing. Minions win by assassination!

Well, that went surprisingly well. Ross was a really nice chap, explained what his stuff did and took his Warcaster’s early demise with a smile on his face. I think that this was the narrowest win possible in Warmachine; I didn’t get any scenario points and the only thing I scored army point from was Goreshade himself. Things I learned:

  • I need to get more value out of Ancillary Attack and the Adrenaline option on Dr Arkadius’s Needle. I’m not really using either to any great effect.
  • Taking down Destors with Dauntless Resolve, Steady and Tough is really hard to do. In general, I don’t have any tech against Tough other than just spending Fury and hitting them again.
  • Cloud Walls are a bit of a problem as I have no way to see through them. Luckily in this case I was able to Frenzy onto one of my own models to get through Goreshade’s clouds, but if positioning had been a bit different that could have been off the table too.

Since that took such a short amount of time, we re-racked back to end of Ross’s first turn, and applied Goreshade’s Feat. I had to back off and cede some ground and lot of damage but eventually I managed to land a fully powered-up War Hog on Goreshade again and get a second assassination. No photos or clock from that game though, we were just chatting our way through options.

Round 2 – Recon II vs Kyle’s Protectorate of Menoth (game 9)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1qfZgS9xg9e49x9xlM9x9x2_2____-1r1l1q1rm3l-l-m03p7z2mbQ2m2jfV2jfV

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Malekus 1] Malekus, the Burning Truth [+30]
– Eye of Truth [20]
– Repenter [8]
– Revelator [37]
Initiate Tristan Durant [0(4)]
– Repenter [8]
– Repenter [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Repenter [8]
– Repenter [8]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
[According to my notes there should also be a couple of Vassals of Menoth in here but for some reason it isn’t working out in Conflict Chamber]

Protectorate
[Theme] Exemplar Interdiction

[Vindictus 1] Vice Scrutator Vindictus [+29]
– Dervish [7]
– Devout [9]
– Fire of Salvation [14]
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal [0(5)]
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal [0(5)]
High Exemplar Gravus [8]
Knights Exemplar Seneschal [0(5)]
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord [4]
Exemplar Errants (max) [16]
– Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard [4]
Exemplar Errants (max) [16]
Knights Exemplar [9]
– Knights Exemplar Officer [4]
Knights Exemplar [9]
– Knights Exemplar Officer [4]

My knowledge of game match-ups is only at the most basic level possible. In this case, I looked at Kyle’s pairing and mentally broke it down to ‘lots of Warjacks’ and ‘lots of infantry’. Since we were playing a scenario that didn’t have any zones that could be scored by infantry, I figured that he would go for the Warjack list and selected Dr Arkadius accordingly. It was a bit of shock when Kyle picked Vindictus and I ended up facing a huge swarm of light infantry across the table, especially as I couldn’t set them on fire with Road Hogs.

Kyle wins the roll off and chooses to go first so I pick the side with slightly less annoying terrain. His army is more or less evenly spread across the line and I do the same, except that Mire and the Dracodile are in the middle since they are Amphibious (and have Immunity: Corrosion in Mire’s case) and hence can get around that irritating corrosion swamp.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
A huge swarm of infantry races toward me, ably assisted by True Path. Defender’s Ward goes on the Errants on my right, and Rhupert makes them Tough too. Everything other than the Infantry is a bit more cautious and hangs back behind the woods.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward as usual. I don’t want to let too much of Kyle’s infantry get into me, but on the other hand I certainly can’t afford to get jammed out of the scenario. Dr Arkadius casts Aggravator in the vain hope that I can use it to shut down some cheeky potshots without exposing myself too much, then casts Forced Evolution on the nearer Road Hog. The Road Hogs put out a few sprays to minimal effect.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
Defender’s Ward is upkept, the Vindictus strolls up and uses his Feat. The various Exemplars jam me hard, and I lose the Road Hog on the left to charging Knights Examplar.

Turn 2: Minions
We weren’t sure of whether Dr Arkadius’s Feat would allow me to charge into Vindictus’s Feat so decided to assume that I couldn’t do it. I un-jam myself as well as I can with Overtake moves, and the Battle Boar lives the dream by Primalling itself and then eating the entire unit of Knights Examplar. 1 – 0 to the Protectorate as I can’t clear my own flag and forgot to ambush Hutchuk on to contest Kyle’s.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Defender’s Ward is upkept again as Kyle judges that there are enough Errants left to be worthwhile. On the right, the infantry jam back in but I somehow don’t lose any of my Warbeasts. On the left, it’s less pretty as the War Hog is slammed out of the zone by the Bastion Seneschal (and eventually killed by Errants) and the Battle Boar is killed by the Dervish and Knights Exemplar Seneschal. Vindictus casts Admonition on Fire of Salvation. 3 – 0 to Kyle as he scores his flag again and the left zone.

Turn 3: Minions
Hutchuk makes an appearance and runs to contest Kyle’s flag. The Wrastler and Mire do some sterling work on the left, taking out the Dervish, both solos and a few more Errants. Dr Arkadius uses his Feat to get an extra few attacks out on the right and I’m feeling more comfortable about how much stuff Kyle has to come back to me with. One of the War Hogs heads for Fire of Salvation but it Admonitions away. Dr Arkadius gets on my flag; 3 – 1 to Kyle.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Kyle throws all he has at me. Fire of Salvation gets fully fuelled and kills the lead War Hog. On the left, the Devout manages to leave Mire on a single box. No-one scores as everything is contested.

Turn 4: Minions
Hutchuk leaves Rhupert on a single box so the Gun Boar has to kill him from range (and a high damage roll hurts Hutchuk quite badly too). Mire and the Wrastler clear the Devout from the left zone and I think Kyle is out of things to meaningfully contest it. Over on the right, the War hog and Road Hog finally finish off the last of the infantry but I can’t pin down the Fire of Salvation with Admonition. I’m reduced to trying to block his route in, and Dr Arkadius applies Crippling Grasp to hopefully keep it out of my face. I score the left zone and both flags to bring the score to 4 – 3.

Turn 5: Protectorate of Menoth
Kyle is down to almost nothing on his clock. Vindictus personally polishes off my War Hog, then Fire of Salvation gets fully fuelled and just barely makes it into Dr Arkadius. Fortunately, my Warcaster survives the round and Kyle’s clock runs out. Minions win by deathclock.

That was tight! Kyle was a really lovely man, and on discussion with him was probably about as experienced at Warmachine as I am (i.e. not very). So in that regard this was really a perfect game for both of us. Things I learned:

  • Positioning of my Warlock is of paramount importance. I could have moved Dr Arkadius to various positions of safety but ended up needing the dice to save me.
  • The match-up into this cloud of light infantry wasn’t as bad as I expected. The warrior models need to clump up if they’re going to do anything of note to my heavy Warbeasts and doing so leaves them really vulnerable to sprays or Overtake chains in retaliation.
  • Getting the Berserk attacks off with the Battle Boar was extremely satisfying. It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to use that ability and it felt good.

Round 3 – Spread The Net vs Billy’s Protectorate of Menoth (game 10)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1q0ylV7jlUk9e4lVlM1G1G3t2____-1pm11UlVme3k3k7jjCjClR3C2_3F3Hninini

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Kreoss 1] High Exemplar Kreoss [+29]
– Judicator [35]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Exemplar Warder [0(5)]
Exemplar Warder Elias Gade [0(5)]
Initiate Tristan Durant [4]
– Judicator [35]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Redeemer [11]
– Redeemer [11]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

[Harbinger 1] The Harbinger of Menoth [+27]
– Crusader [10]
– Judicator [35]
– Hierophant [3]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Hand of Silence [7]
The Covenant of Menoth [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (min) [9]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]

I’m well and truly in the shark tank here; Billy is regarded as a potential winner of the whole event, plays in WTC and so on. Both his lists have Colossals in them so I figure I need the sheer damage output of Dr Arkadius again. Billy chooses to play with Harbinger. I’m just hoping for a lucky opening to get a Road Hog onto Harbinger or something.

Billy wins the roll-off and chooses to take first turn.  Neither side has much to recommend it so I take the one with a wall that I can hope to hide behind a little.  The Wrastler and two War Hogs go to the right in order to face off the Judicator; perhaps the threat of a long range attack from Raged War Hogs will make it play a bit further back.

The Idrians pick the painted Road Hog as Prey.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Billy tuns his stuff up in a brick, making sure that Harbinger is far enough back that I can’t possibly land any assault sprays on her from the Road Hogs.

Turn 1: Minions
I move up and try to leverage my larger threat ranges. I’ve got Aggravator up in case I can get any moves out of cheeky shots from the Idrians that won’t also involve the Judicator getting an easy route into my heavies, and Forced Evolution goes on the nearby Road Hog.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
The Idrians and Judicator drop one of my War Hogs at range, and Harbinger casts Purification to clear off my upkeeps. The Champion and some Initiates are careful to block me off from the Judicator. The Allegiants move to be annoying, one of them runs to the right flag.

Turn 2: Minions
Hanging back isn’t likely to help me as I don’t have any ranged threats so I figure that I need to pull the trigger now and hope to do enough chipping away at the infantry that Harbinger will slow down on the Martyrdom. I need to get that Champion out of the way, but I seriously underestimate how tricky it is to clear a model with high armour, Tough, no-knockdown under Awe, when Harbinger can just take a bit of damage to keep him up. Now that I write it, possibly this should have been more obvious! In the end, my heavies get completely hung up on this one model and I can’t make any progress into the Judicator despite using my Feat, Primal, Rage and any thing else I could bring to bear. It didn’t help that the Champion passed his first five Tough checks before even needing to be Martyred. I do set a few things on fire but Harbinger Martyrs away any significant damage. Over on the left, I dismount the other Champion but have to Primal the Road Hog to get anything done at all. Hutchuk ambushes over to contest the right flag and Targ scores me for the left one. Billy scores for the left zone; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Harbinger loads up the Judicator and it kills the Wrastler and another War Hog. The Idrians take out the right Road Hog and Anastasia comes on the left and Toughs Targ. Billy scores his zone again; 2 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
There isn’t much that I can do here. The Battle Boar kills Anastasia so that I can at least score another point. Just for fun I power up the last War Hog and it leaves the Judicator on a five boxes, so at least that was satisfying. Mire kills a few Idrians but I can’t get the whole unit. I score the left flag and right zone while Billy scores the left zone; 3 – 3.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
It’s just mopping up here. All but my rear-most miniatures are efficiently killed off with the Judicator and surviving Idrians doing most of the work. Minions lose on scenario (I think; from my notes I believe it was only 6 – 3 in Billy’s favour when we called it… anyway, I wasn’t coming back into this).

Overall that went more or less as I expected. Billy was a classy opponent, always polite and friendly even when he was crushing all my stuff. Spoiler alert: he did go on to win the whole event, so I don’t feel bad about being comprehensively crushed by him. Things I learned:

  • Despite the result I think that I picked the right list to use here; at least, I think that Jaga Jaga would have been even worse. It seems to me that I would need to bring some very different tech to give myself a fighting chance here. But perhaps I’m wrong, and the difference here was simply the vast gulf in skill and experience between us and I could have done more by simply playing better. If you have any thoughts on how to approach this match-up then I’ll be really glad to read them.
  • I need to get better at using power attacks. The Champion gummed me up completely trying to get my heavies into the Judicator. I think that it could have been possible to use one of them to throw him out of the way without messing about trying to kill him.
  • As with the Destors in game 1, I don’t really have a good answer for Tough, Steady models other than hitting them lots of times. In this case, the combination of Awe and Martyrdom made it even harder to deal with.

With that, the first day ended and most of us went out of some drinks and a rather lovely Italian restaurant. It’s one thing I do really appreciate about two-day events – being able to make an evening of the tournament and get to know people outside the context of the game that brings us together.

Round 4 – Bunkers vs Sean’s Grymkin (game 11)

https://conflictchamber.com/?ce201b_-2khvh2nlnlnlnlnlnlh4h4nFhmhmhmhn___-2khth2nlnlnlh4h6h3h3hmhmhmhmhr

Grymkin
[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[King of Nothing 1] The King of Nothing [+28]
– Cage Rager [14]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Baron Tonguelick, Lord of Warts [4]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [3]
Lady Karianna Rose [4]

Grymkin
[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[Dreamer 1] The Dreamer [+28]
– Cage Rager [14]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Gorehound [6]
– Skin & Moans [15]
– Skin & Moans [15]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Death Knell [13]

I’ve literally never seen Grymkin on the table before, so Sean very kindly talks me through his lists. I see that there are nine Clockatrices between the lists so I figure that they must be The New Hotness; after Sean’s explanation I decide that Swamp Horrors are probably the tech I need to deal with them so I go with Jaga Jaga. Sean picks his Dreamer list with a mere three Clockatrices.

Sean wins the roll off and chooses to go first. I pick the side with a trench to hide Jaga Jaga in. I’m aiming to use Brun and Rorsh to get on the outside flags and then run the rest of my stuff up the middle. The Totem Hunter goes behind the forest in the hope that I’ll be able to abuse that for some cheeky charges, although there aren’t really any great targets for him here.

The Arcana chosen are All Fall Down, Sacrifice and Labyrinth. I forgot to note what the Totem Hunter chose as Prey; I think it was probably the Clockatrice on the far right.

Turn 1: Grymkin
Everything just runs right at me. The Dreamer puts out an Artifice of Deviation on the right, presumably to stop any shenanigans with Rorsh. She also casts Mirage on the right Skin and Moans

Turn 1: Minions
Those Clockatrices have me out-ranged so I move up far enough to hopefully bring them into my range if they want to spray my Warbeasts. Jaga Jaga puts Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter (not that it ever saves him!) and Battle Host on herself. Brun and Rorsh cast their upkeeps since they’re free to keep in play thanks to the new theme benefit. Lug is relatively far forward in the hope that I can bait out some awkward positioning to gt round counter-charge.

Turn 2: Grymkin
Mirage is upkept and the Gremlin Swarms predictably stroll onto the flags. I have a plan to deal with the ones on the left but I can’t see myself doing more than contesting the right now. All three Clockatrices come in and apply a variety of penalties to both Swamp Horrors and Brine; the rest of the army moves up to counter punch if I can take them out. Another Artifice of Deviation appears to stop me doing anything useful with Brine.

Turn 2: Minions
I upkeep all my spells. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk onto the Boomhowlers and they run around and plink away a little at the front line. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Feats, killing the left Gremlin Swarms, one of the Crabbits and otherwise clearing some of my own models out of the way. She also puts Rage on one Swamp Horror and the Wrastler does the same for the other one. The Swamp Horrors, slowed as they are, do manage to get both Clockatrices (actually the Totem Hunter has to finish the last one). Sean did good work having them Stutter to places where I couldn’t pull them in for bite attacks but eventually they went down. I’m a bit more stuck on the right and Rorsh is resigned to just taking a couple of potshots and contesting the flag. Somewhere in here Labyrinth was played. We each score our own zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Grymkin
The Dreamer moves slightly and casts Manifest Destiny. The Skin and Moans on the right kills Brine but Rorsh lives on a single wound. The Cage Rager takes out the Swamp Horror on the right, saving me some worries about Fury management. The Gorehound charges across and eat Orin; I’m a bit annoyed with myself on this one as it was totally avoidable – I hadn’t realised that Gorehounds have Ghostly but more importantly Orin could easily have been a few millimetres further back and remained safe. The last Clockatrice kills the Totem Hunter and the heavies on that side start to pressure me through the forest on the right. The Crabbit contests the left flag and a Phantasm runs into my zone so only Sean scores his zone for 2 – 1 to Grymkin.

Turn 3: Minions
Battle Host is upkept for free, then Jaga Jaga kills the small Phantasm, puts Rage back on the Swamp Horror and casts Signs and Portents. Lug swats the Crabbit and Brun moves to be slightly less irrelevant while still scoring. The Soul Slave is going to need to get on the left flag so moves into range to run onto it next turn. The Swamp Horror eats both the Gorehound and Cage Rager and the Wrastler takes out the Death Knell. Boomhowlers run to contest the back zone and generally get in the way. I score the left flag and my zone; 3 – 2 to Minions.

Turn 4: Grymkin
Turns are moving quite quickly now as we run out of miniatures. The Phantasms move to contest and the Dreamer zaps the contesting Boomhowler before casting Manifest Destiny. The pair of Skin and Moans drop the Wrastler (needing to work quite hard for it) and the Clockatrice clears the right flag by killing Rorsh. Sean scores his zone and the right flag; 4 – 3 to Grymkin.

Turn 4: Minions
I need to send the Soul Slave to sit on the left flag this turn so I enjoy my last free upkeep of Battle Host. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and waves goodbye to the Soul Slave. The Valkyries and Boomhowlers contest, jam and clear Phantasms as best they can manage and the Swamp Horror takes care of a Skin and Moans. Brun and Lug both leg it to the centre flag. I score my zone and two flags, Sean gets one to bring the score to 6 – 5 to Minions.

Turn 5: Grymkin
Unfortunately, it turns out that I’ve left Jaga Jaga close enough to my objective that the Skin and Moans can charge it and buy attacks on her. So the Clockatrice takes care of the blocking Valkyrie and the Dreamer moves up to cover the landing spot with Manifest Destiny, and it does just that. Minions lose by assassination.

This was the only game a felt a little disappointed in my performance. Not because I particularly expected to win, but rather because the manner of the defeat was so avoidable; simply moving Jaga Jaga about 1” to my left would have left her safe. Of course, there were still plenty of options for Sean to win it, but I wanted to push him a little further to get the win. Oh well, just something else for me to try to think about in these games. Sean was a lovely opponent throughout. Things I learned:

  • As above, I’ve got a bit of a habit of not checking for threats onto my Warlock until after I’ve finished their activation. I really need to consider positioning for them much more carefully. I guess I didn’t really learn my lesson from game 2.
  • Signs and Portents showed it’s worth again and again in this match-up. On the other hand, Sean was casting Manifest Destiny for one Fury less and getting the same value out of it so maybe I should be wishing for that spell instead!
  • Swamp Horrors were as good into Clockatrices as I hoped. Sean did a good job of Stuttering them round the base of another model so I couldn’t drag the Clockatrices in for a good beak attack though.

Round 5 – Anarchy vs David’s Cryx (game 12)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c4201b_-1WnUc31hkpe2kwkr2IoIkgkk1____-1U0Z19193ci2dWdWhZh_hZh_bB

Cryx
[Theme] Scourge of the Broken Coast

[Rahera 1] Captain Rahera, Terror of the Wailing Sea [+28]
– Kraken [35]
– Stalker [8]
– Satyxis Blood Priestess [4]
Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius [4]
– Kharybdis [17]
Axiara Wraithblade [0(6)]
General Gerlak Slaughterborn [0(6)]
Ragman [4]
Blighted Trollkin Marauders (max) [15]
– Jussika Bloodtongue [0(5)]
Bloodgorgers (max) [15]

Cryx
[Theme] Dark Host

[Coven 1] The Witch Coven of Garlghast [+26]
– Deathripper [6]
– Deathripper [6]
– Desecrator [14]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Wraith Engine [15]

I had a feeling that David was going to go for the swarm of Banes here and decided that my Dr Arkadius list would want no part of that. In addition, there is no incentive for the Witch Coven to play even remotely far forward so there wasn’t even much danger of getting a cheeky assassination. Jaga Jaga came out to play and David did indeed pick Witch Coven.

David wins the roll and decides to go first. I put both lesser Warlocks on the left to try to hold that flag and stick the Boomhowlers on the right with the hope of holding that zone at some point. The battlegroup goes in the centre so that I can see where things end up, although with such a wall of warrior models coming at me I suppose that the answer is ‘everywhere’.

The Totem Hunter picks Bane Lord Tartarus as Prey; I figure it might make David play him further back at least.

Turn 1: Cryx
Everything rushes right at me. David is careful to measure out proper landing zones for the Witches and Egregore. Occultation is cast on the right Bane Riders, Infernal Machine goes on the Desecrator and a Veil of Mists is put out to extend the wall of forests and theme-benefit clouds.

Turn 1: Minions
There’s not much to do but run right at them. I try not to offer too much to the alpha next turn, but on the other hand I also want to get deep enough that I can do some work under the inevitable Coven Feat. On the left, the Valkyries stay out of range of the Bane Riders as I can shoot them next turn unless they back right off the zone. Grave Wind is on the Totem Hunter and Battle Host goes up, along with the upkeeps from the lesser Warlocks.

Turn 2: Cryx
All spells are upkept. The Coven move up and, predictably, Feat to cover much of my army. The Bane Riders on the right come in and slap through the leading Boomhowlers. One of them kills the Totem Hunter too (actually it missed the impact attack but I let David take that back as he said he wasn’t aware of the Poltergeist thing); poor Totem Hunter. Otherwise everything is surprisingly cautious. The Wraith Engine swaps sides but I’m not really sure I understand why.

Turn 2: Minions
I look to see if there is any way that I can trample anything into the Witches while they’re far forward and eventually decide that it won’t work out. Jaga Jaga, Brun and Rorsh upkeep all their spells for free. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Rages the Wrastler, which then goes in and Overtakes its way through three Bane Riders. Boomhowlers move out to get in the way a bit more; I’m hoping that there will be enough of them left to be worth using my Feat by the time next turn comes round. Rorsh uses Diversionary Tactics to get an additional move out of Brine, who walks into the Desecrator. Frustratingly, even under Signs and Portents Brine misses half of his attacks and leaves the Warjack on a couple of boxes. On the left, I realise that I can’t give away too much to the Bane Riders so the Valkyries gun one of them down. Brun scores my flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Cryx
The Coven drop all their upkeeps and load up the Desecrator; the objective also heals it back to full functionality. The Bane Warriors on the left drop Brine without any problem after the first one runs to stop Lug’s Counter Charge. The Desecrator and one Bane Rider kill Lug too, along with most of the Valkyries though helpfully the last one Toughs and contests the left zone for me. The Bane Riders and Warriors on the right plow through a bunch of the remaining Boomhowlers (clearing the zone) and gum me up in the centre; finally Tartarus remembers to sit by his flag. 2 – 1 to Cryx.

Turn 3: Minions
Right, I feel like now I can get some work done as I can actually get to the Cryx army this turn. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk on the few remaining Boomhowlers and they walk up to stab a few of the Bane Warriors. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Feats on the rest of the Boomhowlers apart from the Trollblood himself, clearing a bit more of the mess on the right. The last Valkyrie sacrifices movement to take a shot at a Bane Rider, then Rorsh gets to work. He aims and starts unloading, killing the Desecrator and a Warrior. Brun kills the contesting Bane Rider to clear my flag. The Wrastler and both Swamp Horrors go on a highly entertaining Overtake rampage, wiping out the last Bane Riders on the left and seriously thinning out the remaining Bane Warriors on either side. We each score our flags; 3 – 2 to Cryx.

Turn 4: Cryx
The Bane Riders on the left clear the Valkyrie to claim that zone while the Warriors move to contest my flag and kill off my Swamp Horror. Over on the right, the Deathripper charges into Boomhowler but crucially misses him. Later Warrior attacks just force him to Tough, which he makes to stymie David’s plans. The rest of the Warriors put some fairly desultory attacks into the Wrastler. Finally, the Wraith Engine goes Incorporeal and rushes forward. Cryx score their flag and left zone; 5 – 2.

Turn 4: Minions
Orin runs to the flag and Rorsh aims again to finish the left Bane Warriors. Brun charges into the left zone to kill a Rider, but mainly to contest. Boomhowler, the Wrastler and surviving Swamp Horror do great work on the right but can’t quite polish off the Deathripper nor one Warrior that snuck behind them. The Swamp Horror does pull in Tartarus and eat him as part of another Overtake chain though, so that felt pretty good. I was actually planning to send the Swamp Horror into the Wraith Engine until David kindly reminded me that it was Incorporeal this turn. I score my flag; 5 – 3 to Cryx.

Turn 5: Cryx
David is pretty much out of clock at this point but canny observers will note that, once again, I have neglected to move my Warlock a tiny amount to safety. The Deathripper runs toward Jaga Jaga and the Coven first put Curse of Shadows on her then follow-up with a couple of Stygian Abysses (luckily none of them get a critical hit). The Wraith Engine then charges her but misses enough attacks that she survives. David has 1 second left on his clock so he concedes. Minions win by deathclock.

Another close game, though in this case I think that David had run out of things to really threaten me with once I tidied up his Wraith Engine. It was nice to play into this kind of list as I’ve not really had experience into anything like it, and David ensured that it was a fun way to play. Things I learned:

  • Yet again, I failed to follow my own advice about keeping my Warlock safe. In this case, I thought that I would have the Wraith Engine in hand anyway but I had forgotten that it was Incorporeal so I couldn’t attack it. Nonetheless, I could have had Jaga Jaga playing less far forward than she was.
  • Sometimes it can be worth throwing something unexpected at a player to get them out of their comfort zone. I gave away Brine in exchange for most of the Desecrator but it was probably still effective as it meant that David had to slow the Bane advance on that side to deal with him. Of course, I was hoping that I wouldn’t miss so many attacks and actually kill the Warjack but it wasn’t to be.
  • The game is long enough that I can afford to back off and cede some scenario points to avoid a really bad situation (like strolling into David’s threat ranges under the Witch Coven’s Feat). No need to rush in as long as I can contest at least on my turns.

When all the scores are in, I somehow finish a remarkable 10th place out of 30ish people. Far, far better than I had expected, and actually slightly above Joe on whatever tiebreaker comes first (I think it is Strength of Schedule); more personally I surpassed even my stretch goal to win two games. Many thanks to Ross, Kyle, Billy, Sean and David for five fun games of Warmachine, and of course to Allan for running the whole show.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, 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: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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