So, I'm moving into another apartment so my time to spent on the game table has been cut quite short.
Anyway, I squeezed in a game on Vassal yesterday.
I played a 25 point game against a friend of mine. Our lists were:
Iron Lich Asphyxious
Full unit of Mechanithralls + 1 Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & stitch thralls
Necrotech & Scrap thrall
And my opponent was playing:
Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Full unit of Temple Flameguard
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard
I won the starting roll (has my quivering about losing it every time finally normalised things?)
This time I found out the function in the Vassal client to take screenshots of the game, so I have pictures of the battle now to illustrate things.
The fear of Ashes to Ashes made me bring my heavies up front.
Really not much else to tell about round 1, as you can see how opponent hides behind Burning Ash clouds. Now it was my time to be in the receiving end of cloud effect spam...
Round 2 I was still horrified of Ashes to Ashes. Not for my mechanithralls but for my Necrosurgeon. I tried to place my troops so that opponent just might overextend his arc node and kill a bunch of mechanithralls but not getting my surgeon. On the hindsight this was a big mistake. I should have been a lot more aggressive and not let opponent back up behind the clouds.
Reckoner took a shot at Reaper and nearly broke its cortex.
Opponents infantry actually retreated, which was (in my opinion) a mistake from his side. Me being so afraid of Ashes to Ashes however didn't let me capitalise on that.
I don't want to talk about it... really.
I made such a huge loads of mistakes during my half of the turn that it almost brings tears to my eyes. And many of my shenanigans would have actually been pretty clever if I had intended them to be clever... Ah, let me explain.
I allocated 3 focus to Reaper and ran Mechanithralls a bit forward. One ran to the cloud effect in front of Reckoner.
Skarlock then cast Scything Touch on Reaper.
Reaper charged the mechanithrall in the cloud.
I didn't even remember trample at that point, not even if not that long ago a different opponent had used it to great effect against myself!
That charge shenanigan would have been actually pretty clever if I had killed Mechanithrall with Reaper's tusk attack and then put Helldriver to Reckoner. But did I even remember Reaper had tusk attack? Nope. Well, it was my first time to use that warjack anyway.
Reaper dealt something like 12 points in with two attacks which was decent enough but nothing broke from the warjack.
Then, feeling disappointed at Reapers performance I tried to do the good old hellfire assassination against High Reclaimer. Well, this was a very weird thing to do because I had already spent 3 focus on Reaper.
I did hit with my first boosted hit hellfire and dealt 6 points of damage.
Then Apshyxious used its feat. One temple flameguard and two choir members died to the pow 5 hit. Then I tried to shoot one hellfire with replenished focuses to High Reclaimer but missed.
I didn't think I could kill High Reclaimer with one hellfire even if it hit. I decided to send in one Breath of Corruption, saving one focus for boosting damage if anything nice would happen to get under the template.
Well, of course Asphyxious missed. But then, on top of that, the only direction that had no enemy models in it came up. And maximum deviation distance.
Opponent crushed Reaper with two hits from Reckoner.
One Knight Exemplar and Gius or Cassian charged my Ripjaw. Both missed. Otherwise opponent was still holding back.
On round 4 my tactics seemed to improve somewhat.
I gave Ripjaw and Slayer 3 focus, Skarlock cast Scything Touch on it and it trampled to Reckoner, killing two mechanithralls with the trample. Necrosurgeon was close enough to get the corpse tokens.
Slayer did pretty sweet damage but columns rolled were something like 3 and 5, nothing getting broken.
Ripjaw killed Gius or Cassian and tried to bite the Exemplar but missed.
Now, in the hindsight I should have given Ripjaw only 2 focus and cast Scything Touch with Asphyxious on Mechanithralls.
Anyway, then Necrosurgeon moved as far forward as possible and made two new mechanithralls from the very same corpses that Slayer had trampled.
I placed them to the cloud effect so they could see Reckoner.
Then they charged, or, well, two thralls charged and rest ran.
First thrall scored a hit with combo-strike. I was sure something would happen now but no. I don't remember the actual damage roll any more but Reckoner was left with 1 damage box in every system, except few that had more. Seven damage boxes left and fully functional.
Last mechanithrall missed, despite needing to roll only 5 with 2 dice.
Well, rest mechanithralls had run far and wide, trying to bog down opponent as much as possible.
Opponent obviously dismantled my Slayer with Reckoner and killed as many mechanithralls as possible.
That Gius or Cassian guy you see there charged in to kill Necrotech that had ran next to reapers wreck marker.
Round 5 I tried to kill Gius or Cassian with a Hellfire shot from Skarlock. The bastard was left with 1 hit point. It would have been nice as I would have gotten a corpse token before Necrosurgeon would have activated.
That was not to be.
Then something happened that was something beyond awesome. Something that gives this game the "epic" tag.
Warwitch siren advances into base to base contact with the lone Exemplar you can see in round 4's picture. She casts Seduction. Exemplar then moves to Reckoner and wrecks it with one shot, giving exactly 7 points of damage in.
That's just purely Cryxian thing to do. Then Ripjaw moves a bit.
Then Necrosurgeon moved to better position and Asphyxious himself charged the bodyguard to death. It was nice to get the soul to myself rather than give it to the wretched menite. Through arc node Asphyxious shot Breath of Corruption at Revenger, catching High Reclaimer under the template. I boosted that damage. Reclaimer was left with 6 hit points.
Opponent charged Revenger to my Ripjaw who lost everything else except movement system. Poor little thing.
Most of my mechanithralls were mopped up but not the Necrosurgeon.
On round 6 I charged Asphyxious to Revenger, cast Parasite on it (missed the first, even with boost) but hit with second that I was able to boost because of earlier soul.
Charge attack scored a lucky hit too and destroyed Revengers movement system which was quite a blessing in regard to mechanithralls' performance.
But then Asphyxious could do nothing else.
Skarlock moved and cast Scything Touch on Mechanithralls, then Necrosurgeon created 3 thralls more and two mechanithralls charged to Revenger. Rest killed two of the exemplars near to Asphyxious, again giving souls to the Iron Lich instead of their righteous owner.
Revenger was wrecked.
Well, it was opponents time to use his feat on his 6th round.
Gius and Cassian came back and charged Asphyxious, dealing a nice amount of 10 points in. Only one hit was scored there.
7th round was pathetic for me. Mechanithralls killed only one guy, though they did their best in beating up Gius and Cassian. Both were reduced to 1 hit point. Asphyxious had to personally kill them, after of which he launched a hit-roll boosted Hellfire at remaining Rhoven.
It was there, then, when I realised that High Reclaimer actually doesn't have the spell "Revive", which was the reason why I hadn't been killing much of opponents infantry during the whole game...
Well, then Asphyxious teleported to safety.
Opponent utterly crushed my mechanithralls, using the dreaded Ashes to Ashes.
Everything his troops couldn't finish were cleaned away with that spell.
Then I started round 8 with Asphyxious with 9 souls and Skarlock. Things looked indeed a bit grim.
But Skarlock moved as far as it could and shot one temple flameguard with Hellfire, clearing a line of sight for Asphyxious.
Asphyxious then charged the red temple flameguard. Missed, by the way.
He could draw Line of Sight to High Reclaimer. Attack roll boosted Hellfire hit home. Damage boost was more than enough to finish him.
All in all... even if both of us made pretty weird mistakes, I think I learned to respect High Reclaimer more. On paper yes, he looks terrible, having only pathetic 5 focus.
But to be honest... I was playing mostly unliving Cryx (so burning ash or ashen veil from Reckoner had no effect on attack rolls) and I got my warcaster at many places collecting souls instead of giving them to High Reclaimer and the fight was still this tough. Actually, I scored a victory only with desperate last ditch measure.
For sure I learned to respect High Reclaimer more than I used to. Sure, I would have probably gotten in a spell assassination if I had spent all of my feat turn focus on hellfires against Reclaimer. But now, when the game went on and I could see some of the actual play style instead of sudden death, he didn't seem so bad after all.