I'm so sure the dice gods love to affect the dice when it comes to the survivability of Gorman diWulfe on the battlefield.
It's just so awesome to see him survive against the odds... multiple times during one match! I remember one time in Mk1 when I fielded Gorman. I was playing Deneghra against some protectorate warcaster.
Under Deneghra's feat Gorman ended up in melee against the Avatar of Menoth who had generated 4 focus. Granted, Avatar was under Deneghra's feat, but it was still way too awesome to have Gorman survive the full wrath of Avatar. All of it's attacks didn't even miss.
Anyway, last Thursday I played a 35 point game with Cryx versus Cygnar.
My list was:
Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
And opponent was playing:
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages + Unit Attachment
Full unit of Stormguards
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
I won the starting roll.
It was my first time playing against epic Caine. I knew what they've always said about him and his "brokenness", but was not exactly prepared for it. However, there's not much to tell about first rounds movements, except to show the general set-up. Oh, and the fact that Hunter warjack that was hiding in the woods shot one arm off of my Slayer and Eiryss disrupted it.
I was happy enough when I found out that True Sight didn't ignore cloud effects.
By placing my helljacks and cloud effects like that I was confident enough that I was safe enough from both epic Caine and Eiryss who was hiding in the woods. Reaper, enhanced by Puppet Master re-rolls from Tremulus, moved as much forward as possible and dragged Hunter up and wrecked it.
Yet... it was about then that the metagaming over the board woke me up that Black 13th could place an AoE that allowed everyone else to ignore cloud effects.
And Caine's threat range was 19".
Actually that realisation made me took a picture in middle of round, as it was quite likely that game would end on opponents turn, if Asphyxious was within 19 inches of Caine.
One ranger ran in the middle of my troops, Black 13th managed to pull off their ignoring AoE on Slayer. Stormguard moved into parade formation.
Then, because it was a matter of quarters of inches, we decided to measure full 19" from Caine to Asphyxious to see if he was in range.
Asphyxious was about 19.5 inches away. That half an inch actually made for an interesting game and not a second turn caster kill. It was close enough that it really shocked me and opened my eyes to eCaine's "thing".
Well, because opponent failed his assassination run, Eiryss nailed Asphyxious with Disruptor Bolt. No focus for me on next round...
I no longer remember what had knocked off Slayer's Cortex too, but anyway, it had only very few damage boxes left (I think it was eCaine's shooting?). I moved it forward and decided to kill Gorman diWulfe with it. It had one claw and tusks operational. Claw obviously missed, as it's damage roll would have meant that Gorman would have bit the dust even with snake eyes. However, tusks scored a hit. Damage roll: 1, 2. On 5+ Gorman would have died.
Then Asphyxious backed off a little and placed his Soul Reaper template so that two stormguards were under it.
Then a bile thrall purged those two dead. Slayer was under the purge too and it left Slayer with one damage in movement system and corrosion. Gorman was under the purge too, cackling maniacally over the flesh melting stuff. One Bile Thrall purged off Eiryss too.
Bane Thralls charged, though actually only one charged and the rest ran. The charging one tried to finish Gorman. It's 180 degrees wrong as the axe prevented base to base contact. Missed.
Then Tartarus charged the Stormguards, getting the one Black 13th member who made models to ignore cloud effects within his reach. Obviously they were the ones who got cursed.
Tartarus killed off the Black 13th guy and one stormguard. He missed one model who was under too with snake eyes. However, he did create two more bane thralls.
As a huge bonus, Black 13th failed their terror check. All in all, I was quite happy about this focusless turn.
Then it was opponents turn.
The most important stuff that happened this turn were Stormguard lining themselves up perfectly to kill as many Bane Thralls as possible with electro leaps AND not to kill Gorman with an electro leap!
Well, everything went just fine until the last attack (slayer got killed in the process too), which made an Electro Leap to Gorman diWulfe who had only two health boxes left.
After the leap was resolved Gorman was left with one health box. That's just epic. Or, what's even more epic is what Gorman did afterwards. After Slayer and Bane Thrall was killed Gorman moved as much forward as possible and threw Black Oil so that it blinded Reaper, Admonia and... Asphyxious.
Last turn Asphyxious was disrupted and next turn he'd be blind. Oh joy.
Then epic Caine himself shot up stuff. Tartarus and some Bane Thralls were gone. I don't remember if it was this turn when Reaper's melee weapon was shot off. Caine then Gate Crashed near the "Choose Life" mug.
On my turn Bane Thralls charged again Gorman diWulfe and now, only after he had done his worst, did Gorman die.
Asphyxious forfeited his movement and placed the Soul Reaper template over four stormguards and one ranger.
After two purges Asphyxious was filled with 5 souls.
Maelovus got to kill the one Black 13th member who had the other Area of Effect attack. Mage Storm or something like that. Tremulus had cast Puppet Master on him this time.
On opponents next turn remaining bane thralls were reduced down to Officer with two damage boxes and Unit Leader.
At this time both warcasters still hadn't used their feats. It was just too obvious both were saving it up for an assassination.
All in all, most of opponents remaining troops were shot to pieces on my turn, but I still couldn't find a good spot to do an assassination. I was thinking that I could charge one of my own troops and feat up incorporeal bane thralls to the woods where Caine was hiding, but the ranges were difficult to estimate.
Most of the remaining Arcane Tempest mages were killed with a Deathknell.
Otherwise Asphyxious decided to play safe.
On opponents turn he decided to make a "finishing" move. Either I would fail to kill Caine behind a cover or succeed. Defense 17 would be a tough nut to crack in melee and defense 21 against shooting and spells was next to impossible.
Ripjaw was destroyed.
And then. Asphyxious moved as far as possible and shot up one remaining Gun Mage or Ranger or something with Excarnate and added one Bile Thrall to the unit.
Then Asphyxious used feat.
Tartarus cursed Caine and charged him. Even he needed 8 to hit, even with his impressive MAT 9 under curse. Well, 8 it was, and he one-shotted Caine.