Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Christmas Comes

I just came home from playing a game of When Darkness Comes with a friend. That makes it two player experience, then.

This time around the game lasted a bit longer than first.

Actually we managed to finish the first scenario, so I can evaluate the game a bit more.

Both our characters were horrible at lockpicking, speed and medical. Because of that the game lasted longer than it usually would have, I think. The countless tries at lockpicking and healing were a bit hilarious at times.

However, one the ranged weapon specialist found a pistol and the hand-to-hand fighter found a wrench, winning battles started to go steadily enough. So much in fact that it ruined some of the tension in the game. But maybe that was because both characters had Defense/Health of 4, which allowed lots of tries with 5-6 attack dice against adversaries before things looked critical. A couple of times characters got down to 1 health, but even then it was a solo fight without assistance from another player.

Maybe we were just lucky to find such good weapons, but really, killing off the zombies was actually easier than surviving guardsmen at library. Those guys were pro bouncers, throwing once a lone player out, and next turn both of us. That resulted in one of the players getting three failure tokens, which kinda made me the victorious player.

So, once players get some weapons, it seems the hardest challenge is dealing with failure tokens and stuff like that.

But, really, need to get some more games in, and obviously some more complex scenarios.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Death count: 1 mechanithrall

Today I played a game of Warmachine.

I wanted to give another try to Scaverous, him being all new and dandy for me.

It was a 35 point game against Khador, scenario being Capture the Flag.

My list was:

- Nightmare
- Defiler
- Ripjaw

Minimum unit of Mechanithralls + Brute Thrall
Withershadow Combine
Cephalyx Overlords
Ogrun Bokur

Opponent was playing:

- Beast-09

Maximum unit of Winterguard Infantry + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Man-O-War Bombardiers
Kayazy Eliminators
War Dog
Kovnik Joe

So, opponent won the starting roll. There is this slight proxy there, as eliminators aren't really released yet.

First picture is taken from the end of my first turn, and I tried this time not to crop the picture too much so that all of the board and terrain would be visible in at least one picture.

Widowmakers took nasty position up on the hill, and I had dedicated the unit of mechanithralls to contest my flag. Bad match-up there.

Opponent came a little bit forward and took pot shots with all models that could do so. One widowmaker sniped the mechanithrall that's in the topic there, and one man-o-war did one point of damage to Defiler.

When it was my turn I got a bit over-excited with Nightmare.

Nightmare was loaded with 3 focus, and had Telekinesis cast upon it. Admonia had also upkept Death Ward on it. Skarlock cast Ghost Walk on it. And then it charged Beast-09. Well, it did tear everything else down except column 1, meaning it had only open fist intact.

Now, the over-excitedness came from the fact that when I was "cheat-measuring" distance to Beast-09 from Scaverous, Beast was about 1 inch away from the maximum distance of Scaverous' control area.

So, Scaverous cast Telekinesis on himself and measured again, this time making it absolutely clear Nightmare could charge Beast.

Well, that play with a spiffy spell cost me a warcaster.


Then came Sorscha, then came Sorscha's feat, then came 2x razor winds at focusless def 5 Scaverous, and last came the hand cannon.

Then came 4x man-o-war bombardier cannons. Didn't need the last cannon shot, as Scaverous was nailed at the fourth one.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Scaverous digs his own grave

Yesterday I played a 35 point game of Warmachine.

Now, having finished Scaverous, I decided to take him as my warcaster for the first time.

I was against Harbinger of Menoth.

I also wanted to test Ragman around, so my list came arounda little bit weird:

Lord Exhumator Scaverous
- Reaper
- Harrower
- Nightwretch

Minimum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Withershadow Combine
Ogrun Bokur

And opponent had:

Harbinger of Menoth
- Templar
- Templar

Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Minimum unit of Exemplar Vengers
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Vassal of Menoth
Saxon Orrik

A word of proxy: Zealots are in fact Temple Flameguards, their unit attachment being monolith bearer (officer) and errants standard bearer (flameguard standard bearer). Also, Vilmon is an exemplar errant and Saxon Orrik an allegiant.

Opponent won the starting roll. We were playing a scenario to speed up the play, as we had a deadline when we needed to have it all finished up.

In the end both had forgotten the scenario and in hindsight it looked like the winning player scored 1 scenario point, losing player none.

Anyway, there's not much to tell from first picture, except it's taken from the end of Cryx's first turn. Second turn the brutality began. Crusader's Call, Saxon Orrik's reconnaissance and guided hand on Vengers, they came and beat up Harrower. Now, they nearly wrecked it, but funnily enough, every other system went down except the weapon systems. So that trade-off didn't work too well.

However, I didn't realise even myself how little Harrower cares about a broken Cortex in situations like these.

First, Skarlock went to engage one Venger and cast Icy Grip on them.

Then Ragman advanced and put up Death Field. One Thresher later Harrower was loaded up with three souls.

Then Reaper got to do its thing. It dragged one Templar away (choir had been singing no spells on jack). It did take everything else in my army to wreck the templar, but eventually it succeeded with Satyxis who used their Power Swell.

Next... For some reason I didn't expect Crusader's Call and Orrik's reconnaisance to work onb warjacks. Well. A menite warjack that's threatening from 11" away is indeed a bit scary. Now, add there beat back...

I had also assumed always that beat back forced you to move to the direction of "beat". Now I know better. Now I understand why Bronzeback's animus is cool.

So, Templar walzed through Harrower and Maelovus and took a couple of hits at Reaper. Lucky for Cryx, it had Death Ward on it, so no systems actually broke down. I guess that with Death Ward or no, something would have gone down if Templar didn't miss one of its attacks.

All menites rushed forwards and killed what they could, down went Admonia and Ogrun Bokur and plenty of Satyxis. On top of that Harbinger had used her feat.

Now, it was a harsh turn. But I thought that it would not be the end of everything, as I had a small plan to get rid of the second Templar.

First, Ragman put up Death Field. Then Scaverous used his feat and placed Templar within melee range of a Withershadow member, facing so it wouldn't gain its shield bonus. Then Ragman was placed with Telekinesis a bit closer to action.

Scaverous had allocated 3 focus to Reaper and upkept Icy Grip on Temple Flameguard, so he had only one focus left. He advanced close to Templar and tried to beat it with a damage boost. Sadly though he didn't punch through its back armor, despite Dark Shroud bonuses.

Now, Tremulus and Reaper wrecked the warjack well enough. Satyxis scored a hit on Vilmon, who suffered three points of damage or something like that.

Then it was opponents turn, and, well, I ran out of troops. Vilmon and Flameguards totaled Reaper and Flameguards butchered all of remaining Satyxis. Guided Hand is a nasty spell.

Next turn I had Ragman, Scaverous and Nightwretch left.

Had I remembered Martyrdom, I might have done things differently. I considered running Nightwretch up and shooting two unboosted Hellfires at Harbinger, but she had a couple of focus left and it would have needed quite lucky rolls to actually finish her. So Scaverous upkept Icy Grip on Flameguards.

Scaverous advanced up to nice formation of Flameguards and Vilmon and threshered them. However, Vilmon was saved with martyrdom from Harbinger. In the end Scaverous decided to remove Vilmon from play with Excarnate, but it left him with only one focus.

So, come hell or high water.

Harbinger charged Scaverous herself and humiliated him in melee. Though, actually the final kill came from a boosted Cataclysm.

Anyway, good game, and it's always epic when it comes down to final showdown between the warcasters.

But next time I think I won't try to make Satyxis + Ragman to work, Ragman did nothing for Satyxis, though he seems sweet with placement effects from telekinesis.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brutal life and undeath of a nameless Warwitch Siren

I was inspired to try out Witch Coven + Erebus combo again because of last comment I got in this blog. This time it was a 35 point game, and I was facing Cryx.

Well, I knew I was facing Cryx. I think I was suffering from some kind of mental illness when I was constructing my list, because it was:

Witch Coven of Garlghast
- Erebus
- Corruptor...!
- Deathripper
- Ripjaw

Cephalyx Overlords
Cephalyx Mind Slaver and Drudge Thralls... maximum unit!
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Skarlock Thrall

I try not to tailor my lists against a faction even when I know which one of them I'm going to fight. Of course I try not to take outright bad choices that just don't have any kind of use against a certain faction. I cannot explain, however, how the heck did the Corruptor sneak in. I mean, it's a bad helljack in so many ways, but especially against Cryx it loses even the few tricks it might have... And now, in hindsight, I'm not all that disappointed at its performance during game!

Then, opponents list had:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Harrower
- Deathripper
- Defiler
- Cankerworm

Minimum unit of Bane Knights
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Bane Lord Tartarus
Skarlock Thrall

I won the starting roll this time around. First picture is taken from the end of opponents first turn, and, well, what can I say. A couple of lucky deviations from Breaths of Corruption knocked off the head from Ripjaw and nailed two of cephalyx overlords and a drudge grunt. And I was left with decisions on how to remove the opposing defiler. I didn't really feel I could go and smack it in melee, as there was a line of bane knights and a host of bile thralls waiting up for a counter attack.

Knowing well the threat that was Tartarus I wanted to dispatch him first.

However, with first Stygian Abyss cast on Tartarus, it was shadow bound and even with a damage boost it took no damage. Then I aborted my plan to kill him and took another fully boosted Stygian Abyss at the enemy arc node, hoping for a critical, which never came.

Ripjaw went to pit stop at Necrotech. Corruptor took an aimed shot at the defiler and boosted attack roll and damage roll. With aiming bonus it scored just the minimum to hit the sneaky bonejack. Resulting damage roll wrecked it.

On opponents turn the shadow bound Tartarus cursed at the deathripper in front of him. Being bind with one's one shadow doesn't stop him or her cussing like a sailor, it seems. Emboldened by Tartarus' harsh words bane knights wreck the deathripper.

Bile thralls advanced close, but not really close enough to get rid of easily.

Now, I figured it was my time to use Coven's feat.

First the remaining Cephalyx Overlord advanced as far as possible and sprayed two bile thralls dead. They needed to be removed, as even just one could really mess up everything even during Coven's feat...

Skarlock killed one more with Stygian Abyss.

Drudge Thralls charged one (Hey, they did something useful, right?). Stygian Abyss cast through Ripjaw killed one, and finally Corruptor nailed the last one. (See, that's two important things it had done during game!

Then warwitch siren tried to spray the nice line of bane knights to death (or at least to corrosion), but was too greedy and targetted wrong guy, which resulted in getting two under and about three "not-just-under". And she missed one of the knights too, killing only one, which is the worst possible kill count when it comes to triggering vengeance.

Now, warwitch siren's sad story doesn't end here.

Next turn, Tartarus activates, walks next to Warwitch, curses her and scores a hit despite Nightfall and kills the witch.

So, in essence, the siren just triggered vengeance, because Tartarus made a bane knight out of her.

Bane knights advance and try to beat up Erebus a little, failing to do that. Breaths of Corruption that were slinged from just outside the range or Nightfall took a couple of drudges with them. Nodeless deathripper bit one drudge away too and aiming Harrower with its ghost shot deleted the lone remaining cephalyx overlord.

On my next turn Erebus did a nice killing spree of 4 bane knights. However, I would feel a bit more impressed, if one double 1's wouldn't have caused it to miss one critical thrall, when kill count would have been 5. The reason why this buggers a little is the fact that there were 4 knights within normal melee range to start with. Overtake only made my attacks angled a bit differently, not exactly raised it's kill count. Ripjaw and Necrotech killed the last bane knight the Erebus couldn't, and Skarlock killed the last of the unit. Which was nice, as it was having a straight enough line to one of the witches...

Last, corruptor tries to shoot at Tartarus, scores a hit but does only three or so damage. So, the banes delayed me yet another turn, though opponents forces were spread rather thin.

Tartarus charges my skarlock, getting both Erebus and Corruptor easily inside the thresher. Six points to Corruptor and seven to Erebus. One random Breath of Corruption lands straight on the Cephalyx Mind Slaver. Hello, my remaining Cmd 4, no-CMA drudges!

If I thought that mopping up Tartarus with Corruptor and the one nodeless Deathripper with Erebus would finally get me to chewing the juicy center that was... umm... an Iron Lich? Doesn't exactly sound juicy. Anyway, to answer the question, I was all kinds wrong.

"A view for kill" by Cankerworm.

I had to dedicate most of my forces again to a random target. Because two Stygian Abysses didn't make a critical hit and not enough damage either, the Corruptor was brought forward within 5" of the worm. While it didn't break Canker, it was severely damaged. Drudge thralls tried to form a meatwall, which was really the best use of drudges now with their officer gone.

Cankerworm took the highway, but Corruptor was relentless and pursued it (with Infernal Machine on it) to take a one final shot at the Cankerworm. And killed it. Damn, there! Think of it! Corruptor wrecking two bonejacks, bile thrall and Tartarus! And only Tartarus in melee, too. You can't ask Slayer to do the same!

Okay, well, I'm still not sold on the price tag of Corruptor, but I guess it's not insta-lose model either, given (or making) right circumstances.

The game had been going on for a really long time already, and mostly it felt like cat & mouse with neither knowing who was the cat and who was the mouse. Asphyxious took more losses, but he still hadn't used his feat and Harrower was doing just fine on the hill, shooting at random targets.

Anyway, eventually I got a charge off with Ghost Walking, Infernal Machined Erebus against Harrower and Erebus left it with only a couple of points remaining in Cortex. Opponent resigned, as it was getting late and while Asphyxious with unused feat is always a dangerous asset, it's quite unlikely to score the win in such a situation, even when it's quite doable to lenghten the game a lot.

Last picture, taken just as Erebus almost destroyed Harrower and before Asphyxious teleported off the board... Awesome game, though I still find it a bit difficult to breathe, as the whole board is still reeking with the remains of the 10+ Breaths of Corruptions cast during the game.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hellaena charges into melee!

Today I played two small games of Warmachine.

I played my Cryx against Khador. They were 15 point games.

Opponent played both times with same list, which was:

- Destroyer

Minimum unit of Iron Fang Pikemen + Unit Attachment
War Dog

First game I played with Asphyxious for a change (Iron Lich version).

- Reaper
- Cankerworm
- Nightwretch

Bane Lord Tartarus
Necrotech & Scrapjack

Opponent won starting rolls in both games and let me start in both games.

First, I realised how outnumbered I was. Luckily I had Breath of Corruption around and Tartarus with thresher attack.

First picture is from the end of opponents first turn, where Iron Flesh was cast on pikemen. Destroyer took a shot at Nightwretch, but it landed short. However, it deviated so that both Nightwretch and Asphyxious was under.

And it was four points in to Asphyxious there and then.

On my next turn Asphyxious casts a Hellfire on a charge line blocking widowmaker.

Widowmakers failed their command check, and they failed it on every turn until the end of game.

Then Cankerworm, loaded with three focus, charged in. Armor piercing did a lot of damage, but to exactly worst of columns: number 3. So nothing broke. With two focus left Cankerworm bought an attack with Replicator, hit, and boosted damage. The damage roll was crazy, something like 4, 5, 6 or something. And that resulted in the loss of cortex and melee arm for the warjack.

On opponents turn Butcher himself wrecked Cankerworm with ease.

Iron Fleshed pikemen advanced in shield wall.

On my turn Tartarus cursed the pikemen and charged them, engaging three. Two of them died.

Nightwretch repositioned itself so that Asphyxious could cast Breath of Corruption on a gathering of two pikemen, one of them being the officer. Both damage rolls were boosted and both pikemen died.

I tried everything within my power to kill the standard bearer, but failed.

Ah well, but then. The latter picture is quite imposing, really. It's a bit hazy, yet you can see an intimidating silhouette of a khadoran warjack... AND Butcher!

Butcher decided it was best to use his feat. Fury was cast on remaining pikemen and then he slapped Tartarus dead. Butcher did an amazingly horrible damage roll, highest number was 3 and it was the only 3. Yet undamaged Tartarus died.

Two pikemen who could charge Reaper left only harpoon intact.

Oh, and aiming Destroyer scored a hit on Necrotech, killing it. As blast damage doesn't gain an additional die under Butchers feat, nothing else was to be expected.

But expect the unexpected. Asphyxious was dealt two more damage by Destroyer's blasts.

Then it's Asphyxous' turn to use feat.

First, I needed to disengage Nightwretch. I tried something a little bit risky, and allocated it two focus.

Then it went and bit the engaging pikeman with attack and damage roll boosted. After that Asphyxious cast Hellfire on the Butcher's dog. It's somewhat curious how one dog draws so much fire from the opposing side...

Then Asphyxious charges the pikemen and kills both of them with remaining focus. Now as I figured this would be the last turn I saw Butcher without Iron Flesh on himself, I decided to use Asphyxious' feat. With the focus Asphyxious cast a boosted Parasite on Butcher and tried to do some damage with a breath of corruption just for kicks. Didn't do anything.

Opponent then takes an aggressive stance.

Destroyer shoots Reaper to bits and Butcher charges Nightwretch. Butcher rolls damage poorly again and Nightwretch is left with only one box remaining in cortex. After that Butch casts Iron Flesh on himself.

Asphyxious had two souls from earlier turn which were turned into focus now.

So, really, either Asphyxious killed Butcher now, or he died trying. Sustained attack fortunately helps in such situations, but still, one focus went to upkeep Parasite and he was left with eight.

First attack misses even with boost.

Second attack hits with a boost and deals 7 points in with a damage boost. Four focus left, I decided that if I rolled good damage next I would go all for it, but if I botched Asphyxious would teleport away.

I rolled rather high and proceeded to make last attack, where Butcher eventually died.

Game 2:

I played second game with Witch Coven of Garlghast with following list:

- Erebus
- Ripjaw
- Deathripper

Pistol Wraith

And if I felt outnumbered the last time, now the feeling was overwhelming.

But, still. As I said earlier, opponent gave me the start again. First picture is taken from the end of my second turn, where Occultation has been cast on Erebus and Infernal Machine on Deathripper. Pikemen were obviously Iron Fleshed again.

Last game had instilled some sort of a fear in me about that particular Destroyer, so I thought it best to screen the witches with Veil of Mists. Just in case, as the witches don't quite take such hits quite as well as Asphyxious.

Second picture is from the end of my next turn. For some reason Butcher tried to shoot the Pistol Wraith down with Obliteration. It didn't work, actually.

I reply by shooting the war dog with pistol wraith. Now, if pistol wraiths are fallen ghosts of skilled and overly proud duelists, I find it a bit curious that there the enemy warcaster is throwing spells at him, yet the wraith shoots down Butchers dog.

Anyway, Deathripper positions its arc node so that the witches try to shoot Butcher down with stygian abysses. Second shot did critical shadow bind and all was well. Last focus was used to cast Infernal Machine on Erebus and Nightfall was used.

However, I had positioned my troops a little bit too close so the darkness wasn't that much of a boon to me.

Opponent activated Butcher first, who cast Iron Flesh on himself, Fury on Iron Fange Pikemen and used his feat too.

Widowmakers happened all to be within 5" of Ripjaw.

So they got aiming bonus and wrecked Ripjaws arc node and weapon system.

Pikemen advanced at different targets and despite -2 MAT & RAT from Nightfall they destroyed most of Deathrippers damage grid (though arc node was still working just fine) and killed pistol wraith.

Pikemen engaging Erebus missed their attack, though.

And then you'll see something you won't see every day and as an afterthough, I should have lost (or not, if you want to support wacky moves...)

Anyway. What I planned: Upkeep Infernal Machine, cast Ghost Walk on Deathripper, give 3 focus to Erebus, cast Veil of Mists on Erebus & pals, cast one attack roll boosted Stygian Abyss at Butcher to lower his defense. After I had cast Ghost Walk on deathripper I realised that I actually needed 11 focus to do all this.


I aborted my plan and just cast Veil of Mists to allow a charge for Erebus.

Now, I couldn't get Erebus to ignore free strikes as witches had only one focus left.

The usual "A heavy warjack with MAT 9 at opponents warcaster's face" mentality got me to charge one of the pikemen with a witch. Attack roll boost later the pikeman was dead.

Then Erebus charged Butcher, which was where I realised that Butcher currently had arm 21. Combo-strike was "only" P+S 22. And Butcher had defense 17, Erebus MAT of 9.

I really had only one chance here, because one of my witches was sitting in the middle of enemy army and I had one P+S 22 attack to finish off Butcher.

Luckily I had managed to damage Butcher earlier and the damage roll was more than enough to kill Butcher, but damn that was risky. I needed something like 10-11 with 3 dice to kill him. Those are odds that usually wouldn't make you want to risk one of your witches unless it was a last ditch attempt...