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.


  1. As the opponent in this game, I have a couple of things to point out. I completely failed to recognize any single large threat in the opposing force apart from the Overlords, whom I got rid of early on. In retrospect, I sent my otherwise really nasty Bane knights to their (re)deaths completely needlessly. Overall, a very eventful game, it was a back-and-forth battle with an overall satisfying bodycount on both sides. 'Till we meet again on the field of battle!

  2. What I would like to try one day is a full "battle report" from both sides of the table - obviously all of my writings here are from my point of view. But I don't think it could ever be done unless a whole day was dedicated to it :P

  3. Everything can be arranged, given proper preparation time.

  4. What I'm curious about is how did poltergeist and Nightfall affect the play?

    And for reports I'd really love to see top down photos or a map. But I realize they would be extra effort but it would help understand the flow of the game better.

    I understand you had been at it for hours but I think resigning with Asphyxious without using the feat is a waste. All kinds of funny things can happen when you can freely throw 4 BoCs at a squishy caster trio, boosting the couple that matter.
    Then you could resign in my opinion.

  5. Well, whenever I play at my place a top-down map picture wouldn't feel all that unfeasible... That's a good idea I shall surely test at some point or another :P

    And yeah, Asphyxious would have stood a chance there, especially if he would have managed to destroy Erebus with only a couple of focus. But even after that Coven still had corruptor, one arc node with armor piercing and a necrotech going on, so endgame would have been interesting, but would have probably made the day turn into night :P

    Poltergeist & Nightfall lined up a couple of missing bane knights so they would've been nicely in group for a little overtake-run. Shame Erebus missed. So... not really much. I feel Erebus + Coven needs even more research :P