Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Trees That Dominate

Today I played a game of Warmachine.

After my huge disappointment with Scaverous and a long streak of playing Skorne, I felt I needed to run my Circle Orboros after a long pause.

We were playing a 35 point game, and I chose Cassius the Oathkeeper as my warlock.

My list was:

- Megalith
- Feral Warpwolf
- Woldwatcher

Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Shifting Stones + Stonekeeper
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
2x Gallows Grove
Lanyssa Ryssyll

Opponent had:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Harrower
- Cankerworm
- Deathripper
- Defiler

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

I didn't have my laptop with me, but I had the old Steamroller 2011 scenarios as print-outs with me. I tried to look up some scenario that was a meaningful one (so no Close Quarter or any such basically "caster kill" scenarios") and Incursion looked promising. I was also remembering that it was exactly the same in SR 2012. (I was one inch wrong, though - First player deployment seems to be only 7" in the new document! That would have meant a bountiful 3" deployment area on my 8" too short table, heh.)

Anyway, opponent won starting roll but let me go first. Which isn't usually a bad thing in scenario play.

Picture is taken from the end of opponents first turn. Small AoE's are - you guessed it - Breaths of Corruption. One Breath deviated so it killed a Wolf of Orboros and did damage to Gallows Grove. Other Breath of Corruption did a lousy deviation, but blocked Wolves charge lines there.

At the end of opponents turn the flag near the pond was a fake one. This was somewhat funny situation, as that was exactly where both players had been bringing troops in.

On my next turn I ran Woldwatcher to control the rightmost (from camera) flag. Brave Wolves of Orboros controlled the second flag in the center of board.

Gallows Grove teleported, and Cassius cast Hellmouth through it at the gathering of Bile Thralls. There was a little extra effect when it turned out that Deathripper was within 3" of initial target. Four dead bile thralls and a damaged Deathripper. Good enough for me.

I was thinking if I should use Cassius' feat now, because Wurmwood was quite far up. I had tried to place my models so that the only arc node that might have tried to run within 5" of the tree would suffer a few free strikes in the process. So I decided not to.

Then was opponents second turn, which was the first turn either player could score points from flags.

And yeah, there is only one round of mayhem done in following picture:

That's 7x dead Wolves of Orboros, 1x dead Swamp Gobber, dead Lanyssa Ryssyll and 2x dead Gallows Groves. Oh, and Stonekeeper was left alive with only one hit box remaining and the last swamp gobber failed its massive casualties test. Wurmwood itself was threatened when two Breaths of Corruption landed on it, though luckily only one of them could be boosted. By then the carnivorous tree had already gorged itself to maximum soul count of 5, which resulted it having ARM of 21. Opponent rolled the damage rather poorly, so Cassius didn't take any damage here.

Well, Asphyxious had used his feat, which explains the losses a little. Four times breat of corruption on soft targets ought to hurt. But that wasn't everything. The POW 5 hit from the feat also killed plenty of Wolves of Orboros - even the two, whom Harrower had failed to kill on its charge.

Then starts my third turn.

In a way the turn was a perfect example from the differences of Fury and Focus mechanics, which always seems to be a hot topic on Privateer Press forums.

First Feral Warpwolf activates and proceeds to beat up Harrower, warping strenght in the process. Damage rolls were pretty abysmal all over, because 6x p+s 17 and 1x p+s 16 attacks (that all did HIT!) didn't wreck Harrower. It was left with one health box, though. That was a job for Stone Keeper. I think this may have been the first time I ever actually used it's attack spell. Anyway, Harrower went down.

Then Wolves of Orboros charge already damaged Deathripper. One Combined Melee Attack later by all remaining members with a melee weapon (three), the bonejack was still standing with a few damage boxes left.

Now Megalith moves and casts Stranglehold on the Deathripper, who had lost its movement. Attack wrecks it, and Megalith had been forced three times.

Next Woldwatcher tries to score some lucky damage on Cankerworm. It hits and boosts damage. No systems break, but the beast is on full Fury. Now I had 9 Fury on board on warbeasts alone.

Cassius activates and moves to control the central map. He drains a couple of souls from Wurmwood and casts a fully boosted Stranglehold on Asphyxious, who is just within 10". The lich takes 6 points in.

Cassius casts Unseen Path and brings Wurmwood closer and uses his feat. He left 2 Fury left for transfers, which meant that next turn I would be able to leach only 4 Fury from my beasts. That wasn't necessary, however.

The Forest of Judgement worked more amazingly I had actually planned for.

Only models opponent could have brought within 4" of the center flag was Asphyxious himself, or run Bane Knights as far as possible and hope for the best.

Cassius scored a second scenario point on opponents turn, and third point on my next turn. It was a game over for Cryx.

Now thinking back, the most important single roll was made in the end of opponents first round, where the flag disappeared which was closest to both armies. I needed to worry a lot less about Bane Knights and to some extent even Bile Thralls. If you can ever "not worry" about them if there is even a single one of them alive... or should I say operational?

Anyway, the game ended abruptly, which sometimes happens in scenario games. It almost felt unfinished. I guess that a huge forest grew over the area and Asphyxious decided that "Guys, let's not go in there. Let's go somewhere else."

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