Wednesday, January 30, 2013

And the Prize for Much Distress and Attrition goes to.... Hyperion!

A few days ago I played against Retribution of Scyrah.

I had a tough choice between bringing either Mortenebra or Goreshade the Bastard, and eventually I wanted to see how Mortenebra would do against another Colossal, since last time didn't go too well...

Also she had less games against Retribution than Goreshade had.

Anyway, my list was:

Master Necrotech Mortenebra & Deryliss
- Harrower
- Slayer
- 2x Helldivers
- Stalker
- Ripjaw

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 1x Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Withershadow Combine
Warwitch Siren
Gorman diWulfe
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

Opponent had:

- Discordia
- Hyperion

Maximum unit of Houseguard Halberdiers (AKA bog trog ambushers lead by a mannikin)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce + Commander
Epic Eiryss
2x Mage Hunter Assassins
Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker

Cryx started the game, and first picture is taken from the end of Cryxian second turn. We played Steamroller 2013 scenario "Incursion", and it screwed the game up a bit when the disappearing flag was the one on camera's left side. Now I'm looking at the picture, I see it doesn't show my Stalker a little behind Scrap Thrall on the right.


I had moved up so that I would at least contest the middle flag. Because rightmost flag was so vulnerable (from my point of view) opponent could choose to either try to play scenario, or attrition & assassination.

On opponents next round he decides to skip the flag and bring the hurt instead. And it was truly brought - Slayer took 11 shots from the Mage Hunter Strike Force members and was left with about 5 damage boxes. That was kind of a scary thing, since I needed Slayer alive for a little bit longer if I ever wanted to do anything against Hyperion...

So, both flags were now contested by both armies. Not much else happened that turn, except a lucky deviation from Hyperion's main cannon killed off two Mechanithralls. But that doesn't count because of Necrosurgeon.

Next turn was when all the brutalising began.

Fully loaded Harrower with Spectral Steel and Overrun on it, and Terminal Velocity having been cast, charged into ranks of Houseguard Halberdiers. After initial thresher attack Overrun was triggered, and the warjack moved even deeper into the enemy lines. However, it had to move away from the benefits of Terminal Velocity, but I was confident that 3 focus + 3 souls would do all kinds of nasty things.

And they did. Total tally of that whirlwind of doom was: 2 Mage Hunter Strike Force members, Officer & flag bearer of Halberdiers and 5-6 rank-and-file halberdiers. Don't know if it was worth the 10 points Harrower costs, but at least it was awesome to pull off. Halberdiers also fail their massive casualties test, and spend rest of the game running away.

Next Mechanithralls charge whatever are left of Houseguards, and kill off a few, leaving total unit count to two members.

One mechanithrall ran to engage Eiryss.

Necrotech and Mortenebra had repaired a whopping 10 points from Slayer, so it could take a few hits again.

I decided to put Helldivers to engage Mage Hunter Strike Force members, because I wanted to make as few of them able to shoot next turn as possible.

Ripjaw moved to score a point from middle flag.

If I was happy about my army's performance at this point, it all changed during Retribution. They lived up to their faction name, I think.

Eiryss moves from Mechanithrall, who doesn't hit her with a free strike. Damn. Then Eiryss shoots Spectral Steel away from Harrower.

Then Ossyan does stuff, and launches his feat.

And, uh, well. All hell breaks loose in form of Mage Hunter Strike Force that mostly claims Aiming Bonus. Down goes Harrower (with at least one damage roll of 5,5,6,6) and down goes Slayer, who was already hurt, though. That's 16 points away from my army list, and to make matters worse, what the heck would punch hard enough to destroy Hyperion any more?!

Oh wait, charging Mechanithralls, of course!

Then Hyperion activates and turns to face those aforementioned thralls. Big cannon and one thresher cannon later (Hyperion had Shatterstorm on, by the way) there were two Mechanithralls standing, and Necrosurgeon had managed to snatch only two tokens.

To add an insult to injury, opponent shoots one of Helldivers to wreck with Discordia's spray, and the other one is left with around 5 boxes too, though all systems still functional.

However, I scored another scenario point from middle flag. Hyperion tried to shoot Ripjaw, and even dared to score a hit against a Def 15 model inside cover, but damage roll did nothing important.

Time for "all or nothing" turn.

I had lost the attrition, and there would be no way I could fulfill my dream of wrecking a colossal, so I needed to play weird shenanigans to try to get a scenario victory.

Since I had already secured middle flag, I would need to control one flag and dominate another to win in one round.

Withershadow Combine put up Puppet Master on Mortenebra, and Ripjaw shuffled itself a bit to get the cowardly houseguard halberdiers within range of Mortenebra's spells.

Deryliss cast Overrun on Mortenebra herself.

Warwitch granted a focus to Stalker.

Mortenebra moved and cast Void Gate on a houseguard halberdier, and it died and triggered Overrun. Mortenebra advanced to dominate the rightmost flag and cast Terminal Velocity.

Stalker charges the Mage Hunter Assassin who is still contesting rightmost flag, and manages to miss its charge attack. Second attack hits, though, and Warwitch focus is spent on a damage boost, just in case.

So it's a scenario victory for forces of Cryx! Somehow it seems that Mortenebra has gained the focus that Stalker used. Such a sloppy placement.

But anyway.

Ruined tower in center acted both ways in this game. It was a perfect defensive position for Mage Hunter Strike Force. They would be in perfect safe for whole game and everything that was important would be in their shooting range, too.

But since Mage Hunter Strike Force can't actually move through terrain, it created somewhat of a bottleneck, that at least this way worked to my advantage. I guess this is one of the reasons why tournament documents discourage placing terrain close, or on top of objectives.

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