Saturday, May 11, 2013

We put a Vassal in your Vassal so you can Enliven while you Enliven

Since it's been difficult to get a game in my hometown right now, I decided to start Vassal once again.

I would've wanted to go with epic Asphyxious, but you know... epic Asphyxious carries a sort of stigma with it.

I made a somewhat whimsical list for Witch Coven of Garlghast that I really wanted to try. It felt different enough that I ditched any plans I had for epic Asphyxious.

It was (a 50 point list):

Witch coven of Garlghast
- Harrower
- 2x Slayer helljacks
- Ripjaw
- 2x Nightwretch bonejacks

Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Satyxis Raider Captain
Bane Lord Tartarus
Gorman diWulfe

I was against the forces of Menoth, controlled by someone from United Kingdoms. And the usual praise I often give to Vassal at this point is the fact that you easily get to play Something Completely Different.

This time it was:

High Reclaimer
- Reckoner
- Devout

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Exemplar Bastions
Maximum unit of Holy Zealots + Monolith
Maximum unit of Croe's Cutthroats + Attendant Priest
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt + Attendant Priest
Madelyn Corbeau
Vassal of Menoth

This was probably the second time in Mk2 that I got to play against High Reclaimer, and last time the match was so exciting that I have been waiting to get a second chance for a long time now.

Scenario was randomised to be Into the Breach. I won starting roll and decided to go first - I thought positioning would be the key here, since I had no over-excessive ways to remove infantry from board.

On opponents first turn I was horrified again that burning ash spell is only 1 focus. First picture shows the situation I started my second turn.

Since Holy Zealots hadn't gone into Greater Destiny, I tried to navigate through the smoke cloud by advancing Satyxis that had been given Desperate Pace by satyxis captain. Their effective speed of 9 + reach got them into good positions, and awkward Combined Melee Attacks later they had killed about 5 models.

First I had tried to trample with Harrower to kill 3-4 Croe's Cutthroats, but it got only within melee range of 2, and missed the extra attack I could buy.

Slayers advanced closer, and last but not least the Coven advanced as far forward as possible, and used Nightfall. I actually thought I'd be able to get more enemies under feat, but no, such key pieces as enemy warcaster were out.

-2 MAT & RAT effect from Nightfall actually did save Harrower. Fully loaded Reckoner missed one attack because of it. Actually when Reckoned ended it's activation Harrower had lost only ranged weapon, and I was almost giddy, because I was having fantasies about an assassination there. Then Vassal of Menoth activated and used ancillary attack on Reckoner... Boom, gone were movement and cortex, and the warjack itself was standing with about 3 damage boxes left.

However, I guess such a straightforward assassination wouldn't have worked, since opponent was really good at protecting High Reclaimer. Places where I could fit a large base close to the caster were nonexistent. Also Devout made it impossible to cast random Stygian Abysses at the Reclaimer.

Holy Zealots went into Greater Destiny and tied up Satyxis (strange... shouldn't that go the other way around?)

Plenty of the horned warriors died to Ashes to Ashes.

On my next turn Infernal Machine was upkept on Harrower, who made a thresher attack. It snatched two souls from Croe's Cutthroats, and boosted damage against Reckoner with a soul it had got from last turn. Damage roll was excessive. Oh, and two Satyxis Raiders happened to fall to the thresher, too. Anyway. Then Harrower buys another attack against Reckoner with a soul, and boosts damage, and another crazy damage roll. Both arms were gone.

Next a Slayer walks up and finishes the job Harrower began after Gorman diWulfe throws acid bomb on people who were blocking straight lane for that particular helljack.

Witch Coven cast Curse of Shadows on Exemplar Bastions, and Infernal Machine on rightmost Slayer. Or, actually I think it was Skarlock who did the Infernal Machine, but that's a minute detail.

I was terrified with the thought that High Reclaimer would use his feat next turn and bring back all kinds of stuff to kill one witch, so Coven walked back, and I even broke Perfect Conjunction so that one of the witches would not suffer back arc penalties in case of a random charge.

Rightmost Slayer advanced through an Exemplar Bastion that was standing about in the middle of the trench and killed both Lady Aiyana and Master Holt.

So, all in all it was quite good turn, but there was still High Reclaimer's feat to be involved.

I usually push way too aggressively with my warcaster(s) and die foolishly because of that. So now that I actually backed off I was pretty much saved (at least for a turn) because of that. Maybe this is learning or something crazy like that. However, High Reclaimer rolled five models back, and back came Lady Aiyana & Master Holt, two Bastions and a Croe's Cutthroat.

Harrower was obviously devastated, as well as middle Slayer. It didn't quite break, but if memory serves, it had nothing but Cortex left.

Last of the Satyxis died to Ashes to Ashes, and Tartarus was killed by charging Devout.

Just a round before everything looked quite okay, and then, suddenly, I had lost all attrition.

Slayer on the left, however, luckied out. It took heavy damage from two charging Exemplar Bastions, but damage that came in broke no systems thanks to columns rolled.

This was my chance. Curse of Shadows denying free strikes from Bastions, Veil of Mists to ignore Vassal of Menoth and Infernal Machine for speed & MAT boost for the only functional helljack plus 3 focus was enough to bring High Reclaimer down.

I need to say again how awesome this game was, and how it could have ended either way, and there were big swings in perception "who has the upper hand".

What played in my favor was probably the fact that this was not a Killbox scenario. I couldn't have ran back where I did with Coven unless I wanted to give in Control Points.

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