A little while ago I played a game of Warmachine through Vassal. It's already been too long since last "real" game, so I needed to get my fix.
I played Skorne, with following 50 point list:
Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Bronzeback Titan
- Basilisk Krea
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Venator Flayer Cannon
And I sure lucked out when I saw my opponent: Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon! I always take some delight in getting to play against warcasters/warlocks that I have never ever played against.
Anyway, the list:
Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
2x Maximum unit of Bane Knights
Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Scenario was randomised and was Outflank. Cryxians took the start, and first picture is taken from the end of Skorne turn 1. Scything Touch has been cast on Cankerworm, and Ashen Veil is on Asphyxious himself. Actually pretty good target choice, since I had zero non-living models in my army...
I intentionally pushed my forces a little too much forward, but I made a serious mistake in sacrificing Bronzeback in such a way. I would've rather lost Krea & Archidon instead.
To cut story short, Cankerworm and Kraken under Mobility (that horrible machine threats 14" during its activation!) destroyed Bronzeback. To Bronzeback's defense it was the last Focus from Kraken that took its sorry life. Kill Shot took down Extoller Soulward and two beast handlers.
All kinds of banes rushed forward and Asphyxious went to hide behind Kraken, unleashing his Feat.
On my turn I saw I had a 19 point monstrosity in middle of my whole army, and my dedicated heavy hitter was slowly burning in the aforementioned colossal's furnace. Still, I think I managed to play at least a decent turn.
During my turn Cryx lines lost Kraken and 14 Bane Knights.
Beast Handlers enraged all of my beasts, and Krea and Rhinodon charged Kraken right away. I think I could have done something more clever with Krea, but she was in Hexeris' way, and opponent didn't have any shooting (at least after this turn, I hoped) so she went to bite some tendrils. And did about 3 points of damage, too! Rhinodon fared a little better, and when Hexeris had charged it and spent 4 focus on attacks, it looked a whole lot less intimidating. Asphyxious, who was racking up souls, started to look nasty, though.
Hexeris obviously used his feat, too, turning any living or undead models into zombies under his control.
I attacked around 8-9 bane knights with my own models, all of whom were not in Hexeris' control area. Chain reaction from that yielded the net result of 14 dead knights, but it could have been a lot worse. Whenever I brought any of the feat-created zombies to attack Bane Thralls, the attacks utterly failed. Either they missed (2 times) or didn't break through armor (1 time). Yes, p+s 11 weapon master attack didn't break through Arm 15.
With all those bane thralls I had this devious plan of destroying them and then come & try to stab Asphyxious to back arc. Effectively p+s 13 weapon master attack against arm 18 should to at least something, even without a boost.
I also missed a couple attacks against Bane Knights, but such is to be expected, MAT 6 doesn't hit that reliably even DEF 12 models.
Cataphract Cetrati charge and one targets Kraken, one targets Bane Knight next to it, and one targets a Bane Knight in the right. Here I tried to make rightmost Cetrati kill their target, and their target go and kill knight close to Kraken, and its target go and hit Kraken, so the Cetrati who charged that particular bane knight would get to pick new target for his attack.
Well, obviously the part where rightmost bane knight managed to hit leftern bane knight, failed...
This resulted in a moment of shame.
Kraken had only three boxes left or so. The Bane Knight that leftern Cetrati killed walked and smote the colossal down.
Despite all the effort I put into it, it wasn't even my own model that destroyed the first colossal I ever managed to wreck!
Line of Sight was clear now to Asphyxious, and since it had already 14 or something souls, I really needed assassination right now. So, off Archidon went. First attack dealt 9 points in. Second attack maybe 8 or something. But since I had to boost just about everything (Asphyxious still had Ashen Veil on), Asphyxious had healed 6 points back in-between first and second attack.
Needless to say, I was waiting what would happen next turn with nothing but dread.
About the first model that activated was Asphyxious, who had 22 focus still after casting Mobility. When he walked away from Archidon's melee range, I jokingly said that "Please critical hit now". And I rolled 5, 5. Critical Pitch. And to make matters even more worse, Archidon managed to hit Cankerworm with Asphyxious, knocking them both down, and since they couldn't stand up in the same turn they got knocked down, the game went weird...
Archidon eventually fell to the charge of Bane Thralls, as well as half of Cataphract Cetrati. Praetorian Swordsmen were pretty much devastated, and even failed their command check. Both Officer and Standard Bearer died to a spray from Warwitch Siren. All in all the game should have ended there, but thanks to the fickleness of dice and heroism from Archidon, battle went on.
Hexeris stopped upkeeping Death March on Praetorian Swordsmen, though the marker is in the picture, trying to fool everyone.
Basilisk Krea had not been accustomed to being used in melee against colossals, it was still a bit baffled about it and thought that Rhinodon looked exactly like Kraken. Failing threshold check, she bit a whopping 12 damage to the heavy warbeast. That's probably one of the greatest things Krea ever really did.
I tried to get Praetorians away from Bane Knights melee range, but failed to do just that. They did regroup however, so unit leader was contesting the zone again.
Hexeris started pulling off curious beat back shenanigans. He killed some bane thralls in the process, and finally ended up dominating rightmost zone. Everything else formed a wall of flesh to protect Lord Tyrant. Orin Midwinter cast Null Magic so that at least pathfinder would be denied for Asphyxious.
Rhinodon tried to get into position to make Amuck thresher against bane thralls, but it pretty much failed because of rough terrain that Kraken's husk provided. It ended up making a couple of futile attacks against Cankerworm and a bane thrall.
Next turn it turned out that Asphyxious was just hugging the leftern zone.
Seems like I failed to take a picture from the end of opponents turn, but bane thralls & Asphyxious himself dispatched Krea bitten Rhinodon, and Cankerworm and a most of remaining bane thralls went to contest rightmost zone. It really didn't take too much effort to remove Praetorian Swordsmen I had contesting leftern zone, so Control Point situation was Cryx: 2 Skorne: 2.
On my turn, unexpected things continued to happen. Krea managed to pull off a slam attack against Asphyxious with her MAT 4, knocking Hellbringer 2" away, and most importantly, away from dominating leftern zone. Then Paingiver Beast Handler was, ahem, persuaded to run into random point right in the middle of enemy troops to deny points from Cryx.
Hexeris danced again with Beat Back, pushing Cankerworm away from right zone (wrecking it was just a bonus) and killing whatever was left of bane thralls. However, now I'm just wondering how the heck did I destroy the bane thralls that helped killing Rhinodon? They might actually be hiding beneath Kraken wreck marker.
Anyway, Control Points were Cryx: 2, Skorne: 4. I would actually win by scenario if I only had something that would be able to run to contest enemy zone and had enough military assets to clear my own zone.
But alas, it was not to be. Asphyxious thought that he had really, really had enough of this nonsense Skorne was pulling off against him all the time. Yanking souls from Vociferon he charged to a Cataphract Cetrati, killed him off and started buying attacks against Hexeris now he got Line of Sight to him. Hexeris transfered some 11 damage away, and then all it took were two hits to bring the Tyrant down.
This game was exciting as hell. I guess Asphyxious' new title delivered what it promised.
I must say that I would have felt a little bad if I had actually won, because it just seemed that Cryx deserved that victory. Random crazy dice rolls made game drag on for this long. But those few critical rolls made the game a memorable experience that was lots of fun to play. Victory didn't come easily to Cryx, and I got to play against a completely new warcaster.
Perfect, everything was just perfect.