A few days ago I played a 50 point game of Warmachine.
After a while I took out my Skorne, and I decided to play Rasheth. I was suspecting that I would be against Legion and Saeryn, so needless to say, I was a bit horrified.
- Bronzeback Titan
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea
Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Minimum unit of Bog Trog Ambushers
Minimum unit of Bone Grinders
As I was bracing myself for the worst it turned out I would be against a far more horrible warlock. Once again it was the dreaded Rasheth vs Epic Lylyth match. Once I saw the list I was surely crying on the inside.
Legion list was:
- 3x Ravagore
- Naga Nightlurker
Legion of Everblight also got to start the game, so Lylyth's feat would most probably come on turn 2, when I'd still be way too far away to close in to melee... This is what was to be expected. Everything else, however, went completely unexpected ways.
Luckily there was a hill on Skorne's side of the board. I had picked the side because I really didn't want Ravagores on a hill, but I quickly found out that a hill and Krea's animus makes even the big jolly guy Def 14. First picture is from the end of Skorne turn 1.
Lylyth's feat came, of course. Suprise here was that it killed nothing. Saeryn missed the critical roll of casting Pin Cushion against Bronzeback. But then every attack from Ravagores was targeted at Bronzeback Titan (who was Def 16, Arm 21 against most shooting). Only one of those attacks missed. All of the damage rolls were boosted. And yet Bronzeback Titan stood defiantly with six or seven damage boxes remaining. The damage rolls that were rolled were incredibly low. Best rolls were just on par with averages.
I can't say I was unhappy about the thing. With this match up I really needed such a dice screw happening for opponent, and had that been one of the few cases of critical dice screws, it could have been pretty much okay...
Well then it was my turn. It was quite annoying that even when opponent wasn't able to do much last turn, I couldn't either. Three Ravagores were even without Lylyth's feat still a very real threat to Rasheth. I just ended up bringing the heavy beasts forward, healing Bronzeback as much as possible and generally just hoping for the best. Scenario had Killbox artifice, so Legion wouldn't be able to fall back too much.
Then was Legion's third turn. And this was the turn where I started to feel bad for the opposing player, despite the difficulty of match-up.
Naga Nightlurker had been left with one Fury, and as it happened, it failed Threshold check, charged Carnivean and dealt an amazing damage roll that broke a branch. That might haven't been too bad, but Naga blocked charge lane for Carnivean now. Opponent could have charged Rhinodon and Archidon and just shoot the nearly dead Bronzeback with Ravagores. Now he had to do the other way - Charge Carnivean to Bronzeback and shoot the other heavy beasts as much as possible.
Carnivean was quite confident in killing Bronzeback, and boosted two attack rolls to kill one beast handler and bone grinder with its spray. But three initial attacks and a couple additional attacks later Bronzeback was still standing. I can say that a lot 1's and 2's were rolled during that activation.
Blackfrost Shard tried to freeze Archidon, and the last one of Shards shoot the Kiss of Lyliss or whatever that ability was against Def 10 Archidon with skill 7. And... it was a miss.
At least all the Ravagores hit Archidon, but by now you can guess it. Their damage rolls were absolutely disgraceful. One of the Ravagores had used its animus, so Archidon and Rhinodon were on fire now, and Archidon had six damage boxes left.
Naga Nightlurker shot somewhere, either Archidon or Rhinodon, and hit but didn't do any damage, even with a damage boost.
I know there have been games where absolutely nothing can be done, despite odds being in your favor. Usually failing a few critical rolls and underperfoming here and there can bring that feeling to you, but honestly... games where it's more than fair to blame the dice to this extent are rare.
Now, then it's Skorne turn 3.
Fire effect deals five damage to Archidon. So Archidon survives with just one damage point left. So the bad luck for opponent didn't stop last turn, no. It continued all the way to end.
I brought Bog Trog Ambushers to field and ran them as close to Lylyth as possible.
Bronzeback mauls Carnivean to the ground, Rhinodon (who had Carnivore) charges Blackfrost Shard and Naga Nightlurker and kills all but Naga.
Beast Handlers heal Archidon and Bronzeback, but only one damage is removed from Archidon, which was a bit of a bummer, but I guess I didn't have any rights to complain right now.
Then Rasheth activates and uses Plague Wind. He heals Archidon for one point, casts Carnivore on Archidon and casts boosted Blood Mark on Lylyth through one of the Bog Trogs. This was quite a risk, because it left Rasheth with no Fury. But I had quite good chances of taking out Lylyth, who had only one Fury for transfer.
Archidon then charges Lylyth, and deals enough damage to bring her down to 3 hit boxes. Second attack deals enough damage to kill her, so it's transfered away.
Next Basilisk Drake walks up and shoots spray at Archidon's back. Even with a boost it misses Lylyth, but hits Archidon without a boost. Damage was rolled. Dice showed 2 and 3. I had to count that many times, because I just couldn't believe Archidon was again brought down to 1 hit box remaining.
Cataphract Cetrati charged around in an attempt to engage as many Ravagores as possible. As a bonus they managed to kill Naga Nightlurker. I actually had this false sense of protection, when Lylyth was engaged. I didn't remember she had Evasion.
And with that starts Legion's turn 4. This is the turn where Legion would either win or lose the game. Now, wouldn't it be just righteous and fair, if all the bad luck was payed back in abundance on the turn where it mattered most? Not according to the Dice Gods.
Lylyth activates and casts Pin Cushion on Rasheth, which succeeds. Then she makes two attacks with all remaining Fury, and deals 7-8 points in. So those rolls were actually... average? And then there were two Ravagores that got to fire their attacks. First one dealt enough damage to bring Rasheth down to 5 hit boxes remaining. Blast damage kills a Beast Handler who was standing next to Rasheth, and because of Plague Wind this brings Rasheth to 6 boxes. Last Ravagore shoots and deals five damage to Rasheth. So even Rasheth is left standing with just one hit box, and that was thanks to collateral damage!
To add plenty of insult to injury, even one of the Cataphract Cetrati was left with just one hit box. During the game Archidon had been twice on one hit box, Bronzeback Titan once, one of the Cetrati and even Rasheth. I wonder what are the odds for all of this happening in one game.
And then... there was Lylyth with three hit boxes, no Fury and Blood Mark on her in middle of Skorne army. Opponent conceded, and I didn't have the heart to force him to watch final rolls, though a grand dice screw on my part could still save Legion. After all Archidon was with one box and on fire, and I had 12 Fury on board. Though now when I think of it, Lylyth had 3 boxes and Arm 12, Breath of Corruption had POW 12 and even with triple 1's she would've died.
It would be nice if I could say that I won Epic Lylyth with Dominar Rasheth by playing exceptionally well. If I'm completely honest, though, it was all only because of amazingly bad dice rolls opponent made, or when they were not 5-6 below averages, they were just one short of doing actual damage.