Friday, July 18, 2014

SUPRISE! It's objective!

Last Tuesday I played a 50 point Warmachine game, Cryx versus Cygnar.

I was supposed to write this a bit earlier since I had all the time in the world, but I got carried away a bit thanks to new version of Dwarf Fortress... Ahem.

Anyway, I took Goreshade again, and my list was:

Goreshade the Bastard & Deathwalker
- Nightmare
- Harrower
- Defiler
- Helldiver

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 2x Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Satyxis Raider Captain
Pistol Wraith
2x Warwitch Siren

It grieves me to admit, but I'm slowly starting to warm up to the idea of getting some Bane Knights. Long did I resist the temptation, as originally I didn't purchase them because they were so horribly broken in last edition of Warmachine. They have paid distaste-tax for me... until now. This is how Cryx corrupts.

Opponent had:

Epic Haley
- Ironclad
- Hammersmith (bonded)
- Thorn

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers + Officer
Minimum unit of Field Mechanics
Aiyana & Holt
Epic Eiryss
Gorman diWulfe
Lanyssa Ryssyll
Journeyman Warcaster
- Hunter

Scenario was Fire Support, and Cryx won the start, and definitely went first. Objective and flag are messed up in the first picture, they should be the other way around. Switching them to their proper place at the end of turn 1 wasn't a pleasant suprise for either side, but more on that later.

First picture is blurry, so I wrote a bit on the picture where different Cygnaran models were. Anyway, it is taken from the end of Cygnar turn 1 and... uh, it's Haley's feat turn.

That really caught me by suprise. Haley used her feat, and as it is a continuous aura effect, she could charge Nightmare or Harrower, I don't remember which. Charge failed but a handful of Mechanithralls, Satyxis Raiders, both Warwitch Sirens, Deathwalker and Pistol Wraith were the only models out. And then we noticed the error in scenario.

I thought I could have charged Eiryss with at least one Mechanithrall, but suddenly a large based model appeared in the middle of Mechanithralls. Well, the front line of them was in Haley's feat anyway, but there might have been a chance for it. As Cygnar had so few models on the left side I thought for sure that I'd be able to wreck objective easily and flag would be behind an undying legion of Mechanithralls.

On the right side Cygnar probably suffered more from switching conditions as Ironclad was behind the objective now that had been an open terrain flag a turn earlier.

Anyway, there I had been thinking of having Satyxis far, far away and if Haley tried to come to dominate the flag, some crazy Satyxis would charge her from 14" away, preferably with Power Swell on. On the other hand, flag coming to middle opened much better charge lanes for the Satyxis. Objective was now out of my reach, though. Satyxis aren't exactly a dedicated objective wrecking unit.

Ah well, I'm writing more about the mistake than about the game itself. So, with a sudden overhaul of plans during Epic Haley's lovely feat, I just tried to set up at least some kind of retaliation possibilities, mainly with the infantry. A Mechanithrall ran to engage Eiryss and Satyxis advanced closer for charging all over the board next turn.

Instead of trying to take random shots at high defense solos and units with Pistol Wraith, it ran to back up my helljacks if Cygnaran heavies go all sorts of crazy.

It's Cygnar turn then, and Eiryss dies to a free strike from Mechanithrall. That thrall was instantly promoted and crafted into an iron lich.

Then after a Telekinesis and a Temporal Acceleration the bonded Hammersmith charges Harrower.

Hammersmith was a bit unlucky in the damage rolls and Harrower was left standing with less than four damage boxes remaining, all systems broken except Cortex. Chain Smite slammed Harrower 2" away, and to me it looks like we never rolled for collateral damage on the Warwitch Siren. Or if we did, the roll was abysmal.

Ironclad backed off a little, perhaps to protect Haley.

Hunter tries to take a shot at my objective, but does only three points of damage. Lanyssa, Aiyana and Holt do all damage to Mechanithralls, but only one Brute Thrall would not be coming back.

Gun Mages, on the other hand, did much more serious blow with Deadeye. They managed to snipe both the Sea Witch and Captain solo away.

Then goes Cryx, and Nightmare gets full three focus. Bad news: Hammersmith had Arcane Shield on. Good news: Hammersmith was Nightmare's prey.

However, Mechanithralls activated first and charged forward, trying to hit Lanyssa Ryssyll. I guess they tried it with their shriveled vocal chords instead of steam-powered fists.

Two Mechanithralls got to Thorn, but didn't really do anything thanks to set defense.

Then I had to deal with Hammersmith. I was torn between casting Hex Blast on it to drop Arcane Shield and then using feat to get Dark Shroud, or cast Shadowmancer and taking a hit at it. But since space was really tight I wouldn't get many thralls to attack Hammersmith, so Goreshade cast Shadowmancer and hoped P+S 20 equivalent helljack would wreck, or at least neutralize Arm 22 Hammersmith.

I don't want to remember the sheer amount of 1's and 2's rolled, so let's skip that part. Nightmare didn't entirely botch it's activation, but still the performance was a little bit too sub-par.

Satyxis charge, and four of them get to Hammersmith and the others just go to tickle gobbers and gun mages and other inconsequntial things. It's a real shame they lost Power Swell, because they dropped Hammersmith down to just a few boxes remaining. Ther dropped Movement system, and I thought it would be safe to shoot the last remaining points with Pistol Wraith. First attack hit easily Def 11 target (Lost movement + melee bonus) but deals no damage. Second attack... double 1's. That jerk Pistol Wraith tries to shoot Goreshade in the back instead! Luckily no damage is dealt, and later I remembered that Goreshade had stealth anyway.

Then there is my last remaining possibility to get the 'jack down. Warwitch Siren that possibly didn't get collateral damage stands up and Power Boosts Harrower.

Harrower attacks with only one die, needing 1+ to hit... it's a hit! Then it boosts damage, so rolls P+S equivalent of 18 +2d6 vs Arm 22. Hooray, Hammersmith went down!

I had been saving up one Warwitch Siren to either make last charge against Hammersmith, or go and spray things if Hammersmith dies. This eases my guilt a bit, as if Warwitch no1 should have been dead, a second one could have Power Boosted Harrower instead.

Next Haley plays with more pairs than Goreshade ever did.

But first Gun Mages activate, shoot a couple Satyxis and clear a way for Haley to get to the flag.

Then Haley charges a Satyxis that was still there and single-handedly kill all remaining Satyxis from the flag. The sight of Haley in melee is so unnatural and horrifying to Satyxis that they fail their massive casualties check.

Fun fact: the last remaining gobber mechanic next to Nightmare, Warwitch Siren, remaining Satyxis, Defiler, smoldering wreck of Hammersmith and even Goreshade himself does not fail any kind of command check.

Almost all Mechanithralls are wiped, but Necrosurgeon still stands proud.

Thorn comes to block as much incoming attacks against Haley as possible.

Then it's Cryx turn.

Sure, Nightmare could have ripped Thorn in two easily since now it was Nightmare's prey. But Ironclad was still around with full health and all in all it started to look like I was losing the attrition here - Mechanithralls had way too high defense targets for them. Perhaps I could expect one lucky hit per turn, but in melee Holt has four attacks. That's bad news for Def 12 Arm 12 targets.

It seemed like a too high risk to go any further in this game as Haley needed only to dominate the same flag once and destroy my objective. With Telekinesis and everything that might very well happen, so I push everything I got to assassinate Haley.

Helldiver pops up and is allocated three focus, and just on the safe side Nightmare is allocated three too, so this would be my first turn in two complete games without casting Shadowmancer.

If Helldiver would succeed at the head-butt attack against Haley, this would be a lot easier. Def 16 target, even boosted, is not certain hit for MAT 6 model. So first I activate Goreshade and charge one of my own Satyxis, kill her and call in Bane Thralls. By calling in the banes I messed up my easiest path to run Deathwalker within 5" of Haley. Deathwalker doesn't have any way to negate difficult terrain, so she just had to pray she'd get close enough with wreck marker in the way.

Turned out she did, and Helldiver succeeded in punching Haley down. Four Bane Thralls charge Haley, and that's it.

This time I was able to roll 8+ with three dice, but if that had failed things would have gone nasty. Bane Thralls still would have charged, but even with considerable luck only one of them might have hit. Haley had Arcane Shield and some focus on, so she wasn't that easy to one-shot.

Then probably Defiler and one Warwitch Siren would have tried to spray Haley, but with Siren needed 7+ to hit and Defiler needed 9+, and Defiler would have taken a free strike from Thorn.

Last Nightmare would have imprinted Ghostly and trampled to get one unboosted attack against her with MAT 8 and P+S equal to 18.

So... it's a good thing the head-butt hit.

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