Last Saturday was an intense day, as I participated in a one-day Warmachine tournament that had four rounds. The whole trip took about eighteen hours.
Anyway, specs were 1-2 lists, Divide & Conquer , 50 points and 60 minute deathclock that doesn't include deployment. And in my opinion the more minutes in deathclock, the better. Winning or losing because of deathclock would feel annoying, and too tight schedule takes away some of the most grittiest grindfest -style games that usually are quite entertaining, barring some very special circumstances. But of course tournament needs to progress in a timely manner, and I think this format hits a certain sweet spot, where seeing 6th or 7th turn is an actual possibility, and those players who finish their games assassinating on second turn don't have overwhelming time to wait for next round.
But that's just my opinion, more about the games next.
I took only one list, as I wanted to get some varied opponents for Asphyxious the Hellbringer. And oh boy, was I in for a treat!
Anyway, my list was:
Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
- 2x Helldiver
Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Bane Lord Tartarus
Satyxis Raider Captain
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
As I got my Saxon Orrik only a few days before the tournament, I was unable to do anything to him except to assemble. I don't remember when was the last time I played with entirely unpainted miniature in my list. It has to be before starting to write this blog, and damn... that's already quite long ago.
But I'm rambling now.
First game was against Skorne, and even better - Skorne was led by Xerxis! I have never played against Xerxis, and the first time is always special, or something.
The list was something like:
Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
2x minimum unit of Cataphract Arcuarii
3x minimum unit of Cataphract Incindiarii
Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Scenario was Destruction, and Cryx started game. I know I play Cryx, so saying this will sound funny, but the sight of that many Cataphracts was unholy sight indeed. Well, Bane Thralls might still crack their armor if only enough would survive the shots from Incindiarii.
Ashen Veil is on Satyxis Raiders, though Erebus seemed like a good target, too. But something needed to tarpit Skorne.
So, Cryx second turn started with charging Satyxis into Cataphract Cetrati, one Incindiarii and a random Tiberion. Thanks to Power Swell the Satyxis actually managed to kill half the Cetrati and the only Incindiarii they could reach. Cetrati had Defender's Ward on them, I think.
Cankerworm tried to jam two units of Incindiarii, and it killed one and affinity movement brought it to engage two more. Encouraged by this, Bane Thralls ran under the guidance of Saxon Orrik, merrilly and happily believing they would not be set on fire. Tartarus was a little more clever than rank-and-files, and ran behind a forest.
I was very unsure what kinds of threat ranges I could expect from Tiberion, so Erebus, Necrotech, a Helldiver and Ripjaw tried to form some sort of wall for Asphyxious. And that was it. Come what may.
And Xerxis' feat came.
Tiberion was indeed able to charge suprisingly far and got Erebus, who'se Poltergeist did diddly squat to Immovable Object, and by the looks of the picture, Tiberion needed only to spend two Fury to completely demolish uninjured Erebus. Eww.
Archidon then wrecked Cankerworm, or if it didn't do it all by itself, then a couple of Incindiarii helped to complete the job. Six Bane Thralls died to blasts, which wasn't too bad, I guess. One of them was the Officer, though, which caused some problems next turn.
Satyxis with Ashen Veil were a nightmare for Cataphracts to deal with, as they needed 9+ to hit. And dice were twisting the knife in opponent's veins as he was rolling a lot of 8's.
But the situation here was that Tiberion was now sitting middle of the board with armor 23. Very few things cause anxiety as effectively as an enraged titan that you know is killable in theory, but not in practice.
Asphyxious upkeeps Ashen Veil, but this time the Satyxis don't accomplish anything, really. P+S 9 without charge bonus and additional die will get you only so far with heavily armored medium base infantry even if Satyxis ignore Shield Wall.
Well, they were the easy part. Then... then the Tiberion. Tartarus advances and curses a unit of Incindiarii and gets three of them within reach. Two get killed and turned into Bane Thralls, but because they lost the officer new thralls were placed completely sub-optimal. I was thinking of creating new thralls and them to Tiberion, but no matter what, in the end objective stubbornly stood in between Tiberion and additional thralls.
Only one Bane Thrall could make the charge, and this is where I ditched any and all possible considerations to kill Tiberion. Asphyxious advanced and used his feat, and camped six focus, getting him to Arm 23. I was thinking of bringing Asphyxious to the party had Bane Thralls been more succesfull in injuring the warbeast.
Then it's Skorne's turn. Both beasts are enraged by Beast Handlers, and Archidon charges Helldiver, but fails to kill or critical pitch it. Actually that critical pitch could have been potentially disastrous - I was wondering why opponent didn't just charge right past Helldiver to Asphyxious, as it looks like there is Line of Sight, but if Asphyxious had been knocked down. Eww. I don't want to think about that. It really was worth a try, though it forced Xerxis to come and take care of the Helldiver personally.
Tiberion then charges Asphyxious and boosts to hit. There was now a glimmer of hope for the iron lich - it was a miss.
I don't remember how and where the boosts were used, but the remaining three Fury scored two hits with both dealing 8 damage, with Asphyxious healing five points or so from his feat.
So, Asphyxious didn't die, but it wasn't for the lack of trying. Afterwards every single Incindiarii who only could attempt it tried to land a continuous fire effect on Asphyxious.
Asphyxious had gained ten souls from his feat, which meant seventeen Focus next turn. Tiberion had reach, so the titan wasn't standing in the way of Asphyxious and Xerxis. Archidon, though, only has normal melee range, and would have got a free strike. It wasn't the P+S 15 + 3d6 that worried Asphyxious with his armor of 34, but I have seen disturbing things with my own eyes, and dared not risk to take a critical hit.
Luckily a curse from Tartarus and charging Bane Thralls managed to take down the reptilian warbeast, and there was no need for further, more desperate measures.
Satyxis Raider Captain tries first to score a critical knockdown on Xerxis, but fails.
Then Asphyxious charges Def 15 Arm 20 warlock with 19 damage boxes. MAT 6 & P+S 16 should be enough, right? After a flurry of blows Asphyxious finally does kills the tyrant, and I remember making a mental note that Asphyxious couldn't have done it with his regular seven focus.
Second game was against Cryx, but at least these Cryxes (Cryxii?) were quite different, as opponent was playing with Witch Coven of Garlghast.
Opponent's list was:
Witch Coven of Garlghast
- 2x Deathripper
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Maximum unit of Nyss Hunters
2x Warwitch Siren
Scenario looks like Supply and Demand. Cryx started the game. Hah, that was a good one, no? I can also spoil that Cryx also won this game. Oh, please, someone shut me up before it's too late.
So, Witch Coven of Garlghast started game, and first picture is from the end of Asphyxious turn 2. Coven has their feat in effect. I think one of the Witches shot the Satyxis unit attachment off the board with a Stygian Abyss, which made for quite a slaughter. Bloat Thrall and Kraken have quite impressive AoE's, after all. Kraken also fed its meat furnace with Satyxis.
Cankerworm had tried to block Kraken's movements a bit, but looking back I probably should have taken any and all possible casualties caused by Kraken, as now Kraken didn't even have to wreck face excessively and insanely without any remorse - any casualties it dealt were just a bonus, as nobody would charge it next turn thanks to Nightfall.
I try to put some pressure on the witches and Ripjaw runs within 5" of Egregore. Asphyxious shoots a boosted Bone Shaker at it. But when it comes down to triple 1's, what can you say. Of course I didn't expect a boosted POW 12 to deal enough damage to actually kill anyone, but with a little above average rolls each witch might have taken a couple damage points. It's debatable if it would have ever been worth it, but somehow it felt like only real damage I would be able to do that turn.
Now that I'm looking at the next picture I think it was actually this turn where Kraken filled its furnace. That turn wasn't all that horrible for me, though. Casualties weren't that bad. Next turn, however... my turn, that is, was disastrous.
Ripjaw tried to do Vice Lock on Kraken, which felt like a good plan - Ripjaw would be pretty much the only thing Kraken would be able to attack next turn, because nothing else had realistic chances of taking Ripjaw out entirely. But sometimes... usually at the most critical stages of all... MAT 6 vs DEF 10 is a miss. Aw crap.
Erebus and a Helldiver also failed miserably to do anything to Deathripper in melee with them.
I had thought that killing one of the Withershadow Combine members would be worth one Helldiver. Maybe it would have, who knows. I'll never know, as Helldiver did manage to hit Maelovus - twice - but did not score a kill. Whee. Dark Industries, anyone?
Bane Thralls at least scored a lucky hit to Warwitch Siren and killed her. Also if I'm not mistaken, Scrap Thrall blew up the other Warwitch Siren. But that was the extent of my luck during that turn.
Because Ripjaw failed to lock Kraken, Asphyxious was too scared to advance. However he had to use his feat this now, or never.
Then it's Coven's turn again, and casualties start to build up. The only thing that might have won me the game - Bane Thralls - are pretty much wiped out when I managed to pass perhaps one (or none) Tough rolls. Only the unit attachment remained, which was cute, somehow.
Withershadow Combine built a Stalker out of my Helldiver.
I'm not entirely sure what Nyss Hunters did - probably shot off even more Bane Thralls, and the three on the right probably took a combined ranged attack at Asphyxious? I don't remember.
This turn I did have a little bit of luck, as Kraken failed to kill Erebus - which was left just one hit box left in either Movement or Cortex. Looks like Asphyxious got three souls from his feat.
Well, it did feel like an uphill struggle, but if I only managed to down Kraken next turn I might still stand a chance. Maybe?
First I'd have to clear path for Asphyxious to charge, and the Nyss Hunters were a bit problematic because of that. Yeah, there was Erebus, who would roll one die for attack rolls. Erebus gained back strike bonus, which meant the helljack would be hitting with 6+ on one die. Might as well try?
Both attacks are a hit. Well well. I didn't know if that was good, because I probably burned up all my good luck for that turn there.
Anyway, Bane Lord Tartarus charges Stalker and curses Kraken. Bane Thrall unit attachment charges Kraken. Ripjaw then Armor Pierces Kraken, and Asphyxious casts Mobility and charges Kraken and buys a lot of attacks that don't deal any real damage. Seeing that the attack's weren't going anywhere, Asphyxious stopped when he still had four focus left for armor boost. I think I broke both arms from Kraken, but not the Cortex.
Then it's Coven's turn and I notice I have failed to remember one very important thing - the +2 MAT from Infernal Machine. Even if Kraken had lost its melee weapons, MAT 8 + 2d6 had good chances of hitting Asphyxious, and P+S 21 equaled Asphyxious' armor.
Kraken does not crack Asphyxious, and neither does a couple of purging Bile Thralls, and neither does Bloat thrall nor the Seether.
Well, the one Withershadow Combine built up from Erebus.
But it was close, really close. Asphyxious fell down to two hit boxes remaining, and he had Corrosion continuous effect.
When my turn began, he dropped down to one hit box remaining.
I don't remember what one of the Witch Coven members had come to do close to Stalker in the picture, but seeing as I was losing the game, I wanted to take at least one of those damn kids with me to the grave. Bane Thrall Officer beat down the Kraken, Helldiver head-butted Seether down and Asphyxious cast mobility and charged the Coven member, and I got my pleasure in killing the witch. Asphyxious cast Ashen Veil on himself with the Blood Boon, though now when I think of it, I should have tried some really messed up Hail Mary -assassination and flinged a Hex Blast at the rest of Witches. No, it didn't have a snowball's chance in a lake of fire of succeeding, but perhaps a boosted POW 7 could have done something to an ARM 16 target? Defiance, and all that?
But no, last focus was used for an attack against Stalker, and turn was over.
If I gained any moral victory from the fact that I killed one of the Witches, it was taken away from me in the most horrible way imaginable.
I cannot even write it down. You have to see the picture yourself.