Saturday, September 13, 2014

How to play attrition under time constraints?

Answer: you don't.

But that's what happened last Monday.

I played a 50 point game of Warmachine with following list:

Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
- Erebus
- Cankerworm
- Deathripper
- 2x Helldiver

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Bane Lord Tartarus
Satyxis Raider Captain
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Machine Wraith
Warwitch Siren

I was against a Blindwater Congregation. A very special treat, or at least it still feels that way.

Maelok the Dreadbound
- Ironback Spitter
- 2x Bull Snapper

3x Maximum units of Gatorman Posse
2x Gatorman Witch Doctor
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

Scenario was Process of Elimination, and I think the Blindwater started the game. However it went, the first picture is from the end of Cryx turn. Erebus has Ashen Veil and Scything Touch is on Satyxis Raiders. Only shooting opponent had was the Ironback Spitter, and Satyxis are immune to blast damage anyway, and all the Gatormen Posses (possii?) could go undead whenever they wished. So Ashen Veil seemed a bit useless in this game.

Anyway, Gatormen did a cautious charge next, three of them coming up close. The three Gatormen killed four Satyxis.

The unit which is harassing the middle board is the one who has +2 arm & undead spell going on for them, and the most middle gatorman of all even has Spiny Growth on.

First Erebus tries to use Combo-Strike on the middle Gator, and you'd think that P+S 22 + 3d6 should do something to, well, arm 22 target. Attack is a hit, but the bugger stays alive with two boxes remaining.

Then Bane Thralls do an awkward run/charge, which kills one Gatorman. Then Satyxis Raiders charge, kill one of the Gatormen but the Arm 22 Gatorman still stands, even after getting -2 arm from Dark Shroud. With one box remaining. They had even used Power Swell, and that caused the death of an objective marker. Oh, that confirms that minions started game.

Well then. It's up to Asphyxious to kill that doubly undead target, and he charges, hits, and either fails to roll 7+ with 3 dice or the gator passes Tough check.

That was a terrible turn. Really... I mean... really? Three Gatormen stalled my whole damn army! Well, Asphyxious had used up his feat. One turn too early, I think.

Next turn a lot more gatormen enter my front line and kill a few Satyxis, who then fail their Command check. Ah well, I can't complain, they have passed it twice in a row before this. (Yes, that was sarcasm right there.)

Snapjaw and probably those few gatormen there kill objective from left, so it's 1-1 with control points now. Looked like it'd be a long, long game after these lines had been formed and warfare devoled to trench war - in melee.

Feat yield five focus for Asphyxious, and I'm wondering if I should try an amazing assassination attempt - either slam gatorman to Maelok or slam Spitter away with Helldiver. But since I couldn't figure out how to do both I didn't try anything foolish. There were too many critical points to completely fail everything. Looking back now, I should have tried anyway.

Instead I tried to remove any and all Gatormen and try to win with scenario, and keep a keen eye on a possible opening for assassination. Deathripper, Cankerworm and Helldiver contested left zone and tried to take care of Snapjaw and/or Wrong Eye. If I remember right Cankerworm made a really high damage roll with the armor piercing attack against Snapjaw, but Helldiver missed or didn't cause damage to Wrong Eye.

Machine Wraith boasts to kill Gatorman Witch Doctor in the fields, and nearly lives up to its words - it was either three or four points in.

When I'm counting it from the pictures it looks like I managed to kill two gatormen with Asphyxious' post-feat turn. That's... that's horrifying.

Anyway, opponents starts securing the control zone on the left. I think Asphyxious did have some kind of Focus camp for armor boost, but they're not in the picture... surely I didn't leave Asphyxious in the middle of enemy army without focus in this situation? Perhaps I did.

But in the middle of enemy turn the store closes. Well, not close as in "we got locked up inside", but we had to pack our stuff and get going.

Well, it's a second draw during Mk2, and the earlier one years ago was because of exactly same reason.

I have a very personal pet peeve with draws. As I keep quite highly detailed spreadsheets about my games, including many different forms of win/loss/draw ratios it's frustrating how draws skew those statistics. They make many records unfeasible for direct comparison.

What can I say? Boo hoo.

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