Sunday, September 7, 2014

Last two games of Kurry Killbox, finally

Third game during Kurry Killbox tournament was very special for me.

It was against a future possible dream of mine - Exulon Thexus. I doubt I can perfectly reconstruct the list because there is not Exulon Thexus or even Cephalyx in the Forward Kommander army list constructor, not to speak of the tier list.

Anyway, it was tier 4 list something like this:

Exulon Thexus
- Subduer
- Wrecker

2x minimum units of Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (in ambush)
2x maximum units of Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges
Maximum unit of Nyss Hunters + Dominator
2x units of Cephalyx Overlords
2x Cephalyx Agitators

If there's any mistakes there, I won't take any responsibility over those. Even if I probably should.

Scenario was Process of Elimination, and Cephalyx got to start the game. Since it's been over a week since these games were played, and these are last two games in a one day tournament and I managed to get a mediocre level concussion injury to the back of my head two days ago I'm afraid I've lost most details by now. Fate struck me and gave a punishment for not writing earlier.

In the second picture the monstrosity with the Drag weapon (Subduer? It'd be a matching name, at least) has dragged Erebus to its death. This was the one game I later thought that maybe Ashen Veil would have been better off with Erebus, but come to think of it... the Monstrosities probably got Eyeless Sight, too. (Checking...) Oh yes, they do. Exulon Thexus had to use his feat to manage all of this, but I guess it was worth it. Any intantry I had would easily blow up to Benders. Pun intended.

Well, I guess it's of some consolence that Ashen Veil wouldn't have rescued Erebus here.

Also, both of the Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges came out from Ambush this turn, and it's quite suprising how much anxiety two minimum units of the most laughed-at choices in Cryx arsenal can cause.

My response was probably the exact response I shouldn't have made - I tried to remove those ambushing units. I guess it could have been passable idea, but opponent showed no shame in passing tough rolls.

During opponents turn I was looking greedily at the leftmost Mind Slaver unit - if I only brought Tartarus there, he could have got four of them within melee range. Funny thing was that when it was my turn I kind of... forgot. First Saxon Orrik gave pathfinder for Bane Thralls, and I activated them and in the middle of their activation I realised that Tartarus wouldn't be able to do anything useful after I moved them. Thresher cuts both ways.

Ripjaw and a ton of Satyxis charged to the wall of Cephalyx, but even with Power Swell they really didn't do much. I really, really tried to take down the Wrecker, but full 36 damage boxes is a lot. Anyway, Asphyxious used his feat this turn.

Most of the Satyxis fell to Benders, their constitution just didn't hold up POW 12 shots.

Wrecker destroyed Ripjaw, and a few Bane Thralls died, but all in all it wasn't too bad turn. Opponent didn't use too many abilities, and Asphyxious gained only four extra focus next turn.

Now when I look at the picture I'm not sure if I should have actually tried to play things out. Perhaps I would have, but as I had failed to kill any monstrosities I felt way too overwhelmed, and when I saw a possibility to do an assassination, I tried.

Helldiver popper up right behind Wrecker. Asphyxious cast Mobility and charged a Nyss Hunter, killed it and cast Carnage with Blood Boon. Well, there was one more Nyss Hunter in the way, but I thought that FOC 7 + 3d6 would be enough to hit a DEF 15 model. Turned out it wasn't.

I was quite depressed there. A beautiful assassination failed with such an unlikely event - I mean, if the failure would have been likely, it wouldn't have felt that bad.

Getting desperate, I spend many a minute figuring out if there is any way I can apply Helldiver to Exulon Thexus. Only thing I can try is to advance Saxon Orrik and shoot with military rifle. RAT 7 + 2d6 against Def 15 looks a lot worse than FOC 7 +3d6, but nonetheless, Saxon Orrik shows Asphyxious how these things should be taken care of. Bam. Dead Nyss with a failed Tough roll, too.

Helldiver takes one Free Strike from a nearby Cephalyx, but that doesn't do anything important. Since Helldiver hits on 6+ thanks to Carnage, I decide not to boost so I can get two damage boosted attacks against Exulon Thexus - he was camping two Focus, so Arm was 16.

Charge attack is obviously miss. Extra attack is a hit and gives 8 points of damage - obviously not enough to kill uninjured warcaster.

But hey! I hadn't lost yet, right? Right?

Asphyxious was focusless in middle of warcaster and two heavy monstrosities plus a crapton of autohitting POW 12 blasts?

Yeah, game over.

Game 4:

Last game was against Protectorate of Menoth, with following list:

Harbinger of Menoth
- Avatar of Menoth
- Templar

Maximum unit of Exemplar Errants + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Visgoth Rhoven & Honor Guard
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt + Attendant Priest
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
Covenant of Menoth
Vassal Mechanic
Vassal of Menoth
Alten Ashley
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord

Scenario was Close Quarters and Protectorate started game. I've heard rumors that Harbinger is quite popular tournament caster for Protectorate of Menoth, but I haven't played against her all that much, so I was quite happy for this match-up. At least until Harbinger used her feat.

Harbinger's feat has been in effect in the first half of second picture. Only models that could actually do any kind of advance were the Helldivers, who appeared as far forward as possible, moved a tiny bit backwards and re-dug their marker down.

Neither side has suffered any serious casualties when turn 3 started for Protectorate, and, not during that turn either. Master Holt failed miserably, and I guess I passed all Tough rolls in this game that I had excessively failed during last three games. So things were looking quite good.

However, I was terrified with the Avatar of Menoth. More accurately I was terrified of the thought that Avatar would lock Asphyxious down with Gaze of Menoth, and either come finish him next turn or wreck whatever I could bring to protect him.

My grand plans was to wreck Templar with Erebus and Vassal Mechanic with Helldiver, with a Bane Thrall giving -2 Arm to Templar.

Could have been effective, but Bane Thrall didn't get Templar into its melee range even running. Erebus did quite respectable damage in, but as I was saving Helldivers last I forgot to activate not only one of them, but both of them.

I guess I went so out-of-my-head when Asphyxious with 8" advance couldn't move from behind of Erebus, away from Avatar of Menoth and still be inside the Killbox. No. He was out, and that was 2 control points for Harbinger.

Well, luckily opponent didn't roll too well next turn, and Erebus and Cankerworm were the only real casualties Cryx suffered. I don't remember if the lone Satyxis in the picture failed Command check or if she was just out of 4", but opponent really didn't have to inflict much casualties, as Harbinger scored third point.

Because I was losing that badly in scenario points I decide to go into frenzy mode. However... I can't quite figure out what happened. I guess that's to be expected in frenzy mode, right? Anyway, I remember that Tartarus rolled absolutely hideous damage roll against Avatar of Menoth, but can a Ripjaw without focus and a charging Asphyxious with possibly one extra attack really wreck an uninjured Avatar of Menoth? Looks like they can. Asphyxious uses feat.

A couple of Bane Thralls and what's left of Helldiver nearly drop Templar, and all in all it could have been a very interesting game from that point on if I hadn't messed up that Killbox earlier. Or if I would have tried to contest my own flag a little more. I guess I fell to the Steamroller 2011 or 2012 thought of "if you want to win, you kill my caster because he's contesting right there." ... except that casters no longer even contest. So if opponent could kill Tartarus and one Satyxis Raider (possibly Ripjaw), it was game over.

Well, Satyxis was no problem, and Harbinger personally charged Tartarus and killed him. And after precision measuring Ripjaw is not contesting the flag.

Anyway, even if tournament went 1 victories, 3 losses, I think I had my moments in all of the games where I could have gained the upper hand, and even if I made some seriously stupid mistakes there seemed to be some kind of chance. Good games, all of them, and not absolute stompfests from any side.

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