Friday, October 31, 2014

Impervious Shield Wall

It's been a week since this game was played. And I played another game today, so I hope I won't mix these two up.

My 50 point list was:

Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- Cyclops Shaman
- Basilisk Krea

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
Maximum unit of Bog Trog Ambushers
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Gatorman Witch Doctor

Opponent had:

Lieutenant Caine
- Ol' Rowdy

Maximum unit of Stormguard
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers + Officer
Minimum unit of Storm Lances
Black 13th
2x Stormblade Captain
Journeyman Warcaster
Harlan Versh
Gorman diWulfe
Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Mage Hunter Eiryss

Scenario was Supply and Demand, and Cygnar got to start the game. First picture is from the end of turn 1.

Harlan Versh has Snipe and Storm Lances have Blur. Arcane Shield was on Stormguard.

On the Skorne side of things, both Basilisk Krea and Cyclops Shaman has Paralytic Aura on. Death March is on Cetrati and Soul Slave on Archidon.

Turn 2 seems I've forgotten to take a picture from the end of Cygnar turn. Well. Harlan Versh nearly kills Archidon all by himself, which is quite horrifying. Storm Lances charge Cetrati and two get into melee. Or perhaps one ran to engage. However it went, they didn't cause any serious damage to Cetrati. Though it's likely that Black 13th activated first and shot Cetrati with brutal damage shots. And not even one dead Cetrati.

Ol' Rowdy moves to annoying position. Annoying because of the Counter charge. Hmm. I wonder if you can Counter charge a Counter charge? And afterwards make a full activation? Just as a side thought, didn't matter here.

Skorne pulled Bog Trogs from ambush, because there wouldn't be any better turn for that in any case. Scenario was bad for ambushers. They killed two members of Black 13th.

Then I wondered if I should feat or not. My plan was to bring Archidon forward, and then if Ol' Rowdy chose to counter charge, I wouldn't feat. If Ol' Rowdy didn't counter charge, I would shoot Obliteration on the Stormguard, hopefully eating the unit dead from within. Looking back now it was a good thing I didn't get to use feat. The result would have been disappointing most certainly. Anyway, Rowdy counter charges. Damn it took long time to explain that.

Cyclops Shaman charges Ol' Rowdy for no apparent reason. Possibly I wanted to make an ancillary attack with evil eye and contest the zone better.

Ol' Rowdy was just within charge range of Bronzeback Titan, so Ol' Rowdy suddenly disappeared from the battlefield. Yet again I, however, underestimated badly how far I would be able to move Bronzeback with beat back. It would have been nice if it got to Stormguard especially after having spent only two Fury, but alas. It stopped at least an inch short, literally in the middle of enemy army.

Cetrati struggle with the two Storm Lances and don't manage to kill last Storm Lance, so the Tyrant Commander had to come and help. Rest of Skorne just shuffles around, not doing much. Hexeris at least has Krea's aura on, as does the basilisk itself.

Turn 3 Gorman blind oils the Bronzeback. But all in all Bronzeback miraculously survived from the charge of Stormguard and everything else opponent tried to throw againt it. I believe there was some incredible attack and damage rolls going on that turn. Mortitheurge Willbreaker and one Cetrati and one Bog Trog looks like the only actual casualties that turn. Models with damage boxes, however, had been injured. And Bronzeback was blind.

But for Skorne it was time for feat.

Hexeris used feat and charged in to Stormguard. They weren't passing their Tough rolls all the time, so I did get quite a few extra attacks from the Stormguards. A lucky roll killed the Stormblade Captain, who tried to take a shot at Caine, but missed. Anyway. As Hexeris was in a really bad position there, I thought it best to save three Fury for transfers. But I didn't play best, and bought yet one more attack, and thanks to beat back he got to engage Harlan Versh. I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

Bronzeback just crawls in the wreck of Ol' Rowdy to get out of the way for other troops, mainly the Cyclops Shaman. Cyclops was enraged by Beast Handlers, and then it cast Train Wreck on itself and charged a Stormguard. I was afraid of charging Caine, because he might be just outside of Shaman's threat range. But with a beat back move he would be most certainly be in. Well, the charge attack missed. Not that a light warbeast would one-shot a warcaster anyway.

Cetrati and Bog Trogs just charged in, killing what was left of Black 13th and taking a few Gun Mages down too. Eiryss, however, survived. Krea used it's animus and charged something, possibly Gorman diWulfe. Zombify had been cast on Beast Handlers, and that was it.

Turn 4 starts. All enemy models move away from Hexeris' melee range. Gorman moves away from Tyrant Commander's melee range, but gets killed in the process even with defense bonus from hitting over an obstacle. That was pretty much a life saver.

Caine casts Deadeye on Gun Mages, and uses feat, walks a bit and shoots as many shots against Hexeris as possible. Then he teleported away, and out of the Killbox. Feat didn't do much, as most of targets were under Krea's animus and possibly even engaged in melee.

Gun Mages tried to shoot Hexeris next with critical brutal damage, but there were quite a few misses and non-critical hits. I think even Journeyman Warcaster tried to shoot Hexeris, but I forget the result.

It looks a bit grim for Cygnar when turn 4 started for Skorne. I figured if I destroyed the objective and dominated the zone, it would be a scenario victory. It seemed easier than trying some weird shenanigans to get to Caine. It really seemed so.

Bronzeback Titan lurches forward and tries to beat Eiryss. It boosts all initial attacks and buys extra attack and boosts it. Nope. Not even one 9+ on four tries. Cyclops Shaman kills a Stormguard who had been left contesting the zone.

Well, I got two Cetrati within reach of Eiryss. Other Cetrati had to beat some Gun Mages. The Gun Mages died to MAT 9 hits, but Eiryss survives from two. Really? Really??

Bog Trogs wouldn't be able to charge Eiryss anyway, so they charged the objective. I had really counted on them destroying the pesky arm 18 target, I mean, seven of them got into contact with it. I think I did two big CMA's, and damage dealt was horrifying. For me. Ugh.

Well, perhaps Tyrant Commander would do the trick, after all he's a P+S 12 Weapon Master model. And sure, he did more damage than the Bog Trogs combined, but yet the objective stood. I don't remember how many boxes it had, but it wasn't much.

So. Basilisk Krea and Hexeris are the only models left to activate, and there's a def 16 target in melee and behind a wall, and an arm 18 objective with a few damage points left.

I did something I should have done very first - Krea activated, moved as close to Eiryss as possible and used her animus. She even tried to shoot the paralysis on her, but missed.

Hexeris has six Fury. He charges Eiryss, and with all bonuses and penalties combined it was MAT 7 attack versus DEF 16. Please, dice, I really get it. I do. I have to respect you and believe in you, and not take you for granted. But please. Roll first 9+ on 3 dice that turn.

And it's a hit. Thankfully I didn't have to roll damage, since even triple 1's would have killed Eiryss.

But then there's still the objective. Hexeris shoots it with Obliteration. He had one Fury for boosted damage, so the objective should easily die to average rolls, but I believe my hands were shaking from other things than caffeine on those rolls, as whole turn had been such a terrible affair.

But he does hit, and boosted damage takes the few remaining damage points out. Absolutelty nothing could have made any kind of attack any more against the objective. But anyway, that was the "easy" scenario victory. I still see nightmares from that final turn and wake up in cold sweat.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Battle of Three C's

Last Saturday we played a 50 point game of Warmachine with three players.

Needless to say, this is a personal tragedy for my excel sheets, though playing a multiplayer game first time for a very long time was an interesting idea. But... statistically, who was my opponent? Which faction would I win if I won the game? To which factions and casters I would lose to, if I didn't win?

Eventually I decided that this game would go to the "weirdo games" block I have in my spreadsheets that I have reserved for things like Who's the Boss, 2v2 plays and things like that.

Anyway, I took Circle with me. Moreover, I took Morvahna the Autumnblade because I thought that Regrowth spell might be annoying indeed in a multiplayer game.

My list was:
Morvahna the Autumnblade
- Megalith
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Woldwatcher
- Winter Argus

Druids of Orboros + Overseer
Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Blackclad Wayfarer
Tharn Ravager White Mane
2x Gallows Grove

Idea in the list was to be well protected against spells and shooting and having enough models for a prolonged match.

Then there was Convergence lead by Iron Mother Directrix (why did I mistype that first as Dominatrix?)

It was a tier list somewhere up to tier 2 or so.

Iron Mother Directrix
- Prime Axiom
- Cipher
- Monitor
- Assimilator
- Mitigaotr
- Corollary

Optifex Directive
Accretion Servitors

And then we had Cygnar with epic Haley, whose feat is no less terrifying in a multiplayer game.

Major Haley
- Stormclad
- Lancer

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers + Officer
Maximum unit of Storm Lances
Maximum unit of Horgenhold Forge Guard
Journeyman Warcaster
Eiryss (the ordinary version)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Gorman diWulfe

We played on 4ft x 6ft board with deployment areas vaguely 24" apart. Scenario was Mosh Pit with a 16" rectangle. Starting on 3rd turn, if a turn ended with no enemy models inside the zone, you win the game. Turn order was Convergence first, Cygnar second and Circle last.

I've taken pictures so that two faction will have completed their turns in between the pictures. First picture is taken from the end of turn 1, so Convergence starts turn next.

Turn 1 was had Arcane Shield cast on Storm Lances, Regrowth on Wolves of Orboros, Restoration on Woldwatcher and Harvest on Morvahna. Tactical Supremacy was probably on too, but I forget the target.

Turn 2 sees a little action. Convergence took small pot shots at Horgenhold Forge Guards who were passing their Tough (from Rhupert) godlikely. Eiryss was infiltrating Convergence, you can see her way up there in the picture.

Circle tries to pull Assimilator within charge range of Gnarlhorn Satyr, and they almost succeed. Or how to say it... they succeed too well? Three Druids that were shooting force bolts at the Assimilator all pulled the vector full 3", which engaged the vector. Last druids couldn't hit it any more because it was in melee. Gnarlhorn attempted to charge anyway, with Bounding. Still the charge failed for about a quarter of an inch. So now I had just pulled a heavy vector in middle of my army without being able to deal with it...

I had also spent all Fury from Morvahna, as I was sure I'd be able to kill at least one Storm Lance with sprays from Winter Argus, charge from White Mane and a charge from Wolf of Orboros. Turned out I couldn't. So Morvahna was entirely Furyless. I got so afraid that Woldwatcher ran next to Morvahna. At least she'd be safe from direct shooting now.

Turn 3 Convergence obviously smashes the foolish goat who tripped on a wood in a forest. Convergence also continued to harass the Horgenholds, who continued to roll Tough when damage rolls accidentally punched through their armor. Oh, and the Lancer went down to Prime Axiom's tow cables.

Cygnar killed Wolves of Orboros with Storm Lances and stuff. Eiryss tried to shoot Iron Mother, but missed. This time.

Morvahna decided to use feat, and filled Wolves of Orboros back to full strength with Regrowth. That went okayish. What didn't go okayish at all was the sad attempt at dismantling Assimilator. Everything I threw against it (including Megalith) just failed.

Turn 4 Convergence thankfully deals with Gorman diWulfe, but those damn dwarves still refuse to die.

Haley uses her feat that messes up absolutely everything. Miraculously Megalith survives a round of beating from Stormclad and Assimilator, but without being able to advance to engage Stormclad, Megalith would need to survive two rounds. Hah. Not going to happen. This time Eiryss doesn't miss, and Iron Mother would be focus-starved next turn.

So next round is pretty fast and straightforward. Megalith succeeds to beat Assimilator down, and to make it more appealing for Convergence to drag the Stormclad away, Megalith also uses its animus. Morvahna brings back wolves to engage gun mages, but for Circle that was pretty much everything.

Turn 5 starts with Convergence under Haley's feat and Iron Mother Directrix disrupted by Eiryss. Notable thing here was probably when Iron Mother went and beat Eiryss down personally in melee even without boosts. She wasn't in Haley's control area.

Stormclad finishes Megalith, and Gun Mages kill Wolves of Orboros in droves. As Circle had only Woldwatcher as a warbeast, Morvahna went into vengeful frenzy mode. I put all my efforts into killing Haley. Morvahna dropped upkeeping Harvest and brought back the maximum of six Wolves or Orboros, and they all charged Eiryss. Full 6 member Combined Melee Attack missed. Sad panda.

Turn 6 Convergence pretty much secures the middle zone. It's a bit hilarious that it's turn 6 already and I can still see some Forge Guards alive. What's not hilarious at all is that in the last picture I can see Morvahna nowhere alive. She died to two electro leaps. I think she had something like 7 hit boxes left from various bits and bobs.

Well, since it's a three player game, I did got to play with the Wolves of Orboros anyway. And they really wanted to at least deal some damage to Haley. And I think they did something like four points. Or maybe more. But doesn't really matter, as Convergence cleared the middle area from enemy models on turn 7.

It was kind of refreshing to see how three player game changes things. Of course you can't talk much about balance, but spells like Harvest and feats that affect enemy models instead of your own models have way bigger impact in the game in terms to power. It's a shame Convergence has so few truly living models, as it would have been nice to fill Morvahna with Harvested Fury from opponents fighting each other.

But the game took a long time to play. A very long time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cry like you have never cried before! (It just might save us...)

In attempt to try out something new, I tried out a theme list for Hexeris in a 50 point game.

Well, I got only to tier level of 1, because the following requirements are quite harsh. But the tier 1 bonus looked nicest anyway, since I'd be able to fill Agonizer in very first turn, and get all the upkeeps going on.

So, my list was:

Kingdom of Shadows tier 1
Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Bronzeback Titan (soul slave)
- Cyclops Shaman
- Basilisk Krea
- 2x Basilisk Drake

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment (death march)
Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Extoller Soulward
Ancestral Guardian

I was against Convergence of Cyriss.

Carrier Group tier 4
Iron Mother Directrix
- Prime Axiom
- Monitor
- Assimilator
- Mitigator
- Diffuser
- Corollary

Optifex Directive
+ servitors. Lots of different servitors.

Scenario was Rally Point. Convergence won starting roll. Tactical Supremacy was cast on Monitor.

Thankfully I had used tier list, because filling Agonizer with Fury was easy enough now even if I went second. Cetrati just ran forward, backed up by Krea who had her animus on. Hexeris put four Fury on Agonizer, cast Krea's animus himself, too, and left one for transfers. First Bronzeback ran, but I could not risk of losing Bronzeback so early. Absolutely nothing would severely harm the Prime Axiom if the titan died.

So. Cyclops Shaman ran to block any drags to Bronzeback.

Turn 2 Mitigator knocked down Bronzeback and Cyclops Shaman, and as a consequence Shaman was shot to pieces. Amazing number of Praetorian Swordsmen died too. At least Extoller Soulward got souls. To use, well, against Optifexes. I guess Aptimus Marketh would have been a better choice here, after all.

On my turn I royally screw up with Bronzeback. I had somehow been estimating that with three beat backs Bronzeback should be able to get to Mitigator, and perhaps even Monitor. But also I knew I had to destroy one of the servitors from the middle to get as long charge as possible. Elementary mathematics would have told me that it would leave me with only two beat backs, but it's been such a long time since I was in elementary school. That's my onle defense, really.

So, it'd be a miracle if Bronzeback survived now. But at least I'd make it as difficult for opponent as possible, and Agonizer with four Fury ran forward, catching all but assimilator and corollary within its cries of agony. Cetrati advanced in shield wall, and two or three got their toe to enemy zone.

Turn 3 Convergence beats Bronzeback and Agonizer down, but it takes pretty much all available arsenal to do that. Last few points to Bronzeback were actually shot by some eliminator servitors.

Praetorian Swordsmen lose all but their unit leader. Not that there were too many of them still alive, though.

My turn looks a little bit weird. I remember that my grand plan was to charge one of the servitors in my enemy zone, beat back two of them dead and shooting Soulfire to one hiding in the woods. Well, all this succeeded and Skorne got two control points from that.

But I can't remember what had done damage to Mitigator... Basilisk Drake shot the light vector down with his gaze, but surely not one POW 14 could one-shot a light warjack? Only possible explanation is that two POW 14's did exactly that, if I shot Mitigator one turn earlier with exactly the same drake.

Cetrati then charged, or only two of them charged and the rest ran to block Line of Sight to Hexeris. If I remember right they did some respectable damage to Assimilator, but not enough to make it useless.

Drake on the left wrecked another light vector. I don't know how, and I don't know why, but that's what it did. It's a bit shameful when Basilisk Drakes wreck more heavy armor than Bronzeback during a game.

Krea cast her animus, and then it was next turn.

Turn 4 Convergence attempts to assassinate Hexeris, but one of Prime Axiom's tow cables miss, so Hexeris was safe at least from melee assassination. I vaguely remember that some attack hit Hexeris and deal something like four points of damage, and after that Convergence just tried to beat the army down. But four Cetrati were the only models that died completely. I think that the Basilisk Drake on the right lost a branch or two, but nothing that a beast handler couldn't repair.

But again I was losing the attrition here. If Hexeris only managed to survive, I might have had chances of either wrecking all the heavy warjacks, or with some luck the colossal, but not both. Though it would have been hilarious to get to use Krea's flank with Drakes meaningfully probably the first time ever.

Thanks to Hexeris' beat back securing the control zone was very easy, just one attack at the Assimilator and Skorne was essentially at four control points. It was the undamaged objective that was the tricky one. So I put all firepower to the objective I possibly can. Hexeris even uses his feat! Then he casts Obliteration on the objective, and rolls absurdly high damage roll, which made things a lot easier. Hexeris also boosts damage against an Optifex Directive, who dies and turns into a zombie and goes to whack the objective. Zero damage. Yay, such a glorious feat!

But then there were one Drake I could get 100% sure within the range of the objective, and another that might be within the range.

Didn't have to see if the second Drake could have sprayed the objective, first one hit and dealt the few remaining damage points to it.

In some way Bronzeback Titan was essential in this scenario victory, too. It's sheer spite kept it alive for attack after an attack, which eventually forced a couple of contestors away from my enemy zone. Also if the servitor in the woods would have been an inch or two deeper in the woods none of this would have been possible, or at least unfeasibly difficult.

Of course I might have ran something close to the servitor and cast Obliteration on my own model and killing the servitor with blast damage, but. Eh.

Anyway, my love for tormented baby titans continues to grow. There's something in the cry of an Agonizer that puts even the cold, mechanical heart of convergence away from balance. Or perhaps it was the emotional scene itself, where Agonizer runs behind the Bronzeback Titan, crying pitifully: "Daaaddyyy! Don't gooo! You can't reach your target you'll just dieee! Nooooo!"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Almost a funny match up - how come I can't stop sobbing bitterly?

Every key I press while I write this report is struck with a sweaty finger - sweat that is composed of pure dread and horror, as well as the usual stuff. I shudder as I remember the moments from my 35 point game of Warmachine last Tuesday.

I wanted to take out Lord Arbiter Hexeris out for a spin, and I did. Hey, it's one of the most respected Skorne warlocks, what could go wrong?

My list was:

Lord Arbiter Hexeris
- Bronzeback Titan
- Cyclops Shaman
- Basilisk Krea (bonded)
- 2x Reptile Hound

Minimum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Aptimus Marketh

Well, once I took my army out of the transport foam I couldn't really believe that was all. Again I had just slapped models I wanted to play together without much consideration to anything else, and I was baffled once I actually saw my list on the table. So damn few models. But that wasn't a horrifying thing or anything like that, no. To some extent I've used to surprises like this.

Opponent was playing:

Epic Haley
- Stormclad (bonded)
- Thorn

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers + Officer
Black 13th
Storm Blades + Unit Attachment

Okay, epic Haley, that's bad news always. But still I wasn't suffering from terror and sudden panic attacks just yet.

Scenario we had was Close Quarters, and skorne won starting roll, and again I had a slow list, plus I was facing a serious scenario caster. No other option than to go first, and this time I ran as far as possible. This time there wasn't that much high powered long range shooting around than in last game.

Opponent did the same, and Rufus, my dear Reptile Hound who performs a wide variety of tricks during games, got to do its first trick in the first round of game: Play Dead. Haley cast a damage boosted Time Bomb on it.

Turn 2 I did start feeling these "oh no, whatever I do will bring me doom" -feelings that are quite commonplace when fighting against Haley2. Still nothing too bad.

Cataphract Cetrati shield walled themselves and advanced to definitely contest the friendly flag, and Basilisk Krea followed them with her animus.

Cyclops Shaman advanced and used Krea's animus, too. Hexeris cast a Hellfire on Stormclad through Basilisk Krea, since it was the only target in sight. Hexeris had quit upkeeping Ashen Veil on Cataphract Cetrati, and instead replaced it on Bronzeback Titan, who ran to a really bad position. I have Telekinesis on two of my own warlocks/warcasters, so I deserve what I got there, but still it hurts what happened next.

Thorn advances, Haley activates, casts Temporal Acceleratin on Stormclad and Telekinesis on Bronzeback, repositioning the beast both two inches closer and to direct charge lane. Yes, I had been thinking that Haley can get quite ridiculous threat ranges, but Stormclad wouldn't be able to charge Bronzeback in exact direct line - without reach the charge might have fallen short even with additional bonuses. Yeah, Stormclad has reach in reality, which is very different from my "rainbows and butterflies" make-believe world. I had mostly prepared for a charge from Storm Blades, and Stormclad possibly coming to wreck Cetrati.

So, even if Bronzeback does weather punishment fairly well, a P+S 19 warjack with four focus against Bronzeback's back arc was too much. It did take all four focus to kill it, though. As an added insult, the electro leaps killed last remaining Reptile Hound, meaning I wouldn't be able to do a full feat from my own beasts only.

Nothing else does much, though one of the black 13th rolls triple sixes for brutal damage shot against a Cetrati. And the Cetrati doesn't even die. These are the moments you almost want to raise your Krea from the table and lovingly caress it. Almost.

Turn 3 all but Aptimus Marketh is under Haley's feat.

And Haley makes Hexeris activate first. And this is the moment I will see nightmares about - at this point I realised how especially hopeless match-up epic Hexeris is against epic Haley. By activating Hexeris first there would be no feat for him this turn. Just moments prior I had been wondering if I should try to shoot Haley down with three Hellfires and probably fail, but at least there would have been a chance.

So Hexeris shoots Ashes to Ashes on a nearby Storm Blade instead just out of spite. Perhaps more than two additional hits might have affected the game somehow (which I doubt) but three hits was nothing, really. Then Hexeris tries to walk to relative safety of the rest of the army.

Then Beast Handlers activate, and do nothing, really.

Krea and Cetrati advance, both of which just advance to engage. Krea puts on her animus for no apparent reason.

Once Cyclops Shaman activates, I realize there is actually something I can do this turn - Cyclops Shaman can shoot with his eye! And it does. Twice, thanks to Ancillary Attack from Willbreaker. Both attacks kill a model, one of which was the officer. Sadly Storm Blades don't fail their command check.

Tyrant Commander and Standard Bearer advance to protect Hexeris, and Aptimus Marketh just casts Ashen Veil on Hexeris.


Hexeris has two Fury left for transfers, and only Basilisk Krea for transfers. Foolishly I had riled the Shaman once to get some Fury next turn. Storm Blades beat Krea down to four boxes remaining, and then Haley clears a clears a path for Stormclad with Telekinesis. Stormclad advances to Hexeris, and hits. And hits. And hits. And dead.

It was a brutal game. Also some critical miss here or there might have kept me in game, but opponent dared to miss only one attack roll during whole game (it was a Gun Mage against a Beast Handler). But I don't think I can actually blame the dice here - worse rolls for opponent might have given me a remote chance of winning by a hail mary assassination, but I don't think amazing rolls were directly responsible for anything in this game. It was a hard match up, and poor planning on my part.

Also, if I hadn't thrown the Bronzback away so haplessly, I might have navigated through Haley's feat turn somehow even without a feat next turn. Whole Bronzeback affair was just sub-par play from me.

A random thing comes into my mind right now for future matches of Hexeris2 vs Haley2 - since I'm not doing anything with my warbeasts anyway, why not leave them full Fury and leach fury from Hexeris himself, and get some sort of feat that way? Funnilly enough, given proper alignment of your beasts, you might actually get a charge in during Haley's feat! After all, frenzy happens before Haley starts playing your turn.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hyper Aggressive

Last Sunday I played a 50 point game of Warmachine.

As I had just finished Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer for Skorne, I wanted to try the unit.

My list was:

Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea

Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
Maximum unit of Paingiver Beast Handlers
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Gatorman Witch Doctor

Opponent was playing Cygnar, with this list:

Kara Sloan
- 2x Hunters

Maximum unit of Storm Lances
Maximum unit of Greygore Boomhowlers + Murdoch
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Journeyman Warcaster
Rhupert Carvolo
Alten Ashley
Epic Eiryss
Sylys Wyshnalyrr

Scenario was Incoming. Skorne won starting roll, and had to go first. However, Cygnar had such long range shooting available, that I was scared to fully run even on my first turn! Aided by Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer, the Cataphract Cetrati marched in shield wall. Deathmarch was cast on Praetorian Swordsmen, and Soul Slave was on Archidon. Basilisk Krea and Hexeris are spamming Krea's animus like it's the end of days.

And, well... only Archidon took a nasty hit from the Hunter on right, but that was all. Oh no, it wasn't. Feralgeist was also shot to pieces by something I forget, but who had magical weapon from Aiyana.

Turn 2 gives a difficult choice - either I let Cygnar start scoring scenario points from friendly zone, or rush forward and get a brutal alpha strike on my face. I thought that it'd be worth it to advance in shield wall and krea animus and give Cygnar one control point, and next turn have a shield wall unit + Bronzeback contesting the zone.

Then I made a masterful tactical choice of bringing Archidon up front and Bronzeback slightly farther back, so Archidn would act as an meat wall that enemy would need to deal with first before taking shots on Bronzeback. Aw, hell. Who am I kidding, here. In reality, all those shenanigans was just a 7 point Archidon piece trade to 3 point Eiryss. I'm just trying to make it look a little better.

Hexeris cast Soulfire through Archidon to Eiryss, and cast Krea's animus. Cetrati advanced in a shield wall, and zombified Praetorian Swordsmen ran to my friendly zone.

Cygnar runs Rangers first, and Bronzeback declares a counter charge against one of them. Misses the shot, which is both a blessing and a curse - Bronzeback would gain melee bonuses, but Ranger now gave bonuses against many of the Cetrati plus Tyrant Commander.

Kara Sloan used her feat and used it to destroy my objective marker and Archidon. However, Archidon survived against all odds - at least for a little while longer. Greygore Boomhowlers assaulted Cetrati, which in itself was of no consequence. All either missed or didn't crack through armor. Two Cetrati took some damage, and that was it. But. My grand plans of contesting my enemy zone with Cetrati suddenly looked rather difficult to make come true. To no-one's suprise they had used the 4+ tough Fell Call.

On my friendly zone three successful tough rolls saved the day. Charge from Storm Lances was stopped in their tracks to the first line of Praetorian Swordsmen. Losing something like eight swordsmen would have been a real possibility thanks to crapton of electroleaps both from assault shots and melee weapons, but now damage was quite minimal. I have to say Praetorian Swordsmen roll tough way better than my Bane Thralls.

Turn 3 was Hexeris' feat turn. Willbreaker gave Puppet Master to Bronzeback, and then Hexeris activated. He cast Train Wreck on Bronzeback, and I think he tried to cast Soul Fire on a Greygore Boomhowler grunt, but either missed or grunt passed tough check. I think he also cast Train Wreck on the Basilisk Drake just for giggles and left two Fury for transfers.

Krea activated next and just advanced and cast its own animus, and stared nearest Storm Lance into paralysis. I think the Lance was already engaged by Swordsmen, but I didn't care if she'd hit or miss.

Basilisk Drake shot it's spray next, and it might have killed one Boomhowler grunt.

Then. I had huge expectations from Bronzeback here. He was supposed to learn to dance and walz through rangers and Boomhowlers and finally end the song contesting my enemy zone. And - that trunkless elephant is a really good dancer! All his dancing partners lost stamina way before he did, or maybe he just stepped on their toes and, well, kind of crushed them. Not the toes. The whole partner. A honourable mention goes to one of the Boomhowler grunts, who refused to die even after Bronzeback started to solo dance trepak from Nutcracker over him. The trollkin passed, what, three Tough rolls from Bronzeback before Bronzeback lost its balance landed mid-air on a nearby ranger. As a consequnce Rangers failed their command check.

After such a phenomenal dance the road was, well, not entirely clear but at least clearer for Cetrati to come and contest the zone. Two managed to enter the enemy zone. Those two also poked their spears at the trollkin Bronzeback had failed to kill, and still it continued to pass tough rolls. Last attack, however, finally killed him.

Hexeris' animus didn't help at all dealing with the Boomhowlers, as they had Arcane Shield on. Few did fail their tough rolls at the first attempt, but didn't manage to punch through their friends' armour.

On the right, then, Hexeris' feat yield a bit more. Praetorian Swordsmen used their minifeat and punched automatic points at the Storm Lances, which soon turned one of them into a zombie. The zombie Lance killed another Storm Lance outright, who continued the chain, but at least didn't score more kills.

Alten Ashley died to a combo-strike from a Swordsman, and Alten took a swing at Rhupert. Didn't kill him, though. What a pity.

Ranger who succumbed to Hexeris' feat killed a former member of his own unit, but the next zombie didn't have much chances of damaging anyone. He did try to attack the Storm Lance, but dice -10 for damage isn't odds to place bets on. It wasn't the best feat from Hexeris I've had, but it definitely wasn't the worst either. At least I got to make some attack rolls, which killed extra models.

What else? Tyrant Commander had ran to engage the paralysed Storm Lance. Oh, and because everyone had been blocking each others' movement last turn, Gatorman Witch Doctor was in a bad position and couldn't reach Praetorian Swordsmen, so he cast Zombify on Beast Handlers.

On opponents turn I realised how greatly those few passed tough rolls last turn saved my game - only three Storm Lances were alive any more, and yet they alone killed every single remaining Praetorian Swordsmen, except one who actually survived and one who was shot down by Master Holt.
Aiyana had cast Kiss of Lyliss on Cetrati, which this turn assured that the two contesting Cetrati died miserably. Rhupert ran to opponent's enemy zone, and suddenly opponent was at 100% certain 3 control points, and more if Bronzeback died somehow.

Hunter on the right, however, skipped shooting and ran to a very annoying position right next to my Basilisk encampment.

Kara Sloan had a lot on her hands now. She'd have to kill nearly uninjured Bronzeback with two shots. She took one against it, and though the damage roll was okayish, it wasn't enough to make second shot a possible kill shot. This, however, triggered Hyper Aggressive, and Bronzeback advanced as much forward as possible, yet still within enemy zone.

Turn 4 I decide to try to pull an all-out assassination. I didn't even try to protect Hexeris any way from a possible retaliation if assassination fails - after all clearing two light warbeasts, a couple of infantry models and possibly Tyrant Commander who had two damage boxes left from opponent's enemy zone would be nearly as easy as killing a warlock with one or no Fury at all.

Beast Handlers enrage Bronzeback, Willbreaker gives Puppet Master to Hexeris, who then activates and advances to provide control area for Bronzeback. He also casts Soul Slave on Bronzeback, and right after an unboosted Obliteration on Journeyman Warcaster, which hits and kills, and boosted blast damage kills Aiyana, too. Path to Sloan was clear now, so Bronzeback charged and killed her. If journeyman had not died, Bronzeback would have had to trample, and Aiyana would've probably got a free strike against Bronzeback. While usually not a worrying , Bronzeback had only a couple of boxes left in Body branch thanks to previous damage. A big risk.

Oh. OH. Now that I'm checking things, turns out Aiyana doesn't have a melee weapon at all.

Anyway, I forget to make the chain attack, so it takes the last bit of Fury 5 to bring the def 16 arm 17 (from focus camp) warcaster down thanks to one triple one miss. I'm in no position to complain, however, since I had been rolling attack rolls very well through the whole game. So well, in fact, that I got to taste my own medicine very soon...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Last two games of TaTaPe Syysoffensiivi 2014 WM/H tournament

Game 3 was against Khador.

Opponent had a list something like:

Vladimir, the Dark Prince of Umbrey
- Drago

Maximum unit of Kayazy Assassins + Underboss
2x Kayazy Eliminators
Man-o-War Drakhun (without dismount)

Again Cryx lost the starting roll. First picture is from the end of Cryx turn 1. Satyxis were able to charge themselves to both Dragoons and even a couple of ordinary Kayazys, dismounting Fenris and killing Drakhun entirely. They had to use Power Swell, though. Thanks to the scenario objective special rules (Inspiration for faction solos within 4" of objective) I didn't have to be afraid of Abomination from Fenris - though I remembered only when activating the last model from the unit that I actually have to leave one of them within CMD range of the friendly Faction solo in question. Old habits die hard.

Khador replies with Vlad2 using his feat, getting five models to buff. That was all the Uhlans and one unit of Eliminators. Two uhlans almost wreck Erebus all by themselves, and third one would have most likely done just that, but he missed the attack roll.

This was first game in the tournament where Ashen Veil seemed to be actually effective, when four Satyxis were still alive even after a crapton of assassins had attacked them.

On Cryx turn Asphyxious advanced, camping four focus, and used his feat. It seemed like quite good position, because neither Vlad or Drago would be able to charge Asphyxious, and Kayazy Assassins would need to walk into melee with Asphyxious. Only real threat was one unit of Eliminators.

Or so I thought.

Kayazy with Underboss would have easily got in a charge against Asphyxious because of Kill Stroke, so the only thing that could have saved my warcaster was a failed Command check.

But luckily I didn't have to suffer the humiliation of forgetting critical rules on enemy models.

Two goddamn P+S 16 + 3d6 attacks from Kayazy Eliminators killed ARM 21 Asphyxious with 18 hit boxes.

My mental image was that Asphyxious started chanting his dark incantations with a deep and sinister voice, and then a Kayazy appears from out of nowhere and punches dagger into his throat... "shut up".

Game 4:

Last game was against Trollbloods, and opponent had the following list:

Borka the Kegslayer
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Storm Troll

Maximum unit of Fennblades + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Krielstone Bearers + Stone Scribe Elder
Maximum unit of Warders
Fell Caller Hero

Opponent had converted just about every model somehow, and the trollblood army looked especially stunning thanks to it. Conversion guidelines in Warmachine don't encourage into big conversions, so I raise my hat (though I rarely use one) to anyone who fights uphill the conversion policies. But anyway. Into the actual game.

Scenario was Rally Point. I didn't win any of the starting rolls during the tournament, but in this last game I at least got to make a meaningful choice of deployment sides - I figured that the obstruction would divide opponent's army more than the forest.

First picture is from the end of Trollbloods turn 2, and atrocities were committed then.

First time in the tournament I was happy that Satyxis with Ashen Veil would have a major impact in the game, when they ran full 16" to engage the Fennblades. Fennblades would be struggling to contest the zone now. Or so I thought.

Fell Caller gave them +2 to attack rolls, but they still needed 8+ to hit.

Eight Fennblades got to make attacks. Six Satyxis died. And then Borka cast Iron Flesh on them.

I had been looking at the very possible chance of starting to dominate the enemy zone next, because the sheer amount of heavy armor on the left side of the board looked very intimidating without Bane Thralls. If I lost only a few, say, three Satyxis it'd be easy to clear the three that were contesting enemy zone.

Now just three Satyxis had to do it, and Fennblades had DEF 15.

I still decided to go for the scenario game, and I had to decide between trying to aim a Hex Blast on Fennblades to get rid of Iron Flesh, or to cast Carnage. I opted for Carnage, since it was impossible to miss Carnage. Asphyxious advanced to dominate enemy zone, cast Carnage and used feat. He was camping four focus.

Five remaining Satyxis manage to kill the three contesting Fennblades, which was a relief.

I was actually thinking about Borka's feat - I didn't move Erebus for an easy slam against Asphyxious. That's why it is where it is in the picture. Warwitch Siren charged in to Warders for some additional nuisance. Also if she would have hit and Shadow Bound the Warder, Erebus (And Asphyxious) would be safe from any kind of a charge, unless opponent killed his own Warder somehow. But alas, she missed.

Sadly this is the last picture I have taken, but again, last round began from here.

Borka used his feat and cast Iron Flesh on himself.

Warders charge around, but the important part was to get the not-shadow-bound (not that I'm implying you suck and deserve to be melt on a new years eve) Warder away from Mauler's charge lane.

As an added bonus first Warder hit and killed the Warwitch Siren, so it was pretty easy now to get a clear charge against Erebus.

After Krielstone Bearers had moved from the way, Mauler charged Erebus and triggered a chain attack, and used double-handed throw against Asphyxious. That one really caught me unprepared, especially when even collateral damage gains an additional die under Borka's feat. Erebus got wrecked thanks to the throw damage, but Asphyxious suffered no damage, though it was, what... POW 15 + 3d6?

Well, anyway. Next the notorious Fennblades activate, and this turn they need 10's to hit the Satyxis!

And 10's they roll. Every single Satyxis dies. Ashen Veil is such an useless spell. At least for me, it seems.

Four Fennblades were contesting the zone now where the main body of Satyxis are, and one had charged Satyxis Captain (who didn't have Ashen Veil and who survived... go figure) and one had charged Ripjaw.

Again I had all but lost the attrition game, so my only chance was to somehow get rid of six Tough models and destroy the enemy objective. It was reasonably possible, but it required many rolls in many different locations, so even one streak of bad luck would be Asphyxious' undoing.

But the plan was thus: Helldiver would destroy the objective. Ripjaw (and Vociferon) would kill one Fennblade, Satyxis Captain one (and sprint from the way of Asphyxious) and Asphyxious would make a long Mobility charge, and kill four Fennblades.

First Withershadow Combine activated and Maelovus cast Dark Fire on the objective, and Tremulus used Puppet Master on the Helldiver. Maelovus scored one damage point to the objective, and then Helldiver started to beat it up. Two P+S 13 + 3d6 attacks would need to chew through ARM 18 and 14 damage boxes.

And it did, and Helldiver didn't even have to use the Puppet Master.

Asphyxious had scored an amazing number of souls last turn - at least six, possibly seven. But still... after allocating three focus to Helldiver and casting Mobility and having had to use one for shake off he had only 7-8 Focus for use. Nice amount, yes, but he still had to kill four Tough def 12 targets.

When first Fennblade had passed Tough two or three times in a row, I was all like "so this is how it goes...", but then the troll finally failed Tough roll, and with Blood Boon Asphyxious cast Bone Shaker at one of the Fennblades, who went and killed a third one, who also failed Tough roll.

Remaining 3+ focus was enough to kill the last troll, and it was a scenario victory for Cryx.

Four games in a day is quite a lot to remember, so there are probably some mistakes in details here and there. But overall the games were nice and exciting in their own way, though a few times I felt a little bit too lucky. Especially during the second game. And in the Khador game I felt a little bit too dumb. But anyway. All of the games were against warcasters/warlock I get to play against only rarely. For instance, I thought that I had never played against Borka, but spreadsheet statistics showed otherwise.

The 40 minute clock wasn't as bad as I was initially afraid, but that was probably thanks to a very straightforward list I had. Ashen Veil on Satyxis. Run with Satyxis, engage stuff, follow up with everything and feat with Asphyxious. Asphyxious' feat is very tournament-friendly, because it takes less than a quarter of a second to resolve.

First two games of TaTaPe Syysoffensiivi 2014 WM/H tournament

Last Saturday I was in a 35 point warmachine tournament.

It was 1-2 list, divide & conquer [1] and 40 minute deathclock.

I have been playing Asphyxious the Hellbringer a lot in the last few months, and I'm slowly getting tired of Cryx for a while. But my spreadsheet statistics forced me to play with Asphyxious once more - four rounds of tournament would bring him up to 16 games played, which starts to be comparable to every other Cryxian warcaster. I'd be able to quit playing Cryx for a little while with happy knowledge of having every single warcasters on 15+ games.

Anyway. Anyway.

My chosen list was:

Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
- Erebus
- Ripjaw
- 2x Helldiver

Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Withershadow Combine
Satyxis Raider Captain
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

So that's basically my 50 point list without Bane Thralls. And Cryx without banes sounds like a dangerous idea - but then again, Bane Thralls would have been slow as hell. Oh well.

My first game was against Cryx and against my own Warcaster, just a different incarnation.

Opponent had a list something like:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Malice
- 2x Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Bane Riders
Minimum unit oF Bile Thralls
Darragh Wrathe
Warwitch Siren

I lost the starting roll, but got to go first. Scenario was Incoming. Scenario zones are a bit hard to see in the pictures, but they are there. Honestly.

I had to re-evaluate Satyxis Raiders and their function here. Bile Thralls made them useless as a front line tarpit, Ashen Veil granted them only concealment which affected only spells from Asphyxious. Meh. I decided to hold them back and wait that Bane Riders launch themselves on me.

Well, still I placed them too far ahead. A feated barrage of Breath of Corruptions took threesatyxis out, which wasn't too bad. The major difficulty here now was the breath templates, that outright blocked a charge from Satyxis - and anything else.

To open a game somehow, Ripjaw charged Malice and tore off it's harpoon arm. But that was it.

Sadly there is a one full round in-between the pictures, so I have to try to remember what happened here.

For sure, at least, Malice possessed Ripjaw and moved my arc node in middle of the board (where now is a lonely wreck marker...) and Iron Lich Asphyxious wrecked it, and teleported behind the house.

Bane Riders ran to block the majority of my army. Encouraged by this, the Bile Thralls ran forward, which was the most threatening aspect here. Surely I would take out the Bane Riders next, but then all soft targets would melt into sludge.

So, Erebus with three Focus and the rest of Satyxis with Power Swell did take out the Bane Riders. Asphyxious the Hellbringer dared to personally kill one Bane Rider, even, and then he used his feat.

Then I see I have no pictures at all from this game. Next round, however, was the last.

Bile Thralls did take out most of the Satyxis - a few survived because they were too far away. But they failed their Massive Casualties test. Darragh charged Satyxis, but missed scythe attack. Mount, however, managed to get the kill. Darragh cast Hellfire somewhere, I forget where.

I vaguely remember that Admonia died somehow, and main culprit here might be the enemy Warwitch Siren. But if so, that was one heck of a damage roll from a POW 10... perhaps a Bile Thrall purge reached there, too? Iron Lich Asphyxious takes a risk and comes out from behind the building, casts Breath of Corruption and then teleports to the his enemy zone (my friendly zone), behind the Breath of Corruption cloud.

Mobility + advance + reach was enough to bring Iron Lich Asphyxious to Asphyxious the Hellbringer's melee threat, so the game was over there.

Game 2: Retribution

Next round I had Issyria on the opposing side. List was something like:

- Hyperion

Maximum unit of Houseguard Halberdiers + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force + Commander
Houseguard Thane
Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Mage Hunter Assassin

Retribution starts the game, and first picture is from the end of Cryx turn 1.

Here I thought that Satyxis Raiders with Ashen Veil would be an annoying tarpit against, well, everything except Mage Hunter Strike Force. I also boldly marched forward with Asphyxious in a way that's beautifully depicted by Devil Doll in one of their songs: "whose irrational daring springs only from the ignorance of danger." He was camping three focus, so I assumed he might take a few random shots in.

But, you know. Issyria has a feat. A certain feat that does... things.

The additional die on hit & damage upped the averages crazily and every single damn Sstyxis (except for the Captain...) died. Mage Hunters rolled disgusting numbers for their damage on Asphyxious, and I think Hyperion scored some kind of a hit, too. Asphyxious took nine points of damage from only a couple of attacks, but opponent didn't dedicate more resources for killing Asphyxious because of miscalculations - he was supposed to cast Crusader's Call and charge Asphyxious with Mage Hunter Assassin. I did remember that Mage Hunter Strike Force has Arcane Assassin, but I completely forgot that the solo has Arcane Assassin, too. With Issyria's feat the Assassins might have had a realistic chance of one-hitting Asphyxious down.

Scary stuff there. We need to get a resident Retribution player here in Jyväskylä so details like this are kept in fresh memory.

Erebus loses movement system, which is highly annoying, because absolutely nothing would be doing damage to Hyperion now, except maybe for Withershadow Combine on a charge. But they're not coming up close.

I'm unsure what the heck I'm supposed to do now, so I go full steam ahead. Asphyxious camps full seven focus and walks up to a hill and uses his feat. Satyxis Captain runs to engage Halberdiers, who had used their minifeat to deal with the Satyxis unit.

Random bits and bobs tried to kill as many Magy Hunter Assassins as possible, because they still scared Asphyxious, who had taken nine or so damage.

But that was it. Come what may.

Issyria comes to cast Blinding Light on Asphyxious, and Halberdiers attempt to take out Ripjaw and a couple left behind deal with the Satyxis Captain. All roll horribly poorly, I believe only arc node and cortex break from the Ripjaw, possibly movement too with last possible attack.

Remaining Mage Hunters shoot Erebus into a wreck, and Hyperion advances to protect Issyria from any possible Helldiver shenanigans.

Then it starts to shoot Asphyxious. I'm pretty confident behind Arm 24, but goddamn those rolls! Most attacks thankfully missed, but those few that hit rolled Asphyxious below 50% hit boxes yet again. And next turn Asphyxious would have no feat.

Well, best place next to a shooty colossal is in melee, so Asphyxious charges to Halberdiers, kills two of them and casts Ashen Veil on himself with Blood Boon. Ripjaw and Satyxis Captain kill two other models, so Asphyxious would have four souls for next turn, if it would ever come.

Warwitch Siren charges Hyperion and Shadow Binds it, as well as engaging two Mage Hunters in melee.

On Retribution turn the few remaining Mage Hunters get a couple of really good rolls and kill the Warwitch Siren. But it looked like opponent used all available good luck there that turn.

I'm a little bit fuzzy on what Halberdiers did, but I think that they just advanced away from Asphyxious to make him an easier target. One Halberdier got next Admonia. They killed Satyxis Captain, but that was all. Then Issyria misses Def 15 Asphyxious even with a boosted attack roll. If Asphyxious was still in melee, she would have still needed only 11+ to hit.

Asphyxious was, by the way, camping 9 focus, making him Armor 26 target. Though, yes. But he had, what, six damage boxes remaining, at most? Possibly even less? I don't remember, but I was mentally sweating because of the possiblity of one peak damage roll.

Best chance, the Starburst Cannon, missed. It managed to kill the Halberdier engaging Admonia, giving her a soul token.

The sidearm cannons may have scored a few hits or something, but POW 12 needs quite a few 6's in damage rolls to punch through ARM 26.

So, Cryx did see another turn.

One of the remaining Halberdiers is standing so that Asphyxious' Line of Sight to Issyria is blocked. I don't remember who shot Maelovus and when, but there was only two members of Withershadow Combine alive. Tremulus gave Puppet Master to Admonia, and Admonia shot the Halberdier with Dark Fire, using soul token for an attack roll boost, because damage roll needed to be anything but double 1's to kill.

Well, it was double 1's. After surviving the mental shock I remembered Puppet Master, and that re-roll saved Asphyxious' day.

He had Line of Sight to Issyria now, and charged her with 11 available Focus. He had to take one free strike, but he survived - Issyria didn't. Damage roll for Asphyxious' attack was triple sixes.

Tournament Practice

Last Tuesday right after the Deadzone game I played a 35 point Warmachine game.

We were practicing for an upcoming tournament which has 40 minute deathclock.

My list was:

Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
- Erebus
- Ripjaw
- 2x Helldiver

Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Withershadow Combine
Satyxis Raider Captain
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

Opponent had:

Captain Victoria Haley
- Defender

Maximum unit of Long Gunners
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers + Officer
Black 13th
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Epic Eiryss

So, Cryx vs Haley1. I've beaten Haley1 only once before with Cryx, and it was against the same player here when he was still starting out, and I had Kraken and Venethrax in my list - not an easy duo to kill mainly with POW 10's.

But I like tough match-ups, and thanks to Helldivers and correctly played Satyxis I might stand a chance against such a gunline.

First picture is taken from the end of Cryx turn 3, I think. I somehow failed to take a special notice where Haley was deployed, and then I failed to estimate 6" move + 16" control area, which caused the front line of Satyxis Raiders to get caught in Temporal Barrier. Damn. I've had good experiences in having the Satyxis as Eiryss hunters, so I guess that was the reason I ignored Haley.

Satyxis were pitifully shot to pieces, and the few of them that survived (and were out of Temporal Barrier) ran to engage Eiryss, and hopefully Black 13th.

Ashen Veil was re-cast on Erebus, and Asphyxious plus the helljack advanced forward. Objective and Erebus blocked LoS to Asphyxious.

Next turn Haley used her feat, and six RAT 12, POW 15 CRA attacks from Long Gunners wrecked Erebus. Gun Mages fared less well - I don't really remember what they did, except missed shots against Withershadow Combine. Black 13th and the Gun Mages mopped up what was left of Satyxis, and they disabled some system from Ripjaw, but I forget which. Eiryss disrupted Ripjaw.

Well then. What the heck.

Opponent had had zero casualties, and I was 18 points short.

Mage Storm cloud effect was in annoying place, blocking LOS to Haley with most of my stuff.

One Helldiver got easily within Headbutt range, and that's exactly what the Helldiver did. It knocked Haley down and bought a new attack. Haley was camping two focus. Damage roll was good even without boost, but then I was a bit starved for any additional attacks against her. Warwitch Siren then charged objective and cast Venom, which got Haley under. Didn't do much.

Now, looking back, I think there might have been a slight chance. Asphyxious cast Mobility and charged a Gun Mage. Extraordinary attack roll caused a hit, which triggered Blood Boon. I decided to cast two Bone Shakers at Haley, which she just took away with Arcane Vortex. I was desperately hoping that Withershadow Combine would be within 16" of Haley, despite not being in Temporal Barrier... You came here for logic? Shoo, go read something else!

Anyway, I actually should have cast the Bone Shakers on Gun Mages and go beat Haley with the zombies. Granted... P+S 7 wouldn't have a great chance of killing an Arm 16 target, but no matter how you look at it - they would have had greater chance than two entirely negated attacks.

Oh, and another order of activations thingy came into my mind - if Asphyxiosu had charged first, and Warwitch had come last, Haley would have had two points less armor. Of course it wouldn't have won this game with same rolls, but still... there was room for improvement.

Asphyxious had used his feat, but that really didn't help him much. Outrageous damage rolls from Gun Mages killed him before any focus users even got to activate...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Plague vs Plague vs Plague

Last Thursday I played a game of Deadzone, and I try to write this up quickly before I forget most that happened. I played a game of Warmachine right after, and on weekend I'm going to play to a Warmachine tournament.

We played a normal 70 point strike team game. Well, normal when it came to team construction. We also had diseased Stage 3Z zombies wandering around, and, well... their impact on the game was a lot bigger than I would have ever guessed.


My list was:

1x Stage 3A Ethereal General
1x Muton Commander Simmonds (MC Simmonds?)
2x Stage 3A Muton troopers
1x Silacoid Hound
1x Muton with Heavy Plasma HMG
1x Sectopod Strider

Mission: Careful Carnage (survive and kill)

Opponent was also playing the Plague faction, so we had three different Plague "factions" on board, then.

1x Stage 3A General
2x Stage 2A
1x Stage 3A Trooper
2x Plague Hounds
1x Plague Strider

Mission: Stack 'em High (kill troopers and 11+ cost models)

I took a picture from the sector before either player had deployed. Any models seen there are Stage 3Z zombies.

First real picture with action is from the very end of round 1, and it's badly aligned, as most of my own troops aren't showing up. Also a ton of things happened during the first round, I guess I should have taken some pictures in-between.

Anyway. Those zombies had a tremendous impact on the game, as my alien plague is not past cube row two, and the original plague on the opposing side is struggling at cube row three.

Alarming thing here was that my Sectopod Strider had already suffered three wounds from the fight with zombies! And I guess it might have died altogether, because it's size 4 unit, so silacoid hound shouldn't have been able to get into the same cube to help around.

Since both of us were playing Plague faction, the zombies lead to a funny situation. Both most certainly had some sort of kill mission, but the zombies were in-between us, and they soon proved to be very capable of killing things and not just blocking way. It was some sort of twisted version of a survival game, as both players scored points from zombie kills. I guess it might have been a viable tactic for me to just hide in some building, send a dog and/or a trooper to lure away the zombies, survive over 50% and score points with that, and wait for zombies to kill enough models from the opponent.

Well, turn 2 started with a Blast Away! action at the cube where sectopod strider was standing. This cleared all but one zombie, and I sighed for relief. Strider easily beat up the last zombie, tripled the attack rolls and moved to cube right on the left.

That was my downfall, I guess. Command action moved the enemy Strider one cube, then it Sprint two cubes, and Move card was used - suddenly the uninjured Strider was in melee with my almost broken 28 point model. Cruddy rolls didn't help here - Sectopod was smashed into bits, and the culprit got a free move to the square with HMG and Simmonds. Amazing rolls helped here, though - Simmonds got a free escape from the fight.

Here I changed my plans. Now I would just hide and do nothing else, and hope that zombies would kill The Other Plague.

Silacoid Hound, however, ruined it all. Muton Commander Simmonds, Ethereal General and a rank-and-file trooper were hiding in the green building at left, HMG was in relative safety of melee with the enemy Strider (I spent all remaining Command Points I had to keep it distracted.)

But then the doge ran, but not far enough. Enemy Stage 2A, aided either with Move card or succesfull command action, killed the molten rock puppy, tripling or doubling the result, and taking a free move to attack the hiding aliens. The aliens were not happy that their secret hideout had been found, and instantly killed the Stage 2A as it entered. But this didn't really matter - thanks to the loss of Silacoid Hound, I had fallen below 50% points, so I wouldn't gain any more points from Survive victory condition. Aliens had scored two.

After counting that even if every single other enemy model died, I would still get only up to nine victory points. After the game I realised that I could have won by gathering Intel. And killing everything. If I remember right, the zombies killed a plague hound and a trooper from enemy plague, and injured the second dog.

It might have been interesting to play the game to the very end, but I decided to concede here, because within 30 minutes I would need to begin another game.

Anyway. What do I think of the zombies? I don't know. It's a nice game mode that really shakes things up, but I feel that playing too many games with uninvited guests would quickly get too tiresome and unwieldy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

An arm and a leg. And a kidney.

It was a terrible thing to do to give me a board game coupon at the local gaming shop, where after ten stamps I get a discount voucher.

I already get fixated on completing every conceivable collectable set, and this was no exception.

So instead of one expansion, I came home with three expansions for different, just to get more stamps. And because I knew that eventually I would buy those expansions anyway, so why not get all of them right away?

Well, eating something other than macaroni with salt for the rest of the month might have been a good reason.

First I got the Woodland expansion for Talisman. Usually I review new purchases a little, but I think I'm skipping on that part now. Too many packages to look into in any kind of detail. But I did take a look at the new characters for Talisman. Fantasy Flight Games has been steadily moving away from the mundane and traditional hero archetypes for Talisman, but Woodlands raised the bar there. Ancient Oak (treant) and Leywalker (who escaped from Avatar?) seem a little weird. Not entirely bad design choice, just weird.

All characters, however, do have interesting token mechanics. They're first characters that come with bits and bobs other than their character sheet.

Next expansion was the Festival Season for Dungeon Lords.

I took only a quick look through the various tiles, but what I saw filled me with dread. It seems that adventurer parties will consist of four heroes, and there is an extra battle round. There were also entirely new type of adventurer, the bard. Bards temporarily increase hit points of party members.

Considering I've only played four games of Dungeon Lords by now, I think I'm not going to force anyone to play with Festival Season just yet, and only add the game elements in to the base game that work without difficulties.

Last and least, I got Unfortunate Expeditions expansion for Gloom. I got all expansions for Gloom now, but I've heard that the Cthulhu Gloom is compatible with original Gloom...