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...

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