Thursday, January 15, 2015

Farewell Steamroller 2014 (and a game)

A few days ago I played a 50 point Warmachine game. New steamroller documents weren't out then yet, so it was played with 2014 ruleset. Though I'm not entirely sure if 2014 will go away from casual one-off games, since the personal choice of objectives would need to be taken into account when you build your list.

But on to the write up.

My list was:

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- Rhinodon
- Basilisk Krea

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Aptimus Marketh
Void Spirit

And opponent had:

Epic Caine
- Hunter

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers + Officer
- Hunter
Maximum unit of Greygore Boomhowlers
Maximum unit of Horgenhold Forge Guard
Lady Aiyana & Holt
Journeyman Warcaster
Professor Pendrake
Alten Ashley
Gorman di Wulfe
Taryn di la Rovissi

Scenario was Destruction, and Skorne started game. First picture is from the end of Skorne turn 2, where Mordikaar used his feat. Hollow is on Praetorian Swordsmen. I was hoping it'd give me good chances of playing the scenario. And it really seemed like a possibility when Void Spirit ran forward and caused a command check on Alten Ashley and Greygore Boomhowlers. Alten Ashley passed the test. Boomhowlers did not.

My initial thought had been I'd fly Archidon close enough Caine to threaten with an assassination next turn, but I got scared of Gorman di Wulfe, who was covering Caine. So Archidon flew mid-field instead. Praetorian Swordsmen ran to engage Cygnarans, and two even got to charge Caine's Hunter. Oh, and Mordikaar tried to snipe Gorman by combining Essence Blast with the standard bearer of the swordsmen.

Rhinodon (the empty large base) and Bronzeback had to screen Mordikaar, since I heard somewhere that Caine has absurd threat range... now where did I hear that again... oh, from every player that has ever played against Epic Caine!

The trollkin were standing in way of dwarves, so not much happened on Cygnar turn 2. Boomhowlers did re-group, though. The only real casualty was the removal of Praetorian Swordman officer with a magic bullet.

Turn 3 Aptimus Marketh casts Ghost Walk on Cataphract Cetrati, and the Cetrati then charge forward, targetting some trollkin and Gun Mage Officer's Hunter.

Then I was in distress. If I charged enemy objective with Rhinodon and destroyed it, that'd be three scenario points there. But Bronzeback was in the way of the charge. Archidon had taken some damage last turn, and it'd have to take a free strike from at least one Boomhowler grunt and one forge guard. Unless I moved Mordikaar up, and cast Ghost Walk on the flying reptile - and open up a possible Gatecrasher assassination. Choices, choices!

Well, since I felt quite secure at this point, I didn't go for the objective at all. Bronzeback relocated itself when Rhinodon and Basilisk Krea screened Mordikaar.

... oh my. Now that I'm writing this I realise my greatest mistake. I got no excuses for this brain flatulence, because I had been thinking if it was worth it to cast Ghost Walk on Archidon.

I could have cast Ghost Walk on Rhinodon instead and charged the enemy objective! Bronzeback could have screened Mordikaar then. The fool that I am.

Anyway. Swordsmen charged all around the place, most notable kill being Gorman diWulfe.

Cygnar then, and Caine uses his feat to shoot Bronzeback off the board. The rest of Cygnaran military assets put a real effort to remove Praetorian Swordsmen unit altogether from the game - and succeeded. A couple of Gun Mages were tying up Cataphract Cetrati.

On turn 4 enraged Rhinodon finally charges a small gathering of mercenaries and enemy objective. But things didn't go as planned. The Boomhowler who was contesting the zone passed his Tough check way too many times and left Rhinodon with not enough Fury to destroy the objective.

Looking back again I should have used Rhinodon to wreck the objective, and use other models to kill the tough troll. But I don't remember when I did all this - perhaps I had already activated too many models and I wasn't sure anyone other than the Rhinodon could have killed the troll? Who knows. But whatever the activation order had been, at least Basilisk Krea would have been available for troll removal, since it used its animus and charged the objective to give Rhinodon a chance to survive.

And Krea's sacrifice was worth it. Cygnar dealt with the basilisk first and shot it down. Archidon died also, so suddenly I had only the often laughed at Rhinodon giving Fury for my warlock.

Turn 5 Beast Handlers enraged Rhinodon and whipped a couple of enemy models dead - most important being the Boomhowler contesting zone. Then Rhinodon did manage to wreck objective, but it took the very last Fury available to it - meaning I didn't have any transfer targets any more. Perhaps I should have activated Rhinodon first and Beast Handlers after, so I could have had tranfer target.

Well. Finally Skorne was at three control points, and it pains me to know I had my chance to be there two full rounds earlier... This game was bad play on my part. Perhaps I got too excited when Boomhowlers failed their command check.

Then it's Cygnar turn, and even without a feat Caine advances and shoots Mordikaar back into the void where he belongs.

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