Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Last ditching

I think I'm writing these two games into same post to gt them off of my chest. And they do share a common theme.

First game was last Friday against Cygnar.

We were playing at my place, so packing and transporting Kraken didn't seem that intimidating, so Kraken it was, then.

Game was again 42 point size, and my list was:

Witch Coven of Garlghast
- Kraken
- 2x Nightwretch
- Defiler

Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
2x Necrotech & scrap thrall
Warwitch Siren
Gorman di Wulfe

Objective: Fuel depot

Opponent had:

Epic Caine
- Ol' Rowdy

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers + Officer
Maximum unit of Greygore Boomhowler's & Co
Aiyana & Holt
Professor Pendrake
Gorman di Wulf
Taryn di la Rovissi

Objective: Bunker

Scenario was Incoming, and Cryx started game. Damn it looked bad from the get-go. I didn't seem to have enough infantry removal tools available. Well, a minimum unit of Bile Thralls, sure... but even with Occultation on them Cygnar might just shoot them off.

Caine has cast True Sight on himself, and continued to upkeep it... I've heard Caine2 is quite good at delivering a ranged attack assassination against formidable warcasters. And my warcaster had Def 16, Arm 12 with eight boxes.

Anyway, Caine is the white figure in the pictures. First picture is from the end of Cygnar turn 1.

Cryx turn 2 Witch Coven obviously used their feat, dropping Line of Sight down to 5" for enemy models. Mostly things on my part were just positioning, though I did try to snipe Eiryss dead with a spray from Defiler. That didn't turn out so fine.

Cygnar continues to press forward aggressively. Rangers shot half of the Bile Thralls dead, and Caine shoots Defiler a bit before he Gatecrashes away. Afterwards Ol' Rowdy comes and finishes the job.

Turn 3 I boasted about making assassination with charging Kraken against focusless (or perhaps there was one focus boosting power field?).

This was achieved by getting rid of rangers and trollkins that were blocking route to Caine. Rolls were quite nice, and by that I mean that attack and damage rolls were enough to kill arm 11-16 single wound models. Usually at least one model is left alive whose removal becomes a real pain.

Anyway. Everything went perfectly and I only had to cast Ghost Walk and Infernal Machine on Kraken and charge Caine and kill him with a single attack. Fuel depot objective even gave Kraken free charges. So, Caine was splattered all over the walls and ... wait a minute.

Out of two tries Kraken failed both attempts to land a hit on Caine, who was behind a wall, effectively making him Def 19 in melee. Though Infernal Machine of course upped Kraken's MAT to 8, too, so it needed 11+ to hit. When both boosted initial attacks failed, Kraken bought one last attack and declared it on Victor Pendrake. Damn I'd be taking at least something with me! Alas... that was a miss, too.

So I had to revert to my original plan. Problem was that I did not have any original plan, so Warwitch Siren power boosted an arc node, who ran as near to Caine as I dared... getting within 5" of Eiryss would have caused some problems yet again.

Last activating witch coven member shoots one fully boosted Stygian Abyss on Caine and deals excessive damage, but doesn't cause critical effect. Now looking back again, obviously I should have done this spell slinging first, because if Stygian would have caused Shadow Bind on Caine, Kraken would then need only 8+ to hit.

And then I prepare for the worst.

Caine shoots Kraken off board, and even has some focus to spare. It did take the feat away, though. But considering that I had killed only some rangers and a couple of trollkins, the situation looked grim. It looked doubly grim when the Greygore grunts tore down arc node from my last remaining bonejack.

Turn 4 I come up with an awkward assassination attempt, which was rather suicidal. Selene and Morgaen ran as fast as they can, and Egregore floats right behind them. Hellaena advances and starts flinging Stygian Abyss at Caine's general direction. I had placed the other witches poorly - Morgaen could not see Selene, so perfect conjunction was broken.

Stygian Abyss hits, though - and this time with critical Shadow Bind. Not that it mattered much, I had all the focus still available for a damage boost, and I think I needed 6+ from three dice to kill Caine.

I roll 5.

Well, Coven did have focus for one more Stygian Abyss with attack boost, but not damage boost. At first Caine was essentially Def 21 versus shooting, as he was behind a wall. Second Stygian Abyss hit its target, again with a critical effect. Shame they don't stack.

I'm not sure if Caine had one focus or no focus at all. If he had, double ones would have saved him. If not, even double ones would kill. So it was game over, and it came to very last attack I was able to make that turn. Could have easily failed.

Game 2:

Right next day on Saturday I played another game with 35 points.

I continued to stack games for Mordikaar, but having learn from earlier experiences you simply don't make a list for Skorne and/or Mordikaar without Bronzeback plus a unit of Cetrati.

So this was what I came up with:

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Bronzeback Titan
- Basilisk Krea
- Basilisk Drake

Minimum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Swamp Gobbers... sad, sad swamp gobbers...
Aptimus Marketh

Opponent had:

Butcher Unleashed!
- Marauder

Doom Reavers
Maximum unit of Iron Fang Pikemen + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Iron Fang Uhlans
Iron Fang Kovnik
War Dog
+ two mystery points that, after consulting my opponent posthumously, were found to having been spent on Gorman di Wulfe, who never showed up in the actual battle.

There was no scenario, except for slightly modified old school Killbox (warcaster/warlock completely within 14" of table edge wins the game for opponent)

I actually almost forgot to take any pictures and first one if from the end of Skorne turn 2.

What has happened so far is that Iron Fang Uhlans with Silence of Death have knocked off Bronzeback's spirit branch. Ouch. And, funnily enough, since I had mentally flagged Bronzeback as useless for a round, I forgot to activate it completely... sigh. Of course it could have backed off a little, as Uhlans have Reach only during charge attacks.

The tragedy of Swamp Gobbers started this turn. As a preface to the story, Doom Reavers mostly just ran to engage my left flank. On my turn 2 Basilisk Drake and Cetrati kill all but one Doom Reaver. Mordikaar advances a little, away from an incoming platoon of Iron Fangs. Since he has a ranged attack I think "why not?" and try to blast the last remaining Doom Reaver. I boost attack roll just in case... and I hear that Doom Reaver has a Def 17. What?? How? He's in melee. I was sitting on a chair so that the forest blocked my view to the tiny gobbers... They were, sadly, in melee with that last Reaver. Attack roll is high enough to hit and POW is enough to kill the reaver, but one of the gobbers takes blast damage - and it's a kill. And the lone gobber fails his massive casualties test... So much for gaining additional kill count for them.

Praetorian Swordsmen (who have Hollow) were doing automatic damage points with their mini-feat to Uhlans and even the Marauder. However, only one Uhlan dies.

Turn 3 Iron Fang Pikemen charge and use their own mini-feat. One of them triggers counter charge from Bronzeback, which was its only hitting attack during whole game. Otherwise Pikemen only kill only one Cetrati. Butcher and Widowmakers take a heavy toll on Praetorian Swordsmen, which is fine by me. What's not so cool is that Iron Fang Uhlans manage to deal one hit (no damage) to Bronzeback Titan, denying the heal of spirit branch for yet another round!

On my turn every damn attack by Bronzeback is a miss.

I'm obsessed in getting the Uhlan killed. In hindsight it was probably for the best that it took Aptimus Marketh to do that. Otherwise I could have attempted something as crazy as casting Ghost Walk on Mordikaar, and Mordikaar charging focusless Butcher. After all, Mordikaar had at least 13 Fury to use that turn (after having only upkept Hollow), and it's not impossible that there are some additional soul tokens that just didn't make it into the picture.

My assets go to removing Iron Fangs instead. Mordikaar brings back one Cetrati and two Swordsmen, casts Ghost Walk on himself and moves into the forest. He was scared that Butcher would laugh at his jolly lanterns. Mordikaar uses his feat now. Swamp Gobber tries to rally. Fails.

Turn 4 Butcher does what Butcher does best. He starts butchering. And the results are quite impressive even during a round of +3 Def for me.

First he advances and solidifies his position so that he couldn't be pushed away by Poltergeist. Poor Bronzeback Titan, who only generated one Fury during whole game and hit only once, fell to his axe. Bronzeback endured quite a lot of punishment and managed to drain Butcher out of Focus. But then he used Red Haze and Energized himself for 3", cast Impending Doom and look at that... there was now Mordikaar within his reach. One Flashing Blade later Mordikaar was at four hit boxes remaining. But thankfully that was the end of it.

Payback time. Well... it sounds grand. Payback. But again it was the very last attempt at assassination I could make, and would it fail, game would end.

But first Basilisk Drake tries to spray off some models to clear path for charging Cetrati. Results are a bit underwhelming, as only one Iron Fang dies. It's possible that Butcher also took some four points of damage.

Swamp Gobber runs away, provoking three free strikes and getting skewered to the very first by an anonymous attacker. Sorry guys... no kill counters for you in this game. In fact... you didn't get to make even a cloud.

Aptimus Marketh walks a bit and attacks Butcher. Marketh has two souls from Beast Handlers that had died to Butcher. Boosted attack scores a hit and boosted damage scores some points in. First the Uhlan and now this. Have I been using Aptimus Marketh wrong the whole time I've had him in my collection? Is he actually a melee solo?

Next Mordikaar activates and he Revives one Cetrati. The rest of Fury goes to fully boosted attacks against Butcher, and they do drop him down to three damage boxes remaining. Well, I'm lying here. The very, very last and lonesome Fury was used to make an additional attack at neighboring Iron Fang, as I needed 11+ to hit Butcher and then dice -7 damage. And it was the right choice, as Mordikaar scores a hit and a kill.

Then Basilisk Krea tries to stare Butcher paralyzed.. and hot damn! She succeeds! And it looked like that with some luck I'd be able to get three Cetrati to Butcher, two with charge bonus.

The reason I had not attempted this first was the fact that I had been hoping that I'd somehow figure out a way to thin down the ranks of Iron Fangs and get more certainty to Cetrati charge. But nope. Also she had to take one free strike in the way, but luckily it either missed or did zero damage. Probably missed, as boosted P+S 13 doing zero damage to Arm 16 target might have been a little more memorable occassion.

But anyway. It was Def 7 (9 with the dog) Butcher now.

And my three Cetrati charge in. The revived one is the only one who gets there without any free strikes, but doesn't get charge bonus either. Undamaged cetrati has to take two free strikes, but the very first one causes instant death. Oh well. One last gets to try a charge from an awkward angle, and as a consequence he doesn't make it into melee with Butcher.

So, Cetrati needs to hit on 2+ and kill on 10+ with three dice.

2+ it is, and last attack I'd realistically able to make had about 50% chance of success to win or lose the game.

The Cetrati rolls no more and no less than exactly 10.

Well, it was a tough and desperate attempt. And opponent was playing two points short, even. Had Butcher just camped all focus from his feat it'd have been a lot longer game that probably would have ended in the opposite result. The loss of Bronzeback had meant that ARM 22-24 would have been all but impervious to damage I'd be able to make. Charging, reviving Cetrati, perhaps... but taking the complete unit down wouldn't have been that difficult.

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