Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ropecon Warmachine Tournament

I took part in Warmachine main tournament at Ropecon. It was 50 point event that used "Masters" rule set. Top 8 players would qualify for next days event.

Game 1: Scaverous vs Protectorate of Menoth

Feora, Protector of Flame
- Judicator
- Castigator
- Reckoner

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Holy Zealots + Monolith
Aiyana & Holt
Covenant of Menoth
+ 5 points I can't figure out. My guess is Hierophant + Vassal + Mechanic.

Cryx started game and scenario was Destruction. Even if the tournament had Divide & Conquer 0, I thought I'd play with Scaverous list at least once. I was hesitant to bring any of the more important models forward. A fully loaded Reckoner with all the Protectorate buffs would've made a heavy dent to Kraken, and after that there would have been a Judicator to take care of...

So somehow advancing on my toes and shooting AoE's seemed like a good idea. But the first turn is taken from the end of Cryx turn 2. I actually noticed my mistake when I switched the clock for opponent. I didn't have anyone to contest the zone other than my objective. Yay. Pro play.

Opponent took full advantage of that, and wrecked my objective with Castigator.

Also, it's my suspicion that this wasn't the first time opponent was playing epic Feora. Her feat was so beautifully orchestrated that in the end all of my models in he control area were set on fire even before she got to move the fire effects around, and despite casting spells and allocating focus and whatnot she still camped 8 Focus. She entered the zone, and look at that. Suddenly Protectorate had 3 control points.

I guess I had some sort of chance for assassination there, as Feora was easily within the range of most of my army. There were just a couple of... obstacles. First, Feora with ARM 25. Second, ton of Holy Zealots that were untargetable by spells and who wouldn't take damage from anywhere else except for spells.

There was at least three Zealots who blocked charge for Kraken, and they were spread over a large area. Taking them out with a single Feast of Worms was out of the question.

In the end I opted to use Scaverous' feat and cast Feast of Worms on Feora, and telekinesis on Gorman diWulfe, throw Black Oil over Feora, shoot her with everything I got and then trample to her with Kraken. But it had failed from the get-go. Even the damage roll Kraken made was insulting, something like 2,2,1. Second picture must be after resolving continuous effects on Protectorate's turn.

Looking back now I wonder if I could have made this "assassination" some other way. I don't remember the exact position of my models, but I think at least Warwitch Siren got burned by Feora's fire. But maybe I could have moved incorporeal Pistol Wraith close to two Zealots and taken them out with Feast of Worms, and slammed the third away with Ogrun Bokur? Most probably not. The loss of Warwitch Siren cut down my options quite a lot.

Having not learnt any lessons, there was only Kraken contesting the zone when it was opponent's turn. Arm 21 Kraken just isn't going to survive a full onslaught of Reckoner, Castigator, Judicator and whatnot.

Feora dominated for second turn, and it was a scenario victory for Feora there.

I swore I'd never-ever play this list again.

Game 2: Warwitch Deneghra vs Legion of Everblight

Bethayne & Belphagor
- 2x Angelius
- Shredder

Maximum unit of Hex Hunters + Bayal
Blackfrost Shard
Striders + Unit Attachment
3x Spell Martyrs
2x Strider Deathstalkers

Scenario was... Fire Support? Anyway, I was against Bethayne, who is a new acquaintance for me. Come to think of it... I got to play against three different warlocks I had never played against before during Ropecon. Lovely.

Anyway... I don't remember who started. Probably Cryx again, judging from the suicidal positioning of Deneghra if the picture wouldn't be from the end of Legion turn.

Deneghra uses her feat this turn, catching all but, what, three Striders and a Shepherd. Though it wasn't without risks... Aimed and boosted RAT 3 shots just might hit Deneghra, and Angeliuses did ignore her stealth.

But before all this happened, Warwitch Siren seduced one of the Hex Hunters so that once Deneghra activated she got back strike bonuses. Feat and a boost later Hex Hunters had Crippling Grasp on them. Arcane Wonder allowed Deneghra to even cast Parasite on Belphagor.

Then I kind of waste a lot of my feat potential - all thanks to Black Ogruns. I just HAD to go and drag Belphagor to one of the Ogruns. The rest Ogruns then shot their harpoons at Belphagor, but nobody ever hit it again.

Boosted harpoon from Malice at least hit it, but didn't kill or drag, because lane slightly clipped the Black Ogrun who dragged the warbeast in the first place. At least Defiler could shoot Belphagor... Technically, at least. That goddamn warbeast was immune to Defiler's gun, and Defiler didn't even succeed to kill the Black Ogrun! Finally I resorted into charging the Black Ogrun with Bane Thralls so that Belphagor would stop gaining melee bonus. Nightwretch and Aiakos thankfully were able to score those last few damage points Cryx needed to score a kill. But that was pretty much the straight damage output of Deneghra's feat - Belphagor, a couple of Hex Hunters and Black Ogrun.

At least the feat gave me quite strong position. Legion mostly just backed off with the heavy warbeasts at least. Hex Hunters came to engage Malice a little, and Bethayne moved closer to Legion's objective on the hill. Striders, inside Deneghra's feat or outside of it, killed quite a few Black Ogruns. In fact... looks like they killed all but one.

I'm always a little (or a great) bit scared when I play against Legion. Statistically Legion of Everblight is my nemesis, and as I didn't fully know what to expect from Bethayne, I decided to try an awkward assassination. I guess my other option would have been to remove one of the Angeliuses with Malice & company, back off with Deneghra and then reap whatever infantry models I could. But as I said... I was afraid of Legion, and a cornered beast is the most desperate and most dangerous one.

Deneghra allocated one Focus to Defiler and upkept Crippling Grasp just in case this long stretch would fail. Skarlock cast Ghost Walk on the Defiler, who then ran into position. Deneghra cast a boosted Scourge on Bethayne, needing 11+ to hit. It was 11+, so Bethayne was knocked down.

I don't remember who or what killed some engaging Hex Hunters in the middle, but I see Malice has gained at least one additional soul.

I was quite sure Escort 8" advance + 8" range in Malice's harpoon would get to Bethayne, but there still was two blockers on the hill. One was Spell Martyr and the other was a member of Blackfrost Shard. I was getting rather desperate, as the only attacks against either were a RAT 5 shot from Aiakos, a RAT 5 shot from Black Ogrun and possibly... maybe a spray from Warwitch Siren if moving around a Hex Hunter wouldn't take too much movement away.

Since Blackfrost Shard member had damage boxes (and stealth?) I thought my best bet was DEF 15 Spell Martyr. Black Ogrun missed it. Aiakos missed it (he didn't even have any focus to boost, since one went into upkeeping Escort and rest was allocated to Malice) so Warwitch Siren was my only chance now.

Turned out that I had been over-estimating the amount of movement Warwitch lost when walking around a Hex Hunter, so Spell Martyr was in range. So. I needed 8+ or only a miracle would save my overextended forces from retaliation next turn. And 8+ it was, and damage roll wasn't double 1's either.

Malice walked up front, shot harpoon at Bethayne and had three focus and two souls to kill her. It was more than enough, so game over.

I guess I was a bit lucky in this assassination. I had two 10+'s on two dice and one 8+ chance on two dice to succeed, and this was after a 50/50 roll of succeeding at knocking down Bethayne. I do have this bad tendency of going and trying random assassinations at tournaments. This is mostly because of deathclock. There is nothing more boring than losing or winning with deathclock... in my mind it's better to lose to a badly executed or far fetched assassination attempt.

Though sometimes they work. Sometimes.

Game 3: Warwitch Deneghra vs Cygnar

Temporal Barrier Haley
- Stormwall

Gastone Crosse
- Galleon

Tactical Arcanist Corps
Journeyman Warcaster
Dougal MacNaile
3x Stormcaller
Gobber Tinker

Scenario was Incursion, and Cygnar started game. Opposing list was disturbing. I'm not sure if I have played against two colossals ever before. Though I was familiar enough with Haley1, I was unsure again what to expect. Throwing my whole army at one colossal might destroy it, but getting there under Temporal Barrier felt nigh impossible. But at least scenario was really good for Deneghra against an army with very low model count.

First picture must be from the end of Cryx turn 1.

And... ugh. Double Powder thingy from Dougal and Fire Group from Gastone cost me Malice right away. Gun Ports didn't do that much, but a turn later they would be easily able to get to the soft targets. Not that I valued Bile Thralls in this match-up too much. But in the end it did open a very real scenario game for me when enemy colossals were unleashing their awe-inspiring firepower at my forces.

Deneghra activated, used her feat and cast Crippling Grasp on Stormwall via an arcnode. She was quite dangerously close to enemy even when she had used her feat, so I thought it to be better to camp for four focus. Amazing blast damage rolls wouldn't kill her, then.

Cankerworm killed Stormsmith Stormcaller on the right, and Machine Wraith started to control the flag.

Black Ogruns shoot the second Stormcaller from middle flag, and then I almost mess everything up. To me it looked like the Tactical Arcanist closest to Galleon might be within 4" of the middle flag, so Aiakos advances, jumps and shoots harpoon at the guy. It's just that... I place Aiakos really damn badly. Somehow it escaped me that once I drag TAC member to Aiakos, he'd be left at the other side of the flag, since there was no space for his base! And... that's exactly what happened. Aiakos scored a hit, dealt damage but didn't kill. Hooray. Well, at least there was no longer any question if that particular Arcanist was contesting the flag...

So. I had two options left - Defiler and Nightwretch. Luckily Tactical Arcanists didn't have reach, so their DEF was only 10. Obviously Nightwretch went in first as I didn't really want to spray Aiakos dead with a lucky shot. And I didn't have to resort to that - Nightwretch scored the kill. Two control points.

There wasn't much Cygnar could do here. Galleon advanced 3" closer to rightmost flag and shot harpoon at Cankerworm, scoring a hit and killing the snake.

Arcanists came to contest middle flag and I believe Stormwall shot a pod there, too. Stormwall had only 1" of movement that turn, so it couldn't come and contest middle flag. But in the end Cryx went to three control points.

Rightmost flag was secured, so Cryx would get to at least four control points on my turn. I was rather surprised that, at most, I needed to kill two TAC's and possibly a storm pod. I don't remember how much of my infantry was left after last turn's shooting, but whatever it was, it was enough to clear middle flag and win the scenario.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ropecon Warmachine Casuals

First game on Friday was against Skorne. I played the modified Deneghra list to see if it was any faster to play or if it worked better.

Opponent played:

Master Ascetic Naaresh
- Bronzeback Titan
- Titan Gladiator
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea
- 4x Reptile Hound

Maximum unit of Gatormen Posse
2x Maximum units of Beast Handlers
Swamp Gobbers
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Paingiver Task Master

Scenario was Fire Support, but I forget which objective opponent was using. I'm not sure what turn it is in first picture. The only way I can make any sense out of this all is that picture is from the end of Cryx turn, and it's Skorne turn 2 going on as I almost forgot to take picture so Gatormen Posse has already activated.

Blood thirst or whatever the rule is that causes +2" charge distance against living models for Gatormen caught me by surprise. But even with +2 STR from Task Master only one Black Ogrun died. Titans ran so that Krea might safely cast her animus and charge a random target and still give +2 def & arm versus shooting.

I think Naaresh used his feat pre-emptively here to give +3 arm and strength for his battle group. One of the reptile hounds on the left ran next to Malice, and the other one charged it. Two attacks later Malice had lost its melee arm at least.

It looked like I'd have to use Deneghra's feat this turn. I was, however, fully aware of counter charge from Bronzeback, that would trigger before I had time to use the feat. So Warwitch Siren had to charge Bronzeback first and Shadow Bind it. When you got MAT 5 there's a big difference in between DEF 10 and 12... oh well. Siren hit, anyway, so no worries about that.

Skarlock cast Ghost Walk on Deneghra, who then walked up front and used feat. She cast Crippling Grasp on Gatormen Posse via an arcnode. I think she also cast one Venom at the Gators, leaving her at zero Focus. She had foolishly allocated two for Cankerworm.

Necrotech tried to fix Malice, but rolled 9+

The two reptile hounds at Malice just refused to die. It took every model I was able to take there to finally kill both nuisances. Well, at least Malice got two additional souls.

Bile Thralls sprayed over Gatormen, and then Black Ogruns charge them. Still one remained, but with -4 to most stats.

Skorne turn 3 (I think?) the opponent mostly just backed off. Gladiator cast Rush on itself and took full 4" step backwards. Oh, and by now Naaresh had lost quite a few damage boxes to beast handlers, thanks to some disturbing damage rolls on their part.

One thing that puzzles me in the picture is that what happened to one of the Reptile Hounds on the left? The one that had been engaged by Scrap Thrall? Surely it did not die to a POW 8 free strike?

Cryx turn 3 Warwitch Siren Shadow Bound Bronzeback again, and Deneghra cast Parasite on it. Bane Thralls then made short work out of the beast.

This time Necrotech succeeded in repairing Malice's arm. I had great plans of Malice walking up front and shooting Titan Gladiator to him, and then killing the beast with charging Black Ogruns and Armor Piercing Cankerworms, but thanks to Basilisk Krea it all failed miserably. Black Ogruns tried to kill the last Gator and form a meat-wall to protect Malice from Gladiator's retaliation, and Cankerworm just ran to function as some sort of threat saturation.

Skorne turn 4 Paingivers whipped Naaresh for good - Naaresh had, during the course of the game, fallen to just two damage boxes remaining. Playing with a pair (see the pun?), opponent ordered yet one more Paingiver to whip Naaresh. A really high damage roll would've meant his death, but it was not to be. With just one damage box remaining Naaresh charged Black Ogrun and Cankerworm, killed the Ogrun and injured Cankerworm, and then cast Cyclone to move away. Blood Drinker brought him back to two or three damage boxes.

Basilisk Krea removed the other Ogrun, and now Titan Gladiator had a free charge lane to Malice. But as Malice was ARM 20 now from all the souls. Still I would have expected Malice to die, but somehow that just didn't happen. Basilisk Drake tried to finish Cankerworm, but failed in that. Both warjacks were, however, in very bad shape and would die to just about anything.

Well. Come Cryx turn, it looks like Titan Gladiator is the only beast Naaresh was able to transfer damage. So Bane Thralls, Malice, Warwitch Siren, Cankerworm and Aiakos take care of the Titan.

Deneghra was the only model now that could realistically make any attacks against Naaresh. I had only two Venoms to accomplish my goal, so there was a real chance of losing just because I HAD to try to get a caster kill.

I did not have to pay for my insolence, for first fully boosted Venom took the last damage boxes off of Naaresh.

I decided to keep this list for tournament, though if this had been a real tournament game, I'd have ran out of clock. But I still felt the list had better synergy than the earlier attempt.

Game 2:

There was this Iron Arena thingy going on, after the first game I played a second one right away. I decided that I'd try my other tournament list to see how it functions on the actual table.

And right after I had taken all the figures from storage foams I saw how much the list sucked. Well, yeah, I did have the Corruptor there so the list had no chance to shine whatever the case... but... Oh well. I was up for the challenge.

I was against Trollbloods, and I was pretty much horrified when I saw the opponent's list. Not only my list was really bad, but it also had good counters to any tricks I'd be able to do. It was Calandra's theme. There may be some inaccuracies in this list as Forward Kommander doesn't have Calandra's Evolutionary Elementalism theme force rules.

Evolutionary Elementalism tier 3
Calandra Truthsayer
- 4x Storm Troll
- 4x Slag Troll
- 2x Pyre Troll
- Winter Troll

Maximum unit of Krielstone Bearers + Unit Attachment
Runebearer (I think?)

Trollbloods probably started, and first picture is from the end of Cryx turn 2. Scenario is Two Fronts.

Well. Perhaps there might be some sort of chance if I'd be able to take out enough Slag Trolls before Kraken dies. Kraken and Scaverous were probably the only meaningful models I had, as Storm Trolls were electro-leaping Bile Thralls away and managed to die somehow early in the game. A surprise bonus was that Corruptor was immune to the main damage dealers opponent had - the Slag Trolls. Yay, Corruptor. Who didn't have much of a target for arc nodes or AoE attacks.

But so far Kraken has been loaded full with Focus, and Scaverous has cast Telekinesis on one of the Storm Trolls so that there was no chance of it blocking charge lane for Kraken. On the right side Gorman diWulfe advanced and threw Black Oil on Slag Troll and Pyre Troll. Afterwards Pistol Wraith shot Death Chill on the Slag Troll, so at least one of the dreaded Kraken-killers would be out of action for next turn.

Then Kraken was supposed to kill another. Well... Supposed to. Calandra had cast Star-Crossed, which caused enough attacks to miss that the tentacles probably just looked like delicious spaghetti that was flailing in front of the Slag Troll, trying to seduce him into a food orgies, despite him being on a diet.

Truth be told, opponent really had to spend a lot of resources to bring Death Warded Kraken down. It took Calandra's feat, some Fate Blessed rolls, three Slag Trolls shooting twice at Kraken, a Pyre Troll and a random number of Storm Trolls. And the damage rolls were rather on the high side. But... it did happen. Uninjured Arm 21 Kraken was one-rounded by light warbeasts.

But the game was pretty much lost there, so I tried to do some sort of assassination just for giggles. But Corruptor was too far, Pistol Wraith was too far, and Scaverous only got to make one Excarnate on Calandra.

Needless to say... though it was a difficult list to beat with my list, this game scared me in regards for next days tournament.

List Reference

I played five games of Warmachine in total at Ropecon - plus one Colossal Mania.

I'm placing my lists here into this blog post because I only used these lists - both in tournament and casual games.

List 1:
Warwitch Deneghra
- 2x Nightwretch
- Defiler
- Cankerworm

Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party
Warwitch Siren
Machine Wraith
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

Objective: Arcane Wonder

So... I did some last minute changes to my list to lower model count. Since clock had been a problem in the practise games this felt like the right thing to do. But I ended up including banes...

List 2:
Lord Exhumator Scaverous
- Kraken
- Corruptor
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Bile Thralls + Skarlock Commander
Warwitch Siren
Madelyn Corbeau
Gorman diWulfe
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Pistol Wraith
Ogrun Bokur

Objective: Bunker

All I can say about this list is "oh god what was I thinking?"

I was so worried about the Black Ogruns that I didn't playtest this list at all. Luckily I played one practise game at Ropecon so it didn't come as such a shock in the actual tournament that this list was so bad that even Scaverous' own mother would be ashamed of seeing him in front of such an army.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Colossal Mania

Before I'm writing the tournament games for Warmachine, I'll write the little funsies first.

Somebody had constructed a beautiful Colossal Mania -board for Warmachine. I don't know where, how or even why the rules exist, but they're out there. Somewhere.

Basic idea is that you have four players, and each has a warlock or warcaster, plus a colossal of their chosen faction. Warcasters are locked in special towers until the colossal is dead. Once it's destroyed your warcaster is placed on an area in their very own corner, and becomes a fully playable model.

Game ends once there is only one warcaster or warlock remaining.

We had:

Iron Lich Asphyxious + Kraken
Krueger the Stormlord + Woldwrath
Grim Angus + Mountain King (that's me!)
Nemo2 + Stormwall

That's also the turn order, though not necessarily the starting order. I don't remember if it was Cryx or Cygnar.

First picture already has Kraken wrecked, but before that both Krueger the Stormlord and Grim Angus used their feats in succession. -5 SPD for Cygnar and Cryx. Har har. Oh, right. Colossal Mania has this rule that feats have the whole board as the control area, and range for defensive spells is unlimited.

Mountain King got some random shots in, and shed tons of whelps. Other than that there was not very much to do with Angus and the King except re-casting Return Fire on the gargantuan every turn.

But once the feat Hordes feat effects had worn off, Stormwall was within charge range to Kraken, and opened the game. Kraken got wrecked, and then it was Cryx turn right after.

Asphyxious cast Scything Touch on himself and Parasite on Stormwall, and destroyed the colossal. Well, at least he had to use his feat.

If memory serves, Woldwrath charged Mountain King then, but didn't deliver the killing blow.

Mountain King destroyed Woldwrath, and suddenly I had the only Gargantuan standing.

I don't remember what Nemo did, but he and Krueger were mostly harassing Asphyxious. After all... what were they going to do to each other, as both were immune to lightning and both mostly did just lightning damage? I'm not entirely sure how Mountain King died, but my guess is that either Asphyxious killed it, or Nemo, since he's in the middle.

Anyway, there was a big melee between Asphyxious and Nemo. Even when Nemo got the charge in, Asphyxious was the one left standing - all the while both Grim Angus and Krueger were peppering the Iron Lich with their ranged weapons. I don't know who dealt the damage when and where, but in the end Asphyxious had only one damage box when he killed Krueger.

Time for Grim to win the day with one well-placed shot that required, what, ten or eleven to score that point. Very much a 50/50 situation.

But no. It was not to be.

My kingdom for a the 'sniper' special rule.

Then Asphyxious ate the troll warlock.

Pretty impressive game for Asphyxious. He dealt the killing blow to all other warcasters and warlocks, and personally killed at least one colossal from 100% damage boxes to 0%, and possibly killed Mountain King, too - all the while just about everyone was focusing on him.

Counting Sheep (I wish...)

On Sunday at Ropecon I played a four player game of Battle Sheep.

Battle Sheep is actually rather a good game after having about ten hours of sleep for three days combined, with those precious few hours being slept on concrete floor with Hans Christian Andersen's collected stories -book as your pillow.

Each player gets a few terrain tiles and places them in succession on the playing surface as they see fit. Then everybody takes their stack of sheep, and starts anywhere on the board. Your turn consists of picking half of your stack of sheep, picking a direction and continuing in that direction as far as possible, and placing the new halved stack there.

There was surprisingly plenty of tactical possibilities, and yet the rules were easy enough to follow when your attention span has dropped to alarming levels.

Beginner's luck proved itself here, as I somehow won the game. Shame we didn't get to play more.

Practise makes regret

Before I was off to Ropecon 2015, I played once more with experimental drag themed list for Deneghra1.

List consisted of:

Warwitch Deneghra
- Slayer
- 2x Nightwretch
- Defiler

Maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party
Maximum unit of Mechanithralls
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius
- Reaper
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Warwitch Siren
Machine Wraith
Madelyn Corbeau

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponent had:

High Executioner Reznik
- Vanquisher
- Templar

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Exemplar Bastions
Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Initiate Tristan Durant
- Reckoner
2x Vassal of Menoth
Madelyn Corbeau

Scenario was Destruction. We practised with Death Clock. First picture is from the end of Cryx turn 3, I think. As usually happens, I kind of forget to take pictures when there's clock running.

So far Reaper has dragged a Vanquisher to its demise, and I'm quite certain that this is the turn Deneghra used her feat. Bastions had had Crippling Grasp on them, but Reznik shot Hex Blast on them. I was a little bit too afraid of Witch Hound when I was attempting to spray targets, or maybe casting Scourge. Somehow it escaped my mind that Reckoner doesn't trigger Witch Hound, because it's in Tristan's battle group.

Protectorate turn 3 was uneventful, thanks to Deneghra. Temple Flameguard had some models able to charge, and they yielded some bile thralls and Bastions killed a black ogrun.

Cryx turn 4 I thought I figured a good way to get a clear charge/trample/whatever lane to Reckoner with both of my heavy warjacks - drag the front Bastion away, and kill it. Well. It might have worked without the damage re-allocation process of Bastions. Now the initial target suffered no damage, so no drag either. Other possibility is that I placed the ogrun dedicated for this so poorly that Bastion didn't move at all because it was right next to Reckoner.

Ragman advanced into a position to cast Death Field, and then various models wrecked Protectorate as hard as they could. Annoying thing here was the fact that my side was so damn crowded that I didn't get to make too many charges. The greatest disappointment was that the enemy objective just refused to die, no matter what I threw against it. Had I destroyed it with other models, Slayer could have charged plenty of Bastions, but now I needed it to finalize the objective and only one Bastion.

I was afraid of dominating the zone with Deneghra, so she backed off a little. Perhaps controlling it would suffice.

Well. Reaper didn't do much to Reckoner, not even with Dark Shroud from Ragman, so that helljack just signed its own death sentence.

Next turn Templar gets me caught by surprise by trampling and beat-backing right next to Deneghra. Only one attack hit, but it was doing something like dice +5 damage already. Deneghra got to four damage boxes remaining or so.

Reckoner and pals wrecked Reaper.

I was running low on clock, so I somehow tried to destroy both heavy warjacks and hope for a scenario victory. Turned out that I got neither, and clocked myself.

Movements were so pain to try to optimize that it ate a lot of time. I tried to tear down the Templar with Deneghra and mechanithralls, and when they failed, every ranged weapon at my disposal tried to shoot the remaining damage points off. Nope. Not today, little one. Well, at least the flail had been destroyed.

Slayer and Aiakos fared just as badly against Reckoner.

We still played the game till bitter end, which came fast. Templar had lost cortex and flail arm, so it boiled down to if Templar could roll 8+ to hit with two attempts (iron aggression + one initial attack + ancillary). It could. Boo!

Both games with this list were difficult with the clock, and I had been continuously blocking my own movements. So I constructed two different Deneghra & Scaverous list pairings and played one game on Friday at Ropecon with the modified Deneghra.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lucant vs Deneghra

Played a 50 point Warmachine game last Friday. I played another game before Ropecon, but writing that up just will have to wait.

I'm testing around an idea that's probably a stillborn tragedy... but that doesn't stop me bringing a dead fetus to a tournament.

So, my list:

Warwitch Deneghra
- Slayer
- 2x Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius
- Reaper
Warwitch Siren
Madelyn Corbeau
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Machine Wraith

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponent had:

Father Lucant
Iron Giants tier 4
- Cipher
- Monitor
- Inverter
- Corollary

Maximum unit of Eradicators
Maximum unit of Reciprocators
Minimum unit of Perforators
2x Enigma Foundry

Objective: Fuel cache

Scenario was Two Fronts. Strangely that's been a bit of a rare scenario for me here in my home town. Anyway, Convergence started game. First picture is from the end of Cryx turn 1, though Convergence has already made a few activations. I was measuring my own time with a chess clock, and worrying about time always makes me forget taking pictures.

Cipher shoots a couple of rough terrain batches to middle of the board. Slayer takes surprising damage from Perforators, and I believe Lucant used Clockwork Reinforcement this turn.

Cryx mainly repositions, too, because engaging didn't feel like a good idea. Deneghra cast Scourge on... Eradicators, I think? Only two got under the template, though, but that would be two less chargers at least.

Bile Thralls just huddle forward and try to look like a threat. And, well, that's it.

Turn 3 I'm missing a picture from the end of Convergence turn. But mainly just Nightwretch on the right and my objective got destroyed. Lucant has at least Deceleration on, which was making my ranged game suffer throughout the whole game.

I had grand plans of crippling Reciprocators (they're the shield wall unit, right?), but in the end everything else died. Deneghra walked up and used her feat, nearly getting whole enemy army under. Just a few Eradicators on the right were a bit off.

She cast Crippling Grasp on the Reciprocators, and left two Focus to boost armor.

Bile Thralls advanced and made three or four purges, killing all the Perforators. Enigma Foundry took some damage also, but nothing to write home/blog about.

Black Ogruns then attempted to start messing up shield wall formation, but then reality dawned on me in a cruel way. Field Marshal: Shield Guard made any dragging against Reciprocators nearly impossible. Instead the Ogruns shot a couple of Eradicators, and Mechanithralls charged the rest. Reaper went and killed possibly two Eradicators on the hill.

It was a good turn, after all. Getting two medium based units dead before Enigma Foundries started manufacturing additional troopers was a harsh blow for Convergence.

Turn 4 Lucant cast Purification with his diminished focus pool, but it was more than enough to make yet another casting of Crippling Grasp useless. Other than that there was not much for Convergence to do. Reciprocators advanced in shield wall and killed a couple of Mechanithralls. Enigma Foundry on left kept on contesting the control zone.

My clock was starting to run out. Though we weren't actually playing the deathclock, I decided to do what I'd have to do in a tournament. Slayer charged Lucant, and hoped he'd go down. If this had been a real tournament game, I'd have lost there and then, because Slayer just couldn't take the few remaining damage boxes off of Lucant. I think Lucant was left alive with four or less boxes.

The rest of Cryx then proceeded to maul the shield guard infantry, but failed to kill the very last one. Thing's didn't look too bad as of yet.

Turn 5, however, Convergence breaks both Slayer and Reaper and most of the Mechanithralls. Suddenly there was not enough attacks to cut through Convergence heavy warjacks. But to me it looked like that there was a charge lane for Deneghra to assassinate Lucant. And because Deneghra had Parry on herself anyway, she wouldn't need Ghost Walk to get to Lucant, right? So Skarlock can cast Ghost Walk on Black Ogruns just for giggles? Right?

Well, somehow it escaped my thoughts that Parry doesn't ignore rough terrain. Deneghra had to cast Ghost Walk on herself for premium price instead of a free cast by Skarlock. Luckily Lucant was already so damaged that four Focus points were enough to kill him, but damn it. How can I ever hope to fare in the upcoming tournament if I'm already making mistakes like these without the dehydration and sleep deprivation that's bound to happen at Ropecon?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

End of Riven Bonds

A week and a half ago I played to Riven Bonds league games. They were the last games of our two month long league attempt - or at least they were, for me. Games were 35 points.

I used same list in both games, and it was:

Cassius the Oathkeeper and Wurmwood, Tree of Fate
- Pureblood Warpwolf
- Gorax
- Woldwatcher

Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobbers
2x Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer Hero

Objective: Effigy of Valor

First game was against Protectorate of Menoth, and the list was:

Hierarch Severius
- Vanquiher
- Reckoner
- Blessing of Vengeance

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Vassal of Menoth
Paladin Hero

Objective: something

Scenario was Fire Support, and Circle started game. First picture is from the end of Protectorate turn 1. So far Severius has cast Fear of God on Tharn Ravagers. Oh joy. They just lost most benefits their Unit Attachment gives.

It was scary to realise how Awareness mitigated Cassius' feat. I decided to use the feat right there on turn 2 to get at least some use out of it. While Severius' battlegroup might see through the forest, they wouldn't be able to get Pathfinder from anywhere! But first some random models tried to tickle Blessing of Vengeance first - namely, Blackclad Wayfarer and Pureblood Warpwolf with their sprays. Then Cassius activates, casts a Hellmouth on Blessing of Vengeance via Gallows Grove, taking a few Flameguards with the spell. And finally a Ravager walks within reach distance, and takes a swing at Blessing of Vengeance. Now look at that... the thing nearly broke. I don't remember how much damage was actually dealt, but Arc Node malfunctioned from just the Pureblood and Wayfarer sprays. Too late to save the Ravagers, though.

Severius used feat and converted five or so models from my side to fight for his. I hadn't considered that there might have been a possibility of assassination - despite having next to no Pathfinder, Severius could make full use out of my Pathfinder. Lucky me that none of the Ravagers had Line of Sight to Wurmwood, or there could have been a rather embarrassing ending. But since Wurmwood had already collected some souls for armor, and Ravagers would not get the boosted damage from charge, they just killed each other. Hey... I forgot to collect heart tokens from Ravagers to Ravagers. How... heartless.

Anyway, other than that the turn was fairly uneventful. Vanquisher and Reckoner didn't reach their full potential. What was left of Blessing of Vengeance ended the life of Gallows Grove.

Turn 3 I started stressing out from the two heavy warjacks. Most of my army had already been set on fire, and Primaled Pureblood had a chance of taking out Vanquisher with some assistance from other models, but then Reckoner would just make some very tender dog steaks out of my only "heavy" hitter. Perhaps there might have been some possibilities with correct play and target prioritising, because I did out-threat Protectorate in just about every way. But screw that. I took the easy way out and tried to assassinate.

First Blackclad Wayfarer advanced into melee with Vanquisher and casts Hunter's Mark on Severius.

Then Cassius charges Vanquisher and casts Hellmouth on a choir member, pulling Severius closer to Pureblood Warpwolf. I nearly did panic when I actually pulled Reckoner to a position that might have blocked charge from reachless Pureblood. Cassius boosts damage, and even casts Stranglehold on the old man, too. Damage rolls were pretty good, and I thought I might have a chance of finishing Severius with spray from Pureblood... if it would hit.

But since it was all-in assassination attempt with no hold backs, I brought Woldwatcher intro fray just for fun. It'd probably miss anyway. Oh, it didn't. Well, surely POW 12 wouldn't be enough to finish Severius. Oh... 5,5,6 or something like that.

Fertilizer from Woldwatcher kicks in and... Is this how new Gallows Groves are being made?

Game 2:

Second game was against Convergence against a warcaster I've never played. Whee. That's always a special joy for me.

Anyway, the list was:

Axis, the Harmonious Enforcer
- Converser
- Inverter
- Corollary

Optifex Directive
Maximum unit of Reciprocators
Maximum unit of Eradicators
Accretion Servitors
Steelsoul Protector Hero (with Shrapnel Field. Ouch.)

Convergence started game, and scenario was Close Quarters.

This second game took considerably longer, which often seems to be the case with Convergence. My lists just aren't that good at cracking single, large targets with damage boxes and some armour.

First picture is from the end of Circle turn 1, and there's not much to tell. Convergence advanced slowly and steadily. I'm not entirely certain on this, but I think Iron Aggression was on Inverter.

Turn 2 the wall of steel continues to push forward. Axis casts the razor wall spell or something like that, and uses feat defensively. All but the Wolves of Orboros are caught. Important bit here is the -2SPD that prevented Circle from charging.

Well, I reply in kind and use Cassius' feat. This time opponent had easy access to Pathfinder, but had difficulties with LoS blocking element of forest terrain. But all in all everything that happened on the right side of the board was just shuffling and repositioning. If anything happened, it happened on the left, where Wolves of Orboros charged these... things. Damn it. I just checked which unit it was, Reciprocators or Eradicators.

Oh well. Wolves used Power Swell and killed two. I think it was combined effort by Woldwatcher and Pureblood that killed the third one. Yay. Three casualties. Cassius snatched a control point from friendly flag.

Turn 3 Convergence struggles to make any meaningful attacks, too. Inverter got Pathfinder from Optifex Directive and trampled to Gorax. What was one of the bigger impacts to the game was that macropummeler attack missed with double or triple ones. This caused Gorax to survive that turn with four or so damage boxes remaining.

Converser killed a swamp gobber and Gallows Grove.

The shield wall medium based unit engaged Tharn Ravagers and started something that might pass as good British slapstick humor. Because that was what happened there for the next turns. They were slapping each other. With sticks. Nobody died, unless someone else intervened.

Some outrageous damage rolls by charging Ravagers, Gorax and I don't know who else... Cassius himself, perhaps? Wrecked Inverter. Primaled Pureblood on the other hand was next to useless against Converser. Well, damage was fine but systems didn't break. Woldwatches has probably shot an Optifex into a forest, judging from that random 3" AoE behind Convergence's front lines.

To me it looked like Converser was more than contesting the flag, so Cassius abandoned his position. Wolves of Orboros kill the rest of the leftmost medium base unit. Oh, and that Ravager Shaman there was just lending his toten staff for Wurmwood last turn to keep the tree from falling over.

Turn 4 some ravagers finally die to combined melee attacks by the other medium base unit. Pureblood Warpwolf and Gorax defy death, though I don't think more than one of the infantry models tried to attack it. Pureblood not dying was an unexpected bonus, but it'd waste its activation next turn to a mandatory frenzy.

On my turn Wolves started to control enemy flag, and Converser died.

I wasn't sure if the closest enemy infantry model that's closest to the camera was within 4" of the flag, and trying to dominate a flag when there's enemy warcaster almost right next to you is usually a bad idea. So Cassius chickened out and stayed on the hill.

Turn 5 Convergence finally kills Pureblood Warpwolf. This is done personally by Axis, and seeing all those misses was quite painful, even as the opponent of my opponent.

Tharn Chieftain dies, and it looks like one medium base infantry model is still contesting my friendly flag, and the nearly unkillable Steelsoul Protector might be within 4", too. So it didn't help me much that I controlled a third scenario point during opponents turn, and scored fourth on my own turn. I was torn between trying to assassinate or trying to going for scenario victory. And as it has been over a week since this game was played, I have to admit that I don't actually remember how game ended. Did Cassius charge Axis and kileld him, or was Convergence unable to contest their flag? I don't know if we'll ever know for sure.