Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 1 of Steam & Fury

A week ago I played in a 50 point warmachine tournament. It had Active Duty Roster option (season 1), so hey. Why not? Lists needed to be sent quite early for validation, so there was no possibility for last moment changes. Which was bad, as I was building my lists a day before the deadline in a slight hangover... Well. Who want's to ignore stealth, anyway?

So. I opened the tournament with a smashing victory before the first round had even begun. There was uneven number of players and I got the bye. I chose I had played the game with Hexeris because I would be playing with Mordikaar for sure. Possibly not so much with Hexeris, and now there was no obligation to play with Hexeris at all.

First real game was against Trollbloods.

I'm not 100% certain of opponent's list, as I'm not that familiar with their models. With Forward Kommander I came up with:

Madrak Ironhide, World Ender
- Mulg

2x Maximum units of Warders
Maximum unit of Fennblades + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Krielstone Bearers + Elder
2x Fennblade Kithkar
Fell Caller hero
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Trollkin Champion Hero

My list was:

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- Cyclops Shaman
- 2x Reptile Hounds

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrari
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Void Spirit

Looking back now I think I should have switched Agonizer into something more useful. Scenario was Close Quarters. It was really nice to get to play against Madrak2, since I've played versus him... perhaps... only once? Ever?

I thought that Slaughterhouse might come in handy against trollbloods, but for some reason I deployed Reptile Hounds far away from each other. I guess I thought I might spread the Take Down farther that way, but then again... these were heavily armoured trolls I was facing. P+S 8 will only go so far, and with Slaughterhouse on you still need to deliver the killing blow to ignore tough and remove from play.

My plan was just to engage trolls with and survive one round of beating with Mordikaar's feat, especially with the Bronzeback. But trollbloods are such a rare encounter for me that I had completely forgotten that Fell Callers can give +2 to attack rolls for troll units. That seriously lessened the survivability of my warbeasts and coupled with some real good damage rolls, the Bronzeback died while under Mordikaar's feat. So the game was a downward spiral from there on. If I just somehow might reach Madrak himself with a Ghost Walked Archidon there might still be a game.

But things went as expected.

Madrak cleared most of my warbeasts and Praetorian Swordsmen with his feat. Rufus played dead. Mulg advanced with Warpath and trampled to Mordikaar, but somehow fails to kill him. So there's one last chance of a really awkward assassination if everything was perfectly executed and opponent failed every roll he'd be doing!

Well. Sad as it was, I cast Ghost Walk on Mordikaar and tried to advance past Mulg. But a Beast Handler or one of the last Praetorians was just blocking his advances, so my chances dropped from 2.5% to zero.

It's possible I clocked out in this game trying to navigate the last turn, but it didn't really bother me as the situation was very, very clear.

Game 2:

Next I was against Circle of Orboros. And I faced no other than the dreaded Bradigus with his tier list.

Opponent had:

- 2x Wold Guardian
- Five thousand Wold Watchers

2x Sentry Stone & Mannikins
3x Shifting Stones

Before I learned a thing or two during the game, I thought my best bet would be Mordikaar, because Hexeris wouldn't have a feat against Bradigus. And +3 Def seemed like a nice pre-emptive measure against a disturbing Synergy chain. How wrong was I...

Anyway, my list was:

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- Cyclops Shaman
- 2x Reptile Hounds

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Void Spirit

Scenario was Fire Support. Skorne started game. I took the Reptile Hounds again, because I didn't think I'd be needing Basilisk Krea, and there would be no reason to boost attack rolls for the hounds. All targets were automatically hit, or had DEF 9.

First picture is from the end of Circle turn 1.

Turn 2 I try to open the game and trust my DEF 17 Archidon would survive or at least require some serious dedication from the opponent to get down. So Archidon was enraged and given Puppet Master, and I hoped it would take down one Woldwatcher. Well... it didn't. It wasn't too far off, and I can probably blame a failed Puppet Master re-roll, which turned a result of 1,2,2 to 1,1,2. Anyway, I had used Mordikaar's feat so the rest of the army advanced aggressively.

Circle turn 2 I learn some new shenanigans about this game. Push Power Attack is a melee attack that hits automatically, and as such it triggers Synergy. That was terrible news for me. But even worse news that was for the Archidon, who promptly died to some +5 attack & damage synergy chain.

Skorne turn 3 I desperately launched enraged, Ghost Walked and Train Wrecking Bronzeback Titan at a Woldwatcher that was standing in a forest template, thus in LOS. Here was a tiny glimmer of hope. Two war gauntlet initials and a head butt destroyed the Woldwatcher, and tusks and one additional attack destroyed the sentry stone. Now was the true test for Bronzeback: four Fury left for attacks, and a def 9, arm 20 target to destroy.

True to Bronzeback's newfound tradition of failing all the true tests, it just didn't roll enough damage to kill Wold Guardian - even with five attacks. Oh dear. Even if Bronzeback would have killed the Guardian, Bronzeback would still have needed to survive next round of beating from various Wold Watchers and a second Wold Guardian for me to stand a chance.

The rest of the game pretty much played itself. Somehow I did manage to struggle to survive, but I didn't inflict real casualties for Circle. I also realised how good counter that list was for Mordikaar. First was that unsporting synergy trickery that mitigated Mordikaar's feat. Second gruesome aspect was the remove from play quality of Woldwatchers' melee and ranged weapons. They pretty much ruined Hollow.

Oh well. I did score one control point when Void Spirit charged enemy objective and during the course of two turns destroyed it.

Finally Bradigus comes personally to deal with Mordikaar once all transfer targets had been mauled by the constructs.

Game 3:

Last game for Saturday was against Convergence of Cyriss. Good thing I've had some practice against Convergence thanks to our local Convergence player.

Anyway. Convergence list was:

Father Lucant
- Prime Axiom
- Inverter
- Corollary

Maximum unit of some small base infantry with shields and chain weapons... Obstructors?
Maximum unit of Reciprocators
2x Optifex Directive
2x Enigma Foundry

Well. No matter what, there was Purification to screw both of my warlocks. However, yet again Mordikaar seemed my best option, since there weren't too many models in the opposing army for Hexeris to have an effective feat.

My list was:

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

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Swamp Gobbers
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Void Spirit (why?)

Scenario was Incoming. I think Skorne started the game, and the first picture is from the end of Skorne turn 2. I don't have a picture from the end of Convergence turn 2, which is a shame since some important positional stuff happened there.

First, the Reciprocators got Shield Wall order and took Set Defence. All of them came to contest the leftmost zone, and Enigma Foundry followed them closely.

Prime Axiom and Obstructors took a rather big foothold on the rightmost objective. Basilisk Drake died pitifully, as did some Praetorians, but somebody was left alive to contest the zone. Lucant didn't use his feat just yet, and so it was Skorne turn 3.

Willbreaker gave Puppet Master for Cataphract Cetrati, and then they go to beat some Reciprocators. Their damage rolls are enough to take down three of them, which was unexpected. And there it was, now... an opening for scenario game. It's possible that Mordikaar shot a couple of last damage boxes from one of the Reciprocators, though. I'm not entirely sure, but I believe Mordikaar used his feat now.

Then enraged Archidon needed to take down last two Reciprocators, and succeeds.

On the right I just try to contest long enough to grind five control points. Looking back now I probably shouldn't have even done any attacks with the Swordsmen to save me some time, since what was automatic one damage points to a colossal? A couple of the small based infantry members died, though. But Enigma Foundry would just bring them right back. So it was the Agonizer who was the actual hero here when it denied focus allocation for Inverter and Prime Axiom.

Turn 3 Lucant uses his feat and comes to contest the left zone with Enigma Foundry that has absurd armour value. Inverter comes mid field (pun intended... but is there even a pun?) and Obstructors and Prime Axiom continue to duke it out with Praetorians in the right zone.

Turn 4 there's this ARM 22 Enigma Foundry with ten damage boxes that needed to be taken care of.

Before I fully realised what I'd be doing with my turn, I started with the "easy" activations, like Basilisk Krea, who used her animus. I had been thinking of just running Mordikaar to enemy zone.

Cataphract Cetrati get the Puppet Master again and proceed to wreck the Enigma Foundry. I was quite sure I'd be able to destroy it, but when the bugger was left with just one damage box remaining, I needed to re-evaluate my plans.

I wanted to charge the enemy objective with Archidon and not waste it's activation on the Enigma Foundry, so this is what I came up with: Bronzeback performs a double handed throw on Basilisk Krea, and then Mordikaar charges a Cetrati, casts Essence Blast and takes the last damage box from Enigma Foundry. Success.

Archidon was free to charge enemy ARM 22 objective.... which triggered Watcher, and next to no damage was done to the objective. Die on the objective tells it was five damage. Really? All the earlier effort of throwing Krea's all over the place was... for this?

Anyway. Skorne was at three control points now.

Next turn opponent obviously throws everything he can to contest their friendly zone, which isn't much, but still a heavy vector and perhaps a servitor. Lucant kills Archidon, and the rightmost front is the same as ever.

Turn 5 I'm fairly confident that I can kill the heavy vector... but funnily enough it proved to be a lot more trickier than I initially thought. Both Basilisk Krea and Bronzeback Titan were facing completely wrong directions - neither could see the Inverter!

Last remaining Cetrati did what they could, but it was not enough. Mordikaar had quite a lot of Fury thanks to Hollow, so he decided to give it a go, too. But first he cast Ghost Walk on Basilisk Krea, who had shaken herself up.

Well, damage was okay I guess, but as it was not entirely excessive I aborted the wrecking of the vector and opted for another plan. Mordikaar cast Paralytic Field on himself.

Then Bronzeback activated and used Train Wreck on Basilisk Krea. And then Beast Handlers take the Fury point off from Krea.

Krea advanced and needed to land two or three successful hits on Inverter to push it away from the zone - and that's what she did.

Last few activations I had to make could have spelled my doom, as I had forgotten about the Watcher. Luckily I didn't run any random models within 6" of Lucant just for the fun of it as Corollary might have been able to come to contest the zone.

So that was the Saturday of Steam & Fury. Nice games overall even if I got my own butt handed back to me in the form of some kind of nuggets in the first two games. But they were both new experiences in their own way, and against rare (for me) warcasters and warlocks.

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