Saturday, June 20, 2015

Day 2 of Steam & Fury

These are the last two games at a tournament I played in a tournament in Vaasa. Since on Sunday there were only two games I'm writing them first.

First I was against Cryx, and I really wanted to play at least one game with Lord Tyrant Hexeris.

Opponent had:

Goreshade the Cursed
Heresy of Shadows tier 2
- Kraken

Maximum unit of Bane Knights
2x Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Bane Lord Tartarus
2x Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Scrap Thralls

So... that must have been the greatest number of Banes I've personally played against.

I tinkered my list into:

Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- 2x Basilisk Drake

Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Venator Reivers + Unit Attachment + a rat (looking at the pictures I noticed Flayer Cannon range finder has sneaked in!)
Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Gatorman Witch Doctor
Orin Midwinter

Scenario was Incursion, and Cryx started game. No surprises from Skorne side - Death March was on Praetorian Swordsmen and Soul Slave on Archidon. Witch Doctor had cast Zombify on... somewhere. Cryx had Phantom Hunter on Kraken, Occultation on Bane Knights and Sudden Death on Bane Lord Tartarus.

Cryx turn 2 was depressing. Even if I own a Kraken myself, that 16" range caught me by surprise. I lost both Gatorman Witch Doctor and Orin Midwinter to just one blast. Well... Orin wasn't so important, but the loss of Zombify really hurt my game. Other than that the Banes were just advancing cautiously, bringing themselves to barely contest the flags.

As pretty much everything had Stealth (and for some reason I didn't remember to put Extoller Soulward on my specialists...) and Kraken was guarded by one Necrotech, I wanted to get at least some mileage out of Venator Reivers. So they used minifeat and shot the Necrotech. Last remaining Venators made a combined shot against the colossal. Kraken had blocked my LOS to the other Necrotech, so seven points were a bit wasted there.

Hexeris probably shot Obliteration and killed a bane thrall.

Cryx turn 3 I suffered far less casualties than I was expecting. But on the other hand Goreshade was holding back. A minimum number of various Banes charged my lines and others tried to remain a safe distance away. I guess they were afraid of Hexeris' feat, and rightly so... And I wonder if I should have used feat anyway. I just wasn't sure if Goreshade's feat created new banes or if it brought back destroyed ones. Turns out it was the latter, so perhaps I should have used feat. That would have been four Bane Knights and about seven Bane Thralls that wouldn't be coming back. But greedy as I was, I wanted more. I wanted them all.

And from there the game degraded into Banes multiplying themselves with Praetorian Swordsmen, Basilisks and Tyrant commanders. Hexeris' feat, while not too bad, just did not remove enough banes to severely hamper their advance. That's painful to write. Hexeris' feat was not enough to remove banes to seriously injure them. Of course there was unnecessarily many tough rolls being made and the new realization that if you kill the bane unit leader and it gets promoted to somewhere else in the unit, the newly promoted unit leader will not be able to make attacks if you later kill it for your feat.

Any and all hope was lost when yet again I was too greedy - I wanted enraged Archidon to charge Kraken and kill Tartarus, who was in the middle of my army. Looked like I'd get Tartarus within Archidon's melee range, but no.

Only the leftmost flag was kind of secured for me, so once it looked like I'd lose the game I started to score scenario points at least for possible tie breakers later in the tournament. Hexeris was there in the middle of action, beat backing Banes and whatnot off from within 4" of the flag. Basilisk Drake scored three points before Skorne finally succumbed to the swarm of banes.

Game 2:

Last game was a second time ever match versus Cephalyx. Since Forward Kommander doesn't have the Exulon tier available for construction, the list may have some inaccuracies.
Opponent had:

Exulon Thexus
Tier level over 9000
- Wrecker

Maximum unit of Nyss Hunters + Dominator
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt + Dominator
2x Maximum unit of Mind Bender & Drudges
2x Minimum unit of Mind Slaver & Drudges (in ambush)
2x Cephalyx Overlords
+ possibly two Agitators?

Hexeris was pretty much out of the question, though his feat could have been quite devastating against such an infantry horde. But such a feat in a horde like that could very well ve devastating for my deathclock, too. Banishing Ward might also be a lifesaver.

So, Mordikaar it would be. And my list was:

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- Cyclops Shaman
- Basilisk Drake

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

Scenario was Recon, and looks like Cephalyx started the game. First of all I was terrified about the number of models opponent had. For some crowd control I swapped Basilisk Krea for Basilisk Drake, but I silently wondered if that'd be enough.

Hollow was on Praetorian Swordsmen and Banishing Ward on Cetrati. Witch Doctor was zombifying Cetrati also.

Turn 2 Cephalyx spilled over far worse than the banes of last game. There weren't any real casualties for me. Only the Nyss were shooting a bit, but Mordikaar doesn't care too much for dead Praetorians. So I would be able to make the alpha strike! Against a meatwall, sure, but alpha strike nonetheless! And after that I would be in a fairly defendable position thanks to Mordikaar's feat.

Void Spirit tried to go and eat the unit leader of rightmost Slaver unit. I don't remember what came out of it. Cetrati took Shield Wall and killed, what, one drudge grunt and one nyss? Cyclops Shaman stared down a drudge grunt, and Gatorman Witch Doctor zombified Cetrati again. That was all I'd be able to do on right.

Bronzeback probably went and destroyed one nyss hunter and beat backed to a safer position.

Mordikaar activates, casts Revive, possibly two, a Ghost Walk on Praetorian Swordsmen and finally casts Banishing Ward on himself. There were so many magical sprays that I thought it might be worth it.

Then Ghost Walked Swordsmen charge all over the place aaaand see what's missing? The feat. The goddamn +3 def feat that was the reason I left Mordikaar with only one Fury left for transfers. Why? Whyyyy?

Once I realise I forgot to use feat I try to form some sort of meatwall for Mordikaar, but there's mostly just Archidon for that job.

Then it's turn 3 for the Cephalyx after my pro play.

Exulon Thexus advances and uses his feat and messes every formation up, and removes all the Nyss Hunters from melee. Then he casts two Hex Blasts on my objective, and a boosted blast damage roll to Mordikaar was astonishing. More rolls like this and it all would be over very soon with minimal pain.

Then Nyss activate and advance to get line of sight to Mordikaar. Bronzeback manages to counter charge one of them and tie one Nyss to melee, and hopefully block Line of Sight for others. Nope, they all got Line of Sight easily enough.

Damage rolls weren't that great, though, and Mordikaar survives.

Then the POW 12 sprays start pouring in. Every Cephalyx with a spray and their dogs advanced forward and sprayed either the Archidon or my objective - all of them catching Mordikaar under easily. About half of the sprays hit, and the grand total is that Mordikaar is left with only one Fury and one hit box. But finally... finally it was the last Cephalyx spray to activate. Mordikaar was saved. Even the objective survived with, what, two damage boxes or something.

And then Aiyana & Holt & Cephalyx Dominator activate... Oh come on! How many of these guy are in the list? I didn't know it then, but Cephalyx Dominator doesn't have a spray attack. So, in fact, it was the miracle of my objective not getting destroyed that made it possible for Mordikaar to survive. Of course I wasn't aware what else opponent would be able to throw at me, but first Holt needed to shoot the objective out of the way, and then Mordikaar twice some how. But even the first attack didn't destroy objective, only the second one did. Arcane wonder.

Then last drudges and whatnots activate, and opponent ends his gigantic turn with a bit less than half a minute on his clock.

So it was a matter of principle for me next. After such an extraordinary survival from almost certain doom it would have been easy for me to run as far with Mordikaar as possible, and win next turn on clock. But I have always complained everywhere how much I hate either winning or losing with the clock, and clock is good only for keeping tournament schedule going forward in a good pace. The actual situation on the board, however, was far from a victory for me.

Perhaps the inner WAAC demon would have been stronger if I had been with five victories and zero defeats then at the final table. But I chose to play as if there was no clock, and try to assassinate Exulon instead.

There was the Wrecker monstrosity and a nyss hunter in the way of Bronzeback to get to Exulon with perhaps two beat-backs against the objective.

My plan was thus: Willbreaker casts Puppet Master on Archidon, who gets enraged and charges the Wrecker, causes a critical pitch and throws the monstrosity away. With the remaining Fury it should be able to kill the nyss. Bronzeback gets Train Wreck from Mordikaar.

Well. First attack made by Archidon fails completely even with Puppet Master re-roll. No critical pitch for me. Extra attack and attack roll boost scores exactly what I need, and an enraged throw carries far. Perhaps full 3" backwards would have ruined everything, but that didn't come to be.

However, the last attack without a boost didn't hit the Nyss Hunter, so Bronzeback was forced to trample through and buy two attacks to get to Exulon. Would Bronzeback be able to kill the DEF 14 ARM 14 warcaster with P+S 19 and three Furies?

Yes, this time it was. First attack without a boost hit and dealt enough damage for Bronzeback to instant kill Exulon with an additional attack. So Bronzeback bought one more attack and boosted attack roll.

Yay. I didn't have to regret for "not playing the clock", though I would have deserved to lose because of that "whoops where's my feat? Three activations back, it seems!"

So. That was it. Two honest victories, one bye and three losses. I guess that's statistically better result than what I was aiming for, as I wanted two victories and four losses. With lists like these hoping for anything better would only cause depression, anxiety and hair loss. However I liked the ADR system very much. Being able to kick out the Krea (what's happening?!) most of the time from my lists was a big boon.

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