Thursday, June 11, 2015

Enter Venators - Venators have left the building

Last Thursday I got to play a 50 point Warmachine game.

This time around I played with my other tournament list, which with a little tinkering with specialists looked like this:

Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Archidon
- Bronzeback Titan
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea

Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
Minimum unit of Venator Reivers + Unit Attachment
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Aptimus Marketh
Gatorman Witch Doctor

Opponent had:

High Executioner Reznik
- Reckoner
- Vanquisher
- Avatar of Menoth

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Exemplar Bastions
Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
2x Vassal of Menoth

Scenario was Two Fronts, and Skorne started the game. First picture is from the end of Protectorate turn 1.

Iron Aggression is on Reckoner, and Ignite on Temple Flameguard. Skorne had Soul Slave on Archidon and Death March on Praetorian Swordsmen.

Turn 2 my newly acquired Venator Reivers advance and use their minifeat to add +4" range for their attacks. I wanted to take out Hierophant, and possibly tickle Bastions a little before moving back with Reform. But the curse of unfinished models must be true. First three venator CRA missed Hierophant with double ones. Second three man CRA hit, but dealt only something like three damage boxes. Wow. Such performance.

Other than that, Witch Doctor gave Zombify to Praetorian Swordsmen and Tyrant Commander gave them pathfinder. Then Praetorians ran, so a couple of them would engage Temple Flameguard and most probably trigger Vengeance. Bronzeback ran a little, and took concealment from the forest.

There seems to be a full round in between the pictures. Protectorate, however, mostly just advanced during their turn 2. Vanquisher shot a its towards Venators, but was out of range. Two tries (another from Ancillary attack) scored one perfect deviation, which caused the death of three Venators. Bastions charged objective and ran forwards. At least the objective didn't get destroyed right away.

Reznik shoots a Hex Blast to Venators' general direction, and just look at that. A whole unit of Venators didn't get to kill anybody, and got wiped by just a couple of attacks. Well... now I'm being unfair. Whole unit didn't die. The standard bearer survived.

Turn 3 seemed like it was the best timing for Hexeris' feat. Avatar had advanced so that I was wagering that Bronzeback might be able to get to Avatar, if it managed to charge a Temple Flameguard member and beat back to Avatar. So that's what I tried. But the concealment I took from the forest proved to be Bronzeback's downfall. Footslogging in the forest was enough to make the charge fail. Well played.

Witch Doctor gave Zombify to Swordsmen again, and Tyrant Commander gave Pathfinder for them. Then the tyrant charged Avatar and hoped for a good enough damage roll.

Basilisk Drake attempted to put some pressure to the leftern flank I was losing hard. The two damage rolls it got to make against Bastions were really good. First one scored something really absurd, and second attack would have killed a second Bastion also if it was not for their special rules of having the choice to divide damage. Oh my. I forgot to make feat move with the dead Bastion. I doubt it would have changed anything, though.

Swordsmen then use their minifeat and butcher a whole bunch of Temple Flameguards, who in turn transformed into zombies. It was okayish feat I guess, though it ate a lot of time from my clock.

Then there was operation "Save the Bronzeback". Enraged Archidon charged Avatar and hoped for some good damage rolls. Damage rolls were terrible, but scored a Critical Pitch. Archidon threw Avatar away, and managed to land it on a spot that made a charge to Bronzeback difficult at least for as long as Archidon was alive. If Avatar rolled only two focus, there might still be a game for me. Maybe. Possibly.

Agonizer cried for no arcnodes and no focus allocation, and ran forwards.

Turn 3 Avatar didn't roll two focus. It rolled four. So it removed Archidon with ease, and even had focus to activate Menoth's Gaze. Vanquisher set Agonizer, Bronzeback and Tyrant Commander on fire. The attack dealt seven points of damage to the Agonizer, which was somehow fitting. Tormented baby titan crying from unimaginable pain - what could be worse? A tormented baby titan on fire crying from unimaginable pain.

Bastions somehow manage to fail both at destroying the objective and killing the Venator standard bearer. Maybe this was a message for me - don't trust shooting. Only do melee.

But then Reznik charged the objective dead and cast Hex Blast on the Bastion that failed to kill the Venator. Attack hit and boosted blast damage killed the Venator. He wasn't a hero, after all.

Though situation on the right wasn't that bad, Protectorate scored three scenario points from this maneuver.

Turn 4 I followed my dreams and lived life to the fullest, not listening to the shallow expectations of society. In another words... I screwed up. I was so fixated on getting Bronzeback to Avatar and smash the holy vessel to smithereens that I noticed a little bit too late that I wouldn't be able to get anyone to contest my friendly zone. At the start of the turn I made a quick inventory of the situation - Beast Handlers, Basilisk Drake (provided it could get away from melee somehow) and Basilisk Krea all would be able to enter the zone. So no problems there. None at all.

Then Beast Handlers activate, and enrage Krea and Bronzeback. So much for running to contest. Praetorian Swordsmen continue to harvest Flameguards, and they punch some holes into Reckoner. Nothing fancy.

Tyrant Commander strikes a Flameguard dead, and then Bronzeback activates, destroys the objective and Avatar despite some lousy attack rolls. Whee. I succeeded. Now, let's get back to the more pressing matters at my friendly zone...


There was nobody to dislodge Drake from melee.

Krea had been enraged, so it couldn't run. It had to charge.

Protectorate went to five control points.

Obviously I dedicated way too few models to contest the zone. Of course it didn't help that the Vanquisher killed most of the unit in one activation. But with more modest casualties there on turn 2 perhaps I could have delayed the inevitable loss of the zone with one turn, or something. Who knows. Badly deployed and badly played. Hopefully I'll do a little better this weekend.

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