Tuesday, September 22, 2015

One should not chew on stainless steel

Last Thursday I played a 35 point game of Warmachine.

I took my Circle of Orboros for a spin. It's been quite a while since I last played them.

And the reason is simple. I don't know who to play! Statistically Morvahna2 is lagging behind in the number of games played, but I'd rather save her for tournaments than casual games.

And I did what I usually do when I don't know which Circle warlock I'd want to play. Most often it's Kaya the Wildborne. I don't know why... it just happens.

Anyway. My list was:

Kaya the Wildborne
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Warpwolf Stalker
- Winter Argus
- Scarsfell Griffon
- Gorax

Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
Blackclad Wayfarer
Druid Wilder

That's 15 models that includes four which have no attack whatsoever, and quite a few with negligible attack potential. So I was quite worried when I saw what was against me.

Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer
Sustained Attack tier 3
- Corollary
- Inverter

Maximum unit of Obstructors + Enumerator
Maximum unit of Obstructors
Maximum unit of Reductors + Enumerator
4x Enigma Foundry

That's 35 models that would just be coming back no matter what. But in the end this game would become one of the more interesting ones I've played. So.

Scenario was Outflank, and Circle started game. I don't want to imagine this game if Convergence with 30 Advance Deployed infantry models would have started. First picture is from the end of Convergence turn 1.

Turn 2 Circle dedicates Griffon to contest eastern zone. Then I'm wondering if I might actually be able to destroy one unit of Obstructors. I guess it might have been doable, but I was too greedy. First Warpwolf Stalker warped for Berserk and charged. I wanted to catch all four leftmost Obstructors and possibly one or two Reductors within Stalker's reach, but only four Obstructors were there in the end. Oh well.

Then Winter Argus advances and attempts to spray some Obstructors and killed a few. Since one Obstructor had been in a nasty position to get hold of, Blackclad Wayfarer advanced and for some unfathomable reason sprayed the other unit of Obstructors. Swamp Gobbers run to protect Blackclad Wayfarer.

Kaya advances and casts Spirit Door twice to call back both Warpwolf Stalker and Winter Argus. She was at zero Fury for transfers, but opponent didn't have that much shooting. At least not POW 13 sprays that had re-rolls for missed attack rolls.

Convergence turn 2 Axis uses his feat. Reductors advance and start to spray. I only three sprays got to Kaya. Out of six attack rolls only one hit - but dealt eight points of damage. Gnarlhorn Satyr took heavy damage, and teleportation possibilities for Shifting Stones became limited when one stone got destroyed.

Enigma Foundry builds some new Obstructors to the unit on the right, and then the aforementioned unit charges and kills Scarsfell Griffon. Two of the newly build robots even reached a second Shifting Stone and the Stone Keeper - and there went a second stone. Now that I look at the picture... did that unit also kill Blackclad Wayfarer? That's seven points plus some fractions from the stones already. Damn.

Thankfully the Reductors blocked any meaningful charges for Obstructors on the left, so they just Shield Walled themselves and beat down one Swamp Gobber.

Turn 3 I do something I should have done a turn earlier: Feralgeist runs to contest the eastern zone. Stone Keeper also teleports there and uses his attack spell on a cluster of metalheads in the middle. A couple of Reductors die, which is perfect.

Druid Wilder gives Sprint to Warpwolf Stalker, who warps for Berserk and advances to take a maximum toll on Reductors - though it had only Spd 4 thanks to Axis' feat. Afterwards it sprinted back, and Winter Argus sprayed some winter on Reductors. Since first spray killed everything that was within reach anyway, it opted to force it's own animus.

Kaya cast Spirit Door on Warpwolf Stalker and healed Gnarlhorn for a couple points of damage.

Then it's Convergence.

An Enigma Foundry scuttles forward on the left, its tiny greedy clockwork hands sweating with anticipation for building yet another batch of robots. But it stopped in a place where Gnarlhorn Satyr was able to counter slam it - and slam distance was no less than full 8", which brought it into contact with Inverter. Worth the giggles.

However, I was fairly certain now that Gnarlhorn would just die. Gnarlhorn Satyr has failed me so many times before and I didn't expect this to be any different. But much to my amazement Gnarlhorn casually shrugged off almost every enemy attack. Was it trying to make up for its earlier games? Or does it have an attitude that it will not even try unless outnumbered 4 to 1? I do not know. But I know that at the end of the turn Gnarlhorn was still very much alive. Well... not very much. A tiny bit alive.

On the right side of the board a Swamp Gobber and Stone Keeper somehow manage to stall Convergence - even if they have to valiantly sacrifice their own lives doing it. Thanks to Circle's high defence the game had not been such a cakewalk for Convergence that I had been afraid of. After all Axis doesn't have any ability to raise the odds for attack rolls. The small based infantry was stuck with their MAT 6, RAT 5. Though to be honest - getting 8+ shouldn't be that hard than it sometimes looked like it was... but hey, not my time to complain here.

Turn 4 a Shifting Stone teleports to the middle of enemy infantry and Feralgeist runs to forest, taking great care to still contest the zone.

First Winter Argus eats an Obstructor and their Enumerator. Gnarlhorn Satyr makes an incredible trample right next to Inverter. We spent multiple minutes checking the trample line, because it just looked too good to be true - all five small base infantry models were trampled over. Then the Satyr continued to buy extra attacks against Inverter, not accomplishing much there.

Then Druid Wilder casts Primal on Warpwolf Stalker, and Stalker charges Inverter with Strength warp. Inverter is smashed to bits.

I don't remember what Kaya did, though. She charged somewhere, cast Spirit Door on Stalker and then Gnarlhorn, used her feat and cast Spirit Door on herself, too. Perhaps she just advanced, tried to kill last Obstructor near Winter Argus and failed to do that? Oh well. Doesn't matter, really.

Axis runs to eastern zone, and if Feralgeist was capable of fear, I think it might have felt something akin to that emotion.

Tons and tons of Obstructors start to flood into the western zone, and Gorax really did luck out there when multiple MAT 6's rolled misses against its DEF 12.

Turn 5 Warpwolf Stalker has no other option except to frenzy, so the little guy next to it is demoted to a makeshift chewing toy. But Winter Argus, Gnarlhorn Satyr and Gorax make exceptional job at clearing the zone of enemy models. Druid Wilder's charge to an Obstructor is less impressive, and she probably has to pay for it with her life. I can't quite believe scenario just went 2-1 for Circle.

That joy for being ahead in scenario doesn't last long, as Axis shoots Feralgeist dead with Battering Ram.

But then. The attack rolls of small based MAT 6 infantry. What could have resulted in three dead warbeasts with a bit of luck turned into a massive farce when hits and damage were next to nothing against Gorax, Gnarlhorn Satyr and the back arc of Warpwolf Stalker. I guess only massive amount of overkilling and dedicating all attacks to a single warbeast may have killed at least one. Especially Gorax and Gnarlhorn had been trolling hard throughout the whole game.

Anyway. Scenario went 3-2 for Convergence.

Turn 6 Warpwolf Stalker warps for berserk and clears a huge swathe of troops from my zone. Winter Argus sprays some more. Gorax kills one last troublesome Obstructor, and then Gnarlhorn is free to trample to contest eastern zone. Kaya personally dispatched last contesting Obstructor from my zone.

Scenario was 4-3 for Circle.

Sadly Axis has quite impressive amount of tricks to push enemy models around. One Battering Ram pushed Gnarlhorn Satyr out of the eastern zone. Now only a random Obstructor needed to contest western zone, and scenario went 5-4 for Convergence.

Uh oh. What a game. What a game.

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