Saturday, September 19, 2015

Voodo Dolls

Then a week ago I played two games of Warmachine.

I knew I would be playing against Skorne which I assumed would have a lot of beasts since opponents collection is new.

In my excel statistics my Wraith Witch Deneghra had never played against Skorne, and she is lagging behind on number of games played. And as probably we all know, she received a nerf that brings her feat to much more tolerable levels. It was all but written in stone which warcaster I would pick, then.

And this was my 35 point list:

Wraith Witch Deneghra
- Defiler
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party
Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
Warwitch Siren

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponent had:

Master Tormentor Morghoul
- Aradus Soldier
- Titan Gladiator
- Cyclops Brute
- Cyclops Savage

Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Maximum unit of Nihilators
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
Mortitheurge Willbreaker

Objective: Bunker

Scenario was Two Fronts, and Cryx started game.

Game ended quite prematurely when Morghoul gave all of his remaining Fury to Agonizer. Enemy Arm 13 warlock was there with no Fury for transfers. I was still a bit hesitant to launch Deneghra all over the Skorne. Of course pre-errata there would have been zero reasons to hold back, but now I had to actually consider what would happen if the dice failed me.

But I decided to try nonetheless, since Deneghra could go Incorporeal. Only enemy model who had magical weapons was Morghoul himself.

Warwitch Siren gave focus for Defiler, who then ran into position. Deneghra advanced and used her feat. Then she cast Hellmouth on a Def 10 Beast Handler via Defiler, who dragged Morghoul to his doom. Deneghra boosted the damage on enemy warlock, and it was enough to bring Morghoul to, what... two boxes remaining?

I had originally been planning on using the last remaining two Focus for +2 Arm, but since Morghoul was ripe for picking, or at least seasoning by Venom, I decided to give it a go. We'd have time for another game if it ended here.

But 7+ is a fickle thing to roll on 2d6. This time it worked, and damage was enough to kill Morghoul.

Game 2:

I really wanted to see how much starting roll affects Wraith Witch Deneghra's play. Same scenario, same sides and same lists, but Skorne started. First picture is from the end of Cryx turn 1.

Aradus Soldier had Admonition on it.

Not taking chances any more, opponent activated "no channeling" cry on Agonizer and ran it forward. Then Skorne have me a jump scare when Abused and Rushed (or only Abused?) Cyclops Savage charges Black Ogrun unit leader. I somehow didn't remember Mortitheurge Willbreaker also has Beastmaster ability, so control area wasn't an issue in this charge. Thankfully I hadn't wasted Focus foolishly for giggles, and Deneghra had six on her for armour. Still she took seven points of damage, which is enough to discourage some of the more daring actions. Like advancing and using a feat, for example.

Oh wait.

Deneghra did go incorporeal, advance and used feat. This time she didn't get whole Skorne army under her feat. Quite a few Nihilators would be free to charge next turn. Then Deneghra casts Hellmouth on the Mortitheurge Willbreaker. Mortitheurge and a Swamp Gobber die. The last gobber fails command check and flees. But as Deneghra didn't have that many damage boxes left any more I panicked and camped the two remaining Focus. I probably boosted the attack roll.

The reason I got so worried was Morghoul's Torment spell. Scoring 11+ to hit and 11+ to damage was well within the realms of possibility. Not that 13+ is that uncommon, but it still feels much safer for a required roll to lose your game.

Then I considered that if Deneghra is knocked down somehow (I guess I failed to remember she was incorporeal... slammed models would just go right through her.) Morghoul might still risk the 13+, so I started building a meatwall around her.

The Cyclops Savage needed to be taken down first. And damn was it hard. Wrong Eye doesn't kill it, and neither does Warwitch Siren. Bile Thrall takes an aiming bonus and shoots at the Cyclops, but still no death for the beast. Five damage and a corrosion on Black Ogrun did happen, though.

Bile Thralls also sprayed one Nihilator dead who was right behind Agonizer. That was a bummer, since I really wanted to spam Influence on it with Wrong Eye and kill Agonizer with style. From side view it looks like the other Nihilator behind Agonizer might have had the baby titan in Reach, but I didn't want to risk that much for style. Wrong Eye went to whack the Cyclops Savage instead, and succeeded.

Nightwretch advances in front of Deneghra and shoots at objective. Black Ogruns charge next. Two tried to destroy the objective, which was left at one box remaining. Two go to block LoS to Deneghra, aligned behind Nightwretch in such a manner that if something... say... a Titan gladiator, perhaps? was to slam the bonejack, it would just knock the Ogruns down and not Deneghra. Who wouldn't have been knocked down anyway. C'est la vie.

Banes just generally failed at anything they tried to do. I think Skarlock had cast Ghost Walk on Black Ogruns in case everything would have failed and Ogruns would have needed to take free strikes from it in order to block LoS to Deneghra.

Turn 3 everything except Cyclops Brute shakes off Shadow Bind. Abused and Enraged Aradus Soldier casually breaks Snapjaw in just a few hits. Those jaws... they hurt.

Morghoul uses his feat, and Titan Gladiator positions itself (presumably) to protect Morghoul and still be in range to smash things next turn.

Nihilators kill a couple of Bane Thralls.

I'm quite confident I can take the Aradus down with Bane Thralls, Black Ogruns and last and least with the Wrong Eye. How wrong I was.

First Bile Thralls get rid of Nihilators and take a couple of shots at the Aradus. That was a complete waste thanks to Arm 23 vs shooting. But hey... corrosion.

Skarlock gives Ghost Walk for Bane Thralls, who then get a charge order. Only two get into contact with Aradus. One misses. Yay. At least death toll on Nihilators and Agonizers was satisfying.

Black Ogruns charge next and two get to Aradus. Rest try to wrestle with the objective. The succeed... the ones with Aradus don't. I'm starting to get a little desperate here, and send Warwitch Siren to attack the Aradus. She scores a hit and Shadow Binds it.

This might be the first time in recorded history when I had a real opportunity to use Wrong Eye's Voodoo Doll spell. I actually had wild fantasies of getting it on both the Titan Gladiator and Aradus Soldier. Damage rolls had been so poor against the Aradus that I couldn't rely on Wrong Eye taking it down even with four Fury. So. Voodoo Doll on it, and Spirit was gone. Gladiator required a 8+ to hit, which failed. But you can dream, right?

Deneghra runs to my friendly scenario control zone, camping full focus. Morghoul's feat made pretty much any other action pointless.

So. Scenario was now 2-0 for Cryx.

Turn 4 Cryxian casualty rate is high. Disturbingly high. If first impressions are what sticks with you, then I will be forever afraid of even a Spiritless, Shadow Bound Aradus. Every initial attack hit and killed. Especially the loss of Bane Thrall Officer was a harsh one. Their formation was now completely messed up, as the actual unit leader had been merrily beating Nihilators on the other side of the board.

Titan Gladiator removes all three Black Ogruns who had been busy with the objective. Morghoul charges a Black Ogrun and sprints to dominate his friendly zone.

Cyclops Brute kills Warwitch Siren and Wrong Eye.

Beast Handler goes to contest my friendly zone along with the Swamp Gobber who was finally able to act again.

Game was 2-1 for Cryx.

Now that I'm looking at the picture I don't realize why I didn't bring Nightwretch to contest Skorne zone? Had Nihilator beaten it so badly that I didn't believe it would make it through one Nihilator and one Beast Handler free strike? I don't remember. It's also fully possible I didn't even think of it when I activated the bonejack... Wait. It gets worse.

I try to bring two Bile Thralls to contest enemy zone, but Spd 5 just doesn't cut it. And I couldn't run, because I needed the unit leader to Purge my zone clear. Now. Here's the fun fact: as an added bonus the Purge took the two guys who were engaging Nightwretch. Well spent activation with the Nightwretch there. Did it try to bash a Beast Handler or what?

Deneghra healer herself and moved to relative safety of my objective.

Game was 3-2 for Cryx. I'm looking at you, Nightwretch! No, don't reflect my own image back to me. Damn. I need to use more matt varnish.

Turn 5 Cyclops Brute throws the game. It fails a Threshold check and Titan Gladiator was closest target for it to charge.

I don't know how the game would have played if it had succeeded, but now opponent wouldn't be able to get anyone to contest my zone.

As a final defiant gesture Morghoul runs to stare Deneghra intensively and menacingly.

As warlocks and warcasters don't contest zones, game went 4-2 for Cryx and 5-2 right next on my turn.

Well. What to say. I like it how after the errata Wraith Witch Deneghra actually has to consider defending herself during her feat turn even against a full melee army. I imagine it will be much more distressing aspect against a list that has arcable spells and/or magical shooting on warjacks and warbeasts that you earlier could ignore if you got within right distance to use Web of Shadows.

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