Today I played a 50 point Warmachine game.
My list was:
Master Necrotech Mortenebra
Maximum unit of Black Ogruns
2x Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Objective: Arcane Wonder
Saeryn & Rhyas
Maximum unit of Hex Hunters
Maximum unit of Croak Raiders
Objective: Effigy of Valor
Scenario was Fire Support and Legion started game. Everything pretty much ran forwards. Rhyas gave Croaks Occultation.
And then it was my turn to get stressed over Croak Raiders. Range 14" threat with the damage buff, and 16" threat with the darts that caused continuous fire. I had planned on running Mortenebra close to my objective with full camp, but that would've opened up the possibility of POW 12 + 3d6 damage rolls at the start of Mortenebra's turn, regardless of stacked focus! Making a screening out of Black Ogruns was also bad idea, because Croaks would've only caught 2-3 of them under the oil gourd, which meant 2-3 dead Black Ogruns...
In the end I just advanced cautiously so that no frog was within oil gourd range of Mortenebra. But I did the mistake of moving my heavy warjacks out of my deployment zone. Harrower had Spectral Steel on. I placed Malice and Harrower base-to-base contact to block Line of Sight to a Soul Trapper, Necrotech and whatnot.
Turn 2 the Croaks activated first. They set one Black Ogrun on fire (who died to the continuous effect next turn), and then, uh... Uh huh.
A Croak throws oil gourd on Malice. One frog misses the dart attack. Another one hits and rolls 6,6,4 for damage. That troubled me slightly. Hopefully next damage rolls would be at slightly more manageable levels. Well, they weren't. Next one was 6,6,6. Gah.
Third one also hit. And the damage roll was 6,6,6. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN HERE?
The rest of activations were mostly just positioning. But my morale and combat effectiveness had suffered a heavy blow.
But do not fret! There is always a way! Game is not lost until it's lost. I figured I might be able to make some overrun shenanigans to get Harrower to kill Scythean and any other nearby models. Mortenebra allocates three to Harrower and one to Stalker. Deryliss casts Overrun on Stalker, who advances into contact with two Croaks and kills them. The spawning vessel takes the corpse, and my Soul Trapper takes the soul. Efficient recycling. Overrun triggers and Harrower advances closer to Scythean.
Black Ogruns attempt to scare the Croaks, but they pass their command checks. Soul Trappers give two souls for Harrower and Tremulus casts Puppet Master upon it. Then it advances so that thresher special attack reaches one from the Blackfrost Shard, one Croak and the Scythean. Harrower uses souls for attack roll boosts against the infantry models, and kills them both. Now it would be six attacks against Scythean, hitting with 5+ and dealing damage at dice -2! Fun time.
Out of the six attacks, two missed. I used Puppet Master to re-roll one of those into a hit. So, out of the five attacks that scored a hit, there were three rolls of 1,2 for damage. The two other attacks both rolled five or four damage points in.
One of these games, it seems.
Well, Helldiver who got focus point from Warwitch Siren attempted to do something to the Scythean, but the heavy warbeast wasn't even close to being finished off!
There was a glimmer of hope, though, when somebody killed fifth Croak Raider, which made them roll for massive casualties and they failed. This gave me a little bit more confidence with Mortenebra, who tried to advance so that she'd be able to cast Void Gate on the Scythean to hopefully protect Harrower to some extent. Luckily I measured her control area and noticed Zuriel was easily within slipstream + charge range to Mortenebra... abort the plan! The Void Gate was cast on a Black Ogrun instead. Reasoning: you can't force warbeasts inside the AoE effect.
Turn 3 Legion breaks my objective with Hex Hunters. Croaks get within 4" of the effigy and rally themselves.
Blackfrost Shard gives Kiss of Lyliss on Harrower, and then Rhyas charges it and spends all of her fury on Flashing Blade attacks. She doesn't score any critical rolls, but wrecks Helldiver and leaves Harrower alive with about six boxes remaining. Last Flashing Blade attack had missed Harrower.
Next Scythean activates and proceeds to wreck Harrower. It must have been love at first sight between those large based targets, because it really looked like neither wanted to kill the other! One initial attack missed, and twice it scored also 1,2 on damage rolls. Last attack it was able to make dealt the killing blow, though. "Nooo I don't want to kill you, dear Harrower! Noo!" "Well... stop hitting me?" "I caaaaaan't..."
Zuriel destroyed Stalker. Spawning Vessel made a Shredder, who went rabid and killed Ragman, my only source of Remove from Play effect. Legion got two control points.
Then it's my turn. Mortenebra allocates three focus points for Deathripper. Deryliss casts Spectral Steel on it, and then it goes to tear furyless Rhyas into shreds! And succeeds! Ahhahhah. At least I did something. Now, of course I knew that she'd be back next turn, but still... it was a sort of achievement. Black Ogruns also managed to scare the Croaks again, but after the roll was made we noticed at some point that they were indeed 4" from Effigy. Blackfrost Shard got failed their massive casualties test, though.
Rest of my activations were useless shuffling around. I didn't realise that by killing Rhyas I indirectly caused a ton of threshold checks for the enemy beasts next turn. All of them except Zuriel frenzied.
But, as I said, I was afraid of the enemy beasts with Mortenebra. She tried to cast Void Gate on Maelovus (missing because of stealth), hoping for a good, safe spot where she could travel to. The AoE drifted away from Mortenebra, though, so I tried to enter the next safest spot: behind Admonia and Soul Trapper. Neither of the warbeasts within charge distance had reach.
The spot I had chosen to hide in was just out of Killbox, though. So Legion went to four scenario points, and next turn Legion had only to clear either one of the flags and take a point. This was no problem for them.
Losing Malice so early in the game to disturbing damage rolls made it a difficult game, and the astonishing performance of Harrower against Scythean didn't help the least. If Harrower had succeeded, opponent would have needed to take care of Harrower with something else. That would always have been less attacks directed to, say, Stalker. Or the very least my objective would still have been standing, as Seraph was the one who dealt the killing blow to it. Maybe I wouldn't have chickened out then and hand over two scenario points for the opponent. Who knows.