Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Night Witch Tournament

Last weekend I was in a (this time) planned Warmachine/Hordes tournament.

It was a 50 point Steamroller game with four rounds.

My lists were:

List 1:

Cassius the Oathkeeper & Wurmwood
- Gorax
- Woldwatcher
- Shadowhorn Satyr
- Warpwolf Stalker

Shifting Stones
Tharn Bloodweavers
Druids of Orboros + Overseer
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Lord of the Feast
Druid Wilder
Blackclad Wayfarer
Bloodweaver Night Witch
Lanyssa Ryssyll
Gallows Grove

List 2:

Morvahna the Dawnshadow
- Gorax
- Riphorn Satyr
- Pureblood Warpwolf

Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Maximum unit of Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain + Shaman
Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Tharn Ravager White Mane
Blackclad Wayfarer
Bloodweaver Night Witch
Gallows Grove
War Wolf

I had finished painting Bloodweaver Night Witch just a day ago, so I wanted to include her in both of my lists so that I wouldn't have the dilemma of "I should play this list because of the matchup, but I want to play Night Witch!"

So. First game was against Skorne. I chose Cassius as my warlock, though opponent had Titan Gladiator and Tyrant Commander handing out Pathfinder. Oh well. Enemy list was something like:

Supreme Archdomina Makeda
- Molik Karn
- Bronzeback Titan
- Titan Gladiator
- Basilisk Krea

Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Maximum unit of Cataphract Incindiarii
Maximum unit of Nihilators
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer

Scenario was Fire Support. I forget who started game.

Even when I had quite a few models immune to fire damage, the Incindiarii were a pain. They managed to set Cassius, Wurmwood and tons of other models on fire anyway. I was really lucky in setting the fires out - about 66% of the fires got extinguished instead of the regular 33%. Lord of the Feast took down three Incindiariis, but that didn't seem to slow them down.

I was terrified of Molik Karn. Perhaps a little too much. Molik went for a little killing spree against Druids of Orboros and used his animus to back off.

The first picture is taken from the situation where Night Witch and Warpwolf Stalker have charged Molik Karn and killed him. Stalker rolled dice absolutely terribly. Under Primal it was MAT 8 and rolled damage with dice +2, and still Molik Karn would have survived if it wasn't for the couple odd points Bloodweaver Night Witch had done. I had been pretty sure I would have been able to get at least one, hopefully two attacks against Bronzeback Titan, but no. Not today.

Bloodweavers charged Bronzeback and dealt some damage in.

Opponent had been playing really slowly (it was his first tournament) and had around six minutes left on his clock after his next turn. Titan Gladiator had not been able to kill Warpwolf Stalker and Bronzeback Titan forgot to put his animus on, so his kill count for that turn was two Bloodweavers only.

I could have also played attrition or scenario game, since three Incindiarii and a couple of Nihilators were the only infantry opponent had.

And still I wanted to assassinate Makeda. Makeda had two Fury points left for damage transfers. Titan Gladiator was at maximum Fury. I tried to kill Bronzeback Titan first, but had no luck there.

Cassius hopped next to Makeda and tried to cast Curse of Shadows on her, hitting on 9+, and obviously that's a miss. Second Curse of Shadows miraculously hit, but Cassius had been reduced to just one unboosted initial attack that required 9+ to hit. It was a miss.

Well. I still had Shadowhorn Satyr leaping in with Primal on it. Shadowhorn required 7+ to hit, but had six attempts after Bounding Leap. I decided I needed to risk it and go for unboosted 7+'s since Cassius had failed to make any damage in to Makeda.

Out of the six attacks only two hit, and first one did very little damage. Second roll was high, I think, but it was transfered away.

Now, okay, 7+ can do things like this. Two hits from six tries isn't that far below average. However... out of the four Shadowhorn attacks that missed, none would have hit even if required score would have been 6+.

Suddenly my successful rolls for fire expiration made perfect sense, yet again. Furyless Cassius was cracked in two like a dry branch.

During lunch break I swore that if the rest of the games roll as badly as this one did, I'd get rid of this batch of dice. They've been failing so terribly lately (though making stupid mistakes haven't really helped to even the odds in case of bad dice...) and I was just about done with them. Superstitiously I shuffled all of the dice in the box and re-arranged them randomly to make sure I wouldn't be using the same bad dice that are on top of the box all the time.

Game 2:

Second game was against Trollbloods, and I chose Morvahna for my list.

Opponent had something like:

Chief Madrak Ironhide
- Troll Axer
- Mulg the Ancient

Minimum unit of Krielstone Bearers + Elder
Maximum unit of Fennblades + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Long Riders
2x Fell Caller Hero
Fennblade Kithkar

Scenario was Incoming and Trollbloods started.

I thought that hiding Ravagers behind a wall and inside a forest would be kind of okay defence against Long Riders. I was kind of horrified when they got their MAT equal to eleven, or something? That was a whole lot of dead Tharn Ravagers right on turn two.

Circle second turn I decided to use feat to bring back the six or so dead Ravagers all around Longriders - without cavalry charge bonuses they'd be less frightening... right? Pureblood tried to spray Krielstone unit dead, and despite needing only 7+ with three dice to hit, I had to re-roll most of the attacks with Scales of Fate. And to make matters worse, out of the four Krielstone Bearers that got damage in, three passed Tough check. Morvahna casts Death Knell on the same lot, but, well. All Tough checks passed when I managed to breach their armor.

Wolves of Orboros advanced a little to bait Fennblades into charging, though I'm not sure if that manoeuvre qualifies as a successful bait, because that was exactly what they wanted to do in the first place anyway. I had also brought many too far ahead so that they received more losses than I had anticipated when it was Trollblood turn again. At least Madrak didn't use his feat yet, so Mulg killed only Pureblood Warpwolf, Gallows Grove and possibly Blackclad Wayfarer.

Trying to remove the key support piece had now pretty much cost me the game, unless I killed Madrak, who had two transfers or something like that. He had overextended himself, though, so I would be able to teleport Riphorn Satyr behind him.

I shuffle quite a bit on my turn and try to make it possible for Riphorn Satyr to throw Madrak closer to Morvahna with Chain Attack - in case that Mulg would be, like, close to killing Riphorn.

However, once chain attack triggered Riphorn still looked alive and well, so I chose to head-butt Madrak instead to the ground. Mulg had mercifully missed a protective fit. Riphorn managed to chew through all Madrak's transfers and bring him down to four hit points before dying to the Rune Club.

Only model that was able to reach Madrak then was Morvahna with Sunder Spirit. I had three attempts. I was pretty sure it'd be something like, one miss, one doesn't cut through armor and one passed Tough. So much faith I had in my dice. But the first Sunder Spirit was enough.

Game 3:

Third game was against Skorne, again. We drove two hundred and fifty kilometres to get a match with player from my home city.

He had:

Lord Arbiter Hexeris
- Titan Gladiator
- Bronzeback Titan
- Cyclops Brute
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea

Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Maximum unit of Nihilators
Maximum unit of Croak Raiders
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Task Master
Extoller Soulward

Scenario was Two Fronts. Since opponent would become list locked for the final round if he didn't choose Hexeris for this game, I was fairly confident in choosing Cassius for this match. Again I had a lot of fire immune models, and enemy had Croaks and Ashes to Ashes.

Circle started, and first picture is from the end of Skorne turn 1.

Circle shot Lord of the Feast to Croaks and kills three of them plus one Nihilator. Not sure if worth four points, but the pleasure I get from just one dead frog counts at least for two. Two additional Croaks die in the middle.

Hexeris had cast Arcane Reckoning on Croaks, and this lead to first time in recorded history when that spells makes a casualty. I didn't remember that spell, and somehow didn't register that Croaks were in a trench. All the 2d terrain looks the same... Anyway. A druid killed itself with Force Bolt. Though we were not completely sure if that was possible, since unit leader had already put up Counter Magic. So possibly Arcane Reckoning wouldn't have done absolutely anything yet again.

Anyway, Cassius uses his feat. The various markers show the general area of the forest in second picture.

Opponent brings some remaining Croaks and Swamp Gobbers to contest Circle friendly zone and relocates his forces to Skorne friendly zone.

Turn 3 berserking Warpwolf with Sprint clears the zone, and Cassius starts dominating. I didn't realise until it was too late that I had placed Bloodweavers rather... foolishly, considering opponent had a spray basilisk nearby. Oh well.

Bronzeback Titan with Rush tries to charge a Druid of Orboros after Basilisk Drake had cleared the way, and thankfully the charge fell short. On my turn one Bloodweaver, Shadowhorn Satyr with Primal, Warpwolf Stalker who warped for strength and Cassius kill the Bronzeback Titan. Ech.

Circle friendly zone is cleared again, and Cassius dominates second scenario point.

Up until now things had looked really good for me. Warpwolf Stalker had taken some stray damage points in from different sources, and now a charging Cyclops Brute with enrage and Rush managed to kill the heavy warbeast. Drake and Titan Gladiator came to contest Circle friendly zone, and Shadowhorn Satyr would frenzy for sure next turn.

Hexeris had charged in to finish off Woldwatcher and casts Ashen Veil on himself.

Even if I somehow managed to clear Circle friendly zone again with some Force Bolt pushes, I'd get to three control points only... and then enemy warbeasts would be so deep inside the zone that my scenario game would stop right there and then. So, an assassination it would be.

First Druids of Orboros and Blackclad Wayfarer try to clear some Nihilators in front of Hexeris. Blackclad Wayfarer did a couple damage points in to Hexeris, even.

Next Shifting Stones teleport Bloodweaver Night Witch to the back arc of Hexeris. This was the moment I had been dreaming of for whole tournament and a couple of practice games. Except, that, she had to score a hit against a def 17 target (def 15 in back arc). She dealt three points of damage to herself with her ability to boost attack or damage rolls, so first attack was most likely the only shot she would get. But it hit, and Hexeris got Grievous Wounds in.

Now Cassius needed to finish the job with eleven fury points, four of which were needed for placements.

It took the very last attack Cassius was able to make, but this time he scored the kill.

Game 4:

Last game was against Legion of Everblight, and I chose Morvahna for the job.

Opponent had:

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
- 2x Ravagore
- Zuriel
- Naga Nightlurker
- Nephilim Bolt Thrower
- Shredder

2x Shepherd
2x Strider Deathstalker
Anyssa Ryvaal

Scenario was Recon and Circle started game. First picture is from the end of Circle turn 2.

I'm quite happy that probably for the first time ever I played against Lylyth2 like you should: rush to her with everything you got as fast as you can. And it was nice to see that it was effective. Lylyth had to use her feat on turn two to defend herself and not to assassinate my caster. Damage was impressive, though... Riphorn Satyr has one box of health remaining in the Spirit branch.

Turn 3 Pureblood Warpwolf enters zone and deals crazy damage to objective and Lylyth herself. I think objective took thirteen points and Lylyth twelve (which was transfered to Shredder, though)

Riphorn Satyr runs to engage enemy beasts, Warwolf does the same and actually everything does the same, except for Morvahna who does full feat and has only one hit point remaining afterwards. Blackclad Wayfarer wrecks the objective, and Circle goes to three control points.

Opponent does respectable job again in clearing dirty hippies from the board. Only models that get to contest the zone are a Shepherd, Succubus and... a Ravagore.

Then it's Circle turn. Pureblood Warpwolf is left with two fury points, but it has quite good Threshold anyway. With eight or less I'd most likely win the game relatively easily.

It soothes my pain a little that Pureblood Warpwolf wouldn't have succeeded in the check even if it had to make it with zero fury... eleven was rolled. Blackclad Wayfarer was eaten.

This sucks.

Oh well. Let's see. I needed to keep Shepherd alive so that Morvahna would be able to Ram her to get within reach of Ravagore after being teleported with Shifting Stones.

Succubus would need to be taken down somehow, and I chose Wolves of Orboros for the job. I charged Succubus with three Wolves of Orboros and thanks to not thinking very straight one ended up blocking an easy charge for one Ravager. I wanted to make sure that the Succubus died, so I brought every Wolf there I could. First Wolf killed Succubus, though. Oh well.

Morvahna then got teleported, and she rammed Shepherd dead and started attacking Ravagore. She had healed some damage during enemy turn, but not enough to be completely careless of her own health.

There was one really good damage roll, and a lot of sub-par rolls. Though at least every attack did some damage in. Well, except once she re-rolled one 1,1,1,2. Luckily damage to her was only one.

In the end of the day, Ravagore was alive with three damage boxes remaining. Now... if I would have trusted that two Wolves get the job done with Succubus, Ravagore would have had an easy lane to charge enemy warbeast. Now, Bloodweaver Night Witch tried to kill one Wolf of Orboros out of the way, but still the Ravagore ended up being half an inch away from reach range.

Furyless Morvahna at one hit point in the middle of enemy army.

Well, funnily enough every Legion warbeast frenzied except for the one Morvahna had in melee. But still... even if Morvahna had Def 19 in melee, Lylyth gets to RAT 10 with aiming bonus.

It was so close. So close.

Well, even if Morvahna would have killed the Ravagore, I would have been in fourth place of the tournament. So that moronic Ravager block didn't cost me winning positions.

Still it sucks.

And I even need to keep using the same dice, because their fails weren't so egregious in the latter games of the tournament. Maybe they heard my threats.

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