Last weekend I went on a completely unexpected Warmachine tournament. It was a team tournament, and the team from out city lost a player just a day before the tournament. On Friday 8PM I didn't yet know that I would be going to a tournament 7AM next day.
I also had to make lists in less than twenty minutes. Here's the what I came up with:
Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
- 3x Helldiver
10x Cylena Raefyll Nyss Hunters
10x Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Satyxis Raider Captain
Objective: Effigy of Valor
Witch Coven of Garlghast
6x Bane Thralls & Unit Attachment
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Objective: Arcane Wonder
Looking back now, I would have definitely tweaked the Deathripper out of Asphyxious list. When I was feverishly building his list I didnt remember Vociferon was an arc node already.
First game was against Legion of Everblight. I took my Asphyxious list and opponent had something like this:
Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight
2x Maximum unit of Warspears + Chieftain
Maximum unit of Nyss Raptors
Maximum unit of Spawning Vessel
Warmonger War Chief
Scenario was Recon. Both Ogrun units made Satyxis their Prey target. I took one of the Ogrun units as Nightmare's prey.
Blightbringer and a couple of Warspears shoot movement and one claw away from Nightmare. Meh. I decide to make at least some use out of the warjack and walk it to beat two Warspears that came within walking distance.
Satyxis Raiders take Desperate Pace and charge deep within enemy lines in an attempt to tie up as many enemy models with Ashen Veil as possible. I expected casualties, so Sea Witch used Power Swell.
Now... there was a particular reason I took Effigy of Valor with this list. The reason was that I don't trust CMD 9 the least. However... I was so excited over my threat range that I forgot to keep one Satyxis within 4" of my objective. I had to take two Terror checks, as I had also tied up the Warmonger War Chief.
well. I didn't have to stress over two checks, as the first one failed right away. I laughed and I smiled, but it was a bitter laugh and a bitter smile. They managed to regroup right away, though.
I needed to make some moves now or Satyxis would just be killed for no use at all. My move was to enter middle zone with Asphyxious and use his feat. He was camping at Arm 23, if memory serves.
One of the Helldivers stayed above ground to block attacks opponent would be able to make against Asphyxious.
Satyxis survived well enough, considering the vast amount of attacks they were soaked in. But they received enough casualties to call for a Massive Casualties check. Which... how could it be otherwise? ... failed. Nothing attacked Asphyxious.
Next turn Asphyxious had ten or eleven focus points. Two or three came from the feat, and one from Vociferon who had collected the soul of an ogrun.
I had big plans of starting to dominate this turn. Nightmare killed a Warspear close to it, giving more souls for Vociferon. Stalker charged a Warspear and killed it. Then it was Asphyxious, who charged objective. Damage roll was laughable. He bought extra attack against a damaged Warspear nearby. Attack missed. Oh wait, Asphyxiosu has Puppet Master on him! Let's re-roll the one, and keep the four! Attack is still miss. He bought one more, and finally killed the Warspear, and cast Ashen Veil on himself with Blood Boon. Asphyxious had Def 17 in melee against all enemy attacks and Arm 25.
All but one Satyxis Raiders die next turn. Warspears clearly took some advice on how to roll attack rolls from Asphyxious. Four Warspears kill the Stalker. First successful hit destroyed movement system, so it wasn't exactly a hard thing to do.
Next turn Asphyxious finally dominates three points. This time cover-ignoring Nyss Hunters and two Dark Fires from Maelovus and Admonia failed to kill one Warspear that was contesting middle zone in behind the Stalker wreck. Third Helldiver and what was left of Nightmare killed one Warspear on the right, but there were two in the zone. All depended on P+S 9 Satyxis Raider Captain now. Oh, the lone survivor from Satyxis Raider unit had ran as far away from action as possible so that Warspears wouldn't change their Prey target to Asphyxious.
Did Raider pass a command check and score a kill with dice minus seven? Yes she does!
It's a shame that there was one Warspear behind the Stalker wreck. Asphyxious had to go there, kill that ogrun and kill the objective. If that guy had died, I would've moved Asphyxious to the right to block Blightbringer from entering the zone.
Asphyxious survives yet another turn right in the middle of whole damn enemy army. Nightmare is gone, all the Helldivers are gone, Satyxis Raider is gone and there's tons of ogruns and raptors and gargantuans in the middle zone. So...
So Asphyxious kills an ogrun in front of himself with a spell, casts Mobility and charges one Raptor close to the flag on the left and dominates a point from there. What was left of Nyss Hunters tried to go and block enemy army from charging Asphyxious.
This time Asphyxious had only Arm 18 and Ashen Veil, but still managed to survive somehow. I have only Deathripper, Admonia, Maelovus and Asphyxious on board. And one Satyxis Raider in the farthest corner of the bord. Shredder from Spawning Vessel and two Raptors are contesting the flag.
I make a cunning plan of killing Shredder with Deathripper, then killing one of the Raptors in melee with Asphyxious and casting an offensive spell at the other Raptor with Blood Boon, or if Raptor B was too far away to be within reach, kill A with boosted Bone Shaker and hopefully kill B with Raptor A or an unboosted Bone Shaker.
Well. Deathripper does something like four damage points in to the Shredder, and Asphyxious misses Bone Shakers entirely.
Opponent ran out of clock next, so it was a bit of a hollow victory. However, winning with deathclock didn't feel as bad as it usually does because my dice rolling had been so terrible in some crucial points in the game. True, I can only blame myself for the failure of Terror check by Satyxis, but looking at general bell curves I'm fairly sure Cmd 9 shouldn't fail over fifty percent of the time on Satyxis Raiders and Black Ogruns.
Still it was an exciting game. It's not often you spend three turns with your warcaster within charge distance of pretty much whole enemy army, plus one extra turn lethally close anyway - and survive.
Second game was a Cryx vs Cryx. Opponent had all sorts of soul collecting shenanigans, so I took Witch Coven list that had far less living models in it.
I can't figure out the entirety of enemy list, but it was something like:
Lich Lord Terminus
Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
2x Minimum or maximum or some kind of units of Bile Thralls
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
Scenario was Incursion, and Terminus started game by casting Malediction on himself and running forward with everything.
Soulhunters and Darragh Wrathe took care of the flag on the right so that I started scoring points from it right from the start. Kraken did fine job in destroying one of Reaper's arms with just one shot. That was about the end of my luck, however. Well, I had been a little too greedy, too. I had been too sure that skill 7, POW 10 Warwitch Siren would be able to take down a Def 10, Arm 13 Bile Thrall. She did score a hit, but damage roll wasn't enough to get through armour.
Well. At least Bile Thrall had corrosion now, that ought to at least stop it in its tracks if it manages to pass Tough roll. Obviously the corrosion expired. Now Bile Thrall was just able to come and Purge over one the Witch Coven members. I had wanted to spread Nightfall as far as possible, and it did screw up most other attacks except those from Bile Thralls. Now it was a dead witch on 8+. Damage roll was seven. So on my next turn it was a dead witch on 3+.
Fortunately opponent's bile was just as ineffective as mine had been - the corrosion expired. But this got me all kinds of scared. I had also lost Skarlock and Warwitch in the very same Purge. There were enough Bane Thralls and, well, Terminus in the middle, so I might lose Kraken next turn. If I lost Kraken, nothing would damage Terminus. So, Witches loaded up Kraken and cast Infernal Machine on it. Veil of Mists allowed for passage through three Bane Thralls, and 4" chain strike range brought Terminus easily within charge range. Witches also cast Curse of Shadows on Terminus, who had six focus points to overboost powerfield.
So, Terminus had Arm 22, and Kraken had MAT 8 and P+S 18. Attacks would hit on 6+. I figured that I'd have best chances if I'd take two damage boosted attacks from initials against Terminus, and buy one extra nonboosted attack. But that 6+ has been so elusive lately. Charge attack misses. Second initial attack hits and I boost the damage. Total damage with one boosted and one regular attack was nine or something. But Terminus was still standing.
Next enemy Admonia disbinds Curse of Shadows and Infernal Machine. Witches are quite lucky and survive a few charges by Bane Thralls. Terminus then charges Egregore and Kraken gets to make a free strike. I was excited when the attack hit and scored high damage. But not enough, not today. Terminus arrived to Egregore with two hit boxes remaining. I don't think I have to say anything more. Terminus with six focus points next to Egregore with none.
Last game was against Retribution, and what a game it was... an experience, yes.
Scenario was Close Quarters, which meant a Killbox. Opponent had Ravyn and Issyria as the list pair. Issyria didn't actually have a lot of shooting in it, so I was really considering that I'd choose Witch Coven for this game. It was the killbox that eventually made me go Asphyxious. Game was against Ravyn tier list, and damn it. I should have chosen Witch Coven regardless. Their list had at least a little bit of stealth. Soulhunters with Occultation could have been a thing here.
Ravyn list was:
2x Maximum units of Mage Hunter Strike Force + Officer
Maximum unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force + Eiryss
2x Stormfall Archers
Fane Knight Skeryth Issyen
At least Cryx got to start despite +1 from theme force bonuses.
I tried to rush Satyxis Raiders with Ashen Veil to tie up enemy front line. I should have rushed whole army front then, though. After all, who was I going to shoot with Nyss Hunters? Satyxis Raiders, perhaps Stalker and Helldivers were what kept me in the game for a little while. Opponent got so scared of the Helldivers that he gave me two control points by moving Ravyn out of killbox. Once he realised that Helldivers were so far away from Asphyxious that I wouldn't really be able to allocate focus for them, Ravyn came forward and by then my army was already pretty much decimated. Most 8+ attacks the Mage Hunter Strike Force had to score against Satyxis did hit home, and on top of that Satyxis even failed their command check.
That's three failed command checks by Satyxis in two games.
As a futile final gesture Asphyxious charged forward to kill some Mage Hunters. He cast Ashen Veil on himself with the Blood Boon.
Then Banshee shot Asphyxious knocked down and Skeryth finalised him.
Brutal game. Ravyn definitely seems like one of those warcasters that you need to play more often to know how you're supposed to play against her. There is no time for hesitation that I showed in this match.