Hobbit goes to NWGC's Winter Showdown

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Hobbit goes to NWGC's Winter Showdown

Postby BoB » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:33 am

Thought I'd take some time to write-up a one-day tournament I attended yesterday, share some thoughts behind list selection / game choices and the like :) (good for self analysis too)

With plans that fell into place about 3:30 on Saturday, I was on a train by 4:30pm on my way to Stockport to attend a small one-day tournament at the North West Gaming Centre (nice venue that has come on leaps and bounds in the last 18 months). It was a toss-up whether this would be run with the latest Steamroller 2014 beta, or if it'd be a swan song for Steamroller 2013. It was the latter, which I was happy with as the scenarios / scoring are all familiar :)

I had some brainiac ideas on the train up about playing wonky lists to get some tabletime with them, but with Smogcon coming up in February I figured this was as good a time as any to get some table time with my 2 favourite 'casters against some new opponents / factions I don't get to play against at the club. These are the lists I took;

Vayl, Consul of Everblight (Machinations of Shadow Tier 4) (henceforth referred to as Vayl2)
- Angelius
- Angelius
- Angelius
- Ravagore
- Ravagore
- Ravagore
Max Spawning Vessel
Shepherd
Shepherd

Vayl, Disciple of Everblight (Winter Storm Tier 4) (henceforth referred to as Vayl1)
- Ravagore
- Scythean
- Scythean
- Seraph
- Shredder
Max Hex Hunters
- Bayal, Hound of Everblight
Min Hex Hunters
Max Spawning Vessel
Shepherd
Shepherd

If nothing else, both lists are my own creations and I enjoy playing them, so we're guaranteed to have a good time, right :)

Round 1 - Fire Support vs Trollbloods

Based on his faction, my normal plan would be Vayl1 but I took a cursory glance at his lists, he had a half-'beast brick Doomshaper1 list with a smattering of single-wound infantry, and a infantry brick Grissel2 list. Looking at his lists in comparison to mine, there was no way he was playing Doomshaper1 as Vayl2's scathers would play havoc with the infantry and Vayl1's Hex Hunters would slaughter said infantry too. With Grissel2 being a hard nut to crack, I debated trying to push for a scenario win with Vayl2 but deferred to conventional logic and stuck to the plan, smash straight *through* the brick with Vayl1 :D (much more fun, and less of a headache of a game to play :P As expected, my opponent chose Grissel2, and played the following;

Grissel Bloodsong, Marshall of the Kriels
- Slag Troll
- Troll Impaler
- Runebearer
Max Warders
Max Warders
Max Champions + Skaldi
Sons of Bragg
Max Krielstone + Elder
Fell Caller Hero

So, basically, 19 guys with 8 wounds that get up to ARM 23 at times, oh and Tough to boot!

I won the roll off and opted to go first, my opponent stuck with his side of the table leaving me with a couple of obstructions (impassable terrain) pretty much in front of my deployment zone. Given the choice between skirting the scenario (i.e. dominating my flag and throwing stuff under the bus to contest his) or smashing his flag + objective, I opt for the latter if only to dictate the tempo of the game. I set up with my battlegroup pretty much directly opposite the right flag and his objective, with all the Hex Hunters and the Spawning Vessel set up opposite the left flag and my objective. His models don't have a huge volume of attacks, so theory being the Hex Hunters will die mercilessly but it'll take them a long time to all die :lol:.

Wanting to get Grissel's Feat out of the way as soon as possible (her models gain Unyielding = more armour for a turn) I get both Scytheans up the board as fast as possible, using Leash, Slipstream and the theme force's +2 SPD bonus, hoping the fact I'm pretty much sat on the half-way line will make him Feat Turn 1, if he doesn't then the Scytheans can go to town, if he does, I can backtrack and wait it out without conceding any scenario points. Seraph Slipstreams Vayl herself up to get her 2" closer for Incite action next turn, whilst the Hex Hunters mill about on my left and spread out to give me plenty of charge angles next turn. One Scythean gets Leash, and the big Hex Hunter unit gets Chiller.

He responds by starting with Grissel who casts Dash (makes the infantry faster) and dumping nearly all her Fury in the Krielstone vault. Crucially he doesn't Feat, as he starts to run the Champions and Warders up the table I pay attention to where they're being placed trying to work out where I can best put my Scytheans to wreak havoc before pulling back with the Feat. The Krielstone however does pop it's +2 ARM aura.

Passing turn to me, Chiller and Leash are both upkept, definitely go time. Vayl moves up to catch all of the Warders on my right and all of the Champions in the middle within 9" of her, and casts Incite (+2 attack and damage for her battlegroup), and pops Feat (Cat & Mouse, to let me move a bunch of models at the end of the turn). A few of Bayal's Hex Hunters charge into the Warders and Champions on my left, Bayal Shadow Binds Skaldi and hits him for some damage meanwhile the rest largely bounce off the Warders, but crucially they're spreading the Chiller defence debuff around where I need it. Seraph starts strafing a couple of the Warders, killing a pair with boosted damage rolls. First Scythean advances into a clump of 3 Champions, and between Incite and Chiller, kills them spending just 1 Fury (for Slaughterhouse, his animus to deny them Tough rolls). The other Scythean smashes into another Warder and puts him in the dirt for minimal fury expenditure. Spawning Vessel shuffles up behind the Hex Hunters, ready to cook up some new lessers when the Hex Hunters start getting killed off. With the Feat moves I pull both Scytheans as far back to safety as I can, the one on my right nestling tight behind the flag to limit the models that can get into melee with it, Hex Hunters make a nuisance of themselves and I retreat Bayal to safety so he can poke something else next turn. Vayl backs up, but in hindsight she backed up too far (she should have been tighter behind the Scytheans to proc Dark Sentinel during my opponent's turn).

Killing 7 models (3 Champions and 4 Warders) doesn't sound like much, but it's a start, and like anything I figured the best place to start was at the front of the army and work backward :)

He starts his turn by casting Dash, and topping up the Krielstone with Grissel, she feats. Krielstone pops it's +2 ARM aura, and chooses +1 STR with the Elder. The Slag Troll walks up and punches a Hex Hunter that's blocking one of the Warders, and then casts his animus (+2 to melee damage rolls) on the Son of Bragg with 2 swords. The Sons of Bragg charge into my right Scythean, crucially the buffed Son misses his charge attack with snake eyes and despite the Sons Fell-calling for Fervor my Scythean lives. On my left, the Warders charge into my other Scythean and some of the Hex Hunters, the Hex Hunters largely do what they're supposed to in this game (die quickly) whilst the Warders put good damage on the left Scythean, but again crucially, leaving it alive. The 2 remaining Champions and Skaldi go to work on the Hex Hunters and kill some more.

Turn passes to me, I have 2 Scytheans that are nearly down but not anywhere near out of the fight yet, they had a total of maybe 10 boxes left between them but only one aspect out each. Chiller gets upkept, Leash is dropped. Shepherds start by medicating both Scytheans, whilst I could heal them with Vayl's Fury the logic here was that the Seraph and Ravagore won't generate much Fury, whilst both Scytheans are likely to get maxed out on Fury as far as I'm concerned they're dead next turn so I don't need to worry about the Fury on them, so the 2 extra transfers could be needed. Vayl casts Incite and a couple of Tenacity's, and camps 2 transfers. Running the numbers for Warders under Grissel's Feat, they effectively start at ARM 21 under Feat and Krielstone, going up to 23 when I damage one in a unit (Battle Driven), so I start with the Ravagore whose damage output is less than a Scythean. He walks up and punches a Warder in the face, putting him into the dirt. This frees up my left Scythean to shuffle around to catch 2 Warders in his melee range, maxing out on Fury he kills them both off. At this point I begin to wonder if grinding out the attrition was the right decision, but I'm here now, so keep going... the right hand Scythean attacks one of the Warders, unfortunately missing his first attack on snake eyes (unfortunate as I had another Warder and all 3 Sons of Bragg in his melee range, so was hoping for the Chain Attack) but putting him into the dirt with the second initial. With his remaining Fury he kills the last of the right-hand Warder unit, one Son of Bragg and forces Tough checks for the other two, who both pass and are thus Knocked Down. The Spawning Vessel pops out a Stinger which charges one of the Champions, successfully killing him with the charge Poison attack. As a just in case, my Shredder pops Tenacity on Vayl.

In closing my turn, I survey the table, 2 of my heavies are nearly out of the fight, but realistically he's only got a couple of Warders left, a couple of Champions, 2 of the Sons of Bragg, and then his 2 light 'beasts. I have less time on my Deathclock than he does, so I'm fully expecting him to throw models into the flags and try and time me out, must play faster!

Passing turn to my opponent, he then starts eyeing up the angle from his Troll Impaler to my Seraph, who is currently sat in front of Vayl, I concur that if he gets the Crit Smite then it'll slam the Seraph in Vayl's direction and thus knocking her down. Figuring I've pushed him into a corner with attrition, he's looking for a hail mary assassination. The Impaler takes the shot, but doesn't hit nor Crit. Grissel casts Dash, and walks around some models to get closer to Vayl, doesn't get within 8" (the range of her gun) so casts Far Strike (to increase the range to 12"), being unsure if the Seraph was within 0.5" of Vayl (and thus, able to knock Vayl down by hitting the Seraph's lower defence stat) he doesn't risk it and takes the shot directly at Vayl herself. With Snow Wreathed and Tenacity, Vayl was sitting at a tidy DEF 18 and the shot scatters harmlessly on to the Seraph who wasn't even knocked down (Serpentine for the win!). Being pretty much all in at this point, the Sons of Bragg call Reveille (to get themselves up), the one with two swords walks up to Vayl to which I trigger Dark Sentinel and my right hand Scythean smashes him into the ground, the other Son of Bragg misses Vayl.

My opponent calls it there as Grissel is standing just a few inches away from a Scythean and easily in Incite range, out of courtesy I roll out the attacks just in case the Scythean would whiff massively, but with Incite and Chiller... Scytheans don't whiff very often. He puts Grissel into the dirt with Fury to spare.

Round 1 win to me :)

With 14 people in attendance, there was a possibility of 4 games. Remaining games to follow :)

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Re: Hobbit goes to NWGC's Winter Showdown

Postby BoB » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:42 pm

Round 2 - Supply & Demand vs Legion of Everblight

Going into Round 2, I was hoping to dodge the other Troll player who was on one win so far as I didn’t fancy having to grind it out against Trolls again :P Luckily (?!) I was drawn against one of the other two Legion players there. Much like Vayl1 vs Trolls, in general I’d plan to drop Vayl2 against Legion. In broad terms, Legion vs Legion often devolves into a shootout, with whoever has more Ravagores coming out on top in the end. Looking at my opponents lists he has a Kallus list (infantry spam, plus an Archangel), and a Vayl2 theme force (believe it was 3x Angelius / 2x Ravagores, with Hex Hunters in lieu of the 6th heavy).

Started thinking that my Vayl1 list has pretty good threat ranges, so could match Ravagore ranged threat with Scythean melee threat, and Hex Hunters could slaughter the infantry if he played Kallus, but again I decided to stick to the plan and played Vayl2. My opponent (against his better judgement, as he admitted) opted to play Kallus;

Kallus
- Archangel
- Succubus
Max Warspears + UA
Max Swordsmen + UA
Max Legionnaires + UA
Max Spawning Vessel

I was pretty happy with this match-up, once the Archangel is taken out of the equation I can throw Occultation on Vayl2 (to avoid being killed off by Warspear shots / Kallus’ Eruptions) and with careful Scather placement she can avoid being charged by his infantry. Outside the Archangel, it’s only really the Warspears and each of the unit attachments that worried me (as they can charge through Scathers without dying, due to having multiple boxes).

Winning the roll off, I looked at the table and was pretty indifferent about table sides so opted to go first to set the line of engagement that much further up the table to afford me the space to back up as I play Vayl2’s hit-and-run Refuge shenanigans.

I set up with my battlegroup opposite the zone, with left to right deployment being Ravagore / Angel / Ravagore / Angel / Vayl2 / Angel / Ravagore. Pot was milling about on my right, figuring that his Pot would be closer to his infantry than mine, so as long as I got a Shredder out of my Pot (for Tenacity) I’d be pretty happy. The Vessel itself was also a (small) roadblock I could put in front of Vayl herself as my opponent would have little shooting once the Archangel goes down.

He sets up with his Legionnaires to my right, Swordsmen pretty central, and the Archangel slightly to my left, Warspears deploy behind the Archangel as there was a patch of shallow water further left. His Pot sets up behind all the single wound infantry. Warspears Prey my left-most Angel.

Fairly standard Turn 1 for me, Refuge on one Angel, Admonition on the other, Occultation on Vayl herself, camp 2 Fury and charge forward to behind the wall just outside the Killbox. The Prey’ed Angel uses it’s +2 SPD and does a switcheroo with the Angel on my right, both running diagonally forward 18” to just outside the Archangel’s shooting threat range, the 3rd Angel runs up centrally, again outside the Archangel’s shooting threat range. Figuring I could drift some Ravagore AOE’s to stymy his infantry advances I instead opted to run all 3 Ravagores up to be in a better position Turn 2 to put shots into the Archangel if need be, or lay down some aimed Scathers (to generate less Fury, thus I can use the Shepherds to condition the Angels).

My Turn 2 wasn't going to be pretty for him, but he throws everything forwards anyways, figuring anything that survives can make a mess of my 'beasts in charge range. Swordsmen run up straight towards the zone, Legionnaires run up to the left of his objective, and the Archangel advances forward to secure his right side (my left), Warspears run up behind the Swordsmen / Archangel, and the Pot shuffles up behind all the dudes. Kallus puts Ignite on the Swordsmen so they can mangle anything they get to.

Looking at the board, I can get 2 Angels into his Archangel, if I need it 3 Ravagore shots as well. Looking at where his Swordsmen were I suspected he'd be able to get 2-3 into an Angel unless I put Scathers down in the way. Refuge got upkept, Admonition and Occultation were dropped deciding that this would be Feat turn to a) cycle all my upkeeps, and b) put a double Obliteration into the Archangel. Left-hand Ravagore activates first, aims and shoots a Swordsman in front of the Archangel, catching 3 more within the AOE and killing them all, 3" AOE so far that Swordsmen can't charge through. Refuge Angel goes next, charges the Archangel and stabs it for good damage with the Armour Piercing. He then Repulsed one Swordsmen to my right (much to the bewilderment of the people spectating) before taking his Refuge move back towards my left flank. The second Ravagore than aims at the Swordsmen that was Repulsed, easily hitting him and killing him and the two Swordsmen either side of him, making a nice 7" wide wall of Scather next to his objective that the rest of the Swordsmen and Legionnaires were now stuck behind. Spawning Vessel shuffles up and the Acolyths stab each other until the Pot is full, pooping out a Shredder. Said Shredder Tenacity's an Angel, and goes Rabid to position where Vayl needs an arc node. It's go time for Vayl, she aims, easily hits the Shredder with her Oraculus, half kills it with a cranked damage roll, and pops Feat. Icy Grip goes into the Swordsmen to stop them running around the Scathers, double Obliteration with boosted damage goes into the Archangel, she then recasts Occultation on herself for free, Admonition on one of the Ravagores, and Refuge on my right most Angel, ending her activation behind a wall on 1 transfer (I felt pretty safe). The 3rd Ravagore puts a shot into the Archangel for good damage. 2nd Angelius charges the Archangel and kills it with it's Armour Piercing, before killing two Swordsmen with bought attacks to Overtake back into the Scather wall. 3rd Angelius aims and shoots the Swordsmen's Abbot (one less model that can charge through a Scather) and takes its Refuge move to get out of the Legionnaires' charge range.

I think at this point my opponent started to realise how bad it was going to be, but goes at it anyways. Kallus starts by casting Dark Guidance and popping his Feat. The Succubus gets out of the Warspears' way. The Swordsmen Champion charges into the Angelius that was left forward, whiffing the charge attack but landing his 2nd attack for some damage. Warspears activate next and easily mangle the Angelius, killing it with attacks to spare (go Dark Guidance!). Legionnaires take a run order and skirt around his objective, some toeing the zone and all forming up base-to-base for Defensive Line. His Pot poops out a Stinger which goes in and kills my Shredder (largely on principle more than anything else :P).

With Kallus' Feat up, for every model I kill I have to kill an Incubi too, Ravagore shots aren't as useful as the spawning Incubi will be starting in the Scather and thus can charge my 'beasts without hindrance. Refuge and Occultation are both upkept. One Ravagore shot kills a Legionnaire and sets 3 more on fire (didn't bother boosting damage as I wanted them to die to fire not the Ravagore shot, i.e. when Kallus' Feat has expired). Refuge Angel stabs a Warspear easily killing it, he then stabs another Warspear to half kill it. Refuge move takes him to the back edge of my zone. Vayl activates and cycles Refuge on to another Angel, and Admonitions the Angel that just lost Refuge. The new Refuge Angel stabs another Warspear and finishes off the damaged one before taking it's Refuge move to toe the zone on my left. The last 2 Ravagores kill another Warspear, the Swordmen Champion, and all but one Incubi with their shots.

At this point, my opponent is basically down to 1 Warspear + Warspear Chieftain, most of his Legionnaires, 1 Incubi, Kallus and his Succubus. The Pot is largely inconsequential as there wasn't a lot I could do to stop it pooping out Lessers. The Incubi charges into a Ravagore, Combi-Striking to nearly knock out an aspect, the first Warspear Assaults the Admonition Angel who promptly shuffles back out of charge range of the Warspear Chieftain, both Assault shots land for minimal damage. Farilor charges my Spawning Vessel, despite being a Weapon Master he only sticks 4 damage to it, the rest of the Legionnaires shuffle into my zone and pop their Iron Zeal mini-feat (+4 ARM). His Spawning Vessal poops out a Harrier, which charges into my middle Angel but does little damage.

Again, Refuge was upkept. As far as I'm concerned it's pretty much clean up now, and make sure I don't do anything stupid to get Vayl killed. The Ravagore engaged by an Incubi walks out, loses no aspects from the free strike and pops a shot into the Warspear Chieftain, putting him in the dirt (bye bye Prey). Refuge Angel attacks the last Warspear, killing him with the Armour Piercing before buying attack on the Incubi until he has the decency to die. Vayl casts Refuge on herself, advances to my left to be just within 10" range of one of the Legionnaires, boosts to hit him with the Oraculus (to trigger Refuge), casts Admonition on a Ravagore, takes her Refuge move further to my left and then casts Occultation on herself. No transfers, but with Stealth she *should* be safe... Angel charges the Spawning Vessel toeing in the other side, easily killing it with the Armour Piercing, and then Refuge'ing away. 3rd Angel kills the objective but is left swinging in the breeze. One Ravagore punches out the last 2 Legionnaires in the zone, bagging me 2 CP's for this turn (one for controlling the zone and one for the objective).

Down to Legionnaires, Kallus decides to go down swinging, charging into an Angel and a Ravagore, easily killing them both with Flashing Blade attacks (he has no transfer targets, so may as well spend his Fury). Legionnaires put a CMA into my Spawning Vessel but leave it on one box.

Back to me, a Ravagore charges into Kallus, boosts the charge attack and lands it for good damage, boosted 2nd initial misses terribly (go MAT 5!...). Little point in my remaining Angel attacking Kallus as his ARM stat is pretty high with Unyielding. My other Ravagore can't get into Kallus, but he can get into the back of my Ravagore, so he slams him over Kallus, doing a few more damage and importantly, knocking him down (to deny Unyielding). Vayl walks up and a boosted Obliteration puts Kallus into the dirt.

Round 2 win to me. Going into Round 3 we have 3 people on 2 wins, so could still go 4 rounds depending on who out of the pair down match-up wins.

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Re: Hobbit goes to NWGC's Winter Showdown

Postby Khorneflakes » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:39 pm

Nice reports, always nice to see Legion slaughtering Legion :)
For Cygnar and King Leto

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Re: Hobbit goes to NWGC's Winter Showdown

Postby BoB » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:51 pm

Reminds me to write up the last game, cheers Will :P

Anyways, going into Round 3 there were three people on 2 wins, so this round would determine if we played a 4th round or not (if the pair down (the 2 win player that has to play someone on 1 win/1 loss) loses then we stop at 3 rounds). The other two people on 2 wins were a Circle player and a Merc player. I'd have been happy to play either, but was secretly hoping to get the Circle player to see if I could unravel their "anti-Legion tech". Pairings were announced...

Round 3 - Close Quarters vs Circle

Looking at his lists, he had Morvahna2 and Cassius.

I could drop Vayl2 against either, since Morvahna2 was pretty much double Stalker plus all medium-based infantry, which I could go toe-to-toe with Ravagores and Angels, and Morvahna2 doesn't like getting shot in the face. Against Cassius, Vayl2's Ravagores just keep shooting Wurmwood (the tree) till Cassius falls over.

Though, I could drop Vayl1 against either too. Double Scythean would get a brutal RFP (Remove From Play) alpha on Morvahna2's medium-based infantry to basically deny him much of a Feat, and then back up to do it again next turn. Likewise, against Cassius, I can RFP the infantry to deny the tree souls, and I have Hex Hunters to tussle with his infantry.

Deciding that it was too late in the day for finesse, I decided to try and just power through it with Vayl1. I think my opponent decided the threat of massed RFP from Vayl1's list was too much for Morvahna2 and plumped for Cassius;

Cassius the Oathkeeper
- Wurmwood
- Ghetorix
- Feral Warpwolf
- Gorax
Max Bloodtrackers + Nuala
Max Nyss
Shifting Stones + UA
Shifting Stones
Min Bone Grinders
Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Victor Pendrake
Swamp Gobbers

It was when he deployed Pendrake that I realised I'd been a bit remiss when looking at his lists, Pendrake is normally "the tell" when a list is intended for anti-Legion. Beast Lore'ed Trackers can tear up Legion 'beasts a treat if they get in range.

I lost the roll off and my opponent opted to take the side with a wall pretty much on the edge of the Killbox, though to be honest I was happy with this, as soon as the Stones are taken out of the equation Ghetorix and the Feral aren't staying safe from Ravagore shots with their lack of Pathfinder.

Doing what Vayl1 does, I decided the best course of action (as always) was to threaten smashing his flag and sending some token stuff to contest mine so he can't get easy points. Battlegroup sets up pretty much directly opposite his flag. Spawning Vessel and the min Hex Hunter unit sets up opposite my flag. Bayal's Hex Hunters (advance deployed) set up just ahead of my battlegroup, with a wee gap for Vayl1 to activate first and still get her full 6" forward.

My opponent responds with Cassius pretty central, the Nyss to my left to take his flag, Ghetorix and Feral to my right opposite my flag (not overly concerned with their placement, it's a long walk from the wall to my flag). Trackers set up opposite my flag, presumably intent on over-running it (can't be having that). His Trackers Prey Bayal's Hex Hunters (fine by me, with Chiller my Hex Hunters and the Trackers will more or less wipe each other out, and my Hex Hunters are slightly cheaper than his Trackers).

Vayl starts by Slip Stream'ing and Leash'ing the Ravagore forwards, throwing Chiller on Bayal's Hex Hunters and then Tenacity'ing herself just in case. Bayal's Hex Hunters pretty much run full pelt towards his flag, careful to stay outside 8" of the nearest Trackers (to deny them charges and the associated Quick Work attacks, 8" LOS with Vayl1's theme force). Seraph Slip Streams and fake-charges forwards to get Vayl 2" further forward ready for Turn 2. Ravagore moves his full 8" up and is a gnats nut away from getting a direct shot on Wurmwood, shot scatters and sets the tree and a Shifting Stone on fire. Scytheans move up pretty much as fast as they can go, but remaining just within 6" of Vayl (so she can cast Leash / Chiller on them before she moves, if she needs to), both are positioned to be able to smash anything he puts within 4" of his flag. Spawning Vessel and min Hex Hunters run up cautiously and mill about near my flag.

Fire doesn't go out, the few damage taken is transferred to the Gorax. Looking at the board position, I think my opponent realised that I'm setting the line of engagement at his flag, if he goes for my flag then his Trackers get intercepted by half Bayal's Hex Hunters as well as the other unit, and his 'beasts are severely out-threated by Vayls, so he turns to his own flag. Trackers take a run order as they can't charge any of Bayal's Hex Hunters, to spread out just behind his flag, 'clouding' out and generally making the most of Nuala's CMD 9 to spread out. Nyss and kind of penned in by the Trackers, but they run up and mill about. His non-UA Shifting Stones form up just outside his advance deployment zone, whilst the UA Shifting Stones form up around Cassius, Wurmwood, the Feral and Ghetorix. Essentially, if I leave both units of Shifting Stones intact then he can double teleport Ghetorix up into my flag. Realistically, it's not going to happen as Cassius would have to leave the safety of his wall to keep Ghetorix in his control area. Ghetorix warps Hyper Aggressive, and the Feral warps for ARM, and they both stay well out of Vayl's Scythean threat ranges. Pendrake hangs about at the back, in position to give anything Beast Lore should it need it.

Turn passes to me, and in hindsight it was probably one of my most reserved Turn 2's with my Vayl1 list. Chiller gets upkept on Bayal's Hex Hunters, Leash is dropped as the Ravagore is in range of everything now. Looking at targets for said Ravagore I came to the conclusion that if I nuked the unit of Shifting Stones that everything was currently stood in, that'd mean I could ignore the other unit for a turn. Looking at his Stone Keeper UA, he hadn't Stone Formed, so sitting pretty at DEF 14, 9's is pretty easy for a Ravagore to miss, eying up the Stones in the unit one was next to Cassius. Perfect, double dipping on Fire (getting Cassius and Wurmwood on fire) is a surefire way to burn through his health and transfers quickly. The Ravagore activates, pops his animus (continuous fire) and boosts to his the Shifting Stones, boosts damage to kill it, boosted blast damage on Cassius is taken and not transferred. Time to thin out the Trackers so my 'beasts can actually move up safely, Bayal and his Hex Hunters were absolute champs here, missed most of the Battle Wizard attacks, but only one Hex Hunter missed his melee attack (effective MAT 9 with Chiller is a thing). Seraph advances and strafes a couple more 'Trackers. At this point, I can't get my heavies into his heavies, so it's definitely not Feat turn (think this might be a first), so Vayl spams Tenacity on all her heavy 'beasts and shuffles up till she's within 8" of the Tracker that survived the Hex Hunters melee attack and kills her with a boosted damage Oraculus shot. Nestling behind her Seraph, both Scytheans form up either side of the Seraph to block LOS to Vayl from the Nyss / would-be Strangleholds from Cassius etc. Pot Acolytes slaughter each other until there's 3 corpses in the Pot, and spawn a Harrier to kill another 'Tracker before Sprint'ing away. min Hex Hunters shuffle up and take some speculative Hex Bolts at the non-UA Shifting Stones, blowing one up as well. To add insult to injury, the last couple of Trackers failed their CMD check for losing 50%, so they're a non-issue for me next turn :)

I was pretty happy with that turn, I've taken out most of the infantry that threatens my 'beasts, shut down most of the mobility for his 'beasts (he still has Hellmouth shenanigans, but most of the stuff near my 'beasts is Stealth so not easy to take advantage of) and Vayl's pretty safe.

Starting his turn, he ports 2 Shifting Stones into the midst of Bayal's Hex Hunters, Cassius then takes 5 Souls from Wurmwood and double Hellmouths 5 Hex Hunters + Bayal (by targeting the Stones). Cassius cranks the damage on the Shifting Stones and kills both. Hex Hunters pass their CMD check like a boss. The Nyss shuffle up to within 4" of his flag, and take some 2-man CRA's into the remaining Hex Hunters, but fail to land any hits. Ghetorix then takes a charge at my Harrier, easily killing it with his charge attack. His Feral warps for armour, and runs near Ghetorix, to counter-kill anything that goes into Ghetorix. Swamp Gobbers cloud up in front of Cassius, mainly blocking a Scythean's landing spot if I try to kill Cassius.

Looking back at his turn, I was pretty happy that he hadn't Stranglehold'ed any of my heavies, checking Vayls control area I'm pretty sure I can kill Ghetorix with a Scythean and get away outside the Feral's warp-strength charge range, if he warps speed then the Scythean is likely to survive. Chiller is upkept. Hex Hunters activate first, charging into the Nyss but only killing one and generally doing not-much. Obviously not that inspired now Bayal's dead. Seraph tries to Strafe the remaining 3 Nyss on his flag, but only rolls 2 shots. Guess that's the end of that plan then... Vayl casts Slipstream and then advances towards Ghetorix to get within 9" of him, placing the Scythean 2" closer with Slipstream, casts Incite and then cycles Chiller on to the Scythean, and pops her feat (Cat & Mouse, lets me move a model at the end of the turn for every enemy model in her control area). The Spawning Vessel stabs at the min Hex Hunters for a couple of bodies and their brethren to spawn a Stinger (back-up attack in case Scythean doesn't get the job done!). Scythean charges into Ghetorix and kills him with a Fury to spare. With that done, checking Vayl's control area again I'm pretty much certain the Feral will need warp speed to get into the Scythean once he's backed up, so next plan is take away Primal. The Ravagore shoots the Gorax, and the Stinger charges the Gorax, but without Incite they don't do anywhere near enough damage, leaving him pretty healthy. Shredder goes Rabid so he can walk 8", to cast Tenacity on Vayl. The other Scythean just advances, ready to form up a wall around Vayl with the Feat. Using my Feat moves, the Scythean backs up 6" directly away from the Feral, the Seraph Ravagore and Scythean form a small wall around Vayl to again keep her as safe as possible.

Baiting my opponent into throwing Ghetorix forward paid dividends there, he basically traded his 11pt heavy for a 2pt (free, if you count the fact it came from the Pot) Lesser. Still, the Feral can try and even the trade. Nyss kill off a couple more Hex Hunters, the Trackers rally this turn. He then ports one of his Shifting Stones forwards, with some careful measurement of his control area to be just about within 3" of the Scythean that just killed Ghetorix. Due to the angle of the Spawning Vessel itself he wasn't able to pull the Scythean 3" directly towards the Feral with Hellmouth, but he got him a couple inches closer. The Gorax punches the Stinger in the face, easily killing it. My opponent opts not to Primal the Feral (he didn't cast Curse of Shadows on my Scythean either), I ask him what he's warping, he declares strength, checking the charge range the Feral is 9.75" away from my Scythean so fails his charge.

Passing turn to me, Chiller gets upkept, Vayl casts Incite and camps 4 transfers (in my experience, back someone into a corner and they'll pull a hail mary assassination out of their backside, and Cassius has a pretty good one, coming back to that in a moment...). Shredder casts Tenacity on Vayl again for good measure. Scythean smashes the Feral to pieces with Fury to spare. The other Scythean charges into his left-most Gallows Grove that I've not been able to get to till now and easily kills it with his charge attack. Ravagore shoots the Gorax for a little more damage. Spawning Vessel poops out a Stinger that charges the Gorax, and kills it. Cassius is now out of transfer targets, Seraph it's time to shine... Seraph advances directly towards Wurmwood and rolls 3 shots with Strafe, 3 boosted damage Strafe shots into Wurmwood leave Cassius on one box. In my haste to run through my turn, I hadn't cast Dragon Fire on the Seraph with the Ravagore, so unfortunately Cassius wasn't on fire.

Starting his turn, my opponent is down to about 5 minutes on his Deathclock, vs my 10 minutes, so barring spiky dice I should have this. Bantering a bit with one of the tournament scene regulars who was running an adjacent tournament in the same venue, we both know Cassius' best long shot at the moment but twig that my opponent hasn't seen it, as he's on about 2 Nyss shots, an Arcane Bolt from the 2 remaining Pigs, and 5 Strangleholds from Cassius. After a couple minutes, he works out the double Unseen Path to get Cassius into melee with Vayl. Brazen... The remaining 2 Nyss walk out of combat with the Scythean, he kills them both with free strikes thus filling up Wurmwood with Souls (if I didn't kill them, they'd have tried to shoot Vayl). First Bone Grinder walks up to get LOS to Vayl, triggering Dark Sentinel, so the Ravagore punches him in the face, second Bone Grinder gets LOS and misses his Arcane Bolt. As a last act of spite, Pendrake Beast Lores the remaining Tracker, who charges the Stinger that killed the Gorax, and kills it :D Last activation with about 90 seconds left on his clock, Cassius charges my Seraph, before making his charge attack, he casts Unseen Path to place Wurmwood 2" ahead of him, and then casts Unseen Path again to get into melee with Vayl. 7 Fury left, and his initial attack still to make.

MAT 6 POW 12, so 10's to hit at dice -2 for damage. If he goes for boosted attack rolls, he can only equal my number of transfers (i.e. Vayl is guaranteed to survive) so he has to swing unboosted attacks.

First attack... double 5. Lands. Damage roll... 5 & 6, 13 damage. Ouch. Transferred.
Second attack... double 6. Lands. Damage roll... rolls a total of 6, so 8 damage. Vayl takes it.

At this point, I'm basically bricking it, he's got another 6 attacks left to go...

Unfortunatly, the dice aren't kind, and he whiffs the rest :D

Start of my turn, drop Chiller. Leach Fury from 'beasts, walk out of melee with Cassius (free strike misses), cast Incite, throw Oraculus at Cassius and boost damage for the kill :D

At this point I'm pretty shattered from a taxing game, I'm thankful when I look over at the other table with the pair down and the young lady on 2 wins has lost, so my game was the "finals", and thus ends the tournament :)

First place bagged me a nice 1st place medallion that'll take pride of place on my mantlepiece :) Still doing what I can to break the Pigmar curse ;)


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