Archive for May, 2014

Ah yes, another game night at the FLGS in Burbank (Emerald Knights Comics and Games). I missed out on last week due to a familial obligation so I was looking to spread some blight. My friend Shawn was there with his Retribution of Scyrah and our games are always tight, hard fought games and I was expecting no less! Last time Shawn and I faced off I was running Khador and he was playing Issyria in his very first game with her – now he was looking for some payback.

For my part, I wanted to bathe in the filthy water that is Lylyth2 and see what all the hype is about – I have only seen her on the table one other time and that was quite awhile back and I don’t remember much about it.

I used a pretty standard Lylyth2 list:

Lyltyh2
Succubus
2x Ravagores
2x Nephilim Bolt Throwers
Naga Nightlurker
2x Shepherds
Striders with UA
5 Incubi

The basic idea was to watch for an early assassination and if that didn’t present itself to use the withering firepower of her feat turn on 2 in order to get a sizable attrition advantage. The Incubi are in there in order to give me a bit of game as far as contesting zones or perhaps even securing a flag.

Shawn meanwhile was trying out his light jack heavy Vyros2 list (from memory so may be wrong):

Vyros2
Sylys Wyshnallyr
4x Chimeras
Gorgon
Aspis
2 Arcanists
Full Dawnguard Sentinels with UA and Soulless Escort
Eyriss2
Lanyssa Ryssl

He might have had 2 gorgons – when he unpacked he realized he was missing a chimera.

I was also trying out my new gaming mat. It is pretty sweet looking, but its looking kind of like photographs from straight above are not ideal. Let me know what you think. Also, painted models look WAY better on this table than unpainted. More so that usual. Also, I need to build some custom terrain to go with it.

Anyway, enough of that – we set up the table using some flat terrain (we were both there late so much of the actual terrain was taken) and the two big greem circles are actually zones, not forests. But the smaller ones are forests, even though they are the same material. Really it wasn’t as confusing to play as it looked on the table.

Speaking of the big circles, we rolled up Outflank for our scenario.

 

Image

This is the terrain below – the brown cutouts are hills, the smaller green ones are forests. The square grey one is a building. The thin short one is a wall. The rocky outcroppings are just a part of the table and are there to look awesome.

I won the roll to go decide and spent way too long making the decision. Ultimately I decided to go first figuring a run forward would put me into position for an early feat. I think it is the first time I have won the roll and actually decided not to go second so it was an odd thing for me. My turn was really pretty much just running everything forward and setting up for next turn. Lylyth cast shadowpack and advanced slightly to the left to toe onto the hill (he didn’t really have anything that could get to me, but the fundamentals are always good to practice).

 

ImageImage

(No paparazzi! That wasn’t his actual facing, I just wanted to take a picture to see how it would look.)

Shawn’s turn was similarly unexpected. Vyros put up synergy, deflection popped feat, and advanced.

Image

So, feat turn was definitely happening. I had originally planned on trying to kill some of his jacks with my feat, but by popping his feat I didn’t really want to give him any extra movement, but I was in a bit of a bind. He was sitting at armor 22 but had come forward pretty far. I decided to just go for it – it would be a short game either way and people tell their children frightening tales about Lylyth to make them behave, so I figured what the hell. The succubus upkept shadow pack for free and I fondled my 5 stack.

I advanced Lylyth up between the two ravagores to give max coverage and the popped feat. I fired my first shot as a ranging shot and it turned out that he was about 14.5″ away. Hmm, he was on a hill which meant I would need a 12 to stick the pincushion but as a Khador player I know the kind of magic that signs and portents type effects can do. Especially with the bolt throwers having a crit knockdown. I didn’t worry too much about pushing him out of range, the ravagores had easy range and one of the nephs was close enough to aim. Lylyth cast the pincushion on him with a boost and managed to get the 12 I needed. I commented “that might just be the game.” I then used the remaining 2 fury to hand out Dragon’s Fire on the ravagore and the nephalim on my right.

I went with that nephalim since he could aim. I did so and boosted the hit and got the crit knockdown which was tranfered to one of the two shield guard jacks in range. I rolled straight damage and didn’t even take out the forceshield but damage on them is irrelevant anyway. I took his feat shot, got the crit knockdown again and that was shield guarded over to the other jack, knocking it down and setting it on fire.

The other nephalim went next and had to advance, meaning he didn’t have as good a chance of getting the crit. He actually missed the first shot, but got a hit but no crit on the 2nd. I am realizing now that we forgot to do the push but it wouldn’t have mattered since they had the shorter range. I boosted damage on it and rolled something like 16 after dropping the low putting 8 points on him. I had forgotten to move the succubus up to put Dragon’s Fire on him but Shawn said go ahead and let’s say you did (what a gentleman that guy!) Also, I think he probably realized it wouldn’t really matter.

Next up a ravagore aimed and hit and did some damage, and then finished him off with the feat shot, leaving me with a second ravagore, the night lurker, and the striders yet to go and both were going to do fat CRAs into him.

Holy crap. That was seriously legit. Shawn took it in stride, and commented that he shouldn’t have moved so far forward. If he had stayed back even 1 inch I would have lost the pincushion and he might have survived. I think I felt worse about the victory than Shawn did about the loss.

We had time to reset for the game and he was willing, even eager, to play the same matchup I asked if we could do that next time. I was somewhat stunned, and feeling a bit dirty, and figured I would try out Vayl2 if he was down for it, spoiler alert – he was.

Shawn played the same list and again I played a fairly standard list:

Vayl2
2x Angeliuses
Ravagore
Scythean
Shredder
Anyssa Ryvaal
Max Raptors
Shepherd
Strider Deathstalker

We played the same scenario on the same table. I ended up winning the roll again and taking a more comfortable 2nd. I picked the same side and we were off. I put prey on the arcanist on the left side. Shawn’s turn was pretty similar to his other opening though he was a bit more cautious. I put refuge on the angel on the right and admonition on the one on the left (that advanced behind the wall). The raptors got occultation and ran up the extreme left flank.

 

Image

I forgot to take a picture of the next couple of turns. Basically though on his turn, he advanced Eiryss up and she shot admonition off of the angel. Vyros popped feat. The sentinels advanced and minifeated and did several 2 man CRAs into the angels damaging both of them pretty decently. One of his chimeras on the left charged the now admonitionless angel and left it down at three boxes thanks to seriously crap rolls. He also realized too late that he had advanced his sentinels and Eiryss in the way of a chimera on my right that he had planned on finishing the other angel with. I offered to let him move through them as if he had set it up right but he declined saying he should know his own army better than that. He also assigned the aspis over to protect the preyed arcanist. He handed it back over to me and I spent some time in the tank thinking. His feat was up so I didn’t want to kill too many things. There was a single model in the zone on the left and I knew that chimera was out of Vyros’s control area because he didn’t get do any synergy. I could get a control point this turn as long as I didn’t kill much. I started off by advancing the deathstalker within 5″ of Eiryss and taking a shot at her. I got the hit and killed her and did my swift hunter advance to get LOS to Anyssa. He resoponded by advancing a chimera up to engage the deathstalker and the ravogore, stymieing further shooting. The angel on the right advanced and wrecked one that chimera and Vyros advanced into the zone on my right to dominate, but that was the angel with refuge and he moved into the zone to contest. The ravagore advanced and did a double handed throw on that chimera mostly just to knock him down but not kill anything.

I advanced the scythean over and killed the chimera on the left side and freed up the angel, but I didn’t want to give him a chance to get anything else into the zone so everything else pretty much just shifted and I scored a control point.

On my turn I measured to the zone on my left and saw I couldn’t walk into it. I was pretty happy with most things as they were though and dropped 6 fury and ran into the bottom part of the zone.  also shifted the raptors into a zone blocking formation. I killed another couple of lessers and then dominated my zone putting me at 3.

Lanyssa advanced around the building and put hunter’s mark on the angel on the right. The aspis pushed one of the raptors picking up an easy synergy point. A couple of others were earned and then he charged the one on the right with sentinels. One hit the angel but then rolled crap damage (something like a 5 on four dice?) and the other missed. He then sent a chimera in but be couldn’t get both attacks on him so he hit the angel pretty hard, but didn’t quite kill it. He also ran a couple of sentinels into my zone to prevent me from winning.

On his turn I advanced Vayl and cast repulsion and pushed them out of the zone and then ended my turn to dominate and win as the store closed. By the way, this happened to be how I lost to Sam at Kingdomcon – he repulsed me out of the zone and dominated for the win so it was nice to be able to put that lesson into practice. This was about the point that I realized I had forgotten to take pics, so snapped a quick one.

Image

So, that is three games in the books with Legion of Everblight and three wins. I really started enjoying them during that Vayl game. Also talking with Shawn and Ryan after about my winner’s guilt was really helpful for me. I’ll probably do a post on it at some point, but I had some interesting personal epiphanies and any therapy that is predicated on talking about my favorite game is well worth the time spent!

Thanks for reading this far, and as always, feel free to comment or critique!

“Well, I got in my first game playing Legion of Everblight last night.”
“Legion? Isn’t this a Khador site?!?”
 
Wait, let me back up. The fine folks from Table War were at Kingdomcon this year with a very limited number of I was fortunate enough to get one of the very excellent 4×4 mats. I was looking at them with my good friend and enabler Shep who says something along the lines “Hey, that would work for both Khador and Legion of Everblight”, which leads to a conversation that looks something like the following:
 
“I only have Khador.”
“Oh yeah, I have been meaning to talk to you about sending Legion your way…”
I raised my eyebrow skeptically.
“I love my Khador.” 
“But think of the awesome snow-themed terrain you could make.”
I stopped and thought a bit about it.
“How about this, you give me the exact models for 2 lists, one of which must be Thagrosh2 because I love that model, and the other is a logical pairing. We are doing Season 2 of the Scars of Caen league and I will run those two lists exclusively and let you know if I am interested.”
 
Sure enough, he gave me 3 trays of foam and 2 lists which are as follows:
 
Legion of Everblight – Vayl2

Vayl, Consul of Everblight – WB: +6
– Angelius – PC: 9
– Angelius – PC: 9
– Ravagore – PC: 10
– Shredder – PC: 2
– Scythean – PC: 9
Annyssa Ryvaal – PC: 4
Strider Deathstalker – PC: 2
Blighted Nyss Shepherd – PC: 1
Blighted Nyss Raptors – Leader & 4 Grunts: 10

 
Legion of Everblight – Thagrosh2
Thagrosh, the Messiah – WB: +3
– Angelius – PC: 9
– Scythean – PC: 9
– Scythean – PC: 9
– Seraph – PC: 8
– Naga Nightlurker – PC: 5
– Shredder – PC: 2
– Shredder – PC: 2
The Forsaken – PC: 2
The Forsaken – PC: 2
Blackfrost Shard – Sevryn, Rhylyss, and Vysarr: 5
 
The league started up last night, and keeping to my word I packed all my Khador up in the closet (save a few models on the painting table) in order to avoid temptation.
 
Right. So first game with the dragonspawn was against Chris and his Gators. His two lists were Barnabas and Rask. Clearly the Vayl list was right out, since the swamp pits would basically neuter much of the shooting in my list which left me playing Thagrosh2 – which is fitting since he was the big draw to me.
 
Chris’s Bloody Barnabas list looked like:
Minions – Blindwater Congregation – New Army

Bloody Barnabas – WB: +6
– Ironback Spitter – PC: 8
– Bull Snapper – PC: 3
– Blackhide Wrastler – PC: 9
Gatorman Witch Doctor – PC: 3
Thrullg – PC: 3
Totem Hunter – PC: 3
Gatorman Posse – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9
Gatorman Posse – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9
Gatorman Posse – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9

 
That is a lot of gator beef to chew through for my melee stuff but it looked to be fun. For scenario we rolled up Scenario 12 – Fire Support. I won the roll to go first and chose 2nd as I usually do. Chris set up with Barnabas fairly central, with his beasts near him and a veritable wall of gators as far as the eye could see. The totem hunter, witch doctor, and thrullg were sort of on the left side threatening my objective. I set up with the idea that I was just going to worry about the scenario and likely never even get an attack off on Barnabas. I put a scythean on the right flank planning on using him to destroy gators on that flank and then the objective. The Blackfrost Shard deployed over there to support him and a forsaken was around there as well, though the plan was to veer her off toward the center and see if I could get a bit blight blast off if Barnabas ended up camping a ton. 
 
The Totem Hunter put prey on the forsaken on the left. 
 
Barnabas dropped two swamp pits and put iron flesh on the gators on my right, everything else pretty much into swamp pits if they could, and in a line if they couldn’t.  The totem hunter ran forward quite a bit further than I expected it to so I made a slight adjustment to my plan. 
 
My turn I put dragon’s blood on the central scythean, cast slipstream and moved up to within 2” of the seraph and moved it forward 2”. I riled and ran the scythean on the right and most everything else moved forward. I had one shredder put tenacity on Thagrosh.
 
The scythean advanced into the forest on the left and was able to get into range of the totem hunter.  I roll a 5 for the number of shots and take all 4 at the totem hunter, boosting hit and damage as appropriate and kill him off. So I wasn’t actually behind the forest like I thought, I was, instead, on a hill. The forsaken both advance and each fills up 4 fury worth. 
 
The end of the first turn the table looked like this:
 
Image
The second turn Chris dropped iron flesh for some reason. I was actually fairly happy about it as I was a bit worried about getting through them with a scythean that may or may not have been in range to force by the time I got there.
 
He dropped 2 more swamp pits, the spitter moved up and shot at the angelius and got a pretty solid hit on it and knocked out the body. On my left the posse got a run charge order and one of them was in range to get to the seraph with the reach attack and landed a decent hit on him but hit the 6 so the damage was split over 2 systems.  The witch doctor zombified that unit. On the right the gators ran over to claim the flag. 
 
Image
 
I started thinking that with a decent feat turn I could probably claim both flags, so that is what I set about doing. First off I up kept dragon’s blood. The Blackfrost Shard went first Rhylyss cast Kiss of Lyliss on on the posse and got a hit (once more I was glad he had dropped iron flesh). The other two went ahead and both cast an ice bolt on a posse member that was going to be out of melee range and surprisingly the first one killed his target! The second one put a couple of points on a different gator.  The key here was landing harm, I felt that made it not only possible, but likely that the scythean could clear them out and claim the flag which made feat turn a go.
 
I cast slipstream, manifest destiny, popped my feat and then charged the objective across the table to center up and give the best coverage. The astute amongst will notice that I did not heal the angelius’s body. Oops. I had hoped to slipstream the angelius but measured my control area before and saw I would be short so instead moved the shredder from around behind the building. I managed to get everything in control range and measured my control area and was actually lucky enough to give the scythean on the right pretty good coverage. I activated him first and got pretty much perfect rolls thanks to manifest destiny. I just advanced rather than charging and made sure that I had 3 of the gators in reach and LOS. I hit the first and had a pretty much perfect damage roll – I left him on one. This let me finish him off with my 2nd initial and the chain attack actually killed both of the other two gators in range. I didn’t even have to force him.
 
Next up the shredder on my left (the one I slipstreamed) went rabid and charged the gator that was engaging the seraph. I am glad I charged because it ended up being right about 9” away and an advance wouldn’t have gotten him far enough away. The shredder was able to kill the gator but I believe he toughed – it was enough to free up the seraph though, and he flew over to the left and shot the witch doctor and killed him on the 2nd shot. The central scythean charged the zombie gators. I didn’t boost on the initial attack thinking that with manifest destiny up hitting a 7 should be okay. Obviously, mistakes were made. I missed the first attack which meant I didn’t get the chain attack off. I ended up forcing all 4 fury to kill 3 gators, one of whom was knocked down. Oops. Anyway, moving on with the rest of the turn, I figured that Barnabas was going to feat next turn, and while I was out of his threat range (barring rastler throw shenanigans) I didn’t want to risk him getting some gator charges in and killing me so the nightlurker walked up and shot at the gators near the flag and got a crit and killed one. The angel moved around as well and then with feat moves they blocked Barnabas and the war beasts off pretty well so I felt fairly safe – the shredder moved between them just to physically take up more space in case Chris went for the throw assassination. I figured serpentine for guardians here was a good thing. As far as actual attacks, the seraph advanced and killed a gator with its tail (I also learned that they had crit poison, thanks manifest destiny!), the rabid shredder advanced and damaged a gator which the scythean finished off after basing up to the flag. On the right side, the other scythean advanced to base up to the flag and killed the last gator, netting me 2 points.
 
This is late in my turn but before my feat:
Image
 
Chris was a bit concerned to have so many Legion beasts crammed down his gator throat so he went into the tank for a while. This was clearly going to be his feat turn so he lined that up. He was able to get most everything in his control area other than the two members of the Blackfrost Shard and the seraph on the far left (which wouldn’t have mattered thanks to serpentine). Most everything that could get a charge order did and he managed to do quite a bit of damage. He killed the angel and both of the shredders as well as the forsaken on the right side. The dragon’s blooded scythean took a charge from the rastler but some fairly crappy rolls let him survive but be down 2 systems. The naga nightlurker took some damage but survived. I was suddenly very aware of the low model count of this army – which happened to be one of my biggest worries in playing Legion. Fortunately for me, he wasn’t really able to get to the flag on the right which ended up giving me another point although one of his gators was close after a charge into the knocked down Blackfrost Shard member (Sevryn). 
 
Also, looking at these pictures, I think I mixed turns 3 and 4 together in the narrative a bit, I ended up winning on turn 4 rather than 3.
 
Image
 
Going into my turn, I had run fairly hot on fury last turn so even though I didn’t reave anything from my casualties I still had to leave some on the seraph who frenzied and hit the rastler for a few points. The flag on the left was fairly well jammed up and I didn’t expect to be able to clear it, but at the very least I had to kill the rastler just in case I failed to get 2 points. I moved the surviving forsaken along the gator’s back lines (she ran into position the turn before – she couldn’t blight shroud this turn, but I was trying to get Barnabas to countercharge there so I could get Thagrosh into position) which Barnabas did and killed the forsaken. 
 
This opened the space I needed for Thagrosh to fly to the center of the table. The surviving members of the Blackfrost Shard both walked into base to base with the flag and Rhylyss cast Kiss onto the objective, the Scythean walked over to it and killed it with the chain attack giving me the last 2 points.
 
Image
 
Victory for the Legion!
 
After Action Review: 
Well, things went pretty much according to plan. For the most part, I played the hordes stuff right, though Chris was nice enough to let me remember to heal damage after I had ended Thagrosh’s activation.  I definitely should have been more liberal with application of tenacity. I think I only cast it one time the entire game, which is clearly not how it is to be used. 
 
It was a very fun list to play, having lots of big killy monsters was really fun for me, and his feat is great. Anything that gives you extra movement in this game is very powerful. 
 
All in all, I had way more fun than I expected to, so watch this space for some more legion games.
 
Oh yeah, I also won the medal for purists in season 1!
 
Image
 

Hi there, this is going to be a little bit different than most of my battle reports. We were having a discussion on the Privateer Press Forums about what real world military tactical ideas could be brought in game. One of the things I (among others) mentioned was the concept of the OODA loop. There is a lot out there written on this concept and I would encourage you to google it and read up a bit more about it. Let me also stress that this is my own personal way of doing it and how I have adapted it to Warmachine specifically.

Image

Observe – Unfolding circumstance, outside information, unfolding interaction with environment.

Orient – This is where you process it based on your background, heritage, training, etc. 

Decide – This is the plan you come up with based on the information gained via observation and your “native advantages” by faction.

Act – Execute the plan – but be prepared to re-evaluate it based on new information gained.

It is also worth mentioning that as a loop, from both decide and act you go back to observe.

In a nutshell, it is a repeating thing you do to get data, analyze it, decide what to do and then do it. The idea is that you try and do all that quicker than your opponent. Now that we’ve covered them generally, let’s break them down a bit more specifically for as it pertains to Warmachine:

This is what a general pregame OODA might look like:

Observe – What does the table look like? Are there terrain pieces that will hurt your more than your opponent? For the scenario, does one side of the table favor one player? Outside information is something like what faction they are playing and what caster. For instance you probably want to play quite differently vs. a Vayl2 than you do against Deneghra1. Knowing Bane Knights have reach and vengeance should alter your plan on how to deal with them, etc.

Orient – What does your army do well? This is depend on build as well as faction. In Khador, for instance, we have pretty fantastic infantry and many of our lists will try to leverage that. We also tend a bit more toward melee. There are some variances even in faction, but you built your list, you should know what it does well and where it struggles.

Decide – How are you going to win? Ideally you will have a plan for that before you have deployed a single model. Once that is decided you start deploying. Whether you are going first or second would also have an affect on how you deploy. Deploying second allows you to Orient your units against your opponents in order to give favorable match ups. If you are going first, you need to pay particular attention to your own plan and try and guess what your opponent will do (from that outside information thing). 

Act – By now, you should know where you want to deploy give your observations and orientation so execute it. Since most tourney style games (and even many casual games) have some kind of time limit even if it is just the store closing time, it is in your benefit to deploy as quickly as possible. It is actually possible to gain an advantage this early in the game with Death Clock since deployment is on the clock. Don’t rush, but execute your plan swiftly.  As an aside, if you are playing in a timed tourney type environment there is definite value in practicing your deployment by yourself. Come up with some standard deployments by scenario and practice them. The idea isn’t so much to be completely rigid, as to allow you to save some brainpower for later as the game develops.

Okay, so now that we have had a broad overview, as well as a bit more focused Warmachine example, I am going to give a specific example of how I used it in the game I played last night. 

I brought the following Vlad2 list:

Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Champion – WJ: +5
– Drago – PC: 8
Fenris – PC: 5
Koldun Lord – PC: 2
Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2
Man-O-War Drakhun – PC: 4
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire – PC: 4
Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2
Manhunter – PC: 2
Manhunter – PC: 2
Greylord Ternion – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4

Taking a look at this through OODA eyes in Orienting myself to my army I see that I have pretty heavy infantry presence. Given Transference and Vlad2’s feat that is unsurprising. I also skew melee although I do have some decent sprays and the always awesome widowmakers. I am a bit light on the pathfinder although I do have some – enough to keep me from being completely screwed over by terrain but not enough to be nonchalant about it. I do have a high amount of fearless so I can be reasonably sure that my troops will do what I want them to do, and the addition of the high leadership commander makes me feel pretty safe. Vlad2 is fairly resilient – especially if the opponent just tries to pepper him to death as Might of Kings will improve his stat line (as an aside, I did screw up a bit – I thought it would add armor, but it doesn’t – so that was an OODA fail on my part). Hand of Fate will help me deal with higher def, and my feat is just generally a good one for turning man into superman for a turn which has great offensive and defensive potential. Ideally, I will now make my determinations during the game by looking through the lens of the list I am playing.

I wasn’t sure what my opponent was going to play so I had a second list, but I was never actually going to play it (we usually bring 2 lists tourney style, but it is actually a pretty casual meta – it just keeps things easy). Turns out the always excellent Dave Z was my opponent for the night and he brought Ossrum and McBain. He ended up going with Ossrum so we would both have fully painted armies. His list looked like:

General Ossrum – WJ: +5
– Ghordson Earthbreaker – PC: 19
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 3
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist – PC: 2
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile – PC: 2
Thor Steinhammer – PC: 2
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
– Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer – Officer 2
Herne & Jonne – Herne and Jonne: 3
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt – Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4
Horgenhold Forge Guard – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
Tactical Arcanist Corps – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4

Knowing my list – the orientation if you will – I was able to look at his list and already get an idea for what he wanted to do. I have only played against Ossrum once before so wasn’t 100% sure on him (but that is easily remedied by asking opponent for card or looking in War Room), but I was able to draw on outside knowledge of many of his units and filter them through my orientation. I also want to add, that most of us do this somewhat subconsciously anyway but I am going through the process here but feel free to skip the next couple of paragraphs. 

Eyriss can strip upkeeps which means I want to be a bit circumspect with Hand of Fate – I’ll often drop it on the spraying units, but they are too easy of a target for her. I am not too worried about Vlad’s two personal upkeeps because I am probably never going to be shot by her. I just need to make sure and keep that in mind. Gorman is always a threat thanks to black oil – but in this case since I have so many infantry it is less of a threat than normal so I can ignore him a bit more than if, say, I was playing with conquest. Next up Dougal – he was going to be a pain and also incredibly difficult to deal with – I might take a shot at him and will certainly threaten with my eliminators but I pretty much just need to accept that 3-4 round he will be largely untouchable thanks to the earthbreaker. Same with Thor. Speaking of the earth breaker – I haven’t played against it yet, but I know it has pretty legit shooting and with Ossrum giving snipe and speed bonus on feat turn it can come from downtown. Also I know I get neither cover nor elevation adding to my defense. I will need to be careful and maybe camp a bit more than I normally would.

The gun mages offer a different threat – I am not really worried about them with my Iron Fangs, but their ability to ignore stealth and concealment is a big deal for my eliminators and widowmakers – I might need to spend a turn redeploying to get away from them depending on who deploys first. Herne and Jonne all about the blasts and I have to respect that with fire for effect from Ossrum especially for the eliminators. Overall fairly low threat range and with black dragons I am not too worried. Ayanna and Holt are always high priority since Kiss is such a big deal giving that effect +2 pow to all the blasts is something I don’t want to let get out of hand. High priority – but I have much experience dealing with them and eliminators are usually pretty good at that, even with a run to engage. Forge guard hit hard, but widowmakers definitely trump them and since I get to advance deploy across from them, they are going to be my primary widowmaker target. TAC are largely irrelevant defensively in this matchup since I can wind blast the clouds out of the way but I do have to worry about their fire getting on the black dragons. Not too worried though.

Okay so we randomized the scenario and came up with Process of Elimination which is basically two zones each with an objective in the middle. Since the table was setup before we generated the scenario we just put the zones in place. Dave won the roll to go first and chose the side he wanted and I was to go first. With this scenario, that meant that I really wouldn’t be able to score until top of turn 3 since I doubted he would destroy the objective in a zone I was in and then leave it empty. However, since I was going first I got to develop my plan which was basically to contest the one on my left, and use the forest on the one to the right to protect me, I planned on getting Vlad over there to dominate eventually. One other thing to consider here is that this scenario does have killbox which means I will be up a bit closer than I would otherwise like to so I should hold on to a couple more focus than normal. I would also be using that forest as a waypoint for moving Fenris over – the plan was to use him to try and tie up as many gunmages as possible. If they fail an abomination check that is a bonus, but mostly I just want to tie them up back as far as I can. I need to keep the eliminators away from Fenris so I don’t make myself take an abomination check, but the black dragons are fearless as is the drakhun so I can do whatever with them. I plan on using the wrecked building on my left to help my eliminators get into position and the widowmakers will use it for concealment and fall back as the hammer dwarfs approach. I am definitely shooting for a scenario victory in this game, which means I should be able to hold feat back as threat for a bit longer. The black dragons would try and jam the earth breaker and push stuff out of the zone I wanted.

With all of that in mind, this is what the table looked like after deployment (though before redeploy – the widowmakers went into the forest on the left and the manhunters behind the one on the right – the brown things are hills):

Image

So now that I have an overall plan it is time to put it into action. Most of what I do works toward that end for the first two turns (they are kind of mixed together below). The drakhun runs forward the wall, not that it will do much protection, but he blocks some people off, manhunters and fenris move up behind the forest (I made a mistake here, I could have put fenris further over to the side of it than I did, I was overly cautious and it would come back to haunt me – I didn’t realize it at the time, but if I had been more Observant I would have caught it). Vlad put up transference and a Wind Blast as far back as he could – if Ossrum feated and the earth breaker moved forward the full distance it would end up in the template and get -3 rat. I am still not sure if I would have been better off camping those 2 – it is pretty much a judgment call here that I am sure a math junkie could make.

In return Ossrum puts snipe on the earth breaker and fire for effect on herne and jonne. The earth breaker drops some rough terrain templates and doesn’t do much else with shooting. 

Fenris runs around the forest and only manages to engage 1 – as mentioned above, I should have been able to engage 3. He gets knocked off his horse but survives, he then gets black oiled, but that is fine for me. The manhunters run through the woods but the female one is a bit short and gets shot to death for her trouble. 

Vlad gets shot a lot by the earth breaker and is left on 7 wounds and knocked down. I considered feating on turn 2 but then decided to do turn 3 instead since I wouldn’t really get much out of it.

Image

This is his view, it looks cool that is the only reason this is here. I do need to hit those cloaks with a wash at some point.

Image

Turn 3 is time to start putting the initial plan into action. Since the earth breaker is just to the left of center I decide to make a go for the first part of the plan, which is to stick the colossal in place, destroy the objective behind the tree and collect some control points. 

Using OODA I observe that the main threats to me controlling the zone are the things on the right side of the table with a black-oiled fenris. He can advance and engage a lot of things that would rather not be engaged, like a TAC member and a few gun mages. The surviving manhunt kills Jonne and ties up Herne. Also, Ossrum had feated bumping the colossal’s armor up where I had no real chance to do anything. Drago charged and easily killed the objective, and as the only model in the zone controlled it.

 

 

The eliminators continue to be annoying. I make kind of a big mistake here by not dropping the wind blast when I activate Vlad2 and feat but luckily I have a couple of extra focus from taking damage last turn. I shake the knockdown out of habit, which is another sloppy play mistake – it was unnecessary since I was just going to be staying where I was anyway – though in my defense I did consider moving forward to give more love to the manhunter. I still needed to camp on as much as possible so just kept up Transference and dropped everything else.

I handed out 3 feat tokens to IFP and the 4th to the Kovnik. The black dragons charged and ran to surround the colossal and didn’t do much but did get him in a nice position. The IFK ran the full 18 inches to lock stuff in the back and at this point I felt fairly certain I had the game – unfortunately I only had 3 minutes left on my death clock! Dave tried to fight back but he was pretty well locked into place giving me another control point on his turn, which put me at 3. On my turn I just ran Vlad over to the zone and dominated it for the win. 

 

Image

Overall, I ended up getting the win condition I had intended and just had to do minor adjustments throughout. Reviewing the OODA throughout (and admittedly it was more in the front of my mind than usual due to the conversation), really helped me to seal the deal and feel pretty well in control the entire game.

I hope this helped as a way to integrate the idea of OODA and perhaps a slightly different way to think about your games and help you to get more out it.