Posts Tagged ‘batrep’

So, Haihastur over on the Legion forums has been singing the gospel about the Fallen Angels tier list for a while, even doing some battle reports and honestly, it looked like a blast to play. I broke down and picked up the three models I needed to complete it (Sorceress and Hellion, a second Protector, and a Bloodseer) – honestly, I was going to get a Bloodseer eventually, so only two of them were a leap of faith and his bat reps convinced. Sure, I could have proxied, but that’s not really how I roll.

Anyway, I ended up running a list that was fairly close to what he recommended – I swapped out the Seraph for a pair of Blight Wasp units because I want to get a bit of table time with them and it seemed kind of fun. I usually cut the theme stuff out but I decided to leave it in since it is a fairly uncommon theme force. Also, I will be doing a blog on theme forces in general, since they are the topic of much controversy in the community right now, and I have been (surprise) opinion on the matter that I have not been shy about sharing.

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight – WB: +5
– Zuriel – PC: 10
– Angelius – PC: 9
– Angelius – PC: 9
– Nephilim Protector – PC: 5
– Nephilim Protector – PC: 5
– Nephilim Bloodseer – PC: 0
– Harrier – PC: 2
– Blight Wasps – PC: 4
– Blight Wasps – PC: 4

Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion – PC: 4
Blighted Nyss Shepherd – PC: 1
Blighted Nyss Shepherd – PC: 1
Spell Martyrs – PC: 1

THEME: Fallen Angels – Tier 4

WARBEASTS
Non-character Legion warbeasts with Flight, Nephilim warbeasts

UNITS
Legion units with Flight

SOLOS
Blighted Nyss Shepherd, Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion, Spell Martyr

BATTLE ENGINES
None

TIER 1
—Requirements—
The army can only include the models listed above.
—Benefits—
Spell Martyr solos gain Advance Deployment.

TIER 2
—Requirements—
The army includes one or more Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion solos.
—Benefits—
You gain +1 on your starting roll for the game.

TIER 3
—Requirements—
Saeryn’s battlegroup includes two or more heavy warbeasts with Flight.
—Benefits—
Your deployment zone is extended 2″ forward.

TIER 4 – SELECTED
—Requirements—
Saeryn’s battlegroup includes three or more Nephilim warbeasts.
—Benefits—
Add one non-character Nephilim warbeast to the army free of cost.

I told Mikey I would be bringing a new Saeryn list (I’d literally only played Saeryn once before – honestly I found her kind of boring in the typical way she is usually played). She is undeniably powerful, but just not that interesting to me. I suppose I suffer from Special Unique Snowflake Syndrome as the Chain Attack guys say. I know that Saeryn gives Skorne the same shivers that Molik Karn in general gives me. I think he might have overbuilt for the feat but that will come later.

His list was an interesting looking theme list I had never seen before that has a really cool name:

Archdomina Makeda – WB: +5
– Basilisk Krea – PC: 4
– Cyclops Brute – PC: 5
– Molik Karn – PC: 11
– Titan Gladiator – PC: 8

Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 3
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer – Tyrant and Standard: 3
Cataphract Cetrati – Leader & 5 Grunts: 11
Venator Reivers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
– Venator Reiver Officer & Standard – PC: 0
Venator Reivers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5

THEME: Army of the Western Reaches – Tier 4

WARBEASTS
Skorne non-character warbeast, Molik Karn

UNITS
Cataphract Cetrati, Paingiver Beast Handlers, Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer, Praetorian units, Venator units

SOLOS
Cataphract solos, Praetorian solos, Saxon Orrik

BATTLE ENGINES
None

TIER 1
—Requirements—
The army can only include the models listed above.
—Benefits—
Praetorian Swordsmen and Venator Reiver units become FA U.

TIER 2
—Requirements—
The army includes two or more Venator Reiver units.
—Benefits—
Add an attachment to one Venator Reiver unit free of cost. This attachment does not count towards FA restrictions.

TIER 3
—Requirements—
The army includes one or more Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer units.
—Benefits—
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer and Cataphract units in the army gain Advance Move. (Before the start of the game but after both players have deployed, a model with Advance Move can make a full advance.)

TIER 4 – SELECTED
—Requirements—
Makeda’s battlegroup includes two or more Cyclops warbeasts.
—Benefits—
Your deployment zone is extended 2″ forward.

So between the two of us, we were 4″ closer together than normal! That plus Makeda having access to Savagery and Rush made Breathstealer seem a lot less sexy, especially with an advance move on the Tycom and and Cetrati. The crippling speed advantage I’d expected was certainly snatched away, but it did seem to split the Army of the Western Reaches into a couple of different armies, so I thought I might be able to use that to my advantage. On to the deployment picture (well, after I moved the Sorceress and then remembered to take it).

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I won the roll to go first, obviously. I didn’t have a solid plan since this was the first time playing this list. It evolved once I got a feel for it, and I should have planned on dominating my own flag early since that is what it became. I ran the martyr over, considering putting Breathstealer on the Cetrati but with Press Forward and Savagery it seemed kind of moot. Instead I decided to hellfire the TyComm to try and get rid of him because I hate that guy so much. Also, in my head I confused Road to War and Savagery and thought that everything in Makeda’s control would get the advance rather than it being an upkeep so kept most things back. Running the Sorceress up was a huge mistake, but I was mad with speed. That is my excuse. Everything else advanced very little because of the mistake with Savagery and just shifted slightly to the right. Saeryn cast Predator’s instinct to give me the option to boost to hit as well with the Hellfire but ultimately I think I just boosted hit and damage, but only rolled an 8 for damage and left the TyComm alive.

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The Cetrati got Savagery (oohhhhh right, upkeep), Makeda got Defender’s ward and then advanced up behind the wall ready to dominate her own flag (much better scenario awareness than I had), the Reiver’s burned the mini feat and killed a couple of wasps in the forest. The Cetrati were pressed forward by the TyComm then went into shield wall and advanced. The harrier was a bit further than Mike thought and he was only able to get a single Cetrati on him (I thought he was going to be out, so we both made an error there). He hit and knocked out the body and did some damage to the mind spiral as well. The Krea used its animus and the Reivers formed up in a circle around it. The Gladiator and Molik both also took up position behind the wall and the Brute stood next to it with the Paingiver Beasthandlers set up behind them ready to hand out some pain to some beasts.

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At this point I remembered why I brought the Sorceress on Hellion was for the free charges as well as the no shooting so promptly fell her back and summoned up some might winds. The two surviving Blight Wasps on the left side got a run/charge order and ran to engage a few of the Reivers on the hill. The close Angelius is in position to benefit from Aerial Coordination and charges the 2nd Cetrati in and boosts the thrust attack, killing him and overtaking an inch to right. It then buys an attack on the one of the others still in shield wall and kills it as well with a forced boost for damage and overtakes once more and uses its animus to push the remaining Cetrati out of shield wall. The other Angelius, unfortunately, cannot benefit from Aerial Coordination thanks to my poor initial play with the Sorceress. It moves over and thanks to the shield wall being broken is able to kill only a single and with snake eyes for damage leaves one alive hugging the flag and engaging the Harrier.  Zuriel advances and sprays twice killing the cetrati who was out of shield wall. The Harrier shifts around the Cetrati (I forget to take the attack because I am so excited at what is coming next. The Bloodseer uses the Harrier’s True Strike animus and Slams the surviving back line Cetrati in direction of the TyComm and I get a 4 for the roll which is far enough for him to hit as well as one of the Reivers which opens up a nice hole for the Blight Wasps! The Slam Damage is enough to kill wounded TyComm thanks to box cars (which I guess makes up for the double 1s the angel rolled earlier) and I boost the damage on the slammed model on top of the additional die for hitting a model the same size killing him as well. The Reiver is also killed. Not to mention just flying over your own models and auto-hitting with a slam is kind of the epitome of the Legion play style.  “Rules? Where we’re going we don’t need rules!” This also happened to leave the Cetrati hugging the flag as the last member of his unit so he was field promoted so he got to work strapping on that big Skorne flag.

Speaking of which, the Blight Wasps got a run/charge order, flew over a whole mess of models, including the Cetrati strapping on the flag who was unable to make attacks since he was busy. They made sure to avoid the Reivers who could take free strikes and set up to take free strikes on the Krea if he moved away as best they could and be really well placed for the impending Blight Bringer. The Protectors moved into position, Saeryn advanced and I realized I totally should have planned to get points on my opponents turn (not that it would have mattered because of the double ones) but still, and cast Blight Bringer on one of the Wasps and killed all but 1 of the Reivers and did a bit of damage to the Krea but didn’t boost (though I should have). I probably didn’t need to feat this turn but I went ahead and called down a spirit of Foreboding this turn anyway just to keep Molik Karn honest. The Shepherds advanced and pulled off fury from places where they could, leaving enough for Saeryn to get up to full and the only beast to have any was the Angelius engaging the Cetrati was left at full because I didn’t really care if he frenzied. All in all I was pretty happy with the turn.

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There wasn’t a whole lot that Mikey could do this turn but he set about doing what he could. Molik got Savagery and advanced and killed the Sorceress and then backed up, the Gladiator rushed himself and charged the Blight Wasps trying to clear them off. He ended up going up to full fury to kill one of them off, but it was very squashed. The three Reivers who were engaged failed to kill it – that Def12 but -1 to attack rolls from Annoyance was coming up more than expected in this particular part of the table. The ones not engaged shot at Zuriel in a pair of CRAs and did minimal damage. The Krea risked the free strikes and suffered some pretty horrendous welts for the trouble. Crit Poison on living models won’t come up often, but a free strike crit poison against a living light is kinda sweet. I took out his mind, but with a boost he still managed to hit Zuriel with Spiritual Paralysis dropping his Def and preventing him from running or charging. The Krea then activated her animus. The Brute put Safeguard on Makeda to prevent any flying auto-hitting slams. Makeda advanced, used her frightening will to command her forces not to die (Walking Death Feat) and dominated her flag and went up 1-0.

IMG_2199Oh right, scenario! The rest of the writeup won’t be near as long because I didn’t take many more pictures, the store was going to be closing soon, and the game was decided soon, so don’t worry, persevere! This turn, the Angelius actually didn’t frenzy, passing it’s threshold easily. The Shepherd advanced, cleared off the 4 fury, the Angelius thrusted and boosted both to hit and damage to make sure he died and overtook to change facing and get in a slightly better position. The Harrier, body still out, used its animus and then charged the TyComm’s standard and killed it on a 2d6 roll and sprinted to a good position for the Bloodseer to use its animus again if I wanted. Instead the Bloodseer decided to use Overwhelm on the Blight Wasps. The other Angelius moved and then shot the closest Beasthandler and killed it. The Blight Wasps charged the rest of the unit and killed 2 or 3 more overwhelming into them. Unfortunately for me, Mikey’s plan of shooting Zuriel was a good one and I was unable to run him to get LOS/Range to finish them off with Arced spells without being engaged by the Brute. Also, my Protector placement was lousy or I would have been able to shield guard. Oh well, my shield guard placement was much better this turn. Zuriel moved and sprayed and killed off the Krea and set the Brute on fire, just missing Makeda. One of the Protectors charged in and killed a couple of Reivers. I knew they would be back, but at least they couldn’t move. Also since the UA wasn’t dedeadath their placement was fairly limited. Saeryn put Blight Bringer up and killed a couple more and did some damage to Makeda which was transferred to the Gladiator. I went ahead and boosted that damage. At the end of my turn I dominated and it went to 1-1. This is also the last picture.

IMG_2200Mikey replaced the lost troops and set to work. He up kept Savagery on Molik and finished off the last Blight Wasp on the left with the Gladiator after way more work than it should have taken. Next Molik advanced over to the Protector and starting beating on it. It ended up taking all of his fury but he finally killed it. Makeda moved back over and started killing wasps and then when she got down to 4 fury she spent 2 to cast fate walker and she walked back to the flag to dominate again. Her armor was pretty high thanks to Blood Fury and Defensive Ward. The revived Reivers aimed, and the rest of the unit moved as best they could avoiding the Blight and put two big CRAs into Zuriel (two of them I think were out of range?) The first one was shield guarded by the protector and he took 12 or so and the 2nd one only did 3. The Brute put Safeguard on her again. The Beasthandlers finished off the remaining Blight Wasps and got fury to manageable level and then the turn ended and we went to 2-2.

My turn I was able to leach everything back up to full. Mikey saw me setting up to send another Nephilim in as well as setting up my defense and conceded realizing that I was going to be scoring on both of our turns and he was only going to score on his and there wasn’t anything he could do about it. The amazing thing to me is that was EXACTLY what Haihastur on the blogs said many of his games ended as. I’ve never actually had that happen and Mikey isn’t a forum goer at all. It was kind of crazy.

After Action Review:

I made some pretty big mistakes both in deployment and play, but once I started to move the pieces it was fairly intuitive for me. I pretty much threw away the sorceress and I can see how that was a big mistake. She is very useful in this list – free charges are HUGE for the lights and even for the Angels. Aside from their thrusts they are pretty pillow-fisted (pillow-tailed?)

Saeryn is our control caster, there is no denying it, but in the past I haven’t had a lot of fun playing her. This list was a blast. Almost everything flies and that is incredibly powerful and dynamic. It’s hard to understand until you just start ignoring your own stuff for almost everything. In Legion we’re used to ignoring rules and this lets us ignore even more, so what’s not to love? We get to ignore other models for moving, and for LOS for charges (but not slams).

I know that the Skorne list was not conventional at all, so it wasn’t the best “test” but this was also my first time every playing this list, my first time every playing many of the models in it so I’m okay with it. The amount of control it has is unreal and until you get it on the table it’s hard to believe. As is it’s resilience. I think I might have forgotten to mention it above because I can’t remember exactly but there was another pretty big CRA that happened from the Reivers on Zuriel and it was nice just to say, nah, I think I’ll just take it here instead. Also, I was amazed at how resilient the one that charged in to contest the flag was. It took Molik Karn’s full fury to get rid of him. I think the amount of effort was ultimately why Mikey conceded, seeing that I still had a nearly full Zuriel, a completely full Bloodseer, two full Angels, and half a Protector, he just didn’t see how he could stop me from contesting, especially when everything could fly. Ultimately I could just take free strikes and toe a zone somewhere.

Anyway, it was a REALLY fun list to play. Very unconventional, very resilient. It felt like I was playing with a rapier and dagger where even my defense was stabby little offense if that makes sense. I highly recommend you give it a shot.

My deepest gratitude to Haihastur for championing this so hard and taking the time to do the battle reports, were it not for your effort I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to pick up the extra pieces necessary and taken the chance with some of my (prior) least enjoyable models.

Je vous remercie beaucoup mon ami! (If the French is wrong, blame Google!)

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This was my first game with Bethayne and was one of, if not the first for Dave with Skarre so we were both expecting some ugliness but looking forward to it. This also was our first with the new SR2015 scenario Recon.

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The table ended up looking like this, with the flat piece next to the zone to the left from my facing being a hill, and the entire piece of terrain to the right that was a part of the Butcher3 Gencon release being considered impassable. Dave won the roll and chose his table side, giving me first turn. I deployed as in the picture above. My main plan going in was to use the ravagores to funnel single wound infantry where possible, to try and avoid the huge chunk of impassable terrain since his soul hunters had the definite advantage there – I’d try and kill them as soon as possible since they out-threated me – and camp out in Belphagor for much of the game to increase survivability. I’d pop out of Belphagor, use his animus and move back in to essentially be safe from non-reach models, and use my feat to try and kill off the reach ones and try and grind out a win. That was the initial broad strokes plan for a win anyway.

Oh yeah, the lists. I brought effigy of valor objective because failing command checks with hex hunters sucks.

Bethayne, Voice of Everblight
– Succubus
– Ravagore
– Ravagore
– Raek
Spell Martyrs
Spell Martyrs
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Blackfrost Shard –
Strider Blightblades
Blighted Nyss Hex Hunters
Spawning Vessel
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew

And Dave’s Skarre list from memory (so there might be an error in here somewhere) was and I think his objective had impervious flesh (is that armory?):

Pirate Queen Skarre
– Skarlock Thrall
– Deathripper
– Helldiver
Bane Lord Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Pistol Wraith
Scrap Thralls
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Necrotech
– Scrap Thrall
Bane Knights
Bane Thralls
– Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
Soulhunters
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls

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Dave’s deployment looked like the above. Although this Bethayne list has quite a few more models than I am used to running with Legion (feels a bit more like Khador and is more comfortable for it) I was still looking at a whole lot of models across the table. It looked even more like Khador since when I unpacked I realized I had forgotten my magic using model tray so had neither Blackfrost Shard nor Hex Hunters, so Dave kindly let me proxy in Kayazy as Hex Hunters and Great Bears as the Shard.

For my turn 1 there wasn’t a whole lot of point in putting up either carnivore or ashen veil since there wasn’t much in the way of shooting or living in his army. I wanted to grab as much table as I could early and conserve as much clock as I could after my deployment fiasco in realizing I didn’t have the models I needed. I also forgot to run a spell martyr on the left the full distance, and that would come back to haunt me.

 

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The cryx turn was pretty similar with most things running forward. The skarlock only advanced and ritually sacrificed something insignificant for skarre. Darragh Wrathe moved over in order to provide his Death Ride buff for the Soulhunters increasing their threat from fast to insane, and moved them into the trees to set up for the next turn, and jammed two of them way down my throat so I had to deal with him.

 

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Turn 2 I ended going into the thinktank for a lot longer than I should. I didn’t want to feat this turn because the Hex Hunters weren’t quite in range to hit much of anything – I think realistically only the front 3-4 would have benefited from it, and those would likely have been killing the same ones that Bethayne could have killed with the spell martyr on the left that I forgot to run last turn. I was still seriously considering it though, so I decided to keep the blightblades off the table so they wouldn’t suffer from any eruption of spines, and Dave, having faced them before didn’t leave me any really good targets for them to ambush toward.

I also had to deal with those soulhunters on the right or they were going to cause me a great deal of heartache. I wasn’t too worried about the banes of either variety – even with death ride, they were still a turn out, but with Skarre’s feat, the soulhunters could do some damage, and my stuff is fragile enough that the banes wouldn’t need to the feat to do enough damage to wipe me out. It was quite the pickle. Ultimately I felt that I could hold off on the feat one more turn, the shard only needed a 7 to hit the soulhunters, I’d hit them with Kiss of Lylyss, put harm on there, the Raek could jump in, with harm up, kill one, possible damage the other if I was lucky, the ravagore could kill the second, I’d survive 3 with the raeks defense, the other ravagore could maybe set Skarre on fire and keep her back while she burned, and that would eat up some of her rit sac focus and then next turn I could really start the attrition battle in earnest. The ravagore did, indeed, set Skarre on fire and did a couple of points but nothing major.

First ice cage comes up a 6. Second ice cage, another 6. Fine, I guess we just raw dog the Kiss. Final one comes up a 6. Damn. The fates were saying I should have feated I guess. The raek charges over, says don’t worry boss, I got this. Boosts the hit with the non reach attack, one shots the soul hunter, hits with the reach attack, buys a second reach attack, no boost, gets the 8 to hit and does enough damage to kill the second one. The ravagore kills a leading bane thrall and puts a scather down in a really obstructive place.

Belphagore advances and puts up his animus. Bethayne advances into base to base with Belphagore and arcs an eruption of spines foolishly through him at a bane thrall since I can’t target the objective yet and misses due to stealth. Oops. So many better targets. She merges with him. The hex hunters do a run/charge order into the bane knights and I keep a few back for the next feat turn. They killed four or five bane knights on the charge and then another couple of models with battle wizard. I was hoping their high def would help out when vengeance came around. The crockpot advanced to collect those whose defense didn’t save.

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Skarre’s fire didn’t go out but a lousy damage roll only saw Skarre take a couple of points worth of damage. The bane knights rolled pretty well for their vengeance checks and killed, I think, three of the hex hunters. Skarre cast dark guidance, the skarlock thrall cast dark ritual. Darragh Wrathe did his death ride again and shifted everything forward in his range just a bit. The soulhunters charged forward and killed the raek. The pistol wraith advanced and shot the ravagore 3 times deathchilling him. The bane knights killed some more hex hunters filling the crockpot to overflowing. The surviving hex hunters stayed in the fight thanks to Bethayne’s commanding Voice. A couple of the bane knights made it to the ravagore on the left and knocked out his body. The bane thralls were lined up protecting skarre who was near her own objective as well as a couple of them having charged up to the raek on the right (we realized after the game that they were out of command and shouldn’t have been able to attack but missed it in the moment).

(I forgot to take a picture sorry)

For my turn I brought in the blightblades to support the beleaguered hex hunters. It was also definitely feat turn, before it was too late and I had nothing left. The blightblades charged in and let me just say, those guys continue to amaze me, they each killed off what they charged at  (4 or 5 bane knights, plus a scrap thrall and a necrosurgeon or something) freeing the remaining hex hunters up. Bethayne went next and popped her feat. She cast 1 fully boosted eruption of spines one targeting the thrall standard bearer. I rolled a 4 for that one, which killed the flag bearer (he failed his tough check yay!) and then both of the other guys near him, the next one killed two axes I believe, hit the objective and skarre but did nothing to either of them but killed a couple of other bane thralls as well, and then I camped the rest and retreated back the full distance. The gobbers put up a cloud to block LOS from the side flank, the recently freed up hex hunters advanced and destroyed the arcnode jack. The Blackfrost Shard used the feat to kill off one of the three surviving soulhunters that had made it to the back line as well as a threatening bane thrall  the crockpot spawned a harrier which used truestrike to kill off the other soulhunter. Once all the dust had settled I was pretty happy with the table state. It would have been nice to get the final soulhunter, it just hadn’t been possible. I just had to hope I could survive.

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Dave worked on clearing out some things, Skarre popped her feat and cast dark guidance. He didn’t really have much else that could get there, so went to the main event, the soul hunter at +5 strength is no joke, especially when it has a couple of souls on it. Luckily for me, Bethayne while riding the Belphagore meat suit is no joke either and can take a punch like nobody’s business. The first attack did something like 15 which I was able to take and still have transfers available, and a healthy about of boxes left I was feeling like I might survive, then his second roll was a duff roll, something like a 4 I knew I was safe and Dave conceded at this point as his clock was just about out of time anyway and the able position was looking pretty healthy for me.

 

After action review.

Whew. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I’ve had a bit of a run tough losses lately, so it was nice to get a win. None of them have been blowouts and all of them have been on time, but still one in the W column is nice. I’ve been trying a lot of new things, and this is no exception, but this feels kind of comfortable, a bit like Khador. I think because I have models to spare. Not a ton, but at least some. I’m really happy with the current pairing of Thagrosh1, and Bethayne. Both are a bit forgiving, and I really like playing up a bit and both play that style – I’m not really one for the pocket quarterback style of play.

What went well

I felt that my time management was a bit better – I was still under 2 minutes at the end of the game and think I should have been closer to 8, so it’s not great. But it is a bit better. My target priority was better, I stuck to the plan a bit better than I have in the past. Happy with my blightblade play. Those guys are so useful and flexible.

What I could have done better

Much too long in the think tank for feat turn. I should just decide and go. Ultimately I am not sure if I made the right decision or not still. If I had used it, for sure the threat of the soulhunters would have been eliminated much earlier which would have let me focus on other parts of the table. As it was, that almost cost me the game. I am not sure that the ravagores are necessarily the right choice for this list. The ADR option might be better suited for something else.

Thanks for reading this far, if you have any tips for Bethayne, I’d love to hear them, I am having a blast with her.

Sorry for the extended absence, as if the holidays aren’t bad enough I also got super busy with a writing project and pneumonia on top of that, but things are starting to resolve themselves a bit.
I was able to get in a few games in amongst the madness, but things are still pretty busy so I won’t be able to give the full write-ups for them, they will be much more abbreviated than usual and I am just going to cherry pick some of the more interesting ones.
First up was Kallus (me) vs. Bethayne (Colin). This game was before SR2015 came out and so there is no ADR or specialists, and was my first game against Bethayne in a couple of years since she top of one assassinated me when I was playing Old Witch. This is the last SR2014 game I’ll be reporting, it’s Incoming so is basically the same, though no objectives were chosen so guess not. Whatever.
My list was:
Kallus, Wrath of Everblight 
– Succubus
– Nephilim Bolt Thrower 
– Shredder 
Annyssa Ryvaal 
Spell Martyr 
Incubus 
Full Blighted Nyss Raptors 
Full Blighted Ogrun Warspears 
– Warspear Chieftan 
Full Spawning Vessel 
Strider Blightblades 
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Blackfrost Shard 
 
He was playing:
 
Bethayne, Voice of Everblight – WB: +3
– Succubus
– Raek – PC: 4
– Ravagore – PC: 10
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Full Spawning Vessel
Full Blighted Nyss Hex Hunters
– Bayal, Hound of Everblight
Full Blighted Nyss Legionnaires
– Captain Farilor & Standard
Strider Rangers
– Strider Rangers Officer & Musician
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The warspears put prey on the hex hunters, Anyssa put prey on spawning Vessel to keep it back.
Everything in Beth’s force ran forward varying amounts.
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I put the raptors on the hill, I put up a couple of tenacities on them. I set up the warspears across from the hex hunters and advanced them a little bit, but (hopefully) out of range of a turn 2 feat wipe on them. I ran the martyr forward to try and snipe out Bayal with an eruption but ended up with a huge drift that ended up being irrelevant for the following turn. I also forget to put up ignite on on the raptors. The gobbers put down a cloud and caught a couple of the raptors in it.
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Colin decided not to feat this turn. Beth’s forces charged forward with the hex hunters who passed their terror check but my placing was pretty good – I was back further than he thought so only a few made it and I didn’t lose any of the warspears thanks to set defense, high armor, and unyielding. The ravagore advanced forward and was able to get the shot on the warspear UA that I wasn’t expecting at all and killed him, removing prey. The striders advanced and took some shots at the raptors, but on the hill, in a cloud, with tenacity made them pretty unhittable. He was a bit shaken and forgot to do his reform move with them. Shepherd advanced, did what her thing. Belphagore advanced and put out a big despoiler cloud maybe? The legionnaires advanced to threaten Anyssa who was fine with her role as bait.
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For my turn, I decided to go a bit crazy and see how things would play out since I am just learning Kallus. Just as an aside, I typically do stuff like this when I am learning a new caster – I push them hard and see where they break, and do dumb things, especially on store games that don’t matter. Sit back, enjoy the ride and shake your head at the foolishness. I ambushed in the blightblades behind the strider rangers and the ravagore. Blackfrost shard advanced and hit with a couple of ice cages first and then harmed the ravagore. I then activated Kallus, realized I had forgotten to cast Ignite, tried to convince myself it was a clever part of my plan to keep my plan hidden, and put it on the raptors. Then I popped feat and cast Dark Guidance leaving myself on 0 because I’m bold. I also moved to the side and back on a hill making sure that I would have good coverage for what I wanted for my feat and dark guidance, I felt fairly safe and out of the way. Next up the raptors went and I was only able to charge the ravagore with three of them, the other two attacked the things that were blocking them up. The three attacking the ravagore managed to knock it down to a single wound remaining, the others killed their targets, the raptors then shuffled around into defensive positions. The warspears went next and killed off several of the hex hunters. Next up I used all those hex hunter corpses to spawn a stinger who advanced and boosted the hit on Bayal and killed him which also happened to trigger a panic check which they failed and giving me a huge relief. The nephilim advanced and shot the raek and knocked it back 5” and knocked it down with a crit. The blightblades just advanced so I could control their facings better to maximize their attacks (side note, I’ve found with their attacks that this is often the better way to do it). They killed the shepherd, the ravagore, and a good number of the rangers and tied up the ones they missed (mostly the ones out of dark guidance range). Anyssa zipped around setting up for some shooting at Bethayne next turn if I survived. The gobbers advanced and covered as much LOS as they could and the shredder advanced to try and put his body in the lane and put tenacity on Kallus. I wasn’t thrilled with my position but it wasn’t terrible.
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Colin looked at the table and saw that he was in trouble but to his credit thought he might have an angle. He charged the stinger with belphagore and killed it easily. Bethayne popped her feat and he took a shot at the shredder with an eruption of spines! D’oh! I totally didn’t see that coming. He hit the shredder, and I hoped he would kill it, but he didn’t, the feat boosted damage on Kallus was pretty solid, so he took another shot, killed the shredder this time and got Kallus down to 4 boxes. The spines also killed the gobbers and the succubus as well as one of the warspears, giving me a couple of incubi (one of whom died to the second volley). Fortunately for me, there wasn’t anything else that could get to Kallus this turn. Colin looked at the table and saw that there wasn’t a whole lot else that he could do and conceded the game.
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After Action Review
What I did well
I had a pretty coherent plan for how I wanted this list to run and I stuck to it for the most part. I was pretty happy with how things went. I used spacing as a defensive mechanism fairly well, I remembered not to charge with the blightblades when it was unnecessary. I felt I used all the pieces of my army fairly well.
What I could have done better 
I still rushed things. I think I could have spent an extra turn or two shooting at the ravagore with the raptors before I charged in. I wanted to see if I could one round him with harm and ignite with just three of them. Again, that is a silly thing that I could just sit at home and roll out a few times and see how it played out. War Room makes that kind of intellectual exercise exceedingly simple, just bring up the card, roll the dice and mark the damage if I want to do it mechanically.
What I Learned
I’m still rushing to contact, which isn’t something that Legion typically wants to do, though it seems that Kallus wants to do it more. I’ve played him a bit since this and I really like him a lot, but an issue I am having is what exactly is his role? He isn’t a great armor smasher, he doesn’t play hit and run, he doesn’t really have an armor buff until melee and then it is infantry only – and the models it benefits don’t typically have pathfinder, and he has no way of giving it to them. He would love to have 7 focus. Anyway, I am getting a bit into my thoughts on him, and I have been working on that article, so look for that coming in the near future. Another thing I learned is that Bethayne looks extremely interesting and fun to play.

I am going to try out a slightly different format for this battle report, please let me know what you let me know what you think of it.

This game put me up against one of my many nemeses, another local PG, Shawn. Shawn surprised me by, rather than bringing his blue fury, brought his own angry elves. I must admit I sighed a bit in relief. My enlightened Nyss have a much easier time against their own benighted cousins than against the trollbloods, generally speaking. Since we were fortunate enough to have someone handy that wasn’t playing to set up the table for us we were both left going hmmmm. We agree to only play the blue as water, the footprint was effectively just open table. The table looked like this and we generated Outflank as the scenario.

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So, looking at the table, the zone with the huts immediately popped out to me as a problem for the scenario. It was going to be really easy for either of us to just kind of hide a model or two somewhere behind there and contest the zone. So any serious scenario play would have to revolve around the lake and hill zone. The lack of any kind of cover in that zone was both a blessing and a curse – it meant that he couldn’t be too aggressive playing for it or Lylyth would just kill anything over there, but it also meant that I had to be cautious or I could just as easily die. My plan then would be to concentrate heavily on that zone and keep something over to contest and hide behind the huts. I would entrust the deathstalkers with a beast for backup primarily for that job along with the totem hunter who could jump over them as necessary. That was the very broad strokes anyway, and depending on which side of the table I got, I would narrow it down further.

The two lists I brought were Lylyth2 and Thagrosh2 (you will be seeing a lot of them, with some occasional Vayl1 and Kallus mixed in since those are pretty much the only casters I am playing for 2015 – and the lists are pretty well locked as well) and Shawn brought Ravyn and Rahn. While Thagrosh can survive snipe feat go better than most he does either take some serious damage (or loses a beast and possibly two), he can’t really survive Rahn’s drag and murder shenanigans so I was pretty much locked into playing Lylyth2, which is not really a hardship for me since I am having a blast playing her.

My list was:

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
– Succubus
– Angelius
– Naga Nightlurker
– Ravagore
– Ravagore
– Shredder
– Teraph
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker
The Forsaken
Totem Hunter
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew

and for completeness sake, and if you think my eThags list would be better, please let me know – that is also Leeper’s list:

Thagrosh, the Messiah
– Succubus
– Scythean
– Scythean
– Raek
– Raek
– Seraph
Spell Martyrs
The Forsaken
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Full Blighted Nyss Legionnaires
– Captain Farilor & Standard
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Full Spawning Vessel

Shawn decided to bring Rahn and his list was (from memory – also not sure what his Ravyn list was)

Adeptis Rahn
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker
– Chimera
– Chimera
Houseguard Thane
House Shyeel Artificer
Mage Hunter Assassin
Mage Hunter Assassin
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Dawnguard Sentinels
– Sentinel Officer & Standard
– Soulless Escort
Full Houseguard Riflemen
House Shyeel Battle Mages
House Shyeel Battle Mages

I won the roll and chose sides so the rest of the pics will be switched – basically I wanted deny the hill as a defense bonus from my shooting. Also, I was a little bit intimidated by his model count compared to mine.

With that we started the clock and began the game. He deployed across the horizon which made me hate my erstwhile brethren even more. There are simply too many of them to allow to live. My own deployment was a bit more compact – as you can see, I put the deathstalkers behind the forest ready to jump behind huts and contest that zone, and the deathstalker put prey on the assassin closest to the zone reasoning if it moved into the zone I might get some extra movement out of it and a leap over the hut might let me put it in the dirt. If nothing else it might keep Shawn honest. I only deployed the deathstalkers up a couple of inches because they had plenty of movement and range and didn’t want the chimera getting a 2″ shift, and then a full run and then a mage blast AOE with a drift and something ridiculous on top of 1. Better to not even give him a legal AD target. The teraph was the full 6″ and was beginning dug in, I just didn’t have the token out at the time I took this picture.

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Each of the chimeras got a focus to run, Rahn put up his forcefield which greatly reduced the effectiveness of those early ravagore just- see-where-they-go shots since he would get to choose the direction of the drift. The sentinels got polarity shield and the artificer ran up to provide them with blast immunity should it become necessary. The sentinels themselves advanced fairly tentatively. The riflemen did a good job of running and spreading out to prevent multiple models being caught in blasts, unfortunately for them, in order to do that, they ended up running forward into range of the deathstalkers. The chimera on my left took shelter behind one of the huts and the other just counted on range to protect him. Eyriss continued to cower behind the forest, though I don’t know what shelter she thought that provided her. Also, although I hate her from my Khador days, in general, I have found she doesn’t really do much against legion so I have been trying to remind myself not to direct a disproportionate amount of effort against her. Fortunately, Shawn kept her far enough back that I wasn’t distracted by her.

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For my own turn, I was actually pretty pleased with Shawn’s turn. It looked to me like he advanced way too tentatively to take advantage of his numbers. I felt not pressure to use my feat this turn and felt like I would have a fairly solid round of shooting for little to no loss so I felt like I would just continue with the plan, shave off a few models, and not really shake things up too much this turn. Basically, if I remembered to cast shadow pack and not have to cut for fury I would consider it a win.

I started off with the deathstalkers and used them to trim off 4 of the nearest riflemen (who also happened to be the only ones who could receive the anti-stealth tech, so killing them would be good). The totem hunter advanced up behind a hut, keeping back but having a fairly large influence zone. The succubus advanced and put the ravagore’s animus on itself, it then advanced and killed another rifleman and left a scather template. The other ravagore advanced and killed another rifleman putting another template down (I believe this one drifted 1″ so the direction was largely irrelevant). Lylyth put up shadowpack and tenacity and camped on one (the one down by the succubus, I forgot to move it until after the pic – taking to pic made me realize it) and shifted just a bit to the right, still keeping her options open for next turn, since Shawn seemed to be leaving the hut zone much more lightly manned than I expected. The shredder put tenacity on the angel after I did a quick count and realized I was going to have to cut for fury again.

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For Shawn’s turn the chimera on my left apparitioned up and the one on the right stayed largely in the same position. The one on the left got a focus and ran forward, getting within 5″ of the totem hunter. The assassins set up for next turn shenanigans. Rahn arced a chain blast through it and killed the totem hunter but the deathstalker was blessed by Everblight and survived as the blast drifted away. Next up the riflemen received a firing solution for the stealth from their thane and advanced and did a 4 man CRA into the deathstalker, but again, Everblight’s gaze must have been upon her as she was protected and they missed. The sentinels advanced into the zone on the right side and the battle mages formed up into two walls in front of Adeptis Rahn.

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I went into the tank for a long time. It looked to me like Shawn had made a couple of very crucial errors this turn. First off, Rahn looked way too close. He only had a couple of battle mages in front of him, and it looked like they were actually close enough that I felt like the teraph could clear the lane for me. I might even be able to aim with the teraph. Additionally, the zones were fairly lightly contested. I could also just wreck the arc nodes and then have a field day. I definitely suffered from some analysis paralysis and think I spent close to 5 minutes off my clock just going through the different scenarios before finally deciding to start working toward scenario play with a couple of ranging shots on Rahn just to keep him honest – in short, half ass everything. The worst possible idea. In my defense, I am really trying hard not to play Lylyth2 as just an assassination caster, but I have such an eye for it as a player no matter who I am playing.

Anyway, the deathstalkers went first and killed off 4 more riflemen then the succubus went and put dragon’s fire on the teraph. Lylyth went next and popped her feat. Then she forfeited her movement to aim. She popped through sentinels killing one swift huntering 2″, snap firing, killing another, moving 2″, feat shot, 2″, snap shot, 2″ her way through 4 of them between feat shot and snap fire and got up onto the hill and tried to take out the UA (being on the hill gave me LOS) but with the boost left him on 1. Also, at this point I realized I should have done this with the snap fire shot rather than purchased shot as I robbed myself of a shot. It is exciting to be learning things like this every game. I ran the Angel and the forsaken around to give me a bit of protection from the incoming sentinels next turn.

It was time to see if I could keep Rahn honest now, and the Teraph aimed and was in range. It hit and killed the center of both battle mage walls thanks to boosts. The rest of the units as well as Rahn were all also set on fire as well. The Ravagore on the left advanced up and since Rahn was already on fire didn’t need to use his animus. I boosted both hits and damage rolls and was able to put him into the dirt despite his 2 camp. (Deathstalkers already headed off for their next mission – I started packing and then remembered to get the pic)

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After Action Review

I still had the second Ravagore to go, as well as the naga, the ravagore was going to clean up the sentinels and drop scathers to help protect Lyl. I felt that I had enough transfers to survive a spell run or the light jack so I wasn’t too worried about it (assuming the fire went out and didn’t kill Rahn).

We realized after the fact that we made a mistake with the terrain and there shouldn’t have been the huts in the zone, but they didn’t really end up mattering anyway.

This was the first game where I really started to slow down a bit and was happy with my play. I had a couple of pretty big errors, but over all I was happy with my play. I am starting to get a bit more comfortable with the patient sandpaper style of this list.

Oh yeah, this was the beverage. It was pretty good, kind of fruity. The bubbles were really small. Kind of champaigny.

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Okay, shadow and flame is a bit, shall we say, melodramatic, but cut me some slack. I am sleep deprived thanks to the new shredder (though with his 6″ spray I thinking this one is actually stinger), haven’t been gaming much but have been doing some writing.

My friend and fellow PG DaveZ dragged me over to his ancestral manse deep in the heart of Sul, (okay, about a mile away and still in Burbank) under threat of wracking (or promise of beer). (Also, I’ll try and cut back on the parentheticals).

This game was played about a week and a half ago but I am just now getting a bit of time to write it up, so hopefully it is more or less accurate.

Enough with the lollygagging, we are both notorious faction hoppers and have decided that for 2015 we are going to try and up our game and to do that we are going to stick to a single faction – and within that faction stick to just a couple of lists to try and get a lot of serious reps in and we are even going to try and hit the monthly tourneys at Game Empire (stomping ground of the likes of Brandon Cating, Tom Guan(until recently), Cwaig Conwoy – Flanzer has moved out to this area so I reckon he will be there and some other super sweet people and amazing players that don’t travel so you probably haven’t heard of – in short, it’s a pretty special place and I am pretty lucky to live in this neighborhood). In addition to getting better at Warmachine Dave is also trying to educate my beer palate somewhat, so this battle report is flavored with a bit of:

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So anyway, my chosen faction is returning to my first love. I am running Lylyth2 and Thagrosh2 as two of my focus casters for the year – the third is still up in the air. I was thinking I would try out Absylonia2 but I have had abysmal luck in the games I have played with her so am looking to Kallus or one of the Vayls. Anyway, that is a post for another day. What matters is that I brought Lylyth2 and Thagrosh2 for this matchup. Well, actually, I only brought Lylyth2, Thagrosh2 was at a friend’s house, but I knew going into it I was playing against Menoth and as a result I felt that Lylyth2 would be the drop I would be making regardless. But Dave didn’t need to know that.

Rather than running with one of JVM’s lists I am actually of the Ben Leeper Reformation Movement of the Church of Everblight so I am running:

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
– Succubus
– Angelius
– Naga Nightlurker
– Ravagore
– Ravagore
– Shredder
– Teraph
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker
The Forsaken
Totem Hunter
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew

and for completeness sake, and if you think my eThags list would be better, please let me know – that is also Leeper’s list:

Thagrosh, the Messiah
– Succubus
– Scythean
– Scythean
– Raek
– Raek
– Seraph
Spell Martyrs
The Forsaken
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Full Blighted Nyss Legionnaires
– Captain Farilor & Standard
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Full Spawning Vessel

Dave had a Feora2 list and a Harbinger list. While I hoped he would bring Harbie, there was really no chance of him bringing anything other than Feora2.

Feora, Protector of the Flame –
– Judicator
– Reckoner
– Templar
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
The Covenant of Menoth
Vassal Mechanik
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Choir of Menoth
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard
Min Holy Zealots and Monolith Bearer

and

The Harbinger of Menoth – WJ: +5
– Hierophant
– Devout
Vessel of Judgment
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
Vassal Mechanik
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Exemplar Bastions – Leader and 4 Grunts:
Exemplar Errants – Leader and 9 Grunts:
– Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard – Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard
Knights Exemplar – Leader and 5 Grunts:
Max Holy Zealots and Monolith Bearer

 

The Game:

So we rolled up Process of Elimination and setup the table. I won the roll to choose table sides and chose to go second with an eye toward winning on scenario. I figured with my speed I should be able to use my feat to clear a zone on turn two as well as to kill an objective and dominate that zone for a fairly easy 3 points. A well applied pursuit should keep Lylyth safe enough and then his Judicator would be unable to contest both zones and as long as I survived a Roven powered Reckoner assault shot I should be able to switch zones and win on 3. No plan survives contact, but it seems sound enough. We set the deathclocks up and began deployment. I deployed with that in mind. This is what the table looked like after Dave’s deployment (ignore the Teraph – he isn’t actually there – I forgot to do a pic after mine).

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I deployed pretty centrally myself with the plan I mentioned above in mind. I had the speed to switch sides pretty easily and that was my intent. He would have to spend a turn running in order to counter and that would let me win without getting shot too much. His infantry was on the left side and combined with the forest I thought it would be a bit more protected so I intended on dominating that one first and then switching field for turn 3 so I had that teraph AD up on that side. The totem hunter put prey on Roven. His guys could stay pretty far back and still do their thing, but this would keep them from being aggressive and getting into the zone (I hoped) and relegate them to a purely support role.

Turn 1 was pretty standard, his zealots popped minifeat to be immune to damage and ran forward into that zone. Feora put escort up and advanced behind the judicator.

I countered by moving up the succubus and putting dragon’s fire on the teraph who then advanced and got a good scatter and set 3 of them on fire including the monolith bearer – I couldn’t hurt them now, but next turn they could burn. Also, with their short range, the teraph’s reach would keep them at bay and prevent them from getting too aggressive with their molotov cocktails. Everything else moved up cautiously.

Lylyth cast shadowpack and I made a coupe of huge errors this turn one mattered, one didn’t. I kept the angelius back thinking to use its handcannon shot on feat turn or to pierce the objective if necessary (remember the plan?). and moved one of the Ravagores out of Lylyth’s control area and thus out of shadow pack range (oops). I also moved the two shepherds behind a forest quite cleverly where they couldn’t be targeted and they weren’t even near anything that could be targeted but were close to each other. Unfortunately, Judicator is kind of like a fireworks stand exploding when it shoots. Two big errors. Gobbers move up and drop a cloud to protect Lylyth and the Angelius and the Shredder moves up. Oh yeah, I didn’t put any fury on any beasts. 3 big errors. D’oh! The totem hunter ran up the right flank.

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We start off the turn by rolling on fire and two of them go out, including the one on the monolith bearer. One of the zealots burns to death. Feora upkeeps escort and gives some focus out to both judicator and reckoner. Roven lets the reckoner ignore stealth and he takes an assault shot at the totem hunter but misses. The zealots all advance at the teraph and throw firebombs and do some damage but leave him on 4 boxes, taking out only his mind aspect. Judicator advances and fires his ridiculous fireworks and lays down fire templates all over hell and half of Georgia setting the unstealthed ravagore on fire and killing the shepherds. I really need to remember to leave them 9″ behind the ravagore. They had no business being up that close. All things considered, I actually got off fairly light, but that was due to me being back really far. Planning for the turn 2 feat let me hang back a ridiculous distance, and having the teraph with reach on one side, and the totem hunter on the other to just be nuisances was really nice. Unfortunately I have lost my fury management so it is time to plan ahead. Also, the choir sang passage on the ‘jacks which I took as a personal insult.

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Remember that awesome plan I had to win? Well, at this point, for no good reason, I had this idea. I wonder if I can kill the judicator if I put pincushion on it. The idea that no plan survives contact with the enemy is SUPPOSED to mean that that the situation on the field necessitates the plan to change. In this situation, the plan was going perfectly, and like an idiot and for no good reason I decided to change it. So let’s see how that worked out for me, shall we?

Well, first off, let’s upkeep shadowpack for free, and cut myself for 3 fury, because that is what you do with a 5 fury caster with 15 boxes and a beast heavy list. Next up, let’s pretend I am going to get a follow up turn and plan for some frenzy management. I used to play trollbloods, so I know how to use whelps. The gobbers run into position to be eaten by ravagores. Lylyth goes next and advances the full 7″, and measures 10 inches and has to guess whether or not judicator is within 15″ for the pincushion. I go ahead and pop feat, think I am out so boost a shot at one of the zealots, swift hunter moves the 2″, takes the shot at the judicator to make sure I am in range for pincushion since being out would be terrible, gets the hit, rolls an 11 anyway and does some damage, lands the pin cushion, takes the feat shot  at another zealot, falls back 2″, (that was the snap fire shot), kills him then falls back again. At this point, I have 2 fury left, (I had to boost to make sure I got in range remember?) and think “She’s like Sorscha, with her stats, 2 extra armor isn’t going to make any difference, especially with cutting for fury” and used it to cast wraithbane on the teraph.

Stop and think about that fail for a second. Fury and armor in the same sentence.

Also I patted myself on the back for being clever enough not to waste a fury to heal the teraph’s mind reasoning that pincushion would let it hit alright anyway. I then proceed to put wraithbane out on the ravagores with the succubus and naga and wreck the right side and get the left down to 13 boxes. The totem hunter advanced and then leapt over the reckoner trying to get to the vassal but could only engage a choir member which he missed on a 3. The deathstalkers killed off all but one of the zealots with their sniper shenanigans and the angelius advanced and fired its handcannon shot at the monolith bearer and missed the first time but killed it on the second leaving the objective in the zone. Ugh. I looked at the table and remembered my plan and saw that had I actually done it, the templar would have been wrecked, the judicator would have had pursuit on it and I would have had 3 control points and been VERY well positioned to get those final two. Sigh. Instead the table looked like this. The shredder, ever the optimist, advanced and put tenacity on Lylyth.

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Dave was determined not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and had plenty of time on his clock so he settled down his excitement a bit and made sure and did everything properly. He upkept escort, handed out focus to both the reckoner and the judicator. He had the choir sing battle on all of his jacks. Went ahead and had the reckoner kill the totem hunter to prevent any lucky free strikes. Roven granted ability to see through stealth, just in case Lylyth was able to evasive away from the first spray. Had the vassal repair the damaged side. Judicator advanced and then Lylyth was just at the 10″ spray range so a single evasive would be HUGE letting me dance back and then he would have to rely on his inaccurate blasts. Alas it was not to be, the first spray hit and the Shadow of Everblight evaporated in the Fires of Menoth.

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After Action Review:

Oof. That was an object lesson in what not to do and what to do. Dave played a solid game. He had a plan and stuck to it. I had a plan and didn’t. He got the win and deserved it. I actually didn’t feel to bad after this loss, I felt pretty good actually. I learned a lot during the course of the game about myself. First off, this was about 4 weeks after my new baby was born was at my most exhausted (I am a bit better now) so was really running on muscle memory, and it was interesting how much of that was still Khador. Not just the fury/focus aspect, but in my head I was calling her Sorscha throughout the night and at one point I was even thinking about windrushing. I am better now, but that tells me I really need to get those neural pathways rewired to raise my game to the next level and the only way to do that is lots and lots of games and studying and working at it. Which sounds strange when you think of it in reference to a game, but its like anything. This is something I enjoy and obsess over, I just need to do a bit of rewiring and the way for that to happen is to narrow it down. So to do that, I have packed up my Khador and put it in storage so I can focus, I’ve changed my avatar on the PP forums (yes it matters) and even put away the cards. I really am enjoying Legion a lot. I like the way that they are a Combined Arms (sorry Shep – I know you hate the term) faction in a way that Khador is. I like the lower model count, I like the dragon aesthetic (I’ve had a dragon tattoo for more years than this game has been around) and I really like the differing play style options it provides. It was a painful loss because I made so many errors, but at the same time, the loss was well and truly due entirely to myself. Looking at the game I can see not just one thing, but MANY things I could have done to make it more competitive and change the outcome – if not to a win, at least to a more competitive game and that really excites me. So I am looking forward to the rematch, as well as to the super secret project we are working on with fellow PG Shawn!

Thanks for making it through this epic battle report, and thanks to Dave for the game! Also, now that things are settling down a bit, expect a bit more regular posting schedule once again!

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.

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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):

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 

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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.

I was finally able to squeeze in enough time for a proper Warmachine game at the weekly writer nerd game night! Since play time is at such a premium right now it was a foregone conclusion that I would be playing one of the lists that I was taking to Kingdom-con at the end of April. Since the prime on the uhlans had just been applied and they are on the painting table, that left me with Zerkova who I gleefully took.

Will was also there and looking for a game. Will is fairly new to the game in the last year or so, but picked up the game quite quickly and has been terrorizing the store with his Circle until recently when he decided to give Cryx a spin. We matched up and, as is customary, we both told the other our two choices – some of us are pseudo-tourney minded even on game nights. The games are super casual, but we like to approach it and practice with the lists. I told him my lists were my Tier 4 Vlad3 and Tier 4 Zerkova Hunting Wolves. I knew I would be playing Zerkova no matter what, but since I hadn’t unpacked yet he didn’t know that. His choices were Terminus and Goreshade2 tier list. He ended up choosing the Goreshade2 list.

My list was my standard Hunting Wolves list (though this may be changing):
Zerkova:
Vanguard
Vanguard
Conquest
Gorman di Wulfe
Full Kayazy Assassins with underboss
Kayazy Eliminators
Koldun Lord (aka Bad Santa)
Widowmakers
Full Outriders

His list was (sorry I don’t know the names of the feat fodder)
Goreshade2
Corrupter
Skarlock Thrall
2x Full Bane Thralls with UA
Full Bane Knights
Bane Lord Tartarus
2x Pistol Wraiths
Rest of the points in explodey zombies

We were playing Supply and Demand and I won the roll and chose to go second. Also I forgot to take pics, especially at the beginning, sorry.

Okay so my left to right across from me he had both pistol wraiths on the flank across from my objective, a unit of thralls, another unit of thralls, bane knights on the right flank (there was a forest there just outside his deployment zone). Tartarus was behind the thralls. Goreshade and his jack were in the center.

My left to right with my stuff were outriders across from pistol wraiths, eliminators kind of center-ish, vanguard, zerkova, conquest to the side, (predeployed of course – there was a hill he could walk up on to on turn 1), vanguard, bad santa behind and between connie and the vanguard, and finally the assassins lined up across from the banes. I put widowmakers in front of where conquest was walking on turn 1. With so much stealth I didn’t expect much from them.

Bane knights got occultation and ran into the woods, everything pretty much ran forward.

My turn I moved forward a bit cautiously with everything really just moving 5-6″ at the max.

His turn, everything ran up again. Looking at the table I decided to give conquest 2 focus figuring I would have chances to boost blast damage if nothing else. My turn, the assassins popped mini feat and charged bane knights, and was able to get 1 to charge BLT and ran another to give him gang, and ended up charging 5 others with gang support as well. I passed the terror check from BLT and killed him and the other ones I charged. Two of the widowmakers advanced to within 5″ and killed 2 more and the other 2 did the same for the center bane thralls. Koldun Lord lined up a pretty sweet spray on the bane knights, but shit the bed and failed to kill either of them. The vanguard walked over and killed one with his reach attack but the shield failed to kill the last one but it is only pow 10 so not a surprise, and that was the last attack I had that could kill that guy. Thanks Bad Santa.

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(Why won’t he die!)

Conquest advanced within 5″ of a couple of bane thralls and I noticed that the standard bearer was within about and inch or so of the objective so boosted the to hit on it and got the crit devastation. The banner bearer was in range and go thrown into an explodey zombie who exploded and caused a couple of others too. Also the flag died and failed his tough check. Conquest then shot his nipple guns killing a couple more bane thralls off. The eliminators went and one of them charged twin axes from the middle squad and other charged a bane thrall that was nearby. She eliminated twin axes and then side stepped to give gang to two others, her sister killed the one she charged, sidestepped, killed the other one, then sidestepped into melee with the cryx jack. There was no way I was going to wipe out that unit so I just took targets of opportunity and left it at that – I was pretty happy overall.

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(So many bane thralls)

I realized that Zerkova could actually use the Ghost Stone to try and razor wind that last bane knight, but it would put her out of position for a good feat turn. I just accepted the fact that Goreshade would feat the whole unit back. At least BLT was dead for good. Instead, Zerkova advanced toward the bane thralls on the left side of the table and got one within 5″ (since there was no real reason not to move up that far) and put Icy Grip on that unit of banes and boosted to give myself an exceptional chance of getting the 5 that I needed. I went ahead and shot him with her gun too, as long as I was there. She used the extra range from the Lens of Tarvodh to try and throw a razorwind on the Skarlock but it was behind a wall so she missed. I also realized at this point that there was a bane thrall just over 5″ away that could walk and hit her on feat so she used the Ghost Stone to target the guy behind him and Influenced him to remove the offender. Then, after making sure I was out of range of anything advancing on her and attacking she feated. The near vanguard walked up to protect her and gorman walked up and put down a cloud.

I set up the outriders where 3 different models were able to spray at the flag bearer for the icy-gripped unit of bane thralls with several other models in the line, as well as the last one having a line to both of the pistol wraiths or several banes. They wreaked icy death, though the flag bearer passed all three tough checks he was called on to take. I did kill 7 other models including twin axes and one of them was out of command range so I didn’t have to worry about that one doing anything. I had managed to kill a ton of stuff, but with Goreshades feat, it didn’t really matter much.

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(why won’t he die!)

Also, incidentally, that’s why I didn’t shoot at the pistol wraiths, they were fairly marginalized way off on the flank, his feat placement could really put them in a more advantageous position for following rounds. At least I got the feat out of the way and I felt fairly confident that I could kill them all again.

Goreshade gave a focus to the jack and dropped occultation. The bane knight was outside of Zerkova’s feat range so was able to run around a bunch of models and get to about 9″ from Zerkova. The jack tried to hit the eliminator but missed. Goreshade advanced and killed the eliminator who made both terror and massive casualty checks and then popped his feat and returned the full unit of bane knights and 5 or 6 bane thralls spread over the two units along with the Uas but none of them could do their action so instead tried to crowd up on Zerkova. Some of the bane thralls tried to kill some assassins and got into melee with two widowmakers. The assassins were too nimble but he did kill 1 widowmaker The survivors from the unit on the left advanced and 2 of them were able to destroy the objective. The skarlock put occultation on Goreshade and then it was back to me.

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(so many bane knights!)

I dropped Icy Grip from the thralls on the left since I knew ALL of the bane knights had to die. I went with Zerkova first after checking to see how many bane knights were engaged by the vanguard. She used the focus stone to cast force blast and pushed the front line of bane knights into the back line creating a really tight line of them (see above).

I took a point of damage for the spell within Goreshades control area. I am not going to say it each time, but I ended up taking 6 points of damage from that over the course of the game. She then advanced, because she couldn’t really move back without taking free strikes. She boosted icy grip again (sometimes boosting the 5 is the right call). She then killed one with her sword, influenced another to do her dirty work and kill his friend, and ended her turn.

I activated Zerkova’s vanguard escort first, he shifted forwarded and then killed one with his pole arm and the shield actually penetrated the armor.

The outriders went and killed off all but 2 of the remaining bane knights (the ones on the right side of their formation). They also killed a couple of bane thralls but had some bad rolls and killed about 4 fewer than I expected to, although with their light cavalry move they were able to completely block off angles to Zerkova. On the right, the assassins killed several more banes, and Bad Santa again failed miserably – even though he covered 2 bane thralls with his spray he didn’t even force them to take tough checks. The unengaged widowmakers killed the last 2 bane knights and the engaged one failed to kill the thrall engaging him. The free-ranging vanguard actually managed to kill 2 thralls and that wrapped things up for me aside from gorman advancing and hitting the cryx jack, the only model really threatening Zerkova, with black oil. Conquest smashed a couple of bane thralls but the both made their tough checks.

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(“What’s black oil do again?” “Here, you better read the card.”)

I was pretty happy with how things went with that turn – I had basically removed everything that Will had replaced in the previous turn along with a couple of extra things. The attrition match was really turning strongly in my favor. The pistol wraiths were way out of position, one of them advanced and shot an outrider and the other ran into position for next turn. There weren’t enough banes to be a credible threat to conquest and the static threat ranges made it fairly easy for me to keep Zerkova at a fairly safe range. It was also about 30 minutes until the store closed. Goreshade advanced to try and get Zerkova in range of hex blast but her Orgoth Seal protected her. Will didn’t know about the range reducing effect but had done a full advance and was pretty close anyway. Instead he decided to shoot the vanguard hoping to catch Zerkova in the blast but she was out of range. The bane thralls killed a couple of the jamming outriders on my left and on my right they tried and failed again to get to grips with the assassins.

On my turn I gave conquest 3 focus and then used the Ghost Stone to target Goreshade with Icy Grip and then gorman advanced to just over 2″ away from Goreshade and threw black oil at him. I missed, but with the drift still managed to cover him. Conquest charged in and smashed Goreshade in 2 hits.

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This was a SUPER fun game and it was really tight. I haven’t had time for a full game of Warmachine in a while so I was kind of slow, but it was a really fun game. I was a bit worried at all those banes, but the threat range on them is very static and with outriders, bad santa, and conquest I was able to clear the threatening ranks and then take whatever else was an option. This game could have gone quite a bit differently with a single failed command check from the kayayzy assassins when they charged Bane Lord Tartarus, but they held their nerve. By being really patient and keeping to my plan, I felt in control for the majority of this game. Zerkova’s feat is kind of custom made for the kind of control I was able to pull off here and the outriders with icy grip are just absolute death dealers.

I got good use out of all of Zerkova’s trinkets which was kind of cool. I think every rule she has actually came into play. I used each of the artifacts, I cast the majority of spells on her card, I even remembered her gun, and she got to kill something with her sword. Zerkova is a really fun caster to play, and this particular list is actually quite enjoyable – conquest brings the high damage and his crit dev gives situational and occasional control options.

Anyway, thanks for reading.