Posts Tagged ‘cygnar’

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So I finally played my first game of High Command. Since I had my knee surgery I have been pretty much homebound and going more than a little stir crazy. I was able to get out to one Warmachine tourney and had a great time, but also paid dearly for it for a few days after.

Shep decided to take pity on me and visit during my convalescence and though I tried to cajole him into a game of Warmachine (I’m not an addict, really) but he pushed hard for High Command and I am glad he did.
If you aren’t familiar with it, High Command is a Deck Building card game. I’ve never played this kind of game before and it seemed pretty confusing. There are 2 different decks for each player, two shared decks, different cards in different places. It honestly seemed a bit overwhelming from just reading the rules and watching the overview on Privateer Press’s youtube channel.
That being said, we decided to just go for it rather than trying the quick start rules because we were looking to kill the evening anyway.
It took us a few round to really get the hang of it, but once we did the game was super fun. There seems to be a fair bit of strategy in what cards to buy early vs. which ones to buy later in the game (duh, I guess that is what the deck building means).
I played Khador and Shep played Cygnar since those are our main factions and we were curious to see how they matched up. I am not going to give a play by play, but it was pretty cool how similar it felt. We each only used a single warcaster’s feat during the course of the game – I used Vlad to rush a juggernaut out to let me clear a zone and Shep used Siege to kill a devastator and claim a zone.
We ended up really fighting over every single location and neither of us really tried spreading out our forces. It was just bloody knuckles all the way through. The cards are really nice to look at and the game felt quick and strategic. We did have some confusion with some of the card abilities – for instance, after a battle with the Greylord Ternion Korps (or whatever they are called) if the opponent has any cards they have to discard one. We weren’t sure if that meant one of the cards from the location or from the hand/bank. After a lot of searching we decided that it probably meant from the location and that maybe the difference between destroyed and discarded in that instance meant that destroyed the opponent picked, and discarded meant that you got to pick? The problem was the same language about discard was on one of the Cygnar jacks (the Charger I think) but it clearly meant discard from your hand (I think) to give his pieces +1 POW.
A little bit of ambiguity aside, the game was REALLY enjoyable and I look forward to playing it a lot more. I am also super glad that I added the Junior Warcaster cards from the Kickstarter – it will be fun to get them in there as well.
So yeah, if you haven’t played High Command yet, I recommend it. Our guess is that it will likely end up taking 30-45 minutes once both players know what they are doing. The game is fast and fun, and a nice break from Warmachine/Hordes that keeps you in the setting (which is one that I enjoy immensely).
Edited to add – we were doing the drawing at the completely wrong time during the turn – we were doing it at the start of the turn, rather than as the final step before the Battle Phase. Oops.
I played this game a few weeks ago now but the holidays really scuppered my plans to post it.  I am going to hit what I can remember.  The list I played was my Sorscha2 list again with a couple of minor changes:
 
Khador – Sorscha2

56 / 56 (50+6) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 1 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 5 Units : 5

Forward Kommander Sorscha – WJ: +6
– War Dog
– Conquest – PC: 19

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich – PC: 2
Manhunter – PC: 2
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 3
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist – PC: 2
Harlan Versh, Illuminated One – PC: 2

Great Bears of Gallowswood – Volkov, Kolsk, Yarovich: 5
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Winter Guard Infantry – Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
– 2 1 Rocketeer’s: 2
– Winter Guard Officer & Standard – Winter Guard Officer & Standard 2
Battle Mechaniks – Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt – Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4

 
Facing off against me was a really underrated Cygnar caster (and probably my favorite model/fluff in the game) Tier 4 Capt. Jeremiah Kraye Mobile Strike Force list:
 
Cygnar – Kraye1

58 / 56 (50+6) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 8 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 0 Units : 2

Captain Jeremiah Kraye – WJ: +6
– Cyclone – PC: 9
– Ironclad – PC: 7
– Hunter – PC: 6
– Hunter – PC: 6
– Minuteman – PC: 5
– Minuteman – PC: 5
– Minuteman – PC: 5
– Minuteman – PC: 5

Rangers – Leader & Grunts: 5
Rangers – Leader & Grunts: 5

The theme bonuses he was getting was reducing ranger unit cost 1 each, +1 for starting roll, 2 wall templates or 4″ forest AOEs, and his heavies got AD.

 
Last game I played I never even ended up using my feat so my main goals for this game were to slow down my play and go for attrition (not mechanically, but methodically in my strategy) and to use my feat to support that goal.
 
Kraye won the roll to go first but chose to go second.  We were playing Incursion from SR2012.
 
I tried taking pics with my ipad but they were all pretty terrible so I am just going to do this one.  
 
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My first turn was pretty standard, advance everything, put iron flesh on the winterguard.
 
Shep surprised me by putting full tilt on the cyclone which then zipped forward and dropped a couple of covering fire templates completely screwing the winterguard advance next turn.  The hunters both went wide on opposite flanks with a unit of rangers in support of each.  The rest just advanced and kraye set up behind one of those handy walls that the rangers had built for him
 
This did end up putting the cyclone in range of Harlan Versh who advanced and shot the hell out of it thanks to full tilt.  I ended up doing way more damage than I expected, but it was pretty well scattered across the whole grid.  Conquest tried to finish off the cyclone but due to terribad drifts didn’t do a single box.  He did kill a couple of rangers though, so that was something.  Eyriss was not going to be long for the world in this game so I ran her forward to engage a few of the rangers planning on at least tying them up a bit.  The widowmakers opposite Eyriss went a bit nuts with some shooting rolls and killed 3 rangers on a hill and they failed their morale check.
 
The cyclone beat a hasty retreat and the minutemen started causing me some trouble.  The biggest surprise was one jumping over to get Eyriss to free up the rangers.  He ended up a bit too close to a couple of rangers and there were some casualties to friendly fire.  They did some major murder on my poor winterguard killing 6 or 7 as well as Lady Aiyanna.  Master Holt surprisingly passed his morale test.  One of the minutemen ended up too close to Conquest and frozen thanks to the bond.  The hunters continued their extreme flanking maneuver.  The ironclad charged the great bears and killed 2 and the remaining made a couple of tough checks.
 
This seemed like a decent enough time for me to have Sorscha call down Winter’s Chill.  I had hoped to get the Cyclone in range but unfortunately 
he was out.  Holt took vengeance for his Elf mistress and rolled some decent damage on the frozen one which was doubled thanks to the feat.  The Winterguard easily finished the task as well as taking out the other one.  Conquest had nothing else to shoot at and tried the Cyclone again.  He made up for it by wrecking the heavy jack which opened up the zone for me to run Harlan into to get a control point.  The great bear stood up and hit the ironclad from some damage (also out of feat).  All in all I was pretty pleased with how the turn went for me.
 
Things were starting to look a bit rough for Shep but the game was far from over.  The minuteman which had dispatched Eyriss (and was the only remaining one) was out of Kraye’s control area so moved back into it.  Kraye killed off the illuminated one.  The ironclad finished off the last great bear.  The hunter on the right flank charged and killed off a couple of widowmakers and then moved back onto the hill thanks to being light cav.
 
Kovnik Joe advanced and shot at the hunter on the hill since he had nothing else to do.  He not only hit, but he did some crazy damage and disabled the hunter’s gun.  One of the mechaniks ran up next to the ironclad but in its rear arc so not engaged (he also failed his command check for being out of command range).  Gorman moved up and targeted the mechanik with black oil and splashed the ironclad as well (I had to do it that way because I thought, correctly, that the ironclad was further than 12″ from gorman at the start of his activation).
 
Kraye advanced and put pursuit on the conquest and then did in the mechanik and Gorman also died.  The hunter with the disabled gun charged Joe and ended up just out of melee range.  The other hunter was setting up for next turn assassination run.  
 
I saw that run coming and put the other 3 mechaniks in harm’s way and put iron flesh on herself.  I wanted to advance Conquest but didn’t want to give extra move to the ironclad who still had full tilt so tried shooting the ironclad but didn’t do anything.  The Winterguard killed off the hunter threatening their beloved Kovnik Joe.  
 
I had forgotten about those rangers and they moved over and cleared out the mechanik’s and the hunter took a shot at Sorscha.  Fortunately her def was just a bit too high.  It definitely reminded me that the game wasn’t won yet.  The ironclad set up the charge on conquest for next turn which was a difficult question for me to deal with as the hunters had been plinking at Conquest on any turns that I didn’t mention anything else for them so he was down several boxes.
 
I upkept iron flesh and advanced Sorscha and boosted a freezing grip just to make sure it hit the ironclad to prevent him from pursuiting away.  It left me on 0 focus but it also gave me the opportunity to seal up the game.  The winterguard lined up to protect their warcaster from Kraye charging her as best I could.  Conquest charged and did some pretty good damage to the ironclad wrecking his hammer arm.
 
It was do or die time for kraye.  He dropped his upkeeps and hung on to all his focus.  I had felt pretty decent about my protection for Sorscha but had made a critical mistake in forgetting to have Joe call tough (or activating him at all).  I also forgot about Kraye’s AOE… He blasted the better part of a hole in my defensive line of winterguard and declared the charge on Sorscha with an impact hit to clear the final one out of the way – he agonized over the decision but eventually decided that if he missed the one he wouldn’t get a chance to put Sorscha in the dirt so boosted to hit, which turned out being necessary.  Luckily for me he just didn’t have the focus to pull off the assassination run and was left in range of Conquest (I would take a free strike from the ironclad but without the hammer it couldn’t have changed the outcome) so Shep conceded so that we could analyze the game since we were both trying new things out.
 
After Action Review:
Man what a fun game!  Since I am writing from my POV the game looks a bit onesided but it really went back and forth and was a whole lot of fun.  I didn’t play it up much in the writeup but Kraye’s ability which makes his jacks into either cav or light cav is really good and Shep used it well.  The hunters moving and shooting and the minutemen getting that extra movement after their combat action was really a pain in the butt.  I was very happy with slowing down my play and I think I really played the attrition game pretty well as I had intended to.  I am also quite pleased with a couple of specific I did during the game – namely running the mechanik to extend Gorman’s range and figuring the answer to pursuit on my heavy. I made a couple of big mistakes too, but overall I am happy with how it went.
 
Sorry for the longwinded writeup but thanks for reading!

Alright, this is the new name for this regular feature. This week we take a look at Cygnar’s true King. This quote is from book 2 of the Witchfire Trilogy as is the art.

Nine years it has been since I was exiled from my homeland.

Nine years the usurper has violated my crown, my throne, my kingdom.

Nine years my subjects have had to forget the old ways…

Nine years is long enough.

When I make my return to Cygnar, the very stones will cry out for mercy.

– Vinter Raelthorne IV