Posts Tagged ‘privateer press’

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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.
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Today we’ll be taking a look at the Incursion, aka disappearing flags, aka “the flag I want to stay always disappears” scenario.

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This is an “Invade” scenario. Near as I can tell the characteristics of this type of scenario are that the warcasters are intended to be active participants in the game and for that reason dominating is a bit more common than in some of the other scenarios.

This scenario is another standard scenario that you will see quite often at scenarios and seeing 3 flags across the middle of the table will let you start planning your win condition.

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There are no zones in this one, just the flags. Let’s do a quick refresher of what flags are in SR2013.

Flag (40 mm base): All flags are models with the following qualities: Incorporeal, stationary, immune to all game effects. They do not activate and cannot be targeted, damaged, moved, placed, or removed from play.

So, flags are incorporeal models. What that means in a nutshell is that you can move through it and see through it, you just can’t end your movement on top of it. You also can’t target it, which means you can’t scatter an AOE off of it or use a spell like Hellmouth targeting it. You can’t charge it for extra movement.

Okay so we know all the things we CAN’T do to/with it, how about seeing what we can?

Well, we can control a flag by having a model in base to base with it. If the model is a single thing (such as solo, warbeast, warjack, etc) as long as there are no contesting models it is controlled. If the controlling model is a part of a unit it must be at least 50% strong and every model must be within 4″ of the flag. The flag is “contested” if even a single enemy model is within 4″ of the flag unless that model happens to be the enemy warcaster/warlock.

We can also “dominate” a flag by having a warcaster/warlock base to base with the flag with no enemy models within 4″ of it.

That is pretty much it. Now that we have the generic rules for it down, let’s take a look at the conditions specific to Incursion.

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One of the first things we notice is that this scenario does not have the killbox artifice. This means if you want your caster to hug the back table edge all game, you can. You might not WANT to do that though, as the victory condition for this scenario (in addition to caster kill of course) is getting to 5 control points.

How are these control points gained? Well, you get 1 point for controlling a flag and 2 for dominating it. That means in a single turn you can get a max of 3 control points (2 for dominating one flag and 1 for controlling the other). Why only 3 you ask when it should be 4 since there are 3 flags?

Well because we don’t start getting control points until the end of the 2nd player’s second turn (remember that this is the rule with scoring in all SR2013 scenarios) and at the end of the 2nd player’s first turn one of those flags, generated randomly, will disappear.

And that, as they say, is that. The rules are really basic on this one and there is a legitimate scenario victory condition in this one which makes it very popular. This is also one of the scenarios that I recommend for generic games store pickup games. It is easy to set up with no zones required and there is no interaction with them beyond control/dominate unlike the objectives. All you need is 3 40mm (medium sized) bases and you are good to go.

Now we know what we are trying to do, so what is the best way to do it?

Well, this scenario is extremely “live”. This game can actually be won as early as the end of top of turn 3 with one caster getting 2-3 points at the end of round 2 and the remainder at the end of the first player’s activation on turn 3.

The uncertainty as to which flag will disappear means that in general you want to deploy much of your stuff centrally so you can slide left or right as necessary depending on which flag disappears. Fast moving models have an advantage here – I have seen some slower models/units spend 2-3 turns redeploying when one of the flanking flags that they were planning on claiming/contesting disappears.

This scenario is one of the big reasons that fast jam units are so valuable in SR2013. If you can run through the flags and put the back of your models’ bases about 4″ from the flags you can make it difficult for the opponent to contest these flags. You can then dominate or control and be done with the game super fast. Obviously this has it’s risks but there are times that you might be able to get a unit like the Boomhowlers to jam the enemy out of the flags and just walk the game in.

Casters with strong control elements to either their spell list or their feats are really good here – models like Haley2 and Kreuger2 can use telekinesis to push their enemy back and then feat to slow down or negate their ability to get back into control range so be aware of it. I personally have lost on turn3 to a Kreuger2 list by not paying attention and failing to saturate the area around the flags well enough and then got shoved out and jammed.

That isn’t to say that the only way to win this one is with speed and going for that early game win. This scenario can also be won with solid attrition play just grinding out your opponent’s ability to contest it snatching 1 or 2 control points as they get chance.

Some of the more tanky casters are also good at this scenario with the ability to dominate. Butcher1 is good at this as is Terminus. They just hulk out as much as possible and then stand there dominating as they can. Typically they will kill their opponent’s models and only get the dominate on their own turn, but sometimes they can pick up a quick 4 points in rapid succession.

Remember that while you cannot contest with a caster, the tooltip informs us that when multiple warcasters dominate the same flag, only the active one scores. If you are desperate to stop a win and can’t get any other models over there you can at least stop them from winning on your turn. Granted, they will likely win on their own turn if you were doing that move out of desperation, but you can also get a sneaky win that way if you are at 3 points and they were planning on winning on your turn or something. It is edge case, but it is an important one.

My final point on this scenario is that it is a fun one, which is another reason I recommend it for pickup games. It tends to be very dynamic with a lot of strategic movement as well as just outright killing.

Today in the SR2013 Primer Series we’ll be going over Scenario 2: Supply and Demand.

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You’ll notice that this a Guard Scenario. That doesn’t really mean anything for all practical purposes other than the bucket that the scenario is in.

Usually when you belly up to table the first thing that will stand out to you in the table setup, which is why I have chosen to cover the layout first. You can often get your first hint as to what scenario you are playing by taking a look at what is set up on the table.

In the case of Supply and Demand you will notice (in addition to the terrain) a circular zone and 2 objectives.

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So looking at the table lets us know that we will be able to score control points in three different ways; controlling the zone, dominating the zone, and destroying the enemy objective. In a multi-list environment before you have even seen the specific scenario being played, just taking a look at the table can give you hints for which caster to choose as well as whether you will want to go first or second. Going second gives you the option of choosing table side and while it is common to just choose the side you are at, this is a great opportunity to really look at what the table terrain offers you. Is there a piece of terrain on one side that will give you an opportunity to dominate with your caster from the relative safety of a wall or hill? Are there any LOS issues or places you can hide a solo completely yet still impact the game by digging in and contesting the zone? Are there any choke points that will affect your ability to bring your forces to bear?

A single zone is often more difficult to get control points out of than multiple zones and this is especially true with the large circular zone. It won’t tell you which to go for, but it can help inform your choices. It can also give you a bit of insight into how your opponent will want to win.

Now that we have taken in the table layout, let’s take a look at the special rules for Supply and Demand.

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The first thing we notice in the rule box is that this scenario has the Kill Box artifice. What this means is that if, starting at the end of the first player’s second turn, your caster is completely within 14″ of any table edge your opponent immediately scores 2 control points. Kill box combined with the single circular zone typically means that there will be quite a scrum near the middle of the table. The fact that your caster must be within 10″ of the center of the table also means that you must usually take additional precautions to protect your caster.

The active ways to get control points are to control the zone (1), dominate the zone (2), destroy the enemy objective (1), or dominate the enemy objective (2).

Let’s review the specific requirements:

The first player to get to at least 5 control points wins the game. To control a zone we need to have at least one model in the zone with no enemy non-caster models. Additionally, if that model is part of a unit it must be at least 50% in strength and all of the models must be in that zone.

To dominate the zone the caster must be in the zone with no enemy non-caster models.

Destroying an objective is fairly straight forward – starting with the second players second turn you can attack the objective like any other model. A card is included with the scenario because the objectives are slightly different in each one. The one below is the stat card for the Supply and Demand objective, (aka Supply Cache).

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The Supply Cache is armor 15 with 15 wounds making it the easiest to destroy. A warcaster dominating this objective (by being within 2″ with no enemy models within 2″) can have a warjack within 2″ charge or run for free. Of interesting note, you can dominate an objective starting on turn 1.

This objective also has a special rule with doesn’t allow a caster to dominate the zone if the enemy supply cache is in their control area which means you are probably going to want to destroy the enemy one. While there is the opportunity to score 2 control points by dominating the enemy objective this is unlikely unless you have a caster with a fairly crazy movement range and/or are willing to run to it – this will likely put you behind enemy lines but if you have a chance and are 2 control points from winning, it is worth remembering.

Conversely, if you think your opponent might try and pull this it can be worthwhile to destroy your own objective. Please note that this will give your opponent 1 control point, but if you feel that they can dominate that objective it might be better to give up that one control point than two.

In general with this scenario you can expect mass casualties. The combination of a single central zone, kill box, and single objective per player means that both players will be concentrating their forces and typically you are going to have to just grind out the win on scenario. It also means that there is a higher than average danger of your caster being threatened by an assassination. This also means if you have an assassination caster you might see some good opportunities.

It can be possible to “jam” your opponent out of the zone with particularly fast or possibly resilient pieces to score an early control point or two so be aware that is a possibility.

This is a good scenario for those  casters who like to move up and get stuff done in person anyway. Good candidates are the brick casters like Xerxis or Butcher or the ranged assassins like Ravyn or Lylyth2. Finally, since it is a single zone, some of the control casters can bounce enemy models out of the zone and win fairly quickly with a 6 point control point swing over 3 player turns which gives enough to win. Magnus2 and Kreuger2 both have feats to watch out for.

Remember that control points are tallied on each players turn and that both players can earn those points so if you can dominate the zone your opponent absolutely MUST either get a model into the zone at any cost (possibly even running and sacrificing an otherwise active piece’s activation opportunity).

Thanks for taking the time to read this and If you have any questions, tips, or want to point out something I screwed up please do!

I had grand intentions of posting an incredibly detailed, blow by blow battle report to demonstrate the tactical geniuses that Shep and I are, but the pictures came out totally crap and, honestly it has been over a week so I am going to post this to just get it down before I forget any more.

This was my first game with eSorscha and my first game with Khador in a very long time (as in, before the Iron Fang Uhlans were released in the dark days of Mark 1.  Fun fact, Shep having cygnar cav and me not having any cav is why I quit in mark 1).  Also, this happened to be my first game of WM/Hordes in close to 6 months so needless to say I was both rusty and had a lot to learn.  Also, sorry for the base on Conquest, he wasn’t built yet and Shep happened to have an extra colossal base lying around.  Doesn’t everyone? 

Game 1 was vs. Shep’s Lylyth2 list at 50 points.  

My list was:
Forward Kommander Sorscha 
– War Dog
– Conquest
Manhunter 
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Widowmakers
Full Winter Guard Infantry
– 3 Rocketeers
– Winter Guard Officer & Standard
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
Eiryss2
Gorman diWulff
Ayanna and Holt
Full Battle Mechaniks

Shep’s list was a pretty standard Lylyth2 list – nice to see he was going to take it easy on me for my triumphant return to the game:

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight 
– Succubus
– Ravagore
– Ravagore
– Nephilim Bolt Thrower
– Nephilim Bolt Thrower
– Naga Nightlurker
Annyssa Ryvaal
Blighted Nyss Raptors
Blighted Nyss Shepherd x2

I honestly had no idea what I was going to do so I just set flanking stuff up on the flanks, and central stuff in the middle and had kind of planned on running forward screaming like maniacs (too much trollblood play can have that effect on you).   I won the roll to go first and enacted that plan on turn 1.  I put boundless charge on Conquest and had him charge forward and put desperate pace and iron flesh on the winterguard and camped the last 2.Image

This is what it looked like at the end of my turn. 

Shep’s turn he advanced a little bit, put up shadow pack, killed 2 great bears and set the remaining one on fire.  He also killed Eiryss and a couple of winter guard and I think Ayanna and Holt.

On my turn sorscha cast bounding charge on the remaining great bear and cycloned back to safety.  Conquest advanced and had some decent drifts managing to take out the shepherds.  The widowmakers killed enough raptors to cause a leadership test which they failed.  I also managed to get good drifts and took out the shepherds (it may have been one this turn and one next turn actually, now that I think about it).  I had hoped with reach the great bear might lock up a Ravagore for the turn but my eye was way off .  End of my turn 2 looked more or less like this:

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Raptors failed to rally.  Shep upkept shadow pack and killed a few more winter guard as well as the last great bear.

My turn 3 I advanced again, and felt like I was getting to the point where I could actually threaten him with the WG.  I had Joe call boosted attack and think I might have killed one of the bolt throwers but not quite the overwhelming turn I had hoped for.  Unfortunately I made a HUGE mistake in putting Conquest completely off the hill and Sorscha on it even though my mechanics formed up in Soccer (football) free kick defense formation.  I didn’t even fully appreciate how much I had screwed up until Shep’s turn wherein I am reminded that hills are not true LOS and a Conquest doesn’t block LOS to a Sorscha on a hill…

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Here is the end of my turn 3 so that all may learn from my folly.  It is extra shaky because of the shuddering spasms of crying I was having. 

On Shep’s turn, Anyssa sniped out a clear path to Sorscha and Lylyth feated.  It took to literally the last shot with the last model to kill her – even without Iron Flesh, Sorscha on a hill is kind of hard to hit.  Had I used those 2 focus for that rather than camping them I would have been able to steal the game from Shep.

So, my first outing with Sorscha2 was pretty ugly as I had imagined it would be.  I didn’t have much of a plan and Shep punished me for it.  I made some terrible moves and incredibly low percentage gambles that failed to pan out.  It was also quite a blast.  The focus mechanic is so different from the fury mechanic that it will take a bit of getting used to.  I was fairly terrible at allocating focus – one turn I gave Conquest way too much and the next way too little.  I think not having a plan definitely played into it but over all just having to plan everything out is a bit foreign to me.

I failed to use Sorscha in any meaningful way and that hurt a lot.  I could have had Gorman do some more tanking with his immunities – his cloud certainly didn’t have much effect on the game. 

This was a bit interesting as I was painting in my usual impatient fashion and started to put the gloss coat (I use future floor polish) on a bit too early before the wash was dry.  Of all my models, this one alone was actually improved by the effect – it gives it almost a raw/new white scar flesh look that works nicely with the agitation of the metal pushing through the flesh (that red irritation was intentional).   The effect I am talking about is particularly noticeable under the right pectoral but it is in other places as well.  Yay for serendipitous screwups.  It is not an effect I would intentionally try – the top layer of paint and the wash literally sloughed off – but I am quite happy with the result.

 

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The astute will notice I didn’t post a new model last week – I spent it building a ton of new models rather than painting and  I am okay with that – I was able to get some hobbying done and will paint up a couple of models in the next week or so but I am super glad to have finally gotten some champions and another fell caller built for my madrak brick list.

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Was able to get in a few Gnarl league games over the past week or so and just haven’t had time to update this – all games were scenario and SR2012 are marked as such. SR2012 are done with appropriate time restrictions though we tend to be a bit more relaxed about extensions.

I read someone else on one of the posts was talking about a quick journal of their games – I am going to try that rather than the lengthy batreps I typically do, just since my time is so limited. I am only going back a week or so because any more than that gets a bit foggy for me.

I have been sticking with the same list for a while just to kind of stabilize the focus and experience I get from playing them. The 35 point list for all games was:

Grissel Bloodsong, Marshal of the Kriels +6 points
* Earthborn Dire Troll 10 points
* Swamp Troll 4 points
* Troll Axer 6 points

Fell Caller Hero 3 points
Janissa Stonetide 3 points
10 Pyg Burrowers 6 points
Stone Scribe Chronicler 2 points
6 Trollkin Scattergunners 5 points
* Scattergunner Officer & Standard 2 points

For 25 points I just basically used what was on the table with a few cuts and adding an impaler. This list is FAR from finished and far from good, really, but it was against a new player on league night so I didn’t really care too much about making a super competitive list.

Grissel Bloodsong, Marshal of the Kriels +6 points
* Earthborn Dire Troll 10 points
* Troll Axer 6 points
* Troll Impaler 5 points

Janissa Stonetide 3 points
6 Trollkin Scattergunners 5 points
* Scattergunner Officer & Standard 2 points

SR2012 35 point eGrissel vs. eStryker – Win by assassination. eStryker was forced to try an an assassination run since I was up on scenario points. He beat the snot out of eGrissel, but she had 3 fury and an undamaged Swamp Troll. At the end of the run, Swampy was dead and she had taken 6 points of splash damage. She was then able to put Stryker down. Big lesson learned this time is that even when you think Stryker has a long attack range, you are probably underestimating it.

SR2012 35 point eGrissel vs. eStryker – Win by assassination. eStryker was playing a bit more cagey this game. I had an EBDT charge an arcane shielded Stormclad but didn’t really do much. A force to stand burned a fury and I think that was the big deal. I should probably have waited a trn. I put good money after bad and charged in with the axer who did nothing. Grissel popped feat eStryker was feeling plucky so did just 1d6 overboost and took 3 for only 2 strength which my feat had basically negated. Stryker was unable to finish the deal so the Stormclad returned the earthborne to the dirt from whence he came and turned on the axer, knocking out his spirit. Fell caller hit Grissel with warcry. Janissa advanced and slid the Stormclad out of the way, Grissel healed the axer’s spirit just in case before charging. She got Stryker down to 1 or 2 and the axer had to finish up for her (which he did). The big learning point here was that Stryker should go big or go home when overboosting.

SR2012 35 point eGrissel vs. Rahn – Win by assassination. Janissa’s wall was instrumental in thwarting push/pull shenanigans. Rahn was very hurt by turn 2 dash burrowers ignoring free strikes but not killed. Inhositable Ground is very good against Ret. This forced Shawn to play prett defensively with him and I was able to clear out the sentinels. EBDT jammed on a bunch of sentinels and the combination of Grissel’s feat and a nearby wall let him survive the non-charge retaliation. In the end it was dashed, buffed dygmies that gave Rahn something else to brood about. This was Shawn’s first time seeing the dygmies and I don’t expect them to be so effective next time around with him.

35 point eGrissel vs. eButcher tier – Loss on scenario. So many doomreavers… I had a couple of hot run on tough rolls and inhospitable ground really earned its keep – the crescendo template was also really good. The dygmies went for a turn 2 assassination run on eButcher but had crap rolls with the guns and couldn’t hit or get through armor. The scenario we were playing had the reinforcements artifice which we chose not to use but I could really have used something coming in from the side to contest a zone. As it was, going first still didn’t get me up close enough and then with all those AD doomreavers running into it pretty much sealed the deal. This game has me looking back at the krielstone instead of swampy – on feat turn my axer might have weathered the doom reavers he was engaged with and contesting the zone and the same with the EBDT.

25 point eGrissel vs. pDenny – Win on assassination. This was an interesting one because I have neither played nor written up any 25 point lists before. I decided to mostly just shuffle points down out of my usual 35 point list and that didn’t go well. I basically ended up running my scattergunners like kriel warriors. I ended up winning after the axer frenzied which killed the arc nodel tying up both him and the EBDT. The impaler put his animus on himself and advanced and crit slammed a model through denny which knocked her down and the EBDT was rushed by Grissel and went over and finished the job thanks to an unexpected 4 extra inches of movement. It was my first time facing Darraghe Wrathe and his light cav so it was fun.

I also had to get in two team games for the league in order to get the patch. Since I am the only Minions player I went ahead and did that for the official team up with Shawn’s Retribution of Scyrah which technically violates the year of the Trollblood but I am okay with it since it was 2 one off games for the league. The list I took for both games was:

Sturm and Drang
2x War Hogs
Targ
4 Bone Grinders

Shawn brought a Rahn list and we faced off against pGaspy and Kara Sloan. Rahn did what Rahn does and pulled Kara’s light jack across the table on turn 1 and then smashed it with the Phoenix, the Cygnar player ended up mostly sparring with Shawn until the last turn of the game when Kara popped feat and should have blown Sturm and Drang off the table save for a couple of horrible rolls. Gaspy swarmed the center of the table with infantry. Drang then goaded the two warhogs in an impressive display of goading violence killed the necrotech, most of the mech thralls and even a couple of Satyxis Raiders. I lost one of the warhogs but the other was able to clear the middle of the table on one side as the Phoenix cleared Kara’s infantry leaving us in control of the center of the table and the win. We did rush the end a bit so we could get in the second league game.

For this game I found myself teamed up with the Gaspy player (the limited factions in our league allow a few leniancies on pairing) again Ryan’s pStyker list with a battle engine and the Denny player from before with basically the same list just pared down to fit in. This game was very rushed, but the combo of Denny’s feat and the Cygnar shooting killed one war hog and basically neutralyzed the other. We ran out of time because the game store was closing and it ended in a draw. While it wasn’t hopeless the other side definitely had the advantage.