Posts Tagged ‘year of the beard’

Okay I got in a couple of skorne games with the beard and had really hoped to do full battle report treatment on them but I am nuts busy right now and have played another game since so they are all starting to blur together. Apologies, and I hope I get the salient points.
 
First game I played I took the conquest version of Harkevich’s theme force (tier 4) to give it a whirl. The list looked like this:
 
Harkevich
Conquest
Black Ivan
Demolisher
Full Winterguard Infantry with UA and 2 rocketeers
Kovnik Joe
Mortar
Field gun
Battle Mechaniks
 
This list was facing off against a Hexeris2 with Mammoth build that Shep is trying out. From memory (so something might be slightly off) it was:
Hexeris2
Mammoth
Cyclops Raider
Cyclops Brute (bonded)
Krea
Min Beast handlers
Willbreaker
Taskmaster
Max Gatorman Posse
Max Incendiarii
Extoller Soulward
 
The scenario was supply and demand. I started off with fortune on conquest and escort on Harkevich and went 2nd. I also forgot to take pictures for the first couple of rounds. 
 
First turn was pretty standard stuff, everything skorne ran forward except Hexxie and he put Ashen Veil on the gators. The raider was mostly a snipe-bot for the mammoth – so just assume he does that every turn.
 
My turn was pretty standard as well with handing out a focus to each jack. Conquest ran forward just behind a wall. The light artillery went up onto a hill. The WGI bobbed and weaved forward and were tough. Black Ivan advanced to a wreck marker and took a shot at a gator and hit but only did a couple of points. The demolisher took advantage of escort and ran through the forest on my right flank. Harkevich advanced and cast broadsides. The demolisher didn’t shoot, black ivan had an irrelevant scatter. Conquest targeted an incendiarii who was standing right next to Hexeris and got off a 5 inch crit dev which was pretty sweet. I killed the willbreaker and knocked the brute back and down and think I also killed the soulward. All in all I was pretty happy.
 
Second turn gators ran pretty central to set up a big charge. Brute shook his knockdown and ran to get in arc range of the WGI. Hexxie boosted black spot and hit them. The incendiarii shot and set some stuff on fire and I made a single tough and lost 4-5 WGI dudes. Conquest and the clamjack were also on fire.
 
I gave a focus to conquest and paid for both upkeeps. Fire went out on the clamjack (yay?), but continued on conquest but didn’t get through armor. Light artillery both fired at the gators and didn’t really do anything (I killed one, but he toughed and with no sleeping on the job it was irrelevant.) I also debated long and hard about whether to feat on this turn or not. Ultimately I went ahead and feated just because I thought the mammoth might be able to charge me next round. I also did a broadside and conquest got a fortunate drift and killed off a couple of paingiver beasthandlers. Conquest shot the brute and threw him back and did some damage but nothing major to the brute. The WGI did a huge CRA into one of the gators and rolled snake eyes for the miss. Damn. 
 
The gators charged across my line at Black Ivan and conquest and did some damage, but the feat kept most of it at bay. The rest of the WGI were killed by black spotting stuff. The mammoth ultimately didn’t charge due to the wall being in an annoying place so just set up for the next turn. It did some shooting but nothing stands out as shocking. 
 
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My turn I allocate 1 to Ivan, 1 to conquest and upkeep both spells. Conquest shoots rather than doing melee and kills the taskmaster with the secondary cannons and kills 1 or two gators in melee with it. Harkevich charged a gator and killed it and then used beat back to step back into a wreck marker. Black Ivan bulldozed the gator engaging it back and then stepped back and took the free strike and then shot and boosted damage at that gator doing some damage. I also ran the clamjack right in front of the mammoth.
 
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The mammoth was enraged and wrecked the clam jack and cleared out last remaining random models I had around leaving pretty much just Harkevich, Ivan, and the colossal. The incendiarii also moved forward to prevent conquest from charging – that was my last gambit with the clam jack. I took a few shots at the incendiarii out of spite and killed a couple.
 
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The mammoth was then enraged and, unsurprisingly, wrecked conquest with the help of a couple of feat turn hellfires from Hexeris who also dominated the zone. The writing was clearly on the wall so Harkevich took out the mechano-ham, stroked his beard once for luck and charged into the mammoth, determined to die a good death.
 
Man, that game was brutal. I hate incendiarii with a rage that equals their own fire weapons. Seriously, bombardiers are so much more terrible than them by any measure of comparison (more on that next game). It was a pretty solid attrition fest and I made a couple of mistakes. I think I forgot to mention it above, but Joe spent much of the game giving boosted attacks to the light artillery. It isn’t a terrible use for him, actually. That skorne list had no soft targets and Shep told me after that he basically built that list after he saw what I was playing so it was far from his normal Hexeris2 list. It was a pretty hard counter for mine. It was another game that had me thinking that out of theme would have been so much better.
 
Anyway, I will try and get the next report up sometime in the next few days. Thanks for taking the time to read!
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Things have been pretty busy for me lately but I managed to get in a quick game against Todd the other night. It won’t be my usual detail level for the game due to the aforementioned dearth of free time, but there are some pretty pictures – aside from the ones at the end of the game that I forgot to take…
 
Continuing the Year of the Beard theme I brought another Harkevich tier 4 theme force. Also, sr2014 is out so this is the last incursion for a while. I think am starting to get a pretty good handle on the strengths and weaknesses of his theme and will likely drop back to him out of theme in the near future. For today, however, my list was:
 
 Kommander Harkevich, The Iron Wolf – WJ: +5
– War Dog
– Black Ivan – PC: 9*
– Spriggan – PC: 9*
– Demolisher – PC: 8*
– Decimator – PC: 8*
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich – PC: 2
Widowmaker Marksman – PC: 2
Battle Mechaniks – Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew – Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
Winter Guard Mortar Crew – Leader & 1 Grunt: 3
Winter Guard Infantry – Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
– 1 1 Rocketeer’s: 1
– Winter Guard Officer & Standard – Winter Guard Officer & Standard 2
 
Todd is a fairly new Warmachine player but has a ton of experience with Warhammer 40k. As a Space Wolves player (read as: fanatic) there could never really be any doubt as to which faction he would choose – Circle Orboros.
 
 Kromac the Ravenous – WB: +4
– Feral Warpwolf – PC: 9
– Ghetorix – PC: 11
– Pureblood Warpwolf – PC: 9
– Warpwolf Stalker – PC: 10

Tharn Ravager White Mane – PC: 3

Tharn Blood Pack – Leader & 5 Grunts: 10
Shifting Stones – Leader & 2 Grunts: 2

 
I won the roll to go first (yay for +1) and picked my side and placed my wreck markers. 
 
Todd set up his stuff fairly centrally to give himself options to juke toward whichever flag stayed but he did put his Tharn bloodpack out on my extreme left set up to go around an obstacle and toward my back lines if that flag vanished.
 
As for me, I did the same, mostly central with my jacks, with Ivan heading toward a wreck marker that had good field of fire at the center and left flag but wouldn’t be too bad of a shift if he had to move over to the right. Also, my two light artillery pieces set up on the right where there was pretty wide open field of fire. Harkevich had Escort and I put Fortune on the widowmaker marksman.
 
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The game:
 
Kromac put up Warpath, puts wild aggression on Ghettorex and advanced. Everything else mostly ran forward. My turn was pretty much the same. I handed out some focus and ran most stuff up. I had the WGI bob and weave which was a mistake because they ended up blocking my jacks up a bit, but it wasn’t terrible. Joe gave them tough. The widowmaker marksman took a shot at a stone and hit it, but only did a point or two. Flag on the right disappeared.
 
Warbeasts advance again and the stones teleport into position to be annoying. Pureblood sprays and kills my poor widowmaker marksman and then warpaths back. Ghettorex warps for hyper aggressive and I promptly forget about that. Oops.
 
I want to do some big juicy WGI CRAs and those stones are kind of annoying me. The range is only 8 so I need to kill that 1 stone otherwise I will be engaging it (I know it can’t engage me, but I can still engage it as far as I know) and unable to shoot.
 
Annoying stones:
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This is one of the non-damaged ones. I fire the mortar over at it, figuring that will probably do it. I miss. Yes, def 5 and I freaking missed. Sigh, that’s okay, Ivan can take care of it. Or not. He only does 3. The field gun doesn’t have LOS to it. The decimator is out of range so advances on the pureblood and shoots it, boosts the hit, buys an extra attack, and boosts the hit. I do decent damage to it but don’t take out any systems. Harkevich has to shoot the damn stone with a boosted hand cannon to finally remove the freaking thing. So yeah, basically my entire army had to blow a turn of shooting on one single non-stealthed stone. The WGI advances and does a decent 4 man CRA into Ghettorex and trigger hyper aggressive (as I said above, oops). Those of you with math skills know that if he was in range to be shot, he is now in melee and thus free from further CRAs. Also, most everything else is out of range but they destroy another stone and put some damage on the pureblood. Pro play here. Joe calls tough on the WGI and then backs up from the ensuing carnage. The demolisher runs toward the flag on the left but is just short of basing up to it.
 
Pre-carnage
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Next turn, carnage ensues. Ghettorex warps snacking, kills two WGI and gulps them down healing all but 1 and then warpaths back, Kromac casts inviolable resolve on Ghettorex and moves wild aggression onto the stalker who uses his animus, warps for berserk and kills 3 WGI and then warpaths over and kills another couple before sprinting away. The tharn consider shooting the demolisher and then realize that even on boxcars they do no damage. Instead they move over toward the center flag and create a bubble of protection. The tharn solo bumps up to the center flag and gets a control point. The feral warps strength and charges the spriggan but doesn’t do much.
 
Ouch. Oh well, it is time to see how the decimator performs in melee. I give him 3 focus just to kind of see. I also am planning on popping feat this turn. I know I can easily destroy the pureblood, but I am curious to see how well I do against Ghettorex. I also gave 1 to ivan and 1 to the spriggan, up keeping only escort. Decimator charges in and boosts the hit just to make sure and get the chainsaw rolling. I then roll a 5 on the charge dice for damage. Ugh. I buy an attack which auto hits and do 2 or 3, then buy the last and do another 2 or 3. Super not impressed.
 
Ivan shoots kromac and does a few which Todd just takes (another lousy dice roll), and the spriggan charges the feral he is engaged with (1″ charge achievement unlocked!) and does some damage, but not a ton. At least he is pretty well locked in between the spriggan and the obstacle. Also I was unable to get within 4″ of his flag due to the tharn so he gets a 2nd control point. The demolisher bases up to the left flag and I get my first one.
 
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I also forgot to take any other pictures, sorry.
 
Ghettorex does some damage to the decimator but feat keeps him up and functional, the pureblood sprays and kills one of the last three WGI and the stalker warpaths over to get a charge angle on Ivan. Kromac moves up in order to make sure that the stalker is in his control area when does charge. Todd estimates how much fury he is going to have the next turn and drops most of it because he doesn’t want to frenzy and lose the game. Due to the angle he has to charge at, the only weapon in range to Ivan is the reach one. He hits the charge attack and does a several points of damage to the bearclaw, the second attack rips it off, but then misses the third attack even with the free boost from wild aggression. Ivan dodges away and out of melee range. He gets a third control point and I get my second.
 
Things are looking sort of bad for me, but not terrible. The WGI are all but decimated, though I still have Joe and the mortar. I don’t think I can handle Ghettorex, though I could probably kill both the feral and stalker this turn. I spend quite a bit of my time looking at the table. I don’t fancy my odds in a protracted game but I think I might be able to kill Kromac if everything goes (mostly) right.
 
I should have dropped escort because this is do or die time, but I foolishly kept it up and gave a focus to Ivan, holding on to 4 with the thought of maybe getting a broadside assassination.
 
Spriggan bumps out of melee with the feral and fired his two crap cannons but didn’t do anything to kromac. The mortar fired at one of the tharn that kromac was hiding behind and got a hit doing some damage but importantly got a pretty bonkers blast damage roll. Kromac transferred after considering hulking out and Todd starts wishing he had camped more fury.
 
Black Ivan got a direct hit on Kromac and knocked him down to 3 (arcing fire ftw). Joe shoots the tharn out of the way and Harkevich advanced and fired his hand cannon, boosting the roll and leaving me on 3 focus. I REALLY wish I would have dropped escort. I had a choice here, I was only at dice –2 with 3 wounds left which meant that I could could boost and quite likely kill him. If I crapped out though, it would be game over. The other option was to use the 3 for broadside, likely get the hit with Ivan and the straight dice roll would probably kill him. In the end I decided to risk it with Harkevich in order to put another in the mechanoham and got a 7 on 3 dice, winning the game.
 
Whew.
 
After Action Review:
Basically I got super lucky here that Todd was new. We talked about it after the game and if he had either camped all of his focus and just let stuff frenzy he possibly would have won on scenario. Had he done that I would have run Harkevich to dominate the flag and bullied my way into contesting with the spriggan so might have stolen it from him that way, though. He probably could have just waited out my feat turn rather than trying to power through the armor and then been able to not worry about losing activations from frenzy the following turn. 
 
I am not great on placing the wreck markers yet, but I am getting better. An interesting thing to note is that the inability to put it within 3″ of another piece of terrain sometimes has me put them in less than ideal places which I then feel obligated to use because I placed them. 
 
I made exactly 1 tough check all game, which hurt a bit, but didn’t really affect the game that much. The decimator was a huge disappointment. I fed the pig full focus twice, and neither time did all that much. I certainly could have used it better elsewhere. I was really hoping to be won over to this little-used model, but in reality I am more down on it than I was prior to use. I really wished I had the juggernaut instead.
 
Once more it was Harkevich taking a hand in the victory, which is something most Khador casters are expected to do, and something that I didn’t do much prior to this. I never cast broadside this game, but there wasn’t really a good chance until the end and I considered it just to get the elusive broadside assassination, but went with the more likely scenario. I guess I could have tried my broadside hand cannon first just for the twofer, but oh well. 
 
All in all, it was a really bad matchup for me, but a super fun game. This same matchup played in 2 months against Todd will likely have a very different result, which gives me some food for thought. 
 
Thanks for reading!
I got in a game last night with Harkevich. The list is a bit unorthodox but basically, I got some new models built and wanted to try them out (Alexia2, the AKs and I still only have a couple of games in with the Gun Carriage). 
 
Kommander Harkevich, The Iron Wolf – WJ: +5
– Black Ivan – PC: 10
– Juggernaut – PC: 7
– Spriggan – PC: 10
Gun Carriage – PC: 9
Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2
Koldun Lord – PC: 2
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire – PC: 4
Assault Kommandos – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– 3 1 Kommando’s: 3
 
So, just because it is unorthodox, doesn’t mean I just threw them in without having any kind of plan. I am looking at making Harkevich my pair with Vlad3 for the year and I have been thinking to skew it as my hordes matchup. As I envision it, the assault kommandos are there to use their gas grenades to either provide protection for the warjacks giving them a –2 mat to models engaging them or a +2 rat for ranged shots (particularly a broadsides shot if I choose to use it), or a +2 mat for when the jacks charge (probably on feat turn) where they can possibly also get a def bonus the following turn.
 
Alexia is there because she is new, but also to provide some protection from crippling grasp or other magical armor debuffs as well as another pow 14 that can be used at range and boosted. The thralls are nice disruption pieces and also have some scenario ability.
 
The gun carriage can play slightly different in the Harkevich list in that it can be more up the middle thanks to his Field Marshal [Pathfinder] ability so I can use it almost like a poor man’s Inhospitable Ground as well as doing some nice damage with those high POW aoes. 
 
The rest of the list is pretty standard stuff aside from running 3 jacks in Khador. 
 
Kyle was also trying out some new stuff – namely Zaal and some arcuarii. I’ve played against Zaal exactly once so this should be fun. Aside from the fact that he will steal all of the souls out from under Alexia2 in his control area. Suck for my new toy but pretty cool. At least Alexia2 provided me an option for dealing with the Kovaas.

Supreme Aptimus Zaal – WB: +5
– Kovaas
– Basilisk Drake – PC: 4
– Titan Sentry – PC: 9
– Titan Gladiator – PC: 8
Extoller Soulward – PC: 2
Hakaar the Destroyer – PC: 4
Ancestral Guardian – PC: 3
Ancestral Guardian – PC: 3
Cataphract Arcuarii – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Nihilators – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer – Tyrant and Standard: 3

 
I was a bit worried about my armor standing up to all of his weapon masters, last stand, and Zaal’s feat giving boosts to hit and damage and letting his beasts use their fury to buy attacks.
 
I won the roll and chose the table side and we were off to the races. Sorry again about the crappy pics. It’s an old phone and I can’t get a new one right now.
 
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We were playing SR2014 Incursion again mostly because it is the only one I know and I am lazy. So, yeah, Kyle set up first and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to line my AKs across from his arcuarii and drake. I put the gun carriage central and the jacks, hark, the koldun lord and Alexia on my left side. 
 
The tycom put pathfinder on the arcuarii and they ran through the woods, with inviolable resolve landing on them at some point (it would be there most of the game). The gladiator got the free animus spell and everything else mostly advanced.
 
My turn I put fortune on the AKs, escort on Hark, and advanced most everything else – the AKs advanced in shield wall. The gun carriage trampled forward and dropped a couple of rough terrain templates.
 
We rolled for the flag that vanished and of course, the one we both wanted to disappear (the one right behind the tower) remained. Clearly that was a watchtower which the Skorne invaders needed to occupy in order to press forward into the Khadoran homeland and Harkevich vowed by his beard not to let that happen.
 
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On the Skorne side the arcuarii advanced again and took some shots at the AKs and killed a couple. The nihilators swarmed around the remaining flank flag (backed up by Hakkar) and an ancestral guardian claimed the flag in the middle along with some elephant support.
 
For my turn I had to contest both flags or I would give up a lot of control points fast. I dropped fortune from the AKs so I could give the spriggan a couple of focus and I held on to escort. I wasn’t quite sure if one of the advancing nihilators had engaged Alexia2 and I wanted to get her a couple of souls while Zaal was still back far enough that I could since I wanted to have her available to destroy the kovaas with Hellfire. I debated long and hard about feating this turn but with where the templates were I figured there wouldn’t be much that could threaten me yet so I decided to save it for next turn.
 
The spriggan charged in such a way that he would end up contesting the left flag. I didn’t think I would need both focus on him to kill a couple of nihilators but I did figure I would need it for them to stay dead thanks to tough. Turned out I was right, 2 focus=2 dead nihilators=2 souls on Alexia.  Alexia was not engaged now for sure (the spriggan had killed that model) so she did a ride by attack with Hellfire and made sure that she got her third soul and then returned to the relative safety of the building.
 
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The assault commandos ended up getting the Assault and Battery order and I foolishly shot with their pow10s at the arcuarii and a couple of models didn’t shoot at all due to range. I did send a couple of gas grenades forward on to the arcuarii but I should have done more sooner. For their movement those who could charge did and a couple of others ran. Notably one of the brave flamethrowers ran up base to base with the elephant that Zaal was cowering behind. The ancestral guardian next to the elephant hit it with a defensive strike and he set both elephants, a couple of arcuarii, and zaal aflame. He probably shouldn’t have taken that defensive strike, but it was irrelevant because I had planned on shooting my gun carriage at him from behind anyway. And Black Ivan if necessary. A couple of other ones ran just to the area to contest the center flag. The AKs managed to kill 2 of the arcuarii and hurt 2 others. 
 
The koldun lord gave Ivan a focus again and his shot drifted just a bit and hit two guys, one was killed but the soulward was closer than Alexia was so snatched that soul up.
 
The gun carriage advanced and fired both shots at the low def ancestral guardian who was sitting on armor 20 or 21 at this point. I did some damage and put a few points on Zaal from blast damage as well as putting a couple of points on one of the arcuarii. The rough terrain templates also caught both elephants, Zaal and the ancestral guardian who, wasn’t going anywhere thanks to his low speed. The gun carriage then dropped back thanks to ride-by attack.
 
I think that pretty much wrapped up that turn.
 
The fire went out on one of the elephants but everything else continued to burn. Zaal transferred his damage over to the damaged ancestral guardian to bring the kovaas into play. He wouldn’t be able to activate this turn, but he was in a good central position. Also, Zaal doesn’t like taking fire damage at dice –2.
 
The extoller soulward made the spriggan hit itself and he did for like 8 points of damage.  Zaal shifted a bit over to my left and put last stand on the nihilators who then charged the spriggan. Only 4 of them could get on the warjack but that was enough to knock out everything but his movement. Ouch.
 
The gladiator trampled over the three assault kommandos that were contesting the zone. Oops, I guess I hadn’t actually spread them out that well. The arcuarii killed a couple of the AKs. The drake advanced through the forest and sprayed killing a few more but they passed their leadership test. He did end up scoring a control point.
 
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For my turn, Hark upkept escort and started to shift a bit to the left. I cast broadside and killed a couple of nihilators as well as finishing off the beast handlers. The spriggan killed off one or two of the nihilators. The 4 remaining assault kommandos killed off another arcuarii and prepared to sell their lives to hold things up a bit more. The gun carriage moved forward in a ride by attack, fired a couple more shots and killed the last of the beast handlers. I was trying to be cute and knock down the elephant with a melee attack but rolled snake eyes and so ended up stuck in melee with the gladiator. At least he was contesting the middle flag (or no one was claiming it).
 
Zaal burned some more and transferred a pretty hefty about of damage – 8 I think – over to the drake. He popped his feat stayed in his bunker. Hakkar charged the spriggan and destroyed it. The gladiator destroyed the gun carriage. The kovaas charged and then threshered a couple of the AKs and somehow missed the arcuarii caught in the arc. We played it slightly wrong here in that we had the AK explode in a cloud (which is what the picture shows) but that was his other ability. New models, but it was cool and cinematic. Ultimately it only screwed him because one of the arcuarii only had one box left and couldn’t move through it. The drake dropped back a bit. 
 
 
It was go time for Harkevich’s feat. I gave 2 focus to the juggernaut, 2 to black ivan, and kept escort. He shifted a bit to the left and fired a shot from his hand cannon at max range and put down another nihilator who failed his tough. The juggernaut charged the gladiator and left him with 3 boxes in his spirit, but did make him stationary. Ivan charged Hakkar and killed him. 
 
Zaal continued to burn and sent it over to the drake leaving it almost dead. The gladiator shook the stationary effect and the sentry moved to claim the center flag.  Zaal was starting to get a bit desperate and moved out of his bunker to get range on the last few nihilators and put last stand on them again – he also popped his feat and spent 2 fury healing the gladiator. He then tried to make Ivan hit himself but missed and Ivan dodged forward base up to the flag and try and minimize the places that chargers could stand. It ultimately didn’t matter, because all three survivors were able to get the charge onto Ivan. Even at dice –11 the combination of last stand and charge dice put close to 15 points on Ivan but luckily for me he rolled different columns for everything.
 
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With Zaal’s feat he was able to use all the fury to buy attacks but the combination of  Harkevich’s feat and having to blow a fury to shake saved the juggernaut. He wrecked the left arm but that was it.
 
Whew. It looked tight, but I Zaal was only at 3 fury or so and I thought I might be able to get off a broadsides ranged assassination if everything went just right. Hark dropped escort – there was neither need for the extra movement for the jacks nor one close enough for armor.  The koldun lord stepped up and tried to lock Zaal in an ice cage and… missed. I should have called it off when that failed, but once I set a course I foolishly stick with it. Black Ivan shifted around to where he had line of sight to Zaal and took a shot. He missed and the drift did nothing. Harkevich put fortune on himself and moved to get Zaal into range. I cast broadsides and thanks to the reroll got the 9 I needed to hit. Here I forgot to boost the damage with that 1 focus I had left over. Oops. Oh well. Then I rolled a 2. Kyle obviously marked that on Zaal’s card. Black Ivan’s shot hit Zaal and did enough damage that it had to be transferred to the sentry. Harkevich then fired his regular shot and missed with the reroll. It was definitely time for a bit of damage control to hopefully survive. 
 
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I moved Alexia up to engage the titan sentry and keep him from being able to get to Harkevich and the juggernaut finished off the gladiator. Alexia dropped off 2 thralls in the sentry’s back arc and they both charged Zaal and missed. Man that ice cage was clutch!
 
Damage control was about the best I could hope for.
 
Zaal continued to burn (yay!) and the damage was transferred to the sentry. The tyrant commander (who had been advancing suspiciously) pressed himself forward and charged Alexia! D’oh! I absolutely did not see that coming AT ALL. He was just in range and managed to one shot the witch. The arcuarii charged the juggernaut and did some damage but again spread it out enough to not take out any systems though I only had about 10 boxes left. The sentry had to pay for the charge on Harkevich and missed Harkevich with the boost on the initial attack. He boosted a hit with the shield and did 8 or 9 boxes and then missed with the tusks. Having to boost and pay for the charge meant that Harkevich survived, still having 10 boxes. The soulward made Ivan hit himself again and he lost the bear claw. 
 
Whew. I lived. I spent a long time looking at the table and then thought, you know, they give Hark a 7 MAT and a PS 14 for a reason. I measured my control area carefully and made sure I have the charge and there was a line that could get me past the Tycom without taking a free strike from him. I decided Page 5 and kept fortune up. I started with the surviving thrall who actually got a hit and did a few points of damage which were transferred to the sentry. I had hoped to take out a spiral, but no luck. Next up Ivan aimed and shot the thrall in the back (he had a lower defense). The thrall was pasted and I did 1 to Zaal. Mostly I wanted to get the thrall out of melee so that the koldun lord could redeem himself and ice cage Zaal. He missed again. D’oh! 
 
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Zerkova would be hearing about his failures.
 
Zaal was sitting on 4 fury and I had 5 focus. It was most definitely go time. Harkevich declared a charge on the old skorne. I needed 8s to hit with a reroll. He had 2 beasts left and something like 10 boxes but I would be rolling straight dice. My charge attack not only hit, but got a crit meaning he was staggered and lost his initials next turn! A cool side effect, but largely irrelevant. I also beat him back with every attack that hit just to make sure I was out of tycom range for the next turn. I rolled 10 for damage which was enough to kill the sentry exactly. I missed the 2nd attack. I hit the 3rd attack for 6 points, which he took. The 4th attacks both missed! That stupid koldun lord! The 5th attack missed. The reroll, however, came down a hit. I rolled a 7 for damage which was just enough to splash back and take out the ancient warlock. It had been costly but the invasion had been repelled.
 
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Man that was a FUN game. Exactly what Warmachine is about to me. Two forces setting up and beating the hell out of each other with the generals finally mixing it up and finishing things off. A super fun game that taught me a lot about Harkevich. 
 
He can do some work on his own, and I think he should probably be doing work all game long. His theme list is pretty solid and I get why so many people love it, but it is just a fact of life that our jacks are mat 6. That isn’t good. It means you need to boost to hit def 12 reliably. Or find a way to drop that. The theory behind the Hark lists I am testing are all about looking for ways to cheat that. Assault kommandos do that vs. living. Ice cages do that against everything, assuming you can hit. And they can both stack pretty easily. I am not writing off his theme force, I have seen some really intriguing lists and I will definitely be trying them. 
 
Anyway, thanks for reading this novella 😉 I’ll likely write more, but I am out of time.