Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Warmachine Batrep #1: Circle Orboros vs. Skorne 50 Points (with pictures!)

Howdy, folks! Xaereth here with a double-header battle report for Warmachine/Hordes! I usually just call the combined game "Warmachine", and will likely just do that henceforth.

As this post attests, I have not played Warmachine in around 3 years. I'm pretty new to the whole scene, and there are a TON of new models I had no idea existed. Circle now has birds for warbeasts. Who thought that was a good idea?

My aim is to make as competitive a list as possible, which is awesome, because hey - you can do that in Warmachine and still be fluffy! :)

At any rate, let's jump into the lists!

Circle Orboros:

-Kromac the Ravenous (+4)

Warpwolf Stalker
Pureblood Warpwolf

5x Wold Stalkers
5x Wold Stalkers
Swamp Gobbers
Shifting Stones w/ UA
Shifting Stones

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Druid Wilder

The idea behind my list is essentially to make use of Warpath to increase my threat range. The Wold Stalkers are ranged units who are great at killing infantry, and once I kill an enemy model, I can advance a Warbeast 3" outside of their activation. This is an awesome ability, though keep in mind I can only use Warpath once on a beast each turn.

Otherwise, the Warp Wolves are all there to kill heavies, or infantry, or whatever. Because of the Stalker's animus (which gives me lightning strike, letting me essentially "hit and run"), I can send my guys out, kill all the closest models, and then escape 6" away, forcing my opponent to get much closer to me than he wants to should he try to reciprocate the damage done.

Not really a subtle list, but pretty fun nonetheless, and has a lot of really hard-hitting models!

Skorne List:

Supreme Aptimus Zaal


5x Praetorian Ferox (cavalry)
10x Swordsmans w/ UA
Swamp Gobbers
Pain Givers (min)

Ancestral Guardian
Void Spirit

His list idea:

First, I believe that Vince was 5 points over this game. He let me know about it after he found out, and he has traditionally always been a straight shooter about things like that. Not much point in him trying to get an advantage over a new player like me, so let's not focus on that. :)

His list is a really cool one. Essentially, he throws a bunch of infantry models at me, forcing me to kill them or be overrun. However, once I've killed a bunch of his models, he can pop his feat, which gives him extra boosts to attacks and damage rolls for every model killed. So, sort of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" sort of list, which makes for some very difficult decision-making indeed. In addition, if I refuse to play along, he can give his models a power that gives them "extra" hit/damage rolls on their melee attacks for a turn, then immediately die on their own. So, they kill stuff, die, then make the other stuff in his army awesome :)

He won the roll to go first, and took it.

His deployment:

Here's his deployment. Keep in mind that Vince DOES paint his models, but is waiting for the grow league so he can get points for it :)

I did actually take a picture of my own deployment, but it was causing formatting errors, so I just decided to get rid of it. Deployment in Warmachine isn't as interesting/important as it is in 40k/Fantasy anyways.

Skorne Turn 1:

Vince moved his dudes up to threaten the zone. I believe we were playing Killbox as well, which means we have to keep our casters 14" away from any board edge, or give the opponent 2 "CP".

We are playing to 5 CP - if I have models in the zone and Vince does not, I get 1 CP. If my caster is in the zone while none of his models are contesting, I get 2 CP. This all begins at the end of the 2nd player's second turn.

He advances!
Circle Turn 1:

I took a lot longer to take this turn than I want to admit. It's just damned awkward to get used to the game mechanics again after so much inactivity.

His moves were so aggressive that I wasn't sure how to deal with them. It seemed like his cavalry were really strong, so I wanted to stay out of his charge range. That would in turn force me away from threatening the zone too much in my next turn, but I didn't feel like losing a Beast on the top of 2nd due to me be incautious.

Oh yeah, you can also see the two objectives in the form of large bases. We each can earn a CP for destroying the other player's objective, which is reasonably difficult to kill.
Skorne Turn 2:

He cast Inviolable Resolve on the Ferox Cavalry, and ran up to stall my advance.

He's now DEF 13 and ARM 19 on those guys. Yikes!

Swordsmen ran up, but didn't get a charge off or anything.

This is an overview of the end of his turn. As you can see, I didn't lose any models, but he did succeed in making it difficult for me to actually get to the zone and contest his stuff.
Circle Turn 2:

I needed to get to the zone and contest, or Vince will get an easy 2-3 CP immediately. I only needed to "toe the line" with my beasts, so my idea was to cast Lightning Strike on the big beasts, kill some of the Cavalry, and then toe the line outside of his (perceived) small threat radius.

So, the Stalker killed the closest Ferox, triggering Warpath for Gettorix, who moved up and killed a couple more Ferox. The Purebood killed the final Ferox. All of them advanced with Warpath, and the Stalker/Ghettorix Lightning struck to the edge of the zone.

Wold Stalkers on this side killed one of his Ancestral Guardians, who (instead of actually dying) turned into some ridiculous other solo who was apparently more dangerous still. Madness.

Other Wold Stalkers killed a bunch of Swordsmen, and that was basically it. You can also see some of my shifting stones moved up to protect against charges on my Stalker.

Gobbers also gave their little bubble of fog, as you can see.
Skorne Turn 3:

First, he cast "Last Stand" on the Swordsmen, who charged my Pureblood, Stalker, and the objective.

He put the little flames next to the models to show that they would die at the end of the turn because he used Last Stand on them. You can also see that my objective took 14 damage, 1 away from dying. Note that I'm using dice as Fury Tokens this game (and next), but the pips don't actually mean anything - each dice counts as "1" Fury.
I actually made a critical error this turn - I was contesting the zone, but for some reason thought that the wall in the middle of the zone was difficult terrain, which would have kept his Despoiler from charging me. I also didn't realize that he would be okay with sacrificing a full beast with his "Last Stand" spell.

So... the Brute warbeast used "Last Stand" to kill my Stalker. The Despoiler was in range, and killed my Ghettorix, along with his other two incorporeal dudes there. Ouch.
I should also note that this was the turn Vince chose to pop his feat, giving a few of his guys super-boosted attacks and damage rolls. Poor old Ghettorix :)

As you can see, I only have one big beast left, and though he lost a lot of guys this turn from Last Stand, he did gain TWO CP, because his caster was inside the zone, "dominating" it.
Circle Turn 3:

I still had some chances to win the game, though it was going to be really tough. I upkept Warpath on Kromac, and decided I needed to kill the Despoiler and Agonizer. It was time to pop the feat and try to clear the zone!

So, Wold Stalkers killed his two incorporeal models on the right, triggering Warpath and having the Pureblood risk a free strike from the Swordsmen (who missed).

The pureblood warped for STR, charged the Despoiler, and did minimal damage. Kromac activated, cast some spells (which cost double because of how close the Despoiler was) and then popped his feat. He jumped over and killed the damned Despoiler.

My other shooting managed to finish off his Agonizer at some point as well.

Reasonable turn for me, though now I will have to weather his assassination attempt. I feel that I had no real choice in the matter, however - he would have just won had I not killed his Despoiler.

Kromac looking like a badass, and in very real danger of getting WTFpwned next turn.

Yep.... doesn't he look like a badass? :) Note that the Lord of the Feast was subbing in for my Stone Keeper UA as a proxy.

Another... overview?
Skorne Turn 4:

First, he cast Last Stand on his Cannoneer, and walked up and punched my Pureblood to death without even trying. Then, he shot Kromac some, charged him with a couple things, and, he died :(

Not looking awesome for Kromac - poor bastard.

Results: Loss for Circle Orboros!!

I hadn't played the game for a long time, and was proud to have kept a veteran at bay for as long as I did. His feat had some really cool synergy with the rest of the models, and I was actually just excited to be learning new stuff!

We decided to play again, same lists, same mission.

Only difference: I won the roll to go first, and took it.

Circle Orboros Deployment

Deployments aren't exciting in Warmachine, lol

Equally unexciting deployment.
Circle Turn 1:

I had lost the last game because I wasn't aggressive enough. I decided that in this game, I would threaten the zone immediately, and force Vince to come to me. First turn seems like a big advantage in this particular scenario.

Wild Aggression on the Stalker, as it should be, with Inviolable Resolve on the Ghettorix and War Path on Kromac.
Skorne Turn 1:

He moved up some, but I didn't get a picture. He was far more cautious this turn. I believe some of the Ferox riders ran up to "jam" me, but otherwise, he stayed on the edge of the zone.

Circle Turn 2:

I killed a few Ferox with the Wold Stalkers, and warpathed Ghettorix up, killing the Cannoneer and Lightning Striking away the full 6".

Ghetto is hanging out here, killing the damned Cannoneer (his model is on the top left, having been removed, woot!)
Stalker then jumped over to kill his remaining Ferox, did so, and Lightning Struck away again.

Two beasts, toeing the line. Good turn for Circle, killing all 5 Ferox and the Cannoneer, also staying (mostly) out of range of his retribution.
Skorne Turn 2:

He had no choice but to pop his feat, and did so. He then moved one of his Ancestral Guardians along with the incorporeal dude up, boosted all their stuff and....

KILLED THE STALKER, turning him into an AOE, haha!

This game is so funny - just lots of stuff I need to learn - I thought the Stalker would be safe from two solos, but that feat made them ridiculous!

He also moved his Brute up and killed about 3 Wold Stalkers.

Ouch, poor Stalker.
Circle Turn 3:

I saw an opportunity - Zaal was behind his wall, but in definite charge range of Ghetto. I decided that I would go for the assassination attempt.

So, Pureblood roasted the Ancestral Guardian and other incorporeal guy, triggering warpath for Ghettorix. Wold Stalkers killed the Guardian's 2nd form. Wilder casted "Primal" on the Ghettorix (giving him +2 MAT and +2 STR), Kromac put Wild Aggression on him, and the Ghettorix CHARGED.

Ghettorix is swinging with boosted melee attack rolls at 11 MAT (on his first strike) vs. Zaal's 17 DEF (through the linear obstacle). His STR is like 21. I got a free charge, and ... didn't have to spend any Fury. He died in one swing.

Results: Win by assassination for Circle Orboros!!

Whew, that was pretty crazy! I thought that having the first turn here was HUGE, and was able to take advantage. I also knew the shenanigans Vince's army could pull, so I was able to avoid potential pitfalls.

Zaal seems like a great caster! I thought that perhaps Vince should have been a little more ballsy with his Swordsmen, though I think he was wary about letting me trigger Warpath. As it turned out, I got Warpath by killing his Ferox riders anyways.

At any rate, playing these games was a lot of fun, and I'm excited for my next iteration of Warmachine!

Let me know what you think, if thoughts you have :)

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