Today was week 2 in our Journeyman Grow League in Fort Collins, CO. I have decided to play as Baldur1, who I initially thought of as a boring choice. I mean - who wants to play big slow dudes who have zero defense? Just doesn't seem very flexible to me, and I've never been a fan of attrition armies.
However, Baldur1 does give a lot of fun tactical flexibility. I need to work on some things with him (obviously), but there are lots more options with him than I had initially foreseen. Let's see how I did: I got 3 games in, all of which were quite fun :)
Grow League Week 2 Requirements:
1) Battle Box contents remain in the list
2) 15 points (so in my case, add 3 points)
3) Mission is one big 12" zone to control (that might have just been our league's rules, not sure if that holds with all journeyman leagues)
Game 1: Circle Baldur1 vs. Matt's Trollbloods Doomshaper1
-Dire Troll Mauler
3x Trollkin Runeshapers
Mission: Big old 12" zone in the middle. I won the roll to go first, and elected to go second, for not apparent reason. I honestly think it's just an old 40k instinct - I hate going first in 40k lol. I actually think that is a big mistake to assume it's the same in Warmachine though.
Note: Matt had ordered the guys he wanted to use, but they hadn't come in yet. So, he had two proxies. One was an Axer, which he was using as the Pyre Troll, and the other was a Kriel Stone, which he was using as his Storm Troll.
Axer = Pyre Troll
Kriel Stone = Storm Troll
I honestly had no idea what to do against this army. I knew he had Purification, which negates a lot of my awesome spells, and I also knew that he was going to hit like a truck in combat. Really, I just wanted to see what they could do - if I lost, so be it. Just mix it up and see what sorts of things I will need to do in the future to avoid being annihilated by Trollbloods.
This is actually my first game EVER against Trolls. Kind of exciting, as Trolls really appeal to me aesthetically. They would be the army I'd start if Circle wasn't around.
|Our terrain placement was honestly a little sub-par. Not nearly as interesting as I would normally have preferred. Ah well, I'll do better next time.|
He moved up. Wooo!
|Sorry for the blur - these were taken on my phone, rather than my camera.|
Guardian riled for two and ran up 8".
Warden moved up 5" and cast Stone Skin on Guardian, then cast Wild Growth.
Stones teleported to get the Guardian within their confines.
Baldur cast Wild Growth on himself, Solid Ground, and a random forest in the zone, to potentially slow down the big guy.
|I need to get better at putting the Warden within the Stones' teleport circle. :-/|
He kind of just moved closer. Runeshapers tried to kill a stone, but failed due to stealth + immunity to blast weapons. A couple random shots went into the Guardian, who had Stone Skin and didn't really feel it.
Circle Turn 2:
I moved up into the zone, and got ready to mess with him a little. I kept the Guardian within teleport range for the stones, but also within charge range of his big guys, should he manage to kill a stone.
Baldur moved up, cast Wild Growth again, and popped his feat, making it impossible for his trolls to get to me next turn.
Warden cast Wild Growth as well, for some reason. I think he was outside the range for Earthspikes.
|Will I be able to get into him next turn, or can Doomy stop me?|
Doomy went first, and popped his feat, making it impossible for me to spend Fury without taking d6 damage for each fury! Wow, what a crazy feat :)
Then, Doomy cast Rampager on the Guardian, who walked over and somehow failed to kill one of my Stones. Actually, I think we played it wrong - he rolled to hit and got snake eyes. I think he should have auto-hit, though I didn't realize that until my 3rd game of the night :-/
THEN Doomy cast Stranglehold on the Guardian, needing (I think?) a 12 or higher. He boosted, and did a point of damage, taking away the Guardian's movement or action. This would make it impossible for the Guardian to make good use of the Stones. Doh!
The rest of his army didn't really do much, just hung back and waited for me to go.
Circle Turn 3:
I did not opt to upkeep the spells, as Baldur didn't want to take 2d6 straight damage from the feat. What a crippling feat that is! Awesome :)
Baldur activated, went backwards a few inches (outside of Doomy's control) and put a forest between the Mauler and my Guardian. He also re-cast Solid Ground.
The Warden cast Stone Skin on the Guardian, and took some damage for his troubles. He also cast Rapid Growth to get Baldur into the forest and therefore, concealed. Stones warped over to surround the Warden.
|Yikes, three turns and I haven't even made a single attack roll. Kind of a depressing game :)|
Doomy went first and got Rampager off on the Guardian, who moved forward 3". He also cast some more spells and got rid of all his fury.
His other trolls then went in and butchered the poor Guardian. His Runeshapers were also able to kill one of my stones, negating my teleport shenanigans.
Really bad turn for Circle, heh.
|Looking grim - it's now Turn 4, and I haven't even made a single attack roll, I've lost my hardest hitter, and I can't teleport with the stones. For 15 points, not looking good at all.|
Circle Turn 4:
I knew I had to try to assassinate this turn, or I'd lose the game.
So first, I used the Warden to walk over to Baldur and cast Rapid Growth on himself, creating a forest that Baldur was in, and cast Stone Skin on Baldur using geomancy.
Stones then activated, and the UA shot his AOE on Doomy, doing a few points of damage.
Baldur cast Rapid Growth next to Doomshaper, then used Forest Walk to appear directly next to him.
It only took 3 swings, and Doomy was dead.
I should take the time now to point out that this was not actually 100% legal, a fact I was not aware of until I got home and looked it up. Apparently, Baldur needed to be 100% within the forest to be able to Forest Walk, and mathematically it is impossible for him to share the forest generated by the Warden, after the Warden has moved. So, I messed that up.
However, Baldur would still have just cast the animus himself and tried the assassination with two less fury - there was no way I was going to win otherwise. And, it only took two fury to kill Doomy once I was there.
So, while I fully admit that I did it wrong, I will also point out that Doomy would have gone down. Had this been a tournament game, I'd feel pretty bad, regardless. But, this is a grow league, and mistakes will happen. Sorry, Matt, I'll do it better next time!
|Why is it that primed models look worse than unprimed models? They should look better, haha!|
Well, despite my error, it was a well-executed assassination, in my opinion. Doomy was quite exposed, and I needed to finish him off, no matter what.
Besides the assassination though, it was a depressing game. His Feat countered mine handily, and gave him the initiative. Matt should have used Purification more - it's a great spell, and really screws Baldur1 up, as you'll see in the next game. However, he still managed to wallop the shit out of me pretty good without it, and he's just now starting to play Warmachine, so it's a promising start for him! Also, I know it's probably common knowledge, but who knew some trolls had 5 Fury?? I didn't! haha, good learning experience.
15 points is really not enough to have a good take-all-comers army, I think. This list has very few options, and I'm forced to take 18 points I don't really want to take. I think that Baldur's feat would be much better with living models who would actually benefit from concealment, but... eh. Whatever, I'm having fun, and learning lots of new stuff! Let's get on to the next game!
Game 2: Circle Baldur1 vs. Nick's Menoth Kreoss1
High Exemplar Kreoss, the Dick
He won the roll to go first, and took it.
Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to playing against Menoth. My one and only game against Menoth in the past (over three years ago) was an awful game. Guy wasn't awful, but he didn't know his rules, all the rules seemed jenky as hell, and the game lasted OVER four hours. Really not a great situation.
However, this was a different opponent, and he had already painted his force to an excellent quality. Further, I knew I could trust him because hey - he recognized my from this blog and said he liked it. That made him immediately trustworthy :)
The whole game Nick was really helpful, explaining rules, letting me take a couple things back (soon I will stop allowing myself to do that, but for now I need to build muscle memory), and going through good hypothetical rules questions. Just a fun game, and lots more learning to be had.
And seriously, maybe he's not the top top caster out there (not even sure if he's considered as a mainstream "tournament" caster), but seriously - what a jerk he is! :)
My goal this game was to avoid Purification with Baldur in order to keep his blasts from ruining me. Keeping the stones alive would be key, and I was hoping I could use the Feat + Stones teleport combo to get the Guardian to wreck a Jack with no real repercussions. We'll see how that turned out!
|I'm still so damned awkward about where to place my Stones! I'm slowly figuring it out though.|
Menoth Turn 1:
He gave some Focus to his Jacks and ran them forward. Woot.
Circle Turn 1:
I did the same thing I did last game - ran the Guardian, cast forests everywhere, and Stone Skin on the Guardian. Stones shifted around awkwardly.
|Looks like maybe I just casted Flesh of Clay on the Guardian then charged one of Nick's models. Probably the better way of doing things against shooty armies.|
He cast Defender's Ward on his Crusader, and moved the group up. He also set one of my stones on fire, and would (in my turn) put a single point of damage on it.
|His little guy is in easy range of my Guardian. Dare I pop my feat already?|
I decided that now was a good time to pop my feat, and try to get a little points/model advantage while I still had my Stones.
First, I upkept Solid Ground and Stone Skin.
Stones activated and teleported the Guardian to be near the Repenter.
Guardian activated and annihilated the Repenter with a fury to spare.
Warden cast Earth Spikes on the Crusader and did a few points of damage, but failed to knock it down.
Baldur cast a forest directly in front of him to block LOS, then camped 2 Fury and popped his feat, making sure to keep the Guardian out of the charge range of any of the Jacks.
|Well, that got him down 4 points. Kind of a big deal in a 15 point game, I suppose.|
|He faced his models backwards as wreck markers, since he didn't have bases to do it.|
Nick decided to play it cautious this turn. He backed up so that the Guardian wouldn't be in charge range of his jacks, and shot some more at me, failing to do much.
|He still has yet to pop his feat...|
Guardian backed up to within the Stones. Warden cast a Earth Spikes at his Crusader, but failed to knock him down with a crit. I did little to no damage.
Baldur cast a forest in front of the Warden, then for fun, he cast a forest on top of himself.
Stones shifted so that it would be difficult to shoot them even if Purification went off and got rid of Solid Ground.
|Next turn I should be able to get the Guardian into him, IF he doesn't kill one of my stones.|
He decided to hold fast, and shoot at my stuff, first using Purification to get rid of Stone Skin and the various forests. Warden took some damage, but nothing too crazy.
|I rolled to extinguish the ongoing fire effects pretty well this game, actually.|
I had an opportunity to wipe out another jack this turn!
First, the Warden activated and cast Stone Skin on the Guardian.
Then, the Stones went and shot at his Jacks, failing to knock them down with a crit, then shifted the Guardian into B2B with both big Jacks.
I decided to go for the jack costing the most points, and with the big gun. I figured the Crusader couldn't be very awesome (right?). Plus, he had Defender's Ward up, which made him ARM 21 + DEF 12.
The Guardian went to town on the Vanquisher, and rolled just low enough that it had ONE BOX remaining. Doh!!
|Silly Menoth :)|
He popped his feat, cast Purify, and had his Jacks try to kill the Guardian. I couldn't believe how hard the Crusader hit - he MISSED TWO ATTACKS WITH SNAKEYES and still killed the full-life Guardian easily. A 6-point jack one-shotted the Guardian with damage to spare? Pretty crazy!
Because the Stone Keeper was already knocked down, he sent in a member of the choir to attack him, but failed to kill him. Heh.
|Everyone is knocked down and purified!|
I just had to stand back up again and get the Warden inside the stones. It was a big mistake to be outside the stones in the first place. I threw two Earth Spikes at the Crusader to try to knock it down, and succeeded on my second attempt (with Baldur).
I had forgotten to cast any other spells, which was a little risky, since Kreoss wouldn't be forced to Purify next turn.
Stone Keeper killed the Choir member. SO GOOD AT THIS GAME!
|Wow, there are a lot of turns in this game!|
Menoth Turn 6:
He got up with the Crusader, charged the Druid, and killed him. This allowed the Vanquisher to target the Warden and set him, Baldur, and a stone on fire. Didn't do too much, though at this point the Warden was kind of banged up from being shot at a bunch.
Circle Turn 6:
Baldur decided to charge the Crusader and cast Stone Skin on himself once he had gotten there, before his initial attack. He took the Crusader down to a few boxes left, but failed to kill it.
The Stones activated and ported the Warden to within striking distance of the Jacks.
Warden used Geomancy to cast Stone Skin on himself, then killed both remaining Jacks.
At this point, Nick had Kreoss and three Choir members left.
|Wow, lots and lots of turns this game :)|
Kreoss decided to try and kill Baldur with magic. He managed to get Baldur down to ONE BOX REMAINING, and set him on fire.
|That means I can't cut now...|
I wasn't out of the woods yet. Baldur needed to survive the fire continuous effect. So he rolled, and it did not extinguish.
He had 16 ARM and ONE box of health remaining. Nick needed a 5 or better to kill me.
He rolled snake eyes and didn't kill Baldur. HAHAHA, wow, funny game.
After that, it was a simple matter of the Stones teleporting Baldur to behind Kreoss, boosting to hit so I could drag his DEF down the rest of the turn, and finishing him off with the Wold Warden.
|Wold Warden gets the rare caster kill!|
Results: Win for Circle Orboros by (stupidly lucky) Assassination!!
Whew, I probably should have lost the game! I had no idea Crusaders punched so hard - that damn Choir is so good! The fire not extinguishing then Baldur SURVIVING the Fire roll was pretty epic, but also very lucky.
Overall, a good game that I don't feel I made a ton of mistakes in. I rolled somewhat poorly on my rolls to kill the Vanquisher, which would have been a game-changer, but it wasn't like the odds were overwhelmingly in my favor. I need to keep that damned Warden in my teleport triangle - it shouldn't be this difficult, lol!
At any rate, Nick was a very helpful player, and I hope we get a rematch in, where he can show me just how awful a player I truly am :)
Game 3: Circle Baldur1 vs. Leigana's Skorne Morghoul1
(sorry if I butchered your name :-/ )
I won the roll to go first, and gave it to her.
At this point, I was pretty tired and wasn't thinking a whole lot. I didn't bother to look at Morghoul's card, which was a mistake. I generally knew what this list could do, but was somewhat unprepared for it. Really, I just wanted to kill ALL THE THINGS. :)
|Yay for deployment not being very important at this points level!|
Moving forward FTW!
|Morghoul's model is kind of ugly, actually. Oh yeah, there are a few proxies this game - the Shredders are Paingivers.|
My standard move up + forests. No real reason to put up Solid Ground, but I did it anyways because hey - why not?
|Note how far up I moved the stones...|
She put a few speed buffs on one of the Savage, and it charged and killed a stone, to take out my teleportation early on. Whoops, I really should have paid better attention. It was getting late though, and I was starting to lose focus.
|Wow, that one loss really hurt me!|
First, I charged the Warden into his Savage, pausing before his first attack to use Geomancy and get Stone Skin. The Warden barely killed the Savage, but kill it he did.
Baldur moved up and shot Earth Spikes at the Feralgeist, boosting to hit (4 Fury, ouch!) and killed it. Bad order of operations there - the Feralgeist could have inhabited the dead Savage. Really not playing well at this point, haha!
Then, Baldur popped his feat.
Everything else moved up a little bit to stay in the zone.
|How much damage can they do to me this turn?|
She was still able to get enough speed buffs to charge my Warden with the remaining Savage, but wasn't able to kill it.
Then, Morghoul popped his feat and made it so that I couldn't force my beasts. Yikes.
|Bah, I need to plan for the opponent's feat better. Hard to remember it, thus far!|
I decided to charge the Gladiator with a free charge from the Guardian. I did a bunch of damage, but didn't kill it, due to his inability to force for more attacks. Doh!
The Warden punched the Savage, but didn't manage to kill it (again, because he couldn't force).
Baldur charged the Savage, cast Stone skin on himself before he struck, and used all his fury to kill the Savage.
|Note the Stones blocking off charges to my Warden/Baldur.|
The Gladiator got up from being knocked down, got some buffs, and punched the Guardian to death with unfortunate ease. Can the Guardian survive against anything out there?
|It's getting close to my "go time" - Baldur will need to cut next turn if he wants to do anything.|
I decided to go for the caster kill, UNLESS the Warden was capable of killing the Gladiator somehow.
Warden charged the Gladiator, gave himself Stone Skin, and whiffed his first two attacks (hitting on 6's). He failed to kill the damn thing, but left it on 3 boxes remaining, making it a sub-par transfer target.
Baldur had no transfer targets, so he did what he could: he made an animus forest, then a spell forest behind Morghoul. He then forest walked to behind Morghoul. This, by the way, is completely legal, and is what I should have done in my first game!
He swung at Morghoul and boosted, needing a "10", and got it, bringing Morghoul's DEF down by 3.
Baldur did a lot of damage, but didn't quite kill Morghoul.
He had one swing left, which would need a "7". Essentially, if I hit, Morghoul would die, as I was +1 on damage, and he only had 2 boxes left. I would need a stupidly low roll not to kill him, should I hit.
I rolled and...
GOT A 5 INSTEAD!!
|Now we can see if Baldur's DEF14 is good enough to evade 10 attacks by Morghoul.|
Skorne Turn 5:
DEF 14 should be good enough to evade the Pain Givers at least, right?
Heh, three of the four hit me, needing 9's to hit, and did one damage each with Anatomical Precision.
Then Morghoul attacked, and ...
easily dispatched poor Baldur. :-/
|For the final picture, my phone decided to take a sideways shot. Not sure why. Maybe because my world is turning upside down with this loss! :-p|
Results: Loss for Circle Orboros by (anatomically precise) Assassination!!
Well, it was kind of a bummer - I needed a 7 to essentially win the game, and it didn't happen. That said, it was a gamble, and I knew I might fail. Looking back, I actually think that my best shot would have been to slam the Gladiator with the Wold Warden, which would have knocked Morghoul over and done some damage. Then, the Wold could have cast Earth Spikes at Morghoul and boosted damage, Baldur could have done his forest teleport thing, and hit Morghoul 3 times, getting rid of all his transfers and probably killing the bastard. In fact, looking at the pictures, I might have even been able to just charge Morghoul with Baldur and had 6 fury to work with rather than 2.
Ah well, I'll do all that next time :)
At any rate, that was my exhausting night of 15-point Warmachine. Lots of fun, but I can't wait to get up to 25. I'll have my Bloodtrackers then, maybe even with Nuala (not sure yet). Should add a new element to the game we haven't seen yet - infantry for everyone!
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think, what I could have done better, etc. I'm interested to hear (read?) what you have to say!