Monday, July 7, 2014

Warmachine Batrep #10: 50 points Circle vs. Retribution - Baldur1 vs Rhan and Krueger2 vs. Ossyan (with pictures!)

Howdy, folks! More reports, because I'm loving Warmachine lately, and I tend to learn more about games when I write reports and analyze what I'm doing wrong/awesome. My last reports featured a fully painted army, and I'm sorry to say that these reports have reverted back to using unpainted models. However, you'll be happy to note that I have continued to paint, finishing off Megalith, as well as three Wold Watchers recently. Next up are probably Druids or Wold Stalkers :)

At any rate, there's a tournament in Laramie, WY I intend on attending at the end of July. Two 50-point lists are what we're doing, and as such, I will hopefully be fully painted for that. These reports are actually an attempt to find a good pairing for Circle which doesn't depend on Morv2. Don't want her to be "CrutchVahna", after all!

So, I went down to Laramie to play my friend Don, who is currently working on Retribution lists. Let's see what happens, after the break.

Game 1: Baldur1 vs. Adeptis Rahn 

My List:



Tharn Bloodtrackers (Max)
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper

Blackclad Wayfarer
Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove

This list is me trying to get lots of dice on my magic attacks, all of which knock things down. WoldWrath's Animus is pretty awesome for that, and (as I want an excuse to play the big guy) I was just throwing in a bunch of stuff with Baldur1 to make it happen. I also want to cycle Stone Skin on the Megalith and the Bloodtrackers, and just generally have a good, flexible list which is only vulnerable to Purification.

Don's List:

Adeptis Rahn


Houseguard Halberdiers (Max)
-Unit Attachment
House Shyeel Battle Mages
House Shyeel Battle Mages
Stormfall Archers

Houseguard Thane
House Shyeel Artificer

The Mission:

Two flags, two objectives. Dominate a flag for 2 CP, control a flag for 1 CP, destroy enemy objective for 1 CP. Interesting to note that each of the flags are contested by one of our objectives, requiring us to destroy an objective in order to control/dominate that flag.

**Don won the roll to go first and took it.

Pre-game Thoughts:

I just need more experience against Retribution. Really, I need more experience against everything else as well, but I'm somewhat clueless about Retribution. I knew that Rahn had a power that would let him slam me from a long distance away, and that I probably wanted nothing to do with it.

However, I also knew that if I used my Druids to good effect, his ability to mess with my forces would be minimized, since I couldn't be knocked down (Solid Ground) and he wouldn't be able to cast spells at me so long as my Druids were still alive.

So, my goal was to kill his stuff as best as I could. I didn't feel that it was very likely to win via scenario, as he had so many models, but I figured I'd at least make sure to keep the flags contested and make him kill my (mostly) impervious caster. Bloodtrackers would make my life much easier, as they would kill any of his stuff pretty well (probably).


Took this as he started moving up - we wanted to practice timed turns. Bloodtrackers chose the Halberdiers as Prey targets.

Retribution Turn 1:

He Don moved up the center. He mostly kept his deployment positioning, only keeping his models farther up. Quick little bastards, elves.

Circle Turn 1:

I also ran up. Of note, Bloodtrackers ran themselves up the center, but super-failed in their final location. WoldWrath wanted to run up 7-10", but could only advance a little, because of Bloodtrackers in the way.

Lots of mistakes by me this game, FYI :)

Druids popped smoke and counter-magic.

Baldur cast Solid Ground and a forest which would protect a Bloodtracker. Woot.

Wrath should have been farther up...
 Retribution Turn 2:

Don advanced again, but didn't really commit. He took a few potshots at me, and one Bloodtracker bit the dust. I think he also managed to kill my Blackclad and a stealthed Stone on the right, due to some poor positioning by me, as well as good rolling on Don's part.

Seems ready for me to dismantle his lines, right?
Circle Turn 2:

Wrath activated, moved up slightly (not very much at all, due to poor Bloodtracker positioning. He shot at a Halberdier, boosted, missed, then popped his Animus.

Megalith walked up, targeted a good central Halberdier within 10" of the Wrath with Earth Spikes, boosted to hit (4 dice) and got a crit knockdown on about 5 models. This also killed a few Halberdiers. Of note is the fact that he forgot to use his Animus.

Baldur walked up to get out of the killbox, fully intending to pop his feat and cast Stone Skin on the Bloodtrackers, as well as a Forest to mess with Don. I forgot to do any of that, and though I'm sure Don would have allowed me, I decided not to take his turn back, as I need to learn, haha.

Bloodtrackers activated and shot up some more Halberdiers, getting them down to about 4 total models.

Druids popped smoke and used Counter-magic.

Stone Watcher tried to shoot the right-hand Phoenix to knock it down, but failed, while the Stones moved to within 1" of the Wrath for some serenity love, which would be needed after my huge fail with Baldur.

Not really my best turn - feels like I could have done more, though I did kill a lot of his jamming infantry.
Retribution Turn 3:

His Halberdiers charged my Bloodtrackers, killing a couple, then reformed to tie up my Wrath.

Rightmost Phoenix got some sort of buff from the Arcanist (+2 attack and damage in melee?) and charged Megalith, killing it with ease. (Don roll boxcars 8 times this game, and every time it was for damage. Haha, I think he got it twice here).

Really poor placement of Megalith in hindsight :-/

Leftmost Phoenix walked up and used his Combustion attack to kill a couple druids and Bloodtrackers. Awesome ability I had no idea even existed until Don made me sad by using it :-p

His Stormfall Archers did some really (really) nice damage to my Wrath. Good turn for Don, though neither of us had any CP yet.

You can't see, but his Halberdiers are all jamming my Wrath.

Circle Turn 3:

I needed to clear out some of his billions of infantry and kill one of the Phoenixes, or the game would end on a really sad (and quick) note.

I upkept Solid Ground, and was just fine on Fury, thanks to Megalith dying unnecessarily :-p

Baldur started by moving to the left and casting the Wrath's animus on himself. He then put Stone Skin on the Bloodtrackers, and popped his feat.

Wrath went and punched some Halberdiers, who fell down from his punches (Bloodtrackers were immune to knockdown due to Solid Ground) and died to a man.

Prey shifted to the leftmost Phoenix.

Bloodtrackers activated and killed the Phoenix on the final shot.

Prey shifted to the rightmost Phoenix.

Blackclad used his spray and killed a couple Battle Mages.

Druids shot at (and killed) all but one of the Battle Mages the Blackclad had begun to work on, and cast Countermagic.

Stone Keeper shot at and missed a Battle Mage, while the Stones healed my Wrath.

Not a terrible turn for me, all things considered.

Now, all I have to do is survive his repercussions. Note that the unit leader for the Druids is within 4" of Baldur, to keep Counter-magic on him as long as possible.
 Retribution Turn 4:

He put 3 focus on the remaining Phoenix.

He somehow killed my Keeper with a really high attack roll of some sort.

Phoenix (now clear of the Keeper) charged my Wrath and did lots of damage, but not enough.

Archers did more damage to the Wrath, but it survived.

Eiryss shot Solid Ground off of Baldur, but couldn't do much more, as Baldur was still immune to most magic. It should be noted that Baldur was at that point DEF 18, and Eiryss still hit him after moving. Lots of high rolls this game :)

He did manage to kill all but my unit leader Druid, who passed his command check.

Neither of us have much left.
Circle Turn 4:

Stones activated and healed the Wrath some.

Baldur cast Solid Ground again and camped two fury.

Wrath pounded the Phoenix into the ground.

Prey switched to his Houseguard Thane.

Bloodtrackers killed the Houseguard Thane, then killed his Battle Mage solo, then killed an Arcanist who had wandered too close, then killed a few of the Battle Mages.

Neither of us had much left at all, though we still absolutely had the ability to hurt each other.
 Retribution Turn 5:

He shot my Wrath, failing to kill it.

Circle Turn 5:

Rahn had moved up significantly closer to my lines to get some shots at my models, and I saw an opportunity.

I upkept Stone Skin on the Bloodtrackers, but dropped Solid Ground, as I knew I couldn't hold out forever.

Stones healed the Wrath some more.

Bloodtrackers shot at and killed a few blocking Battle Mages, but not enough.

Baldur decided to man up and charge the Battle Mages, killing the final remaining one. He then cast Earth Spikes on Rahn, boosting to hit and damage, doing about 7 or 8 damage.

Wrath, having a clear charge lane, then charged Rahn and ended him.

Wow, what a bloody, messy, game.
Results: Win for Circle Orboros via Assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

I was content with a victory like that, though I wasn't necessarily happy with it. After playing against his list, I felt that I should have destroyed him, due to a poor matchup on his part. My Druids canceled out a lot of his really good powers, and Solid Ground was really useful against Rahn's double-blast attack. I had a huge advantage, and didn't really use it to my advantage.

My movement also failed to set me up for success, but I will do better next time. First time running a list is going to be a little clunky on this front.

Overall, I was very happy with how my list worked. Not sure about the Druids - I'll have to play another game or two with them before I see if I actually like them for this list. Lots of painting to be done in the meantime :-/

Game 2: Kreuger2 vs. Ossyan

My List:


-Warpwolf Stalker

Wold Stalkers
Wold Stalkers
-Druid Overseer
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper
Shifting Stones

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer
Druid Wilder

His List:



Houseguard Halberdiers (Max)
-Unit Attachment
Dawnguard Sentinels (Max)
-Unit Attachment
Mage Hunter Strike Force (Max)
-Eiryss UA

Houseguard Thane
Ghost Sniper
Probably something else

The Mission:

Rectangle zone in the middle worth 1 CP to control, 2 to dominate. Flags in each deployment zone, which you can dominate to subtract 1 opponent CP.

**I won the roll to go first, and took it.

Pre-game thoughts:

Wow, lots and lots (and lots!) of infantry. I had never played against Ossyan, and as such had no idea what he could do. I tried to hurry and read his card, but that's never a good way to learn an opponent's army.

Essentially, I knew that this mission would be nearly impossible to win via scenario, despite how good Kreuger2 is at scenario. Instead, I would need to focus on killing as many of Don's troops as possible, while limiting damage output on me.

I took first because I wanted to make sure he didn't just box me out of the zone and get a ton of CPs while I couldn't get in there. First turn in Warmachine turns out to be a really big/nice advantage most games.


I still need to paint so much...

Circle Turn 1:

I ran up and cast Storm Wall for fun.

Retribution Turn 1:

He also ran up, putting Quicken on the Halberdiers.

Man, that's a lot of infantry!

Circle Turn 2:

Not wanting to lose everything immediately, I shuffled my army around a bit, but did not go into the zone - I was alright with Don getting a quick CP, and if I could bait Ossyan into the zone to dominate it, I could probably win the game immediately.

Kreuger cast his Lightning spell at some Mage Hunters (through the GG), and killed two.

Other shooting managed to kill one or two of the DEF 15 Halberdiers.

Druids popped smoke.

I wanted to see what sort of jam Don could inflict on me before I committed. I figured that I wouldn't lose much at all, and be able to retaliate effectively. 
Retribution Turn 2:

After a buff from the Houseguard Thane and Quicken, the Halberdiers charged 13", popped their mini-feat, and killed my Stalker with 4 Halberdiers! They also killed a bunch of Stalkers on the right hill, and then used their reform ability to jam me even more.

Honestly, this really messed with me - I had felt that the Stalker was very likely safe from anything, and 4 Halberdiers wrecked him easily. Don rolled really well this game as well, but I wasn't ready for that sort of punishment. That's what comes from playing against casters I haven't played before - next time I'll know :)

The rest of his stuff jammed up into the zone, clumping there nicely.

At this point, I felt that I probably couldn't win - the Stalker would have been able to kill most of those Sentinels, but without the Stalker, I was limited in my options.

Circle Turn 3:

I needed to do something about those Halberdiers, and try to kill a bunch of the Sentinels as well. His Jacks were also going to be a problem, so I'd need to do something about them.

Essentially, I needed to dig myself out of the hole I'd put myself in by my poor positioning.

First, Kreuger went and walked up to some Halberdiers, killing two or three of them with his spear, leaving two for his camp.

This freed the Wilder to walk up to the Ghettorix and put Primal on him.

Gorax walked up and boosted to hit and kill three Halberdiers.

Stalkers used Zephyr to help them kill a few Mage Hunters and Sentinels.

Blackclad moved up and used his spray to kill four Sentinels.

Stones shifted Ghettorix up to B2B with Hypnos.

Other Stones shifted a bit, and the Keeper killed a couple more Sentinels, but failed to knock any of them down.

Ghettorix activated and killed Hypnos, then used another attack to kill his Sentinel UA.

Sentinels failed their Terror or Break check (forgot which one), but they had already been reduced to 2 models and wouldn't likely be doing much next turn.

Druids moved up and pushed his Phoenix back about 8". They also killed another Mage Hunter.

All in all, a really good turn for me. I managed to kill 6 Halberdiers, 10 Sentinels, and two or three Mage Hunters, as well as his character Jack.

Good place to be, IMO.

Lots of awesome destruction :)

Retribution Turn 3:

Don decided (probably correctly) that he didn't have much of a chance to win if he didn't kill my caster. So, he went for the desperation caster kill.

Mage Hunters first moved up and Eiyriss shot him first, hitting, and removing his camped Fury (which I hadn't known he could do).

The rest of the Mage Hunters mostly failed to hit, and when they did, only did average damage (2 or 3).

Ghost Sniper shot and did another couple damage.

It was actually a really lucky set of rolls, but Kreuger was down to 5 boxes left. I was safe.

Don, desperate to do anything to kill me, charged his Halberdiers at Kreuger.

Stone Keeper managed to kill three of them with Freestrikes, and he had one single Halberdier to swing at me. He needed a 9 to hit, and an 11 to kill him.

Don then rolled boxcars twice in a row, and Kreuger died.

Damn it... I'm really (really) glad that this wasn't a tournament game. Lucky bastard :)

Results: Win for Retribution via ridiculously lucky assassination run!!

Post-game thoughts:

I was actually really happy with this game. While I did lose it, I had an excellent chance to win the damn thing. Don got very (very!) awesome rolls throughout his assassination run, and in the end killed Kreuger. That hopefully won't happen again.

Quicken really messed with me - the Halberdiers are really, really fast with that spell up! They charged far farther and hit far harder than I had previously thought possible. Good for me to know!

Also good for me to learn that Eiryss can really make my casters cry. Removing camp is ridiculous! I'll have to keep that in mind.

After losing the Stalker, I felt that I would certainly lose this game, and was pleasantly surprised when that wasn't the case. I did much more damage to Don's infantry without him than I would have thought possible, and while I now understand that I need to be more careful, it's also good to know that if disaster strikes, I can still sometimes make things happen.

I need to put my Druids up front of my army in scenarios like this, pop smoke, and dare Don to try and charge me. He'll kill the Druids, but my vital stuff will stick around, and I'll be able to counter-punch him much more effectively without being jammed. I could have done this on this game, but didn't think of it AND didn't realize the Overseer gives Druids advance deploy.

Obviously, lots to remember/do better in the future, but I'm overall very content with my first encounters with both lists. I'm looking forward to the upcoming tournament, though it will mean lots more painting, including my Wrath. Wrath will take me ~15 hours to paint, I'm assuming, and possibly more.

I'll also need to buy another Blackclad model, and some other Druid bits from the PP website, as I lost a bunch of their sticks and hands. :-/

Let me know what you think of the lists and play, I'm interested to hear what you think!

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