Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Warmachine Batrep #13: 5 Games! 50 Points Circle (various casters) vs. Trolls, Convergence, and Retribution (with pictures!)

Wow, last Saturday I played 5 games of Warmachine. It's incredible how many games you can actually play if you use a tournament clock - it keeps players focused, and gets turns done much quicker on average than they would normally be able to. I didn't even start in the morning - sometime around 2 pm, and ended at midnight, with meals included. Pretty awesome, all told :)

I've been seeking a tournament list pairing for a tournament this coming Saturday, at 50 points. I want to make sure my lists are entirely painted for it, and as such, I have (much to my chagrin - believe me) opted for taking eMorv since her list is already so close to being fully painted. My other list, including Baldur1 and Baldur2 (since they're both so close to being painted as well) are the other two lists in question.

So, those are the lists I brought to the shop. I decided to get some practice with eMorv as well, since I'd be using her next week. Let's see what kind of madness ensued.


Game 1: Circle Orboros (eMorv) vs. Trollbloods (Jarl)

My List:

Morvahna

-Warpwolf Stalker
-Warpwolf Stalker
-Gorax

Wolves of Orboros (Max)
-Unit Attachment
Warpborn Skinwalkers (Max)
-Warpborn Alpha
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper
Shifting Stones

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer
Morraig the Wolf Lord

(this is a simple continuation of my 35 point list from the Steamroller I played around a month ago, which you can find on this blog - I just added a Stalker and Morraig and called it good)

His List:

Jarl

-Dire Troll Mauler
-Troll Impaler

Trollkin Fennblades
-Unit Attachment
Trollkin Longriders
Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes
-Stone Scribe Elder

Fell Caller Hero
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Fennblade Kithkar
Horthol, Longrider Champion

The Mission:

Two flags in the middle, and two objectives in each person's half of the table. 1 CP for destroying an objective, 1 CP for controlling a flag, 2 CP for dominating it. Don't remember if Killbox or not.

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

Pre-game thoughts:

I hadn't played against Jarl yet, but I've read some battle reports with him. He seems solid enough, though also feels a bit out of place in a Troll army for some reason.

I had heard about the Fennblade "Star", with all the crazy abilities and buffs they get, and I would get to discover their awesomeness this game. My plan was mostly to just see what would happen - I knew that the Longriders needed to die ASAP, though for that matter, so did the Fennblades.

Essentially, I decided to trust in my ability to attrition, as each Longrider or Fenn that Nick lost would be irreplaceable, while my own Skinwalkers and Wolves of Orboros (henceforth "WoO") um, were replaceable.

All that said, let's jump to the game!

Deployment:

Kind of standard for me - WoO and Skinwalkers on either flank, with the beasts anchoring the center.

His deployment - Horthol is on the opposite flank of the Longriders. Not sure if I should be happy or nervous.
 Circle Turn 1:

I ran up. I put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers, and put up Fog of War on Morv. Warpwolves warped for Prowl (in every turn of every game with eMorv, unless otherwise stated) and moved up.


For some reason I had thought that Carnivore cost 3 Fury, which is why Morv only has 1 left. It's all good - Gorax riled after she went to make sure she'd have enough :)

Trolls Turn 1:

Nick moved up. The Longriders decided to brave the huge forest on the left, while the Fennblades decided to also hide in the forest.

This action was peculiarly Circle-like, but I decided that as we were already fighting, I wouldn't call him out on it.

Quicken went on the Fennblades, and he gave the Fennblades and Longriders a few buffs each. You know what it's like against Trolls - everything has so many buffs that it's not really even worth trying to keep track of them.

He's just far enough that I can't really jam him this coming turn. Silly how fast Trolls can be sometimes :)
Circle Turn 2:

I really didn't have much I could do. His guys were mostly obscured and out of range, and my own were not really in range to do much.

Thing is, I knew that Fennblades have something like a 15" charge (maybe slight exaggeration, but not by much - it might be a 15" threat range). I decided to just wait and see what would happen, for the most part.

Morv upkept Carnivore and Fog of War.

Skinwalkers ran, and one of them tied up three Longriders, with a few of the others within range for the Longriders to mess with if they wanted, which would give me the ability to punch back a bit in my own turn.

Gallows Grove on the left got ready to jump into the fray and deny Tough.

WoO stayed where they were, though the rest of the group moved up a bit to bait the Fenns to get on in there.

His board position makes this a tough game - I mostly just needed to bide my time and wait until he was committed. Once he was committed, I had a few options available to me. If he just stayed holed up, I'd eventually win attrition on the left with the Skinwalkers and be able to threaten the rest of his army. Also note that my unpainted Stalker is in teleport range of the objective, and the rest of my army is threatening the rightmost flag. I'd be able to win via scenario if he didn't commit.
Trolls Turn 2:

I think that Nick saw that fortune would not favor him if he stayed where he was, so he committed.

Longriders walked up and killed two of my Skinwalkers. About what was expected.

Fennblades all either charged or ran up to engage me, killing my front line of WoO and putting a few wounds on one of my Stalkers.

Jarl popped his feat, creating 5 cloud effects that I couldn't see through.


Tell me if you can spot the mistake here...

Circle Turn 3:

Skinwalkers walked up and killed three Longriders.

Morv cycled Carnivore onto my Stalker in the Stones, then cast Lightning Strike on the same Stalker.

Stones activated and teleported the Stalker - I wasn't sure if I was in range of his caster, and the LS was going to be for if he was only in range of the Stone unit so that he could warp for Berserk.

As it turned out, Stalker was easily in range of Jarl, warped for STR, and killed him, though Jarl did have two transfers, and the Stalker used all his Fury.

Really wish this was the painted Stalker, haha!

Results: Win for Circle Orboros via assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well, the game was going well, regardless of how my opponent was a little unprepared for the Stone teleport assassination run. That Feral was going to wipe out nearly every single one of the Krielstone unit with Berserk then Sprint back into the Stones, and the Skinwalkers were going to win their fight. Other Stalker was going to kill a few (probably 3) Fennblades, and the WoO would have killed a few as well, popping their mini-feat to be Weapon Masters. Morv would have then regrown the dead troops and been able to win via attrition.

At least, that's the theory. Who really knows :)

I thought that I actually played a somewhat solid/nuanced game this time. I'm still a little clunky on some stuff, which will take some getting used to. Still, I felt that I had some good ideas on how to force the scenario into my advantage, and nothing (this time) took me off-guard, aside from the Fennblade's Tactical Supremacy move, which was frankly really cool but wasn't ultimately meaningful.

Nick wanted a rematch, and I was happy to give him one - with a different list.

Game 2: Circle (Baldur1) vs. Trollbloods (Jarl)

My List:

Baldur1

-Woldwrath
-Megalith

Tharn Bloodtrackers (max)
-Nuala
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper
Druids of Orboros

Blackclad Wayfarer
Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove

His List (same as before, but I'll re-copy it):


Jarl

-Dire Troll Mauler
-Troll Impaler

Trollkin Fennblades
-Unit Attachment
Trollkin Longriders
Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes
-Stone Scribe Elder

Fell Caller Hero
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Fennblade Kithkar
Horthol, Longrider Champion

The Mission:

6"x12" zone in the middle, control for 1 CP, dominate for 2 CP. I believe the flags let us dominate to reduce opponent CP by one.

**We rolled off for first turn and he won the roll, choosing to go first. I chose the side with the forest, which was incidentally on my own side.

Pre-game Thoughts:

I wasn't really thrilled to be playing Baldur1 against Trolls, but neither was I very sad. I really like this Baldur list, and against armies who don't have a way to get around the blast damage mechanic with their AOEs or against casters with Purification (or, theoretically, against Everblight) this list is solid.

Since he had to deploy first, I got to see where his Longriders were going to go, and put my Bloodtrackers across from them in order to Prey them. I feel like "flanking" as a strategy is far more relevant in Warmachine than in 40k, and units who are on the "flank" need to be countered. I also felt that the Fennblades weren't really going to be a huge threat to much of my other stuff - Druids are a "push" with them, and the Wrath wouldn't be likely to take much damage from them.

The plan was to run into the middle with the Wrath and win via attrition/scenario.

Deployment:


Bloodtrackers are SO GOOD with Baldur1. Seriously, loving my list so far.

Trolls Turn 1:

Nick wanted to try a new tactic (he's new to Jarl, BTW. These are the first two games he played with him). This tactic involved popping his feat turn one and creating a really tricky area for me to navigate.

So, he gave the Longriders Quicken and ran them up to about the halfway line. Impaler ran up, and Jarl charged him, doing a small amount of damage, the popped his feat, blocking off LOS to his Longriders.

Fennblades ran up to threaten the zone. First turn was a big deal for his army. Lucky for me, this scenario was not Killbox.

Metal Rings are his AOEs from the feat.
Circle Turn 1:

I couldn't really do much against him this turn. So, I decided to continue with my previous strategy.

Wrath ran up 10".

Baldur walked up a little bit and cast Solid Ground for some reason, then put a forest next to the other forest in play, blocking off LOS to the Bloodtrackers, who backed up enough that the Longriders wouldn't be able to just walk 9" up and punch them, presumably giving me the first strike.

Druids ran up, and foolishly forgot to use their abilities.

Megalith decided to cast his Animus, useless though it would probably be, due to the fact that he had to rile for 3 anyways.

I had thought long and hard about Forest Walking Baldur up into the forest there and popping his feat. I decided that was pretty risky though - the Longriders would still likely get at least one good swing at him, and I wasn't sure if Jarl would be good enough to shoot him down or not.

Trolls Turn 2:

Well, we started off by debating whether or not you could see through the forest as long as it was less than 3". A couple people told us that you could (which was incorrect) and suddenly my Bloodtrackers were far more exposed than I had thought they would be.

So (because we incorrectly interpreted the rules), the Longriders charged the Bloodtrackers, trampling over my Stone Keeper in the process and killing a couple girls. It wasn't awful, really - he struggled to hit their DEF 14.

Fennblades charged my Wrath, and ran up to engage my Druids. They actually did over 20 boxes of damage, due mostly to Nick rolling stupidly high on a couple damage rolls.

Well... crap.
Circle Turn 2:

Baldur started, and put Stone Skin on the Bloodtrackers, then charged a Longrider and damaged it, reducing its DEF and SPD by 3. He then cast Druid's Wrath on himself, giving me an extra dice on magic attacks on enemies within 10".

Megalith went, cast his Animus (-2 DEF on enemies within 5" of him) and got inside the Stone's radius, punching the already-wounded Longrider to death, then casting Earth Spikes on the backmost Longrider, boosting damage and doing a little bit.

Stones teleported Megalith into the Zone to contest it.

Leftmost Blackclad walked up and used his spray on three Longriders, doing damage on a couple.

Grove placed itself next to 3 Longriders to deny Tough.

Bloodtrackers didn't need any more encouragement - they walked into combat and destroyed the Longriders. I got a bit lucky on the last one - I needed a reasonably high roll for damage (9?) with a single Bloodtracker, and got it.

Prey shifted to the Krielstone unit. Bloodtrackers reformed 3".

Wrath went next, going on a knockdown spree and killing nearly all the Fennblades near him, after a slew of awful (for Nick) tough rolls.

Druids went next and killed more Fennblades, who also failed most of their Tough rolls.

Rightmost Blackclad went then and sprayed more Fennblades away.

I believe that after it all, there were only 2 Fennblades remaining, along with the drummer UA.

Really, really solid turn for Circle.

Sorry, I believe this is the only sideways picture of this report - kind of awkward though.

Trolls Turn 3:

Nick was a little flabbergasted at how much I had killed. I was lucky to kill all the Longriders, but it was still a pretty good turn for me.

Horthol charged the Wrath and did another huge amount of damage.

Kithkar used his Vengeance move to attack the Wrath, then did another couple attacks, doing more damage.

He also ran a couple of Stonebearers into my Wrath to keep me from getting into the Zone.

Mauler got all buffed up and went after Megalith, slamming him backwards and killing my Gallows.

Jarl shot a couple of Magic Bullets at Megalith then, and killed a couple of Bloodtrackers behind him.

He then dominated the zone for 2.

Score: 2-0, advantage Trolls.

I was actually happy that the Wrath and Megalith had both survived.  Mauler had one more Fury to spend, I think, and probably could have done the deed.

Circle Turn 3:

I upkept Stone Skin on the Bloodtrackers and had them butcher their way through the Kriel Stone unit, until only the UA remained, and passed panic.

Baldur went and healed the Wrath for a point, moving up through the forest to get into melee range of the Mauler. However, I failed to measure correctly, and was about a millimeter outside of the distance I needed. I also forgot to pop my feat, which was important.

Megalith charged the Mauler, Geomancy'd Stone Skin on himself, and killed the Mauler with his final attack.

Wrath punched everything around him to death, including both iterations of Horthol (gets a second chance as a Dragoon), the Kithkar, and whatever else had blocked his way. Druids killed a Fennblade, but the last one passed his command.

It was then that I realized that both of my beasts were maxed out on fury, and the transfer Fury Baldur had kept wouldn't do anything for him. He was visible, though inside the forest. Not a good way to close out a game.

Poor old Baldur is overexposed...

Trolls Turn 4:

Nick was desperate. The Impaler charged Baldur and did about half of his damage to him with a boosted hit.

Jarl put Magic Bullet on himself twice, shot Megalith twice, and arced the bullet to Baldur, who took all but a single box remaining.

In a final, desperate attempt to kill Baldur, his Stones UA charged Baldur, Megalith took a Free Strike and disabled him, but he rolled tough, knocking him down there.

Whew!

Stupidly close to me getting assassinated.

Circle Turn 4:

We didn't bother to play it out. Wrath was still very much alive (albeit hurting), and Megalith likely had all it would need to be able to kill Jarl. If not, the Trackers would finish off the Stones UA and cycle Prey to Jarl.

Results: Win for Circle Orboros via hypothetical assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Whew! That was really close, actually. I could have done one thing (much) better:

1) Protected Baldur by either:
   a) Popping his feat to negate the Impaler charge
   b) Leaving him behind the forest to deny any shots at him at all
   c) Leaving one Fury off of one of my beasts. Granted, they were doing important work, but it would be a
       better option than what I did.

Otherwise, I felt I did a good job this game. Nick failed nearly all of his Tough rolls, which didn't help him at all. In fact, it was pretty brutal. Granted, not a *ton* of his Fennblades would have survived if he had rolled averagely, but losing those types of models at the rate Nick lost them was pretty brutal.

Also, as to the forest thing - we found out later in the game, and we decided to just keep playing. No harm, no foul. It was as much my own responsibility to look up the rule as his. Had it gone the way I had envisioned it, I think I'd have been in a commanding situation, as his Longriders would likely have had to back up, and I could have run the girls up then popped my feat to ensure they got the alpha on them.

/shrug

On to the next game to play with Kevin and his CoC!

(does that joke ever get old? I'm still fairly new to it)

Game 3: Circle (eMorv) vs. Convergence of Cyriss (Iron Mother)

My List (same as last time, but I'll recopy it):


Morvahna

-Warpwolf Stalker
-Warpwolf Stalker
-Gorax

Wolves of Orboros (Max)
-Unit Attachment
Warpborn Skinwalkers (Max)
-Warpborn Alpha
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper
Shifting Stones

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer
Morraig the Wolf Lord

Kevin's List: (roughly)

Iron Mother

-Corollary
-Mitigator
-Cipher
-Assimilator
-Modulator

Perforators (max)
-Unit Attachment
Reductors (max)

Enigma Foundry
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex (maybe he only took two of these?)
Steelsoul Protector

The Mission:

Two 6"x12" zones offset on either side of the board with two objectives. You have to destroy the enemy objective to be able to dominate either zone. Dominate friendly zone for 1 CP, control enemy zone for 1 CP, Dominate enemy zone for 2 CP. Destroy enemy objective for 1 CP. No killbox.

Madness.

**Kevin won the roll for first turn and took it.

Pregame thoughts:

This was my first time playing against Convergence, and wasn't sure what to expect. After reading Kevin's cards, I was left feeling vaguely uncomfortable. I wasn't sure at all how the army would play. I figured my Skinwalkers would do well against his infantry on the left, and the WoO would probably also have done well, but I wouldn't be able to use both units on that side very effectively, and I figured the sprays would do more against my WoO than the Skinwalkers.

So, I decided to try to get the WoO to kill a heavy with their mini-feat and distract/tie up the heavies while my Stalkers moved up the field for the killing blow.

Deployment:


Pretty standard deployment from me, honestly.

Kind of an awesome formation - Jacks on one side, infantry on the other. I actually get why he did this - Convergence can do some crazy stuff with this type of formation.

CoC Turn 1:

He ran up. *surprise*

He actually took a few shots at my objective, which I now realize was not allowed, since it can't be hurt until 2nd player's 2nd turn. /shrug

I hate not knowing what things can do, haha!

Circle Turn 1:

I ran stuff up, and spread the WoO out.

Morv put up Fog of War, and didn't bother to cast Carnivore, as it wouldn't really do much against these guys who aren't living.

She also arced a Sunder Spirit at one of the Perforators, boosting to hit and wound (may as well), killing it.

I felt pretty cool about that. Later, I would feel like a dumbass :)

Now to find out just what his Jacks (called Vecors?) can do...

CoC Turn 2:

Enigma Foundry went first, and regrew the dead Perforator. *sigh*

Perforators went next, moving up and shooting my Skinwalkers, who were DEF 14 against their shots. They popped their mini-feat to reroll to hit, and were able to kill my poorly placed Alpha.

His Vectors went next, and didn't do much. They tried to kill a Stone, and I think they managed to do some damage to my WoO, but my DEF 15 (from Fog of War) was pretty strong, and he didn't really manage much.

Oh, the Perforators also had Tactical Supremacy, so moved up closer to my lines. Not sure if that was the right choice or not...

Circle Turn 2:

Morv upkept Fog of War.

WoO went first, popped their mini-feat, and charged the rightmost Jack, who was incidentally in my own zone. They were able to kill it, with a WoO to spare. That mini-feat is so fun! One of them ran into combat range of two other jacks.

I'd placed Morraig awkwardly, and so I used the Stones to teleport him into combat range of one of the Vectors. He hit it for some damage, but didn't kill it. I'd given him Lightning Strike just in case, haha! Probably should have gone into the light Vector instead, honestly. I just wanted to tie up the big guy though.

Blackclad meandered up and sprayed 4 of the Perforators, doing a little damage to all but one.

Skinwalkers advanced 7" (because their unit had taken damage the previous turn), and killed all 5 Perferators, but had left the UA alive.

Grove on the left shifted to behind the Perforator UA.

Morvahna used a Sunder Spirit on the UA (who was engaged) and boosted to hit, using a re-roll to hit and killed the UA off. That way, the Foundry wouldn't be able to grow anything back next turn.

Overall, a very acceptable turn for Circle.

Morraig, how awkward you are right now...

CoC Turn 3:

His Reductors moved up and started to spray the Skinwalkers. They rolled extremely well and managed to kill all but two of them with their sprays, along with my Gallows on that side.

His big guy swung at Morraig and missed one swing, doing almost no damage on the second due to poor rolls on Kevin's part.

Iron Mother did wipe out all the WoO who had killed the Vector the turn prior with some awesome spell that auto-pointed each model surrounding a hit model. WoO made their command check.


Well, a solid punch back from Convergence - lucky my feat is so ridiculous.

Circle Turn 3:

I upkept Fog of War.

Blackclad walked up and used his spray to kill 4 Reductors.

Skinwalkers moved up and killed four Reductors.

One WoO charged and killed a Reductor, doing some damage to the Light Vector as well.

Leftmost Stalker was teleported into range of the Light Vector, gave himself Lightning Strike, and killed the Light, sprinting back into the forest, where his Prowl would keep him hidden.

Morraig took another swing at the big Vector and did more damage.

Morv went, and due to heavy use of rerolls was at very few boxes remaining. She healed herself for 4, regrew the Gallows and 4 Skinwalkers, and shot a Sunder Spirit at the final Reductor, hitting it. I needed a "not snake eyes" roll to kill it, and ... rolled Snake eyes! I didn't have enough life left to reroll safely (a "3" would have killed her), and so she just backed behind the forest she was in with the Light Cav move.

Overall, pretty reasonable turn for me, though his Foundry was going to regrow three more Reductors next turn. *sigh*

My Stalker on the left did score a point for controlling his zone though.

Score: 1-0, advantage Circle

I'm doing well here, but the game is far from over...
CoC Turn 4:

His Foundry regrew 3 Reductors, who promptly went up and sprayed my Skinwalkers. One of them even died!

His middle Vector finally connected with Morraig, and killed his mount, but was unable to swing again due to Morraig's dismount taking him outside of melee range.

His rightmost jack charged my Stalker on the right, and due to some poor rolls, the Stalker stayed alive. It was actually bizarre, I had a single box remaining in each spiral. Very lucky for me.


If I do alright this turn, I can essentially put an end to the game.
Circle Turn 4:

Blackclad walked up and sprayed a few of the Reductors to death.

Skinwalkers charged and killed off the Foundry and remaining Reductors.

Morv went and got in range to force my rightmost (and injured) Stalker, healing herself with all her remaining Fury. Another fun mistake on my part :)

Gorax gave the Stalker Primal.

Stalker warped for STR and killed the Vector easily.

Other Stalker charged his remaining Heavy and warped for STR, killing him.

Blackclad controlled the zone for another point.

Score: 2-0, advantage Circle.


Seems like I'm doing well, doesn't it.

CoC Turn 5:

Kevin had one hope left. He ran his Corollary to within 10" of Morv.

Iron Mother then took a shot with her spell, but missed DEF 17 Morvahna (needed a "9" to hit, and had the Focus left to boost).

With that, we decided to call it, as my Stalker was easily within range of Iron Mother, and I could also have given the Stalker Primal. Skinwalkers and Morraig could have also followed up to finish her if needed.

Results: Win for Circle via hypothetical assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well, I felt like a dumbass. Morv was at such a low number of health boxes, and once again I failed to protect my caster. I had a forest to hide behind, and also had beasts I could transfer to. I just didn't keep that single Fury on her to be able to transfer one-off assassination attempts.

Otherwise, I did basically what I wanted to - Skinwalkers are ridiculous when I regrow them, and the WoO have a really cool mini-feat for what they do.

Only thing I wasn't sure about was Morraig. He should have gone on one of the flanks to help with operations there. Instead, trying to punch a heavy Vector seemed a little out of his league.

Loving this Morvahna list though - pretty solid so far. Of course, most people would agree that she's awesome. Not really "out-skilling" my opponents here.

Game 4: Circle (Baldur2) vs. Retribution (Issyria)

My List:

Baldur2 (Tier 4)

-Wold Guardian
-Wold Guardian
-Megalith
-Wold Watcher
-Wold Watcher
-Wold Watcher

Druids of Orboros
Shifting Stones
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove

A word about this list: I wanted to give the Tier 4 a spin, and Walter from the PP forums had a great post about how he runs his own. I basically copied his list, though instead of using the Battle Engine like he does, I figured taking another Guardian might end up doing better. As it happens, he just recently made that exact change to his list. So, while I will admit to copying him, I won't admit to copying his one change :)

His List (from memory):

Issyria

-Hyperion
-Imperatus

Dawnguard Sentinels (max)
-Unit Attachment
Mage Hunter Strike Force (max)
-Unit Attachment

Arcanist
Arcanist
Eiyriss2

The Mission:

Box in the middle, with objectives on opposite corners of the zone. Dominate for 2, control for 1. Pretty standard. I think this one was Killbox.

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

Pregame Thoughts:

Hm... I've played Issyria once before this, and lost horribly to her. I knew that Hyperion was a badass, but I wasn't really worried about much in this list. If anything, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to kill Hyperion fast enough.

My plan was to get into the zone and wade through the infantry, wait until Hyperion came into the zone, then punch him multiple times with Guardians.

Deployment:

PROXY ALERT: The unpainted Warden is actually a Guardian. I asked Don for a Khador jack so you all wouldn't be confused, and he brought me a Warden, which is a model that could conceivably be in this list, for the exact same points as a Guardian. *sigh*

Don't lists with Gargantuans/Collossals look small?
Circle Turn 1:

I ran the Watchers up!

Everything else moved up. I was actually fairly awkward with my lines. I need to learn the proper spacing of my models - they were kind of all over the place.

Baldur threw RotE on the Watchers, then charged forward.

Isn't this list cool looking? I actually painted everything up besides that one Guardian proxy!
Retribution Turn 1:

He also ran up.

Issyria did put Inviolable Resolve on the Sentinels to bring them up to ARM 19.


Also, Imperatus is apparently damn fast. That guy can move.
Circle Turn 2:

Watchers stood still to shoot at the Sentinels. They needed 5's to hit, and only hit once, boosted damage, and killed one Sentinel. Wish I had killed that second one :-/

They all Stone Form'd.

Everything else of mine advanced, but didn't do much. Some Druids popped their smoke to block LOS to Baldur, and Baldur put RotE on the three Watchers, bringing them up to ARM 24.


Shit's about to get real!
Retribution Turn 2:

Issyria popped her feat and had Hyperion shoot with ancillary attack, killing some of my stuff.

Hyperion then went, shooting at some Druids in their smoke, boosted, and (with her feat) got a crit. I watched as a Stone from each unit was removed without a damage roll/roll to hit, my Stone Keeper, and two or three other Druids.

Honestly, had no idea that Crit existed. I'd have spaced my guys out way better :)

Sentinels charged my Watchers and through excellent rolls (even with the feat, his rolls were high - he was rolling 5 dice and keeping 4 of them, and at least twice he had to remove a "4" because it was the lowest he rolled) killed the rightmost Watcher, putting some damage on the other two as well.

Then, Imperatus (who needed the rightmost Watcher to die) charged a Gallows Grove, hit, killed, and sidestepped into melee with Baldur. Baldur survived, but only just barely, and that only because he had gotten a Fury from the dead Watcher to transfer.

Oh yeah, Druids failed their Command Check. *facepalm*

Really clever move by Don to bypass his need for LOS to Baldur.

Wow, what a rough turn for me! I almost lost, but even beyond the failed assassination attempt, I lost a ton of important models with that crit hit, and even lost a Watcher!


Rough turn for me, but well played on Don's part. Yikes, not sure how Issyria keeps surprising me.
Circle Turn 3:

 It wasn't much of a question for me - I needed to kill Imperatus.

One Guardian walked in from behind, missed his first two swings (needing 5's), but finally succeeded in knocking down Imperatus and doing some damage.

Then, the other Guardian walked up and auto-hit him to death once. Imperatus then healed about 17 boxes, and the Guardian was forced to use all his Focus to kill him a second time.

Damn, that thing is *rough* to kill! DEF 13 and high armor, along with the ability to resurrect once he died makes it among the most resilient jacks I've encountered yet. Surprising, but pretty cool nonetheless :)

Megalith went and used Crevasse to spray away a few Sentinels.

Watchers then swatted a couple more Sentinels, including the UA.

Baldur went, got himself into B2B with a Guardian, put up Flesh of Clay, and popped his feat, camping 2. He probably also cast something else, but I can't remember what. Probably a Crevasse, actually - killing two Sentinels.

Druids rallied.

Not an awful turn for Baldur, though killing Imperatus put me into a really rough table position - Guardians are not facing the way they want to be, though part of that is my own dumb mistake.


Watchers are also Stone Skin'd, btw.
Retribution Turn 3:

Hyperion took a swing at a Watcher with Issyria's Ancillary attack, doing some damage.

Hyperion then walked up a little and swung at Megalith, killing him with some insane damage rolls. He was a little on fire this game, as you may be able to tell :)

Eiyriss shot Baldur to get rid of Flesh of Clay, but the Gun Mages didn't do much damage with their follow-up shots. They did remove the rest of the Druids, however.

Megalith is dead, even with his ARM 22 and mostly full boxes. Heh.
Circle Turn 4:

Guardians walked up and punched a couple Sentinels.

Watchers finished them off, and one even took a swing at Hyperion, killing half of its shields with a good damage roll, before they both took Stone Form.

Baldur had Blinding Light or something on him, and could only cast a couple spells. He created a wall to prevent Hyperion from getting into the Guardians, then put Flesh of Clay on himself, and walked to within 1" of a wall, to get a defensive bonus against Eiyriss shooting at him to remove the animus. Probably would have been better to just hid behind a Guardian to block LOS to Eiyriss.

Baldur has two Fury camped to transfer to mostly-healthy Guardians.
Retribution Turn 4:

Issyria cast Blinding Light on Baldur again, and got sad as I realized that Blinding Light also reduces DEF.

Eiyriss then shot at Baldur, needing a 4 to hit, getting it and removing his Animus.

Mage Hunters walked up and shot at Baldur, but failed to really do much damage. His final couple shots did spike really high damage rolls though, and Baldur was forced to use both Transfers.

Hyperion then went and got 6 shots with his big gun, hitting on 9's. He boosted to hit a couple times, boosted damage, and Baldur died.


I think the lesson is that Baldur should have hid himself behind that Guardian - Issyria, Eiyriss, and Hyperion would not have been able to target him then, and Flesh of Clay would have made him invulnerable to the Mage Hunter Assassins.

Results: Loss for Circle via slow and grinding Assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well... crap. That game went south pretty quick. I actually think I was in a good position here. Issyria's feat surprised me in that it allowed Don to ignore the cloud effects from the Druids for purposes of shooting. Then, Hyperion went and showed me why he was awesome with his "Crit: remove all small bases within this 5" AOE).

That said, this list is *stupidly* resilient. If I play this matchup again, I think I can win. Despite the dice going in Don's favor most of the game, I don't think those dice were really the deciding factor. Once again, I failed to protect my Warlock the way he needed to be protected, and this time it actually ruined me. I always forget that large bases ignore LOS - probably a vestige from 40k days.

In the end, I enjoyed this list a lot, and am seriously considering bringing it to the tournament this weekend, despite my now-losing record with Baldur2 (though happily, that's the only warlock I have a losing record with now! Hooray for little victories!)

Game 5: Circle (Morv2) vs. Retribution (Ravyn)

My List (same as last time, but I'll re-copy it):


Morvahna

-Warpwolf Stalker
-Warpwolf Stalker
-Gorax

Wolves of Orboros (Max)
-Unit Attachment
Warpborn Skinwalkers (Max)
-Warpborn Alpha
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper
Shifting Stones

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer
Morraig the Wolf Lord

His List:

Ravyn

-Arcantrik Force Generator
-Hydra
-Hydra

Mage Hunter Strike Force
-Unit Attachment
Mage Hunter Strike Force
-3iyriss Attachment

Arcanist
Arcanist
Narn
Mage Hunter Assassin

The Mission:

Two offset boxes with objectives in the middle. Have to kill an objective to dominate a zone. Dominate enemy zone for 2, dominate own zone for 1, control enemy zone for 1, destroy objective for 1.

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

Pre-game thoughts:

Well! Another caster I'd never played against, and another crazy huge model whose existence I had only been vaguely aware of up til now. The thing didn't seem too threatening, though I knew I was probably not reading the card with as much attention as I would have earlier in the day.

Mage Hunter Strike Forces are good, and I've heard they're amazing with Ravyn with her whole "Snipe, Feat, Go!" thing. I needed to be wary of the ranged assassination here.

I'd chosen eMorv, as Don requested I not play either Baldur, and it was my only list available.

My goal was to close with him as quickly as possible, kill the infantry with my own infantry, and the jacks with my beasts. Rerolls and attrition would hopefully give me an edge.

Deployment:


WoO are on the left side this time?! Why?? Because I'm crazy and I like to switch it up.

That Battle Engine looks awesome :) Please note that the squad on the left are proxies for his Mage Hunter Strike Team with 3iryiss.

Circle Turn 1:

I ran up. Morv gave WoO Carnivore, and she put up Fog of War.

WoO went up nearly 12", but was wary because I knew Ravyn could hand out Snipe to the unit, and I didn't want to make it *too* easy for him. However, I felt that if some of them came up to shoot at me, I'd likely be in range to at least tie them up for the next turn.

Mostly, everything went up as far as possible. Don didn't have much that ignored stealth as far as I knew, and so my center (Prowling Stalkers/Morraig, stealthed stones, etc.) were safe.

Fun times, facing such a shooty army. /sarcasm

Retribution Turn 1:

He basically moved everyone up a bunch as well so as not to forfeit the scenario advantage. That's one cool thing about Warmachine - shooty armies are forced to stay near the middle, or lose via scenario, and there aren't many guns that can just sit in the back and shoot all the way into the middle.

Anyways, his leftmost Mage Hunters advanced and shot a couple of my WoO, after Ravyn gave them Snipe. Not much else happened. One of the Hydras camped 2 focus. Cool ability for them to keep their focus from turn to turn :)

The battle lines are drawn.
Circle Turn 2:

Morv upkept Fog of War and Carnivore.

Don had left a few of the MHST on the left within charge range of my WoO, so I charged them and with my MAT 10 (MAT 6 + Carnivore + Powerful Charge), killed the four in range, spreading the rest of them out.

Skinwalkers just ran 10" and engaged seven of the rightmost MHST, who promptly failed their fear check.

One of my Stalkers put Lightning Strike on Morraig.

Morraig charged a distant MHST model, killed it with his mount, and made a couple swings on the nearby Hydra, knocking out one of its arms and all of its shield. He then used his Cavalry move to go backward, then used Lightning Strike to go even more back. Lots of effort to make that work, haha. Probably should have just crashed him into his MHST, looking at it now. :-/

Morv camped 5 - no reason to do much else this turn, and I wasn't sure what sort of transferring I would need to make happen.

Good turn for me - I'm in position to do some real damage next turn, assuming Morvahna doesn't get owned.

Retribution Turn 2:

I believe that Ravyn upkept Snipe on the MHST on the left.

Narn charged two WoO and killed one of them, missing the other, then sidestepped to get into the forest.

Mage Hunter Assassin charged Morraig and killed his mount. Damn, 4" weapon always throws me off.

3iyriss moved up and shot at Morvahna, needing an 8 to strip all her fury and essentially win the game via assassination. However, she only got a 7, and Morvahna took a sigh of relief. Probably should have popped his feat this turn, honestly.

A couple more WoO died from incidental shooting.

Other shooting went into my Skinwalkers, and killed 3, despite one of them being in combat.

His rightmost MHST failed to rally, but I told him (since it was a friendly game) that we should just act like they had rallied. He moved some of them backward, with only the 5 engaged models staying close to the Skinwalkers.

Battle Engine was the one that killed the most Skinwalkers, I believe. That thing is actually pretty good, with an assload of shots, RAT 9, and 20" range. Especially good with Ravyn. I was impressed :)

We actually rolled it out to see what would have happened had 3yriss hit Morv and removed all her transfers/upkeep. He would have easily killed her with the Arcantrik shots, not even counting the Hydra shots. Once again, I failed to keep my caster safe. Really really need to work on that.

WoO are somewhat depleted, but still doing fine, as are the Skinwalkers. I need to make this next turn count.

Circle Turn 3:

I upkept Carnivore and Fog of War.

WoO went first, charging the Mage Hunter Assassin, Narn, and 3yriss, along with some other MHST members. Popping their mini-feat (because of so many important solos with multiple health boxes), they killed Narn, the Mage Hunter Assassin, and most of the MHST they swung at, but missed the one swing at 3yriss (needed a 6, despite MAT 10!)

Morraig charged 3yriss and missed, but was in range of Morv, so he re-rolled, hitting and killing her, then killing another MHST.

Gorax went next, giving the unpainted Stalker Primal.

Stones shifted the Stalker to be in range of the injured Hydra.

Stalker warped for STR and killed the Hydra with his first couple swings. He then gave himself Lightning Strike, swung at a nearby MHST, boosted the hit, and killed it. He then Sprinted into melee range of the remaining Hydra and the Battle Engine.

Grove advanced to within 6" of the Skinwalkers.

Morvahna went next, moving up to range of the Skinwalkers, and popped her feat, regrowing nearly every single model possible, and having the 3 regrown Skinwalkers go tie up the remaining rightmost MHST and Hydra and lining the WoO up for a strong charge on whatever they wanted next turn.

She also cycled Carnivore to the Skinwalkers, and camped 3 fury, safe in the knowledge that 3yriss was no longer around to strip her fury.

Skinwalkers activated and (with rerolls) killed all 5 MHST in melee range, while the others who had been feated back walked up to jam even more.

The 2 remaining MHST on the left failed their massive casualties check (making it 3 of 4 failures on those units' command checks this game).

It was getting a little late, and Don didn't really want to finish the game. It was understandable - I still had a Stalker inside some stones to throw at his Hydra next turn, and the Skinwalkers and WoO would be killing all the support models next turn, if not simply just killing Ravyn right away.

So, the game, and the long crazy day, ended.

Crazy to think that Morv is still in range of the rest of his army here.

Results: Win for Circle Orboros via hypothetical assassination/scenario!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well... I thought that perhaps Don got a little too aggressive with his lines. The MHST didn't need to advance as far as they did on the right, and the Skinwalkers were only ever going to run the next turn anyways. Same with the other MHST - they could have stayed in/behind the forest, and been safe.

That said, I was pleased with how my army worked, generally. It would have been better for Morraig to use his cavalry move + sprint to tie up 3yriss, but for some reason I didn't think of it.

I was once again frustrated at my lack of foresight in keeping my caster safe. One game, I can live with (we all make mistakes), but I did it in like 4 of my games. I'm just not used to a single model being so damned important in the games I play, but that's not really a good excuse. If I want to keep getting better, I need to protect my casters better. Sometimes I'll need to take risks, but most of the times here were not really necessary.

Otherwise, I was very satisfied with my play for the day. While I'm clearly not "good" at this game yet, I do feel like I'm getting better. Morv2 is a stupidly strong caster, and bails me out of a lot of tricky situations.

I think I'll end up taking Morraig out of the list for now and adding a Wold Watcher. That way, Morv can have a shield guard against 3yriss stripping her fury, and also have a guy who just sits there and annoys people inside of zones. Who wants to kill a guy with 21 armor, 24 boxes, and is only worth 5 points? That's a lot of effort for a mostly useless model, and I feel that it will be useful in keeping Morv AND other models safe as well.

Anyways, that's a wrap! Long report, but we got through it alright! Next time I play will be on Saturday, playing a tournament with potentially the same people I played games with in this report. We'll just see - wish me luck, and let me know what you think of these games!

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