Friday, August 22, 2014

Warmachine Batrep #20: 50 Points Circle (Krueger2) vs. Khador (Butcher2) (with pictures!)

Well folks, it's that time of week - I played a game last night at the LGS against our clubs heroic PG Josh Nordstrom. He's probably the best player in our club, and as such I love getting games in with him, though he does stomp me more often than not :) You can only get better by playing against good players, and my aim is to keep getting better.

In this case, I had a bonus: Josh was playing his Butcher2 Tier list with a bunch of Doom Reavers. This is awesome, because I am likely to see this sort of list at big events. As usual, I brought Krueger2 to the party, as more and more I am feeling like he will be my Khador drop. Exciting because I feel like there are a few factions I actually understand reasonably well (i.e. what they're trying to do, how they're going to accomplish it, etc.) Let's see what happens!

My List:


-Warpwolf Stalker

Druids of Orboros
-Druid Overseer
Shifting Stones
-Stone Watcher
Stoneward and Wold Stalkers
Nyss Hunters (max)

Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer

Josh's List (from memory):


-War Dog

Doom Reavers
-Unit Attachment

Doom Reavers
-Unit Attachment
Doom Reavers
-Unit Attachment
Doom Reavers

Man Hunter

The Mission: Close Quarters

(I swear that I will someday learn the names of these missions without having to look them up)

Two flags. Dominate enemy flag for 2 CP, control for 1 CP. Dominate own flag for 1 CP. KILL BOX.

**Josh won the roll to go first, and took it. He didn't even need the +1 he gets for playing in Tier 3.

Pregame thoughts:

Man, why are so many armies fast? Haha, Doom Reavers are all AD, and I knew that Josh was going to run them all up 12", putting them essentially on the halfway line, and force me to essentially stay in my own deployment zone for at least a turn.

There were a few goals of mine in mind:

  • Kill the UA's as quickly as possible - Doom Reavers without tough are not nearly as terrifying (they're still abominations though --> see what I did there)
  • Stay far enough away from them on Turn 1 so that I could pop my feat on Turn 2, essentially buying me two separate rounds of shooting at them.
  • Focus on killing the majority of the infantry first, and if/when Conquest came up to kill me, have my Heavies punch him to death
    • This necessitates keeping my own heavies alive for as long as possible
    • That said, I also really wanted my heavies to contribute to the infantry clearing operations in a meaningful way - using my entire army every turn is far more efficient, so long as it doesn't burn too much clock.
  • Find some use for the Druids. They can't target Doom Reavers/Fenris with their spells, and can't reliably hit/kill them in melee either. I would be damned if I was wasting 9 points in this game.
  • Get first turn next time. That would be so nice!


I took the side with the big hill, so as to deny Josh elevation bonus. Actually, I was just on that side when we sat down and got lazy. I am happy to report that I *did* think about that, though. Forest + Hill on my side makes me happy.

It's insane to think that 4 units of Doom Reavers isn't the most someone can take. Some people take like 7 or 8 units of them. Pretty cool, actually :)
 Khador Turn 1:

Butcher2 has to roll for how much focus he has each turn. D6+1 focus means he can have up to 7 and as few as 2. Josh rolled a "5" this turn, meaning he had 6 focus.

Doom Reavers all ran up. The unit without a UA kind of hunkered in the back, while the others spread out to threaten my entire army.

Butcher put Fury up on the Conquest.

Up in my grill. :-/

Circle Turn 1:

I was surprised to note that I would be able to make attacks in my first turn. Not necessarily a good sign.

Nyss went first, and used a series of 5 CRAs to kill a Doom Reaver UA and 4 other Doom Reavers.

Wold Stalkers (heretofore referred to as "Shrimp") moved forward their full 6" and took some shots. They managed to kill two Doom Reavers, then Zephr'd backward 3" to avoid Doom Reavers charging and using Berserk to kill the whole unit.

Druids then advanced their full 6" and popped their smoke, denying the Doom Reavers and Conquest LOS to the Nyss and most of the rest of my army.

Ghetto moved forward and put "Ornery" on himself.

Stalker warped for Prowl and walked into a Druid cloud bubble.

Krueger walked up into the cloud as well, casting "Storm Wall" to hurt the Conquest, and camped 4.

Overall, not a terrible turn for me. I killed a full unit's worth of Doom Reavers, and *hopefully* denied them a big turn of killing everything.

Khador Turn 2:

Josh was a little annoyed that the Druids had blocked his charges and visibility so well, but decided to make the best of it.

A couple of Doom Reavers charged in and killed some Druids, though not as many as he would like.

One Doom Reaver charged Ghetto, did some damage, and Ghetto got all excited to use Ornery and kill a Doom Reaver in his turn. He missed though. :-/

Fenris also charged in, but only killed one of his intended Druids, due to being inside the cloud effect and therefore -2 to attack rolls.

Conquest tried to take a shot at some Druids, but auto-missed (he was -5 range due to Krueger's spell), and I got to choose the direction of the scatter, and it didn't do anything to anyone.

In the end, only 3 Druids died.

Pretty good turn for me, all told.

Josh was trying to get Fenris through the two Druids in the cloud to force the Nyss into an abomination CMD check, but failed his MAT 6 rideby attacks, or whatever they're called.

Circle Turn 2:

My goal this turn was simple: kill as many Doom Reavers as possible, kill Fenris, and pop my feat. Not necessarily in that order.

Shrimp forfeited their movement for an aiming bonus, then Zephyr'd forward 3" to shoot at some Doom Reavers. They managed to kill a UA from one unit, and another 2 or 3 Doom Reavers.

Krueger went next, advancing and popping his feat. It caught everyone except for the Butcher and his Dog. Everything was pushed back 3", getting several of the closest ones out of combat. He shot a couple nearby Doom Reavers, put up Storm Wall, and camped two.

Nyss went next and killed the final UA, several of them getting an aiming bonus, and also killed several other Doom Reavers.

Stones teleported Ghetto up to Fenris.

Ghetto warped for STR and killed Fenris easy enough. He then put up Ornery again.

Gorax charged a Doom Reaver and killed him.

Blackclad got clever and targeted the Conquest with his magic spray, catching two Doom Reavers and killing them both.

Druids went and popped smoke to keep folk from seeing Krueger. One of them swung at a Doom Reaver, HIT, then failed to kill him. Too much to ask of a Druid, I'm afraid.

Josh was left with 8 Doom Reavers, his two solos, and Conquest. Still a strong force, but far more manageable now. They would be unable to charge me next turn due to my feat.

Far less intimidating now. I was interested to see how Josh would react.

Khador Turn 3:

Butcher got a 3 Focus, and put 2 on the Conquest.

Butcher went first and advanced as far forward as he could, then popped his feat, which would accumulate some sort of Tokens for each model killed in his control (always 12"). He would then be able to allocate those tokens to his models at the end of his turn, allowing them to advance and make attacks, boosting their hits/damage.

Doom Reavers managed to kill a Druid, my Blackclad, and a Shrimp.

Josh allocated 2 Fury to the Manhunter and one to Yuri. Yuri went up and punched my Gorax hard, but didn't knock out any systems. Manhunter punched Ghetto even harder, and Ghetto tried to use Ornery again, but missed again. Sad face :-/

Is this to be my fate then? Forever Jammed?

Circle Turn 3:

I knew I had the attrition advantage. I had several options open to me.

  1. Kill the remaining Doom Reavers and Solos.
  2. Kill most of the remaining Doom Reavers and try to kill Conquest.
  3. Attempt an assassination.
After looking at the board, I decided to try for an assassination, despite the fact that in a tournament I would probably just have cleared the Doom Reavers and solos, then taken the next turn to either kill Butcher or the Conquest, if possible.

First, the Druids went. I had a notion of dragging Butcher forward and out of range of his dog.

Their two shots (needing 7's to hit) missed.

Shrimp went next and tried to shoot the Dog, needing 7's to hit. They also missed.

I scratched my head for a while.

Stones shifted the Stalker up into melee with the Butcher, which was somewhat of a mistake.

Krueger advanced 6", then cast Telekinesis on Butcher, who was in melee and therefore DEF 18. I boosted and spiked the "11" (actually I got like 17, heh), dragging the Butcher 2" closer to the Stalker, and more importantly - outside of the 3" dog protection.

I just now realized - I could have faced the Butcher away from the Stalker, giving me a back strike bonus. DOH!!!

Krueger then put Primal on the Stalker, and took a swing at the nearest Doom Reaver for fun, boosting and killing him.

Stalker activated, warped for STR.

He took his claw attack first, and missed (needing 8's - getting that backstrike bonus would have been so useful this activation).

He then boosted his Sword attack, hit, and did like 8 damage (POW 20 vs. Butcher's ARM 19)

He bought an attack, boosted to hit, and did another 8 damage or so, putting Butcher on about 3 boxes left.

With one fury remaining, he bought his final attack, which was not boostable.

Stalker would need an "8" to hit.

I rolled and...


Damage roll was then a formality, and Butcher died.


Overview of the board.

Stalker was in a bad place if he failed to kill the Butcher. Heh.

Results: Win for Circle Orboros via nearly-botched Assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Whew! I kind of got lucky there, honestly. Two things I could have done (much) better:

  1. Kept the Stalker outside of 2" of the Butcher, so that he wasn't engaged and therefore far easier to hit with TK.
  2. Turned Butcher's facing away from the Stalker when the TK did go off.
I could probably also have TK'd Butcher first, then had the Nyss make at least one CRA on him to get some damage in.

Still, I am happy that I finally got an assassination run to work. And really, there were several things that didn't go my way. Shrimps could have killed the Dog, making my TK unnecessary. Druids could have hit Butcher and dragged him out of the Dog's protection bubble, but didn't.

I think that on average dice, the Stalker *does* kill Butcher in the scenario I placed him in, but if I had remembered to change Butcher's facing, I would have done far better. 

Another option I perhaps should have done was use a headbutt special attack on Butcher, causing some damage on the hit, then auto-hitting two more attacks on him, leaving the Nyss to CRA him to death.

At any rate, let's now focus on how I did pre-assassination.

I feel like in this stage of the game I played well. Not perfectly by any means (there were wasted Nyss shots that I could have made use of, Stalker could have gotten involved earlier, etc.) but overall I am happy with how I played. My plan worked mostly the way I wanted it to, and I had a really strong attritional advantage had I chosen to play the rest of the game that way.

I'm getting better with Krueger2. After a few misfires early on, I think that I'm finally understanding how to play him in a way which will allow me to win more often. Josh said at the start of the game he felt like this was a poor matchup for him, which I guess I can understand. I had a lot of shooting, and a way to keep him away, negate his own shooting, and strong assassination options if I could clear enough of his models.

So, perhaps it's just the matchup this time, but I do feel more confident moving forward with Krueger2. 

Now to get some more games in with Cassius, Morv2 (with my Ravager build), and keep chiseling out what I want to do with Krueger2. I'm actually contemplating keeping this build for my K2 Master's list and just using Bloodtrackers + Nuala with Cassius instead.

Guess we'll see - I have a steamroller tournament in 8 days. Should be a good litmus test for my growth as a player.

See you all next time: I have a bunch of games scheduled with people this Saturday, so expect some more reports soonish :)

Let me know what you think!

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