Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Warmachine Batrep #21: 50 Points Circle (assorted casters) vs. Trolls, Everblight, and Retribution (6 games total!)

One of the lists I faced was RoW...
Time for even more battle reports! I can't get enough of them, apparently! Last Saturday I got in 6 games. I took pictures for them all, and intend to write up reports for all of them. Let's get some back story first though. Maybe it's not actually back story exactly, but perhaps some context?

I have several tournaments coming up in the next couple weeks. This coming weekend is Tacticon, where I will play two different tournaments: Hardcore and a Divide and Conquer Steamroller. The Hardcore event has timed turns going 7 minutes for each turn, 50 points. Divide and Conquer I intend to play Morv2 and Krueger2 as my list pairings.

THEN, on September 13, I have the Intermountain Cup (IMC). It's a 6-game masters (meaning I need to use 3 lists) event ALL IN THE SAME DAY. I intend to play Morv2, K2, and Cassius as my list pairing.

This Saturday was intended to help me to practice it all. I wanted 5 or 6 games, wanted a couple of them to be Hardcore, and I wanted to use all 3 of my casters. So, while the games and missions may seem a little strange, I believe that Saturday's practice did an awesome job of giving me some practice for the upcoming events.

Let's jump in.


Game 1: Circle (Krueger2) vs. Nick's Trollbloods (RUNES OF WAR featuring pDoomy)

My List:

Krueger2

-Ghettorix
-Stalker
-Gorax

Druids of Orboros
-Druid Overseer
Nyss Hunters
Wold Stalkers (SHRIMP)
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper

Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove

Nick's List:

Doomshaper1

-Earthborn Dire Troll
-Dire Troll Mauler
-Mulg
-Axer

3x Runeshapers

3x Runeshapers
3x Runeshapers 
3x Runeshapers 
Krielstone (Max)
-Unit Attachment

Janissa

The Mission:

Fire Support!

(Two flags, two objectives. Destroy Objective = 1 CP, control flag = 1 CP, dominate flag = 2 CP, KILL BOX)

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

Pre-game thoughts:

This was exactly the sort of game I was hoping to play! Nick is a good player, and he is taking *the* Runes of War Tier list that I will run into at a big tournament. Runes of War (RoW) is predicated on lots of cheap spell-slingers, backed by a Purification caster and 4 really strong beasts, with 3 extra walls to help protect them. Top-tier list. Perfect practice for me :)

I took Krueger2 because I've decided that whereas Morv2 won't really be an *awful* drop for Trolls, I think that K2 has a lot of really things that Trolls hate. He makes their shooting skews less effective with Storm Wall, stops the combat skews in their tracks for a turn with his feat, and my particular build shuts down his magic because I have Druids in there.

My plan was to win via attrition. If I had gotten first turn, I figured I had a reasonable shot at scenario, but with his guys all getting extra movements and board position from his Tier, along with going first and being able to place 3 walls in his zone (which shuts down my feat to some degree in certain situations), I'd really struggle to win via attrition.

So, I needed to clear his Runeshapers first, then focus on killing the big guys. Pretty simple-sounding, but it turns out that ARM 17 models with 5 wounds each aren't easy to shift when there are 12 of them. At least, not with shooting :)



Time to see if the Nyss are going to work out in this build or not.

Trolls Turn 1:

He ran up. Note in the picture that he's got an extra two walls in his table half, which he got to place because of his Tier. He also has a third wall from Janissa, who gets to make her own wall :-/

Well, not as jammed as I could be, but really, it's going to be hard to take Nick off the objectives here for any length of time.

Circle Turn 1:

True to my plan I advanced with the goal of killing off a bunch of Runeshapers.

Druids advanced and dragged a couple Runeshapers closer, but didn't do much damage.

My shooting then commenced, and I managed to kill all of TWO Runeshapers. Much of this was due to the fact that Nick rolled a little bonkers on his Tough rolls (like, 4 or 5 out of 7), but the results were the same. Runeshapers don't get knocked down either, due to Steady. Yikes. :)

Doesn't look like it, but I also advanced. Oh yeah, I also put up Counter-magic.

Trolls Turn 2:

Nick ran his Runeshapers up to jam me, but didn't do much otherwise except to continue his trudge forward.

Will I be able to kill them this time?
 Circle Turn 2:

Time to kill more Runeshapers.

Blackclad walked up and sprayed some on the left, doing a little bit of damage.

Wold Shrimp used Zephyr to un-jam themselves, and killed a few Runeshapers.

Gorax charged and killed a Runeshaper.

Krueger charged and killed a Runeshaper.

Stalker put Lightning Strike on Ghetto.

Stones placed Ghetto close to three Runeshapers.

Ghetto activated killed all three Runeshapers, then used Lightning Strike to get out of the threat ranges of some heavies, also ensuring protection from the wall.

Nyss used CRAs to kill two Runeshapers on the left.

Druids mostly popped smoke, and used Counter-magic.

Nick was left with two total Runeshapers, who passed their CMD checks.




Hooray for spending an entire turn killing mostly useless (to him, this game) models!
 Trolls Turn 3:

After thinking for a bit, Nick decided to continue to advance, and to (in time) pop his feat.

He didn't really do much to me, but made it so that any charges on his beasts would be over Janissa's wall.

Doomy popped his feat, making any expenditure of fury cost me d6 damage each time.

One Runeshaper randomly charged Krueger and got a hit, forcing him to transfer like 14 damage to the Gorax. Ha, wasn't expecting that one!

Looking a little close for comfort, with his beasts so close to mine and his feat up!

Circle Turn 3:

I decided that this would be a great turn to try and kill Janissa, and whittle away at his Krielstone unit.

Nyss advanced to positions where they could see Janissa, and used one big CRA on her, doing enough to force a Tough check. She passed it. Doh!

Krueger advanced to get Nick's entire force in his control, and popped his feat, pushing everything back 3" and making it so they couldn't charge next turn.

Shrimp shot up a few Krielstones.

Druids advanced and popped some smoke.

Gorax walked up, forced some damage, and killed a Runeshaper, taking 4 damage for his troubles.

Don't worry, Mulg isn't dead. He's just got a proxy base because the model wasn't fitting well.

Trolls Turn 4:

Nick really couldn't do too much.

His Axer went up and killed three Druids. His Mauler went up and killed two Nyss.

That was just about it. Pretty good feat against Trolls apparently :)

Oh yeah. The one model outside of K2's control was the final Runeshaper, who charged Cylena and killed her. What's with Nick spiking 9's to hit against me with his Runeshapers?  haha

I would need to do something now. Namely, kill Janissa and a few big guys.

Circle Turn 4:

My goal was to kill the Axer and the Mauler this turn, as well as as many support models as possible.

Krueger went first, aimed, and killed Janissa on his second shot (tough rolls :-/). He also put Lightning Strike on Ghetto.

Shrimp and Nyss combined to kill all of the Krielstone unit, including the UA.

Ghetto charged the Axer, and killed him easily, then used Lightning Strike to go back behind a wall to guard against Mulg counter-charging him.

Gorax put Primal on the Stalker.

Stones placed Stalker close to the Mauler.

Stalker, who had 6 swings, 5 of them at +1 damage, was hitting on 4's, and immediately missed three of his swings. The Mauler was left mostly functional. /wrist

If I'd been able to kill the Mauler, the game would be all but over. Ah well, silly luck.

Trolls Turn 5:

I had a swing of luck this time, and the Mauler frenzied, missing the Stalker.

Doomy cast Stranglehold on the Stalker, but missed the first try, so had to try it again, but was eventually successful.

Mulg then went and slammed the Stalker through a Nyss (who died). This would effectively take the Stalker out of the equation for the next round, as he'd be frenzied, and have to use his action to stand up.

Earthborn advanced to buff Mulg and take a swing at a Druid, but missed.

Circle Turn 5:

I ran a few Nyss into B2B with Doomy, and a couple others charged the Dire Troll, killing him.

I put Primal on Ghetto, who charged and killed Mulg.

We actually played to like Turn 7, but Nick was unable to kill any of my beasts, and I was in perfect position to win via scenario, if not assassination.

Stalker is scoring, heh. I think K2 is over to the left because he killed the final Runeshaper.

Results: Kind-of win for Circle via scenario!!

Post-game thoughts:

It was only a kind-of win because, for the first time ever, I clocked myself out. I'm not sure why I took such long turns, but Nick was about 15 minutes ahead of me on time. After I clocked out, I asked if we could continue the game, acknowledging that he did in fact beat me. So, despite the fact that I beat his list, he would absolutely have beat me in a tournament. I need to get faster!

Otherwise, I was happy with how I did. If my Stalker had killed his Mauler (even below average rolls would have done it, barring the fact that I missed 3 of my 6 attacks), that would have been all she wrote. I was able to kill the Runeshapers without too much difficulty, I counter-feated so that his own feat didn't hurt me too much, and my movement shenanigans helped me to ensure that I got the alpha strike on his models.

All that didn't mean anything though, since I did technically lose. Well played by Nick!

Game 2: Circle (Morvahna2) vs. Bergen's Legion of Everblight (Lylyth2) 

HARDCORE PRACTICE!!

My List:

Morv2

-Warpwolf Stalker
-Warpwolf Stalker
-Gorax

Tharn Ravagers
-Tharn Ravager Chieftain
-Tharn Ravager Shaman
Skinwalkers
-Alpha
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer

Bergen's List:

Lylyth2

-Ravagore
-Ravagore
-Naga Nightlurker

Warspears (Max)
-UA
Hex Hunters (Max)

Shepherd
Shepherd
Warmonger War Chief
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker

The Mission: HARDCORE (control the zone = enemy caster takes 5 damage which cannot be healed, dominate the zone = enemy caster takes 7 damage which cannot be healed)

Also, 7-minute turns.

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

Pre-game thoughts:

I have often heard that Legion is an awful matchup for Morv2, and I can definitely understand why. They ignore a lot of the stuff that makes her good, and they also have a ton of RFP to neuter her feat.

Thing is, I had first turn. If I could jam Bergen's force to the point that he couldn't really get into the zone, I could clear the zone and get some damage on his caster.

Really, my goal was to be aggressive. I knew my own rules pretty well, and 7-minute turns were going to mean I wouldn't have much chance to think about intricate plays. Going first, my goal was to keep Bergen out of the zone for as long as I could, dominating the damn thing as quickly as possible.

Those walls in the zone were nice for whoever got there first - eyeless sight doesn't ignore cover ;)

His deployment.

Circle Turn 1:

I ran everything up. I put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers, but didn't think to put up Fog of War (didn't realize his Warspears weren't eyeless sight).

I kept the Ravagers spread out so that hey couldn't all be killed super easily.
 Legion Turn 1:

His Warspears used their assault order, and managed to kill two of my Ravagers.

A Ravagore managed to kill another Ravager, but that was essentially it.

Bergen actually ran out of time. His Hex Hunters weren't even able to be fully moved before it was over, leaving them grossly out of formation.

7 minute turns are madness.

Circle Turn 2:

Morvahna moved up and put Carnivore on the Ravagers, and also put up Fog of War for fun.

Ravagers charged the Warspears and managed to kill 3 of them. One of them also engaged the Naga and killed a Strider Deathstalker.

Skinwalkers used a couple CRAs to kill a few Hex Hunters.

No score this turn, unfortunately. Note that Morvahna is benefiting from cover from most angles right now.

Legion Turn 2:

Bergen, a little off-kilter by how fast our turns had been, decided to try for the assassination.

Lylyth popped her feat, giving her entire battlegroup an extra shot with their guns.

Lots of shooting happened, but Morv's DEF 19 was enough to keep her mostly intact. I believe she took a couple big hits, but didn't need to transfer anything. Morv *did* get set on fire.

Not many other losses, really.
 Circle Turn 3:

I could start putting damage on Lylyth now, and his biggest shooting threats had been neutralized.

I upkept Fog of War and Carnivore.

Ravagers went first, and with rerolls were able to kill a single Warspear. They also put some big damage on the closest Ravagore.

Stalkers advanced and killed the remaining Warspears.

Skinwalkers killed a few more Hex Hunters, using CMAs.

Blackclad Wayfarer managed to get a hit on the remaining Strider Deathstalker, but only did 4 damage.

With that, my turn ended and I dominated the zone for 7 damage to Lylyth.

Not 100% sure where the 3rd fury went on Morv. Think I transferred some damage once from a reroll.

Legion Turn 3:

Bergen took a few more shots at Morvahna, actually forcing her to transfer twice, and nearly killing the poor Gorax in the process.

He didn't get many models into the Zone, however.

Morvahna is still on fire...

Circle Turn 4:

I survived the fire damage on Morvahna and had the Stalkers kill the rest of the models in the zone.

Not sure if Lylyth only has 14 boxes or Bergen had to cut some at some point, but she was only at 7 remaining, which ended the game.

Results: Win for Circle via "Pressure Points"!

Post-game thoughts:

Whew, 7 minute turns are stressful! I was moving much quicker than I thought I could with this list - lots of models, but I knew their rules pretty well, so all was well. Bergen was clearly out of his comfort zone, never having used Lylyth2 before, and using models he wasn't 100% familiar with. Honestly, familiarity with models seems very very important in this format (important in any format, but more so in Hardcore).

Without the cover in the middle, Morvahna would have been toast. With the ridiculous range that Legion is capable of with Lylyth2's feat, and their ability to ignore all sorts of terrain, Bergen would have killed Morvahna, even with 2 transfers. 4 might have kept her safe. Madness :)

Having first turn really helped - I didn't need to kill as many models out of the zone that way.

Oh yeah, this was my first time using Ravagers with Morvahna! They're pretty good, I have to say! Rerolls on a unit that already hits reasonably hard is really nice, and their advanced deploy really gets them up the table quickly. You'll see the kind of work they do against Retribution a couple reports from now. My first impression: they were pretty good - especially in a Hardcore setting. :)

Game 3: Circle (Krueger2) vs. Bergen's Legion of Everblight (Thagrosh1)

My List:


Krueger2

-Ghettorix
-Stalker
-Gorax

Druids of Orboros
-Druid Overseer
Nyss Hunters
Wold Stalkers (SHRIMP)
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper

Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove

Bergen's List:

Thagrosh1

-Carnivean
-Scythean
-Scythean

Warspears (Max)
-UA

Forsaken
Shepherd
Fyanna the Lash
Succubus
Warmonger War Chief
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker

... I think that's it.

Mission: Incursion (3 flags in the middle of the board. One of the outside ones disappears at the bottom of turn 1. Dominate the other outside one = 2, control center/outside = 1, dominate center = 1)

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

Pre-game thoughts:

Awesome! I'm actually fairly pumped to be playing against some Legion. Not because they're a fun faction to play in and of themselves, but because they're one of the top books in the game, and I need more experience against them if I want to win events.

Bergen is a solid player, though I think he wasn't prepared for our HARDCORE game before this. He has a tremendous amount of game knowledge, however, and I *barely* beat him in our Round 2 matchup of my most recent Steamroller tournament, despite a list that Legion really hates (Baldur2 Theme).

I was further excited to play against Thagrosh1, as I have never played against him, and don't hear people whining about him like they whine about the Lylyths and Vayls. His card looks strong though - -2 STR as a 9" aura effect is really strong. His spell list is good. His feat is simple but really effective.

My plan was to try and win via scenario. K2 is awesome at pushing models off of objectives, and I feel like this particular scenario is even stronger than usual for him. I planned to keep my force centrally located, then have K2 go to whichever flag stayed up.

Deployment:


Nyss on the side with the forest because hey - they can ignore it!

Circle Turn 1:

Everything advanced. Druids went up 6" and popped smoke, the Warpwolves and shooty infantry ran 12-14", and Krueger cast Storm Wall for fun.

Already applying a lot of pressure!

Legion Turn 1:

Bergen also ran up, but was forced to be more reserved in his advances, as he didn't want to give me too much to shoot at.

We rolled to see which flag disappeared, and it turned out to be the one on the right. Due to his deployment, this would hopefully make my life a lot easier.

I actually think I'd have been fine with either flag disappearing, but this was definitely optimal for me.

Circle Turn 2:

Druids had a minor brain fart and instead of just popping smoke on the front few, they decided to drag in one of the War Spears. They eventually killed it, but it was a waste, and left them sitting at "only" 14 DEF.

Nyss, initially planning on simply CRA'ing off a Deathstalker, discovered too late that she had stealth. Whoops. They put a CRA into a Scythean instead, doing minimal damage.

Shrimp unit would have been out of range of anything without being super out of position, so they decided to claim the flag, forcing Bergen to contest the flag or have me score a point in his own turn.

Krueger advanced 6" toward the flag, then TK'd himself another 2" toward it. I kind of had a diabolical plan with him, as you will eventually see...

That was really it - one Warspear and a couple points off a Scythean. Not very inspiring, to say the least.

Seems a little bit close, to be honest.

Legion Turn 2:

Bergen started with his leftmost Deathstalker killing two Shrimp.

Then, he ran Fyanna THE LASH up to contest the left flag.

He put Spiny Growth on both Scytheans, and the Carnivean also put it on himself. 2x free animi every turn is pretty good for this battlegroup! I'm actually very impressed by the synergy.

Warspears (who had prey'd the Druids earlier), Assaulted the Druids and killed 2. They also managed to put some damage on Ghetto, though Ghetto had his Animus up, which let him hit back, killing the Warspear. So awesome when that works :)

One Scythean tried to charge Ghetto, but was about an inch short.

Everything else just kind of advanced some.

Not much of my own stuff died, surprisingly.

Circle Turn 3:

This was the turn I planned on being my decisive back-breaker.

First, the Nyss were going to take advantage of the back-facing Scythean near them. They declared a charge, surrounded him, and, with their POW 9 Weapon Master strikes which should have done an average of 3 points each, they failed their CMD check due to terror. Apparently Bergen had put Draconic Blessing on the Scythean last turn as well. Whoops :-/

Krueger went next and put Lightning Strike on Ghetto. He then popped his feat and pushed everything away from him, reducing all but Thagrosh's SPD next turn as well.

He then charged Fyanna THE LASH and killed her, then TK'd into B2B with the flag on the left. This was my diabolical plan - I knew that Bergen would need to contest the flag in my turn, which meant that K2 could charge whoever contested the flag, kill them, then TK to the flag and dominate it.

Ghetto then walked up and killed both the Scythean and a nearby Warspear, Lightning Striking to B2B with the middle flag. Druid Overseer was the one to force him, BTW :)

Shrimp killed another Warspear.

I controlled the center flag for 1 point, and dominated the left flag for 2 points, for a total of 3. Remember, first to 5 wins.

Score: 3-0 (advantage Circle)

Ghetto better be ready to get WTFPWN'D. I actually felt fairly safe there, foolishly.

Legion Turn 3:

Bergen was in trouble - he was going to struggle to get to my left flag, especially since his models were all -2 SPD.

He ran a Deathstalker up to contest the flag. He also ran some Warspears up to jam my Druids, and one Warspear was able to get to within 4".

The two big beasts also meandered up, but didn't do much.

Then Thagrosh went. I had forgotten that he wasn't in the 14" push back range, and as such he could charge. He charged Ghetto and spent nearly all of his Fury killing him.

Score: 3-0 (advantage Circle)

Without Ghetto alive, I have virtually zero chance to win this game via attrition.

Circle Turn 4:

I needed to kill two models in order to dominate the left flag and win. I also had an assassination vector possible, with the Stalker being ported behind Thags, hitting on 4's with POW 20.

I decided that I'd go for the more sure thing - Spiny Growth wasn't likely to kill the Stalker, but I could roll poorly and be screwed nonetheless.

So, just to be sure, I had Gorax put Primal on the Stalker.

Stones ported the Stalker to within range of the Warspear.

Stalker annihilated the Warspear.

K2 then went, swinging at the Strider Deathstalker, the one model remaining to kill. He boosted his first, needing a 9, and missed.

He then bought and boosted two more times, missing both times.

His final action was to TK away from melee but still B2B with the flag.

Shrimp stood there, getting the aiming bonus (needing 7's to hit) and the first one hit and killed her without further drama.

I flash-activated everyone else in my group, and ended my turn, scoring 2 more points and ending the game.

Whew! Stalker should probably have been placed so that he could also swing at the Scythean there, just in case.

Things were not looking good for me, attrition-wise. Thing is, Thags also had his feat, which was to just bring one of his beasts back to life. That would have been back-breaking.

Results: Win for Circle via Scenario!!

Post-game thoughts:

Let's cover what I did bad first. My Druids should honestly most times just pop smoke. At the least, my first row should pop smoke against most armies, since they're my front line of defense. They didn't on my vital turn, and I was lucky that the Warspears didn't just kill all of them.

I also should have just TK'd K2 outside of melee with the Deathstalker first anyways, getting the aiming bonus with his gun, which then auto-hits after its first hit. Boosted 7's to hit are far more certain than boosted 9's. Whereas I was pretty unlucky to fail 3 boosted 9's in a row, it was possible. Almost unpossible to fail 3 boosted 7's in a row. /shrug

That said, this was probably my favorite win in a long time, if not ever (thus far). I had a plan, forced my opponent into actions which would help me (Krueger's charge to the flag), and got my order of activation correct. The feat did exactly what I wanted it to do, and I put Bergen in a really tough situation the whole game. While I didn't have any semblance of an attritional advantage, this game proves that you don't really need to have that, so long as you can win some other way.

/end Back-patting

Game 4: Circle (Morv2) vs. Don's Retribution (Vyros2)

HARDCORE!!

My List:


Morv2

-Warpwolf Stalker
-Wold Guardian
-Gorax

Tharn Ravagers
-Tharn Ravager Chieftain
-Tharn Ravager Shaman
Skinwalkers
-Alpha
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer

Don's List:

Vyros2 (Tier 4)

-Imperatus
-Griffon
-Griffon
-Griffon
-Aspis
-Aspis

Dawnguard Sentinels (Max)
-UA

Destor Thane
Arcanist
Arcanist


Mission: HARDCORE (go up and read it from earlier if you forgot it)

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

Pre-game thoughts:

Another popular tournament build. I'd heard good things about Vyros2, but have never actually played against him. I knew how he worked in theory, and I knew that I needed to look out for the Synergy chain buildup.

My plan was simple enough: kill the Sentinels first, then slowly kill the jacks and look for assassination opportunities. It's Hardcore - at my current abilities, I'm just happy when I can play an entire turn with all my models without clocking out in 7 minutes.

Oh yeah - I tried replacing a Stalker for a Wold Guardian, an idea I stole from Anthony F. and his Hardcore list. The Guardian (proxied by Megalith this time, as I forgot to bring my own Guardian) is there to give Morv a better chance against shooty armies via Flesh of Clay and being immune to blast damage if she's in B2B with him. Stuff like that.

Deployment:

Dawnguard Sentinels get AD for one of the tier benefits. Heh.

Retribution Turn 1:

Everything ran up. The Destor Thane got pretty far upfield, due to +2 SPD, and all the jacks started with one free focus to also run. Madness.

Yeah... this really is Hardcore.

Circle Turn 1:

I wasn't sure if the Ravagers were in range to charge the Sentinels, so I declared run/charge. I was about an inch out, so the others just ran to jam. I wanted to make sure at least half of the Ravagers stayed safe though.

Everything else also moved up, heh. Carnivore went onto the Ravagers.

The Ravagers up front are out of formation but you know what - nobody expects them to live anyways.
Retribution Turn 2:

Don killed all 4 of my Ravagers up front, and had a couple Griffons on the right charged and killed a couple Skinwalkers.

Destor Thane charged and killed one of my Gallows Groves, which I was alright with - reasonable assassination fuel :)

So, my 4 Ravagers there happily died to keep Don roughly where I wanted. Not a terrible result, though those Griffons on the right are going to get annoying real quick.

Circle Turn 2:

My goal was to wipe the entire Sentinel unit out, and do some damage to jacks.

Ravagers charged, and with Morv's rerolls and corpse tokens (and DEF 12 on the Sentinels), my 4 remaining Ravagers killed all 12 Sentinels, and one even put some damage on a nearby Griffon.

Skinwalkers moved forward and did some damage via CMA on a Griffon.

I probably should have put my Guardian into one of the Griffons as well, but I didn't really think of it for some reason. Maybe my turn was almost over.

Gorax charged the Thane and did some damage.

Sorry, wish I had a picture here, it's pretty cool, seeing 4 Ravagers where the Sentinels had been, trust me :)

Retribution Turn 3:

Don still had all of his jacks left, and he started building a synergy chain with them.

The Griffons on the right did a small amount of damage to the Skinwalkers.


Vyros charged two Ravagers, but failed to kill one of them, and thus didn't use his remaining movement to stay out of the zone.


The middle jacks killed off the remaining Ravagers, making them ineligible for Morv's feat. Bad play on my part. Probably should have feated. Ah well.

The final piece of the synergy train was a Griffon, who had like +7 or 8 to both melee attacks and damage rolls. He put Power Booster on the Griffon with an arcanist, then charged my Stalker, destroying it in 2 hits. Pretty impressive, synergy chains :)

Well, I'm in huge huge attritional trouble.

Circle Turn 3:

I was in big trouble. I had lost a powerful attrition piece for basically nothing, and had couldn't feat my Ravagers back, making their loss quite a bit worse than one might think.

However, I had an assassination vector. I needed to take it, or likely lose the game.

I moved my Guardian backwards and out of Morvahna's way.

Morvahna then put Carnivore on herself and charged Vyros, who was incidentally not camping any focus.

She only needed two swings ("6" to hit, boost damage, cut for 1 point of damage to get weapon master, re-rolling whatever I felt like), until Vyros (and therefore his battlegroup) died. I actually got all but 6 points for killing the army, haha!

Goatvhana the badass.

Results: Win for Circle via assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Heh. I made a lot of mistakes this game. My Stalker could have been far better protected, for one. I underestimate the wrong units a lot. I need to get better at that - giving the Stalker away for free is poor play. If anything gets into him, he dies, much less a Griffon with like  +9 to hit and damage (synergy + power booster).

Overall, not an awful game for me though. I was able to recognize an assassination, and I did have a few other things I could have done (i.e. have Morv knock Imperatus down, kill an Aspis, then fast-cavalry away, while my Guardian killed a light every turn and the Skinwalkers eventually killed their own Griffons.

Not a really bright outlook, but I wasn't 100% out of it at that point either. For my second ever game of Hardcore, I was happy with my play :)

Game 5: Circle (Krueger2) vs. Bergen's Legion of Everblight (Vayl1)

My List:


Krueger2

-Ghettorix
-Stalker
-Gorax

Druids of Orboros
-Druid Overseer
Tharn Bloodtrackers
-Nuala
Wold Stalkers (SHRIMP)
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper

Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove

Bergen's List:

Vayl1

-Ravagore
-Scythean
-Angelius
-Seraph
-Harrier
-Harrier (proxied with a Succubus)
Shredder

Hex Hunters (max)

Shepherd
Shepherd
Forsaken
Spell Martyr
Spell Martyr

Probably something else.

The Mission: Rally Point

(Two zones, two objectives. Kill objective, Dominate your own zone, control opponent's zone = 1 CP, dominate opponent's zone = 2 CP)

And oh yeah - you can't claim a zone if your opponent's objective is inside your caster's control range. Heh.

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

Pre-game thoughts:

Another game with Bergen, but this time against what he lovingly calls his "crutch" list! Vayl1 is his best caster, and I wasn't really looking forward to playing against her again. Incite is really strong, and Vayl herself is a really tough model to kill.

For myself, I planned on just hanging out in my own zone and trying to kill one beast per turn. I would also try to dominate my own zone, but I thought I had a pretty good advantage with K2's Storm Wall spell.

I also thought I'd try the Bloodtrackers instead of the Nyss, since they're self-buffing, fearless when close to Krueger, and potentially a better fit for him, especially since the Nyss are pretty much locked into the Cassius list, as they have more synergy with him (Mega's DEF debuff to help them hit better, Curse of Shadows to de-jam them, etc.)

Funtimes :)



Bloodtrackers chose Hex Hunters as Prey.

Circle Turn 1:

I ran everything up. I didn't actually realize that the Hex Hunters were Stealth, or I may have done things a little differently.

K2 put up Storm Wall for fun.

Blurry picture, woot!

Legion Turn 1:

I think Bergen killed one Bloodtracker with his Seraph shooting, as that was all he was in range with.

Hex Hunters ran up and engaged a couple of my Bloodtrackers.

Out-of-position Ravagore ran toward me.


Hex Hunters are in a good position, really. I didn't know they had stealth, haha!

Circle Turn 2:

This was my turn of fail.

A Scythean had wandered closeish to my lines, and I decided to drag it in and have a beast with Lightning Strike teleport in via Stones, kill it, and teleport back.

Instead, I got some pretty bad distance rolls, and did my dragging order wrong, getting the Scythean much closer than I wanted it to the right-hand side. Whereas I could send one of my beasts over to kill it, I wouldn't be able to lightning strike anywhere he should be, due to the Druid's (foolish) positioning.

So, the Shrimp shot the Scythean up, but couldn't finish it.

Some Bloodtrackers ran over to throw some desperation spears at the Scythean, who was on about 4 boxes with no lost spirals. They hit, but failed to hurt it.

Other Bloodtrackers also found out the hard way that Hex Hunters are Stealthed. They killed a single Hex Hunter. *sigh*

I then compounded my errors by shifting Krueger deep into my own zone after he had cast Storm Wall, which would have kept him more than safe. This also resulted in my two Wolves (who I had already advanced) being outside of the Stones' teleport range. Terrible play.

Overall, a very poor turn for me, primarily because I played it bad.

Scythean is all close to my lines now too, yay... 

Legion Turn 2:

My one saving grace was that Ghetto had Retaliatory Strike up, which would more than likely kill the Scythean if he wanted to come in and mess with me.

After a bunch of hemming and hawing, Bergen decided to settle for wiping out my Druids. He did so, killing all but one of them.

His Hex Hunters also came in and killed about 5 or 6 Bloodtrackers, including Nuala. Doh!

Vayl had popped her feat at some point in the turn, and all of his models bravely ran away from me, and jammed a little more with the Hex Hunters.

Circle Turn 3:

I couldn't afford another awful turn like my last.

Krueger went first and moved back closer to the center and shot the stupid Ravagore to death, and also put Storm Wall up, then popped his feat, catching every single model in it. He also put Lightning Strike on Ghetto.

I had the Bloodtrackers go first. They killed an assload of Hex Hunters.

Stalker also contributed to the death toll, and  when the smoke cleared, I had killed all but 2 of the Hex Hunters.

Shrimp shot the Angelius to about half life.

Druid advanced closer to Vayl and used "Counter Magic" for lulz.

Ghetto was actually tied up with a Harrier, and he punched it hard, which killed it, and triggered Lightning Strike to threaten the enemy zone.

Last but not least, the unit of Stones teleported to surround the Stalker.

I think I killed a Shepherd and a Spell Martyr in there somewhere as well.
Legion Turn 3:

Bergen couldn't do much this turn due to the feat.

First, his Angelius frenzied and took a big bite out of his Ravagore.

Ravagore put a shot into Ghetto, and SPIKED the damage, doing like 13 or so. Jeeze!

Hex Hunters ran to jam up the Bloodtrackers.

That was pretty much it.


Circle Turn 4:

I needed to get back on track to kill a heavy beast per turn.

First, I had the Bloodtrackers finish off the remaining Hex Hunters, shifting Prey to the Seraph.

Stones shifted my Stalker up to within range of the Seraph and the objective.

Stalker started hitting the Seraph, who was already a little bit damaged, and killed it on the final hit.

Ghetto for some reason decided to just stay where he was. Not sure on my reasoning for this. :-/

Shrimp shot more at the Ravagore, but didn't do too much.


Still not sure why I didn't have Ghetto get all up in there.

Legion Turn 4:

Angelius killed Ghetto with a charge.

Ravagore went up and shot the Stalker, doing some damage, and knocking out an aspect, also setting him on fire. Shepherd went to tie the Stalker up.

Something was able to kill my final Druid finally.


This is turning into a grind-fest.

Circle Turn 5:

Various shooting killed the Shredder and Angelius.

Stalker killed a Shepherd and the objective, scoring me a point.

Bloodtrackers ran into B2B with Vayl, and tried to block charge lanes to the Stalker.

Something else killed the final Shepherd.

Gorax walked up and started hitting the Harrier on the bottom right that everyone had forgotten about.

Krueger dominated his zone for 1 CP

Score: 2-0 (advantage Circle)

Krueger just chillin' there, shooting random things that wander too close, heh.

Legion Turn 5:

The Ravagore charged and killed my Stalker.

Not much else to be had.

Krueger dominated his zone for 1 CP.

Score: 3-0 (advantage Circle)


One more turn of holding my own zone...

Circle Turn 6:

Gorax killed the Harrier. Other stuff killed his remaining models, other than the final Ravagore and Vayl.

I even put like 10 damage on Vayl with the Bloodtrackers.

Krueger dominated his zone for a point.

Score: 4-0 (advantage Circle)

Such a grind!

Legion Turn 6:

I thought I was in great shape. I mean, I was, but there was still a reasonable chance for Bergen.

First, Vayl put Rampager on my Gorax, walking him 5" away from Krueger.

The Ravagore got to within 10" of Krueger, boosted to hit, and hit. His damage was pretty high, and I was *barely* within 14" of the Gorax to transfer it, or Krueger would have died.

As it was, he lived, and dominated my zone for his final point.

Jeeze, Rampager is a good spell for lots of reasons apparently!

Results: Win for Circle Orboros via scenario!!

Post-game thoughts:

I was actually mostly pleased with my play, after the second turn. My first turns were definitely sloppy, but I got lucky and Bergen wasn't able to fully capitalize on it, though he did do a lot of damage.

Some of my mistakes came from not knowing the rules to certain models, which comes into play in my next game as well. After playing 4 other games before this, I was not really in the mood to try and read the cards to all the different models. In this case, the Hex Hunters charging, killing Bloodtrackers, then using their magic ability to fry other Bloodtrackers really messed with me. I will do things a little differently next time for sure :)

Otherwise, what more to say? Vayl is a tough caster to kill, and her beasts aren't quite as easy to kill as Bergen seems to think. I know that Legion gives Circle some hard games, and I'm pleased to have found a warlock that at least somewhat mitigates that difficulty. Looking forward to more games against Legion. :)

Game 6: Circle (Cassius) vs. Don's Retribution (Ossyan)

My List:

Cassius

-Megalith
-Warpwolf Stalker
-Gorax

Nyss Hunters
Tharn Ravagers (max)
-Tharn Ravager Chieftain
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper
Shifting Stones

Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer

His List (really sketchy memory on this one, sorry if it's a bit wrong):

Ossyan

-Hypnos
-Banshee (proxied using a Phoenix model)

Houseguard Halberdiers (max)
-UA
Houseguard Riflemen (max)
Stormfall Archers (max?)

Arcanist
Arcanist
Destor Thane
Destor Thane
Houseguard Thane

maybe something else?

Mission: Rally Point (same as above - I was tired and didn't want to set up another board)

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

Pre-game thoughts:

I really didn't think this was a perfect matchup for Cassius, but it wasn't awful either. I decided to take Cassius because I wanted to play all three of my Master's casters in the day, and this was my final game, making me "locked in", as it were.

I wanted one more try with Ravagers before I tried Bloodtrackers, which is why they're in the list.

Um... what to say? I wanted to nuke the Halberdiers after their initial charges wiped out my screening Ravagers, and then close in on the Riflemen. My plan was to kill a Jack each turn once he got close to me, and whittle him down via attrition. Pretty reasonable course of action, if you ask me.

Deployment:

The army is slowly becoming more and more painted. I actually own the Nyss in these pictures. Awful models to assemble, BTW. Like 8 or 9 or 10 pieces each. Bleck.

That's a lot of infantry...

Retribution Turn 1:

Don ran up. It doesn't really look like that, since the army is about in the same position, but notice how now he's in one of the zones? heh.

He put Quicken on the Halberdiers, and Chronomancer on... something.

Not close enough to threaten me, right?

Circle Turn 1:

I ran my Ravagers up first. I wanted to be sure to screen the Halberdiers off from killing my more juicy models.

Nyss made a huge CRA against the rightmost Destor Thane, but rolled snake eyes and missed.

Not much else to say.I figured I was mostly safe...

Gallows Grove on the left can't be seen by the Destor Thane... right?

Retribution Turn 2:

Destor Thane on the left just walked, killing my Gallows Grove. Whoops.

Riflemen, Archers, and Jacks killed a few screening Ravagers.

Halberdiers popped their mini-feat, and charged 13", threatening 15". Incidentally, the models I had set up to screen away from the Halberdiers had been killed first, leaving three of them to get into my Stalker, killing it. Last time it was 4 Halberdiers that killed my Stalker, and that was unlucky. This time, 3 of them did it. Don rolls hisself up some good rolls sometimes :)

All of the rest of my Ravagers were also killed, except for the Chieftain.

Destor Thane on the right charged and killed one of my Nyss. He then shot a bunch of other shots, getting really high rolls to kill another two. Sigh.

Awful turn for me - I expected to lose my Ravagers, but my Stalker dying was really rough. 15" threat range is tough to gauge. 

Circle Turn 2:

I wasn't sure what to do, honestly. My Stalker was the thing I needed most in my list, and it had died without doing a single thing. Not good play on my part, to let that happen.

Nyss went first and charged the Destor Thane near them, killing it.

Ravager Chieftain killed 3 Halberdiers.

Blackclad killed another 2 Halberdiers, including the UA.

Some Stones shifted near the other group of Halberdiers.

Cassius took all 5 souls from the Tree. He shot the Stone with Hellmouth, killing another 4 Halberdiers, but also spiked an "11" that killed the Stone. Heh. He shot his final Hellmouth at the Halberdiers, needing to boost to hit, hit, and killed the remaining 2, wiping the entire unit.

He then used his final 2 fury to teleport Wurmwood up, then popped his feat.

Megalith used his Animus, and that was that.

Mostly I'm protected... for a turn.

Retribution Turn 3:

Don tried to kill some Nyss, but only managed to kill two of them, and also put 4 wounds on Cylena.

Otherwise, his models just shuffled around and repositioned around the forest.

Well, I'd feel good about the game right now if not for the loss of my Stalker.

Circle Turn 3:

I needed to kill Hypnos this turn - if I could, then I would be in a good position to win.

First, I had my intact Stones teleport Megalith ~9" toward Hypnos, which was not enough distance at all.

I had my second unit of Stones move, one of them got about 3" from Hypnos, and within 3" of Megalith.

Cassius then went, using Hellmouth on the Stone, which dragged both models close to each other. However, I did it awkwardly, so that Megalith was just outside of melee range. Incidentally, I killed another Stone with Hellmouth, spiking another "11". Heh.

So, Cassius used Hellmouth on Megalith and dragged Hypnos into Mega. This left me on zero camp, which was not really a position I wanted to be in, but it was necessary if I was going to win.

Next, Megalith went, and he used his Animus to reduce Hypnos' Defense. He then tried to use Curse of Shadows on Hypnos, and I was informed that Hypnos had Mystic Ward on him, making it impossible to cast spells. This was an enormous fail on my part - Hypnos was going to be pretty rough to kill.

Megalith still did his 4 attacks, doing very little damage on awful rolls (plus, -3 to damage is rough anyways)

Nyss charged the back of Hypnos (who was effectively DEF 5, due to Wild Undergrowth, Weight of Stone, and a rear charge, haha) but only did enough so that Hypnos was nearly dead, not all the way dead. Had CoS gone on him, it would be a different story entirely...

I also had one Nyss jam the Riflemen, as well as the Ravager Chieftain.

Gorax charged the leftmost Thane and did a small amount of damage to him.

I had spent all of my resources to kill a non-essential model, and failed. Now we would see if Don could finish me off.

Cassius scored a point for dominating his zone.

Score: 1-0 (advantage Circle)

Also, we belatedly discovered that Cassius was outside of 12" of Megalith after this, making my forcing of Megalith illegal. Don was a boss and just shrugged it off.
Retribution Turn 4:

Don saw Wurmwood sitting there behind cover, and decided to shoot me to death.

So, he did. No focus and 20 health meant game over.

Probably should have put Cassius closer to Wurmwood and gotten them both a little bit of cloud cover.

Results: Loss for Circle via assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Ah, well. I apologized to Don for my poor playing - I wish I had given him a better game. My mind was pretty tired after 5 previous games, but he definitely decisively crushed me.

I think the key part of the game was that three Halberdiers killed my Stalker. Despite really awesome rolls by Don, I still think I did a poor job of understanding his ability to kill my screen using different units than the Halberdiers. Had my Stalker survived, I think I would have been able to at least make some interesting things happen, such as kill Hypnos, heh :)

I also could have arranged the Hellmouth dragging a little better - I had some leeway, and just didn't get the angles right - if I could have gotten Megalith within .5" of Hypnos on the first try, I could have camped my other 5, denying the assassination.

Also helps to actually read your opponent's cards. Hypnos not being targetable by enemy spells makes a big difference at times it appears! He would have easily died had I gotten CoS on him.

That said, I did a few good things too. My screens were doing roughly the right things, but I could have been more clever about it. I also could have made sure the Stalker wasn't even in the discussion of things the Halberdiers could kill with their mini-feat - depending on a screen isn't really a perfect way to do things against a good opponent.

Otherwise, I did clean up his Halberdiers pretty handily. I'd have been content with "only" killing the Halberdiers in exchange for most of my Ravagers, though that obviously didn't work out. In the future, I will likely be a little more conservative with my Ravagers, and keep my important bits safer from a 15" threat range.

Overall thoughts:

Pretty good day, overall. I hope you noticed that only in my final game did I get assassinated, and never was I in much of a real threat of being killed. I kept my casters safer this time, and played better than I have in the past. I think I'm definitely getting better, and will hopefully continue to improve. We will have a better clue of my relative skill in the weeks to come, starting with Tacticon this weekend, and followed up by the IMC on September 13.

Should be fun, one way or another. Let me know what you think, ask what questions you want, etc. - I welcome all positive discussion, which also includes polite critique on my play :)

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