Monday, October 6, 2014

Warmachine Batrep 27: Circle (Morvahna2) vs. Skorne (Zaal) 50 Points, lots of pictures!

Cool model, but not mine or Vince's :)
Howdy, folks! Today I have only one report for you. I was hoping to get in a game against Josh "Newbstomp" Nordstrom as well, but I got there a little late, and my opponent didn't want to play with a clock, so my first game went long enough to preclude any other games, more's the pity.

At any rate, you've no doubt noticed that Vince is a regular opponent of mine. Today he wanted to experiment with Zaal and two Archidons. With Last Stand on them, they'll put out some ridiculous damage. I was excited to get some experience against one of my personal favorite Skorne casters.

For myself, I brought Morv2. Vince had never played against her, and she's generally going to be my Skorne drop, so I thought it was a good idea. She's a good caster, but I won't be very good with her unless I actually practice sometimes!

My List:


-Warpwolf Stalker
-Warpwolf Stalker

Warpborn Skinwalkers (max)
-Warpborn Alpha (UA)
Tharn Ravagers (max)
-Tharn Ravager Chieftain (UA)
-Tharn Ravager Shaman (WA)
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper (UA)

Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove

Vince's List:

Zaal w/ Kovass

-Basilisk Krea

Paingivers (min)
Venator Reavers (max)

Ancestral Guardian
Extoller Painward
Mortisomething Beast Handler

Mission: Rally Point (Dominate enemy zone for 2, control enemy zone for 1, dominate own zone for 1, destroy enemy objective for 1, NO Killbox)

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

Pre-game thoughts:

I wasn't quite sure what to make of this list. I felt like the Archidons were going to be really good, but only if they could get into my heavies or caster. I also felt like Vince didn't have enough infantry to really maximize his feat - the Reavers are good, but are attempting to shoot and stand off, which doesn't lend itself to dying as fast as a cheap melee unit does.

My goal going into this matchup was simple enough: kill the Reavers with Skinwalkers who had Carnivore on it to deny souls/feat tokens, and have the Ravagers kill light beasts and do some damage to heavies. I would keep my Stalkers in reserve to help where needed. I especially needed to keep my heavies and Morv from ending within 12.5" of any Archidons.


I kept my Skinwalkers central so that I could run to where the Reavers were. Ravagers were happy being skewed to the right, since they could get where they needed regardless, and it was a good idea to threaten my opponent's zone early to gain a positional advantage.

Here's Vince's army. Reavers are both primed red and unprimed.

Circle Turn 1:

I ran everyone forward. Carnivore went onto the Skinwalkers, and Fog of War stayed up as well. Skinwalkers tried to get over to the left side where the Reavers were.


Skorne Turn 1:

Vince also moved up. Shaman did about 6 points of damage to one of my Ravagers with shooting.

I was actually happy with the table positions we were in. Vince was thinking of running up his Gladiator and Archidon to jam my Ravagers, but thought better of it. Probably wise - I would have had my Stalkers kill one, and likely been able to kill the Archidon with charging Ravagers.

Inviolable Resolve went on the Reavers.

Not a terrible situation right now, though the Skinwalkers are a little out of position.

Circle Turn 2:

It was time to jam Vince up a little bit. I wanted to kill his Krea and Ancestral Guardian this turn, and potentially kill the Kovass. For some reason, I didn't think that the Kovass had reach, so when I charged the AG, I stayed .5" back, as you'll see in the picture.

Morv upkept Fog and Carnivore.

Ravagers went first, and three of them managed to kill the Krea, while two others killed the AG. Morv would be unable to hit the Kovass with a Sunder Spirit, due to it having reach and therefore engaging my Ravagers. Whoops!

Skinwalkers ran up in anticipation of charging in and killing Reavers.

Stones/Stalkers/Morv shifted upward and to the right to threaten where Vince's heavies would likely be next turn. I made a mistake in where I put one of my Stalkers - he was behind a Stone, and therefore would be unable to charge next turn if I didn't move the Stone first. Clumsy :-/

Not much dead this turn, but it was about to get real, and my board position was pretty good.

Skorne Turn 2:

Vince took a while trying to figure out how to kill all eight of my Ravagers in one turn, which wasn't something I really wanted to hear or see.

Shaman went first, I believe, and killed one Ravager.

He put Rush on the Archidon on the right with the Gladiator, who then slammed one of my Ravagers into another, killing them both.

Archidon went, charged a Ravager, and cast Lightning Strike before his attacks. The attacks killed the Ravager, and he ran back to the hill.

The Kovass was going to charge my Chieftain, but as luck would have it, my own Tharn Shaman had a magical weapon and kept the Kovass from charging that way. The Kovass got all pissed off and charged the Shaman and killed him.

Lots of damage to the Ravagers to be sure, but still three of them alive.

Reavers advanced and used two CRAs, one of which obliterated my Blackclad in cover, and the other did a few points of damage to one of my Skinwalkers, which would allow them to have another 2" of movement next turn. The Reavers then used Reform and got two of them into melee with my lead Skinwalkers, which posed a problem.

Not the worst turn for me - Vince could have killed all my Ravagers if he had rolled better. Not that he rolled awful, but he  needed above average dice, which didn't happen.

Circle Turn 3:

It was time for me to get some work done. I needed to kill the Gladiator, the Kovass, and a few Reavers, though those didn't matter as much. Mainly, I needed to keep trimming away at Vince's army.

I upkept Carnivore and Fog.

Ravagers went first, and the remaining three charged the Shaman. I forgot (again!) that the Kovass had reach, and one of the three Ravagers died to a free strike I shouldn't have given him.

The other two did some damage, but didn't manage to roll perfectly, and left the Shaman on about 5 boxes.

Morvahna went and put Primal on the rightmost Stalker. She then charged the Kovass, staying exactly 2" away. She killed him, but only after she missed her initial attack (needed a "5", and failed her first and her reroll, heh).

After the Kovass was dead, she popped her feat and brought back the Blackclad and all the Ravagers. I had two Ravagers engage Zaal, two engage the Archidon, and the others just around the place to be annoying. I made sure to keep an open spot for the Stalker to be teleported in. Morvahna then used her light cavalry move to move back 5" to stay outside of the Archidon's range.

Stones went and teleported the Stalker on the right to within 2" of the Gladiator.

I then remembered to get the Skinwalkers some action, because Morv was almost dead, and I wanted rerolls for my Stalker on the right.

First, the leftmost Stalker put Lightning Strike on himself, advanced to within .5" of the nearest Reaver, boosted to hit, killed the Reaver, and sprinted back into the Stones.

Skinwalkers then got the run/charge order and charged some of the Reavers, wiping out 4 or 5 of them. This RFP'd the Reavers, and Vince was unable to get souls from it for the feat or for any of his models who could also use them. It also healed Morvahna almost completely.

Stalker on the right then went and rolled some disgusting damage rolls, killing the Gladiator in three hits (dice +1 on damage, but Morv was giving him rerolls too. I didn't roll less than a "10" on my hits or rerolls. Heh.)

With that, my turn was over, but I didn't score any points. It was time to see what Vince could accomplish.

I feel like the momentum is in my favor right now, but who really knows?

Skorne Turn 3:

Hakaar walked up with his vengeance move and failed to hurt a Skinwalker.

We actually discussed that he had an assassination vector - he could have advanced toward Morvahna with Vengeance, then had the Archidon kill a Skinwalker to prevent a free strike. Hakaar then would have had the charge on Morvahna, and likely had Last Stand and a couple feat souls to work with, along with his 3 other souls. On two transfers, it was iffy, but it might have worked.

At any rate, it did not happen. :)

Shaman started by frenzying and completely obliterating the closest Ravager, who had almost no life left anyways.

He didn't think there would be a better time for it, so Vince popped his feat. He only got 2 souls, or whatever they're called, but it he wasn't likely to get more, and he needed to get something done against my army, and soon.

Zaal put Last Stand on the Paingivers, who advanced and put enrage on the Archidon, while the other three attacked Ravagers, using the additional feat dice for their attacks. One killed the Ravager he was attacking, while the other two did seven damage each.

Marketh put Last Stand on the rightmost Archidon.

The Archidon, who was enraged and had an extra dice to hit and damage, hit my Stalker three times. On the third (when the Stalker had almost no life left), he also got Crit: Pitch off and threw him at three of my Ravagers to the right. The Ravagers were all shuffled around a bit, and one of them took about 7 damage, while the others mostly took no damage. Vince boosted the damage on the Stalker, and the Stalker died easily.

Hakaar and the Reavers combined to kill three of my Skinwalkers.

Another Archidon charged in and killed at least one Ravager, but I think it was actually two. At any rate, he maxed out on Fury.

Nobody scored, but Vince had used everything he could to kill my stuff, and he did a pretty decent job of it, even without much of a feat. Ravagers were all injured and down to about 4 members. Skinwalkers were cut in half. One of my Stalkers was dead.

And yet, only one Paingiver was left alive after Last Stand, and the Archidon on the right also died from Last Stand. Was it worth it?

It LOOKS like I have a dominant field position. Not really convinced that's true though.

Circle Turn 4:

I hemmed and hawed about what I should do. In a tournament, I would probably just play it "safe", by clearing out both zones and dominating the left one with Morv behind the wall. It would take a little bit, but I could almost certainly win by attrition. That was the high-percentage play.

However, I really wanted to try out the assassination vector that had opened up, in order to make myself a more well-rounded player. Assassinations (both being the assassinator and the assassinatee are probably my biggest weakness in the game right now), and since I recognized the possibility, I decided to just go for it.

First, I had the Ravagers go. They finished off the Shaman, which meant that Zaal had three Fury and nowhere to transfer it to.

Blackclad walked up and sprayed a Reaver to death.

I would have had the Skinwalkers kill more stuff in order to get Morv's life back up, but it was unnecessary - she was full life already.

With the charge lane clear (had to kill a Reaver, lol) and no transfer targets for Zaal, we measured to see if Zaal was within 13" of Morvahna, which he was.

Morvahna charged Zaal, boosted to hit, cut for a point for an additional die of melee damage, and did nearly enough to one-shot him. One more boosted attack (missed, re-roll, hit), one more boosted + extra damage die for cutting sealed the deal.

Results: Win for Circle via Assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well... that kind of went as expected, honestly. When I saw that Vince didn't have many cheap living models to feat with, and that those models would either be easy to kill or unreachable, I knew his feat wouldn't be a huge deal.

Even with Rush, Archidons don't threat as far as my Stalkers (just barely), and the light beasts were pretty evenly matched with the Ravagers, excepting that the Ravagers would almost always get the charge against them.

It was an uphill battle for Vince, who had never played against Morvahna2 until then, and was also trying out an experimental list.

I did like elements of Vince's list - one Archidon with Rush, Enrage, Last Stand, and the feat will probably solo a Gargantuan/Colossal in one round. It seems like one Archidon is enough - two of them seems a little bit inefficient.

Not that I'm any master of Skorne, by any means.

At any rate, I've been working on this batrep off and on for over a week now, and I have four more in the tubes, including another one against Vince's Zaal list (but with a different caster). We can talk more about that then.

Let me know what you think - expect more reports this week, as I prepare mentally for the upcoming Feast of Blades and the several thousand games that I will be playing over the course of three days!

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