Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Warmachine Batrep 29: Circle (Krueger2 and Morv2) vs. Khador (Butcher3, Sorscha2) 50 Points, Lots of Pictures!

This is what you get for being a noob!
Howdy, folks! I've been pumping out reports pretty quick lately, trying to get ready for Feast, and using these reports not only to entertain my readers, but also to help me analyze my play. Today I've got a couple good ones for you - both against Khador, and both against the dreaded Josh "noobSTOMP" Nordstrom. (I should note that I'm the only noob he stomps - he's actually pretty nice to others of my kind)

One game is against my white whale - Butcher3. I've lost three out of three games against Butcher3, but each game has been closer than the last. Can I beat him this time?

The other is a game against Sorscha2, where Josh and I agreed not to take our "crutch" casters. Funny to think of Morv2 as NOT my crutch caster, lol. At any rate, let's see what the holds in store for us!

Game 1: Krueger2 vs. Butcher3

My List:



-Warpwolf Stalker

Tharn Bloodtrackers (max)
-Nuala (UA)
Druids of Orboros
-Druid Overseer (UA)
Wold Stalkers & Stoneward (Shrimp!)
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper (UA)

Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove

Josh's List:



Greylord Ternion
Black Dragon Iron Fang Pikemen
Doom Reavers
Doom Reavers

Madelyn Corbeau
War Dog
Iron Fang Kovnik

The Mission: Destruction (one rectangular 6" x 12" zone in the center of the board with an objective on each player's left corner side. Destroy opponent's objective for 1 CP, control the zone for 1 CP, dominate the zone for 2 CP, KILLBOX.)

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

Pregame thoughts:

I've played against this list a couple different times now, and I know what it does. Butcher3 is SO GOOD at assassination, and this list is a vehicle to get him there. Throw enough stuff at me, and eventually it will open a path to get Butcher into my caster. It doesn't matter if I'm up on attrition - in some ways, I'm sure that Josh *wants* me to kill a ton of his stuff, if it will get Butcher closer.

My thought was this: if I can kill everything but Butcher (Butcher is stupidly hard to kill), I will be able to eventually drag him down. I want Butcher to feat defensively, and then force him into a situation where he can't do everything he wants. I know that my feat will help to slow him down a little, but it's going to be a rough game, regardless.

Specifically, I wanted to kill his first wave (12 Doom Reavers) in a turn, then kill his second wave (Pikemen) in a turn, then worry about the rest. It's honestly a very tough thing to keep your caster alive against Butcher3. I needed to be very aware of that.


Bloodtrackers named the Doom Reavers with snow bases as their Prey.

Circle Turn 1:

I ran forward with everything, as is pretty common for me. I was a little more reserved with my Bloodtrackers, as I didn't want them to get destroyed by Berserker attacks from the Doom Reavers, though I did want to entice Josh into trying to jam me. I honestly felt like if he did get some into melee with me, that would be best, as I would then be able to use quick work to kill even more targets.

Druids popped their smoke, and Krueger put up Storm Wall, because I'm trying to get in the habit of casting that on Turn 1, regardless of my opponent.

Funtimes. Bloodtrackers are there trying to bait the Widowmakers to come out of the woods or fail to hit due to stealth.

Khador Turn 1:

Widowmakers stayed with a toe in the woods, and were just barely outside of range to see the Bloodtrackers. Woot!

Greylords put smoke on Butcher and the Arguses, then moved forward.

Doom Reavers ran up to engage my models as best they could. No charges attempted though.

Iron Fangs got the march order and the Kovnik helped them advance 8".

Everything also moved up.

Time to see what I can do!

Circle Turn 2:

This was the turn I needed to try and kill all of the Doom Reavers if possible, while keeping Krueger safe.

I got sneaky with my Blackclad. I walked up to a point that I could put three Doom Reavers under his magic template. They're not targetable by spells, but I targeted a Pikeman behind them. The spray needed 6's to hit, and I only managed to kill one. It was a cool idea though :-p

Shrimp went next, and aimed to kill off four of the Doom Reavers.

Blood Trackers then went, and used a combination of quick work and just regular throwing attacks to wipe out the remaining Doom Reavers. They shifted Prey to the Pikemen, and reformed to tie up the Widowmakers and stay mostly out of the Pikemen range.

Druids advanced and put up their clouds, and Krueger just hung out and did nothing. I was fairly certain that he was safe this turn at least.


Khador Turn 2:

Josh charged his Pikemen into my Bloodtrackers, and popped his mini-feat. The Pikemen managed to roll quite well, and killed quite a few Bloodtrackers. I think he even managed to kill a Druid as well.

Fenris charged my Gallows Grove, but was out of range of anything else.

Everything else just advanced, and the cloud was again placed on Butcher and his dogs.

Things are getting crazy!

Circle Turn 3:

I wanted to kill most, if not all, of the Pikemen this turn. I also saw an opportunity to kill Drago, which I'm still not 100% sure was wise to go for. We'll see.

Bloodtrackers went first, and used quick work and other shooting to kill a bunch of Pikemen.

Shrimp also managed to kill a few Pikemen, and one of them even sniped out the Iron Fang Kovnik.

I had the Stones teleport Ghetto to within 2" of Drago.

He then went to town on Drago and killed him. I was actually relieved - normally it would be an "easy" kill, but Ghetto rolled so poorly on his damage rolls that I was sweating the whole time. I think I needed an "8" to kill him with my 5th attack, and got it, that one roll being my highest of the five. His second initial went into a Pikeman, who died.

I should note here that I had an ulterior motive: I felt that if Butcher wanted to, he could still get to Ghetto and kill him, but it would require the use of his feat if he wanted to stay safe. If he did that, I should have no problem getting the Stalker into him, making use of TKs and Druid push/pulls. Stalker into the back of even a fully loaded Butcher has an alright shot at killing him (not wonderful - "average" damage is somewhere around 16 boxes, and Butcher3 had 20), but it would also force Butcher to kill the Stalker next turn, making him use his Fury, and Krueger could shot-assassinate him the next turn, conceivably. It would put him in a bad position, at the very least.

I decided this was a good turn to feat, as it would keep the Butcher away for another turn, and allow me to consolidate my gains.

So Krueger went, and charged a Pikeman. He killed the Pikeman, then popped his feat, pushing everything except for one Widowmaker back 3". He then used Telekinesis (TK) to port himself behind the wall.

Stalker put Lightning Strike on himself and killed a single Pikeman, then moved himself to within range of the Stones.

In the end, I believe that three Pikemen, including both UA models survived.

All in all, it didn't seem like a bad turn, killing 9 Pikemen and Drago, as well as putting Fenris way out of position, and keeping the Butcher at bay.

My biggest mistake - camping too much Fury. Doesn't really pay to camp a ton vs. Butcher3.

Khador Turn 3:

Josh decided to go for the assassination, my feat messing with him or no.

He had Madelyn move him up 3", then walked up 3", used a spell to move up another 3. He would at that point only need to cast "impending doom" to drag Krueger close enough for the game to end.

As it happened, Krueger was JUST over 5" away. I won't claim to have planned it like that - I thought Butcher was a little farther than he was, and that the wall would stop me from being pulled into him.

Miscalculation almost cost me the game!

So, Butcher failed to kill Krueger, but he cast Impending Doom anyways and I think still killed something. I think it was my Blackclad. He then popped his feat so that he would be on a full 24 ARM.

Other things happened, and oly two of my Bloodtrackers survived. Turns out Greylords aren't bad at killing stuff either! I should point out that I actually think that the magic spray they used wouldn't have worked, since they were at the time close to my counter-magic Druid, who had the spell up. No worries, I need to pay more attention to that.

I have too much Fury on the table right now... not really a great idea on my part. I could have done cool stuff this turn if I had had a little more foresight. One of those things being to have Ghetto charge Butcher. Sigh.

Circle Turn 4:

I pretty much failed last turn - I didn't need to get all the Fury on the Stalker like I did, and then I could have leeched from Ghetto, and he could have charged Butcher and probably just killed him.

As it was, I pulled all the Fury from the Stalker, and Ghetto frenzied, killing every. single. vestige. of life from one Pikeman.

I was in real trouble at this point, I realized. Krueger was facing a full-health, full-camped Butcher. I wouldn't be able to even dent his armor. I needed to take this turn to clean up some of Josh's models, and keep Krueger alive.

Looking back, it would have been easy enough. I could have moved Krueger into the Stones, and teleported him away to somewhere much safer. Hell, Krueger could have taken a few shots at something before he did that.

Instead, I had cast TK on the Butcher, and put him 2" closer to the right board edge, facing away.

I then charged a Druid 9", then TK'd Krueger 2" farther back. This had the result of getting me 13" farther away from Butcher, rather than the 12" from running.

Druids moved up, and I failed at my order of activations. My Druid Overseer was closest, and shot Butcher in the back to push him away 2". The next Druid (who HAD been in range, but just barely) was then out of position to try to push him again.

The other Druids took shots at Madelyn Corbeau, but missed both.

Gorax moved up and threw an Argus, which ended up killing him. I think this was in order to get the Druids in position to push Butcher, actually. So, imagine this happened earlier in the turn.

In desperation, the Shrimp shot at the other Argus, but failed to kill him. One of the Shrimp killed the War Dog at least.

The Stalker decided to kill something else (the remaining Pikemen perhaps?)

Stones teleported in front of Krueger to keep Butcher from getting to Krueger. This was actually a bad move, as it gave Butcher a target to charge and use Impending Doom on. More on that later :)

Khador Turn 4:

Because I accidentally killed an Argus, Butcher got his Vengeance move, and his Madelyn move (because I couldn't kill her, doh!)

His Widowmakers, finally free from my various Bloodtrackers, killed some Druids and missed their one shot on Krueger.

Butcher charged the Stones in front of Krueger (which was honestly the only way he could have gotten to me - gah!, used cast Impending Doom, gave himself Grevious Wounds, used Flashing Blade to kill off the Stone and do some damage to Krueger, then rolled the *perfect* amount to finish off Krueger on his final attack.

Gah! Also, we weren't 100% if he had a clear charge lane through the objective and Gorax (we used a proxy base for Gorax there - the little neon base). We did it, and it looks like he probably did have a clear charge lane, but we took a while figuring it out.

Results: Loss for Circle via assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Gah! I feel like I played really well in the opening stages of this game, and then kind of just threw it away. I had a lot of things I could have done, and didn't. Why didn't I just have Krueger teleport with the Stones? Why did I put myself in a position for Ghetto to frenzy? Why did I have the Stones shift up to "protect" Krueger? Butcher couldn't have gotten to me if I'd just stayed where I was. And, if the Stones had teleported just a LITTLE farther away from Kruger, Butcher would also not have been able to get Impending Doom off on Krueger (he was about 4.5" away)

However, I do think my plan was sound. I was killing Josh's models in droves of hundreds (and thousands!), and I only needed to keep my head and keep doing my stuff. I should also note that the Widowmakers were outstanding - I need to focus on them a little more next time.

I am strangely encouraged by this game. It's the closest I've come to beating Josh's Butcher3 list, which means I'm getting better. Soon enough I'll be able to beat it. I don't need to be a top player immediately - I just need to keep getting better. It's when I start to lose to lists I never used to lose to and playing worse that I'll start to worry. Right now, it at least seems like I'm on the right track.

Game 2: Morvahna2 vs. Sorscha2

My List:


-Warpwolf Stalker
-Warpwolf Stalker

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

Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove

Josh's List:


-Beast 09

Widow Makers
Winter Guard w/ 3x Rockets
Great Bears
Cylena Raefell and Nyss Hunters (max)

War Dog
Kovnik Joe
Gorman di Wolfe

Mission: Into the Breach (Weird one - 12" circle zone on one side, which you control for 1 CP, dominate for 2 CP. Flag on the other side, which you can only dominate, for 1 CP. Destroy your opponent's objective for 1 CP.)

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

Pregame thoughts:

I've played against this list with Krueger2 with good effect (I actually forgot to even take my 9 points of Druids that game and still won), but I felt like this was an even better matchup for me. Josh didn't take Conquest this time, but instead took a couple focus-efficient heavies. The Infantry are mostly shooting infantry, and Morv2 loves to fight this sort of battle.

As a sidenote, we just wanted another game, and figured playing a pairing that isn't necessarily what we'd choose was a good idea.

My plan was simple enough - keep Fog of War up to disrupt shooting, and get the Ravagers into the Nyss and keep swinging as long as possible, using rerolls. I wanted to get the Skinwalkers into the Winterguard, and use Carnivore to slowly kill them - Purification would hopefully cancel out Iron Flesh. I also wanted to keep the Stalkers in reserve for Josh's heavies. If I could trade there, I would.

I also wanted to make sure that Josh didn't kill all of my models from a single unit in a turn, so that I could feat them back. Obvious plan, I know, but it's something I need to pay attention to, and haven't really done it that well thus far.

His Deployment:

Damnit, Widowmakers. I'm starting to hate you.

Skinwalkers are deployed centrally because I didn't know where there Winterguard were going, and the Ravagers are deployed across from the Nyss because I already knew where they would be :)

Circle Turn 1:

I ran forward. Carnivore went on the Skinwalkers, and Fog of War went up. Skinwalkers went toward the zone 10", and the Ravagers went up as far as they could as well. Everything else kind of stayed in the middle.

Putting some pressure on!

Khador Turn 1:

His Nyss and Winterguard shot at my Ravagers, but a combination of Fog of War and poor dice meant that Josh only killed a single Ravager.

Everything else just advanced. Iron Flesh went on the Winterguard, as expected.

How much damage can the Ravagers do this turn?

Circle Turn 2:

I upkept Fog and Carnivore.

This was the turn I needed to get some solid attritional advantage. I wanted to kill as many Nyss and Widowmakers as I could, and tie up the Winterguard some. I decided to upkeep Fog and Carnivore because I knew that the Skinwalkers wouldn't be likely to get into the Winterguard this turn anyways, and I wanted to keep Fog of War up for one more round, which wouldn't be possible if I used Purification.

Ravagers went first, and did some dirty things to the Nyss, making use of corpse tokens and Morvahna rerolls. They killed seven Nyss and three Widowmakers - I needed to use a lot of rerolls to get there, but Morv had camped 5, and I was able to transfer the worst of the damage from rerolls to my beasts.

Skinwalkers ran up, and one of them managed to engage one Winterguard model, which turned out to be a big deal.

Everything else just shuffled up. I was a dummy and had my Gorax advance to toe the zone, but he ended up outside of Morv's control radius, and with a fury on him. Sigh. Need to get better at this game!

Nyss and Widowmakers passed their CMD checks, unfortunately.

Khador Turn 2:

Sorscha upkept Iron Flesh, and decided this was the turn to pop her feat. She moved forward and caught 5 of my Skinwalkers in the feat, as well as the Gorax, then cast her spell to run away again :)

Kovnik Joe gave the Winterguard an additional dice to hit.

Winterguard went next, and spent a bunch of models trying to either kill my Concealed, engaged Skinwalker, or kill their own concealed, engaged Winterguard model. He probably should have just taken the free strike, honestly.

As it was, he eventually accomplished it with a spray, and was able to kill three Skinwalkers and the Gorax.

Beast 09 charged in and killed another Skinwalker.

Great Bears charged the Ravagers, but didn't do much - Ravagers are DEF 15 in the forest, and were hard to hit, though Josh did roll poorly regardless.

Nyss killed a couple more Ravagers.

And with that, it was my turn. I had survived Sorscha's feat turn, and was in a pretty good position to get some work done.

Lots of my models were killed, but I figured that was hopefully alright - losing the Gorax was probably the most painful, as his heavies were going to be much harder to kill.

Circle Turn 3:

I did not upkeep anything this turn.

Morvahna went first and cast Purification, getting rid of Iron Flesh. She then put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers, advanced 8", and popped her feat, bringing back four Skinwalkers and three Ravagers. She then used her light cavalry move to get into B2B with the flag.

Ravagers went next and killed the remaining Nyss and Widowmaker, as well as a Great Bear.

Blackclad went up and put Hunters Mark on Beast 09.

One Stalker charged Beast, but failed to kill it.

Stone teleported the second Stalker in, who put Lightning Strike on himself, and boosted the damage roll, killing Beast and sprinting back into the Stones.

Skinwalkers advanced and the two who could attack managed to kill three or four Winterguard.

I scored a point with Morvahna dominating the flag.

Score: 1-0, advantage Circle

Another good turn for me - I have all of the models I began with, and have killed a heavy, one of the Great Bears, all of the Nyss and Widowmakers, and have engaged the Winterguard.

Khador Turn 3:

Josh saw an opportunity to get the Great Bears into Morvahna, but it would require him to kill at least three Ravagers.

Kovnik Joe came over and shot at a Ravager, but failed to do anything. The War Dog charged in and caused six damage to an engaging Ravager.

Some of the Winterguard also tried to kill one of the Ravagers, but failed in spectacular fashion.

Sorscha went and managed to kill three or four Skinwalkers on her own.

Spriggan also killed a Skinwalker, I think.

Gorman got another Skinwalker in some Black Oil.

Great Bears just generally whiffed - not a good game for them.

I scored another point!

Score: 2-0, advantage Circle

Wow, didn't see Sorscha killing that many Skinwalkers! Madness!

Circle Turn 4:

In a tournament, I would probably have just sat back and tried to win via scenario. I had enough tools to keep Sorscha from dominating the zone twice, and I would have at least one more point this turn, if not two from destroying the objective.

But, because I knew I could probably win via scenario, I decided to go for something I'm still not very practiced at: the assassination.

I dropped Carnivore.

Morv went first, and got close enough to Sorscha to give anyone making attacks against her rerolls. She also put Carnivore on a nearby Stalker.

Skinwalkers walked up and used a CMA from the non-oiled guy and did some damage to Sorscha, and the other CMA did a little more.

The Carnivore'd Stalker charged Sorscha, boosted to hit (needing an "8"), got it, and auto-killed her, once it was revealed that the Skinwalkers had taken her down to two life remaining.

Stalker to the face!

Results: Win for Circle via Assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Wow, this game went about as well for me as it could have. The bunched-up Nyss weren't big fans of my Ravagers charging them, and neither were the Widowmakers. The Great Bears weren't big fans of them in the woods, either, and only a few timely tough rolls kept them from all dying the turn after they charged in.

I did mess up some, though. The Gorax was WAY out of position, though it did suck up some fire from the Winterguard, which was the hope. If he hadn't died like that, they may have been able to kill all of my Skinwalkers in a turn, which would have in turn made my life much more difficult. It was still a mistake to have him outside of Morv's control area though, "good" result or not.

I'm still pretty clunky with Morv, but I'm getting better. She's got some amazing rules, and makes everything around her much stronger. I feel like this was somewhat of a mismatch for Josh, though it still felt good to beat him after the sad result against Butcher3.

Pre-Feast Thoughts:

I'm excited to be playing at Feast this year! I won Feast for 40k one year, and was very close to winning it another year. It will be weird to play at a major event where 40k is going on, and "only" play Warmachine. Don't get me wrong - I'm having much more fun with WM/H right now than I would be with 40k, but it will just be weird.

I think I'm getting better - I did much better than anyone expected at the IMC, going so far as to get the best placement out of anyone in Colorado. I haven't played as often since then (a month ago), but I do believe that my own understanding of the game has continued to increase.

Josh is a great player, and consistently places highly in our area in Colorado. For me to come close to beating his Butcher3 list, and to kill the Sorscha2 list twice with two different casters is a pretty cool thing, though I think it also means that I'm not the best player in our area. I also lost pretty hard to Casey and his Legion a few nights ago - I think it's safe to say that I won't win anything big at Feast.

Here are my goals for Feast:

  1. Win all my games and events and be tournament champion
If Goal #1 isn't met, I'll attempt to be satisfied if I can at least do some/all of the following:
  1. Qualify for Masters
  2. Qualify for Finals of Iron Gauntlet
  3. Get a ton of really awesome learning games in to help me get better
  4. Go above .500.
    1. This may sound a little "meh", but I have no idea how many games I'll be playing this weekend, so saying I want to go at least "13-10" doesn't work. Having a winning record is good enough for me for now. Soon enough I'll start to get a little more greedy.
  5. Win some sort of prize for being awesome (i.e. NOT a "learn to play better, or choose a different game because you lost all of your games and you're the worst player here" award)
With that, here's a list of the events I plan on playing. Here's a link to the Feast schedule.


  • Divide and Conquer
  • Iron Gauntlet Qualifier 
(this means I could play a maximum of 8 games in one day, but hopefully fewer, heh)


  • WM/H Team Tournament (with my good friends CJ and Donald, who have not been practicing even a little bit)
  • HOPEFULLY: Iron Gauntlet Finals
    • If not, Commander's Crucible
  • HOPEFULLY: Masters
    • If not, Flanks for the Memories
This all means that I could potentially play a total of 19 games, with somewhere around 15 or even fewer being more likely. At any rate, I intend to take pictures of all of my games, and even if I don't do reports for ALL of them, hopefully most of them will get some love :)

If you want to follow my progress, I will be tweeting my results as I go along, and hopefully a picture of my opponent's list. 
  • If you don't have twitter, you can always just come to this blog and look for the updates on the sidebar. 
  • If you do, follow me at @xaereth

Wish me luck, I'm sure I'll actually see some of you there!

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