Monday, July 11, 2016

Warmachine Batrep 37: Circle Wurmwood vs. Retribution Garryth

Image result for Retribution
Sorry, not a trilogy today :-/
Howdy folks! Another battle report for you today. I was kind of hoping to have other games to report on besides this one, but I've had less time for gaming due to the multitude of wonderful summer activities available to someone who lives in Colorado.

At any rate, after my frustration with Krueger2 in the last Steamroller, I've decided to shelf him at least temporarily, and get in on the new hotness that is Wurmwood. I've already had a few games with him in the new edition, but something didn't really feel right about my lists.

This new list is a departure from the old lists in a big way. The past lists were more designed to pop the feat and get into position to alpha strike with melee.

The new list is designed to punch a little bit from range, then pop feat, and still position for a solid melee alpha strike in the next turn.

Fair warning: I was fairly awkward in my model interactions this game. Figuring out spacing and how I want various models to interact isn't immediately intuitive to me - I need to practice in order to get all that right (as do most people). I did end the game really liking my list, despite the awkwardness.

Let's see how it went!

My list:

- Cassius
- Riphorn Satyr
- Feral Warpwolf
- Warpwolf Stalker

- Sentry Stone & Mannikins
- Sentry Stone & Mannikins
- Shifting Stones
- Shifting Stones
- Reeves of Orboros (MAX, w/ UA)

- War Wolf
- War Wolf
- Blackclad Wayfarer
- Gallows Grove
- Alten Ashley

Mike's List:

- Imperatus
- Discordia

- Dawnguard Sentinels (MAX, w/ UA, WA)

- Eiryss1 (2? I don't remember)
- Nayl
- Narn
- Mage Hunter Assassin
- Mage Hunter Assassin
- Sylys
- Other Solos - he had a TON of them

>> I won the roll to go first, and took first turn.

Pre-game thoughts:

Retribution has always given me trouble for some reason. I think it's their threat ranges - I'm never quite prepared for them to be able to get to me as easily as they often do.

My plan this game (beyond learning more about Retribution, with which I have very little experience) was to try and out-attrition my opponent. If I could pick off a few key solos early on, he would struggle to keep enough momentum to beat me.


Proxies: Wolves of Orboros UA is actually the Reeves UA. Nyss on the top right is Alten Ashley.

Lots of solos. Sorry if I didn't list them all, lol.

Circle Turn 1:

I ran forward as best as I could.

It was mostly pretty awkward, if I'm being honest. There are a lot of pieces to this list, and I wasn't sure how to position them all. That's been something I've given a lot of thought to in the days since I played this.

Cassius walked up and killed a Mannikin to turn him into a forest. As it turns out, that was cheating, as his blade only generates a forest if it kills a living or undead model, and Mannikins are constructs.

Doesn't help to have this huge obstruction on the left. Smashes everything together a little tighter than I wanted.

Retribution Turn 1:

They also ran forward.

Some shooting killed all three of the leftmost Sentry's Mannikins.

Nayl ran in and engaged my Mannikins on the right.

Everything was poised for a Turn-2 charge to wreck all of my stuff.

The Sentinels are all hanging out in pairs spread out in front.

Circle Turn 2:

This would be my feat turn, so I decided to try and make the most of it.

Reeves advanced and managed to kill 5 or 6 of the Sentinels in front. A few of these rolls were despite Discordia's Imprint to give them additional armor.

With a couple of their failed damage rolls, I had the War Wolves charge (and fail their charges) the nearest Sentinels.

War Wolves activated and charged. One of them killed a Sentinel, and one of them killed Narn (I think it was Narn. Damn army was full of solos).

Mannikins boosted to hit and punched Nayl to death.

Wurmwood got a little farther up, and POPPED HIS FEAT.

Again, my models are kind of clumped around awkwardly.

Retribution Turn 2:

As has been the case with my of my opponents who face Wurmwood, Mike took a while to act this turn.

In the end, he decided to kill the War Wolves and jam me as best he could.

Garryth ran into his zone, and scored a point.

Score: 1-0, advantage Retribution

With their vengeance move and normal advance, the Sentinels managed to kill a couple Reeves. Proxy base behind Discordia is where Garryth is.

Circle Turn 3:

This turn could have been a deathblow to my opponent, had I been a little less awkward with my model interactions.

I had the opportunity to kill Discordia, a swathe of solos, and the rest of the Sentinels.

First mistake: Feral meant to put Primal on the Stalker, but forgot. Instead, he walked up and killed the jamming Mage Hunter Assassin on the right.

Wurmwood used Cassius to port into the zone, then used a Gallows Grove to get Curse of Shadows off on the remaining Sentinels (the Grove needed to be within 3" of the unit because of the UA, but outside of 2" reach). He didn't have the fury left over to put Primal on the Stalker.

Reeves, forgetting that the Sentinels had Curse of Shadows, still managed to kill 3 of the Sentinels.

Riphorn walked up and punched a solo or something.

Stalker kind of just shrugged, and charged Discordia without Primal. He was able to ignore the Sentinel still in the way because of Curse of Shadows. At least I remembered it for HIS activation. :)

He then proceeded to miss all of his attacks but one, putting 3 total damage on Discordia. (If he HAD had Primal up, he'd have hit ALL of his attacks - extra 2 MAT makes a world of difference sometimes)

That turn could have gone a LOT better. I liked my ideas, but the execution could have gone a lot smoother.

Still, I scored, and managed to contest.

Score: 1-1

If Discordia had died this turn, I think I would have been in a really dominant position. Next time, I suppose.

Retribution Turn 3:

Mike struggled with his dice this turn, and only managed to kill a Reeve or two, and my Gallows Grove.

The Stalker stayed alive with a few boxes left.

Garryth did hit the Stalker a few times with grievous wounds at least. Then, he POPPED HIS FEAT.

The feat caught Wurmwood. I wouldn't be able to cast spells for a turn.

THEN, Imperatus charged my Riphorn. He hit, sidestepped, hit (and killed) a Sentry Stone, and put two attacks into Wurmwood, who was unable to transfer damage due to Garryth's feat.

Wurmwood was set on fire, and took 15 damage.

Jeeze, that was a really sneaky move!

Lucky that Wurmwood had a couple souls on him!

Circle Turn 4:

I wouldn't be able to use Fury or teleport within Garryth's threat range, which made the Sentry Stones, Shifting Stones, and Wurmwood all useless this turn. Still, at least I could force my beasts. I felt I could still have a strong turn.

The Stalker had both his Mind and Body down, and I initially forced him to regenerate d3, but then Mike informed me that Garryth had grievous wounds, and that I wouldn't be able to heal myself. Doh!

So, Stalker turned around, forced to hit the Sentinel behind him, and killed him.

Riphorn went next and did some damage to Imperatus, but notably missed his chain attack head-butt. Doh!

Feral went next, and "killed" Imperatus. Imperatus then came back to life, and my Feral couldn't kill him.

If I had known about that rule, it would have been easy enough to have the Riphorn boost his Head-butt attack, then have Alten Ashley shoot it with grievous wounds so it couldn't come back to life.

And, if that had worked, then the Reeves could have moved to block Garryth from running to Wurmwood and finishing him off.

Content with my knowledge of how the game could have gone had I been more technically proficient, I settled for a long-shot assassination attempt on Garryth. The Reeves used the UA ability to CRA into melee, and shot Garryth twice.

He very nearly died, but that was only after my dice spiked pretty well. I needed one more thing to complete the assassination, but couldn't quite do it.

With Imperatus right next to Wurmwood, we decided to call it.

Results: Loss for Circle Orboros!

Post-game thoughts:

I've never had a more encouraging loss than this. I'm bound to play awkwardly the first time I use a list, but despite my (many) mistakes, I felt like this list did very well.

Some random bullets:
  • Curse of Shadows is a really strong ability. I already knew that, but it opens so many possibilities up beyond the obvious -2 ARM. I can't wait to explore it further.
  • War Wolves and Reeves are really nice together. I can't wait to use the CRA + War Wolves combo to wreck a Light Beast/Jack on Turn 2 sometime soon, right before the feat.
  • Alten Ashley is really good. I don't think I mentioned him much this report, but he did manage to kill at least one thing this game. With RAT 8 and grievous wounds and his ability to hurt beasts, I'm really excited to use him more.
  • Sentry Stones are getting easier for me to use. Because of pre-measuring, I just put the two forest templates where I want them to eventually be, then move the Stones into that spot when the time comes.
    • Sentry Stones + 4" Forest AOE from Wurmwood makes a 10" wall of forest, dependable every single turn the Stones are alive. That's really strong for a non-feat turn. I need to incorporate that into my starting turn plans.
  • Garryth's feat would not have been nearly so strong against my caster if Wurmwood was actually mobile. Because he was stuck where he was, I couldn't do anything.
    • No fury/teleport is a really strong feat against Circle. In case that isn't obvious :)
  • Reeves are really damn good. I love how versatile they are. I also love that they can stay close to Wurmwood and give him souls as they die.
  • Using a mixed force of both ranged and melee gives Wurmwood a lot of flexibility. I loved that I could shoot up a bunch of jamming infantry, then feat and make it even harder for my opponent to jam me.
    • I needed to follow that up with getting Wurmwood into my own zone so I could put pressure on my opponent to contest it. He would have been able to contest it, but forcing him to do that every turn would eventually wear him out, while I felt like I had the edge in attrition.
  • I've already changed my list a little bit. (Spoiler: I'm taking out the Riphorn in favor of a Pureblood)
    • Again, being able to shoot, then slam the door on most retaliation is really strong. Pureblood would have rocked this particular matchup, but should do pretty well with the list in general regardless.
You'll get to see this list in action at least once in the near future. I'm going to Rocky Mountain Rumble next weekend (let's see if I can qualify for WMW a second time!), and I'll be submitting my lists later today. Baldur1 + Wurmwood is very control-centric, but at this point in my development as a player and in my own knowledge of MK3, I feel that I should just play lists and play styles that I'm comfortable with.

At any rate, let me know what your thoughts are!

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