Thursday, January 19, 2017

Warmachine Battle Report 49: Baldur1 and Krueger2 at a Steamroller, 75 points

Image result for gryphons games and comics

Hello all,
Another month, another tournament for me. I get to go to about 1 or 2 each month, depending on what the wifey lets me do.

This was another event at my old stomping grounds, Gryphon Games and Comics in Fort Collins, CO. I've been doing pretty well at each event I've been to since I've gotten back into Warmachine, but this event was going to be a little rougher than usual: I was kind of forced to bring Krueger2 instead of Tanith (because Tanith and the birds are all out right now getting painted).

Here's my list: (after the jump)

Baldur1 is my staple - that list is just too fun not to play!

Some Context:

This event was intended to be a Store Wars practice tournament. People could test their pairings before the much larger Store Wars event later this month (Store Wars is a team tournament that has each store send their 5 best players to compete against other stores' teams).

I didn't have Tanith (she's my usual pairing with Baldur1) or Una2 (she'd probably be my backup) available.

I also wanted to play this event fully painted.

Grayle is ALSO out being painted, so I couldn't take him (I would have).

So I took Krueger2. I've been playing him a bunch lately in practice games, but my lists haven't been very serious, and I've lost around half of my games. Mostly, I planned on playing Baldur1 all day, with one drop of Krueger. Heh.

Tournament Scene:

I didn't really pay much attention. The usual crowd of tough customers was also seeded with some new faces. We had 18 players total, which meant we could potentially go 5 rounds *wince*.

Let's see what I remember:

1x Circle (nobody in my area but me plays Circle in tournaments, lol)
2x Khador
2x Menoth (both running Amon and High Reclaimer, ha)
2x Cygnar
2x Convergence
3x Retribution
3x Trollbloods
2x Legion
... I think that's it!

I mostly wanted to avoid Cygnar, Khador, and Retribution. Cygnar because they have some very tricky casters for Circle, Khador because they have SO MANY ARM 20 boxes (Circle struggles against high armor), and Retribution because we haven't seen many Retribution players in our area lately, and a tournament is a poor place to find out about what a faction is capable of.

I was also a little groggy from getting very little sleep the night before, so I hoped I could avoid a really good player on Game 1. Heh.

Game 1: Circle Orboros vs. Andy's Khador!!

His Lists:

He used to run Karchev, until the nerf. Hark is plenty good now anyways.

Pairings Debate:

This wasn't hard. While Krueger2 does have a little bit of play into this list (he was obviously going to drop Harkevich), Baldur1 can crack armor better, and has a feat that messes more with Khador.

>> I dropped Baldur1.
>>> Andy dropped Harkevich.

>>>> Andy won the roll to go first, and chose to take first turn. I chose the side of the board that had the most benefit from LOS-blocking terrain.

Pre-game thoughts:

Andy is someone I tend to face most tournaments. Our rivalry goes waaaay back, years ago to my (our) 40k days. We also played Fantasy some. Andy has pushed me to the very edge every game of Warmachine we've had so far. He's a very skilled player, and someone who is almost always in the conversation to win an event like this. Not my ideal Game 1 opponent (though it was nice to know he'd help my strength of schedule throughout the rest of the event at least.

Harkevich isn't a caster I've ever had to play against, but he's pretty similar to Karchev in the sense that he runs a LOT of jacks very well. He has mobility, and other useful abilities (like making his jacks stand up and change facing for 1 focus). He could also turn his jacks into mostly indestructible pieces of metal for a turn (+3 ARM to battlegroup).

The scenario was going to be very difficult to win against all the heavy Khador jacks. In addition, Harkevich was going to be very difficult to assassinate, as he was taking the Theme list, which gave him Winterguard as sac pawns. Attrition is very difficult against a list like this as well. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to do.

I decided to needed to just whittle Andy's forces down some, and be opportunistic. If I could start scoring somewhere, I could start to apply pressure and make Andy do something out of desperation.

Or something. Not a very good plan.


The new theme force let Andy make an advance move before he went.

Khador Turn 1:

Andy ran up the board. With his advance move from the theme along with Mobility, those jacks were REALLY far up the board!

Seriously, halfway up the board on Turn 1 is crazy!
Circle Turn 1:

I needed to keep one turn where Andy couldn't really hurt me.

So, I moved up to keep my models outside of Andy's threat ranges. Bloodtrackers skirted wide to stay outside of the two Kodiaks' bubbles of immediate death.

I immediately grasped that the center zone would need my Wrath in it eventually, but I was loathe to risk him quite yet. That Marauder now (per the FAQ) had an additional damage dice against my Wrath. Not awesome.

Mannikins are out there to help Andy potentially make mistakes and overextend. FWIW lol.
Khador Turn 2:

Andy decided to play it cautious. He moved his two Kodiaks on the right up, popped smoke, then repositioned outside of the cloud effects, giving me no line of sight to most of his models.

The rest of his army shuffled up to force me into contesting his zone or lose immediately. Lots of scenario pressure from an army like this.

Note that he did NOT pop his feat yet. Wise man. :(

Lots of threat out there, and very little recourse available to me. Just once I want to play Incursion or the Boobs scenario against Khador!
Circle Turn 2:

I saw an opportunity to whittle his numbers down AND keep my opponent from scoring immediately, for little cost to myself.

Stone Skin was already on the Wrath, so I had the Wrath charge Andy's frontmost Juggernaut. He killed it easily enough.

I then had Baldur move up and build a forest base to base with the smoke effect from my objective to block line of sight to himself and Megalith. This wouldn't really be enough to keep me safe, since all of Harkevich's jacks have pathfinder and can trample. So, I POPPED MY FEAT.

Sentry Stone moved into the little corner of the zone that was obscured by the smoke and forest, though the feat was what would keep Andy's jacks from getting to it.

Megalith moved into the Shifting Stones' area of teleportation in preparation for my next turn.

Druids pushed some of the jacks they could see backward, and knocked some of them down for fun.

Bloodtrackers just kind of stared at the Kodiaks dumbly. Haha.

Was killing one Juggernaut worth popping my feat? Not really sure.
 Khador Turn 3:

Andy couldn't really do anything to me other than kill my objective, which he did with a Kodiak.

I believe this was the turn he also POPPED HIS FEAT. All of his jacks went up to ARM 23. Yuck.

Score: 1-0, advantage Khador.

How to deal with an entire army of Clamjacks?

Circle Turn 3:

Well, there was really nothing for it but to contest the zone with my Wrath. I'd be in range of his Marauder no matter where I went, as well as a Kodiak and Juggernaut, though I could at least avoid his third Juggernaut if I did it right.

So, the Wrath charged on in, and I believe managed to kill the Kodiak near to him. He at least come really close. I can't see the Kodiak in the pictures, though the Wrath might be blocking my view.

The Bloodtrackers and Druids both advanced some and started knocking jacks over and throwing spears at Winterguard and Mechanics. I specifically wanted to force Andy to choose between allocating focus and casting the "stand up" spell.

Megalith stayed in position to support the Wrath.

Score: 1-0, advantage Khador.

Both of our clocks were starting to wind down at this point as well. Or at least, threatening to wind down.
Khador Turn 4:

Andy stood his jacks up and allocated focus to the Marauder and Juggernaut.

Three jacks charged the Wrath, but Andy rolled poorly, and the Wrath had about half of his boxes remaining afterward.

Score: 1-0, advantage Khador.

Wrath is turned around so we could fit the heavies where they needed to be.

Circle Turn 4:

I thought it was plausible for me to kill two Khador heavies this turn.

Wrath punched the Marauder, but REALLY sucked at his rolls, and failed to kill it by a box or two.

Enter the Mannikin, who charged the knocked down Marauder and finished it off!

Baldur then cycled Stone Skin onto Megalith, who charged the nearby Juggernaut. Again my dice went cold, and I didn't manage to finish off the Juggernaut.

Druids and Bloodtrackers got closer, and knocked more stuff over/killed more infantry.

Not an ideal turn, but good enough I supposed.

Score: 1-0, advantage Khador.

One fewer Heavy, though the Wrath would likely die this turn...

Khador Turn 5:

Andy rolled up with his two Juggernauts and spiked some HUGE damage into the Wrath, killing it easily.

The Kodiak staring down the Bloodtrackers ran backwards to Harkevich to keep him from being easily assassinated (if the Druids can knock him over, it's game over at this point - being base to base with a jack keeps him from being knocked over, however).

Score: 1-0, advantage Khador.

Circle Turn 5:

His clock was at about 5 minutes, and mine was around 10 minutes. I needed to hurry.

Megalith punched the nearby Juggernaut to death, but just barely. He toed the zone.

Bloodtrackers and Druids finished off the remaining infantry available to Andy.

Baldur ran to the flag on the right.

Score: 1-1

What will happen? It's very close!

Khador Turn 6:

Andy had about 5 minutes remaining. He wasn't sure what to do - he decided to just score, and try to contest my flag.

Kodiak on the top trampled to within 4" of my flag.

Juggernaut killed my Sentry Stone in the zone.

Final Kodiak threw Megalith 2" out of the zone.

Harkevich dominated the zone for 2 points.

Score: 3-1, advantage Khador.

Circle Turn 6:

Andy had around 30 seconds remaining, while I had around 3 minutes.

I decided to just jam the zone and throw some jacks and stuff. After I asked him a few times to roll a strength check for his thrown Kodiak, I switched the clock over to him, and he rolled it, but killed about 10 seconds doing so. To be very clear: I just think he didn't understand what I was asking - he wasn't trying to kill my clock. Not a sportsmanship issue AT ALL.

I jammed all of my infantry into the zone, and left a transfer on Megalith, just in case.

I had 24 seconds remaining, Andy had 16 seconds remaining.

Score: 3-1, advantage Khador.

We have a combined 40 seconds remaining, haha!

Khador Turn 7:

Andy charged Baldur with his Kodiak, but didn't have time to roll dice, as he clocked out:

Wow.... what a crazy close game!

Results: (really close) Win via clock for Circle Orboros!!

Post-game thoughts:

What a crazy game! Very close, and Andy was fairly sure he could have won if we had continued. Perhaps he could have, though if neither of us was rushed by the clock, the final 2-3 turns would have been very different for either side.

I was proud to have finally won a game via clock - it was one of my goals going into the day (to manage my own clock well), and though my own clock was also very short on time, I took it for the victory it was :)

Andy never gives me an easy game, and this was no exception. Khador jacks are very difficult for Circle to handle, and Andy did a great job of keeping his models safe with his clouds and controlled aggression.

On my end, I realized that the Marauder is the true threat in Andy's list. Killing Juggernauts is well and good, but a Marauder can mess my Wrath up pretty quick if I let it.

I'll need to come up with a way to keep my Bloodtrackers from getting negated so thoroughly by a single Kodiak - they did almost nothing this game, and that's not really acceptable for a game I'm already at a disadvantage in.

Tournament Scene:

I had zero time to find out who had won/lost. My game had gone the longest (duh), so I was immediately thrown into a match I wasn't thrilled with: Retribution, played by my old enemy, Mike Devlin.

Game 2: Circle Orboros vs. Retribution!!

His Lists:

I haven't played against Rahn for like, 5 or 6 years. Whenever MK2 first come out.

Pairings Debate:

I asked my friend who I should drop into Retribution, since I knew almost nothing about them. He just told me that "Ret struggles to crack armor", and walked away. Heh.

After looking at the lists and asking some questions about AOEs and armor cracking, I decided to drop Baldur again. The Wrath would be very difficult to take down for either list, and I felt Baldur had a significant advantage against Ret than Krueger2 had.

I had no idea who Mike would drop, though I suspected it would be Garyth, since Mike has played him into Circle lots of times in the past.

>> I dropped Baldur1.
>>> Mike dropped Rahn (to my mild surprise).

>>>> Mike won the roll to go first, and took the side of the table with a big forest, hill, and wall. The big forest was right next to the flag - he'd need to be careful if he wanted to use Rahn to score on his own flag, as Baldur could potentially forest walk in and kill Rahn personally :)

Pre-game thoughts:

Mike surprised me today by bringing Ret. He's been playing Cryx to good results lately, and I'm honestly not sure why he went with Ret today.

I knew that Rahn was good at assassination, so I would need to keep Baldur covered as well as possible. I wanted the Druids and Mannikins to take out his mage units, while my heavies and Bloodtrackers took care of the Sentinels and jacks in the center.

If I could force Mike to spend ALL of his resources trying to take the Wrath down, I could kill the rest of his army with my own army. If he spread his attentions, then the Wrath could run rampant. We would see how it went, however.


One of the few times I ever plan on aggressively shoving my Wrath down my opponent's throat. Usually a little more subtle than that :)

His army just looks so... tiny.

Circle Turn 1:

I ran forward. I made sure to stay outside of Mike's threat ranges, but I still got to run everything just about max distance.

Druids are hunkered down in a trench for fun.

Retribution Turn 1:

Mike advanced more cautiously than I had assumed he would, though the Sentinels went straight forward to stare down the Bloodtrackers, who had marked them as prey...

Time to see if I can kill all of the Sentinels!

Circle Turn 2:

I wanted to kill a bunch of stuff this turn if possible. I had decent odds of the Bloodtrackers killing around 8 or 9 of the Sentinels by themselves, and I could mop the rest of them up with shooting.

So, Baldur went and put Stone Skin on the Bloodtrackers so they could pop the 20 (or was it 21) ARM on the Sentinels. I made sure to keep a big forest between Baldur and the rest of Mike's army.

POW 13 Bloodtrackers (with weaponmaster throws) moved up and... rolled really poorly. They killed around 5 Sentinels. Not the 8 or 9 I was expecting.

Megalith and the Wrath both advanced and shot a few Sentinels dead. There were 4 remaining when the smoke cleared.

Druids apparition'd up and were able to kill two or three of the Mittens unit across from them.

Mannikins combined to kill a couple Mittens in front of them on the right.

That was essentially it. Not my best turn, but it wasn't terrible either. I was positioned to threaten his flag, and none of my models were in much danger, so far as I could tell.

For those of you who read my reports regularly, you should realize this is far more aggressive than I normally play. I don't personally think that Circle should be played too aggressively, as it generally exposes your super-squishy models to harm they can't really take. In this case though, my Wrath was going to be very difficult to remove, and I stood to gain quite a bit by jamming hard.

Druids aren't afraid of the Mittens, since they can't be targeted by spells.

Retribution Turn 2:

Mike used the Sentinels (with Vengeance) and two Phoenixes to kill the Bloodtrackers, nearly to a (wo)man.

Sentinels then charged the Wrath and did some pretty fierce damage.

Megalith took a couple punches from a Phoenix as well, but nothing too crazy.

All of my Mannikins did die, which is never surprising.

Not a bad turn for me, all things considered.

Mike's army is pretty exposed. Can I do some real damage?
Circle Turn 3:

I needed to do some serious damage this turn, because opportunities don't come along too often.

Druids were wary of Eiyriss' witch hunter ability, so they decided to just use apparition to get some melee swings in on back arcs. They advanced and ended up killing all but one or two of the Mittens unit.

Similarly on the right side, Mannikins sprayed down three of another Mittens unit.

Wrath punched the nearest Phoenix to death, but only barely.

Baldur shuffled up to the flag and put Stone Skin on Megalith. Importantly, I meant to, but forgot to, pop my feat. He did put a forest between himself and the Mittens on the right, for whatever reason. Ah, hindsight. He did camp 2, however.

Megalith also rolled poorly, and just barely managed to kill his own Phoenix with his final attack. Baldur would only be able to transfer to the Wrath, if it came to that.

I did score, but would have been much better off with the feat up. I was kicking myself the whole turn for that :)

Score: 1-0, advantage Circle.

The Druids are surrounding Eiyriss, haha!
Retribution Turn 3:

Mike decided he needed to try to assassinate Baldur, because he didn't have much left.

He had Rahn go, POPPED HIS FEAT (boosted magic attack and damage rolls for everyone) and used his Slam spell to slam Megalith into Baldur. Luckily for me, Baldur didn't fall over because he had solid ground up. The damage to Baldur was negligible.

Rahn also used TK on one Sentinel to disengage him from the Wrath.

Mittens on the right climbed into the forest and shot at Baldur, but didn't do much damage.

His magic solo, which I had assumed was a jack the whole game, ran in and cast a spell that Baldur needed to transfer, leaving me on around 6 health and one transfer.

The Sentinel then charged in, and missed his swing!

Eiyriss tried to disengage herself from the Druids, but was clubbed down for her insolence.

Nothing else could hurt Baldur.

Mike conceded then. Here's what my turn would have looked like if I'd actually played it:

Circle Turn 4:

I spawned a Mannikin near to Rahn, and was able to run it up next to him, facing directly away from the Wrath. I kept the Stone within command of the Mannikin.

Baldur put Stone Skin on the Wrath.

Wrath trampled for free over the Sentinels, killing most of them.

Wrath bought an attack on the Mannikin and hit it, knocking Rahn down in the process.

Wrath bought three more auto-hitting POW 21 attacks into the knocked down Rahn.

The game ended...

Game 2 Results: Win for Circle via likely assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Man, I had this game, until I forgot to pop my feat. I was still fairly safe, but if Mike had spiked a couple rolls, I would have been in trouble. My feat not only prevents people from moving around well, it gives me cover. Very poor play on my part.

Other than that one (rather huge) mistake, I was proud of my play. Recognizing the opportunity to be aggressive is a good skill to have, even when you rarely use it. It was probably a bad matchup for Mike, all things considered. Most of my stuff is difficult for this list to deal with, so I give him kudos for even fabricating an assassination attempt at all :)

Thanks for the great game, Mike!

Tournament Scene:

My opponent from last round had gotten the pair-up, and beat the pair-down, which meant "only" 4 total games for the day.

There were only four undefeated players remaining:

Trollbloods (also my Store Wars teammate Daniel)
Menoth (Tom gave me quite the kicking last time I played into him at a tournament)
Convergence (I didn't know the guy)

I was feeling a little desperate at this point - I still needed to drop Krueger2 into someone, and I needed it not to be into Menoth, as High Reclaimer would probably auto-destroy me.

Trolls were the best prospect for me to drop Krueger into, but Daniel and myself had been playing a few games lately, and I'd been losing with Krueger more than I'd been winning. Not ideal.

Convergence were probably also bad for Krueger, but if I got paired with them, I'd have to also drop Krueger to save Baldur for the potential game against Menoth.

Note that my usual pairing of Baldur1 and Tanith would not have this same dilemma - Tanith doesn't mind dropping into Convergence or Trolls.

At any rate, I was mostly just hoping I'd get paired with Daniel and his Trolls, as that seemed like the best case scenario for Krueger to drop into.

Game 3: Circle Orboros vs. Trollbloods!!

His List:

I'd played against Calandra, but never vs. Borka.

Pairings Debate:

Again, this was fairly simple. I needed to drop Krueger2 into Daniel so I could keep Baldur1 available for my next game. I spent zero mental energy wondering which caster Daniel would drop into me.

>> I dropped Krueger2.
>>> Daniel dropped Calandra.

>>> Daniel won the roll to go first, and took first turn. I chose the side of the table with a trench for some reason.

Pre-game thoughts:

Dan is a good player, and had been beating me more often than not in our friendly matches. He knew the Krueger2 assassination potential, and also knew most of my tricks with him. I'd need to play for scenario, one purpose for which my list was well-suited.

I wanted to use the Reeves to take big chunks of damage off of beasts before I charged in with my heavies. Star-crossed within 16" is a pretty strong ability, and I'd struggle with accuracy if I didn't take the proper precautions.

So, the goal was to win via scenario, but to remain opportunistic. Mostly, I just wished I had Tanith, haha :)


Both of our lists are fully painted. Sorry it's so dark, we were in a corner.

Beast-heavy. Dahlia and Scarath would be very difficult to hurt while under star-crossed.
Trolls Turn 1:

Daniel loaded up the Stone and RAN up the board.

Scarath is on the left, and the rest of his beasts are bricked up in the middle.

Circle Turn 1:

I also ran up, though I was a little more reserved.

I decided that my Sentry Stones would make good bait - I needed to give Daniel a reason to commit some of his beasts so I could get the first punch.

So, I placed the Sentry Stones within range of Scarath's spray, but only so that Scarath would then be in range of Ghettorix' subsequent charge.

The other Stone also moved up boldly to bait the heavy infantry unit into spraying at it.

Reeves stood in the right zone, waiting to machine gun anything that got too close.

Can Daniel kill both of my bait Stones this turn, or will be play it more reserved?

Trolls Turn 2:

Scarath took the bait, but only caused 1 point of damage on the Stone.

The infanty unit used their sprays, but only got 7 points of damage on the other Stone.

Mulg advanced boldly, within range of my beasts.

The Earthborn really surprised me. He was by some water, so had +2 SPD, and so he RAN 18" to engage three Reeves.

Calandra put up Star-crossed. Bleck.

I'll be able to score this turn, assuming Ghettorix can do his job...

Circle Turn 2:

I needed to find a way to remove both Mulg and Scarath this turn.

First, the Sentry Stones placed some Mannikins across from some NICELY lined-up Stone models. I proceeded to roll well, and Daniel refused to roll tough checks, so between the Mannikins and my Woldwyrd, I managed to take out the entire Stone unit.

Krueger went, and put Primal on Ghetorix. He then TK'd the Feral forward 2" toward Mulg.

Blackclad got into the back arc of Scarath and got Hunter's Mark on it.

Ghetto charged in, and rolled truly abysmally. I needed 5's to hit, which is tricky against Star-crossed, but not impossible. What happened was that I wouldn't have even hit if I COULD use all 3 dice. I rolled at least two 4's with all dice. *grimace*

In the end, Ghetto still did hit twice (out of 6 trieds), and did all but one hit box of damage to Scarath, who does not have much armor. Bah.

Reeves moved upward and shot Mulg twice with POW 15's, doing a small amount of damage.

Feral, having been TK'd 2" toward Mulg, advanced and started hitting the DEF 10 dude. He managed to kill the guy, but only barely.

I just needed to kill Scarath and I'd be in a much better position.

I moved one of my Shifting Stones near to Ghetto, and had the Pureblood target the stone so he wouldn't hit Ghetto. I boosted to hit, and finally rolled well, hitting my Star-crossed "9". Scarath only had one box, but I boosted to be sure, and killed the snake.

Not a terrible turn, especially considering my Feral wouldn't frenzy next turn!

However, if Ghetto had also been able to kill one more of the heavy infantry, I'd have been able to score. Ah well!

What pain can Callandra's force bring in retribution?

Trolls Turn 3:

Daniel was determined to kill as much as he could this turn.

Callandra started, and put Rush on the Axer so he could charge my Feral. She then POPPED HER FEAT. She also put up Star-crossed.

Earthborn spent his whole stack killing my Woldwyrd (he also used Earth's Blessing to keep from Krueger's feat affecting him).

The Axer and two of the heavy infantry models swung at the Feral, but even with the feat up, the Feral survived with a couple boxes.

The Mauler, Lanyssa, and the final infantry model combined to barely kill Ghetorix.

I lost two beasts, but was okay with that. You'll see why.

Circle Turn 4:

At first, I started dithering over whether I should try to score this turn, or whether I should just try to kill everything but Callandra and the Earthborn.

Then I realized that though Callandra had two Fury camped, ALL of her beasts were full of Fury, and she would be unable to transfer.

I decided my assassination window was wide open.

Krueger went first, and healed the Feral for two. He then boosted a shot at Callandra and missed. He bought another shot, hit, boosted damage, and bought another shot without the fury to boost. He managed to take off around 9 points on his own.

Feral then went and cast Primal on himself. He forced for a throw on the infantry model in front of him, boosted to hit, and hit. He was the perfect distance to Callandra, and I threw the troll straight forward. It hit Callandra and did a couple more points of damage, but more importantly, it knocked her down.

Reeves then walked up and only needed a single shot to finish her. If they had failed with two shots, my Pureblood had its spray ready as well.

Game 3 Results: Win for Circle Orboros via assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well, this game went better than I had expected. Also, differently than I expected.

I could have probably managed to kill the Axer, at least two heavy infantry, and the Mauler that turn, as well as putting some decent pain into the Earthborn. Maybe I could have even scored. However, it would have been risky to get all that done. My Pureblood and Feral would both be Primal'd, and Krueger wouldn't likely have a transfer target after all that.

There was still certainly play in this game, and it could have gone either way. However, I got lucky, and Daniel made a mistake that I've made all too many times myself. It happens to us all, my friend!

At any rate, I was headed to the finals, where I was guaranteed either 1st or 2nd place!

Tournament Scene:

It was me against... Tom's Menoth. I was suddenly very glad I hadn't locked myself into Krueger2 for this fight.

Daniel and Mike D (my third round and second round opponents, respectively) would be playing each other, and if I won, the winner of that game was likely to get 3rd. I didn't pay attention to other pairings - gotta focus on the finals, after all!

Game 4: Circle Orboros vs. Protectorate of Menoth!!

His List:

Tough player with two very tough lists.

Pairings Debate:

The only difficult decision I had to make this weekend was when to play Krueger2. Otherwise, it was fairly obvious which caster I should drop. In this case, I knew that Baldur had superior troop-killing ability, more survivable beasts, and a feat that would mess with his models, even if they were respawned.

I was fairly sure he'd drop High Reclaimer, but only because a friend of mine who plays Menoth told me High Reclaimer into Circle was a no-brainer. Not that it mattered. Baldur was superior into both casters.

> I dropped Baldur1.
>> Tom dropped High Reclaimer.

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

Pre-game thoughts:

Well, Reclaimer wasn't exactly ideal for me, especially with a very skilled player at the helm but it was my task to do, so I settled in. I knew the tricks he could play. For those of you who are unaware, High Reclaimer was one of the surprises of the new FAQ, in the sense that he WASN'T nerfed as many seemed to think was necessary. I withhold judgment personally - he's a very solid caster, but I'm not sure if he's broken.

At any rate, this army is a damned if I do, damned if I don't kind of caster. If I killed a ton of infantry, Reclaimer to bring 6-8 of them back to life on his feat, fully capable of charging afterwards. Reclaimer would also get souls for the infantry models I killed within his control (10"), which he could use to kill me with.

My goal then was to have one epic turn of killing models, then pop my feat and force him to feat on my own feat turn. Baldur's feat would prevent most of Tom's models from doing much, and buy me another turn of killing more infantry. Best to kill SO MANY models that Tom couldn't possibly bring back all of them that he wanted.

I also needed to keep my beasts away from his jacks, and keep the Wrath alive as well as possible. Generally, my two beasts would wreck his two, but only if I got the charge in.

TL;DR is that I wanted to kill as much as I could, as quickly as I could. No other real option.


Bloodtrackers put Prey on the Idrians so they could hit the higher-defense models easier. They were already solid enough POW to hurt high armor.

Maybe it doesn't look like it, but that's a LOT of infantry. Especially for MK3.
Menoth Turn 1:

Tom was very careful to keep his models outside my threat ranges. Just because he had a lot of infantry didn't mean he wanted to waste them frivolously.

JUST outside of my threat ranges.

Circle Turn 1:

I couldn't do much, honestly. I needed to set up my next turn.

First, I put some Bloodtrackers within 11" of the Idrians. I did this so that the Idrians would have an incentive to come forward to shoot, rather than sitting back behind the rest of the troops. Better to deal with them now than later.

Druids got in a trench to get up to DEF 17. Idrians would waste their shots if they shot at them.

Wrath shot, hoping to scatter into troops, OR get a big area of effect where Tom couldn't walk his infantry through without them dying. I didn't kill any models, but I got a decent scatter, which would mess with Tom's ability to advance part of his force.

Manikins got far enough up that they would prevent Tom's forces from jamming me TOO hard next turn.

Baldur hung back, wary of a possible assassination attempt involving Tom killing his own models then respawning them closer to charge my caster.

Going to be an interesting few turns...

Menoth Turn 2:

Tom took the Bloodtracker bait, and sent the Idrians forward to shoot a few of them. He managed to kill off 4 Bloodtrackers, which was more than I had expected, but not ruinous.

Everything else just ran forward.

Toward the end of his turn, Tom realized he had a few Idrians that were in the way and that he had forgotten to move them. He asked if he could just run them into the scather that the Wrath had left so they could be souls, rather than left out of coherency and therefore out of the game. I was fine with this, so three Idrians died to my scather, haha.

It's time to get this done!
Circle Turn 2:

This was the turn I needed to kill a bunch of models. Like, a TON of them if possible.

I had Baldur go first, and he put up Druid's Wrath, which would help the Druids shoot down nearby Idrians by giving them an extra magic attack dice. Then I promptly forgot to pop my feat.

One activation later, I noticed that I hadn't popped my feat, and I swore. Tom was a great sport and offered to let me pop my feat. I initially refused - it's one thing in a friendly game to ask for a redo. In a tournament (the finals no less!) it's not something I'm willing to ask for. My mistake, my consequences. However, Tom was insistent - he told me he wanted to play a "real" game, and that he didn't want the outcome to be shaped by something so obvious and trivial. In the end, I took his offer reluctantly. IMO, that's the pinnacle of good sportsmanship. Props to Tom for that. :)

Moving on!

After Baldur went, I had the Druids go. They all shot at Idrians and mostly killed their targets.

Bloodtrackers killed most of the remaining Idrians, as well as 3 or 4 Knights Exemplar on the left.

Mannikins aimed and sprayed a bunch of the Flamer guys to death.

Blackclad sprayed a few more infantry down.

Wrath and Megalith also shot a few more down. Wrath's shot was actually shield-guarded by Rhoven's bodyguard. I boosted the damage, and it killed the poor guy, as well as a few other infantry.

When all was said and done, I'd killed 20 models that gave Reclaimer souls, and three that didn't. 23 infantry seems like a good turn, but I was somewhat nervous. High Reclaimer with 25 focus was going to be frustratingly good.

His models at least look more cleared out.

Menoth Turn 3:

Tom took his time this turn figuring out the best play. People were chuckling about how screwed I was because of how many souls he had. Not sure how that would have been different if I'd just left his army alive to kill me though :)

The Exemplars on the left advanced and punched some Bloodtrackers and/or Druids.

High Reclaimer went, and with all of his huge stack, he managed to kill most of my remaining infantry (ashes to ashes is dirty). He also killed a couple of his own infantry in the process.

He then POPPED HIS FEAT and brought back a few Flamebringers, as well as a number of Exemplars on the right side, just in range to charge my Wrath through the feat. He also made a huge smoke wall between himself and my models.

The Exemplars charged my Wrath. Looking at the picture, I'm not sure how those Exemplars were able to start in the Reclaimer's control range and still get to me (unless I misunderstand how his feat works), but it happened somehow :) They did some decent damage to the Wrath, but nothing too crazy.

Flamebringers brought some flame to my poor Druids, and they got cooked pretty quickly.

At the end of the turn, I had two Bloodtrackers left, and zero Druids. Painful turn, but that's just something you come to expect from High Reclaimer feat turns!

Our feats are done - the game can begin, lol :)

Circle Turn 3:

I wanted to put some pressure on Tom this turn. He'd eaten a LOT of clock during his turn, and I needed to take advantage of that if possible.

First, my Stones placed Baldur closer to the right so that the Wrath would be in his control after he advanced some.

On the right, the Wrath trampled up to the flag, and punched an Exemplar. The trample also killed two of the three he trampled over.

Megalith walked up and killed the final Exemplar left behind in the wake of the Wrath's trample.

Bloodtrackers, Mannikins, and Blackclad cleaned up a bunch of the remaining infantry threatening me.

I scored, and had about 20 minutes' advantage over Tom.

Score: 1-0, advantage Circle.

Not much left...

Menoth Turn 4:

Tom had about 7 minutes left.

He charged my Wrath with this Reckoner, but didn't manage to kill it.

Scourge of Heresy charged in and thresher'd my Sentry Stones. I think one of them died, along with the Blackclad and a Mannikin. He also killed his UA for the Flamebringers.

At the end of the turn, he had less than a minute, and decided to concede.

I could have likely killed both of his heavies and some more infantry if we'd continued. He said he thought he would have gotten me, but I'm unsure of how. We'll never know :)

Game 4 Results: Win for Circle Orboros via clock... again?!

Post-game thoughts:

Well, this game went just about how I planned it. I needed to butcher copious numbers of models for a turn, then brace for the inevitable backlash. That's what happened, and Tom wasn't quite able to keep his momentum as his army quickly shrank.

Other than forgetting the feat (man, I REALLY need to lock that down), I thought I played a solid game. High Reclaimer is a difficult caster to beat, certainly, and Tom is an excellent player on top of that.

It REALLY helped that I had played against High Reclaimer before - seeing his dirty tricks (and losing to them) aided me greatly in this game. A (really competitive) army full of infantry in a meta that doesn't really prepare to play against infantry can be very competitive. I was lucky to have made it out in once piece!

Tournament Results: 1st place for Circle Orboros!!

I ended up with 1st on the day, receiving $75 in store credit.

Tom got 2nd, as the tournament format we played in was "winner's table", where the top table was 1st and 2nd place.

Daniel, my Round 3 opponent, ended up getting 3rd place.

Post-tournament thoughts:

Well, I'm probably done with Krueger2 for a while. I just got Tanith, Una2, and 5 Scarsfells painted up (also Una1 and Grayle), and I have to admit that I really miss Tanith. She just has more good matchups than Krueger2 in the current meta.

Baldur1 remains a really solid option for tournament play. I've lost twice total with Baldur1 in tournament play so far, despite taking him to almost every tournament I've attended since the start of MK3. I'm not likely to take someone else anytime TOO soon, though as we get more command books and the meta inevitably shifts, I'll be forced to reevaluate my stance.

What's next:

Store Wars is coming at the end of this month. I'm already committed to be running Baldur1 and Tanith. You can find the Tanith list on my most recent tournament report - it hasn't changed much. I'll hopefully do a report for that tournament.

After that, I'm hoping to explore the theme forces some. We'll also have Kaya3 to play with.

I've also been fortunate enough to have earned about $250 of store credit lately through various tournaments, so I've decided to order the new Storm Raptor and Kromac2. Jaden over at Druid's Dice has been writing some really great battle reports for "Stormy" lately, and I'm convinced that the Storm Raptor is something I really want to try out. At the very least, it's a great model. Also, it would be really fun to roll up to a tournament with TWO gargantuans. :)

At any rate, that should be it! Yol Bolsun!

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