Why Boundless Charge is a ridiculous spell

So last week was kinda hectic. I moved, had long essays to write for my course, my car decided it hated me (i.e. It broke down). Due to all that, I was just wiped out. So I didn’t post last week, and I’m probably not going to make it up. Apologies to my readers, as I didn’t even have time to post a notice up about it. Hopefully, now that the move is done with, I can resume my regularly scheduled broadcasts.

So Warmachine Weekend just happened (Yay!), and a bunch more miniatures were released (Yay!), but Sorshca 0 wasn’t one of them (Boo!). A few of my fellow knights went over with ninja orders to buy stuff, and reported back that there was no journeyman Boundless Charge on a stick casters to be found. So to assauge my disappointment, I thought I’d do a post on one of the best spells in the game, and the Journeylady attached to said spell. As a disclaimer at the start, I will be assuming during this post that she hasn’t changed since the CID, with the same stat-line, spells and theme inclusions. That might change with her release, rendering some of this obsolete. But thems the risks. Onwards!

Lets start with the good lady herself. Sorscha 0 is a journeyman warcaster at a 4 point cost. Her statline isn’t massively important, beyond speed 6, def 15, arm 14 and Focus 4. She wields the standard Winter guard weapons of axe and blunderbuss, with the one caveat being that her axe is magical. She has No Sleeping on the Job (Winterguard), as well as the spells Boundless Charge and Fog of War. She is a free option in Jaws of the Wolf, and counts towards free points in Winter Guard Kommand.

Right off the bat, a couple of abilities stick out. The most obvious one is Boundless Charge, which will get it’s own segment later. Beyond this, Fog of War is pretty impactful. With her control area of 8, she can easily catch a pretty big area with this spell, giving everything concealment. This is a fantastic spell to have up (if you can afford it, more on that later), as most of our casters have a pretty decent statline to begin with. +2 def vs shooting takes a lot of our casters into the realms of def 17+. It also makes Sorscha herself a particularly hard nut to crack, with def 17 to shooting, no knock down and over boosting to her name. The last part of this particular spell, is that it takes our jacks from being basically auto hit at range, to might miss, and our infantry to a harder to hit range (14 for Winterguard, 15 for Kayazy, 16 for Widowmakers, and stealth for Kossites). This is a pretty big buff for an upkeep spell on a journeyman.

The next ability that stands out is No Sleeping on the Job. It won’t come up much in Jaws, due to Sorscha being the only Winter Guard model that theme can take, but in Winter Guard Kommand, it adds a pretty significant buff. Her command is only 6, ( and she probably doesn’t want to be that close to the front line) but where this ability really shines lies in keeping your caster alive. Winter Guard Kommand comes with the theme benefit of Sacrificial Pawn (Winter Guard Trooper) for your Warcaster, and Kovnik Joe provides tough to a WG unit. All combined, any of our casters can have concealment along with Sac Pawn to tough models that can’t be knocked down, making assassination from range all but off the table.

Finally, we her own personal survivability. Most journeymen have decent stats, but suffer because they need to play forward an amount. Sorscha has pretty ridiculous stats, with def 15, arm 14 and easy access to concealment and no knockdown being fairly ridiculous. On top of this, she has very little reason to play forward, providing mostly buffs from fairly far away.

The main downside to Sorscha is the main downside to Journeymen in general, namely that she has to take a jack. The normal way around this for other factions is to put a cheap light warjack onto their journeymen (Dervish on Sev 0, Charger/Hunter on a Cygnar Journeyman, Stalkers on Aiakos), however, we don’t really have lights. Some of our jacks are cheaper, and they provide a decent option, with the Rager in particular standing out (as it has a gun, shield guard and doesn’t want the focus that Sorscha doesn’t really want to hand out). However, this is still a 12-14 point investment, which can be painful, especially when you otherwise would have run minimum jacks (and thus can’t foist a jack from the main battle group off onto her).

The benefits, however, massively outweigh the downsides. Sorscha 0 has a bunch of impactful abilities, as we have discussed above, with the main one being the spell we haven’t even discussed yet, Boundless Charge. Lets change that.

Boundless Charge is a fairly common spell in Khador. It exists on 5 of our 21 casters. It costs 2, is range 6 and gives a friendly faction model a free charge, that has +2 movement and pathfinder. In a lot of ways, BC is the bread and butter spell in Khador, with most of our speed buffs being similar (in that they give +2 speed or movement). Boundless Charge seems fairly boring then, as in faction, it is necessary for our Jacks to function. Looking in to it in detail though, it is a pretty ridiculous spell. In one spell, you have a threat extender, a pathfinder solution (much less common than you might think) and an output buff for jacks (because you are charging for free). It is also very versatile, there are no limitations on what model you can put it on, and is fairly cheap at a 2 cost. Viewed in this light, Boundless Charge is pretty ridiculous. And that spell is now on a Journeyman Warcaster who can be taken in any of our Jack lists.

Boundless Charge is the most impactful thing on Sorscha 0’s card. While it exists already on 5 of our casters, the remaining 16 do not have it. Most of them a different movement buff, and since BC isn’t an upkeep spell or Battle group dependent, it can be layered on top of them. This means that, for the likes of Butcher 3, Harkevich, Karchev, etc, they can take Sorscha 0 and have 12-13 inch threatening jacks. That number is huge! Suddenly, our jacks are threatening as far as some cavalry! And more than that, a lot of those casters do not have a consistent way to give out free charges. Adding Boundless Charge into the mix adds a new dimension of output to some of these lists. Strakhov 1 can have consistent free charges to help his output problem, Butcher 3 becomes a pretty amazing jack caster (speed buff, plus focus to hand out plus a damage buff is pretty ridiculous), Karchev can actually start getting the alpha with lists that are designed to take a punch first and has an output buff beyond his feat. Beyond even that, some of these casters had nothing in the way of innate pathfinder solutions, which putting Sorscha 0 in the list can help to solve.

Khador is a faction that doesn’t really have jack support. A lot of our jacks seem to have been balanced around no more outside input than being given focus, and maybe a threat extender. Our mat is generally high, as are our POW. Our basic beater is POW 19, Cygnar has to pay 5 points more for that level of hitting power. The additional support provided can help to magnify the output of any of our lists, really cranking our jack lists up to 11. Upping threat ranges, adding in pathfinder, increasing output; all this for the low cost of 2 focus!

Sorscha 0, assuming she stays the same as she was at the end of CID, is poised to bend the Khador competitive scene almost singlehandedly. I’ve spoken before about the how moving fromn a 10 to 12 inch threat range is one of those massive swings, like going from mat 6 to 7 or pow 18 to 20 (https://avatarofslaughter.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/flopping-out-your-12-inches/). That alone would be significant to the Khador meta. But add in everything else, all of her other abilities and the other qualities of Boundless Charge, and you have something truly meta defining.

Next week, I’ll be having a look at some more lists that I think are going to shape the Khador metas. I already had a look at a couple in my Armoured Corp post a few weeks ago, but one of the exciting things about Sorscha 0 being on the horizon is the competitive space widening massively!

For the Motherland!

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Powerfist Winter Cup

Last weekend I attended a the first 2 day tournament organised by my home club, Powerfist Gaming. Put together and organised by my clubmates Jonathon Clarke and Jonathon ‘Barry’ Williams (lotta Jons at my club), it was a 5 round tournament spread over 2 days. The first day we provided lunch, which was a delicious chilli accompanied by fresh bread and tortilla chips, and we also organised a group meal at a rather nice local pub. Clarke advertised the hell out of the event, and we ended up with around 24 players. The upshot of all this, is that we are going to be running more events over winter, and in the far flung future, and all you guys who can get over to Stafford should attend. It was a blast.

The tournament was set up with players having a choice of bringing up to 3 lists, with the caveat being D&C 1. So you could bring 1 list and power through list selection, or 3 lists to give yourself options, but you were restricting yourself in some aspect. I ended up bringing my current pairing of Witch 2 and Zerkova 1, to see how it played into a more restricted field than the free for all that was Nationals. Lists below:

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Armored Corps

[Zerkova 1] Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova [+28]

– Marauder [11]

– Spriggan [17]

Man-O-War Kovnik [0(4)]

Ragman [4]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

Man-O-War Bombardiers (max) [16]

– Man-O-War Bombardier Officer [0(5)]

Man-O-War Demolition Corps (max) [14]

Man-O-War Shocktroopers (max) [16]

– Man-O-War Shocktrooper Officer [0(4)]

Man-O-War Shocktroopers (max) [16]

– Man-O-War Shocktrooper Officer [4]

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

[Old Witch 2] Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper [+27]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Kodiak [13]

– Spriggan [17]

Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]

– Behemoth [25]

Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]

– Rager [10]

Kovnik Andrei Malakov [0(4)]

– Marauder [11]

Battle Mechaniks (min) [3]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

Round 1:

First round I get paired against Andy Martin, who is running Cygnar. He has Siege 1 in Heavy Metal and Kraye in Gravediggers. I decide that Witch is the correct drop, as Cygnar doesn’t tend to trade very well with Khador Jacks, and he has no real jack support with Kraye. He drops Kraye against me. List below:

Cygnar Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Gravediggers

[Kraye 1] Captain Jeremiah Kraye [+28]

– Centurion [17]

– Centurion [17]

– Centurion [17]

– Centurion [17]

– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]

Captain Maxwell Finn [0(6)]

Trench Buster [5]

Trencher Master Gunner [4]

Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]

– Captain Jonas Murdoch [4]

Trencher Express Team [5]

Trencher Express Team [5]

I win the roll off and go first. Scenario is pit 2. Terrain has a forest in the centre of the table as well as a house on the edge if the left zone. I deploy symmetrically, with Witch in the centre; Behemoth, Rager and Juggernaut on the right; and the other jacks on the left. Andy deploys his battlegroup centrally with an express team fairly close in on either flank, A&H and the master gunner on the right and Finn with Buster on the left.

The game is interesting overall. I get as far forward first turn as I can, getting out Re-construct and Wind Storm. He then comes forward with his Centurions, running and Polarity fielding, and brings his Express teams forward to shoot. The game then goes back and forth, with me managing to kill his express teams and blunt his alpha. Eliminators on the left gum his lines up (and kill his Express team gunner on that side, whilst on the right an Eliminator manages to get into his back lines and murder the other. Behemoth shooting swings the match hard, with him crippling a Centurion in one round of shooting, between Curse and Take aim. We trade back and forth, but he only manages to kill 2 jacks over the whole game, and I win on scenario.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

Kraye is an interesting caster to play against. He has all this threat range extension and a fantastic set of tools, but for all that, he just doesn’t amplify his battlegroups output. He wants to play this game of keep away with Centurions, but in practice, even with a full allocation, a Centurion get 2 attacks if he does that (1 to charge, 1 to polarity and 1 bought), which is fine against lighter heavies, but against a Khador jack is simply not enough. Sure I can’t charge, but Witch’s output is such that I can fairly reasonably trample in and cripple a Centurion, between 2 jacks anyway. The threat range is kind of scary, especially from an assassination point of view, but Windstorm makes it hard for Kraye to get much use out of his feat.

Round 2:
Next round sees me paired against a local player, Chris Daker. We have played many times, and his pair is one I’ve seen a few times, Skarre 1 in DH and Denny 3 in BI. We have played the Zerkova / Skarre 1 match up, and it’s fine on slower scenarios, but we are playing Spread the Net this round, so I plump for Witch. He zigs to my zag and drops Skarre, which is a reasonably bad MU for him. His list below:

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Dark Host

[Skarre 1] Pirate Queen Skarre [+28]

– Nightwretch [7]

– Stalker [8]

– Stalker [8]

– Stalker [8]

– Skarlock Thrall [0(4)]

Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]

Scrap Thrall (3) [2]

Bane Knights (max) [15]

Bane Knights (max) [15]

Bane Warriors (min) [10]

– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]

Wraith Engine [15]

Wraith Engine [15]

Chris wins the dice roll and goes first. Scenario is Spread the Net. Terrain has an obstruction just outside my zone, a house in the middle and a forest on my left flank, between my flag and his zone. He deploys Knights and a WE on either flank, warriors in the centre and the Stalkers fairly evenly spaced. I deploy Behemoth on the right, with the Spriggan and Kodiak, whilst on the left I deploy the other 3.

The game is very cagey to start. He moves everything forward and stays out of threat range. I put up re-construct, and put a jack into threat range of 2 stalkers, to try and bait feat, as well as drifting some AOEs with Behemoth and killing a random Knight. He runs his WE into my zone, staying out of Behemoth threat, and runs everything else. The other WE runs to the back of his zone, to stay out of Blind range. I end up killing some stuff, including a bunch of knights, but I don’t manage to score (I do Blind the WE in my zone. I stupidly don’t contest my flag well enough. He manages to score 3 the next turn, blowing his feat and taking the Marauder. My 3rd turn, I have plans to remove the WE in my zone, kill a bunch of Banes and score back 2, to stop him just scoring 2 and winning. Unfortunately, I fuck up my positioning with Witch and can’t see Behemoth to BC him. I end up conceding, as Chris just has to score 2 points now (I can’t score my zone without Behemoth removing the WE, and he can’t get there without BC).

Afterthoughts:

So this is a bad match up on paper for Chris. Behemoth and Witch make up a combo that just scares WE s away, between being able to blind one and trivially remove the other. I feel like literally any other scenario is much better for me, and that I should have recognised this and run Behemoth into my zone turn 1, to ensure he could clear anything he sent in. If the game goes on, I’m pretty certain I can grind it out, as I take all 3 stalkers, a Wraith Engine and a bunch of banes this turn, leaving him not a huge amount to actually kill my Jacks with. C’est la vie.

Round 3:

Last round of the day and I get paired against another club member, David McWilliams. He has Grymkin, with the usual Pat pairing of Dreamer/Witch. I know I’m getting Witch, and drop Zerkova. He does, in fact, drop Witch, and off we go. His list below:

Grymkin Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[Old Witch 3] Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper [+27]

– Cage Rager [14]

– Cage Rager [14]

– Crabbit [0(n/a)]

– Frightmare [9]

– Gorehound [6]

– Rattler [8]

– Rattler [8]

– Skin & Moans [15]

– Skin & Moans [15]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Death Knell [13]

I win the roll off and go second. Scenario is Recon 2. Terrain has a big house in the centre of the table, a forest on my side of the right zone, a wall by his flag and an acid pool by my flag. He deploys fairly skewed to the right, with Witch and the Death Knell central. I deploy symmetrically, with Demo Corp and Bombardiers in the centre and Shockies on the flanks.

This was a game I deserved to lose. He runs forward, I run forward, blocking off LOS with clouds. He moves up again, killing nothing and blinding nothing (everything is a bit far away). Because my positioning is terrible, he manages to get a shot on Zerkova with the Frightmare, but the dice fail him and at dice off 2, he does 2 damage and corrosion expires. I feat and then commit to killing 2 heavies, but I have massively underestimated how much I need to commit, coming up a box short on a Cage Rager and about half boxes on a Skin and Moans. I do manage to kill a gremlin swarm though. I position super badly though. He manages to kill all the stuff I sent in, as well as Ragman and passes turn. My next turn, the bad positioning continues, and although I manage to kill a gremlin swarm, rattler and the Frightmare, I have left Zerkova b2b with a Bombardier and within 9 inches of the Gorehound. He goes for it, knocking her down with 1 focus on her. The Gorehound goes in and at dice off 3, leaves Zerk on 2 boxes (terrible dice on Davids part). I manage to claw it back at this point, killing a Rager and Skin and moans, as well as finishing the death knell and his objective. From there, I grind down and win on scenario.

Afterthoughts:
I deserved to lose that game. Bad positioning, bad strategy, ugh. I should not have commited the turn I did, as I could have simply feated and got into a better position, maybe taking some shots at the Death Knell with the Bombardiers and killing Swarms. I need to remember that this Zerkova list kind of wants to play to turn 7, and is happy to wait for the perfect turn to commit.

That was the end of day one, with 2 more games the following day. I was stricken down with a cold, and as such, didn’t attend the meet up that night for drinks. Which turns out to have been a good thing, as hangovers had some attrition on the player count. Regardless, I turned up bright and early on Sunday, ready to play (if somewhat worse for wear from the cold).

Round 4:

First thing on Sunday morning, I get paired against _____ playing retribution. He has Vyros 2 in forges and 4Shade in Legions of Dawn. I decide to go for Zerkova, as I think he’ll go for Vyros, and whilst he can ignore the cloud wall, Vyros 2 doesn’t tend to do well into stuff that can trivially kill his jacks. He does drop Vyros and off we go. List below:

Retribution Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Forges of War

[Vyros 2] Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard [+27]

– Discordia [18]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Imperatus [20]

– Manticore [14]

– Manticore [14]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress [0(4)]

House Shyeel Arcanists [0(7)]

House Shyeel Arcanists [0(7)]

He wins the dice roll and goes first. Scenario is Standoff. Terrain has a building on the right side of the centre area, a forest in the left side of my zone, rubble on my side of the right and left zone. He deploys his heavies centrally, with Griffons on either flank. I deploy symmetrically, with shockies on the flanks and the other models centrally.

The game goes south for my opponent quickly. He runs everything forward turn 1, letting me get a really good turn 1 feat, so that I can position very aggressively the next turn. He chooses to jam 3 Griffons forward and feat, and over my next turn, he feat moves the 4th Griffon forward. I take all 4 griffons, getting a really good Ragman position. I realise towards the end of my 2nd turn that he still has a lot of guns and that Birds Eye makes it hard to hide, so Zerkova camps 4 and runs, getting to the back side of the right zone. He tries to grind back, managing to take a few MOW off of me, but over the next few turns, I grind him down to nothing, leaving him with just Vyros and a single Arcanist when I win on scenario.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

This was a much more even match up than it looks. My opponent fed me his Griffons, which was a mistake on his part, as he needs to be able to kill a lot of stuff after my feat turn. If he instead just contests his side of the zones, I probably have to play a much slower game, which he can grind out with guns and bring Discordia’s spray more into play. As it was, I was able to limit his effectiveness and grind through well.

Round 5:

Final round and I’m paired against Dan Price, a local player at the club who runs Legion. He has Anamag, Kallus and Saeryn. I find it somewhat interesting, due to Zerkova’s cloud wall being actually reasonably effective, but ended up going with Witch, due to her being pretty decent in the match up. He drops Anamag. List below:

Legion Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Primal Terrors

[Anamag 1] Anamag the Doom Feaster [+27]

– Golab [17]

– Neraph [12]

– Ammok the Truthbearer [4]

Spell Martyr [1]

Spell Martyr [1]

Spell Martyr [1]

Warmonger War Chief [0(5)]

Warmonger War Chief [0(5)]

Blighted Ogrun Warspears (max) [15]

– Warspear Chieftain [5]

Blighted Ogrun Warspears (max) [15]

– Warspear Chieftain [5]

Blighted Rotwings (max) [12]

Blighted Rotwings (max) [12]

Hellmouth [0(6)]

Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew [2]

I win the dice roll and go first. Scenario is Invasion. Terrain has a big house between the left and centre zone, a forest between the right and centre zones, an acid bath on the left zone and a wall on the far right. I deploy centrally, with Behemoth, the Rager, and Kodiak on the right; and the other 3 on the left. Dan refuses flank on the right, putting his birds on either side, his warspears left and centre and his beasts left and centre. The Hellmouth goes as far forward as he can get in the left zone.

The game goes back and forth somewhat. I run everything forward turn 1. He does the same. I manage to get Curse of Shadows onto the hellmouth 2nd turn and kill it with Eliminator charges, as well as shoving all my jacks into the centre and taking out one of his spell martyrs. I miss a blind gun shot, which means Dan gets to take my Spriggan fairly trivially. He manages to score 3 on the bottom of 2, but ends up trading the Neraph and a whole unit of Warspears (as well as his feat) for that and the Spriggan. I take all of that stuff turn 3 as well as jamming some jacks down his throat. I end up spending most of Behemoths activation that turn clearing my zone, as I pretty much have to score at least one. Dan’s next turn sees Golab flubbing a run on the maruader, leaving him swinging in the wind, as well as the Juggernaut taking a ton of damage but surviving. From there, I manage to grind Dan down, with him keeping ahead in score, but constantly trading attrition for that scenario lead. It ends with him clocking, and me ahead on scenario, as he rapidly runs out of anything that can contest my side of the board.

Afterthoughts:

This was kind of a messy game, in that there was a big scrum in the centre of the board and dice really determined the winner. It’s entirely possible that Dan wins here, if he gets the dice rolls he needs at the right time. The more I play Witch 2 into Primal Terrors, the more I think it’s a mildly advantaged match up for me. Dan’s anamag list is probably approaching the best possible Anamag list into Witch (best would likely replace the Warspears with Warmongers), and I still felt like I was in control of the game. Dan is something of an innovator with Legion though, so I rarely get to play into more standard builds. More testing required I think.

At the end of the event, I ended up coming 3rd with a 4-1 record. I’m reasonably happy with how my lists performed, and with my play (barring some unfortunate placement round 2). More and more, Witch seems to be solving the current meta of guns and heavy infantry. I had been pondering dropping her from the pairing, but I’m glad I haven’t.

For the Motherland!

Wow, this is super late. My only excuse is that I’ve been ill. I’ll be getting back to a more normal posting schedule next week.

 

Last week, I posted about the first 3 rounds of my UK nationals experience. This week, I’ll be looking at the latter 3 rounds, and where it all went wrong. 4th round, I got paired against Cole, a cryx player. He was running Terminus Ghost fleet, Skarre 1 Dark Host and something I can’t remember. I feel pretty reasonable about Witch into any of these, so I drop her (hoping to see Skarre or Terminus). He decides on Terminus and off we go.

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] The Ghost Fleet

[Terminus 1] Lich Lord Terminus [+27]

– Barathrum [15]

– Deathripper [6]

– Deathripper [6]

Agrimony, Crone of the Dying Strands [4]

Captain Rengrave [0(5)]

Hellslinger Phantom [0(7)]

Blackbane’s Ghost Raiders (min) [11]

Revenant Cannon Crew [0(5)]

Revenant Crew of the Atramentous (min) [9]

– Revenant Crew Rifleman (3) [6]

Revenant Crew of the Atramentous (min) [9]

– Revenant Crew Rifleman (3) [6]

Revenant Crew of the Atramentous (min) [9]

– Revenant Crew Rifleman (3) [6]

Wraith Engine [15]

He wins the roll off and goes second. Scenario was the Pit 2. Terrain had a big forest on my side of the right zone, a big forest in the centre and a trench on his side of the right zone. I deploy the Spriggan, Behemoth and Rager on the left, with the others on the right. He deploys Terminus centrally, and skews his pirates to the right, leaving Barathrum and a single unit on the left. The Wraith Engine goes on the right flank as well.

Turn 1:

I put out re-construct, Windstorm and 3 boundless charges turn 1, getting as far up the board as possible. The Marauder and Kodiak get as deep into the right forest as possible.

Cole moves everything up, spreading out and staying just out of my threat ranges. Malediction goes up.

Turn 2:

I decide to just stall for a turn here, and try to get some damage out on key pieces. Behemoth shoots at Rengrave in some rubble, missing twice put killing some random pirates as well as Blackbane himself. The Kodiak and Maruader position somewhat forward, to threaten the other side of the zone. The right hand eliminators position forward a bit, and Witch moves over to the right to blind the Wraith Engine and some dudes in front of it. On the left, the Spriggan runs to contest the zone, staying out of Barathrum’s threat range. The Elims also move up to contest and threaten his objective. The Elims on the right side charge in and kill a bunch of pirates (mostly as I’m not confident I can keep them alive with the Hellslinger nearby) Everything else moves around a bit.

Cory’s turn and he might as well throw some dudes forward. He charges my Kodiak with 4 pirates…. and leaves it on 8 boxes, as well as doing a bunch of damage to the objective. What? Black banes jam forward, getting a couple of charges off and doing a ton of damage. The hellslinger moves up and guns down both of the Elims, ending up with 1 soul. On the left side, the Pirates try to jam up the Spriggan, as well as an arc node running up for Terminus. Terminus hellfires one of the Elims down.

Turn 3:

So my opponents dice were on fire last turn, no big deal right. This turn, I ponder putting some damage on the Wraith Engine, with a Magic Combo smite from the Marauder. I opt not to due to being able to control it with Blind. Witch feats this turn, allocating out, reblinding the Wraith Engine and I get as much work as I can done. The Spriggan gets unjammed by the last remaining Eliminator and goes in on Barathrum, leaving him on 4 boxes. Behemoth finishes off Barathrum at range, and guns down a pocket of pirates. The rest of the jacks just kill as much as they can, getting some decent work done. Annoyingly, I am only short by 1 attack to clear the left zone.

Coles turn and his pirate waves replenish. He manages to kill the Marauder this turn, between Rengrave, 2 Pirates and ridiculous dice rolls (Rengrave doesn’t even take all of his attacks…). The Hellslinger moves up and guns down a bunch of mechanics, as well as finishing the objective. The Kodiak gets ignored, and the Juggernaut gets a bunch of damage put on him. He ends up taking a free strike from the Spriggan with his Arcnode, which hits but rolls badly for damage (I think I rolled a 4 on the dice). In the only bad dice of the turn for Cole, he hellfires a Forge Seer and leaves it on 1 box. The Spriggan gets charged by a bunch of pirates and takes a ton of damage (at dice off 10….), and he also chips in a bunch of damage to the Rager and Behemoth.

Turn 4:

Okay, 2 turns of ridiculous dice (I think his average on 3 dice was 15), game is still on. I can maybe clear the left zone this turn, I have the attacks I need and can manage it on reasonable dice. Once again, Witch blinds the Wraith Engine, as well as kicking some random pirates to death. She allocates out to the Spriggan. The Spriggan activates and manages to kill a bunch of pirates with blast damage, but completely whiffs on the arc node. The rager clears off Behemoth, who shoots at the Weapon crew contesting the zone, whiffing blast damage on 2 of them. I now definitely don’t have the attacks to clear the zone, and that’s pretty much game. I complete the rest of my turn, just missing out on finishing a whole unit of pirates due to more bad dice.

Cole’s dice continue to be mental. He finishes the Rager this turn, cripples the Spriggan and finishes the Kodiak. He also cleans up the last of my solos, getting both Forge Seers and Malakov. He ends up scoring 1 in the right zone, and I still have not scored 1.

Turn 5:

I have basically lost at this point. I carry on, getting Witch to blind the WE, taking control of Behemoth and the Rager after they activate. Once again, I fail to clear the left zone, coming up short by a single attack. I pass turn with Cole scoring in my turn.

On Cole’s turn, one of his first moves is to charge Witch with Rengrave. Through focus, his charge attack does 9 damage (dice off 9 on 3 dice), as he rolls triple 6s. At this point, I’ve just had enough and concede.

Afterthoughts:

That was probably the least fun game of Warmachine I have ever played, although not because of my opponent (Cole was a gentleman and a joy to play against). Warmachine is a dice based game, and these things happen sometimes, but I have never had a game with such a wild discrepancy between dice luck. My opponent was flinging pow 11 infantry into my arm 20 jacks and doing 6-7 damage a charge, meanwhile, I could not roll 7s on 3 dice. Ugh. But these things happen. Sometimes the dice tell you to get fucked, and other times you hard roll a 10 to win the game.

Round 5:

Round 4 ended the day, and after a nice evening of food, sleep and discussing Warmachine, I was back bright and early for round 5. Hilariously, I get paired against Christopher Clare, one of my clubmates. After a long gripe about how we always seem to play each other round 4 or 5 at UK nationals every year, we get down to the gritty details of list selection. He has Goreshade 4 and something that I can’t remember. I am reasonably certain he’s going to drop 4shade, so I decide to see if Zerkova can handle the grind. He does, in fact, drop 4shade and off we go.

Retribution Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Legions of Dawn

[Goreshade 4] Lord Ghyrrshyld, the Forgiven [+28]

– Chimera [8]

– Harpy [9]

– Harpy [9]

– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [0(4)]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Dawnguard Destor Thane [7]

Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir [0(4)]

House Shyeel Artificer [0(5)]

Dawnguard Destors (max) [20]

Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]

– Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [4]

Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]

  • Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [4]

Chris wins the roll off and goes 1st. Scenario was Spread the Net. Terrain had a perfect cloud bunker area on one side of the table with an acid bath in my zone. I opted for that side, as it had 2 forests covering most of the left side of the board. Chris deploys 4shade centrally, with a unit of Sentinels and a harpy on each side, with the Destors hard flanking along the right flank. I deploy symmetrically, with Bombardiers and Demo Corp in the centre, and Shockies on either side.

Turn 1:

Chris gets Dauntless Resolve out on the right unit of Sentinels, as well as putting out a couple of clouds and charging. Everything runs forward as far as they reasonably can. He gives me a couple of sentinels from either unit to try and get me to proc vengeance. The Destors continue hard flanking.

My turn and I have a couple of options. I can block out the gap between forests, or do a full cloud wall to the right of the central forest. I opt for the second, and run everything forward to behind the cloud wall. The Shockies on the left shield wall in front of the Bombardiers

Turn 2:

Chris has some restricted options, mainly due to the cloud wall. His left harpy takes a couple of shots into the Shockies, failing to kill over the 2 shots. He continues the hard flanking of the Destors, ending up near my zone and hugging the right board edge. The sentinels move forward and mini feat, staying as b2b as possible. The left flank tries to spread out to make it harder for Zerk to catch everything in feat. The Chimera runs up to the centre of the board, staying behind the forest. 4Shade puts some clouds up to make my LOS harder.

My turn and I have an interesting turn ahead. Zerkova goes first. She feats and hex blasts Dauntless off of the right unit of Sentinels and puts up Watcher. The Bombardiers aim and minifeat, getting the full 12 shots and leaving chris with about half a unit on the left and about 4 sentinels on the right. The Demo Corp get desperate pace and charge in, killing another Sentinel and the right hand Harpy. Shockies continue to shield wall, taking some pot shots and killing a couple of Sentinels, whilst on the left side, the Shockies charge, killing the Chimera and getting into his zone to contest. I contest on the right side with an Eliminator. I end up scoring 1 in my zone, due to Chris not contesting with his Destors.

Turn 3:

Chris makes a mistake at the start of his turn and vengeance moves his UA on the left unit into the feat (though he does manage to kill a shocktrooper with Vengeance attacks). Otherwise, he only really has the Destors who can do anything this turn. He ends up feating this turn, as well as getting 4shades -2 arm debuff onto the left hand Shock troopers. The Harpy on the left walks back out of feat and shoots down another Shock-trooper. On the right, the Destors charge, dinging up the Marauder a bit, as well as a Shock-trooper. The thane charges off the flag and kills the contesting Eliminator, repoing back onto the flag. He doesn’t get much more work done, other than killing the Demo Corp I sent in. He manages to clear his zone and flag, scoring 2.

My turn and the attrition game is going well. This turn, I manage to finish off most of the sentinels, leaving around 3 on the right side and 4 on the left. The Destors get taken down to 2 men. The rest of my force craps the bed on their dice, as I had the potential of knocking Chris completely out of the attrition game. On the left, the MOW kovnik is slowly marching through the forest to get to my flag, whilst also contesting. Zerkova stays on the left side of the board, keeping up a cloud bunker. I do manage to contest both zones and score a point this turn.

Turn 4:

4shade managed to get a bunch of souls last turn, and this turn Chris puts them to good use. He clears the contesting Shock trooper with vengeance moves. 4Shade activates and puts the -2 arm spell on the Spriggan, before blasting a bunch of boxes off of it with nukes. The remaining sentinels charge and finish off the Spriggan. On the right, Chris manages to kill quite a few MOW models between sentinels and his remaining solos. He manages to score 2 again, going 2 up.

This turn, I manage to finally clear enough. Zerkova finishes off the Sentinels in front of her, with a combination of sprays and her gun. The Bombardiers charge with a bit of desperate pace, managing to finish off most of the remaining infantry. On the right, I manage to finish off the Destors and solos. I score 1 this turn, but I don’t manage to contest his

Turn 5:

From here, the game swings back and forth, with neither of us really being able to contest our opposing zones. I manage to take the centre at the end of this turn, finishing off his last remaining contesting models (his Scyir and Arcanist). Chris manages to spell sling his way through quite a lot of MOW with 4shade, but I end up winning at the end of turn 7.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

This was an interesting match up. The cloud wall was better on my end, but Sentinels are actually quite good at killing MOW. The Bombardiers were worth their weight in gold in this match up, and I’m finding that they are pretty ridiculous with the UA and Zerkova, as they usually get a full mini feat turn.

Round 6:

Final round of the tournament, and I have the inestimable Paul Watson as my opponent. We played last year at UK nationals and had a great game. He has High Reclaimer, Amon and something I can’t remember. I decide that I’m dropping Witch, as we have played Witch/Amon before and it was fairly even, and the other match ups are better for me. He drops High Reclaimer, and off we go.

Protectorate Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Exemplar Interdiction

[High Reclaimer 1] The High Reclaimer [+32]

– Judicator [34]

Exemplar Bastion Seneschal [0(5)]

Knights Exemplar Seneschal [0(5)]

Knights Exemplar Seneschal [5]

Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]

– Dervish [7]

Vassal Mechanik [1]

Wrack [1]

Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

Exemplar Errants (max) [16]

– Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard [4]

Knights Exemplar [9]

– Knights Exemplar Officer [4]

Knights Exemplar [9]

– Knights Exemplar Officer [4]

Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard [9]

Paul wins the roll off and goes first. Scenario is Recon 2. Terrain has a big forest in the centre of Paul’s side of the table. My side has a wall and a trench on the left side of the table and some rubble on my right. I deploy with the Marauder, Kodiak and Rager on the right, and Behemoth, Juggernaut and Spriggan on the left. Paul deploys the Judicator to the right, with a unit of Exemplars on either flank and solos on the left. Errants AD in the forest.

Turn 1:

Paul runs everything forward, keeping his errants out of easy blast formation.

I run everything forward, putting up re-construct and wind storm. I forget about the errants threat range and run the Elims on the left as far up as they can go. Behemoth manages to gun down a couple of errants, and Witch blinds some other Errants. The other jacks run up as far as they can go, with the Kodiak standing in advance and spray range of the Judicator, with the Marauder just behind.

Turn 2:

Paul spends some time this turn trying to murder my left hand Eliminators. Between HOF, Eye of Menoth and advancing, he manages to get 3 rat 7 HOF shots on the 2 of them, needing 8s to hit. He manages to get 1, but misses the other one twice. He ends up just moving the Judicator up to outside the Marauders threat range and standing there. He moves a KES onto his flag and puts up some clouds to block off shots to that area of the board.

My turn and I’m kicking myself for letting those shots happen on the Elims. I decide this turn that I would really like to remove some solos. I charge the Eliminator into the back arc of the Bastion Seneschal and combo strike, leaving it on 4 boxes. I side step away, foolishly tanking a defensive strike, which he thankfully misses. The Spriggan moves up and drops a flare on the KES, being able to just get the AOE down at the back of the cloud. Behemoth stands still and aims, shooting twice, which kills the KES, Seneschal and UA of the Knights on that flank, followed by the second shot being shield guarded by one of Roven’s boys. On the right, I fling an Eliminator in to contest, and line the rest of my jacks up side by side, just outside of 10 inches of the Judicator. Witch blinds 3 Errants in the left zone and puts Windstorm back up on the big bubble.

Turn 3:

Paul spends this turn clearing his flag and not much else. He flings forward a screen of Errants, doing a bit of damage to my jacks. His Knights Exemplar, on the left, run forward positioning for next turn. The right Knights run forward as well. The Judicator moves back a bit, taking a spray on the one Eliminator in the zone. He runs his other KES forward to contest my flag. He clocks over scoring 2.

My turn and Paul has made a mistake. He’s forgotten the Marauder has a 12 inch threat, and left the Judicator within charge distance. I decide killing the Judicator is basically game, and start my turn planning to put as much into it as possible. The Marauder gets full focus and Witch allocates nothing. Witch feats first, filling all 3 jacks, blinding the blocking KES and BC the Juggernaut and Marauder. The Kodiak goes first, charging the KES and hitting it twice, throwing it out of contesting range of the flag and far away. It kills some random errants at the same time. The Marauder goes in and rolls terribly on damage (I think I rolled an 8 on my charge attack damage roll, on 4 dice). It leaves the Judicator on 19 boxes. I’m committed at this point, and between Behemoth and the Rager, I manage to put it down to 3 boxes. I probably should have shot Malakovs gun at the Judicator at this point, but opt to ensure I score a point (I rolled it after the game and roll the damage I need….). On the other side, I manage to get a Juggernaut through the cloud wall with some help from targeting flares, which kills the Dervish and KES on the flag. I pass turn having scored 1 and killed a load of Errants.

Turn 4:

Having failed to kill the Judicator, I have left Paul in a position to potentially win the game. He is 1 point up, and needs to score 4 to win. To do so, he has to kill the Marauder, Juggernaut, an Eliminator, contest my Flag and kill my Objective. He decides that he is too far down on attrition (this turn he has no jacks in range of his Knights Exemplar, other than the Juggernaut) to come back, and goes for it. He ends up managing, though it requires him using his feat to bring back 6 Errants to tank enough free strikes through self sac. He ends up winning 6-1.

Afterthoughts:

Sometimes the dice just say no. Afterwards we calculated the odds of the Judicator going down, and it was around 50% just with the Marauder going in. With the additional shots, it jumps to 75%. I am pretty certain that it was the right play, as if it happens, then Paul has no possible way to score enough points to win, and I likely win the grind between Behemoth shooting and still having at least 3 jacks at the end of his next turn. There were some things I could have done, such as getting the Kodiak into the right zone when he threw the KES, but overall, I’m pretty happy with that game. The dice said no, and my opponent took the best out he could.

At the end of the tournament, I ended up going 4-2, which I’m reasonably happy with. One loss was very close and the other was the most severe dicing I have ever experienced. Despite this, I had a blast playing all of my opponents, and would definitely attend next year.

For the Motherland!

Next week, I’ll be posting an abbreviated tournament report for the Powerfist Winter Cup, which occured last weekend (spoilers: I did pretty well).

UK Nationals Report

So UK nationals happened last weekend. It ended up being 6 rounds, and was a 3 list, D&C 0 event, with no actual requirements to bring more than 1 list. I travelled up on the Friday night, with an aim to play some practice games on the Friday night. The reason for this desire for practice is due to what I discussed last week, namely that I have moved away from Strakhov 2 and am looking at what Armoured Corp can offer to a balanced list pairing. With that in mind, I ended up taking Zerkova 1 AC, Witch 2 Jaws and Butcher 1 AC as my three list pair (though, spoilers, I never actually dropped Butcher). I probably would have taken Vlad 2 as my 3rd list, but I have pretty much decided that he wants some of the newer models to run his list (namely tankers and Dragos), and I don’t own them yet. Lists Below:

Round 1:

Hilariously, round 1 sees me paired against fellow Knights team member Mark David. We are mildly annoyed by this, but decide to just treat it as practice. We’ve been discussing list pairs, and he has Skarre 3 Slaughter fleet, Skarre 1 Dark Host, and something I don’t remember. He has no Lich 1 or satyxis, and I kind of want to see if Witch can actually play Skarre 3(windstorm screws that lists ranged potential) and that list laughs at seeing double Wraith Engine (Behemoth trivially kills one and the other can be blind the whole game), so down she goes. He drops Skarre 3 and off we go. List below:

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Slaughter Fleet Raiders

[Skarre 3] Skarre, Admiral of the Black Fleet [+27]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Satyxis Blood Priestess [0(4)]
Axiara Wraithblade [0(6)]
General Gerlak Slaughterborn [0(6)]
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (max) [11]
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (max) [11]
Black Ogrun Ironmongers [6]
Blighted Trollkin Marauders (max) [15]
– Jussika Bloodtongue [5]
Cephalyx Overlords [8]
Scharde Dirge Seers [6]

I win the roll off and opt to go first. Scenario is mirage. Terrain has a big forest in the centre, a wall on the edge of my zone, as well as some rubble on the right. I deploy fairly symmetrically, with the Maruader on the right side with Behemoth and the Rager, whilst the other 3 jacks go on the left. Mark deploys Skarre on the right flank (mostly due to a wall just outside his deployment zone forcing him to pick a side with her, I think), with BOPs on either flank and the Marauders in the centre.

Turn 1:

I debate casting windstorm, but even with boundless, I literally can’t get into his shot ranges with my jacks. I end up putting up Re-construct on the Kodiak, boundless charging 3 jacks and putting up the small windstorm for lolz. Everything charges/runs forward, with the left hand Elims getting to the wall on my zone. Redline goes up on the Marauder.

Mark spends his turn spreading out, leaving most of his non marauder models out of advance and shoot range of Behemoth. Draconic and dash go up, with Draconic being out on the Marauders, and Deceleration goes up, mostly due to muscle memory I think, as the only model in my list that gives a shit is Malakov. The BOPs spread out wide, flanking hard, and he offers me a few Marauders to get me to proc vengeance (though he gives me nothing that would be a useful blind cloud location.

Turn 2:

I spend some time pondering this turn. I end up deciding to just gently move up a bit. Behemoth gets focus and moves up, scattering an AOE onto his right flank. I end up killing a BOP and an Overlord, to basically no effect (stupid reinforcements), but I am now in aiming range of the objective. The rest of the jacks push up aggressively, staying out of threat range of the Slayers. I position the Marauder fairly aggressively to threaten Skarre, with him stood in the central forest out of LOS and threat of most things. The Kodiak runs up to contest the central flag, also staying out of LOS. Witch moves up fairly far forward and pops Windstorm on the big bubble, before shooting a random marauder.

Mark gives me some random stuff this turn. He starts with Skarre, with Dash and Dark Waves going up. She ship streams a marauder round a forest before moving to the back of his zone. Dirge Seers go next, unblinding the blind marauder and one popping Vortex in front of Skarre. 3 Marauders with Draconic go in on the Spriggan, doing around 15 to it. He runs everything around, positioning fairly aggressively, with the BOPs on the flanks running further down, and the Overlords moving up to contest.

Turn 3:

I have 2 options this turn. I can either go for attrition or assassination. Since Mark is fairly ill and clearly not enjoying the game, I opt for the latter. Behemoth goes first, getting 2 focus and shooting Marks objective twice, killing the Dirge Seer and Marauder in front of it. I leave the objective on 4 boxes. Malakov moves up and double 1s the shot into the objective, leaving the Rager (previously cleared off by Eliminators), to shoot it and hard roll the 7 to kill it on damage. I now have to commit. Witch moves up and feats, getting within 12 inches of skarre. I shoot her, forgetting about sucker, which gets bounced to another lady. I hit Skarre with Curse of Shadows and then Scourge her for good measure, spiking damage and doing 5 after camp. The Marauder gets Boundless charge (he also got 2 focus from Malakov in control). At this point, preperations are as complete as they can be, so the Marauder goes in. He misses his charge attack, before hitting the second initial and cranking damage. He misses the first bought attack, and hits the second, cranking damage again and killing Skarre through camp.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

It was not the right play to go for assassination. After the game, I did the odds and it was only a 50/50. Instead, that turn I could have fairly trivially murdered most of the Marauders as well as a bunch of solos and 2 Slayers, all whilst keeping away from the BOPs. That leaves me in a much better attrition position and I can probably grind the game out. It was interesting however, and Skarre 3 is much less immortal than I imagined her to be.

Round 2:

Second round and I’m paired against Christopher Lindley. He has Khador, and is running Butcher 1 in Jaws, Vlad 1 in Wolves and Butcher 3 in WGK. This is kind of an eclectic mix, which bizarrely gives my pairing something of a head ache. I end up deciding to drop Witch, figuring it has the best odds into the triad as a whole. He drops Vlad, which is probably the worst drop for me, as his whole list threatens 13+ inches and it will be harder to keep Witch safe. Cést la vie.

Khador Army – 74 / 75 points
[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Vladimir 1] Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Prince [+28]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Marauder [11]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
Koldun Lord [0(4)]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [13]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [13]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [13]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [13]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [13]

Chris wins the roll off and goes first. Scenario was Invasion. I um and ah about which side, and end up picking the side with all the defensive terrain. The board has a forest in the centre of my deployment zone, with a trench on my left zone and a cloud in the centre. He deploys his jacks and Vlad centre, with the Doomies advance deploying in a big long line. I put Witch in the central forest, with Behe, the Rager and Kodiak on the right, and the other 3 jacks on the left.

Turn 1:

Chris flings his list up the board, running the Doomies as far forward as they can go.

My turn one and I have a lot of stuff to do. Chris has made some positioning errors and clumped up his Doomies. Behe takes a couple of shots, flubbing a bunch of blast damage rolls. Witch puts out Re-construct onto the Spriggan and shoots a group of Doom Reavers. The rest of the list moves up a bit, going into 13 inch threat range, but out of 11 inches. Eliminators hide behind the lines ready to un jam.

Turn 2:

Chris doesn’t have a lot of stuff in threat range this turn, though he has slightly more Doomies in threat than I wanted because Behemoth flubbed some rolls.He opts to fling a Doomie into Witch this turn, using the apparition move to get 1 into range. He puts up Signs and moves his jack bunker forward, camping 3. Doomies activate, and he charges the right flank in, crippling the Rager and doing 9 damage to Witch through camp. He jams the left flank forward, leaving a unit in reserve spread out in the left zone.

My turn and the Doomie coming in was kind of spooky. I start with the objective healing witch for 1. On the right side, the Kodiak tramples forward, over the Doomie engaging Witch and vents on 3 more, killing all 4. Eliminators on the right go and charge in deep, killing 4 doomies between them. The Rager runs into the zone. On the left flank, Elims charge and clear lanes for my jacks, killing another 3 Doomies. Witch moves away from the scary jacks (14 inch threat range, ugh), and does re-rolls, as well as Boundless charging the Juggernaut and Spriggan and blinding 2 random doomies. The Jacks go in, leaving Chris with 3 doomies. Malakov randomly shoots a Koldun Lord, and I pass turn scoring nothing.

Turn 3:

Chris sends the jacks in this turn. He loads them all up, between Vlad and forge seers, before signs goes up and the Jacks go in. He manages to kill the Kodiak, Rager and Marauder. The last couple of Doomies swing at some stuff, but fail to kill any Eliminators, and don’t do much damage to the jacks. He passes turn. Still no score.

My turn and I’m in a good position. I use my remaining Elims to clear out the last few doomies. Feat goes up, with both the Spriggan and the Juggernaut getting allocated to, as well as 3 boundless charges going up on the 3 jacks I have left. Behemoth goes in on the Juggernaut, killing it and putting a bunch of damage onto the Marauder as well. The Spriggan Bulldozes the other Juggernaut forward and manages to finish off the Marauder and the Juggernaut finishes the Juggernaut. I clear the right zone and score .

Turn 4:

The game is basically over at this point. Chris sends Vlad in with Blood of Kings and manages to do around half of Behemoths grid. He charges in his last remaining Forge Seer and dings a few points off the Spriggan. I score again.

My turn, and between everything I manage to kill every opposing model on the board, score 4 and win.

Afterthoughts:

This match up is much better than I initially thought. I think if Chris had been in less of a rush to get across the board and spent some more time on positioning he would have had a much greater impact with his Doomies. Having said that, the longer he waits to engage, the more Witch’s control elements come into play.

Round 3:

I get matched against Rob Henson. He’s running Cryx with Terminus Dark host, Skarre 1 and Gaspy 1. Gaspy 1 being on the table means that I can’t really run Witch, so Zerkova goes down. He drops Terminus and off we go.

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Dark Host

[Terminus 1] Lich Lord Terminus [+27]
– Barathrum [15]
– Desecrator [14]
– Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan [4]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Darragh Wrathe [9]
Machine Wraith [0(2)]
Bane Knights (max) [15]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Wraith Engine [15]

He wins the roll off and goes 1st. Scenario is Standoff. Terrain has a couple of forests in the centre of the board, an acid bath in my zone, as well as a wall in his zone and rubble on his side of the right zone. He deploys Terminus centrally, with Knights and riders on the left and Warriors and his Wraith Engine on the right. I deploy symmetrically, with the Marauder on the left flank and Spriggan on the right.

Turn 1:

Rob runs everything forward, getting as far up the board as he can, with Barathrum walking forward and digging in. He re-positions the Wraith Engine to the centre of his forces to try and get as much coverage as he can.

My first turn and I have some options. I opt to walk the Bombardiers forward and take some shots, managing to kill a few banes and shooting the gun off of his Desecrator. I put down several clouds with Zerkova, completely blocking off LOS to most of my army and staying out of his threat ranges elsewhere. Everything else moves forward and positions.
Turn 2:

Rob has basically nothing he can attack this turn. He opts to try and force the issue by running everything forward. Barathrum walks into the central forest and digs in, with Terminus just behind. The Wraith Engine runs over to the right flank.

My turn and I opt this turn to feat. Zerkova walks forward to just outside of 8 inches of Terminus. I make sure that I catch Darragh in the feat and put up Watcher. She manages to get a shot on to a Bane and arcs a Frost hammer that kills Madelyn and puts some damage on to Tartarus. The Bombardiers aim, mini feat and remove a ton of banes this turn, managing to kill most of the Knights, a couple of Riders and most of the Warriors. Ragman walks forward and bone shakers a Rider, which kills another Rider. The Shockies shield wall forward and the Jacks get as far forward as they can. I score 1.

Turn 3:

There is not a huge amount that Cole can do this turn. He moves some stuff forward, managing to kill a couple of Bombardiers with Knight. He walks his Riders forward and bounces off of the Shockies. On the right he runs the Wraith Engine into my zone, as it was out of my feat. He manages to kill the Elim that is contesting with Tartarus. He scores one.

My turn and it’s clean up time. The Spriggan gets full focus and the Marauder gets an extra one. Zerkova goes first, walking straight backwards and putting up 2 clouds in front of herself. Ragman moves up and death fields in a position that will reach the Spriggan, which goes next, missing it’s attack on the Wraith Engine, but managing to cripple Barathrum regardless. The Demo Corp go in and kill a bunch of Banes. The Marauder slams the Desecrator back, rolling badly on damage, but crippling it. The Shockies whiff on the Riders, leaving 1 alive whilst the other shockies shield wall and punch some Banes. The remaining Eliminator charges and kills Tartarus to the Box. Bombardiers clean up some banes and I pass turn.

Turn 4:

Attrition has pretty clearly swung at this point for Rob. He decides to play for assassination, running his remaining Rider and the Wraith Engine in to engage Zerkova. The Watcher move turns the Marauder around to face the Wraith Engine. Terminus backs off and kills the remaining Eliminator, and he moves some banes up to take a couple of swings on the Spriggan, failing to cripple anything. Barathrum only has movement left, but manages to leave the objective on 4 boxes, between his tusks and his claws.

My turn and I’m in a bit of a pickle. I up keep Watcher and allocate out to the Marauder. It also gets Magic weapons from the objective. Ragman moves back and pops death field, and the Marauder goes in and does a fully boosted combo smite. At dice +4 on 4 dice, I do 10 damage…… Sigh. I do manage to use the last focus to kill the engaging Rider though. I make a decision and Zerkova runs into the right hand zone, bubble wrapped by untouched shockies. I clear out everything else barring Darragh, the Desecrator (which got healed by his objective, and Terminus himself. I manage to contest with a Demo Corp and score 1.

Turn 5:

Rob has basically one option at this point: a very long shot assassination. He tanks a free strike from a Demo Corp with Terminus to assault spray Zerk and 2 shock troopers. He spikes damage massively, killing one of the Shockies at dice off 7, dealing 7 damage to Zerk after camp. The desecrator tanks a free strike with very few boxes left, and I double 1 the attack roll. It also spikes dice and leaves Zerk on 2 boxes (he had to kill the Shockie with spray to get LOS as well….. The Wraith Engine moves up, but has to kill a shockie to get LOS. The dice gods show their wrath, and he does about 2 damage across the 3 attacks. He concedes at the end of his turn, as Terminus has taken a ton of damage from the free strike and is stood in front of the rest of my army.

Victory for the Motherland!

Strategically bad dice made that match up much harder than it should have been. If the Spriggan and Marauder don’t fluff their attacks on the Wraith Engine, then it goes down pretty trivially. Hell, even if the Marauder does average damage (around 18 damage at dice +4), Zerkova can probably just finish it herself, between a charge and 4 focus at pow 13. As it was, I had to make the best of a bad situation and just run, as my main loss condition in that game is assassination. Sigh. Otherwise, this feels like a pretty good list into Cryx, though I may have to look at Wraith Engine solutions.

There was 1 more game on the Saturday, and as it turned out, just 2 the next day, so I’ll leave it there for now. Check in next week for my other 3 game.

Armoured Jack Boots:

So WTC is over, and we (by which I mean both England and my own team) did good. 3Th and 4th are pretty respectable finishes and I’m pretty happy with my play in general. Now though, we are into the new era. I’ve been playing the same pair for the better part of a year now, and have finally decided to try some new stuff out. That’s right boys and girls! Roberts playing something other than Witch 2/Strakhov 2 (cue shock and horror).

So lets get why out of the way first. The reasons for the shift are varied:

  • First of all, the fact of the matter is that the meta has shifted. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that I advocate a broad pair building strategy, primarily because I don’t think Khador can or should do the kind of power listing that the likes of Cygnar or Cryx do. And the fact of the matter is that Strakhov 2 is supposed to cover Cryx, and I’m not sure he can any more. With the advent of Slaughter fleet raiders and Skarre 3, as well as Denny 2 being somewhat on the rise (Denny 2 has possibly the best spell list in the game to deal with Pikes), Strakhov is looking at harder and harder matchs.
  • Second on the list is simple boredom. As I said, I’ve been playing this pair since last September, and I’m ready to try some other stuff. Armoured Corp is new and shiny, and I’ve been staring with longing eyes at the varied caster base that that theme can play well.
  • Third, is simply that Armoured Corp is strong. Really strong. I wanted to dive deeper into it than I ended up doing during the CID and after it officially dropped. However, WTC intervened, and I set my lists fairly early on, with my place on the team being as a broad drop to dig the team out of bad match ups. Due to this, I needed to practice as much as I could and take every opportunity to play different match ups that I could. Whelp, the WTC is passed, and my greedy, piggy little eyes are focused solely on seeing what these steam powered bois can do.

So with WTC over, and Nationals and a host of other events coming up, I’ve commited to trying out some Armoured Corp lists. Originally, I was going to drop both Witch and Strakhov, and simply try to build a new pairing from scratch. My experience at the WTC (where most opposing teams looked at my Witch list and had an…. interesting expression on their face), meta shifts (that list plays pretty well into Judicators and I think it can probably play Skarre 3) and recommendations from my team mates have convinced me to keep her in the rotation (it wasn’t that hard to be fair ;p). To that end, for this to be a reasonably successful pairing, I need my theoretical Armoured Corp list is going to need to cover Minions, Cryx, Circle (cuz screw playing slow heavy spam into Kruger 2), COC and Grymkin, all preferably without specifically teching most of the list for those factions (I’ve spoken at length about inherently strong lists before).

So that’s a tall order. Thankfully, Armoured Corp has some pretty ridiculous models and Khador has some great casters to exploit those models. So lets look at some lists to get us started:

Zerkova 1:

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Armored Corps

[Zerkova 1] Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova [+28]
– Marauder [11]
– Spriggan [17]
Man-O-War Kovnik [0(4)]
Ragman [4]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Man-O-War Bombardiers (max) [16]
– Man-O-War Bombardier Officer [0(5)]
Man-O-War Demolition Corps (max) [14]
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (max) [16]
– Man-O-War Shocktrooper Officer [0(4)]
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (max) [16]
– Man-O-War Shocktrooper Officer [4]

 

I’ve written a bit about her in Armoured Corp before. Jim Gradwell has had a lot of success with her in Legion of Steel (and that is a fantastic list, don’t get me wrong), but personally, I like the idea of her with a bunch of guns behind that cloud wall. It also has the advantage that the dudes behind said cloud wall are less vulnerable to some of the traditional counters to cloud walls, such as sprays, electro leaps, etc. Zerkova also brings a bunch of solves that Armoured Corp can get access to, but have to pay pretty heftily to get access to, such as Dispel from Hex Blast, Ghostly, shooting defence, etc. Because she doesn’t have to take those things (and we are particularly targeting Circle and Grymkin so we need access to dispel and pathfinder), we can spend those points shoring up other areas and playing to Armoured Corps strengths. To that end, I went for the full 4 units.

Double shock troopers are a nod towards helping out Zerkova, she simply can’t cover this many dudes without some lucky terrain, but Shockies care less about being shot on the way in and allows Zerkova some freedom to just cover the squishier Bombardiers and Demo corp in the centre.

Bombardiers are the core of the list. Their ranged damage output is such that they soften up heavies for the other units, and are deadly for hunting infantry and lights. The UA was a consideration to helping out Zerkova, due to their pathfinder, and with the aid of the cloud wall, the unit can often get a full unit worth of dual shot.

Demo Corp provide the anchor to the list. The list is aiming to play a long grindy game, contesting scenario lightly and using clouds and feat to force the enemy to come forward. At that point, the Demo Corp with their armour cracking capabilities combined with Ragman, should be able to remove the harder heavies in the game. Zerkova has some further synergies with crit fishing on Frost Hammer.

The Eliminators serve a dual role, both as contesting models and as un-jamming unit, being able to kill infantry or lights that are sent forward to gum up the tightly packed man o war. Contesting is a vital role within this list as well, allowing the list the room it needs on scenario to set up and a play the game it wants to play.

Ragman is a model I felt comfortable including due to Zerkova’s capabilities. Whilst the list does hit reasonably hard, it can sometimes struggle with the higher end of armour. Ragman helps with this, and is fairly easy to apply due to the amount of 2 inch reach, and easy to protect due to the number of sac pawn targets and the cloud wall. He also has the advantage into Grymkin of being unable to be ruined or vortexed.

Jack package was chosen with an eye to getting a couple of tools into the list. I would rather have a Juggernaut than a marauder (primarily because of the lulzy interaction with Watcher), but the Marauder does bring the slam, which can help to ensure the damage output of the rest of the list (especially against the likes of Warpwolves or Skin and Moans). The Spriggan is more of a note towards other cloud walls and stealth. Particularly into Grymkin, I need a solve for Gremlins, and a combination of stripping stealth, Boneshaker and potentially 15 inch hex blasts means that this list could reasonably kill 2 gremlins a turn, and maybe get more in theoretical dream scenarios. It also gives me some interesting game into opposing cloud walls, as they don’t tend to have great solves for opposing cloud walls.

Taken together then, this list should have game into all of my targeted match ups. I have the tools and feat to deal with Rask, the damage output and magic weapon solves for Grymkin, a decent list into Kruger that can probably play other circle lists (and might be a good solve for potential Tharn lists coming out). The one area where I feel unsure is into Cryx. Watch this space, more testing required.

Vlad 2:

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Armored Corps

[Vladimir 2] Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Champion [+27]
– Devastator [14]
– Kodiak [13]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [5]
Man-O-War Kovnik [4]
Man-O-War Strike Tanker [5]
Man-O-War Strike Tanker [5]
Man-O-War Suppression Tanker [0(6)]
Man-O-War Suppression Tanker [0(6)]
Kommandant Atanas Arconovich & Standard [7]
Man-O-War Bombardiers (max) [16]
– Man-O-War Bombardier Officer [5]
Man-O-War Demolition Corps (max) [14]
– Sergeant Dragos Dragadovich [0(6)]
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (min) [10]
– Man-O-War Shocktrooper Officer [4]

Where Zerkova 1 is looking to play a grindy denial game, Vlad 2 is looking for a more dynamic game. Vlad has very different strengths to Zerkova, having some pretty ludicrous damage and accuracy fixing, as well as good personal survivability and output. Where he falters a bit is in some of those tools that MOW really need to function. Thankfully, these are easily solved without compromising too much with models that bring other benefits to the list. In addition to these, he also brings some pretty ludicrous threat ranges, with the Demo Corp threatening 14 inches potentially. Wind Blast in particular is a reason to play Vlad in and of itself, bringing a hard solve for cloud walls (as well as some lulzy stuff that can be done with cloud based terrain) and some good, if hard to use, shooting protection.

Unit wise, I have not quite gone for the same weight as the Zerkova list, with more tools and individual models being present in the list. Max Demo Corp with UA feels like a basic part of any Vlad 2 list, brining a frankly ludicrous turn of damage and buff stacking. Between everything in the list, they can be mat 10, pow 19, boosted attack rolls, HOF, puppet master, crit stationary (with a good chance of criticals between everything) and shatter, meaning that they will smash heavies. It is not unrealistic to kill 2-3 heavies with that one unit on the feat turn. Afterwards, they are usually def 13, 15 to melee, arm 19 and sharing damage, making it very difficult to remove the unit.

The shockies are a nod towards scenario. This list wants to flank down one side of the board, and there is generally a zone on one side with a LOS blocker that the Shockies can stand behind. They can usually lock down a flank by themselves, as they are non trivial to remove, requiring quality attacks to remove quickly and easily.

Bombardiers are in the list to provide some ranged teeth. Between HOF, the units guns and the output from the Tankers, it is not unrealistic to remove heavies in a turn. In addition, they bring their own pathfinder and synergize well with Vlads other abilities (I killed a Slayer with a single Bombardier in melee in one of my test games, between HOF, feat and boosting from Vlad on that sweet sweet crit shred).

The Tankers are simply mental. Suppression tankers are a hard solve into a lot of Cryx, being great at dealing with Satyxis, Blighted troll kin and Banes, and have use in other areas as well. They are a bit specialised compared to the strike tanker, but are generally useful if only for being a bastard to remove and having bulldoze. Strike Tankers synergise really well with Vlad, being great feat targets. Their gun is always useful, and Grevious Wounds is a rule that Khador does not usually have access too. There are far worse uses of Vlads feat than to get a Strike Tanker to rat 11 aiming to hit that Skin and Moans in cover.

Atanas is necessary, quite frankly. The list needs some access to pathfinder, with relentless charge being the bare minimum that it needs. Thankfully, he brings some other useful abilities as well, with tough being useful and retaliatory being bonkers on some of the units during the feat turn. Tactician is by no means required, but always welcome. The Kovnik is self explanatory, who doesn’t want desperate pace.

Eilish is a match up nod. With so much of the lists damage output being tied up in 2 or 3 units, the last thing it can afford is to get stuck with a control upkeep, like rebuke or crippling grasp. This is probably the one tech choice in the list, with the silver lining being that puppet master is useful in any match up, as is having another magic attack.

Jack package is interesting. The Kodiak is a nod to Vlad’s lack of Pathfinder, as well as bringing some hilarious tech with the steam cloud. Specifically, Vlad can trigger Might of Kings from the steam, and not lose it as it is not an attack from a friendly model (same reason HR can’t gather souls from dudes being steam broiled). The Devastator comes from a desire for throw away scenario pieces that are difficult to remove. On top of this, it is a good Assail target, due to not wanting to make non slam/trample/headbutt attacks and open up.

Overall then, this list is going to be pretty good into cryx. Whilst there are no obvious solves for Wraith Engines, Vlad can kill one in a pinch and the list is quick enough that they probably have to commit anyway. Grymkin feels fine, with Circle being trickier, but also probably fine. Rask might be a bit more of a problem, with the list not having great solves for Dahlia (although the Demo Corp can threaten 11 inches without charging, and then boost off of vlad to simulate charging). Overall though, it feels like a great list that asks a very strong question that will be great into the meta.

 

So that’s my starting point for Armoured Corp. I’ve started with these 2 casters for a reason. Primarily, it’s because I think these 2 casters run armoured corp the best as an all comers list, presenting the broadest match ups. This comes with the caveat of Sorscha 3, (who Sven Dosch has proven the chops of at WTC solo masters), as I have very little play experience with her and as such don’t know if she presents that. Armoured Corp is a very flexible theme, and I’ll probably talk about other lists, such as with Butcher 1 or Irusk 1, but those casters are probably going to be running Armoured Corp in a particularly specialised way (respectively, as a punishing gunline and a big brick of denial and armour). Obviously, these are not the only way to build these casters either, being more representative of my particular tastes (I have a real crush on Bombardiers right now).

Next week will probably be a tourney rep for UK nationals, though depending on my mood, I might just talk more about list building.

For the Motherland

Cheers to Jon “Oh god, Not the Barry!” Williams for proof reading. Check out his blog at http://tobarry.blogspot.co.uk.

 

WTC Report 2!

Quick aside before I start. I’ve tried for the last year or so to post on a Friday/Saturday. This was mostly because I was usually on late shifts at work later in the week and late shifts are boring as hell. With my new career of teacher training (woot!) I’m finding that i have less free time to write during the week. So I’ll be shifting to posting on a Saturday/Sunday when I have more time to write. Don’t worry, my pointless rambling isn’t going anywhere!

Day 2 of the WTC and the team has picked itself back up. We’re no longer in the contention for 1st, but we are determined not to do any worse than 5-1, and possibly to pick up 3th!

A quick reminder of my lists for those of you just joining us.

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Legion of Steel

[Strakhov 2] Assault Kommander Strakhov [+22]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Rager [10]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [5]
Iron Fang Kovnik [0(4)]
Kapitan Sofya Skirova [0(5)]
Uhlan Kovnik Markov [7]
Great Bears of the Gallowswood [9]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [0(4)]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

[Old Witch 2] Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper [+27]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Kodiak [13]
– Spriggan [17]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Behemoth [25]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Rager [10]
Kovnik Andrei Malakov [0(4)]
– Marauder [11]
Battle Mechaniks (min) [3]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]

After a hearty breakfast and some team dojo, it’s down to the hall for round 4. We are paired vs Italy Mario this round, and head on over. The teams meet, and we hash out the pairing process. I end up into Skorne, played by Danielle. He has Rasheth and Xerxis 2. It really doesn’t matter which he drops to me, as I’m dropping Witch either way. He drops Rasheth, and off we go. His list below:

Skorne Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Winds of Death

[Rasheth 1] Dominar Rasheth [+28]
– Agonizer [6]
– Archidon [10]
– Titan Sentry [15]
Extoller Soulward [3]
Extoller Soulward [3]
Mortitheurge Willbreaker [0(4)]
Venator Dakar [0(4)]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]
Venator Flayer Cannon Crew [0(5)]
Venator Reivers (max) [15]
– Venator Reiver Officer & Standard [4]
Venator Slingers (min) [8]
Siege Animantarax [17]
Siege Animantarax [17]

He wins the roll off and goes first. I pick the more open side of the table. Scenario was Pit 2. Terrain has 2 big forests and a flaming cloud across his deployment zone (if I win deployment I probably still go second because I want no part of that shit). My side has a wall and a big hill. He deploys the derps centrally, with the Reivers flanking hard on the left. Rasheth sets up smack bang in the centre with the Sentry and Agoniser, whilst the Archidon and Flayer cannon flank right. I put Behemoth on my left flank with the Kodiak and Marauder. The other 3 go on the right. He ADs the slingers centrally.

Turn 1:

He runs everything pretty far forward. He makes a slight error with his fury management, and only advances the Agoniser as a result.

My turn and I have kind of an issue. I can’t really move forward without being in shot range of the turtles. I end up having to make a choice with Witch, either I put out Re-construct and stay in the kill box, which doesn’t get my Windstorm out far enough, or I camp 4 and stand in range of 1 turtle. I opt for the latter, as I have to force him to commit to play this game. I manage to kill 2 slingers with Behemoth shots, and everything moves up. I deliberately put the Spriggan further forward than the others, in charge range of the first turtle (he manages to trample and shoot down a slinger though because dual attack is the tits). I mess up a bit though, and don’t position the others as well as I should have. The Eliminators (who both deployed on the left flank) run up to threaten the Reivers.

Turn 2:

Danielle spends a fair amount of time pondering here. He decides to hang back with the turtles and see how much damage he can get on the Spriggan. He runs a Slinger up and blood marks the Spriggan. He also runs a reiver up and arcs a nuke to kill an Eliminator. The turtles trample sideways to max range away from the Spriggan (7 inches under windstorm), and put some shots in, doing negligible damage. Everything else is just a bit too far away to make any attacks. He runs the sentry up near to one turtle, and the agoniser wails and runs, doing -2 str.

My turn and I have an opportunity here. After some careful measurements, I determine that the Spriggan can charge the Turtle closest to it (not surprising), without being in the Gnawing Pain aura (very surprising). I spend some time thinking about it and end up feating. I get boundless, windstorm and curse out onto their appropriate targets and fill the Spriggan with focus. Behemoth gets 2 focus. The Spriggan charges, leaving the turtle on 1 box, which Behemoth then shoots (was even able to aim). The first shot gets shield guarded to the Sentry (who takes 8) and the second shot finishes the turtle. I run everything else forward, staying out of charge range of the Sentry with most things. The Kodiak runs into his zone and the Eliminators hang back. No score.

Turn 3:

Danielle is a bit thrown by the turtle dying. He starts off with the Archidon. He enrages it and gives it a free charge. It ends up whiffing it’s charge attack and leaves the Spriggan standing, failing to sprint away. He then moves up with the Turtle and finishes off the Spriggan and kills my objective. Rasheth feats and nukes another eliminator.  The reivers mini feat and shoot the Kodiak, which gets shield guarded and does no damage. The Sentry goes in without enrage and fails to kill the Kodiak. He scores 2.

My turn and scenario is getting concerning. As long as I contest and have a big attrition swing this turn, I should be fine. I am wishing I had feat, but suck it up. The Kodiak has just cortex left, and the Mechanics are on the other side of the field. I allocate to the Juggernaut and Malakov allocates to the Marauder. It’s at this point that I run into a small issue. I can’t realistically get redline onto the maruader (which I didn’t put up first turn because I assumed I’d get a chance later and didn’t want chip damage into Rasheth). Malakov can walk up and get it onto the Marauder…. and then immediately die next turn to a hail of spells. I only have this revelation after witches activation. Due to this, the Juggernaut gets boundless charge, Windstorm and re-construct goes up. I go for a blind on the Archidon and miss, having no focus to boost (with reiver mini feat and feat gone, there is a pretty compelling argument for double boundless, boost the shot and camp 2). The juggernaut goes in on the Archidon and at a minus 4 strength swing, comes up short by a box.  Behemoth shoots the Sentry twice, doing a bunch more damage, and the Elims go in in the back arc to do some more. The marauder goes in and just comes up short. I pass turn after contesting with a mechanic.

Turn 4:

Danielle cleans up somewhat this turn. He manages to kill the juggernaut this turn, though it takes him almost every combat activation to do so. He finishes the Kodiak off and re-positions some stuff, killing the contesting mechanic. He scores one.

From here, the game devolves fairly quickly. I finish off the Archidon and Sentry, and end up managing to kill the objective and score. I can probably grind it out from here, but I end up running out of time.

Afterthoughts:

If I put redline out from the start of the game, I likely win this game. I recognised the potential for Rasheth to kill Malakov early on and hide him effectively. Having recognised that though, the first jack in the trade should have been the Marauder. I realistically can’t get more than one decent activation out of him without risking Malakov. Equally, if it’s the Marauder going in on that turtle, I can probably kill it without Behemoth shots and start doing a number on his other turtle. Equally, whilst my actual play was reasonably fast, I really need to plan faster. C’est la vie. The team ended up winning the round, and we advance onwards.

Round 5:

After lunch we get paired against Canada Moose. The pairing process happens and I end up with Joshua Crowe, who is rocking a Skorne pairing without Rasheth! Le shock! Instead he has a fairly interesting Morghoul 2 list paired with Zaadesh. I decide that I should probably drop Witch due to turtles and cloud walls, and get Morghoul in response. List below:

Skorne Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Disciples of Agony

[Morghoul 2] Lord Assassin Morghoul [+29]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Boneswarm [7]
– Boneswarm [7]
Bog Trog Mist Speaker [4]
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor [0(4)]
Paingiver Task Master [0(3)]
Paingiver Task Master [0(3)]
Bog Trog Ambushers (min) [8]
Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron [5]
Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron [5]
Farrow Brigands (max) [15]
– Farrow Brigand Warlord [4]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers [10]
Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers [10]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]

I lose the roll off and go second. I pick the more open side. Scenario was Standoff. Terrain had a bunch of rubble on his side of the board, a big house in the centre and a couple of ponds on either side of the zones. Josh deploys fairly symmetrically, with brigands centrally, shamblers, bone swarms and Cauldrons on either side and Morghoul in the centre. I deploy centrally, with Behemoth, Marauder and Rager on the right and the other 3 jacks on the left.

Turn 1:

Josh runs everything forward, keeping out of direct shot range of Behemoth. Brigands dig in, and Morghoul gets Shadow Play out on himself. The pots give some corpses to the Bokurs.

My turn and I start by scattering some AOEs from Behemoth. I get a decent scatter and kill a Handler, a zombie and damage a swarm. Everything stays out of threat range. I put up Windstorm and put out Re-construct. I make a point of positioning Behemoth behind 2 other jacks so that feat doesn’t catch him.

Turn 2:

Josh runs everything forward this turn. Brigands dig in again and the Shamblers spread out to contest my zone. He Morghoul up to right behind the central building. Boneswarms position themselves on the edge of either zone. He fills up both boneswarms with corpses.

My turn and I have kind of an interesting turn planned. I allocate to the Kodiak. The Rager goes and moves into the zone, punching a couple of zombies. The eliminators on the right charge and stab a bunch of zombies  to death. Behemoth shoots the Bokur twice, proccing tough twice (which he passes the bastard!). Witch does cheaper spells  and toes the very back of the zone, staying 11.1 inches away from the back of the central house. She puts up BC on an Eliminator and the Kodiak, puts up windstorm and boosts a blind gun at a random zombie, catching a number of zombies and tightening the area the brigands can move through. The left elims charge, killing 3 zombies and the Master Tormentor, before the Kodiak charges and misses 2 attacks on the Boneswarm, leaving it on 2 boxes. The Juggernaut goes into the left zone, punching a random zombie. The Spriggan charges across the central objective, killing the last 2 zombies in my zone. I score 1, and Josh does not.

Turn 3:

Josh gets excited at the start of his turn. He thinks I have messed up and am in threat range, but some careful measurement shows that I am just out (as I measured). He upkeeps Shadow play, moves Morghoul up to the right edge of the house, heals the boneswarm for 2 and feats, catching Witch, 4 jacks (Spriggan, Kodiak, Rager and Marauder) as well as both Eliminators on that side. He puts out +2 strength on both the Ambushers and the left hand Bokur. Rage gets put up on the right boneswarm and the pot drags in the Rager. It dies to the Bone Swarm and the Ambushers go in with a combined melee on the blind Elim, killing her. On the left flank, the Bokur goes in on the Kodiak and leaves it on a few boxes, with the Boneswarm finishing it. He contests my zone with more shamblers, leaving the right bokur in the charge lane to Morghoul. The Brigands run around to the left side of the house, contesting and forming a barrier between the Bokur and juggernaut. He runs his Valkyries to form a pork barrier between Morghoul and my jacks, and ends his turn scoring 2.

My turn and I’m fairly certain I can kill morghoul. I can probably still grind this out, but 2 heavies onto a warlock that I can blind is pretty good odds of a kill. Everything that can shakes blind and Malakov allocates out to the Marauder. Witch goes and feats, moving sideways. I blind the central Valkyrie, and Josh has mistakenly put all 3 in the blast radius of the cloud, meaning that I blind all 3 pigs and Morghoul. She then scourges the central pig, knocking all 3 down (no shield guard for you!). She fully allocates to the Spriggan (spending 2 to fill it up) and puts up BC on it. Behemoth gets 2 focus and blasts them, killing the front 2 and forcing a tough on the Bokur (who is just in front). Second shot kills the bokur. The lone eliminator (who hilariously is blind), walks out of the way. Malkov shoots one of the zombies in the way and casts redline on the Marauder. A random mechanic clubs a zombie to death as well. The Spriggan takes it’s charge, getting distance past the house by bulldozing the last remaining Valkyrie. A charge attack, 2 shots and 3 bought attacks at dice plus 4 and I’ve burned through all Morghouls transfers (killing the Wrastler at the same time) and left morghoul on 1 box. The Marauder goes, but can’t get distance to get past the house. I boost the first inital, needing a 7 and miss. I boost the second and hit, killing Morghoul.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

That list hits like a truck! I think I win the grind eventually (i kill a fuck ton of infantry in my turn) and Witch can back the fuck off from dying. This game illustrates just how powerful a support caster Witch is though. Morghoul is steady, has high defence behind a bunch of models and was sitting on 3 transfers, and I still managed to get 2 fully loaded heavies onto him. She can do this to pretty much anything as well, on a turn by turn basis. So good! In the aftermath, Knights end up winning the round.

Round 6:

Final round and we’re 4-1 for the WTC. We end up paired against USA Rockerfeller, who are kind of terrifying (JVM, Puryear, etc). We head on over and do the match up process. Surprise surprise, I end up dropped into Menoth again (mostly because Witch is pretty good into Judicators). I’m matched against Puryear, who is running Harbinger and High Reclaimer. There are many Judicators and Harby here, so Witch goes down (despite some misgivings about playing into Bastions). He drops Harby, and off we go. List below:

https://conflictchamber.com/#c2201b_-0Em1lVmel-m07z3tlXlX2mbQm2

Protectorate Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Exemplar Interdiction

[Harbinger 1] The Harbinger of Menoth [+27]
– Judicator [34]
– Hierophant [0(3)]
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal [0(5)]
High Exemplar Gravus [8]
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord [4]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Exemplar Bastions (max) [15]
Exemplar Bastions (max) [15]
Exemplar Errants (max) [16]
– Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard [0(4)]
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard [9]

I lose the roll off and go first. Scenario was Spread the Net. Terrain has a big forest in Micheal’s side of the central zone, a pond by my objective and a set of ponds on the right flank. I deploy symmetrically, with Behemoth on the right flank with the Juggernaut and Rager, with the other 3 on the other side. Puryear deploys the Judicator on the left flank, with a unit of Bastions, and the other unit on the other flank. The Errants deploy centrally.

Turn 1:

I run everything forward, with Behemoth, the Spriggan and Juggernaut getting BC and Windstorm and Re-construct going out.

Puryear runs everything forward as well. He feats with Harby, as well as purifying Re-construct off.

Turn 2:

I have a bunch of dudes in my face and only some idea of what to do. He massively out-threats me, so I have some decisions to make. He has bunched his Bastions on either side up massively, and there are a bunch of Errants right in front of me. I come to a decision, forgetting that the Judicator gets Crusaders call as well as the infantry. I end up punching a few dudes this turn, proccing a few martyrdoms. The Jacks form a fence for Witch, with the Marauder, Spriggan, Rager and Juggernaut standing in front of Witch to stop Errants getting onto her. Witch moves up and blinds the right hand Bastions, catching 4 of the 5 and leaving the last behind the cloud. Windstorm goes up again and I camp aggressively, as I am technically in charge range of about 11 errants and a few Bastions. The kodiak flanks wide and stands 4 inches back from my flag. Behemoth shells the blind Bastions, doing a bunch of damage and forcing a few martyrdoms. The Elims position to clear off the jacks next turn.

Puryear sees an opportunity to swing attrition and goes for it. He allocates out to the Judicator. Harby goes and heals up, getting out crusaders call and moving forward somewhat. The Errants get tough from rhupert and charge. His dice go a bit crazy and he dings up the front row of jacks a little bit. The trend continues when the Bastions go in on the left flank of jacks, with 4 charges doing about 40 damage between the Marauder and Spriggan. The Judicator comes in and finishes off both jacks. He passes turn not scoring anything and everything else moving up.

Turn 3:

Last turn tilted me a bit. I hadn’t realised the Judicator could get in (I could have kept both jacks out of threat if I had), and was kind of hoping to grind through most of the Bastions this turn. Consequently, I take way too long with this turn. The one bright spot, is that Behemoth is within charge range of the Judicator. Witch goes first. She feats, allocating out to her 2 remaining jacks, cursing the right unit of Bastions and blinding them again (they’re still bunched up due to the forest being so big). She moves back to get out of Behemoths charge lane and Boundless charges him as well as the Kodiak. The Kodiak charges in on the Judicator, hitting it a couple of times and murdering the 2 bastions next to him (they are out of Martyrdom). Behemoth goes next, wrecking the Judicator with a focus to spare. The rest of the jacks go, with the Rager swinging 5 times  (3 initials, crush and a focus) and forcing 5 martyrdoms, followed by the Juggernaut forcing a bunch more. The elims on both side manage to actually kill some stuff, and clear my zone.

His turn, and he continues the grind. He just fails to kill Behemoth between the Bastions, and bounces off the Rager and Juggernaut. The Kodiak goes ignored. He manages to kill 2 of the Elims this turn. He gets a blind Bastion into my zone to contest and passes turn with no score.

Turn 4:

Grinding continues this turn, with the remaining Elims earning their keep. One of them gets into the back arc of the right hand bastions, forcing 2 martyrdoms. Witch herself charges a Bastion, kicking it to death and blinding the right flank again, before allocating out again with Power Magnifier and camping 3. The jacks continue murdering stuff, with the Kodiak managing to kill a couple bastions and unhorse gravus. I manage to clear my zone again.

This turn, Puryear goes in for the assassination. He manages to get 2 Bastions onto Witch, having to Martyr a free strike. He doesn’t quite do enough damage, leaving her on about 3 boxes when the dust settles. He gets Gravus to finish behemoth, and continues bouncing off the Rager with the Errants. He contests again.

Turn 5:

I have very little clock left this turn, but can maybe win. It depends on not showing my hand to early though. I am 2 points up and can score 3 potentially. I start going through the turn, starting with Witch, who kicks the Bastions to death, burning through a bunch of Harbies health and allocating out to her jacks again. Unfortunately, I fail the first hurdle and don’t boundless the Kodiak, which means the most I can score is 2. I get through the rest of my activation, forget to run Malakov to my flag, and, due to being short on clock and under pressure, make a sportsmanship error (I ship the clock to him, then ship it back without asking). That’s not up to my usual standard, and not how I like to play, so I concede immediately.

Afterthoughts:

Turn 2 really threw me this game. Losing that much that quickly was painful. If I play a bit faster I probably win though. The fact of the matter is that at the end of the game, I was 4 points up, with 1 fully healthy and 2 badly damaged jacks left, whilst my opponent has very little of his damage dealers left (I think when I conceded he had 2 bastions and a couple of Errants left). If I’m playing at my usual standard, I can probably just grind out to turn 7. But I wasn’t, and I think I made the correct call in conceding. Taking back the clock if your opponent lets you is one thing, but taking it back is not acceptable, especially not at the WTC!

At the end of the round, we won the round 3-2. At the final rankings, Team England Knights took home the 3th place trophy, which we were all thrilled with. My overall record for the WTC ended up being 2-4, but I like to think all of my games were close (and not just the ones I lost!). Importantly, I never felt outmatched or in a controlled position in any of my games. Hell, in most of my games, my opponent was generally surprised by the capabilities of what my lists could do!

The WTC was a fantastic event overall, and not just because my team and England in general had a good performance. Every game I had was incredibly difficult and every opponent was very skilled. At the same time, I can’t remember any events I have ever attended with kinder or more sportsmanlike players. Everyone I played against and talked to at the event was there to play, not just to win, and it really showed in the fantastically jovial atmosphere. It’s said a lot of Warmachine that it has a social contract , where the goal is for both players to come together and have an enjoyable and clean game. The WTC was an exemplar event in this regard for me. It was a privilege to attend, and I hope I can go back again next year.

Before I finish, I want to congratulate Austalia Flamin Galahs and Poland South for placing ahead of us, Sven Dosch for his sterling performance winning the Solo masters with Sorscha 3, and the event organisers for putting together such an exemplary event. Great Job guys!

For the Motherland!

Thanks to Jon “It was the best of Barrys, it was the worst of Barrys” for proof reading of this post. Check out his blog at http://tobarry.blogspot.co.uk.

 

WTC Report Part 1!

So the news is in! Australia won the WTC, followed by Poland South in 2nd and…. England Knights in 3th! Wooo! We were incredibly pleased with the result, only losing to the Australians (eventual winners). Other shout outs of note are Sven Dosch, who won the Solo Masters with Sorscha 3, and England Lions, who placed 4th. An incredible showing for England, and an incredible showing for the faction. The 1st, 3rd and 4th placing teams all had Khador players, and a Khador player won the Solo Masters! For the Motherland.

Today, I’m gonna report on the first day of the WTC, and the games I played. Before that though, I really want to talk a bit about the atmosphere there. I’ve been to a bunch of tournaments and conventions over the years, but none of them quite measure up to the WTC. It was a jovial atmosphere, filled with drinking and laughing. The sportsmanship was impeccable as well. I have never played harder games of Warmachine than at the WTC, but they were also some of the most enjoyable games of my Warmachine career, against some of the friendliest gentlemen (and ladies) that I have ever had the pleasure to call opponents. The WTC organisers did a fantastic job and deserve all the praise that can be heaped over them. If I get the privilege to attend again next year, I will absolutely jump on it. Anyway, enough of the hype, lets leap into the games.

As a preface to the games, I wanted to talk a bit about the tactics my team and I were employing. Our team was made up of Grymkin, Cygnar, Cryx, Menoth and Khador, and we agreed that it would be useful for the pairing process if we had a player that had as broad a pairing as possible. I took that role, as I genuinely feel that my current pairing (the one I’ve been banging on for the last year about) has at least an even match up into most pairings in the game. The result of this was that I usually took match ups that my team did not want to see, resulting in very hard games. I ended up with a 2-4 record, which is not great, but that allowed the rest of my team to get better match ups. All the games I played over the weekend were incredibly close, usually coming down to the last turns/seconds/dice rolls, and every single game could have been different with a very minor change.

Anyway, here are the lists:

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Legion of Steel

[Strakhov 2] Assault Kommander Strakhov [+22]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Rager [10]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [5]
Iron Fang Kovnik [0(4)]
Kapitan Sofya Skirova [0(5)]
Uhlan Kovnik Markov [7]
Great Bears of the Gallowswood [9]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [0(4)]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

[Old Witch 2] Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper [+27]
– Juggernaut [13]
– Kodiak [13]
– Spriggan [17]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Behemoth [25]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Rager [10]
Kovnik Andrei Malakov [0(4)]
– Marauder [11]
Battle Mechaniks (min) [3]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]

Round 1: Norway Hugin

First round and we get one of the harder teams, Norway Hugin. The pairing process goes down and I end up with Cryx, run by Tom Kenneth Solli. He has Denny 2 in Dark Host and Gaspy 3 in Black Industries, which means Strakhov is going in. He picks Denny 2, which is fine. His list below:

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Dark Host

[Deneghra 2] Wraith Witch Deneghra [+28]
– Deathripper [6]
– Nightwretch [7]
– Stalker [8]
– Stalker [8]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Darragh Wrathe [9]
Machine Wraith [2]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Cephalyx Overlords [8]
Wraith Engine [15]

I lose the roll off and go first. Scenario is Mirage. Terrain has a big house in the centre of the board, a pond between my zone and his flag and a wall to the right of my flag. I deploy symmetrically, with Strak on the left flank with the Juggernaut and the Rager on the right. Tom deploys riders on the right, wraith engine on the left and a unit of Warriors on each side.

Turn 1:

I run forward, with the right flank getting quicken and the centre getting Inviolable. The centre just shield wall, spreading out to avoid venoms. The flanks stay away from arc nodes to avoid hellmouths.

Toms turn and he starts by running an arc node forward. He arcs 2 breath stealers through onto the centre and left unit, before throwing out a venom that corrodes one pike. He runs the Wraith Engine and a single Bane Rider forward and keeps the rest of his stuff at range.

Turn 2:

I start the turn by making a pikeman magical (lets call him Bob). I upkeep both spells and start moving stuff. On the right flank, charge and kill the offered Bane Rider before reforming the Pikes towards the centre. Sofia runs and gets next to the centre objective, before the front line of dudes charge and fail to kill the arc node (though they take off the arc node), before reforming backwards a bit with mini feat. Strakhov casts Last Stand on the left Pikes and takes some shots on the arc node, still failing to kill.  Feat goes up as well, before he reforms back to stay the hell away from Denny. The left unit get Puppet Master and charge the Wraith Engine. I get 6 in despite breath stealer and Bob leads a big CMA, dealing 17 damage with a single blow (way to go Bob), before dying gloriously. The rest of the unit reform sideways to get into feat. The rest of the army runs forward, getting the counter chargers well positioned and running my Juggernaut forward to block a landing space for the WE to get to my objective.

Tom spends some time thinking. He ends up charging some stuff in, with the Banes going first with a little help from Death Ride. They go in and a couple of them die to counter charges (one goes in on the Great Bears and toughs, blocking a landing spot for any others). I end up losing a couple of pikes, but not much. The Wraith Engine goes in, rolling terribly and putting about 7 damage on the Juggernaut, before double 1ing an attack on a pike. A Stalker goes in a kills a bear, before failing to kill Sofia, and a Rider goes in on the 2 pikes that killed his friend, killing them both. He shuffles some other stuff around and feat goes up, making the Wraith Engine, a Bane and Stalker in my zone and some other models Incorp. He runs his machine wraith to contest my flag, staying out of range of Strak or Eilish. He scores 2.

Turn 3:

I have to score at least 1 this turn. Attrition wise I’m up and if I can clear the zone, I’ve probably won the game. Thankfully, I have just enough in the way of Magic Weapons to achieve this. I make the Juggernaut Magical and allocate 1 to it, before dropping all my spells barring Quicken. Sofia vengeances forward, finishing off the wounded arc node from last turn. The Juggernaut finishes the WE (5s to hit, 8s to kill boosted is pretty reasonable. The 2 central units of pikes go next, killing banes to get out of the way. 2 models left in the zone (stalker and Bane) Strakhov goes in on the Stalker, killing it with initials and 2 bought attacks, before trying for a lock the target on the last bane, which doesn’t damage. Eilish moves up and hits the boosted 5, killing the bane…. but it toughs. Time for plan B. Sofia charges his objective…. and rolls well below average, doing about 3 points of damage. The only pike in range charges as well and fails to finish it. Le sigh. I score nothing.

My opponent just has to kill my objective and teleport Sofia out of the zone with Denny. I don’t make him go through all the motions (he has to clear out some space to achieve some these things), though I do make him roll the dice to see if he actually kills the objective (it takes every attack from the stalker, but he manages). He goes to 5 and wins.

Afterthoughts:

If I score even 1 here, I think I pretty trivially win. I was up on time and attrition. I lose tons of pikes next turn, but at that point he’s lost a flank, and I probably grind it down. I realised after the game that I could have tried for a crit knockdown with Markov on the Bane that toughed, as you can still apply on hit effects to incorp models, but that’s not totally reliable and probably gives me a worse next turn anyway. Sometimes things really do come down to a dice roll and you lose. The important thing is that the team ended up winning the round 3-2 and that my match was super close.

Round 2:

We get paired against the French this round. I get matched against Sebastian Jeoffrey, who is running Protectorate with Amon and Harbinger. I’ve written before that this pairing feels hard for my current lists, but have since revised that opinion after putting Malakov into my Witch list. He drops Amon, and Witch goes down, so off we go. As an aside, this game can be found on the WTC stream. I’ll link it at the bottom of the article.

Protectorate Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Amon 1] High Allegiant Amon Ad-Raza [+29]
– Crusader [10]
– Crusader [10]
– Crusader [10]
– Crusader [10]
– Dervish [7]
– Dervish [7]
– Indictor [14]
– Indictor [14]
– Hierophant [0(3)]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Vigilant [9]
The Covenant of Menoth [0(4)]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal of Menoth [3]
Vassal of Menoth [3]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

I lose the roll off and go second. Scenario is Invasion. Terrain has a big house on his left flank, a wall on my right flank, and not much else of impact. He deploys in a line in the centre, with Indictors on either flank. I deploy Witch centrally, with Behemoth, Marauder Juggernaut and Kodiak on the right, and the other 2 on the left.

Turn 1:

Sebastian flings everything across the board. Fortify goes up on the left indictor from theme benefit. Mobility goes up and everything runs.

My turn and I have not very much to do. I don’t really want to run forward too far, so Behemoth scatters some shots, doing nothing much at all. Everything else moves forward, with Redline and Re-construct going up. I stay out of threat range.

Turn 2:

My opponent spends some time measuring out runs from the Indictors. I gather pretty quickly that his end goal is getting both Indictors within 6 of Malakov and Witch so I can’t upkeep and have to move back to cast spells…. Which is probably what I was going to do any way I guess? He runs everything forward, getting enliven on both Indictors and positions his Crusaders aggressively for the next turn.

My turn and I’m in the perfect position for a great feat turn. I can’t upkeep so everything drops. Malakov allocates 2. I do some shuffling of stuff in the back field to make way for Witch, getting Mechanics and Forge Seers out of the way, as well as 2 focus onto Behemoth. Witch goes and shuffles over to behind my line of jacks, out of the kill box. She feats and fills all 3 jacks, before putting out 4 boundless charges and camping 0. The left Eliminators charge the left hand Indictor in the back, bracketing it and triggering Enliven with a combo strike. It has to move forward, and does so to deny the second combo strike. Behemoth then moves, charging and murdering that Indictor. The Spriggan manages a line to one of the back Crusaders, doing most of its boxes, but only crippling left arm. The Kodiak hits the Crusader engaging it twice, before throwing it at the other Indictor, knocking it and a Dervish down. The Juggernaut goes in and finishes the knocked down Crusader and Dervish, whilst Malakov moves back a bit and gets redline onto his marauder. The Marauder walks behind the Indictor and murders it. The other set of elims charge and bracket another Crusader, doing a fair whack of damage. Annoyingly, I forget to activate my Rager (it probably kills the other Dervish if I remember). I score nothing.

Turn 3:

I don’t think my opponent was quite expecting what just happened. He ends up allocating nothing and feats. He spends a bunch of focus re applying Fortify and casting Mobility, allocating fully to his crusaders. He walks forward and murders an eliminator, setting Synergy at 1. Battle and Enliven get put out. The dervish goes next a attacks Behemoth, doing some damage and putting up synergy again. He then removes Behemoth, Spriggan, Maruader and my objective between his 3 Crusaders. He runs his solos on the left flank around to stay on the edge of the zone, Sev moves forward and kills an Eliminator. My opponent scores 1 for the objective. He actually cleared the right zone this turn, but didn’t put all his choir in there.

My turn and it’s pretty clear what I’m doing this turn. The book has come forward far enough that Witch can’t really cast this turn, which is fine. I trigger Enliven with Eliminators again, managing to control where they go. Witch charges the left hand crusader and allocates out to both her jacks. She ends up kicking the Crusader a bit, and then camps 4. I don’t manage to kill all of his crusaders this turn, but the column dice gods smile upon me and I leave all of the remaining Crusaders without cortex. I also manage to get a couple of mecs into his zone and kill a couple of choir.

Turn 4:

Attrition has swung pretty heavily at this point. My opponent floods the right hand zone with dudes, with Sev moving forward and Immolating a mechanic. He manages to cripple the Juggernaut between his 2 heavily wounded Crusaders, and runs Amon back behind the building. He scores 1.

Between the 2 long turns, I don’t have a huge amount of time left. I start by finishing off his Crusaders, between the Kodiak and repaired juggernaut. I continue killing dudes in the zone, and get the Juggernaut into the right zone. The Rager positions to charge his objective next turn. I get an Eliminator into the left zone. No score.

Turn 5:

Sebastian runs Amon into the left zone. He tries for an arcane bolt from a Vassal onto the eliminator contesting, but misses. His vigilant charges and gets enliven. It bounces off of the Kodiak somewhat, doing some damage, but nothing major. He shuffles everything round a bit and scores nothing.

My turn and I need to play fast, as I have about 3 minutes left. I kill some dudes in the right zone, kill the Vigilant between Witch and the Kodiak. The Rager charges the Objective and murders it. I score 2.

Turn 6:

Sebastian manages to clear his zone this turn. He walks Amon forward and murders the eliminator contesting. He runs a couple of models into the central zone and scores 1.

My turn and I have about a minute. The rager runs into the zone, after its forge seer charges and kills a Vassal that was contesting. The Kodiak charges to the top of the zone and vents. I pass turn with 23 seconds left and score 1, evening it up.

Turn 7:

Sebastian charges the Rager with Amon, but is unlikely to kill and fails. He runs a dude into the centre zone. He scores nothing.

Start of my turn I have 23 seconds. But during my opponents turn, I’ve counted up, and I win the game on army points. I could kill the choir member in the zone and score, but I simply end my turn immediately and win.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

I think Sebastian is better off going for trades in this match up. It gives me more turns to shoot, but he probably ends up better off than he was. There is an advantage to jamming all those jacks down my throat, which is mainly that he gives me less time to attrition from range (I can probably kill a jack every 2 turns with Behemoth), but it also feeds into Witches game plan pretty heavily. I had about 15 focus worth of output on my turn, and it really showed.

Round 3:

Last round of the day and we get Australian Flamin Galahs, Aaron Wales’ team. I end up paired against Potts, who is running Minions. He has Rask and Maelok, which means Strakhov has to go down. He drops Rask, and off we go.

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

[Rask 1] Rask [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Ironback Spitter [14]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Bog Trog Mist Speaker [0(4)]
Dahlia Hallyr [17]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Kwaak Slickspine & Gub, Croak Sorcerers [0(4)]
Rorsh [15]
– Battle Boar [7]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Wrong Eye [17]

I win the roll off and go first. Scenario is Recon 2. Table has a big forest in the centre of the table, a wall running down the right zone and not much else of note. I deploy symmetrically, with the Juggernaut on the right and the rager on the left. He deploys Dahlia on the left flank, along with Rorsh, whilst Rask and his battlegroup share the centre and right flank with Wrong Eye. I advance move the centre group of pikes.

Turn 1:

Everything runs forward. Quicken goes out on the right flank, Inviolable on the centre.

Potts runs forward somewhat. He scatters a shot from the spitter, catching 2 pikes and killing both. He puts out a  veil to protect ninja pig, and pushes him forward.

Turn 2:

I realise I can walk some of the central pikemen forward to get a couple of attacks on ninja pig. I drop Inviolable on the centre unit, upkeep quicken. The unit gets last stand, and Strakhov’s unit takes a couple of shots, doing a couple points of damage. Feat goes up. I run Sofiya to my flag and the kovnik marches forward to give out Precision strike. The pikes get puppet master and march forward, with me getting 2 dudes onto ninja pig, doing a bunch of damage and knocking him down with no spirit. The rest of the pikes position somewhat, getting into shield wall.

Potts goes in with the Swamp horror this this turn. He stays out of counter charge range from sofiya and kills a dude. He goes into contesting range and gets charged by Sofiya, admonitioning out of the way, before being charged again by Malakov, knocking his spirit out. He manages to finish Sofiya with his remaining initials. He gets a decent spitter shot off, corroding 5 dudes. On the other side of the board, he gets a spray off that catches 3 pikes, hitting 2 and killing none. Ninja pig stands up and repositions a bit. Dahlia runs forward and catches some dudes under Haunting Melody. The rest of his beasts reposition a bit for next turn. He scores 1.

Turn 3:

I check at the start of the turn, and eilish is slightly out of 11 inches of Dahlia. Sigh. I give pathfinder to the Kovnik from the objective. Last stand gets re-cast onto the central unit (Rask shot it off last turn), and Strakhov moves up to finish off Brine with gun shots and ends up on my flag. The central pikes walk forward, getting into the snake and leaving it on a couple of boxes. The left unit goes in on the Snake, finishing it and doing some damage to Snapjaw. On the right flank, the Swamp Horror dies to the Juggernaut, and the Turtle at the back of the zone gets charged by a couple of dudes. The great bears go in charging a chef and getting into the centre of the zone. I also manage to kill Kwaack (who venomed some dudes last turned). Markov charges the Turtle, knocking it down and stabbing off its spirit. I score 1.

My opponent spends the turn murdering everything I hold dear. The Wrastler gets boundless and Rage, before going in to horribly murder the Juggernaut. The Turtle gets healed for 1 and stands up, overtaking off a guy next to him to get to Markov, how tanks the turtle like a champ. Dahlia runs over to the right zone and Snap jaw goes in, trampling over some pikes and eating some other ones. Rask shoots last stand off again and Rorsch shoots some dudes. Potts scores 1 again.

Turn 4:

I get last stand out on the left unit this game, due to spread out units. Strakhov moves away from the right zone, shooting the Witch doctor on the way (he really is very manoeuvrable) as well as killing the objective. The left pikes go in on Wrong eye and the Battle Boar, leaving the Boar on a handful of boxes and removing Wrong Eye (which kills snap jaw as well). The last remaining great bear charges the knocked down Witch Doctor (only thing he can see), kills him and whiffs on Rorsch. I manage to score my flag with Eilish, and the remnants of the army in the right zone makes a nuisance of itself.   I score 2.

Potts clears the right zone excluding eilish, finishing everything he can. He charges the Battle Boar into my Rager (which missed it while it was knocked down last turn, sigh) He gets Rorsch to kill a bunch of pikes with guns and moves models over to remove contesting pikes from his flag.

Turn 5:

I clock this turn. I manage to score again, and have managed to keep up with both attrition and scenario. I feel like I can probably grind this out if I carry on, but time is short.

Afterthoughts:

This match up was fine. The problem with playing Pikes into Rask isn’t that its a hard match (it is, but that’s fine), it’s that the early turns require precision placement or you lose a bunch of pikes to corrosion, or ninja pig, or whatever. That takes time, and I don’t get a lot of practice. Having discussed it with my team, I think if I ground out 10-20 games of Rask vs Strakhov I could probably win consistently, but I only ever seem to see it at tournaments. Ah well.

Knights end up losing that round 3-2, so at least my game wasn’t the deciding match up. We end the first day of the WTC here, with Knight 2-1 and myself 1-2. All three games so far have been really difficult and really close, with anyone of them swinging the other way with a couple of play changes (Game 1s bane not toughing or Sofiya not whiffing), me playing even 20 seconds slower in game 2, or me playing around a minute faster in the 3rd game. The calibre of opponent is ridiculous and I’m playing some of the best warmachine I have ever played. What a day!

Thanks to Jon “It was the best of Barrys, It was the worst of Barrys” for proof reading of this post. Check out his blog at http://tobarry.blogspot.co.uk.