Monday, February 23, 2015

First game of 2015

This was a few weeks ago, I've been too busy to write it up before but I finally found the time to post the photos and give a quick summary. I was running:
-Beast 09
Nyss Hunters
MOW Kovnik

I put together this list to try to deal with the kind of stuff my regular opponent has been playing that has been giving me trouble. Beast with Fury should do work against shield walls or heavies. Torch can wreck heavies, has some anti-infantry ability and most importantly, pathfinder. The MOW Kovnik is just kind of there; I'll be replacing him with Eliminators in the future but they weren't ready at the time.

My opponent played... some Skorne caster with Reach, Flashing Blade and Ashes to Ashes I think - I can't be bothered to look him up. He brought the Bronzeback, Gladiator and Gators, but left out the Agoniser. He had the Gators and some infantry with Reach and Reform.

As per the photo. I put Butcher in the middle, Torch and the Nyss on the side with the forest.

Turn 1:
He advances.

Nyss get Iron Flesh and toe the zone. Torch runs into a forest because I am stupid. Alexia (proxied by Laddermore) creates a thrall, who I put Fury on because I found the idea humorous and I couldn't decide who really needed it. Said thrall (proxied by a Paladin) hid behind the house.

Turn 2:
He gets into the zones.

Alexia and the Thrall kill a model each. Even with CMAs, Risen miss all their attacks. Beast runs up behind the house with his back to it such that he can get a free strike on anyone who walks past. Butcher ducks behind a wall. Nyss shooting kills a Gator. I realise that Torch can't handle forests very well because he needs a target in order to charge, and that target needs to be pretty close for him to be able to see it, at which point he might as well just run. So he's pretty much bogged down now. I also shift Fury to the Risen because I figure that they need it more than anyone else right now.

Turn 3:
He engages the Nyss and kills the Thrall and a bunch of Risen. He fails to kill the Kovnik.

Beast + Imprint + Thresher = lots of dead Skorne... who's ugly corpses are then re-animated and used to block charge lanes to their killer. The Kovnik also contributes a corpse token. One Risen is Thrall-ed and charges the Gladiator, putting a couple of points of damage on it, The rest miss all their attacks. Butcher slides into the spot recently vacated by Beast, leaving Torch high and dry and nervously waddling away from the approaching Bronzeback. The Nyss charge the Gators (despite still being under Iron Flesh... oops); they kill one but miss most of their attacks.

Turn 4:
He consideres trying to beat-back off the Kovnik to get the Bronzeback into Butcher, but decides that he won't make it past the house (phew!). He kills some more Risen (and the Thrall) and moves the Gladiator to (relative) safety behind the house. He fails at his first attempt to cast Ashes to Ashes, but the second try (cast into the back of a Gator) kills 5 Nyss, clearing the zone and scoring him two points.

So I can't really do much to stop him from scoring that zone, I decide that I have to clear mine and start scoring, and try to contest his zone one Nyss at a time. To that end I come up with a plan to clear my zone: Beast charges the Paingiver toeing the zone, which brings him into melee range of the Gladiator, who he can hopefully kill. Butcher, the Risen and the Kovnik then finish off the rest of his infantry on that side. Torch and a single Nyss contest his zone.

Unfortunately it doesn't quite work out that way; because I needed to activate Beast first  to clear the lane for Butcher I can't support him with Fury or the feat or even Full Throttle. So what ends up happening is that he misses the Paingiver and falls about 7 damage short of killing the Gladiator. The Risen do nothing, and sadly neither does the Kovnik, leaving 3 enemy models still in my zone.

I think I actually dropped Iron Flesh this round as I figured that it wouldn't save a Nyss Hunter from six attacks with re-rolls and I figured I might just need the focus on Butcher. I didn't, so that was a waste.

Turn 5:
The Gladiator charges Torch and by some miracle rolls a couple of snake-eyes on his attacks, crippling Beasts' axe but leaving him alive. Missing Khador jacks, I never thought I'd see the day. The Bronzeback has no such trouble and wreck Torch. The last Nyss Hunter is eaten by Gators. He's now on 4 points.

I want to make damn sure that Beast finishes off the Gladiator this time, so to make sure he can pull it off despite his crippled axe I give him three focus, Fury, and I feat. I attack first with the axe; I need a 5 on one dice... and I get it. He has 7 boxes left, with the feat I'm rolling two dice at dice plus 3. I roll a 7. I then kill the Paingiver with the fist, leaving Beast with full Focus but no targets.

Alexia summons 5 Risen... in circle surrounding the last remaining model from his unit. With a 5-man CMA originating in his back arc, the Risen FINALLY manage to actually hit something! The zone is now clear, getting me two points. I send the Kovnik and a freshly minted Thrall (proxied by a Nyss) to contest the zone.

Turn 6:
His Warlock kills both contesting models with a single Flashing Blade, bringing him to 6 points and winning him the game.

That was a great game. We were both being very cagey, using terrain for cover and trying to out-maneuver each other.

 I made a mistake with Beast and it was only the balmiest of luck (I don't think I've ever used that word before) that he survived the Gladiator. I really should have prioritized killing the Gladiator over clearing the zone; with the feat and Fury (or perhaps Full Throttle for the free charge) he certainly would have managed it, and then the Bronzeback would have had a much harder time getting to Torch through the forest. I'm not sure, but I think that would have given me a fighting chance.

I never really thought about using Reach to attack around obstacles before; it really is very useful, I can see now why Beast is considered one of our best jacks. He made a mistake when he left the Paingiver there; he had used it to kill the Thrall, but he still could have moved the Gladiator farther away.

With Beat-Back and Rush, that Bronzeback really dominates the center of the board; I can't put anything important anywhere near it. Even using infantry to screen doesn't work unless you make sure he has to kill at least three or four (at least) or leave a big gap between them and your precious pieces. It doesn't help that he out-threats my jacks under Butcher. A Grolar would be nice here.

Ashes To Ashes hurts! I have no idea how to deal with it other than staying well back or REALLY spreading out. Need to have a careful read of the wording on that one.

I think a Kodik would have worked out much better than Torch here; it wouldn't have been slowed down by the forest and could have supported the Nyss. Also I could have just run it around the zone to keep away from the Bronzeback even without focus from Butcher. With Fury it's sufficiently hard-hitting. Also that would have saved me two points for Valachev or something. Definately something I'm going to try in the future.

Alexia is awesome! It's such a fun unit. useful too; a cheap replenishing screening unit, assassin-generator, and late-game heavy hitter in one affordable package. She clearly works best when she has support to kill models and keep her Risen count up, but it's a lot of fun building up corpse tokens then bringing all your models back. Killing enemy models is even more fun when it lets you add a token to the pile, and materializing models in enemy back arcs is funny. Also the range on the those Thralls is cool. Having said that, the Risen really are garbage. But hey, pile up enough garbage it starts to get difficult to wade through, right?


  1. Very glad to see that you are having fun with the game. Here, I think you are beginning to experience the benefit of how useful and practical infantry units are in the Khador battleplan. Maybe in the future dropping the MoW Kovnik and attaching Valachev to the Nyss so that they can gain benefit from pButchers feat and also gain some maneuverability from his Zephyr ability would be fun to try.
    The only downside of Alexia in Khador is that without the piper Rhupert, you cannot easily make them tough. :-( Believe me, 15+ tough risen can be a nightmare to get rid of.

    1. Hey, good to hear from you! How have you been?

      Alexia's unit is just fun all round; getting to place new models wherever you want, move, then turn one into a solo and activate it is just crazy! Plus cheap screening models, I'm loving them. And Zephyr on the Nyss is much more useful than I would have expected! It feels like Iron Flesh plus Zephyr is what finally makes them useful, at least in my lists.

      I'm still hoping to build up a Cygnar army someday, so maybe someday I'll get to try the Piper. We'll see.