Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Journey Man II - The Journeying

In the second week of the Journeyman League we played at 25 points. I modified my list to:
Kell Bailoch

Beanpole had decided to forgo infantry:
Morghoul I
-Molik Karn
Paingiver Beast Handlers

Game 1
I think this scenario had a killbox. Beanpole won the roll and chose to go first; I decided I liked the wall more than the house. Nothing special happened in the deployment phase.

Round 1:
Everyone ran up, except the Titan who was too busy casting Rush on everything.

I spread my forces out and took a few early shots at his beasts.

Round 2:
His Cyclops' starting attacking my Cutthroats while the rest of his forces stayed back.

The Juggernaut took out the Savage and Overran a full 4" backwards. Meanwhile Molik Karn triggered Admonition off the Juggernaut's charge in order to enter the forest. Kell tried to kill Paingivers but missed once and the other shot was shield-guarded.

Round 3:
Yeah, using Overrun to hit-and-run doesn't work as well when you're SPD 4 and don't have Reach. So Molik Karn killed the Juggernaut, but luckily didn't have enough Fury to use Fatewalker afterwards. Meanwhile the Brute completely whiffed on a Cutthroat. I think Beanpole meant to feat this turn but first he charged Croe with Morghoul only to find he was a millimeter out, meaning he couldn't feat.

Ugh, interpreting photos are hard when everyone has out-of-activation movement. Anyway, I think I surrounded Karn with Cutthroats and then finished him off with the Spriggan, Overruning away from the Gladiator. The rest of my Cutthroats finished off the Brute. I may have tried to shoot Morghoul with Croe but missed.

Round 4:
The Gladiator destroyed my objective. Morghoul put Admonition on walked into the zone and used his feat. This brought him to 3 points.

So for some reason I completely blanked on the fact that Morghoul only needed to dominate once to win, and started my turn by shooting at the Gladiator with the Cuthroats. As soon as I finished their activation I realised that I didn't have enough models left to put into the zone. I had originally intended to run Strakhov over to the flag, but that obviously wouldn't work, so I enacted a desperate plan: I ran Strakhov up and camped, while Kell ran interference and the Spriggan toed the zone on the other side. I figured maybe if he went for the assassination with the Gladiator, he might just fail to pull it off; that's was pretty much my only hope anyway.

Round 5:
My opponent did not take the bait ("bait" in this case being my Warcaster...) and focused on clearing the zone. The Gladiator slammed the Spriggan out and finished off the nearby Croe (in retrospect I probably should have put the Spriggan a little farther away, so that he'd be forced to try to kill them both in melee), then Morghoul took out Kell. Game, set, and match!

Game 2
At this point I was a little fatigued from trying to learn the rules to a whole new game - Star Wars Armada - and I could tell going in that I wasn't going to be able to play a good game. Looking at the mission we rolled up, I didn't think at the time that it was a good one for me either. And lest you think this is me just making up excuses after the fact, I'll have you know I made sure to get these excuses in before we even started playing!

I lost the roll again and was left starting second. I decided that I didn't want him getting the defense bonus from a hill against the Cutthroat's shooting, so I picked that side. Umm, I don't remember what I was thinking about deployment; I guess I figured I had to split my forces so that's what I did.

Round 1:

So I seriously screwed up judging distances here. I tried to move my Cutthroats into just within 10 of the Brute so I could zephyr away after, but only a couple of models ended up in range, so I had to use Zephyr to reposition and ended up basically leaving all my Cutthroats in danger. Also I figured I would have to use the Juggernaut as bait for Karn.

Round 2:
So Karn killed the Juggernaut. I hadn't considered the positioning very well because the wall would make it harder to lock him down. Also Morghoul feated.

I surrounded Karn with Cutthroats, but they mostly whiffed their attacks and didn't do much damage. I had been planning to put Superiority on the Spriggan, but stupidly forgot and spent Strak's focus taking boosted shots at Karn; two shots missed (one killing a Cutthroat) and the last did a bit of damage. Ultimately he had 15 boxes left and I couldn't spend focus to buy attacks. However I figured that between the boosted charge attach and the shield I had a chance of rolling high and finishing it. Otherwise I was screwed. Since it was getting late and I was tired, I told Beanpole that if I didn't manage to kill Karn this turn I would give up since it would be pretty hopeless at that point. So Strakhov feated and the Spriggan charged. I needed a five to hit with the charge attack, but he used Karn's ability to force me to reroll the attack roll, and it came up a four. So we shook hands.

Final Score: (wins/losses)
Beanpole: 3 / 2
Blondie: 2 / 1
Samurai: 1 / 3

So I can't roll two fives in a row, huh? Well, my dice were a bit poor that second game all round (they weren't all that great the first game either), but I wasn't exactly playing well anyway. I do think that his list outclassed mine though; on feat turn my Spriggan threatens 15", but he has three beasts that all threaten 15" (with Pathfinder) all the time, no feat needed. Plus Molik Karn can use Sidestep to potentially get another 4". Yes, Overrun extends my threat range, but there's no infantry for me to trigger it off (and if I trigger it off a beast I probably don't have enough focus left to kill something). He also matches my hit-and-run use of Overrun with Fatewalker. But on top of all that I can't charge him because of Admonition, so my threat range is mostly useless; I have to wait for him to get close enough to surround him with my infantry. Meanwhile his feat shuts down over half my army for a turn. I think Croes did better here than the Nyss would have, but they really need something else to hold enemy models back while they dance around and shoot. And Kell is pretty much a waste of points against an all-beast list.

I got lucky in the first game when Karn couldn't walk away and Morghoul failed the charge; had I used my brain I think I would have had a chance of winning; feeding him some Croe's to weather the feat turn while chipping away at the Gladiator would have meant that next turn I might have been able to take out the Gladiator (I was close enough to his Paingivers at that point to potentially start using Overrun to counter Admonition) or possibly assassinate Morghoul.

I'm still not doing a good job of guessing ranges; in fact once something is over 12" away or so it seems I don't even try. Looking back, I might have been able to use the Spriggan to start to take out his light warbeasts and Overrun to safety, at least in the second game, possibly activating the Cutthroats second to cover him. I don't know really.

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