Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Journey Man V - The Ultimate Showdown Of Ultimate Destiny

I should have caffeinated myself before this game, because I was clearly not awake enough for my first 50 point game in ages. This will probably be my last game in the Journeman league.
-Beast 09
Croe's Cutthroats
Nyss Hunters
Alexia & the Risen
Kayazy Eliminators
Kell Bailoch

Beanpole added yet more beasts to his list:
Makeda III
-Molik Karn
Paingiver Beast Handlers (max)
Cataphract Incendiarii (min)

Scenario was... whatever, two zones and two central objectives. I won the roll and chose to go first. Beanpole chose the side without a house, forest, and rough terrain in the way. He chose Fuel Cache and I took Arcane Wonder.

I wasn't really sure how to tackle this, so I decided to put my Nyss in the center and be ready to counter-deploy the Cutthroats. I set up the Risen to rush his zone and be a nuisance, while Alexia herself is more central. Strakhov was just behind the objective, aiming to get into my zone, with a jack on each side.

Beanpole deployed in a fairly balanced brick, so with no obviously better side for the Cutthroats I put them into position to jam my zone. I put Kell next to them for no good reason.

Round 1:
OH MY GOD! THE SUN! IT BURNS! Ah-hem. Sorry.  Anyway, Strakhov put Superiority on Beast and Sentry on Croe (for lack of anything better to do with his focus) and charged up. Not really making use of the Arcane Wonder there. Everything else runs up in one big messy poorly though out jam. Croe stands in a "come kill me, it'll be worth it, I promise!" position, while the rest of the Cutthroats position more conservatively.

Croe took the sentry shot at Makeda; he would have hit her too if she hadn't put up the Krea's animus. Not that it would have mattered as she had already cast all her spells before moving. The rest of Beanpole's models spread out with shield guards positioned to absorb some ranged damage.

Round 2:
It looked to me like Beast could reach Makeda through the gap in the two Incendiarii; I figured that with 4 attacks and her on two fury he'd have a decent chance of killing her. Besides, this is Strakhov, assassination is his thing, right? So I got the Nyss and Cutthroats out of his way, feated and cast Overrun on him (just in case), charged Strakhov off to the side, then sent Beast in. Well, I had judged it incorrectly (or maybe I had been too conservative in measuring the movement), and Beast couldn't get far enough to tag Makeda with his initial attack. He killed the two Incendiarii with his Thresher, also putting a lot of damage on the Savage and leaving it stationary. This triggered Overrun, allowing him to move up further.

At this point I made a big mistake and attacked Makeda. The first bought attack did only a few points of damage to Makeda, which she did not transfer. Now I had two attacks and she had two transfers. So I stopped attacking her and started swinging on Karn. Just two attacks wiped out two of his aspects and left him with something like 5 damage left; if only I had taken the first attack on him he should have been dead.

The rest of my models mainly missed or rolled low or didn't manage to charge because I had activated them before Strakhov. I charged the Eliminators at the heavily damaged Savage but they didn't make it; still this put them in front of Strakhov, which was a good thing. I had forgotten to take advantage of Sylyss' free upkeep and had not had any focus left for the Spriggan to run, so instead took advantage of the feat to charge over the patch of rough terrain. Kell shot at a Paingiver but Makeda's bodyguard was close enough to shield-guard the shot.

Well, I'd at least forced some order-of-activation issues for Makeda to heal Karn, but Beanpole figured it out. Makeda feated and started on Beast, and the Gladiator finished him off. The Bronzeback and lights killed a bunch of infantry, including most of the Nyss, though some low attacks rolls meant it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The Incendiari set Cylena on fire, but she survived the actual attack with one box left. The Krea tried to paralyze Alexia but narrowly missed. Then Karn side-stepped off some of my infantry to reach Strakhov, cutting him down in three blows.

Final Score: (wins/losses)
Beanpole: 5/2
Blondie: 3/2
Samurai: 2/5

OK, I pretty much threw the game away with that careless assassination attempt. If I had focussed on Karn instead of Makeda then I think I might have had a chance; Alexia and the Spriggan would have killed the Bronzeback while the rest of my models (what was left of them after that crazy feat) jammed his lights and Strakhov scored zones. With Overrun the Spriggan could potentially have picked off lights while staying safe himself... at least if I could have found a way to stop putting my own infantry models in my own way.

Kell was pretty useless again, and I even forgot about Sylyss' free upkeep. Didn't get a chance to use Rienholdt either. I'm thinking maybe at 50 points I should trade some infantry for a Juggernaut, or maybe a Berserker or Kodiak for the free run, since he can only afford to pay for one jack to run; since my infantry don't crack armour and don't have a hell of a lot of staying power (and I suck at positioning them), it might be a good idea. Plus, you know, I like me some warjacks.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have put the Nyss on my right and the Cutthroats on my left, with the Risen in the middle; that way the Cutthroats could have jammed him out of the farther zone while the Nyss jam him out of the closer one. Then I guess Strakhov and the jacks focus on his zone for scoring, so he has to put things in my threat range to contest. Meanwhile the Nyss (and maybe some Risen) have a high enough DEF that that are difficult to clear out from my zone, at least if I spread them out well. The problem is that with his feat and ability to pass around the Bronzeback's animus he has a lot of mobility and infantry clearing ability on the feat turn, so it's hard to say.

By the way, it seems that in the last game I forgot you need to be b2b with flags to score; I should have been able to base Blondie's flag as I was getting plenty of movement from Sprint, but I shouldn't have gotten that first point from my flag, meaning the game should have gone on at least one more turn. Oh well.

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