I decided to stick with my pSorscha list for a while. I was however struck by a random desire to take the MOW Kovnik out for a spin; I really want that guy to work, and I figured a POW 14 gun should be useful when everything's frozen. So I traded Aiyana, Holt, and Rein-Holt for the Kovnik and Maddie (to help him move his fat behind).
Alexia & the Risen
Beanpole is still experimenting with dudespam:
-Reptile Hound (3)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (max)
I won the roll and chose to go second (for practice), picking the side with the wall. I chose the Fuel objective, Beanpole picked Arcane Wonder.
Beanpole deployed his Nihilators and Reavers on my left, with the Immortals on my right.
I put Sorscha in the middle with a jack on each side and the Nyss set to flow around them. Alexia went on the left with Maddie, while the Kovnik went on the right where his high-power gun and axe might be more useful against the tougher Immortals. Thus meaning he was too far to benefit from Maddie's Intrigue move. Sigh. The Cutthroats went on the left; I figured they would be better off against the living models than the dead ones, and Stealth would protect them from the Reavers.
Beanpole advanced and spread out. Last Stand went on the Nihilators and Defender's Ward on the Immortals.
I advanced but tried not to overextend myself; I didn't feel that I was under any scenario pressure yet so I played very cagey. The jacks charged with Boundless Charge for the extra inch. The Cutthroats relied on the forest for protection. I ran a Thrall forwards just to make sure Beanpole would have to work for the few Cutthroats potentially in his range.
Beanpole dropped Last Stand, and actually used the Thrall to extend his range by giving the Nihilators pathfinder and charging one at the Thrall; after killing the Thrall he was able to Berserk onto a Cutthroat that he wouldn't otherwise have been able to charge because of the forest blocking line of sight. Other than that he just ran forwards and engaged a few models.
Sorscha moved forwards and feat, catching a few Immortals and most of the Nihilators including the unit leader. She then cast Freezing Grip at a frozen Immortal to shut down that unit, shot a Nihilator, then Wind-Rushed backwards.
The Spriggan walked forwards and took down a Nihilator, who toughed. Which I was hoping he would, as it would make him an easy Freezing Grip target next turn. The Nyss Hunters charged and killed four or five Immortals with nice damage rolls. The Decimator took a point of focus from the Koldun Lord and killed two more with the Dozer. The Kovnik walked up and shot one with his POW 14 axe, but didn't break armour. Sigh.
The Cutthroats shot down a few Nihilators and Reavers, but didn't advance past the forest. Alexia created another Thrall to charge Hakaar, but I had stupidly placed the Risen in the pond and forgot that it was rough terrain until after declaring my charge target, leaving my Thrall standing around like an idiot.
Beanpole did the maths and figured that, on average, Hakaar with Last Stand, three souls, and Zaal's feat would do 30 damage to the Spriggan assuming he didn't take out the shield. So he sent him in. He did 12 damage, only knocking out the cortex. Hakaar then died thanks to Last Stand, leaving behind a Kovaas.
The Krea , Ancestral Guardian, and maybe something else killed about four Nyss Hunters. The Reavers attacked the Cutthroats but couldn't do much with Stealth and the forest protecting them.
The Nihilators had only lost a few members while the Immortals had been thinned considerably, so I decided the Nihilators were the bigger threat. I was not happy about that Kovaas standing there though, and needed to do something about it. So I decided that Sylyss would give Sorscha the Arcane Secrets boost, which she would use on a Razor Wind into the Kovaas before using Freezing Grip on the knocked-down Nihilator.
Which I immediately forgot, activating Sorscha before Sylyss. Sigh. She froze the Nihilators then used the last of her focus to cast Razor Wind, which fortunately killed the Kovaas with a couple of great rolls. That was quite a stroke of luck.
The Decimator took a point of focus from the Koldun Lord and charged the Krea, doing a fair bit of damage. This cleared the path for the MOW Kovnik to launch a glorious P+S 15 Weaponmaster charge at the Ancestral Guardian... he took 2 damage from the defensive strike then left the Guardian on 2 boxes. Sigh.
The Spriggan killed the nearby Nihilator. One Nyss Hunter killed an Immortal in melee, while the other four failed to break a second's armour with a CRA. The Cutthroats killed some more Nihilators and a Reaver. Alexia sent another Thrall into a Reptile Hound, leaving it on a few boxes.
Beanpole sent the three hounds into the Spriggan; the first one didn't get the Flank bonus, the second got Last Stand and did a lot of damage before dying, but the third was a few millimeters out and couldn't attack. At this point the Spriggan had lost all his systems except movement. Last Stand was then swapped over to the Krea, who took a couple of columns off the Decimator before dying. Zaal gave the Ancestral Guardian some souls, which he used to kill the Kovnik. Sigh. The Immortals attacked the Nyss Hunters but only managed to connect with one.
Well, I was doing quite well on attrition, but attrition doesn't win games, you still have to actually achieve a win condition. So I decided it was time to try to start scoring. I had a plan: the Decimator would kill the Ancestral Guardian, giving Sorscha a clear path to the flag. Sylyss would give her Arcane Secrets so she could freeze the Immortals on her way. Maddie would give her the Intrigue move to make sure she had distance.
Naturally the first thing I did was activate Sorscha, ruining the whole plan. Sigh. Without Arcane Secrets I figured I had better boost to hit the Immortals, so I didn't get to use Wind Rush. The Decimator took a point of focus and killed the Ancestral Guardian, leaving a Kovaas in it's place. Hmm, forgot about that. He then missed an attack against a Beast Handler.
The Spriggan and Nyss Hunters killed the remaining Immortals, and one moved between Sorscha and the Kovaas, for what good that would do. Sylyss moved up to try to block landing zones. Risen and a Thrall brought one hound down to a single box. Cutthroats killed a few models.
The hounds finished off the Spriggan. Nihilators killed some Risen. Zaal cast Last Stand on the Kovaas, which moved up and Threshered, killing the Koldun Lord and Sylyss and putting a heap of damage on Sorscha. He then used a soul to buy another attack, finishing her off.
Hmm, did not see that Kovaas thing coming. I really should have; I'd seen the Kovaas already that game, and I'd seen how much damage Last Stand could do. I didn't know he had Thresher (or Reach for that matter, it's not obvious since he doesn't exactly have a weapon after all), for what that's worth. If I had appreciated his threat better I might have tried to better protect Sorscha by running more Nyss Hunters around her, but I guess he would have just used their souls to buy more attacks; I don't think there was really anything I could have done to save her at the end. Of course if I hadn't screwed up my plans at the end I might have seen the Kovass before activating her and managed to keep her safe. Maybe.
Well, at least I didn't go for assassination this time. The game went pretty well for me, thanks mainly to Sorscha's freezing powers and some good dice. I was far too cagey however; the Cutthroats did very little work because I had put them behind the forest where not many of them could get good shots. If I'd been more aggressive with them, I would have killed the Nihilators off and maybe kept my Spriggan alive. I also kept Alexia all the way at the back the whole game, and as a result neither her unit nor her Thralls actually killed anything all game; seeing as Maddie mainly just stood back to extend her threat range, that was pretty much 7 points that weren't doing anything. Well, the Risen did eat some attacks that might have gone into the Cutthroats I suppose. I never used any of Sylyss' abilities either (due entirely to my own stupidity). The Spriggan didn't do much but he kept my opponent busy. The Decimator did some work, even with what little focus he was given.
Actually, seeing as Sorscha never handed out any focus, and I had two jack marshals on the table, I might have been better off marshaling one of the jacks. Well, against this list anyway; if he'd had some heavies then it would have been another story.
I didn't do much to shield my jacks this game, but then I wasn't able to appreciate the armour cracking potential of some of his models under Last Stand and figured they were pretty safe. They didn't have the volume of attacks to do much work anyway, so in this game they were probably more disposable than my infantry. They lasted longer than they should have anyway; Beanpole's damage dice were sub-par, at least against the jacks.
The Kovnik let me down this game. He couldn't kill anything; not a frozen Immortal nor the solo THAT HE GOT THE CHARGE ON! I mean, seriously, my 3-point medium-based melee beatstick solo got the charge on his medium-based 3-point (I think) melee beatstick solo, and lost (despite having a vastly superior melee weapon?). What a disappointment. I'm starting to run out of room in my miniatures case, maybe I should just leave him at home from now on. Which would leave me with a heavy heart, but what can you do if the model just won't perform?
Hmm, does Alexia's Dominate Undead work on a Kovaas? I actually still haven't used that ability, I'll have to try to remember it next time.