Saturday, June 23, 2018

Have You Ever Wished Your Own Warcaster Would Just Die Already?

Unfortunately I didn't have time to write this game up for a few weeks so my memory of the details is pretty hazy. Also I was very tired from work when we played so I think I made even more mistakes than usual.

I ran the same list as my previous game, however due to the CID changes to the costs of Beast 09 and Berserkers I had 4 more points to spend on a Widowmaker Marksman:
Strakhov 1
- Beast 09
- Black Ivan
- Berserker
- Sylyss
Andrei 1
- Kodiak
Cylena & the Nyss Hunters
Alexia & the Risen
- Valachev
Widowmaker Marksman

Blondie played:
Stryker 1
- Old Rowdy
- Defender
- Avenger
- Squire
Journeyman Warcaster
- Hunter
- UA
Sword Knights (min) x2

We picked the rulebook scenario with a simple central zone. Terrain was placed with some degree of randomness by throwing the pieces vaguely towards empty spaces on the table, resulting in the overlapping forests (which we were treating as two separate forests even though that was bit confusing). Blondie won the roll and chose to go second, picking the side of the table with forests.

I positioned Strakhov to head for the protection of the forest on the left. Andrei went on the other side. The jacks were all pretty central. The Nyss Hunters joined Strakhov in aiming for the forest. The Risen clustered around the jacks.

Blondie spaced out his jacks and sword knights. The Gunmages faced off against the Nyss. He kept his casters well back.

Finally I put the Marksman near Strakhov in order to receive Sentry.

Round 1:
Superiority on the Berserker, Sentry on the Marksman, Occultation on the Risen. I held my Nyss mostly behind the forest, Strakhov hid in the shallow water, while the Marksman moved up to be able to take shots next turn. Andrei made sure to keep some ablative wounds - I mean Risen - in Sucker range.

The Sword Knights moved up and formed a wall. Stryker and the Journeman again stayed as far back as possible, while the Gunmages advanced (and whiffed the few shots they had LOS for). The Hunter ran up ahead. Rowdy faced off against the Kodiak. I think the Journeman's Arcane Shield went on the Avenger while Stryker's went on Rowdy. I think he put Snipe onto the Defender.

Round 2:
First of all, the Marksman took his Sentry shot against the Defender. He needed a four to hit.

Sigh. Alexia sent a Thrall into the Hunter (which I'm not sure she should have been able to do as she should have been out of formation... oops), which missed his attack. The Nyss Hunters killed some Gunmages, a few Risen moved up to contest the zone, and the Berserker overextended. Because I'm stupid.

Rowdy killed the Berserker. The Sword Knights ran up to jam my lines. The Hunter moved up and tried to melee stuff. Stryker popped feat.

Round 3:
I put another Thrall into the Hunter; this one managed to connect, but...

I was very stupid here and neglected to put Superiority on Beast; instead I had him Thresher to kill a bunch of Sword Knights then Overrun backwards, but he didn't exactly get that far back. Black Ivan killed Lanyssa I believe. The Kodiak did nothing. The rest of my models just killed a few Sword Knights and Gunmages.

Rowdy charged in and killed Beast 09 (with the help of the Defender I believe). The Hunter, Sword Knights and remaining Gunmages killed a few Nyss Hunters. Stryker switched Snipe onto himself and disrupted Black Ivan.

Round 4:
With Stryker on 0 camp and the Feat over I thought it might be a good time to go for an assassination now. I came up with a plan that involved the Kodiak throwing the Avenger at Stryker (in retrospect I think throwing at the Defender would have had the desired effect with less chance of failure as I would have been rolling against DEF 12 instead of DEF 16) and then putting some shooting and a Thrall into him. After some thought I decided that I needed one focus to boost the throw against Stryker, and then one to boost the damage, so I with only one focus to boost attacks rolls against the Defender I would boost the chain attack - that way if either initial missed and I didn't get the chain attack I could switch to just buying more attacks to do damage with. Well, the initials landed but when I went to boost the chain attack...

So that was it, plan over. The Kodiak did what he could to the Avenger. I tried to put some damage onto Rowdy with Alexia (who need to roll high to do anything, which she didn't seem inclined to do) and a Nyss Hunter or two, even going so far as to feat just so that Black Ivan could reach him. Luckily Ivan rolled hot on the charge attack so it wasn't a complete waste.

Without focus Rowdy couldn't do too much damage, but apparently he could do enough to kill Alexia. The Avenger wailed on the Kodiak and knocked him down, then Stryker and the Defender castled up around him. I think the Hunter melee-ed some more Nyss.

Round 5:
There was some confusion when it came to Rowdy; initially I thought I had crippled his buckler and was doing one extra damage, but I keep forgetting he's a lefty so I might actually have crippled his hammer? Anyway, at the end of the day I managed to take him down. I think that's about all I did this turn.

Blondie finished off the Kodiak and started focusing down Black Ivan. Even the Journeyman Warcaster decided to leave his trench and pitch in:

For some reason I decided to use Black Ivan's Evasive ability to move up with each shot he took.

Round 6:
The Marksman landed his Sentry shot into the hunter and I decided to roll damage, which turned out to be a good decision:

Not sure why I rolled the column dice as the Widowmaker can choose. I could have crippled it's movement if I chose the right column, but decided to bet on crippling the cortex or left arm with the following Nyss charges instead. Both charges missed because of it's high DEF, leaving the Hunter fully operational. If I hadn't been so stupid I probably would have destroyed it this turn. I focussed Strakhov, Ivan, Andrei, and the Marksman's shooting into Stryker himself, landing a few good shots and knocking him down to about four boxes left.

The Avenger (and maybe some other shooting) finished Ivan, knocking down Strakhov as well. The Defender went in on Strakhov but I don't think he'd allocated it much focus; I don't really remember, but the point is Strakhov survived. Stryker switched Arcane Shield to himself.

Round 7:
I'm pretty sure I conceded this turn (or maybe it was last turn), but Blondie said we might as well play it out - we both figured it wouldn't be much longer anyway. Anyway, I think I put some more shooting into Stryker, with Strakhov ramming the Defender away in order to aim and take some more shots, but clearly it wasn't enough.

Again, I think I screwed up the stats here for some reason; I'm pretty sure I said the jacks hit on 10s when in fact they hit on 9s, which I think is the only reason Strakhov survived on one box when the jacks went in.

Oh, the Hunter and Hunters continued their slapfight, and Stryker ran back to the trench.

Round 8:
I tried again to put some shooting into Stryker but with the trench, Arcane Shield and focus I did nothing at all. Strakhov tried to Ram the jacks away but whiffed (even with help from Sylyss) and decided to camp his focus. I did kill the Squire though, which left the Cygnar jacks out of control.

Without focus the jacks couldn't hit Strakhov.

Round 9:
I finally manged to ram the jacks away, then put some shooting into the Defender, doing some damage. I killed the Journeyman at last, taking away Arcane Shield. I think Andrei aimed and tried to shoot Stryker, to no avail.

I believe it was the Avenger who finally managed to roll a 9 and finish off Strakhov.

The game went on FOREVER! Partly because we chose to play it out, and I'm pretty sure partly because I kept getting stats mixed up meaning Strakhov survived far longer than he should have.

The Avenger made an excellent bodyguard for Stryker because he the Stationary effect on his 2" melee weapon would shut down any Overrun assassination attempt cold. I mean, it's not Crit Stationary, it's JUST Stationary. And it's not limited to his activation the way the Grolar's Knockdown is.

I made really poor use of my upkeeps; I never recast Superiority after the Berserker died, and at one point I let Sentry drop, only to recast it later.

I basically gave the Berserker away for free. No excuse for that.

If I had been more focused with the Marksman's shooting he could have done a lot more work that game.

As much as I love Alexia, I'm not getting much done with her lately. She doesn't crack Arcane Shielded armour (not without Valachev and a Butcher), her Risen haven't done any work lately, and even her Thralls did almost nothing this game. Sigh; I miss MkII Alexia and Madelyne Corbeau. I think I should drop Valachev and just user her as a 10 point tarpit; force the opponent to spend attacks on Risen rather than Nyss Hunters. Either that or go Morrowan.

In retrospect I should have sent Andrei in to attack Stryker in melee, but I didn't expect things to last long enough for him to reach and I was trying to aim instead.

I actually think I could have won the game if the Kodiak hadn't whiffed his attack roll; although the fact that I was planning to aim the Avenger at Stryker meant it was still far from guaranteed. I was a little hazy on the throw rules; having re-read them since then I believe that I could have aimed at the Defender and still knocked Stryker down, which would have been far more reliable.

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