Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Man Who Would Be King

Ages ago I picked up the Leto and Vinter IKRPG miniatures just because I liked them. So when PP made them playable in Warmahordes, I was interested. Vinter's rules are... very strange. While he's very survivable and pretty good beatstick, he does so little for his army - he even starts with no warjack points! Still, one advantage of that is that you don't actually need any Cygnar jacks, or indeed any other Cygnar models at all, to play a "Cygnar" list. So that's what I decided to do.
Vinter -1
Journeyman Warcaster
- Sentinel
Nyss Hunters
Alexia & the Risen

The idea here was to make the most of Vinter's own combat prowess. Lanyssa buffs his threat range, Falk buffs his damage, the Journeyman casts Arcane Shield on him and then hangs well back. The Sentinal runs alongside Vinter to be a sac-pawn target. Alexia and the Nyss basically just body-block as needed. Alexia herself can also benefit from Falk's buff to do some work.

Blondie was back to Stryker 2:
Stryker 2
- Old Rowdy
- Ironclad
Sword Knights

We picked a 2017 scenario with two zones and two flags. Blondie won the roll and chose to go second.

For some reason that I no longer fully remember I focussed my forces on the zone on my left. I think I didn't want to have to deal with the forest on my right since only the Nyss Hunters had Pathfinder, and I wanted them on the left to shoot stuff hiding behind the wall.

Blondie spread out his forces, with his infantry to my left and his jacks a little to my right.

Round 1:
I ran everything up. Alexia and Cylena sat on the hill for a defensive bonus. I didn't know what to do with Falk so I just ran him to the trench; I think I was considering putting him in the forest to benefit from Prowl.

Blondie advanced and shot down a some of my infantry.

Round 2:
Vinter killed a bunch of Sword Knights, with the Sentinel running between him and Rowdy. Nyss Hunters killed some Gunmages. Alexia crafted a Thrall who charged the Ironclad in the right zone, but Rowdy counter-charged and killed it. I ran Falk to toe the right zone while hiding in the forest.

Blondie pulled back his GMCAs a bit, while his remaining infantry took out a few more Nyss Hunters and Risen. The Hunter walked to within 5" of Falk and gunned him down. The Ironclad ran toward my flag. Stryker ran into the right zone and based Rowdy, allowing him to score a point this turn. I don't remember how, but my Sentinel's gun arm was crippled this turn (probably from the GMCAs).

Round 3:
Vinter danced around murdering infantry; by the time he was done there was only a gunmage or two left in range for the Nyss Hunters to kill. The Journeyman took a boosted shot at the Ironclad, doing respectable damage. Lanyssa then hit it with Ice Bolt, doing nothing. Finally Alexia charged in and burned all her Risen, leaving the Ironclad on about 3 boxes (his right arm and cortex were fine). I believe we both scored a point this turn.

The Ironclad killed Alexia. Rowdy positioned up aggressively. I think the Hunter crippled the Sentinel's cortex. Stryker cast Deceleration. Again we both scored; I think it was 3-2 to Blondie.

Round 4:
My Journeyman Warcaster took another boosted shot at the Ironclad, doing exactly the three damage needed to destroy it... or so we thought at the time. We remembered later that Deceleration was up and so he should only have done one point of damage. Well, it didn't really matter. Anyway, Lanyssa cast Hunter's Mark on Rowdy, allowing the Sentinel to charge him for no effect. Vinter then charged in and did some damage, but not enough to cripple anything - ARM 23 is a thing after all. On his final hit he slammed Rowdy away and walked back behind the Sentinel. Lanyssa scored the flag and Stryker scored the zone, bringing us to 4-3 to Blondie.

The Hunter killed my Journeyman, taking Arcane Shield off Vinter. Rowdy scrapped the Sentinel, leaving Vinter vulnerable to shooting. The first GMCA, who I had carelessly left in Vinter's back arc, landed a Flare shot. This freed up the second to roll hot on a Brutal Damage shot:

By the time Blondie's Journeyman had landed his shot, Vinter was left with only four boxes. Finally Stryker Overloaded for two dice, rolling a 10, and charged up to casually slice Vinter in half with a single P+S 25 swing.

This was a very fun game. Perhaps it's because everything was dying so quickly? Sometimes games can drag on a bit. Whether it's because our lists where both a bit fragile or because we where both playing a bit less cagey than usual, stuff died quickly this game. Which it turns out is fun I guess.

The scenario never felt like a realistic win condition during this game. I wonder if that has something to do with us playing at a lower points level? Or maybe neither of us was aggressive enough in contesting?

I did enjoy running up ahead of my army and basically just killing all of Blondie's infantry with Vinter, but I don't think he's really a very competitive caster. He can be very survivable as long as you spend resources on it (targets for sac pawn etc), but he's extremely strapped for resources due to his lack of WJPs. He does very little for your army and doesn't even have a feat. While I built my list around him to a certain extent (Junior and Sentinel for Arcane Shield and a sac-pawn, Falk, Lanyssa) I still couldn't fit in everything I wanted (I had to choose between Lanyssa and Piper for Pathfinder), and I didn't even have a good target for Desperate Pace (which seems a little hard to use since it's an action so Vinter himself is not doing anything if you use it). Losing Falk hurt since I wasn't going to be able to break through Arcane Shield without that damage buff, but I didn't have much else to contest with. In retrospect I should have swapped his place with Lanyssa (or just not tried to contest that zone at all, or done so with a unit...). Speaking of, I found positioning both of them to be difficult since they are both short-ranged yet need to target the enemy to do their job meaning they need to quite close to the front lines (and both were important for my strategy of "kill everything with Vinter").

I would like to upgrade the Sentinel to a tough heavy, but points are so tight in this list. Perhaps if I swap Alexia and the Nyss for, say, Gallant and some Cygnar infantry. Sword Knights for cheap bodies, or Precursors (Vinter can actually buff them a little after all) for extra focus on Gallant.

I realised days later that I forgot to make a Tough roll with Vinter...

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