Thursday, December 12, 2019

Menoth's In The Mail

Got another game in with Speedy. This time we played at 25 points. I ran some of my usual models:
Strakhov 1
- Juggernaut
- Destroyer
Nyss Hunters
Kell Bailoch

Speedy is still in the process of acquiring models so we proxied a bunch of my spares:
Kreoss 1 (proxied by Paladin of the Wall)
- Vanquisher (proxied by Demolisher)
- Crusader (proxied by Berserker)
- Repenter (proxied by Sentinel)
Choir of Menoth (proxied by Battle Mechanics)
Cinerators (proxied by MOW, Butcher, and Blasters)

We decided not to introduce scenarios yet, and played a basic caster-kill game. I won the roll and chose the side with more forests. Speedy chose to go second.

I deployed my Nyss Hunters to my left, behind a forest. My battlegroup was in the center.

Speedy layered his models, with the Cinerators in front, followed by the jacks, then the Choir, then Kreoss.

Finally I placed Kell forwards, beside the forest on my left.

Round 1:
I put out Superiority on the Juggernaut, Sentry on the Destroyer, and Occultation on Strakhov, who then fail-charged forwards. Everyone else ran forwards. Kell got himself into the forest for Prowl.

Speedy put Defender's Ward on the Cinerators, and Lamentation on Kreoss. Everything advanced. The jacks were given Passage.

Round 2:
The Nyss Hunters spread out. I ran my jacks into the trench. Strakhov tossed a cinder bomb in order to create a cloud; this scattered directly backwards and promptly killed a Nyss Hunter...

Kell advanced slightly and pinged the Vanquisher for 3 damage. I believe the Nyss Hunters and Destroyer both shot at the Cinerators and both failed to do damage, which of course meant they didn't get Vengeance.

The Choir walked forwards and sung Passage. The Cinerators advanced. The Crusader ran into the forest, while the other jacks advanced more cautiously on my right.

Round 3:
I loaded up the Juggernaut and the Destroyer. I believe the Destroyer put two damage on a Cinerator with his Sentry shot. Kell finished off that Cinerator and put three more damage on the Vanquisher. Between a boosted Destroyer shot and some charging Nyss Hunters I believed I killed another two Cinerators.

Then my Juggernaut charged the already-damaged Vanquisher. Needing three's to hit (even without the MAT buff from Superiority), he instantly rolled snake eyes on his charge attack. The fist landed, but the second axe attack ALSO came up double 1s! Finally a crit on the last axe attack left the Vanquisher stationary, but in pretty good health overall.

The Choir handed out Battle. The Vanquisher crippled the Juggernaut's cortex. The Repenter walked forwards and gunned down Kell. The Crusader trampled over some Nyss and bought an attack against another, killing three in total. Between Vengeance and their activation the Cinerators killed a couple more.

Round 4:
I loaded up the Destroyer; his Sentry shot killed three Choirboys, then he charged into the Crusader, crippling his mace. No crits were had unfortunately - my record of NEVER ONCE benefiting from the Destroyer's crit is still intact! Nyss Hunters did... nothing really. The crippled Juggernaut didn't get much done either. Strakhov walked out of the Repenter's charge range and spent four focus to land a couple of double-boosted shots into the Repenter, doing good damage but not crippling anything. I also tossed out a cinder bomb to block the Revenger's LOS to Strakhov, even though I knew there was absolutely no reason to do so.

Kreoss feated, knocking down most everything short of Strakhov himself. The Choir sung Battle. Between a charging Cinerator with a good damage roll, a boosted shot from the Vanquisher, and the Crusader flailing around with his crippled mace, my Destroyer was scrapped. The Juggernaut shared the same fate. Two more Nyss Hunters fell to a Cinerator.

Round 5:
Hail Mary time! Strakhov Feated and cast Overrun from outside of Kreoss' Lamentation range, then charged into a Choirboy, bouncing off and into Kreos himself. After four attacks Kreoss was still alive, so Strakhov Sprinted around to be out of the Vanquisher's threat range, taking seven damage from a freestrike.

Kreoss dropped Defender's Ward. A Vengence attack killed a Nyss Hunter. The Cinerator and the Crusader all whiffed their attacks against Cylena, but the Repenter's aimed boosted shot took her down, finishing off the unit. The Vanquisher turned around and walked towards Strakhov. The Kreoss turned around and started swinging, managing to finish off Strakhov with his last attack.

It was a lot of fun to have a proper Warmachine game again after so long. I was rustier than I expected; I really didn't use Strakhov very well. He often ended up sitting on focus that he could have been using to do something useful, like put out some boosted shooting, simply because I was being too cagey with him, keeping him far back and behind clouds when he would have been completely safe a little bit closer to the action.

Still, I do think I would have won if the Juggernaut hadn't whiffed so epically. I mean, going in against a DEF 10 ARM 19 heavy who had already lost 9 boxes, and he didn't even cripple anything useful? You just can't plan for that. Had he wrecked the Vanquisher I would have had a Juggernaut dangerously close to Kreoss. Plus of course I would have had a huge attrition lead.

The fact that Strakhov still managed to pull off a respectable assassination attempt at the end is pretty cool. In retrospect I'm wondering if I could have avoided taking that freestrike and still stayed out of everything else's threat range? It might have been possible; if so Strakhov might even have managed to survive Kreoss' retaliation (by the thinnest of margins if that), and the finished the job next turn. Not saying it was likely, only I could have improved my chances if I had thought it through better.

Strakhov was actually pretty good against Kreoss I think; fire immunity means he's not too scared of the pop'n'drop and he can bring his own cloud and knockdown-immune jack for added protection, plus Lamentation doesn't affect him nearly as much as it does other casters who depend heavily on spells (whether they be upkeeps or direct casts).

Having said all that, I'm once again feeling Strakhov's lack of any kind of offensive buff. Sure, I can do speed, but my infantry miss more often than I'd like, and my heavies can't reliably  take another heavy off the table.

Man, Protectorate heavies are serious business in melee. I mean, a 10 point heavy who's P+S 20? A ranged jack with a P+S 18 chain weapon? That are harder to chip down at range before committing to melee? Yeah, I know, Choir tax. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade our jacks for theirs (what proud Khadoran would?), but you sure as hell can't take them lightly! I mean, even buying attacks with a crippled mace, the Crusader did a big chunk of damage to my (knocked down) ARM 20 Destroyer.

Cinerators don't sound like a big deal on paper, but Vengeance is a bigger deal than I initially thought it was. I reckon I can deal with it of course, I just need to get used to it.

Anyway, getting a couple of games in has made me excited about Warmachine in a way that I haven't been in a while. I'm enjoying it right now, just have to make sure I don't get carried away and buy a bunch of models that I'll never actually get to use...

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