Thursday, February 24, 2011

Steamroller 2/20/11 @ Maplewood Hobby

With only about a month of playing the game me and a couple of friends decided to sign up for an upcoming Steamroller tournament at our semi-local gaming store.

my list:
Magnus the Traitor
Steelhead Riflemen (min unit)
Steelhead Riflemen (min unit)
Steelhead Halberdiers (max unit)
Steelhead Cavalry (min unit)
Kell Bailioch
Gorman De Wulfe
Stannis Brocker

I knew that Magnus was probably not the best caster for my list, but I wanted to go with a painted army and I couldn't get everything I wanted in time for a Mc Bain list. Also I was more familiar with Magnus all my games thus far were with Magnus. So I picked a list that I was pretty familiar with even if it was not optimized.

First round I faced Brain who had:

Epic Captain Allister Caine
Gun Mages (max unit?)
Black 13
Rangers (min unit)
Gun Mage Captain Adept

the mission was three control points in the middle of the board, after first turn one of them would disappear.

I knew right off the bat that I would have to spring forward and attempt to control a point before Brain can move his ever so shooty force to deal with my infantry. Didn't kill much on his side but the high point was landing an obliterator shot right on Reinholdt's head.

Though my infantry was chewed up by blatantly being thrown in the face of a firing line that isn't what lost me the game... What lost me the game was not reading the mission, for some reason I believed that jacks could not cold an objective. Had I known I would of moved my renegade up to the objective and won the mission. But alas and YET again I fail to read the mission properly and because of it completely fail. On the upside Magnus survived the battle!

Second Round I faced off against Steve who had:

Epic Wraith Witch Deneghra
Death Ripper x2?
Defiler? tell you the truth I really couldn't tell the difference.
Withershadow Combine
Necrotech with Scrap Thralls (max)
Wrong Eye & Snap Jaw

the mission was odd, it was to have only your models in a small area of control on your opponents side. what made it odd was that the opposing faction's box was only a short walk away from your own.

He started the game very aggressively by running his three light jacks right in front of my army, I retaliated by sending as much firepower as possible into them. Crippling most of their abilities and giving me the slight advantage in knowing that he wouldn't be slinging spells from afar. If Deneghra wanted to do anything she would have to come in close.

Soon enough he popped Deneghra's feat freezing all my guys into place as he paraded his gators through my lines. The Reaper wiped out the Nomad pretty easily after using all its focus allotment leaving it a wreck. During the round Stannis proved to be the true leader of my force making himself some nice gator shoes out of the Bull Snapper.

My retalitory strike didn't do much wiped out 2/3rds of the Withershadow combine backed away from the deadly reaper. Moved Magnus to behind the lines overseeing any progress with the Renegade (who had snipe by the way) in tow. During his turn he attempted a run at my Magnus, he used Deneghra to charge and teleport Stannis my dice were rolling hot and I managed to hit her with defensive strike for a few boxes.

Next he charged with Snapjaw at Magnus dealing a healthy seven to eight damage, admittedly he charged in with only one fury on him and used up all his fury getting that much damage. Horrible rolls really screwed up his attempt especially missing with most of his charge attacks then barely rolling Magnus' armor.

When my turn rolled around I knew I had to make my attempt on Deneghra or as a last ditch effort pop my feat and run Magnus away from Snapjaw while sending my renegade to tie it up in combat. I charged a halberdier not in combat against Deneghra hoping for a lucky hit, didn't work, I was hoping that I would be able to send the lone surviving calvary against Deneghra running past Snapjaw (that didn't work he died). Stannis walked back towards Deneghra and was lucky enough to roll high for a hit easily putting a few more boxes of damage on Deneghra. To end my run my Renegade stood stationary and launched his obliterator into combat, I knew the chances of hitting Deneghra were none but I knew with a 4" AOE it couldn't scatter that far off target.

I wasn't wrong it scattered slightly, landing on the halberdier in the combat who somehow survived the ordeal! Deneghra was caught in the blast I boosted the damage and checkmate Deneghra was done for.

Third round I was paired against James?:
Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff
Beast 09
Kayazy Assassins w/ Underboss UA
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Saxxon Orrik
War dog
Winter Guard infantry w/ Officer & Standard UA and Rocketeer WA
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich

mission was get to opposing armies flag with a unit to gain control points. I knew that I wouldn't be able to accomplish it lol.

Though I knew going in that I would be horribly beat by Kayazy Assassins and their crazy shenanigans my opponent was a very understanding and experienced player that was patient with me. The rocketeers kept launching shots at my infantry, when I braved the large hill in the center of the table the Kayazy Assassins dealt with most of the Halberdiers.

Small victory was when a lone Rifleman decided to take vengeance and killed Kovnik with one shot! Huzzah for aiming! of course in return he was bludgeoned to death by the Winter Guard but whatever. Also when two Assassins came barreling at Magnus who was camping his focus, failed to do any damage. In return Magnus took out an assassin and popped his feat to retreat into a forest away from the Assassins.

The Khador player proceeded to chase around Magnus with Beast 09 but scored twice on my counter and won the game. Over all it was a very enjoyable game even if I was getting beat my opponent was a very nice guy so I walked away with the moral victory of Magnus living to see another day.

Round 4 I was paired against Hoj:
Epic Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia
Mulg the Ancient
Earthborn Dire Troll
Dire Troll Mauler
Trollkin Champions (max unit)

the mission was two circle control areas on opposite ends in the middle of the table.

This game was pretty quick seeing as I knew fully well what Hoj's list was capable of, having played it the night before in a few practice games. Hoj knew that his list needed to stay relatively packed together in order to deliver a killing blow. So I left Magnus far behind the lines to counter attack anything Hoj would throw at me.

I ran up the sacrificial Halberdiers into one of the control areas while sending all my Riflemen towards the flank taking a few pot shots at the Mauler. Hoj responded by bounding the Earthborn towards the halberds killing four and engaging the rest, while the mauler took a few swipes at the Riflemen.

In response my Halberdiers combined their attacks damaging the Earhborn, who was then run down by the Cavalry charge! All I can say is OUCH until that point I haven't use my Calvary usually they run around making the enemy worried and are dealt with harshly. But when you have them flanking Halberdiers I never imagined taking out an Earthborn that quickly. The Riflemen continued to plink at the Mauler, though I can see Hoj was heavily discouraged at this point after all I just took out a third of his main hitting power.

Next round the Mauler and Mulg finished up most of the two Riflemen units and stayed in a control area. I attempted to make a small attempt at assassination on Hoarluk, knowing he would be hiding behind his champions. Since he camped one fury I decided to start with Gorman throwing an acid bomb on Hoarluk and his Champions that were packed tightly. I manged to hit a lot of them and rolled high enough to cause a fair bit of damage. Hoarluk transferred the damage to one of his beasts.

Seeing the opportunity I launched the Renegade's obliterator at the Champions boosting damage against Hoarluk. Rolling high even for the blast damage Hoarluck was standing on just a breath of life and all of his Champions were either knocked down (due to tough) or severely damaged. With a lot of them being effected by corrosion next turn, Hoj called the game noting that I would score the second point needed for the objective win seeing as the last few Riflemen jumped into his control zone to stop him from scoring.

End of the day:
I had a great four games and I am finally getting a good grasp of the game, I have to thank Ibodger program on my phone for referencing any rules quandary I had before asking a question to the judge. Whats next for the mercs? Well I have just finished painting Mc Bain and I am attempting to making two different armies one for Magnus and one for Mc Bain.

There were rumors of a new merc caster modeled after Don Quixote and will be a steel head caster, this had me quite excited as I tend to run a lot of steel head infantry and who doesn't love the story of Don Quixote?! I have am also in negotiations to start my second army, Retribution of Scryah. Namely because I like playing armies that are not seen often. Hopefully next update will be a few pics!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Price of War II: Mercs vs Skorne 25pts

Had another game of Warmachine last weekend this time I pit my Mercenaries against Cash' Skorne army. I used the same army I did last time while Cash used the Skorne army with the following:

Lord Assassin Morghul
Cyclops Savage
Titan Gladiator
Cataphract Arcuarii (min unit)
Praetorian Karax (max unit?)
Hakaar the Destroyer
Farrow Razorback Crew

I had a very rough idea of what the Skorne was capable of having glanced in their general direction a few times when deciding which army to play. I knew that Morghul was quite good at the assassination game (as befits his title of course). So my rough battle plan was to tempt Morghul to come forward and pounce.

The first turn or two it was a stand off with my army advancing forward in a crescent formation while my Halberdiers ran as fast as they could to right flank of the Skorne Army. The Skorne army decided to wait around for my army to arrive as it slowly advanced it's shield wall. A few pot shots from my riflemen managed to knock out some Karax.

Then I made a fatal mistake, believing that Magnus' feat "hit and run" could be used to advance my army unload with all my firepower/weapons and then slink back... Unfortunately I was unaware that "battle group" meant only Magnus himself and the jacks under his control were allowed to use the feat... To say this had disastrous results would be an understatement to say the least. All of my units were prime to getting viciously mauled is just about right to describe what happened.

With such a set back most people would of thrown in the towel but in the spirit of learning from my mistakes I kept in the gaming. I even had a few funny moments mixed in ala "trench spade" from a Rifleman hurting the Cyclops. Though all good things come to an end, when Magnus was dragged by the Arcuraii then finished off by Morghul.

All in all it was a good game and even if I was beat to a pulp a learned a few good lessons.. namely:

Battle group - I guess it's my fault, I tend not to read the rulebook much and learn in the way of someone showing me a demo. I will not say brag and say this sole misunderstanding cost me "the win" or the game. But rather knowing the subtle difference of what "battle group" to army was could of led me NOT to do anything rash like I had done. Live and learn.

Gorman - Actually using him this time was great actually, though he only lobbed two of his grenades they did well on both occasions.

Jacks - While researching other Mercenary casters I noticed that Drake Mcbain was also someone I would be interested in testing out. I realize now that Magnus would better be served by a slightly different army. Nothing major just a subtle change here and there, not quite finished with list yet but for now I will remain playing the same army at 25pts.

Spells - Seeing as Magnus can upkeep spells without spending focus I should of just put Blur on him. It would of defintely helped him against the Arcuarii trying to reel him in with their harpoons. I am also considering giving the Nomad "Iron Aggression" while giving the Renegade "Temper Metal" or "Snipe".

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The price of war. Mercs vs Menoth 25pts

Having just started wamachine and hordes with the group, I decided to go against Hoj's Menoth list in a 25 point straight battle with my Mercenaries.

Harbinger of Menoth
Bastions (minimum)
Avatar of Menoth
Sensachal of the Wall
Choir (minimum)

Magnus the Traitor
Steelhead Riflemen (minimum)
Steelhead Riflemen (minimum)
Steelhead Halberdiers (maximum)
*Gorman De Wulfe

* though he is supposed to be in my army since I was using proxies I completely forgot all about him and he did nothing this battle.

Pre-game thoughts:
I know that between the bastions "sanguine bond" and the harbinger's "martyrdom" ability that it would take a massive amount of damage to wipe out the bastions. My best chance to do this would be to constantly stack damage against them hoping that Hoj would keep using the "martyrdom" ability and ping himself to death.

the only terrain worth noting was a brick wall dead center of the board all other terrain were in places we didn't even think to go.

deployment: left to right from my point of view
mercs: riflemen, nomad (magnus behind), renegade, halberdiers and rifelmen
menoth: avatar (choir behind), sensachel, bastions, vigilant, harbinger (heirophant behind)

turn 1:
Mercs: due to tier 2, I was able to edge my steelhead units with advance deploy which gave them a running to start to get into position. With their actual movement setting up a defense roughly eight or so inches away from the center wall. Magus cast Snipe on leftmost riflemen and Temper Metal on the Nomad.

Everything ran forward, the choir singing a hymn to keep the avatar safe from non-magical ranged attacks. As the avatar went on the left flank closer to the wall waiting for my jacks to pop their heads up. Everything else in the Menoth force bore to my right side flank hoping to bottle neck my forces and win the game of attrition.

Turn 2:
Mercs: Magnus casts Iron Aggression on the Renegade, I move it forward and attempt to drop the obliterator on the bastions. Needing only a 5+ to hit on 2d6 I don't boost and regret it as it scatters, luckily for me some lucky rolling and I do a good amount of damage to a bastion caught in the blast (who of course spreads damage to his unit).

Nomad charges at Avatar (I put three focus on itself and the Renegade) and manage to do some really good damage though I do not knock out any of it's systems. The rightmost riflemen take a couple of pot shots at the bastions which at this point have about two or three boxes of life left each.

Menoth: Choir gives Avatar hymn that negates non magical ranged attackes, as it generated all four focus. Proceeded to dismantle my Nomad leaving it with it's left arm (buckler) and it's movement all other systems were knocked down.

Harbinger casts spell on bastions that give them extra movement for a charge, they butcher the three riflemen they reach making the other three run away (two of them were killed with free strikes) leaving one close to my deployment.

turn 3:
Renegade with three focus charges into a bastion which he pastes since the Menoth player was hesitant to keep "sanguine bonding" the same guy when I had critical shred and boosted attack rolls from spell. Halberdiers charge into Bastions causing a good number of wounds, at this point most of them were at one life and Harbinger kept using her martyrdom ability.

Not expecting much out of the Nomad I roll for the buckler first and manage to roll high enough to knock out the Avatar's sword arm! If that wasn't amazing enough I hit and damaged it with the other arm also! Six point Nomad against eleven point Avatar... not bad at all! The lone rifleman rallies and stays put.

Harbinger moves up casts cataclysm on a few on the Halberdiers in combat with the Bastions, wipes out a fair few, then heals a few wounds with focus. The Bastions split their attacks between the Halberdiers and the Renegade which loses both of it's arms. The rest of the Halberdiers are gone by the end of the Bastion's activation. Avatar crushed life out of Nomad but only had a few damage boxes left open.

turn 4:

Combined ranged attack from the Sniping Riflemen knock out the Avatar with ease and they sit guarding the left flank. Magnus moves to the middle of the field to protect the Riflemen from any danger, lets loose with his scattergun hurting the Bastions (which Harbinger used martyrdom ability quite a few times) and sit on my focus. The Renegade all but done for also manages a hit for a little of damage and again Harbinger uses the martyrdom ability. Lone Rifleman near my deployment moves up confident the Bastions would not waste time trying to kill him.

Paladin of the wall finishes off the poor Renegade which frees up the Bastions, unfortunately for them they have no line of sight to Magnus. One of them tries to walk up to Magnus and swing but fails to hit, the rest move closer to combat if it continues past this turn. Harbinger decides this is the moment for assassination run, walks up 3-4" from Magnus and casts a boosted Cataclysm (boy I really hate that spell..) does 8-9 damage, spurred on by success he casts it again boosting damage leaving Magnus with 1 life.

Turn 5:

Hit the Bastion in base with Magnus with the mekanikal arm knocking him down Harbinger using martyrdom (but of course). Foe cleaver attack also was martyred, I didn't realize this at first but I could of just used Arcantrik Bolt boosted and have done major damage to Harbinger (who was only armor 14). Instead I kept hitting the downed Bastion till eventually the Menoth player just said screw it. Magnus attempted a regular arcantrik bolt but failed to hit since I had no focus to boost.

Lone Rifleman pulled off a miracle shot managing to hit the Harbinger and doing a few points of damage. Time for the check mate the Sniping Riflemen walked forward and let loose with a combined ranged attack against the Harbinger rolling bang on what I needed. Didn't need to roll for damage as the minimum pow 17 dealt the Harbinger the last three wounds it had.

Post Game:
I knew going in what the Harbinger and Bastions were trying to do so my rough battle plan was to cause enough wounds early on and hope that martyrdom would cause enough damage one turn that an assassination run would be possible.

We were both new to Warmachine and though he had an upper hand according to all the veterans at the store. The Menoth player received more tips on how to play rather than myself... figure that out? lol Even when I finished my game and told them the results the veterans looked stumped and asked what the Menoth player did wrong.

Though I can see the uses for Magnus' feat I am still unsure as to when to use it precisely, it isn't something that does damage or restricts enemy movement. It gives me a repositioning move that can be very helpful just not quite sure when it would of been useful in this game.

The Harbinger used her feat to pin a few of my Halberdiers from supporting their friends in combat against the Bastions. It also managed to put some damage on the Renegade on Nomad but other than that not much else.