Battle 001 – Cygnar vs Retribution, pCaine vs Ossyan: Don’t Blink!

So, in the spirit of continuing to bring you, our loyal listeners and fans (all 10 of you!) content that you hopefully will find amusing and awesome and educational, occasionally we’re going to post Non-Podcast Battle Reports (NPR). These will be text-only reports, posted both here and on the Privateer Press Forums, that will give you a chance to read some battles that may not have been as cool as to make it into the podcast itself, but should still entertain and amuse.

SR001-05-Ret Turn 1

For example, this week, I played Kassem and his Retribution forces. I’ve been looking for an excuse to field pCaine, and I had a suspicion that Kassem would *not* be bringing a heavy-Stealth list, but *would* be bringing a metric crap-tonne of infantry, which is just about perfect for Caine and his infantry-mulching Feat.

pCaine is one of those Cygnar warcasters that I love to hate. I love the way he looks, the way his rules work… in fact, just about everything about him… but he continually hands me losses. Not his fault, I still haven’t figured out how to make him “click”, but annoying because I can see so much potential… but it rarely materializes. I was hoping this time would be different!

We rolled for Scenario and got “Incoming!” (which figures… we always get the cool artillery-ones on the days I don’t bring artillery!), which has two 6×12″ zones (a friendly and an enemy zone) and 2 destructible objectives (again, friendly and enemy). 1 point for destroying the objective, 1 for dominating the friendly zone, 2 for controlling the enemy zone, and 3 for dominating the enemy zone.

I brought to the table what I feel is a pretty balanced pCaine list…

Lieutenant Allister Caine (pCaine, Caine1)
– Stormwall
– Squire
Black 13th Gun Mages (B13)
Rangers
Silver Line Stormguard (max)
Journeywoman Warcaster
Arlan Strangewayes
Harlen Versh
Gorman di Wulfe
Dougal MacNaile
Rhupert Carvolo
Reinholdt
Stormsmith Stormcallers x3

I’m actually rather proud of this list. The Stormcallers and Stormwall work together to wipe out hordes of high-DEF and Stealth infantry. The Stormwall itself is protected by the Silver Line’s ability to deny charges, while the Rangers support Caine, the B13, and the Stormwall to hit higher ARM targets. It lacks a little for pure ARM-cracking capability, but Gorman can lob out Blind grenades as far as 18″ away with surprising accuracy and rerolls for deviation with Caine’s Snipe and Dougal’s mini-Feat and Artillerist… which will allow me to ignore or at the very crippling-delay warjacks if needed (or Corrode high-ARM infantry if that’s what happens to be on the table).

Is it perfect? No. But I was very happy with it regardless! I think it has too many solos and not enough units… but until I get Boomhowlers, I think it will probably stay more-or-less like this. Maybe.

Now, before we go further, I have to apologize for something… I’ve been working on basing my Stormwall, and the night before this game I applied another layer of WaterFX to the base to add depth to the river its striding out of. Sadly, at some point while I slept, the wall holding the WaterFX in place decided to spring a leak… so when I awoke, there was a weird little hole in the river. I filled it quickly, but didn’t have time to let the base try and solidify before this game… so I was forced to… dare I say it… proxy.

As a result, in the following pictures, my Stormwall is represented by Nick’s Searforge Earthbreaker (which is coming along beautifully, I must say). I’m very sorry.

Anyway, Kassem’s list was one of his recent Retribution-Brick lists, flush with 2 of the new Houseguard Thanes (HGT). Ironic, since I normally field *no* Stealth against Retribution, and the one game he brings HGTs, I have an army just filthy with it… but such is life! His list was:

Lord Arcanist Ossyan
– Aspis
– Hypnos
– Sylys
Halberdiers (max) with UA
Riflemen (max) with UA
Invictors (max) with UA
Houseguard Thane (HGT) x2
Arcanist (possibly x2?)
Fane Knight

As you can see… just gobs of infantry. All of it in the ARM13-18 range, which against Caine’s POW12s… was going to result in a whole LOT of dead elves.
Now, Kassem was proxying all sorts of things (I think the Aspis is a Chimera, and Hypnos is a Phoenix, and both HGTs are from his Skorne army, and the Fane Knight is represented by just his horse… I think…), but hopefully it will be clear what is what.

We rolled for initiative, which Kassem won (jerk) and took first turn (double-jerk). Fine. I looked at the table and took the side with the forest to give my prowling B13 and/or Rangers Stealth… which may seem pretty pointless against the Riflemen’s ability to ignore Stealth, but at the very least if he’s using the HGTs to do that, he’s not doing other things with them (for example, giving both the Riflemen and Halberdiers “Desperate Pace”). Besides, it would still give them Concealment, since Kassem had elected not to bring any Mage Hunter Strike Force (WOO!).

First, I dropped my Stormwall-Earthbreaker (“Stormbreaker” for the rest of this report) near the middle of the table on the left side, closer to my friendly zone.

So Kassem set up: a line of Halberdiers, followed by a line of Riflemen, followed by a line of Invictors. The HGTs went to the left and right of center at the very back of the brick. Ossyan went to the left side at the FRONT of the Brick (this… might be a very quick game…) with the Aspis to soak up some shots with its Shield Guard, and Hypnos went on the opposite side of the formation with an Arcanist behind him. Oh, and the Fane Knight (out of frame in the picture below) went on the far right side.

SR001-03-Game Start

So with that set up, I put all the Silver Line right next to the Stormbreaker (with the intent to run them in front of it to screen it and run it up behind them), with the Journeywoman behind them to give them Arcane Shield. Reinholdt, the Squire, and Caine went right in the middle, while the Power Trio of Gorman, Harlen, and Dougal went to the right side (across from Ossyan himself). The B13 went on the left flank, near and behind the forest. The 3 Stormcallers and Arlan went behind the Stormbreaker. The Rangers went forward in their Advanced Deploy went across from the Fane Knight (POW11s > ARM17… I hoped!).

SR001-02-Game Start

With that, our armies were set, and we began!

SR001-01-Game Start

Retribution Turn 1

Ossyan assigns 1 Focus to the Aspis, and we’re off!
Ossyan goes first. He casts “Quicken” on the Halberdiers, “Admonition” on himself, and… oh shoot… something else. I forget what and on who. He then walks forward.
The Halberdiers and Riflemen both get “Desperate Pace” from one of the HGTs. The Halberdiers walk up in “Shield Wall” and then Reform forward their astounding 13″ (6″ base plus 3″ Reform plus 2″ Quicken plus 2″ Desperate Pace = wow). The Riflemen run up behind them.
The Invictors run up behind the Riflemen, Hypnos receives a Focus from the Arcanist and runs forward. The Aspis runs forward.
Lastly, the Fane Knight runs forward to the edge of the elevated rough terrain on the right side of the table, toes in for the +2 Def.

SR001-04-Ret Turn 1

Cygnar Turn 1

I hate going 2nd. I loathe it. Not being able to get all my guns forward… bah! Oh well… might as kill some stuff and see how things progress. No Focus to anyone, and we’re off!
Arlan goes first, moving up beside the Stormbreaker and giving it a Focus through Power Booster. The B13 run forward, Lynch heading up the furthest (no Stealth, so he’s about as useless as Watts this game!), and both Ryan and Watts toes-into the forest for the Stealth and Concealment bonus.

I would argue that those guys should have Pathfinder… but they’re already so bonkers-good as it is that I can’t complain even about that.

Caine goes next. He casts “Snipe” on Harlen, Blur on himself, and tosses “Deadeye” on my Rangers… yeah, they’re probably going to hit anyway, but better safe! He then moves towards the wall nearby… DEF24 against shooting and DEF19 against melee? Yes please!

I consider briefly about popping McNaile’s mini-Feat this turn to give Harlen the extra range to blast a mass of Halberdiers off the table, but I decide against it and figure it’s better to save to use with a Blind grenade from Gorman. Besides, it looks like the Halberdiers are within 20″ of Versh, so I probably don’t need that extra 2″. As a result, I activate MacNaile and have him just move slightly forward and further right towards the Fane Knight… if things with my Rangers go south, I hope his Quad-Fire pistol can fix things!

Versh goes next. He walks forward and shoots the closest Halberdier… who is well within range (12″). Excellent! Purgation gives him a bonus die to hit and damage, while Blessed on his weapon lets him ignore Quicken!
So I need 6s to hit (on 3d6) and 9s to kill (also on 3d6). No worries!
First shot hits… and I roll an 8 for damage. Boo.
Second shot hits… and I roll an 8 for damage. Again.
Third shot hits… and I roll ANOTHER 8 for damage!
Fourth shot hits! I FINALLY roll a 9! Damnations, that should be 4 dead Halberdiers… but oh well. I’ll take the 1 I got, I suppose.

Gorman activates and shuffles forward a bit. He’s priming both a Blind Grenade and an Acid grenade for next turn, depending on whether I want to kill the Aspis or the Halberdiers…

The Rangers go next. 3 stand and aim (I’m pretty confident they’re within 10″), the other 3 move forward to circle around the Fane Knight and one of them gets him within 5″. They need 7s to hit, and on 3d6 from Deadeye, that shouldn’t be a problem.
First shot hits and inflicts 2 wounds (dice – 6 damage).
Second shot hits and inflicts 4 more wounds.
Third shot hits and inflicts 5 wounds, dismounting the dragoon.
Fourth shot hits and inflicts 2 wounds on the now-on-foot Fane Knight.
Fifth shot misses!
Last shot… hits… and kills! With that the Fane Knight is taken off the table… phew!

The Journeywoman activates and casts Arcane Shield on the Silver Line. She then walks towards the middle of the table so she can head in whatever direction is needed.
Rhupert activates and gives the Silver Line Tough.
The Silver Line activate and run up to be between where the Stormbreaker will be and the Halberdiers currently are. They clump together to deny charges.

The Stormbreaker activates and runs up behind the Silver Line (only about 8″ up, but that should be plenty).

Lastly, the Stormcallers activate and run up behind the Stormbreaker.

With that, I’m done! Only killed 2 models, but the death of the Fane Knight had be breathing a bit easier regardless.

SR001-06-Cygnar Turn 1 SR001-08-Cygnar Turn 1 SR001-09-Cygnar Turn 1 SR001-10-Cygnar Turn 1 SR001-11-Cygnar Turn 1

Retribution Turn 2

Okay, so I had killed 2 models (although really, 3 more of those Halberdiers should be dead… Kassem was having a lot of luck with my damage rolls!), but Kassem was still worried about the amount of firepower I could bring to bear next turn. So what did he do?

He rushed everything in and hoped that my head exploded from having too many targets, I think… anyway…

Ossyan upkeeps Quicken, drops Admonition… oh! I remember the other spell now. It was Shatterstorm on the Riflemen! Right, right. He upkeeps that as well. Sylys lets him upkeep one of them for free. He choses not to allocate anything, and we’re off.

The HGTs activate first. One moves up and gives the Riflemen “Stealth=Haha, No”, and the other gives the Halberdiers “Desperate Pace” again.
The Riflemen move up, breaking into 2 groups, one on either side fo the tower. The ones of the right open fire at Harlen, easily hitting and killing the noble Morrowan witchhunter (boo!). The other group take 2-man shots at my Silver Line, but only kill 1.
Next, the Invictors move up and pop their mini-Feat (effectively giving them Snipe for a turn). They open fire on my Rangers, killing 3, and on my Silver Line, killing 3 of those as well (no Tough rolls, sadly).
The Arcanist behind Hypnos gives him a free Focus.
Hypnos activates and moves forward. He fires at a clump of 3 Silver Line in front of my Stormbreaker… and he hits! He Force-Locks my…

No, no he doesn’t. Kassem, failing to READ the card, assumed that everything under the template got Force-locked… but no, it has to be a direct hit… and even then, Hypnos is WAY out of Ossyan’s CTRL at this point, so double-no. I breathe a deep sigh of relief. The shot and the 2 blast-damage rolls all fail to kill.

The Halberdiers, unable to Charge, simply walk up in Shield Guard to my Silver Line (10″ walks! With Reach!). 7 of them engage my Silver Line, 3 of them move over towards my Objective to engage one of my Stormcallers, and the Standard and Officer follow along behind to keep everyone else in Formation. Kassem pops their mini-Feat (giving them Gang, effectively +2 to hit and damage with all of them). He lays into the Silver Line… when the dust clears, 5 of them are dead (I made 1 Tough Roll, but he was hit again and failed to Tough the 2nd time). I am now down to my last 2 Silver Line, and they’re engaged by 3 Halberdiers… ouch. Kassem shuffles a bunch of the Halberdiers forward with Reform.

Ossyan moves up into the zone, fires at a Ranger… and misses! Phew!

Lastly, the Aspis shuffles forward a bit, and we’re done!

SR001-12-Ret Turn 2 SR001-13-Ret Turn 2 SR001-15-Ret Turn 2 SR001-16-Ret Turn 2

Cygnar Turn 2

Okay… okay… not a great turn (I could’ve at least made 2 Tough rolls out of 8 attempts!), but still… things are lookin’ okay. Hypnos was out of Trample/Charge range of my Stormbreaker, sadly (10″ shot barely was in range of the Silver Line in front of my Stormbreaker). But that’s okay…

I spend some time considering whether to Feat with Caine this turn or not. I figure I can catch about 9 Halberdiers, 6 Riflemen, and about 4 Invictors… but all the Halberdiers are Quickened and engaged (DEF19), which against Caine’s RAT8… not good enough. No, I figure I don’t need his Feat to clear out most of the Halberdiers, since I have a Stormwall, a couple Silver Line, and a mess of Stormcallers… and next turn, all those Invictors and Riflemen are going to move forward, and even if Ossyan Feats, POW12s will STILL kill more unengaged elves than it would this turn.

So, I take 1 Focus from the Squire, upkeep Blur, and give 3 to the Stormbreaker.

I activate the Rangers first. I run 1 of them straight towards the 3 Halberdiers engaging my Stormcaller, 1 towards the Riflemen, and 1 way out of formation and into the zone to contest (and he passes his CMD check).

The Silver Line activate and shuffle sideways slightly. They smack the Halberdiers… the first misses his attack, but the second hits and kills 1 Halberdier. The Unit Leader is engaged, so has to drop his 5″ AoE on the model engaging him, catching 4 Halberdiers in the blast (+2 damage from other Electrical Damage rolls for the rest of the turn).

Next, the Stormbreaker activates. I shuffle forward a tiny bit, launch a pod to block a charge-lane from Hypnos (and kill 1 Halberdier), and open fire with the big guns. The first shot at Hypnos, needing a 6 to hit… misses (bah!). The second shot strikes true, and at Dice-4, inflicts 6 damage (boosting the damage roll). I drop 1 Covering Fire template between the Stormbreaker and the Riflemen/Invictors (to slow them down a bit), and the other Metal Storm cannon lays into the Halberdiers, killing 2 more.

Next, the B13 activate. They all walk directly towards Hypnos (Ryan and Watts still in the forest). Lynch fires a Brutal Shot at the myrmidon, hitting, and inflicts 6 damage (at dice-9, not bad at all!). Ryan opens fire, missing her first shot, but hits with her second and does another 4 damage. Lastly, Watts fires, but sadly he’s out of range.

I’m pretty happy with that… but let’s really make those Halberdiers regret their existance…

MacNaile activates and uses “Artillerist” on Gorman.
Gorman activates, moves towards the Halberdiers engaging my Stormcaller, and tosses a grenade at the middle of the 3. Sadly, due to being engaged, the grenade misses… but with the rerolled scatter, it still clips all 3… but fails to kill them! Damnation… sure, they’re all corrosion’d, but that’s not making them dead fast enough!
The first Stormcaller (engaged by 2 of those 3 Halberdiers) shuffles forward and sideways so that all the triangulations will catch the Halberdiers he’s engaged with. He and both of his fellows Triangulate on the Halberdiers, and when the dust clears, I’ve killed another couple Halberdiers… but not the 2 engaging my Stormcaller! Gah!

Reinholdt activates and gives Caine an extra shot.
Caine activates. I stand and aim at the 2 remaining Halberdiers on that side of the table (I think there was still 1 or 2 engaging my Stormbreaker, protected from lightning by not being able to find LoS)… and needing 6 to hit… I miss. The shot scatters into the other Halberdier, thankfully, and kills him. I shoot again, and miss again! This shot scatters into my Stormcaller, who I (of course) hit and kill.
Last shot goes into the suddenly unengaged Halberdier, and effortlessly hits and kills (at RAT12, the fact that I missed at all is a little sad!).

Arlan activates, moves up behind my Stormbreaker, and sprays it, clipping both the Halberdiers engaging it. My Stormbreaker is immune to the damage (and can’t be Disrupted), but I miss both Halberdiers.

The Journeywoman activates, walks towards the Stormbreaker, and cycles Arcane Shield to it.

Lastly, Rhupert (suddenly out of Silver Line to make Tough), runs towards the B13, who I figure may need it next turn.

SR001-19-Cygnar Turn 2 SR001-20-Cygnar Turn 2 SR001-21-Cygnar Turn 2 SR001-22-Cygnar Turn 2

Retribution Turn 3

So, Ossyan drops Quicken and Shatterstorm. He camps all his Focus.

Ossyan goes first. He moves up and casts “Quicken” on the Riflemen. He pops his Feat. He shoots a Ranger to death.
The Aspis moves up and smotes another Ranger. The last one passes his CMD.

The Houseguard Thanes activate. They give “Desperate Pace” to the Riflemen, and the “No Stealth” as well, just in case.

The Riflemen activate. They walk up 10″. They do a single massive CRA on Caine…

DEF24, people. I wasn’t exactly worried.

Of course… walking 10″ and with 14″ shots… 10 of them get within range (wait, what?!). That makes them RAT16 (WAIT… back up…  WHAT!?), needing an 8 to hit.

They hit.

Under Ossyan’s Feat, they’re rolling Dice + 7 damage (WHAT-WHAT!?), boosted… and Kassem needs an 8 to end the game.

He rolls a 9. Caine drops like a sack of potatoes, and the Retribution is victorious!

SR001-23-Game End SR001-24-Game End SR001-25-Game End

Morrow-damnit. I just needed him to NOT roll that hit… but honestly, who is worried about unboosted attacks at DEF24!?

Next time, I’m bringing a Sentinel…

Otherwise, the game was pretty okay. The new HGT really helps out against Stealth, and suddenly Stealth-models are no longer as safe against Retribution (to be honest, considering how little Stealth Cygnar has access to, it was never very safe to start with… it tended to attract a lot of AoE attacks, and we don’t have any medium-to-high-ARM Stealth, unlike, say, Circle, Legion, or Cyrx). And Kassem took a gamble and landed it… can’t blame him for that!

Anyway, thanks for reading! Comments, criticisms, suggestions, and mockery are all very welcome!

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