As I’ve mentioned before, there will be occasions where I, Nick, or Aaron play battles that don’t make it onto the podcast for one reason or another… but they’ll still show up here! These battles will be labelled “NPR” for “Non-Podcast Report” to make them easy to distinguish.
So in my efforts to get as much practice going into Saturday’s tournament as feasible, I actually managed to get a game in last Friday against a local Pressganger named “Gingerstein”.
Well, actually he’s named “Todd”, but over on ye ol’ Privateer Press Forums, he goes by Gingerstein, a nickname given to him by his old boss at Games Workshop. He had commented on a few of my battle reports with the usual helpful, insightful way that most people on the PP forums comment (a nicer, more friendly group of avatars I have never met online anywhere), and had happened to notice that I play in London. More importantly, he’s running the tournament that I’m hoping to compete in, so getting his input on how the thing would work… plus any chance to tangle with the evil-elves is a good one in my book, since they’re still a problem-faction for my beloved Cygnar.
We showed each other our three lists, and he veto’d Sloan (an interesting choice… although one I understand, since she’s basically a “you get within 16″ of my warcaster and die” caster). He only had 2 lists, so there was no need for me to veto one of his in this case. I picked my Nemo3 list, he picked his Garryth list, and we were ready to rock!
Of course, it didn’t occur to me at the time that this means the ONLY list I’ve practiced so far for the tournament is Nemo3 (three times so far including this game!), but whatever. At least I would have 1 list I was very familiar and comfortable with!
We rolled for Initiative, which I won (woo!) and chose to go first. The Scenario was the new 2014-Destruction, which I actually really like… a 6×12″ zone in the middle of the table with 2 objectives, 1 of which is friendly. Objectives contest the zone, so your opponent’s must be destroyed before you can start scoring, and you get 1 point for destroying the objective, 1 for controlling the zone and 2 for dominating. Also, the Objective has a slightly modified “Sucker!” rule, in which you can choose to kill one of your own models within 4″ of the objective instead of destroying it from an enemy attack. It’s actually pretty neat, and a HUGE improvement over 2013 Destruction.
But, on the flip side… it does have Killbox. And there are few things that make Nemo more sad than a Killbox scenario against the Retribution…
My list was as follows:
Artificer General Sebastian Nemo (Nemo3, iNemo)
– Stormchaser Caitlyn Finch
Silverline Stormguard (min unit)
Black 13th (B13)
Stormsmith Stormcaller x3
Stormsmith Lightning Tower
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator
I set it up basically the same as before: Stormwall right in the middle of the table, flanked by the 6 Silverline with the Journeywoman behind them ready to drop Arcane Shield on them, the B13th close to a friendly Stealth-granting forest, and Nemo and Co. went near the Stormwall.
(I feel I should apologize for my pictures being horrible for both the fact that my phone doesn’t have a good camera, and for my shaky, unartistic photos… but hopefully they’re not too bad!)
Gingerstein hauled out his list, which was as follows:
Garryth, Blade of Retribution
Sentinels (max unit)
– UA and Standard Bearer
Fane Knight (dragoon)
Mage Hunter Strike Force (max unit)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (Eiryss2, eEiryss)
For his part, he deployed the MHSF across the table from my Lightning Tower, Eiryss and Garryth near a house for cover, and the Phoenix and Sentinels in the middle of the table. The Fane Knight went between the Sentinels and MHSF, and we were ready!
Well… I wasn’t REALLY ready, because I was still panicked as hell about the whole “7 Minute Timed Turn” thing… but whatever. This was going to be a learning experience!
Cygnar Turn 1
And right out of the gates I already start messing up… but we’ll get to that in a moment. First, I allocate 1 Focus to the Stormwall (becomes 2 due to Cygnar-trickery), and I begin.
The Journeywoman goes first and casts Arcane Shield on the Silverline, and then stands pat (no way I’m putting her any closer to those Phantom Hunter MHSF than absolutely necessary!).
The Silverline activate and run forward, breaking up into 2 pods of 3 men each. This part of the deployment I have pretty down pat.
Next the Stormwall activates… and I walk forward and lob out a Lightning Pod… and then realize that since I’m going first, there is NO WAY that there’s anything within 4″ of that. Stupid, stupid, stupid… Gingerstein is a forgiving and noble soul, though, and lets me mulligan that activation. So let’s try again.
The Stormwall activates and runs forward. There, much better.
Nemo goes next, moves up and casts “Failsafe” on the Stormwall. Sure, Eiryss was just going to shoot it off my warjack eventually, but it would be 1 shot he’d have to use on it rather than on something else, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! He moves towards the closest 14″ edge of the killbox, trying to keep him a bit further away from the MHSF… which puts him closer to Garryth, of course (excellent position on my opponent’s behalf!).
The Lightning Tower runs forward onto some elevation (DEF15 is WAY better against MHSF than DEF13, let me tell you!), the B13 run forward into the forest (no Stealth-ignoring Riflemen in this list, thank Morrow!), and Caitlyn and Reinholdt shuffle up behind Nemo.
And I’m done with a minute to spare! Phew!
Retribution Turn 1
The thing about playing against a PG… I’m pretty sure this guy has like… 50 times more experience than me. And he used to play Cygnar. The only upside I have is that as long as I can keep Nemo far enough away from Garryth, the Fane Knight, all those Mage Hunters, and the Sentinels, I should be okay! And really, how difficult could that POSSIBLY be when I have to keep Nemo from being completely within 14″ of any table edge?
What could possibly go wrong?
Garryth sings the song of his people (“It’s My Focus, But You Can’t Have Some! With No One I’d Like to Share It! And If I Share It With You, I’ll Kill You Too!”), and we’re off.
The MHSF run up and spread out (a LOT… good coverage), the Fane Knight runs up next to them, and the Sentinels clump into groups of 3 with the UA and Standard Bearer safely at the back of the pack. Eiryss moves up behind the concealment of a fence, while Garryth ducks into cover behind a house. He also arcs “Mirage” onto the Fane Knight.
The Arcanist activates, moves up, and pumps a Focus into the Phoenix, which then runs forward next to the Sentinels. And with that, he’s done!
Cygnar Turn 2
Okay… this was going okay… I mean, sure, there were screaming hordes of genocidal fanatics rushing at me with swords larger than most of my troops… but it was the 2nd turn, and I hadn’t had anything die yet! So that was a strong start…
I measured Nemo’s CTRL range and confirmed that only 1 of my Silverline were in Charging range of anything… and while I could probably tag a few of Gingerstein’s units at extreme range with my electrical attacks, the majority would likely fall short. I debated about it for another few moments and then decided that this would not, in fact, be my Feat turn. I allocated 2 to the Stormwall (automagically becoming 3), spent 3 to increase Nemo’s CTRL range (allowing me to move further away from the MHSF but hopefully still fry a half-dozen of them), upkept Failsafe for free (for the first time ever… I had no idea Caitlyn had that ability!) and Arcane Shield through the Journeywoman, and began my turn.
The Silverline went first, moving up to toe-into the zone and contest, staying in their neat packs of 2.
The Stormwall went next, moving up and throwing out a Lightning Pod on the left side of the table (basically as close to Gingerstein’s MHSF as I could get it), dropping Covering Fire between the Sentinels and my Silver Line, and then blasting the Phoenix twice with the Big Guns… the first shot missed (boo!), and the second shot, fully boosted, hit and impacted on the myrmidon for 8 points of damage (making the forcefield flicker and spark, but not dropping it).
The Lightning Tower went next, firing at and hitting the Lightning Pod, but only getting 1 electroleap. Regardless, the closest MHSF went to meet his makers… hmm, technically that’s not true. He went to where his makers WOULD be, if they weren’t currently either all dead, frozen, or dying.
It’s funny because they’re elves.
Anyway! Reinholdt activates and gives Nemo a fully charged lightning rod.
Nemo went next. He shuffled further away from the MHSF while still staying at the extreme, extreme limit of the killbox, and then blasts the Lightning Pod with his extended CTRL-range gun. The shot hits and leaps twice, killing 2 more. He fires again, hits again, and gets 1 electroleap.
Caitlyn takes a shot at the Pod, but is out of range. Boo.
The Black 13th activate, with Watts and Lynch both slowly walking through the forest and Ryan toe-in near the middle. Lynch spots Eiryss hiding behind the fence and tries to perforate her… needing a 12 on 2d6, though, he only gets a 9 and the shot flies wide. Which is fine, it would’ve been miraculous if that shot landed.
Watts fires a Snipe Shot at the closest Sentinel, who is out of range, but barely… which is encouraging, since I can see that Ryan is probably more than 4″ closer. She fires a Magestorm, which, sure enough, is just within range! She hits, and the 4″ POW12 template drops on the 3 hapless elven warriors. They’re ARM19 from Defensive Line, but if I can kill all three, it will be worth the Vengeance attack…
First roll… doesn’t pierce armour.
Second roll… doesn’t pierce armour.
Third roll… doesn’t pierce armour.
W. T. F.
Anyway, that was a disappointment… especially because I know for a fact that at least 2, possibly all 3 of those maniacs are going to charge Ryan next turn, and I will once again lose Ryan before she has a chance to accomplish anything. Gah! Oh well, no point worrying about it now.
My far left-flank Stormcaller moves up and tries to kill another MHSF, but I roll too high and the surge misses.
The other two shuffle forward a little, and I end my turn, forgetting to move or activate my Journeywoman… but that’s okay. She’s probably safer where she is!
Retribution Turn 2
So, on the downside, I didn’t manage to kill a single one of Gingerstein’s Sentinels.
On the UPSIDE, I didn’t manage to kill a single one of Gingerstein’s Sentinels! No Vengeance! So… silver lining and all that.
The Fane Knight takes its Mirage-move forward 2″, Garryth upkeeps the spell, and we’re off.
The Arcanist goes first and gives the Phoenix a free Focus. The Phoenix activates, moves forward, and fires at a clump of Silverline, boosting to hit… hits, but no Critical. The directly hit Silverline is killed instantly, but his two companions both survive due to Arcane Shield.
The Fane Knight charges the Objective, hitting powerfully and inflicting 13 points of damage. He takes his second attack, hitting and destroying the Objective… but I choose to kill the closest Silverline instead, keeping the Objective around for now.
Eiryss moves up and shoots the Stormwall, knocking “Failsafe” off. I am, momentarily, grateful that Colossi are immune to Disruption.
The Sentinels charge. 2 successfully charge Ryan (as predicted), 1 runs up behind them, while 2 more charge the Objective and the rest run up to congest the middle zone. 1 attempts to charge the Stormwall through the Covering Fire, but is dropped by the POW12 zone. Both miss Ryan (woo!), but the Objective is again destroyed, and this time I elect not to save it… Gingerstein scores his first point.
Lastly, the MHSF activate. All 7 remaining walk forward. 1 gets range on Nemo, hits, but fails to wound (thank heavens Nemo left his 14/14/14 stats with Nemo1!), while the others are obviously out of range. One takes a shot at the Lightning Tower, but again, thankfully misses.
Garryth moves up a little, and he ends his turn.
(Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of this turn! Sorry! I was a bit too busy panicking!)
Cygnar Turn 3
Okay, so that could’ve gone much, much worse… but there’s no longer any question that this is Feat turn. I allocate 2 to the Stormwall (becomes 3), upkeep Arcane Shield on my remaining 4 Silverline, and we begin.
Reinholdt goes first and tosses Nemo another lightning rod. Where the gobber manages to carry so many spare staves on himself I will never understand.
Nemo goes next and pops his Feat. He fires at the Fane Knight, boosting to hit and damage, and inflicts 8 points (at dice -9, not bad, not bad… 10 would’ve dismounted him, though!). It leaps twice, killing the two closest MHSF. He fires again and dismounts the mighty elven knight, and kills 1 more MHSF with the lightning arcing.
Caitlyn activates and fires at the dismounted Knight… who is no easier to hit, and she therefore misses. Boo!
The Lightning Tower steps up, though, and fries the Fane Knight and 2 more of the MHSF, leaving only 2 of the elven crossbow warriors yet standing.
The Silverline activate and charge the Sentinels, killing 3, and clearing the path for the Stormwall to move up to the Phoenix. They drop the +2 Damage AoE on the Phoenix, which tags the pack of 5 Sentinels behind it (including the UA).
The Stormwall activates and walks up to the Phoenix. Initial attack hits, and inflicts heavy damage. The electroleap goes into the UA and drops him to 2 health. Second Initial attack hits the Phoenix as well, further battering the warjack and killing the UA (woo! No more Vengeance!). I buy two more attacks, killing the Phoenix and 1 more Sentinel, dropping their number to 6.
The Black 13th activate. Lynch aims at the nearby Eiryss and puts a Brutal shot between her pointy ears. Watts fires at the Objective, inflicting 2 points of damage, and Ryan fires a point-blank Magestorm at the 2 Sentinels engaging her, killing both effortlessly (making up for last turn in a small way!).
I’ve run out of time, but I take my 5 minute extension, and use it to activate my Stormcallers, all of which triangulate onto the Sentinels futily (I hit several but don’t wound, and miss others). I also nudge my Journeywoman up slightly, and then end my turn with several minutes left on the clock.
Retribution Turn 3
That was a fantastic turn! No more Fane Knight, no more Phoenix, only 4 Sentinels (plus the Standard Bearer, whatever), 2 MHSF, and Garryth himself still stand to combat the forces of freedom and righteousness!
And we’re going to freedom the CRAP out of those elves if Gingerstein can’t pull out something brilliant this turn!
Garryth, now relieved of his warjack by MY warjack and his Fane Knight no longer needs Mirage (just a good mortician), he once again sings the song of his people (“I’m so vain… you probably think this Focus was for you, but I’m so VAAAaaaIIN!…”) and we’re off.
He starts by charging my Stormwall with his 4 remaining Sentinels. All 4 hit (no surprise), and he cranks a few damage rolls, inflicting a total of 33 points of damage! Ouch! The left side is crippled, but only a few points on the right.
The 2 remaining MHSF move up. One pings Nemo for 2 points of damage, and the other kills a Silverline.
Garryth goes next. He moves up next to his Objective, and confirms that Nemo is out of both gun and Gallows range (phew!). Instead, he shoots one of my Stormcallers to death (very easily) and a Silverline, leaving me with only 2 Silverline. And he pops his Feat (using a neat little “FEAT!” card on the table so we both remember! Clever idea!)
With that, Gingerstein’s turn is finished.
Cygnar Turn 4
Well, Garryth is both taunting me with the possibility of an assassination and threatening me with the possibility of LOSING to assassination if I can’t tie him up, block his path, or ideally kill him. I’m winning the attrition war, though, so all I have to do is play a bit safe and stay the course.
And not make any huge mistakes. That part is very difficult for me.
So I assign 2 Focus to the Stormwall (poof, 3), upkeep Arcane Shield, and we’re off.
Reinholdt activates and gives Nemo another lightning rod. So far… wait, shouldn’t I have increased Nemo’s CTRL range to keep me further away from Garryth? Ah, damnit… oh well.
Nemo activates and fires at Garryth. Which, of course, automatically misses because Garryth is Stealth. Right, right… okay, this isn’t going well. Try not to panic. 2nd shot goes into the Objective, which I hit. I boost damage (inflicting 7), and get 1 electroleap. That hits Garryth, camping 6 Focus, and inflicts 2 damage after the boost.
Caitlyn moves over towards Nemo.
The Stormwall activates. It throws out a Lightning Pod behind Garryth and boosts damage, inflicting another 2 points (not bad for dice – 10). It takes its Initial attack on the left… which is crippled… damnit, did I forget to cast Failsafe!? GAH! Well, I don’t roll a 6 needed to hit, and the other arm… has nothing in its arc.
The Lightning Tower shoots at a DEF16 Sentinel… and hits! Okay, this is okay… that one dies, and the electoleap fails to wound.
The Black 13th activate. Lynch fires a Beacon that hits Garryth, removing Stealth. Watts fires a Brutal shot at him which is just out of range, but Ryan is in… she fires two Brutals, both hit, both inflict 1-3 points of damage.
Stormguard charge Garryth, but needing 10s to hit, neither connect. They drop the +2 damage AoE on him.
Lastly, my Stormcallers activate in order and triangulate. All of them either miss Garryth or fail to wound (dice-8), but they do kill 1 more of the Sentinels, reducing the unit to 2 and the Standard Bearer.
Wow, was THAT ever a gong=show… at least it’s over now.
Retribution Turn 4
So my incompetence has given Garryth and Gingerstein one more chance to end this game. Nemo is about 14″ away (a little less), which is well within walk + Gallows range. That’s… definitely NOT a good sign.
The Sentinels go first. The one closest to my Silverline walks over to engage both my Stormwall and the Silverline (avoiding the Free Strike), while the other moves over a bit but won’t be able to get close enough.
The one that engaged my Silverline swings… and connects! Needing a 7 to kill… or a 6? No! 8! Wait, no, 4!
I’m a bit of a mess. My brain is fried, I’m all over the place, but Gingerstein… he’s cool as an elven cucumber. He rolls… the dice clatter…
I’m safe! He fails to kill the Silverline!
Gingerstein sighs and takes his attack on the Stormwall, which he rolls snake eyes for.
Garryth activates, moves laterally along the zone. His first shot misses and scatters into the Sentinel, killing it. His second shot does kill a Silverline, though. Lastly, his Arcanist walks into the zone.
Cygnar Turn 5
Can I admit here that I have no right to have another turn? But be damned if I’m not gonna take it. I drop Arcane Shield, assign 2 Focus to the Stormwall (presto-chango, 3!), and we’re off.
My Silverline charges Garryth, missing, but dropping the AoE on him.
The Black 13th activate and kill the Objective. Ya know, just in case.
Nemo activates. He casts “Failsafe” on the Stormwall, and then moves away from Garryth. Just in case.
The Stormwall activates, walks over to Garryth, and drops a Lightning Pod behind him. I boost damage and inflict 2 more, leaving the elven warcaster with 3 health.
I take my initial attack on Garryth and boost to hit… I need a 10… and get it! Dice damage, needing a 3 to kill… I boost and roll a 15.
VICTORY TO CYGNAR!
Boy howdy did I NOT deserve that win! Props to Gingerstein for being such an awesome guy to play against, and for the helpful tips as we played. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this nervous, and it was so nice to not only win, but to have such an awesome game.
Tactically, that 4th turn was a mess… multiple messes that all piled up on top of each other. Other than that, though, I think I did okay. Killed the priority targets, put pressure where I needed to, kept the zone contested, kept my Stormwall safe long enough that it could get its work done. Still some rookie mistakes, but compared to my other games on the clock, I’m very proud with how this went.
So, one more thanks to Todd for the awesome game, and I’m really looking forward to the tournament on Saturday! I’m going to lose first round I’m sure, but be damned if I don’t do better than I would’ve because of this game!