First, let me apologize to anyone who got notification of a new post on Combo Smite when this originally went live (well, the skeleton of this NPR went live, at least) on Thursday. Apaprently I can’t count and thought that the 8th was Friday when, in fact, it was definitely Thursday. There was only a picture and the framework of this report at that time, and I apologize for that!
Anyway, moving on!
This week, Nick was playing Kassem for the podcast that will go live on Monday, so that left Aaron and I to play a nice, light game of WarMachine where we both brought gentle, forgiving… by Menoth, did he bring the Butcher!?
Huh. Well, so much for playing nice!
I was toying with my two tournament lists for the upcoming 35 point Steamroller “Southern Ontario Open” that we’re going to in a few scant weeks: the Harbinger with “Zounds Infantry”, and an eFeora list I’m hoping to use as a drop against lists specifically designed against the Harbinger (Blood Witch Hag, lots of warjacks/constructs, lots of Grevious Wounds, etc…). Truth be told, though, I wanted an excuse to practice some new units and models I’m hoping will work with eFeora at 35 points.
Feel free to read that sentence as follows: I wanna try a Judicator. I wanna I wanna I wanna!
Aaron, for his part, was rockin’ a pButcher list and an eMagnus… but once he saw that I had a list with a Judicator, the Magnus list was basically out (it lacking in ARM-cracking capabilities).
My list, still in its experimental state, is as follows:
Feora, Protector of the Flame (eFeora, Feora2)
– Judicator (proxied by a Stormwall)
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Officer and Standard
Temple Flameguard (max, TFG, proxied by Silverline Stormguard)
– Officer and Standard (proxied by Sword Knight Officer and Standard)
Choir of Menoth (min)
Vassal of Menoth
Not a bad little list, all told… although it would unquestionably benefit by the addition of either Rhupert+Book or Aiyana & Holt… for 35 points, I’m pretty happy with it. And I apologize for the proxies, but I’ve only got so much time to paint these days (I’m pulling down 70 hour weeks at work), so I’ve been forced to work with what I’ve got!
As for Aaron, he was fielding the following Butcher list:
Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov (pButcher, Butcher1)
– War Dog
Iron Fang Pikemen (max)
Iron Fang Kovnik (IFK)
Doom Reavers (min)
– Doom Reaver Grey Lord escort
Yuri the Axe
A solid list, although it’s very much a mirror of my list in many ways… except that I think my list does it better. His Juggernaut and Kodiak aren’t as heavy hitting, survivable, or fast as my Judicator, is Iron Fang Pikemen aren’t as hardy or survivable as my Flameguard (with their mini-Feat, at least), and his Doom Reavers are unquestionably trumped by my fearless, Self-Sacrificing Errants. Even in the straight-up fight between Feora and pButcher… basically whoever gets within charge-range of the other with a full stack first will win… and Feora out-threats the big maniac by a solid 4″ (9″ charge plus reach plus 3″ Firestep against the Butcher’s 8″ charge plus reach).
That stated, the Butcher has a MUCH better Feat… and Aaron has way more experience with his warcaster and list than I have with mine. So this was anything but a forgone conclusion!
We rolled for Initiative, which Aaron won (ER MAH GERD!) and chose to go first. The scenario we were playing was “Fire Support”… two flags on the centre line, and a friendly and enemy objective that contest the flags. 1CP for destroying the enemy objective or controlling either flag, and 2CPs for dominating either flag. I like this scenario a lot… although it does give the possibility of scoring 4 CPs in a single turn (destroy objective, control 1 flag, and dominate the other flag).
Lastly, since we are practicing for a tournament, we decided to test out 7 minute timed turns… which I loathe… but if that’s the tournament format (we don’t know yet… I fired an e-mail off to one of the organizers, but no word back yet!), it’s better to get the practice!
Aaron deployed the Iron Fangs with the Kovnik centrally, with the Butcher, his dog, and the two warjacks slightly to my left side. The Doom Reavers would eventually be Advanced Deployed right in the middle of the table, along with the Manhunters and Yuri on the far right side behind a forest.
For my deployment, my Judicator/Stormwall (hereby dubbed the Stormicator) went smack in the middle of my deployment zone… although, for once, I remembered that I wanted to screen it with other things and kept it 1″ back from the line. Why, you ask?
So that my full line of TFG could fit in front of it, obviously! Which they did… although, stupidily, I put the Officer to one side, rather than right in the middle… silly of me, really.
After that, Feora went to the right side, the Choir and the Vassals (one of Menoth, the other of Mechanik) went behind the Stormicator, and then the Errants… oh the Errants.
I debated this one for awhile. The TFG have the benefit of Ranked, which means my Errants could sit behind them and fire Blessed crossbows bolts forward until the TFG had all melted. Tempting… very tempting…
Problem with that plan? I was going 2nd, which meant that I couldn’t safely run the TFG up their full speed on their first turn, and suddenly the area behind them is getting awfully cramped with the Stormicator and Errants all hangin’ out. Plus, those Doom Reavers would slice through the TFG like a hot knife through butte… no, more like a hot knife through air. So, against my better judgement, I put the Errants right out front across the table from the Reavers. I’d unquestionably lose a few to the Reaver charge… but robbing Aaron of Berserker attacks was probably worth it.
With that, we were ready to go!
Khador, Turn 1
Aaron started by allocating 1 Focus to the Juggernaut, and we were off.
The Juggernaut and Kodiak both ran (the Kodiak doing so for free due to its Heavy Boiler) down the left side of the table. The Doom Reavers ran forward and spread out (wise), with the three ax-wielding maniacs… huh. Khador has a lot of ax-wielding maniacs, so I suppose that doesn’t actually narrow it down much… okay, with the three tree-loving ax-wielding maniacs (there we go) turfing it down the left. The IFK moved forward and gave Shield March to the Pikemen, who then walked forward in Shield Wall. The Butcher moved up, cast “Iron Flesh” on the Pikemen (no surprise there… DEF18 against Charges? Yeah, that’s pretty awesome!), and the dog followed along like… a… dog.
Okay, not my best metaphor ever. I’m writing this at work. It’s stressful!
Aaron finished his turn and passed the 7 minute timer over to me.
Menoth, Turn 1
Don’t worry about Khador, they said… the army is slow, they said… bah.
Feora allocates 2 to the Stormicator (with the 1 it auto-generates means it has 3), and we’re off.
The Errants go first, moving forward, spreading out, and opening fire on the Doom Reavers. But the hand of Menoth was obviously elsewhere… the bolts fly wide, striking down only 1 of the berserkers! Not an auspicious start…
The TFG go next, running forward and cramming into the scant space between and behind the Errants.
The Choir shuffles forward/sideways and sings Battle.
Feora activates. She casts Escort on herself, moves up her 6″, and casts “Ignite” on the Errants.
The Stormicator activates, striding up its awesome 6″ (Menoth, I love “Escort” on this thing). The rockets red glare, and the bombs burst in the air… mostly because they missed everything!
Everything? No, not everything… one of the secondary blasts clips the Grey Lord escort of the Doom Reavers, which I boost damage on and vapourize!
The Vassal of Menoth activates, walks forward, and gives an Ancillary Attack to the Stormicator, which again flies wide of any targets… but the secondary blast does clip another Doom Reaver, who is pasted.
Ha. They should be called “Doomed” Reavers… amirite? Amirite?
Stressful writing at work!
Khador, Turn 2
Aaron starts his turn in a somewhat enviable position… he has a handful of surviving Doom Reavers that are exactly where they want to be: within charge range of enemy models!
He allocates a Focus to the Juggernaut, upkeeps “Iron Flesh”, and we’re off.
The Doom Reavers, unsurprisingly, go first. The 4 remaining members get charges off on 3 Errants and a TFG… the TFG is missed (phew!), while all three Errants are hit but Self-Sac off the death blow to deny Berserk attacks.
The closest of the Manhunters runs forward onto the hill to my left. The Iron Fang Kovnik walks forward again and Shield Marches the Pikemen (who can only advance 7″ due to Iron Flesh), and the Pikemen Shield Wall forward again.
The Kodiak and Juggernaut both run forward again, and the Butcher and his dog follow along meekly.
Menoth, Turn 2
Well, that went well! Time to make Aaron pay a bit…
Feora upkeeps “Ignite” and “Escort”, and allocates a full 3 Focus to the Stormicator (giving it a total of 4).
The Errants go first, shuffling around to get several of models on each insane Doom Reaver except for the one engaging my TFG. Several swings later all 3 of the other Reavers are dead… the first crossbow bolt at the last one kills my own Flameguard, but the second bolt drops the now-unengaged Reaver. Sadly, the Quickwork shots I earned from killing the Doom Reavers fail to pierce any of the thick Khadoran armour arrayed before the Errants.
The TFG activate next, walking forward into Shield Wall and forgetting to pop their Mini-Feat. Whoops… whatever… 2 of them engage the Manhunter, doing a single CMA which hits and inflicts 2 wounds (and lights him on fire). The rest merely spread out towards the enemy flag or up the board. I realize afterwards that 3 of them are out of CMD range, but due to Fearless (from Feora) it’s just an annoyance… no Free Strikes or engaging, sadly, but them’s the breaks when you’re not very good at this game!
The Choir sings Battle.
The Stormicator moves a bit forward and a bit to the left side, turns on the Butcher and launches its rockets at the medium-based warcaster… sadly 3 of the 4 AoEs impact on nothing. One of them hits 2 Iron Fang Pikemen, which I boost damage on both of to ensure their obliteration… and as the Vassal of Menoth is moving forward to give the Stormicator “Ancillary Attack”… I run out of time. Boo!
Khador, Turn 3
Aaron’s turn starts with the burning Manhunter… burning. He fries, with the fire failing to go out and then doing more than enough damage to drop the guy.
After that, Aaron drops “Iron Flesh”, allocates 2 to the Kodiak, 1 to the Juggernaut, and camps the last three.
The Butcher himself goes first, moving forward and casting “Full Throttle” (I think that’s the one… maybe “Full Tilt”… anyway, free Charges and boosted melee attack rolls for his warjacks). He then stands pat. The dog runs up and licks his hand.
Anyway, after that Yuri charges my two closest Flameguard… charge attack hits, and the Thresher attack to the guy next to that also hits, killing both instantly. Such is life!
The Manhuntress attempts to charge the same two guys that killed her buddy the Manhunter, but fails to make the necessary distance. Wanh-wanh.
The Kodiak charges the Objective, hitting with its initial attack (inflicting significant damage) and its follow up attack (destroying the Objective).
The Juggernaut charges an Errant, and cuts down 2 of them.
The IFK moves again and gives the Pikemen Shield March again… and the Pikemen march up in a Shield Wall, cutting down a few more of my infantry in the process.
But is it enough, friends? Is it enough…
Either way, Aaron scores his first CP! The score is now 1-0.
Menoth, Turn 3
Well, that wasn’t too bad… the Juggernaut is clearly within walk-range of my Stormicator and countless swarms of my Infantry. Feora is stuck out to the flank somewhat, but I can get her to safety pretty easily… and if I light enough stuff on fire, maybe this will be Feat turn?
I decide to allocate 2 Focus to the Stormicator and camp the remaining 2 after upkeeping both Ignite and Escort. The plan was to use the Ignited Errants first, then hot-swap it to the Flameguard to give them a little nudge to allow them to kill everything (instead of just MOST things). That was the plan.
First, the Choir sings Battle on the Stormicator. That out of the way, my Errants activate, shuffling 3 of them onto the Juggernaut, 1 of them on the Kodiak, and the rest on Pikemen. Those on the Juggernaut hit mighty blows, the Kodiak takes a few points of damage (and both warjacks are lit on fire), but sadly none connect with the Pikemen.
Now I’m stuck… I want way, way more burning Khadorans before Feora activates to get a massive stack of Focus to keep her safe… but I can’t do that AND hot-swap Ignite. So I decide to abandon that plan. Which, considering it lasted a full activation, is a pretty long time for me to hold onto a plan!
The Flameguard activate and go into Shield Wall again… and again I forget about their mini-Feat. Joy. The two that killed the last Manhunter move up and do another 2-man CMA into the Manhuntress… and hit and kill her! The two closest to Yuri (including my Officer) do a CMA on him… and ALSO kill him…
I would like to interject at this point I was kinda hoping not to kill those guys. I would’ve been much happier keeping them alive AND BURNING… but no. They had to go and die on me! Well, whatever.
The rest of the Flameguard poke Pikemen with their spears, and two Pikemen are polite enough to be lit on fire and not die (huzzah!).
The Stormicator goes next. It walks up to the Juggernaut… the first blow lands solidly and shatters most of the warjack, and the second blow completely obliterates it… leaving my Stormicator with 3 Focus and nothing within Reach. Joy.
The Vassal on Menoth activates (and I run out of time and take my extension), giving an Ancillary Attack to the mighty colossus. It fires a rocket at the Butcher, but needs 11 to hit and misses… thankfully, the first shot only scatters an inch, catching the Butcher in the blast (and lighting him on fire!), and the second shot catches both the Butcher and the War Dog! Woo!
Now I have to think. There are still 5 enemy models on fire within Feora’s CTRL if she moves up (Butcher, Kodiak, War Dog, and 2 Pikemen). But all the things I would transfer damage to are already burning… and the only real threat Aaron has left is his Kodiak.
I decide to charge the Kodiak, hit it as hard as I can, and then Firestep towards my army and safety. The Charge attack hits and Feora leans into the blow, inflicting 6 points. She then casts Firestep (inflicting 2 more points on the Kodiak as she does so!), and ends up behind my Errants near the wrecked Juggernaut. The Butcher and his dog are both still in CTRL (albeit JUST BARELY)… but I decide against Feating, figuring that I’m safe behind my Self-Sac infantry, within 3″ of the Stormicator for the ARM Buff, and far away from the Butcher. I’ve also positioned her in such a way that the Kodiak can’t Trample up to here (nowhere to put the base), can’t walk up to her (too much stuff in the way), and while he could theoretically throw something at her… he doesn’t really have a lot to follow that up with!
The Vassal Mechanik runs up behind the Judicator, and my turn is done! The score remains 1-0 for Aaron.
Khador, Turn 4
Aaron looks at the table and declares that he’s going to “have to try for the assassination”… I’m less convinced that this is a mandatory decision at this point, but it probably is a wise one.
First, however, both Pikemen and the War Dog burn to death (and the dog fails its Tough), and the Butcher takes 4 damage from his fire.
Aaron allocates a full stack to the Kodiak, and we begin.
The Butcher goes first. He walks forward, casts “Full Adjective” again (Tilt? Throttle? Something), and pops his Feat.
The Kovnik charges some Flameguard, but fails to connect.
Next, Pikemen activate, shuffling around a little. One of them strikes at my Flameguard Standard, hitting and killing, while the rest fail to kill or wound anything.
(At this point I look at the table and realize that the Kodiak now has enough room to walk up to Feora, since the lynch-pin of the swarm of dudes blocking it was that one Standard Bearer… who is NOT an Errant and therefore can’t be self-sac’d! Oh double-poop…).
The Kodiak activates. It walks away from my Errant engaging it, who manages to connect and leans into the blow… and inflicts 8 points of damage! Not bad for a POW11 against ARM20!
Sadly, nothing is crippled.
The Kodiak swings at Feora with its first fist (boosted attack rolls from Full Throttle). It connects! POW16 on ARM19 and boosted from the Feat… inflicts 6 points.
Second attack.. hits! This one inflicts another 6, leaving Feora on 4 boxes!
The two initials hitting triggers its Chain Attack: Headbutt… which HITS! Gah! Feora is knocked down!
Aaron buys another attack, which auto hits… and needing a 7 to win the game… rolls a 10!
Victory to Khador!
You know, it may be of some interest to Combo Smite (and PP Batrep Forum) readers that I’ve lost 8 games in the last 4 months (or so)… of those 8 games? I’ve lost ALL EIGHT TIMES by Assassination. Not a single scenario loss. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around keeping my warcaster safe!
Why in nine hells didn’t I just move Feora AWAY from all the stuff that could kill her? Why have her so close? Just to keep the fire on the Butcher (which was dice-6 anyway)!? Stupid, stupid, stupid… even if I had Feated to give her the +5ARM (making her a very respectable ARM24) probably would’ve been enough… there’s a big difference between boosted Dice-3 and boosted Dice-8!).
Anyway, other than that, I’m pretty happy with how the army performed… surprisingly well without Rhupert, for one thing… I still have to get used to using Flameguard (Forgetting the mini-Feat both turns it would’ve been very useful!) and the Judicator (I over-allocated it at LEAST 2 Focus every turn!). But overall, I’m still happy… things died when they were supposed to, and aside from that one massive derp, I think I did okay!
My apologies again for the early release this morning, and thanks for reading the report! Comments, questions, and mockery are all welcome!