Podcast 060 – Cygnar vs Menoth, pHaley vs High Reclaimer: Okay, So WHO Can I Shoot?

After a slow batrep week (which is to say an insanely busy week at work for me, not allowing me the moments needed to sneak in write-ups over my lunch break!), we are back with a bang! And possibly the safest place for a Cygnar warcaster to stand…

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That’s right… this week I took my pHaley list out for another spin, this time going spear-to-mace with Darrell’s Protectorate!


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I think I’ve waxed poetic enough about my pHaley list that everyone knows why I love it. So without further ado, here it is in all its glory!

Captain Victoria Haley (“pHaley, Haley1”)
– Squire
– Stormwall
Storm Strider
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers (“ATGM”)
– Officer UA (“The Dude”)
Tempest Blazers (max)
Anastasia di Braye
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Journeywoman Warcaster (“Junior”)

Not a fancy list, but it is designed around a couple pretty core concepts. First, the ability to assassinate at insulting ranges is hard to overstate: Stormwall deposits Stormpod behind or adjacent to enemy war-noun and punches/shoots hole through screening models. Storm Strider pumps 3 shots into Stormpod (on Feat turn) which all electroleap into war-noun. Add Stormcalls if needed. Second, the ability to put out a metric craptonne of bullets on Feat Turn, highly accurate (with Temporal Barrier and Deadeye, as required), means this list MULCHES most high-DEF dudeswarms (the Blazers alone can theoretically kill 20 models on Feat Turn! They reliably get 10-15, or take a couple Legion heavies off the table!). Lastly, Haley has a “safe” place to stand and control the battle, moving up each turn until she’s in a good position, camping a few Focus to protect against spells slung at her big boys and with Arcane Shield from the Junior if needed.

Is it perfect? No. Is it wondefully Cygnar? Oh yes.

Darrell decided that the High Reclaimer was a better drop than his Kreoss3 list (I agree… the Kreoss list somewhat relies on a solid alpha-strike, and TB takes that out of the equation). As a result, his list was as follows:

The High Reclaimer (“Silent Bob, HR”)
– Templar
Avatar of Menoth
Choir of Menoth (min)
Horgenhold Forgeguard (“Hammerdwarves”) (max)
– Attendant Priest UA
Idrian Skirmishers (max)
– Chieftan and Scout
Holy Zealots of Menoth (max)
– Monolith Bearer UA
Covenant of Menoth (“The Book”)
Vassal of Menoth

Well, first the good things: Haley loves to see low ARM dudeswarms, and with the exception of the Hammerdwarves, that’s exactly what this is! Excellent! And the clouds that HR is going to be throwing around aren’t a huge issue with the Stormpod (which, unlike with Caustic Mists, can land inside the clouds to allow chain lightning leaps from the Strider). So that’s something.

On the other side of the coin, the Choir are going to be a major issue… I don’t have any high-POW magic guns in this list (ever since I dropped Aiyana and Holt for the Journeywoman Warcaster and a Stormsmith), so dealing with those two high-ARM, Enlivened warjacks is going to be an issue… especially at range! Oh well… had to happen sooner or later, let’s take Haley through her paces…

The Scenario for this game was the new Steamroller 2015 “Incursion”. 3 Flags on the center line, each 12″ apart. None of them disappear, and you get 1CP for either dominating OR controlling the flag. A step backwards from 2014 in my opinion, but certainly a simple scenario to set up!

We rolled for initiative, which Anastasia helped me win. I chose to go first (d’uh), and Darrell picked the side of the table with more hard cover (d’uh).

Deployment

I set up my two huge bases in the middle with Haley between them (her Squire and Journeywoman behind her). The Blazers went behind the forest to the left, and the ATGM went to the right. Stormcallers go to either flank, and I chose to keep Anastasia in reserve.

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For Darrell’s part, he puts the Avatar of Menoth behind a friendly house, with his Idrians going to the far left opposite my Blazers. The Zealots go far right (opposite my ATGM), and the Hammerdwarves go in the middle. HR and his Templar go more to the right (near the Zealots), and the support goes behind the warjacks. The Covenant takes up position near HR.
The Idrians decide to do away with the formalities and puts “Prey” right on Haley. Well, at least there’s no pretense! Darrell is going straight for the throat…

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With that, we are ready to get this show started!

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Cygnar, Turn 1

– 1 Focus to Stormwall
– Journeywoman puts Arcane Shield on Strider
– Stormwall and Strider run forward B2B.
– Haley tucks up behind them, puts “Arcane Shield” on Stormwall. Camps the rest
– Blazers run forward to far edge of forest, all toe-in.
– ATGM run forward and spread out.
– Stormcallers hang back slightly

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Menoth, Turn 1

I think this may be the first batrep about Menoth I’m writing about since I stopped playing them in November… huh. Anyway!
– 1 Focus to the Templar, Avatar gets 2 automatically.
– Zealots use their mini-Feat “Greater Destiny” and run forward, spreading out.
– The Idrians run forward, with the Guide popping their Mini-Feat (“Dig In”, basically). The Guide stays behind a nearby wall, since he can’t benefit from the Mini-Feat himself (but the wall gives almost the same bonus anyway!).
– The Hammerdwarves move up, and Darrell elects not to keep them B2B (likely to encourage me to kill some of them to have both Feat-fodder and extra Focus). He does keep the Attendant well back, though.
– The Covenant moves up and says “No Knockdown”. Clever, keeps me from pumping his Zealots full of Thunderbolt rounds to stall them.
– Avatar moves up and Gazes, hiding behind the corner of the nearby building.
– The Choir move up and sing “Passage”
– The High Reclaimer moves up and drops 5 clouds in front of his Dwarves, and leaves a small gap for the Covenant (to allow wider coverage).

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Cygnar, Turn 2

Hmm. Limited options for ranged targets… but I think I can take the Book off the table, and probably all/most of the Idrians… heck, I should be able to get all of them, right?
– No Focus to the Stormwall (no valid targets for it regardless!), upkeep both Arcane Shields, and we’re off!
– Stormwall goes first. It moves forward and pops out a Stormpod right in the clouds ahead of the Hammerdwarves. It takes a Cannon shot at the Covenant, hitting and inflicting 1 point of damage. It also drops Covering Fire between the Hammerdwarves and my models.
– Haley goes next, moving up next to the Stormwall. She casts Temporal Barrier, puts “Deadeye” on the Blazers, and then pops her Feat. She then takes a shot at a Idrian, but needing an 11 to hit the shot flies wide.
– The Storm Strider moves up and closes B2B with the Stormwall, protecting Haley. It then pumps 3 shots into the Pod, but I get crappy lightning leaps: only a total of 4 from all 3 shots, and only 3 of them successfully kill dwarves (I could’ve gotten up to 9! Oh well).
– The Blazers go next, all standing and Aiming. The Idrians are DEF19: My Blazers go up to RAT9 while aiming, and then get +2 from Temporal Barrier. Out of the 10 shots (5 normal, 5 “Feat” shots), I manage to hit… 3 times. THREE. TIMES. Between those hits and the electroleaps, I kill only 5 Idrians, and wound the Chieftan.

THREE HITS.

Anyway.

The Blazers then Light-Cav move away from the Idrians, one moving to further block LoS to Haley (she’s pretty safe, but just-in-case).
– ATGM go next. I move most of them up and pump a bunch of shots into the Covenant, taking it off the table. I kill one Choir, but then nothing else is in range (except Zealots, more on that later!)
– Stormcallers move up a little, and that’s turn.
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Menoth, Turn 2

Well, that was a little disappointing. Onwards!
– High Reclaimer gets 5 additional Focus from dead Dwarves, Choir, and Covenant. Gives 1 to the Templar, Avatar generates 2, and we’re off!
– The Idrians move forward and manage to kill a couple Blazers (Darrell’s dice were on FIRE) and a Stormcaller (boo!).
– The Avatar moves up and Gazes again.
– Vassal of Menoth gives the Avatar “Enliven”.
– The Choir activates and puts “Passage” on Darrell’s warjacks
– The Templar runs forward towards the flag, but can’t get to it.
– The Hammerdwarves close ranks and move forward a bit, again keeping the Attendant Priest at the back. They smite the Stormpod with great prejudice.
– The Zealots move forward in a wide C, lobbing bombs that kill 4 ATGM, and 3 Zealots (Darrell but them a l’il bit too close to their targets!).
– High Reclaimer moves up and drops more clouds, still camping 5 Focus.

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Cygnar, Turn 3

In one of those little moments where life likes to screw you, my consort texted me about this point in the game and requested my return from London… but the podcast must go on! So I stalled her (“weather is bad, it’ll be a slow drive!”) and soldiered on!
– Upkeep both Arcane Shields again, don’t allocate, but pull from the Squire. Darrell’s fat stack of Focus last turn has reminded me that Haley is super squishy, and a very good “Ashes-to-Ashes” target through the Stormwall.
– Haley goes first, casts Temporal Barrier, puts “Deadeye” back on the Blazers, camps last 2.
– Blazers activate and move forward. Their 3 shots manage to miss twice and kill the Chieftan and Pathfinder with the last shot (I think I needed… 5s to hit? Yeah). They Light-Cav up to tie up the remaining Idrians.
– Stormwall activates, drops Covering Fire and a Stormpod (near to the Templar to help contest that flag). Big gun shots kill the Vassal of Menoth.
– Strider shoots Choir behind Avatar: hits and electroleaps only 1 time, killing another Hammerdwarf. Nothing left within LoS besides engaged Idrians, so second shot is wasted.
– ATGM move up. 1 takes a shot at a Hammerdwarf, killing him, and opening a hole for the 2nd to take a shot at the Attendant Priest (no Priest, no Feating Hammerdwarves!). Needing a 5 to hit… I miss. Of course. The last ATGM shoots a Choir… and misses. Of course.
– Stormcaller moves up and Disrupts the Templar. For reasons.

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Menoth, Turn 3

Well, that was disappointing… again… I tell you, when my dice decide to go south, they go ALL the way south!
– Avatar rolls 2 Focus, HR gets a few extra but can’t allocate them
– Choir sings “Passage” again.
– Avatar Gazes and moves forward. He swings on a Blazer, missing twice.
– Idrians shuffle around and kill another Blazer, leaving me with 2.
– Zealots move up and lob bombs (Bob Loblaws Law Bombs, I believe), wiping out my ATGM and last Stormcaller.
– High Reclaimer Feats, bringing 4 Hammerdwarves back into the fray. He also drops clouds (shock!)
– The Hammerdwarves walk forward in a long line and pray for No Spells. They also smite my Stormpod again.
– Templar walks up to be B2B with the now-vacant right flag, and Darrell scores his first CP.

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Cygnar, Turn 4

Okay, I really have to hit the road soon-ish, and I can see a pretty solid assassination vector with which to enable me to do that! Glee!
– Haley gives 3 Focus to Stormwall, pulls from Squire, drop Arcane Shield from Haley, and we’re off!
– Journeywoman moves up and takes a shot at a Zealot that’s sort of in my way: Needing a 10 to hit, she misses a boosted shot (boo!).
– Haley activates, walks towards HR to get him in CTRL-range, and casts Temporal Barrier. Shoots the Zealot that the Journeywoman missed: Hits, vapourizes him.
– Strider activates and moves B2B with Avatar to make sure it blocks LoS between it and my Stormwall. It’s now engaged (and doesn’t have magic weapons), so can’t shoot at anything. But it’s done its job.
– Blazers break (we realized at this point that the Avatar causes Terror, and they failed their CMD check). They then rally.
– Stormwall activates! He walks over towards the High Reclaimer and drops a pod right behind him. I boost the damage and my dice wake up, inflicting 8 points at dice-6. I decide to roll the Metal Storm guns as well, and get a total of 3 shots (boo). I take a cannon-shot: the High Reclaimer is behind a wall (DEF18) and in a cloud (which doesn’t stack, thankfully!) and in TB range (DEF16), so I need 10s to hit. Boost to hit… hit! Dice – 1 damage, and he’s at 11 boxes… I elect not to boost the damage and inflict a perfectly average 6 points. Second cannon shot, boost to hit… hits! Woo! Roll damage… and only inflict 2, leaving him on 3 boxes.
I fire my 3 Metal Storm cannons, needing hard 10s to hit… and none come close.

With that done, I concede the game (Haley was about to be introduced to the Zealots, and we both knew it!).

Victory to Menoth!

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Post-Game Analysis:

So, on the drive home, I realized that really, it was only about a 25% assassination run… I *needed* both boosted 10s to hit, and since each is about 50/50, that’s only 1/4 for both hitting. Pretty lousy odds, actually! Now, that stated, having hit twice, the odds were in my favour (especially after that cranked Stormpod damage roll!)… but t’was not to be.

Oh, and I made a big mistake not firing Thunderbolt shots into the Zealots after my first 4 shots killed the Covenant… that could’ve made a HUGE difference, especially if the Zealots fell down in front of their buddies, making Darrell’s job of killing my ATGM that much more difficult… but I’ll try to remember that next time!

Darrell played a solid game, perhaps a little over extended with the Idrians (who I think were a solid drop against the Blazers, although they were *insanely* lucky on both my Feat turn and the turn aftewards!), but solid pressure and no major blunders. Losing the Vassal was a blow to Darrell… as long as the Avatar has “Enliven” on it, scraping him with the Stormwall would be very difficult (not impossible, though… if my Blazers were clear, I could either risk hitting it with Brutal POW10s and hope I inflict a damage point to trigger Enliven, and THEN charge in with the Stormwall, OR I could just run them behind the Avatar and B2B to glue him in place… if they had cleared out the Idrians).

Thanks for reading, folks! More batreps and painting tutorials coming out this week!
Comments, questions, criticisms, and feedback are all welcome!

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