I’ve now been playing WarMachine for over 2 years, and during that time the majority of my games have been at a little house league (literally: a league in Adam’s house) where we play weekly.
We have been keeping track of our games since the beginning, but this year we decided on a somewhat formalized “season”… each of us would play exactly 30 games, 6 against each of our 5 opponents (we added Darrell and Todd to the mix about halfway through, but we kept the numbers the same for ease). Then, at the end of the year, we’d have a “Year End” tournament with the initial pairings set by our standing over the course of the year.
This tournament… was that event.
A quick word about the standings: There were (as I mentioend) 8 players for the tournament, all Combo Smite hosts or cohosts: Todd, Darrell, Aaron, Nick, Gaven, Adam, Kassem, and me. The first round had our 1st place finisher from the season (Adam) going up against the 8th place finisher (Aaron), the 2nd place finisher (Gaven) going up against the 7th place (Nick), 3rd against 6th (Me vs Kassem), and 4th playing 5th (Darrell vs Todd).
Sadly, Darrell had to drop at the last moment, so Todd got a free win, but whatever. These things happen!
After the 1st round, though, pairings were again randomized (with winners playing winners, and so on). Since this tournament was Adam’s brainchild, he elected to go with the “Finals Table” variant (I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of it… it takes a lot of wind out of your sails if you can’t fight for a podium position after a loss… but that’s just me!), but he also supplied a huge array of neat tournament prizes… including patches for all the competitors!
Anyway! Some of us were practicing our OTC list pairings (myself and Nick), while others brought 1 OTC list with 1 “new” list for the tournament (Adam, Todd, Kassem), and a couple just brought random lists (Gaven and Aaron). But I was excited to get my lists on the table again… I like them, I think they’re powerful, but they definitely need playtesting!
If you’ve been following my last few battle reports, these lists won’t come as surprises (although if you HAVEN’T followed my last few battle reports… you totally should! They’re awesome!), but regardless, the basic theory is thus: pHaley is my swarms-of-dudes-and-Cryx drop, although she’s a pretty solid contender against a huge chunk of the field, and Kraye is my specifically-anti-Bradigus-but-also-Skorne drop.
Yes, it’s gotten to the point where I have to have a 100% Anti-Bradigus drop. But, since Circle players have an array of options (and there’s no guarantee that they’ll drop Bradigus against me), Kraye needs to be a solid Circle drop against whatever is paired with Bradigus (specifically eKrueger and eMorvahna).
With that aside, here are my lists!
Captain Victoria Haley (“pHaley”)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers (“ATGM”)
– Officer (“The Dude”)
Tempest Blazers (max)
Anastasia di Braye
The basic principle of this list is to out-gun the opponent: keep their heavies at bay with Temporal Barrier, shoot their support and infantry off the table with Deadeye’d ATGM or Blazers, and keep Haley safe. Also, it is an outright impolite list to drop against 95% of the Cryx warcasters (I’m not positive how it would fair against Mortenebra or the Skarres (not great at cracking ARM, and both can be somewhat tanky, as memory serves). And it’s fun to play! Always a plus. It’s also helping me get stronger with “big boy” warcasters… I’ve always shied away from the Haleys because I tend to get them killed. pHaley is easier (MUCH easier) to keep safe than eHaley, so if I can learn with her… anyway.
Captain Jeremiah Kraye
– Officer and Standard
– Stormgunner WA
Cylena and the Nyss Hunters (max)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (“eEiryss”)
I like this list, but I’m sad I didn’t get Ragman or Gorman in this list… Gorman doesn’t help much with the ARM-cracking for this list (since it’s exclusively an Hordes drop, basically), but Blind is always, always good, and Kraye can often use/needs that little DEF-bump from the cloud. And I think Ragman would be super, super useful to help crack Wolds… Of course, at that point you have to decide what to drop… can’t have everything! But overall, I really like this list.
I will like it MORE when I can put in a Reliant for one of the Stormclads and use those extra 2 points!
Round 1: Skorne
So, as I mentioned, my round 1 opponent was Kassem (frequent contributor to Combo Smite, constantly classy guy). He was rocking a Fist of Halaak list, and the following Chain Gang tier list:
Dominar Rasheth (“Fatty McButterpants, Baron Harkonen”)
– Titan Cannoneer
– Titan Sentry
– Titan Gladiator
– Titan Bronzeback
Paingiver Beasthandlers (min)
Gatorman Posse (max)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
An interesting list, certainly… and a solid one, as near as I can tell from my previous run-ins with Skorne, for multiple reasons. Those Agonizers are *brutal* if they can get close enough to my warjacks (thankfully with Kraye, unlikely). The Titans are each capable of scrapping a Stormclad on their own (properly buffed, of course), and the Gatormen and Nihilators all represent hard-hitting, difficult-to-remove infantry.
But my friends… when somebody looks are your warcaster and says “Oh… what does this one do?”… they are going to have a bad day…
The Scenario (using 2014 for the tournament) was “Supply and Demand”: a central 12″ circular zone with an objective that grants free Charges within 4″ if uncontested. We rolled for initiative, which I won, and elected to go first. Kassem picked his side of the table, and we set up.
I deployed Kraye near the middle of the table with both Stormclads within 3″ of the Stormblades, who went to the right. The Nyss Hunters went to the left, and the Minutemen were Advanced Deployed to either flank. I put Eiryss near the Nihilators, ready to shoot off Carnivore from them.
(Please note that Kraye’s arm seems pathologically incapable of remaining attached to his body, so it was being reglued… again… for the start of this battle. I swapped the model back in soon, though… gotta pin that thing, I think!)
As for Kassem, he put his Gators opposite my Nyss along with their Taskmaster (good call), while the Nihilators went opposite my Stormblades (again, wise). The Titans all went in the middle of the table along with Fatty and the Swamp Gobbers.
Kassem has gotten into the habit of only buying painted models, hence why his Rasheth and beasts are all painted… which is a little bit of a pity, since Kassem was slowly becoming a better painter in his own right, but I can understand how time consuming even a sub-par paint job (like mine!) takes.
Cygnar, Turn 1
Not much to say here… 1 Focus to both Minutemen, camp the rest.
– Kraye moves up and puts “Full Tilt” on the Minuteman to the left (closer to the Gators) and camps the rest.
– The Stormclads both activate and run forward with the Focus they gained from the Stormblades.
– The Stormblades run up behind them and spread out.
– The Nyss run forward and spread out on/near/in the pond, a few hiding behind behind the bridge’s walls for cover.
– The right Minuteman runs forward to the very edge of Kraye’s CTRL.
– The left Minuteman (with Full Tilt) runs behind Kraye towards the middle of the table, ready to be held in reserve.
– Rhupert gives “Tough” to the Nyss.
Skorne, Turn 1
Kassem decides to pressure forward down the middle with his heavies, and keep Fatty safe behind the Swamp Gobber’s clouds. With “Impervious Flesh”, he’s actually quite resistant to ranged attacks, and before long those Agonizers are going to be moving up to ruin my Focus allocation anyway!
– The Swamp Gobbers move up and drop a cloud at the edge of the hill.
– Fatty moves up and puts “Carnivore” on the Gators, and and dumps 3 Fury into an Agonizer. He’s camping 2 and behind a cloud.
– The Cannoneer runs up beside Fatty.
– The Gladiator puts “Rush” on the Sentry and stays put.
– The “Rush”ed Sentry runs forward, as does the Bronzeback.
– The Agonizers say “No Allocation” and run forward.
– The Beasthandlers move up and whip a couple Fury onto a few beasts to make sure Fatty can get back to full on his turn.
– The Nihilators run up to screen the Bronzeback and Sentry
– Taskmaster gives “Tough” to the Gatormen
– Gators run forward, a couple getting range to engage a few Nyss, while the rest spread out behind him.
Cygnar, Turn 2
I’ve actually got a pretty difficult decision in front of me… Fatty is camping 2 Fury, but I’m 95% sure I can get a fully loaded Stormclad onto him… but I can’t use my Charge attack on him because I can’t see him past his Cloud (only the Cannoneer). That leaves me with 3 bought attacks to drop the big guy… but then I realize that even if I don’t kill him, I can inflict MASSIVE damage on his Battlegroup, and so I decide to go for it.
– As a result, 2 Focus to the Stormclads, drop “Full Tilt”, and pull from the Squire.
– Kraye goes first, declaring a Ride-By-Attack, popping his Feat and putting “Full Tilt” on the left Stormclad. He takes a shot at a Nihilators that hits and kills, but the Nihilator Toughs. He then moves back a little towards safety.
– The Nyss go next. I shuffle the engaged ones up to be able to start swinging at the front two Gaters, while 2 move up towards the Taskmaster. They manage to drop 1 of the Gators with their swords and the Taskmaster with a 2-man CRA (SUPER happy about that!).
– Time to go for the glory. The Full Tilted Stormclad charges the Cannoneer… with 17″ on that charge, it easily gets distance to engage Fatty at 0.5″ (so it can get its Open Fist attack on him). The Charge attack on the Cannoneer hits and does respectable damage, but more importantly electro-leaps onto Fats and does 4 points of damage. The Buckler smacks into the overweight warlock for a handful of damage as well, bringing him down to 6 boxes. I buy 3 attacks, each hitting at Dice+5… the first 2 are transfered away to warbeasts, but the last attack is more than sufficient to end Rasheth’s bloated, bulbous existance.
Victory to Cygnar!
Post Game Analysis:
Well, that was a satisfying and enjoyable start to the tournament… and also the first game I’ve won in 9 attempts! Granted, it was 95% Kassem’s unawareness that Full Tilt doesn’t restrict Charges… there was nominally no reason for Fatty to have been that far forward, and more importantly the Cannoneer could’ve easily used its Animus to reduce the damage I inflicted (on the flip side, I forgot to do the Impact Attack when I charged, so I actually had 1 more hit in there… but that probably wouldn’t have made a huge difference).
Kassem asked if I wanted to rabbit-chase the rest of the game, had he kept Fatty back, but I politely declined… I could tell that it would’ve been a slogfest, my Stormclads taking out 2 of his heavies this turn (the Cannoneer and Sentry, likely), his Gladiator and Bronzeback scrapping my heavies, and then my remaining infantry having to wreck those warbeasts in return (the Stormblades? No problems there. The Nyss… might be able to? POW9 Weaponmasters aren’t *awful* at cracking ARM, but it’s not a sure thing, either!).
Plus, it was a long and stressful drive in, and I was happy to play some WatchMachine as Nick, Aaron, Gaven, and Adam finished up their games. I need practice with WatchMachine… I tend to be “that guy” who blurts out optional rules while watching a game (like “Oh, did you mean to use Leap there?” or “You know, you could probably cast Roots of the Earth to avoid losing by scenario…” or “Hey, you hit twice! Did you want to activate your Chain Attack as a result?”) which is an AWFUL habit and I need to break myself of it.
Round 2, Legion
Nick managed to win his game against Gaven (eThags against Bradigus… Gaven lost the game because of a 2mm gap between a model and the Objective through which Nick was able to blast 2 Shifting Stones off the table on Turn 2), and so we were paired up for the next round. That’s okay… up to a week ago, I was super-confident with my pHaley as a Legion drop. Sure, she’s fragile, but she has 2 massive bases to hide behind, a lot of Stealth-denial and support removal in the ATGM and Blazers, and an incredible assassination threat with the Strider-Stormpod pairing.
But then Trevor from Chain Attack tweeted that eLylyth is apparently a super-awesome anti-pHaley drop, and my confidence wavered. Had I only been lucky so far? I mean, I’ve only played 2 games with pHaley against Legion, and both as Nick was just learning the Faction… I obviously needed more practice! So I reached for pHaley, confident that Nick was going to reach for eLylyth.
Turns out I was right!
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight (“eLylyth, Lylyth2″)
– Naga Nightlurker
Blighted Nyss Deathstalker
A small list, but one with a crap-tonne of firepower, especially under Lylyth’s Feat (24” threats on those Ravagore shots, son!). Sure, pHaley can keep Pincushion off my big boys with Arcane Vortex, but even without the help, I’m pretty sure 6 Ravagore shots with Blessed will make the Stormwall very unhappy. And Shadowpack is never a good day… my only hope is to flood Nick’s field with targets, and hope that enough survive to swing the game in my favour after I weather the Feat… either the Stormwall drops a Pod next to Lylyth and the Strider shoots it 3 times (1 from pHaley’s Feat), and hope that the POW10s polish off the fragile warlock (it’s worked before), or the Blazers pump as many Brutal shots into her remaining warbeasts that I can mop them up with whatever guns I have elsewhere.
The scenario for this game was “Fire Support”: 2 flags on the horizontal midline, and a friendly objective on the player’s left that gives Light Artillery boosted damage. Oh, and Killbox… that would turn out to be VERY significant…
We rolled for Initiative, and Anastasia’s +1 helped keep me in for 4 consecutive ties, but eventually Nick won the roll and elected to go first (damnit!). I took the side of the table with the hill so my Stormwall would be able to ignore LoS if Nick elected to drop Shadowpack (which isn’t a bad idea, necessarily: the Stormpod assassination sort of hinges on the Strider being able to see through the beasts to see the pod near Lylyth!).
I think one of the reasons Nick likes Legion is that their deployment is almost trivial. Put warlock in the middle of the table, flank my warbeasts, put support behind them, done.
Mine wasn’t a lot more complicated, although I did have to shift my huge bases slightly to my right to avoid a wall they’d be unable to walk over (and due to its placement, I couldn’t fit them through the gap between the wall and the Objective). The ATGM went to the left, the Blazers to the right, and I decided to deploy Anastasia instead of keeping her for Ambush (which, it turns out, was the first time that this was the wrong decision, but we’ll cover that later). My 2 Stormcallers went flanking behind my troops, and we’re good to go!
Legion, Turn 1
Nick wants to get up the field far enough that his Feat will result in limitless target selection: basically, if he wants to hit it with a Ravagore, he’ll hit it! As a result, pretty straight forward.
– Zuriel runs forward, as do all the Ravagores. They stay B2B to ensure any electroleaps travel laterally, and not back towards support or Lylyth.
– The Forsaken both move up and pull some Fury off.
– The Shepherds move up behind the Ravagores.
– The Naga stays back slightly.
– Lylyth moves up, casts “Shadowpack” and camps the rest.
– Succubus moves up behind Lylyth, and we’re done!
Cygnar, Turn 1
Straight away, I know I’m going to have some problems. The previous time I faced eLylyth, Nick only had 2 Ravagores, and the difference between 4 POW15 shots on Feat Turn, and 6 POW15 shots on Feat Turn, is the difference between a fully functional Stormwall and a scraped one… especially with the thrice-cursed “Wraithbane” from the Naga! I’ve got to put as much pressure on Nick as I can (since everything I have will be in range of all his guns anyway!) and hope for the best.
– 1 Focus to the Stormwall, and we’re off.
– Journeywoman puts “Arcane Shield” on the Stormwall.
– Stormwall runs forward onto the hill
– Blazers run forward onto the hill and spread out as much as they can
– Storm Strider runs forward and B2B with the Stormwall on the hill.
– Haley moves up to be within 2″ of her huge bases, puts “Arcane Shield” on the Strider, and camps the rest. Nothing within 16″, not worth Temporal Barrier.
– ATGM walk forward and spread out. The closest one takes a shot at the Deathstalker: sadly, it flies wide. Should’ve “Deadeye”d them, oh well.
– Stormcallers run forward, one flanking hard left, the other hard right.
– Anastasia and the Squire run forward.
It’s unquestionably “Feat Turn” for Nick… the only question is how much work can he get done?
– Lylyth pulls back in her Fury, upkeeps “Shadowpack” for free from the Succubus.
– Lylyth goes first, popping her Feat. She casts Zuriel’s Animus, moves over to get LoS to the Blazers, and casts “Pincushion” on the closest, boosting to hit (rolling 4d6): she misses the 12 she needs. Instead, she puts a couple of shots into my Blazers, killing 2. She then Swift Hunters back (out of the killbox, intentionally).
– The Succubus goes and I point out to Nick that it’s within 3″ of a Forsaken! Lucky for Nick, the Succubus can use Lylyth’s CMD, and passes (barely!) the Abomination check. It then puts “Wraithbane” on a Ravagore.
– The Naga puts “Wraithbane” on a second Ravagore and shoots a couple Blazers, killing 1.
– The Deathstalker (still in Lylyth’s CTRL) takes 2 shots and kills 2 ATGM.
– Zuriel activates and moves forward, casting his Animus on himself. He then Sprays over 2 of my Blazers twice: only makes 1 hit from his 4 attacks, but does kill the Blazer outright, leaving me with only 1 brave cavalry (who passes his CMD check!).
– The first Ravagore with Wraithbane opens fire on my Strider: he hits twice (no surprise) and leaves the mighty battle engine on 10 boxes.
– The un-Wraithbaned Ravagore goes next and opens fire on the Strider: Nick gets lucky and kills the Strider to the box.
– The last Ravagore moves up and pumps a shot into Haley after using its Animus: it directly hits (boo!) but Nick flubs the damage and only inflicts 6. The blast does 2 points to my Squire (phew!). He then takes his second shot on the Squire, vapourizing the brave little robot but failing to do additional damage to Haley (thank heavens she was camping 5!). She is on fire, though.
– Shepherds and Forsaken do their things, pulling off Fury as required.
-Nick has Killboxed himself, and I score 2CPs as a result.
Cygnar, Turn 2
Gah, 1 more box on my Strider and 1 of those 2 shots on Haley/Squire wouldn’t have happened, and I would’ve been MUCH happier… but, what can ya do? Hopefully I have enough left to ruin at least some of Nick’s day. Plus side? I unquestionably can get my Stormwall on ALL his beasts. Downside? Without eHaley’s “Temporal Acceleration”, I won’t be able to wreck most of them… boo. But oh well! We do what we can.
– The fire fails to go out on Haley (boo) and inflicts enough damage to leave Haley on 6 boxes. She gives 3 Focus to the Stormwall and we’re off.
– Haley goes first, moving forward, popping her Feat, and casting Temporal Barrier. She takes a Hand Cannon shot at something out of range.
– The Blazer goes next, moving forward and pumping 2 shots into a Shepherd (who is outside TB range): both shots miss by a mile (yay…). It Light-Cav moves behind a wall near Nick’s rear-flank.
– Anastasia runs up towards Lylyth, hoping to draw fire away from more important targets.
– The Stormwall charges the central Ravagore, easily getting Reach on all Nick’s warbeasts. I hit the central Ravagore with the Charge attack, then hit Zuriel with both other Initial Attacks (including the Feat attack), and then buy 2 more attacks: in the end, I have killed ONE Ravagore (the charge target), and nothing else. Zuriel has 2 crippled systems, but as we all know, that’s worth just about nothing against warbeasts. Oh, and the Lightning Pod lands in front of Lylyth and fries a Shepherd.
– The Journeywoman moves up and puts Arcane Shield on Haley (more to keep her safe from Fire than anything else!). Sadly, this removes it from the Stormwall (BOO!).
– The ATGM move up and open fire. My dice decide to go on holiday, and I fail to kill anything besides the Deathstalker, despite getting shots on the Succubus and both Forsaken as well and having 10 shots (sigh).
– My Stormcallers move up and try to call Lightning: they both miss all their attacks (sigh).
Legion, Turn 3
Strictly speaking, Nick’s Feat turn was WAY better than mine, but I’m still up on CPs, and my Stormwall MAY weather this turn… albeit slightly unlikely. But hey, if I can miss 7 of 10 ATGM shots, anything is possible, right?
– Lylyth pulls in a couple more Focus (having already gained 3 from the dying Ravagore) and drops Shadowpack.
– Lylyth goes first and uses Zuriel’s Animus again. She takes a shot at the (behind Cover) Blazer… it flies wide! She buys an attack, hits and kills the last of my cavalry, moving up a few inches (but still in the killbox). She takes a shot at Anastasia… and it flies wide as well! Woo! Lylyth is going to killbox herself again!
– Zuriel moves up and smacks my Stormwall… hard. After he’s done, Nick has done exactly 50% of its total damage gird (wiped out the right side).
– The two Ravagores move up, and between them are able to take down the Stormwall.
– The Naga runs to contest the flag.
– Nick runs a Forsaken on that flag up behind the Naga to make it harder to push away with ATGM, and then runs the Succubus up behind the Forsaken (sadly for Nick, the Succubus freaks out).
– Nick ends his turn and I score 2 more CPs, bringing the score to 4-0 for Cygnar
Cygnar, Turn 3
Okay, things may LOOK grim… but I just need 1 CP to win! And I have tonnes of time left to do it… all I have to do is clear out that left flag (kill or push the Forsaken, kill or push the Naga, move the Stormcaller into B2B contact), and between Temporal Barrier, Deadeye, and a whole mass of ATGM, it should be almost trivial! All I need is for Haley not to burn to death first, which shouldn’t be too hard… she’s got Arcane Shield and 6 boxes left, so Nick needs to roll an 11 to kill her.
– The fire doesn’t go out, and Nick rolls a 12, killing Haley.
Wait… what just happened?! Back up…
All joking aside, that sorta thing happens sometimes (much like the opposite happening to me against pDenny once, where she burned for FOUR STRAIGHT TURNS and only took a total of 4 damage before she spell-assassinated my Harbinger). No point in getting upset about it… we quickly rabbit-chased my odds of clearing that flag, and sure enough (with 30 minutes left on my clock) it was almost trivial. Shoot Forsaken with Thunderbolts (2 needed), shoot Naga with remaining shots (2 shots again needed to push it out of 4″). Move up Stormcaller, win.
But, not today, my friends… Morrow giveth, and Morrow taketh away!
Meanwhile, Gaven has lost to Aaron, and Adam’s Cryx has beaten Todd… On to Round 3!
Round 3: Circle Oroboros
With Adam busy playing Nick for the finals (and all the marbles!), Todd and I got down to the serious business of figuring out which of us was walking home in 3rd place.
Todd’s two lists were an eBaldur list, and the following eKaya list (which he picked because, and I believe this is an exact quote, “eKaya!”)
Kaya the Moonhunter and Laris (“eKaya”)
– Warpwolf Pureblood
– Warpwolf Stalker
– Rotterhorn Griffon (“Shrieking Griffon”)
– Rotterhorn Griffon
– Stonekeeper UA
Blackclad Wayfarer (proxied by a Druid Overseer, I believe)
That’s a whole lot of beasts! Thankfully Circle has some great Fury management built into the Shifting Stones (because otherwise those models would NEVER see any table time…), and Kaya’s Feat and capabilities play very well with a massive battlegroup like this.
I decided to drop Kraye (he being my dedicated Circle drop most of the time, and because if Todd decided to drop eBaldur and his walls of ARM24 immobile warbeasts… let’s just say that Haley’s infinite POW10s would be slightly outmatched!).
Scenario was Destruction (central 6×12″ zone aligned horizontally with a friendly objective on one corner that contests the zone. If the objective is destroyed, you can elect to self-sac a nearby model to keep it in play).
We rolled for Initiative, which I won and elected to go first. Todd picked the side of the table with more defensive terrain.
Kraye went in the middle with both Stormclads to his left near the Stormblades. The Nyss Hunters all went to the right with Rhupert nearby. Lastly, Eiryss went to the left (because reasons), and both Minutemen went into flanking positions with one of them close enough to Kraye to receive “Full Tilt”.
Todd placed his Pureblood in the middle of the table with Kaya and Laris to the left. Ghetorix went to the right with a Rotterhorn and the Blackclad, and the other Rotterhorn and the Stalker went to the left. The Shifting Stones eventually were Advanced Deployed in front of Todd’s army.
Cygnar, Turn 1
Not much to report, no real surprises here.
– Kraye camps his full stack, and we’re off.
– Kraye moves up, puts “Full Tilt” on the right Minuteman.
– The Squire follows.
– The Nyss run forward and spread out.
– Rhupert moves up and gives them “Tough”.
– The “Full Tilt”ed MInuteman moves forward and Light-Cav Moves to the very edge of Kraye’s CTRL.
– The other Minuteman does the same in the other direction. I now have 2 extreme flanking light warjacks.
– The Stormclads both run forwards down the middle, and the Stormblades run up around/behind/beside them.
– Lastly, Eiryss runs up the flank!
(sorry about the randomly dark pictures… they get better again soon!)
Circle, Turn 1
Todd has been presented a buffet of bodies (unusual against a Cygnar player!)… can he blunt Kraye’s speartip before I jam a Stormclad down his throat?
– The Stones all shift around a little
– The Griffons both move up, flanking almost identically to my Minutemen (although slightly tighter in towards the middle).
– The Pureblood warps for ARM and moves up the middle.
– Ghetorix heads to the right behind a wall
– The Stalker moves up behind a fence and warps for Prowl.
– The Druid Wilder moves up near the Stalker.
– The Gorax, Laris, and Kaya all move up near the stones in the middle of the table. Kaya puts out “Shadow Pack”, of course, and “Forced Evolution” on Ghetorix.
– Lastly, the Blackclad moves up a bit, near Laris.
Cygnar, Turn 2
That could’ve gone much worse… most importantly, I am 95% sure I have range to Feat, punch Kaya a bunch of times, and then charge a Stormclad into Todd’s Pureblood, taking it off the table!
– Towards that end, I give 2 Focus to the Minuteman, 2 to each Stormclad (and pull one from the Squire, obviously, to upkeep “Full Tilt”).
– Kraye goes first. He pops his Feat and takes a shot at extreme range at something which hits and does no damage.
– The Minuteman goes next. It walks up to Laris and then Bounding Leaps to land B2B with Kaya and a Stone. It does a Flak Field, putting a bunch of damage on Kaya (who transfers it to the Gorax), and destroys a Stone. Two punches to Kaya’s face also get transferred off, leaving the warlock on 1 Fury but no damage.
– My Stormclad closest to the Pureblood charges… and it turns out that, rather than being an 1″ in range (base 5″ + 3″ from Charge, +2″ Reach, and +2″ from Feat), the Pureblood is actually about 0.02″ out of Charge range… so my closest Stormclad fails its charge (NOOOOOOoooooo…….!).
– My other Stormclad, having NO chance of getting distance to anything, moves between Kaya and Kraye.
– Rhupert gives the Nyss Tough.
– The Nyss move up and dump a couple shots into a Shifting Stone (an unpainted, unStealth one), taking it off the table.
– My Stormblades get run-charge orders, and the Stormblade Gunner manages to get range to see past the Stealth of the Pureblood (Shadow Pack): sadly he misses. The rest just run up to be a bother.
Circle, Turn 2
Todd has to capitalize on my mistake… but that shouldn’t be too difficult!
– Kaya pulls back in to max Fury (and the Stones “Serenity” off a few more). She upkeeps Shadow Pack and Forced Evolution.
– The Gorax moves over and puts the hurt on my Minuteman… it misses a few, hits a few, leaves the Minuteman still functional
– Kaya gives “Lightning Strike” to Ghetorix. She takes her attacks on the Minuteman, and buoyed by “Flank”, manages to scrap my tough little light warjack.
– Ghetorix charges my Stormclad and leisurely rips it to pieces. It moves forward into my Stormblades, forcing a CMD check that they pass.
– The Pureblood charges my Objective and scraps it.
– The left Griffon moves up to my Stormblades and screams at them: it kills 1, but the rest are okay.
– The right Griffon does the same thing to a bunch of Nyss, much more successfully: he kills 3, although 2 Tough.
– Laris charges a Nyss, killing it.
– The Blackclad sprays a bunch of Nyss, getting 3 under the template but only hitting 1… who Toughs.
– The other Blackclad sprays a few Stormblades, killing 1.
– Lastly, the Stalker moves up and kills a Stormblade.
Cygnar, Turn 3
Okay, that could’ve gone worse, but I’ve still lost a Stormclad and wasted Kraye’s Feat. On the plus side, I can probably (PROBABLY) take Ghetorix off the table, although it certainly would be nice to have a FEAT to do that with! Oh well. We do our best…
– Kraye gives his Stormclad 2 Focus, gives 2 to the Minuteman, and camps the rest.
– Kraye goes first, putting “Full Tilt” on the Stormclad. He shoots at something out of range.
– The Stormclad activates and walks up beside Ghetorix. I do a Headbutt and boost the hit, knocking the mighty warbeast to the ground. I think buy a single attack with the sword, inflicting moderate damage on the Warpwolf chieftan.
– My Stormblades go next and get Run-Charge orders. I get 4 on Ghetorix (overkill, but he *needs* to die!), 1 on the Pureblood, 1 on the left Griffon, and 1 on the Stalker. The Assault Shots all hit, inflicting light damage to everybody: the follow up melee attacks take Ghetorix off the table (only took 2, oh well) and inflict moderate damage to the rest. Let it not be said that Stormblades don’t hit hard!
– The Nyss walk, with several attacking Laris (and missing), the Blackclad (and missing), and the Griffon on the right (and missing). Overall, they fail to connect with anything except 1 who hits the Objective and fails to damage it.
– Rhupert, in honour of their epic failure, abandons the Nyss to their fate and gives “Tough” to my suddenly-more-important Stormblades.
– The Minuteman charges the Pureblood in what I can only attribute to mass stupidity. It accomplishes nothing (at dice – 9, I’m not surprised!).
– Eiryss moves up and drops the Druid Wilder.
Circle, Turn 3
Well, I killed Ghetorix, but the attrition game is still going against me pretty hardcore… and about to get worse, I suspect.
– Kaya pulls back her Fury, dropping Shadow Pack (and having lost Forced Evolution).
– Both Shrieking Griffons activate: one kills 3 Nyss (but not Cylena, due to a crappy damage roll), and the other tags and kills a Stormblade (who fails his Tough).
– The Shifting Stones teleport forwards around the Stalker. The Stonekeeper pings the 2 Stormblade engaging the Stalker, killing neither, but he does get a Crit and knocks them both down (boo!).
– Kaya activates and puts “Forced Evolution” and “Primal” on the Stalker.
– The Stalker leisurely walks over to my remaining Stormclad and rips it limb from limb effortlessly.
– Laris drops a couple Nyss, moving over into the wreck of the Stormclad first.
– The Blackclad on the right sprays over 3 more Nyss: fails to hit 2 but kills 1 more, and inflicts light damage on the Griffon.
– Todd ends his turn, not activating the Gorax or the Pureblood (just simply forgot, and to be honest, I was too busy reeling from the loss of my everything to pay attention at the time!).
Cygnar, Turn 4
(Gods, I just put on the Skyrim Soundtrack… for those of you unaware, it is unquestionably the best music on earth to play WarMachine to… except MAYBE the Pacific Rim Soundtrack… makes for great write-up music too!)
Okay… so this is bad. First, I’m down to a handful of ARM-crackers and Todd still has (count ’em) 4 lights and 2 heavy warbeasts, all fully operational (except the still Spirit-crippled Gorax). To battle that, I have a total of 3 Nyss, 1 Minuteman, 6 Stormblades… and Kraye.
The attentive among you may note that Todd has almost as many warbeasts as I have MODELS. But is it time to panic?!
– Kraye gives 2 to the Minteman and camps the rest.
– Kraye goes first, casting “Guided Fire”. He then pumps a shot into Laris, hitting and inflicting light damage. I elect not to take a second shot.
– The Minuteman Leaps out of Melee with the Pureblood. It pumps 2 shots into the Griffon, both hitting, and I completely and utterly flub the damage rolls (at dice-1, I believe I inflicted a total of 4 damage… including a boosted damage roll!).
– The Stormblades activate and shuffle around a little: the 2 that are knocked down stand up, forfeiting their movement, and take shots at the Shifting Stone: I hit twice and fail to kill it (because dice). Three swing on the Stalker, hitting it and crippling both Mind and Spirit. 1 swings on the Pureblood, but fails to connect.
– The Squire runs up to be a bother (now devoid of Focus)
– The Nyss continue to flail pointlessly at the Griffon and Blackclad, missing all their attacks by a mile and a half.
– Rhupert gives the Stormblades Tough again.
Circle, Turn 4
Todd and I have kept more or less abreast of our Deathclock, but he’s looking to close this out sooner than later (which makes sense… another turn and I’m going to be forced to try a desperate gamble of some variety, and those pay off too often to risk if you have the choice!).
– Kaya pulls in her Fury again and upkeeps “Forced Evolution”
– The Gorax goes and tries to put “Primal” on the Stalker, only to remember that its Spirit is still crippled!
– Kaya activates instead and puts “Primal” on it instead.
– Todd then tries to teleport the Stalker up to Kraye… only to notice that, in fact, the Stones are too far back (or alternatively the Stalker is too far forward)! Woo!
– It’s around this point that Todd remembers that the Pureblood grants the ability for all his Warpwolves to warp for Ghostly… so those pesky models engaging the Stalker? Not so pesky.
– The Stalker activates and warps for Ghostly and lazily strolls over to Kraye. A couple attacks later and Kraye is down.
Victory to Circle!
Post Game Analysis:
Missing that charge with the Stormclad unquestionably cost me the game. If I had taken the Pureblood off the table, not only is Ghostly no longer an issue, but Ghetorix moves in to take out that Stormclad, I take him out with my 2nd Stormclad, who then dies to the Stalker… who then dies to my Stormblades.
Not the only stumble, though. I probably should’ve used the Minutemen to focus firepower on the Griffon(s), hammering them with their POW14 guns. And I have no idea why I would ever charge a POW9 open fist at a heavy warbeast. Momentary insanity.
Todd played a solid game (although his Pureblood was probably an inch too far forward) and was able to control his huge battle group quite effectively. He ended up not needing his Feat, which is a credit to how well he played the list and jammed up my troops. A worthy game, and for my 2nd time every playing against Kaya, I think I did okay!
Post Tournament Analysis
So I went 1 win and 2 losses at the event, coming in somewhere around 5th (out of 7). Not a shining moment for me, honestly. But, that stated, the game against Nick really was mine, and I played an okay game against Todd.
As for the game for the championship position…
That is Nick right there, ladies and gentlemen… and for those of you curious why I cut off his head in that picture… brace yourselves…
That’s just his face. All the time.
Seriously, though, massive congratulations to Nick for nailing the top billing, and a huge thank you to Adam for the prize support, running the event, and being such a staunch contributor to Combo Smite in indirect ways (although he tells me he’s planning on actually doing some write-ups before long! We shall see!).
And a huge thank you to everyone for reading my wall(s) of text, and as always, I welcome feedback, questions, criticisms, and apologize for the rules I got wrong!