Mark III has been a whirlwind so far and I don’t know what other player’s experiences have been but I have seen a slew of lists featuring very heavy battle groups. I think everyone expected more jacks with the new power up rule but I’ve also come up against and played quite a few beast heavy lists. I don’t know how much of this is people still holding on to old mentalities, especially with Skorne or Legion, or if the new edition boosts them as well as it does jacks. It seems like Skorne and Legion took a huge hit to their ability to run lots of beasts with the changes to the condition rule and Trolls didn’t really gain anything new to help. There was a decrease in fury and threshold stats almost across the board. I would love to hear player’s theories on this phenomenon or if maybe what I’ve been seeing is an outlier to the true new meta. For now I’m going to focus on some of the jacks/beasts that have stood out to me for better or worse.
So with all the new players that we’ve been seeing at the LGS lately, I’ve heard a lot of the old sages being approached for general overviews of the factions. Now I don’t consider myself and expert or anything but I thoroughly enjoy the debate on different factions and units strengths and weaknesses so I thought why not write a blog about it! Starting with …
I have often been amazed at the lack of Skorne players in our local meta. I look at Skorne and I see amazing assassination vehicles(Molik Karn), extremely durable infantry(Cataphract), some of the most widely acclaimed beasts in the game(Bronzeback) and amazing support models. I always wondered why they didn’t seem to catch on, then I went to Lock and Load and discovered this was only a local phenomenon. I think I saw more Skorne armies than the other Hordes factions combined and I can see why.
Battle Report 06/26/13
Siege vs Zaal
Gun Mage Officer
My Opponents List:
Paingivers Beast Handlers
Hakaar the Destroyer
2x Ancestral Guardian
Terrain From my point of view: Forests on the left and right mid table. A forest slightly out of the deployment zone mid in front of me with a wall centered in front of him and one off to my left before the forest.
I deployed first. Gunmages to my far left then journeyman with the destroyer and Strangeways with the charger. Runewood came next with my Boomhowlers and Murdoch manning the center with Siege and the squire behind them. The avenger came next with the black 13th holding the far right flank.
My opponent deployed his mammoth at the center with the nihilators to my right and his swordsmen on my left. His remaining troops filled in behind them.
Lots of running forward. Runewood threw overcome on the Boomhowlers so they cleared the forest and called out 4+ tough. The journeyman put arcane shield on them as well. Everything else ran forward using the trees as cover.
My opponent ran his nihilators forward with Hakaar and one guardian behind them. The mammoth took up residence behind the wall and puts up counter blast. He’s followed by Zaal. He put Inviolable resolve on the swordsmen and they ran forward past the wall with a guardian and the Gladiator following close behind.
Allocate 2 to the Avenger and 2 to the Charger. Defender gets the two off of the journeyman who upkeeps AS. Black 13th moves up, Lynch and Watts each pick off a nihilator with 1 rolling tough. Ryan moves forward and drops mage storm in the middle of them killing two and two rolling tough. Hakaar and the other guardian load up on souls. The avenger moves forward and boosts to kill another 3 nihilators and knocks one down. The charger moves forward and picks off a couple of swordsmen. The defender drops a shot into the gladiator doing a small amount of damage. The gun mages move forward into the trees on my left and with 3 getting shots at swordsmen and killing 2. Then the boomhowlers assault forward, leaving one nihilator that’s knocked down and failing to kill any swordsmen due to failed assaults and being short on the charges. Interestingly the mammoth chooses not to counterblast worrying that it will deviate into it’s own soldiers. Strangeways runs up behind my charger and defender and Siege, the squire and the journeyman take up residence at the front of the trees.
My opponent starts his turn by Righteous Vengeanceing Hakaar up and killing a boomhowler. Between the mammoth cannons, Hakaar, and the swordsmen(with last stand on them), I’m left with only Boomhowler on 2 for 12 rolling(even Murdoch failed…). The mammoth also killed off Lynch with blast damage. The gladiator moves forward to the edge of the trees and gets most of its damage healed off by a beast handler. His last nihilator stands up and moves forward.
Allocated 2 to the Avenger and 3 to the charger. The defender gets 2 again. The remaining Black 13th and the Avenger kill off Hakaar and the last nihilator. Siege puts 4 damage on Kovaas(out of Hakaar) with explosivo. The gun mages move forward and in an awesome display of gun play miss 4 times on the remaining swordsmen and a beast handler but at least manage to finish of the Kovaas. I guess all things balance out though because between the 3 shots from my other two jacks, I leave the Gladiator with about 4 damage in his spirit.
The last couple of swordsmen suicide charge with last stand and kill 3 gun mages, clearing the way for Zaal to send a partially healed, last standed, rushed gladiator in to two shot my charger. The mammoth moves forward to the right of the wall and puts some damage on the Avenger at range not quite taking out any systems.
I put two focus on the defender and leave the Avenger with none because I’m mistakenly thought the mammoth had a 11 inch charge threat and didn’t want to move close enough for a shot. I’m trying to decide if I want to shoot Zaal behind the wall or the last guardian with the defender and choose the former because I also mistakenly thought that he didn’t have any fury but forgot about the dead titan. I do a bit of damage that goes straight to the mammoth. Strangeways heals the Avenger for 5, who had moved over to the center to hopefully lure out the mammoth. The black 13th takes shots at the guardian but don’t finish him off because I forget to declare my brutal shots. Siege takes a shot at the mammoth for something to do and does a couple damage. My last gunmages move to start flanking on his right and kill off another beast handler.
In a huge surprise, the last guardian gets last stand and Zaal feats. Meaning I have one dead defender. Zaal moves across the wall to avoid the gunmages and Boomhowler and the mammoth moves forward to cover him. He puts more damage on the Avenger but leaves him with his right arm(sword) and his cortex.
With my Avenger finally in charge range of the mammoth I go for the win. He gets 3 focus and strangeways moves over to fix his movement. Siege moves out of the trees into the cover templates left by my dead jacks, feats and puts a hurting on Zaal with boosted damage. Somewhere around 18 damage at dice plus 7. Now an interesting questing comes up. Since the Siege’s feat specifies “the first time an enemy model takes damage this turn” does transferred damage count?! After some debate we determine that since it is transferred that Zaal is the one that actually suffered the damage so I’m safe to charge the mammoth. Or so I thought, I was unaware that counter blast also allowed a melee attack. Thankfully he actually missed but sadly the avenger is also not up to the task and leaves the mammoth standing. Then I make a big mistake and charge Zaal with Runewood. He does more damage but still the mammoth lives. Now Zaal is engaged and the Black 13th, the journeyman and Boomhowler are forced to target the mammoth leaving him with 2 hit boxes left. Instead of wasting the other gun mages I have them pick off the other two beast handlers.
With few options left, Zaal lasts stands himself! I’m guessing because he was hoping to kill off anyone who charged him and he kills Runewood and heals the mammoth. The mammoth finishes off the Avenger. But it was too little too late.
Out of hubris I try to kill Zaal with the journeyman but leave him with 5 health so I take a boosted shot with Siege and finish him off.
1. Last stand is amazing.
2. Zaal’s feat is amazing.
3. Killing the Kovaas is a huge priority. This army gave my ways to kill it in spades which kept it from really affecting the game as you can tell how much it was mentioned in my report
4. Make sure you are announcing what you are doing in a clear voice. I kept questioning what my opponent was doing, especially if I thought beasts were damaged and missing aspects, and I didn’t want to give the impression I thought he was cheating but I’ve been bitten by that before and just wanted to make sure.
5. I just don’t know how I feel about Siege. He has an amazing feat but the only spell I cast all game was explosivo and the only time I used ground pound was turn two and he failed to kill any of the swordsmen he shot at. I used his regular gun the rest of the game because I only needed to kill 1 thing with higher pow. Maybe against more of an infantry swarm list…
6. Boomhowlers are just too damn expensive when you don’t get any tough rolls. Murdoch is great with them for assault though… If you can hit anything lol.
7. I don’t care what anyone says, the charger is great at 4 points. He might be focus hungry but on those turns when you need a couple boosted pow 12s he is amazing. And sometimes you just need a couple boosted pow 12s!
This weeks discussion will focus on movement of troops and how to analyze your game. I found a weakness and I forced myself to play against it.
I have mentioned before that I am a pretty conservative player. I don’t always play like “I have a pair.” This week I resolved to throw all caution to the wind and get into my opponents face as fast as I could. The idea was if I know how the game feels when playing it safe, and I then learn how the game feels when I play aggressively I can find my happy middle. Experienced players know their play style. My play style is still malleable.
Having decided to just focus on that one goal above all else this week made the games so much fun. It did not matter if I won or lost, as a matter of fact I may have giggled when the mage hunter strike forge took out my jacks.
Game 1 – DEATH VIA SUSTAINED CANNON ATTACK!
35pt Cryx v. Talion Charter
Bane Knights ran up to greet his infantry. They did a great job of debuffing but I could have staggered them more. Most of them died before they could do anything. If I just held a rank of them back I could have counter charged and it would have been beautiful, sweet carnage.
Nightmare put prey up on the first thing he could reach and charged up the middle. He chewed through the unit, but not without taking enough damage that he didn’t serve his full potential. Next game I vowed to use nightmare to chew through some jacks.
Slayer and deathripper went to the right and took a cannon to the face knocking them down. I need to give two focus to them then so they can stand up and keep running. This was the one case where I could have been even more aggressive.
Game 2 – DEATH VIA ARC NODE CASTRATION!
35pt Cryx v. Retribution
I knew going in what the Mage Hunter Strike Force was going to do. Regardless, the goal of the week was to push the movement of my models to their extremes. Turn one, each jack got a focus to run and Nightmare used ghost walk to push through an obstruction. My Retribution opponent went second and bam, jack after jack fell to his Strike Force. It was spectacular and awesome to see how deadly they were to my jacks. I am glad I did it though because it prepared me for game 3.
Nightmare, still pushing strong, went and ate through his three jacks in the next two turns. I can’t wait to try out Death Jack! The last two rounds all I had left were Deneghra, my Bane Thrall Officer and Nightmare without arms. But don’t count me out yet, Denny went on the offensive and venom spammed two full units down to two models. Eventually the game did go to him, but man was it a fun way to lose.
Game 3 – DEATH VIA MY OWN HAND!
35pt Cryx v. Skorne
This one was probably over before it began. I was up against Baron McFats (Rasheth), two agonizers, 2 Gladiators, a full unit of Gatorman posse, Bronzeback Titan, a task master and a unit of Beast Handlers. It was a tier 4 theme list. So my Ret game prepared me for this because I once again could not use arc nodes. Not because he destroyed them, but because Castigate + the agonizers just locked me down.
So, the jacks just went into the melee with the bane thralls, nightmare and everything else. The goal was to kill the agonizers, but the gatorman posse and the gladiators did an excellent job screening and I could not kill them fast enough. I knew at turn two that the game was over, so I pulled a hail mary. I needed to move Dene or she was dead, but a full advance wasn’t going to cut it and a run would mean I could not feat leading to my destruction next turn. So I did what any self respecting Cryx player would do and I charged into the back arc of my own deathripper (taking him from full to scrapped in one hit) and then feated.
Conclusion: If you haven’t ever done it, take a few games and push your models as far as they will go. Cheer on your opponents as they mow you down. Be aggressive, next week now I know how far I can push to really make my opponents play on MY TERMS!
I have my notebook now so reviewing these games after the fact is so much easier. Experienced and Novice players alike, try this out. Play a few games just to push, not to win and record your results. I was feeling pretty comfortable with this list and thought I knew most of it, but placing myself in these situations forced me to be creative, and to use abilities in new ways.
A quickie today, as there is a lot on my plate.
Sunday, I played against Meatkat in the local Steamroller at the final table. It was a solid game, and he played really well. I was out of practice on timed turns, and it showed (I got flustered on time more than once that day).
Also, I hate playing against Terminus spam. Really hate it. It is a solid list, and I have to deal with it, but the three warlocks I have painted for Skorne are not up to the job of dealing with it. I have come to the realization I need to finish up my Zaal, and get the Ancestral Guardians painted up for some really fun times against Terminus. *sigh* Back to the grindstone with painting. :)
That said, the tournament was a blast, and all of my opponents gave fantastic games to me. First one was against Squelch, and I won on scenario after I had to use all of my fury to transfer Kraye’s assassination run on Rasheth (and even then, he still almost won). Second game was against a local Circle player who is new to MK II – played a lot in MK I, but was out of the game for a while. That one went to time, and I won on 3rd tiebreaker (more points in scoring zones than he had).
I am really looking forward to our next tournament. I should have a more substantive post tomorrow – probably something or other about a Warlock or other. ;) Stay tuned to this space for the scheduling of the next tournament.
So, I have decided to run my Skorne in Lock & Load. This means lots and lots of painting to get ready.
I finally finished painting Rasheth and his Agonizer buddies. I also touched up and finished sanding my Paingivers. Next up is a Bronzeback, followed by a Gladiator. I hope to have the Bronzeback done by Sunday, but I may miss that target depending on how busy things get this weekend.
So, welcome to our new endeavor here to talk about our experiences in the world of Warmachine and Hordes; a fabulous game and world built by Privateer Press. We are a group of players based in Bozeman, Montana. We primarily play in our great local shop; Rooks Comics & Games. We hope to discuss strategy, modeling, painting, fluff – really the entirety of our fascination with the Iron Kingdoms. So please stop back and check us out as new content goes up!
Thanks, and play like you’ve got a pair!