A friend and I played a game on Saturday, and I had a blast, both figuratively and literally. We’d both been talking about our factions and casters back and forth for a couple weeks. He’d been trying out a couple Harkevich lists, and I’d just gotten done painting up Deneghra. He has been fiddling both in and out of tier trying to see what he liked the best, and trying to make the Iron Wolf hum: Its no mean feat.

I’d been painting a lot of models lately, and really wanted to use those models in a game. Sadly, this included the Revenant Crew of the Atramentous Riflemen. After  we chatted  for a while about game theory and new games to come, we pulled out our lists to start the rumble.

I brought this list I’d cooked up a few days earlier

The Warwitch!

Warwitch Deneghra+5
Scarlock Thrall2
-Nightmare10
Nightwretch4
Nightwretch4
Mechanithrall(10)5
Necrosurgeon and Stitch Thralls2
Mechanithrall(10)5
Necrosurgeon and Stitch Thralls2
Revenant Crew of the Atramentous (10)9
- Riflemen (3)3
Captian Rengrave2
Revenant Cannon Crew3
Warwitch Siren2
Gorman di Wolfe2

And he dropped this Theme list monster

The Iron Wolf!

Kommander Harkevich, the Iron Wolf+5
Black Ivan9
Demolisher8
Demolisher8
Demolisher8
Demolisher8
Winter Guard Field Gun2
Winter Guard Field Gun2
Winter Guard Infantry6
Winter Guard officer and Standard2
Kovink Jozef Grigorovitch2

I’d been toying with putting all the mechanithralls I could on the board for a while, and with Deneghra upping hitting power, I really felt they could shine bright. The Revenant crew was there simply to provide the riflemen I’d painted, but I also like trying out things that are a little more underused.

My friend has been playing with a pile of different tier and non tier list, and really wanted to try a strange list out that he’d been kicking around, and I’ll be honest: I thought from the start that I’d be paste. the Mechanithrall horde’s worst nightmare is a pile of AOE’s, and man did he bring them. It was no matter, though, I’d faced crazier odds and lost before, and this one would be no different, I assumed.

If you want to skip the battle report, you can go to thoughts here

We rolled up a scenario (Outflank) and he won the initiative roll. Hearing that the scenario had Kill Box (It didn’t), I picked the side with the wall centralized and about 14″ in. To the left and right of center were two forests, with walls centrallish-ly located on each side. There was also a building on my side, and a hill on his, each to our left flanks, respectively. Each Scenario Zone had a goodly portion of forest in it, and I was glad that I’d brought a Ghost Walk ‘caster.

He deployed two Demolishers across from either zone, with Tier-granted wreck markers to stand in. Harkevich is (as far as I know) unique in that the wreck markers he gets are not completely within 20″ of his back table edge, simply within. Its a difference maker. Ivan, Harkevich, the Winterguard and Joe all take the center, with the Field Guns taking post behind the Demolishers.

I deploy a Mechanithrall and Necrotech to each zone, and the Pirates with Rengrave and the Cannon to the center. Nightmare and the Scarlock flank a touch right with the Warwitch Siren, and Gorman takes center-left A Nightwretch to either side manage to solidify the flanks and get me ready to ghost walk into the core.

Here is where it gets amusing, as we both play the first two turns fairly conservative and tight, but end up slacking off at the end and making some rookie mistakes. He runs into position behind the forests with both his forces, and the Winterguard stay way back. I respond along the same lines, with my forces splitting to either side as expected. His second turn is a cautious advance-and-broadsides that nets him a single dead (and body-snatched) Mechanithrall. However, in trying to take Gorman out, he drifts a shot over onto the left flank Nightwretch and blew out its arc node.

Not a good start for our undead anti-heroes. While a single ressurectable Mechanithrall isn’t that big of a deal, the loss of the left side arc node was a big bite. He was the one I was expecting to get into the center to get at Black Ivan and the Winterguard. Turns out, that wasn’t going to happen.

At the start of my turn I had a conundrum. Nightmare was 8″, give or take, from a Demolisher that seemed pretty much on its own. I could drop a couple of charging Revenants and Mechanithralls to start the process, and then drop him with Nightmare, along with getting him closer to his prey, Black Ivan. I activated the Necrosurgeon, moved the stitch thralls where I thought the Mechanithralls would end up, and dropped the one back into formation through reanimation. The Warwitch powered the Nightwretch, and it went over and toed into Deneghra’s Control Area, just in range of the Demolisher, and she popped Parasite onto it to make it a touch more vulnerable, even with it in a wreck marker. Its not looking well for Nightmare, but I have to go for it: Burn a focus for Ghostly, and meander up to start rending, because he is on the other side of the forest. Turns out, I was off in my measurement by a pencil lead. Things are really not looking good for Nightmare now! the Scarlock wanders up and Ghostwalks the Mechanithralls, and I charge the few I can see at it,  combo-strike it for a bit of damage. Revenants charge in and fail to damage it, but do get one charge in on Ivan, dropping 5 damage into him.  I spend the rest of the turn trying to stymie as much as I can of the offence that is going to pound down on me.

While the next turn didn’t have as much of the offence I expected, it wasn’t pleasant. Harkevich pops his feat, Winterguard advance under Fortune, Bob and Weave, and Joe’s bonus to hit and, as best they can spray off the jam from the ‘jacks. One of the Decimators bulldozes to an poorly placed Necrosurgeon and fists her head straight off, with two more simply advancing to create board position. Ivan wanders forward and launches a shell forward catching a necrosurgeon int he blast and dropping him. The worst part, though, was the Demolisher in front of nightmare moving forward and two-handed throwing Nightmare straight into my poor arc node, knocking it down. The collateral damage, Field Gun slug, and the two gunners shots dropped it forever. With no way of delivering my spells to the enemy, I knew then I was in the vicious jaws of defeat. All I had to do, though, was engineer an insane victory.

The Pet Jack of Deneghra

He’d popped his feat. He had an open Demolisher in one zone, two Demolishers – once closed, one open; and Ivan in the second. The Winterguard were in position to mop up whatever I committed to either zone. The majority of all three units were out, and I had Nightmare on his back. I figured I could at least get one jack into the ground this turn. I had to counter-feat, or else he’d just wreck my army and I’d have nothing left to take advantage of the feat. I fed Nightmare 3 focus, and got ready to pummel the open jack. I needed to nullify either Ivan or the other Demolisher nearby for a turn, so I dropped black oil on the Demolisher with Gorman, and ran the last few Revenants to engage. I charge another segment of Mechanithralls into it, and at dice -2, I take it to the ground without even needing Nightmare. Sighs. there is a bit of maneuvering over in the other zone, including smacking the open Demolisher, leaving it with 9 boxes left, vitally his cortex is still up. Rengrave moves up into the left forest, and pops a ghost shot into the Winteguard leader, sadly failing to kill her.  I pass the turn

Harkevich and the smattering of Winterguard left on the board start to clear the left flank zone. There’s almost half a dozen dead Mechanithralls and two stitch thralls in the ground at the end. The critical game-extender, though, was Ivan deciding to shoot Gorman instead of shooting Rengrave: without Ivan, there was no way to kill him, and therefore no way to score the zone on this turn, despite committing Harkevich to dominate. He wanders the second Demolisher, alone, into the zone, making sure I don’t score as well, but making sure that I have to kill it and can’t move forward. I am down to my last scrape of models, and he has a pile of ‘Jacks I have to do something about.

My turn comes up, and I have to do something about the jack that standing in front of Nightmare, engaged by Mechanithralls. I concoct an insane plan! With Deneghra behind the wall, but within charge range of the Demolisher, I need to get Parasite on him to have a chance of opening up that arm 25 monster. In a wreck marker and combat, I have about a 50% chance of landing a boosted spell. I need a more secure number. The Scarlock wanders over and Ghost walks  Deneghra, the Necrosurgeon runs over to try and tie up Ivan, and I charge the Demolisher. I (and I should have done this in reverse) Parasite before making my charge attack. The charge attack hits and does no damage, but the main goal was shadowbind and parasite. The mechanithralls and Nighmare take their turn here, the Mechanithralls doing nothing, and Nightmare, while putting up a good show, just unable to take an arm off and lower the armor of the monstrosity. Rengrave twiddles about a little, and then drops another ghost shot into the Winterguard Officer, finally killing her.

Now, here comes the pain.
With Ivan tied down, the Demolisher Shadowbound, and the Winterguard on the other side of the board, I feel pretty assured that I am gonna get snuck somehow. Its not what you see that kills you, its what you don’t, and I didn’t see anything that game. I surely didn’t see Winterguard coming up and spraying Ivan to clear off the intervening infantry and free him to charge. Ivan did Harkevich proud, but didn’t take Deneghra off the board. With three hit points, she stood tall. Harkevich makes his single attack getting in near Rengrave, and whiffs it. He does, however, trundle the cortex-busted Demolisher over and bulldoze Rengrave out of the zone, scoring the first points of the game.

The Jack with a Beard

I am now in a terrible position. As if I wasn’t before. Deneghra is in the mix with a pair of Khadoran Jacks, and I only had a single model even close to contesting the other zone. I needed to clear my zone, and now. I drop three focus into Nightmare, and keep the other four on Deneghra. She moves back out of Ivan’s reach, and I contemplate. His DEF 12 and dodge is scary here, as I have only MAT 5, and I need him to not get to me. I take the chance, and shoot Crippling Grasp out and hitting him, needing fives. I then, needing 5’s against the now DEF 10 ‘jack. Smack him with my spear and shadowbind him into place. whew. I move Nightmare over a touch to get Ivan, my prey, into my reach. It then takes me all three focus to drop the bastard, right about what averages tell us. It has me worried with the two early 5’s I dropped, but the 5 damage from the early Revenant charge made it happen. My Warwitch Siren Charged the Demolisher that Nightmare had now Prey’d right next to him, dropping his defense and locking him in place. The Mechanithralls then went to down, dropping him to 4 boxes. I had two options left. The Revenant Cannot Crew, and Rengrave. Rengrave stoically turned and fired Misery into combat against the jack, using ghost shot to ignore the cover of the wreck he was standing in, and my own true fashion, totaled the ‘Jack while preventing scoring of the zone. The Revenant Cannon then lined up a RAT 8 shot, ignoring cover and concealment, at Harkevich, and easily hit, doing some 5 damage to the bastard. It wasn’t much, but it was damage!

Sadly, that was the last thing I would actively do, as the remaining Winterguard ran down and sprayed Deneghra to death, sealing the game for me.


Afterthoughts

This game was a hell of a game. I thought I was out from the start facing a giant armor wall and a ton of AOE’s, but despite my lack of recent games, and some dumb moves on both our parts, I was able to stick in it to the end. I immediately started to think how I could play this game differently next time. I really liked the Mechanithrall boat, but I think I deployed it poorly, and should have had them next to each other in order to maximize the Necrosurgeon recurrence possibilities. I also really liked Rengrave as a solid, shooting solo for two points, and may consider trying to utilize him outside of a Revenant list. I really wasn’t able to get a whole lot of traction with the Revenants, but I really, really hate them. I’ve just been unable to get real mileage out of them any time I’ve taken them, as their terrible stats just don’t play to the job they need to have of reoccurring roadblock. CMD 7 makes it even worse. Honestly, for the 17 points I had invested in Revenants, I could have had Bane Thralls, UA, Tartarus and Saxon Orrik. I could have had Gerlak, Bloodgorgers, Saxon, and a Deathripper. I could have had Bane Knights, Tartarus, Rengrave and a Necrosurgeon. Its just too much points to invest into something that is just can’t cut it in almost every situation.

That Harkevich list is scary as shit. 5 Khadoran heavies backed by their best infantry shooting unit in the faction just makes for a solid counter to most things. While most lists are able to handle colossals, I don’t think that they’d be ready to break two and a half that are on the board in Khadoran Armor and HP. Its a supremely durable list and I respect the hell out of it.

But I also want a second shot at it. I want a second shot at everything!

Thanks for sticking with this very long post! My longest is no longer WWX, but WARMACHINE!

On Saturday the 28th, I had a bunch of friends over to play Warmachine/Hordes. This is a semi-regular event that a couple friends and I have had for maybe 5 years now. We rotate between half of us going northward to play at one of those houses, and half of them venturing southward to play at one of the houses down here closer to the city. The group is fairly diverse, and we cover almost every faction among the 5 of us. We try to set up a few tables, get breakfast at a local spot, and then get to gaming. We brought in a 6th this time around, just to make sure we were all up to evens.

My Gator buddy pairs up against one of my Khador friends, The Rhulic and Protectorate player square off, and I sit down across the table from my friend playing Retribution. Its his first time out with his fully painted 50 point force, expanded from the battlebox, and its my fourth full game in three weeks. I normally like to stick with one caster, but after the pounding at Critical Hits I figured I’d Switch it up. I have this spreadsheet I keep about all my fights, and its got a ton of information on it. I figured it was time I took the casters on the bottom and tried to get more games in with them. Who was on the bottom of this list? Witch Coven.

Casters Played
Number of Games%
Epic Haley239.70%
Naaresh198.02%
Xerxis198.02%
Epic Asphyxious187.59%
Epic Skarre166.75%
Barnabus156.33%
Epic Goreshade156.33%
Asphyxious 3125.06%
Scaverous125.06%
Skarre114.64%
Epic Hexeris104.22%
Terminus104.22%
Epic Magnus83.38%
Rasheth72.95%
Mortenebra62.53%
Magnus62.53%
Venethrax52.11%
Hexeris41.69%
Mordikaar41.69%
Asphyxious31.27%
Haley31.27%
Maelok20.84%
Bart10.42%
Epic Deneghra10.42%
Zaal10.42%
Morghul10.42%
Epic Morghul10.42%
Fiona10.42%

So I spun up a Quick list:
The Witch Coven of Garlghast (*5pts)
* Nightwretch (4pts)
* Nightwretch (4pts)
* Kraken (19pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
The Withershadow Combine (5pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall (1pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)

The concept is simple:
I wanted to use the Kraken, my newly converted Bane Knights, and my brand new Gorman. I also though that making the coven as focus efficient as possible would be a blast. That is about as far as the list construction went, and It was really obvious as the day went on. My opponent, as I had mentioned, decided to take his now fully painted Retribution army for a spin.

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper (*7pts)
* Chimera (6pts)
* Banshee (10pts)
* Manticore (8pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard (2pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Mage Hunter Commander (2pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Mage Hunter Assassin (2pts)
Mage Hunter Assassin (2pts)

I end up going first, and rolling the whole board forward. The Coven stay back a bit, Infernal Machine went on the Kraken, Granting him MAT 8 and Speed 7, and occultation went on the Bane Knights.
Turned out, He was just going to shell the Kraken with Backlash. He moved his Chimera up, tossed backlash on my Kraken, dropped harm in for good measure with A&H, and went to town with the mage hunters. He took out a decent chunk of the Kraken, enough to total any other Cryx jack, and landed 8 on the Coven through backlash. He rolled a bit on the low side. He popped his feat to protect his army, maneuvered his ‘jacks into position and called it a turn.
I upkeep infernal machine, and drove the Kraken into his guts, hoping to get at least someone to fail the check. Mage hunters, Sentinels, and A&H, however, defy my plan and all pass. The Kraken strikes out, killing Aiyana and a number of magehunters from both his claws and his Killshot. I sent the banes running pell-mell into the sentinels hoping to buy some time with Tartarus as backup in a safe position towards the center of the board. Both my arc nodes flanked out wide to provide threats for the next turn. With stealth on the Mage hunters and Banishing Ward on the Sentinels, I wasn’t getting a lot done that turn. I’d done some damage, but all of the Sentinels were still alive, as was the entire battlegroup and more. I popped my feat to hopefully mitigating some of the damage, and spent 6 focus to heal and prevent a backlash kill, if possible.

The Banshee, which I had failed to have any impact on, walked up to the Kraken and finished it off in three quick hits. Backlash had, thankfully, been left to expire. The mage hunters on the left flank piled in around Gorman and an arcnode, though unable to drop any real damage into them. The sentinels went, and killed the majority of my bane knights. I was confident that I’d reap back rewards with Tartarus. Then, using Kaelyssa, the manticore, and Holt, he cleared a couple more bane Knights to make an unexpected lane for the Mage Hunter Assassin to get a charge on Tartarus.
He causes terror. (rolls 8, passes)
He is Defense 13 (rolls 8, needing 8, passes)
Arm 17 w/ 8 wounds. (rolls 21 damage, needing exactly 21 to kill him)
Down went Tartarus, my only hope of salvaging the game, as a set of Sentinels had run to engage the other arc node when they’d charged the bane knights. He pushed the turn over to me.
Right. This one gets tricky.
Warwitch siren with puppet strings rolled over to spray the 5 mage hunters engaging Gorman and the Arc node. Managed to hit and kill all, without re-rolls. Amazing. That frees the arc node to then run (he had a broken cortex from the mage hunters, which we both forgot about. I would have had the Necrotech go fix him, but still) down the side of the army, with Ghost walk, in range of a Stygian Abyss to Kaelyssa. My friend reminded me of witch hound, but what am I to do at this point? I’m all in. His Banshee is in walking range, and Kaelyssa will just walk out of range if I spell her and don’t crit. So, I send in the banes to try and break the Banshee and fail, though I leave him with three wounds and its just as good. its good enough at this point. I activate my third coven member, and tossed Stygian abyss. boosted 9’s needed a 7 to hit, and prayed for a crit. The hit shows up, but the crit does not. I roll and do some damage, leaving her with 7. She moves up to engage me, negating my arcnode.
With little left but maneuvering and placing a Veil of Mists in to block charges from the Sentinels, I pass turn.
He Continued to take apart my army, killing one arcnode. He leaves the other with only movement and arcnode, and we remember the cortex this time. Everything but the Coven, one arcnode, and two of three Withershadow. Butt its all I got. Veil of mists, Ghost walk, boosted Stygian Abyss with a puppet strings into Kaelyssa. I need an 11 to hit her, but with the boost, I’m not afraid. Hit, but no crit. I need to roll a 9 at dice -2 for damage, to make her dead. Boost damage, and toss dice.
8.
4/3/1
A groan and a sigh of relief at the same time arose.
But! Puppet strings, I cried!
I will reroll the one, I declare!
I toss the die into the air, it lands with a clatter on the tabletop.
There is only one result that it ever could have been.

He starts his turn, and charges/walks his sentinels into combat with the poor Egregore.
5 weaponmasters.
And three fail, one at a time. The other two wail on the Egregore, but the damage is only enough to leave each witch with a HP or two left over. The rest of his army kills everything else I have. Now, at the end of their days, the coven is left to fight the Dawnguard Sentinels with only their knives.
And they are terrible at it.

It was a great game. Dice spiked and floored all over the place. There was more than enough craziness on both sides to make both opponents really enjoy themselves. In Hindsight, Kaelyssa might not be the best match up for the Coven, with Witch Hound, Banishing Ward, and Arcane Reckoning all in her arsenal. I’d try it again with a different list, same caster, I think. I’ll have to mull on it.

Read my second Battle Report Tomorrow!

Saturday before last I took a trip to the local store and played in a little three round tournament. I am the normal PG for the store, but as I’d recently had a baby, I hadn’t had a lot of time to play Warmachine, so I was determined to play.

It had been a while since I’d played, and I thought that the I’d built some decent lists. I was going in without Epic Asphyxious because I was sure people would be teching against him, and I thought my chances without him were greater than with him.

I brought the Following lists:

Faction: Cryx Faction: Cryx
Tier 3Tier 0
Goreshade the Cursed +5Pirate Queen Skarre +6
* Kraken19Leviathan9
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) 8Skarlock Thrall 2
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard0Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) 10
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)8Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)8
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard3* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard 3
The Withershadow Combine 5Blackbane's Ghost Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) 9
Bane Lord Tartarus4Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls 2
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall1Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts) 5
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall1* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch2
Pistol Wraith 3Pistol Wraith3
3 Scrap Thrall1Pistol Wraith3
3 Scrap Thrall1
3 Scrap Thrall1

I’d been 11-1 with Epic Goreshade, and Skarre was bringing along Incorporeal to make peoples lives miserable.  The goal was to jam scenarios and flood the field with bodies, making making every choice of the opponent a painful one. Goreshade brought the Kraken for extra phantom hunter goodness, and I was ready to rock and roll.

The field was a tough crowd. There was only 9 of us, but we were all good. Locals Chris, Anthony and Phil had all won tournaments both locally and at nearby conventions. I’d tangled with Jason, Andy and Ryan both before and neither of them were pushovers. I knew that Curtis was a newcomer to the Area, but he’d been playing since the days of yore. The only person that I’d not played against or knew was a fellow I just referred to as Beard.

The Field was thus:
Phil and Me: Cryx
Anthony: Cygnar
Ryan: Mercs
Chris: Protectorate of Menoth
Andy, Curtis, Jason and Beard: Khador.

I knew it was going to be a long day. I’d been fighting Khador a long time, and its not my favorite fight.

I get paired up against Khador in the first round (surprise!) and Its Beard! Turns out his name is Paul. This is cool to me because I like playing against different people, as they tend to have different theories and ways of playing the game. I was stoked, and he had only one list. I figured I’d take Epic Goreshade on his first tour, as I was familiar and confident. Sadly, I’d just picked poorly, as he was playing Vlad. This allowed him to wind wall away my only shooting threat and make me one dimensional, as I’d forgotten to pack an arc node into the list. He also got to choose sides, and due to table setup one of these was in the way of the center of my deployment zone:

Gale Force 9 Badlands Plateau

It was massive, and blocked my everything, but, I felt it was part of the deal with playing the game, so I worked around it. I ended up loosing in part because of it, in part because I forgot how the game worked, and in part because I hate Khador. I did have him kill some 40 Bane thralls, but at the end of the day, the Greylord Outriders he had were more than up for the task. both the Kraken and Goreshade ended up not committing until very late, and that caused me to not gain points nearly fast enough. we were scoring at the same rate until he was able to stop me from scoring on his turn, and he won the game, fare and square.

I entered the losers bracket, and was ok with that. I was fighting for second with about 3 other people. I had take out 47 Army points, and scored 5 control points in the last game so my tiebreakers were awesome.

Instead, Jason crushed my soul at the top of turn 2. I got one turn in and BAM, Sorcha’d.

See, Sorcha ran turn 1 into a defensive position, and I had moved Scarre prematurely up 7 inches from her deployment zone. Turns out, one wind rush + charge + feat later, Skarre was Frozen in place. Eiryss followed, doing what she does, and stripped my 5 FOC camp, and did a damage or two. Winterguard Rocketeers then slid up, bobbing and weaving, and did their job, lobbing rocket into a frozen Skarre until she was little more than quivering flesh chunks. It was significantly disappointing, as I’d not only gotten rolled, I didn’t kill a single model on his side.

I started doing the math about who was playing who, and I realize that unless Curtis loses his match, I was going to get the bye with the worst record in the tournament. So guess what happens? Curtis Wins. I get the bye, and Don’t even end up with the worst record and get my tournament fee back so I can play a later tournament (a bye counts as a win! Yay!)

At the end of the day, I enjoyed getting out and seeing some good friends. I didn’t put up a good show, but I expected that. I have to knock the rust off of 6+ months of not playing competitive Warmachine. Fortunatly, I had friends coming over on the 28th.

Sadly, as you’ll soon read, that didn’t end well for me either!

Having an infant requires most of my time investment, so I haven’t had much time to do a lot of non-sedentary nerding, so i was really pleased to played my first game of Warmachine in months Wednesday before last. I felt rusty and hazzy but it was a very close, very enjoyable game. Having a buddy who also has children come over for the game was a bonus, because he knows the routine. He showed up a bit after 6, and we chatted for a bit about all sorts of topics. I was starved for non-family contact! We set up the table and pulled out the armies to get things rolling.

I hemmed and hawed all week about what I was going to play. It’d been so long I didn’t want to try anything super-complicated. None of my coven lists made me excited to play, and I really was going to make sure my bane knights made it into the list as well. Eventually, a different friend and I hashed out a list that seemed pretty interesting. I didn’t have all the solutions like a tournament level list might, but it had enough.

Iron Lich Asphyxious
-Nightwretch
-Nightmare
-Cankerworm
-Scarlock
Bane Knights (10)
Soulhunters (5)
Withershadow Combine
Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech and Scrap Thrall

Soulhunters are generally derided, but I always enjoy putting them on the table. They fill a similar slot as Satyxis and Blackbanes, running interference until the rest of the army arrives. With the POW on guns being around 10, it takes more than pot shots to drop the arm 15 5 wounds models, but not much more.

This army doesn’t really have a general plan. Its got answers to almost everything, though, so it can almost take all comers. High Def is taken out with Nightmare. Asphyxious and the Cankerworm deal with high armor, Tartarus and Bane Knights deal with Terrain and other uncomfortable positions. Scything Touch and Parasite will swing almost any non-def based combat in my favor. Arc nodes, Darragh, Withershadow and Warwitch Siren providing support just rounds it all out. I figured I’d just react to his game plan, and see what comes up.

He brought out his Rhulic force. Solid, hard, and full of pain.

Gorten Grundback
-Driller
-Grundback Blaster
-Ogrun Bokur
Thor
-Grundback Gunner
-Basher
Brun
-Lug
Hernne and Jon
Rockbottom
Highshield (10)
-UA
Forgeguard (10)

I knew I wasn’t going to get to the juicy center of that rock hard nugget, so I decided to play the scenario game. We rolled up one of the new 2014 scenarios. Into the Breach – It had a single zone, two effigy objectives, and a flag. Dominating the flag gave a single point, the zone was a pair for dominating and a single point for controlling, and if I took out his objective, I’d get a point: 5 to win. I didn’t really know how the game’d play out, but his deployment was a wall of arm 18+ on the flank with the zone, and enough deployed to the flag to keep me honest. I deployed with the soulhunters to the zone flank, the bane knights ready to wander through a building on the flag flank, and the bulk of my forces front and center. Its my general deployment: A central deployment will allow me to adapt to whatever the opponent does. He tries to force one side or the other, and I’ll slide off to the opposite and play cagey. If he goes center, I’ll try and envelop: I almost always have superior numbers as cryx just does infantry well, so envelopment is always a potential.

He took first turn and trundled his dwarves up the field. I find their speed 4 allows me to do more than I’d expect with some of my units, but their having ranged models makes up for it with significant threat projection. I’m worried that he’ll gun down important models, so I’m playing a little cagey. After turn one, I abandon the flag. I’d originally sent Asphyxious that way, but He sent Brun and Lug over, and I don’t think that I really want to commit enough to take them out. The center of the board, however, turns out just as perilous for him, as I was probably within 1/4″ of being slammed by a Basher and into the stand of trees. With no focus. He chose not to go for it, so we will never know, but It was really, really close. After realizing that, I reached out and blew the damned thing off the planet: Parasite + 3 banes will do most models in for the count. I softened it up a little with other models first, but it was off the board. Slamming into the front line with the Soulhuntersat the top of turn two cleared the Zone, and I camped firmly inside it, scoring with Asphyxious who had teleported over to get his toes into the zone, now safe from a removed Basher.

I was up 2-0, but he wasn’t going to make it easy on me. Gorten popped his feat, and slid half half the zones worth of models either out of the zone or into a position that they were easily dispatched. Thankfully, I had Asphyxious safely in the back, because everything else was murdered. He moved about 3″ deep into the zone with enough models to make scoring very difficult. With the turn passed over to me, I had to rely on everything I had to score 3 point by killing the effigy and dominating the zone. I shot the damaged effigy with the Withershadow Combine, did damage to it, but not enough to take it down. That complicated matters as there was an undamaged Gunner and some very frustratingly placed Rhulfolk in the zone to take care of. The way it was all situated, there was a single dwarf behind a solid line of models that I could not easily get to. Tartarus was in range, but thresher would end with that single dwarf, in combat, still contesting, with only ranged/magic attacks to get to him. I had to use Asphyxious to trash the gunner, because no one else was available. He succeeded and used the rest to clear some dwarves, teleport back and lob a hellfire at the Objective, killing it. One point, two to go. Darragh used some strange charge angles and the power of his horse, cleared the angle for Tartarus to charge in and sweep the last few dwarves out of the zone, netting me two points.

It ended the game, but it was nothing representing easy. A lot of rolls had to go my way towards the end there in order to pull it out. and after that, If it all failed, I was going to face an unhurt Gorten, a nearly full unit of Horgenhold, and a driller to the face of Asphyxious. Things were not going to be pretty. It was a fun game, though. My buddy is a great opponent. The rust is starting to come loose, and hopefully I’ll be able to play again, and more often, soon.