Tournament report! 

Sturgis 2 at Bel Air Games 4/22. 

As the first voted-on caster of the Tour de Cryx, I was excited to get him to a tournament and put Sturgis through the paces. That is not to say that I was excited to play Sturgis – I was decidedly not, but I had just gotten a win with him the other week – by sheer luck and force of will, so I hoped maybe I wouldn’t completely tank the tournament! 

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On Feb 4th, I played in my first tournament of the year, and I was stoked going into it. I’d not played in a competitive environment since around December, and I was looking forward to putting Scaverous on the table for the first time. I’d paired him with Skarre 2, because I knew a friend of mine was not going to be at the tournament, so the chances of a lethal Kara Sloan list was pretty low. It was a quick three rounder. Each rounds recap after the break! 

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Contents
  1. Word Usage

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Word Usage

I fucking hate playing against Cygnar.  I don’t and won’t hold any malice against players of that faction.  I don’t fault people for playing the faction that calls to them, and is good. I don’t think the people playing them are bad people, and the games are good games that I don’t regret playing.

But damn it, it feels like every game I play against that specific faction is a slow motion tragedy that only happens to win if the opponent makes graves mistakes.

I think, to an extent, everyone has this problem. There is always that one thing in a game, that one tactic or ability, that one playstyle that grinds your gears. For me, its Cygnar. But there are other things that drive me nuts as well.

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Even with all the Pokemoning, the Valkyria Chronicling, The D&Ding, the Game Developing, and the Painting, the hobby I look forward to the most is playing Warmachine. The Coven being capable again, simply because of a meta change, is glorious, and I will continue to use them for a very long time. Though I’ve not gotten many games in recently, I did manage to get three in over the last few weeks. Two at a Team Tournament, and one on Tuesday. Two with the Coven, and one with a very enjoyable list, I think I’ll talk about the concepts and enjoyment I get out of it next week. The Coven games were very enlightening, and they highlighted a few spaces where I may not have had the best original concepts.

Read on, and we’ll get into both games!

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Continued Theory – Coven

Last time, we took a quick look at the Coven’s basic stat line, concepts, Feat, spells and special rules. It was a general overview of their use and power. In the previous edition, they were slightly weaker than I would have liked, and the chance to use them again is extremely compelling. While they’ve not changed much in their overall form, the dynamics of the metagame surrounding them indeed has. The world that we live in, game wise, seems to be dominated by Gunlines and Warjacks. Nothing says no to a gun line like the Nightfall.

However, I’d not put together a solid list, and had been defeated both times at Lock and Load. This time I’d managed to think a little bit about the list and was going to get a game in against Cygnar. This was going to be a test, indeed!

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Makeada

The Beginning of the End

I knew it was coming. The time when I would return to Lord Toruks wicked embrace and lead his undead hordes and vicious pirates to war once more. It seemed so long ago, yet akin to yesterday. New Casters, models and play styles were all tried and I enjoyed my time with the Skorne, but my true calling has always been Cryx.

When I saw the new warcaster they were getting in Vengeance, I was psyched to jump back to Cryx. It was going to be a chance to use some of the new models that had come out since then, including Denny 3. However, that was not to be. I was unable to really get a move on those models until recently. That lead me to picking up a caster I’d never really given a fair shake, Hexy 2. After getting a few games in with him, I was starting to really enjoy the list, though I made some few tweaks get some use out of models I rarely brought to the table. I was able to go to a tournament this past weekend, as well as getting in a game with a friend on Tuesday, totaling out to 5 games in under a week. Today I’ll grab a 6th. Its more Warmachine that I’ve played in a given stretch since October, and it was very enjoyable.

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Makeada

 

And now, Continued! 

(For an Image Gallery of the Games Click Here)

Normally I take a break from writing about War machines for Thursday, but I am halfway through a story, and definitely don’t want to get over a week out before I try and remember two more games. I was 1-1, and got paired up against a newish player toting along Cygnar. He knew the rules well for someone who’d not been playing long. On his tray was Haley 2 with Stormwall and Gastonne-Galleon and Sturgis with Stormwall and a Stormstrider. I felt the pinch of DNC 1, and decided to toss out Mordikaar simply to make sure that I had the opportunity to pick in my last round. I also wanted to have the raider with snipe out there just to make sure and keep Haley2 honest if he dropped her, with the side benefit of being able to take down Gastonne if he got to close.

He picked Haley 2, like you do.

Major Victoria Haley
-Stormwall
-Charger
-Charger
Gastonne Crosse
-Galleon
Dirty Meg
Stormcaller
Stormcaller
Stormcaller
Trencher Chain Gun

We played Incursion, and I can see why having all the flags stay is not a fan favorite. Turn one I ran up and tried to position myself for a solid scenario presence, and turn 1 he ran in as well. Stormwall hugged the far flag, and galleon started to wedge himself between the two other flags.

I made a rather large mistake not giving the Agonizer any fury on turn one, and it caused a cascading effect in the next few turns as I had to get dangerously close in order to affect any of the enemy models. This game, with so few models to eliminate my Nihlitors, I was pretty aggressive with my positioning, trying to get deep in his guts under my feat turn. It also helps that I went first, the first time in a while.

As you may notice, I also sided out the Incindiarii for a Krea and Orin. While it would have been nice to have Haley Burn, I figured it wasn’t worth leaving the Krea at home.

The rest of the game played out about Where the two colossals are hanging out. Thinking back on it, I probably should have just dropped fist and blown up both colossals on feat turn, but that is hindsight talking.I wasn’t able to really damage the Galleon with the Cetratii, I wasn’t able to really do work against the stormwall with the Nihlators, but I was, finally, able to neutralize them both. The Shaman managed to pick off Gastonne, like I had hoped, and the Raider took out Meg, making sure that the Galleon would sit and rot. Tiberion, unafraid of the Drag on Galleon prior to his nullification, so he just sauntered over to the engaged and swamped Stormwall and laid into him. It took me two rounds, but I was able to scrap him. This was one of those games with Mordikaar were I just sat on 10-12 focus every round and pumped out more and more dudes. I basked in the glory that was revive and slowly was able to grind out the opponents army. At the end of the day, Haley was in a catch 22 situation, circled by Nihlators with more to be resurected to the north, and penned in by Tiberion to the south, she had to give one of the back arc, and she chose Tiberion. Two hits took her off the map, and Mordikaar took away his first victory in a while.

Game: 304
Result: W
Mordikaar Record: 5-3-1

The Man Who Would Be King

The last match of the day was against the most excellent Mike Ireland, and It is the first game I have ever had the pleasure of playing against him. I knew he had a boogeyman that was Mordikaar, and I knew that meant he had game against his lists. Not having played against Vyros 2 in a long time, and then it was with Cryx, I was a little puzzled how this would work out.  The scenario was outflank (see Pt. 1), and I won the roll to go first. His list was

Vyros, Incissar
-Imperatus
-Aspis
-Griffon
-Griffon
-Griffon
-Griffon
-Griffon
-Griffon
Nyss Hunters (x10)
Arcanist
Arcanist
Eiryss 2

These 6′ tables were driving me nuts, and it did it again here. As you can see in the picture, I deployed way to heavily to one side, and that was after I ran everything diagonally across the board towards the wall. You can also see that there are two delicious brews to the left of the table, as neither of us were in contention at this point.

I stuck a Nihlator way in the back by accident, and managed to gum myself up in deployment a number of ways, including having the Krea on the wrong side of the board, along with Tiberion. One thing I learned here is that you want your strong pieces, when going first, to be in the center of your deployment. That will enable them to react to either side of the board that needs them. Having them on one side or the other will prevent them from getting to the zone or area fast enough to make an impact.

The feat worked well enough, though I was unable to capitalize afterward due to the placement of his models, and my Nihlitors kept toughing at all the wrong times, giving him free synergy ticks. The Krea, in order to avoid getting smashed to death by Imperatus, had to run wide out of the game and making my life miserable, while the Incindiarii were peppered to death by the Nyss. Tiberion made it across the board to drop Imperatus, with a little help from some Cetratii, in a single round, and made his home in the zone, mean mugging Vyros, who had been dominating the zone and making my life miserable.

The final play of the game came when I was able to revive and resurrect two Cetratii and send them into Vyros 2, along with one I was able to free up with Tiberion. I needed 8’s, but that’s not terrible. Two whiffed and one connected, and at -8 did an expected 2 damage. Then, on his turn, he cleared the zone opposite of Vyros, killed one of the Cetratii, and zoomed over to the new zone. Now, needing 6’s, the Cetratii connected, and with four dice, decided to spike high, and he took 13 damage from the two freestrikes. Sadly, it wasn’t enough for Vyros to drop, but it was enough to make Mike Sweat for a few minutes.

Game: 305
Result: L
Mordikaar Record: 5-4-1

It was this game that I realized a few things, especially after talking to Mike. I mentioned them in part 1, but I really think I have to be more aggressive commiting to zones. It could be unfamiliarity with the army because I’ve just picked up Skorne after years of neglect, but it is also the lack of knowledge of my own caster, and the armies outside of the meta. But there is also another contributing factor, and thats knowing the people. I know how almost everyone in our area plays, I know what type of bait they take, I know where their armies are going to be, and I, mostly, know what their goal is with their army. Here, I knew nothing. It was both frustating, and a joy, because learning the game rather than learning how others play the game, is very enjoyable.

All things considering, I feel I did very well. I went in with a simple goal, that of going 2-2, and I hit it on the head. I only lost to the eventual tournament winner, and Mike Ireland. Now, I am looking ahead to the ECR, but this time I will be running the events there instead of partaking. Judging and running is a different kind of fun, and I get to sample more brews and meet more people this way.

-Jonathon

This weeks Battle report is brought to you by No Pictures. Because I completely forgot, so bear with me. It is also really long, but that’s because the game was long.

As I do most Thursday evenings, I took a trip to a friends house and got a game of Warmachine in. A few of us have recently decided to turn the dial up a bit, and I got to run against a pretty nasty Stryker II force.

Stryker II+5
*Ol' Rowdy9
*Lancer
6
*Squire2
Storm Tower2
Journeyman Warcaster3
Stormcaller1
Archduke Alain Runewood3
*Cyclone9
Horgenhold Forgeguard (10)8
*Jonas Murdoch2
Storm Lances (5)11
56

I brought my typical Thexus List

Exulon Thexus+5
*Wrecker7
*Wrecker7
*Warden6
Mind Slaver and Drudges (10)6
Mind Bender and Drudges (10)6
Cephaly Overlords4
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Tactical Arcanist Corps4
*Cephalyx Dominator1
Pistol Wraith3
Pistol Wraith3
Machine Wraith1
Machine Wraith1
55

I was concerned because he had the Storm Lances in the list, and they can kill around 5 infantry models a model a turn, given perfect circumstances, and I just wasn’t ready to have that happen to me. Ol’ Rowdy’s Guard Dog ability made me worry about hitting Stryker with my Wreckers, as Def 18 is no slouch. The Stormtower will always give me fits, as anything that chains damage into my Cephalyx models causes me no end of fits. Stryker himself is also a problem as he has 17″ of threat, but I have a 16″ control area to make sure I keep him at arms length. The final problem comes from the Cyclone, a model that tends to give me no end of grief, as its 7″ of area denial is pretty massive.

The table is set up with a building on the far left center-line,  a rocky forest on the far right center-line, walls to the center-left of each players board, with a hill on my center right inches from my deployment zone, and a forest dead center and about an inch out of his. We rolled up Two Fronts as our scenario, and I won the dice off, choosing first turn.

I really think that first turn is crucial to the Cephalyx Army, and I will give up slightly advantageous board position to get it. All of the models that will need to do work have trouble with Terrain and have been given a gentleman’s speed 5. To me, this means that I need to get out and into the board as quickly as possible in order to even threaten scenario. Seeing as Thexus is a pretty miserable scenario caster (more on that later) First turn, to me, is a huge boon.

He keeps the side he is sitting at, and we get moving.

Deployment:
Cephalyx
I go for the strong center, because its my default setup. I’ve become pretty solid at deploying my forces to take and hold the center while scaring off any jack-based flanking forces. Thexus to the center, with the Mind bender to my left, and the mind slaver to the right. I then interweave the drudges from both units in ranks two deep, alternating units. The fourth spot in each front line is dedicated to Agitators. At the edge of each line, terrain permitting, is a Wrecker, and beyond that I have the Pistol and Machine Wraiths. This deployment is mirrored, so both sides have the same threats. In the center behind Thexus is the Warden and another Agitator. The overlords take up positions behind Thexus and one in the center, behind each wing.

Cygnar
He goes for a strong central presences, as both the scenario zones are between pieces of terrain that make the zones hard to flank. Stryker, Ol’ Rowdy, Squire, Runewood, Journeyman and the Cyclone are in the center. To each flank is a full unit, with the Cavalry taking the left, and Jonas and his Horgenhold the right with the lone Stormsmith.

 

Advanced Deployment
With no AD for the Swans, Thexus tossed the Dominator and the TAC in the center, as was his desire. A first turn run, followed by smoke on the second turn tend to be my opening moves.

This guy was comin' for me!

This guy was comin’ for me!

Turn 1
The first turn is simple, with each of us running forward and jockeying for position on the scenario zones. Both my Wreckers angle center-ward, as his big models seemed clustered there, with my agitators following behind. The Drudges ran forward to screen the monstrosities from the worst of it. I tried to keep my Cephalyx from being to close to anything, but its extremely hard with 30+ models. Both Wraith pairs flanked wide.His entire army rolled forward, and the Cav were going to get into the game soon, what with running 16″. Strykery was a bit cautious and ended his turn behind a wall, but the rest of the moved inwards, looking to create a place where Stryker would be safe and still threaten Thexus due to velocity.

Turn 2. 
Cephalyx
I got into the tank, and I am not ashamed of it. Stryker’s feat is coming next turn, and I am going to have to eat it on the chin. Figuring out who get smashed is a big conundrum, and it takes me a few to sort it out in my head. Eventually, I settle into an acceptance, and start to move forward. The first to move are the TAC. There was once a time I thought that using them to protect the shooting elements of my army would be valuable, after a few games of trying to figure it out in my head, its just  not. I do, however, gladly pay their price for a single turn of clouds followed by bonus whatever happens next. The TAC drop clouds and brace for impact. I know that they are going to be charged by the Storm Lances, and that its going to hurt, a lot. I want to make sure I feed as few enemy models to the initial charge as I can, while also trying to deny him a deep-push feat. I can’t give him the 6″ between my troops that I would like for them to play safe, but I also can’t just hand him a complete target selection. I decide to layer my Mind Slaver drudges to eat as many of the electroleaps, feat attacks and other ancillary garbage as I can, leaving many of my models a touch farther behind. The Wrecker on my left, sensing no threats, touches into the zone with the Machine Wraith and the Pistol wraith, wary of Jr and Runewoods threat range. The Mind Bender drudges move up and take central positions with Agitators and overlords, with the second Pistol Wraith taking shots at the lancer, missing his first and failing to death chill. The machine wraith worked his way around to try and threaten the Lancer next turn from advancing for fear of being possessed. The wrecker, fearing a charge from anything in the world and needing to clean up if necessary, shuffled just a few inches and maintained presence threat on the zone. With my feat and TK, I could threaten to the other end of the zone and more.

Cygnar
My opponent when into the tank for a few minutes, but came out quicker than I did, and started moving on his plan. The Lancer, unhindered by last turns flub on the part of the Pistol Wraith. The Forgeguard, with Runewoods aid, charged the Pistol Wraith as well as a set of drudges, clearing them all from the board. The Storm Lances went in next, blowing up all three of the TAC as well as a number of Drudges behind them. The Cyclone moved up and dropped covering fire near the Lances to protect them from the infantry to my right.The Storm Tower was out of range, and the Stormsmith didn’t roll enough damage to kill. Ol’ Rowdy positioned himself slightly off center of the battle lines. Strkyer moved forward and dropped Rebuke on the Mind Benders through the Lancer. I thought it was much more devastating than it was, as both the Concussion Pulse and the Adrenal Flood are * actions, not * attacks. He then popped his feat. Once everything was finished, he started on his feat actions. He moved a pair of the Storm Lances forward, killing more drudges with both the melee attacks and the Electroleaps. Some Forgeguard moved forward to attack hapless drudges while the rest maneuvered into position for the next turn.

Thexus!

Thexus!

Turn 3
Cephalyx
I had taken it on the chin, and I’d lost a bit more of the drudges than I wanted, but I felt I was doing ok. It was feat time, and I was rearing to go. After a minute of thought, I dropped three focus on to the leftmost wrecker and kept the rest for myself. Thexus lead the charge himself, moving to get the most models into his control area while also maintaining no closer than 15″ from Stryker. I then activated my feat, and started going to town. He’d moved the Storm Smith in my way the last turn, and I moved him backwards, enabling me to move the Lancer to the left towards my Machine Wraith, now positively within 8″. I drug the majority of the forgeguard forward and out of defensive line, making them easier to kill, and the Storm Lances were clumped together, one of them even taking damage from a covering fire template I moved him through. Everyone else just moved around to make it a bit more difficult for my opponent next turn. My feat finished, I TK‘d myself outside of Strykers threat range, and TK‘d the left Wrecker within charge range of the closest Storm Lance. I activated the left most Agitator to give the mind bender drudges the Incite buff, and then those very same drudges went to town, leaving not a single frontline Forgeguard alive and using a single Adrenal Flood on the final Mind Slaver Drudge. There was going to be retaliation from the 5 in the rear, but I could deal with that. The Adrenal Flooded Drudge moved in for an attack, dealing 4 to the unfortunate Cavalry model. The Wrecker, all cleared and ready to go, charged in for free due to aggressive reaction. I made my first attack roll and cringed, I’d forgotten to activate the Agitator first. Sticking with it, I kept going. Thankfully, attack after attack hit and killed, leaving only a single, undamaged Storm Lance left. Needing 7’s to hit and 8’s to kill, it was a lucky streak. With most of his front line dead, I moved my support pieces into place so that I could continue pressuring him next turn, with the pistol wraith aggressively moving into the backfield, and the Machine Wraith gunning for Runewoods cyclone on the left flank, and taking over the Lancer on the right. The right flank wrecker and subduer moved forward into more threatening and active positions.

Cygnar
The turn started off pulling one from the Squire and keeping the 7 for himself. Stryker was going to need to get his hands dirty. With the left flank wrecker within easy charge range of Stryker, and already damaged from channeling TK, it wasn’t going to be easy, but it needed to be done. Stryker overcharged for a single die, gaining +4 STR, while also taking 2 damage: a fantastic exchange. He then charged the Wrecker. Needing 3’s to hit and doing straight dice damage, the Wrecker was in the dirt after 5 attacks, leaving 3 focus on Stryker. Ol’ Rowdy ran over to Stryker to give him +2 DEF to melee attacks, and the Cyclone moved in to cover Stryker as well, moving down the last Mind Bender Drudge. Taking that mat 11 pow 19 attack off the board was vital for Stryker’s survival. Jr moved over and cast Arcane Shield on the Forgeguard, who then charged forward, eliminating the entire line of Mind Bender Drudges that had killed their compatriots the turn before, as well as slamming an Overlord, though the attack failed to kill him. The final Storm lance, now free, charges into an overlord, the Mind Slaver Leader and a Mind Bender Drudge, leaving only the drudge alive.  Runewood move forward, and the Storm tower fired into the drudges,killing another pair. The Stormsmith summoned lighting to blow away an Agitator, while the rest of the army consolidated.

This Models Kill Count: Butcher 3, Reznik 2.

This Models Kill Count: Butcher 3, Reznik 2.

Turn 4
Cephalyx
I could smell blood, but it wasn’t going to be easy. Along my path to victory were 4 Forgeguard, and I had to to still kill Stryker at the end of it all, no easy task at def 18 arm 19. I allocated 1 to the Subduer, 3 to the Wrecker, and kept 4 for Thexus. I started the turn running the Subduer, wary that I only had 2″ of play between counter charge from Ol’ Rowdy and the range of TK, to within TK range of Stryker, ending up .5″ out of counter charge range.I use the Lancer to go tie up the Storm Tower, hoping to hit but failing.  I then activate Thexus and go to TK Stryker, picking up my 2″ mover before I am reminded that I need to hit. I am at a crossroads here. If I boost to hit, I cannot TK my Wrecker, who I think needs the distance to get the charge off. If I can hit unboosted, I get the charge on Stryker, and I can probably win. Without it, its a lot harder, but Stryker will definitely be TK‘d. I boost, hit and TK him, backwards, in front of the Wrecker, while also making the mistake to keep him in base with Ol’ Rowdy. Sitting on my final focus, I also forget to move backwards, keeping me about 15″ from Stryker. I move the Machine Wraith up and take over the Cyclone, and I use the Pistol Wraith to kill Jr, and then use his soul to kill Runewood, Stripping of Arcane Shield from the Forgeguard. In order to clear the lane, I grab my overlords and start spraying down the line of Forgeguard, and manage to take all but one out on the first spray, needing 8’s to kill. The second overlord, who’d wanted to spray off the squire, has to turn his attention to the remaining dwarf, and melts his brain, killing him and clearing the path for the Wrecker. I move an Agitator up, trying to keep myself out of a counter charge lane, and start instigating. The Wrecker takes up his chains, and prepares to finish off the enemy ‘Caster, but judging the distance turns out to be finicky, and I don’t think its 10″ between the two models. Instead, I charge the Squire, for free again thanks to Aggressive Reaction. With a MAT of 7, I need 7’s to kill it and move on to Stryker, who was just out of 10″. I miss. My second bought attack hits, killing it, and I move up, engaging Stryker and Ol’ Rowdy. My first attack connects, after a boosted to hit, and I beat him out of base with Rowdy, lowering his defense to 14 and also doing 4 damage. The final attack also connects and the dice come up 6, leaving Stryker on 5. As a final last ditch effort, my final Agitator sprays Stryker, but leaves him alive.

This guy was almost the death of me!

This guy was almost the death of me!

Cygnar
Now, the blood is in my opponents nose. He activates Rowdy, moves forward and uses Tremor to free up Stryker from the Wrecker, who is now knocked down. Only a single model stands between Stryker and Thexus now, and Murdoch is happy to oblige his officer by shooting the Cephalyx in the face, killing it. Stryker then uses 3 points on a velocity to get the charge angle and charges Thexus. He has three focus, four attacks, and is doing straight dice damage. I have resigned myself to my fate, as the floating atrophied body can’t take a whole lot of punishment and has no real way to protect itself. 14/14 with 15 wounds just isn’t the way I need to be. Strykers charge attack misses. Undaunted, he swings again, connecting for 7, and again, connecting for 5, leaving Thexus with three. The final swing comes down, and misses, leaving Stryker out of focus in front of Thexus, but Thexus only has three HP. The last Storm Lance eats a free strike on his way to try and finish Thexus off, but the Mind Bender Drudges free strike manages to kill the Cavalry model by 1 extra point, saving Thexus from certain death.

Turn 5
Cephalyx
I am staring down a madman with a sword, and my worthless atrophied ass can’t do a damned thing about it. Stryker is Def 16, ARM 16 innately, and I have MAT 5 POW 9 weapons. Even with 8 focus, its just not realistic to expect 5 damage. After my first attack, it would take 3 focus to do 4 damage, with a huge possibility of failure. I mull it over for a few seconds before my buddy mentions Hex Blast as I reach for Warroom. Its an AOE, so I have to move back, but its a POW 13 with MA 8, a sight higher chance of killing. I mull over the choices and decide that I’ll just flat out boost it all around, and it works. Stryker, after a long, awesome game, is in the dirt, and Thexus gets to float away, barely, to live another day.

I had some unexpected free time on Sunday, and another stupid model trade turned into an old fashioned rumble.

I brought my Cephalyx (3-2-1) and he brought the Darius list he’ll be bringing down to the ATC in Tennessee next weekend.

I had decided to mess with my list, and it seemed to happen at the right time. While I really enjoy the Subduer, I wanted to try a multiple wrecker list.

Exulon Thexus+5
*Wrecker7
*Wrecker7
*Warden6
Mind Slaver and Drudges (10)6
Mind Bender and Drudges (10)6
Cephaly Overlords4
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Tactical Arcanist Corps4
*Cephalyx Dominator1
Pistol Wraith3
Pistol Wraith3
Machine Wraith1
Machine Wraith1
55

He brought

Man, he needs a resculpt!

Captian E. Dominic Darius+5
*Centurion9
*Stormwall19
*Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker2
Storm Strider9
Black 13th4
Lady Aiyanna & Master Hold4
Captain Arlan Strangeways2
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (Epic)3
Journeyman Waracster3
55

We ended up playing Incursion, because neither of us had zones on hand. The table was set up with a hill on my far left flank, on the board edge. There was a building about 4″ to the left and towards me from the center flag. There was a fairly large pond on the other side of the board, on my left flank. The right, on both sides of the board, was a fairly large forest.

I won the roll off and chose to go first. With the amount of shooting and general getting in there in that list, I didn’t want to be stuck on my half, which is a serious concern when everything is speed 5.

Deployment
He chose sides, and pre-deployed his Storm Strider and the Stormwall almost dead center on the side with the lake.

I then tried to not bunch myself up in deployment. I deployed mainly center-left, due to the forest on the right, with the Mind Slavers and Mind Benders stretching across my front line, punctuated by Agitators and Pistol Wraiths on the flanks. Past them, I deployed my wreckers on each flank, with the Warden staying back next to Thexus in the second rank. Capping it all off was the Machine Wraiths to either side. The overlords and a single Agitator took up back line rolls with Thexus.

His deployed Darius next to and slightly behind the Storm Strider. Junior, Sylys and Arlan stayed in the back. The Black 13th took my right, and Aiyanna and Holt took the left with the Centurion.

I deployed my TAC and the Dominator pretty central, and he AD’d Eiryss on the left, in the pond.

Turn 1. 
I learned, while muttering about threat ranges, that the Storm Strider can be placed by Darius’ Crane, increasing its threat by just over 5″ on its already impressive 14″, 10″ deploy and 5″ move. He was going to shoot whatever I let him. I started out moving the TAC up their 4″ and leaving the Dominator 9″ behind. They dropped smoke next to the forest, extending its protection out into the middle of the board. The Mind Slavers ran up next, behind the smoke cloud, and spread out a bit, leaving the Slaver 9″ in the back. The Wrecker on the left moved up next to the building, and the Mind Bender ran up behind, filling in the gaps with their warped and twisted bodies. The other Wrecker moved up next to the forest and behind the Slaver Drudges. The Agitators, along with the unit leaders, were terrified of electroleaps, and thus got stuck behind the army once again. They maneuvered up near the Monstrosities, just in case. Each flank had the Pistol Wraith and the Machine Wraith run screaming towards the side flags. Thexus went last, moving up just enough to catch the army in Deceleration, cast it, and camped.

His turn was similar. He started out Craning the Storm Strider up its full distance, casting Fortify on the Centurion, and ran a Halfjack over to the flag. The Storm Strider then moved up and shot at my Wrecker over near the building. Thankfully, he missed his first shot. The Strider is RAT 6, and needs 6’s to hit the Monstrosity under Deceleration. Amazingly, his second attack missed, giving me a bit of hope. The Stormwall advanced and launched a pod, but the Ryan couldn’t get line to it through the forest at the end of the turn. Eiryss ran over near to the flag, just in case. Jr. put Arcane Shield on the Strider, seeing as it was going to be assaulted next turn. Everyone else just moved into position.

He rolled for the flag, with the left one, with Eiryss and the Centurion, going away.

I’ll never leave home without an enslaved trio!

Turn 2
I assessed the situation, and assigned 3 to the wrecker near the house, keeping myself 5. I went into the tank for a few minutes, but came out ready to go. The Machine Wraith, having no greater purpose in life, ran out to engage Eiryss. The Pistol Wraith maneuvered to get cover from the building and dropped 2 shots into the Centurion, with the Chain Attack: Death Chill succeeding. The other Pistol Wraith moved to just inside the flag contesting zone, to either pull the B13th far enough out that I could Tag them or give up the flag. The Machine Wraith on the same side ran way out wide next to the forest to do the same.  The TAC then went, making room for Drudges and the Wrecker. One tossed a Flame Blast into the Strider, doing 2 damage, one popped the Stormpod, activating battle wizard and hurled a Flame Blast into the Black 13, doing 3 damage to Ryan. The final one took out one of the halfjacks.  I activated the Overlords next, moving them over towards the right flank, out of the way. The Mind Bender unit then moved up and dropped Adrenal Flood into three Mind Slaver drudges: Them dying is super convenient sometimes, it allows you to get in your own way, and then remove yourself! I moved the adrenal flooded models up into charge range of the Storm Strider, then activated the unit to charge with them. Sadly I’d only eyeballed one to be within range. 12.5 is actually a hard distance to judge. I should get better at it with Thexus’ control range. I’ve gotten pretty good at 8″ and 10″, but 5″, 6″ and 12″ still elude me after 9 years. Thexus activated and used Telekinesis on the wrecker, and cast Deceleration, again.  He then moved to catch everything he could in the aura, which was the whole army except for the Machine Wraiths. The wrecker and Subduer then moved up, in base to base with each other in front of Thexus to form a sort of screen some 4″ in front of him. Finally, the Wrecker charged, blasting through the Flag and getting just the tiniest portion of his reach onto the Storm Strider. Thanks to Beat Back, I was able to return to within striking range after each attack on the Strider pushing me away, and after all 4 attacks, the Arcane Shielded Storm Strider was a Wreck.

My opponent took a couple of seconds to compose himself, his plans having changed at the last moment with the removal of the Storm Strider. I’ve learned to try and pull off the big moves at the end of a turn, because the opponent has to rethink their turn order once you’ve changed the battlefield so significantly. If they’ve thought out a plan, they now have to rethink it. If they had no plan, they are probably a little surprised by the turn of events. Either way, it’s something worth trying. He started with allocating 2 to the Stormwall, upkeeping fortify, and keeping the rest on Darius. The Black 13th went first, moving so that they could draw LOS outside of the forest. Watts shot at the Machine Wraith, removing it, Ryan dropped a Mage Storm on a Mind Slaver Drudge, killing it and one other, with a Third suffering no damage. Lynch took aim at the one in the cloud and smoked him, but tough let him stay the course. Eiryss ran forward and out of melee with the Machine Wraith who, needing 8’s to hit, connected and his claws rent the Elven Hooker from the world. One halfjack moved up and became a mine almost halfway between the two flags. Holt stood still while Aiyanna went stealth. Holst took a shot, killing an Agitator too far from my Monstrosities, and then took a pot shot at the corporeal Pistol Wraith. Def 20 was too hard to crack, though, behind a building and under Deceleration. The Stormwall took an ill spirit on the Wrecker that had destroyed the Strider, and charged him, getting well within range. He drops a pod and kills a pair of Drudges, and then both initials and a bought attack later, the Wrecker is still standing tall. Darius then moves up and starts Jackhammering, killing the Wrecker but spending a ton of focus to do it. He then shoots off a rocket into the Drudges, killing a pair and making one of the tough. Sylys, Arlan and the Journeyman move up, with the Journeyman putting Arcane shield on Darius, bringing his armor up to 21. The Centurion shuffled over near Darius.

Turn 3
I give 3 focus to my second Wrecker immediately glad I had brought him along, one to the warden, and kept the other 4. The Pistol Wraith stood still and Death Chilled the Centurion again. The Overlords, emboldened by the lack of presence over near the flag, moved towards it, one of them touching. One of them looked to be in range of the Black 13th in the woods, so I took a shot with their Psychic Assault. Sprays are the best. Ignoring Stealth and concealment, I only needed 8’s, and ignoring LOS I was able to tag Lynch behind Ryan. Turns out, as anyone who plays against me regularly knows, 8’s are my average. I kill both Ryan and Lynch with the spray. Dice +1 does that. The Mind Bender then goes, giving the three remaining, non-knocked Drudges Adrenal Flood, and each of them moves into charge position. The Warden then goes, running up into range of Telekinesis range of the Centurion. The TAC get in there as best they can, and tossing Fireballs about. One targets Holt, clipping him and incinerating him, while the other two fly wide of their intended targets. Again, I used killing a Storm Pod to trigger Battle Wizard.  The way now clear, I charge with my Mind Slaver and Drudges, getting three into combat and having to run one. One getting into combat was exceedingly close, having to use a laser and proxy base to figure it out. After all three charges I leave the Stormwall at 23, exactly half. I then realize that I could have moved the Agitator up, and wail and gnash my teeth. I move him up and set to agitating, getting the bonus for the inevitable charging Wrecker. Thexus goes, getting cocky and moving with 10″ of the Stormwall, and once again used Telekinesis: The first on the Centurion, placing him closer to the Machine Wraith, and the second went to the Wrecker, pulling him that much closer to the Stormwall. I moved the Pistol Wraith and the remaining Agitator into what I thought were safe positions. Finally, I launched the Wrecker at the Stormwall, easily in range and charging for free due to the placement of the Stormwall itself. Two initial attacks and two bought attacks later, I was sitting on a focus, looking at a pile of rubble that has once been a proud Stormwall. Finally, I moved the Machine Wraith over near the Centurion over, but was outside of an inch to try and possess it.

CP: Thexus 1/Darius 0

Worth their weight in eights!


This was a do or die turn for Darius. He was down the Stormwall and the Storm Strider, and was missing 2/3 Black 13th. He kept all the focus on Darius, upkeeping Fortify. He went first with Aiyanna, who moved up a touch and cast Kiss of Lyss on the Warden. He then activated Darius, moving up and craning the Centurion over into melee range of the Warden, and proceeded to Jackhammer it into the earth. Strangeways took Aim and sprayed a couple of drudges, killing one. Watts moved up into 4″ of the flag to contest, shooting an Agitator off the planet as well. The journeyman took a Dwarf out of the picture, leaving 2. Finally, Sylys took over and charged into the machine Wraith and missed. He forgot to activate his Centurion, but that wasn’t a big deal. He moved it in front of Darius, blocking LOS in most ways.

CP: Thexus 1/Darius 0

Turn 5
I really wanted to kill Darius this turn, but his Centurion posed a huge problem. With Fortify up, he couldn’t be affected my Telekinetic Tide, and neither could Darius. I would have to do this old school. I allocated 3 to the Wrecker and left the rest on Thexus. The Mind benders activated first, putting a pair of Adrenal floods out there, getting one a bit closer to Darius. The overlords took their cue next, moving around to get a pair of sprays onto Watts, not that I needed it as the first one melted the poor fools mind. The last two TAC moved forward and tried Fireballing again. I managed to remove a Halfjack, but the last shot scattered wide. Thexus then went, moving up to get within 8″ of the Centurion and attempting to Telekinesis him out of the way. The first attempt was snake eyes, which screwed up my plan to Hex Blast Arcane Shield off Darius. The Second one worked, though, and he ended up out of the way, finally. My last Agitator move up and started agitating to get the Instigation bonus on both the Drudges and the Wrecker. The Mind Slavers went next, with one charging Darius, and one Arlan. Arlan’s didn’t reach, but Darius took the full brunt of a POW 19 to the face, taking a few damage. With little left to activate, I charged the wrecker, for free due to the proximity of the Centurion, and started wailing on Darius. The Charge was going to be critical, so I boosted it, needing 6’s. I missed. 3 attacks later, Darius is sitting alive on three health, and I have nothing left to threaten him.  My Machine Wraith, left alive by Sylys, advanced next, staying in range of his magic weapon, and took control of the Centurion, removing the last enemy model from within 4″ of the flag in the center.  Both Pistol Wraiths then ran into position, one of them nestling up cozily next to the center flag, and I passed the turn and gained 2 more Control Points.

CP: Thexus 3/Darius 0

Darius was looking ill, but he wasn’t out of it. He set the turn in motion by activating Arlan, Smashing a drudge. The journeyman activated and shot the Agitator off the planet. Darius activated and spent 2 focus to eject the Machine Wraith, craned it over into melee range of the Wrecker, and Jackhammered him into the ground, again. Sylys activated next, charging the Machine Wraith and missing again. Aiyanna then activated and gave the Centurion magic weapons, who then proceeded to move to engage and then eliminate both the Machine and Pistol Wraiths. Out of models, he passed the turn. I took another CP from the far flag, and we knew I would win on my turn with the final one.

CP:Thexus 4/Darius 0

Turn 5
At this point, I asked my opponent if I could play it out. It’s not generally a good or nice thing to do, but I’ve not had enough experience with the army as a whole to be ensured of a win with what’s left. I wanted to engineer a way to do it. He graciously agreed to let me play out my mental exercise, and I started my turn. I moved up with Thexus, within 10″ of Darius, and decided to pop off a Hex Blast to try and make it easier for my army to do work. I hit easily, and figured why not, boost the POW 13 damage at Dice -5. The dice came up in my favor, and I took down Darius.

CP: Thexus 5/Darius 0

Thoughts
Man that was a fun game. I was able to really see the type of work I was missing with but a single Wrecker. I can’t see leaving home without 2 in the future, and that says a lot about the Subduer. The Wrecker is just way too good to leave in the foam.

Chain Lightning and indirect attacks are scary as hell. Turn 1, to try and protect myself from leaps, I had to leave a 5″ gap between the nearest friendly model and my Cephalyx. This held my Agitators way back, and I hoped keep them in play longer. Fortunately he missed with the Storm Strider and I was then able to remove it.

The hit 36 hit boxes are incredibly frustrating. Simple below average dice cause an overly aggravating amount of focus to be spent killing a single Monstrosity, leaving Darius on empty a number of turns.

As I play more and More, I’m able to start to see how the army is supposed to work. It’s an intricate, clockwork missile, very much the inverse of the Convergence. Where they seem to build a durable machine able to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, the Cephalyx seem to be those exact same slings and arrows, creating through their inner workings an unstoppable missile of outrageous fortune.

I’ve received hours ago the knowledge that my Relic Knights have arrived! Thursday I may very well have a first impressions post, but I am also very eager to write my first MTG Cube experience up!

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