Existential Crisis Averted
A few weeks back, I ran a big ol’ Who’s the Boss event, and it was glorious. We had 14 people, and everyone had a blast. Unfortunately, a number of them had to drop, leaving an odd number at the end. That left me. I had brought an army for my friend to play, but he didn’t play, so I had an army all ready to go.
It was the Cephalyx Army I was so jazzed about over the summer, and man its still good to this day, even without Thexus. I spun up Axis, and my friend played Trollbloods with Asphyxious 1. Unfortunately, in my long and illustrious career in Who’s the Boss, I have played a hot 4 games. Two of them have been Trollbloods ran by Apshyxious 1. Its a combo I do not relish.
Axis was fantastic to run with the Cephalyx, and it started to pull me back into orbit. Its honestly one of the most well built armies that PP has ever put out, and it shows. For a few days there, the gravity was almost to heavy to escape. I’ve just bought Fiona, I have Bart and Shae, I love Magnus and Magnus 2’s Tier Bad Seeds. But I did it.
I have thoroughly escaped the orbit, and am now dedicated, once again, to the Skorne Empire.
The Archdomina’s Retainer
Recently, I’ve played both fairly common builds of the most common incarnations of the Leader of the Skorne Empire: Makeda 1 and Makeda 2.
The first game I detailed before, using Makeda 2. That game showed me a ton about how the army can work against a tough, hard to kill army. This week I used the fairly standard Makeda 1 list against the Harbinger. Not the best matchup.
The lists were something as follows:
– Cyclops Raider
Cataphract Cetrati (6)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (4)
Harbinger of Menoth
Choir of Menoth (4)
Exemplar Bastions (5)
Horgenhold Forge Guard (10)
* Attendant Priest
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Knight Exemplar Seneschal
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
We were playing in the Riven Bonds league, so we each had our League models to cram in. His is a Paladin, and mine the Ancestral Guardian. This caused a little bit of a shakeup in list design, but not all to much.
We did roll up a completely absurd scenario, however. The scenario is called The Traitors Trap.
It has a player-driven minefield, a 12″ circular zone in the center of the board, and 10″ deployment for both sides. Thankfully, neither of us were running Jam armies.
We both ran forward first turn, trying to get in the best position in order to try and capitalize on turn 2. I however, should have known better. Harbinger can be a raging pain in the ass if you’ve never played against her, and I have a bunch, so while it wasn’t a surprise that he popped his feat on turn 2, like all the harbinger players do, I wasn’t ready for it. I had jammed myself up behind my lines massively, having not played Makeda 1, so I was way, way back there, probably within 8″ of the board edge bottom of turn 2. The Mammoth got savagery, and I had to put myself into danger range of the feat in order to get Defenders ward on the Cetratii, who were going to be eating pow 14’s on the way in. The mammoth sauntered over 9″ to get deep into the unfortunate business of the Horgenhold, shrugging off the feat on the way in. He blew apart a number of dwarves between his initials and his 5 fury, but they proved to be insanely dodgy and I didn’t get as many as I’d have liked. However, as I said to my opponent the next round as they all charged: you know whats worse than 5 charging Forgeguard? 10. The Cetratii charged as well. They were clearly in threat range of the Judicator and the Bastions, so I couldn’t just hold tight. They were going to go out in a blaze of glory. Most of them took significant damage on the way in, but Defenders Ward came up clutch, reducing all of it by 2. I slammed a ton of damage into the Judicator, and did a large lump of damage to the Bastions as well. I was pleased with the last stand of this cetratii unit. the Nihilators , seeing what was going to happen to them had they closed the gap with the harbinger, simply took a few steps back and made ready for next turn.
This was when we were able to detonate the mines. I had placed one behind the wall that I knew Harbinger would stand behind, and he had placed one in the center of the path I had to take to the game. He won the roll, and blew up a couple Nihilators .
His retaliation was swift and brutal. Charging Horgenhold whacked off 40% of the Mammoths health, Judicator swept and killed all 4 Cetratii engaging her, and the bastions took down their two. The losses I took were significant, but I had stalled the other army out. I was now looking at eliminating all of the forge Guard and possibly Judicator. I had hope of taking out Bastions, but I should have known better.
My next turn was a dozy. It was make or break and I knew it. The mammoth took a sidestep-turn and she, too, swept, killing the rest of the forgeguard and a bastion. The Nihilators charged, getting in the way of Judicator, and the Bastions.
Then, I popped feat and did this:
If you can’t see it, that’s Makeda, just a few inches from the center of the board, full camped, standing in front of Judicator, 4 Bastions, and the Seneschal with only 7 Nihlitors to protect her. My balls were in the wind, but it was time to sink or swim.
It looked bad for the home-team, though, as the turn progressed. The Paladin Hero kills one. The Bastions and the Seneschal kill one, though its the one closer to the Mammoth. an ancillary attack from the Vassal kills to more. Even the Harbinger gets in on the action, moving forward and detonating a cataclysm on the one engaging the Judicator, annihilating it. Now, the road is free for the Judicator to charge, and man, he gets there. He boosts the charge attack, needing 7’s and sinks it right into Makeda. Boosted damage at dice +6 is extremely painful, and he drops 19 damage fist that I transfer to the Raider. The next attack to connect is his first bought attack, and he wails me again for some 15 damage, that I transfer over to the Mammoth. both beasts are alive, but just barely. Judicators out of focus, and I have a single Nihlitor, knocked down, standing almost dead center of the table.
My feat triggers, I bring back 6 Nihilators, and surround Harbinger. Makeda Goes first, pops Carnage, and charges the wounded Judicator. My combo strike does significant damage, but fails to kill it Judy. The AG follows up and finishes the job. Now, I let the Nihilators go, expecting to leave harbinger alive.
out of 6 attacks against harbinger, only the second missed. Dice -2 on 3 hits take her down.
That was one of the most fun games I’ve had in warmachine in a while. I rarely get to play against this specific friend, and it was refreshing to hang out and have a good time.
I really enjoyed the Ancestral Guardian, actually, as his defensive strike is an amazingly potent deterrent. Arm 18 and 10 wounds caps that off, making people fear simply being near him. The Mammoth, too, was a freaking blast! Rolling in deep with Savagery makes all of the difference, with his threat range being equal to speed 6 Reach troops.
I did mess up massively, though. Deploying Makeda 1, just like Makeda 2, behind my troops was a real punishing start to the game. I was behind that red house on turn 2, because I needed to have Defenders Ward and Savagery out there to pull purification focus off her. Yes, its only 3, but that brings her down to a normal focus 7 Caster. Shooting on turn 1 with the Mammoth was also a mistake, as I thought range 14 was a lot longer than it was. I also think that Range 10 is a lot shorter than it is, so I kept sniping models when I didn’t need to in both directions.
These last two games have done wonders for my love of Skorne, and their ability to do things other than just grind down with The Fist. I know why, however, there could be problems playing into these extremely powerful matchups. I felt like I was loosing that whole damned game, and until I managed to magic it up at the end, I just didn’t think I’d come up with it.
I also now know why the Cannoneer is in the Rasheth List. I;d love to tag Harbinger with that gun!