The Skorne Chronicles; Vol. 33

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.

The Pregame

Tuesday saw me paired up against a friend playing Asphyxious the Hellbringer, which wouldn’t have been my first choice in a game against Cryx, but likely the answer that I’ll see across the board, so it was good practice. He brought a relatively unique list filled with solid answers to a bunch of Hordes Questions.

Asphyxious The Hellbringer
-Vociferon
-Cankerworm
Satyxis Raiders max
-Sea Witch
Satyxis Bloodwitches max
-Blood Hag
Satyxis Raider Captain
Soulhunters max
Darragh Wraith
Necrosurgeon
Necrosurgeon
Mechanithralls Min
-Scarlock Commander
Mechanithralls Min
-Brute Thrall
Devils Shadow Mutineers

I brought a test list for the Siege Animantrax that I was itching to try

Lord Arbiter Hexeris
-Gladiator
-Tiberion
-Cyclops Brute
Venator Slingers Max
Siege Animantrax
Gatorman Posse Max
Paingiver Taskmaster
Paingivers Min
Agonizer
Mortitheurge Willbreaker

 

This game was extremely grindy. I won the roll off and went first in Recon, looking to send Hexy over to a flag fairly early to get in, contest and start scoring. Unfortunately, the counter deployment put in in an awkward position of having the Gators needing to tank Scything Touched, Beyond Deathed Soulhunters while the Slingers had to contest with the Ashen Veiled Satyxis Raiders. Without a way to get to the Blood Hag early, I was unable to use a lot of Vampiric Harvest to heal my beasts like I would have enjoyed. Furthermore, every attempt I made at taking the Blood Hag out fell short, including Ashes to Ashes and a trio of Boosted Siege Animantrax Shots.

On a positive note, Tiberion was relatively unthreatened, as I was able to eat charge after charge of Mechanithralls. Having little in the way of reach on the opponents side helped significantly in keeping my beasts alive. My brute also survived an onslaught with but a single hit-point, and my opponent never leaned in to finish him off. I was able to get some choice ashes to ashes and black spots in on the feat turn, but a critical one missed and another rolled low, leaving him with plenty of models.

On the negative side, my opponent really thought he gave me an unworthy fight. He misplayed order of activations, buff strategy, model positioning and other things he wasn’t particularly proud of. I did the same, however. Warmachine is a game of back and forth not of whoever can play the most perfect, but of who makes the least mistakes while doing the most to capitalize on the opponents. For me, the worst part was not the play, but the lackluster ending. With minutes ticking off the clock, we were both under a minute, and he ended his turn with less time that I had remaining to burn off. I simply won based on math. 42 seconds to 37.

Tournament Recap

Round 1

Round 1 was a great first pairing for me. I was playing against one of the better local Cygnar players, and one that had just come back to playing after working towards his masters degree. Now, with the light at the end of the tunnel, he was able to get out and get games in. I was stoked! I seem to often get strong pairings the first round, and I don’t think I want it any other way. His pairing was Haley 1 and Haley 2, playing into Two Fronts.

He picked Haley 2, because she’s a damn good caster, and why wouldn’t you? I picked Hexy 2 because I’d reworked the list from Tuesday to be more counter-shooting. There is a significant Legion and a resurgent Cygnar presence in our area, and I knew I needed a non-stealth answer.

Major Victoria Haley
-Squire
-Stormwall
Aiyana and Holt
Stormlances (max)
Eiryss, Angel of the Retribution
Gorman di WolfeZ
Ragman
Journeyman Warcaster
Major Katherine Laddermore
Stormblade Captain
Stormblade Captain

Lord Arbiter Hexeris
-Gladiator
-Tiberion
-Cyclops Brute
-Basilisk Krea
Venator Slingers
Praetorian Keltarii
Gatorman Posse Max
Paingivers Max
Agonizer

He won the roll off for first turn, and I got to pick sides.I took the one with a house and a trench, simply trying to have even more of a good place to put Hexy once the going got tough. I messed up really early on, being so used to going first I deployed only at 7″. Turns out, the game is much harder with 3″ less space!

We jockeyed around for position a lot during the start of the game. I was worried about accidentally offering up a Heavy to the Storm wall with no way to really retaliate, and I managed to get the little Agonizer killed on the top of 2, so there was no way to slow it down. I pushed hard for my left zone, and he yielded, pulling back the Stormlances, trying to get shots off into the Stormpod to electroleap into Keltarii and ending up just shy.

I was able to run Hexeris over to the now empty zone and dominate it for a point at the same time I took out his objective. When he re-committed to the right zone with the Stormwall and the Lances, he left his own zone empty, and Hexeris moved in to capture it, as well. Now up 4-0 and up on time, I felt pretty confident. I had a full camp of fury and two fresh beasts. But I knew I had to face down this.

 

Haley moved forward and Time bombed me to reduce my defense to a simple 13. Aiyana and Holt moved over to try and kiss and shoot me in the face. I ate all the damage on coming in, leaving me with only 5 health when the Stormwall finally started swinging. with 7 fury and only 6 attacks, I knew I was going to make it through, but the question was: would anything else. Thankfully, the Stormwall missed three attacks, and I gave one to each of my beasts. with a single fury out on the board, I cut for two to fill up, activated my beasts (under Haley 2’s feat), filled them up with Fury, and activated Hexeris. Knowing I was within 10″ from the Prior turns Time Bomb, I dropped a fully boosted Hellfire into her, popped my feat, and did it again. The final dice rolled and I had killed Haley 2 on her feat turn.

This one was awesome. I love playing Anthony, and he’s a great opponent. Killing Haley 2 during her feat turn is a great feeling. I moved on to round 2, undefeated!

Round 2

This round I was paired up against a buddy of mine who comes out to Titan with me on Tuesdays. We’d played a few times, but almost never in a tournament. We were both undefeated and hungry, so it was going to be a good game. He brought His standard list pair; Morghoul 2 Hit Squad and a list him and I cooked up together, Xerxis 2. With my other list also being hit Squad, I was looking forward to fighting Xerxis two, because no one wants that much AD not on the board. He had the bigger balls.

Lord Assassin Morghoul
-Bronzeback
-Gladiator
-Archidon
Croak Raiders max
Croak Raiders Max
Bloodrunners
Paingiver Taskmaster
Paingiver Taskmaster
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor
Agonizer
Paingivers max

Lord Arbiter Hexeris
-Gladiator
-Tiberion
-Cyclops Brute
-Basilisk Krea
Venator Slingers
Praetorian Keltarii
Gatorman Posse Max
Paingivers Max
Agonizer

I took the list I assumed would work against both of his fairly well, with Hexy 2 being the safer route because he doesn’t die to random Aradus Sentinel shots. He won the roll off and selected to go first. I took the side of the board with a house and a trench. I thought that I could get Hexeris into the trench and be safe, but after turn one, I never felt safe moving.

This game was a really good one as well, despite my dice deciding they didn’t want to cooperate after turn one. Taking out 5 croak raiders was a prize, as there was 20 of them, but then they started to turn, rolling high when I couldn’t care at all less, and they rolled low at the greatest opportunity to cause the most harm. It happens. My Enraged Gladiator Charged his Archidon and hit once, doing almost no damage. Tiberion left that same Archidon a number of times, but left it still alive as well. my Paingivers needed to finish the job. The Brute did well, stuffed in a trench near the Ashen Veiled Keltarii. dropping black spot on the Bloodrunners and dropping multiple Ashes to Ashes through the game. The Keltarii, however, were unable to capitalize on the Black spots, and decided they were pacifists. Before they were slain to a man.

Ultimately, unable to piece trade left me unable to put pressure on scenario, which lead me to defeat by scenario as Morghoul, in his trademark method.

 

Round 3

This round was against someone I’d never met before, a very cool gentlemen from Southern Jersey. He picked Krueger 2 because¬†of course you pick Krueger 2 when going against slow Skorne Models in destruction. ¬†I always play Circle in Destruction… Because it was circle, though, I took my standard Circle drop for this pair, Morghoul 2 Hit Squad.
Krueger the Stormlord
-Megalith
-Feral Warpwolf
-Warpwolf Stalker
-Gorax
Una the Falconer
-Rotterhorn Griffon
-Rotterhorn Griffon
Blackclad Wayfarer
Blackclad Wayfarer
Druid Wilder
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Shifting Stones
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper

Lord Assassin Morghoul
-Bronzeback
-Gladiator
-Archidon
Croak Raiders Max
Bloodrunners
Bloodrunners
Bog Trog Ambushers Min
Bog Trog Ambushers Min
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor
Agonizer
Paingivers max

I don’t know that denying him AD helped me at all, but it sure felt good to have 22 AD infantry and 12 more to come in on the sides. I finally won the roll off, took first turn, and he chose sides. Turn one was simple positioning. Turn 2 I brought in my Bog Trogs because Una had come just too close to the edge of threat to ignore. with the charging Trogs I was able to take out Una, both Wayfarers, and a griffon. Unable to shoot into the face of the Stormwrath, the Croaks contributed little until lines were sufficiently crossed and he’d taken my Bronzeback apart with his Stalker. Finally, he went for the assassination of Morghoul 2 by throwing my own Gladiator at Morghoul, hitting him and knocking him down, and then shooting me with lighting storms. He only had three attacks, so he needed all of them to do enough damage to kill me in one go, and it just didn’t happen. Morghoul next turn stood, walked right into Kruegers face and… failed to kill him. Fortunately he was almost the first activation, and I had an Archidon nearby to finish the job.

this game had me on edge for a while, but I’ve played against enough Krueger 2 not to get rattled when he does all sorts of terrible things. To be fair, though, Encircling the opponent is one of my favorite things to do, and I need to find out ways to do it more. Bog Trogs in the rear is a serious condition that needs treating immediately!

 

Round 4

Having topped out my Skorne tournament record at only 2-2, I was eager to get a third win and feel like I went out improving all the way. I was then paired up against a fellow in the area who is a good player, and an easy showing went out the window. Fortunately, he was list locked, and I was able to take my favored list into that game: Hexy 2 bunker, go!

Grim Angus
-Dire Troll Blizter
-Dire Troll Bomber
-Troll Impaler
Pyg Burrowers max
Sons of Bragg
Trollkin Highwaymen max
Fell Caller Hero
Janissa Stonetide
Troll Whelps
Trollkin Runebearer
(2 points I can’t find or remember)

Lord Arbiter Hexeris
-Gladiator
-Tiberion
-Cyclops Brute
-Basilisk Krea
Venator Slingers
Praetorian Keltarii
Gatorman Posse Max
Paingivers Max
Agonizer

This game felt like the slow tide of the inexorable. It was grindy and punishing, but putting a Gladiator and Tiberion into that game just felt unstoppable when backed up with the Krea and the Agonizer. He put a lot of effort into trying to kill them both, but between the pair of shield guards, the Krea Aura and the Agonizer debuff, he just was not able to land the killing blow on them until way to late. I took my fair share of the clock up, but it felt like I had the right strategy. The slingers were enough of a threat to the Sons of Bragg not to be ignored once they were in Aim Range, but not enough of a threat to much else that I was confident in moving them. The Gatormen into the highwaymen was a good move, simply because toughing one of them at range is a pretty solidly useless model next turn. I was able to slowly chew through the whole unit, though they ended up pretty banged up at the end.

The game, though, turned once I was able to put down both his heavies without loosing either of mine. now, with free reign of the center of the board and the largest threats to my beasts down, I could focus on Grim, tagging him with a pair of h\Hellfires, forcing him to tough. The next turn my opponent finished with only some 20 seconds left on his clock, and we called it there. no need to go through those Technicalities again.

 

I’ve missed going to tournaments, and this one really pushed it back to the forefront of my mind. I need to get to these a few more times that I was able to this year because they are a ton of fun. Just being able to relax for 10 hours or so and just roll dice and shoot the shit with friends was a good day in my book.