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!
I’d started out with Sturgis in a stealth skew list, and I wasn’t really happy with it. After Two games, with notably different outcomes. I decided to put my money where my mouth is – Sturgis is pretty fragile, and I was afraid of guns, so I took as much protection for him as possible.
The list was basic, simple, just like ol’ Sturgis
Sturgis The Corrupted
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor
Bane Thralls x10
Satyxis Raiders x10
– Satyxis Sea Witch
Now, I’d brought another list – A Kraken with Skarre 2 to test out the Fire Objective, but It was more there if I was forced into it because of some DnC rule. Since we were testing the SR2017 rules out, we were also testing no DnC, so I had the list there just because.
Oh, right! this tournament was held mere days after the CID came out for SR17, so we were using the new scenarios, and I was trying to hold myself to the One Measurement Marker deal. I was really going out of my way to make sure that I used only one marker if at all possible, but I wasn’t going to win or loose the game based on a fiddly measurement.
So, lets get to it. Just to Make you aware, this is about 4x longer than a normal – My battle reports are longer than my normal posts, and this is gonna be three of em.
If you’ve read my Tournament Report from Delewar, you’ll know that I got picked apart by a great player and all around good guy in the last round. Scaverous’ noggin was a magnet for bullets. In round one of my very next tournament, I got paired against the same player. Great, more cygnar.
Now, I was a bit less…Twitchy, because my last game had been against Cygnar, and I’d done OK and I had resolved to try and use the tools PP gave me to mitigate shooting.
We got to the Table. The scenario was Spread the Net
I don’t remember his second caster, I rarely do, But he picked Caine I. I picked Sturgis because I was going to pick Sturgis all day. I won the roll, and he chose the side with the trench, house and forest. I asked if anything in his list could see through clouds or stealth. Turns out, they could not. Seems a pretty good match-up, then. We deployed.
It was a small army v. a massive one, and it looked like I was gonna have to slug it out. Thankfully, the new terrain rules (Scatter method) was being used throughout the tournament, and there were vital pieces of terrain everywhere. Thankfully, with this many shield guards (7) I wasn’t really afraid of getting shot off the planet, so I was comfortable deploying.
Cryx – I took off up the field, trying to make sure I could close the gap sooner rather than later. It was my first time using the Gunslinger Cloud, so I took some time to practice – I have a feeling that I’ll need it come later casters. Making sure I was out of range of most everything turn 1, I stuck in position and passed the turn, but had eaten a significant portion of my clock doing so.
Cygnar- He moved into position against my left flank, hoping to shore it up against infantry. His right, though, moved forward and took some shots into the only thing her really could, my Desecrator. I forgot about the first shield guard – and it took out my gun arm with a hunter shot. The rest of them, though, I ate with brute thralls, and it was completely worth it. I would have preferred if even a single one that I used survived the barrage, but so be it. I was in position to try and gum up the works next turn, and I was ready to get on with it, even if it meant a crippled Desecrator.
Cryx- I have to get up into his face, or I’m going to be rocking a million bullets in mine. With stealth, clouds, and def 16, I was definitely going to make it hard on him, but I’d prefer if he got as few shots as possible. I forgot that the center piece of terrain was woods, actually for got it was there – Stupid mousepad terrain – but I was able to get a single Satyxis to charge one of the Hunters, tying up two of them. I didn’t hit, because Cryx has miserable stats on its own, but I was tying two of them up. The Banes, too, wanted in on the action and ran up to engage the same set of hunters and push towards the third hunter and the charger. This time, when I created my cloud wall, I made sure to hide the Desecrator behind it, even though I had a pile of shield guards. I don’t know that I needed both, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. It ate a significant portion of my time off the clock, but I knew it was going to be worth it in the end.
Everything else huddled behind the wall of smoke, but It was slow going up the field. I was contesting all three zones, but I couldn’t – because I’d not figured out how to unpack this list yet – get to the flag with Sturgis. I should have tried harder, as it was almost completely uncontested, but I didn’t because I’m not good at scenarios the first few times.
Cygnar – He started doing exactly what I expected and picked the army a part. More than a few banes fell, some to Guns, some to melee and a few to the feat, leaving me with only two. The Soul trapper and a brute were also removed, but the Satyxis, true to their roots, lost only two of their number, though one was the UA. I didn’t do so good a job placing her so she didn’t explode. other than that, he spent most of the turn trying to extricate himself so he could get vital shots off. I scored a point on my zone.
Cryx –Alright! lets get some damage in! Well, that is at least what I wanted to think. He’d opened up his back lines to the Satyxis – I had 9 left, and could get almost all of them on at least one jack, so I was pretty confident that I’d bloody Caine’s nose, at least. I was out of mechanihralls in good position, so there wasn’t going to be any more cloudwall – I’d have to rely on Shield Guards and put occultation on my caster, which seemed OK with only two thralls left. The desecrator made life difficult on the mechanics looking to stop him from scoring by boosting and eliminating the Leader of the unit and leaving a poison gas cloud right in the center of their path. Sturgis took the lead, and tried to drop a boosted parasite onto the hunter, but his focus stat sucks, and the roll sucked, so he failed. Like he does. The Satyxis Gunslingers, wanting to show him how it was done, drew a bead and fired a couple quick shots into the hunter, breaking armor a few times, dealing damage to Cain along the way. The remaining banes made some charges, rolling like fire and hitting their targets, doing severe damage to them both. The Satyxis, taking it on queue, joined the fray and tossed themselves into the backs of the Hunters and straight at the Firefly. They did a good job on the firefly – leaving it only with a working gun, and completely destroyed both the hunters. I did a few points of damage to Caine via feedback, bringing the total damage count on Caine up to 6. Not terrible. I held Sturgis back a bit – though I should have tried go for the zone, I believe I simply forgot to move him like an idiot. Everyone else wandered into place and tried to stay strong through the next turn.
Cygnar – Jammed up a bit, he needed to clean himself off and keep going. He had not lost a ton of models, and I’ve been taking casualties all game. Between Caine, the Hurricane, and Firefly, he tore apart all the Satyxis except for three. He then eliminated both my Banes and pulled his hunter into the zone to stop me from continuing to score. Though he only killed a few models, it was crucial, and took a long time to do, as their def. 14 was still respectable, and even higher in melee. I was in trouble though, with little left to retaliate.
Cryx – I was in a tight position, and I really wanted to try and take out Caine via feedback. I had exactly enough attacks to do it, and I needed everything to go right. The Arc node moved into position, and this time stugis – needing almost nothing, managed to connect with parasite. The Three Gunslingers took shots, at dice -6. I did three damage to Caine.
Now, looking at the pictures, I kinda see what I did wrong. Instead of going after the Hurricane, for whatever reason, lets call it “terrible decision making” I should have gone after the firefly and the Cyclone, but that didn’t cross my mind. Instead, I sent in the Satyxis into the Hurricane, and called it a day. I think I did one more damage to Caine. Orin wandered over to the Gobbers and fried them – This guy just does so much random workhorse crap! Mechanithralls ran to engage the charger, and called it good enough, Finally, in a hail mary to take out Caine, I tossed a broken-armed Desecrator shot out there, and managed to do all of nothing. Starting to give up points now due to attrition, he was making a comeback on scenario.
Cygnar – Thankfully, he had little time left, and started rushing a bit. Though it took him a fair bit of time, he eliminated all the infantry on the board except Orin, with the Raiders eliminated by Hurricane, the Mechanithralls engaging the Charger by its 800lb hammer, and the rest of the unit, long with the whole unit of Gunslingers, by guns. It left me with very little, but his time was running extremely low.
Cryx – I had little left to threaten with, but I wanted to try and push into Caine. The Desecrator tried another shot, as did Orin, and a spell from Sturgis. The Inflictor ran over to attempt to threaten Caine and make sure he didn’t flee.
Passing the turn, He was unable to activate enough, in a quick enough time, to dislodge me and he clocked, out. I didn’t have a ton of time – 10 minutes or so, but it was enough.
Ric was an awesome opponent. We both played clean and strong. It was my third game against cygnar in four games, and It really showed me the power of shield guards – even ones that are easy to kill. Playing a high defense and stealthed army behind clouds helped mitigate a number of shooting problems, and I’ll be well prepared to take them on in the future. It was a great game that I won by the skin of my teeth.
Scenario: Man, I like this setup. The scenario was active the whole game without being oppressive. I felt that I has a little leeway when it came to my opponent scoring, as the margin scoring made every point a little less game ending. There were opportunities missed by both players to score, but I think that was based more on our unfamiliarity than the fault of the scenario itself. I was worried – but not detrimentally so, about scenario and it felt right.
Terrain: The TO used the Scatter method, which seemed to work well. There was a forest in the center of the board, and some useful terrain around the outside. Many of the pieces came into play relevantly, and I enjoyed having them there.
Widgets: I feel like I was being punished for making a cloud wall, that others can do much simpler. Having to triangulate with a single measurment marker where my model will need to end up/can end up, the cloud he will make, where the next cloud needs to be, whether all that was in range of the guns of the Satyxis Gunslingers AND making sure that all the LOS were viable? Gimme a break. Just take the ability to shoot our own models away and give the birds a Detonate anytime ability. The wall was useful, but pretty much not worth the time it took.
As soon as the pairings were announced, I knew it was going to be a long day. I was playing against Cygnar, again. The player is one of the best in our area, and a great guy to play against none the less, clean and pleasant. He is, however, the poster child for why I hate – with every fiber of my being and every drop of blood in my body, gun lines. He plays gun lines, while not exclusively as his pairing was Maddox, consistently.
I knew I was going to get pounded no matter what list I took, because I didn’t have Terminus, so I took out Sturgis for a second run. I figured I’d already lost.
Interestingly, there was only two Cygnar players in the tournament. Somehow, the Cygnar players traded opponents, so we had two people playing against cygnar twice, and the rest dodging them for the tournament. Awesome.
The scenario was Standoff, or what I like to call “Gunline Heaven”
His list was
Sons of the Tempest
Gun Mage Captain Adept
Gun Mage Captain Adept
Gun Mage Rifleman
Gun Mage Rifleman
Arcane Tempest Blazers
Arcane Tempest Blazers
I ended up with first turn, and he chose the board edge with a house and a Hill, as it was pretty much mirrored.
I’m not going to be as detailed here, because it mostly involves “This unit runs. He kills that unit” for pretty much the whole game. He didn’t use his feat the whole game until I Rushed his deployment zone, both tired of the game and also figuring if dice happened, I would be in a much better spot. It takes nothing away from him as an opponent and player, it was a great game, just not to much detail.
Cryx -I run up as far as I can and start shooting thralls and building a cloud bunker in order to get in the habit. his central forces can simply see right through it, so it doesn’t matter, and Power-up Hunters into brute thralls trivially kill them such that I wish they were never on the board. (dice -1 is 9 damage) Each unit moves up to be within range of whatever he wants to start next turn, wherever he goes.
Cygnar – He moves up and starts his plan, picking off 2 Bane Thralls and 2 Satyxis. He positions his blazers to either side to make sure that the fewest models possible can engage, but with electroleaps he will also remove most of both units.
Cryx – Turn two looks grim. I figure my best shot is to try and deny as many shots as possible while also engaging where I could. Due to terrain, there was only a single position in any of the zones where I could stand and not get shot by everything on the board. It was extremely irritating, and felt reminiscent of a MK II gunfest.
Cygnar – True to form, he does exactly what I expect. The Bane unit is destroyed, leaving only the farthest model on the board, and the Satyxis are simply evaporated in spite of their defense 16, and leave only a single model, engaging a swath of Blazers. Up until now, he’s not been shooting anything other than my units, and I’ve shieldguarded a set of shots, leaving only a single, undamaged Brute Thrall in one unit. The battlegroup has barely moved, but the flanks are starting to collapse in.
Cryx – Well. This is going splendid. I’ve got only a few mechanithralls left, so the clouds that could be stopping the Blazers is soon gone. I’m left with just a few models holing the center portion. Thankfully, one of them is Orin Midwinter. He wanders forward and, like he does, sets off a lightning bolt into the Blazers on the right. Boosting, he tags is, and gets 3 more leaps. Four damage rolls, two of which were boosted, later and there’s only two Blazers there alive, one severely damaged. Moving the Desecrator into range, I drop a boosted scather into his head, connecting and then boosting damage. The Desecrators work is done. I then move the Arc node around to the side, and get 10″ + LOS to the Blazer on the far right. I clear a path for Sturgis, who walks to get the Arc Node in range, and fires an unboosted FOC 6 into the Blazer, rolling that hard 8, and then again another hard 8 on damage to kill it. It was pretty sweet. I then teleported back to the safety of my shield guards and my hill, and my clouds from the last few McThralls that would be sacrificed. Finally, my last pair of brute thralls zoomed up front, one to simply contest the zone on my turn, and the other to eat a shot, if it came to it, on the Desecrator.
Cygnar – The retaliation was total. He removed or damaged all but one of the brutes, took down Orin, the last Bane, the last Raider, and the Desecrator. His Blazers, battlegroup and solos were all untouched. He was scoring constantly and there was little I could do about it. Next turn would be my demise, no matter what.
Well. This was it. Might as well make the best of it. My Satyxis Gunslingers picked off, with amazing dice, the GMCA’s. The Inflictor ran to engage as many of the Blazers as I could, and then rushed his zone. All three living Brutes and the Mechanithrall as well as Sturgis just gave it what for.
Cygnar – Sadly, What for was Sloans feat and an entire army to my noggin. there was no way I survived that, and by the time I fell, he still had three more hunter shots into Sturgis.
Conclusions: Man. What a rough game. I kept my composure, and didn’t tilt, which was helpful, and Anthony was an amazing opponent, like always. He mentioned at the end that if I’d have abandoned my post the turn I’d destroyed the right flank, kinda pressing that way, with 6 shield guards, I might have been able to make a case for myself, but I’m not sure I survive then, either. Power booster + Cygnars ranged weaponry seems poorly thought out. Their shots have a 50/50 chance or better to hit def 17 and 18, which isn’t really a number I can achieve that often, especially in a zone with this level of terrain. Ah well! it was a good game.
Scenario – I hate this one, pretty staunchly. I don’t like anything that gives gunlines – an army with no interactivity and little fun in playing against – a ready-made scenario for them to dominate in. Essentially giving them a win in 1/6 of the games feels really bad. However, if it wasn’t for the strong gun lines, I could see this being really interesting. The possibility of moving the center, rectangular zones forward excites me, though I don’t know that its really any better. Reducing the distance between the zones to 4″ sounds excellent.
Terrain – This table was a god damned disaster. There was no terrain of consequence anywhere near the center of the board. If the TO used Scatter, then something went wrong, as it says to put a LOS blocking terrain piece touching the center of the board, and its just not there. The forest on the left was negated by the pathfinder speed 9 Blazers, but that’s more of a unit based thing – they are taken to do exactly that, so I don’t mind that as much.
Measuring Widgets – Again, I felt I was burning clock for no reason, and it was extremely irritating. There was little I could do to properly triangulate the distances and directions, which I feel if they gave us the tool, we should be able to use it. It also came into the forefront when I wanted to try and keep my arc node within Walk+ CTRL range so I could teleport afterword, a complex proposition made all the more difficult by not being able to use measurement markers
You remember that I said that there was only 2 Cygnar players, right? You remember that they traded opponents, right? Well. Those two opponents met in round 3! neither of us could kvetch too much, as we both suffered the same plight, which was… pretty ok?
Anyway, I don’t remember his other list, at all, but he chose Vlad 1 Rockets, and I chose Sturgis to be done with him, the worthless bastard.
The Scenario was Pit II – Epic Pit
Winterguard Infantry (Max)
-Kaptain + Standard
Winterguard Infantry (Max)
-Kaptain + Standard
I won the roll to go first, and he took the table edge with the trench – Because rockets and mortars.
I deployed fairly standard – same as each other game. Satyxis to the Left(because terrain) and Banes to the right, because terrain, with the rest in the center. he deployed off-center, but not by much. This was going to be a slog.
Cryx – Turn 1 I felt safe, but just for practice, I put up the cloud wall. It wasn’t anything particularly special, but we all ran to the edge of it and were able to avail ourselves of it, as well as the building moderately off to the right. Everything stayed out of his 20″ Shooting threat, because that is how you don’t die against rockets. If Raiders have taught me anything, their defense is a lie, and the only reason I take them is speed 7 w/ reach.
Khador – For his part, I had remained out of range, so he returned the favor, only putting a few models in range of the Raiders, and nothing in range of anything else. It was as I expected. Gun lines want to gun.
Cryx – Well, lets get in there, right? Thats the Cryx motto? Well, not against nearly 20 Spray 6″ with S&P and Half at RAT 7 thanks to Joe. It just wasn’t going to be my day. I played it safe, kept the cloud wall up while positioning for scenario, and sent the few Satyxis Raiders in, who between themselves and Orin took out 4 Infantry. The Banes spread wide enough that I couldn’t be trivially exploded off the board, but was prepared to lose most of them, staying just outside the 5″ stealth range so he had to move and couldn’t aim. The Desecrator missed a shot wide and took out a model, though. Its a start, right?
Khador – He really put it to those Banes this turn. My Satyxis managed to survive, mostly due to their high defense I just railed about moments ago, I lost only one. The Banes, on the other hand, were left with but a trio of models. A single Brute Thrall went down, but another was severely injured, with only a single HP remaining. The Mortar, and rockets were doing their job. I did start to notice that I was pulling ahead on time, though. There was a slim chance I could make him clock out like I’d done in the first round.
Cryx – Ok. Well, it was now or never. I finally saw a time to pop my feat, and figured I’d start trying to make it happen. His feat, so rarely used, should be able to do something, right! Well, even after putting down a scather template, popping my feat, catching 5 models within 3″ of me, and only killing 3 due to tough rolls, I wasn’t really able to gain much other than an enemy army closer than it was before. I tossed a Blood Rain in order to try and catch more models, but it succeeded only in getting a corrosion token out. The Satyxis were unable to take advantage of the increased threat range, due to needing to engage and tie up that whole flank, which wasn’t a simply prospect. Orin Midwinter and the Remaining Banes all valiantly increased the kill count, but the tide was still coming
Khador – it was his time, now, to give me what I was due. . Concentrating fire on my infantry and the damaged Desecrator, he removed nearly all of it. A single bane was on his side of the board, with only 5 Satyxis and a pair of injured brute thralls left. The Inflictor was severely damaged from the rockets shelling it, and was crippling its way across the board. (of note – During this turn, while he was removing the Desecrator, I managed to swap damage grids on accident. He destroyed the Desecrator before I noticed. I have no idea how much damage was done to the Inflictor prior to that time, but I gave it a generous helping of damage due to me not knowing any better. )
Cryx – Well. I didn’t have much, so I figured, with his time running down and my chances of dying to a concentrated attack slim, I should take my chances, again. I ran everything at Vlad 1 that I had, hoping that he fail killing me so I could get to him. The Inflictor took to the one zone to contest, and the rest went into the center. It was my last hope that he timed himself out.
Khador – Unfortunately, it was not to be. He summarily executed every last model in any zone except Sturgis, who was unable to contest and put a jack in both zones and a war dog in the center. Having scored three points prior to this, he simply went up 6-0 to win the game. With a 1:28 left on the clock. It was an anticlimactic end to a really good game, but was appropriate for a list made of Rocket-death and bullets.
Conclusion: There were a whole bunch of ways I could have played that better to allow a stronger plan to make sure I wasn’t outscored. He went for my objective early, and I ignored his for whatever reason. I wish I knew what I was thinking. I pressed hard with the Satyxis, but was afraid to get the most out of them because of terrain and blast damage. They simply wouldn’t be able to survive. I feel, just like the last time, I should have rushed further, farther, earlier.
Terrain: Again, this table was legitimately terrible. No central terrain, and little/no LOS blocking terrain near or by any of the zones made it depressing to play into and miserable to plan with. Either the Scatter terrain method is terrible, or I need to talk to my TO – who is awesome.
Scenario: I like this one, as much as I lost to it. It feels strong enough that I cannot ignore it, and wide enough I can’t control it, all the while forcing play into interesting situations where neither caster really wants to be in the scoring positions due to fear of simply being removed. Playing it again, really think you let your opponent take their side, you take yours, and try to punch out the center zone while protecting yourself. I think its well worth playing again.
Measurment Wigets: See above. Punished for Teleport, Cloud wall, and others. In the end, though, It didn’t make that much of a difference, even though I bitched about it a lot and clearly dislike it, I can live with it in the future.
I now have a love/hate relationship with Brute Thralls. While you would think that an 8 wound, arm 14 model would be able to shrug off multiple shots, it just wasn’t the case. Instead, they were always absorbing high pow, accurate shots. Do I think that 2 points is worth eating a single Hunter shot? No, not in a thousand thousand years. Do I think it is damned necessary for the faction in order to play into guns – Yes. Do I think we can survive with only three and a single unit of Mechanithralls? Also no. Its extremely depressing to feel that in order to play into a specific, high frequency matchup I need to spend 24 goddamn points. The irritation and frustration is impossible to portray in a manner I desire – its both livid, resigned and furious all at once. I’ll keep using them, because I have to, but I’m saddled with 2 min units of garbage thralls with garbage stats to get there.
Additionally, I do not like Sturgis, or his inability to really give anything to the game. Its hard having miserable stats for everything you do, but bless his heart, he tries.
I also don’t get a good feeling about the Satyxis Gunslingers and the Cloudwall. Against my bogeyman, it does nothing, and against many it seems to take up time not worth spending on it. Overall, its a solid plan, and If I didn’t already have to take Mechanithralls for the Brute Guard, I Would never use em. Now, though, its 7 points for cloud potential, which is alright.
Finally, Orin Midwinter is my favorite solo right now, and has been since MKIII came out. His ability to boost, his flexability in matchups and the possibility of taking down multiple models a turn is just fantastic. I think everyone should play him.
Until next time,