April 17, 2015 by crew
When I decided I wanted to contribute my first Battle Report to Beasts Of War, I had visions of epic, dynamic narratives and thrilling visuals, complete with a tantalisingly close but ultimately victorious climax for my Cryx army. Read on for almost the total opposite from this Noob On All Counts…
Memories of past battles…
Since this is my first battle report, I challenged my most regular opponent for a game. I know his army and he knows mine, so I hoped to minimize any mistakes, skipped rules or silly plays. Ian plays Khador, a faction he has championed since the beginning of this descent into the world of Warmachine.
Since we started gaming around the same time, we have grown from the Battle Box together and we have similar sized armies with familiar units and models. Ian’s list included the Warcaster Sorscha, the Khador Battle Box ‘caster.
Dani’s 35pt Cryx List
- The Warwitch Deneghra
- Skarlock Thrall
- Max Unit Mechanithralls
- Brute Thrall
- Necrosurgeon and Stitch Thralls
- Max Unit Bile Thralls
- Pistol Wraith x2
- Warwitch Siren
Ian’s 35pt Khador List
- Kommander Sorscha
- Sylys Wyshnalyrr
- Doom Reavers
- Greylord Escort Unit Attachment
- Greylord Ternion
- Widow Makers
- Koldun Lord
- Man-O-War Drakhun
- Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
In Warmachine, scenarios feature heavily in most games including tournament play. Scenarios offer the chance to win the game through control points as well as offering some sweet rules to your faction if chosen wisely. Objectives, for example, can give special abilities such as more focus efficiency on casting Upkeep Spells (Arcane Wonder: While within 4” of this model, friendly models gain Empowered). Some even offer some defence against the enemy (Fuel Cache: If this model is hit by a melee attack, immediately after the attack is resolved the attacking model suffers the Fire continuous effect).
We rolled for a scenario which resulted in Destruction which creates a rectangular zone in the middle of the board and two Objectives for us to control or dominate in order to score Control Points. Ian chose Fuel Cache for his Objective and I chose Arcane Wonder for mine. The roll off resulted in a loss for Cryx and Khador chose second turn to gain some valuable terrain and inches.
Cryx – As I’ve written about before, I spend a great deal of stress on deployment. I’ve recently been playing with Bile Thralls and struggling to keep them alive long enough to get up the table and use their beautiful Purge on my enemy. Purge allows them to self destruct on any enemy within 6” of it’s front arc. That’s an insane threat! Today I deploy them in lines behind my Mechanithralls in the hope that as the first or second Bile gets picked off, the third might have a chance of surviving due to placement or line of sight.
I deploy my Warcaster Deneghra fairly centrally to benefit from a wall and flank her with Arc Nodes (a Defiler and a Deathripper) and Pistol Wraiths. A model with the Arc Node ability can have spells channelled through them from the Warcaster. This can extend Deneghra’s threat range substantially.
Khador – Ian deploys Sorsha centrally behind a wall with her heavies then her unit of Doom Reavers well in front due to their Advance Deploy special rule. He also takes advantage of a well placed forest to hide his Widow Makers and Marksman.
I have a model called Nightmare that can ‘Prey’ a target before the first turn. I place this on the Doom Reavers. When the time comes, Prey will give me some extra goodies!
Cryx – My first turn usually involves me running my army into position. Denny doesn’t really have any friendly spells, so I don’t have much I can cast on first turn due to being well out of range. I allocate Focus to the warjacks to spend for running and position everything up the board, keeping Deneghra and the Defiler behind a wall for cover and for my next turn.
I run the Mechanithralls as far as I can keeping the Biles close behind in their lines. I know I am going to lose them to ranged attacks but I hope the Necrosurgeon will collect the corpses for later because of the spread of Stitch Thralls I have amongst my infantry. As each grunt dies, the Necrosurgeon gains a corpse token that she can spend later to create more Mechanithralls. I hope my front line looks overwhelming to my enemy!
Khador – Ian knows he wants to cause first damage with his guns and has this in mind when deciding his turn. Sorsha activates and moves into a position where she might be able to inflict some damage with her AOE (Area of Effect) spell Tempest. It is an AOE of 4” so I am very glad it misses and deviates to no man’s land! Unfortunately, the Doom Reavers, my most hated of Khador units (at the moment!) can position themselves quite uncomfortably in the faces of my front line.
Ian spreads them out in the zone, wisely holding a couple back whilst engaging quite a few of my Mechanithralls, Nightmare and a Brute Thrall due to their weapon Reach. Nasty little things!
The Greylord Ternion cast some cloud effects for extra defence and Eiryss shoots my Deathripper to disrupt it but luckily causes no damage. Disruption means I can not allocate Focus to it or channel spells through it for one turn, disabling my precious arc node. The Widow Makers activate and open fire onto my front line, taking out four Mechanithralls in an assault that could have been a lot worse! My Necrosurgeon collects their corpses!
Cryx – From where I’m sitting, the battlefield is a scary place, littered with the incredibly intimidating Doom Reavers. I can’t cast magic spells onto these and their Unit Attachment gives them the Tough ability (when a Tough model has damage in all damage boxes they can roll a D6. A roll of five or a six will keep them alive.) For some reason, Ian is the master at Tough rolls. Looking at my, by now, leaky front line, and talking my way through my available moves, I spot an opportunity to move a Bile Thrall into a position that could catch some of Ian’s main offenders!
My original plan goes out the window as I reposition everything out of harms way in order to spend my turn Purging. It’s so rare that Ian leaves an opportunity like this I get a little bit of the ol’ red mist. I’ll tell you what though, that Purge felt goooood. Not for three Doom Reavers though, who fail their Tough rolls!
The only models that didn’t have to shift out of the way of my Bile were the Pistol Wraiths, which manage to take out one more Doom Reaver, but at the end of this turn, I’m worried that I look very similar to turn one. I have some troubling psychology that makes me think that ‘moving forwards’ means ‘better, winning, do it!’
Khador – Ian uses one of his remaining Doom Reavers to charge and engage with quite a few Mechanithralls and Bile Thralls. Doom Reavers can Berserk and this kills four of my pieces! (Berserk allows the model further attacks if it kills an enemy model.) With the Necrosurgeon not creating more grunts on my last turn, my army is looking very skinny at this point. Ian activates Sorsha next and casts Wind Rush on herself (a free move) before casting Freezing Grip on the remainder of my Mechanithrall unit and firing her Hand Cannon. He realises too late that Wind Rush was for casting last, for moving back to safety, but the token is in play. Sorscha is wide open in the zone!
The Man-O-War Drakhun charges into the zone to engage the Deathripper and the Objective. Ian starts to clean up as many of my troops as possible, activating the Widow Makers to take out 3 more Mechanithralls (seems he’s having a bad dice day!) The Manhunter finishes my Pistol Wraith with a charge and the Spriggan grenades my Brute Thrall, Necrosurgeon and a grunt but fails to kill.
In an attempt to limit damage on the next turn he uses the Greylord Ternion to hide Sorscha in cloud cover, giving her +4 defence to ranged attacks. Her position is still vulnerable however and I start wildly counting my sprays.
Cryx – I am a little too gleeful at the current position of Ian’s force and particularly the line of sight and charge lanes open on Sorscha. I think to myself a naughty collection of English words that sound something like ‘All I have to do is…’
My Nightmare is ready for the kill, but I have to get him past the Man-O-War Drakhun without incurring a free strike. ‘Easy!’ I think, in yet another moment of extreme elation and possible red mist and whatever else I can blame it on. ‘Ghostly!’
I allocate the necessary Focus to my loyal ‘jack (one for Ghostly, one for a charge. Ghostly is the ability to advance through terrain and obstacles and importantly for my turn, it ignores free strikes incurred by passing through the melee range of another model) and I set about my plan of awesome assassination. I have a Bile Thrall who can Purge on a Doom Reaver that is in my way, but place it so that it leaves one alive, to benefit from my Prey rule (Nightmare gains +2 movement which I’ll need for my wrecking!).
I’ve got to Feat in order to do the maximum damage, because it’s so wonderfully brutal! A Feat is a powerful, one per game ability. Denenghra’s The Withering is the lament of many a Cryx opponent. Without measuring my control area (my first mistake) I activate Denny and advance her over my nice safe wall for her full Speed of 7 inches, in order to catch ALL THE THINGS in The Withering.
That? That was my second mistake. Ending her activation within 6 inches of the Man-O-War Drakhun triggers his Counter Charge ability and from here on out it’s all an emotional blur, but readers, I will try to recount the battle as accurately as I can. Man-O-War Drakhun charges Deneghra but stays within Reach range, blocking my Nightmare’s charge lane to Sorscha. The game went from ‘won’ to ‘epic fail’ in about two seconds flat and I have never crashed so hard in all my gaming life.
I argued with myself whether to include this battle as my first battle report since I made such a game changing mistake, but I finally settled on sharing it. Many might laugh. Hey, maybe it’ll be funny to me one day too…
Anyway, the Man-O-War Drakhun doesn’t manage to kill Deneghra somehow and I pick up the pieces of my ego and soldier on like a Big Brave Girl. I get a few shots off on Sorscha, who is now under Denny’s Feat, with every available spray and gun and model and resource I have, but it is just not enough. I forget to activate Nightmare in my emotional state, which wasn’t even apparent to me until the game ended…
Khador – Sorscha casts her Feat and Denny is suffering the Stationary effect. The Man-O-War Drakhun easily finishes her off and the game is over!
Ian and I love to talk through our games afterwards. I always learn something from my opponent and my games which is essential at my level. This is great for giving me ideas for my next battles and really cements the lessons I learn from my mistakes.
One glaringly obvious move I missed during my final turn was the ability to use my Nightmare to Double Handed Throw the Man-O-War Drakhun into the enemy Warcaster! This would have knocked down Sorscha so I’d be auto hitting with any further attacks and would have caused enough damage to finish her off. We played through the manoeuvre as practise and it was amazingly effective.
I always neglect to remember the many Power Attacks open to Warjacks, as they’re not named abilities on the cards. I’ve been finished off in turn two by an opponent who Slammed my Nightmare into Deneghra, who I thought was tucked in safely behind her bodyguard. So, I’m at least conscious of Slams. I must remember to keep looking for opportunities to Throw my opponents out of my way or even into threats.
Another lesson I learned hard was Know Your Enemy, or, if you don’t know, ASK your enemy. The Counter Charge came as a complete surprise to me this time, but in my next game if I don’t recognise something, I’m going to ask if it has any nasty surprises!
Good on Ian for knowing his cards and abilities. We always have great games together and I can’t wait to play more, if only for revenge!
What do you think? Can you spot any available plays I missed?
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"Denny doesn't really have any friendly spells, so I don't have much I can cast on first turn due to being well out of range..."
"I activate Denny and advance her over my nice safe wall for her full Speed of 7 inches, in order to catch ALL THE THINGS in The Withering..."