Friday, October 7, 2011

Journeyman League Batreps

Got four games in-- two against Cryx, one against Dwarves, and one against Ret. 

First game was against Jim.  I advanced towards the middle and my Destroyer was able to do some damage on one of the arc nodes but then Jim arc'd Crippling Grasp to one of my Jacks and Parasite to the other.  Deneghra then feated so my Jacks where sitting at ARM 15 and 16.  Jim's Jacks charged and made quick work of mine wrecking both and getting a Mangled Metal win. 

I'm learning that Cryx is VERY tough to play against and against Jim's attack, the one thing I can think of is to stay as far back as I can and just rain bombards on him.  I can also advance Sorscha up, take a shot, and then Wind Rush away.  But at DEF 10, my Jacks will get hit and there's really nothing I can do about it.  Good game though and now I was on to my second game against Dwarves.

Doug is one of our resident Press Gangers and he fielded Gorten and the Dwarves.  The only heavy is a Driller and that thing is monstrous.  With Strength of Granite it's weapons go to something like P+S 20 and 21.  Crazy.  I advanced like usual and because the Driller is the same slow speed as my Jacks, my Destroyer was able to keep the distance and blast off it's drill arm.  That was really good.  Sensing that my tactic would slowly soften up his Jacks, Doug feated and pulled the Destroyer right to the Driller who tore it up easily.  Gorten had to expose himself to catch the Destroyer though so I sent Sorscha Wind Rushing and charging in under feat turn.  She wasn't able to kill him on her attack but she was sitting at DEF 20.  Doug was hoping to crit slam her with Gorten and had a few chances but was able to get it.  She survived on about half her life.  With full focus Sorscha hit back and suprisingly needed her last focus to boost the damage to kill Gorten. 

With Wind Rush and Fog of War, seems like Sorscha has great defense against the light Jacks' shooting and with the threat range of the Destroyer, I can fire bombards all day on the Driller.  I just have to make sure that if Gorten feats, I only lose one Jack.  In this game I had an opening for Sorscha's assassination run but in future games I might not be so lucky.  Got to be careful.

Next game I faced off against Deneghra again.  Krage had his battlebox fully painted and it looked great.  Same opening strat from me as always-- trying to shoot stuff with the Destroyer.  My first attempt failed as two of his arc nodes were either in a forest or on a hill and the other one was in my own Fog of War.  I missed the bombard.  Krage then played Deneghra competely different than Jim and chose to ignore my Jacks and run his arc nodes around.  Spell of choice was Scourge that knocked down Sorscha.  I had to face Deneghra's feat and couldn't do much of anything.  I tried to attack one of the arc nodes with Sorscha but on the following turn another arc node ran close and Scourged her again.  The arc node was so close that the deviating AOE still knocked her down.  That freed up the first arc node and with auto hits in melee Sorscha was done.

Thought it was really cool that Jim and Krage played Deneghra in two different ways, either going for the Jacks via Crippling Grasp and Parasite, or using the arc nodes and running them wide to Scourge Sorscha.  So many things to look out for.  I like the challenge though and look forward to playing Cryx again.

Last game of the night was against Jay and his Retribution battlebox.  This featured Kaelyssa, a Manitcore, and two Lights (can't remember their names).  I slow advanced and my bombard hit but failed to get passed the force fields.  Jay spread out his Jacks, possibly positioning them for a next turn charge.  Kaeylssa was way far back but it looked like Sorscha had a lane.  Wow it was far.  I decide to go for it, Wind Rush forward.  At that point I checked her control and there was no need for Boundless Charge.  Sweet.  That's two focus saved.  Sorscha charges Kaelyssa and after a few attacks gets the win.  Both Jay and I were quite surprised how far 17" actually is.  I doubt Jay will let an assassination like that happen again.

Finished 2-2 for the night.  Two losses to Cryx and two wins by assassniation.  Can't wait to play the other battleboxes and get revenge on Deneghra :P   

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Journeyman League BEGINS!!!! (Lots of pics)

Tonight kicked off our long awaited Journeyman League and what a night it was!  There were at least 11 gaming tables going and we had a bunch of new people come out.  There were veteran players learning new factions.  New players boosting their first roll.  So many times I just took a break and looked around at all the gaming and all the friends gathered and couldn't help but smile :D

  We ate some dinner and chit chatted for a bit and starting setting up at around 7:00.
One of my favorite pictures from the night.  Krage on the left and Jim laughing about how their Cryx Battlebox is so overpowered they're going to own everyone tonight. haha.  No seriously, this is one of my favorites because it shows the the two guys having a great time-- smiles say it all.  Another funny thing.  So both Krage and Jim are Cryx right?  Check out the colors they're wearing!?!  Green Jacket and green shirt.  You know what else is funny?  In the back is Chris sitting.  He's also a Cryx player!  Those guys have some serious Cryx pride man. :P
Jackie and Doug kicking off the night with a little battle.  Jackie is starting Pirates and Doug has Dwarves.  Doug recently became a Press Ganger and this is the first event that he's running.  Go Doug!
Not only was there Warmachine but there was Malifaux!  Larry learning the game for the first time with Sam and James.  Looks like they had a great time, like they're playing poker.  Will have to try that game some time.
Justin vs Krage in the foreground.  Justin so far is the only Menoth player in the League.  Can't tell if his expression is because he's playing Deneghra (how do you spell her name?!)  Monte vs Steve in the middle table.  Monte has been playing Khador for a while and decided to give Legion a try for the League, facing off against Steve's Khador.
First off, gotta love Maz's stache!  Both he and Chris are playing in the Wild West League.  It follows the Journeyman League schedule but they create their own custom battleboxes.  Here Maz is playing with Strahkov, a Kodiak, and a Devastator.  Chris brought eSkarre and hmmmm, not sure what his Jacks were.
Yong playing in his very first Warmachine game.  He took Cygnar facing off against Jay who brought Retribution and Kaelyssa (hope I spelled that right).
Brandon and Diane-- Ret vs Circle.  New faces to the club and it was great meeting them.
Arron against Byron.  I know Byron had Cygnar.  Arron, what did you field?
Max vs James-- Trolls vs Trolls?
More Malifaux action!
Ben taking the Swans of  Cygnar and facing off against Gators!
More of Chris vs Maz and the epic Cryx vs Khador battle.
 Aw yeah, got the dice roll!  Look at the motion blur on the dice!
Jay sharing some words of wisdom to Diane, one of the new players.
Was a pleasure meeting Mark who I've seen on our mailing list a lot.  He is an AMAZING painter.  Mark wanted to paint up his Troll battlebox before playing so he set up near the Malifaux guys.  We were all inspired by the work he did tonight.
  Larry checking out the Malifaux rules.
Doug with his Dwarves got a win vs Jackie's Pirates.  I got to play Doug in my second game.  Gorten feated, dragged my Destroyer to his Driller which crippled it.  I then had to feat with Sorscha and Wind Rush/charge Gorten.  With my last focus, I boosted the damage and was able to bring Gorten down.  Was very close!
My Khador brothers Steve and Monte.
Justin deep in thought in his battle with Deneghra.
Love this pic of Sam and James during their Malifaux game.
Anthony, one of our other Press Gangers, playing against his friend Scott (met so many new people. I think his name is Scott)  Anthony is playing Legion and Scott has Retribution.
View of all the players tonight.  Over on the left is Mark painting next to the Malifaux guys.  The rest is Warmachine.  I can count 11 tables for 22 players.  Might be another match behind that pole but I can't tell.  Such an amazing sight to see.
Master and apprentice.  Love this shot.  Two great painters talking about technique. 
Jim with Deneghra battling Brian who is new to the club.  Brian is a very accomplished player and brought Stryker and Cygnar.

Glorious brought his Cygnar out, wonderfully painted, and was able to get lots of games in.
 Terraclips terrain for Malifaux.  This stuff looks awesome.
Close up of some of Krage's minis.  Paint job is fantastic.  I played against him for my 3rd game.  He sent his three arc nodes out and Denny was able to arc Scourge onto Sorscha numerous times and knocking her down.  It was a very effective combo negating her insanely high DEF.  With ARM 14 the arc nodes made quick work of Sorscha.  Deneghra is very good and I definitely like the challenge of facing her.  Hope to get more games against  her next week.  Gotta take out the arc nodes first.  Then figure out a way to survive her feat.
Ben showing Cygnar pride with his Pepsi shirt.  He and Scott played two games with both of them getting a win.
"Are you serious?"  That's what Anthony's expression says to me :P
After going 2-0 for the night, Jim said he had to go home soon.  But he stayed for over and hour to hang out :D  Here he's watching Monte's Legion against Phillip's Gators.  Must be a bad turn for Phillip.
What to do next?  Brian debating his next move.
I'll bet what Monte is saying is very funny.  He's probably saying it with some kind of accent too.
The epic Malifaux terrain.
 The thumb of a mini painter.
Post game discussion with Brian and Doug.
And Darian and a friend finishing the night off with an epic game of 40k-- Blood Angels vs Grey Knights.

So that was our first night of the Journeyman League.  I was able to get in 4 1/2 games and it was sooooo much fun.  Will write more later about what I learned but wanted to get these pictures up.  Was a great night of friends getting together, meeting new people, and having fun painting and rolling dice.  Can't wait for next week.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Old Witch vs eGaspy 35pts?

The title has a question mark because I actually played two games with 38 points, 3 over the limit.  My math fails me...  Perhaps I was confused with the +3 for OW's battlegroup points.  Either way, very embarrassing because in both games I apparently got the victory.  But alas...  So big time apologies to Krage!  That leaves me at 0-13!  Wow.  I'm just shaking my head right now.  Still can't believe I played over the limit.  /deep breath.

*edit: just wanted to plug Krage's YouTube channel where he does batreps of his games.  His particular style of batrep is slideshow with great analysis of the game and the tactics he's thinking about.  Definitely check him out here.

So here we go.  I'm going to summarize the two games that we played, the things that I learned, and the things that I tried to do (with my OP list lol)

  • eGaspy 
  • Seether
  • Darragh (dragoon guy)
  • Tartarus
  • Bane Knights (seemed like max unit)
  • 3 Stitch Thralls
  • Bile Thralls
  • 2 arc nodes
With my OW list tonight I brought the Rifle Corps. again with something new:
  • Old Witch
  • Scrappy
  • Behemoth
  • Rifle Corps.
  • Joe
  • Doom Reavers
  • Great Bears
  • Aiyanna & Holt
  • Gorman (over the limit)
  • Wardog (over the limit)
Game One we played scenario and it was Process of Elimination-- to vertical 14" x 6" zones.  First to score 2 and have more wins.

Terrain had an open center with forests near the edges on the left and right sides.  Two hills in corners for each of us and some linear obstacles near our deployment.

I got to go first and set up slightly favoring the right side.  OW and her battlegroup were to the left of the Rifle Corps.  Bears started behind them with my solos on the right.  Doomreavers advanced deployed on the right flank.

Krage deployed somewhat centrally with his Bane Knights to the left and the Bile Thralls on the right on the hill.  Arc nodes were on each flank.

Turn One I run the Rifle Corp up and give them Tough from Joe.  Behemoth and Scrappy advance towards the center.  Bears and the Doomies advance just slightly down the left flank.  Gorman pops a cloud on OW and A&H advance up in Stealth.

My first lesson about eGaspy would come from an arc node.  He ran of them up REALLY close to my Rifle Corp.  Gaspy puts a cloud on it and arcs Excarnate at my Rifle Corps.  It hits.  Next part we had to look up to see if I got my Tough Roll before the effects of Excarnate happens.  Tough happens on disabled so I get a Tough roll and roll 6!  So no excarnate.  I learned that if something dies from that spell, you can pop out a grunt, like a Bile Thrall, next to the origin of the spell, which in this case was the arc node.  What would happen next is the Bile Thrall would activate and advance up and then blow up A LOT OF DUDES.  Luckily for me that lone Rifle Corps soldier Toughed.  That was a pretty big blow to Krage's plan.  Over on the left he tip-toed a Stitch Thrall into the left zone.

On my turn my plan was to Feat with OW and keep his infantry out of the zones.  I had done some practicing on Vassal getting my positioning right and now I would put it into action.  Iron Flesh was dropped.  Two focus to Behemoth's subcortex and Scrappy got one.  Rifle Corps advanced and put down Suppressing Fire right next to the woods.  This would block some of Krage's infanty from entering the right zone from the top.  Behemoth advanced slightly and shot two boosted bombards which killed some Bane Knights.  Scrappy ran to the center and Witch teleported, feated, and placed Murder of Crows right next to the Suppressing fire template.  With the woods and those two templates, my right flank was protected.  With feat, it was time to advance my other troops and get them in position to charge next turn.  Doomies run up and got into charge range of the Bane Knights.  Bears followed.  Dog ran into the back corner of the right zone.

Krage was now in a really tough bind.  He had no models in the right zone as is arc node was just out of it.  The only thing contesting the left zone was one Stitch Thrall.  What Krage did next was pretty neat.  He advanced his Stitch Thralls through the OW's feat right next to a bunch of my Doom Reavers.  When he ended his advance, he took the POW 14 and blew up.  All my guys took a POW 8.  One survived but I lost 2 Doom Reavers.  Another Stitch went in and I know I lost another Doomie, maybe a Bear too.  So I learned that even under Feat Turn, units like Bile Thralls and Stich Thralls can still be effective because the damage comes at the end of their advance, when they're right next to your own guys.  Most of the remaining Cryx army fell back towards the right, away from my approaching front on the left.

On my turn I can't remember too much of the specifics but I know that I crippled his right arc node with a lot of gunfire from the Rifle Corps.  His movment, head, and arc node were taken out.  Behemoth might have shot two more Bane Knights.  Over on the left, I had 3 Doom Reavers left.  Two charged some Bane Knights.  The first one took out two with Berserk but missed the third attack.  The second Doom Reaver killed his charge target.  Bears split formation and and got ready to counter charge.  Scrappy ran close to the woods on the left to get in position for another possible charge next turn.  Witch then teleported into the woods.  Come to think of it, I think before she teleported, this may have been the turn she put the Murder of Crows next to the Suppressing Fire template.  hmmm, can't remember.  Yep, I think it may have been this turn because with the Witch all the way on the left, I wanted to block the approach of the Cryx Infantry.  Point scored from the Dog.
Next turn there wasn't much that Krage could do but he got Vengeance with the Bane Knights who killed at least one of the Doom Reavers.  The activated and killed a Bear and another Doom Reaver leaving just one left.  I'm not sure how it happened but I know Excarnate worked this time and it killed a lot of my Rifle Corps forcing a command check which I barely made.

On my turn I charged the Doom Reaver which killed a Bane Knight.  The two remaining Bears made quick work of the last Cryx model in the left zone and I scored another point.  Now I "thought" I had won but was playing over the limit so there's no way I can take that victory.  Will talk more about this game after a quick recap of game two.

For the next game we decided to play Caster Kill with the same lists.  Krage won the roll and let me go first.  I deployed in a similar fashion to Game One except I had the Rifle Corp on the left of my battlegroup.  Doom Reavers and Bears would take to the left flank again.

Krage deployed pretty much the same as in Game One, Bane's on the left.  Biles on the Right.  Arc nodes on the outside and Stich Thralls sprinkled along the front.

I go first and advance the Rifle Corps with Tough and throw down a Suppressing Fire template for kicks.  Everyone else advances up.

Krage does likewise and advances everyone to the center and lays down A LOT of clouds.  He ran an arc node up but didn't use Excarnate.  One of the clouds was on that arc node who was in the center of the battlefield.  Some Stitch Thralls advanced near that arc node and two more AOEs would be placed in front of the Stiches.  Bane Knights advanced up in a little spread formation in two ranks.  Over on the right the Biles moved up.

On my turn I gave one focus to Scrappy and two to Behemoth.  Behemoth advanced and with Augury was able to see through the clouds.  I knew that the Stiches could advance under OW's feat so I wanted them taken out.  So Behemoth lobs two boosted bombards and takes out those Stiches.  Rifle Corps get boosted attacks and one is able to get the last Stitch.  The rest unload on the arc node and just like last game is able to take out most of its vital systems.  One of the Doom Reavers charge it and when I ran the others to get into a forward position I forgot to attack the arc node...  Bears move up just like last game.  Scrappy runs to the center.  Witch teleports, feats, and here I get greedy putting her on the front line and catching a lot of the Cryx army, even Tartarus.  She places a Murder of Crows onto Tartarus and three Bane Knights.  If they don't move, they take a POW 8.  If they advance and stop in her control, they take a POW 14.  One of the arc nodes is neutralized, the Stiches are gone, and I'm all set to charge in next turn.  But ol' eGaspy has something up his sleeve.  I'm about to learn what his feat does.

Krage removes the clouds from the center and it's the Witch staring at the Cryx army with NOTHING in front of her.  I wonder if I got to greedy.  Krage sends all his Bile Thralls wide to the right out of her control.  Then he starts to advance his Bane Knights deeper into the Old Witches control.  He's killing his own guys.  Oh no.  I know what this means. Darragh advances too and takes a POW 14 but lives.  He blasts one of the Rifle Corps.  eGaspy goes and moves forward; 2 points of damage.  He then feats and brings back to the game 10 of his boxed models-- 7 Bane Knights and 3 Stich Thralls.  We went over his feat and what it does.  Those models that come back to the game "must" charge.  They were definitely in range of the Old Witch.  There was only one thing.  Her feat says that models in her control cannot charge.  So all those models were stuck...  Krage just forgot about that and with half is army gone conceded the game.

We chatted for a bit after the match and concluded that the OW is a very good counter to eGaspy.  One of the counters is that OW's battlegroup can see through all the clouds that eGaspy puts down because of Augury.  So my Behemoth could take out two models per turn.  On top of that, OW's feat shuts down most of Krage's particular list hard.  Bane Knights are the toughest infantry and they can't risk a POW 14 because they're armor is only 15.  Another advantage I had with her feat was I was able to aggressively position my hard hitting melee troops forward because there was virtually no range threat against my units.  The tactic would be to feat with OW and under its protection, advance right up to the enemy front.  They can't charge me or they'll die.  So I would be able to get the first strike.

With all the Cryx infantry, Murder of Crows and Suppressing Fire was able to control parts of the board.  Those templates protected one flank while I focused on the other.  In Game One, I was able to secure the right control zone for a point and the templates allowed me to cut off parts of the battlefield, basically preventing light infantry from streaming in from the right side and keeping those Bile Thralls back.

Again, so sorry to Krage for fielding more than 35 points.  Next time, we'll fight on even ground for sure.

So with those two games wrapped up I thought I would go over the units I used and how I like them in my current list for the Old Witch.

  • Rifle Corps.  My main infantry unit.  I really like them with her because they give another big 5" denial template in Suppressing Fire.  Having two of those on the board is great for controlling the flow of movement.  Especially good in scenario play as you can block off access to a zone.  One thing I have to learn is when to put down Suppressing Fire and when to just shoot with them. Seems like Suppressing Fire is good when I either need to stop light infantry advancing or when I'm just trying to get the Rifle Corps into better position.  You can also use it on Feat turn by placing it on units.  The enemy models have to move away and out of OW's control or take damage.  If they stay they take POW 8.  If they move back, they concede ground, and in scenario play, that's bad.  As for their guns, with Boosted Attacks from Joe, I was able to hit DEF 17.  You do need to roll 12s and that is slightly below average but with 10 Rifle Corps, you are bound to hit and models with such high def usually have low armor, enough for POW 10s to do their thing.  Played WG Deathstar almost exclusively until now and I can appreciate the range 14.  It's nice to be able to stop infantry from a distance.  Defensively they can get to DEF 15 with Iron Flesh which isn't too bad, and they also have Tough when they need it.  
  • The other new unit that I used for the first time was Doom Reavers.  I gotta say, I really like them and they fit the role I want for that slot which is hard hitting anti armor.  They have P+S Weapon Master, Berserk, and Reach.  So when they hit heavies, they can do a lot of damage.  One thing to note about Berserk, it allows the Doom Reavers to kill much more than their number.  In the first game tonight, one Doom Reaver alone was almost able to kill three Bane Knights.  I used to take Assassins but I always wanted them to take out armor which is something that aren't that good at with OW.  Since I have many ways to take out infantry in this list, I felt the Doom Reavers are better because they can take out enemy armor and still be able to kill a lot of infantry.  Defensively they are a little squishy.  I've cleared out multiple units of them before with WG.  So they seem very vulnerable to ranged attacks and I have to keep them safe.  I can do this with Murder of Crows to block LOS.  They also have Spell Ward so magic spells can't target them.  So I can appreciate they hard hitting capabilities and just have to make sure they are safe.
  • Bears are good but like the Doom Reavers can get taken out by ranged fire.  With the Rifle Corps in the back I'm thinking that maybe the Bears should get Iron Flesh.  That'll give them DEF 16 which ain't too shabby.  
  • Behemoth did well in these games because he could see through the clouds and all he needed was to boost the hit rolls and his damage was enough to kill Bane Knights.  
  • So that leaves me with 4 points to play around with.  In both games, A&H didn't do much because they were in the back.  Thinking about Greylords for more clouds; good for LOS denial and to give OW or Scrappy Prowl.  Their sprays would also give some anti infantry capabilities and short range fire which can be positioned in front of the Rifle Corps.  The Ternion could cloud the Rifle Corps and with Iron Flesh they would be DEF 17 to range.   
  • At 50 points, I want to bring in the Drakhun.  He could help the Doom Reavers on a flank by drawing fire and he's another model that can damage enemy armor.  POW 14 mount and another POW 14 for his main attack with Weapon Master.  But the main reason I think he would fit with OW is his denial capabilites with Countercharge.  That basically says, if you come over here, you're going to get hit really, really, hard.   It's all about denying terrain to the enemy.  OW does this with her feat and Murder of Crows.  The Rifle Corp does it with Suppressing Fire.  And the Drakhun can deny areas of the board by threatening a big countercharge.  So he can be used to fly down the flanks or he can be used to deny parts of the battlefield.  
  • For the other 10 points, possibly a Devastator to hold objectives but now that I have the Doom Reavers I'm open to other ideas.  Will have to think about that more but I know I want to run the Drakhun with her.  Got the box.  Just got to put him together.
I learned a lot tonight and will have to make sure that I play with the right amount of points next time.  I'm enjoying the current list that I have with Rifle Corps and now I just have to play with it more and streamline it.  0-13 but still eager to play and having a good time with the Old Witch.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Old Witch vs Borka 35 pts

Going into this match I was 0-10 with the Old Witch hungry for my first win with her.  Played against Steve tonight who brought out Borka.  His list looked something like this:
  • Borka
  • Mauler
  • Bomber
  • Kriel Warriors
  • 2 trolls carrying a pillar
  • 1 troll with a big rock
  • some burrowing ones
  • some other support models
I ran this 35 point list:
  •  Old Witch
  • Behemoth
  • Scrappy
  • Min Mechaniks
  • Great Bears
  • Widowmakers
  • Widowmaker Marksman
  • Manhunter
  • Winterguard Rifle Corp
  • Joe
We played Kill box and there were a few linear obstacles in the middle of the field; some crates.  I had a forest near my deployment zone on the right.  Steve had some giant crystal obstacles in his corner and we both had some ruined buildings in are other corners.

I forgot to bring my camera :( but will give you a summary of the battle.

Steve went first and ran everone up to the middle of the board.  It was a pretty intimidating sight as I was outnumbered.  His Kriel Warriors got Iron Flesh which got their Def up to 17.  They were deployed to my left.  In the middle he had his Mauler and the Bomber run up with support solos in the back.  Over on the right just in front of the woods he sent his burrowing dudes.

My I had the Widowmakers advanced deployed on the left and they took aiming shots at the front line Kriels and needing 8s they all missed!  The marksman was nearby and I think he was able to take one out but he feigned death so I wouldn't be able to target him.  Thought that was pretty cool.  Over on my far left my Manhunter stayed were she was just out of charge range of the Kriels.  I advanced my rifle Corp up and with boosted shots they killed maybe 4 of the burrowers and took some shots at the Kriels maybe downing one or two, not totally sure.  Scrappy ran to the left near the Widowmakers and OW teleported near him.  I was thinking that I might feat but I wouldn't catch the Mauler or the Bomber so I saved it.  She put Murder of Crows in front of the Kriels to block all charge LOS to the Widowmakers.  Behemoth also ran to the left.  Now there was a forest on my right and basic Augury tactics would say I should camp the Behemoth back there.  Not sure why I chose to not use the forest.  Maybe I was afraid of the burrowers because I wasn't quite sure what they could do?  Mechaniks followed Behemoth.

Bomber decides its time to throw some barrels and lobs two into the Rifle Corps taking out four, just one shy of a command check.  The Mauler moves up a little.  Over on the left the Kriel Warriors run around the Murder of Crows and a few engage my Widowmakers who were all base to base lol.  Another runs to engage my Manhunter.  The surviving burrowers burrow underneath of the forest and the rest of the Troll army move up just slightly. 

I would definitely be feating this turn and there were a bunch of things I could do.  I had the Kriels engaging my Widowmaker and Manhunter.  Scrappy was in charge range of the Kriels but I could also possibly advance him to the right where he could arc gallows to one of the Warbeasts.  My idea was to put Avatar on Scrappy and have him dance through the Kriel Warriors.  Hopefully that would take him close to the Murder of Crows where the OW could teleport to and Feat.  If she could do that, she would catch nearly the entire Troll army, be behind the Kriels and none of them could move or face a POW 14.  There was only one problem though; Scrappy didn't have Avatar on him so there was no way for OW to put it him, have him go crazy, and then teleport.  So I went with plan B.

Rifle Corp did what they could and cleared out some of the Kriels.  Manhunter missed her two attacks needing 7s.  Behemoth did more bombard shots on the Bomber with little damage.  Bears were in a bad position and fearing a big POW 16 from the Bomber, I spread them out and got them ready to counter charge stuff.  The Widowmakers opened a lane for Scrappy and they attacked the Kriels in melee but with MAT 4, yep not much happened.  So Witch moves a little, puts Avatar on Scrappy and Feats.   My thinking is that the Kriels don't have reach so even if Scrappy fails at his Avatar run, nothing can charge him or move towards him.  He charges a Kriel and I boost the first hit and needing 8s he misses.  I take some chances on unboosted 8s to hit and miss some.  He buys his last attack and kills the first one he charged but with the free attack fails to hit the second one.  

Unborrowed dudes pop up and charge a Mechanik and the Behemoth.  One Mechanik dies.  Bomber steps up taking the POW 14 (with little effect) and aims a bomb that deviates onto a Bear and a Widowmaker.  Bear survives but Widowmaker dies.  The second shot takes out more Rifleman bringing the unit down to two.  Mauler charges scrappy and annhilates him easily.  I may have forgotten to check for the Feat Turn POW 14.  Kriel engaged with Manhunter kills her and another on the Marksman kills him.  Supports along with Borka move around the center crates going way around the Murder of Crows.  The Trolls are closing in and the OW is backed into a corner.

Joe starts off next, calls boosted attacks and takes out one of the Pillar Trolls.  The remaining Rifle Corp take shots.  Can't remember the result but I remember what happens next because it's the stuff of legend.  Witch goes, puts Iron Flesh on herself and then the Great Bears charge.  One charges the Mauler and standing on the wrecked armor of Scrapjack proceeds to roll QUADRUPLE SIXES for damage!  With one swing he took out half of the Mauler's boxes.  The second swing also hits but isn't enough to bring the Beast down.  Another Bear charges the Bomber and takes out his Spirit.  Volkov runs inbetween both bears to keep everyone in command.  In hindsight, I should have charged him at the Mauler, which should have finished him, but I was worried that the other Bear would be out of command.  Mechaniks charge the Burrowers and the two remaining Tough!  Behemoth takes more aimed shots into the Bomber for little effect.  (he did this before the Bears charged).

Next turn the lone surviving Widowmaker falls to the fast approaching Kriels along with two of the Bears.  It's all up to the Mauler.  He charges into the OW with a few buffs and with his first swing misses!  He needs to roll 12s on three dice and buys his last attack.  It hits!  The Mauler then does an insane amount of damage and eats OW and heals a bit for a GG.

It was a really, really, enjoyable game on both sides, a truly epic fight.  Made a few mistakes here and there but overall I'm happy with the way I played and learned a lot in the process.  Here are some thoughts:
  • starting with the Widowmakers.  I shouldn't bunch them up like that.  One problem was that they blocked LOS for the Rifle Corp.  And then when the Kriels ran to engage them.  It only took two Kriels to engage the Marksman and three Widowmakers.  Should defnitely space them out more.  And oh man was I waiting for the Widowmakers to hit so I could call Sniper!  But they all missed their shots :( And!  If they hit they would have had Swift Hunter too.  Like having them in my list.
  • Manhunter was kinda meh.  She should have killed that one Kriel and would have been protected under OW's feat which would have allowed her to charge again.  But she died.
  • Rifle Corps.  Really liked them.  Range 14 is awesome and with boosted attacks were able to hit most of the infantry.  Could have probably spread them out a bit more to help with the Bomber's AOEs.  Didn't use suppressing fire once but after talking with Steve post-game will try to use that next time.  It works well with Murder of Crows to control the board and it can allow the rest of my army to move up and get into position.  Also, it might be used to funnel troops which would be good for Behemoth's AOEs.  It felt good using the Rifle Corps and will definitely use them again the next time I bring OW out.  
  • Behemoth.  Kept him pretty far back and sadly only used him for bombards.  I should play him more aggressively and get him into a position to charge.  Gotta make use of those armor piercing fists!  Also could have used the forest for cover and rain bombards all day from safety.  
  • Getting better at positioning Scrappy for an Avatar run, especially on feat turn where he is safe to move up.  Turning point of the game was when I lost him to the Mauler's charge though.  Without Scrappy, Old Witch loses a lot of her options-- can't teleport for manueverability, tougher time using Gallows.  And just not having Scrappy sucks big time as there are no more opportunities for save Avatar runs.  So next time just gotta be aware of enemy threat ranges.  That was on my lists of things to be aware of and I forgot lol--" Don't let my 'Jacks get charged."
  • Mechaniks didn't do anything in the game and I'll probably swap them and the Manhunter out for possibly the Ternion.  Clouds to grant prowl to OW and Scrappy and to maybe give the Widowmakers +4 DEF with Camo.  Sprays will also be helpful and also Ice Cages.  So I think they are definitely better than a Manhunter + Mechaniks.  Other option is maybe Aiyanna & Holt to help with dealing damage but I'll give the Ternion a shot.
  • Great Bears spend the opening turns in the back and I swung them left to get away from the Bomber.  That one charge on the Mauler Steve and I will never forget.  Could have gotten the third to charge but other than that I feel my positioning was alright.  Ya, when the charge, I really need all three to hit.
  • Old Witch.  I felt my positioning was ok in this game.  She was safe for the most part in the beginning and close enough to the front line to make use Murder of Crows and her feat.  She was backed into the Killbox corner though which limited her options late.  To do it differently, perhaps a bit of board control to lock down the center and get my models into position.  With Suppressing Fire in combination with Murder of Crows I might be able to hold Infanty back and save my feat for the following turn.  Taking the center aggressively and using this type of board control will keep the enemy away from the Old Witch and give her room to operate in the back.  
Thanks again to Steve for the game.  Was lots of fun!  Next week Tuesday our club starts the much anticipated Journeyman League and we're all looking forward to that.  I've also scheduled a game with Chris and his eSkarre list and I'm really looking forward to playing her.  Will give me something to study and prepare for this week :P

Monday, September 26, 2011

Old Witch Lists For Game Night

Following the advice of Von, who left a comment on one of my posts, I thought I would try to take a much simpler Old Witch list to Game Night tomorrow.  Goal being to learn the Old Witch and be able to focus on her and have units with simple tactics to use.  So here are my two lists:

Old Witch 35pts
  • Behemoth
  • Scrappy
  • Battle Mechaniks
  • Great Bears
  • Widowmakers
  • Widowmaker Marksman
  • Manhunter
  • Winterguard Rifle Corps
  • Kovnik Joe
Taking Behemoth for his two bombards gives me some range threat early in the game and then of course his ability to wreck heavy armor with his armor piercing fists.

Battle Mechaniks I thought I would try just to be able to heal systems like the Behemoth's subcortex and hopefully to keep my 'Jacks going a little bit longer.  Secondary duty for them will be to deny charges to my 'Jacks.

Great Bears are a bargain for 5 points and help OW with dealing with armor.  Just gotta make sure I play them aggressively but safe.  Easier said than done right?? :)

Widowmakers and the Marksman.  Taking them because they are a simple unit and I'd like to learn what they can do.  Thinking they can free up lanes, plink enemy 'Jacks to cripple a system or just harass on a flank.  With the Marskman, they will get Swift Hunter which will be icing.  The Marskman I've always liked with his RAT 8 and POW 12 gun.  He has stealth too which is another bonus.

Along with the Marksman, I bring another flanking stealth solo in the Manhunter.  She (bought the female variant) can help with armor duties and I like her two Weapon Master attacks.

For my main infantry unit I want to try the Rifle Corp out.  They fit with OW's denial/control theme with Suppressing fire.  With Joe and Boosted attacks they should tear apart infantry.

Thoughts on The List

It's very different than how I normally play.  Usually I have an infantry unit as my tarpit, helping to deny charges to my 'Jacks.  Here I'll use a combination of Murder of Crows and Suppressing Fire to block lanes from infantry and deny LOS to my 'Jacks.  Theory of course :)  But in looking at the list I feel good about it.  Behemoth, Great Bears, and the Manhunter should be able to deal with enemy armor and I feel confident that Scrappy, Widowmaker group, and the Rifle Corp can handle any infantry.  Widowmakers will be great against Shield Wall units with Sniper.  List is also fairly simple and if I make mistakes with my 'Jacks I'll have the Mechaniks hopefully nearby to repair.  We'll see how it goes. I'll post some batreps of my games and I'll be sure to take some pictures this time.

I also have a 50 point list just in case:

Old Witch 50pts
  •  Behemoth
  • Spriggan
  • Battle Mechaniks (max)
  • Great Bears 
  • Aiyanna & Holt
  • Widowmakers
  • Widowmaker Marksman
  • Winterguard Rifle Corps
  • Kovnik Joe
  • Manhunter
Same as the 35pt list except I bring a full unit of Mechaniks since I have two 'Jacks.  Choose the Spriggan for his Reach and tough armor.  Was considering the Devastator but last week when I had him I wished I had more attacking power.  Spriggan can also Bulldoze and starts with ARM 21 which is nice.

Aiyanna and Holt are there to help with damage helping all those POW 10s to become POW 12s and Holt is always a great shot.

Journeyman League Preseason: pSorscha vs pStriker

The Journeyman League for our club starts next week but Ben and I wanted to try out some battlebox games in the mean time.  It was pSorscha, Juggernaut, and a Destroyer, vs pStriker, Iron Clad, Lancer, and a Charger. 

First game I went first and ran my 'Jacks up with Sorscha under cover of Wind Rush and Fog of War getting her Defense up to 20.  As our forces closed, I charged the Destroyer into his Lancer and Wind Rushed Sorscha to the outside on my right.  My thinking was that the Destroyer would tie up the 'Jacks and maybe Sorscha would get an angle to assassinate.  After Ben's next turn, I feated and later realized that Sorscha can't charge through frozen models (duh).  I ended up losing the Destroyer in melee and what followed was Ben's tactic of constantly disrupting the Juggernaut.  It's a very good tactic.  Not sure if he also knocked down the Jugg.  Didn't quite see a way to come back so I charged Sorscha into Striker a few turns later but the odds were against her and she couldn't bring him down.  Ben ended up knocking her down with Earthquake and then the Lancer and Iron Clad walked over to finish her off.

Mistake was not understanding Stationary lol.  On feat turn, I could have charged my 'Jacks into his and because of stationary they would have basically auto hit (or does it auto hit?  Good thing we're playing battlebox games.  I should know that).  Also messed up when I shot a bombard at the Lancer but could have just used the axe instead and boosted the damage roll. 

For the second game my goal was not to lose the Destroyer so easily and just try to stay back and soften up the  Cygnar 'Jacks a little.  My formation was a triangle with Sorscha in the back and all of my models were about 4 inches from each other-- so a little spread out.  What followed was more knockdown and disruption mainly focused on the Destroyer.  Ben walked up the Lancer and arced Earthquake through him and then walked Striker with snipe to disrupt.  Ugly stuff.  Sorscha died when I exposed her to a shot from the Charger and it was aiming against Sorscha's DEF 18 (no FOW).  So it hit and then rolled triple 6 haha.  Another shot and that was it.

Some pretty bad games on my part and GG to Ben although the last game didn't really feel like it was a good one because it was over so fast :P  but of course, always fun to play him and talk strategy afterwards. 

But wow, feel really lost about what to do against the Cygnar Battlebox.  I like the challenge though and it's time for me to hit the drawing board and think about this particular matchup. 

So let's start with things to remember:
  • If I'm going to expose Sorscha to a shot, make sure it's under Wind Rush and Fog of War for DEF 20.
  • If I Wind Rush, do it away from the Charger to force it to move and give up it's aiming bonus
  • Stationary does not let me charge over bases ><;
  • Ben creates a wall of 'Jacks in front of Striker so how about this on feat turn: Destroyer gets 1 focus to boost damage on a POW 14 shot.  Jugg gets Boundless Charge probably.  That's 3 focus.  And then an extra one for another P+S 19 attack.  And Sorscha can Wind Rush the heck out of there.  Just gottta make sure that she catches all the targets in her control area.  hmmm~ Destoryer will probably be distrupted so Jugg doesn't get that extra focus.
  • Also against the wall of 'Jacks, might consider just knocking them all down with Tempest.  Sorscha can still Wind Rush away and the Destroyer will get a POW 14 bombard if that should hit.  
  • Also, Sorscha HAS A GUN!  Couple turns she was in range to shoot it but I just forgot about it.  POW 12 could do a little damage to those light jacks.   
more thoughts later :P

Thursday, September 22, 2011

0-10 With Old Witch: Thoughts On My Games

Old Witch vs Siege
This is one of the very first games that I played with her going against my good buddy Ben who plays Cygnar.  Scenario was Overrun and he brought Siege along with Trencher Commandos.  Can't remember much but I know I feated on turn 1 and didn't catch any of Ben's army in it.  At that time I didn't fully understand the feat and all I wanted to do was prevent models from moving into it.  So in that game the feat didn't do anything.
  • Feated too early.  Didn't know about "can't run, charge, or make special actions."
  • Beast-09 and Devastator were operational for a long time but Old Witch ran away out of control and she couldn't allocate focus for the closing turns of the game. 
  • thought Scrapjack could Avatar of Slaughter my own models but it doesn't work like that :P
  • Didn't know that you can bulldoze and not take free strikes; had a fully loaded Devastator ready to charge Siege.

Old Witch vs Mortenebra
Chris brought one of his favorite lists for this one, Morty tier 4.  His list consisted of the usual suspects; two Warwitch Sirens, DJ, Seether, Slayer, Harrower, and Stich Thralls (they blow up but not Biles).  I knew that OW had trouble against armor so I knew this was going to be very, very, challenging.  I brought a unit of Assault Kommandos which didn't help. Took a Spriggan and also had Winterguard with maybe 2 rockets with solos mixed in.

Overrun was too much to handle and Chris did a brilliant move to throw my Spriggan into Scrapjack knocking both of them down.  In the process he took out eEiryss.  On a critical turn I blocked my Spriggan from a charge into DJ.  Chris pressured with all his 'Jacks and I wasn't able to neutralize all the threats even with the Winterguard doing CRAs to take out a slayer.  Assault Kommandos just sat on the objective (Gaining Ground probably) and didn't contribute to the game.  I ran Scrapjack late in the game and teleported Witch away but with Overrun she was caught.
  • Feat doesn't really do much against 'Jacks
  • Blocked in my Spriggan so he couldn't charge DJ
  • Instead of sitting my AKs in my zone I should have pressured Morty.  The AKs would have been immune to the corrosive damage from Sirens and the pressure might have pulled one of his 'Jacks away from the main battle where I didn't have enough anti armor.  eEiryss didn't do much.  Should have used her to disrupt the enemy 'Jacks.  
  • Did learn how to do CRAs with Winterguard for first time though and saw that they can take out Cryx heavies in the process. 

Old Witch vs Harbringer
Denial feat vs Denial Feat.  Wrote a batrep for this game that you can read here.  We played with a timer and scenario.  Some of the things that I remember from this game:
  • Still wasn't sure how to use eEiryss effectively.  I pulled her from the flank and got her close to my 'Jacks which she disrupted for a COUPLE of turns.  Definitely not good.  That's what I'm supposed to do to his 'Jacks.
  • Allowed my 'Jacks to get charged especially Beast-09.  Need to be aware of threat ranges.
  • Scrapjack didn't do anything this game.  Didn't have a plan for him and didn't know how to get him into melee so he could use Avatar of Slaughter.
  • Running low on time I had all of my assassins engaged with Patrick's Daughters and Aiyanna & Holt but I ran out of time and couldn't do my attacks.  Worse yet, when I moved the Underboss I left half the unit out of formation.  Learned that I can't be bogged down and need to keep Assassins moving so they can threaten the back line support units.
  • Didn't do Winterguard activation properly forgeting to use Joe first to call boosted attacks.  Had WG in position with Errants but they couldn't hit them.   

Old Witch vs eKrueger
First game against Krage at our gaming club and he brought Circle with eKrueger.  He posted a slideshow batrep with good analysis on Youtube that you can see here.  This game was rather quick.  Had Spriggan, Assassins, A&H and Widowmakers.  He had Megalith, Warpwolf, Worldwarden (?), Wolf Riders, Shifting Stones, Stone Keeper, and a Wilder. 
  • Didn't catch too much in the feat, again, thinknig that the feat was used as a wall instead of something to "catch" the opposition in.  
  • Wasn't familiar with circle at all and when the Warpwolf teleported via stones to my flank, he sprayed and killed some Assassins (with blessed maybe) and also the Great Bears.  Spriggan was TK'd and turned around.  
  • I probably conceded too early when my Assassins all died.  I still had Spriggan and Scrappy but it seemed like my army lost some steam.  Should have played it through to get more practice with my army and learn more about Circle.  
  • Once again Scrappy unable to get into melee with anything.
  • I know that during this time I think about using Gallows a lot to pull things closer to my 'Jacks.  

Old Witch vs Reznik
Played against Trong from Brookhurst Hobbies going against Reznik.  Took a Devastator this time and his armor was too tough to crack.  Stayed alive the entire game although when Witch got into trouble she retreated out of control range of the Devastator and couldn't allocate focus as the Devastator was getting danerously close to Reznik.  No Scenario.   
  • Against certain lists, the Devastator is nigh unpenetrable.  Need to keep OW in control range of him to allocate focus and threaten a charge with Rain of Death.  Can't remember what other units I had but probably Assassins.

Old Witch vs Rayvn 9/6/11
Setting up early on a club game night I took OW and battle Rayvn in the scenario that has two vertical zones to control.  He had a very shooty list with only one 'Jack so I was curious to see how my list would fare.  I brought a Devastator again as my lone 'Jack with Great Bears, Widowmaker Marksman, Assassins, and WG.
  • Was able to score first by feating and then clearing out the zone with WG sprays.  Things looked rather good at that point but soon the tide would be shifting.
  • Something killed all my Great Bears with a Starfire shot that gave Fire Continuous Effect.  Bears were in B2B triangle formation.  If one gets hit by an AOE, they all get hit.  
  • Devastator attacked and killed the lone Ret heavy.  Can't remember how.  Scrapjack was never able to get into melee.  
  • Assassins ran up at the Ret gunlines and eventually was taken out.  
  • Marksmen held down the left flank against eEiryss and a Mage Hunter Assassin. 
  • May have taken off Iron Flesh from WG at one point which made them slightly vulnerable.
  • Perhaps after my early advantage I got to anxious and overextended? 

Old Witch vs eButcher 9/6/11
In my first game against Adam he brings out eButcher to do a little clinic on how he works.  We played scenario but can't remember which one.  He had eButcher, Fenris, 2 units of Doom Reavers, Escort, Ragman, Corbeau, Dog, Beserker, and a Juggernaut.  I had Assasssins, Winterguard, and can't remember what 'Jacks I had, probably the usual solos included.
  • Nearly secured a point first but Gallows on a Berserker failed to pull him out.
  • Learned WG sprays destroys Doom Reavers.  
  • Learned that on a fully loaded eButcher, need to have Iron Flesh on jamming Kayazy or eButcher will tear through them.  DEF 16 isn't enough.  
  • Also learned how is feat works when Fenris got to make a full advance after he ran the turn before.  Old Witch died soon after that.
  • Nothing notable from Scrapjack.

Old Witch vs Rorsh and Brine (the two headed pigs) 9/13/11
Might have been 3 heavies in John's list.  Never played Farrow before.
  • Got first point in Scenario (veritcal zones) by feating and clearing out the zone.  Took the WG and and assassin to do it.  So I had an early advantage and a pretty good position.  
  • Critical turn I decide not to charge one of his heavies thereby forcing him to choose between retaliating against Scrappy or the Spriggan.  
  • Scrapjack not getting to use Avatar yet again.
  • Towards the end of the game I was getting lazy and kept off Iron Flesh from WG.  They were picked off easily and John took the zone for his 2nd point.  

Old Witch vs pMadrak 9/20/11
Wrote a batrep you can read here.  Old Witch vs a Tough army with infantry that can hit ARM 20?  Going to be difficult.    
  • Starting to understand OW's feat.  You need to actually catch as much of the opposing army in it as you can.  Main reason is it will prevent models from running, charging, and making special actions like tramples and slams.  If infantry move they are dead but the thing to remember is that the enemy can't easily retaliate against you next turn.  So that means you can aggressively move up, often run up to get your forces into position to attack/charge next turn.  They will be safe as nothing caught in the feat can charge you so all heavies can do is walk up and attack.  If they do that, they won't have the charge bonus for damage.  So get your army in position to strike and watch out for ranged attacks.  
  • Starting to understand Scrappy.  One of his main roles is to attack infantry with Avatar of Slaughter.  What this means is that you have to get him into position to charge something next turn.  You can usually do this safely if you jam the enemy with units like Assassins or use a screen.  In this game I was finally able to get off some Avatar runs but it wasn't as successful as I would have liked because of the high ARM and Tough of the Trolls. Still, good practice.
  • Kept Bears too far in the back.  Wasn't aware of Troll threat range.  Bears should get first charge on stuff because of SPD 6 compared to Troll SPD 5.  
  • Behemoth wasted bombards on Madrak who had a bouncer near him and because of an ability he has to negate damage from an attack once per game.  This put Behemoth in a position to be charged by some Trolls next turn that pretty much wrecked him.  Got to make sure my 'Jacks don't get charged.  
  • Devastator Rain of Death'd a few times.  Not sure if it was worth it.  
  • Got more practice using Aiyanna's Kiss to help damage Heavies.  
  • Need to be more aggressive with Gorman.  Again, it's threat ranges.  I can keep OW safe and not rely on Gorman's cloud for Stealth if I know the enemy's threat ranges.

Old Witch vs Vindictus 9/21/11
Played on Vassal, Patrick and I had another epic match.  Scenario was Gaining Ground.  I had Behemoth, Dev, Assasins, WG+3 Rockets, Gorman, Wyshnalyrr, and Great Bears.  He had Reckoner, 2 units of Knights Exemplar.  2 units of Zealots.  2 Knights Exemplar Senescals, Cinerators, choir, book, Gorman, and eEiryss. 
  • I used the feat to catch a lot of the Menoth army.  Vindictus' feat along with the Zealots mini feat ensured that I wouldn't be doing any kind of damage for a turn.  
  • Kayazy were countered by A LOT of zealot bombs even being engaged in melee didn't matter because the zealots threw bombs 1-2 inches away.  Was nasty.   
  • WG did really well with no way for Patrick to remove Iron FleshThey survived with a majority of the unit until the end of the game.  Mostly did blunderbuss shots and CRAs with them.
  • Behemoth did well with bombards but might have been good to keep him behind a forest for protection.  Either that or use Murder of Crows to protect him.  Allowed him to be charged by one of the Knights Exemplar Senescals (how do you spell that?)  It did something like 30 damage.  To kill them, have to kill units around them first then him or else he will heal.  
  • The last Knights Exemplar is tough to crack at ARM 20.  Need CRAs to do it.  
  • Thought more about positioning Scrappy and felt I had the right idea but he was bombed by Eiryss and late in the game he was charged by one of the last Knights Exemplar.  It had a sliver of LOS around Murder of Crows.  But at least I had the right idea and tried to protect him behind MOC.  Maybe I needed to get him into melee sooner as he didn't really have an impact on the game early on.  
  • Patrick demonstrates how to use eEiryss effectively.  She disrupted Behemoth with a shot early and then late game she ran up and with positioning disrupted both Behemoth and Scrappy.  
  • Charged Bears to try and clear a zone against low point models.  One took out a Cinerator and nearly got another.  Lost all bears on counter attack from Patrick next turn.  Charging them wasn't worth it.  He said he didn't know how he wasn't going to get them, and then I ran them up.  
  • Devastator moved up and Rain of Death'd taking out a lot of stuff.  I lost him next turn.  Not sure if it's best to do that or just have Devastator be there to be a distraction, hold an objective, or threaten a charge on the caster.  If I kept him closed, Patrick would always have to position his models perfectly or else the Dev would get Weald Secrets for Pathfinder and charge with bulldoze, Rain of Death, and then buy more attacks.  That threat is perhaps more valuable then doing Rain of Death early and then losing the Dev next turn.  Next game I'll try keeping him closed, hold objectives and threaten caster charges.
  • Despite the loss in this game I was really happy with my play as I'm starting to get the hang of Scrapjack and his positioning and using Murder of Crows for defense and to hinder the opposing army's movement.  Gotta work on protecting my 'Jacks though and making sure I don't sacrifice valuable units like the Great Bears for nothing.   

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Warmachine Batrep: Old Witch vs pMadrak

Another loss with the Old Witch :(  I have somewhere close to ten games with her and haven't won a game yet.  She is pretty tough to learn and use effectively but I will continue to press on.  She is really fun to play though as she has a lot of tricky things she can do and is very different than the usual Khador caster. 

Played a 50pt game against Doug tonight and had a really fun game despite the loss.  I had:

Old Witch
Full Winterguard +UA+3 Rocketeers
Full Kayazy Assassins + UA
Aiyanna & Holt

I can't remember the unit names that he had but here's their description

Axe heavy
guy carrying big stone with three other guys
Ogrun Bokur type Troll
cheap tarpit unit with CMA and the pillar guy
heavy infantry unit with 8 boxes
cannon with 2 grunts
solo with scrolls
and a few more that I can't remember :P 

There were a lot of trolls.  Just going to give a brief summary of the game and what I learned/did wrong.

Doug advanced his army up on his first turn and on my turn I might have feated.  Can't remember but when I did feat I caught the Mauler and most of his front line units on the right.  His army was stopped dead cold as the Mauler couldn't charge and the rest didn't want to take POW 14s.  During the feat my Assassins ran up but I didn't have any other units move up to get ready to charge on the next turn.  This was a little mistake.  Sure I stopped his army from hitting mine but I wasn't in a good position to hit him back.  Only the Assassins were in charge range of some of his units.  If I had to do it again I would have ran the WG up and position them so they could do CRAs or sprays next turn.  I'd run the Assassins up more so most of them could get the charge up and I would trample the Behemoth and run both the Dev and Scrappy to get them into position along with the Bears who for most of the game were in the back.

I've just learned recently (from reading the card lol) that the Old Witch's feat not only gives POW 14s if you advance and end your activation in her control area but if you are caught in it, you can't run, charge, or make special actions.  So basically since your opponent can't charge you, if they don't have range, you can just run up and get into threat range to charge them on your next turn-- first striking.  But in this game only the Assassins were in position.  So I'll try to remember that next time.

After feat turn I ran the assassins into melee with some cheap tarpitting trolls to engage them and hopefully Killstroke next turn.  They were at DEF 19 in melee with Iron Flesh but those trolls got a lot of +2 MAT buffs and CMAs gave them MAT 11 or was it 13?  It was crazy and after charging them in, all my assassins were wiped out except the underboss.

Madrak moved up and the heavy infantry Trolls ran up and created a wall in front of him.  There was a opening to Madrak though and Behemoth shot some Bombards.  The first one was negated by the Bouncer (like the Ogrun Bokur) and the second shot was negated by one of Madrak's abilities which allows him to not take damage once per game.  So sad for the Behemoth.  Underboss charged Madrak for no damage.

After this his heavy infantry Trolls charged Behemoth and tied hm up for the remainder of the game with their high armor and tough rolls.  Next to the Behemoth, the Devastator was taking charges from the cheap tarpitting Trolls.

Devastator would get to use Rain of Death twice before eventually falling to some heavy hitting from that unit and that guy with the pillar. 

Srapjack got to charge and clean up some of the Trolls with Avatar of Slaughter but it was very difficult to do with the Trolls making Tough rolls. 

Winterguard tried to CMA those heavy infantry Trolls and after that did a ton of boosted sprays into the Troll carrying the stone and his unit.  Eventually they were able to take the stone out. 

So Doug continued to advance Madrak and his posse of heavy beasts, one getting a thresher on 3 of my WG. 

Eventually my front line would fall so I tried to do an assassination.  Aiyanna goes first and Harms Madrak.  Cool.  A Bear takes two free strikes to try and reach the Troll blocking a vital charge lane to Madrak.  He Toughs the first free strike but fails the second one and dies.  Not cool.  Joe activates with boosted attacks and gets that troll down to one life.  Then it takes almost the entire WG to blunderbuss that troll leaving one to do a blunderbuss on Madrak.  The Bouncer may have taken the hit for that one. 

So Scrapjack on 4 focus charges Madrak and does a ton of damage on his first attack but Madrak spends his last focus to transfer damage.  Scrapjack then has a tough time damaging so that leaves Witch left.  She teleports into melee with Madrak and does some damage.  With one focus left on her last attack she needed 10s to hit and 10s to kill.  She misses her bought attack and I concede :P 

It was a really fun game and a long grueling one too.  Some things to remember for next time:

  • On Feat Turn, try to catch as many of the opposing army as possible to prevent charges.  Then aggressively position my units to be able to first strike on my next turn.  Only thing that can really hurt me is range so watch out of that.
  • Play Bears more aggressively up front especially against SPD 5 Trolls.  
  • Don't allow Behemoth to get charged.
  • Devastator: ARM 25 is awesome but I wish I could attack more with him.  Perhaps I just gotta bulldoze stuff away and if it was scenario just have him contest a zone or flag.  Maybe bring back Spriggan for some P+S 18 goodness (and Bulldoze too). 
  • Assassins-- I feel like they don't do enough damage with Old Witch.  Sorta makes me wonder if I should bring in Doom Reavers or even Iron Fangs.  But then again, with Gang and Harm from Aiyanna, Assassins would be at P+S 14 which isn't too shabby.  
  • eEiryss would have been helpful to take away some of the ARM buffs on the trolls.
  • if it comes down to assassination, consider putting Avatar on Old Witch the turn before I need her to assassinate.  Then I can run Srappy up, teleport and have Witch in melee with Avatar upkept.  
  • Maybe try advancing my 'Jacks with Murder of Crows in front of them to prevent LOS and charges to them.   

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Journeyman League

A lot of people in my gaming club recently got interested in starting the Journeyman League for Warmcahine.  For those of you who haven't heard of this, it's an official league that you can run that Privateer Press has created rules for.

The basic idea is that you start with a Faction Battlebox and slowly grow your army all the way to 35pts.  You earn points every week for games you play, minis you paint, and a third score for both your game points and painting points added up. 

Week 1 you play with the Battlebox.
Week 2 is 15 points with Battlebox
Week 3 is 25 points with Battlebox
Week 4 is 25 points with Battlebox plus Caster swap allowed
Week 5 is 35 points with Battlebox, either original Caster or Caster swapped one.
Week 6 is 35 points, anything goes!

At first I wasn't too excited as I wasn't sure how fun it would be to run a Juggernaut and a Destroyer for 5 weeks but after looking at pSorscha I realized there's a lot I could learn by playing her, especially her assassination playstyle.  I've never played her before ever so I'm really looking forward to it now.  Also, although the Khador 'Jacks are pretty basic, I'm going in with an open mind trying to see if there are new things I can learn.  If anything, this "slow grow" league will give me a chance to relearn the basics and get a solid foundation on the game's mechanics.  When I first started, I progressed pretty rapidly to 25 points and then to 25 points but I never really got a solid grasp of power attacks and to this day I still have to look up how to do one.  I know that's a very important part of gameplay and I'd like to get better at that aspect of my game. 

I'll document the League as it progresses and share what I learn along the way.  Here's my tentative plan so far for my lists.

Week 1- Battlebox
During the first week we'll all be playing A TON of Battlebox games and they should go really quick.  So I'll try to experiment a lot and see how to get a basic assassination off.  Besides that I'll just run through her spells and make sure I use them in my games.  Also want to focus on power attacks like slams; don't do those enough.

Week 2- 15pts
eEiryss and the Dog! just kidding.  Widowmakers seem like the no brainer upgrade at this level as they add a manageable unit to the game with some tricky things like sniper.  Some cool synergy with Sorscha as Fog of War lets the Widowmakers get to DEF 18 in the open.  Not sure how many targets they will have but if they have to hit heavies, I can experiment with trying to snipe out a column.

Week 3- 25 points
Assault Kommandos! Now that's no joke.  I'm being totally serious lol.  I love this unit despite their lackluster performance.  The Journeyman League gives me the opportunity to try them out.  Sorscha can help them hit targets with her feat or by knocking down things with Tempest.  She can also freezing grip them.  Likewise, the AKs can help her hit with spells by potentially lowering the targets DEF with gas grenades.  Not sure how much they help with the Assassination but I'm looking forward to painting these guys and seeing how the trench on their bases will turn out.

Week 4- 25 points, possible caster swap
I'll play it by ear but I'm hoping to take pSorscha all the way to the end and not swap her out.  There's no way that I can learn all her tricks in 4 weeks so at that time, I'm sure I'll still be digging for tactics and strategy.  Can I try other units in my games and keep swapping them?  I recently got a female manhunter so maybe I'll try her.  Another Camo model to benefit from Fog of War and a pretty decent threat range.

Weeks 5-6
I haven't thought this far ahead and I'm sure when I get there I'll have a better idea of what I want to try after playing pSorscha for a month.  pEiryss seems fun to try to help with the Assassination and she has some tricky shots that she can do.  Need the model though.  

My Wife Played Her First Warmachine Game

I mentioned to my wife that our club was starting a Journeyman League and asked her if she was interested in trying out a small game.  She said yes to my surprise and so we played a little Khador vs Khador.

I asked her if she wanted someone tough or fast and tricky.  She said tough so she got pButcher along with a Spriggan and a Juggernaut. 

I got pSorscha, a Kodiak and a Marauder.

We played caster kill on a small kitchen table (with battle mat of course).  I went first to show her how movement works and focus allocation.  I moved my 'Jacks and then she activated hers choosing to run Spriggan and walk the Juggernaut.  I hadn't told her about charging so we walked into combat, our 'Jacks colliding and her Spriggan fighting the Kodiak while the Juggernaut faced off against the Marauder. 

She learned quickly about MAT vs DEF, and P+S vs ARM and we just did some attacks for that round. 

Next round her Juggernaut was still walking up so I taught her about charging.  She got it and charged the Jugg into my Marauder liking the fact that she gets an extra die for damage.  She rolled pretty badly on her rolls though doing like 2 damage on average to the Marauder. 

Butcher charged in and then she learned about buying attacks with focus.  He hurt the Marauder more :( 

I counter attacked with my 'Jacks and left Sorscha on all her focus. 

Next turn after knowing how to buy attacks, I showed her how she can allocate to 'Jacks to buy attacks for them.  She wanted to share the focus evenly so she gave two to the Spriggan, two to the Juggernaut and Butcher had two lol.  Jugg was wrecked. 

Next turn I reposition Sorscha in Butcher's charge range :P and Kodiak continues to go to work at the Spriggan crippling his shield arm. 

She sends Butcher charging Sorscha who is camping focus and gets her down to two life.  I attack back with all my focus and do some damage to Butcher.  Next turn Butcher swings with boosted Weapon Master lol and kills her. 

She said she enjoyed the game and can see why guys like it; a lot of analyzing and strategy.  She said that she could see herself handling 15 point games and will try again later. 

Before going to sleep she wanted to see if she remembered all the stats from memory and I was amazed that she knew all the SPD, MAT, DEF, ARM, P+S of all her models and mine too.  It took me months to know those stats. 

And lastly she asked me how do 'Jacks throw things because she was home when I beat Ben in that legendary game where my Kodiak threw the Wardog to knockdown Siege and Butcher walked up needing double sixes to kill him and got the roll for an Obliteration win!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Club Tourney Part 2

Game 3

Continuing my batreps from our club tourney we go to Game 3 where I faced off against Steven and his eThags army:

Cauldron with Cauldron people

I had the same eSorscha list as before. Scenario was a radial one with our flag on our right and a zone we had to contest on the other side of the board.  To score a point, we had to capture a flag and contest that zone.  Steven and I were 2-0 going into this game and winner would play for the title in the next round.

I wasn't sure what to do but set up with Winterguard on the left, my battlegroup central, and Kayazy on the right.  Solos were scattered in the middle. 

I sent the Kayazy after the flag where they fought the Legionnaires the the whole game backed up by the Cauldron.  Between Vengeance and an ability that gave some kind of feedback to my Assassins which possibly would kill them, they were a tough foe to crack especially with their buffed ARM of 18.  Assassins hung in there though with their high DEF and ganging ability.  At one point I thought I could clear my flag and score a point by running one of my assassins to contest the zone.  This almost worked but I did two things wrong-- I forgot to go base to base with my flag after I cleared it and the other one was I think I needed the whole unit with 4" of the flag to secure it.  So running that assassin to contest was neat but wouldn't have worked anyway. 

Over in the middle I had my Spriggan with Great Bears for backup faced off against the Legion heavies.  I charged the Spriggan on feat turn and took out the Carnivean but the Scythean and Thagrosh just counter attacked and the Spriggan was wrecked. 

I lost some bears early to the Raek on the left flank who was trying to secure his flag.  My winterguard attacked him but I messed up when I discovered that the Raek has stealth!  I was sort of caught off guard and didn't even realize I could have just sprayed him instead of doing the CRAs.  That little guy just confused the heck out of me and I tried leaving melee combat with him so I could shoot him but later realized that my Winterguard should have just charged him and finished him off.  The Raek eventually secured the flag and only had a few boxes left and when the Legionnaires ran to contest my zone Steven got a point. 

At that stage of the game I was without most of my heavy hitters and Thagrosh still had the Raek and Scythean to transfer to.  With no hope of scoring a point and time running out I conceded the game.

Despite the loss, Steven was fun to play and he showed up to our gaming night last night and we talked about that game a little.  I don't have that much experience with Legion so I asked him what I could have done better.  He suggested that I forget the flag and go for the beasts as they are the key to Hordes and the source of the Warlocks power.  Without the beasts, Warlocks cannot get Fury to power their spells and they don't have bodies to transfer damage to.  So in Warmachine you can go for the caster but in Hordes it usually is better to take out the Beasts first. 

Steven went on to face John, his former master and in the title match the apprentice won.  Congrats again to Steven on winning it all.  :)

But there was still one game to go and for me and Adam, this would decide 3rd place . 

Game 4

I played Adam the Tuesday before the tourney and for this game he brought a very similar list:

2 units of Doom Reavers
Greylord  Escort

From my last game I knew that the doomies would be vulnerable to Winterguard sprays.  His main assassination threat would come from Fenris so I had to keep an eye on him.  Scenario was two 8" circles in the center.  Score in the farthest one. 

I went first and had Winterguard on the right, Kayazy on the left, and Battlegroup in the center.  Bears were behind the Winterguard.  I ran everyone up.

Adam had his two units of Doom Reavers on the front line with the MOWST and Butcher in the middle with the Juggernaut slightly to the left and Fenris was watching over the right flank behind the Doom Reavers. 

My plan with my front line was to stay as close to the edge of the Doom Reavers as possible and only expose a few of my Winterguard to a charge.  I put 3 forward and left Adam with a choice.  He can charge those few Winterguard and recieve a counter attack from the entire Winterguard or he can hold back and allow me to advance with Desperate Pace and spray his line with boosted attacks.  He chose to hold back a little and my Winterguard advanced under Bob & Weave and boosted attacks and the few Winterguard that shoot lined up at least two Doom Reavers in each of their sprays.  3 of them made Tough rolls but knockdown meant that they couldn't charge and attack.  After seeing this Adam wasn't content to hold them back so he charged what he could and tried to tie up my WG, but with DEF 17 I lost only 1 or 2.  Because the Doom Reavers had Reach, I was able to step a few of my WG back a little opening up the Doom Reavers to sprays that freed some of the WG.  After that attack only 1 Doom Reaver was left and the Escort was taken out. 

Over on the left, the Assassins faced off against the other Doom Reaver unit playing the same game as the Winterguard.  I put only a few Assassins within charge range banking on their DEF 16 in melee.  Behind them was arrayed the rest of the Assassins ready to counter attack.  Adam sent the whole unit in a charge and after all the attacks I lost only 1 Assassin.  Now I had options to either counter the Doom Reaver line or Killstroke past them.  I did a little of both.  Most hit the Doomies but a few ran past; one tied up the Juggernaut in my scoring zone and another met Fenris who had moved to the center after a few CRAs from the Winterguard.  The left side Doom Reaver unit was wiped out and after a few more CRAs and the Assassins attack, Fenris was taken out of the game.  Phew.  Big threat neutralized. 

In the middle Adam used his Berserker to slam my Spriggan out of the zone.  This was a brilliant move as it knocked him down and collateral damage went to a Bear, but luckily the Bear lived.  All that I had left were a handful of Winterguard in my zone at that point and if the Doomies had gotten a little luckier with their rolls, Adam would have scored a point. 

His MOWST advanced under Shield Wall into Adam's scoring zone.  They would be tough to crack.  I first got up the Spriggan and charged it into the Berserker wrecking it.  Then a Bear charged a Shocktrooper and killed him but there were two left in the zone. 

Time was running out and I destroyed most of Adam's army and was in control of the attrition battle.  He shifted Butcher to my scoring zone next to his Juggernaut and I was worried about sending all of my Assassins in there for fear of Butcher's feat turn.  The last time we played, DEF 16 wasn't enough to stop Butcher.  I would have liked to use Iron Flesh on them but I kept Sorscha way back for fear of Fenris.  The decision to hold back the Assassins would be costly though as Dice Down was called and I ended u losing on tie breaker because Adam had 2 Shocktroopers in his scoring zone and I didn't have enough Assassins in mine. 

I was a little disappointed to lose that one, especially because I was winning on the battlefield but I can't complain really because I had a fun game.  I also learned some new tactics like keeping my guys out of charge range and only leaving a few vulnerable.  It was great fun trying to control the front lines, especially against an army that doesn't rain constant AOEs on you.

Congrats again to Adam who earned 3rd place with that win and the guys from Red 5 ended up taking top 3 :D Since the weekend I've gotten to play John, who placed 2nd, and I really enjoy the games I get with them.  Glad they make it out to our game nights and hope to get more games in the future.

So that was the tourney and I learned a lot.  I've been talking with Steven and John and trying to figure out how to create two lists in a tourney.  When people look at my lists, usually they can see a lot of high DEF and plan accordingly.  So if I take one list with High DEF, the other should be a little different in some ways.  Perhaps more armor.  Will have to think more about that.

Also learned in the tourney that I don' t have many units that can run to a zone to contest it.  I have a few solos but I play them conservatively so they're usually in the back.  Perhaps I have to play them more forward.