Saturday, June 11, 2011

Khador vs Retribution: pRayvn vs pButcher

Jay and I met for another game of Warmachine over lunch yesterday.  We both tweaked our lists trying to guess what the other would be bringing.

pRayvn (I'm guessing it was the prime version but not sure)
Sentinals + UA
2 Griffon Light Jacks
Mage Hunter Assassin

From my recent emails to the group, Jay predicted I was going 'Jack heavy and brought an all melee list.  Iron Sentinals made up his infantry.  His plan was to use the Mage Hunter Assassin and the two Griffons to flank around and pressure Butcher.

Kayazy Assassins (max + UA)
Yuri the Axe

The last time we met, I went against a Retribution force that ignored Line of Sight and could see through concealment.  I expected Jay to try that list again so I brought something different.  I brought fast units with the Kayazy and Yuri, both having stealth.  So even if he could bypass LOS he would still have trouble spotting stealth.  My plan was to race the Kayazy up and pressure the Caster with a Kill Stroke threat.  I also wanted to use Yuri to flank around and threaten an assassination.  If that wasn't possible I would send him in to Thresher infantry.  Butcher would walk up the field as usual and go for an end game win.


Jay won the roll and elected to go second so I deployed Kayazy in the center with Juggernaut on their left and Butcher and the Dog next to him.  The battlefield had an open center; perfect for my Kayazy and marching army. 

Jay deployed towards my right stacked all together with his Light 'Jacks on the outside of the formation and Rayvn in the middle of the infantry. 

I deployed Yuri on the far left ready to storm down the flank.  Jay forgot to deploy his Mage Hunter Assassin :0

Turn 1

Khador 1 2 3 go!  Everyone runs.  Kayazy spread out (habit) and run for the center.  Juggernaut follows on the left with Butcher and the Dog behind.  Yuri moves down the flank, threatening the left of the Ret infantry line.  Oh wait...

Rayvn and the Sentinals boost the left Griffon which allows him to move before activating.  This gave him a bigger threat range than I anticipated and the Griffon smashes into Yuri killing him.  There goes my flank!  The rest of the Ret force moves up to the wall and the other Griffon eyes the other flank.  Not a good start for me.

End of Turn 1
Turn 2

I spent some time here thinking about what the Assassins should do.  It looked like only one or two would make a charge and I'd face a big counter charge on the next turn by the Sentinals backed up by Rayvn.  This is when Jay gave me the advice of the game: "How about pulling back and waiting?"  I liked the sound of that. 

Butcher moves up and casts Fury on the Kayazy as they shift left and fall back.  One of the Assassins charges the Griffon on the left but misses his attack.  Juggernaut stays where he is. 

At this point I realize my infantry is more mobile (Kayazy SPD 6 vs Sentinals SPD 5) so shifting position seems okay.  I didn't like assaulting over that wall so I try to put some pressure on the left and take out the Griffon.   

Jay brings the Sentinals out running to the aid of the Griffon.  He keeps them in groups of three which I thought was a very cool tactic as when they are B2B (base to base) they get an armor bonus.  Rayvn goes with the Sentinals.  The Griffon on the right rounds the wall threatening my right while the one on the left attacks the Assassin but misses two attacks.  Rayvn casts Vortex of Distruction, allowing friendlies in her control range to get boosted attack and damage rolls in melee (I could be wrong though but it's something like that). 

Jay realizes that he forgot to deploy his Mage Hunter Assassin and brings him in on the left behind the Salt and Pepper towers.  He runs him deep on my left looking for his angle on the Butcher.   

End of Turn 2

Turn 3

Time for the Kayazy to show their mettle!  The two Assassins on the left slip off the Griffon and run past the Sentinals reaching the back of the Ret formation!  The rest run across the field and engage all of Jay's infantry.  Some Assassins are outnumbered 2-1 and it is a sight to see.  Both Griffons are tied up and the Assassin Leader and the Underboss are behind the front line trying to keep safe.  The rest of my force move up ready for a second wave hit.  On my next turn I'm threatening Kill Stroke with my Assassins and the Juggernaut and Butcher are in charge range. 

Jay spends a long time thinking about his next moves.  He has to neutralize all of my threats and get his guys in position for a counter attack.  Rayvn activates and dances through the Sentinals killing the Assassin Leader and then moves to kill the UA.  Without him I won't be able to Kill Stroke.  Rayvn attacks and the Underboss takes full damage.  He Toughs.  She attacks again and from the ground the Underboss Toughs again!  Still with attacks Rayvn goes for another hit and this time the Underboss goes down.  Kill Stroke neutralized.  Rayvn falls back over the wall.  But even without Kill Stroke, my Assassins can still advance into Rayvn so Jay has to take care of them.  Sentinals activate.  Three charge a lone Assassin on the right but all three miss their attacks (Assassins sitting at DEF 19 in melee!).  The Griffon on the right decides to take a free strike instead of trying to hit the Assassin and takes some damage but runs down the right and gets really close to Butcher. 

On the left, the Mage Hunter Assassin is weary of Butcher's Dog and advances just outside of the Dog's counter-charge range ready to attack next turn.

The rest of the Sentials take swings and most of them miss (needing something like 12s on three dice).  The two Sentinals fighting the Assassins in the backfield miss and even the other Griffon who gets a backstrike bonus misses.  After the dust settled, I lost half of my Assassins which is pretty remarkable.  They're amazing in melee and never before have I seen what they can really do.  

Rayvn unleashed a heroic attack killing the Underboss and taking away Kill Stroke.  The Sentinals along with a Griffon rallied next to their Caster blocking charge lanes for my Assassins.  It was epic!  But there was still an opening left to Khador and one threat left on the board-- Butcher.

Turn 4

Butcher keeps all of his focus and charges across the field reaching Rayvn.  This is the moment.  I've got to win the game here.  Surrounded, Butcher feats and swings on the charge with weapon master doing 5D6 of damage.  With a mighty swing of Lola, Rayvn takes a massive hit and falls.  Butcher wins the day for Khador.

Definitely an intense and thrilling game to play.  I was really impressed with the Assassins.  They dodged so many attacks it was unbelievable.  My big lesson with them is if you can get them into melee against the right unit, wow, they can tie them up for a long time.  Also, with parry, you can slip away and run deeper into the opponents line, tying up more things and threatening the caster.  Not to mention you always have the threat of Kill Stroke.  With the Assassins, you also don't have to worry about taking a charge because they still have to hit them and when they do they are dead anyway, boosted dmg or not.  Sometimes it's good to charge but other times it might be best to run so you can get them tied up in melee.   

I have to keep track of threat ranges and make sure my guys are safe on the advance.  Sorry Yuri! 

Another thing was the Dog-- defenitely did a good job of making the Ret flankers think twice before getting close to Butcher.

The final thing I learned and wanted to note was Jay's golden advice--"falling back and waiting."  I've never really done that before with Khador and this game showed me that it can payoff to be patient.  If things don't look like it's in your favor, fall back, shift and wait for a more desirable position; then when the time is right strike and strike hard.  Thanks for that Jay, and thanks again for another great game!  Looking forward to our next match.  Will be tweaking my list ^^  

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