*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)
- Darragh (dragoon guy)
- Bane Knights (seemed like max unit)
- 3 Stitch Thralls
- Bile Thralls
- 2 arc nodes
- Old Witch
- Rifle Corps.
- Doom Reavers
- Great Bears
- Aiyanna & Holt
- Gorman (over the limit)
- Wardog (over the limit)
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.