Saturday, May 26, 2012

More 15 pt adventures...

... in Warmachine, of course. 15 pts won't get you very far in 40k... As yet, nothing spectacular, just Jin and I having a couple of small Kill-the-Caster games to get a better feel for the game and the factions. Here's how it went...

Game 1: Menoth vs Scyrah
My list:

High Exemplar Kreoss
5-man Exemplar Cinerators

With a list like this, the plan is very simple: Cast Defender's Ward on everything, hurl the Cinerators in first, with the Vanquisher and Kreoss close behind, Repenter on one flank. When the 2 forces collide, Kreoss pops his feat and he and the warjacks BURN everything in sight! With any luck, the caster will be caught in the conflagration...

Jin's list:

Stormfall Archers with Soulless Escort
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution

Again, a pretty straightforward list with a straightforward plan: Rain absurd amounts of firepower on me from a distance, then smash what's left with the Manticore and maybe get a good stab on the caster with the Griffon.

Well, things pretty much went according to plan. Turn 1, my army rushed forward, with Defender's Ward on the Repenter and the Cinerators.

Turn 2, his archers pounded the Cinerators, causing a little damage, but ARM 19 is tough to crack, and the minor wounds only enraged the Cinerators to thunder forward faster. The Manticore dumped an AOE in my path, but the Cinerators went round and the Vanquisher, at ARM 21 thanks to Defender's Ward, simply walked straight through.

Turn 3: Eiryss pinged a shot into the Vanquisher, Disrupting it. The Cinerators took even more abuse, from Ravyn, a charging Manticore and the Archers, losing 2 members. But at this point, it didn't matter. I had gotten too close. Kreoss moved up and popped the feat from behind the Cinerators, knocking down all of Jin's army apart from the Archers who were furthest away. The Repenter then moved up, roasting Eiryss and setting the Griffon ablaze. The Vanquisher's Flame Belcher scored a direct hit on the prone Ravyn and set her and the nearby Manticore on fire. The surviving Cinerators then moved up, hitting Ravyn and the Manticore once each.

Turn 4: Ravyn took more damage from the Fire Continuous Effect and died. A nice, toasty warm victory for Menoth!

Afterthoughts: This was my first outing with Kreoss and I daresay I played him much like I would have played the Butcher, i.e. Use big, tough units, enhance them with spells, and go forth. Let my big brutes weather the storm of fire and when the time is ripe, pop the feat and let rip. With the Butcher it's feat + Full Throttle to make my army capable of terrifying close combat carnage. With Kreoss it's making the enemy army fall down and eat burning fiery death.

Comparing the two strategies, Kreoss probably leans more towards the caster kill, since it lets me get past the intervening units and shoot or cast Immolation to toast the enemy caster. With the Butcher, one gets a surge of indiscriminate bloody violence ripping into anything within axe's reach, and woe betide the poor fool who has to bear a charge from Lola...

On Jin's side, I honestly don't know what he could have done to stop me. Seriously, with the tools he had, how on Earth are you supposed to stop an ARM 19 wall with Kreoss waiting behind to pop the feat and warjacks full of burny death? Ah, well... on to Game 2!

Game 2: Khador vs Scyrah
My List:
The Butcher
3-man Man-O-War Shocktroopers
6-man Winter Guard Infantry
War Dog

I'd played a list something like this before, using a 5-man unit of Shocktroopers and chucking out the War Dog and Manhunter. This time, I just wanted to try fielding the Butcher, his crazy axe-wielding girlfriend and his wee scabby dog! Winter Guard Infantry, I've found, are always useful. Left to their own devices, using them in pairs to do Combined Ranged Attacks means RAT 7, POW 14 attacks. That will hurt damn near anything. Iron Flesh ensures the poor devils live long enough to dish out the dakka, and when the foe get too close, a combination of the Butcher's feat, Fury and Full Throttle mean even the humble Winter Guard's axes are going to sting something fierce. 

Jin's List:
Ghost Sniper
Ghost Sniper
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution

That's right, no units. Jin's always up for mad list-building experiments and this one's no different. His plan? Cast Phantom Hunter on the Ghost Snipers and rain abuse from unreachable places. Also, use the Chimera's Arc Node to blast my army (and very importantly, slow them down) with Rift.

Summary: This scrap wasn't quite as straightforward as the first one, so I'll tell the tale according to what happened to each of my units.

Manhunter: Deployed on left flank, directly opposite Eiryss, with the intention of hunting her down and hacking her to pieces. Eiryss skedaddled back to her lines, where Kaelyssa geve her Phantom Hunter. Unfortunately, Phantom Hunter doesn't do anything about Stealth, so Eiryss took a gamble, walking right up close to the Manhunter and shot her point blank. ARM 14 meant the Manhunter survived to walk right up to Eiryss and axe her pretty quickly. Kaelyssa was not amused, and True Sight and a boosted attack finished off the Manhunter.

Shocktroopers - Recognizing the threat posed by Shocktroopers from our last encounter, these guys recieved a lot of abuse from Rift and sniper fire. Since they were on the receiving end of Rift practically from the beginning of Turn 2, they never actually got into combat, but the firepower they drew from the rest of my army was totally worth it.

Destroyer - This jack did exactly as you'd expect. Slowly advanced, lobbing out shells into the foe. This didn't achieve much, but it struck Jin as enough of a threat to focus his Ghost Snipers on it, taking off the Bombard. This didn't bother me much. I just continued advancing with it and managed to get a good charge with a full load of focus, backed up by Full Throttle, straight into the Hydra, smashing it into junk.

The Winter Guard - Ah, all too often my star performers, if only because my opponent often has his eyes on the Butcher, the Shocktroopers and whatever big horrible red warjack is thundering in his direction. Early in the game they managed a good hit on the Chimera, knocking down its shields. The Chimera charged, taking down one of their number, then flitted away so its Arc Node could be used to blast my Destroyer and Shocktroopers with Rift. One more was picked off by a Ghost Sniper, but Full Throttle + Fury + a good charge meant they managed to smash the Chimera. The Snipers inflicted further losses, but the 2 remaining at the end of the game ganged up on one, gunning him down.

The Butcher and his dog - Lola was not swung even once this game. Boo. But then again, there wasn't really a need, as Iron Flesh, Fury and Full Throttle had my army running wonderfully smoothly under the hail of abuse from Kaelyssa. There was a point when the Butcher moved forward to face the full fury of Jin's guns and spells, but it wasn't quite enough, and my comeback left Kaelyssa with only a Ghost Sniper for company against my 3 Shocktroopers, Destroyer, 2 Guardsmen, Butcher and his mean-ass dog. Against such odds, Jin was forced to concede.

Afterthoughts: Ah, the joys of Khadoran steel... The sheer amount of brute force Khador can bring to bear even at this point level is quite astonishing. In retrospect, I see 2 things that Jin could have done differently which would have seriously hurt me:

1) 1 good shot of Rift should have been fired into the Winter Guard. A spell with an AOE and POW like Rift would have hurt them quite badly. Worse yet, that could have stopped a lethal charge into his Chimera.

2) The Ghost Snipers should have picked off the Destroyer's axe. Compared to the sheer destructive force of that axe backed up by a caster like the Butcher, the Bombard was an inconsequential weapon, and that could have given the Hydra a better chance to survive.

Next up... Warmachine vs 40k: Where do I stand?

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