Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Warmachine batrep: Khador vs Skorne, 35 pts

It's been a while since I'd done one of these. It's not that I'd stopped Warmachine, it's just that my last couple of games were:

1) Using Irusk. Badly. Long, stupidly draggy game, too boring to record in a battle report. Completely my fault for mistiming my feat and reducing the game to a long ugly slugfest of attrition.

2) A doubles game, totalling 70 pts a side. Even longer and draggy-er and boring.This is where I found that Warmachine's system of model-by-model combat, while more detailed, more intuitive and generally fairer than 40k, is just slow as hell in larger games.

They weren't a complete waste of time, though. In those games I'd learnt that 35 pts is the absolute limit of my interest in Warmachine. At any higher points value, the game system is simply too slow to keep my attention. Also, I've established that I have no interest whatsoever in the use of Colossals. At 35 pts they unbalance the game, so I hear. Any higher number of points in a game is too slow, as I'd mentioned. And, at the end of the day, if I deign to purchase, assemble, paint and put a model on the table purely for its awesomeness... It's going to be in 40k.Colossals look nice and all, but seriously, at that price for something that size, just gimme a Heldrake or Land Raider Crusader or something. At least I'd get more mileage out of them.

Don't get me wrong here. I appreciate Warmachine as a quicker, smarter and deeper game at smaller scale engagements. But in terms of the fun of the fluff, the depth of the mythos and the raw awesome of the models... Warmachine cannot hold a candle to 40k. A Cygnar Cyclone, though it fulfills the same battlefield role, is a tinkertoy compared to a Forgefiend. A Winter Guard Deathstar is a small scruffy mob compared to a Valhallan Infantry Platoon. Lich Lord Terminus is a mewling child compared to Anggarath the Unbound.

What I'm saying is, I like Warmachine for a very different reason from why I like 40k. I like Warmachine because it's a very good, deep and engaging game at 35 pts. I like 40k because I like watching pure, unreasoning, epic sci-fi violence unfold.

Anyway, I got in a game of Warmachine against Lexiss' Skorne. I'd gotten murdered using Irusk against that list, and was most eager to try out my Butcher against it, mostly to assure myself that I hadn't suddenly gotten really crap at this game...

My army:
Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov
10-man Winter Guard Infantry, with 3 Rocketeers and Unit Attachment
Kovnik Joe
Widowmaker Marksman
Man-O-War Drakhun

Ah, my good old Butcher list. Nice and straightforward, with a good, righteous kick to it on feat turn. Against high DEF infantry, there's nothing quite like the Butcher's feat and Kovnik Joe's speeches with the Winter Guard's grapeshot. Against high ARM targets with lotsa hitboxes, just switch to solid slug CRAs, for boosted POW 14 goodness. A good opening salvo from the Guard generally softens up an opposing army enough that the ensuing close quarter violence ends with the Butcher on top. 

Lexiss' army:
Master Tormentor Morghoul
Bronzeback Titan
Titan Gladiator
Molik Karn
4-strong Paingiver Beast Handlers
Paingiver Task Master
5-strong Gatorman Posse

I had encountered this list once before, and that was the game in which I used pIrusk, which I mentioned earlier. I had gotten so used to the Butcher's way of sudden, vicious carnage and pSorscha's  assassination methods that Irusk was something of an engima to me. As such, I hesitated somewhat and found to my dismay that outside of feat turn, it was really hard to squeeze out the hitting power to kill Lexiss' list before it killed me.

We played a simple caster killing game. I forgot to take a pic of our deployment, so just read on for Turn One...

Turn 1:
Khador: Winter Guard and warjacks run forward. Rest of army advances. The Butcher puts Iron Flesh on the Winter Guard and Fury on the Manhunter, who proceeds to run to the left, ready to charge anything that even looks at the Widowmakers funny. A good old Butcher-style opening, ready to surge forward and let rip with the Winter Guard's guns.

Skorne: Without any ranged weapons, Lexiss goes with the tried and true Skorne tactic of running straight through the enemy's guns to close as quickly as possible, with Molik Karn taking the lead. However, I think Lexiss may have underestimated the damage output of the Guard under the influence of the Butcher. On my left, the Taskmaster puts Tough on the Gatormen.

Turn 2:
Khador: Time for some carnage! Berserker runs up. Kodiak runs behind. The Butcher pops his feat and runs behind the Kodiak, maximizing the reach of his feat. Much violence ensues. First, the Marksman moved up and picked off the troublesome Taskmaster, ensuring that the Gatorman cease annoying me with Tough in later turns. 1 Gatorman was killed, while the others except for one are all reduced to 1 hp, from Widowmaker fire and a nasty charge by the Manhunter. Molik Karn was killed by multiple Winter Guard CRAs. Morghoul took a hit from stray grapeshot, diverted the damage to the nearby Gladiator. Drakhun ran round to the right flank, seeing as he wasn't needed to finish Molik Karn.

Skorne: Gatormen move up to charge the Kodiak, inflicting minimal damage. Gladiator slams the Berserker into the Kodiak, then forces itself to the limit of its FURY, beating it up, crippling the cortex, but leaving 7 hitboxes. The Bronzeback charges in, but the DEF 17 of the Winter Guard means that despite all of its attacks, only one Rocketeer was slain. Morghoul moved in, causing only 2 casualties, despite his own MAT 8, but popped his feat, ensuring the efficacy of my warjacks would be greatly limited.

Turn 3:
Khador: The Widowmaker Marksman picked off a Gatorman, then scooted away. The Butcher charged to the side of another Gatorman, getting out of Morghoul's feat range. He easily killed the Gatorman, then cast Full Throttle. The Kodiak got up and finished off the nearby Gatorman, whilst the Berserker attacked and badly wounded the Gladiator. The Winter Guard not engaged with the Bronzeback surrounded and attacked Morghoul, but dealt minimal damage. The Drakhun charged and easily killed the Paingiver Beast Handler in the rear, getting into position to charge the rears of the Titans.

Skorne: The last Gatorman charged at the Kodiak. The Wardog countercharged him, but missed.  The Gatorman swung at the Kodiak, dealing a little damage. The Bronzeback thumped the Berserker, finishing it off. The Gladiator then charge and hammered at the Kodiak, wrecking it. Meanwhile, Morghoul mauled some more Winter Guard and moved up, next to the Bronzeback.

Turn 4:
Khador: The Butcher charged the Gladiator and finished it off in 2 mighty swings of trusty Lola, then spent another focus to finish off the last Gatorman, sitting on 4 focus. The Drakhun charged the rear of the Bronzeback, severely wounding it, though it still stood. The Winter Guard again surrounded Morghoul and swung ineffectually. The Widowmakers and the Marksman, having no targets, repositioned themselves into a firing line on the left, just in case an opportunity presented itself.

Skorne: The Bronzeback turned to thump the Drakhun, succeeding in unhorsing him, but that left the dismounted Drakhun out of the Bronzeback's reach. Meanwhile, Morghoul finished the grisly work of eviscerating the last of the Winter Guard.

Turn 5:
Khador: The Drakhun took a swing at the Bronzeback, wounding it further. The Butcher charged the wounded Bronzeback, ending its unhappy life and leaving just a Beast Handler to accompany Morghoul.

Skorne: Well, not much left to do. Morghoul exhausted himself killing the Drakhun, but at this point, it was clear that Lexiss could not win. The warbeasts lay dead, and there was no way for Morghoul to deal a telling blow to the Butcher, even if he expended a full load of fury charging and slashing at him. The Butcher, on the other hand, could quite concievably kill Morghoul in one hit. And he has the highest natural MAT of any character in the game. With this firmly understood by both sides, Lexiss conceded.

Well, that was suitably bloody, just the way the Butcher likes it!  I was fairly surprised the Skorne force still had enough punch to take down my two jacks. That having been said, Morghoul's feat seriously crippled my jacks' ability to hit as hard as I'd have wanted, allowing the two Titans to put one over my lovely jacks. So, on to the important questions...

Would I have done anything differently? Nope. Usually I make a mistake with my Drakhun and he dies before I can do anything useful with him.

Would I change this list in any way? Nope. This has been my most consistent list yet, and I've really no reason to change it.

Next up, a look at what's on my painting desk...

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