Monday, June 21, 2010

WM Battle Report - The Deathjack Cometh

Warmachine content here?  When's the last time that happened?  Played a 35 pointer with EV today, eSorscha vs the Witch Coven.  I had a notion a bit ago to do a 50 point game, and that's on the docket, but since I haven't played WM in a month or three, I thought it'd be a good idea to start with something smaller before jumping to a point size I've never played at before.  My army selection was somewhat influenced by wanting to use that last of the models I haven't used yet, eSorscha and the Devastator.  I wanted to run eSorscha and I would have taken the Devastator with her anyway, so it wasn't too hard fitting them in.  I had made an eSorscha list a while ago but had forgotten about it, so I made a new one up last night.  Turns out they were basically the same, except one had Doom Reavers.  Which list made the cut?  Army lists and the report itself after the break.

No Doomies this time.  I'm never quite sure what I'm going to be facing with EV, but I had an inkling it'd be Cygnar, so I wasn't worried about the lack of magic weapons.  Turns out it was Cryx, but I didn't miss the DRs as it was.  Sorscha bonded the Devastator.  My list:

eSorscha + 6
Devastator - 9
Juggernaut - 7
Wardog - 1
Greylords - 4
Widowmakers - 4
Full Winter Guard Infantry - 6
WGI UA + Rocketeer - 3
Mortar - 3
Kovnik Joe - 2
Manhuntress - 2

EV ran:
Witch Coven + 5
Deathjack - 12
Slayer - 6
Some kind of arcnode - 4
Full Bane Thralls - 8
Min Bile Thralls - 5
Tartarus - 4
Necrotech - 1

I never have a clue which of the arc nodes he's using, they all look basically the same to me.  I had looked into the Witch Coven before so I knew something of how they worked, but Tartarus was new.  I've heard plenty about how nasty he is and I figured he was the Cryx version of Kovnik Joe.  The Deathjack...what else needs to be said?  Generally regarded as the best 'jack in the game, I knew I was in for a rough one.  I prepared myself for a 'learning experience.'  Setup was as such:

With EV's Bane Thralls on the far northern flank, and behind water, I decided to deploy hard on the southern flank to make them walk as far as possible.  The WGI went in the middle because that's where they go.  Maybe one day I'll try them somewhere else, but that day was not the first day that I ran an Iron Flesh caster.  I've heard a lot about how nasty they are in that setup and they proved to be very resilient.  My general plan was to roll up the southern flank while the WGI gummed up the middle.  With all the stealth EV had my shooting would be limited at best, but you don't get to tailor your force to your opponent.

The first Cryx turn was uneventful, just advancing.  EV put Occultation on his Bile Thralls.  I came up with the great idea of shooting the arc node with the Widowmakers, destroying it and then taking out some Bile Thralls in the resulting Shatterstorm explosion.  We'll cover that shortly.  For now, end of Cryx turn 1:

I put Iron Flesh on the WGI and Shatterstorm on the Widowmakers.  The mortar got a lucky shot in on the Bile Thralls, taking one out.

The Widowmakers didn't do so well.  I had a hard time even hitting the arc node at Def 15 and didn't do enough damage to kill it, so the Bile Thralls lived.  I had spread out the Widowmakers in case of this, expecting sprays to come my way in the next turn.  End of Khador turn 1:

One of the many things I'd forgotten about WM was the Bile Thrall Purge.  Since it autohits, cover was useless and my Widowmakers mostly died a messy death.  A Bile Thrall did do though, so yay for small victories.  Very small.

With the Manhuntress Stealthed, the arc node had no choice but to finish off the Widowmakers.  Good use of 4 points on my part.

Now I have Deathjack in the middle of the table, perilously close to charge range of my WGI.  My Widowmakers are done, and my Manhuntress is not long for the world either.  I had notions of swinging her wide and continuing into the Witch Coven, but I couldn't find a route to avoid the Bile Thralls.  At least the Bane Thralls were well behind the army, so that was going to plan.  End of Cryx turn 2:

Realizing her time is limited, I decide to get some use out of the Manhuntress and charge her into the arc node.  I have yet to do anything constructive with a Manhunter, though one day it'll happen.  Not today though, as she only did a bit of damage to the chicken.

A lot of these pictures are blurry.  It happens.  I moved my WGI back a bit to keep them out of charge range of the Deathjack and basically formed a line.  I didn't think about the Devastator out in front, which would start a chain reaction.  End of Khador turn 2:

As expected, the Manhuntress goes boom quickly.  At least she did some damage before she died.

Lack of thinking ahead meant the Deathjack got a charge in on the Devastator.  I was, quite naturally, scared shitless at this first contact with the legendary menace.  I hoped I might survive with armor 25 on the Devastator, but it didn't seem likely.  Then EV's dice hit, and that caused the Deathjack to miss.  Or hit and not damage.  Over and over.  6 attacks I believe for the net result of 2 damage on the Devastator.  A ray of sunshine broke through and shined on me, and I had hope.

I thought that maybe the new posting interface here would eliminate rotated pictures, but apparently not.  It is pretty handy outside of that though.  EV was understandably rattled after the epic failure of the Deathjack's charge.  The rest of his army advanced and he corroded the Devastator, but things had definitely turned.  With the Devastator still alive, the Deathjack was frozen because of the bond.  End of Cryx turn 3:

With the Deathjack frozen, I had to strike.  I popped Sorscha's feat and went to work.  I had thought it halved armor, but turns out it doubles damage done that exceeds armor.  Either way, it means pain.  I loaded the Devastator down with focus and considered whether to fist or Rain of Death.  Turns out fists are only 2 Pow less than RoD, and since DJ was frozen the autohit didn't matter.  The Devastator did it's best, but didn't quite finish the job.  CRAing WGI did though, and the Deathjack was left as just a wreckage marker. 

In the background, the Juggernaut charges and splats a Bile Thrall.  I poured more WGI shots into the Slayer and did some damage there as well.  At this point I was feeling pretty good.  I had taken out the dread Deathjack before it did anything of note.  I was up on points and had a 2 to 1 'jack advantage.  End of Khador turn 3:

Predictably, the Slayer came in for revenge.  I hoped the Devastator would survive this onslaught as well, but with its shell open there wasn't much hope.  The Slayer lives up to its name and the Devastator is no more. 

In other news, the Bane Thralls charge the WGI.  They swing...and miss.  And miss.  And miss some more.  Turns out Def 17 is really hard to hit.  Even Tartarus can't connect.  I'm still feeling good here.  Though my Devastator is dead, I have a Juggernaut ready to avenge that loss.  I survived the Bane Thrall charge with no losses.  My line was holding.  End of Cryx turn 4:

I loaded the Juggernaut with focus to go Slayer hunting, but it turns out it was overkill.  I did some planning and used the Greylords to Ice Cage the Slayer.  All 3 hit, freezing it in place.  The Juggernaut rolled up and finished it off easily, holding on to the 3 focus for a rainy day.  Deciding I could take it, I had the WGI step back.  A flurry of free strikes ensued, but they all missed again.  I laid down many sprays templates and CRAs, resulting in a swath of destruction where the Bane Thralls were, including Tartarus.  At this point I'm nearly giddy.  I've lost a jack and my snipers, while EV has lost better than half his army.  I'm starting to think about mopping up.  End of Khador turn 4:

Turns out my elation was a bit premature.  I'd managed to forget about purge again in the space of an hour or so.  Def 17 doesn't help against autohitting attacks, so one purged Bile Thrall meant I went from full WGI to 4 in no time.  This did not please me.

EV moved his Necrotech up to the 'jack junk yard and made some Scrap Thralls.  While I knew these guys could be nasty, I figured I'd shoot them down with no troubles.  End of Cryx turn 5:

I trample the Juggernaut through one Scrap Thrall en route to smacking another and the Necrotech.  Then the Greylords want in on the fun.  There are 3 Scrap Thralls left, so I position my Greylords to spray through them.  The first spray hits and kills one of the Thralls...and two of my Greylords.  Fortunately the other Greylord can still get both under the template.  He sprays and kills one of them...and himself.  Explosions really got me this game, something I'll have to pay more attention to next time. 

Kovnik Joe took out the last Scrap Thrall and the WGI took out 2 of 3 remaining Bane Thralls.  I'm less than confident now.  I've managed to kill one of my own squads during my turn.  My WGI are all but dead.  I have a 'jack, but it's slow and won't be able to reach the Coven.  Sorscha is looking awfully exposed.  Still, EV is down to 6 models all told.  Things don't look as good as they did, but I'm still relatively confident of victory.  End of Khador turn 5:

Death by casting is my biggest concern, so when the arc node comes in to start channeling into Sorscha, it's doggy to the rescue.  While the dog doesn't kill, or even hurt, the chickenjack, it does put it into melee and keep it from channeling. 

I seem to have missed a Cryx turn 6 picture.  The Coven moved around some and the Bane Thrall charged the WGI, again to no effect.  I had an assassination run in mind and started in on it.  I had scored a lucky mortar hit on the Coven earlier, so I plugged the hurt with with a CRA.  Kovnik Joe shot and missed another witch.  Then Sorscha moved in.  I cast Cyclone, then charged the ball.  I had 4 attacks on it, and through it one already hurt witch plus another unscathed one.  Despite my best ball pounding, I left one witch up with a box or two remaining.

The game was basically done at this point, but there was a chance for Cryx victory so EV kept at it.  End of Khador turn 6:

EV charged with his Bane Thrall and remaining witch, but neither killed Sorscha.  I was satisfied that Sorscha could manage the remaining witch, as was EV, so we called it there.  End of game shot:

This was a bloody one that swung a couple times, though that's probably from my perspective more than reality.  I figured I had it in the bag after DJ went out, and it turns out I did, but I nearly gave it away a couple times.  The Iron Fleshed, Bobbing and Weaving WGI really got the job done.  Nothing could hit them, outside of the autohitting purge.  EV and I were both rusty and it showed during the game as we flubbed activations, misallocated focus, and generally stunk the place up here and there.  In the end I'll take the win, of course, but it wasn't as pretty or as dominating as it should have been after DJ died.  I was happy that I got the Sorscha assassination run right, except the part where the victim dies of course.

One thing I noticed doing the write up here was how much the smoke and fire markers help the US battle reports, both visually and in terms of reminding me what went on.  Having shots of an empty battlefield here just doesn't work as well to me.  Litko has some little skull markers that I've been thinking about, and I'll probably put an order in for some now that I see just how much they'd help.


  1. Etna's VassalJune 22, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    There were a couple of bright points for me in this game, but I still have no idea how to deal with the horde of Winterguard. Their DEF is simply too high for me to deal with. Short of running 12 Bile Thralls (for 10 points!) I just can't hit them.

    Of course, screwing up my order of operations constantly does not help one win games.

    Heather just stomped the hell out of me in Monsterpocalypse tonight, too. I'm starting to get the miniature games beaten out of me...

  2. Etna's VassalJune 22, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    Oh, also, you won't be facing Cygnar until I get a faction deck. The odds of that are pretty slim, as the deck costs more than two Ripper submarines.

  3. Son of a bitching lost comment because I wasn't signed in. Tonight hasn't been my night.

    Shorter now because it's the second time. Autohits/templates are the way to go I think. The high def is tough, but the armor is not so intimidating.

    Maybe you see this before I call tomorrow, maybe not, but either way I need to push US back to Thursday or Friday. I busted hump to paint my airship today so I could have it varnished and ready for tomorrow, but circumstances dictate that I won't be able to get it varnished before the appointed time, or possibly at all tomorrow. Though the current paint job may not be long for this world, as it is an abomination, that doesn't mean I want to rub it off in transportation and gaming.

    I was going to suggest Monsterpocalypse as a substitute, but maybe not so much now. We'll figure something out.

  4. Etna's VassalJune 23, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    No problem. Heather's out of town for a family issue, so we can do whatever. I wouldn't mind a game of MonPoc. My only gripe was that she used her most frequently used monster against a brand new monster for me. It was brutal to say the least. I just need one good game where I can pull out even an almost win. I'm getting a re-match with my giant insects on Saturday, and with a gigantic bombardier beetle on my side, I'll at least ding her for a good amount of damage. I sure gave A.K. fits a while ago with him!

    Warmachine just feels so alien to me now. You shouldn't be able to turtle the way you do with any amount of success, but with all those defense buffs, I just can't touch you. Maybe I should pull out my Wood Elves and go pick on some wanna-be power-gamer over at Games Workshop. (^_^)