|Feel the power.|
35+5 points, 22 models
Kommander Harkevich, The Iron Wolf +5 points
* Black Ivan 10 points
* Juggernaut 7 points
* War Dog 1 point
Koldun Lord 2 points
3 Man-O-War Bombardiers 7 points
Man-O-War Kovnik 3 points
Manhunter 2 points
10 Winter Guard Infantry 6 points
* Winter Guard Officer & Standard 2 points
The idea here is to load the Juggy with as much Focus as it wants, have the Koldun give Ivan a Focus to boost his damage roll, upkeep Escort and Fortune (which goes on the Bombardiers). Joe and the Winter Guard are autonomous and can either screen or go after objectives. The Man-O-War Kovnik is there to Slam things to set up templates or to be a tough little Weapon Master, and the Manhuntress over the Widowmaker Marskman because I have enough shooting as it is. With my failure to launch the last time we had the three objective scenario I did some planning while writing the list. The WGI could hold one down and the jacks would hold the other two, with Hark and the Bombardiers between them. Otherwise I would run the WGI in front and arc shots over them, then pop my feat and charge with the jacks once melee is joined.
My list was influenced by what I expected to see from EV, namely a Cryx horde list. The two jacks were a bit much, but I figured all the templates should be able to cover for the lack of Doom Reavers. Plus there's always Winter Guard sprays. Imagine my surprise when I'm looking at the dirty swan across the table instead of a motley group of undead. EV stole a march on me and fielded a shootyish Siege list of:
35+5 points, 21 models
Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane +5 points
* Defender 9 points
* Stormclad 10 points
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages 6 points
* Gun Mage Officer 2 points
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios 3 points
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator 1 point
Stormblades 5 points
* Stormblade Officer & Standard 3 points
Stormsmith Stormcaller 1 point
My first thought on seeing all the guns was the I wished I had brought the Ternion. Their clouds would help cover the lack of Iron Flesh on the Winter Guard, at least against ranged attacks. EV did bring a pair of heavies though, which is a bit unusual, which would give my own heavies plenty of damage boxes to tick. The enemy jacks would be easier targets for the Bombardiers as well as a good recipient of a Kovnik Slam. Eiryss is never a welcome sight but I figured I had enough templates that I would get her with blast damage soon enough.
We rolled for scenario before placing terrain this time and came up with...Killing Fields. AKA the three objective scenario. My preparations had paid off. EV won the center forest roll and elected to not place a center forest. After a few rounds of terrain placing I put down a forest (because you can't have a game of Warmachine without some trees), and we ended up with a sparse town setup. EV also won the roll to go first.
EV looked to have a similar strategy to mine. He put the Stormcaller alone on the right, put the Stormblades in the center with the Stormclad, and had the Gun Mages on the left. Siege and the Defender sat between the two units. My first impulse was the send the WGI to the woods where they could make short work of the Stormcaller and then hold the objective. The left and center were where the action would happen, so I reconsidered the WGI and put them on the left opposite the Gun Mages. Harkevich and the jacks took the center lane, and the Bombardiers were in the middle to help both sides, and the Manhuntress would hunt the Stormcaller and then camp on the objective. When Eiryss landed a little right of center I was pleased. She would either be in range of my templates or off on the flank away from my jacks and Harkevich. I hoped the Manhuntress would be able to take care of her, but if she just held the elven hooker up for a few rounds I'd be happy enough.
Despite a discussion on whether or not EV could shoot me in my deployment zone on the first turn (it would have required a 5" scatter roll in the right direction), our first turns went as most do. EV ran, while I ran and cast upkeeps. Escort on Harkevich, Fortune on the Bombardiers. I took a potshot at Eiryss with Ivan, but the scatter wasn't favorable. Because I had deployed Hark behind the jacks and wanted to cast Escort before they moved, he ended up further back than I would have liked, but I used the opportunity to keep him well away from Eiryss and (hopefully) safe from being shot by her. The WGI spread way out to minimize template damage while the center got a little crowded.
|End of turn one.|
EV kicked things off by moving Eiryss up and firing a Disruptor shot at Ivan. No one likes a Disrupted jack, but since I had the Koldun with Power Booster to go with free boosted attack rolls from the affinity, things could have been much worse.
|Eiryss pops her head out, sorta.|
We discussed the Stormcaller before the game. EV pointed out that all it could do was a particular ranged skill (not an attack), which I noted and promptly forgot about. Fast-forward to now when that Stormcaller has advanced to the right objective, which is very close to my Manhuntress. Then EV reminds me again, after I ask about Stealth, that the Stormcaller has a skill and not an attack, so he can try and zap the Manhuntress with a simple skill check instead of trying to hit her with an attack. The skill check succeeds, but the damage roll is not so impressive and the Manhuntress escapes with a painful but not mortal shock.
|With all that fur she's sure to be packing a big static charge now.|
|At least the Defender made sure the Bombardiers were awake.|
|The ground, it is pounded.|
|Cygnar turn two.|
I started with the most isolated action and charged the Manhuntress into the Stormcaller. The Cygnaran went down quickly, leaving the Manhuntress alone on the right objective.
|I drop bombs like someone who has four AoE weapons at his command.|
Khador - 2 Cygnar - 2
|Khador turn two.|
There was much muttering on EV's side of the table in the first two turns. He would forget to allocate Focus, or activate Reinholdt at the wrong time, or forgetting to boost Ground Pounder attacks. This form of entertainment ended in the third turn as he got his ducks all lined up at the same time. Focus went out, Reinholdt got a rocket ready for Siege, who then popped his feat. The Motherland plates the armor on thick as her primary means of defending her jacks, so anything that messes with that armor (like halving it against the first damage roll) is cause for concern. I had to wait a bit for it to come into play though since it was rocket time. When the smoke cleared Siege had killed three Winter Guard.
|Keep pounding that ground.|
|Happy trails Kovnik. You died too soon.|
|Quite the punch from two guys.|
Khador - 2 Cygnar - 2
|Cygnar turn three.|
|Ivan let me down, but the others made the best of the situation.|
|Getting up close and personal.|
Khador - 4 Cygnar - 2
|Khador turn three.|
Reinholdt and Siege kicked it off again with Ground Pounder. The two attacks took out another three Winter Guard. There's a huge difference on the table between DEF 14 and 17, despite how close the numbers are on paper.
|That Ground Pounder sure is nasty.|
|Your sacrifice will be remembered by a delightful teddy bear.|
Khador - 4 Cygnar - 3
|Cygnar turn four.|
|An epic girl fight in the making.|
|Black Ivan finally redeems himself after a lackluster game.|
|End of game.|
Things went more or less to plan for me. The Winter Guard locked down the left objective, the Manhuntress held the right objective (and drew Eiryss away from the main battle as well), and the heavy armor mucked it up in the center. I made a pair of big gaffs this game. The lesser was forgetting to recast Fortune in turn three. The greater was botching my feat turn. Part of it was being unfamiliar with the feat itself, but I also should have remembered I needed to move at least 3" to be able to Charge regardless of whether the Charge is a regular one or enabled by a feat. The Bombardiers were underwhelming, though they did take out most of the Stormblades and contributed to Siege's demise. I probably should have sent the Juggy up alone to eat the charges in the middle while Ivan and the Bombardiers stayed back to form a second wave. Instead I clogged the middle for myself and got all my pieces in the way of each other. The Winter Guard did what I wanted them to: draw lots of fire, put out some damage, and hold an objective, all without any attention from Harkevich or the rest of my army. I probably came out on the high side of average in the dice, while EV probably came out on the low side. It took him a few turns to get Siege and Reinholdt to play nice together, plus there was a curious lack of Foxholes throughout. It was a close game despite that. If another Stormblade or two got into Ivan he could have easily been wrecked, and the Juggy was dinged up as well. The Gun Mages could have CRA'd either one off the table, not to mention the Defender or Siege himself. Had Eiryss taken out the Manhuntress things could have gone very differently, though ultimately where Siege stood is what undid him. I liked how Harkevich played with Ivan and a melee jack. Focus was always sufficient, even with upkeeps and the occasional spell. The Juggy was a solid performer, and Ivan really speaks for himself. Despite losing his cortex, the affinity made sure his Bombard stayed accurate and a POW 14 on your head is going to hurt most anyone even without boosting. I wish the Kovnik had gotten a Slam off, but there's always next game.
|Get those Pens!|
In unrelated news, the Caps beat the Penguins 3-2 in overtime. It was their first meeting of the year. It's early, but the Caps are undefeated after three games, two of which came against good teams in the Pens and Tampa Bay. A good start to the season.