|Click for inspiration.|
There were surprises all around when I arrived at EV's place. We were playing on his birthday, for which I had procured (against my better judgement) the Black 13th for him. This may or may not have been a surprise, though hopefully I didn't telegraph my punch too much there, but he had one in store for me. First was a choice of lists much like I gave him a few games ago. I ended up with everyone's favorite (and by everyone I mean no one), Dirty D. This was actually a bit of good news as the alternative was Gaspy, but either way it meant my tiny bit of pregaming was for naught. This was a good lesson in itself though that, consciously or not, I shouldn't be building my lists with a particular faction in mind. Before more rambling, EV's list:
35+5 points, 35 models
Warwitch Deneghra +5 points
* Cankerworm 5 points
* 2x Nightwretch 4 points each
* Skarlock Thrall 2 points
10 Bane Thralls 8 points
6 Bile Thralls 5 points
Bloat Thrall 2 points
10 Mechanithralls 5 points
Withershadow Combine 5 points
|Saw these in a parking lot. Big fan.|
After winning the terrain roll I threw out another surprise: a forest in the center. EV promptly laid another forest next to it and the rest fell into place. We went with a bit more terrain than last time, and dispersed more as well. I think we're falling into a bit of a trap though, in that we're basically setting up our own half of the board now. This isn't exactly what happens, as there's nothing to stop me from putting terrain on EV's side, but it's effectively what happens. Maybe next time I'll throw a wrench in and try to gum up EV's zone with terrain...
EV won the first player roll and elected to go with it. He altered his usual Cryx setup a bit by putting the Banes in the middle and moving the "support" (Biles, Fatty, Withershadow, arc nodes, caster, Skarlock) to the left flank. McThralls were still on the right. I put the Winter Guard on the right and my battlegroup on the left. The Kodiak ended up closest to the center since it has Pathfinder, so the woods wouldn't be as much of an issue for it as for Ivan. The Manhuntress was deployed because of the same logic. I had a vague plan of sending my infantry between the buildings and swinging my jacks through the center and flanking with them. The MechThralls were going to come through the buildings, and I was reasonably sure the Banes would too. The Biles would all but have to go wherever my infantry was as they'd be ineffective against jacks. Since we'd rolled up the "hold the center line" scenario I didn't have to worry about objectives, so I would just advance everything forward, put stuff in the zone, and trust in my armor to keep me there while my axes swept the zone clear.
The first turn went as usual. EV ran everything. I ran most of my stuff, pausing only to put Iron Flesh on the Winter Guard and take a speculative shot with Ivan at one of the bonejacks, which was just out of range. The only somewhat tactical move I made was to send a Doomie on the extreme right flank to contest the alley. If anything wanted to come around the side of the building it'd either have to kill the Reaver first or suffer Weaponmaster Free Strikes.
I had learned a bunch of lessons about using the Doomies before painting them, mostly about Spell Ward and how to make best use of it. When EV started arcing sprays into them, I realized I had forgotten all of those lessons.
|Reminder the first.|
|Reminder the second.|
|I guess they got extra movement out of the charge.|
|Cryx turn two.|
|Ivan shows his worth once again.|
|Doomies do some reaving.|
|Can you spot my mistake here?|
|Khador turn two.|
As anticipated, EV started off with the Biles. He may or may not have anticipated the Counter Charge that took down one of the Biles.
|Man's best friend indeed.|
|Ah, Purge, how I hate thee.|
|Love those arced sprays.|
|One swing, one hit, one redead corpse.|
|That is one tough Reaver.|
I managed to forget that the Cankerworm attacked the Kodiak. It didn't do much damage, which is why it slipped the mind. Turns out EV had been playing it wrong and its Armor Piercing attack precludes other attacks, or at least other initial attacks. This makes it significantly less threatening.
|Cryx turn three.|
|Sprays are so much nicer when you're rolling the dice.|
|These guys just love to kill.|
|Who's a good dog? You are, yes you are, such a good dog.|
|A full throttling.|
|Khador turn three.|
The Withershadow kicked things off by kicking the Kodiak. They did a good job, but not quite good enough, and the Kodiak managed to avoid becoming a dirty Cryx jack.
|Note that this includes the Cankerworm attack as well.|
|Have I mentioned how much I don't like Purge?|
Back to the action at hand, the surviving Bane did a bit of damage to Ivan but nothing significant.
|Ivan takes one on the chin.|
|A Doomie meets his doom.|
|Cryx turn four.|
|An ignoble end for a proud son of Khador.|
|The Manhuntress gets the job done.|
|Khador turn four.|
EV started off by sending the Carnkerworm in against the War Dog, which is when the whole Counter Charge thing came up. I had expected the jack to be a player in the assassination run, but EV reminded me that the Kodiak had all but crippled the jack, which was lacking its cortex (among other systems). The Dog failed its Tough roll and finally succumbed. Next Denny came in, popping her feat and Parasiting Orsus on the way. She blew her load and did some damage, but not enough to fell the stout Khadoran. EV folded here as his caster was within easy reach of the Butcher and out of tricks.
|End of game.|
War Dog aside, this was still not an entirely satisfying game. I made a couple blunders that generally led to big Purges. I also forgot how to play the Doomies for the first turn or two, which led to the easy loss of half the squad. The Koldun Lord was a total loss.
On the plus side, the Manhuntress did herself proud and survived to the end of the game, a very rare combination. The Doomies showed why they're such a wonderful unit in their return to the table. The Winter Guard cleared out a lot of stuff in the center despite acting like idiots and standing around waiting for Purges. My jacks did well in spots, but were underwhelming in others. Perhaps I should scale back to one and work on getting 100% out of it before moving back to a pair. Of course I could say that about most of my list. At least I have plenty of room for improvement. Now to watch my pathetic Redskins get plastered by a team that knows how to play the game...