|Show me "Playing like you've got a pair."|
35+6 points, 31 models
Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast +6 points
* Deathjack 12 points
* Seether 9 points
10 Bane Thralls 8 points
6 Bile Thralls 5 points
10 Mechanithralls 5 points
* 2 Brute Thralls 2 points
Still a solid core of infantry, but the usual magic support of Withershadow/Skarlock/arc nodes is notably absent. I've seen what Bane Thralls can do with Black Spot, albeit from a distance while I was playing a game at the FLGS, so I was none too excited about facing them down. eSkarre looks like quite the toolbox in general, and the Deathjack is no slouch (despite performances to the contrary), so I figure I'm in for a tough battle. We roll up Mosh Pit for a scenario, further foreshadowing what is bound to be a real slobber-knocker. Terrain is set up in the usual manner, then I take the unusual approach by deciding to go first when I win the roll that gives me that option. This has the unfortunate side effect of negating my beloved refused flank deployment scheme, to say nothing of the scenario that demands models in the center of the table, so I dump my models in the middle. The Swordsmen go on the side without the woods since they don't have Pathfinder and I have no way of giving it to them. I plan to Slipstream Thagrosh to the front of the ruins in turn one. Beyond that I have no real plan besides trying to win. EV counters with his usual setup, though the Seether replaces the usual magical support in the middle.
We all know how these go. I put up Draconic Blessing on the Swordsmen, Fog of War, a smattering of Spiny Growths, and finish up by pulling some Fury with the Forsaken. EV has the Deathjack cast Death Ward on itself, which I didn't realize it could do, and otherwise advances.
The real action starts with a whimper. The unpainted Carnivean is well out of charge range, so I move it forward a bit and spray the Banes, barely clipping one. I boost because why not, I've got the room for the Fury, and kill the one. Then, Spiny Growth. I also try to stay far enough back in the woods to nullify any charges from the Banes or the Seether.
|Eyeless Sight + Sprays = Far Too Much Fun|
On the left, I have decided to fling the painted Carnivean forward to do some murder. As with all good things, this starts with a Slipstream. That Slipstream is followed by a Strafe, which dings the Deathjack while also killing a MechThrall and a Brute Thrall.
|Love that Seraph.|
The subsequent Carnivean charge is less glorious than anticipated. I do some damage to DJ, but nothing like what I had expected. Even the Assault-fueled spray does little. As a final cherry, I have forgotten to put up Spiny Growth and Thagrosh is well out of range to do so himself. The Swordsmen move to the center to allow Thagrosh room to maneuver, the Forsaken on the right eats some more Fury, and that's about it.
|Legion turn two.|
EV begins his turn with the good (for him) stuff. DJ eats the Carnivean without too much effort, which is a bit unsettling. Granted DJ is a lock to show up on "top 3 jacks in the game" lists, often at the top, but the relative ease with which it dispatches my Carnivean (which admittedly does not have Spiny Growth up), which is not some paper tiger that folds under the first stiff breeze, makes me wonder how the rest of the game will go. At least DJ doesn't get to heal since my Carnivean has no soul.
|Unfortunate, but not unexpected.|
The rest of his turn is uneventful. Stuff moves forward, the Seether gets Admonition, and otherwise the second turn could have been a first turn.
|Cryx turn two.|
While EV was finishing his turn I was busy hatching a master plan to get revenge on the Deathjack. It seemed more than a little foolhardy, but I thought it had a good chance to succeed. Plus it would be entertaining. It began, as all good things do, with a Slipstream, the Seraph carrying Thagrosh over some walls and into a charge lane. Because Seraphs are awesome, I also go to shoot after Slipstreaming. Even better, I got d3+1 shots from said Seraph (which is awesome), and ended up with the max. A few die rolls later, four Bile Thralls went from undead to redead.
|What else to say? Awesome.|
Sweet revenge is a thing to be savored, so I turned my attention to the center of the table. I wanted to drop a Blight
|They kill stuff good.|
|Why can't this ability just be called Blight Bomb?|
|Putting the death in Deathjack.|
Back to the right (I do more jump cuts than a kung fu movie). The Carnivean charged the Seether, Pathfinding like a boss the whole way, only to get roosterblocked by Admonition. The cowardly Seether shuffled out of range and took my spray with it, turning what would have been a glorious Bane covering spray into a pitiful thing that just barely missed Skarre. I was inclined to leave the Bane (played in the below shot by the red bear) alive to gum up the charge lane for the Seether, but EV pointed out that he had moved in a straight line with Admonition and was not impeded by the Bane and thus by the laws of logic would be able to charge back in along the same path whether the Bane was there or not. As such, the Bane died (again) in a quick and chompy manner. Spiny Growth happened.
|Admonition is lame. Unless/until I get to use it.|
About the reappearing Carnivean: there were still two Bile Thralls floating around, and they were spaced in such a manner that I could (perhaps) engage them both with the Carnivean, but it seemed equally likely that by trying to do so I would end up engaging neither one, so I decided to definitely get one and leave the other relatively alone. The Carni also put up Spiny Growth on itself and Thagrosh, who was camping a Fury in anticipation of the blow that was surely about to fall. The rear-most Forsaken ate some Fury off the unpainted Carnivean, while being careful to not get too close to the fearful Shepherd, and my turn was done.
|Legion turn three.|
Cad that he is, EV charged the Seether straight into the unpainted Carnivean. Since it is nigh-impossible to miss a DEF 11 beast, he got the chain attack off after doing a bit of damage and chucked the Carni into my line of infantry. The Carni squished a Forsaken and a Swordsman, while also taking some damage, but in the end the throw saved the Carni from further jack-based attacks and was overall, I think, a Good Thing.
|Ouch, but could have been worse.|
Then the inevitable MechThrall charge. They munched up a Swordsman and put a large dent in the Carnivean.
|McCharge: I'm not lovin' it.|
|Couldn't have happened to nicer models.|
Returning to the center, the inevitable Bane charge. This was much less spectacular than anticipated, due in large part to only a single model getting into melee range and (I imagine) the lack of Black Spot. The lone Bane took another chunk out of the Carni, leaving it with three boxes and two crippled aspects, but still alive. The rest of the unit just hung out in the woods, having a picnic or somesuch.
|Close, but no cigar.|
|Cryx turn three.|
Know what the best way to tell that I'm fully engaged with a game is? Complete lack of detail shots. Kicking off my turn was the Shepherd who healed the Carni just enough to restore all its aspects. Said Carni then shuffled up a bit and sprayed across a handful of Banes and Skarre. The Banes died, and Skarre may have taken a point or two as well. Spiny Growth before its activation was over. The Swordsmen cleaned up the MechThralls. I tried to bait EV into blowing Admonition by Slipstreaming the other Carnivean up, but he didn't take the bait. Come to think of it, this probably happened before the spray. Either way, the Seraph got in about 10 points of damage on Skarre with a nice Strafe. The painted Carnivean probably sprayed Skarre as well, but again didn't do much notable damage if any at all. I considered trying to get Thagrosh in amongst the Banes via Mutagenesis, but decided it would have left him far too exposed. I thought my position was strong enough to wait another turn before trying for the assassination. To that end, the remaining Forsaken filled up on Fury in anticipation of a Blight
|Legion turn four.|
|Not even her Great Rack could seal the deal.|
|Cryx turn four.|
Getting straight to the point, I started with Thagrosh. I wanted to lob an Obliteration at the Bane between Skarre and the Seether and almost fudged things up real good by not getting close enough to see through the Bane's Stealth, but I caught that in time to move Thagrosh up. Despite boosting the attack roll. I missed with the spell. (To be fair, the Bane was in melee and therefore DEF 16, but with Thagrosh being Fury 7 getting a 9 on three dice didn't seem like too much to ask for.) As a pleasant side-effect of getting close enough to see the Bane, the Obliteration couldn't scatter far enough to miss Skarre. The Bane died, the Seether and Carnivean didn't. After a boosted damage roll, Skarre was finished.
|Good morning, good afternoon, and good night Skarre.|
I know I've said this before, but I'm really liking how Legion plays. Perhaps I should revise that to "I'm really enjoying how the Seraph plays." I'd be happy with a simple Slipstream caddy, so getting the multiple shots with Strafe is a bonus. It has a decent POW and range, plus the Seraph isn't so Fury hungry that I have to make a hard choice between boosting Strafe shots and doing other things. The Carniveans make great payloads, but I think I could swap them out for Scytheans (one of them at least, want to have Spiny Growth around) without really losing much. Of course I could also upgrade one to Typhon, but that will have to wait a little while.
Most of all, I like getting to play with a lot of heavies. That sort of style just isn't viable in Warmachine, outside of a few jack-friendly casters, which is a real shame since it's the jacks/beasts that give the system its particular flavor. Infantry is nice and all, but it should be support for the big boys, not the other way around. The game is called Warmachine after all, not Warinfantry. An unexpected bonus of being able to run beast-heavy is that I'm running less infantry, which means the Bile Thralls are less of a concern. Since the Swordsmen (or Archers, depending on the list) are there as support and not as the heavy lifters, I can both run them at the back of my force and not be too worried if I lose them. The beasts won't care much about a Purge, and it's an annoyance at best on a caster. Without worrying about a Purge or two caving in the center of my army, Cryx infantry is less intimidating as a whole. This is a very pleasant discovery indeed. Will it cause a shift in our "meta?" Perhaps, though I imagine it will be less of a move towards jacks/beasts than a move away from Bile Thralls.
I'm two for two on posting a battle report on the same day as the game now. Might be a good idea to check Hell and see if it looks icy.