Sunday, September 25, 2016

Battle Report 16: Krueger and the Raptor vs. Reznik 1

I've long held off proxying this model for fear that it's never going to be released. With the recent official model pictures coming in the last month, the upcoming December release date, and the near certainty that it's going to be at Warmachine Weekend in November (anyone want to get me one of these while you're there??), I've decided to start fitting it into my lists. I got into this game to paint cool looking models, and holy crap if this isn't the most beautiful thing Privateer Press has ever come out with.

Unfortunately, today it's being proxied by my Woldwrath. Le sigh.

I've also been waiting to play Kreuger 1 until the Raptor came out, since I don't really like him in the current meta. After today, that might be changing.

Krueger 1
-Storm Raptor

Alten Ashley
Lanyssa Ryssyl

Sentry Stone x2
Swamp Gobbers Bellow Crew

My opponent was running the same Reznik list, which was:

-Scourge of Heresy

Avatar of Menoth

Choir (min)
Daughters of the Flame
Exemplar Errants and CA

We rolled a random Scenario and got Outflank. I once again rolled higher and chose to go first. With a Speed SEVEN Gargantuan, why would you not want to get up the field quickly?

I deployed pretty centrally, with the idea that everything in this list is really fast and can get to either zone if it starts to collapse. Eventually, my opponent is going to have to bunch up his Errants to get into one of the zones, and Krueger will murder them with his feat.

My opponent deploys similarly to last game, which is a much better play on this Scenario. I don't really have the resources to go out to the edges hunting his models until the game is pretty far advanced, and then only if I'm up significantly.

Circle turn 1:

Stuff runs. Krueger casts Skyward on himself to get faster, and Lightning Tendrils on the Feral since he's the only beast I have without 2" reach on his weapons.

Not that it mattered against this particular matchup, but being able to screen off half my army with a piece of terrain and a speed 7 huge base felt pretty awesome.

Menoth turn 1:

He spreads his Daughters out in the left zone, and Nicia goes really deep into it as well. His Zealots move up aggressively, and in a surprise move he runs full speed ahead with the Avatar, intending to bait out the Raptor with Gaze of Menoth.

Ignite goes onto Scourge of Heresy, and the rest of his battlegroup runs up behind. Choir gives them all the "can't target me with non-magic attacks" song.

Circle turn 2:

I do some pre-measuring and realize that the Avatar is within 11 inches of my Feral.

First thing that happens is the Raptor moves over into the zone, getting half an inch closer to the Avatar to satisfy Gaze. He puts a boosted shot into a Daughter, frying one with an eLeap. He then buys and boosts a shot into another one, frying the other 3 with eLeaps.

The Mannikins in the painted unit charge the Avatar (really dumb in hindsight) and do 2 points.

Lanyssa forces a self-sac with an Ice Bolt on an Errant, and the right unit of Sentry Stones sprays a few more down.

Krueger puts Primal on the Feral, casts Skyward, and walks over to the wall.

The Feral warps Strength, charges the Avatar, and puts him down.

Ghetorix moves up behind him for the inevitable counter-punch.

I forgot to run Hutchuk before I took the picture, he ended up behind Ghetorix.

Menoth turn 2:

My opponent rolls some pretty hot dice this turn.

The choir sings Battle on all the jacks. Reznik gets Brand of Heresy onto the Storm Raptor.

His Flamethrower jack aims, sprays, and does about 6 damage.

His Revenger charges in and does another 25 between 2 attacks. Some of the most amazing damage rolls I've ever seen in a row. Nicia charges in, does 6 on her charge attack, and then dies on her second attack from plasma nimbus.

Scourge charges in with Ignite and Battle, killing the Feral in 2 hits.

The Errants bunch into the zone, murdering Mannikins everwhere.

Circle turn 3:

I have a great plan this turn, but I do things slightly out of order.

Gobbers get out of the way. Hutchuk Rusts the Sentry Stone in front of Scourge, catching both, and then charges Scourge in the back arc, doing 8 damage.

Each Sentry Stone spawns a Mannikin, which charges Scourge and do another 5 or so each. (Rust is awesome).

The Storm Raptor throws the Revenger at Scourge, knocking him down. I should have done this first so I could get Rust on both of them.

Krueger walks into the right zone with Skyward up, casts Sky Fire, and pops his feat, vaporizing all but two Errants. He then shoots one of the two remaining, and kills both thanks to an eLeap.

Ghetorix walks up behind he Revenger and murders Scourge, but fails to kill the Revenger by 2 boxes.

I get 3 points.

Score 3-0
Advantage Circle

Menoth turn 3:

My opponent goes into the tank for a bit, checks the distance from his jack to Kreuger, and then says something like "I think I can kill you this turn."

He proceeds to explain that he has Perdition and can get the Crusador onto Krueger, whose only transfer target is the Storm Raptor sitting on 20 boxes. 

The Choir sings Battle, and the spray jack moves into the zone and does 9 more damage to the Raptor. 

Reznik moves up, boosts the Perdition at a Mannikin, hits, and then rolls snake eyes for damage, not damaging the little stick guy. We rolled it out if that had worked, and Krueger survives thanks to his DEF 17 under Skyward but I was seriously worried there for a sec. 

The Crusader charges Hutchuk and kills both him and the Mannikin that Reznik tried to Perdition

Circle turn 4:

Krueger aims, heals the Raptor for 1, and puts up Sky Fire. He shoots the Crusador and does 7 or 8 damage to it. 

The Raptor aims, and puts two fully boosted POW 16 shots into the jack thanks to Sky Fire, doing enough damage to cripple its movement and leave it on less than ten boxes. 

The painted Sentry Stone unit kills the Revenger so Ghetorix can move unimpeded, and he walks up to the Crusador and puts him down. 

I get two more points for dominating the zone, giving me the win. 

Victory for the Druids!

Post Game Thoughts:

I really like the Storm Raptor. Admittedly, this is the first date, so everything seems great, but the fact that everything seems great is a very promising sign.

His animus, Sky Fire, is just nutty with Kreuger 1's feat, and all the eLeaps flying around make me feel like I'm playing Cygnar again. Further testing is required, but I'm definitely picking up that model as soon as I can (seriously, anyone going to Warmachine Weekend want to give me one??)

That was an incredibly close game at the end, I didn't see that assassination opening, and it could very realistically have worked. It wasn't great odds, but it was somewhere in the 30% range, which is pretty awesome given the circumstances. Props to my opponent for sucking every last drop out of this game. 

Battle Report 15: Tanith vs. Reznik 1

High Executioner Servath Reznik - a name only slightly less heavy metal than his second form, Servath Reznik, Wrath of Ages - is one of my more favorite Protectorate Warcasters. He's just a total boss running around with a giant sword and slaughtering the heretics. Simple, clean, easy to understand.

As I've mentioned before, my immediately local meta is very new, and I'm running a journeyman league right now that has generated a fair bit of excitement for the game. Six players is a big improvement over none, and I've been ecstatic to see them get better and better at the game.

One of the guys has been venturing into the 75 point game realm ahead of schedule, and we got in three highly enjoyable games. He is practicing 75 points with the hopes of ironing out where his JML list will ultimately end up, and he's grown unhappy with the options his battlebox caster gives him. Tonight, he dropped the Executioner into me for practice, two games of which I took pictures for.

We rolled for which of the 8 casters I had with me would get thrown down, and it landed on Tanith.

I've got a list for Tanith to practice for the upcoming i5 event already anyway, so I put that down without much hesitation. It's also only 7 points off from where my JML list will end up, and that was a nice perk. The JML version will have Tanith's Scarsfell be an Argus instead, and possibly play a Blackclad over Lanyssa.


-Scarsfell x2

Wrong Eye


Sentry Stones x2
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobbers Bellow Crew
Fuel Cache

And he played:

-Scourge of Heresy

Avatar of Menoth

Choir (min)
Daughters of the Flame
Exemplar Errants and CA

I had him look through the Steamroller Packet and pick a Scenario, and he opted for Recon, which is one of, if not actually, my favorite of the Scenarios.

I won the roll off and opted for first. I'm not playing Haley 2 or Wurmwood, and so my game plan isn't quite as tied to Scenario. I also really want to get up the field with this list as the threat projection it brings is really quite remarkable.

We talked about deployment after this picture was taken, agreeing that it would have been better to have his Errants in the middle as the flags aren't controllable (which he hadn't realized). I offered to let him re-deploy, but he wanted to see how it played out, an attitude which I applaud.

Circle turn 1:

My Fuel Cache made a cloud to the left since apparently Errants no longer have hunter, and he didn't have any other appreciable shooting to try and hide from.

Each Sentry Stone got a couple fury and popped up. Tanith put Scything Touch on the Stalker and Admonition on the Pureblood, and then charged up.

Griffons ran, Una cast Guardian Beast, and Wrong Eye and Snapjaw each cast Submerge and charged at Errants.

Menoth turn 1:

His Daughters run and jam my Mannikins, which is absolutely the right play there. Jamming Mannikins is a much better strategy than killing them, unless you can kill all three. Even then, it might be better to just engage them and force them to attack in melee. Unfortunately, he didn't quite have the distance to engage the third one.

His Errants ran at me after Reznik put Ignite on them, and the Avatar popped Gaze of Menoth and ran, catching the Golden Scarsfell.

His two other heavies ran 10, which we found out a turn later is illegal since they're only speed four (whoops!), and his lights also came up on the side, creating "Fort Reznik". The choir ran up behind.

Circle turn 2:

Tanith and Una both upkept spells. I was able to aim with one Mannikin on the left, and I rolled two more fury onto the Sentry. Between the aimed spray, one Mannikin freeing the other one up, and another boosted Spray, four of the Daughters died.

The Grey Scarsfell walked up and threw the other Daughter camping on the flag into Nicia, killing the Daughter and Knocking Nicia down. He then cast Dodge on himself.

On the right, Mannikins sprayed down Errants. I think my opponent used self-sacrifice a few too many times, letting me keep attacking on model and killing more than I would have been able to otherwise. I think using self-sac well is probably one of the most difficult, situational things to learn in Menoth.

The Blue Griffon walked up and failed to throw the Revenger (arc node?) backwards, so he just cast Dodge and sat there. The Stalker warped Prowl again, walked up, killed the one remaining Errant, and cast Lightning Strike to get back into the cloud. The Yellow Griffon cast Dodge and moved up.

Snapjaw got around the wall and cast Submerge, and then Wrong Eye moved up and cast both Submerge and Star Crossed. 

Lanyssa, who wouldn't be doing much this game since Reznik has Witch Hunter, cast Ice Bolt at an Errant and killed it.

The Pureblood moved up and sprayed the now knocked down Nicia to death.

Tanith moved up and dropped some fury, as did Una.

Menoth turn 2:

My opponent went into the tank for a bit, and then used the Avatar (rolled four focus every turn with that guy) to move over out of Star Crossed and kill the Blue Griffon.

The lone Daughter ran behind the Pureblood, who triggered Admonition and moved away, just over 8 inches from his Crusader. I'd forgotten to choose his warp the turn earlier, so I defaulted to Strength as the most fair of them. (The Pureblood's facing is exactly opposite of how it looks in the pic, the tail just couldn't fit in with correct facing.)

Errants swarmed the Golden Griffon, ringing it with dudes so it couldn't dodge. He actually connected with a Star Crossed 8 and did 14 points of damage to it, rolling a crit as well and lighting him on fire thanks to Ignite.

His heavies came in, daring my Stalker to go for them with the Avatar so close behind. The flamethrower light jack moved up and tried to kill the Sentry Stone, but didn't quite do it.

Circle turn 3:

I saw an Assassination run at the beginning of my turn, but wasn't sure how I liked my odds. It involved a Griffon throwing a light with a higher Strength than himself, and that hadn't worked the turn before. Since it only really involved two models and Tanith's spells, I decided to play out the rest of the turn and come back to it.

I started things off with Snapjaw charging in and taking a massive free-strike, also getting lit on fire thanks to a crit and Ignite, and then killing three Errants. Wrong Eye cast both Star Crossed and Submerge again.

Una moved up, healed the Golden Griffon for a bit, and then shot one more Errant off of her beast.

The Griffon activated and murdered the last two Errants.

My Stalker moved in and killed the Revenger, using the objective as a backdrop to keep from getting pushed away (man Repel is a good rule), and then Sprinted back to the Stones, who teleported him over behind the wall.

The Grey Griffon moved up and threw the Flamethrower jack into Reznik.

I measured the Pureblood's charge lane twice or three times to ensure he wouldn't take free strikes. The painted Sentry unit activated and moved out of the way. Tanith used her Feat, casting Scything Touch and Primal on the Pureblood.

The Gobbers grew a cloud in front of Tanith in case the Pureblood flubbed up.

The Pureblood assaulted in at essentially PS 20, and at dice +3 put Reznik down through a couple of focus.

Victory for the Druids!

Post Game Thoughts:

The more I play this list, the more I love it. There are so many angles of attack every game, whether from fast, hard hitting lights, or tons of power attacks, and it's so hard to keep it contained. 

Star Crossed with DEF 14 and 15 beasts is really excellent, I undervalued it for the first few months of mark 3, but now that I'm playing with it more, I'm really understanding how good it can be with proper positioning. 

My opponent played a really solid game too, I'm very proud of the progress he's made in the last couple of weeks as he's been getting more games in. Had this Assassination run not gone as planned, I would have had to sacrifice the Pureblood to kill one of his heavies, leaving 2 more for the Stalker to clean up. That's not a position I like to be in. Next game, he sees an Assassination angle that I don't and things get interesting....*cue dramatic music* 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Battle Report 14: Tanith vs. Wurmwood

Image result for wurmwood, tree of fate

Ah Wurmwood, how I love thee. Well, how I love to play thee. How do I love to play against thee? Well...not so much turns out! 

Civil War time, Tanith vs. Wurmwood!


-Scarsfell x2

Wrong Eye


Sentry Stone x2
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobbers Bellow Crew


-Argus Moonhound


Reeves of Orboros and CA
Farrow Brigands and CA
Sentry Stones x2
Shifting Stones x2

We were playing Outflank, and I won the roll off. Normally, I like to go second on this Scenario, but against Wurmwood you *have* to go first if you can. He's at his least potent turn 1 when he only has a guaranteed 7 fury, and you cannot let him dictate where he gets to be. 

I deployed pretty central, Una and her pair of Scarsfell's on one side, and Wrong Eye and Snapjaw anchoring the other. I felt pretty good about this particular Wurmwood list into me since he has so much shooting and only one way to ignore Stealth. I have the benefit of being able to trade my heavies 1 for 1 here and still come out ahead which is a big deal, and my Scarsfells will shred his Sentry Stones before they get to do too much work. 

He deployed his Brigands on my right and Reeves on my left. Prey went on my Stalker.

Circle Turn 1:

I run up the field as fast as possible. I'm trying to bait out a turn 1 feat here, and with the speed of my Griffons and the threat of my Stalker with all the buffs Tanith can put on him, I think he will. His models will need at least a turn of free set up before they can do anything, and so I'm happy to be very aggressive. 

Tanith does her usual thing when I play this list, Admonition on the Pureblood, Scything Touch on the Stalker, and then charge. 

Una sticks Guardian Beast up and advances. 

Pureblood warps Spell Ward and goes left, Stalker warps Prowl and goes into a cloud, praying it doesn't go out. 

He's deployed his important models behind that forest, so there's no point in doing the Sentry Stone trick. Snapjaw and Wrong Eye both cast Submerge and charge up. Griffons screech up the field. 

Other Circle...errr...Wurmwood turn 1:

He advances cautiously. Cassius runs up, Sentries spray stuff, and Wurmwood throws a Hellmouth at the forward Griffon, yanking models into it and killing a bunch of Mannikins. I can tell he wants to boost damage on the Griffon, but he can't do that and get Cassius back, and if Cassius dies this early I win. 

He casts Dark Path to yank Cassius back, and then pops feat to blunt my advance. 

Tanith turn 2:

I see an opportunity to kill both of his Sentry Stones this turn, and I decide to go for it. Tanith upkeeps her spells, Una upkeeps Guardian Beast

I have to do some work with my own Sentry Stones to get the landing zones for my Griffons, but they succeed in spraying down their targets. 

The glorious Golden Scarsfell on the left charges in and....doesn't even scratch the stone. Not one damage. Le sigh. He uses his last fury to cast Dodge. (note, the proxy base is where he is, not where his model is).

The drab, boring, uninteresting Scarsfell on the right charges in and murders his target with a fury to spare, so he casts Dodge. 

Snapjaw casts Submerge and taunts the Brigands by parking outside their charge range by .01 inches. He also riles for a bunch, and Wrong Eye casts both Submerge and Star Crossed. 

The Blue Griffon goes and gets cover, and the rest of my models durdle up. 

Wurmwood turn 2:

Okay this was a solid week ago, so some details are fuzzy. The Argus moves up and barks away my Stealth, and the Reeves double-tap a Sentry Stone to death. Both Griffons get murdered sadly. Critically, my opponent doesn't move a Reeve into the left zone. 

Brigands move up and shoot at the right stone but don't kill it. 

I get one point. 

Score 1-0
Advantage Circle...err...Tanith. Yeah the good guys. Them.

Tanith turn 3:

Well I wasn't expecting a control point, so that's a nice surprise. I see a good way to cripple that side of the table pretty permanently too, and ideally the Argus is going to die this turn. 

I'm also looking at a reasonably likely way for Snapjaw to get into his Stalker and start pounding on him. 

Tanith activates, pops her feat, and gets Affliction up on the Reeves. 

With a demonic smile on my face, my Pureblood and Sentry Stone Mannikins spray down all but a couple members of the unit, and also clear a way for Snapjaw to get to the Stalker. 

The Stalker goes into the Argus and...fails to kill it. Le Sigh. Una moves up and shoots him down. 

Wrong Eye moves up, casting Submerge and Star Crossed. 

Snapjaw charges the Stalker, doing decent damage. 

Tanith gets teleported into the rubble, and the Gorax follows her. 

I get another point. 

Score 2-0
Advantage Tanith

Wurmwood turn 3:

Well Star-Crossed is a thing, and the Stalker isn't able to take down Snapjaw, meaning the Feral has to go in as well after the Brigands ALSO fail to kill it and/or Wrong Eye. 

He contests the left zone with a couple of Reeves. 

Score 2-0
Advantage Tanith

Tanith turn 4:

I have a Stalker with a clear charge onto Wurmwood, who is camping 2. I pile on the buffs, but the dice rolls are incredibly bad, and Wurmwood survives. 
I clear and dominate the left zone again and start throwing things at the other side of the table in desperation because I know an Assassination run is coming. 

Score 4-0
Advantage Tanith

Wurmwood turn 4:

He can't actually get anything to Tanith except Wurmwood, so he ports over and tries to spell Assassinate her and fails, allowing me to dominate for 2 more points and the win. 

Score 6-0
Victory for the Druids!

Post Game Thoughts:

I think that if this is the direction Wurmwood starts trending, Tanith is going to be a very solid drop into him. The massive amounts of Stealth added together with a Heavy that can't be shot at at all are going to give the list fits, and the sheer speed of the Griffons is going to force some pretty early and inopportune feats. I'm looking forward to trying this matchup again for sure though, Wurmwood is a scary, scary thing to face down. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Scenario 4: The PIt

The Pit is the very epitome of a live Scenario. The second player has a fantastic opportunity to score 2 points on their turn two, protect their flag to score a third on their opponents third turn, and then try and clear the zone again to score 2 more points for the win.

The burden on this Scenario usually rests on the first player. What they do and don't do turns 1 and 2 will decide if player 2 gets an easy win, or if it's actually a game.

Going First or Second:

You should go first on The Pit if:
- You get forced to.
- You want to be the one under pressure not to lose the game.
- You want an uphill fight.

You should go second on The Pit if:
- None of the above conditions apply.

Game Plan for Going First:

You're under pressure from deployment here. If your opponent has deployed correctly, they've placed their warcaster within 8 inches of that flag, which means that on their second turn, they're dominating it and getting a point unless you do something really unusual.

This would have been a really easy think to manage in mark II with all the infantry running around like crazy, and in fact infantry heavy lists that go first do have a good shot at denying the scenario here by just having a couple units of infantry scream up the field as fast as they can.

Turn 1, you need to run towards his flag with as much stuff as you have. You're going to contest it turn 2 with models that you don't mind losing since he'll put the majority of his/her firepower there to clear it out and dominate that flag. What you CANNOT do is let them have an easy way to clear the zone as well.

I would get your heavies in a position to just barely be contesting the zone at opposite sides so that taking them both out is extremely unlikely. You have to live with the unfortunate reality that your opponent probably starts this game with a 1-0 lead on you if they play correctly and their dice don't betray them.

Turn 2, make him commit models to the flag in order to clear it. If you can tie up the majority of his army here, you can actually try and sneak out a Scenario win yourself by dominating your own flag, which I highly recommend doing this turn as well. There's a chance they won't contest your flag, and that will give you a ridiculously huge advantage in this game.

Park your heavies or other solid, zone-holding models (guys with lots of ARM/boxes) on extreme sides of the zone so that clearing it isn't easy.

As always, this is going to be harder against Haley 2 etc. because her feat will allow her to clear her flag and then dominate it for (likely) two turns in a row, while at the same time neutering most of your threats. From center to center, the flags are 20 inches apart, and Haley's control area will usually be 18 inches with the Squire.

Game Plan for Going Second:

The game is yours for the taking if you go second. This is a Scenario that puts incredible pressure on your opponent. and all you have to do is score points and wait for them to come to you.

Well....that's not strictly true. You have to contest their flag too.

Turn 1, get your models up the field, and dance outside your opponents charge ranges if you can. Make sure your warcaster/warlock is within walking distance of the flag.

Turn 2, clear your flag and score! If you can clear the zone, do that too! If you have a control feat, and sometimes even if you don't, it might be better to use your heavies to throw their heavies out of the zone, or slam them if that's an option. Getting 2 points on your second turn under Haley 2 or Wurmwood or Baldur 1 or any caster with a good control feat means that you're likely going to get 1 more next turn, and then have a reasonably likely shot at getting 2 more the following turn.

Make sure your Warcaster/Warlock doesn't get killed, that's your opponents best strategy here.

Contest their flag, and have a steady stream of models in run range to contest in the following turns.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Scenario 3: Take and Hold

The sequel to Line Breaker, and a much more boring Scenario in my opinion. The only way to make this Scenario particularly live is to have a ton of LOS blocking terrain between the two flags, and even that isn't going to help much since the line between the center of both flags is only 13.4 inches.

Going first on this Scenario is almost always the correct play, with notable exceptions being the ever present Haley 2 and Wurmwood, who can actually camp that flag turn 2 and expect to hold it for 3 control points in a row fairly easily thanks to their feats. 

Going first allows you to keep your opponent off their flag pretty easily by presenting some significant threats across from it (heavies, big guns, etc) and also to wait out the second players second turn, and then clear off models from your flag and start dominating it. 


If you've not played with the killbox rule much, here it is in a nutshell - if, on your second turn or later, your warlock/warcaster doesn't have at least part of their base farther than 14 inches from any table edge, your opponent gets two control points. If you do this, you will usually loose as the other player can afford to sacrifice massive amounts of their army to take over flags and grind out the other three points they need to win.

Fortunately, the front of your warcaster's or warlock's base just needs to be 14.01 inches away from the back of the board, so getting out of the killbox is pretty easy. 

Be aware that this advice isn't going to work against a Warcaster like Sloan, who can happily sit back and shoot your army to death. If you're playing against Sloan, be ready to sacrifice models in order to win on Scenario.

Going First or Second:

Going first in Take and Hold is a good idea if:
- There isn't a central, Line of Sight blocking terrain feature making it difficult to contest one of the flags.
- You have a fast list that can swarm the flags and prevent your opponent from contesting yours by sheer weight of bodies. 

Going second in Take and Hold is a good idea if:
- There is a central, Line of Sight blocking terrain feature that you can use to make a scenario play. 
- Your list needs to counter-deploy against theirs in order to not horrendously lose the piece trade war. 
- You're playing a caster like Wurmwood or Haley 2 and can take your flag and protect it for many turns in a row. 

Game Plan for Going First:

I'd deploy some fairly dangerous models across from your opponents' flag, and your warcaster/warlock across from your flag. Your plan is to force your opponents' army away from their flag while giving yourself the option to score if they only contest lightly. Warcasters like Butcher 3 and Warlocks like Kromac 2 are fantastic for this Scenario since they can afford to sit out on their flag fairly unprotected and expect to survive. 

Turn 1, run your models up and get your spells up. You can play fairly aggressively here since you don't want your opponent moving too far up on their turn 1.

Turn 2, threaten the opponents flag, and make sure your Warcaster/warlock can walk to your flag on the following turn if the opportunity arises. 

If you have expendable dudes, contest your opponents flag at max range (4 inches from the flag) to force him to commit if he wants to dominate it. Behind those models, I would also recommend having your heavy hitters waiting to prey on their Warcaster if they try and move up to dominate. This will force their Warcaster/Warlock back, central, or both, giving you the tempo advantage. If they move too far away from their flag, look for ways to control it on turn 3. 

On turn 3, there are probably opportunities for you to cripple the majority of your opponents' list, dominate your flag, control your opponents' flag, or some combination of the three. First player determines the pace of this game most of the time, so take advantage of that. 

Game Plan for Going Second:

You get to see how your opponent deployed, which is one of the saving graces of going second on this Scenario. If there's a good piece of central terrain for you to abuse, and they don't deploy to aggressively threaten your flag, then playing for  Scenario is probably the best early-game plan you can have. 

If they deploy aggressively on your flag, consider deploying aggressively opposite theirs. If you have good threat ranges on your models, whether by having a lot of guns or a lot of threat extenders/fast models, this can be a very viable strategy. This will, as always, really depend on your opponents' list and your list, and I'm not going to cover all the intricacies of list choice in this article.

Turn 1, they've already probably screamed up the field. If you have a good way to deny LOS or slow down your opponents' army, this is the turn to use it to get up the field as far as you can. I would consider popping feats that prevent your opponent from moving much or attacking you, but it's almost always going to be better to wait until turn 2.

If you have really fast, AD jamming units like Daughters of the Flame, you could also consider sacrificing them to blunt your opponents' momentum.

Turn 1 boils down to blunting your opponents' turn 2 momentum as much as possible, while still preserving your own models.

Turn 2, if they have not contested/prepared a good counterpunch, or you have a way to negate such a counter-attack, I would highly recommend going for the dominate. The Witch Coven of Gharlghast's or Rask's Feat will protect most of your list from incoming charges and attacks, as will something like a cloud wall from Trenchers or Druids.

If you do not have such a tool, see if your opponent has overextended and try to capitalize on that. Maybe they didn't realize that you have access to a threat extender, and have positioned one of their heavies where you can get at it without too much fear of counter-attack.

I would still consider whether or not dominating your flag is worth the risk. High ARM feats like Stryker 1 or Lucant are perfect for that since forcing your opponent to commit to you on Feat turn is exactly what you want, and if they don't, you get free Scenario points!

Going second is a lot harder in this Scenario, and it forces you to react to your opponent much more than going first does.

Sample Table:

Ignore the deployed models, I'm just going to talk about the terrain and the flags' relative placement to them. 

This board actually could come down to a Scenario game with certain casters (Haley 2, Wurmwood, etc.) that can stall out the opponents' ability to contest easily thanks to spells and the forest in the center of the table. Both sides are going to have a fairly hard time getting to the others' flag, barring mass pathfinder, and as such the game is likely to be more interesting than a typical Take and Hold table will be. 

That being said, the flags are still ridiculously close together, and contesting will still be a lot easier than it would be on most Scenarios given that table layout. 

The only pieces of terrain that really matter on the table are the two forests and the trench in front of the close flag. The two forests prevent easy flanking and easy charges from the center, and the trench gives incoming models a safe place to hide for a turn before charging in to contest/attack. Even though the board is very terrain dense, the rest of the terrain won't have hardly any impact on the game, and that, I think, is why I don't like this Scenario as much as I enjoy others in the packet. 


This is, in my opinion, the most dead Scenario in the book as usually the game will come down to attrition or a surprise assassination, and rarely will a player be able to win on scenario without already having destroyed 90% of the opponents' list.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Scenario 2: Line Breaker

Ah Line Breaker, the Scenario that gets the absolute most hate out of the entire packet for being boring, "dead" and an "auto-win" for gunlines.

If, by the time you have finished reading this post, you want to go out and give this maligned Scenario a try, I have done something right.

I should start this with a disclaimer - if you are not going to be using 8 pieces of centrally placed terrain, Line Breaker really will be a boring, nightmarish, not fun scenario.

If, on the other hand, you use plenty of LOS blocking terrain in the middle of the board as you should be, this can be one of the most dynamic, strange games you will ever play.

Going First or Second:

I will almost always choose to go second on this Scenario. It's actually a far more live Scenario than the forums would have you believe.

Reasons to go first:
- You get to move up the table first.
- You're playing against Haley 3 and want to deny her the opportunity to do anything meaningful until after your second turn.
- You're playing Haley 3 and you need to get Future and Past Haley out as fast as possible so you can actually do things turn 2.

Reasons to go second:
- You get to pick the table edge most protected by terrain
- You get to score first (this one is a big deal).
- You get to counter-deploy to your opponents' deployment (this one is also a big deal).

Game Plan for Going Second:

Yes I'm doing this out of order. Understanding what the second player needs to do is crucial for the first player, plus the second player gets to control the game on this Scenario so writing about it is more fun!


Look at where your opponent deploys, and then skew REALLY hard opposite them, preferably protected by a central forest, building, or other LOS blocking terrain element.

Turn 1:

Run at the flag opposite your deployment. You need to cover 20" of space in 2 turns starting from your deployment line or 14" starting from your AD line in order to get to that flag turn 2.

If you have guns, preferably boostable guns, you need them up the field as well. Their job is to get that objective dead turn 2.

It's not a bad idea to leave a cheap solo hanging out in the backfield, all by themselves. This would preferably be something with Stealth, Incorporeal, or some other way of not getting blown up from range very easily. They will have one job - contest the flags on your side once your opponent realizes what you're doing.

Turn 2:

You need to score this turn. It doesn't matter if you took an alpha from a warjack or warbeast, kill it with what you have available, run a unit or solo to the flag you've chosen, and do your best to destroy that objective. Generally speaking, if you've deployed correctly and your opponent hasn't read this article, you won't have to clear much off of the flag and will be able to destroy it pretty easily. If you can get your warcaster to within walking distance of the flag for next turn, that's even better.

Put some damage on that objective, even if you don't blow it up, and get ready to kill it next turn.

You should be at 1-0 at this point.

Turn 3:

Your opponent has done one of three things now.

1) They've started running their dudes over to contest your flag.
2) They've sat back and shot at you.
3) They've made a beeline for the flags on your half of the table.

And you should respond with:

1) Kill what they've contested with, kill the objective, dominate the flag, going to 4-0.

2) Kill their objective, make sure they can't assassinate you, dominate the flag if possible. If they're sitting back and shooting at you, you've already won the game barring assassination.

3) This is what you want them to do. You've already got a lead, you can contest with your solo(s) that you've left behind for a turn, and if they abandon their second flag, you can get 4 points the following turn to close out the game fairly easily.

I've played games on this Scenario where the second player has won on the top of 3 on Scenario.

Game Plan for Going First:

If you play this Scenario passively, you will lose if your opponent knows how to play this Scenario and they don't give you free opportunities to assassinate their warcaster/warlock.

They're going to laser beam the models around the flag they've chosen to death and then win on Scenario a couple of turns later.

I'll go over what to do about a player that knows their way around this scenario, and if you run into someone who doesn't, follow the advice I've given for player 2, just starting on your second turn.

Turn 1:

You need to immediately run the bulk of your army to the side they've skewed to. It doesn't matter at this point whether or not you're set up to kill a ton of their models turn 2 or not, but denying them the scenario play is the most important thing you can do here. Also consider sending a small, self-contained module of models to their opposite flag, it should be relatively free. Good examples of this would be a lesser warlock/warbeast, an elite unite like Daughters of the Flame or Bloodweavers, or a fast unit that can re-engage with the main part of the table quickly like cavalry models.

Turn 2:

Alright, they should have done one of two things after you skewed really hard to the side.

1) Backed off and started to go around the terrain to your other flag.
2) Charged ahead full bore.

If they do:

1) This is a good thing for you, but don't let yourself get complacent. You now have to fight a hard attrition game to get through their models that are in your face and you also need to be careful not to let a solo or small unit get over to the less protected flag and start scoring.

Keep contesting the flag they've chosen and send your little module of flanking dudes deep if they've left their flags undefended. You might be able to score on their turn if you're lucky.

Stay fluid at this point, you cannot commit too hard to a part of the table with all of your heavies, units, etc. without still getting trapped on a Scenario game.

2) You've been jammed with their chaff and a good player will have their more powerful pieces sitting right out of your threat ranges, waiting to prey on whatever you send at them. This is even more true if they are playing a control caster like Haley 2, Wurmwood, or Deneghra 1, all of whom can make your counter-attack really poor by using Feat and Spell to keep you at bay.

Use minimal resources to clear off their stuff, but remember, you want to keep them fighting right where they are. You have a small selection of models sneaking off to score on their flags, and if you can keep them occupied in your area without letting them score, you can start to pull ahead significantly on Scenario.


Obviously, every game is going to play out differently depending on what the other person is playing, what you are playing, and how the terrain is set up. Remember, this Scenario can be boring beyond words or it can be one of the most dynamic, interesting Scenarios in the packet. The terrain and player choices will make the difference.

Don't play passively. If you play passively and your opponent does not, you lose. If they play passively and you do not, they lose. If you both play with an engaged pre-game strategy, things get interesting, and that's the best way to play this game.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Scenario 1: Entrenched

Warmachine Tournaments are played using the Steamroller Scenario packet, a set of 8 different Scenarios using zones, flags, and objectives to give an alternative win condition to assassination.

This is the first of an 8 part series exploring each Scenario, with some ideas about going first vs. second, deployment, and whether or not winning on Scenario is a viable option, as well as a general opening turn and game plan for the first couple of turns.

Hopefully it is helpful and informative!

Going First or Second:

This is what is known as a live Scenario, meaning that it is very possible to win or lose on nothing other than the merits of the Scenario itself.

Going first on entrenched is a good idea if:
- Your army is fast and very capable of splitting itself to fight on two fronts.
- There isn't a central piece of terrain that cuts off one zone from the rest of the table. If there is, choose second and pick the better side.
- Your opponent has an army that is primarily melee.

Going second on Entrenched is a good idea if:
- You have some way to control the second turn of the game to ensure you score at least one point.
- You have a central piece of terrain, such as a forest or a building, that cuts off one zone from the rest of the table.
- Your opponent has an army that is primarily ranged.

Sample table:

I've used this as an example before, but this is a very dynamic board. Here the clear choice for me is to go second, almost no matter what my opponent is playing, in order to take the bottom table edge.

If he's playing a fast melee list, he's going to funnel his army between the forest and rough terrain on the left, and the forest and the pond on the right, meaning that he'll only be able to contest with a few models per turn and I can kill them easily.

It also gives me fantastic access to the enemy zone. There's a handy trench to run to on turn 1, and then a clear path to taking out that objective turn 2 and maybe even clearing his zone.

An aggressive play on both fronts will force my opponent to keep his warcaster/warlock back, probably behind that wall up there, and that will prevent him/her from really being able to influence the game.

Game Plan for Going First:

There's probably some awesome terrain piece on the board that your opponent wanted if you're going first OR you have a list that's going to get up in his face as fast as possible.

There are two game plans for this Scenario. Either skew your deployment absurdly hard to your left so that you can overwhelm his zone and dominate/control it after turn 2, or deploy very central so that you can easily swing back and forth between the two of them.

Obviously, there are going to be some boards where each of these will be a better strategy.

Turn 1 you should just be running to get in position for turn 2. If they have a lot of guns, use terrain to mitigate your losses if possible by hiding behind forests/walls or in trenches.

Turn 2 I would be contesting their zone with a few pieces, backed up by many more, much scarier pieces so if they commit to killing the contestors in order to dominate, you have a great counter-punch. This is not going to work against Wurmwood, Haley 2, or Kreoss 1 etc. Warcasters/Warlocks that can clear the zone and then use feat, spell, or both to prevent you from counter-punching will gain a nearly unstoppable lead from that play.

Wurmwood will kill your guys and either build a forest through his feat or through spell/Sentry Stones to stop you from getting back in, Haley 2 will prevent you from taking half your turn, Kreoss will KD your entire army etc. In that case, I would consider flooding their zone with as much stuff as possible, again, depending on their army build.

Don't just give away models.

On turn 2, you should also have your Warcaster in your zone if it is AT ALL safe. The possibility of them forgetting to contest is very real, and getting a free point on their turn can be game breaking.

Game Plan for Going Second:

If you're going second, barring your list being absurdly assassination focused, you need to score on your second turn and even more importantly, you need to prevent your opponent from scoring on your second turn.

Turn 1: If they're a ranged list, it's actually okay to dance out of their threat ranges turn 1 here, since turn 2 is the important turn anyway. If they don't come up far enough, you can take turn 2 decisively.

If they're a melee list, they've run up the table and are probably halfway up the board. You need to be ready for them to contest your zone and counter-punch there after you clear it.

If you have a cheap unit or jack that can empty out the zone and then bait in a good piece trade, here is where you do that. This would be something like a unit of Daughters of the Flame, Sentry Stones, a cheap jack with 2" reach etc. that can easily kill a few models and then threaten more next turn, forcing your opponent to commit models to kill them that are worth more to them than they are to you.

At the same time, you need to have something resilient or scary enough to frighten the opposing warcaster/lock out of their zone.

Going second is way harder in many cases because the choices you make will be the ones that affect the game most. Your opponent will be reacting to you after turn 2, and it's much easier to mess up as the second player. That being said, it's also the more powerful position to be in on this Scenario.

Turn 2: You need to dominate your zone if at all possible, and if you can put some damage on their objective, do so. I don't actually advocate for killing their objective turn 2 unless you're also going to control their zone. Being able to swing the game by an extra control point after this turn is a powerful tool, and just being ahead on Scenario by one point here is a strong position to be in,

Overall thoughts:

This is a strong Scenario for control casters and armies with a lot of dudes in them. There's no killbox, so Assassination is largely going to be off the table, and that means that Attrition and Scenario are the two main ways in which this will be decided.

If you're playing a control caster, look to turn 2 when you can score and make sure you've got a way to keep your opponent from getting a real alpha strike on you.

If you went first, see if you can distract your opponent into giving you a point for free on their turn, sometimes it happens.

Druid's Dice Seal of Approval for Entrenched? Yes

Battle Report 13: Wurmwood vs. Sloan

Same table, different opponent, different list!

My opponent for this game has a noted dislike of Wurmwood, but wanted to see if his favorite list of mark 3 had any game into it at all.

Same Wurmwood list as last time:


Gallows Grove

Bokur and Shamblers
Sentry Stone x2
Shifting Stones x2
Swamp Gobbers Bellow Crew


-Hunter x6

Trencher Infantry

I won the roll and opted to go first, I wanted to get up the table as quick as possible. I decided before this game to see if ignoring the hunters and just playing for scenario was a feasible game (it's not usually I don't think) and as a result I made a lot of questionable plays this game. My Wurmwood list is also the weakest version of the list that I've had to play into Sloan since it relies on three heavies which is exactly what she wants to see. After this game, I think I might have to bring back my previous version with a bunch of brigands if I want a more generalist Wurmwood list.


Circle turn 1:

Pretty standard. Stuff ran and Bone Grinders killed eachother. The plan was for the Shamblers to run up into the left gap turn 2 and have Cassius murder a few of them and then have Wurmwood cast Wild Growth in the right gap to seal that off. 

Wurmwood gets ported forward and casts Wild Growth between the left forest and the house. 

I use the "kill your own mannikin" trick and put a Mannikin far enough up to spray a trencher down. 

Cygnar turn 1:

I totally discounted the idea of Trenchers doing anything but cloud walling, but some reallyyyy hot dice and CRA's combined with a hunter shot or two managed to take down BOTH Sentry Stones and the Gallows Grove. I hadn't considered putting up a forest around them since the Hunters would just ignore it anyway if they were going to go for it. 

My opponent has skewed far to my right and there is a ton of infantry for my various AOEs to murder next turn though. 

Circle turn 2:

Alrighty it's go time. Brennos moves up and...only kills two Trenchers because of tough. 

Megalith scoots over to that side as well (another mistake, he should have been farther back I think). 

My spawned Shamblers get murdered by Cassius, making two forests for me. Wurmwood gets teleported to the OTHER side of the house, casts a Hellmouth at one of the KD'd trenchers and kills a few more, before casting Dark Path back to Cassius and Wild Growth on the other side of the table. 

This was almost a great turn here, but I forgot to put something on the left flag to pressure my opponent on Scenario and it was going to cost me. 

Cygnar turn 2:

My opponent can't do a lot, but I didn't pressure him on scenario either so he just runs a couple of rangers up to engage Cassius. 

His Trenchers manage to hit one of the Bellows Crew, and the rest just jam me up. 

He gets three Hunter shots onto Brennos, spiking the first two (at dice -3, boosted, they both did 12 damage) and whiffing the last shot to leave him alive. 

Circle turn 3:

It's definitely feat turn. The two rangers jamming up Cassius are sure annoying though. I had a lot of ways to approach this, and in the end went with the one I like the least in hindsight. 

My Stalker gets ported behind them, kills them both and then sprints to my flag. If I had actually gone for this, he should have sprinted farther up the table but safely within my forest. A primaled stalker will kill 2-3 hunters in one activation and I should have threatened his jacks. 

Megalith tramples over some trenchers after popping Undergrowth. This was another massive mistake, he should have just sat safely inside the forest-to-be and attacked them. 

Brennos moved over to the left, and got healed by the shifting stones. 

Lanyssa and Gorax take out the Trenchers that toughed from Megalith. 

Wurmwood gets a talisman from the Bone Grinder, tosses a Hellmouth at the objective which kills three rangers, and then feats. 

I get one point.

Score 1-0
Advantage Circle

Cygnar turn 3:

Sloan casts Guided Fire and feats. Hunters murder Megalith with prejudice, and the Trenchers roll hot again and kill the other Gobber. 

Finn contests my flag, and the other Hunter runs away. 

He scores a point. 

Score 1-1

Circle turn 4:

I need to contest his flag, cap mine, and kill that objective this turn if I want even a snowballs chance of winning this game now. 

Cassius walks over to Finn and kills him. 

The Shamblers cap the flag. 

The Gorax attempts a double handed throw on the tinker and misses his boosted 8 >< Would have been nice to have to KD'd hunters with Brennos' no shooting AOE. 

Brennos does decent damage to the Hunter he plugs with his shot. 

Lanyssa forces tough on a Trencher (man there were a lot of those). 

The Stalker charges the objective, puts it down, and then Lightning Strikes over to engage Sloan. 

Wurmwood puts down Wild Growth and heals Brennos for a bunch.

I get two points.

Score 3-1
Advantage Circle

Cygnar turn 4:

My opponent hems and haws for a bit, then walks Sloan out of melee with my Stalker after Reinholdt goes and reloads her. The Stalker misses the free strike. 

Sloan murders Brennos, and casts Guided Fire. The Hunters all shoot at the Stalker, but thanks to Reinholdt the first three miss. The third one manages to hit and kill Reinholdt, so the other two hit and nearly kill the Stalker, leaving him on 2. 

The remaining Hunter really wants to kill him, but I remind my opponent that if he doesn't contest, I win, so the Hunter runs up. 

Score 3-1
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 5:

The Shamblers combined with boosted hits from Cassius kill the Hunter. 

Wurmwood heals the Stalker. 

I see a chance to end the game here, but my Gorax would have to hit a double handed throw!

He doesn't, so Sloan remains upright, and the Stalker misses her a number of times, connecting once for minimal damage. 

Brennos' AOE shouldn't be where it is, we forgot to pick it up. 

I get one point,

Score 4-1
Advantage Circle

Cygnar turn 5:

Sloan takes another free strike and this time I connect, which does a bit of damage. 

Her Hunters murder the Gorax and the Stalker. One runs over to contest. 

His Trencher continues his and Lanyssa's slap fight, once again not connecting.

Score 4-1
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 6a:

Wurmwood gets ported up to the Hunter, casts Curse of Shadows at it and Strangleholds it a few times. 

Shamblers and Cassius kill the Hunter and I go to 5 points. 

Circle turn 6b:

We realize that in a tournament, what I should do to get max everything is to Teleport Wurmwood to the other side of the house, and have him kill Sloan who's only got 6 boxes left and is camping one. 

Lanyssa kills the Trencher.

Wurmwood gets ported to the other side of the house, and boosts two Strangleholds into Sloan, who dies, giving me max Army Points and 5 Control Points. (Imagine Wurmwood on the other side of the house, a dead Trencher next to Lanyssa, and Sloan knocked over and covered with roots).

Victory for the Druids!