Podcast 012 – Cygnar vs Retribution, Sloan vs Rahn. Last Practice Before the Tournament!

This week we are still preparing for our FIRST EVER tournament! Well… first ever “real” tournament. I’ve run a couple pseudo-Steamroller tournaments for our group before, but those were always modified rules in one way or the other (soft Deathclock, for example). But no… this will be an actual, real-world Steamroller tournament at an actual, real-world Friendly Local Game Store in London, Ontario.

Nick and I are both equal parts excited and terrified! The format is a 3-list, character unrestricted 35 points; you hand your three lists to your opponent who get to veto one of them, and then you choose your list from the remaining options. More importantly, it’s using 7-minute timed turns (with one 5 minute extension), so we’re both trying to cram in as many practice games as we can to get a better feel for how that will work out.

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Nick has been trying to get a bit more practice with Rahn… sorry, did I say “more”? I meant “any”. He’s been trying to get ANY practice with Rahn before the tournament. For my part, I’ve had practice with only 1 of my 3 lists… the Nemo3 list, which while not ideal, I’m very comfortable with (as comfortable as you can get in 7 minute turns!), so I figured it was time to try and get my other lists on the table. I used Sloan for this one, as you can see above.


Max Sentinels + UA
Stormfall Archers
Fane Knight
Mage Hunter Assassin (MHA)

Kara Sloan
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages + UA
Trencher Master Gunner (TMG) x2

We rolled for initiative, which of course Nick wins… but you know, despite how much I love going first (as all Cygnar players should, near as I can tell), I was glad to go 2nd in this case if for no other reason that it’s *going* to happen during the tournament, and I had better get used to it!

The Scenario we’re playing is the next in the list of Steamroller 2014 scenarios: Process of Elimination! There are two 12×6 zones on the center line with a monolith in the middle of each (ARM18, 15 hitboxes). Both Monoliths can’t be harmed on the same turn, and the zones can’t be controlled or dominated until the monolith inside it is destroyed. 1 CP for destroying the monolith, 1 for controlling a zone, and 2 for dominating.

This is an interesting one because, THEORETICALLY, you can score 3CPs on one turn (destroy monolith and then dominate), and then 4 MORE CPs on your following turn (2 to dominate the same zone you already cleared, 1 more for destroying the other monolith, and 1 for controlling the 2nd zone). It would be tricky… but it’s something you have to be aware of… the ability to score 4CPs in a single turn is a very live threat against casters like Gorten, eKrueger, and the Epic Twins (eHaley and eDenny).

Oh, and it has Kill box.


In a surprise to no-one, my Stormwall went right in the middle of my zone. It is kinda nice to get that extra 3″ on deployment, I tell you what…

Nick placed his Sentinels in the middle of his zone opposite my Stormwall. The Phoenix and Fane Knight went on the far left, while the Stormfalls went on the right. The Magisters went on either side of the Sentinels, and eventually the Advanced Deployed Mage Hunter Assassin and eEiryss went on the far left and right flanks, respectively.

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My deployment was simplified considerably by my low model count… the ATGM went to the left of the Stormwall, Sloan, the Squire, and Reinholdt went to the right, and the two TMGs and the Grenadier Advanced Deployed in front of the ATGM as close to Nick’s Stormfalls as I could get them.

This particular TMG+Grenadier formation works much better if you get the pleasure of going first, in which case they can walk forward and all dig in at about the 19″ line, and with Snipe Runeshots from being marshalled by the ATGM, the Grenadier can directly hit 33″ downfield (or about 1″ into my opponent’s Advanced Deployment zone!). This makes all 3 models immune to blast damage and DEF17 (18 for the Grenadier), which is pretty freakin’ hard to remove at range. Going 2nd is a bit more difficult, because now you have to decide to dig in the Grenadier on your 1st turn, or start lobbing out shots at your enemies who are PROBABLY already within range… but anyway. I digress!

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The table was set… Nick’s angry elves were a veritable swarm before my select elite few… would he have difficulty with the 7 minute timed turns? Would his Stormfalls be able to kill my ATGM before I could close distance and kill them? Would the Sentinels once again prove too much for my Stormwall to handle!?

All this, and more… right now!
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Ret Turn 1

Everything runs! Not really. Sentinels spread out and run, Rahn casts Polarity Field on them and Forcefield on himself, Phoenix runs, Stormfalls run. The MHA tears off down the flank towards my fragile light warjack (out of frame in the picture below). No real surprises.

IMG_2246 copy Cygnar Turn 1

Everything is too close for comfort.
My Trencher Master Gunners both move up and dig in. The Grenadier moves up and opens fire at Mage Hunter Assassin, and I derp on the “re-roll” rules a little. Either way, the first shot scatters onto her, I boost damage, and the blast kills her. 2 more shots hit nothing and kill nothing due to Rahn’s incredibly powerful “Forcefield” spell… I’m starting to think that maybe I should’ve gone with my Siege list… but too late for such thoughts right now!
The Stormwall moves up, drops a Lightning Pod in the right zone, and then the ATGM move forward and spread out. Lastly, Sloan casts Refuge on herself and moves up behind some concealment just at the edge of the kill box.

IMG_2249 copy IMG_2251 copy IMG_2252 copy Ret Turn 2

Rahn upkeeps Forcefield but drops Polarity Field from the Sentinels on realizing that the only thing I have that could potentially charge them is my Stormwall… and they both have the same threat range (10″).
First, two of the Stormfalls move up and they all shoot at my Grenadier, who is not dug in (I figured killing the MHA was worth it!). The first shot misses! Nice start. The second hits but since the TMG are immune to blast, Nick’s damage roll inflicts only 1 point on my warjack (not a good damage roll there!). The two that moved close both fire “Starfire” shots, with the 3rd missing (yay!) but last hits and light all three on fire (boo!).

The Fane Knight activates and runs forward, but can’t get close enough to engage Sloan by about an inch (3″ away… phew!).
The Sentinels run-charge, 1 charges the closest TMG but is out of range, another kills my Lightning Pod, and the rest just run up.
eEiryss moves up and shoots Sloan but is out of range. The Phoenix takes a Focus from the Arcanist and runs forward.
Lastly, Rahn activates just as Nick’s time runs out, and he nudges him into the Kill box.
IMG_2253 copy IMG_2254 copy IMG_2255 copy IMG_2256 copy Cygnar Turn 2

Nick has threateningly moved his entire army very, very close to mine… which can mean only one thing: Feat Turn!
Sloan takes 1 from the Squire and allocates 2 to the Stormwall.
Reinholdt gives Sloan 2nd shot.
Sloan activates and immediately pops her Feat. She casts Fire Group (fantastic spell!), and then she fires a point-blank shot into the Fane Knight, which easily hits and, with boosted damage, dismounts him.
The Stormwall takes his out-of-activation shot and shoots Sentinel Officer, which easily hits but only inflicts 3 damage. Curses!
Sloan shoots the dismounted Fane Knight again and easily kills. I think a bit about where I could refuge to (away from the Sentinels, ideally!), but the only choices are closer to Eiryss (bad idea), out of the kill box (worse idea), or out into the open (not a GOOD idea). So I stand still and hope that the slim strip of concealment, and hopefully killing lots of stuff, will be enough to keep me safe!

The Stormwall activates. It drops another Pod which rolls fire for damage and kills 2 Sentinels. I take my first big gun shot at the Sentinel Officer again, and actually manage to kill it (no more Vengeance! Woo!).
Sloan takes her out-of-activation Feat-shot to shoot the Phoenix, easily hitting and inflicting heavy damage to the shield.
The Stormwall then fires its 2nd Big Gun at the Phoenix, which hits and does enough damage to wipe out a column plus change, by not cripple anything. I debate blasting more Sentinels with the Metal Storm guns, but decide instead to drop Covering Fire.

One of my TMG activates and moves up slightly to try and spray Sentinels, but I’ve moved it within “Reach” range, and as a result I can’t shoot… and since I don’t have Reach, I can’t melee either. Whoops. The Other TMG therefore walks up and stabs that Sentinel to death.
Thus freed, the Grenadier activates and walks into B2B with both Trenchers again, letting it fire out 3 Boosted Hit roll shots (go Sloan’s Feat!), which it uses to kill 2 Stormfall Archers and 2 Sentinels.

While I’m moving my ATGM, I run out of time and take my one extension. I move one as close towards Eiryss as I can, and my Snipe shot is safely in range. No problem hitting, and then I roll FIRE, killing the elven mercenary in a single shot! However, as compensation for that fantastic shot, the rest open fire on Sentinels and either miss (lots of 3d6 that came up 3 and 4) or fail to kill.
Lastly, I move Arlan up and he sprays 1 more Sentinel to death.

IMG_2258 copy IMG_2260 copy IMG_2261 copy Ret Turn 3

Once again, Nick elects to upkeep Forcefield… can’t say I blame him.
First, Rahn moves into the left zone and pops his Feat. Rahn then casts “Chain Blast” at Arlan, hits easily and kills my uber-mechanic… the secondary blast scatters away harmlessly. Rahn then arcs TK through the Phoenix a bunch of times to spend the rest of his Focus and to move Sentinels into charge lanes that aren’t blocked by Covering Fire.
The first Magister activates and Whipsnaps the Stormwall (due to it being a more powerful spell, I believe… POW12, probably?). It easily hits and inflicts light damage.
The surviving Sentinels charge my Stormwall. 5 get successful charges and smash it down to 18 boxes. Ouch!
The Phoenix gets Focus from the Arcanist and takes shot at the Stormwall, inflicting 5 more damage but failing to light it on fire.
Lastly, the Stormfalls move up and shoot, adding their explosive arrows to the barrage on my battered colossus. The smoke clears and they’ve inflicted a total of 8 more damage, leaving me on 7 hitboxes (and my legs, cortex, and right weapon systems intact!).

IMG_2263 copy IMG_2265 copy IMG_2266 copy Cygnar Turn 3

So… I have a choice here. I can either clear the 3 Sentinels, Phoenix, and monolith/objective from the right zone by a clever combination of Sloan’s weaponmaster rifle, Stormwall’s arm-sweep, and ATGM “Thunderbolt” ammunition… oh, who am I kidding. Rahn was moved up into the wide-open without any Focus. I’m sure Nick had a very good reason for it… but at this point, it doesn’t matter. 2 Focus to the Stormwall.
Reinholdt gives Sloan her 2nd shot.
Sloan moves over, shoots Rahn, and boosts damage. The bullet strikes true and inflicts 12 points, leaving the mighty elven warcaster on only a few boxes. Needing only an 8 to hit, I boost the second shot… and miss.
Next, my Grenadier activates and opens fire. Which was a mistake… should’ve activated the TMG to give it Artillerist FIRST… but whatever… boost to hit and the first shot connects and inflicts only 4 damage. Rahn is down to his last few hitboxes… and the 2nd shot misses, but scatters only an inch. Normally, this would be a good thing, but sadly Rahn is immune to blast damage, so it’s an irrelevant thing.
The Stormwall activates, and the functional big gun (luckily on the same side as Rahn!) fires and boosts to hit… needing a 10… misses. I elect to ignore the small guns since I’m running out of time.
The ATGM activate and walk forward. They do an Arcane Inferno CRA, but due to stupidity 2 of them are out of range or don’t have LoS to Rahn… but that still leaves 4 in range. RAT11, needs a 5 to hit… hits! And then at dice -2 (ARM16 against POW14)… I drop Rahn to the ground.
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I said it above, but it’s worth repeating: Moving Rahn up was definitely a mistake. And the reason that Nick moved up Rahn was just to get that 1 Chain Blast attack on Arlan… I mean, killing Arlan was definitely a good idea, since it would keep me from repairing my Stormwall if Nick failed to kill it… so, that was smart… but using his Warcaster to do it? By moving out into the open when Cygnar’s entire battle plan often hinges on getting your opponent’s warcaster to be someplace easy to shoot?

Let’s just say… “unwise”.

Other than that, I made some rookie mistakes, but I *love* the TMG+Grenadier+ATGM package. 14″ RAT10 reroll-deviations is INSANELY good… and DEF18 against ranged attacks? Yeah, pretty frickin’ sweet. I may have to run a Sloan/Trencher list again before long… because if 1 Grenadier is good, 2 will be BONKERS.

Ratings for today’s game
Feat Use: 4
Tactics: 3
Scenario: 3
Luck: 3
Time Use: 4
Derptitude: 1

Feat Use: 1
Tactics: 3
Scenario: 3
Luck: 3
Time Use: 2
Derptitude: 4

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