Just so that everybody knows, the urge to call this battle report “Griffon-dor versus Fire-puff” was almost overwhelming…(NG: I’m so glad you didn’t)
This week saw Nick’s forces of the Retribution going up against my Menite troops in another 35 point preparation game for the upcoming Youngbloods tournament (which is happening this upcoming Saturday, May 24th!). Nick was concerned that one of my lists (specifically my Harbinger list) was basically unbeatable by one of his lists due to the inclusion (currently) of 2 Paladins of the Wall and Vilmon. This gave me a pod of 3 troops that could be immune to everything Vyros had except for Vyros himself, and the gun on the Sphinx he was bringing… and since Harby can just martyr those guys in the unfortunate situation that they actually die, it would be an enormously uphill battle. So he politely asked me to take my Feora list against him, and I, being a gentleman, happily obliged.
(Don’t tell Nick, but I wanted to practice my Feora list anyway!)
A quick apology for the audio quality: Nick, Aaron, and I all came down with a serious case of the sniffles for this week’s podcast, so you’re going to hear some sniffing, some coughing, and one rather explosive case of me blowing my nose on the air. Additionally, there’s a weird “thub-thub-thub” sound that crops up occasionally that I have absolutely NO idea where it’s coming from, nor how to fix it. I’m going to work on it… anyway, hopefully not too distracting! Enjoy the show (and remember to toss a review for us on iTunes if you have a moment! Small podcasts like ours live or die by people taking a few moments to give us a good review!)
The scenario we randomly rolled up (now that we’ve gone through each of them once for the podcast) was Two Fronts: Two 6×12″ zones on the center line placed with the narrow sides towards our deployment zones, and one friendly (a bit closer) and one enemy (a bit further). Additionally, there were two objectives, one friendly and one enemy, which granted our warjacks free Charges if they weren’t contested (a bonus that I forgot about, but I’m pretty sure Nick remembered once or twice). You gain 1 Control Point for destroying the enemy objective, controlling the enemy zone, or dominating your friendly zone, and 2 Control Points for dominating the enemy zone.
We rolled for initiative, which I won, and chose to go first. Nick took the superior side of the table (in my opinion, at least), and we set up!
Nick’s list was as follows:
Vyros, Incissor of the Dawnguard (eVyros, Vyros2)
Fane Knight Skeryth Issyen (“Pain Knight”)
Not a tier list, which is a little unusual for Nick’s approach to Vyros, but a solid list regardless. And Lanyssa is a dangerous and intelligent addition… on the other hand, the addition of the Fane Knight gives him some much-needed mobility, as well as another magic weapon and some heavy hitting (not that Nick’s list lacks heavy hitting). I’m not sure he’s a good inclusion without a swarm of infantry to power his “Righteous Fury”, which cranks him up a notch, but Nick is generally better at this game than I am so whadda I know?
My experimental Feora list was as follows:
Feora, Protector of the Flame (eFeora, Feora2)
– Redeemer (bonded)
Exemplar Bastions (max)
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Officer and Standard
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
Choir of Menoth (min)
Vassal of Menoth
I like this list, but I’m not sold on it yet… the Bastions are awesome (and with Ignite? F’getaboutit!), but they’re also extremely slow… both my warjacks in this list, with Ignite active, are SPD7! That’s almost as fast as RUNNING Bastions! As a result, it becomes extremely tricky to screen things with other things… I want the Errants to screen my warjacks, but that doesn’t really leave enough room for them to also screen my Bastions. And the Bastions really don’t like being charged… 36 hitboxes to kill one of them is good and all, but that’s not much more than your average heavy warjack, and charging stuff kills those often enough. The issue is what to trade out… or to just scrap the list entirely and field a Judicator… anyway, I like the list, but at 35 points, it just doesn’t quite work.
I deployed my troops in a line: Feora and her warjacks went smack in the middle with the Choir and Vassal spread out nearby, and the Bastions extending to the left. Afterwards, I Advanced Deployed my Errants in front of my warjacks, and the Wracks went spread out with 2 of them towards my Friendly zone (figuring that it would be a stronger play for me to go that way than try to dislodge all of Nick’s warjacks from his zone!).
Nick deployed his army in an equally straight line: Vyros near the middle with his Sphinx, 2 Griffons towards my friendly zone and the other 4 towards his friendly zone, and the Fane Knight on elevation towards the extreme right flank.
In hindsight, putting my Errants anywhere NEAR his Fane Knight was probably a mistake, but on the other hand, I did need something to deal with those 4 Griffons, and my list doesn’t have as much ARM-cracking as is probably ideal for a situation like this… but oh well!
With that, we were ready to rock!
(Note that the zones are marked by the transparent pieces of plastic… a little hard to see in the pictures, but they work acceptably well in real life… a touch too smooth for my tastes, but it wasn’t a big issue)
Menoth, Turn 1
So, a minor side-rant? That new Errata’s stupid “All your models must be in formation to cast positive buffs on them” was already annoying me. The Errants you see in the picture above are actually broken up into 2 small groups, one on either side of that house. Placing the Officer as close to the house as possible let me JUST BARELY get all of them into formation. Annoying. But whatever.
Feora started by allocating 1 Focus to each warjack and camping the other 4.
She then activated, cast “Escort” on herself, walked up 6″, and then cast “Ignite” on the Errants.
The Errants then activated, running forward into the enemy zone and spreading out a bit, with the Seneschal following up behind.
My warjacks both ran up, getting over the wall (important, since they don’t have Pathfinder).
Then I remembered about my Choir, but since Vyros doesn’t have any worthwhile attack spells to lob at me, and all the guns his list has are magical anyway, 2/3rds of the Choir’s playlist is irrelevant anyway. But they moved up and sang “Passage” on the Reckoner anyway.
The Vassal ran forward, and the Bastions ran up the right flank, with me cursing the placement of one of my Wracks since it made it impossible for one of the Bastions to not clip the water as he was running forward, slowing him down by an inch or two. But whatever.
The plan at this point was to have the Errants hold down Nick’s zone, the Bastions hold down mine, and then slowly grind his Griffons out of existance. We’ll see how well that works out…
With that, I was done!
Retribution, Turn 1
Nick’s response was swift and simple. Vyros allocated 4 of his Focus to Griffons and camped the rest.
Vyros went first, casting “Synergy” and moving up the table.
Brief aside: I miss using Cavalry warcasters… gotta get around to getting Kreoss3 or Reznik2 at some point.
Anyway, the Griffons with Focus all ran forward, the Arcanists gave focus to one more Griffon and the Sphinx, and those warjacks then ran forward. The last Griffon, bereft of Focus, just walked up.
The Fane Knight moved a few inches towards the right flank (onto Elevation again), Lanyssa moved up behind the Griffons and towards the center, and Nick was done!
So remember that plan about hunkering down and holding the zones? Yeah, that lasted exactly as long as it took me to realize that the majority of Nick’s Griffons were in charge range of my Errants… who conveniently already had Ignite on them! Who could pass up a chance like this?!
Certainly not me! Feora upkeeps both spells, allocates all 4 Focus to her Bonded Redeemer, and we’re off!
Before I send my Errants careening off to the death of everything Nick knows and loves, I want to use my Redeemer… those rockets of his are notoriously inaccurate, and lighting my own guys on fire isn’t bad, but POW9 blasts might kill them, and that would be awful. So I decide to use him first… but how to know if he’s in Aiming range of the Sphinx without risking all 4 Focus I’ve allocated?
The Choir goes first and sings “Battle” on both my warjacks.
The Vassal of Menoth activates next, moves up and gives my Redeemer and Ancillary attack…
Ah, Menoth… a prayer for every moment, a solution to every problem.
Sure enough, Nick’s Sphinx is sitting about 14″ away, well within range of the rocket… which, on a RAT3 due to Battle and Inaccurate Fire, needs a 9 to hit… which I nail! POW14 on ARM19 inflicts a few points of damage, and lights the myrmidon on fire.
I then activate the Redeemer, opening fire on the Sphinx with its initial attack… which (now at RAT5, since I’m aiming… something you can’t do with an Ancillary Attack) hits, needing a 7. I boost damage, inflicting enough damage to cripple the Sphinx’s Cortex! WOO!
I buy another attack at it which misses, but still clips in in the blast but fails to wound (POW9 blast ain’t doin’ much heavy lifting against ARM19!). I buy one more attack, which I send at the closest Griffon on the left flank. I boost to hit, nail it, and inflict some light damage to the myrmidon’s forcefield and light it on fire.
Well… that was a good start!
My Errants, thus freed from the worry of being killed by my own rockets, charge the Griffons. I get 7 to successfully engage 3 of Nick’s speedy little robots: 1 attack misses, but the other 6 all hit, putting 2 attacks on each. When the dust settles… I’ve crippled the shield on one of them…
And that’s it.
I mean, I know Weaponmaster POW11s against ARM18s aren’t great… dice-7 should inflict an average of 7 points of damage each, which isn’t actually all that great… but still! A few spikes and I could be hammering them for up to 17 points of damage in a single blow! But no, t’was not to be… still, at least they were tied up on his side of the board.
The Seneschal moved forward and took a shot at the Fane Knight, but sadly missed.
On the other side of the table, the Bastions run forward and spread out, with 2 in the front and 3 behind them, trying to keep the majority safe.
The Reckoner activates, moving up slightly to get a little in front of the Objective but staying as close to 12″ away from the Sphinx as I can… I take a shot, and it’s 11″ away (meaning I “safe”, since it’s a Spd5 warjack with Reach, it can threaten 10″… right? I ask Nick if there’s any way to speed it up, and he confirms that there is not). Sadly, the Reckoner shot itself misses.
Feora moves up behind the Bastions and pulls a Focus of a Wrack (the one on the far right), which sadly explodes. Lastly, the Hierophant activates and walks up behind her, and that’s it!
Retribution, Turn 2
Well, that didn’t go nearly as well as I wanted, but on the flip side, I have a LOT of dudes, and Nick has only a few warjacks… I should have this well in hand.
We start by doing the Fire-checks… nothing goes out, but the flames of Menoth are only able to inflict a few extra points of damage on Nick’s heavily armoured warjacks. Still, every little bit helps…
Vyros upkeeps Synergy, allocates 3 Focus, and we’re off.
The Fane Knight starts things off. He declares a charge against an Errant near the middle of the pack, hitting my Standard and one other with his initial impact attacks. He kills both, but I self-sac off the Standard’s death onto his Charge target… the Fane Knight therefore fails his charge after only killing 1 model. I’m okay with this.
The Griffons engaging my Errants go next. Nick shuffles them around a little, and between those 4 warjacks and a few Focus, he gets a total of 10 attacks which kill 9 Errants.
Or, to put that in layman’s terms… OUCH!
The Syngery Chain is sitting at +4 at this point. Lanyssa activates, moves up, and nails a Bastion with “Hunter’s Mark”. The Sphinx, without Focus, can now charge my Bastion, and does so… he hits it for 18 points of damage, so I have the Bastion just explode rather than spreading the damage out.
The last 2 Griffons charge in, and between their attacks kill 3 more Bastions… leaving me with 1 (!!).
Vyros moves up into the zone, but as he’s doing so he runs out of time. Still, Nick has cleared the zone (my last Bastion is well outside), so he scores 2CPs, bringing the score to 2-0 for the Retribution!
Menoth, Turn 3
Wait, wait, wait… what just happened here!? I had a swarm… a literal swarm of Weaponmasters mere moments ago! Suddenly, I’m down to 1 Bastion, 3 Errants (well, 2 Errants, a Seneschal, and a Standard), and my 2 little warjacks against what amounts to 6 fully functional Griffons, an almost fully-functional Sphinx (which is not NEARLY as handicapped by the loss of its Cortex as I would like!), and a warcaster that is as hard, or harder, to kill as Feora herself!
I still have Feora’s feat in the pipeline, which will, theoretically, keep her pretty safe… and she’s something of a melee monster herself (not as much as her prime iteration, sure, but I’ve 1-rounded an Arch Angel from full health with her alone before, and had Focus to spare!), but there is a LOT of Armour on the table.
Still… I’m more concerned about Feora dying than anything else. The temptation to load her up and send her off into those 2 Griffons is pretty overwhelming, but that might leave her a tad too exposed for my tastes.
I drop everything, allocate 3 to the Reckoner, and camp the last three, and we’re off.
The Choir goes first and sings Battle on my warjacks. No brainer there.
The Reckoner goes next, moving up “behind” the Sphinx (there is no “behind” a myrmidon in Vyro’s battlegroup, of course), and striking it down with its Initial attack and 2 bought attacks.
My Vassal activates and gives an Ancillary Attack to the Reckoner, who shoots the closest Griffon, hitting (giving it Flare) and inflicting a few points of damage.
The Bastion, who was being engaged by that Sphinx, is thus freed and charges off into the two Griffons… thankfully, he hits, but sadly doesn’t inflict a lot of damage.
My Errants charge in on a Griffon, both hitting (only at POW9 now) and inflicting more damage, leaving it on a single box. The Standard stays in front of the Fane Knight to deny him charges/impact attacks.
The Seneschal charges the closest Griffon… I was considerably worried that Nick would load him up with Focus, give him Concentrated Power, and send him off to slay Feora, so I wanted him tied up or, ideally, dead. Sadly, the Seneschal hits but only inflicts a few points of damage on a very sub-par roll.
Well… now or never… Feora moves up as far as she can, tucking herself behind the Reckoner. She pops her Feat, catching 3 burning Griffons in range and gaining 3 Focus. She swaps the Fire tokens around, putting 1 on Lanyssa and another of Vyros himself (not that he really cares at ARM18, but again… every little bit). She allocates 1 Focus to the Redeemer from her Feat, and then lastly pulls another Focus from a Wrack, leaving her with 6 camped Focus and a respectable ARM23.
Lastly, the Redeemer charges the closest Griffon, but I derp pretty hardcore, forgetting that I had dropped “Escort”… so it fails the charge by a fraction of an inch! Bah.
Retribution, Turn 3
Nick’s got that look in his eyes that means he’s going for the assassination run. I was… pretty confident that Feora could weather it… I mean, she’s DEF15, ARM23… what could possibly go wrong?
Fire checks, first… the one Griffon outside of Feora’s CTRL range does not go out, and inflicts a few more damage. Vyros is unharmed, the other Griffon is unharmed, but Lanyssa burns and is vapourized. So there’s that, at least.
Vyros upkeeps Synergy again and camps 4 Focus, allocating 1 to a Griffon.
The Arcanists both activate, giving Focus to 2 more Griffons.
The Fane Knight activates and walks over to my Officer, hitting him twice… first blow fails to kill (2 wounds), second blow kills him but I self-sac it off to the other Errant.
Nick starts activating the Griffons. There are 2 Griffons that are out of Vyro’s CTRL range (and therefore won’t allow him to gain Synergy from their hits), so he moves them over… the first takes a free strike which finally destroys one of the light myrmidons! The other manages to avoid any free strikes, gets over, and kills the Officer. Another Griffon takes a swing at my Redeemer and inflicts 2 points of damage.
The last of the Griffons on that side moves up to Nick’s objective, hitting it and inflicting no damage… and *also* not increasing the Synergy chain, since that requires hitting *enemy* models, which the objective is not.
Still! The Synergy Chain is sitting at +2 already. The Griffons on the other side of the table activate: the first strikes down my Bastion easily, while the other shuffles over and strikes my Hierophant down.
The chain is as high as its gonna get, so Vyros charges Feora to seal this particular deal… easily gets range (he’s a SPD8 warcaster with Reach… I knew that by keeping him in Feora’s CTRL I would be within Charge-range). Thankfully, he’s also within 2″ of my Reckoner, making Feora effectively DEF17… but would it matter?
On the Charge attack, Vyros is MAT10 base plus 4 from Synergy… so he needs anything but double 1s… and he hits! The blow is striking at POW18… and wails on Feora for 9 damage! Crunch!
Buys an attack, now only at MAT12… needs 5 to hit… rolls a 5! Damn! He boosts damage and hits her for another 4 damage, leaving her at 4. Nick’s down to his last 2 Focus… buys an attack… rolls ANOTHER 5! Hits! He boosts damage, needs a 9 to win the game…
Rolls a 6. 1 Point of damage to Feora, and she survives!
Well. That went much, much closer than I expected! Still, no point looking a gift Vyros in the mouth. Feora gives 3 Focus to the Reckoner and camps the other three.
The Choir activate first and sing “Battle” on the Reckoner.
The Reckoner activates, uses a Headbutt on Vyros, boosting to hit… it hits, and knocks the mighty warcaster to the ground. It spends the last Focus to get a single auto-hitting attack, which inflicts 12 damage (rolled an 11, dice +1 damage).
Feora activates, swings at her default POW14, boost damage… and drops Vyros for good.
Post Game Analysis
Phew! Damnably close, that!
After we finished, Aaron pointed out that both Nick and I completely missed how simple it would’ve been for the Retribution to get a Scenario victory instead of going for the risky assassination attempt… give 3 Focus to the Griffon closest to the objective, do everything else the same (build the Synergy Chain up to 3 or 4) and then send that Griffon in to destroy my Objective. Nick dominates again for 2, and gets 1 more for destroy the Objective for a total of 5 and a Retribution victory.
I missed it, thinking that he could only score 2 more points on his turn and therefore didn’t put much energy into contesting my zone as I should’ve… and in Nick’s case, even if he had failed to win on that turn with a Scenario victory (say the Griffon rolled complete crap), Vyros is still safe and far, far away from most of my threats (he’d need to move him a bit further away from Feora, since she has a functional 14″ charge threat… 3″ Firestep, 9″ charge, Reach, but that was easily doable). Definitely much safer than what he tried. Still, a learning experience.
Anyway, thanks for reading! Comments and questions are always welcome!