Okay, so *maybe* I just bought Mass Effect 3 and have been playing it for the first time… great game (much tighter than 1, way less restrictive than 2), and despite knowing how awful (AWFUL-awful) the ending is, I’m enjoying it so far! And both the names “Vindictus” and “Issyria” sound like they were snipped straight from the game… but I digress!
At the behest of the greater Combo Smite community, Ozzie has decided to pull out his Retribution again so that we can get a batrep with the angry elves in it! He’s a trooper.
Also, he really wanted to play Issyria because she came out after he switched over to Legion. So there was that too.
For my part, I had just finished my Hardcore tournament (both the preparation and the tournament itself), and so was ready to set aside the Harbinger for a little while and try out some new (for me) warcasters. As a result, I had lists prepared for Reznik and Vindictus, both warcasters I’ve found interesting. I’ve used Reznik… once? Maybe twice? And Vindictus is brand new to me… but he looks fascinating!
After glancing over Ozzie’s two lists (eVyros and Issyria), I decided that either of my lists would be fine, so I might as well try the one that interested me the most… which was Vindictus!
Vice Scrutator Vindictus
Exemplar Bastions (max)
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Officer and Standard
Holy Zealots (max)
– Monolith Bearer
Choir of Menoth (min)
Choir of Menoth (min)
Covenant of Menoth
The second unit of Choir are there just as Sacrificial Lamb targets… and Repenters rarely need more than 1 Focus to get good mileage (especially against relatively low-DEF models… up to about DEF14-15 can be hit reasonably often). The Bastions and Zealots both benefit from True Path, and the Errants are superstars with Defender’s Ward most of the time.
Now that I’ve played the list, I would be tempted to find a way to either get Gravus in there (and drop the Book), or Rhupert (and keep the book). But as it is, this is a fun, versatile, and relatively powerful list!
Ozzie’s list was a somewhat unusual Issyria build:
Issyria, Sybil of Dawn
Houseguard Halberdiers (max)
– Officer and Standard
Houseguard Thane (“HGT”)
Mage Hunter Strike Force
Mage Hunter Assassin
Mage Hunter Assassin
An interesting list… and that Hyperion is going to be a pain to remove. Plus, the Sparkleburst Cannon is going to wreck havoc on my army of mostly-small-based models!
But, that stated… I think I can get ’em.
We played “Incursion” (3 flags down the middle line), but I got the measurements messed up: I thought it was 15″ – 9″ – 9″ – 15″, but it’s actually 9″ – 15″ – 15″ – 9″… whoops. Oh well. Shouldn’t have a major impact on the game… right?…
Just as a head’s up: I proxied the flags with Wracks. Because they look cooler.
We rolled for initiative, and Ozzie won and chose to go first. Both sides of the table had hills, which means I couldn’t deny them to him if I wanted to (which I did), so I took the side with the forest and we were off.
Ozzie dropped the Hyp-master-general in the middle of the table (far from the hill, phew!), with one Chimera flanking on the far left and the other near the middle. The Halberdiers went to the far right, with the Mage Hunter Strike Force (MHSF) advanced deployed in the center. Issyria went near her pet Hyperion with the Arcanist, and he was done!
(Aside: I’m quite impressed with how well Ozzie’s Hyperion is coming along! I like the blue-orange combo… it’s not quite as “clean” as the studio colours, but it does look striking!)
I then set up my army in a pretty basic way: Zealots to the far left, Bastions and Senny across from the Hyperion, one unit of Choir in the middle (the “Sacrificial Lamb Batteries”), Vindictus with his warjacks and the other unit of Choir to the right of center, and the Errants across the table from the Halberdiers and MHSF. Nicea goes BEHIND my Seneschals, reserving her for a later point in the game (hopefully a solid charge on Issyria!).
Time to either Protectorate some elves, or Retribute some Menites!
Retribution, Turn 1
No real surprises here: 1 Focus to each myrmidon, and we’re off.
The MHSF run forward and spread out. Ozzie takes a shot at my closest Errant, confirming that they’re further than 12″ away (unfortunately… but we’ll get to that in a minute).
The Halberdiers get Desperate Pace from the Houseguard Thane, and then blitz down the table in Shield Wall. Every time somebody does that to me, I’m always stunned by how freakin’ fast they are (6″ move plus 2″ Desperate Pace plus 3″ Reform gives them a very respectable 11″ movement with +4ARM!).
The right-flank Chimera tears down the board, while the middle one just heads up onto the hill. Issyria floats onto the hill as well and puts “Invioable Resolve” on the Halberdiers.
The Hyperion runs up the table. Done.
Menoth, Turn 1
See, I’m sad that the MHSF are out of their crossbow range because 12″ is exactly the walk + shoot distance of the Errants if I put True Path up (which I plan to)… 7″ walk plus a 5″ ‘You Are Too Close For Stealth’ range. Curses! Oh well… at least I can tag a few Halberdiers… unlikely to kill any with their ARM-ridiculous (even without IR, Shield Wall makes them hard to kill with POW10s!), but we can try!
I then make my first mistake and allocate 1 Focus to each of my Repenters. Which, normally, NOT a mistake, but normally you don’t have a warcaster with “Sacrificial Lamb” and a unit of Choir just waiting to be sacrificed for the greater good! Whoops.
I move the Sacrifical unit of Choir first, spreading them out and moving forward.
The Hierophant exalts Vindictus.
Vindictus then moves forward, casts “True Path” on himself and puts “Defender’s Ward” on the Errants with the last of his Focus.
The Errants then activate. I move a few towards the MHSF (just in case), and the rest head towards the Halberdiers. They open fire: the shots on the MHSF are, indeed, out of range, and the bolts at the Halberdiers either miss (needing 7s to hit) or fail to kill (needing 8s to wound). Such is life.
Nicia runs towards the Errants and clumped infantry and to threaten the side of the board Issyria seems inclined to head towards.
The Bastions run up the board and spread out, while the Zealots run up behind them and pray for “No Spells”.
My other unit of Choir sing “No Shooting” on my warjacks.
Both Repenters tear off straight up the table, heading towards the MHSF… DEF14-Stealth elves, I would like you to meet my RAT7 sprays… soon, my pretties… soon…
The Reckoner walks forward and snaps a shot off at Issyria (only about 16″ out of range).
With that, I am done! And, of course, the flag closest to the majority of MY army goes away, and the one closest to the Errants (and all of Ozzie’s Halberdiers) stays. Of course.
Retribution, Turn 2
For 4 points, would anyone like to point out what I forgot to do? For anyone who’s ever played Vindictus before, it should be pretty obvious…
That’s right, class. I forgot to Feat. Dah! I’m sure that won’t come back to bite me in the ass…
3 Focus onto the Hyperion, upkeep Invioable Resolve, and we’re off.
Issyria goes first. She floats forward a bit and pops her Feat. Oh momma, this is gonna sting… she gives the Hyperion an Ancillary Sparkleburst cannon shot at the closest Errant, who is thankfully out of range… it scatters back onto a MHSF and vapourizes the hapless elven warrior.
The Houseguard Thane gives the Halberdiers “Desperate Pace” again and takes a shot at an Errant which flies wide.
The MHSF move forward. A few ping bolts off my Bastions (doing a total of 2 damage), 1 kills a Choir from the Sacrificial unit, and the rest kill Errants, taking 3 off the table.
That’s not so bad, I think.
The Halberdiers Charge and pop their mini-Feat. I do Self-Sacs as effectively as I can to deny Charge damage bonuses, but when the dust settles, I’ve lost the entire unit aside from one.
10 Errants. WITH DEFENDER’S WARD. Poof.
The Halberdiers take their Reform movement to back up a bit.
The Hyperion moves up and fires the Sparkleburst again, this time at a Repenter who is thankfully out of range. It scatters away harmlessly.
It opens fire with the Threshers, getting a total of 3 shots, all of which go into the closest Repenter (stupid elves with their stupid magical guns on all their stupid myrmidons), inflicting moderate damage but thankfully not crippling anything.
The two Mage Hunter Assassins move up behind the MHSF, preparing to go forth and kill things next turn.
The two Chimera shuffle around a little, and Ozzie is done!
Menoth, Turn 2
Really, I have no one to blame but myself for losing so many Errants (and not getting anything killed in return). But it still stings… can I salvage this situation?
If my previous experiences against Issyria have taught me anything… possibly. I need to swing the attrition game back in my favour pretty damn fast and hard, though… and that Hyperion needs to die sooner than later.
So, I blunder again and allocate 1 Focus to each warjack (SACRIFICIAL LAMB, self! Jeez!), and drop Defender’s Ward.
That lone Errant walks up to a Halberdier, but misses his swing.
The closest unit of Choir walk up and sing “Battle” on all my warjacks.
The Repenters go next. The first walks up and sprays through a bunch of MHSF to tag the Assassin behind. It misses 2 MHSF, hits 1, and then boosts to hit the Assassin and vapourizes it.
The other Repenter… does exactly the same thing (walk, spray, miss 2, hit 1, boost and hit Assassin, vapourize). So… they’ve basically done their work this game, everything from this point forward? Bonus.
Hierophant exalts Vindictus.
Vindictus moves to stay out of range of the Hyperion (I hope), and casts “True Path” again. He cycles “Defender’s Ward” over to the Bastions.
The Zealots go next. They pop their mini-Feat, pray for “No Spells”, and then run forward to try and engage the MHSF. Sadly, even with the +2 movement, they only engage 1 or 2 of them… having to run AROUND my Bastions slows them down significantly.
The Bastions walk forward, but sadly they can’t get Reach on any MHSF either. Gah! Oh well, the MHSF is all going to die next turn from lobbed point-blank ranged bombs!
Nicia moves into the forest, carefully positioned to be more than 3″ of forest between her and the Halberdiers, but less in the direction of the Hyperion, MHSF, and Issyria.
The Reckoner moves up, takes a shot at the Hyperion… hits, and puts a few boxes of damage on the forcefield. And lights the colossus on fire, which is good, I suppose?
With that, I’m done… the score stays at 0 – 0 for now!
Retribution, Turn 3
The attentive among you may note that I forgot to Feat again… le sigh.
Ozzie drops 3 Focus onto the Hyperion and upkeeps Invioable Resolve again. The fire does not go out on the Hyperion, but it also does no damage.
The HGT goes first, giving Desperate Pace to the Halberdiers and moving towards the left flag.
The Halberdiers go next, charging forward with a few running. 6 of them get onto the last Errant and drop him easily, while 2 others get distance on a Choir member and drop him. They then Reform forwards.
The MHSF activate. They pull back and away from the Zealots (1 dying to a free strike). They open fire with their crossbows on Bastions, inflicting light damage.
The Hyperion activates. He fires the Sparkleburst on a Bastion surrounded by Zealots… which doesn’t worry me. The Zealots are under Greater Destiny! They’re immune to such mortal weaponry!
Except Ozzie boosts to hit, and gets a Critical… and it turns out that “Critical Consume” circumvents “Greater Destiny” since it just obliterates things, not damages them… as a result, 5 Zealots are turned into radioactive dust. The shot also vapourizes the directly-hit Bastion (18 points of damage, not worth it).
The Hyperion opens fire with its Threshers, pinging my Repenters for a few damage (still nothing crippled) and missing the Bastion Seneschal twice.
Issyria activates. She gives the Hyperion an Ancillary Attack, which is a Sparkleburst on a Repenter… it crits (of course), and Consumes 3 more Zealots while crippling the legs on the Repenter.
Last turn? 10 Errants with Defender’s Ward.
This turn? 8 Zealots with No Spells and Greater Destiny. I’m starting to learn that there are very significant chinks in my armour I have to be more careful with!
The Chimera shuffle around a bit, and Ozzie is done… he doesn’t score anything because his Halberdiers aren’t all within 4″ of the flag, and his HGT isn’t B2B with it… but that’s a temporary respite, and I’m in a significant amount of trouble…
Menoth, Turn 3
Hmmm. Not looking so good… sure, I still have 2 mostly-functional Repenters (who needs legs, really?) and a pristine Reckoner… plus most of a unit of Bastions… but that’s a lot of Retribution infantry to deal with… might still pull this off. Maybe.
Once again, I decide the more tactical decision is to continue forgetting that I have Sacrificial Lamb and allocate 2 Focus to the Reckoner and none to the Repenters.
The Choir goes first and sings Battle.
My Repenters activate and flamethrower MHSF, killing 4 or 5 (and lighting the officer on fire, although not killing him). A good start.
The Reckoner stands and fires at the Hyperion… why did I think it needed 2 Focus for that? Oh, because I was wondering if I could clear enough stuff out, I might Assault on Issyria. I decide against it… it hits the Hyperion, boosts damage, and drops the mighty myrmidon’s shields.
My Zealots (the few left) activate and shuffle out of the way of the Bastions. They lob their bombs, killing nothing (really crappy damage rolls). They again pray for No Spells.
The Hierophant exalts Vindictus, who then activates and casts “True Path”. He moves further from the Halberdiers.
The Bastions Charge! I can only get 3 on the Hyperion, but that’s better than nothing… the others run forward.
Of the 3 charge attacks, 1 misses, and the other two do significant damage but fail to cripple anything (or even wreck one side of the colossus). This isn’t good…
The Bastion Senny charges in, but is too far behind.
Nicia charges the closest Chimera. She misses her charge attack (of course), but hits the second attack, inflicting light damage on the myrmidon. Sadly, she killed nothing, so she’s stuck.
The Covenant, which I’ve forgotten to write about all report so far, moves forward and says “No Spells”. It hasn’t been contributing anything thus far, for the record, as evidence by me forgetting that I had it!
With that, my turn is finished, and a situation (already grim) becomes more dire…
Retribution, Turn 4
Ozzie realized his mistake that kept him from scoring last round, and would not be repeating it this round! On the plus side, he has less than 20 minutes left on his clock, so I may end up winning by timing him out… although with my rapidly diminishing target-situation, that’s looking somewhat unlikely… but we can try!
Ozzie drops Invioable Resolve, gives the Hyperion 3 Focus, 2 to the Chimera engaging Nicia, 1 to the other Chimera, and we begin.
The Chimera goes first. It boosts to hit Nicia, clips her, and then boosts damage, dropping her to the dirt.
The Hyperion goes next. It pulls back and rotates, clearing a lane for the Chimera to charge forward and getting all 3 of my Bastions in the same arc. It does a power-sweep, hitting all three and obliterating one of them. It buys 2 attacks, killing another Bastion.
Issyria activates, shuffles behind the Hyperion, and gives it an Ancillary punch… which misses.
The Chimera charges the Bastion Seneschal… he takes a Defensive Strike as he lands, which wallops him for 10 damage but fails to cripple anything. It then does a Combo Strike on the Seneschal, but only inflicts 5 damage (phew!).
The HGT activates and again gives the Halberdiers “Desperate Pace”. It also moves B2B with the flag.
The Halberdiers activate and Charge my closest Repenter, getting 5 on it, and a couple more on another Choir member. They manage to scrap the Repenter (boo!), and kill the Choir… they Reform yet closer.
The last few MHSF pull back and open fire on my Bastions, killing 1 more, leaving me with the Seneschal and 1 other Bastion.
Ozzie ends his turn, and scores his first CP, 10 minutes left on the clock!
Menoth, Turn 4
This is going south fast… but I may still be able to salvage this… Ozzie politely put much of his surviving infantry in a line for me, and I have the perfect tool to help with that…
How did I ever play without Repenters before!? Anyway, I again forget about Sacrificial Lamb, and allocate 2 to the Reckoner.
The Choir activate and sing Battle.
The Reckoner goes first, walking towards the Halberdiers that have curled around behind the forest. It smacks one with its hammer, splattering it easily.
The Repenter then activates and walks to more-or-less where the Reckoner was before. This gives it a clear line to spray over 6 Halberdiers and 2 MHSF.
A bunch of rolls of the dice later, and 5 Halberdiers and 2 MHSF have been relieved of duty. The last of the bunch is on fire.
The Bastion Seneschal walks over to smack the Hyperion, putting a few more points of damage on it. My remaining Bastion (now healed up to 3 hitboxes) charges in and smacks the Chimera, crippling the legs on it.
My last two Zealots walk over towards the last MHSF. They pray for “Battle”. The first bomb hits and obliterates the guy, and the second lobbed grenade goes towards the Hyperion but misses, scattering away (I mean, it hits, but POW8 against ARM20 does a fat lot of nothing).
Vindictus shuffles forward a little, and my remaining Choir from the 2nd unit line up to charge the Hyperion next turn… because one of these days they’re going to kill something, and it might as well be a colossus!
Ozzie scores another point, bringing the game to 2-0 for the Retribution!
Retribution, Turn 5
Ozzie is down to 7 minutes on his clock… but he’s within striking distance of victory! If he can clear the center zone, Issyria can Velocity-walk (ha, no charges because she has no weapons!) over to the far flag, dominate for 2 and control the middle for 1 and game! All that stands in his way is the Book, 2 Zealots, and a Bastion.
He gives the Hyperion 3, allocates 1 to each Chimera, and we’re off!
The Hyperion goes first. It shuffles over slightly and then 2-hand throws the Book at a Choir member… easily hits the Book, tosses it, but misses the Choir. The Book takes a single point of damage. He then spends the remaining Focus buying attacks, killing the Bastion and 1 Zealot.
The first Chimera does a Combo Strike on my Bastion Seneschal, dropping him.
The Second Chimera walks over to the final Zealot. He swings! He misses! He swings again! He misses again! He buys an attack! And misses! Woo!
The Halberdiers poke my Reckoner a few times for minimal damage.
Ozzie still scores 1 more CP, bringing the score to 3-0 for the forces of the Retribution, with 3 minutes left on the clock!
Menoth, Turn 5
Well, there’s an upside to this situation… specifically, I haven’t lost yet.
On the downsides… I don’t have anything close enough to contest the far flag. Ozzie still has a fully-functional Hyperion, 2 mostly-functional Chimera, and an Arcanist (as well as a smattering of infantry).
Oh, and Issyria is on a hill and camping 2 Focus. Problematic.
Well… let’s see if we can do something about that… I decide that Vindictus has the best chances of assassinating Issyria, so he sits on a full camp.
The Hierophant exalts him.
The first unit of Choir sing “Battle” on my warjacks.
The second unit of Choir charge the Hyperion! They both miss! Boo.
The last Bastion (apparently the Hyperion didn’t kill it? It must’ve been outside the 4″ area of the flag, though, since I know Ozzie cleared it) shuffles over and smacks the Hyperion, finally crippling one side (the left) and doing a single point of damage to the right.
The Repenter activates and flamethrowers a couple Halberdiers that are sort-of in the path I want Vindictus to charge down… crappy rolls result in both being missed.
Well, that’s it… Vindictus activates! He charges the Hyperion (there’s a sentence I hope to never write again!)… on his way he takes a freestrike from the Halberdier that I earlier failed to flamethrower, but thankfully the Halberdier fails to penetrate through Vindictus’s boosted powerfield.
The Charge attack hits and inflicts light damage on the Hyperion…
I cast “Immolation” for 1… Ozzie considers, but decides not to Arcane Vortex it. I boost to hit… and miss (needing a 12).
I cast Immolation again… Ozzie again decides against the Arcane Vortex… I boost to hit, and hit! Sadly, no critical… I boost damage and inflict 7 points, but without Issyria on fire, there’s nothing more that can be done.
I pass my turn, Ozzie scores his 4th CP on the spot, and then he ends his turn immediately, scoring his 5th and the win!
Victory to Retribution!
Post Game Analysis:
No question, Ozzie earned that win… I certainly helped by forgetting 2 of the most important tools in Vindictus’s box (Sacrificial Lamb and Feat, neither of which I used all game), and by horribly using my Errants and Reckoner… but such is life sometimes. And, in my defense, this was my first time ever using Vindictus!
I probably should’ve been threatening Issyria or the Hyperion with my Reckoner more actively… it was silly of me to think that 2 or 3 charging Bastions would be enough to cripple it (especially with an Arcanist nearby!). And nailing Issyria with Flare would’ve been very, very useful… only 1 in 3 chance of lighting her on fire, but as the game ground on, definitely worth it!
Anyway, learning experience! Thanks for reading, and comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! And enjoy your long weekends (those of us fortunate enough to have Monday as a holiday)!