With this week’s game played on Monday between my Cygnar and Tim’s Farrow I had the opportunity to play a solid practice game on Wednesday. This is that game.
These days I’m far more interested in getting “legitimate” practice in than I have been in the past. While I still enjoy weird warcasters and strange list pairings (see my Double Stormwall – eNemo list from the Podcast last week!), I tend to get more excited about top-level play. Using the big guns of my Faction against the best my opponent can bring to the table.
It is therefore fortunate that for this game I drew Gaven, who is a fantastic Circle player incapable of fielding weak warlocks… he has his niche, and it’s a niche filled with eMorvahna, eKrueger, and Bradigus. And this pleases me… I need more practice with my new eHaley list, and eKrueger is kinda the whole reason I field her (since he is so strong against Siege and Cygnar in general!).
My new eHaley list is as follows:
Major Victoria Haley (“eHaley, Haley2”)
– Stormclad (Bonded)
– Officer and Standard
Forgeguard (“Hammerdwarves”, max)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers (“ATGM”)
Gorman di Wulfe
Anastasia di Braye
Objective: Effigy of Valour
It’s a neat list, with a pretty solid set of victory vectors. Either you get up on Scenario fast, and use the Feat and the incredibly hard-hitting (and accurate) Forgeguard and Stormblades to keep clearing zones (and liberal use of TK where needed), or you use the Pronto-clad and Thorn to enable inSANE assassination runs (the Stormclad can get 3 Focus, TK’d, TK your opponent, and Temporally Accelerated for a monster 18″ linear charge! And with 4 big sword attacks!). And it attritions pretty damn well as well… ARM20 on the Stormblades with Arcane Shield and Deceleration, or ARM23 for the Hammerdwarves, makes them pretty hardy against ranged, and either Tough of Dirge of Mists from Rhupert, as required.
Problems? It can run down your clock REALLY fast, it doesn’t like heavy spell-casting or debuff armies (Cryx, I’m looking at you… and Menoth), and Fire/Corrosion and auto-wounding things are all equally bad. Not unbeatable, by any extent, but you gotta be on your game. Oh, and Haley is super-fragile and dies to a stiff breeze as always.
As for Gaven, he was a little rushed for this game so just pulled out one of his favourite lists from the vault:
Krueger the Stormlord (“eKrueger”)
– Druid Wilder
– Warpwolf Stalker
Warpborn Skinwalkers (max)
– Alpha UA
– Stonekeeper UA
Objective: Fuel Cache
Heavy on the warbeasts, but with Krueger to blunt the alpha-strike (and yo-yo key pieces around), plus the insane threat on the TK + Shifting Stones… well, it’s not a list to be taken lightly. Plus, Stormwall is probably one of the best defensive spells in the game… not as back-breaking as Temporal Barrier, but unquestionably in the same realm.
The scenario we got was Recon, which I think both of us were happy with (both having “live” scenario warcasters. It has a 12×6″ central zone, arranged lengthwise, with objectives on the narrow ends. There are also 2 flags on the midline. To earn a single CP you can either control the central zone, destroy the enemy objective, or dominate either flag, and for 2CPs you can dominate the central zone. No matter how you slice it, you can’t earn more than 3CPs in a single turn… but against either Haley or Krueger, that’s usually enough to gaurantee a victory.
We rolled initative, which thanks to Anastasia I won, and I elected to go SECOND!
Have I gone mad!?
Well, yes, probably years ago. But one side of the table had hills and protective walls (both good!), while the other side had a big chunk of open terrain and a large forest. I didn’t want to force Rhupert to be relegated to Pathfinder duty, and I figured the elevation would really help keep my army alive (hey, even Hammerdwarves get up to DEF14 against ranged on a hill with Decel! That’s not shabby!).
Gaven placed Krueger and all his pets in the middle of the table, with the Druid Wilder behind. The Skinwalkers went to the right, while the Gallows Grove went to the left in the forest. The Shifting Stones were AD’d into a triangle in the middle of the table.
Haley, Thorn, and the Stormclad all go near the table, with the Stormblades deployed next to the Stormclad. The Hammerdwarves go to the left of the Stormblades, and the ATGM go behind them. The Journeywoman goes near them, as does Rhupert. Anastasia and Gorman hang out near Haley and the Squire.
Right. Time to see if this works out better than my (beloved) eHaley Double Stormwall list did against Krueger…
Circle, Turn 1
The Blackclad and Gallows Grove both move forward.
The Stones shift themselves forward, while all of Krueger’s warbeasts rile and run forward.
The Skinwalkers spread out and run up on the right, and most of everything else heads into the forest.
Krueger casts “Stormwall” and dumps a bunch of Fury, leaving him on 1.
Cygnar, Turn 1
My first thought is about whether I can assassinate Krueger already. Thorn can run 12″, TK forward 2″ more, get a 3″ Reaction Drive movement… that’s 17″. After that, Arcane Bolt has a solid 10″ and it ignore Stormwall… unfortunately, Krueger is behind Megalith, and I can’t get LoS through the forest he is in. Damn shame. Oh well!
Well, Circle tends to be fast, but not so fast I can’t advance. 1 Focus to Thorn, and we’re off.
Journeywoman puts “Arcane Shield” on the Stormblades. Rhupert gives them “Tough and Fearless”.
The Stormclad gets its free Focus from the ‘blades and runs forward 7″ (trying to keep it back far enough to be “safe”).
The Stormblades run forward, getting as many on the hill as possible but still slightly spread out.
The Hammerdwarves break into pairs and run forward, most on one of the two hills.
Pendrake gives “Beast Lore” to the ATGM. Just in case.
The ATGM walk forward, spread out, and fire some extremely long-range Snipe shots… but nothing is within range.
Haley walks forward and casts Decel, catching the whole army. She sits behind a wall and camps the rest of her stack.
Gorman walks up and pops smoke on him and Haley.
Anastasia walks up behind them, and the Squire runs up behind the wall.
Thorn runs in front of Haley, but safely out of charge range of the Skinwalkers.
Circle, Turn 2
Gaven pulls in his Fury.
The Druid Wilder casts “Sprint” on the Blackclad.
The Shifting Stones activate and ‘port the Blackclad to the foot of the hill my troops are clumped on.
The Blackclad activates and sprays, easily catching 5 models in the 8″ spray: 2 Stormblades, 2 Hammerdwarves, and an ATGM. As a magical attack, he ignores Decel (more’s the pity), but still only hits 1 Stormblade and a Hammerdwarf. He fails to wound the Hammerdwarf, but kills the Stormblade… who successfully toughs. Gaven goes to Sprint back… and I gently remind him that he can’t, since he didn’t kill anything.
Gaven is displeased.
The Skinwalkers run forward and spread out.
Megalith moves up a bit.
Krueger moves forward as far as he can and pops his Feat. He catches 8 of the 10 Hammerdwarves, all the Stormblades, 4 ATGM, Haley, Gorman, and my Stormclad in the Feat (not bad), and sequentially pushes them back. A few bump into other models and so don’t move their full 3″ (Gorman bumps into Anastasia, for example). Krueger than TK’s himself back into the forest and casts Stormwall again.
The Stalker runs up next to the left flag, confident in my lack of models that can charge, Ghetorix runs up the middle behind the Skinwalkers, and Megalith moves towards the middle of the table. The Gorax runs up near Krueger.
(in the following pictures, face-down wooden square tokens show models NOT hit by the Feat)
Cygnar, Turn 2
Well, at least Krueger Feated first… this is good for Haley, in general. I start my turn by again considering the assassination potential… 9 Focus on Haley (including the one from the Squire). 1 to Thorn to run 12″, 2 to TK him and move him another 5″ from that (ah, Reaction Drive… you rock…), and that will unquestionably get me LoS to Krueger and probably back arc bonus. So he’d be DEF15 (in the forest) and I’d have 6 Focus to cast and boost 2 Arcane Bolts… and he has 1 Fury for a transfer. Damnit, still can’t get it done. Oh well!
I do love the fact that it is *always* on the table as long is Thorn is alive, though.
Anyway! Instead, I commit to killing Ghetorix. Even under the Feat, my Pronto-clad is SPD5 (-2 from Feat, +2 from the Bond). I can TK him for +2, TK Ghetorix and turn him around for +2, and I have Reach for another +2… Ghetorix is 10″ away, and even BETTER, I can confirm that Gorman can get within 6″ while not being within Stormwall!
I’ve got this.
3 Focus to the Stormclad, upkeep Arcane Shield, and we’re off!
Gorman goes first (oops), and lobs a Blind grenade at the Skinwalker right in front of Ghetorix. He luckily manages to hit (phew!), blinding him and Gheto.
Thorn goes next, walking forward slightly.
Haley activates and walks back up to the wall. First TK nails the blind Skinwalker, moving him out of the way and turning him to face the left side of the board. Second TK nails Ghetorix, pulling him forward and turning him around. Last TK goes on hte Stormwall, moving it forward 2″. Haley pops her Feat and I forget to shoot anything.
Stormclad goes next and gets his free 4th Focus. He then walks straight at Ghetorix. I get the distance, but it is substantially closer than I expected (I make it by about 0.25″, not the 1″ I thought I had!). Parallax is a thing, apparently… anyway, it takes his initial attack plus 3 bought ones, but the blind Ghetorix is summarily chopped down. I spend the last attack killing the blind Skinwalker.
Gaven is much displeased.
Anastasia moves up beside the Stormclad.
Pendrake moves over and gives “Beast Lore” to the ATGM again.
The ATGM then activate. A few walk forward, but most shuffle towards the left more than up. I pump shots into the Stalker, a few Crit Brutals (none do) but mostly Snipes, and manage to inflict about 8 points of damage. 1 shoots the Blackclad with a Brutal, but is *just* out of 5″ due to Stormwall (again, measuring from Haley, I was confident I was in by a safe margin… I’m REALLY bad at that!).
The Hammerdwarves get Run/Charge orders. The 8 that were Feated on just run forward and spread out a bit. The 2 that were NOT under the Feat both Charge the Warpwolf. They both hit, and the first does a somewhat disappointing 6 points of damage (at dice-6)… the second one cranks it and inflicts 14 points more, leaving the Stalker with a crippled Mind and Body, and on only 1 box! Curses!
The Journeywoman, in desperation, walks towards the Warpwolf… takes the shot… but is well out of range. Boo.
The Stormblades just walk forward. 2 trie to shoot the Blackclad, but with 1″ guns, they can’t get close enough.
Rhupert gives “Tough” to the Hammerdwarves.
Circle, Turn 3 (Also, Cygnar Turn 2.5)
Gaven pulls in his Fury, and I go about activating everything as poorly for him as possible. I mostly succeed.
The Stalker goes first. Gaven forces to Regenerate and gets enough to fully function again (bah!), warps for Strength and swings on the nearest dwarf: he hits, and the dwarf Toughs. Second attack hits, and Toughs again. Buys an attack and finally kills the first dwarf. Buys another attack, next dwarf Toughs. Buys his last attack and kills the 2nd dwarf.
The Shifting Stones activate, and they teleport themselves up a little.
The Skinwalkers go next, and they walk around a little.
Megalith is up, and he forfeits his movement. He uses Geomancy to hit my Stormclad with Gallows, and pulls it in more than enough to get melee-range on it. He starts buying attacks, and leaves it on 15 boxes, with the buckler crippled.
The Blackclad activates and sprays over a bunch of Stormblades, Hammerdwarves, and ATGM. Again, he fails to hit many or kill any.
Gorax activates, and shuffles forward a little.
Krueger activates. He TKs himself further from Haley, casts Stormwall again. He uses 2 shots to hit and kill 1 Hammerdwarf (toughs the first time).
The Gallows Grove activates and moves protectively in front of Krueger.
Lastly, the Druid Wilder (outside of my Feat) moves forward by Krueger protectively.
Cygnar, Turn 3
Simple mission this turn: Kill the remaining 2 heavies on the table.
Secondary mission: clear out those 2 Skinwalkers on the left and start dominating the flag. I’m down to about 6 minutes at this point, and I need to start positioning a relatively quick win-condition in case I run further down on time. Lastly, I need to kill one of the Shifting Stones to ensure that Haley isn’t last-ditch assassinated.
With that in mind, 3 Focus on the Stormclad, and we’re off.
The ATGM go first. A few move closer to the Warpwolf. The first aims and fires a Snipe shot at the Blackclad… who it turns out is engaged, and so DEF18. I manage to get the 9 needed to hit, and then roll a 10 for damage, killing him in a single blow (VERY lucky!). The rest fire at the Warpwolf, pinging it for a few points of damage.
The Journeywoman walks forward onto the hill, gets range on the Warpwolf, and boosts to hit and damage, finally killing the mighty warbeast!
Thorn activates to engage both of the Skinwalkers near the flag.
Haley goes next, walking directly toward the flag (but not quite getting B2B with it). She casts TK on both Skinwalkers, turning them away from Haley and out of 4″ from the flag. She then TKs herself B2B with the flag.
The Stormblades go next and get charge orders. Most importantly, I charge one within 3″ of the Stormclad. Between their Assault shots and Charge attacks, they kill two Skinwalkers (including the Alpha).
The Stormclad activates and starts swinging at Megalith. I miss an attack (BOO!), and so leave him on 4 boxes after I burn through all my Focus.
The Hammerdwarves activate, and I do a MASSIVE derp: I give Run/Charge orders, and forget to Charge any at the stupid Shifting Stone! Instead, I run them all forward.
Anastasia activates and I measure with Haley if she’ll get the distance. Looks close but clearly in, and so she walks forward… sadly, I’m out by a 0.5″.
Honestly. I am REALLY bad at that!
That’s bad. That’s REALLY bad… Megalith as a very solid assassination attempt on Haley, and Krueger has an even better one!
In Desperation, I walk Gorman to be 1″ behind my Stormclad. He lobs a Blind grenade at my warjack, needing a 9 to hit… and nails it! The blast hits Megalith, and I flip the clock over to Gaven with only 1min, 14 seconds left.
I score 1CP for dominating the flag, and the score is now 1-0 for Cygnar.
Circle, Turn 4
Gaven decides that an assassination his is best odds of success, even with Megalith blinded.
The Shifting Stones teleport Krueger close to Megalith.
The Skinwalkers have to activate next, as one is standing where Krueger needs to go. The 1 in the way shuffles over and they kill a Stormblade with a CMA.
Megalith forfeits his movement, and Geomancies Krueger to be within range of Haley (and not engaged by my Stormclad, which he was where he originally ‘ported to). He then spends his stack destroying my Stormclad, but (sadly) still has 1 Fury open for Transfers.
Krueger activates. He’s got range on Haley… he shoots, boosting to hit. He needs a 10…
He buys a second attack, boosting to hit… and MISSES! Phew!
Gaven is very much displeased.
He camps his remaining 4 Fury.
The Gorax walks over, Primals himself, and punches a Hammerdwarf to death. He too keeps 1 spot open for Transfers.
Gaven runs his Druid Wilder in to contest the flag, and ends his turn.
Cygnar, Turn 4
No time to think! Only a minute! Krueger has 4 Transfers, but heavily damaged warbeasts… I can PROBABLY do this!
Haley gives Thorn 3 Focus, and everything drops.
Gorman goes first. He aims and lobs a Blind Grenade at the Shifting Stone Krueger is standing next to. Hits! Krueger is blind (phew!) and DEF11.
Thorn walks over. He needs 4s to hit… and his initial attack misses! GAH! All 3 bought attacks hit, though, and at Dice -2 he manages to force 2 transfers, leaving Krueger on 8 boxes.
Haley activates! She charges (30 seconds left). Charge attack hits! Damage (at Dice -3) is a paltry 3 points! Damnation.
Thankfully, as I burn through Haley’s stack buying attacks, I manage to force his last 2 transfers… they kill both Megalith and Gorax… and, with Krueger on 1 box and with Haley’s LAST focus… I manage to kill the Circle warlock.
With 0.1 seconds left on the clock.
Victory to Cygnar!
Phew! Damn close.
I really have to get faster at activating this army… a few more minutes and this would’ve been a considerably less frantic win.
Gaven could’ve decided not to risk the assassination run (instead keeping Krueger well back and just sending in stuff to clog my scenario victory), but the odds of hitting Haley on a boosted 10 one out of 2 attempts (either his first or second attack) is about 75%. In 3 other universes, I lost this game… and all because I stupidly forgot those charging Hammerdwarves on the Shifting Stone! Simply sloppy play… that should’ve cost me the game, and it almost did.
Other than that, Gaven probably popped his Feat preemptively, and Ghetorix was a bit too far forward (although he needed to be about 2.5″ from his current position to be “safe”, because Haley could still Temporal Accelerate the Stormclad if needed for another 2″ of walking threat and still the same number of attacks). Although that’s ironic a problem for Circle to have… they tend to be the ones to cause the surprising threat ranges!
Anyway, there you go! Chalk up one win for the heroine, and some vital practice against Circle! Next, to figure out if this eHaley list has any game whatsoever against Cryx…
Thanks for reading, and comments, questions, and observations are always welcome!