I thought it might be kinda fun to play a Winter-Festival-Holiday-Themed game of WarMachine as December is in full roar… but since I only had this thought last week, and since making cool terrain takes time and money… I decided to go for the cheesey, tongue-in-cheek look instead! White tissue paper for snow, some holiday-houses (wrong scale, but close!), a few holiday trees, a random piece of fence (also wrong scale!), and a train-track to nowhere…
Plus, of course, a rampaging horde of murderous elves rebelling against the fat human mage in red! I just wish I was playing Khador and had time to glue a small white beard onto the Butcher… 🙂
This battle would see me using Constance Blaize for the first time ever… not because of her (whom I’ve had painted and based for some time now) but because of Gallant, who I only obtained and primed a little while ago. My plan is to have a mostly-gold warjack with silver, white, and blue highlights… I want it to scream “Ostentatious Church Warjack!” whenever anyone looks at it. I would ALSO like him to look good, but one step at a time.
Nick, for his part, decided to bring a Ravyn tier list… would Blaize’s Feat be able to protect her and her lines of infantry from Ravyn’s Snipe-Feat-Go?!
We rolled for Scenario and got “Chemical Reaction”… two 6×12 zones that can be dominated (if friendly, 1 point, if enemy 3CPs) and 2 objectives that can be destroyed for 1 CP each. I won the roll (huzzah!) and chose to go first.
My Constance list was comprised of the following:
Constance Blaize, Knight of Santa
Precursor Knights (max) with UA
Sword Knights (max) with UA
Long Gunners (max) with UA
Harlen Versh, Witch Hunter
Had I to make the list again… well, I was pretty happy with most of it. I think Arlan needs to be in the list to compensate for marshalling a melee warjack to the Sword Knights, honestly (he was in my other list, but that was a poor choice), I will probably drop the Long Gunner UA in the future for Runewood (or Rhupert… somebody to give out Pathfinder), but otherwise I was actually pretty happy with the list.
I set up everything in a brick near the middle of the table, with Gallant and the Centurion on either side of Constance, while her entourage hung out behind her and my units of Infantry went to either side… and the lone Stormcaller went WAY out on the left flank by himself out way past Cinnimon Heart Grove.
Poor guy. He looks a little lonely, doesn’t he? I figured he was the only atheist of the bunch… “Morrow will protect THESE people… you go stand over there!”
Anyway, I digress.
Nick’s Ravyn list was as follows:
Ravyn, Eternal Grinch
Mage Hunter Strike Force (MHSF) with UA (max) x2
Mage Hunter Infiltrators (MHI) with Eiryss3
Stormfall Archers (SFA) x2
Mage Hunter Assassin
Narn, Mage Hunter Assassin Extreme
I think that was it.
I should point out a few things. First, Nick handed me this list with the title “Ravyn Tier 2” on it… except that originally it had Discordia instead of a Phoenix (which isn’t allowed in the Tier list), and it still only has 2 units of MHSF while Tier 2 requires 3.
So, basically, Cheater McCheaterson of the clan MsCheatersons was trying to cheat. But I caught him! And we laughed and he corrected the list.
He deployed his angry elves along an extended line with Ravyn in the middle with her Phoenix and the painted unit of Stormfall Archers, while the unpainted unit went further to the right on the other side of the Caramel Forest. The Infiltrators (with AD due to Eiryss3) went right in front of Ravyn, one unit of MHSF went to the left behind Tinsel Town, and the others went to the right, just in front of and beside Caramel Forest.
And with that, the stage was set! I grabbed my dice and we began turn 1 in the epic Pro-Santa-Anti-Santa battle of 2013!
Pro-Santa Turn 1
Constance camps all her Focus, and I begin.
The Journeywoman goes first, casting “Arcane Shield” on the Sword Knights and backing up.
The Sword Knights activate. They successfully “Pronto” the Centurion, and then run forward, clumping up in Defensive Line.
Next, the Centurion activates, walks forward, and activates “Polarity Field”. Should’ve run… but oh well. Live and learn!
The Long Gunners run up behind the Sword Knights, some up on the hill for the extra Defense bonus against the MHSF (ah, Elevation… the only thing the angry elven crossbows DON’T ignore!), but some tantilizingly close and out in the open.
I mean, Constance’s Feat doesn’t generate Focus on its OWN, after all… 🙂
The Precursor Knights all run forward and spread out slightly.
Gallant activates, takes his free Focus from Harlen, and runs up. I try to keep him back a bit to avoid drawing all the incoming fire… I want Nick to be shooting my Infantry this turn, not my warjacks!
Next, Harlen activates and runs up and toes into the forest… I was pretty sure he was safe from the cursed MHSF this round, but this wouldn’t be the first time I would misjudge distances… better safe.
Constance activates, walks forward, and after measuring her CTRL, pops her Feat. Against Ravyn and her long (LONG long) ranged attacks, I was *pretty* sure this was the right call… but so hard to know since is the first time I’ve ever used her! She then casts “Banishing Ward” on Gallant (because why not) and Transference on herself.
The Squire trundels along behind her, beeping happily.
Lastly, my Stormcaller runs forward into the forest and into Constance’s Feat range. Again, I was PRETTY sure he was safe, but if he was going to die, at least he was going to generate a Soul for her in the process!
Death to the Fat Red Mage Turn 1
Nick starts his turn slowly, trying to come to grips with what to do about my Feat… he could ignore me, not give me any Focus/Souls, but then have my entire alive army to deal with next turn, or he could try and kill my guys, getting successively more difficult as he tries, and making Constance more powerful (than you can possibly imagine) in the process.
It’s good to be king sometimes.
Anyway, eventually he makes up his mind. 1 Focus to the Phoenix, and we’re off.
The MHSF hiding out behind Tinsel Town go first. They activate and walk forward and then open fire on my Precursor Knights.
What follows is, hands down, the worst rolling for Retribution I have ever seen. Nick had 11 shots. Of those 11 shots, needing 7s to hit, he rolled: 2, 3, 3, 2, 4, 6, 3, 5, 3, 8, 8.
Two hits. TWO.
Those two shots, needing 5 to kill (ARM14 on POW10), he rolled: 2, and 2.
That’s a total of FOUR double ones over 13 rolls. Awesome! And no kills!
On the one hand: huzzah! On the other hand, no extra Focus for Constance… oh well! As long as his dice kept that up, I was okay with it!
The Mage Hunter Assassin runs from the left side of the table to the front edge of Caramel Forest.
The Infiltrators went next. They move up, and Eiryss takes a shot at Gallant.
And rolls Snake-eyes to hit.
Now, Nick intentionally moved 1 of them out of Formation on the far left (well, noticed and decided not to move Eiryss closer to him since she would be out in the open)… and rolling CMD (laughing pointing out how easy this should be), the model failed and broke.
At this point, Nick put away his dice and brought out a different set. No more was said about those dice… may they rest in peace.
With fresh dice, Eiryss takes a shot at a Precursor and actually kills him! 1 soul for Constance.
Next, the central Stormfall Archers activate. They move up and fire Snipe shots into Gallant. All 4 miss (DEF13 against RAT5), and the scatter kills another Precursor. My army is now +2ARM.
Ravyn activates. She moves over into Caramel Forest and casts “Snipe” on the 2nd unit of MHSF. She then drops a Veil of Mists in front of her.
Those MHSF now activate and move forward. They open fire, and when the dust settles they’ve managed to kill 2 of my Long Gunners. Army is now +4ARM, and Constance is sitting on a respectable 4 souls.
The Phoenix runs forward, behind the Viel. Clever… clever…
The last unit of Stormfalls activate. They move up and fire Snipe shots into the Sword Knights, but at ARM23 at this point (ARM14 base plus 2 for Defensive Line plus 3 for Arcane Shield plus 4 from Constance’s Feat), they’re basically immune and his shots do nothing. Awesome.
With that, Nick’s turn is over, and Santa survives another round!
Love the shadow across the entire Retribution side on that last picture. Perfect! Anyway.
Protect The Holly-Jolly-Warcaster Turn 2
Okay, so that was about as perfect a Feat turn as I think Constance can ever get. Only 4 deaths, but still a fistful more Focus to use… granted, with only 1 warjack, I can only do so much… but still! That’s not a bad thing! And I had plans… oh, great and wonderful plans…
But first! I decide that charging Gallant into Eiryss… while fun… would not be particularly productive. So I camp all of Constance’s Focus, take another from the Squire (bringing her to 11), upkeep Arcane Shield and Transference, and we begin.
Harlen activates first. He walks forward and takes a shot at the closest MHSF, but is well out of the required 5″ range. Pity.
The Precursor Knights go next. I’m tempted to charge them at Nick’s MHSF clustered around the Happiness Store in Tinsel Town, but I’ll only be able to get the front 4 or 5, and the follow up could wipe out the majority of my unit… so instead I march them forward in Shield Wall. ARM18 should be enough to keep them safe from the Mage Hunters, I hope… even on Charge, they need 9s to kill, and it will be difficult to get more than a handful of my unit.
At this point, I decide it’s time to weed out some of the elven bastards… Constance strides up to be in B2B with my Objective (immunity to continuous effects could be useful against that Phoenix, I suppose, but mostly I was doing it to block LoS to the Stormfalls). She casts “Crusader’s Call”, then lobs a “Sunburst” at a pack of Infiltrators. It misses, obviously, but I get a fantastic scatter which hits 3 MHI and the Phoenix… I kill 2 of the Infiltrators and boost damage on the Phoenix, inflicting 3 points on the mighty myrmidon.
Well, it worked well last time… and I still have 3 Focus on her… so what the hey. I cast it again at Eiryss… it deviates perfectly AGAIN (awesome!), hitting her and 2 other infiltrators. It vapourizes 1 of the MHI, but only singes Eiryss for 1 (wish I had kept that boosted damage roll against the Phoenix for this!).
I realize that Constance is still kind of exposed, so I protectively move Gallant up next to her (Gallant gets a free Focus from a nearby Precursor Knight, but I don’t have anything to spend it on).
Next, the Centurion activates. I quickly calculate that I COULD charge the Centurion into a bunch of them, maybe splatter a few… but the following turn that Phoenix would wreck my warjack pretty handily, and then I’d be down a warjack and without any real advantage. So I just walk up and activate Polarity Field again.
The Sword Knights activate. They Pronto the Centurion first (just in case!), but even with that 4″ movement he fails to engage any of the Infiltrators. Fine. The Sword Knights, bolsterd by Constance’s “Crusader’s Call”, charge forward, easily getting distance on the lithe and grinchy elven skirmishers. 4 of my Sword Knights can’t get lanes and instead run forward to give Defensive line (1 heads to try and engage the Stormfalls but is sadly an inch out).
Needing 8s to hit… I splatter no less than 5 of the Infiltrators. Nice!
The Long Gunners activate next. Not sure what they can do… except that at the distance they’re currently at, the answer is “nothing”. So they walk up. The far left one takes a shot at the closest Stormfall but is out of range. The next 3 do a CRA at the same guy but only 2 are in range… and they miss. Boo.
The four on the left all do a single CRA at the closest Stormfall from the central group… but only 1 is in range, and he too fails to hit.
The lonely Stormcaller moves up as much as he can and calls down thunder on the closest MHSF… but is out of range by a few millimeters. Damnations!
Oh well. I’m still pleased with how the turn went, overall… I just have to survive 1 round of shooting, and I’m pretty sure Constance can do that, what with Shield Guard on her noble Gallant very, very close by and LoS blocked by that easily-hit objective she’s in B2B with.
Pointy Ear Scrooges Turn 2
So Nick looks at the table and chuckles.
“You know I’ve got this, right?”
“Oh, probably… probably…”
I thought he was crazy. Constance was safe! He couldn’t even see her! What could I be forgetting?
Let’s find out together, shall we!
Nick camps all his Focus but upkeeps Snipe.
First, the Infiltrators activate. They charge, with the 1 out of Formation staying out of Formation (and therefore still Fleeing). 1 of the Infiltrators charges straight past the Centurion, and is summarily splattered by the free strike. I like Reach weapons on warjacks!
Eiryss and 1 other charges the 2 Precursor Knights I have in front of the Objective, both hitting and killing the knights. Eiryss’s Quickwork shot puts 4 damage on the objective, and then they all back up 3″.
The central 4 Stormfalls go next. They shuffle forward and open fire on the Objective… they all hit, and leave it on 5 health. I also realize at this point a somewhat critical flaw in my plan… if Nick decides to fire, say, a Starfire shot and lights Constance on Fire… I would be very, very sad. But he chooses not to, which I’m okay with, and the blast damage rolls against Constance all fail to wound (dice – 10, after all).
Ravyn goes next. She charges her own Objective, smacking it for a few points of damage. She then takes her initial Ranged attack (Virtuoso is pretty cool!) on my Objective. She spends 1 Focus to make it an AoE…
Wait, Ravyn can do that? Huh.
She hits the Objective and inflicts 4 points of damage on it, leaving it at 1 (woo!). She then boosts blast damage on Constance, and CRANKS the damage roll (16!). Ouch-ouch.
Nick originally thought he did 10 points of damage, I corrected him that it was 6, he insisted that it was 10… turns out that “16 – 10 equals 10” is standard Nick mathematics. No harm done, it was caught in time…
The NEXT thing I learn is that Shield Guard isn’t QUITE as awesome as I thought it was. I went to shuffle that damage off to Gallant… and learned that:
1. You can’t declare Shield Guard AFTER the damage roll. Only before.
2. You can’t Shield Guard against Blast or AoE damage regardless.
Uh oh. Huh. That sucks. Well… still… Constance is at 10 health, and the only thing Nick has left that can hit me is…
Two… basically full… units of Mage Hunter Strike Force. Huh.
“Oh, and I pop my Feat.”
Do I have to write it out? You’re going to make me. Fine.
The first unit activates, shuffles forward, and 8 attack rolls later (one of which was transfered to Gallant), Constance has been killed. Victory to the Bah Humbug Hunters!
You know… despite the loss, I’m actually pretty okay with this game. I learned a few valuable lessons, I had a lot of fun with Constance, and I’m really excited to get her on the table again before too long. I now know (again) NOT to keep things that you want to keep alive in B2B with anything, and to remember NOT to move your fragile, important warcaster TOWARDS your enemy’s LoS-ignoring guns! Yay learning!
Also, the ridiculous winter-theme table was ridiculous. And fun. Incredible what you can do at a dollar store with a little time and some liberal applications of insanity.
Thanks for reading, and happy holidays to all of you!