Battle 004 – Retribution Vs. Cygnar, Rahn vs Siege

In addition to the game that Nick and I reported on for the Podcast this week, we also got in a 2nd game… basically, we finished so quickly that we had the time to set up and try again!

Nick was eager to see if he could iron out the kinks in his Rahn list, and I really wanted to get Siege on the table at least once… so the list selection was very easy.

We rolled for initiative, which Nick won, and I picked the same side of the table as last time for the same reasons (concealment in the zone). We decided to stick with Process of Elimination for the scenario (two 12×6″ zones with an objective that contests in the middle) out of convenience more than anything.

Nick’s list was as follows:

Adeptis Rahn
– Phoenix
Sentinels (max)
– UA
Fane Knight
Stormfall Archers
Mage Hunter Assassin
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (eEiryss, Eiryss2)
Magister x2

Pitted against this swarm of elven terror were my few… my proud… my Siege list.

Major Markus “Siege” Brisbane
– Stormwall
Storm Lances (min)
Katherine Laddermore (dragoon)
Journeywoman Warcaster

As you can tell, I probably went a little too heavy into the “not a lot of models” side of the equation… but I really, *really* like what the Storm Lances can accomplish with Siege. The main problem is that Siege also really needs a Squire… well, “need” is a strong word. He certainly LIKES a Squire, but there’s simply no room for one in this list.

Anyway, Nick set up in the standard Maginot Line formation: a single line of troops extending from one side of the table to the other: Stormfall Archers, Rahn, Magister, Phoenix, Arcanist, Sentinels, Fane Knight… eEiryss went ahead of the Fane Knight, as last time (because THAT worked out well…) and the Assassin went ahead of Rahn, closer to the middle and more likely to be under the effect of Forcefield.
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As for my deployment… well, I certainly didn’t have a lot of models to worry about! The Stormwall started in the middle of the table, with the Storm Lances and Katherine to its right and Siege to the right of that (ready to head into that “safe” area behind concealment in the zone). Reinholdt went behind Siege, and the Ranges went out last, across the table from Nick’s Sentinels and Fane Knight. I know that a lot of people underestimate the threat that 6 POW11s bring to the table, and I’ve used them to dismount and kill dragoons in the past… here’s hoping they perform as well this time!
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Retribution Turn 1:

So, everything ran. The Sentinels ran up and broke into pods of 3, the Phoenix got a free Focus and ran, Rahn put out Polarity Field on the Sentinels, The Assassin went tearing off towards the right flank, the Stormfalls moved up behind cover, and the Fane Knight and eEiryss went ’round the building. The two Magisters also ran, one flanking on the right, the other heading up the middle.

(For clarity, my “left”s and “right”s are all from my perspective, and not those of the pictures, which are all taken from NICK’S vastly inferior elven perspective)
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Cygnar Turn 1:

My goal this turn was two-fold: Not trigger Vengeance on the Sentinels (that’s important, I’ve learned), and keep my Storm Lances alive long enough that I could reintroduce Rahn’s army to the concept of “Lightning War”. I knew I out-threat the Sentinels by a safe margin… but I’m very, very bad at estimating distances. But we do our best.
2 Focus to the Stormwall, and we’re off.

Reinholdt goes first and gives Siege his 2nd shot.

The Rangers activate and move forward and laterally. I get all of them within range of the Fane Knight, and 1 of them close enough for the “Mark Target” ability… six shots later and he’s dismounted and then killed.

POW11s, folks. It’s a serious threat.

The Journeywoman activates and casts “Arcane Shield” on the Storm Lances.
The Lances activate and run forward, leaving a gap which Katherine then obligingly fills.

The Stormwall walks forward and lobs out a Lightning Pod. Probably should’ve run him instead, but what would a game of WarMachine be without me making stupid mistakes? Exactly. Besides, without many models on the table, I have to make it as hard as possible for Nick to win by scenario, so putting the pod in the zone will hopefully make it a bit more complicated.

I drop Covering Fire templates to protect the Stormwall from being charged by the Assassin and protect a few of my Lances a bit.

With that, my turn is finished!

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Retribution Turn 2:

So let it not be said that Nick fails to capitalize on opportunities… Rahn upkeeps Polarity Field on the Sentinels, and we’re off.

The Assassin charges my outermost Storm Lance, using her 4″ reach to avoid the Covering Fire template easily. She hits, and dismembers the heavy cavalry in a single blow (which is good, since she’s only got the one!).

The Arcanist gives a free Focus to the Phoenix, who then moves up and fires at one of my Storm Lances. It hits, boosts damage, and kills another noble knight. The last passes his CMD check.

The Sentinels get run-charge orders, but they’re all out of range (albeit not by much), so a few run up to engage my remaining Storm Lance and 1 engages 2 of my Rangers. Sadly for Nick, 2 of the Sentinels advance run straight out of formation, so it turns out my Rangers *aren’t* actually engaged. Which is a good thing.

Rahn activates and just moves out of the kill box, but nothing else.

He moves one of his Magisters (the one on the left), but it misses its Whipsnap attack on my Ranger.

With that, he runs out of time, and decides not to waste his extension on this turn.

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Cygnar Turn 2

Basically this turn, I have to kill a LOT of Sentinels… they’re really the only serious threat to an Arcane Shielded Stormwall, and Nick has politely moved most of them up to be within range of… well… everything. So who am I to turn down such a polite offer to remove elves from the face of Immoren?

Siege allocates 2, I drop Arcane Shield from the last Storm Lance, and we’re off.

Reinholdt gives Siege a 2nd rocket.

Siege moves up into the zone (behind cover) and “Ground Pounder” attacks the clump of Sentinels closest, and pulps all 3. He then fires his 2nd shot at another, which also kills. He casts Foxhole on himself and camps his last Focus.

The Journeywoman activates and puts Arcane Shield on the Stormwall.

Feeling safer, the Stormwall walks up, *just barely* toes into the zone, and fires at the Phoenix twice, inflicting moderate damage. It fires the Metal Storms, getting a pathetic 2 shots (1 on each cannon), but whatever… the Assassin and 1 more Sentinel take dirt-naps.

Katherine activates and charges the Sentinels.
“Can’t. Polarity Field.”
I point at the “PF” token on the Phoenix. “I thought the Phoenix had Polarity Field?”
“No, that’s PHOENIX Field. This over here,” Nick says, pointing to another “PF” token, “this here is Polarity Field.”
“Ah. Got it. Clear as mud.”
Okay… no problem. Katherine charges the Phoenix BEHIND the Sentinels. Thankfully, the one closest to her charge lane is facing away… sadly, it’s not facing-away-enough, and gets a free strike which dismounts Katherine, failing her charge. She takes her Assault shot, though (since I don’t see anything anywhere that says that she can’t… Assault triggers whether you fail your charge or not), which hits the Phoenix at POW12, fails to wound, but arcs into a Sentinel which it… also fails to kill. Boo.

The Storm Lance activates and misses the Sentinel closest to him.

My Rangers activate next, and I move 2 towards the Magister and eEiryss, while the rest continue to spread out a bit. Shots are fired, but Eiryss dodges the bullets (helped significantly by my failure to move 1 Ranger over enough to cancel her Cover), as do most of the Sentinels.

Not a great turn… 6 Sentinels still alive, Eiryss far too close to my warcaster, and the Phoenix hurt but functional… but on the flip side, I still have my Feat, and I’m *pretty sure* that my Stormwall can weather one round of attacks.

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Retribution Turn 3

So one of the reasons I hate Sentinels more than almost any other unit in the game (almost), is Vengeance. It’s just so freakishly powerful… I mean, the only way to make it worse would be to put it on a unit with Ghostly and the ability to get +2 to hit. That would be SUPER broken.

But on Sentinels, it’s still pretty powerful. They Vengeance-kill Katherine and the last Storm Lance.

Rahn allocates the Phoenix a full 3 Focus.
The Arcanist gives “Concentrated Power” to the Phoenix (+2 damage).
Next, the Sentinels all charge my Stormwall. Nick manages to get 5 onto my mighty Colossus, but after all the swings are finished he’s barely done 20 points of damage.

The Phoenix charges in and adds its blows to the fray, but even so the Stormwall stands unperturbed… nothing crippled, and still with 24 boxes intact.

The Stormfall Archers activate and take their shots… a few miss, and those that hit fail to penetrate my armour.

The Magister on the left walks up and punches 2 Rangers to death, and Eiryss kills a 3rd. The remainder pass their CMD.

With that, Nick runs out of time and again elects not to extend.

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Cygnar Turn 3

I know people like to say that the Phoenix is “pillow fisted”… they are, of course, wrong. But either way, that myrmidon must die this turn. Siege gives the Stormwall a full 3 Focus and drops Foxhole.

Trouble is, Siege is currently engaged by a Sentinel… which is sucky, because I really want my warcaster to puliverize that beautiful clump of Sentinels near my Stormwall… so I activate my Rangers first. 1 tries to stab the Sentinel to death (no luck), and the other 2 try to shoot it to death (aiming + mark target means I only needed a 6 to hit), but both fail.

Fine. Screw that plan anyway. Siege pops his Feat, walks up, and just hammers the Sentinel to death himself.

The Stormwall activates and takes its initial attack on the Phoenix, which misses (boo!)… his 2nd attack hits, though, at is rolling at Dice + 11 (Siege’s Feat is awesome!)… I boost damage and roll… a total of 6. So 17 points of damage (on an average roll, I would’ve inflicted 22, and I COULD have inflicted 29!). Whatever. The electroleap fries a Sentinel.

Buy an attack… miss.
Buy another attack… hits… and at dice + 1, scraps the Phoenix. I also kill another Sentinel with an electroleap.

Wait, did I say “Sentinel”? Yeah, I meant the Officer… yay no more Vengeance! Okay, so small blessing there.

Lastly, the Journeywoman walks towards Siege and shoots another Sentinel (one that failed its charge and so was unengaged), hitting and killing.

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Retribution Turn 4:

At this point, Nick concedes the game, believing (probably accurately) that he has nothing left to kill my Stormwall, and its just a question of time. We shake hands, and then start to rabbit-chase.

I point out to Nick that he actually has a very viable assassination run… Eiryss moves up and shoots the 3 Focus off of Siege, the Magisters try to knock him down, and the Stormfall Archers and/or Rahn finish the job.

Nick curses very loudly at the fact he didn’t see it himself.

I mean, it’s by no means a sure thing… Siege is in concealment (DEF16) and base ARM17… but it might’ve worked.

Nick starts by moving Eiryss and hitting Siege (good start for him!). Next, the Magister on the left moves in and Forcebolts Siege, hitting (but not knocking down), and moving Siege 1″ away. The next Magister moves up and misses Siege (trying to pull him out of Concealment)

Rahn TKs himself over the wall he’s behind, charges his Magister to get the distance needed to get close enough to Siege to cast something to knock him down (I forget which)… and is still a hair out of range. We nudge Rahn a fraction of a hair closer to Siege so he’s in range… and Rahn pops his Feat. He hits, slams Siege into the obstacle behind him, and kills my warcaster.

Victory for… well, Cygnar. Because Nick gave up, and then was out of spell range, and on my turn I’m pumping 2 fully boosted POW14s into his warcaster followed up by the Stormwall and Rangers if needed. But since this was just a practice game anyway, and that last turn Siege was alive by the fractionest of fractions… we’ll call it a tie. 🙂

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Just for people curious about the tactical mistakes I made:

1. Katherine really should’ve Assaulted the Phoenix in a straight line through the 3 Sentinels in front. The Impact attacks would’ve had a fair chance to kill them (not great, but not awful), and at the very least she would’ve gotten her full POW14 shot at the Phoenix, which would’ve been better.
2. Moved the Lances up too far. Obviously.
3. Running a list without ANY screening units is difficult… especially against an enemy that keeps running his Reach units into engage your stuff. The Rangers should’ve been focused more on killing Sentinels, rather than missing Eiryss.

Fun game, though! And thanks to Nick for helping me prep for the tournament… which I will be writing about next!

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