I said this would go up Wednesday… it goes up Friday… which is a little like Wednesday in that they both involve the word “day”! So… better late than never?
So on Saturday, the Combo Smite crew made the field trip down to Hobby Kingdom in Burlington, Ontario. This was my second time in the venue (the last time for my foray into “Hardcore” with Menoth, which was completely enjoyable if somewhat unsuccessful!), but the first time for Nick, Aaron, Darrell, and Kassem. Great venue, tonnes of fun… and a solid 27 players that showed up!
Nick is writing up his own reports from the event, but I do so love writing battle reports, and hopefully my (mis)adventures can help other Cygnar players!
Let’s start with the basics: I’d really like to make the Canadian National Team for the World Team Championships coming up in Ireland in 2015. Towards that end, I have put aside my Menoth temporarily… while they are a tonne of fun, I’m simply not as strong with them as I am with my Cygnar (not least because of my continual struggles against Cryx). Coinciding with that, I’ve also decided that I need to step up my tournament game pretty substantially… I’ve often struggled with the “better” Cygnar warcasters due to lack of practice. But no more!
With that in mind, I wanted to bring one of the Haleys to this tournament, along with a complimentary warcaster. Siege is a great counterpoint to eHaley, no question, but the typical eHaley build is actually pretty melee heavy (Hammerdwarves or Stormblades, Gorman, Thorn, and Anastasia generally, with additional troops to suit particular playstyles), which makes Siege’s typically ranged-strong counterpoint a good one. However, I’m not yet comfortable with eHaley (she’s a better warcaster than I am a player), and so was rocking pHaley, and a list full of guns. All the guns, all the time… making Siege less of an ideal counterpoint. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still GOOD (pHaley struggles against high ARM, Siege does not), but he’s not as intrinsically good as he is paired with eHaley.
My options? Darius, Kraye, eStryker… and Stryker3. I decided on Stryker3 for a couple reasons:
1. I love Stormlances. They’re fantastic, powerful, and he really cranks them up to 12 (bypassing 11 completely).
2. It’s unusual for Cygnar to have a really powerful Alpha-Strike warcaster… we tend to rely more on hit-and-run or whittle-down-at-range tactics, so I was hoping to catch a few opponents off guard.
3. He’s a great model, and with Escort seems pretty durable.
With that in mind, I created the following two lists:
Captain Victoria Haley (“pHaley, Haley1”)
Anastasia di Braye
Tempest Blazers (max)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers (ATGM)
– Officer (“The Dude”)
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt
This is a very simple list: keep Haley safe behind the 2 immobile huge bases, cast Temporal Barrier every turn from as far forward as possible, and blast everything to pieces with 4 big guns (POW15 shots from the Stormwall and Strider) and accurate guns (RAT7s on the ATGM and Blazers, plus Deadeye when required). Aiyana and Holt just in case there’s something big and scary that needs to die.
Lord General Coleman Stryker (“Stryker3, LStryker, Pony Stryker”)
– Ol’ Rowdy
Major Katherine Laddermore
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Storm Lances (max)
– Officer and Standard
– 3x Storm Gunner
This list is as subtle as a kick to the junk: move up, Feat, kill all the stuff. “Fury” on either (or both) the Stormblade Infantry and Storm Lances gives you POW18 charges (Weapon Masters on Feat Turn that auto-hit), plus the ability to Ride-by-Attack your opponent at range with the Lances if needed. The Stormclad adds super-punch to the list with nice Focus efficiency built in, and throw in Iron Aggression on that badboy for free charges and autoboosted melee attacks? AND “Assault”?! Now you’ve got a stew going!
With lists in hand, I was ready to wreak some havoc!
Round 1: Circle Oroboros
My first round opponent was a gentleman named John. John brought a Bradigus tier list and the following eKrueger list:
Krueger the Stormwrath (“eKruegar”)
– Warpwolf Stalker
Druids of Oroboros
– Stone Keeper
Not a Krueger list I’m familiar with, although I could immediately see some frightening synergies. Still, there was no “Lord of the Feast”, so I wasn’t that worried. I was pretty sure he was going to drop Krueger against me (“Stormwall” is such a powerful spell against ranged armies), and I was equally sure that pHaley would have a tough time of this… denying Charges is only so useful when your opponent can teleport right up to you anyway! Plus, with 3 super-heavies in the list, each capable of either wrecking or almost-wrecking an Arcane-Shielded Stormwall… well, I figured Stryker3 would be a better drop.
Mistake number 1…
We rolled for Initiative, which I won and elected to go first (ecstatic that I would be able to get my army up the table before he Feated!).
I put Stryker next to Ol’ Rowdy and the Stormclad in the middle of the table with his Squire. The Storm Lances and Katherine went to the right of middle while the Stormblades went further right with Rhupert.
John dropped all his warbeasts and Krueger near the middle of the table, Druids in front (with Advanced Deploy) along with the two units of Stones, and the Gallows Grove to the left.
First Scenario was “Fire Support” from the new Steamroller 2015. Sadly, we can’t talk about the rules (so don’t ask!), but it has a flag, an objective, and some nifty rules that are still under revision. If you’re curious, ask your local PG to take a peek at the new Steamroller package!
Cygnar, Turn 1
Pretty basic turn, aided only by camping a full stack of Focus due to Rowdy running for free and the Stormclad getting free Focus from the Stormblades.
Rowdy and the Stormclad ran forward, with Stryker going B2B with Rowdy, popping out “Fury” on the Stormlances, “Iron Aggression” on the Stormclad, and “Escort” on himself (without pulling from the Squire, and trust me I got the math correct).
The Stormblades got “Arcane Shield” from the Journeywoman Warcaster, Tough from Rhupert, and ran forward. The Stormblade Captain ran into the middle of the pack, while the Stormlances fanned out behind them. Major Laddermore went straight to the front of the mess, trying to bait out a piece from John’s side for a favourable trade, or setting up a solid next-round charge-Assault combo.
Circle, Turn 1
John goes into the tank for a minute, trying to decide whether to take Laddermore with a “Sprint”ing Ghetorix, but then decides against it, figuring he would be a touch shy on the teleport range. Instead, he decides to brick!
The Druids move forward, popping Clouds. They also get “Elemental Immunity” (curses!) and “Anti-Magic”.
The Stones shift around a little (see what I did there?), while the Stalker warps for Prowl and heads into the forest. Ghetorix and the Gorax move forward, while the Druid Wilder charges the Ghorax: she hits, but fails to wound (somebody will have to explain that rationale to me at some point… why would he try to hurt the Ghorax without anyone nearby?).
Krueger moves up into the middle of his troops, casting the thrice-cursed “Stormwall” (my Assault shots are now RNG3 on my Stormlances, and RNG1 on my Stormblades…).
Megalith moves up and TKs one of the stones slightly forward, and he’s done!
Cygnar, Turn 2
Huh. Never realized how potent that wall of clouds can be. Normally I would let my ATGM ping them all off the table rather effortlessly (14″ Snipe shots can usually stay out of Krueger’s Stormwall range), but all my ranged in this list is Electrical aside from the Journeywoman (and I am NOT getting her within 12″ of squat!). I decide that I’m going to just try my best to force his Feat next turn, keep a few models out of range of it, and then counter-Feat (or just clear out as much as I can) while keeping Stryker as safe as possible.
Styrker upkeeps everything and camps his full stack, and I upkeep Arcane Shield with Junior.
The Stormclad and Rowdy move forward and shuffle around a little, and Stryker moves up behind them, B2B with Rowdy again.
The Stormblades run forward, with only 1 managing to actually engage a Druid. The rest just spread out to make a nuisance of themselves.
The Stormlances flank hard to the right, with Katherine going FAR right (basically on the table edge) to keep at least 1 model, hopefully more, out of Feat range. The Stormblade Captain runs up behind my Stormblades, who get “Tough” again from Rhupert (figuring the Gallows Grove was *probably* far enough away that he wouldn’t catch many of them).
Circle, Turn 2
John goes into the tank again for a minute… which makes me concerned. He shrugs and says something about “Going for it”. That doesn’t sound good… Krueger pulls in all his Fury except 2, which the Stones vapourize for him.
The Druids activate first. They move over, pulling first the Stormclad out of the way, and then Rowdy away from Stryker.
That’s… not a good start.
Megalith goes next, moving forward and casting “Telekinesis” on Rowdy, pulling him in 2″ towards him (and into melee range). He then 2-hand Throws Rowdy, lobbing him away from Stryker and knocking Rowdy down.
Definitely not a good start.
Krueger goes next. He charges a Stormblade near Megalith, easily getting distance. He then casts Megalith’s Animus, and then casts TK on one of the Shifting Stones to move it forward 2″. He casts TK on the Stalker, moving it forward 2″ towards Styker. He then spends his last 2 Fury on a TK for himself, putting himself within 5″ of Stryker (for the DEF debuff).
The Gorax puts “Primal” on Ghetorix.
The first unit of Stones activates and teleports Ghetorix right to the very edge of the other unit of Stones, which then teleport Ghetorix to within 2″ of Stryker.
The Druid Wilder puts “Primal” on the Stalker.
The Stalker then Charges Stryker, easily getting distance.
Huh. That’s…that’s probably a bad thing? Yeah. I’m going to say that it’s a bad thing… but, hey, Stryker is camping 3 Focus, so that makes him a respectable…
Wait, what? That only makes him ARM19!? But…
The Stalker leisurely rips Stryker limb from limb, using only 1 Focus and not even activating Ghetorix yet.
Victory to Circle!
Post Game Analysis
Let’s chalk that one up to “A Learning Experience”, shall we, folks? Gaven (the only Circle player I’ve played against consistently) doesn’t use 2 units of Stones, and I was under all sorts of mistaken understandings (I thought the Stones couldn’t be TK’d… nope… I thought it was “Completely within 8 inches”, not “Within 8 inches”… nope… I thought they had to activate to pull off Fury… nope…). Had I known, I would’ve:
A: Worked harder to kill the Druids! Sending in Laddermore to wipe out 3 of them (Impact on 2, charge on 3rd) might’ve been an idea… or a Chain Blast from Stryker, perhaps? And keeping Styker and Rowdy further back would’ve DEFINITELY have been a good idea!
Oh well. I’ve learned… and, perhaps most importantly, I realized what a BAD matchup this is for Stryker… and since it’s also a weak matchup for Haley… and a warlock I am probably going to see a lot of… I think that I may need a different compliment to pHaley. Huh. Back to the black board… but that’s for later! There is still a tournament to play!
Round 2: Cryx
My opponent for round 2 was a young gentleman named Julian. His two lists were pDenny and Terminus, but it was irrelevant: pHaley is my Cryx drop, full stop.
I had a twinge of regret when he mentioned in passing that he had never played against Cygnar before. Oh, the poor young man… this was going to be a rude introduction.
Julian’s list was as follows:
Lich Lord Terminus (“Termy”)
Bane Knights (max)
Bane Thralls (max)
– Officer and Standard
Bane Lord Tartarus (“BLT”)
Satyxis Raiders (max)
– Sea Witch
War Witch Siren
A solid list, and Terminus does have some game against pHaley… he can at least theoretically keep his troops alive! That’s something!
We rolled for initiative, which with Anastasia’s help I easily won and elected to go first. Julian picked the wrong side of the table (that would be the side
I deployed my two huge bases with Haley between them. The Tempest Blazers went to the left, the ATGM to the right, and the Squire went behind Haley. Aiyana and Holt went behind the Stormwall, and I was ready!
Julian deployed Terminus near a wall, the Bane Knights with BLT on the left, opposite my Blazers, with the Raiders Advanced Deployed in front of them, and the Bane Thralls on the right with the Withershadow Combine, the War Witch Siren, and both warjacks.
Scenario was the new Destruction 2015… again, don’t ask for rules. In this case, it only came into play a little…
Cygnar, Turn 1
Haley allocates 1 Focus to the Stormwall.
The Stormwall tramples forward and lobs out a Lightning Pod. The Strider runs forward.
Haley charges up and elects to put Arcane Shield on the Strider (which, if I had known/remembered Terminus’s 10″ Spray, should’ve probably have gone on Haley herself!).
The ATGM run forward and spread out, with Aiyana and Holt running up among their number (well, Holt did. Aiyana stayed safely behind the Stormwall).
The Blazers move forward, take a few shots that land well short of the Raiders, and then light-Cav back to safety.
Time to see what kind of answer Julian had…
Cryx, Turn 1
Poor Julian. So young. So naive. So about-to-be-utterly-crushed.
Terminus gives 1 Focus to the Slayer and camps the rest.
The Raiders go first, running forward. None manage to engage my Blazers, but 2 do head in front of my Strider.
The Bane Knights run froward, with BLT going on the far right flank. The Thralls run up the middle of the table, with the Withershadow Combine in the middle with them.
Terminus moves up and casts some personal buff or another on himself, and plants his butt behind a wall.
The Stalker runs forward.
The Defiler gets Power Boosted by the War Witch Siren and also runs forward.
The Pistol Wraith shoots my pod to death easily, and then tries to put a bullet into an ATGM, but is out of range.
With that, Julian is done.
Okay, he didn’t do anything terribly wrong that turn… still, I think it would be appropriate to wipe out half his army this turn, don’t you? Feat Turn! Haley allocates 2 to the Stormwall, pulls off the Squire, and we’re off.
Haley goes first, moving forward a few inches, popping her Feat, casting “Temporal Barrier”, and taking a couple shots at the Defiler (missing both times).
The Stormwall goes next, moving up in front of Haley and dropping a pod as close to Admonina as possible (hitting the Defiler for a few points in the process). It then drops Covering Fire in front of the Bane Thralls and hammers the Slayer for some pretty heavy damage.
Tempest Blazers all aim and fire, and by the 5th (of 10) shot I’ve wiped out all the Raiders through direct hits and electroleaps, including the ones engaging the Storm Strider. They Light-Cav back away from the approaching Banes.
The Storm Strider goes next. All three shots go into the Lightning Pod, electroleaping through Tremalous to Admonina: the second hit fries the most important of the Withershadow (stupid Disbinding), and kills a Bane Thrall. The Third shot manages to get to and fry another Bane Thrall.
The ATGM stride forward, opening fire: a few fire Thunderbolt rounds at the Defiler and Slayer, but I give up on that and switch to Crit: Brutal shots shortly: after they’ve taken their 12 shots (yay Feat!), the Defiler is toast and the Slayer is in a bad way. Oh, and one snipes the Pistol Wraith off the table.
Aiyana and Holt activate. Aiyana moves up and tries to Kiss the Slayer, but is out of range. Holt takes his 2 shots on it anyway, pinging it up for some more damage.
Lastly, the Stormcaller activates and moves over towards the Bane Knights.
Not a bad turn, if I do say so myself… 11 Raiders, Admonina, a Defiler, most of a Slayer, a Pistol Wraith… could’ve been better if I had positioned the Blazers more intelligently, but better safe than sorry!
Cryx, Turn 2
Julian is learning valuable lessons. The Slayer gets no Focus, Terminus drops his upkeep and sits on a full camp.
The Slayer goes first, walking forward and swinging at an ATGM that had wandered a little too close. He hits, and splatters the first Cygnaran casualty of the fight.
The Bane Thralls all run (half speed, thank you Temporal Barrier) towards my Stormwall. BLT moves up and Curses my Tempest Blazers, but the Knights are still well out of Threat range (especially the ones in Temporal Barrier range, which elect to run rather than risk Charging).
The Withershadow move up and destroy my Lightning Pod. One casts a Hellfire (or whatever their attack spell is called) at my Stormwall, but is well out of range.
The War Witch runs up to the edge of the Covering Fire.
Terminus goes last and shuffles forward from the wall a little closer to my army.
Cygnar, Turn 3
Cryx casualties thus far: 14. Cygnar: 1.
Let’s keep that trend going, shall we? Upkeep Arcane Shield again, pull off the Squire, give 1 to the Stormwall.
The ATGM go first, moving to clear a path for the Stormwall. They drop the War Witch Siren, both remaining Withershadow with Crit Brutals, and a handful of Bane Thralls with their shots.
The Stormwall goes next, walking up to engage the Slayer. I drop a Lightning Pod near Tremalous again (frying a Bane and Tremalous in the process), swing on the Slayer and scrap it on the first hit. Second attack and 1 bought attack go into the Objective, destroying it.
Haley moves up and casts “Temporal Barrier” again. She shoots a Bane within 5″, but it flies wide.
Storm Strider moves up and opens fire on the Banes. With its native +2 to hit with electrical attacks within 5″ and Haley’s -2DEF on the Banes, it’s trivial to hit twice and take a total of 3 models off the table (Terminus’s ability to give them Tough finally coming into play!). Importantly, I kill the Officer on a direct hit.
The Blazers stand and aim at the Bane Knights. 4 of them fire Electroleap shots, while 1 fires a Brutal shot into BLT… the shot at BLT rolls double ones and misses (of course), while the other shots take 5 Bane Knights off the table. I Light-Cav my closest Blazer directly into BLT, while the other 4 pull back for safety.
Aiyana and Holt move forward, with Aiyana giving herself Stealth and Holt being unable to target anything (everything is Stealth).
Stormcaller moves up, calls Lightning on a Bane Knight… and I roll a 12 on the skill check, missing.
The zone is still contested by 2 knocked down Bane Thralls, but I still score 1CP for destroying the objective! 1-0 for the good guys!
Cryx, Turn 3
Julians tactical options are becoming a little thin at this point… he uses the Bane Knight Vengeance move to get 1 attack on the Blazer engaging BLT (which misses) and put the other 4 closer to my Blazers. Terminus camps his full stack.
BLT curses the Blazers and swings on the one engaging him… and rolls double ones. Success!
The Bane Knights activate first and all receive run/charge orders.
“Which one charges first?”
“All of them!”
“Are you *sure* you want *all* of them to charge?”
“Yes! All of them are going to charge!”
“Okay, but which charges *first*…”
“Okay. His activation ends and he fails his charge. Who’s next?”
“Oh, right. Well… this one.”
“Okay. His activation ends immediately. Are you *sure* you want the others to charge?”
All the Bane Knights are in Temporal Barrier range, and Julian has them all fail their charges. Gotta learn sometime, I suppose…
The Bane Thralls in the zone forfeit their activations to stand, while the rest walk forward. Nothing gets an attack off.
Terminus moves over and sprays my Lightning Pod to death.
(Running low on my Death Clock at this point, so no more pictures… sorry!)
Rest of the Game
Haley casts Temporal Barrier. The Blazers wipe out all the Bane Knights, the Storm Strider gets hit twice by Bane Thralls (with Arcane Shield up, it barely feels it, but does gain Power Tokens) before I wipe out the rest of them, and I start scoring points for Controlling the zone.
End of the game, Haley dominates for the last 2CP to bring the score to 5-0.
Victory to Cygnar!
Post Game Analysis
Ladies and Gentlemen, I posit that this may be the closest to a “Perfect Game” against Cryx that I have ever played. I killed 51 points of Julian’s list (BLT survived), and he killed 1 point (my Stormcaller was eventually killed by the last Bane Knight’s Vengeance attack).
At multiple points during the game when people would come to watch, I would smile apologetically to them and say “It’s his first game against Cygnar, and I dropped pHaley.”
Every time, they said the same thing:
“He’s gotta learn sooner or later.”
Round 3, Khador
The tournament was cut at 3 rounds for most of us, with the top 4 going on to Round 4. Since neither Aaron nor I were in the running, it was actually a bit of a relief to be paired off… no pressure, nice simple game. Aaron was locked into dropping The Old Witch against me, and I gave him the option to pick which warcaster he’d rather play against.
Before he could decide, “G’day Bloke” from the Lost Hemisphere Radio jumped in and declared that I would be playing “Pony Stryker”. Fine by me… I was okay getting in a bit more practice with him anyway!
Aaron’s Khador list was as follows:
The Old Witch of Khador
Iron Fang Pikemen (max)
– Officer and Standard
Iron Fang Kovnik
Kayazy Assassins (max)
Doom Reavers (max)
– Grey Lord Escort
Great Bears of the Gallowswood (“Okay Bears, So-So Bears, Good Bears”)
Fenris, Dragoon of Doom
A solid Old Witch list… the denial from the Feat was going to be a kick in the junk to Stryker3, but you can always adapt (or at least try!). My Stormlances at least could do Ride-By-Attacks to move up a little, get their shots off, and then move back out of Feat range… I hope!
We rolled for Initiative, which I won and elected to go first.
The Scenario was another Steamroller 2015. Don’t ask, I’ll have to lie and then kill you. It involved 2 flags.
I set Stryker with his escort near the middle fo the table (hopefully keeping him safer this time around!), with the Stormlances to the left and the Stormblades to the right. Katherine went near the Stormlances (d’uh), the Stormblade Captain near the ‘blades (d’uh), and Rhupert went behind the ‘blades.
Aaron set up his Pikemen on the left, the Kayazy on the far right, the Great Bears and Fenris near the middle, and the Spriggan, Old Witch, and Scrappy slightly right of middle.
Cygnar, Turn 1
Camp the full stack, pulling 1 from the Squire.
Stryker goes first, casting “Fury” on the Stormlances, “Escort” on himself, and “Iron Aggression” on the Stormclad. He moves up to stand in a trench.
The Journeywoman goes next, putting “Arcane Shield” on the Stormblades. Rhupert then gives them “Tough”.
The Stormclad runs forward, close to the right flag. Rowdy runs forward and B2B with Stryker in front of him (leaving his Counter Charge lanes clear).
The Stormblades run forward, spreading out slightly. The Stormlances move up and spread out, with Katherine following up behind them.
Done! Drop mic.
Khador, Turn 1
Aaron camps his full stack.
The Doom Reavers run forward and spread out behind a forest. The Kayazy cautiously run up behind them, with the Eliminators flanking hard to the right.
Scrappy moves up. The Old Witch casts “Unseen Path” to end up near her arc node again, and then casts a “Murder of Crows” to block LoS to the Doom Reavers (cautious, but wise!).
The Spriggan moves up slightly, as does Fenris, cautiously holding back.
The Great Bears clump together near Fenris, and the Pikemen get “Shield March” from the Kovnik and march forward in Shield Wall towards my Lances.
(Two fully painted armies… brings a tear to me eyes!)
Cygnar, Turn 2
I decide that Aaron has been sufficiently cautious: I will not be able to destroy everything on this turn. But NEXT turn… oh yes. So I “just” need to keep my Stormlances safe, move up and spread out with the Stormblades, and keep both my heavies functional. Trivial.
Stryker upkeeps everything and camps the remaining Focus.
The Stormclad goes first, moving up slightly… but not slightly-enough to get LoS to a Doom Reaver. It camps the Focus it got for free from the Stormblades.
The Stormblades get “Tough” again from Rhupert and then move forward, spreading out a lot. Two Stormgunners take shots at the Kayazy Eliminators, but both shots (unsurprisingly) fly wide.
Maybe we’ll have more luck with the Stormlances… they announce Ride-by-Attacks, move forward 4 inches, fire on Pikemen, and then move back 4 inches.
I manage to kill ONE.
They then Reform slightly further back.
Katherine follows suit, moving up, shooting, and then moving back… she misses.
Rowdy moves up, B2B with Katherine and slightly behind her, to make it impossible to pull him (directly) towards the Spriggan.
Stryker goes last, moving up behind Rowdy and B2B with him again.
Khador, Turn 2
Turns out that it’s hard to kill Pikemen in Shield Wall, eh?! But the lines haven’t crossed yet, and I still think I’m in an okay position… maybe…
Aaron drops “Murder of Crows”, gives 3 to the Spriggan, and we’re off!
The Pikemen go first. They Charge forward, with 3 managing to get distance on 1 of my ‘Lances but the rest coming up short. The 3 do a CMA that does effortlessly destroy my heavy cavalry… and then Aaron uses their mini-Feat, and they suddenly Shield Wall up to engage all 4 of my mounted knights!
The Great Bears and Fenris both move forward cautiously on the right, along with the Iron Fang Kovnik.
On the other flank, Aaron charges in the Doom Reavers… only 3 manage to get range, but the rest run up to make a nuisance of themselves. 2 manage to kill a couple Stormblades (1 more Toughs and is knocked down), but there’s only 1 Stormblade that Aaron really needs to kill… the one closest to Rowdy and the Stormclad. Killing it would allow him to pull Rowdy forward with Gallows, and then charge him with the Spriggan!
So of course that attack misses.
Frustrated, Aaron moves the Spriggan up and pumps a couple boosted Grenade shots into the Stormclad. It takes light damage.
Scrapjack and the Old Witch move towards the middle of the table. She pops her Feat and then casts a new Murder of Crows on top of herself, clipping Scrapjack.
The Kayazy move up a little. The Eliminators charge a couple Stormblades, but are unable to pierce their Arcane Shielded ARM.
Cygnar, Turn 3
Okay, that hurt… but more than hurting, tying up all my Stormlances is bad. Very bad. Without Charge/Impact attacks, they’re in a very bad way… and Aaron’s Feat is keeping my Stormclad or Rowdy from Charging (BOO!) *and* is keeping Katherine from clearing out a swathe of Pikemen with an impact attack! Gah! Well, I guess I’ll wait *another* turn before I Feat!
I measure the distance and I am 98% sure that my Stormclad can just walk up and hit Rowdy. He’s currently blocked by 1 Doom Reaver (the one that needed to hit my Stormblade Gunner) and engaged by 2 others… so if I can clear out those guys without moving my troops, I should be okay… so 2 Focus goes to the Stormclad (it’ll get the 3rd from the Stormblades), I upkeep all the spells, pull 1 from the Squire and camp Stryker’s last 2 Focus.
The Stormblades go first. They stand still and take shots or melee attacks wherever possible: the Stormgunner manages to kill the most important Doom Reaver, but all the other attacks miss by a mile, including a couple attacks on the DEF17 Eliminators.
The Stormblade Captain stands and takes a shot at one of the Doom Reavers I need dead… and misses. Of course.
Fine. I can still do this. My Stormclad has taken 2 (TWO) points of damage… it’s ARM19 or 20… it’ll be fine. He walks over to the Spriggan.
First free strike hits and does 6 points of damage to his left arm (gah, not his Sword!)… second free strike hits and (at dice -8) does 12 points of damage!
AND CRIPPLES HIS CORTEX! To the box.
I could’ve just cried. All that Focus… poof…
The Stormclad gets within Reach range, though, and takes its one attack on the Spriggan, doing a few points of damage. It electroleaps to a Kayazy and fries him.
Katherine walks over and hits a Pikeman and kills him.
The other Stormlances shuffle around a little and kill 1 or 2 Pikemen.
Rhupert gives the Stormblades “Tough” again and moves over near Stryker (to block a landing space for a charging Eliminator), and the Journeywoman walks up and, with her LoS now open, drops one the Doom Reaver that crippled my Cortex.
He Toughs. Of course.
Khador, Turn 3
That… didn’t go as well as I had hoped… at all… and I’m about to lose my Stormclad (no question) and possibly Rowdy and/or Stryker… Still have my Feat in the bag, but that will really depend on whether I survive this turn or not!
3 Focus to the Spriggan again, drop Murder of Crows, and we’re off.
The Great Bears go first, and effortlessly remove my Stormclad from play (I think it took… 3 of their potentially 6 attacks?).
Fenris goes next and charges Rowdy, easily getting distance. Both his attacks hit, crippling Rowdy’s legs on the first blow and his open fist on the second. He also Impact Attacks on his way in, but the Stormgunner he hits Toughs like a champ.
The Doom Reavers go next. Three charge Stryker, while one has to sacrifice his action to stand. All three attacks on my warcaster swing wide (DEF17, yo), but 2 others manage to kill a few more Stormblades.
The Eliminators charge Rhupert and the Stormblade Banner… they manage to kill the Banner, but the attack on Rhupert (without Gang) misses!
The Kayazy move forward slightly.
The Pikemen shuffle around a little, dropping 3 Stormlances and dismounting Katherine.
The Iron Fang Kovnik charges my dismounted Dragoon and finishes her off.
At this point Aaron realizes that he can’t get the Spriggan into Rowdy due to all the other bodies… it just moves forward threateningly instead.
Scrapjack and the Old Witch move up a little, pop out a Murder of Crows, and Aaron is done.
Okay, so I’ve survived… and Aaron has run down his clock something fierce (he has 4 minutes left!). I just need to not lose! I can do that…
If I can trample Rowdy… oh, wait, his legs are broken. Huh. Okay! Well, let’s see if we can minimize the damage. I upkeep Escort and drop Fury off the last Stormlance. I pull in a Focus from the Squire, and give Rowdy 2.
Stryker goes first. He declares a Ride-by-Attack and moves up as close to Fenris as he can, but sadly can’t *quite* engage him due to the size of Rowdy’s base and the dragoon’s placement. Fine. I take my initial attack and 2 bought attacks to kill all three of the Doom Reavers.
Oh, did I say “kill”? I mean “Knock down”, because obviously Aaron nails every tough check! I finish my Ride-by with moving back into the trench for “safety”. He then pops his Feat.
Rhupert gives the Stormblades Tough again!
My last Stormlances charges a clump of Pikemen, taking 1 free strike (I thought I could stay in his melee range: I was off by about 0.5″) which drops him. Oh well.
Rowdy moves up and puts the hammer to Fenris, dismounting him. Aaron wisely puts him out of melee range, so I buy 2 hammer attacks on the closest Doom Reaver… who toughs both times. Of course.
The Journeywoman charges a Kayazy Eliminator, boosting the hit… and hits! She drops! I buy an attack with the last Focus, but it fails to kill the other… plus side, though, is that she fails her CMD check and breaks!
My Stormblade Captain charges the Spriggan. On Feat Turn, it auto-hits and gains a die, so I’m rolling 5d6 (Weaponmaster, charge, Feat) at Dice-9… I manage to hit him hard enough to cripple the legs, but nothing else.
My Stormblades charge. I charge a couple to block LoS so I can charge the officer at Fenris past another Doom Reaver… I also fail a Charge on the Grey Lord escort by about 0.1″ (in a forest). I manage to kill both Fenris (thank gods) and another Doom Reaver, while 1 more toughs 4 times in a row (2 assault shots, then 2 charge attacks).
Khador, Turn 4
Aaron has a very good problem, but in this case it’s still a problem… he’s got too many tooks to kill Stryker with! He decides to go with Doom Reavers, Pikemen, and the Old Witch as a last ditch effort. Towards that end, he camps his full stack.
His turn starts by Scrappy running forward to get LoS on Stryker.
Aaron activate the Old Witch and Gallows Stryker, boosting to hit… and hits! Stryker is pulled 5″ closer to Scrappy… and right back into B2B contact with Rowdy! Not quite what Aaron was hoping for.
The Old Witch casts “Unseen Path”, moving up next to Scrapjack and swinging at my Stormblade Captain… she hits! She kills him… and he Toughs! Woo!
The Doom Reavers activate. All the knocked down Reavers are back in melee range of Stryker and forfeit their movements to stand. They swing! 2 miss, but 1 hits… and inflicts 8 points of damage on Stryker.
Aaron is down to his last minute. He activates the Great Bears. 1 Charges Stryker, the other 2 Charge Rowdy. The charge attack on Stryker… misses!
BEEP – BEEP – BEEP
Victory to Cygnar!
Post Game Analysis
If Aaron had 5 more minutes. that game was his. Great Bears scrap Rowdy with their first or second hit (he was in a bad way… 3 boxes remaining, as memory serves, just Cortex and hammer), and then Stryker is back down to a much-more-reasonable DEF15. If they failed, he walks his Pikemen over to do a big honkin’ CMA, and down goes my warcaster.
But, by the same token, he took an EXTREMELY long time on his 2nd and 3rd turns, and his Kayazy never even got into the fight! But he just needs more practice with the list, getting his activations down.
Additionally, the Old Witch is an excellent counter to Stryker3… basically, any warcaster that can rob him of charging on 1 critical turn is a hard counter to him.
Post Tournament Analysis
So, overall I came in 8th out of 27 competitors… top 1/3rd, I’m happy with that (although I do feel a bit better that John, who beat me 1st round, ended up winning the whole event… even better, he beat his final opponent in EXACTLY the same was that I was beaten! So it’s not just me that didn’t expect it or was unable to deal with his eKrueger!).
Without charging, Stryker is a very subpar support caster (Fury is great, but Cygnar models are too fragile to survive with it for long, and not powerful enough to get much work done without the charge and Iron Aggression doesn’t help non-charge threat ranges). Escort is cool, but why in 9 hells is he only 15/16!? Stryker2 is 16/16! 15/17 would’ve been acceptable, 14/18 would’ve been high but within the realm of feasible, and suddenly he doesn’t die to a stiff breeze. But no. 15/16 is really, really difficult to keep a large-based model alive in a tournament where have the warcasters and warlocks have push/pull effects, and almost every army has the same sorts of options. But perhaps more importantly, his good matchups are basically the same set as Haley’s good matchups… infantry swarms and gun-light armies without too many movement tricks up their sleeves. So, sadly, he’s back on the shelf for the next few tournaments at least. Also, the list (whenever I get around to pulling it out again) really needs at least a few non-Electrical ranged attacks!
So, there you have it… happy with how I did, happy with my performance, and really looking forward to the next tournament on Saturday! For those of you that muscled through my extremely long rants, thanks for reading and/or listening, and comments are always welcome!