On Thursday, Ozzie and I were able to get in a quick 35 point game. As I continue to struggle with painting all my Menoth (THERE’S JUST SO MUCH OF IT!), I was forced to do something I hate doing…
But! But. Have to learn the ropes, and this is a good way to do it for now. Ozzie brought out his two lists: an Absylonia list with an Arch-Angel, and a eThargrosh list with lots of beasts. For my part, I was still running my 2 favourite (and only, thus far) warcasters in Menoth… the Harbinger, and eFeora. Both are running ‘jack heavy, since I still don’t have a single unit assembled aside from my Choir.
We rolled for scenario and received “Into the Breach” (a flag and a zone and 2 objectives… 1 CP for destroying the enemy objective or dominating the flag, 1 for controlling the zone, and 2 for dominating the zone). We selected our warcasters/warlocks… and it was to be Ozzie’s Arch-Angel against my Crusader-spam! This… was going to be interesting!
We rolled initiative, which I got +1 to due to the T4 Harbinger list I was running… and I won and elected to go first.
My Harbinger list at 35 points looks like this:
The Harbinger of Menoth
– Crusader (proxied by a Reckoner)
Avatar of Menoth (proxied by a Stormclad)
Choir of Menoth (min)
High Paladin Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Vassal Mechanik (proxied by a Vassal of Menoth)
So… only a few proxies and a few unpainted models… not too bad, I hope. And, looking at the list now… I think I had 10 extra points in there. Hmmm. War Room, I now recall, is probably still giving the Avatar out for free for this particular tier list (a bug introduced in Version 1.3)… yep. That’s 50 points of models minus the 5 warjack points of the Harbinger equals 45, NOT 35. Oops!
I also got to toss down 2 Wall Template, but since I don’t happen to yet OWN any Wall Templates… I just used lines of spare dice (Khador and my old horribly-rolling clear reds!).
My deployment was pretty easy… Harbinger with all her warjacks in front of the flag, with the Avatar and the Mechanik out near the zone. Ozzie had learned last game about the Angelius’s 3″ push Animus, so I would have to try a bit harder to contest… but I had a lot of heavy models, and I was pretty sure I could get it done (or at least make him fight for it!)
Ozzie’s list was as follows:
Absylonia, Terror of Everblight
– Arch Angel
Deathstalker Strider (x2)
Considering Aby’s Feat, the Angel isn’t a bad inclusion… and everything else are solid choices. The Strider-solos are a little out of their league due to my heavy warjacks, but there’s no question that Ozzie’s list is better balanced than mine!
He deployed the Arch Angel near the zone (across from my Avatar) with the Shredder and Shepard, while the Raek and Striders went out to the left flank. Aby and the Angelius took the middle, and we were ready to rock!
And the entire battlefield, ready and waiting…
Menoth Turn 1
One thing that I find fascinating… Crusaders under “Crusader’s Call” actually Charge faster than they run! 9″ Charges (4+3+2) versus 8″ runs! Of course, the charge needs to be in a straight line… but still! With this in mind, the Harbinger, allocates 1 Focus to each warjack and we’re off.
The Hierophant goes first and gives her cheaper spells.
The Harbinger goes next, casts Crusader’s Call, and charges forward to be on elevation and behind the wall I placed near the flag. She would, at least, be hard to shoot!
Her Crusaders all charge forward, while the Avatar runs forward. Vilmon runs towards the Avatar while the other Paladin runs up the hill.
Lastly, the Choir activate, move up, and are out of range of singing anything. Oh well!
Legion Turn 1
Ozzie was facing an uphill battle (and not just because my models were mostly on hills!). But at this point we were both still ignorant of my 10 point advantage… but it still had to look pretty awe-inspiring to see the rapidly approaching line of heavy warjacks!
Absylonia went first, dropping “Forced Evolution” on her Angelius along with Tenacity, and “Playing God” on the Raek. She moved forward onto the hill (safe due to the complete and total lack of guns on my side of the table! Not one!).
The Raek ran forwards, while the two Striders walked up behind the rock/wall and opened fire at the Harbinger. One of them managed to hit and I “Shield Guard”ed the shot off to the Devout (which took 2 points of damage).
The Angelius ran up into the zone, and the Arch Angel flew up behind him. And that was turn!
Menoth Turn 2
See, one of the nice things about using Harbinger against Hordes is that their warbeasts TEND to be a bit squishier than warjacks… so her POW14 Feat can still be a bit of a deterrent even for warbeast-heavy lists like this one! So, with that in mind, I decided that this would be Feat turn since none of my warjacks were in range of anything at this point. Avatar rolled 2 Focus, Harbinger dolled out 1 to each of her warjacks, and we began.
Hierophant gives the Harbinger a 1-lower cost spell.
The Harbinger shuffled over a little bit to get the edge of the zone within 10″ of herself. She cast “Cataclysm” at the Raek, hitting at extreme range (10″ due to the +2 from the Hierophant), boosting damage (dice-4) and inflicting minimal damage. She then pops her Feat.
Her Warjacks all run forward, spreading out so that 3 are close to the flag (which, sadly, can’t be Controlled!), 2 are heading towards the Angelius and Arch Angel, and the Devout is in front but still within 2″ of Harbinger.
The Paladin of the wall walks forward and drops into “Only Magic Weapons” stance.
The Avatar walks up behind the wall and toes-into the zone and uses “Menoth’s Gaze”, while Vilmon does the same in “Only Magic Weapons” stance, just within 10″ of the Harbinger. The Mechanik moves up into the forest, trying to stay safe but still within repair distance of the Avatar.
Lastly, the Choir walk forward and are again out of range of any of my warjacks.
Legion Turn 2
Ozzie was… displeased with the Feat, but he is running mostly beasts, and they don’t care THAT MUCH about a single unboosted POW14. Absylonia upkeeps her spells for free (gah! How could I forget to Purify those off! Silly of me!), leeches back up to full Fury, and we’re off.
The Angelius activates first and Charges the Avatar. The Feat damage roll fizzles, doing no damage. On the flip side, I can’t remember if Ozzie missed the charge attack or if he rolled 3 for damage, but either way the Avatar remained almost entirely intact from the attack. Ozzie bought 2 more attacks which inflict light damage, and then uses its Animus to push Vilmon and the Avatar out of the zone.
Absylonia moves up into the zone. The Feat roll against her inflicts 2 damage (gah! Stupid dice…). She casts Blight-something, which she drops on my 3 closest warjacks, meaning I can’t allocate to them.
The Arch Angel walks up into the zone, taking a few points from the Feat, and the Shredder stands very, very still.
The Striders open fire on a Choir member, both hitting and Sniping it for a single point of damage, which the Harbinger then Martyrs twice for 3 damage to herself.
The Raek walks away from the Harbinger to avoid the Feat and my approaching wall of iron.
The Shepard runs around behind the Arch Angel (carefully out of the Feat!), and that’s turn! Ozzie scores his first 2 Control Points!
Menoth Turn 3
Okay, so that was a sub-optimal Feat turn… I mean, I hit a lot of stuff, but my damage rolls were never higher than 4! Oh well… at least this turn I can kill the snipers on my flank and start inflicting some hurt on Absylonia’s warbeasts!
The Avatar gets 3 Focus on its own, while the Harbinger allocates 1 to the Crusader closest to the Striders and camps the rest.
I start by moving my Crusaders and Devout forward towards the zone, keeping them all in B2B to make pushing them out impossible from most angles. Sadly, this meant clumping them up, which meant that NEXT turn I STILL wouldn’t be able to allocate them Focus… oh well. At least I wouldn’t lose!
The Hierophant moves up and heals the Harbinger.
The Harbinger decides to start scoring some points of her own, and moves B2B with the flag. It’s a risk… the Raek is unquestionably within Charge+Leap range… but I’m camping about 8 Focus and I’m not too worried.
Okay, that’s a lie. I was worried. But I tried not to show it!
The Choir moves up and sings “Battle” on my warjacks, but sadly I can’t get one close enough to the Avatar… but I still move one in that direction for next turn.
The Crusader with Focus charges the left Strider and wallops him (I should’ve allocated him 2 to boost the hit roll…) with his fist after the mace misses… and then the Paladin charges the other and puts him down. Snipers cleared!
The Mechanik moves out of his forest and B2B with the Avatar, and attempts to repair the few points of damage the mighty warjack had taken… but I fail the skill check. Oh well, for a single point, what do you expect?
The Avatar walks forward and swings into the Angelius, who is DEF-crazy due to Forced Evolution, Tenacity, and the wall.
Hey, you know what would’ve been a good idea? To cast PURIFY! GAH!
Anyway, I hit once and flub the damage roll, and the other bought attacks all miss.
Vilmon drops into “Magic Weapons Only” again, and moves directly behind the Avatar to make it impossible to push both the Avatar AND my Crusader out of the zone… Ozzie can move his Angelius to get one of my warjacks, but definitely not both.
With that, I score 1 CP, bringing the score to 2-1 for Ozzie, and finish my turn!
Legion Turn 3
So, in order for Ozzie to but more scenario pressure on me, “all” he had to do was wreck 2 ARM19 Crusaders and an ARM21 Avatar, and then contest the flag with his Raek. Easy as pie, right? Ozzie upkeeps all his spells for free again, pulls back up to full Fury, and we’re off.
Absylonia goes first, moving up and dropping another Blight-cloud on my 4 closest warjacks (damn). She also puts Tenacity on herself, the Angelius, and the Arch Angel.
The Arch Angel charges one of my Crusaders (the 2nd in line), easily getting distance. This also puts him within 10″ of the Harbinger, so my Crusaders are effectively DEF12… this is significant, apparently, because a full stack of Fury later and the Arch Angel has failed to wreck (or even significantly wound!) any of my warjacks.
The Angelius does much better, buying and boosting attacks against the Avatar until he is down to a single box… just his sword-arm. Hee.
The Shepard moves up and pulls Fury off the Angelius.
Lastly, the Raek charges and Leaps behind the Harbinger (well… “behind”, since she has a 360 degree front arc) and takes its initial attacks on my Choir, hitting once (Martyr’d). It’s now out of Absylonia’s CTRL range, though, so no additional attacks.
With that, Ozzie ends his turn and we’re still at 2-1. For now.
Menoth Turn 4
Well, I can’t allocate Focus to any of my Crusaders near the Arch Angel… but I’m pretty sure they won’t need it. Pretty sure. If I were a smarter man, they CERTAINLY wouldn’t have needed it, but I’m going to go ahead and tell all of you that I again forget to Purify off Forced Evolution. Again. Whatever.
Regardless, Harbinger sits on a full stack minus the 3 she allocates to the 1 warjack she CAN allocate to, and the Avatar rolls 4 Focus as well. So things are looking up.
I start by moving up my Devout and swinging at the Arch Angel… he hits but inflicts no damage. That’s okay… I was just moving him so that I could get my Choir through!
I activate the Choir, and FINALLY get 1 of them within 3″ of the Avatar. They sing “Battle”, but can only get the Avatar, the Focus’d Crusader and 1 of the Crusaders already near the Arch Angel within range. Man, should’ve dropped the Mechanik and brought a full unit! Next time…
Anyway, the Mechanik activates, moves up, and successfully repairs 2 points of damage on the Avatar. I fix his legs and shield.
The Avatar activates, walks over the wall, and starts laying into the Angelius. It only takes 2 Focus to bury the warjack… again, a smarter man would’ve tried to engage both the Angelius and Arch Angel, but I am not that man. Regardless, it’s dead and that makes me happy. I use a Focus to activate “Menoth’s Gaze” to keep the Harbinger a little safer for a little longer.
I shuffle around my Crusaders near the Arch Angel, taking their attacks and inflicting moderate damage. The Charging Crusader heads into the space I cleared and smashes the Arch Angel for heavy damage, but not quite enough to kill it (but close!).
The Harbinger takes her melee attacks on the Raek, spending 2 more Focus to kill it (auto-hitting attacks are freakin’ awesome!). And with the Angelius and Raek both dead, there’s finally an excuse for me to forget to cast Purify!
The Hierophant heals the Harbinger back up to full.
Vilmon drops into “Magic Weapons Only” again and moves further into the zone, but sadly is slightly outside of the Harbinger’s 10″ bubble of safety. The other Paladin runs towards Ozzie’s objective.
With that, I score my 2nd control point, bringing us to 2-2!
Legion Turn 4
So I’ve certainly hurt the Arch Angel, but having not killed it… well, let’s just say that Absylonia is glad she has her particular Feat.
Ozzie activates the Shredder first, going Rabid and charging the Avatar. It’s destroyed on the first attack.
Absylonia pops her Feat and charges Vilmon. She successfully hits and slays the High Paladin on her 2nd attack, and then starts buying attacks on the nearest Choir member (who IS still within Harbinger’s 10″ bubble). I Martyr him twice, but let it die on the third. I’m still pretty worried that Ozzie’s going to fly over my line of Crusaders to try and eat the Harbinger… sure, he would take 4 POW18 mace hits and a POW13 halberd on the way, but with the Arch Angel back at full health… it might survive that without any crippled systems, and that would be bad news for the Harbinger!
Anyways, Aby also drops the “No Allocation” thing on my Crusaders and Devout again, catching all of them but 1.
The Arch Angel spends its activation flailing pointlessly at that 1 Crusader that I can still allocate Focus to… but when the dust settles I still have 3 boxes left: mace and cortex still functional!
The Shepard runs up to engage my Mechanik to keep him away from repairing my Crusaders, and that’s turn! I score 1 more CP since nothing is contesting the flag and Harbinger is still dominating it, bringing the score to 3-2 for me.
Menoth Turn 5
Okay, so I have the game in the bag at this point. Dominate flag for 1CP, destroy Ozzie’s objective for 1 point, boom. However, just as I’m starting my turn, the store owner (a very nice man, and “Just by Chance” Games in Waterloo is definitely a neat little store… and I’m not just saying that because I’m once again looking for corporate sponsorship for Combo Smite!… mostly, but not just!) comes over and politely asks us if we can be finished soon since he needs to close up shop. Normally he doesn’t mind hanging around a bit to let people finish there games, but sadly this night in particular he had to close on time.
That’s fine, we agree, and I rush through my turn, forgetting instantly about my “Oh yes, I can just win by doing this” plan from mere moments ago.
Instead, I give 3 Focus to the Crusader that can take it, and we’re off.
The Hierophant activates and sings Harmonious Exhaultation on the Harbinger.
Harbinger moves towards Absylonia and blasts her with a Cataclysm which hits at POW16. I boost damage… and roll snake eyes. Ouch. No worries, the Harbinger casts it again (no more Focus for boosting, sadly), and inflicts 13 damage, which Ozzie transfers over to the Shredder, leaving Absylonia without Focus.
My Choir move up and sing “Battle” on a bunch of warjacks, including the one allocated to finishing off Absylonia.
That Crusader stays within 2″ of the Arch Angel and gets within melee range of Aby. I buy a Headbutt attack and boost to hit (both of which are stupid decisions), which, needing an 8… misses. I buy a mace attack, which also misses.
And with that, I’m out of weapons. The rest of my Crusaders batter the Arch Angel a little, the Paladin charges the objective and flubs his damage roll (at dice – 4 on 4d6, I inflicted 4 points of damage), but it was basically over.
Legion Turn 5
Ozzie obligingly moves the Arch Angel into 2″ of Harbinger, boost to hit and damage, and takes down my Menoth warcaster. Victory to Legion!
I could probably be sour-grapes about this game, but I’m not. Ozzie was fighting against a very, very significant handicap in those extra 10 points I had on the table, and it’s not his fault that I tend to forget very obvious things when under pressure (like winning the game!). And it was a lot of fun… I’m really starting to get a good handle on the Harbinger running warjack heavy, and while her Tier list is a lot of fun, I don’t think I would do it again for awhile, since it really misses the ranged punch that Menoth is so good at. And even with Crusader’s Call, the Crusaders only have 9.5″ threat ranges, which is still pretty dang short…
But, fun was had, lessons were learned! Thanks again to Ozzie for the great game and for the beautiful pictures!