So for the podcast report this week, I figured it was about time to get my friend Ozzie on the air… Ozzie was the first person I ever played WarMachine with out of our local group of friends (Nick, Aaron, Adam, Kassem, and Gaven)… he basically sent me an e-mail on the PP Forums one day saying that he lived and gamed around Kitchener, and would I like to have a game sometime. We set it up, he was a neat guy, and we’ve been playing pretty consistently since then!
Ozzie started out playing Retribution, and has recently switched over to Legion, which works fine by me (I play a LOT of Retribution these days… Nick and Kassem both play him, plus most of the random games I get in these days seem to be against pointy-eared maniacs), since nobody else plays Legion and I need practice against them!
As always, you can listen to the podcast right here, or on iTunes… and you can now download the podcast straight to your own computer for leisurely listening at your… leisure.
So before we get into the game itself, a brief moment of apology: Ozzie normally takes phenomenal pictures… but sadly, for this particular game, he of course forgot his fancy camera, and we were reduced to taking pictures on his phone camera. He still did a good job, but if you compare it to any of his other work, it’s going to come off unflatteringly, and that’s unfair. He really is pretty dang good!
So the two of us have decided that we’re going to be playing in the new League that just began recently (Scars of Caen, Season 1: Charsaug). As luck would have it, Ozzie is an Opportunist at heart, and I am definitely a Purist, which works out rather well if I do say so myself… we rolled to see who would pick the territory we’d fight over (each Region has specific rules for both Purists and Opportunists in it, as well as a few custom scenarios), which Ozzie won and decided we’d be fighting over the ashen remains of a farmland. The Scenario is called “Dustup” and features 3 objective markers: forfeit your Activation of your warlock or warcaster while in B2B with an Objective and it’s removed from the table, you gain 1 CP, and a bonus (Opportunists get +2ARM for their warcaster and all models within 6″ for a round, Purists have ever living model within 6″ heal 1d6 points of damage). 2 Control Points wins you the game! Also, each player gets to put out a Cloud Effect (NOT ignorable by Eyeless Sight!) which then deviates and stays in play for 1 round.
After that we rolled for initiative, which Ozzie won, and decided to go 2nd. I should’ve been more suspicious at this, but since I was running a completely melee army (not a single gun! The only ranged attack I have is the Harbinger’s Cataclysm spell!) I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth!
My list was as follows:
The Harbinger of Menoth
Avatar of Menoth (proxied by a Stormclad)
Choir of Menoth (max)
High Paladin Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Vassal Mechanik (proxied by a Vassal of Menoth)
A nice, simple Tier list force. As benefit, I get +1 to my starting roll and 2 wall templates to put out on the table. Since I still don’t own any wall templates (an oversight I really must fix sooner than later!), I used some of the store’s in-house terrain: specifically a piece of Thunderhawk gunship (because why not) and a pillar knocked on its side. I placed both within run-range of the Harbinger, which in retrospect was far, far too far up the board. But oh well!
I deployed with the Harbinger in the middle, flanked by her warjacks and with the Choir interspersed along the front line. The Mechanik went behind the avatar, the regular Paladin went to the extreme right flank and Vilmon went more centrally behind a forest (which, due to playing against Legion, would be no help whatsoever!).
Ozzie’s list was as follows:
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight (eLylyth, Lylyth2)
– Naga Nightlurker
A neat little list, and the Ravagores really are cool ranged warbeasts… I’ve only played against them once before, and last time Ozzie forgot to use their Animus and forgot to leave the Scather templates floating around after they shot.
He forgot neither this game.
ANYways, he deployed his troops in a line, basically mirroring mine: warbeasts in the middle with the Naga on one flank and the Scythean on the other, while Lylyth went towards the objective on my right. The Shepards hung out near the Ravagores.
With that, we were ready to rock and roll!
Menoth Turn 1
I start by placing my scenario-cloud near the middle of the table, which scatters slightly towards Ozzie’s troops. Not bad… won’t block LoS to my stuff, sadly, but it might make his life a bit more complicated.
So I quickly did some mental math: Lylyth’s assassination range (Pincushion at 15″ plus walking forward plus Feat plus two Ravagores shooting 24″ downfield) meant that I had between 6 and 7 inches of “safe” movement for the Harbinger. Since the assassination would come in the form of 2 heavy warbeasts and a warlock with transfers, I couldn’t count on Harby’s awesome Feat to protect her, so any thought of running forward or charging up and popping Feat the first turn went right out the window. However, with a 20″ CTRL range, I was pretty sure I could keep Harbinger safe until Ozzie popped Lylyth’s Feat to take a Crusader or two off the table, and then move her forward to exert more direct effect on the table. Sadly, both Lylyth and the Ravagores had gun-ranges significantly larger than the Harbinger’s 10″ CMD, meaning I probably wouldn’t get the +2 DEF from Awe on anything besides the Scythean.
But enough analysis… moving forward! I allocate 1 Focus to each of my warjacks, the Avatar auto-generates 4, and we’re off!
All my heavies (including the Avatar) run forward, trying to get close to the wall. The Avatar managed to get behind it, but the Crusaders are too slow with their 8″ runs. They do their best to avoid the river and get on the bridge.
Harbinger walks forward and camps the remaining Focus. The Hierophant moves up behind her. The Devout goes next to her and says “No Spells”.
My Choir activate and sing “No Shooting!”, missing the Avatar but getting everyone else. Sure, Ozzie just needs to use the Naga to give out magic weapons, but I still feel it’s better to make somebody use their resources than just getting it for free.
The Paladin went tearing off up the right flank towards the objective (he can’t “contest” in the traditional sense, but he can make Lylyth think twice about getting too close to that objective without some heavy support… a charging POW14 weapon master is not something easily ignored!), while Vilmon goes running forward and into the forest (again, no benefit from being in the forest against Legion, but I still wanted him in that direction). Both my Paladins stay within 10″ of the Harbinger, just in case.
Lastly, the Mechanik moves up a bit (I’m going to need his services soon, I suspect!), and I’m done!
Legion Turn 1
Ozzie places his scenario-cloud on the far right side of the table, just to make sure it won’t block him from doing anything he’s trying to do.
See, the reason Ozzie wanted me to go first? I have now moved many of my models into range of Lylyth’s Feat, which is a good place for her to be. Of course I knew this, but I figured that I was keeping the Harbinger safe, and I had 4 very serious beatsticks to Ozzie’s 1 (the Scythean is no slouch in melee, while the Ravagores a pretty pillow-fisted).
Still, this turn would prove to be a bit of a rude awakening…
Ozzie moves Lylyth up and casts “Pincushion” on one of my Crusaders (who, sadly, is not behind the cover of the wall). She hits, and pops her Feat. She takes 2 shots at the Crusader, cranking damage on one of them (rolling boxcars). She also casts “Wraithbane” on one of the Ravagores.
The Naga activates, moves up a bit, and puts “Wraithbane” on the other Ravagore.
The Ravagores go next, moving forward and using their Animus, followed by boosting damage on the Crusader. Thankfully, when the smoke and fire clear, the Crusader yet stands… his legs are crippled, but he’s otherwise fully functional! Not bad, not bad at all… Ozzie had some remarkably poor damage rolls.
The Shepherds move up and clear off the Fury from the Ravagores, the Shredder moves forward and gives Tenacity to Lylyth, and the Scythean runs towards my waiting Paladin.
With that, Ozzie is done!
Menoth Turn 2
Okay, so considering everything I’ve heard about Lylyth’s Feat, I suppose I got off very lucky… not even losing a single Crusader/warjack, no major complaints. The fire on the Crusader did not go out, but failed to wound the heavy any further. I again placed my scenario cloud near the middle of the table, hoping to protect my warjacks on their approach.
The Harbinger once again allocates 1 to each of her warjacks, the Avatar auto-generates 3 for itself, and we’re off.
I start by moving the Harbinger forward across the river (slowly, sadly, since Harby doesn’t have Pathfinder!), and casting Crusader’s Call. At this point I remember that I have a Hierophant, and that he’s a useful model to use BEFORE activating your warcaster… but such is life. She pops her Feat and casts “Purify” to remove Pincushion from the Crusader (and the fire, of course), and camps her last 4 Focus.
The Avatar moves forward and uses “Menoth’s Gaze”, hoping to catch Ozzie’s Ravagores and making them unable to advance directly at the Harbinger.
I move the damaged Crusader out of the 4 stacked Scather templates and behind the wall, and then move the Mechanik into B2B with him… but he fails the CMD check (rather spectacularly, actually) so the warjack stays with broken legs.
My other Crusaders charge forward as best they can, gaining the movement buff from Crusader’s Call, but still advancing painfully slowly.
Vilmon and the other paladin both drop into “Magic Weapons Only”, my Choir moves up and sings “No Shooting”, and the Devout says “No Spells” on the Harbinger and hovers by her right side.
Another turn of being shot at approaches… but I think I can weather this, and next turn my Avatar is going to be right up there, ready to wreck faces.
Legion Turn 2
Ozzie thinks, he ponders, and then he acts… he starts by putting his scenario-cloud far, far away from anything on the table.
Next, Lylyth fills back up to full Fury. She starts by casting “Wraithbane” on the Scythean, and then moves forward. She takes 6 points of damage from the Feat (pretty average, all things considered), and decides not to transfer it. She casts “Pincushion” on the Crusader right behind the Avatar, and tags it with a single shot that pings off the armour harmlessly.
The Scythean activates and walks up to my Paladin, taking 3 points of damage on the approach. It hits with both initial attacks, boosting to hit (Harbinger Martyr’s the Paladin both times, taking 4 damage total), and then misses with the Chain Attack (phew!).
The Succubus moves laterally and puts Wraithbane on one of the Ravagores, and the Naga puts it on the other. The Naga shoots at the Crusader, but is out of range.
Next, the first Ravagore activates, uses its Animus, and walks forward. I inflict 2 points of damage with the Harbinger’s Feat. Instead of shooting my warjacks, it draws Line of Sight to a Choir member in the back and tags him… and hits 2 other Choir and my Mechanik in the blast! All 4 models are killed and Martyr’d, inflicting 9 more points of damage on the Harbinger (!!).
Ozzie then activates the second Ravagore. It walks forward, and after some consideration (and taking 6 points of damage from Harbinger’s Feat), it uses its Animus and fires a shot at my Devout… see, if Ozzie shot the Harbinger, I could just Shield Guard the shot off onto my Devout and nothing would happen to Harby. But by shooting the Devout, Harbinger will unquestionably be within the blast damage (and POW9 against ARM18 isn’t so great against boosted damage!), but more importantly it would put the Harbinger on fire… and few things make a base-ARM14 warcaster more sad than being lit on fire!
Ozzie shoots… and hits! The Devout takes a brutal 11 points of damage, and the Harbinger takes 1 (leaving her with 3 health).
Menoth Turn 3
In order to keep Ozzie from waiting, we check to see if the fire on the Harbinger goes out… it does not (no!). Ozzie rolls, needing a 5 to kill her…
And gets exactly a 5, winning! Victory to Legion!
Post Game Analysis
So that was educational! For the record, I quickly checked to see if any of the 4 models I Martyr’d (the 3 Choir and the Vassal Mechanik) would survive the fire… none of the fire went out, and they all would subsequently burn to death. It was silly of me to try and save all of them… I could’ve saved TWO (the Mechanik and 1 Choir) and have been fine! But no… bit off more than I could chew, and paid for it!
Still, it was a lot of fun to play, and I wanted to report on this game because I hope others can learn from my mistakes! Thanks again to Ozzie for taking the pictures and for playing the game, as well as agreeing to be on the podcast (of course!), and thank you to everyone for reading and/or listening to the report!
Time Use: 5