Podcast 018 – Mercenaries Vs. Menoth – Analysis of the Effect of Altitude on Flamability

For this week’s report, it was my turn to tangle with Nick. My noble co-host was uncertain about whether he wanted to play Mercenary or Retribution… so he just made one of each list and went from there! As for my part, I kinda wanted to give Nick a chance to take a swing at my tournament lists from last week (the same ones from the “Tournament 002” report we did!), just to see if he would’ve fared any better than the rest of my opponents did. We were also doing 10 Minute Timed Turns for the first time, and I figured using a list I was at least somewhat familiar with would be wiser than starting something from scratch!

After looking at Nick’s two lists, both with colossus and both having some rather strong assassination vectors, I decided to go with my eFeora list. Nick, for his part, decided that taking the slightly-less flammable Gorten was probably wiser than going with the very flammable Issyria.
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One more establishing shot, because I love when we remember to do these things…
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Hopefully next time I’ll be smart enough to take my little bag of tokens out of the frame before shooting the picture! Unlikely, but possible!

Anyway, we set up the next of the 2014 Steamroller scenario from our list (which we are almost sorta getting close to finishing!). This time around it was Rally Point, which has two 12″ diameter zones, one friendly (the center 22″ from your table edge) and one enemy (the center 36″ from your table edge), and 2 objectives that grant “Inspiration” to friendly Faction solos within 4″ of the Objective if it is not contested. 1CP for dominating the friendly zone, 1CP for destroying your enemy’s objective, 1CP for controlling the enemy zone, and 2CPs for dominating it.

We rolled for initiative, which I won… and decided to go first. Which, in retrospect, may have been a mistake… I *probably* should’ve gone 2nd to let me start scoring first, and to allow Nick to move his troops up into the range of my guns faster. But oh well!

My list is as follows:

Feora, Protector of the Flame (eFeora, Feora2)
– Hierophant
– Reckoner
– Vanquisher
– Redeemer (bonded)
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Officer and Standard
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
High Exemplar Gravus
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist
Choir of Menoth (min)
Vassal of Menoth (x2)
Wracks
Taryn di la Rovissi
Gorman di Wulfe

Taryn really doesn’t belong in this list… I think a 2nd Allegiant would probably do better, but to be honest the list overall needs to be reworked. The Reckoner should *probably* be dropped and another unit brought in… or maybe a Vessel of Judgement… or I don’t know, but I do know it’s not a great Feora list. Fun, though!

Nick’s Highborne Covenant List was as follows:

Gorten Grundback
– Earthbreaker
– Sylys Nailer of Wishes
Cylena and the Nyss Hunters (max)
Forgeguard (max)
Amethyst Rose Gun Mages
– Officer (“The Dude”)
Tactical Arcanist Corps (TAC)
Rhupert Carvolo
Dougal McNaille
Thor Steinhammer

Nick wanted the Boomhowlers in there initially, but he forgot to ask me to bring mine so he could borrow them and so swapped them out for the Forgeguard. Otherwise, a neat list… I don’t know if it’s a great list, but certainly solid!

The Earthbreaker went to the left-side of middle, closer to my friendly zone.

I set up Feora in the middle of the table flanked by the Vanquisher and Gravus, with the Reckoner on Gravus’s other side. The Redeemer went far to the left flank, ready to rain fire down on whatever tried to control my friendly zone. Gorman went near the middle, and the Paladin and Taryn went FAR to the left, also to contest that zone… I wasn’t sure how much either of them could do against an Earthbreaker, but I was going to find out!
The Allegiant went to the far right, and the Choir, Vassals, and Hierophant spread out behind my warjacks.

After Nick deployed, I would set up my Errants across the table from his Nyss, and the Wracks scattered such that Feora could easily pull from them.

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Nick set up his troops with the Forgeguard broken up into 2 squads flanking to either side of the Earthbreaker to act as a screen, and the “posse” of Thor and Dougal going behind it. Gorten took up a position slightly to the left side of center, while the Nyss went in the forest to the right with Rhupert close behind. The Gun Mages were placed near the middle of the table behind the TAC, and we were ready to rock!

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A quick word of apology: I forgot my Gorman at home, so I was forced to borrow Nick’s unpainted Reinholdt to sub in… I think Reinholdt was nervous to be working for the Menites, but approached his assigned task of blinding the Earthbreaker with a certain je ne sais quoi that Gorman often lacks.
Other than that, I also apologize that Nick’s Gun Mages (painted in black and purple) had to borrow my Officer (in bright Cygnar blue) since I keep forgetting to bring Nick my extra officer I have lying around at home!

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Menoth Turn 1:

Feora starts by allocating 1 Focus to each warjack.

My Errants go first, running forward and spreading out, but keeping a few Self-Sacrifice targets within range of each… just in case. The Seneschal runs forward behind them.
Gravus runs up behind them to make them immune to Knockdown (actually pretty important with Nick having those thrice-accursed “Knockdown Torpedoes” digging around!).
The Hierophant exhalts Feora harmoniously, and she activates, walks forward, and casts “Ignite” on the Errants for 1, and “Escort” on herself for the full price of 2. Sadly, my Wracks are all surrounded by my own troops, so I can’t risk pulling a Focus off to make her a little safer… but it’s only Turn 1, she should be fine… right? Right? She walks forward 6″

The Vanquisher and Reckoner both run forwards. The Choir moves up and sings “No Shooting” on them and the Redeemer, which then runs up to toe into the zone and the nearby forest.

The Paladin runs up the left flank, while Taryn gains Stealth by running up into the forest next to him.

Reinho-man hangs back but heads a bit towards the Earthbreaker, casually tossing several voilatile and extremely dangerous substances as he starts to measure distances in his mind.
Lastly, the Allegiant runs up the far right flank, ready to ignore the Nyss’s ability to shoot CRAs with glee, and I’m done!

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Mercenaries Turn 1:
WIthout the 2″ further deployment for the Searforge contract, you can see that Nick is going to struggle to get most of his troops up to mine in a reasonable period of time. But he allocates 1 to the Earthbreaker, and certainly makes a go of it!

The Nyss go first, walking forward and opening fire on the Errants. The first 7 fire and hit, but only kill 1 Errant as their arrows fail to penetrate my armour. Nick then has Cylena CRA with one other to do a combined shot on an Errant, which it hits and kills, and then does 1 last CRA which misses. 2 Errants down against a full unit of Nyss Hunters… I’m pretty pleased with this so far, and Gravus has his first two Souls.

Rhupert activates and gives “Tough” to the Nyss, and hangs back.

Hammerdwarves activate and run forward, leaving a space for the Earthbreaker, which then runs up behind them. Sylys, Thor, and Dougal all run up behind it.

Gorten activates and casts Solid Ground on himself, and Strength of Granite on the Earthbreaker. We walks up to a friendly wall.

The Gun Mages walk up and open fire with Snipe shots. One hits and kills another Errant (3rd soul for Gravus), and another hits but fails to break ARM.

Lastly, the TAC run up as their fire-immune-selves.

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Menoth Turn 2:

Well, that went pretty well. We start this turn by throwing 4 Focus onto the Redeemer and upkeeping both Escort and Ignite (upkeeping Ignite was a mistake… they aren’t going to need +2 Damage against Nyss, for sure, and either the Vanquisher or Reckoner could’ve used a Focus!).

Errants go first, with 3 Aiming and the rest walking forward to get closer to Nick’s Nyss. I start by firing the closest ones at Cylena, wanting to remove her CRA-buff as quickly as possible now that I’ve seen how much Nick is struggling to roll a 7. First shot misses, second shot misses, third shot misses… I need a 9 to hit, even with Hunter, so this isn’t a surprise… fourth shot hits! I crank the damage roll and drop Cylena, and she fails her Tough check! Nice!
The rest of the unit starts picking off Nyss, and manage to kill 2 more, both of whom fail Tough (after I remind Nick to ROLL Tough all three times!).

The Seneschal moves up and fires into a TAC, who he hits but can’t wound.

Gravus repositions slightly, ready to charge in and obliterate things as needed!

Choir activates and sings Battle.
The Redeemer stands and Aims at the Earthbreaker. First shot hits and I boost damage, inflicting (at dice – 6)… 2 points… and lighting it on fire. Fine… buy another shot, which hits, and boost damage… and inflict 2 points. Gah!
In frustration I fire the last shot at Gorten, which scatters directly onto the dwarven warcaster and lights him and the closest Gun Mage on fire… but Solid Ground makes them immune to blast damage, so that’s all it does. But still! Cool.

I use my measurements of range from the Redeemer to the Earthbreaker (13″) to try and estimate the range to move up my Reckoner to stay out of charge range of the Hammerdwarves (9″) and then shoot at the Earthbreaker… good news, I’m definitely more than 9″ away from the Forgeguard, bad news is that I’m 12.2″ away from the Earthbreaker. Boo!

My Vanquisher activates and walks up and shoots at a pack of troops in the middle of the table, which sadly scatters away harmlessly. At this point I run out of time, not having used either Vassal, Feora herself, the Hierophant, Gorman, Taryn, the Paladin, or the Allegiant… I debate about whether to use it or not, and decide that I had probably better do so.

So! Vassal activates and gives an Ancillary Attack to the Reckoner, which it uses to vapourize the closest Hammerdwarf. The other Vassal gives an Ancillary Attack to the Vanquisher, which scatters away harmlessly.

Feora walks towards the enemy zone and draws a Focus from the Wrack furthest away, which elects to explode… killing one of my Choir (gah!). Oh well. The Hierophant runs up behind Feora.

The Allegiant walks up and drops into Shifting Sands (ohboyohboyohboy!), Gormholdt activates and walks up behind my Redeemer, ready to blind some Earthbreaker, the Paladin walks up and drops into +5 ARM, and Taryn activates. She goes to the front of the forest (still toe-in for Stealth) and opens fire at the Earthbreaker… which is JUST out of range (10.1″!), so she takes her second shot at a Hammerdwarf and kills it.

That’s my turn!

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Mercenaries Turn 2:
We start by rolling for the 3 models Nick has on Fire. The fire on the Gun Mage… goes out. The fire on the Earthbreaker… goes out. The fire on Gorten…! Goes out! Gah!

Oh well. Nick allocates 2 to the Earthbreaker, upkeeps 1 spell for free and pays to upkeep the other, and we’re off!

Nyss go first. 3 of them stand and aim, while the rest shuffle forward to try and get into the zone.
The first aiming one fires at my Allegiant… DEF17 is hard to hit, though, and he misses! The Monk walks up to engage one of the other aiming Nyss. The rest fire on Errants, killing 2 more, and then the now-engaged Nyss swings at the Monk, missing… he walks over to engage 2 that are just at the edge of the zone.

Nick decides to try something creative. He activates the TAC, which walk forward and towards his zone. The closest fires at a Nyss unengaged by but very close to the Allegiant… the shot misses! Phew… it then scatters to hit exactly 2 Nyss, both in the zone, and turns them to dust.

The other TAC just pop smoke and pretend that they don’t know that other TAC.

The Hammerdwarves again run forward, with 1 engaging Taryn, but the 2 closest to the Paladin not quite getting within melee range of him.

Gorten then activates and casts Rockwall in front of the Earthbreaker.

At this point, Nick runs out of time and he elects to use his extension.

Thor activates and gives the Earthbreaker boosted damage.
The Earthbreaker activates and walks towards the zone behind his melee-stopping wall. It fires a Knockdown Torpedo at the Reckoner, which misses and scatters straight onto my Vassal… and does 4 points of damage (phew!). He elects not to fire his second torpedo, but instead opens fire with his hip guns: 1 shot on the Reckoner does 6 damage, and 2 shots on the Redeemer which does a total of 7 damage to the light warjack.

The Gun Mages run forward, and as Nick’s extension is ticking down its last second, Rhupert gives the Nyss Tough again.

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Menoth Turn 3:

I upkeep Esort, finally elect to drop Ignite, and allocate 2 to the Vanquisher. Feora is going to be in some danger, so I camp the rest.

We start with the Allegiant, which activates and drops into Shifting Sands by forfeiting his movement. He then punches the first Nyss he’s engaged with, hitting, killing… and it Toughs. Gah! I elect to punch the OTHER Nyss he’s engaged with, hitting, killing… and IT Toughs! Not only that, but since it’s within 10″ of Gorten, it’s not even knocked down!

Man, Tough units that can’t be knocked down are totally broken!… why is everyone looking at my Rhupert-Covenant-Errant list? That has nothing to do with… oh, I see. Very clever.

Anyway!

The 6 remaining Errants (5 with weapons and the Standard) activate and walk forward. In a flurry of blades and crossbows, they drop all the Nyss save 3, one of which Toughs 3 times. And 1 Quick Work shot kills an ATGM.

The Seneschal activates, Assaulting an engaged Nyss… hits, kills… Toughs! Gah!

Gravus walks up and kills the Nyss in the middle of the zone… and he fails his Tough this time! Nice. Sadly, there is still 1 Nyss in the zone (the 2nd one that the Monk hit and Toughed). But without a time extension, I figure I had better do some work on the other side of the table.

The Choir activates, shuffles around a bit to compensate for their dead member (from the Wrack Explosion of Oh-14), and sing Battle.

The Vanquisher activates and fires at a nearby Hammerdwarf, killing him and lighting another on fire (stupid Blast-Immunity!). Gets an Ancillary Attack from the wounded Vassal, which kills another Hammerdwarf on a direct hit.
The Reckoner moves up behind the tower and shoots another Hammerdwarf to death.

Taryn moves up to engage 2 Hammerdwarves. First shot hits and kills the first, but she can’t take a 2nd shot because Gunfighter has stupid rules (I can shoot something 10″ away, I can shoot something 0.5″ or less away, but anything engaging me between 0.5″ and 2″ away? For some reason, I can’t shoot them! Stupid!). The Paladin engages two Hammerdwarves and kills one.

Feora activates and toes-into the enemy zone, but sadly can’t dominate it due to that last stupid Nyss which I don’t want to risk missing (where’s Cataclysm when you need it?).

The Redeemer activates, moves over a bit, and shoots at Thor, which scatters perfectly to light the character mechanic on fire! Nice!

Lastly, Gormholdt activates, walks forward… and my time runs out. Although *technically* I think I’m allowed to throw my Blind grenade… I elect to be a sportsman about it and just have Gorman truncate his walk into the forest at the edge of the zone.

Although I do whine a bit about it. I’m only human.

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Mercenaries Turn 3:

As is so often the case with Menoth, we start with the fire rolls.
Gorten continues to burn, but his ARM19 allows him to shrug it off. One of the Hammerdwarves burns to death, and Thor… has the fire go out! Damnations!

Gorten allocates 2 to the Earthbreaker, upkeeps Solid Ground for free and spends 1 to upkeep Strenght of Granite.

The Hammerdwarves go first, charging Taryn and the Paladin. They manage to kill both, sadly (although if I had elected to drop into the +5ARM for the Paladin, I think he would’ve survived… maybe…). Only Gormholdt survives in that zone.

The Amethyst Rose Gun Mages go next, and I turn into a little bit of a jerk. See… Nick activates the Gun Mages, moves them up… but forgets the Officer at the back of the pack, leaving all those closest to Reinhman way, WAY out of formation! I keep my mouth shut until Nick tries to take his first shot, when I point out that he can’t, in fact, shoot.

The look on Nick’s face… like a puppy when you’ve taken away its favourite toy.
And then lit the toy on fire.
And then lit the puppy on fire.

My resolve crumbles. I can’t be this much of a jerk to Nick during a friendly game… heck, I wasn’t this much of a jerk during the last TOURNAMENT (in the finals game, the *exact same thing happened* with John activating his MHSF but forgetting to activate the Officer, leaving 6 of them WAY out of formation… and I let JOHN move the officer up to get them back into formation! During a Finals game! What is *wrong* with me!?). Anyway, I backpeddle, despite the fact that Nick didn’t let me throw my Blind grenades, and prove once and for all that I am the better man. And more handsome.

Anyway. The Officer moves up, and the Gun Mages resume their attack. The closest to Gormholdt uses a Snipe Shot, which easily hits… and does 3 points of damage! Phew!

The rest are out of range, and so open fire on unengaged Errants, killing 1, and one shoots at my Reckoner behind Cover with a Thunderbolt but misses.

Dougal goes and gives “Artillerist” to the Earthbreaker. Thor activates and gives it boosted damage rolls.

The Earthbreaker moves up into the zone. At this point I glance at the clock… Nick has 30 seconds left.
“Hmmm… well, I’ll see how many hip shots I have first.”
“Yes. You should do that. Roll carefully!”
“Looks like… 1 on the left…”
“My left, or your left?”
“Mine. And… 2 on the right.”
“My right, or your right?”
“Mine… are you okay?”
“Oh, I’m fine! Lovely weather we’ve been having, though! Hasn’t it been lovely?”
“I… guess? Hmmm… was there anything else I needed to do?”
“Did you decide how many shots you were going to get with the hip guns?”
“Seriously, I just did that. Okay, I fire a Torpedo at Gorman…”
“What’s the range? Did you measure it carefully? You want to double-check that range?”

The shot auto-misses. Nick rolls deviation distance of 1″, which only hits Gorman…
And he runs out of time.
But, as the rules state, he gets to finish his last roll… and kills Gormholdt, albeit JUST BARELY. Gah! SO CLOSE!

Thus cleared of my models, Nick scores 1CP for controlling the zone, bringing the score to 1-0 Mercenaries!

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Menoth Turn 4:

SO CLOSE! Gah. Frustrating! Oh well. No point in crying over spilt alchemists.
Feora gives 3 Focus to the Reckoner, upkeeping Escort, and gives 2 Focus to the Redeemer.

Hierophant goes first, and exhalts Feora harmoniously again.
Feora draws a Focus from the Wrack (which elects not to exlode) and casts “Ignite” on the Reckoner. She stays toes into Nick’s zone, of course.

The Choir activates and sings Battle. The closest Vassal gives my Reckoner “Enliven”, just in case.

The Reckoner activates and walks over to the Earthbreaker. Rolling at Dice + 1 damage (POW21 against ARM20), it manages to get the entire left side down… to 2 boxes. Which was some REMARKABLY bad rolls. But whatever, it’s still hurt and on fire now!

Vanquisher activates, walks forward, and directly hits a Gun Mage, lights a bunch of others on fire. Gets an Ancillary Attack, which hits and kills antoher Gun Mage.

The Redeemer activates and walks up and takes a shot at Thor which scatters perfectly… onto Thor! Still immune to blast (CURSES!), but he’s on fire again. 2nd shot goes at Dougal, which scatters away harmlessly.

Allegiant activates, goes into Shifting Sands again, and kills the last Nyss in the zone (no Tough this time, since Nick didn’t have a chance to activate Rhupert!).

Errants activate, moving up to make it difficult/impossible to get into the zone, and between shots, swings, and Quick Work, kill the last of the Nyss, a TAC, and damage both other TAC.

The Seneschal moves up and hits a TAC, but fails to wound.
Gravus activates and moves up behind my Errants, ready to charge Gorten next turn.

That’s it, and I score 2CPs for dominating Nick’s zone while my Reckoner contests Nick’s.

The score therefore stands as 2-1 for Menoth.

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Mercenaries Turn 4:

As is so often the case… burns first! The Earthbreaker continues to smoulder, taking 2 points of damage to the left side… crippling that side! Good start! Thor continues to burn (YES!)… but only takes 3 damage (NO!). Gorten’s fire goes out, I do 2 points of damage to the burning Objective, and 1 more Gun Mage fries, being within 12″ of Feora.

3 Focus onto the Earthbreaker, upkeep both spells (pay for one, other for free), and we’re off!

The Gun Mages go first, walking forward. The closest moves to just tuck behind the Reckoner’s front arc, to make it impossible for it to move in that direction (Nick has learned his Anti-Enliven lessons well!). They shoot my Choir, killing 1.

The Hammerdwarves charge my Reckoner, with the first again tucking into the back of my Reckoner ever so slightly. My Reckoner can now only move forward… the first charge attack hits and does a single point of damage, which triggers Enliven!

There is *just* enough room to walk my Reckoner past the Gun Mage and the Earthbreaker, but being out of Feora’s CTRL range means that it’s back down to a SPD5, and without being able to move directly away from the Earthbreaker, I just can’t keep it safe. Such is life… I move towards Gorten and back into Feora’s CTRL, so that at least if by some miracle I survive I can hopefully make the stumpy warcaster regret it!

Thor activates and gives boosted damage to the Earthbreaker.
The Earthbreaker goes next, walking up to the Reckoner. At POW24, it’s rolling at dice+5… first hits with the crippled arm inflicts 16 points of damage (gah!), and second initial attack hits and inflicts 20 points… the Reckoner is flattened.

Nick’s TAC activate and move up, taking swings at Errants and missing. Rhupert activates and gives the TAC Tough.

Nick runs out of time at this point… he scores 1CP for controlling my zone, and I score 2CP for dominating his zone, bringing the score to 4-2 for Menoth!

Menoth Turn 6:

I end my turn immediately. Nick scores one more CP for controlling my zone, but I score two more for dominating his, bringing the final score to 6-3 for Menoth.

Victory to Menoth!

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Marc:

Feat Use: N/A

Tactics: 3

Scenario: 4

Luck: 4

Time Use: 2

Derptitude: 2

Nick:

Feat Use: N/A
Tactics: 3

Scenario: 4

Luck: 3

Time Use: 1

Derptitude: 2

2 thoughts on “Podcast 018 – Mercenaries Vs. Menoth – Analysis of the Effect of Altitude on Flamability

  1. I’m still amazed how it came to be that you were without victory against the SFC. It’s not considered to be the most competitive sub-faction. 😉

    Good game though, you get bonus points for running Allegiants.

    • Yeah, in 4 attempts I’ve never beaten a pure Searforge list… and now that Nick has started running dwarves in Highborn, I’ll probably never face them again!

      I love my little kicky-monk… so much so that I’m planning (at some nebulous point in the future) on picking up a 2nd! They suffer against boosted attack rolls, but even then, I’ve gotten really solid mileage out of them… DEF17 is pretty hard to hit for most things, and if you don’t hit him with that first attack, you ain’t gettin’ a second chance! Really great for tying up arc nodes and holding down zones.

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