You’ll all have to excuse the pun in the title… I am a man of simple pleasures (and a simple mind, obviously!).
This week for the podcast I was granted the pleasure of tangling blades and bombs against Todd’s Retribution. Mostly, it was an excuse for me to either get a Judicator on the table (I loves me my Judicator) or High Reclaimer Silent Bob (who I have never tried yet, but looks super-awesome-fun!).
Also in this week’s podcast, Nick starts painting his Galleon (which I believe I will nickname “Your Doom”), Aaron discusses Deathclocking his opponents by accident, and Todd takes beautiful pictures!
The summer really is a lovely time… as one tournament is ramping down, the next one is ramping up! A listener wrote me and told us about an upcoming tournament in Hamilton at “Black Knight Games”, which I am gleefully going to attend. You can find the details here on Facebook, if you’re curious. As a result, I’m starting to experiment with other 50 point lists that I can use at tournaments, and more importantly trying to narrow down my 3rd list for the upcoming Masters tournament in Ottawa in September… eFeora is a given, I’m 50/50 on the Harbinger, but at the minimum I need a 3rd option. Silent Bob (aka: the High Reclaimer) appeals due to his ability to get his troops up the table without being shot… but Vindictus has that beautiful speed buff and incredible Tier list, so he’s pretty tempting as well. But I’ve never used either of those, so for this game I figured that maybe I should give pKreoss another shot… I’ve had middling luck with him so far, but more practice is definitely needed!
Todd brought out his favourite warcasters: Ossyan and eVyros. I can respect both decisions (although I admit that if I were to ever play Retribution, it would be Kaelyssa and Rahn for me, 24/7). We had a little list-chicken going on… but in the end I decided to stick with pKreoss and Todd went with Ossyan.
My pKreoss list is as follows:
High Exemplar Kreoss (“pKreoss, Kreoss1”)
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Officer and Standard
Exemplar Bastions (max)
High Exemplar Gravus
Choir of Menoth (min)
Vassal of Menoth
Allegiant of the Fist (“Kicky Monk”)
Not a *bad* last, as lists go, but not ideal. The Allegiant, as much as I love the little guy, doesn’t really add anything to this list, and I was really feeling the lack of a Shield Guard (as you will soon read!). So some tweaking might be necessary.
As for Todd, he rolled out his newest and improvest Ossyan list:
Lord Arcanist Ossyan
– Sylys Nailer of Wishes
Houseguard Halberdiers (max)
– Officer and Standard
– Soulless Escort
Houseguard Riflemen (max)
– Officer and Standard
Houseguard Thane (“HGT”)
Aiyana and Holt
Ah, Stormfall Archers… how I loathe thee. In Cygnar I’ve found the only reliable way to deal with them is Cavalry (either Blazers or Storm Lances work really, really well), but I haven’t tangled with the as much using Menoth… we’ll see if I can clear ’em out without mounted support this game!
Scenario was Two Fronts (two 6×12 zones, one friendly and one enemy, 2 objectives, one friendly and one enemy. Objectives have “priority”, so no dominating a zone if enemy objective is in CTRL).
Todd won initiative, chose to go first.
I pick the side without forests because Todd’s army has no pathfinder.
I deploy my Judicator, the “Dread of the True Law” to the left, in the only space big enough to fit its base.
Todd deploys (from my left to right) both units of Stormfalls, Hypnos, Ossyan and Sylys (in the middle) with Aiyana and Holt behind a small forest, the riflemen deploy around those guys, and the right side gets all the Halberdiers and the HGT. The far right side has both Destor Thanes.
In response, I deploy Kreoss, Gravus, and Hierophant in the middle near cover, the Vassal and Choir behind my Judicator, the Bastions to the right of center (due to terrain/houses near the Judicator) and the Knight Exemplar to the right of them, behind the hill. My Allegiant goes on far right (he can take both Destors himself! With one hand tied behind his back!). Errants are AD’d opposite the Halberdiers to keep my troops away from both the Stormfall Archers AND Judicator rockets. Lastly, my Wracks are liberally scattered across the field.
Retribution, Turn 1
Ossyan camps his full stack.
One unit of Stormfalls run way up, the other shuffles forward a little.
Arcanist moves forward and Power Boosts Hypnos. Hypnos runs.
Ossyan moves up, puts “Admonition” on Hypnos (which will come to bite me in the ass later) and Quicken on Halberdiers.
Halberdiers “Shield Wall” forward 8″ and reform another 3″.
HGT activates and moves up.
Both Destor Thanes run forward on right flank.
Riflemen run forward and clump up around Hypnos, Ossyan, and the middle of the board.
Aiyana and Holt move up and Stealth.
Menoth, Turn 1
Kreoss allocates 2 to Judicator.
Choir sings Battle
Judicator Dread walks forward and lobs out 2 rockets at Hypnos (who I knew was out of range but I’m hoping for a few lucky deviations!). Rockets both deviate backwards (direction 5, distance 3), and second deviation goes nowhere.
Vassal activates and Ancillary Attacks. Rocket deviates backwards (direction 5, distance 3), and second deviation goes nowhere. Woo.
Errants walk up and spread out a little, a handful going up on the hill. They take shots at Destors, Halberdiers, and everyone is at least an inch out of range. Curses!
Bastions run from right side towards the middle of the table, desperately trying to get in front of Judicator.
Kreoss activates, casts “Lamentation” on himself and “Defender’s Ward” on Errants. Moves up behind cover.
Knight Exemplar run up behind Errants.
Gravus runs to be behind his soul-giving brethren.
Lastly, the Allegiant walks forward and drops into Shifting Sands
Retribution, Turn 2
Ossyan camps full stack, upkeeps Admonition for free and pays to upkeep Quicken.
Arcanist gives Hypnos a Focus.
Hypnos moves up and shoots closest Bastion, who is thankfully out of range.
Ossyan moves up into Forest and camps fat stacks.
Stormfalls run forward again, keeping one unit “safe” behind cover while the other moves up into zone.
Riflemen move up and open fire on Errants, kill 1.
Destor Thanes do “ride by attacks”, moving up onto hill, opening far, and then riding back to “safety”. Death tally: 2 more Errants and 2 Knight Exemplar. Gravus is now at full 3 souls (why, oh why, can’t he hold more… it would be uber-broken, but fun!).
HGT gives “Desperate Pace” to Halberdiers.
Halberdiers charge. 4 get in on Errants and do 2 man CMAs, but only 1 killed.
Aiyana and Holt move up, Holt going towards Errants but failing to kill twice. Aiyana Stealths herself.
Menoth, Turn 2
Allocate 2 to Judicator, upkeep Lamentation and Defender’s Ward.
Choir sings Battle.
Judicator Dread goes next, walking forward *just* far enough to get her toes in the zone. With the rockets red blare, Hypnos is hit once and missed once, inflict laughable damage.
Vassal gives Ancillary Attack, also hits Hypnos, but barely scratches the paint.
Bastions run to get in front of Judicator… do so about half-way. Still, progress.
Errants activate and murderize handfuls of Halberdiers, including his Officer killed with Quickwork shots and lucky rolls. About 4 killed total, but removing their mini-feat? Gravy.
Allegiant walks towards Destor Thanes, Shifting Sands on the hill again.
Knight Exemplar run to engage Destor Thanes. Of the two closest, 1 gets distance, other is out by 0.5″. Remaining ones just spread out behind Errants.
Gravus, flush with souls, walks towards the middle of the table, hoping to get a Halberdier in Reach, but does not. Wanh-wanh.
Kreoss activates, moves slightly more behind cover, and camps his Focus.
Retribution, Turn 3
Can you smell what Ossyan is cooking? It’s a Feat!
Allocates 2 Focus to Hypnos, upkeeps Admonition for free and drops Quicken.
Hypnos goes first, moves up, and hits Judicator for 6 points of damage and, more importantly, “Void Lock”s him. Curses!
Aiyana and Holt activate. Holt shoots more Errants, kills 1. Aiyana puts “Kiss” on Bastions.
Ossyan moves up behind Hypnos and out into the open. Pops his Feat, takes a shot at the closest Bastion who is *just* in range of his gun. Hits, drops 4″ AoE bubble on him, inflicts some damage which I spread out.
Both units of Stormfalls activate and rain fire and death on my Bastions. 7 attacks later and 3 Bastions and a Choir have gone to the great beyond. Remaining 2 Bastions are killed off by Riflemen CRAs. The other Riflemen kill the Objective handily.
Destors activate, kill the two Knight Exemplar engaging them, 2 Errants, and 1 more Knight Exemplar (leaving me with one POW16, ARM20 Weaponmaster). One takes a shot at the Allegiant, missing and the Allegiant walks forward (while making “wop-wop-wop” sounds).
The HGT activates, shoots the Allegiant and misses. The Allegiant walks over to stand next to the HGT but still in the zone.
Score is now 1-0
Menoth, Turn 3
Can’t allocate, so camp everything after I upkeep Defender’s Ward and “Lamentation”. My plan this turn is to deliver Gravus onto Hypnos… with 3 Souls, a charge, and being a Weaponmaster, I figure I can inflict enough damage to remove Hypnos as a threat (which is good, because with Quicken he out-threats Judicator Dread by at least an inch). Unfortunately, there are 3 Halberdiers and an Errant between Gravus and Hypnos, so I focus all my efforts on removing those so I can deliver on my plan!
Choir sings Battle.
The Errants activate next. I walk the Standard over to stand beside Gravus, and then walk the Errant engaged by those 3 Halberdiers out of the way, taking 2 free strikes in the process. First one fails to kill, but the second free strike does kill, which I self-sac over to the Standard. Boss.
The other Errants step further into the zone as I consciously decide to ignore the Destors “for now” to deal with the more pressing threats. Blessed Crossbows and weaponmaster sword swings fall, and the Halberdiers are reduced to 5 members.
Still 3 in the way of Gravus, though.
The Allegiant drops into Shift Sands again and attempts to punch the HGT. Needing 6s to hit, I miss both times (rolling 5s).
My remaining Knight Exemplar charges a Halberdier (DEF15 against Charges), manages to hit, and at POW16, reduces the elf to a fine, elf-scented mist.
Kreoss activates, pulls in a Focus from a Wrack that explodes, and casts “Cleansing Fire” on the middle of the three Halberdiers that must die. Needing a 6 to hit… he misses.
I cast it again, hitting this time… but without Focus (2 for the first cast, 3 more for the second) I can only kill the one directly hit.
I briefly wonder why I had specifically left 5 Focus on Kreoss, since I wasn’t expecting to need to cast “Cleansing Fire” twice. Weird, but I’ve got other things on my mind.
Vassal backs up and gives Judicator an Ancillary Flamethrower attack, which hits the closest Halberdier (but can’t catch the other). At POW14, even on 1d6 (as my Judicator was about 1″ into the Feat) it still kills the fragile elf.
I go into the tank, ponder, think, worry, consider… and decide to go with the plan I’ve affectionately dubbed “Plan Probably-Idiotic-Possibly-Genius”.
Judicator activates and backs up an inch and slightly towards the remaining Halberdier. This gets me *just* out of Ossyan’s Feat (far closer than I intended!) but also out of the zone, abandoning it. First Flamethrower shot goes into that remaining Halberdier, who is hit and fried.
First rocket goes into a clump of 4 Stormfall Archers, directly hitting the center and catching 3 total, who are all killed. The deviation kills 2 more (the last of that unit, and one from the other). Second rocket goes into Hypnos, hitting and inflicting more light damage (GAH), and deviates onto Ossyan who is camping enough Focus to make him ARM21 and immune to my “measly” POW9s.
The way is clear! The path is open! Gravus activates and Charges Hypnos!
Hypnos Admonitions away!
I smack my forehead in frustration! I could’ve at LEAST run him into the zone to contest… but I didn’t.
I end my turn, and Todd scores another CP, bringing it to 2-0 for the Pointy Ears.
Retribution, Turn 4
Despite the stupidity of emptying my friendly zone, Todd can only score 2CPs this turn no matter what (either dominate the zone for 2, or clear out both zones, dominate his friendly and control his enemy). Being down 4-0 is uncomfortable, but once my Judicator can get back into that zone, I suspect that Todd will have a tough time clearing it.
Did I say “suspect”? Sorry. I meant “hope”. I HOPE he will have a tough time clearing it.
Anyhoo, Hypnos gets 2 again, and there’s nothing to upkeep.
Sylys whispers Arcane Secrets to Ossyan.
Arcanist moves to toe into the zone as far away from the Judicator as possible.
Aiyana activates and puts “Kiss” on Gravus. Holt charges an Errant, misses both melee attacks and kills 1 with a pistol shot.
Ossyan activates and shoots Gravus. He hits, boosts damage, and inflicts *exactly* 10 (damnit!), dismounting him. He then casts… some attack spell… which with Arcane Secrets easily hits and kills my Dragoon. Blast.
Hypnos activates, walks back to where he was before, and shoots the Judicator again. He hits and inflicts 4 damage, but more importantly, “Void Lock”s me again. Gah!
Riflemen activate, move towards my Errants and pop their mini-Feat. A bunch of shots later and he’s only killed 1 more (yay Defender’s Ward!)
First Destor Thane move towards my Errants and open fire. First shot rolls snake eyes.
Other Destor charges an Errant, who he kills with an Impact attack and thereby ends his Charge (Impact triggers before movement finishes, so if you kill your Impact Target, your charge fails). Neither get into the zone.
Lastly, the 3 remaining Stormfalls run up into B2B with my Judicator (comically pushing against its legs to keep it out of the zone).
Menoth, Turn 4
So, yet again I can’t allocate to my Judicator. I go a little on tilt here… I’m thinking that I HAVE to kill Ossyan this turn or it’s all over. This is an exageration… if I contest my zone with the Judicator and put some significant damage on Hypnos, that zone is safe (relatively speaking) and the Judicator can sit there all day and lob out rockets. My 5 remaining Errants, 1 Knight Exemplar, and Allegiant can *probably* wipe out the remaining Infantry in Todd’s zone and then make a good fight with the Destors next turn… and more importantly, Todd is down to under 4 minutes on his clock, while I have almost 20 on mine.
But that’s in retrospect. At the time, I thought I was done for.
So! I drop everything, camping a full 7 Focus for Kreoss.
The Hierophant Exalts
The Choir sings Battle.
Kreoss moves forward and pops his Feat, catching Todd’s entire army except the Arcanist and a Destor Thane. He then casts “Cleansing Fire” on 2 of the Stormfall Archers, vapourizing both. He casts “Immolation” on the last one, killing it, and then casts “Immolation” on Aiyana, just for kicks and because he’s got the Focus for it. She goes up in a puff of colourful smoke.
The Judicator activates and strides 4″ towards Ossyan. First rocket streaks towards him… needing anything-but-snake-eyes, I roll… a 4! Good enough! At dice-1 damage (Ossyan is camping up to ARM17), the rocket inflicts 5 damage, leaving him on 11.
Not good enough! Second rocket fires… and I realize I forgot the secondary deviation on the first rocket. Curses! This game may be decided by that single POW9 roll! Oh well. Second rocket rolls… a 4! Hits! I inflict 6 points of damage, leaving him on 5!
The Vassal activates! For all the marbles, he gives the Judicator an Ancillary Attack, which launches another Rocket at Ossyan… it hits! I roll damage… and crank it, getting 10 points and dropping the mighty elven warcaster.
Post Game Analysis
Todd played a solid game. It’s debatable (and was debated) whether he would’ve been better off taking my Judicator off the table instead of the full unit of Bastions, but I’ll be honest, I think he made the right call. He lost because the NEXT turn he left Ossyan too close to both the Judicator and Kreoss… his gambit to run the Stormfall Archers up to tie the Judicator in place probably would’ve worked with almost any other warcaster, but with Kreoss’s ability to knock them down and surgically take them out… well, it wasn’t as effective as it should’ve been!
For my part, I stand by the statement that I got a little unhinged and started taking risks that weren’t at all necessary. Kreoss could’ve… SHOULD’VE been further back, Feated on most of Todd’s army, and then just let the Judicator wipe out Hypnos and the Archers while my Errants dealt with the last of the Riflemen. The Destor Thanes were going to be a problem, but with Aiyana out of the picture, their unboostable POW12 guns are no match for an ARM21 Defender’s-Warded Judicator. Or at least probably wouldn’t be.
Also, of all the pieces I had on the table, Gravus was best equipped to deal with Admonition on Hypnos… I just had to declare a “Ride-By Attack”, move him up 7.9″, do all his attacks, and then move in a tenth of an inch. Silly of me to not do that! Oh well. Live and learn!
All that aside, super-fun game, and I’m glad that I got some more practice in with Kreoss! Next time I’m going to try his epic incarnation, I think… assuming I can get him painted this weekend!
Thanks for reading! Comments and questions are always welcome!