So I decided it was time to move back towards the warm embrace of Cygnar. Not that I have anything against Menoth… I’ve been having fun, and I still have about 500 points of models that aren’t assembled or painted… but after the last tournament, I realized that I really missed my boys in blue. Time to get ’em back on the table!
I’ve also realized that I’m very, very weak with very strong warcasters… specifically, I’m not very good with either Haley. And that’s tragic. My weakest matchups have always been against Cryx, and the Haleys are probably the strongest anti-Cryx drops in the game… so it was time to change that.
Darrell, for his part, has decided to abandon the vile dragon Everblight, and has instead moved over to protecting the Kriels with his swarms of tough warriors… so my first game back with Cygnar, and I’m going up against one of OUR weakest matchups (Trolls, obviously). Oh well… I brought a Nemo1 list (I love the *concept* of Nemo1, but again, never really had him “click” for me), and the following pHaley list:
Captain Victoria Haley (“pHaley, Haley1”)
Black 13th (“B13”)
Stormsmith Storm Caller
Stormsmith Storm Caller
Stormsmith Storm Caller
Journeywoman Warcaster (“Junior”)
As much as I love Cygnar (and I do!), I had completely forgotten about how few models you can get on the table when you’re playing a pure Cygnar army. This is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons people take mercenaries with Cygnar… but I digress. As for the list… it’s *okay*, but I don’t think the Rangers are really needed in this case (Temporal Barrier normally is enough of a DEF-debuff to work with), nor is Arlan really… I should’ve probably brought a unit of regular Battle Mechaniks, and saved Arlan for a different list. Other than that, Thorn might be worth swapping for a Lancer to free up 2 more points… but I don’t know. I like the list, I like never missing anything.
Darrell was trying out a Borka “Family Reunion” list, and the following Grim Angus list:
Grim Angus (“pGrim, Determined Cow”)
– Musician and Officer
Kriestone and Stone Scribes
– Stone Scribe Elder
– Trollkin Sorcerer (proxied by a Runeshaper)
I think Darrell created this list primarily because it has models he owns. Which I totally respect, and since this is his first time playing Trolls in at least *years*, I think it’s more of a learning game for him than a hyper-competitive-list-to-crush-all-comers sorta deal. Which is fine. Mulg can certainly get up a half-decent head of steam in this list (a 13″ charge, I think? Maybe 15″ if you hurt Mulg in the process?), and his ability to smack things smacking his warlock is going to be have to kept in mind.
We rolled for scenario, got “Outflank”. Two 12″ circles on the midline, no killbox. Simple, and fantastic… it does everything a scenario is supposed to do (bring armies into the middle) without being overly complicated.
We rolled for initiative, which I lost (boo), but then Darrell wisely elected to go 2nd and take the side of the table with the hill… probably a good decision (if he had elected to go first, damn straight I’m putting either my Stormwall or my Strider there… the ability to have Super Arcing Fire isn’t to be scoffed at!).
My Strider and Stormwall hit the table first, each on either side of a ruined wall smack in the middle of my side of the table. Haley went on the line next to the Stormwall with her Squire, Thorn, and the Journeywoman nearby. The Stormcallers all went behind the Stormwall, while the Black 13th and Arlan went to the right of the Stormwall. The Rangers eventually Advanced Deployed in the middle of the table, near the Stealth-granting forest (for them).
I tend to be a pretty humble guy most of the time, but damn to I love my glowing Stormwall. It just turned out so damn well… almost makes me want to paint up my 2nd one!
Anyway, as for Darrell’s deployment, he put Mulg opposite my Strider with Grim Angus, the Runebearer, and the Axer near the middle. The massive pack of Fennblades and the unit of Champions crammed into the right side of the table with the Impaler, and the Krielstone went behind Grim Angus.
Cygnar, Turn 1
So I start by remembering to allocate Focus. That’s a good thing… 1 to Thorn and the Stormwall.
The Journeywoman goes first, putting “Arcane Shield” on the Strider and then hiding behind the ruined wall.
The Rangers go next, running forward and spreading out. I stupidly leave one outside of the forest… but whatever, I’m just re-learning!
The Strider and Stormwall both run down the field, as does Thorn shortly afterwards. The Stormwall spits out a pod after it runs (which… in retrospect, I’m 90% sure I can’t do… I can do it after charges that don’t fail, but I don’t think I can do it after a run… oh well!).
Haley goes next, moving up behind the Stormwall and putting her “Arcane Shield” on it.
The B13th run forward and toe into the forest (breathing silent prayers of thanks to Morrow that Darrell didn’t bring a Bomber), while Arlan runs to be between my 2 huge bases.
Next, the Stormcallers all run forward behind the Stormwall, but stay well back.
Trolls, Turn 1
If I’m struggling to remember how to play Cygnar (and I am), Darrell is struggling to LEARN how to play Trolls. So the field is kinda even in that respect.
Still, he manages to get the basics right, at least.
The Fennblades, Sorcerer, and Champions all go running up the right flank, crowding between two huts (which makes them prime Judicator… wait, wait, Cygnar, no AoEs, right…). Mulg and the Axer tear off down the middle, while the Impaler heads out towards the Fennblades.
Grim Angus moves up, dumps a tonne of Fury onto the Kriestone, casts takes a couple shots at the closest Ranger (killing one), and then camps his last few Fury.
The Krielstone, thus charged, moves forward and gives the Aura of Protection thingy that it always does, while the Stonescribe Elder at this point has nothing to do and so chisels something idly.
With that, the ball is back in my court.
Cgynar, Turn 2
Okay, I think I remember how this Rube Goldberg machine works… I pull 1 Focus from the Squire, give 3 to the Stormwall, upkeep both Arcane Shields, and we’re off.
Thorn goes first, walking forward into the zone and closer to Mulg.
Haley goes next. She moves forward into the middle of the table (curling around the forest, but keeping her toes in it), and measures her CTRL. Sadly, nothing of Darrell’s army is within CTRL, making her Temporal Barrier irrelevant at this point… I was really hoping to catch Mulg, at least, but no.
Okay. So I’m probably going to lose the Stormwall on his turn… might as well make it complicated, at least.
Haley pops her Feat and then casts “Chain Lightning” through Thorn (who moves up his few inches from Reaction Drive) at Mulg. It hits and leaps twice: the hit on Mulg does 2 points of damage (and triggers his “Relentless” ability, of course). The leaps manage to force 2 Tough Checks on Stonebearers, killing 1 and knocking down the other.
The Stormwall goes next, moving forward into the forest (and the right zone), and throwing out a (legal) Stormpod between it and Mulg. It then opens fire with its big guns, pounding Mulg 3 times for heavy damage (crippling his Spirit!). The Metal Storm guns drop covering fire templates, one on the Stormpod I so recently tossed out, and the other between the Stormwall and the approaching Fennblades.
The Rangers go next. They shuffle around a little, putting a few extra bodies between Mulg and my suddenly-fragile-looking Stormwall, and pop off their flurry of bullets towards the Fennblades. Darrell gets a hot roll of Tough Checks, and only a few Fennblades go to the big bearded troll in the sky. I also kill another Stonebearer.
The Black 13th step up to the plate, moving forward with Ryan slightly behind her companions. Lynch and Watts both take their 2 shots, pinging a couple Fennblades into the dirt, and then Ryan unleashes a Magestorm that lands perfectly to choke off the rest of the approach for Darrell’s trollkin warriors (and manages to kill 2 in the process!).
Oh B13. I’ve missed you.
Ryan’s second shot manages to kill one more Fennblade (who Toughs).
The Storm Strider activates, moves forward, and pounds all three shots into Mulg, doing a little more damage and forcing a bunch more Tough Checks against Stonebearers, as well as inflicting light (LIGHT) damage on the Axer.
Trolls, Turn 2
Okay, so as Haley’s Feats go, that wasn’t so bad for Darrell… sure, he lost a handful of Fennblades and 2 Stonebearers, and yes, Mulg is currently unable to be Forced… but with a little ore luck and some slightly better damage rolls, Mulg would be pushing up troll-daisies, and Haley would be far enough forward that she would have Temporal Barrier up, and Darrell would be in a REALLY rough spot.
Still, he considers his options and then decides that he wants to kill all my stuff. Grim pulls in all his Fury from the warbeasts, and we’re off.
Vengeance triggers for his Fennblades, who use it to shimmy a couple models past the Covering Fire.
Grim Angus (who I’ve called “Jarl” at least 15 times by this point in the battle) moves up, pops his Feat, and puts another Fury into the Krielstone to top it off. He casts “Magic Bullet” on himself and then promptly rolls snake-eyes on his shot on the Stormwall. Woo! His second shot destroys the other Stormpod near Mulg, and he pulls back to relative safety, camping a few Fury.
He decides his first priority is to heal up Mulg. Towards that end, the Axer activates and gives Mulg “Rush” (for the +2SPD). This brings the mighty mountain-troll up to SPD8 (+2 from Relentless).
Mulg then walks over to a Ranger (that I had placed nearby to choke up charge lanes). He hits him, killing the fragile Cygnaran, and then “Snacks” to recover a few points of damage. This heals his Spirit, which he then uses to Force Mulg to Regenerate, healing yet more damage! Nice trick… but the trade off is that Mulg has NOT charged my Stormwall, so as a result I will get at least one more turn of pounding him with big freakin’ guns.
I’m okay with this!
The Fell Caller gives the Fennblades his MAT-buff.
The Fennblades get Run/Charge orders, with 3 or 4 getting charges off on Rangers, who they all hit and kill (reducing the unit to 1!). The remaining Fennblades run and try to curl around the Covering Fire and Magestorm in their way (honestly, that placement couldn’t have gone better if I tried!). The Champions crowd up behind them.
The Krielstones move forward and pop their ARM-Aura again.
The Axer charges Thorn, hitting with his initial blow and wrecking his Shield. His next blow destroys the nearby Stormpod, and the last swing goes into Thorn again, but only scratches the paint.
Both zones are contested (the Axer is holding the left zone, and the right zone is full of both Fennblades, B13, and a Stormwall), so the score stays 0-0.
Cygnar, Turn 3
So, on the one hand, my Stormwall is being approached by a lot of beefy trolls with weapons, including the original Colossus-cracker himself.
On the other hand, Haley is not left handed. Time to take the training wheels off and bring this girl out for a spin.
Haley allocates 3 to the Stormwall, we upkeep both Arcane Shields again, I pull one from the Squire, and we’re ready.
The Journeywoman moves from behind her wall of safety to be closer to Haley. Haley is getting to be a little close to the fight for my tastes, and I may need to hot-swap Arcane Shield onto her. But for now I just need to get Junior a little closer.
Haley goes next, casting “Temporal Barrier” and moving into the forest. This time she catches Mulg and several Fennblades.
The Black 13th activate, opening fire. Ryan drops another Magestorm on a pack of Champions, but doesn’t manage to kill any (does respectable damage, though!). Watts and Lynch both drop Fennblades, who fail to Tough.
The Stormwall goes next, standing and Aiming, but popping out a Stormpod near the Krielstone (technically I tried to get it behind the Krielstone, without the range). The big guns again pound into Mulg, inflicting moderate (boosted) damage. Sadly, I get only 3 total Metalstorm shots: 2 on the left go into Champions (causing 1 Tough check, which passes), and the last shot into Mulg for no damage (ARM21 is hard to crack, even with a spare Focus to boost!).
The Storm Strider goes next, moving up and opening fire on Mulg. Both shots hit and singe the moss on his back, but don’t do anything notable. The electroleaps do kill 2 more Krielstone Bearers, though… 1 of them Toughs.
At this point I realize that Mulg can still walk 8″ and threaten 10″, even with Temporal Barrier up. I’m… 95% sure that he has the range to STILL get to my Stormwall… but I can still speed-bump him a little.
Thorn activates and walks to be exactly between Mulg and the Axer. He takes his Spear attack at Mulg, but without Focus can’t hurt the mighty warbeast. Still, if Mulg moves forward, he’s taking a boosted freestrike… with some luck that may be enough to re-cripple something on Mulg! It’s not much, but it’s what I’ve got at the moment.
My last Ranger moves between the Stormwall and Mulg and bravely shoots a Fennblade to death.
Lastly, my Stormcallers actvate and walk forward. Many Triangulation attacks later and I’ve reduced the Fennblades to their last 2 members, smacked the Axer a few times (for minimal damage), and made sure the left zone is contested.
Score is still 0-0…
Trolls, Turn 3
Darrell was… shall we say… displeased that Mulg wasn’t able to freely move up to crush my Stormwall due to Thorn’s prescence. Understandably! Still, he had options… he pulls back his Fury to get Grim back to full, and we begin.
The last Fennblades get their Vengeance activations, moving forward and slaying a Ranger (I had 2 left at this point… now 1).
After that, the Axer goes to town on Thorn… buying attack after attack, but Thorn stands strong, with both his Cortex, Movement, and Spear intact. Arc Node bites it, though.
Frustrated by Thorn’s refusal to die, Grim activates and fires a Snare Gun at Thorn… he boosts the shot, but still misses! The shot scatters between the Axer and Mulg… and of course, scatters onto Mulg. And then, needing a 9 to hit… Darrell drops Mulg, knocking down the mighty warbeast.
He laughs ruefully.
Mulg activates and forfeits his movement to stand. He pulps Thorn in the first blow.
The Fell Caller gives the Champions +2MAT, as is his way.
The Champions charge through the Magestorm, getting lanes on both Watts and Lynch. They easily slay both Black 13th members. In fact, the one that hits Watts inflicts a whopping 24 points of damage (straight dice at 4d6… Darrell rolls nothin’ but 6s!), and hits him so hard that Ryan, seeing the doom approaching, breaks!
The Impaler lobs a couple pointy sticks at the Stormwall (ping), and the Krielstones continue to make the Trolls ARM higher than it should be.
Cygnar, Turn 4
Hmmm. The loss of Ryan (although she was still physically on the table) was frustrating, but again, can’t throw too many stones on this account. Things are going okay… not great, but okay. Haley gives 3 Focus to the Stormwall, pulls the last from the Squire, and upkeeps both Arcane Shields.
Haley goes first, casting “Temporal Barrier” again, mostly to deny charges to the Champions, and also for the nice -2DEF to Darrell’s army. Missing DEF12 models is frustrating… much easier to not risk it.
There’s only 2 Fennblades between my Stormwall and walking up to Grim… my Stormcallers activate and between all their attacks manage to spot-remove both (and a Champion, as well!). I also kill the Sorcerer, although I don’t think he’s actually done anything all game yet… anyway.
The Stormwall activates and walks up to Grim, lobbing out a Stormpod behind him that fails to wound. Grim is camping 3 Fury but easily within Walk range. He swings his first mighty fist, which hammers the warlock for 10 damage (Darrell takes it) and electroleaps to a nearby Stonebearer, who bites it.
However, at this point Mulg’s Protective Fit triggers… Mulg walks up to my Stormwall (finally!) and hammers it for a bunch of damage.
I’ve still got eyes-on-the-prize, despite the now-very-proximal Mulg. I swing at Grim again, boosting to hit… I hit! The damage (about 8 or 9) is transferred to the Axer.
Mulg hits my Stormwall with his stick again, doing some damage.
Last attack… misses! Gah! Grim yet stands!
The Storm Strider activates and walks closer to Grim. I shoot Mulg, missing (snake eyes!)… the shot hits the Stormwall and electroleaps only once into Grim. I boost damage (with a Power Token I had gotten from something!) on Grim, inflicting only a single point (boo!).
Ryan pulls back to the edge of the zone, and manages to rally! Soooo… if she survives her next turn, she may become relevant again.
Arlan moves up to the Stormwall and fixes it for a solid 5 points.
With that done, it’s back to Darrell, with the game still scoreless.
Trolls, Turn 4
Grim Angus yet stands… battered, bruised, but unbowed. And Mulg has finally gotten all the way up to my Stormwall, and even scratched the paint a bit! Things are looking dim for our heroes… Grim pulls in as much Fury as he can, but the Axer still has a couple on him… it passes its Frenzy check, though.
Mulg activates and swings away at the Stormwall… he wrecks the left side and does a few points of damage to the right.
The Axer rotates to get my Stormcaller on that side of the table within sight, and drops him, finally clearing that zone. He also pings the Storm Strider for a few points, importantly giving him another Power Token.
The Champions shuffle around, killing a few Stormcallers (that I had carefully placed to protect Ryan).
I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure what Darrell did at this point, but whatever it was resulted in Arlan being knocked down and taking 4 points of damage. Maybe a Fell Call? Or something cast by Grim? Either way, he wanted Arlan dead, but didn’t quite get it.
With that, Darrell ends his turn and scores his first Control Point! The score is thus 1-0 for the forces of ugly and evil and such.
Cygnar, Turn 5
Around this point it occurs to me that really, I should probably kill Mulg BEFORE I try to kill Grim… just to keep him from scrapping my Stormwall on my turn. As a result, Haley again upkeeps both Arcane Shields (I hope everyone realizes when I write that that she’s only upkeeping 1 herself and the Junior is doing the other), gives the Stormwall 2 Focus, and we’re off.
Haley goes first, casts Temporal Barrier, and that’s that.
Ryan, freshly rallied, drops a Magestorm on 4 Champions. She kills 1 and manages to force 1 other to Tough. The other 2 just take a handful of damage.
Arlan forfeits his activation to stand and move B2B with the Stormwall. Can’t fix him this turn, but next turn… if it survives…
The Stormwall activates, rotates to get both Grim and Mulg into it’s Right arc (the left being thoroughly crippled), and does a Power Sweep. I hit Mulg and crush him, and boost to hit Grim… and Grim transfers to the Impaler, the troll beast finally taking some damage.
The Strider goes next. I walk him straight towards Grim, but sadly can’t get it close enough to engage him (to negate the +4DEF from firing into melee, and allow Gunfighter to let me shoot him despite being engaged). Instead, I take 2 shots at the Stormwall, both lightning arcs going to Grim (and 1 of them killing another Stonebearer, reducing the unit to just the Krielstone itself). I boost the damage on Grim, which he transfers to the Impaler again.
The Squire runs to contest the zone on the left.
The Journeywoman activates, moves a little towards the Axer, and boosts to hit and damage with her handcannon, inflicting moderate wounds (and crippling its Mind).
With that, I end my turn, Grim still refusing to die but at least no more points scored! Still 1-0 for the Trolls…
Trolls, Turn 5
The grind continues! This turn Darrell runs out of time on his clock, but since he’s just learning the Faction I’m happy to keep the game going. Grim therefore pulls in full Fury again.
The Champions move up to Ryan (unable to charge) after getting their MAT-buff from the Fell Caller. They successfully kill the last member of the B13.
The Axer walks up to my Squire and destroys it in a single mighty blow.
The Impaler lobs some pointy sticks at the Stormwall, hitting but unable to pierce through its Arcane-enhanced ARM.
Jarl takes a few swings with his axe, but again can’t scratch the paint.
Back over to Cygnar!
2-0 for the Trolls!
Cygnar, Turn 6
Time to put the kids to bed. Haley gives the Stormwall 3 and drops Arcane Shield, while Junior upkeeps hers.
Junior then goes first, aiming and boosting to hit the Axer. She hits, boosts damage, and kills the Troll warbeast (Grim pulls in the Fury).
Haley casts Temporal Barrier and crosses her fingers.
Arlan activates and repairs the Stormwall successfully again for 6 boxes, this time bringing the left weapon systems back online.
The Stormwall activates and boosts to hit Grim. I hit, Grim transfers to the Impaler, and I do enough damage to blow it up. 2nd attack goes into Grim, boosting to hit… I nail it again, and force a Tough check… which (thankfully!) Darrell fails.
Victory to Cygnar!
Post Game Analysis
Whoa, that took awhile… and I was certainly lucky. Mulg could’ve done much more damage if Darrell was a little luckier!
I think that it was probably a mistake to not use Grim to heal Mulg for 1 point into his Spirit and charge him into the Stormwall on his 2nd turn (basically the only turn anything Darrell had could charge!), but without something to give Mulg extra STR or POW, I’m not 100% convinced he would’ve wrecked an Arcane Shielded Stormwall himself. Probably could’ve come close, though! Also, Darrell was nice and gave my Strider a couple Power Tokens over the course of the game without every really committing to destroying it, and that eventually helped.
Now, as for mistakes I made: I really should’ve committed to destroying Mulg sooner, rather than risking Protective Fit attacks… especially after Darrell did it once. At that point I should’ve switched targets to Mulg, wrecked him, and then left Grim to be dealt with later (Grim isn’t really a threat to the Stormwall, especially if he’s being engaged). Also, as much as I like this list, as I mentioned above it does have some problems… volume of attacks can be an issue, certainly, and it’s not a great anti-Trolls list at the best of times. Mulg is fast enough (with Rush and Relentless) to be a very credible walking threat, and that probably should’ve trigger my thought that maybe taking Haley was a bad idea.
But, still, things went okay, and it was a lot of fun! Thanks for reading, sorry for the pictures being so freakin’ dark, and stay tuned for more Cygnar batreps! The next one against Nick was a doozy!