For the battle report this week, I was going to be facing off against our local reigning champion from last season: Adam, and his unstoppable Cryx. I was hoping to get a Menoth get on the books, and with all the work I’ve been pumping into my Protectorate, I actually have 50 points of fieldable Menoth with the Harbinger at the lead… mostly warjacks (2 Vanquishers, 2 Reckoners, and a Devout), a few solos (Vilmon, an Allegiant, a Hierophant, Wracks, Choir, a Paladin), and that’s about it. Harby has enough Focus to run the army and keep herself safe, but sadly, there’s one warcaster in the game that this army would be completely powerless against:
Asphyxious2. His Feat has the capability to remove too much of my army in a single go… I could afford to lose 1 warjack in a turn (it would be basically unavoidable I imagine), even 2 if I was unlucky. But Gaspy2 can melt all 4 of my heavies and there would be absolutely, positively nothing I could do about it. Sure, Menoth has plenty of tools to stop the Feat… Greater Destiny’d Zealots, Temple Flameguard, Exemplar Errants, or Bastions, but I don’t *own* any of those yet! And since Adam was keen on playing his Gaspy2 list, I had to switch to my 2nd list… Nemo2.
Now, I love Nemo… all three versions of him, actually (I’m currently undefeated with Nemo3!), but I make no illusions that this is a good matchup. Nemo has 1 tool in his box against Gaspy… Polarity Field… and Cryx is filthy with ways to get rid of it. But at least there was a *chance* I could pull this off… to hear the full battle, feel free to listen below!
We’re currently working our way through the 2014 Steamroller Scenarios for the podcast, and this week was “Supply and Demand”. This is basically unchanged from 2013: a large central 12″ diameter zone with a friendly objective on your left and an enemy objective mirrored. The major difference is that the “Fuel” ability of the objective (allowing a warjack or warbeast to charge without spending Focus or Fury) no longer requires the objective to be dominated by your warcaster: as long as it’s not contested, you can get that free charge. That’s pretty cool. And the stats of the objective are now standardized (ARM18, 15 hitpoints), as with all the 2014 objectives. Oh, and because I had a fragile, fragile warcaster… Supply and Demand is also a Killbox scenario. Of course.
We rolled for initiative, and Adam won (already things take a turn for the worse). He decides to go first, and I get to pick table side… which I suppose isn’t awful, since the table is so choked with terrain (because Aaron hates me) that there’s only 1 side of the table where it’s even possible to get my 2 huge bases into the middle without running (which, since I was going 2nd, was basically suicidal). So I picked the less-awful (but still awful) side of the table.
Adam’s list was as follows:
Asphyxious the Lich Lord (Asphyxious2, eGaspy, Gaspy2)
– Night Wretch
– Skarlock Thrall
Satyxis Raiders (max) with UA
Bane Thralls (min) with UA
Bane Knights (max)
Bane Lord Tartarus (BLT)
Bile Thralls (min)
Gorman di Wulfe
A pretty standard Gaspy2 list, from what I’ve been led to believe (although no Darragh Wrathe, since Adam decided he would rather have more infantry than more support). And, for those of you who are familiar with Cryx: Yes, Adam has 2 points too many in that list. He claims it was an oversight (the Skarlock was in his other list, he “accidentally” included it in this one), but since I’ve done the same thing before (“accidentally” including the B13 in a list they weren’t in) I can’t throw too many stones.
He set up in a long line with the Bane Knights on the far left (from my perspective), the Biles behind them, Gaspy and Cankerworm near the middle, then all the Thralls with their UA and BLT, then the Pistol Wraith and the Skarlock Thrall, and finally the Night Wretch. The Raiders eventually would be (advanced) deployed in front of the Night Wretch.
My army was as follows:
General Adept Sebastian Nemo (Nemo2, eNemo)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (x3)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (eEiryss, Eiryss2)
As you can see, I decided to go pretty ‘jack heavy. The inclusion of the Storm Strider was an easy decision: getting to ignore Cryx Stealth by electroleaping shots off the Lightning Pods is almost a no-brainer. If I had to do it over, though, I would probably drop it for a Lightning Tower (or two) and use the other points for some Silver Line Stormguard or some other variety of screening troop. And I might drop a Firefly and a Charger for a Centurion. Hard to say.
Anyway, my Stormwall went right in the middle of the table, and my Strider went behind my Objective. I knew there was no way to get the Strider into the middle of the table past the objective, but I was hoping it would block off some of the charge area available to Adam’s army. I set up a Charger on the left side of the table (I hoped to use it to widdle down some of those Bane Knights and then Energizer backwards 3″ for a couple turns), the other Charger and the Firefly on the far right (being able to get 2 Triangulation points behind your opponent’s army? Solid gold), and the Sentinel behind the Stormwall. Nemo went between the Stormwall and the Strider (there was a friendly fence nearby that was just inside the Killbox dead ahead, and that’s where he was heading), with the Stormcallers set up behind the Stormwall as well. Lastly, Eiryss set up behind the Storm Strider… yes, I could’ve thrown her at the front of the army, but I figured keeping her safe, and using her to shoot debuffs off my Stormwall, was a better use of her.
Adam started by allocating a single Focus to both warjacks. And then everything ran.
The Bane Knights ran through houses, the Biles ran up behind them, the Raiders ran insanely far upfield, yada yada. The only hiccup was Gasy2 himself: he put “Hellbound” up and charged forward instead of running.
Cygnar Turn 1
One of the neat things about Cankerworm: sure, he has Stealth, but he’s so freakin’ fast that he actually got pretty close to my Charger… the thing got to move 18″ past the 13″ deployment, so that’s only 17″ from my table edge (more or less, he didn’t run in a straight line). My Charger is up 10″… I measure forward from Nemo, and see that the Cankerworm is almost exactly 13.5″ up from my front line. That’s still out of Stealth range… but a 3″ Energizer, followed by a 6″ walk, and a 5″ shot… that’s 14″! I should have him…
Of course, if I do that, that’s almost Nemo’s entire stack on Turn 1, and Nemo has a mess of really good upkeeps he wants to get out into the field. So I think about popping my Feat for a few moments… but in the end decide against it. So Nemo allocates 3 to the left Charger, and takes 1 from the Squire.
First, the Stormwall activates. He walks forward 5″ (curling slightly past the fence, and giving up 1″ to go ‘up’ the obstacle in front of him), and then lobs out a Lightning Pod into the middle of the table. He fires his Big Guns at the Night Wretch, but needing 9s to hit, both shots fly wide. He then drops Covering Fire between him and the Raiders.
Next, the Storm Strider activates and walks forward its full 5″. It fires at the recently deposited Lightning Pod, hits easily, and gets 3 electroleaps. Those go straight into the Raiders and fries 3 of them. It shoots again, hits again, but nothing is within 4″, so no additional death.
Nemo goes next. He casts Energizer for 3, moving all his light warjacks forward 3″ (and himself closer to the fence). He walks up to tuck JUST BARELY into the Killbox, casts “Polarity Field” on the Stormwall, and then passes.
The left Charger activates. Sadly, due to the small curl around a cottage I have to do, the Cankerworm ends up being JUST out of range… damnation! I fire off a couple shots at it anyways, just in case Adam has any way of stealing Focus (he might! I don’t know everything in Cryx!).
Eiryss activates and runs towards my Charger (but staying further than 5″ away from it). I figure after Adam kills my warjack, she can move in and disrupt the Cankerworm, which will at least slow the damn thing down!
Next, my Firefly activates and hides behind a building from the approaching Raiders. The right Charger activates, tucks behind a building, and shoots at the nearest Raider, but misses.
My Journeywoman activates, moves up, and casts Arcane Shield on the Sentinel. The Sentinel activates and walks up to be within 2″ of both Nemo and the Stormwall. And the Stormcallers all run forward and spread out a bit.
Cryx Turn 2
Despite my best efforts, the vast majority of Adam’s army has escaped my first turn completely unscathed (3 Raiders notwithstanding). A bad sign for me, a very good sign for him. Hellmouth is upkept for free through the Withershadow, and Gaspy2 assigns Cankerworm a full 3 Focus.
The Pistol Wraith goes first. He walks towards the Stormwall (filtering through the difficult terrain effortlessly), and then fires. The first shot hits and does a single point of damage. The 2nd shot hits, but pings harmlessly off the warjack. The Death Chill shot hits… and I Shield Guard it.
Was it cruel of me to wait until the 3rd shot to remind Adam that I had a Shield Guard? Probably. But I enjoyed it regardless.
Adam wants a little payback regardless, so Gorman moves forward and throws a Blind Grenade at my Strider. He’s out by a solid 4″ or so, and it scatters harmlessly away. Phew!
Adam decides he’s done playing around, and has the Cankerworm charge my Charger. He boosts the charge attack, which hits, and with Armour Piercing, inflicts a solid 16 points of damage (at dice+3!). The second attack also hits, and he buys one more attack which also hits… when the dust settles, my Charger yet stands! Sure, on only 1 box, but that last hitpoint is a Cortex and that’s not too bad!
The Bane Knights charge… one attempts to charge my Charger but is out. The rest just run up to clump around the Cankerworm.
Gaspy2 activates next. He moves forward into the Killbox, and drops two Caustic Mists to block LoS to the Bane Knights.
The Withershadow go next, running in front of Gaspy2 a bit.
The Raiders get a Run/Charge order. Only 1 can Charge, and does so at my Firefly… it hits and inflicts 2 damage, feeding 1 point back to Nemo. The rest just run up and jam up my stuff… 2 get on my Stormwall, 3 on my Charger, 1 on a Stormcaller. The UA stays back a bit, remaining safer than the others but in position to keep all of them but 1 in CMD. The one out of CMD fails its CMD check.
The Night Wretch goes next, shooting the Lightning Pod and destroying it (powerful little gun on that thing!).
The Bane Thralls run forward into the middle of the zone, leaving a space for BLT to run into (which he does). The Skarlock Thrall runs forward as well into the middle.
Lastly, the Bile Thralls continue to run up the right side of the table. With that, Adam’s turn is done!
Cygnar Turn 2
Well, this is a fine mess I’ve gotten myself into… Adam’s army is basically cramming itself down my throat, and I have a limited window to un-cram it. Thankfully, I still have Nemo’s Feat!
So, I upkeep Polarity Field and Arcane Shield, and take another from the Squire.
Nemo goes first. He immediately pops his Feat, allocating 3 Focus to all his warjacks (including the nigh-crippled Charger which was down to 1 health… thankfully that health was the Cortex!). Next he aims and shoots a Raider (the one that was out of formation), hitting and vapourizing the woman instantly. Next, I decide to try to kill Gorman… sure, he’s WAY out of range (he’s at least 10″ away from Nemo), but I can cast Electrical Storm at him, which is a 3″ AoE, and hope for a good scatter… the trouble was that in order to hit Gorman, I needed it to scatter towards direction “1”. If it scattered in direction “5”, it would go straight into the Bane Knights… and the last thing I wanted was for them to get both a Vengeance attack AND a Charge… but I figured I could risk it. I cast the spell… and it scattered away towards direction “3”, hitting nothing.
I could cast it again, but that would leave Nemo without Focus, and that seemed risky. And even if I hit, I wouldn’t have a Focus to boost damage… so I camped the last 3.
Next, the left (almost crippled) Charger activated. It spent a Focus to boost its initial attack roll against Cankerworm… which hit! I spent another Focus to boost that damage, getting a solid 5 points (hey, at dice -4 on 2d6, that’s not too bad!). I then bought another attack which couldn’t possibly hit (needing an 8 on 1d6).
Eiryss walks up behind my Charger, getting within 5″ of both warjacks. Sure, if by some miracle my Charger survived I wouldn’t be able to allocate it Focus… but seriously? The odds of my Charger surviving Cankerworm’s initials plus whatever Bane Knights Adam decided to allocate to that problem? Functionally 0. I thought about taking a shot at Cankerworm, but the warjack was +4 DEF from being engaged, and +4 from being behind Cover… making it a DEF22, needing “only” 13 to hit.
My Stormwall activates next. I’ve got to contest the zone, and it’s my best tool for doing so… it walks sort of diagonally (walking parallel to the fence Nemo was cowering behind) to JUST toe into the zone. I decide to look more or less down the center of the table, rather than at either Gaspy or the Night Wretch, and fire a shot at both of them… but first, I lob a Lightning Pod behind Gorman (in by a 0.5″, thankfully), and boost the damage roll, reducing the alchemist to little, crispy Gorman-bits. Huzzah!
The Stormwall then takes an unboosted shot at the Night Wretch (needing 9s to hit) and misses… I then boost the shot at Gaspy (needing an 11) and… actually get it! Sweet! I boost damage, and inflict a mighty 12 points on the Cryx warcaster.
Damn. That was impressive… now I wish I HAD looked at Gaspy so I could’ve shot both times at him… my rationale at the time was that I couldn’t block all the potential charge lanes from the Bane Thralls with only 1 Covering Fire template (now that the Stormwall’s rules have been slightly nerfed to only let you put Covering Fire templates in the field of fire of the specific Metal Storm cannon)… but damn. One more solid hit and I could’ve either had Gaspy on the ropes, or had the game right there (at dice-1, I would’ve needed a 9 to end the game!)
But, no point crying over spilled milk. And I still had some tools available…
The Strider activates. Adam has cleverly positioned his Caustic Clouds in such a way to block LoS to both his Bane Knights (boo) AND Gaspy (BOO) if you included the Objective. Smart positioning. But, I could still see that Lightning Pod I just tossed down… so the Strider takes a shot at it, easily hitting. I get 3 leaps… the first goes into the closest member of the Withershadow Combine (Tremulous) and inflicts 3 points of damage. Second leap goes into Gaspy, and at Dice-6, inflicts another 3 points of damage! The last leap goes into a Bile, blasting it into foul bile-chunks.
Gaspy is now down to 5 heath… one more leap and a solid roll (11, unlikely) and he’s dead… I shoot the pod again and hit… and get only 1 leap. Boo. But I do fry Tremulous, so no more Puppetmaster… so there is that.
The central Stormcaller goes next. He moves up a bit, and I decide that the distance from the Lightning Pod to my far-right Stormcaller is probably more than 20″. Rather than risk it, I triangulate with the Firefly, the right Stormcaller, and himself. This lets him fry all three of the Raiders tying up my Charger.
Thus liberated, the Charger walks up and pumps a fully boosted shot into the Skarlock Thrall, vapourizing it, and then another into the Raider UA, which sadly misses.
The right-flank Stormcaller activates, walks forward, and triangulates with the Lightning Pod (now within 20″) and the central Stormcaller. This lets him fry another Raider and a Bane Thrall, which fails its Tough. He tries to call onto another Bane, but I roll an 11 and miss.
The Firefly activates. I boost a melee attack against one of the Raiders. Needing an 8 to hit… I miss. So I can either buy and boost to hit, killing 1, or try to both with native 8s on 2d6… I decide to try unboosted. First bought attack… hits! One Raider down! Second bought attack… hits! Nice!
At this point, the only Raider left on the table is the UA. Which I’m feeling pretty good about!
The Sentinel, Death Chill’d last round, gives up his Activation to just walk forward to be within 2″ of the Stormwall again.
Lastly, the left-flank Stormcaller activates. He moves up next to Nemo, and through the sliver of open space between the Stormwall’s base and the Objective, can just see the 1 Bane Thrall I missed last turn. I call down lightning on him… and miss again. Le sigh.
Cryx Turn 3
So, my turn went pretty well, but Adam has been whispering and muttering with Nick as I record what happened, so I know I missed something.
Against Cryx, that’s almost a forgone conclusion. I just hope it’s not major!
Gaspy upkeeps Hellbound for free and camps all his Focus.
He starts with the Raider UA charging my right-side Charger. It hits and lands a blow for 2 points of damage. Nemo takes 1 from Feedback.
Cankerworm goes next… it finishes off my left-side Charger with its initial attack, and then uses its follow-up move to tuck in behind Eiryss. Fine… he’s still tied up, and without Focus, he’s gonna struggle to hit Eiryss (I hope!).
Adam activates the 2 remaining members of the Withershadow Combine. Admonia moves forward and casts “Unbind”.
Ah. There we go. The Stormwall is no longer charge-proof, which means it’s no longer Gaspy-Feat proof… damn. Nemo takes 2 points of damage as well.
The other member of the Combine (Maleveulous?) blasts my Lightning Pod with Dark Fire, destroying it easily.
Next, Bane Lord Tartarus charges my Stormwall through the Covering Fire templates. It’s impossible for me to kill him (I’d have to roll 13 on 2d6), but at dice-5 I should at least be able to hurt the guy… I promptly roll a 5. Marvelous. He hits the Stormwall for 9 points of damage (ouch), and Curses it.
Next, the Bane Knights charge my Strider, ducking in and through the building to do so. Stupid Ghostly… anyway, 7 attacks later and my Strider is very dead. 1 Knight doesn’t get to do anything, and the last 2 attack the Objective, leaving it at 1 Health.
The Bane Thralls go next. The first attempts to Charge my Stormwall, but the Covering Fire template drops him. He makes his Tough roll, though. The others just run to tie up my Charger on the right and to keep plenty of bodies in the zone.
The Night Wretch activates, moves forward, and blasts my Stormwall with its impressive POW14 cannon. It hits and inflicts 2 points of damage (no Focus for boosting, after all).
The Pistol Wraith activates, and shoots my central Stormcaller. He hits, but I transfer the shot to my Sentinel (who takes no damage). The Wraith shoots again, hits again, and kills the Stormcaller. Poo.
Next, Adam activates the Bile Thralls. They walk up, and he Purges 3 of them, trying to hit Eiryss (out of range) and his Bane Knights… he successfully kills 3 Bane Knights, adding them to the collection of models available to be used for the Feat.
Thus prepared, Gaspy charges my Objective, destroying it with his Charge attack. He then Feats, bringing back 3 Knights, 1 Thrall, and 6 Raiders. He casts Parasite on my Stormwall, easily hitting. He then teleports back behind a Bile Thrall and next to a cottage and drops a Caustic Mist in front of himself (and on the Bile) to block LoS.
The 3 Feat-Knights and the Feat-Thrall charge the Stormwall and do over the 45 points of damage required to destroy it. Well over. It was dead (at ARM14 they were hitting at 4d6-3… not much hope). 2 Feat-Raiders charge my Sentinel and inflict 4 points of damage on it and 1 Feedback on Nemo, and 1 Feat-Raider charges my left-side Stormcaller but misses both times. The other 3 Raiders were choked up behind other models and couldn’t charge anything.
Adam scores 1 CP for destorying my Objective, another for Controlling the central zone… but Asphyxious had teleported himself out of the Killbox, giving me 2 CPs for that. The score is tied at 2 – 2… and I’m suddenly in a lot of trouble.
Cygnar Turn 3
Okay, so at this point there are 2 potential avenues for victory… but I have to pull it off QUICK, because I lost 28 points worth of models last turn, and Adam’s only down about 10 (for the unit of Raiders).
Either I can try to clear the central zone, destroy Adam’s Objective, and score 3CPs, or I can assassinate Gaspy.
Clearing the zone will require me to kill: BLT, the Night Wretch, the Pistol Wraith, 5 Tough Bane Thralls, the Bane Thrall Standard Bearer, the Bane Thrall Officer, Admonia, and Malevulous. And they’re all scattered all over that zone.
Killing Gaspy requires me to hit the Bile Thrall at DEF12 with an Electric Storm, boost damage against the warcaster, and roll a 13 or better on 3d6.
Yeah, not much of a choice there. So, with this in mind, Nemo takes the last Focus from the Squire and camps his full stack.
There’s 1 Bane Knight directly between Nemo and Gaspy, and it has to die… so I activate the Journeywoman. She casts Arcane Shield on Nemo and then Aims at the Knight… she hits! Boosting damage, she kills the undead warrior authoritatively.
This is it… Nemo Energizers for 3″, then walks forward 4″ more (I was hoping to get LoS to Gaspy past the cloud, but with the house on one side and Gaspy tucked right up against it… it wasn’t possible). I cast Electric Storm, boosting to hit (I won’t get another chance… once the Bile Thrall is dead, I lose LoS to anything close to Gaspy)… it hits! The Bile Thrall is (sadly) automatically killed by the POW13 hit… but that’s okay! POW7 on Gaspy’s ARM16 with 4 health…
It comes up…
8. Damn. Nothin’.
After that point I kill a few models in the zone with my Stormcallers and Charger, but it’s all over and we both know it. Adam scores another CP for controlling the central zone.
Cryx Turn 4
Gaspy walks into the zone and then Teleports next to Nemo to gloat. Adam ends his turn, scoring 2 CPs for dominating the zone.
Victory to Cryx.
Mistakes were made… if I could do this game over again, I would:
1. Take the 2 shots with the Stormwall at Gaspy. If those both hit, I could’ve killed him on the spot, or at least damaged him to the point that a single Electroleap could finish the job easily. Stupid of me not to see that.
2. On Turn 2, after Feating, take back 3 Focus from the Sentinel and walk Nemo up 2″ to be in melee-range of the Objective. Smack it with his Powerful Attack weapon until the Objective is dead, cast Electrical Storm at Gorman and hope for a lucky scatter, and then Energizer for 2 Focus back to where he was at the beginning of the turn. By doing this, my Strider would have LoS to Gaspy, and either be in 14″ of Gaspy by aiming (needing 9s to hit), or if the first shot is out of range, can still shoot the Lightning Pod and hope for a good e-leap to kill him after the Stormwall softened him up.
3. Moved the left Charger so that it wasn’t so close to being in range or not against Cankerworm. I should’ve just hid him behind the building… even if I don’t get to kill Cankerworm but can keep him scared and back (14″ away from my Charger is pretty dang far!), and can use the Charger to kill Bane Knights as they approach… anyway, I threw away that warjack, and it was silly of me.
4. Killed Admonia, or placed a Covering Fire template between her and the Stormwall at the very least. She was really close to being out of range, right at the edge of 11″ away, and having to go around a Covering Fire would’ve been enough to keep me safe. Stupid of me!
Anyway, it was a fun game… despite the horrible, horrible terrain issues! I’ll get him next time!
As for the rankings from this game:
Feat Use: 4
Feat Use: 3