I'd already decided against pCaine, because my Lances are on the painting table, and I'm loving them so much, that I couldn't bring myself to play Caine without them. I thought about Kraye, but decided to run with eStryker and the Boomies and see if I like them more than Nyss.
As I was gathering the army, I realized I'd walked out the door without my second bag of units, so I was missing not only my eStryker model, but my pStryker model I use to proxy pretty much anything. So bear with me.
eStryker (Proxied by pCaine. He'll make the gameboard one way or the other, it seems)
*Lancer (Proxied by the minuteman)
Stormblades w/UA and 2 gunners
*Jonas Murdoch (Proxied by Stormblade Captain)
Journeyman Warcaster (proxied by pHaley)
...Yeah, yeah, I know.
My opponent brought... eKrueger, and no Woldwrath. I didn't know if that was good or not. But I had not played eKrueger yet. Generally, I chalk my first game up against a new caster as a loss unless I've seen a lot of battlereports against the guy, or gal. I had seen very few with eKrueger. I just know that he has a two feats, one with a 3fury Upkeep called Stormwall. The menoth player I'd been meaning to play had been caught flat-footed with it a few weeks ago during the Tournament, and it was terrifying. Go me. Also, there's a lot of Tharns.
*Tharn Warpwolf Stalker
Tharn Bloodtrackers w/ Nuala
Ravager Shaman (Also a Tharn, but I wanted to change it up)
Tharn Blood Pack
Tharn White Mane solo
Tharn Stones w/ UA
... I think that's everything. *Builds list in Warroom* Yeah, I think that's everything. He rolled a 3, I rolled a 1, and he elected to go second and choose his boardside, which in this situation was probably wise.
I built the map not to be symmetrical. There's more cover on one side, and more forests on the other. He chose the forested side, and I realized I was in trouble. Happily one unit has pathfinder (Blazers) and I have Runewood and Rhupert to give pathfinder to the other two units. So, ok. Not a gamechanger. Everything on his side of the board having AD sucks, but meh.
I rememembered my Stormblades advance move, so they moved up. The Journeywoman (pHaley's early days) drops Arcane Shield on the Boomies, and they run. Jonas gives them Go to Ground, and they hang out. Lancer runs up, the Blades filter in behind the Boomies. The Blazers run up onto the hill, because the Bloodtrackers preyed them (Of course), and the Centurion runs forward too. Support and Stryker filter in behind the Centurion, and Stryker drops Deceleration, leaving the Boomies at DEF16, ARM18
The bloodtrackers push through the woods, the real Tharns get into the other woods, and hide behind the pylon things. The beasts run forward, toeing into cover where they can. Krueger moves in, and casts Stormwall, and drifts a POW10 Electrical AOE out in front of my Stormblades, which is funny.
Stormwall. Wait, Circle has a Stormwall you say? Well, it's not a giant 19pt Jack. No. My wife showed up next turn and watched me, so she knows where this game is headed. She's sitting here next to me while I write my report, debating if she wants Apple Cider, or Ice Cream. I'm trying to explain why I lose most of my army shortly. "Stormwall is where everything I have in his control range, a whopping 28'', loses 5'' of range, and my AOEs deviate in the direction he chooses."
"That's mean." She says. "But it's only one turn."
"No, honey, that's a spell. He uses it every turn."
"Oh. Oh, that's wrong. That's messed up. What's his feat?!"
His feat, ladies and gentlemen, is that everything gets pushed 3'' away, and gets -2 SPD. So no charging, assaulting, nada. And you're really far away. Welcome to eKrueger. Awesome caster. I need him for my own Circle.
My wife is sitting here still. "I think that caster's like cheating." Which is hilarious, because she's an eHaley fan.
So yeah. There's all that. The warpwolf warps for prowl. And it's back to me.
ACTION SHOT!!! WOOO. IT'S A THARN!!!!
Back to me. I seriously consider feating, but I don't think I can get up far enough. So the Lancer gets a focus, and Stryker keeps the rest. Runewood gets pathfinder to the Boomhowlers, who run/assault the Tharn. Three actually get a charge, the others tie up the other Tharn, and one gets in Ghetorix's face. The other tries, but gets caught by a free strike. The three guys that assault kill their two guys and Boomhowler does Fell Call.
The Blazers move in, and don't manage to kill anything, because it's all in the woods, well placed beyond 3'' and DEF17. So they lightcav back to the hill, except for one who moves into melee with them to tie them up. My wife looks at me at this point, because this beautiful young lady had brough me Korean for lunch. In between bites of eggroll, she acts like I've just betrayed one of my men to the enemy.
It's safe to say I'll not be seeing that tactic from her. Yet.
The blades move up, with effectively RNG1, and hang out. Rhupert gives them tough, and the Journeyman gives them Arcane shield. The Lancer runs forward, within 10'' of the two Tharn Ravagers shielding Krueger. Stryker drops deceleration again, and casts Refute at the Tharn unengaged with the Boomie I ran, and hit. This prevents them from issuing orders, so no running or charging from them. The Cent edges forward. No feat today.
Ghetorix walks up, and smacks my Lancer with ease, completely smashing him. Then he hits the Boomie too and kills him before sprinting away. Krueger activates, moves up tantalizingly close to eStryker's threat range and feats.
So much for that. Everything gets pushed except the blazers, and my Journeyman, waaaaay in the back.
So, I'm in trouble. I'm managing to contest Zones, but I'm running out of models really quick. The Stormblades group together a bit more, and run forward 6''... Which, now that I think about it, can a unit run when their speed is lessened? Idk. It wasn't a game changer. Rhupert gets them Tough, and the Journeyman gave them Arcane Shield and that was it.
The Blazers attempt to kill the three Tharn engaging them, but only kill 1, so they hang out. I cast Deceleration again, and move up as much as I can, and that's turn for me. I forgot to take a picture at this point because I was kissing my wife goodbye before she left for JCPennies.
So, Krueger takes up the momentum. He then realizes that he put too much fury out there, and Ghetorix frenzies on an 11. He charges in and kills that lone stormblade on the left, and hangs out. The Tharns then bellow and charge in. The Ravagers open the ball and finish off the Boomies. The one on the left (center board) charges in and kills three Blades by himself. The others attack the other three, and they actually start making their tough checks, hanging in there on fives and sixes. Go them! When the Boomies couldn't do it with 4, 5 and 6. So the Blood Pack choke on the Blades. A couple tried to shoot the Stormblades, but they only manage to hit their own guy in the back and kill him. The Bloodtrackers though, are far more successful. They charge the Blazers, and four of them kill off the remaining three between the charge and quickwork. That was brutal. Three move over to screen Ghetorix from my Centurion.
The Warpwolf prowls and hangs out in the woods, and casts Sprint on something and something else. I don't remember what all, but he had four fury on him. Krueger hops over next to him, TKs Ghetorix back a bit so my Centurion doesn't smash him, in spite of the Bloodtrackers. He TKs him to the left a bit, and drops Stormwall again. The stones teleport, and that's turn. 2CPs to Circle.
As if the turn before wasn't bad enough. Now he's pretty nearly got both zones, definitely dominating one. The Tharns, at 8 boxes each, are not going to die easily. The Blades might could kill five or six of them with feat, but it's risky. The Centurion is completely healthy, but that's pretty much it.
So I do what I normally do and put my dice on the table, and take a focus from the squire. The Cent moves into the Bloodtrackers, and with the bond from eStryker, hits, and smushes the gal. He misses with the shield, but meh. Junior gives Arcane Shield to Stryker, and Runewood gives +2 to the charge attack to Stryker.
Stryker velocities forward 6'', just past the pylon to the left. I wanted to only go 4'' and save a focus, but it just wasn't going to happen. He then proceeds to charge Krueger.
Krueger has 2 fury on him, and the Warpwolf is full. That leaves Ghetorix. Stryker overcharges for a whopping +15STR and takes 9 damage. Heck, yes. With the +2 from Runewood, he's MAT9 and I decide not to boost, needing a six. This isn't vassal. I roll decent and hit. The boosted attack is +15 damage to krueger, and I roll something terrible, like a four or five on three dice. But, that's 19 damage with Overcharge. He transfers to Ghetorix.
I buy, and boost to hit. The attack does 24 damage. He transfers to Ghetorix and that kills him, and the remaining damage leaves 1 box on Krueger. I buy and boost to hit with my last two focus, and hit, killing Krueger. This last picture is terrible, so bear with me.
1. Krueger is murderous for Cygnar. -5RNG every turn is brutal. The feat isn't any fun either, but the Stormwall spell alone is horrendous. His other stuff is ok, and I could definitely see Telekinesis being useful, but Stormwall alone makes this caster crazy.
2. I don't know what I'd take against him. At the end of the day, it'd probably be pStryker. +5 ARM on feat turn and Snipe to kind of counter the Stormwall spell. But even that would be really difficult. I'd have to brick up with Silverline in the front and push my way up the board to deny his spell. It'd be a tough haul.
3. Blazers didn't do much all game, but they tied up the Bloodtrackers. I'll take it. The left side of the board really just neutralized itself with the Bloodtrackers winning in the end. Even if feat turn had done well, and I killed most of the Tharns in the right zone, I'd of had Bloodtrackers in my face next turn and it'd of been bad.
4. Stormblades didn't even swing once. The boomies failed most of their checks, but killed a few Tharn. They did tarpit decently, I suppose, lasting into turn...3? I think? Yeah, turn three. The two tough checks they did make managed to keep the Tharns occupied to the right. The more I play eStryker, the more I feel like it's 35-50pts of stuff to occupy the badguys while eStryker waits for a mistake.
5. I don't know if I wish I'd brought Nyss or not. Probably not. Stormwall would have been brutal to them, and POW9, with probably no charges, would not have been great against Tharn. Though, DEF15 might have been nice. It's a tough call.
Overall though, very good game. I got lucky at the end. If the stones had been placed differently, or if they had teleported Krueger into the woods, on the otherside of the Stalker, or if he'd of TK'd Ghetorix in my way, it may have been different. And him killing his own Tharn helped a lot too. That guy was right in the way of my charge.
Good game, props to my opponent, and I'll see y'all around.