Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jarl (Trollbloods) vs. eCaine (Cygnar) 50pts

  This last Saturday I got the chance to take my table from my previous post down to our FLGS and get a few games in.  I managed to get 50pts vs. Trollbloods, then went after a Khador Harkevitch list with eStryker.  Haven't gotten to play eStryker a whole lot lately.  I've been on a Kraye kick and have been fleshing out eCaine after having recently purchased him.  eStryker did great.  I didn't actually take pictures of that one, so I won't batrep it.  I should have.  The guy I was playing normally rolls with Vlad3, and Harkevitch is a sudden change for him.  I managed to assault with the Boomies early on and at RAT4, needing 9s, killed 6 Iron Fang Pikemen.  My dice were on fire.  After that, it was just a slow game of attrition with the Centurion Stryker creeping in while Harkevitch tried to clear out the Boomies while my Stormblades weakly contested the left flank.  By turn three or four, he left a hole in his front line, daring Stryker to take three or four free strikes to make the charge.  I manage to kill one IFP, and squeeze past all but one, who hit but only did one damage.  Then Stryker rolled for +17 STR and only like, 8 damage.  It was awesome.  Hit Harkevitch twice and killed him.  Got fairly lucky.  The Boomhowlers toughing pretty consistently and shooting down 6 IFP early on pretty much forced an uphill battle for everything else.

  That's all besides the point.  The actual batrep has me up against Jarl with Trollbloods vs. eCaine and Cygnar.  I took the table down, unfolded it, and garnered a game.  Let's run through the table real quick.  Left, we have elevation dead center, two forests opposite of eachother, and a building on the left as well.  The building is simply a square of linear obstacles.  No LOS blockage or anything.  The road is nothing, just board decor.  The water tower towards the back is an obstruction, and the tiled pad next to it is elevation, with both shallow water (the irrigation drain) and then there's the building on it too.  Also linear obstacles.  

  Now, keep in mind that +4 Cover and +2 Elevation normally stack, but for ease of balance and playability, it's one or the other.  It hasn't come up as far as LOS issues are concerned, but I assume that being behind the door frame would give +4 cover, and LOS as well, but not the +2 DEF for elevation.  That's not technically following the rules exactly, but when was the last time you saw cover on top of a hill?  You haven't, because it's messed up.  As the builder of this board, it would be assumed almost immediately that this is so I can park eCaine behind the wall at Base DEF17 +6 for elevation/cover and then camping Blur too.  That's DEF26.  Laying down, He'd still be DEF16.  I don't care what Marx says, High DEF is going to stop you from shooting my caster in this case.  So, elevation is not factored into the cover.  This may change in the future, but I doubt it.  

  Lastly, the field is rough terrain.  Nothing crazy, no cover, extra DEF, just needs pathfinder.  The goal of the board was to make it Not symmetrical, but not skewed either.  The woods are a bit symmetrical obviously, but everything else works pretty well.  The two armies I wanted to run on it were Trolls and Cygnar, just so I could see how medium based trolls do on this map, and Cygnar's shooting.  Happily, that was the first match.

  So!  Lists.  I bought eCaine last week because I'm tired of getting murdered by eMorvahna.  Plain and simple.  pCaine's a blast, I love Kraye, eStryker is still winning me games, but I'm tired of eMorvahna just pretty nearly dominating me every time.  At the same time, I grabbed Sylys, Reinholdt, and Taryn.  Yes, I'm going all out with this guy.  

Trencher Master Gunner
Nyss Hunters
Taryn de la Rovissi.  
Black 13th

  I just realized it, but I think that list is like, 98% painted...  Wait, no, the ATGM aren't completely based, and the Avenger doesn't have highlights.  Everything else is done though.  My wonderful wife painted the Nyss, Taryn, Sylys and Reinholdt too, so a lot of my painting credit goes to her as well.

  The goal here is to try and convince myself that I have 12 pts of Hunters for a reason.  On eCaine, they seem like they might make sense, because they don't need a whole lot of focus.  The other option is Rowdy.

  The ATGM because... eCaine loves ATGM. The Avenger because I like RNG14 POW14 KD AOEs, that don't need any help from eCaine.  Nyss because Nyss are awesome and capable of so much, and Boomhowlers because medium based guys with 50% chance of tough with no knockdown from Heightened Reflexes.  That's just messed up.  Anyways, this is a lot of stuff to tie up pretty nearly anything.  Lots of Hi-ARM might be an issue, but hopefully I can just attrition it out, and if there's actually a few beasts or jacks out there that really are an issue, between 2 hunters and eCaine's feat, I can handle them.  We'll see though.

  I went up against Trollbloods.

*Runebearer (The Moses guy)
Fell Caller
Trollkin Champions
*Skaldi Bonehammer

...I think that's all of them.  We rolled off, I won it, and took second, because I actually wanted a specific side of the board.  Either one would have worked, but I wanted the less open one, which was great, because he wanted the open side.  He deployed with the brick on the center, all the support in behind them and the Longriders out on the flank where the Fell Caller (I think) could get them pathfinder for the rough terrain.

  My hunter sat opposite of the Longriders, Nyss went towards the woods, ATGM behind the building with Caine and Boomies took center.  The goal was to stop the Longriders with Hunters and tangle them with Boomies while the Nyss tied stuff up and helped the ATGM shoot things while the Rangers hang out in the woods and support everyone.  Taryn hung out towards the woods as well, and the B13 forgot to get deployed, but would end up on the right to support the Hunters and/or Boomies.

  We actually got a scenario, incidentally.  Fairly simple.  I think it was Incoming, but we had to flip the zones because of terrain.  Objectives across from eachother to be destroyed for one point, zones that can be friendly dominated for 1, controlled for 2, and dominated by the enemy for 3.  

  So, game begins.  I don't remember the OOA, but I think Jarl activates... Or Moses.  Runebearer activates, hangs out, and makes one spell cheaper for Jarl.  Jarl puts Quicken on the Fenns for a SPD/DEF bonus, and Tactical Supremacy which gives an extra 3'' movement after all of the unit has activated.  Lastly, he puts Weald Secrets on the Longriders for Pathfinder and camouflage, and moves up.  The Chronicler puts "Feign Death" on the Fenns, so that they gain +2DEF and can't be targeted while KD.  the Fenns run forward, because that's what Fenns do.  I love those models and that unit.  Those guys are awesome.

  The Longriders run as well, pushing as far up on the flank as they can, while taking advantage of the cover to be had in the shed.  The Stormtroll runs, and riles, and so does the Impaler.  The Champions run as well, and Skaldi right with them.  Fell Caller runs too.  I was trying to remember if he got pathfinder to the Long riders, but I think he does that later.  Horthol charges way down the opposite flank from the Longriders.

  Then it's my turn.  Caine hands a focus to each hunter and keeps the rest.  Rangers move up, and one gets within 5'' of Horthol, and that one shoots a Fenn, who fails his tough.  The other five rangers shoot at Horthol, and take him down a few damage, but nothing crazy.  I briefly consider CRAing the Nyss, but there's no way they'll have Range I don't think, so I run them instead and fill the woods up.  The Avenger moves up, and takes a shot, but doesn't have range (even with snipe) to hit a clump of troops like I'd like to, so he only hits one, who toughs.

  The hunters activate, and one aims, and the other moves up.  The one that aims is just out, and the other rolls snakeeyes to miss.  Waste of focus, and 2 Longriders live because of it.  That'll hurt.  The B13 pop a few shots off at them, and throw a Magestorm out to stymy them a little.

  The Boomhowlers roll with Fell Call and run forward in two lines.  I'm starting to learn how to actually tarpit and not lose the whole unit on turn one.  Caine moves up, puts Blur on the ATGM and Heightened Reflexes on the Boomhowlers.  Reinholdt tucks in behind him and Sylys follows.  Taryn takes a couple of potshots at Horthol, but fails to finish him off.

Action shot!

  Jarl's turn.  He drops Weald Secrets, I believe, but keeps Tactical Supremacy on the Fenns.  The Fell Caller shuffles over, get Pathfinder onto the Longriders, who charge.  One hits a hunter, and shuts down his gun, while the other cleans out a Boomhowler.  The other three run around engaging things because my Magestorm messed up their charge lane.  I probably would have chanced it.  ARM17 vs. POW12... I'd have to roll 13 to kill, so they should have been safe, but he ran around it.  I'm ok with that.

  Then the Fenns mini-feat and come at me.  They bring Terror with them, but the ATGM, Boomies AND Nyss all pass CMD, which I couldn't believe.  Then the Fenns proceed to shred my Boomies, EXCEPT, I have a 50% chance to Tough.  At the end of his turn, I lose 5 of them altogether.  So far, a Long Rider gets one, and I think of the seven or eight Fenn attacks I take, I tough all but 3 of them.  It was awesome.  Even better, Heightened Reflexes didn't allow the Boomies to go KD, so they just kept tanking it.  It was amazing.  I loved it.  One Boomie, in particular, toughed 3 times with 3 Fenns tucked in around him.  So, the Stormtroll activates, and shoots/throws at this engaged Boomy.  Boosts to hit, going up against DEF16, and... misses...

  He then hits his own guy in the back, and rolls 3 electro leaps, that chain leap and kill the three Fenns engaging that one Boomy.  Heh.  The Impaler then kills him in a fit of rage though, so he still dies, but he caused a lot of problems.  In fact, he causes problems for me too.  That last boomy takes me to half a unit, and they fail their cmd check...  

  Random side note, I almost died here, because Caine's positioning left him open to Magic Bullet which Jarl hilariously has alongside eCaine.  I figured he was safe at DEF21, but magic bullet careth not, but my opponent decided it wasn't a good option, so he passed.

  Anyways, the Fenns killed a few Nyss too, so there was that.  The Champions run forward and clump into 2 3man groups for the ARM bonus, and then Horthol charges his own Fenn in the back and slams him forward over like, three Nyss and a Ranger, killing all four.  Heads up, if you see Long Riders, and put medium based infantry in front of your small based infantry, you're going to have a bad time.  D6'' Slam with like, POW14 collateral damage?  POW12?   Either way, it's auto dead for more light infantry, and anything but snake eyes will kill wannabe medium based infantry like Stormblades.  "We're really little but we're ARM15!  Blast Damage... well, it MIGHT kill us.  We seriously doubt it though."

  Anyways.  The Chronicler puts Feign Death (Important!) on Jarl, who shoots a Ranger I think, and feats, and manages to put 6 cloud templates down.  These all go within his control, block LOS, and put -2MAT or RAT on enemy models inside the template.  Kinda nifty, but a very defensive feat.  On the downside, it works great against eCaine.

    So, I upkeep Heightened Reflexes, drop Blur on the ATGM because that was kind of silly, give the black Hunter a focus, and keep the rest.  The Boomies rally, which is something, but meh.  I can't see much, in fact, I can only see the models that are actually in the clouds, or the Longriders on the far right.  While I'd like more shooting, this lets me focus quite a bit, and in retrospect, outside of an assassination, I don't know that I would have shot at anything else.  

  However, Reinholdt opens the ball and gives an extra shot to Caine, and the Trencher Master Gunner gives +2 RAT to the Avenger.

  Side note:  Every time this warjack shows up at the shoppe, someone looks at it and goes "Is that an Avenger?"  The warjack never sees any use.  Ever.  I think if it wasn't part of the Centurion kit, most people wouldn't even own one.  I love mine.  He's completely negated any use for the Defender for me (I'd rather take a hunter *gasp*) and his KD shot is incredibly handy.  On the ATGM, I lose the ability to use him in melee but I don't think he's ever gotten into melee because he's standing 14'' away from his target.  Avengers never get to do that.  Maybe my opinion will change.  Quite possibly.  I love mine though.  I love catching people unaware when they sidle a little hi-def model up near a warjack to screen themselves.  Thank you, so much.  On top of that, the ATGM have pushed models for me before that weren't within KD range of what I actually wanted to KD, and that's awesome too.  Anyways.  Let's do some math.

  Horthol needs to go away.  He's really the biggest priority target I can see, and he's only got about 21 guns looking at him.  I want him dead, and saluted all at the same time.  The Avenger goes first.  Horthol is A) Engaged, and B) in a cloud.  This leaves him at DEF 18, which is pretty daunting for a RAT4 jack.

  However, my Jack is A) RAT 4, B) aiming for +2 RAT, C) Got Artillerist for another +2 RAT), D) Preparing to shoot at a target that is under Mark Target from the Rangers for another +2 RAT.  My Avenger is RAT10 right now.  Against DEF18.  The thing here is that I really want Horthol dismounted.  Really badly.  I want to put that Jackmarshal point to Damage, not Boosting.  I debate about it for awhile.  If this was Vassal, I'd of boosted.  Heck, I'd of boosted if I needed a 6.  On tabletop....

  I roll it, and roll a 9.  Boost damage, and easily kill Horthol's mount.  The troll is dismounted and KD.  Haha.  My ATGM all aim at this point, and half shoot at Horthol and finish him, and the other half plink bullets off of the Champions and Skaldi.  My Nyss then activate, shuffle around, kill some Fenns, though I'm not quite able to finish the UA who's unseen on the other side of the building.

  The Rangers push forward into the zone, and two shoot Moses, who toughs both times, dangit.  The other three plink a few wounds into Jarl, but nothing crazy.  Really, they're just being annoying.  I should have run one into the woods to be Reeeally annoying, but I wanted Moses dead.

  I still have a few things left.  The hunter that's engaged swings his axe and misses the Longrider.  The other one aims, and oneshots a Longrider.  Bout time.  It also ensures that at least one Longrider will be out of CMD range next turn.  The new leader becomes the central one, leaving the far right rider out of CMD.  The b13 pop a few shots at the one on the far left who can put the hurt to my Boomies, but don't kill him.  Caine activates, shoots him, kills him easily (Hot dice), then empties the last two shot into Bonehammer for little to no damage.  He then gatecrashes into the woods and calls it a turn.

  My opponent opens his turn by deciding that his Storm troll is on the wrong side of the board.  ARM16 Boomies don't mind electro leaping nearly as much as Nyss do.  So.  Moses... does something, I think he minifeats and casts a spell for Jarl, but I don't remember what it was.  Magic Bullet on Jarl, I think maybe.  The longriders activate, and one charges the Boomy in front of him, and rams him through Lynch and Ryan behind him, killing all three of them.  Those Longriders are handy.  Watts... passes CMD I think.  He's used to dieing.  Doesn't even scare him anymore.  The other longrider knocks out the axe on my hunter too, and the third one runs to be in CMD.  I would have walked the Hunter away with Parry, but the gun was gone after the first charge, so meh.

  The Fell Caller moves up and gives War Cry (+2MAT) to the Champions.  I think.  Skaldi and 2 champions charge while the other three shuffle around to protect Jarl.  Skaldi crushes the objective, because that's what you do when you're playing scenario, and the other two get into the Boomies, and utterly smash them.  The Boomies tough and remain standing because Sylys has been upkeeping Heightened Reflexes.  Go Sylys!

  The Impaler activates, aims, boosts to hit, and murders a Ranger, and puts his animus on Jarl.  Jarl activates shuffles into the edge of the zone, boosts to hit, hits a ranger, magic bullets another one, buys, boosts and kills the last one.  That leaves me with no Rangers in the zone, and he's dominating it.  With nothing contesting either zone, and an objective gone, we're at 4 CPs to 0.  The Chronicler throws Feign Death back onto Jarl and calls it turn.

  It's an all or nothing turn for me, which is fine.  I have eCaine, and it's feat turn.  I decide that I can either use Taryn to open LOS to Jarl, knock Jarl over with the Avenger, and murder him with eCaine, or use the ATGM to thunderbolt a Champion back into Jarl, and KD them both.  The Avenger is going to hit.  I don't have my rangers, but the Avenger is still RAT8 considering everything, and a 1, 1, 2 will hit (I'd probably TB the Champion back, seems like the safer bet).

  Then my opponent reminds me that Feign Death means that Jarl can't be targeted while knocked down.

  This pretty nearly ruins my fool-proof plans.  Little did either of us know (I should have, I've been playing the Chronicler and KNOW this), that the Chronicler's buffs are Units only.  Not warrior models, and much less casters.

  I don't realize this though.  This makes life a lot more difficult.  Factor in that Jarl has an ability that gives him 2'' of movement if he's missed by a ranged attack.  This sucks.  But it's all I've got. I realize at this point that the Axer is at full fury as well (Animus on Jarl, and boosted to hit), and that I might still have this.

  Taryn activates, and shoots two champions.  One hits, and opens LOS.  The Hunter moves up from the right flank, and is way out of range, so I wasted that.  I should have shot the Storm troll.  Watts sends a Brutal into the Stormtroll, and does like, 10 damage.  A Nyss opens fire at Jarl, through the hole Taryn opened, and does a handy amount of damage, but Jarl keeps it.  The ATGM activate, and a few throw shots at the Troll, and a few shoot Jarl.  One hits Jarl, and the other misses, so Jarl moves closer to the Champions so I can't shoot them with the Avenger and open up more LOS.  So I shoot the Troll with the Avenger, and pretty nearly finish him.

  So Caine, here we go.  He activates, moves forward, shoots Jarl.  Jarl transfers, and kills the Stormtroll.  I fire again, and miss.  Jarl moves to the right, out of LOS, with an engaged Fenn and an unengaged Champion between Caine and Jarl.  Caine handily kills them both and opens fire on Jarl again.  At this point, my opponent realizes that he misread the Chronicler's card, and that Jarl would probably be KD right now.  This is frustrating, but we've already moved on.  I keep shooting.

  Comes down to the very last shot.  I have two focus left, and Jarl has 3 health.  I'm at dice even at this point I think, if not dice plus one.  I buy and boost to hit, and roll triple ones to miss.

  ...  We didn't even play it out.  He felt pretty bad for misreading the rules, and I was kind of frustrated with trip ones missing what should have been an easy shot.  But, he won, definitely.  All he had to do was move Jarl back into his zone to dominate it, and he was done.  Wasn't really any need.

  Victory to Trollbloods!

  Thoughts on the game.  We talked about it for awhile, and I think I'm ok with.  Technically, he won it, and tournament wise, he would have moved forward.  As a friendly game between to guys at an FLGS though, I'm pretty ok with how I played it.  Everything did what it needed to, and with the exception of horrible dice at the very end, everything went pretty decent.  Actual points though:

1.  I love this table.  I'm really really happy with how this table played out.  I didn't want to have too much cover, but I wanted it to be a good looking board too.  I also didn't want it to look like I stacked the deck in Cygnar's favor.  I've played as Trollbloods enough recently to know how frustrating that much cover is.  Trollbloods was actually the army I had in mind to counterbalance Cygnar's playstyle as I tried to design an accommodating board, and I was lucky enough to have Trollbloods as my first opponent.  I'm reeeallly happy how it turned out, and how it played.  Very excited with the board.

2.  This is the... third?  I think third time I've played eCaine, 2nd time on tabletop.  The first game, I narrowly lost as well with lousy dice (eCaine vs. Circle's cassius.  Rolled 1,1 and 1,2 damage a few times on feat turn), and the second time, well, here.  But I won the vassal game with him, and the game right after this one.  I like him.  He's not as addicting as Kraye, or eStryker, or even pCaine but he's fun.  Heightened Reflexes on Boomies is hilarious.  All that being said, my list building with him needs work yet.  I got a lot of recommendations for Ol' Rowdy, so that might happen.  I think I may drop the Hunters for him.  The B13 were also 4pt filler.  I have Ayaina and Holt on the way to replace them.  That still leaves me 3 pts.  I also need to trade the Nyss out, because depending on my second list, I think they'll be in there.  If it's eStryker, they'll Definitely be in there, and maaaaybe in my Kraye list.  So I need to figure out 10pts for eCaine.  Silverline might be fun, but I don't have them yet.  I really don't actually have much infantry.  Generally, it's my Nyss, Boomies, or Stormblades.  Some Forgeguard might be nice at this point though, but it's not the time of year to put 70$ down on a 10 model unit.  And I don't have Ol' Rowdy either.  A Centurion will probably have to do for him for awhile, and maybe a Journeyman.  Idk.  Or Eiryss.

  So I need to figure out how to replace 10pts of Nyss.  Stormblades could be ok, especially with Rangers already in the mix.  Jr. would definitely be a good idea in that case, because if AS isn't on Rowdy/Cent, then it's on the blades.  10pts of Stormblades is everything but 1 Stormgunner, and I'm ok with that.  So that might be an option.  Any suggestions, comments.

3.  Gameplay.  I should have shot the Storm Troll with my Hunter.  That would have won me the game I think.  That's the one shot I really wuffed.  Like, nvm that I could have KDed Jarl.  That's besides the point.  I almost gaurantee a win there.  Going the direction we did, I think the Hunter shot was the key failure here.  That almost definitely would have killed the Troll sooner, and at 3 boxes left on Jarl, that would have been enough.

My opponent also realized that he definitely didn't need all 4 CPs.  He told me he should have pushed Jarl behind the water tower, and I agree, that would have kept him alive.  At that point though, I think I would have killed his army.  The Boomies were back in commission at that point too.  ATGM and Nyss would have killed as many Fenns and Champions as they could, while Caine would kill what was left of the champions, and hopefully get a Longrider too so that they couldn't score.  It would have been close, and he would have had the upper hand at that point I think, but it would have been a good feat turn for me.  Overall though, I'm pretty happy with how everything went, and thoroughly enjoyed the game.  I chalk it up as a pseudo win.  The official record shows a loss, but that last turn was solidly in my hands and it wasn't like I just threw it away, it just got the rules messed up and rolled trip 1s when I needed just trip 2s.

  Comments!  Insults!  Bring them on!

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