Tuesday, March 18, 2014
50pts eSorscha (Khador) vs. eMadrak (Trollbloods). My wife is starting to counter list me.
It's essentially meta-gaming, but by meta, I mean the two of us, and four out of four of our last games have been me playing eMadrak. She stepped it up a notch and picked up Valachev and eSorscha. Both are incredibly nifty in conjunction with the Nyss. The Epic incarnation of Sorscha is actually remarkably similar to her Prime version. Boundless Charge is still in, and so is Freezing Grip. This time around though, she's got the tools to do work herself. Shatterstorm is out there like a unit-wide Explosivo, and Cyclone exists to spirit her into combat, and move away, or vice versa. Kind of a Khador version of eCaine's Gatecrasher, but better in a few respects. On top of that, she's got Harlan Versh's multifire gun that can get up to ROF4. Her feat is reminiscent of Siege as well, in that anything that breaks ARM is doubled. At Dice minus 3, and you roll a 9, you're doing 12 damage. Against my trolls, that's terrifying. She also gains Iron Flesh, which, combined with the Nyss makes for a DEF18 tarpit... That's a unit 10 models higher than eCaine's DEF. It's messed up.
Valachev is Khador's ranking officer. In short, he puts the Nyss in Faction. This isn't huge for eSorscha so much, but Valachev does so much for the Nyss that it's irrelevant. For starters, he gives them a 3'' Zephyr movement (Like the Woldstalkers from Circle) that ignores free strikes, and then they can activate as normal. On the Nyss, when I'm trying to tie them up with Fenns, that's really annoying.
My wife also proxied out her Juggernaut for Behemoth. I'd actually never read his stats. POW12 AP fists? Seriously? You people keep thinking your hunters are good. POW6 AP is horrendous.
So, her list, expanding to 50pts:
*Behemoth (proxied by the Juggernaut)
Max Nyss w/ Valachev
Max Men of War
Ayaina & Holt
A few pointers. Really, our list building consists of "Here's everything you own that's Khador. Fill with Mercs.". The Men of War have about been replaced. I think I'll see Boomies in their stead next game, unless she replaces her beloved Destroyer. The Destroyer, incidentally, is bonded because she reasoned she can already put 6 focus on the Behemoth, she'd like to have the ability to put 4 on the Destroyer, and she was also pretty sure the Destroyer would see Melee before Behemoth would.
I'm probably going to try to grab her the Great Bears, Behemoth, or a unit of WGI in the near future. Any pointers in that direction are much appreciated. Behemoth seems like a really good idea, but what's a good jack for the Sorschas, and secondly, Strakhov? Sorscha first though.
My list remains much the same. I'm loving eMadrak. I'm enjoying playing dangerous halfway up the board with Grim Salvation, the Stone and whatever else I can get. I like the damage he can put out, I like the resiliency of his army, it's fun. My original plan to carry me from 35 to 50 pts was to get an assembled battle wagon on the table, but the more I looked at it, the more I decided that it needed painted in separate pieces and not altogether. The other thing for the last 6 pts would be the Sons of Bragg, which are primed, and have some base colors laid down on them (including an ugly orange that's the rust layer before I put metals down). So no battlewagon, but I did have a completed Janissa that I've been itching to try, so I made it work.
Sons of Bragg
Kriel Stone Bearer
We rolled off, and I desperately wanted to get first, so I could choose second. Jessica has consistently enjoyed deploying in response to my initial setup, and every bloody time (except once), the Nyss go across from the Fenns. I used to put the Fenns in the woods on my left because of their native pathfinder, but the Nyss don't need the extra concealment. She put the Nyss against the Champions once when I put them in the woods, and she won't do that again. So, by losing the rolloff, I know that I'm facing DEF18 Nyss with MAT6 Fenns.
So, Champions to my left. Beasts in the center to take advantage of the ruin (cover) in front of them, Madrak, and the Fenns on my right. Next to the Fenns are my super new Sons of Bragg, my answer to the Nyss if the Fenns can't finish them. Behind all this is the Fell Caller, Janissa, Moses, the KSBs (hoping to camp in the ruins) and the Kithkar (My backup answer to the Nyss).
My wife deploys the Nyss exactly as expected, on the right to counter my Fenns, with Valachev. The Men of War head to the opposite side, hoping to deal with the Champions, but without getting into the woods. Everything else goes center. Remember, the Juggernaut is Behemoth.
I'm off. I activate Moses first (the Runebearer) and give Madrak a cheaper spell. The Champions sprint (Imagine John Candy with two weapons and running) a whopping 10''. The Fenns move 12'' up the right side, spacing out so hopefully I won't get Shatterstormed to death by the Nyss. The Kithkar filters in behind. The 3 beasts run forward, riling for a total of 2, plus the 3 fury they used to run. Madrak drops Warpath (Kill enemy model in control range, give beast free 3'' movement out of activation) for 1 fury, dumps the rest to the stone and charges the Behemoth, or something. Fell Caller, Sons of Bragg all move up. KSB runs, pops aura behind Madrak for a whopping 7'' radius circle of +2 ARM, and Janissa moves up to plant a wall in front of them all.
My wife opens the ball with a focus on each jack, and running the Men of War. The Nyss run forward as well, spreading out, and not pushing too far ahead. She's kind of figured out the range on mini-feating Fennblade charges (13'' w/ reach). The two jacks forge forward, not terribly far either (14'' guns. I'll come soon enough), and Eiryss hangs out in the woods. The Manhunter sprints for the ruins on the right, Harlan joins Eiryss, Sylys moves up and Sorscha activates. She puts Iron Flesh on the Nyss, and keeps whats left. 2, I think. I think she actually allocated a few more focus to her jacks than 1, but decided not to shoot on the chances that she'd kill one Fenn, and no more than that. She's decided that if she's not going to kill more than 3 Fenns, it's not worth triggering Vengeance, and she's pretty happy with how far they are from the Nyss atm. So she marxed a few focus I think, but it works.
ACTION SHOT!!! Sunday was an enjoyable evening, the two of us painting.
So, here we go. Madrak pulls in fury, upkeeps Warpath. The Fell caller puts War Cry (+2 MAT) and moves towards the Champions because I'm expecting to need Pathfinder on them soon. The Champions push forward, maybe 4 inches. I'm trying to goad my wife into charging them. Moses puts cheaper spells on Madrak. Madrak shuffles forward, puts the Impaler's animus on the Impaler, throws Blood Fury to the Champions, and puts his last fury on the Stone. The Impaler moves up near the Champions, and boosts a spear throw into the center MoW so that A) I know how far they are away (11.5'') and B) maybe crit slam so I can KD him, and the one behind him and shut them down for a turn essentially. I don't get the Crit, and boosted damage on an ARM21 Khadorian leaves him with 1 box.
The Stormtroll runs for the Fenns. I'm fully expecting to shoot some Fenns in the back and bring in some Cygnaran electro-leap tech for these DEF18 Fenns. The Slag runs forward as well, trying to get into a position to put damage into Behemoth, who scares me. AP 12 fists will hurt everything in my army.
KSB move up, pop aura and shelter all of the Champions, Madrak, Impaler, Slag, Fell Caller and a couple of Fenns. Janissa moves up and drops a wall. Again. The Sons of Bragg run up to shelter behind the wall a little (outside of Grim Salvation), and get within the Aura. They also do their Call of Defiance (Boomhowler tough).
The Fenns charge, and minifeat. Three go for the charge. One hits the Manhunter, two more go for Nyss. One gets the melee range, and all the others run, one going to bug the Behemoth and Destroyer. The one that hits the Manhunter actually connects and murders her, making my wife unhappy. "This is my favorite painted model, and I have yet to use her. You bought her for me, and then you kill her, every game."
The Fenn that goes after the Nyss misses, needing a 10 (Fell Call) to hit. The Kithkar runs up behind the Fenns, and that's it for me.
Sylys upkeeps Iron Flesh on the Nyss, dangit. My wife puts 4 focus on behemoth (3 to the sub cortex) and 2 on the Destroyer. Harlan opens the ball, moves up... and breathes the sweet smell of Purgation. Boosted attack AND damage rolls on my Champions... He hits, all four times, but whuffs a few of the damage rolls, leaving my guy at 1 box. A solid trade, pretty similar to what I did to her MoW.
Now that she's measured range with Harlan, she shuffles the MoW forward, toeing into threat range against the Champions.
The Nyss Zephyr away thanks to Valachev, and then charge right back in at three Fenns, and completely annihilate them all, except one. I actually remembered Set Defense that they have, and she only got one attack at this one, needing an 8, and she missed. The Nyss passed their CMD check, last turn incidentally, from the Terror on the Fenn's minifeat.
Holt stands, aims, and misses the Fenn engaging her jacks. He aims, shoots again, and kills him this time. Ayaina stealths them both. The Destroyer aims, does not boost to hit and puts a shot into my Impaler, and does four or five damage. The Behemoth aims, misses. Deviation goes nowhere good. Second shot, she boosts to hit and boosts damage and takes me down another 8 boxes. I have all 3 aspects still, but the spirit is 1 away from being out.
She then debates what to do with Eiryss, but reads the Sniper line. With a frustratingly annoying, but undeniably cute smirk, she shoots my Impaler and does 1 damage to the spirit, and shuts down his fury mechanic.
Sorscha hangs out.
Fury comes back in. Madrak drops Warpath (everything is pretty much outside his control), but upkeeps Blood Fury on the Champions. The Fenns Vengeance forward, and a few get reach, but miss everything. DEF18, yo.
So. Is it feat turn? Probably not. I really don't have Control for most of my units. So the Champions charge. Well, 2, specifically. One goes after Eiryss, and one goes after the center MoW. The others run. The one that charged Eiryss misses the first attack, but hits on the second and smushes her. The second charge hits, kill, and is just BARELY out of melee with either of the dudes on either side. I was just barely in charge range with them.
Moses does a cheap spell on Madrak. Madrak heals the Impaler for 1, far strikes the Slag, and the Impaler both. The Impaler boosts a hit at the Destroyer, but fails to crit, and doesn't do any serious damage, if any, though he boosted it. He's at 2 fury. My slag aims, with Far Strike, and throws at Behemoth. Boost damage, and roll 6, on four dice (Erosion)... No damage. Buy second shoot, shoot, hit, boost damage and do 4 boxes to the 2 I think. Terrible.
The Fell caller runs, because he's way out range to help the Fenns, who need him way more than the Champs. The Fenns charge/run, including one at Valachev (friggin Zephyr), and everybody misses at MAT6. The Kithkar walks in, and misses, swinging over the wall. This is brutal. Granted, I needed boxcars on everyone, except Valachev, but I wasn't able to roll higher than like, 5. Still, I didn't expect to kill many Nyss this game with the Fenns. At this point, I'm trying to force her to deal with them, instead of shooting KSBs off of Madrak. I do put 2 fenns in melee with her jacks, trying to tie her up still.
I check control range, and I think the Stormtroll is in range of my Fenns engaged with the Nyss. With back arc, engaged, and aiming, I need a 7 to hit. Boost to hit, and miss. There's no chance of hitting a Nyss, so I rile for one. I'm fully expecting to lose a beast this round. Stupid Stormtroll.
Sons of Bragg shuffle up by Madrak (again, outside of Grim Salvation). KSBs run up, pile in around him and pop aura. I only have the KSBs, Madrak, Janissa, the two beasts in front, and the Sons still in the aura. Janissa moves up, drops a wall, and that's turn. The tape goes back to Jess.
She contemplates for awhile, and decides that it's probably feat turn. The Impaler is half dead, and the Slag troll worries her considerably. Sylys upkeeps Iron Flesh, and Sorscha puts 2 focus to the Behemoth sub cortex, and 2 on the Destroyer, and keeps 2 for Boundless charge.
Holt starts up again, and shoots a fenn engaged with Behemoth, and he toughs, FINALLY. He kills the other one, and Ayaina stealths. Jess debates long and hard on how far to move Sorscha. She's pretty tired of losing Sorscha on the last chance long-range assassination runs that I pretty much live for, so she finally decides to move up a few inches to get LOS to the toughed Fenn, and feats. She handcannons the Fenn effortlessly, puts Boundless charge on the Destroyer, and calls it. She's got 1 champion, the Slag, the Impaler, and several fenns in her feat. The fenns don't matter, but she wants the Slag and Impaler.
The Men of War shuffle/charge, and kill three Champions with Harlan's help, and none of them tough. The Nyss Zephyr around, and kill more Fenns, including my UA so I lose Vengeance. I'm down to my drummer, and one Fenn, who fail CMD. Behemoth aims, and puts a shot into my slag. It connects, does 2 damage which becomes four. Not great, but ok. Second shot, hits, boosts damage, and she does 6 damage, becoming 12, and takes him down to 6 boxes.
The Destroyer charges. Between the bond of 2'' of movement and Boundless charge, it easily gets into melee with my Slag, and she conveniently sets it up to get melee on my Impaler as well. She slays the Slag in the charge attack, and I pull the fury in. She takes the last two attacks out on the Impaler, and wipes him out easily, enjoying the feat. I let that fury go.
Things are getting tight here. She's attritioning me pretty well. The Kithkar gets Vengeance moves up, AND KILLS THE FIRST NYSS OF THE GAME. WOOOOOO!!!!!
Ahem. I upkeep Blood Fury, and pull Fury off of the Stormtroll. The Champions charge/run. The left one charges Harlan and a Man of War, and the other runs in between the other tree, because I'm hoping to get them into Madrak's feat and get attacks against everything. The guy who charged kills the MoW he charged, but takes both attacks to do it, and therefore does not kill Harlan.
The Stormtroll aims, boosts to hit, AGAIN, NEEDING A 7, and MISSES. AGAIN. He riles for 2, since he's my only fury generator.
So, since the Fenns haven't accomplished anything, the one with a sword runs away, dies to the FS, and the drummer goes and plays Children of the Corn in the field. I have no idea what he's for except 3'' of CMD range.
The Sons of Bragg though, they do fervor, and charge. 2 of the 3 hit, and Tor with the Assault kills 2 by himself AND Valachev! I finally get to use these guys, and they're doing great! The Kithkar charges into the pool (which we're not currently counting as anything, or the elevation around it) and misses the charge target twice, but manages to get everyone into his melee range.
Madrak.... No, Moses. Moses gives Madrak Blood Fury, and THEN Madrak charges the Destroyer with 4 Fury on him. He starts weeding through the boxes on this guy, misses one attack on snake eyes, and comes down to the last fury, and fails to kill the Destroyer. So he feats, and whacks him again. Not quite, but getting there. The Champions are out of my feat, but the Sons and Kithkar both are. And they lay waste to the Fenns, killing all but four on some finally decent rolls. The Nyss fail CMD too.
The Fell caller gives Warcry to himself and charges the Destroyer. The little Weaponmaster that could finishes the Jack and puts him in the dirt. Janissa, who I was saving for last with her AP attack, OR the wall, depending on what was needed, gets to do the wall, and drops it in front of Madrak. The KSB shuffle around him protectively and pop aura, catching everyone but the Champions.
We're sitting at 28pts and 26 pts, Jess in the lead attrition wise. The last turn was good to me, but I'm still playing catchup. Sylys upkeeps Iron Flesh, because why not. Sorscha puts 3 on the sub cortex of Behemoth and keeps the rest. The Men of War desperately want charge Madrak, but they don't have the range, or the spd, so they settle for helping Harlan finish the Champions. I think this is the first game the Men of War have actually outlived the Champions.
The Nyss "flee" and reposition in a line between A+H and Sorscha, and rally successfully. Ayaina "kisses" the Kithkar, and Holt kills him. No tough, of course.
The Destroyer shuffles over, boosts a shot into Madrak, and hits (Even with the wall, Blood Fury has Madrak down to DEF16), hits, and between Grim Salvation and blast damage, kills 3 of my KSB dudes. The second shot misses and doesn't do anything. Sorscha tucks in behind the Jack, camps her focus, and Sylys slips over to block LOS to her.
Madrak upkeeps Blood fury, cuts himself for 2, pulls fury in from the Stormtroll. The Fell caller puts Warcry down on him, and Madrak charges the Nyss. I still need 8s to hit, but I'm hoping to Tide of Death my way through the Nyss, A+H, Sylys, and finally Sorscha. However, needing 8s to hit, I kill the first one, but the third Nyss completely stops me. I can't roll higher than 5 in a row, 3 times, so I stop, leave 1 fury on Madrak and stay there. The Sons of Bragg shuffle, Fervor, and Tor sprays Ayaina, catching the 2 remaining Nyss, and A+H. He kills 3 of them, and the last Bragg kills the remaining Nyss.
Stormtroll runs forward, riles for 2. Moses wanders up, and Janissa drops the wall protecting them all. The last KSB dude runs in by Madrak, pops the last Fury. The Drummer, my last Fenn, runs and unknowingly becomes a Grim Salvation target. Tada, that's what you're for, buddy!
Madrak is at DEF16, ARM19 w/ stone, 1 fury, and 3 Grim Salvation targets.
Iron Flesh is gone now, since the Nyss are Finally dead. Sorscha keeps all her focus. Harlan walks up and puts shots into the KSB. He hits, and doesn't break ARM. Tries it again, hits, kills, toughs. Last time. Hits. Overall, between Harlan's four shots, 2 shots from Behemoth, and a charge from Sylys, all three grim salvation targets are killed, sylys personally finishing the Son of Bragg nearby. The Men of War shuffle forward, and Sorscha and her 6 focus charge.
She hits, and does 6 damage to Madrak. I mark it down. She buys, boosts to hit, does another 6 damage. She's down to 4 focus. She buys, misses. Buys, hits, does 4 damage. I have 2 or 3 boxes left. She buys, hits, does 6 and I transfer. She buys, misses, buys her last attack, and hits, and does enough damage to leave Madrak at 2 boxes of health.
And that's it for her, and once again, I pull out a last ditch assassination because the dice hated her, EXCEPT, I realized that I'd marked all my damage on Prime Madrak's card in my 3 ring binder, not Epic Madrak's card. I had cut for fury last turn, for 2.
eMadrak was dead, and I failed the tough roll.
1. I just realized that I think Sorscha has crit freeze on her melee attack, and I'm pretty sure that she got crit at some point in those attacks, and both of us failed to realize it. Madrak was definitely dead, because she wouldn't have missed after Stationary.
2. Before we realized I'd marked the wrong card, we were theorizing on how she could have killed Madrak otherwise, because she thought she'd rolled with the best plan. I think she did too, but thoughts on this would be great. The other option was for her to focus on hand cannoning Madrak and taking down Grim Salvation targets, then let Behemoth walk around the corner with 3 focus and put the fear of Armor Piercing into Madrak. That was a possibility, but it counted removing enough Grim Salvation targets for Behemoth to get into melee.
3. I think she should have ignored the Fenns a bit more, and used Zephyr to put a few Nyss through the lines and kill my KSBs throughout the game. She had plenty of Nyss to tie up my Fenns, and still leave a few to shoot at me. The fewer KSBs I have, the less Grim Salvations I have in late-game. Between the KSBs and Janissa's wall, Madrak and pretty nearly hang out where he want to in the late game, and that's a problem.
4. We're ready for Scenario, I think. Straight-up caster kill lets up attrition slowly, and focus on killing armies, whereas, on Scenario, I would have had to devote time and resources to controlling the Champion Zone after the MoW cleared it, taking from my stronger flank. I think Jess has a better chance of beating my brick if she can play the Scenario game.
5. I really like my Sons of Bragg. That was fun. The Stormtroll is normally a really good buy too, but man, he sucked this game.
6. Iron Fleshed Nyss are a serious issue for my Fenns. That stumped me all game long, and I think have a few answers finally. A) A Bomber. Drifting AOEs at POW8 don't give a crap about DEF18. B) Chronicler. Make her pay for killing my Fenns in Melee by KDing the Nyss. That pretty much guarantees that I'll kill a few next turn, especially in conjunction with my Stormtroll. The Chronicler is on my to-buy list this weekend, and so is either Skaldi, or a Champion Hero. Or eDoomy. Might be eDoomy. My Mt. King isn't ready yet though... Might be Jarl though.
So, Comments, questions! What's the next good buy for Khador? Behemoth? Great Bears? WGI w/UA & Joe? The big thing is replacing the Men of War. I need something better for that 9pt slot. Between Harlan and Eiryss, there's some wiggle room for a bigger unit than 9pts too, but otherwise, I'll probably see Boomhowlers against my Champions next game.