When we left off at the end of the first part, I had just managed to win two games of Warmachine in a row with my Stryker list, primarily because my opponents were unable to hit Stryker on slightly above average dice. So with the dice gods on my side, nobody could stop me, or so I thought…
So I picked up my summer 40k list, Knights and Stormtroopers, and set off to see if anyone was at the local GW to have a game, after picking up the large batch of armies I had bought off someone. Of course, as always when you pick up a large batch of toys, the mind gets distracted and I didn’t get my game face on.
I played Baso, the GW student worker, who had to work that day because the manager had been called to a mystery meeting to Nottingham that he was not at liberty to discuss, but other sources say that no GW manager can take the day off on 20th September, so something might happen that day, or be put on pre-release that day. The plot thickens and we will see.
So anyways, he was playing 1.500 points of Necrons, running 40+ Warriors in 3 units, 2 Monoliths, some Scarabs, some Heavy Destroyers and a Destroyer Lord with a unit of 3 Wraiths with Whip Coils. I was running 3 Imperial Knights, two Paladins and one Errant, as well as a Tempestus Scions Platoon with a Command Squad with 4 Meltaguns and 2 small Squads with Plasmaguns, as well as a Hydra, because I had never used the model before and why not?
He began, but couldn’t do much damage on turn 1 as I passed my Ion saves or he couldn’t roll enough 6s to glance my Knights. The Scions were still in reserves to deep strike on the field, so they were no target at the moment. In my first turn, I managed to kill 15+ Warriors with my Battle Cannons as well as trampling over the scarabs deployed to delay me. But it all turned out to be a trap as he used both Monoliths, some Warriors and the Destroyers to maul one of my Knights down to one wound, before the real disaster struck and his Lord and Wraiths charged an isolated Knight and his Whip Coils managed to drop it to Ini 1, letting the Lord rip it to shreds with 4 blows of his Warscythe. To add insult to injury, his entire unit took a Destroyer strength hit when it exploded and all of them made their Invulnerable saves. Bummer.
I then compounded the poor situation I was in by taking an unnecessary risk with my Command Squad’s deep-strike and they ended up being delayed after scattering on top of the Monolith I wanted them to melt. So I got only one unit with plasmaguns down and they also scattered too far away from the Wraiths to hit them and instead had to vent their frustration on a Warrior Squad. The Knights were too far from the Wraiths and so I had to try and reduce the rest of the army’s damage potential by crippling as many units as possible. I managed to take out the two Monoliths in close combat as well as another dozen Warriors, but I did not manage to take out the Destroyers and my few shots on the Wraiths did not do much to them.
Long story short, the fact that I underestimated the Wraiths allows them to wallop a second Knight on a long charge, again surviving an explosion without losing a single model. Unfortunately the last Heavy Destroyer and last 4 Warriors manage to take off the last hull point off the last Knight too, so I was down to 4 Scions and a Hydra against the Wraiths and two small units of Warriors. I managed to get in my last two units of Scions and they manage to kill off the Warriors, but my 4 Prefered Enemy meltaguns bounce off the Wraiths’ phase-shifters and they roll up my army quickly, murdering a Scion unit in turn 4, another one in turn 5 and the last one in turn 6, leaving me with just the Hydra against his Wraiths, losing on kill points and Warlord (and I would have lost the fight of a Hydra versus the Wraiths anyways). In conclusion, the fact that he rolled hot on his 3+ Invulnerables did help him a lot, as I poured a fair amount of fire into the Wraiths, but nevertheless, I should have focused all my fire into them as soon as I saw how deadly they are and buried them under S8 shots until they were dead. The Destroyer Lord alone would not have hurt my Knights that much as he has no option to get an invulnerable save and thus would have died as soon as a Knight would have charged him, especially considering that Knights have higher Initative too. So I could blame it on his hot dice, but that would be wrong as it was rather my poor target priority that allowed them to dominate the game and kill a unit each turn. Oh well, it is good losing a game after a 10-month winning streak. It will keep me honest I guess.
After that game on Wednesday, I had another two games of Warmachine on a later date (I think it was last Monday, but I am so far behind on blogging that I am not entirely sure. I played Chris’s Trollbloods again and wanted to use eCaine again, as he is still my favourite Warcaster in terms of model and fluff and I am still not as good with him as I would like to be. I feel that I have a decent grasp on eHaley, which is admittedly very forgiving to play due to the enormous power she wields, as well as on eStryker, whose high DEF and ARM make him hard to kill and whose spell list is quite easy to use too. However, eCaine still eludes me on the table (must be his DEF17) as he relies heavily on that very same high DEF and has no ARM to back it up. So as long as you can keep the opponent’s warcaster or other models that can boost attack rolls away from him, he is nearly impossible to hit, but once someone managed to hit him, he is in real trouble, as neither his ARM nor his damage boxes are high enough to absorb more than one good hit. Of course, being DEF 17 looks very nice on paper, but once a model is knocked down or made stationary, that DEF is gone, which means that Caine is toast once he is either knocked down or made stationary. Which is exactly what happened in game 1, where he was knocked down when another model was thrown or slammed into him and he was automatically knocked down, then hit a couple of times with a spell. In the second game, I therefore used his Heightened Senses spell to make him immune to knockdown, only to have him die to two spells cast on boosted attack rolls. Chris pointed out that I should have cast Blur (+3 DEF against ranged or magic attacks) on him instead in the second game as he could not throw a model on him without first clearing an intervening model out of the way. I had thought that you could do more than one throw per model provided you had enough Fury/Focus to do so, but you can’t use additional attacks to make power attacks. Lesson learnt: Don’t just check your opponent’s possible assassinations, also ask your opponent if you are not clear on the rules. I also realised afterwards that if I had used the Journeyman to take a useless potshot into a random troll instead of charging him into the Mountain King Gargantuan Troll Chris had put forward. As the Mountain King got clobbered so badly by Ol’ Rowdy that he was down to 3 damage boxes, even Junior could have hurt him, as he had enough focus for 2 attacks with boosted damage to do damage, even on minus 7 on 3 dice. I would have wanted to write more on the games, but they are a bit hazy in my memory. All I know is that I was winning on scenario and pushing units towards killing his Warlock in both games, but was unable to put enough pressure onto his Warbeasts to kill them and thus prevent them from being able to use boosted attacks to kill Caine.
In fact, I have noticed that my Caine list suffers when the opponent brings in a lot of high ARM models as most of my fire is high accuracy but low POW, which seems to be the general trend with Cygnar lists without Stormwall and Stormclad, neither of which work well with Caine as he cannot give them a lot of Focus. Fortunately, Cygnar is the richest of the Iron Kingdoms and hence has the largest number of mercenary units available to them, so I have enlisted the help of some of them, such as the Ragman, a necromancer who can reduce enemy ARM in his vicinity, and the Horgenhold Forgeguard, a unit of dwarves with steam-powered hammers. Of course, all of those models have to be painted, but that is what I have on the plate for this week.
With that said, I am off to the painting table. See you soon for another installment.