This week´s game sees Captain Damiano face off against Agathon, the Voice in Darkness, in another humdinger of a game. I was initially a bit reluctant as having a troop-heavy list face off against a caster with Hellmouth seems to be a recipe for disaster, but we will see if those fears were justified.
Damiano won the roll-off and went first. His list consisted of: Damiano with Sylys Wyshnalyrr, Nomad and Rocinante, Anastasia di Bray, Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye, Alexia2, Stannis Broker, 2 Death Archons, max Steelhead Cavalry, 2 full units of Steelhead Halberdiers, min Steelhead Riflemen and a Steelhead Volley Gun.
Agathon brought: Agathon with Roget d´Vyaros, 2 Tormentors, Soul Stalker, 3 Foreboders, Infernal Gate, Princess Regna, Hermit, Wretch, Runewood2, Eilish2, Umbral Guardian, Nicia2, Lynda, max Cultists with Orin2, min Cultists
Something, something, sideview
The Steelheads ran forward. Death March went on the Halberdiers on the left and Sure Foot on the ones on the right of the screen.
Nicia was moved forward by the Gate, which missed its own shots (they had to scatter anyway as nobody was in 12 inches) and killed a Halberdier, giving a soul to Agathon.
Agathon dropped another two Steelheads with Dark Fires, taking their souls too. They then summoned a Desolator, which moved backwards after placing a cloud. The Wretch got sacrificed for it. Regna summoned a Shrieker and the Infernal forces ran forward.
Rocinante tried to shoot the Soul Stalker, but the Umbral Guardian appeared and took the shot, but died from it.
Anastasia came in from Ambush and stabbed Nicia in the back, using her Backstab ability, you know, for backstabbing.
The Death Archon who had collected the corpses of the three dead Halberdiers used two for Annihilator and Spectral Fucker, erm Flicker, charged the Foreboder and then placed into melee with the Tormentor (which had elected not to countercharge as it would otherwise have been in range of all the Halberdiers and gunners on that side). The second attack finished off the Foreboder and dealt a disappointing 4 damage to the Tormentor, even after being boosted to 4 dice.
Never the less, some Halberdiers managed to charge the Tormentor and also engage the Shrieker.
Damiano gave the Volleygun and Riflemen a coin each for Moneyshot, which enabled them to kill the Tormentor. The Riflemen used their War-Tempered ability to deal the killing blow.
The Halberdiers on the left were on fire and killed the Soul Stalker easily.
At the end of the turn, the Steelheads were very much in the face of the Infernals.
Regna and Agathon each ate one Cultist from the leftmost unit.
Lynda the Forgotten had been forgotten by Anastasia and she ambushed the Ambusher, backstabbing the backstabber … OK, I´ll see myself out now.
The Cultists flailed about ineffectively at the DEF15 Halberdiers, but Orin killed two with an Annihilation spell, gaining two souls in the process.
Roget d´Vyaros had to kill one of the Cultists as it was in the way of the Tormentor.
Roget then got turned into a Tormentor. Agathon also feated this turn. They also cast two Hellmouth spells, avoiding targeting models in 3″ of Alexia. That killed two Heavy Cavalry models, the second Death Archon, some Halberdiers and dinged up the Nomad, though not destroying any systems.
As Eilish Garrity missed his Hex Blast spell even with Agathon´s additional feat dice, the Tormentor had to boost his attacks and only killed two Halberdiers.
The Infernal Gate shot into the Halberdier unit and killed 3.
The Shrieker shrieked and killed the last Halberdier in the way to make space for the Desolator.
The Desolator charged the Archon and finished it easily.
The Infernal counterstrike killed many Halberdiers, but didn´t really get to the models behind them. The Infernals scored the rightmost square zone.
Mercenaries 0 – Infernals 1
Alexia dropped a Thrall, which then ran into the zone, but missed the Foreboder.
Damiano feated and hung back in the trench. The Halberdiers charged the two Tormentors to stop countercharges, then Rocinante walked in melee with one and finished it off, using Quick Work to blast Orin and two Cultists. Orin used a meat shield to avoid dying, but that meant his unit died apart from him.
The Nomad charged the Tormentor and dealt some damage to it, then made the stupid decision to try and kill the Arc Node to protect Damiano, but missed it twice.
Stannis casually finished it off and went base to base with the central flag.
The Cavalry rode in, killing the Tormentor thanks to their Flank (Steelhead Halberdier) ability and also riding down Alain Runewood.
This triggered Revelations of the Outer Dark and Agathon cast another Hellmouth, killing a Halberdier and hurting both Riders, though the bonus armour from the feat kept them and the Nomad mostly safe.
The Halberdiers (two of whom had been returned by Dr. Nick, though those didn´t attack of course) dealt some hefty damage to the Desolator, then the Volleygun and Riflemen, once again motivated by some coins, shot it down.
At the end of the turn, the Mercenaries had pushed hard, killing all Infernal heavies and occupying most of the terrain. They also scored two points for the centre flag and the central zone.
Mercenaries 2 – Infernals 1
Orin killed two Halberdiers by blasting them with Annihilation.
The Infernal Gate shot two Halberdiers with its first shot, then three Riflemen as an encore.
The last Cultist on the left (his friend got eaten by Agathon) failed to kill a Halberdier), but Regna killed one in melee, using his essence to cast a Hellfire at his friend.
Regna repositioned into the left zone, then her Shrieker advanced and killed two Halberdiers with its ranged attack.
The Hermit walked into the middle of the round zone and cast Whispers at the Gate. Eilish cast Puppet Master on Agathon, who then killed the single rider with a Dark Fire, then the other two with a Hellmouth, before walking away, muttering about the match-up being lopsided and Mercenaries being cheating gits.
Lynda ran into the central zone to contest it. No scenario elements were scored as the Foreboder could not kill the Thrall Warrior.
Mercenaries 2 – Infernals 1
Rocinante killed the Foreboder in the left zone, then used Quick Work and Powerful Attack to fire into Orin, who used his last Cultist as a Sacrificial Pawn again.
Thanks to being fully fueled by Damiano, the Nomad hit the Hermit five times to kill him.
Stannis rode down Lynda and the Cultist. In return, he ate a Dark Fire from Agathon.
The Volley Gun unloaded into the Shrieker with Damiano´s last coin dropping it to one damage box, then the Riflemen shot Regna. Even transferring one damage to the Shrieker, she died.
Alexia charged Orin, but he used the souls of his cultists to avoid being killed. At the end of the turn, Damiano´s toe had toed into the central zone and Dr. Nick scored the flag.
Mercenaries 4 – Infernals 1
Eilish finished Stannis with a Hex Blast and teleported into the central zone.
The Infernal Gate killed all four Riflemen with two shots.
Agathon summoned a Tormentor from the remain of Eilish, then cast a couple of Dark Fires into the Nomad. No points were scored this turn.
Mercenaries 4 – Infernals 1
Rocinante and the Thrall Warrior destroyed the Infernal objective.
After she had failed to hit Orin the round before and he had returned the favour the turn after, Alexia feinted with her sword to draw out the last soul token on Orin, then trampled him into the dirt.
The Volleygun softened up the Tormentor, then the Nomad wailed on it until it went back from whence it came. Damiano then casually strolled to the central flag, scoring another two points for the Mercenaries, in addition to the other two they scored for the Infernal objective and the left zone.
Mercenaries 8 – Infernals 1
SCENARIO WIN FOR THE MERCENARIES!
I am a bit of two minds about Agathon. I love what they bring to the table, but there is no armour breaking in the list. Maybe the Soul Stalker should have been a third Tormentor and the summoning button should be firmly locked on Tormentors too, but where is the fun in that?
The Steelheads look a bit like an army from a different age, as they really want to play a fair game in a meta that dislikes fair games. I guess a version that is lighter on actual Steelheads might be better, but again, where is the fun in that?