Friday, December 20, 2013

Warmachine Battle Report: Tier 4 Harbinger of Menoth vs Vladimir, the Dark Prince

I need a solid place to host pictures of the Warmachine Battle Reports I have written lately. Seems like the perfect opportunity to pump blood and oxygen back into this blog.



Harbinger vs Vladimir

I played a recent game against a friend with a nutter of a Tier 4 Harbinger list versus Vladimir and Conquest. The scenario was Rally Point. In Rally Point there are two twelve inch zones slightly offset from center. The one close to you is friendly. There are two effigies (objectives) with 20 ARM and 20 HP. The Effigies can be placed within 5” of its current location by a dominating warcaster/lock and Effigies count as a warcaster/warlock for purposes of dominating and controlling. It is kind of a cool scenario and there are some interesting effects caused by it.

The Lists:
The Harbinger of Menoth (Tier 4 Army of the Righteous)
    - Hierophant
    - Crusader
- Crusader
- Crusader
- Crusader
- Crusader
Avatar of Menoth
High Paladin Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Choir of Menoth (max!)
Temple Flameguard (max) + UA

Tier Bonuses:
I: FA of Paladins of the Order of the Wall increases by +1 for every unit in the army
II: +1 to Starting Die Roll
III: For every Paladin solo (Vilmon counts) place a wall template (linear obstacle) within 20” of Harby’s back edge.
IV: Heavy warjacks without Ranged weapons cost 1 less (5 point Crusaders, 10 point Avatar)

Vladimir Tzepesci
- War Dog
- Conquest
eEiryss
Winter Guard Rifle Corps
Kovnik Joe
Iron Fang Pikemen + Black Dragon Officer & Standard
Iron Fang Kovnik
Greylord Ternion
Doom Reavers

We placed some terrain and rolled for initiative. Even with the +1 for Harbinger’s list, Menoth still lost. The Conquest pre-deployed on Vlad’s left flank. WGRC deployed to the right flank. The Pikemen deployed center with Vlad and the Doomreavers in the back.




Harbinger deployed herself center with two Crusaders on the left flank and two on the right. The Avatar and 5th Crusader sat right of Harbinger along with the Paladin package. The TFG were to the left. The Choir were sprinkled around to unlock the max choir cheevo of putting a hymn on six jacks at once.




TURN 1
Khador
Vlad feats and the Conquest runs a glorious 16” through the forest and into the heart of the Khador friendly zone. The WGRC run forward many many inches. Everything else runs forward a bunch and Eiryss climbs a mountain. The picture shows just how freaking scary the math is about to become for Menoth. The Rifles are much farther up the field than Harbinger wanted. The range on the Conquest guns are now burning scary numbers into the mind of Harbinger.





TURN 1
Menoth

Menoth writes the word FEAT on the back of his hand with a marker. Harbinger allocates 5 focus. The Choir live the dream and successfully drop Hymn of Passage on every jack in the army. All the jacks run. The TFG slide forward juuuust enough to hopefully be able to jam the Rifles next turn and not completely die to their guns on turn 2. The Paladins move up 6 inches and Impervious Wall. Harbinger Feats and moves forward to dominate the Effigy. Harbinger moves the Effigy towards her zone, camping 5. Feeling a lot exposed given there is a Conquest, like, right there.





TURN 2
Khador

Sitting under Harbinger’s feat, all of the Menoth jacks are Passage’d (cannot be targeted by non-magical ranged attacks), and the Paladins are immune to non-magical damage … Khador feels the bite of Menoth flipping the initiative. The Rifles shoot at a TFG, but Harbinger martyrs him twice. The Conquest backs up 4 inches and attempts to shoot Harbinger, but the deviations go astray. Vlad moves base to base with the Effigy.

Menoth

Harbinger allocates almost all of her focus. The Choir gets off a few Hymns of Battle. The Hierophant hits Harbinger with Harmonious Exultation. Harbinger activates and moves to dominate the Effigy, then transport it into the friendly zone. Then she casts Crusader’s Call. The TFG run into the face of the Rifles, who do not fail their command check (with the UA the TFG are Terrifying). Crusader #1 and #2 … charge 9” and accomplish nothing … Harbinger wishes she had not allocated them focus. The Paladins slide up on the center left line and become impervious. Vilmon slides up center right and becomes impervious. Crusader #4 confirms a charge on the Conquest, and between initials and purchased attacks knocks out the left side of the Conquest. Crusader #3 fails to confirm the charge … Crusader … Y U NO REACH?? The Avatar raises the Gaze of Menoth and runs hard right to make sure the Conquest stops moving toward Miss No Camping Focus. Crusader #5 runs into the center of the field. Menoth Dominates the Friendly Zone for a point.

SCORE: Menoth 1, Khador 0




TURN 3
Khador

Vlad allocates to the Conquest, transports the Effigy toward his Friendly zone and casts Signs and Portents. The Conquest moves towards the Avatar and a Powersweep turns Crusader #3 and #4 into mostly junk. The Pikemen charge in and trash the remains of Crusader #3. The Greylords, the Riflecorp and Joe commit absolute MURDER on the TFG leaving them with only the UA. The Doomreavers move in towards the enemy zone and Eiryss slides toe into the zone and contests. She also shuts down allocation to both Crusader #1 and #2.

SCORE: Menoth 1, Khador 0

Menoth
If only if only … if only Crusader hadn’t failed his charge. If only ... if only that center wall wasn’t just so. Harbinger camps full stack because the only jack who can receive focus is Crusader #5 in the middle and it has nothing to do with it. Harbinger cannot make it into the Enemy Zone and as another loyal Menoth player calls out from the other side of the room “Cataclysm is a trap”, Menoth remembers not to dangle Harbinger in the breeze. She gets a Harmonious Exultation from the Hierophant, activates and casts Crusader’s Call and Guided Hand targeting Paladin #1. The Choir moves up and gets Battle on the Avatar. The Avatar charges the Conquest and … rolls double ones on the charge!! Arggggggg. If only, if only…Avatar punches and purchases and does a pile of damage to the Conquest. But wait … Crusader #4 has 4 boxes left in column 6! That’s a right arm … bang goes the arm … damage is dice -2. Down goes the Conquest. Whewwwwww. Way to go Crusader #4! Here come some guys with celebration pikes to reward you. The TFG UA Officer charges Eiryss. Needs a 9 to hit. Rolls an 8. Paladin #1 charges Eiryss. Needs an 8 on three dice (Guided Hand … aka Dead Eye for Swords), confirms the hit, rolls 4 dice on damage and puts Eiryss into the dirt. Crusader #1 and #2 slide forward to engage some Rifles and then punch several to death. Paladin #2 sacks everything to jam an access point to Harbinger. Vilmon slides up and toes in with Impervious Wall. The Friendly Zone has been cleared. Menoth dominates for another point.

SCORE: Menoth 2, Khador 0




TURN 4
Khador

Vlad casts signs and portents and advances back and center. The Iron Fang Kovnik slides around Crusader #3 and then turns it into a wreck marker. This opens the lane for the Pikemen. Five charge the Avatar, three confirm 3”, all five confirm melee distance. Signs and portents and a ton of dice … all at -9. The Avatar gets hammered for about 13 total, but no systems are knocked out. It is, however, knocked down from a critical. The remainder of the unit jams the zone and Vilmon’s backfield. And one lone Pikeman charges and murders a Choir member. The Greylords close on Vilmon and put him into an Ice Cage. When the Greylords want one thing caged … they can usually get that thing caged. Vilmon is now a statue. Joe and the Rifles (awesome band, you should totally see them live), murder the last of the TFG and the hero Paladin #1. The Doomreavers reave the doom out of Crusader #1 and #2, leaving them pretty much piles of complete junk. However, nothing contests the Enemy Zone. Khador passes turn and Menoth scores another point.

SCORE: Menoth 3, Khador 0




TURN 4
Menoth

Oddly enough…the Pikeman who charged the Choir member might be what prevents Menoth from winning the game. Menoth seems to have one less activation than he needs (because Vilmon is in a cage!!). Menoth considers having the Choir charge the problem Pikeman … but decides against it. The main target this round is the Ironfang Kovnik. Defense 13 Armor 17 with 5 boxes. The Avatar is MAT 8 which means 5s to hit and only three focus to kill six guys. I cannot afford to boost. Harbinger allocates 2 focus to Crusader #5 and the Hierophant gives Harbinger Harmonious Exultation. The Choir activates and puts Battle on the Avatar and Crusader #5. Crusader #5 activates, sacs his initials, and spends a focus to trample. He eats a free strike from the Pikeman he leaves in the dust and smashes over two other Pikeman, including the problem child. The Pikemen die and #5 spends a focus to dirt one of the ones engaging the Avatar. The Avatar activates, stands up, and attacks the Kovnik. Needs a three to hit, rolls a four! The Kovnik is murdered, the Avatar buys three more attacks and murders three more Pikemen. One Pikeman remains from the charging group.

Harbinger activates. Moves six inches to toe into the zone. Cataclysms the remaining Pikeman, then casts a second Cataclysm on the second group contesting the zone. The zone is clear. Menoth dominates both zones.

SCORE: Menoth 5, Khador 0




VICTORY FOR MENOTH!!

This was an awesome game. Yeah, it turns out I brought an armor skew list that was not very ideal for Vlad. But my friend put a ton of pressure on me and made me play super aggressive. Super aggressive Harbinger can quickly lead to super dead Harbinger. He made me have to answer the Conquest question. And he made me respect pretty much all of his models. The Paladins had to move up the field quickly to get into place, but couldn’t move up the field quickly because of the guns (they had to keep Impervious Wall up and therefore could never run).

This is why if I failed to clear the zone, I might have had some challenges pulling out the rest of the game:

Crusader #1 - left as all but scrap by the Doomreavers
Crusader #2 - left as all but scrap by the Doomreavers
Crusader #3 - scrapped by Pikemen
Crusader #4 - scrapped by Pikemen
Crusader #5 - mostly untouched
Avatar - dented but functional
TFG - murdered to a man and the only attack issued by the entire unit was one miss at Eiryss by the Officer
Vilmon - locked down by mages
Paladin #1 - murdered by bullets
Paladin #2 - currently unmurdered

I feel like I met all of my goals in this game. I think I measured my feat out perfectly. It held Khador back for an entire turn (which is what it does in scenario). And I was able to get the Effigy into the friendly zone on turn 2 to start scoring. I left myself in a dangerous position twice with either low or no camp. The assassination try would have been risky and if it failed would have handed me the game, so I felt it was worth it. On my end, assassination was never really in the picture so I was looking at either attrition or scenario. I used Crusader’s Call twice and Guided Hand once, both times getting serious and important work done. I had one failed charge that I wish I hadn’t failed. I misallocated about 4 focus throughout the game. And I missed with double ones once when I could have realllllly used the hit, but that is dice. The only two times I put myself in a position where I had to hit or lose ground in a big way were the Paladin #1 charge on Eiryss and the Crusader #5 trample. In both cases I gave myself every advantage I could (Guided Hand and Hymn of Battle).

This was one of the most fun games I have played since I started. Also it was really awesome to get a break from playing against Cryx (which I have been matching up with a lot lately). Thanks for reading!

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