Monday, December 23, 2013

Warmachine Battle Report: The Harbinger of Menoth vs Major Victoria Haley

Another Warmachine Battle Report from my stable of recent battles. This match-up occurred over Halloween. There were people in the gaming store in costume ... it took me many many minutes to realize why.

Harbinger vs eHaley, 50pt

My Cygnar friend (we all have them) and I got together for a 50 point matchup at a local hobby shop. The scenario for the evening was Destruction. In Destruction (SR2013), there is a standard size zone in the center of the board and a monolith at each corner.
Monoliths are legal targets on the second player’s second turn and there is a killbox.

This is what it looks like when the Stormwall is in your face:

The Lists:
The Harbinger of Menoth
- Hierophant
- Devout
- Reckoner
Vassal of Menoth
Grand Paladin Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
Two max units of Exemplar Bastions
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance
Gorman di Wolfe
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt
Anastasia di Bray
A set of three Wracks

Major Victoria Haley
-Storm wall & Lightning Pod
Captain Arlan Strangeways
Journeyman Warcaster
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages + UA
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Tempest Blazers (Gun Bronies)

Menoth has a +1 to the die roll because of Anastasia, wins the roll and elects to go first. The Stormwall is pre-deployed almost dead center. Menoth arranges a long line of Bastions. Harby, the Jacks, and the Hierophant are set behind the line. The paladin package and Gorman are set to the right flank. Aiyana & Holt are set on the left near some terrain.
Cygnar deploys in a line eyeing the advantageous linear obstacle.
The Wracks are placed within 13" of the back. Nicia was set on the extreme left wing.


Menoth goes first and runs most of his stuff up the field. Cygnar runs the Stormwall and toes into the zone. The Gunmages advance to the liner obstacle. The Bronies move forward up the flank.

TURN 2 - Menoth

Nicia realizes she deployed poorly and cuts hard back toward center. Aiyana & Holt chillax on a hill (the gunmages really put pressure on the field). The Bastions continue to advance into the zone, getting ready for the big show. The paladins advance and go into Stone & Morter stance (ARM 21). Gorman slides left fearing the Gun Bronies and puts up a cloud. The Reckoner sidles up behind the cloud. Most if not all of the Cygnar units can see through stealth and ignore cover, which hampers Menoth’s aggressiveness. Harbinger gets a Spell Ward from the Devout, pulls a focus from a Wrack which explodes, advances and Feats camping a bunch. Menoth forgets to activate the hierophant because he is waaay in the back. Anastasia does not make an appearance.

TURN 2 - Cygnar

Cygnar gallops the Blazers in for shots on the Paladins and gets a little bit of damage on one. The Black 13th shift sideways avoiding the feat and take more shots, killing a paladin, and put down an AOE cloud of bullets that the paladins ignore. The Stormwall puts some damage into the Bastions and hits the Seneschal hard enough to cause a martyrdom, the Gun mages knock several of them back with Thunderbolt bullets. Haley casts Timebomb on a pile of Bastions (-2 DEF, -2 SPD and therefore can’t charge), and puts some pain into one of them. Harbinger martyrdoms a few times. Haley feats and hits most of Menoth’s front line, including the paladins. However, Haley doesn’t move far enough forward to avoid the killbox giving Menoth 2 points.

SCORE: Menoth 2, Cygnar 0

TURN 3 - Menoth

The Bastions heal and move forward as best they can and prepare to weather the second turn of getting shot at by Cygnar. The Paladins Stone & Mortar again. The Reckoner shoots and kills the Stormsmith after hearing the word “Disrupt” mentioned the previous turn. Gorman prepares to die for the cause in the name of delivering the Reckoner, so he slides up and clouds to attempt to obscure the Jack from some shots. The Hierophant runs forward. The Devout Spell Wards and Harbinger pulls a focus off of a Wrack (does not explode), slides left and forward to protect some Bastions, camps focus. The Seneschal tries to hide behind a Monolith and some Bastions. A&H move forward a little more and observe. Nicia repositions on elevation. The Vassal enlivens the Reckoner. Anastasia does not make an appearance.

SCORE: Menoth 2, Cygnar 0

TURN 3 - Cygnar (no picture)

The Stormwall moves deeper into the zone and starts punching Bastions. Harbinger martyrs (down to about 8 boxes now, getting close to the… DANGER ZONE). Ponies murder Gorman and the Vassal and put in a few points on the Reckoner. Black 13th puts a few more points in on a paladin and one on Vilmon. Tempest gunmages backup and thunderbullet more Bastions, knocking several down with crits. eHaley moves into the Killbox and casts Domination through the arcnode, moving the Enlivened Reckoner back around the wall to sit in timeout.

SCORE: Menoth 2, Cygnar 0

TURN 4 - Menoth

Slightly forget some of the particulars on the scenario and also for a bit think Menoth has 3 instead of the 2 indicated on the score marker (not shown). Decided to destroy two Monoliths (impossible) and get the win! (Not possible). The Reckoner shoots the right Monolith and then Vilmon and the Paladin charge it and put it into the dirt. Aiyana moves forward and puts the Kiss of Lyliss on the Stormwall. Holt puts some damage in on shot one and nothing on shot two. Two Bastions charge/approach and hit the second Monolith … scoring some damage which is then erased when Menoth is reminded that the second Monolith is immune to damage. ALL IS LOST! Other Bastions standup and the second unit gets a few charges off and puts enough damage into the Stormwall to shutdown an entire side. The leader of the second unit (no arms in the picture because of a packing error) charges and fails to damage the arcnode. Nicia waits. Harbingers gets 1 point of healing from the Hierophant, Spell ward from the Devout, pulls a focus from a wrack (it explodes), and camps. Anastasia does not make an appearance.

SCORE: Menoth 3, Cygnar 0

TURN 4 - Cygnar

The Blazers demolish an objective and come around on a repositioning move. The Black 13th puts the Paladin and Vilmon into the dirt. The Gunmages end the lives of Aiyana & Holt and a Bastion. Strangeways moves up and heals the Stormwall for 6. The Stormwall attacks but it only results in a couple Bastions getting martyrdom. Harbinger is definitely feeling it now. The Journeyman warcaster backs up and the arcnode fails to damage the lead Bastion. eHaley timebombs and severely injures a Bastion.

SCORE: Menoth 3, Cygnar 0


Menoth senses an opportunity. The only enemy contesting the zone is the Stormwall. It has about as many boxes as a solid Khador heavy. Menoth imagines the Bastions parting like the sea and the Harbinger swooping in with a charge attack and then 5 boosted POW 12 attacks. It is dice -7 on three dice (Harbinger autohits in melee) which means 6 attacks with average dice scoring 3 damage … 18 points. Other models are going to need to get some work done. Harbinger allocates 1 focus to the Reckoner. The Reckoner activates, aims for +2, needs a three to hit the Stormwall, confirms the hit, boosts damage and puts a few points in. However, now the Stormwall is Flared (-2 DEF). Nicia activates and charges the Stormwall. She confirms the hit, and the weaponmaster + charge rolls absolute FIRE on her dice: 6-6-5-6 at dice -9 for a total of 14 points of damage. The Bastions activate unit 1, two standup, three are in range and a few get work done putting more damage into the Stormwall. The second unit activates, opens a path for the Harbinger, and then roll well on their weaponmaster dice-7 damage rolls putting the Stormwall into the ground in a permanent way. Devout moves out of the way. Harbinger activates, advances into the zone and dominates for 2 points. Victory for Menoth!

SCORE: Menoth 5, Cygnar 0

Overall we had an awesome time in the match. We played it in 2.5 hours but that included some chatting and a bathroom break. We met a press ganger who was psyched to see us throwing down such a cool matchup. The Stormwall and the Gun Bronies caught everyone’s eye (as they should!) and my friend received many nice compliments.

I was really nervous about going up against magic guns that could see through stealth. I knew that eHaley’s feat was going to timewalk me and give Cygnar essentially two turns of shooting me in the face. I made sure I camped when I could, and I focused on not over-committing my resources. I felt that his choice to Thunderbullet my Bastions was less optimal than going for damage, but he pointed out that he was rocking POW 10 guns against DEF 16 multi-wound models. He was sitting at dice -6 all night and … that really blows. There were a few spots of better play each of us could have made, but overall we felt like it was a really fun match. I never played Anastasia, but I never felt like I had a good opportunity. Haley stayed pretty far back and Anastasia’s stealth would be no refuge.

Thanks for reading!

Post script:
There have been requests for images of Rando's amazing gun bronies and he has graciously given me permission to post them. 

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