Thursday, January 16, 2014

Warmachine Battle Report: Vice Scrutator Vindictus vs The Witch Coven of Garlghast

Fresh on the heels of my first outing of Vice Scrutator Vindictus, I wanted another game before I committed to picking him up (proxied this time with Testament). My devious Cryx playing friend (from an earlier battle) squared off against my Vindictus list with his Witch Coven and their demon ball - now with significantly fewer proxies (yay Cryxmas). I didn't much mind going up against whatever was available on the day because I wanted to get a better feel for what had the potential to become my new caster.

The scenario was Fire Support (SR2013) with Lady Aiyana and Master Holt playing the role of flags. Cryx won initiative and elected to go first.

The Lists:
Vice Scrutator Vindictus
    - Sanctifier
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
    - Repenter
    - Repenter
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist
Choir of Menoth (min)
Exemplar Bastions
Exemplar Bastions
Holy Zealots + UA (Monolith Bearer)

The Witch Coven of Garlghast
 - Egregore
 - Skarlock Thrall
 - Deathripper
 - Deathripper
 - Scavenger
 - Stalker
 - Stalker
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren
Satyxis Blood Witches + UA (Blood Hag)
Satyxis Raiders + UA (Sea Witch)
The Withershadow Combine


The Raiders are on the left, the Stalkers are on the wings. The Coven is lined up facing the linear obstacle. The Bastions flank the Zealots and the Seneschal and his jacks hold the center. Nicia is hanging out in back with Vindictus but not for long as there is a kill box. The monks are on the wings and the Reclaimer and Sanctifier each have a side.

Turn 1 Cryx:
Everything runs forward and the Coven drops a cloud out in front of it.

TURN 1: Menoth

The Zealots run forward. Vindictus puts Defender’s Ward on Nicia, casts True Path, then moves forward and feats defensively. Bastions run like the wind. The monks shifting sands and move up. The Repenters move forward and the Seneschal camps right behind them at ARM 20.

TURN 2: Cryx (no picture)

The Witches advance out of the hill, a few of them move up to engage the Zealots and all go incorporeal. The Raiders sidle sideways down the flank and take shots at Nicia and a Monk. They both live, although the Monk is knocked down from a Tough Check. A Pistol Wraith advances but does not go base to base with the flag. The Coven advances and feats, catching most of the Menoth army (reducing their LOS to 5” and impacting their stats). They also drop a cloud out between the right Bastions and the Witches.

TURN 2: Menoth

With LOS at 5” for everything that matters, Menoth is forced to rely on advances instead of charges. Vindictus moves sideways and brings up True Path again. The Zealots minifeat and run. The Sanctifier slides forward which removes Incorporeal from the waiting Witches. It smashes one but misses the other. The Bastions advance and try to chop down some Witches and try to put a hit in on a Defiler (under feat this does not go well). The right side Monk advances under Shifting Sands and attempts to be an engaging nuisance. On the other side, the Bastions advance and one gets a shot on Egregore, transferring a little damage to the Coven. Nicia and the Monk chop up some Raiders. The Choir battles the Repenters. The Repenters advance and spray a Bastion in the back, catching Egregore and lighting both on fire.

TURN 3: Cryx

Egregore burns a bunch during Maintenance because Menoth rolls fire on fire dice. The Raiders murder Nicia and the Monk, the Scavenger advances and attempts to kill the Bastion, but there is enough damage to go around to allow him to live and deny the Sprint. A Pistol Wraith death chills a Bastion, and another one in that unit perishes (but his soul is STOLEN by Cryx). The Coven puts out a cloud, and Egregore backs up over the linear obstacle. The Witches attempt to kill some Bastions, but only take one off the table. The right side Monk is brutally murdered and the Defiler whiffs on the Bastions. (The pic was taken after Menoth started turn 3 which is why the Sanctifier is in a different position.

TURN 3: Menoth

The only Bastion with a shot at Egregore (the other was death chilled) *should* have advanced and hacked at a Coven, but in all the excitement of surviving through fire and corrosion, he advanced and took a swing at the Demon Ball - missing. Then the Zealots activated and prayed for damage. Four Zealots found range and LOS (and remained in command range of the Monolith Bearer). The first Zealot rolled fire and blew up a Coven. The second Zealot rolled fire and blew up a Coven, and the third Zealot rolled fire and blew up the Demon Ball and the third Coven.

Victory for Menoth!

Less direct involvement from Vindictus this time. He upkept Defender’s Ward until it was time to put it on himself. He dropped True Path through most of the battle. He used his feat early to keep the Satyxis from getting a charge turn. I kept him in close touch with some defensive Zealots. According to my opponent, if I had moved the Repenters any far forward, the Scavenger was going to make my day a sad one. It turns out that True Pathed Bastions jam pretty hard. If the Zealots hadn’t closed it out on the last activation, I would have Battled the Repenters and hosed everything down with fire. The Coven is strong when at full power, but once you start cracking it, they become significantly easier to keep cracking.

After I finished the match, I walked over to the Warmachine section of the shop and picked up Vindictus. I put him together while waiting for another match to complete. I painted and based him last night. I just need to add some shading and varnish. I am thoroughly enjoying his playstyle.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Warmachine Battle Report: Vice Scrutator Vindictus versus Chief Madrak Ironhide

Friday night in my Troll friend’s basement … I was intrigued by a thread in the Menoth Community about Vice Scrutator Vindictus and an article from Muse on Minis linked within that thread. I put together a list and proxied in a small-base caster for Vindictus.

The scenario was Supply and Demand. As you will see below, it should probably have just been called Super Troll Menite Mosh Pit.

The Lists:
Vice Scrutator Vindictus (dressed like pSevvy today)
- Sanctifier
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
- Repenter
- Repenter
Exemplar Bastions
Exemplar Bastions
Choir of Menoth (min)
Holy Zealots + UA
Nicia, the Tear of Vengeance
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist

Chief Madrak Ironhide (pMadrak)
- Impaler
- Bomber
Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes
Trollkin Champs + UA (Skaldi)
Trollkin Champion Hero
Janissa Stonetide


It almost looks like we aren’t going to both immediately brick up on turn 1.

TURN 1: Trolls

Trolls run and brick. The Fenblades and Boomhowlers form the front wave, the Champs form the Madrak wedge in the back.

TURN 1 Menoth

Vindictus allocates one to the Sanctifier and casts True Path. Everything runs with Pathfinder and it feel amazing. The monks are on either end. The Sanctifier is catching souls on the left flank and the Reclaimer is collecting souls on the right flank. Nicia was supposed to get Defender’s Ward but she deployed too far forward.

TURN 2 Trolls

Fenblades do not have distance for a charge and opt to run. Boomhowlers advance and shoot but only cause a few scratches to the right flank of Bastions. The rear troll wedge (wave 2) glides forward.

TURN 2 Menoth

The Zealots pray for Damage and throw bombs at the Fenblades doing some damage, killing a pair. A chunk of the Zealots are left in the back, jammed behind Bastions, but that is ok. Vindictus likes their company. He gets them. The right flank of Bastions charge the Boomhowlers and kill three. The left Bastions charge the Fenblades and kill several, forcing a command check … which the Fenblades fail. Vindictus activates, advances, feats, and casts Defender’s Ward on Nicia. Nicia charges a Boomhowler … it toughs both stabs. Nicia stays put. Sad Nicia. The Sanctifier and the Reclaimer remain patient. The Monks move forward aggressively.

TURN 3 Trolls

The Boomies attack and every one of them except Mr. Boomhowler himself die to Vindictus’s feat. The Fenblades fail command again. The brick advances and Janissa drops a wall. Through some miracle of Menoth (and Defender’s Ward), Nicia lives through the round. The Bomber lobs bombs which the Bastions absorb.

TURN 3 Menoth

The Zealots minifeat, which was a complete waste, and try to advance and jam. Too many Bastions get in the way again and they accomplish next to nothing. Several move out toward the right flank and prepare a screen for Vindictus. The Repenters advance and fire into the brick, lighting a pile of ARM 20 Trolls on Fire. wooo. Nicia charges Boomhowler and fails to kill twice. Again going nowhere. The right flank Bastions advance on the Champs behind the wall and flail around for a little damage. One of them smacks the objective for a bit. The right monk runs into the back field to threaten the Bomber. On the left side, the Bastions charge the Impaler and some Fenblades. A few Fenblades die and the Impaler takes a beating. The left monk loops around to stand next to the Impaler at DEF 17. The Reclaimer has two souls from Zealots dead on the last Troll turn. The Sanctifier is outside of Vindictus’s control range but is biding its time.

TURN 4 Trolls

pMadrak feats, but finds himself behind a wall of Champs. The other Trolls are going to have to do the heavy lifting. The Impaler attempts to disengage from the Bastions, but dies to the first free strike. The Champs overrun several Bastions (at this point nearly broken from Bombs and Trolls with two initials), but fail to kill Nicia again. However, the entire right unit of Bastions is now dead. Three souls of devout Bastions are collected and saved from the heathen Trolls. The Champs charge and put serious damage into the up-until-now unscathed left flank of Bastions. However, the Hero misses the monk and he advances into the Troll backfield. Most of the fire went out and what didn’t go out didn’t do anything against ARM 20 Trolls. The important element of the turn involved engaging the Repenters and doing a large chunk of damage to one of them.

TURN 4 Menoth

At this point the Reclaimer has five souls, the Sanctifier as none and is well outside of control. the Zealots are now ranged meat shields and the Repenters are heavily engaged. Nicia is engaged as well and facing the wrong direction. Menoth needs to spring the Repenters and spring Nicia. Also one of the Monks has a perfect shot at the back of Madrak … or the Krielstone. In review, the Monk should have attacked the Kreilstone. That thing is such an excellent support piece. Instead the Monk charges Madrak, misses once and hits once for a very small amount of damage. The Choir steps up and Battles all the jacks. The left side Bastions put hurt into the rallied Fenblades, one of them attempts to kill the problem Champ but fails. The Sanctifier manages to kill one … which enables their Vengeance ability. Fortunately the remainder are knocked down from tough checks from the Bastions. The Seneschal jams himself and blocks LOS to the problem Champ. The Zealots bomb away and manage to kill a couple Zealots and … Nicia. The Reclaimer advances and spends four of five souls putting the one problem Champ down. Now the Repenters activate, jostle for position and burn down Janissa and several Stone Scribes, setting Madrak on fire. The other Monk attacks and engages the Bomber. Vindictus camps and waits among his loyal followers.

TURN 5 Trolls

Fire burns some into Madrak and kills a troll. The Fenblades are all on their backs for their Vengeance move and spend their turn angry. They miss a lot. The Champs murder Bastions and hurt and jam the Sanctifier. The Krielstone guy turns around and starts heading for home (to get out of the way of Madrak). The Bomber takes a free strike from the Monk who misses. Then the bombs start falling and many Zealots are killed, but Vindictus remains unscathed. Madrak moves out and attempts to kill Vindictus, but a combination of Armor, health, and Zealot sacc’ing leaves him still alive.

Turn 5 Menoth

The Seneschal tries to win the day and fails, the Repenters close in for the kill and succeed in putting Madrak into the dirt. Victory for Menoth!

It was very fun to play a “low” focus caster for a change. It was also really cool to have what are essentially speed 5 pathfinder Bastions. I need to be less derpy with Nicia and I need to be much better about when I use my Zealot mini-feat. But if you are a Menoth player interested in Vindictus, give the recent threads a read and give him a chance. He will surprise you.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Warmachine Battle Report: Harbinger vs Gaspy 2

I have a second Cryx playing friend who is just as sneaky as the other one. Why are all my Cryx friends sneaky? Maybe the real question is, why do all my sneaky friends play Cryx? Anyway, after a fast game where the moral of the story was "Don't ask 'Hey, what does your feat do again?' after you finish moving your caster forward, we settled in for a full-length match. (This time I knew what I was getting into).

The scenario was Incursion (SR2013) ... three flags ... random flag disappears and it is rarely the flag you planned/hoped on losing.

The Lists:
The Harbinger of Menoth
 - Hierophant
 - Devout
 - Reckoner
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
Exemplar Bastions (max)
Exemplar Bastions (max)
Vassal of Menoth
Gorman di Wulfe
Anastasia di Bray
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt

Lich Lord Asphyxious
 - Helldiver
 - Nightwretch
Bane Lord Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Saxon Orrik
Bane Knights (max)
Bane Thralls (max) + UA
Bile Thralls (max)
Satyxis Blood Witches + UA (the Sea Hag)
The Withershadow Combine

Harbinger won initiative again and elected to go first.

TURN 1, Menoth:

Lots of running, but a little bit more of conservative movement from Harbinger. Nicia comes from downtown and goes base to base with the left flag. The Paladin package aims for the central flag. The Reckoner steps next to the linear obstacle and decides to be cautious. The Bastions are a jumbled mess but will get sorted soon.

TURN 1, Cryx:

More dispersion and lots of running. Less chance for Cataclysms or other bad things. Gaspy puts out a corrosion cloud at the limit of his control range. Bane Lord T moves forward and Darragh Wrathe makes all the undead scoot forward an inch. The left-most flag disappears! Quelle Surprise!

TURN 2, Menoth:

Nicia dances straight through the Bane Knights and confirms a charge on BLT! Needs something like a 6 or 7 to hit, rolls a 3! Second attack! Rolls another 3! So long Nicia! The Paladins move B2B with the flag and Stone & Mortar to 21 ARM. Vilmon moves up and Stone & Mortars to 21 ARM. The Bastions run again. They are the absolute slowest things. The Reckoner moves beyond the linear obstacle and misses a gunshot. It is a slow approach on the other flag. Harbinger feats.

TURN 2, Cryx:

Cryx can shuffle around on the edges, but mostly had to not advance under Harbinger’s feat. Nicia dies hard. Several of the Bile Thralls spray corrosion around. A pile of corrosion goes up on the Paladins, but neither takes any damage. Cryx has someone within 4” of the center flag and therefore contests. However, no Menoth are within range to contest the right flag and Cryx scores a control point.

SCORE: Menoth 0, Cryx 1

TURN 3, Menoth:

The feat turn did what it was supposed to do: give Menoth one more turn to move up the field. The Bastions murder some Vengeful Bane Knights and a few other units make tough rolls. I think that is cool until I discover they can stand up for free. The other unit of Bastions murder some Satyxis Blood Witches and the Reckoner charges one and kills a second with a purchased attack. A&H stealth and shoot a Bile Thrall. Gorman throws an acid bomb. Harbinger moves up some but is very concerned about Gaspy’s feat. The Paladins sack both movement and attack to go full Stone & Mortar plus Impervious wall. Something Soldrath pointed out to me a while ago: the Paladin Package is baller at holding objectives. I finally got to see that in full effect. Menoth contests the right flag and scores a point on the center.

SCORE: Menoth 1, Cryx 1

TURN 3, Cryx:

It took a moment to figure out what happened on this turn based on the picture. The key is that the Bile Thralls explode for an auto-hitting 12 POW to everything within 6” of it. The left unit of Bastions are annihilated. The Paladins laugh it off. And the right Bastions force Harbinger to martyrdom a chunk. The Satyxis Blood Witches start spiking and thrashing Bastions. Defense 16 holds up well, they distribute some damage and Harbinger martyrs hard. The Withershadow Combine charges in and lands the perfectly worst possible hit. 12 points to the 4, which wiped the Reckoner’s cortex and eliminated a possible assassination run. The Reckoner couldn’t charge, but it could trample. Alas, all of that is out of the window. The threat of the Helldiver still exists, so the Reckoner enlivens around the Bastion and tries to jam up the zone. Cryx contests the center flag, Menoth contests the right flag.

SCORE: Menoth 1, Cryx 1


TURN 4, Menoth:

Feeling real pressure on the right flank. The Paladins have the left on lock-down. They sac everything again and go Stone & Mortar and Impervious Wall. The right Bastions need to hold out a little longer, they put attacks in on the Withershadow Combine and some Satyxis Blood Witches trying to clear the contested flag. The have limited success, one kills a Withershadow, two miss Satyxis Blood Witches, and two kill Satyxis Blood Witches. The Seneschal murders a Withershadow and the Reckoner shoots a Satyxis Blood Witch. The Vassal arcane bolts a Satyxis Blood Witch. Harbinger cataclysms the rest of the Satyxis Blood Witches (except the damn sea-hag) and the last Withershadow. The Sea-Hag fails her command check due to the horror of seeing her unit cut down. As she should be. Sadly, the Nightwretch contests the flag and Menoth fails to score a point.

SCORE: Menoth 1, Cryx 1  

TURN 4, Cryx:

The Nightwretch is engaged and fails to land an attack on the Bastions. Cryx remembers that Darragh Wrath (which had been proxy-represented as a base) has just been hanging out and moves him into the party (and turns him into a visible model). The Banes move carefully around the vigilant Paladins. A Bane Knight is hit by Defensive Strike from the Seneschal, fortunately Vengeance is not triggered by actions during an advance. Saxxon Orik pops 4 points into the back of the Vassal. The Sea Hag rallies and Gaspy backs up. No points are scored.

SCORE: Menoth 1, Cryx 1

TURN 5, Menoth:

The Bastions charge the Nightwretch and put it into the dirt. The Vassal tries to block access to Harbinger by the Helldiver and the Devout gets enlivened. The Devout tries to jam the lanes and braces for the oncoming storm of Banes. The Seneschal slides around a Bane and attempts to kill BLT but fails. The Reckoner tries to jam another charge lane. The Paladins sack only one thing each and one turns around while the other attempts to dirt a Knight. It toughs. Vilmon tries the same and it double toughs. The Hierophant heals Harbinger for 1. And Harbinger moves B2B with the flag and dominates.

SCORE: Menoth 3, Cryx 1

TURN 5, Cryx:

Scenario pressure is in full force. Gaspy casts a death knell and clears one Paladin off the flag, but fails to kill the second. The helldiver appears and contests. Tartarus activates and curses the Bastions but forgets to murder the Seneschal. The Banes activate and charge the Seneschal and Cryx realizes that forgetting to use BLT to clear the lane is going to prevent the Banes from contesting. The only hope is Darragh Wrathe from downtown! Darragh Wrathe charges a Bastion and crushes it. But Harbinger martyrs from 5 down to 4. The mount crushes the Bastion again! Harbinger martyrs from 4 down to 1. Repeat: Harbinger has Martyred to 1 HP. Cryx passes the turn with the flags contested.

SCORE: Menoth 3, Cryx 1

TURN 6, Menoth:

There are two hard targets that have to go for Menoth to win. Harbinger can kill exactly one of them with the resources available. The Helldiver has 18 boxes and Darragh Wrathe has 10 boxes and then 5 boxes. Harbinger allocates two to the Devout. The Devout turns around and hits the Helldiver for 6. Buys an attack and hits it for 8. Buys a third attack and hits it for 4 which is just enough to put it in the dirt. Never commit your big show if you can whittle the enemy down. The Reckoner swings! and misses. The Bastions swing! and miss and miss. The Vassal ancillary attacks the Reckoner which swings! and misses. **** it. Harbinger walks around the flag, pulls one off the Wrack, is camping 9. Autohits at POW 12 and boosts, Buys an attack and Boosts, and Darragh falls off his mount. Buys a third attack and boosts, which ends Darragh’s unlife. The Paladin activates and ends his turn, Vilmon activates and ends his turn. Harbinger dominates the flag for the win.

SCORE: Menoth 5, Cryx 1

Victory for Menoth!!

This was a great game. It was tight. There were only a few mistakes on either side. Unfortunately, a couple of them were pretty costly. My love for my double Bastion / Paladin Harbinger list grows ever greater.

Thanks for reading.

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About Fading Interest

After writing op-eds and travelogues for several years, after finishing a few books, and after failing to get the ball rolling with project after project I stumbled into an idea that might just hold my interest long enough to enjoy some level of satisfaction with my writing.