Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Warmachine Battle Report: Harbinger vs Moshar the Desert Walker



I went down to a local game store before Christmas and participated in a "fun" Saturday morning tournament. It was 35 points and one of the scenarios was a playtest for an Iron Arena table at TempleCon. This is the report for round three, I won't report on the Iron Arena scenario until after TempleCon. 

In this round, my opponent played Circle. I have only played against Circle once before (a small 25 point game I played in New Hampshire in November). I looked over his lists and felt really good about either of them matching up against Harbinger. The scenario was an SR 2014 issue called Balance of Power. I had played this one the weekend prior and knew that it was … actually kind of crappy. By dominating your flag you subtract 1 CP from your opponent before any other points are scored. You cannot be taken below 0, but the reality is, scoring in this game is a nightmare.

Harbinger is my scenario caster, but I felt like I could hang back and force him to grind through my Bastions. He dropped Moshar the Desert Walker. I have never seen the caster before, but I remember listening to a podcast about him. He had a little bit of trickery but his feat was completely useless against my list so I wasn’t too concerned.

The Lists:
The Harbinger of Menoth
- Hierophant
- Devout
- Reckoner
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
Exemplar Bastions (Max)
Exemplar Bastions (Max)
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Nicia, The Tear of Vengeance

Moshar the Desert Walker
Feral Warpwolf
Megalith
Gorax
Tharn Bloodtrackers (these things are cool!)
Nuala the Huntress (Bloodtracker UA)
Druid Stoneward and Woldstalkers (laser shrimp)

TURN 1

I won initiative and elected to go first. I ran right up the middle and stuck Harbinger on the flag. The Reckoner had her right flank. The Bastions had the center and left flanks. The outside Bastions were targeted as Prey by the Bloodtrackers.




He came running forward as well. The laser shrimp tried to get shots in but did not have range. The Bloodtrackers moved like bandits. They had Mirage placed on them and could Reform. Moshar tossed out 3 pillars of Salt. I did not realize that these are apparently not considered enemy models. They are just terrain which can be destroyed. But they can’t be charged and Nicia’s tricks do not trigger when they are broken … they are pieces of terrain. That caused me some activation issues on Turn 2.

TURN 2

Nicia advances through the ranks and wrecks a pillar, clearing a way for the Bastions. The Reckoner advances and shoots a Laser Shrimp. Vilmon advances and raises Impervious Wall. The Bastions run forward. Harbinger feats.




Circle advances with the Megalith and it takes 5 damage. The Warpwolf Stalker gets Sprint on it from Moshur, who also throws out more Pillars. The Warpwolf Stalker charges the Bastions and I teach my opponent how much I care… because I care … I care a whole bunch. The main effort is to prevent the Stalker from getting to sprint. He puts the HURT into the lead Bastion group and Harbinger Martyrs hard. The tactic works and the Stalker is left at full fury in my front ranks. The Bloodtrackers are placed with Mirage (during Maintenance), get off a ton of damage on their Prey (the back set of Bastions) and Reform backwards. The Laser Shrimp do nothing. Harbinger is at about 9 life (around 50%).

TURN 3

Harbinger allocates three to the Reckoner. The Bastions MURDER the Warpwolf stalker (five weapon masters are a thing!). The second unit of Bastions retreats. The Bloodtrackers are a problem, but moving out of martyrdom range would be bad. They are weapon masters with their spears but the range is only 7”. Nicia runs through some folks to the back edge of the linear obstacle, getting some cover, while still staying in martyrdom range. Vilmon destroys a salt pillar. Harbinger gets a few points of healing from the Hierophant and casts Crusader’s Call. The Reckoner charges the Megalith but comes up short. It opts to drop a gun shot into it instead, dealing about 8 damage.




The Megalith advances on the Reckoner and in a series of attacks puts about 8 damage into it. The Gorax slams the Reckoner and knocks it down while putting in another 10 or so in. No critical systems are damaged. All of it is superficial, but it is knocked down. The Bloodtrackers put the hurt into the Bastions, but the line holds. The Laser Shrimp focus on the Seneschal and manage to take it out. Harbinger has Martyred to 3 by the end of the turn. Three. Three hitpoints. If anyone asks you where I was today … you could accurately tell them the “Daannnnnnger Zooooone”. However… the Reckoner has not been neutralized and I am ahead on the heavy piece trade. The Bastions are teetering on the edge (one of the forward Bastions has been killed), the Seneschal has died, and Harbinger has nothing left for them.

TURN 4

This is the turn where I completely forget how Warlocks work. I haven’t played enough games against them and I certainly haven’t made enough assassination attempts against them. I think this is the turn where I am going to complete my assassination run. Words of wisdom: if you have the time, do all your other normal stuff … just in case. I did not have much time left, but I felt I should play out all my activations. Harbinger allocates 3 to the Reckoner. The Reckoner immediately burns a focus to shake knockdown, leaving it with two focus. I charged the Megalith with the forward Bastions and stick all four. The Megalith gets hammered into junk, clearing the way for the Reckoner to advance on Moshar. The second unit of Bastions charge the front ranks of the Bloodtrackers and get a few kills in. One Bastion charges off in the other direction to engage some Laser Shrimps (out of formation so he doesn’t get an attack, this was intentional). Nicia charges a Bloodtracker, kills one, misses her Quick Work and sprints back to safety. Vilmon advances on a Laser Shrimp, engages two and kills one. Harbinger advances to stick Guided Hand on the Reckoner. The Hierophant heals her for 2. Harbinger is at 5 HP, camping 5. She is current 14/19 with 5HP. The Devout moves forward to screen and stay within Shield Guard range. The Bastion activates and advances towards Moshar. This is going to be easy … BAM … take a pile of damage! Transfer? What? Ooohhhhhhhhhh right. Warlocks can transfer. Fortunately he only has the Gorax left. I buy an attack and have to roll a hard eight. BAM!! The Damage is absolute fire and the Gorax dies. No more transfers. I buy my last attack and have to roll a hard eight. I roll a 6. Ohhhhhhhh noooo. Also, I have about 45 seconds left on my clock. This does not look good.




There is a trick that Moshar has that I don’t know about. It is a pretty cool trick. The Laser Shrimp get a special placement during Maintenance or something that gets them out of engagement. This lets them aim. The first one shoots at Harbinger and misses, the second hits but does no damage and the third hits but also does no damage. The Bloodtrackers activate and move forward to engage the Bastions. I have no idea what my opponent is doing. Who cares about Bastions at this point? You need to run like crazy with Moshar to escape my Reckoner! I only moved my Bastions forward to engage because it seemed like the right thing to do. Well, he murders all but one of them (the last had just enough boxes to soak the last hit). The Bloodtrackers reform as far -forward- as they can. Now I am very confused. What is going on? All he has left is Moshar. I am plotting out how fast I can allocate to the Reckoner, Activate Harby, Move forward, Stick CC and GH on it and chase the guy down. Suddenly Moshar vanishes! And reappears where his most forward Bloodtracker was! What the what?! He is on the other side of my Bastion line and staring Harbinger in the face from about 7 inches away. He has a ton of fury. Ohhhhh noooooo. He cranks up a Crevasse and hits … but he only rolls 21 damage! Harbinger takes 2 and goes to 3 HP. All he has left is his spray … he shoots and MISSES!

TURN 5

Harbinger charges Moshar and cuts him down with Providence.




VICTORY FOR MENOTH (assassination)

I feel like nobody is ever going to score control points in Balance of Power. I really liked Moshar. He has some cool tricks. I feel like my opponent was thinking he would get more (anything) out of his Stalker. I denied him kills on Crevasse and his full fury load while he was on Sprint. That started the piece trade … although I guess I never really let him get any of mine until near the end. I martyred HARD in this game. I was dancing around in the red zone for most of it. If he could have stuck something on me, he probably would have had it. But that is what I spent all of my energy avoiding. I nearly dropped the ball when I forgot about transfers, but when I reflected on it, it makes more sense to force the transfers when the enemy only has one beast left. I splashed a pile of damage onto Moshar on the final transfer. Once again, the Bastions show their resilience. I really enjoy this list.

This was the third round of the tournament. I won twice and lost once, but because the person I lost to won the tournament I had the strength of schedule win and took second place. It was the first time I have ever placed in a tournament (of any kind). I had a good day.

Thanks for reading


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