Sunday, March 23, 2014

Warmachine Battle Report: Vice Scrutator Vindictus vs. Commander Coleman Stryker

The Iron Arena at TempleCon 2014 had a wonderful assortment of tables. Some of them were built for interesting situations and some were a bit lop-sided. Part of the challenge in the assessing an interesting table is to figure out how to avoid a potential lop-sided nature. The ruined guard tower table was definitely interesting and absolutely gorgeous. On each flank was a steadily climbing hill building up the ravine running through the middle. At the summit was a pair of bridges leading to the remains of a ruined tower. In the ravine below, a glowing circle described the base of the tower's remains and within those ruins lay a terrifying force. It was this eldritch landscape where the forces of Cygnar and Menoth met to do battle and contest control of the ruined tower.

At my opponent's command was the Cygnar Warcaster Stryker, several units of long gunners, mighty Stormblades, and several Warjacks. The forces of Menoth were led by Vice Scrutator Vindictus and his Missionaries of War. They included two full units of Exemplar Errants, each with their own Officer and Standard Bearer. An Exemplar Errant Seneschal supported the right flank of Errants. A unit of Holy Zealots accompanied by the Monolith Bearer surrounded the Warcaster. A Reclaimer watched over the souls of the chosen. And at the Vice Scrutator's command were three massive Reckoner Warjacks looked over by the holy Choir of Menoth.


When the two armies came within view of each other, the Cygnar force was deployed with a unit of gunners at the base of each hill, the Stormblades on Striker's right and the Warjacks in the center. The Menoth forces arrayed a unit of Errants with the Seneschal on the right flank. The Zealots commanded the left flank and anchored with one Reckoner. In the ravine, on the left flank, Vindictus screened himself with two Reckoners and a unit of Errants.


The Stormblades advanced and the Cygnar Warjacks ran up the middle of the ravine. Stryker placed defensive buffs on the Gunners he could reach, arcane shield on the stormblades and advanced. The long gunners were blocked from drawing a line of fire past the center point of the hill. They advanced and Cygnar passed the turn.


Vindictus realized his best chance at ruining Stryker's day was to move aggressively forward and attempt to take control of the ruined tower as quickly as possible. The geography of the sides of the ravine are going to work to his advantage because they are going to eliminate the biggest advance of the Cygnar forces: ranged guns. The sides of the hill rise to such a height that falling from them would be very bad for the health of anything except a Zealot caught in the fervor of his faith.

At the base of the ravine, Vindictus calls on a nearby Zealot to die for the cause, and Sacrifices his soul to power the Reckoners. He casts True Path to give everyone near him extra legs to swarm the center of the field. The he advances to the back of his screening unit and calls upon his Feat to exact Penitence from the enemy's of Menoth.

The Choir sings a hymn to each Reckoner granting it Passage against non-magical ranged attacks. The Reckoner on the left flank runs forward to the summit, The Zealots chant a prayer against spells and run to join the Reckoner. Seeing a fearsome Menoth Warjack crest over the hill behind a screaming horde of Zealots must have sent chills down the spines of the Cygnar gunners waiting below.

On the right flank the Errants run forward and spread out, The Seneschal dashes along the edge of the ravine, angling towards the bridge. His holy mission is to survive long enough to reach the top of the haunted tower. His loyal Errants will buy him the time he needs with their lives, if need be.

Down in the ravine, the Errants around Vindictus advance to the center of the field and a few take snapshots at the opposing Stormblades. The Arcane Shield around the Stormblades fails against the Blessed crossbows of the Menite Exemplars and several perish. The Reckoners lumber along behind the Errants, threatening doom to anything they might reach.


On the Cygnar left flank, the gunners advance and try to clear out the Errants. Despite multiple shots from each, the front line holds fast, although some loyal souls sacrifice themselves out of the back ranks. The Seneschal remains unharmed. On the other flank, the gunners advance and lay down a covering fire of bullets, determined to hold back the inevitable zealot advance and Reckoner charge. Below, the Stormblades attempt to kill Errants, but once the threat of Penitence sinks in, their aggression ceases. Striker and his Warjacks advance diagonally across the field. The haunting force within the ruins will hurl any Warjack out of the circle and Cygnar elects not to enter it.


Vindictus has a commanding position on the field and the forces of Cygnar have fallen prey to their cautious instincts. The ruined tower is tall. It is so tall that the top of the tower is a completely different zone from the base. Vindictus grins in triumph and advances into the circle. On the right flank, the Seneschal runs forward and across the bridge, crossing into the top circle. The forces of Menoth dominate the ruined tower base and control the top for three control points and victory. (The picture below was taken at the end of the last turn.)



Thoughts on the battle: Ok, the scenario was only to three points. The game was over fast enough that I felt like trying a little storytime version of the battle report. After playing the scenario, if I saw anyone on the table, I recommended that they play to five. I am not sure why my opponent didn't contest the zone with something. His caster could not do it and his Warjack would get hurled out. I believe you had to pass a terror check to stay in the circle so there is a chance his Stormblades could break. Also, it was long enough ago that I don’t remember exactly what was in his army. With the deployment advantage of the Vindictus tier 4 and going second, I definitely had positional advantage. A well timed feat from Vindictus is a back-breaker against certain lists. I really liked this table, but I didn't play on it again. I felt like it might have been a bit too unfair for my list. I was gunning for points and this was the only Tier list I had which was fully painted. If I can remember any of the details for the other large handful of Vindictus games I played, expect to see more.

I really enjoy his tier list. Thanks for reading.

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