Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Warmachine Battle Report: Durgen Madhammer vs. Vice Scrutator Vindictus

Another night, another Colossal dropped in my face. Well, to be fair, my friend and I traded lists and played chicken before we pulled out our models. I was showing pKreoss and Vindictus. He was showing Durgan and Damiano. I figured if he dropped Durgan and the Earthbreaker, I might have a rough time with my Kreoss assassination list. If I had thought for a minute about the massive amount of Knockdown flying out of that list, I might have selected Kreoss because he had the Book with him. As it was, I went with my Missionaries of War, Tier Four Vindictus theme.

This game followed directly after my run in with Stryker3, so we kept the scenario on the table: Two Fronts. Time was going to be an issue and we both wanted more practice on the clock, so I pulled out my chess clock and allocated an hour to each of us.

I have a +1 on my initiative roll because of the theme force, won the roll, and selected second player and the same side I had just played. I did not want that Earthbreaker anywhere near the only spot of elevation on the table. I listen to podcasts, I know how badly that can go.

Here are the lists:

Durgen Madhammer – Rhulic Mercenary Warcaster
 - Earthbreaker
Harlan Versh
Herne and Jonne
Nyss max
Pressgangers x2 max
Rock bottom

Vice Scrutator Vindictus
- Reckoner
- Reckoner
- Reckoner
Choir of Menoth (4)
Holy Zealots (10) + Monolith Bearer
Exemplar Errants (10) + UA
Exemplar Errants (10) + UA


The Earthbreaker was predeployed right down the center. Two waves of pirates littered the center of the board. Harlan took one flank, Herne and Jonne took the other, and the backfield was littered with solos. I clumped my Zealots centrally with the Choir in back. The Reckoners advance deployed to the center, flanked by a unit of Errants on each side. Each unit had a Reclaimer tucked up behind it. Overall I was looking at a symmetrical deployment. Also … it is a lot of bodies to cram into my AD zone.


The lead Pirates get Primed and everything runs forward, spaced out like a player who knows how to minimize incidental casualties from three inch AOEs. Harlan moves forward enough that I think I can Assault him, even with stealth. The Earthbreaker Redlines forward and stops near the back edges of the zones.


Vindictus allocates 1 focus to each jack, casts Defender's Ward on the unit of Errants on the opposite side of the field from Harlan (as in no where near his crazy gun). Then he casts Sacrificial Lamb, advances and feats. The choir advances and puts Passage on the jacks. The right flank of errants deploy in what essentially looks like a line of dudes cheering on a marathon runner as he lumbers by. The right Reckoner then attempts to Assault Harlan and comes up waaaaay short. I was doing my initial thoughts on the turn while seated (and failed to judge the distance properly). However, it does spook Harlan. The Zealots pray no spells and run forward, staying within the feat range. The other Errants advance. And the other two Reckoners take shots at Pirates. Between both units of Errants and the two useful Reckoners, they kill a couple Nyss and a handful of pirates. A bunch of pirates make their tough checks and are knocked down. The Reclaimers tuck in behind.


With the Menites under feat protection, the Mercs spend this turn standing up, pushing in and jostling for position. Herne and Jonne come around the side of the burning house and gain the back edge of the zone. Harlan runs back to the fence for safety.


Well, the feat did what I needed it to do. It bought me a little more time to gain position and not have my ranks thinned by incredibly dangerous Primed pirates. I have fought against waves of Primed models before and I know I cannot let them get to me en masse or I am going to have a very bad day.

Vindictus upkeeps Defender's Ward and allocates a focus to each jack. Vindictus doesn't need to get any closer, so he casts Sacrificial Lamb and backs up. So far I have not needed True Path. The Pirates came to me and the layout of the scenario means the edges of the zones are close. I spend the turn trying to scalpel out Pirates without leaving too many of my troops dead. Most of the Errants on the right miss their ranged attacks because Nyss are tough to hit. A few die. The front unit of Pirates take a lot of heavy fire and when the smoke clears they are nearly wiped out. That's ok, because there is a second unit right behind them. A few of those guys get shot too.

The Zealots pray no spells, mini-feat, and run into the middle to jam. A few stay close to Vindictus for protection.


This was the feat turn for Durgen. That means good luck for me getting decent charges next turn (with my jacks). The Earthbreaker lobs a bunch of knockdown and some killing shots. The Nyss hammer on the Reckoner. Herne and Jonne launch a ton of deviating AOE's. Harlan tries to take some shots and loses his streak after the first. The second wave of Pirates get Primed and they hammer on one of the Reckoners. The Zealots cause a bunch of issues by gumming up the works in that beautifully frustrating way that they do. When the smoke clears, each of the Errant units are down a number of warriors and those souls have been shovelled off to the Reclaimers. A couple of the Reckoners are starting to get a bit creaky. One has a broken mace and the Reckoner on the far flank has seen better days. I think there was a triple six somewhere in there on a damage roll that really hurt.


The only only enemy models contesting the zones are Herne or Jonne (whichever one has the big gun), and some Nyss. Vindictus has a small control area, so Priority is not going to come into play. However, I see an opportunity to score multiple points. Vindictus upkeeps Defender's Ward and allocates a couple to one of the nearby Reckoners. The Choir activates and puts Passage on the jacks. I had waffled on opening up a charge or trample lane to Herne or Jonne, but instead I settled for staying the course and killing models. The center Reckoner had three primed Pirates right in its grill. I spent some time in the tank trying to figure out how to spring the Reckoner by only detonating the middle one. I settle for declaring a charge run with the left flank of Errants. They murder the remaining two Pirates from the first wave, Herne or Jonne (the big gun), and one of the other Primed Pirates. The explosion only kills the middle one, but that leaves one more Pirate jamming the Reckoners. One activates and hammers the Pirate which explodes and breaks his gun. The other Reckoner shoots at the enemy objective doing less damage than I would have liked. And that was after getting loaded up by a Reclaimer.

Vindictus activates and runs through the forest into the now cleared left zone. The other Errants start rolling sevens and eights like they are being handed out on street corners. The Nyss start dropping and suddenly the right zone is also clear. The Reclaimer on that side moves into the zone to control. Then the Zelots activate and declare a charge run. Three Zealots charge the Objective and the rest run. Two of them run out of formation and chase after Vindictus. One of them does an end around the forest and one pushes most of the way straight through. They made their command checks. The three who made charges on the Objective bring it down with charge damage rolls. Menoth dominates the Friendly Zone, controls the Enemy Zone, and eliminates the Enemy Objective. Three points!



The pressure is on now, and my friend remarks that he is staring at losing on scenario again. I am looking at the seven minutes on his clock and just over three minutes on my clock and wondering what the heck I am going to do for my last two points. Gorman tosses some corrosion to clear out the hero Zealots who defeated the auto-hit in melee Objective. Fun fact, he accidentally bounces corrosion on to the Earthbreaker.

The remains of the Nyss finish off the Reckoner although one of them dies to the Soul Storm whipping around the Reclaimer. Harlan moves into the edge of the zone as well and starts popping Errants, trying to reach the Reclaimer. An Errant dies, gets self-sacced thinking I can keep the Reclaimer out of LOS, but Harlan doesn't care and gets a shot on the Reclaimer anyway. Fortunately it misses. The Earthbreaker moves into the right zone, so getting points out of that is going to be impossible. The Earthbreaker fixes the Reclaimer issue in a permanent way.

On the other side, a pile of solos run into the left zone. The other half of Herne and Jonne, First Mate Hawk, and the Doogs. A couple Errants get scalpelled out. Durgen follows the Earthbreaker and my opponent passes turn. He has about two minutes left on his clock.



Time is of the essence. I throw some focus at one Reckoner, I activate the Choir and Battle. The Reclaimer dumps focus on the other Reckoner. The Reckoner with the working mace tramples towards the back of the zone, squishing the last Pirate on the way. He kills off the Doogs when he arrives. The Reckoner with the working gun Assaults Gorman and snuffs his candle. The right side of the board guns down Harlan. The Zealots activate and run. I move the Monolith Bearer first and cross the field. The two zealots out of formation move towards the Monolith Bearer but stop off near Vindictus. The Errants on the left cut down all of the remaining solos contesting the zone. Menoth dominates for 1. There are 51 seconds left on my clock.



Lord Rock Bottom moves to contest. The Earthbreaker runs across the field towards the left zone but can't get in. From the picture I am reminded that a mechanic has been hanging out behind the Earthbreaker all game fixing all the scratches and Redline damage. Reinholdt and Durgan remain in the right zone. My opponent passes turn with over a minute left on his clock.



Fifty-one seconds. Drop DW, No allocations, Advance the Errants. I spend about 15 seconds dinking around looking at the EarthBreaker and its melee range. I get four guys on Rock Bottom. Clock is at about 15. Roll to hit. Hit. Roll Damage. Tough Check. Rock Bottom dies. Activate Vindictus and end turn. Dominating for 1. BEEEEEEEEP. Apparently I had about two second left when I finished my turn. Whew.



Thoughts about the match:

Whew. That was tight. We wasted a bunch of time here and there. I should remember how precious each of those seconds can be at the end. I did almost nothing on my final turn and it still took me forty-nine seconds to finish. This is not the first time I have faced the Earthbreaker. My strategy is to avoid it, if I can. God help me if someone drops two on me. Or the dreaded three Earthbreaker list? Good night. I think it might be the best Colossal in the game.

I have the benefit of having played this list a ton this year. I played sixteen games with this list at TempleCon (although using a second Reclaimer vs. a Seneschal is new). And I have played it more since. I love Vindictus. This game came down to recognizing the importance of chewing through the Primed models as quickly as possible and doing everything I could to prevent them from jamming me. I should have staggered my models more. Once again the Zealots come through with amazing jamming. And it sure feels good to score some control points.

Thanks for reading!

Warmachine Battle Report: Servath Reznik, Wrath of Ages vs. Lord General Coleman Stryker

I lined up across from a Cygnar player at a FLGS recently. He was excited about his finely painted Stryker3, I was excited that my USPS tracking notification indicated my Reznik2 was waiting on my front porch. This was the perfect time to proxy. Plus, I needed a break from tournament practice.

The scenario was Two Fronts. There was a hilly obstruction (part of it was elevation) and a forest on one side of the field. On the other side, a house was burning to the ground and a fence littered up a lane. Menoth wins initiative and elects to go first. Cygnar selects the side with the burning house and fence.


Servath Reznik, Wrath of Ages - Protectorate Epic Cavalry Battle Engine Warcaster
- Hierophant
- Reckoner
Avatar of Menoth
Gastone Crosse
- Vanguard
Nicia, Tear of Vengance
Vassal of Menoth
Choir of Menoth (4)
Holy Zealots (10)
- Monolith Bearer
Horgenhold Forge Guard (10)
- Attendant Priest

Lord General Coleman Stryker - Cygnar Epic Cavalry Warcaster
- Stormwall
- Ol' Rowdy
Two units of Storm Lancers (heavy cav)
Major Katherine Laddermore (Dragoon solo)
Stormblade Captain (WM solo)


I drop Reznik dead center. My opponent drops the Stormwall directly across from him.

I am not too concerned with the forest because of the attendant priest, so I line the dwarves up right behind it. Gastone and the Vanguard are going to make for the hill to get some elevation and boosted defenses. The Reckoner, the Avatar, and Reznik are going to push straight up the center with Zealots and support in tow.

My opponent has a unit of Lancers on each flank and Stryker is flanked by the Stormwall and Rowdy. Tucked up in back are the Stormblade Captain and Dragoon.


The Hammer Dwarves get pathfinder and run into the forest. Nicia stays tucked up on the forest edge. Gastone forgets to allocate so he casts Moving Shadows and advances. The Vanguard advances. Everything advances, including Reznik. The Zealots run, but not the full distance, making sure to stay out of range of the Stormwall's guns. Zealots are praying no spells, the Choir is chanting no non-magical ranged attacks. The Vassal enlivens the Reckoner. Reznik puts up Lamentation and advances.


Everything comes rumbling and galloping forward. The Lancers come around the burning house (which they probably lit on fire in the first place) and the other unit lines up a pretty charge for next round on the other flank. The Stormwall is coming right down the center of the field.


The Reckoner receives some focus, the Avatar rolls plenty. Gastone remembers to hand some out. Reznik upkeeps Lamentation and Gastone upkeeps Moving Shadows. The Hammer Dwarves get Pathfinder again and run, again. They tighten up into a scattered line of ARM 18 dudes. Nicia reverses course and sprints through the forest to give herself a little cover from the approaching Lancers. The Choir advance and put Passage up on the jacks. The Zealots pray no spells, mini-feat, and run run run to jam up the board. The Avatar raises gaze and follows the Zealots.

Reznik tucks in behind all of that after casting Death March on the Dwarves. The Reckoner advances and shoots the Stormwall for laughs, scratching some paint. The Vassal advances and puts Enliven on the Avatar. The Vanguard climbs the rock and does not have range on anything. Gastone hides below, out of sight. At this point I am trying to get whatever I can of the enemy closer to have an ok feat turn, even though I know this isn't the greatest pile of feat turn targets. I am trying to keep myself screened and protected and trying to set up a favorable piece trade.


The effects of Lamentation are annoying my opponent. He upkeeps Escort. The left flank Lancers slice into the Dwarves, and between impact attacks and electro-horsehockey-leaps manage to kill five of them. Rowdy charges in and pounds the rest onto the ground, denying me Vengeance. Then proceeds to rolls so poorly on damage that he fails to kill any others. The Stormwall drops a pod and fails to hit anything with its guns. It does place some covering fire templates to protect one flank. The right flank Lancers charge the Vanguard and manage to knock out its Cortex.


I read Iron Aggression incorrectly and believe it will give me boosted attack and damage rolls. I feel like even with only three focus I can one round the Stormwall. All spells are upkept. Reznik puts some focus on the Reckoner. Reznik activates and declares a ride by attack. He advances, feats, murders a Lancer, explodes a second Lancer and casts Iron Aggression on the Avatar. The Zealots make a hole for the Avatar and a few of them are able to throw some bombs. The Dragoon is barely scratched, but the Stormblade Captain is annihilated.

The Vanguard murders the remaining Lancer. The Choir advance and Battle both jacks. The Vassal decides to give the Avatar a little backup by advancing and casting Enliven. This turns out to be pretty important because then the Avatar activates and charges the Stormwall. At this point I realize my mistake, that Iron Agression is only a free charge and boosted melee attack rolls. Everyone I relate this goof up to has had the same reaction: "That would be bonkers". I guess I am a little used to bonkers.

The Avatar has two initials and three buys. I roll one good damage roll, two sub-standard, and three average. The Stormwall is down to about twenty-ish boxes when the Avatar stops swinging and I am a little sad for him (the Avatar, not the Stormwall). I scan the rest of the table looking for more ways to scratch the Stormwall. The Dwarves have to hammer on Rowdy, but they roll complete crap for damage, denting and scratching the paint, but leaving him fully armed and operational. (so many puns in that sentence)

The Reckoner has some focus, he advances and shoots the Stormwall, boosting damage and blasting another solid chunk of it away. Gastone activates, casts Fire Group, advances up onto the hill and manages to juuuuuuuust plink off the SuperStructure of the Stormwall. Suddenly the odds of getting penned in by a stormpod have gone down considerably. There is hope yet!

Nicia murders a Lancer, misses the Quick Work shot and backs up again. I pass turn hoping to be able to survive the next turn with some of my pieces intact. At this point I have begun ignoring the other zone. My opponent does not appear to be interested in trying to score points in it. Overall the feat turn was not very effective, but against this army, I never expected it to do much work. However, the DEF debuff was very useful.


I missed a picture, but that is because I was seriously preoccupied. Lamentation is still doing what it needs to do. I am not sure if he upkept Escort or not, but he definitely puts Fury on the Stormwall, then he feats. Without access to a lightning pod, my opponent decides to use the Dragoon to pen the Avatar. The Dragoon rides past the Avatar and gets dismounted in one shot from the free strike. There is not a good place where the dismount can go to fully prevent the Enliven. The Stormwall activates and in one shot hits the Avatar for something like sixteen points of damage. The entire right side of the Avatar is a crumped mess, but he still has his shield and movement. It limps away from the collosal.

The Lancers on the right are gummed up dealing with Zealots. Rowdy considers going after the Avatar but doesn't want to risk the rain of free strikes that would involve. The Lancers on the left charge through and get one on the Avatar and several on the Dwarves. They murder the rest of the Dwarves and free Rowdy up. The Lancer on the Avatar hits it with the mount and the lance and takes it down to one box. Rowdy activates, moves over, and finishes the Avatar. At least it took his entire army of activations to get the model.

Interestingly to me, all he has in the zone is the damaged Stormwall and the dismounted Dragoon. If I figure out a way to take down the Stormwall, I can probably score a point next turn.


The Stormwall has somewhere between twelve and sixteen boxes left. My Reckoner is engaged by Rowdy and one Lancer. Rowdy is dented up, but not very much. The Zealots are mostly dead from electro-leaps the turn before. I have Gastone, but the Vanguard has no Cortex. Moving Reznik up the field is a bad idea, as Stryker is just camping piles of focus, waiting for a chance to start swinging.

Reznik upkeeps Lamentation and allocates three focus to the Reckoner. The Choir activates and puts Battle on the Reckoner. The Reckoner activates and pounds Rowdy into a wrecked pile of scrap. Turns out four attacks at dice+1 can get things done.

The Vanguard activates and advances towards the Stormwall. It lands a shot and rolls well on damage, taking a chunk out of it. Gastone activates and should have advanced but didn't so he has to cast Fire Group again. With two focus, he takes his initial and boosts the damage blasting another excellent chunk out of the Stormwall. He buys an attack, hits, and rolls enough to put the Stormwall at two boxes.

Two boxes.


But wait.

Enter the Vassal of Menoth.

The Vassal steps up, mumbles something through the iron mask we keep locked over his heathen face, and drops an Arcane Bolt into the Stormwall for enough to destroy it.

I look at the table and realize I can't score if that Dragoon lives. I activate Reznik and declare a ride-by-attack. Reznik squeezes forward as far as he can behind the Vanguard and Vassal and manages to have reach on the Dragoon. SMACK. Dead Dragoon. Reznik backs off. Nicia martyrs herself for the cause by jamming two Lancers and I score my first control point in what feels like months.



With both the Collosal and Rowdy out of the picture, the threat of the Reckoner is becoming a real thing. Stryker runs for the cover of the wreck marker. The Lancers on the right murder the remaining Zealots and hammer the back of the Vanguard but fail to destroy it. The Lancers on the left declare a charge run. The Lancer on the Reckoner does a screwing sideways charge, while the other two have to settle for ending Nicia. The Reckoner loses his gun, which was probably the best outcome my opponent could have achieved for that activation. The Lancers reform to press in on the Reckoner. The zone is contested and no points are scored.



Reznik keeps Lamentation going because why stop a good thing. He allocates a full load of focus to the Reckoner. The Choir steps up and Battles the Reckoner. The Reckoner shifts to its left and goes Pow, Pow, Pow with the Consecrator to clear the Lancers off the table and avenge Nicia. Reznik declares a ride-by-attack, advances, murders a Lancer, and advances to the rear. The Vanguard tries to shoot the remaining Lancers dead, but Gastone has to step in and finish him. The Zone is uncontested (poor Stryker) and Menoth scores another point.



With no models except Stryker and no way to contest, all my opponent can do is try to force me into an engagement. Stryker advances on the Vanguard but whiffs the attack, buys, hits, and whiffs on the damage. He decides to camp his remaining focus.



I am not too keen on having a full loaded warcaster with nothing to lose within melee distance of my caster. I need two points to close out the game which means I need to dominate the zone. Unfortunately, the Enemy Objective has priority which means it has to go. Oddly enough, it doesn't occur to me ... and did not occur to me until right now (as I am writing this) that I will go to four points if I kill the objective and therefore do not need to dominate at all. Except now it also occurs to me that I can't win without two points and I can't score more than one point unless that objective goes ... so I am right for the incorrect reasons! Summon the Choir!

Reznik drops Lamentation, loads the Reckoner and advances into the zone, the Choir Battles the Reckoner, the Reckoner charges the Objective. I deal nine damage on the first hit and ten damage on the second hit.

Reznik dominates the zone and Menoth scores enough to win.



Thoughts about the matchup:

The composition of my opponent's army was never going to give me a good feat turn. I am not sold on Hammer Dwarves with Reznik. They are probably headed back over to Vindictus where they shine like diamonds. Nicia and Reznik feel good together. And I need to remember that Iron Aggression isn't boosted damage rolls. Oh, that's right, on the last turn, Reznik dropped IA on the Reckoner for the free charge. The Assault failed to do damage and I again realized I had IA wrong in my head. Oh well, free charges are still great.

I am feeling the pain of no upkeep removal. Lamentation was a workhorse, but I might need to get Eiyrss into this to protect against Crippling Grasp and Parasite (there is a lot of Cryx action in my meta).

As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Warmachine Battle Report: High Exemplar Kreoss vs. Vladmir Tzepesci, The Dark Champion

I have tossed around a few casters lately trying to lock in on a pairing I like for an upcoming tournament. After a frustrating week forgetting everything I learned while playing Harbinger last winter, I turned to Kreoss1 for comfort. I had a nasty little 35 point assassination list kicking around, however when I move to 50 points, I usually build from the ground up. Keeping some of the flavor and adding in a few new twists (for me), resulted in this Kreoss1 list:

High Exemplar Kreoss
    - Reckoner
Avatar of Menoth
Initiate Tristan Durant
    - Redeemer
The Covenant of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Taryn di la Rovissi, Llaelese Gun Mage
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Choir of Menoth (4)
Holy Zealots (6) + UA
Temple Flameguard (10) + UA

Last night I went toe to toe with a friend playing Khador and Vlad2.

Vladmir Tzepesci, The Dark Champion
    - Drago
Iron Fang Kovnik
Kovnik Jozeph Gregorovich
Kovnik Andrei Malakov
    - Behemoth
Iron Fang Pikemen (10)
    - Black Dragon UA
Kayazy Eliminators
Winterguard Rifle Corps (10)
Greylord Outriders (3)

At the outset I mistook the WGRC for Widowmakers and I forgot to ask a few key questions that normally float up when I drop Kreoss1. Chief among them: "Are any of your models steady or immune to knock-down". Good old Iron Fang Kovnik … that will come into play later. On my side of the field my goals were to keep myself from throwing all my models up field and losing them because of unchecked aggression. I was also determined to hold the Avatar back and make him a mid to late game piece.

The scenario was Incoming, which meant that the possibility to score defensively was present. There were forests on one side of the field and linear obstacles on the other. That meant one player would have a forest near their friendly scoring zone and one player would have a forest near their enemy scoring zone.

Menoth won initiative and elected to go second and selected the side of the board with the forest near the enemy scoring zone. My thoughts around this were a desire to have the first opportunity to score and I wanted the forest nearer to my safer scoring opportunity.


The presence of Rhupert meant I wasn't too concerned about the linear obstacle. I wanted to park Tristan behind the forest and park the Book behind the objective. Hopefully the Book would get some screening, depending on how my opponent responded. As for matchups, the Reckoner and Zealots were staring across the field at the Behemoth flanked by the IFP in the center and the WGRC on the TFG flank. I felt like the TFG could weather the storm of sniping bullets (recall that I thought they were Widowmakers) while closing, supported by some downtown rocketfire via the Redeemer. The scenario lacked killbox, so Kreoss was planning on hanging way back and not rushing into anything.


The WGRC advance up to his linear obstacle and checkerboard a bit. The IFP get shield march orders and advance eight inches into the center of the field in three penny packets. The Behemoth advances. The Outriders advance, the Eliminators run, Drago advances.


Four focus to the Avatar, the Redeemer is allocated 2, the Reckoner is allocated 1. Tristan casts Fortify on the Redeemer and advances behind the forest. The choir squeezes forward and puts no spells on the Jacks. The Redeemer advances and manages to drift a deviation onto the WGRC, taking one out. The Book advances and chants no spells. The Avatar tucks up behind the Redeemer. The Vassal enlivens the Redeemer. The Zealots advance praying no spells. I had done the math on the range of the Khador guns and felt I could place myself in a position where he would have to advance to get range. I was fine pulling him out of hiding and was willing to sacrifice a few Zealots for the cause. I didn't minifeat because I wanted to hold on to it for one more turn. What I failed to do was completely screen the Book. I should have focused on that.

The TFG shield wall and advance to a similarly enticing but mostly safe position. I wasn't too concerned about blast damage drifts from the Behemoth, because Kreoss activated and put Defender's Ward on the TFG. They are now sitting at 15/19 while also sitting behind a wall. Rhupert puts Tough on them just in case. Eiryss freaks out about the Eliminators (it is right there in the name!) and runs to the other side of the field. Sadly, my model placement was terrible and I put her within five inches of the Reckoner. Taryn runs center to hide in the back. The Reckoner advances but has no targets in range.


The Outriders advance and attempt to cast some sprays but the Book suppresses the magic. Frustrated they light cav move back to safety. The WGRC advance over the linear obstacle and spread out. Several of them take shots at the lead Zealots, but most lack the range. A couple hit and two of the Zealots get potted. The Behemoth advances up the field and drifts a shot onto the book for a point and kills a Zealot. The second shot evaporates another Zealot. Drago advances. The IFP shield march up the field in three penny packets. The Eliminators run to the edge of the forest across from Tristan. Of the min unit of Zealots, the leader, a grunt, and the Monolith Bearer remain. Such is their lot in life.


It doesn't look safe to try to start scoring this turn, so I plan on continuing with my battle plan - ease into the engagement, soften the enemy with guns and bog him down with a tarpit. Also, I need to be careful of a potential charging Behemoth. The Reckoner can't get any focus (thanks Eiryss), Tristan gives the Redeemer a full load, and the Avatar rolls two focus. Rhupert gives the TFG pathfinder, the TFG minifeat and charge/run. One TFG makes charge distance on a WGRC (now revealed as their true selves). The Choir gives the jacks Hymn of Battle. The Book chants no spells. The Redeemer attempts to blast the Outriders and between a pair of boosted shots, manages to do 2 points of damage to one of them.

The Avatar raises Gaze and runs (not very far) to a more potentially advantageous position. Tristan runs away from the threat of the Eliminators (it's right there in the name!). I am still trying to draw my opponent forward into my feat. I am prepared to let him start scoring if he wants to bring Vlad forward to his friendly zone. The Book is frustrating the Outriders. Lamentation has been up since the first turn but hasn't played a role yet. Eiryss and Taryn reposition, getting ready for having range next turn. The Reckoner scratches the paint on the Behemoth with a Condemner shot (crits and lights him on fire!). And the Vassal enlivens the Avatar just in case. The TFG are currently 15/19. The Zealots mini-feat, pray no spells and run forward.


Fire goes out on the Behemoth. The Outriders attempt to spray, but two of them can't get a position outside of the Book range and still have good angles. One sprays (and kills) an IFP in the back to also clip and kill a Zealot. The WGRC, the Behemoth, and the IFP all attempt to kill TFG but have limited success (1 dies between all of the activations). Drago moves up preparing to join the fray, he also toes into the zone to deny me an easier clear. The Eliminators run around the forest and one gets all up in my backfield. The other engages the Redeemer.


This is the turn where I would like to feat. In my head, I see most of the board getting knocked down and then a liberal application of continuous fire into incredibly high armor troops, plus a chunk of damage into the enemy jacks. … It doesn't go down exactly like that … that damn Iron Fang Kovnik. The Avatar rolls three focus, Tristan allocates three to the Redeemer. Eiryss is five and a half inches away from the Reckoner, so the Reckoner gets two focus.  Kreoss opens up by moving out from around the Reckoner and feating. At this point I discover that the middle of the board doesn't care. They don't care at all. I catch both jacks, and some of the WGRC. Rhupert advances and puts +1 DEF on the TFG. The TFG give a shield wall order. Two of them advance and murder Kovnik Joe, several of them go back to back and kill a few WGRC. The rest press the IFP and light three of them on fire. Taryn drops some Iron Rot into the Behemoth, and Eiryss disrupts it.

The Choir advances and battle the Redeemer and the Reckoner, the other two choir murder both Eliminators (rolled 5-6 and 6-6 on damage!). The Reckoner assault charges the Behemoth (stopping when it hit Taryn) … I pick up my dice and say "Snakes … no I mean NOT Snakes" … and roll snakes. I should have put three on him and boosted to hit. Oh well. Let's hope that doesn't come back to haunt me because I have intentionally put him right next to Eiryss again. Enjoy that camp, Kreoss! The Avatar raises Gaze and runs through the forest. The Book slides up and says no spells. The Redeemer advances and launches a barrage of rockets into Drago. After several attacks, both Drago's arms are broken. And after the Vassal says "Do it again!", his paint is severely scratched. Overall, it wasn't the back breaking feat turn I wanted, but it was the feat turn I got. With Gaze up and the Book saying no spells, and the Behemoth disrupted, my opponent is going to have fewer options than he would like. The TFG are currently 16/19.


This is the turn where my opponent forgets to feat until he is well past Vlad's activation. We don't rewind because I didn't rewind my feat screw up and we see what happens. Drago shakes after allocation. Two of the three IFP die to fire. The Outriders juggle around and stick one of their number right in front of the Avatar, then another hits that one with a nasty little spell that says any enemy model ending an activation within two inches is stationary for one round. Not great if the Avatar gets caught in it. The positioning also frees up some of the IFP from the Gaze. Vlad activates and drops something boosty on to Drago. Drago charges the Redeemer and after hitting with both attacks and a Chain Attack: Bloodbath, manages to knock out the right arm (the mace).

A pair of IFP are able to peel away from the Gaze to close on the Redeemer. One hits and drops two more points towards his cortex. The ARM 19 from Fortify is working pretty great. The rest of the IFP attempt to kill some TFG. They manage to kill one. One of them also kills the last Zealot (who forgot to activate last turn). The Behemoth sacks his movement to stand and launches two bombards at Taryn. One drifts onto Eiryss for a point and one goes off into no man's land. Malakov retreats and shoots a TFG dead. The WGRC fail to kill any TFG.

TURN 4 MENOTH (picture missing):

We are running a lot long at this point and I forgot to take a picture. The Redeemer gets a full load from Tristan. The Reckoner is being interfered with by Eiryss. The Avatar rolls two focus. Not great. The Choir manages to get battle onto all of the jacks. I entertain a few ideas of shooting Drago with Taryn, but in order to damage him, she needs to use Iron Rot, which means she will most likely shoot the Redeemer in the back. Instead, the Redeemer (with a broken mace) begins hammering on Drago. He has an initial and three focus. I need a four or better on one die to hit and I am at dice minus three on the damage. Drago has eight boxes left.

I roll straight on the initial and hit. I boost damage and deal 5 points of damage. I buy and roll straight again, hitting! I boost the damage (rolling two dice), needing fives to kill … and roll snakes! Not good! I scan my board for solutions. The Vassal! He activates, and sneaks his way forward. The Avatar gets an Ancillary Attack and hammers Drago in the back for allllll the damage. Thinking about it now, I probably should have opened with that and then used my rockets for great justice.

The Book activates and moves into the forest and says no knockdown (or stationary). Just. In. Case something goes wrong with the Avatar. The Avatar activates, sidles around the Outrider, smashes it into gore with his Shield and then kills a second with his sword (lighting the third on fire with flame burst). Then he raises the Gaze of Menoth and stays parked in the zone.

Rhupert gives the TFG +1 DEF again and the TFG get a shield wall order. I forget to actually make attacks with half of them (it is getting late), but the ones in front of the IFP toss around a little more fire. Taryn shoots an IFP engaging the Redeemer with Black Penny and Iron Rots the Behemoth. Eiryss advances into the zone and disrupts the Behemoth again. I would have like to be able to clear the IFP and potentially move Kreoss toward the zone to start scoring, but I miss a bunch and that is a bad idea anyway. The Reckoner advances forward and smashes the remaining IFP engaging the Redeemer. Tristan runs back behind his forest. Kreoss say peace! and heads over behind a linear obstacle.

At this point, I feel like I have accomplished what I wanted with the Avatar. I made it to the late game with him completely intact. He is being offered up if my opponent wants to commit his warcaster to him, and he is still having a huge effect on the table because of Gaze. He has made his points back (if you count kill stealing Drago from the Redeemer). Tristan is safe behind a forest. And my Reckoner and Redeemer have spent the game shooting guns (for the most part). My tarpit has been amazing. The TFG are again 16/19. Dirge of Mists + Defender's Ward + Shield Wall is sick. After the game my opponent remarked that they were both "high defense and high armor" and that it was incredibly frustrating to fight them. Way to go TFG!

With dwindling options and thinning ranks, my opponent tries to equalize on the piece trade. The Outrider lives through the fire and tries to spray the Vassal. The Vassal was base to base with the Redeemer and was sitting at 15/15. The spray missed. Then Vlad activates and feats. He makes four super soliders: the IF Kovnik, and three IFP. Vlad charges the Avatar, but without being a weapon master, the armor was just too high to cut through cleanly. The Kovnik charges in and adds his damage to the mix, but when the dust settles, the Avatar had 8 boxes left, a fully working shield, and a fully armed and operational sword arm. The IFP can't peel away from the TFG, and end up killing one more of them. The Behemoth misses both bombards. The WGRC succeed in shooting the TFG standard bearer. And I think Malakov murders one more TFG. At that point he is out of models and passes turn.

The Reckoner receives three focus, the Redeemer gets three, the Avatar rolls three. The Choir Battles all three jacks. The Avatar activates and is able to kill Vlad, although it comes down to just barely connecting on the last swing. Vlad's defense starts jumping as you damage him past certain thresholds, and I had completely forgotten about that.



It was a long slog. We timed ourselves, but it was a warm summer night at a friend's house surrounded by other friends playing and chatting. We both went over time, but we needed the practice and wanted to play the game all the way through, regardless of what the clock said. We each made errors of position. I should have screened the Book better and should have realized that the IFP were not going to be bothered by my feat. And Eiryss should watch where she is going. My opponent should have kept the Behemoth further back and lobbed shots all game. I also made some jerk moves, such as lighting his unit leader on fire such that when he died and a grunt was promoted on my opponent's turn, that new leader did not get an attack. Awareness of the Book and Awareness of the Kovnik were both points we could have improved upon. Overall I felt like the TFG were troopers in this match and made me extremely proud of how well they functioned as a tarpit. I was pleased that my goals surrounding the Avatar were realized. And for once I didn't just throw my models as far forward and as fast as possible. My models and game play frustrated the hell out of my opponent. Fortunately I have known him for 20 years and we remain good friends. But if I keep jamming the Book down his throat … we'll see just how far friendship can be stretched.

As always, thank you for reading!

About Me

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Geek - Gamer - Librarian - Writer. Only awesome at one of those things at a time, unfortunately.

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.