Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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!

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