Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Warmachine Battle Report: Intercessor Kreoss vs. Lord Arcanist Ossyan

Recently several members of my local meta had a holiday and chose to spend it at one of our FLGSs rolling dice and pushing little figures across a table. This game was a rematch of sorts with my recent Slow Burn opponent, FatValKilmer. He was practicing his Retribution for TempleCon and I was trying to get better at my worst matchup. Also, it gave me a chance to get another game in with my 2015 Caster focus: Intercessor Kreoss. The scenario was Recon which feels like a giant trap. Scoring is probably going to be after attrition.


Intercessor Kreoss
- Hierophant
- Reckoner
- Templar
- Vanquisher
Vassal of Menoth
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Exemplar Vengers (max)
Temple Flameguard (max) + UA
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Choir of Menoth (min)

Objective: Fuel Cache (because free charges means focus efficiency which is very important to Kreoss3)

Lord Arcanist Ossyan
- Banshee
Houseguard Thane
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Houseguard Riflemen
Rifleman Officer and Standard
Mage Hunter Strike Force (min)
- Strike Force Commander
Stormfall Archers
Stormfall Archers
Houseguard Halberdiers
- Halberdier Officer and Standard

Objective: Arcane Wonder?


I don't want to cede the hill and I thought the elevation might help the Vengers so they line up on the side with the hill. Everything else gears up for a run straight up the center. At this point I start thinking about the opportunity cost of going first and the lack of chance to counter deploy. There is no Killbox, so Kreoss is going to hang out near that linear obstacle all game. Some of FVK's stuff ignores cover and some doesn't.


I have a hard time determining which of my opponent's models are which, but I know the Halberdiers are out front. The MHSF is going to head straight for the fence in front of them (a tactic cleverly revealed when FatValkilmer accidentally advanced deployed them directly behind the wall, aka about 22" up the table). I plan on ignoring that side of the board unless or until Lady Aiyana gives them magical guns. For the moment, she is on the opposite flank. I think in the future FatValKilmer is going to realize he needs to park Lady Aiyana right behind his advance deploy guns.


My goal this game is to play faster than the last time I faced Ossyan. Kreoss hands out a focus to his jacks. The TFG advance and Shield Wall. Rhupert gives them Dirge of Mists. The Vengers run forward aggressively, and a few gain the hill. Aiyana & Holt swing out behind the Vengers. All the Jacks run forward and the Vassal practices Enlivening the Vanquisher. The Choir advances and sings Passage - my primary mode of defense against the Retribution guns. Kreoss puts Holy Ward on the TFG and puts Warpath on himself. Holy Warded, Dirge of Misted Temple Flameguard are my new jam (in both senses of the word). They are irritating to remove and if you leave them alone, they are going to clog up everything all game.


As expected the MHSF gains the fence. The Halberdiers get Quicken and advance in Shield Wall. Everything else either runs or advances into a favorable position. Several of the Riflemen drop a hammer on the lead Venger, triggering Battle Driven.


Kreoss upkeeps Holy Ward and Warpath. Aiyana Kisses the Halberdiers and Holt shoots at a few. I am tempted to try adding an Attendant Priest into the A&H pair because it seems like Holt is always trying to trigger Warpath. The Vengers charge/run. Reflecting on my Venger activations, FVK and I both think I kind of wasted them. Yeah, I threw them into his face and made him have to clear them out, but they are not supposed to be a lead screen. They are supposed to be the hammer that rockets into my opponent's ranks after the initial engagement. I also misjudged the distance and didn't really smash into the Halberdiers like I wanted. Several are killed and I take my Warpath triggers on the Vanquisher and Templar. The TFG minifeat and run because I need to keep the remaining Halberdiers contained. They are the time-sink garbage chaff of the list and I have to limit the time I use up dealing with them. The warjacks get Passaged by the Choir and advance. The Vanquisher drifts fire onto the UA for the Halberdiers but the blast damage fails to kill. Rhupert plays another dirge and the Vassal puts Enliven on the Vanquisher.


Well, FatValKilmer counter attacks and wipes out the remaining four Vengers, half the TFG, and Aiyana. The Halberdiers are split oh so carefully such that the five remaining grunts are all in formation with the Officer standing in the center of the zone. The Banshee makes an appearance and I learn that I can't receive orders within 5" of him. This match is heading downhill and I am again burning too much clock.


Feat turn. Kreoss drops all his upkeeps because it is time to feat. He loads up the Templar and holds on to a few focus for a Crevasse. I scheme and plot and position and burn clock by spending more activations than I wanted taking Banshee off the table. Because of activation orders and things that need to happen, Kreoss declares a Ride by Attack, advances, and feats. The TFG get Holy Ward, the Templar gets Ignite, Kreoss takes Warpath, and Death Sentence is attempted on the Halberdiers but fails to land. Kreoss hits the Halbardier Officer with a Crevasse and the Templar takes a pair of free strikes from the Warpath. I advance the TFG out of the way of the eventual charge lane and flail pathetically at the Objective. Then FatValkilmer gets a surprise as I take my free charge from my Objective. With the math suddenly changed, the Templar has little trouble smashing the Banshee into an almost wreck. Unfortunately, I only get one attack (my Shield) on the Objective and I fail to finish it off (thanks TFG!). The Vanquisher advances to do what he can, misses and it deviates onto a Rifleman. Holt has to finish the Banshee and once again, I fail to get a Warpath trigger (thanks Holt!). The Reckoner is thoroughly stuck flailing at in formation Halberdiers. Without Battle my one attack whiffs. Rhupert advances and puts Tough on Holt. I still feel ok with my board position, but I have burned up most of my clock by this point … again … sigh.


Feat turn. Under feat and without too much trouble, Lady Aiyana's magic and Ossyan himself take the Templar off the table. The Vanquisher was too far upfield for an Enliven because at least I derped that part of my turn well and good. So the hammer comes down on the Vanquisher. Fortunately, Vanquishers don't really care if they have a broken gun. Sadly, two of the Choir are killed. Holt get's dropped (even with a tough check from Rhupert!). All the TFG except Flag Bearer killed. I still have a Reckoner, but the writing is on the wall.


Somehow I have burned all my clock again. I have about 3 or 4 minutes. I need to free up my Choir. I move the TFG and line up a Crevasse to spray down the Halberdiers tieing up the Reckoner and Choir. One dies, the Reckoner kills the other, but the last one is still holding me back. Rhupert and the other Choir screen the Vassal who tries to make it to the Vanquisher (in my haste I forgot about Warpath). The Vassal doesn't make distance. I try my Vanquisher shot, except I am under feat. I clock. My opponent wants to see if his list could actually finish the game, so we turn off the clocks and roll back a bunch of my turn (eliminating the frantic and mostly dumb things I did trying for a low percentage kill).

We allow the Warpath, back the Vanquisher up and get the Enliven from the Vassal. We both agree all my attempts to free the Choir were things I would normally try to do, so I activate the Vanquisher and advance and shoot. We keep the same die roll deviation. I catch Ossyan on fire. Choir drops Passage on the Reckoner. Annoyed that clock continues to be my biggest enemy, I pass the turn.


After all that I forget about Enliven and the Vanquisher gets hammered into mostly scrap. There is a difference between not caring about a broken gun, and having two boxes while being engaged and debuffed. The Halberdiers kill the Vassal and the rest of the Choir.  FatValkilmer advances Eiryss and wants to shoot the Reckoner but forgets about Passage. However, Eiryss is threatening to disrupt the Reckoner for the rest of the game because I am out of songs. He also eliminates the Objective, scores a point, and removes my free charge.


TURN 5 (MENOTH) (no picture)

Things are going to be even more difficult for me if the Reckoner gets Disrupted for the rest of the game. I am annoyed that I forgot Enliven. Having a second heavy would be pretty great. I clear out some stuff and kill some stuff and get a charge on Eiryss, killing her. Rhupert fails to kill the Halberdier in front of him again. Kreoss repositions behind the Reckoner and camps five.



My opponent clears the Vanquisher out of the zone and scores another point. He also manages to remove the Reckoner after sacrificing everything surrounding it to free strikes to get it out of melee. We forget to put a wreck marker on the table.



The Hierophant runs to contest the zone. Rhupert fails to kill the Halberdier. Kreoss full camps and runs down the field.


TURN 6 (RETRIBUTION) (no picture)

Hierophant is killed. Ossyan upkeeps Admonition and runs into the zone onto a few wreck markers. (Banshee and Templar). Retribution dominates the zone for two more points.



I am able to Force Hammer Ossyan to the ground, but not out of the zone. I cannot reach him to kill. I don't even think I tried to move Rhupert to contest. We call it a game.



Thoughts on the game:

I have a real problem that has started to rear its head more and more lately. I can't manage my clock. I looked back through the stats on my games in my local meta, and a large chunk of them are death by clock. It is becoming enough of an issue that angling for death by clock is now an excellent and viable strategy for my friends when they play me. As in consistently viable and always on the table. I feel like I make good choices with my activations, but I execute them slowly. I do not sit in the tank at the top of my turn for very long. I think about my turn during my opponent's turn. I'm not exactly sure how to improve this portion of my game. Suggestions are welcome.

For this game, specifically, I did end up having a bit of a challenge managing my feat turn. Part of that was trying to unstick my Templar to charge the Banshee. I definitely tossed my Vengers away. In my head, I thought I would be able to smash into his Riflemen and that maybe the hill would help protect me for the turn I needed to get their. In reality the distance was too far and the guns just advanced onto the hill and shot me down. About the only thing I felt I did right was to deny him easy Jack Hunter kills with Passage. Next time, however, I expect Aiyanna to camp next to the MHSF.

All in all, Ossyan and Retribution remain my Kryptonite. To date, I think my only victory has been a Vyros2 vs Kreoss2 fight that I won on scenario by jamming Imperitus away from my scoring zone.

Better luck next time, I suppose. Although I am serious about suggestions for improving my use of the clock.

Warcaster Focus take-aways: This list used the three jack approach, dropping the Vessel and trying to push more Warpath options. Kreoss3 wants to take everything, and whenever I start putting together a list, it floats up to 70 points before I can focus. What I have found so far: Temple Flameguard are an amazing screen when properly supported. Aiyana and Holt get work done and help take heavies off the table, but lack of Warpath triggers hurts. Ignited Templars are incredible, even when you can't put Battle on them.

Thanks for reading!

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