Thursday, January 8, 2015

Warmachine Battle Report: Kommander Sorscha vs. Intercessor Kreoss

Kommander Sorscha vs. Intercessor Kreoss in … Zepply and Zemand

CommanderTso and I met up for a friendly game at his kitchen table. The scenario for the evening was going to be Incursion, but given the width of the table and the fact that in incursion, the outer flags are only 9" from the battlefield edge … we switched to Supply and Demand. He wanted to play his Ocean's 18 list and I wanted to kick off my 2015 Warcaster plunge with Intercessor Kreoss. Khador won initiative and elected to go first. Protectorate took the side of the table with the forest because the Battle Engine has Pathfinder and Kell has prowl (plus I didn't want any of his army lurking in the woods).

The Lists:

Khador
Kommander Sorscha
 - Sylys Wyshnalyrr
 - Behemoth
Fenris
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
Widowmaker Marksman
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Kell Bailoch
Harlan Versh, Illuminated One
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator
Widowmakers
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Greylord Outriders (3)

Protectorate of Menoth
Intercessor Kreoss
- Reckoner
- Redeemer
Vessel of Judgement
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal Mechanik
Alten Ashley
Kell Bailoch
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Choir of Menoth (4)
Temple Flameguard (10)
- Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard
Exemplar Vengers (5)






DEPLOYMENT

The Vessel was pre-deployed right of center towards the forest. Khador piled up on his deployment line with the Behemoth in the middle and the Cav on his right flank. The Widowmakers lined up to reach the linear obstacle on turn 1. All the rest of the mercs peppered around in the backfield. On the Protectorate side of things, I knew if I put Holy Ward on my Vengers they might last a bit longer (so long as Harlan didn't cross the field to get to them), so the heavy Cav lined up opposite the light cav. The TFG took center stage and the merc guns hid in the forest.

KHADOR TURN 1

The Outriders made for the hill and the Marksmen set up behind their linear obstacle. Everything else ran. We forgot about Abomination on Fenris for most of the game. Sorscha advanced, cast Wind Rush and Fog of War.



MENOTH TURN 1

I am concerned about not having brought the Book to a Sorscha fight. I know my opponent will take the first opportunity to feat and clear out as many of my models as possible. I decide Holy Ward is going to go on my Vengers, I am not going to move Kreoss at all (knowing next turn I will have to be zippy to avoid Kill Box). To that end, I mini-feat and run the TFG. That should keep the feat off the table for one turn and I can use that time to make the Vengers an issue. The Redeemer takes a few shots, all of which go astray. Everything else positions carefully to avoid advancing into his gun range. The Vengers crash up the flank. I do not want his Outriders getting past my Vengers and into my support and if he ignores them, I am going to run down his guns with lances.


KHADOR TURN 2

Sniper does good work and the TFG pay the lead price. Between the Widowmakers, the Behemoth, and the rest of the Ocean, the Flameguard are reduced to four … one of which is the Flag Bearer. Gorman tosses an acid bomb and Sorscha advances, kills a TFG, then Wind Rushes back to safety. Greylords kill a TFG and attempt to spray through themselves into the Vengers. It triggers Battle Driven but fails to kill, leaving the leader on one box. The engaged Greylord casts Winter's Wind on himself presenting me with a small puzzle box to solve on my turn. Harlan and Fenris steer hard to the Venger flank.


MENOTH TURN 2

I consider for several minutes the range of my Battle Driven Vengers. I need to eliminate the Outriders before I move on anything. Fenris is probably about 13.5" away and Sorscha is nigh-unhittable. Eventually I decide to keep on clearing models as best I can. The Choir hands out Battle again and the Reckoner Assaults the ensorcelled Outrider. Boost to hit, boost to damage (the charge was free because of the scenario) and the Horselord drops. The Redeemer advances and takes some downtown shots at Sorscha. The first scatters onto Sylys but only hits him for four. The second kills Reinholdt and a Widowmaker and deals 4 points to Sorscha. The Vassal gives the Redeemer one more with feeling and this time it scatters onto two more Widowmakers, taking them off the table. The remaining Widowmaker fails her command check.

I have a problem shaping up. I can feel the cold approach of a freezing winter wind … Sorscha is itching to feat and because I had to run Kreoss into the Kill Box, he is very very visible. The TFG decide to leave the remaining Outriders for the Vengers and instead charge Gorman (who they miss with a CMA) and Holt (who they also miss). The Vessel activates, advances, and hammers the enemy objective for a pile of damage. Admonisher kicks in and with three boosts, Orin, Aiyana, and Holt are removed from consideration. Alten and Kell attempt to take down the rest of the Objective and I have no idea why I did not use Sniper with Kell. I fail to destroy it and leave it one three boxes. Through a miracle of Menoth, the Mechanik passes his repair check and heals the Vessel.

Now the Vengers need to save my bacon. They declare a charge/run. Three of them motor to the center of the board to block LOS to Kreoss and the Redeemer. The remaining two smash into the last Outriders and lance them off the table. I pass turn expecting to lose everything but my caster and Vessel on the next turn.


KHADOR TURN 3

Feat turn. Sorscha advances and feats. She catches the Vengers, the remaining TFG, and the Reckoner. She pots a TFG, casts Wind Rush, and returns to safety. Dougal mini feats and shoots a TFG. Harlan Versh steps up and between himself, Kell, and the Marksman one Vengers drops and the rest are cut up. The Behemoth moves up and kills a Venger. Gorman blinds the Vessel with a scatter. The Great Bears advance into the zone and the Widowmaker fails command again. When the guns stop shooting the TFG unit leader remains the sole survivor. Fenris gains the hill and surveys the battlefield. Eiryss disruptor bolts the stationary Reckoner. The Widowmaker fails her command check again. The only reason Khador doesn't score a point here is because the Vessel and the Redeemer are not stationary.

MENOTH TURN 3

Feat turn.  Gorman is a problem and my front ranks are not going to get to do anything. I feel like if I can take away Gorman and manage the Behemoth a bit, I can recover enough from the feat to swing attrition back to my side of the table. I would have loved to clear the zone, but the appearance of the Great Bears made that a non-starter. If I can free up an attack or two I can finish off the Objective. However, I will have to do it withouth the Vessel this turn. First priority, though, is Gorman. I cannot take another turn of blind and expect to win.

Kell attempts to kill Gorman but only deals 3 points of damage. Alten misses. Aiyana kisses the Great Bears while Holt shoots Gorman (and misses … TWICE). Le Sigh. The Redeemer advances and shoots Gorman, dealing 1 point of damage. It buys a second attack and kills Gorman. $%!@ you, Gorman. Capping the Objective is now off the table for another turn.

Kreoss declares a ride-by attack, advances and feats. He puts Holy Ward on himself, Ignite on the Vengers (whyyyyyy? Versh is riiiight there), and Death Sentence on the Behemoth. Then he casts Force Hammer on the Behemoth. The spell knocks the jack back into a Great Bear, but the Great Bear toughs. Then Kreoss backs up. The Vassal advances and puts Enliven on the Redeemer. Choir used Passage this turn.


KHADOR TURN 4 (missing picture)

Dougal shoots the last TFG and Doors of Judgement triggers. The TFG advances and kills the Great Bear Volkov. Behemoth tramples forward and buys some shots on the mercs, but only manages to kill Alten. Fenris charges the Reckoner and smashes it for a ton of damage but doesn't take out any systems. Harlan kills an Ignited Venger. The other Great Bears charge, one kills a Venger, one takes out the Reckoner's movement. Kell pops the Reckoner's cortex with his magical gun. The Widowmaker rallies while Eiryss attempts to get a line on Kreoss. However, she ends her movement within five inches of Behemoth and her activation ends immediately. The Marksman shoots at Aiyana and misses.

MENOTH TURN 4

I see an opportunity to get rid of the Behemoth. The Reckoner is mostly a lost cause at this point, however, if it can soak a few activations to be properly removed, I will have enough time to prepare for the arrival of Fenris. I give the board a look for a few minutes and then make a decision. At this point there are three models contesting the zone, the Behemoth, a Great Bear, and Eiryss. Killing Eiryss is going to take the Venger, but I need the Venger to hammer on the Behemoth. At this point it is my biggest hammer. That means clearing the zone is not going to happen. I choose to focus on the jack.

The Redeemer gets 1 focus, I upkeep Holy Ward on Kreoss and Ignite on the Venger and camp 4. The Choir battle my jacks (they were ok with Fenris being an abomination). The Reckoner smashes Fenris for 9, leaving him mounted. That is a complication. I was hoping for a dismount and then using the Vassal to hammer the Great Bear. Instead, the Ancillary Attack goes into Fenris, the dismount fails to tough and Fenris lines up to cleave himself a Reckoner next turn.

Next up, there is a Great Bear in the zone with a clear line straight to my caster. Kell aims and puts two shots into the Great Bear. He fails his tough and another deadly problem leaves play. Now it is time for the show. Aiyana & Holt advance. Aiyana kisses the Behemoth. Holt shoots the Marksman and gets to put his second shot into Behemoth, scratching off some paint. Kreoss activates, declares a ride-by-attack, advances, Force Hammer's the Behemoth about two inches, and then retreats. The Behemoth fails to smash into the Objective (I was hoping it might make distance), however I crank the unboosted damage roll on the spell and actually darken some boxes. I have one more ranged attack before I charge in. The Vessel aims, boosts (needing three 1's to miss), and hammers the Behemoth at dice off 4 with a boosted shot. I forget the Admonisher and the Objective and Dougal live! Then the Redeemer charges in and takes a swing for about nine more boxes. And finally the Ignited, Battle Driven, Divinely Inspired Venger charges in and delivers the coup-de-grace. Mission accomplished. Behemoth wrecked. High-fives all around. Time to pack up and head home… what? oh right … the rest of the match.


KHADOR TURN 5

With the loss of Behemoth and the hour drawing late, Khador attempts to force the issue. Sorscha tries to make distance on Kreoss, but falls short. Eiryss takes a shot at him but the dice go cold. Fenris trashes the Reckoner and a Choir. The Great Bear runs to engage Kreoss. Dougal steps up and kills Holt (Aiyana is ok with this). Sylys runs into the zone. Harlan Versh fails to make distance on his shot against Kreoss (that would have been bad news because of Holy Ward). My opponent is dejected that Sorscha has been presented. However, she is Defense 18 and I still have to hit her to knock her down.


MENOTH TURN 5

Nothing is a given and I consider for a minute casting Warpath, having the Venger kill Sylyss, Warpath triggering the Redeemer, advancing the Redeemer to power attack head-butt Sorscha. Then I come to my senses. My opponent has given me a Great Bear to pinball into Sorscha (and even if he had not, I had two Choir there ready to die for the same cause).

Kreoss declares a ride-by-attack. He advances and Force Hammers the Great Bear into Sorscha. Then he proceeds to kills Sorscha with melee attacks. The only thing we forgot (upon writing this report) is Witch Hunter from Versh. Although at that point Kreoss had no upkeeps on him, so at most it could have done three points of damage.


VICTORY FOR MENOTH!

Thoughts on the Match

I should have scored a few points and completely overlooked my chance to do so. Some rolls went my way and some did not, but that is how the game goes. Overall, I felt like I recognized the threats I had to deal with and although I did not have the Book to rely upon for protection, made the right choices in where to put my spells and which targets to prioritize. I don't think my opponent accounted for the nastiness of Admonisher on the Vessel of Judgement. Taking Aiyana & Holt out of the equation helped my Vengers survive as long as they did. I put twelve points of activations into taking out Gorman, not because I planned it that way, but because no one was getting the job done. On one hand that inhibited my ability to attrition that turn, but on the other hand, Gorman had to go. Blind Vessels of Judgement are the saddest Vessels of Judgement.

This was my first time out with Kreoss3 in many many months. He is going to be my primary warcaster for 2015 and I am excited to unlock all his mysteries. This is also one of the few times I have put Vengers on the table, and they were very pleasing. I know that isn't always the case, but I am excited to use them more.

From my opponent's side of the table, he asked me what he could have done differently in the match. I felt like he could have been more aggressive with his models. He has so many dangerous guns in the list that there is no reason not to shove a few down my throat. He couldn't get to the Vessel, although he did Blind it for one turn. Once the Behemoth went down, I felt like he pushed for assassination one turn too early. Although there is merit to his belief that at that point he had nothing which could crack the Vessel, I think he could have mitigated the Battle Engine effectiveness by staying spread out. His remaining models could have done one more round of shooting and I would have been left with very few activations. In his defense, it was very late by that point in the night and we were both dreading work in the morning. While we did use a clock, we both decided at the beginning of the match that we were going to continue playing after time expired because list practice was more important than time pressure that night.

All in all, it was a good clean game and we both had a ton of fun. Thank you, CommanderTso. And thanks for reading.

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