Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Warmachine Battle Report: Anson Durst vs Butcher Unleashed

Another week, and my Khador friend and I are able to get another game in. This time, he pulls out his favorite Butcher Unleashed plus multiple Heavies list. I received and painted my second Judicator in the past week (wooo), so I wanted a chance to see both of them on the table in a non-proxy form.

Here are the lists:

Anson Durst, Rock of the Faith
- Judicator
- Judicator
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal Mechanik
Choir of Menoth (4)
Temple Flameguard (10)
- Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard

Tier Benefits:
1: Paladin solos gain FA +1 for each unit
2: Free Temple Flameguard Attachment
3: Paladin solos gain Advance Move

Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed
- War Argus
- Juggernaut
- Juggernaut
- Ruin
Iron Fang KOvnik
Ogrun Bokur
Koldun Lord
Greylord Ternion
Ironfang Pikemen + Black Dragon UA
Kayazy Eliminators

We rolled up Destruction as the scenario and set up the table. I won initiative and elected to go first. Khador selected the side with the linear obstruction and the forest. My deployment was similar to the last time, except I spread the Judicators out a little further. The put the IFP on one flank and his battlegroup just off center towards the other flank. The Marksmen took station in the woods and the Koldun Lords set up shop in the backfield.




We used a linear obstacle, a trench, two hills, and a forest. There was a horizontal zone in the center and we were each using the Fuel Cache objective.


The Paladins advance moved from the Tier bonus. No allocations, because the Judicators generated the one they needed. The Paladins advanced and stanced with Impervious Wall. Then the TFG ran forward and spread out. I intensely dislike the Widowmaker Marksmen (and anything with Sniper), so I wanted to do what I could to avoid losing 4 models a turn. The Judicator's ran forward, the Vassals advanced and gave each Judicator an Ancillary Attack. None of the deviations went my way. The Choir advanced and Passaged the Judicators because they didn't have anything else interesting to do. The Mechanik ran forward. Durst advanced, cast Deflection, cast Wall of Steel, sacrificed his attack to Rampart Guardian Stance and ended his turn base to base with the purple Judicator.


Butcher allocated a focus to Ruin and one of the Juggernauts. The Koldon lord Power Boostered the other Juggernaut. The Kovnik Shield Marched the IFP. The IFP advanced under Shield Wall along a straight line towards the purple Judicator. The Heavy Warjacks ran forward, then the Greylords put clouds around them. After that the Butcher energized everything into a cleaner wall of clouds and advanced. The Marksmen moved up and snipered out two TFG. The Kayazy ran down the flank.


The TFG attempt to command check the Marksmen by running. They also minifeat and spread out to screen. My goal this turn is to prevent a large alpha and hold my feat until Turn 3. The Paladins advance and stance again, Vilmon parks it in a trench with a double stance. The Choir Battle the Judicators. The Kayazy are getting closer and the Choir are starting to sweat. The white Judicator advances and shoots. Deviations go all over. One settles on Ragman, it gets boosted, and Ragman dies. Two Marksmen are killed, but the rest pass their command check. The purple Judicator advances and shoots. That one kills a TFG and three IFP. Unfortunately, that TFG was supposed to be the stumbling block for the IFP. Now there is a lane for them to get through without having to have something else spend an activation freeing them up. Durst advances and casts Deflection again. It isn't the most useful spell right now, but I am feeling safe enough to spend the focus. I am comfortable enough with the board state that I can hold my feat. Both Vassals use Ancillary Attack but absolutely nothing interesting happens.

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The Kovnik Shield Marches again and the IFP trickle in with a Shield Wall advance and Iron Zeal. They scalpel out a number of TFG, opening up the front lines a bit. Ruin charges the Objective and destroys it. The Kayazy engage the Paladin and clutter up the lane for the Judicator to get access to Ruin. Then the Butcher energizes and the Juggernaut and Ruin effectively swap places. Now Ruin is tucked away and the only thing that can get to him is a Paladin, however the Juggernaut is exposed. The Marksmen attempt to free themselves from the TFG but can't get it done. More clouds go down from the Koldun Lords.



Durst hands out four focus, two to each Warjack. He upkeeps Wall of Steel and camps one. This is going to be feat turn. The Choir battle the Judicators. I try to extract the Paladin by having a Vassal Ancillary Attack the White Judicator who attempts to spray down the Kayazy. He fails to hit, but manages to fry the TFG holding down the Widowmakers. Off to a great start. The Paladin decides to risk it, and charges Ruin. The Kayazy free strike kills him. The other Paladin sacrifices his movement to Impervious Wall and attempts to kill an IFP. He fails to break armor (mistake: I should have waited to see if the Judicator could use extra attacks to free the target from Shield Wall before activating the Paladin). The White Judicator charges the Juggernaut. He opens up with two massive hits, but then his dice cool off a bit and it takes all four attacks to remove the Khador Warjack from the table. The TFG light two IFP on Fire. Then the other Judicator charges the enemy Objective and takes it off the table in one hit. He spends his other focus smashing IFP. Durst advances into the back of the Judicator, gains Cornerstone, and feats. The Mechanik is a fit of idiocy, decides he should, on feat turn, run halfway between each Judicator and ends his activation hanging in the breeze. The Vassal advances towards the purple Judicator, doesn't quite make base contact, and Ancillaries the warjack. The Judicator should have sprayed down the IFP and lit them all on fire … however … for some reason I cannot identify, I choose to shoot a meaningless rocket, meaninglessly off into the distance. Vilmon advances into the white Judicator and sacrifices his attack to gain Impervious Wall.



The Kayazy dive into the back ranks of the Protectorate support staff. The Mechanik dies. The Vassal is just out of reach. The Widowmakers advance and plink a Choir Member. Butcher casts Energizer to move some things around, and get an Argus forward far enough to advance on the Judicator. Ruin comes in with a charge and hammers the colossal for a pile of boxes even through feat. Several TFG die to load Ruin up with souls, and he swings and swings into the Judicator. After all the attacks, about half of one side is caved in. The IFP murder the TFG bannerman and fail to break armor on the Judicator. One IFP winds his way past the Paladin on the flank and tries to kill the Vasal, but misses. Clouds go up and Khador passes turn.


A Closer Look at the Zone at the end of Turn 3:

The zone contains Ruin and four IFP. It should be relatively straight-forward to clear the zone, as long as my dice on Ruin are average or better.


I have a couple issues. One is that I would like to score 2 points this turn by dominating the zone. The danger there is the risk of giving Butcher an opening pre-feat. If I place Durst at the wrong spot, the Juggernaut and Butcher and remaining support could suddenly shift to the purple Judicator, wreck it, feat, and smash Durst down. But I fully expect to lose at least one of my Judicators next turn. Even then, effectively trading a Judicator for Ruin, a Juggernaut, and I suppose Ragman means I made my points on the model. Second major issue is something sneaky from the Kayazy. Third thing is the Kovnik. My opponent has a lot of small tools littered about the battlefield that could present a serious danger to Durst if left unchecked. I decide to unleashed the second Paladin and have him occupy the Kovnik. Durst is going to load up the Judicators again and attempt to screen himself from the Kayazy with a cloud. This means settling for only one control point, unfortunately. Not ideal, but safe. A little voice in the back of my head is trying to remind me that "safe" against the Butcher is an ephemeral state. The Choir Battle the warjacks. The TFG moves deeper in to the enemy ranks and spikes an IFP. The white Judicator sidles away from the Argus (who scratches the untarnished side for two boxes), and smashes Ruin into junk. The Vassal on the purple Judicator ancillary attacks it and a spray takes two more IFP out of the zone. Then the Judicator advances and pastes the remaining IFP in the zone. Vilmon goes off leash, at charges a Widowmaker in order to buy the Choir at least one more round of life. The other Vassal misses an Arcane Bolt at the remaining Marksman. The remaining Paladin charges the Kovnik but rolls complete garbage on four dice and fails to kill. Durst slides up near the IFP who was harassing the Vassal, explodes him and creates a cloud that should deter the Kayazy from charging. The zone is clear, but it is only controlled for one point.


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At this point, I again forget to take a picture. This appears to happen the most when I am excited to take my next turn. Oh well. My opponent commits everything except the Butcher into destroying the white Judicator. The remaining Widowmaker advances and shoots the TFG Officer. He spikes the damage roll and takes the model off the table. The assault on the Judicator is open, but with all the wreck markers in the way, it takes an energizer to adjust the angle of the Juggernaut. This forces his warcaster unit to make a charge/run, forcing the Butcher to charge off through the woods. He had to charge because he cast a spell. Butcher feats to stay safe in case the Juggernaut can't get it done and heads off towards the remaining Marksmen (A small mistake we probably made at this point in that I am not sure the Butcher could see his charge target). To make matters worse, we realize at the start of my next turn that Butcher is out of the killbox. Well, if he had charged towards the zone, a full loaded Judicator would be there to hug him. Between the Argus attacks, The Juggernaut, the Bokus, and the last remaining IFP, the Judicator gets scrapped. One of the Argus charged Vilmon, but missed. The Kayazy charge and kill a Choir. One of them runs to stay in formation and to face back upfield looking for a new target. Damn. I was certain he was coming for my caster. I feel like I really wasted an opportunity to score an extra point now. Then again ... Butcher. Oh, the Kovnik absolutely one shots the Paladin, so I still have that threat off the starboard bow.

Unfortunately for Khador, by killboxing himself, the score has now shifted dramatically in my favor.



I kept my Choir alive which means I can fully load a Hymn of Battled Judicator and complete the last trade. Because I think maybe I might live to meet up with my Judicator again, I upkeep Wall of Steel. The Choir battle the Judicator and the warjack advances up behind the Juggernaut, also trying to close off any weird charge angles towards my caster. Another pile of attacks and the Juggernaut is wrecked. The Vassal ancillary attacks the Judicator, and the spray kills two Greylords hanging out in the back of the zone. Vilmon walks around the War Argus and swings at Butcher but fails to do any damage. However, it is one more thing for my opponent to have to deal with. The other Vassal attempts to Arcane Bolt a Kayazy but misses. Durst charges the Kovnik and puts him into the ground. Hilariously, this means he is facing away from everyone, because I wanted to be toeing the hill for the defense and I had to avoid the killbox. I should have ditched the hill and kept my front arc towards the fight.


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Surprise, surprise, I forget to take a picture again at the end of my opponent's turn. He is trying to figure out how to get Butcher onto the Judicator, but all of the math is coming up about a half inch short. He is in a forest. The straightest line to the Judicator is through the forest edge, meaning a three inch Energizer would give him one and a half inches. He is pathfinder on the charge because of Relentless Charge, which means his maximum threat range is ten inches. The Judicator is twelve inches away. If he Energizes out of the forest on the best angle, he is still going to come up about eleven inches away from the Judicator. It is frustrating, but he can't commit the Butcher to the zone and a failed charge. The first thing that happens is the Kayazy charge Vilmon and put him down. Then the IFP gets out of the way, then the Boker charges the Judicator and hammers him for ten boxes. The warcaster unit activates, Butcher charges a Kayazy and the Argus charge the Judicator. They combo strike for tons of damage, leaving the colossal on about a third of its boxes. A mistake we made at this point is that the Argus were way outside of command, Butcher would have had to commit to the zone to keep them in. The Argus attacks take out the left arm of the Judicator and the Reliquary. Khador passes turn.



Durst loads up the Judicator, the Choir battle (one swings at the Bokur but rolls snake-eyes). The Judicator splats an Argus with his right arm. Boosts to get to two dice and splats the other Argus with his left arm. I couldn't adjust his facing without risking a free strike from the remaining IFP. Actually, looking back on it, the smarter play would have been to advance Durst to the IFP, turn him into a cloud, THEN adjust the facing of the Warjack to put his good arm in reach of the Bokur and other Argus. As it turned out I had to spend the rest of my focus buying and boosting to hit. However, three attacks, three enemies, three splats and the zone is clear. After the fact, my opponent realized that he should have flooded the zone with the rest of his models. It was pretty late at this point, and we were both getting tired. All that aside, it was an awesome game and a ton of fun to play.


Victory for Menoth!!

Thanks for reading!

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