My WarmaHordes Experience at Kublacon 2011
Apologies in advance for the very late posting of this, but I realize that (between forgetting to post this and putting it off when I do remember it) if I don't post this soon it will practically, if not literally, be time for the next one. I went with the intention to play in as many Warmachine/Hordes events as possible and while I couldn't to make it early enough on Friday to play in the 15 point event, I did play in both the 50 point Steamroller and, immediately afterward, the unlimited Highlander (1 caster/lock, 1 heavy, 1 light and 1 solo, no point limit) on Saturday, as well as the 35 point Tier 2 (minimum) event on Sunday. I didn't place in 2010, didn't attend the two years before that and the two years before that (MKI) I made it to the finals and semi-finals respectively with my Protectorate of Menoth, but simply couldn't seal the deal. This year I brought my Trollbloods, which I've been playing consistently since Hordes MKII was officially released and have become quite comfortable with them. As I either forgot or was too busy/tired/out of it to take pictures of the other tournies, I will simply say that I placed 3rd in the Highlander and 2nd in the 35 point tier tourney, but as I took some pictures of the 50 point steam roller, I'll summarize my experience of the event. As it was standard format, I brought 2 lists:
- Mulg the Ancient
- Earthborn Dire Troll
- Pyre Troll
- Max. Champions (no Skaldi)
- Max. Krielstone Bearer unit (no UA)
- Janissa Stonetide
- Whelps x 10
- Slag Troll
- Max. Fennblades + UA
- Min. Champions + Skaldi
- Max. Burrowers
- Fell Caller
- Whelps x 5
While everything in the EHoarluk list is pretty standard, short of the Pyre Troll, Champions and Kriel Stone Bearers, I felt they were a necessary addition. Champions plus the KSB are solid at holding a point and with EHoarluk throwing around Transmute (the Earthborn's animus) and with Janissa reliably making an obstacle, the Dire Trolls could consistently be coming in at ARM 22 (23 for Mulg) and Hoarluk at 19. As for the Pyre Troll, I really wanted the damage buff from it's animus in case I came up against hard targets that the Earthborn's Adaption (it's POW copying ability) wasn't enough to crack or simply to mitigate bad rolls, at least in the damage department. I really wanted a Mauler in it's place, but simply couldn't free up the extra points. Additionally, there are commonly seen, competitive casters/locks whose means of assassination is fire based, such as ELylyth and 2-3 Ravagores or most of Menoth's spells/ranged attacks that the Pyre Trolls animus (which also makes one immune to fire) conveniently negates.
As for the Caladra list, I included the Champions for a hard hitting second wave, as I needed a little more anti-armor punch (plus I'm a fan of them), as well as the Slag Troll, not only for the damage buff, but to be more efficient against non-living targets; being able to get 4 damage dice against non-living stuff with it's ranged attack AND to be able to reroll the damage if I rolled below average was very tempting. Everything else was pretty standard fare for Calandra.
Also, in case you're wondering about all the pewter and primer, I've painted the vast majority of the unpainted stuff seen here since May 2011.
Game 1. The scenario for the first round was Overrun, in which controlling a 36" wide, 8" long area centered in the middle of the table earns you 1 point and the first to 2 points wins.
My first game was against Rich's Circle Orboros list:
- Woldwarden x 2
- Warpwolf Stalker
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Max. Skinwalkers x 2
- Druid Wilder
- War Wolf
I can't recall if he had a second list (if he did it wasn't terribly different), but I was compelled to bring EHoarluk, as that was my harder hitting list and he was bringing four heavies and 2 max, 8 wound units. I can't recall, but I believe he went first, pretty much just running things up. I did the same, casting Refuge on the Earthborn (the EB being represented by the empty large base so that it could stand on the hill), Transmute on Mulg and Hoarluk, with Janissa puting up a wall. I had Mulg next to the wall for the ARM bonus, but my first mistake was not putting Mulg behind it, as is evidenced in the following pic. First the Woldwarden by the smoke cloud cast Telekinesis on Mulg to place him 2" off the hill and backwards, then the Woldwarden behind the storage tanks cast Gallows on him to pull him several inches closer. This enabled the Stalker to walk over to Mulg and beat on him from reach range, but Mulg was still ARM 21 from the Kriel Stone and survived relatively intact. (That's Kruger, primed white, a bit behind the Stalker.)
Lastly the Warwolf ran over to engage/bother the Earthborn. On my turn Hoarluk upkept Refuge, moved forward and used his feat, casting Wild Aggression on Mulg and Flaming Fists (the Pyre Trolls animus, +2 melee damage and crit fire) on the Earthborn, The Pyre Troll (the larger black primed model on the hill) then walked over to take care of the intervening Warwolf, allowing the Earthborn to charge the Stalker, killing it and taking a couple swings at the Woldwarden next to it as well, then moving away with Refuge. The Axer cast Rush on Mulg. Mulg then advanced up to attack Kruger (who was without fury), but I completely forgot about counter slam on the Gnarlhorn. In a slightly lucky turn of events the Gnarlhorn missed (needing 5's to hit) and Mulg crushed and snacked on Kruger.
Game 2. The scenario for the second round was Revelation, in which there are two flags, and the first player to score 3 point wins. The catch is that the same flag can't be scored consecutively, requiring that if you scored a point from flag A, you are only allowed score your second point from flag B and then score your third point from flag A again.
Matt was my opponent for this round and was playing Legion:
- Carnivean x 2
- Max. Archers + Ua
- Max. Swordsmen + UA
His other list was a Bethayne list and, as evidenced in the previous round, I felt that my EHoarluk list would be too vulnerable to Bethanyne arcing Gallows to pull my beasts up and pounce on them, so I went with Calandra. I went first and as I'm want to do when I go first, I didn't burrow the Burrowers, but rather ran them up a bit. As it played out they actually never burrowed the entire game! Most everything else ran up, the Fennblades getting Concealment and Feign Death from the Chronicler and Calandra unsuprisingly cast Star Crossed every turn of the game. On his first turn the Archers advanced and laid down a 5" Suppressing Fire, the Swordsmen ran towards the Burrowers and the beasts ran/charged with Thagrosh casting Fog of War and handing out Spiny Growth on the heavies. On my second turn Calandra feated, cast Star Crossed and put the Slag Trolls animus on a couple Fennblades. The Bomber hit the Carnivean for some damage and the Slag shot a Swordsmen or two. The Burrowers got Warcry from the Fell Caller and advanced into the Swordsmen, killing quite a few more, leaving only 4 alive. The Fennblades used No Quarter and charged/ran, with several putting a good chunk of damage on a Carnivean, some on the Scythean and killing one Archer, but engaging several more. It gets a bit blurry from here, but I do remember the Archers struggled to kill the engaging Fennblades and fired a couple relatively harmless potshots. As this was the first time my opponent had played against Calandra, he underestimated the effectiveness of Star Crossed and though he killed several Fennblades between the Scythean and Carnivean, he missed several attacks assuming he still had a good chance of rolling 6's. Thagrosh also helped to thin out the Fennblades a bit. The Swordsmen were likely handicapped by Star Crossed, but managed to force a few tough checks on the Burrowers, with only one or two failing. On my next turn Calandra threw out a couple Slag Troll animi on the Champions, the Chronicler used Charge of the Trolls and the Impaler ran up to engage his beasts. This gave the Champions MAT 9, P+S 15 Weapon Master attacks and two were able to take out a Carnivean with attacks to spare. To fast forward a bit, my opponent had left the left flag open and the remaining Fennblades were able to cap it. On the other side, the Burrowers were able to clear out all but the Swordsmen Champion and score that flag. From this point things started dying a bit slower; Thagrosh brought back a Carnivean and killed some Burrowers, his beasts killed the Impaler and Skaldi, the revived Carnivean contested the flag the Burrowers had capped and contested the other flag with the Scythean and Shepard. Next turn the remaining Champions killed the Scythean, the Fennblade UA killed the Shepard (contesting the same flag) and the Bomber ran over to cap the last flag and seal the deal.
Game 3. The scenario for my third game was the Gauntlet, in which there were two 6"x8" squares centered on the board a bit apart from one another lengthwise and a player scores a point if they control the one closer to their opponent and the their own is uncontested (I think).
My opponent was David, playing his Cryx. He brought:
- Max. Bane Thralls
- Min. Bane Thralls + UA
- Min. Bane Knights
- Min. Blackbane's
- Max. Mechanithralls
- Warwitch Siren
- Machine Wraith
I can't recall what his other list was, but I recall it was also pretty infantry intensive and I liked my odds better with Calandra, as with her I had infantry with which to counter and with Hoarluk my beasts could've been too easily bogged down and taken apart. Unfortunately there was a lot of hustle and bustle during the game (what with the tournament being moved to another hall for the final round around us during the game) so I forgot to get pics. He won the roll off and went first, running the Bane Thall units up the center, followed by Blackbane's. There were these sort of ruined walls going down the left and right sides of the table that, while impassible, had large gaps in them so as just about anything could easily see through. On the one to my left he ran Nightmare and the Bane Knights, keeping Cankerwurm and the Mech Thralls back, the thralls presumably as fodder for his feat. I moved everything up into my zone and burrowed the Burrowers. I tried to shoot Nightmare through the holes in the wall (he had cover, but with boosts and Calandra's rerolls it was still pretty doable) with the Slag and Bomber, but missed everything, killing some Bane Knights in the blast. Calandra cast Star Crossed, which helped me A TON next turn when I got charged by his Thralls and some Knights. I can't recall if he cursed with Tartarus (he had a big jam of his own units), but I do recall he was a only able to kill 2-3 Fennblades primarily due to Star Crossed (though tough probably saved 1 or 2). He was wary of the Burrowers and kept Goreshade back a bit, thus Nightmare was out of CTRL and got no focus, thus unable to go Ghostly, thus was trapped behind the wall. He also ran Blackbanes up, into the midst of things (mostly the Fennblades) with a couple on Calandra. Next turn was of course Calandra's feat turn. She cast Star Crossed and moved somewhat forward (around the big clusterf*ck in the center) to ensure the Burrowers were in her feat range. The fairly useless Champions killed a Bane Thrall or two that were hampering the Burrowers and the Burrowers charged, getting 4 on Goreshade, the rest on others. They killed some of his troops, but the one's on Goreshade, with the War Cry from the Fell Caller, the feat rerolls and Fate Blessed rerolls still didn't manage to put more than 6 or 7 damage on him (well, at least they passed their CMD check). Other than that the Fennblades killed a good chunk of Bane Thralls and the Slag Troll and Bomber took out Nightmare with ranged attacks that turn. Basically, the game progressed (Tartarus died) and Star Crossed saved my troops from his troops and I won when time was called with more points worth of stuff in the zones, mostly because all his units were widdled away.
Game 4. This was the last round of the day, with both my opponent Dan and I being the only two undefeated. The scenario was Killbox, which requires players to have their caster/lock within a 2'x2' square centered on the board from the end of their second turn onwards or lose. I can't recall his other caster, but except for the different caster the other list was almost identical.
- Beast 09
- Max. Kayazy + UA
- Max. Nyss Hunters + Valachev
- Widow Makers
- Yuri the Axe
I won the roll off and went first. Hoarluk filled the stone and everything moved or ran forward. He cast Fury on the Kodiak, Iron Flesh on the Nyss and moved forward tentatively.
Not really seeing any stellar oppertunities for it in the next couple of turns, I had Hoarluk use his feat. Realizing his Kayazy were the first thing I'd come face to face with (and very much missing my Bomber) I moved the Pyre Troll onto the bridge and spit in their general direction, missing, but deviating to kill 2 Nyss and a Kayazy. The Axer with Wild Aggression charged forward to do a fully boosted thresher on some Nyss, but couldn't roll above 11. Everything else positioned, some Whelps running onto the bridge to get in his Kayazy's way. On his turn Butcher surprisingly feated, the Widow Makers shooting at the Champions, doing a couple points here and there. Beast 09 stepped up and killed the Axer, Drago ran to engage the Pyre Troll and Yuri ran around the river to flank. The Kayazy moved up over the bridge, killing some Whelps, with one stabbing the Pyre for a few damage, but getting set on fire (and later dying from it) for his troubles. On my next turn the Champions technically charged (with only 1 actually charging and the rest running), killing a Nyss. Mulg got Wild Aggression, Jannissa moved up and pulled in a few Nyss and Mulg came up and smote them. More importantly, the Nyss failed their CMD check. The Pyre Troll took a free strike from Drago for a healthy chunk o damage, but didn't die and was able to spit fire on a Kayazy. The Earthborn had Refuge and walked over to eat a few Kayazy and moved back to the forest. Lastly, a Kriel Stone chump ran to tie up Yuri.
On his turn Drago killed the Pyre Troll, Beast 09 killed 1 Champion, but the other two made their tough checks. The Widow Makers shot at the two Champions, hitting and wounding, but both made their tough checks once again. I may be leaving out parts of/an entire turn here or there, but the end result when time was called was that I had more points in the killbox, largely due to his Kayazy and Nyss being below half. It was quite close though, so much so that if those two Champions would have died (and thus brought the unit below half) he would have had more points on in the box and I would have lost. To be honest, we both played quite reservedly (to put it nicely), but with good reason, as both of our respective counter punch capabilities were to be rightfully feared.