My games at Jamarama
The following is a report of my games at a Warmachine/Hordes tournament we had at Gamescape SF on February 17th. As I ran the last three WarmaHordes tournaments here, the other press ganger in our area, Jamar (aka, PG_Fuzzypants), was assigned to run this one and thus I was able to play. We'd previously been doing 35 pointers, so this time we stepped up to a 50 pt event and were, of course, using the recently released Steamroller 2013 packet. With room for only 16 players in the gaming area of the store, we had a modest turn out of 11 people, which meant there were 4 rounds of play, using timed turns and relaxed timing. I opted to play my Trollbloods and brought the following lists: List 1 - Jarl - Bomber - Slag Troll - Impaler x 2 - Max. Burrowers - Max. Nyss Hunters - Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew - Fell Caller - Chronicler - Runebearer - Whelps - Gatorman Witch Doctor - Feralgeist
List 2 - Doomshaper2 - Mulg the Ancient - Earthborn Dire Troll - Axer - Pyre Troll - Max. Kriel Warriors + UA + 2 Cabers - Min. Kriel Stone Bearers + UA - Jannissa - Runebearer - Whelps
The Jarl list was one I've wanted to bring for a while, but hadn't thus far brought to a competitive event. Two 16" range, magical hand cannons (that are followed by two Magic Bullets) are great and, short of Legion and a few corner cases, his feat of making D3+3 fancy, 4" AOE clouds is quite good. If I have ranged elements in my list I always have the obligatory Impaler, but for this list I brought two. I knew I wanted Jarl and at least one of my ranged beasts to be shooting every turn and in order to be fully functional Jarl wants to have all his fury at his own disposal, not being used to Far Strike a Bomber and/or Slag Troll. Also, with Reach, Impalers make great, semi-disposable beasts to run up as the key piece for the Chronicler's Charge of the Trolls. This allows the Burrowers (the only Trollblood unit in the list) to be MAT 6, Pow 16 without any other buffs. I love the Slag Troll for the damage buff animus and for his ability to put a serious hurting on non-living things, though spoiler alert, I was only matched up against Hordes players all day, thus limiting my exposure to constructs, undead, etc. The Witch Doctor is a welcome addition too, as the Burrowers really want the Undead he provides to keep from fleeing and Tough Nyss are just that much more bothersome. Everything else pretty much speaks for itself.
The Doomshaper2 list was not originally part of my plan. I was considering a hard-hitting Madrak2 or Borka list, but I just got to thinking about how much a Stormwall or Conquest could ruin my day against either of those warlocks so slid into my comfortable, reliable (ie, predictable) and hard-hitting Doomshaper 2 list. It mainly relies on Doomshaper's one and only trick (of speeding up your heavies and launching them at your opponent), but with my relative unfamiliarity with SR2013 I wanted some kind of untramplable infantry cloud with staying power. In the age old Trollblood debate of Fennblades versus Kriel Warriors, I come down on the side of Kriels, so I threw in an almost maxed out unit of them. I love the tough+steady, the standard for CMD check rerolls and the musician to be able to spread out. I've also found the Cabers to be awesome with Doomshaper2, as he always has an Earthborn and they are an easy Pow 7 for him to copy if need be (if you don't understand, see the Adaption ability).
The scenario for the first round was Close Quarters and my opponent, Max, fielded Trollbloods. He brought the following:
- Calandra - Mauler - Blitzer x 2 - Swamp Troll - Min. Burrowers - Scouts - The Sons of Bragg - Blythe & Bull (Prey: Burrowers, I think) - Whelps - Totem Hunter (Prey: Fell Caller)
I opted to play the Jarl list this round, as Max's list (which was quite unconventional) had a fair amount of ranged attacks, which Jarl could both defend and respond in kind well against. I won the roll and went first, casting Tactical Supremacy on the Bomber and Quicken on the Zombified Nyss who ran into a Gobber smoke cloud. The Burrowers burrowed and everything else ran forward. He ran at me with everything, burrowing his Burrowers, giving Calandra Bullet Dodger and casting Star Crossed.
On my second turn the Burrowers popped up and, as a first for me, didn't engage, as they'd have struggled to be effective under Star Crossed and more importantly, I wanted to shoot stuff this turn. The Burrowers backed off and the Nyss killed one SoB at range and put some damage on another. The Bomber received Far Strike and threw at the Mauler and was a hair short, though it did drift onto and kill Blythe. The other bomb hit the lead Blitzer for a good chunk. The Runebearer Harmoniously Exaltated an already Far Struck Jarl, who feated for five clouds and shot the Mauler twice with boosted damage rolls, Magic Bulleting onto Calandra each time (she transferred the damage). On his turn Calandra cast Star Crossed again and moved towards his flag. The Scouts put some damage on the Impaler and the SoBs killed a Nyss or two. His Burrowers were pretty ineffective due to high Nyss DEF and the feat cloud's -2 to attack rolls penalty.
On my next turn I killed some Scouts with a Fell Caller spray, killed the Totem Hunter with the Impaler (in melee), killed the Mauler with the Bomber plus some Burrowers and killed the damaged Blitzer plus another SoB with charging Nyss. I also ran the Feralgeist close enough to contest his flag. On his next turn he intended to score a point, so he moved Calandra over and destroyed the Feralgeist with a boosted Force Blow and used his feat. He also decided to use his last three fury to cast Star Crossed again, presumably so that a lot of my stuff (Nyss, Burrowers, Bomber, etc.) would have a hard time attacking her. On my next turn Jarl got Far Struck, got a free Magic Bullet from the Runebearer and (after eyeballing my CTRL area) stepped out of the Kill Box and out of Star Crossed range, but still in Jarl's pistol range. He then shot her with a boosted pistol, hit her with Magic Bullet for 5 or 6 damage, then boosted the damage on the shot and finished her off (failed the Tough roll). I've since learned that Magic Bullet cannot target the same model shot by the triggering attack, so I did break the rules in that instance. I like to think Jarl still would have likely killed her with his second shot though, having a 90% chance to hit and 98% chance to do sufficient damage to equal the illegal MB.
Round 2 The second round the scenario was Into the Breach and I played David, another Trollblood player, who brought:
- Madrak1 - Rok - Axer - Max. Kriel Warriors + UA + 2 Cabers - Min. Scatter Gunners + UA - The Sons of Bragg - Min. Kriel Stone Bearers + UA - Fell Caller - Chronicler - Runebearer - Horthol
I can't recall what his other list looked like, but upon seeing it I recall thinking that, if he played the Madrak1 list and I brought Jarl, he'd overwhelm my army before I got in enough turns of shooting to make a significant dent in his force. However, if he brought that and I brought Doomshaper, he wouldn't have enough hard hitters to kill my ARM 23 beasts and what little he did have didn't have the speed to get the alpha strike on my stuff, thus I brought Doomy.
The forest in the midst of the zone/table was a huge deal for me and specifically the Earthborn. With Refuge he would be able to move 7" through the forest, pick off the front line of whatever my opponent lead with and then yo-yo back to relative safety. And that was exactly what happened, starting on my second turn. He moved his Kriels up and since I didn't have to worry about getting shot up or alpha struck, Doomshaper was able to throw away fury casting a couple Primal Shocks, killing an enemy Kriel. The Earthborn then moved up, killed four Kriels (Goad was involved) and moved back behind the forest, followed by my Kriels moving up a bit and killed another of his.
He got stuck in with his Kriels and killed a couple of mine, but due to a slight slip up the Scatter Gunner officer got stuck behind the Kriel Stone Bearers and thus the two closest Scatter Gunners were unable to fire. He still killed a few of my Kriel Warriors with the others. Everything else moved forward and Horthol ran up the flank on the flag side.
My next turn the Earthborn did the same thing as last turn (hit and run on the Kriels) and Doomshaper juggled Refuge onto Mulg so he could get in on the fun. For the next couple of turns he continued whittling down my Kriel Warriors and me his various units, until Madrak moved into the zone, with Surefoot on himself and camping 5 fury. Just as a Flaming Fisted, Wild Aggressioned Mulg was about to try to take out Madrak, time was called and I won on the 3rd tie-breaker of points in the zone, 76-62.
Round 3 The scenario for round 3 was Outflank and my opponent was Dan (aka, Brian D), playing his Legion. Since one of his lists was a beast heavy Saeryn army, I couldn't risk bringing the Doomshaper2 list with it's melee only capacity, so I chose Jarl. His other list consisted of Bethayne with some beasts, Hex Hunters, some support staff, as well as some other stuff I can't recall and I was hoping he'd choose that one. So of course he chose:
- Saeryn - Angelius - Scythean - Carnivean - Ravagore - Raek - Shredder x 3 - Shepard x 2 - Forsaken x 2
On the first round we just closed the gap. On his second turn he got a lucky Ravagore deviation, setting both Jarl and an Impaler on fire, with the blast damage doing 3 to Jarl and some to the beast. The fire didn't go out and Jarl took another 6 damage, which he transferred to the other Impaler. On my turn Jarl feated for 5 clouds, which against beast-heavy Legion are only really good for the -2 to attack rolls while within. Jarl then shot the Carnivean twice (boosting damage once) for some damage and each time bouncing a Magic Bullet onto Saeryn; the first time she transferred 5 to the Raek and the second roll sucked and did no damage. The Burrowers burrowed and the Bomber missed the Scythean once and hit it once, putting a decent chunk of damage on it. The Nyss got Zombified, moved into the zone and did a couple of ho hum CRAs into his beasts. With the Bomber behind a wall, Annoying Whelps about and the clouds up, I hoped I'd be somewhat safe enough from his charges.
He charged the Angelius into a cloud to kill one of the Impalers with the Armor Piercing attack + one bought attack. The Scythean (who I thought was out when I eyeballed it) was juuust in to charge my other Impaler, quickly dispatching that as well (Feralgeist jumped into its corpse, but he killed it again). While unable to attack over the wall, the Carnivean still assaulted and sprayed the Bomber, the Slag Troll, the Chronicler and Jarl; I don't remember what he rolled, but he did some damage to the Bomber, Slag and, I think, missed Jarl. Saeryn Blight Bringered a Shredder in the midst of the Nyss to kill 4 (none toughed) and, of course, feated. On my next turn the Slag Troll aimed, shot both the Scythean and the Angelius for a little damage. Next the Burrowers (that had popped up behind the Scythean and Carnivean) aimed and shot, beating up the Scythean pretty badly and actually killing the only somwhat injured Carnivean outright! I don't quite recall exactly what the Bomber did, but it put some hurting on the Angelius. Jarl then walked directly away from the Angelius and shot the Scythean dead, Swifter Huntering another couple inches away and behind cover. On his turn both Forsaken blight bombed the Burrowers til only two were left (and of course fleeing) and the Angelius AP charged the Bomber, doing a lot of damage and finishing off the damaged Slag Troll with bought attacks. More Nyss got Blight brought on them.
After getting healed for a couple points, eating a Whelp, killing/snacking on the Angelius and regenerating, the Bomber was looking much healthier. Over the next couple of turns Jarl and the Fell Caller killed both Shepards and both Forsaken and Jarl was able to start dominating the zone on my right. The attrition slowed down a bit and the shot below is from when time was called and I ended up winning 4-0 on control points.
Round 4 For the last round I got paired up with the only other undefeated player, Ben, who'd won the previous four WarmaHordes tournies at Gamescape. He brought his Blind Water Congregation and fielded the following:
- Rask - Blackhide Wrastler - Ironback Spitter - Bull Snapper - Max. Gatorman Posse x 2 - Min. Bog Trog Ambushers x 2 - Croak Hunter - Totem Hunter - Thrullg
Both of his lists had two units of Posse and, as much as I like my Jarl list (and would've liked shooting undead Gatormen with the Slag Troll), I didn't think it would be able to survive well against or do enough damage to all that Gator meat, so I brought Doomshaper. He chose to go second and thus get the first crack at destroying an objective. He had Admonition and Inhospitable Ground up on Rask and, as usual, I had Refuge up on the Earthborn.
On his second turn both Bog Trogs units came in, one on either side of my army. While the black primed unit simply moved up to threaten for next turn, the unprimed unit charged and killed a couple Kriel Warriors. The Bullsnapper cast Spiny Growth on the Wrastler and Rask upkept Admonition, cast Inhospitable Ground again, cast Fury on the Posse on my right and, sitting on 0 fury, used his feat. The Furied Gators in the zone on my right charged and destroyed the objective, with the one Gator on point killing a Kriel. The Croak Hunter hit a Kriel with a spear, but he toughed, with the KSB preventing corrosion. The Gators on my left charged and killed a couple more Kriels and his Spitter shot, but the Kriel hit toughed. On my turn the Kriel Warriors did the prayer of Fervor, slogged through the Inhospitable Ground and beat up and knocked down a Gator between the house and the remaining objective; Pyre Troll spit finished it off. Seeing this as the best chance for Mulg to take out a the Wrastler (and maybe a few Posse members), Doomshaper feated. He cast Wild Aggression on Mulg and Flaming Fists on the Earthborn, as the Earthborn's plan was to walk up into that semi-circle of Gators and squish a few. The Axer gave Mulg Rush and Mulg trampled up next to the objective. He was ready to start beating up the Wrastler when I noticed that if I killed the Croak Hunter who was right in Mulg's face, Mulg could Goad within reach range of Rask. If I did that though, Rask would Admonition away as soon as Mulg moved. It was then I noticed that if I were able to get a crit Smite on the Wrastler with Mulg's club and slam it, as long as I rolled more than 1", it would get slammed so as to bowl over Rask, preventing Admonition. I bought my first attack on the Wrastler, not critting and doing some damage. The second attack, however, did crit, slamming it 2" and both knocked down and did a few damage to Rask. Mulg then bought his third attack on the Croak Hunter next to him, crushing it and forcing a fourth time to Goad into melee range of Rask. He then forced for the fifth time to attack Rask, auto hit, left him with 5 health. He was able to smack him one last time thanks to Doomshaper's affinity, finishing off Rask. After the fact Ben lamented forgetting Mulg had crit smite and said he should have Admonitioned when Mulg trampled up, rather than waiting for the Goad advance.