WarmaHordes Battle Report - Skorne vs. Cygnar - 50 pts


Time for our first Warmachine/Hordes battle report of 2015 and we're kicking it off with Alex's Skorne going up against Ben's Cygnar. Alex's list: 

  • Rasheth (Chain Gang - Tier 4)
  • Bronzeback Titan
  • Titan Sentry
  • Titan Gladiator
  • Titan Gladiator
  • Min. Beast Handlers
  • Max. Gatorman Posse
  • Min. Bog Trog Ambushers
  • Min. Farrow Bone Grinders
  • Paingiver Task Master (utilizing Mortithurgy-powered, thermo-opitc camouflage in the pic below)
  • Agonizer
  • Agonizer

a) Skorne list

Ben's list:

  • Stryker1
  • Stormwall
  • Lancer
  • Max. Long Gunners
  • Stormblades
  • Rangers
  • Aiyanna & Holt
  • Journeyman Warcaster
  • Squire (yes, not fully painted...)
  • The Piper of Ord

aa) Cygnar list

Deployment: Alex won the roll off and opted to go first, with Ben choosing the side of the board with the hill. From the top down, Alex deployed: Bone Grinders, Gladiator, Beast Handlers (one behind each Titan), Agonizer, Sentry, Rasheth, Agonizer, Bronzeback, Gladiator, Gatormen and the Task Master, with the Bog Trogs Ambushers,  believe it or not, ambushing. From top to bottom, Ben deployed: Long Gunners, AD'd Rangers, Styker, Squire, Stormwall, Aiyanna & Holt, Lancer, Journeyman, Stormblades and the Piper.

The scenario for this game was Outflank which, though we used the recently released SR2015, hadn't changed in the slightest. Starting on the second player's second turn, 1 control point can be scored for controlling a zone, 2 for dominating a zone and both zones can be scored simultaneously. The terrain is all fairly obvious, consisting of an obstacle (the house), a hill, a patch of rough terrain (the crater), two linear obstacles (the walls) and a forest. Due to Alex playing Rasheth's theme force to tier 4 he gained an additional 2" of deployment zone, his Gatormen gained +2 SPD turn 1, his Agonizers began with 3 fury each and the point cost of each his Titans was reduced by 1.

aaa) deployment

Skorne turn 1: As turn 1 began, the Gatormen ran forward after using the Dirge of Mists prayer and the Task Master advanced and gave them Tough with the Temper Flesh slave driver special action. Rasheth then used the Rush animus on the Sentry and Bronzeback, waddled up slightly and channeled a Breath of Corruption through the lead Gatorman (dealing 1 point of damage to it) at the center Ranger, but the AOE deviated harmlessly near the center wall. Both Gladiators used Rush on themselves then trampled forward and the Sentry and Bronzeback ran, with the Sentry still slightly in the rough terrain. The Agonizers and Bone Grinders simply ran up a bit.

The Skorne army moves up. Turn 1 - Skorne

Cygnar turn 1: Stryker allocated 3 focus to the Stormwall, 1 to the Lancer, advanced onto the hill and cast Snipe on the Stormwall. Next the Rangers advanced and took some shots. One picked off a Beast Handler, two either missed or failed to damage, but two other Rangers shot at an Agonizer, hit and, with some crazy damage rolls (needing to do 8 damage at dice -5), killed it outright. The Stormwall then advanced up 5" and fired both big guns at the remaining Agonizer. It missed the first boosted shot, but hit and killed it with the second. It then dropped a Storm Pod into the zone to it's left and placed one covering fire template in front of the Stormblades and one on the hill between the Long Gunners and the board edge for a little Bog Trog protection. The Journeyman advanced and cast Arcane Shield on the Stormblades and the Piper gave them Heroic Call. The Long Gunners maneuvered slightly and almost effortlessly killed a Gatorman with a 3-man CRA and some more stellar rolls. Aiyanna & Holt advanced and stealthed up and the Squire shuffled.

The exposed Agonizers get picked off early. Turn 1 - Cygnar

The central Agonizer in the sights of the surprisingly deadly Rangers.Turn 1 - Cygnar (agonizer shot)

A Skorne perspective. Turn 1 - Skorne (end of round 1 perspective)

A Cygnar perspective. Turn 1 - Cygnar (end of round 1 perspective)

Skorne turn 2: First off, the Trogs spring up exactly where they were expected.

Turn 2 - Skorne (Trogs coming on the board)

Rasheth reaved fury, leaving 1 on a Gladiator who had no fear of frenzying courtesy of the Bronzeback. The Bog Trogs got a run/charge order and went into the Long Gunners, killing 3 and engaging others. The Posse got Tough from the Task Master, prayed for Dirge of Mists again and charged, took no damage from the covering fire and killed 3 Stormblades, the Storm Pod and 2 Rangers (who passed their CMD check). The Bone Grinders missed a Ranger with an Arcane Bolt and Rasheth waddled out a bit from behind the crater. Next he channeled a fully boosted Sunder Spirit through the forward most Gatorman at the Journeyman to kill him and then cast Castigate, camping 2 fury. The Sentry cast Locker on itself and charged, but, as it was not Rushed and still in the rough terrain, didn't get as far forward as Alex would've liked. The Bronzeback (the wood-colored, 50mm base with the red upkeep token with "Bronzeback" written on it in the pic below) ran up next to the Sentry and the Gladiator on Rasheth's left charged a Ranger and eventually killed it. Lastly, the Gladiator on Rasheth's right ran into the forested zone.

The Journeyman gets spell sniped and Gators charge in and clear the right zone.Turn 2 - Skorne

Cygnar turn 2: Stryker unsurprisingly let Snipe drop, took 1 focus from the Squire and allocated 3 to the Stormwall. Aiyanna & Holt activated first. Aiyanna advanced and cast Kyss of Lylyss on the Gators and Holt aimed and blew away a Gator. The Rangers went next; some advanced and one aimed. One failed to damage a Trog, one killed a Bone Grinder and one rolled box cars to kill yet another Gator. The remaining Stormblades killed one Gator as well and then the Long Gunners activated. The ones in melee failed to do anything, though the others were able to shoot 4 of the 6 Bog Trogs, forcing them to take (and fail) a CMD check. Stryker advanced to the center of the hill, used his feat, killed a Bog Trog in melee and channeled an Earthquake through the Lancer (that was outside of Rasheth's CTRL area) at the Sentry, knocking down the three side-by-side Titans. The Stormwall then charged the Gladiator in the hill adjacent zone and, using all it's focus on attacks, killed the Gladiator. It also shot a Pod into the forested zone and did 2 damage to the remaining Gator. The Piper Heroic Call'd the Stormblades again and ran into the zone, hiding in/behind the forest. The Lancer advanced into melee, but missed it's initial attacks.

Gators get whittled, Trogs get busted up and Stormwall squashes a Gladiator. Turn 2 - Cygnar

One persistent/resilient Gator holds the line.Turn 2 - Cygnar (close up)

Just before the finishing blow lands on the Gladiator #1.Turn 2 - Cygnar (Stormwall charges Gladiator, midturn, before smashing it )

Skorne turn 3: Rasheth reaved all the fury, cut for 1 to be at full and forced the Bronzeback and Sentry to stand up. The Bone Grinders went first, zapping a Ranger with an Arcane Bolt and Rasheth advanced, cast Castigate again and channeled a boosted Blood Mark into the Stormwall, sitting on 1 fury. The Beast Handlers Enraged the Titans and the Sentry went to work on the Stormwall, taking out most of its left side and killing a Ranger with the shield attack. The Bronzeback went next, actually missing the charge attack and then rolled quite poorly on it's remaining attacks, doing significantly less damage than the Sentry. The other Gladiator got in the mix as well (though took more damage than expected from the Lancer's freestrike), and when all the Titans were full on fury, the Stormwall had 4 boxes left and was missing it's left arm and superstructure systems. The last Gator again prayed Dirge of Mists and attacked a tough Stormblade and the last Bog Trog rallied.

Titans nearly wreck the Stormwall.Turn 3 - Skorne

Titans triple team the Stormwall, but, against the odds, leave it standing!Turn 3 - Skorne (triple team!)

Cygnar turn 3: Again Stryker took 1 focus off the Squire and gave 3 to the Stormwall. The Piper gave the two remaining Stormblades Heroic Call again and stayed behind the forest. The knocked down Stormblade just stood up and the other one aimed and shot the Gatorman in the back, but did no damage. Holt shot a Beast Handler and then shot into melee at the Gator and did no damage. Stryker again knocked down all three Titans with an Earthquake and hung out on the hill. The Long Gunners did a couple 4-man CRA's on the Bronzeback, doing a bit of damage and killed the last Bog Trog in melee. The Stormwall shot another Pod into the forested zone, and, using it's fists, finished off the second Gladiator and put a decent chunk of damage on the Bronzeback.

The Stormwall continues it's trend of Gladiator crushing.Turn 3 - Cygnar

Skorne turn 4: Rasheth let Blood Mark drop, reaved to full and left 3 on the Sentry, which forced to stand up. The Task Master charged the Storm Pod and smashed it and the lone Gator attacked another very tough Stormblade. Rasheth channeled a Sunder Spirit through the Task Master at Aiyana, but was juuust short and then directly cast another one at the nearest Stormblade, who also tough'd. He then cast Castigate and healed the Bronzeback for 2, camping 0. The Beast Handlers healed the Bronzeback for 1 and removed all fury from the Sentry. The Bronzeback then cast Trainwreck on itself and scrapped the Stormwall with it's initial tusk attack, backing up 1" from beatback. The Bone Grinders backed  up and cast Rush onto the Sentry, who then charged through the wreck marker to kill Aiyana (Holt didn't flee) and riled up to full. Alex scored 1 control point at the end of the turn for controlling a zone with the Bronzeback.

Stormwall finally goes down. Turn 4 - Skorne

The Bronzeback stands triumphant.Turn 4 (bronzeback standing over wreck - Skorne

Cygnar turn 4: Stryker kept all his focus and took the last one from the Squire. First the Squire ran to toe into the nearby zone. The Piper Heroic Call'd and stayed put again and Holt aimed, shot the Task Master dead and then tried to shoot the Gator, but missed and killed the Stormblade in melee with it instead. The last Ranger killed the second to last Beast Handler (who passed his CMD check) and then the Long Gunners activated. A couple moved to get LoS and they then shot the Bronzeback, doing one 7-man CRA that brought it down to 4 health and then did another 4-man CRA (with the ones that could dual shot) and brought it down to 1! After this the Bronzeback advanced into the wreck marker via Hyper Aggressive. Stryker then cast Arcane Shield on himself, advanced to toe into the zone and missed a boosted ranged attack at the now DEF 16 Bronzeback. He then targeted it with a boosted Arcane Bolt, but that also missed. At this point, as Alex would be able to either win by scenario in two turns or simply heal the Bronzeback and have it stomp Stryker into pulp, Ben conceded.

That Bronzeback just won't go down.Turn 4 - Cygnar

Stryker fails to do that last point of damage that was needed to finish off the Bronzeback.Turn 4 - Cygnar (Stryker can't seal the deal)

Aftermath: Though almost always a factor in miniature gaming, dice variance had a lot of impact on this game. That the Gatormen made zero out of four tough checks isn't that unlikely, but them getting gunned down primarily by Rangers and tiny CRA's certainly helped swing the skirmish for the forested zone in Ben's favor. The next biggest dice skew was certainly the three Titans failing to destroy the Stormwall turn 3. On average, an enraged Sentry, Bronzeback and Gladiator (even with forcing to shake off knock down) should wreck a Stormwall with +3 ARM (+5 for Stryker's feat, -2 for Blood Mark), but it just didn't shake out that way. The Bronzeback just happened to miss twice and rolled poorly for damage on the hits that did connect. Lastly, while the odds were decent for Stryker to finish off the Bronzeback, neither were they a nigh surety. The ranged attack needed 10's to hit and 10 or better on damage and the Arcane Bolt also needed 10's to hit and 9 or better to on damage. In short, dat fickle finger...

Unlike variance however, what the players had control over definitely had a greater effect on the game than even the fairly swingy dice. At the start of Ben's turn 1, Alex immediately lamented leaving his Agonizers needlessly exposed, thus allowing Ben the opportunity to make the afore mentioned surprisingly impactful shots with the Rangers. Had one or more Agonizer survived to deny the allocation of focus to the Stormwall on turn 2, the game would obviously have had a different tone to it. Similarly, if Alex hadn't noticed that Ben had advanced his Journeyman closer than necessary and maneuvered to take it out with a channeled spell, rather than ARM 22, the Stormwall would've been ARM 25. You don't have to be a Mechanik or an Arcanist to know how much less damage that thing would've taken from the trio of angry elephants were it Arcane Shielded on turn 3. In a different respect, both players also did their best not to leave things up to chance. Castigate being up on Rasheth most of the game took the last ditch spell assassination option off the table for Ben and Stryker Earthquaking the Titans to ensure the Stormwall's attacks connected removed the chance to miss when normally needing 6's to hit. All in all, a bloody and surprisingly close game.