Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Today is the conclusion of the DOMINATION! READ! NOW! series, and I’m sure you’re all tired of seeing so many exclamation points and capital letters.  To conclude my initial analysis and impressions of Domination, I have a battle report to share with you!  Today’s battle report is pretty special not only because it’s the first I’ve posted on here, but also because it’s against a kid Drew at my LGS.  Drew is a good kid and I’ve been playing games against him for some time and recently traded my old Minions from the good Dr. Arkadius for his Cygnar.  This means that all of the painted models in the battle report today were painted by yours truly!  Let’s begin.

Our LGS was pretty packed full of 40k players so we got to play in the upstairs annex of the store.  We decided to keep things simple and play the classic scenario, Kill Box.  If you’re unfamiliar with the scenario, there’s a 24”x24” “Kill box” established in the middle of the board, and your caster has to stay within that box from the end of the second player’s second turn, onwards.  In other words, it’s a great scenario where both casters have to stay towards the middle of the board instead of hiding in the corner.  We decided to play a game at 35 points.  Here was Drew’s list:
Thornfall Alliance
Lord Carver (+6)
                - War Hog (8)
                - War Hog (8)
                - War Hog (8)
Rorsh + Brine (9)
Farrow Brigands (8)
Drew ran a pretty straight-forward Carver list, maximizing his effectiveness with War Hogs and the Thornfall Alliance pact allows his Brigands to advance deploy (which ended up being a big deal in this game!)
I decided to take a 35 point eBaldur list.  While I could have gotten to a higher tier, I decided to try a gimmick in 35 points and stick with only tier 1 (for the 20” shifting stone advance deploy).
eBaldur (+5)
                - Megalith (11)
                - Woldguardian (9)
                - Woldwarden (9)
Lord of the Feast (4)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
                - Stone Keeper (1)
Blackclad Wayfarer (2)
The Blackclad was absolutely just a filler for points, but he also brought a fairly reliable SP8 POW12 attack, or Hunter’s Mark for my Wolds if I wanted to use my shifting stones for teleporting something else.

I rolled for and chose first turn, deploying everything in a solid line, while the Lord of the Feast and the shifting stones waited to be advance deployed.  Since I was deploying first, this meant that Drew got to see where the LotF was, and he (rightfully) placed his brigands far away, on the flank, and on the top of some rocks which gave him an elevation bonus against shooting (solid decision).

My deployment.  Baldur is center, the Wolds surround him
and the shifting stones in place towards the front
Carver and big pigs sit in the middle while the brigands sit
on the rocky hill, with LOS blocked to them
 Turn 1 Circle:
Nothing spectacular happened.  I shuffled the shifting stones to refuse his flank, I ran up my Wolds and had Megalith and the Woldwarden geomancy a couple of Roots of the Earth on themselves.  Baldur activated and walked up, casting Roots and throwing out a Rock Wall in front of the Stone Keeper (who was in stone form just in case), just in case the piggies decided to get close.  Baldur also used his action to remove the 1 wurm token on him - that he received during his control phase - to essentially give myself an extra turn to make the kill if I needed.  The Blackclad moved within 2" of a shifting stone in case I wanted to leap him the following turn.

Turn 1 Pigs:
Rorsh used diversionary tactics to get a free advance for him and Brine.  The Brigands took their prayer March and ran across the rocky cliff to get the flank on me.  This ended up putting some pressure on me since I would have to fight on two fronts.

Brigands lining up for flanking maneuvers!
The lead War Hog activated and riled for 1 fury and ran forward 8".  Carver activated, giving his pigs Mobility and Batten Down the Hatches, leaving him with 1 fury.  He then moved up behind the first War Hog.  The other two War Hogs activated and ran, one of them riling (leaving 5 fury total between the three of them).
Carver's formation, with Rorsh and Brine ready for a
counter charge if necessary.
 Circle Turn 2:
I saw my opportunity to put a wrench into the works.  I didn't think that I would do lots of damage, but it would at least tie him up for a turn and waste some time, so I decided to go for it.  First thing I did, though, was just throw the Blackclad forward to try to ping some pigs with a stone spray, but it was a long-shot considering they were sitting at ARM 21, but he did put himself in the way.  Here's my own diversion:
Notice that the LotF is between the triangular area between
the purple set of shifting stones?
I activated the purple stones and teleported LotF forward
into the white set of stones.  Note he's still in the area
(the white stone is on the other side of the Woldguardian)
The white stones were able to fling him forward again into
the woods on the side of Carver's formation...
...and the LotF was able to see Carver!  Bingo!
Since Carver had cast Batten Down the Hatches, he was
sitting at DEF 13 ARM 20, so the LotF was able to tag him
with his Raven and shift into B2B.  Since he has reach, the
LotF was also engaging all three hogs!
The LotF was now in his backfield, threatening his main formation.  He swung his sword, but alas, POW 13 meant that he only did 2 points to Carver and didn't scratch any of the hogs.  That's alright, this just meant that Drew had to deal with him somehow to be ready to take some free strikes.  The rest of my Wolds trundled forward, with the Guardian putting his animus on himself, Megalith using his animus, and the Woldwarden running forward to a better position around the shifting stones.  Baldur activated, moved up, tossed out another Rock Wall in front of the Stone Keeper, used the Woldguardian's animus (just in case), and popped his feat - meaning everyone was now +3 ARM and couldn't be knocked down or moved in any way. Unfortunately, the LotF was 2" outside of my control (I expected as much).
Baldur was at ARM 20, taking 1 less die from ranged attacks.
Pigs Turn 2:
The LotF in Drew's face was obnoxious, but he had a great solution: Brine!  He activated Rorsh, popping a Diversionary Tactic and moved Brine around the back to draw LOS to LotF and Rorsh moved up, casting Pig Pen, only to discover that my guys all have pathfinder.  Unfortunately, he forgot that Rorsh has only a 6" control range, and Brine was out of control!  This meant that he couldn't charge (couldn't be forced), but he was close enough to walk in and punk the LotF, but it did take all of his initial attacks to do so.
Pig chow!
With LotF dead, the lead Hog
was able to murder the Blackclad
Carver cast his two spells and moved up behind his war hog and the other two war hogs advanced into the same formation, recognizing that my Wolds were pretty far away and he would be able to punch me back hard next turn, since I already popped my feat and his was still available.  He also marched the Brigands into position on the flank, really threatening me for next turn.

End of pigs turn two
Circle Turn 3:
Since he was in position to strike hard next turn, I really needed to do some serious damage, but fortunately I looked at my position, checked my control, and I had a plan.  Since I had my Wolds sitting within the triangular areas between my two sets of shifting stones.  While I could have double-jumped Baldur into range of Carver, he only had 2 Wurm tokens on him (only STR 16 vs. Carver's ARM 20), I had another plan in mind.  First, I teleported the Woldguardian within 8" (note: not completely within!) of his position, right behind Carver!
The Guardian boosted to hit Carver and knocked him down!  He then proceeded to bash Carver repeatedly while he was on the ground, but unfortunately was unable to land the killing blow thanks to low damage rolls and Carver's high ARM (plus his transfer).

Only 2 boxes left!
That's okay.  While there was much rejoicing on Drew's side, I also that there was enough room to fit another heavy, and Megalith was just within range from the back set of shifting stones to fill in the gap:
Megalith's turn!
 Megalith smashed Carver on the ground, but that piggie is tough!  He rolled for tough... a 6!  Blast!  Now of course everyone was cheering on Drew, but could he make 5 more rolls?  Stranger things have happened!  His second tough roll...

Dead piggie :-(
Circle wins!  Unfortunately, we didn't get to see eBaldur smash it up, but we did get to see how effective his tier list is with shifting stones deploying 20" forward.  We did the rolls out after the game to see if eBaldur could have done it himself, and sure enough, he could have, but it would have been a nail-biter and I would have lost next turn if I had failed.  This way I had the most chance of success with two heavies and access to all of their fury.

In hindsight I think that I should have waited to pop my feat, but I thought that the pigs were closer than they actually were.  Rock Wall for Circle is HUGE, as it doesn't ever hinder any of my own models, and it will protect my squishier stuff from being charged from heavies (as most don't have reach and the +2 DEF is nice anyway).  Roots is really fun to spam everywhere, and Baldur will be just as hard as it was to take down Carver (Carver + Batten Down the Hatches = DEF 13, ARM 20 - Baldur + Roots = DEF 13 ARM 20).  Having seen how hard it is to take down Carver, I am much more confident that Baldur will be a great attrition warlock.

Drew, if you read this and want to enter your own thoughts about the game, feel free to post them in the comments!
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