Monday, April 30, 2012

Warmachine League - End of Week 1

Week 1 of the local Warmachine League has been completed.  While it was originally quite stressful for me because I couldn't get a game in all week, I finally did get some games in on Friday and I can make at least one conclusion: the Harbinger of Menoth is a real witch.  While I'm well aware of her tricks and shenanigans, she's really difficult to deal with at 15 points and my games on Friday were both against her.  While I should go easier on myself because these were my first two games with my Morrowan force, I made some silly mistakes in the first game and I lost the last game on a technicality (the store was closing and we ran out of time).  I want to start today by sharing my experiences in these two games first and then I'll share my list for week two.

Just as a refresher, here's the list that I was using this week:
Constance Blaze (+6)
- Gallant (9)
Precursor Knights (full, 8)
- Officer and Standard (2)
Harlan Versh (2)

This is what my opponent brought:
Harbinger (+5)
- Reckoner (8)
- Vanquisher (8)
Choir (min, 2)
Vassal (2)

His list was quite brutal, especially against my infantry.  While my feat was a good side effect of taking massive casualties, his feat was a huge problem along with Harbinger's silly -2 to attack rolls for living models.  Fortunately, Precursors are MAT 7 and his warjacks were only DEF 10, but if they were engaging the Reckoner they were at a total effective MAT of 3!  While I had a couple of things going for me, it was a largely uphill battle.  I ended up playing two games against him because the first game ended really quickly with him able to draw LOS to Connie with the Reckoner and Vanquisher and the vassal was able to make the Vanquisher take another shot to take me down - even though I was sitting at ARM 20.  I also had forgotten that Gallant has Shield Guard, although it probably wouldn't have mattered much.  Harby just has so much focus to throw around that her warjacks can boost damage without her worrying at all.  Oh well.  I challenged my opponent to a second game since we had time, and I learned a quick lesson.

The second game was much better.  I kept my dudes in B2B mostly the entire time and quickly ran to engage the Reckoner and was just a little shy of engaging the Vanquisher.  This time their small bases obscured Connie and I was feeling much safer.  This time I was able to use my feat effectively, collecting 5 souls on Connie after my opponent flamed a bunch of Precursors, and since he forgot to pop his feat, I was able to get into melee with the Reckoner with Gallant and Connie to wreck him (hooray Flank and Flashing Blade!).  Connie was sitting on 5 focus and I had my opponent against the ropes without a Reckoner.  With the store closing however, my opponent decided that we should play like a scenario and go for tie-breakers and figure out how he could win, since we weren't playing a scenario.  So, he killed off the last of my Precursors and then won because he had more points of models destroyed than I did.  I'm still a little bitter because if I had one more turn, there was no way I would lose.  Oh well.  I'll get him next time!

This week I'm a little torn about what I want to bring with me.  I received a package on Friday of models I had purchased on eBay, including 2 Minutemen, but the seller apparently forgot he had already packaged my items because he sent me two copies of the same package.  Now this means that I have 4 Minutemen waiting to be assembled, and I'm REALLY tempted to use them this week!  The rules for this week are the same and I need a 15 point list.  I could play with the same warcaster or I could choose a second, but I won't get to choose another afterwards, so I have to look towards the long-term play here.  I've looked at my options with warcasters at 35 points since they should be viable at that level if I plan on taking them now.  Here are my options at 15 points:

On an Iron Horse he rides...
Kraye (+6)
- Ironclad (7)
- Minuteman (5)
- Minuteman (5)
- Sentinel (4)

With Kraye's large base, a Sentinel is practically required, plus its gun is silly-good with Guided Fire up - which will probably be cast on most turns with the Minutemen running along the flanks waiting to literally jump into the fray.  The Ironclad is there because I need a heavy hitter and Kraye makes him so awesome with Iron Horse and Full Tilt on him.  With the Cavalry Charge the Ironclad can charge in (from potentially 15" away, mind you) and make a Tremor (* Attack) at MAT 9 and reliably knock down most targets within 2" of him, allowing the Minutemen to go in for the kill.  Alternatively, the Ironclad could just walk up, Tremor with a boosted to-hit roll, and then walk away thanks to Ride-by-Attack - again getting out of the way for someone else.  The flexibility of this warjack with Kraye is too good to pass up.  In fact, if I had the models, I would just run 3 of them with Kraye and have some laughs!

Here's the other list I'm considering:
Darius (+5)
- Hammersmith (8)
- Hammersmith (8)
- Squire (2)
Strangeways (2)

This list hits like a Mack truck, but I'm more thinking of trying Darius because he'll be super fun at 35 points.  I feel less comfortable about this list, but at least I know at 15 points it will be harder for my opponent to flat out wreck my Hammersmiths (especially with Fortitude) and then I can just repair them to full with Darius and the halfjacks, followed by some pain from Full Throttle.  With Darius the Hammersmiths are really solid warjacks and can really bully targets around on the field.  Darius offers some great spells for them, boosting their survivability and threat range (thanks you his Crane) and Darius can even go in for a Tremor like an Ironclad if you feel like saving the focus.  Again, I think Darius will be stronger at 35 points, but I still like this list for dealing with heavies - something with which the Kraye list has difficulty.
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