These posts document the NEW CHURCH LEAGUE (named after our regular gaming venue, affectionately nicknamed "the Church"). The NCL has eight participants, and will take place over nine two-week, Round Robin rounds with elimination finals for the top four players. Each player picks two casters for the duration of the League. The match-ups, scenarios and any special rules are posted at the outset. Scenarios are from the PP Official Steamroller 2011 Rules. We should be wrapping by about mid-march.
My Warlocks for the League are pMadrak & pGrissel.
This Round, I played against Cygnar!
Round Seven of the New Church League:
This round took place between 30 January and 12 February.
For the Seventh Round, we are playing Destruction, one caster, 35 points, Character Restriction (forces may include only one choice with FA: C aside from the Warcaster/Warlock).
Due to the re-ordering of the League last round, I'm having another rematch - my second Cygnar opponent, whom I played in round 3.
A few other members of the League had already played this scenario and the consensus I'd gathered was that the range game is king in this scenario - the aim of the game is to destroy two 50mm bases with Def 5 Arm 20 and 15 Boxes. They can't be touched on the first turn and the second one enters play after the first is destroyed.
I figure what I need to do is JAM THE HECK out of my opponent's lines and blast away at the objectives. So I took a Bomber + Impaler for one flank, and a Slag Troll + Impaler for the other. Fennblades with UA and SSC take the jam role, with pGrissel as my Lock to give them 18" move on turn one - yee haw!
Grissel Bloodsong (*5pts)
* Slag Troll (6pts)
* Troll Impaler (5pts)
* Troll Impaler (5pts)
* Dire Troll Bomber (10pts)
Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer (2pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)
Troll Whelps (2pts)
Cygnar takes some powerful shooting and a couple of heavy jacks to back them up - the Charger and Hunter give me pause, since the ol' pewpew is pretty worrying to me since I'm stocking up on offence and pGrissel isn't the best at surviving without some buffs.
Constance Blaize, Knights of the Prophet (*6pts)
* Charger (4pts)
* Gallant (9pts)
* Ironclad (7pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
Sword Knights (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
Gun Mage Captain Adept (2pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
* Hunter (6pts)
I win the roll-off and decide to go first. That way I figure I get first crack at destroying the objectives. Looking at the terrain-rich table, there's a pair of small buildings at the centre of the square formed by the four objectives which will provide me with cover but break up any advance. Grissel goes right in the centre so that she can give me 24" to either side to run my beasts, with the Fennblades in two rows alongside her Red Sea style. The Slag Troll & Impaler go on the left flank, lined up to get at the second objective when it opens up. The Bomber & Impaler go on the right flank to get at the first objective. Each pair of beasts gets a whelp and the Stone Scribe Chronicler goes on the left side of the Fennblades.
Cygnar puts Constance and her battlegroup on my middle left flank to get at the first objective, with the Sword knights out wider. The Gunmages and solo go in the centre-right, and the Journeyman (lovingly nicknamed "Junior") goes on my right flank with his Hunter.
On my first Turn I blitz up the table. Grissel moves first, and I consider using Rift to block some charge lanes but honestly, I'm going to be putting Fennblades there in a minute so I just dump three Fury instead. The Fennblades get Tale of Mist & Hoof It, fanning out in classic jamming style in front of Grissel. The beasts all run, with Whelps following closely behind (I'll need to eat one next turn because I've generated 4 Fury and only have space for 3 on Grissel).
Cygnar's first turn also consists of advancement, but because of Sniped shots and my AMAZING SPEED he can get off a couple of shots from Gunmages and the Hunter - I lose a few Fennblades and the Hunter fails to get range on Grissel (luckily for me!)
On my second turn I get a couple of Vengeance attacks - I engage the Hunter on one side and the Ironclad on the other, and black out a few of their boxes, but don't take out any systems. The other Fennblades take up position for more jamming. The Bomber's Impaler eats a whelp (particularly necessary since it's out of Control range at this point) and I leach. The Impaler moves up into Control and drops Far Strike on the Bomber, then chucks a spear at the Hunter (again failing to deal much, if any damage). The Bomber lobs GIANT FLAMING BARRELS OF DEATH at the objective, and with two boosted hits destroys it. Grissel moves up a bit further and puts Heroic Ballad on the Fennblades, then drops 3 Fury since she can't see anything and nothing's in range anyway. The Stone Scribe put up Tale of Mist again since I'm more worried about pot shots taking out the Fennblades than about melee (everything that might kill one is going to be engaged by two big swords, except the Charger!). I pop Acidic Touch on one of the Fenns engaging the Ironclad and move my left-flank beasts up to draw a bead on the second objective. The Fennblades minifeat & charge, all running up to engage gunmages, the Sword Knights, and Cygnar's Heavies - I dish out some damage, but nothing incredible.
Cygnar's second turn consists mainly of Fennblades getting munched - the grunts engaging the Sword Knights and Gallant die, Gallant kills the Officer, and the others are mostly knocked down (including one engaging the Hunter). The Hunter parries his way out of combat but can't get range on Grissel takes a potshot at the Bomber. The Gunmages fail to kill their Fennblade (who gets a promotion to leader somewhere along the line) and the unengaged ones take sniping shots at the Bomber, who drops a whelp to make sure that his Impaler doesn't frenzy. Blaize takes cover behind Gallant and then uses her Feat.
On my third turn, I eat a whelp or two to manage Fury and do some eyeballing. Most of my Fennblades are dead, but none of my beasts have systems out and Grissel is untouched. The Bomber, even with Farstrike, won't be able to get a hit on the second objective without some whacky deviations, and from memory it's immune to blast damage. So that's out. Grissel won't likely be able to get range on it. It's up to the Impaler and the Slag Troll and if I can't take it out this turn, that's probably game for me.
Grissel moves up, feats (because why not, right?) and tries to drop Calamity on the objective, but I'm way out of range. I think about trying for an assassination on Blaize for a moment and spray the Gallant, catching her in the template. I roll poorly though, and don't put any damage on her. So that plan's out. The Fennblades go next, with one taking out a Gunmage and the other putting a dot or two on the Hunter. Another is knocked down... and fleeing. So he just stands up (if I recall correctly. His action wasn't very important). The Impaler strolls up into range and throws a spear, boosting for 6 damage on the objective. Decent. The Slag troll does similar, boosting to four dice for... 3 damage. FFFFF. Last shot, and many dots come up on my dice. Happy days! Hands are shook and lifts home are given.
Well, I'm certainly getting better at this business. I had a game plan and a list to go with it and I stuck to my guns (hurr hurr), which paid off.
Thinking about the list, I might have done just as well with a second Slag Troll instead of the Impaler, and maybe adding a Fell Caller or Janissa with the other three points, but if things hadn't gone my way I'd have probably needed the Bomber's power to have a chance in the attrition game. Had I not managed to bog down the Sword Knights, in particular, I think that taking out the second obstacle would have become somewhat more difficult, since wading through two Heavies while my forces were divided and two pretty nasty ranged threats can draw a bead on my Warlock... well, I'm not sure it would have turned out well for me.
Tarpitting is a great tactic when used right. I felt more in control and aware of my Fennblades this game than I have before; knowing that I could run one of them into a close-packed unit of small bases (like the Sword Knights & Gunmages) and just STOP them for a turn was gold.
The last thing which worked well was using beasts to effectively extend my Control range for a turn. Grissel was almost exactly equidistant from the two beast pairs all game, and 12" is quite a long Control range. That said, if I didn't consider things exactly I could leave one of the four beasts outside it. Having a whelp there meant that I didn't need to worry about leaching from that beast at all, and I could walk into Grissel's Control range, force without issue, and then leave them behind when I moved Grissel again. Of course on my last turn I think I had ten Fury on the board, so if I hadn't managed to destroy the Objective (and somehow not been killed by the Hunter and Charger) I'd have been very likely to be killed by my own beasts.
This Scenario victory puts me at sixteen points at the end of the Seventh round.
Next round, I’m playing Circle (Epic Kaya or Epic Krueger), playing Revelation, one caster, 35 points, No Mercenaries (no mercenaries or minion choices may be taken).