Monday, February 20, 2012

New Church League Round 8



With EvilFuzzyDoom

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 Circle!


Round Eight of the New Church League

This round took place between 13 and 26 February.

For the eighth round, we are playing Revelation, one caster, 35 points, Mercenary Restriction (Armies may include only Faction models).

Lists:

My opponent this round is our "token chick" playing Circle (actually a good friend of mine and not very token at all). I know two things going in; that I would be facing eKaya (since she's my opponent's most practised 'Lock) and that I want to win by scenario if possible (since it's getting to the end of the League where I'm starting to think about placings and stuff). Other than that... not much.

So I look at my collection and consider a few things: firstly, that I want a way to deal with Stealth. Scattergunners are in every draft list I put together for this match. The second thing is that I want to be able to deal with a fairly beefy Battlegroup, which is something I've had trouble with in the past. Just check out the report I wrote a few months back about the three-man tournament against Beaumains and Nonchalance where they both ran T4 'Jack caster lists...

I'm honestly torn between pGrissel and pMadrak because while Grissel has the speed to get to the objectives, I'm not sure she's got the staying power to support the boys when they get there. Madrak is almost the opposite; he's got the toughness and the damage output to hold points, but doesn't want to go sprinting up the field or all the careful buffs I need to put on him will get messed up.

I decide to go with Madrak mainly because he supports beasts better than Grissel. Despite having less Fury, he lends himself better to high-MAT assaults (less boosting to hit), I'm not tempted to bring multiple big infantry units (more resources to spend on beasts) and the multiple defensive buffs I tend to bring with him lend survivability to key support pieces like whelps.

The Bouncer is a last-minute inclusion instead of an Impaler, since I'm going a little overboard in my preparations for Stealth I don't expect Far Strike to be all that useful.

Chief Madrak Ironhide (*6pts)
* Troll Bouncer (5pts)
* Dire Troll Mauler (9pts)
* Earthborn Dire Troll (10pts)
* Trollkin Runebearer (2pts)
Trollkin Scattergunners (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
* Trollkin Scattergunner Officer & Drummer (2pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
Janissa Stonetide (3pts)
Troll Whelps (2pts)

Circle takes almost what I predict - since she's a perfectionist painter, works slowly and has the self-restraint to only buy what she can finish (unlike yours truly who nearly puts out a shoulder every time I pick up my figure-case) I know most of what's in her collection before it hits the table. Of course I forgot some things and confused some things, but the only real surprise is the Tharn Wolf Riders - who look cool and give me a bit of a scare straight away.


Kaya the Moonhunter & Laris (*3pts)
* Feral Warpwolf (9pts)
* Pureblood Warpwolf (9pts)
Druids of Orboros (Leader and 5 Grunts) (7pts)
* Druid of Orboros Overseer (2pts)
Tharn Wolfriders (Leader and 2 Grunts) (6pts)
Warpborn Skinwalkers (Leader and 2 Grunts) (5pts)

Battle Report:

We decide to play at a FLGS since we both work in the city and it's close by. I arrive early (since I finish early this day) and set the board up and pack it with terrain - hills, craters (eventually deciding to use these as forests because there's a real dearth of LOS-blocking scenery), ruins and a big obelisk dominating the centre of the board. Circle wins the roll for deployment, and we determine that the flag on my left is flag one.

Circle deploys with a wide spread - her druids go on one flank, behind a big forest on my left; the wolfriders go on the other flank; and Kaya's goes with her battlegroup in the centre-right of the board, in and behind a forest.

I deploy with a slightly off-centre brick, with Madrak almost in the middle of the board, Janissa and the Runebearer in base to base with him. The Bouncer, Axer and Earthborn are in a row proceeding to the right from here, with the Scattergunners in a clump next to that. The Fellcaller goes behind the Earthborn and two whelps round out my deployment. The Tharn Wolfriders choose the Fellcaller as their prey.

Circle's first turn is fairly simple. The Druids advance through the forest. The Skinwalkers advance. The Tharn run EIGHTEEN INCHES WHAT THE HELL yeah okay that's fine I guess if you want to... And Kaya's battlegroup puts up some upkeeps, runs and riles. Then the store owner lets everyone know that the shop is closing at eight. So, it turns out we're playing to a time limit. We've got about an hour and a half all told to get through our game. The twitching starts about now and doesn't really stop - since I don't really like playing under pressure and Circle likes to properly consider all of her moves and think ahead and play conservatively and all that sort of thing. There's a little bit of weirdness for the rest of the game and ultimately we have to call it on account of time, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

On my first turn I decide that I want to do a bit of a bait & switch. The last thing I want is the Wolfriders annihilating my Scattergunners before they get a chance to lay into Kaya's stealthy battlegroup, so I stick my Earthborn behind a handy pillar and then run the Scattergunners across his path - if you were to trace their movement it would form a rough "X" - and if the Wolfriders charge my Scattergunners, the Earthborn can carry out a nasty nasty counter-charge the next turn. Everyone else buffs up and heads towards flag #1, chilling behind Janissa's wall, except the Fellcaller who hangs out behind the Scattergunners for a bit of his own counter-charge action.

On Circle's second turn she advances the Druids again, putting up some Vortices and Counter Magic to keep them protected. The Wolfriders spot my cunning ploy to pound them into oblivion, and instead round on my Fellcaller and fling some spears at him. A few mediocre rolls later and he's only taken 2 damage.The Skinwalkers move up onto flag 2 (but can't get any Control Points off it yet). Kaya & Laris hang back behind the forest while the two Warpwolves advance through it and do some riling.

As my second turn begins I decide that I'm not really that attached to my Scattergunners. They advance and spray-spray-spray all over the Skinwalkers and the Wolfriders. The Officer alone rolls incredibly well and takes out two of the Wolfriders on his own! The other Scattergunners spit out a bundle of damage on the Skinwalkers but don't kill any (four, four and two damage on the three of them). Madrak and his puissant posse march up to within spitting distance of flag one, with the Bouncer by his side, the Earthborn next to him and the Mauler behind. He also chucks Rathrok, boosting because I can spare the Fury, and takes out one of the Druids. Because he's just that awesome. Janissa moves up and puts a wall directly in front of Madrak to finish things up.

Circle's third turn is pretty messy. The Wolfrider charges my Fellcaller but fails to damage him, then is killed when she decides to pull it out of melee with my Mat 7 Weaponmaster killin' dude. The Skinwalkers charge my Scattergunners and knock a couple down, then the Pureblood Warpwolf sprays and kills four of them. Because Pureblood. Lucky for me, they pass their command check with help from the Standard. The druids charge Madrak (hooray for Reach + Pathfinder) but fail to hit him due to some quite abominable rolling. Kaya & Laris again hang back, advancing to the front of the forest she's been hanging out in.

At the start of my turn, the wall holding back Madrak dissipates. The Runebearer uses harmonious exaltation, Madrak casts Carnage, uses his feat and PAC-MANs his way through all of the Druids except the last one, who I miss. The Earthborn runs up to be in base-to-base with the flag and the Mauler and Bouncer pivot up to block charge lanes and LOS to Madrak. Janissa gives them a wall to hide behind. The Fell Caller and the Scattergunner officer have a go at the Skinwalkers, killing one but not scratching the other two.

Circle decides that fourth turn is Feat turn. We've got maybe ten minutes left here, for reference. The Skinwalkers do their thing and kill the Scattergunner Standard pretty convincingly. The Feral uses the Pureblood's Leadership effect and grabs Ghostly, charging through the Skinwalkers to get at my Fellcaller, who is turned into teal-and-red paste. The Pureblood also uses Ghostly, and charges around the wall to get at my Earthborn, doling out 15-20 damage on some sub-par rolls and failing once to get through my effective ARM 20.

With five minutes left before we need to be outside the building, Madrak puts his axe through the remaining Druid of Orboros and I declare, taking one VP.

Since nobody's won outright, we go to the SR2011 rules which give us the breakdown for who wins when time runs down. Tiebreaker one is surviving Warlocks/Warcasters, which is silly in a single-caster game so we can ignore that. Tiebreaker two is Control Points. I have one, Circle has zero, so I take away a Scenario Victory.

Debrief:

Alrighty. I'm a bit miffed that our game was time-throttled as it was - on the nights I normally visit my LGS, it doesn't close until tennish, but I guess that's life. A little taster for timed turns which I should probably get used to if I'm going to keep playing this game long-term. I was getting excited at the notion of getting both our Battlegroups to grips and really seeing what our beasts could do to each other since I haven't played many games at all against Hordes.

That aside, I am getting more and more used to units and how they work. Watching my opponent, she put her units in tight groups, but spread out each of the units across the battlefield. The Tharn were probably about 24+" away from the Druids for most of the game, which is something which I just don't do - even if I'm playing infantry-heavy pGrissel I tend to clump my models in close so that I can have an easier time of layering buffs and throwing around my Warlock's powers. Seeing the Tharn at work (less the Druids - they sort of ran into my entire force and got smooshed) I started to get ideas about taking units outside my Control area or even beyond my Warlock's effective area of influence - and using independent support solos like Fellcallers to keep them running while they run around on their own.

I also learned that cavalry is neat, if only because they move like the devil is at their backs.

I should also post pictures of the Circle player's models because they're really really good, or maybe get her to do it.

This Scenario victory puts me at twenty points at the end of the Eighth round.

Now I get to prepare for the final game of the round robin, which is me versus Nonchalance's Cryx with two casters. This will no doubt be messy and I could really use your help! I'll be starting a thread on the Privateer Press Forums about beating Cryx some time shortly, I'm sure.

Next round, I’m playing Cryx (Venethrax and Scaverous), playing Command and Control, two casters, 50 points, Two Casters (Exactly what it says on the tin).

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