So I recently played another game of Warmachine against John from Steam and Shields and he kindly wrote it up after looting my pictures.
So in best Merc and MacBain tradition, i thought I’d loot it back!
Take a look at john’s site for the full report and conclusions, text in blue is his, black is mine.
We played a straight caster-kill game at 25 points, in the abandoned desert town terrain at the Bedworth Club.
I took a Teir 4 Darius list:
Sword Knights – With free UA
Shipman took McBain’s Teir List:
Full Unit of Steelhead Halbardiers
People may think this list is very familiar, my theory is the more i play the better I’ll discover its strengths, as the report goes on you see this Chumbawumba song better depicts how I’m learning over time
On With the Battle Report!
Both forces squared up for the oncoming battle:
MacBain set up behind his ‘Jackwall with a mass of Steelheads to the left in the open and Stannis ready to run behind the buildings and flank the slower infantry force.
Darius formed up centrally, with the Thunderhead and Hammersmith in B2B and a unit of Sword Knights on each flank, and the solos in and around the battleline.
I won the roll for first turn, and advanced cautiously, running the sword knights around the side of the oasis, and next to the Church. With fortify cast on the Thunderhead and Arcane Shield on the smaller unit of Sword Knights, I felt ready to meet any 1st turn aggression from the Mercenary scum!
At this point i was short of two things: 1)options and 2) patience. So if in doubt, move the hedgehog.
Shipman cast Fortune on the Mangler, and moved all three warjacks forwards, forming a solid arm 18-20 wall of metal between my army and McBain, with Brocker running into the shadow of the Chapel ready to punish any over extending warjacks or casters! To further reduce the impact of my charge, the Steelheads ran to form a ‘speed bump’ in front of the warjack wall, a bit of a waste of life perhaps, but it did stop me from lining up any slams/ throws.
Slams and throws worry me a lot, mainly cause every time I think the plan is coming together I get taken out in a Wrestle-mania fashion!
As turn two opened, I saw an opportunity to remove a chunk of the infantry from the table in one fell swoop (as I was very scared of McBain getting boosted damage rolls from Gang). I loaded the Thunderhead up with focus after upkeeping Arcane Shield and Fortify, and moved it forward to use its energy pulse attack. It was in range of the entire unit, hitting and frying them instantly, but unfortunately the heavily armored sword knights were too close and lost a couple of their number to the Barbeque! I followed up with the Sustained attack against the Mangler, doing some damage, but not enough to disable any systems. I then spent the rest of the turn moving both units of sword knights up, the smaller one as a speedbump against the inevitable charge and the unit with the Ua in order to threaten a counter charge. The Hammersmith stood shoulder to shoulder with the Thunderhead in order to benefit from Fortify, and Strangeways and JR generally kept out of the way.
So yes, time for a march of the jackwalls on both sides. The loss of the steelheads was unfortunate, but expected.
McBain’s Warjacks surged forward, the Mangler’s Thresh attack battering the Sword Knight screen aside, and the Nomad, Brocker and Rover smashing into my warjacks. Unfortunately, due to some horrific dice rolls on Shipman’s part, neither Warjack took much in the way of Damage (also, for the second time this game, McBain forgot to use his Feat!).
My dice do hate me. As for McBain’s feat i forgot that like many fast things and some cheap foods my Jackwall also contained horse. However if Stannis would have stuck around, I wouldn’t have been able to put my cartoonish plan into action.
Turn Three, I didn’t upkeep fortify on the Thunderhead, and as all of the AS’d Sword Knights had died, Jr was free to cast it on something else (One day i’ll see a journeyman who has also learnt Arcane Bolt)! I assigned 3 focus to the Hammersmith, and kept the rest on Darius, ready to cast full throttle for maximum devastation. The Sword Knights charged the Rover and the Mangler, and used flank, Precision strike and crippling strike in order to take the Ball and chain and Cortex out on the Mangler, and put a dent in the Rover. The Hammersmith took full advantage of Full Throttle, and connected both its initial attacks and chain attack: smite on the Nomad, Pitching it into the front of the Chapel, before spending its remaining focus on additional attacks targeting Stannis Brocker, flinging him from the saddle in short order. the Thunderhead received a Focus from Strangeways, and proceeded to critically disrupt the Rover.
Shipman stared long and hard at his Models at this point, before announcing that he was going to go for a caster kill. By this point there was infact a Charge lane for Mcbain, but it meant moving the rover aside (incurring free strikes) and then charging between the two fully functional Heavy Warjacks!
This was the point that inevitable comes in most my games, referred to by a good friend as the ‘S*** or bust’ moment. It is usually accompanied by the look from my opponent asking am I really that stupid. All my regular opponents know the answer, I’m far stupider than they can possible imagine, and crazy like a fox!
The Rover was destroyed as it attempted to disengage from the flanking Sword Knights. Causing McBain To use Energiser to line up his Charge lane, Suffering Damage from the Thunderhead as he ran past (the hammersmith hit, but failed to damage him on 3d6-5 -_-)
With 5 focus to spend, McBain hammered on the front of Darius’ Battlesuit, but at Dice – 5 he struggled to inflict much in the way of damage. Leaving Darius on 3hp, enought to have killed any other ‘Caster (barring the likes of Karchev). Unfortunately with 3 disabled warjacks, he was unable to put any more damage on Darius, and was forced to pass the turn.
Now, I’m a little ashamed to say this, but I have NO CONFIDENCE in Darius’ ability to kill things in combat without abusing Halfjack mines, so was sorely tempted to assign focus to a warjack and have it come over and kill McBain instead.
However, In the spirit of what was a friendly game, I decided that if he couldn’t kill a half-dead warcaster on n0 focus, then I didn’t deserve to win!
The last thing McBain saw, was the slow but inevitable descent of a Quake Hammer.
What john fails to mention is was that this was attack 3 of Darius’s turn, So i nearly tanked my way out!
For John’s conclusions check out his blog here
As for mine, it was a great game, and I need to vary up my McBain list!
Thanks for reading, more to come soon, and comments as always are welcome!