Saturday, June 22, 2013

High Reclaimer vs Siege

Last Tuesday at the club, I had a Warmachine game with buddy Casper. He was after a 35 point game, which game me an opportunity to get away from eFeora. I was looking for something different, so took High Reclaimer out for a spin.

Here was the game set up...incursion scenario. I'm running Menoth on the left, Casper, who rolled for first player, is on the right.

Casper's opening lineup. He has Siege, Stormwall, Black 13th, Squire, the gobber, a unit of Rangers, Max, and the Trencher light artillery unit.

My lineup is High Reclaimer, Hierophant, Reckoner, Sanctifier, Devout, Choir, Bastions, Exemplars, Rhupert and Vilmon.

Cygnar turn 1. There were a couple of mistakes made in the game...starting with a Stormwall that ran and launched a pod. Not allowed. But I was happy it happened, since I'd use it later to start an Ashes to Ashes.

Menoth turn 1. Rhupert gives pathfinder to the Bastions. Everyone else runs up and the Reclaimer pops out a couple of ash clouds. These didn't matter worth a damn, since Siege has Mage Site. The flag at the far end of the board (my left flank) goes away.

Cygnar turn 2. Mage Site and Foxhole covers most of my important pieces. Siege feats to halve my armor. This could be a really nasty turn. Casper then hammers away at my Exemplars. He gets all of them save one. High Exemplar takes a number of hits as well, but fortunately Devout absorbs the first, biggest hit. The turn ends with my 'caster at 3 hit points.

Menoth turn 2. Bastions run out of the forest with pathfinder and lock down the Black 13th and a number of support pieces. Vilmon runs up to contest the near flag.

I have a play on Siege. My 'Jacks run up to clear away Rangers, the High Reclaimer moves up and casts Ashes to Ashes to get an attack roll on Siege. I deliver 10 hits. Reclaimer then feats, brings back 4 Exemplars who get up in Siege's grill. The book moves up and casts No Spells. Siege is in trouble.

Cygnar turn 3. Stormwall has to move up and sweep off all the Exemplars around Siege. Casper then had to make a decision...back up Siege out of the No Spells zone and try for another Foxhole/Mage Site combo on Reclaimer...or, Groundpound and hope to just do in Reclaimer with a ranged combat hit. He chose to Groundpound. Unfortunately, the Devout's Shield Guard works against this attack High Reclaimer was saved again. (We had to check the PP forums for this ruling.)

Menoth turn 3. We didn't play this turn out. Siege was exposed in front of two clean Menoth 'Jacks. Forgone conclusion.

Thanks for the game, Casper. I hate Siege with a tough with the Foxhole/Mage Sight/Feat combo.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lock and Load: Day 3

The third and final day of Lock & Load. It started with a trip down to the waterfront market with Mike and Josh to grab some breakfast at Lowells (recommended!). The tournaments were done for me, so I spent the day playing casual games in the Iron Arena and taking in a painting seminar.

First game was with Greg Lehmann from Montana. A very nice guy playing minions (Calaban). My 'jacks had him back on his heals...then he decided to go for a long-shot assassination on me needing three boosted rolls of 12 in order to succeed. It worked! Amazing and kind of sad at the same time. Haha.

Next game was with Chuck Betts. He was playing Vlad3 in a very similar configuration that I'm used to playing Elliot's list. Chuck exploded off the start line, grabbed the center of the map and won on scenario. Good game. Lots of attrition in this one.

Final game of the day was with Clifton Cline from Oklahoma. Another Trolls player. Where are all these guys coming from?!? Another fun game and a great cap to the end of the con.

All in all, a very great trip with a lot of excellent players and comrades. Late flight back to Edmonton...and then there was work...

'Til next time.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lock and Load: Day 2

Woke up with a hangover. I think it helped. After a lacklustre performance on the gaming tables yesterday, I was much happier with the way things developed today. I was pre-registered into Hardcore, but that didn't start until 11:00 AM, so I had some practice time.

I went down to the Iron Arena for a pick-up game and ran into Eric Young from Baton Rouge. 

We were playing on one of the beautiful boards set up by Privateer. Eric had a Borka Troll army. I was practicing with my eFeora Hardcore list, and was doing well, but was undone in the game by a Long Rider who toughed and prevented a coup de grace from my Sanctifier. Little did I know that this would foreshadow exactly how my first round of Hardcore would turn out.

Heading into the tournament room, another fellow had stayed up all night to paint up a new Convergence army. Crazy!

I'll quickly outline my Hardcore list:

Fire of Salvation
Blood of Martyrs
Sanctifier (bonded)
(10) Flameguard with UA
(4) Choir
Rhoven and Guards

Usually, people run eFeora with a ranged army, and most often a bonded Judicator. However, given the quick Hardcore turns, I decided I didn't want to fuss with AOE deviations. Also, since the scenario forces close range action in the middle of the map, I went for a beatstick melee army that synergizes on friendly infantry deaths.

My first Hardcore opponent was Nathan Bosa. He brought out Terminus infantry spam, which is very brave considering the 7-minute time limit. I got some good attrition in, and at the end of Nathan's turn 2, his time ran out and he had Terminus in a vulnerable position. I loaded up Blood of Martyrs and beat Terminus into the ground with a charge and four 10/20 attacks...

...and he toughed. No problem, I had a fully loaded Sanctifier in range to deliver four more attacks. Tough through that! The only problem was a single Bane Thrall in the charge lane. Up comes eFeora to get rid of him...tough. Noooooooo. My turn ends, Terminus stands up and kills eFeora in two swings. Drat.

Second round was against Mike Bressers, who put eGoreshade out on the table. This was a quick game. On my turn two, Fire of Salvation takes his vengeance move five inches forward, kills a Bane Knight and clears his own charge lane to eGoreshade. three focus later, and a charge, and we had a dead Cryx caster.

Round three I was matched with Charles Klienwort from Iowa. I had actually played against Charles at GenCon last summer. We had a chuckle about that game, when he played Trolls at that time, and I was playing Cryx. Anyway, this time around, Charles was playing Retribution, and his caster was Vyros. I had an order of activation flub during my assassination run on Vyros and did not get Battle onto my Sanctifier. Undaunted, my bonded 'jack walked up to Vyros and started swinging. The attack rolls included two sets of snake-eye misses. Nooooooo! Vyros survived and then got the kill on eFeora. Well...that's why you play the games. You roll the dice to see what happens.

In the last round of Hardcore, I played Andrew Sibula from DC. He fielded a Khador Harkevich list with Conquest and lots of shooting 'jacks. I advanced under "No Shooting", then scrapped Conquest and Black Ivan before getting Blood of Martyrs onto Harkevich and sealing the game up with an assassination.

So, I finished Hardcore 2-2...but the three "successful" assassination runs with an unconventional eFeora list made me feel pretty good. I headed down to the Iron Arena to play the list some more.

I played a game with Chris Knapp from Oregon. We were on the really magnificent Cygnar Bridge table. Chris brought out an eSorcha/Conquest/Winterguard Deathstar list.

We played the Incursion (three flags) scenario, facing off across the causeway.

My army advances. Sweet terrain. I trampled Avatar into eSorcha and then whiffed two attacks needing 6s to hit. Yowza. Conquest moved up and killed Avatar (after also taking out my other character 'jacks). However, on the following turn, I still had the Sanctifier on two souls. eFeora cleared out some blocking Winterguard with a spray, Sanctifier walked up to eSorcha needing an 11 to hit. Boosted to hit and got the 11. Boosted the damage...dead Khador 'caster. This was a long, but very fun game.

Last game of the day was against Rob Sampson, also from Oregon. He had a 50-point Menoth list (first mirror match for me here). We played on a very nice waterfront harbor board. Again, the Incursion scenario.

Rob was playing pKreoss, but I had the Covenant in my list, so wasn't too worried about the knockdown feat. With eFeora's Escort up, I had the threat range advantage and got the alpha strike in. I took down two of Rob's 'jacks in the engagement turn, including my Avatar taking down his Avatar. I gained the middle of the board, and won on scenario. It was a good game, but unfortunately, Rob was back on his heals because he wasn't able to play to the strength of his feat.

Around midnight, I went out for dinner with Mike and Josh from the St. Albert crew and had some delicious Pad Thai. And a beer for good measure. Back to the hotel for a long, dark sleep. A good day.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lock and Load: Day 1

OK, today was the first official day of Lock & Load. Plenty of action. The two main tournaments today were the first day of Masters (96 slots) and Iron Gauntlet (64 or 96 slots...not sure which). There was also a very busy Iron Arena area where games were going on all day.

But the story began early in the morning, as the line up formed for entry into the Privateer Press store. The line started at around 4:00 AM. I took this picture of Roy, Steve and Mike at about 6:00.

The hot items were all the new Convergence models that were being released.

Waiting for the Masters and Iron Gauntlet tournaments to start, the parade of Warmachine podcast celebrities began. Good to see all these guys out enjoying events. If you are into the Warmachine podcast scene...well, conventions like these are fodder that they get a lot of milage out of. Here are Crump and Phatasian from Muse on Minis.

The action was fast and furious in the tournament hall. Here, Tyler (from the Red Deer GROTS group) goes head-to-head with Jake van Meter...another Warmachine community celebrity. They are playing in the first round of the Iron Gauntlet tourney.

Some guy had stayed up all Thursday night with a buddy and managed to assemble and paint an entire force of new convergence models to play in Iron Gauntlet today. Nuts!

My tournament day was embarrassingly lacklustre. I went an anemic 1-3 in the Masters tourney. *cry* My first round opponent was Chad from the Muse on Minis crew. Whoops...bad news right out of the starting gate. Chad would wind up #2 in the tournament at the end of the day...

Chad Shonkwiler played eDoomshaper, and managed to get Mulg to take down my Judicator in one activation. Ouch. As you can see in the picture, he's quite happy the way it all turned Mulg went on to assassinate my eFeora on the next turn.

My next opponent was Jaaron Moyer. He played an eLylith Legion list that assassinated my pSeverius on turn 2. Again...see how happy he is. I wasn't.

Next I played Adrian Trollip from Vancouver. He's not very happy in the photo...I can empathize. Losing sucks. Adrian was playing an eStriker Cygnar infantry brick that pSeverius tore apart with Ashes-to-Ashes and plenty of good work from my Errant Knights. The Avatar wound up assassinating eStriker in this one.

Last match of the day was with Matthew Bucher from Phoenix, AZ. Another Legion opponent...Matt played Rhyas and got plenty of value out of his swordsmen and spear-throwing Ogryn. After a long grinding game that saw plenty of attrition on both sides, Matt won on scenario points.

Although the tournament was no great shakes for me personally, the Alberta crew did great. Gord from Red Deer and Bryn from Calgary took two spots in the top eight, and advance to the final rounds on Sunday. Gord wound up taking 3rd place, while Bryn took  6th.

Here is Gord (on the right) with Trevor, the host of the Chain Attack podcast.

At the end of the day's games, the top eight players were selected to move onto the final rounds on Sunday. As you can see from this list, most of the game's factions were represented by the day's top players.

Later in the evening, I joined the St. Albert crew for pizza, beer and Jack Daniels at a great pizza joint in the market down near the waterfront. Lots of fun today. Looking forward to Hardcore tomorrow.

'Til next time.