Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saturday Warmachine Tournament post

So, yeah, it took me from Saturday to now to get this post put into order... And it still isn't very orderly ;)

Regardless, what I'll do here is post my lists, what I faced, a general overview of each battle and maybe some things that I learned. Theoretically, that should make this post interesting to someone somewhere out there.

First, I guess I ought to describe the general tournament style and atmosphere (ambiance, if you will, lol). I made a pilgrimage down to the store the Thursday before the tournament to get a feel for what it might be like/get the actual tournament rules. Usually, I would have been in my krav maga/MMA classes, but I've had a leg injury for the past 2 weeks, so rolling dice and moving figures is about as far as my semi-crippled ass could take physical activity ;)

The tournament was semi-Steamroller. By that, I mean the TO had taken some of the scenarios from Steamroller, but the format was much more relaxed. You could bring 2 35 point lists to choose between for each game, however, they could be the same 'caster if you wanted. Also, the turns weren't timed like they would be in an official event. I never had any problem finishing a game in the allotted time, so I don't feel like it was an issue. Everyone seemed pretty nice/laidback, although I heard some people had tendencies to get a little nasty while they played. I didn't run into that at all, and I had 3 excellent opponents.

Ok, so first up, I oughta toss out my two lists. I massively over thought things and brought 2 lists that, in retrospect, I am not happy with. However, I wouldn't have learned I didn't like them if I hadn't played them, so it was still good. Really an excellent learning experience.

"Rahn Love Arcnodes"

Adeptis Rahn Shyeel (*6pts)
* Chimera (6pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard (2pts)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Mage Hunter Commander (2pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Arcanist (1pts)


This list was by far the more solid of the 2, at least from what I faced. The Chimera has done fuck all in every game in which I have ever fielded it, and I am almost completely convinced that Retribution lights aren't worth shit. The Sentinels and the Phoenix are what made this list work.

"Kaelyssa's Double Phoenix"

Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper (*7pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Mage Hunter Commander (2pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)
Mage Hunter Assassin (2pts)


I like the idea of this list, but I found that it lacked a lot of hitting power, especially against Hordes lists. Since that was all I played against in the tournament, obviously this list didn't do what I wanted.

Game 1

So, I got matched up with my opponent (a guy named Matt) and we picked a table. He can see my army all laid out on a piece of board for easy carrying, so I ask him what he's brought. Legion of Everblight. In some ways good, as I am relatively familiar with their pieces since I own a bit of the force. Mostly bad, as I take one look at his 2 lists and see that he has a list that I just can't do shit about. A Tier eLylyth list that relies on Stealth, the one thing Retribution is known to have some issues with. Great.

His list is:

epic Lylyth - Ravens of War
Points: 34/35
Tiers: 2
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight (*5pts)
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Blighted Nyss Striders Officer & Musician (0pts)
Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Blighted Nyss Striders Officer & Musician (3pts)

The scenario is one in which there are 3 objectives evenly spaced across the center of the board. Each player turn starting in Player 2's turn 2, a player gets 1 point per objective held. 7 points to win. After both player's Turn 1, one of the objectives disappears.

He sets up Lylyth and beasts in the center with each group of Striders aimed at the outlying objective. I gamble and set up to claim only 2 objectives, hoping that holding the far objective will tie down some of his forces while I engage the rest. I start running up the board while he advances and puts stealth up on his beasts. The side objective I was aiming at disappears, meaning I have to adjust course. My MHSF and the Strider engage, with the Striders able to take the edge due to Reform moves. Lylyth Feats, and Bolt Throwers put a hurting on one of my Phoenixes (the other is tied up killing Striders near where an objective used to be) and Kaelyssa. Kaelyssa survives and uses her True Sight to get a bead on the Stealthy Lylyth, bringing her down to 1 hit box. Lylyth lives long enough to sink a fatal arrow into Kaelyssa.

Here, I really just got rolled by an army that is basically tailor made to fuck me over. Sucks, but that kind of thing happens a bit in Warmachine. It would have also helped if I'd had more competent melee threats outside of my Phoenixes. Then, I would have just rushed him and cut his guys down. Even his beasts would roll over in combat. I probably should have taken the Rahn list and rammed Sentinels down his throat.

Game 2

Next match up is against a really nice guy named Scott and his spectacularly painted Circle army. He ended up winning best painted for the day, so they were really nice.

He had:
Baldur the Stonecleaver (*6pts)
* Megalith (11pts)
* Woldguardian (9pts)
* Woldwarden (9pts)
Sentry Stone (Leader and 3 Manikins) (3pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
* Stone keeper (1pts)
Blackclad Wayfarer (2pts)
Lord of the Feast (4pts)

The scenario was as follows. You could get 1 point for each turn that you could control a central area (only your models in it, no enemies) while your caster stood off on a little marker something like 8"-10" away. Seeing that, I chose Rahn's list because he has a 16" control area, allowing my Myrmidons to engage the center more easily.

With basically a Spearhead type deployment, he and I deployed and then started moving our pieces up. He advance almost everything towards the center and warped Baldur over to the point he needed to stand on with the help of magical forest generation. Rahn cast Polarity Shield on the MHSF, which kept them from being charged by models in their front arc, which Sylys allowed me to upkeep for free for the entire game. Then, the MHSF and the Sentinels slid over to the side, with the MHSF intent on going after Baldur and the Sentinels intent on charging into combat after staying just out of my opponent's charge range for a few turns. Since he had next to no shooting, I brought the Chimera and Phoenix into range to start dropping shots on people before the inevitable melee.

Here's where my opponent's biggest problems surfaced. Baldur has a control range of 12", which meant his beasts could just barely get into the center area and stay in range to be forced. This led to a couple of turns of the MHSF using Phantom Seeker rounds from behind obstacles to irritate him while my stuff shot at him and he couldn't close. Finally, he gave up on the mission and moved Baldur forward to engage. He junked my Chimera with one beast, but Rahn used an Arced Telekinesis to spin it before my Phoenix bashed it to death. The Sentinels and their Vengeance took down the Megalith and then Baldur, which let me win the game.

To me, this game highlighted 2 things. Rahn is awesome against casters who have no choice but to deal with his magic because they can't shut it down. With Telekinesis, Force Hammer, Chain Blast and Polarity Shield, he can generate damage and frustrate the opponent by playing with them. Infantry is awesome in Warmachine and Hordes because it allows you to threaten the opponent in places where you can't reach with your beasts or jacks. I never really got infantry before, but now I understand their utility.

Game 3

So, for this game, I am once more matched up against Legion of Everblight. I sigh a sad sigh of resignation. The guy was a great opponent named Joe, and he had a superbly painted army. He was the other real contender besides my previous opponent for best painted.

His list was:
Rhyas - Alpha Strike
Tiers: 2
Rhyas, Sigil of Everblight (*6pts)
* Shredder (2pts)
* Scythean (9pts)
Blighted Nyss Hex Hunters (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bayal, Hound of Everblight (3pts)
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)

The scenario was 2 large boxes in the center of the board. Starting on Player 2's Turn 2, you scored 1 point for contesting a box and 2 points for controlling a box. I used the Kaelyssa list again because I wanted to figure out if it was any good at all. Also, so much infantry looked like a treat for my Phoenixes to combust in the middle of ;)

I don't really have much to say except that he damn near crushed me very quickly but held back long enough to max his bonus points. He's practicing for Adepticon, so I don't blame him in any way for that, and it wasn't bad. I was just totally outmatched in every way.

So, that was the end of my tournament play for the day. I definitely did better than expected, as I won a game and almost took the first one (one damage box! one!). I expected to lose all of them, so it was nice to actually get in my first victory with Retribution. I'm starting to get a feel for them, but I haven't wrapped my head around them completely yet.

Game 4

My buddy Jacob (the guy who managed to convince me to get back into Warmachine) had showed up during the tournament but hadn't played in it, so we played a game afterwards for fun.

I brought this:
Adeptis Rahn Shyeel (*6pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard (2pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)
Ghost Sniper (2pts)

He brought:
Iron Lich Asphyxious (*6pts)
* Cankerworm (5pts)
* Deathripper (4pts)
* Helldiver (3pts)
* Corruptor (8pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
Machine Wraith (1pts)
Machine Wraith (1pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)

Again, lots of Stealth was a bit frustrating for my elfs, but I managed to drop a few guys by drifting AOEs on to them. I managed to knock out the Corruptor's gun early with my Snipers before the Cankerworm just wrecked my shit. Rahn managed to Force Hammer Tartarus into the Skarlock, killing the Skarlock and damaging Tartarus before the Feat turn ruined my Sentinels. The remaining few Sentinels killed Tartarus, and we called the game before the Bane Thralls actually got a chance to chop Rahn into minced elf ;)

Overall, a very fun day. I've still got a lot to learn about the Retribution and how they play. I picked up Ossyan and some Halberdiers, which takes me to damn near everything I want for the force barring some additional solos and maybe a second unit of Stormfall Archers (until the new jacks appear, of course).

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