Yes, apparently that's the case.
Lots of real-life issues, and precious little gaming the last half-year. I'm in Korea on business, 10 more days. Every now and then I find time for a Vassal game, this time I got some Warmachine/Hordes!
I've been alternating between Skorne and Legion of Everblight. Both the armies I use are very beast heavy, but the Legion is more about finesse and quick strike assassinations, while the Skorne is in your face Titan spam. Both work pretty well, but I'm enjoying the Legion more these days.
The Legion list looks like this:
and 2 Shepherds
Absylonia is a great combination of fighting ability (base 2 pow13 attacks, upgradeable to reach pow15 at MAT 7), mobility (spd7 mutatable to flying), spells (three nice upkeeps that cost no fury to maintain, and blight field that prevents focus allocation and/or beast forcing). And her tier is achievable and potent.
The Shredders are mouths on legs. 11" threat with boosted hit/damage on the charge allows them to deal with most solos and even take a chunk out of a jack/beast. Great animus: Tenacity for +1 Def and Arm!
The Harrier is a flying solo-killer. Spd 7, animus that allows it's attack to auto-hit, and sprint to fall back after killing a support solo (or get behind!). Handy way to fill out the three required lessers for Absy's tier!
The Seraph is kind of a Medium Beast, with low health and armour, but has a Rng 10 Strafe attack (d3+1 shots) and a great animus: Slipstream. It can pick up and carry ("place" in game terms) a friendly model that it moves near. This is great for pulling something out of melee, moving something a bit closer to allow longer charge, or just general shuffling to help control the battlefield. I like to drive one of the other Heavies a bit forward, get a ranged shot in, then use Seraph to Slipstream them back out of charge range.
Angelius has a nice POW12 Rng 12 attack with critical continuous fire. But that's not the cool part. He's Spd 7 with a Pow 14 Armor Piercing Reach Tail attack. With Absylonia's Forced Evolution spell, he becomes Pow 16. On a charge that kills pretty much any caster. The icing on the cake is his high Def of 14, with Forced Evolution and Tenacity he becomes D17 A18! And the sprinkles on top, his Animus pushes all enemies within 2" away 3"...combined with flying he can get himself out of melee and press on for an assassination attempt, even high MAT models will struggle to hit him with the Free Strike.
Typhon is a lot of points, but I really like the model. Three POW17 attacks (19 with Forced Evo!), or 3 SP8 Pow 14 breath attacks. He's got a decent amount of health, and a fun animus that heals d3 points everytime he's damaged. Can't wittle this guy down with weak attacks! I like to put Absy's spell Playing God on him, giving him Reach and Terror.
The Forsaken are pretty incredible. They help a bit with fury management, but what they do with the fury once they take it is incredible. They can have up to 5 fury on them, and can use it to buy or boost attacks...pretty spiffy. But the real power is the Blight Shroud that affects every enemy model within 1" for every fury point on the Forsaken. It does an auto POW 8 hit on all of them...but wait, there's more! If the model hit has any fury or focus on it, it takes an additional die of damage! So when someone drives a heavy in to my lines and leaves it loaded with 4 fury, I've got these three babies behind my lines that walk up and each do 8 + 6d6 damage. Or even better, when an enemy caster is camping fury or focus, I slipstream these forward and do a tremendous amount of damage to casters without heavy armour. Fun!
And the best 1 point model I've found, the Shepherd. They can remove (or add) fury from my beasts, or heal them d3. Both of those abilities alone make them worth a point, but they can also allow beasts within their CMD to be forced! This means I don't have to keep things near Absy...a Shepherd nearby lets the big meanies go to town! This really allows me to spread out while maintaining credible threats all over the table. Awesome!
So tonight I played against a Hordes Minions list. He had Lord Carver BMMD, 2 War Hogs, a big blob of Farrow Brigands, Rorsch and Brine, Alten Ashley Monster Hunter, and two big Farrow Razorback Cannons. The War Hogs combined with Carver's Feat can pump out tremendous damage, and move again after destroying an enemy model. I had to be careful of allowing him to kill something up front and get a free move to get in melee with Absy. Brine on Feat turn is dishing out something like Pow 18 with 5d6 dice on the charge. Guh!
I won the roll and chose to go first. I deployed so I'd have an acid pond and trees on my flanks, hopefully funnelling him in towards me. He set up directly across. His Razorbacks had AD and set up to command the whole middle of the table.
I went first, with my lessers shuffling up in to the forest on my left, Absy giving out Upkeeps, Typhon pushing towards the middle of the table, and the Angel went forward enough to breath on his leftmost Razorback. He hit, did a ton of damage killing the Gunner and setting the Cannon on Fire! I then shuffled him backwards with the Seraph's Slipstream. The Forsaken went last, sucking up 4 fury each from the 3 heavies that were nicely riled up leaving 6 on the Lessers for Absy to take next turn.
My second turn. I wanted to use my ranged abilities more to soften things up but didn't want to get close enough to take a charge. I shuffled Typhon more towards the right, and one good breath shot took out the second Razorback. Typhon put his Animus on himself, loading him up to 4 fury, but the nearby Shepherd calmed him right back down. The Harrier was put in position to get a charge on Ashley, which it did. It's animus allowed it to auto-hit, but I'm an Ordo member, so rolled 1-1-2 for the damage. At least the guy couldn't shoot me anymore. The Shredders passed out Tenacity candy on themselves, the Harrier, and Angelius. Angel took a shot and killed a Brigand, while the Seraph pulled him backwards a bit more, hoping to pull the big monsters in closer before we got to the Melee. I was a bit wary of the big blob of shooty guys, so left a point of fury on Absylonia. The Shepherd took a point off one of the Shredders, while the Forsaken took the point of Angelius and the two points off Seraph so all three Forsaken were fully loaded.
On his turn, Ashley tried to punch the Harrier, but it deflty dodged (thanks to Tenacity!). His Brigands moved up and took a shot at Typhon, doing 9 points, but Typhon healed back 3 of those. He moved his Caster and Warhogs way up in to the woods right in front of me, with open line of charging and sight to the caster...I'm guessing he didn't realize all my things have Eyeless Sight. He did leave 4 fury on his Caster though. Perhaps he was hoping to weather my attacks and use Brine's Bacon ability to heal up after transferring damage?
I had a choice, I could either try to take out one or two of his Heavies, making it a battle of attrition, or go all-out to kill Carver and finish the deal early.
Usually when the choice is like this, I go conservative and fight the beasts. This time I wanted to go the other way, and exercise my WM/H-brain.
He had 4 fury on him, with 2 big beasts with a ton of damage boxes available to transfer. That meant I had to do a ton of damage, and luckily I have tools for doing a lot of damage to casters with lots of fury on them...
First the closest Forsaken moved up, was 4" away, unleashed his fury and did 9 points to him. Good start!
Then Seraph went, Slipstreaming another Forsaken up 2" and shooting two shots at Carver, both missed (Go Ordo!). I was worried at this point that I'd not be able to get all his fury off!
Second Forsaken moved up, 4.5" away, and did 10 points to Carver! This was transferred to one of the hogs...3 fury left.
Absy went, slipstreaming the third Forsaken a bit closer, passing on Tenacity candy, and dropping Blight Field around Carver in case this didn't work out well...I thought he'd either have to have the War Hogs gang up on Angelius to get him dead without being able to Force, or take AP Free Strikes if he wanted to get away.
Third Forsaken went, got 4.75" away, and did another 9 points of damage. This too was transferred, leaving 2 fury.
Then Typhon lumbered over and started breathing in to the forest. First shot boosted and hit, boosted damage left Carver with 3 boxes. Second boosted shot missed. Third boosted shot did 4 points, which was transferred away. One fury left!
I'd needed to get all the fury removed before Angelius charged, so looked at what I had. If that Harrier or a Shredder could get in there they'd probably do enough to force another transfer. It looked like the Shredders were out, no way to get around the Warhog. But the Harrier was only stoppped by being in melee with Ashley. A Shredder went Rabid and charged Ashley, eating him in one gulp. This freed up the Harrier, that charged Carver, and did exactly three points of damage...just enough to force him to use his last Fury to transfer!
And the coup d'grace: Angelius charged, boosted to hit, hit, and did 20 points of damage...dead Carver!
Once I was commited to going after the caster, I actually felt pretty good about things. I thought I'd use up all or most of his fury, limiting his spellcasting ability. He'd not be able to cast his Pathfinder spell, so the War Hogs would likely be stuck in the forest. I'd likely lose Angelius, and Typhon might die, but Absylonia and the Forsaken would likely be able to finish off the caster. Praise for the Shepherds...I was able to get that last Rabid charge in with the Shredder despite being way out of Absylonia's range because of Shepherd placement. Also I was able to run hot on Typhon on turn 2 because of the Forsaken taking away his fury.
This was the first game where I really felt like I had everything in control from the beginning. I knew where I was going and what I was going to do, and the dice didn't completely fuck me, though they weren't particularly good. Frankly I think if I'd been in position to get charged by those War Hogs and Brine I would have crumpled like tissue paper...those things just hit way too hard. Like facing three Bronzebacks, plus they get to make another move when they kill something!
And yes, Brian, I have this stuff on order. PP is pretty back-ordered though, so still missing Absy, Angel, Forsaken and Shepherds.
So while I'm writing a wall of text, here's the next list I'm going to try. It's a pMorghoul tier list that I think should be decently effective:
two units of 4 Arcuarii
two units of 4 Beast Handlers
Tier 4 gives me extra 2" deployment, the Arcuarii get AD, and everyone gets Pathfinder on turn 1. This should let me get the Arcuarii in good spot to use terrain to avoid turn 1 fire while getting in to throw-and-drag range on turn 2. Those should be enough of a threat and distraction to any kind of unit (reach, weaponmaster, 8" range attack, arm15 with 8 damage boxes each!) that the Titans and Cyclops can do something really destructive! And yes, I have all those models too, thanks to Cave Comics having Arcuarii for 30% off... :P
I have those things here with me to paint, but haven't even unpacked the paints yet. Always too tired.
Well, off to bed. See you in 6 months! :)