Friday, April 29, 2011

Absylonia meets The Warwitch

Jason was kind enough to get up early to meet me on Vassal for a nice game. Despite the early hour for him and the late hour for me, we had a great time, both of us trying new lists and struggling to remember what all our new toys do. :)



I chose to try a copy of the first Legion army I ever saw: Absylonia, two Shredders, a Harrier, Seraph, Scythean, Angelius, Raek, three Forsaken, and a Shepherd.

Jason's army was led by Warwitch Deneghra, with the Nightmare and a Reaper. A group of Mechanicthralls with a couple Brutes were along, with some Bile Thralls, a Bloat Thrall, and a Necroonsurge with some Stitches. And as if this weren't frightening enough, two Stalkers were lurking along too!

Jason won the roll and decided to have me go first. I deployed where I'd have a hill and a forest to play on, while hopefully minimizing his access to cover. I went first, and lurked far back in a forest hoping to see where things were going before committing. This force was more melee-centric than my normal force, which relies on considerable ranged firepower to weaken enemies on the way in. This had a bit less, as I only had the Seraph's and Angelius' POW12 shooting. I was cautious, in other words. :)

 Jason moved the Biles straight at me, which was what they're good at, after all. The Reaper moved to back them up on the right, while the Stalkers ran around to the left, leading the Mechthralls. Deneghra barely moved forward, hiding behind Nightmare.
 I had two priorities going in to turn 2...minimizing the threat from the Bile Thralls, and countering the fast and high-damage-output Stalkers from getting charge lanes on Absylonia. So the Seraph juked around, slipstreaming the Scythean towards the left a little, and killing two of the Bile Thralls. Angelius killed a third, and a suicide Ripper ran in for a fourth. I'd wanted to charge with the Ripper, but I spaced out that the hill blocked his LOS, so he was only able to engage one instead of two. I ran Raek and Scythean off to my left, hoping to use them to shut down the Stalkers, while my last Ripper moved back to play goalie (so I could keep Tenacity available) and the Harrier moved to also be available to jump on a Stalker...his animus makes him well suited to putting some damage on high Def meanies like them.
 Jason kep moving forward. The Jacks and Deneghra stayed near the right, not moving forward at all. The Biles moved up a bit, spraying at the Seraph for no damage. The Bloat took a shot at Seraph too, scattering on to a Forsaken and Shepherd, killing both. Ouch! The Shredder was Harpooned and killed by the Reaper. The Stalkers continued around to the left, while the Mechs moved forward to support them.
 I decided to get unnecessarily fancy again, but this time it worked out. Raek walked near the farthers Stalker, jumped over him, then threw him at his brother. He needed 10s to hit, which he got for the initial throw but missed when throwing, but the throws only scatter d3", so only 1" scatter left them still touching, for an effective hit...both were Knocked Down, with one being slightly damaged. The Scythean then advanced, getting both the Stalkers and a couple Mechs in his melee range. He auto-hit the undamaged Stalker twice, killing it, triggering his special attack, which finished off two Mechs, and one more forced attack finished the other Stalker. Nice! Angelius moved back to try to not get Harpooned, while the Seraph stayed to finish off the Bile Thralls and give something for the Bloat and Jacks to worry about.
 The Mechthralls ran right in to the Scythean, doing a fair amount of damage, but they didn't hit nearly hard enough to really worry him. I'm alittle fuzzy on what else happened this turn, I think the Reaper tried to harpoon the Seraph but was out of range, the Bloat tried to shoot the Seraph but was out of range and the blast did nothing. The Nightmare moved up centrally to prepare for shennanigans on the next turn. The Warwitch again didn't move up, but hid behind the hill and Nightmare.
Another unnecessarily fancy move that nearly worked out...the Seraph moved over and put some shots on the Nightmare, doing nothing however. A Forsaken walked up amongst the MechThralls and killed all but the Brutes, the Necro, and a Stitch...Pow 8 very deadly versus ARM 12! Raek repeated his jumping business, jumping behind the Brutes, throwing one of them in to the other, knocking both down, killing one of them. He then forced another attack that killed the Necrosurgeon. Angelius glided forward just a bit, getting a tail strike at the last remaining Brute, killing him easily with auto-hit POW16 AP shot. This left a nice open charge line for Scythean, who I thought would be able to get two initial attacks on Nightmare, and have Denegra in his melee range for the Special and any available forced attacks. He made the charge to Nightmare easily, but was about 1/8" shy of getting Deneghra in his melee range. No matter, as two boosted attacks needing sixes both missed...yeah, Ordo. A forced third attack hit, doing decent damage ripping off the Nightmare's right arm. Three attacks would likely have finished him off, but lady luck is fickle, as Dante says...I need to take her out to dinner. So ended my turn, with a Scythean amongst some angry Helljacks with a "Kick Me" sign stuck to his back. Note that I'd intended to Feat this turn to heal him up to make it harder for just one of them to kill him, but forgot. Not sure if it would have made a difference...I think it might have, but we'll never know :)
 Deneghra finally decided to join the fight.She used her feat and passed out all but one Focus. The Reaper moved for LOS to the Scythean. With Feat up, he only needed an 11 to hit, and rolled exactly an 11. He dragged the Scythean over to him, then pounded him with Tusk and Spike, leaving him with only a few boxes left...and those only due to some unlucky damage rolls. The Nightmare, who had selected Angelius as his Prey, then checked to see if he was in range for the Prey bonus, and found he was about 10.2" away, so no bonus. Nightmare decided to finish off the Scythean (smart play, as if he'd gone after Angelius he would likely not have killed her, and my Feat would have brought both beasts back to full). A few more poor damage rolls and finally the Scythean fell over dead, with Absylonia reaving his Fury. I'd worried that he would use the Harpoon to pull the Scythean out of command range to rob me of that Fury, but either he didn't think of it, or didn't think he'd have the range, or both :P
 So my heavy-hitter is gone, his Helljacks are only barely hurt, and I'm under the effect of her Feat...what to do. I decided to be mildly conservative, but setting up for Forsaken assassination next turn. Absylonia slunk off in to the forest, and slipstreamed Seraph so that she'd get an aimed shot on Deneghra, which she did. Rolled only two attacks, or maybe game-over here. First shot missed, second shot boosted damage did 8 points, half dead. Raek jumped away from the Stitch he was engaged with, and moved up to the hill. Next turn I figured he could either headlock a Jack, or do something nasty to Deneghra...or if nothing else kill that damned Bloat. An empty Forsaken moved up to engage the Stitch (just to keep it from charging in and messing with charge lanes) and took 3 fury off Raek, while the other loaded up on fury and moved up to threaten Denegra next turn...since she couldn't allocate focus to either Jack she'd have to camp her Focus...I had visions of an 8 + 9d6 Blight Field finishing her off :P Then Angelius delivered the unexpected coup d'grace...taking a shot at Denghra, needing 13 to hit, she rolled triple-5s, Critical Continuous Fire, and doing another 6 points to her. The Harrier moved to be in position for a finishing blow.

 We went to Jason's Maintenance phase, the fire did not go out, and Deneghra died to the fire damage! Wow!! What a game! I loved the Raek and Scythean combo, but I felt a little naked without having the ranged firepower I'm used to. I might consider dropping the Shepherd and Angelius for a Ravagore, but I sure like the security blanket for fury management and the extended control range the Shepherd brings.

Another Raek tactic, something I'd intended to try on the next turn: jump behind a jack and Headlock him. Headlock only requires that the attacker hit. The locked victim can then not advance, so can't turn around, so can only attempt to break free, then his activation would be over. I'd hoped to do that to Nightmare, taking him out of the game for a turn. Mean, huh?

Jason and I then did a lot of pre-measuring and checking and what-iffing on a potential next turn. We discovered it was possible for Deneghra to move such that she could use her Knockdown spell to knock over Absylonia (who had no fury on her), then Nightmare walk up and hit her three times dead. Woops! I don't think it would have happened in a "real" turn, as there wouldn't have been any of the pre-measuring we did, and the ranges were extreme. I would have liked to have seen a "real" next turn, to see what he might have come up with. I'd hoped to have a few too many threats to Deneghra for him to be able to deal with...Harrier, Raek, Forsaken, Angelius, Seraph...all capable enough to do a few points of damage to a low-arm model like her.

A great game, I'm really grateful that Jason got up so early to help me stay sane. I was very impressed with his list (there was a lot of Stealth in his army that I ignored, but it should be immune to most shooting I think) and felt that the assassination was a product of uncommon good luck on the Angelius dice rolls. Thanks J!

I'm glad I ordered a Raek and Scythean before I left :)

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