Friday, July 29, 2011

Absylonia meets Morghoul!

I was grumpy at the wife last night, so sat down and got on Vassal. I was very pleased to find a very nice person and get in a very enjoyable "pick-up game". We both started pulling out Skorne models, so I volunteered to switch to Legion (there's no way to differentiate who's Skorne is who's in Vassal, and I just didn't want the confusion), and pulled out my tried and true Absylonia force...

I still don't believe that's a man...

I used my now standard Abyslonia force:
2 Shredders
3 Forsaken
and a Shepherd

He was using pMorghoul, with a force not very different than my own:
Molik Karn
Cyclops Brute
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers
and Totem Hunter

I was a bit concerned about Karn's ability to get in quicky, kill something, and get away. I was excited to see the Totem Hunter, as he's been something I've been considering using and I wanted to see how he worked out. Karn AND a Bronzeback is a lot of hitting power, I hoped I could use Absy's Blight and my high Def to suck in a charge, live and use Feat, and kill whatever had charged me, while taking out support pieces with ranged power.

We wanted to do a scenario, and we rolled Outflank, Outlast, and Outsomethingorother....two 12" zones at the center of the table, we score points for having our stuff in a zone without an enemy in the same zone. First to three points wins. This kind of scenario I really feel good at, because I have small cheap fast things I can sacrifice to keep someone from scoring on my turn, and Angelius animus can push things out of my zone. Still, that's a lot of high-power attacks with speed coming at me.

I won the roll and decided to go first. I feel like going first really helps in the scoring in scenarios, even though we set up 2" farther back.

 I set up at the top, with the bluk of my stuff on my right, where I could control the right side Zone while some small beasties went to the left to try to prevent him from scoring. He deployed almost a mirror of me, with all his stuff set up near the opposite corner, with Totem Hunter being extremely left. He chose the Harrier as his Prey. My Advance Move sent the big beasties towards the center a bit, so we could actually fight...

Legion Turn One
 On my turn 1, no surprises...Absylonia put Playing God on Raek, Carnivore on the Scythean, and Forced Evolution on Angelius. All the beasties ran forward, and not realizing there was no scoring until Turn 2 (I knew that, but was just too sleepy to be aware...) I sent the harrier in to his Zone to prevent scoring.

Skorne Turn One
On his turn he moved the Gladiator and Bronzeback straight ahead, but Karn was abused, healed by the Beasthandlers, and sent off to the left.

Legion Turn Two
  I really wanted to get a point up on the Scenario here, and wanted to be a bit aggressive. I set up the Seraph just inside the left Zone, with a Blight Field in front of him. I'd hoped with Def 15 and no ability to boost to hit he'd come through it ok, then the Scythean and/or Angelius could slam in for a kill. Tenacity went on everyone, and I kept the Forsaken empty. Raek was lurking up top, with Shepherd nearby to hopefully jump in and get a weaponlock on Karn or the Bronzeback from behind. Angelius moved down and shot at Marketh (I know what a force multiplier he is with Morghoul!), but sadly rolled a 3 for damage, leaving him alive with 2 boxes (dammit, Ordo!!!).
Skorne Turn Two

Morghoul wasted no time taking advantage of my aggressive gambit. His Beasthandlers enraged the Bronzeback; the Gladiator put Rush on the Bronzeback; Marketh Abused the Bronzeback; and the Bronzeback charged the Seraph. He needed 8s to hit, so I figured I'd have to take one big shot, but the dice gods were against me, and instead he rolled two hits with solid damage for both, killing the Seraph outright! Yikes! Then things got even scarier, as Morghoul moved up, put Fatewalker on himself, used his Feat (which prevents beasts from being forced in his Control), then used Fatewalker to move to where almost all my beasts were in his Control. Ug!! Great turn, very well played on his part. Even if Seraph had lived, I'd have no way to extract him from the Bronzeback, and no way to reliably kill anything in his Control. In short, I was reeling!

Legion Turn Three
I figured discretion is the better part, and it didn't matter how many beasts I lost as long as I could get to 3 Victory Points first. Everyting pulled back, and the flow of action went from top-to-bottom to left-to-right. The Angelius shot at Marketh, finishing him off, and loading up a Forsaken with 4 fury. The Harrier tried to run and rile, but my opponent was very gracious, pointing out that I was in Morghoul's control and correcting me that rile does require the beast to be forced, and he let me re-move him farther back. The Scythean moved back out of Morg's control and riled, and loaded up another Forsaken with 4. The Raek ran back near the Scythean and riled, and the last Forsaken got 3 Fury. Absylonia put another Blight Cloud in front of the Scythean, hopefully allowing him to endure a Bronzeback charge. I expected something was going to come charging in to my Zone, and I wanted lots of Forsaken ready to drop Blight bombs. The Shepherd then forced one of the Shredders to go Rabid and advance to take a bite out of the Totem Hunter. I'd had in my head that I'd be able to finish him with another forced attack, but Morghoul's feat prevented that. What a great feat! Still, having the Shredder in there wasn't so much to kill the Totem, but to keep him from scoring. My turn ended with my going to 2 points, him staying at 1.

Skorne Turn Three
The Totem Hunter started out the turn by killing the Shredder and sprinting to the top of the hill. The Beasthandlers enraged the Brute, Morghoul advanced to the top of the hill to get his Control in to my zone and Abused the Brute, and the Gladiator Rushed the Brute, and the Brute charged Absylonia. She had Tenacity on (thank you, Mr. Shredder!) for a healthy Def 17. Even then, the Brute got two solid hits in, doing exactly enough to kill Absylonia, but she had a Fury left to put some damage on the Scythean. Karn and the Bronzeback advanced to the top of the hill, but didn't engage anything. The Gladiator stayed in the rear.

The End

 With Morghoul up on top of that hill so prominantly, and camping 2 Focus, I felt pretty good about a caster kill. Moreover, all I really needed to do to win the Scenario was run something in to his Zone and get the Brute out of mine. The Brute had 3 Focus, so the Forsaken could probably have killed him, or Absylonia could unload on him, steal his fury, and do something amazing.

I'd messed up on Fury on my last turn (I blame the wife distracting me), and after using 1 to transfer I only had 4 Fury on her at the start of the turn. No problem. I decided that just winning the scenario was secondary, I wanted to do something cool with the Raek and Scythean. So the Raek walked up to the Totem Hunter, and two-hand tossed him at Morghoul. Everything hit, the Totem was killed (the Shredder had taken a big chunk out of him earlier), and Morghoul was knocked down. The Scythean then charged Morghoul. Near disaster here, as I'd forgotten Admonition and Counter-charge on the Bronzeback! The Titan backed away then rammed in to the Scythean, doing a healthy 12 points of damage, but luckily no aspects were knocked out. The Scythean got auto-hits from Knockdown and Pow 17 on Morghoul's near-nakedness: Morghoul used his two Fury to transfer to the Bronzeback, but the Scythean only had to buy one attack after his three initials to kill him. Game over!

At the end of turn 2 I really felt like I'd have to do something stunning to pull out a Scenario win. It was really surprising to have such opportunities for Assassination only a turn later. If the Raek hadn't hit Morghoul, I would have still had a decent chance to kill him with Forsaken, Scythean (who was effectively MAT8 with Carnivore), and Angelius all having the range to get to him. This is a problem I have also with Morghoul...his low Fury require him to be up close to things, where he's very vulnerable...DEF17 is nice, but not THAT nice.

I don't want to pick apart my opponent, he was super nice and I REALLY enjoyed playing him and very much hope to again, but I think he was far too conservative with Karn and the Gladiator. Both of them had almost no impact on the battle at all (other than Rush from the Gladiator). Trying to not get eaten by a Bronzeback is challenging enough, but if I'd had to dodge him AND Karn AND the Gladiator I would have been hurting a lot. In fact, what I was really expecting and worried about was him driving either Karn or the Bronzeback down my throat, killing one of my heavies, allowing me to kill it, but then finishing me with the other heavies. In this game, I felt like all I was fighting against was the Bronzeback.

Still, I had a lot of fun. It's really neat when a battle takes a completely unexpexted turn like that. Thanks for the game!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bob, It's Cygnus (the opponent). Great write up and great read:) I felt the same way about the glad and Molik. From my side of the board it seemed like I had no good charge targets with Karn, or at least nothing worth while. The glad was WAY too far back to do anything but shield the handlers.

    I also noticed that I didn't maltreat all game... seems interesting that it was never needed. I have played the list 2 other times since our match and I'm finding the Totem seems to be out of place. Saying that, I have no idea what I would replace him with.

    Hopefully we can place again.

    Im also looking at Zaal like you suggested. However, Im not that interested in his tier list .... I just love Karn and beast handlers too much....

    - Cygnus