Friday, July 1, 2011

Zaal vs. Zerkova, 35 points

Another battle report from a Vassal game, this time vs. a Khador warcaster I'd not yet faced: Zerkova!

I used my Zaal force that I've been getting familiar with:

Zaal (& Kovaas)
Aptimus Marketh
Titan Gladiator
Cyclops Brute

10 Praetorian Karax
10 Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment

2 Ancestral Guardians
Haakar the Destroyer

His force had a lot of things I'd seen before, in fact the only new thing was Zerkova:


10 Kayazy Assassins + UA
4 Widowmakers
The Greylord Ternion

and Gorman de Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist

A nice compact force chock full of meanness...I really like this, if I were to do Khador, it would be a force very much like this.

So we decided to do a scenario, and rolled Sacrifice, an interesting-sounding Radial that required us to simultaneously capture a flag and an area...but when scoring the model holding the flag took a tremendous POW 20 hit.

I won the roll and chose to go first. I was hoping to get in close and tie things up on turn 2, collecting souls, and having the Guardians and beasts tear everything up.

Sadly, I suck.

After my part of Turn 1, I felt good. I thought I'd be able to work on objectives with small part of my force while tieing up his meanies with the rest.

He advanced a bit cautiously, taking some shots with Widowmakers, but they were all out of range. On my turn, I wanted to draw a trample from one or both jacks so I could get in with my Guardians and beasts. Not the most inspired plan, but it seemed good at the time. However, I grossly misjudged the distance the Assassins could go during their mini-feat. I'd tried to spread out to prevent them from doing what they ended up doing...which was bad.

On his turn, his Assassins mini-feat was utterly decisive. He was able to kill a Guardian, Haakar, and put some wounds on the Gladiator. His shooting was able to kill the last Guardian. Then Gorman and Greylord Ternion were able to kill most of the Karax, Swordsmen and the Kovaas with their acid and sprays. Ouch. Yeah, I screwed up. Nothing to do but press on!

I was able to finish off all the Assassins with the few swordsmen, left, Zaal and Marketh's magic, and the Brute and Gladiator (yes, 25 pts or so to kill off 10 stupid guys), and even the Karax were able to kill one of the Ternion. I had a lot of Rage for feat turn, just no good way to apply it to something decisive so I waited, hoping an opportunity might present itself.

So his Greylords are engaged with two scrubs, but all three Jacks and the Widowmakers are untouched and eager to finish me off. The Spriggan moved up to try to get the Karax off the Ternion, but he failed...never underestimate the power of bad dice! The Decimator put some damage on the Brute, but only a few boxes, luckily. He killed off the Karax with the Greylord's sprays and finished off the Swordsmen with Widowmakers, the Alchemist, and Vanguard, but I thought I had an opportunity to get both the Heavies down, which might give me a chance.

Zaal used his feat (21 Ancestral Rage points!), and  pelted magic attacks at his two heavies, trying to soften them up, along with killing one of the Greylords and Gorman. The Cyclops went in to the Decimator, and clove big chunks out of it, including I believe taking off both arms. Even POW12 is scary with nearly limitless ability to boost! Then the Gladiator went in for what I thought would be the coup d'grace, charging the Spriggarn but being in position to put attacks on both heavies. I'd hoped he'd be able kill both the Spriggarn and the Decimator...which he probably would have been able to do with 6 Boosted attacks (3 initial plus 3 Fury for me a reasonable chance at pulling something out after a disaster on Turn 2...

...but I'd forgoten the spell Watcher was on Zerkova, not on the Jack (I'd put Hex Blast on both, thinking it was more like Admonition). The Gladiator landed within 6" of her, so the Spriggarn proudly turned his tail and ran. The Gladiator gave him a healthy kick in the tail as he left, but so ended my plan. The Gladiator managed to finish off the Decimator (despite missing two of his attacks that needed 4s to hit!), but things looked grim.

And here's another silly error I made. I have Rapport on the brain...I'm used to being able to go down to zero Fury and be able to transfer once, having played Rhyas a bit too much I guess. I had no Fury left on Zaal, so the last Greylord calmly walked up and Ice Caged him, then Zerkova cast Razor Wind twice to finish him off.

A great game...good reality check. I went in way overconfident, played very sloppy, allowing the guts of the army to get ripped out before doing a thing, and played a poor game of catch-up for 3 more turns.My opponent on the other hand knew exactly what to kill and how to best go about doing it. His play was flawless, giving me no opportunity or respite. I really learned from playing him and hope for another game sometime soon!

I'm really not sold on Marketh. He seems to be such a good value, but I never feel like I'm using him right. He just runs around, collects souls, and takes pot-shots with Hex Blast. What am I missing? I'd rather have an Agonizer and run a point short, frankly! Any thoughts on Marketh, or what the heck I'm doing wrong with him? If the had the same abilities as the other Extollers...the ranged shot and the abilsity to hand out Souls, or even just one of the above, I'd get a lot more value out of him. As is...he may get shelved.

No new painting done on this army, just a few bits here and there on the Gladiator. Hopefully I can get him done this weekend and get some photos up before the upcoming Texas vacation!

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