Sunday, June 12, 2011

Game Night Recap - Circle vs. Khador, Circle vs. Cygnar, Circle vs. Cryx

Image copyright Privateer Press, used without permission.

My first game was at 50 points where I finally got to try out my "full" Circle list:

Kaya the Moonhunter
Feral Warpwolf
Pureblood Warpwolf
Warpwolf Stalker
Gnarlhorn Satyr
Druids of Orboros
-Druid Overseer
Shifting Stones
-Stone Keeper
Warpborn Skinwalkers
War Wolf
War Wolf
Druid Wilder

So several of these models I am just trying out for the first time (the overseer, the War Wolves and the Wilder), so I made my share of mistakes, as you might imagine. The ultimate verdict, however, is that I really like this army and I like it even better at 50 points. 50 points feels like the "right" size to play, but that could just be me talking. It feels like a 2k game after playing a bunch of 1500 point games.

Just less restrictive and more fun overall.

My opponent had a Khador force led by Epic Sorcha. This was my first time playing her so I didn't really know what to expect. More on that later.

He had two Destroyers and a Marauder for his heavy Jacks, a full unit of Winter Guard with Rocket Attachments and Kovnik Joe. He also had a unit of Doom Reavers and some Mechanics. That's all I remember.

So we set up and his Doom Reavers started running up my flank, while his Destroyers advanced and dropped Blasts on my Skinwalkers, doing some damage.

I have noticed that the ability to run a fast melee unit up the flank that doesn't need support is a really strong play that a lot of players use. I am considering using my Warpwolf Skinwalkers and War Wolves this way. With pathfinder they can really cover some ground. I have normally been using them as a meat shield but maybe that's not the best use? Dunnoh.

Anyways, I moved my Skinwalkers out to try and slow down the Doom Reavers. These guys have high strength weapons with Weapon Master, so I knew that even my 8 boxes and 18 armor would only slow them down a little. One thing I have noticed about this game is that things are very offensively powerful. What I mean by that is that there are relatively few units that can stand up to hits by a P+S 13 charging hit with Weapon Master. That's 4d6 + 13 for anywhere from 17 - 37(!) damage. There is nothing in the game that has enough armor or hits to take that kind of a beating. So you get situations where really the only way the absorb damage is to have lots of bodies, each of which requires a separate attack to kill. It's kind of a strange dynamic.

Even basic infantry, even if they have very weak attacks (like around 10) are still rolling 3d6 on the charge. That means that on an excellent roll even the weakest of things can damage the heaviest of things on the charge.

Anyways,  so I moved to block his Doom Reavers, and moved my Warbeasts up to affect my alpha strike. During my feat turn I was able to take down one of his Destroyers and cripple the other one. I think if I had played it a bit more smartly I could have destroyed them both, but it wasn't a bad showing. My mistake was putting Kaya out of position, resulting in my being unable to place my Warbeasts near the shifting stones after they teleported back. This meant that I had to run them with a bit less fury than I would have liked.

The Wilder helped out immensely, removing all of the Fury from one of the heavies. Go team!

So I was not in bad shape, I had taken down one of my opponent's jacks and crippled a second, and only had some damaged Skinwalkers as a result.

On his turn my opponent was able to charge my Skinwalkers with his Reavers. Predictably, two of them died, but one managed to survive. One of my War Wolves also died due to poor positioning (way too close, another lesson learned).

His Winter Guard then took out four (!) of my Druids who I had STUPIDLY left out in the open without concealment. They would have been very safe if they had been in clouds for defense 18.

Another boneheaded error.

I went after his Doom Reavers with my last Skinwalker, a war wolf and my Feral. I killed several and that unit was whittled down quite a bit. I used my Pureblood's breath attack to kill some Winter Guard and three of his Mechanics. I didn't want him repairing his Destroyer. My Gnarlhorn didn't do much useful as I recall. I decided it would be cute if I ran Laris into the edge of his winterguard unit and teleported Kaya over there. I wanted to start mowing through those troops and figured that Kaya would be relatively safe - I mean, they are shitty fodder troops meant for ranged attacks, and Laris was there to give her lots of buffs, right?

Well, this was one mistake too many, I'm afraid. I didn't really understand how eSorcha's feat works.

See, she freezes everything she can see in her control range. What that means is that I get AUTO hit (so my high defence means nothing) I cannot ENGAGE anything (so my armor buffs from engaging are gone) and I'm just generally a sitting duck. So eSorcha used Wind Rush to move herself 6 inches towards me, then feated, then CHARGED me (wind rush is an amazing spell which I will not underestimate again) and proceeded to do a grip of damage to my fragile little girl. I transferred as much as I could away, but Kaya did not survive. Even if I had, the Winter Guard would have freely moved back (I'm frozen, so can't free strike them) and combined ranged attacked me to death.


That game was going pretty well, but I over-extended and got smacked. Lots of lessons to learn there.

My second game was against a 35 point Nemo Cygnar list with two heavy Jacks, a light Arc Node Jack and some Storm Blades. I really liked this army, lots of lightning bolts flying around, etc. I made a good go of it, and probably could have won the game at a few points except for some minor positioning issues. I'll give you some of the highlights:

-I slammed one of his Jacks with my Gnarlhorn. It we

nt tumbling back directly past his Warcaster and into his support solos, killing several. I then had the opportunity to follow up on my slam and beat down on his caster with my Gnarlhorn. But there had been a small based model just on the front corner of his Jack, so even though I was able to contact his Jack, I could not advance past this model which blocked my path. Bummer.

-I charged my Warpwolf Stalker forward with a bunch of movement buffs and took out the lone Storm Blade standing in front of Nemo. I was then standing there with the Stalker, warped for Strength and with Forced Evolution, ready to beat down on Nemo with my Greatsword. Unfortunately, when I had moved Kaya earlier in the turn, I had placed her such that my Stalker was one HALF INCH out of her control range, so I could not force him and beat down Nemo.


So a few good plays which almost did something cool.

On the negative side, I learned that the Druid's anti-magic field is good, but not that good. See, it prevents any friendly model within the range from being targeted by enemy spells. But enemy models can still be targeted. So of course he fired Chain Lightning at one of his Storm Blades which was engaged with my Skinwalker and RIGHT next to an entire row of druids. The Chain Lightning arced to 5 models and POP POP POP POP most of my druids were dead just like that. That was the most frustrating moment of the game.

My final game was against Cryx, against a player who was not as good as the ones I had been playing (I have been playing the best players in the store, mostly one in particular who is VERY good and just brings out different armies for me to play against).

After going up against such monstrously tough opposition, this game was literally a breeze. My opponent was playing Denegra (who is nasty), with some Arc Node light Jacks, the Death Jack, some Mechanithrals and a pistol wraith.

The Mechanithrals were kind of neat. They just kept getting regenerated by the Necro surgeon.

But what it came down to was my warbeasts were faster and more maneuverable than his Jacks, and I was playing smarter than he was.

I took out his Arc Nodes on the first turn and Sprinted Laris and my Stalker back into the middle of a forest. He got really nervous at this point, and popped his Feat, which reduced all of my stats on everything by 2.

He then beat on the Stalker a bit after walking one of his jacks into the forest.

On my turn I used the Shifting Stones to teleport my Pureblood behind his caster, and then nudged Laris over and teleported Kaya in front of his caster. Kaya beat on Denegra a bit with the flank bonus from the Pureblood, and then I activated the Pureblood and finished the job. Even with -2 to hit and damage, I was able to take her down and win the game.

So a good experience. I feel like going against really challenging players with various armies is teaching me a lot. The biggest thing is the "gotcha" factor of this game. There are so many tricks and combos that until you learn them you are really at a disadvantage. This is of course true in any game (you have no idea how many times I am surprised at 40k tournaments that people don't know the basics of enemy codexes) but it seems to be especially true in Warmahordes.

Anyways, still having a blast learning and playing.