Saturday, September 13, 2008

Second 1k Battle

And the Victory goes to: The Trollbloods! This time I shocked myself. I actually won this game against Jeff. There were a couple of key dice rolls that made a huge difference. Overall though, it was a pitched battle and a total blast to play. Again, it must be said, Jeff is a class act opponent.

The lists:
Me: Madrak, Grim, 2x Maulers, 2x Impalers, Axer, Blitzer, Champs, Krielstone Bearers (6), Totem Hunter, Gudrun, Swamp Gobbers.
Jeff: Darius, Kraye, 2x Centurions, Ol Rowdy, Thunderhead, Charger, Sentinel, 2x Journeymen, Gun Mage Capt Adept, Mechanics (6), Strangeways, 2x Squires.

The dice:
Overall, my dice felt pretty even. There was a fair amount of betrayal on damage rolls in the middle, but a couple key rolls that they made up for (which I will cover below). Jeff's dice seem to roll fairly well too. All things considered, our dice didn't create a one-sided battle which was nice.

The rounds:
Round 1 consisted of the typical surge. Jeff used his BS crazy casters to get some serious mobility up the field. I did as much surge as I could without putting myself in charge range of his entire army. My big fear was to have a whole line of heavy jacks crash on top of me before I even got to make a single attack. Madrak's Sure Foot spell on the Champs formed my tough center, and the Totem Hunter and Gudrun made to flank on either side, with Grim holding a careful spot on the right side next to an Impaler.
Round 2 got messy. Ol Rowdy marched in and opened up with a critical on the left end of my line. He knocked down the Blitzer and took him out all by himself, but Sure Foot saved the Champs. A Centurion took out the Totem Hunter with little trouble, but my right side held well. On his turn, I marched the left Mauler up to Ol Rowdy and unceremoniously tossed him into the pool of water in the middle of the table, extinguishing him. Gudrun continued to flank and everyone moved up some more, aided by Sure Foot and a fully loaded Krielstone. On the right side however, in order to start taking better control of when and where the battle took place, I charged the Charger with the right side Mauler and snuffed it. Then Grim charged the Mauler to gain some additional distance and I used his feat to pin most of his army back. I missed Darius with the feat, but caught the Thunderhead, Kraye and the other Centurion.
Round 3 began with Jeff furiously scribbling on a piece of paper for over 5 minutes while he worked out his strategy for the turn. I'd like to point out that at this point, I had scored a moral victory for myself. I was honestly expecting to get rolled but my strategy seemed to have paid off. Jeff used some incredibly clever and judicious activations on his side. His flanking Centurion charged in and killed the left side Mauler. A newly created Halfjack walked in and restarted Ol Rowdy. Darius used his feat to completely restore Ol Rowdy and the Charger that I had completely destroyed (stupid Darius!). The Thunderhead did a devastating Pulse which caught most of my Krielstone Bearers as well as laying out some damage on Grim and a fair amount on Madrak due to the sustained attack. There was some shifting in the backfield, but overall nothing too major. Kraye had used his feat as well, but due to Grim's feat, its effect was noticeably minimized. Then my turn began... I managed to get a crit slam using the left impaler and slam the Centurion into Ol Rowdy, knocking them both down in the water (Yay!). The right side Mauler advanced up and 2-handed threw the Thunderhead into Kraye, softening up Kraye and leaving the Thunderhead knocked down (and not blocking LOS). Grim used Far Strike to get a tether shot on the other Centurion and lock it in place well back from my front line. At this point, I moved the champs around and Madrak moved up. Using the Mauler's animus on himself, he launched an axe throw at the Thunderhead, hitting but doing very little damage. However the ricochet from the axe went into Kraye and here I rolled an amazing 16 on 3 dice! 34 damage in a single hit was enough to put the already damaged Kraye into an early grave.
I have this photo to commemorate the event I titled "Where did Kraye go?". Jeff was... let's call it flustered. This very lucky dice roll came on the heels of a series of pathetic charge damage rolls for the Champs trying to clobber the knocked down heavies in the water.
Rounds 4 and 5 are kind of a blur. There was more advancing, and more damage laid on Madrak, but mostly what happened was more jack restarting (including Darius gaining control of the Thunderhead) and a huge wall of heavies forming up to protect him under Fortify which prevented further 2-handed throws or knockdowns. On round 4 I got a few hits on Darius and brought him near death (partially due to another ricochet hit from Madrak and partially from Grim's rifle). Another lovely source of damage was a hit from Madrak's Stone Fall spell and due to Darius being knocked down I hit him with a roll of a hard 6 (that's a critical hit for you folks playing along at home) which has the added critical hit effect of causing the already knocked down Darius to forfeit his next activation and be unable to allocate focus to his jacks. This very lucky dice roll saved my bacon and round 5 ended with me getting another raged axe ricochet into Darius. With his camped focus and Arcane Shield, Darius was at an impressive 26 ARM, but with Rage, Madrak was at P+S 18. I rolled exactly average on my boosted damage (getting a 10), and doing exactly the 2 points necessary to finish Darius off.

Again, this was an immensely fun battle. Jeff was a stand up guy and there were several places where we both took the casual route and let each other fix minor mistakes (like forgetting to allocate focus or rile for fury and such). I can not express how much I appreciate this small amount of leniency in an opponent since it makes the game more fun to know that silly little mistakes didn't give you a huge opening. I had a great time playing trolls again and really felt like I did a good job of using my army's strengths as well as using the terrain to my advantage. Grim and the Sure Footed Champs were key to making sure the battle took place mostly when and where I wanted it to. I can't wait for another battle when I can bring Menoth's best against Jeff and see how much he's refined how to use Kraye.

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