Friday, February 05, 2010

Yay for Mercenaries!

Another slightly delayed and pictureless battle report. I got two games in the other day with my merc selection and these were two incredibly fun games. Here's the highlights...

Battle 1 - 35pts:
Me: Ashlynn, Vanguard, Nomad, 2 Forgeguard(6), Gun mages + UA, Herne & Jonne, Dougal, Bokur and Stannis.
Henry: eDoomshaper, Mulg, Axer, Mauler, Fennblades(10), Fell Caller, Chronicler, Swamp Gobbers.

This battle was actually more about testing out stuff than a serious throwdown. I won the initiative and used the opportunity to rush up towards the middle, putting Quicken on one unit of Forgeguard and Admonition on Ashlynn. The trolls likewise rushed forward and spread out, with the Chronicler putting that loathsome song on the Fennblades to knockdown enemies that kill them. Both of us had positioned troopers in the way of our heavy hitters. At this point I had a decision to make. Due to the positioning of my heavy hitters and the threat of Mulg and the Mauler, I decided to take a sort of balanced advance plan. Dougal used his mini-feat and then his action to boost up Jonne's gun. Herne and Jonne opened up, clearing out multiple Fennblades. Then the Gun mages opened up, killing some more Fennblades and also managing to push back the Mauler and Mulg by 3" with thunderbolt strikes. The Forgeguard then charged and eliminated all but 3 of the remaining Fennblades which failed their command check at that point. Stannis moved up as well taking a shot, and then the Bokur and Vanguard took up flanking defensive positions for Ashlynn who advanced and camped her 4 focus. I specifically move her up and told Henry to go for it with Mulg and see if he can kill her. Boy was that a mistake! Mulg was easily over 12" away, and probably more like 14-15". The Mauler advanced and 2-handed threw Stannis at the Vanguard, just barely catching Ashlynn and knocking her down. It was super borderline and probably a 50/50 roll, but I gave it to him to taunt him into committing Mulg. Then eDoomshaper put wild agression and rush on Mulg and feated. From there it was just a whirlwind of obscene abuse. Mulg charged in and started clobering his way through things, using overtake and goad to close in easily on Ashlynn with 4 fury remaining. At that point it was academic.

In review, I could have played this game much more conservatively and feated with Ashlynn and hung back, but it was an interesting test. Mulg is a serious beatstick, and even without eDoomshaper's feat Mulg's overtake would have gotten him there which is just frightening. The arguments about his being overcosted are now firmly in the realm of being ignored by me. Sure, eDoomshaper is a great combo for him, but the overtake was really the star of the show for him.

Battle 2 - 50pts:
Me: Fiona, Buccaneer, Vanguard, Alexia, Gun mages + UA, Mariner (marshalled by Gun mage officer), Aiyana & Holt, Dougal, Nyss Hunters (10), Bokur, Sea Dogs (6 + 3 riflemen).
Henry: eAsphyxious, Reaper, 2 Deathrippers, Wrathe, Soulhunters(5), Tartarus, Bane Knights(10), Withershadow, Skarlock, Gorman, and probably other stuff but I forget.

This battle turned into a mercenary toolbox display. Again I won the initiative (shocking), and rushed forward, putting Nanokian Brand on the Mariner, Teglesh Mark on the Buccaneer, and Roth's Mercy on the Nyss. The Cryx army moved into position, with the Soulhunters running to engage the Nyss, and Asphyxious throwing an AOE and killing Aiyana, Holt, and 3 gun mages. It was time to show what mercs can really do. The first challenge was clearing a bit more of a hole in the middle, so gun mages and sea dogs opened up with a hail of bullets and cleared out a couple key bane knights. Alexia also used the opportunity to command a Bane Knight to kill his buddy. Then the Buccaneer, fueled with 2 focus, attempts the assault charge on Asphyxious. This went wrong in a couple ways. First, Asphixious was sitting in a Gorman cloud and thus def 17, so the Buccaneer needed a 12 to hit, which he missed. Second, he ended up in melee range of a Bane Knight, thus negating his Teglesh Mark. Doh! Despite the failed attempt to knock down the enemy caster, the Mariner stands firm, takes aim, and fires a sniped shot. I'd like to point out that with Dougal's mini-feat and snipe from the Gun Mage marshalling, he's got a 20" range with that deck gun. He had to use his boost in order to hit, but BAM, he laid some damage on the caster, which is always good news. However, I now faced a dire situation. The Nyss managed to cut down a couple Soulhunters and keep the flank held but I was going to be in trouble the next round, so Fiona marched forward, camped on her 5 focus, and used her feat. The following Cryx round was hilarious. The -1 die prevented taking hardly any casualties, and forced the Cryx to try and tie up key things in melee. The poor Buccaneer got blinded by Gorman and then cut into little pieces by the Withershadow, which promptly re-assembled him into a bonejack, the first time I'd ever seen this happen. The Bane Knights ran up and engaged the Gun Mages in melee, and the remaining Soul Hunters engaged the remaining Nyss. Tartarus, in a rash display of anger, charged forward and threshered to kill half of Alexia's remaining risen. Asphyxious laid out some spell action through the arcnode, but failed to hit his target. Due to an unfortunate dice roll, the Reaper failed to hit the Mariner with his harpoon, and thus 2 more focus went to waste. All-in-all, Fiona's feat made the Cryx army cry trying to hit def 13-15 troops on a single die to hit. There was much smiling on the merc side of the table. At this point, I could see how things would eventually turn out: Cryx would grind me down. It was time to pull out all the stops. Fiona dropped all her upkeeps and held her 7 focus (no bonus due to poor positioning of sea dogs on my part). I had a narrow path down the middle that needed to be cleared for my master plan. The Nyss cut down a key Soulhunter to clear the left side of the lane. The sea dogs ganged up and cleared a key Bane Knight on the right side of the lane. Then Alexia slid to the side, sacked a risen to boost herself up, and commanded Tartarus to do the unthinkable: walk back and stab Asphyxious. Success! Tartarus turned around, walked forward, and brought his blade down on his master. At the command of his client Fiona, the Bokur then ran up the lane to 4" behind Tartarus and smiled with confusion as hit orders. Then Fiona steps up to the plate. She Teglesh Mark's the Bokur and promptly starts rolling out the Influences on Tartarus. Slash! Slash! And down goes the evil Asphyxious at the hand of his own minion!!

I can't express just how amusing this battle was. Henry was cracking up at the amusement that was my merc force. For me it was like one of those huge Christmases where you just keep opening presents with new surprises. The flexibility of Fiona continues to amuse me, and her feat doesn't pose the same logistical challenge to me that Ashlynn's does which makes her less difficult to plan around. The entire army brought such a toolbox of options for me that it would be hard to pick an MVP, but Alexia is definitely on the short list. I'm very excited about mercs and really feel like MK2 has brought them up to a respectable level of competitiveness.

Anyway, thanks for bearing with another long battle report. This weekend I'm hoping to get some serious painting time in, and perhaps even another battle.


Maxus said...

Wait, did you not have an awesome Merc vs Retribution fight? I couldn't kill your stunties before the final one ran over with the help of the Ogryn and your Nomad to put the nail in the coffin of my Pheonix? Or was it the incredible late game luck of Herne & Jonne who would shoot into both of our armies, destroy my troops and leave yours unscathed?

Scott said...

HA HA! That was also a very amusing game. I think my favorite part was the Ashlynn feat round causing the Forgeguard to go crazy with crit-smites on your house guard. You need to come down for a rematch now that my dice have cooled back down to normal probabilities.