Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Battle Report: Here Comes The Train

Last night I played a game of Warmachine that was rather off the beaten path. My buddy Aaron and I put together a scenario to liven things up and the battle was a riot.

Here's how it worked. One player (chosen randomly) was designated the defender, and the other the attacker. 2" from the center line, on the defender's side of the board, we ran a road across the length of the board. This served to represent the train track. Starting on the attack's 2nd turn, the train enters. The goal for the attacker is, of course, to destroy the cargo car of the train. Here's the specifics:
  • The Locomotive was def 7, arm 21, 32 damage. The cargo car was def 7, arm 23, 50 damage. If the locomotive is boxed, it remains on the table, but the whole train becomes stationary. Other than the locomotive being boxed, the train cannot be made stationary. It is immune to knockdown, but can be affected by spells and effects and is considered a friendly faction model for the defender and an enemy model for the attacker. Both the locomotive and cargo cars can be repaired by mechanics.
  • During each player's maintenance phase, the train moves 8" along the track. It cannot have this movement modified by any means (feats, spells, etc) and always moves 8" provided the locomotive has not been boxed. If the train collides with a model during this movement, that model is slammed d6+2" and suffers a pow 20 hit, and then the train continues to move. Note that models could potentially be hit multiple times this way.
  • The defender sets up and goes first. The train enters the board at the start of the maintenance phase of the attacker's second turn.

    The Lists:
    me (defender): Amon, Reckoner, Castigator, Devout, Dervish, Choir(6), Deliverers(6), Vilmon, Paladin, Vassal, 3 Wracks
    Aaron(attacker): eStryker, Ol Rowdy, Stormclad, Stormblades w/ UA, Longguners(6), Black 13th, Journeyman Warcaster, Stormsmith

    Perhaps not an optimal choice for me, but I wanted the Castigator so that I could throw something in front of the speeding train. I hadn't played MKII Amon yet, so this was a golden opportunity to see how he played.

    The Battle:
    The first couple turns were as expected, with both of us making a mad rush to the middle and trying to secure a hold on the track zone. I scored first blood by launching my Dervish into the group of Stormblades and slashing through 3 of them. Things were looking good so far, but then, enter the train...

    The train brought an interesting dynamic to the game. For one, it's big, blocks line of site, and is very dangerous. Plus, it distracts the attacker from wailing on the defender's forces. However, for me as the defender, it created a bit of a challenge. Either I hang back and have the train block off my ability to attack, or move forward and get trapped between the train and the attacking forces. I tried to find a bit of middle ground there, however I ended up having my forces get split up a bit, with my choir trapped on the other side of the train from my jacks. What follows is a series of pictures detailing the comedy that ensued from the battle.

    Reckoner: "Uh oh... fence behind me... jacks in front of me... train to the left of me..."
    This was a pretty bad situation for the Reckoner. Amazingly he managed to wriggle out of it without getting clobbered! The Castigator 2-handed threw the Stormclad in the way of the train, the Vassal ansilary-attacked the Reckoner to kill the Stormblade, and then the Reckoner sneaked out of the path of the oncomming locomotive. Unfortunately...

    The Castigator didn't clear the path of the train and got slammed away, but not without earning his reward. The Stormclad was thrown into the front of the locomotive, and then during Aaron's maintenance phase, it was hit by the locomotive and slammed 3", and then slammed again another 7". Double slam baby! Aaron and I were both cracking up at the carnage of the locomotive.

    This gives you a better view of the battlefield after the maintenance phase of Aaron's 3rd turn. My forces were split on either side of the train, and Ol Rowdy was well positioned to start wailing away. Despite my best effort to put some hurt on Stryker with the Devout and distract his forces, Aaron was not tricked. Ol Rowdy charged in and pounded on the locomotive... and pounded... and pounded... and pounded... and in the end...

    ... the brave locomotive engineer was slain, and the locomotive ground to a screeching halt! If it wasn't for this impressive display by Ol Rowdy, I think the scenario would have quickly gone downhill for Aaron, and although I loved the carnage, I believe we should all observe a moment of silence for the poor locomotive engineer.

    [insert silence here]

    At this point things started to go downhill for me quickly.

    Vilmon was charged by 5 Longgunners who managed to beat him dead. Oh how sad! The Castigator got revenge by walking over and combusting on the Black 13th and Junior and burning them all to a crisp. In the end though, Stryker weeded out all of my remaining forces except for Amon and I sadly had to concede the game at that point. I should point out that both Aaron and I had some very comical dice rolling, with more double 1's coming up than I could believe.

    The scenario was a blast! There's some refinements to make for sure, but overall it worked out quite well and we had a great time. Here's some thoughts on the scenario itself:
  • Changing the stats so that the Locomotive is a bit harder to kill and the cargo car is a bit easier seems appropriate. As it stands, the only viable strategy is to destroy the locomotive to buy enough time to actually destroy the cargo car.
  • Before the game we discussed the option of jacks going autonomous if warcasters are killed, just to keep the focus on the scenario instead of caster kills. It didn't come up, but I could see this being an important aspect to throw in.
  • We were both curious how it would have played out if I had thrown my forces across the tracks to block Aaron from getting to the locomotive. I suspect it could easily make the scenario much much harder for the attacker to win.

    Well, I hope you've enjoyed this rather lengthy battle report. I'd love to hear from folks out there if they've done similar scenarios before!


    Shelexie said...

    Great battle report and i love the train model! The pictures made since of what you were talking about and I can really see the fun you guys had. Thanks for the write up!

    John said...

    Thats a great battle report and a fun scenario got a kick out of reading it. Love the toy train btw