Thursday, June 13, 2013

Battle Report: Unbound at Lock and Load

One last post about Lock and Load 2013. As mentioned previously, the last day I was there I played a 200pt Unbound game with Tyson Koch. It was a blast despite getting completely rolled by Tyson's troll force. What follows is less of a battle report and more a photo dump with some narrative about the game.

At 200pts, I was basically fielding every painted Legion model I have except for warlocks. In this game I had eVayl, Bethayne, Rhyas and Saeryn. Tyson had pGrim, eDoomshaper, Calandra and eMadrak. I can't remember everything that we each had on the table, but this shot gives you a pretty good idea of the massive number of models. Of special note were the Mountain King and 2 Battle Wagons on the troll side. Setting up 200pts is actually pretty challenging, and in retrospect I think I would do things very differently next time. However as this was my first Unbound game, it was a massive learning experience.

So the way this game came about was Tyson had been looking for an Unbound opponent, specifically one that had a fully painted force (or nearly fully painted). I ran into him at the display case and was chatting when I mentioned my desire to eventually play all my models over the course of games in the Iron Arena. You can probably easily guess the rest of the conversation. From there it was just a matter of figuring out how many points we could each field, and it turned out I was the lower end of that. Nevertheless, 200pts was still plenty to put on the table. I'd like to point out that at one point during our game, Ed Bourelle came by to watch and mentioned how he's been looking forward to playing an Unbound game with his 450pts of Cryx. I shudder to imagine that much painted Cryx on the table.

On the right side of the table I'd deployed my Throne along with Saeryn, Warmongers and various flying beasts. This exchange proved to be one of the better parts of the table for me. Saeryn's breath-stealer really took the fight out of the Fennblades and my Warmongers and beasts were able to clean out all the Longriders, Hoarthul and the Battle Wagon. Alas though, this was my best portion of the battlefield. A big key to this success was Saeryn's feat. One personal victory here was the use of an Afflictor to put out an Incubus!

The left side was a different ball game. I had Bethayne posted over there with Typhon, Proteus, Raptors, Anyssa, Blackfrost Shard and Hex Hunters. But despite all that force, the Battle Wagon and Champions were able to overcome. It didn't help that a lucky deviation from the Battle Wagon wiped out most of my Hex Hunters early on, and I was never really able to recover. Another key feature: in Unbound, 2 or more Battle Wagons means they gain +2 DEF, and that +2 made a significant different. I did however learn a lesson after the game which was that battle engines never gain defensive bonuses for elevation. Doh!

In terms of the flow of the game, Unbound really plays different than a normal game. I found that winning the initiative made a huge difference in taking it to your opponent. There is also a lot to be said for winning the battle at the center of the board. There's also a huge bias in how animii expire at the end of the round, so activating some things later means they aren't going to get as much mileage as things that activate earlier. It really threw me off from my normal play style.

As the game ground on, the trolls pushed into the center of the table and the real breaking of my army's back was eDoomshaper's feat and the Mountain King making a push in and slaying Rhyas. I honestly wasn't expected him to get that far given what all I had in the way, but Tyson did a masterful job of clearing a path that I couldn't plug up quick enough. On my left side, Bethayne also ended up going down. This was unfortunate because I'd activated her and popped her feat to catch eVayl in the hopes I could lay out a punishing round of attacks on the Mountain King, but I simply couldn't leverage enough firepower against him. At this point I surrendered the game since my losses were just too great and the Mountain King was healthy enough I'd never be able to wear him down.

Finally, this was my dead pile at the end of the game. Someone asked me if when my dudes "died" they instead just wander off to the tavern for drinks and I liked that visual.

So there you have it, my first Unbound game. I had a great time and Tyson was a wonderful and fun opponent. During the whole game we got a lot of great comments ranging from "Great painted armies!" to "You guys are nuts!". We even enjoyed having the PP staff member that made the table (sorry I forget your name!) come over and comment how satisfying it was to see such a huge pair of painted armies on the table. Several other PP staff members came by and they took pictures several times during our game. Perhaps there will even be pictures in the September No Quarter!

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