Friday, May 06, 2011

Make Your Opponent's List

Last night I played an amusing game where my opponent (Henry) built a list for me from his model collection, and I built one for him from my collection. We played a 25pt game and (in the spirit of a learning experience) used the following friendly rules:
* Must use every point, included jack/beast points
* Models included must have a legitimate chance of coming into play (no Incubi without any models to pop out of)
* 2 proxies items allowed
* Simple Killbox scenario

My list for Henry: High Reclaimer, Templar, Crusader, Vigilant, Reclaimer, 5 Cinerators, Herne & Jonne - Tons of SPD 4 stuff, hardly any warriors to generate soul tokens, and of course a merc unit that is notoriously random for effectiveness. I was quite pleased with this chunk of lousy.

Henry's list for me: Grissel, Slag Troll, Krielstones (6 + UA), Runebearer, Gudrun, Pendrake, Swamp Gobbers, Bone Grinders (6), Bog Trog Ambushers (10) - Wow! Did the Skornegy here! Lots of awesome spells and features that... only affect Faction models. Hahaha! What a lumb of terrible!

Battle Summary:
The quick synopsis is that I started off by surrounding Henry on all sides, with Gudrun sneaking around behind his forces, the Bog Trogs coming in on a side edge, and the bulk of my force approaching from a third angle to trap him in. The first hit on the High Reclaimer (aka "HR") came in the form of a Rift blast from Grissel against the Crusader which just reached the HR too, scoring 5 points. At that point he backed off from that battle line and towards his Cinerators. The next hit on the HR came from the Bog Trogs. They rushed in from behind and despite the Cinerators' best efforts, a couple Bog Trogs slipped around behind them. I used a lot of careful placement by running them instead of charging to keep the Cinerators relatively pinned in. One lone Bog Trog got a charge against the HR in his back when he had no focus on him and scored a whopping 10 damage! My 3-angle attack was working well, but I was taking heavy casualties in the process, losing all the Bog Trogs, half the Krielstones, and half the Bone Grinders. On the other side of the table, only the Crusader and Herne & Jonne were destroyed. I got lucky on two specific things though: First, the Templar ended up about 1/4" outside of the HR's control area at a critical point, which severely handicapped it's ability to cause damage, and second, the Vigilant didn't end up in B2B with the HR. The last 4 points on the HR came from a lucky second Rift blast damage. The HR had put clouds out to block LOS, but the remaining Gobber stood in the cloud just right. Then Grissel dropped a rift on him. Fortunately for me it scattered onto the HR, and the blast damage did plenty to finish him off.

* Even a marginalized model can create a good combo. Pendrake's bola combined with the Slag Troll pretty much wrecked face on the Crusader. It allowed the Slag to reliably hit and use his focus for boosting damage and taking the extra shot.
* Maneuvering can grant a lot of power. Although the Bog Trogs didn't kill any Cinerators (and in all fairness, I didn't want to be handing out soul tokens), they were able to use their reach as an advantage. By positioning them on opposite sides of a Cinerator at their reach range, the Cinerators had movement problems due to potential free strikes.
* When possible, flanking forces your opponent into tough decisions about how to split their defenses. By coming in from 3 angles, the HR had to use Cinerators on one side, Jacks on the other, and then focus for clouds to keep himself safe. It allowed me to pick which engagements happened and when/where they took place.
* This format is awesome! Totally loved it. I'm looking forward to doing this again. It really forced me to hunt for hidden combos in a ragtag set of models, and that I feel translates well when trying to build a competitive list.

Game 2:
Ok, actually, this was a throwback game of Battletech, and I'm throwing this in just for fun. I hadn't played Battletech for ages and Henry was kind enough to offer a game as a refresher course. The game ended up being pretty short. We spent a turn advancing towards each other and then the first volley was exchanged. Henry shot at me and missed. Then I fired back...
Lance (spectating the game): You should shoot everything and try to take out his head.
Me: I shoot all my guns!
Henry: Ok, let's start with the PPC. Roll to hit.
Me: 7! Does that hit?
Henry: Yes, exactly. Roll location.
Me: 12! What's that hit?
Henry: Uh, the head. Roll to see if you get a critical.
Me: 8!
Henry: Oh dear. That's 1 critical. Roll location.
Me: 3! What's that do?
Henry: That's the cockpit. You just killed my pilot.
Me: Neato!
Lance: That's going to make for great salvage! No damage except for killing the pilot.
So, it was an amusing albeit short refresher of Battletech.

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