Friday, October 28, 2011

Battle Report: Play It Out

As I hoped, painting progress last night was suspended in order to get a game in! 25pts of experimental mayhem always makes for a fun time. I hadn't tried Rhyas yet despite her being painted and ready to go for weeks now.

The Lists (25pts):
Me: Rhyas, Carnivean, Protector, Harrier, Shredder, 10 Legionnaires, 5 Incubi
Lance: Venethrax, Nightmare, 10 Mechanithrals w/ 3 Brute Thralls, 10 Blood Witches w/ Blood Hag, Necrosurgeon, Necrotech, Bloat Thrall

This was my first time fielding Rhyas, so I wasn't really going in with a game plan. I just wanted to put Rapport on the Carnivean and see it go to town. I was also hopeful to leverage her feat to drop the Carnivean on my opponent's caster. When we actually deployed and I saw the sea of infantry and read Venethrax's abilities, I nearly surrendered right out of the gate.

The Throwdown:
I tried to make effective use of the terrain in the middle to mitigate part of the Cryx flood by keeping the rough terrain and building between my forces and the Nightmare and Blood Witches. This really helped me out and let me concentrate on clearing out Mechanithralls. My Legionnaires performed admirably all things considered, but Venethrax's feat is brutal. At some point during the feat round I think there were 15 clouds on the table. That feat was challenging for 2 reasons. First, it brought my troops to a screeching halt pretty quickly. There was some timing I could exploit so that my Legionnaires/Incubi were able to start their activation in key clouds, but it still held them back pretty dramatically. Second, it blocks LOS even for my beasts. If it wasn't for that, I could have probably dropped the Carnivean on Venethrax and killed him. Instead I was forced into an attrition battle. Using my own feat I was able to sneak the Carnivean around and destroy the Nightmare with relative ease thanks to Rapport, but at the cost of Venethrax swooping in and taking out the Carnivean quite easily.

It was at this point that I looked at the battlefield and stated that it looked like it was a foregone conclusion that I was screwed, but let's play it out anyway for kicks. I had Rhyas, the Protector, the Shredder, 2 Legionnaires and 3 Incubi left, whereas Lance had Venethrax, 4 Mechanithralls, 2 Brutes, the Necrosurgeon, full Blood Witches and the Blood hag left. I was outnumbered 2 to 1, but we played it out.

The Endgame:
Somehow I pulled out a victory. After discussing the battle with Lance afterwards, there were a couple key factors that swung the battle back in my favor. First was I had time to reform my forces and make some key strikes to finish off critical targets like the Necrosurgeon. Second, Venethrax switched to using Lamentation instead of Draconic Blessing. This meant Venethrax was walking around with lower arm, but causing problems for Rhyas casting. If Venethrax had just left the bonus armor on and camped focus (putting him at arm 25) which would have been nearly impenetrable for Rhyas and the rest of her forces. Instead I was able to lure him into going for an assassination run but with Rapport it gave me enough transfers to survive. In the end Rhyas had 1 point of damage left when her Shredder took out Venethrax.

Thoughts on Rhyas: Wow 5 fury is hard to work with! Such a small control area. Rhyas is mildly amusing, but not especially flexible from my perspective. She needs to keep her forces pretty tightly together. Still though, it was something new to try and she does provide good support to troops. Between her feat and Dash she gave great support to the Legionnaires.

Also, once again, I have to say that it's always good to play out a game. I've sort of found that my late game is better than my early game. Probably because I go into a game with a "plan" to try to execute and when that play fails I have to start improvising and making more effective use of the forces I have.

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