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Category: Retribution

Steamroller 2012: February (50 points)

Steamroller Sunday

This was the second tournament of the 2012 season and the first 50 point event run in the Irish calendar. All ten attendees enjoyed themselves but the turnout was a little poor.

I suspect that the higher points limit scared off some players. Players with large collections were most likely to play. But this also meant an abundance of veteran players which meant that there were few soft matchups available. Spare a thought for tournament virgin, Eoin, who found himself walking into a buzzsaw of a tournament.

Aiming for victory, I had gone with expanded versions of my Harbinger and High Exemplar Kreoss lists. Both have been quite solid in the past and as I was lacking in practice, I reverted to the lists I knew best. The extra fifteen points was used to convert the Harbie’s list into a true Heavy Jack force while Kreoss grabbed a hodge-podge band of mercenaries and an extra Vanquisher.

Harbinger
-Avatar
-Reckoner
-Vanquisher
-Vanquisher
Choir of Menoth (Max)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Hierophant
Holy Zealots (Max)
Monolith Bearer
Knights Exemplar Seneschal

The Avatar performed extremely well across the tournament and the four heavies simply overwhelmed the opposition. The Knights Exemplar Seneschal only struck once but did so to great effect. The weak link in the list was the Zealots, they proved a little unsuited to most of my match-ups.

High Exemplar Kreoss
-Reckoner
-Vanquisher
-Vanquisher
Choir of Menoth (Max)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Covenant of Menoth
Holy Zealots (Max)
Monolith Bearer
Daughters of the Flame
Madelyn Corbeau
Keil Bailoch
Eiryss, Mage Hunter

The Kreoss list might as well have been played at 35 points. Both in the tournament and my practice game, the original list did all the work while the additional points sat around waiting to be called into action. Madelyn was particularly poor as with Kroess safely tucked in behind his jacks, her ability could only be used to move him slightly left or right.

Game 1: Conor’s Cygnar (eHaley, Incoming)

With five Cygnar players in the mix, I was hoping to run into at least one. The fates provided. I’ve had long experience against their lists and I was confident of my chances. Kreoss tends to do horrible things to Cygnar and the game went on auto-pilot. The Daughters tied down the right flank, pinning a unit of Gun Mages and a Cyclone. On the left, Keil Bailoch got splattered by Gun Mage Adepts while I marched up the centre. The Zealots cut into the Sword Knights, the Lancer was fragged and before long Haley was forced into an assassination run.

It came close to succeeding as her Domination spell came up just short of my Reckoner, which might have been able to land a killing blow on my caster. She was now horribly exposed, a Vanquisher shot targeting one of my own zealots clipped Haley and finished her in a blaze of fire.

Game 2: Neil’s Retribution (Vyros, Demolition)

New opponent, new list. I admit that I’ve never run into a jack-heavy Retribution list. His ability to shoot through intervening models forced me to keep well back with the Harbinger. He spread out to cover the zones and objective. His lunge around the central objective brought him into range of my jack-line and managed to put a few points of damage on the Harbinger.

But that was the high point of his advance. The Avatar smashed home to demolish the damaged Manticore and Hydra. The Zealots, covered by the Harbinger’s feat began to eat through the Halberdiers. Despite racking up some scenario points, the Retribution were slowly ground away in a slow rolling advance towards the central objective, losing all of their jacks and most the Sentinels in a delaying action. Once my jacks finally arrived, the position was secure, I was down 2-0 on scenario points but only the round timing out could lose me the game.

With his entire army eliminated, the remaining jacks closed in on Vyros. He managed to smash one on the charge but then the others gathered to beat him down. Neil can console himself with the thought that he was the only player to kill any of my jacks through the three rounds of the tournament.

Game 3: Phil’s Cryx (Terminus, Incursion)

After two wins, I find myself in the final against a Terminus list. My last game against it ended in a bloody massacre but with four heavy jacks, I expected a little more time to get a feel for the list and hopefully win out. The disappearance of the left-hand flag left the battle focused on the centre and right. The unit of Zealots managed to contest the righthand objective for several turns but couldn’t hold out against a sustained press of enemy troops. The scenario points racked up on this front would eventually cost me the game.

The central front saw a swarm of Revenant Crewmen crash against a wall of jacks.  The heavies didn’t really suffer much damage with only Terminus really capable of threatening them. Two Seethers got smashed for no real gain. I put my efforts into eliminating the crew to give me a chance of killing Terminus. Terminus himself got locked down by the Gaze of Menoth and was forced into melee with the Avatar to try and extract himself. In hindsight, focusing on the crewmen was a major error as I learnt afterwards that Sacrifical Pawn does not negate melee hits. So a handful of solid assassination attempts were overlooked in favour of splattering piles of humble troopers. The Avatar passed up at least two chances to trample through the crew and smash Terminus into goo. Bugger.

Unfortunately, my loss dropped me all the way into fourth once strength of schedule was taken into account. Two finals, two losses. Next time, next time. I’m consoled by the fact that those Cygnarian heretics were slapped around like red-headed stepchildren. (Hi, Stryker)

Phil takes the win with Stu and Neil rounding out the top three. Congratulations to them all.

 In other news, Stu reclaims his position as Anto-kryptonite.

Warmahordes Battle Report: Ossyan vs Madrak

So we have another battle report, this time it’s Trolls vs Elves, as Madrak Ironhide leads his scruffy troops against the Retribution of Scyrah. Following some trash talking and a frankly awful dance-off, both players are hustled to the table and forced to deploy their armies.


Deployment

Say hello to Anto’s Trollbloods, a nicely painted, standard Troll Brick list. For new players, his support units layer protective and aggressive auras onto his troops, letting them grind the opposition down. The Pyg Burrowers, in particular, have a strong record of killing far more than their points. They even threaten the most heavily armoured troops. Trolls as a faction have the Tough rule, on death, they roll a d6. A roll of 5+ leaves them knocked down rather than killed.
Mark’s Retribution force, or at least, the central section. Retribution are noted for their excellent infantry and thus tend to run a lot of troops and few myrmidons (warjack equivalents). This commander is no exception, with units of Sentinels and Invictors in the field. The latter are ranged troops while the former are melee fighters.

The remainder of Mark’s force consists of two solos, Narn on his left, eEiryss on his right. Narn is a close combat-oriented character and eEiryss is a ranged combatant. Both are advance deployed and represent a minimal flanking force.
The battlefield in all its glory. The scenario requires you to hold uncontested flags to earn points, each flag held at the end of either player’s turn is worth one point. The first person to score three or more points and have more points than their opponent will win. Of course, an assassination victory is also possible.

Turn 1

The Pyg Burrowers trigger their special ability, unsurprisingly, this involves them burrowing underground to pop up on their next turn. If you have any surplus malice in your heart, I strongly encourage you to direct it their way.
The remainder of the troll army advances, attempting to keep assets within range of all three flags. The abundance of medium based troops does make redeployment difficult and the Troll player must carefully position troops to cover all three axis of advance.
The Retribution mirror the tactic but go about it very differently. Narn moves up to stand off his left hand flag. Although well outside contesting range, the flag will not activate until the end of the second player’s second turn.
eEiryss does likewise on the opposite side. In both cases, the Retribution stands well off the flag to protect his flankers from unexpected charges.
Having been utterly butchered in earlier games by Burrower charges, the Sentinels are ordered to form a line to hold the menace off. Their weapons have a very long reach and careful positioning should expose only the front rank to imminent death and dismemberment. The Burrowers will not be able to charge through to more valuable targets.

Turn 2

As expected, the Pygs pop up and take the bait. A forgiveable decision as there is no better option. Burrowers must reappear the turn after they descend. They have to charge now or die next turn. Their trollish nature cannot compensate for their general squishiness.
As the left hand flag has vanished, the trolls move on the right hand flag. This is a lucky break for the Trollbloods as they are far better positioned to seize this flag than its vanished companion. The Bomber and Pyre Troll represent a sizable force by themselves and there are additional solos moving in place behind them.
The Pyg charge wipes out the first line of Sentinels as a mix of ranged and melee attacks kill all within reach. Those poor sods are deemed acceptable losses and their friends start plotting a terrible revenge.
The brick sweeps onto the central flag in all its glory. This mass of tough infantry will be very difficult to shift and could easily achieve a scenario victory if not countered in some way. The defensive buffs are in place and the caster stands nearby. The Trollbloods are clearly intending to claim a scenario win or failing that, draw the Retribution into close range and pummel them.
The Sentinals take their Vengeance actions, chopping down some Pygs. Some are killed outright, others make their tough rolls and are merely knocked down. But this is only the first step and their death is imminent.
An overhead shot of the line shows that the Burrowers have taken some hits but, as you can see, the majority remain intact. For now.
In the first action of the normal turn, Narn runs in to contest the flag and tie down the bomber. This is most certainly a suicide mission as the pointy eared git cannot hope to survive. If the bomber does not crush it, there are two solos and another beast who can oblige.
This is the moment Anto realises that Invictors shooting while under the Shatterstorm power, will bypass his Tough rolls. His impenetrable central block seems a little more vulnerable.
The focus now switches to the centre and the point of decision is clearly the block of Fennblades. Lady Aiyana casts Kiss of Lyliss on the unit. This spell will increase all damage rolls against models in the unit and generally means that each hit should be a kill. The Invictors grin.
Her lackey/partner, Holt breaks out his pistols and drops two Pygs clearing a section of the line. This is not mere random violence as shall later be revealed.
One Pyg proves too stupid to run away as his friends are butchered. As part of their activation, the Sentinels have left a hole in their formation.
This gap has been created to allow the Invictors and the Phoenix to position themselves for attacks against the Fennblades, just visible to the left of the picture.
The Invictors shoot well, dropping six Fennblades and a Stone Scribe, permanently, which tears the heart out of the Troll’s main infantry block.
To finish the job, the Phoenix charges in and combusts, turning two more Fennblades into torches. The unit is now under half strength and while they may contest it, they cannot score points on the flag.

Turn 3

The trolls, rocked by a nasty turn, start by killing Narn. This leaves one flag entirely in their hands. It’s also unclear whether the Retribution can get any reasonable portion of their army into the area. It appears that this flag is now completely secure.
The trolls around the central flag appear to be clearing a path for someone or something. Bear in mind that most of the above are support rather than frontline troops.
The bomber smashes through the trees, appearing on the Retribution’s left flank, lobbing bombs around with abandon. This snarling beast eliminates any chance of breaking through to the Troll-held flag.
The hissing, powder-filled kegs begin to rain down. Lady Aiyana takes a bomb directly to the face and expires. The Invictors manage to duck.
She is quickly followed by Holt as his heart breaks at the sight of the mangled elf. Or a misplaced bomb scatters next to him and blows him up. We’ll leave it to the poets.
As a formality, the Pyre Troll moves onto the right flag to grab the scenario point.
The Phoenix quakes (insomuch as a soulless contruct can) as Madrak Ironhide storms in, swinging his world-ending axe. In the fluff, this is the most dangerous weapon in existance, an apocalypse with a hilt.
Clearly, the responsiblity is starting to weigh on the feckless savage as Madrak fluffs his initial charge, missing the opportunity to do some major damage.
But with his fury reserve and a feat which grants extra attacks, a wrecked Phoenix is inevitable. The trolls score two points on both flags and need only one more for victory. A solid comeback which maintains the scenario pressure on his opponent.
With Madrak exposed, Lord Arcanist Ossyan moves in. He must go for the assassination as the trolls will certainly score a third point at the end of the turn. Simply shooting everything at Madrak will result in failure. The troll warlock is protected by layers of overlapping defences which have to be stripped away. But his faction does have the tools required with multiple medium strength ranged attacks.
Ossryan magically blasts two Fennblades to clear a path to the support models which provide defensive buffs. The Fennblades have had a rather terrible game as their signature resiliance is bypassed by precise shooting.
The Sentinels sweep in to eliminate the support unit, making a terrible, terrible error.
This is the moment when Mark realises that he has accidentally engaged Madrak in close combat, which will give him a defence bonus against Mark’s ranged attacks. With only an ranged unit remaining, he may have lost himself the game.
To resolve the issue, he must use one of his own spare Sentinels to hack down the offending model. The unit leader finds himself fragged by his own men.
Elsewhere, the last Pyg gets chopped and diced. Always good to see the wretched, undercosted vermin get theirs.
Initial shooting drops Madrak’s grenade jumpers. The warlock has an ability whereby warrior models near this particular warlock take hits on his behalf and die. It was necessary and more resource-efficient to clear them out first with single shots. This finally leaves Madrak exposed.

To boost the chance of hitting and wounding Madrak, all remaining Invictors combine their last shots into three volleys. The first of three combined ranged attacks inflicts light damage, taking off four of eighteen hitpoints.
The second attack is much better, knocking off 8 hitpoints. An average roll should see him downed.
With six points of health left, the final volley inflicts only five. Madrak lives, the Trolls score a third point to win by scenario.

Or do they?
Having skulked on a nearby hill for the entire game, Eiryss finally rouses herself.

The shot is on target and the special bolt inflicts an automatic point of damage.
Will he make the tough roll? No.

The End

With a last ditch assassination, the Retribution steal victory by the skin of their teeth.

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