Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Warmachine Battle Report: Blaize vs Magnus

A couple of weekends ago we did something a little different for our Warmachine game at the Greenhouse, namely we used proxies!  Lots and lots of proxies.  Well, not really lots but you get the idea.  Josh wanted to check out a list he had built around Constance Blaize, a Morrowan warcaster that can work for Cygnar.  Unfortunately it sounded like she might be somewhat specialized so Josh wanted to try them out before investing his money in them.  He was a little concerned about how they would hold up against a ranged faction so I decided to give the Steelhead Riflemen a try as well.

On Josh's side of the table, he had Constance Blaize (of course) backed up by Arlan Strangeways, her warjack the Galant, and a unit of Precursor Knights with a Captain and standard bearer.

The Proxy-palozza! The Trenchers are standing in for the Precursor Knights, the Chief Mechanic is the Captain of the unit, the gobber is the standard bearer of the unit, Haley is Constance, the journeyman is Strangeways, and the Stormclad is the Galant.
Meanwhile I decided to take a break from Cryx and dusted off Magnus the Traitor backed up by a Mangler, a Renegade, a unit of Steelhead Riflemen and Alten Ashley.  Not a list that I was familiar with but thought it would be fun to give them a try.

The Mercs. On my side not quite as my proxies.  The lucky extras working my side of the table are the bile thralls standing in for the Steelhead rifles and Eiryss standing in for Alten.

Having won the roll, I decided to let Josh be first player.  We quickly deployed our forces and Josh began his lightning advance across the board.

 

On my side of the board, I had Magnus cast snipe on the rifles to boost their range to 14" while putting iron aggression on the Mangler just because.  Then everybody moved forward and the action went back to Josh.


Josh began moving his knights but made the mistake of only moving half of them before moving on to the Galant.  I did the polite thing and pointed out that technically he had ended the activation of the knights by moving the Galant but told him I was cool with him going back to them.  Told me that it was his mistake and he was cool with leaving them as they were.   There wasn't really much more to do on his side except move up Blaize and Strangeways then it was back to the mercs.

I began shifting my forces forward to get into position for their assault next turn while the Renegade let loose its Obliterator, slamming into the knights on the right side of the board and ripping a number of them apart.  Alten moved up the center followed by the rifles, all of whom let loose a flurry of lead into the other group of knights.  Unfortunately their shield wall proved to be too difficult to penetrate and I was only able to fell one of them.


Josh began his turn charging Alten with precursor knights and quickly cutting him down.


Next he turned his attention to the Mangler on the right side of the board.  Unfortunately the iron aggression that I had hoped to use to charge next turn proved to be my undoing as the presence of spell let the Galant roll an extra die on its damage in addition to its boost.  A couple of attacks from its sword quickly reduced the Mangler to a mangled mess and left me with a quickly crumbling army. Finally, Josh moved Constance up behind the Galant and used her feat which left me in an even more tenuous situation.


With her feat Constance is effectively able to gain a focus point for each Morrowan that dies within her control area which made me more than a little hesitant to open fire on the remaining knights sitting in front of my Steelhead rifles.  While trying to decided what to do with this situation I loaded up the Renegade with focus and charged at Constance... only to fall short as it tromped through the forest.  Argh!!!


With my plan quickly falling apart around me, I had originally moved the rifles into contact with the knights just to act as a roadblock to protect Magnus but after a quick discussion about other possible tactics I decided to have them fall back into a defensive line in the hopes that I might have some survive the upcoming charge.

Even with no extra focus from his feat the previous turn, Josh was able to use the Galant to quickly demolish the Renegade that had attempted to attack Constance.


The assault of the precursor knights came next as they slaughtered two thirds of the rifles that had blocked their way.  To the credit of the Steelheads, the two remaining soldiers still managed to hold their ground in the wake of this carnage though at this point it would be of little help.


Almost out of options as well as troops, I tried to move one of the rifles onto the hill but he was cut down just like his companions leaving a lone rifle with Magnus (who was camping on a full load of focus) facing off against a mostly intact Morrowan army.  My only hope at this point was to hope that the Traitor might somehow survive the upcoming turn about would be able to get to Constance.


As the Precursors took down the last rifle, Constance, the Galant, and the rest of the knights surrounded Magnus and were able to end the battle... but just barely.  Between bad die rolls and all the extra armor Magnus had from his focus he actually almost survived the turn.  Just to satisfy my curiosity, Josh and I played out the next turn as if he had survived and unsurprisingly it would have been all he needed to kill Constance even with the rest of his army gone.

So the day ended with a pretty sound defeat which is not too surprising since I was running Magnus.  I love the miniature and his back story but I just can't get my head around how to play him.  I think that at least part of this is the ranged element that I tend to include with him.  Since my primary faction is Cryx which have a notable lack of any kind of ranged weapons other than sprays, judging distance isn't something that I have had enough practice with.  Still I can see fielding him again in the future, especially if I give him some trencher or long gunner support but that will have to wait for now.  As for Josh's thoughts on Constance... by the end of the day he picked up the actual models for the entire force he fielded so I know I'll be seeing them again in the future.

After our game I just hung out and watch the others play for a bit until I was invited to hop into a Chain of Command game on the other side of the Greenhouse.  Josh's Germans had just defeated Chris' Americans by blasting apart his Sherman tank with a panzerfaust.


Now I have to admit that I thought this game had two strikes against it right off the bat.  1) It is a historical game which is not normally my thing by any stretch of the imagination. 2) It's by TooFatLardies, the creators of Sharp Practice (this is the system that was used for the horrendously bad Big Hunt game I talked about here).  Even so, I found myself intrigued so I decided to give it a try and I have to say that I'm glad I did.

My America troops moving onto the board from the right edge of the board.
We were not able to get in a full game but what we did play I really enjoyed.  The command system used in the game along with the Patrol phase which is used to determine your deployment points were a really interesting to see in action and I can see it offering a lot more depth than you typical miniature wargame.

Chris' Germans on the left side of the board getting pinned by my troops.
In fact I enjoyed this game so much that I've decided to look into picking up some Wargames Factory Soviets in the near future but more on this later.  Until next time...

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