Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mangled Metal - Severius vs Seige

Yesterday, Barrett and I played a couple of mangled metal games. Our first one was a 25 point game that saw Reznik vs Nemo. I don't remember too much of that game, other than Reznik getting squished by a Thunderhead. Our second game was an enjoyable, 15 pt match between Severius and Seige.



Here are some of the highlights of the match.

Round One

I won the starting roll and elected to go first. All the Protectorate jacks ran, Severius casts Eye of Menoth and Defender's Ward on the Guardian.

Ironclad runs up, Charger runs to a hill, and the Defender runs up. Seige walks up and casts some AOE spell that made rough terrain in front of the Iron Clad.

Round Two

Severius upkeeps Eye of Menoth, Defender's Ward. Allocates two focus to the Repenter, and Vanquisher, and the Guardian runs for 1. The Vanquisher moves up and shoots the Ironclad, Repenter moves up and shoots the Charger, taking out his right arm. Severius runs for cover, next to a nice cozy house.

Seige gives 1 focus to the Defender, 3 to the Ironclad, and two to the Charger. He moves up and feats, hoping to catch Severius in his control area. He comes up a couple inches short! The Ironclad charges the Vanquisher and is dice plus eight on the damage roll. Ouch!!! He hits, takes out the cortex, and right arm. The Defender moves up to block a charge lane to Seige and takes a shot at the Guardian. He needed a 5 to hit with Defenders Ward, and duffed the attack roll, getting a three on two dice. The Charger did some bad damage to the Repenter, taking out his left arm.

Round Three

Severius upkeeps Eye of Menoth and drops Defender's Ward, a mistake that will come back to haunt me. The Guardian and Repenter both get three focus and the Vanquisher wiffs his attack on the Ironclad. The Repenter charges Seige, boosts his attack, hits and does seven damage. I buy another attack, needing seven to hit and miss. The Guardian charges the Defender and does some pretty hefty damage, taking out his left arm and cortex. Severius sits still and feats, camping one focus.

Seige has no focus and hits the Repenter for some pretty good damage. The Charger shoots into melee and with his aiming bonus, he offsets the penalty by two and succeeds with the attack. He almost takes out the Repenter, leaving two boxes empty, one right arm and one cortex. Lucky me :) The Ironclad then destroys the Vanquisher with his two attacks.

Round Four

Upkeep Eye of Menoth, give three focus to the Repenter and three to the Guardian. I decided to boost my hit on Seige, hit, and boost the damage roll. The damage was pretty significant and Seige was left with three life. The Guardian layed into the Defender and with his last roll, critically pitched him towards Seige. The deviation went right towards the warcaster but I only rolled a 1 for distance, coming up short an inch. Subsequently, the Defender was destroyed with the attack. Doh. Barrett and I wonder how the rules played on thi and decided he would get thrown, land, and then destroyed.

Seige gave three focus to the Ironclad and kept the rest for himself. He finished off the Repenter with one hit and the Ironclad came close to finishing off the Guardian. Leaving him with one movement box and two cortex boxes. Both arms critically disabled.

My Repenter's damage grid right before the fourth round.

Round Five

I upkeep Eye of Menoth and gave three focus to the Guardian. The Guardian boost the hit on the Ironclad, hit, boosted the damage and did minimal damage. I bought a second attack and it missed with only one die. Severius walks up to cast immolation at Seige and comes up short. I desperately missed my Heirophant as I would've had an extra two inches on my spells. I decided to try and do some more damage on the Ironclad but it was a wasted effort. By this time the game was over.

Seige gave three focus to the Charger, Charger stands still and blasts the old man with his two shots, doing 14 damage to him. Seige then shoots the old man dead. Game over.

After thoughts

It was a fun game and reminded of my early days of just starting out, playing a lot of mangled metal. My placement on the Guardian was rather lackluster and it should've been in the middle of the field. It would've survived a lot better if I kept Defender's Ward on it.

In related news, our MK II cards came in and we can say good bye to the PDFs. The cards are fine by my standards and I don't see any need for complaining. I finished up my full unit of TFG and UA and hope to post them soon, along with my Vassal.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Experience and the Element of Surprise

As Barrett and I are preparing to play in our first official MK II Escalation campaign, the subject of play experience comes to mind. During the next couple of months, we're both going to be using casters that we've never played with nor played against. The idea behind it is, to familiarize yourself with your army and your opponents by table top experience. By the end of the campaign, you should have a good idea of what your caster, units, and solos can do as well as your opponents.

The campaign is mere days away, and as far as I know, Barrett is taking Darius. The only thing I know about Darius is, he likes jacks and can create these little half jacks that look like they're sad. With the release of the MK II PDFs, I have the ability to find out exactly what Darius does and speculate what type of jacks he’ll bring. But do I really want to? If I were to look up what Darius' stats are, I think I'd be selling myself short the element of surprise and fun when playing against him. Plus, I think its better to learn by your mistakes rather than memorizing stats, it’s a more dramatic effect.

That's part of the fun of playing Warmachine and Hordes, facing off against the mass variety of warcasters and warlocks and not knowing what to expect. For instance, my first tourney I ever played in, my first match was against Cryx, with Goreshade being the caster. I asked the guy "what's his specialty?", and he answered "his feat brings a whole unit of Bane Thralls on the table". That was a pretty cool moment for me in gaming, the whole element of "uhhh ok what am I going to do now".

In the end, I think it comes down to play style, and for all intents and purposes I’m a casual gamer. I like to build my lists ahead of time, with the intent of playing the figs I want to play and see how they match up against my opponent. The best part of this is, not knowing what you’re going to face and having to make your army work the way you designed it. You’ll get plenty of surprise moments too, like Kaya2’s “Against All Odds” ability in MKI. I’ll never forget the first time I played against her, the beginning of the round two, I had Reznik surrounded by five choir guys, two jacks, and a vassal. Moments later, Kaya teleported in with the help of Laris, from what seemed to be 20” away, then Reznik disappeared.

If you decide to go this route, it might be a tough go in the beginning but it’ll definitely be fun, for you and/or your opponent.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Decision Time

Barrett and I are starting up a MK II Escalation Campaign to coincide with the launch of Prime MK II. We initially did one last year when the MK II field test rules were released to the public. It was nice to see how our favorite casters, jacks, solos, and units changed and this time it shouldn’t be any different, save the stats and rules are permanent.

The rules are pretty simple, choose a caster and play with him or her at 15, 25, 35, and 50 point levels. You’re not allowed to upgrade your caster if there’s an epic version nor are you allowed to downgrade if you’re using an epic. I know this differs from typical Escalation campaigns but we decided to keep the same caster throughout. They’re no proxies allowed and we’re thinking about using the killbox scenario from Templecon.

My big dilemma this time is choosing a caster I want to play. At the moment it’s a toss up between two epics I’ve haven’t ever played, Kreoss2 and Feora2 (I think this is how the big boards are naming the epics nowadays). Both forces offer a nice thematic choice in troop selection and should look nice on the table, barring they’re actually painted. This is something I’m also going for, a force that plays well on the table and has a theme to it.

Kreoss2 brings a more troop heavy build with big hitters, specifically Exemplar models, something I don’t have a lot of. To help this out, I’m all set to order some Bastions and Cinerators. The only other Exemplars I have are Guis and Cassius, the two guards for Rhoven. My other big hitters are the Avatar, which is yet to be assembled and Vilmon, who would benefit greatly from Kreoss feat. The main issue with this army is getting the pieces together and assembling them.

Feora2 brings a little more speed and a lot more fire to the table, something I sort of have (fire wise). I have a full unit of TFG w/ UA and my Cleansers only need one blister to bring to a full unit. Throw in a Vanquisher with a Vassal and an obligatory Repenter and I should have the fire part covered. The one key ingredient I’m missing for a nice thematic list is Daughters of Flame. I doubt I'll get the Daughters anytime unless someone wants to unload them for dirt cheap.

The campaign is set to start in a week or two and I’ll have to make a decision before then. The nice part about it is, either caster I choose should bring a different play style and both of them look fun to use. If any of you have some suggestions, I’m all for it.