Posted on February 8, 2011
So, our respective ladies were doing their book club last night, and Jim and I arranged to play a bit of warmachine while they did whatever it is that they do. From what I can tell, that’s where they get together to hear Casey talk about all of the embarassing or unbelievably dumb things I did since the last meeting. I went to tower to pick up a few things that I’ve been thinking about, and Jim and I got started after a while. It was a slow game, partially because we are still looking up rules all the time, Jim has a cold that is slowing him down some, and every time I’ve tried to play this game in recent memory, I’ve forgotten something, so I have to re-jigger endlessly and end up somewhat addled.
We played 25 points, which is a moderately small game, but due to our collective slowness we still had to end it after about 2 hours. I’m still convinced that if we had our shit together we could play this in half or 2/3 the time, which is exciting.
My Khador list:
Kodiak Warjack (two armored open fists)
Berserker Warjack (two axes)
6 Doom Reavers (berserkers chained to swords of madness)
3 Great Bears of Gallowswood (hero unit of Iron Fang Pikemen)
4 Widowmakers (snipers)
1 Manhunter (one who hunts man)
Jim’s Protectorate of Menoth list:
Testament of Menoth Warcaster
Crusader Warjack (a mace and an open fist)
Vanquisher Warjack (a flail and a cannon)
5 Knights Exemplar (knights in armor)
4 Choir of Menoth (provides support for warjacks)
6 Deliverers (guys with cheap rockets)
6 holy zealots (cannon fodder)
3 wracks (provide support for the Warcaster)
Jim brought a bunch more troops to the game than I did, and an equal number of warjacks, which means this scenario is bad news for me. There were a few big choke points at the center of the board, which is bad news for me again since I need to bunch up to get through that choke point since my army is the charger and Jim’s is the chargee, and Jim has a bunch of blast attacks that murder me when I bunch up. Jim had the nice wide-open space on his side, so he could maneuver to accept or get the charge however he wanted.
I started with doom reavers and widowmakers near the front, and the manhunter on the right. Doom reavers are nasty berserker troops, but they don’t have a ton of armor, they’re not really front line troops. I apparently don’t know how to use widowmakers correctly, because they killed approximately one thing and didn’t earn their points back. I might give them a rest for a bit and skip the shooty altogether.
I tried the Manhunter out against the deliverers, and the manhunter doesn’t do much. For how loved it is, it doesn’t really provide much. I’d probably be happier with battle mechaniks on the warjacks.
When we ended the game, no one had won. Jim still had most of his troops but was down one warjack, the tough troops (Knights Exemplar) were fairly whittled down. I still had the manhunter but it wasn’t much of a threat, and I had full . I had both warjacks and would have trampled the next turn to deal with the troop menace and dumped both of my warjacks on Jim’s remaining warjack — divide and conquer. The next turn would have been feat turn for me, if I survived it. My warcaster was at half strength and Jim still had a lot of AOE blasts to dump, so it was not going to be pretty, but you never know what you can survive until you survive it.
I’d say the odds by the end were about 3:1 or 4:1 for a Jim Win. I could have pulled it out — my warjacks love to trample troops and his were fairly close together, but he was in a good position to try and take the caster out. His Knight could try to move towards my warcaster, but I’d get free strikes on him. My warcaster was somewhat hidden behind warjacks, which provides some cover from Jim’s Vanquisher’s cannon, though he could boost damage strikes. It’s anyone’s guess as to what would have happened, hopefully Jim will post in here.
At any rate, it felt enough like a loss for me to evaluate. Just as in 40k, when I lose a game, I tend to learn something because I evaluate what I did wrong. When I win, I don’t tend to evaluate as much what could have been done better, unless it was very close.
I’ve had a unit to put together in Warmachine for a few months. The unit is Iron Fang Pikemen, and they are the definition of a front-line shielded unit, pretty much the perfect thing missing in my front line advance. I’m pretty sure they’ve been sitting on my desk since November or December. It’s a bunch of fiddly brass rod work, and I’ll hopefully finally take that project on Thursday. They have an insane command range, which means that it’s very unlikely for them to ever bolt, which means I can use them to provide cover for my doom reavers, or I can use the doom reavers as a flanking advance instead of the front line.
I also picked up some Man-O-War Demo Corps, which are fearless men in steam-powered suits of armor with giant hammers. It pretty much is as cool as it sounds, but I need something like that to shield the butcher, who needs to hide behind medium-sized-base units (like light warjacks) or large-sized base units (like heavy warjacks). I think they look pretty awesome, the world seems to be mixed as to whether they do anything, but they look too awesome to not do anything, so they will be awesome.
Tower games finally had one of the warjack kits that I was looking for, so I managed to pick up a warjack kit for a warjack named Torch, who does something called “sustained hits” with a giant skilsaw arm, which will be murder for warjacks and warcasters alike, and he then has flamethrowers, grenades, and a spiked fist for anyone else. If I run one of these expensive jacks, it probably means I’m only running 2 jacks, which makes me sad, but I might as well get the best if I’m going to run them at all, right?
So, everything that I’ve picked up so far is slow. Mind-bogglingly slow, stuck behind a sixties VW bus on the autobahn slow, but there are still a few things that I can do to mitigate that so I weather less shooting from Jim the next time.