The British are coming! Templecon Practice event.

So for those of you unfamiliar with it there is a convention in America called Templecon (http://templecon.org) which includes, alongside an array of weird and wonderful events, a massive array of Warmachine activities organised and sponsored by our benevolent benefactors at PP. Casual tournaments, hardcore tournaments, all night events, challenges, prizes…If you like the game it is kinda the place to be for 3 days. Anyways a group of brits from around the country are banding together and going over to show the yanks what’s what and presumably teach them how to drink and game at the same time. In preperation for this Gary at Maelstrom decided to organise an inpromptu practice event to get some games in with the new 2012 steamroller pack.

LISTS
The plan was to use both 35 and 50 point lists in a hardcore style so Butcher and Irusk geared up and rounded up the troops. I will Do a more detailed write up of these lists and tactics but for now we’ll keep it Short and sweet.

35pts: The Butcher of Khardov
* Behemoth  13 points
* War Dog  1 point

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution  3 points
10 Kayazy Assassins  8 points
* Kayazy Underboss  2 points
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich  2 points
Manhunter  2 points
10 Winter Guard Infantry  6 points
* Winter Guard Officer & Standard  2 points
* 2 Winter Guard Rocketeers  2 points

I really wanted to dust off Butcher for the 35pts, he is still one of my favorite casters fluff wise and he is very satisfying to get into combat as there is very little he can’t kill. Apart from that standard winter guard death star to take the Iron Flesh buff and provide that powerfull first wave. Kayazay to flank and provide a good assasination threat.The manhunter acts as a mini butcher and the behemoth does what he does best, whcih is more or less everything. The main reason I love butcher at this scale is his feat, which turns the entire army into a killing machine, and the fact that Orsus is essentially a free heavy jack, crazy bastard that he is.

50pts: Kommandant Irusk  +6 points
* Behemoth  13 points
* Spriggan  10 points

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution  3 points
Great Bears of Gallowswood  5 points
10 Kayazy Assassins  8 points
* Kayazy Underboss  2 points
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich  2 points
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt  4 points
10 Winter Guard Infantry  6 points
* Winter Guard Officer & Standard  2 points
* 1 Winter Guard Rocketeer  1 point

I see Irusk as one of our strongest all around casters, his spell list combined with his feat give you alot of tactical options and along with the rest of the list there isn’t much he can’t take on.

So without further ado lets get into the thick of it!

GAME 1
I arrived at a quiet Maelstrom (bit of an oxymoron there) after an uneventful train journey To find a few of the lads already there and unpacking models. Got all the greetings out of the way and then decided to pick a fight with Andy Garrard and his Circle.

He was using Ekaya with an assortment of beasts, I felt good about the matchup with my high def army however having never played her before I was expecting pulled and pushed like a stretch armstrong by the druids

Kaya the Moonhunter & Laris
*Gnarlhorn
*Feral Warpwolf
*Warpwolf Stalker
*Druid Wilder

Warpborn Skinwalkers
Druids of Orboros

In this scenario there are two circular zones in the middle of the board, starting turn two you score a point if you control your opponents area and your warcaster is in one of the areas. First to two points wins. Andy took the side with the forest which with all the pathfinding beasts and defence buffs fro the forests would prove a good point to push on my zone from. At the end of the day though I wasn’t too worried about pushing forward as I had a solid line to take the alpha strike and Butcher likes getting up close and personal anyways (axe to mouth and all that).

Standard setup for me, Winterguard holding the line with Butcher and Behemoth in support whilst the kayazay went for the outflank. All his beasts had AD thanks to Kaya’s tier list so I would definitely have to push through the pain into her half of the board.

First turn as everything ran towards the centre, Iron flesh went up on the winterguard and Joe sang them a nifty beat to make them think twice about dying. Behemoth put some speculative shots into the stealthed beasts hoping for some scatters onto the druids but no such luck.

Second turn Kaya feated and the beasts went trampling off through the winterguard causing a few casualties as my dice seemed to be against the idea of tough rolls, Joe’s song must of lacked a bit of je ne sais quoi, before teleporting back to behind the forest. The druids advanced and put down some clouds as well as trying a few cheeky shots but nothing substantial.

I upkept IF on the guard, and gave the behemoth 3 focus for it guns which it used to drop one of the skinwalkers and the druids Joe gave the guard boosted attack rolls and they moved up to spray through the skinwalkers, killing one and putting a fair bit of hurt onto Laris, they also killed some druids. The kayazay charged/ran and engaged the remaining druids leaving one alive, The manhunter tagged along hoping for some beast slaying on the feat turn. The noose was tightening around kaya.

Turn three Surrounded and with feat still stocked Andy decided that it was all or nothing and went for the assassination with Kaya on Butcher. Whilst remaining in Kaya’s control area Laris couldnt get far enough to engage the butcher so Kaya would have to go in without the outflank bonus, Kaya stocked up on fury and teleported in for the kill but with the Butcher on def 17, arm 19 she could only do superficial damage and immediately after butcher feated and, after screaming some russian gibberish, cleaved her in twain.

All in all a good game, the list performed well though I will have to keep an eye on that teleport in future as just a few inchs more and flank could of made for an entirely different outcome!

GAME 2
After a quick break I moved on to my second game against legion on what we believed to be a very controversial scenario at the time. It was flank deployment with a rectangular capture area in front of each deployment zone, to score you simply had to hold your area with no contesting models inside, first to 2 points won. Now this is to me quite strange as usually you need to control 2 separate elements in order to score a point so this scenario presented some very viable options as to how to best divide your forces in order to control/contest the zones.

My opponent was using Bethane, the smart choice against Khador with eruption of spines to take out my infantry, along with a lot of advance deployment which I felt was really going to make me struggle in order to push up on his objective.

Bethayne, voice of Everblight & Belphagor
*Shredder
*Ravagore
*Scythean

Annyssa Ryvaal, Talon of Everblight
3 Spell Martyrs
Black Frost Shard
Blighted Nyss Hex Hunters
*Bayal, Hound of Everblight
Blighted Nyss striders

I deployed in My corner with Kayazay on the right opposite the Striders and Winterguard on the right. The behemoth would hang around the middle to provide support where needed, spriggan on the right to sit in his control area and the great bears acting as a counter charge unit on the right. The forest on my right was going to be both a blessing and a curse as I could sit in it and his zone at the same time with the Spriggan but i would have to get round it first, again slowing me down. Annyssa preyed Irusk.

First turn saw the Legion race forward and with his advance deployment went straight into both zones. I would have to push up in order to have any chance at the objectives so everything ran forward as much as possible, spread out and Irusk feated in order to counter the mass eruptions of spines coming my way. Iron flesh went up on the winterguard and the spriggan got superiority.

Now this turn  was in for a world of hurt, fearing the preyed irusk would get bum rushed by Annyssa I foolishly placed him behind Behemoth, forgetting about the spell martyr and the Ravagores fireball. To make things worse I clumped up all my command models (Joe WG officer & standard AND Aiyana & Holt around that point, I was not happy when I realised my mistake. The first spell martyr ran forward and bethayne feated, arcing an eruption of spines into the Behmoth, wounding Irusk but only rolling a 1 for the eruption so only the standard bearer bit it. The second one went into the winterguard and killed 3 (damn you tough rolls!). All in all the choice the feat minimised the damage from eruption but the loss of the standard and wounding irusk was goign to haunt me and I will have to remember this sort of thing next time. The Ravagore then stepped up and shot Behemoth rolling 8 damage, taking irusk down to 7 wounds and setting him on fire. The hex hunters went into the WG also and with boosted attacks killed a few more. The striders advanced so as to shoot the kayazay but only killed 2. The balck frost shard move into his control zone. A bad turn as I had to end this soon or pray that the fire went out on Irusk or this game would be over before my turn 3.

My turn the fire didnt go out and Irusk went down to 2 wounds! Nail biting stuff. now Bethayne had advanced in order to get her spells off and had I still my spray attacks I could of gone for a cheeky assassination run but with her hiding behind Belphagor in his cloud I had no chance of getting to her with normal blunderbuss shots. I had to do my usual and hope that the fire went out. I could take out the Ravagore for sure as well as striking back at his infantry so both iron flesh and superiority was upkept. the spriggan took 3 focus and the behemoth took 2 on its guns. Aiyana Harmed the Ravagore and Holt shot it for some damage. The Spriggan then bulldozed up to the ravagore, disengaging some of the winterguard as he went and killed it. Behemoth moved into a counter charge position and shot the Scythean, doing a fair bit of damage. Joe used the power of funk to boost the winterguards attack rolls and they sprayed their way through alot of the hex hunters and the last Martyr. The Kayazay charged the striders and left them on 1 model. The great bears moved up to help secure my control zone.

Start of new legion turn and I roll for Irusk…fire goes out! I breathed a sigh of relief and looked at the board and feel pretty good about my chances however my opponent informs me that its game over: he’s scored 2 scenario points. Now this is where we really messed the scenario up. we were playing as you score from the first players second turn, meaning with the blackfrost in his area turn 2 he had won 2-1 however we found out afterwards that it is infact second players second turn. In retrospect it wouldn’t of mattered much anyway as all he had to do was run the scythean into my zone and forfeit his turn in order to contest and pull ahead for a win, so totally a fault on my part.

I suppose what I take away most form this scenario is that the points come ALOT faster then an equivalent 2010 scenario and you really have to commit turn one to scoring/contesting in order to ensure victory. All in all a fun game against a great opponent who enjoyed playing against, learnt a few things and hopefully wont fall into the same trap twice!

GAME 3
After some Lunch we move onto the final game versus Skorne With Naaresh. Another caster I’d never played before, My opponent wanted to test him out so whipped up a list. Looking at his cards he looked like a general assassination caster however after i was informed that all his movement and animus effects stacked with cyclone so he has an effective range of 18″,  Irusk will be keeping his distance for this one.

The scenarios was 2 flags on the centre line 16″ apart, flag 1 and flag 2. flag one was rolled for at the start of the game before deployment. you scored a point by controlling flag 1 however you could only score with flag 2 the turn after the first point had been scored with flag one. First to 3 wins. Once again another mission where a scenario win could spring up very quickly so after the last incident I reminded myself to keep an eye on them.

Master Ascetic Naaresh
*Rhinodon (proxyed with molik)
*Titan Gladiator
*Titan Bronzeback
*Cyclops Brute
*Cyclops Gladiator
*Cyclops Gladiator

Paingivers
Paingivers
Swamp Gobber Fog Bellows
Nihilators
Tyrant Commander & Standard

Now providing I could keep Irusk out of harms way (the last game drilled that into me) I was expecting good things from this as he had power and speed in his army but not the MAT to hit my high DEF models. I won the roll off and went first. I deployed central with just the Kayazay on the flanks hoping to roll up and cause havoc. The great bears went on the left where they could hide behind the wall and charge/strike over it. I forgot to take a photos at deployment so this is after my first turn.

First turn I ran everything forward,  Superiority on Behemoth and Iron flesh on the Winterguard, Joe sang them tough but I doubted they’d need it as there were no ranged weapons or spells opposite. Naaresh moved forward with his horde casting his upkeep spells and using the swamp gobbers for cover.

(I forgot to take a photo at this point, didn’t start this report off well did I?)

Second turn Iron Flesh was dropped, Superiority upkept. The behemoth took 3 focus for its guns and the spriggan took 1.The kayazay continued to run up the edge of the board. At this point I wasn’t too worried about his damage potential due to my aforementioned high DEF so Irusk moved around to the forest without feating  whilst joe sang the final countdown to boost the winterguard’s attacks. They then moved forward and sprayed down over half the nihilators and put some damage on the cyclops hanging out near the fence. The behemoth moved up and shot, putting some damage on the Rhinodon whilst the spriggan andvanced and pinged a few boxes off a cyclops. The great bears ended my turn by running up behind the wall.

In his turn a cyclops and the titan gladiator turned to deal with the kayazay. Naresh moved away from the Kayazay to the woods on the left followed by his gang. The rhinodon used its animus to charge and thresher into the winterguard with boosted attack rolls but only killed 1. The Nihilators charged and also killed 1.

3rd turn and both spells were upkept, the spriggan took 3 focus and the behemoth 2 on its guns. Aiyana kicked off by harming the Rhinodon and Holt shot it for some damage. The Spriggan buldozed his way in and put it down to all but dead thanks to some unlucky damage rolls. I didn’t want to risk putting the behemoth in as it would give him the charge with the bronzeback. So I decided to sit still and hope the dice would work out for me. Joe boosted the winterguards attacks and moved up to the wall as they sprayed through the rest of the nihilators bar 1, they also killed 2 paingivers near the titan. Eiyriss moved up to the objective and shot another paingiver. The Kayazay Charged into and killed the cyclops and titan as well as engaging the titan.

Naaresh Feated and used the power or Emo to boost up his beasts. The Titan trampled through the Kayazay using the Amuck to boost its rolls but only killed 2. The rhinodon manned up and smacked the spriggan about but superior Khadoran armour help up and whilst he took a fair amount of damage no systems were lost. The lone nihilator and tyrant commander moved into the great bears to take them out and score a control point but because of their high armour the trio lived through it.

So now was the turn I felt I could finish this, take out a lot of his remaining army and take the objectives. Superiority was upkept and the behemoth took 3 focus to the guns (the Spriggan couldnt take any because of the Eiryss). Irusk feated. The spriggan edged round and poked the gladiator to death and behemoth advanced and finished off the other and bombing Naaresh’s posse, killing the swamp gobbers and the last of the pain givers. The great bears butchered the remaining nihilator, commander and standard bearer as Joe moved up to the objective singing boosted attack rolls for the remaining winterguard whpo moved towards Naaresh, spraying for a bit of damage. The kayazay, unfazed by a trampling titan, ran up to engage the Bronzeback and Naaresh. two stay behind to keep the gladiator busy. I scored a control point.

Naaresh didn’t have many options left, the bronzeback tried to beat its way to the objective but couldn’t get far enough. Conceding there was nothing else he could do he killed Joe for the sheer pleasure of it and then ended his turn, I scored another control point and then passed my turn scoring another and taking the game.

My opponent played really well and was great fun but the list just could not deal with the hight def on the table and so couldn’t not bring all that punching power to bear.

CONCLUSIONS
So we all Ended our games around then, packed up out models and had a bit of a chat about our thoughts on the new pack. Alot of good things were said and all in all people were happy with what they tried, there were a few grey areas but we agreed that they will work themselves out in time. Personally It seems like objectives have the potential to be alot more important, you cant just forget about them and go for the caster kill as they seem so much simpler to take. Kill box now seems more of a way to lose rather than win and a few of the scoring conditions involve your caster so I think we’ll be seeing alot more mid line casters, another feather in the cap of hordes. Of worthy note are the complications such as outflanking which are not mandatory but when used allow for some very interesting games. All in all alot more will become clear as we all explore the new missions and if anything they will refresh the game, which none can say is a bad thing.

Many thanks to Gary for organising it and I would like to also like to thank JT-Y and Jamie P. Both these guys gave me alot of help on the forums when I was just starting out and I got to meet them there. Both really nice guys, had a good talk with both of them (I’m gonna look at Zerkova alot more closely now JT!) and hope to see them at another event some time.

And with that I walked off into the sunset…well it would of been the sunset if the sun didn’t set at 4 bastard o’clock.

Hope you enjoyed reading that guys! Took me a bit longer then I expected but I’ll get the hang of it 😉 If you would like to leave a comment about the games, the lists, the new steamroller pack then please do, Its great to have feedback. Also If you liked it enough to want to see more then please follow the blog, those numbers give em a good indication of interest. Cheers! J.

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3 thoughts on “The British are coming! Templecon Practice event.

  1. Hey dude,

    Good write up and you put in some good elements of reasoning behind certain decisions in your game. It would be cool though to see why you make the important moves in the middle of the game, where most of the fighting happens we dont often hear why you did what you did and the order that you did it. Photography is also good you can clearly see what is going on in relation to your descriptions 🙂

    Enjoyed it!

    • Thanks alot Jamie, Yes I think I know what you mean but I’ll chalk that down to just writing the report took ALOT more time than I thought so I just needed to get it done in the end so may of rushed it a bit. Still I’ll know what I’m up against next time, you live you learn and all that!

      • Yeah report writing can take quite a long time I usually spread the whole thing over the next 1-2 weeks after a 6 game tournament. On average about 1-2 hours per game including photographs etc and then proof reading the thing.

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