February 25, 2011

A chance encounter at Orosk

" The blizzard had finally abated. The frozen hills were no place to be stuck in the middle of a snow storm. The first snows of the season had taken the Menites by suprise and they were ill prepared for the turn in the weather. Their supplies were far behind them and the rough terrain meant it would be evening before they would catch up. In their haste to get to Orosk the Harbinger had left Reznik and half their forces with the baggage train. She regretted that now as she shivered on the ridge overlooking the village. She had paused here to survey the apparently deserted hovel. All seemed quiet, indeed not a single peasant could be spotted in the area. No fires seemed to burn in the hearths of the homes here. The only life visible were the crows congregated on the buildings and trees. Ranging ahead of the main forces the Avatar of Menoth stopped. The lone Idrian scout the Harbinger had brought north from Lael could now be seen running from the trees to the east of the village. He was waving and even from this distance it was obvious that something was wrong. Suddenly two plumes of smoke rose from the centre of the village. From behind one of the houses a Juggernaut moved. The huge Warjacks frame shuddered with the movement. Ice could be seen breaking off the oddly grey coloured hulk in huge chunks. So the village wasn't as empty as they had hoped."

You will have to excuse my poor fiction but Annihilation part two began last night and it is probably best to present it in some context. I am not sure my opponent Owen from Far Far Away had the same fluff in mind but it couldn't be far off! It was delayed a little due to some minor issues. We also changed the proposed format and will fight three battles at 35 points rather than an escalating campaign over four games. I wanted to use something different and fluffy with regard to the Northern Crusade so my army is lead by both High Executioner Servath Reznik and the Harbinger of Menoth. The list of troops I can choose from during the entire campaign is:
Avatar of Menoth
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer
Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Temple Flameguard (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Temple Flameguard (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Vassal Mechanik

Battle One: A chance encounter at Orosk
Harbinger of Menoth vs. Kommander Strakhov

Menoth Turn OneAll the pictures are clickable to enlarge so you can see the action better. This is the game after the Menites have taken the first turn. As the scenario was killbox I guessed it was pretty important to get up and into the box. I also wanted to get behind cover as soon as possible to help improve the defence on the Harbinger. As I was using a tier list I got two walls to place. I found them more of a hinderance as I felt the Widow Makers would reach them before I ever could and then use them as a good firing position. I stuck them on the flank where I felt the Widow Makers wouldn't try to hold. Thankfully I was proved correct.Khador Turn OneThe Khadorans followed my example and moved up, a little cautiously I felt. They have the armour to wither the storm so they should use it. The Widow Makers made a few shots the the Temple Guard but Martyrdom from the Harbinger kept them safe. At this point I could easily heal back the damage and so it was best to keep the troops for when I might need them. Strakhov sent a cinder bomb upfield to cover the advance. The short range and a poor scatter meant it didn't have any effect. Beast O' Nine moved up annoyingly to the right preventing my Temple Guard from having freedom on that flank. Everything else just maintained position.

Menoth Turn TwoHere is where it really started to get interesting! The Khadorans in my opinion were a little far back for me to really get an effective attack on them. However simply moving up into range for them to attack me wasn't going to be very good either! I used the Harbinger to improve the charge distance on the Temple Guard. They then charged the Widow Makers. I separateed them into two groups to prevent Beast O' Nine ripping through them easily. I killed the Widow Maker I was touching but I didn't have reach to attack any more sadly. I also used Iron Zeal to try to keep them alive a little longer. On the left everything milled forward. I wanted to get the Zealots out in front to tie up any chargers and have the Paladins and Avatar as a response force.Khador Turn TwoSo here came the punishment. I was confident I could keep the infantry alive at least in numbers where they could be effective still due to Martyrdom... Beast O' Nine had a different idea. He attempted a trample attack over the top of my Temple Guard (You will notice a theme of this if you have read the previous campaigns reports!) However his base couldn't fit. Once again their is no rule I can find for this situation. If someone out there knows please tell me! Anyway we played it as if he could declare another action. So he moved up and then threshered the entire group of six Temple Guard in front. This also took out the officer. I probably should have martyred him but I didn't think of it until too late in the turn. Actually I had thought he was in the back group but only noticed later he wasn't. Everything else moved up slowly with a few shots from the Widow Makers causing some Temple Gurad to be martyred. I really feel that looking back at the game that this was a turning point. The Khadorans were not aggresive at all and allowed me to get my force into position. If they had moved up fast I would have been pinned in position without charges or even space to move around.

Menoth Turn ThreeNow came the fun. The Khadorans had moved into an acceptable threat range and I could get some charges that I felt would work out nicely. To prevent counter charges or at least make them risky I activated the Harbingers feat meaning anyone ending their movement closer to me would take a good hit. I then boosted the charge range on teh Avatar with a spell as I felt he could reach the Men O' War. I also healed up damage from the annoying martyrdoms. Don't get me wrong I love the ability but it really is a risk management feature in a resource management game! The Avatar charged once the zealots had moved out to flank the Devastator. With a nice roll for focus the Avatar was on four, perfect. The charge was in thanks to the boost as I had to go over an obstacle. This resulted in the killing of two Men O' War, two more on fire and one of those left with a single damage! It also opened up Strakhov. I then used the Gaze of Menoth spending my last focus to force everyone within eight to advance towards the Avatar or not move. This coupled with the Harbingers feat meant that I was in a good position. The Temple Guard charged the Drakhun, avoiding the melee range of Beast O' Nine and preventing a counter charge. I hoped to tempt the dog forward but I didn't manage it. The Drakun took some damage and was set on fire. The Paladins then advance and used impervious wall. They were in a good position to threaten in the next turn. I was feeling confident!The Harbinger had hexed Beast O Nine meaning that he couldn't use any special attacks in the next turn. This really limited his usefulness.Khador Turn ThreeThis turn a lot of interesting things happened. Firstly fire claimed the damaged Man O' War leaving a direct line to the Khadorn Warcaster! The other Men' O War advanced towards the Avatar and one was killed due to a good roll on the feat damage from the Harbinger. This facilitated the next move. The Devastator slammed the Avatar.... once again I forgot about power attacks. The avatar went flying back and landed on his ass. Beast O' Nine packed with focus came in and smashed the downed 'jack. However thanks to some very low rolls on boosted damage the Avatar wasn't too badly damaged. Beast O' Nine also took some pain from the feat. Strakhov moved up and shot at the Harbinger, again he took damage. The Devout blocked the shot. The Widow Makers tried too but were unsuccesful in doing much.

Menoth Turn FourThe game could have been over this turn but it was not to be! Vilmon charged the last of the Men O'War wiping him out easily! The Zealots then got in behind the opened Devastator and wrecked it. Thats great as I hate that 'jack. They were then in a good position to threaten Strakhov. The Paladin then charged Strakhov and managed to miss. My Mekanik rushed forward and repaired the damage on the Avatar reducing it to having only two boxes marked. The Avatar had already shook off the knocked down effect and now advanced into combat. Sadly I was out of range with the choir. I advanced, survived a nasty free strike with some light damage, hit and did some good damage. If I had hit with the Paladin I dare say that would have been game over. I left Strakhov with seven boxes. However I was stupid and left Beast O' Nine completely in my back arc and ready to charge. I advanced the devout to force a free strike on the Beast. I don't have a shot of the Khadoran response... I was too tense to think of taking it. Anyway Beast charged and that was the end of the Avatar. While it was close not being able to use my shield gave Beast the damage he needed to wreck the 'Jack. This is a massive blow as thats a lot of points gone for the Campaign. Strakhov killed the Paladin but I martyred to keep him on the field. More pot shots were taken though the Harbinger had camped enough focus to weather the storm of bullets.

Menite Turn FiveAgain the game was in my hands. I did want some revenge however so I loaded the Devout up with focus. He charged the rear of Beast. The Drakhun then counter charged. However I was able to make a boosted defensive strike and I left the Drakhun with one damage box left. In return he took out my cortex and took of my left arm. My attack on the Beast didn't even scratch it. Vilmon then charged and did a whopping ten damage. My Mekanik again rushed forward and fixed up the Devout, restoring his arm and cortex. The Paladin then hit Strakhov and did six damage leaving the 'caster on one box. I was annoyed but I thought that I could get him with the zealots. The Paladin was safe from the blasts due to impervious wall. However after the first few attacks we realised that the damage type was fire and Strakhov was immune to that! So another turn would ensue.Khador Turn FiveBeast O' Nine turned on the Devout and smashed it. It wasn't even a challenge. However he had left Vilmon who was vulnerable this turn alone. Strakhov once again killed the Paladin but I martyred him as he was my only way to reliably kill the 'caster. It also pinned Strakhov in place so that he couldn't escape to wreck havoc on the Harbinger. Fire on teh Drahkun killed the horse and thankfully reduced his movement. Not enough though to prevent him engaging and damaging the Harbinger. She was getting low on life points at this stage. The Widow Makers had advanced and shot her previous to this but a few misses meant I hadn't taken much damage. It is hard to hide a large based warcaster.

Menoth Turn SixI wanted revenge. As this camapign can hinge on casualties I knew I wanted to inflict some more. I especially wanted to take down Beast O' Nine. That would have been fitting. So Vilmon attacked and again did about ten damage. This lef the 'jack in bad condition. The Zealots moved up and peppered him in the rear. This left the damned thing on three damage points. The Harbinger then moved up and blasted him with a POW 16 cataclysm. I boosted the damage and managed to roll 1,1,1. Okay I can't complain my opponent had some rough luck too. However to leave the 'jack right on the brink of destruction was annoying. As the Harbinger was in a bad position now I needed the Paladin to be effetive. Thankfully he was and he took out Strakhov. Game over and a win to Menoth!

PhotobucketI will sum up the battle later as this post is pretty long already! I would just like to to feel some of my bitterness by sharing this shot with you. I hope to rectify this during the next battle thats for sure. Beast O' Nine your days are numbered.

1 comment:

  1. That was a great game. Beast-09 surviving was a miracle! Taking out the Avatar and Devout was pretty nice and almost made up for losing the game.



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