Saturday, November 20, 2010

Everblight New Stuff: Chain Attack Bloodbath For Great Justice

The local gaming group, HAAWGS, is getting a map-based league underway. It's a nice change-up and access to a broader variety of opponents. The change-up comes in the form of force composition: you start with a base of 30 points, and the various map tiles you control might add something. My current setup involves one free faction solo and two minion/merc solos (no more than 3 points each*).

As such, a buddy and I decided to mix it up and test out new league-friendly armies, which were of course using our territories to build the forces.

The Test
My army was thus:
-Nephilim Soldier
10 Blighted Swordsmen
Forsaken (free faction solo)
Gudrun the Wanderer (free merc/minion solo)
Totem Hunter (free merc/minion solo)

My buddy brought:
War Dog
5 Man'o'war Shock Troopers
6 Assault Kommandos, 2 Flamethrowers attached
Minimum Battle Mechaniks
Alten Ashley
Gorman di Wulf

Scenario: Two objectives; one on either side of the middle line

Blight field is SO COOL...when the enemy isn't immune to corrosion. I moved the Harrier up to drop a blight field...then realized his Kommandos laugh off corrosion damage, so a POW12 corrosion is nothing to them. Oops.

Totem Hunter
The Totem Hunter's Prey ability is SWEET...when used well. He racked up Alten Ashley, a few Kommandos, and Gorman di Wulf before he kind of was on fire and then bit by the War Dog. Still, SPD 7, Pathfinder, Hunter, and Sprint (let alone Leap) make for some fun times when you're basically MAT10 with a PS13 and PS16.

Gudrun the Wanderer
Gudrun gets a cookie for being stupidly annoying to kill. Of course, he promptly lost it, as he had some of the worst dice of the game. MAT7 vs Gorman's DEF 14, we miss the normal swing. Ok, I get it, a 7 is average and we can miss that. Well, Gorman is like "...I have a stiletto, or grenades." Gorman takes a step back. Can I get a 5 to kill the Gorman? Nope. Gudrun gets black-oiled, hit twice by the war dog, and then hit again by Strakhov to make sure he goes down TWICE. He's 3 points that drew a lot of fire advancing on the objective, and with Advance Deploy I can react to the other guy.

Neph Warrior
The Nephilim Warrior gets a slap for getting a whopping two infantry kills before the dice refused to roll higher than a six to hit assault kommandos. Oops. On the bright side, he set up the MVP. That aside, Massacre is a nice animus for when I want to put a beast into assault and keep the fury off it, and the beast itself is a reasonable work-horse. With Saeryn's feat up, flight + immunity to free strikes = mobile weapon.

The Scythean
Well, the Nephilim Warrior kinda drew the charge from the Man'o'war squad, and while he had Tenacity (going up to DEF 14, ARM17, not too bad...) it turns out those bloody assault commandos have some -2DEF grenade they can chuck. This leaves the Men'o'war and the Juggernaut in close quarters.

Saeryn feats (so her battlegroup cannot be targeted by melee attacks) and drops Breath Stealer on the Men'o'war, setting them down to DEF9. The Scythean then advances into the middle of this, putting the Juggernaut and full squad of man'o'war into melee range. Swings twice, pegs the Juggernaut with both attacks...then proceeds to tag every last man'o'war and beat them all within an inch of their life without spending any fury. After forcing him full for attacks, it turns out that the Scythean managed to crank out a total of 12 PS17 hits in a turn. (2 initial, 6 from Chain Attack Stupid Good, 4 purchased). One man'o'war is left standing with a few hit boxes, and the Juggernaut is mostly dead.

The Angelius then charges, armor-pierces the juggy down to 3 boxes (Cortex, Axe, and had the feat NOT been up, things still could've gotten nasty) and kills the last man'o'war. This redeems the angelius for missing Ashley with a boosted fiery hand-cannon shot.

Blighted Swordsmen
I'm not 100% sold on them. They have a reasonable defense of 14, but ARM13 means that really the only thing they've got going for them is that DEF14. They did draw the Spriggan's attacks and a volley of hideously accurate Kommando carbine fire, and I suppose that when you get down to it, you really don't want MAT7 PS11 weaponmasters cavorting about. The survivors did manage to knock a chunk out of the Spriggan and draw it off.

Assault Kommandos
Ok, I know they're not my guys, but I gotta laugh when someone pulls off a neat little trick like this: My opponent knows he can't draw LOS on something on the other side of the forest. What's he do? Put a Kommando in front of the flamethrower so that when the flamethrower fires, the important stuff is under the spray template. As they are see where this goes. Even when you might lose some guys, it's worth mentioning that other folks can always use their own models to set up spray attacks on you.

The other funny trick is forcing the choice of "Do you free-strike me and blow me up on the spot and catch fire, OR do you let me get away and spray fire again?" The Neph Warrior kinda whacked him in the face with a PS14 sword, and then caught fire (and then DIED HORRIBLY to Juggernaut + Man'o'war attacks, so yeah...).

I'm beginning to see why folks like the Scythean and Saeryn. I'll admit that I got lucky with the Scythean's setup; numerous low-DEF targets along with something that can be hit by/survive two MAT6 PS17s is about as good as it gets. When a 9pt beast pretty much takes 16 points out of the game by himself, things aren't looking good for the other guy. When the 9pt beast does that WITHOUT TAKING DAMAGE, then the other guy's screwed. I got lucky that time around; it's not a mistake he'll make again.

Also, every time I say 'Saeryn' I can't help but hear the game over music from Mass Effect 1. I have the urge to model a Geth arm onto her somehow...

*Why the 3pt limit on merc/faction solos? Someone pointed out that really nasty ones like cavalry solos/Bane Lord Tartarus cost 4-5, and then there are the minion warlocks that are 9, so you probably want to limit that cost...

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