Slow Grow Round 3: A Comedy of Errors Against Menoth
On Thursday I had my third round game in our WarmaHordes slow grow league, my opponent this round being a seasoned Menoth player who fielded an epic Severius list. It was supposedly “fluff week” in the league, and we were replaying a matchup found in one of the Warmachine books.
Well sort of.
Kara Sloan vs Severius isn’t in any of the stories I suppose, so instead we were proxying for a showdown in the Warmachine Wrath book between Menoth warcaster Thyra, Flame of Sorrow, and Cygnar’s Allister Caine. I was the aggressor in our scenario, though the scenario was pretty symmetrical – the winner being the first to destroy two monoliths on the opposing side of the table (or to assassinate the opposing warcaster)
I’ll cut to the chase: I lost the game. Which was fine, as the game was a whole lot of fun and I learned a heck of a lot. My opponent, Leon, was good enough to offer lots of helpful advice afterward which was really useful.
So instead of a turn by turn account of the battle, I’ll instead do a unit by unit rundown of how they performed, and importantly for me, what I did wrong with them!
Know Thine Enemy
First up though, here’s who I was facing on the battlefield:
Hierarch Severius (Epic Warcaster) – this old geezer hung back and did some channelling through his arc-noded light warjack. He also has a scary ability to take control of enemy models.
Revenger (Light Warjack) – this little jack was a key model as Severius was channelling spells through it. It was also surprisingly hardy for a little jack, I discovered.
Reckoner (Heavy Warjack) – he has a big gun which fires flaming rounds. Turned out not to be too scary, but did for Arlan – leaving just a pair of smoking boots where the Cygnar solo once stood.
Vanquisher (Heavy Warjack) – another jack with a flame attack, this time a nasty AoE attack which thankfully scattered when it was targeted on my models.
Errant Knights – a good all round unit with no clear weakness. Leon seemed to feel guilty for fielding them! They hit very hard on the charge as I discovered.
Choir of Menoth – a few of these chanting at the back made the Menoth Warjacks untargetable by most of my force. What a pain in the backside!
Vassals of Menoth – these Menoth solos were kept just behind the jacks to buff them. There was some great use later on of their Enliven ability which allowed the jacks to make an extra advance when attacked.
Gorman DiWulfe, Rogue Alchemist (Mercenary Solo) – a stalwart of the game, apparently. He didn’t do much beyond laying down smoke templates to keep models protected from my ranged attacks. But that was plenty.
Role of Dishonour
Here’s the list of shame. Well not really a list of shame as such, but how each of my models performed in the game and, most importantly, what I should have done differently.
Captain Kara Sloan – Kara did ok, actually. But then she’s the Warcaster so she should! A lot fell on her shoulders as the choir prevented any of my ‘jacks from targeting my opponent’s big guys. She fell eventually to an assassination salvo.
What I did wrong: I forgot about the Refuge spell on her so I could have ducked into cover to save her ass when she was being shot at. Oh and I made quite a balls up of the feat turn order of activation, which cost me a couple of free shots. Not that there was much to shoot at!
Defender – the Heavy Warjack had a torrid time in that all available targets were obscured behind smoke or untargetable enemy warjacks. Don’t think he even got a shot off except maybe to take down an errant knight out of desperation in Kara’s feat turn.
What I did wrong: I think the rapid advance to get into firing position was perhaps a mistake. Maybe I should have cautiously crept forward and allowed the Gun Mages and Black 13th to get into strategic/flanking positions
Cyclone – similar to the Defender in that my target choice was limited by that wretched choir. I think I’ve yet to roll more than 3 on 2d3 for its dual metal storm attacks! It did manage to take down a few Errant Knights though.
What I did wrong: again I maybe should have approached slower. Also I wasted three focus points on the Cyclone thinking I was going to boost all its attacks one turn, I think the feat prevented further boosting and the only targets I had were infantry so damage boosts were pretty pointless. Oops.
Hunter – again, no magical attacks meant the Hunter couldn’t use its armour piercing rounds on optimal targets. In the end it was kinda wasted taking pot shots at individual knights. And it then went and missed some! It took a shedload of damage from an Errant Knight charge and nearly went down but was able to make a nice parrying retreat back out of trouble, temporarily.
What I did wrong: erm, yeah, held back maybe til the choir was dealt with? Actually, thinking about it, the Hunter’s AP rounds could have been great against those ARM 20 objectives.
Arlan Strangeways – Arlan just hung back behind the Defender and power boosted it. He was actually something of a terror unit for my opponent as his voltaic gauntlet could have made a really nasty mess of his jacks with its dirupting attack, especially the Menoth reliance on the arc node.
What I did wrong: not a great deal, though I could have tried to keep him safer (my opponent went out of his way to snipe him) and then use the spray template of the gauntlet to good effect.
Black 13th Strike Mage Team – two of the three went down early to a Heavy Warjack attack. The last one managed to damage the Revenger arc-noded ‘jack, but not quite enough. It was too late before I realised how I was supposed to use them.
What I did wrong: Laughably I had them stood out in the open next to a patch of woods which would have provided them stealth. That would have kept them safe and I would then have probably gone after Gorman and the choir. They seem like a nice little toolbox unit to counter enemy effects
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages – I controversially sent them up on a flanking run to the left. Flanking is apparently hard to do in Warmachine but I had my reasons. Firstly, my first objective was to the left, and secondly I wanted to keep them separate from my main force as I knew they were the only unit Severius could take control of with his feat turn. They spent a couple of turns advancing and then barely scratched the objective with a barrage of magelock pistol fire.
What I did wrong: As one of my only magical weapon attacks I should probably have been using them on the choir-shielded targets. Also, I forgot to keep them in range for Kara’s feat turn to give them boosted attack rolls against the objective. I was trusting to roll an additional targeting dice to maximise my chance of critical brutal damage. Without it I should have done a single combined attack to overcome the ARM 20 (though was unlucky and didn’t get any double results to critical from my seven attack rolls)
Squire and Reinholdt – not much to say. They hung back, didn’t get in the way and did their thing, adding focus and granting additional attacks, respectively.
What I did wrong: Nothing! Amazing!