Saturday, September 12, 2015

Khador vs. Mercenaries - Butcher 3 vs. Captain Phinneus Shae Battle Report

Today we have an epic 50 point battle between Captain Phinneus Shae and Butcher 3. Shae and his speedy antics will surely get the alpha strike but will it pack enough punch to weather the vengeance of Butcher 3's retaliation? Let's take a look at the lists.

Mercenaries - Talion Charter (Tier 3)

Bonuses: (+1 Starting Roll, Models have Pathfinder on first turn, -1 Cost to Solos)

Warcaster: Captain Phinneus Shae  (-6)
Colossal: Galleon (+18)
Unit: Press Gangers (+6)
Unit: Sea Dog Boarding Crew (+8)
Unit Attachment: Mr. Walls the Quartermaster (+2)
Weapon Attachment: Sea Dog Rifleman (+2)
Unit: Aiyanna & Holt (+4)
Unit: Commodore Cannon & Crew (+4)
Solo: Lord Rockbottom (+1)
Solo: First Mate Hawk (+1)
Solo: Doc Killingsworth (+1)
Solo: Bosun Grogspar (+1)
Solo: Dirty Meg (+1)
Jack Marshalled: Mule (+8)
Objective: Effigy of Valour

The goal of this list is to run up hard and get Alpha Strike then have the Galleon drag in heavies and destroy them while a dozen +4 Tough Sea Dogs create a wall in front of it hopefully preventing retaliation.

Khador - Butcher 3

Warcaster: Butcher 3  (-4)
Warcaster Attachment: War Dog (+1)
Warjack: Ruin (+10)
Warjack: Behemoth (+13)
Unit: Kayazy Assassins (+8)
Unit Attachment: Kayazy Underboss (+2)
Unit: Winter Guard Infantry (+6)
Unit Attachment: Winter Guard Office & Standard (+2)
Weapon Attachment: Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeer x2 (+2)
Unit: Widowmakers (+4)
Solo: Widowmaker Marksman (+2)
Solo: Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich  (+2)
Solo: Saxon Orrik  (+2)
Objective: Fuel Cache

The goal of this list is to push a wall of metal (Ruin/Behemoth) using Energizer (+1 movement per focus spent up to 3) with Butch 3 and the dogs behind it and begin piece trading with the opponent's heavy hitters. The thought is whatever kills Ruin or Behemoth will be killed by either the surviving Warjack or Butcher 3 himself. Butcher 3 can wipe out 3 heavies or a Colossal with ease. The Kayazy Assassins are there to jam and cause trouble with their acrobatic mini feat, the Winter Guard are there to Bob & Weave and handle stealth with sprays and combined ranged attacks, and the Sniper group of Widowmakers and Marksman are there to pick off key solos and weaken front line infantry.

Let's start the game!

Mercs with their +1 Starting Roll end up deploying first. The scenario they are playing is Two Fronts.

Mercenaries deploy with Galleon in the middle with hopes to drag heavies and grind them into dust. The Pirate ball support cast of First Mate Hawk, Lord Rockbottom, Bosun Grogspar, and Doc Killingsworth deploy behind the Sea Dog Boarding crew. The Commodor Cannon and Press Gangers are placed to hold the left zone.

Khador deploys Butcher 3 in the center of the board hoping to get a good shot at the Galleon. The Kayazy Assassins are poised to deal with the Pirate Ball while the Winterguard Death Star, Widowmakers, and Widowmaker Marksman are going to rush the right side since it's only protected by Press Gangers. They have to be careful because they're backed with the very deadly Commodore Cannon.

Mercenaries Turn 1

Mercenaries run up. Shae does not pop his feat and Mr. Walls doesn't pop his mini feat. With all their tricks (Godspeed Feat, No Quarter, Coup De Main) the Sea Dog Boarding Crew has a threat range of 16.5") The Sea Dog Boarding Crew gets quite far up the field. The rest of the army runs forward while the Commodore Cannon slowly trudges along.

Khador Turn 1

Knowing that there's no way to out threat Shae, the  entire Khador army runs up except for Butcher, the Widowmakers, and the Widowmaker Marksman. Everyone else braces for impact. Butcher casts Energize for 3 focus and moves his battlegroup 3". The Widowmakers and Marksman aim and are able to hit 4 Press Gangers but 3 of them tough.

Mercenaries Turn 2

Shae gives Galleon 3 focus in hopes that he can destroy the Behemoth which is his biggest threat (other than Butcher 3) Aiyana is able to land Kiss of Lyliss on the Behemoth forcing him to take +2 damage and Galleon is able to drag him into melee range where he begins to tear into his metal. Unfortunately to Shae's surprise, it is not enough to kill the Behemoth but gets him down to 8 health, leaving just his Cortex and his Right Arm.

Mercenaries Turn 2 Continued

It's up to a Storm Ragered First Mate Hawk to try and finish off the Behemoth or Galleon will be forced to eat an armor piercing fist in the face. She fortunately is able to charge with 4 dice and barely kill the Behemoth leaving just a pile of wreckage.

The Sea Dog Boarding Crew front line is able to charge and kill both Butcher's dogs triggering Vengeance. The rest run to block a charge lane from Ruin/Butcher to the Galleon. The Commondore Cannon critically misses a key roll against Ruin which could have possibly slammed him into Butcher knocking them both down.

Khador Turn 3

Ruin is allocated 1 focus just in case the Sea Dogs tough (which they all failed.) Ruin was able to clear a good late for Butcher and stack up 2 soul tokens. The Winter Guard Infantry combined an attack on a Sea Dog blocking Butcher from Galleon and was able to kill him and forced the unit to make a command check which they failed.

It still seemed too far for Butcher to get to Galleon but by utilizing Energizer and Reach he was able to get a charge off on him. With the help of his feat (regain 6 focus) Butcher murdered First Mate Hawk, Holt, and disintegrated the Galleon with 2 focus to spare. The Kayazy kill off a good chunk of the Sea Dog Boarding Crew and jam up the Mule in the right zone.

Mercenaries Turn 4

It's looking pretty grim for Shae. The Mercenaries were able to retaliate with a stiff Commodore Cannon shot to Butcher, slamming and knocking him down and forcing 5 damage on him. Bosun Grogspar debated whether or not to pitch the knocked down Butcher or just to go for an all out charge. Eventually he decides to charge and rolls fire and is able to take off another large chunk of Butcher 3's health bringing him down to 6 life.

Shae was blocked by Rough Terrain and a Forest so he was not able to see the Butcher. If Shae had known how much impact Grogspar would have he would have shot his gun at Butcher and might have had a boosted chance at killing him. Instead Shae decided to move by the Commodore Cannon hopefully to goad Butcher into trying to finish him off on his own terms.

Khador Turn 4

Khador is by far winning the attrition game and is able to clean up a lot of the Press Gangers and Pirate Ball support cast. Butcher kills Bosun Grogspar and gets behind the forest so the Commodore Cannon can't see him. The Kayazy Assassins are able to take out the objective for 1 point and continue to jam the Mule.

Mercenaries Turn 5

With no jack to allocate to, Shae moves in and wipes out the Widowmakers and tries to hide in the back of Butcher 3's front arc. The Commodore Canon does all it can do and slams Ruin back 3" and knocks him down only doing 5 damage. It looks like all hope is lost for Mercenaries.

Khador Turn 5

Butcher is able to charge at the Mule, cast Impending Doom, and finish both Dirty Meg and the Mule. The Kayazy Assassins run toward the Cannon to hopefully distract it and set up to kill the crew next turn. Butcher scores 2 points for Dominating the enemy zone bringing Khador's total to 3 points.

Mercenaries Turn 6

Knowing all hope is lost, Shae makes a last ditch effort to wreak havoc and clears out a pile of Winter Guard Infantry. He ends his activation staring directly at Ruin The Commodore Cannon shoots its 20" ranged cannon ball and is able to knockdown Butcher 3 and almost push him out of the zone. Unfortunately, the damage still leaves him with 4 health.

At the end of the Mercenaries Turn 6, Khador reaches 5 points with Butcher again dominating the enemey zone.

Khador wins by Scenario Turn 6.


Mercenaries - The Talion Charter is quite limited in model selection and when you drill it down to Shae's A Pirate's Life Tier List it's even more restrictive. The problem with Shae's army is that it doesn't deal with Heavy Warjacks very well. The Galleon is a monster but when he's gone, there's nothing the rest of the army could do.

To get the most out of this Mercs list the key thing would be to get more work out of the Commodore Cannon. The Commodore Cannon is so powerful and can slam models with a RAT 8 - 20" Ranged shot that does POW 16. It's pretty amazing but it's so slow. People sometimes throw the Cannon to get it up the field quicker but that means bringing a jack with open fists.

If you see that your opponents have multiple threats to Galleon you could sacrifice positioning in the enemy zone and use some Press Gangers to block charge lanes to it allowing the Galleon to get a second drag off against Butcher or Ruin and probably swing attrition to Merc's favor.

I love the Talion Charter list but it's defintiely going to struggle against ARM skews and there's not much to change that other than good positioning, making better use of the Commodore Cannon, and defending your Galleon well.

The Jack Marshalled Mule didn't pull his weight. It might be a better idea do drop it and get another unit of Press Gangers +2 Riflemen for the Sea Dog Boarding Party. It's still overly infantry that doesn't pack a huge punch. You'll definitely be playing for scenario.

Khador - Butcher 3 is so amazingly strong it's absolutely ridiculous. On his feat turn he was able to completely decimate the Galleon and 2 good defense models (Holt & First Mate Hawk.) The original plan about piece trading worked like charm. Behemoth was sacrificed for a Galleon and after the Galleon was dead, there wasn't anything on the board that could take out butcher reliably.

The Kayazy Assassins did a wonderful job of mini feating and taking out Lord Rockbottom and Doc Killingsworth severely hampering the strength of the Pirate Ball. They were also able to Jam up the Mule and put pressure on the Commodore Cannon towards the end of the game.

The Winter Guard Infantry was ok. They handled the Press Gangers well but it seemed like they could have wiped them out faster. With Bob & Weave they're DEF 14 and with Kovnik Joe they have Tough so they were pretty annoying. Their combined ranged attack made sure key models blocking Butcher from Galleon  were dead really helped.

The Widowmakers + Marksmen were able to plink off a few shots but didn't do as much work as I thought because of the tough rolls made by the Mercs. They are definitely needed espeically vs. The Covenant of Menoth or Orin Midwinter which can completely shut down Butcher 3.

If there's anything I would change it might be swapping the Winter Guard Death Star with Winter Guard Riflemen to pick off pesky high DEF infantry. Butcher and Ruin can handle the big stuff while the Riflemen with Kovnik Joe can deal with the infantry. Although, the Deathstar is great vs. Stealth which could pose a problem in some matchups.

I would also consider dropping Behemoth for a Juggernaut and picking up either Doom Reavers or dropping 1 Rocketeer or War Dog and picking up a second Juggernaut.

In the end, Captain Phinneus Shae survived and was able to dent the Khadorian forces but ended up giving up too much ground. Butcher laughed maniacally as army controlled the battlefield and dominated the game.

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