Saturday, September 19, 2015

My First Warmachine Tournament - Butcher 3 vs. Harbinger of Menoth

GMI Warmachine Steamroller 2015 Tournament

My first match of the day was actually the one I've been dreading all week. I was matched up with Justin, someone who I saw play Harbinger the last time I was at GMI. His list was quite scary. Justin is a really good player and is experienced in tournaments. He won the last event at GMI.

Justin Deploying his sweet winged Harbinger

Knowing this I practiced a solo game against myself with both my lists vs. Harbinger the morning of the tournament so I would know what to expect. Turns out it's a waste of time to kill any of her units :P

The list I chose to play against her was my Butcher 3 list because I figured that I can solve the Martyrdom problem (When warrior model is disabled take D3 damage and heal them 1) with Silence of Death (No Tough, No Heal, No Transfer on damage) I did learn that Sanguine Bond was not effected by SoD.

Kill Stroked (35 Points)
Warcaster: Butcher 3 (-4)
Warcaster Unit: War Argus x2 (+2)
Warcaster Attachment: War Dog (+1)
Warjack: Ruin (+10)
Warjack: Juggernaut (+7)
Unit: Kayazy Assassins (+8)
Unit Attachment: Kayazy Assassin Underboss (+2)
Unit: Widowmakers (+4)
Solo: Widowmaker Marksman (+2)
Solo: Saxon Orrik (+2)
Solo: Ogrun Bokur (+3)
Solo: Saxon Orrik (+2)

Harbinger of Menoth List (35 Points)
Warcaster: Harbinger of Menoth (-5)
Warjack: Devout (+5)
Unit: Exemplar Errants (+8)
Unit Attachment: Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard (+2)
Unit: Exemplar Bastions (+8)
Unit: Exemplar Bastions (+8)
Solo: Paladin of the Order of the Wall (+2)
Solo: Covenant of Menoth (+2)
Solo: Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (+3)
Solo: High Paladin Dartan Vilmon (+3)

The double Bastions really worried me as they could soak up tons of damage and spread it around. Even if I managed to dent them they still had Martyrdom to stay alive. They also could potentially take out my Warjacks or even worse, Butcher. The Covenant of Menoth also really worried me too and I specifically brought 4 Widowmakers and 1 Marksman just to deal with it. Again, I would still have to find a way to get past Martyrdom.

End of Round 1

Justin ended up going first which means I'm in a whole heap of trouble. He popped feat on the top of Turn 1, locking my Kayazy and Widowmakers in place. He advances his unit as far forward as he can toward and leaves only 1 Paladin to contest my zone. This surprised me and I decided to capitalize on it.

When I saw Justin's placement I quickly used run/charges and Energizer to shift my entire battlegroup toward my friendly zone so I can hopefully start scoring on Turn 2. I test to see how far 20" is from Harbinger's feat by moving the Widowmakers and I end up losing 2 to auto hit POW 14. Luckily I make the command check. 

The Kayazy's know better and just move up 1-2" and are safe from Harby's feat but are not able to threaten alpha strike. I kind of thought Justin was going to pop his feat on Turn 2 instead of Turn 1 but I guess it didn't matter because it basically made me skip a turn with my units either way.

Ruin and Juggernaut actually take a POW 14 from the feat when moving but only took small damage.

End of Round 2

By the end of Round 2 I was feeling confident about winning on scenario. Justin He shifts his army to his friendly zone and leaves nothing but an Impervious Wall'ed Paladin (Only can be damaged by Magical Weapons and Spells) to contest my zone.

On my turn I am able to use Butcher and his magical axe, Lola, to kill the Paladin and then position the jacks with Energizer to set them up to block the zone from the Bastions.

Mark 1 point - Justin 0 points

The game continues on and Justin's takes a long turn. The pressure of Deathclock is weighing down on him and he starts to make minor mistakes. On his last turn he sets up the Juggernaut to be charged by Bastions but in the middle of their activation, decides to switch gears and try to take out the Kayazy Assassins in his zone. He did this because he realized that the Kayazys have Kill Stoke which gives them acrobatics (lets them move through other models once per game) and are threatening assassinating Harbinger. He takes quite a while to finish which puts him down to about 5 minutes on the clock to my 20 min.

In the crunch he forgets to contest my zone bumping me up to 2 points at the end of his turn. If he had contested, it would have bought him another round.

On my turn I use Kill Stroke and use my Parry skilled Kayazy Assassins to move through other models and position myself to contest the zone. I position it so i can also it's hard to kill the entire unit so I can plan to contest again the next round. I forget about the 5" AOE auto-hit Cataclysm Harby has with her 10 focus.

I am able to kill the Bastion that was close to contesting the zone and end my turn scoring another control point.

Mark 3 point - Justin 2 points

End of the game

Justin focuses on contesting my zone and starts to move both units of Bastions into my zone. With the Rough Terrain he is only able to get one in and I have to figure out a way to deal with it. Normally you can just kill him but there are 2 problems. One is Sanguine Bond which allows the Bastions to spread damage among the unit which is basically 40 boxes of ARM 16 and then on top of that the second problem is Harbinger's Martyrdom which can keep other warrior models alive and kicking as long as she has boxes to transfer damage to.

Harby was able to to deal with all the Kayazy using Cataclysm which is a 5" AOE auto hit and causes them to fail their command check bumping him up to 2 points.

On my turn I end up allocating 3 focus to Juggernaut and 3 to Ruin. With the two problems posed above I decide that instead of killing the Bastion, I need to throw him out of the zone. I've never done a throw in a game ever so this was pretty new to me. I end up boosting to hit with a MAT 8 vs. DEF 11 and then using my STR 12 vs. his STR 7 I was able to chuck him 6" away.

I then charged my opponent's objective with the Juggernaut with 3 focus and at POW 19 I was able to 1 shot the objective with a roll of 15 Damage bringing me to a total of 5 control points.

Mark 5 point - Justin 2 points

This was a really stressful match for me because it was my first tournament game and also my first timed match ever. I only ended up killing 1 Bastion and 1 Paladin but I figured that's how it would go down because of Harbinger's model protection tricks. I had to rely on adaptation and positioning well to win the game instead of a slugfest which he would have won.

This allows me to move into the next round of games!

Final Thoughts

Practicing vs Harbinger before the tournament really helped me understand that I could not beat her traditionally. I didn't attack once with my Kayazy the entire game and just used them to contest his zone to swing the point favor to me which a lot of people don't really expect. Justin did a real great job of taking them out with Cataclysm. Fortunately, he was under pressure with the Deathclock and had to make quick decisions which I was able to capitalize on.

It was a great game and I'm excited/nervous to play my next one!

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