Thursday, 13 February 2014

Winter Offensive 2 - Tournament Report - Part 1

As you may have noticed I've been having issues with gun line armies, in particular Haley1, Haley2 ones. A couple of people have suggested that Deneghra2 is the answer to Cygnar and with her new theme list out I decided to give it a go. Using Keith (from Muse on Minis) idea of one max unit and two min ones for drudges I took the following lists:

Wraith Witch Deneghra
- Nightmare
- Nightwretch x2
- Skarlock Thrall
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max x1, min x2)
Cephalyx Overlords x2
Mechanithralls (min x2)
- Brute Thralls x3
Necrosurgeon x2
Warwitch Siren x2

Asphyxious the Hellbringer
- Deathjack
- Erebus
Mechanithralls (min)
Necrosurgeon x2
Satyxis Raiders (max + UA)
Satyxis Blood Witches (max + UA)
Gorman Di Wulfe
Ogrun Bokur
Satyxis Raider Captain x2

Game 1, Incursion, vs Matt Rowan, Cygnar

I have played against Matt before but not for ages so it was great to see him again and play against is Cygnar. Matt had Kraye with him and had paired him with Stryker2. Both of which I felt fine to use Deneghra2. After all I had come to the tournament to practice her. Matt then rolled a dice for his caster to my horror and came up with Kraye for me to face. I lost the starting roll but Matt wanted a particular side so I still got to go first.

Using the tier 4 bonus I got Marked for Death on the Nyss hunters, Pursuit on the gun mages and Curse of Shadows on Gallant. Matt put the Nyss on the left, gun mages on the right with three hunters in front. Gallant and the sentinel went in the centre with Kraye. My first turn and the drudges ran forward. I put the max unit in the middle and the other two on the flanks. Everything else moved forward scooting around the building in front of me.

Matt used Kraye first to cast Guided Fire and ride-by-attack a drudge who lived. Then the hunters went and shot at the right hand nightwretch who was putting his toe in a forest. But very little damage was caused, I think because they mostly missed. Gallant moved forward, followed by the sentinel who only shot once with his chain gun :( After all that the Nyss moved up but did little damage to the drudges and the same happened with the gun mages on the right. Then the right flag went away.

I didn't upkeep Pursuit as it wasn't doing much for this game but the other spells stayed on their targets while Deneghra went Incorporeal. Drudges ran forwards again and tried to tie up what they could. Nightmare moved to the central flag and based it. The skarlock went and cast Ghost Walk on the right hand arc node, the warwitch siren gave it a point of focus and then it ran to be infront of the gun mages. Deneghra then cast Hellmouth on the gun mages and left two of them alive to fail a command check. She then moved slightly left and the mechanithrall unit with the brute thralls bunkered up around her.

A few bits of focus went to the hunters and Gallant at the beginning of Matt's turn and with the Nyss he killed a fair few of the central drudge unit. The sentinel tried to finish them off but with one shot again not much happened. Gun Mages rallied and the hunters did something. I think they took out the arc node on the right hand nightwretch, but not much else. Gallant then trampled to the central flag to take a wack on Nightmare who shrugged off the couple of hits. I score 1 control point from controlling the left flag (nightwretch and the Overlords were both there)

My turn and with both spells upkept I gave Nightmare three focus to remove Gallant. It only took one. Deneghra feated and caught the hunters, Kraye, sentinel and the Nyss. The Overseers on the left flank moved away from the flag and killed all but one of the Nyss who then went down to the drudge's blades. In the middle the drudges engaged the hunters and sentinel to stop them shooting and that was about it. I'm now up to three CPs.

Matt can't move much now, the squire and the gun mages were out so they mostly dawdle around the back field as one runs to contest the central flag. The hunters clear off the drudges engaging them with their axes as the sentinel does the same with his shield. Other than that not much happens so I score another control point.

I don't go for army points killed, I just end my turn to score the fifth control point to win.

Things learnt:

With the drudges up front it is hard for normal models to get through that line of tough troops, especially when normal blast damage won't do it. Then anything solid that gets past them is eaten up by mechanithralls, Nightmare or Deneghra herself. I pressed forwards because Matt wasn't able to get enough on Deneghra for assassination purposes and that allowed me to take control of the scenario.

Game 2, Balance of Power, vs Benji Hanson, Protectorate of Menoth

Benji is a club mate and as such knew of my plans for today, in fact I had tried out a Deneghra2 list against him the previous weekend (he won). Still, I wanted to practice Deneghra2 so I automatically reached for her. Benji had Kreoss1 and Feora2 for his casters and I expected (and got) Feora2 to be picked. As I won the roll I deployed first to push those drudges forward.

This time around Curse of Shadows went on the judicator, Marked for Death on the Choir and Pursuit on the reckoner. Errants went middle right, bastions far right and cinerators left. I kept the same set-up as last time and ran forwards. Though I was careful about how I placed Nightmare and the drudges around him.

Benji moved up the errants and took a couple of shots at the drudges to take one or two down. Judicator put a few of them on fire as well. Everything else pretty much ran to get up the board.

I ran a drudge behind the errant seneschal and then used it as a beacon for Hellmouth, removing a couple of errants from play. (Forgot to mention, Marked for Death was dropped.) The max unit of drudges also did their best to hurt the errants and did ok at it. Nightmare had moved forwards thanks to Pursuit and stuck around there rather than move forward. Other than that it was my second line that advanced forwards but that was about it.

Benji loads up the reckoner with some focus and sends it into Nightmare. Who then dances away thanks to Pursuit (though the free strike took off the right arm) and Benji can't even use assault as he has stealth thanks to his affinity. Errants try to deal with the drudges but tough makes it slightly more difficult than normal. The judicator sends firey death around the board killing a few things. Finally the bastions and cinerators run forwards again.

Feat turn I feel. Deneghra goes incorporeal, loads up Nightmare and moves into the central zone to feat, catching most things, excluding three of the bastions. Hellmouth takes out another three errants as well. Nightmare fails to destroy the reckoner so some mechanithralls sort it out as the Overseers spray both the bastions and cinerators. Drudges spend most of their attacks on the errants and also on the seneschal, doing enough damage to override his large self sacrifice ability. I score 2 control points.
Benji can't move much, I missed the choir and three bastions with my feat but everything else stands still and tries to hit what they can. A few drudges die because of this but not much else happened. Benji had a clever idea though, he used Fire Step to get Deneghra in Feora's control range and attempted to move fire onto her. But being incorporeal stopped that. I score another 2 control points and then just end my turn straight away to win.

Things learnt:
Drudges are great Hellmouth targets what with being DEF 11. The biggest thing was that Pursuit doesn't allow you to ignore free strikes so I have to watch out for that in the future.
So lets stop here and look at this new theme list. It's good. The fact that a load of people are talking about it and know what it involves stands to that. I know that Kaya2 got a new theme list in the same No Quarter but I can't tell you what's in it or if anybody has been speaking about it.
Why is it good though? The drudges don't enter into it. All they do is jam up and provide bodies for the mechanithralls coming behind. That's great and all but I can use satyxis, pirates or other mercenaries for this purpose and they'll do some real damage on the way. The two units of Overlords are great, especially when they are three points per unit. Infantry clearance in a great package there. The real power of this theme list is the upkeep spells starting the game on the enemy. Having those three spells out on the board on their preferred targets is a godsend. Before this theme list came out you could count the number of times Pursuit was cast by Deneghra on one hand. But now you can use it to get a massive advantage for an early feat, manoeuvre Deathjack for a Hellmouth and retreat or advance Nightmare around a corner ready to eat a caster or some important piece of the enemy. That's leaving out Curse of Shadows for a free strike ignoring ARM debuff or Marked for Death for helping your guys to hit.
Everybody who had talked about the theme list had mentioned it's weak to Purification or Eiryss2 (or similar). I don't disagree but I'm going to skip over that. This theme list isn't going to be a major part of my Cryx line up at the moment. I have good match-ups against most things out there on the tournament scene, but as I've shown on this blog gun lines can shoot me down in a major way. Dan Cunningham only lost with Kreoss1 in the Invitational because that helldiver rolled fire for damage rolls. Lewis and the way he plays both Haleys are going to take me down in a major way. The major players out there have their Cryx game plan and unfortunately this theme list matches up fairly well with what they expect to play against.

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