Friday, November 29, 2013

Learning with Lylyth

Desiring a change of pace, I shelved the Cygnar for my next game and brought out pLylyth and her warpack. Like many of my outings with her this one ended in failure, but as always the most valuable lessons are those learned under duress.

It was a 15 point game so I brought the basic battlebox plus a Harrier.  My opponent brought the same Convergence of Cyriss list from my last couple of battles.  You can read more about those here and here.

The first portion of the game was mainly maneuvering so that we would both have some models in the center to keep from losing by objective. On the second turn he sent one of his light jacks hurtling towards my Carnivean.  Though it was surely a sacrificial gesture, a string of terrible dice rolls meant that the light was still left standing at the end of my turn.  I rushed the rest of my force forward to jam things up until I could free my heavy.  I figured if I had my Carnivean and Lylyth there was still a good chance I'd be able to get a caster kill.

Here's the board at the end of that turn.

Cyriss spent the next turn bringing up his warcaster to try to clear the jam.  The decent defense of the Harrier meant that it survived, but the two Shredders in front of Syntherion and the opposing heavy were not so lucky. Still, his caster was close and I had some resources to try to seal the deal.

The turn started decently when my left hand shredder frenzied, charged Syntherion and put a pile of damage on him with a lucky high dice roll. The rest of the turn went badly, with Lylyth's shots either failing to hit (because of the shot into melee penalty) or failing to damage (because of Syntherion's high ARM).  The Carnivean stepped away from the light that was harassing him, easily shrugging off the free strike. A quick breath attack later and Syntherion was on fire and left with only a few remaining health boxes.

The end of that turn left me exposed and hoping that fire would claim Cyriss' Forge Master.

It didn't. The fire went out. My heavy was killed by his heavy and the light jacks finished off everything else in my army, ending with Lylyth.

Despite being tabled in the end the battle was well fought, with both sides coming very close to defeat before the final blow landed.  There are only two things I would have done differently:
  • Looked for a better use of my feat.  There were turns I could have used it to very good effect (especially the last turn's assassination attempt).
  • Boosted my Carnivean's attacks against the light jack jamming him.  I needed a seven to hit the light in front of me and I missed 5 out of seven attacks. For his four fury I could have had two bites with boosted attacks instead of four normal bites.  I really needed the light dead and so I should have ensured hits from the bites which would have been rolling even dice on damage.

You can read more about my thoughts on the Legion of Everblight battlebox here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Khador Widow Makers

These fine fellows and accompanying lady are ready to lay precision waste to the foes of the motherland.  My last post on these guys had them half basecoated standing in front of an equally rough Devastator.  Now their brown cloaks have been finished and their guns are all brassy and ready to fire.

This means I can update my Hobby Scorecard on the right and also that my 15 point Khador army is only two models away from being ready to take the field.  All that is left now is a Devastator and Sorcha.  I can't wait!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cygnar: Perils of Allistair Caine pt. 2

Allistair Caine.  Hate him or love him, he's probably got more personal warcaster kills under his belt than any other Cygnar caster out there.  In my previous post I talked about the first game I played against Cyriss and discussed the army lists that were used.  Now it's time to discuss the second game.
Here's what the board looked like at the end of the second game:

This second game was more decisive than the previous.  Caine was able to sneak in and leave Syntherion with only 3 health left using his feat.  Ryan from the Black 13th got the final shot in that killed the opposing caster.  Despite winning I still only managed the caster kill with my very last shot of the turn, and I definitely made some mistakes.
  • Reinholdt wasn't able to give Caine a free shot on my feat turn.  He was just too far away. The little gobber can be fiddly to use.  Reinholdt needs to activate before your warcaster so you can get an extra shot, but also needs to end up in a position where he'll be able to get to your warcaster next turn.  Caine is a fast moving dude and can often outpace the little guy.
  • The warcaster kill was a very close thing.  The last possible shot of my turn rolled exactly the number necessary to kill the opposing warcaster.  I should have activated Caine before the rest of my army so that if the assassination failed I would be able to use the rest of the army to secure his safety.
So in the interests of improving my game, here are some things I (and you!) can do to improve the Caine game.
  1. Be wary of high ARM targets.  Caine's feat is great, but if you're putting shots into 18+ ARM you should think twice.
  2. Move Caine minimally.  This will let Reinholdt keep up with him and help keep Caine himself safe from retaliation.  Use your ability to measure Caine's control area to position yourself exactly where you want to be.
  3. Activate Caine first on the feat turn.  Unless you need an effect from another element of your army use Caine first.  After his activation is over you can evaluate the situation and determine if the rest of your army can finish the job or needs to move to protect him.
  4. Always assume that your opponent can reach you.  Even if the opposing army looks slow you should assume they have some way of improving their charge distance.  Keeping this in mind will mean that you're never surprised by the mobility of your opponent.
I think that's enough things to try to remember for my next game.  What do you think are some rules for Caine to live by?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cygnar: Perils of Allistair Caine

I've recently had the chance to pick up my Cygnar and roll some dice with them.  A group of folks at work have either just started or have dusted off their old armies. I've brought out a range of builds, including Everblight and Cryx, but last Thursday I had the chance to bring back premier assassination caster Captain Allister Caine against the new (to me) forces of Cyriss.

Let's break down the army lists (15 points each):

  • Captain Allister Caine
  • Defender Heavy Warjack
  • Hunter Light Warjack
  • Reinholdt
  • Black 13th
  • Forge Master Syntherion
  • Cipher Heavy Warjack
  • 3 Diffuser Light Warjacks
  • 3 Attunement Servitors
  • Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex
Let's take a look at the end of the first game.  Note that we didn't play the final turn, but just assumed that Caine and the rest of the army would be able to assassinate Syntherion without much trouble.  We called the game in favor of being able to get another one in.

The thing to talk about here are the mistake that I made that led to Caine being in such a precarious position.  By the end of Cyriss' last turn Caine had taken 8 points of damage and one reasonable roll by my opponent would have ended it before I could go after Syntherion. What led to me only surviving by the skin of my teeth?  On turn two my Defender, Hunter and Caine moved up to kill the heavy Cypher using Caine's feat.  Killing the opposing heavy warjack would leave me in a dominating position and I was hoping to have enough focus left to gate crash out.  I manage to kill the Cipher (You can see it's crater on the top edge of the hill) but almost died myself in return.  Here's a summary of my mistakes:
  • Overestimating Caine's Feat.  Caine can do a lot of damage on his feat turn, but against ARM 18 and a heap of damage boxes even he can have a hard time getting the job done.
  • Not prepping properly for the subsequent turn by closing the gap between the Hunter and the Defender.  Caine's pistols only need a small gap to shoot through or he could have shot the large based heavy over the top of the medium based Hunter.
  • Relying on Caine's high defense.  The servitors and syntherion both have abilities that debuff Caine's defense.  DEF 17 is great, DEF 13 not as much. Caine's DEF should be relied on as a last resort and not as part of your battle plan.
  • Caine strayed too close to the opposing army. Caine's pistols have a range of 12 which matches his control radius. Stopping at the exact point you need to stop at is easy to determine.  In this case I needed to stop 9 inches away from the heavy (Syntherion's Reconstruct spell allows the 'jack it's cast on to respawn within 3 inches of the point it was destroyed).
  • Caine was way too close to the opposing army. The opposing army's light jacks allow allow charges against targets they hit to move an additional 2 inches.  Syntherion's DEF debuff gives an additional 2 inches. That adds up to a solid charge range.
Next post will go over the second game we played, and provide a concise list of actions I can take to improve my Caine Game.

(For the second game and an overall analysis click here.)