Wednesday, June 14, 2017

AAR Skirmish! Gatormen Vs. Protectorate of Menoth

This month we welcome a new member to the Fukuyama gaming club!  We're always glad to see new faces especially those that are ready to jump right in and get their feet wet!  And that's exactly what Leland did, almost literally, with a borrowed Gatorman army (my army, in fact!), Bloody Barnabas in command.  For this first game, we decided to use a small skirmish force, 35 points each, and Leland was coached by DTB. I took up the challenge with a small force led by the Hierarch himself!  Since this was Leland's first time to try Warmachine/ Hordes, we decided not to use a scenario.  All out for the other person's caster!

The forces for today's skirmish!
Army list:  Gatormen, led by Leland.  In an effort to keep the game simple, we recommended he use Bloody Barnabas.  His feat is easy to use (knockdown all enemy models in Barnabas' control area), he's pretty solid if he gets into combat, fair fury score... Probably the best 'caster for a new player.
     Warcaster:  Bloody Barnabas
                        Blackhide Wrastler
                        Iron Back Spitter
                        Swamp Horror
                        Bull Snapper
                        Gatorman Posse
                        Croak Hunter
                        Totem Hunter

 Army list:  Protectorate of Menoth, controlled by moi, Kommissar Koala!  While keeping it simple  for Leland, I still wanted to keep things pretty similar to my lists for the tournament in October (I can't believe there are only three months to go!!) so I could still get some practice in.
     Warcaster:  Hierarch Severius
                        Blessing of Vengence
                        Choir of Menoth (minimum unit)
                        Idrian Skirmishers
                        Paladin of the Order of the Wall

As it is often easier to learn a game by reacting to a more veteran player, we decided I would take the first turn.

Setup:  Protectorate of Menoth

In my set up, I fell victim to one of the classic blunders... not checking on what kind of terrain everything on the table was.  I simply assumed that the terrain on my right flank was a hill... FOOLISH!!!!  It is clearly a rubble pit.  Clearly.  Sigh.  So, I recklessly decided to place the Blessing of Vengeance behind it.  Ugh.  Anyway, I then placed Severius in the center between the two heavy 'jacks.  The choir spread out to cover all of the 'jacks, and the Paladin went to the left side.

Setup:  Gatormen

The new theme force rules are out for the Blindwater Congregation, and Leland took full advantage of the army construction bonuses!  Gatormen Posse members go up to 8 damage boxes each (yikes!) and gain Snacking as well.  Snacking is such a good ability, I can't say enough how useful it is.  With some advice from myself and DTB, Leland placed the Posse in the very middle, and then used them to screen his beasts and 'caster.  The Totem Hunter went on the left flank, choosing the Paladin as his prey.

Advanced Deployment:  Protectorate of Menoth
The Idrians set up in the very middle, ready to try and combined ranged attack straight into the line of Gatormen growling across the field at us.

Advanced Deployment:  Gatormen
The Croak Hunter went on the right flank, just behind the forest.  With stealth and pathfinder, it was going to be hard to get close enough to shoot with the Idrians.

Our Story:

Rushing to try and reach the capital city of Imer before an army of Skorne besiege the city, Heirarch Severius has led a small interdiction skirting the marshes that surround Blindwater Lake in an attempt to find a faster route back to the Protectorate from Leryn.  The Gatormen, led by Bloody Barnabas, took umbridge at the interlopers to their lands, and have mobilized their own force to protect their boarders.   Just before battle was joined, a Totem Hunter appeared suddenly out of the trees and approached Barnabas.  Raising one clawed hand towards the waiting Paladin, the Hunter rasped, "That one... it is mine."  Barnabas looked for a moment at the Paladin before nodding his agreement, ordering his troops to stay out of the mysterious hunter's way.

Round One:  Protectorate of Menoth
     To start, the Idrians ran forward to get into a good firing position for the next turn.  As I said before, PoM is S.L.O.W.  Therefore, they always "Must to Run" on the first turn, and this game was no exception!  The Indictor, Crusader and Blessing of Vengeance used their power up focus to run forward.  Now, here was my first huge mistake of the game.  Realizing that the terrain was actually rough terrain, I decided to have the Blessing of Vengeance swing wide to the right to go around it instead of moving left or simply slowly going straight over it.  Facepalm!  In doing so, I moved him outside of Sevy's control range, so he was unable to arc the spells I needed onto their targets.  No!  Oh well, all I could do was prepare to make it up next turn.  The choir prayed for passage on the other two jacks (of course, the Blessing was also outside of their range, too).  The Paladin moved forward keeping to the right hand edge of the forest and adopted his Stone and Mortar stance to gain +5 ARM.  Finally Severius moved forward and kept all his focus, since he was out of range to give his spells to the people that needed him.....D'oh!

Round One:  Gatormen
     The posse ran forward straight towards the Idrian firing line, staying on the front edge of the hill.  The Totem Hunter ran straight down the left hand flank, setting his sights on his prey.  The Ironback and the Swamp Horror riled and ran, and the Blackhide also ran.  The snapper ran behind the forest, eyeballing a few juicy Idrians who might face a charge next turn.  Barnabas advanced and placed Death March on the Posse and Warpath on himself.  Finally, the Croak Hunter advanced into the forest and hucked a spear at the farthest right Idrian.  Death would come on a seven.... but the dice came up a 4!  Oh no!

Round Two:  Protectorate of Menoth
     Alright!  Time to make up for the mistakes of the first turn.  Power up and focus allocation, the Crusader and the Indictor both recieved one to make use of Sevy's Orracular Ability.  The Blessing ... gets NOTHING!!!  That's what he gets for moving out of the control area!  The Idrians moved forward and made two combined ranged attacks at the Posse, and one two man shot at the Croak Hunter, which killed it .  Death March gave them Vengeance, which is a huge pain in the backside, but I felt taking the shots was important... Two shots, one dead gatorman (which is amazing with their 8 boxes of damage) and one more down half it's life.

Take aim!

 The Blessing of Vengeance moved back into the control area, hopefully to finally be useful next turn.  The Crusader and the Indictor used one focus each to run forward, and the Choir followed and continued to pray for Passage.  The Paladin continued his slow advance along the tree line, continuing his Stone and Mortar stance.  To finish, Sevy came up straight behind the Indictor and unleashed his FEAT!!!!  d3+2 living warrior models suffer a POW 12 magic blast.  I rolled a four, which means all four of the remaining Gatormen were hit!  If only they didn't have 8 boxes instead of 5!  4 damage, 4 damage resulting in a death, but the dang gator was tough, so he was just knocked down, 4 damage and 2.... a fair result, but no death, so none of the exploded into a giant cloud.

Round Two:  Gatormen
     Barnabas pulled all the fury off his beasts, and upkept Death March and Warpath.  Then it was Vengeance time for the Gators.  They moved forward into the Idrians, killed two, and with snacking, healed most of the damage that the feat had done.  Then, normal activation time!  The Posse that hadn't made contact with the Idrians due to Vengeance moved forward, and the feast began!  The leader prayed for Offerings to Kosk, which would give them re-rolls on missed attack rolls... Yeesh!  Boom!  Six Idrians found themselves sliding down the gullets of some gators, continuing to heal any headway I had made in feating on them.  The Bull Snapper walked into the forest into two Idrians.  He easily ate one, but then due to Torpor, immediately fell asleep, next to the other Idrian who was too scared to move! 

Idrians face off against a Bull Snapper

Barnabas moved onto the hill next to the Ironback Spitter and put Rage onto the Swamp Horror.  The Spitter aimed at the Paladin and spit a glob of acid at him, hitting him squarely and dealing 3 damage to him, and melting the choirboy standing next to him into a steaming puddle of sludge.  The Swamp Horror then looked hungrily at the Crusader and CHARGED IT!!!  And here was my SECOND HUGE MISTAKE of the game.  The charged bite attack did a fair amount of damage, but it was the three tentacle slaps that really put the hurt on!  And did I use the focus he was holding on to for Orracular Vision?  The focus that could just discount one of the damage rolls?  NO I DID NOT!!!  UGH!  Things may have turned out completely differently if I could have remember this small, vitally important detail... Usually the Crusader is sturdy enough to not worry so much about the tentacle attacks, but with Rage, they did a LOT of damage.  SLAP SLAP SLAP!  Three extra bites, and the Crusader was just another wreck sinking into the bog.

Swampy Vs. Crusader

Finally, the Totem Hunter made his move.  A full move, that is, followed by a jump, straight into combat with the Paladin.  Now, normally the +5 ARM would make such an attack nothing to worry about, but with three damage already on him and a +2 to attack rolls due to Prey, the Paladin succumbed to the martial prowess of the Totem Hunter, who quickly reached down to yank off a trophy before sprinting straight into Severius' back arc, and moving his prey from the dead Paladin to Sevy himself! Wow, is that a bad place for a Totem Hunter to be!  Severius is one of the casters who is NOT supposed to be in combat.  When he has to think about casting Creator's Wrath on himself, you know you're in trouble.  Not really seeing anyway out of this incredibly bad situation, I sadly decided to forfeit the game and leave the field with dignity intact.

     Gatorman Victory!!!  The Totem Hunter reached out and grabbed Severius by the pauldrun with a clawed hand.  Drawing him close, he rasped, "This battle is over.  You are not my prey today.  Go!  And do not return."  Severius took a moment to assess his options before nodding in agreement.  As the Totem Hunter faded back into the forest from whence he came, Severius signaled his troops to pull back, preparing to find a new pathway to Imer that didn't cross Barnabas' territory.

I believe this is ... "checkmate"?

Great game!  It's always fun to play against new players that are enjoying the experience.  I really love the Gatormen and I'm looking forward to exploring more about the new theme list.  And though I am a Commissar, and therefore despise having to forfeit a game, sometimes a stratgic retreat is nothing to be ashamed of!  Thanks for the game, Leland!  I hope to see you across the table next month!  Our next meeting is July 16 for anyone who wishes to get a game going!  Everyone is welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I had not realized that you missed the Oracular on the Crusader, otherwise that may have gone a lot differently. Those tentacles helped quite a bit!