Monday, March 12, 2018

AAR - Negotiations Breakdown

Hello, everybody!  Spring is finally upon us, and I cannot explain how happy that makes me.  Aside from all the goodness that spring in Japan brings, like cherry blossoms and great weather, it also means that the devastating grip of coldness is finally loosening... and that means that instead of cowering under a zillion blankets on my couch, I can look forward to picking up my painting during my few and far between moments of down time. I'm zeroing in on hitting full paint status on both of the lists that I'll be using in the Japan Open Team Tournament this October... In fact, once the models on my table right now (4 Deliverers and Soverign Tristan Durant) get finished, that list will be complete!  I suspect that in a mere three painting sessions (nap time is a fickle thing, and it's length varies every time) those models will be done!

This month, DTB and I had a really great game between Horgle 2 using a Storm of the North Northkin theme force and TOM using a Faithful Masses theme force.  It was a great game that came right down to the wire with POM eeking out a victory right before the time ran out.  But what was even better than gaining the victory was feeling like I was coming to understand how to play the list much much better.  Instead of playing defensively and not really knowing what it was I was trying to do, I felt much more in control of what models needed to move where, overlapping skills and benefits (which is the bread and butter of the Protectorate), and resource management.  So!  Great game!  Gives me a little hope for the tournament.  But today, I will bring you, for the first time, a battle that did NOT involve the Protectorate!  That's right, it was a rumble in Blue, Trollkin Vs. Cygnar!  But first...

Cygnar Vs. Trollkin
The Fukuyama Gaming Club will be meeting again at the Community Center behind the castle on March 18, April 1 and May 20.  We'd love to have a couple more people join us, so if you feel like getting your game on, come on by!
And in exciting news, things are starting to come together for the 6th Annual Japan Open Team Tournament!  Sarge has agreed to run things again this year, and the teams are starting to form!  It looks like this year's teams are going to be totally different from last year's, as Sarge has decided to do away with region restrictions!  Beru and Tetsu, my partners from last year, are going to make a university team by picking up a third alumni from their school.  DTB and I are teaming up and currently looking for a third player.  Rantei, one of the winners on DTB's team from last year is going to team up with a couple of Tokyo players and go for the win again!  More on the JOTT6 as it gets closer!

Working Hard or Hardly Working:
This month I had a very important mission... to get the models ready for my painting exchange with DTB.   As I mentioned last time, I've taken on painting some Cryxian models for DTB's extra army, and in return, he's going to paint up two heavy jacks... the last unpainted heavy jacks in my army!  That's amazingly exciting.  The only jacks that are left for me to paint are the Purifier, a light jack that I'm not using this year, and the Revelator, a Collossal that I don't have yet, and won't have a chance to pick up until my next trip to the states (shipping charges on a collossal to Japan is BRUTAL!).   So, I put on the speed to get those two jacks up and ready for DTB by  the 18th.
     WIP:  The Hand of Judgement and the Eye of Truth

There they are!  Look good, right?  These are going to look amazing!  These are some of the newer models, so their lower bodies (legs and so on) are metal, but the upper chassis are made of resin, which means really amazing detail.  It's up to you, DTB!  Make 'em sparkle!
New Northkin model, Volka the Curseborn
In today's battle, Leland brought forth his Heavy Metal theme force, lead by the infamous Stryker 1 (a war criminal against the Protectorate, if you ask me!) against DTB's new super Northkin list, a Storm of the North theme list, lead by Horgle 2!  The fact that DTB is playing a Storm of the North list with a NON Northkin warlock seems a little funny to me, but it may work for him!  I really like a lot of the new Northkin models, like the Pyg Lookouts that have one of the little Pygs hiding in a snowman!  And the Hooch Hauler, which looks like a true beast of a model to put together and paint, but will be so amazing when done that it'll be worth it.  I've never had the desire to play Trollkin, but I sure do like their models and back story.   DTB rolled the Breakdown scenario, which gives them a rectangular zone scoreable by 'beasts and 'jacks in the center of the board, with a circular zone on each end, scoreable by units.

Army List, Trollkin:
Feel the winds of the North
   Warlock - Horgle, The Anvil
       Dire Troll Brawler
       Northkin Raiders (Maximum)
       Trollkin Champions (Maximum)
            - Skaldi
       Northkin Fire Eaters X 2
       Northkin Bear Handlers (excellent models)
       Trollkin Champion Hero
       Volka Curseborn
Storm of the North is the new theme list for the Trollkin, and it's benefits are pretty good!  You get two 4" Snowdrifts within 20" of your table edge, you can upkeep spells on Northkin models for free (OMG, that is SUCH A GOOD BENEFIT) and all warrior models gain immunity to cold!

Army List, Cygnar:
Heavy Metal Cygnar

   Warcaster - Commander Coleman Stryker
       Ironclad X 2
       Ol' Rowdy
       Journeyman Warcaster
       Trencher Journeyman
          Charger X 2
       Sword Knights (Maximum)
       Mechanic (Minimum)
This is a Heavy Metal theme force, which means lots and lots of 'jacks!  Leland is getting to use the new Trencher Jouneyman, this is the first time that I've ever gotten to see it!  The benefits are ok, pretty basic but not great... +2" on your deployment zone and solos gain a 3" reposition.

Setup, Trollkin:

Budge up, Budge up!

Horgle, finally a fully fledged warlock, set up in about the center of the deployment zone, with the Champs and Skaldi on his right.  The Champ Hero went on his left, with Rok, the Brawler and the Axer coming next, and Volka a little separate off to the left.

Setup, Cygnar:
Form Ranks!
Stryker and Rowdy set up almost exactly opposite Horgle, but Leland put out a skirmish line of the Sword Knights in front to keep him safe-ish.  Runewood went on the right edge of the line, next to the Jouneyman Warcaster hiding behind his Charger.  Both Ironclads took the left edge of the line, with the Lancer behind them, and bringing up the end of the line were the 2 Chargers and the Trencher Journeyman behind them.  Finishing things off, the Mechanics spread out a bit behind Rowdy.

Advanced Deployment, Trollkin:

Woah, speedy Trollkin today!
In response to my mockery last time, DTB brought a TON of advanced deployment this game.  The Raiders went ahead of the group of 'beasts in a skirmish line, and a set of Fire Eaters went on opposite sides of the Raiders.  The Bear Handlers still didn't deploy, as DTB decided to use their Ambush ability later on in the game, giving them the ability to come in at any place on any table edge (except Leland's deployment edge).

Advanced Deployment, Cygnar:

Strike while the iron's hot, amirite?
Our Story:
Heeding a call from their native son, mightly Warlock of the Kin, Borka Kegslayer, Horgle brought a force of Northkin down from the Frostspires.  In an attempt to honor previous Cygnarian treaties, Horgle met with Commander Stryker to negotiate for passage across a small streach of Cygnaran territories, but as tensions escalated, a fight broke out between the Raiders and the Sword Knights.  All thought of dipolomacy aside, both armies races to control the strongest position in the center of the field.

Round 1, Trollkin:

Ready, Set, Go!
Trollsus moved forward and gave Harmonious Exaltation to Horgle.  The Hero ran forward around the back of the cabin, while the left hand Fire Eaters ran into the zone.  The Raiders took their lead and also ran forward into both the left hand and middle zones.  The other Fire Eaters also ran, ending up behind the wall in the right hand zone.  Volka ran into the forest, just a little outside of the zone.  The Champs ran into the snow drifts, ignoring the cold since they're Northkin and due to the theme force benefit they ignore any penalties from the drifts.  Horgle cast Solid Ground on himself and Firestarter on Rok.  Then, he moved about 5" forward and and put Inviolable Resolve on the Champs.  The Axer used his Rush animus on Rok, and then moved 5" to the edge of the fog.   The Brawler riled and ran into the fog, while Rok ran 12" thanks to Rush to pass the Brawler as he almost made it to the middle zone.

Round 1, Cygnar:
Go Blue!
The Journeyman's Charger (hereby known as JW Charger) moved around the forest that was blocking his view and took a shot at the Fire Eaters in front of him.  He managed to kill off one and knocked down the Pyg.  JW Charger's Journeyman wriggled forward a bit and took a shot at the Raiders, managing to kill 1 before repositioning back.  Runewood gave the Sword Knights Pathfinder before taking a shot at the Raiders himself.  Alas, he missed, and repositioned back.  The Sword Knights ran forward to engage the Raiders to keep them from throwing bombs all over the field, but kept a second wave back just in case (good move, Leland!).  The leftmost Trencher Journeyman Charger (Outie TJ Charger) moved up "a squish" and shot at the Fire Eaters behind the wall, also killing one!  The other Trencher Journeyman Charger (Innie TJ Charger) "squiggled" forward, staying on the hill for a little defense boost, missed a shot at the Fire Eaters.  Dark Ironclad moved up, followed by the Light Ironclad, and behind them, the Lancer.  "Sometimes I play like I'm not dumb" our intrepid Leland remarked, and he's not wrong, this is a good start to his game!  Stryker moved up, cast Arcane Shield on the Lancer, and then channeled an Arcane Bolt through the arc node on the Lancer at the Fire Eaters, dealing 3 damage.  Ol' Rowdy moved up next to Stryker, while R2D2 snuggled up right behind them.  The Mechanic's moved up to keep pace, while the Trencher Warcaster Dug In on the hill.

Round 2, Trollkin:
The Bears take the field!
BEARS!!!  Two Ambushing bears and their Khadoran manhunter looking Trollkin handler are a terrifying sight to be seen!  DTB chose the table edge near the Trencher Journeyman and his Chargers, and they will get to activate this round!  The Hero ran around the cabin and into the zone, while the Fire Eaters left the safety of the wall to charge the Lancer with Assault.  The big guy sprayed the Chargers, but missed.  The Champs ran into the zone behind the wall the Fire Eaters had left.  And then, it was time... BEARS CHARGE!!!  The Handler and one of the Bears left only 1 damage on the Innie TJ Charger, while the second bear forced the Trencher Journeyman to spend a focus to take only 2 damage.  Trollsus moved forward and again gave Harmonious Exaltation to Horgle.  The Axer ran up behind the Raiders to support them, while Horgle moved behind the drifts, casting Ornery on himself and Rush on Rok.
Knights Vs. Raiders
The left hand Fire Eaters charged the JW Charger, dealing 5 damage on the Assault shot.  Rok ran to the front edge of the zone, while the Brawler followed at a run into the back corner of the zone and riled.  The Raiders looked the Sword Knights in the visor slits and fought back, killing 2.  Turn over!  But hark!  What's this?  Volka, feared leader of the Northkin, didn't activate this turn!  Just hanging out in the forest, eh?  His curse seems to be getting worse!

Round 2, Cygnar:

Oh noes!  Leland made a mistake that we all make.... and forgot to allocate!  D'oh!  Don't give up, you can get over this!  The Mechanics moved up to fix some of his jacks, healing one damage on the Outti TJ Charger.  The Trencher Journeyman hit the bear for 2 damage, used a focus to buy a second attack... missed.  Used a focus to buy a third attack... missed... ugh!  Outti TJ Charger killed off his own bear, and the Innie TJ Charger killed the other one... aww, no more bears!  The Dark Ironclad walked over to the Handler, mourning his dead bears, and put him out of his misery.  The Lancer then took a stab at one of the remaining Fire Eaters BUT... missed all three attacks.  Runewood moved forward, giving Pathfinder to the Sword Knights, shot the Pyg Fire Eater, and repositioned back.  The JW Charger moved up and finished off the last Fire Eater before putting his second shot on a Raider.  The Sword Knights killed 2 more Raiders and knocked down another 2.
Stryker bravely hides behind the forest
The Light Ironclad charged Rok, dealing 4 damage... yikes!  That's a brave Ironclad!  If Leland can't kill Rok off, I'm not sure the Ironclad is going to make it!  Ol' Rowdy walked around the forest to get a look at the rest of the field, and Stryker moved team up with him, shooting an Arcane Bolt at a Raider and killing it as he went, and then.... FEAT!!!!  To finish off, The Journeyman Warcaster cast Arcane Shield on the Light Ironclad to try and keep it alive.

Round 3, Trollkin:
The Raiders started the round by trying to fight back against the Sword Knights, but did NOTHING!!!  Stryker's feat saved the day.  The surviving Fire Eaters just kind of stood around the Lancer, not doing much.  Rok, much to my surprise, decided not to smash the Ironclad into scrap, but instead threw the warjack at Rowdy.  He missed hitting Stryker's buddy, but the Ironclad was knocked down after the throw.  Horgle moved up and put Primal on the Axer, who then charged straight into the Sword Knights, using Thresher, which lets him make one attack against every model in his front arc.  He got a great set of rolls, killing 2 Storm Knights and one Raider.  The Axer then bought 2 more attacks to kill off 2 more Knights.  Trollsus ran forward to keep up with the action, and the Basher inched over to set up for next round....and DTB ended his turn.  But WAIT!!!  Who is that still hanging out in the forest???  Volka?  WHAT ARE YOU DOING BACK THERE?  Two rounds in a row, the Curseborn was forgotten.

Round 3, Cygnar:
The Lancer attacked the Fire Eaters, killing one more.  The Mechanics went to work, moving forward to repair the Outtie TJ Charger for 3 points.  The JW Charger moved into the zone and shot another Raider, killing it.  The Journeyman herself moved up to hide behind her 'jack, while Runewood shot the Axer, sadly doing no damage.  The Sword Knight pressed their attack, killing off two more Raiders.  The Innie TW Charger moved, and took a shot at the Hero for 2 damage, followed by the Outtie TW Charger doing the same, who managed to kill the Hero, BUT the Hero is Tough, and can't be knocked down thanks to the Solid Ground spell that Horgle has had up the entire game (a good plan, since models lose Tough if they are knocked down, and that's one of the Trollkin's strongest points in the attrition game).  The Light Ironclad stood up and walked forward next to Rok again... my, what a brave 'jack!  Rowdy turned his attention on the final remaining Fire Eater and hits it twice, but oh no!  It is also Tough!  Sadly, luck can only run so long, and on Rowdy's third attack, he finally managed to squish it into a yucky blue paste.  Stryker walked up next to Rowdy and took a shot at one of the upcoming Champs hiding behind the wall, dealing 3 damage.  The Dark Ironclad charged another Champ, dealing 13 damage that got shared around a bit.  The Trencher Journeyman Warcaster moved up behind his Chargers, and R2D2 went next to Stryker and ....... BEEPBEEPBEEP!!! Game over!

Victory for the Trollkin.
What... is the fight over?
As the war of attrition began to swing against Stryker, the red haired warcaster signaled his forces to stand down.  If Horgle and his troops wanted to simply move through the area on their way to meet up with Borka, he would allow it, if it meant keeping his remaining warriors alive.

Great game, guys!  I especially love the way a very expensive solo just kind of hung out all game.  No wonder he's called the "Curseborn", his curse is so strong he got lost in the woods on his way to the fight!  Ha!  Thanks for letting me chronicle this epic battle!  Can't wait to throw my models down on the 18th!  If you're spoiling for a game, meet us there!

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