| When Broadsides Bart tried to make land off the Cygnaran coast, "Siege" Brisbane's force avoided the long view of the lookout on Bartolo's ship and surprised the pirates with a well trained and well armed force of knights and soldiers. Bartolo put his warjacks and borrowed crew to the task. Nothing would stop him from fulfilling his contract.
I played a 500 pt. battle at Games Plus in Mt. Prospect with Thanatos73. We played a standard assassination battle, as we were both rusty and wanted to play the game and unhinge some rust. I also wanted to try my hand at putting up a Battle Report on the Dakka articles system just to see what it would look like in the end.
Throughout the piece I put fluff pieces in single cell tables and game information underneath.
by Felix Flauta / malfred
Your typical Warmachine battlefield
We deployed the terrain using the standard rules. I don't think Thanatos73 cared much as he had Siege Brisbane's guns, so I just went for a few linear obstacles. The green flat pieces are forests, but we couldn't find the trees in the club footlocker (or rather, we were too lazy to find them).
"How'd they get the jump on us?" Bart demanded of his man in the Crow's Nest, "These lubbers should have been none the wiser to our presence!"
"I-I-I-..." stammered the lookout, quavering in his boots as well as in his speech.
"Well get out here and summon the Hawk. We're going to need her to deal with Cygnar's finest. And perhaps she won't look too closely at turning those blades on us."
"And get the Master Gunner. I think I'm going to need some more powder."
My pirates lost the roll for first deployment, first activation, even with the Crow's Nest bonus. Thanatos73 opted to deploy first.
Army Points: 496/500
Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane
Long Gunners (8)
Precursor Knights (6)
Precursor Knight Officer and Standard Bearer
Storm Lances (4)
The Hunter advance deploys
The Longgunners deployed behind the main line of the Precursor Knights, while the Storm Lances setup along the flank to try to harry Broadsides lines. The Journeyman Warcaster's Hunter deployed near the brick wall pictured.
Army Points: 496/500
Victory Points: 17
Captain Bartolo Montador
First Mate Hawk
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Sea Dogs (9)
Sea Dogs unit, Mariner, Master Gunner, Bart, Mule, Hawk, Buccaneer
I need to work on my positioning. Here I just lined up my army with the warjacks near to Bart and the Mariner loaded by Master Gunner Dougall. I put the Buccaneer on the flank to try to net things so that my aoes could hit. I wasn't too concerned with the unit of Storm Lances up the field; they would have to try to negotiate around a forest (difficult terrain and denies charges), which would give me time to move up.
Slow and steady
The Precursor Knights advance into shield wall, a protective force for the Long Gunners behind.
Journeyman Warcaster Luke casts Arcane Shield on the Storm Lances and then moves to support Siege's actions. He sends the Storm Lances and his Hunter cautiously forward.
Siege Brisbane gathers his Long Gunners together and then casts Foxhole and Higher Ground to give them both a ranged threat and a defense against incoming bombardments from Bart's 'jacks.
I have a good long think on how to get the order of operations correct, and mostly get it right. The point of big guns and a Bart list is to (duh) shoot the enemy once and then cast Broadsides to get another shot. The Master Gunner adds to your ranged potential in various ways, while you have to advance carefully enough so that the Mariner always has someone to load the cannon it carries everywhere.
So the Master Gunner advances and uses Artillerist on the Mariner's gun for deviation rerolls and +2 on its ranged AOEs. In my list, ranged AOEs mean the Mariner or the Mule. The point with the Master Gunner is to advance him wherever I want the Mariner to be so that I can always fire its cannon.
We discuss whether or not I should say "Dougal Artillerists the Mariner" or "uses Artillerists ON the Mariner."
The Mule and Buccaneer both advance since I fail to assign them focus. No strategy involved, just completely forgot, which is the flaw in my careful advance. When Bart activates, he casts Hot Shot on the Mariner, advances and sits on the rest of his focus. The Mule has a limited range on its gun, so running it closer would have been more ideal, which would have set up my shooting for later turns. I try a Broadside instead, and try for lucky deviations from the two warjacks firing out of activation. The Precursor Knights, if they feel threatened at all, fail to flinch.
Hawk leads the way...what?
And then I mess up Hawk and the Sea Dogs activations. They start to run up the board on the side cross corner to the Storm Lances (I used the Talion Charter to reposition Hawk earlier), but this puts Hawk out of range of the Sea Dogs for Sucker to work but raises her DEF to 19 behind the wall. However, because of the wall, she cannot charge over it because even though she is Acrobatic (yay!) she does not have Pathfinder (boo!).
Siege doesn't move a bit, and his Long Gunners fail to be in range of Hawk en masse, and therefore miss, even with as many Combined Range Attacks as they can muster.
Fire! Fire! Fire!
Everything moves as before and I get into a rhythm. Upkeep Hotshot on the Mariner, move Dougall and use Artillerist on the Mariner, move the Mariner up and take a shot at the Precursor Knights, advance the Mule and fire a shot.
But just because it's a rhythm, doesn't mean it works. My shots deviate and fail to kill much except for the original Precursor Knight unit leader (except, hehehe). As oomiestompa says (off-camera, he's watching the game and eating a sandwich), I'll get to do it again. This turn.
I realize my Hawk blunder from earlier and run everyone up to set up some crazy kung fu charge on something.
However, Bart advances and opens up a Broadside that allows the Mariner to both hit and kill Knights.
You call that a gun?
Siege assessed the situation. The Knights would hold. They always did. He turned to the Long Gunners cowering behind the Knights, safe in their magical cocoon.
"Breach!" he commanded, and pointed to the enemy.
Siege uses Breach, halving the ARM of models in his control area (first attack to penetrate only). He takes one look at the Sea Dogs looking to Show Off to their lady commander Hawk and aims his Ground Pounder at them. Four Sea Dogs die: three directly and one takes the hit for Hawk.
The ground pound.
|"Sucker!" she laughed, and continued her swift advance toward the Long Gunners.
Half armor? try a quarter!
The Hunter boosts an attack against the elevated Buccaneer. When it hits, its shot penetrates and quarters the Buccaneer's armor: half for Breach and half for its gun. The shot ruins the Buccaneer's Gaffe and Cortex.
But The Buccaneer still has a net.
The Hunter uses its Reserve Tank and retreats to the rear of the army.
Fire for effect
In a combined effort, the Long Gunners open up on the Mule, dealing damage with their combined fire and dual shots.
In Morrow's Name
Sensing their incoming death, and knowing that the Long Gunners' survival relied on not allowing the killer Hawk into their lines, the Battle Chaplain declares a charge and prays In Morrow's Name, adding an additional damage die to their rolls. As one knight positions himself to occupy the foremost Sea Dog, the Battle Chaplain himself deals with Hawk. And with the effects of Breach up, the four damage dice is a guarantee (not to mention that she fails her Tough roll).
The Sea Dogs are down, but not out. They are no longer Fearless without Hawk on the table, but they haven't lost enough troops to take a leadership test.
The Lancers start to run around the woods to try to turn Bart.
Every gun I own
The Sea Dogs charge the remaining Knights and take them out of the game, but leave the Sea Dogs standing in the open for Longrifle fire.
The Master Gunner declares Double Powder Rations for every warjack in range, and every warjack gun fires. The Buccaneer's Net, the Mariner's Hotshotted and Artillerist enhanced Sea Gun, and the Mule's Steam Lobber all open fire on the lone warcaster. Steam Pressure gives the Mule extra range. And then Bart activates and they do it again (minus the aiming bonus for the Mule this time). Then he summons the Typhoon and threatens to knock over anything that tries to get too close, including the Storm Lances that have encircled Bart's force.
When the smoke clears, both Nets have failed and Siege's powerfield is severely battered, leaving him with some 4-5 damage boxes.
The Hunter finishes off the Mule with its penetrating fire and a single Long Gunner volley wrecks the Buccaneer.
"See the world," they said
With their remaining shots, the Long Gunners finish off the standing Sea Dogs.
Siege hurries behind his Long Gunners and restores power to his field. As the Storm Lances approach Bart, one runs too close to the Typhoon and finds itself knocked down, while the remainder of his squad slows their advance to accommodate the howling storm.
I've got the shot...
Oh wait, nevermind
Bart finds himself trapped between a storm of lances and a hard place as the Mariner also suffers a volley that wipes it off the table. He can't charge through the wrecks, and he certainly can't turn to face the Lances all by his lonesome. So he and Dougall do the next best thing.
The next best thing
Bart overboosts his powerfield so that he sits on an ARM 22 and runs to engage the Long Gunners. It was too bad that I hadn't the foresight to cast Crow and force a command check, but those are hardly useful anyway.
Dougall positions himself on the other side and dares the Lances to bring it on.
We're just going to back up a little bit...
The Long Gunners attempt to disengage from hand-to-hand combat with Bart, but two men die to Free Strikes. At this point we don't know whether or not I get to use the 1" Overtake move for successful Free Strike deaths.
The Long Gunners combine their fire and barely scratch Bart's armor.
Who did that?
The Hunter, with no medium or large base models on the table, takes a shot at Bart, boosts, and scratches him as well.
The bring it.
The Storm Lances bring it to the Master Gunner. Later on, I remember that Dougall is Tough and deserves a roll to see if he survives. He dies again.
"You!" Broadsides spat at the Cygnaran general even as the Long Gunners fired bullets into his armor. "Yo--!"
A slam cut off his second accusation.
Siege stood over him, which Havok in his hands, swinging against the force of Bart's enhanced powerfield. Again and again the man swung Havoc in whistling arcs that sounded like the landing of artillery shells on the man who could will a Broadsides to life.
"Yeah," Siege said, pausing to gather his breath. "Me."
Havok swung one last time, and Bartolo saw black.
Feel the Siege!
Emboldened by his army's successful shooting, Siege charges in for the kill and proceeds to damage Bart with Havok. The hammer pounds into Bart again and again.
But it pounds a little TOO hard, and knocks Bart out of melee 2". Bart's on his back, but Siege can't finish the job by himself.
Bart stands up, casts the Powder-keg using his remaining focus to boost to-hit and boost damage, and basks in its backwash of the AOE. Siege disappears from the battlefield, hoping to fight again.
Siege struggled to stand up. That last swing had absorbed the very last of his strength. Then he straightened, alert. The pirate was standing up!
"Appreciate the friendly shove," Bart said. A trail of bloody spittle ran down his chin. "This could get nasty if'n I stand too close."
"What? Your 'jacks are dead! Stand down, man!"
Bart snapped his fingers.
Siege's world exploded.
Post battle thoughts
- Rawtooth on the PP Boards informs me that Breach and Long Arm from the Hunter don't stack. So much for that idea! (Sorry, Than).
- oomiestompa points out that Overtake would have triggered when Bart got his freestrikes, so Thanatos and I had to be more careful about movement and activation that turn.
- oomiestompa also points out that Bart gets a Victory Howl after killing a living model, so in classic fashion I'll pick up some dice and roll to see if the Long Gunners would have run. I rolled an 8, so they stayed like they did in the report.
- Bart should have gotten a ranged attack every Broadside, too!
Siege: I love this Warcaster. I think he did alright this time (except for that damn Critical Slam!) I'll have to remember to read rules more carefully and remember when something says "may do X." Foxhole is a godsend for Long Gunners, and I timed his feat pretty well I believe.
Storm Lances: Should have kept them with the army and directly charged. Running around the army and harassing the opponent from behind is fun, but I don't think it worked so well this battle.
Precursor Knights: Good unit, but a bit pricey. Hit like a ton of bricks with that mini feat. Arcane Shield would be even nicer for them. Didn't really do a lot this game, except for keeping the Longgunners out of a charge, so that's good. (Note that Spell Ward on the Precursor Knights precludes them from having Arcane Shield being cast on them- malfred)
Jr. and the Hunter: I love this setup as the Hunter's extended range helps Jr. a lot, and 2 focus is perfect for the Hunter. Heavy Jacks fear the Hunter, rightfully so.
Long Gunners: MVP's for me. These guys put out so much hurt. Kills on the Sea Dogs, kills on Jacks, and if it weren't for Bart sitting on a lot of focus, they'd have hurt him pretty well too. Great unit, and Siege makes them so hard to kill with that blast immunity from Foxhole.
In the end, I had fun, Malfred is a great opponent and I got some games of Warmachine in, so it was a good day. And thanks to Malf for setting this up.
Bart's aoe ranged warjacks vs. Siege's Foxholed Long Gunners was an interesting match up that provided some unique problems. However, I felt that Foxhole meant that I was going to focus fire on everything EXCEPT the Long Gunners and then save the Long Gunners for melee (if possible). Denial elements in an army have a way of forcing you to completely eliminate other portions of the enemy's army.
I'm getting a ton of mileage out of Dougal/Bart/Warjacks. Dougal is the perfect loader for the Mariner (immune to blast damage). He becomes more susceptible to "bouncing" effects (chain lighting, ashes to ashes, etc.) and anything that threatens with such a tactic becomes a high priority target because you don't want to tie Bart to the Mariner in this low model count army.
Sadly, Hawk did not get to be much more than a distraction. I think it's a mistake to put her out front, even with her defensive ability Sucker. She needs to be behind or surrounded by Sea Dogs so that a few shots don't eliminate her Sucker targets and to keep enemies from charging her easily. With her Acrobatics ability she should be able to line up charges from the second wave in an army.
I think Thanatos's Storm Lances needed to be crammed down my throat and force me to make different targeting decisions. As it was, the Precursor Knights had giant bulls-eyes on them without the immediate threat of cavalry or the enticement of wiping out the Long Gunners. Also, I think Arcane Shield was wasted on a unit that removed itself from being presented as a target. It would have made more sense to have it on Siege or the Long Gunners in this battle (assuming that Thanatos ran his Lances the same way).
The Mule has a melee weapon, the Mule has a melee weapon. I have to keep telling myself this so that I remember it. As you'll see in the next battle, a warjack's melee weapon is a game-ender...