Fear the Boot and the Fight For America Hill
Wednesday, December 28, 2006
It was a cold and dreary night, but none of us cared because we were all crammed in the back room of the local gaming store, crowded around a table moving our little pewter figures around foam we called “hills” and felt we called “forests.” Somewhere in the midst of our madness we had a wild and crazy Warmachine/Hordes King of the Hill style game between myself, Eye Tyrant, Prorpger, and Patman while Superduck (aka the Breadstick King) watched on).
We decided to have a 350-point four-way King of the Hill style match. Instead of scoring on every turn, each player would earn a victory point if they had more models than anyone else on the hill at the end of their own turn starting with the second turn. The board was dominated by the hill in the center, but there were a few other terrain pieces scattered around the board. Only the hill in the middle and the forest between the Patman and my own deployment areas got any use. The hill itself had some rough edges but to be fair we decided the whole thing was a smooth surface and a model only had to get on part of it to be “on the hill.” Prorpger threw a plastic American Flag that was sitting around on the hill, giving it its name. Which was fine until we realized this must be Early America Hill since there were only four stars and three stripes on the flag. Regardless, the battle was soon joined…
After sitting around the table I won the initiative roll so started the game. The armies in the order we would take turns were:
Everblight (myself – I wanted to try the swordsmen so I was spotted 3 points)
- Seraph (Played by a Vanquisher while my Seraph is being assembled)
- Blighted Swordsman x6
Circle (Eye Tyrant)
- Avatar of Menoth
- Junior Warcaster
- Gun Mage Captain Adept
- Reinhold (Played by a Stormsmith)
I need to preface this by saying I made a pretty bad mistake with the digital camera. I turned the flash off to get clearer pictures, but I forgot that when the camera’s in auto mode it increases exposure time to compensate, resulting in some blurry pictures. I’ll know better next time but unfortunately some of these pictures aren’t all that great.
Vayl moved forward and slipstreamed the Carnivean into the forest to get it near the Cygnar deployment lines. The GMAC had set up near my troops, and I didn’t want him taking pot shots all game so I decided to Assault him first turn. I didn’t want to get my Carnivean killed doing so though, so I decided to go ahead and pop Vayl’s feat first turn. It wouldn’t have the impact it could have later in the game but it was my first game and I wanted to try it out. After feating and throwing out a few Spiny Growths, she ended her activation. The Carnivean then Assaulted the GMCA, killing him with his breath weapon. The Blighted Swordsmen ran to the hill, the first two getting the front edge of their bases on it. The Seraph and the Shredders advanced as well and I was done.
Baldur’s fuzzies run on the hill and the Warden walks towards my troops, triggering Cat and Mouse. I take the opportunity to move the Carnivean back to my side of the forest, safe from reprisal from the Cygnaran forces. The Warden then throws out an Earth Spikes, hitting a swordsman and killing him.
The Avatar runs onto the hill with his self-generated focus. The Reckoner advances and shoots the Warpwolf, scoring a critical hit and doing some severe damage to the beast. Kreoss follows behind and throws down Protection of Menoth on the Avatar.
I finally remembered to take pictures here:
Junior casts Arcane Shield on the Centurion and it advances towards the Avatar. The Lancer runs up onto the hill towards my troops. Siege fires a Ground Pounder and then a second shot (using Reinhold) at my blighted swordsmen, killing three more.
- Everblight: 1 (GMAC)
- Circle: 0
- Menoth: 0
- Cygnar: 0
The Seraph wings its way up on the hill and shoots at the Warpwolf, hitting a couple times but falling just short of finishing it off. The two remaining Swordsmen charge the Lancer with the benefit of Chiller and total it. The Shredder edges on to the hill, giving me three models/units on the hill and a VP. Vayl and the Carnivean move up, but keep the edge of the forest between her and Siege.
The Warpwolf Regenerates and the Argus moves up to Doppler Bark the avatar. The Woldwarden walks up onto the hill and hits the Seraph once for some pretty good damage. Baldur gets to the hill and feats, then heals the Warpwolf for four. There’s now four Circle models in the hill, giving them a VP for that.
The Reckoner shoots the Warpwolf again, doing some damage but not getting the second Crit. The Avatar uses Gaze of Menoth, much to the annoyance of everyone on the hill. Kreoss then repositions a bit behind the Reckoner to try to stay out of reach. Baldur’s feat meant Prorpger’s army wouldn’t have been able to move up and capitalize on Kreoss’ feat, so he didn’t use it.
Patman pounces. Siege feats and moves up, staying out of Baldur’s control area. He feats, then rains a ground pounder down on the Blighted Swordsmen, Seraph, and Shredder but misses them all. He then shot something else but I can’t remember what. Finally he cast Explosivo on Jr. Jr took a boosted shot at a Swordsman, killing him and his remaining unit member in the explosion. The Centurion, fully loaded on focus, charges up and around the Reckoner to get the spear on Kreoss. He gets the oh-so-important critical hit on the charge attack, all but guaranteeing Kreoss’s death. With Kreoss’s ARM dropped by Siege’s feat the first attack split Kreoss’s armor like a lobster shell and the second attack skewered the soft insides. Kreoss’ death deactivated the Reckoner, scoring Patman a load of VPs.
- Everblight: 4 (+1 from hill, +2 Lancer)
- Circle: 1 (+1 from hill)
- Menoth: 0
- Cygnar: 10 (+2 for swordsmen, +5 for Kreoss, +3 for Reckoner)
Able to see Baldur from where it is, the Seraph takes some shots with the aiming bonus. The die gods decided Baldur was to live and the dice came up three boxes short. The Shredder moved up on to the hill next, angling because of Baldur’s feat. With Siege’s feat having been used, Vayl and the Carivean break cover and advance on the hill outside Baldur’s control radius.
The Argus tries to Slam the Avatar back off the hill but misses on the attack. The Warpwolf gets the +2 STR warping and charges, tearing into the Avatar furiously. When it’s all said and done the Avatar is left with three boxes, but they’re enough to keep his hull and right arm (with his sword) in tact. Baldur puts up the Woldwarden’s animus and sits on three fury defensively. His three models on the hill nets him another VP.
The Avatar generated 3 focus and stood up (having been knocked down by Throat Ripper). Those three focus were enough to cram Burning Wrath down the Warpwolf’s throat, scoring Prorpger a kill.
After upkeeping Arcane Shield on the Centurion, Junior charged it and by some good die rolls managed to actually kill the Avatar. Siege walks up to just out of melee range with the Argus and attempts to Shockwave it back towards Baldur but doesn’t push it far enough. With the Woldwarden full on fury, he decides to take two shots (with Rinehold), one to kill the Argus then one to try and finish Baldur but the first shot on the Argus doesn’t quite finish it off. Patman thought about shooting the Argus again to kill it, but doing so would mean on my turn Baldur wouldn’t have anything to transfer to and I’d be in a better position to kill him, so he left it on the table for me to deal with. The Centurion advanced towards the hill to end the round.
- Everblight: 4
- Circle: 2 (+1 Hill)
- Menoth: 3 (+3 Warpwolf)
- Cygnar: 14 (+4 Avatar)
I actually had a great chance to kill Baldur. Vayl advanced to within 8” of him and put Chiller on the Seraph, raising it’s effective MAT to 9. The Shredder was forced to go rabid and circled around the Woldwarden staying out of melee range to finish off the Argus. Then the Seraph circled the Woldwarden (ignoring the free strike) and prepared to impale Baldur… until I realized Vayl forgot to heal him and he was missing his Spirit and Mind. That mistake cost me the ability to force forcing and one attack die. I still could have hit on a 5, but I rolled a 3 and missed. The Carnivean ran up to engage the Woldwarden, positioning itself so that if it wanted to move to attack Vayl it would receive two free strikes and a Dark Sentinel attack to boot and ended my turn.
The Woldwarden turned and smacked the Seraph around, taking out its last few boxes. Baldur then charged Siege. Tritus was a pretty mean weapon, but Siege’s ARM proved a bit too high and Baldur couldn’t quite finish him off.
With Baldur at 3 wounds left, it was just a matter of hitting him before he died. Siege had take a few swings, but once he connected the rest was trivial. In addition he scored a VP for most models on the hill at the end of his turn.
- Everblight: 6 (+2 Argus)
- Circle: 4 (+2 Seraph)
- Menoth: 3
- Cygnar: 20 (+5 Baldur, +1 Hill)
At this point we decided to call the game. The mall was almost closing, and a quick tally showed I had the Carnivean, Shredders, and Vayl left on the table and Patman had the Centurion, Siege, Rineholdt, and Junior (10 VPs) and Eye Tyrant had his Woldwarden (3 VPs). Even if I ran the table on my turn I’d at best tie the game (with the 1VP for models on the hill). It would have required above average die rolls, and any mistake would have meant the game. So we decided to pack up and clear out before the security guards came by the store and hassled the owners.
I hung back too far and didn’t get into the game enough to really kill much. I don’t’ think I got a lot of use out of Vayl’s feat, but considering Baldur’s feat was up through the middle turns I probably wouldn’t have gotten much more later in the game. As it was I kept GMCA off my flank, which was good enough. Last thing I needed was my beasts getting thunderbolted around the table or my Shredder and Seraph Blazed to death. Blighted Swordsman are mean… with fearless the last few will always stick around and with Weaponmaster they can really wreck someone’s day. Or at least their Lancer.
I think that had I healed the Seraph I would have had a shot at winning, but I just didn’t think to look at his card before the turn and didn’t. Oh well, next time I’ll remember.
Eye Tyrant had a streak of bad luck. He did a lot of damage to multiple models/units, but just didn’t finish many off, denying him VPs. He really should have gotten the Avatar at the very least, which would have bumped him up to second place. Baldur’s feat would have been extremely useful in this scenario except that there were so many targets out there. Patman was able to attack Prorpger without having to enter Baldur’s feat, so while it did keep anyone from taking the hill they wound up just directing their attention elsewhere.
Taking the turn after Eye Tyrant hosed Kreoss on the second turn. Baldur’s feat meant he couldn’t get to the hill to capitalize on his feat, so he held off. In hindsight using it would have knocked the Centurion down and saved him, but I don’t think he expected the jack’s reach to make it around the Reckoner. It was a gamble to hold off on the feat, and unfortunately he lost that wager. But now he’s faced a Centurion and can draw on the experience later.
Patman was really frustrated when his GMCA died first thing then he lost his Lancer to the Swordsmen, but in the end he didn’t need them to finish everyone off. The Centurion served him well and Siege’s gun just proved a pain to anyone on or near the hill for three turns. Rinhold did what Rinehold dies and the Arcane Shield battery actually brought down the Avatar (with just a little help from the Warpwolf). All in all he rolled well and pulled off the win.