It’s been too long since my last blog was published. I had one written up about the glory of Cygnar in Mk II, but — seriously — WordPress ate it, and I was too pissed off to recreate from scratch. Short story there is that the new ’jacks, unit and caster have me very excited about my first faction.
But Thursday, I got a good reminder of why I like the Angry Elves.
The Hordes Mk II Field Test has me in a Mk II state of mind. My final Mark I event wrapped up last weekend (Foodmachine, 838 cans and $150 to the Idaho Food Bank) so I don’t feel bad about looking ahead to Mk II. I’ve got some issues to resolve on my own regarding Trolls (namely 5-wound cav), but I’m going to wait until everything is finalized to determine how much play the Bright Pinks will get in 2010. For the most part, I’m happy with the changes but there are still some models where I don’t have a clear idea of what the battlefield role should be.
I played two 15-point games on Thursday. While testing Trolls, I’ve determined this is a good point level to get a good look at unit/caster interactions. They play fast, they’re fun and it’s very easy to maintain focus. I don’t mind larger games, I just had some new toys I wanted to try out.
The marquee match of the night proved to be my game vs. Kater. He’s got 4 Bashers he’s been dying to check out. I had a Tiered list I had built to face Cantlon, but he couldn’t stick around so I used it against Searforge.
Tier 1 Rahn is surprisingly fun: Rahn, 3 Magisters, Battle Mages and a Phoenix (bear in mind his Tier allows for an extra Magister for every unit of Mages on the field). Kater brought Durgen with a Basher, Thor with a Basher and 6 Hammerfall High Shields.
As it turned out, my list was the perfect foil for AOE dwarves. Aside from the Phoenix, none of the models on my side of the board suffered blast damage. They were also +2 DEF against ranged attacks.
Kater won the roll and went first. Advance move got the Highshields further up field. Pronto got Thor’s Basher out front early and it ran, eager to engage Mittens and the Kittens. Durgen used Red Line to get his Basher closer to the fight.
My Turn 1 involved Mittens 1 using Force Bolt to move the Basher 3″ backward. Rahn arced Force Hammer on the second Basher and sent it into Durgen, knocking both of them down. Knowing how eager Kater was to Slam and Follow Up, Rahn put Polarity Shield on the Phoenix. It saved that ’jack.
Turn 2, Kater shook off the KD and sent his ’jacks back at my army. Thor’s Basher went after Mittens 1 and the Kittens, but didn’t bother with the grenade attack since they’re immune to blast damage. Durgen fired a Case Cracker round at the Phoenix and did 9 point of damage to it — all absorbed by the force field. A Battle Mage died to Dwarven gunfire.
My part of Turn 2… I didn’t pop Rahn’s feat until after Mittens 1 and the Kittens had activated. Mittens 1 charged the Basher and smacked it with a POW 15 Combo Smite. I think it moved 3″. The Kittens charged in and beat on the poor Basher with POW 11s. I forgot about Beat Back, which was just as well.
On Rahn’s side of the board, he was staring down Durgen and his Basher. The Phoenix had been loaded with 3 focus, but I had some things to do first. Rahn popped his feat and arced Telekinesis onto Durgen and turned his back to the Phoenix. The Phoenix charged and whacked Durgen hard on the first swing. Then he punched him. Two focus bought a second, boosted attack with the Thermal Blade that finished off the crazy Dwarven ’caster.
I really wasn’t that interested in playing Rahn; I’ve got the Mages because they’re part of me having a complete Retribution force. The Magisters are amazingly fun and Rahn actually gives me a decent amount of versatility and some interesting board control options. I should have made better use of his feat, but it wasn’t really all that necessary.
I’m pretty certain I’ll play more games with him; I did end up with a second unit of Battle Mages and a third Magister for when I want to run a Tiered list.
Game 1 on Thursday was Rayvn, Hydra, full Houseguard Halberdiers and Stormfall Archers vs. Goreshade, Death Jack and a Seether. I had the model advantage, but Cantlon advanced his ’jacks and cast Shadowmancer to keep my Archers from setting anything on fire. In return, I advanced my line of Shield Walled Halberdiers, Stormfall tucked in neatly behind them. Ravyn and the Hydra stayed on the left flank and advanced. Ravyn cast Vortex of Destruction and loaded the Hydra with 3 focus.
The second turn was more of the same. Turn 3, Cantlon popped Goreshade’s feat and lo and behold, here come 6 Bane Thralls charging into the teeth of the Halberdiers. This is where these guys earned their money. Normally a solid DEF 13, they’re DEF 15 vs. the charge thanks to Set Defense. Shield Wall gives them ARM 18 — not that it mattered, because the Banes whiffed on every single charge attack.
With 2-man CMAs, hitting and killing the Banes wasn’t an issue. Seven points for 10 of these guys is completely worth it, and unless I’m running a Tiered list that doesn’t permit them, I can see the Halberdiers on the field quite a bit. They’re as good of a delivery system as Temple Flameguard and Ranked Attack makes them the perfect meat shield for all of the ranged goodness the Retribution has to offer.
Cantlon struck back on the next turn, walking up with the Seether and killing a few Halberdiers. The Death Jack came and murdered most of the Stormfall. On my turn, the Hydra took a shot at Goreshade and missed. I knew I needed to kill the DJ, so Ravyn reared back and charged. With Vortex up, she had 4D6 of damage on the charge. Blade is POW 13, but I still did some serious damage to the Death Jack. A few more swings and it was toast.
With no focus left, and ARM 16, it didn’t take long for Goreshade to kill her. Not a horrible loss, but it reminded me of why I like Ravyn the most on paper. She’s fun.
The end result is that I’m back to playing Angry Elves until at least May. There are some very tempting things coming out for Cygnar and Protectorate, but I a lot of pointy-eared death that needs delivered.