Another game of Warmachine against Retribution, this time against Garryth! I've had some pretty scary encounters with this warcaster in mark 2, as his own personal assassination threat is pretty nuts and his feat can absolutely wreck an unprepared player. Not being able to transfer is a terrible position for a warlock to be in and Garryth's feat stops not just transfering, but spending focus or fury, casting spells, or channeling.
I also took many more pictures this time around, lesson learned from last time!
My list was once again my Tannith list running six scarsfell griffons.
Tannith, the Feral Song
-Scarsfell Griffon x4
-Scarsfell Griffon x2
Bloodweaver Night Witch x2
Sentry Stone and Mannikin x2
Objective: Fuel Cache
And my opponent was playing a very speedy looking Garryth list:
-Moros (proxied by an aspis for the first couple of turns)
Dester Thane (proxied by Skareth Issyan)
Arcanist Mechanic x3
Mage Hunter Assassin x2
Nayl made me raise my eyebrows a bit, remembering his awfulness in mark 2. He hasn't changed much, but the only shooting I have is arcing spells on Tannith's feat turn or sentry stones which will probably be dead to Destors pretty quickly anyway. Nayl removes focus and fury from models within 8 inches of him when he is killed by an enemy attack, and then prevents them from casting spells or being forced for a round.
We rolled up Scenario 1: Entrenched.
My opponent won the roll and opted to go first. It took me less than a second to decide on the bottom half of the table. The objective being so close to that forest would be a big deal with the ability to place a 4" cloud every turn, and I could run my griffons up behind the central forest pretty aggressively without fear of retaliation. The trench was an added bonus, lots of my models like having cover.
My opponent skewed his destors right to take advantage of the relatively terrain free half of the board.
I deployed fairly centrally, dedicating Una and one sentry stone to the far zone and Tannith's much larger battlegroup towards the right. I stuck the Feral in the middle as sort of a flex piece, he can go either way depending on how the lines get drawn.
The most important pieces placement wise here are the sentry stones. The Mage Hunter Assassins are very, very capable of killing a griffon in one attack (Dice -4 on four dice = 10 damage, double that for decap and you're looking at 20 damage per on average, and the griffons only have 22 boxes), and I cannot afford to lose two of them early since they are what the list is completely built around.
The sentry stones can keep the mage hunters off of me for at least a turn just by being there. My opponent also has a very healthy respect for them due to past games and doesn't like to sit inside the 20" threat turn 1.
The other piece of note is Hutchuk - he's very central but skewed left. My idea here is that my opponent will have to split his forces to contest his own zone and that means Hutchuk will get to rust one heavy and probably live to rust the next one.
Ret Turn 1:
My opponent has a pretty standard turn here. The Phoenix and Moros run up the table on the right, while Garryth sticks Sentry on the Sphinx, Psychic Vampire on himself, and Mirage on the Phoenix. The apparition on his arc node is going to be very annoying if I can't kill it in one turn.
His Mage Hunter Assassin's park themselves 20.1 inches away from my sentry stones, and Elara's battlegroup moves up on the right, with the Sphinx sitting behind the wall. I had no idea what a Sphinx did, and apparently its gun allows any friendly faction model to get +2 inches of range on their spells against whatever it shoots. That combined with Speed of Death which Elara cast on herself and Sentry which allows it to make a ranged attack during his maintenance phase could be very problematic with Gallows on Garryth's spell list.
Elara moves up and casts the aforementioned Speed of Death and the Destors scream up the side as expected. The Thane moves up behind them to give them Unyielding and the mechanics and other sundry solos run up as well.
Circle turn 1:
I place the cloud generated from my objective so that it connects with the forest to block LOS to everything behind it.
My left sentry stone activates first, gets one fury and ports forward, with the mannikins running up in front to screen it. Una casts guardian beast and advances to well outside threat from the MHA and Phoenix and her Griffons activate, one casting Dodge on itself and charging and the other just running up to slightly outside the MHA threat range of 14".
On the right, I again roll 1 for fury on the Sentry Stone after killing a Mannikin with a Nightwitch. The placed Mannikin aims, the other two advance. I manage to hit but not damage one Destor with sprays.
Tannith casts Scything Touch on a Griffon and Admonition on herself before advancing. The Griffons mostly advance and animus up this turn, while the Feral warps armor and runs. Hutchuk goes mid ish and so does Alten, pinging the Phoenix for nothing but giving it a completely inconsequential Grievous Wound.
Lanyssa chills out behind the forest with the Nightwitches since I probably need Hunter's Mark over there more.
Ret turn 2:
The cloud/forest wall has thrown my opponent for a bit of a turn. I think he was expecting to hurl cavalry at me and instead is only presented with two Mannikins that I don't really care about. I've also managed, totally on accident, to put the frontmost Mannikin 10.5 inches from the Sphinx so he doesn't get to benefit from Sentry.
He upkeeps all three of his spells from Garryth and Speed of Death on Elara. One focus is given to the Phoenix and one to Moros after the Phoenix apparitions up and to the left, mostly out of the rough terrain.
His left mage hunter charges in and kills a Mannikin, and his Phoenix charges the yellow Scarsfell. I get cute here and trigger Guardian Beast and move the blue Scarsfell up around behind the Phoenix. My opponent, seeing this, chooses to combust the Phoenix rather than make his charge attack, lighting both of them on fire and frying another Mannikin. One bought and boosted attack later and the yellow Griffon is on two boxes, and is also on fire.
We debated pretty hard before he went in here whether this was going to be worth it. He didn't think that the Feral with Paralysis was going to be enough to kill his Phoenix and he also was banking on one of those two Griffons dying. The math on that isn't great though, the fire damage should do about six to it, and then a bought POW 17 should do another 11. He cranked that second damage roll, but he would have needed a 12 to kill it with the one attack.
The Destors move up and shoot things, notably killing my poorly faced Nightwitch. They reposition back and around, but critically he fails to kill the farthest up Mannikin. The Griffon (his Griffon, not mine, cuz, you know, we both have them) charges in at it and ALSO fails to hit it, so no triggering Silence of Death and waltzing out.
Nayl runs straight at me, he had move up so very little on my opponents' turn that I had forgotten about him. He's about six inches away from Tannith and I'm more than a little concerned.
Moros moves up and shoots my feral with a paralyzing shot, doing decent damage.
Elara has to move up a touch to keep her jacks in control. She camps three.
Garryth moves up and doesn't do much, and the other Mage Hunter Assassin runs behind a Destor.
Circle turn 2:
I get lucky here and the fire on the nearly dead Scarsfell rolls out. The other one is not so fortunate and takes seven damage to his mind, crippling it.
I've got a lot of models in my face, but I have a decent plan here. If I can throw the Phoenix into Moros, Hutchuk can Rust them both. I can have Una heal her scarsfells, which should be enough to kill them both if I can get Scything Touch onto one of them.
With this in mind, I don't upkeep Scything Touch but I do upkeep Admonition.
The cloud stays, but moves back a bit to keep his Destor out of it.
The Feral is 6.5 inches from the Phoenix, so he activates first, warping Strength. He walks up to the jack and boosts a double handed throw into him, hitting, winning the strength check, and then boosting to hit Moros, which also connects. So far so good.
Hutchuk walks up as far as he can and throws a rust bomb at the Phoenix. I roll double 1's. Fortunately, the rust bomb can only deviate 2.5 inches which is not enough to fall off the Phoenix, although it doesn't catch Moros with the drift.
Tannith activates and feats, using the Feral as an arc node to channel Scything Touch onto the blue Scarsfell and putting Primal on a couple Scarsfell's near her (the brown one and the one curled up in a ball). She then puts Dodge on herself.
Una activates and heals both of her Scarsfells to full aspect use, before pumping three shots into the Phoenix and not doing much damage. Her Griffons charge in, killing the Phoenix and leaving Moros on 7.
The left Sentry Stone activates and makes a Mannikin and another fury (kept rolling one for those this game). The Mannikin charges the knocked down Moros and...doesn't quite kill him. Alten charges in, kills Moros, and repositions out of there.
The Griffon to Tannith's left walks up and boosts a double handed throw into Nayl, chucking him towards Elara and killing him, which strips his fury, her focus, the focus off the sentry stone, and catching the Scarsfell with Primal on him right in front of Tannith so he cannot be forced.
The brown Griffon charges the Destor Thane and kills him, critically getting rid of the other Destors Unyielding, then puts Dodge on himself. The curled up Griffon walks up and kills the Destor engaging the Mannikin. I see a good opening here and the other one walks up and throws the Ret Griffon away as well. This allows my Sentry Stone to activate, roll 2 for fury (yesss), pop out a Mannikin within 8 of Elara and have him aim. One boosted spray later and she's off the table, rendering the Sphinx and Griffon inert.
The remaining Nightwitch flubs her attack rolls and doesn't kill the Destor she goes into.
This is one of the most janky turns I've ever had, power attacks everywhere! Unfortunately, Moros not dying meant that I couldn't use the Mannikin to try and kill the Mage Hunter Assassin, and the other Mage Hunter Assassin lived because the Nightwitch failed to kill the Destor (not that I really expected her to).
Ret turn 3:
Well my opponent surely isn't happy. I've killed his two main damage jacks and made the other two pretty much useless. He still has four Destors left, but that's not going to do much since they can't see Tannith.
He upkeeps Psychic Vampire and lets Sentry drop. His Destors kill the Griffon closest to them in the zone, as well as the Nightwitch. They reposition slightly. The Mage Hunter Assassin on the right charges in needing a 6 to hit the blue Griffon and misses. The Arcanist charges it as well and also misses, although he needed an 8.
Garryth shoots Alten to death, and moves up to feat, although I believe this was a mistake and he should have moved over and reactivated the Sphinx this turn.
So many things are going to frenzy on my turn....
Circle turn 4, in which birds freak out and murder their brethren:
Una yanks three from the blue Scarsfell, and Tannith pulls some from the Feral. Una's remaining Griffon frenzies into the Mannikin in front of it. The curled up Griffon frenzies into the Mannikin next to it. The brown Scarsfell frenzies into the inert Ret Griffon. Tannith upkeeps Scything Touch and Admonition.
The blue Griffon kills both the Mage Hunter Assassin and the Arcanist, and the Sentry Stone Mannikin that gets spawned charges the objective. Despite some pretty hot rolls there, I can't get anything else to dent it much and I leave it on one after Una boosts three shots into it, Hutchuk bombs it, and Lanyssa ice bolts it.
The Feral warps armor and runs to the right zone. The not frenzied Griffon flies over the objective and kills both the Destors in the zone. Tannith measures and finds she is 10" from the Mage Hunter Assassin, so walks six towards it and shoots it to death, conveniently catching the upper Destor with Shadow Bind and allowing me to dominate my zone for 1. The Druid Wilder pulls the fury off the Feral (say that ten times fast, I dare you).
Ret turn 5, in which a Jack gets reactivated and elves on horses go bird hunting.
My opponent goes into the tank, wishing he'd cast Mirage on Garryth rather than upkeeping Psychic Vampire. He activates the Destors first, moving them up. I trigger Admonition and walk away from Garryth with Tannith, I have no desire to randomly die if I've forgotten something. He shoots the brown Griffon for trivial damage.
Sylys whispers Arcane Secrets to Garryth, who moves up, reactivates the Sphinx, and casts Gallows at the close Griffon until it dies. He charges an Arcanist at the Sentry Stone, needing an 18 to kill it and rolling a 17, phew!
Circle turn 5, in which a bird tries to throw an elf and another bird goes horse elf hunting.
Tannith upkeeps Scything Touch for free, although in hindsight the Druid Wilder may have been too far away for that to happen....hmmm...must remember to check that every turn they're not practically base to base.
The blue Scarsfell has a daring plan, so Una walks up and heals both her birds up. At some point turns previously the second fire had rolled out.
The blue Griffon walks up to Garryth and attempts to throw him, but misses. The Feral whines a little bit because he wanted to snack on an elf, but Tannith keeps him in check.
The yellow Griffon charges the poor Arcanist and murders him.
A spawned Mannikin on the left charges and kills the objective, and Hutchuk runs to control the zone.
The Griffon in the right zone walks over and puts down both cavalry models. A spawned Mannikin boosts and kills the Arcanist in the zone, and Tannith casts Admonition on herself and walks up into the zone but behind the cloud. The Druid Wilder runs over.
Ret turn 6, in which Garryth is a boss.
My opponent knows it's over, but he wants to kill stuff regardless. Garryth casts Gallows at the Griffon engaging him until it dies, then walks over to the other Griffon and hits it twice to kill it.
The Sphinx runs to the zone and contests, and the void tracer runs to the bottom zone to contest.
Circle turn 6, in which the Feral finally gets to kill something.
We want to see how many attacks it takes a Feral with Primal and Scything Touch to kill his Sphinx. Hutchuk backs up and the Sphinx misses it's free strike! He rusts it up.
Tannith applies said buffs to the Feral, which charges the Sphinx and kills it with two initial attacks - swinging at dice +4 does crazy things to the math.
The two Griffons on the right kill the inert Ret Griffon, and a Sentry Stone Mannikin murders the Void Tracer so Tannith dominates the bottom zone again.
Victory for the Druids!
For fun, my opponent wanted to see what Garryth could do had he not lost that turn. He proceeded to charge the Feral and roll 6,6,6,6 for damage, killing it in two hits before murdering Hutchuk with a boosted Gallows.
Post Game Thoughts:
Forests are this lists best friends. Every piece of terrain on the board is going to negatively affect my opponent in some way, but not most of this list. The damage that birds can get up to is absurd under the layers of buffs. Definitely need to keep Hutchuk safe, he is the lynchpin of this list into Warmachine lists.
The other thing this list has going for it is a gross amount of out of activation movements. I've had games where a Griffon dodges away from 2 heavy jacks and just laughs as about 40 points worth of models went in and failed to kill it. The following turn, Hutchuk rusted them up and they blew up.
This is not an easy list to play, but it is a ton of fun. I think I could have played Lanyssa a little tighter, she did almost nothing that entire game. Other than that, I think I played pretty well. My opponent gave me some openings that perhaps he should not have, but I don't think anyone looking at the table the turn I killed half his list would have foreseen 3 throws completely ruining his placement and allowing me to kill both of his Jacks, Nayl, and through Nayl, Elara.
As always, thanks for reading, back soon with more silliness!