PDX Round 2: Iona (Dev Host) vs. Iona (Dev Host) - Warmachine and Hordes Circle Battle Report

In round 2 of the PDX open, I ran into another Washington native who was ALSO running Iona/Something in Bones. We looked at our lists, realized that our Bones lists had basically no chance into the Iona lists, and went for the Iona off.

The only difference between Pygn’s list and my own was he had a free Wolf Rider Champion and I had a free Ravager Whitemane, a difference which I felt put me at a slight advantage since MAT 8 Ravagers into Surefoot are a LOT better than MAT 7 Ravagers.

Pygn won the roll off, and then spent a few minutes considering. Normally going first is 100% the correct move (and it probably was this game as well), but there was an incredible defensive house cutting off half of his zone that he ultimately decided was worth taking.

- Blood Shaman
- Ghetorix
- Stalker

Lord of the Feast
Wolf Rider Champion
Ravager Shaman
Bloodweaver Night Witch

Boilmaster and Cauldron
Brighid and Caul
Ravagers and CA
Ravagers and CA

- Blood Shaman
- Ghetorix
- Stalker

Lord of the Feast
White Mane
Ravager Shaman
Bloodweaver Night Witch

Boilmaster and Cauldron
Brighid and Caul
Ravagers and CA
Ravagers and CA

I put prey on his Wolf Rider Champion and he puts prey on Iona.

Jaden Turn 1:

Lord of the Feast gets loaded up on Corpses and runs up the table. My Bloodweaver Nightwitch hangs out behind him, threatening the entire zone. She is arguably the second most important model in my list in this matchup.

We discover at some point in here that Chain Lightning off the Ravager Shaman can be bounced off friendly models.

My Stalker moves up aggressively onto the hill, and my Ravagers just move up such that Lord of the Feast can only bird to the two closest guys, netting himself a grand total of 2 Ravagers.

Pygn turn 1:

Loudly complaining about this matchup has earned us the mockery of the players around us (as it ought to), and Pygn goes to great pains to preserve one of his Ravager units by running it back and away from Lord of the Feast.

The other unit gets Surefoot from Iona, who also puts Phantasm on the Ravager Shaman and stays 1 Pagani (3.2 inches) away from things Lord of the Feast can bird too. His Lady of the Feast gets corpsed up and runs behind the building.

His Battlegroup moves up cautiously, as do the Wolf Champ and Brighid and Caul.

Jaden turn 2:

My eyeballing senses are tingling, and sure enough I can get to Caul with multiple Bloodweavers this turn. That prompts an ambush on the top left.

Things start off with Lord of the Feast getting Puppetmaster and Caul getting more corpses.

My Stalker charges into one of his Ravagers, hits it twice with boosted attacks but the silly thing makes both tough checks and my Stalker ends up sitting there instead of safely behind the building.

Lord of the Feast moves up and Blood Reapers both Ravagers down before attempting to bird into the Chieftain. This was probably a bad move in hindsight, as I could have charged one of the Ravagers instead and then birded into his Spirit Cauldron to kill it and the Ravager Shaman instead, but I went for the Chief because without Vengeance my Stalker was only in charge range of one Ravager next turn and I felt like that was an almost instant win there.

I miss the re-rollable 8 and Lord of the Feast sits sadly, doing nothing for the second game in a row.

The ambushing Weavers murder Caul, keeping three well back so that I might be able to tag some Ravagers with Grievous Wounds later.

I think really hard about Feating this turn and taking the bait Ghetorix with a Hunters Mark, but I decide that the absolute key to this matchup is feating second so Iona drops some fury and runs to the house, rotating so her back arc is to it and nothing can meaningfully attack her without being in her front arc now.

Pygn: “This game is really dumb”.

Me: “Yeah, sure is”.

I hold my Ravagers back, but I derp and leave the Chieftain from the Surefoot unit in range of the table edge and without facing at it as he ought to have been.

I contest his zone with a throw away model so that he has to trigger Vengeance, and move the Nightwitch way back from things I think are going to kill her, with Brighid and Caul also kicking around for the counter attack.

Pygn turn 2:

The Ravagers are too good of targets, so the Bloodweavers pop up on the bottom left.

Ravagers from the dark unit Vengeance up, and Iona drops both of her spells.

Iona goes first, Feating and moving out of killbox. She puts Phantasm on the larger unit of Ravagers.

The dark Ravagers get three charges and one runs to within 4 of my Nightwitch with his back arc to the Ravager Shaman.

The unit obliterates Lord of the Feast, but leaves my Stalker on 2 health (!!!).

Pygn opts to kill the Nightwitch with the Ravager Shaman since he is (rightfully) more worried about her than the Stalker.

His Wolf RIder kills a few Weavers, and then his Nightwitch charges into my Surefoot unit to dispel. She misses her first attack even with the reroll and so that Ravager dodges away and she has no other targets in melee.

The Ambushing Weavers kill my Chieftain to the box and nuke another Ravager as well.

Ghetorix chomps my bait Ravager and puts up Spiny Growth.

We both score one, and sadly I have no picture of this turn.

Score: 1 - 1

Jaden turn 3:

I’ve got a fair amount more left than I expected. I upkeep Surefoot, and Iona goes first and Feats, charging the Chieftain from the dark unit. She misses, even with the reroll, and he dodges out of her melee range. She heals the Stalker and is done.

The Stalker goes for Warp Berserk and boosts a bunch of hits into things and kills them all. The Ravager Shaman not doing Hunters’ Grace was a big deal.

The two remaining Weavers kill the Wolf Champ, so Brighid and Caul swap prey to the dark unit. They charge in and finish it off and take over that zone for me. Prey swaps to Lady of the Feast.

Ravagers on the left kill all of the Weavers and just sort of durdle around on Corpses. I think really hard about trying to overtake through his front two Ravagers into his Chieftain, but I decide against it. Hunters’ Grace goes up and I position my Whitemane to come in and put some serious hurt on anything that tries to get into the bulk of my Ravagers.

I score 3 points to none this turn.

Score: 4 - 1
Advantage Jaden

Pygn turn 3:

The Stalker comes in and kills the foremost Ravager and then sprints into my zone. I decide this is a good time for a countercharge and knock out his mind I believe.

The other Ravager unit runs up the table to contest the zone in a lot of places and be annoying. Nothing triggers vengeance on the unit with a CA left.

Pygn’s Ghetorix moves up and puts Spiny Growth up but critically does not go into the left zone here.

Lord of the Feast charges in and kills the Stalker, missing Iona with the swing so she dodges, and doing a few damage to Caul. The Ravager Shaman charges in and finishes Caul off, contesting my zone.

Pygn scores 1 - 0 and that’s the turn.

Score: 4 - 2
Advantage Jaden

Jaden turn 4:

I see a cute way to instantly win here, but it relies on a lot of tough checks not being made.

I start things off on the right, where the Spirit Cauldron uses spectral lash to mostly kill Lord of the Feast and drag them in. Brighid kills him with the charge attack, swaps Prey to the Ravager Shaman, and uses Quick Work to kill that model. Prey swaps to Iona. I should note that I charged to a location where Pygn’s Iona could not charge to Brighid because off the building, and she is too far away to walk and attack.

My Iona puts Pursuit on Pygn’s Ghetorix, and then my Whitemane charges the Stalker and misses. The Ravager Shaman charges in and does some damage, and then Ghetorix puts up Spiny Growth and finishes off the other Warpwolf.

It takes me too many resources, so I cannot contest the other zone, but I clear all but one Ravager from the left zone and that little bugger toughs to deny me the point.

I score 2 - 1.

Score: 6 - 3
Advantage Jaden

Pygn turn 4:

Iona starts things off by putting Surefoot on Ghetorix and Pursuit on my Ghetorix. His Ghetorix charges my objective, and so Iona gets out of dodge. The objective dies and Ghetorix puts a few damage into my Ghetorix.

The Boilmaster runs to contest my zone, and Pygn’s Tharn sort of bounce off my Tharn.

Pygn scores a total of 2 points to my none this turn.

Score: 6 - 5
Advantage Jaden

Jaden turn 5:

Iona upkeeps Pursuit and Surefooti. I am still unable to kill his unit in the zone, too many things keep toughing and he keeps one Ravager alive.

My Ghetorix sacs movement, puts up Spiny Growth and then boosts hit and damage on his Ghetorix, doing about 10 through Rapid Healing.

My Spirit Cauldron absolutely nukes the Boilmaster in conjunction with Brighid, who walks way away.

I verify that his Iona cannot get to mine, and then mine kills off his Cauldron. We score 1 - 1 again. We were super low on clock, so no pics.

Score: 7 - 6
Advantage Jaden

Pygn turn 5:

He has nothing to contest my zone with, so he flails at my Ravagers with his Ravager and his Ghetorix whacks my Ghetorix.

Iona moves over to threaten my Iona and we both score again.

Score: 8 - 7
Advantage Jaden

Jaden turn 6:

We’ve less than 2 minutes each on our clock at this point, but I only need to kill a Ravager and Ghetorix, which does happen. I contest his zone, and then Iona and Brighid both run to the back edge of the right zone. I score 3 - 0 and pass the turn. Pygn looks at the table and concedes as he cannot prevent me from scoring three more points to instantly win and Iona has no way to get to my Iona.

Victory (Defeat?) for Circle!

Post-Game Thoughts:

Neither of us had played the mirror before, neither of us ever wants to again. We both agree that going first was the most important part of this matchup. I’m not sure what else to say about this game. Brighid was a boss, scoring the zone for several turns straight and killing off a ton of models between charging and Quick Work.

I was happy to see that there was very little chance of seeing another Iona mirror after this, and scrambled away to go get some lunch before round 3 started half an hour later.

Stay tuned for round three, and thanks for reading!