PDX Round 3: Iona (Dev Host) vs. Dreamer (Dark Menagerie) - Warmachine and Hordes Circle Battle Report

After a hasty lunch of a very tasty burrito, I found myself paired with Jesse who had a Dreamer DM and King of Nothing DM pairing. Bret and I have practiced into Grymkin extensively with Iona and found the matchup to be very good for Iona, so I was fairly confident with my choice since he did not have any Clockatrices in his lists (yet). Jesse picked Dreamer, and then after I won the roll off he picked the Accursed and Ill Omens Arcana in addition to the Dreamer’s trump. Accursed was a pretty sweet pick here, as denying rapid healing and tough is huge into Tharn.

Dreamer
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Cage Rager
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Gorehound
- Gorehound
- Crabbit
- Crabbit

Death Knell

Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm

Iona
- Ghetorix
- Stalker
- Blood Shaman

Lord of the Feast
Ravager Shaman
Ravager White Mane
Night Witch

Boilmaster and Spirit Cauldron
Bloodweavers
Brighid and Caul
Ravagers and CA
Ravagers and CA

Brighid and Caul put prey on the Death Knell.

Circle turn 1:

The Cauldron gave Lord of the Feast three corpses, and he ran up max distance. Brighid and Caul did too, which was a mistake in hindsight since frankly, I’m not used to being able to do that with them and so they got well outside of the corpse range from the Cauldron for next turn.

Everything else screamed up the field, with Iona putting Surefoot on one unit of Ravagers and charging the Death Knell.

Grymkin turn 1:

Things largely run. The Gorehounds go way way wide on the right, and another moves up to the side of the house on the left. The Dreamer arcs Enfeeble at Brighid and Caul and then uses Abyssal Gate to turn Caul around and push him back.

Circle turn 2:

I measure, and I can get two Bloodweavers on one and three on the other assuming the leader runs to keep everyone in command, so that unit ambushes.

I upkeep Surefoot.

The Bloodweavers charge in, the back three taking the Gorehound off the table and the front two leaving him on a couple boxes. All Fall Down is triggered on the Bloodweaver that makes the kill. The Ravager unit with Surefoot moves in and one of them kills the Gorehound with the rest hanging well back.

Iona swaps Surefoot to Lord of the Feast who moves up into the remaining Gorehound’s back arc. In hindsight, this was a greedy play, but ah well. He tries to bird the Beast, but he needs a re-rollable 9 (thanks Puppetmaster!) even with back arc because the Hound has a sliver of cover from the building and he misses.

The Stalker moves to threaten the entire zone, Ghetorix contests left, and then the rest of the Ravagers shuffle around.

The Nightwitch strips off Enfeeble from Caul and the pair turn around in the middle so that the Death Knell has to back up to get away from them.

Grymkin turn 2:

Jesse starts things off with the Death Knell, which moves up to let Dreamer get out of the killbox. She moves to the side and up and puts Manifest Destiny into play. She also puts Enfeeble on the Stalker.

The right most Cage Rager takes a free strike to get into another Ravager, and so Jesse pops Accursed.

I thought really hard about this free strike, and ultimately decided that I would rather have him just kill five Ravagers this turn and not have to worry about it for the rest of the game.

The Cage Rager moves to the side and smacks the other Ravager down, and then the Skin and Moans moves up and kills four more. The Gremlin Swarms move to be annoying and the turn is mine.

Circle turn 3:

My Ravagers Vengeance up and do some damage.

Iona Feats and reapplies Surefoot to the most prevalent Ravager unit. The Nightwitch clears out the Gremlin Swarms, which triggers Ill Omens.

Caul and Brighid ruthelessly destroy the battle engine, and even with Ill Omens, my Ravagers are accurate enough and hit hard enough to take out the right hand Cage Rager and the Skin and Moans in my face. They nearly kill the back one as well.

My Stalker flails at the Cage Rager. He is effective MAT 3 between Enfeeble and the Arcana and he doesn’t do a ton.

Ghetorix holds the zone steady, and I am about to pass the turn over when I realize I’ve a Ravager from each unit out of the zone, so I will not be scoring any points here.

Grymkin turn 3:

The Dreamer drops Enfeeble since the Stalker is likely to die. She goes Incorporeal and puts out Manifest Destiny.

The Skin and Moans uses Lurker to get Bushwhack, kills the Ravagers and backs up.

The Two Cage Ragers kill the Stalker and Brighid and a Ravager, but Caul is able to dodge out of the way. Because I have lost a Ravager from the red unit, I am now scoring the right zone, so Jesse walks and jumps a Crabbit to contest.

Circle turn 4:

A bunch of things are facing the wrong way, so I am only able to put attacks into the Skin and Moans with a bunch of Ravagers. Ghetorix comes out of the zone to kill one of the Cage Ragers, and the lone Bloodweaver runs back to score the right hand zone and Iona heads that way to stay away from the Cage Rager.

I kill the Gorehound with an amusing combination of a Ravager and the Blood Shaman.

I score one.

Score: 1 - 0
Advantage Circle

Grymkin turn 4:

The last Crabbit contests, the Dreamer runs to take the formerly Ghetorix occupied zone, and the Cage Rager smashes some things to pieces.

Score: 1 - 1
Tie!

Circle turn 5:

Ghetorix finishes off the Cage Rager, the Ravagers kill the objective, and Caul runs to control the vacant left zone. Iona kills off the contesting Crabbit and I pass the turn, scoring up 5 - 1. Jesse cannot contest anything and passes back the turn so that I score 3 and win.

Victory for Circle!

Post-Game Thoughts:

Without Clockatrices, I don’t exactly know how Grymkin is supposed to stand against Iona or Circle in general. Post Bump in the Night stuff and with Clockatrices, there’s definitely a game there, but without it it typically cannot make it work. Tharn outthreat the heavies, have the damage to kill a ton of them, and are hard to kill in return. Tharn steal corpses from the Death Knell when they kill things and also make the Death Knell extremely hard to screen.

Jesse was an excellent opponent through the entire game, extremely gracious and fun to talk with and I look forward to seeing him at other events in the Pacific Northwest.