Battle Report 96: Vindictus (Exemplar Interdiction, 2017 Standoff) vs. Malekus (The Creator's Might)

Image result for vice scrutator vindictus art

Prologue:

I really like Vindictus. He, Severius, and Harbinger are 99% of the reason I got into Menoth, and the new Exemplar theme force, I feel, really gives him some neat tools. 

If you haven't seen it yet, the new theme force gives you:

+2 inches of deployment
A small or Medium based solo or CA for free for every 20 points of Exemplar models
Blessed Weapons on your Warjacks

I cooked this little number up just before heading out for games tonight, and I have to say it's a nasty looking list. 

Vindictus
- Indictor
- Indictor

Knight Exemplar Seneschal (free and proxied by an Errant)
Knight Exemplar Seneschal (free and proxied by an Errant)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Wrack

Vengers
Vengers
Knights Exemplar
- CA
Knights Exemplar
- CA (free)
Min Choir

The list is fast, accurate (MAT 7 is as low as we go here), and hits like a train. It cares not for terrain, and with Vindictus' feat you are almost guaranteed the alpha strike. The only thing I am not quite sold on is the battlegroup and the Vassals. I'm really not sure what I want there yet. 

I paired this with Chandler's Severius 1 list, which I would like to claim more credit for collaborating with him on then I probably deserve, but it's a nasty list and he took it all the way to top sixteen at LVO this year. You can read his analysis and theory behind the list here. (also check out his blog, it's excellent for Protectorate stuff).

Severius 1
- Heirophant
- Blessing of Vengeance 
- Eye of Truth
- Hand of Judgement

Avatar of Menoth

Vassal
Vassal
Vassal Mechanik
Vassal Mechanik
Wrack 
Wrack
Punch Monk
Punch Monk

Rhoven and Co. 
Min Choir. 

It hits hard, it's resilient, and it's weird. It's super hard to play, and it has game into nearly everything. 

My first game of the day was against my regular Menoth opponent, who had a neat Malekus list featuring the new Vessel of Judgement. We rolled up Standoff from the 2017 SR packet, and I won the roll off. With a list this quick, it's just hamstringing yourself to go second, so I chose to go first. 

Malekus (Creator's Might)
- Heirophant
- Reckoner 
- Reckoner
- Eye of Truth
- Repenter
- Repenter

Vessel of Judgement

Mechanik x2
Wrack x3
Vassal 

Rhoven and Co. 
Choir


I can't help but hear the Rohirrim theme from The Lord of the Rings whenever I line two units of Vengers up to play a game. It's such a cool looking deployment. 



Vindictus turn 1:

Vindictus goes first, casting Defenders Ward on a unit of Exemplar's to his left, True Path on himself, and advancing 8 inches. 

Indictors run up next to him, and then everything runs. 

It occurs to me that I actually have to worry about getting shot at turn 1, so I carefully check 17 inches from his Reckoners and 16 from the Vessel before committing my Cavalry models to their final location. 

The Cavalry units get into the circular zones, threatening to murder anything that comes near them. 

The Knights come up the middle and get ready to bruise things. 11 inch threat on them is pretty spectacular. 

I deliberately give my opponent a Venger on the left to shoot at in the trench, hoping he'll proc battle driven. 


Malekus turn 1:

In a surprisingly aggressive move, my opponent runs his jacks up. Malekus uses Open Fire a couple of times after Battle is sung, and he successfully clears off a Venger on the right. (30 push ups or sit ups), triggering Righteous Fury on the Seneschal and Battle Driven on the Vengers. 

He runs the Vessel up max distance - a move which I believe was his only major mistake this turn as it would allow me to charge it with multiple units. 

Enliven goes on the Repenter on the right before it heads into my zone. 


Vindictus turn 2:

I premeasure out a couple of threat ranges, and with True Path I can get two Knights Exemplar onto the Battle Engine, and I can also get all of the Vengers onto it with good placement. 

I upkeep Defenders Ward, allocate nothing, and get to work. 

Vindictus moves up a little bit, casts True Path and Feats. 

The Seneschal on the right goes up and hits the Repenter, triggering Enliven. The jack moves closer to me to Jam, and the free strike and charge attack combined do around half damage to it (pretty mediocre dice there, should have brought it down to one or two). 

The Knights Exemplar activate, pop their mini-feat for mini Hand of Fate and charge. Two go into the Vessel, bringing it down to 2/3 health, the other three that can get there charge the Repenter. 

The first attack leaves it on one, and the officer finishes it off before overtaking out of the way. 

This leaves the Vengers clear to charge into the Vessel, taking it down on the last attack before Repositioning mostly back into my Feat. 

On the right, charging Vengers kill the Repenter and Reposition back into Feat range. 

I move both Indictors in front of Vindictus, and move up the middle unit of Knights cautiously. 

The Choir sings no shooting on the jacks, and I end my turn. 



Malekus turn 2:

My opponent has nothing but bad options here. If he commits, he loses his army, if he doesn't I instantly win on Scenario. 

His Reckoners move up and bash stuff, Eye aims and misses a shot at a Venger. Malekus uses Open Fire to nearly kill the right hand Venger that's outside of the Feat. 

He contests both Circular zones, and I had moved my jacks not quite far enough to hit the Rectangular one, so no points are scored. 




Vindictus turn 3:

The turn starts off with Righteouss Furied Seneschals moving up and half killing AND smiting down both Reckoners. 

Charging Knights and Vengers finish off the downed Jacks, Rhoven, and basically everything of scariness left but Eye and Malekus. 

I score three points as I move my Jacks into the zone, and my opponent concedes with no way to kill enough models to matter and no way to keep contesting in the face of that many weaponmasters and cavalry. 



Post Game Thoughts:

This list is very impressive. It's got excellent damage output, it's incredibly fast, and it delivers itself pretty well. Into most gunlines, this list is going to get in their face too quickly for most of them to shoot their way out before Scenario collapses on them. 

My opponent commented that it was exactly zero fun to play against, and for a list like his, I definitely agree. It punishes most battlegroup heavy builds and lists built to fight battlegroups by being faster than them and being so resilient to a lot of the anti-infantry tech out there by nature of high ARM values and Vindictus' feat. 

Definitely intrigued, looking forward to trying it again.