Battle Report 135 - Mox Invitational Round 3: The Dreamer (Menagerie) vs. Zerkova 2

Prologue:

If you are curious about my pairing thoughts and the other list, check this out. 

For round three, I was paired with a Khador player named Marcus running Butcher 3 and a pile of heavies and also Zerkova 2 with a ton of magic sprays and a Victor. 

Even a whiff of Zerkova 2 and I can't play my Heretic list, since she will shred all of my infantry without breaking a sweat AND still have a Victor to back that up. 

While I'm not 100% sure this was an accurate read (I do have guns after all), I played the safe choice and put the Dreamer back on the table. He chose Zerkova, as expected, and therefore I ADRed out my infantry. 

I dropped both units of Dread Rots and the Twilight Sisters for a pair of Rattlers, a Glimmer Imp, and a newly free Crabbit. 

I then chose the Sacrifice and Ill Omens Arcana. Normally into a list with a lot of guns, I would choose Shroud, but all of his shooting is based in sprays, so Stealth doesn't do anything for me, and Ill Omens triggers off a Warrior model dying, which would definitely happen with my Gremlin Swarms being in the way. 

The Dreamer
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Cage Rager
- Rattler
- Rattler
- Crabbit x2
- Crabbit

Death Knell

Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm
Karianna Rose
Glimmer Imp
Objective: Fuel Cache

Zerkova 2
- Bodyguards
- Victor
- Sylys Wyshnallyr

Forge Seer
 

Ayanna and Holt
- Valachev
Greylord Ternian
Greylord Outriders
Kayazy Eliminators
Kayazy Eliminators
Mechaniks (min)

 

Objective: Fuel Cache

I won the roll off and chose to go first. The Scenario felt very good for me, as Recon II doesn't have many ways for him to score (1 solo, 1 Victor, 1 Zerkova) whereas I had lots of solos and beasts in my list. 

 
 

Grymkin turn 1:

Typical Dreamer stuff. Mirage and Abyssal Gate go out, and everything runs up the table except one Crabbit because I can't manage that much fury. 

I skew to the left with my battlegroup since I want to be able to Enfeeble the Victor and kill it and also because there's a nice trench there. 

I put a module of a pair of Gremlin Swarms, a Rattler, and a Glimmer Imp in the right hand zone for scoring purposes and call it a turn. 

 
 

Khador turn 1:

My opponent runs his Conquest and small units up the table. The Outriders scoot up, give eachother Winter's Chill, and Reposition forward. 

Zerkova sticks Banishing Ward on the Outriders and Telegash Mark on one of the Kayazy (ick). 

 
 

Grymkin turn 2:

I give my Skin and Moans on the right pathfinder and debate just running him up into the Outriders. Marcus kindly reminds me that they've got Winter's Chill on them since he hadn't gotten to marking it yet and I decide that's a bad idea. 

Instead, I skew things to the left and create another "Fort Dreamer" with beasts and such. 

I run a Gremlin Swarm up to the Victor, and put another on the flag. 

I make a crucial mistake and leave the Dreamer inside of a 3 inch AOE from the Cage Rager, but I don't realize it's a mistake yet, and my Crabbits are all spread out to take the Victor shot when it comes. 

 
 

Khador turn 2:

I'd like to point out here that Marcus has been a great opponent, and we've been joking around and making sure we both understand what my models do etc., so when he says that he's going to try and kill me this turn, I initially think he's joking. 

Spoiler: he wasn't. 

His models all run at me except Ayanna and Holt. Holt shoots at my Gremlin Swarm, misses, does 2 damage to the Victor (!!) and then kills it. 

I trigger Ill Omens since now I'm afraid, and that effectively makes the Dreamer DEF 16/ARM 17 with the Death Knell around. 

Zerkova moves up, casts her spell that gives all magic attacks in her control area an additional die to hit, and then fires an unboosted Hoarfrost at my Cage Rager. 

I know he can do it again, so I opt to let it go through. It hits, but does not Crit. 

I INSTANTLY Arcane Vortex the second one. 

Then the Dreamer gets sprayed 8 times. Turns out, wouldn't have mattered if she was stationary, ARM 17 vs. POW 12 unboosted is pretty strong, and even though Marcus only missed two attacks, she was left at 8 boxes with two transfers. 

The Victor tries to hit her with blast damage, but scatters poorly onto a Crabbit.

On the right, the Rattler receives a charge but is missed thanks to Ill Omens, and that's the turn. 

Marcus is at about 14 minutes on his clock now. 

 
 

Grymkin turn 3:

Well...I survived, and his entire army is in front of me, so it's time to cast Manifest Destiny and camp four!

(The Crabbit lives by the way, fire rolls out). 

The Rattler kills 3.5 Cavalry models and a Ternian before running out of attacks. 

A Skin and Moans kills the remaining Ternian and Ayanna (phew) but misses the Kayazy (uh oh). 

The other Skin and Moans finishes off the Cav and kills his Kayazy. 

I have the Death Knell load up the Cage Rager with corpses. 

On the right, I roll a lucky nine and kill the Kayazy Eliminator with the Rattler (go Glimmer Imp!) and take the flag. 

I have a Gremlin Swarm move into the sheltered side of the Victor and do 5 damage to it while also making it unrepairable. 

Crabbits spread out and I pass the turn. 

 
 

Score: 1 - 0
Advantage Grymkin

Khador turn 3:

My opponent runs the Telagesh Marked Kayazy into the Dreamer's back arc. 

Zerkova shoots some nukes at her, and I Arcane Vortex all of them. 

Holt and Valachev get foiled by Shield Guards, and the Victor activates. I roll -2 to damage for him from the Swarm, and he goes in but fails to kill the Skin and Moans thanks to that and the Death Knell Aura. 

The right hand Kayazy charges the Rattler and misses. 

 
 

Score: 1 - 0
Advantage Grymkin

Grymkin turn 4:

The Dreamer chooses to go incorporeal this turn in case things go badly. 

Between a second turn of Gremlin Swarm action and Holt betraying it, the Victor has taken 13 damage by the time I get to my heavies. 

Dreamer activates and casts Manifest Destiny again, camping four.

One of her Crabbits kills the Kayazy next to her. 

The Rattler goes in and kills Holt, Overtakes up to Valachev and then gets counter-charged and murdered by the bodyguards so I trigger Sacrifice and bring everyone back up to full health. 

I enrage the Skin and Moans next to the Victor, and at Dice + 1 and with Manifest Destiny up, the giant machine goes down. 

I get things out of the way and have the Death Knell run up to within 5 inches of Zerkova and charge her with the other Skin and Moans. 

I kill her with my last attack, and thanks to Entropic Aura on the Death Knell she cannot self sacrifice to her bodyguards and dies. 

 
 

Victory for the Grymkin!

Post-Game Thoughts:

I think my opponent and I were both pretty surprised at how survivable the Dreamer ended up being. She's got high defense, can have reasonable ARM with the Death Knell, and she's a warlock, so she has a few extra hits in her than a Warcaster would. 

I've now run the oddsmachine on that assassination run, and without the stationary it says that it was a 0.01% chance at success. 

With Stationary, it only goes up to 0.18% chance of success (that one surprised me). Given that, I think Marcus should probably have gone for an attrition play and just sprayed my guys every turn and backed up with the Cavalry until he could get a bead with Ayanna on the Dreamer and also walk up to her and spray her before the feat. 

Either way, super interesting game where Arcana, as usual, made a huge difference and enraged Skin and Moans continued to kill things. 

I was also very happy that I had audibled to double Cage Rager, as the constant threat of Enfeeble and Abyssal Gate while still having an Arcane Vortex bot back with the Dreamer felt very strong. 

I'm looking forward to getting more games in with Marcus in the future, he's a great opponent!