Battle Report 146: The Heretic (Bump in the Night) vs. Exulon Thexus (Operating Theater)

Prologue:

I live in a bit of a limited meta where faction choices are concerned, so whenever out of town Warmachine friends come to visit, I jump at the chance to play against the factions that are less common around here. 

This time, my friend from the last couple reports who plays Khador had also picked up some Cephalyx out of the blue, and we decided that we had to see how many guys we could get on the table in one game. 

This, of course, is the most brilliant idea ever when you've all got dinner plans in an hour and a half. 

I ADRed in my Mad Caps and chose the Accursed (when an enemy damages a model with a corpse token, you can make all the opponent stuff lose incorporeal, stealth, pathfinder,  tough and construct for a round) and Ruin (I think?) Arcana along with the Reckoning Trump.

I've heard, and agree with this idea, that the Accursed Arcana is really hard to use effectively, and I wanted to see if that was true. 

I won the roll off, and since he has an ambushing unit, I definitely wanted to go first.

Exulon Thexus
- Warden
- Warden
- Warden (proxied by Kodiak)

Agitator
Agitator
Agitator

Cephalyx Overlords
Cephalyx Overlords (proxied by Great Bears)
Mind Slaver and Drudges
Mind Slaver and Drudges (Pikemen)
MInd Slaver and Drudges (Different Pikemen)
Mind Bender and Drudges
Mind Bender and Drudges (Paladin and Risen)
Mind Bender and Drudges (Croak Raiders and Rhupert)

The Heretic
- Gorehound
- Gorehound
- Rattler
- Crabbits x2

Lord Longfellow
Witchwood
Witchwood

Mad Caps
Mad Caps
Dread Rots
Dread Rots
Hollowmen
- CA
Hollowmen
- CA
Twilight Sisters

 
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The truly horrifying bit is that the most models on the table happens at the end of my first turn.

Grymkin turn 1:

Everything runs ahead full, except the Mad Caps who move up and each spew out 3 (!!!!) Cask Imps. 

I don't bother casting Fury, the only thing I need it for is the monstrosities, and ARM 17 on them isn't going to save them from any of the models in my army. 

Total model count on the table (excluding ambushing unit): 128. With Ambushing unit: 138. 

 
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Cephalyx turn 1:

Basically just flooding me with dudes here, Deceleration goes up to save his poor dudes from Hollowmen shots. 

 
 

Grymkin turn 2:

Cask Imps and Hollowmen CRAs do some work, as do Witchwood shots. I think I kill 8 ish dudes this turn but you can barely tell. I also light a few on fire with the Mad Cap buddy, and I put a Wall of Fire up to prevent him from doing too many crazy things.

I make a quick check and none of his Monstrosities can get to the Heretic this turn even with Telekinesis so I put him up fairly far forward. I want to be able to cast Deceleration myself if the opportunity arises, or maybe Telekinesis if he does that. 

I set up the unpainted unit of Dread Rots to be able to massacre the ambushing unit if they come after my right side Hollowmen, and the left side ones dance just on the edge of Overlord sprays. 

 
 

Cephalyx turn 2:

Ambush happens on the left, and he floods that side of the table with guys. On the right, he Adrenal Floods three of the remaining Slaver models and they charge in and start replenishing their numbers. 

Deceleration goes up again, but Thexus cannot cover the entire table so I'm going to get to go nuts on the left side of the table. 

 
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Grymkin turn 3:

Witchwoods prove their worth here, letting me kill and move around models to clear charge lanes. 

Longfellow continues to be ineffective as ARM 17 is just really high for POW 10. 

On the left, the Hollowmen kill off most of one unit pretty happily and replenish their numbers from the sprays last turn. 

I use the Heretic to clear off a Mad Cap, Fury up the Gorehound, Wall of Fire in front of some dudes, and then Lightning Strikes out of range of two of the three Monstrosities, the third being the soon to be mauled one. 

The Gorehound goes in and cripples movement on the Warden. 

Mad Cap Imps continue to rock, killing off toughed dudes and setting an entire clump of things on fire on the left, including an Overload. 

I get some corpses on Dread Rots, hoping to trigger Accursed this turn so my Rattler can go nuts. 

I actually score a point on the middle zone. 

 
 

Score: 1 - 0
Advantage Grymkin

Cephalyx turn 3:

My opponent decides to go for assassination here. He opts to start to do this by Dominating the Gorehound, boosting to hit (here's his mistake) and using it to walk up to the Heretic and attempt to bite him. 

Fortunately for me, the nine to hit isn't rolled, the Feat comes out, and then my opponent goes to TK the Warden, realizes movement is crippled, and changes plans abruptly. Normally he would have one focus to heal the Warden up, but he'd loaded it up with that focus instead. 

I did run the math on this assassination run for fun to see what would have happened if my opponent had healed the Warden and poked it for the last focus, and with the Gorehound in there he's looking at a 0.43% assassination run. 

Thexus is sitting just on the other side of the forest though, and with no Focus on him. 

I lose some Hollowmen on the right to the nearly gone unit of Slavers, so I opt to trigger Reckoning on them. 

He is able to kill off one of the Mad Caps, which explodes into a fiery conflagration of death on his back lines, killing three guys, toughing a couple more, and lighting two Cephalyx guys on fire with one box each. 

He passes the turn. 

 
 

Grymkin turn 4:

It's pretty easy to kill off the remaining Slaver models in the unit, and then I transfer Reckoning over to Thexus. 

One Cask Imp walks into him at dice+2 and does nine or so, and Longfellow walks up and shoots him off the table. 

 
 

Victory for the Grymkin!

Post-Game Thoughts:

This was a monster game, and the threat angles on both armies are basically impossible to keep track of. 

I think both armies have good tech into eachother, and that games between these two casters will largely boil down to dice luck, terrain, and who goes first, as well as experience with the matchup. 

Super interesting game, I'd like to play into Thexus more often, dude is a boss.