Protectorate?!?! What is this nonsense?
My name is Chandler; many of you may know me from podcasts like The Leyline or Crusaders Call. For those of you who don't know me, I've been playing Warmachine for.... close to four years at time of writing this. I started my foray into the game with Cryx, but the better part of my Mk. II play was with Circle Orboros. Now, in the dawn of Mk. III, I have been taken in by the glorious light of our savior Menoth.
I picked up Protectorate in the weeks prior to the announcement of the new edition, and the changes made overall really drew me in once we had all the new cards dropped on us. Some of my favorite casters like the Rezniks got bumped up in a big way, and the whole faction's identity was fleshed out in a big way.
So let's jump into it shall we? Today I played against our local Khador player with my current tournament pair, Severius1 and Reznik2. My opponent dropped Supreme Kommandant Irusk in a warjack heavy list designed to make heavy use of Energizer, Solid Ground, and throw power attacks.
On to the lists!
Riflemen + 3 Rocketeers.
Man O War Drakhun x2
-Hand of Judgement
-Blessing of Vengeance
Our scenario was outflank (outfight? outlast? whatever.) I won the die roll to go first; with either the choice of a trench or a building on either side of the table, I figured side didn't matter too much to me anyway and I wanted as much of the table as I could get to start shooting as early as possible.
Deployment was pretty straightforward, I basically always deploy this list the same way. Nicia was on the left as she was just going to go live in that zone while the heavies all had an epic battle on the right. Still, with models like the Drakhun that can handle her pretty easily on that side, I'd have to put more over there than I liked.
Stuff ran up. Big surprise, amirite. I put up Passage on all the heavies. Hand of Judgement gets Defender's Ward, the Reckoner on the right gets Vision. His stuff largely just ran up as well, Solid Ground went up.
Protectorate turn 2:
First turn where actual things happened! My mechanic ran around in front of my heavies, his job was to be a firing beacon for Hand of Judgement so I could hit both his front warjacks with a spray.
Reckoner set up at max range and everything unloaded into his Marauder on the front left (the red 'jack). After all my shots and double Immolations, the 'jack was on life support. Reckoner on the left shot and killed one rifleman, Repenter just ran up to be in front.
Nicia flanked wide to hold that zone for me. This turn I went with Battle; not super scared of his shooting and frankly just needed the damage output to wreck his 'jacks as much as possible at range. The Marauder was down his Movement and one arm.
Khador turn 2:
Commence things going off the rails! Irusk moves up and feats, standing on a hill in the zone. Energizer gets his 'jacks closer. His busted up Marauder with a single focus walks up and absolutely tears through Blessing of Vengeance, instantly removing the shield and doing a ton of damage with a boosted damage roll + his broken hand.
His Kodiak then throws his Marauder into Hand of Judgement, hilariously blasting the Kodiak to pieces with a triple 6 damage roll, and a double 6 damage roll then puts a few on HoJ.
His other Kodiak beats the tar out of my Repenter, chain attack Throw launching him into Blessing and leaving both 'jacks on almost nothing. A few shots from Riflemen (more the rockets, really), finish off both lights.
Beast threshers onto my Reckoner, HoJ, and the Mechanik. The Mechanik doesn't survive, HoJ ends up missing his cortex and melee arm as well as being knocked down from the thrown heavy into him, Vision keeps any damage off my Reckoner, which is nice. Irusk player goes to 2. Bad place to be.
The counter punch! Oh god! Hand of Judgement puts a small chunk of damage onto his Kodiak with his broken arm after standing himself up. My Repenter on the right moves over to spray the Kodiak and Beast... and succesfully rolls a 3 to hit Beast, failing the hit.
Luckily he did hit the Kodiak and with Battle, Eye, and being that close to HoJ, he takes a POW 17 damage roll. My Reckoner on the left shooting and a couple Immolations finishes the 'jack out. My Reckoner smashes up Beast pretty hard.... leaving just his cortex and axe functional! Huzzah!
A single point is left in his cortex and I know I'm not likely to pull this one through. Nicia charges a Rifleman as I utterly forget counter charge on his Drakhun, meaning she dies instantly. Seems bad. \
The only models I have in the zones are a Reckoner that has reapplied Vision on the right and my Reckoner on the left. Severius has feat up so at least Irusk's resources are somewhat taxed.
Khador turn 3:
Beast gets loaded up and does enormous damage to my Reckoner. Drakhun charge and a handful of Riflemen shots blow up my Reckoner (dice not really working with me there) and the last Kodiak just barely has range to get in and finish out my Reckoner, letting him score to 5 for the win.
Sadly, a Loss for the Protectorate
The building in the center forced me to split my battlegroup more than I liked, but honestly my couple heavies and lights on the right held really well against his entire battlegroup; if I had just committed way harder to that side,
I think I could have won that battle and left Nicia on the edge of the zone playing games with the Drakhun to hold on. Forgetting counter charge on the Drakhun is irritating, shows a bit of my lack of play into Khador these days, but hopefully I can change that in the near future.
So, list changes?
I've thought about one for a while and this change has repeatedly come to mind; I really wanted just a bit more testing but I think this clinched it for me; I plan to drop one Wrack and Nicia in favor of two Allegiants of the Order of the Fist.
The original goal with Nicia was to be able to either harass support or clear my 'jacks off when jammed really effectively, but when it comes down to it, I can do that with Ashes to Ashes or even Repenter sprays pretty well.
Allegiants would be far preferable for just holding zones, which is the biggest weakness of the list. The longer I can stay out of the scenario shooting, the better I can just keep tearing through 'jacks and other pieces.
Still, I just adore this list; the look on people's faces I get when I focus fire down an ARM 19+ heavy in a single round is wonderful and Severius gives me a lot of tricks to play with.
Thanks for dealing with me for a few paragraphs guys, I try to keep things concise but I do tend to let typing run away with me. With any luck you'll see more sweet Protectorate reports here in the future ;P