Well one of the things you really don't want to have happen at a big tournament like this, after 6-7 hours of straight Warmachine is to run smack dab into a faction you have only played against 2-3 times before.
Well...that would be Mercs for me. I've played or played against every other faction in the game a TON, but this one...nope.
I didn't quite get what my opponents' lists were supposed to do, but they both had dudes in them and I figured Hellmouth would solve all of my problems that Sentry Stones couldn't.
Oh how wrong was I.
My opponent dropped MacBain, and once I started seeing how the puzzle pieces fit together, I started to get very, very scared. Add to that the fact that we are playing Linebreaker, not a Scenario I can just win, and I knew this was going to be close.
The only saving grace was the Woldwyrds - if I hadn't have had them, he could have played his army with all the tricks online, and I don't know if I could have beaten that.
- Madelyn Corbeau
Kayazy with CA
- Woldwyrd x3
Shifting Stones x2
Sentry Stones x2
Min Bone Grinders
Gatorman Bokur and Shamblers
So why was I so screwed? Let's look at a couple of things.
Boomhowler: Cacophony is a gross ability, and Wurmwood relies on spells SO much that it's almost impossible to ignore this guy. Couple that with...
Orin: Who also seriously messes with spells, and I'm in real trouble.
But Jaden, I hear you say, you have lots of shooting, shouldn't that be a non-issue?
Well....no, because MacBain has Countermeasures which prevents models from making ranged attacks within 5 inches of whatever has the spell on it. Kayazy have Stealth, so shooting at them from farther than 5 inches in my list means Wurmwood casting spells, which Orin can negate.
All of this is still okay until you add in MacBain's feat, which quite simply says "Unless you have Grievous Wounds or some other way to prevent healing, you cannot kill d6+5 warrior models for a turn". Note how it's not non-character models.
Yeah I had no idea how screwed I was.
Also I lost the roll, so I had to go second and pick side.
The game plan is to turtle around the forest and obstacle on the table and then slowly win an attrition war with the Bokur. I can probably pick off Dahlia at some point with Woldwyrds, and I can throw enough Strangleholds to eventually burn through Orin.
Mercs turn 1:
Countermeasures goes up on the Kayazy, and everything runs at me.
He puts Eiryss and Lanyssa on the side to contest, and basically starts shoving his army at me.
Circle turn 1:
I've started to get a feeling for how screwed I am now, and I'm scared. I play this turn pretty well, making a massive forest wall and turtling BUT....
Look at that Gallows Grove....way off in no man's land being useless. If he was central on the hill, I would have had a way easier next turn since I could have actually dealt with his feat. Alas, experience.
Mercs turn 2:
He upkeeps Countermeasures and just shoves his army down my throat, popping Feat to keep 6 Kayazy, Boomhowler, and Orin alive, and all outside of the ten inch "threat" of my tree.
Boomhowler screams Cacophony and catches Wurmwood inside it (EEK!).
He is also able to kill a Sentry Stone between Skareth and the Shield jack...who apparently has a gun?
Circle turn 2:
Time for desperate measures?
He lets me land a Stranglehold on the non-chain weapon jack, and I port Wurmwood out of the Cacophony bubble.
A boosted Stranglehold takes Eiryss down, and I pop feat. I run a Woldwyrd to control the flag and snag a point.
Mers turn 3:
My opponent is a bit taken aback, but decides that he can run his jack, move MacBain up, and cast Jackhammer a few times to try and kill the tree. He can also move Boomhowler and Orin over to catch me in Cacophany again. Sighhhhh.
He drops Countermeasures to do more Jackhammer attacks.
He does this, and I transfer a lot of damage before MacBain decides to camp two.
He contests the flag with Rhupert, and kills a bunch of Shamblers with Kayazy.
Skareth tries in vain to kill the far right Woldwyrd.
Circle turn 3:
I can finally kill things again. I place a Mannikin base to base with Orin and start things off by murdering him.
I then use a Woldwyrd to kill Boomhowler, and the Shamblers eat through a TON of guys, leaving the Bokur with seven corpses.
I should have used Wurmwood to kill off Rhupert by casting Hellmouth at Madelyn, but I was panicked from nearly getting assassinated, so instead Cassius runs so a Dark Path gets Wurmwood into the Stones.
The Woldwyrd boosts shots at Rhupert but misses horribly.
Wurmwood casts Stranglehold on the Chain Jack, and gets out. The Stones then port him way back.
Brennos and Megalith both cast spells at the shield jack in the middle, leaving him on a bare handful of boxes and basically unable to do anything.
I put Shifting Stones between Megs and Skareth just in case.
|The base with the Souls on it at the bottom is Wurmwood.|
Advantage CircleMercs turn 4:
My opponent is on the back foot now, and I can feel the game starting to slowly swing my way.
The Strangleheld chain jack goes in and kills the Sentry Stone with Jackhammer.
Kayazy charge Brennos and beat him up pretty badly, and Skareth finishes off a Woldwyrd.
Madelyn and Rhupert switch spots.
Circle turn 4:
Alright, I finally am starting to feel like I can win this game. Shamblers do more work, freeing up Brennos.
Cassius runs, and Wurmwood casts Curse of Shadows on the Chain Jack.
Megalith finishes off the other jack with a Stranglehold.
Brennos kills the Chain Jack.
The poor Woldwyrd off to the left shoots in vain.
Mercs turn 5:
MacBain double barrels Brennos off the table, and Skareth shoots the Bokur down with help from Kayazy, and then puts up Counterblast. I don't have a picture for this turn, but it's pretty close to what the next turn picture looks like.
Circle turn 5:
Skareth finally has a thing on him, so the Woldwyrd moves up and casually one rounds the beast. I kill off the rest of the Kayazy. I still can't hit Madelyn or Rhupert.
Mercs turn 6:
My opponent....runs MacBain to the flag. Uh oh. Ragman also runs to my flag, but it's contested from the Gallows Grove.
Circle turn 5:
I'm in panic mode, but I'm finally able to kill off Madelyn and Rhupert by Dark Pathing Wurmwood up the table and shooting them with a Hellmouth.
I contest the flag with 3 models, thinking MacBain can't clear them all, and Megalith is in range to go after the objective next turn.
The Woldwyrd blasts Ragman to death.
Tie!Mercs turn 6:
Time is down to a couple minutes per side, so I don't have pics from this turn, but MacBain walks over to the Shifting Stone, casts Jackhammer on himself to kill it, and then shoots both Shamblers to death and Energizers back to the flag. I was not expecting this in the slightest, and even though I see a clear path to victory, I'm still a bit in panic mode.
Circle turn 6:
I contest again, kill the objective, and go to five points. What a game!
I have never felt so powerless when playing Wurmwood. The fact that his army was able to completely neutralize mine for several turns was insane!
What was even more shocking is the idea that this list has been ridiculed by Mercenary players on the forums (Rory and I had a long talk about it after this game). I think it has some insane potential, especially since he told me it's tooled as a primarily Circle and Lylyth 3 drop. Countermeasures on models that can't die for a round is brutally good.
I'm very happy with how I played this game (other than the placement of the Gallows Grove, that was unacceptably bad), and I was very excited to qualify for day two, the Invitational!
Those Batreps will be forthcoming, thanks for reading!