Battle Report 93: The Harbinger of Menoth (Vessel CID) vs. Absylonia 2 (Children of the Dragon)


One of the main reasons I originally bought into Menoth's fluff, the Harbinger of Menoth saw some drastic changes between Mark 2 and Mark 3, fading out of the competitive scene and becoming more or less universally bemoaned.

The recent Vessel of Judgement CID changes have brought her back into the fore of my interest when it comes to Warmachine, as Martyrdom + Bastions + Healing all the Bastions sounds pretty good to me.

My pairing was a Harbinger list paired with Vindictus in the Exemplar theme, and my opponent had Rhyas and Absylonia 2 Shredder Spam.

I didn't even really pay attention, as I was playing Harbinger into anything not named Lylyth 3.

I don't think this list is optimized yet, but it's a decent place to start.

The Harbinger of Menoth
- Heirophant
- Devout
- Vigilant
- Templar

Punch Monk!
Vassal Mechanik x2
Rhuper Carvolo, Piper of Ord

Vessel of Judgement

Bastions (proxied by Cinerators)
Bastions (proxied by Blood Pack)
Min Choir


Absylonia 2 (Children of the Dragon)
- Proteus
- Protector
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder
- Shredder

Spell Martyr x2
Nyss Warlord x2 (Proxied by Deathstalkers)

Blackfrost Shard

Umm...yeah...that's a lot of Shredders. I've seen 3-4 of the little buggers kill heavies under Aby 2 with Kiss of Lylyss up.

We rolled up Spread the Net for our Scenario, and I ended up going first.

I forgot to take a picture of all of my deployment, so basically imagine Harbinger, Bastions, Templar, etc. back 9 ish inches.

Menoth turn 1:

Easy things first, Shifting Sands Stance on the Punch Monk and move him up. The idea is to move him into the left zone and keep him there with Martyrdom and Stance (Spoiler, I forget to move into Martyrdom range like...every turn).

Harbinger casts Crusaders Call and charges into the trench.

Everything else Charges or runs, but most things charge since speed four models get 1 extra inch out of a charge with Call up.

Legion turn 1:

Shredders all run (surprise?).

Absylonia puts Bracer on Proteus and charges up.

The Blackfrost Shard and other solos make a beeline for the left zone, with a couple of Shredders in tow.

Menoth turn 2:

Harbinger can actually have a useful feat turn! I allocate nothing.

Bastions run up, and the Vessel advances. Between its two shots, it kills two Shredders and nearly kills a third. Rolls were a touch low. It takes about 10 damage and gets healed back up to 5 off by the Mechaniks.

The Tharn Bastions run up and screen Harbinger.

The Harbinger activates, moves up, camps a bunch and pops her Feat.

Everything else moves to make it basically impossible for Proteus to get to her without two bastions dying, which isn't happening thanks to Martyrdom.

The Choir sings Shielding (No Spells), and the Punch Monk moves into the Left Zone.

Legion turn 2: 

My opponent surprises me and commits five Shredders to jam my lines up, and my feat leaves all of them on 5-6 boxes. Surprisingly, Bastions go to DEF 15 against charges from living models (11 base, set defense, and Awe) when they're with Harbinger, so none of his charge attacks hit.

Aby casts Psycho Surgery and gets onto her flag, with Proteus and friends in front of her.

My opponent makes a wall of dudes around my Punch Monk, and puts five or six attacks into it, but in vain.

My opponent scores a point.

Score 0-1
Advantage Legion

Menoth turn 3:

Once again, no allocation.

The Vessel moves up, uses Eruption of Faith to destroy two Shredders in front off the Bastions. It then zaps another Shredder and misses an engaged Shredder.

Mechaniks heal it up to about 7 off.

The right hand Bastions go ham, killing four Shredders between them. At dice -2 and four dice damage, they pretty much one-shot the lesser beasts.

My Templar goes in and unjams the Left Unit, and Harbinger goes, casting Guided Hand on them - I thought I was going to be able to clear the zone, but my opponent points out to me that he has a Blackfrost dude in as well.

The left Bastions kill three more Shredders.

The Punch Monk does Shifting Sands Stance and whacks the Shredder next to him. In Hindsight, I should have killed the two Spell Martyrs so that I could move away if I was missed next turn.

I was luckily contesting the flag with a Bastion, so no points are scored.

Score 0-1
Advantage Legion
Legion turn 3:

Aby charges and kills the right hand Bastion, Feats, and Repositions. 

Proteus and friends kill the rest of the Bastions (Grievous Wounds, it's a thing) in that zone. 

Once more the Punch Monk fails to die. 

No points once again. 

Score 0-1
Advantage Legion 

Menoth turn 4:

I start things off with a Harmonious Exaltation. The Harbinger Purifications off Buckler and then the Vessel blasts Proteus for about 15 damage. 

Three charging Bastions finish the heavy off, kill a Shredder, and ding up the Protector. 

Punch Monk whiffs all of his attacks on the Shredder on his side, and a Vigilant caps the right zone for me. 

Score 1-1

Legion turn 4:

One of the Warlords connects with my Punch Monk, and Decapitation prevents Tough. 

Aby runs away, and we both score a point. 

Look how scared she is...that's her on the bottom right. 

Score 2-2
Menoth turn 5:

The Protector is about a third dead, and I figure a bunch of charging Weaponmasters should be able to take it down. I had forgotten that Children of the Dragon gives Nephilim Unyielding though, so ARM 20 was a bit of a shock. 

I waffle about a bit, and then send the Bastions in. They...almost all miss. 

The Templar walks up and... does a couple of damage. 

The Vessel moves up and draws LOS to the Warlord through the Stealthed up Blackfrost Shard, but it misses both of its boosted shots. The Healing Miracle goes up, and the Mechaniks go repair it up to about five boxes. 

Harbinger moves up away from Absylonia, and we both score again. 

Score 3-3

Legion turn 5:

He tosses away a member of the Shard to kill a choir member and tie me up. The Protector flails ineffectually at a Bastion. Absylonia scoots around. 

Both Warlords pile in behind the house, and once more we both Score. 

Score 4-4

Menoth turn 6:

I realize here that if I don't decisively take the lead here, my opponent is going to basically be able to take me point for point and then potentially contest the 7th turn to win.

With that in mind, I allocate three to the Templar and run the Choir leader to contest.

The Vessel blasts the Shard member off the table and heals up. Harbinger moves away from Absylonia. Once again, all of the Bastions either miss or bounce off the Protector, as does the Templar. My opponent and I are laughing hysterically about the thing surviving at this point.

I score and my opponent does not.

Score 5-4
Advantage Menoth! (Almost typed Circle out there)

Legion turn 6:

Absylonia runs to her flag. Whoops...The zone on the left gets cleared and the Shredder that's been controlling it all game moves up a bit. 

He scores two and I score 1. 

Score 6-6

Menoth turn 7:

Last turn!

I run Harbinger to HER flag. I finally kill the Protector, and I run Bastions to make it impossible to contest my flag.

I run a choir boy to contest the flag and another into the zone, while my overloaded Devout kills the Spell Martyr in one shot.

I score two points.

Score 8-6 
Advantage Menoth!

Legion turn 7:

He cannot contest, but he can make me do push ups and sit ups for our Warmachine Fight Club. 

Both Choir die, as does the Devout, and then I score two more points to his one and the game ends. 

Score 10-7

Victory for the Menite Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts:

In a slow, attrition fight into an army with literally no guns, Harbinger and the Vessel are amazing!

I feel like the Vessel is extremely potent right now, which is great. I'm not sure if it's too strong, it definitely could be slightly too powerful, but it feels meaningful, impactful, and significant - which it should for 20 points. 

Bastions are too squishy, getting one-shotted by a LOT of stuff - only Martyrdom really kept them in this fight. 

The Scenario felt at first absurdly dead and then around turn six became absurdly important - I'm not sure if that is intended or not but while I was comfortably ahead on attrition, I could have lost this game if I had passively just let the game go where it was going. 

Overall, a very interesting game. 

Thanks for reading :)