Battle Report 164: The Heretic (Bump) vs. The Old Witch 3 (Bump)

I've said it before, I'll say it again - Mox Boarding House is the place to play Warmachine in the Pacific Northwest, and if you ever get a chance to take your models up to the Seattle area, it's worth the detour. 

After my painting lesson with the fabulous Matt DiPietro of Contrast Miniatures this week, I stopped by Mox to get a game in against the Old Witch list in my last report against none other than PPS Jordan.

Well, I say against that list, but we did the usual SR pairing thing. He had Dreamer and Old Witch, I had Heretic and Dreamer, and on Standoff, I couldn't play the Dreamer since I had so few ways to score, so I dropped Heretic and he dropped Old Witch.

The Old Witch
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Crabbit x2

Longfellow
Glimmer Imp
Glimmer Imp

Mad Caps
Mad Caps (Dreamer Phantasms)
Dread Rots
Dread Rots
Dread Rots (Hollowmen)
Neighslayers
Neighslayers
Twilight Sisters

The Heretic
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Crabbit x2

Longfellow
Eilish Garrity
Glimmer Imp
Witchwood

Mad Caps
Mad Caps
Dread Rots
Dread Rots
Hollowmen
Hollowmen
Twilight Sisters

I chose the Pandemonium and Desolation Arcana, in addition the the Heretic's Reckoning. 

I also won the roll off, and happily decided to go first. 

 

I forgot I still have to paint Eilish and a Witchwood. Noooooo

 

Heretic turn 1:

Everything, as per a usual turn with Hollowmen, apparates and then runs up. I make some Cask Imps. The Heretic drops some fury and goes screaming up the table. 

I port my Witchwood to the left so if I get the opportunity I can take over some of my opponents Cask Imps and make them blow eachother up. 

 
 

Old Witch turn 1:

I have positioned poorly here, and Jordan plans to punish me. 

His army does stuff, and then the Old Witch gets +5 range on her spells and Scourges the Cask Imp next to my Gorehound. The spell KDs on hit, so the Cask Imp explodes and does a massive damage roll to my Gorehound. Combined with a drifting Mad Cap AOE, the poor beast is on fire and left at six boxes. 

 
 

Heretic turn 2:

Fire doesn't roll out on any of my models, and the Gorehound dies. 

I move my Hollowmen up and use the Lantern Man's spell to move one of his Cask Imps into base to base with another Cask Imp and they explode. 

The Hollowmen kill the Imp dudes. 

Eilish Puppet Masters the Witchwood and it moves up and shoots the other Cask Imp, causing it to walk 4 inches back and blow up on the Mad Cap. 

The Mad Cap catastrophically explodes and kills MY Mad Cap, which then catastrophically explodes and kills a bunch of his Dread Rots and lights the Old Witch on fire. 

Jordan and I were laughing like crazy at this point. 

My other Mad Cap Imps kill Jordan's other Mad Cap, which scatters nowhere, and my Hollowmen leave the enemy Gorehound on one box. 

Longfellow moves up and misses both sixes to kill the last Imp from the Mad Cap unit. 

I put a Wall of Fire down to prevent my opponent from charging things easily and call it a turn. 

 
 

Old Witch turn 2:

Stuff runs at me. The Old Witch moves up and Blinds and then Scourges some Dread Rots and here I make my first big goof. 

She's within charge range of the Heretic (pathfinder from the objective) and camping one. I can easily clear the 5 ish models next to her in his way, and if I Fury the Heretic and use the Reckoning on Old Witch, I'm getting 6 auto hitting PS 18 attacks. Add to that she took 2 from the Mad Cap explosion and you're looking at a 98% assassination run according to Oddsmachine. 

I realize about 30 seconds after the Scourge happened that I had missed my chance, and Jordan graciously offers me the chance to Reckoning up. I decline, since I won't learn if I don't feel the full weight of my mistake here. 

Nothing else that kills models this turn is a unit that I can reliably kill all of, so no easy Reckoning triggers there either .

We both score a point. 

 
 

Score: 1 - 1
Tie!

Heretic turn 3:

I opt to try and clear the left zone and score it here. My Witchwood gets Puppet Master and moves up, missing the first initial even with re-roll and then forcing a Dread Rot behind the wall to walk out of the zone and kill another Dread Rot. 

My Cage Rager charges in and misses 4/6 attacks, leaving one of his assigned Dread Rots alive. 

The Hollowmen try and compensate for the other models but can't quite get the job done. 

On the right, I kill the Gorehound and back the Hollowmen up, which...I think was probably a mistake here. 

Wall of Fire goes up again here. 

 
 

Score: 2 - 2
Tie!

Old Witch turn 3:

A single Dread Rot leaves my objective on a box, so Longfellow casually finishes it off. 

My Witchwood and Cage Rager both die, and my Hollowmen get jammed up on both sides. My opponent contests my zone, and scores two points this turn. 

Reckoning is up on the small unit of Dread Rots in the left zone.

 
 

Score: 2 - 4
Advantage Old Witch

Heretic turn 4:

Even with the Reckoning, I cannot clear the left zone, and I can't get a model into my opponents zone either. 

It takes a lot of my army to kill the contesting Dread Rot in my zone, and then I derp up massively and only leave two contesting models in my zone. 

We both score. 

 
 

Old Witch turn 4:

My opponent has to kill about 7 models in the right zone and two in my zone to win here. 

He kills everything off in the right zone no problem, and he blinds the Twilight Sister in my zone. 

He Boundless Charges half his Dread Rots, and declares a press forward order. I have to choose here between Pandemonium going on the Dread Rots or the Neighslayers. If he misses the six on my Dread Rot in the pool, then I can Pandemonium the Neighslayers and he can't clear my zone, at which point I think I can start to even things up on Scenario and win on attrition. 

Unfortunately, he does not miss his attack, and a hero Crabbit under the Witches control runs to my zone and takes it. Jordan scores three to my none for the win. 

 

Photo credit: Jeff Olsen

 

A victory and a loss for the Grymkin!

Post-Game Thoughts:

I felt like I should be pretty advantaged into this matchup - Hollowmen do so much work, especially since Windstorm cannot be everywhere. That being said, I basically forgot I had Arcana for 2/3 of the game and placed my models quite poorly on a couple of key turns (that poor Gorehound), and the dice did not want to bail me out of my poor decisions this time. 

A super interesting game, very clean, very grindy, very technical. Jordan is a good friend and a great opponent and I look forward to playing him again sometime soon.