It has been a while! Battle reports have been slow coming but I'm getting back on the horse a bit, and what better way to do that than with some huge based nonsense.
I started working on what I wanted my Protectorate competitive pair to look like in the last few weeks, and I finally got a chance to start getting it onto the table. I won't be actually getting to any conventions or major events for a while, so I'm practicing with some things that aren't actually out yet, like the Revelator and testing the new CID run for Mercenaries being allowed in theme forces. Both lists are built to adjust back to a form where these aren't available, but for now this is how I'm practicing them (keeping the future in mind ;D)
Today I brought a High Exemplar Kreoss build that I'm quite fond of. What I enjoy here is this was not just a jank list thrown together to look like this, but was actually the natural evolution of the build through a lot of conversations with others and changes to the models in question. In the end, I think this came out as a great way to run it.
High Exemplar Kreoss - Creator's Might
Initiate Tristan Durant
Vessel of Judgement
Vessel of Judgement
Vassal Mechanik x3
Vassal of Menoth
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
min Choir of Menoth
This is, again, based on the CID iteration in which Eiryss is usable and can be a free solo in Creator's Might. An additional, interesting aspect of this is that the theme actually gives her Reposition 3, which normally her second incarnation has. When playing a non-CID version, she would be replaced with the Covenant of Menoth, and in a pre-Revelator release event, it becomes two Reckoners and the other five points are kind of floating, handful of things you can do with them really.
My opponent brought a Thyron list that definitely brought some ideas to the table I've not seen before.
Thyron, Sword of Truth
Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir
Arcanist Mechanik x3
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
Heavy Rifle Team
Heavy Rifle Team
Spears of Scyrah
This build has a bit of a trick in it that I wasn't really aware of... but... we'll get to that later.
Our scenario was Outlast from the last iteration of the Steamroller 2017 CID.
I won our starting roll and, playing a slow gunline, opted to go first. My opponent gave me a side with a giant patch of rubble (which I actually ignore, gotta love all that huge based pathfinder), and a Trench in the zone in a bit of an aggressive spot. We had a big building in the center keeping things interesting.
My opponent deployed *heavily* on my right side (he noted it's because he actually didn't pay enough attention to the table edge, we were playing on a 4x6 mat and he just spaced out a bit during deployment) Still, given that I don't have much scoring power in circular zones, this actually isn't too bad for him.
As my upkeeps starting in play, Defenders Ward went onto the Vessel on the right, Lamentation of course went up on my caster.
Protectorate of Menoth Turn 1:
Let's be honest, not much to see here. Everybody runs. Eiryss positions behind the wall on the right with one of the Redeemers, everybody else just runs basically straight forward. I don't really look like I gain much ground here, this list is *slow.*
Retribution of Scyrah Turn 1:
Not a whole lot more exciting, he basically works out my shooting threat and stays just out of that (which means he doesn't move much either.) I can output a lot of pain at range so... there's a lot that can go into a discussion about whether it was the right move or not, but a ton of his list design is centered around that Hydra and it just can't afford to get too messed up too quickly.
Assail goes on the Hydra, as well as three focus from the Arcanists. Storm Rager goes onto the Scyir. The Nyss hang back, terrified of the Redeemers... and rightfully so. Everything just moves up to just outside my non-redeemer shooting threat. The Lys Healer has the no-KD bubble up and he's trying to stay close to it.
Protectorate of Menoth Turn 2:
So... real talk here, I don't have much experience with Tristan + double Redeemer. I have very little idea what to expect from that package but it was time to put it to the test.
I upkept both spells (Defenders Ward isn't really great here due to spellpiercer but hey, figured I'd make him cast it.) The Revelator was allocated one focus from Kreoss, both Redeemers fully loaded by Tristan. The Vassal topped off the Revelator and it was time to get to work.
Eiryss moved up and shot a rifle team member, killing the grunt (take up and all that), then repositioning back to just off to the side of the wall. This was a big mistake, I need to practice with this model a lot more, I've always had trouble using Eiryss well. Anyway, the Redeemers then moved up to start their glorious work.
The Redeemers proceeded to pound a gigantic crater into the center of his army. In the end, half the Nyss were dead, the Lys Healer was gone, an Arcanist died, two Spears of Scyrah exploded, and a direct hit on an Arcanist was shielded guarded to the Fane Knight Guardian, who died to the boosted damage roll. Three shield guards removed, an Arcanist gone, the Nyss messed up, and most importantly the anti-KD tech... the Redeemers showed how terrifying they could be. The situation was pretty good for them, but man they felt good to use.
The Revelator moved up and boosted a couple of shots into the Helios from his Light Bringers, putting a few points into the shield. Helios is a tough nut to crack, gotta start early. The rest of the army mostly just positioned forward a bit, Kreoss nestled in between a B2B Vessel of Judgement and Revelator.
I want to talk about one mistake some of you might have noticed at this point.
I am fully aware Tristan has Fortify. However, during the first few rounds of the game, apparently I was not aware of that. In fact I utterly forgot he had a buff to throw onto his stuff. It also didn't click that the spell he had was a massive counter to the Helios and would have sort of turned aspects of this game into an absurdly one sided mess. So... that's in my mind for the future.
Retribution of Scyrah Turn 2:
Well, the Hydra bullet is coming, and I was not ready for it. The Helios gets loaded up, Thyron drops Storm Rager but upkeeps Assail. He activates and feats. The Hydra jumps forward from Righteous Vengeance (at the start of the turn obviously), then charges for free with Assail into my Redeemer on the right, getting the Vessel into melee. He proceeds to Chain Attack Smash & Grab my Redeemer, throwing him into a wall and Eiryss, killing her and leaving the Redeemer with only his melee weapon and movement active (about 3 boxes left.) He then uses an extra attack from Crush! and all three focus on him to leave the Vessel on nine boxes. The two rifle teams finish the Vessel out.
Helios snags my left side Redeemer and drags him kicking and screaming to his doom. This is the free points he killed that would have been impossible with Fortify and is the point I started to realize I'd completely forgotten it. In the end, I'd taken considerably more damage across the board than I expected... but with how good my first turn was, and of course the swing that is Kreoss' feat, I don't feel too bad about it.
Protectorate of Menoth Turn 3:
Time for another major mistake!
Well, Tristan has very little to do with his focus, so he camps it all. Defenders Ward is off the table but I upkeep Lamentation, since it seriously discourages Thyron from moving up much.
Kreoss moves up and feats. He's in an aggressive position in the trench, so Helios will need some kind of wild numbers to yank him in... I figure it's worth it. Most of the remaining Nyss, Thyron, both rifle team gunners, the Scyir, and the Hydra are knocked on their asses.
A mechanik on the right walks to the broken up Redeeemer and brings his gun and cortex back online. He stands and shoots the Scyir to death, although one shot misses... and deviates directly onto the rifle teams and remaining Spear of Scyrah, finishing off one rifleman, forcing take up on the other, but leaving the Spear on one wound left. He then finishes off the Scyir... and this was part of my mistake.
I forgot that a 'jack marshalled 'jack doesn't go inert when its marshall dies, but is instead Autonomous. That hydra can still do work.
I then forgot what Hydras do and charged it with Tristan because he had nothing else to do, giving it a focus. Herp derp.
The Vessel on the left shot the Helios twice, taking a decent little chunk out of it and killing an arcanist and a Nyss with Admonisher bounces.
The Revelator moved up aggressively (definitely in charge range of Helios) and started slamming Thyron with gunfire. First I used the Light Bringers to kill the remaining Arcanist. Thyron had two focus on him, and frankly I should have just started with this because my last damage roll cranks, rolling a 17 and leaving him on 5 wounds. I could have killed him this turn with those kind of numbers (really I could have anyway but I felt like attrition was going fine and I don't really go for assassination typically if I feel like I'm already ahead.) This also finished off the remaining Nyss besides Cylena. I forgot to drop the fire templates for the Revelator shots, but... wasn't hugely important.
Retribution of Scyrah Turn 3:
There's not a lot of options left. Thyron uses a focus to stand, the Hydra uses his focus to stand. Assail is dropped. The Helios is loaded up with focus.
The Hydra turns and starts flailing on Kreoss but... my mistake was rewarded, he missed all three attacks.
Helios charged into the Revelator and cranks some damage, wrecking one side and doing notable damage to the other. He uses his last focus to pop Poltergeist. Thyron backs way off, since the Revelator can fire out of melee and just kill him with a bit of luck. Cylena runs up to Kreoss, the Spear on the right stands and moves closer, and the remaining fire team sniper puts a few more points of damage onto the Revelator. I forgot to take a picture this turn, apparently.
Protectorate of Menoth Turn 4:
Alright, time for more mistakes!
So I forget here that the Helios has been such high DEF against my guns because of Force Barrier, and I calculate it into his base defense in melee. So in my head, I need 8s to hit with my Revelator. This is incorrect and screws with my really, really bad. I don't know what I was thinking but... well, here we are.
The Redeemer gets two focus from Tristan, Revelator gets one focus from Kreoss. The Vassal tops the Revelator off. The 'jacks get Battle (which is the hymn I've done all game, just haven't mentioned it), and the Redeemer goes into the Hydra, doing some pretty decent damage to it. Kreoss then proceeds to flail at it with a wet sock, boosting damage at dice -4 and doing 1-3 damage with almost every swing, but luckily he's able to finish it out with his very last focus.
The Vessel on the left shoots the Helios and takes a reasonable chunk out of it, and fails to kill Cylena with the Admonisher bounce. Luckily the second shot finishes her off.
Now the Revelator's derped turn! It gets repaired to bring its left side back online. I boost to hit like an idiot because I don't understand numbers apparently, and do some very poor damage rolls. All said and done, though, the Helios is only on nine boxes. The Vessel on the left has done a serious number on it over the last few turns and is basically my saving grace for this game.
Retribution of Scyrah Turn 4:
Thyron loads up the Helios and moves forward to try and threaten a little bit of table. The Spear of Scyrah charges the Revelator, and Helios then finishes it off and puts Poltergeist back up. The artillery guy shoots my Redeemer and does a few damage, but it now actually does have Fortify and has enough boxes back from repairs to be feeling ok. Not much else goes on this turn, he's only got a few activations left.
Protectorate of Menoth Turn 5:
Hey, I finally remember solos can score flags!
Tristan loads up the Redeemer and I proceed to forget what Fortify does (I actually remember this right now as I'm writing. *Bashes head on table.) Choir gives the Redeemer Battle and step into the zone. The Redeemer charges the Helios! I boost to hit because I forget Fortify makes me ignore the push of Poltergeist! I roll triple ones and get shoved 2" away!
The Vessel puts two shots into the Helios, and Kreoss finishes it off with a boosted Cleansing Fire. Thank Menoth it lost Immunity: Fire in the edition change. My Vassal goes and chills on the flag. I end my turn at two points.
Retribution of Scyrah Turn 5:
Thyron doesn't quite have charge range on anything, and I moved Kreoss specifically to put him just in control so he can't cast spells and move forward without being under Lamentation. The gunner shoots at my Redeemer and does a couple points of damage, Thryon moves forward at maximum "come at me bro." He ends my turn and I go to four.
Protectorate of Menoth Turn 6:
Well, I can end my turn and win instantly but... I can't let the survival of the elf stand! My Vessel moves up onto his quarter of the table and shoots him in the face. The Admonisher finishes off the rifleman, as well. The last elf is wiped from the table!
Whew boy. I haven't been able to get a game in for a little while (life, kids, etc) and it shows a bit, but in the end everything performed beautifully. The gunfire potential of this build is insane, and when I position and use my spells better it can buy itself a lot of time.
I could have pushed scenario harder earlier with a solo on the flag, which he really just never had the attacks to deal with. He could have done the same, but I *did* have the extra attack or two to clear solos off a flag; even with my lack of units, I can contest and keep up reasonably well in most situations, I think, and just play the assassination/attrition game rather than pushing any kind of serious scenario lead. It's an issue Creator's Might has (barring the CID change allowing Idrians or other merc units), but really you can get by in SR 2017 by just contesting or snagging a point with a solo here or there.
This is my first time utilizing the Tristan boat so I need to remember Fortify a bit better. Overall it performed wonderfully, though; the Redeemer on the right was the one who did most of the shooting damage in the first couple rounds, and proceeded to do more work than any other piece on the table besides maybe the left side Vessel, who is basically the only reason I was able to kill the Helios. It did I think over half its health over the course of the game.
I enjoy this build a lot; currently it's paired with a Kreoss3 Interdiction build with Vengers to just hit like a truck and be super fast... will be interesting to see how the pairing plays out!
A big thanks to Broken Egg Games for supplying the terrain and zones, seriously brightens the table up vs. the more dull colored stuff I've used in the past.
Thanks for reading everyone, and I'll see you around!