Warmachine and Hordes Circle Battle Report: Kromac 2 (Call) vs. Syvestro (Magnum Opus)

Most of the games that I get to play of late are on the computer simulator Vassal, which is an increasingly useful way to get some positional and deployment practice as the engine improves its toolset. I have not found another virtual simulator that does such a good job at giving you the same tactical options that a regular game of Warmachine will. 

If you're interested in trying it out, you can download the main engine here and this page will take you to the WMH modules. 

At this point, I am between conventions, and I wanted to try out some of the model stats that we have seen spoiled for Circle Warbeasts at Lock and Load. The living beasts are my favorite part of the faction by far, and a huge part of the appeal of Circle in general is the Warpwolves and Satyrs. 

A friend of mine was kind enough to let me try out the "pre-CID" rules for a number of models.

To be clear, these rules are not final, and are not reflective of the current state of the game. If you are not interested in reading a report with unreleased rules, stop reading now. 

 The rule changes include, for reference:

Storm Raptor:
Mat up to 6
Skyfire Animus reduced to cost 1
Gains Deceptively Mobile (basically reposition 3)
Points reduced by 1 to 37
Gained Pathfinder

Warpwolf Stalker
Points reduced by 2 to 19

Feral Warpwolf
Points reduced by 2 to 16
Gained Pathfinder

Shadowhorn Satyr
Points reduced by 1 to 11
Gained Beatback
Animus changed to Elusive
Gained Pathfinder

Lord of the Feast
Loses Thresher
Loses 1 ARM to 16
Gains Death Powered (corpses give it STR and ARM)
Gains Grievous Wounds
Gains Overtake
Point cost increase by 1 to 7

For those of you who have followed my early exploits on Druids Dice, you know I have a special love for my Storm Raptor, and Kromac 2 has always been the place I enjoyed him most. I had pretty good success with him in early Mark III, and these changes are very exciting. 

My opponent has been testing various iterations of a Syvestro list for Champions, and this latest version looked pretty sweet. 

Syvestro
- Alyce
- Vulcan

Prospero
- Suppressor
Trancer
Trancer
Anastasia Di Bray

Storm Troopers
Assault Troopers
Dragons Breath Rocket
Dragons Breath Rocket
Combat Alchemists

Kromac 2
- Storm Raptor
- Warpwolf Stalker
- Feral Warpwolf
- Shadowhorn Satyr
- Shadowhorn Satyr

Blackclad Wayfarer (free)
Blackclad Wayfarer (free)
Lord of the Feast (free)

Shifting Stones
Farrow Valkyries

 

I lost the roll off to go first sadly (he gets +2 to the roll between his theme and Anastasia), and I chose the side of the table with the most board space behind the central forest. 

Crucible Guard Advanced Deployment, Left to Right: Trancer, Trancer, Combat Alchemist Unit

Crucible Guard Regular Deployment, Left to Right: Storm Troopers, Dragons Breath Rocket, Suppressor, Prospero, Alyce, Syvestro, Vulcan, Dragons Breath Rocket, Assault Troopers

Circle Advanced Deployment: Shifting Stones

Circle Regular Deployment, Left to Right: Blackclad Wayfarer, Shadowhorn Satyr, Warpwolf Stalker, Farrow Valkyries (behind), Feral Warpwolf, Kromac 2, Shadowhorn Satyr, Storm Raptor, Blackclad Wayfarer, Lord of the Feast (yeah he should have advance deployed, my bad)

Crucible Guard turn 1:

More or less everything runs here. One of the Trancers gets Transmutation from Syvestro because their Smite is strength based. The Combat Alchemists make a rather irritating little cloud wall on the right hand side for the Assault Troopers to hide behind. 

Circle turn 1:

I move up cautiously. His gun ranges are pretty high, and my beasts still fold to boosted shooting despite their new point costs. I toe the left hand rectangle with a Shadowhorn Satyr and put up his Elusive animus. 

This is a really strong combination because the Satyr is DEF 13 base, and it has Set Defense to take it to effective DEF 15 against charges. Even a boosted MAT 4 charge from the Trancer misses half the time, and if I can then use that to dodge closer into the zone and threaten farther for my next turn it gets very interesting. 

My other Shadowhorn runs to the right, and I decide to do something kind of interesting with Lord of the Feast by running him directly to the edge of the table and turning him to face the center of the board. I know Anastasia is probably coming in on that side and this way she cannot physically get backstrike on Lord of the Feast and he can come clean her up afterwards. 

I want to get her Corpse Token before he goes in on the Assault Troopers because they're justtt tanky enough that I don't kill them in one hit each without the extra Corpse token. 

Kromac puts Vengeful (retaliatory strike) on the Storm Raptor and Awakened Spirit (free animi) on the Feral and moves up. 

I don't have a picture of this turn for some reason, but I'll annotate a cropped picture of the Crucible Guard turn 2 for reference. The two AOE shots were not there either. 

Crucible Guard turn 2:

My opponent has a bit of a dilemma here, as he cannot shoot at my Storm Raptor with the Vulcan and stay out of Hunters Mark range. 

He opts to just move up and cloud wall, and then to move the Vulcan solidly into the zone and take a couple of shots at the Storm Raptor anyway. 

He hits the first one and I Shield Guard it to the Valkyrie behind the Storm Raptor. The second shot misses needing an unboosted seven and drifts harmlessly. 

The Trancer on the left charges and hits the 11 needed to slam the Shadowhorn away. 

Anastasia had ambushed on the right hand side and charged that Shadowhorn, cranking the damage and doing 8 points to the 1 - crippling his Mind. 

Syvestro puts down his super stealth cloud and camps six after putting Admonition on himself with help from Alyce. 

The Assault Troopers all shuffle up and that's the turn. 

Circle turn 2:

Well, it's definitely feat turn. If I can get Hunters Mark into his Vulcan, my Storm Raptor is 92% to kill it and 65% to kill it without the free charge. Either way, that's a shot I've got to take. 

Kromac upkeeps Vengeful and then starts things off by Feating and charging the Trancer in the forest. 

He easily murders the poor fellow and takes 3 damage off the explosion (whoops). He heals the Shadowhorn on the right side for two and then casts Lightning Strike to get back out of the way. 

The Feral Primals the Storm Raptor and moves up to behind where I want the big bird to be. 

I teleport the Blackclad in the stones forward, and he Snake Eyes the Hunters Mark. D'oh!

The Storm Raptor charges in and Snake Eyes one of the attack rolls, leaving the Vulcan on nine boxes. We rolled it out and one more attack kills it off, so either pair of Snake Eyes changed to a hit means a dead Vulcan. D'oh! The Electroleaps from the attacks kill an Alchemist and the Dragons Breath Rocket. 

On the right, the Lord of the Feast kills Anastasia easily, freeing up the Shadowhorn to move up and kill an Assault Trooper and both of the remaining Combat Alchemists. He is able to beat back up once and block off the Storm Raptor pretty well from the Assault Troopers, and he puts Elusive up. 

On the left, the Stalker kills the Trancer in the zone after warping Prowl and then Sprints back to the little forest in the zone for Stealth. 

The Shadowhorn forced to stand during Maintenance, and runs to contest the enemy flag. 

I score a point!

Score: 1 - 0
Advantage Circle

Crucible Guard turn 3:

The thing about Syvestro is that he's got a Signs and Portents feat! And he uses it this turn! He also casts a free Purification and puts Transmutation on the Assault Troopers. 

The Vulcan isn't able to put down the Storm Raptor on its own thanks to one busted arm and one missed attack. 

The Dragons Breath Rocket shoots the left hand Satyr and I get to use Field Marshal: Hyper Aggressive to move towards it and engage some Storm Troopers. 

The Suppressor is able to pretty trivially kill off the Goat sadly, and the Storm Troopers are able to walk up and contest my zone whilst putting shots into things. 

The Assault Troopers on the right are able to get two charges into the Storm Raptor and leave it on about 15 boxes. The charge attack on the Shadowhorn misses and the non-charge does minimal damage thanks to my ARM 19 from Kromac's feat. 

My opponent scores a point this turn. 

Score: 1 - 1
Tie!

Circle turn 3:

The Storm Raptor frenzies into the Assault Trooper next to him and kills him dead. The Feral passes a threshold check and doesn't frenzy. 

Kromac goes first again and casts Carnage before charging the Vulcan. Two hits puts the massive thing down and Kromac is able to Sprint back to safety thanks to Lightning Strike

The Blackclad in the zone charges a Storm Trooper and kills him, proccing battle wizard and getting Hunters Mark into the Suppressor. 

Thanks to that, I am able to charge my Stalker to a place where he is not affected by Ashen Veil and he kills the Suppressor before sprinting to engage Syvestro, contest the flag, and be behind the wall from the Dragons Breath Rocket. 

The Feral puts Primal on the Shadowhorn and then moves to the middle of the zone. 

The Shadowhorn pretty trivially takes down the three remaining Assault Troopers and casts Elusive

Lord of the Feast takes over my flag and I score three more points after the Valkyries move up to both get Shield Guard range on Kromac. 

With that, my opponent calls the game since the last real assassination option is off the table with the two Shield Guards and he cannot physically contest the right hand zone or my flag next turn and will probably lose on Scenario at the end of his turn. 

Score: 4 - 1
Victory for the Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts: 

My opponent and I both agreed that it felt pretty sweet to have all of the Circle Warbeasts be able to play "in the trees" as it were. 

We were unable to really get a feel for the Deceptively Mobile rule on the Storm Raptor, although looking back at the game I think that if the Hunters Mark had landed, the Feral Warpwolf could have gotten the charge on the Vulcan instead of the Storm Raptor, and that would have let the Storm Raptor sit back, finish off the Vulcan with itss gun and be really strong for the rest of the game as a dedicated board bully. 

The 7 points saved by the point reductions allowed me to bring the unit of Valkyries, and those guys were all stars this game. They single handedly saved Stormy from the Dragons Breath 

Overall everything felt very strong, but I'm not certain I got enough data from this game to give feedback. The animi changes weren't particularly relevant because of purification, the MAT buff to the Storm Raptor was irrelevant because MAT 9 vs MAT 10 going into DEF 8 is a wash. The only things I definitely felt the impact of was the pathfinder everywhere and the additional points to flesh out the list. 

Either way, I am very excited and I hope that these changes (or something close!) sticks in the CID when it comes our way.