Local Steamroller Batrep pt1: Xerxis2 vs. Morvahna2, Xerxis2 vs. Nemo3

I had the recent pleasure of getting to a local Steamroller with my current competitive pair, as a final practice run for the Intermountain Cup in a few weeks. This is also the first event I’ve been able to take my Skorne to fully painted, and… mostly… based, which was exciting in its own right.

We had 15 people show up to the day, with a potential of four rounds. The pair I brought is as follows:

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Pairing

Round one I paired up against a local Circle player. He was running an off-meta pair, with Kromac2 Call of the Wild and Morvahna2 The Wild Hunt, featuring Reeves and double Skinwalkers. There were a few considerations here, but overall I felt that Makeda wasn’t in love with this Morvahna list just due to the potential of re-rollable Reeves of Orboros attacks into Immortals. It was probably fine, but overall I felt as though Xerxis was the correct drop here since it should cut apart a Kromac beast brick pretty well, and is frankly just too tanky for the Morvahna list to expect to get through terribly well.

My opponent chose Morvahna2, I chose Xerxis2.

Morvahna, the Dawnshadow
-Brennos, the Elderhorn
-Gnarlhorn Satyr
Gallows Grove x2
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress
Reeve Hunter
Wolf Lord Morraig
Death Wolves
Reeves of Orboros w/Chieftain & Standard
Warpborn Skinwalkers w/Alpha x2

Deployment/Skorne Turn 1

We were playing on a somewhat thematic table; it was a lava mat and the TO decided to put burning clouds absolutely everywhere. I won the roll off and opted to go first, since going second into this Xerxis list can be very punishing. A turtle took either flank, Hydra in the middle, Gladiator slightly to the left, Archidon slightly to the right. Support all brought up the rear.

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Opponent put his battlegroup central, a unit of Skinwalkers on either side, Reeves behind the Skinwalkers to my right, and his AD models all stood centrally.

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He didn’t particularly threaten the table so everything just ran screaming upfield to cover as much ground as possible. With how quick everything in this army is, I’m threatening pretty deep into the table now. The turtle on my right goes into a fire cloud and is lit on fire, and Xerxis casts Rapport on the Desert Hydra.

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Circle Turn 1

He didn’t have a lot of room to move up really, but he does what he can. The Skinwalkers all run up spread out, and the Death Wolves move up in a line in front of everything. The Gallows Groves push forward a bit, Morvahna moves up and gets everything in her control to cast Fog of War. Brennos and the Gnarlhorn move up, with the Gnarlhorn casting Earth’s Blessing on itself. He passes his turn.

Skorne Turn 2

My opponent checked measurements on the Hydra’s threat range, but never accounted for the Siege Animantarax. His caster is camping 4, which is a fair few, but… on a large base, against an Animantarax, with the buffs Xerxis has available… I’ve got charge range, so I’m gonna go for it.

Rapport drops off of the Hydra, and Xerxis activates, casts Rapport on the Archidon, then Ignite on the Siege Animantarax on the left after moving some support out of the way. Xerxis then feats.

The Archidon flies through the fire cloud to murder Caleb from the Death Wolves, then Lightning Strikes out of the way. At this point nothing is between the turtle and Morvahna, so it charges in, hits her with the main attack to knock her down, then pokes her with two spears and rolls four shots, punching through all four transfers, killing Brennos in the process, and kills her. The other Animantarax was easily within walk/charge and shoot range, and the Hydra was prepared to charge Tala and start spraying as well, so… she was in a pretty rough spot.

Conclusion

This list is very hard to go second against, and my opponent really needed to cast Earth’s Blessing on his caster, which, with 3 transfers after that and Fog of War up, would have largely stopped any real assassination attempt. If his army was a little closer together, Morvahna also wouldn’t have had to move up quite as far. A minor positioning error, but one I was able to jump on, unfortunately. On to round two.

Tournament Round 2

For the second round I was paired with a Cygnar opponent who I’ve played many times in the past. His pairing was a bit experimental; it wasn’t meant to be a good pair exactly, but was just two lists he was thinking about for a different pair and he wanted to see which one he dropped more often. He had a Caine2 Sons of the Tempest running a set of Tempest Blazers, and a pretty typical Nemo3 Heavy Metal list running double Strider, a Centurion, and a squad of Fireflies, a Sentinel, and a Lancer.

Xerxis was the obvious drop here, as both of his lists would shoot Makeda’s Exalted army to pieces. I expected to see Nemo3 due to the need to armor crack, and that’s exactly what he dropped. I won the roll off and again opted to go first, which is very important in this matchup since the alpha from either of us can be quite devastating.

My opponent’s list:

Artificer General Nemo & Storm Chaser Adept Caitlin Finch
-Centurion
-Firefly x2
-Lancer
-Squire
Journeyman Warcaster
-Sentinel
Lieutenant Allison Jakes
-Firefly
Field Mechaniks
Storm Strider x2

Deployment/Skorne Turn 1

I deployed fairly basic, check the picture to see it, the only thing of specific note was the Archidon on the left which was meant to go live behind the building.

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My opponent kept his army quite close together with most of the lights on my left, the Striders both on my right, and the lights mostly on the left, with the Centurion sitting fairly central. I missed a picture of my opponent’s deployment, but you’ll see it after my first turn.

I do have to be a little more cautious here since he has some nasty long range guns. Xerxis casts Ignite onto the Hydra, Sandstorm on himself, and walks forward. Everything else runs up as far as it can without being threatened by guns, which is thankfully a bit shorter due to Sandstorm. At this point the Archidon runs up behind the building on the left, but this was definitely a mistake. The Archidon is basically immune to everything ranged he has aside from the Sentinel, and I think the far better move would have been to run it to stand on the hill on the right so it can threaten the Storm Striders, with Ignite on it so that it’s a real threat to the battle engines. Hindsight!

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Cygnar Turn 1

He can’t move up much, but he does what he can. The Lancer on the left gets Electrify from Nemo and runs near the Archidon on the left, not quit engaging it but hanging out behind the building a little so it’s hard to deal with. Nemo also casts Magnetic Field to keep his army standing. The Journeyman casts Arcane Shield on the Centurion, which activates Polarity Field and runs. Jakes casts Sidekick on her Firefly and hides behind a building. The light ‘jacks all spread out a bit on my left. Unfortunately I missed a picture of this round.

Skorne Turn 2

He has stayed out of my melee ranges, but my guns don’t suck and I do some quick math in my head and realize a Storm Strider can’t take my output. I drop Ignite because it’s just not going to be useful right now, and Xerxis moves around a bit, casts Force Aura, drops one fury to stay on 2, and feats.

The turtle on the right moves up into shooting range of the Storm Strider closer to the center and rolls up only two shots, doing a good bit of damage to it. The Hydra then moves up and starts spraying it, absolutely cranking damage and killing it in the first three sprays (I actually missed one entirely, so it was two sprays that dropped it. The remaining two sprays go over his Centurion, and damage cranks on that as well, doing about 10 damage to the ARM 24 ‘jack and corroding it. The turtle on the left moves up and shoots at one of the fireflies, but only rolls two shots and rolls a bit poorly on damage, doing very little. The Archidon flies around and Crit Pitches his Lancer into the wall, doing a bit of damage but not knocking it down due to Magnetic Field. The Gladiator moves up next to the Hydra to try and block up line of sight and just threaten the table for next turn after he inevitably explodes my Hydra.

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Cygnar Turn 2

He spends some time measuring out an assassination but decides, at the distance Xerxis is at, with 2 transfers, and under Force Aura, it probably won’t happen. Nemo walks up to get the Krea under his feat and Feats. He casts Chain Lightning at the Hydra, luckily for him bouncing into the Feralgeist, killing it. His army then unloads into my Hydra, and between all the electro leaps, lightning generators, and the Centurion going in, my two Agonizers are dead, the Feralgeist is dead, the Desert Hydra is dead, and the Archidon is a bit hurt from the Lancer. The Gladiator is left on a measly two boxes, which is extremely lucky for me. We each score one point, making the score 1-1.

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Skorne Turn 3

Well, the Gladiator staying alive made me staying in this game a lot easier. I feel as though I’ll be relatively safe after this. My objective heals the Gladiator but doesn’t do quite enough to get his aspects back online. The Paingivers move up and Medicate and Enrage the Gladiator. I entirely forget to have the two I sent over to the turtle whip it, which was a major mistake. Xerxis casts Ignite on the Gladiator after moving up quite a bit, and heals the Archidon’s broken Spirit.

The Gladiator handily explodes the Centurion and stands in my opponent’s zone. The Siege Animantarax on the right charges into his Strider, impacting the Strider and the Sentinel. He does great damage on the charge, the spears do a teeny bit of damage luckily, and I spin up 3 gunshots. I decide to, instead of shooting the Strider, shoot at the Journeyman Warcaster instead. The first shot rolls the hard 9 I need to hit him, and kills him outright, leaving the Sentinel inert. The remaining shots go into the Strider, leaving it on about five, and at this point I remember I didn’t whip the turtle meaning I can’t buy attacks, so the Strider gets to stay alive. The Archidon on the left moves around and boosts an attack roll into the lancer, getting the critical pitch and throwing it away into a space where the Animantarax can land. The Animantarax charges Jakes’ Firefly, impacting it and the lancer, and does a bit of damage to both but nothing major due to the very high DEF on the Sidekick Firefly. The entirely unbuffed Krea walks up to his slightly damaged Firefly hanging out behind a building and just… goes ballistic on it and destroys it, because Krea’s are great melee powerhouses, apparently. I end the turn and score 1, making the score 2-1, Skorne’s favor.

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Cygnar Turn 3

I’m not sure if he expected to still have the Strider alive, but… the situation he’s in is that, while I don’t have much left, the two Turtles are absurdly difficult to kill for his very low damage army.

Nemo throws his ARM buff on the Strider and finishes off the near dead Gladiator at range, and other attacks finish off the Krea. Overall not a ton else happens here. He puts some attacks into the turtles, but fails to ever damage one, much to my sadness. Between his strider and a few other attacks he kills all of my Paingivers. His Mechaniks heal his Strider back to about 14. He ends his turn and I score up to 3, making the score 3-1 Skorne’s favor. I missed a picture of this turn, unfortunately.

Skorne Turn 4

If I score three on this turn, I win outright, but that comes down to whether or not the turtles can shoot down the objective, which depends a ton on how many shots they get. Frankly, though, my melee is having a hard time getting through everything anyway so it’s about the best thing I can attack. The turtles move around and spin up their guns, and the last gunshot from one kills the objective. Xerxis moves to stand in the uncontested left side zone, letting him score two zones at once, making the score 6-1 in my favor for a Skorne victory.

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Conclusion

I needed to leverage the power of a potentially very heavily buffed Archidon a lot better here; he kept it off of his other Strider by putting a single model in the way threatening a free strike; if it had been way more over to the right, very little could have stopped it, and with Ignite and potentially Enrage on it under Xerxis feat, it’s not unreasonable for it to kill a Strider. If that happens and both Striders are dead, this game is over before it even really started. Good things to remember for the future! Overall a solid and very interesting game against a great opponent who I have seen in many a tournament.

That’s the first two rounds of this event, the other two rounds will likely be their own batreps since they’re quite a bit longer games. Thanks for reading, I’ll see you all next time!