Iron Gauntlet Round 1 - Zaal 2 (Exalted) vs. Iona (Dev Host) Warmachine and Hordes Battle Report

I had the good fortune to play in the Iron Gauntlet at Lock and Load this year. I wasn’t totally sure which faction I was playing until the day of, bouncing back and forth between Circle, Grymkin, and Skorne before ultimately ending up playing the following:

Makeda 3 (Imperial Warhost)
- Desert Hydra
- Molik Karn
- Krea
- Agonizer
- Marketh

Siege Animantarax

Zaadesh 1
- Gladiator
- Reptile Hound
Gobber Chef

Beast Handlers (min)

Zaal 2 (Exalted)
- Mammoth

Supreme Guardian
Supreme Guardian

Ancestral Guardian
Hakaar the Destroyer
Extoller Soulward
Novitiate
Novitiate
Gobber Chef

Immortals
- CA
Immortals
- CA

For round one, I found myself paired against none other than my good friend Aaron, who I’ve played round one of the last three invitationals now. He had Iona and Krueger 2, and therefore I was playing Zaal and he was playing Iona.

Iona
- Storm Raptor

Whitemane
Shaman
Wolf Rider Champion
Wolf Rider Champion
Lord of the Feast

Brighid and Caul
Ravagers
- CA
Ravagers
- CA
Bloodweavers
Boilmaster and Spirit Cauldron

I won the roll off to go first and took it. It’s been a couple of weeks, and I missed some pictures so the exact details of the later turns are fuzzy, but I’ve got the gist here for you.

Storm Raptor is actually the blue base.

Skorne turn 1:

I wish I could say that everything just runs, but that’s not quite true. I spend a little bit of time proxying out where the Mammoth is going to be, so that I can use the Immortals to block off potential LotF landing zones, and then I clump up the Immortals on either side of the forest so that he can’t get Line of Sight to anything behind them either.

Both Supremes run up and nothing goes near them. Zaal puts up Aura of Power and Vision on the Mammoth.

Circle turn 1:

Things start running at me. Phantasm goes on the right hand unit and Surefoot on the left. Lord of the Feast gets his load of corpses from the Spirit Cauldron.

Ravagers spread out and move up so that they’re all outside of threat from Supreme Guardians but that I can get one or two charges in with Immortals.

Stormy just moves up and casts his Animus.

Both Wolf Rider Champs go insanely wide. You can kind of see the one on the left, but there’s another far on the right out of the frame.

Skorne turn 2:

I see the bait Ravagers for what they are and decide to not take them. Instead, I run Immortals up to engage Ravagers on both sides. I do my best to keep the Advocate on the left safe, although Aaron would show me how bad of a job I did really fast, and on the right nothing can get to the CA for that unit.

The left Supreme lobs a fire AOE that lands on Caul.

Zaal feats, although I think this was premature.

Circle turn 2:

Fire does not go out on Caul and does 3 damage.

Lord of the Feast Ravens in and messes up a few Immortals and the command attachment.

Ravagers on the left mess up the Immortals I jammed with, but the ones on the right do nothing. I really enjoy the stalemate of the Immortal and Ravager staring eachother down over the wall.

Aaron scores a point to my none.

Score: 0 - 1
Advantage Circle

Skorne turn 3:

Vengeance moves from Zaal and Immortals kill off Lord of the Feast AND a Wolf Rider Champ (serious dice spike there).

I have spicy thoughts of clearing the entire left zone, but a countercharging White Mane puts an end to that idea.

I overcommit to kill a couple of Ravagers, and then throw gun a Ravager into the Mistspeaker. Sadly, the Mistspeaker lives, and the Surefooted Ravager makes his tough check.

I run up a solo onto my flag, and then opt to try and roll the hard 7 followed by hard 8 to kill his Wolf Rider Champ on the right with my Supreme Guardian, which succeeds.

My left hand Supreme runs to the middle since he’s going to get a bunch of Ravagers onto it otherwise, and we both score a point.

Score: 1 - 2
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 3:

Fire does not go out on Caul, who takes 3 more damage.

Ambushing Bloodweavers pop up on the right side of the table, and this time Aaron is forced to trigger Vengeance to clear the right zone. Iona still doesn’t feat, and I lose about 8 Immortals total.

Score: 1 - 4
Advantage Circle

Skorne turn 4:

I start bringing back Immortals with the Supremes and attritioning down. I put my Supreme Guardian back in the zone once I’ve killed almost all of the right Ravager unit.

The Mammoth shoots the objective off the table to stabilize the scenario for me and I score 2 - 0 as I’m contesting his flag with an Immortal.

I don’t have a picture for this turn sadly :/

Score: 3 - 4
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 4:

Fire does not go out on Caul, he burns to death and fails his tough check. Poor dude.

He cracks back and kills a ton of my Immortals between Ravager attacks and shooting, but I’ve been walling off my Objective every turn so unless the bird wants to spend all of it’s attacks on it, it is safe.

A Bloodweaver contests again so Aaron scores 1 - 0.

Score: 3 - 5
Advantage Circle

Skorne turn 5:

I revive a metric ton of Immortals again, and this turn the Mammoth and right Supreme start wading in, with the Mammoth taking his White Mane and a bunch of Ravagers out with guns and the Supreme baiting out the Storm Raptor. A missed shot on the Chieftain allowed it to dodge forward, but by the end of this turn the attrition advantage is clearly going in my favor. I score 1 point to none again.

Score: 4 - 5
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 5:

The Storm Raptor has no choice but to try and kill the Supreme, which it does. The remaining Ravagers kill of a bunch of Immortals, and Aaron scores a point.

Score: 4 - 6
Advantage Circle

Skorne turn 6:

I kill off his Raptor with the Mammoth, and almost all of his remaining models save Iona, Brighid, and the Boilmaster, which lets me score 3 points this turn. The left Supreme comes out from behind the house to threaten the flag. We both have seconds left on our clock.

Score: 7 - 6
Advantage Skorne

Circle turn 6:

Iona runs to the flag, Brighid shoots something and contests the left zone.

Score: 9 - 7
Advantage Skorne

Skorne turn 7:

My Supreme charges Brighid, killing her and contesting the flag, I score three more points to none and win on scenario.

Score: 12 - 7
Victory for Skorne

Post-Game Thoughts:

There was a point in the mid game when I thought I was irreversibly behind on attrition and could not come back, but bringing back 18 Immortals over 3 turns keeps you in the attrition fight pretty good it turns out.

Spiking to kill his Wolf Champs was pretty huge, they would have been massively bad in my backlines taking out my solos for my flags even faster than they were already shot down in the first few turns.

Speaking of solos, I should really have remembered to deploy my Gobber Chef - good plays there on my part.

We ended our game with 1 and 4 seconds left (him and me) respectively so without a whole lot of waiting, we would shortly be in round 2…