I finally picked up a copy of the new No Quarter magazine at our game store last night. Of course, as soon as I did I got the update to warroom as well. in any case, I now have the stats for the Mammoth in a fully usable format, and it's time for some play-testing!
My goal is to run the Mammoth with every one of our casters between now and the end of March when the Mammoth is released. I'll be posting battle reports here, focused on the performance of the Mammoth. Last night I got my first Mammoth test game in. Of course, if I'm going to play every caster, might as well play them in alphabetical order. First up is Archdomina Makeda (or pMakeda if you're not familiar with our titles!)
Game 1 was against my usual Cryx opponent, but this time he was trying out his new Gator army with Rask.
His list looked something like:
* Swamp Horror
2 Max Posse
2 Witch Doctor Crocs
Wrongeye and Snapjaw
note on my list, I'm planning on running basically the same package with each caster (with a couple exceptions). the list above minus Marketh, Hakaar and the tormentor is my base list, which leaves around 8-10 points of leeway to put in various caster-specific models.
We were playing Into the Breach (the SR 2013 version of sacrifice), on a table with 6 or 7 obstructions near the middle of the table, leaving very little room to move things on the edges of the zone/flag area. He won the roll and chose to go second.
I deployed with the Mammoth on my right flank with the krea, Makeda went slightly right of center along with most of the solos, Nihilators Hakaar and the Gladiator took the left. He deployed wrongeye, snapjaw and the wrastler across from the mammoth, followed by a posse with a witch doctor, then Rask, then the other posse and witch doctor, with the swamp horror on my left side. bog trogs were off the table.
Everything runs up, defenders ward goes on the Mammoth, the krea does its animus, the agonizer gets 4.
His turn 1, everything runs up and Rask feats, puts Fury on one posse and inhospitable ground.
Rask's feat keeps me from doing a whole lot of anything. Nihilators run, getting 4 in the zone. Hakaar and the gladiator run behind them. Makeda moves up and tops off the agonizer, rushes the mammoth and totally forgets to feat. the krea and mammoth both move up, both using their animi. the agonizer moves in behind the mammoth in case snapjaw comes over and does -2 to damage rolls. the master tormentor moves to the right side of the Mammoth to block off some space for bog trogs. I am kicking myself for not feating during my caster's activation now that I have a full unit of nihilators looking at taking charges from two units of gatorman posse...
On his turn 2, he brings in the bog trogs (and promptly forgets about them, they don't activate this turn). gatormen charge, killing 3 of the 4 nihilators in the zone and 3 others. the last one in the zone makes 2 tough checks and hangs in there. wrongeye moves up and uses voodoo doll on the Mammoth. with defenders ward and the krea bubble, he actually misses. he has enough fury and does it again, taking out the mammoth's spirit for a turn. Snapjaw moves up in front of wrongeye to try to protect him, and the wrastler moves into the zone. one witch doctor makes the posse in the zone into zombies, and the other uses sacrificial striek to try to clear that last nihilator. he makes another tough check. Rask moves into the zone and shoots the nihilator, killing it and dominating the zone for 2 points. He also put Admonition on himself.
well, it would have been nice to bring those 7 nihilators back in my turn. Always remember to feat with Makeda...
I started with the master tormentor who killed off 5 of the bog trogs that hadn't moved last turn. the willbreaker put puppet master on the Mammoth. Makeda moved up behind a giant obstruction and used carnage and put rush on the mammoth. the remeaining nihilators put a little damage on 3 different posse members. Marketh put Savagery on Hakaar who walked up to rask and a witch doctor. Rask walked out of the zone with admonition and Hakaar rolled badly on the witch doctor, taking both initials and 3 bought attacks to kill one witch doctor. the gladiator moved into the zone, the krea ran to the far right edge of the zone. the Mammoth moved up, bulldozing a posse member and snapjaw out of the way and got into melee with wrongeye. it took 2 initials to kill wrongeye, and the third went to a posse member. I rolled bad on damage again, but remember puppet master finally and rolled enough to kill the gator who failed his tough check.
On his turn 3, the posse in the zone killed off Hakaar and one nihilator. the wrastler slammed the gladiator out of the zone and into a rock, doing enough to cripple his spirit. Rask moved over to the flag and put fury on the second posse who charged the gladiator. he rolled pretty badly and only managed to get another 9 or so damage. the swamp horror moved in and blocked some area near the flag. Rask scored a third point by dominating the flag.
At this point I was in a bad position. If I didn't contest the flag this turn, I lose. and there's a full gatorman posse and a swamp horror between me and the flag right now. I start with the paingivers who run. they are the only ones anywhere near the flag, and one gets close enough to contest. I'll have to do without healing my gladiator or enraging the mammoth this turn. the mammoth goes first, assaulting the wrastler in the back. with the rear-strike bonus the cannon shot actually hits, doing a couple points of damage. the mammoth is engaging 2 posse, a witch doctor and the wrastler. if I want to score points this turn, all of them have to die. the mammoth rolls ok, killing a posse, the witch doctor and the wrastler. he rolls snakeyes on the last bought attack against the posse leader. Should have used the willbreaker first. willbreaker tries to move up and give ancilliary attack, but is out of range. Marketh gives Makeda Savagery and she goes in to try and kill the last posse so she can dominate the zone. she fails to kill him after using all of her fury. the gladiator stands up and kills one posse.
On his turn, rask starts off by killing the paingiver. he moves on to other models before doing anything else and forgets to put admonition on Rask. the gatormen posse tries to do more damage to the gladiator but roll badly (they chose dirge of mists that turn) and miss most of their attacks. the gator that Makeda failed to kill manages to hit her and do 3 points of damage. the swamp horror does some damage to the gladiator and knocks out his mind. Rask scores his fourth point.
Rask is only 1 point away from the win, and I haven't even started getting points. it's time to make something happen. The last remaining nihilator does a few boxes of damage to one of the clustered posse around my gladiator. the paingivers heal the gladiator but only are able to heal one point, and one hits a gator for a single point of damage. the gladiator kills 2 posse. Next I move my attention to the zone. I have to kill that one gatorman. Makeda starts with a combo strike but even that fails to kill the posse member. she buys another attack and boosts damage, failing to do anything. does it again, still nothing. with her last 2 fury I have to put Rush on the Mammoth. the Willbreakers gives puppet master to the krea who walks over to the stubborn posse and finally kills him. Marketh puts Savagery on the Mammoth. with a huge 11" walking threat range + reach, the Mammoth is able to not only contest the flag, but gets into melee with Rask. he has a ton of fury though and transfers the 2 attacks that land (again poor rolls, I wasn't able to hit on boosted attack rolls several times). I did manage to get the Mammoth in position however, and scored 2 control points for dominating the zone.
We talk over his options briefly. He can either go with plan A, which is to kill Makeda (camping 0) by throwing my gladiator onto her with the swamp horror, then get 2 attacks with a fury'ed gatorman on a knocked down Makeda. Plan B was to kill the fully healthy Mammoth with the swamp horror, Rask and one posse (who would not have fury). If he killed the Mammoth he could get his last control point. He decided to go with plan A. Rask had to go first to heal the swamp horror and put Fury on the gators. I think he also put adminition on himself. The swamp horror walked up to the gladiator and boosted a 2-handed throw. the attack hit. I rolled my one die for the strength check and rolled a 6! he got 6 on two dice, and failed the throw. the swamp horror bought 2 attacks on the nihilator that was holding down the last 2 posse and killed him. he only had a charge lane with 1 gator to Makeda, but the gladiator was close enough to make free strikes. He had to try anyways, and the gladiator killed both Posse members with free strikes, preventing them from getting into my zone.
Makeda scored another 2 points at the end of his turn, and I just called my turn gaining another 2 and ending the game.
After the game we talked it over and decided he might have been better off going after the mammoth. a Swamp Horror with fury is actually going to do a decent number on the mammoth, coming short by only 8 boxes on average dice. that wasn't taking into account the crit devastation on the swamp horror's beak, which could have done a huge amount of damage if he got lucky.
|Makeda wins! but only by a hair...|
We both made an uncharacteristic number of mistakes in this game. He at least had the excuse of using a new faction and caster, I managed to make some huge mistakes with one of my favorite casters. Forgetting to feat on turn 2 was huge, since the nihilators were supposed to be the ones going to tie down the flag that almost won him the game. Hakaar was badly positioned early and didn't even get to move when all the nihilators died. Forgetting about the willbreaker several times was bad, but that happens with a new model. puppet master on either Makeda or the Mammoth would have potentially let me clear that last posse member a turn earlier, which would have put me up on points and not made me rely on the mammoth surviving a turn to score my points.
On his side, forgetting the bog trogs hindered him a bit early in the game. Neither of us thought they would have largely impacted the game, but they could have tied me up a little bit. the mammoth was just waiting for them to charge with a puppet-mastered counterblast, but he still could have done some damage and removed my master tormentor. later in the game, forgetting to put admonition back on rask after he used it made him take a few unnecessary shots at the end of the game.
Thoughts on the Mammoth
For the first run on the table, the Mammoth performed well. not extraordinary, but definitely well. Defenders ward and the agonizer make it really hard for most things to threaten him, and the somewhat low-pow gators ended up trying to ignore him in favor of better targets.
The guns did almost nothing in this game. between Rask's feat, a turn with no spirit and a turn where I had to put savagery on him, he only shot his gun once (when assaulting the wrastler). Hopefully some of my other games will do better at highlighting the ranged part of the mammoth.
On the other side, the mammoth is a monster in melee. pow 19 base with reach is really good. Makeda really helps emphasize his melee abilities with carnage and savagery. he was able to remove 11 points worth of models in one activation, even on a turn when he couldn't be forced. Bulldoze is also amazing. I knew it would be good, but I'm really liking it so far. Twice in this game bulldoze opened a hole that he wouldn't have had otherwise.
|sorry, this picture never gets old|
Obviously, after one game I can't give a very strong recommendation on this guy. However, the first run was encouraging. pMakeda was very very good with the mammoth, and I will definitely be taking this list again at some point.
For now, though, Makeda will have to wait. I'm moving on through the list of casters. Next in alphabetical order is Dominar Rasheth. Unfortunately, I don't own him, and have never even played a game with him. But in the spirit of completionism, I will be playing a game with him and the mammoth! I'll just need to find someone who will let me proxy fatty AND the Mammoth at the same time. Look for a report with him next week, most likely a tier 4 list using the new theme force in the NQ.