Monday, March 18, 2013

Mammoth batreps, Part 10 - Xerxis

For the secnd game this week I pulled out Xerxis, hoping to make up for the dissapointing game with eMakeda. Xerxis seems like a pretty obvious choice with the Mammoth. he can get it up to stupid levels of melee power if needed and then helps its survivability with Defender's Ward and the defensive side of his feat. I think that going into this year's Con season, Xerxis + Mammoth is going to be my go-to third list for any 3 list events.

This list is one I'm actually pretty excited about. the normal package works really nicely with Xerxis and leaves 9 points. Xerxis obviously has no trouble with taking down single high arm targets, so I figure he needed a bit of help against infantry. to deal with this I added a rhinodon and Master Tormentor.

For this battle, Xerxis and the Mammoth would be going up against their big test. Can the best armor cracking list in Skorne, and possibly in the game, handle the new fad in high armor?

My List

* Mammoth
* Krea
* Gladiator
* Rhinodon

Master Tormentor
Max Nihilators
min paingivers

And my army would be facing this:

Captain Bart
* Galleon
* Galleon

Wrong Eye
* Snapjaw
* Bull Snapper

Dougal MacNaile

So a list all about the Galleon. Batten Down the Hatches and Spiny Growth means that both Galleons will spend most of the game at Arm 24. dougal makes one of them shoot better each turn, ragman helps with armor and the Bokur can take a hit for something, usually Wrong Eye if he's not casting Submerge. It's a very low model count, but those Galleons are scary scary models. And they look pretty while they're at it.

We played Process of Elimination for the scenario, which is very different than it was last year. the zones are in the same place, but not having to score in both is different, as well as neutral objectives contesting each of them. terrain was the same as the last game I played (in my eMakeda report) with a forest in between the zones on either end, and walls off to the side where they didn't really effect the fight in the middle too much.

I won first turn and deployed with an obvious split. the Mammoth, Krea, Willbreaker and Nihilators would be going right, the other heavies, Xerxis, master tormentor and agonizer would go left. the master tormentor wasn't going to be doing much, but she could help contest the zone. His deployment was really simple. a Galleon for each zone, everything else behind and between them to pass out the buffs.

Turn 1

the Mammoth got defender's ward, the nihilators got fury. everything ran, and Xerxis hid behind the forest. the agonizer got one, the krea did her animus.

On his turn, both Galleons ran to toe in to each zone, then the support filled in. Hot Shot went on the Galleon to my left and spiny Growth went on both. No Batten this turn.

Turn 2

I couldn't damage the objectives yet, but I moved into position. The rhinodon and Gladiator used the objective and each other on the left flank to avoid being dragged by the harpoon gun. the Nihilators charged, with two of them getting to the Galleon on my right. the others fanned out as much as possible. the charges didn't do much, but scratched the paint on the Galleon. the Mammoth trampled up and put up Counterblast just in case. he was about an inch into the right zone. Xerxis and the Krea both put up the Krea animus and more fury went to the agonizer (he was at 3 now).

On his turns the Galleons opened up. the one on the left shot everything at the Rhinodon. it got 4 shots with its hull cannons and missed with one of them. he left the Rhinodon on about 8 or 9 boxes. the Galleon on the right rolled 4 shots as well, killing 2 nihilators and making one tough. the harpoon killed another. Spiny Growth and Batten went up, making both Galleons Arm 24.

Turn 3

I probably should have waited one more turn on the feat, but I saw an opening. unfortunately, there wasn't a good way to get buffs on the rhinodon. before the feat, the nihilators charged the galleon and objective, doing nothing to the Galleon and not quite killing the objective. Xerxis moved up and feated. the gladiator rushed the rhinodon and hid behind the objective. the rhinodon moved up and swung all his attacks doing minimal damage. the krea did her animus near Xerxis. the paingivers enraged the Mammoth who charged the right galleon. It took all 5 of my Fury, but the Mammoth brought down the first Galleon with help from the feat. the agonizer ran into base to base with the mammoth to help its armor a bit more (i didn't have range to get to the other Galleon).

After I finished everything, he suddenly remembered spiny growth damage. since it was a friendly game I let him roll it. it killed the rhinodon and did a little to the Mammoth. of course, if he had been rolling as we played, the rhinodon would have stopped after one attack and stayed in to be a road block to prevent the second galleon from getting to the mammoth. oh well.

his second galleon got 3 focus. ragman moved up and did his thing. Snapjaw charged in through the wreck and killed a nihilator and did nothing much to the Arm 22 Mammoth. Galleon charged in and did a little more than half the damage on the Mammoth.

Turn 4

unfortunately, I had fury left on my beasts, and had camped one. Stupid 5 fury casters with 5 fury beasts. the Mammoth and Gladiator both frenzied after I took 4 from the Mammoth. the mammoth did a little damage to Galleon, and the gladiator damaged the objective. unfortunately, that meant the Nihilators wouldn't be able to kill their objective this turn.

The willbreaker moved up and used Ancillary Attack, at least letting the Mammoth do a little bit to the Galleon. Xerxis put up the Krea animus and camped 1. He also put pathfinder on the Nihilators (one had hung back in case they needed buffs, since they had gone seperate ways). the agonizer moved up and did no allocation, but I misjudged the distance, foolishly trying to protect the agonizer for another turn. should have just gotten him in to the Galleon to be sure. The nihilators were the only stars this turn, charging in from the side. they killed Snapjaw and ragman and did some damage to the Bull Snapper.

On his turn the Galleon got 3 focus again because the agonizer was too far away. instead of just going for the Mammoth, he thought he had a shot at Xerxis to end it. Bart moved up and shot down a paingiver in the way. Dougal did his minifeat and artillerist on the galleon who shot his harpoon at Xerxis. he boosted the shot and needed a 10 to hit (rat 7 thanks to Dougal, Xerxis was in a forest with Krea animus making him Def17), and missed. this also meant he couldn't buy melee attacks at the Mammoth now. he shot his other shots at something, I don't remember what (he rolled 3 total, and one missed. no idea what else died, might have been the agonizer).

Turn 5

I lucked out that I didn't pay more dearly for the combination of a frenzied mammoth and dumb placement with the agonizer. Xerxis dropped everything, gave himself pathfinder and walked into the left zone. he then put the Krea animus and Defender's Ward on himself. the Gladiator killed the objective in the left zone. the paingivers cleared the gladiator, but were about an inch too far to give enrage to the Mammoth. the willbreaker gave Puppet master tot he Mammoth. luckily, the second Galleon had already been damaged from the last turn, so even without enrage the Mammoth took it out. The nihilators failed to kill the bull snapper. everything that could got in between Xerxis and galleon (gladiator, krea, paingivers earlier in the turn). I scored 3 points (killed objective, dominated zone)

Without the galleons, he didn't have much left. Bart decided to see what he could take out on his way down. the bull snapper and Bokur killed one nihilator each. Bart charged the krea, but rolled so low he wasn't able to kill it.

Turn 6

The Krea did its Animus, catching Bart. the Willbreaker put up Puppet Master on the Mammoth. a paingiver enraged the Mammoth. the Mammoth charged Bart. his charge attack missed by one, and got fixed up by puppet master. the damage roll did exactly enough to kill Bart.


This was a pretty intense game. Galleons are more frightening than I gave them credit for when I heard about them. I don't think Xerxis would have much trouble dealing with one Galleon, but 2 is tough. it's pretty intimidating to look across the table at 2 giant models with their harpoon guns. it's not really an option to just go around, since Bart is nice and secure way behind these hulking monsters.

Luckily, Xerxis does armor cracking. I don't think that I would have been ok with any other Skorne caster against that list. Normally, an enraged Bronzeback or mammoth is more than enough to handle anything in the game. The Galleon changes that, and gives Xerxis a huge role to fill. This game proved to me the use of Xerxis as a third list. If I have to go against a Galleon, I better do it with someone who can handle it. even better, if my opponent knows that Xerxis is an option, and knows how badly Xerxis can break armor, I might not have to face Galleons in the first place. It all depends on list options on both sides, but it is a possible deterrent.

Obviously in this game we both made some big mistakes. Poor placement and use of my Rhinodon and Agonizer could have cost me the Mammoth. had I used them to better lock down the second Galleon, I might have had an easier time of dealing with double galleon without being saved by bad dice at a critical moment. On his side, this was the first time he has played Bart in Mk2, and there were some things he could have done differently. He didn't think the mammoth was in charge range when it took down the first Galleon for one. he could have done a better job of juggling hot shot to make use of both Galleons' guns. and I don't think he ever actually feated this game. it might not have done a ton since both Galleons died to a model that was immune to knockdown, but it could have been helpful the turn after I killed the first Galleon to keep his support safe.

Thoughts on the Mammoth

Obviously, the mammoth is amazing with Xerxis. he offers so much, and gains a lot in return. Xerxis has trouble with infantry jam. 3 4" AOEs helps thin that problem out a bit. Xerxis makes this guy an absolute monster if needed. if I was going against only one huge target, I could easily toss Fury, Enrage and the feat in together to make the mammoth a pow 24 weaponmaster with 8 attacks. nothing in the game can survive that. It used to be overkill to do that on just a bronzeback, but Collosals has given this kind of raw killing power a place.

In this game, the mammoth proved how valuable that hitting power can be. he killed 2 Galleons almost single-handedly (the rhinodon only did about 10 boxes, the nihilators did less than that on the other one), then killed the caster (ok, granted Bart had flung himself up there and could have been killed by any one of several models. still, credit goes to the big guy).

Something should also be said about the mammoth's survivability in this list. Arm 20 + def ward + feat is Arm 24 for a turn, with help from an agonizer making him harder to kill for warjacks or arm 26 vs beasts. it's a very tough nut to crack, even for a pow 21 Galleon!

OK, we're down to the end here. Next week I'll be doing the last caster on the list, Void Seer Mordikaar. I'll also be doing Makeda3 now that her stats are released. I'll probably be running her tier 4 list just to try it out since it makes the Mammoth cost 2 points less. After that, I'll likely start doing some more serious playtesting of Makeda. She seems like a lot of fun, and a style that I want to play. If people are enjoying these battle reports, I can do something similar for Makeda. I won't be doing as many, as 'Con season is coming up in 2 months, and I'll need to switch over to testing and choosing some lists for Lock and Load.

1 comment:

  1. This was a fun series of reports!

    I won't ask for an extensive series for Makeda, but hearing your initial thoughts or a summary after a few games would be nice.