Due to a very busy week/weekend, I'm a little late writing up reports from this past week. I played 2 games, one with pMorghoul and one with Zaal. Hopefully I can remember enough detail to make a decent report out of those two games, though the second battle probably won't get posted until at least Wednesday (which is of course the day I'll be playing the next game on the list). I may also be writing an article on ym reactions to the new releases that come out on Wednesday, though that topic is being beaten to death across the internet right now. I'll probably at least cover my thoughts on Skorne releases.
Back on topic, my first game last week was using Master Tormentor Morghoul. As always, I brought the "mammoth package" that I've been playing with. Morghoul of course comes with a whopping 7 beast points, which gives a nice neat 11 points on top of the standard package. normally there are certain models I would take with Morghoul, but tossing in Tiberion with the Mammoth was too tempting. I ended up playing one of our local Ret players who was running a Tier 4 Rahn list, using the Fires From on High tier list from NQ.
My opponent's list:
Max Halberdiers + UA
2X Stormfall archers
It's odd to see Rahn without Battle Mages, but the new Fires From on High list is pretty strong with its AD Stormfalls. the one thing really missing from the list above is Sylys, but I'm not sure what he should drop for him. His list is similar to the one I'm planning on running with Rahn, but I've gotten a bit distracted by all the new Skorne toys.
I'm doing this report from memory, and almost a week after the game actually happened, so hopefully I don't miss anything too glaring. The main thing I know I'm missing is the terrain placement. I don't remember what was out where, but none of it had any big effect other than a wall outside of either deployment zone. we decided to keep it simple and played Outflank. I think I prefer this to Incursion as the default "don't know what to play" scenario.
I had first turn, and deployed in a fairly central way. the Mammoth and Gladiator were placed slightly right with the willbreaker, hoping to use him to keep that unit running. Morghoul has some trouble with spread out zone control, and the willbreaker + paingivers helps this a ton. morghoul, the Krea and Tiberion went slightly left so that morghoul could get into a position behind the wall and threaten the left zone. nihilators went in front, and paingivers behind. the agonizer was right behind morghoul. He deployed with Hyperion slightly to my left (which is why Tiberion was on that side) and halberdiers + Rahn central. he split all of his doubles (magisters, chimeras and stormfalls) evenly between the two flanks. Eiryss was right behind the wall on his side I believe.
things ran. Morghoul put admonition on himself. the krea protected morghoul and tiberion. nihilators were spread across the middle a bit.
And his stuff ran. the Halberdiers ran instead of shield walling to get further up, and then spread out. stormfalls moved into both zones and popped a few nihilators. hyperion moved up and took a long shot and didn't do anything. Rahn put force barrier up and polarity shield on one of the chimeras.
most things were still too far to really do much to this turn. the mammoth took a shot at some stormfalls but fell short and rahn got to pick deviation direction. I put up counterblast. the nihilators got a run/charge but only one was goign to be charging. he missed his attack. the rest ran to tie down as many halberdiers as possible and one ran to engage the left Chimera. the agonizer got behind the wall in front of the left zone. The Krea, Morghoul and Tiberion got in the same area, all protected by the krea. paingivers healed some damage I had caused due to maltreatment. the willbreaker toed into a forest and put puppet master on the mammoth since ancillary wasn't going to help this turn.
his stormfalls on the left moved up and tried to kill my agonizer. behind a wall and with a krea nearby they couldn't get the job done. one got a lucky roll and put 1 damage on morghoul. the halberdiers advanced (most were behind a wall so no charge, but they didn't really need it). they attacked the central nihilators, and only 2 of them survived, plus some in the left zone. the stormfalls on my right shot at the mammoth, doing about 8 damage or so. Eiryss shot counter-blast off of my mammoth. the arcanists power boosted the chimeras which both ran. Rahn moved up and went to arc a force hammer to knock morghoul down, but the chimera was in the Agonizer bubble. instead he arced out of the other one and slammed my willbreaker, killing him. That was going to be painful, since morghoul needed to commit to the left flank. Hyperion moved up and took a shot at Tiberion, doing some damage but not getting a crit. the side cannons killed the 2 or 3 nihilators in the zone.
At the end of the turn he scored 1 control point in the left zone. I think the right zone had the gladiator in it.
Morghoul was still fairly central and almost in control range of the gladiator. I started with the gladiator, moving into control and attacking the Chimera. initials plus 2 bought attacks left it on 1 box, but the arc node was gone. I spent the last 2 giving the mammoth rush. the nihilators went next (only 2 left) and advanced into the mess of halberdiers. they rolled hot and didn't miss a single attack, berserking through 8 halberdiers total. the agonizer moved up and did his thing, but didn't move up far enough. I thought I could get the Mammoth and Tiberion onto his collosal, but that would leave the chimera alive. so I needed the agonizer near morghoul to protect him from arcing.
Morghoul went next, putting abuse and rush on Tiberion, camping 1 after maltreating the gladiator. the krea did her thing. paingivers cleared the gladiator and krea, enraging the Mammoth and Tiberion. tiberion charged the Hyperion, staying in the zone. he was only in range with his reach weapon, and managed to miss one of his attacks. still, he took down one whole side. The Mammoth was going to charge in, but my nihilators were in the way and I couldn't find a landing zone. so instead he trampled and killed the second Chimera.
Unfortunately, my agonizer wasn't where it needed to be, and Hyperion got 3 focus. I should have done him last and ran him in to prevent allocation. the stormfalls on my left killed the agonizer. the arcanists moved in, one repairing the arm I had broken on Hyperion, the other giving him concentrated power. Hyperion made short work of Tiberion. Rahn swapped polarity shield to Hyperion. the remaining few halberdiers charged the mammoth (with 2) and the last nihilators. the nihilators died (not a single tough roll all game...). one halberdier that charged the mammoth died to a counterblast, the other did a bit of damage. the Magister on my right slammed the gladiator (who was the only thing in the zone), knocking him down but not pushing him out. the stormfalls on that side all shot the gladiator, doing a bit more than 50% of his damage grid. he scored his second point on the left zone which had been contested by only Tiberion and the Agonizer.
I was starting to fall behind on attrition and scenario at this point, so it was time to get aggressive my gladiator would need to just survive on his own with very limited support. everything else would focus on the left zone. the krea went first, moving up to the center of the zone with his animus up. Morghoul got things moving by charging into the stormfalls and killing them all with overtake. he put up a second copy of the krea animus and camped 2 (after maltreatment) then sprinted to be behind the krea. the paingivers went, healing the gladiator and enraging the mammoth. the last one took a swing at the magister and hit, then rolled 11 on damage, killing it! the gladiator stood up and walked to engage 2 stormfalls.
The Mammoth couldn't charge Hyperion, but he used his free trample to get into melee with it. 4 bought attacks later, hyperion was a giant wreck marker. I got 2 points for dominating the left zone, tying us up.
he saw an opportunity for a caster kill and started moving towards it. first he tried to kill my gladiator in the right zone. the engaged stormfalls moved away, losing only 1 to a free strike. the remaining one shot at the gladiator but didn't roll enough to kill. the wounded Chimera went in and used another attack, but did very little. the gladiator had about 8 or so boxes left at this point.
on the other side, Eiryss tried to shoot morghoul to drop admonition and the Krea animus, but missed. Rahn moved up and feated, blasting the krea over morghoul and knocking them both down. morghoul took about 7 damage and I went ahead and transferred to the mammoth. Rahn then shot a chain blast at morghoul, but only did 2 points of damage. the magister hit morghoul next, doing another measly point and allowing Rahn to move back. the arcanists and remaining halberdier spread out in the wreck of Hyperion to try to stop the mammoth. he had a magister and a halberdier in my zone.
The Krea's spirit was out, so it couldn't stand up before its turn. it just walked up into the zone. the gladiator finished off the Chimera it was playing around with. Morghoul used the krea animus, maltreated the krea again, killed the Magister and used overtake to get in melee with Rahn. he swung a few more times doing maybe 3 or 4 damage and camped 2. Apparently it's been too long since playing Morghoul. he should have A. used Sprint to move behind Rahn so that he could just admonition around if Rahn faced him, and B. used his feat. of course I did neither.
Next I learned a very important lesson. Bulldoze doesn't work on tramples. I was planning on trampling over the arcanist and eEiryss, knocking them both out of the way to get the Mammoth to Rahn. but that would only work if they each got pushed when contacted. since that wouldn't work, the Mammoth had to just trample over the halberdier in the zone and put up counterblast. On the bright side, Morghoul was still touching the zone and I scored 2 more points, bringing me to 4.
he was down to only a few models left. he had an arcanist, Eiryss, the halberdier standard and Rahn left on the left zone side, and 3 stormfalls left in the right zone. if I had just used Morghoul's feat it would have been impossible for him to do anything to me and that would have been game (once the Mammoth bulldozed or killed the 1 or 2 solos that got in the zone). instead, I had left myself open to a fairly decent assassination attempt. Honestly, I didn't even remember that Rahn had crit smite on his weapon. Because Morghoul had the Krea animus up, Rahn went with just buying attacks and hoping for a crit or a good damage roll. he needed 11 on 3 dice, and only managed to hit morghoul twice. one attack did little enough damage that I took it, the other was boosted and got transferred to the Mammoth. Rahn then used beatback to leave combat to try to let Eiryss hit Morghoul. Morghoul just used admonition to get back into melee, making him def 23 vs shooting. Eiryss went for a charge instead of shooting. the mammoth shot her with counterblast but left her with 2 boxes. she ended up missing both attacks anyways. He opted to just end the game there and didn't move into the zone with the standard, letting me score my final point.
I felt in control of the game for the most part this time. I did make a few big mistakes that could have cost the game. the first was not saving the agonizer for last on a critical turn. if he had gone last I could have seen if I needed to block the arc node or stop Hyperion from getting focus. had I used him properly, Tiberion would have probably lived, which would have put me way up in the game.
The second mistake was not reading bulldoze well enough and thinking I could make myself some room at the end of a trample. Good thing I figured that out in this game rather than during a tournament or something.
And finally, not feating with Morghoul was just dumb. it was one of those ideal situations for Morghoul. just him and another caster, very little nearby. Just use sprint to hide behind them, admonition for when they move, and have the feat up to prevent any focus from being used. It's apparently been too long since playing pMorghoul.
On the Retribution side, he played the early game very well. Hyperion got up a bit too close, but Morghoul tends to surprise people with long threat ranges. other than that, he jammed well with the halbs, and managed to clear zones with stormfalls twice. if he had rolled better on my gladiator, I would have been in serious trouble on the right flank. Losing my willbreaker hurt a lot, he managed to snipe that guy out really early with a Force Hammer.
In the end, this was a pretty rough matchup for Rahn. 2 heavy hitters on my side that couldn't be moved made it hard for him to leverage the normal Rahn tricks. having only one real heavy hitter in Hyperion against 3 big beasts from Skorne makes it hard to get up on the piece-trade. Still, it was a hard-fought battle that went one for 5 full turns.
Thoughts on the Mammoth
Obviously the big lesson was learning how bulldoze works. other than that little flub, the Mammoth did very well in this game. He easily took down a half-full Hyperion, even without being able to charge or use its initial attacks. Pow 21 fists are really good at scrapping big models. counterblast didn't do a ton this game, but I still really like it on the Mammoth. Shooting in this game was almost non-existant, due mostly to Rahn's force barrier. the Mammoth was still able to pay for himself by scrapping hyperion and several other models.
This game showed off a bit of the Mammoth's survivability against lists that aren't built to handle big models. with only the Hyperion as a beater 'jack, the Stormfalls had a lot on their plate. with the Krea animus nearby, the mammoth is sporting Arm 22 against shooting, which means the brutal shots from stormfalls are still doing 0 damage on average rolls. even taking a bunch of shots and a few infantry charges, the Mammoth finished the game with 35-odd boxes. this shows that against a warmachine army without weapon-masters you can really afford to use the Mammoth very far forward and apply a lot of pressure to a normal list.
That's all for this game. I have one more to write up for Zaal for this week that will be coming in the next few days, hopefully. Zaal is one of my favorite Skorne casters, and will likely be one of my main casters in the upcoming 'con season. but will an infantry support caster find any use for the Mammoth? find out with a Cryx matchup later this week.