Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pod Tournament Report Game 2: Master Ascetic Naaresh vs Fyanna, Torment of Everblight (75pts)

I played my second game of the pod tournament this past Saturday, and here's how it went down.

Phase 1 - List Chicken

My opponent, Dave, was playing Legion, and had brought Lylyth 3, Thagrosh 1, and Fyanna 2.  I was packing Naaresh 1, Mordikaar 1, and Xekaar 1, and I went into the game at a loss as to which list I should choose.  Naaresh had the best game into Lylyth, being hard to kill, having the option to keep Safeguard up all the time without sacrificing much defensively, and having a lot of Shield Guard in the list.  He also had decent game into Thagrosh - I'd have to play better than my opponent, but it would be a fair fight.  I was really worried about running his brick into Fyanna, who had all the tools necessary to stop him.

Mordikaar was my best into Fyanna.  She didn't have a lot of magic weapons in the list, and Revive and Essence Blast would give me a huge leg up on attrition against her infantry.  I was also pretty confident that if I played well, I could run Mordikaar into Thagrosh and come out on top.  Lylyth was a huge problem though.  Apart from the assassination on Mordi himself, all my infantry would be shot off the table before the game had a chance to go anywhere.

Xekaar was strong into Thags, and playable into Fyanna, but was also weak against Lylyth (standing behind Aradi can only do so much).

In the end, I dropped Naaresh and hoped for the best.  Dave dropped Fyanna.  This was gonna be rough.

My full Naaresh list was:

Master Ascetic Naaresh (*32pts)
*Tiberion (22pts)
*Bronzeback Titan (18pts)
*Titan Gladiator (15pts)
*Cyclops Brute (8pts)
*Basilisk Krea (7pts)
*Agonizer (6pts)

Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor (4pts)

Paingiver Bloodrunners (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9pts)
The Legends of Halaak (8pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)

*Titan Sentry (15pts)
*Archidon (10pts)
*Cyclops Brute (8pts)
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor (5pts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (2pts)

This is my melee brick.  It does a lot of damage when it gets to melee, and has a couple of good tools to get there, including Naaresh's Feat.  It's mainly an attrition list to counter heavy armor and shooting, but Naaresh has a pretty deceptive assassination, especially when he's being screened into the fray by high-threat models like Tiberion and a Bronzeback.  This game, I dropped the Krea and slotted in Orin and the Gobbers.

Dave's Fyanna list was:

Fyanna, Torment of Everblight

Nyss Strider Deathstalker
Nyss Strider Deathstalker
Spell Martyr

Nyss Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Nyss Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Hellmouth (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Hellmouth (Leader and 3 Grunts)

Basically a good counter to bricks.  20 weapon masters with access to Fury and a Feat that bumps their Def, backed up by a couple of versatile but glass-cannon-y beasts who are very fast, also great at breaking armor, and have access to not just the Def buffing Feat, but Admonition as well.

Scenario and Deployment

We played Scenario 1, Entrenched.  Each player controls one zone with an objective in the center.  Control your opponent's zone, dominate your zone, or destroy your opponent's objective for 1CP.  Dominate your opponent's zone for 2 CP.

Dave won the roll, and decided to go first.  I picked the side with walls I could stash my heavies behind to avoid drags from the heckmouth tentacles.

Dave deployed his heavies and Fyanna in the middle of the table, and one unit of Swordsmen in front of each zone.

I countered by putting my beasts in the middle, with Tiberion leaning left and the Brute leaning right to be my front line against hellmouths.  Naaresh also went in the middle, and the Agonizer and Paingivers went in the back.

Dave Advance Deployed the Hellmouths one in front of each zone, and the Deathstalkers in more or less the middle.

I deployed my Bloodrunner package in front of my zone, since my plan was to get Naaresh in there and hopefully win in scenario with a hard to kill 'caster.

Just as we were about to begin, Ben, a meta regular who was watching our game, described Naaresh as the "Christian Grey" of Warmachine.  Dave graciously paused the clock while I went to go vomit, but didn't let me switch to Mordikaar.

Legion Turn 1

Dave ran most of his stuff.  Fyanna put Admonition on Zuriel, Fury on the left unit of Swordsmen, and Iron Flesh on the right unit.  Everything ended up mostly out of my threat ranges, except a couple tentacles that wanted to keep my Bloodrunners in check.

I'm not sure exactly what my plan was, but getting tentacles out of my face was step one.

Skorne Turn 1

The Bloodrunners Apparated forward to start things off.

I had the Bloodrunners go early, and take out the right cluster of tentacles.  The Legends and Tiberion each took out the one they could reach.  The heavies ran forward pretty cautiously.  Naaresh put up Lamentation because forcing Fyanna to spend her whole stack on Upkeeps and stopping Repulsion seems like a great plan.  The Agonizer started up by wailing.  Orin and the Gobbers ran up close to my zone.  And that was it for me.

An ok turn.  My plan was still "go for my zone and hope for the best," but honestly it wasn't much more developed than that.

Legion Turn 2

Fyanna upkept her spells, and leached her Fury.

More tentacles popped up and slithered horribly forward.  Zuriel Assaulted Valgesh, and killed him.  The left Swordsmen ran up to jam me.  The right Swordsmen ran around to avoid the Bloodrunners.  The two Angelii buzzed around to the right side of the table behind the house.  The Deathstalkers advanced, and shot at the Bloodrunners, but only killed one between them thanks to mediocre rolling and a Shield Guard.

I was being jammed pretty hard, but I wasn't too worried.  Drawing out Fyanna's Feat early was a plus, and with enough boosting, I was pretty sure I could kill a bunch of Swordsmen anyway.

Skorne Turn 2

Naaresh upkept Lamentation.

Tiberion and the Gladiator boosted and killed a couple Swordsmen.  The Bloodrunners used Gang and Leadership to kill a couple Swordsmen and a Deathstalker.  Orin zorched a Hellmouth maw and killed one Swordsman on the bounce.  Naaresh Feated to give me an armor boost against the counterattack.  The Agonizer used Gnawing Pain.  The Brute got up into my zone.

And that was pretty much it.

As good as I could hope for from my second turn.  The Hellmouths were really getting into my head, but I was grinding it pretty well so far.

Legion Turn 3

All Fyanna's targets were in Lamentation range, so Fyanna dropped all her spells.

She fiddled around a bit in the backfield, and put Admonition on one of the Angelii for 4 Fury.  Both Angelii flew to my zone (the one with Admonition hovering inside), and killed a Bloodrunner and my objective.  The unit of Swordsmen which had jammed me continued to do so.  The other unit continued its dash around the back. Zuriel went behind the house, out of my threat lanes.  The Hellmouths continued to spawn tentacles, but they continued to do not a lot directly besides get in the way.

A fairly low action turn, but I was getting worried.  The flying beasts had a lot of freedom to roam behind that house, and while I'd continue to be able to kill off Swordsmen from the first unit, I still had all 3 heavies and the second unit to deal with.

Skorne Turn 3

Naaresh upkept Lamentation, which was really starting to do good work.

The Brute moved up to trap the Admonitioned Angelius, but didn't quite prevent it from flying away.  Tiberion and the Gladiator killed some more Swordsmen.  The Agonizer continued to use Gnawing Pain.  The Paingivers managed Fury, and whipped the crap out of Naaresh.

The Bloodrunners killed another Swordsman as well as the second Deathstalker.  Orin tried to fry stuff again, but didn't break armor.  Naaresh moved up to Dominate my zone, and cast Safeguard.  The Legends killed a Swordsman, and moved up.  The Bronzeback toed into my zone behind Naaresh.

Not awful, but also not a lot accomplished.  Dave had a chance to do a lot of harm on his turn, especially with that house splitting up my battlegroup.  Naaresh, at least, was pretty safe.

Legion Turn 4

Fyanna had no upkeeps.

Tentacles popped up, and dragged the Gladiator and Brute into Legion lines.  Fyanna spent 4 to cast Fury on Zuriel, who flew over and attacked the Bronzeback.  He did a lot of damage, but couldn't quite seal the deal.  One of the Angelii charged in and finished the Bronzeback off.  The other Angelius flew behind the gobbers, and killed them both.

The remaining Swordsmen charged at the Brute and Gladiator, killing the Gladiator, but not quite killing the Brute.  The Spell Martyr, which hadn't done much yet, moved to the corner of Dave's zone to potentially contest it.

I was in a real bad spot.  I had just Tiberion left against 3 heavies, and he was way out of position to do anything.  I could try to go for Dave's zone, but I was way behind on Scenario.  Attrition was out, and assassination was a long shot, although both Zuriel and the Angel who'd killed my Bronzeback were full on Fury.

Skorne Turn 4

Naaresh dropped Lamentation.

I did have the Legends go for Spell Martyr and Dave's zone, but it was pretty clear I'd need to assassinate or die.  Only the Angelius on the far right of my zone was a valid transfer target, so I sent my right Paingivers after it.  Miraculously, they both managed to hit, and filled the Angelius up on Fury completely with Inflict Pain.

The other unit of Paingivers walked up and hit Naaresh.  Naaresh activated, and used Cyclone to move into charge range of Fyanna.  I misread Cyclone, and Naaresh did end up having to transfer a lot of damage from a free strike, which killed the Brute.

Then he charged Fyanna, boosted a Pow 19 Combo Strike at her, and killed her with a single blow.

Victory to the Skorne!


Well, that was close.  This was the matchup I was most afraid of going into the game.  Dave's Fyanna list was a really good drop for Naaresh, and he exploited his advantages well.  I probably made a mistake picking the side of the table with the house, since he was able to use it as a bunker for his flying beasts.  Going for my zone was certainly the right play, but I'm not sure what I would have done to play it better.  In the end, what saved me was being able to take advantage of a little bit of carelessness on Dave's part, a fair amount of luck, and Naaresh's strong last-ditch assassination game.

I'm a lot shakier on this list after this game, but I'm basically stuck with it, so we'll see what it's capable of in a better matchup.

Dave played a really good game.  He had a huge advantage in the attrition game with long threat ranges and good defensive tech.  He also ruthlessly exploited that house to pick me apart piece by piece.  He ended up doing a lot with his beasts on his fourth turn, and because of that, I was able to fill them up with Fury and assassinate, but that was the only major mistake I noticed.

His list is good too.  It certainly has weaker matchups - Mordikaar would have had a huge advantage - but it's strengths make it a part of a good pairing.  Hellmouths are a huge psychological weapon, and the combination of fast beasts and hard-hitting Swordsmen in this list is a really good backup for them.

There's one more game in the pod phase of the tournament.  I've played the game, and I'll have the report up sometime this coming week.

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