Alright, in an effort to minimise the amount of work required by me (and also to minimise the preceding blurb on each of these…) there are several preceding articles you should read. Some of them also talk about how to deal with footnotes. You work it out.
So After the success of game one in the Iron Gauntlet, I moved to game two where I drew Daniel as my opponent.
Daniel and I had met on the shuttle from the airport to our hotel on Thursday night, so I was happy to play him, but unhappy it happened this early since I dislike knocking people I’m rooting for out of tournaments.
In this case I was rooting for him because he’d come all the way from Germany for the tournament and I felt he deserved some reward.
Then of course I realized he was playing eHaley and all my concern for his enjoyment went out the window.
Is there a LESS sympathetic character?6
His two lists were eHaley and Runes of War. He’d played runes the previous round and I figured that he probably wasnt eager to drop it against eLich, so I guessed that he’d drop eHaley.
I think he probably guessed what I was going to drop, so neither of us was surprised to end up in eHaley vs eMorvhana.
Oddly enough I really havent played the eHaley vs eMorvhana match very often, since I commonly dropped eKrueger on Cygnar and …well…I’d just never got around to it.
That was a pity, because as it turns out eHaley is a tiny bit of a problem child for eMorvhana, being one of the few casters that can get a definitive attrition advantage early and force Morvhana’s feat. Which would be ok except that Haley also has the ability to nullify most of my shooting and then nullify yet another turn with her feat, leading to my gameplan:
Take it in the face for two turns, get feated on, feat back my stuff, take it in the face again…then play a game.
Not the greatest of plans, granted, but it was the best I could come up with on short notice and my list is pretty well suited to plan “take it in the face”, so I figured I was in with a shot.
Unfortunately his plan appeared to be “Kill all of his stuff really really fast, one-shot all his skinwalkers with brutal damage pony-shots and thereby force him to feat then kill it all again and win”
Which it has to be said was a far better plan.
His list was Haley with gun mages, gun mages on ponys, a stormclad of her own, Jakes with a stormclad of HER own, plus some solos and the suchlike. I feel like there was another unit, which may well have been the black 13th.3
I ended up going first (I dont recall who won the roll) and the scenario was close quarters.
I ran up, fairly confidently placing my stuff out of most of his threat ranges (my trackers running away from the gun mages towards the other side of the board where all they had to deal with was ponys 2
My Bloodpack ran up finding a forest to stand in1 and my skinwalkers took the front and center (otherwise known as the “take it in the face” location – TIITF for short, though it’s not a particularly useful acronym) and prepared to execute step one of the plan.
His turn one he ran his guys up and the Jack with Jakes ran to within 4″ of a couple of bloodtrackers. Which was suspicious. Then the murder-ponies bounced shots off it and killed the trackers. Sadness.
So it’s probably worth noting at this point that his list was specifically tailored to take a large number of matchups…one of which is eMorvhana. It was a LOT better at that role than I gave it credit for and as a result I’d walked directly into him and activated his trap card.
Meanwhile, on the other Chiriboga, his gun mages setup to take shots at my bloodpack, putting a couple of points on two of them.
Haley advanced centrally and put up Deceleration.
My turn two I advanced, made a few paltry ranged attacks (decel really kills the buzz) and set up to enact stage two in my plan.
The plan was looking a little less appealing at this stage, but I was determined to stick with it. The only thing worse than a bad plan is no plan, so I’ve been told. Though in retrospect I’m pretty sure that guy was just trying to persuade me to use his plan and relying on my laziness.
The general rule of thumb against eHaley is that if you can make it through her feat with more than 50% of your army left, you’re in a very good spot.
Of course that’s a big IF.
His turn two he unleashed unholy hell upon me. Deadeye on both the gun mage units (pony and unpony) plus Deceleration, then Haley charged forward and feated, catching my entire army including Morvhana.
His Gunmages blew away three or four bloodpack and the jacks went to work on trackers killing three or four plus a skinwalker. Then the ponys activated.
In what can only be described as an intense orgy of horse-mounted violence his ponys consecutively one-shot four skinwalkers….with one pony still to shoot and one skinwalker still alive. He fortunately did not kill that last one, leaving the unit still viable as a feat target.
He did NOT kill a gallows grove. Which was upsetting.
So I started my turn in Haley’s feat, with 15 dead models, one skinwalker remaining, three bloodpack and three or four trackers. Plan take it in the face was working slightly better than anticipated and I was pretty sure that if I feated everything back he could do much the same again in the following turn….which would (to my eye) leave me pretty much out of the game. I was barely in the game scenario-wise, I’d have to feat very deep into the scenario just to have a chance of staying in the game…..not good.
Of course being the bast….great guy that he was, Daniel kindly allowed me to activate my warlock first….thus completely shutting out the possiblity of killing my own gallows grove before my feat or trying any other options that I might otherwise have come up with.
The one thing in my favour (and it was a big thing) was that in his efforts to completely push me out of the scenario (via a very deep feat) and attrition (via double dead-eye and deceleration), he’d left Haley without any focus. She was in a cloud courtesy of gorman, but since her feat had caught morvhana she was less than 18 inches away.
I looked, I assessed, I panicked, I calmed, I thought some more. Then I said well, to hell with it. Plan take it in the face was a stupid idea anyway, lets try plan “dig out of hole”4, we’ve certainly buried her deep enough.
So Morvhana put all other concerns aside and calmly walked out of a forest, dropped a sunder spirit into Haley’s face, missing the to-hit roll, rerolling to hit. Rolling 15 on the damage roll and putting 13 points through. Leaving Haley on 2.
So now I didn’t need to be able to boost the second one, so I boosted to hit and hit it, then rolled the 4 I needed to kill Haley and escape from what should have been a pretty horrible defeat.
Things I learned (TLDR):
1. Epic Haley can be built to cause my Morvhana2 list serious problems. I need to come up with a better answer than my current option. Plan take it in the face is probably not a go for WTC
2. Morvhana 2 in general has a weakness against extremely strong scenario casters. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that she isn’t directly strong in scenario. She generally gains scenario advantage through an attrition path, rather than a more direct scenario path in the manner of an epic Krueger. Opponents that can stop the attrition swing almost accidentally gain a scenario advantage over her because her scenario strength lies mostly in her mass of infantry.
3. Murder Ponys are more of a problem than I anticipated, I need a plan for them also. This was reinforced in a later game (spoiler alert) where Khadoran ponys also caused me problems. To flip this on it’s head, if you believe that light cavalry is NOT good, you should reconsider it and try it again.
4. Morvhana’s assassination game is still much stronger than anyone gives her credit for. It’s incredibly hard to actually work out the effects of her rerolls on an assassination run (though it’s not too hard on this particular run) once you factor in the multiple model contributions….but at the end of the day the answer is that the effect is dramatic. If you are backed into a corner with her then she will turn even the longest odds assassination into a genuine threat. If you are playing against her, be warned. If you are winning, make an extra special effort to keep your caster safe.
5. The adage “it’s better to be lucky than good” is, on occasion, true. It’s also not a really helpful thing to say to anyone who’s just been through the losing side of a game like this one.
6. Assassination is a win-condition that “good” players use less often than they probably should, largely due to the heavy influence of tie-breakers and the such-like. In reality I should look for it more often than I do, particularly when playing with a caster who has a strong run.
As usual, comments etc in the forum thread, I feel like this game was so short that it was pretty hard to get a good article out of it but hopefully it at least made you chuckle.
1 Wierdly enough I find that I automatically put models toe-in on terrain regardless of whether it’s going to be useful or not. I guess it’s a good habit, but really I could run my bloodpack just about anywhere given the presence of fog of war unless someone’s going to charge them (Which is pretty rare). Yet I almost always toe them into a forest, even if it means they run less far than I’d like them to. Something to work on I guess.
2 “Let’s go over there ladies, get away from those horrible gunmages, all they’ve got over this side is … well….gun mages on ponys.” Is probably the most stupid last sentence ever uttered by anyone ever.5
3 My memory isn’t super strong on that stuff. I did bring a book with me to write in….but given that I also took paints with me to specifically complete the required painting in the TWO DAYS before Iron Gauntlet…and was still painting with 10 minutes to go (having started painting about 10 minutes before that) well…is it any surprise that I didnt get around to taking notes?
4 Possibly the single most powerful aspect of Morvhana 2 is her ability to enact plan “dig out of hole”. No matter how deep you bury her, no matter how badly you enact your primary plan for a game…she is ALWAYS shovel-ready. Over this weekend I learned two NEW things that she could do that I hadn’t previously known…and I know a lot of random stupid things she can do.
5 Possible exception being “Well I guess we’re going to just have to eat the espionage…what’s the worst that can happen?” – Spoiler Alert for next article.
6 Yes, yes, your arm was chopped off…well done. Yes, I’m aware it was your twin sister separated in youth, corrupted by the evil ways of….Why the hell didn’t she chop off the rest of you?9
7 I like to think that someone somewhere took the arm that was chopped off and re-assembled the rest of her and there will be a future caster for Cephalyx, Cryx or Convergence that is just Haley’s arm on some hideous cyborg with a feat called “talk to the hand”. That would be awesome.
8 There’s no link to this footnote. It’s like a severed arm. In the sense that having it severed from my article has only made my article stronger. In a sense the rest of this article is but a footnote to this note. Which would make this some kind of never-before-seen meta-footnote, possibly a hand-note.
9 Although given that chopping your arm off seemed to make you more powerful than I could possibly imagine, I’m not quite sure WHAT would have happened if they’d simply reassembled your entire body. 7
10 If these guys HAVE a trap card, I’d assume that involves ducks in some way. Though maybe that’s too straight forward. I haven’t seen the show, I’m only assuming they hunt ducks. Perhaps their surname is duck and it’s actually a show about some wacky back-woods socialite family of young rich people in a Louisiana swamp mansion.