Following our first game my opponent wanted to test an oldie but goldie vs Sloan: Mordikaar. The idea was that Hollow + Revive would possibly lead to him getting the time needed to really put the pressure on Sloan. Without giving away too much, this is easily the most interesting game I've had vs Skorne in Mk. 3 thus far.
:: Lists ::
Captain Kara Sloan - WJ: +28Opponent:
- Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 4
- Firefly - PC: 8
- Hunter - PC: 11
- Hunter - PC: 11
- Stormwall - PC: 11
- Lightning Pod
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 4
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 4
Gobber Tinker - PC: 2
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 20
Void Seer Mordikaar - WB: +29
- Titan Sentry - PC: 15 (Battlegroup Points Used: 15)
- Titan Gladiator - PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 14)
- Cyclops Brute - PC: 8
Tyrant Rhadeim - PC: 9
Extoller Soulward - PC: 3
Mortitheurge Willbreaker - PC: 4
Void Spirit - PC: 4
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer - Tyrant & Bearer: 6
Praetorian Ferox - Leader & 4 Grunts: 21
Praetorian Keltarii - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
Paingiver Beast Handlers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
Last game I predicted my opponent weighing left. This time I didn't need to predict anything because he went first! I got my Stormwall opposite his fastest flank and had the Firefly + Sloan opposite with the Lances in the middle.
:: Game ::
Skorne runs up. Infantry in threat range of Sloan.
I want to start getting the Keltarii down. Partly because why not start right away, partly because I didn't want a massive fury-stacked Mordikaar next turn (those Keltarii have to die before they hit my lines in force and with hollow that means souls. Tons of souls). The hunters take down a Ferox. Lances have 3 centrally and one on each flank. A bit of a traffic jam situation but it all works out ok. I have the space I need.
The Skorne push up again and my opponent feats. +3 DEF and Poltergeist across the board, joy! The 5th Ferox is brought back with Revive.
The warbeasts were still far behind and the flags were not threatened yet. However I really, -really- wanted to kill the infantry + cavalry now before they hit me back. The Keltarii are still capable of killing Lances despite their modest stats and the Ferox are very dangerous. If they get in and the beasts follow up that could be a headache. So yeah this is a feat turn for sure. Guided Fire and Firefly starts off, hoping to thin out Keltarii. Miss. Wow ok. The rest of the shots wound Ferox though but my opponent has learned the joy of passing tough tests, which is quite a pain when they are steady. The Lances make a bit of a "kill everything!" charge as they move in to clear up what the shooters couldn't, ranging from Keltarii on the left to Ferox on the right. Unfortunately when the action settles down there is one cav dude left alive and one infantry dude.
Oh yeah, and Mordikaar is now sitting on 16 fury...
Looking for assassination angles shows few viable options as Sloan is very far back and camps a focus even. Instead it's back to attrition. I knew my Lances were exposed despite my best reposition attempts to get them back. Luckily for me only 2 of them die. Mordikaar gets all Ferox back up though. It feels like I'm back to square 1.
I play a horrible turn. I mess up focus allocation and priorities, my opponent manages a few tough tests again and I'm just amazed that not only did I not kill the Ferox, they have many models alive that can get some serious work done on me.
Following my rather shit turn, my opponent exploits the opening perfectly. Picture speaks for itself:
So he still had Ferox up, I had lost all Lances and a Hunter and slowly but surely I was getting pushed further and further back. The Firefly tanked a Free Strike and its POW12 leaps cut down a couple. Sloan + Stormwall finally pushed through the rest. The Stormwall backed off.
The Firefly is killed and the beasts push up far.
I kill the Gladiator, the Sentry goes in, I kill the Sentry. At this point it's basically game over.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
An interesting game which highlights many things: When you get the momentum vs Sloan, you have to push and be objective oriented. My opponent's win condition here is primarily scenario. He got a ton of space and the Ferox took me forever to deal with, but he wasn't able to transition that momentum into a scenario angle. I was always in control of his possible scenario pushes and had contest models close to the flags at all times. The best he could manage in the end was a couple of CP but no-where near 5.
The Ferox here were amazing. I didn't keep track of the rolls involved but I believe they might have gotten a little lucky some of the turns. Regardless it is irrelevant because them being tough is something you can just get used to right off the bat and tough units with steady will have situations like this. When I lost all my Lances and he still had a big unit of Ferox alive I was lucky the scenario angle wasn't live for my opponent.
I think perhaps the main problem here was Skorne's slow advance with the Warbeasts. Looking at the pictures around Turns 2 & 3 I think they are way too passive. The Ferox wrought all that carnage on their own basically and if they Beasts could've come in as well (the Stormwall is flat threat 10") the situation would be a lot more dire. The reason I came out ahead was partly because the Beasts failed to push up with the Ferox and partly because the Skorne push had an awkward angle. I have mentioned this multiple times before, in Line Breaker part of what makes it hard to defend on scenario is that the flags are so far apart. Ironically, in pushing down the middle my opponent experienced this in reverse, he didn't have the necessary momentum to get to either flag quickly enough! The lessons from the first game today were certainly fresh in mind here and I think my play throughout the game shows that I'm unwilling to go for a skew (which I could've attempted multiple times). My win condition is attrition and I should not prematurely jump on scenario openings that aren't quickly taking me to 5CP.
In the end a very interesting game. I think Skorne need to look more at Ferox and Ferox-oriented lists as a way to rush gunlines. Both Mordikaar and Makeda2 look like good options at least and I look forward to seeing Skorne try and make lists that can utilize their cavalry.