With week 3 upon us, I was able to at last add some models to support the battlegroup. As planned, the expansion was made up from a max group of Beast Handlers and a Void Spirit.
I was feeling good about the scenario game, and was looking forward to using Xekaars feat in conjunction with a scenario to fight over.
A Robust Rematch
I only managed to fit in a single league game this week thanks to derping a bit and forgetting to bring my army for the after-work match yesterday. As it happens the one fight that I did get in was a rematch (grudge match?) against Chris and his Legion of Everblight. I was not only looking across the table at the same battlegroup that pushed me about last game, but also a minimum unit of Blighted Nyss Raptors.
– Cyclops Raider
– Cyclops Savage
– Titan Gladiator
– Titan Gladiator
max Paingiver Beast Handlers
– Nephalim Bolt Thrower
min Blighted Nyss Raptors
As the scenario for week 3 was Trial by Fire, there was a central 12″ zone for us to fight over. I had a few ideas from my last attempt at fighting Chris’s Legion force but the Raptors worried me a bit. 9″ SPD, 12″ guns and reposition 5″ had me looking at my army wondering what exactly I was supposed to do about them. After a while pondering I chose: Ignore them and tank the damage. Even with poison on their bows, they were still only POW10 and mostly threatened my Beast Handlers and Xekaar himself. I couldn’t see any easy way to create an assassination opportunity without Chris misplaying his caster into the wrong spot, so my plan was to occupy the zone and win on scenario.
Things went to plan for the first 2 turns, before slowly unraveling over the following 2. I jammed my Gladiators into the zone so they threatened slams/charges on any Legion beasts that wanted to contest. Chris focus fired the Raptors, Seraph and Bolt Thrower into one of the Gladiators doing 12 damage in total on his first turn. I continued with respositioning and threatening the zone, using dedicated medicate runs and psycho surgery to heal my beasts. This was proving fairly effective as it wasn’t too hard to get 4 Beast Handlers onto a Gladiator at once, so was healing 5d3+1 on each turn this way, and I was removing most of the ranged damage he was doing to my beasts over the first 2 turns.
In the end I misplayed my placements and Chris got the expected feat powered alpha strike in on his 3rd turn such that it allowed him to kill one Gladiator, but the other was left standing with a single box left. In return I healed the Gladiator for 2 giving him back full functionality and squished out the Neraph. Unfortunately, to do this I had Xekaar melee the Neraph to get the Witchmark on so I could stick Mortality to it. This turned my bad situation into an abysmal one as despite considered screening and placement of Xekaar behind Beast Handlers on my left flank against the Raptors, I didn’t account for Kryssa’s personal and completely bonkers threat range. Turn 4 saw Chris close out the match with a very precise Kryssa assassination through a gap I didn’t expect her to come through.
League record is now 1-4
Chris and I had a great discussion post-match about the plays made and I got to take away quite a lot of ideas for future matches. I misplayed most of my turns in my haste to ‘lock down’ the zone, and as I had such a huge heal-battery available I should have leveraged that a lot more: I could have had a Gladiator contesting/controlling the zone, and if it took damage, then the one in reserve moves forward, while the hurt one tags out and moves back for bulk heals. Instead, I played both forward and needlessly exposed my Beast Handlers far too much. Had I only had 1 beast forward, it would have forced Chris to commit things one-by-one to try and stop me gaining on scenario, essentially forcing him to use his feat to remove only a single Gladiator. It was only luck that one survived with a single box with the way I had played it. Again, I burnt my feat too early, just proving to myself that I must stick to my normal game plan and only use it once already engaged. This particular scenario didn’t make any real difference as Chris never had immediate clear the zone or lose pressure on him. While I don’t think using Xekaar’s witchmark to stick the mortality was strictly the wrong thing to do to secure the kill on the Neraph, I failed to identify the threats properly so positioned the Beast Handlers and Xekaar into the wrong places. I was already well down on attrition by this point, and feel like I became too focused on the scenario and didn’t spend enough time looking at the other angles. Lastly, my other significant misplay was sending my Void Spirit on a solo mission to mess with the Raptors heads. I think I saw the Raptor leader raise an eyebrow as I did this, considering Kryssa immediately reminded me she has a 10″ magical spray that is perfectly capable of taking a Void Spirit out in 1 hit.
When all is said and done, I was still much happier with my approach to this match-up when compared to the first time I fought against Chris. I feel I had all the answers I needed to fight this to a much closer finish, gunning for a win. I just didn’t use them correctly.
In the Works
I’m currently working on painting the Beast Handlers, but doubt I’ll have them finished tonight considering I still have to finish assembling the Ferox for tomorrow. I’m hoping to pick up speed with my painting as I’ve been slow to start due to spending a lot of time repainting my Master Tormentor. I was using him as my ‘test’ model to settle on the colours for my Paingiver uniform, and think I’ve repainted him fully three times and all the cloth about 5 times. The best thing about working with acrylics? Thin paint layers makes for easy repaints over existing.