An Early End to my JML

Due to a string of both annoying and unfortunate events I completely missed weeks 5 and 6 of the Wellington Journeyman League. Bad timing for a lengthy work trip, almost immediately followed by an illness of which I’m at the tail end of now (9 days seems a lot longer than it actually is when unwell…) On top of all this – I completely forgot to post up about the week 4 game! Luckily, I have some sparse notes and a decent memory.

First however, a public service announcement: My win against Sean involved a bad play on my part. While I can freely slam my own models with my Gladiator and they get moved the additional 2″ from his Grand Slam ability, the ability Follow Up only triggers “When this model slams an enemy model…” In my haste and excitement I misread the Follow Up rule and used it in a way that might well have made all the difference to the end result of the game. At least I’ve learnt about this having only played it wrong once, and importantly before I tried to do it in a tournament!

Forcing the Ferox to Fit

As previously outlined, for week 4 I changed my caster out to Mordikaar along with the big addition of a full unit of Praetorian Ferox that arrived in the post just in time. I was up late on the Tuesday night getting them ready for the Wednesday game. A lot of time was spent carefully pinning the Ferox and riders, including a couple of emergency rider deconstructions as it was not at all obvious what arms went with which bodies to correctly fit on the Ferox once seated. As I really like these models, I’m going to paint the riders and Ferox separately and attach them later. I’m planning on using magnets for this, as it will also make transport options for them a lot better as well. Currently, blue-tac is the stand-in adhesive to keep them in place on the table while I source the appropriate magnets, and I’m hopeful to have these arrive and complete this mod by the end of the coming weekend.

For some odd reason, the Ferox box kit came with 8 extra Ferox legs and a couple of spare Praetorian heads. These have gone into my bits-box and will likely see some resurgence as basing material when (not if) I start working on a second faction.

Cygnar Smackdown

For my final game of the league (didn’t realise it would be at the time), I played against Bob and his Cygnar forces led by Beth Maddox. A recurrent theme across many of the players I observed was the inclusion of cavalry units and Bob was one of us bringing the Storm Lances making a nicely symmetrical issue for me across the table in the form of very fast large bases with non-trivial defenses.

I advanced cautiously trying to set myself up for some good counter-play into the objective zone. My general tactical plan for the match was one of attrition: use the several guns I had to thin out some key pieces, the Void Spirits to clean up infantry models, and my Ferox to hit hard into his warjacks before using my beasts to secure the zone from the mid game.

I parked my Ferox in a forest just outside of the zone, popping the Hollow upkeep onto them for effect in later turns. With their SPD, native pathfinder and leap they threatened almost the entirety of the zone area from there. I could see there were almost no magical weapons in the opposing Cygnarian force, so my Void Spirits were fairly safe unless Beth herself came after them and I positioned them first near, then within the zone to try and scare Bob from moving too far forwards.

Bob however had different ideas and wasn’t going to let a couple of paltry Void Spirits rattle his nerves. Over the first 2 turns, the entire Cygnar force very aggressively swamped the zone while Beth threw out all sorts of buffs and sitting on 0 camp behind his entire army, and with almost his entire force within the zone I was left little room to position any pieces in there myself. While I did manage to get a good cannon blast onto one of the Storm Lances, it subsequently made a tough roll and pulled the finger at my Cannoneer. At the start of my 3rd turn I had caused no casualties, but a quick bit of pre-measurement showed that Beth was in a lot more danger than Bob at first realised.

Being incorporeal, the Void Spirits were both poised to put damage onto Beth, one even had a sliver of LOS between his intervening models and was within charge range. My Ferox were close enough that I could advance and jump 2 of them so Mordikaar could Essence Blast Beth as well. The first Void Spirit advanced through his lines and took a swipe at Beth from her back arc. Annihilator gave the ghost the additional die to hit and damage, and with needing 7’s to hit, and on dice-4 the ghost got only 2 damage through Beth’s armour. The second Void Spirit charged, and hit the needed roll of a 9 to rip her soul out through her chest with an impressive 14 damage spike, ending the game on my third turn with 2 activations.

I was extremely pleased to pull off an assassination this way, and really happy with the Void Spirits. On the negative side of things, the Ferox I was really looking forward to trying out only moved into a forest and watched from the side-lines.

Journey’s End

Despite the disappointing finish of being unable to get any week 5 and 6 games played, I really enjoyed my time in the Journeyman League. Perhaps the biggest impression I’ve been left with over this time is how little I can intuitively read the subtleties inherent in this game. I have a very long road ahead of me getting to better understand how to construct my lists to be fun and functional as well as what hard and soft counters I have within Skorne that can be applied to the varied opponents I will continue to face.

For the immediate future, I’m now hoping I will get the chance to play a couple of 75 point games before Lords of Ruin. At the rate I’m going, it’s entirely possible I’ll just be playing my lists into the tournament blind!

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