[Warcast Online Battle Report Submission]
Bob: Good afternoon sports fans! Today’s Steamroller exhibition “friendly” is between the might of the Skorne Empire and the druids of the Circle Orboros, and what a doozy it should be.
Bob: Right you are Bob. Both sides come into today’s match with adequate preparation, but with conditions as wet as they are, you never know just what might happen when tusk hits stone.
Bob: Our match today is sponsored by Thunderhead Energy Drinks – Try the new electric blue “Energy Pulse” flavour!
Lets run through the two sides.
Bob: The Skorne Empire has had a difficult time of it recently under the amateur coaching of Chris “Lazy Peon” Chapman, with a couple of tight match-ups that could have gone either way. But he’s bringing some solid hitters, and the league’s MVP unit – the Gatormen Posse.
Bob: Right you are Bob. And his opponent with a tournament record the envy of many is James “Golden Boy” Moorhouse. Previously, James was the coach for the Legion of Everblight and took Kallus into the big time, showing everyone what the rookie warlock could do. This season it looks as though James is taking advantage of league by-laws which permit cheaper players and more strategic options for taking a thematically appropriate team. In this case Baldur is bring his “Rock of Orboros” fit-out which should advance up the field much, much quicker that you’d expect a pile of rocks to move.
Bob: The two coaches have already rolled to see who gets to deploy first – and it looks as though the Circle Orboros will start. The scenerio today is Incursion – Bob, why don’t you tell the folks at home about this scenario?
Bob: In Incursion, three flags are placed equidistant across the centre line. Sides compete to control each flag, with the first player to three control points deemed the winner. The trick with this scenario is that at the start of the first player’s second turn, the referees remove (at random) one of the flags. Don’t commit to all three? You could be left stranded and struggle to contest the other two.
Bob: The ref’s have blown time on, so let’s see how the two sides line up.
Bob: Two fairly standard deployments here. Circle have deployed to take advantage of the Advance Move that the Woldstalkers will receive, allowing them to pressure both the left and right flags almost immediately. The Advance Deployment on both Megalith and Wold Guardian see them half way up the board before the game even begins – ideal for the slow moving wolds, and with the Sentry Stone leading the way, Baldur is sure to be able to move wherever he needs to. Xerxis has the Gatormen Posse to contest the left-most flag, while the Nihilators can make a run for the right-most flag, and the nicely placed fallen logs as cover.
Bob: If you look at the telestrator below, you can see the first mistake the rookie Skorne captain has made.
From the positioning of the Gatormen Bokur, Xerxis is telegraphing casting Fury on them. But, as you can see, the distance from Xerxis to the Bokur is FURTHER than 6″ away. A telling mistake that means Xerxis will be out of position almost immediately, having to cover the missing inches before he can buff his forces.
Bob: Here we are at the end of the first turn, and each side as moved predictably. Both sets of Woldstalkers have advance moved, then run to contest the side-line flags. Megalith tramples up the field (a free move when used with Baldur) and puts Stone Skin on itself. The Wold Guardian riles and runs. Two of the Mannikins have advanced with the Sentry Stone to the fallen logs, while the third moved centrally and exploded into verdant growth for Baldur to use to teleport. Druids move to provide central support to the army.
Bob: And the Skorne have also moved. Gatormen Posse got Dirge of Mists and Temper Flesh, along with Fury from Xerxis and have run to contest the left-flag. They’re not happy though Bob, with few living models on the opposing side, there will be little to celebrate back at the camp after the match. The Nihilators received Defender’s Ward from Xerxis, almost ensuring them a second turn and they run howling around the forest and behind the logs – as predicted. Marketh hangs back, Paingivers advance behind the Titans, who hang out front and centre. The Task Master uses the forests on the left to provide cover while he goads the Gatormen on.
Bob: And at the end of the second turn, we see things have gone horribly, horribly wrong for the visiting Skorne. With the right-most flag being removed, both the Nihilators, Sentry Stones and Woldstalkers now contest nothing. The left-hand Woldstalkers combined aiming with Concentrated Fire to blast apart the Gatormen Posse – who were really banking on making a few Tough checks to survive to retaliate.
Bob: It was the Druids that did the most damage to the Skorne ranks this turn. Xerxis had just overcommitted his Titans by a fraction, and the Druids took advantage of it, pulling both beasts forwards and tripping the Gladiator prone! Preparing for a blood bath, the Sentry Stone teleports closer to the two beasts and uses the magic of the Devourer Wurm to strip both beasts of their Fury, while the Mannikins attempt to spray wooden death into the Nihilators.
Bob: Looks like Xerxis will be cutting himself for Fury early than expected.
Bob: Right you are Bob, but that’s not all. Megalith charges the fallen Gladiator – and Xerxis makes a second crucial error. Not seeing the end-game for Baldur, Xerxis allows the Bronzeback to counter-charge Megalith, no doubt hoping to take out the wold’s spirit. But in doing so, he’s over-extended both his beasts.
Bob: As two-time national champion Dominar Raseth says “A good player will be expecting a counter-charge and will lead you into making it when its in their best interest, not yours. Save counter-charging for the bush leagues”
Bob: Still at the of Megalith activation, both titans are still breathing, and Xerxis hopes against hope that they’ll remain that way until his turn. The right-most Woldstalkers look to shoot the Gladiator, but at the end of all that ranged firepower the great titan still lives! Baldur then activates, advances and feats – healing Megalith. That rough terrain is going to be VERY tough for Xerxis to content with – but lets see if he has anyone left!
Bob: And this is where the game comes to an end. The Wold Guardian attacks the Bronzeback, and with Ram is able to push him (knock down and damage him) to get close to the Gladiator – and with several swings of the mighty pillars that thing calls “arms”, both beasts lie dead!
Bob: Now at the bottom of the second, Xerxis has nothing to play for except pride. If he goes home now, I’m sure there’s a Master Tormenter just itching to ask him some questions. He re-positions, and feats – allowing the Nihilators a chance at retribution.
Bob: And really, this is his third mistake. With so few Nihilators in a position to charge, and with so few high-reward models to attack – Xerxis should have saved his focus in case he needed to step up himself later in the match. But you could see the fury burning in his eyes, he’d be buggered if he was going to return home without killing something!
Bob: And so, the remaining Gatormen take advantage of their Cold Blood and Pain Driver abilities to chew down on four of the Druids – all but giving up the rightmost flag to Circle. If Baldur cannot win via assassination, he’ll surely be able to win on scenario. The Nihilators take out the Mannikins and come so darn close to killing off that Sentry Stone. Two even vainly attack the Guardian in the back, hoping that their swords would be able to penetrate the awakened stone. The remaining Paingivers form a human shield around Xerxis, looking to cut off any possible teleport effects from the Circle.
Bob: During this turn Baldur played it fairly conservatively. Woldstalkers cleared the left-hand zone of the Gatormen, the Guardian rounded on the Nihilators and pummelled them, but failing to kill. The right-side Woldstalkers used Zephyr to move out of combat, but with the fallen logs in the way, their shots had no effect on the Nihilators behind. It was down to the Druids once more, who literally pulled the downed Nihilators into the stone Guardian, killing them outright. Megalith advances into the remaining Bokur and after needing to use three attacks – pops his animus to make attacking him foolish. Baldur completes the turn by placing a forest between Xerxis and the Guardian – stopping Xerxis from charging.
Bob: But Xerxis was not finished yet. Cutting himself for Fury, he decides to give it one last shot and orders Marketh to cast Fury on him before using Overcome to advance through the forest and into melee range of the Guardian. In the end, he had just enough juice (thanks to Thunderhead Energy Drinks!) remaining in the system to turn the enchanted stones into rubble.
Bob: His pride wounded, Xerxis went down on one knee and awaited the charge from Megalith.
Bob: I’d like to think that the game was close, but it wasn’t. You could see the experience of James and Baldur working like a well-oiled machine. Each part of the force working in synchronicity to systematically take apart the Skorne Empire. Somewhat ironically too, for minions of the chaotic Devourer Wurm!
Bob: Chris certainly did himself no favours though, making two crucial mistakes that a more experienced coach would have avoided. In the end, the stubborn Xerxis was not enough to pull this game out of the fire. And if you are going to run two or more beasts, don’t commit them both at the same time – always keep one for retaliation.