Monday, June 17, 2013

Back to Drawing Boards II: Another Dark Age MTI Battle Report!

     And so it was that Belgarath97 wanted to make some adjustments to his list, and so we played another hard hitting 750 point Dark Age game to prep him for the March to Immortality.

     So, why does he keep beating up on me?  Well, aside from the fact that I'm always spoiling for a game, to be honest the bump to 750 caught us a bit off guard. We kinda expected it would be happening soon, but "happening soon" and "time to buy models" are two different things. While Mordin and TGC both have Dark Age Forces (personally I think TGC's look better than my Brood), neither of them are up to the 750 mark.  Is this because I was better prepared? No, it's because I have an addiction- a well organized one with a list that (eventually) tops out at like 5K. For now though, I'm at about 1,800 owned, and roughly 1,400 painted.  One day I'll have to show off all my children in a family photo.  For now, you can get them a few hundred points at a time.

     And here's those few hundred right now.  I have been itching to try a heavy Plight list for some time (you'll remember my love of them from this article) so this seemed like an apt opportunity.  While I had really wanted to go "balls deep" and run them maxed at four, list constraints kinda pushed me to stop at three.  I gave the trio of Broodhounds the Assassinate special ability allowing them to "pop up" anywhere in play instead of deploying normally. Murtos is a requirement, and I generally feel "toxic vapors" is as well so he got it. The Howler was fielded for some punch, and a pair of Ratchets flesh out the list. The only model substitution is a Pud Thrower acting as a third Plight. 

     B97 fields his "counts as" army Mark II.  In his defense, he had a fully fledged tournament force, but he's concerned that list doesn't expand to 750 well and is trying to step out of his comfort zone a bit. So while he has over 500 pts of Dark Age,and a goodly portion of it painted... that's not what he's been bringing.  He has a busy two months ahead of him... For this outing, the 50mm base of pigs is Raze, the Grafter is John Woe, Pigskin (the bloke wearing the pig on his head is Father Mayhem, the Harpy is standing in for Keepsake, Dragyri slaves are Puppets, the old Chitin is a Sister of Charity, and the large black man in Keystone prison fatigues is Blood Reign. The Buzzblades are actually Buzzblades, of the Charity's Might variety.

     Rolling randomly for scenario, we get "Open the Void Road." This is basically a scenario with an objective marker to the left and right of both players deployment zones. You must protect yours while capturing his. 3 points wins you the game. This means I have a few advantages from the start: my force is faster and should allow me to dictate combats, and his force is based around a series of Area of Effect bubbles making him far less effective if split up.  My secondary objectives are Bring it Down (Points for destroying an objective marker, which I choose to ignore as it's damned difficult with this list) and Sample Genetics which is by far my favorite of the Brood secondaries as it requires you to kill six models and put tokens from them on an objective counter- for two points!

 I set up basically in the middle front of my deployment zone showing a push.  The Broodhounds are held off table, and my hope is that with an aggressive enough stance from my "big three" of Murtos, the Howler, and my Plight Trio my opponent will forget about them. My ratchets are swung right just out of picture.  

My opponent sets up similarly... but middle back, looking to all the world as he's trying to play defensive from behind the goal line. This gives me a bit of concern, because it generally means that B has as "cunning plan" and I didn't know what it was- especially since he set up John Woe and the Sister of Charity was wide wingers.

     Turn One is, as always, uneventful. John Woe and the Sister of Charity spread to the wings making a break towards the counters. Confused, I clarify that B97 knows you can't claim the ones on your side, and he does.  So I play on, moving my power Trio forward, swinging my Ratchets far right, and moving to midfield. The fact that the Brood force basically moves "all out" at 12" a turn is one of my favorite factors about them- it allows for some serious distance to be covered quickly with only a 4'x4' play area. The rest of his force moves up towards the center of the table, preparing to engage. 

     Turn Two, and things begin to get interesting. The Sister of Charity and John Woe reach the objectives, while everything else moves forward towards midfield. The Plights manage to get a couple long distance acid streams on the Charity's Might Buzzblades, dropping one and hitting two others with acid counters.  The Ratchets keep advancing towards John Woe. 

Turn Three, and my opponent reveals he had the Secure Points objective, and he has two objective markers held in an uncontested fashion- that's 2 points for him.  Now time to
drop in the Brood Hounds... right on top of the Sister of Charity.  That's a bunch of attacks she simply can't defend, and she goes down hard. The Brood Hounds were carefully placed to have been in base contact with the objective, which they now hold uncontested.  The Charity's Might attack the Howler and a Plight, getting a wound on the Howler but not much else. The Howler and the Plights make short work of the squad, wracking up some more gene tokens.  Murtos gets into the action killing a Puppet, and dropping off the gene counter in the same turn.  Father mayhem starts heading for the Brood Hounds, and the Ratchets pull back toward the middle of the field, leaving John Woe to chase after them.  As the turn ends, that's one uncontested objective for me, so one point.

     Turn Four, and the race is on! Can I slow down Father Pig-hem enough to be able to hold the objective? Can I get another unit over to it and take him out while congesting the midfield enough to keep the game locked up?  My opponent is obviously on full defense now, and he knows that if he can do enough damage fast enough he can still score points- not to mention if he finishes me out fast enough he might be able to race up field and get a win.  The Broodhounds go first, and manage to lock up with Father Mayhem and by the grace of of funky dice rolls d a wound to him! He retaliates of course by slaughtering both of them and moving 12 inches down field into the Brood Hound... and he whiffs. My opponent then declares"
that's okay, at least you don't get a point this turn," which leaves me having to show him that he placed his model poorly- it's more than a 1/4 inch from making contact with the objective.  Murtos streaks after him, but isn't quite fast enough to make it into combat just yet.  Raze charges the Howler, and duet his ED2 (he causes two wounds per successful attack instead of one) actually takes down the Howler before it activates, meaning  its regeneration is useless. The Ratchets go to work on Raze, knocking him prone and hitting him with so many paralyzing poison counters he's not going to be doing anything until Christmas. The Plights add in a little streaming fun for the Raze, but he is hard to kill, and escapes the dedicated attention of five models with only three wounds taken. As the turn ends, that's the second Primary objective point for me.

     Turn Five, and Glory or Destruction await. the Brood Hounds pass their regen tests. MY opponent goes first, and wisely chooses Father Mayhem.  Between a series of incredibly bad rolls on his part (including a 20, an 18,and a 19) and equally incredibly good rolls on mine (a one and a wealth of 2's and 3's) Padre can' manage to kill a single Brood Doggie. Rather than go for the Coup de Grace right now, I smartly activate the Plights first, getting their tokens onto the objective to finish my secondary and net me 2 points.   The Brood Hounds charge Father Mayhem, and manage to finish him off, which pretty much seals the game.

Final Result: 5-2 in my favor.  That puts us B97: 7, 2CE: 6 in our two game spread so far.

Closing Thoughts:

     While a lot of people generally don't approve of Brood Hounds as a staple of Brood list building, I gotta say they are one of my workhorses every single game.They're a good "role player" unit, able to be tasked with interdiction, medium target elimination, up field movement, "gang up" duty,and in this case dropping on the objective via Assassination. Sure, 150-200 for three to four of them is a lot, but they can be brutal,especially if both claws hit and you get the freebie "latch on" bite attack.

     By his own admission, my opponent didn't play very tight on this one. He admits he didn't expect to get through my line as was playing for Four"- three points in secondary objectives and one for the draw. Not a bad strategy when you need to... but he didn't execute it well, and that hurt him a lot. Which has convinced him to rebuild his list yet again, as he doesn't think it's swift enough or multi-task capable" enough to do well in at least two scenarios- and we're expecting that GenCon will be a five round tournament.

     What did he decide on?  I guess you'll have to come back next week and see!

The Second Class Elitist

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