You and me both brother. I keep trying to theory up an easy solution to the colossals, and I think it's a huge mark in PPs favor that aside from some of the community noted ones (Black Oils, Eiryss2 standing next to one,) there aren't any ways you can really shut one down. You can usually mess with them a little, but it's almost impossible to lock them down/out of the fight, and they're not at all easy to beat to death (lots of resources to commit, and there's only a few combinations in the game that can reliably one round them.) I think it's going to take time to really get comfortable fighting against them, and develop lists that are now "well rounded" enough to deal with all the current meta challenges, and now colossals.
Originally Posted by SevenSins
Also: new batrep! As I'm trying to work through the whole Khador roster with Conquest, I decided to roll up a random 'caster from the pool of 'casters I haven't used yet with him. Survey says.......Sorscha1! I debated between two lists with her: a normal list with the usual suspects, and her theme list. Although most of Khador's "Forces" book theme lists are pretty junky, Sorscha1's theme list is actually pretty legit.
After oscillating back and forth, I decided to go with the theme list:
* ConquestBattle Mechaniks (Leader and 5 Grunts)
* Battle Mechanik OfficerWidowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts)
* Winter Guard Infantry Officer & Standard
* 2 Winter Guard Infantry RocketeersKovnik Jozef Grigorovich
This is a Tier 4 list with all the trimmings: free Joe, +2" of deployment, +1 to the starting roll, and 1 warjack gets and advance move (can only be Beast-09, since colossals can't move outside of normal movement.)
My opponent was debating between Pirates and Retribution. He decided to let the dice decide for him, and it came up Retribution. Here's the list he ran:
* HyperionDawnguard Invictors (Leader and 9 Grunts)
* Dawnguard Invictor Officer & StandardDawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & StandardDawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & StandardArcanist
Another theme list! This one was is only a Tier 2, but it suited his needs: free UA, FA: U on the Dawnguard, which leads to the Dawnguard spam above.
Scenario: Overrun, yet again.
One side of the table had a forest on the left side, and some ancillary terrain on the right side (a building, I think?) The center of the table had a pond, and a bridge going over it (as my one friend commented: the most expensive, useless bridge ever.) The other side of the table had a forest on the far right side, and a series of walls/columns on the left side.
My +1 to the starting roll pays off, and I win the roll. Since I have an extended deployment zone and I'm nervous about giving those Sentinels an extra turn to run into position, I opt to go first. I choose the table side with the walls and forest.
Pre-Deployment: Conquest takes up his usual spot in the center of the table (slightly offset due to the bridge/pond.) My opponent deploys Hyperion on my left flank in the woods, since its one of the few models he has that can navigate that chunk of terrain and he has a lot more Dawnguard to put out.
Regular Deployment: Pretty "standard" deployment for me. Sorscha is deployed to the right of Conquest to try and make use of the bridge. One of the Field Gun Crews (FGCs) goes next to her with a similar intention. The Winterguard Blob is deployed to the left of Conquest, as that's the most open area of the table and I'm going to have issues funneling that many infantry anywhere else. The other FGC goes on my far left flank, and Beast-09 ends up near them (hoping to use the walls for some cover as it moves up the table.) Mechaniks take up their usual spot behind Conquest.
My opponent deploys in three perfect lines, spanning almost the entirety of his open deployment zone: Invictors up front, and both Sentinel units behind. The Griffon ends up deployed in the forest to my left of Hyperion, Vyros on Hyperion's right, and the two Arcanists muddled in the lines, ready to Boost some Power.
Advance Deployment: I deploy the Widowmakers on the right side of the table, as far up as I can, knowing that Fog of War will make them a PITA to pick off before they thin out the Dawnguard horde a bit. The Marksman ends up near his cronies.
Before the game begins, Beast-09 takes his Advance Move granted by the theme list and moves up towards the walls.
Khador Turn 1:
Running time! Conquest is allocated one focus, Beast gets none because he's efficient and extremely helpful like that. Both FGCs run straight ahead to try and get into position for the rest of the game. Conquest runs up as far as it can. WGI unit gets Tough + Fearless from Joe, and they run up field as far as they can while trying to stay spread out because I'm cautious about a floating giant template blowing a hole in the unit. Joe hangs back after yelling.
Sorscha1 casts Fog of War, then advances and Wind Rushes to get onto the base of the bridge. The Widowmakers and Marksman advance up a bit; they're comfortably in Fog of War range, and he has to move into my shooting range in order to get anywhere.
Retribution Turn 1:
His turn is much more active. Vyros1 gives three to Hyperion (I think, my memory is a little hazy here,) one to the Griffon, and keeps two for himself. His deployment jammed him up a bit, as he ran into order of operations issues trying to get his models activating in the right order (wanted Vyros1 to cast Mobility early, but also move the warjacks out of his way.) However, the Dawnguard have it easy: they all run forward, clumping up into triplets for Defensive Line with the Invictors leading the way.
Eventually, Vyros1 gets to activate and casts Mobility, then moves in the forest up behind the Invictors (to hide a bit.) The Griffon runs up through the forest on my left flank. Then, Hyperion decides to get the game started: it advances up through the forest (2" faster thanks to Mobility,) and starts to try to thin out the WGI. The Starbust Cannon (love this gun's name) comes up an inch or two short of actually hitting (so no chance for an "eraser" crit thankfully,) but unfortunately for my grunts the template floats forward and catches three of them (turns out, spreading out your models is a good idea!)
As expected, all three explode, but one Toughs. However, his bravery is promptly punished as it is strafed upon many, many times by the secondary guns (since the poor guy is the only thing in range.) First blood goes to Hyperion!
Khador Turn 2:
There's a longshot assassination run on Vyros1 this turn, as he's close enough to freeze and Conquest can definitely get a shot on him with the Main Guns. However, I know I can't finish him without the Secondary Batterys getting range on him, and I'm pretty sure Vyros1 isn't within range. So I decide its time to try and thin this Dawnguard herd I have bearing down on me. Sorscha1 upkeeps Fog of War and give one to Conquest. This fundamental math failure will come to bite me later.
One of the most fun things about Sorscha1 is casting either of her 4 focus spells, and with his Dawnguard all kinds of bunched up right in front of me, I can't resist the opportunity to drop a Tempest on top of that cluster and cause some potentially delicious damage. Easy plan: move up, toss out a Tempest hoping for the best, then Wind Rush back to safety. So I enact the first part of my plan: move up, toss out a Tempest. It ends up working out pretty well - the Tempest placed short but scattered into the Invictors, killing 4 of them. However, I immediately realize the flaw in the rest of my plan; I have no focus left to Wind Rush, which leaves Sorscha1 hanging out on the bridge, in front of his army.
I resign myself to Sorscha1 getting peace'd off the table next turn, but I stick with my plan to chew through these Dawnguard. Now critical failure #2 reveals itself: because Sorscha1 didn't Wind Rush back, the Invictors now all have concealment against my Widowmaker shots. Not good. Thankfully, the Widowmakers shine through with 7's or better on all the shots, and 4 Invictors get pulled off the table. The Marksman shoots at the UA Officer (now no longer in B2B with anything,) but comes up short of killing it. The right most FGC finishes the job by shooting the Officer (why not right?)
WGI get Tough and Fearless again, then Bob + Weave up to pick off the few Invictors I can reach with CRAs (WGI sprays aren't going to do much against all the ARM 17 models out there.) After the smoke clears, there's two Invictors left; one normal guy and the standard. They pass their CMD check, but at least I don't need to worry about sniped shots the next round.
Conquest moves up as much as it can, but I critically failed a third time and penned him in with the WGI. After shuffling up the inch or so I can, Conquest tries to shoot at the Griffon but comes up short. The template floats onto it, and the boosted blast damage sneaks a few points of damage onto the field. Conquest then, for lack of other direct fire targets, drops Creeping Barrage templates across my entire front line. Even though the Dawnguard aren't really going to care about the low damage hits, I might get lucky here and there. Plus it was really impressive to see nearly a foot of the table roped off with auto-damage templates (I didn't cover more area due to the bridge placement.)
Beast-09 runs up to try and threaten Hyperion next turn, and the left most FGC shoots the Griffon. No crit, but the damage done shaves off the remaining field damage boxes. As we get to the end of the turn, I realize critical failure #3: I never shot Sorscha1's Handcannon. Probably wouldn't have hit, but it's silly to waste a free attack like that.
Retribution Turn 2:
After looking at the situation for a bit, it turns out I didn't strand Sorscha1 quite as bad as I thought I did: she was on the bridge (elevation,) next to one of the bridge walls (cover,) so her DEF was a mighty 22 against ranged attacks. With Hyperion unable to get to Sorscha1 with the aiming bonus, my friend decides its not with it to gamble rolling 17s, and instead opts to carve a chunk out of my army. No Sentinels died last turn (I was trying my hardest to avoid proccing Vengeance before I absolutely need to,) so no movement during Maintenance. Vyros1 keeps all his focus this turn, and activates early to feat, cast Mobility, and put Inviolable Resolve on the "front" unit of Sentinels. He then moves up a bit, still toeing the woods.
One of the Arcanists moves up and Boosts the Power of the Griffon. The Griffon then charges into the WGI, spearing the charge target (who fails Tough,) but comes up short on the two follow up attacks (one other initial, one purchased due to feat focus) thanks to DEF 14 on the WGI. That doesn't stop the remaining Invictor with weapons from charging in and killing one of the WGI, showing the Griffon how to do things and putting 1 focus on Hyperion. The "front" unit of Sentinels then charges into the WGI through the Creeping Barrage templates (6 rolls on them, but I need a 12 to kill thanks to IR, and don't get that lucky) to chop up the four or so WGI I have in front, and the remaining Sentinels from that unit run to engage Sorscha1 on the bridge (just short of charge range.) Despite some lucky Tough checks, the Sentinels carve up all of the front line WGI and fill up Hyperion from the feat.
Hyperion activates next, moving up to put a boosted shot into Beast. Although I don't expect it to save him, Beast is DEF 12 thanks to Fog of War. Unfortunately for him (and the models around him) Hyperion nails Beast with a critical hit! 3 WGI standing near Beast get scooped up immediately, and Beast-09 takes 9 damage for his trouble. The good news is: because the crit is a straight RFP, Hyperion doesn't get focus from those WGI. The better news: Hyper Aggressive will let Beast move into combat with the Griffon and Sentinels, making it harder for the secondary guns to hit him. My opponent shoots his right secondary gun into the FGC on that flank, and kills two of them (putting Hyperion back up to full focus.) He then opts to shoot into the combat with Beast-09; the first boosted attack misses everything, but the second boosted attack hits Beast and the boosted damage takes out his left arm.
The remaining moves of the turn are all positioning: the second squad of Sentinels runs into position for counter-charges and screening important models, although two of them manage to charge the Widowmaker Marksman (who leads a blessed life, because they both miss him!) The other Arcanist shuffles into a position to be useful in the following turn, depending on how things shake out.
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