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  1. #1
    Destroyer of Worlds Marx's Avatar
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    Default 35pt Cygnar vs Retribution: The Most Recent of My Many Humiliations...

    The attentive among you will already know how this battle ends... in fire, in ash, in tears of rage and futility wept by a man full grown.

    Well, maybe without the tears. But you get the idea.

    The battle starts with the vile elven forces of the Retribution of Scyrah lined up against the mighty, though battered, forces of Cygnar. The Retribution forces, led by Kassem, were as follows:

    Ravyn
    Hyperion

    Arcanist
    Full unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force with UA
    Full unit of Invictors with UA

    Kassem set up Hyperion right in the middle of his deployment zone with Ravyn and the arcanist behind it and the Invictors to either side. He then waited for my setup before deploying his thrice-cursed MHSF.

    I had recently finished painting Kara Sloan, and was eager to test her mettle against the Retribution's metal, and so chose her to lead my forces. My list was as follows:

    Kara Sloan
    Defender
    Avenger
    Squire

    Reinholdt, Goblin Speculator

    Arcane Tempest Gun Mages with UA,
    Charger marsheled to ATGM Officer,
    Arlan Strangewayes,
    Stormblade Infantry with 1 WA

    Sure, the Hyperion was a little scary, but I figured that I could use the power of the Defender and Kara to whittle it down from a distance, and with any luck a charge by the Stormblades to put on some serious hurt. I was cautiously optimistic about how the battle might go.

    I set Kara on a hill in my deployment zone with the Avenger to her left and the Defender to her right. The ATGMs went to the far left flank with their Charger and Arlan right behind to grant that precious, precious free Focus, and the Stormblade Infantry took up positions on the right flank.

    And, of course, the MHSF set up behind a forest on the right flank, as far as humanly possible from my ATGMs and right across from my suddenly very useless-looking Stormblades. Ten POW10 attacks against seven Stormblade ARM15 would very likely result in 7 very dead Stormblades without a scratch on his MHSF. History has taught me this much, at least.

    Ah well! No plan ever survives exposure to the enemy, and so I figured I would make up stuff on the fly! Onwards!

    Kassem took his first turn, camping all 6 focus on Ravyn. The MHSF ran into the forest, but the majority of them still behind 3" of forest (since they don't need LoS anyway). The Invictors moved up in their neat little 3-unit squads. Rayvn cast Snipe on them and moved closer to the MHSF, and the Hyperion ponderously moved slightly towards the left flank.

    My turn. Kara assigned 1 focus to the Defender and camped the rest. The Defender ran forward behind a fence, waiting to bring it's big guns to bear on the Hyperion (or anything else that wandered too close). The Avenger sauntered up lazily and lobbed a shot towards the MHSF, well out of range, which then scattered even further out of range (landing only 5" from the Avenger itself. Just embarrassing). Arlan assigned the Charger a focus and moved up, the ATGMs took up positions in front of and on top of the hill, and the Charger fired a Snipe shot at the closest Invictors, managing to ping one into non-existance by spending the focus for boosted hit and damage. The second shot (from Marshaling) failed to connect, falling short of target. The ATGMs fired snipe shots, also landing a few inches short. The Stormblade Infantry ran up towards the MHSF, hoping to distract them from firing on my Defender... another lesson I've learned is that no matter how thick you think your warjack's armour may be, the MHSF doesn't really care and will wreck it anyway.

    Lastly, Kara cast the "Fire and Move" spell on herself, and "Fire back when hit" spells on both the Avenger and Defender. Because why not?


    With that done, I passed the tapemeasure to Kassem and prepared to weather the first round of Retribution attacks. How bad could it possibly be?

    You'd think I'd learn by now to stop thinking that. You'd think.

    Anyway, Kassem activated, keeping all the Focus for Rayvn again. First the Invictors used their mini-Feat, giving them another 4" range. They happily paired up their CRAs and vapourized 4 of my 7 ATGMs. The rest passed their command checks. Ravyn then cycled the Snipe spell on the MHSF and continued to move towards them. The MHSF proceeded to hit my Defender twice but only scratched it (2 points of Damage thanks to particularly bad damage rolls), and the rest took out 6 of my 7 Stormblades. The leader passed his command check... which I suppose is something. The Hyperion moved up and fired it's big gun towards my surviving ATGMs but it scattered harmlessly away.

    And then it was my turn.
    Wow. One turn of shooting at extreme range and approximately 1/3rd of my army was now listed as casualities. Not an auspicious start, since I was STILL out of range with just about everything. Plus, those MHSF have a 16" shot with a 6" move (with pathfinder) and Ravyn still hadn't popped her Feat... that meant that Kara could not get any closer than about 22" from those bastards. Even with her 2" boosted range spell and the "Fire and Move" 6" follow up, that would put her JUST at the extreme edge of death-by-Firing-Elf. Too risky. Of course, the alternative was to head closer to the Hyperion (even if slightly), but its weapons were a more reasonable 10" and 12" range, so I figured I could handle that a bit better.

    The Avenger took 2 Focus, the Defender took 1 (just in case), Kara syphoned one off the Squire, and I started considering my options. I could move up the Avenger and Defender, move Kara up closer, use Reinholdt to give her a 2nd shot, and then pop her Feat to direct all that fire on the MHSF... Kara would kill 3 herself, the Avenger could probably splatter at least 3 or 4 with it's AoE attacks, and the Defender could worry about hitting the Hyperion a few times, hopefully... oh, but wait. The MHSF has Stealth, and Kara only ignores stealth if she doesn't move. So much for that plan.

    So, instead, I activated Reinholdt and gave Kara a 2nd shot, and then moved Kara towards the ATGM Officer (on a hill for that small +2DEF bonus) and fired at the Invictors, who were, of course, about an inch out of range. Waste of Reinholdt's bonus shot, but whatever. Kara cast the 2" bonus range spell and camped her remaining focus. The Squire rushed over to stay within 5" of his caster.

    The Avenger moved up (ponderously... love the model so far, but LORDLY is it slow...) and managed to have the shell scatter into 3 MHSF. With 2 focus on the Avenger, I spent them to ensure that the 3 MHSF soldiers were thoroughly and satisfyingly pasted. The Defender moved up, but I could tell already that nothing was within range (aside from Stealth MHSF that were also more than 3" within the forest and therefore completely ineligible as targets). Goody.
    The two remaining grunt ATGMs moved towards the Invictors... one fired a Thunderbolt round which, as I'm sure you guessed, was 0.5" out of range, and the other fired a Snipe shot that pinged off the thick Defensive Line armour of the unit. Great.

    The Charger took his free Focus from Arlan (who activated, gave the focus, then stayed put), and then moved up. There was a narrow window of opportunity... Ravyn was in the open and within the Sniped range of the Charger! He spent his focus for boosted hit and damage rolls and managed to connect! Sadly, Ravyn was camping 3 Focus and the resulting damage roll was... disappointing. 4 points. Still, a bloody nose on his caster and a mark of pride for the Charger! He spent his Marshalling bonus on a 2nd shot that, predictably, missed.

    The lone remaining Stormblade ran towards the MHSF, again hoping to tie a few up in their efforts to kill him, rather than attacking the Defender.

    And then it was back to Kassem. Just to recap: His turn resulted in light damage to a warjack and 10 slaughtered Cygnarians. My turn resulted in a paper cut on Ravyn and 3 dead elves.

    This... did not bode well.



    Kassem assigned 3 focus to the Hyperion. Rayvn let Snipe expire, popped her Feat, cast Snipe on the Hyperion, and took cover.
    The Invictors moved up and killed the 2 remaining ATGM grunts with concentrated fire. They also inflicted a few light wounds on my Charger. The MHSF thought about charging my Defender, but after I pointed out that Phantom Seeker doesn't allow you to ignore LoS for anything aside from Ranged attacks (and I let him mulligan the Charge Order), they instead focused on killing the remaining Stormblade Infantry.

    To his credit, it took all 7 (SEVEN) of his remaining MHSF to kill the guy... Kassem needed a 4 to hit and missed 3 times, and 3 times he hit managed to ping off his armour. The last attack however ended his hopeless and suicidal charge.

    For those of you keeping score at home: My Stormblade Infantry have been wiped out to a man 3 times, damaged down to 1 or 2 survivors twice, and have inflicted a grand total of 3 kills (all single-wound infantry). I think I need to spend some time figuring out what, exactly, I'm doing wrong with those poor guys. Anyway.

    The Hyperion went next, moving up and firing it's Starburst Cannon at Kara. Thankfully, she was JUST out of range, but the shot scattered right behind her, hitting Kara for 10 (boosted) Damage and killing the ATGM Officer. The shot failed to wound the Squire or Arlan, thank heavens. It was all moot, however, as the Thresher Cannon got 2 attacks which were easily within range, and the first blasted Kara into nothing.

    Game, set, match: Elves.



    Well... that was... painful. My heavy-gun force was completely and utterly out-gunned. Out ranged, out powered, and outnumbered, with all my forces in exactly the wrong places... the Stormblade would have at least annoyed the Invictors, unlike being scythed like wheat before the MHSF, and the ATGMs would have been able to at least hit and hurt the MHSF! As for my 'jacks... the Defender didn't get to earn his strips, being out of range the whole game, and while the Avenger at least killed something (unlike most of my army), I feel that it wasn't a useful investment. Maybe a Centurion, with it's heavier ARM, would have been a better model to throw against the MHSF? But even then, they have CRAs and I doubt that ARM22 would hold up long against that... gah.

    Anyway, a learning experience, for sure. Not sure what I should've done differently... but that's why I posted it here! Comment/flame/mock away, peers!
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  2. #2
    Destroyer of Worlds SevenSins's Avatar
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    Ouch! Painfull game.

    Stormblades need to be a second wave or be boosted quite a bit in the armor department. With junior and eStryker for instance they easily hit ARM 20, something those bloody MHSF ignore anyway... Right... Second wave it is
    I guess there's a reason boomhowler is so popular with cygnar.

    A centurion is more durable than the Avenger, but just as slow and can't shoot either. Against the strike force getting your gun mages to kill a few becomes important, not easy when forests abound unfortunately.

    Difficult matchup, Ravyn is a tough cookie
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  3. #3

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    Nice write up! Are his invictors chrome plated or am I seeing things?

  4. #4
    Destroyer of Worlds Marx's Avatar
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    Kassem has a very basic paint job: he spray painted his entire army silver, and then adds a few splashes of colour and sometimes a clear coat afterwards. It's... functional.

    But it does make it a little hard to tell them apart sometimes. But hey, to each their own. I'll be happy when the bases aren't the same bright silver as everything else... chrome mermidons are one thing, but chrome ground just looks weird.

    Yeah, I'm starting to understand why people lament the lack of Cygnar tarpits... but I really should have taken the Precursor Knights. I would have lost the ability to have them benefit from Kara's Feat, but they are ARM18 in Defensive Line, and that, in theory, would have allowed at least half of them (on average) to survive each round of attacking. Ah well. Learning experience!
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  5. #5

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    Chrome spray on already metal models? That's like the art of painting without painting. lol

    Some people though will do just enough as required to get into tournaments. Of course I dunno if Warmachine tournaments include paint scoring...they should.

    Good batrep.

  6. #6
    Destroyer of Worlds bStyker's Avatar
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    The new unit to bring is most likely Tempest Blazers. Between an 18" Run, or a 9" Advance, shoot and then 5" Light Cav advance, they can get up and into the MHSF pretty quickly & easily. They can also weather a hit or two. Hit them up with Rhupert Corvolo's +1 DEF & Terror for DEF 16 and they're hard to hit, essentially necessitating Ravyn's feat to take them down. Paired up with the regular ATGM w UA & you shouldn't have much difficulty taking them down. Especially with Dead-eye on Kara.

    With whatever survives, you can continue to put the pressure on.

    Another option are the Storm Lances, which actually do an even better job. Between Dead-eye and Assault (and a higher base armour) they've got great threat ranges against Stealth units and with eLeap should be killing 2 of them with each hit. They've also got Reach to help tie things up and can benefit from Arcane Shield on the advance for when other units (not MHSF) attack them.

    Still more options include Storm Striders and Stormsmiths, which allow you to use a Run & Shoot your own guy in the back with eLeaping shots technique.

    I think Swordknights 'Jack marshal'ing a Centurion would be acceptable, but you may still lose the Centurion on the advance against that much shooting. Still, if you bring a Firefly as well, then you should be able to at least run to engage w Pronto for a 20" engagement range with the Firefly on the advance. That should catch your opponent off guard, and ensure that not all of their MHSF will be able to advance and fire, leaving you with more options and stronger board presence.

    Another option would be Trencher Commandos (which are very decent with Kara).

    There are really many different approaches to the MHSF that you could use. Yes, they're a very strong counter for our faction, but we've got options, angles, techniques, and offerings. I'm sure you'll find a way.

    Best,

  7. #7
    Destroyer of Worlds Marx's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, bStryker... I've been waiting for those Tempest Blazers to hit shelves, and I will definitely be picking up a unit in the near future. I can't wait to try them in a Tier Caine list... they should add a lot of punch to an already versatile group of units! I have to be honest, though... I'm not sure why they included "Blessed" ammunition. But whatever... 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

    All your tactics seem pretty viable, and I will doubtlessly face the MHSF many, many more times, so I'm sure I'll get to try them all eventually. I really have to start thinking more seriously about shooting my own units in the back (especially when they're immune to the shot).
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  8. #8
    Conqueror Killien's Avatar
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    One other thing i would have swaped the avenger with the charger. The Charger really needs the 3 focus to run well and with fire group you can get 2 boosted shots with range 14" the avenger on the other hand really likes the snipe shot and crit brutal is just icing on the cake.
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  9. #9
    Destroyer of Worlds Marx's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think my days of marshalling a Charger to the ATGMs are officially over... partly because I just finished painting my Cyclone parts for my magnetized Heavy Warjack kit (huzzah!), but also partly because I came to the same conclusion. A Charger with any less than 3 Focus just isn't doing its job properly.

    I think I'll paint a Sentinel in the near future, and maybe use it for the ATGM officer when I don't have enough points for a Cyclone... but for now, it'll be a Cyclone or nothin'!
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  10. #10
    Destroyer of Worlds Stormpuppy_Infantry's Avatar
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    Stormblade Infantry didn't doing well without protection. In fact, they do nothing without help. They cannot hold a place so I suggest that place them stay behind of your man or jack, and use them as counter assault troop. And how about drop them and call something else? You didn't have any Stormclad, so you can spend the point elsewhere. You can take the enemy heavy to your two heavys, so don't worry.

    Black 13th doing well against dammed MHSF as well, though you already have ATGM+UA. You can deal with ATGM if you don't have Black 13th. How about to swap their place by running in first turn if the enemy place MHSF far from ATGM?

    As bStryker said, I think that Commando is also good to deal with them.

    Against Hyperion.... I was just faced Galleon so I can't think about against another colossal, but what about Wulfe? His range is too short but he can threat enemy.



    Quote Originally Posted by Marx View Post
    I think I'll paint a Sentinel in the near future, and maybe use it for the ATGM officer when I don't have enough points for a Cyclone... but for now, it'll be a Cyclone or nothin'!
    Remember that you can't use Rune shot with Strafe attacks. It is not the normal attack so it does not apply with Rune Shot.

  11. #11
    Destroyer of Worlds Marx's Avatar
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    Curses! I assumed that since the Cyclone gets to use the Rune Shots with each of its attacks, so does the Sentinel... but you're completely right! Well, that sucks... I mean, it would be like attaching a very expensive additional ATGM to the unit (RNG10, POW10, with no magic weapon or True Sight!) with higher ARM. Might still be worth it, but damn, I was hoping to get those Strafe attacks...

    Ah well. Can't have everything!
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  12. #12
    Destroyer of Worlds bStyker's Avatar
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    @Marx - The Sentinel can still use Shield Guard to protect a Gun Mage each turn, as well as fire a single shot with a boost that can use any of the Rune Shots. So, it's not all bad. It's also not amazing.

  13. #13
    Destroyer of Worlds Marx's Avatar
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    Well, for 4 points... whaddaya expect?

    I'm okay with it. Gives me some options, at least, and can probably soak up a few bullets meant for more vulnerable targets.
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  14. #14

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    LOL, Marx I also picked to play Kara over this weekend, I've been struggling to find a nice army fit for her especially when facing off against beasts, bStrykers advice about the Blazers are solid, although they will not perform very well in the sense of hitting and doing much damage they do make up for it by putting the squeeze on your opponent buying you a turn more to get into position.

    In my 35pt list I play Kara + 2 Hunters, Boomhowlers + Murdock, Longunners full unit and the Blazers. Most Cygnar players will turn over in their graves about the full Longunner unit, but it stops non-stealth horde armies dead in their tracks, combine with feat and your killing high def infantry in droves. I managed to one turn the a 30 hp titan and 24hp flying beasts of theirs with this army doesn't sound like much but combine it with the blazers taking away their fury management and tieiing up their cetrati in melee, with boomhowlers and your golden to not only go and dominate objectives but next turn to feel the punch of Kara again.

    I really want to work in the b13th for the stealth but I've found that when you jam in boomhowlers and the blazers turn 1 he will not commit to your fight in the center which only opens you up to assassination, cover that and play the objective and your home free, I've not only managed to push lylyth2 into the corner with Kara but also gain the +2 control points (objective destroyed an control the zone) and then caught her in the killbox zone for the +3pts to give me the win on the start of my turn 3 even though I lost 50% of my army.

  15. #15

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    Maybe a Centurion, with it's heavier ARM, would have been a better model to throw against the MHSF? But even then, they have CRAs and I doubt that ARM22 would hold up long against that... gah.
    Assuming you were still talking about MHSF, they only have CMAs, not CRA. ^^

    Of course, you were probably meaning invictors, however invictors don't have extra dice and they don't have arcane assassin, so you can throw on all your buffs to protect from those CRAs.

    I'm actually a Ret player, funnily enough, but I'm not really sure what you could have done here. You were up against a pretty nasty list, Stormblades I've always found just get pasted. Via many things tbh. Gun Mages are always a good idea, but I personally hate seeing the Black 13th, they're pretty handy for dealing with us.

    I also really don't like fighting the Avenger. However with that said I have beat Kara 2/3 times I've played her I believe, with the loss being when I was very new to Ret.

    Personally the best answers I've seen from Cygnar are Seige and electro-leaping. Storm Strider knows how to put some serious hurt into our infantry and that's where Ret shine the most.

    Anyhow, good battle report, it's always nice to see the angry elves showing you swans how guns work

  16. #16
    Destroyer of Worlds Marx's Avatar
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    Hey Godmodder, thanks for the input! Yeah, I knew that the MHSF had CMAs, not CRAs, and that thing where they get an extra die against 'jacks when shooting.

    This was just a bad match for multiple reasons, but at least it was a learning experience. I'll take Kara against the Retribution again (I have since actually won once using her), but I have to be more strategic in my unit options. And I think that the Piper of Ord will start cropping up on a lot more of my Stormblade lists... that +1DEF can make a big difference, as can the Toughness (on a lucky day, at least!).

    At least, I suspect so... I'm going to try proxying in the Piper today (instead of Reinholdt)... stay tuned to this Forum to see the results tomorrow! I'm going up against Circle Oroboros with pCaine (probably... may still swap that for eCaine between now and 4 hours from now)....
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  17. #17
    Destroyer of Worlds SevenSins's Avatar
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    Looking forward to it best of luck (and skill)
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