Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lessons Learned: Pain and Suffering

Greetings Gentlereaders,

Today I'm going to tell you about my latest loss in Warmachine and how exactly it's helping me try to stretch my understanding of my first and favorite caster: Master Tormentor Morghoul.  I got to play a game against Iron Lich W from the Advanced Maneuvers crew and ended up getting losing in a useful manner.  In the post game discussion, W, Snarkie and I discussed where I could have improved and I found out that I had been radically undervaluing my feat and how it could be applied to the situation.  I'll be providing links to Battle College if there's any rules you aren't familiar with.  Hopefully we can both learn from this loss.
So let's talk about Morghoul:  He's a high defense, low armor Fury 5 caster who specializes in killing single wound living models and making friendly beasts (not just Friendly Faction) hit harder and at longer threat ranges than pretty much any other caster in Skorne.  Morghoul's other calling card is movement shenanigans.  Between Sprint and Admonition he can end his be a very slippery caster to try to pin down and kill.

There are tons of different ways to pull off an assassination run in this game keep amazing me and making me want learn more, even if I'm on the receiving end.  Last week, I played against Iron Lich W and his Cryx and his Asphyxious3 list.  We were playing Incursion from the 2015 Steamroller pack.  I went first and moved up.  On the second turn, I put my bronzeback into one of W's jacks and move up to put Morghoul on the center flag and dominate it.  I end my turn with Safeguard and Admonition on Morghoul to prevent him from being knocked down and W bypassing his high defense.  My left flank was being threatened by a squad of Satyxis Raiders and Captain, but that was something Morghoul could start eating next turn.  Thinking I was safe, I passed the turn.

Iron Lich W advances Deathjack out of the woods near the flag on my right to try to cast a Hex Blast onto Morghoul to remove Admonition, boosts and misses.  At this point I feel I've dodged a bullet.  Next, a Reaper moves up, boosts and hits Morghoul with his harpoon, pulling my caster into W's Advanced Deployment zone and B2B with the Reaper.  Morghoul transfers the damage form the harpoon and has one left.  His Bane Riders move in to block off any Admonition escape routes for Morghoul.  A few Satyxis Raiders under their mini-feat later and Morghoul takes a dirt nap.

Ishmael may be gone, but the Ponies live on!
So where was my mistake?  It wasn't moving on the the flag and putting Morghoul into a dangerous positition, but, was not popping my feat defensively.  Against a Warmachine army, I'm usually disappointed in my feat because their casters can back out of my control area and cast in.  The part I underestimated was that it also stops anyone from boosting attacks.  The shot from the Reaper that pulled Morghoul to his death would have needed an 11 or 12 on two dice rather than three if I had used my feat.  The Hex Blast from Deathjack couldn't even have been attempted had I used my feat.  The turn would have been me sitting on the flag and W either trying to fight my army or assassinate Morghoul "fairly."

I've heard sweet things about Morghoul's feat as an assassination tool.  Against a warlock, stab a trooper, pop feat and then sprint to cover as many beasts as I can to limit where the target can transfer to.  Fun other bonus, if I fail the assassination run, the next turn, my opponent's beasts can't generate fury while in my control area, so their warlock may have to self-reave to gain fury (out of their own HP).  In a Warmachine match-up, the feat becomes more defensive by saying most attempts to kill Morghoul that turn will fail.  Which is really good because I'm really tempted to try to have him up front and stabbing single wound troopers with his Anatomical Precision attacks (if you fail to beat armor on a living model, you do on point of damage) and Overtake (destroy a model, move an inch).

I've got the basics of the game down, but there's so much more for me to learn about the game as a whole and my faction or even casters in particular that it's astonishing.  Maybe in a few years I'll be able to have as good a grasp on it as I have on Magic, but that's a lot of studying I need to do.  Do you have any embarrassing stories about how you've lost and learned in wargaming?  Anything that has opened your eyes to new uses of something you thought you understood?

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