I got in my first Mark III games the other day, playing a pair of games against Tom’s Cygnar forces, as well as my final Mark 2 games against Andy’s and Ryan’s Legion of Everblight forces. However, before I get into any of that, time for painting progress.
Troll Impaler ready to help complete my Battlegroup Box. All that’s left is to paint Ragnor when I pick him up on the 29th.
First up, my last three games of Mark II, and the culminating games of our Spring Carnage at the Confluence campaign.
First I brought my Doomshaper2 Tier 4 list and clashed with Ryan’s Vayl2 army, playing a special mission of them trying to recover an Athanc within a ruin. The Blighted Nyss made a run for it, but an Earthborn Dire Troll got up to Vayl2 and ended her chances at getting into the ruin.
The second game was the same mission, and I fielded the same force. This time Thagrosh made an attempt at getting into the vault, and he was successful thanks to Andy’s good general skills.
The third game I switched up casters to Grissel but happened to face off against Ryan’s Vayl2 once more. This time I was on a rescue mission for a lost Khador Kovnik officer. While I got close to saving him from the building, I was not counting on Vayl2 herself shooting her way to victory rather than spells (under Grissel’s Cacophony fell call). She shot free a couple of critical models, which opened up a perfectly-lined throw attack that knocked down Grissel and let a Scythean right up to her. Needless to say, the captured Kovnik remained unsaved.
As I said above, this week I also got a chance to get in my first two Mark III games. I was very excited to play them, as I really like the changes to the rules system. There are some ups and downs for certain models (poor Troll Impaler, completed just in time for me to think “why would I field you now?”), and there’s plenty of salt out there on the internet about which factions gained and which factions lost in the switch to Mark III. I figure that until the meta forms, and people start to work out what clicks in each faction, it’s time to spend less time worrying and more time getting in practice games. So I cruised over to my friend Tom’s place and we got in a set of clashes.
Of course the first warlock I tried in Mark III was Void Seer Mordikaar. He’s probably my favorite caster in the game, so I wanted to see how he fared in the new edition. I was a little worried about some changes (I understand his Hollow spell not having tough, as the point is to get the souls, but I thought I would miss it). Tom is just starting, so we played to a pretty odd points value (46). I fielded something pretty similar to what I’d normally field with him: Bronzeback, Gladiator, and Cyclops Brute for my battlegroup, plus a Scarab Pack to see how they’re doing in the new edition, with Beast Handlers, Bloodrunners, a Feralgeist, and two Void Spirits to round things out.
Tom’s force is pretty Warjack-heavy, and led by Commander Coleman Stryker. It’s the classic Battle Box, plus a Stormclad, Squire, and a unit of Long Gunners with Officer and Standard. Additionally, I love the green Cygnar look Tom is using on his models. Definitely striking for the Swans.
Initial impressions of Mark III from the game: Scarab Swarms still suck. Well, they unfairly had to face off against a Stormclad so they were going to get pulped no matter what. And my dice still betray me: the Bronzeback is a heck of a beater, except when rolling nothing but 4’s on two dice. However, the game plays clean and despite having to confirm abilities constantly, plays as quick as Mark II (so once I get rolling with my Skorne it should be even faster).
The first match against Tom I won thanks to a trampling Titan Gladiator that bowled over Stryker and damaged him, leaving him easy pickings for a Cyclops Brute to finish off on the ground. As always, playing against Stryker is an exercise in patience: his feat turn is time to throw, knockdown, and jam–all the more so when he’s going to be even more Warjack heavy due to big battlegroup sizes in Mark III.
For the second game, I wanted to try out Master Ascetic Naaresh. I painted him up right at the end of my time playing Skorne in Mark II, and he impressed me then in those initial games. He looks even better now–the question is what list to put with him. I wanted to give a more shooting-heavy look, but still needed to crack Cygnar armor, so I went with much the same troops and slightly different beasts package: swapping in a Titan Cannoneer, an Aradus Sentinel, and an Agonizer to debuff strength when things got into melee.
The battle went fairly well at first, as I was able to wipe out the Long Gunners with a far-charging, Cyclone-using Naaresh and pulling my battlegroup far to one side. Two sets of trees helped me bottleneck, and while I lost some stuff to get that positioning, I was feeling pretty good about it: he had used his feat, so I could back up and damage his jacks enough as they approached, then hope to survive the initial assault (thanks to the Agonizer).
However, sometimes the gods of dice are cruel. Naaresh needed to make a charge past the Ironclad. I had high defense, plenty of fury, and ample Blood Tokens increasing my armor thanks to some whipping by the Beast Handlers. Even if I took a hit, it was going to be fine and my plan would cut his force in half. What I missed, was critical knockdown on the Quake Hammer. And of course, two 6’s on the free strike. That made it all over but the crying. Naaresh survived the assault from the Ironclad, Stormclad, and Lancer–because he’s tough as hell and sitting on six transfers lets that happen. But it left me denuded with only a single warbeast remaining (with no fury). Getting the fury from dead warbeasts helped, but not enough. Naaresh got into Stryker’s face, but he lacked the fury and support from beasts to get the job done, and I was smushed the following turn.
All-in-all a great end to Mark II and a great beginning to Mark III. For now, my focus will be on Skorne in Mark III as I want to get them down pat. My Cryx and Trollbloods are fun, but they’ll get to wait just a bit as I’m buying in to make Skorne my faction to “master” first.
366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):
Battles (Privateer Press):
Overall Totals 2016: 49 (Win/Loss: 28/21/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)
12 Wins (Butcher x2, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre x2, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2, Stryker)/ 6 Losses (Rask, Xerxis, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Zerkova2, Stryker)
11 Wins (Karchev x2, Vayl2 x3, Lylyth x2, Kaya, Skarre, Thagrosh, Asphyxious3) / 11 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2, Borka2, Kaya, Rhyas, Ashlynn x2, Twins Saeryn and Rhyas, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Vayl2)
4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad) / 4 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3, Stryker)