Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Iron Gauntlet Steamroller (5/1/14) Report

On Sunday I participated in the Iron Gauntlet Steamroller event in Gamer's World. For those unfamiliar with the Iron Gauntlet rules, it was essentially a 50pt standard Steamroller event, but players were able to take their two lists from different Factions if they wished.

I had considered the possibility of assembling and painting the Stormwall Colossal I got for Christmas and playing one Cygnar list along with my Gators, but it wasn't a realistic prospect so I went with just Gators instead. Some players did take the opportunity to play two separate factions. In a traditional show of Lenny disorganisation, I decided to choose which warlocks I would use by lining up the models on the kitchen table and asking my niece Abbie to pick two of them. She chose Bloody Barnabas and Calaban, the Grave Walker.

List one :
 photo Barnabaslist.jpg
Bloody Barnabas (6 WP)
   Blackhide Wrastler (9)
   Swamp Horror (8)
   Bull Snapper (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Totem Hunter (3)
Thrullg (3)
Feralgeist (1)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Bog Trog Ambushers [Leader & 5 Grunts] (5)

List two :
 photo Calabanlist.jpg
Calaban, the Grave Walker (6 WP)
   Blackhide Wrastler (9)
   Ironback Spitter (8)
   Bull Snapper (3)
   Bull Snapper (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Professor Viktor Pendrake (2)
Croak Hunter (2)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Bog Trog Ambushers [Leader & 9 Grunts] (8)

Game 1 vs. Eoin Brennan (Circle Orboros [Kromac]/Protectorate of Menoth [High Reclaimer]) - Incursion scenario.

I decided to continue my randomness and rolled a dice to select my army list. I got Barnabas, while Eoin selected his High Reclaimer list. Eoin's list was as follows :
The High Reclaimer (6 WP)
   Reckoner (8)
Anastasia di Bray (2)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2)
Kell Bailoch (2)
3 Wracks (1)
Visgoth Rhoven & Honour Guard (4)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4)
Choir of Menoth [Leader & 3 Grunts] (2)
Exemplar Bastions [Leader & 4 Grunts] (8)
Exemplar Bastions [Leader & 4 Grunts] (8)
Idrian Skirmishers [Leader & 9 Grunts] (10)
   Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide (3)

 photo vsEoin1.jpg
Deployment. Well, here's a great start to the morning, the Ireland 2014 WTC team captain and he's packing two full units of Exemplar Bastions with a warcaster who has a feat that brings the dead ones back to life with full health. Needing to wipe full units to prevent them coming back is hard enough to do against a smart opponent in the first place, and it's even harder when they can spread any damage taken around the unit. I'm familiar enough with tough multiple wound infantry that can come back to life (Maelok's Revive spell). I do have some remove from play abilities but the Bastions' ability to spread damage would confound that as well. All in all, I was up against it here, so I decided to get stuck in and see where it got me.

Eoin's Idrians had put Prey on a unit of my Gators, and his CRAs were able to do plenty of damage, before the battlelines clashed. The Totem Hunter had gotten himself into Eoin's backfield after slaughtering Visgoth Rhoven, and I had hoped he could cause some trouble from there.

 photo vsEoin2.jpg

As it turned out, it wasn't to be for the Totem Hunter. The Choir sang and the Reckoner turned him into a giant smear on the battlefield. Up front, it wasn't going great either. The Gatormen did some damage to the Bastions, but Eoin was simply able to feat them back to life. I did eat Rhoven's Honour Guard though, so there was no return for the Visgoth.

 photo vsEoin3.jpg

In the end I just didn't have the numbers or ability to provide much of a threat to Eoin's army. He was allowed to control the battlefield and was well able to pick his point of attack. The end came when he managed to kill off the remaining Gatorman Posse, switch his Prey onto Barnabas, Harm him with Aiyana and then shoot him to death. The final position is below.

LOSS, by assassination. 0-0 CPs, 12-52 PC Destroyed.

 photo vsEoin4.jpg

Quite honestly I didn't know what to do here. Eoin was able to pick and choose his fights. The High Reclaimer's ability to create clouds left me largely unable to get any good charges off. The Bastions are able to absorb the Gatorman attacks, which did plenty of damage but Eoin was able to pick and choose whether he wanted to spread the damage out or just remove models to prevent more attacks (and then bring them back with his feat). I got my ass solidly kicked here. It's a list I like and it was played well.

Game 2 vs. Harry Cullen (Cygnar [Nemo2/Darius]) - Close Quarters scenario.

I drew the short straw and got the player who had been paired down, in this case Harry. This time the dice determined I would be fielding Calaban. Harry opted for Darius. His list was :
Captain E. Dominic Darius (5 WP)
   Centurion (9)
   Centurion (9)
   Squire (2)
Journeyman Warcaster (3)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4)
Alexia Ciannor and the Risen (5)
Steelhead Halberdiers [Leader & 9 Grunts] (6)
Steelhead Halberdiers [Leader & 9 Grunts] (6)
Horgenhold Forge Guard [Leader & 9 Grunts] (8)

 photo vsHarry1.jpg

Deployment. Harry's plan was to throw a lot of bodies in my face backed up with a pair of hard-to-kill Centurions backing them, along with support from Darius and his Journeyman Warcaster. Harry threw his Steelheads straight into my face, along with pushing up his other forces. I decided to counter by feating with Calaban early. I positioned Calaban so that he was just within range to Hex Blast Alexia, and as a happy coincidence it was just out of range of her ability to make spells cost double. There was plenty of Steelheads to slaughter to fuel Calaban, but I made the mistake of putting Carnivore on one of the Gatormen units. As Carnivore causes boxed models to be removed from play, so they weren't destroyed and didn't provide Calaban with any Fury. Lesson learned. I was able to kill just enough Steelheads to just about finish Alexia and the Risen with repeated Hex Blasts. The Bog Trogs arrived from Ambush, and slaughtered the Black 13th which Harry had helpfully left within range.

 photo vsHarry2.jpg

I had cleared a lot of Harry's infantry, and over the next couple of turns they were wiped out for minimal losses on my side. Darius was able to shoot down most of my Bog Trogs in one go, if I had known that gun was an AoE4 I wouldn't have packed them so tightly, but had wanted to make sure the Black 13th went down. In retrospect, I should have run some of them to spread out and have more threat vectors. Harry sent in his Centurions, and started to kill Gators. One Centurion badly damaged the Blackhide Wrastler, and in turn I tried to kill it in return. Parasite counteracted the effects of Arcane Shield, and I laid in with the Ironback Spitter. I got two hits with the Bite attack, and at dice -6, I boosted both and did a total of no damage. The Blackhide Wrastler then had a go, but didn't do enough damage so I stopped attacking, as I couldn't kill the Centurion.

 photo vsHarry3.jpg

In Harry's turn, he was able to use a Halfjack to repair the heavily damaged Centurion, which then killed both heavy warbeasts. At this point, I had lost a lot of heavy hitters and many Gatormen. I killed off the Journeyman with a Bog Trog, removing the Centurion's Arcane Shield. Calaban then spent all of his Fury and a chunk of his life energy to destroy it. At this point I had little left and Harry still had an undamaged Centurion. He was able to use Halfjacks to protect Darius and clog up charge lanes, leaving me unable to get to Darius.

 photo vsHarry4.jpg

The end swiftly followed. Harry loaded up his Centurion with Focus, charged Calaban and slew him in a single stab of his Piston Spear.

LOSS, by assassination. 1-3 CPs, 45-49 PC Destroyed.

 photo vsHarry5.jpg

It was an interesting game. I feel it turned away from me when I failed to kill the Centurion with the two heavies. My dice rolling was below average but that was the breaks. Harry made a couple of positional mistakes, leaving the Black 13th exposed to the Bog Trogs and pushing Alexia up too far on turn one. Don't think he'll make those mistakes again. I made a few errors myself, I'll need to be careful that I'm not removing models from play on the feat turn, and I need to cluster my Bog Trogs up less too. The high ARM of Centurions is tough for my army to crack, I'll put more effort into removing the Journeyman in future games. The Thrullg might be useful in this list, between a Thrullg and Hex Blast I have more options for removing pesky upkeep spells.

Game 3 vs. Stuart Gorman (Trollbloods [Grim]/Legion of Everblight [Abyslonia]) - Outflank scenario.

Again, I drew a player who had been paired down. Stuart went with Abyslonia, while the dice gave me Calaban. Stuart's list was this :
Abyslonia, Terror of Everblight (5 WP)
   Carnivean (11)
   Ravagore (10)
   Angelius (9)
   Harrier (2)
   Harrier (2)
   Shredder (2)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1)
Strider Deathstalker (2)
Strider Deathstalker (2)
The Forsaken (2)
The Forsaken (2)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (1)

 photo vsStu1.jpg

(Almost) Deployment, Stuart got started before I snapped the photo. A note here, I hate playing Legion. I have to deal with an Angelius before it hits my medium-based warlock with it's Armour Piercing tail. Stu's low model count would help me if I was able to get a few early kills. I don't think Stuart would be so obliging, and it turned out I was right. The Angelius swept forward and stabbed a poor unfortunate Gator straight through the head.

 photo vsStu2.jpg

Stuart continued to press his attack forward, using one of Abyslonia's spells to drop an AoE4 area where I couldn't force my beasts. The Angelius continued it's rampage, handily destroying the injured Blackhide Wrastler, who had chomped on some Carnivean in the meantime. I had tried twice to cast Hex Blast to strip the animus and upkeep spells that had the Angelius at DEF 17. I thought I could take it out if I could just hit it, but the Hex Blast missed needing 10s despite boosting it. The remaining Gatormen started to rack up the kills, but weren't able to hit the Angelius.

 photo vsStu3.jpg

The Angelius, of course, made short work of Calaban after I had run out of warbeasts to block the path to my warlock. Stuart took advantage and dropped my warlock for another assassination.

LOSS, by assassination. 0-5 CPs, 25-30 PC Destroyed.

 photo vsStu4.jpg

So the final game ends in defeat again. I really don't know how to handle Legion armies, I've always struggled against them. Going to have to seek out a few for more practice I think. Overall I had a rough time with the players I drew at this tournament, all are very experienced tournament players. That has ups and downs, you learn more but end up down the wrong end of the overall results as can be seen below. Big thanks are owed to Phil for running the event and Eoin, Harry and Stuart for kicking my arse but being great opponents while doing it. I'll finish with a quick plug - All three of my opponents are, among others, contributors to the blog Overload Online and their podcast Overload on Air. Check it out, they know what they're talking about a lot better than I do.

Final Results
Player (Faction) - Score - SoS - CP - PC destroyed
Eoin Brennan (Circle/Menoth) - 3 - 4 - 10 - 135
Anthony O'Reilly (Cryx) - 3 - 4 - 9 - 105
Jason Jensen (Cryx/Menoth) - 2 - 5 - 9 - 114
Stuart Gorman (Trolls/Legion) - 2 - 4 - 11 - 130
Harry Cullen (Cygnar) - 2 - 3 - 10 - 116
Eoin Dornan (Menoth) - 1 - 6 - 0 - 69
Noel Flynn (Cygnar) - 1 - 5 - 4 - 109
Conor Burnell (Trolls/Mercs) - 1 - 3 - 5 - 42
Brian Leonard (Minions) - 0 - 7 - 1 - 82
Declan Lowry (CoC/Menoth) - 0 - 4 - 4 - 37

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