Yes, it's been far too long since I've posted anything. Divorce will do that to you. That being said, let's get to the battle report...
I had wanted to build a new eButcher list that incorporates my new Spriggan. However, it's been far too long since I've had a change to play, so I thought I'd fall back on my typical pVlad list. I tweaked it to include Malakov and a Conquest. The new normal for Warmahordes will be to field a colossal/gargantuan, so I might as well use mine. Plus, Malakov really makes it shine with his four focus and Redline spell.
My list consisted of the following:
Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Prince
Kovnik Andrei Malakov
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
Winter Guard Infantry (full)
Winter Guard Officer & Standard Bearer
Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeer
Yuri the Axe
He was running this (I believe):
Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker
Elara, Tyro of the Third Chamber
Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard Bearer
House Shyeel Magister
House Shyeel Battle Mages
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Mage Hunter Assassin
Mage Hunter Assassin
I think there might have been another Arcanist, but I don't fully remember. Adding one more would bring that list to fifty points, so it was probably in there. Although, I might have a few of the units off. I'll find out, and update this post so it's more accurate. Honestly, I haven't played many games against Retribution. I know that they can be a real pain with their shields, and to never let the assassin get a good charge on you.
We rolled, and I won. I opted to go second. He placed an Assassin on each flank with Eiryss on one side of that, and the Battle Mages near the other. I have to say that I was fairly concerned at this point because I know I'm going to need to concentrate on taking them out. The Hyperion was in the center with the Sentinels on one side and the Chimera on the other. His warcaster was behind the colossal.
The terrain consisted of a few forests on the flanks, some hills, and one obstruction on a flank. We were playing the hardcore scenario, so the center was left open.
I deployed the Widowmakers, Yuri, and the Manhunter on the side with Eiryss and the Assassin. I then placed the Marksman and Kell on the side with the other Assassin and the Battle Mages. The rest kind of mirrored his with the Conquest in the middle, Malakov behind that, pVlad on the side with Drago and the dog, and the semi-Deathstar on the other side of the Conquest.
He ran nearly everything up into a better position, and walked the rest. He dropped Polarity Shield on the Hyperion, and used Telekinesis to move the Chimera into a better position. He popped Force Field, and ended his turn.
I ran Yuri and the Manhunter into the forest. I then moved the Widowmakers into a better position, and tried to take a few shots at the Sentinels. I was just short. The Marksman and Kell moved up, and took a few shots. Kell just barely missed the roll against DEF, but the Marksman took out a Sentinel. The WGI and company Bobbed & Weaved up. Kovnik Joe dropped Fearless and Tough on them. The Conquest moved up, and took a sounding shot at the Chimera. It just barely missed the mark. Since Force Field was up, he put the deviation direction towards pVlad and the dog. Luckily, I rolled low. Drago ran.
Shit got real, son. Spells were upkept. The Assassin charged Yuri, and killed him. He used Chain Blast through the Chimera to kill three of four Widowmakers. Luckily, I passed the command check. The other Assassin charged the Marksman...and missed. The Sentinels and Battle Mages repositioned. The Hyperion moved up into the zone, and Rahn inched his was around.
I had the Marksman move closer to the Assassin, and killed it. The remaining Widowmaker took out a Sentinel. I had the Marksman try to kill the other Assassin in melee. Sadly, with a MAT of four, he wasn't able to do much. Kell sacrificed his movement to take out to Battle Mages. The WGI moved in, and sprayed several Sentinels and a random Battle Mage. I took out his Standard Bearer with the spray too. I had pVlad cast Blood of Kings, then Boundless Charge on Drago. He then moved up with the War Dog leading. I had the Conquest run to reach the zone. Drago then activated and charged the Chimera. I was just barely out of melee with enough room for the Chimera to move around, and have LOS on pVlad.
At this point, I was pretty sure he had the game.
He asked if I wanted to just play it out, or if I wanted him to go for the assassination. I told him to play it like he plans for the upcoming Coal & Claw tournament in Dallas. He opted for assassination. He did not upkeep his spells. He then had the Assassin reposition, and was able to just barely tag Kovnik Joe. It was more than enough to slay the brave Kovnik. The Sentinels moved in to chop at the Conquest. They did a bit of damage, but nothing to really impact it. He then positioned the Chimera to have LOS to pVlad. Rahn then popped his feat, and the pain train rolled into the station...except, it didn't. With Blood of Kings up, he was unable to exceed my DEF. He blew all of his focus trying to get over my DEF, with no success. He then had the Battle Mages attack. Only one was able to hit pVlad, and did a measly one point of damage.
I took a deep breath, and allocated a focus to Drago, and had Malakov allocate three to the Conquest. I then had the Manhunter charge Eiryss and kill her. The last Widomaker took a shot at his Arcanist(?) and killed it. I had pVlad cast Blood of Kings, Boundless Charge on Drago, feat, then move up to kill a Sentinel. Since he has Blood Boon, he cast Wind Wall just because he could. Drago then charged Rahn, taking a free-strike from the Hyperion. The Hyperion did minor damage. Drago's first hit took Rahn to one box, and his second initial sealed the deal.
I'm still floored at what happened. If I had been playing a different warcaster, he would have been able to hit me, toss my warcaster into the Conquest, thus knocking it down. The Battle Mages would then have been able to kill me on his feat turn. This is why I love pVlad so much. He doesn't have the over-the-top aggression that the Butchers have, or the army support that you see in an Irusk or Sorscha. What he does have is the ability to become near-impossible to take out. Throw in Drago and the War Dog, and you have this little nugget of awesomesauce.