Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In which I learn a valuable wargaming lesson...

     Apparently, Benjamin Franklin said something along the lines of, "He that can have Patience, can have what he will." On my trip down to the local pub, after an afternoon of jumping the gun I had plenty of time to ponder Ben's words over a pipe and a pint. s much as I willed the games Sunday afternoon to go in my favor, I just wasn't patient enough to cause that outcome.
     The setup:
Our local shop is open on Sundays from 1-6 and 4 of us decided this last weekend we'd get together for some Warmachine...

     The players:
Mikey - Local muchkin and all round good guy
Wes - The salesman. He gets fired up about his gaming and the effect is contagious.
Casey - My wife, new to Warmachine (2 full games under her belt now, both wins)
Myself - If you've got Dwarves, I'll play your game

     We showed up and got busy finishing lunch as well as firing up the bs-ing and camaraderie. Casey indicates that she'd like to get in a full game against me as our Thursday night game started, but we only got a full turn 1 into it before the shop shut down for the night.
     That leaves Wes fielding his Khador Iron Wolf / Black Ivan list or 35 points against Mikey's Hexeris Skorne list. I got to see a few turns of this game here and there and it looked like a lot of fun. While those 2 were setting up, I was throwing a 25 point Baldur list together to face my wife's Cryx army.

     The lists:
Deneghra - warwitch
 - Skarlock Thrall
Satyxis Raiders x6
 - Satyxis Sea Witch
Scrap Thralls x3

Woldwatcher x2
Sentry Stone and Mannikins
Shifting stones

     For those of you that can do math, and have ibodger or a book or cards handy, (not only did I think I could add, but I was using ibodger at the time as well) you'll note that I shorted myself 2 points. Whoops. It was a moot point as plenty was still on the table at the time the game ended in the bottom of round 3.
     Casey won option for setup/go first and decided she wanted to see what I was going to do. I'd played a bit of psychological warfare the days before and let her know what a Baldur assassination run could be with all of his nifty forest-jumping. It looked like it worked and she seemed to play a bit more warily than usual. More reactive, less KHORNE SMASH!!! Heh.
     Round 1 was simple, setup solid ground, make a mannikin forest to slow the raiders, whee. During the first and second round, I lost all my mannikins, and managed to kill a couple raiders including the sea witch. Meanwhile, the skarlock and 2 of the scrap thralls went straight for the mosh pit. Oh wait, did I neglect to mention there was a scenario involved? Yes, we were playing mosh pit, meaning whoever controls the center of the table at the end of their 3rd, or any subsequent turn, wins.
     Round 3 dawns and we see Baldur in a position to set up an assassination run. I activate my woldwarden and have him cast his animus creating a forest at his feet. He then kills the seether he's in base contact with. Only after the game did it occur to me I should have used geomancy to put stone skin on Baldur giving him an extra 2 strength and armor. Woldwatcher moves up, grabs Baldur in a 2 handed embrace and chunks him into the forest. With solid ground up, I'm not knocked down and the damage roll fails to do anything. With my remaining 3 fury, I take a boosted swing at Denny, hit her (applying weight of stone, whee) and do a good chuck of boosted damage. Buy another attack which hits, but without any remaining fury fails to finish her off. She makes it out alive with 4 health remaining.
     Casey's 3rd turn, she then has the option to win by scenario objective with her skarlock, or turn around and beat on Baldur. She chose to try out the latter first. With 7 focus to boost and buy more attacks, and her feat popped, she made short work of the stone crafter. 
     Had I been a bit less eager for the caster kill, I could have moved Baldur over to clear out the mosh pit, especially with the woldwatcher backing him up, and won without leaving myself so open. I also could have set up the assassination attempt better by doing things like waiting a turn so more of my resources were in place to put damage on Deneghra, having more fury free to buy more swings or even little things like remembering geomancy and stone skin.
     This trend followed into my second game of the day against Wes wherein I set up almost the same run but with different resources and even with a free strike as Harkevich pulled back out of melee, and bombard aoe range so he could broadside me, I just couldn't seal the deal. Warmachine and Hordes are rich, complex games with a good deal going on at once. I've just got to remember that and make sure I prepare myself more for what I want to accomplish without jumping in head-first to the empty pool.
     As it stands, I'm really enjoying this game the Privateer folks have set up and can't wait to get in a few more. To good games, good friends and good beer. May you never want for lack of the three.
Paulaner Hefeweizen

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