I finally had a chance to play against my dear friend, Konrad, and his Minions. Konrad is getting back to Warmachine after a break, too, so we had a chance to talk about good old times and roll dice together.
I decided to change slightly that Stryker1 list I played the week before (here) and include two Thamarite Advocates. I tweaked the list a bit and got rid of Alexia2. I knew I was going to play against double Death Archons (first time) so I didn’t expect too many souls to be collected.
Konrad, impressed by new RQ releases was discovering new abilities and combos with every game and every time he read the cards. In the end, he decided to take Maelok1 and a whole range of new RQ sweetness.
Konrad’s Maelok1 list:
[Theme] Will Work For Food
[Maelok 1] Maelok the Dreadbound [+28]
– Blackhide Wrastler 
– Blackhide Wrastler 
– Blind Walker 
Farrow Sapper 
Gatorman Witch Doctor 
Gudrun the Wasted [0(5)]
Kogan the Exile [0(6)]
Death Archon 
Death Archon 
Thamarite Advocate 
The Wastelander [0(5)]
Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron 
Farrow Valkyries 
Farrow Valkyries 
There were a couple 😉 of proxies, so bare with me, here we go:
Death Archons were proxied with Purebloods. Gudrun2 was proxied by Gudrun1, easy as that 😉 Wastelander was proxied with some sort of Cryx Thrall with a huge sword, it makes sense, doesn’t it? Boomhowler3 was proxied with a Boomhowler1. Then… Thamarite Advocate was proxied with Lanyssa, I believe. Oh, and Kogan was proxied with a Tharn model, what is reasonable.
My Stryker1 list:
[Theme] Flame in the Darkness
[Stryker 1] Commander Coleman Stryker [+30]
– Blockader 
Malvin & Mayhem 
Grand Master Gabriel Throne 
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Morrowan Archon 
Thamarite Advocate [0(3)]
Thamarite Advocate [0(3)]
Thamarite Archon 
Thamarite Archon 
Field Mechaniks (min) 
– Morrowan Battle Priest (1) 
Precursor Knights (max) 
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
– Precursor Knight Officer & Standard 
We played a Steamroller 2021 scenario – Split Decision.
I won the roll and decided to go first and as a result Konrad picked the better side. I realized I might have a problem with positioning Blockader only after I switched the side and saw the table from a different perspective ;p I deployed the colossal on the right, Stryker in the center, Precursors and Archons on both sides. Malvin was deployed on the right.
Konrad deployed Maelok in the center, together with Death Archons. Wrastlers on the flanks. Various solos were deployed all around. The white token on my side of the building symbolizes a mine from a Farrow Sapper.
Round 1 Turn 1
Stryker cast Snipe on leftmost Thamarite Archon, Blur on PKs, Arcane Shield on Blockader and moved up. Blockader ran forward, as all the other models did. As you can already see below, the side I deployed on, wasn’t the most forgiving. I already could tell that choosing the other side would be the better choice than taking the first turn.
Round 1 Turn 2
Konrad measured various angles and distances and carefully planned his turn. He decided to play it defensively, anticipating me using my feat next turn. He decided to put some models in range, just to bait me, but most of the tasty bits were just outside of my charge threat range. The cauldron loaded Death Archon with corpses, everything moved forward. Said Archon flew behind the building in the middle, obviously outside of my LoS.
Round 2 Turn 1
I wanted to engage by charging forward and hopefully killing what I charged. The plan was to feat, gain space and buy time. Exposing my army a little bit wasn’t an issue, since my feat and AS on anything I cared most for should protect me long enough. I noticed that Malvin can charge Gudrun in a way to get Death Archon in melee too and that was something I was looking for! Killing the DA early in the game would seriously limit Konrad’s list infantry removal abilities. Malvin charged forward and… missed all of his attacks. That was not something I expected, not at all. PKs moved forward and created a Shield Wall, what combined with AS resulted in ARM 26 lol Blockader moved forward and managed to kill Kogan with sprays, uff. Morrowan Archon ran forward and tried to be as annoying as possible with DEF 16 ARM 25. I repositioned my support, passed the clock and hoped for the best. The turn didn’t go as planned, but was not horrible either.
Round 2 Turn 2
Malvin, although well protected with ARM 25, couldn’t stand for too long and fell under all the punches Crocodiles had. Maelok used his feat and DA, not bothered by any free strikes, flew over the building and wrecked PKs. He used his teleport to move around the shield wall, getting through ARM 22 wasn’t that hard. Fortunately, Morrowan Archon survived, however losing so many PKs under my feat was a surprise. Konrad scored one point on his flag, all the rest was contested, 0:1.
Round 3 Turn 1
This turn was going to be decisive. Should I fail to recover and kill or neutralize most of those nasty solos, the game would end quickly. Both Death Archons were my priority. My plan was to score 3 points. Hermit used his aura and I got DA and Wrastler (on the other side of the building) within 5″. Vengeance allowed me to reposition my PKs to charge and kill the first Death Archon. PKs charged also the other Archon, but failed to kill him. Morrowan Archon stepped forward and left the second DA on 1box… Blockader charged one of the Valkiries and used his remaining attacks to kill Wrastler. Sadly, killing that DA was out of my reach. Thamarite Advocate captured the flag. Thamarite Archon on the left failed to snipe out Thamarite Advocate behind the rock. Oh, I almost forgot that Stryker cast Earthquake in the middle of the Valkiries, knocking Wastelander too. As a consequence, I didn’t have enough FOC to cast AS on Blockader, and that was about to hurt me a lot ;p I scored 3 points, 3:1.
Round 3 Turn 2
Somehow, I forgot to take a photo of this turn, sorry. Maelok cast Mortality on Blockader. Valkiries charged him and together with Death Archon, crippled one of the hands. Wastelander stood up and walked dangerously close to my colossal. I lost a handful of my Precursor Knights. Morrowan Archon died too. Blind Walker couldn’t reach Blockader with a charge, as Witch Doctor gave ghostly to DA instead of +1″ of movement to nearby models, but that was ok, as my colossal had other models to focus on first. I felt that the game was slightly leaning towards Minions victory. Konrad scored one point, 3:2.
Round 4 Turn 1
Stryker cast Earthquake to knock Wastelander down (DA cannot be kd, ups). I didn’t cast AS on Blockader AGAIN. Blockader smashed Wastelander with his crippled hand and killed DA, finally. I was not doing as good on the other side. Thamarite Archon flew over to contest the flag. Remaining PKs tried to kill as many models as possible. I believe that was Gabriel who killed Maximus, exactly when Konrad was putting a Gladiator theme song on his speakers ;P too bad. I scored one point, 4:3.
Round 4 Turn 2
Konrad was successively gaining the advantage, as a result, this turn sealed my fate. Maelok cast Mortality on my colossal again, and Blind Walker finished Blockader. My Thamarite Archon on the left side died miserably, killed by a pot, to the box. Boomhowler killed Gabriel, Wrastler ate a couple of PKs. Konrad scored a point, 4:3. I had few models left and only one idea.
Round 5 Turn 1
This game was lost but I couldn’t pass by such a holly mary caster kill. Stryker charged enemy model, cast Earthquake and knocked Maelok down. I cast Arcane Bolt and dealt 4 damage. Thamarite Archon flew over and I rolled only two shots. The first one dealt some damage, the other would kill him, but the damage was transfered with the last fury. I rolled high, but who knows, maybe with a third shot I would roll even higher? 😀 Nevermind, the game was finished and we shook hands.
The list felt ok, except the poor Malvin’s performance. The blame however can be put on my poor dice rolls. I’d like to try (and already have tried) Gallant + Jakes1 instead of Malvin (and another solo) and see how that would feel. Another change I feel that may improve the list is to swap one of the Thamarite Archons for a Morrowan Archon. They are pretty resilient under Stryker’s feat, so why not to have two of them 😉 This may limit the list’s ranged potential, but on the other hand, d3 shots is not that reliable, right?
When it comes to rating my performance, well, the terrain is not the only factor to be blamed here ;P the initial engagement relied on Malvin killing that nasty DA, failing that resulted in losing way too many PKs, especially under Stryker’s feat. Those were the models I was missing in later stages of the game. That situation was a breaking point in the game that snowballed into my defeat. Perhaps, committing that hard and feating in that turn wasn’t the best plan? Taking the first turn most definitely was not in that case ;P
If it comes to the new scenario, it feels like a split decision indeed. The objective is far enough, that you have to actually commit enough resources to reach it that far from the center of the board. Also, the opposite flag is more about contesting than scoring, at least in first 3-4 rounds of the game.
I like scenarios with various scoring conditions, but they are always so annoying to deploy correctly. I like that there is no objective/flag in the middle of the board, so deploying terrain on tournaments won’t be that problematic. On the other hand, with an impassable terrain in the middle with all the flags and objectives around it, I find it difficult to maneuver a huge based model around.
Thanks, Konrad, for the game, it was a pleasure, as always 😛