Our small local group decided to take part in a journeman league. We played a simple Mangled Metal game for the first round. Against my better judgement I picked Strak's battlegroup:
Blondie ran pStryker (mostly with proxies as he's still getting his stuff assembled):
Stryker I (proxied by Stryker I)
-Ironclan (proxied by Crusader)
-Lancer (proxied by Revenger)
-Charger (proxied by Repenter)
Beanpole chose More-Ghoul:
I got in just in time to see Blondie beat Beanpole. I think he used Earthquake to counter Admonition and take out all his beasts.
We decided that, being new to the game, Blondie should try to get as many games in as possible, so I played against him next. I ended up going first and we deployed in simple facing lines.
I put Superiority on the Spriggan and ran him a little ahead.
He ran the Ironclad and Lancer forwards, with the Charger staying a little further back. The Charger got Snipe and the Ironclad was gifted with an Arcane Shield.
Despite being given a short brief about Strakhov's abilities, my opponent had not respected Strak's threat range and neglected to use his feat. I considered overrunning the Spriggan off the Lancer (after weakening it with the Marauder) in order to reach Stryker, but decided to just aim for his jacks. So Strakhov gave the Marauder two focus (because I am stupid) and the Spriggan three, feated, and tossed a cinder bomb on the off chance that it helped keep him safe somehow. The Marauder then charged forwards and slammed the Ironclad over the Lancer, doing plenty of damage to both. The Spriggan charged up and finished off the Lancer then crippled the Ironclad's cortex (and possibly some other systems).
With his jacks hurt pretty badly, Blondie decided to go for the assassination. Stryker walked up and dropped an Earthquake on Strakhov; it missed but only deviated a couple of inches, knocking my caster down. He put a bit of damage on him with the pistol and feated in case I survived. But the Charger made sure that I didn't.
Giving Blondie a break, I played a game against Beanpole. Again I ended up going first. I decided to shake things up this time by (gasp) deploying my caster on the other side of the jacks!
I run forwards. Spriggan goes a little ahead, but not too far.
He puts Abuse and Rush on a Savage, which runs surprising far forwards to act as bait. The Gladiator hangs further back with Admonition on it.
Did he forget about Overrun? I dunno, but the Spriggan walks calmly forwards, kills the Savage, and then shuffles back. The Marauder just gets between Strakhov and the other Savage.
The Gladiator sets up closer this time. The remaining Savage charges the Marauder and rolls poorly, doing something like 3 or 4 damage total.
The important thing here is that the Savage is blocking my charge lane to the
Gladiator, meaning I can't charge with the Marauder to trigger
Admonition then go in with the Spriggan. So instead I slam the Savage into the Gladiator and walk up to them both
with the Spriggan. The Gladiator uses Admonition to back away, but the
Spriggan simply kills the Savage with it's shield then overruns up to
the Gladiator again. Unfortunately I needed one focus to boost the attack roll on the Savage and two for Overrun, so the Spriggan is left with only two focus and it's initial lance attack. Funnily enough, none of my damage dice can seem to come up higher than a 2, so the Savage is barely touched anyway.
In his turn the Savage gets Abuse and rolls a whole bunch of 5s and 6s, wrecking the Spriggan. Of course it also received Admonition, and just for good measure Morghoul feated as well, so I wouldn't be able to spend focus in his control area.
Well, this was a pretty pickle. With only one jack my chances of pinning down the Gladiator were pretty slim, and with the feat up all I could do this turn was run away. So Strakhov cast Superiority on the Marauder, walked away and threw a cinder bomb, hoping it would land in a position where I could hide the Marauder behind it. No such luck, so the Marauder simply walked as far away from the Gladiator as he could.
In his turn Beanpole decided that the Gladiator was just out of range, so he just walked up with Admonition again. I think he also cast Abuse before deciding not to go for the charge, and used the rest of his fury to heal the Gladiator?
Well I wasn't going to be able to kill the Gladiator, so the only option left was assassination. Strakhov walked up and cast a boosted Ram at the Gladiator, pushing it out of the way, feated, then missed Morghoul with his gun. The Marauder then charged in to Morghoul, easily making distance. I needed 9's to hit and decided on 4 unboosted attacks instead of 2 boosted ones. The second and third attack rolls came up 9s and Morghoul bit the dust.
With time for another game, I decided to quit while I was ahead, so I encouraged Blondie and Beanpole to have a rematch.
Blondie walked his army forwards at a relaxed pace. Arcane Shield went on the Ironclad, Snipe on the Charger. Beanpole ran forwards to meet him.
Blondie shuffled forwards a bit more and tried to put some damage out with the charger.
Beanpole charged the two jacks in the lead, crippling the Lancer but rolling poorly against the Ironclad and not doing enough damage to destroy it. I don't remember if he crippled any systems or anything, but thanks to his feat he wasn't too worried about reprisals next turn.
Without being able to spend focus on the Ironclad, Blondie simply popped his feat and put out some more shots. The Lancer couldn't do any damage with it's crippled spear, so instead it positioned itself in such a way that the Savage would at least have to take a free strike if it tried to gang up on the Ironclad.
Since he couldn't damage the Ironclad this turn, Beanpole used the Gladiator to throw it into the Charger.
I don't remember why the Ironclad didn't attack the Gladiator, I think Blondie had decided to save all his focus for shooting and spells or something.
The Gladiator and Savage finally finished off the Ironclad. Beanpole made sure to engage the Charger with the Savage.
At this point Stryker was close enough to walk forwards and cast Earthquake on Morghoul. The deviation was good and Morghoul was knocked down. The Charger then shuffled a couple of millimeters backwards in order to un-engage himself and took a shot at Morghoul, but was just a couple of millimeters out of range.
In his turn Beanpole finally finished off the jacks.
Final Score: (wins/losses)
Blondie: 2 / 1
Samurai: 1 / 1
Beanpole: 1 / 2
Well that was fun. It was actually kind of nice to go back to playing really small games. Although some things seem really hard to deal with at this size, it makes the casters seem more central to the game again, and the simplicity of not having masses of infantry gumming everything up is kind of refreshing.
Man, Admonition is powerful if you don't have infantry to lock a model down with. On the other hand Strakhov's movement tricks are pretty powerful too, and of course that Earthquake/Charger was a powerful combo.
I was debating casting Occultation on Strakhov in the first two rounds of my game against Blondie, but I couldn't afford the focus and decided that just hanging out in a forest would be protection enough. Man, I really wish Superiority cost 2 focus instead of three. Ah well, if wishes were fishes... um... damn, I can never remember how that one goes.
I'm not sure whether using Overrun to get to the Gladiator was the right call or not. I was planning on using boosted grenades to kill the Savage and pulling all my models back again, but I didn't like backing up so much and I decided it was my best chance to put some damage on him. My opponent mentioned that he had a plan for if I tried to overrun away again, but I think he was counting on me using Overrun on the Spriggan after killing the Savage in melee? Never mind.
I definitely feel that Blondie kept using his feat too late. It's probably just that he doesn't understand the threat ranges in this game yet. Hell, I don't understand the threat ranges in this game yet! That might be a reason why I'm starting to build more and more for shooting? Or maybe it's just because I don't seem to win the melee game against Skorne anyway. Still, he's doing really well; two wins out of three games is pretty impressive.