Friday, 9 December 2011

Earthquake anyone? - How to lose at Warmachine

In our previous instalment of How to lose at Warmachine I told you the sordid tale of how Lord Assassin Morghoul ate Stryker’s face with a vicious assassination run. This time around it’s a rematch with the Skorne, but not with Jimmy. The local gaming group has multiple Skorne players and this time I was matched up with Chris F.

And I couldn’t have faced a more different Skorne force really. Jimmy had a fast moving army, primed for a vicious assassination run into the heart of my forces. Chris, Chris has designed not an army, but a giant brick made out of models.
Xerxis.... like a brick... with legs

His Warlock was Tyrant Xerxis, which I believe is Skorne for “giant outhouse made of brick and mortar”. He also appears to be armed with the legs cracked off a stone giants dining room table.

This guy is tough, lots of armour and abilities that make his guys tougher. This Skorne force relied on Heavy beasts, Heavy infantry and loads of armour buffs that made his front wall very very tough. Not a subtle force by any means. I felt like I was standing in front of a massive steamroller, and it was heading right for me.

So what did I have to oppose him with?

The List

Stryker - This man has big hair
pStryker with Squire
Ironclad, Centurion, Lancer, Charger
Journeyman with Hunter
10 Long gunners with UA
Mechanic with 5 gobbos
6 Sword Knights

Lots of jacks this time, and not really the focus to run them all. My initial idea was to run the lancer and charger ahead and spend a lot of focus on them in the first few rounds. Unfortunately, the Skorne moved on me pretty quickly.

The Game

It was an objective based game, with one objective on each side of the board. I placed my long gunners near my objective on the left supported by the Centurion and the Ironclad. The lancer, charger hunter and sword knights on my right flank, Stryker, his squire and the mechanics held the center.

The skorne came right up the middle charger straight into the guts of my force. Xerxis was supported by 2 titans, a basilisk and a rhinodon, which is a Scary pile of meat. His wall of metal and meat also contained some very tough infantry, including guys with harpoon guns. Chris was trying to smash right into my formation, and most of his guys had horribly high armour scores. 
The right flank was quite mobile during the game and my light jacks dealt with an incoming horde of beserkers. A brutal charge from these beserkers tore apart my charger leaving it with one damage point.

The long gunners kept firing on the advancing phalanx and my centurion took to the front and put his Polarity shield on. “No charges for you”, I said, “you are out of range”.

Never say never in Warmachine.

Not so tough
Chris pushed his own beast so it was close enough to advance into melee with my Centurion, you had to laugh. That was until the Titan destroyed the centurion in one round. This was is the toughest model in the Cygnar army, and I had put arcane shield on it. The titan made arm 24 look like tissue paper.

Holy poos, I thought, this looks bad.

On the right I moved my charger away and it was hacked to bits. But that was the plan. A stryker earthquake knocked down the beserkers who were subsequently murder on masse by my mechanics. Gobbos can’t do squat in combat, they have a melee score of 2. but knocked down opponents are auto hit. A flurry of wrenches and power tools later and the beserkers were looking thinned out. It didn’t help that the gobbos were so easy to kill in Chris’s turn that he had to hack up the remainder of his beserkers himself.
In the center it became a war of attrition. Stryker kept launching earthquakes which held back the Skorne and my guys kept charging and being eaten by his soldiers.

Meat grinder was the best way to describe it.

Then, after losing most of my force I started getting clear shots on Xerxis. Earthquake knocks people over, and knocked over people don’t block line of sight.

I fired EVERYTHING I had left at Xerxis, he transferred a lot of damage and amazingly survived on 1 health.

Surely, I thought, surely he cant take much more of this. In his turn he tore apart my Ironclad leaving me with only one jack left, the hunter who had run away in an attempt to get the other objective.

 I might also mention that his force had an agonizer preventing me using focus and someone else who prevented spell casting nearby.

Anyway, He had full fury (5) and I had my long gunners, the Hunter, Stryker, and the journeyman caster left…. And not much else.

Stryker knocked down the target and his cover with earthquake and then shot him for a killing blow, which he transferred. The long gunners shot him twice with killing blows….. Which he transferred the Hunter shot him with a killing blow….. which he transferred. Finally the journeyman warcaster got the final shot in which he couldn’t transfer away. Game over

I had nothing left, next turn I was toast.


Lessons learned

  • 24 Armour doesn’t make you invincible
  • Knocked down means your screwed
  • Even the cheapest unit is a killer when someone is on the floor.
  • Never, ever assume your 100% out of range
  • You can push your own dudes.

So, a running record of 1-3 at good sized games off Warmachine. That’s still a pretty bad record…

Join in next week when I recount the story about how I lost so quickly to the Circle of Orboros that my opponent played a 2nd game that night :)


  1. Ah yes, Knock Down. An effect near and dear to my heart :)

  2. Stryker may be considered a dull caster by many, but he can do 2 5" AOE earthquakes a round. That counts for a lot.


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