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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Friday, March 23, 2012

Battle Report: Fiona the Black

Greetings ladies and gentlefolk of 3++ from Whitestar333, the Steam-Powered Gamer.  Today I have something different for you than my usual fare: a Battle Report!  While I certainly love discussing underdog warcasters/warlocks and figuring out how they work, I was really fascinated with my post on Fiona a while back.  At Templecon this year I won a prize from the Iron Arena which included tokens specifically made for Fiona, and I figured it was Thamar herself blessing me to go forth with Fiona, and so I did.  I've had the model for over a year but I've finally had the opportunity to play a game with her, after all of the list-building I've been doing.  It was against a friend of mine and he has been playing around with the list he brought but he admittedly jumps around between armies fairly often (it's a local joke that everyone buys his used stuff on clearance).  This was the first time that I have played with Fiona and I had a really bad match-up against me, but my army performed quite admirably.

If you already frequent my blog you'll notice that this is the same battle report I've already posted there, but I figured I'd share it with you all here as well, since there was a good reception to the Fiona article.  Without further ado, I will share the two lists and then as close as I can to a blow-by-blow of the battle.

My list:
My list...
Highborn Covenant 35 points
Fiona the Black (+6)
- Freebooter (6)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (6)
- Officer (2)
  - Mariner (8)
Press Gangers (full, 6)
Doc Killingsworth (2)
Ragman (2)
Rutger Shaw (2)
- Buccaneer (3)
Taryn di la Rovissi (2)
Dougal MacNaile (2)

His list...
His list:
Cygnar 35 points
eHaley (+5)
- Ol' Rowdy (9)
- Squire (2)
Journeyman Warcaster (3)
Storm Strider (9)
Storm Strider (9)
Stormblades (5)
- Officer and Standard (3)

Pregame Analysis:
Yeah, that's right, I was playing against one of the "top tier" Cygnar warcasters with two Storm Striders... so much for my high-DEF infantry.  He could throw out five POW 15 shots at 14" range which each then arc'd to d3 additional targets, dealing them a POW 10 each.  I was going to be in big trouble here with all of my high DEF models running around next to warjacks.  This was pretty much the worst match-up I could imagine for my mostly shooty force.

The Game:
We decided to keep things simple with just Killbox (2012).  We rolled and he won the roll, electing for me to go first.

Fiona Turn 1
I forgot to take pictures of the deployment but I basically just deployed the Press Gangers to my left (opposite the Stormblades) while my Gun Mages were on the right flank.  Pretty straight forward first turn just advancing everyone forward.  There were trees right in front of my deployment zone which slowed me down a bit, but I was able to get in a good enough position.  I forgot to give the Freebooter a focus so he just walked normally.  Not a big deal anyway as things were pretty clogged up as it was.

Haley Turn 1:
I had no choice but to get closer so naturally he had ample opportunity on his first turn to shoot the crap out of me with his Storm Striders. 

The aftermath...
Fiona Turn 2:
Ouch.  Okay, well the Press Gangers were basically no longer useful to me as offensive tools and just became defensive ones.  I forgot to take pictures of things as they were happening, so instead have pictures of the aftermath on my turn.

Popping my feat here was important.  While I didn't catch the Storm Striders in my bubble, I needed to protect myself from the incoming melee as much as I could.  I guess I could have waited another turn to pop my feat, but I figured I could stop Ol' Rowdy dead in his tracks and then counter-punch him in the groin.

Haley Turn 2:
I was so happy by Haley's turn two that I forgot to snap pictures.  While all of the Press Gangers (except for Battery Cultist) were dead, several of my solos fortunately passed some tough rolls, Ol' Rowdy was unable to do any meaningful damage to the Buccaneer (yay feat!), a Storm Strider tried to avoid my feat but ended up being out of range to shoot at the Mariner (and thus, Fiona) and then missed it's other target.  It was a pretty good turn for me.  The only picture I snapped was the aftermath of his damage on my cards:

Yay feat!
 Fiona Turn 3:
 This is where it hit the fan.  I had one chance to do this before those Storm Striders ripped the last of my chances apart.  I needed to hit again with the Mariner and I could cycle Nonokrion Brand onto the Gun Mages and they could fire into Haley and hopefully kill her(they could be in range with snipe).  I didn't have to, but it was my chance to kill Ol' Rowdy and see that Freebooter shine, so I wanted to go for him too - with Shaw's help, of course!

Haley Turn 3:
I didn't snap any pictures for this turn because I was as good as dead.  Fiona was in front of the Mariner, meaning she could be shot at fairly easily since Storm Striders ignore bases.  He could throw out 5 POW 15s to her face with decent accuracy, and once I remembered that Haley has Time Bomb for a spell, I didn't bother taking any pictures except for this:

Haley hit Fiona with a Time Bomb which dealt no damage but knocked me down to DEF 14, meaning those Storm Striders could hit me and with 2d6-2 on damage, I was as good as dead.  Haley case Temporal Acceleration on the rightmost Strider and then it aimed and fired... direct hit.  Dealing 8 points of damage... OUCH!  Okay, it fired again... MISS!  Yay!!!  Wait... I just realized, the Strider didn't move and since it's guns fire in certain arcs, it lost it's rightmost shot at Fiona!  Woo!  It fired at some Gun Mages instead and missed.  So far so good, but there were two more shots incoming.  Realizing the blunder of the last Storm Strider, he moved it so that it could fire both shots into Fiona, even though this meant not getting the aiming bonus.  He needed 8s to hit with the first shot... hit... for 5 damage.  Only 2 boxes left.  He shoots again... WHIFF!  Fiona, even at DEF 14, is too quick for the giant disco balls of doom!  But my opponent refuses to give up and sees another avenue to victory: Stormblades.

The Stormblade assaults and fires... MISS!  Not enough to hit Fiona!


Fiona Turn 4:
With some crazy luck and the blessings of Thamar, Fiona has survived against eHaley's onslaught!  It's time to seal the deal and I see many avenues to victory by this point:

You can see that I'm within range of multiple threats and Haley didn't have the focus to cast Deceleration so she's only DEF 16 ARM 17 (thanks to Arcane Shield).  This is totally breakable, even with lots of dice rolling and some accurate fire, especially since she's only sitting on one damage box.  What was my final decision?
Fiona is gonna do it herself!
 Bring it, Haley!

I don't have to spend a single focus to kill Haley, although if I hadn't have cheated I could have still done it with some great boosted attacks.  I also didn't need to bother with the Journeyman (and realized it during the game) since Fiona has a blessed weapon!

Post-game Analysis:

We didn't have a copy of Warmachine: Prime on hand regarding whether the Buccaneer could headbutt Ol' Rowdy or not, so I kinda cheated a bit there.  In the end, I probably wouldn't have killed him but would have at least crippled him enough that Ol' Rowdy would have to load up on focus to even come close to killing the Freebooter so that the Stormblades could have another [bad] chance at killing Fiona, but that would've meant less for Haley to do with her focus anyway, so it evened out in the end, I think.  Also, even if I couldn't assassinate with Fiona (admittedly a bit gimicky), I could have still killed her with the Mariner, Gun Mages, or Taryn, so that little cheat wouldn't have saved the game for him either way.

I'll be posting a more detailed debriefing on my own site (here) but I'm quite pleased with the game, even if I got lucky. Epic Haley is considered one of the best Cygnar warcasters and is seen regularly in tournament lists, and I was able to achieve a victory with Fiona, who is considered one of the trickiest Mercenary warcaster.  Sounds like a double victory to me!  Praise Thamar!

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