Author Topic: Vlachold vs Monsters & Mercs: 2000pts, Ticking Clock  (Read 3240 times)

Hannibal

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Vlachold vs Monsters & Mercs: 2000pts, Ticking Clock
« on: June 06, 2013, 01:02:41 PM »
With all the changes made to the Greek Mercs, we couldn't play a game because the unit cards were s drastically off.  Scott decided to play Monsters & Mercs (he's re-exploring them in light of the dice charge).  I was never very happy with the playtest game between M&M and Vlachold, so I pulled out Vlachold.  One concern we had with all the testing on the Voivoide Knights was that units like Tepes Lords and Werewold Packs weren't coming out of the box.  Against Monsters & Mercs, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to take those units.

We played Ticking Clock on Map 4D, with the Bloodlust special situation (engaged attacks get +1 die).  Between Bloodlust and the dice charge, this was going to be a meat grinder.

Scott's "I'm taking something other than 4 Ogres and a Hill Giant" Monsters & Mercs:  3 Wildmen Swordsmen, 2 Half-Orc Spearmen, 2 Wildmen Horse Archers, 1 Hydra.

Corey's "I'm a soulless SOB" Vlachold:  2 Voynik Spearmen, 2 Curteni Halberdiers, 1 Tepes Lord, 1 Curteni Heavy Archers, 1 Werewolf Pack, 1 Warriors in the Mist.

Vlachold units for reference:

Voynik Spearmen - Core - 217 pts
O:(6*)5*/5*  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12  Mv: 3.5"  3G/5Y/2R
O:(-1) -0/-0 when charging. O:(+0) +1/+0 vs. cavalry or large units. O:(+0) +0/+2 when holding vs. charging cavalry or large.
Although only commoners, a lifetime of battle has honed them into able warriors.

Curteni Halberdiers - Core - 222 pts
O:(6*)5*/6*  D:1*/3  Rge:-  Cge: 11  Mv: 2.5"  4G/4Y/2R
O:(-1) -0/-0 when charging. O:(+0) +1/+0 vs. cavalry or large units. O:(+0) +0/+2 when holding vs. charging cavalry or large.  D:+1/+0 vs ranged attacks.
The most ablebodied unfree peasants are drafted as bodyguards for the nobility, and although they receive the best training and arms, theirs is a life of constant horror.

Tepes Lords - Standard - 304 pts
O:(5)6/6  D:2/3  Rge:-  Cge: 11  Mv: 3.5"  4G/3Y/3R
Red Harvest.  Drain:  3.5" range.  May not Drain Voivode Knights.  Blood Powers:  Blood is Life, Inhuman Frenzy, Unholy Aura. (Note:  they have 2 Blood Point boxes.)
The high peaks and mountain holds are ill-suited to cavalry, and so even the dark souled nobility of the Tepes Mountains fight on foot.

Curteni Heavy Archers - Standard - 223 pts
O:(4)5*/5*  D:1*/3  Rge: 14"  Cge: 11  Mv: 2.5"  3G/3Y/2R
O:(-0)-1/-0 and D:+1/+0 when engaged.
Defenders of the ramparts and camps, these are men of broken souls.

Werewolf Packs - Standard - 307 pts
O:(7)5/6  D:1/3  Rge:-  Cge: 13  Mv: 5"  5G/2Y/5R
Fearsome.  Always has the "Close" Standing Order and may not be given a Standing Order Modifier or be directly controlled.  Requires 2 Command Actions to rally.   To play a Command Card on Werewolf Pack you must first discard a Command Card.  No Perseverance box.
"Do not walk under the full moon.  When the wolf-demon spirit consumes your soul, the clawed monstrosity you become knows only hunger."

Warriors in the Mist - Elite - 283 pts
O:(5)4/8  D:4/0  Rge:-  Cge:-  Mv: 3.5"  4G/4Y/4R
Terrifying.  Always has the "Close" Standing Order and may not be given a Standing Order Modifier or be directly controlled. Passes all Courage Checks. You may not play Command Cards on this unit.  No Perseverance box.
Ethereal warriors appearing in otherwordly mist, no one knows if these beings are the salvation or punishment of the Vlachold.


Given that I was pretty sure there'd be a D:1/4 unit of some kind in his build, the Warriors in the Mist seemed like a safe bet.  And the Werewolf pack would go against those Ogres that Scott loves (in what is probably ultimately an unhealthy amount ;D).  I mean, he said he wasn't going to take them, but I knew better.  The Halberdiers were there because, well, its Monsters & Mercenaries.  You basically can't avoid taking Large units.

I ended up with the Curteni Heavy Archers because I had 200 free points.  I could field a line only 4 units wide, and once I accounted for a flank-protector unit in the river and the unit to roll out on the flank, that means I was a 6-wide line.  But . . . This.  Is.  Vlachold!  Meaning, I have to take four 200 pt units, and so I had spare points.  I took the Archers as a meal for the Tepes Lord and a decent backup unit.  I assumed they'd be shooting at T3 units, so any damage I did from the ranged attack was just bonus.


Deployment


Vlachold (L->R):  Curteni Halberdiers, Voynik Spearmen, [space], Tepes Lords (in front of an Archer & Spearmen stack), Curteni Halberdiers (in front of the Werewolf Pack & Warriors in the Mist)

Monsters & Mercs (L->R):  Horse Archers, Horse Archers, Half-Orc Spear, T-Phalanx of Wildmen Sword, Half-Orc Spear  And the Hydra...

Well.  Okay then.  No Ogres.  No Giant.  And no Red Dragon.  But there was a Hydra.  That didn't surprise me that much (you just can't resist taking the candy in this army).  But the two Wildmen Horse did surprise me.  I had no answer for them and was pretty sure I was going to lose that flank.

Everywhere else, though, I was extremely happy.  I had just about every matchup I wanted.  Even the Curteni Archers would have a nice juicy target.  The one thing is that, due to deployment order, I'd ended up putting my Spearmen behind the line and I'd have to give a bunch of point objectives to get my line situated.

One thing that surprised me is that Scott dropped the Hydra last and he chose to put it where he did.  Had he done the cliche thing and had the colossal unit go wading through the water, I would've been in trouble.  I would have had to make the Werewolves and/or the Warriors in the Mist navigate traffic to go around behind my line.


Early Moves


Here's him advancing while my units got into place.  He changed the orders of his Half-Orc Spearmen on the right to slide sideways and open a gap, but I responded by changing the orders of my Curteni Halberdiers, so that they'd face the Hydra while the Werewolf Pack would fight the Half-Orcs.

The turn counter is the white d10 on the left.  I opted to take the first turn, making him move before I started my redeployment.  I wanted to force him to commit with the Hydra and that was well worth the 2 CAs.

Note the Curteni Heavy Archers are on Short.  That was a dumb thing, because I intended them to be a backup unit.   Sigh.  One CA wasted.


Lines Close


On the left, my Curteni Halberdiers are getting shot up by his Wildmen Horse Archers.  They did quite a respectable amount of damage throughout the game, actually.

One thing I feel Scott did wrong here was not changing the orders of his Horse Archers.  He would have been guaranteed the flank.  When I asked why he didn't it was because the river so slowed the Horse Archers down, he didn't think they'd get in the fight (and thus the CAs would be wasted).  I personally disagree and felt he should have tried anyway, because everywhere else the advantage was mine. IMO, his best bet was to roll my line from the left.

On the center-left, my Spearmen ended up going too far and I had to delay my advance a turn.  This necessitated DCing my other unit of Spearmen not to go charging off.  I'd like to say I was rusty and that's why my timing is off...but that'd be a lie.  I just flat out misjudged it.


Hydra Charges


Seeing that I'd misjudged where the fight was going to be (::)), I changed the order of the Halberdiers in the river to back up and protect their flank (and thus the flank of my line).  Because the Horse Archers to the left were on Hold (instead of pressing with a Close), I could safely turn around without getting flanked.

On the other side the Hydra charged and the Courage-11-Curteni miraculously passed their terrifying check.  The Hydra did 6 damage, despite me playing Dogged Toughness (Mettle with +2 Cge) and him needing 2s to wound.  At the time, I lamented playing Dogged Toughness basically for the +2 toughness, but it turns out I needed the Courage boost.  The Halberdiers responded by 4 wounds on the Hydra and then passing their rout check.


Vlachold Charges


With my pieces in place, I sent in all but the beleaguered Halberdiers in the river.  I changed the Curteni Heavy Archers to the target the Wildmen on the left and between them and the charging Voynik Spearmen, did enough damage to force a check.  They passed, thanks to Spoils.

The Tepes Lords smashed into the Wildmen who had been getting shot up for a couple of turns and put the Wildmen all the way down to their last red box.  They passed their rout check, due to Spoils.   ::)

The Hydra kills the Curteni Halberdiers, and the Warriors in the Mist step forward.  The Hydra was put into the Yellow such that when they regenerated, they'd still be in the Yellow, so the Halberdiers had done their job.

On the right, the Werewolves charged and the Half-Orcs blew their Fear check.  But the two sides just gummed at each other, flubbing their dice rolls.


Monsters & Mercs Crumble


With the exception of the Horse Archers, who continue to whittle down the Halberdiers, the fight doesn't go well for the Mercs.  The left unit of Wildmen Sword blow their rout check, and since its my turn next this draws out Ordered Retreat card #1.  The right unit of Wildmen Sword are cut down in a spectacular display of overkill by the Tepes Lords.  The rear unit of Wildmen Sword step forward into the Tepes Lords.

The Hydra has a pretty spectacular fail, hitting only once with 7 dice, despite needing 2s.  The Warriors in the Mist respond by doing 3 pts of damage, putting the Hydra in the red.

On the right, the Werewolf Pack routs the Half-Orcs.  This draws out Ordered Retreat #2, as otherwise the Werewolves would have flanked Hydra next turn.


"Hold fast, lads, and there's a bonus in it fer ya!"


Without much maneuvering, its just a grind.  Both Wildmen Sword in the center have to take rout checks, as do the Half-Orcs fighting the Werewolves.  They all pass, due to Spoils, but the one check I have to take?  Yeah the Voyniks in the center rout.  Luckily, I have the Heavy Archers ready to step forward if they're destroyed.

They don't need to.  Because the Wildmen Sword (obviously surprised that the enemy was running) got only 1 hit with 4 dice, needing 4s.  I used the Perseverance on the routing Voyniks to negate that and lived.  For the moment anyway.  The Voyniks would be charged by the Wildmen next turn and destroyed, but that saved me a turn where I wouldn't have to engage the Heavy Archers and would still have a protected flank.

The Hydra-Warriors in the Mist fight was a little more even this turn, but the Warriors in the Mist had the boxes to give whereas the Hydra was fast running out.


The Center Cannot Hold (and neither can the Flank)


The entire center and right flank of the Monsters & Mercs collapses this turn.  The Werewolves inflict that last box on the Half-Orcs.  The Hydra, thanks to an Accuracy (and two discards), does 6 points on the Warriors in the Mist, but it is too little too late.  The Warriors do the last three points on the Hydra, killing it.

In the center, the Tepes Lords hit and wound with 6 out of 7 dice, wiping out the Wildmen Sword just in time to flank charge the other unit of Wildmen next turn.

The left flank goes much better for the Monsters & Mercs.  The Horse Archers finally kill the Curteni Halberdiers.  The Half-Orc Swordsmen fighting the Voynik Spearmen pass their rout check.  I snapped a picture before rolling the rout check for the Voynik, but they failed their check.  The Half-Orcs didn't do enough damage to cause a second rout check and the Voyniks fled.


Endgame


This is Scott's turn 8.  On my turn, the Tepes Lords flank charged the Wildmen Sword and wiped them out.  Suddenly, those big and nasty units on the right had nothing to kill. 

On his turn, the Half-Orc Spearmen charged and killed the rallied Voynik Spearmen.  And here's where Scott did something very tricksy:  he DC'd one unit of Horse Archers into my deployment zone (which gained him 200 pts) and the other unit sideways to claim the scrub field (which gained him another 200 pts).

When we tallied the final score it was Vlachold 1491 and M&M 1467.  A draw.  :o

Ticking Clock is written with victory conditions that punish the guy who turtles in or near his deployment zone.  I set up the better matchups and managed to kill 400 pts more than him, but by being aggressive, Scott managed to force a draw.  I won the battle, he won the mission.   8)


Analysis:

On the whole, I'm happy to see that some of the units we didn't spend 3 months playtesting actually are good.  This is pretty much the picture-perfect matchup for units like Warriors in the Mist, Werewolves, and Halberdiers.  I'd always felt they were good and that the reason we didn't play them a lot was because we were so exhaustively testing the "Voivoide Knight issue."  So far, I'm pretty happy with the faction.

RushAss

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Re: Vlachold vs Monsters & Mercs: 2000pts, Ticking Clock
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 03:30:16 PM »
Nice report, and good seeing something that didn't have the Voivodes.
"Art as expression, not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations"
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