Author Topic: Vlachold vs Wuxing: Key Objective  (Read 1071 times)

Hannibal

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4558
Vlachold vs Wuxing: Key Objective
« on: July 14, 2014, 01:44:05 AM »
For this week's playtest, I wanted to put Vlachold against the Wuxing, as that faction is all but locked-down in terms of points cost and whatnot.  To make this one a little easier on the eyes, I got hold of the Wuxing proofs and abused the company color printer.  Scott chose to play Wuxing, so I had Vlachold.

Not only did we want to test out how the faction does against Vlachold, but also wanted to give a trial run of some of the changes we made here, specifically replacing Punish their Mistake with another courage card.

Wuxing:  3 Terracotta Swordsmen, 1 Terracotta Spearmen, 1 Jade Nobles, 1 Jade Dragon, 1 Shanzhi Monks.

Vlachold:  2 Voynik Swordsmen, 2 Voynik Spearmen, 1 Voynik Thralls, 1 Tepes Lords, 1 Voivoide Knights, 1 Warriors in the Mist

Units for reference:

Voynik Swordsmen - Core - 195 pts
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12  Mv: 3.5"  3G/5Y/2R

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.

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.)

Voynik Thralls - Standard - 149 pts
O:(5)4/5  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12*  Mv: 3.5"  3G/2Y/5R
When you lose a damage box from Drain, mark a [sacrifice] box.  For every marked [sacrifice] box, gain +1 Cge.  (Note, the unit has 3 [sacrifice] boxes)

Voivoide Knights - Elite - 436 pts
O:(6)6/5*  D:3*/3  Rge:-  Cge: 11  Mv: 6"  3G/2Y/2R
Cavalry. O:(+0)+0/+2 and D:+1/+0 when charging.  Red Harvest. Drain: 6" range.  Blood Powers:  Blood is Life, Inhuman Frenzy, Unholy Aura.  (Note: they have 3 Blood Point boxes)

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 Perserverance box.


Deployment


Wuxing (L->R):  Shanzhi Monks (in front of Jade Dragon), Jade Nobles, Terracotta Swordsmen, Terracotta Swordsmen, Terracotta Swordsmen, Terracotta Spearmen.

Vlachold (L->R)
Front Row:  Warriors in the Mist, Voivoide Knights, Tepes Lords, Voynik Spearmen, Voynik Spearmen
Back Row:  Voynik Swordsmen, Voynik Thralls, Voynik Swordsmen

Given that the objective is the hill, pretty much neither one of us care about the forest, and so our frontage for this game would be incredibly small.  Our Orders reflect this as well:  I gave my Spearmen Hold w/objectives.  Opposite them, Scott gave the Terracotta Swordsmen Close orders, with objectives to angle themselves.

On the left things were interesting, because of the 3 Wuxing units there, only 1 was a good matchup for my Voivoide Knights:  the Shanzhi Monks.  If I ended up fighting the Jade Nobles or the Jade Dragon, I was in serious trouble.  So the Voivoide Knights got a Close with an objective to grab the hill really quickly.  This would let me herd those auto-close Warriors in the Mist, but the Shanzhi Monks had Air stance, which was almost as good as Maneuver Mastery for half the CA cost.

Given that my maneuvers would open a gap in my line, the Thralls got an objective to go sideways while the Voynik Swordsmen moved into the gap.  They'd have to take the pain of holding off the Jade Nobles.


Vlachold Grabs the Hill


A few turns in and the game of chicken on the hill is in full swing.  I've DC'd the Voivoide Knights to the crest of the hill (I hadn't pulled off the objective yet when I took the picture), putting them in FR of the Shanzhi Monks.  However, I also put them so that they could sidestep around the Warriors in the Mist.  I couldn't really keep the game up forever, because the Warriors in the Mist would eventually get in range and final rush whatever is in front of them.  If that was the Monks, I'd be in trouble.  If it was the Jade Dragon, less so.

(Note, before they took off, the Voivoide Knights "tanked up" on the Thralls, giving them +3 Cge in exchange for all 3 green boxes).

Elsewhere, we each had a bad fight brewing:  the Jade Nobles would eventually hit my Voynik Swordsmen while my Tepes Lords would eventually contact his Terracotta Swordsmen.  In both cases, the other side had something to lose by playing the maneuver game on the left.


Dancing...


The maneuvering continues.  On the Wuxing turn, the Monks were DC'd in Air Stance to slide sideways, while the Jade Dragon move up, in Final Rush range of the Voivoide Knights.  On my turn, I DC'd the Voivoide Knights to move sideways as well (if I final rushed the Monks, I'd be flanked and potentially pinched by the Jade Dragon).  This let me move my Warriors in the Mist forward, putting them against the Jade Dragon.  At this point, I was confident that Scott couldn't dance anymore and I'd managed to get the matchups I wanted.

Furthermore, on the hill, my Swordsmen moved into place, not only plugging the gap but it also appeared they'd get the uphill bonus against the Jade Nobles.  Not all was perfect though, because my timing was a bit off and I had to DC my Tepes Lords to hold them back.  On the right, my Voynik Spearmen had reached their objectives and maneuvered on them to guard their flanks.  My Swordsmen on the right had moved out to expand my line in the face of the longer Wuxing line.


Two's Company


With both in final rush range, Scott had the Jade Dragon and the Shanzhi Monks charge the Voivoide Knights.  If they could destroy or rout the Knights, then the Monks would flank the Warriors in the Mist and this game would basically be over.  Since they were charging, the Knights only took 2 damage (the die is for the Fear check, which I opted to just roll rather than using Unholy Aura).  The Knights responded by doing 5 damage to the Monks, despite them being in Water Stance.  My dice went way swingy there (pay attention to that).  The Shanzhi Monks passed their Yellow check.

Elsewhere was a game of delay.  The Terracotta Swordsmen facing the Tepes Lords were DC'd not the charge, while the others curled forward.  The Jade Nobles advanced up the hill, where they'd outclass the Voynik Swordsmen, but not as much as they should.


Warriors in the Mist


On the left, the Warriors in the Mist charge the Jade Dragon and do a respectable 2 damage.  The Jade Dragon and the Shanzhi Monks concentrate on the Voivoide Knights, putting them into the Yellow (I'd healed the Voivoide Knights in the M&C phase).  The Knights respond by putting the Monks into the Red, but they pass their check.

I didn't take a picture of the next round, but here's what happened:  the Shanzhi Monks whiff and are then destroyed by the Voivoide Knights.  The Jade Dragon then gets 3 out of 5 dice as hits, and Scott plays Opportunities Multiply...and gets 3 more hits.  Then 3 out of 6 dice wound and the Voivoide Knights are destroyed.  Swingy dice...

Back on the Vlachold turn, the Swordsmen are DC'd not to Final Rush the Jade Nobles while the Thralls are DC'd to move into backup position.  On the right of the hill, the Tepes Lords charge the Terracotta Swordsmen, breaking them down but taking 2 points in return.


Turning Point


This picture is a full three turns later, at the end of the Wuxing turn.  On the left, the Jade Dragon has utterly failed to do any damage to the Warriors in the Mist, despite Scott lavishing the Jade Dragon with cards.  One turn he spent an Accuracy and rolled 5 dice, needing 4s to hit, got zero hits.  Another turn, he used Strikes and only did 1 hit, despite needing 3s to hit.  Meanwhile, the Warriors chugged along, putting the Jade Dragon into the Yellow and breaking it down.

On the hill, the parade of Wuxing failure continued with the Jade Nobles doing 2 points over 3 rounds of combat!  That's 16 dice, needing 3s and 3s.  In response, the Voynik Swordsmen did 6 damage over the same time period (18 dice, needing 4s and 1s) without me using a single Command Card.   :o

Beside the hill, the Tepes Lords have just destroyed the Terracotta Swordsmen, despite being put into the Yellow.  I used the Strength of Will to help pass the check, but it wasn't needed.  The Voynik Spearmen, however, needed some help as they were put into the Yellow and failed their rout check against the charging Terracotta Swordsmen.  The Terracotta Swordsmen whiffed on the free attacks, doing only 1 damage.

However, since this was my turn coming up, we both agreed that the game was essentially over.  Still, we played on.


Jade Nobles Pinched


The Tepes Lords pinch the Jade Nobles and wipe them out immediately.  The Jade Nobles respond by putting the Swordsmen into the Yellow (3 boxes with 20 dice, needing 3s and 3s) and the Voynik Swordsmen Disrupt.

On the left of the hill, the Warriors in the Mist are stymied by Blue cards and only do 1 damage to the Jade Dragon, while the Jade Dragon cannot do a single hit.

On the far right, the Voynik Swordsmen charge the Terracotta Warriors (mainly because I care more about the CA than keeping them out of combat) and are promptly put into the Yellow.  However, they pass their check.


King of the Hill


Again the Jade Dragon is saved by Blue cards and the Warriors in the Mist cannot do any damage.  And the Jade Dragon seems to have woken up, doing 2 damage to the Warriors in the Mist.

In the forest, the Terracotta Swordsmen pinch the Voynik Spearmen.  They pass their pre-combat pinch check and then I start dropping faction blue cards.  I use Dogged Toughness (Mettle with +2 Cge) and Fatalism (prevent 1 damage and reroll failed rout checks).  That left me with a Cge 14 Yellow check, with a reroll.  Yeah.  They passed.


Endgame


The Tepes Lords were out of range of a pinch, so I settled for dropping the Key Objective die down to 1, to end the game.  The Warriors in the Mist put the Jade Dragon into the Red, while the Jade Dragon seems to have awoken from its slumber and did 2 more pts of damage.

In the forest, the Voynik Spearmen pinched the Terracotta Swordsmen that had routed them and destroyed them on the charge with some lucky dice.

We tallied up the score, and found that Vlachold had a solid 4-2 victory (something like a 2.08-to-1 ratio).


A couple of general thoughts on the game:  I feel I was pretty favored in this matchup for the simple fact that neither of us know Wuxing like we know most other factions in this game.  Several times Scott had to stop and read the rules for the various units (and there's a lot of text for Wuxing), so there's no way he played an optimized game. 

Also, I think this is a tough matchup for Wuxing, on several counts.  First, Vlachold is designed to take on Toughness factions.  They have a fair bit of Pow 6 running around.  Second, the Warriors in the Mist are a nightmare for the Wuxing.  Most factions don't have D:1/3 spammed all over the place like the Wuxing, so there's just good matchups for the Warriors everywhere. 

Finally, Wuxing don't have access to an affordable O:(5)6/6 unit.  If they take a unit like the Jade Dragon, it seems they're going to concentrate a lot of points into 1-2 places.  Doing that plays right into the style of Vlachold, because it lets me concentrate my Courage bailouts.  Vlachold has a tough time fighting enemies who do moderate damage across the board (Dwarves), have a lot of front-loaded damage (Pila/Javelins), or high Def Skill.  But if you concentrate your energy onto 1-2 big thump units, Vlachold can absorb that.

Then there were the dice...

I mean seriously, when you play Accuracy and then Strike without getting a single hit over two turns?  When Jade Nobles are beat down by 200pt Voynik Swordsmen?  I failed exactly 2 rout checks all game?  And I drew 4 of my Courage boosting cards by the time the lines engaged. 

Despite the dice and everything I said above, Scott almost pulled it off.  Through the use of Air Stance, he almost managed to make the Warriors in the Mist charge in.  In retrospect, he felt it would have been better to dance one more turn and pull the Monks back and slide the Jade Dragon sideways to face off the with the Voivoide Knights.  He probably could've gotten the Monks around in time thanks to Air Stance.


Vlachold Thoughts:

--Halberdiers:  "Wait, what?  Corey, you didn't take Halberdiers!"  Correct.  But the decision we made last time to make the Halberdiers only +1 Pow vs charging Large/Cavalry felt vindicated this game.  I found myself taking the Voynik Spearmen for the first time in awhile, and feeling good about doing so.  Them being Cge 12 really helps, even if they only are 3 Green boxes.  As a defensive unit, they really shine vs the more offensive Halberdiers.  I'm very pleased with the changes we made to give each unit their own role, despite both being Core units with hafted weapons.

--Blood Powers:  after making lots of use of Inhuman Frenzy (+2 dice), we've found that the tweaks have pushed this ability to a definitely secondary use, behind healing.  Which was the idea all along.

Also, I found myself debating using the Unholy Aura or saving the Blood Point to heal.  I like that there's some decision tension in the abilities, so this leads me to believe we're on the right track with the balance of the various abilities.

--Command Cards:  6 courage affecting Command cards is too many.  Its weird, because after making the changes to the command cards we felt the faction was just on the weak side.  Now, I feel they're just a touch too strong.  It may be that there's not an answer.  One idea we kicked around was give the faction a single additional Courage card that favors the 5 Yellow box Voyniks.  Or it may be that the answer isn't in Courage.  It may be that given that we weakened Desperation, the faction doesn't have as much punch as it used to and what they need is another red card to help them out.  Or it could be that both is the answer.

We're going to brainstorm and come up with an answer.  I'd certainly appreciate any thoughts people have.

RushAss

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3816
  • Eat your beets - Recycle!
    • My Facebook.  Where you can see my, uh... face.
Re: Vlachold vs Wuxing: Key Objective
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 02:48:50 PM »
Very good and detailed report here Sir!  And a good amount of movement shenanigans on the close.  I know that Wuxing as a faction can pose a command action drain like no other, did Scott feel the pinch in this regard?

And yeah, I'd say the Jade Dragon and Jade Nobles really tanked here in the dicing category.  When your two thumper units perform like that you are in trouble.
"Art as expression, not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations"
-Rush, Natural Science

Hannibal

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4558
Re: Vlachold vs Wuxing: Key Objective
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 03:29:39 PM »
Very good and detailed report here Sir!  And a good amount of movement shenanigans on the close.  I know that Wuxing as a faction can pose a command action drain like no other, did Scott feel the pinch in this regard?

Not really, I think.  Because he really only cared about half the fights, he didn't have to do much maneuver with them and could just stock up on cards.  Also he only had to expend 3 CAs to lift Breakdown during the course of the game.  After that, he didn't care.

Where he did feel the pain was in his command card draws.  He drew only 5 Red cards all game.  While Wuxing isn't stunted in terms of Red command cards, its is more blue-card oriented than some factions.  Still, though, it was a terrible draw for the game.