We were able to get another couple of 25 point games in. I was still running:
Beanpole of course had his beast-heavy list:
Paingiver Beast Handlers
And Blondie had swapped in Gunmages and Old Rowdie, plus an Arcane-Shield-On-A-Stick:
-Ironclad (proxied by Crusader)
-Charger (proxied by Repenter)
I played Blondie. He won the roll and chose to go first. Since Gunmages would murder Croes, I decided to pick the side with the wall, so I could at least possibly get cover if the fight stuck to the center.
Blondie put Arcane Shield on his two heavies and moved up. The gunmages walked forwards and took sniped shots at the Cutthroats but were out of range.
The Spriggan got Superiority and Strakhov cast Occultation on himself; no more charger-assassinations for Stryker! I put my Spriggan behind the forest threatening his heavies. The Cutthroats walked up and took shots at the Gunmages, but don't think I actually hit any (I might have been out of range).
His gunmages stood still and fired at my Croes, but surprisingly bad dice meant he didn't kill as many as expected. Meanwhile his heavies walked forwards to toe the zone. Stryker moved up into base contact with Rowdy.
I ran my Cutthroats forwards to engage the Gunmages, with Valachev striking a heroic pose on the top of a hill where everyone could see him. Croe himself went for the Journeyman but missed. Strakhov feated and the Spriggan charged Rowdy. I had been planning to bulldoze him out of the zone, but annoyingly I couldn't do that with Stryker in place. I did lightly touch the other Ironclad and send it staggering backwards, you know, for funsies. Thanks to Arcane Shield, Rowdy was left with all his systems except movement.
The Journeyman killed Croe before the Gunmages activated. This was a mistake because Croe just tagged in for the one Cutthroat who hadn't managed to engage any Gunmages; because Croe has Reach this meant I was suddenly engaging a whole lot more gunmages than I was a minute ago. When it came time to actually activate the Gunmages however, their dice exploded and they killed off most of my Cutthroats. Blondie hadn't moved the ones engaged by Croe as he'd been hoping to kill Croe with an aimed shot from an unengaged Gunmage, freeing those ones up to take more aimed shots. The unengaged mage missed, leaving the rest unable to attack.
Old Rowdy wailed away at the Spriggan but didn't take out any systems. The other Ironclad took some damage from a Spriggan free-strike in order to make it into the Spriggan's back arc, but this allowed him to ignore the shield, ultimately knocking the Spriggan down to a single Cortex box. Striker himself walked up and took a swing; he disrupted the Spriggan but couldn't break his armour. Finally he feated.
So my Spriggan was distrupted and left with a single Cortex box, eh? What harm could he possibly do? Well... I upkept Superiority for the extra 2", which I made good used of moving back and forth bulldozing Styker and the two heavies out of the zone. The Juggernaut took out Blondie's objective and Strakhov ran up to a protected position behind the forest, but in the zone.
Meanwhile the Cutthroats swung at the Gunmage UA, and even Valachev got stuck in with his magic shotgun, getting four attacks. Unfortunately I whiffed everything; only Croe himself managed to kill a single Gunmage.
With that the turn ended and I scored three points; I only needed to dominate one more time to win.
Again my opponent did not move his engaged Gunmages in order to get Croe into their melee range, trying to shoot Croe down with a single Gunmage and missing. The others did manage to take out another Cutthroat however. The Ironclad walked over and destroyed my objective earning a point, while Rowdy attacked the Juggernaut. I don't remember if he lost any systems, he might have lost the axe. The Charger tried to finish off the Spriggan but failed, so the Journeyman went in. With his last attack, boosting the damage roll, he just managed to the get the 10 he needed to knock off the Spriggan's last box.
This wasn't looking good, but I had a plan. There were three jacks and a Journeyman in the zone; if I could clear them all out I could dominate for the win. With Croe in the Journeman's back arc, I should have no trouble killing him. The Juggernaut could throw Rowdy out, and Strakhov could use Ram to push the remaining jacks clear.
So I gave the Juggernaut one focus and started with Croe. In a flash of "brilliance", I decided that I could Zephyr and aim in order to take a RAT 8 shot rather than a MAT 7 swing at the Journeyman. So instead of needing a 5 or something to hit; I ended up needing... an 8 because he was in a forest touching the Spriggan's wreck marker. I rolled a 7. Sigh.
The other Cutthroat took a shot but was just out of range. OK, not a problem. Strakhov could kill the Journeman himself. So I activated the Juggernaut and tried a one-handed throw... and failed. Sigh.
So now my only chance was to Overrun Strakhov off the Journeyman and try to kill Stryker himself. Stryker had no camp but was at DEF 18 thanks to Rowdy, so the odds weren't good. Anway, Strakhov charged the Journeman, needing a 7 to hit... and rolled a 6. Sigh.
I bought a second attack and this one did the job, but now I had only two focus left for buying attacks against Stryker. Needing 11s, they both missed. Double-sigh.
Stryker killed Strakhov.
I wasn't there for this game, so here's Beanpole's narration:
He won the roll and chose the side with the wall. So I deployed first in my usual clump but off to the side with the hill and Blondie's objective. He deployed with the battlegroup central and the gun mages in a line on the same side as me.
Gladiator puts Rush on Savage and makes a slam toward Charger. Savage runs up to behind the forest. Morghoul puts admonition on Molik and rush on Brute then fails a charge at Stryker. Molik runs to the hill and Brute runs between Molik and Morghoul. Paingivers run up as well.
Styker puts Arcane shield on Rowdy and advances. Journeyman does same for Ironclad. Both heavies run up to the zone. Charger advances and tries to shoot something but I think was out of range. Gun mages take snipe shots at Molik and Brute inflicting a few points of damage.
I had one too many fury point out so the Brute passed a threshold check. Morghoul upkeeps Admonition then activates, casts Abuse on Molik, takes the fury from the Brute with Maltreatment and advances to just out of the zone camping 3. Gladiator moves up to put Rush on Molik. The Brute puts safeguard on Morghoul then advances into the zone where he will be able to shield guard for Morghoul and Molik. Savage moves up into the forest in the zone. Paingivers enrage Molik and remove any other fury. Molik charges Rowdy and scraps him.
He loads the Charger and keeps 3. Junior upkeeps Arcane Shield. Charger backs up to get out of the feat and shoots at Molik as do the gun mages except one cheeky guy that hits a Paingiver which I have the Brute shield guard. I think Junior shoots at Molik as well and he is around half boxes. Stryker feats and puts Arcane Shield on himself. The Ironclad walks up to the objective and does 10 damage.
Upkeep Admonition, then Molik passes his threshold check. Molik moves into the wreckage of Ol' Rowdy and kills the objective with his initials and sidesteps deeper into the wreck. Gladiator moves up to where he can get to the ironclad next turn and puts rush on the savage. Morghoul moves into the zone and forest and casts safeguard on himself. Brute moves into forest between ironclad and Morghoul. Paingivers enrage the savage, remove fury from gladiator and heal the brute for a few points. Savage charges into the gun mages but hits none.
Stryker upkeeps arcane shield and allocates the rest. 3 to the charger and 2 to the iron clad, I think. Ironclad decides to ignore Molik (who has admonition anyway) and tries to kill the Brute. He does heavy damage but only knocks out body. The Gunmages aim. One kills a Paingiver and others get some damage on Molik. The Charger aims and shoots Molik bringing him to down to one box in the spirit. He hits the second shot and I force a re-roll which misses. Junior also aims and hits Molik but also misses the forced re-roll. Stryker decides to make a break for the forest (but it is not far enough, spoilers).
I drop admonition this turn. Molik and the Savage pass their threshold checks. The Brute walks around the Ironclad to clear the lane for the Gladiator and takes a swing with his halbard, but since I forgot to heal his body it does nothing. The Paingivers go enraging the Gladiator and Molik and healing the Brute. The Gladiator charges the Ironclad leaving it on 4 boxes or so, everything crippled but the fist. The Savage decides he will kill something before the end and caps a Gunmage. Morghoul walks around to have his control area far enough and heals Molik two points and casts Rush on him. Molik charges Stryker and puts him into the dirt.
Final Score: (wins/losses)
Beanpole: 4 / 2
Blondie: 3 / 1
Samurai: 1 / 4
I think Blondie needs to learn to move those Gunmages rather than focussing on the aiming bonus; they would have been better off taking out the Paingivers than standing around trying to put damage on warbeasts. He also seems to trigger Strykers feat the round after he walks into charge range for some reason; I think that he hasn't yet fully understood that Cygnar jacks won't last a round (at least against Skorne) without at least losing a system, even with Arcane Shield. He's not thinking enough about protecting his caster yet either, but of course that takes time.
I made some stupid mistakes that cost me my game (like trying to shoot the Journeman rather than just stabbing him in the back with Croe), but then my list didn't have the hitting power to get through two Arcane Shielded jacks (nevermind the feat), and of course the Gunmages love to see Croes across the table (1 point models that are RAT 5 DEF 13 ARM 11 and rely on Stealth? Rofl!). I might have won on scenario though had my dice cooperated.
Hmm, I seem to be falling behind on the score board. Oh well, I figured this would happen when I chose Strakhov. I think I'll probably try a new caster soon (although I might have to proxy for a while).