The Great Defeat

I’d like to chronicle the first firm defeat I’ve had in Warmachine mk3. I type this with bitter tears, the sting of loss still fresh in my mind. I lost to dwarves. 

All that aside it was an excellently played match by my opponent. He has played rhulic for some time, usually running Gorten Grundback  but to prepare for an upcoming journeyman league he has switched to General Ossram. This switch has proven to be very beneficial, and his army’s playstyle is solidifying itself nicely.  

We gathered to play and agreed on 50 points, the first match in journeyman rules where I could switch warcasters and use Kraye. My list consisted of:        

  • Kraye
  • Lancer 
  • Firefly
  • Ironclad
  • Sentinel
  • Centurion
  • Storm lances (max unit)
  • Gun Mage Captain Adept 

Colins Rhulic consisted of

  • General Ossram
  • Ghordson driller
  • Ghordson basher
  • Blaster x2
  • Gunner X2
  • Thor Steinhammer
  • Tactical arcanist corps
  • Hammerfall shield corps with command

I was definitely confident of my ability to define the pace of the battle, and moved as far forward as I could first turn. The dwarves did the same, albeit with diminished results.  By the second turn I had positioned myself just outside his maximum assault range and was preparing to pop my feat and devastate him. I even factored in his warcaster being able to cast Energizer (his entire battlegroup moves 2″) and smugly awaited his turn. Imagine my horror and surprise when I realized HIS feat gave him +3 armor to his entire army as well as +3″ to movement. Needless to say that proved catastrophic. 

By the end I had managed to kill his Arcanist corps and Thor via electo-leap, and the Sentinel killed three of his Shield guards. He eventually lost a single ‘jack and I was forced to concede the win. 

The primary lessons learned are foremost know thine enemy, define the battlefield, and finally know when to accept defeat. 

Know Thine Enemy: I was accustomed to how my friend played Gorten, and how he had played his force previously. I learned quickly that there was information I had forgotten (his feat) and I assumed incorrectly that his tactics wouldn’t have evolved. Mistake.

Define The Battlefield: I rushed to meet a wall of steel head on assuming that I would position myself to my advantage. My jacks, far more mobile than his, should have come up from the right flank, where his infantry would have blocked the rest of his force from responding as quickly to my threat and the hill would have blocked most of his shooting. The cavalry would then have been free to slam into his center, dealing damage where it was most needed and weakening his heavies (if not destroying them) and possibly damaging his caster with we placed electro-leaps. Mistake.

Admit Defeat: I realized not long into the third turn that I had little chance of recovery. He crippled the arms of both heavies, removing any chance of really hurting an army of armor 18+ models. I tried a couple of obligatory hail Mary attempts to take out his caster, but in the end there was no avoiding it. 

In summary, I began the game under a number of false pretenses and paid the price for that, but my opponent played his force quite well and definitely earned his victory. I have of course demanded a rematch…

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