Journeyman League Week 4: A gunshot rings out…

Ah, week 4 at last!  When we can breathe a sigh of relief as we unshackle ourselves from our battle box warcasters and begin to see a bit more individuality in our lists.  For some this isn’t that big of a deal as the box casters are actually pretty good. In my case, I switched from Major Maddox to Captain Kraye.  If you’ve read my earlier posts, you will know that he was the model that first drew me to Cygnar as a faction, and I built my playstyle around him in an odd turn of events.  Saying he is a dark horse choice is both true and funny but while he isn’t top tier competitive materiel I find his playstyle to be so deceptive that it can give you a significant advantage over anyone who isn’t familiar with him (this is most people by the way). Maddox is definitely growing on me, and my time practicing for the JL has given me a healthy respect for her.  She is a great support caster and supports a very different list than Kraye, so I believe I’ll keep using her as my second list caster. 

My 25 point list grew to 50 this week as well, and I decided two things needed to happen; first fill my Storm Lance unit, and add another heavy hitter to my battlegroup.  I had 4 options in my collection but with minimal deliberation I went with the Stormclad.  There are two schools of though that I’ve seen with Kraye: guns or rocks.  Guns means ranged threats, usually Hunters and Defenders to make use of his reposition and frugal focus use to hit and run.  Rocks means Centurions trampling plus reposition to take scenario and never give it up.  I prefer a hard hitting force that can handle multiple types of threats, and isn’t crippled by losing a particular piece.  In my opinion the Stormclad fits in with this, as he can handle swaths of infantry or cripple hing armor with minimal investment as long as he activates near a storm knight of any kind.  

My first game saw me against Kaelyssa 1 in Retribution of Scryah.  I have very little experience against Retribution, and no idea of what this caster brings but my opponent was kind enough to give me a run down beforehand.  I lost the opening roll-off and went second, arranging myself heavily along the right flank.  We maneuvered for a couple turns and threw a few exploration punches, then as I was poised to charge he saw a slim opening for assassination and went for it.  

Phantom hunter went on his caster and a Hydra, allowing him to ignore line of sight and cover for a turn, then proceeded to shoot Kraye through my own models with a shot that strips focus off the target and puts it on herself, denying me defense and fueling a damage boost at the same time!  Her shots cleared what focus Kraye had and knocked his health down by half, allowing one attack from the phantom hunter Hydra to kill me outright. All this without any other models being taken out first!  My opponent was a gentleman the whole time, and somewhat felt bad about the win, but I was frankly very impressed and had a great time.  I was unaware of how useful ignoring LOS would be in that situation but even then I don’t know that I would have done it any differently.  It was a bold gamble that if it failed would have left Kaelyssa inches from my entire army and certainly dead. Pure awesome.

The second game saw me against Khador again, this time played by Vince but still led by Lord Koslov. Also, due to table availability put me at the same battlefield as the last game against Retribution.  I won the roll-off this time and opted to repeat the last game by going second and after seeing his deployment I again swept up the right side of the board. This had the advantage of keeping his Man’o Wars from making any real contribution to the game aside from ganging up on my Lancer in the final turn and killing it.  

My plan kept to what I had been attempting against Kaelyssa but this time I had a fantastic mobility advantage.  My Ironclad and Lancer somehow managed to contest the objective until I was able to slam his scoring units off the zone while my Firefly, Minutema, and Storm Lances circled around behind his line of heavy jacks and began to threaten his caster and wear down his battlegroup.  He then made the game losing error of moving Koslov into the scenario zone.  This by itself wasn’t a bad idea, but in an effort to avoid reprisal from the nearby Stormclad he moved PAST it, drawing a free strike…which hit and did considerable damage, forcing him to use his last focus to survive.  This also was a mistake because now he was in the open, and in sight of…

Captain Kraye and his 13″ rifle!  Normally this wouldn’t be overly threatening but with no focus and a scant handful of life left, two shots and a failed tough roll later spelled doom for Lord Koslov and a win by assassination for Jeremiah Kraye.

Another fun day of Warmachine, and an exciting couple of games with Kraye. I also realized that of all the players involved I’m the only Cygnar!  Many of the guys there have Cygnar as a faction but went with other options for this league, leaving me to carry the flag.  Additonally, of all the Cygnar players I’m the only one who uses Kraye, a Minuteman, and Storm Lances!  I think that I’m converting some of them however, as the use and utility of the three are hard to ignore.  

See you again next week!

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