My second Journeyman League game was against Adam playing Menoth. I’ve played Adam before and games against him are always fun since he puts up with me forgetting the rules. This would be my first game ever against a Menoth army, so I had no idea what to expect. He was running pKreoss, and his list was:
High Exemplar Kreoss – WJ: +5
– Reckoner – PC: 8
– Redeemer – PC: 6
– Repenter – PC: 4
– Vanquisher – PC: 8
Vassal of Menoth x 2 – PC: 4
Exemplar Errant Seneschal – PC: 2
Wrack – PC: 1
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord – PC: 2
Choir of Menoth – Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Exemplar Errants – Leader and 9 Grunts: 8
– Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard – Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard 2
Holy Zealots – Leader and 9 Grunts: 6
– Monolith Bearer – Monolith Bearer 2
All I knew going in was Reckoner is a beast and pKreoss has purification and a knockdown feat. I wasn’t too worried about the feat because of the Raider Captain and the Bane UA, but I ended up ignoring it completely and suffered for it.
He won the roll and decided to go second. The way we played it whoever won the roll could choose to go second and place a wall on their side of the board (since neither of us wanted to switch sides). Getting to place a wall wherever you want before the game starts is really powerful, but it was at least a good learning experience having to fight against a caster who could sit behind a wall for the entire game. Deployment looked like this:
For me Deathjack, Skarre, and a Pistol Wraith on the left, Raiders, Leviathan, Nightwretch on the right, Bane Thralls in the middle. For him everything lined up more or less centralized, with the Exemplar Errants off in the forest on the upper left.
My thoughts were put the Pathfinder stuff to the right so they can get through the forest, and make sure to get an arc node on the side opposite the Deathjack.
I ran everything up!
Stupidly deployed my Leviathan out of command range so I couldn’t give him focus to run, doh. Need to learn to measure my control when I’m deploying stuff to make sure I don’t do something stupid like that.
He also ran up!
He took some pot shots at the Raiders and killed one, and he mini-feated with the Zealots and used Greater Destiny so I had no way to do any damage to them (unfortunate).
I ran my Raiders up to try to jam the Zealots, but couldn’t do any damage to them. The Leviathan couldn’t shoot anything and I didn’t have range with the pistol wraiths either. I had a plan to Perdition the Deathjack forward, feat on the Deathjack, and then charge it into the Exemplar Errants, but with the Zealots being mini-feated I had to try to get damage on one of his jacks to get perdition to go off. I didn’t manage a boosted 10 on two attempts so I had to scrap that plan. I feated anyways, and I think now that I probably did so too early. I should have just shuffled up and realized my positioning was bad. On the bright side he wouldn’t be able to attack Deathjack or my arcnode. Here I was after my turn:
He backed the Exemplar Errants up so I couldn’t charge them with Deathjack and shuffled his Reckoner over to kill the Objective, which he was able to do. I had never played against an army that could shoot an Objective off the table with basically just one jack, so that was kind of a surprise for me. His Vanquisher drifted an AOE into the forest and lit literally everything on fire. Ouch. So much for my Raiders being immune to blast damage. I need to keep them spread out better when there are AOEs with continuous effects on them. Here it was after his turn:
As my turn began I lost the Raider UA and 3 Raiders to the fire, but it went out on my arcnode and one or both of the banes toughed it out. I cast Black Spot on the Zealots and then Perdition to move the Leviathan up but keep the aiming bonus. I wouldn’t have had to do this if I had been able to run the Leviathan on turn one. The Leviathan and a Pistol Wraith wiped out the Zealots.
Deathjack (now represented by the Green 50mm token) charged and killed the Repenter, but I did something stupid and let Deathward fall off him so I could put Admonition up. My thought when I did it was to avoid charges from the Errants, but I forgot that Kreoss would knock him down anyways and he wouldn’t be able to. Granted Kreoss could have purified the Deathward off too, but at least it would have cost him some focus. End of my turn and I’m starting to feel like the game has slipped away…
He started off by feating and casting Lamentation. Then between his Reckoner and Vanquisher he wiped out my arcnode, a pistol wraith, and two raiders in the forest. His errants charged the Deathjack and brought him down to 3 or 4 boxes, but his cortex and right arm were still up. He also cleared out a couple Banes.
At this point I decide (prematurely I think) that I’m screwed and my only hope is an assassination. I load the Leviathan up with focus and give the Deathjack one too. Skarre activates and perditions to move the Leviathan forward, and then Leviathan activates and moves to draw LOS on Kreoss, which somehow he manages. If I had really done that math in my head I don’t think I would have gone for it, but I don’t think I was thinking rationally at this point. The Leviathan misses his first shot and second shot, and I hit my third shot (boosted) and then boost for damage and do 10. I needed good dice if I wanted to hit Kreoss, but I hoped that with Seas of Fate (the eSkarre ability where you can wait to boost) I would land two hits. If I had rolled lights out I had a chance but shooting a Rat 5 jack at a Def 14 caster is serious desperation. I should have kept the Leviathan in the forest and tried to drop one of his jacks.
I activate Deathjack and start to clear out the Errants. Between Deathjack and two Banes I manage to generate 4 souls for Deathjack, all of which he spends to heal damage. I roll well on the first two heals, healing I think 4 and 5, but the last two are both 1s. Deathjack is fully operational but I don’t have the focus to cast anything on him. After my turn:
His turn begins by charging Deathjack with the Errants. They just barely take him down and at this point I’m 99% sure I’m going to lose. His other jacks kill the Leviathan and I’m left with Skarre, 4 Banes, and a Necrosurgeon.
I have essentially lost at this point, but I try to run up and drift a Blood Rain onto Kreoss (who he has moved). I actually do manage to drift it onto Kreoss, but we figured that for me to win I would have had to roll 18 on 3 dice and then have him fail the corrosion check. I don’t do that and I concede. Here is the board state as I conceded:
In this game it felt like terrain and model placement hurt me every single turn. He placed second and did a great job of deploying his models in a way that I wouldn’t be very effective against him. For what seemed like the whole game he had his jacks on a hill shooting twice with ancillary attacks. I made a mistake and bunched my Raiders up in the forest thinking they were safe from blast damage and he lit like 5 or 6 on fire with one shot. His Errants were able to sit in a deep forest the whole game so except for my Perdition gambit I just wasn’t able to get up the board fast enough to threat them. The wall sitting in the perfect place between the forest and objective just added insult to injury — there was zero hope of me charging directly to his caster, while my caster felt exposed the whole game.
Thinking about it now, I think I’d flip my entire deployment. I put the Raiders on the side with the forest because I wanted them to be able to move through it at the start of the game, but what mattered more was that I needed to be able to charge back into his lines. Better my Banes be able to charge after avoiding the forest on my side than literally not be able to charge anything unless he exposed it to me on purpose. Deployment and knowing where to move my models continues to be what I’m worst at, but I’d like to think I’m getting better.
Other than deployment problems I felt that I gave up a little too early and went for a desperation assassin attempt before I needed to. The leviathan had a shot at taking out the Vanquisher and instead I threw a Hail Mary. If I had activated the Deathjack first and realized that he was going to be able to fill up with souls and heal some, I might have tried to play the game out. I need to wait until it’s really hopeless before I throw all my chips into a seriously low percentage assassination run.
I also feated too early. Epic Skarre’s feat seems best when I can target the opponent’s heavy hitters, so I really should wait until I can catch some before I pull the trigger. In this game I feated early because I was worried about losing Deathjack for nothing, but it was my placement that caused that worry.
Anyways it was a rough introduction to Menoth! As always though I learned quite a bit, and Adam is great with the rules and teaching when the opportunity arises. I got two games in on the 26th and actually won the second one, so that battle report will be coming soon 🙂