Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cryx pt. 2: Lessons learned vs. Vlad1 and Feora2

I thought I'd sit down and share some of the things I've learned the hard way during my first two games with Cryx. I went respectively for battles versus Khador (Vlad1) and Menoth (Feora2)

 Versus Khador – Incursion. 35 points.
This was my first game of Cryx in which I fielded pretty much what I'd assembled so far. My list was something like this:

2 Deathrippers
1 Skarlock
1 General Slaughterborn
1 full unit of banes with UA
1 Tartarus
1 full unit of satyxis raiders with UA
2 machine wraiths

Vlad fielded a unit of doomreavers, winterguard rifle corps with Joe, a behemoth and a good handful of mechanics, a small regiment of widowmakers and two infiltrators.

I lost this fight, even though it looked pretty interesting. I decided to do an all out on the rifle-corps, not wanting my precious raiders to splatter too soon, so I got to engage them from the first turn. This was likely a rushed move of panic for me, since threatening them was nice, but the doomreavers had a field day tearing them apart. And with Signs and Portents+Joe's speech, even riflemen can be bastards in melee.

It did serve to occupy the masses in a nice big group for my banes to get in on the flank and start butchering. I got Denny up the field, feated, and through not giving a shit for my own people clever tactics, sprayed all over those pesky doomreavers with venom, butchering them and the entire unit of riflemen. Sadly, general slaughterborn splattered early in the fight to a very precise shot from the Behemoth; he would have turned things significantly around. I kept getting pestered by the infiltrators and one reaver who refused to die, making me spend way too much time on them. When finally I got into melee with the Behemoth and the cowardly Vlad hiding behind it, my forces were way too reduced and I had to rely on scoring enough points. This was a mistake, as I placed Denny too close to the front without crippling grasp'ing the Behemoth. Meaning the next turn, it came trampling through the lines and tore her apart. 

Well, that, and the fact my opponent was sure he could trample through Tartarus...which you can't because he's too big and fat. We only realized this after the game, so it was kind of hard to say. I settled for a draw, being pessimistic that I'd made so many mistakes either way, that he likely would've killed me in another way.

Lessons learned:
  • If no feat up, block or debuff any jacks who get trample happy.
  • TARTARUS HAS THRESHER; YOU MORON! Learning how and when to be aggressive with Mr. T is definitely something that will take time.
  • Spread this shit out. I still struggle a lot with this old Warhammer mentality. It's a skirmish game, and had I spread out my raiders more, I could've denied him charges and engaged more riflemen.
  • Machine wraiths are kind of awesome. I likely wouldn't bring 2 again, but as flag-cappers and taking out a jack's focus for one turn they're really good for that one point. Also, there's a psychological effect against newer players, so see such a huge, incorporeal model coming, floating your way. I pretty much parked one at one flag and he actually moved his widowmakers closer to it just to contest, rather than moving in to shoot at banes.
  • Arc Nodes are fucking awesome. Work with me here: This is coming from a long time Khador player who then moved to Skorne. I love arc nodes. More more more.
  • I deployed my banes wisely, I think, but again I brought too many of them in on the same target, meaning I couldn't get them where I wanted later on. Sure, it's awesome to have four of them stare down a feated-down Doomreaver, but then again, you won't really move out from him either. A man, did I feel like an idiot when one splattered him and the rest just stood there because they didn't want a free strike?
  • Morale: Learn to love Ghostwalk. There are so many possibilities in this one.
  • Also: Withering decreases FOCUS too! Remember!

Versus Menoth. Outflank. 35 pts.
My list was something like this, on the top of my head.

2 Deathrippers
1 Skarlock
1 Gorman
1 full unit of Satyxis raiders with UA
1 full unit of Nyshunters
1 full unit of Crow's Cutthroats

His list:
Judicator (scary!)
A choir
A unit of mechanics
Unit of Exemplar Bastions
Unit of Knight's Exemplar
Vassal of Menoth

I'm always a bit twitchy when facing colossal. They sure make for an impressive look on the battlefield. I was honestly expecting a harbinger list, which is why I just threw something together as an opportunity to play around for a bit with shooting.
Much of my army had advanced deployment, which helped me with one of my flaws in this game – deploying wisely in accord to what I'm facing. In the beginning, I've always found it easier to be second player because you can react to what shit is put down. While ideally you should be the one forcing the reactions, I've found this to be a good entry to a new faction, as long as you can apply the pressure. Also, when facing a non-harbinger list, going second doesn't bother me that much.

That being said, I went first for this, so I set out full speed ahead, throwing Croe's at the left flank, the Nys at the right where they could remain nice and tighly in a cozy forest for some of the way. Again, my poor purple babes with chains would go for the brunt of stuff, but being blast immune would hopefully buy me a little time. I'd like to pat myself on the back for better deployment here; they remained spread out, so even during the first round of fire, the bouncing AOE only managed to kill two raiders and ignite one other (which usually means she'll die anyway). There were a lot of models on the table, and he spread his firepower a bit. I think I got a bit lucky too with the rolls, but mainly my deployment was solid in this regard.

On my turn, I moved Denny up, feated and got an arc node close enough to the colossal that it had a Parasite as well. She camped her remaining focus and the Nys ran out and fired separately (at this point the big machine was so crippled I thought it worth it) taking out a healthy chunk of boxes. Then entered the Satyxis. They weren't close enough to get in with their horns, but five of them reached the debuffed colossal. Now, granted; I did roll quite lucky on those dices. With minifeat on, they slammed for four dices of dam on top of their PS 9. I believe with a minus 5 to armor, a judicator is firmly planted around the value of 14 or so. Added on top the Nys-shots, the huge machine went down.
Also, the rest of the army was so slowed and crippled, there was very little he could actually do to touch me for a whole turn.
Needless to say, I was kind of impressed...

Crove's boys did a spectacular job on the flank. I love how slow factions such as Menoth can have a minus 2 to movement, being unable to receive orders and then enter units with Bushwhack. Making a hail of shots only to move backwards and keep firing? With poison on top of an already debuffed armor. It barely wasn't fun, and the entire unit of Knight's Exemplars went down in a single round. Crove's seem really good as long as they have something to help them out with their despicable RAT.

Most of the Bastions were butchered by the remaining Satyxis. Again, the damage rolls are insane when coupled with Withering and mini feat. Up till now, my opponent had celebrated that he'd placed Feora far back and thus away from my feat, but at this time he needed to win by assassination or half a unit of Satyxis with Ghostwalk would be at his tail on the next turn. After much measurement, he realized there was no way for him to get close enough and the game was won.

Certainly went much smoother this time around. There are still lessons to learn!

  • Gorman didn't do a single thing, except popping some smoke bombs to screen Denny. It didn't help much in terms of a colossal though, but it did keep her defense on the high side throughout the battle. I do wonder whether it would've been more prudent to have had him further up with the boys to keep the judicator busy. As said, I rolled very well on the dice against it (three of the rolls were 17+ on four dice) and I can't count on that in every battle. In the future, I may just keep him closer to the front.
  • I could've gone in more aggressively with the Satyxis. Pushed them further up the line. In that way, I could've gotten in more attacks on the massively debuffed colossal, since I can add their horns to the attacks and combine arms.
  • I really like Crove's and not that many people in my meta use them so I think I'll stick to them against certain armies. I definitely wouldn't send them out on their own, though. They need help, but when they have it, I think they can perform well.
  • Using Nyx to shoot at the colossal likely wasn't that optimal. In better circumstance they would've charged, which would've wrecked it absolutely even with mediocre rolls on the dices. Again, I didn't push enough forward, thinking the forest would keep them safe. It would likely have payed off to keep them spread out more and sacrifice two or three to a rocket. It's a very fine level of detail, though, if you still want to remain outside flamethrower range. I need to work on this cost-benefit analysis.

With this being said, I'm off for more lessons. Stay tuned for some pretty undead pictures soon!


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