Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cryx pt. 6: 50 pts. pDenghra vs. eIrusk

This Monday, I had my first go at a 50pts. Cryx pDeneghra list, inspired by information I found over at The Overseer. In a way, it was more of an expansion from the list I fielded against Menoth two weeks ago (I did skip a Warmachine night to play Death of Winter down at the game store) and I was a bit nervous about it. I was going up against Khador again, and it being my former main faction, I know these guys are not neccesarily to be trifled with for a new player.

My list was something like this:
Full unit of Nyshunters
Full unit of Crow's Cutthroats
Full unit of Satyxis Raiders with attachment
2 deathrippers
Warwitch Siren
Master Gunner Dougal
2 pistol wraiths
A machine wraith
Small unit of bile thralls

I was going up against eIrusk – I'll admit, I'm not entirely surprised by this. I know this particular opponent has a soft spot for this guy, and he is great, no doubt about it. I faced two full units of iron fang pikemen, one of the black dragons, with attachment and Kovnik. Along with a devastator and black ivan. A unit of widowmakers and Irusk brought along Reinholt and Sylys. Finally, staring The Great Bears!
We played Outflank and I won roll-off.

Again, I wish I'd taken pictures along the way.
In general, deployment was something like this:

During my first turn I moved pretty much everything up, hogging focus and having the siren boost the jack. I went for a very aggressive style early on, trying to psych my opponent into reacting to it. I know from experience that pikemen can become quite speedy and dangerous, and I hoped he'd do the same and move way too much forward for his own good. Luckily, he did. Part of him counted on the cover from the low hedges to protect him, I think, but luckily, Nys Hunters don't give much shit about that.
Black Ivan had a really lucky shot on one deathripper, leaving him standing with three boxes left or so. Even more lucky, his arcnode was still intact, which was all I needed for the following turn. I moved up Denny to take good cover behind the obstruction and feated, catching 75% of the army with it, missing his caster though. People seem to know this lesson, keeping the caster in a safe distance from that mess.

Then followed a Crippling Grasp on the red pikemen and Parasite on the black ones that had minifeated on the previous turn. I needed that debuff if I wanted Crowe and friends to do something. I even had one bile within a blow-up range, even though it wasn't much.

Irusk was one of the first casters I played with. It shows in how much time I spent painting him.
The bile blew up five fangs and corroded another two. Crow and friends killed another four from the unit and kept their place up on the hill. Dougal popped his minifeat and let the pistol wraiths shoot both Jacks for the Chill effect. I admit, this was likely an overkill. They were already debuffed, but I suppose I wanted to try. Gorman, with his new range, hit the Devastator with a rust bomb and the Nys had plenty of range for the red pike unit. With the nasty -4 armor debuff, they wiped out more than half of the unit in one turn. Then I smashed the Satyxis into the remaining pikemen and the Devastator. I may have got a bit overconfident there. Even with -5 armor, Armor 25 is a lot to handle for Satyxis with their PS 8 and 9. Okay, I may have rolled like a moron too... I counted on destroying it, but it stood well with less than half its boxes once done. I did mange to feedback some damage to his caster, however. And more importantly; wreck his cortex!

This was one of the times my opponent stared a bit at me.

On his turn nothing much happened, really. Both jacks were unable to do much besides doing some attacks. Black Ivan shot the already smashed bonejack and the remaining pikemen attempted to kill off some Satyxis. Doing so with -2 to MAT versus DEF 14 is surprisingly hard, though. One of the Great Bears was outside of feat range and got in to smash a couple of Satyxis, including their Sea Witch, who I had placed stupidly.And the Widowmakers shot the remaining biles to pieces. Poor Gorman was charged by a lone pikemen and then things went bad. Ah well... The kovnik ran up with the remaining pikes to at least engage Crowe and his friends.

The good thing, though, was that one of the zones had been completely abandoned by him, letting my Nys score point. I still wanted to win on assassination though.

On my third turn, things weren't that fun. I was aiming for a solid assassination, but Irusk had camped almost all his focus. Armor 21 and def 15 is not to be ignored. My original plan was to crippling grasp him, ghost walk on either the Satyxis or Crowe's and run up into Irusk's face, or turn him into a pin-cushion. In hindsight, it was a long shot. I still had a good handful of Satyxis left, but they were all locked up in melee; on the next turn, pain would start.

I of course botched my roll to grasp Irusk and got reckless and cast it again. Again, a miss. And that was all focus. That was a bloody stupid move that happens whenever I lose focus on things. Even if the second one connected, most of my troops would've splattered to the free strikes it would've taken for them to get near him. Instead, I should simply have Ghost Walked the Crowe's out from melee and up close to start shooting the shit out of the widow makers and remaining pikes. They would've been very close to Irusk, charge distance, on the next turn, meaning I would have pressured my extremely much. Instead, I handed him another round of being exactly where he wanted me to be. Idiot I am.

So Denny moved down to the lower end of the right zone and I had the Crowe's kill off the remaining black dragons for domination of it. I tried gutting as many pikes as I could, but the Nys being too far away for a good charge and some suddenly good Tough roll from my opponent made things look a bit grim. This is the thing; a lot of people tell me how insanely good Satyxis Raiders are; yet, once their feat is popped and done, that PS 9 isn't going to do much wonders against anything heavy, except when they have grasp and feat on their opponents.

At this time, the Machinewraith had made its way close to the front lines, and hovered through the ranks in to engage the widowmakers. I was happy with this, seeing how he suddenly had to use Irusk to kill it off, before he could use the widowers.

So end of turn, I scored three points, ending at 4.

During his turn, there wasn't really that much left. I suddenly realized that holding my Nys back was a boon. He could move his three pike men in to contest, which he did, but that resulted in fewer troops to kill Satyxis. The great bears had to chop through what remained. I imagine he was going through the chaos I did a turn before. His original plan was to do either run or trample down my units and get into the zone with the devastator. Only, it's cortex was broken and it couldn't get down there in time. Calculating all his possibilities, he could either go for an assassination attempt through Airburst. With Reinholt and Sylys it's two additional dice, discarding the two lowest on the rolls. He could potentially score an 18 on dice, which would still not be enough to kill her off. So the alternative was to move stuff into the zone, but seeing how either denny or crowe's would kill it off, or the nyss simply charge and clear the other zone, he decided to call it. Cryx scenario victory.


Most of these are mixed into the report. I'm still a stubborn guy; when I go for a plan I close up so many alternatives and this is still something I need to improve on. On another front, I felt I've developed my sense for synergy between the units a lot. I admit this likely isn't the most complicated list to play, and I'm still amazed how awesome a caster Deneghra is. In fact, she took up well over 15 minutes of shaming, when we went to burger king afterwards...

That being said, I think I also need to keep more in mind what I'm going to do AFTER her feat is off. It's a bucket of fun when it hits, and still loads in the opponent's turn. But after that, you need to rely on the debuffs. I really imagine that good Cryx players don't need more than that to win the game, but I'm not entirely there yet.

Will return for more updates on this.

My main concern so far, is actually whether I'll ever want to try anything else but her. I love her so much as a caster; mainly due to her stealth and feat; it removes so much concern I usually struggled with in the beginning of my Warmachine career. I've considered Terminus for some time, but been told he's not nearly as good, and the other Cryx top-tier casters tend to be a lot more complicated to play. Where to go next? We'll just have to see about that.

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