As my first game of Hordes I was playing against a friend of mine who is also a novice player, or at least one who hadn’t played Warmachine/Hordes in a very long time.
My army was this:
Kaya – 57pts
Argus x 2 – 108pts
Warpwolf x2 – 216pts
Total – 381pts
I’m a bit fuzzier on my opponent’s army, but I’ll make a rough approximation of what I remember it being:
Protectorate of Menoth
High Exemplar Kreoss
(1 Heavy Warjack), Crusader(?)
(3 Light Warjacks), Repenter, Revenger, Redeemer (?)
Total – 390pts
Now both of us, as I mentioned, were pretty new to the game, so to speak. I was constantly referring to the quickstart rules, and it took me awhile to get the hang of things.
We rolled off for initiative. I won initiative, so I would go first. We chose a random amount of terrain, two hills, and three forests, then deployed our forces.
In deployment I was a bit foolish as I split my army up into two “task forces.” The idea was to have one main group consisting of Kaya, a Warpwolf, and an Argus to engage the enemy. The spare Warpwolf and Argus would move up the other side of the board, attempting to move into a flanking position so that at an opportune time I could charge in with my additional heavy and wreak some havok.
While I think this sounds pretty reasonable, the fact of the matter is that I was deploying a good part of my army outside of Kaya’s control radius. I didn’t realize this at first, but that pretty much makes a lot of the power of a Warbeast (the ability to force them while within the Warlock’s control radius) wasted. On turn three and four I moved my second “task force” back into control range, but… Anyway.
Turn 1, Circle:
I force all of my warbeasts to run forward, Warpwolves warping for +2″ of speed. My forces move basically 14″ up the board. The enemy’s main force has clear LOS to my main task force, which is advancing on the right side of the board. However, I use Kaya’s “Cloak of Mists” spell on her and the other units in task force 1. Stealth prevents units from further than 5″ away from targetting the units. My secondary task force (WWolf2 & Argus2) attempts to gain a little bit of cover by sitting in the shadow of a forest on the left side of the board.
(Elided here are the rules-futzing which caused me to conclude that my beasts would all have to make threshhold checks on turn 1 because I hadn’t spent any of their fury. I had my Warpwolf in task force 2 frenzy and destroy the nearby Argus…)
Turn 1, Menoth:
Menoth, seeing my two-pronged approach, also splits his forces into two groups. One group consists of his Warcaster, his heavy warjack, and a light warjack; This group moved about three inches and took cover behind a nearby hill, obviously plotting to come out around the hill and charge my primary task force. His second group consists of two light warjacks, one of them with some sort of rocket launcher weapon. He moved these units about 3″ towards the left side of the board to present an obstacle to my secondary task force. One of the light warjacks had some sort of rocket launcher, which he attempted to target against my Warlock. However, since all of my task force was under Stealth he was unable to target them directly (since I believe the rocket launcher is an AoE he might’ve been able to do so anyway, but we didn’t realize this at the time). He fired a rocket at the Warp Wolf in my second task force and completely missed.
Turn 2, Circle:
At this point, having deployed at 12″ from the table edge and moved 14″ the previous turn, and Menoth having deployed 12″ from the table edge and moved an additional 3″, I was able to make a 9″ charge with my Warpwolf. I had him warp for +2 Strength and charged him headlong into the Menoth heavy warjack that was staring me down from the side of a nearby hill, a light warjack and his warcaster not far behind. The Circle is not one to mince words, and my designs were to control the battlefield by having complete control over any engagements — Letting myself get charged was not an option.
My Warpwolf charged in, the charge adding one fury token to his total pool. The first claw did some fairly significant damage, especially having been boosted from the charge. With his second claw attack I boosted the attack to make sure it hit, as the Warpwolf has another ability called “Throat-Ripper” that can trigger if he connects with both claw attacks. Both claws hit, and the Menoth heavy warjack was definitely feeling some pain. Then I followed up with Throat-Ripper, an attack that knocks down the enemy and does one point of damage to every system or aspect. This pretty much put the nail in the coffin of the Menoth heavy warjack, knocking it down and disabling three of its systems.
Kaya and my Argus moved up somewhat. My second task force found themselves outside of the control radius of Kaya, so I couldn’t force them. Rather than moving them into the open but within control range, I moved them into the nearby forest for cover. The battle was going my way on the other side of the board and they were doing well enough to draw off two enemy warjacks.
Turn 2, Menoth:
Menoth’s situation, though he didn’t know it yet, was grim. His caster was sitting a few inches away from his disabled heavy Warjack and the only thing that stood in the way of my Warpwolf charging his caster was a light Warjack. After virtually wiping out a heavy Warjack in one turn I was confident my Warpwolf could eat his light jack for dessert.
His caster used a spell on his light warjack, boosting it somewhat. He then used his feat, which knocked down every enemy unit in his command area (which included my Wolf, Kaya, and my Argust). His light warjack then charged my Warpwolf. The damage was significant, but as the Warpwolf’s body is constantly in flux, I could allocate the damage where I wished. My Warpwolf’s mind aspect was disabled and much of his body aspect, but I planned on having him regenerate the next turn to return him to full operating strength.
The other two Menoth light warjacks didn’t realize the gravity of the situation. Another rocket launcher shot flew past my Warpwolf in task force two, doing nothing.
Turn 3, Circle:
My Warpwolf regenerated a few points of damage, stood up, and then turned his attention to the upstart little warjack that dared to attack him. Two claw attacks and a throat-ripper later and the light warjack was a light pile of mechanical scrap. With the threats out of the way, I had my Argus and Kaya stand up and move forward. They were in perfect position to charge at the enemy Warcaster next turn.
Feeling the battle was mostly over at this point, and that there would be no way for me to screw it up, I moved my Wolf and Argus in task force two out in the open and more towards Kaya. I decided I may as well try to pile in on his Warcaster with everything I had. If his two light Warjacks got in the way, I figured I could scrap them too after seeing my Warpwolf do such a number on the other Menoth jacks.
Turn 3, Menoth:
Menoth’s warcaster used one of his remaining light warjacks as an arcnode to cast some sort of lighting spell that struck out at my Warpwolf in task force 2. It did some damage, but nothing crippling. The remaining two Menoth warjacks remained in position and didn’t attempt to move over to guard his warcaster. A rocket flew out towards my exposed task force 2, but did nothing.
Turn 4, Circle:
Kaya, my Warpwolf, and my Argus charged Kreoss. Menoth resigned the game.
Victory number 1. A pretty good start for starting out completely ignorant of the rules.