-By: Vinny (VP18)
The first week of the Journeyman League came and went, and I learned a great deal! My awesome plans for domination on the battlefield turned into a life lesson on how beginner luck goes only so far! It also gave me a great appreciation for the depth of Warmahordes, as I quickly realized how almost every move had a more tactically sound alternative.
In my first game of the JML, and of MkIII, I played against Tony, who had Rhulic mercenaries, a very shooty list with three light warjacks and one scary heavy. We then set up the terrain which allowed for a mostly open field with a forest on one side and a row of boxes on the other. The dice were rolled for turn one, and a mini-victory allowed me to choose first move. I set the Axer in the middle with Ragnor behind him. The Bouncer was placed on the side nearest the forest, and the Impaler closest to the row of boxes. I planned on running the Bouncer and Axer forward while Ragnor trailed behind casting spells, and the Impaler provide ranged support behind the boxes. Tony setup his forces, and the battle commenced!
Turn one was pretty uneventful. I charged forward with all models, shot with the Impaler, and had Ragnor buff the Axers strength. Tony then ran his forces forward, gave his warcaster Bullet Dodger, a light warjack Snipe, and shot at my warbeasts. Turn two was more exciting! I ran forward again, cast Dug-In on my beasts, and my Impaler threw another spear. Then Tony made first contact. He went right for the Axer, who barely survived with only two hit points left and a broken Mind and Spirit! That was when I noticed my first big mistake, which was confirmed by Tony’s friend, who also played Trolls. After the match Tony’s friend explained that the Bouncer should always be in the center. Its high armor makes for a difficult kill and allows the other beasts to wrap around your opponents forces while the Bouncer is focused. When the Axer is in the middle he become the target, and you risk losing your hardest hitting model, which happened to me.
On turn three, I healed the Axer enough to free up Mind and Spirit, but it only delayed the inevitable. He quickly fell that turn, and I struggled for the rest of match to make a dent in Tony’s forces. I managed to take out a light warjack and remove a few hit points from his warcaster, but ultimately Tony shot Ragnor to pieces! My first defeat was complete, and I learned a lot about Warmahordes!
My biggest error was already mentioned, putting the Axer in front. However, I had several other little mistakes, like not having a full grasp of my list’s abilities. I completely forgot the Impaler’s critical knockdown and my warlock’s feat, which Tony, in an act of pure sportsmanship, reminded me to use. I continually tried to buy ranged attacks on a ROF 1 weapon and got wrong all of the ranges of my spells and melee attacks. Another mistake involved the placement of my models. Ragnor has an awesome spell that knocks down all enemies in a AOE. I successfully cast that twice but had no way to capitalize on it due to poor placement. Compare that to Tony, who always blocked line of sight to his caster and had a model line that allowed no flanking. Finally, I tried to do too much with my warlock, and camped no fury on him. That ultimately allowed a damage eight shot to finish him off. These are all probably acceptable mistakes for a beginner, but I want to improve, which will require critically and honestly looking at performance.
So what would I change for week two? For starters my Trollbloods list. The PG altered the list building rules for the JML. Players were able to replace a model from the Battlegroup boxset in either week two or three, and all solos and units for the faction were permitted. Fearing I would be at a big disadvantage if I did not include a heavy, I decided to remove the Bouncer and add an Earthborn Dire Troll. Both warbeasts have the same animus, and the Earthborn, a heavy warbeast, should have better survivability even with one less armor than the Bouncer. I also added a Runebearer to help my warlock do a little more during the game and camp some fury.
Tactically, I will start by remembering what each model’s spells and abilities do! As I mentioned before, getting my ranges wrong, forgetting key abilities, and almost not triggering my feat (thanks again Tony!) was a little disappointing and embarrassing. Also, I plan on keeping my models grouped up a bit more, so they can fill in gaps and work together to take out big threats.
I am really looking forward to week two! I left week one feeling great and had a lot of fun! The worst part of the night was only having enough time for one game. Hopefully I will be able to get at least two in this upcoming week!
Thanks for reading!