-By: Vinny (VP18)

The fires of Menoth burned the scourge of the Trolls from the earth!  The third week of the JML, and unfortunately my last, was a very close defeat for the Trolls, the match being decided by assassination.

My opponent this week was Mark.  His Menoth force was lead by the Warcaster Malekus the Burning Truth commanding two Repenters, a Revenger, and a Castigator.  Malekus also employed a unit of Daughters of the Flame, and Nicia, Tear of Vengeance.  Ragnor had his trusty Impaler, Axer, and Earthborn, with a min unit of Krielstone and min unit of Fellblades joining the slaughter.  A powerful Runebearer agreed to accompany Ragnor as well.

For this battle report, and any future, I felt a different approach would be more helpful to the readers and myself.  Rather than a strict turn by turn report with win/loss result and a minor focus on possible improvements, I want to provide the key events of battle and look at what I should have done, what I did right, and how I executed the overall plan for the list.  That way I can take a closer look at my performance and recognize when a win was due to my own good decisions and not the mistakes of the opponent.

With all that in mind I look at my recent loss.  One of the major contributors was my overall battle plan.  Just as in the previous match, the Earthborn would run up the middle with Ragnor and the Runebearer tucked behind, while the Axer and Impaler flanked.  However I had no plan for the added units of Krielstone and Fennblades, which led to bad decisions the rest of the game.

Another issue was deployment.  First, the objective was placed too close to my opponent’s edge, giving him an advantage.  It was something neither of us caught until late in the game when the PG pointed it out.  Also my own deployment was atrocious.  Even though my opponent went first I managed to line up the Fennblades right in front of his two Repenters.  Plus I placed my Impaler out of my Warlock’s control range and accidentally blocked Ragnor’s path with the Krielstone unit.  Compare that to Mark’s much better deployment of a wall of ‘Jacks with a ‘Caster and units all safely behind and I am off to a poor start.

Errors also popped up in tactics.  Mark sent his Revenger out front, and I took the bait, which tied up the Earthborn and Axer for a couple of rounds while the two Repenters finished off the Fennblades that were sent in piecemeal.  Then the end of the match saw an unsuccessful assassination run because of fury wasted on animus that should have been saved for an extra attack.  And finally not enough fury was camped to save Ragnor in the counter-assassination.

The last issue I wanted to address was rules knowledge.  There were still several rules I got wrong or forgot to use.  The Runebearer cast upkeeps spells the whole game, I never took advantage of the Fennblades’ Vengeance and Toughness, and I did not cast the Earthborn’s animus to prevent the Revenger from pushing it out of melee range.  Moreover, I should have asked more questions about the abilities of my opponent’s forces.  I kept feeling surprised by what his units could do, which made target priority impossible.

Having focused on what I did wrong, I will shift to what was right.  Although it was a failed assassination run, I noticed the opportunity, strategized, and went for it.  The assassination started with Ragnor knocking down the ‘Caster so melee attacks hit automatically, followed up by an Earthborn charge, giving him enough movement to reach the ‘Caster and an extra die on damage.  Also, even though the Fennblades were slowly eliminated, they prevented scoring in the center objective for several rounds, and the Krielstone unit was activated before the ‘Caster so it could gain back the fury it used to buff.  And, just like before, throwing the Earthborn in the center made it a durable target that took out two light and one heavy ‘Jacks.

Evaluating the match overall rather than action by action has helped to pinpoint things.  Before future matches I will definitely take time to think about what each unit should do and how to get them working together.  That initial planning should help to improve my deployments.  Also, keeping Ragnor as the primary caster with little changes to the list keeps things simple and should assist in gaining a better grasp of the rules and information about my opponent’s force.  Another thing to keep in mind is fury management, especially when any ‘Caster or Warlock is in assassination threat range. Undoubtedly there is a ton more I can find to improve on, but these few steps will hopefully produce better deployments, tactics, and a deeper understanding of Warmahordes.

As mentioned in the beginning, this was the last day of the JML for me. The next stop is finding a great gaming group closer to home and get in more games!  I will continue to report my thoughts and progress and work toward that perfect game!

Thanks for reading!