Agathon’s first Steamroller

Nothing like a good Steamroller to shake out a pairing and a difficult list. Going in, I felt I understood the assassination run, but I still wasn’t sure what Agathon’s weaknesses are, or what to gaps to fill. Coming out of this tournament, I’m still uncertain. That can only mean one thing. I need more games with the Infernal Master.

The lists

  • Agathon +28
    • Foreboder (4)
    • Foreboder (4)
    • Foreboder (4)
    • Foreboder (4)
    • Tormentor (12)
  • Great Princess Regna Gravnoy (6)
  • Lord Roget d’Vyaros (4)
  • Umbral Guardian (6) (free)
  • Nicia, Hound of the Abyss (4)
  • Saxxon Orrik (4)
  • Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash (5)
  • Hermit of Henge Hold (5)
  • Umbral Guardian (6) (free)
  • The Wretch (4)
  • The Wretch (4)
  • Eilish Garrity, the Occultist (5)
  • Cultist Band (7)
    • Dark Sentinel (2) (free) x3
    • Orin (4)
  • Cultist Band (7)
  • Croe’s Cutthroats (16)
  • Kommander Andrei Malakov
    • Destroyer (13)
    • Destroyer (13)
    • Juggernaut (13)
  • Infernal Gate (12)
  • The Wretch (4) (free)
  • Widowmaker Marksman (3)
  • Nicia, Hound of the Abyss (4) (free)
  • Umbral Guardian (6) (free)
  • Great Princess Regna Gravnoy (6)
  • Croe’s Cutthroats (16)
  • Widowmaker Scouts (7)
  • Howlers (13)
  • Cultist Band (7)

Game 1 – Agathon vs Falcir (Retribution)

We picked up a new player who had set the game aside for a while. He recently came back to it in a casual game format with friends at home. He hadn’t really played 75 points. Honestly, he could have fooled me. Some skills taken from 40k translate well. Warmachine has some differences, particularly with precision, and single attacks vs a dice pool, but overall the placement of models and offensive vs defensive techniques holds true. Our new ret player looks to me like he will prove a difficult opponent once he learns his models. To be fair, a lot of the models he played during this Steamroller were new to him, being on loan from one of the group.

I won the roll-off, and chose sides. I chose the side with the flaming cloud so that my arcnodes could have a place to sit. The foreboders would be protected, and possibly last a turn or two against the ret guns. They would run when needed, and hopefully end the game, so being on fire wouldn’t be an issue.

I made sure to deploy Croe’s on the opposite side as the riflemen. Those rifles have a huge threat, and they’re deadly accurate. I tried after the game to explain how everything I was doing was a direct reaction to how he was playing. This was one of those things. I didn’t want Croe’s to die right away, and the riflemen can absolutely decimate them when close up. More importantly, the colossal terrifies me.

Agathon heads to a crater and stays in it the whole game. Plus four defense vs shooting in a shooty army? Yes. The second turn had me on my back foot. The blasts from the colossal ripped through my infantry. I was smart enough to put a wretch on the Tormenter to give stealth, but dumb enough to cluster way too closely around Agathon. Saxon Orrik became a soul stalker, with the plan being to syphon off the riflemen in turn two, and then drop a bunch of spells in turn three.

The game did not evolve that way. The colossal moved up, and started blasting. The medium based infantry swarmed the right zone. The saving grace for Infernals came in an erroneous placement of Falcir. Really, this game wasn’t going well from my point of view. The only out was assassination, and it would have to be earlier than planned. Yes, the claiming is coming early.

Regna asked one of the medium based elves to kindly go attack Falcir in the back. The spell worked, but the elf missed its master. A foreboder ran through the flames, just out of reach of the long pikes carried by the elves. The hermit handed out Essence, Eilish gave Puppetmaster to Agathon, and Orin’s cultists killed each other. Harmonious exaltation came from d’Vyaros. Agathon feats.

Agathon, through the foreboder, cursed Falcir, then slung spells at him until he died. I did need to use Puppetmaster once, having rolled just under the required attach roll. Orin also spent one soul to make sure a hit did damage, going from a 2,3,2 to a 4,3,5. Falcir died with the final spell, Agathon having no Essence remaining.

This game was close. In the picture above, showing the assassination, we’ve moved some things around, demonstrating how the colossal was preventing a foreboder from moving up to arcnode spells. If Falcir had moved just a little ways behind the rocks, this assassination attempt wouldn’t have occurred. I would have been forced to fight the colossal. If I did, then the strategy would have been to curse the colossal, summon a Desolator, spray the colossal by using ancillary attack from a Wretch, then charging in with the Tormentor. Maybe, the shield guard could have gotten in a weapon master melee attack as well. I don’t know.

Game 2, Haley 2 in Cygnar

Haley brought two Hurricanes to the game, and I (foolishly?) dropped Agathon into the electo-leaping, arc-noding, no-fly-zone nightmare.

I deployed second. This battlefield had squalls, craters and forest. I didn’t want Haley camping in a crater. Going in, the objective was to assassinate. Then I read the Hurricane’s card. It wasn’t like a Glacier King’s 3-inch frozen ground, or like the Dracodile’s 5-inch floodwaters. No. The Hurricane has a 12-inch bubble, where models activating within it lose Flight for a full round.

That’s pretty powerful. You can’t run past this thing. Two of them makes a huge swath of the board a no-fly-zone. That’s 12 inches to either side, plus the almost 5 inches of model. Two of them completely cover the relevant table space. There’s no way through them. That means, my Foreboders have to play with terrain. Where do I park two foreboders? On the forest edge, not realizing they’d basically be stuck there.

At first, I thought I could take on the Stormguard with Croe’s, dropping prey on them. First turn, Agathon summoned a Soul Stalker, and second turn it served as a method of handing souls directly to Agathon. All but one of the stormguard fell to shots from the cutthroats, Nicia, and a couple of well-placed Hellmouths. Even one of the Storm Lances got into the mix, killing one of the other horsemen. I was greedy. Agathon should have probably brought in a Desolator, to help whittle away at a Hurricane.

My opponent played well, keeping Haley out of range of my Foreboders, and repeatedly zapping Agathon’s army with lightning. The Hurricane on the right debated about trampling over Croe’s cutthroats and landing near Agathon, or simply attacking the cutthroats outright. During the discussion, I said that if he trampled, Agathon would cast teleport to avoid getting hit by the Hurricane. The Hurricane instead smashed a bunch of cutthroats individually.

The idea of teleporting lingered in my brain, and I realized that it was possible to sneak out a win. The Hurricane was the last thing activating. It killed the last cutthroat, and Agathon used the opportunity to teleport up-field, into the squall.

On the next turn, Agathon was sitting on 5 souls, and he picked up an extra essence from the hermit. The Tormenter squashed the storm knight solo standing in the way, and Agathon walked past a Storm Lance, taking the hit. This became a feat turn and an assassination run. After only a few spells, Haley fell. She was only camping one focus, and was just inside range after Agathon walked past the Storm Lance.

That was an unexpected win. I think the teleport forward surprised both of us. It’s not a tactic I planned, and now Agathon has a new method of assassinating without Foreboders.

Third and final game – Malakov vs Axis (Convergence)

I think I screwed up by picking Malakov. Axis doesn’t do ranged things, so Malakov’s feat doesn’t help the jacks get up the board. Axis’s feat kind of stops the jacks from being able to attack, since they can’t charge. They also face getting counter-charged if they move back when Malakov feats. It’s a bum deal.

My opponent knows his lists very well, and has practiced into all sorts of infernal lists. So, he wasn’t surprised by anything I did. He played extremely efficiently, taking out most of my cutthroats and forcing my Widowmakers back, off the flags, enabling him to score three points right away. On my turn, I tried to shove his solo off the right flag, and outright killed the solo on the left flag, but the right flag solo stumbled onto the flag, moving nowhere.

During the game, I forgot about countercharge a few times, so that made things difficult. I also jammed up my Howlers, who could have been in front of the warjacks. I don’t know that it mattered, since Axis’s feat was so effective at shutting me down. I couldn’t figure out a way to gain board control or to take out anything I needed to.

Again, my opponent handled this table really well, creating a screen with the clouds, and just keeping my fighting line far back. Had there been an opportunity to lay into his warjacks, I think Malakov could have eaten away at them, but Axis wasn’t allowing it. Very well managed bottom of 3 win by scenario.

We chatted after, and although he seems confident that Agathon wasn’t going to do well, I’m not so sure. I realized later that I could take control of the servitors. That’s good. The explody ones could have been used to blow up a group of servitors, or some solos, or maybe Nemo’s friends. The hunter’s mark one could have been used to increase the threat on my jacks on one turn, provided they charge. At least, I think that’s how it works.

The reason he seemed confident is that he was planning on protecting Axis with a magic static ability from a solo brought in by Nemo, the Frustrum Locus (frustrating locus, am I right?). I suppose he could have also given out the static to Nemo and other modes, having three power tokens on its turn. I have to say, this is an amazing model, having 10 boxes, a good RAT, gunfighter, pathfinder, blessed magic 12″ gun at POW 12, and this ability to do magic static and/or boosted attack/damage rolls. Wait, there’s more! ARM 18 and a dispel on a gun. Wow! For only four points.

I think with the Agathon list, I could have preyed on the servitors, cycling through, and then when he brought in the locus, jumped over to it. That’s assuming any were left. The other plan would be to take control of it, moving it closer so that a Tormentor could kill it. Turns out, Dark Seduction doesn’t have the “living model” discriminator. I always assumed it did, so there you go … read your cards!

Something else that might be funny — taking over Asphyxious or Nemo, and having them attack something. Asphyxious would have had Dark Shroud still, I think. His good MAT and POW 16 (or 18) stick could have killed the little guy on the flag, all while stepping into the caustic mist, near enough for a jack to get ahold of him. Asphyxious might have been under Intensify from Axis’s feat too!

Wish I had thought of these things before!

Bottom line

Overall, a fun, engaging day. Even on the wins, I learned something new, but it’s really the losses where I think I pick up the most knowledge. I would like to try some new things with Agathon. Maybe I’ll skip Croe’s and run maximum cultists, and see how that goes. I haven’t ambushed any, so maybe I should try that. I think I’ll stick with Agathon, and just Iron Man the list until I get the hang of things. I think there might be more options than just assassination, and perhaps he isn’t as dependent on souled armies as I thought.

Me in the orange shirt