It’s looking like Thursday night is Educating Shiny night from here ’til Yuletide, since Citizen Von here has had his day off restored by a kind and loving education system. We decided to celebrate with a spot of swimming (we’re both fat buggers and determined to be less fat buggers by the end of the year) and a slightly longer spot of Warmachine. The objective here was to teach Herr Doktor the mechanics of wrangling infantry and solos: since we don’t own any Khador infantry or solos, I lent him Gorman di Wulfe and six Nyss Hunters (felt vaguely appropriate for Khador). Meanwhile, I loaded up on a full unit of Mechanithralls and a Brute Thrall (and wished I hadn’t, but more on this later).
This was a slow, slow game. I’m not sure why 20 points took us the best part of three hours: maybe because Shiny’s still new and we were stopping to discuss options, maybe because we went off topic, maybe because time and space actually distorted briefly this Thursday night. All I know is that we started at half six and looked up and it was half nine and we still hadn’t had any pizza.
Shiny’s learning fast. His rather more cautious creep down the table was rewarded by some excellent shooting stripping out half the Mechanithralls and his Destroyer taking a chunk out of the Slayer with its bombard (including the cortex. Blast his eyes.) For some inexplicable reason I decided that the most sensible use of the Mechanithralls at this point was ‘run forward and chaff up the table while I got my arc nodes sorted’ (rather than ‘stand there and get shot’, which was the other option presenting itself), which rapidly turned into ‘get frozen by Sorscha’s feat and trampled into Mechanithrall chunks by the Juggernaut’.
I tried to finish things off with Deneghra’s feat, some well-placed slams and a charge on Gorman, and did manage to buy myself a turn of comedy with Shiny’s ‘jacks both flat on their iron arses and only one Nyss Hunter operating at full efficiency (unfortunately one’s enough to lead a CRA and shoot my Defiler’s gun off). The surviving Mechanithralls and the Slayer piled onto the Juggernaut after Deneghra had failed to Shadow Bind it and didn’t quite finish it off, so it lurched forward, ate a free strike from the Mechanithrall leader and chopped Deneghra in two. I maintain that it’s sheer bad luck that actually cost me the ‘caster kill (three on two dice = not of the best), but it frankly shouldn’t have come to the point where Deneghra was that close to the Juggernaut, and I was disgusted with how I managed to waste my Mechanithralls and block my own arc nodes’ lines of sight with the Brute Thrall.
From this game we discovered that Shiny rather likes those ranged infantry, and that the ‘jacks are growing on him, but he’s still troubled by Sorscha’s six focus (he tried to cast Freezing Grip on one of my nodes so the Nyss could absolutely rip it a new one, but missed; ‘four focus wasted!’ quoth he, and seemed unhappy about the prospect of needing five to make it go). I suspect he’ll be happier with a 7 FOC ‘caster and recommended the Old Witch (he plays quite a good cautious game and I think he’d benefit from the Old Witch’s control capacity). I’ve also recommended that he pick up either a Koldun Lord or Kovnik to run one of his ‘jacks (the Koldun’s my favourite, mainly because he can hand out a focus point to his ‘jack and allow it to make a power attack if it needs to), a Ternion and some Assault Kommandos and/or Widowmakers (or the Winterguard Rifle Corps when they come out).
For his part, Shiny thinks I might actually be happier playing Khador, citing the lower model count of his army and the muddle I got into with my infantry. He might be right. I’ve noticed that I can play the battle box games with surgical cruelty, but that I start making appalling positioning/threat range/engagement errors when I start trying to play with infantry. Whether that’s because I’m too thick to handle sixteen pieces at once or because I just haven’t been on form this week (or at the last tournament I played in, where many similar mistakes were made) is currently beyond my ken.
Next time, I think I’m going to try expanding the Cryx battle box through solos and see if the smaller number of pieces proves less of a brain-buster. Failing that, well, I admit I’ve always been rather tempted by Zerkova…
Big hello to the Iron Agenda readers, by the way!