Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Gaming Blog: Shooting Blanks

Two games tonight, though the end of the second one should have been resolved differently - it was a Roulette + Puppet Strings interaction, very messy. I played Danny with his gun mage centric Cygnar army and then I played Mark who was using the Coven.

Danny's List:
Lieutenant Allister Caine
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
Long Gunners (9)
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt

I was a bit intimidated by all the shooting things Danny took - I thought I was going to lose the vast majority of my army very quickly. I moved Anastasia far too close to Caine in an effort to learn a secret immediately - I should stop leaving her out in the open to get killed horribly really, Invisibility doesn't stop everything (as the second game demonstrated). The Black 13th were right in front of her so I thought Danny would move one of the Gun Mages next to them up to her then nail them with Fire Beacon - it does no damage and would have meant that he could then blow Anastasia to bits. Instead he just ignored her and ran everything forward to the far side of a small forest near the middle of the board.

My second turn involved my Steelheads moving forward and killing the majority of the Long Gunners, the GMCA and getting into a position to absolutely murder Aiyana, Holt and a unit of Gun Mages. My cavalry hadn't even got to hit anything yet, I was slightly worried that Holt would be able to shoot Ashlynn somehow so I moved the Bokur to block Holt's LOS. I thought about using Roulette, but the majority of his army couldn't see me simply because I'd put down a couple of smoke templates and there was a small forest in the way. It was this turn that Anastasia learned a secret from Caine (he's called Wendy on weekends - OH HO HO, I'm so witty...) Danny ignored Anastasia some more, blew up half my expendable Halberdiers - it's what they're there for, that and Flank. Then he teleported Caine to a spot about 8 inches directly to Gorman's left. I even asked if Danny was absolutely sure he wanted Caine to be there. Twice.

My third turn started with Anastasia running back to Ashlynn's Command range and everyone getting into position to turn Caine into a shish-kebab. Gorman covered Caine in Black Oil, then Lord Rockbottom set Caine on fire. I thought about firing the Mule's Steam Lobber at Caine, but if he got thrown behind some rocks then I would have been boned. Instead I elected to kill Caine the good old fashioned way - by stabbing him with my warcaster. Ashlynn feated, charged, missed(!) with her charge attack, then killed Caine outright with her hand cannon. That hand cannon is a scary business.

Mark's List:
Witch Coven of Garlghast
Mechanithralls (9 or 10) - either these or the Bile Thralls was a full unit, other unit had 9.
*Brute Thrall
Bile Thralls (9 or 10)
Skarlock Thrall
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith

The casualties in this game were horrendous. I killed just about all his infantry except for a couple of Bile Thralls and kept Ashlynn at DEF 19 or better for the most part. Those few Bile Thralls I'd failed to kill managed to purge all over my poor Halberdiers, killing them all. I totally wasted Anastasia by parking her almost directly in front of the Bile Thralls. No prizes for guessing what happened next.

Mark won this in the second turn since Ashlynn was so far forward when he managed to land a critical hit with Stygian Abyss - using Puppet Strings to get a critical even though Roulette was up. We did the interaction of my feat with the spell wrong however. I'll use a nice handy list to show how we did it:

Skarlock casts Puppet Strings on a Witch.
Other two Witches move into position for Perfect Conjunction
Bonejack moves into range of Ashlynn (Roulette up, DEF 19)
Last Witch arcs Stygian Abyss - automatically boosted at Ashlynn
Mark rolls 5 dice
I choose 2 dice to dicard
Mark uses Puppet Strings to reroll the dice he doesn't like

Critical hit with Stygian Abyss
Ashlynn gets hosed.

The two bolded lines are WRONG. You apply the attacker's effects before the defender's. It should have looked like this:

Mark rolls 5 dice
Mark uses Puppet Strings to reroll the dice he doesn't like
- attacker's effect
I choose 2 dice to discard - defender's effect
Ashlynn does the Happy Dance
Ashlynn dies to a triple 6 damage roll
Andy cries

What this means is that while the Coven are very likely to still hit Ashlynn with Puppet Strings up, it's still almost impossible to get a critical hit (they need 4 of a kind or a full house - if you've played Yahtzee you know what I'm talking about) while Roulette was up. This in turn would mean that the next two boosted Stygian Abyss spells were most likely going to miss Ashlynn since Roulette was still in effect.

All this only occurred to me once we'd packed up (with me calling Mark a jammy bastard) and I was watching Jim's game against Ian (the Sorscha player who beat me at the tournament). It's weird what you have an epiphany about while puzzling out how Ian was going to kill Mortenebra. And no, Jim won as usual. Oh well, good to know for next time. Maybe I can have a career as an Infernal...

I've now got confirmation from an Infernal how to resolve this effect - attacker's effect first, then defender's. I'm not sure Devilsquid knows what Puppet Strings does however. The Privateer Press forums broke and were rolled back to Saturday.


  1. I agree, I was horribly jammy. By rights you should have won as I had bugger all left to deal with your cavalry and had generally been playing rather amateurishly all night, I bow my hat to you sir.

  2. Meh, you'd probably have blown Ashlynn to bits next turn instead when Roulette dropped.