Mohsar Vs. eNemo (50 points)

I arrived at the club and asked who wanted payback today, since that has been one of the most interesting things about starting Circle. I’ve lost to Kriegler who (as far as I can remember) has never won against my Cryx. I’ve lost to Lars who’s in the same position, and if I lost the game last night to Husum it would be a third player to have beaten me with Circle while having lost all games against my Cryx (though Husum has been extremely close several times where I’ve pulled some crazy stunts or dice in the last seconds of the games). Husum didn’t feel the need for revenge but since he kindly agreed to hand my transsexual buttocks anyway (I keep calling the female models “him”, so it’s been decided that all my models are either males or trannies) it was game on.

General Adept Nemo
– Charger
– Charger
– Ironclad
– Ironclad
– Thunderhead
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts)
– Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer
Captain Arlan Strangewayes
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Journeyman Warcaster
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Sylys Wyshnalyrr

That’s a really scary list and a lot like I would have made it. Normally when I see eNemo lists I think “that could have been done better” but not this time. Husum is always good for some interesting games, and the last time we met in a tournament the game went five or six rounds with every turn ending with the other guy going “how the hell am I getting out of this one“, and both of us failing more than one assassination run. I was pretty sure I was going to lose this one going up against a great player with a great list, but soldier on boy!

Mohsar the Desertwalker
– Gorax
– Megalith
– Shadowhorn Satyr
– Shadowhorn Satyr
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
Farrow Bone Grinders (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Farrow Bone Grinders (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Wolves of Orboros (Leader and 5 Grunts)
– Wolf of Orboros Officer & Standard
Blackclad Wayfarer
Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove

Looking back it seems I played the game with 4 points less than I should. Reinforcements was full Wolfriders for me and a Firefly and some Stormblades for him. I won the roll and elected to go first since letting eNemo get all his upkeeps up seemed like a bad idea. In retrospect this gave him the initiative but with the lists being as they were I think going second would have been equally bad.

The Gnarlhorn is standing in for my second Shadowhorn which just arrived. Terrain wasn’t really on my side either but it was an interesting alternative to the standard woods/buildings/linear obstacles we usually play on.

I just ran up and put up Pillars to shield the Wolves from his ranged fire. Megalith put Mirage on the Wolves and Mohsar put up Sunhammer since there were so many Jacks on the table. In his turn he advances and Eiryss shoots Mirage of the Wolves despite them being in cover.Thunderhead gets failsafe, Ironclad at the center gets Polarity shield (really missing those upkeep removal options) and he spreads out.

My turn I have to seize that initiative so I send in the reinforcements after Eiryss. Their prey is the Ironclad on that flank so it’s 10+ to hit but I get in two of them and they have luck so they can reroll, but the best I manage is a nine so she lives (urgh, albeit fair that I missed I could have used that kill). Mohsar goes all in and puts four Pillars up draining himself dry on FURY, I pop my feat which again has no effect on anything, Megalith pops Undergrowth and puts a stop to the two heavies and I line up the Shadowhorns to threaten a kill if he advances even slightly. Nyss moves up to threaten free strikes on Thunderhead and the infantry try shielding Mohsar. I know his two chargers are really dangerous, but I would need to camp at least three FURY to survive them if he manages to make a hole anyway.

Gun Mages Thunderbolt my heavies out of the way. Eiryss shoots Undergrowth of Megalith (man I could have used that kill), Arlan makes the Thunderhead immune to free strikes and with Energizer he comes in range of Mohsar and the electrical inferno kills him. Had this been a tournament game I wouldn’t have lost there since my opponent mistakenly though he could advance the other models with energizer after shooting with eNemo, but if I had killed Eiryss it wouldn’t have worked either because the Thunderhead wouldn’t have had the range to pulse because of Undergrowth, and Mohsars infantry shield would have held. As always I feel like my games with Circle are decided by a single dice roll and I don’t like it, not one bit.

Aftermath

It always takes me a couple of minutes to get over losing (not that I rage or smash things, I just need to run things through in my head to see what I could have done differently), but I had a good talk with the guys since we had quite a few spectators and they had some interesting input. Søren from the club said to me “it’s because you started out with the really hard Warlocks, and you’d be losing if you began playing Cryx with Coven as well” but I don’t think that really illustrates why I’m having trouble.

I did play some Coven when I began with Cryx, and I did lose some games, but I never felt like they were decided by one roll of the dice. When I had my few games with Coven I won about half of them, and when I lost it was because I made several serious mistakes, but every game with Circle feels like even the slightest mistake takes me out of the game, and even one poor roll of the dice does the same, and that’s not good for someone who wins by designing lists that can’t lose.

Roar and I talked about Kromac as well, since he has a Circle project running and read some of the same things I did. He’d also come to the conclusion that Kromac might be the Warlock for me, and that sometimes you just have to accept that everybody has a way they play that works for them.

I’ve been thinking along the same lines but I have a hard time accepting that I can be one of the best players in Denmark, go up against some of the best players internationally and at least stand a chance or even win, but when I switch to a different faction… clusterfuck failure on a catastrophic level.

Still, I made a deal with myself and I think I can paint up a cookie cutter Skillt based Kromac list in time for the Danish Masters, so we’ll see how that goes (though even that list has some really bad match-ups as detailed here by Skillt).

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23 Responses »

  1. Kromac the Ravenous
    – Gorax
    – Ghetorix
    – Shadowhorn Satyr
    – Shadowhorn Satyr
    – Warpwolf Stalker
    Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers
    Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers
    Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt)
    Druid Wilder
    Gallows Grove
    Gallows Grove

    I know Skillts version has Shifting Stones and a Feral but I want to use my two Shadowhorns and the Shifting Stones were the only points I could free up.

    • Shadowhorns should be great fun with Kromac. Warpath gives them a crazy threat range for those doublehanded throws and whatnot. I would miss my trusty Gnarlhorn, though. Not only for the additional charge range but for the great warpath+grand slam thingy. Should I venture into Kromac at some point (which would require a heavily modded beast form model as its, mm, less than ideal), I’d look at something like Gorax, Pureblood, Ghettofix, Gnarlhorn, Shadowhorn, I think.

      R

      • I’m a bit worried about ranged assassinations in this list though, because how do you deal with simply getting shot? (staying out of range seems problematic)

        I think maybe some of the problems I’m having is because I’ve never been up against a Circle player that really made the faction shine, while when I began Cryx I had several oracles to leech and build on.

        I’ve watched video battle reports but it’s not really the same when you can’t ask the player for a nuanced description of why he decided on that particular course of action, and I’ve yet to find a great Circle player that also knows how to explain what he does well.

        • Getting shot is Kromacs Achilles heal. Lylyth2 isnt going to be fun :). Including a Guardian would solve the problem, but it is rather expensive. The guardian gains some movement from war path to be sure, but it’s still slow.

          • I thought about it but then something of the support would have to go and the Guardian seems to like Shifting Stones as well (no other way of healing him, speed issues like you say), so it would mean moving the Shadowhorns out.

            I also thought about our friend the Woldwatcher but five points for the ability to take one hit isn’t going to cut it. The list doesn’t have upkeep removal either which I guess is because of Bestial, but that won’t help with removing enemy upkeep spells.

            Oooh the horror of designing Hordes lists, gimme back my candy store of tools and solutions, casters that all have defensive options they’ll never need, and a list that supports infantry like it’s supposed to :D

  2. Cryx is really a blighted candy shop, isn’t it?

    Enemy offensive upkeeps is a non issue, as you say. Defensive upkeeps is my reason to include the pureblood – that and the really nice easy-to-position-with-warparth-infantry-clearing spray. Primal is nice and all, especially as it’s on a 4 point beast with 4 fury, but the frenzy part is really annoying if your not assassinating. Against most heavy targets with an ARM buff (really your biggest problem concerning upkeeps) the wraithbane is equal or better than Primal.

    • My main problem is that while I could include the Pureblood his Animus takes up the Animus slot, which means I can’t have both Wraithbane and Primal/Lightning Strike, and that blocks a ton of options.

      Can I kill that Arcane Shielded Stormclad?
      Yes, but I can’t get away afterwards with sprint so it’s a trade instead of a free kill.

      Can I kill the Arcane Shielded Colossal?
      No, because I need Primal to do it as well.

      Can I kill the WG Deathstar with my Stalker?
      Yes, but again I can’t escape when I’ve done it and I only killed perhaps half the unit which means he gains from that trade.

      The list of options I block when using the Animus to ignore upkeep spells is huge, but I must admit that I love the option to Warp Ghostly.

  3. I was watching Battle Reports again when I realized that every time we talk about problems with Circle the solution is to include a 8-11 point model.

    I get shot a lot:
    – Bring a 9 point Wold Guardian.

    There are enemy upkeeps:
    – Bring a 9 point Pureblood.

    I have activation sequence problems:
    – Bring a 9-11 point Geomancer.

    I have threat range problems:
    – Bring an 8 point Gnarlhorn.

    All their solutions are on expensive platforms which makes it impossible to cover even half of the problems. It would be possible if we didn’t have the FURY mechanic, since there are solutions elsewhere (Bloodweavers, Druids, Wayfarers, etc.) but there are no points available to include them all because the FURY machine needs to be fed.

    Cryx is indeed a blighted candy store, and every solution they have is on a cheap chassis (2-6 points) which allows a list to include counters to everything, and because most lists work well without heavies there’s plenty of points to go around :)

  4. Always a great read :)

    Feeding the fury mechanic is also the reason why I never play Circle at anything below 50 pts. Usually when I design circle lists I end up with 10 pts for support after having included the beasts I want in my lists. This is not only due to the fact that we lack in the light beast department, but also because of the reasons you have stated. You want to alphastrike in a circle list, you bring the Gnarlhorn, but you also need to hard hitting power, you bring Ghetorix/Stalker etc. etc.

    This is the reason why I very rarely venture outside my comfortzones with regards to warlocks. I simply have a hard time designing lists that has taken everything into account.

    I had a win with Mohsar last night, but this was only because Kriegler forgot that I could double shift my Stalker and he had perhaps placed Haley a bit forward. This won’t work next time :)

    I’ll post my list here (not something I had theorymachine’d a whole lot, but pretty much just what I threw together), since it is a lot different to your list. Feel free to comment on it :)

    Mohsar
    – Megalith
    – Pureblood
    – Stalker
    10 Bloodtrackers
    6 Bloodweavers
    Shifting Stones
    – Stone Keeper
    Shifting Stones
    Blackclad Wayfarer
    Blackclad Wayfarer
    Ravager Whitemane

    In hindsight I’d remove the whitemane, add Nuala and a Gallows Groves (but I don’t have those figs yet). Megalith and Pureblood didn’t really get to do anything since the game was over after my 2nd turn. Megalith is expensive so I am not sure about him yet, but he is a great maltreatment target if he is in the list. Pureblood usually always perform when I bring him, but I am not sure he’s for Mohsar. I guess more games will shed some light on that.

    • This looks a lot like my original Mohsar list which did alright but not stellar. Megalith is by far the best performing heavy I’ve had with Mohsar and if I’d killed Eiryss in this game he would probably have saved Mohsar from dying. The few wins I did get with Mohsar back before I began grinding Terminus was mostly due to Megalith.

      As you said the double shift won’t work next time, and the “I charge you from a kazillion miles away” shtick also only works once. In nine out of ten battle reports I see Circle win it’s either people falling for the double shift or “I hit defense 16 with MAT 5 three times in a row” lucky wins.

      Ah well, next time it’s Kromacs turn to die, and when I’m all done getting all the Circle Warlocks killed I can invade the forests without any trouble fielding Cryx! It’s a master plan!

      • Kromac the Ravenous
        – Gorax
        – Ghetorix
        – Shadowhorn Satyr
        – Warpwolf Stalker
        Druids of Orboros (Leader and 5 Grunts)
        – Druid of Orboros Overseer
        Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers
        Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers
        Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt)
        Gallows Grove
        Gallows Grove

        If I keep some Druids handy to shield Kromac from ranged attacks, keep up Bestial and push counter magic up ahead, then go on the offense with the rest of the list it might work, and unlike most Circle casters Kromac can finish the job himself half the time.

  5. Nine points of druids seem wasted in a kromac list just to put a cloud on him that legion will ignore anyway. Swamp gobbers perhaps?

    Plus, I know you keep saying that Circle’s movement tricks are easy to see coming, but really – everyone’s are, but you still have to spend activations to kill stones, and when one set are stealthed… I’ve really enjoyed all of your cryx articles, but reading your Circle stuff feels so awkward. Sure, circle have a high learning curve, but you seem to be avoiding the utility they do have. There’s a reason the top circle players have their first five points in full shifting stones. If you need to free up activation, a wilder helps with animi at a much cheaper cost then a geomancer… I appreciate that you like the side-choices before the well-trodden paths with your cryx – but dude, give this new faction a chance before tying your hands behind your back. I wanna see you rock denmark with these sticks’n’stones, get out there and do us proud :-)

    • Point taken, and if you think it feels awkward for you… :D

      I have to rethink everything, every trick I use, every move I make, and maybe trying to move off the beaten path requires me to know where the frigging path is in the first place.

      Kromac cookie cutter list it is then!

      • Skillt also mentions having Kromac far up field versus a shooty list and then when his beasts are done with killing and sprinting he shifts him back to safety. Rinse repeat.

        I have only 1 game with Kromac under my belt and can give you absolutely no advice other than repeating what I’ve read on the internet :)

    • Oh one small correction. The druids were not meant to be nine points to put a cloud on Kromac, but nine points to put clouds around him and there’s a big difference. A cloud on Kromac gives him defense 17, while clouds around him makes it impossible to see him unless you ignore them.

      The second function of the Druids was supposed to be opening lanes by pulling models out of them, and if possible pulling a target within range. The last option was the ability to avoid debuffs in the first round where casting bestial is problematic.

      Druids would also allow me to increase the defense and activate prowl several places on the table instead of relying on terrain or one unit of Swamp Gobbers, so while Druids might not be worth it they were not just there to put a cloud on Kromac ;)

  6. I’ve been talking to Skillt and he’s agreed to try and beat some sense into my thick skull. Step number one is to stop experimenting and start bringing Shifting Stones again, then learning to abuse Sprint and taking it from there, so come Monday it’s Kromac Cookie Cutter time.

  7. Yay! Looking forward to the next battle rep with Circle as victors ! :)

  8. It’s very rewarding in some odd way, to read about your progress with Circle. I don’t really know much of the stuff your talking about, but reading about it is still very interesting :)

    • Even with Skillt to tell me where I go wrong there’s no guarantee that I’ll ever get this working, but if nothing else I’ve gained a new respect for people that manage to put up a fight with Circle, and when people call Cryx glass cannons I can now laugh at their ignorance :D

  9. I just realized what your problem is. In one of the above pictures I can see a Games Workshop dice tin. Now, that’s just asking for trouble ! :)

    • My GW dice usually rape face though, and my friends still remember “The Blood Red Moped Baron” who was a cheap Warhammer 40.000 Ork Warboss on a bike, who made 15 consecutive Invulnerable saves on 5+ and wiped out an entire army on his own.

      In Warmachine they usually intervene when I’m about to lose and make three consecutive tough checks, or roll than 16+ on 3d6 when I need it, so no badmouthing the GW dice, they just don’t like Circle :D

      • Well if it’s like everything else GW produces it’ll be like, yeah you can use regular dice, but if you buy ours, you’ll roll better. Sort of like, sure you can copy the templates in the rulebook, but if you buy ours, they’re a little bit bigger ! :)

        Luckily I have Circle dice that rape face.

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