Today few of my friends visited for some Warmachine madness. I played one game with Hannu who plays Cryx. We rolled throwdown for scenario and he won the roll for starting player. I'm going to tell what happened, as it got kinda weird. :)
When we deployed, I knew it was going to be a hard game. He had Bane Thrall bomb with tartarus, eGhaspy and one cheap melee warjack. I had pFeora, min unit of cleansers, min choir, Reckoner and Crusader. He set up with Ghaspy and his jack on one flank, Banethralls kind of in the middle with tartarus. I deployed cleansers on the left flank and everything else to the right flank. My plan was to run and grab one objective with everything else and keep the other with cleansers. I knew that he would not run Tartarus or Bane Thralls to take that objective as Cleansers have those nasty flame throwers and he would have only one target there to kill. In his first turn he ran everything closer to the objective on my right. That is when I knew that I have the left objective and my plan was to just commit everything to hold that other one in round three. I went closer, Feora did not run as she cast Fire Wall to hamper movement of the thralls. Next turn he ran closer to the objective and covered his forces with cloud effects.
I took position and used fire wall to stop his thralls from charging. I had to leave reckoner open to charge from his jack as I knew that objective was my biggest chance for winning. His next turn he ran everything close to the objective, charged and hurt my Reckoner really bad with his jack. Ghaspy threw clouds. After his movement I noticed that I calculated his movement wrong. He had enough Thralls close to objective and in such positions that killing them and his jack on the objective would be really difficult. That's when I came up with a crazy plan. My plan was to throw Feora with Crusader, get up with one focus, cast engine of destruction and unleash a can of whoop-ass on Ghaspy! I couldn't charge him because of his spell, but with 8 spd, I figured that I could reach him.
I then threw Feora. Rolled for scatter. Rolled straight back to Crusader! Dang, it was so close! But I did not throw the towel in. She has two flame throwers and I had some focus on me. Flamed on, hit him with first flamethrower. Rolled triple sixes for damage! Then I rolled the next flamethrower and sadly, missed. But he was still on fire. On the opponents turn, he rolled that the fire kept on burning. I rolled for damage. He was left with ONE box! I came so close! Obviously he would have been on trouble if I had reached close combat, but when you take a risk, it's no use to go "if....". He brutally murdered Feora on his turn, obviously.
It was a risky move, but it came so close. I could have just moved crusader in and cast Blazing Effigy on him to kill those banes. But then I would have had only two focus for Feora and Reckoner to kill that slayer. I could have also murdered slayer with my two jacks and flamed those thralls, but I don't think I had the chance to move to such a position that feora would have catched all contesting thralls with her flamers. I thought it would be tons more fun to try this and I think that plan had almost the same chance of success.
I could have left that objective and retreated, but I already made a huge investment to hold the other objective with cleansers and I knew that he would just murder me with thralls and then his feat on the other corner. Cleansers would have not been fast enough to reach combat anymore, especially when he could just cast his clouds to hamper their movement.
eGhaspy and thralls are really nasty, but I welcome the challenge. The hardest part of it is that I don't see any glaring weaknesses that I could focus on. Obviously he doesn't have much room for shooting, but with the clouds and stealth as a delivery system, he rarely needs any. One local player is getting little frustrated with them and even I kinda hope that Hannu does not use them in every game he plays in our slow grow-challenge. ;)
But like I said, it's a welcome challenge.
Edit/ DarkLegacy corrected me on the rules for shaking knockdown, you can do it in the control phase only. That made the Feora assassination attempt an illegal move as I used a focus to shake her knockdown on her activation phase. I had misunderstood the rule. I'll remember that in the future, thank you for the correction!