Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Power Progression: MICUP Practice - Morghoul and Company

I finally got back into Gamers Sanctuary on a Friday night for some Hordes / Warmachine. A few of us are practicing for the upcoming Michigan Cup. There was also a Journeyman League going on with dudes playing smaller games.

Before I get started with my report on my practice and thoughts, I want to say that I am amazed at how much this game has grown at Gamers Sanctuary and the amazing job the staff, press gangers, and FCG are doing at attempting to build the game community. HWM has always been a pretty popular game in Michigan, but in the last six months it seems like every time I'm in there we have 20-25 people playing.

This is even with the terrible weather, abundance of game stores running HWM days, and having to endure the Magic crowd. Privateer Press does a great job at supporting the game and it clearly shows with how much people are enjoying it. Get in to GS on a Friday night and have fun.

I've been focusing on pMorghoul, eHexeris, and Xerxis lately. I already have Xerxis down pretty well and I want to learn how to play pMorghoul and eHexeris well too. Morghoul is a pretty great mobility beast caster and Hexy matches up really well against Cryx - these are two things I was really looking for lately.

I had written before that I was fairly worried about using Morghoul. He's really high defense but also very low armor, so if the opponent gets lucky on a dice roll he can die to a swift breeze. I've been trying to dojo this list in my head for pure power and speed:
Master Tormentor Morghoul - WB: +7-    Bronzeback Titan - PC: 10-    Cyclops Brute - PC: 5-    Titan Gladiator - PC: 8-    Bronzeback Titan - PC: 10-    Titan Sentry - PC: 9-    Basilisk Krea - PC: 4Mortitheurge Willbreaker - PC: 2Paingiver Beast Handlers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 2Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer - Tyrant and Standard: 3Agonizer - PC: 2Paingiver Beast Handlers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Originally I had Marketh in there for extra 'Abuse' on a titan but I feel that I should stop playing him in all my lists to practice better. Morghoul likes him for that abuse cast, but eHexeris likes him a lot more for cycles of Black Spot, in my opinion. Xerxis does like him for cycled Fury or upkeeps but not as much as Black Spot for Hexeris.

In his spot I put the TyCom and Standard Bearer. I really like the interaction between Press Forward (+2" on a full advance) and Morghoul. He can move 9" non-linear and attack things, mulch through with overtake and tons of fury, then Sprint back for 9".

A few epiphanies from the latest game:

Morghoul can really mulch infantry. Jason jammed forward a whole unit of fennblades at me and Morghoul killed five or six of them plus a fell caller in one turn. Anatomical precision makes it so you don't have to crack armor. I was worried my beasts would get bogged down but he can walk in (without taking free strikes) and destroy stuff.

Morghoul's feat can be a ballbuster. You can see in the above excellently drawn map that Jason had pushed his fennblades through to jam up my beasts. This could be really bad for me because beasts have to spend really valuable attacks killing cheaper troopers and then open up charge lanes for Jason's beasts to counterstrike, basically trading his fennblades for my beasts. Which would be really bad.

This is roughly what it looked like at the top of turn two. I activated Morghoul, danced up and killed a ton of dudes, then moved back to a protected position and popped my feat. This really hamstrung what Jason could do the next turn. It saved me against his retaliation from beasts because Morghoul's feat says you can't be forced in his control area. I wanted to clear out the zone then shoot off and destroy beasts; instead I sat back for a turn (toed into the zone) and didn't let him force his beasts, which means mine would be safe for the most part.

Jason did end up winning the game on some smart attrition moves and then an assassination, but this setup did help me to understand the feat much better. Against Warmachine I'd probably force up a little bit with Morghoul more so his caster would be in the feat and would have to move back to cast spells.

Two units of paingiver beast handlers is really worth it if you're going super beast heavy. I was able to manage the fury on six beasts really well. You can't double up paingiver 'buffs' each turn, but you can position yourself well and even take a few casualties and not worry about it. You can also use these bros to hit stuff and do anatomical precision, or even add fury to beasts, which is hilarious.

The Krea animus is insane. Not only is it super super awesome in defense (+2 DEF and ARM vs shooting) but it is amazing in close combat for the Krea's buddies because all enemies within 2" receive -2 defense. This allows Morghoul to mulch through really easily and the Krea, beast handlers, Sentry, etc have an easier shot at hitting average defense or things with Iron Flesh.

ADMONITION. I put Admonition (if an enemy moves within 6" of a battlegroup model with Admonition, you can move up to 3" and not take free strikes) on my Sentry near the end of the game. I used it to keep his beasts stopped up in the zone and not charging my back line. HOWEVER, he then used Janissa (double middle finger) to push all my stuff into an easy to conga line and pacman'd me down using Madrak's feat.

If had put Admonition on Morghoul, he could have moved 3" away from the beast that finally made it to him and then been safe. Instead he got hit with an axe in the face and died.

Scenario power against jam is really important. I put my titans in the zone and then destroyed Jason's objective. This was super important because I didn't want to go down 3-0 at the top of turn three. I leveraged my titans and extreme hitting power to take down the fennblades and make sure I was in the fight.

I am going to try some more games with pMorghoul and see how it goes. I have to try out the replacement for Marketh in the TyCom. I think right now as it goes if I'm going against armor skew I can drop either Xerxis or Morghoul because they can both put out tons of damage. VS purification I want to drop Morghoul because he doesn't need upkeeps as much. VS Cryx I would probably drop Morghoul again... or if it is three list definitely Hexeris.

Check back soon to see my thoughts on my eHexeris game.

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