Pre Game Amble
There isn't much in the way of amble for this game, I wanted a game and our henchman was visiting a local club, so 2+2 and all that.
I should say this is written two weeks after the event, something I blame on the torrent of mince pies over the Xmas period. Details might be a bit sketchy but this battle is one of my closest and most tactically challenging games of last year and so deserves a write up.
Strategies and Schemes
30ss - Shared Claim Jump
Liam - Holdout (announced), Kill Protégée (announced)
Me - Holdout (not announced), Eye for an Eye (announced)
2 Crooked Men
2 Night Terrors
Pre Game Theory
Pre game theory was light. I've faced the Ortegas a couple of times but never against Liam, so I didn't know what his build was going to be. I'd decided night terrors were in if it was an objective mission and I wanted to return some fire with my crooked men. I figured having a carrion effigy might allow me to make some healing flips if required and the extra blast weapon might come in handy.
Turn 1 saw us hug the alleys that make up the majority of this board. Liam advanced down a diagonal alley that gave him a lot of cover, leaving the majority of his minions within a double walk of the objective. I'd setup in the ruins of two old townhouses and I was reluctant to move, figuring I'd hug the cover for a few turns before trying to breakthrough, I did advance my crooked men but was sure to keep them behind the rubble of another building that broadly approached the objective. My night terrors and effigy advanced along an alley that ran parallel to the objective, their purpose unclear, but I knew with their spirit and flight abilities they could come out of hiding if required.
Seamus shot the dog, charged the dog and still couldn't kill it! Flipping the black joker for damage with the flintlock really didn't help. No dead doxy for me this turn!
Liam won the initiative and opted to double walk Francisco towards the alley containing my night terrors and effigy. I had a feeling he was trying to use him as a lure, and was reluctant to commit my objective grabbers to the fight so early. I moved up my belle, to see what he did next, opting to keep my entire crew in as much cover as possible.
When the exorcist made a similar move, I could see my night terrors getting mobbed if they charged Francisco or attempted to move beyond the alley, so I partly pulled them back to take them out of shooting range, in case he chose to round the head of that alley next turn.
The second crooked man advanced further into the ruins, using a height 1 wall for cover. He took a couple of shots from Perdita but was thankfully only hit for two wounds.
Seamus finally killed the dog, although at this point it had cost him 4 AP's, and promptly converted it into a dead doxy, I figured the firepower might come in handy, as might her ridiculous charge length.
As turn two ended we realised the large amount of cover on this board was going to be a problem for both crews.
I won the initiative and opted to double walk my belle to a ruin directly opposite where the Ortegas were huddled, figuring she'd be safe and could potentially lure my crew into positions as required. It turned out to be a huge mistake, I hadn't seen a door and Santana shot and killed my belle in very quick order. I played three cover moves with the terrors and effigy, keeping Liam guessing as to their purpose, to see what he'd do next and was horrified when Perdita stuck her nose out of cover and felled one of my crooked men before calmly walking back behind the wall. Damn she is good with her critical strikes!
Above - all that remains of a killer shot, through a doorway and over two ruined walls, my poor Miss Peaches.
The exorcist doubled back towards the Ortegas and the Death Marshall moved up towards the objective, giving me a chance to score a couple of wounds on him with my second crooked man. Francisco hunkered down in the ruins and took a couple of pot shots at the crooked man but thankfully the cover saved him from all but a couple of wounds.
I had Seamus move up and summon miss peaches back, and in an effort to draw fire put her in front of a badly exposed Seamus.
Liam won the initiative and in quite a nifty first move, killed Peaches again and moved up his Exorcist and performed last rights on two corpse counters, leaving Seamus without any immediate backup. Thankfully when measuring one of the counters was out of range, but would mean Seamus had to double back if he was going to use it.
Instead I pulled the carrion effigy over and used the counter to perform a healing flip on Seamus. A bold move that left the effigy relatively exposed, with little cover to protect him. Given Liam had taken kill protégée on the effigy, it was like a red rag to a bull, but I needed the manauver to keep Seamus in the game.
My night terrors choose that moment to make a run for Liam's deployment zone. I figured Liam would have to divert his attention to deal with this new threat and if I was lucky one spirit would be intact enough for me to make it into his deployment zone.
Instead Liam hunkered down and fired on the effigy, which miraculously survived, but then went on to send the dead doxy into an early grave with fire from Francisco. This left Seamus all on his lonesome, facing down Perdita, an exorcist, a death Marshall and Santana, with Francisco probably in range as well!
I won the initiative and whilst over two activations Liam circled the Ortegas around the objective, my night terrors found themselves untroubled as they fled into Liam's deployment zone and denied him 2VPs for holdout.
Seamus charged the badly injured Death Marshall, killed him and got a few wounds in on the exorcist. This brought him back to full health but I was under no illusions about him surviving two rounds of combat against that many family members. The wall of Ortegas did some serious damage to Seamus and kept me from the objective. The absence of counters made summoning onto the objective impossible and sealed the game, as we'd run out of time.
4-3 loss to me.
Liam got claim jump uncontested but didn't get off either of his schemes.
I got eye for a eye and holdout off, but I hadn't announced holdout so only 3 VPs for me.
Sum up & Lesson Learnt
On the whole that didn't go to badly. It's probably good that it ended when it did otherwise the result would have slid to a 6-0 for me. I'm pretty sure Seamus couldn't have survived a turn with 5 heavily armed Guild bearing down on him and the carrion effigy would almost certainly have died.
I was gutted to have lost four models to some crack shooting with very little in return and when the exorcist performed last rights on their remains I got very worried.
The night terrors did their job, denying Liam his holdout, its a pity I didn't take breakthrough.
The canine remains cost Seamus two activations to kill, which is just stupid. I'm giving some serious thought towards breaking my no mercenaries rule at this point and taking a desperate merc over a dog in the future.
I only took the scheme 'eye for an eye' to try it out and it's only because we wrapped up early that it didn't come back to bite me. Another turn and there is no way we would have had anywhere near the same model count!
As I reflect though, a 4-3 loss to a henchman isn't a bad effort and my only real mistake was believing the cover would save my crew from
that much gun fire. I should learn to stay in the cover of darkness more, and strike from the shadows, and I definitely need to re-read the terrain rules.