Monday, October 17, 2011

Battle Report - aSonnia vs Pandora - The Revenge!

One of the benefits to my job is I have days when things are slower and I can work from my iPad and iPhone. These opportunities have been very rare lately, so when it looked like such a day on Friday, I jumped at the chance to grab my bag of models and head over to Huzzah Hobbies. eChris also has a job that gives him a flexible schedule, so we were able to meet up and get a game in. Apparently he felt Pandora deserved a little bit of revenge after our Tuesday game, so she came out with one of eChris's full on tournament lists.

So, the board was set-up and we flipped for a Shared Reconnoiter. I knew eChris was bringing out Neverborn, and caught sight of him pulling out his tourney crew. I was wondering how aSonnia would run vs his very hard Pandora tournament list, so decided to put her to a harder test and give 'Dora a chance for revenge. Reconnoiter is one of my least favorite strategies, but I thought that Sonnia would work well on this mission as Violation of Magic could spit out significant Witchling Stalkers. I started with a fairly straight forward list and then became stuck on the last couple points. I made a last minute decision to drop my starting Witchling Stalker, pop in two guild hounds, and go with 6 soul stones.

Our Board

My Crew:
Sonnia Criid -- 6 Pool
+ Sonnia, Avatar of Conflagration [2ss]
Desperate Mercenary [2ss]
Desperate Mercenary [2ss]
Guardian [7ss]
Guild Hound [3ss]
Guild Hound [3ss]
Santiago Ortega [7ss]
Watcher [3ss]

eChris's Crew:
Pandora -- 6 Pool
Primordial Magic [2ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Insidious Madness [4ss]
Stitched Together [5ss]
Stitched Together [5ss]
Stitched Together [5ss]

Now it was down to selecting Schemes. I went through my list and settled on Breakthrough and Exterminate Spirits. I figured I had a really good chance to take out the three insidious madness plus the primordial magic so exterminate should not be too tough. I also figured I could camp out with my watcher and then shoot down the board to grab breakthrough. I announced both schemes. eChris took Spread Madness and did not announce the other, leading me to believe he took Kidnap. No surprise that I was correct here. I figured it would be tough for him to kill Sonnia or aSonnia with casting  Self Loathing on her, but it would be interesting to see how he pulled it off. We both deployed and flipped initiative for the start of the game.

Turn 1
I claimed initiative on turn 1 with a red joker flip. This was certainly not the time I wanted to see the Red Joker, but I tried to make use of it. I started out with the guardian trying to cast protect on Santiago. The flipped card failed to cast, and while I had a card in hand (an 11) that could cast the spell I really did not want to burn off a high card early. I tried again to cast protect and again the guardian failed. Not good tidings for the turn. Through the turn, I moved forward to get in position, tracking against eChris's cautious move forward. eChris was moving up and screening the board with Creepy Fog from the Stitched Together, keeping my LOS blocked to his crew. I finally activated Sonnia and moved forward, intending to put up a fire wall  to screen one approach vs Pandora, and cast inferno. I ended up black jokering the Inferno cast, leaving turn 1 a great disappointment. eChris finnished up the turn with casting Dementia on Pandora and scooting across the board from his deployment zone (my right hand side) to the left side of my crew. At the end of the turn the guardian snapped to the Desperate Mercenary with Overprotective, aiming to get close to Pandora is possible, but still be within 3 inches of both Santiago and Sonnia. Board positioning at the end of turn 1 was as such:

Turn 2
Turn 2 I grabbed initiative again and had a charge lane open straight at Pandora. I decided to try my luck and declared the charge. In the opposed WP duel, Pandora won and shut down Sonnia's charge. I In return I put up a wall of fire to block the approach on that side of the board and put inferno up. Pandora kicked off her turn with a chain of pacify hitting a couple models, then she used two self loathings to make the Watcher run off the side of the board. The Guardian protected Santiago, female desperate merc moved and tried to take a shot at Pandora, failed, and brought herself down another wound (2 remaining). Pandora pushed back behind a building out of sight to stop the second uncontrolled shot. My dogs moved forward, cautiously, to get in position to go after a madness next turn, and Santiago went defensive stance and held his ground (he had taken 1 wd from Pandora). eChris positioned some more, coming forward with his Stitched, hiding a Madness behind a house on my right, bringing out his primordial magic. The last move, which I found very smart, was to move a madness forward on the left and take a shot at Pandora. Pandora won the WP duel to resist the shot and pushed back around the house to start next turn in sight of my crew. At the end of the turn, Sonnia hurt the male desperate merc and Santiago with inferno and the guardian snapped around onto Santiago to make a move on the Stitched next turn.

Turn 3
I won initiative for turn 3, the turn when things got ugly. Sonnia was facing two Stitched together in front of her, and then had another ST and the totem in a line behind. I knew I could reach them with my double blast, and I had a severe in hand. I activated Sonnia, burned a stone for Confiscated Lore, and let loose with a fireball. One stitched was behind a wall while the other was in the open, so I let loose with a fireball onto the stitched not in cover. Flipped, stoned, and the resist leaves me with a straight flip. I flip straight and get moderate damage, cheat to severe to drop 3 blasts but more important to do 3 damage on the blasts. First blast does 5 damage to the darker Stitched, 3 to the rear stitched, and kills the totem. I know I need to violate the mercenary or Pandora is going to scoot around the corner and ping him dead, so I launch that spell next, bringing out a witchling stalker in the house and engaged with the Madness just outside the window. With my last AP I place a set of fire walls between the stitched together and my crew. eChris activates Pandora and starts pacifying models. First pacify kills the female mercenary, second pacify hits the Guardian, third hits Sonnia. Pandora uses self loathing on one of the dogs, doing damage, walks once to get LOS, then pacifies Santiago and passes her third action. I have a witchling stalker and two dogs to activate outside of pacify. I activate the dogs in companion and move the first over next to the madness on the far right of the board (I did not have LOS to charge) and the "front" dog moved with his free walk then charged the madness, missing the attack due to the negative flip.  eChris brings activates his madness next to the stalker, puts up the neg-WP bubble, and moves inside the house next to the stalker. The Stalker activates and kills the Madness, and puts up his neg-cast bubble. Stitched in the rear activates, walks forward next to his closer stitched. Guardian activates, heals himself, and shifts around to block LOS next turn between the Stitched and Sonnia. The other stitched activate and do some gambling with Santiago, lose Gambler, and position for turn 4.

Turn 4
Turn 4 was the single most important turn in the whole game. I started turn 4 with one manifestation requirement met and the ability to manifest for 1ap. We flipped initiative and I was able to grab initiative again. I planned out my turn and started with Sonnia. Sonnia manifested, replaced with aSonnia and putting the Madness beside the building within melee range (along with Pandora). I had a completely crap hand (nothing above a 5, 3 books) but started with Light em Up on the Stitched. I failed to cast the spell, but wanted to save my stones for the next spells. Second was to place two pyres, which successfully cast, placed in range to push onto the two Stitched standing next to each other. That was 2 casts (Casting Master) down, so I followed up with 1AP to push one pyre positioned in base to base with both Stitched behind the wall. My last action was to use my (0) to cast Searing Wave and use a soul stone to push the spell to be irresistable by everything. I had the trigger on the Ram and flipped 4 damage for damage. This put 3 wounds onto Pandora, killed the nearby Madness, put the darker Stitched on Does not Die, and pushed one of the other Stitched to does not die and hurt the third. Essentially all three stitched together would be sacrificed at the end of the turn. eChris activated his madness, put up the neg wp bubble, and activated terrifying. I activated the guardian, healed, and moved toward engaging Pandora, failing to swing at her. Pandora activated and pacified the Guardian and Santiago, pushing around to hide from aSonnia behind a house. I activated my first dog, failed the terrifying check, and ran to the board edge. The first stitched activated, gambled with aSonnia and failed, then gambled her life and failed. His last Gamble your life succeeded after I burned my last soulstone for a tie, then flipped the red joker on the double negative flip and followed up with another severe. That took aSonnia off the table and turned the game. The second dog failed his terrifying check and ran to the board edge, the second stitched started in on the guardian, killing him, the Stalker came out of the house and walked forward, Third Stitched tried its hand at Santiago but was unable to break through his stubborn WP. Reactivating the Stitched killed off the Stalker and Santiago ran down to hide on the far side of the house that Pandora was on. At the end of the turn the three Stitched sacrificed and Pandora chose to take the wound instead of going slow.

Turn 5
I needed initiative and the right card for this turn to swing in my favor, and thus the game swing in my favor. If I was able to grab initiative again and had a 10 in hand I could get off Leadstorm, putting 4 damage on Pandora remaining 3 and forcing her to use her last soulstone to try and survive. I drew my hand and had an 11, 13, 10, and three other cards in hand. I had the hand, no I needed the initiative. eChris and I flipped initiative and my deck punished me for earlier initiatives by serving up the black joker. Damn. eChris started with Pandora, Walking once to get LOS, Pacifying to push closer to the dogs, keep LOS, and bring Santiago down to Hard to Kill (1 wound remaining). He then hit Santiago with Self Loathing, punching through his stubborn WP, followed up by pinging the dog who was already at 1 wd remaining and killing it, then casting self loathing on the remaining dog and running it off the board with his trigger. His last action was for the madness to speed up the board to grab a second table quarter.

Final score:
eChris Reconnoiter 2, Spread Madness 0, Kidnap 2 for a total of 4
Bill Reconnoiter 0, Breakthrough 0, Exterminate Spirits 0 for a total of 0

eChris wins the game and Pandora gets revenge for the loss earlier in the week.
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