A couple weeks ago I finished the first season of Crossroads of courage. This also concluded my test run of Zerkova I, she of the cold heart and dark secrets.
· Holden Courage
I faced Pete and the master assassin. This was a rematch from old times. We have faced each other many times over the last year.
· Holden Courage
The battlefield featured a ruin to the left, a barrier in my near deployment zone, a high tower to the right, and a crater field in the middle.
1. Pete won the roll and chose to go second. I deployed Zerkova and a decimator to the left of the barrier. The man-o-wars, Holden, and the other decimator went on the right. Pete put Morghoul and his battle group dead center. The legends went right. The rest of the infantry went left.
2. The Kovnik walked forward and put desperate pace on the bombardiers. The bombardiers and the right hand decimator ran up and left in front of the obstacle. The left decimator moved up to complete my standard defensive wall with a jack on either end of the mow’s line. Zerkova cast watcher, dropped her cloud wall, and ran up behind the line. Pete sent the legends to flank right, using the tower for a shield. The runners and the extoller ran to flank left. Morghoul’s battle group came straight down the middle.
3. Ok, if he wants to play the pincer game I’m down with that. I premeasured everyone’s threat range and made some notes. The thing with Zerkova going first is that she has no range top of turn two. Without objectives and kill box in play she is better off castling up—forcing the other guy to come to you. I moved everyone up a couple inches, dropped the wall, and passed the turn. Pete moved up, put his flankers ready to charge, and left his battle group staring down the man-o-war wall.
4. Game time! The decimators could not get into range (stupid SPD 4.) Zerkova let watcher expire. I took a second and worked out the order of activation. The Kovnik walked right to intercept the legends and put desperate pace on the bombardiers. I should have taken a shot but forgot he had a gun. The right hand decimator killed one of the legends but missed the second shot. Holden took a shot and missed. The bombardiers walked up to the edge of 5 inches of Morghoul—tag. The MOW went all-in on a CRA and hit Morghoul for 12 which was transferred to the gladiator. The left decimator took a shot at the gladiator, hit, boosted damage, and rolled triple 6. That effectively took the big guy out of the game. Zerkova walked up, popped feat, and threw a boosted true sight hex blast at Morghoul. The shot missed and scattered into no man’s land—crap. I panicked, blood runners within walking distance of my caster’s back 180, and spent my remaining focus on a frost hammer. Two runners died and the extoller powered up—double crap. Zerkova’s feat limited what Pete could do but he did his best. Morghoul moved up, popped feat, and killed off a bombardier. The reptile hound walked up and damaged a trooper. The archidon charged the right decimator doing significant damage. The legends walked in, killed the kovnik, and did some more damage to the decimator. The extoller took a shot at Zerkova and missed. The blood runners walked up and did a couple points of damage to Zerkova (bad dice for the win.) They repositioned out of combat.
5. Zerkova allocated 2 focus to the decimator. She shook blind, moved ahead, cast ghost walk on the MOW, and zapped the extoller into oblivion. The decimator shook blind, charged Morghoul, boosted to hit, and missed—triple crap. The bombardiers built a wall of meat between Morghoul and Zerkova. They swung and missed due to blind. The far decimator tried for the legends but missed. Morghoul retreated from combat. The hound killed a bombardier. The legends and archidon finished off the right decimator. The blood runners took a shot at Zerkova, again, but only caught air. They repositioned out of combat, again.
6. Zerkova allocated 1 to the decimator, walked up, hit Morghoul with a boosted frost hammer, left him stationary, and did major damage which got transferred to the hound—killing it and knocking the master assassin down a couple boxes. I throughout a final frost hammer, auto hit, and killed Morghoul since the archidon was out of his control range.
1. I made a lot of mistakes this game. I need to learn to push Zerkova farther forward against armies with no ability to penetrate clouds. I forgot the shield on the Kovnik and did not take a shot with him when I had the chance. He could have done damage and might have otherwise survived. I should not have left her on 0 camp so often.
2. I am really beginning to dislike decimators. They did a great job for me in my journeyman league but here in a wide open format they just do not have the range to get the job done. Zerkova wants her team to reduce the enemy at range before making contact—god knows she is not winning any awards for speed—so I am beginning to think I would be better served with destroyers.
3. We played caster kill—again—because it was what most of the players could handle. That being said, I think we have reached the limits of that scenario. Assassination is all well and good but it provides for little strategic variety. I am looking forward to the new CID steamroller rules if for no other reason than it will give a nice change.
4. I love MOW. Base armor 16 and 8 wounds is just enough to give people problems. The offensive output is nice. The challenge all that metal clad meat provides is the best. Over and over again they have held up the opposing advance until the rest of my forces can get the job done.
5. I am becoming increasingly sure that MK III is all about the threat range. I mean…not like that is any different than before but I keep getting pulled to models specifically due to their ability to reach out and touch the other side. I want to make the decimator work and against a conventional force it is fine. The catch is that “fine” is not enough with the prevalence of high armor and heavy shooting lists.
6. I cannot figure out what Zerkova “wants to do. It is not a question of making her work—more of purpose and synergy. Casters like Butcher I are obvious generalists. Casters like Irusk are specialists. Zerkova does not seem to fall into either of those categories. Other than hiding behind the cloud bunker she does not have a clear purpose.
Season I is done. Counting victories I took first. Counting fate points I tied with Cheryl. That’s the end of the campaign for me. The group has fallen apart and I do not have the time or contacts to raise a new community sadly. I am going to keep playing with friends until I can find another store. Next up, reviews of Zerkova and demolition corps.