While things aren’t completely back to normal, I was able to get in another game of Warcry. Same lists again this time: my box-standard group of Untamed Beasts vs Colton’s box-standard group of Splintered Fang.
The setup cards were drawn and we were doing a game of Scorched Earth where one group places objective tokens and tries to control them to get them off the board while the other group tries to control them for more victory points (3:1). The Twist for the match was a pedestrian “no respite” rule basically limiting your ability to heal.
We rolled off and the Splintered Fang got choice of defending the objectives or attacking and chose defense. It may be because he misread the rules and didn’t realize that defenders only get one VP for controlling the objective vs the attacker getting three VP but the die was cast and we pushed on.
The placement rules don’t allow for a lot of options to huddle all the objectives near the defender so the Fang placed them mostly on their side with an emphasis of keeping them closer to where his Dagger group would reinforce (center bottom of image) vs my Dagger group coming in in the upper right corner.
With two objectives relatively close and the setup forcing my Hammer and Shield groups to separate, I planned on striking hard for the outer objectives and leaving the center one for the Fangs. Owning two of them would give me a commanding 6 to 1 VP lead. If things fell apart and I only got one, I’d still be looking at a nice 3 to 2 VP lead.
I decide that my 3 Plainsrunners are going to be my objective takers, hoping the Fangs won’t be able to reach the objective by the end of the round. My First Fang spear-chucker would be back up to either reinforce control or try to pull an enemy out of control.
By default placement, the Fang already control the central objective so they decide to push out and contest the farther objective closer to my leader group. This will push a wall of bodies between me and the central objective, further removing the need to heavily defend it.
While most of my fodder runners are able to take the farthest objective, I decide to try to speed-bump the Fang options. It works and by the end of round 1, I handily have control of the Fang’s weakest objective. But it is not without cost: my fodder runner gets utterly obliterated by a poisonous snake. I think that snake hit 3 crits on the poor fellow.
The other prize of the round didn’t go as well. The Fangs rushed in hard to create a full body wall that both outnumbered my group but also blocked off any easy access the center objective. With the other power of the defender being able to remove up to one objective from the game that is in their control, there was a high likelihood that that prize would be gone by next round. I did have one last advantage: I had the Fangs go first and so I would have the last activation for the round to see if I could turn the tide.
In epic style befitting the hero of my band, my Heart-Eater climbs up the stone statue head to get completely around the Fang wall and threaten the juicy center objective. I’m not in range to threaten any kind of control but this was not what the Fangs were hoping to see.
The round ends and true enough, the Fangs kill the far objective, leaving the center and bottom objective still in play. Untamed Beasts are up 3 VP to the Splintered Fangs’ 2 VP.
Round 2 has some Fang heavies come in at the bottom of the board, in easy striking distance of my fodder controlling the objective while my Kitty and Beast Speaker are forced pretty far out of action in the upper corner.
I roll hot and have some good dice options, two doubles and a triple while the Fangs falter but guarantee initiative.
The battle gets bloody as the Fang heavies descend on my Fodder. Even though they are weak, they are able to weather enough attacks to make controlling the objective difficult. I’m able to force a 2 vs 2 standoff to deny control. It definitely won’t hold for round 3 but if I can take the center, there might not even need to be a round 3.
With a bunch of bodies blocking the way, I have a Preytaker power up and take down one of the Fang’s chaff units and then parkour around an enemy closest to the statue. Realizing my leader could come in from up on high and cause some issues controlling the key center objective, the Fang start to pull back, in and around the objective. My Heart-Eater is able to leap down and take down a wounded Fang chaff warrior and (using his All-out-attack ability), wounds another Fang member.
The Fang warriors are thinning and control is slipping. I send in the other Preytaker to contest the objective, running up and over the spike wall and ignoring the side-eye the Fang body wall group gives him. We’re tied up with 3 figures apiece controlling the center so it is time to unleash the fury. I have a high dice (5s) triple ready and one of the Fangs contesting the objective is down to 4 health so I rush the Rocktusk Prowler and have her Pounce (triple power) on him. That is a 17 inch guaranteed 5 damage threat range on the sucker. The murder kitteh strikes again from the edge of the board. This flips the contest heavily in my favor with a 4 to 2 lead.
Without the ability to get any other Fang figures into range of the center objective nor kill any of my warriors, the round is a foregone conclusion. I take the center to push my score to 6 VP and the tied objective leaves the Fangs still at 2 VP.
With only one round left and the Fang maxing their potential score for the round at 2 VPs, there is no hope for them and we call the game.
Untamed Beasts Win!
Discussing the match afterwards and reviewing the scenario, I would find it hard to play as the defender for this setup. When the attacker is netting VPs at 3:1 and you have limited rounds (3) to play, the defender has to control 2 objectives in round 1 and likely deny both in Round 2 to have a shot at winning in Round 3. Certain builds or factions may be able to pull that off easily spamming a bunch of bodies but box-standard original Warcry factions will likely find this one very challenging.
I feel that Colton played his round one like you’re supposed to by denying and destroying the closest objective to the attacker. Leaving that bottom objective would be fine knowing his heavies are coming in next round. I think round two should have seen the Fangs focus more on just stacking bodies on the objective at all cost, hoping that I just couldn’t kill enough to take control. Critically, the Fang’s snakes tried to kill my First Fang when they were likely better off running back to help shore up the center.
Likewise, trying to kill both my Plains Runners on the bottom objective was a turn where the Fangs could have just danced around them and sat on the objective. A Plains Runner may have gotten lucky and taken one down but more likely, the Fangs could tank a full round of shots and held the objective. If Round two denied the Beasts any points and let the Fangs pick up one more, Round three would be a brawl with both teams trying to fight over the last objective for a winner takes all finale. It would still be hard but I don’t think Colton could have done much more given the setup.