Here were the lists:
Min Halberdiers + UA
Lanyssa Ryssyll, Granter of +2" Charge Distance
Max Gatorman Posse x2
Wrong Eye + Snapjaw
I go second. We played the Fire Support scenario. He deploys Hyperion to my left, most of his troops to my right, and the support and other jacks in the middle.
Vyros Turn 1: Stuff runs really fast (Mobility = srs bzns).
Barnabas Turn 1: Stuff stands in Swamp Pits, Submerges. I anticipate using WE+Snapjaw and a Feralgeist to stop scoring on Hyperion's flag for a couple of turns.
Vyros Turn 2: Hyperion kills my Artillery Emplacement objective (actually illegal) and places himself b2b with the nearby flag, and the Banshee charges Snapjaw and takes out about 1/3 of his boxes + crit Grievous Wounds. Vyros ends his turn behind a building
Barnabas Turn 2: Spitter picks up Wrastler, 2-handed throws it forward (just winning the strength check). Barnabas charges the Banshee, leaves it on a few boxes, pops his feat which KDs Vyros, goes to cast Rise on the Wrastler but gets shut down by the Banshee. Wrastler rises himself, is unable to charge Vyros due to a small base and building in the way (is literally a bee's dick short of making it, had I been able to kill the small base I would have been fine), so instead Tramples up to naked Vyros (who is about 8.2" inches away), buys 2 additional attacks at dice for damage, rolls an 11 and a 7. Pure skill.
Vyros Turn 3: Goes to make coffee.
Basically I don't think that game was really winnable for me without an assassination, since there was too much ARM on the table between Vyros camping, Inviolable Resolve and Hyperion. Either I would have lost on scenario, or would have my beasts killed and Barnabas stomped to death.
The Gator Rise MissileI have already written briefly about this tactic in my Blackhide Wrastler article, but will take the opportunity to expand on it here.
The Gator Rise Missile is (post-errata) a tactic unique to Gatormans (1). It makes me feel like a special snowflake to have access to something that is potentially really good. Other factions have had ways to pull similar things off in the past but most have been errata-ed or reworked in MkII to make it impossible. Examples of this include Kraye's feat, Irusk2's feat and the fabled Turn 1 assassination eVlad Flying Pegasus. Thus this broken trick remains unique to Gatormans and subjects Blindwater to design restraints for the forthcoming expansions.
The whole tactic revolves around the Wrastler's unique Rise animus, which allows a friendly Minion to immediately stand up. It costs 1 fury, and is RNG 6. This combos well with the Wrastler's Wrastler rule, which allows it to basically function as normal when KD with the exception that he does not block LoS, is DEF 5 and cannot advance.
Usually, the Gator Rise Missile looks like this:
- Activate heavy warbeasts with 2-open fists
- 2-Handed Throw Wrastler, boosting to hit to be safe.
- Throw Wrastler at a carefully positioned Feralgeist, a well-placed enemy model, or risk it with a random deviation.
- Activate Wrastler, cast Rise (or caste Rise on Wrastler with warlock before he activates).
- Charge enemy caster, win.
Firstly, if you miss your throw target and deviate outside Rise's 6" range, you have just irreversibly knocked down your warlock in front of your entire army. This means you cannot activate your warlock this turn and against any semi-competent player, this means you have lost the game.
Secondly, using a warlock for an assassination run is a highly risky proposition. If you fail (and none of our warlock hit that hard - Calaban is potentially the hardest hitter), you are very likely to die and therefore lose the game. This should only be attempted in the most dire of circumstances.
When you should use it
The Gator Rise Missile is a risky tactic. Dice are the one element of the game truly outside the player's control. Good play relies on minimizing dice rolls and the consequences of dice rolls as much as possible. This means both trying to avoid rolling dice when possible by boosting stats so that the possibility of failure is nil or almost nil , or applying tactics which do not require dice rolls at all.
The Rise missile requires a lot of dice rolls - the 2-handed throw hit roll, the STR check, the throw melee attack roll/deviation roll, and the Wrastler's own attack and damage dice. Therefore it is not really a tactic upon which to build a list strategy. You cannot consistently win games using the Gator Rise missile because not only will your opponent adapt to avoid it, but the dice will just straight up screw you at one point. Therefore, you have to pick your opportunitie:
- Use it when you can get a high percentage assassination. In the game above, we determined I could not have made the charge because of a small base so had to trample, but it was an extremely close call that certainly would have required a judge in a tournament setting. As a result, I had to get lucky with dice to get the kill - with the charge, I could have had 11 dice at straight damage and 2 attacks at dice -3. In short, 99%+ chance of success.
Basically, try to stack the odds in your favour as much as you can with the usual buffs and debuffs available.
- Use it when you're a little bit desperate. Had I not gone for it, in the long run my army would have been grinded down by an ARM 19+ wall of death that could have killed my Wrastler and then laughed at my puny P+S 13 attacks. Sometimes it is also a viable choice to Gator Rise Missile with your warlock late game, because you literally have no other chances to win.
- Use it when the threat of retaliation is low. For example, if you can get the Wrastler out on a flank , at the edge of your control area, to destroy a valuable enemy model and contest a zone, with little chance for reasonable retaliation on your opponent's side of things (remember the Wrastler is ARM 19!), then that's usually a good risk to take.
- Use it when explaining Page 5. Because it takes balls, and is pretty cool.
What you should use it onThe Wrastler and maybe your warlock. That is about it.
- Swamp Horrors are not a valid target, because they have Steady, and thus when thrown cannot be Risen. Too bad.
- Boneswarms are not valid targets, because they shouldn't be in your list.
- Snappers are not good targets, because odds are that you'll take out an aspect with the POW 12 throw. Yay.
- Ironhide Spitters are not good targets, because if you find yourself in that situation, the Spitter should probably be doing the throwing. Although if you want to get some ultra-sneaky assassination late game with that Spitter gun, it could work. And be hilarious.
- Totem Hunters and Gatormans are probably the best candidates outside Wrastlers, since they will only die to the throw on a 12, and have heaps of threat range by themselves.
Things to watch out for
- Rise will remove any animi currently on the target. Thus if you intend to do something like give the Wrastler reach, you will have to cast Rise on the Wrastler using your warlock, then cast Elasticity on the Wrastler with the warlock. The reverse order will result in nothing.
- Deviations can be risky business. This is why it is highly preferable to throw at a target (boosting to hit) rather than risk a deviation - if you go backwards 2.5", it is just as good as a wasted activation.
- The Wrastler has the highest STR in our faction. He will sometimes win the STR check when another beast is throwing him. This really sucks, but don't despair. In the greater scheme of the game, this is a minor setback. Complain profusely, then carry on with your turn.
- Abilities and feats that stop special attacks will stop you doing the throw (ie. Zerkova's feat, Icy Grip), and abilities which deny spellcasting or increase the cost of animi (Druids, Mulg's animus, Scaverous' feat) can seriously mess with this tactic.