2 WarMachine armies trotted out for an 8-point Age of Magic battle at the club.
Cryx are a demony-undead force in WarMachine so a shoe in for The Undead Legions. Warlord, Sorcerer, Mindless (Mechanithralls, 20 models), 2 units of creatures (small walkers), Behemoth (Wraith Engine), Hearthguard (Brute Thralls with 1 stand in walker model) and 2 units of Warriors (Bane Warriors)
Khador like many WarMachine armies make use of firearms so we mapped to Masters of the Underneath. Warlord, Alchemist (Widowmaker marksman), Sorcerer, 3 units of Warriors (Winter Guard), 2 units of creatures (Man-O-War), 1 static Warmachine (Field Gun, paid for from warrior models), 2 units of Hearthguard (sundry warmachine solos, 2 used to pay for the Alchemist). In all not such a good fit as the Undead. On reflection this force should have bought a unit of levy as they ran on the same die face as the canon. The canon can only fire once a turn and having something else to spend a specific die score on opens up its in-game options.
The Underneath are at the bottom of the table, at each side of their deployment is a cavern entrance which they can use to move 1 unit between each turn. The lizard skull is the Undead special terrain. The matting by the palm trees defines the edge of a wood. The stones are low broken ground and the other terrain pieces are high hills.
The Underneath took the 1st turn and placed a chasm in front of the Undead Behomoth forcing it and the nearby creatures to back off. The rest of the Undead army plods forward. The Mindless can only move on a Warlord’s ‘follow me’ or on 2 advanced abilities (1 needing 2 dice). Even then they only move ‘S’. They do not suffer fatigue so plod as fast they can burning 1 Saga dice, a ‘follow me’ and a free ‘march’ activation.
The Underneath hold still and shoot a bit, with minimal effect.
The Mindless are just about in. A smattering of casualties from Underneath shooting does not deter the Undead.
The Underneath move their Hearthguard from 1 cave entrance to the other and start to grind the Mindless down with firepower and melee. The Mindless are not too hard to knock down but they come back almost as easily. The Underneath creatures close by are of little immediate use as they are on the wrong side of an impassable obstacle (unless they wanted to cross the table using the cave portal).
The to and fro continues around the Mindless. To get anywhere the Underneath need to wipe them out so they can’t come back. On the other hand the Mindless are rubbish in attack. With 1 point of Undead tying up 3 of Underneath the Mindless are doing their job but eating up Saga dice that the rest of the army could use to move forward more swiftly.
Another turn, fewer Mindless but still too many.
The Undead Warriors finally get their act together and take out the Underneath canon.
Another attempt to wipe out the Mindless fails.
The Undead Behemoth gets into the action and takes out the Underneath Warlord. If their Hearthguard had stayed with him instead of charging off after Mindless the Warlord might have pulled through.
Casualties were relatively light on both sides for a Saga game. With the Underneath Warlord gone and a smattering of other losses the Underneath took second place. A host of Mindless and a few Undead Warriors had been sent off but the Undead regeneration abilities had them swiftly back on the field so they did not count as casualties.
Both sides cast spells but these had little effect on the gameplay. We cut the Wizards and 1 unit of Creatures from each side and ran the game again with 6 points and 2 different players. The Undead did not waste time on getting stuck in and the familiar Saga bloodbath ensued. The end result was a draw with the Mindless again tying up more than their share of Underneath Saga points. In both games the Mindless were able to stay close enough to Underneath units to charge into combat on 1 advanced Saga die. In many cases the Underneath obliged by charging in on their turn. A possible counter to Mindless is to move away from them as they are dice costly to move about.