Battle Of The Blogs: Aurora Vs. Skarre3

After a two week hiatus in table top gaming, I was able to get out last Tuesday night and put some CoC on the table again. 

EDIT: There's a rules error on my part of this game where I thought Aurora had Reposition 3 all the time, like Clockwork Angels. This is false, so my movement on Turn 3 was illegal. After talking with Kevin there is a possible way I could have achieved the same thing without having to have cheated (Apparition up to get LOS, cast the spray spell, then move away), but the mistake was still mine. I've apologized to Kevin and I want readers to know the error was made!

I ended up having a 'Blog Off' with Kevin who runs the Shoulda Boosted blog.  We're coordinating our posts, so you can go read this battle report from the other side of the table here! Kevin had only brought his competitive pair for the next Scrum and a few big tournaments coming up, and I was dead set on playing some jank.  I've really been wanting to try Clockwork Legions and Aurora out.  My goal is to play each caster in Convergence at least once and the only two I have left are Aurora and Iron Mother.   As a pair for Aurora I wanted to stay in a Champions restriction and had a Lucant double TEP list as my second list.  Kevin was running Skarre3 and Denny2.  After some discussion about how I'm just trying to learn my lists and Kevin is trying to practice, Kevin was kind enough to offer to play Skarre3 so that I could play Aurora. 


[Skarre 3] Skarre, Admiral of the Black Fleet [+27] - Slaughter Fleet Raiders
 - Kraken [36]
 - Satyxis Blood Priestess [0(4)]
Axiara Wraithblade [0(6)]
General Gerlak Slaughterborn [0(6)]
Ragman [4]
Black Ogrun Ironmongers [6]
Blighted Trollkin Marauders (max) [15]
Bloodgorgers (max) [15]
 - Jussika Bloodtongue [5]
Bloodgorgers (max) [15]
Scharde Dirge Seers [6]

-Prime Axiom
Optifex Directive
Clockwork Angels
Clockwork Angels
Clockwork Angels
Enigma Foundry
Enigma Foundry
Enigma Foundry
Enigma Foundry

So my initial thought on running Aurora in CL was that she offers speed and not much else. Given the recursion package I figured I'd need my heavies to do some hard hitting and decided that I really wanted a Prime Axiom in a Clockwork Legion list.  First, it hits hard and can drag in heavies, but more importantly it's a Scenario Cheat Piece.

What's a Scenario Cheat Piece? It makes a solo, for free, every turn. This lets me contest every turn the Prime Axiom is alive or score a flag regardless of whether or not my opponent kills my scoring solos.  The goal of the list is to focus on scenario, possibly swing to an attrition play if my opponent can't deal with my model count + recursion and still finish the colossal at the end.

Matchup Analysis

So my plan for a Lucant DI + Aurora CL pair gets put in a bad spot by Kevin's pair.  Denny2 makes me unable to play CL at all, and so Kevin can pick whichever list he feels is stronger into my pairing. This seems like it'd be true for any CoC pairing that includes an Obstructor-based CL list which I think is probably the most efficient CL build.

Talking it through with Kevin, he was nice enough to play Skarre so I can give Aurora her test game, and we started the game thinking it was roughly even. We were playing the Mirage scenario, so it was exceptionally live.

Deployment (After Advanced Move)

Not much to discuss here. Kevin had a unit of Bloodgorgers on either flank, with the Marauders dead center. Kraken was set to go around the building towards my right flank opposite of my axiom. I had won the roll to go first. 

My deployment was all the Obstructors up front and everything else behind.

My Turn 1

The plan was to take as much table space as possible, so Aurora casts Aerogenesis and Arcane Might and everything flies forward as fast as possible while trying to space well enough to avoid AOE's mulching everything up too hard.  I remembered to spawn my servitor with the Axiom as well, which is hard to remember every turn. 

Kevin's Turn 1 

Kevin knows he can't avoid getting punched in the face first melee wise, so he simply advances up the field to take as much space as possible while also using spacing and base size from preventing me from getting too much. 

Skarre shoots through a decent amount of my center Obstructor unit and the Kraken takes a pot shot at my right most Enigma Foundry and does about 6 damage. That hurt, but it wasn't so much that I couldn't replenish all of the losses. 

 My Turn 2

Not seeing a better time to feat, I go all in with Aurora first this turn. I had the idea to use her Bladed Gale SP8 spell to try and clear some of the Marauders out who were bunched up nicely, but tough checks and deceleration only netted me two casualties.  Auora then repostioned back behind the building.

I burned a TON of clock here, and I spent an excess of attacks and resources just to kill Jussika.  It was my first time playing with this much infantry especially while trying to use the feat to reposition in awkward spots while similarly preventing his Bloodgorgers from chewing through all my stuff. 

My center Obstructors did some work, but at the same time the recursion guys simply jammed in to prevent the Marauders from getting shots off.  I was actually pretty pleased with spacing here, preventing a lot of meaningful attacks and sacrificing about 3 models to go behind the left 'gorgers to keep Gerlak from getting up into the forward part of my unit.  I did a significant amount of work on the right unit of 'gorgers, and in hindsight now I probably should have just focused on killing more of the left unit rather than killing Jussika, though vengence really will screw my list over pretty hard.

I spawned my servitor again and kept it on the center flag nestled behind the building and moved the first servitor spawned to my friendly flag and Aurora kept in the zone. Scenario play was going to be my main win condition here and I needed to be in place to start forcing it. 

Kevin's Turn 2

So the first thing you'll notice in this picture is exactly how few of my models are left. While I was quite good with my positioning here to prevent the blighted trolls from berserking through all my troops, the relatively low CMD of my units required my buffered back lines to be pretty well bunched up.  This let Skarre absolutely decimate my troops from guns alone. I believe by the time Skarre was done shooting, I had filled up all my Enigma Foundries on the left flank and then the units started activating.  What's worse is that Kevin killed the entire center unit of Obstructors, meaning I couldn't return any of them to play.  I need to remember to space properly with hiding/protecting a unit member all the way in my back lines to keep a unit going.

Kevin had feated this turn and reinforced the Marauder unit, with them contesting the center flag through the building. 

Poor spacing on my part on my right flank with the Angels allowed one Bloodgorger to chomp his way through to getting within 4" of my flag to prevent me from scoring. This ended up being a huge deal as we'll see later. Kevin still didn't have enough to get through my entire right unit, and so I prevented his scoring on his own turn. He did get a model onto his flag, but couldn't contest my zone so this turn ends with the score 1-1.

My Turn 3

The attrition, it is going badly. As such I try to make as hard a play on scenario as I can. 

Aurora doesn't cast Aerogenesis this turn (I don't need any distance), and uses Bladed Gale to start clearing out Marauders from contesting the center, she shoots her gun and repositions back behind the building again, keeping some focus on her for Arcane might. (See the edit at the top of the page, Aurora does NOT have Reposition 3 like the Clockwork Angels, this was a mistake on my part!).

I replenish as best I can on the red unit of Obstructors and they go in clearing out more contesting trolls and doing what work I can. Unfortunately I didn't really learn my lesson about spacing till after the game, so the same problem I had earlier with the blue unit is coming up on this turn. It's going to go poorly. 

On the right flank I send some of my Obstructors charging into the objective and I do minimal damage. I do clear out the contesting Bloodgorger and get in the zone.  The Axiom moves too close to the objective and starts pumping shots into it.  I nearly fail to kill it completely after multiple double 1 to hit and damage rolls (including on the tow cables!) after leaving it on one box.  That said, on my final shot on unboosted damage kills it before my spawned elimination servitor had to be relied on to kill it. 

All in all, I contest all of Kevin's pieces and score 4 points on my turn (my zone, two flags, and objective kill), ending the turn 5-1!

Kevin's Turn 3

Can you say swift kick to the dick? Cause that's what happened here. 

Kevin wipes out all of my Obstructor units and through a combination of flank with a reinforced Marauder, death field from Ragman, and Draconic Blessing, the Kraken takes advantage of my poor placement of the Axiom for its shots into the objective to one round the Axiom. It was...bad times.  

I had one hope going through the turn, the way I had placed my Obstructors to jam Kevin up, it was taking all of his activation's to clear them out and they were preventing anything from really getting to my flag. This hope died when Kevin took his kill shot off the Axiom, he shot at the servitor I had on my friendly flag - he missed, but the deviation stayed on the servitor and he rolled the 7 to kill it with blast damage.  Kevin also runs Axiara into my zone to prevent my scoring it and puts Gerlak on his flag, scoring two points to my nothing, bringing the score to 5-3.

As it turns out, killing the servitor was the key damage roll, since if that servitor had lived I would have scored a point on Kevin's turn, meaning I would only need to score 2 points on my turn to win which would have been easily doable on my flag and then clearing out Axiara with Aurora and the last two angels I had alive.  Hindsight says I should have moved my Enigma Foundry to sit on the flag and that could have won me the game.

But since he did kill the servitor and there was no way I was scoring 3 points on my next turn, and there was zero way I was going to run this game to turn 7, I conceded here.


Man what a fun game and it was a trove to learn from on how to play this kind of list as well as what I like and don't like about Clockwork Legions and Aurora specifically.

Kevin was great to play against as always and he was very kind to kick my ass with a list I could at least play into.

That said, man there are so many things to draw from this game.

Clockwork Angels are Terrible

The original version of this list had points moved around so that I was running a unit of Reciprocators rather than the Angels. I swapped them out so that I could have Angels to use as Flank Triggers for Aurora.  This was a bad idea.  The Angels are pretty terrible on their own: MAT6 PS12 on the charge just isn't very impressive.  Similarly their guns just aren't that good to warrant their use.  They did very little for me this game and I'm not sure what they'd bring to other matchups. More bodies, specifically Reciprocators would have been way stronger in this match. What's worse is that the Angels don't have parry natively so they can't fly into position to allow Aurora to try and feat + assassinate an enemy caster (not that she was killing Skarre3 by any means).  They can get parry from her feat, but that requires Aurora to go before the angels can get in position to trigger flank, and so the entire thing just doesn't work.  It really is a shame since I happen to like the models a lot, and so does my daughter.

Play Better Noob

I've always wanted to play a recursion list and it was one of the things that had intrigued me about playing CoC, but man is there a learning curve to playing this kind of list. There must always be a grunt hiding in the back so as to be promoted and keep the unit alive to be replenished. That's a big deal and it will take a lot of playtime to get myself into playing that correctly.   I want to experiment with a medium based focused CL list, especially with Aurora and Lucant, but truthfully an Obstructor based list is really where Clockwork Legions is at its most efficient and so I need to get better with placement.

The Axiom is Limiting

So my theory about the Axiom contesting and making scenario cheat pieces is valid, but it didn't pay off in this list. It also didn't help that I had zero good drag targets in the matchup and so the real value in the Axiom got kinda wasted here.  That said, fitting the Axiom into a MK3 Clockwork Legions list really limits the amount of stuff you can take in a list where you want to maximize the amount of units you're bringing. It's also really a waste with Aurora who grants Apparition to her battlegroup.  Double Cipher or Cipher/Conservator may be the better vector load out (besides the mandatory Corollary).  It's definitely going to take some testing to see how I want to go forward with CL builds, as it is, I'm not sure which way I want to go with them yet.

The Clockwork Legion is an Enigma

As I said how to build a Clockwork Legion list is puzzling to me. In terms of Convergence the only two casters who can play CL and give the units Pathfinder are Aurora with flight and Axis where he gives it on the charge. In every other case terrain is going to be a major issue.  I can see trying CL with Lucant and going for attrition, but it's going to be a MUCH slower list. Aurora is possibly our worst caster but she does bring a ton of speed. I think in other matches this list could do very well, but it was going to be uphill into Kevin's Skarre3 list.  Another lesson is that while Obstructors are cheap, they are really not that strong damage output wise. They really need something to buff them up, and while Aurora brings speed, she doesn't do anything much for accuracy and damage, not consistently. Lucant is the most consistent in this area turn after turn, but again he lacks pathfinder for them.

I really do want to experiment with the theme however, since the amount of recursion that can be brought to bear is really something I think people might not be able to deal with in a number of matchups.  I just wish that we had more casters that could support it more directly.

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