Okay so buckle in people, because part two is where the Posse train starts to speed up!
Game 3 - Maelok vs Siege2 (Silverline Stormguard and Storm Lances in Storm Division)
Going into game three against Cygnar, the pairing was the dreaded Hayley3 Trenchers and Siege2. My Rask list was pretty heavily tech'd for Hayley3 and i've previously played Maelok into Hayley3 before so i'm confident in my ability to out attrition her. Having seen the amount of infantry in his second list, and the absence of Nemo3, i'm more confident in Maelok and let's just play this out. To my surprise, he dropped Siege2... and in came a whole new problem I haven't faced before.
Maelok turn 1 was a pre-emptive feat to run as far up the board as possible and provide a disincentive for Siege2 to pop his feat and getting beyond the middle line of the table. I did not want Siege2 to pop an early feat and establish a frontline further up the board than i'd like.
Siege2 turn 2, saw Triumph shoot down a Thrullg and take some serious chunks out of Posse on the left, Fury Silverline removed the Husks on the left flank (shown by the blue line) at the cost of 3 of their own. I didn't expect the StormLances to redeploy towards my left, so immediately i knew the left zone was going to be a matter of how long i can keep the zone occupied to stop him scoring. On the right hand, the Silverline struggled to deal with a single Husk (Circled in Red) and a Boneswarm on the frontlines giving living models within 2" -2 to hit.
Maelok Turn 2, it was time to start the long grind. The green unit of Posse on the left flank started to push deep past the zone and towards the flag, forgoing the Death Pact boost, to keep the Storm Lances away as long as possible. In the middle, a Boneswarm took an early advantage and destroyed the enemy objective. Meanwhile, the blue posse started advancing and attacking anything within walking range and the undead Posse took up residence around the middle hill waiting to be thrown into the left hand zone waiting to be redeployed either way as needed. Here, the Soul Slave earned points in earnest, fully boosted Venom for the cost of d3 trivially removed any infantry that ran to contest my flag, and having always been within 4" of my Stockpile objective, he practically finished the game on full health.
Turn 3, the right hand flank was looking strongly in Maelok's control. The Silverline only had enough resources to toe the zone, with Lynus and Edrea making the last sacrifice to run to contest my flag. The Storm Lances finally penetrated past the left hand zone, and were making their way towards the middle of the board, but had left one or two Posse still contesting next to the flag. It was time to press home the advantage by wiping out the right hand flank and starting to shift more Posse towards the left/flag, making sure there was enough to keep the remaining Cygnar forces locked inside their own zone. Game ends turn 4 with Maelok clearing his zone of a Sentinel Warjack for the winning control points.
Game 4 - Maelok vs Krueger2 (Bones, Stonemen, Big Floating Stone thing, small floating stone thingies)
Final round! The pairing was Kaya3 with all the kitties/puppies/budgies and Krueger2 all the Wolds. I've had experience with both of these lists so, in my continuing in my experiment, i dropped Maelok hoping to not see Krueger2. Welp, that went well, not only was it Krueger2, but on arguably the most live scenario in the pack. Not only that, Krueger was going first. It was time to jam as many handbags down his throat as possible.
Going into deployment, for the first time ever, i chose to ambush a single Husk. The scenario had elements deep within the enemy half of the board and with the amount of shooting available and Krueger feat of pushing you away 3", i thought having an ambushing element to contest was needed.
I know the Fulcrum has an absurd threat range first turn, but i deployed the Husks right in front to help block LoS, not realising that we both have +2" deployment and my AD is in range to be shot. He kills one Husk, splash damage onto the other Husk. He continues to run everything forward. Maelok turn 1, and i decide not to feat. While the shooting is numerous, the damage output was not enough to cause significant damage. The Thrullgs run behind the buildings to hide from being shot. Their job was to run to any flag they needed to score or contest, the lone Husk, a Boneswarm and Posse run up the board and spread out to mitigate the sprays and lightning from the Fulcrum. The Croaks run left in order to hide behind that hazard next turn for contesting.
Maelok Turn 2. Time to pop Feat, i need to take advantage of the middle zone being largely uncontested and pushed deep towards the far end of the zone. The Soul slave lands a Mortality onto the Fulcrum having eaten a counter shot from the Wold Wyrd. Note for future, the floating eyes shoot things that cast spells... The blue Posse go straight through the building on the right to surround the flag. The remaining Boneswarm fuelled up with corpses charge into the Wolds on the left to hold them up. Five charging Posse take out the Mortality'd Fulcrum. Maelok finishes turn two 2-0 up.
Krueger Turn 3. Faced with Maelok under feat, and his Wolds hot on Fury from the turn before, Krueger plays the damage limitation game. The Wolds kill a handful Posse and use power attacks to knock down/ throw as many Posse as possible. Krueger activates and pops feat, pushing away all the Posse and TKs the remaining Posse that aren't knocked down.
Maelok Turn 3. With a large amount of the Posse incapacitated, either knocked down, facing the wrong direction, or under Krueger feat, progress is slow in the middle/right side of the board. The remaining croaks of the left hand side continue to run into annoying positions and stop Krueger scoring the left zone. The Boneswarm goes in on the left and starts taking chunks out of the Wolds but with hyper regeneration, the Wold are still fully functional on their turn. Yet again... I forget to ambush my Husk (i will remember one of these turns). I set up the Wrastler in a position where if Megalith wants to come deal with more Posse, i can get to him the turn after. Maelok leads the scoring 4-0.
Maelok Turn 4. Looking at the state of play, Maelok needs two point to win while contesting the left hand zone. I finally remember to ambush my Husk as he runs to contest the left hand zone Krueger is holding (super fortunate timing to be honest). Only a single Mannakin is contesting my right hand zone which is easily taken care of from a Posse member leading me to decide whether to take on Megalith in the middle who is the only model contesting, or deal with two wolds on my flag who have a handful of boxes each. I chose to go into the middle, the Soul Slave who is now sitting on 1 box after being hunted by Wold Wyrds uses his Mental Force to get a final Mortality onto Megalith. Wrastler does wrestler things and Maelok runs to the right hand zone to close out the game.
Final After Thoughts
-Maelok as a list is super durable. Having talked to my opponents afterwards, a lot of them had trouble with not only the Armour, but the amount of bodies i had on the field. Remarking that if i had 5/6 Battlegroup models on Armour 22 instead, it wouldn't be so bad. I threw Maelok into a lot of match ups i didn't think were favourable in order the learn the limitations of what the list can handle.
-Gatormen Husks are what makes this list work. The Husks mitigate a big weakness Maelok has in weapon master infantry. Husks in my opponents opinion, are the best speed bumps for single wound infantry. I believe without them, I would have definitely had a much harder time against Banes and the Sentinels from the week previous.
-Witch Docs are not integral to the list working. Not once did i miss them this tournament. The same goes with the Void Leeches. Thrullgs did an excellent job in removing spells when needed. The only situation where i believe Void Leeches to be superior are in stopping Warcasters/Locks casting debuffs at you, even so, 9/10 they'll have an arc node to apply it so Mage Static is useless.
-Boneswarms did a decent amount of work. While the defence increase via Swarm hardly came up during the weekend, the 7pts for a Boneswarm mean't i wasn't scared to lose it on the front line. When i was playing Ironback Spitter and Wrastler i felt i was often too protective.
-Time management is super important for this list. Personally I'm at a point with this list where I am super confident in how it plays so i am very efficient with my time. When i first started playing Maelok i frequently clocked myself trying to work out what goes where. More importantly, by turn 3/4, it is quite common for me to be about 10-15 minutes ahead on clock, which is a major factor in the latter turns as time pressure often leads to mistakes in your opponents game play. Also, with the amount of interaction with the Husks on your opponents turn, you need to be wary of your time usage.
-Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Brighton Meta. They're always super helpful and pleasure to play with. If you have any plans to play in Brighton join the group here and keep an eye on the event schedule!