To Oblivion, and Beyond!

So the Oblivion CID has been and gone. It had a little bit of something for everyone, with the biggest faction represented being Mercs/Minions, and closely followed by Cygnar. We had a fair amount of representation within it, if only through our gaining access to 2 new theme forces (giving us the most in the game) as well as one of our casters going into Hearts of Darkness (Malakov). It was a pretty big set of models, so I’m mostly going to give some impressions about things that I think will actually impact Khador. Lets get started.

Flame in the Darkness and Warriors of the Old Faith:

Lets jump straight into the themes. Flame in the Darkness is pretty limited for us, being isolated to just Zerk 1 and 2. I’m going to straight up call it and say that Zerk 2 has better things to be doing than running this theme. She wants lots of magic attacks, and whilst this theme has quite a few, it just doesn’t stack up with the hilarity of all the Greylords in Wolves. Zerk 1 is where it gets interested. I did some testing during the CID, mostly with the desire to see what a mostly Thamar list would look and play like. Turns out pretty well. Her control, LOS blocking, and toolbox is pretty tasty with the new morrowan options available, particularly the Resolutes or the Legion of Lost Souls (more on those later), as they bring decent melee presence combined with decent shooting, both things that she wants. In addition, the theme allows her to bring a pretty ludicrous combination of models. I ran her with a Charger, Lancer and Gallant, as well as almost every Thamar model that I could come up with and 2 Thamarite Archons. This list included: Acosta, Alexia 3, Devil Shadows Mutineers, Ragman, an Advocate, and some others. What came out was a very toolboxy list that hit surprisingly hard and had a lot of ranged game. The Lancer was worth mentioning, as I’m still not convinced about it. The games I played with it, I traded it turn 1 each time to spaff all Zerks focus on sprays, and then lost it. I’m not convinced that’s the best use of 10 points, but it was a hell of a power trip (especially with the MA 9, re-rolling sprays; more on that later). Overall, I think this theme might be the best way to run Zerkova, but it really depends on how it all comes out in the wash.

Warriors of the Old Faith is an entirely different animal, being mainly cavalry based. The main 2 things here are that Vlad 3 is probably the best caster of the lot in here, with him finally having a theme that gives him access to all the tools he wants; and that we get access to Protectorate stuff, namely Choir and Judicators. There are some other interesting protectorate things that Vlad might like, such as a Devout for spell barrier or Flamebringers synergising really well with him, but the Choir and Judicator feel like the main take away. Vlad is probably the current best Judicator caster, bringing HOF and a speed buff, and lacking only access to Sevvy 0. In addition to this, Khador jacks with Choir and Vassal support is pretty crazy. I could see running Vlad with a couple of heavies, a Judicator and 40 points of Cav being a strong list, possibly even just straight up avoiding units and running a ton of solos. Champions of the Wall are just good, as is Fenris with him. Throw in a unit of Flame bringers or some Outriders and that feels like a fast list that has some strong shooting. I don’t know if it’s strong enough to make it into rotations, but it’s definitely giving us more options on what to take.

Archons:

So the Archons are kind of interesting in as much as they give us some expensive options for our merc slot. We can take a few of them in some of our themes, but mostly we’ll be looking at taking the Morrowan, Menite, and Thamarite Archon as our merc solo in lists. Lets have a look at each.

Morrowan:

The defensive one. This guy brings a pretty bricky stat line, as well as a couple of abilities. Def 14, Arm 20 with 12 boxes is pretty solid, but the main reasons to take this guy are for Soul Ward, Guardian Angel and Awe. Soul ward is going to be a toolbox piece, mostly interesting into the big soul collecting factions like Cryx and the oncoming Infernals. For us, it’s not that interesting, as we don’t collect friendly souls, leaving this as strictly a denial ability. Guardian Angel is kind of interesting, being an infinite shield guard that we can use to protect key pieces. Awe is a pretty powerful effect as well, but we probably aren’t the right faction to be taking advantage of it. We don’t tend to stack defense, and our jacks being base 10 means that the extra defense isn’t that impactful. Overall, the Morrowan Archon doesn’t seem worth it for us. Guardian Angel is always useful, but just isn’t worth 8 points on it’s own. To be worth it, we would have to be leveraging Awe in a big way. That list might exist in Khador (Kayazy or maybe Pikemen with the likes of Irusk 2 or Zerk 1 maybe), but it’s probably not very good. I wouldn’t expect to see it in Warriors of the Old Faith (as it won’t work with Menoth stuff). If it’s going to show up anywhere, I’d say it’s probably going to show up in Flame in the Darkness, as Zerk 1 could make some use of it, as well as having access to a wider variety of higher defence models.

Menite:

The Punchy one. The menite Archon is straight up a melee beater, bringing a fairly tanky stat line of 13/19 and 15 boxes, as well as a wealth of special rules. Long story short, I can’t see us ever taking the Menite Archon. It’s never going to be faction, we are not going to be able to take it in Flame in the Darkness (due to Zerk being a Thamarite now), and it doesn’t really bring anything we want anyway. It’s a pretty decent melee beater, but we don’t lack for those. At 8 points we could just straight up take a Berserker, which would likely hit harder, and be harder to kill.

Thamarite:

The shooty one. This one is kinda interesting. 16/17 with 8 boxes and dodge is pretty crazy, as she’ll be def 18 to shooting alot of the time. The gun is pretty interesting, being a true sight, rat 7 gun that RFPs or dunks on soul collection (the third shot type removes souls from models hit). On top of that, Beloved of Thamar gives Thamarite models re-rolls to hit. This means the Zerkovas, as well as a bunch of merc models that we normally take, like Ragman or Alexia. Outside of Flame in the Darkness, this is likely to be a dead ability, unless we are taking one of the Zerkovas (not the worst idea). In Flame in the Darkness, things can quickly get silly. These guys are FA2, like all Archons, and we have access to all the Thamarite models in that theme. This means that we can have some pretty deadly models, like Alexia, the Devils Shadow Mutineers, or Acosta re-rolling to hit over most of the game, and the Archons even hand it out to each other, bringing a feat level effect to most of the army every turn. Combine that with it’s ridiculous statline and great gun, and the Thamar Archon becomes a really good pick for us in Flame, and as a possible merc choice in any Zerk list outside of that theme. The Zerkovas become hilariously accurate between the rerolls from the Archon and Telemetry from the Hermit, making it worth looking at just for that synergy.

Void:

The spooky one. This guy is only available in Wolves…. for some reason? It’s statline isn’t as impressive as some of the others, but still solid at 14/17 and 10 boxes. The main reason to take this bad boy then is for the combination of it’s abilities. Dark Shroud is a model defining ability as it is, and combined with it’s teleport ability, good gun and ability to spray, it becomes a really interesting pick to use in Wolves. It gives Doom Reavers and Outriders that slight bump in damage output they need to be really dangerous, and when it starts stacking with Brittle Frost and the other debuffs in that list, the numbers start getting silly. We can now have access to effective Pow 16 Doom Reavers, independent of Caster buffs. Nuff said.

Alexia 3 and Legion of Lost Souls:

So Alexia 3 is kind of a non starter for Khador. The problem is that we just don’t really have much synergy with her. Generating shield guards in the middle of an opponents turn is interesting, but it just doesn’t amount to very much because it isn’t reliable and forces us to rely on our opponent making poor targeting choices. The one place she is kind of interesting is in Flame in the Darkness. Zerkova kinda wants a unit that can be both defensive behind a cloud wall, and that can put out a punch once the cloud wall goes down, and the Legion of Lost Souls delivers that, as it brings shield wall for decent armour, a decent pow melee attack and guns. Alexia synergises pretty well with that particular idea, bringing the Legion up to a very respectable pow 14. I’d expect to see her and the Legion in Flame in the Darkness (especially if the Legion come down a couple of points), but wouldn’t expect her to make the cut over her other incarnations elsewhere.

The Hermit of Henge Hold:

This model is dumb. Early on in the CID, it’s main thing that it did was Telemetry and being hard to kill, and frankly, that was worth the 4 point cost. Now, it also has an Arm debuff…. This is pretty crazy and makes it one of the most valuable solos in the game, right up there with Lord of the Feast in terms of impact on the game. Taking at least 5 attacks to kill, giving out a free use of Vision to a model once a game and boosting spell slinging is already an incredible deal for 4 points (I’d maybe take him just to sit on a flag and make my Warcaster harder to kill), and tacking on an arm debuff seems pretty crazy. I hope he comes out tweaked from his current incarnation, because this is the currently the kind of model that warps metas. Ignoring the Arm debuff, he is very interesting in Wolves, particularly with our casters that like to spell sling. Giving Greylords plus 2 to hit, as well as making the likes of Sorscha 1, Zerk 2 and Zerk 1 more reliable is absolutely worthwhile, and I’d expect to see him in a lot of lists, as he does quite a lot for Khador. Hell, him letting a Jack ignore a charge attack is pretty valuable, never mind the rest of his card.

Thamrite Advocate:

I don’t know what to make of this model. I guess the healing effect is nice? As is a sucker model to score flags? Overall, it seems to suffer from all it’s abilities being situational. Bar the Gates is interesting, but probably doesn’t matter, as he’ll just die if that ability is being a pain. Doesn’t Kill you is interesting from a repair point of view, as it gives you a bunch of flexibility on what dies (and if any faction likes repairing constant chip damage it’s Khador), but it’s just a bit too niche. Hex Bolt is possibly the worst nuke he could have, due to it’s incredibly short range. Give him influence, or Bone Shaker, or even Hellfire, to get some spell slinging out of him. At the moment, I’m not sure why you would take one, unless you were taking 3 in Flames to do some cute stuff with mass healing.

Of the other models, I won’t go into great detail. The Morrowan stuff is interesting, but more from a Cygnar perspective than from ours. I fully expect Flame in the Darkness to become a Cygnar mainstay, probably with Connie B or Stryker 1 or 2. The Morrowan models are solid and kind of fill a niche that Cygnar has traditionally lacked: Infantry with staying power. Connie B in particular can put together a pretty disgusting combined arms list with Resolutes and Vigilants, just constantly throwing out boosted pow 13 shots. Speaking of which, Connie B has come out the other end of CID looking pretty damn tasty. It’s kind of a testament to PP that all she really needed were some tweaks. Moving Blessings of Morrow to a passive ability, moving Soul collecting to an always on ability and giving her access to some more Morrowan stuff. Suddenly, she looks competitive, and I would be surprised if she doesn’t start making appearances in top Cygnar pairings. The precursor knight change was warranted, and didn’t need to be expanded beyond that (we might even see them in Heavy Metal now). The Morrowan Solos are all interesting, though perhaps a bit rules heavy. I’m not sure why Cormier needs 8 special rules on her card, as it feels like they could cut tough and sprint from her card. Speaking of Cormier, she looks appropriate in terms of effectiveness now. A place on hit was pretty crazy, as place effects are some of the most impactful effects in the game, so limiting it to on damage seems like a good compromise. I suspect she will be most effective with Constance for that sweet boost, but that seems fine. Throne seems about the same, in that he looks to have about 1 rule too many, but seems pretty reasonable on balance. I think this release will be the shot in the arm that Cygnar need, as it gives them a decent melee theme to run.

Overall, this CID has been interesting. Lots of stuff to go through, that mostly seemed about right when it was released into the forums. Cygnar seem like the big winners here, as they get the most new toys, but it feels like we got a fair number of impactful models as well. Flame in the Darkness feels like it will be a good toolbox list, and likely the best way to run Zerkova 1. Warriors looks about the same, letting us bring a fast and hard hitting list, as well as giving us access to some of Protectorates toys. Of the 4 Archons we will be having access to, the Thamarite and the Void Archon look the most interesting, with the Morrowan looking like there might be a list for him somewhere and the Menite one looking like he’ll be staying on the shelf. I’m really interested to see how these models drop, because I think PP did well with this CID.

Advertisements

Hungry like the Wolves

So school is getting busy, so it looks like I’m going to have to scale back the update cycle for the blog. Regular readers will likely have already noticed I’ve been a bit unpredictable with uploading, so this decision is likely less of a surprise for them. Hopefully, it won’t be forever.

Anyway, today I wanted to have a look at some of the applications for Wolves of Winter in a slightly different role than usual. It’s something I’ve been pondering for a while with a couple of casters, and seeing some other people running it has got me seriously dojoing. The basic idea, is that Khador jacks are balanced around not needing any support. I wrote about this idea before, as well as Khador getting certain releases that added in support (namely the Forge Seer, adjunct, Sorscha 0 and the addition of Journeymen to Jaws). Wolves has brought this to a whole new level.

The rebalancing of Wolves of Winter allows access to much cheaper Greylord and Doom Reaver models, as well as making it more feasible to run jacks in that theme. This means that we can access the kind of support that is more usual of factions like Menoth or Trolls. Let’s have a look at some of the models I’m talking about.

First, we have the Forge Seer. This is a model we have access to in 3 of our 5 themes, and needs little introduction. He’s an excellent marshal, (as I have previously discussed, blessed/magical combined with empower is really good you guys) but in the kinds of lists I’m looking at here, he’s probably not going to be filling that role. Taking him for the Empower is the trick here, as will be seen later when we discuss the Koldun Lord.

Next, we have the Adjunct. For a start, the casters we are looking at here all appreciate the casting support that he brings. In addition to this, it cannot be overstated how good his personal spell list is. Frostbite is a really good nuke and Blizzard is always welcome to help protect our caster and build cloud walls. Guidance is the money spell though, as Eyeless sight/Magic weapons is something that we have lacked for a long time and that goes a long way to making our lists more flexible. For so long, we have had to deal with workarounds to things like stealth and incorporeal. Now, we have access to those tools. Killing the likes of Gremlin Swarms was a pain before the Adjunct, but is now almost trivial.

We’ll leave the third solo till last, and discuss how good Ternions are in their current position. Access to Ice Cage is what we are most interested in for our Jack support list, as it makes our jacks more consistent, especially for our gun jacks (the Decimator becomes pretty decent with a few Ice cages thrown at it’s intended target). Being able to lower the defence on a Warpwolf or Skin and Moans makes it much more likely that our Doomies or Jacks can kill them, and having the option of caster independent Stationary is a strong option in this current meta of super solos (I can tell you from experience that Hakaar the Destroyer doesn’t like being frozen). Add in the option of impromptu cloud walls with Blizzard and the weight of attacks and recursion that Bonds of Woe brings, not to mention being free, and Ternions start to look like a swiss army knife of a unit, though I miss them having Frostbite a little bit.

The third solo, however, is a true swiss army knife. The Koldun lord is, quite frankly, ridiculous. His own spell list is pretty bonkers, with Wind Ravager being situationally game winning and Puppet master always being useful. Brittle Frost is crazy, as I never thought that Khador would get armour debuffs, let alone caster independent armour debuffs. Factor in his ability to selectively twin any of the other spells mentioned above and Magic Ability 8, and he is possibly the best support model in the game. On his own, he brings an armour debuff, dice mitigation and shooting denial; and adds in a def debuff, a variety of nukes, recursion, clouds, eyeless sight, magic weapons, focus allocation, and more. That is a crazy amount of jack support for one model.

Doom Reavers round out this list, being a fantastic screening unit. They are cheap, advance deploy and hit hard, as well as bringing a potential option for anti healing. They are genuinely threatening on their own and become more so with the support the greylords bring.

The big things that these models bring to our potential jack list is consistency and output. That consistency is a vital component for some of our more jack leaning casters, as a lot of them lack the output buffs that other factions have, relying more on the innate stat lines our Jacks have in the first place. Look at Karchev, at Strakhov 1, at Harkevich, and they all have one weakness in common. They all lack a dimension that they support their jacks with. Strakhov brings speed and movement shenanigans, but lacks the output buffs or a weight of focus. Karchev has an output buff in his feat, but lacks the focus necessary to run a weight of jacks at their full potential (if you look at some of the higher level Karchev games, he gets maybe 2 full jack activations on his feat turn, with everything else relying on power up focus). Harkevich has pathfinder, speed and armour, but struggles to survive well or actually leverage any of his jacks, due a lack of focus or any output buff. Wolves can help to fix this.

One of the interesting things about the Wolves changes is that you can take the 5 solos that really support jacks for exactly 20 points (2 Forge Seers, 2 Koldun and an Adjunct), which nets you a free Ternion unit. You can then add in 2 units of Doom Reavers for another 20 points (netting you a second unit of Ternions into the bargain). For 20 points, you now have all the Jack support you could ever want, with a potential 4 extra focus a turn, access to debuffs, Ice cages, guidance, etc. For another 20 points, you have access to a decent screen of infantry that can threaten to soften up or clear any target you want, as well as generally contest and jam. This leaves you a further 35 points + Jack points to spend on a battlegroup, which can generally net you at least 4 jacks, 5 if you go for some of the cheaper jacks. Wolves also gives access to Ruin, who is a steal at 17 points and gives some interesting build options. Lets have a look at some builds:

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Strakhov 1] Kommander Oleg Strakhov [+28]

– Decimator [15]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Ruin [17]

– Torch [18]

– Greylord Adjunct [4]

Greylord Forge Seer [4]

Greylord Forge Seer [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

This is the first list I’ve been looking at, though Strakhov is still a flip up between Wolves and Jaws (mostly between Sorscha 0 or access to debuffs). Stakhov’s big problems have always been consistency and resources. He has very little in the way of output buffs, with + 2 Mat and a free charge from feat being the only output buffs he has access to natively, and would prefer not to give out any focus if he could help it. Wolves solves both of those problems. Ice cages, puppet master and brittle frost solve a lot of issues, making Torch capable of killing a heavy and then both Sprinting and Over-running backwards. In addition to this, the list also brings the ability to fully fuel 2 jacks without touching Strakhov’s focus. The decimator finally finds a good home, in that with access to ice cages and guidance, it can reliably hit without boosting, making it a good jacks for triggering overrun and softening harder targets up for the rest of the list. In addition to this, the Doom Reavers act as a good screening unit, with Strakhov giving them more threat range and access to pathfinder.

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Malakov 2] Kommander Andrei Malakov [+28]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Kodiak [13]

– Kodiak [13]

– Marauder [11]

– Marauder [11]

Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]

Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]

Koldun Lord [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Greylord Ternion [7]

Greylord Ternion [7]

Malakov has always been a bit of a weird caster. He has an odd set of abilities for a Khador caster and no real output buffs, fewer even than Strakhov. What he does bring is a pretty ridiculous feat, good battle plans and a ghetto cloud wall. The feat in particular is interesting here. Doom Reavers that tough will be able to randomly walk away, as well as the jacks being incredibly hard to pin down. What is less obvious is it’s combination with the Back stab battle plan. The combination of parry, veil of mists and back stab on a unit that already hits as hard as Doom Reavers is pretty bonkers. In addition to that, putting sneak on a unit of Doom Reavers and then using them to create a cloud wall is pretty strong, with a lot of lists being unable to deal with that kind of denial. This can allow the list to alpha pretty strongly, whilst also allowing the list to protect it’s squishier Greylord solos. Finally, with the inclusion of Kodiaks under tactical supremacy, as well as Veil of Mists, sneak and Blizzards, you can create a pretty ridiculously long cloud wall (upwards of 18 inches is pretty trivially possible).

Those are just 2 of the possible lists available with this format. It brings some new life to our more unused casters and gives us some new options to explore. These lists are hardly the only way to play wolves. There are combined arms lists, such as the Sorscha 1 list I’m playing at the moment, Doom Reaver spams, and Greylord spams. The fact that there are a bunch of different archetypes of lists that can be played in this theme (and remember, this theme is fairly limited in terms of model selection) is a testament to how flexible this theme is, and how needed it has been in terms of filling a hole in our line up.

Weekender Part 2

Hi guys. This one has been a bit late due to teaching concerns. We’ll see how this lines up in the next few weeks. Before I get into the last half of Warmachine Weekender, I wanted to appeal a bit. I decided a while ago that I wasn’t really interested in this blog making me any money, or asking for tips and such, but charity is another matter.

The school I’m studying at is doing a fund raising campaign for a primary school in Kibera, Kenya, and I thought I would at least give you guys the chance to be a part of giving those kids a better chance at an education. I’ve learned a lot about the school that we want to help, and it seems a good cause, with the money raised going towards outfitting the school with basic amenities such as desks, a kitchen and a water storage facility, as well as paying for some much needed repairs and maintenance that the school needs. Anything you want to give would be appreciated, and you can donate through the following link. https://www.gofundme.com/barlaston-first-school-for-feed-the-hungry-uk. Thank you in advance for anything you can give. Right, enough serious stuff, lets talk war dollies!

So the second day of the Weekender dawned bright and sunny (read: like a bastard). I’d had very little sleep and drank quite a lot, so clearly I was in optimum Warmachine condition. After a nice breakfast, we got down to the business of round 4.

Round 4:

First round of the day, and I have some tasty Ret to play against. Micheal Howarth was running something and Vyros 2. I opt to drop Witch, and see Vyros across the table. Off we go.

Retribution Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Forges of War

[Vyros 2] Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard [+27]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Imperatus [20]

– Manticore [14]

– Manticore [14]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]

House Shyeel Arcanists [0(7)]

House Shyeel Arcanists [0(7)]

I win the roll off and go first. Scenario was Recon 2. Terrain had a big forest in the centre right of the board, and not much else of interest. I deploy pretty centrally, with Malakov, Rager and Behemoth on the right flank and the other jacks on the left. Mike deploys his heavies centrally, with Griffons on either flank.

Turn 1:

I run forward. Re-construct goes on a Juggernaut. The maruader runs as far forward as possible, to threaten the right zone.

Mike also runs forward, mostly camping. He puts up Deceleration.

Turn 2:

I position somewhat this turn. I put up Windstorm and get out Curse of Shadows onto a Griffon, before moving forward and keeping out of non-Fleet threat range from the Griffons. Behemoth takes some shots and pings some damage off of a couple of jacks (it gets shield guarded around a bit). I put a forge seer on my flag.

Mike spends some time thinking, and opts to feat and run everything forward. He clusters his heavies in the centre of the table, and runs everything else as far forward as possible. A griffon comes through the forest and murders fat santa.

Turn 3:

This is clearly feat turn, but I have the headache of Vyros feat turn. Witch probably dies if a griffon gets to her at the top of the synergy chain, so I have to be careful. She goes first and spends all her focus. Allocating out to the juggernauts, BC ing twice, and casting windstorm. The Kodiak goes and hits a Manticore twice, throwing it into Imperatus. Behemoth activates next and charges Imperatus, coming up one hit short on killing. The juggernaut goes and murders a manticore, as well as putting some damage on a Griffon, whilst the Rager moves up and, with some help from a unit of Elims, kills the contesting Griffons. I panic somewhat at this point, as too much is getting too close to Witch. To combat this, I manage to get the last Juggernaut into a position to engage and damage the last 3 Griffons. I pass turn and score 2.

My opponent hits back reasonably hard this turn, taking Behemoth and the Kodiak off the table. He doesn’t manage much else though, and scores 1.

Turn 4:

I clean up this turn, leaving him 2 crippled Griffons and a functional one. I derp, however, and put Witch near to a griffon. I do score 2 though.

At this point, Mike has no real choice but to go for the assassination. I still have 4 jacks, and I have given him a decent shot. A shot from Eyriss, max synergy and concentrated power later, Witch is dead, and I am an idiot.

Afterthoughts:

This match up continues to be fine. Bad placement aside, it is simply too hard for Vyros to leverage his jacks properly. A Griffon at the top of the Synergy chain, with concentrated and not having to fleet can do some decent damage to a Khador jack. Without all 3, they tend to bounce off, and Behemoths shooting is good enough to actually do decent damage through all the shield guards and deceleration. The tricky part is always the feat turn, as it makes it difficult to actually keep Witch safe. I did that pretty well this game, but just randomly put Witch into threat on the last turn.

Round 5:

Second round of the day and I get paired with Edward Chantler, playing Skorne. We waste about 5 minutes immediately when I drop a pun about his faction and both of us giggle about it uncontrollably. He has Makeda 3 in Imperial Warhost and Zaal 2 in exalted. I decide that this is the time, and drop Sorscha, whilst he plumps for Makeda.

Skorne Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Imperial Warhost

[Makeda 3] Makeda & the Exalted Court [+25]

– Agonizer [0(6)]

– Archidon [10]

– Basilisk Drake [8]

– Basilisk Krea [0(7)]

– Molik Karn [19]

– Titan Gladiator [15]

Paingiver Beast Handlers (max) [7]

Paingiver Beast Handlers (max) [7]

Siege Animantarax [17]

Siege Animantarax [17]

I lose the roll off and go first. Scenario was Mirage. Terrain had an obstruction off centre, a forest on the right hand side and on the left. I deploy Sorscha centre left, with the Conquest centre right. Everything else goes on flanks. On the Skorne side, the battlegroup goes on the left flank, with Turtles on the right.

Turn 1:

Everything runs forward, with Sorscha staying fairly central for Fog of War coverage. I get as far forward as I can and try to block off LOS for Eliminator drifts.

Edward has basically 2 options at this point. Try and drift an Eliminator or walk forward a little bit. He opts to take some pot shots with the Turtles. He complains that he can’t hit the 10s he needs, so I suggest that since he needs casual 10s, he should roll casually. This triggers a game long journey of rolling as casually as possible on both sides (hilariously, the advice works and he kills 2 doom reavers). He decides to just come forward a bit, giving me the Gladiator to play with, as well as bunkering up somewhat.

Turn 2:

With some finagling, I think I can get the Gladiator and the Agoniser this turn. I start with the left hand ponies, who go in deep to try and dig out the Agoniser. They manage to hit 2 of their attacks, leaving it on 1 box. Sorscha moves up and, with puppet master and eyeless sight, she manages to ping off the last box. The other Koldun walks up and Brittle Frosts the Gladiator, which then dies to a unit of doom reavers. I make a point of not leaving much in the way of overtake fodder for Makeda.

Edward spends some time looking at whether he can get to Sorscha this turn, but decides not to in the end. He kills all the Doom Reavers on the left side, as well as killing the Koldun on the right side and a Doom Reaver. Everything else repositions and he scores 1.

Turn 3:

I can probably score 4 this round, but Makeda is also just kind of hanging in the wind. I opt to go for it, as she will be stationary and is camping nothing. Sorscha gets puppet master, wind rushes and one shots makeda with a big damage spike.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

My opponent made the mistake of giving me first turn. He had some shooting, but not great into the match up. The trick for the match up is just making sure that Makeda never gets too much on her feat turn. Once the agoniser was gone, I can pretty much trade down and win on scenario, especially on Mirage.

Round 6:

Final round and I’ve got Paul North playing Grymkin. He’s got Child and Old Witch 3, both in Dark Menagerie. This is kind of a crucial game for this pairing, because I have to be able to play Grymkin with Sorscha, and I have yet to play against Clockatrices. I drop Sorscha, and he drops Child.

Grymkin Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[Child 1] The Child [+29]

– Cage Rager [14]

– Cage Rager [14]

– Clockatrice [13]

– Clockatrice [13]

– Crabbit [0(-)]

– Crabbit [0(-)]

– Skin & Moans [15]

– Skin & Moans [15]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [3]

Lady Karianna Rose [4]

Death Knell [13]

I lose the roll off and go second. Scenario was Invasion. Terrain has a forest on his side of the central zone, a wall on mine and a hill on the left side of the left zone. He deploys with Child and most of the battlegroup central, as well as the Clockatrices on the flanks. I deploy Conquest central left, Sorscha central right and keep everything else fairly symmetrically. He takes Sacrifice and Labyrinth

Turn 1:

Paul runs everything forward, flanking hard with the Clockatrices, as well as getting out Tantrum.

I decide not to move very far forward this turn. I form a wall of Doom Reavers b2b across my side of the boards, before putting a Koldun lord wedged into each side opposite the Clockatrices with Wind Ravager up. Everything else shuffles forward, with Sorscha standing just behind the wall. The ponies on the left side move forward and spray the clockatrice a couple of times, doing a couple of points.

Turn 2:

Paul shuffles forward this turn, he stays out of threat range of most of the Doomies.

I go for a tempest on his Cage Rager, which he vortexes, before moving back with Wind Rush. He procs Labyrinth on Sorscha, but I leave myself enough movement to get back. I decide to do Wind Ravager on both sides again, keeping the lines fairly tight. The Conquest goes for a boosted shot on the Cage Rager, throwing them both out of the zone with a Crit Devastation. I score 1.

Turn 3:

Paul decides he has to commit this turn. On the left, he opts to move forward a bit and goes for a spray on 2 doom reavers, who both tough. He moves his cage rager up on the right hand side, and pushes his battlegroup forward and bunkers up.

I opt to try and take as much as I can. I opt to ice cage and brittle frost the left Clockatrice as much as possible, getting the stationary. I run the left ponies up to surround the left Clockatrice, before going in with a unit of Doomies, managing to kill it, but triggering Tantrum. I decide to feat just to stop his tantrum move, and go for a tempest on his Cage Rager, which he vortexes. The Koldun Lord on that side Brittle Frosts the now naked Cage Rager, which then dies to a unit of Doomies. I also manage to kill all the Gremlins this turn. I clear the left zone and score again. I back everything out of the central zone, with the Conquest stood just out of 12 inches of his beasts.

Turn 4:

Paul kills a bunch of stuff this turn, killing most of the 2 commited units of Doomies and a couple of ponies. He kills the objective, scoring the central zone.

My turn and I have the opportunity to take another 2 beasts. So I do, taking down the remaining Rager (who is outside of Knell range), as well as the Skin and Moans. I clear the left zone and score 1.

Turn 5:

Paul spends most of this turn commiting his last remaining Skin and moans to killing the Conquest. He gets a couple of other things, but ends up with the Knell in the left zone, and the Child stood just in front of his objective. He puts up Wailing on the Skin in the Zone.

My turn and time has kind of run out, clock wise anyway. Thankfully, the Child is only camping 2 and I can get a lot of stuff on her. To start, I Ice cage his 2 remaining beasts to stationary with my Ternions, before also Brittle Frosting the Child (only need 5s!). Sorscha goes, Wind Rushing and charging the Child, going for the Crit Freeze by boosting attack rolls, getting it on the 2nd attack. I then put 7 Doomies into the Child and just kill her on the last attack, with 23 seconds left on my clock.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

I have to get quicker at playing this list. The MU was good, with it being even more nuts if I go first. Being able to put a limiter on Clockatrice sprays, as well as having models fast enough to surround them really gives me options. I was almost able to body block off the Conquest when I committed it, and if it doesn’t go down, that is game right there. I need a few more games into this style of Grymkin (the Noahs arc heavy variant I mean), but it seems fine.

At the end of it all, I managed to go 4 and 2, coming 15th overall. After the awards, I headed back home. The Weekender was an absolute delight, with thanks to Gav Beckett and everyone who helped out. I’ll definitely be attending next year.

Hi guys. This one has been a bit late due to teaching concerns. We’ll see how this lines up in the next few weeks. Before I get into the last half of Warmachine Weekender, I wanted to appeal a bit. I decided a while ago that I wasn’t really interested in this blog making me any money, or asking for tips and such, but charity is another matter.

The school I’m studying at is doing a fund raising campaign for a primary school in Kibera, Kenya, and I thought I would at least give you guys the chance to be a part of giving those kids a better chance at an education. I’ve learned a lot about the school that we want to help, and it seems a good cause, with the money raised going towards outfitting the school with basic amenities such as desks, a kitchen and a water storage facility, as well as paying for some much needed repairs and maintenance that the school needs. Anything you want to give would be appreciated, and you can donate through the following link. https://www.gofundme.com/barlaston-first-school-for-feed-the-hungry-uk. Thank you in advance for anything you can give. Right, enough serious stuff, lets talk war dollies!

So the second day of the Weekender dawned bright and sunny (read: like a bastard). I’d had very little sleep and drank quite a lot, so clearly I was in optimum Warmachine condition. After a nice breakfast, we got down to the business of round 4.

Round 4:

First round of the day, and I have some tasty Ret to play against. Micheal Howarth was running something and Vyros 2. I opt to drop Witch, and see Vyros across the table. Off we go.

Retribution Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Forges of War

[Vyros 2] Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard [+27]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Griffon [8]

– Imperatus [20]

– Manticore [14]

– Manticore [14]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]

House Shyeel Arcanists [0(7)]

House Shyeel Arcanists [0(7)]

I win the roll off and go first. Scenario was Recon 2. Terrain had a big forest in the centre right of the board, and not much else of interest. I deploy pretty centrally, with Malakov, Rager and Behemoth on the right flank and the other jacks on the left. Mike deploys his heavies centrally, with Griffons on either flank.

Turn 1:

I run forward. Re-construct goes on a Juggernaut. The maruader runs as far forward as possible, to threaten the right zone.

Mike also runs forward, mostly camping. He puts up Deceleration.

Turn 2:

I position somewhat this turn. I put up Windstorm and get out Curse of Shadows onto a Griffon, before moving forward and keeping out of non-Fleet threat range from the Griffons. Behemoth takes some shots and pings some damage off of a couple of jacks (it gets shield guarded around a bit). I put a forge seer on my flag.

Mike spends some time thinking, and opts to feat and run everything forward. He clusters his heavies in the centre of the table, and runs everything else as far forward as possible. A griffon comes through the forest and murders fat santa.

Turn 3:

This is clearly feat turn, but I have the headache of Vyros feat turn. Witch probably dies if a griffon gets to her at the top of the synergy chain, so I have to be careful. She goes first and spends all her focus. Allocating out to the juggernauts, BC ing twice, and casting windstorm. The Kodiak goes and hits a Manticore twice, throwing it into Imperatus. Behemoth activates next and charges Imperatus, coming up one hit short on killing. The juggernaut goes and murders a manticore, as well as putting some damage on a Griffon, whilst the Rager moves up and, with some help from a unit of Elims, kills the contesting Griffons. I panic somewhat at this point, as too much is getting too close to Witch. To combat this, I manage to get the last Juggernaut into a position to engage and damage the last 3 Griffons. I pass turn and score 2.

My opponent hits back reasonably hard this turn, taking Behemoth and the Kodiak off the table. He doesn’t manage much else though, and scores 1.

Turn 4:

I clean up this turn, leaving him 2 crippled Griffons and a functional one. I derp, however, and put Witch near to a griffon. I do score 2 though.

At this point, Mike has no real choice but to go for the assassination. I still have 4 jacks, and I have given him a decent shot. A shot from Eyriss, max synergy and concentrated power later, Witch is dead, and I am an idiot.

Afterthoughts:

This match up continues to be fine. Bad placement aside, it is simply too hard for Vyros to leverage his jacks properly. A Griffon at the top of the Synergy chain, with concentrated and not having to fleet can do some decent damage to a Khador jack. Without all 3, they tend to bounce off, and Behemoths shooting is good enough to actually do decent damage through all the shield guards and deceleration. The tricky part is always the feat turn, as it makes it difficult to actually keep Witch safe. I did that pretty well this game, but just randomly put Witch into threat on the last turn.

Round 5:

Second round of the day and I get paired with Edward Chantler, playing Skorne. We waste about 5 minutes immediately when I drop a pun about his faction and both of us giggle about it uncontrollably. He has Makeda 3 in Imperial Warhost and Zaal 2 in exalted. I decide that this is the time, and drop Sorscha, whilst he plumps for Makeda.

Skorne Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Imperial Warhost

[Makeda 3] Makeda & the Exalted Court [+25]

– Agonizer [0(6)]

– Archidon [10]

– Basilisk Drake [8]

– Basilisk Krea [0(7)]

– Molik Karn [19]

– Titan Gladiator [15]

Paingiver Beast Handlers (max) [7]

Paingiver Beast Handlers (max) [7]

Siege Animantarax [17]

Siege Animantarax [17]

I lose the roll off and go first. Scenario was Mirage. Terrain had an obstruction off centre, a forest on the right hand side and on the left. I deploy Sorscha centre left, with the Conquest centre right. Everything else goes on flanks. On the Skorne side, the battlegroup goes on the left flank, with Turtles on the right.

Turn 1:

Everything runs forward, with Sorscha staying fairly central for Fog of War coverage. I get as far forward as I can and try to block off LOS for Eliminator drifts.

Edward has basically 2 options at this point. Try and drift an Eliminator or walk forward a little bit. He opts to take some pot shots with the Turtles. He complains that he can’t hit the 10s he needs, so I suggest that since he needs casual 10s, he should roll casually. This triggers a game long journey of rolling as casually as possible on both sides (hilariously, the advice works and he kills 2 doom reavers). He decides to just come forward a bit, giving me the Gladiator to play with, as well as bunkering up somewhat.

Turn 2:

With some finagling, I think I can get the Gladiator and the Agoniser this turn. I start with the left hand ponies, who go in deep to try and dig out the Agoniser. They manage to hit 2 of their attacks, leaving it on 1 box. Sorscha moves up and, with puppet master and eyeless sight, she manages to ping off the last box. The other Koldun walks up and Brittle Frosts the Gladiator, which then dies to a unit of doom reavers. I make a point of not leaving much in the way of overtake fodder for Makeda.

Edward spends some time looking at whether he can get to Sorscha this turn, but decides not to in the end. He kills all the Doom Reavers on the left side, as well as killing the Koldun on the right side and a Doom Reaver. Everything else repositions and he scores 1.

Turn 3:

I can probably score 4 this round, but Makeda is also just kind of hanging in the wind. I opt to go for it, as she will be stationary and is camping nothing. Sorscha gets puppet master, wind rushes and one shots makeda with a big damage spike.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

My opponent made the mistake of giving me first turn. He had some shooting, but not great into the match up. The trick for the match up is just making sure that Makeda never gets too much on her feat turn. Once the agoniser was gone, I can pretty much trade down and win on scenario, especially on Mirage.

Round 6:

Final round and I’ve got Paul North playing Grymkin. He’s got Child and Old Witch 3, both in Dark Menagerie. This is kind of a crucial game for this pairing, because I have to be able to play Grymkin with Sorscha, and I have yet to play against Clockatrices. I drop Sorscha, and he drops Child.

Grymkin Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[Child 1] The Child [+29]

– Cage Rager [14]

– Cage Rager [14]

– Clockatrice [13]

– Clockatrice [13]

– Crabbit [0(-)]

– Crabbit [0(-)]

– Skin & Moans [15]

– Skin & Moans [15]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [3]

Lady Karianna Rose [4]

Death Knell [13]

I lose the roll off and go second. Scenario was Invasion. Terrain has a forest on his side of the central zone, a wall on mine and a hill on the left side of the left zone. He deploys with Child and most of the battlegroup central, as well as the Clockatrices on the flanks. I deploy Conquest central left, Sorscha central right and keep everything else fairly symmetrically. He takes Sacrifice and Labyrinth

Turn 1:

Paul runs everything forward, flanking hard with the Clockatrices, as well as getting out Tantrum.

I decide not to move very far forward this turn. I form a wall of Doom Reavers b2b across my side of the boards, before putting a Koldun lord wedged into each side opposite the Clockatrices with Wind Ravager up. Everything else shuffles forward, with Sorscha standing just behind the wall. The ponies on the left side move forward and spray the clockatrice a couple of times, doing a couple of points.

Turn 2:

Paul shuffles forward this turn, he stays out of threat range of most of the Doomies.

I go for a tempest on his Cage Rager, which he vortexes, before moving back with Wind Rush. He procs Labyrinth on Sorscha, but I leave myself enough movement to get back. I decide to do Wind Ravager on both sides again, keeping the lines fairly tight. The Conquest goes for a boosted shot on the Cage Rager, throwing them both out of the zone with a Crit Devastation. I score 1.

Turn 3:

Paul decides he has to commit this turn. On the left, he opts to move forward a bit and goes for a spray on 2 doom reavers, who both tough. He moves his cage rager up on the right hand side, and pushes his battlegroup forward and bunkers up.

I opt to try and take as much as I can. I opt to ice cage and brittle frost the left Clockatrice as much as possible, getting the stationary. I run the left ponies up to surround the left Clockatrice, before going in with a unit of Doomies, managing to kill it, but triggering Tantrum. I decide to feat just to stop his tantrum move, and go for a tempest on his Cage Rager, which he vortexes. The Koldun Lord on that side Brittle Frosts the now naked Cage Rager, which then dies to a unit of Doomies. I also manage to kill all the Gremlins this turn. I clear the left zone and score again. I back everything out of the central zone, with the Conquest stood just out of 12 inches of his beasts.

Turn 4:

Paul kills a bunch of stuff this turn, killing most of the 2 commited units of Doomies and a couple of ponies. He kills the objective, scoring the central zone.

My turn and I have the opportunity to take another 2 beasts. So I do, taking down the remaining Rager (who is outside of Knell range), as well as the Skin and Moans. I clear the left zone and score 1.

Turn 5:

Paul spends most of this turn commiting his last remaining Skin and moans to killing the Conquest. He gets a couple of other things, but ends up with the Knell in the left zone, and the Child stood just in front of his objective. He puts up Wailing on the Skin in the Zone.

My turn and time has kind of run out, clock wise anyway. Thankfully, the Child is only camping 2 and I can get a lot of stuff on her. To start, I Ice cage his 2 remaining beasts to stationary with my Ternions, before also Brittle Frosting the Child (only need 5s!). Sorscha goes, Wind Rushing and charging the Child, going for the Crit Freeze by boosting attack rolls, getting it on the 2nd attack. I then put 7 Doomies into the Child and just kill her on the last attack, with 23 seconds left on my clock.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

I have to get quicker at playing this list. The MU was good, with it being even more nuts if I go first. Being able to put a limiter on Clockatrice sprays, as well as having models fast enough to surround them really gives me options. I was almost able to body block off the Conquest when I committed it, and if it doesn’t go down, that is game right there. I need a few more games into this style of Grymkin (the Noahs arc heavy variant I mean), but it seems fine.

At the end of it all, I managed to go 4 and 2, coming 15th overall. After the awards, I headed back home. The Weekender was an absolute delight, with thanks to Gav Beckett and everyone who helped out. I’ll definitely be attending next year.

Warmachine Weekender Part 1

I’ve been a bit sporadic lately guys, so sorry. Chalk it up to a time table at school that keeps ramping up. Today, I thought I’d post a tourney report for the Warmachine Weekender that happened last weekend (the 8th to the 10th of March). It was a fabulous event, with this year being the first one to be run. Aiming to emulate the well known and loved Warmachine Weekend in the States, Warmachine Weekender was organised by Gavin Beckett and Co, with a goal of it being a relatively cheap event with on site accommodation as well as 24 hour gaming. In this, as in all other things, he was 100% successful. The rooms were nice, the food was good and the gaming was plentiful. I think I got about 9 hours sleep over the 2 nights and played around 15 games of Warmachine, along with other board games and sundries. Top event guys, I’ll be coming back next year for definite.

As part of the Weekender, there was an ongoing 64 man steam roller being run at a leisurely pace. It was a 2 list Masters event, and I opted to take my current pairing of Sorscha 1 and Zerkova 1.

Nah, just kidding, the second list was the same list as always, Old Witch 2. Lists below:

Khador Army – 74 / 75 points

[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Sorscha 1] Kommander Sorscha [+29]

– Conquest [35]

– Greylord Adjunct [0(4)]

Koldun Lord [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

– Greylord Escort [3]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Greylord Outriders (min) [10]

Greylord Outriders (max) [17]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

[Old Witch 2] Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper [+27]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Kodiak [13]

– Greylord Adjunct [0(4)]

Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]

– Behemoth [25]

Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]

– Rager [10]

Kovnik Andrei Malakov [4]

– Marauder [11]

Battle Mechaniks (min) [3]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

Round 1:

First round and I get the esteemed ______, who is running Crucible Guard, with Syvestro and Baldwin. I’ve played OW2 into a bunch of CG lists now, and it’s usually a pretty good match up, so down she goes. Baldwin gets dropped against me and off we go.

Crucible Guard Army – 74 / 75 points

[Theme] Magnum Opus

[Gearhart 1] Marshal General Baldwin Gearhart [+27]

– Retaliator [9]

– Vulcan [35]

– Aurum Ominus Alyce Marc [0(5)]

Crucible Guard Mechanik [2]

Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [5]

Trancer [3]

Trancer [3]

Crucible Guard Infantry (max) [15]

– Crucible Guard Infantry Officer & Standard [4]

Crucible Guard Storm Troopers (min) [10]

Dragon’s Breath Rocket [0(5)]

Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]

– Doctor Alejandro Mosby [4]

I lose the roll off and go second. Scenario was Pit 2. Terrain had a forest on my left flank, as well as on his and a big patch of rubble just outside the central zone on my side. Nothing else was particularly relevant. He deployed his CG infantry on my left flank, with Baldwin and the Vulcan in the centre and the Halberdiers on the right. I drop Witch directly opposite Baldwin, with 2 Juggies on the left and the other jacks on the right.

Turn 1:

He runs forward with pretty much everything. Curiously, he doesn’t run the Vulcan as far as it can go, perhaps wanting it to start outside of the Windstorm next turn. His Trancers begin hard flanking. He puts out Hot shot on the Vulcan and Snipe on the CG infantry.

My turn and I simply run forward. Behemoth walks forward and deviates some shots, clipping a CG infantry and nothing else. On the right, I have not much in the way of threats, so Malakov and the Eliminators take up board position, whilst the rest of the jacks move up to just outside aiming range of most of his stuff. Witch does Windstorm and Reconstruct, and moves up conservatively to stay out of 17 of Baldwin.

Turn 2:

My opponent takes a pretty conservative turn this round. He drops snipe and cycles it over to Baldwin. He opts to run 2 Shocktroopers into the central zone, as well as toeing some CG infantry into his zone. He takes some shots with the Vulcan by backing up, and between the 2 shots and Baldwin, manages crippling the Kodiaks arms (who has Reconstruct). He charges in the right hand trancer, but misses the boosted 13. He then tries to push down the right side with Halbs.

My turn is spent working to score 3. I feat with Witch for it, putting out some focus, a bunch of BC and putting up Windstorm. A juggernaut trivially removes the objective, and I clear the central zone between Behemoth and the crippled Kodiak charging in. On the right, the Eliminators horribly murder a bunch of Halbs, whilst Malakov aims and guns down the Trancer. Everything else positions and I do score 3.

Turn 3:

My opponent strikes back this turn. He manages to kill both the Kodiak and the Juggernaut, but fails to score anything. He puts the Vulcan into contest the centre zone, a trancer and 3 CG infantry in the left and a single Halb in the right.

All I have to do is score 2 to win. The easiest way to do this is to clear the flanks, but I get tunnel vision and end up killing the Vulcan. Unfortunately, I fail to have anything in the right zone to score by doing this and have pushed Witch forward to Curse of Shadows the Vulcan. I go 4 points up this turn.

Turn 4:

Witch goes down pretty trivially, between Feat, shots from Baldwin and the remaining stuff on the field.

Afterthoughts:

Let this be a lesson to future me. Keep your eyes on the prize! I could have won pretty trivially by clearing the left zone, but got obsessed with killing the colossal. Outside of that, I’m pretty happy with the match up. It feels like CG struggles to deal with Khador jacks when it can’t leverage it’s guns properly. If they can shoot with impunity, then Snipe and the variety of guns is pretty capable of removing jacks, but Windstorm makes it difficult to support across the board.

Round 2:

Second round and I get paired into Ben Robinson. He’s running Khador and has Butcher 3 and Karchev. I’m pretty sure I could drop Sorscha, but decide that she just doesn’t have the output to deal with either list. The Butcher list also has Fun Carriages, which seems bad for Wolves. He drops Karchev and off we go. List below:

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

[Karchev 1] Karchev the Terrible [+30]

– Behemoth [25]

– Devastator [14]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Kodiak [13]

– Marauder [11]

– Greylord Adjunct [0(4)]

Widowmaker Marksman [0(4)]

Yuri the Axe [0(6)]

Battle Mechaniks (min) [3]

– Battle Mechanik Officer [3]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

I lose the roll off and go second. Scenario was Standoff. Terrain has 2 forests in the centre of the table, as well as patch of rubble on my left flank. Ben deploys with Behemoth and the Kodiak on the left flank, Karchev centrally, and the rest right-centre. I deploy Behe and Witch centrally, with the Kodiak and the Juggernaut on the left and the rest on the right. Eliminators on both sides go on the flanks.

Turn 1:

He runs everything forward and puts up Road to war.

I run everything forward, and put out Reconstruct and Windstorm. Behemoth drifts some AOEs, but fails to kill anything.

Turn 2:

He runs everything forward again.

I have to make a decision between committing and backing off, and decide to commit. Witch feats and backs off, before the jacks go in. The dice do not go my way and I remove a Juggernaut and a Marauder, but failing to even cripple Behemoth. I score 1.

Turn 3:

Ben counter feats this turn, fire dice helping him to remove 3 jacks and cripple the Marauder. He leaves Karchev in a forest, in LOS of my army but out of melee threat range.

Attrition has swung against me, and I don’t think I can manage to win that way anymore. I have a possible assassination and, as bad as it is, I opt to take it. Witch moves up and blinds Karchev, before Cursing and slinging a boosted Scourge into him. I spike dice and do 5 damage after the over-boosting. Behemoth gets eyeless sight to see through the cloud, and aims, putting 2 boosted dice of 1s into Karchev. I roll poorly and do around 10 damage between the 2 shots. Malakov moves up and puts a hand cannon and a razor wind into him, both boosted damage, leaving him on 4. The Rager moves up and shoots, at dice off 2, and I hit the 6 on the damage roll to kill him.

Afterthoughts:

I actually don’t think this is a bad matchup for Witch, just that I played it wrong. Playing against burst feats I should be giving up jacks one or 2 at a time and leveraging Behemoths shots. I could have spent a turn backing off and shooting but went ham instead. Me actually killing Karchev was incredibly lucky and something my opponent could have prevented by having him back about an inch and a half.

Round 3:

Round 3 is the last round of the first day. I get paired against Aston Howes, running Ret with Garryth 2 and Kaelyssa. I opt to drop Witch and he drops Kaelyssa. List below:

Retribution Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Legions of Dawn

[Kaelyssa 1] Kaelyssa, the Night’s Whisper [+29]

– Harpy [9]

– Imperatus [20]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Arcanist Mechanik [2]

Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]

House Shyeel Artificer [0(5)]

House Shyeel Artificer [0(5)]

Dawnguard Sentinels (min) [11]

– Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [4]

Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]

– Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [4]

Dawnguard Trident [16]

Dawnguard Trident [16]

I lose the roll off and go second. Scenario was Spread the Net. Terrain has a big forest on his side of the central zone, as well as a forest in front of my flag and an obstruction on the right flank. He deploys Sentinels and a Trident on either side, with Kaelyssa and her BG in the centre. I deploy Witch dead centre with Behemoth, Rager and Juggernaut on the right, and the rest on the left.

Turn 1:

He runs everything forward, getting Banishing Ward on the left hand Sentinels, Blur on the right hand Sentinels, and everything runs forward.

I get out Reconstruct and Windstorm, and run everything forward.

Turn 2:

Aston moves everything forward, staying out of easy trample range of most of my stuff. He doesn’t put anything in my zone and feats, catching his whole army. He moves one of his Tridents up and rolls shots, going for boosted 13s on the right hand unit. He manages to hit 1 of them and kills an Eliminator, before Refuging backwards.

My turn and I decide to just contest and carry on. Eliminators on either side run to contest, with the left hand unit leaving an Lady out of command. I assemble the Jack brick on the edge of the centre zone, staying out of threat of the Sentinels. Witch puts up Windstorm and camps 4. Behemoth gets Eyeless and takes 2 pow 16s into the Harpy, leaving it on 2 boxes.

Turn 3:

Aston rams everything into me this turn, getting Imperatus and a Trident into my lines. They don’t manage to kill any jacks. He also runs and mini feats with both units, failing to hit the eliminators on either side. He manages to score one from slamming a jack out of the centre zone.

My turn and feat goes up. Between all the activations, I manage to remove both Tridents and Imperatus, as well as a good few Sentinels. I end up scoring 3 and pass turn.

Turn 4:

Aston concedes here, as attrition has swung too far, though he does manage to kill a Juggernaut and Rager first.

Afterthoughts:

Witch screws over Tridents pretty hard. Combined with the Blind gun, the addition of guidance to the list and the Malakov Marauder makes it difficult for Kaelyssa to leverage anything.

That was the end of the first day. Over the rest of the night, I managed to get in another 5 games, coupled with a lot of alchohol and takeaway. Next week, I’ll be posting the latter half of the steam roller, as well as my general impressions of my first large tournament with my current pairing.

Circular Reasoning

So the new meta is starting to heat up. We’ve had an LVO where the finals was a mirror match between 2 Makeda 3 players, much bitching about Circle and the ever present bull crap that is the Judicator. As kind of a response to all this, I thought I’d go over some of the tips and tricks I’ve been thinking about in how to deal with all this stuff, as well as some of my thoughts about the models involved. I’ll be focusing on Circle today. Lets get started!

Tharn has been dominating the discussion lately, as they are tearing up the scene. The complaining is nothing particularly new, as every meta cycle is somewhat defined by what people don’t want to play against. It was the same back in Mk 2 when Mad Dogs of War was complained about at length, near the start of Mk 3 when Karchev and the Mad Dogs got triple nerfed and back when Una 2 was completely broken. Circle, this time, seems to be bringing a particular form of complaint due to a couple of factors.

The first, and foremost, is the utter horseshit that is the Lord of the Feast. A free choice in Devourers host, the thing to realise about this model is how difficult it is to do anything about it. Capping at pow 16 without any outside help, and having an innate thresher coupled with Grevious Wounds and an ability to buy attacks, this asshole is fully capable of killing basically any infantry, as well as crippling heavies pretty trivially. On top of that, we are talking about a mat 8 solo with an ability to buy and boost, threatening to kill most casters on his own. Some factions have the options available to scalpel this bad boy out, but the fact of the matter is that even those factions struggle to do that at times. With death fueled and a Gator Cauldron, most LOTFs are going to functionally be 12/19 with 8 boxes, and be stood behind a forest or obstruction. From there, it is also very difficult to prevent him from getting value, due to the way his place effect works. We are at a disadvantage here as well, due to the nature of our low defence jacks (even standing one of our jacks behind cover only takes him to needing 7s). For Khador, it is damn near impossible to stop him from doing at least his points worth of work (with the exception of a couple of casters like Zerkova and Witch 2). So what do we do about him.

There has been a lot said about positioning lately, and there are some interesting tricks you can do with shield guards and body blocking. It is possible to space enough so as to limit the amount he can get, as well as to use LOS blocking and rules like Stealth to help limit the targets he can actually go for. The problem is though, that a lot of these strategies are either very clock intensive, punish you if you make even a slight mistake, or require a particular list. And the simple fact of the matter is that if you don’t give the Circle player a good enough target to commit to, then they simply won’t send him in. This is kind of a disaster if you have no real way of stopping the LOTF, as he gets more and more impactful as you start losing more pieces. Sure if he goes in on one of our jacks with all the trimmings, then he’ll probably do a fair chunk of damage, but better that than him committing at a crucial point and tagging a bunch of heavies with Grevious just before you need them, or being the major participant in a turn 4 assassination run. To this end, I think the best way to play against him is to semi ignore the bastard. Space out somewhat, but let him have 6-10 points of models if he wants to risk it. Clump up models in an area that requires him to roll an 8 to get in. Camp 3 with your caster and give your opponent a chance to get the LOTF in there. Yeah, it sucks, but the fact of the matter is that unless he gets nerfed in some way, this is what we have to deal with. And the more energy and clock you waste worrying about the free solo, the less energy and clock you have to deal with the other 100 odd points of list thats across the table from you. Be aware of what he does, mitigate if you can, try and bait him if you can, but for the Empresses sake, try not to get too bogged down in him.

The rest of the Tharn lists tearing up the meta really come down to a core of pretty strong models that never the less have pretty standard play strategies to deal with. Ravagers hit hard and are a pain, but ultimately are not really any tougher than any other medium infantry we have to deal with. Use standard strategies for dealing with vengeance units, try not to let them into ideal overtake situations and if you get a shot on the UA, take it. Wolf Riders threaten really far, but will die pretty trivially to any kind of decent ranged attacks you can bring. They will also bounce of our heavies somewhat do to their low power. Even with a buff, pow 9 weapon master just doesn’t do that much without charging, which these guys will almost never do. Despite this, do try to deal with them as early as possible, because they become very hard to deal with late game. Bridgid and Caul will absolutely wipe your heavies if you let them, but again, these guys are not that tough. We are probably one of the better factions for randomly killing Bridgid due to our prevalence of AOEs (she’s only arm 12 with 5 boxes, 1 good boosted blast damage will take her down), and losing Bridgid leaves Caul without Gang or Prey, really nerfing his damage output. Being aware of their threat range, as well as how hard they hit is key to dealing with them. Ravagers are fast and hit hard, as well as bringing at least 1 corpse. As the game goes on, they are going to get more and more corpses and become bigger problems, as you can think of each ravager with a corpse as a 4 fury light pow 13 warbeast with brutal charge. They take buffs super well. On top of that, Vengeance makes it difficult to actually commit to killing them, as they threaten 14 inches with the vengeance moves. They will have tough, usually with no knockdown.

Beast wise, the main thing to remember is that all the living heavies got something of an efficiency upgrade. If you were used to Warpwolves just failing to kill your heavies before, they will manage it more often than not now, between Ghetorix hitting hard, the slight pow buff to Stalkers and the points changes meaning they can see more support now. The Strom Raptor, also know as that fucking thunder bastard, is a great shooting platform now. Potentially pow 16 shooting with a few boosts to put a bunch of damage onto your heavies, or an auto hitting energy pulse to really murder your troops. Be aware of how the pulse works. The bird can’t charge and pulse, but it does auto hit and can then buy auto hitting attacks afterwards. Be very careful of putting your caster near it. On top of this, it is difficult to shoot at. For Khador, this is less of an issue than you might think, as we don’t tend to kill Gargossals with shooting. On the other side of it, the Raptor is pretty squishy, being low armour with a small amount of boxes for a gargantuan. If you can get a marauder or juggernaut to it, it probably dies. As for the goats, be aware of the differences between them. Safety Goat (the Gnarlhorn) can ruin your day with a counter slam if you forget about it, and the animus makes some of our more assassination focused casters sad (Sorscha 1 especially doesn’t like it). Judo Goat (the riphorn) is very similar in output to a Kodiak, having grab and smash, as well as a decent number of initials. Treat it like you would a kodiak and you’ll be fine. Ninja Goat (Shadowhorn) is potentially the most dangerous. Having access to bounding leap is dangerous as it is difficult to stop. Make sure you protect your key pieces and be aware of where it can get to. It likely isn’t going to kill our heavies without some significant buffs on it, but it might murder your caster if you’re not careful. It is also surprisingly hard to hit, between def 13 and set defence, and the Elusive animus can ruin your day if you’re not expecting it.

Caster wise, expect to see Baldur 1, Wurmwood, Iona, Kruger 2 and Grayle. They all bring something a bit different to the table, and are likely to be running Devourers host. They are all likely to be bringing the LOTF, gator pot, Bridgid and Caul and (at least) one unit of Ravagers.

Baldur will be bringing blood trackers and probably a thunder turkey, as those models benefit a lot from stone skin and the former from solid ground. I would also expect to see the Well once it releases, due to it’s benefits in increasing control area. The feat is going to be used to position aggressively and allow the Baldur player to get the ideal alpha strike. Be aware of how squishy Baldur is, and bring plans to deal with the feat. Zerkova 1 has no fucks to give due to ghost walk, but the rest of the faction has no way out. So the usual MO for dealing with control feats applies. Try to threat it out early and then back off or tank your way through. Remember, you can still shoot into his feat (though cover is a pain to deal with).

Wurmwood, on the other hand is going to double down even harder on the control aspect. Between Stranglehold controlling key pieces, the feat and strange growth, Wurmwood is going to take up as much table space as possible and start punishing you with spells. Hellmouth in particular is a massive pain in the ass to deal with, as the angles that can be achieved are silly. Having an almost 6 inch extension (due to double casting it), that can be applied on either enemy or friendly models is a bit difficult to predict. On top of that, it will murder infantry. On top of this, Curse of Shadows is strong spell in circle, making the whole list crack armour really well. When playing against Wurmwood, be aware of keeping your caster safe, try to threaten him somewhat (easier said than done), and try to pick off the pieces that are going to be harrying your flanks, so that you can focus on what’s in front of you.

Iona is the current hotness in DH, bringing a fairly straight forward set of buffs. Her feat makes Tharn hyper accurate and damaging and Phantasm and Sure foot help to deliver the Tharn. She probably has the worst set of buffs for the LOTF, but will still make you deal with him to help deliver the rest of the list. Hunters mark is nothing new, but is a much better threat range extender with Iona due to her ability to boost it. There isn’t actually much else to say about her, as she is actually fairly straight forward in what she does. She takes good infantry and makes them even better, which is a type of caster that we are fairly familiar with in Khador. Be aware of pursuit, as it can lead to some ugly surprises, and try to threaten her personally and you should do fine. Overall, what she is doing should be fairly familiar to most Khador players. She is taking good infantry and buffing them up, and in that she is not dissimilar to what the likes of Vlad 2, the Irusks and other infantry support casters are going to do. Like them, she is kind of squishy, with her main defensive tech being stealth and dodge. She is 16/14, and as such, has to play carefully if you are bringing an assassination package.

Grayle is an interesting one. For the longest time he has been something of a joke, having a poor feat and not great spells. The release of Devourers Host proves that it’s not the spell list, but having models that those spells work on. Storm Rager is fantastic in DH, as it has a plethora of models that can output multiple attacks. It’s great on Caul, LOTF, individual Ravagers, even the Wolf Rider Champion. On top of that, Death March on either the Death Wolves or Bridgid and Caul is pretty dumb, as both of those units have mechanics to help them survive shooting. Feat is actually pretty good here as well, as giving everything stealth and force wide warpath is really strong, especially with the likes of LOTF providing a really good starting trigger. Playing against him, be aware of threat ranges, as well as LOTF (who is going to be Mat 10, Pow 18) as it goes from being dangerous, to being lethal against your casters.

So that was my overview of the issues from circle at the moment. I’ve already gone over some lists that we might use to play into Circle, and I feel that they are still good answers. Vlad 2 AC, Witch in non jaws lists, Sorscha 1 in Wolves, all of these are good drops. The main answer, though, is to simply play into Circle. We seem to have returned to an age of ridiculous Circle shenanigans, and the first stop on the road to beating the faction is actually figuring out their tricks. Until you have seen some of the angles that LOTF can get, you won’t be able to predict them, same with Hellmouth tricks from Wurmwood, the damage output from Caul, or how ridiculously hard to deal with Wolf Riders actually are. On top of this, each caster in Circle makes these lists function slightly different. So get out and get those reps in.

For the Motherland.

Invitational Tourney Report

So last weekend I attended Invitationals in York. I got the invite from being on Team England knights last year, and wasn’t sure I was actually going to attend, mostly due to school and uncertainty over how my time table was going to play out. As it turned out, the Invitational fell during my 2 week period between placements, and one of my club mates offered to drive and share a room, so I decided to go for it. The Invitational is one of the most difficult events in the UK calendar, as to even qualify for it you have to have either been on a WTC team or placed well at bigger events during the previous year. Couple that with how much the meta has shifted, and my uncertainty over what lists I would be wanting to play, and I was fairly certain it was going to be hard going (I was right, but more on that later).

List wise, I had been trying to come up with a good all rounder list to drop into Circle, as well as mulling over whether the prevalence of Exalted in Skorne meant that Witch couldn’t serve as my Skorne drop, so (knowing that those 2 factions would be well represented) I decided that I wouldn’t worry too much about winning and would set my goal for the weekend as trying out my proposed pairing in one of the most competitive tournaments of the year. Almost seeming to vindicate this decision, the Cornucopia CID update dropped the week before the tournament, which left me scrambling to borrow a couple of elements I needed for the list I wanted to run in Wolves. For those interested, before the drop I had been undecided between Vlad 2 and Zerkova 1, both in Armoured Corp, paired with Witch 2, but after the drop, I was pretty convinced that Sorscha 1 in Wolves would be a better answer for Witch’s bad match ups. The lists I ultimately decided to bring are below:

Khador Army – 74 / 75 points

[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Sorscha 1] Kommander Sorscha [+29]

– Conquest [35]

Koldun Lord [0(4)]

Koldun Lord [4]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Greylord Outriders (max) [17]

Greylord Outriders (max) [17]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

[Old Witch 2] Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper [+27]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Kodiak [13]

– Spriggan [17]

Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]

– Behemoth [25]

Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]

– Rager [10]

Kovnik Andrei Malakov [0(4)]

– Marauder [11]

Battle Mechaniks (min) [3]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

Kayazy Eliminators [5]

These lists don’t feel like the most up to date versions now, as I currently lack access to an Adjunct. Otherwise, I felt like they did well, but more on that now.

My club mate and I drove the 2 and a half hours to York on the Saturday morning, as the first round wasn’t due to start until 1pm. It was a fun drive with a lot of discussion about the current meta and our respective factions shifting place within it (I play Khador and he plays Legion). We arrived, did the usual meet and greet and got set up for round 1. My first round opened with a bang, as I was paired against Brett Wilkie and his Circle. Trial by fire it seems. He was running Kaya 3 in Call of the Wild, and Baldur 1 in Devourers Host. I have played Witch into some Devourers lists, and decided it is generally a bad match up, and Bretts list had some variations on the stuff I want Witch to play into, so I opt to play Sorscha. He drops Baldur, and off we go. His list below:

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Baldur 1] Baldur the Stonecleaver [+31]

– Ghetorix [19]

– Storm Raptor [34]

Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [5]

Lord of the Feast [0(6)]

Tharn Ravager Shaman [4]

Tharn Ravager White Mane [0(5)]

Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron [5]

Tharn Bloodtrackers (max) [15]

– Nuala the Huntress [4]

Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]

– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [5]

Brett wins the roll off and goes second. Scenario was Invasion. Terrain has a big forest on the inside of the left zone, a cloud in the centre of the board and some other assorted stuff. I deploy Conquest on the inside left flank, Sorscha on the inside right flank and everything else goes down symmetrically. Brett deploys the Bird centrally, with Ravagers on either flank. AD happens and the Doomies go down symmetrically, with Brett putting down the LOTF and B&C on one flank.

Turn 1:

I opt to just run forward. I spend a bit too much time mitigating targets for the LOTF, and try to tempt Brett into shooting the Conquest and taking a pop at Sorscha (who is Def 18 and camping 4). Other than that, I don’t go as far forward as I likely should have.

Brett moves forward cautiously. The bird fries a doom reaver, but misses his other attack. He gets Stone Skin on the Bird, as well as Solid Ground up and a forest to block LOS to the LOTF. Everything else shuffles forward a bit, with the Blood trackers actually moving back to stay out of threat of the right side Ponies.
Turn 2:

I move the conquest into the zone this turn and attempt to go for a crit Dev onto a Ravager, missing completely despite puppet master. I don’t do any damage thankfully and spend the rest of the turn positioning and throwing a couple of Doomies into the Bird, who do a couple of boxes. Everything else shuffles a bit, with Sorscha staying out of 13 of the bird.

Brett moves the bird forward this turn and pulses, killing one doom reaver and forcing 2 more to tough. He moves everything up fairly aggressively, not really doing much other than that. He feats with Baldur and puts down his forest to block LOS to Baldur, opting to have it touch the cloud and leaving a lane of LOS from the other side. He camps 2 and passes the clock.

Turn 3:

I spend a lot of time looking at the assassination this turn. If the Conquest shifts over the inches it can walk, it can get LOS to Baldur and be in range with all of it’s guns. On top of that, I might be able to get Sorscha to feat on him and get 3 ternions and a Koldun Lord in range for Bonds of Woe and Brittle Frost. I spend about 25 minutes of my clock measuring this all out before realising that Sorscha can’t quite move far enough to both get LOS to Baldur and not block the landing spot for the Conquest. I have also half assed the rest of the turn and decide that he’s going to kill basically everything next turn anyway, not to mention Sorscha is standing 12 inches from the gargantuan. I concede.

Afterthoughts:

The big mistake I made here was getting too focused on the assassination. If Sorscha had been a quarter inch forward or a half inch back, I’d have managed it, but otherwise I was actually in a pretty good attrition position. I could have killed B&C, got most of the Blood Trackers and preserved the Conquest, by giving up the central zone, something I could have mitigated late game. As it was, I left myself 10 minutes to do all that with after measuring out the assassination (which was a fairly good one, as I found after running the odds afterwards).

Round 2:

Next round sees me paired against Mark David, a team mate from WTC. He is also running Circle and has Iona devourers, and Wurmwood Bones. I opt to drop Sorscha, and he drops Wurmwood. His list below:

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] The Bones of Orboros

[Wurmwood 1] Wurmwood, Tree of Fate [+27]

– Wold Guardian [16]

– Woldwarden [14]

– Woldwarden [14]

– Woldwarden [14]

– Woldwyrd [9]

– Woldwyrd [9]

Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]

Blackclad Stoneshaper [3]

Blackclad Stoneshaper [3]

Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]

Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]

Bog Trog Mist Speaker [4]

Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]

Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]

Shifting Stones [3]

Shifting Stones [3]

I lose the roll off and go 2nd . The scenario was Spread the Net, which I am not happy about (Sorscha can actually threaten Wurmwood on any scenario with an objective for Pathfinder). Terrain has a big forest on my side of the board, as well as a big obstruction in the centre left of the board. Mark deploys his battlegroup centrally, and I do my usual symmetrical deployment, but with Sorscha on the left this time. AD happens and Mark plops down his stones on either flank and Wurmwood dead central. Doomies get deployed on either flank and the centre.

Turn 1:

Mark moves up with everything, getting out a forest template to block LOS to the centre of the board.

My turn and Mark has made a measurement error which means that the right hand doomies can charge his Sentry stone. I go for it and kill it. Everything else moves up, with me choosing to run the Conquest to make sure it gets into the zone. I opt to drop Fog of War so I don’t get Sorscha killed by Wyrds.

Turn 2:

Mark spends most of this turn pinging models off the board. Some bad dice rolls occur, but he still manages to get a couple of ponies and doomies. Feat goes up and he strangleholds the Colossal as well as sniping out my 2 Koldun lords.

My turn and there isn’t a huge amount I can do this turn. I opt to continue hard flanking with the right hand ponies. I manage to get a Black clad and a stone-shaper dead. I manage to get 3 Doomies onto the Woldwarden on the left flank, but roll poorly and don’t kill it, even with some additional damage chipped in from pony sprays. Sorscha wind rushes and walks onto the flag, camping 4. The Conquest walks sideways into the zone and the remaining Doom Reavers all cluster around it to counter charge the models that come in on it. I score 2 and pass the clock.

Turn 3:

Mark opts to go for an assassination run. He measures out and decides he can pull Sorscha forward a bunch and go for a headbutt on her. He does so and manages to hit the 12 he needs. He just about manages to kill her through the 4 focus with all the shots from the Wyrds.

Afterthoughts:

I misplaced Sorscha slightly here. If I keep the Kolduns safer I don’t even have to worry about that because they can score the flag. Ugh. This match up feels fine, despite my loss. He has to commit to actually killing the Conquest earlier rather than later, as I can kill his support staff with Ponies, and sooner or later I’ll either kill all of Wurmwoods methods of movement or get an angle on him with Sorscha. In any other scenario, this match up feels even better due to access to Pathfinder for Sorscha.

Round 3:

Round 2 finished off the day, and I went off to sleep, eat and recuperate from my beautiful failure in the first 2 rounds. The next morning I turn up with my club mate and we have round 3. I get paired against Andrew Devine, who is running Skarre 1 SFR and Venethrax BI. I opt to drop Sorscha, and he drops Skarre. His list below:

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Slaughter Fleet Raiders

[Skarre 1] Pirate Queen Skarre [+28]

– Stalker [8]

– Stalker [8]

– Stalker [8]

– Stalker [8]

– Satyxis Blood Priestess [4]

Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius [4]

– Kharybdis [17]

Axiara Wraithblade [0(6)]

General Gerlak Slaughterborn [0(6)]

Misery Cage [2]

Ragman [4]

Black Ogrun Boarding Party (min) [7]

Black Ogrun Boarding Party (min) [7]

Blighted Trollkin Marauders (max) [15]

– Jussika Bloodtongue [5]

Scharde Dirge Seers [6]

I lose the roll off and go first. Scenario was Recon 2. Terrain had an obstruction in the centre of the board, rubble around his flag and a forest on my side of the right flank. I deploy symmetrically, with Sorscha on the right. Andy puts down his marauders on the right hand side along with Gerlak and some BOPs. Karyibdis and Aiakos goes on the left side. AD happens and the Doomies go out as usual. The Stalkers go out in front with 2 in each zone.

I won’t go into the whole game here. Suffice to say that the game goes down hill in round 2 when Andy puts Karybdis too far forward and I manage to Freezing grasp the Marauders despite stealth. From there he sends the Stalkers in and gets a few Doom Reavers and ponies. I counter feat and take off 3 of them as well as a bunch of other stuff and sending in the Conquest. He just about manages to kill it next turn, but leaves Skarre swinging in the wind. Sorscha gets to her and thats all she wrote.

Afterthoughts:

This was a really bad matchup for Andy, and Venethrax isn’t much better. Sorscha Wolves brings too much board presence as well as ability to murder lower armour stuff in large quantities.

Round 4:

Next round happens and I get paired against Andy Taylor, who is running Grim 2 Kriel Company and Gunnbjorne in POD. I have a mad moment where I think I might drop Sorscha, but end up dropping Witch instead. Good thing I did, because he drops Grim 2 which would have hosed the Sorscha list off the table. His list below:

Trollbloods Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Kriel Company

[Grim 2] Hunters Grim [+25]

– Dire Troll Bomber [19]

– Ice Troll [9]

– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]

Braylen Wanderheart, Trollkin Outlaw [0(5)]

Troll Whelps [4]

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]

– Northkin Elder [3]

Northkin Fire Eaters [7]

Sons of Bragg [11]

Thumper Crew [0(5)]

Trollkin Highwaymen (max) [15]

Trollkin Sluggers (max) [10]

War Wagon [16]

I win the roll off and go first. Scenario was Mirage. Terrain has an obstruction in the centre of the board, as well as a forest on the right flank. I deploy centrally, with Malakov on the right flank along with Behe and the Kodiak, and the other 3 jacks on the left flank. Andy drops his War Wagon on the left flank, along with the Sons and Braylen. The Highwaymen go central, with the Sluggers on the right flank.

Again, I won’t go into the whole game. I run everything forward with Windstorm up, he feats bottom of 1 to little effect and I spend the game mopping up. Windstorm simply doesn’t let him leverage much of of his army and he has to throw things away to contest. I end up winning on scenario.

Round 5:

Final round and I get Ryan Longthorne. He’s running Zaadesh Exalted and Raseth Winds. I’m pretty certain he’s going to drop Exalted as we’ve played Witch/Rasheth a couple of times with no victory for Ryan. I consider zigging onto Sorscha but opt to drop Witch instead, mainly because Sorscha just dies into Rasheth and because I want to assess the match up for Witch. He does drop Zaadesh and off we go. His list below:

Skorne Army – 74 / 75 points

[Theme] The Exalted

[Zaadesh 2] Lord Tyrant Zaadesh [+28]

– Agonizer [6]

– Cyclops Shaman [8]

– Despoiler [17]

Abidan the Keeper [0(5)]

Ancestral Guardian [0(5)]

Ancestral Guardian [5]

Extoller Novitiate [2]

Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]

Immortals (max) [13]

– Extoller Advocate [3]

Immortals (max) [13]

– Extoller Advocate [3]

Immortals (max) [13]

– Extoller Advocate [3]

Supreme Guardian [16]

I lose the roll off and go second. Scenario was Standoff. Terrain had a big obstruction and forest on his side of the board and not much on my side. He deploys Immortals central and on both flanks, with Zaadesh and the SG central as well. I deploy close in at the centre. Behe, the Rager and the Marauder go on the right, with the other jacks on the left.

Turn 1:

He runs everything forward, putting up a cloud wall to stop Behe getting any drifts.

Exalted are slow. Due to this, I run everything straight forward, getting Windstorm and Reconstruct out. The Marauder runs up behind the central forest to threaten the Supreme Guardian. The Eliminators are fairly aggressive in positioning.

Turn 2:

Ryan ends up running everything forward again this turn. He runs an Immortal from each of the left and central units forward, but doesn’t manage to get them into my zone. The right hand unit run forward to jam. Everything else stays behind the forest.

I look at the board and decide that I can kill most of the right unit. The 2 models he ran forward into the centre I opt to ignore, as killing them will get most of the other 2 units into my lines. Between Behemoth, the Rager, Curse of Shadows and a the Eliminators I manage to kill most of the unit, leaving 3 Immortals alive. Everything else in the list backs up a bit to stay out of threat range and I run one of the other eliminators into his zone to contest.

Turn 3:

Ryan gets his left unit into the left zone this turn. He makes a couple of attacks, managing the 10 he needs to hit my other Eliminator. Everything else shuffles about, with his right hand unit managing to kill 1 eliminator and requiring him to use an AG to kill the other. He brings back 3 dudes into the right hand unit.

My turn and I decide that I can probably get the SG this turn. I finish off the right hand unit, and feat, moving Curse over to the central unit. I manage to kill all but 2 of the central unit, trampling the Kodiak into his zone and getting the Marauder into the SG, killing it to the box. I end up not scoring the my zone as I opt to not trigger vengeance for the left hand unit, but I do get Witch into the right hand zone and score that.

Turn 4:

Feat goes up this turn, with Ryan managing to get the Rager, Kodiak and Marauder dead. He scores 2 and passes clock.

My turn and I feed a mechanic into his circular zone, as well as getting Behemoth into both the Shaman and Despoiler, killing them both. I score 1 this turn. I also manage to get the last 2 models from the central unit up

Turn 5:

He just about manages to kill Behemoth ending up with Zaadesh flapping in the wind, protected only by a Burning Ash cloud. He also gets my Objective dead with Hakaar. At the end of the turn, he is 2 points up.

I have a conundrum this turn. I can get Witch to Zaadesh with a reasonable amount of attacks, as well as potentially killing his only transfer target as well. I can probably grind this out to scenario, but the assassination is pretty odds on. I opt to go for it. Witch BC herself, calls Divinator and charges the Agonizer. I hit the 8 to hit and kills the baby pachyderm. I go for a re rolling 5 on Abidan to blind Zaadesh and miss…… I spend the remainder of my attacks boosting to hit and leave Zaadesh on 2 boxes.

Turn 6:

Ryan spends the whole turn trying to kill Witch, just about managing it on the last attack.

Afterthoughts:

Apparently 5s are basically impossible even with re-rolls. Le sigh. Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised with the matchup. The Witch list is surprisingly good at killing Exalted and I managed to output enough and kill enough that I managed to grind through.

At the end of the Invitational, I’ve gone 2 and 3, but learned a lot about match ups. Despite my record, I’m fairly happy with the match ups and feel like it’s now just a matter of practise.

For the Motherland!

Howling in the Wind

So I was planning to do a couple of Bat reps around my current Sorscha list this week. Both unfortunately and excitingly, we had the Cornucopia update a couple of days ago. It was largely the same as the CID ended, with a few crucial differences. With me off to UK Invitationals in York this weekend and me deciding that Sorscha 1 Wolves is the correct pairing for Witch 2 (subject to results of course) I decided that I’d be putting up some bat reps next week anyway. So this week, I thought I’d give my perspective on the updates and give some of the list options that Wolves now provides us.

Wolves has come out of CID much improved. The better internal synergy that the Greylords bring, coupled with the points tweaks on some of the crucial central models means that the theme is much better placed to solve problems. Overall, and I’ll come back to this, I don’t think it’s a very good theme to build as the main list. It has a few too many very bad match ups by default, like Storm of the North. However, it is a fantastic theme to build as a pairing, bringing tons of good answers to the usual problems that Khador faces, as well as an entirely different overall archetypes. Wolves is fast, brings tons of magic attacks/weapons, support, but is something of a glass cannon. Nothing here is tanky or cheap, unlike our other themes, and it is that difference that I am theorizing will make for a good pairing. Enough waffling, lets dive into the changes.

First thing to note, Vlad 3 got a slight buff, with Blood Quenched now triggering off of enemy models instead of just living enemy models. This is kind of interesting for Vlad 3, because his problem has always been that he is an inferior support caster to the other 2 Vlads. Therefore, the main reason to play him is for Dash, as infantry speed buffs that are usable round by round are few and far between in Khador, and for his own personal output. The main use of the feat has generally been to have Vlad threaten to man mode his way through entire units before maybe killing a heavy at the end of his rampage and being nigh unkillable with a big stack of blood tokens at the end. This change seems minor, but actually makes him much more viable to run, as he is less restricted in his rampaging.

Doom Reavers got a point drop from 13 to 10, which is fairly dramatic. The main complaint with Doomies was always that they were glass cannons, and making them cheaper doesn’t technically solve that. What it does do is make them feel less precious on the table top, enabling you to take more of them and feel happier throwing them away. A fantastic improvement.

Next up we have the Greylord Escort. The Escort was always a bit of a joke model, even back in MK 2, bringing basically nothing to what a unit of Doom Reavers actually wanted to do. Rise was corner case, the unit was small enough that Silence was niche and command was generally not an issue for what that unit wanted to do. That’s changed now. The addition of Combat Caster, as well as some spells to benefit the unit,  means that there are now reasons to bring him. Relentless charge is nice to have, but the real interesting part is the Entropic Aura spell, as it gives the model the scope to affect models outside of what his own unit is doing. Combine this with the addition of Sac pawn and spell ward making it difficult to scalpel the bastard out and there are, now, definite benefits to bringing him. He does still suffer from making a fairly small unit more expensive but has some specific tools that can be useful in certain match ups. Sadly, he didn’t quite get the straight up Pathfinder and Grevious wounds for the unit that he had at the end of the CID, but the changes he did get are more than good enough. He’s not gonna be in every list, or on every unit of Doom Reavers, but he’s pretty damn good.

Outriders also go a point drop, from 12/20 to 10/17, making them the cheapest non neigh slayer cav in the game. They had no other changes and didn’t need any other change. The changes to the rest of the Greylords supports these guys and, along with Doomies, they form the back bone of any of our combined arms lists. It’s also worth noting that any list that was running these and Doomies probably freed up between 12-20 points just from discounts alone, letting us crowbar much more stuff into our lists.

Ternions I’m a bit sad about. During CID they were given a rng 10 pow 10 nuke which debuffed armour by 2. This has been swapped with the Koldun Lords proposed nuke, making these guys a bit less of a swiss army knife than they were at the end of CID. Despite this, they got a host of other changes that are valuable. The biggest one is simply that they are now a free option in the theme. This is kind of huge, because Ternions were traditionally the last port of call in Wolves, due to them duplicating abilities found elsewhere in the theme, and were generally worse at doing it. Frostbite was more effective on Outriders due to mobility, Ice Cage more effective on Koldun Lords due to the higher MA, and Blizzard not massively useful in a theme where the main line troops are Spell Warded. Thats changed now, not least because they can now put Blizzard clouds onto Doomies. Being free helps to bring a bulk of attacks to the theme, as well as making mass Ice Cage plays much more viable. The change from Frostbite to Bonds of Woe (a range 10, pow 12 nuke that recurs doom reavers if it kills a living enemy models) seems like a step down at first, because sprays are great, but actually feels like a good step up for the theme in general. First of all, it adds a touch of RFP (very conditional though it is) and some recursion, and when the models you are recurring are Doom Reavers, even getting a couple is incredibly valuable. Second, because it adds some magic attacks to the theme that aren’t cold based, giving the list something to sling at cold immune models, which have always been something of a bug bear for the theme. Ice Cage is also not to be underestimated. The theme is full of stuff that really wants a touch of help to land: Outrider sprays, Doom Reaver charges and the new Koldun Lord arm debuff; and being able to apply Ice Cage in a variety of places is much more valuable than it first appears, especially when access to it is from a free model (not to mention plays using Stationary). Overall, Ternions are in a great place right now, and I’m finding them effective in most of the lists I have been trying out.

Lets look at Mr Horseman of the Apocalypse himself, Fenris, next. He got a whole host of rules reworked. He lost leadership Relentless Charge, basically gained Leadership Rise, got Rise himself as well as Blood Quenched and Grevious Wounds. Combine with his natural threat ranges and Fenris finally feels like the unstoppable mad man that his fluff always pitched him at. With his statline and base POW, it’s not unreasonable for him to manage at least 3 tokens in a turn he charges, generally leaving him at the respectable statline of 13/19, and has the potential for more. Managing to live the dream (which is easier with the likes of Vlad 3), of getting 6 plus blood tokens, and getting his Weaponmaster attacks up to 18-20s makes him capable of doing serious damage to a heavy and then being damn near impossible to kill back. None of which is to say that he is an auto include. He costs 8 points, which does feel appropriate for the stuff he does and the rules on his card, but….. thats almost a whole unit of Doom Reavers. It feels like you’ll mainly see Fenris in Doom Reaver spam lists (where Rise is probably worth it) or with Vlad 3. Other than that, it’s a question of whether you think you’re going to see the kind of models he can kill to fuel himself, and whether the rest of the list isn’t already specialised at hunting those models (it feels like he is particularly good into medium based models, like Tharn or non shocktrooper Man O War).

The last model mentioned is the Koldun Lord, boy is he a doozy. As mentioned above, he ended up with a range 10, pow 10 spell that debuffs armour (unless you’re cold immune). Just having access to a non caster, non merc dependent arm debuff is already huge, especially as he’s in a theme that has a lot of models that need a touch of help with damage. On top of that, he lost frostbite and Blizzard in favour of the new debuff and puppet master, which is pretty nuts. Puppet master is one of those always useful abilities, especially because it’s model/unit, but also particularly for those casters that are offensively spell casting. It gives insurance to the likes of Sorscha 1, both Zerkovas and Witch 2. Finally, and I find this ability cool as a Khadoran winter, he got a new ability called Loremaster (Greylord), which gives him the option of casting any Special Action/Attack spell off the card of a greylord model near him. That is a game changer. The interactions here are inspiring. We can now get off 4 Empowers in a turn with Forge Seers, add more entorpic auras with Escorts, or (most interestingly), put out up to 3 guidance a turn with the Adjunct. More than anything else, the Koldun Lord brings a true swiss army knife piece to Wolves, and running double Koldun feels borderline mandatory. There is basically no match up where he won’t have something to offer, even if he’s the only greylord model in the army. His base abilities are that good. I could go on and on about how this is what I’ve wanted greylord based armies to be since I started playing them, but I’ll stop here. Just know that if you don’t own double Koldun Lord, you probably need to buy them now.

The final change, which is more of a general thing, is simply that the Adjunct got added to every theme, and that Ruin got added to the Wolves theme. Both are good changes, both bring some interesting changes to the way we build lists (Ruins a really good jack for 17 points). Other than that, I mainly wanted to talk briefly about some of the list ideas that the rest of the community and I have been having. Wolves seems very broad, with a bunch of different compositions and styles.

The first, and my favourite is the combined arms list. Generally running Outriders, Doomies, Ternions, assorted solos and whatever jacks you fancy, this form of combined list is looking to leverage something the caster is doing (Sorscha 1s control, Vlad 2s sheer support, Old Witch 2s toolbox), as well to use the sheer mobility and board presence that this list can achieve. It’s going to be a bit more of a gxeneralist list than the others, but feels like a fantastic pairing for a really solid main list, as it’s going to be bringing a lot of the tools to counter models that usually do well into Khador, like mass magic attacks, spell immunity and mobility.

Khador Army – 74 / 75 points

[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Sorscha 1] Kommander Sorscha [+29]

– Conquest [35]

Koldun Lord [0(4)]

Koldun Lord [4]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Greylord Outriders (max) [17]

Greylord Outriders (max) [17]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

The next type, is the Doom Reaver spam. It’s probably going to be 5-7 units of Doom Reavers, probably with a couple of Koldun Lords and a caster that can support Doomies. It’s going to do the same thing the old Mad Dogs of War list did and run across the table at you. I’d expect to see this kind of list with someone who can mitigate shooting, this type of list is going to output damage well. It also feels like a list that is going to be preyed upon in the current meta. That being said, there is something to be said for the sheer pressure Doom Reavers can put on a game. Going first, you can get Doom Reavers to the 25 inch line, threatening from there to the 38 inch line, right on the deployment line.

Khador Army – 74 / 75 points

[Theme] Wolves of Winter

!!! This army contains a CID entry.

[Vladimir 3] Vladimir Tzepesci, Great Prince of Umbrey [+27]

– Rager [10]

– Ruin [17]

– Greylord Adjunct [4]

Fenris [8]

Koldun Lord [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Saxon Orrik [4]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

The third type is a bit of an odd one to me. Between the changes to Greylords, which gives us some really interesting support options, and doomies being cheaper, a more jack central list becomes an interesting idea. Going for around 40 points of dudes nets you double doomies, a bunch of support models (double Koldun, double FS, adjunct and double free ternion), allowing enough points to put together a decent number of jacks, whether melee or ranged. Going for some of the more support reliant casters, like Strakhov 1 or Butcher 3 when you have access to things like mass empower, Ice cages, Brittle Frost and guidance, as well as a decent screening unit in the form of Doomies, makes for an interesting cryxian style of Jack list that we don’t quite have access to elsewhere. For those who are interested in the

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Strakhov 1] Kommander Oleg Strakhov [+28]

– Decimator [15]

– Juggernaut [13]

– Ruin [17]

– Torch [18]

– Greylord Adjunct [4]

Greylord Forge Seer [4]

Greylord Forge Seer [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

The last type is very specific. Zerkova 2 is now a particularly interesting option, between all the changes to Greylords and things being cheaper in general. It now becomes fairly reliable actually assassinate, as well as having a decent ability to just grind through with high powered sprays. It obviously is going to have issues against mass cold immune, or mass spell immune (though it still has options against either), but overall, it feels like the traditional mass spell slinging Z2 list finally has enough flexibility to play in a competitive pairing.

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Wolves of Winter

!!! This army contains a CID entry.

[Zerkova 2] Obavnik Kommander Zerkova [+24]

– Destroyer [14]

– Marauder [11]

– Greylord Adjunct [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Koldun Lord [4]

Battle Mechaniks (min) [3]

Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]

– Greylord Escort [3]

Greylord Outriders (max) [17]

Greylord Outriders (max) [17]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]

  • Koldun Kapitan Valachev [4]

Overall, Wolves is a really interesting update for us. It represents a different style of list than we usually run, offering tools, magic and speed. With the way the meta currently is, building Wolves into our pairings seems like a good move, and we have the flexibility available to suit whatever pairing we want to build. I am excited to see how the next few months unfold.

For the Motherland!