Saturday, March 30, 2013

Battle Report: Makeda 3 vs. Grissel 1 at 35pts

I got another fun game in this past Friday, and I decided to play Makeda 3 again, because she is a blast to play.

I ran the following list:

Makeda and the Exalted Court (+2)
*Bronzeback Titan (10)
*Titan Gladiator (8)

10 Praetorian Swordsmen (6)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2)
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers (2)

Ancestral Guardian (3)
Ancestral Guardian (3)
Ancestral Guardian (3)

This is a pretty straightforward list with a slight twist in the form of the Ancestral Guardians.  The Swordsmen are a basic attrition screen.  They protect the rest of the list from anything that could hurt it, take out enemy infantry, and die early on so I can deliver Makeda and her beasts into the heart of the enemy formation.  It's also a Tier 1 Armageddon list, so Makeda and her unit would get Advance Move.

The Ancestral Guardians are part of a little experiment I'm running to try to get a handle on how to use AG's, and to see if there's any way I can figure out how to use them that makes them better than they appear at first.  Ancestral Guardians do have some synergy with Makeda 3.  If they're near her, then all their damage rolls will be boosted by Vortex of Destruction, which makes them a lot more dangerous offensively than they would be otherwise.  Vortex of Destruction also boosts their Defensive Strike damage rolls, which makes them capable of doing good damage to beasts and 'jacks if one gets close.  I'm planning to run them near Makeda as a bodyguard to take advantage of the boosted damage, and discourage my opponent from charging Makeda, who likes to play pretty far forward.

My list's major limitations are a lot of points tied up in Ancestral Guardians, who will be very sad indeed if they're denied their Souls by some RFP effect or kill off early, and that I have no ranged attacks except Eliminator.

My opponent, Caleb, tried out Grissel 1 with the following list:

Grissel Bloodsong (+5)
*Earthborn Dire Troll (10)
*Dire Troll Mauler (9)
*Rune Bearer (2)

6 Kriel Warriors (4)
*Musician and Standard Bearer (2)
*3 Caber Throwers (3)
5 Trollkin Warders (8)

Stone Scribe Chronicler (2)

This list has some good jamming potential with both the Kriel Warriors and the Warders, which are fairly tough units.  Grissel also has some extra synergy with the Warders and Caber Throwers with Heroic Call, since those models hit very hard, and extra attacks on them are nasty business.  The Troll beasts are pretty standard heavies, and fairly powerful.  Overall, it seems like a durable brick with some extra options thanks to Grissel's Fell Calls and spells.  The list's major limitation is a lack of ranged attacks, kind of like mine.


We deployed pretty evenly.  I put Makeda and her unit directly in front of a wall in the center of the table, flanked by the AG's and Swordsmen.  The beasts and Paingivers went on my right partially covered by a forest.

Caleb deployed in a brick, Kriel Warriors and Warders in front, with the beasts and Grissel behind them along with the Rune Bearer and Chronicler.

I took Makeda's Advance Move to give her a good angle on the Gladiator to cast Rush, and good positioning to charge up to the low wall.

Turn 1

Makeda Rushed the Gladiator, cast Vortex of destruction.  She charged to near the wall (though not near enough for Cover, sadly, while her Court ran to get Cover behind the wall.  The Swordsmen Ran to put themselves in line with Makeda.  The AG's ran to just behind the Swordsmen.  The Gladiator Rushed the Bronzeback, and trampled up to behind the lead Swordsmen, and the Bronzeback ran through the forest alongside it.

The Kriel Warriors and Warders both ran, and the Beasts ran up behind them.  Grissel advanced, and cast Hallowed Avenger and Rage on the Mauler, and used her Hoof It Fell Call on the Warders to give them an extra move at the end of the turn.  The Chronicler put Hero's Tragedy on the Kriel Warriors so anyone I attacked them with would be knocked down at the end of its activation.

Turn 1 was looking pretty standard.  I didn't like Hero's Tragedy on the Kriels, since it meant Makeda wouldn't be able to butcher them without falling over at the end of her activation.  I'd have to jam them with Swordsmen, and save Makeda for going after heavier stuff later on.

Turn 2

The Swordsmen charged the Kriel Warriors, killed 2 (the rest of the ones I attacked passed their Tough checks), and jammed both the Kriel Warriors and the Warders.  The AG's ran up behind them to grab their Souls and guard Makeda with Defensive Strikes near the edge of the wall.  Makeda advanced to the wall, and one of her guardians hopped it to help the Swordsmen jam the Kriel Warriors.  My plan was to have that guardian get killed by Caleb's Caber Throwers and give Makeda pathfinder for a charge over the wall thanks to Battle Driven.  The Gladiator and Bronzeback advanced to support the army.

The Kriel Warriors killed most of the Swordsmen jamming them, as well as damaging (but not quite killing) the Exalted Guardian.  Grissel also sprayed a couple of Swordsmen to death with her voice, and badly damaged an AG with the Spray, and a well-placed Rift, which would slow some of my models down next turn.  She also used her Cacophony Fell Call, which would stop me from giving orders or casting spells next turn.  The Warders charged in, killing off all but 3 or so Swordsmen, and the lead Ancestral Guardian (I decided to take the Defensive Strike, and did some damage).  Caleb's beasts advance to counterattack.  The Chronicler used Hero's Tragedy on the Kriel Warriors again.

Caleb was really harshing my mellow with that denial.  Cacophony was preventing Makeda from casting spells and charging (since she's part of a unit, she has to give an order to charge).  However, he had left Grissel pretty close to Makeda in order to do it.  A quick measurement of Makeda's CTRL revealed that she could walk up to Grissel, and probably kill her if I set it up right.

Turn 3

The Swordsmen mostly got out of the way.  The Ancestral Guardian next to Makeda killed a Warder directly in front of her.  The Paingivers Enraged the Bronzeback, who put Train Wreck on itself, and killed off any other Warders who would be able to make Free Strikes on Makeda as she walked past them.  Makeda and her unit activated.  Makeda Feated, and everything advanced - the Guardians into the Kriel Warriors, and Makeda into Grissel.  The Guardians managed to kill two Kriel Warriors between, pumping Makeda up to 7 Fury (after upkeeping Vortex of Destruction).  Makeda was charged by the Hallowed Avengered Mauler, but it missed.  Then Makeda finished off Grissel.

Victory to the Skorne!


Makeda 3 definitely has some depth, even when a lot of her best tricks are being shut down by Cacophony, and she's always fun to play.  Having her on the front lines being a threat definitely gives me options I wouldn't have with most Warlocks.  I have a couple of good tactical moves this game, and no terrible mistakes.  My best move was jamming the Kriels with one of Makeda's Guardians.  Caleb attacked it, and gave the unit the benefits of Battle Driven, including Pathfinder, which let Makeda walk through the Rift AoE to Grissel.

Caleb played a solid attrition game with only one terrible mistake.  Grissel ended up in Makeda's threat range.  The denial from Cacophony was definitely good, but you really can't end your turn with your caster in range of Makeda unless your a soul-glutted Terminus.  She's just too dangerous.

Notes for Project Obsidian

The Ancestral Guardians were pretty useful this game.  I got off one Defensive Strike, which was fairly unimpressive, and killed off a Warder blocking Makeda, which was good.  The last Ancestral Guardian was full of souls, and ready to finish Grissel off if she'd passed her Tough check(s) against Makeda.

I don't think I used the AG's to their fullest potential, as their positioning was fairly cluttered on my first and second turns.  However, I do think 3 AG's showed good potential as a counterstrike force.  I'll have to play more games to see if the one turn of souls followed by nothing is a serious drawback to including them.

The Ancestral Guardians did work pretty well with Makeda 3, although her Advance Move from her Tier 1 benefit kept her out ahead of them for a lot of the game, and I had to slow her advance on turn 2 to let them catch up.  She didn't give them anything special this time around, but I don't think she especially suffered from having them around either.

Project Obsidian

In my Makeda 3 battle report, I decided to run 2 Ancestral Guardians (AG's) as a deterrent with Defensive Strike, and as a result, I've sort of become obsessed with Ancestral Guardians this past week.  They don't get a lot of love from the Skorne Community at large, and my impression with them in the past has been that their value is limited because they don't get enough Souls, and their damage potential isn't high enough that they can compete with our beasts for the various beast roles that need to be filled.

I'm not sure where, if anywhere, this obsession will end up, but I've decided to roll with it for now.


By running a bunch of lists with the maximum FA of Ancestral Guardians.

Stat-wise, Ancestral Guardians have a lot of good qualities.  They have high Mat at 8, and a respectable P+S of 13.  They have Reach and Magic Weapon on their halberds; Reach is fantastic, and Magic Weapon can be game-saving on those occasions where it comes up.  AG's are pretty tough, with Arm 18 and 10 hit boxes, and they have Steady, so they can't be knocked down.  They're also Constructs which makes them immune to all the effects which target only living and-or undead models.

There are a few bad stats in there too.  The Ancestral Guardian is slow at Speed 4, although it can spend a Soul Token to speed itself up a bit with its Spirit Driven ability.  Its Def is awful for a non-heavy at 10.  Finally, it costs 3 points, which is on the expensive side for a solo.

Ancestral Guardians' most important features, however, are Soul Guardian and Defensive Strike.

Soul Guardian is really the Ancestral Guardian's bread and butter.  It gives an AG a Soul Token whenever a living friendly Faction warrior model is destroyed by an enemy attack in its Cmd of 10, and lets it use the token to buy or boost melee attacks.  Defensive Strike lets the AG attack an enemy who ends its move in its melee range.  When they have 3 Soul Tokens, AG's are dangerous.  Their high Mat threatens a wide range of targets, and their P+S is good enough to threaten anything short of heavy beasts or 'jacks.  The trouble is that Souls are a pretty limited resource.  Most Skorne armies run fairly beast heavy, and take one unit of infantry for jamming and attrition.  This often results in the unit being entirely wiped out, and the AG getting 3 Souls that it uses for one turn.  After that, AG's don't tend to get many Soul Tokens (if they survive).

Defensive Strike lets an Ancestral Guardian make a melee attack against an enemy model who advances and ends its movement in its melee range.  This gives the AG an extra layer of defense against infantry, and can remove a single enemy infantry model who charges it.  Like most abilities which generate out of turn attacks, each Defensive Strike gets better the more of them you have.  Two to three Defensive Strikes can make a fairly wide area dangerous for infantry, or be a fairly prickly deterrent to enemy.  There's no real downside to Defensive Strike, except that it's not all that likely to save an AG unless several Defensive Strikes are in play.

The idea behind Project Obsidian is that by taking a lot of AG's I'm counteracting the biggest limitation of Soul Guardian while maximizing the potential of Defensive Strike.  I'll be absorbing 9 or so Soul Tokens, so very few Souls are wasted.  I'm also going to run 3 (at least) Defensive Strikes together, which will make for a pretty significant obstacle to melee infantry.  Or that's the theory.  In practice, I'm still paying 9 points for the ability to absorb 9 souls instead of 3 points to absorb 3, which is kind of a big point sink.  And at Def 10, AG's are very easy to hit with ranged attacks too, and can be taken down before they even have a chance to use Defensive Strike.

I feel that about half of Skorne's Warlocks can use AG's pretty well.  I think they have at least some potential with all three Makedas, both Hexerises, Xerxis, and possibly Morghoul 2 and Naaresh.  Morghoul 1 and Rasheth both want too many beasts to really get the most out of multiple AG's, and Mordikaar makes one of his own units Undead with Hollow, so he doesn't work well with them either.  Zaal, of course, does great and terrible things with AG's.  I'll be running him too for comparison, but he really isn't the point of this project.

We'll see how this goes.  I'll either discover some huge untapped potential for AG's, or I'll decide they just aren't worth 3 points with most Warlocks.  At the very least, I'll have fun games (I do like using AG's regardless of their effect on the game), and maybe I'll write up a Tactica if I have some good ideas.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Battle Report: Kaelyssa vs MacBain at 35pts

This is my first report for Retribution!  It happened a little over two weeks ago, so I apologize for any forgetfulness.  I can't remember why I didn't write the report right away, but here it is:

I ran:

Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper (+7)
*Banshee (10)
*Phoenix (10)
*Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2)

10 Dawnguard Invoctors (10)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2)
6 Mage Hunter Strike Force (5)
*Strike Force Commander (2)

Arcanist (1)

My opponent, Ben, ran:

Drake MacBain (+6)
*Nomad (6)
*Buccaneer (3)
*Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2)

10 Kayazy Assassins (8)
*Kayazy Assassin Underboss (2)
Lady Aiyanna and Master Holt (4)

Alexia Ciannor, Mistress of the Witchfire (4)
Ogrun Bokur (3) (Client - Alexia)
Eiryss, Angel of the Retribution (3)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2)
Saxon Orrick (2)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2)

I won the roll off, and decided to go second.

Turn 1: Mercenaries

Drake cast Failsafe on the Nomad, and Countermeasures on the Kayazy.  Almost everyone else ran, and Rhupert gave the Kayazy Tough for the round.

Turn 1: Retribution

The Invictors used Extend Fire, advanced, and CRA'd into Alexia, leaving her at 1 or 2 boxes, but failing to finish her.  Kaelyssa cast Banishing Ward on the Invictors to ward off Hellfire, and put Phantom Hunter on the Banshee for LoS ignoring slam shots.  The 'jacks ran up.  The Strike Force ran forward a bit, keeping a forest between themselves and the Kayazy.  I didn't want them getting shut down by Countermeasures or murdered.

Turn 2: Mercenaries

The Kayazy ran forward to jam me, shutting down nearly all ranged weapons outside of Kaelyssa's and the Strike Force's.  Alexia and the Bokur advanced on the Invictors, but had no ranged attacks to make.  Eyriss shot and disrupted the Phoenix.  Drake didn't Feat, but did Energizer the warjacks a little.  He saved his Feat for next turn.  Rhupert gave the Kayazy some extra Def and Terror with Dirge of Mists.

Turn 2: Retribution

Since Drake hadn't Feated last turn, I'd need to do a lot of damage this turn.  Unfortunately, all my guns were basically offline thanks to Countermeasures.  Kaelyssa advanced and popped a few Kayazy with her Runebolt Cannon, then used her Feat to defend my army.  The Phoenix walked forward, and used its Combustion attack, killing 4 Kayazy.  The Banshee and Invictors got into combat with the Kayazy, and killed one or two between them.

Turn 3: Mercenaries

The Nomad advanced on the Phoenix, and did its initial attack.  Drake advanced, used his Feat to help the surviving Kayazy and Alexia out, and cast Jackhammer to get some more attacks out of the Nomad, leaving the Phoenix at just a couple of health boxes.  Other models moved into position.  Alexia charged and killed one sad Invictor who wasn't in Kaelyssa's CTRL (whoops).

Turn 3: Retribution

The Banshee was thoroughly jammed, so Kaelyssa dropped Phantom Hunter from it.  The Artificer advanced, and repaired some boxes on the Phoenix, which tried to hurt the Nomad, but didn't do much.  The MHSF advanced, killed Holt, and put some more damage on the Nomad with Arcane Assassin and Jack Hunter.  Kaelyssa put Phantom Hunter on herself, and killed Eiryss and an un-Feated Kayazy or two.  The Banshee tried to Critical Grievous Wounds the Kayazy in combat with it, but just knocked it down.  The Invictors knocked down a couple Kayazy, and got some damage in on the Nomad with Flank.

Turn 4: Mercenaries

The Kayazy and Saxon started killing some Invictors.  The Nomad finished off the Phoenix.  Alexia got to summon up some Thralls, who obligingly killed a few more Invictors for her.  The Buccaneer tried to net itself a Kaelyssa, but didn't hit.

Turn 4: Retribution

I was pretty sure I could charge the Banshee into Drake this turn, so Kaelyssa gave it 3 Focus.  Then the Invictors killed one of the Kayazy engaging the Banshee, as well as most of the Thralls and the Bokur.  Then Kaelyssa advanced, and tried to shoot the other Kayazy engaging the Banshee - but she had wandered into range of Countermeasures.  Luckily, I was able to kill it with an Arcane Bolt, and the Banshee was able to charge Drake.  It missed with its charge attack, and scuffed him up a little with its off hand.  -_-

The Mage Hunters finished off the Nomad, and I ended my turn.

Turn 5: Mercenaries

Aiyanna and Gorman debuffed the Banshee, and Drake killed it in style.  The Buccaneer once again tried to net Kaelyssa, this time with the aiming bonus, but once again it missed.  Ben was not pleased.  The three surviving Kayazy charged my support models, killing the Arcanist and a Mage Hunter, and wounding Sylys.  Alexia and her Thralls finished up the Invictors on her side of the table.

Turn 5: Retribution

Drake was camping 3 Focus, and was clearly in Kaelyssa's threat range.  I had Sylys upkeep Phantom Hunter, then Kaelyssa advanced and killed off Drake with her Runebolt Cannon and his own Focus.

Victory to the Retribution!


Kaelyssa is a lot of fun.  I felt she didn't have as much to do this game as she might in others, since her anti-magic wasn't at its best against Drake (who doesn't do a lot of offensive spellcasting), and the list's shooting game was being harshed over by Countermeasures.  A lot of people on the Retribution Forums have recommended Sentinels with her (and I definitely wished I'd had them more than once), or another primarily melee unit.  I'll have to proxy them at some point soon.  Saving an extra point over the Invictors would let me squeeze in another Arcanist, and I really do feel like I'll want 2 in most lists.  Even so, Kaelyssa made a fantastic super-solo, with her Runebolt Cannon plinking Kayazy off reliably, and she finished Drake with Phantom Hunter and Energy Siphon.  She's definitely a nasty fighter even when her support isn't shining.

I played a pretty solid game, though what I could have/should have done differently is a little hazy right now.  After the game, Ben said he was surprised I didn't try to sneak around his flank with the Mage Hunter Strike Force - I kept them in the woods.  I probably should have kept advancing with them, as it would have forced Drake to deal with them somehow, and his backfield cast of Sylys, Gorman and Rhupert might not have been up to the task.

Ben made a couple of mistakes.  I feel he should have used his Feat on turn 2, rather than let me kill off half his Kayazy.  He came back quite well otherwise, and he probably would have managed to kill Kaelyssa if either of those nets had hit.  In retrospect, I was treating her like a Warlock with a couple of Fury on her, instead of a squishy Warcaster camping a couple Focus.  Ben could get 2-3 attacks in, and I wasn't nearly as worried as I should have been.

Monday, March 18, 2013

"Battle Report": pThagrosh vs Xerxes, 35 points

Sometimes... sometimes you’re just dumb.

My list:

* Angelius
* Carnivean
* Ravagore
* Succubus
Full Legionnaires

His list:
* Gladiator
* Bronzeback
Full Nihilators
Full Immortals
Min Beast Handlers

I’m not actually going to write out a battle report, but if I were to it would go a little something like this: “[Active Player] totally mismanaged his forces and forgot to use half his abilities, repeat until caster kill.” I forgot about Death Shroud constantly, and he forgot to whip his Gladiator before charging my Ravagore. Stupid stuff like that. But he made fewer mistakes than I did and won the game.

So now I really want to play Thagrosh properly, because I think he can do some pretty neat things when there isn’t an idiot behind the wheel. I’m also finally motivated to assemble my Warspears, as the Legionnaire screen keeps getting devoured by Berserk or something similar (also, the new UA holy cow).


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Battle Report: Makeda 3 vs. Grimm 2 at 50pts

Here's the first of my reports with the new Garguantuans material - a first run of Makeda 3 against my esteemed co-blogger and epic Grimm.

I ran the following list.

Makeda and the Exalted Court (+2)
*Bronzeback Titan (10)
*Titan Gladiator (8)
*Archidon (7)
*Cyclops Savage (5)
*Basilisk Krea (4)

10 Praetorian Swordsmen (6)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2)
4 Paingiver Bloodrunners (2)

Ancestral Guardian (3)
Ancestral Guardian (3)
Agonizer (2)

This is my first 50pt list for Makeda 3.  It's got a lot of what I feel she wants.  The Bronzeback can give her an incredible Feat turn by letting her spam Train Wreck so beasts can run rampant through infantry.  The Savage has Reach and Future Sight, which is pretty good for taking advantage of the combo.  On the more defensive side, I have the Archidon to grant Sprint to Makeda, and the Krea to boost defense against ranged attacks.

One thing I'm experimenting with for this list is the two Ancestral Guardians.  Their plan is to move forward as a pair, let the Swordsmen fill up on souls, and serve as a defensive tank for Makeda 3.  With their Defensive Strikes boosted by Vortex of Destruction (or even just the threat of them), I'm hoping to keep her pretty safe from melee.

Caleb ran:

The Hunters Grimm (+4)
*Mulg the Ancient (12)
*Dire Troll Bomber (10)
*Troll Impaler (5)
*Rune Shaper (2)

10 Trollkin Fennblades (8)
*Officer and Drummer (2)
10 Pyg Bushwhackers (8)

Fell Caller Hero (3)
Fennblade Kithkar (2)
5 Troll Whelps (2)

Well, I haven't been obsessively theorymachining eGrimm the way I have Makeda 3 for the last few days, but this list seems to take advantage of his abilities well.  The Fennblades can jam very quickly to provide a good screen for the more ranged part of the army.  They can also get very far with their Mini-Feat, Mirage, and Vengeance, to let Grimm mark a lot of targets for his Feat turn.  The Bushwhackers are solid ranged support, and Mulg is a terrifying second line model.

Trollblood Deployment: Looking to get onto that hill.

I won the roll off, and chose to go second.  Caleb and I deployed roughly opposite each other in tight formations.  Our early strategies were very similar - screen the more important models with the infantry, and set up for some massive destruction later on.


Skorne Deployment: Directly across from the Trollbloods.
We both used a few proxies this game.  Caleb used a converted pGrimm to represent eGrimm, and two small wooden discs to represent Muggs and Krump.  He also used Skaldi Bonehammer to represent the Fennblade Kithkar.

I used pHexeris to represent Makeda 3 (I chose him over another Makeda due to his clearly visible Reach weapon), and two Bloodrunners to represent the Exalted Guardians.  I also used Hakaar the Destroyer to represent an ordinary Ancestral Guardian.

Everything else on both sides is model-accurate. 

Turn 1: Trollbloods

Everything ran up into position except Grimm, who put Mirage on the Fennblades.  Thanks to Reform, the Hunters were still plenty close to the back of the Fennblades unit at the end of the turn.

The Trollbloods advance.

Turn 1: Skorne

The Skorne spread out to take the charge.
A very similar turn, most of my models just ran.  The Swordsmen spread out to screen Makeda and her Guardians.  Makeda cast Vortex of Destruction, threw 4 Fury onto the Agonizer, and charged up between the AG's with the Exalted Court just a little behind.  The Beasts ran or advanced to keep my Fury generation under control, and prepared to counterattack the Fennblades.

I'd get hit pretty hard next turn, and the Swordsmen would bear the brunt of the damage, but I'd be well set up to strike back hard on my second turn.

Turn 2: Trollbloods

The Trollbloods get down to business.
The Fennblades Apparitioned forward, and charged the front line of Swordsmen, killing most of them.  Grimm advanced, and used his Feat, On My Mark, to grant friendly models Snipe (+4 Range) and Mark the Target (friendly models gain +2 to ranged attack rolls at enemies within 5" of this model).  Then he shot at one of the Ancestral Guardians, damaging it badly.  He also used Mulg's Animus, Rune Breaker, to give a little denial around Grimm.  The Bomber and Impaler finished off the Ancestral Guardian and one of Makeda's Exalted Guardians.  The Pyg Bushwhackers finished off most of the remaining Swordsmen, and killed two of the Paingivers (Caleb knows how valuable they are).

That had been a lot of damage, but it had mostly fallen on my attrition shield (the Swordsmen).  I'd have to hit back hard if I wanted to stay in the game though.  The Fennblades were jamming me pretty thoroughly, but fortunately, jamming units can be a speed boost for Makeda 3, rather than a tar pit.

Turn 2: Skorne

I briefly considered trying to play conservatively and attrition the Trollbloods down, but that seemed awfully poor-spirited for Makeda 3's first trial.  Besides, if were playing a Scenario, I'd have had to do something to gain ground.  Time to take some risks!

The Swordsmen and Ancestral Guardian advanced, and did some damage to the Fennblades.  Then the Archidon used Lightning Strike on Makeda, and advanced, leaving the remaining Fennblades for her.  Then Makeda activated used her Feat, Dance of Death*, and she and the remaining Guardian charged the Fennblades they could reach.  The Guardian killed one, then Makeda killed another with her charge attack, used her weapon's Blood Boon ability to cast Eliminator at no cost, and killed two more.  That gave her a 4" advance, getting her within melee range of both the Troll Impaler and the Dire Troll Bomber.  She killed both, and ended her activation by Sprinting (thanks to Lightning Strike) as far away from Mulg as she could get while keeping the majority of the Bushwhackers in her CTRL.  She ended up within Shield Guard range of her Exalted Guardian, and within the Defensive Strike range of my remaining Ancestral Guardian, so all in all, mischief managed.

End of the Turn - Yikes!

Then the rest of my Warbeasts activated.  The Gladiator Rushed the Krea and advanced.  The Krea ran to partially screen Makeda from Mulg and some of the remaining trolls.  The Bronzeback used its Animus, Train Wreck, to give the Savage Beat Back this activation, and charged a Fennblade, killing it and giving Makeda a Fury.  The Paingivers advanced, Enraged the Savage, and Conditioned the Archidon to remove the Fury on it.  Then the Savage charged into the Pyg Bushwhackers, killing 4, and engaging 4 more.

What a turn!  Makeda was only camping 3 Fury at the end, and Mulg might just be close enough to get to her, but I had done the damage I'd set out to do, and then some.  Realistically, Grimm's last chance was an assassination.  I'd done too much damage for him to keep trading with me.  Unfortunately, Mulg is brutal, and if he was in range, I would probably die.

*Dance of Death - Whenever a model in Makeda's battlegroup destroys one or more enemy models with an attack, I can either remove one Fury from one of her Warbeasts or place one Fury on her.  This let her gain a total of 5 Fury during her activation!

Turn 3: Trollbloods

Since it all hinged on the assassination, Caleb set it up meticulously.  Grimm and his unit advanced, and put Mortality on Makeda by targeting the Exalted Guardian, whose low Def makes them a good way to get a debuff on Makeda.  Then he tried to take out the Guardian with Grimm's and Krump's ranged attacks, but didn't quite manage it.  He'd been planning to KD Makeda next with Muggs' Snare Gun, but since I would have Shield Guarded the shot to the Guardian, he just knocked her down instead.  A The Fennblades charged, and one managed to get some damage onto Makeda (which she decided to take).  Then Mulg charged Makeda, but I'd moved her just a half-inch out of his charge range.
Makeda is just out of Reach.

At this point, Caleb decided to concede.  Mulg would die, and Grimm just didn't have the juice to take Makeda down without heavies, even if I hadn't been about to descend on him with my own mostly healthy battlegroup.


I played a good game, although I took a big risk with Makeda on my second turn.  If I had misjudged the Sprint distance by even a fraction of an inch, Mulg would have been in range, and I'd have needed some pretty decent luck to save me.  Otherwise, I deployed my Swordsmen well as a screen, and chose my targets well for Makeda's Feat turn of destruction.

I like the list a lot, and think it gives Makeda just about everything she needs to get the most out of her Feat turn and her abilities.  The Ancestral Guardians never really got the chance to shine as a team, since Caleb shot one down so early.  Keeping up a flow of souls will definitely be a problem for this list, since the Praetorians seem to be dying very quickly.  Nihilators would provide a more constant flow, since Tough makes it harder to eliminate so many of them in one turn.  Still, the remaining Ancestral Guardian did pretty well with the souls it got, and did get a Defensive Strike on Mulg which did a nasty chunk of damage to his Spirit.  Two strikes like that could easily take out an aspect.  I was very happy with the Archidon, whose only action was to cast Lightning Strike on Makeda.  Giving her end-of-Activation movement without her spending Fury on it was really great to have, and made for an incredible Feat turn as well as letting her live to see victory.

As for Makeda 3 herself, she is incredible!  Vortex of Destruction and her Feat make her an absolute monster in combat.  On her Feat turn, she killed 3 Fennblades, single-handedly took down both the Bomber and the Impaler from full health, and skipped back to safety with Lightning Strike.  She's definitely a risk-taker, since she's so powerful on her own.  But Skorne definitely has the abilities and Animi to support her in that roll.

Caleb also played a solid game.  He timed his Feat and targeted my models well.  He used Mulg's animus very well in particular.  Makeda 3 wants to charge right into the front lines making melee attacks and slinging Eliminator and Ground Zero.  Rune Breaker stops spellcasting, which completely killed my plan to have Makeda cleave her way to Grimm on her Feat turn.  He probably should have spread his Fennblades out a bit more on the turn he charged in - Makeda used them to boost her into both his ranged beasts, which ended badly for them.  That would have been pretty difficult, however, since the Fennblades were almost as far apart as they could be with their Medium bases.

Caleb's list was good too.  He decided that Mulg needs a speed boost, and I agree.  Speed 4 is annoyingly slow without Rush or a similar way to boost it.  He considered adding Lanyssa Ryssyll, who grants both +2" of movement on a charge, and a free charge, which is a nice package.  The other option would be an Axer, but that would mean replacing one of the other beasts, each of which brings something good to the list.  The Fennblades were great, and I got to see how Mirage and Vengeance work together firsthand.  They jammed me well on my half of the table, and were perfect Target Markers for Grimm's Feat turn.

I'm impressed with eGrimm as well.  He's a solid Warlock with a lot of interesting tricks for support.  Caleb ran him in a combined-arms list with a lot of ranged attacks, and he had something for everyone, which is good for a support-oriented Warlock.  Reform was great for him keeping up with his army, and keeping him away from mine, which is good, since Grimm wants to be fairly close to the front without having the statline for it.  I didn't get to see Trapper in action, but it seems like that would have helped out too.  The Kithkar was also solid, although it didn't get the chance to do a whole lot.

More thoughts on these models and the rest of the Gargantuans release when my 4+ Tough does its first ever podcast at some point in the near future.

Finally, because I downloaded pictures from my phone again...

Thanks for Reading!