Monday, March 24, 2014

4+ Tournament 03/22/14 - pGrexy's Reports

I played in another tournament at Tower Games this past Saturday, and as always, it was a lot of fun.  I ran Makeda 3 and Makeda 1 this time around.

Despite the best of intentions, I didn't actually play any practice games on Friday.  Instead, I ended up playing Warhammer Diskwars with some friends I don't see nearly often enough (which was a lot of fun).  Anyway, that means I've had a total of 1 game's worth of experience with the Makeda 3 list, and 0 with the Makeda 1 list.  But that's ok.  A tournament is a great environment to crash test a new list or two if you don't take it too seriously.

Anyway, list 1 was

Archdomina Makeda (*5pts)
*Mammoth (20pts)
*Cyclops Raider (5pts)
*Basilisk Krea (4pts)
6 Cataphract Cetrati (11pts)
10 Nihilators (8pts)
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers (2pts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (1pt)
Extoller Soulward (2pts)
Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2pts)

This is the list I haven't played.  I tried pMakeda with a Mammoth once, and it was effective.  Then I saw this list on the Skorne forum, and decided to give it a try.  It's been a few months since I've played Makeda 1, but I learned the game with her, so I always like playing her.

List 2 was

Makeda and the Exalted Court (*2pts)
*Molik Karn (11pts)
*Bronzeback Titan (10pts)
*Titan Gladiator (8pts)
*Cyclops Brute (5pts)
*Cyclops Brute (5pts)
*Cyclops Savage (5pts)
*Basilisk Krea (4pts)
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers (2pts)
Agonizer (2pts)

I played a nearly identical list (the Savage was a 3rd Brute) a couple of weeks ago.  It fit together very smoothly, and had a strong attrition game.  Makeda 3 is also a really fun warlock to play in general.  Win or lose, I've never regretted putting her on the table.

On to the reports!

Round 1 Against Tom's Khador

Tom was running Butcher 3 and eSorcha.  Makeda 1 has a pretty decent game against both of them, and more importantly has some shooting in the list to clear out all that Khador infantry.  So I took her.  Tom went with the Butcher.

Kommander Zoktavir, the Butcher Unleashed (*4pts)
*Beast 09 (11pts)
*War Dog (1pts)
10 Black Dragon Iron Fang Pikemen (8pts)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2pts)
10 Black Dragon Iron Fang Pikemen (8pts)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2pts)
Greylord Ternion (4pts)
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire (4pts)
Ogrun Bokur - Client: The Butcher (3pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Iron Fang Kovnik (2pts)
Iron Fang Kovnik (2pts)
Kell Bailoch (2pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)

The Scenario was Incursion.  Three flags, and one of them disappears.  Control a flag for 1 point, dominate a side flag for 2.  Tom won the roll off, and decided to go second.

I predeployed the Mammoth in some woods near the right flag, Makeda and the Cetrati in the middle, and the Nihilators on the right.  The Mammoth's pit crew went near it, and the Beast Handlers went behind the beasts.

Tom deployed a unit of IFP and Kovnik behind each flag, and put Butcher, his dogs, the Bokur, Alexia, and Beast 09 in the middle.  Kell and Eiryss Advance Deployed on the right behind a low wall.

Turn 1

Makeda put Savagery on the Cetrati and Defender's Ward on the Nihilators, then charged up.  The Mammoth and Nihilators ran, while the Cetrati wentinto Shield Wall, and walked.  The Raider put Snipe on the Mammoth, and the Willbreaker gave it Ancillary attack to shoot Eiryss.  The shot scattered onto her, but failed to kill.

Tom ran with just about everything in the list.  The Greylords put clouds on the Butcher's Argi and Beast.  The Butcher put Silence of Death on the left unit of IFP.

Turn 2

Makeda upkept her spells.  The Nihilators charged the IFP on the left.  Raider sniped the Mammoth again.  The Mammoth shot and killed a couple of the IFP on the right.  The Cetrati Shield Walled up the table again.  Makeda walked up behind the Cetrati, and used her Feat (troopers destroyed in her CTRL will come back in her next maintenance phase.  They must be placed in her CTRL, in formation, and within 3" of another model in their unit).

Tom didn't waste any time.  Beast 09 got out of the way.  Butcher swapped Silence of Death onto himself, and charged one of the ends of my Cetrati brick.  Then he Energized for 2, and cast Impending Doom to suck Makeda in.  Then he Feated to get his Focus back, and killed Makeda.

Victory to Khador!

That was the silliest mistake I've made in a while, and I don't even have the excuse of never having gone up against Butcher 3 before.  I knew his threat range - it's very reliable.  I just completely forgot that meant I had to keep Makeda out of it!  :-P

Tom played a pretty solid 2 turns, although I wish I could have given him just a little more to think about.

Round 2 Against Luke's Khador

Luke was running eSorscha and pIrusk.  In either case, the Mammoth list was probably better, and after that last game, I really wanted a chance to play it for more than a turn or 2.  Luke picked eSorscha.

Forward Kommander Sorscha (*6pts)
*Beast 09 - Bonded (11pts)
*War Dog (1pt)
10 Cylena Raefyll and Nyss Hunters (10)
*Koldun Kapitan Valachev (2)
5 Greylord Outriders (9)
Lady Aiyanna and Master Holt (4)
4 Widowmakers (4)
Harlan Versh, Illuminated One (2)
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor (2)
Saxon Orrik (2)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2)
Raluk Moorclaw, the Ironmonger (2)
Widowmaker Marksman (2)
Koldun Lord (2)
Gobber Tinker (1)

The scenario was Destruction.  There's a 12 by 6 control zone in the middle of the table, and a destructible objective for each player holding down two opposite corners.  Destrying the enemy objective is worth a point (and necessary to control the zone), controlling the zone is worth a point, and dominating it is worth 2 points.

I won the roll off, and chose to go first.  I again deployed the Mammoth near some troublesome terrain on the right side of the table.  The Cetrati went on the left, and the Nihilators went in the middle this time.  The Mammoth's buddies clustered up around her.

Luke deployed the Outriders on the left and the Nyss on the right.  The solos, merc units, and Sorscha mostly went in the middle along with Beast 09.  The Widowmakers and Saxon deployed a bit ahead of the center gaggle of solos.

Turn 1

I ran and Shield Walled my way up the table (Defender's Ward on the Nihilators and Savagery on the Cetrati), and took my turn 1 Mammoth shot at the Widowmakers, but it scattered wide.

The Nyss ran up, but left one of their number a bit back for Sorscha to target.  Sorcha walked up, and put Iron Flesh on the Nyss and Shatterstorm on the Widowmakers.  The Widowmakers advanced and killed a couple of the lead Nihilators.  The Outriders and most of the solos ran, though Aiyanna and Holt walked and used Stealth.

Turn 2

I upkept both spells, and had the Nihilators charge an Outrider and the Widowmaker Marksman.  The Marksman died, but the Outrider lived.  The Cetrati advanced in Shield Wall, and killed another Outrider.  The Raider advanced, and Sniped the Mammoth, while the Krea advanced, and used Paralytic Aura.  The Gobbers advanced, and popped some smoke into play.  Makeda ducked around behind the Krea and Gobbers, and camped 4.  No more living on the edge for her.

The Mammoth advanced, and took one shot at Gorman and the Widowmakers (hit a Widowmaker, but rolled a 3 for damage) and 2 shots into the Nyss, who could easily kill it if they were left intact.  The shots accounted for Cylena and about 3 other Nyss.  Then the Mammoth used Counter Blast.  The Willbreaker used Ancillary Attack on the Mammoth to kill 2 more Nyss.  The Paingivers walked up and got my Fury down to manageable levels.

Luke dropped Iron Flesh, but upkept Shatterstorm.  Sorscha advanced, used her Feat (damage done to enemy models in her CTRL without Immunity: cold above their Arm is doubled for a turn), and cast Cyclone to engage my leading Nihilators and kill all the ones she could reach.  The Nyss charged the Mammoth, but it triggered Counter Blast to kill 2.  The 2 remaining Nyss did 24 damage.

The Widowmakers dropped some more Nihilators, and managed to kill some of both Swamp Gobbers and the Extoller.  Most of the remaining solos and the Outriders took aim at the Cetrati, but only killed 2.  Gorman walked up and pitched some Black Oil at a Nyss Hunter right in front of the Mammoth.  I hoped it would scatter onto Sorscha, but it just scattered into the center of the Mammoth's base.  Beast ran up to support Sorscha.

Turn 3

Sorscha was awfully exposed, so I decided to try to kill her.  I placed my returning Nihilators to finish off the Outrider who might be in some of my charge lanes, and the Cetrati to attack other Outriders, then upkept Savagery.

The Willbreaker used Puppet Master on the Krea to let her reroll bad dice in her attack roll, then the Krea aimed and shot her Paralysis shot at Sorscha.  She hit, and Sorscha was reduced to base Def 7.  The Nihilators killed the Outrider they needed to kill along with 3 other Nihilators.

The Raider aimed, and shot Sorscha for respectable damage.  Finally, Makeda charged Sorscha, and killed her with a Combo Strike.

Victory to the Skorne!

I played a pretty decent game this time.  At the very least, I made no outrageous mistakes.  Luke made a mistake moving Sorscha so far forward, but he was camping 4, and didn't expect the Krea to be able to paralyze her.

Round 3 Against Bryant's Cryx

Bryant was bringing Scaverous and Asphyxious 3.  Both my lists seemed decent against both of his, so I decided to play Makeda 3 because she's loads of fun.  Bryant went with Asphyxious 3.

Asphyxious the Hellbringer (*4pts)
*Nightmare (10pts)
*Leviathan (9pts)
*Vociferon (-)
10 Bane Thralls (8pts)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (3pts)
10 Satyxis Raiders (8pts)
*Sea Witch (2pts)
10 Satyxis Blood Witches (6pts)
*Blood Hag (2pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)

The Scenario was Into the Breach.  There's a 12" circular zone on one side of the table, and a flag on the other.  Controlling the Zone is worth 1pt, dominating it is worth 2, and dominating the flag is worth 1.  There are also destructible objectives a few inches ahead of either player's AD zone.  Destroying your opponent's objective is worth 1pt.

Bryant won the roll off, and chose to go second.  I set up my beasts in a tight line in the center of the table with the Beast Handlers behind them.  I was ready to contest the Zone with my Savage and one Brute, while the other Brute was going to contest the flag.  The Heavies and Makeda went right in the middle for support, with the Bronzeback in the center-left, and the Gladiator in the center-right.

Bryant deployed both 'jacks near a hill on the left, put Tartarus on the right, and deployed his Bane Thralls in front of his Blood Witches in the middle.  The Raiders Advance Deployed in the middle, with Saxon Orrik to their right.

Bryant declared that the Nightmare's Prey would be the Bronzeback.

Turn 1

I basically ran up.  Makeda and the Gladiator did some Rushing before charging up, and Makeda also cast Vortex of Destruction, and put a fury on the Agonizer.  I got the right Brute and Savage to the edge of the zone.

Bryant also basically ran up.  The Satyxis Raidrs jammed my line, while the bulk of the infantry ran up to 8-10" behind them.  The 'jacks ran into position to charge and/or shoot me from a hill.  Asphyxious cast Scything Touch on the Bane Thralls, and Ashen Veil on the Satyxis Raiders.

Turn 2

I had little choice but to un-jam myself.  The Cyclops Savage killed a Raider engaging the right Brute.  The left Brute killed a Raider too.  Molik spent about 4 Fury to kill just one Raider.  The Bronzeback used Train Wreck to kill 2.  Makeda and her unit made up for the lackluster showing by killing 3 Raiders with melee attacks, and 2 more with Ground Zero, then Makeda cast Fate Walker.  The Sea Witch and last Raider passed their Cmd check for massive Casualties.  The right Brute charged Tartarus, but failed to kill him.  The Paingivers advanced, and ensured I wouldn't be taking many Frenzy checks.  Makeda took her Fate Walker move, and retreated behind my objective.

Asphyxious let Ashen Veil drop, but upkept Scything Touch, and allocated 3 Focus to the Leviathan.  Tartarus advanced, Cursed Molik, and took a swing at my Brute to little effect.  The Bane Thralls charged in.  Only 2 could reach Molik, and 3 charged the right Brute.  The rest ran into the center of the table.  The ones engaging the Brute did a little damage, and the two who had charged Molik did some serious damage to him, but didn't take out any aspects.  The Blood Witches ran up behind the Banes, and used their mini-Feat to gain Incorporeal.

Asphyxious put Ashen Veil on himself, then used his Feat to gain a Soul Token for every time I spent Fury, Forced a beast, or cast a spell in his CTRL.  The Leviathan aimed, and shot at the Krea for a little damage.  Nightmare advanced cautiously to stay out of my Beat Back threat range.  Vociferon ran to the center-left just behind the Banes.

Turn 3

My right Brute was just outside my CTRL after that Fate Walker move, but it passed its Frenzy check.  I leached Fury, upkept Vortex of Destuction, and was good to go.

Makeda went first.  She used her Feat, and her unit killed a couple of Bane Thralls,  She cast Fate Walker, and then cast Eliminator on a Blood Witch.  She killed the Witch, and backed off 2 inches.  Molik and the Savage both killed a bunch of Bane Thralls, and Molik cast Fate Walker to back off.  The Brute on the right finished Tartarus, and the Brute on the left finished the Raiders engaging it.

The Paingivers Enraged the Bronzeback, and Conditioned the others.  The Bronzeback charged, and took out Vociferon, the Sea Witch and another Bane Thrall.  The Thralls were down to the Standard Bearer and the three engaging the Brute.  The Agonizer used Spiritual Affliction, and ran to stop Focus Allocation to the Leviathan.  Makeda and Molik Fate Walked out of harm's way.

Asphyxious' Feat had been loading him down with souls this whole time, and he started the turn with 27 Focus.  Yikes.  He dropped Ashen Veil, and allocated 3 to Nightmare.  The remaining Banes charged.  The 3 in contact with the Brute hurt it a little, and the Standard Bearer ran into melee with the Bronzeback.  The Blood Witches charged in, damaged the Krea, and killed 2 Paingivers.

Asphyxious cast Mobility and Carnage, then cast Scything Touch on himself, and charged the Bronzeback.  He killed it pretty easily, and had 18 Focus left to spend.  He elected to cast Ashen Veil on himself again, and camp at Arm 31 rather than take any risks with offensive magic. Nightmare changed its Prey to Molik, and charged the right Brute, murdering it.  The Leviathan walked up to the Agonizer, and swung with its claw, but missed.

Turn 4

Makeda upkept Vortex of Destruction, and leached in her Fury.  Makeda activated first again.  Her unit advanced into the Blood Witches.  Her Guardians killed a few, and she killed one with her initial attack, and 3 more with a Blood Booned Eliminator.  She advanced, and moved into melee range of Nightmare, and cast Fate Walker.  The Savage charged one of the 3 remaining Thralls in the zone, and killed it and one other.

The Paingivers Enraged Molik, who charged Nightmare and scrapped it, then finished off the remaining Thrall and Saxon, and cast Fate Walker.  The left Brute killed the Bane Thrall Standard Bearer and another Blood Witch.  I took my Fate Walker moves, getting Makeda as far from Asphyxious as possible, and screening her with Molik.

I now dominated the zone, and scored 2pts.

Bryant decided after some thinking that he couldn't kill Makeda, and had nothing close enough to contest the zone.  Since I'd score 2 points on his turn, and to more on my next one, he decided to concede.

Victory to the Skorne!

That was a very clean game for me.  The list played very smoothly, and I stuck to my attrition plan.  I focused on wiping out Bryant's army in manageable chunks, and ended up scoring a decisive scenario win.  Bryant didn't make any huge mistakes, and generally played a tight, conservative game.  I do think he overextended his Satyxis on turn 1.  They were too far ahead of the Bane Thralls for an effective counter charge, and I was already in the zone, so there was no scenario pressure to make me move forward.  If he'd engaged with 2-4 Raiders, and held the rest back, I would have been in a much trickier position on my second turn, and would likely have had to sacrifice at least a beast or two to the Banes.

This brings us to the final round, and I'm currently in the running for 3rd on SoS and Scenario points (my round 1 opponent was undefeated so far).  Without further ado...

Round 4 Against John's Trollbloods

John was playing pDoomshaper and eMadrak.  I was a little worried about Troll armor cracking, but I still wanted to play Makeda 3, and Makeda 1 had a lot of eggs in one basket with the Mammoth, a target I knew Mulg could take out in a good round, so I went with Makeda 3.  John went with pDoomshaper.

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls (*7pts)
*Mulg the Ancient (12pts)
*Earthborn Dire Troll (10tps)
*Troll Axer (6pts)
*Storm Troll (5pts)
*Trollkin Rune Bearer (2pts)
10 Trollkin Fennblades (8)
*Officer and Drummer (2)
6 Kriel Stone Bearer and Stone Scribes (4pts)
*Stone Scribe Elder (1pt)
Janissa Stonetide (3pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)
5 Whelps (2pts)

The last scenario was Supply and Demand.  A 12" round zone in the center with 2 objectives placed diagonally across from each other.  Controlling the zone is worth one point, and dominating it is worth 2, but it cannot be dominated while the opponent's Warlock/Warcaster is in your CTRL.  Destroying the enemy objective is worth 1 point.

John won the roll-off, and decided to go second.  I deployed in my customary brick, with the heavies and Krea in the center, and the Cyclopes holding down the flanks.

John deployed in a wide line, with Mulg and the Axer on the right, the Earthborn and Storm Troll on the left, and Fennblades everywhere.  The second line had Doomie, the Kriel Stone, and the support.

Turn 1

I ran up to my side of the zone, put 4 Fury on the Agonizer, and cast Vortex of Destruction with Makeda.  The Cyclopes were a few inches into the zone, and the heavies were not too far out.

John ran up with the Fenns, getting them into a good charge position, and kept his Warbeasts back a little.  Doomshaper cast Fortune on Mulg for rerolled attacks, and diverted the rest of his Fury to the Kriel Stone, which put up its +2 Arm aura.

Turn 2

Makeda upkept Vortex of Destruction.  I advanced, and made some attacks against the Fennblades with my Cyclopes, but didn't do a whole lot else.  The Brutes cast Safeguard to prevent slams, and the heavies made sure they could charge out to avenge the Brutes if the Mulg and Earthborn killed them.  The Agonizer used Gnawing Pain, and ran to the center of my force.  Makeda topped it off with Fury to maximize its bubble.

John had Doomshaper drop Fortune.  The Rune Bearer used Harmonious Exaltation on Doomshaper.  Doomshaper activated, cast Purification to remove my upkeeps and Animi, popped his Feat, which deals 1d6 damage to enemy models for each Focus or Fury point they spend or gain, and recast Fortune on Mulg.

The Storm Troll shot my left Brute, which caused lightning to arc through one of Makeda's guardians and the Agonizer.  The Agonizer took 5 damage, and the Brute and Exalted Guardian took 3.  The Fennblades charged in, and did a little damage to my left Brute and Savage.  The Earthborn charged the left Brute, and killed it with its last attack.  Mulg charged the right Brute, and killed it far more handily.  The Chronicler put Hero's Tragedy on the Fennblades, so that any warrior model who killed any would be knocked down.

Turn 3

After a little thought, I had Makeda risk a free strike from a Fennblade to try to get out of Doomshaper's CTRL.  The Fenn hit and did 6 damage.  Makeda walked into melee with the Earthborn, and cast Vortex of Destruction on herself.  She ended up being in Doomshaper's CTRL by the tiniest of margins, and took 7 more damage from the Feat.  Booo!  She took a swing at the Earthborn, causing it to spawn a Whelp in the Bronzeback's path.  The Exalted Guardians killed a single Fennblade between them.  The Agonizer was supposed to walk out of Doomie's CTRL, and then use Gnawing Pain, but I forgot, and it died to Feat damage.  Whoops.

The Paingivers Enraged the Bronzeback and Molik, and Medicated the Savage.  The Savage bravely walked in front of Mulg, and killed a Fennblade.  Molik charged the Whelp, and killed it, then caused another Fennblade to Tough with his second initial attack.  The Bronzeback took a free strike for minor damage, and charged into the Earthborn.  It hit with both its war gauntlets, but missed with the Chain Attack Grab and Smash Headbutt, and had to buy 3 attacks to finish the Earthborn, damaging itself severely in the process.  The Gladiator simply walked forward a bit.

The Fennblades made some Vengeance attacks, but didn't do much, and Doomshaper upkept Fortune.  Then the Fenns charged in, and did a little more damage to the Bronzeback, a little to Molik, and killed an Exalted Guardian.  Doomshaper topped up the Kriel Stone.  The Kriel Stone Bearers gave the Trolls +1 Str with their Aura.  Janissa popped up a wall, and the Rune Bearer tried to Rampager the Gladiator, but missed.

Mulg smushed the Savage, and Goaded into Karn, damaging him pretty badly with his one remaining attack.  The Storm Troll charged the Bronzeback, and killed it on its last attack.

Turn 4

It was going to be do or die.  I had to drop Mulg, and protect Makeda as well as possible.  Makeda upkept Vortex of Destruction, and started things off.  She popped her Feat, and her remaining Exalted Guardian killed a Fennblade.  Makeda tried to kill the Storm Troll quickly, but had to spend 5 Fury to do it due to atrocious luck on attack rolls.  She Blood Booned Ground Zero to clear off the Fennblades, and waited for her Beasts to fill her up on Fury.

The Paingivers Enraged the Gladiator and Karn, and the Gladiator blasted Mulg with everything it had, leaving him barely alive.  Molik chopped through a few Whelps to load Makeda up on Fury, then finished Mulg off.

The Fennblades took some Vengeance attacks.  John had noticed that Molik was my only open transfer target since the Gladiator was loaded up, and knew that if he could kill Molik, he had Makeda dead barring terrible luck.

Doomshaper put Fortune on the Fennblades, knowing that they might need the reroll with their Mat of 6.  He also cast Rampager at the Gladiator, forcing it to advance on Molik and hit him for significant damage.  Finally, the Axer charged Molik, and finished him off.

It was all down to the Fennblades.  They charged Makeda.  The first one hit, and did the 3 damage it took to finish her off.

Victory to the Trollbloods!

Not my best showing, but definitely my closest and most fun game of the day.  Sometimes playing 3 games in a row makes me tired and easily discouraged.  This game, I was just having fun the whole time.  It was an epic grindfest, and John was a great opponent.  I hope to see him around for the next tournament, and there's a chance I'll be able to make it to his LGS in Duluth for their first tournament in May some time.

I did make a couple of key mistakes I'll remember in the future.  First, I got the Agonizer killed, when I really shouldn't have.  If it had lived, there was a decent chance the Bronzeback would have survived the Storm Troll, and that Molik would have been in better condition on that last turn.  Alternately, if I'd remembered, I could have used Molik's last kill to take a Fury off the Gladiator rather than put it on Makeda.  Then I would have had the Gladiator's whole life spiral open for transfers, and still been camping 3 Fury.  I would still have been in the game, though it would still have been an uphill battle.  He wouldn't have had any armor crackers left, but I would have been counting on Makeda and the Gladiator to take down everything he had left.

John played a very solid game.  He had a similar approach to mine - try to pick apart the opponent's list while they slog through your jam - and he pulled it off quite well.  Doomie's Feat in particular was brutal against my list.  All the Beasts want to be forcing consistently, and Makeda really wants to be spending Fury every turn, and she was close enough to be burned badly.

Overall Thoughts

I really need to be doing these more often.  I always have a ton of fun, and I get a lot of good practice with my lists.  My opponents were great, and I'm looking forward to seeing them across the table sometime in the near future.  I especially want to give my pMakeda list an honest run at Butcher 3, since I did take it partially to save Makeda 3 from that matchup.

I'm pretty pleased with the lists I used.  I need to try them both out some more.  I'd probably prefer Makeda 3 with a 3rd Brute instead of the Savage, but Savages are good, and I'll play it both ways.  I might also consider swapping in a Tyrant Commander and Orin Midwinter.  This would give her a little more depth and security with increased full advances (including those from Fate Walker), and a little more flexibility with matchups, since Orin's Lightning is good spot removal in a list that doesn't have much, and Null Magic lets her clean out Butcher 3 and keeps other spell-reliant opponents honest.

I didn't give the Makeda 1 list much of a working over.  Both the games I played with it were pretty short.  It was fun though, and the Mammoth looks great, and plays well against a lot of lists, and Makeda offers some very good support for it.  I'll definitely be trying this list out more, and maybe seeing if I can tweak it up to my preferences.

Thanks for the great games, opponents, and thanks again Jamie for running the event!

More reports to come next week...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tournament March 22nd, Lists and Thoughts

There is yet another tournament coming up at Tower Games, and I'm able to make it out to this one.  I'd considered playing Retribution for this one, but I have just a little too much work to do in terms of assembling models if I want 2 balanced lists.  So I'll be playing Skorne.  Specifically, I'll be playing my current favorite warlock, Makeda 3, and the warlock I learned the game with, Makeda 1.

Both these lists are taken (to one degree or another) from the internet.  The Makeda 3 list is based on one by a PP Forum member who goes by Staks, and the Makeda 1 list is basically identical to the one Lord Tyrant Watt used at Templecon.  I suppose I should be ashamed for netdecking, but frankly both these lists look fun enough that I don't care.

Makeda and the Exalted Court (*2pts)
*Molik Karn (11pts)
*Bronzeback Titan (10pts)
*Titan Gladiator (8pts)
*Cyclops Brute (5pts)
*Cyclops Brute (5pts)
*Cyclops Savage (5pts)
*Basilisk Krea (4pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Agonizer (2pts)

I played a similar list (3 Brutes instead of 2 Brutes and a Savage) a little while ago, and had so much fun, I decided to try it for the tournament.  The reason I'm running a Savage instead of a 3rd Brute is partly because I could only find one other Brute for sale, and also partly because even though I am extremely lazy about painting, I prefer to play with painted models, and my Savage is painted.

The Brutes and Savage stand in for infantry in a jamming/screening role.  The Brutes typically need to be removed by a heavy hitter, which can be taken out by my heavies in the second line.  They're also good at standing around in zones if they opponent doesn't want to expose the kind of thing that could deal with them.  The Savage is a lot squishier than the Brutes, but it's also a lot better at offense.  It can do a lot of damage, especially with Makeda's Feat making it hyper efficient.

The rest of the crew  doesn't need much explanation.  Molik is too good not to take with Makeda 3, and the Bronzeback and Gladiator are both solid heavies that let her make the most of her abilities.  The Krea is there on top of the 4 potential Shield Guards in the list to shut down enemy shooting as hard as possible.  The Agonizer is there for the extra defense against enemy beasts and 'jacks.

Archdomina Makeda (*5pts)
*Mammoth (20pts)
*Cyclops Raider (5pts)
*Basilisk Krea (4pts)
Cataphract Cetrati (Leader and 5 Grunts) (11pts)
Nihilators (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt) (1pt)
Extoller Soulward (2pts)
Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2pts)

This is another brand new list for me.  I've played the Mammoth with Makeda 1 before, and it worked out really well, but I haven't tried this particular list out yet.  It looks very solid though, and it's inspired my to actually finish getting my Mammoth put together (mostly - some of the parts will be pinned on or left off until the whole thing's painted).

The Mammoth is going to be the workhorse - er - elephant...triceratops...thing, and gives the list a lot of flexibility.  The guns can do serious work against both infantry and heavies, and give the list a ranged element a lot of my Skorne armies lack.  It's also the list's finishing piece, since it does such good damage in melee too.  It can seriously threaten even heavies and colossi in melee, especially if they've softened up with gunfire or infantry.

The Cetrati are a very durable brick that usually takes some serious work to clear out.  They can shrug off Mammoth blast damage so they'll be good for screening it.  They're also surprisingly mobile with Makeda 1 due to savagery.  This list has them advancing 10" in Shield Wall, after which they can make attacks.  I debated swapping the Nihilators in the original list for Swordsmen, but I decided that with the Mammoth picking up so much of the anti-infantry load, I'd rather have a more dependable screen than offensive ability, and Nihilators bring that with Reach and Tough.

I don't have enough experience with these lists to know all my matchups yet.  Right now, I think Makeda 1 is a good drop against Cryx, Circle, Legion, and Khador, since the Mammoth's guns give me good options against those factions.  Makeda 3 will probably go up against Trollbloods, Convergence, and the Skorne mirror match.  The other factions are up in the air.  Either could handle Cygnar or Retribution, although I'm tempted to prefer Makeda 3 since that list is pretty shooting-resistant.  I like Makeda 3's list against Protectorate, but I'm not wild about stuff like Self Sacrifice shutting down her Feat, or spell immunity in general limiting her actions.  On the other hand, Makeda 1 has more tools, but Purification is not nice to her without Marketh around.

That's it, just more army lists.  I'll probably do some quick writeups of my practice games, and a full report of all my tournament games, probably by sometime in the middle of next week.  I always look forward to tournaments when I can play them, and I really look forward to writing the reports.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Battle Report: Issyria vs. eKaya, 50pts

I got in another 50pt game this past Friday, and I decided to try out Retribution's newest Warcaster: Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn.  I talk about the list at some length in this post.  For those who don't want to read all about it, the list was:

Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn (+6)
*Phoenix (10)
*Banshee (10)

10 Dawnguard Invictors (10)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2)
10 Mage Hunter Strike Force (8)
*Strike Force Commander (2)
10 Houseguard Halberdiers (7)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2)
*Soulless Escort (1)

Houseguard Thane (2)
Arcanist (1)
Arcanist (1)

It looks pretty balanced.  It has a strong shooting game, and a very hard alpha strike with the Halberdiers.  The 'jacks and Invictors are pretty good at melee in the second wave as well.

My regular opponent and co-blogger, Caleb, is just getting back into Circle Orboros after a long hiatus, and decided to run the following list.

Kaya the Moon Hunter and Laris (+3) - Call of the Wild Tier 4
*Warpwolf Stalker (9)
*Feral Warpwolf (8)
*Gnarlhorn Satyr (7)
*Gorax (4)
*Laris (-)

5 Warpborn Skinwalkers (8)
*Warpborn Alpha (3)
6 Druids of Orboros (7)
*Druids of Orboros Overseer (2)
3 Shifting Stones (2)
*Stone Keeper (1)

Druid Wilder (2)

This is a Tier 4 theme list, so all the heavy warbeasts have Advance Deploy and cost 1 point less.  Additionally, Caleb will get +1 to his starting roll, and the Skinwalkers have Advance Move.  As for the rest of the list, eKaya is plenty fast enough without having all her heavies AD.  All three heavies are Spd 6, and can have an extra 4 to 6 inches of movement if they need it.

Since there are pictures, I should mention Caleb has a few proxies.  The Feral is represented by a Wold Guardian.  The Gorax is represented by a Wold Watcher.  The Skinwalkers are represented by some Trollkin Warders, with Skaldi Bonehammer playing the part of the Alpha.  Finally, Kaya is represented by Lanyssa Ryssyll, and Laris is represented by a Wold Stalker.

I didn't bring any proxies, although my army is still rocking its White Metal Silver and Unpigmented Plastic Gray color scheme until I get an actual scheme picked out.

And now, on to the game.  We decided to play Incursion, since it was easy to set up, and we didn't feel like going back to the main floor and asking people to move so we could pull out the scenario box.


Caleb won the roll-off, and decided to go first.

He deployed his Skinwalkers, the Wilder, the Gorax, Laris and Kaya in the middle-ish of his deployment zone.

I deployed in a pretty basic line.  The Halberdiers went on the right, while the Invictors went on the left.  The Phoenix went in the middle, while the Banshee went on the left behind the Invictors.  Issyria deployed in the center, and the Arcanists deployed behind their respective 'jacks.

Caleb loaded his heavies and Shifting Stones into the center-left to oppose mine, and put the Druids on the right to support the Skinwalkers against my Halberdiers.  Finally, I deployed the MHSF on the right to shoot those pesky druids.

After deployment, the Skinwalkers take their Advance Move 5" forward.

Circle, Turn 1

The Circle heavies and Skinwalkers ran forward cautiously.  Caleb knew I had good range on my guns, and if he ran flat out, he'd be likely to pay for it.  The Druids ran forward on the flank.  The Lights and Wilder ran up to support the heavies.  The Stones shifted up.  Kaya put Forced Evolution on the Feral, and Shadow Pack on herself, and walked up to a few inches behind the heavies.

Caleb had put himself in a pretty good position.  He was out of the threat range of anything but my MHSF.  The Druids were in a little danger, but the rest of the army was safe behind its armor from their Pow 10 shots.  I had no choice but to advance into Kaya's (frankly absurd) threat ranges.  Hopefully, I'd be able to stick it out past the alpha strike and hit back hard enough to stay in the game.

Retribution, Turn 1

Issyria held onto all her Focus.  The MHSF advanced and shot the Druids, but only hit twice (needing 8's I'd hoped for a little better), killing one Druid and doing 2 damage to the Overseer.

The Thane advanced, and used Desperate Pace on the Halberdiers, who ran to jam Caleb up and screen my heavies.

The Arcanists advanced, and handed out Focus with Power Booster, and the Myrmidons ran up to where I thought it would be tough to get to them.  The Invictors ran up behind the Banshee.  Issyria advanced, and put Inviolable Resolve on the Phoenix and Admonition on the Banshee.

I was well within Caleb's threat range here, but unfortunately, I didn't have much choice.  I could only hope that my positioning was good enough limit the damage he could do enough that my counterattack would hurt.  On paper, Issyria has serious trouble with attrition if she ever gets behind.

Circle, Turn 2

Caleb decided to drop Shadow Pack, since Issyria's feat gives True Sight, but Kaya upkept Forced Evolution.

The Druids all advanced, but didn't get quite within Stealth range of the Mage Hunters.  Unperturbed, the Overseer cast The Devouring, a 4" AoE spell with a Pow of 8 +1 for every model in the unit.  Unfortunately, he was unlucky with the scatter, and only killed one.  The rest of the Druids tried to shoot the Halberdiers with Force Bolt, but were out of range thanks to the Soulless Escort's Mage Static ability.

The Skinwalkers charged in, but had a little trouble hitting the Mage Hunters and Halberdiers at Mat 6.  They only killed 2 Mage Hunters.  Laris ran up to just behind the Skinwalkers.

At this point, Caleb decided to go after my heavies.  Kaya used her Feat, which allows her to force Warbeasts outside her CTRL, and allows them to teleprt back to within 3" of her after their activations.  Then she channeled Dogpile through Laris onto the Phoenix, and hit.

The Gorax advanced, and cast Primal (+2 Str and Mat) on the Stalker, which the Shifting Stones teleported forward across the wall, and into melee with a Halberdier and the Banshee.  Admonition doesn't trigger on place effects like teleportation, so my Banshee was out of luck.  The Stalker warped for Strength, killed the Halberdier, and easily scrapped the Banshee, then teleported out next to Kaya and a Shifting Stone.

The Druid Wilder cast Primal on the Feral.  Then the Feral Warped for Speed, and charged the Phoenix.  It took all the Feral's attacks, but the Phoenix was also destroyed.  Caleb decided not to teleport the Feral back, since that way, I'd have to deal with it.

Finally, Caleb saw an opportunity to really reduce my counterattack.  The Gnarlhorn used its own Animus, Bounding, and slammed the Feral over 6 of my Dawnguard Invictors, killing them all despite their being Arm 17 from Defensive Line.  The Gnarlhorn teleported back next to the Stalker.

Gross!  Well, there went Issyria's ability to make any attacks of her own along with the Invictors' ability to Flank.  Not to mention two 10pt Myrmidons.  I really misjudged those threat ranges, and I really paid for it.  I had two things going for me, however.  First, the Feral and the Stalker would automatically Frenzy on Caleb's next turn due to Primal.  Second, I did still have most of my infantry, and a Feat to make them hit at peak efficiency.  The only question was, would that be enough?

Retribution, Turn 2

Issyria activated first, recast Inviolable Resolve on the Invictors, and Admonition on herself.  Then she moved to get the whole army in her CTRL and popped her Feat, giving everybody True Sight (ignore Concealment Camouflage and Stealth), and an additional die on all attack and damage rolls, discarding the die of my choice.

The MHSF went next putting a little damage on the two Skinwalkers engaging them with CMA's, and killing 2 more Druids with extra-accurate aimed crossbow bolts, including the Overseer.

The Halberdiers used their mini-Feat to gain Gang, and charged the Skinwalkers, killing every one they could reach.  Then they backed off, with Reform so the frenzying Stalker would attack Laris, and turned so that they could charge the Feral next turn if necessary.  Then the Thane charged the remaining Skinwalker, but only did one damage.

The Invictors marched around the now knocked down Feral, used their Extend Fire mini-Feat for extra range, and pumped 3 CRA's into the Stalker, reducing it to 6 hit points.

The Arcanists looked at each other, shrugged, and milled around to stay out of my way, but get in the Feral's way.

That was...not so terrible.  Damaging the Stalker was a huge boon.  The Feral would be a serious problem next turn, but I'd freed up enough of the rest of my infantry that I was pretty optimistic about my odds of dealing with it.  The Stalker was heavily damaged, and hopefully, I could finish both the wolves off, and come out ahead.

Circle, Turn 3

Caleb was suddenly faced with a dilemma.  Kaya camped 3 Fury last turn to ward off any janky ranged assassination run I might have gone for, and had 6 Fury out on the table - 1 on Laris, 2 on the Gorax, and 3 on the Gnarlhorn.  After some internal weighing of evils, Caleb decided to Leach from Laris and the Gorax, and let the Gnarlhorn take a Threshold check.  It failed, and Frenzied into the Stalker, killing it.  The Feral Warpwolf Frenzied automatically by standing up and walking at my Halberdier Standard Bearer - the closest model it could see.

Caleb was feeling a little desperate here, and decided to go for an assassination run.  First, he needed to clear out my Halberdiers.  The last Skinwalker killed the Thane to get rid of Inspiration.  The Stone Keeper advanced, and killed one with a spell.  Kaya advanced, and killed 2 more with her staff and one more with Muzzle.  The three survivors took a Command check, but passed.  The Wilder put Primal on Laris.

Laris charged at Issyria, but Caleb had forgotten about Admonition.  (And I forgot to warn him beforehand, which I normally would do since it was his first game with circle in a looong time.  But it was getting late, and I'd zoned out a bit.)  So Issyria hopped away, unscathed.  Laris used her Animus Spirit Shift to teleport back to Kaya and screen her as well as possible.

No pic for this turn, but Kaya was hugely exposed, and we just decided to finish it rather than take a break for pictures.

Retribution, Turn 3

I dropped Inviolable Resolve.  Issyria advanced, cast Admonition on herself again, and cast Blinding Light at Kaya to reduce her Def by 2.

The Mage Hunters who weren't engaged either moved or aimed to shoot at Kaya, and reduced her to 2 hit boxes.  The Invictors advanced, and finished her off with a single CRA.

Victory to the Retribution!


This was my first game with Issyria against an experienced opponent, and I definitely did some bungling.  I went and lost both my heavies and half my Invictors by putting them too far forward on turn 1.  I came back pretty well on turn 2, and not having to worry about any of the Circle heavies for a turn definitely helped.  My target selection on turn 2 was good, and probably saved the game for me.  There are a bunch of minor errors in positioning and deployment that made things harder than they needed to be, though.  For instance, I probably should have deployed the Phoenix further out to the right, so that it could support the Mage Hunters a little better.  And I could have jammed the Feral better on turn 2 with the by-then superfluous Arcanists.

The list was fun to play, and proved its ability to claw its way back into the game even after a lot of its options had been removed.  Issyra's Feat is very good, and worked well with all the shooting.  If I'd had even 2 more Invictors on that turn, I'd have killed the Stalker, and felt much better about my options.  I need more games in with this incarnation of the list before I decide to swap anything around, but I'm definitely considering a few options.  I'd really like some Mage Hunter Assassins to charge out with a 16" Threat under Crusader's Call and the hilarious accuracy and damage buff of the Feat.  I'd also like another Arc Node in the list, probably a Chimera, but maybe a second Phoenix.

Caleb was coming back to Circle after a long stint playing only Trollbloods, and this was his first game with eKaya, so he made some mistakes as well.  He planned his attack on turn 2 well, but didn't manage Fury or place his beasts after teleportation particularly well.  He could have avoided killing his own Stalker by placing the Gnarlhorn differently, possibly getting it to Frenzy into a stone or the Wilder.  I'm not convinced the Stalker should have gone after the Banshee, since it could have killed a lot of Halberdiers with Primal and Berserk, but on the other hand, the Banshee is pretty threatening at both melee and range.

Caleb's eKaya list was very cool.  Her Tier gives some excellent benefits without preventing Kaya from taking the models she really wants to take.  I might try to get a second set of stones in there, but otherwise, it looks very solid.  Once Caleb starts getting the Circle playstyle down again, that list is going to serve him well.

Something else I noticed while writing this up is that I tend to narrate my opponent's turns in the present tense, and my own turns in the past tense.  Weird.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Theorymachine Issyria List, 50pts

I picked up Issyria a few days ago, and I've been theorymachining her pretty fiercely since then.  I'll be trying this out as soon as I can make it in to my local game store, so hopefully there will be a report in the near future.

Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn (+6)
*Banshee (10)
*Phoenix (10)

10 Houseguard Halberdiers (7)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2)
*Soulless Escort (1)
10 Mage Hunter Strike Force (8)
*Strike Force Commander (2)
10 Dawguard Invictors (10)
*Officer and Standard Bearer (2)

Houseguard Thane (2)
Arcanist (1)
Arcanist (1)

Synergy with Issyria

I chose a pretty significant portion of the list specifically to combo with something Issyria does.  I picked the MHSF not only because they're a great unit , but also because they benefit hugely from her Feat.  Issyria's Feat gives a significant boost to damage and accuracy, and Phantom Seekers ensure that nothing within 12" can hide from the Strike Force.

I chose the Houseguard Halberdiers and Thane to synergize with Crusader's Call.  The Halberdiers can charge 13" (a 15" threat) with Desperate Pace and Crusader's Call, then Reform 3" further forward if they charge successfully.  That will make it easier to get a significant first strike on most enemies with them.  If they use their mini-feat on the same turn as Issyria's Feat, they'll hit very hard and very accurately that turn.  If I wait, they'll have 2 turns of high damage in a row.  Halberdiers are also a good target for Inviolable Resolve if I want to use Shield Wall.

The Banshee has its excellent Force Cannon for Issyria to use Ancillary Attack on, and the Phoenix is there as an Arc Node in addition to being an all-around great 'jack.  I think channeling Blinding Light will be a big part of Issyria's playstyle, since it makes her troops more accurate, and blocksenemy shooting, one of Retributions big vulnerabilities.

Finally, I decided she needs a unit with some late game presence.  I went for Invictors because mine are fully assembled, and because they'll be able to contribute on her Feat turn by shooting even if they're hanging back.  In the late game, they can charge in and flank with the Phoenix and Banshee as a melee force.  They can easily be replaced with another second wave unit or warjack, like Dawnguard Sentinels or Imperatus, or a lesser second wave investment and a Chimera as a backup arc node.

Teams and Jobs

Team 1: Halberdiers, Houseguard Thane

The Halberdiers will be my early jamming and alpha strike unit, and the Thane will keep them fearless and give them Desperate Pace.  They're fast on the run, and have a long threat range on the charge, and can advance after charging in to jam.

Team 2: Invictors, Banshee, Arcanist, Issyria

This will be the second wave team.  The Banshee and Invictors are supporting fire in the early game, and second wave melee in the late game.  They'll also keep Issyria safe, and she'll be helping out with extra shots from the Banshee's slam cannon.  This team is significantly slower than the Halberdiers and Mage Hunters, and a little slower than the Phoenix, so it should be easy to keep them in a supporting role.

Team 3: Mage Hunter Strike Force

The Strike Force is my troubleshooting team as usual.  They'll keep warcasters and warlocks honest, and shoot out infantry, support and warjacks.  They can also jam in a pinch, although they're not very good at it.  They can also give supporting fire to the Halberdiers to clear out the enemy's front line so the Halberdiers can charge into the back.

Team 4: Phoenix, Arcanist

This is the support team for the front line Mage Hunters and Halberdiers.  The Arc Node will let Issyria put Blinding Light on anything I need to stop from shooting or want an accuracy bonus against, or let her put Inviolable Resolve on anything I want more armor on or a unit which fails a Command check.  The Phoenix is also a great backup model for either the Halberdiers or the Strike Force.  It can deal with light infantry easily, and put serious damage on heavies as well.  It also has a good threat range between Reach and Crusader's Call.

The Plan

I'll start by putting Inviolable Resolve on the Phoenix, and Admonition on the Banshee.  The Phoenix, with its regenerating force field, gets a lot out of a +2 Arm buff.  The Banshee should be slightly behind other models, but it will help my back lines stay in the game longer if they can't be charged easily.

The Halberdiers get Desperate Pace first turn and run to jam and set up charges.  The MHSF move up into position to shoot next turn.

Issyria will have plenty of Focus to Velocity forward a bit if she needs to.  This list wants to go first so it can get as far forward as possible, and alpha strike on turn 2.  Issyria wants to use her Feat at the top of turn 2 to inflict heavy damage on the opponent's army, and I want her to get far enough forward to catch the lead Halberdiers if they charge.  I want to use turn 2 to wipe out the opponent's front lines with shooting and try to get the Halbs into the second wave.  After that, I'll go for scenario, and try to keep the pressure up with my own second line models and continued jamming from the Halberdiers and whatever else survives the enemy counterattack.

That's it.  Hopefully it'll all work out on the table.  Issyria seems strong on paper, but I'm seeing a lot of mixed results on the forums.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Battle Report: Makeda 3 vs Baldur 1, 50pts

Another month, another post I guess?  I really need to be getting in more games.  Anyway, I played a game this past Friday.  I'd seen a neat list on the PP forums for my current favorite Warlock, Makeda 3, so I decided to give a similar list a try.  No pictures unfortunately, because my cell phone was almost out of power, and the camera just kills it.

Makeda and the Exalted Court (+2)
*Molik Karn (11)
*Bronzeback Titan (10)
*Titan Gladiator (8)
*Cyclops Brute (5)
*Cyclops Brute (5)
*Cyclops Brute (5)
*Basilisk Krea (4)
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers (2)
Agonizer (2)

The Brutes are basically standing in for infantry in a screening/jamming role.  They have strong defensive stats at 13/17 with a Shield and Set Defense to make them even tougher to get through.  Standard anti-infantry attacks will mostly bounce off.  The plan is that anything that takes out a Brute needs to be able to take out a heavy.  When it does, the heavies in the second row can take it out instead.  Otherwise, the list is very standard for Makeda 3.  Molik, Bronzeback, Gladiator and Krea are making up the backbone of most of my lists with her.  The Agonizer is great defense against both beasts and 'jacks.  The original list ran a Sentry instead of the Gladiator, and dropped the Krea for max Beast Handlers and Orrin or a Willbreaker.  I'll probably give that list a try sometime in the near future.

My opponent, Luke, was playing pBaldur.

Baldur the Stonecleaver (+6)
*Warpwolf Stalker (10)
*Feral Warpwolf (9)
*Wold Warden (9)
*Winter Argus (5)
*Gorax (4)
10 Tharn Bloodtrackers (8)
*Nuala the Huntress (2)
3 Shifting Stones (2)
*Stone Keeper (1)
3 Shifting Stones (2)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (1)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)

This seems like an all-comers list with a lot of synergy, good mobility, and a solid denial Feat.  There are enough heavies in the list to give it a good trading game against other heavy armor lists, and the Stalker and Bloodtrackers can kill a lot of infantry without much trouble either.

We decided to play a Scenario, and rolled up Outflank.  It has two 12" circular zones on either side of the table center.  Controlling a zone is worth 1 point, and dominating a zone is worth 2.

My opponent won the roll-off, and decided to go first, so I chose the table edge with a wall to screen my advance on turn 1.

The Circle beasts went mostly in the middle of the table, but leaned a little toward the right zone.  I deployed in a fairly tight brick between the two zones, aware that my opponent could switch his positioning very quickly with the placement of the Shifting Stones and Bloodtrackers in Advance Deploy.  He placed the Shifting Stones in front of his heavies and the Bloodtrackers in front of the right zone.  Apparently, he'd be going all-out for it.

The Bloodtrackers select my rightmost Brute as their Prey.

Circle, Turn 1

Much of the list runs.  The Bloodtrackers get across the center line to try to keep me out of the zone.  The Stones shift up in overlapping triangles, and the Warpwolves run into the middle so they can teleport out next turn.

Baldur walks up, and casts Solid Ground on himself (friendly models in his CTRL cannot be knocked down, and do not suffer blast damage) and Stone Skin on the Bloodtrackers (+2 Str and Arm, -1 Spd and Def), then casts Rapid Growth to put a forest completely around himself.  The Gobbers walk up and make smoke, and the Witch Doctor gives Tough and Undead to the Bloodtrackers with Zombify.  The Winter Argus runs into the left zone, apparently to contest it.

Standard stuff, but talk about early scenario pressure.  I need to get into the right zone this turn, because I won't have much room to maneuver if the Bloodtrackers continue to jam me and Baldur Feats to slow me down.

Skorne, Turn 1

Again, there's a lot of running.  I don't have guns in the list, so there isn't much else to do.  The Gladiator Rushes the right Brute so it can get into the zone across some difficult terrain.  The right and left Brutes run into either zone (the right one engages some Bloodtrackers), and the center Brute runs up to claim the middle.

The heavies walk, run or trample to a few inches behind them, ready to counterattack if they have the opportunity.  Makeda puts 5 Fury on the Agonzer, and issues a Run order.  She runs to just behind the wall, and her Guardians run to just ahead of it.  The Krea activates Paralytic Aura and charges up to protect my models from those Weapon Master javalins.

The Agonizer uses Gnawing Pain, and runs up to be both within the Krea's Aura and within 2" of at least one of the Exalted Court.

And that's it.  My Brute would be lucky to survive the next round, but hopefully, I'd be able to counterattack effectively, and get some models into the right zone to contest.  Unless the Warpwolves suddenly went for the left zone, which seemed unlikely, the battle would hinge on the right.

Circle, Turn 2

Baldur upkeeps all 3 spells, and between the Sones removing Fury and Baldur Leaching, there are no Threshold checks for Circle.

Baldur starts off by casting Lighting Strike on the Feral Warpwolf (to give it Sprint and let it move away after killing something), and forfeits his movement to teleport into a forest in the right zone.  Clearly, the battle will be fought for control of the right after all.  Then, after a little Control Range measurement, Baldur Feats to try to keep me out of the zone once my Brute dies.  (Baldur's Feat gives friendly models in his CTRL Cover, and his CTRL is rough terrain for enemy models.  Enemy models never have Pathfinder while in his CTRL for one round.)

The Bloodtrackers advance and throw a lot of javalins, but between Paralytic Aura and my having 5 Shield Guards at my disposal, they don't accomplish much more than 2 damage to an Exalted Guardian.  Their Reform puts a few of them between my central models and the right zone.  The Witch Doc move up and Zombifies them.

The Wold Warden move up and switches Stone Skin onto the Feral Warpwolf with Geomancy, and one set of Stones teleports the Feral into melee with my Brute in the right zone.  The wolf warps for +2 Strength, but is in the Agonizer's Gnawing Pain Aura, and leaves the Brute alive by one point.

The next set of Stones teleports the Stalker to within Reach range of the Brute.  It warps for Strength, casts Lightning Strike on itself, and finishes off the Brute.  Then it sprints back to the Stones.  The Bloodtrackers switch their Prey to the Gladiator.  The Gorax advances to just behind the Stalker.

The Swamp Gobbers run to jam my central models and keep them out of the right zone.  Meanwhile, the Winter Argus skirts around the edge of the left.

I really need to get into the zone this turn, and kill the Feral, which is exposed.  Fortunately, my Gladiator is in a good position to do both, and if I can get other models in, so much the better.

Skorne, Turn 2

I have no upkeep spells in play yet.

The Agonizer uses Gnawing Pain again, and moves up behind the central Brute.  The Krea moves next to the Agonizer, uses Paralytic Aura, and misses the Stalker with a Spiritual Paralysis shot.

Makeda's unit activates.  She casts Vortex of Destruction on herself to boost all damage rolls against enemies in her melee range.  The Exalted Guardians advance to just ahead of the Agonizer and Krea, and kill one of the Swamp Gobbers.  Makeda advances into melee range of the Feral Warpwolf, and takes two swings, but misses both.  Disgusted, I leave her on 2 Fury, and cast Fate Walker.

The Paingivers advance, and use Enrage on both Brutes and the Gladiator, and Condition on the Krea to remove all Fury from her.  The Brute in the left zone charges a Shifting stone that had moved into it, and destroys it.  The central Brute charges a jamming Bloodtracker, and kills 2 with boosted attack rolls.

The Gladiator charges the Feral, but utterly flubbs its damage rolls, and leaves the Feral alive on 2 hit boxes even with Vortex of Destruction.  Molik and the Bronzeback advance into position to counterattack next turn.

Makeda takes her end-of-turn Fate Walker movement to retreat back behind my beasts.

Not the greatest turn, but the Gladiator is in the right zone, and won't be that easy to remove.  However it's my only model contesting right now.  I'm annoyed that the Feral is still alive, since killing it would have given me a huge leg up in attrition.

Circle, Turn 3

Baldur upkeeps Solid Ground, but drops Stone Skin and Rapid Growth.

Baldur activates first, and moves to within 6" of the Feral, and casts Primal and Stone Skin on it.  The Feral warps for Strength, and kills the Gladiator.  The Bloodtrackers switch their Prey to Molik Karn.

The Witch Doc Zombifies the Bloodtrackers again.  The Bloodtrackers take some shots at my Agonizer, Central Brute, and Exalted Guardians, but don't do much.  A few also shoot at the Paingiver who'd Enraged the Gladiator, but they all miss with bad rolls.  They used Reform to continue to jam me, and hook around toward Makeda and the Paingivers.

The Wold Warden moves up, and recasts Stone Skin on the Warpwolf Stalker, then the Gorax moves next to it, and casts Primal (+2 Mat and Str, but automatically frenzies next turn) on the Stalker.  The remaining full unit of Shifting Stones teleports the Stalker right into the middle of my central group.  Finally, the Stalker itself activates, warps for Strength to become P+S 22, and kills both Exalted Guardians, the Agonizer, and the Krea.

The Winter Argus attacks the Cyclops Brute in the left zone, but misses.  The last Swamp Gobber moves around to screen the Stalker from the Bronzeback, but the Bronzeback Counter-Charges.  It misses the Gobber, but puts itself in a good position to charge the Stalker next turn.

Luke ends his turn, and scores 2 points for Dominating the right zone.

I actually feel ok about this.  At minimum, I need to take out the Stalker and the Feral, and contest the zone, but once I do, the attrition game will be all in my favor.

Skorne, Turn 3

Makeda Leaches, and upkeeps Vortex of Destruction.  My central Brute has one Fury left over, and Frenzies despite being Thr 9.  It attacks the Stalker for light damage.

I have Makeda activate first.  First, she casts Train Wreck on Molik Karn to give him Beat Back.  Then, she Feats (this turn, when a model in her Battlegroup destroys one or more enemy models with an attack, either put a Fury on Makeda or remove a Fury from a model in her Battlegroup), and moves into melee range of the Feral.  She takes it out in one swing, and uses Blood Boon to cast Eliminator at a nearby Bloodtracker for free.  She hits and kills the Bloodtracker, and Eliminator lets her move 2" into melee range of the Stalker and another Bloodtracker.  She kills the second Bloodtracker, and casts Fate Walker, leaving her on 1 Fury.

The Paingivers move up and Enrage Molik, the Bronzeback, and the Brute in the right zone.  The Brute does some damage to the Winter Argus, but doesn't kill it.  The Bronzeback puts Train Wreck on itself, charges past the Swamp Gobber, who misses with its free strike, and kills both the Stalker and the Swamp Gobber.  It uses its Beat Back movement from Train Wreck to advance toward the Right Zone.

After a little contemplation, I decide to try something risky with Molik.  If it works (and it's likely that it will), I'll be able to get Molik right into Baldur's back lines.  If it doesn't work, I'll lose the game.

I have Molik charge the Winter Argus.  He needs an 8 to hit, but I miss with a 4.  I boost after the roll using Future Sight, but only add 3.  Not good.  Molik takes his second initial attack, and rolls another 4.  I boost the hit again, and this time get a 4.  The Argus dies, and Molik takes a 3" advance into melee range of the Stone Keeper.  The Stone Keeper and a few Sentry Stones die horribly, and Molik Beats his way Back to the Gorax.  Rather than buy attacks against the Gorax, I just cast Fate Walker.

I end my turn, and Molik and Makeda do their movement.  Molik moves into the right zone to contest it, and Makeda retreats into melee with some Bloodtrackers (much safer than having them shoot at her), camping 3 Fury.

I score 1 point for controlling the left zone.

I am holding on well.  If Molik stays in the zone, I'm in a very good position.  Even if he doesn't, my remaining high-Arm models will be hard to kill.  The Gorax has a great Animus in Primal, but it's only a light beast, and the Wold Warden is pretty pillow-fisted, and can't be targeted by Primal.

Circle, Turn 4

Baldur upkeeps Solid Ground.

The Wold Warden advances to try to Chain Attack: Smite Molik to make him easier to kill.  However, I Counter-Charge with the Bronzeback, putting it just inside the right zone.  The Wold Warden decides to slam the Bronzeback out of the zone instead.  It boosts with its attacks, and succeeds, putting the Bronzeback 1" away and out of the zone again.

Baldur casts Stone Skin on the Bloodtrackers, and stays in his forest.  The Witch Doc Zombifies the Bloodtrackers again.  All the Bloodtrackers shoot at Molik, one dying to a free strike by Makeda.  They damage Molik badly despite his being in melee, and reform to screen Baldur and hem in Makeda so she can't move.

The two surviving Shifting Stones find a new purpose by teleporting into the right zone to contest it.

Finally, the Gorax puts Primal on itself, advances, and finishes off Molik Karn.  The Bloodtrackers switch their Prey to Makeda.

Luke ends his turn, and scores 2 more points, putting him at 4, and one away from a scenario victory.

I can't screw up this next turn.  I need to get the Bronzeback and central Brute into the zone, and kill off Baldur's remaining beasts.  Then I'll pick off the remaining Bloodtrackers and Baldur himself.

Skorne, Turn 4

I upkeep Vortex of Destruction.  The left Brute frenzies, and kills one of the Shifting Stones contesting the left zone.  Makeda forces the Bronzeback to stand up.

Makeda casts Ground Zero, killing one Bloodtracker, and pushing the other two away, then retreats to a safer location.

The Paingivers advance, and Enrage both the Bronzeback and the central Brute.  The Bronzeback charges, and kills both the Wold Warden and the Gorax.  The Brute charges Nuala, and kills her and another Bloodtracker.

I end my turn.  I'm now in control of the game despite being 4 points down.  There are 3 Bloodtrackers left, along with the Witch Doctor, 2 Shifting Stones from different units, and Baldur himself.  Luke will be hard pressed to get rid of my two Arm 19 warbeasts, both sitting at almost full health.

Circle, Turn 5

Baldur drops Stone Skin and Solid Ground, hanging on to all 6 Fury.

The Witch Doctor Zombifies the Bloodtrackers, who put a few points of damage on the Bronzeback.  Baldur then charges the Bronzeback, staying exactly 2" away.  Luke had planned to use Weight of Stone to reduce the Bronzeback's Spd to 1, which would make it impossible to reach Baldur.  However, he had forgotten about Hyper Aggressive, which let the Bronzeback walk an inch toward him when he hit.  Baldur buys 4 more attacks to try to finish the Bronzeback, but only takes it to a little under half health.  With his last 2 Fury, he puts a forest next to Makeda with Rapid Growth so she won't be able to charge him next turn.

Skorne, Turn 5

Makeda upkeeps Vortex of Destruction.  The right Brute passes its Threshold check.

The Paingivers advance, and one of them heals the Bronzeback's broken Mind and Spirit with Medicate.  Makeda runs next to Baldur, then the Bronzeback activates, and finishes him off.

Victory to the Skorne!


I played a pretty solid game throughout.  I did get a little overexcited with the Brutes and Intuition, which lets them make an opponent reroll an attack roll against them.  Because of that, a Brute Frenzied on turn 3 when it should have been able to run into the zone, and really prevent Luke from scoring on turn 4.  Otherwise, my positioning was good, and I used the Brutes to draw out Luke's heavy hitters just as I'd planned.  Molik's wacky trip across the table was a serious risk that almost lost me the game.  I should have charged a Bloodtracker in the right zone, and killed as much in there as I could.  I usually try to play it safe, but this time I was a sucker for awesome shenanigans.  I'm pretty lucky it worked out, especially after Molik's first initial attack missed.

The list ran very well.  The Brutes were great, and definitely proved tougher than an equivalent point value of infantry.  They also killed or damaged one or two models per turn, which isn't bad when the heavies and Makeda can do so much on their own.  Having a Krea and 5 Shield Guards made shooting almost irrelevant in the early game.  I'll probably run Makeda 3 with a list like this one for a couple of weeks (or months if I continue to go so long between games), since it's so much fun.  Thanks to PP Forumite Staks for posting it.  Now I just need to get myself some more Brutes (2 of the ones I used were proxied).

Luke also played well.  Going hard for the right zone was a good move, and could have won him the game.  Between the speed of the Bloodtrackers and Baldur's Feat, I was worried I'd be shut out of the scenario entirely.  He did forget about Counter Charge a couple of times, and also forgot about Hyper Aggressive on his last turn, but otherwise didn't make many mistakes.  He had some bad luck on his 2nd turn when his Feral Warpwolf failed to kill the Cyclops Brute.  If it had been able to do that last point of damage and sprint away, Luke would have been in a significantly better position.

His list had a lot of synergy.  The Bloodtrackers were a very threatening presence.  Between Stone Skin making them Pow 11 Weapon Masters with their javalins and Solid Ground making them immune to blast damage, as well as immune to knockdown (with Tough from the Witch Doctor), they jammed me hard, and threatened a lot of my models into the late game.  If my list hadn't been so good at countering ranged attacks, they would have done a lot more damage.  I'm not entirely sure what the Winter Argus adds to the list besides an Arm buff for Baldur.  It does make him much more difficult to kill if he exposes himself to danger, but 5 points is a lot to pay for it.  Taking out the Winter Argus would let Luke upgrade the Wold Warden to Megalith (assuming Megs wasn't in another list for a tournament), and have 3 points left over for something else.  I'm no expert in Circle though, so it's possible it does more than provide a good animus.  This game, it contested the left zone, and forced me to divert models to deal with it.