One last practice game for the Dead of Winter GT this weekend, and I’m up against Bill, our local Abyssals player. He threatened to bring his lightning hell, max Flamebearers list but decided to try out a less skewed army …
Forces of the Abyss 2150
Molochs Horde – Despoiler Champ; Blessing of the Gods
Molochs Horde – Despoiler Champ; Boots of Striding
Tortured Souls Horde
Tortured Souls Regiment
Tortured Souls Regiment
Seductress – Gnome-Glass Shield
Abyssal Warlock – Veil of Shadows (3)
Zaz’u’szu the Betrayer  – Bane Chant (2-6), Lightning Bolt (4-8)
Bill has found himself in the same place I did when messing with Abyssals: Where the hammers at? He’s not an Abyssal Horsemen fan (Nv too low), and while he usually runs triple Molochs, 2150 points was too tight for all three of his hordes. Hence the Tortured Souls horde is here to see what it can do. There are 5-10 missing points in this list (depending on if it’s Veil 2 or 3), and I kind of think the TS horde might have had something? But it never came up, much like the Veil 😉
Lycan Horde – Brew of Strength
Guardian Brute Horde
Guardian Brute Horde
Minotaur Chariot Regiment – The Stampede 
Tribal Warrior Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Tribal Warrior Regiment
Tribal Warrior Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Great Chieftain – Horn of the Great Migration 
Druid – Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
This game I was testing out one more tweak, dropping the Druid’s reroll staff (which hasn’t worked in ages) and the Centaur Chief’s reroll sword for the horn of dread and WC (+1) on the Great Chieftain. The dread has some skornergy with the Brutes’ brutal, but I look forward to having it and the +1″ when facing other Sp 6 combat units. 19″ charges with the Lycans seems legit too. I’ve never run dread before either so that’s a cool thing to check off.
We played Push, using the tournament tweak that you can’t put more than two tokens in one unit. I made the Abyssals go first because 18″ shooting wants only one thing and it’s disgusting.
Abyssals 1: The flanks of the demonic castle roll forward, with the Abyssal firebase holding firm. I swear, I fight two Flamebearer regiments with a Warlock sandwiched between them standing in cover every time I face the Abyss 😛
Zaz’u’s lightning does a single damage to the right Centaurs but wavers them! This is actually kind of terrible for me, well played Bill. (Zaz’u always chooses the Gargoyles as his betrayal target, and they’re always regening as a result. I probably won’t mention this again.)
Herd 1: The Hallow more or less surges forward. Lycan and Centaur Chief prepare a trap on the left, should the Abyss engage early, while the Stampede and Lycan Alpha get within max range of the Tortured Souls horde, protecting their Tribal Warriors carting two tokens. In the center, I actually wanted to shove into the woods to flood the Abyssal shooting bunker with targets, but the Tortured Souls on the right are threatening flanks on the Tribal Warriors horde and right Brutes, so I had to be unfortunately conservative. The Brutes prepared to be lit up. (Also the Druid cleans up the damage on the Centaurs.)
Abyssals 2: The only movement from the Abyss is the Tortured Souls horde disappearing behind the hill and the regiment sidestepping for reasons. Cue the firestorm.
Blessedly, the Brutes take a mere 6 damage and hold firm. Wheeeeew.
Herd 2: The first wave of green vengeance crashes into the Abyssal lines! Tribal Warriors and Centaurs charge the left Tortured Souls regiment, with Great Chieftain’s dread bubble in support, and the smoldering Brutes on the right charge the other Tortured Souls regiment. I figure they’re as good as dead so may as well pressurize those hammers hiding behind the hill. I punch up the center with the next wave of heavy hitters, luxuriating in the woods (and grabbing the center token with the Tribal Warriors horde), while the Lycan and Centaur Chief buddy nimble around the house to be a problem in coming turns. On the right, the Stampede moves within the Moloch’s charge range, assuming that they won’t be able to engage out of fear of the Brutes or not without the Tortured Souls horde moving somewhere it can’t do anything or doesn’t want to be.
Both Tortured Souls regiments are cast back to the pit from whence they came. The Brutes turn to face the Abyssal hammers, disrespecting the hindered Flamebearers entirely … and not seeing the Gargoyle flank, tho I would have dismissed that as well, such is my hubris.
Abyssals 3: The Abyss strikes back across the board. Molochs charge the Centaurs on the left and the Stampede on the right, the latter possible because the Tortured Souls horde indeed backs up and sits this turn out too. Canny play, Bill. The Chroneas and Abyssal Fiend plow into the Tribal Warriors horde in the forest, hindering the Fiend but not the striding Chroneas. The damaged Brutes are indeed flanked by the Gargoyles (with Zaz’u in the front), shortly before the Seductress flies over to menace the Druid next turn. The Abyssal fire base targets the poor Centaurs out in the open.
Those Centaur Striders who were wavered first turn and vaporized this turn. RIP. In combat, the Molochs decimate the Centaurs on the left, and waver the Stampede on the right (on a rock solid 10 damage). The Brutes are surprisingly driven off by the Gargoyles, with no help from Zaz’u who contributed no damage. Finally, the Abyssal titans stomp 7 damage into the Tribal Warriors horde but they’re fine.
Shot from the left showing the Lycan horde and handler lurking around the house.
Herd 3: Gentle readers, you know I’m down to grind, and so we do. Tribal Warriors and Brutes tackle the left Molochs, but not before the Tribal Warriors horde counters the Chroneas (limiting their slide). The Great Chieftain flanks the Chroneas as well. On the right, the Stampede fury counters the other Molochs, with flanking support from the Lycan Alpha. We discuss whether the Tribal Warriors can fight the Molochs too, but I decide that you can’t multi-charge if one of the chargers can’t actually Charge (in the Stampede’s case). Outside of charging, the Lycan and Centaur Chief move into position to assault the Flamebearers, and the Druid prepares to bane chant one last time before the Seductress does unspeakably sexy things to her.
Thankfully the BC goes off! And the Chroneas is blended, as are the left Molochs. The Stampede and Lycan Alpha likewise tag team the other Molochs to death. Bill is surprised at how easily the Molochs fall – I’m not 😤
Abyssals 4: The Forces of the Abyss are feeling a little light on the ground but there’s a lot of firepower and speed left. The Abyssal Fiend charges (hindered) the Tribal Warrior horde again, as the Seductress trips over some roots and (hindered) charges the Druid tending to them. The Abyssal fire base mobilizes, lining up some shots before the Hallow mobs them all. In a surprise move, the hero Gargoyles charge the two token Tribal Warrior regiment, giving me a concern! And Zaz’u and the Tortured Souls horde declare their relevance.
Firebolts and lightning put the Brutes on 7 damage, the Lycan Alpha on 3, and the Stampede on 13, wavering 😦 In combat, the Abyssal Fiend rolls around on the Tribal Warriors horde, putting them to 10 damage, the Seductress bad touches the Druid for 6 damage (she wavers), and the Gargoyles do 2 to the Tribal Warriors regiment.
Herd 4: Time to seal some deals and pack this game away, because I have some concerns about the right with the Stampede so mangled. The Lycan make contact at least, flanking some Flamebearers over a wall with Tribal Warrior friends. The Brutes flank the Abyssal Fiend for maximum carnage, with Tribal Warriors horde in the front. On the right, the Tribal Warrior regiment counters the Gargoyles and the Lycan Alpha chooses to shut down Zaz’u’s lightning. She had a lot of options: flanking the Abyssal Warlock in the center, shutting down the Flamebearers, grounding the Tortured Souls. Honestly she should have gone with the last option, but that’s a bit of hindsight speaking. I figured Zaz’u’s lightning could reach out and mess with my damaged token carriers worse.
*murder sounds* Many demons are smote, and Zaz’u takes 3 damage. (The Stampede turned in place between shots.)
Abyssals 5: It’s feeling like last gasps but Bill is playing for some serious points on the right. The Warlock charges the Brutes to hold them and/or kill them (7 damage so far), and the Seductress hits the Druid again to end her. Zaz’u counters the Lycan Alpha because, but the real move is the Tortured Souls horde jumping into the token-bearing Tribal Warriors.
Flamebearers toss firebolts into the Stampede but luckily can’t land a wound on 5+ / 4+ dice. In combat, the Druid submits under the Seductress’ heavy petting and the Tortured Souls mangle the Tribal Warriors, taking their tokens. Zaz’u and the Warlock do nothing but sure are in the way.
Herd 5: Blenders can be heard revving up as the Warlock is Bruted and the Flamebearers have 79 quality attaks leveled at their frail red bodies. The Stampede plows into the Tortured Souls horde and the Lycan Alpha shrugs and hits Zaz’u again (who has regened down to 1 damage). The Great Chieftain aims to sit the Seductress down, if not kill her.
The center of the board is almost entirely cleared of Abyssal taint. Zaz’u goes to 4 damage but sticks around. The Stampede does a solid 7 damage to the Tortured Souls but it’s not enough. And the Great Chieftain finds -1 to hit and De 6+ far too hard to crack, leaving the Seductress mobile and her Gnome-Glass Shield intact.
Abyssals 6: If Zaz’u isn’t wavered, he counters the Lycan Alpha? And the Seductress counters the Great Chieftain. The only actual business however is the Tortured Souls ending the Stampede.
Which they do, turning to face whatever the Hallow has for them. The Great Chieftain cops some damage too.
Herd 6: Try as I might, the Lycan horde can’t fit on the Tortured Souls, so it rear charges Zaz’u for murdery reasons, with the Lycan Alpha in the front. The Brutes join the Great Chieftain in trying to rid the world of the Seductress.
Zaz’u is detonated, and I think the Seductress may have been dragged down? The ensnare is killing me 😅 But with no Turn 7 and 5 tokens to the Abyssal’s 2, this is a convincing …
I think it’s funny that the unit both Bill and I were bagging on all game, the Tortured Souls horde, was the power player that kept the Abyssals in the game, even securing them serious points – we’re using Blackjack at the GT, so 2 of 7 tokens is pretty meaningful for a minor loss. I do think they need any item, and my suggestion was the discounted Wine of Elvenkind. Their mobility is one of their few upsides, so what if even more mobile? With Helm of TC +1 as a back up.
While the Horn of the Great Migration wasn’t mindblowing, I ended up keeping it for my tournament list as a tech choice. Speaking of the GT, I’ll be back in the next week or so with the full rundown, so stay tuned. They’ve already announced our first round matchups, and I’m happy to announce my first game sees the return of a familiar face and his green horde …