BLOODFIRE 45: EMPIRE OF DUST

Happy new year! Hope it’s been good, or at least relatively free of plague. This last Saturday we had a (masked + vaxxed) Learn to Play Kings of War day at the very new gaming center in town, and had great turnout with quite a few people interested in the game and in minigaming in general. Plus a few members of our club came out who haven’t been spotted in the wild in years, which also bodes well for the future of KOW in our area. Exciting times ahead, pandemic-willing!

After the first couple rounds of intro games, there was a free table so I challenged a clubmate to a fast little game of Kings:

Salamanders 1000
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Surge (8), Heal (3)
Herald – The Boomstick

I have some regrets about not taking Scorched Earth instead of Heal and giving the Herald the Shroud instead, but not a lot else to say. In theory, LB(3) should be great for clearing chaff and adding to the general firepower of the list. In practice though …

Empire of Dust 1000
Skeleton Spearmen Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Mummies Regiment
Mummies Regiment
Bone Giant
Sebekh-Rei the Accursed – Heal (5+), Surge (5+)
Revenant Champion – Surge (5)

Chaff? What chaff? Solid EOD package, although he really wasn’t feeling Sebekh-Rei (agreed!). Rev Champ is a real workhorse however, giving them surge option is so good for the army.

We chose to play Dominate, since all the intro tables were running either Invade or Dominate and we had just helped run an Invade game. Bloodfire scouted, won the roll for first, then gave it away.

BATTLE

Salamanders 0: Ember Sprites scoot up the field to get ready to spit and to tempt him to engage.
Empire of Dust 1: The dry undead shamble forward, maintaining their frontage on the left and surging a couple inches forward on the right.
Salamanders 1: Ember Sprites advance and angle a bit, as Fire Elementals hover behind them and prepare to counter (the left horde has been surged up to close its frontage off from the Bone Giant, forgetting that it could probably walk up and surge into their flank). Ember Sprites spit at the Bone Giant, doing 3 damage. The Boomstick Herald tries the same and fails.
Empire of Dust 2: Mummies descend upon the Ember Sprites! The left regiment is driven off but the right holds on 5 damage (given how few attaks Mummies have on 4+, holding was a distinct possibility). The Skeleton Spearmen continue their inexorable flank, the Bone Giant plays it cool while Sebekh-Rei fails a 5-6 dice heal on the big guy 😐
Salamanders 2: As planned, the Sprites have left at least one of the Mummies with their flank open, which a Fire Elemental horde cheerily plows into, with Greater Fire in the front. The other Fire Elementals head off to slowly burn down the Bone Giant. The surviving Sprites had to disengage and sidestep to make space for the Fire Elemental charge, but have been surged back into the Mummies at this point. Finally, the Herald tried to lightning bolt Sebekh-Rei but failed.
The left Mummies are incinerated, the right Mummies take 2! damage from enraged Ember Sprites, and the Bone Giant takes an anemic 4 damage from his Fire Elementals (up to 7). Yikes.
Empire of Dust 3: Gentle readers, we’ve entered the grind. The Mummies regen their 2 damage then corkscrew the looming Fire Elementals. The Bone Giant counters his Fire Elementals, rolls max attaks and pummels 8 damage into them. Double yikes. Between heal and lifeleech he returns to 3 damage. Meanwhile, the Skeleton Spears flank and skewer the poor little Ember Sprites.
Salamanders 3: At this point, it’s pretty obvious that the Bone Giant fight isn’t going to go my way, and the Skeleton Spears are going to be a problem very soon, as well as a scenario winner in themselves. My only option is to punch harder!

Smoldering Fire Elemetals head back into the Bone Giant, again doing a terrible 4 damage (7 is average) and getting him back to 7. Central Fire Elementals counter the Mummies, but not before the Greater Fire steps into surge position, hence the strange alignment (the big girl couldn’t combo-charge with them, due to not having Nimble. Also I just realized she could have toasted Sebekh-Rei out of spite before surging in!) While they do damage, it isn’t enough to rout the Mummies in one go. Also the Herald tries and fails to lightning Sebekh-Rei.

Empire of Dust 4: The Bone Giant stamps out his Fire Elementals, the Skeleton Spears stab the other Fire Elemental horde up to 10 damage, and the Mummies bap 5 damage onto the Greater Fire. Everybody lifeleeches, regens or heals as is their wont. Looking like Bloodfire’s best option is to punch. even. harder.
Salamanders 4: One of my favorite things about playing Sallies is the late game shooting that happens when Mage-Priests are called upon to rain elite fireball (10) down on fools. To whit, the Mage-Priest roasts the Bone Giant back up to 7 damage (the Herald probably tried to help too but I’m not giving her any credit), but the rerolled 9 rout test doesn’t come through. In combat, the Greater Fire Elemental burns up the Mummies and faces the rampaging Bone Giant, while the Fire Elemental horde continues to be terrible, dishing out 6 damage to the Skeleton Spears (of 9 expected). RIP, fire boys.
Empire of Dust 5: The Bone Giant powers into the Greater Fire Elemental, in the kaiju big battle I know I was waiting for (the Rev Champ gets in on the action as well while Sebekh-Rei lets them fight). The duo chunks her up to 12 damage. The Skeleton Spear horde meanwhile dissipates the Fire Elementals. A bunch of healing happens.
Salamanders 5: Hear me out – if the Greater Fire can wreck the Bone Giant and hold against the Spears, I might actually pull this out … The Greater Fire gets the Bone Giant to 11 damage but can’t land the double 6 rout (4 on the first roll, actually). The Mage-Priest and Herald try to dunk the Skeleton Spears but roll very poorly, taking them up to 7 damage.
Empire of Dust 6: The Greater Fire Elemental is torn down by the combined aggression of the Empire, to simmer until she may once again scorch the mortal plane.
Salamanders 6: I’ve got just one plan left – pop the horde with the Mage-Priest and tip the Bone Giant over with the Herald. While the Mage-Priest slams the horde up to 13 damage and the Herald actually manages 1 damage on the giant, neither of the rout tests come through for me. With no Turn 7 (which would see both Bloodfire casters surge-charged anyway), that’s a resounding …

EMPIRE OF DUST VICTORY

In a game that revolved almost entirely around rolling 4+s to hit, the Bone Giant far outperformed, reminding me of my 2E games where Bone Giants were easily the best thing in the EOD list and caused me endless pain. On the flipside, my Fire Elementals were aggressively poor this game, and the Herald’s Boomstick was laughably bad, with I believe 1 damage dealt all game. Being 1000 points makes these sort of dice skews stand out all the more, I suppose.

All told a fun romp, thanks for reading! Hope to get some more games in, likely at 2100 points as my club is running its own GT at the end of February and we’re all chomping at the bit. Stay tuned.

BLOODFIRE 44: VARANGUR

It feels like it’s been forever since I last played Kings of War, but in that time Clash of Kings 2022 has slammed into the game and we’ve just begun feeling the weight of that impact. Add to all the new units and armies feverishly being born all the new players starting the game and it all adds up to exciting times in Pannithor. Personally, I’m adding loads of new stuff to the Hallow right now, partially because I already had expansions in progress and partially because COK unlocked quite a few units for the faction that otherwise were just hard to justify on the tabletop – including stuff I took in the beginning and kept passing over, like the Great Chieftain. Welcome to every game going forward, bud!

Since the Hallow is on the hobby desk, I commemorated my first COK22 outing by busting out Bloodfire: The Pre-Rebuild edition:

Salamanders 1995
Fire Elementals Horde – Diadem of Dragonkind
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Clan Lord – Effigy of Fire, Raptor
Clan Lord – Effigy of Fire, Raptor
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Surge (8), Scorched Earth (3)
Battle Captain on Rhinosaur – Inspiring Talisman

This doesn’t take huge advantage of COK22 – there are no Scorchwings (yet) – but the shattering on the fireballs and the Me 3+ on the GFE certainly don’t hurt. I knew I wanted to take one of the new mega spells on the Mage-Priest, so went with Scorched Earth as I rate it the most meta-warping of the library. Yes, I do happen to have two very mobile combat individuals in the list as well. We’ll talk about changes at the end 😛

Varangur 1995
The Fallen Horde
The Fallen Horde
Snow Trolls Horde – Staying Stone
Huscarls Regiment – Brew of Haste
Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Guise of the Deceiver?
Night Raiders Troop – Bows
Cavern Dweller
Lord on Frostfang – Snow Fox
Lord on Horse – Snow Fox
Magus – Host Shadowbeast (8), Lightning Bolt (4)

Speaking of juicing up combat characters, the Varangur obviously went that route, with the 7 attak base mounted Lord prepared to receive all the shadowbeast he could handle. Apart from that, business as usual, with elite fast hammers, a token chaff unit, and one beautiful beastie.

Adorable baby boy!

We rolled up Invade, which felt a little bit too lopsided for Bloodfire’s triumphant return, so we rerolled to Push and kept it. Bloodfire scouted then won and took first!

BATTLE

Salamanders 0: There’s no escaping the Scouting Phase! Trolls (the toads to the right of the Cavern Dweller) have two tokens and the Huscarls (right of tower) have one; second-from-left Fire Elementals have one token and the horde to their right has two.
Salamanders 1: The red tide rolls out, with Clan Lords on the flanks looking to intercept and Ember Sprites mobilizing to be a nuisance. I do not pick up the center token, per nuisance guidelines.
Varangur 1: The monstrous barbarians advance to outside of the worst of the Bloodfire danger zone. Night Raiders shoot a damage onto the rightmost Ember Sprites, to no avail.
Salamanders 2: Clan Lords punch out left and right, holding up Fallen on one flank and Mounted Sons on the other. Ember Sprites, diadem Fire horde and Greater Fire move up into toasting range, as the left Fire hordes prepare to avoid combo-charges and then strike back.
21 Ember shots into Fallen in cover results in 2 damage (1 after Iron Resolve), but the Huscarls take 5 non-trivial points of damage and Scorched Earth. (Of my three options, they were probably the worst of them – they’re already hindered into the Fire Elementals in the wood or will be killing Sprites regardless. Making the Trolls hit on 5+ against Sprites could have actually been pretty gnarly, and as for the Dweller, I’ll admit I thought he hit on 4+ base so discounted him as a target. Whoops.)

The Clan Lords rolled well, doing 3-4 damage each at the cost of the left one’s effigy.

Varangur 2: Welcome to Murder Town, Ember Sprites! Leftmost Fallen counter their Clan Lord, other Fallen charge Sprites, the Horse Lord solos Fire Elementals, the Cavern Dweller scoots his tiny base into more Fire Elementals (I think he was blocking the Horse Lord’s LOS so they couldn’t go in together), Trolls waddle into more Sprites, Huscarls drop their token and hit the wounded Sprites, and Mounted Sons counter their Clan Lord. The Night Raiders tag a startling 3 damage on the Rhino Captain (hard right), and then the Magus hosts 4 attaks worth of shadowbeast into the Horse Lord. 11 attaks doesn’t seem so bad, right?
The Fallen stab 5 damage into their Clan Lord, the Horse Lord blends 4 into Fire Elementals (10 hits -> 4 wounds), the Cavern Dweller pounds a tidy 6 into his horde, and the Mounted Sons likewise deliver 6 damage to their Clan Lord in the joust to the right. All the Sprites die, leaving just one that is frustratingly in my way.
Salamanders 3: I can’t get those Ember Sprites out of the way of my Fire Elementals that want to murder the Trolls, so grudgingly the Sprites take that charge. Two more Fire hordes sandwich the Cavern Dweller in the name of overkill (my opponent may have egged me into it, then talked loudly about double ones the whole time …), and the overkill continues with the banged up Huscarls copping a Fire horde, Greater Fire and Rhino Captain to the face. I was vaguely aware of not needing to go this ham and maybe keeping the Captain back, but eh! The Clan Lords counter-charge their targets.

And then I come to terms with having nothing to do with my 150 point Mage-Priest. I wanted to Scorched Earth those waiting Fallen, but she really is quite short. I find myself missing Heal, which my Priests have had for like 43 games straight. Sigh. (It’s almost nothing, but she could have surged in the Ember Sprites if they held and shot the Trolls. I’m not really used to Sprites being shambling!)

Huscarls and Cavern Dweller are both devastated then routed. Wheeeeew. Fallen, Mounted Sons and Trolls take token damage.
Varangur 3: Alright, alright, deep breaths, let’s push these eevil vikings back. Fallen charge some Fire Elementals (4 damage), the Horse Lord sneaks his base into more Fire Elementals (6 damage), the last of the Sprites prepare to be devoured by Trolls, the Rhino Captain is combo-charged by Frostlord and Night Raiders, and the Clan Lords are counter-charged. The Magus pumps 4 attaks into the Horse Lord again, bringing him back to 11 attaks.
Red goo splashes across the battlefield as everything bar the left Clan Lord falls in combat (and that Clan Lord wavers). I’m reminded how bonkers the Frost Lord is, and taught another lesson in what a shadowbeast Horse Lord can do to a real unit ™.
Salamanders 4: Wow that fell apart! But um, tokens and stuff? I rocket the diadem Fire horde into the Mounted Sons, the other Fire horde (2 tokens) into the central Fallen, and the Greater Fire chooses to murder Night Raiders rather than grind the face of the Frost Lord (she was in his front arc, by design). The Mage-Priest has several Scorched Earth targets, but chooses to try to dunk the damn Magus pumping up the Horse Lord.
Fireball (10) on 5s (elite) and 5s manages to waver the Magus, thanks to shattering! All the combats go to Bloodfire as well. The token-bearing Fire Elementals try for a hardy overrun to pressure the Fallen into grinding with them, but 3″ only gets them just into range.
Varangur 4: Unable to escape the GFE’s wrath, the Trolls decide to charge her first (hindered), as the Frost Lord blocks the diadem Fire Elementals from flanking them. The Horse Lord charges the Mage-Priest, with his puny 7 attaks, and the Fallen prepare to end their Clan Lord’s reign of terror. The Magus, meanwhile, pats out his smoldering robes.
The second Clan Lord falls! But nothing else does, tho the Mage-Priest is indeed disordered. The Fallen back up just out of a Fire Elementals charge range.
Bloodfire 5: The diadem Fire horde and the Greater Fire pound damages into the Frost Lord and Snow Trolls respectively (up to 5 and 7 each). On the left, the token horde strains forward 5″ while the Mage-Priest limps after them in the name of inspiration.
Varangur 5: The grind continues on the right, while on the left the Varangur try a new tactic – what if Fallen and blender lord at once? Said Horse Lord receives +3 attaks from the Magus, for 10 total. Pedestrian, I say.
Turns out it’s still super effective! The Fallen + Lord one-round the Fire Elementals, giving the Fallen their 2 tokens. Both fire units on the right cop a hiding but somehow cling to the mortal plane – most notably the Greater Fire on 14 damage!
Salamanders 6: The right counter-charge their targets, and as spoiled above, kill them both, with the Frost Lord going down before the Trolls (as you do). Crispest of high fives for the GFE and her 3+ to hit, which felt great. On the left, the Mage-Priest uses her last cast of the battle to … reach for the stars and nuke the Fallen, dropping their tokens and ensuring the Varangur can’t hold any to come. The odds are pretty terrible (rerolled 10+ Nv checks on slightly above average damage) but the payoff is huge. Anyway, she does 1 damage and the double box cars doesn’t happen. (Ironically, the Frost Lord died on 12 rerolled into 11, and the Trolls died on 10-11 as well.)

The Mage-Priest’s other option was to choose violence and wreck the Magus out of spite. It would turn out that spite isn’t always the wrong option …

Also the GFE is holding the Trolls’ 2 tokens, tying the game 2-2.

Varangur 6: The Magus crests the hill and lightning bolts the Greater Fire Elemental back to whence she came, her loot falling in front of the feet of the Fire Elemental horde. 2-0 Varangur.

Salamanders 7: The Fire Elementals scoot forward and pick up the tokens, unable to turn and bring the Magus into their diadem’s arc. 2-2 draw.

Varangur 7: The Magus saunters forward, raises his other hand and explodes the Fire Elementals with another blast of lightning. That will teach those meddlesome eternals from scorching his robes. (Also the Fallen pick up 2 more tokens.) With a score of 4-0, that’s a convincing …

VARANGUR VICTORY

Obviously I’m smarting from not choosing to kill the damn wizard, but I feel like that’s the moral of this story (and possibly COK22): Kill. The. Wizard. You used to more or less be able to ignore casters, as they were heal bots or bane chanters or boomstick operators, but that’s going to be less and less the case. Flipside, the reward for taking these tools out is higher than before, both points and cost to the enemy, so well worth it.

Host Shadowbeast feels kind of bad to play against, as I thought it would, but I guess it’s here until 4E hits. Honestly I’m inclined to just join in, especially when it comes to the build I ran here. Lizards don’t have a 7 attak blender like a few of the factions, so I’m just juicing up 5 attak beaters and rolling dice, which hey, is the point. It largely gives combat characters more options than speedbumps or sitting down flyers, which is on the whole good. On the counter point, Scorched Earth I still think is the most important spell of the new library for the meta, however with double mounted heroes and so much chaff, it feels less necessary here. It might be best in lists that a) have ensnare, so it’s extremely punishing, but don’t necessarily have pathfinder so aren’t lurking in terrain (I’m saying Trident Realms, ok?); or b) are really elite and don’t have the usual tools to ground flyers.

Which is to say, here’s the redux for whenever somebody wants to play 1995 again:

Salamanders 1995
Fire Elementals Horde – War Bow
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Clan Lord – Axe of the Giant Slayer, Raptor
Clan Lord – Blade of Slashing, Raptor
Mage-Priest – Crown of the Wizard King, Fireball (10), Surge (8), Host Shadowbeast (8)
Battle Captain on Rhinosaur – Inspiring Talisman

165 points seems a bit preposterous on that Mage-Priest, but 18″ surge and shadowbeast feels good for how slow she is compared to the more aggressive parts of the army. I 100% miss the healing I’ve used for basically ever, however I’m thinking leaning into aggression might be good, rather than pretending I can be a counter-attak attrition force.

Oh, also Effigy of Fire continues to feel pretty bad. More attaks or more rerolls please.

I’ll probably get another game or two in before the new year! Until then, happy Clashing!

GAME 43: THE HERD

*a pool of blood wells up out of a crack in the blasted earth at your feet; it begins to boil vigorously, when suddenly one blood-slick arm and then another shoots out of the pool; a figure drags itself out of the bloodfire and stands up, stretching and massaging a crick out of its neck*

Anyway, I’m back! I’ve gotten a few games of Universal Battle in during the long COVID downtime, but it really hasn’t scratched that gaming itch, in particular the feel of the dice and that sweet clatter of luck in action. With things mostly ok in my home state (New York), my clubmate and I threw down a socially distanced game of KOW last weekend, and it was delicious.

BLOODFIRE GAME 43: THE HERD

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Scorchwing Cavalry Horde – Fire-Oil
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Clan Lord – Effigy of Fire, Raptor
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Surge (8), Heal (3)
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Heal (6) [Shroud of the Saint]

I’ve only played two 1000 point games with Bloodfire in 3E, so I’ve been well-chuffed to try a fuller game with the red army. The only change I’d make to this list might be Blade of Slashing over Effigy on the Raptor Lord, otherwise it’s pretty much spot on for 2k. And yes, I’ll say it now: the Greater Fire is no Agnes 😔 I’m hoping to get some mileage out of her all the same, between the height and 50mm base, but the internal struggle will always be there … until her triumphant return, of course, long may she reign.

The Herd 2000

Spirit Walker Horde – Brew of Haste
Lycan Horde
Earth Elemental Horde
Lycan Regiment
Longhorn Troop
Longhorn Troop
Beast of Nature – 7 Attaks, Wings
Beast of Nature – 7 Attaks
Tree Herder
Druid – Bane Chant (2), Surge (4), Heal (2)
Druid – Lightning Bolt (2), Surge (4), Heal (2)

This is a cut down version of a 2300 point list, and I think you can tell. He explained what’s missing – Harpy troop, Forest Shambler reg, Tribal Tracker – and it seemed like the support staff to help this core do work / handle objectives while the hammers hit things. Also there’s 5 points missing but that could be any number of forgotten items.

We rolled up Smoke & Mirrors, then rerolled to Raze, a much simpler scenario! After bumbling through token placement and deployment and barely remembered scout rolls, Bloodfire won the roll off and took it.

BATTLE


Battelines!


Bloodfire Turn 1 after scouting + movement but before shooting. Scorchwings + Ember Sprites are gunning for the Lycan reg on the right (getting that fire-oil in action), despite the looming Beast.


Singed Lycan rout for first blood! And the central Longhorns cop some Sprite vomit as well. A Fire Elemental horde is surged up to pressure the center.


The Herd advance, with the flanking Lycan horde threatening as is its wont. Heal (2) fails to heal the 2 damage on the Longhorns but the other Druid’s Lightning (2) nails 2 damage on the Scorchwings.


Bloodfire Turn 2 sees the red tide rotate to bring the right hook in and prepare to receive the Herd on the left. Down the center, Fire Elementals roar into the Earth Elementals, with Ember Sprites both blocking out the walking Beast and charging the Longhorns to keep them busy.


Scorchwings + Ember Sprites burn down the Longhorns on the hill, while on the left more Sprites vomit ~5 damage into the Spirit Walkers. In combat, the hero Sprites tag a wound onto their Longhorns, and the Fire Elementals slam 8 damage into the Earth Elementals but they survive thanks to the 3E Nv buff (rolled a 9 twice!)

Fire Elementals burn the central token (1:0)


The Herd responds by sending the Spirit Walkers into some Fire Elementals (I don’t think they were more than 13” away, so minimum wild charge roll … or you know, the brew of haste they had!), the walking Beast into the Greater Fire (yep, his pathfinder means her puddle placement is pointless), the Earth Elementals + Tree Herder into the central Fire Elementals, and the Longhorns back into their Ember Sprites. The Earth Elementals are healed for 1-2 and bane-chanted, then on to murder.

The Spirit Walkers do a very statistical 10 wounds to their Fire Elementals, then botch the rerolled 7 rout (I guess statistically as well). The walking Beast punches 2 damage into the Greater Fire, beginning a slapfest for the ages. In the center, Fire Elementals take 8 damage but hold tight, although their nearby Ember Sprite buddies are blended by the Longhorns.

The Lycan horde burns the left token (1:1)


Bloodfire Turn 3 is going to get ultraviolent. The smoldering left Fire Elementals flank the Spirit Walkers, the Greater Fire countercharges her Beast of Nature, the central Fire Elementals counter the Earth Elementals (with some Ember Sprites controlling their slide to keep the Herder in their front), more Fire Elementals pound into the Longhorns, annnd the Scorchwings take a flank on the flying Beast. With the Herd being burned down or trapped in a grind to the left, the rightmost Fire Elementals abandon the token they were protecting and head towards the action. Ember Sprites take a moment to barf 1 damage on the Lycans but miss the lightning Druid. Both Mages heal the central Fire Elementals down to 5 damage.


In combat, the Scorchwings peck 6 damage onto the flying Beast, wavering it! Fire Elementals atomize the Longhorns, then more Fire Elementals pummel the Earth Elementals up to 9 damage (still no rout), and yet more Fire Elementals scatter the Spirit Walkers and char their corpses. The Greater Fire smacks 2 damage into her Beast.

Ember Sprites burn the left token (2:1)


The Herd retaliates with the Lycan horde (off a hill!) into the mangled left Fire Elementals, the walking Beast into the Greater Fire, the Earth Elementals + Herder back into the central Fire, and a cheeky Druid into the Scorchwings. The flying Beast turns to face its destroyers and backs up (which I think it couldn’t have done when disordered? Tho it didn’t matter in the least). The Earth Elementals got another 3 points of damage healed or radiance of lifed off them (down to 6).


Both wounded Fire Elementals are ended, while the walking beast glumly boops 2 more damage onto the Greater Fire. The Druid can’t hit the Scorchwings.

The Lycan horde burns another token (2:2)


Bloodfire Turn 4, a musical interlude with a dash of combat. Fire Elementals take their first swing at the Tree Herder (freshly turned to face), while the Raptor Lord finally makes contact with the flying Beast. The Scorchwings punch it 20” and nimble turn, pretty much because I’ve never done that but people do it to Bloodfire all the time 😐 And on the left a lot of shooting is brought to bear on the Lycans …


After the pyrotechnics die down, the pups are up to 10 damage but my hot dice can’t seal the deal with a single 7 to rout, let alone 5 to waver. As a consolation, the bane chant Druid takes 4! damage from the Sprites on the hill, wavering! Then the Raptor Lord cuts down the flying Beast (2 missed wounds tidily made up for by the Effigy D3), and 8 damage onto the Tree Herder is a great start to that grind. Finally, the Greater Fire pummels 5 damage into the walking Beast (7 total).

Ember Sprites burn the right token (3:2)


The Lycan horde makes me feel dumb and nimble charges the vainglorious Scorchwings. Derp. Also they regen down to 6 damage. The Tree Herder and Beast countercharge where appropriate, and the Earth Elementals have to flank some Ember Sprites blocking them. Radiance of life + healing bring both Earth Elementals and Tree Herder to 5 damage.


Fittingly, the Lycan one-round the Scorchwings, as the Earth Elementals also extinguish their Ember Sprites. The Tree Herder smacks a hearty 6 damage into its Fire Elementals, while the walking Beast tickles the Greater Fire up to 6 damage (2 a turn, like clockwork).


Bloodfire Turn 5: The Quest for More Blood. The grind continues as the far right Fire Elementals make contact with the Earth Elementals, and the Tree Herder and walking Beast prepare for another round. The Raptor Lord also charges into the bleeding bane-chant Druid. Finally, the Lycan once again find themselves in a ring of fire …


A second volley of 34 shots puts the dogs down, despite the cover of the woods. The Beast is likewise ended by the Greater Fire, but the Earth Elementals and Tree Herder hold tough, both on 10 damage now. The Druid also manages to stick around with a waver.


C-c-c-c-c-countercharge! Healing and radiance brings the Earth Elementals and Tree Herder to 9 and 8 damage, respectively (and the Druid to whatever). In combat, the Elementals’ Fire horde holds at 4 damage and the Herder’s somehow clings on at 11 damage!


Bloodfire Turn 6, time to end it. The Earth Elementals are mobbed by Fire Elementals in the front, Greater Fire in the flank, and Ember Sprites (hindered!) in the rear. The Tree Herder receives the exclusive attention of its rapidly-dissolving Fire horde. Also the Raptor Lord heads back into the Druid and Ember Sprites turn to spit at the other Druid, but miss. Healing brings the Herder’s Fire Elementals back to 7 damage.


But it’s a moot point, as both Earth Elementals and Tree Herder are detonated. That damn Druid sticks around tho!

Herd Turn 6 sees a token lightning bolt miss some Fire Elementals, and there’s no Turn 7. With the center token held, that brings it up to (4:2) in the Salamanders’ favor.

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

It was great to push some models around and roll actual dice, and even better to do it with Bloodfire – and yes, even better to do it when my dice were scaldingly hot. Those red dice haven’t been rolled since 2019, so so so bloodthirsty 🩸

We’ve got a 2300 point rematch tentatively scheduled for this weekend / sometime this month, so stay tuned gentle readers. Here’s hoping y’all can safely get a game or two in as well.

BLOODFIRE 3E

Blogosphere! Been a hot minute, hope y’all are enjoying the new edition. I’m four games in with my crabby Trident Realms and not feeling like the army works very well in 3E, or at least doesn’t work well for me. Just so few attaks to go around, when the meta demands smashy grinding for its enjoyment (which is totally my bag … but not necessarily TR’s). So what, you ask, about my punchy grind army?

Every post should have a photo – here’s Agnes petting a krudger and making Skullface jealous.

I’ve actually played a couple 1000 point games to get a buddy up to speed on KOW and his new Northern Alliance bros. First game was pretty close, as he was able to ground my Scorchwings with Snow Foxes (lulz) and then pop them, followed by his Snow Trolls going ham before getting Fire Elemental’d. Second game I did bad things to him and regretted bringing the Scorchwings horde to a newb game, as they did work at such a small scale. Preposterously I didn’t take a single photo of these games, so that’s all you get, valiant readers!

As for my thoughts on Salamanders, the lizard half is looking great, and the flamebound half largely got better as well. I’m pretty tickled to have my sub-theme be a thing, tho the main upside is that my previous struggle for inspiring (and so hero slots) isn’t a thing any longer. My army overall lost some shooting quality and quantity, between Agnes stepping out of the list (for now!) and the CLOFD requiring wings (and a 75mm base) invalidating my version, but maybe the increased punchiness makes up for it? I’m excited to find out.

Here’s the current 3E conversion from 2E:

Army: Salamanders
Points: 2300
Unit Strength: 25

220, Fire Elemental Horde
220, Fire Elemental Horde
220, Fire Elemental Horde
220, Fire Elemental Horde
220, Fire Elemental Horde
200, Scorchwing Cavalry Horde
80, Ember Sprite Regiment
80, Ember Sprite Regiment
80, Ember Sprite Regiment
80, Ember Sprite Regiment
140, Ghekkotah Skylord on Scorchwing
— Blade of the Beast Slayer
175, Greater Fire Elemental
85, Lekelidon
140, Mage-Priest
— Shroud of the Saint
— Heal (3)
140, Mage-Priest
— Surge (8)
— Heal (3)

I’m most excited to finally get a BOTBS Skylord on the table, and looking forward to actually learning how flying works with him and the Scorchwings. Happy to see Jar go, that item wasn’t particularly well thought out and made Skyraiders into a unit I don’t think it was intended to be.

From experience, I know that the GFE is pretty junky, but it does let me keep Agnes’ model on the table, plus maybe it’s better with a 50mm base? My old ones were up-based to 75mm (helloooooo twin Fire Drakes??), and sucked. I want to give her a shot in 3E, however I’ve got an Ankylodon to rebase to 75mm, who will either be a Fire Drake (yawn but flamebound) or a Slasher (bizarrely great IMO). The latter would probably see the Lekelidon booted to have the Herald babysitter return, unless the Slasher just freeballs it with no inspiring …!

So why aren’t I playing Bloodfire already? Mostly because I just painted my TR in September, and because I know for a fact any event I go to with my red army will tank my painting and give me bad feels. It’s … difficult for me to push past that knowledge, but it does have me wondering about touching up the first four hordes (which are pretty bashed up at this point) and maybe rebasing the whole thing over to more standard desert with tufts and stuff. I’ve also got metal versions of the Bones used for the Mage-Priests. I mean, I’ll still get tanked, but will feel better about it? Maybe?

Anyway, I’m headed to the Best of the Rest tournament going on beside the US Masters in February, so if I decide to truck Bloodfire out to that you’ll hear about it. Deciding between Trident Realms (the Redux), Ratkin (OMF Brood Moms) or #flamebound.

EDIT: Oh right, the Phoenix! Yea, she fits the list well and seems like a clear swap for the GFE / Slasher. Especially with the increase in flying units (spoiler: the models are all phoenixes too) I’ve got going on. Mantic mini is lovely too.

GAME 42: SALAMANDERS

Before the tournament began, I was joking with the other Sally player that we’d have to have a go sometime, but I assured him my money was on his meta build. Lo, as if summoned, it’s The Other Sallies in the final round.

BLOODFIRE GAME 42: SALAMANDERS

Salamanders 2350

Salamander Primes Horde – Brew of Strength
Ancients Regiment*
Ancients Regiment*
Ghekkotah Skyraiders Horde – Jar of the Four Winds
Ancients on Rhinosaurs Horde – Potion of the Caterpillar
Ancients on Rhinosaurs Horde
Agnih-Bhanu, Greater Fire Elemental
Lekelidon
Lekelidon
Clan Lord on Raptor – Banner of the Griffin*
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Critter’s Call (8), Heal (3), Shroud of the Saint
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Martyr’s Prayer (7), Bane Chant (2)
*Inspiration of the Ancients Formation

<fassbender-perfection.gif>

Gentle readers, this is peak lizard performance. Given how poorly he did to face me in the middle-ish of the pack should also say how much trouble even this has – and he said as much, as a new player to KOW who picked the army he liked the look of but was feeling the low ceiling to the faction. All the same, real smart player who is far more practiced then me, so I knew my sleep-deprived generalship was going to hold me back even more than my derpy list. We played OG Loot, and Bloodfire went first again (4 of 5 games!)

Round 5 we played on The Glade of the Gryphicorn table.

BATTLE

Battlines! Real Talk: I can’t stop the Rhinosaurs, so my goal is to delay them as long as possible and try to punch the center out of the list, then grind the Rhinos and end the game with 2 tokens. No pressure.

Bloodfire 1: I control the right flank, so look to lock that down; sadly, my Jarraiders can’t waver a Lekelidon

Salamanders 1: His two Leklidons lucky waver my Jarraiders on the right; Rhinos envelop

Bloodfire 2: The Ancients at the center his line take significant abuse but hold (Clan Lord’s Rally(2) is real)

Salamanders 2: Wounded Ancients bounce off my Courage Fire Elementals, his Jarraiders + Agnih mangle the CLOFD, somebody hurts my Agnes, and the Clan Lord shoots into my Lekidon and wavers it

Bloodfire 3: Central Ancients die to Fire Elementals + Agnes, CLOFD is Martyr’d down and focuses the Prime horde, one of his Lekelidons is dropped by Jarraiders (two turns late)

Salamanders 3: Because I didn’t rotate my lower left Fire Elementals, they cop Rhinodons in the front and flank, evaporating and putting the Rhinos into me a turn ahead of schedule (I am totally screwed now); Primes tear apart the Courage Fire Elementals, the CLOFD is torn into by his Clan Lord, and Agnes begins to absorb fire from his Agnih + possibly Jarraiders

Bloodfire 4: My Lekidon + Fire Elementals charge into the Primes, CLOFD counters the Clan Lord, Agnes removes his Martyr Priest and the right is thoroughly chaffed up with Sprites breathing on the remaining Lekidon with poor results; my Jarraiders shove some damage on his other Priest

Bloodfire 4: The Primes hold on 13 damage

Salamanders 4: Rhinodons + Primes remove the blocking Lekidon, shooting brings the central Fire Elementals to 9 and Agnes to 11 and kills my Martyr-Priest, the Clan Lord smacks the CLOFD around and on the right his Ancients waver some Sprites

Bloodfire 5: My Jarraiders murder his other Mage-Priest, the CLOFD swings again at the Clan Lord, Agnes chunks 5 damage off his Agnih and the smoldering Fire Elementals swing into the Primes … for only 4 damage (17 total), which is enough to waver them

Salamanders 5: Rhinodons flank the CLOFD, Agnih evaporates the Fire Elementals, his Jarraiders roll hot fire and drop my Jarraiders, and his Clan Lord shoots the 1″ gap between Primes and Fire Elementals to charge and kill Agnes; also those Ancients killed their Sprites *golf claps* (Agnih has both of his tokens at this point)

Bloodfire 6: Fuuuuuuuuuu— The last of the Fire Elementals run over his Lekidon on their way outta here (with a token), as Sprites and characters scramble for safety

Salamanders 6: Clan Lord charges my Mage Priest, shots are lined up …

Salamanders 6: … and the Herald dies one last time, but Jarraiders can’t stop my scoring Fire Elementals and the De 5+ Priest holds

While I didn’t think I would win this one, I didn’t think it would be quite so crushing of a

BLOODFIRE LOSS

All the same, this was a stunningly fitting way to end the event, after slogging through four evil armies helmed by great dudes to play the other Salamander and have them hand me my fiery butt. Also note that this is the first and last time Bloodfire has played against Salamanders. So damn narrative it gives me chills.

I’m not sure what my final record was (2-1-2 or 1-2-2) but as always for me, all but my last games were quite close, which meant low scores either way. I ended up with 44/105 battle, although I’m sad to see I was tanked on painting, tying with a partially painted army for worst paint. That’s … really frustrating, however I guess all the more reason to move on from this army. People either get it or they don’t, and more often than not paint judges don’t (7 points here isn’t as bad as what I got at Unplugged 2017!) Crunching the numbers, it wouldn’t have changed my placing much either way, still putting me in the bottom third.

Anyhoo, that’s Orc Town GT done and finally dusted! Good time in a far away ocean-side land, and officially the end of the road for Bloodfire. I’ll do a retrospective when I get the chance to take some lightbox photos of the army, but I won’t be playing them for a while, or if I do it’s mostly to mess around with KOW 3E when somebody needs a loaner army.

GAME 41: RATKIN

There’s a magical thing that happens at most tournaments for me, where I’ll chat a person up a whole lot on Day 1, typically about how much I like their army’s models or because it does something cool or whatever, and then get to play them on Day 2. Enter the rat army made entirely out of metal Skaven …

BLOODFIRE GAME 41: RATKIN

Ratkin 2350

Tunnel Slaves Regiment
Tunnel Slaves Regiment
Tunnel Slaves Regiment
Tunnel Slaves Horde
Shock Troops Horde
Shock Troops Horde
Blight Horde
Blight Horde
Clawshots Troop
Clawshots Troop
Clawshots Troop
Tunnel Runners Horde*
Tunnel Runners Horde*
Weapon Team – Storm of Lead
Weapon Team – Storm of Lead
Weapon Team – Storm of Lead
Night Terror*
Night Terror
*Turbo Runners Formation

First game of Orc Town Day 2 was against a great Canadian dude with a legit horde of rats – and yep, no inspiring at all. Whoa. I think we played Ransack, but spoilers, it’s all going to come down to the middle three-point objective. Bloodfire grabbed the initiative again.

Round 4 we played on … a table I forgot to take a photo of and then lost the photo of when I went back. Ah well.

BATTLE

Battlines! Worth noting that his horde order (L2R) is blight, blight, shock (behind blight), shock, slaves (behind stormies), as his blight are nightmares for me (ensnare is horrific for 4+ Me, and my CS2+ means nothing)

Bloodfire 1: *squishing sounds* Red markers are 2 points, green are 1, blue is 3 (I think)

Ratkin 1: His Clawshots all hammered Agnes whenever possible, with this 5 damage opening salvo giving me some fear for her safety!

Bloodfire 2: Lots of fire loiters in that field, ready to grind for the center; Agnes and Sprites start breathing on the right Shock Troops as combat approaches (Agnes gets Martyred up and will continue to be so all game long); Jarraiders and Lekelidon shooting goes into uninspired Weapon Teams with medicore results o_o

Ratkin 2: Sprite death, Night Terrors outflank, Agnes gets shot

Bloodfire 3: Lekelidon shoots + delays, Fire Elementals brace for the Blight grind, right Shock Troops die to I think combat not shooting; two Weapon Teams eat it

Ratkin 3: Lekelidon is mobbed by double Blight hordes, Agnes is pushed to 10 damage but big girl don’t care (-/20!)

Ratkin 3: Blight reform thusly, as the rat general laments some of his Shock Troop / Blight layering, as the Shock are left out of the action

Bloodfire 4: The only way I can deal with Blight to the front is overwhelming force, so two Fire Elemental hordes it is (it doesn’t work); Slaves also hold against Fire Elementals + commando Sprites; Agnes nukes the last Weapon Team as the CLOFD + Jarraiders slam the Shock Troops – you’ll notice Agnes was healed for 6 but the Martyr-Priest didn’t take any, that die appears later when I caught the mistake (she was never targeted anyway)

Ratkin 4: Shock Troops and Blight combo a Fire horde, leveling it; Sprites are also merc’d by Slaves :'[

Ratkin 4: Thick brown line with Runners idling behind it!

Bloodfire 5: Fire Elementals end the Blight and the Shock Troops, the latter with Agnes’ help, while the CLOFD + Jarraiders burn down the Slave horde

Ratkin 5: Tunnel Runners hinder-charge into Agnes (and bounce), Slave regiments start to stream down the field (including booping some Fire Elementals for 1 damage), Blight tear into the central Fire Elementals, left Night Terror finally starts making a play for the left objective

Bloodfire 6: Fire Elementals burn into the Blight (and get Martyred down), Agnes + the backline Fire Elementals break the Tunnel Runners, other Fire Elementals smoke the Slave regiment, CLOFD cooks the Night Terror lurking on the right flank, the Jarraiders grab 2 VP and tickle some Tunnel Runners, annnd the left Ember Sprites shoot and waver the left Night Terror (!)

Ratkin 6: It’s in the rats’ paws now, and the only moves that matter are Slaves grabbing 2 VP and the second Tunnel Runners + Blight combo-ing the Nv -/19 Fire Elementals

Ratkin 6: The Fire Elementals crumble on 15 damage, snatching victory from a game that felt firmly in the Salamanders’ claws

BLOODFIRE LOSS

Awesome grind of a game against a very cool army and great opponent. Look forward to seeing him at upcoming events!

 

GAME 40: ABYSSAL DWARFS

End of Orc Town Day 1 and it’s a familiar face:

BLOODFIRE GAME 40: ABYSSAL DWARFS

Abyssal Dwarfs + Forces of the Abyss 2350

Blacksouls Horde
Slave Orcs Horde
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Staying Stone*
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Pipes of Terror*
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Chalice of Wrath
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Orcish Skullpole
Abyssal Grotesques Horde – Brew of Haste
Slavedriver
Brakki Barka*
Ba’su’su the Vile
*Bhardoom! Formation
+
Tortured Souls Regiment
Abyssal Temptress with Wings

Third game of Orc Town Day 1 was against one of my favorite opponents (also from our sister club), with the upgunned version of an army I faced at Crossroads last year. I barely understood what Barka and Ba’su’s are capable of, but as it turned out, super-individuals are indeed pretty annoying. I couldn’t tell you what we played – frankly, it may have been Kill! Whatever we were doing, it involved violence and the Dwarfs going first.

Round 3 we played on the Town of Yahbuttia table.

BATTLE

Battlines!

Abyssal Dwarfs 1: The formation Halfbreeds are the rightmost two, in flying V’s near Barka

Bloodfire 1: *limbering up*

Abyssal Dwarfs 2: That was fast! Sprites die, wound dice go everywhere

Bloodfire 2: Gargoyles die, as does a formation Halfbreed I’m guessing because I hosed it with shooting and then surge-charged in, AND the left-flanking Halfbreeds thanks to hot Jarraider dice

Abyssal Dwarfs 3: The next wave hits …

Abyssal Dwarfs 3: … taking down the Jarraiders and the Martyr Priest (sorry Agnes!), and otherwise bouncing

Bloodfire 3: Agnes tries to deliver some pain before her imminent death, the Tortured Souls are burnt down, Grots get punched, and in a surprise move, the leftmost Fire Elementals flank the Blacksouls, shattering them

Abyssal Dwarfs 4: Violence! You can see Ba’su’su bouncing around across my deployment zone all game, combo-charging everything

Abyssal Dwarfs 4: Agnes dies (curse you Barka!), as do the Grots’ Fire Elementals

Bloodfire 4: The Slave Orcs get shot to hell, surge-charged and routed; meanwhile the Herald tries to boop a formation Halfbreed regiment, for that lucky pop (no dice)

Abyssal Dwarfs 5: Murder! Including the Slave Driver charging some Fire Elementals, his charges all dead

Abyssal Dwarfs 5: It’s mostly effective! Bloodfire right flank is run down, also Ba’su’su did 7! wounds to the CLOFD in one go O_O

Bloodfire 5: Lots of counter-charges, which mostly work (CLOFD should have just run forward and not even tried to deal with Ba’su’su … which is kind of messed up, given how big and expensive my monster is)

Abyssal Dwarfs 6: More fast murder!

Abyssal Dwarfs 6: Barka kills some Sprites, Halfbreeds kill the CLOFD

Bloodfire 6: Fire Elementals kill those Halfbreeds, other Fire Elementals face south for who knows why!

I kind of think this one came down to a right tidy …

BLOODFIRE DRAW

Which was a totally copacetic way to end Day 1, at more or less 50% against some great dudes. I’ll have Day 2 either late this week or next.

GAME 39: ORCS

Woooo keeping up that reporting momentum! Here’s the next one:

BLOODFIRE GAME 39: ORCS

Orcs 2350

Greatax Horde
Longax Horde
Longax Horde
Skulks Troop*
Skulks Troop*
Skulks Troop*
Trolls Horde – Staying Stone
Gore Chariots Horde – Brew of Courage
Krudger on Ancient Winged Slasher – Blizzard (2), Blessing of the Gods
Godspeaker – Fireball (9), Drain Life (6), Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman
Krusher on Gore*
Colossal Giant
War Drum
War Drum
*Skulk Stalkers Formation

Second game of Orc Town, and it’s Orcs again! I was pretty thrilled to be keeping it green, and against another great guy and sweet army – his was actually my favorite army, really awesome presence and I love the Shieldwolf orcs + Mierce monsters he used. The second round was Loot or a variant thereof, Bloodfire took the lead again.

Round 2 we played on Da Bone Yahd table.

BATTLE

Battlines!

Bloodfire 1: Central Skulks get cooked for vanguarding too far forward

Orcs 1: Left Skulks grab the loot and GTFO

Bloodfire 2: Right Skulks burn up, thin red line prepares for violence

Orcs 2: Sprites get jumped, Agnes takes a horde on the chin

Orcs 2: Mild Sprite death

Bloodfire 3: Triple charge on the central horde evaporates it; to the right, the Krusher gets punched by Fire Elementals while Sprites gum up everything and the Colossal Giant takes significant breath damage; Jarraiders continue to put 100% of their fire into the Ancient Slasher

Orcs 3: Wall of green crashes into central Fire Elementals; Trolls and Giant forced to deal with Ember Sprites

Orcs 3: All Sprites die, as do those Fire Elementals

Bloodfire 4: Agnes holds back one horde while Fire Elementals surge-flank the other (it goes poorly!); Giant falls to Fire Elementals + CLOFD, Trolls are held up by more Fire Elementals

Orcs 4: I prepare to lose my mind, as the Ancient Slasher charges the Martyr Priest, with a 2” overrun into the Herald and a 3” overrun into the rear of the Troll’s Fire Elementals

Orcs 4: Amazingly, the Ancient Slasher doesn’t swing the game, thanks to a 2” second overrun instead of 3” – still a terrible turn of events (and something I line up once every tournament) but I haven’t lost all my momentum (and my mind), just critical support staff

Bloodfire 5: Agnes tanks one more turn, but without healing she’s going down; the Lekelidon stalls the other horde, the Trolls get flanked and die, and the Ancient Slasher gest shot a lot, then surge-charged and murdered

Orcs 5: Fighting!

Orcs 5: It’s super effective! Agnes and Lekelidon bite it

Bloodfire 6: One Orc horde is killed by Fire Elementals, the other is wavered from all the shooting (it couldn’t be charged by the other Fire horde because of the blocking War Drum)

Orcs 6: The Chariots have a go at some Fire Elementals but I don’t think they get lucky, especially hindered

I don’t really remember how this ended up, but I sort of think it was a …

BLOODFIRE LOSS

Apart from the idiocy with the line of characters (…), this was a really satisfying game against an army I really like and a dude I’ve never played but seen around plenty of times (also he’s in our sister club). Yea Orcs!

GAME 38: ORCS

Hail, ever faithful batrep readers! Salvage here, back to just shove a stake through this tournament report and put a bow on this blog. Sorry it’s been so long, but frankly my phone shuffles the order on all these photos, making my turn by turn documentation super hard to sort through. Combine that with how long ago this event was (June 1-2 in Cape Cod, MA) and there really aren’t that many details I can add to the photos. So strap in!

Salamanders 2350

Fire Elemental Horde – Brew of Courage
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ghekkotah Skyraiders – Jar of the Four Winds
Lekelidon
Herald – Banner of the Griffin
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Surge (8), Heal (3), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Martyr’s Prayer (7)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Heart-seeking Chant
Agnih-Bhanu, Greatest Fire Elemental

With 100 more points than usual and duplicates capped at four, I was finally pushed to paint up my Jarraiders and Lekelidon, two units I avoided simply because they’re actually in-meta and pretty great. Dropped the bane chant on the Priests, helping them stay focused, and picked up piercing for the CLOFD’s breath (16) – which was pretty sweet!

BLOODFIRE GAME 38: ORCS

Orcs 2350

Ax Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Ax Horde – Brew of Strength
Orclings Regiment
Orclings Regiment
Gore Riders Regiment – Staying Stone
Gore Chariots Horde
Krudger on Gore – Blade of Slashing
Krudger on Ancient Winged Slasher – Critter’s Call (8), Healing Brew
Godspeaker on Gore – Fireball (9), Heal (2), Weakness (2)
Wip the Half-Cast – Lightning Bolt (3)
Wip’s Playmates Horde
Colossal Giant
Colossal Giant
War Drum

First game of Orc Town and I’m up against the legendary Skull Face of the titular Orc Town army! Pretty rad way to start the event, and Orcs are always fun to scrum against. The first match was Invade, and Bloodfire got the jump on the greenskins, which is always helpful in movement-based scenarios (lulz, like all of them m’right?)

Every table at Orc Town was themed and had a bit of background and explained what the terrain was. Round 1 saw us on the War Kings National Cemetery.

BATTLE

Battlines!

Bloodfire 1

Orcs 1

Bloodfire 2: Preparing to receive Orcy violence

Orcs 2: Impact!

Orcs 2: So much Ember Sprite death; Agnes takes it on the chin (and then gets cleaned up next turn)

Bloodfire 3: Counter!

Bloodfire 3: Skull Face over the right took a hiding from those Fire Elementals, like very almost one-shotted him. Chariots have been taking focused fire from the Jarraiders and aren’t doing great

Orcs 3: Flanks and combo-charges!

Orcs 3: That hindered flank from the Ax doesn’t work out as planned (I don’t think it was double 1’s either, just horrible dice), but the fast Orc flank is free now … and the CLOFD got one-rounded by a Colossal Giant

Bloodfire 4: Yep, that’s a rear charge from Fire Elementals into that Ax horde ;D Bad times, also the Chariots are finished off by the Jarraider lords of dakka

Orcs 4: Agnes is flanked by Skull Face on Ancient Winged Slasher

Orcs 4: Even at zero damage, she can’t whether that brutality and folds; the Colossal Giant that a Fire horde has been fighting all game finally finishes them off

Bloodfire 5: Fire Elementals kill the wounded Giant and the mounted Krudger, Jarraiders flank Skull Face and drop him as well

Orcs 5: Late game grind continues; the Martyr Priest is finally popped

Bloodfire 6: Hordes push north of the line, Fire Elementals swing at the fresh Colossal because damages

Orcs 6: Wip’s Playmates have a go at the Fire horde as the Colossal sidesteps for the enemy half

After some finagling and measuring stuff, this ended up a …

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

Great violent game to start the tournament. Learned that Jarraiders are pretty awesome, didn’t learn a lot about Lekelidons tho since mine just fought Orclings for 5 turns -_-

GAME 37: VARANGUR

100+ days into 2019 and I’ve only played two games of KOW: one a couple weeks ago, where my Nurglekin swarmed all over Varangur in Loot and crushed everything under hot dice, and then this Bloodfire game back in January that was nearly lost in time. I finally got the photos sorted out and, since I’m thinking of giving the fire crew one last hurrah at Orc Town GT this summer, figured I should try to muddle through the report for posterity’s sake. My Varangur scrum-mate wanted practice for Masters, but unfortunately he got to play against the red blob!

BLOODFIRE GAME 37: VARANGUR

Salamanders 2250

Fire Elemental Horde – Brew of Courage
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Agnih-Bhanu, Greatest Fire Elemental
Herald – Banner of the Griffin
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Surge (8), Heal (3), Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Martyr’s Prayer (7), Bane Chant (2), Healing Brew
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Blessing of the Gods

Went with the usual, since we were playing COK18 and Bloodfire also doesn’t change much either way.

Varangur + Goblins 2250

Bloodsworn Horde
The Fallen Horde – Brew of Strength
Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Brew of Haste
Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar
Direfang Riders Horde
King on Chimera – Gift of Korgan (Brutal)
Magnilde of the Fallen
+
Spitters Regiment
Spitters Regiment
Fleabag Rider Sniffs Troop
War Trombone
King on Chariot

Seems legit! If 10 points under, Direfangs might have had a gift or the King an item.

Looks like we played Loot? Varangur won initiative and took it.

BATTLE


Battlelines! Varangur L2R: Mounted Sons, Spitters, Direfangs, Magnidle, Bloodsworn, King on Chariot, Spitters, Trombone, Mounted Sons, Fleabags, King on Chimera, Fallen

Varangur roll out, with the leftmost Mounted Sons grabbing a loot marker. Spitters and Sniffs shoot some Ember Sprites but the little things stay cool.

Bloodfire oozes forward, mostly into cover or chaffing range. Ember Sprites put a point of damage on the Bloodsworn horde while the Martyr-Priest cleans off the right Sprites.

Varangur prepare to engage next turn, trying to clear some chaff in this one. The wounded Sprites are dropped by the Trombone (and I think the Goblin bows fluffed into other targets), and the King on Chimera wavers another unit with a strong breath shot, gumming up the Bloodfire right flank.

Bloodfire bows out, setting up Nv support, powering up breath weapons and anticipating next turn’s carnage. The CLOFD and leftmost Sprites hammer the Trombone, only managing a waver. The functional rightmost Sprites angle hopefully, wavering the Sniffs in the process, and Agnes rips a few points of damage into the central Mounted Sons with her heat ray.

The Varangur, who are calling the shots in this game (as they tend to do), choose their dance partners: Mounted Sons crash into Fire Elementals left and center, while Direfangs and Fallen clear some Sprites. The King on Chimera had a flank on Agnes, despite my attempts to save her, which about gave me an aneurysm, but he deigned to take it as -/20 in a wood is a tough call even for a KoC! Instead the King positions to the flank to cause the red crescent major problems in later turns, pausing to assassinate the Martyr-Priest with his breath weapon 😥 The Bloodsworn also scooped up a second loot marker.

Happily neither Fire horde breaks, despite some significant damage being tossed their way. The Sprites however are toast, and some Goblin bows slap a few wounds on the courageous Fire horde.

Having taken it on the red gooey chin, Bloodfire goes about returning the favor. Fire Elementals make contact with left Mounted Sons, with Direfangs (along with CLOFD), and double-time on the other Mounted Sons (during which one of those Fire hordes finally picked up the center loot marker). And the final Fire horde prepares for a 5-6” surge into the King on Chimera, which amazingly makes it (after Agnes lasered some damage into him). The last of the Sprites tries for the Sniffs but can’t land the wound needed to test them.

Sadly, while a lot of damage happens, only the central Mounted Sons rout. The King on Chimera actually took an impressive amount of damage (13?) between Agnes and the Fire horde, however the rerolled rout was too much to ask.

Varangur 4 and the smashing continues. The Mounted Sons and Direfangs go back into their Fire Elemental counterparts, the Fallen jump on the severely wounded central Fire horde, and the King on Chimera counter-charges his Fire horde. All the Fire Elementals in melee die except for the King’s, who take a perfect 10 of 10 damage (THIS GUY!) but hold. The CLOFD also takes 4 damage from Gobliny shooting aggression.

Bloodfire is rapidly melting, but we’ve got plenty of tools left. The King’s Fire Elementals head back in to end his reign, while everybody else prepares for the shooting phase or simply gets the hell out of the way in the CLOFD’s case. The last Sprites puke on the Sniffs, killing them, while Agnes blasts the Fallen and the Inspiring-Priest surges in the loot-bearing Fire horde …

… who smash the Fallen and prepare for more action. The other, mangled Fire horde is able to drop the King on Chimera, which is automatically a victory for me as I rarely am able to take the thing down.

^ I do make a bit of a mistake here, as I made sure the Mage-Priest is out of range of the Mounted Sons but didn’t really check the Direfangs, which it turns out she’s within 12” of by about 0.5”. She couldn’t have moved further, as she needed to cast surge, but she could have accepted her fate and run out into the open to the South, avoiding any chance of an overrun by the toads (and setting them up for counter-charges). This was dumb, and I felt even worse when I saw I had left the flank of the CLOFD open, even if there wasn’t a lot I could have done without nimble.

The Varangur left hook continues powering in. The CLOFD cops an unexpected flank from the Mounted Sons (who had given their loot to some Spitters), as does the Mage-Priest, with a potential overrun into Agnes’ flank? CLOFD and Mage-Priest eat it, although there’s no punishing overrun into Agnes / Fire Elementals. The loot Fire horde takes a damage from Goblins in the meantime.

Even less Bloodfire left now! The loot Fire horde charges the Mounted Sons (for vengeance), as does the other Fire horde tackle the Direfangs (more vengeance).

Agnes frags the War-Trombone but the Fire Elementals waver both of the units they’re fighting.

Varangur 6 mostly involves increasing the pressure and shooting Goblin bows at Ember Sprites, who die. It’s unclear what the King on Chariot is up to, he may have tried for shot on the heavily wounded Fire Elementals while blocking Bloodfire charges.

Dramatic lighting for a brutal turn! The Fire Elementals shatter the Mounted Sons and Direfangs, ending their long campaign of terror. Agnes evaporates the King on Chimera under her molten gaze.

With the game 2:1 in the Varangur favor, he rolls and there is indeed a Turn 7!

The mostly-fresh Fire Elementals carrying loot are mobbed by Bloodsworn and Spitters, as Magnilde makes an appearance and charges the other, smoldering Fire horde.

Preposterously Magnilde fluffs, doing a single point of damage, and the loot horde survives on 6 damage. Whoa. The Spitters with loot tag Agnes for a wound, after a long trek into relevance.

Agnes and the looted Fire Elementals crash into the Bloodsworn, pummeling them for admirable damage but they can’t hit that high Varangur nerve. As fun as that last burst of violence was, it’s still a …

BLOODFIRE LOSS

This game turned out much more fun than I expected – I was very tired, up against a Masters-level list piloted by a dude who knows what he’s doing, and me with an army I know is weak and I tend to get frustrated with. There were some dumb positioning things that reminded me how out of practice I am, and I freaked out about that early Agnes flank a lot, as I direly overvalue the King on Chimera and figured she was dead already. But the match turned out closer than things usually are against Varangur.

I should be back with at least one 2350 practice game (I hope!) before Orc Town, then it’ll be a 5-game tourney report and Bloodfire goes into retirement until third edition I’m guessing.