SCUTTLIN’ REALM 24: BASILEANS

Sunday morning and I’m the least hungover I’ve ever been on the second day of a tournament, which is a good thing because I’ve got some work ahead of me. I’m matched up against Chris, a good player with a smart, aggressive army (and one of my favorites kicking around the Northeast – I’m a sucker for a Kings of Warmachine armies, even if his is sharing the bill with Warhammer minis :P) In my head I’ve already lost, but getting 6 points would be rad, maybe even a draw with some luck??

Basileans 2100
Elohi Horde – Brew of Strength
Elohi Horde – Helm of the Drunken Ram
Ogre Palace Guard Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Ogre Palace Guard Horde – Dwarven Ale
Men-at-Arms Spearmen Horde
Gur Panthers Troop
Gur Panthers Troop

High Paladin on Dragon – Aegis Fragment
Samacris, Mother of Phoenixes – Fireball (8), Heal (5)
Dictator – Iron Discipline, Lute of Insatiable Darkness

An anemic 10 drops but packed with some serious beef. Flying elite hammers are my kryptonite, especially in such volume, and he’s also rocking one of the other mega dragons of the game. Blessedly no longer fearless but demanding of respect to be sure.

Fourth scenario is Raze, which happily I was able to practice with my crabs before the tournament. He went first, either by choice or because I made him.

BATTLE: GAME 4

Battlelines! The Depth Horror Eternal is hard left, inspiring the Kraken and aiming to contest the third Basilean token, which is also hard left.
Basileans 1: The angelic host sidles forward, staying out of saucy Kraken charges but angling for flanks and generalized violence. The headstrong Palace Guard do toe into the central woods.
Trident 1: The crabs do a menace, with the Eternal pressuring the Panthers off his leftmost token, the left Kraken threatening a play for the other left token, and the Water Elementals and right Kraken watching their flanks but glowering at the Basilean anvils and right hook. Heartpiercers stick 1 damage on the headstrong Palace Guard and 3 on the right drunken ram Elohi (after iron resolves), while the Centurion tags the HPOD for 2 damage, reduced to 0 with the aegis frament but still disordering her. Bastion on the left Placoderms fails.
Basileans 2: Chris knows that he’s got plenty of time to burn his objectives, and he knows my shooting is the biggest potential threat to his ability to burn objectives late game, so all the Heartpiercers receive angelic attention. Strength Elohi, Samacris, drunken Elohi and the High Paladin slam into my tiny shooty crabs across the board. The heavy center trudges forward and the left Panthers get away from their crabby oppressors.
Both Elohi drive off their Heartpiercers, as Sammy shuts hers down (2 damage) and the High Paladin struggles but manages to waver her unit (~5 damage).
Trident 2: I try to rest the momentum back from the angels by driving hard into the Basilean anvils: Placoderms and Water Elementals hit the headstrong Palace Guard, and the right Kraken begins grinding the Men-at-Arms since he couldn’t triple the Palace Guard but also somebody’s gotta. In order for this to work, I need to ground those Elohi units, so Sammy’s Heartpiercers corkscrew the strength horde and the other Placoderms scuttle into the drunken horde. The Kraken on the left looms, while the Eternal rounds the house on the left.
Bastion fails on the Water Elementals, but the Centurion does disorder the dragon with his laser trident (1 damage sticks too). In combat, the headstrong Palace Guard waver on 9 damage, the Kraken chunks 5 damage into the Men-at-Arms, and thankfully the Heartpiercers and Placoderms do sit both Elohi down. Wheeeew.
Behold, the fury of the lowly crab unleashed!
Basilean 3: The next turn starts with the headstrong Palace Guard failing their headstrong test 🦀 The fury Palace Guard flank the Placoderms (off the hill for maximum shell-cracking power) but the Water Elementals are safe to swing again. The Men-at-Arms counter the Kraken, the Elohi counter their annoying disorder buddies, and the High Paladin charges her Heartpiercers again. Sammy flits over to heal the Men-at-Arms, who are also iron disciplined by the Dictator. And the left Gur Panthers nimble around to burn a token once the Kraken leaves, walk forward and burn another the following turn.
The strength Elohi dunk their Heartpiercers, spinning to face the Kraken looming to the left. The central Placoderms are shattered by the fury Palace Guard, who overrun to touch the Water Elementals’ flank. The Men-at-Arms stab a ferocious 10 damage into their Kraken, the High Paladin wavers her Heartpiercers with 10 damage, and the drunken Elohi do a mere 1 damage to their Placoderms. Sammy burns a token, starting the scoring.
Trident 3: I unleash the left Kraken into the strength Elohi (on 1 damage), charge the Water Elemental horde into the headstrong Palace Guard to fight for its life, the Kraken back into the Men-at-Arms, and the Placoderms back into the Elohi for another grounding if not murder. The Eternal books it for my leftmost token.
Bastion goes up on the Water Elementals, shortly before they rout the headstrong Palace Guard and turn to face the fury Palace Guard. The right Kraken lucky wavers the Men-at-Arms on 9 damage, while the left Kraken can only get the strength Elohi to 4 damage. On the right, the Centurion tridents the High Paladin again, keeping her sat down (and on 2 damage), and the Placoderms at least disorder the drunken Elohi [can’t see the damage die]. The Eternal burns a token, tying the score 1-1.
Basilean 4: The angelic host strikes with a vengeance, fury Palace Guard assaulting the Water Elementals (hindered) with Gur Panthers in the flank (hindered). Strength Elohi counter their Kraken, as right flank of angels large and small strike once more at the crustacean uprising.
Samacris heals 2 damage from the Men-at-Arms shortly before crab blood is spilled hither and yon. The strength Elohi one round a fresh 17/19 Kraken despite ensnare (hot Nv roll and no inspiring helps), and the Palace Guard and Panther combo similarly one rounds the -/18 Water Elemental horde in the woods. The drunken Elohi enjoy some of that luck, wavering their Placoderms on 4 damage, but the High Paladin laughably can only get her Hearpiercers to 8 damage, failing to waver them this time. The left Panthers burn a token, bringing the score to 2-1.
Trident 4: I’m skirting by on the skin of my mandibles at this point, but maybe all’s not totally lost? The Eternal pushes for the middle, mostly to distract the strength Elohi / threaten the anvils if he’s not dealt with. The Centurion moves to disorder the drunken Elohi this turn, hoping beyond hope that the plucky Heartpiercers can disorder the High Paladin themselves. And the Kraken revs up and prepares to fight for his life – plus, if he can pop the Men-at-Arms, he can a) turn to face his oppressors, for a -2 to hit in the woods and b) back up next turn and score another point for the Realm, for a higher scoring loss.
The Centurion disorders the drunken Elohi and the Heartpiercers do the 1 damage to keep the High Paladn on mega dragon pinned in place. Yowza. In the Kraken fight, the big guy shoves the Men-at-Arms to 16 damage but the rerolled 6 to rout eludes me and the horde just wavers. I despair a bit, as I’ve spent a lot of the tournament failing very low rout rolls, but life goes on … until next turn anyway!
Basilean 5: The fury Palace Guard plow into the Kraken’s flank (hindered), the central Elohi swoop down upon the Eternal, the drunken Elohi hit those Placoderm again, and the High Paladin spends a fourth turn fighting the same unit of rapidly regenerating Heartpiercers 😀
Sammy heals 2 damage on the central Elohi, moments before they don’t kill the Eternal (5 damage). The Kraken however instantly crumbles to the fury Palace Guard, as was pretty likely. Both the Placoderms and Heartpiercers in the bottom right just waver 😉 Also the Gur Panthers far left score a third token (3-1).
Trident 5: With the bottom right wavered out and the game drawing to a close, the Centurion voyages out to finish off the Men-at-Arms horde. Envoy scoot about and the Eternal counters the strength Elohi on the hill.
A clap of thunder fills the gaming hall as the Trident of the Drowned Sea strikes the Men-at-Arms from the table! Also the Eternal fails to wound his Elohi.
Basilean 6: The angels finish off the Eternal and finally drive off the crabs in the bottom right. Golf clap for those two regiments’ service to the cause. The fury Palace Guard turn about to, I think, deter the Centurion from getting froggy with the drunken Elohi if there’s a Turn 7.
Trident 6: Envoys scatter and the Centurion does indeed get froggy with the drunken Elohi. The trident doesn’t claim another victim, sadly, but the heroic crustacean does receive bastion in case there’s more pain coming.
Basilean 7: The fury Palace Guard plow into the ensnaring Centurion, the drunken Elohi into the bastion Envoy, and the High Paladin prepares to breath on the war-bow Envoy.
Come get some!
Shockingly, no crab dies this turn, with all my individuals copping 5 damage each.
Trident 7: I give the war-bow Envoy and the Centurion a chance at glory each, but neither the drunken Elohi (5 damage) or the High Paladin on Dragon (2 damage) miraculously go down. With a score of 4-1, that’s a decisive …

BASILEAN VICTORY (3-18)

Wheeeew, what a match. I was a little frustrated, as I tried so hard and came close to getting the 6-15 I had set out for, but looking back it’s pretty clear that I got my fair share of breaks when a significant part of his army was mired in my deployment zone for the entire game. Thinking about it, terrain was pretty important for me getting so little use out of my shooters, along with savvy target selection from him and poor counter assault setup by me. I’m impressed it was as much of a match as it was, tho it was certainly a joy to play Chris, a player I may never have played but seen out plenty.

UP NEXT: Salamanders!

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 23: NIGHTSTALKERS

End of day one and I’ve clubbed my way up to one of the higher tables, despite my expectations. I’m up against my clubmate Jason, who wasn’t signed up until his wife made him the night before. He’s rocking his Nightstalkers army from 2019, which coincidentally is possibly the last time he’s played. Nice.

Nightstalkers 2100
Fiends Horde – Potion of the Caterpillar
Butchers Horde
Butchers Horde
Spectres Horde
Phantoms Troop
Phantoms Troop
Terror
Shadow-Hulk
Planar Apparition – Icy Breath (8), Heal (7), Mind Fog (2)
Mind-Screech – Lightning Bolt (6), Mind Fog (6), Wind Blast (6)

Dread-Fiend
Horror – Lightning Bolt (3), Bane Chant (2)

This is actually 10 points under and I can’t confirm that his Horror has bane chant, but it would make sense to take it. I know the Planar Apparition has icy breath, since he commented about giving it even more spells despite coming with some serious ones already. If somebody has an item, he didn’t put a slip out for it like he did for Maccwar’s, so I’m guessing there might be some forgettable 5 pointers he filled with? Anyway, check out that horde of Spectres! That apparently had been doing work despite being a junk unit he chose for unlock purposes.

Third scenario is Loot, with him going first either by choice or because I made him.

BATTLE: GAME 3

Battlelines! The ghostly thing is the Planar Apparition, snake girls on the left are Fiends of various sizes. I’ll admit that I immediately felt like I really misdeployed those Heartpiercers on the left. They were sort of a bait drop but with the heal and the Fiends’ speed and stealthy, they were unlikely to do anything of note beyond die. At least the Depth Horror Eternal could make a solid delaying act or even hack his way to the loot with the power of ensnare.
Nightstalkers 1: The shadowy horrors shove up the field, especially on the left unopposed field. I’m terrified of the Me 3+ Shadow-Hulk with its new slayer (D6), and my general approach to Terrors is to never touch them at all ever beyond delaying them or grabbing a lucky flank. So consider me shook. His Phantoms do advance just a smidge too far, and toe the woods in the middle … The Horror lightnings the rightmost Heartpiercers for 1 damage.
Trident 1: Release the Kraken! I burn clock deciding how little my shooting is going to do on 5 or 6+ at best, confirm that the Phantoms are in, and punch it way too early. Bastion goes up on the central Kraken and I can’t guarantee that the right Kraken is even inspired.
But after rampaging those Phantoms I think he is on the rotate. The central Kraken pounds 7 damage into his Phantoms but fails the double 5 rout. Heartpiercers put 6 damage into the Spectres and 1 into the right Butchers.
Nightstalkers 2: The living nightmares descend, with Fiends already hitting those left Heartpiercers and Butchers joining the dance with the right Kraken. Phantoms counter the central Kraken. The Dread-Fiend picks up the left loot token.
I’m sorry my crabby children!
Once all the sizzling and crunching has subsided, the crabs have taken damage but weathered the first wave. Fiend’s deal 8 damage to Heartpiercers, Spectres pour 7 damage into the central Hearpiercers, the Mind-Screech and Horror lightning the Centurion for 3 damage, and the Kraken take 1 and 5 respectively. Everybody keeps their cool, placidly blinking in crab. The Planar Apparition heals a couple damage off the Spectres.
Trident 2: I decimate my clock figuring out what to do in the center, and end up sidestepping the Placoderms against the building so they can’t be triple charged, offering up the wounded Heartpiercers, and preparing the Water Elementals to go to work against anything that engages. The other Placoderms flank the Butchers fighting the Kraken, the central Kraken prepares to clear out some Phantoms and prepare for incoming terrors, and the Eternal on the left helps out with the Fiends, tho he contemplates leaving them to their fate and sprinting for the Dread-Fiend (and loot) on the hill. Oh, and the Centurion jukes forward to shut down the Mind-Screech.
The Trident of the Drowned Sea, plus a bunch of Heartpiercer shots, bleeds the Mind-Screech to 7 damage (and disorders it). Bastion goes on the Placoderms by the house. In combat, the Eternal (and maybe some Heartpiercers) chunk 5 damage on the Fiends on the left. The Kraken and Placo flank on the right does 2 damage to those Butchers because they’re all hindered and/or idiots. The central Kraken does wreck those Phantoms at last and turn to face his new cuddle buddies.
Nightstalkers 3: The monstrous center ends up seeing the Shadow-Hulk and Butchers combo-charge the Placoderms, the Terror wades into the wounded Heartpiercers (picking up the central loot token in the process), and the Mind-Screech float into the Centurion. It only occurs to me now that he might have been angling to pop him and overrun into the Placoderm flank? The Centurion is a brick, but he is on 3 damage … The Fiends counter the Heartpiercers on the left and the Butchers hit the Kraken on the right.
Both Heartpiercers are devoured, as are the Placoderms. RIP lads. The central Kraken takes 7 damage from shooting (and is frozen by the Planar Apparition’s breath), shortly before the right Kraken is pushed to 4 damage by his Butchers. The Mind-Screech successfully bops the Centurion, turning his laser trident off 😦
Trident 3: I really do not want to fight the Terror if I can help it, so the Water Elemental horde goes into the central Butchers and the Kraken sees how fast he can tear down the Spectre horde – rampage don’t fail me now! On the left, the Dread-Fiend has wandered into charge range of the Eternal, so he absolutely leaps on the chance to carve that loot out of her talons. Otherwise stuff counter-charges on the right, including the Centurion into the Mind-Screech for murder purposes but also to disorder it.
Bastion goes up on the Water Elemental horde, what shooting there is misses the Horror and just tickles the Planar Apparition. In combat, the Eternal gets started on the Dread-Fiend, the Water Elemental does a sizable 6 to the Butchers, the central Kraken gentle cuddles the Spectres to 6 damage, the Centurion routs the Mind-Screech, and the right Butchers succumb to their crustacean executioners.
Nightstalkers 4: The Terror ejects its loot and oozes through the woods into a fresh batch of Heartpiercers as the Butchers counter-charge the Water Elementals. The Fiends round the house and the Shadow-Hulk prepares to slayer the Kraken if he can’t carve through these damn Spectres first (who also counter the Kraken this turn). The Dread-Fiend counters the Eternal, and the Planar Apparition picks up the central loot.
The Spectres are healed down to 1 damage by the Planar Apparition (!), and then a lot of damage is spread around. The Eternal takes 2, the Water Elemental horde takes 8, the central Kraken takes 5 (!), and the Terror chomps 7 into the Heartpiercers. What a grind y’all.
Trident 4: The Nightstalkers have left some flanks open, which I capitalize on: Kraken into the flank of the Spectres, Placoderm into the flank of the Terror (hindered but picking up the token). The other Kraken disengages and faces the Shadow-Hulk, less because I trust the other Kraken and more because I expect the Krakens to flub and I want to point ensnare at the monster killing titan. Water Elementals and Eternal counter-charge their dancing partners.
The Centurion spikes 1 damage into the Planar Apparition, sitting it down, and the bastion Envoy bastions himself for great straddling justice. The highlight of combat is the Water Elemental horde ending the Butchers; it stays where it is to face the oncoming Fiends. The Kraken flank into the Spectres yields 14 damage and I think a waver, while the Terror wears its 6 damage without concern, and the Eternal fails to waver/rout the Dread-Fiend.
Nightstalkers 5: Even. More. Fighting. The Fiends make crabfall with the Water Elementals (who are on 6 damage with Rally (1)), the Shadow-Hulk does front charge the waiting Kraken, with Planar Apparition in the flank, and the Dread-Fiend and Terror counter-charge.
The Shadow-Hulk and Planar Apparition drop an 18/20 Kraken on 3 damage! And the Fiends likewise slam right through the -/18 Water Elementals. The Terror finishes off its second unit of Heartpiercers, turning to face the Placoderms, and the Dread-Fiend wavers the Eternal. But he’s got fury, everyone, we still got this.
Trident 5: The surviving Kraken charges the Planar Apparition to end its reign of terror / steal its loot, moments after the Centurion charged the Shadow-Hulk to hold it in place mere inches from the Kraken’s flank. The Placoderms charge the Terror (hindered :X) and the Eternal fury counter-charges the Dread-Fiend. Bastion goes on the Kraken.
The last of the Heartpiercers shoot down the Spectre horde, putting the MVP to bed at last. The Kraken enjoys some bastion, before completely whiffing on the Planar Apparition (listen, ensnare sucks). The Centurion however beasts 4 damage into the Shadow-Hulk. The Eternal likewise chunks the Dread-Fiend but again even a waver eludes me. The Placoderms somehow get the Terror to 4 damage, despite 6+ to hit, but that thing has been regening like a thing that regens (4+). Rude.
Nightstalkers 6: The game is drawing to a close but the slaughter is sill raging. The pathfinding Fiends flank the Placoderms with the Terror in the front, the Planar Apparition counters the Kraken, the Shadow-Hulk the Centurion, and the Dread-Fiend the Eternal.
The Placoderms shatter, with their loot absorbed into the Terror’s gooey folds. Looks like everybody else pulled through tho.
Trident 6: With 4 minutes left on my clock, I’m desperately hoping the last of my smashy dudes can fight their way out of this mess.
I furiously roll dice for 3 minutes but I just can’t drop the Planar Apparition or the Dread-Fiend, tho the latter finally wavers. With no turn 7 and with 3 tokens to 0, that’s a …

NIGHTSTALKER VICTORY (3-18)

So close to a 6-15 if only the Eternal could ever pass that rout test and grab the Dread-Fiend’s loot! It was quite the game, where I felt weirdly in control and yet totally behind the eyeball the entire time. If I had to blame something, I’m content to blame my Nv dice, which were horrendous when I needed them to spike to keep my momentum up. Jason would go on to make an unexpected run for the top table.

UP NEXT: Basileans!

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 22: FORCES OF THE ABYSS

Second game of the first day and I’m up against Bill, a new local player who picked up Kings of War late last year. He’s got a largely Mantic Abyssals army with a pair of enormous worms for his Fiends, which I’m 100% here for and look forward to wrassling with.

Forces of the Abyss 2100
Molochs Horde – Despoiler Champ, Sacrificial Imp, Blade of Slashing
Abyssal Ghouls Horde
Abyssal Ghouls Horde
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment – Staying Stone
Flamebearers Troop
Flamebearers Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Abyssal Fiend
Abyssal Fiend

Manifestation of Ba’el – Lightning Bolt (7)
Despoiler Champion
Zaz’u’szu the Betrayer – Lightning Bolt (4+), Bane Chant (2+)
Abyssal Warlock – Alchemist Curse (2)

Looks the business to me, although he wasn’t sold on Zaz’u’szu. I’ve only seen him used in batreps myself, but then Abyssals is one of those armies where I tend to just face them at tournaments. Maybe not any longer, welcome to the scene Bill!

Second scenario is Control, with me making the Abyssals go first, largely to mess with his Flamebearers.

BATTLE: GAME 2

Battlelines!
Abyssals 1: The demonic line pushes forward in the middle, hampered by terrain on the left, while the Abyssal Horsemen rapidly redeploy away from the crabby right flank. Lightning strikes some Heartpiercers with no significant impact (apart from 6 damage).
Trident 1: Crustaceans scuttle forth in response, using the Abyssal retreat on the right to push hard down that flank. Harpoons rout a Flamebearer unit, skewer Ba’el for 3 damage and the war-bow Envoy tags the left Abyssal Fiend (WAR-BOW). Bastion goes up on the rapidly regenerating Heartpiercers (down to 2).
Abyssals 2: The bulk of the Abyssals continue trudging through the terrain down the center of the board, as the Horsemen have a change of heart and face the oncoming crabs on the right. Significantly more fire is brought to bear this turn, wavering Heartpiercers on the left (6 damage) and wounding the Depth Horror Eternal (3 damage) and right Placoderms (2 damage). Zaz’u has started to significantly hurt his Gargoyle battery at this point (7 damage) as well!
Trident 2: The sound of the grind revving up can be heard as the right Kraken is released upon the poor Abyssal Horsemen, smashing 5 damage into them. The right Placoderms make contact with Zaz’u, pinching 4 damage into him. The Eternal charges the right Ghouls horde to block them up (2 damage caused), shortly after Heartpiercers stick 2 more damage into Ba’el and lucky waver the big bad! Also the other Flamebearers start to take Heartpiercer damage and the war-bow Envoy tags that Abyssal Fiend again (WAR-BOW)!
Abyssals 3: We’re getting danger close now! The Eternal takes a combo-charge from Ghouls and Abyssal Fiend, while the right Kraken is countered by his Horsemen. The other significant movement is the Molochs moving to reinforce the right flank, but otherwise it’s murder time.
The wounded Heartpiercers on the left are dunked by the Abyssal Fiend and/or Flamebearers and/or Warlock, and some combination of those also does 4 damage to the left Kraken. In combat, the Eternal takes 8 damage and wavers (with bastion on him), while the right Kraken goes up to 7 damage and wavers on a 10+. Touche, Abyssals, touche.
Trident 3: Crabs up the ante this turn, diving into combat across the board. Placoderms charge the left Ghoul horde, and the other Ghoul horde is flanked by a Kraken and fronted by the Water Elemental horde. The Eternal fury counters the right Abyssal Fiend, the right Placoderms aim to pop the betrayed Gargoyles, and the right Kraken furiously regens in place. Real Talk: I need a couple of these combats to go my way or I’m in a bad place. I mean, they totally should, but anything can and will happen with my dice 😐
The Centurion spikes Zaz’u off the board with his laser trident, removing the Gargoyles inspiring and helping the Placoderms rend the stony bird girls to gravel and face the Molochs. The central Ghoul horde is evaporated, allowing the left Kraken to reform out of the left Abyssal Fiend’s LOS and seriously menace the Abyssal lines, along with the Water Elemental horde. In other news, Ba’el takes a couple damage from Heartpiercers (bad dice!), the left Fiend is shot to 6 damage, and the left Ghoul horde snipped to 5 damage. The Eternal must have hacked some damage into his Fiend too.
Abyssals 4: Ba’el kicks things off by diving some Heartpiercers far away from the giant crabs staring at him, comboing with the Despoiler Champion. The Molochs hit the right Placoderms, the left Fiend helps the Ghoul horde out with the other Placos, and the right Fiend counters the Eternal. Shooters in the center prepare to waver or kill the central Kraken.
And waver him they do, rolling that spicy 8-9. In fact, everything the Abyssals touch wavers this turn – EVERYTHING. My scuttlin’ realm for a fury aura!
Trident 4: You know what isn’t wavered? The Water Elemental horde charging the rear of the Molochs 😬 Also the Centurion, who hits the Horsemen to help the Kraken grind them out, since the big guy keeps wavering. Loads of regening happens as well.
The Molochs are brutalized, the Water Elementals turning to eat an Abyssal Fiend next turn. Heartpiercer shooting punches more damage on the left Abyssal Fiend (9 total I think) and a little more on Ba’el. Bastion goes up on the central Kraken.
Abyssals 5: The left Placoderms are again charged by Ghouls and Abyssal Fiend, as the Centurion is countered by the Horsemen and the Eternal prepares to be eaten by his Fiend. Ba’el disengages from the Heartpiercers, preparing to style on me, tho the Despoiler Champ charges them again.
Kings of Hills: The Revenge
Instead of shooting or fighting, Ba’el shouts ‘From the Pit I Curse Thee!’, disordering both Heartpiercer units and the bastion Envoy! Bravo. In more violent news, the left Placos are once more wavered in combat, as is the central Kraken from shooting. WTH. The Eternal falls to the right Fiend, the Centurion takes some damage and the Despoiler Champ nibbles on its Heartpiercers.
Trident 5: Crabby vengeance will be ours! The Water Elementals and Placoderms plow into the Eternal’s Abyssal Fiend, as Centurion and Kraken hit the Horsemen, and Heartpiercers go aggro on Ba’el’s flank and the Despoiler Champ’s front. The wavered Placoderms disengage and the Kraken furiously regenerates (9 of 9 damage!)
Horsemen and Abyssal Fiend are routed, but no such luck elsewhere, with token damage at best from the Heartpiercers (although that left Fiend is at like 10+ damage now).
Abyssals 6: With his mind on the scenario, the Abyssal general eases up on the gas on the left and jockeys units into zones. Ba’el and the Despoiler Champ however do hit those Heartpiercers in the bottom right again.
And dunk them pretty hard. Alchemist curse from the Warlock pressure cooks the right Placoderms as well (and was doing a number on the central Kraken all game).
Trident 6: Things are pretty well in hand (claw) for me, especially once the central Kraken eats those Flamebearer’s in his sector. Some other violence happens, but the Ghouls hold and the Water Elementals can’t finish of Ba’el. Check out that clock at this point, with Bill up 20+ minutes over me 😀
Abyssals 7: The Ghouls overwhem the Placoderm, taking the lower left sector from my Heartpiercers. The Water Elemental thankfully holds Ba’el and the Despoiler Champ in place.

Trident 7: I melt the last fragment of my clock thinking about where to put the central Kraken, in the end deciding to gamble on shooting the Warlock and getting +2 points rather than walking into the upper left for a sure +1 point and then possibly denying him a point. The Centurion does not drop the Warlock, however the Water Elemental horde sends Ba’el screaming back to the pit with my last seconds of clock, which is always a good feel. With 3 sectors to the Abyss’ 1, this is another …

SCUTTLIN’ VICTORY (15-6)

I came close to getting an 18-3 on this and sort of gave it away on a gamble, but whatever, it was great to play Bill and I look forward to more games with him. His indecision with the Abyssal Horsemen early game was saved by hot waver dice keeping the right Kraken from rampaging his line, but then that Moloch rear was pretty catastrophic and let the Water Elementals decimate his hammers into the late game. Mad props on using Ba’el’s Curse all the same!

UP NEXT: Nightstalkers!

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 21: ELVES

The last weekend of February 2022 was the inaugural Dead of Winter GT held by my club here in Albany, NY. By all accounts it was a thrilling success, and I certainly had a great time getting five solid games of Kings of War in while also being able to get some sleep Friday and Saturday night. Sure, I drank considerably less and played none of the usual board games with the lads, but life is full of tradeoffs. On to the tournament report!

Trident Realm 2100
Water Elementals Horde – Brew of Strength
Placoderms Regiment
Placoderms Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Kraken
Kraken

Naiad Centurion – Trident of the Drowned Sea
Depth Horror Eternal
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2)
Naiad Envoy – War-Bow of Kaba

The crabs came out of hibernation, saw my old double Gigas rebased to double Placoderms, and I finally finished up my Centurion, giving him the shiny new shooting attak to help him in his mission to mess with every big flyer he could get his claw on. Didn’t have high hopes for my performance but great to see the tiny/huge lads together again. Somewhat unexpectedly, I was the only Trident player!

Elves 2100
Forest Shamblers Horde – Brew of Strength
Stormwind Cavalry Regiment – Quicksilver Lancers, Potion of the Caterpillar
Stormwind Cavalry Regiment – Helm of Confidence
Palace Guard Regiment – Banner of Eternal Darkness
Kindred Gladestalkers Regiment – Fire-Oil
Kindred Gladestalkers Regiment
Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop – Piercing Arrow
Hunters of the Wild Troop – Blood of the Old King
Hunters of the Wild Troop

Tydarion Dragonlord
Elven Archmage – Inspiring Talisman; Surge (8), Lightning Bolt (5)
Elven Archmage – The Boomstick; Lightning Bolt (7)

Speaking of coming out of hibernation … I haven’t played Jim since Fantasy times, if ever, but I’ve seen him at the various events he runs in the Northeast. Certainly a welcome first opponent, even if Tydarion gave me pause. Now that is a dragon! The rest of the list seemed solid: meaningful shooting, solid fast hammers, handful of competent chaff pieces.

First scenario is Pillage, with the Elves going first, either because they wanted to or because I made them.

BATTLE: GAME 1

Elves 0: Trees scout up!
Elves 1: The loathesome Elves sally forth into shooting range on the left or shelter behind their screens on the right. The Quicksilver Lancers advance slightly ahead of their cohorts, no doubt preparing for nimble shenanigans / because there was a wood to prance through (they have the gold banner).
The Gladestalkers, especially the fire oil unit, pin cushion the uninspired Heartpiercers on the left, routing them for first blood. Elsewhere lightning strikes the non-regenerating Depth Horror Eternal for 3 damage.
Trident 1: The crabs scuttle forth, preparing for violence on the right and suffering some trepidation on the left. The leftmost Placoderms begin their long, long trek through those woods 😐
The fire oil Gladestalkers to the left take token harpoon damage but hold fine. The blood Hunters of the Wild on the right (slip of paper unit) take significant damage from Heartpiercers and the Centurion, but the low rout test is frustratingly failed. The Water Elemental horde (giant crab) enjoys the cool caress of bastion as it awaits the violence.
Elves 2: Gladestalkers back up on the left as their Forest Shamblers power forward into long surge range of the left Kraken. On the right, Hunters of the Wild charge Heartpiercers and Kraken to clear the way for the Quicksilver Lancers into the Water Elemental horde. Tydarion looms.
The Gladestalkers chunk 5 damage into the left Kraken, before the Forest Shamblers fail their ~7″ surge by a couple inches. Importantly, they’re blocking the Kraken’s ability to pivot and go ham into the Gladestalkers next turn. On the right, the Depth Horror Eternal is wavered by lightning, and shortly afterwards the blood Hunters waver their Heartpiercers (taking even more damage from the blood of the old king), the Water Elemental cops 10 damage and holds, and the other Kraken takes token damage from its Hunters.
Trident 2: Crabs join the grind, as is their want. On the left, the Kraken charges the Forest Shamblers, unable to skirt past them, but also protecting the surviving Heartpiercers in the process, who advance to keep the fire oil Gladestalkers in their range (coping a -1 to hit in the process). On the right, Placoderms hit the disintegrating blood Hunters, the Water Elementals counter the Lancers, and the Kraken counters the other Hunters. The Centurion meanwhile limbers up and prepares to sit a dragonlord down. Also there’s a lot of regening.
Damage is liberally applied to the Elf army, including the Stormwind on the hill soaking Heartpiercer shooting, but only the blood Hunters are vanquished. Yes, the right Kraken barely tickled its Hunters. Tydarion however is successfully tagged by the Trident of the Drowned Sea and disordered 😤
Elves 3: The filthy Gladestalkers back up on the left and the Archmages hover about, however the rest of the Elves put their natural inclinations aside and join combat. Of note are the Stormwind charging the Placoderms, despite their phalanx, and Tydarion galloping his dragon into the waiting claw of the Centurion.
Kings of the Hill, more like!
The Gladestalkers claim the other Heartpiercers on the left, and the Archmages flash-fry the Depth Horror Eternal with their 13 lightning shots. In combat, the Heartpiercers on the hill are blended by the Palace Guard, but all the other crabs weather the Elven attention, including the Centurion parrying Tydarion down to 5 damage and holding. (You’ll see a waver marker on him, but Jim’s math was better than mine, he actually missed wavering by 1, even with brutal.)
Trident 3: The Placoderms on the left escape the tyranny of the woods, now free to advance menacingly on the Gladestalkers shooting their friends. Krakens, Elementals and Centurion regenerate and counter-charge their dancing partners, while the central Placoderms simply counter-charge.
The war-bow Envoy routs the fire-oil Gladestalkers (GO WAR-BOW!), the last of the Heartpiercers shoot the Palace Guard point blank, and bastion goes up on the central Placoderms, then crab-flavored vengeance is served to both the Quicksilver Lancers and the last of the Hunters of the Wild. The Centurion grounds Tydarion once more, and the central Placos continue nibbling at their Stormwind.
Elves 4: The Gladestalkers can’t escape their Placoderm executioners, so prepare to make them pay along with the Archmages. Everybody else counter-charges or charges in the case of the Palace Guard into the Water Elemental horde (which has 6 damage). Also, the Silverbreeze exist on a point back there.
Apart from the Centurion being eaten by a mega dragon, the crabs are once again able to soak the Elven aggression. Of note is the Placoderms on the left taking 4 damage – without heal, every pip counts and they’ve got plenty of work to do still.
Trident 4: Speaking of Placoderms going to work, the left regiment scuttles into the remaining Gladestalkers at long last. The right Kraken powers gleefully into Tydarion, and the three ongoing combats grind on.
The Gladestalkers are dismembered by the Placoderms, their delicate Elven limbs gribbled up by horrible crabby mouths. Everything else is a slog – Tydarion is grounded by a Kraken, and the Palace Guard waver. The Heartpiercers punched some damage into the surge Archmage, out of spite.
Elves 5: The Forest Shamblers, Swordwind and Tydarion all counter-charge. Meanwhile, the Palace Guard disengage so the Water Elemental horde can be dealt with by the Silverbreeze …
… which they do, dropping the big crab with just their puny bows. The Archmages combine electrical powers again, wavering the Heartpiercers. The Swordwind also turn on, pushing the central Placoderms to 9 damage and wavering them as well. The Kraken, however, are resolute.
Trident 5: The Placoderms on the left menace the Forest Shamblers and prepare to grab a point, while I prepare to lose the center. Tydarion is however comfortably within routing distance now, if the right Kraken can just do a couple damage.
Sadly, the big goofus can’t land a single wound, meaning Tydarion is free to fly away after all that work 😦 The other Kraken is vaguely more competent, finishing off his Shamblers after 4! turns of swinging at them.
Elves 6: Tydarion Dragonlord flits away to go breath on Heartpiercers, while the Swordwind charges the central Placos (who still have phalanx despite the waver :P)
Hill update!
Skewered and/or smoked, the crabby center crumbles at last.
Trident 6: Buuuut both Kraken are alive and well, and are swiftly unleashed into the rear of the Swordwind (!) and the front of the Silverbreeze. The Placoderms claim a point at the war-bow Envoy prepares for glory.
No dice on that war-bow, but the cavalry are messily slaughtered by towering crab titans, which certainly feels nice. With no Turn 7 and 3 objectives to 1, this is a solid …

SCUTTLIN’ VICTORY (15-6)

While the grind on this first game was very real, I was happy to take that over getting shot and lightning bolted more than I had to be. It was great to play Jim at last / after so long, and a nice way to be eased into Elves post-COK22. I really wish I could have dropped Tydarion, but I’m not going to complain too hard after neutering maybe the biggest dragon in the game for almost an entire game 😀

UP NEXT: Abyssals!

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 20: UNDEAD

My club is hosting its inaugural Dead of Winter GT this weekend here in Albany, NY and I’ve decided I want to bring the crabs out for it. Mostly because I’m interested in the various tweaks they got from Clash of Kings ’22 but I also miss shooting and needed an excuse to rebase my Gigas into Placoderms. I hear practice is important, especially when running an army you’ve only played maybe once since February 2020?

Trident Realm 2100
Water Elementals Horde – Brew of Strength
Placoderms Regiment
Placoderms Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Kraken
Kraken
Naiad Centurion – Trident of the Drowned Sea
Depth Horror Eternal
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2)
Naiad Envoy – War-Bow of Kaba

The GT is a nifty 2100 points, so naturally I took the 1995 point list I’ve been brewing and added an Eternal to it 😛 Although I’m not 100% on it being a) good or b) a thing I understand how to use, I really wanted to bring the Centurion with his new laser trident. For those not in the know, it’s a 5 shot 12″ Piercing (1) shooting attak that hits on 3+ and disorders if you wound. So adds to the combined arms thing going on but also extends his flyer sit-down from 12″ to 18″. Very groovy … although it comes at a heavy cost, as he’d be an Aquamage with some amazing support spells otherwise. We’ll have to see if it was worth it! This also marks the first time I’ve run Trident without a Lute, choosing instead to just bake it into the Elementals, who very often were bane chanted anyway. I kind of miss it already, as the Lute helps a lot of the list do work (like Placos).

Undead 2100
Wights Horde – Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Wights Horde – Brew of Haste
Wights Horde – Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – Staying Stone
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop – Skirmisher’s Boots
Ghouls Troop
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4), Torc of Dissonance
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4), Blade of Slashing
Necromancer – Surge (6), Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman

My clubmate’s 2300 list with the extra Ghouls removed. I think it hurts for chaff, tho as he admitted, what he really needs is Wraiths and he doesn’t have those painted anyway. So hammers it is. Personally, I’d turn most of those items into a second Ghoul troop, but he was apparently burned repeatedly at the last GT when his Wights were hindered all the time, so really wanted terrain mitigation.

We chose Raze, as we wanted a token game but not too involved of one. I won the roll but made him go first because 18″ guns.

BATTLE

Battlelines! Slash the first seconds of Undead 1 … My Depth Horror Eternal is hard right, hoping to punch up and burn my rightmost token.
Undead 1: Shamblers shamble forward, with the Vampasuses maneuvering on the flanks and the Soul Reavers preparing to scrum around the central hill. The Ghouls mount said hill, possibly against their better judgement.
Trident 1: The crabs cautiously skitter up, with only the left Placoderms moving into range of the Haste Wights + Slashing Vampasus if he wants that hindered, phalanx charge. On the right, the Eternal cheekily puts the Torc Vampasus into his flank, but without enough room to land.
Harpoons fly into the Undead lines, only doing ~4 damage to the Caterpillar Wights on the left and removing the Ghouls. The Soul Reaver regiment received some attention as well but no damage made it through cover. Finally, Bastion went up on the Water Elemental horde.
Undead 2: The deadites avoid going in piecemeal and advance the batteline together … with the exception of the left Zombies who are surged 3″ forward most likely as bait. The Soul Reavers have put their leaderpoints on the hill as well. The Vampasuses continue working the flanks, with the left one burning a token and putting the Undead on the scoreboard (1-0).
Trident 2: Despite knowing better, I punch it and engage Turn 2 😐 Kraken whip into the Haste Wights on the left and Soul Reaver troop in the middle, and Placoderms get saucy and waddle into the Zombie bait, their terrible crabby mouthparts twitching. Everything else prepares to shoot or counter next turn, including the Eternal on the right who scoots up within 3″ of the right token to see just how tough he is …

And here’s where I was sure I must have missed an after photo, but nope, nothing died 😦 Shooting did not kill the Caterpillar Wights (10 damage) or waver the Soul Reaver regiment (? damage), Bastion failed on the forward Placoderms, and all the combats were decidedly tepid – tho I did remember rampage against the Soul Reaver troop (+2 attaks)! Oh, and the Centurion’s trident hit the Strider Wights 3 times and then rolled 1-1-1 for damage, failing to disorder them.

Undead 3: Yep, that checks out. The Undead hammers smash down on our squishy crab bodies as one might expect.
Caterpillar Wights + Zombies + flanking Vampasus shatter the Placoderms; Soul Reavers in the front and flank deal the central Kraken 25 damage and turn him into a crab smoothie; and the Strider Wights dunk some Heartpiercers and are decidedly in my lines. In other combats, Haste Wights do 6 to the left Kraken, central Zombies scratch 1 on the other Placoderms, and the right Vampasus begins grinding damage on the Eternal. The other two Undead tokens are burned this turn (3-0).
Trident 3: All guns point at the Soul Reavers on the hill, while bigger crabs fight things, most notably the Water Elementals into the mangled Caterpillar Wights and the Centurion into the Strider Wights.
The Soul Reavers are shot up to 9 damage but are unmoved, although the bait Zombies are ventilated in the process (I’d like to say the Envoy’s War-Bow did the business but that thing missed all game). The Water Elementals boss out the mangled Caterpillar Wights and prepare to menace the Undead’s hold on the center. Everything else grinds.
Undead 4: The Soul Reaver regiment charges off the hill into the central Heartpiercers, dicing up a tasty crab gumbo with the help of the Slashing Vampasus.
In less decisive news, the Placoderms are wavered by the Soul Reaver troop + Zombies, the right Heartpiercers are wavered by hindered Zombies alone (!), and the Kraken, Centurion and Eternal all take a beating but keep on kicking.
Trident 4: The Water Elementals zip into the flank of the Soul Reaver troop, tidily dismembering them and preparing to murder the Soul Reaver regiment next, which has been wavered by the 11 harpoon shots I’ve got left at this point. The surviving Kraken finishes off the Haste Wights (all told this is pretty impressive!) and turns to face the action. The Eternal continues chunking just enough damage into the Torc Vampasus that she can lifeleach it back each turn (…), and the Centurion completely fails to wound the Wights, leaving them free to fly around and be a menace next turn. Bro, come on.
Undead 5: The Slashing Vampasus descends upon the War-Bow Envoy and messily devours it, as the Eternal and Centurion are both torn limb from delectable limb by their assailants (the Wights having decided to end the wrath of the Centurion’s trident before it could truly power up). The Placoderms are again wavered, this time by just the Zombies and their shocking ability to roll 5+/6+. Note that the left Vampasus is out of the Kraken’s arc and facing the Heartpiercers.
Trident 5: The Water Elemental horde-crab continues its reign of terror, eviscerating the poor cowering Soul Reaver regiment, while also receiving Bastion. The left Heartpiercers fire at and miss the Necromancer, as the right ones jab at their Zombies, and the Kraken sidesteps within 3″ of a token and finally puts the crabs on the board (1-3).
Undead 6: The Deadites aim to clear out the right side of the board, with Placoderms receiving a flank from the Strider Wights and the right Heartpiercers a visitation from the Torc Vampasus. The Slashing Vampasus nimble turns and punches it 20″ away from the Kraken’s affections.
The Placoderms are scythed down, the Zombies overrunning to block for the Wights. The Heartpiercers waver but somehow stick around.
Trident 6: The Water Elementals immediately rear charge the Slashing Vampasus (!), shortly followed by the Kraken powering up the hill and into the Necromancer loitering near the central token.
The combats are, well, decisive to say the least. Also the central Zombies are cleared out by the left Heartpiercers. Also the Kraken enjoys some Bastion in case the Wights want to get froggy in Turn 7.
Turn 7: The Wights blow their boots, charge the Water Elementals and one round them, because of course they do. The Heartpiercers on the right also succumb to the Vampasus’ dark ministrations. In the Trident half of the turn, I don’t move the Kraken – without pathfinder on the Heartpiercers in 3E, I can’t move them up to the center and the Kraken off to another token, even if the distances worked out. 10 shots into the Wights yields 1-2 damage and that’s game. With a score of 2-3, that’s a decisive …

UNDEAD VICTORY

If you’ve read my other Trident reports, you’ll see I did what I too often do, engage a turn too early instead of letting my shooting do one more round of work to give my mediocre combat units a leg/claw up. The play with the Eternal seems a bit dumb as well – he’s a great piece that can do many, many things – however keeping a Vampasus entirely occupied for 5 turns is nothing to sneeze at! I’m also not that discouraged by the result. We’re using Blackjack scoring, so despite my impatience and cool dice, I’m thrilled to get 7 points off of a ‘bag of hammers’ Undead list!

Doesn’t look like I’ll get another practice match in before Saturday, so stay tuned for a tournament report next week 🦀

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 19: FORCES OF THE ABYSS

Hope y’all had a great holiday season, all pandemics considered. Popping in to toss some shots of my last game of 2020 up (from August!), the report for which got lost in the shuffle, partially because my dice made it a particularly one-sided affair. Also wanted to warn y’all that I’ll probably let my WordPress pay account lapse in 2021 – which mostly means the URL will default to something less cool. Still hoping to log games up here, when they happen again 😞 But anyway, here’s a fast report of a game I barely remember:

Trident Realm 2300
Water Elementals Horde
Water Elementals Horde
Gigas Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Gigas Horde – Staying Stone
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Kraken
Kraken
Naiad Centurion – Blade of the Beast Slayer
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2), Tome of Darkness
Naiad Envoy – Lute of Insatiable Darkness

This is essentially the final form of the crabs – and will hopefully be painted soon, really putting off painting my last big Mierce crustacean. Water Elementals are really quite good, Kraken work best in pairs, the shooting is real and it’s been cool to realize that individuals have a place in this game.

Forces of the Abyss 2300
Lower Abyssals Horde – two-handed weapons
Lower Abyssals Horde
Molochs Horde – despoiler champion
Molochs Horde – despoiler champion
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment
Succubi Regiment – lurker
Flamebearers Regiment
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Manifestation of Ba’el – Lightning Bolt (7)
Abyssal Champion – Lightning Bolt (5)
Abyssal Warlock – Bane Chant (2)
Seductress – Bane Chant (2)

I’m guessing on some of the upgrades here, but this seems more or less correct. The Molochs might not have champs, which would leave points for the other Lowers to have CS(1) and the Horsemen to get a movement upgrade, both of which seem likely.

Looks like we were playing Plunder, judging by the tokens.

BATTLE

Battlelines!
The Abyss descends upon the crab line, albeit with some restraint. Lightning plays across the central Gigas (i.e. one of two units that can’t regen).
Scuttlers scuttle in response. Bastion goes on the left Kraken and Heartpiercers left and right begin ventilating the Succubi and the Horsemen, despite the negatives to hit.
Turn 2 means charges! Some Gargoyles successfully disorder some Heartpiercers, but unfortunately the Horsemen hard fail against the wounded Gigas. A catastrophic Kraken flank is saved however when the Abyssal Champ’s 2 lightning damage results in a box car waver on the titan! The left Water Elementals also cop a couple damage.
The crab’s respond by going aggro with the left Kraken (into Molochs) and Water Elementals (into Lower Abyssals), and otherwise counter-charging the middle and letting the Abyssals decide on the flanks. Heartpiercers chunk some damage on the unengaged Molochs and Lower Abyssals.
While there’s a lot of damage spread across the Abyssal line, the Gigas go wild and tear the Horsemen to pieces! Something like 11 damage from 12 attaks <chefkiss.gif>
Turn 3: The next wave of Abyssals hits home, as 5+ regen kicks in. The Bastion/Lute Envoy takes some damage from the Flamebearers before the carnage begins …
The Scuttlin’ center crunches like so much seafood, but the rest of the shellfish hold the line – including the Heartpiercers on the far left (9 damage taken!)
The crabs respond with the coldhearted violence of their genus: Gigas flank the Succubi on the left, the grind continues in the upper-left, Ba’el’s Kraken jumps on the central Molochs while the Centurion and some stalwart Heartpiercers sandwich the fallen demon lord. The sound of regening can be heard across the board.
Once again, Gigas one-round a unit (hindering be damned), taking out the Succubi. The central Heartpiercers likewise one-shot the Gargoyles who killed their mates last turn. Everywhere else the grind continues, with special mention for the Centurion and Heartpiercers dealing heavy damage to Ba’el.
The Abyssals continue to pile damage on in Turn 4 – check out all those double dice! – but the Nv checks aren’t there. The white chits show that the Scuttlin’ center has been wavered tho (Bastion Envoy, Heartpiercers and central Kraken).
Amongst all the regening (actually it looks pretty weak for 4/5+), the triumphant Gigas plow into the left Molochs as everyone else counter-charges …
Yes, gentle readers, all that happened. The left collapses thanks to that combo-charge, three turns of Water Elemental affection (eventually 54 attaks CS(1) attaks pays out) and a brutal single round of Heartpiercer fire into the Flamebearers. The right vanishes when those heavily damaged Water Elementals rolled like 17 hits and erased the horde 😅 Also Ba’el was torn down by the Centurion, which is pretty damn epic and exactly what he’s there to do. (The above shot is actually from Abyssal 5 but shows the combat results.)
With the heart and most of the limbs torn off the Abyssal army, Turn 5 is a little lackluster. The Seductress dunks the Bastion Envoy and prepares to get Gigas’d, the central Molochs get their Kraken up to double dice but can only pull the waver, while the Abyssal Champ can’t pop the mangled right Water Elementals.
A Kraken careens from one hill into the flank of the Molochs’ on the other, along with a brutal flank from those hero Heartpiercers. Also the Gigas chitter into the Seductress and the right Water Elementals prepare to chomp down on the Champion.
The Molochs disintegrate, but the individuals hold. Heartpiercers begin barraging the Abyssal Warlock with harpoons.
Turn 6 last gasps from the Abyssals. The Warlock tries to firebolt the wounded central Kraken, for no dice.
The Gigas see through the Seductress’ wiles and snip her in half, shortly after a wall of Heartpiercer fire impales the Warlock. The Abyssal Champion is the only demon left on the board, as the crabs quickly regen almost all the damage done to them. Oh, and snap up every loot token.

SCUTTLIN’ VICTORY

A commanding win for the crabs, thanks in large part to terrible Nv dice for the Abyssals. At the time it felt like this game was really run by the dice, to the point that reporting it felt a little weird, but watching it play out here I’m pretty happy with choices I actively made. Going ham on the left with the Kraken and Water Elementals took me a long time to decide on – this kind of decision almost always bites me – but really paid out, as it held up units that were going to struggle without hot dice and let me grind them down.

Anyway, that’s all the KOW for 2020! Really excited to get back on the table next year, and trying to stay focused and keep working on KOW hobby stuff until then, as opposed to wandering around the grim darkness of GW stuff and getting really nothing done.

Happy New Year!

SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 18: EMPIRE OF DUST

It’s the final round of the GT and I’m 2-2 and firmly on a lower-middle table. Sounds about right, and I’ve already accomplished my goal of two wins, so however this rampage ends I’m content. Up against EOD for the first time in 3E, helmed by a dude I’ve seen around for a while now but never played.

Empire of Dust 2300

Revenant Horde – Blessing of the Gods
Enslaved Guardian Horde – Casket of the Damned
Enslaved Guardian Horde – Casket of the Damned
Mummy Regiment – Casket of the Damned
Mummy Regiment – Casket of the Damned
Bone Giant
Monolith
Empire of Dust Balefire Catapult – Scarab Jars
Empire of Dust Balefire Catapult – Scarab Jars
Idol of Shobik
Revenant King on Undead Great Flying Wyrm – Surge (8)
Cursed High Priest – Undead Horse, Surge (8)

The EOD general was pretty down on most of his units who aren’t being repped by a towering bronze statue of Set (obviously Shobik!), however I still rate Enslaved Guardians (Me 3+!) and have distinct memories of being rocked by Bone Giants and struggling to pound through Mummies fast enough in 2E. Also I’m really bad at accounting for Caskets, and they’re everywhere here.

Aside: This game really showed how badly we’ve missed EasyArmy, as both he and I were misremembering EOD stats left and right, and had to keep going back to the giant 3E hardback to double check things. Really the worst.

Found 5 was Raze. Scuttlin’ Realms go first, not by choice.

BATTLE

Battlelines! Scorpions are Catapults, pyramid is the Monolith, other stuff is pretty clear.

Scuttlin’ Turn 1 sees the stranded left flank push as hard as it can through difficult terrain / shambling, and the right flank kinda chill out. You know, get some shooting in first.

The Empire doesn’t do a ton of moving in response, but a horde of Enslaved Guardians is launched up the table and stops 1” short of the right Heartpiercers. Whoa. Catapults splash 4 damage into some other Heartpiercers. And suddenly I’m reminded what Undead surge is like, except with caskets and Monoliths added to the mix.

Scuttlin’ Turn 2, and I’mma need those flanking assets in here pronto, m’k? The leftmost Kraken burns a token (1:0), as does the Water Elemental horde (2:0). Central Hearpiercers begin raking the Revenant horde with harpoons while Gigas prepare to receive. But really it’s about the cccccombo charge on the right: Kraken + Depth Horror Eternal + Heartpiercers into Enslaved Guardians … for 7 damage?! It doesn’t work out 😐

CURSE! CURRRRRSE! Guardians counter-charge the Heartpiercers, the Bone Giant thunders into the Eternal, and Shobik is surged into the flank of the Kraken. Balls. Also Catapults slap those central Heartpiercers back to 6 damage.

That Kraken is dropkicked and the Heartpiercers blended, but the Eternal only takes 2 damage. Time to flex, bro. The EOD burn my right token (2:1).

Scuttlin’ Turn 3, the anvils rotate to receive the dead and hope we’ve got all the surge angles covered. Heartpiercers continue concentrating on the Revenants, getting them to 7 damage for future reasons. The Eternal chooses to hack into the injured Enslaved Guardians, for token damage.

Whether through magical means or their own cantankerous willpower, the Revenants flank the Gigas (I don’t remember seeing this, but I also wasn’t worried, since it was 5+/5+), the Eternal is flanked by the Bone Giant and countered by the Guardians, the Mummies fall short of the other Gigas, and Shobik lumbers into the central Kraken …

Things turn out pretty well, with the Gigas only taking a predictable 5 damage, the Kraken taking 9! damage from Mega Shobik, and the Eternal getting pulverized and lifeleached.

Scuttlin’ Turn 4, time for crabby vengeance. A catapult gets Krakened (it dies), the Revenants get flanked by Water Elementals + Heartpiercers (they die), Shobik gets countered by the Kraken and flanked by the Revenant’s Gigas (it dies!), and those lower Mummies get charged by the Gigas (they will never die, but also take 2 damage).

Gigas, prepare to face-tank! One horde takes Mummies + RKOUGFW + Guardians to the front, while the other receives Mummies + Bone Giant.

That triple charge is super effective! But the other combat is a fluffer, just 4 damage.

Scuttlin’ Turn 5 – you know, I think that central Kraken has a flank on that Wyrm? Ah well. Instead he combo-charges the Mummies alongside the Gigas (who are shoved onto a fence from whence they will never escape). Up top, the other Kraken + Water Elementals take on the other Mummies, leaving it to some Heartpiercers to ground the Wyrm. Now that’s generalship. Other Heartpiercers put some rounds into the unhurt Enslaved Guardians.

While the bottom Mummies die, the upper ones hold, and the Heartpiercers fail to land the one 5+/5+ they were hoping for.

The RKOUGFW hopes into a further back Heartpiercer regiment, letting some Guardians flank the ones trying to poke him. More Guardians front charge the lower Kraken, as the Bone Giant tackles the Gigas and the upper Mummies counter the Water Elementals.

Lots of things get damaged, nothing breaks … because he snaked the Guardian’s Heartpiercers with 20 damage on them! Now that’s generalship. EOD is able to burn another token (2:2).

Scuttlin’ Turn 6! Heartpiercers mob the Wyrm and counter-charge the Guardians (10 damage regened!), along with a lot of counter-charging from bigger dudes into Mummies / Guardians / Bone Giants. The upper Mummies rout and the Water Elementals + Kraken overrun, burning my final token (3:2), but otherwise everything holds tight, and the Wyrm fends off the 16 5+/5+ little stabs trying to ground him.

Everybody back in!

The Wyrm breaks through the Heartpiercer wall, but otherwise everybody wavers … except for those central Heartpiercers, because yes, those Enslaved Guardians got them back to 20 damage and snaked them again! Hahaha!

Scuttlin’ Turn 7! The Gigas, thanks to fury, counter-charge the Bone Giant and cut him down at the knees. The Kraken regens furiously (9 of 15), while the other Kraken shoots into those Guardians harassing those HEROMODE Heartpiercers and ends them (said Heartpiercers regen 11 of 20 damage). Finally, the free Heartpiercers luxuriate on the central token and shoot the remaining Catapult off the table.

Happy to be done with this farce, the RKOUGFW flies off and burns a token (3:3), and the Guardians swing into their Kraken one more time and wavered it. Crabs take it thanks to the center objective (4:3).

SCUTTLIN’ WIN (15-6)

While I started this GT with terrible play and frigid dice, I happily ended it with some actual strategy and deliciously hot dice – particularly if we count my opponent’s double snake eyes, thanks for the assist, man! Good smashy game to end my first 3E GT, and a better run with the crabs than I had expected to have, frankly.

When everything was totaled up, I ended up placing 26 out of 48, just missing the Counter Charge award for dead middle of the pack. But putting the numbers aside, Best of the Rest was a great event that I’m thrilled to have happen in the first place, as it was wonderful to be some small part of the US Masters and share in this amazing KOW community.

Speaking of meeting great players and seeing some of my favorite online armies in person, you can catch some shots of my favorite armies / units (and more of my own) in this album here: BEST OF THE REST #0

SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 17: TRIDENT REALM

Day 2 of the Best of the Rest GT kicked off with a second Trident Realm Civil War! This time it’s crabs vs (jumping) sharks, up against the dude who would go on to win Best Sports – he got my #1 as well, thanks to him for being such a nice guy as well as meticulous player.

Trident Realm 2300

Riverguard Dambuster Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Riverguard Dambuster Horde
Riverguard Treeleaper Regiment
Riverguard Treeleaper Regiment
Riverguard Treeleaper Regiment
Riverguard Treeleaper Troop
Riverguard Treeleaper Troop
Kraken
Kraken
Knucker
Knucker
Riverguard Sentinel – Trickster’s Wand
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2)

I had watched this army dismantle my first round opponent the Friday before the event, and yea, I’m a fan of it. Frogs are probably the most interesting troops in the Trident list these days, even with being able to disorder flying. Toads I’m not sold on, though ironically I was talking to Kara Brown the night before about how disappointing they are, and the conclusion was Me 3+ would go a long way to help make Dambusters real. Naturally this list has a big ol’ toad hammer that hits on 3+. Solid.

Oh right, Kraken Count [5] again.

Round 4 was Control. The Scuttlin’ Realm went first, prrrrrobably not by choice.

BATTLE

Battlelines! Enemy TR L2R: Knucker, River troop, River reg, Dam horde, River hero, River reg, River reg, Kraken, Kraken, Envoy, Dam horde (Me 3+ i.e. the gold shark), Knucker, River troop.

Crabs scuttle up. Krakens project force. Lamentably the right Gigas couldn’t toe that forest with their 5” move. That blank base next to the Water Elemental crab is a Kraken.

Sharks scooch forward, but mostly it’s about the Knuckers. The Kraken gets bastion and my own bastion Envoy gets hexed!

Scuttlin’ Turn 2. We do what we can to prepare for the Knuckers, but I know he’s going to do screwy things I won’t see coming. Envoy takes 2 damage from bastioning the left Gigas, and Heartpiercers stick 6 damage into a River reg and 3 onto the right Knucker.

Knuckers, engage! Left Gigas are flanked by a Knucker (for 7 damage), while the other noms 3 damage off of the right Hearpiercers, wavering them (!) The Riverguard Sentinel leaps on a central Heartpiercer reg, disordering it with 2 damage, and otherwise the shark line continues to play it cagey, save for the wounded regiment that jams the center alongside a bastioned Kraken.

Scuttlin’ Turn 3, and I should note that at this point we are both melting our clocks down with tight positioning and option weighing. Regardless, I eventually keep pressing the right (the Eternal is facing the River troop and where they might hop to), punch down in the center (to the tune of dead Riverguard reg and gently caressed Krakens, the white one having copped a Hearpiercer harpoon), and bait the left with Heartpiercers (who also shoot and waver the leftmost River troop). The Gigas ultimately did not counter their flanking Knucker, preferring to backup out of the Dambuster’s charge and just accept another round of being flanked. With their massive base, turning to face would have invited a whole lot of toady attention.

Also the Heartpiercers fighting the Sentinel began wrecking him, as is their want.

Sharks pounce on the left but wow do they meet with some tough luck. Riverguard reg and Dambuster horde leap on the Heartpiercers in the woods, but 7 damage later they’re only wavered. The Sentinel swaps to the Gigas to help out the Knucker, however it’s another waver despite 13 damage – and these crabs conveniently have fury! More Riverguard jump into the central Heartpiercers, wavering them as well on 4 damage.

In the center, the Kraken actually disengages from the Water Elementals, as the other one goes to pressure the right flank. The Awesome Dambuster horde continues to back away from my right Kraken.

Scuttlin’ Turn 4. With less than 30 minutes left in the round, I tell him I’ve really enjoyed the match but have to play a little dumber now – basically I decide to throw the game away on a couple poor risks instead of waiting for us to clock out in a draw or minor win to him.

Anyway, time to go aggro! Kraken on the left rears and kills the Knucker in the Gigas’ flank, while they counter and waver the Sentinel. Friendly Heartpiercers shoot the sharks messing with their wavered buddies on the hill, for 2 damage. Kraken in the center combo-charges the bastioned enemy Kraken with the Water Elementals, and while they do a solid 12 damage, a double 8 rout test is too much. Finally, the right Kraken and Gigas go into the other enemy Kraken, doing a couple dice of damage but evidently failing to even waver it. In related news, the Heartpiercers on the right wound the remaining Knucker but narrowly miss even wavering it.

Jumping sharks everywhere! On the left, the Heartpiercers in the forest are charged by a River reg + River troop, the Gigas by the (Me 4+) Dambusters, and hill Heartpiercers by the other River reg. In the center, the Water Elementals are countered by the purple Kraken. On the right, the Gigas take white Kraken and Awesome Dambusters in the front, and the Kraken receives River troop in the flank and Knucker in the rear.

It’s, uh, super effective. All targets die, except for the Water Elementals and the hill Heartpiercers, who are wavered again. 830 point swing! Also: Kraken Count [4]

Scuttlin’ Turn 5, with minutes on the clock (this pic is from the first seconds of Sharktopus Turn 5, when the white Kraken went ham). I floor it for the scenario, sending the Eternal hard into the back right corner; the central Kraken charges, devours and overruns his Envoy; and the left Kraken backs up onto the fence to keep all them flying sharks in his front arc. Some Heartpiercers flank the Riverguard on the hill but can’t work any magic despite 5 damage total. The right Heartpiercers try to blast off the River troop but 2 damage isn’t enough. Finally, Water Elementals in the center slap that purple Kraken back to 10 damage but no lucky 9 pop.

With seconds left, the sharks have a go at the left Kraken (8 damage, no result), his white Kraken rear and devour the flanking Heartpiercers, Riverguard reg + troop mob and devour the hill Heartpiercers, and Awesome Dambusters pounce and devour the right Heartpiercers. The Water Elementals take a bunch of damage – Sentinel in their flank now – but hold. He clocks out.

Scuttlin’ Turn 6 (seen here), I use my last seconds to juke the central Kraken into an uncontested zone and then swing into the central Kraken and Riverguard reg down in the lower left. No lucky routs in either case, ensnare sucks, but that was just for attrition, he’s got this 5:3 or maybe 4:3 depending on where that Knucker is at.

SCUTTLIN’ LOSS (6-15)

 A really enjoyable, cagey game that I don’t feel too bad about going ham on. Adam was a very gracious opponent with a very cool list, and I’m inspired to do something sorta similar, with multiple combat units, including punchy troops, and really try to work some careful positioning. Also first time I’ve clocked out O_O

Up Next: Empire of Dust

SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 16: DWARFS

Mid-tables, baby! After bouncing off the bottom table, I faced off against a new player to the game and his Imperial Dwarfs. A note about this game, I helped him out quite a bit, pointing out for example how corkscrew charges work and when he’d set himself up for some, letting him back that out and in general learn while we wrassled instead of just taking his breaks. This isn’t a humble brag thing, more a comment on how ‘this is a tournament, play as hard as possible’ isn’t particularly interesting to me, nor I think to the KOW community at large. High five, us.

Dwarfs 2300

Berserker Brock Rider Regiment – Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Earth Elemental Horde
Earth Elemental Horde
Earth Elemental Horde
Berserker Brock Rider Troop
Berserker Brock Rider Troop
Sharpshooter Troop
Sharpshooter Troop
Sharpshooter Troop
Steel Behemoth – Golloch’s Fury
Ironbelcher Organ Gun
Ironbelcher Organ Gun
Ironbelcher Organ Gun
Berserker Lord – Brock, Blade of the Beast Slayer
Stone Priest – Surge (8), Bane Chant (2), Tome of Darkness

Fairly classic Rocks n Glocks n Brocks, helped by the Earth Elementals getting more buffs than I thought (-/18 now?!), and maybe hindered by a little less inspiring than usual? Ah yes: there’s no flying King, but a third Organ Gun + Elemental horde.

Round 3 was Smoke & Mirrors, which we muddled through almost correctly. Dwarfs took first turn this time.

BATTLE

Battlelines! There’s a third Kraken hard on the right flank.

Dwarfs roll out! Except for Sharpshooters, who tag a wound on the leftmost Kraken.

Crabs roll out! Between range, cover or marching, Heartpiercers don’t get anything done. That right Kraken slams 14” up the table edge, intent to murder those Sharpshooters.

Dwarfs Turn 2, more plodding forward and setting up some traps, tho the right Brock troop throws itself into the right Gigas, hungry for crab meats.

Shooting puts another 1 damage on the left Kraken, 6 on the central Gigas courtesy the Organ Guns and 3 on the right Kraken. In combat, the Brocks gnaw 2 damage onto the right Gigas but they shrug it off.

Scuttle Aggression++! Two Kraken and their Eternal escort thunder into the Brock regiment over on the left, the Water Elemental horde slams into the central Earth Elemental horde (they needed to get away from Golloch’s Fury, and I assumed they could grind a couple turns) while the wounded Gigas bodyblock for them (I used their nimble guys!), the right Kraken thunders into the right Sharpshooters, annnd the right Gigas counter-charge their Brocks. Heartpiercers chunk 10? damage (!) into the leftmost Earth Elementals, in a stunning display of 5+ / 5+ rolling.

In combat, the Brocks evaporate, with one Kraken overrunning 1-2”; the Water Elementals do very poorly against the Earth Elementals (not seeing any damage dice!); the right flank Kraken one-rounds the Sharpshooters and spins to face the action; and the right Gigas do 9? damage to their Brocks but only waver their quarry!

Dwarfs Turn 3 keeps the violence up. On the left, a Brock troop + Brock lord charge a Kraken, while the other Kraken over there is surge-flanked by Earth Elementals. (A brief aside: because reforming is weird, that Kraken basically had to look at the Elementals’ flank or front, knowing it would be flanked in either case. I chose to make him use his surge, because while the Kraken would die, it would keep the bane chant off of the Water Elementals. Luckily for Dwarfs they can cast BC into a surge target, ensuring the Kraken’s demise.) Speaking of Water Elementals, they get counter-charged, and the right half stuff continues forward.

Rather unexpectedly, two Organ Guns finishes off the Gigas! Sadness! And in combat, the Brock troop + lord roll like maniacs and drop a 2 damage Kraken in one go! Less surprisingly, the other Kraken is flanked and killed by CS(2) Earth Elementals, and the Water Elementals cop 5 damage against their own elementals.

With the heavy hitters evaporating on the left, the Scuttlers have to reassess a bit and start mobilizing Heartpiercers for scenario duty. They also shoot the Brock troop for 6 damage and shoot and rout the Earth Elementals that killed the Kraken. Damn, little dudes.

Meanwhile, the Eternal charges the Brock lord (and whiffs?!), the Water Elementals regen 0 damage but carve a few into the Earth Elementals, the Gigas messily dismember their Brocks, and the surviving Kraken looms large on the right flank.

Dwarfs Turn 4, because that turn die has to be off after we used it to prop up some Brocks earlier. At this point in the game we’ve turned over all of the 0 and 2 tokens, so the objective situation is pretty clear – hence his Sharpshooters booking it for the left and central tokens, and Golloch and the right Earth Elementals consolidating around the token to the right of the house. (He’s also scared of the last Kraken …) Also the Brock troop charges some Heartpiercers (who are currently scoring the lower left token), the Brock lord counters the Eternal, and the Earth Elementals fighting the Water Elementals back off, because this dude knows what he’s doing.

Organ Guns ventilate the Water Elementals before the Earth Elementals surge (+ bane chant) back into them and slaughter the mega crab. The Eternal takes 4 damage from the Brock lord (awesome rolling from this model all game!), and the Brock troop noms 6 damage into those Heartpiercers but don’t waver them.

Scuttle Tactics++! Worth noting that the 2 point objectives are hard left, where his Sharpshooters are running too, and to the left of the house, where my Heartpiercers are clustering – you know, in front of 3x Organ Guns + Sharpshooters. Those Heartpiercers fighting the Brocks counter-charge, but don’t manage a single wound even with the lute’s CS(1). The central Heartpiercers must have shot somebody, but totally fail. The Eternal slaps 2 damage into the Brock lord but he cares not.

On the right, the Heartpiercers who spent the game backing away from Golloch’s Fury flank charge the big guy, failing to wound it but getting within 3” of a 1 point objective, which made him think long and hard about his options next turn, as the Gigas hove into charge range.

Dwarfs Turn 5, and we spend a long time talking out scenario end game (we thought it was Turn 6). Without a doubt, the Eternal has to die (otherwise he’ll flank charge those Sharpshooters, murder them and grab the other 2 pointer), and ultimately the Dwarfs trust in their guns to take him out. The Brock lord rides off to help the Brock troop drop those Hearpiercers and overrun to their 1 pointer. And Golloch’s Fury, seeing that the Earth Elementals have US 3 to the Heartpiercers’ 2, plows off into the Gigas to keep them (and their US 3) at bay.

Good calls are good. The Depth Horror Eternal disappears under a double Organ Gun barrage, then the Brocks rock the Heartpiercers and overrun within range of a 1 pointer, and Golloch’s Fury boops 4 damage into the Gigas. The Heartpiercers holding my 2 pointer also took some damage from shooting.

In what we thought was the last round of the game, I did a ton of figuring and balanced a lot of options, and ended up walking some Heartpiercers within range of the 1 pointer on the hill (took some shots at the leftmost Sharpshooters but to no avail), kept the central Heartpiercers within range of their 2 pointer but turned and shot the Brock troop off the table (denying 1 point), kept the surviving Kraken within 3” of his 1 pointer, and couldn’t hot dice off the Earth Elementals holding the 1 pointer to the right of the building.

We rolled but blessedly there wasn’t another turn, so we ended what we thought was Turn 6, 4:3 on objectives.

SCUTTLIN’ WIN (14-7)

Sorry about the janky turn die on this one, I think my count here is correct and we only played five turns. That said, great game that was more involved than I thought it would be, and I lowkey love when my Heartpiercers get to decide games since I originally build the army around them. Smoke & Mirrors was … fine. I think a bit needlessly complex, compared to the old version of Pillage with the different token values, but I suppose it did lead to fairly dynamic play as we were kept weighting our options. Also I had gotten my second win! Mission accomplished!

Up Next: Trident Realm Civil War II

SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 15: TRIDENT REALM

Bottom table, baby! After getting housed by the Green Lady’s lackeys, my crabs plummeted to Table #22 to face off against some other downtrodden fish people. Coincidentally Table #21 also had a Trident Realm army on it, meaning that between the three of us we’d gotten 3 points total in Round 1. Gooooo Trident!

Trident Realm 2300

Naiad Ensnarer Horde – Liliana’s Tear
Gigas Horde
Depth Horror Horde – Healing Brew
Placoderm Regiment
Placoderm Regiment
Thuul Regiment
Thuul Regiment
Tidal Swarm Regiment
Tidal Swarm Regiment
Kraken
Kraken
Knucker
Thuul Mythican – Wings of Honeymaze
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2)
Naiad Envoy

One of the awesome things about playing alongside the US Masters was seeing armies and players I know from the internet – and it’s even cooler to get to scrum against them! This round I faced the dude who runs the Unt l Somebody Loses An Eye, who I had just that morning been talking to about Wyrd’s game The Other Side. I really love his army and how much Mantic he crammed in there by thinking laterally and using Nameless from Warpath, and his big bads are great minis and BIG. Comp-wise it seemed good, certainly more balanced than mine but nowhere near the amount of shooting. ALSO:

KRAKEN COUNT = 5

Round 2 was Push, and the Scuttlers went first again, probably not by choice.

BATTLE

*crab sounds* Lots of advancing. Kraken play it cagey, content to project force, or at least the threat of it. My tokens are in the left Gigas (x2) and the left Kraken near the house; his are all in the central Ensnarer horde (x3). Heartpiercers ventilate a scouted Tidal Swarm for first blood.

*gribble sounds* Cautious response from Cthulhu and friends. Most relevant note is the Knucker begin to work that flank but not stepping into those right woods.

Central Gigas scoop up the central token and prepare to flex hard – tho Ensnarers and Placoderms aren’t the smashiest units, Thuul are lurking nearby. Lots of positioning happened on the flanks, inviting him to break the standoff, while Heartpiercers unload into the Depth Horrors hard left (5 damage) and the Tidal Swarm middle (1 damage).

The Gribble Realms let ‘er rip in the center, sending Ensnarers and Placos into Gigas for a proper anvil-off, with that annoying Tidal Swarm getting in the way of Kraken vengeance. His flanks increase the pressure, presenting me with plenty of bad options. Gigas hold easily (3 damage). The Depth Horrors also ate their healing brew.

Turn 3, time to take a risk (Spoiler: risks very rarely pay off with TR!) Gigas + Heartpiercers + Water Elementals slam into the central Placoderms, looking for that pop-n-spin. More Heartpiercers charge that Tidal Swarm, while yet more Heartpiercers riddle the Depth Horrors with harpoons, routing them. The right Kraken takes a deep breath and makes sure all those big bases are in his front arc, while the left Kraken (still with a token) invites the other Placoderms to have a go.

Anyway, that big combat in the middle doesn’t work out. Loads of damage (10+) but can’t land the double rout. Sad times ahead, gents. Those Hearpiercers totally rock the swarm tho.

Here we go! Thuul regiments mob the Water Elementals, with some Placoderm support for good measure. A Kraken slams into my right Kraken, with Knucker ready to toss in next turn. The Ensnarers have a go at the central Gigas, and those other Placoderm head in to poke at the left Kraken. His Gigas and Cthulhu-kraken head towards the center.

The Water Elementals are shredded by the Thuul wave, but other damage is negligible.

Scuttlin’ Turn 4, the grind increases, with some fortunate flanks. The central Gigas + Heartpiercers counter-charge their Placoderms, finishing them. The right Kraken grabs the flank of some Thuul, devouring them (this may have been a mistake? Or he expected to at least waver my Kraken but did the combats in the wrong order?) On the left, my other Gigas grab the flank of his other Placoderm, shattering them with the Kraken’s help in the front (this was certainly a mistake, he looked pretty crestfallen after missing that flank). The central Kraken mashed into the Ensnarers for respectable damage (6?) but whatever.

In shooting, Heartpiercers rock his Gigas, wavering them.

Gribble Realms options are dwindling, but there’s still mayhem to be had. Ensnarers counter-charge the central Kraken, Cthulhu + Thuul thunder into some poor Heartpiercers, and the right Kraken facetanks a Kraken + Knucker.

Those Heartpiercers turn to jelly, but otherwise Kraken hold like the towering anvils they are.

Scuttlin’ Turn 5, check out that big horde-sized hole … Gigas + Kraken in the front and another titan in the flank splatters the Ensnarer horde, and leaves one Kraken loaded up with 4 (!) tokens. My other Kraken swings into the Knucker, because at least it can’t regen? But he wavers it anyway! Beast.

In non-Kraken news, the central Gigas back up 3” after combat but can’t escape Lord Cthulhu … And my other Gigas charge and dismember an Envoy, shortly after 30 Heartpiercer rounds waver his Gigas again. Man, I hate when my Gigas waver too.

Kraken violence continues, as my central Gigas are charged by Thuul and flanked by Cthulhu, and my beleaguered right Kraken is flanked by his other Kraken. While the Gigas crunch beneath Cthulhu’s feet (who scoops up their token), my Kraken survives on 14 damage! Wavered but still holding, which was his only goal this game. Also his Gigas rotate to face their destructor.

Scuttlin’ Turn 6, scenario time go! The Kraken carting around 4 tokens plows into the enemy half, while the other central Kraken gets out of LOS but prepares to punish if there’s a Turn 7. My right Kraken furiously regenerates 8 damage and keeps looking at the Knucker in a show of disrespect for his Kraken. Then Heartpiercers pincushion Cthulhu but he cares not for their barbs.

In what would be the end of the game, Cthulhu and his Thuul minions pounded into some Hearpiercers but honestly I think they held. I don’t have a shot of it, however I think my hero Kraken on the right finally ate it. (KRAKEN COUNT = 4)

SCUTTLIN’ WIN (17-4)

BUT with so many tokens on his half (5!) this was a pretty serious win for the Scultting Realm. The flanks he offered up in Turn 4 certainly helped, but I’mma give credit to my right Kraken holding up his own titanic flank for FAR longer than he ought to have. I was far more patient than I usually am – I mean, not in that middle combat I guess, tho it wasn’t massively risky – and his delay really gave me the time I needed to wreck the flank and center.

Up Next: Dwarfs