THE HALLOW 5: UNDEAD

Immediately after Game 4, the forces of the Herd and Undead regrew / resurrected and we threw down again! I tweaked a couple upgrades in my list because I had to tinker …

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Beast of Nature – Wings, 7 Attaks
Tree Herder – War-Bow, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff, Surge (4), Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Centaur Chief – Blade of Slashing

Despite hexing a Necromancer twice in the last game, I had cooled on the Trickster’s Wand as a thing I wanted a Tree Herder to be doing. Honestly the range is the nicest part, but without other shooting to make hex feedback matter it feels like a non-issue. The no move thing is pretty neat tho … Anyway, I spread a little more surge around at the cost of the Wand.

Undead 2300
Wights Horde – Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Wights Horde – Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – 10 Point Item
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – The Boomstick, Lightning Bolt (6)
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Weakness (2)
Necromancer – Shroud of the Saint, Surge (6), Heal (6)

The Undead, on the other hand, changed nothing at all. After this game we went through a lot of iterations, and I think he landed on triple Wights, single Soul Reavers, with some remix of the trash (4x Zombies + 4x Ghouls?)

We rolled up Pillage, with max tokens per Blackjack scoring. The Herd scouted but Undead took the first turn!

BATTLE

Herd 0: Scouting phase! We really should have swapped table sides too, tho I tried to shake my deployment up a bit. The Undead certainly did, with the Wights moved from trapped in the middle behind the woods to rocking the flanks.
Undead 1: Roll out! The Undead has an easier time unpacking their deployment this time, with the Soul Reavers + Ghoul escorts working in concert, the Wights enjoying (any) LOS, and the lightning Vampire on Pegasus threatening from the left flank. The blue weakness token of shame is gifted to the right most Forest Shamblers … but speaking of shame, the lightning bolt (6) from the Vampasus completely fluffs :X
Herd 1: The Hallow plays it very cagey on the left, but goes hard on the right. Two Shambler hordes punch into the chaffing Ghouls, with the Beast menacing flank charges on everybody and the War Herder in support. However despite 11 damage, I snake eyes the Ghouls … which might be a blessing in disguise, as they are thoroughly in the way of the looming hammers!
Undead 2: The Undead likewise keeps it cagey on the left, and after a lot of finagling puts Wights + Ghouls into one Shambler horde, leaving the others stuck on the wall.
The Shamblers take 11 damage but they hold, even with brutal!
Herd 2: The Hallow unleash green hell! L2R – Centaurs charge Wights (to sit them down / chaff), Shamblers grab a flank on Zombies, Tribal Spears + Herder charge more Zombies, the Centaur Chieftain charges Ghouls, the mangled Shamblers + War Herder counter the Wights, the hindered Shamblers flank the brutalized Ghouls, and the Beast flanks the right Soul Reavers. Yowza. The Centaurs on the left get bane chanted, as nobody else is in range or relevant (Zombies).
Both Zombies, the battered Ghouls and the Soul Reavers are routed – go Beast! The Centaurs do a solid 4 damage to the Wights from 6 attaks, the Centaur Chief wavers his Ghouls, but despite getting the central Wights up to 11 damage I fail the double rout test 😥 Speaking of sadness, the leftmost Shamblers can’t reform to face the incoming Soul Reavers (but maybe could have if I had done the combats in a different order).
Undead 3: The second Undead wave crashes in, lamentably in some flanks too. L2R – Wights counter the Centaurs with Vampasus in the flank, Soul Reavers flank the leftmost Shamblers, Ghouls charge the Tribal Spears (to get out of the way of Soul Reavers mostly), the bashed up Wights + Zombies charge the bashed up Shamblers, and the other Vampasus charges the Beast for some not-necessarily-titanic-but-still-big kaiju combat. The Shamblers on the wall receive weakness, once again.
Y’all, Undead hammers do work, ok? Centaurs and both Shambler units evaporate. The Tribal Spears and Beast take token damage. If you’re wondering why the right Wights didn’t rotate to face the hindered, weakened Shamblers, there’s a chance he was being cocky and assuming I can’t roll 5+ to hit and wound (a fool’s mistake!), but I think he might have been protecting the flank of the Vampasus, as the Wights are currently aligned with her so there’s no tiny overhang.
Herd 3: The backline of Tribal Spears slam into the Undead left flank, with two into the Soul Reavers and one into the Wights. The left Herder I think flanks the Ghouls that had charged those Tribal Spears, and the Centaur Chief bounds into the weakness Necromancer. The War Herder charges the bloodied Wights with hindered, weakened Shamblers in the flank, and the Beast counters the Vampasus. You can also see the right Centaurs peeking into frame, where they’ve been holding a token all game. Bane chant goes out onto one of the Tribal Spears fighting Soul Reavers.
The good news is that those murderous Wights and Soul Reavers are both dusted, as are the Herder’s Ghouls; the less good is that the Wights, Vampasus and Necromancer only take token damage and are all fine. Also I vow to give the Centaur Chief his cat back, I love duelist too much and miss it whenever it’s gone.
Undead 4: The Wights nuke those leftmost Tribal Spears in one go, Ghouls scratch 5 (!) damage into the left Herder with a hindered rear charge, the right Vampasus smacks the Beast up to 8 damage, and some Zombies slap 1 damage onto the last Shambler horde. Also the other Zombies make a play for the Herd’s DZ token.
Herd 4: The left flank is stressing me out, as I’ve got one hammer left over there and the Tribal Spears are really suffering against the Wights + Vampasus. So I launch the Herder and some Tribal Spears into the Wights (Herder couldn’t stand on the hill, naturally), with the other Tribal Spears charging the Zombies (possibly to get out of the way). Those Ghouls are a problem, so the Centaur Chief re-charges them to try to finish what he started. Both Zombies on the right find themselves in predicaments, including a long range flank from the Tribal Spears that have just been loitering on a token to the right. The Beast, meanwhile, keeps pounding on the Vampasus. Bane chant goes on the Spears fighting the Wights.
The Wights finally pop, thanks to strong Herder damage and stronger Nv rolls. Both Zombies on the right disintegrate and the Beast wavers her Vampasus! Sadly, the Centaur Chief fluffs against the central Ghouls. The Ghouls that have their pick of two rears and a flank 😦
Undead 5: Oof. Ghouls rear some Tribal Spears while the left Vampasus rears more Tribal Spears. Over on the right, the weakness Necromancer charges the Shamblers to disorder them, thus incapable of charging through him.
The rears are successful, blending both Tribal Spear regiments, and also giving my Tree Herder no LOS to either of them (I think he is facing the Zombies, he had turned to protect his rear from both Ghouls and Vampasus). My opponent at this point is real hot for Ghoul troops 😀 Also the Necro fails to boop the Shamblers.
Herd 5: The Shamblers flank the Vampasus – we’ve been playing that for move-blocking purposes a charge is one movement, including the pick-up-and-place, not a sequence of small movements. Could be we’re wrong, I know other players have interpreted it differently, but my opponent agreed so flank it was. She doesn’t survive. The Centaur Chief charges in to sit the other Vampasus down, and both Tree Herders face the center to catch a Vampasus. The Druid heals the left Herder down to 1 damage, then I think the Centaur Chief fails to wound the Vampasus?? Not seeing a damage die O_O
Undead 6: Those damned Ghouls charge off into the last of the Tribal Spears, who are also weakened by that damned Necromancer. Also the Centaur Chieft is charged by Zombies + Vampasus, in a bid to rout him and reform.
The Centaur Chief takes only 3 damage, holding like a champ! Meanwhile the Tribal Spears only take 2 damage from the Ghouls.
Herd 6: The left Herder giddily rears the Vampasus, with Centaur Chief in the front. The Beast flanks into the Zombies while the War Herder helps the Tribal Spears out with the Ghoul troop.
Mmm, success. All of the Undead, save two loathesome Necromancers, are purged from the swamp.
Undead 7: Well, this is awkward. The shroud Necromancer tries to repeat the magic from Game 4, by charging the Beast in hopes of either a lucky rout or more likely disordering her, so she can’t fly exactly to where my opponent is measuring. She flubs the 5+/5+ tho.
Herd 7: The Beast swoops off to claim another token, after which the War Herder charges the offending Necromancer, pulping her and backing up onto a token. With 6 of 7 tokens, that’s a resounding …

HERD VICTORY

While it feels good to have outfought smashy Undead a second time, the left flank showed the importance of keeping my own hammers in reach of my mainline units, as the Tribal Spears kept splashing up against those Wights and getting nothing done, and couldn’t get a bead on his Vampasus, who got up to some short range flying shenanigans, which I gather is what fly is really about, not just long bombing into flanks. Speaking of which, cred to the Beast of Nature, what a power piece. Easy to see how two is a staple and three is common for high end Nature / Herd – whenever I faced Nature in 2E I always had to fight 3x lightning battery Beasts, which is a different and blessedly defunct situation (lol because now they’re called Mindscreeches :P)

I’ve got another game to report on, this time against Ogres and with the Beast (ironically given the above praise) swapped out for Moonfang! Who I realized is the same points but gives me another inspiring and spreads vicious wherever he’s fighting (a bit like my favorite part of Wiltfather). Stay tuned!

THE HALLOW 4: UNDEAD

My buddy has been waffling on the Undead army he’s currently painting for the upcoming Crossroads GT, so I summoned him to my place to smash out a couple games in the name of hobby science. I also rebuilt the core of my list to gain a little more defense – and a handful of points – at the cost of offense I was rarely getting much out of.

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Beast of Nature – Wings, 7 Attaks
Tree Herder – Trickster’s Wand, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff, Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Centaur Chief – Blade of Slashing

Swapping the Spirit Walkers down to Tribal Spears feels good for the Def4 (relevant in a world of Piercing(1) shooting), plus the phalanx buff for whenever it comes into play (spoilers: not really yet), but keeps the 15 attaks so I can work some dice magic, especially in a flank. The Walkers WC(D3) didn’t really matter – 12+D3″ outranges Sp6 enemies, which is cool, but not really much else – and while the Me3+ is groovy, getting punched or shot first isn’t. I also really like getting them down to 135 pts, these regiments feel like the versatile chaff / scorers I wanted. Also the Beast makes her reappearance, and I think this is the first Centaur Chief? Who is damn amazing.

Undead 2300
Wights Horde – Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Wights Horde – Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – 10 Point Item
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – The Boomstick, Lightning Bolt (6)
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Weakness (2)
Necromancer – Shroud of the Saint, Surge (6), Heal (6)

His goal is to have trash control the field and objectives while the high quality Undead hammers smash things, which seems legit to me. Wights are honestly pretty frightening, between fly and Me3+ and so on. Soul Reaver blender regs are of course the hotness but I’ve been dealing with non-flying hammers for a long time, so a bit more of a shrug. I’m also a big fan of the Vamp Pegs and give them far more respect than Vamp Dragons.

We rolled up Plunder, which I dig as a scenario, bit more dynamic play involved. The Herd scouted and then took first as well.

BATTLE

Herd 0: Scouting phase!
Herd 1: Scooting phase! The Hallow take up position / grab almost all of the loot tokens (there’s one more hard to the left by the rock). The Beast menaces some angles from the lower-left, and in the center-right some Shamblers shelter behind a wall and tempt the Undead to try to unpack the right Soul Reavers and see what they’ve got when hindered. The Hex Herder pinged the weakness Necromancer as well.
Undead 1: The deadites scoot forward, with some Zombies ultimately slapping uselessly against the Shamblers on the wall, after trying to finagle a double charge with the Soul Reavers. Lightning however spikes into the Druid and wavers her!
Herd 2: With control of 6/7 loot points, the Hallow creeps back in the center, while charging out on the flanks. Zombies are flanked by Centaurs on the left and combo-charged by Tribal Spears and Centaurs on the right; to control the chaff game, more Spears jump on the leftmost Ghouls, and the Centaur Chief speeds off to sit down the surge Vamp Pegasus.
Herd 2: Right Zombies and those Ghouls get mulched, but the left Zombies hold the Centaur flank. The Vampasus is sat down.
Undead 2: The rage of the unliving is poured out all over the Hallow – Zombies counter Centaurs, Vampasus counters Centaur Chief, Soul Reavers + Zombies charge Tribal Spears, Vampasus 2 + Pathfinder Wights charge leftmost Shamblers, Ghouls charge center Shamblers (to get out of the way), and Zombies + Soul Reavers manage to hit the rightmost Shamblers. Whew.
Undead 2: Huge amounts of violence later, and only the Tribal Spears hit by Soul Reavers + Zombies rout! And the Centaur Chief is wavered. The Shamblers taking only 8 damage from Vampasus + Wights was certainly the biggest upset.
Herd 3: Made to bleed their own sap, the Hallow grabs as many flanks as possible and prepares for murder. L2R – Centaurs counter Zombies, Centaur Chief nimbles backwards to get in the way of the Soul Reavers, the Beast of Nature pounces on the flank of the lightning Vampasus, Shamblers + Tribal Spears hit the exposed Wights with a Tree Herder in the flank (!), center Shamblers counter their Ghouls, and right Shamblers counter the Soul Reavers with a flank from the Tribal Spears (their 2 pt loot tossed over to the Centaurs). The Druid bane chants somebody (gonna guess the Shamblers fighting the Wights), and the Hex Herder hits the weakness Necromancer again.
Herd 3: The left side of the board sees great success, with all combats routing the Undead. The Ghouls only wavering in the center is an insult, but the Soul Reavers wavering on the right is marginally acceptable.
Undead 3: The second wave of the dead hits the green line. L2R – the Soul Reavers can’t get past the Centaur Chief and into the Beast so grudgingly charge him, Zombies however can get in on her so charge the Beast, the surge Vampasus charges the mangled Shamblers on the hill (holding a 2 pt loot!), Ghouls charge the Tribal Spears near them, Wights blow their j-boots and hit the left Herder in the front, some Zombies fight some Tribal Spears, and more Zombies fight the right Shamblers. The weakness Necromancer pushes through the hex to weakness the right Shamblers, taking 4 damage for his troubles.
Undead 3: Centaur Chief and hill Shamblers get wrecked, otherwise damage happens, including the Beast getting grounded by Zombies 😡 Of note is the Herder copping 7 damage from the Wight charge … which I guess is math but still high five. The 2 pt loot token was not picked up by the Vampasus.
Herd 4: Sweet woodland carnage continues with another mass of counter/charges everywhere. Centaurs on the left flank Soul Reavers, the Beast pouts but counters her Zombies anyway, the hill Tribal Spears hit the Ghouls (sliding over and picking up the 2 pt loot token), the Herder hits the Wights, the central Shamblers aim to end their Ghouls, Tribal Spears to the right counter Zombies, weakened Shamblers counter more Zombies, and the Hex Herder charges the bleeding Soul Reavers with Tribal Spears in the flank. The Centaurs flanking the Soul Reavers enjoy the Druid’s bane chant. At this point I’ll note that the Vampasus is looking at a LOT of flanks and rears, so here’s hoping these combats work out!
Herd 4: The right Soul Reavers and Zombies are finally ground out, turning to face the center, and the center Ghouls rout and those Shamblers can turn to face the Vampasus as well. The Tribal Spears wreck their Ghouls as well, being able to turn to face, and more importantly block the rear of the Herder whomping on the Wights (5 damage). Sadly those Tribal Spears fighting Zombies near the center don’t poke enough … On the left the Beast slaps some Zombies, but really it’s about the Centaurs wavering the Soul Reavers! Hell yea.
Undead 4: Running low on both hammers and trash, the Undead grab what they can. Vampasus take that flank on Tribal Spears with Zombies in the front, Wights rev up to boop the Herder again, Zombies try to ground the Beast again, and Soul Reavers sadly turn to face their Centaur destroyers. The right Shamblers are weakened again.
Undead 4: The Herder drops to the Wights! But the Vampasus gets stuck in the Tribal Spears. The Beast must have been disordered as well.
Herd 5: The real question at this point is how to deal with the Undead hammers, and while the central Shamblers could have spun and been surged into the rear of the Vampasus, those Wights really needed to be held in place … So the central Shamblers hit the Wights, the right Zombies are flanked by the weakened Shamblers, the Tribal Spears see what they can do against the Vampasus (…), the weakness Necromancer is mobbed by hindered Tribal Spears, the left Zombies are flanked by more Spears in a bid to free the Beast, and the Centaurs hit the Soul Reavers in the front, despite Att6 being a really sad stat 😐 Bane chant goes on the center Shamblers, because they are gonna need it.
Herd 5: While both Zombie units rout, neither the Wights (13 damage!) nor the Vampasus (2 damage) care. The Tribal Spears on the Necromancer do 0 damage, failing to even disorder the crone, and while the Centaurs get the Soul Reavers up to 6 they can’t get another lucky waver. Gulp.
Undead 5: The Vampasus counters and explodes her Tribal Spears, the Wights one round the damage-less central Forest Shamblers (brutal tipped it over, plus me walking the Druid out of inspiring range), and the Soul Reavers get the Centaurs up to 18 damage but snake eyes it! What a swingy turn. The weakness Necromancer gets out of LOS and hits the right Shamblers with another weakness.
Herd 6: The Hallow collapses on the remaining Undead units, with the Tribal Spears flanking the Soul Reavers getting bane chanted.
Herd 6: While the Soul Reavers and Wights evaporated as anticipated, the Vampasus actually held the charge from Shamblers + Herder, albeit wavered.
Undead 6: In a final act of defiance, the shroud Necromancer changes the devastated Centaurs, hitting with her one attak and ………. I can’t remember if she rolled the 4+ to wound and then 2+ to rout, but let’s give it to my opponent 😀 Because this was a resounding …

HERD VICTORY

Actually, this my first win with the Herd! I didn’t realize that at the time, but that’s awesome! It was a helluva grind that I dictated from the beginning, when I grabbed 6 of 7 loot points in Turn 1. There’s plenty the Undead could have done – I felt like he was tripping over his chaff units as he struggled to unpack them, and the Wights hidden behind the central wood also meant they couldn’t see to charge, and I wasn’t giving him the range to push forward 7″ then surge in either. I do feel justified for fearing the Wights as much as I do, and his future lists are looking to lean more on them and less on the shiny Soul Reaver blenders.

As for my list, it felt really good to have the Spears over Walkers. Def4+ kept the Zombies or Ghouls from getting too lucky in the trash grind, and while phalanx didn’t come into play really, still having 15 attaks was grand, as was TC1 for flanking and second wave. Also the extra points to bring the Beast in, except in a list where she’s another tool and less of a desperation play like in Game 2.

We reracked and played another game immediately after this one, so stay tuned for more Undead stomping action!

THE HALLOW 3: RATKIN

In the run-up to the US Masters this weekend (spoiler: Go Herd!!), a bunch of the Northeast crew got together to dojo some games out before heading to Texas. My fledgling Verdant Herd got tossed into this pressure cooker as a matter of course 😀 I only had time for one game, and ended up playing Corey Reynolds’ Ratkin. Fun Fact: The last time I faced Corey was on the top table in a WHFB GT in Philly where I was playing Skaven and he was playing Wood Elves. He thoroughly outplayed me, but he isn’t called Mr. 300 for nothing. A note on this game, I didn’t take a ton of photos, as I was more keen to hang out and knew I’d be getting smashed to bits regardless 😐

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Tree Herder – The Wiltfather, Hann’s Sanguinary Scripture, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Druid – Lightning Bolt (2), Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Druid – Lightning Bolt (2), Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Forest Warden – Surge (4)

I knew I would need something a little heavier going into this den of masters, so I trotted out the Wiltfather and a second support Druid. I don’t personally love running Wiltdaddy – honestly his vicious aura is the hardest thing for me to say no to – due to his cost and his popularity, but I figured I should see how hard he can carry.

Ratkin 2300
Shock Troops Horde – Plague Pots, Heavy Halberds
Shock Troops Horde – Plague Pots
Warriors Horde
Clawshots Troop
Clawshots Troop
Clawshots Troop
Weapon Team
Weapon Team
Weapon Team
Mutant Rat-fiend
Mutant Rat-fiend
Scudku-z’luk – Lightning Bolt (5)
Mother Cryza – Lightning Bolt (5), Bane Chant (3)
Brood Mother – Blight Staff, Drain Life (5)

Wheeeeew, it’s a strong list, ok? And fairly 3E all told: fewer bodies, more speed, more shooting, more mobile scoring. He ended up taking a version to Masters that swapped Cryza’s bane chant to a Lute on the other Brood Mother, as the vanilla mom tended to take a more supportive role, etc.

We rolled up Dominate, which initially seemed to favor me (US 26 vs 19) but probably was a benefit for him, as he can direct the hammers and shooting and scoring to the same place. Herd also won priority and took it.

BATTLE

Rats 1: My chaffy left flank is met with all three Weapon Teams and a Clawshot. They spend the game mostly trying to escape to the right or shoving in to see how bad the rat dice are, in the Centaurs’ case. Turns out 30 weapon team shots are hard to mess up!
Rats 1: View of the action proper, with Herd mobilizing some chaff and taking residence in the wood. Centaurs have started taking damage from Clawshots but miraculously hold.
Herd 2: Chaffing up the Mutant Rat-Fiends / threatening Cryza with the Warden on the right, and delaying the Shock Troops on the left with a long hindered Spirit Walker charge. Any chip damage these charges did was undone by the Brood Mom between the two Shock Troop hordes or the MRF’s regen.
Herd 2: Also there’s Scudz, lurking in the shadow of a house and threatening down the line. (His lightning however did almost nothing all game, if not literally nothing!)
Herd 3: With the first wave (Walkers + Centaurs) dealt with, the Hallow sends in the next round. More Spirit Walkers hit the Brood Mom, Forest Shamblers head into the Centaurs’ MRF, and both Herders combine their surges to propel the winged Shamblers 10″ into some Shock Troops! They do ok damage, thanks in part to bane chant, but it’s not mindblowing (Rally 2 on everything is kind of a lot to deal with). The Forest Warden also grabbed a flank on Cryza, and despite being a champ (6 attaks = 5-6 damage) her Nv was crazy high thanks to rally too so nothing else.
Rats 3: MRF sneakiness ensues, with one corkscrewing the winged Shamblers (they live!) and the other very dexterously flanking some Spirit Walkers (they don’t live!) The other two Shamblers are ground on as well to little real effect. Skudz hops into the pond and kills those other Spirit Walkers harassing the Brood Mom.
Herd 4: The normal Tree Herder joins some Shamblers in hitting Cryza (she only wavers!), and the winged Shamblers turn to the left and are surged into the Shock Troop horde, which is evaporated under all the angry tree punches. The Wiltfather (who had surged said Shamblers in) menaces an MRF and board center.

Rats 4: One MRF flanks the winged Shamblers, along with Shock Troops to the front, ending their reign of terror. The other MRF rears the regular Herder, but fluffs and it lives! And the other Forest Shamblers are shot off the table.

Herd 5: The last of the Shamblers kill Cryz, the Wiltfather rears and obliterates one MRF, and the other Herder and/or Warden continue to pound on the other one.
Rat 6: After dropping the regular Herder last turn, the Rats hard zone the Herd out of the center, and continue to bath the Wiltfather in shooting of different flavors. The last Forest Shamblers hold firm, but are out of the Dominate range. Turn 7 happens! The Wiltfather smashes a Weapon Team but the Shock Troop horde can’t be ground out.
Rat 7: The Wiltdaddy tanks Scudz to the front and a Warrior horde to the rear, but as a last act of aggression the Shock Troops tear down the Forest Warden, who had a helluva game and caused a lot more damage than his 3 attaks suggests. But anyway, this was a foregone …

RATKIN VICTORY

It was cool to play Corey again after so long (he tends to run events, not play in them), and good to face Ratkin, something I’ve very rarely done, despite playing them myself. The game had a couple cool moments, like the 10″ surge and Forest Warden on a tear, but again I felt doubly outclassed. Oh, and it was cool to have the Wiltfather go so hard, tho as we see, one model doesn’t a domination make.

That’s my gaming backlog, hope to get a couple more games in soon! Til then!

THE HALLOW 2: OGRES

With plenty of time left in the afternoon and hungry for another kick in the teeth, my Ogre opponent and I re-racked and threw down once more 😤

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders
Centaur Bray Striders
Beast of Nature – Wings, 7 Attaks
Tree Herder – Trickster’s Wand, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Great Chieftain

This list traded in significant support – the Druid’s bane chant (+ heal) + inspiring and the Warden’s chaffing powers – to get my winged Beast into the mix:

Fun Fact: I’ve never played with a flying monster, just against them!

Ogres + Nature 2300
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Hunters Horde
Boomers Horde
Warrior Chariots Regiment – Mead of Madness?
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblins Spitters Regiment
Red Goblins Rabble Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Kuzlo & Madfall – Enthral (5), Hex (3)
Nomagarok – Bane Chant (3), Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (4)
Berserker Bully
Boomer Sergeant – Inspiring Talisman
+
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Unicorn – Wings, Lightning Bolt (5)

Great list is still great! He waffled about downgrading the Spitters to Rabble and using the extra points to I think push the Bully to a Warlord, but decide to stick it out as written.

We rolled up Salt the Earth, and shockingly I remembered to scout, although the Ogres would win and take priority.

BATTLE

Scouting moves! Beast is hard left and the second Centaur troop plus fourth Spirit Walker regiment is hard right. The right Tree Herder is intentionally in range of the Warrior Chariots and the Red Goblin Scouts, in the name of ‘Come At Me Bro’ Science.
Turn 1: The Ogres indeed come at me …
Turn 1: … and oh sweet dark forest gods, the Hex Herder falls O_O (partially thanks to Nomnom’s bane chant, partially thanks to great dice). My respect for chariot regiments skyrockets (spoilers for my current Herd list ;P), but also Shamblers take damage from shooting to the left and Scouts to the right.
Turn 1: I openly debate restarting, however decide to soldier on sans 1 Herder, again for Science. The Scouts are mobbed and torn to shreds by three units (for unknown reasons, though partially to get them all up the board together), and the rest of the Hallow either threatens charges or forces the big meaty hands of the Ogres. I did not burn my objectives and 100% would regret it later.
Turn 2: Oh lord, they coming! Charges slam in across the line: Braves to Shamblers, Hunters to Herder, Chariot to Shamblers, Hunters to Walkers, Bully to Walkers annnnd Kuzlo to Centaurs hard right.
Turn 2: A lot of damage is dished out …
Turn 2: … like a lot of damage! Astoundingly the only casualty is the Centaur troop derping down the center of the board.
Turn 2: Winged Shamblers corkscrew the Hunters, Spirit Walkers hit their other flank, and Herder and bashed up Shamblers hit them in the front.
Turn 2: The Hunters, well, they don’t make it 🍻 The Herder overruns and the units prepare to receive. Also peep that Beast of Nature nimbling into delicious flanks.
Turn 2: Over on the right, Shamblers punch 6 damage into the Chariots, two Spirit Walker regs scrabble 10 damage into the Hunters (wavered!), and it looks like Kuzlo and the Centaurs are having a grand ol’ time still.
Turn 3: The Ogres tee up another round of violence …
Turn 3: … as is their want (Chariots into Shamblers, Bully into Walkers, Kuzlo back in to end it).
Turn 3: Shamblers and Spirit Walkers are shot off to the left; Shamblers, Spirit Walkers and Centaurs are finished off the right. The Herder absorbs the flank from the Braves and the last remaining Shamblers absorb the other Braves’ affections.
Turn 3: With units left to grind with, the Hallow grinds on! Spirit Walkers + Shamblers hit some Braves, the flying Beast rears the other Braves while their Herder flanks the Rabble and the Spirit Walkers on the right try to pop the Hunters and the Great Chieftain powers into the Chariot regiment to similarly tip them over.
Turn 3: Everything touched, dies. Hell yea.
Turn 4: Ogres line up shooting on the left and send solos into combat on the right.
Turn 4: While the Spirit Walkers finally bite it to the right, the only result on the left is pushing the Herder up to 10 damage.
Turn 4: The Herd is feeling quite light on the field, but keep on smashing, double charging the Boomers as the Beast lines up next turn. The Great Chieftain leaves Nomnom to go mess with Spitters (easier marks than the power solos to the right). Damage happens but it’s not enough to keep the momentum up.
Turn 5: The Ogres, meanwhile, have a lot of tools and they apply them liberally. No Herd member falls but both the Beast and Great Chieftain waver :/ The Bully has slunk off to the right to hold a token for a couple turns.
Turn 5: Beast and Great Chieftain waver around, while the Herder flanks the Boomers and helps the Spirit Walkers pulp them.
Turn 6: The Ogres keep it classy, finishing off 3 of 4 Herd units with charges, including that pinky-finger-up Unicorn rear charge into the Herder. Chef kiss. The Beast cops 2 damage from shooting, bringing it to 4.
Turn 6: The Beast dives the Boomer Sergeant to try for a one-round, but whether or not it worked, the Ogres hold 3 tokens to the Herd’s 0, meaning we’ve got another …

OGRE VICTORY

As appropriate as it is that the Beast of Nature was the only surviving model, she clearly wasn’t able to carry the game by herself, particularly a game that I started 275 points down thanks to baiting with the Hex Herder. Upon review, I’m surprised I did as well as I did (apart from holding 0 tokens), tho with so much highly maneuverable shooting, even if I had burned every token I controlled and made a concerted, cagier play for the Ogre’s tokens, I doubt I would have had much surviving at the end to claim said tokens.

My main feelings after these first two games were a) it felt great to play KOW again, what a game; and b) I really don’t know what Herd in general and this list in particular wants to be doing. The Lycan spam list is probably the only Herd list that I can immediately see the strength in really, but I love how this army looks and I’d like to make the combination of decent infantry regiments and cheap large infantry hordes work together. But it is pretty clear that I need a dedicated hammer, the grind doesn’t really work for Herd or in the meta in general.

Stay tuned for the next report, where I face rats piloted by a Master!

THE HALLOW 1: OGRES

With the army based and lockdown lifting, I was finally able to get a couple games in with the Herd! Against my clubmate and usual punching bag, who at this point was putting in reps for the upcoming US Masters tournament in July 2021. Not expecting great results, I selected one of the many lists I had brought and gathered the angry tree things together for the first time …

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Tree Herder – Trickster’s Wand, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Great Chieftain – Mead of Madness, Sabre-Toothed Hunting Cat
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff, Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Forest Warden – Surge (4)

I decided to bring the most varied version of the list to start out, including a much-maligned Great Chieftain! I also brought along the Trickster’s Wand thanks to the improvements to hex in Halpi’s, as well as the change to having more Spellcaster 1+ wizards in the game, when previously it felt like most people just took Spellcaster 0 casters that are immune to hex.

Ogres + Nature 2300
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Hunters Horde
Boomers Horde
Warrior Chariots Regiment – Mead of Madness?
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblins Spitters Regiment
Red Goblins Rabble Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Kuzlo & Madfall – Enthral (5), Hex (3)
Nomagarok – Bane Chant (3), Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (4)
Berserker Bully
Boomer Sergeant – Inspiring Talisman
+
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Unicorn – Wings, Lightning Bolt (5)

By all accounts, this is a great list. In my mind Ogres tend to be one-note slow melee armies, but high end Ogre lists like this one are in reality fast melee armies with surprising amounts of ranged damage and a strong ability to play the scenario, thanks to everybody scoring. Add to that the premier allies package courtesy Halpi’s making Heartpiercers unlock, and you’ve got a supremely flexible toolbox of a list.

The Hallow’s first game would be Dominate, which was certainly welcome for my first game of 2021 as well. I won the roll off and took it … and of course I forgot to scout before rolling 😛

BATTLE

Battelines!
Turn 1: The Herd scouts / shambles / sprints forward. I barely know what I’m doing, and the Ogres both out-charge and out-shoot me to degrees I haven’t planned for :X
Turn 1: The Ogres keep it cagey, staying out of charge ranges with the exception of Kuzlo, who has ripped down the right flank and rotated in. Nomnom tags the Warden with 2 damage, and the Heartpiercers stick 2 onto the Druid as well, wavering her.
Turn 2: Stumpy feet shuffle around a little? The Warden demands to be dealt with over in the shooty forest, and the right Centaurs gore Kuzlo for 3 damage. That one Herder lands a hex on the Unicorn too! Result!
Turn 2: Here we go! Kuzlo counters the Centaurs, Hunters + Chariots hit some Shamblers in a puddle, Berserker Braves tango with other Shamblers, other Hunters hit some Spirit Walkers on the hill, the Berserker Bully rushes in and punches more Shamblers, the other Braves rocket forward and hit the leftmost Spirit Walkers, and on the far left the gobbo Scouts charge their Centaur counterparts. Only the Centaurs and the Walkers on the hill rout, the rest of the Herd holds – in the puddle Shamblers’ case, somewhat preposterously (10 damage, 1-2 of it from the Hunters’ 18 @ 4/4+). Oh, also the Warden is evaporated by the shooting bunker.
Turn 3: Sweet, sweet counter-offensive. The Centaurs go back into Kuzlo, the Hunters in the puddle are flanked by Spirit Walkers (who avoid hindering on the wall thanks to the Great Chieftain escorting them in), the Chariots are corkscrew flanked by (bane chanted) Shamblers and fronted by the banged up ones, the Hunters on the hill are booped in the front by a Hex Herder, the left Shamblers counter the Bully, the Other Herder pressures the shooty forest annnd the left Walkers hit the Braves as they wait for the hero Scouts to flank them. While no combat goes poorly, the rout dice are only there for the puddle combats, so the grind continues. (Note that the Radiances of Life are popping off from the Herders all game, where applicable.)
Turn 3: The leftmost Spirit Walkers are eaten by the Red Goblin Scouts in the flank, and the Centaurs way on the right are devoured by Kuzlo and/or Madfall. The mangled Shamblers in the puddle are dropped by shooting, as the grind continues across the center of the board.
Turn 4: The Other Herder finally makes contact with the Boomers and the Great Chieftain doubles back and re-pins Kuzlo in place, while the rest of the combats grind on, resulting primarily in the death of the Berserker Bully. Surviving Spirit Walkers push through cover to become relevant / be harder to hit.
Turn 4: The left Braves grab a rear charge on the Other Herder and the Red Goblin Rabble pounce on the Spirit Walkers emerging from their woods, as the shooters begin descending on the center. The Ogres (and friends) pound a lot of damage around – Other Herder to 11, Hex Herder to 7, winged Shamblers to 4, pond Shamblers to 6, pond Walkers to 5, wood Walkers to 1 (damn you goblins!) – but the Herd holds.
Turn 5: Finally, the Herd grinds out almost all of their Ogre dancing partners. The Boomers are smashed, the left Braves get reared and routed by winged Shamblers, and the other Braves fall to the pond Shamblers. Annoyingly the Rabble soak up the affections of the wood Walkers, while the Hex Herder keeps on getting whittled down by the Hunters on the hill.
Turn 5: The theme of stuff finally dying continues with both Tree Herders falling, one to the Boomer Sergeant’s firepower and the other to a furious flank from Nomnom. The pond Spirit Walkers are ‘pierced and ‘bolted to death as well.
Turn 6: It may be late in the game, but somehow the Herd still have gas in the tank! Shamblers hit the fresh Boomer Sarge and one round him (!), as the other Shamblers launch from the pond into the rear of the hill Hunters, tearing them asunder at long last. Speaking of murder, the Spirit Walkers turn on and blend the Rabble over in the wood. You can also see the Great Chieftain still kicking it with Kuzlo over far right.
Oh no.
Turn 6: The hill Shamblers are sandwiched and murdered by goblins (Nomnom was present) 😐 Also the last of the Spirit Walkers are ventilated by Heartpiercers, and the Druid survives a charge from the Unicorn (tho she is wavered). Somehow the Great Chieftain survives another round with Kuzlo.
Turn 7: We head into accidental overtime with the last of the Shamblers punching some Spitters. The Great Chieftain slaps Kuzlo some more.
Turn 7: The Spitters scratch 1 damage onto the Forest Shamblers, and the Druid survives another charge from the Unicorn! (Tho again wavered – here she’s already nimbled away in Turn 8.)
Turn 8: We roll for an extra turn this time and get it! The Shamblers punch the Spitters into the dirt, then absorb a round of shooting in the Ogre half to survive the game. The Druid, on the other hand, is finally run down by the Unicorn. (The Great Chieftain would end the game on 4 damage, facing Kuzlo on 0 :P) With US 3 vs 5, that’s an …

OGRE VICTORY

I’m pretty shocked I did this well, especially with how light on tools the army felt to me. Locking Kuzlo down all game helped a lot in keeping any semblance of control, but judging by all the flanks and rear charges things were certainly a little wonky. I do feel like I have my buddy’s dice to thank for any work I got done, from that early pond fight to the Herders’ resilience, and so on.

We flew into a second game right after this one, look for the right up soon.

QUARANTINE ARMY: THE HERD 🍃

What is up, Bloodfirers! Like many gamers, I spent lockdown 2020-2021 trying really hard to not buy all the things (and mostly failing but the LGS needed supporting, dammit) and to paint at least a few things, which admittedly was pretty difficult without any gaming happening. Luckily Kings of War is endlessly inspiring for me, which combined with my backlog and the 3D printer I got in July 2020, meant I eventually did add another mediocre KOW army to my stables 😅

The concept was to use up a ton of Golem Arcana prepainted single sculpts I got when Miniature Market liquidated them, combined with a bunch of Mantic zombies + GW dryads I had for infantry … but I can’t stand mold lines, so once I got my printer I stepped sideways into some similar dark fae / treemonic sculpts from Lord of the Print (the last two ‘centaur chiefs’ are from MiniMonsterMayhem). Would I have done the army differently if I didn’t have all the prepaints already and had my printer from the start? Absolutely, there are dozens of great spooky tree people/monsters to be printed. That said, I’m happy with the project, it was a ton of fun to paint (almost all contrast + washes), and it cleared a big chunk from the backlog so success!

List-wise, I’m running it as Herd, because ain’t nobody play them, and because I really like the infantry regiment options. The army is about 3k painted, with probably one more BIG model to be added, and through the (quickie) reports to come you’ll probably see me struggling to get to grips with what I can get the list to do.