GAME 32: ABYSSALS

After our beatdown at the hands of STG we plummeted down to the bottom and faced Beef & Wings, a crew of 40k players with limited KOW experience, great attitudes and plentiful margaritas ❤ A wonderful follow-up all told.

CROSSROADS GAME 2: TEAM BEEF & WINGS

– Forces of the Abyss vs Salamanders
– Night Stalkers vs Ogres
– Night Stalkers vs Orcs
– ??? vs Night Stalkers

BLOODFIRE GAME 32: ABYSSALS

Abyssals 2250

Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Abyssal Guard Regiment
Abyssal Guard Regiment
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment – Blessing of the Gods
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment – Cat Potion
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment – Fire-Oil
The Lord of Lies – Lightning Bolt (7)
The Well of Souls
Archfiend of the Abyss – Drain Life (6), Brew of Haste, Wings

A weird list with some truly frightening flying monsters. As you’ll see I continually underestimated the Lord of Lies . . . Worth noting that this was the player’s second game of KOW using physical minis. Respect.

Second round was Push (1 token), and whoever won initiative the Abyssals headed out first.

BATTLE


Battlelines! Lord of Lies = white GUO, Well = swirly mutalith vortex, Archfiend = Belakor! Salamander push token is on a central Fire Elemental horde and Abyssal token is on the Well.

Abyssals roll out! Lord of Lies and Archfiend pound down the right flank as the cavalry gallop in towards the flank of fire.

Bloodfire sludge forward, Sprites voyaging out for a proper chaff-off with all of those Gargoyles.

The Abyssals close further, while some Gargs pounce on the rightmost Sprites, doing 5 damage and wavering them.

Sallies pounce on the Abyssal chaff, sending Fire + Sprites into one, Fire into another and dispatching Agnes to laser off the ones harrying the Sprites. Yet more Sprites scoop up the central push counter as the rest of the red tide flows forward.

The Gargoyles do not survive ;D And the little Mage prays all 5 wounds off of those Sprites.

The Abyssals strike back, Guard charging Sprites and more Guard combo-charging the extended Fire Elementals with some Horsemen, while the final Gargoyles swoop down on those same Sprites on the right flank. Off shot the Archfiend starts to round the building in the Bloodfire zone, tagging the little Mage with his lightning and popping her.

The Guards drive off their Sprites, however the Gargoyles do a single damage to theirs and the Fire horde absorbs 10 damage and holds – possibly without inspiring in range!

The pummeling intensifies as the left Abyssal Guard are slammed by two hordes of Fire Elementals, the Guard next to them are counter-charged by the wounded horde, and the last of the Gargoyles are plowed into by Agnes and those besieged Sprites. The Sprites give their token to the courageous Fire horde. The CLOFD gets double bane-chanted and vomits on the left Horsemen for a few damage.

Combat is fairly expected, with the double-charged Guard melted, the counter-charged Guard relatively fine and the Gargoyles snatched from the air and splattered by Agnes and her tiny friends.

Abyssal Turn 4 starts with the Well pulling the damage off the wounded Horsemen, who flank the wounded Fire Elementals as the Guard head back into their front. They drive their elemental foes up to 17 damage but snake eyes the rout! The Lord of Lies tackles Agnes for 2 damage and the rightmost Horsemen finish off those accursed Sprites.

Fire Elementals mob the Abyssal Guard, reducing them to a whiff of brimstone. Agnes and the courageous Fire horde slam the Lord of Lies but can’t even manage to waver him (8 damage?), and the Fire horde who was lucky enough to charge the Archfiend smash a sterling 9 damage into him but again can’t even waver. In less violent news, the big Mage heals Agnes for 1 damage and the CLOFD pukes a few more wounds into the same Horsemen from before.

Turn 5 begins with the Well cleaning up the Horsemen again . . . and my heart dropping as Agnes is flanked by the Archfiend and counter-charged by the Lord of Lies. The healed Horsemen charge into the mangled Fire Elementals and the courageous horde takes a charge from a fresh Horsemen regiment.

Agnes doesn’t make it. Nor does that Fire horde up top, although the courageous horde is fine.

Fire Elementals rage, swarming those Horsemen up top, counter-charging the central Horsemen and heading into the Archfiend for vengeance. The Well comes under fire from the CLOFD and the big Mage bane-chants the horde about to slag the Archfiend.

The Archfiend and the surrounded Horsemen get pulped. The central Horsemen merely get batted around.

Abyssal Turn 6 sees the Well absorb the central Horsemen damage and charge the token-holding Sprites (who picked it up from the courageous horde at some point), looking to tip the objective game. The Lord of Lies scoots his little base into the flank of the courageous horde (!) as Horsemen charge their front

A thrilling success: Sprites are eaten, healing the Well in the process, and the Lord + Horsemen disperse the Nv 19 Fire horde.

Bloodfire snaps shut on the remnants of the Abyssals, CLOFD + flanking Fire horde grabbing the Well, another Fire horde flanking the Horsemen, and yet more Fire Elementals charging the Lord for another round.

*boom*

Turn 7 happens! The final Horsemen charge the Fire horde with the Well’s token, doing a respectable 8 damage but bouncing. They get flanked + fronted by Fire Elementals and melted to slag.

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

And big wins for all of Team Cuddle Time, thanks Beef & Wings!

Up Next: UNPLUGGED RADIO

GAME 31: ELVES

Crossroads GT this year was a four-man team tourney, which basically meant it was a standard 2250 COK18 event with an added minigame where captains haggled over who got to play whom and what scenarios they’d use. I never really got the hang of the process, and I’m still not confident I got any of them right, but our team was intentionally pretty weak and we were just there to cuddle.

TEAM CUDDLE TIME
– Salamanders (fire elemental / breath weapon spam)
– Night-Stalkers (blood worm legion + mind screech spam)
– Ogres (balanced with chariots + boomers)
– Orcs (balanced with chariots + boomers)

For our first game we played STG, and during matchups I took the worst matchup on myself, to save my teammates the displeasure of playing a brutal af Elf list.

CROSSROADS GAME 1: TEAM STG

– Elves vs Salamanders
– Dwarfs vs Orcs
– Varangur vs Ogres
– ??? vs Night Stalkers

BLOODFIRE GAME 31: ELVES

Salamanders 2250

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

Hot sauce board with hot tamale dispenser created for the event ;D All my team did cute patterned cloth boards instead of using our display bases, which wouldn’t have matched anyway.

Not too mind-exploding of a list tweak, just a pip of Nv on the special horde as opposed to a diadem that I used in 2/5 games at Keystone. These dudes were always overextending and taking it on the chin, so more survival is more better. Extra points went into BC on the inspiring priest, which seems like a nutty number of spells (4!) but then again I found I occasionally wanted to throw some more BC out however the little priest was busy martyring things and couldn’t be bothered to chant things. I’d rather have the option than not, and frankly if I didn’t have all those shambling hordes I wouldn’t be taking surge at all, it’s really there for that once a game spin-and-charge.
Elves 2250

Kindred Archer Horde – Heart-seeking Chant
Kindred Archer Horde – Wine of Elvenkind
Stormwind Cavalry Regiment – Cat Potion
Drakon Rider Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Drakon Rider Horde – Brew of Strength
Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Elven Mage – Heal (3), Bane Chant (2), Black Iron Crown
Noble War Chariot – Inspiring Talisman
Dragon Kindred Lord – Chant of Hate

So this list was designed by the TO and being piloted by an AOS player who had started KOW about two weeks before. This was exceedingly painful to face, and the guy was apologetic, as it turned out much nastier than he anticipated and he spent the weekend apologizing to everybody as a result. Fun Fact: he did lose one match, vs some hero in round five.

I gave us Dominate, one of my stronger scenarios, though honestly I should have done Invade if I really wanted a chance at the draw, as I could have refused the flank. Bloodfire won initiative.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

Bloodfire takes a deep breath and rolls out.

Bam! Elves Turn 1 and the pincers form. The left two Sprites are blown away by Archers.

With few other options, the red tide pushes further into the center, while preparing to engage on the left. The cheeky rightmost Sprites enter the woods and barf a wound on the Noble Chariot.

The Elves take up position . . .

. . . and bring the heat. Shockingly none of the Fire Elemental hordes pop, despite significant damage.

Sally 3 sees me pull a trick from that last game with Elves: I overextend to entice him to engage with his dragon, so I can maul it at the cost of a horde, by charging one of the offered Dragon Breaths. Otherwise my mages heal / pray a die of damage off the mangled horde while Sprites puke a wound off the other central Dragon Breath. Its sister is pulped by the Fire horde, which foolishly doesn’t reform to face the Dragon – I hear the voice of my last Elf opponent saying I shouldn’t be afraid of Archers rearing me, they’ve got better things to do.

The Elves pounce! Which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t also shoot, bringing the Fire Elementals with Brew of Courage (the quadruple elemental unit) up to 13 and popping them (@ 19 Nv) – removing the dragon’s reprisal – and putting a stunning 9 damage into Agnes.

In combat the Dragon shreds its wounded quarry, the Sprites flanked by the Noble annoyingly waver, and the Stormwind do a solid 9 damage to their Fire horde but bounce.

Bloodfire returns the favor where able, sending Fire + Agnes in the flank into the Stormwind and flanking the Noble in chariot.

The CLOFD tags 3 damage into the Dragon, the little Mage prays a solid 6 damage off of Agnes, and Elves get dead in the combat phase, earning me at least 1 VP whatever happens.

With their keen eyes and pointy ears, the Elves spy double overruns I didn’t see – and am fakking furious with myself for. I hate when I do these things, as they’re entirely avoidable. Anyway, Dragon -> big Mage -> Fire horde’s rear and Drakon -> little Mage -> 5” overrun into CLOFD’s flank. Oh, also other Drakon into fresh Fire horde.

The Drakon’s evaporate the little Mage and slam a 6” on the overrun, flanking and obliterating the CLOFD as well (which was not such a sure bet, considering hindering and whatever . . . except that his dice were on fire the whole game, and apparently every game of the tournament; he apologized some more but in my experience Elf players always have hot dice, go figure).

The big Mage is devoured and the Fire horde stomped out by the Dragon, while the other Drakon roll like insane baby dragons and do 11 to their Fire horde, who somehow hold. Worst of all though? Agnes is gunned down by Dragon Breath + bane-chanted piercing Archers. Sweet hell.

Bloodfire 5, for vengeance! A wounded Fire horde smashes another Dragon Breath while a more wounded one puts 2 (!) wounds on their Drakon. Coincidentally that’s the same number of wounds the remaining Sprites do to the other Drakon.

It’s an orgy of violence as the Elves pull the noose tight and kick out the supports. Some Archers flank and pop a Fire horde (*golf clap for style points, young sir*), other Archers scatter some Sprites, Drakons eat the remaining Sprites, more Drakons finish off their mangled Fire horde annnnd the Dragon eats the Herald, putting an end to the spicy scourge.

BLOODFIRE LOSS

So yea. That was rough. I also can’t remember being tabled in a tournament game of KOW, let alone in Turn 5! The dude’s next opponent was likewise tabled, and was seen wandering the hall in a daze, muttering to himself, “”But . . . I’’ve never been tabled. Ever . . .””

The team as a whole did very badly, with 1 losing draw, 2 loses with 1 VP (me!) and one total loss. Oof.

Up Next: BEEF & WINGS

GAME 30: ELVES

Final round, now much more awake and having eaten some pizza for gaming power. Up against one of the largely-similar Elves armies, but happily the somewhat sorter range version (Dragon Breaths instead of Bolt Throwers) commanded by Allen. I wasn’t real thrilled at the prospect of being shot and drakon’d into the dirt, but hey ho.

BLOODFIRE GAME 30: ELVES

Elves 2250

Kindred Archer Horde – Heart-seeking Chant
Kindred Archer Horde – Wine of Elvenkind
Palace Guard Troop
Palace Guard Regiment
Drakon Rider Horde – Fire-Oil
Drakon Rider Horde
Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Army Standard Bearer – War-Bow
Army Standard Bearer on Horse – Diadem of Dragonkind
Elven Mage – Bane Chant (2), Black Iron Crown
Elven Mage on Horse – Circlet of Blood
Dragon Kindred Lord – Blade of Slashing

Seems like pretty standard fair for competitive Elves. The Dragon Breath were good to see, as it meant he intended to engage (though most likely they’re in the list for anti-flier work? Or other hyper-aggro builds).

Fifth round was Occupy, with his primary marker waaaaay in the back left of my zone. Enjoy holding that, whatever noble Elf is sent to push the button. Bloodfire won initiative or might have been given it.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

The Bloodfire ambles out once more. Terrain is hugged, hills are annoying.

Bam! Elves Turn 1 and the elementals are already corralled. That’s how it’s done, kiddos. A unit of Sprites is murdered by the nimble archers on the right.

The red battleline bows out, as it does, continuing to keep terrain in the way. Sprites apply light damage to the left Dragon Breath and right Archer horde.

The Elves increase the pressure in response. The flankers continue to loom while Dragon Breaths roll into range and the Palace Guard troop hurls itself into a Fire horde exposed by the Sprites’ death. The flame throwers result in 4 Ember Sprite wounds and the Palace Guard hack 3 damage into the Fire horde.

Bloodfire 3, and I’m too tired to keep waiting his flank out. Two Fire hordes charge into a Dragon Breath and the engaged Fire horde counter-charges the Palace Guard. Sprites move up and breath on the other Dragon Breath, wavering it, and the bane-chanted CLOFD lathers the nimble Archers with some damage.

After combats. I struggled a bit with how to reform those Fire hordes off of the Dragon Breath, and ultimately reformed them thusly. He immediately charged the Drakon Riders in their flank, at which point I paused the game:

BS: “So yea, that’s obvious. Can I ask if there was a better way to reform?”
A: “You probably would have faced them both towards the Drakon. The Palace Guard are out and I’m not going to send Archers into their flank.”
BS: “But would you have charged one in the front?”
A: “Probably not.”
BS: “Right. Let’s grind.”

Part of me felt dumb for the flank (on my more expensive horde too), but part of me knew that I needed to trade out a piece if we were going to come to grips with enough time for me to retaliate. I needed him to come within 12”, and this was by far the easiest way to make that happen.

Yep, it’s Drakon o’clock. Shooters get range to things and the Palace Guard regiment jams the CLOFD.

Piercing Archers slam 8 damage into the leftmost Fire horde, the Dragon fries the last of the Sprites, and the nimble Archers land 3 damage on the CLOFD. In combat, the flanking Drakon rip right through the Diadem horde, as expected. More surprising is the front-charging Drakon landing 12-15 damage and one-rounding a -/18 Fire Elemental horde! (Math says 9 O_O) So I guess I won’t be flanking them for great justice. Or at least not the mundane way 😛

Bloodfire 4: The Elementals Strike Back! A fresh Fire horde tackles the Drakons up top while Agnes hits the lower ones in the front. A walk, pivot and surge later, and there’s a Fire horde in their flank as well ;] The CLOFD deigns to charge the Palace Guard, preferring to shoot them with 16 unhindered breath attaks, thanks – which is super effective, routing the unit! The double-teamed Drakon get pulverized, however the ones in the Elf half of things take a gentle 5 damage for no result. (Also the martyr Mage-Priest cleans up the surged Fire horde a bit.)

Elfish vengeance strikes hard and fast. The leftmost Fire horde, fresh from flanking the Drakon Riders, is hit with Dragon Breath, Dragon fire and piercing arrows, and is thoroughly routed. The CLOFD likewise suffers the attention of Elven Archers, but the pond he’s been hanging out keeps the damage low (6 total). The surviving Drakon Riders, bane-chanted back to 3+/3+, rolling out of the box again, sinking a bonkers 12-15 damage and one-rounding the Fire horde that had charged them. What is going on with these dudes?!

Aye, that’s a flank then!

Turn 5, looking pretty light on the ground. The last of the Fire Elementals hits the rampaging Drakon in the front with the CLOFD tackling them in the flank (both hindered). After a bit of healing, the Fire horde fluffs a bit but the Clan Lord picks up the slack, shattering the unit at long last. Agnes and her support staff consolidate on a secondary objective.

The Elves prepare for the end game. The piercing Archers prepare to take the other secondary and shoot some monsters next turn, while the nimble Archers contest my primary objective and the diadem ASB blocks the CLOFD just outside of 3”. Not the Fire Elemtanl-sized hole: the nimble Archers + diadem riddle it with damage and the Circlet of Blood boils them to nothingness. Brutal.

Meanwhile, the mighty Dragon Rider sails off to push the win button :/

Bloodfire 6. So much thought when into this turn, trying to figure out ways to both kill the nimble Archers and get the CLOFD within 3” of the marker. In the end it just wasn’t possible this turn, especially with the incoming piercing Archers, but I could have set Agnes up for a Turn 7 charge into the marker, rather than doing nothing with her. Or at the least used her to heat ray the ASB on pony. Anyway, some fun late game, small scale KOW mind games.

What did happen was the CLOFD and both Mage-Priests roasting the nimble Archers, leaving my primary objective with no one contesting it but also no one within 3” to control.

Elves 6 drops one more hammer. The piercing Archers ventilate the CLOFD and then the Mage with Circlet of Blood boils him back to his bloodfire molecules. Annnnd then the war-box ASB shoots the lil’ martyr Mage-Priest and pops her :O


Agnes: NOOOOOOOOOOOO

There’s no Turn 7, capping of an entire tournament of six round games for me. Oh, also a …

BLOODFIRE LOSS

But a much more fun game than I expected. Allen was engaging to play and I very much enjoyed the late game resource management. Still disappointed I didn’t play for the Turn 7 better re: Agnes, who did so very little this game, but it was a moot point ultimately.

With that I ended up going 2 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, which is pretty typical for me and totally fine. I also walked away with the best painting score this army has gotten, which is probably more to do with the generous rubric used and less the awesome-ness of the painting, but also totally acceptable!

Also happy to announce that Bloodfire will be traveling to the Crossroads GT in September. I had thought about swapping them out for my Ratkin, but I’m so tuned into this army it feels dumb to switch horses mid-apocalypse, especially as Crossroads is a team tournament where I (Capt. Salvage) can influence matchups and give the army the leg up it needs, especially when it comes to scenarios. There’ll probably be a practice match between now and then, apart from some rat experiments I ran last weekend which went pretty pear-shaped O_O

GAME 29: DWARFS

Bright and early day two, I’m up against Steve, another player I’ve played near for years but never actually faced (also Tim’s team mate). An added bonus is that Steve is a very chill, very patient dude. On my part, I was very, very tired from staying up way too late playing Rising Sun and chatting the night before. As one does at tournaments.

BLOODFIRE GAME 29: DWARFS

Dwarfs + Basileans 2250

Ironclad Horde – Brew of Haste
Earth Elemental Horde
Earth Elemental Horde
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Healing Brew
Ironbelcher Organ Gun
Ironbelcher Organ Gun
Berserker Lord on Brock – Blade of the Beast Slayer
Stone Priest – Bane Chant (2), Martyr’s Prayer (7), Inspiring Talisman
Stone Priest – Bane Chant (2), Martyr’s Prayer (7), Amulet of the Fire-heart
Steel Behemoth
+
Elohi Horde

Pretty standard Dwarf fare, nothing too crazy, with pairs of important stuff where able. Fun Fact: There were 5 Dwarf armies at this GT, more than any other faction! Madness

Fourth round was Push, and with 1 token each it was blessedly simple. Dwarfs won initiative and get the push going.

BATTLE


Blurry Battlelines!

Dwarfs in the midst of rolling out. Getting that speedy flank a-flanking first thing. Pretty sure his push token is in the Ironclad horde at the moment.

Bloodfire saunters forward in response, getting that battleline wheel a-wheeling. Push token is on the central Fire horde.

Dwarfs continue encircling the elemental force – Elohi are to the left of that pond, facing inwards. Organ Guns and possible the Behemoth splatter two units of Ember Sprites. Rest In Pepperonis, little dudes.

The Bloodfire battleline continues canting around. The Diadem horde on the far right and maybe the Sprites near them land some wounds on the rightmost Organ Gun. The tension is mounting!

The Dwarfs refuse to engage! Organ Guns patter into the Diadem horde and the nearby Sprites, but only cause chip damage.

Turn 3 and Bloodfire has potentially disastrous charges it can declare? Here we go! Two Fire Elemental hordes slam into the right Earth Elemental horde, reducing them to slag with the help of at least one bane chant. Meanwhile, the Diadem horde on the right charges and obliterates an Organ Gun, preparing to ride the obstacle into the next one. Sprite fire and hopefully the Clan Lord chips at the Ironclad horde, while Agnes heat rays the surviving Earth Elementals.

Dwarf 4 and apart from giving a Fire horde a really bad time, the stunties for the most part continue to hold off. Elohi fly deeper into the Bloodfire DZ, with Brocks preparing to invade either side of the board as needed. Worth noting that the Brock Riders on the Bloodfire side of the table are carrying the push token at this point (and are the pathfinder Brocks).

Yep, those Fire Elementals get dead. Their buddies nearby take some damage from the Organ Gun before it gets creamed next turn.

Agnes and some Fire Elementals (bane chanted) slam into the Earth Elementals, reducing them to ash, while other Fire Elementals pound on the Behemoth and yet more Fire Elementals melt down the other Organ Gun. The CLOFD attempts to assassinate an Stone Priest but can’t roll hot enough.

Post smoldering beatdown.

The Dwarfs bring the pain Turn 5. Ironclad tackle Agnes in the front, Behemoth + Brock Riders + Berserker Lord hit the Behemoth’s Fire horde, and the Elohi sweep into the Herald, with an easy overrun into the CLOFD’s flank. I’m kicking myself at this point, I always seem to have a game where I setup such a stupid individual overrun. Brocks to the south also nom up some Sprites.

Better to be lucky than good XD The mega charge against the Fire horde rolls snake eyes, leaving them at 22 damage! And the Elohi painfully fluff their hits against the Herald, dealing just 3 damage for no result. Agnes takes a pretty hearty 5 damage but seriously, Steve’s dice just saved my butt.

Time to capitalize on the Dwarfs misfortune. The mangled Fire horde and the Diadem horde (hindered) slam into the Brocks, the Fire horde who had grabbed the central push token when they killed the Earth Elementals heads into the Stone Priest, Agnes grumpily counter-charges the Ironclad and the original push token Fire horde flanks the Elohi. The CLOFD doesn’t move (…) and preposterously neither does the Herald (SALVAGE, WHY???)

The CLOFD + inspiring Mage-Priest incinerate the Berserker Lord whilst the martyr Mage-Priest heals Agnes down to 1 damage (snacking on her healing brew in the process). And then combat goes less awesome than anticipated. The Brock Riders take 10 damage, but that’s a far cry from their bravery, and the 9 damage on the Elohi is not as catastrophic as expected. I’m left feeling like I really messed that one up? Or maybe just overinflated what my Fire Elementals could do

(Math Time: 36 CS2 (1/2 of that hindered) into the Brocks = 12.5 wounds, for a 9.5 rout and no chance of a waver. 36 CS2 into the Elohi = 12 wounds, for a rerolled 5 with no chance of a waver. The Brocks were always going to be a grind, especially with the hindrance, but the Elohi wasn’t as foolish as I thought at the time. And there also wasn’t a lot of options, apart from shooting them with the CLOFD and then surging the Fire horde in, which would have left the Berserker Lord free to rampage. Obviously moving the Herald and rotating the CLOFD where possible was a thing that should have happened.)

Dwarf 6 and we rinse and repeat. Brock + Behemoth back into the severely damaged Fire horde, Elohi back into the Herald (@_@), Ironclad back into Agnes.

The B+B Fire horde erupts into warm goo, the Herald bites it, allowing the Elohi to flank the CLOFD for significant damage (12) but a failed rout (!), and Agnes goes back up to 5 damage. Inevitable but still ouchful turn.

Bloodfire 6 and potentially the end game. The surviving Sprites are tossed a token and then the big boys and girls go to work. Agnes, her damage removed, bats around some more Ironclad (I really don’t think they broke). The northern Brocks are removed by the (still hindered!) Diadem horde, while a push token Fire horde punches a meager 3 damage into the Behemoth. And the Elohi are ended, thanks to Fire flank and CLOFD front.

With no Turn 7, this one somehow came down to a ……

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

Up Next: FILTHY. ELVES.

GAME 28: VARANGUR

Last game of day one is against Tim, a dude I’ve seen at tournaments for approaching a decade but somehow never played. At long last, it’s wrasslin’ time!

BLOODFIRE GAME 28: VARANGUR

Varangur 2250

Thralls Regiment
Thralls Regiment
Thralls Legion
Fallen Horde
Fallen Horde
Tundra Wolves Troop
Tundra Wolves Troop
Direfang Riders Horde – Fury, Brew of Haste
Cavern Dweller
Magus Conclave – Famulus
Magus Conclave – Famulus
King on Chimera – Fury, Chant of Hate
Magnilde of the Fallen

I just realized how short on inspiring this list is :/ I’d say it’s probably worth swapping a conclave or two for a Magus with inspiring talisman, but ranged support is conceivably a thing.

Third round was Dominate, one of my favorite scenarios since it ensures a grind and benefits brick armies, like Bloodfire here. And sorta Varangur too. Bloodfire won initiative and got the party started.

BATTLE


Battlelines!


Forward, to glory!

Varangur sally forth in response, a Conclave tagging a wound onto the rightmost Fire Elementals. In Bloodfire 2, the red tide creeps up further, incinerating the Tundra Wolves on the right, flambéing a Thrall regiment that had wandered onto the central hill (where the die is), toasting the Cavern Dweller for 2 damage and gently singeing the right Fallen, who iron resolve the wound away.

In classic Varangur style, it’s turn two and time to party! King + Direfangs slam into the leftmost Fire horde, the Cavern Dweller starts grinding on the Diadem horde to their right, Magnilde burns her fly to pounce on one of the right Fire horde and the right Fallen tackle the rightmost Fire horde. A Conclave tags a couple wounds onto a Sprite regiment gunning for them, and it’s on to fighting.

The King + Direfangs splatter their horde, however the other Varangur can’t seal the deal with their solo charges. Lots of damage happens but they all backup – Fallen got particularly close with 10 wounds but no lucky double 7.

The Bloodfire return jab has its moments. The Cavern Dweller falls to a Fire horde in the front and the flank, Magnilde is one-rounded by her Fire horde (hot rout checks ftw) and the Fallen on the right get beat up but no other result. In shooting, the Sprites on the right burn down a Conclave, the Thrall legion starts taking chip damage, the little Mage-Priest prays a few wounds off the Cavern Dweller’s Fire horde, and the tall Mage-Priest heals the right Fire horde to 8.

Blurry rage-filled photo is blurry, rage-filled. The Direfangs charge the 3 damage Fire horde, the King + left Fallen take on the fresh Fire horde next to them, and the right Fallen head back into their half-dead Fire horde. The surviving Conclave tags some Sprites for 2 more damage but they hold fast.

Combat is a mixed, largely painful affair. The Direfangs steamroll through a second Fire horde, really putting that strider to work, as do the King + Fallen, evaporating the Bloodfire flank save for Agnes and support staff. On the right, the Fallen do admirable damage (16 total) but double ones it ;D

Bloodfire 4 is a whole hell of shooting with a side dish of punching Fallen. Agnes + CLOFD + Sprites + the little Mage-Priest unload into the King on Chimera, erasing him from existence. The Fallen next to him cop a couple wounds in the process, once the King hit 18 damage 😛 The other Conclave is killed by marauding Ember Sprites shortly before the right Fallen are wavered by their Fire horde.

Thralls shuffle about in the absence of their King, whilst the Fallen on the hill kick some Sprites and the Direfang lawnmower charges Agnes, Tundra Wolves supporting in her flank (hindered).

Hill Sprites are punted and the Fallen overrun, and -/20 Agnes takes 9 damage but tanks it like an enormous legendary fire creature.

Bloodfire 5 and the game feels firmly in Salamander claws, but there’s plenty of fighting left. Agnes counter-charges the Direfangs, with flanking support from the CLOFD (it came down to a dice off whether he was in). The right Fire horde goes one more round with their Fallen, and after a cheeky diadem breath, the Diadem horde is surged into the other Fallen. The Direfangs are smashed under monstrous, molten fists as are the beleaguered right Fallen, but the center Fallen hold fine. Meanwhile, the Thrall legion absorbs Sprite breath and Agnes is prayed down to 7 damage by the lil’ Mage-Priest.

Everybody fights! Tundra Wolves have a go at Agnes’ front this time (hindered), the Thrall regiment spots the flank of the towering CLOFD and charges in (I totally missed this!), the Fallen have a go at the Diadem horde and the Thrall legion prepares to feast on Ember Sprite.

Wolves can’t hurt Agnes, Thralls stab 2 wounds into the CLOFD, the Diadem horde goes up to 5 but whatever, and the Thralls have a nosh.

Bloodfire 6 in dominate means consolidating my lead and closing this one out. It’s currently 9 to 8 (nimble on the Fallen makes them -1 US). Center Fire horde charges into the last Fallen, routing them (9 to 6), and Martyr’s Prayer + heal brings them down to no damage. Agnes, not disordered, and the CLOFD turn their attention on the Thrall regiment but can only waver that Varangur nerve. The Fire horde on the right shuffles into the 12” zone, knowing that at 17 damage it’s an insta-rout, but hoping the last of the Sprites have blocked enough of the legion’s charge path.

Last gasp for the Varangur is the Wolves back into Agnes’ flank (hindered) for a couple wounds, but mostly the Thrall legion scooting past the Sprites and popping the mangled Fire Elementals. The game goes to 6 to 6 …

… and there’s no Turn 7, which would have been an easy Bloodfire victory.

BLOODFIRE DRAW

This was a fun one, with some powerhouse rolling on the Varangur part, a good display of the strength of breath weapons on hard targets on the Sallies part, and a snake eyes that tipped the game into my hands until it slipped away again. Always happy to go 1-1-1, and cool to finally play Tim.

Up Next: DWARFS IN THE AM

GAME 27: RATKIN

Anyhoo, second round is Ray and his rats, an army I play myself but have rarely faced. There were four rat armies at this tournament, and all of them ended up on the top five tables come round five, if that says anything.

BLOODFIRE GAME 27: RATKIN

Ratkin 2250

Warriors Regiment*
Warriors Regiment*
Warriors Horde*
Shock Troops Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Shock Troops Horde – Brew of Strength
Shock Troops Horde – Potion of the Caterpillar
Blight Horde
Vermintide Regiment
Vermintide Regiment
Enforcer on Fleabag* – Blade of Slashing
Enforcer on Fleabag
Warlock – Bane-chant (3)
Warlock – Bane-chant (3)
Swarm-Crier
Swarm-Crier
Demonspawn – Fly & Speed 10
*Lab Rats Formation

I’m not going to say it’s the best Ratkin list, simply because you can play the army pretty differently and still do great (note the suspicious lack of Death Engines and Weapon Teams here), but it’s got a smart formation and triples down on what may be the best line unit in the game. Plus lots and lots of bodies for the scenario …

Second round was Pillage, a scenario my army is not good at, which is a fact I probably over-focused on going into this game. Rolling maximum counters (7), against a horde army piloted by a very competent player (I heard Ray is the highest ranked player in the Mid-Atlantic currently?), meant I was pretty much resigned to my fate. Ratkin won initiative as well and took it.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

Rats roll out, with the Warrior horde going far left to claim one of two tokens (just barely too far apart to claim them both). The +1 to hit Shock Troops are on the left, the +1 CS ones are mid, the pathfinding ones leaving the forest on the right, and the Blight are the rightmost horde. Rat shooting lightnings an Ember Sprite reg off the field, because Ray was more concerned about them than most of the army

Bloodfire shambles forward, but the cagey rats are all out of breath range and there’s nothing to heal.

The Ratkin maintain the standoff, except for the Warrior regiments, goaded into bait range, and the Enforcer, who charges the right Sprites and disorders them. The remaining central Sprites are lit up with lightning and wavered.

Given something to destroy, Bloodfire obliges. On the left, Sprites + Clan Lord breath on the left Warriors for 5 damage (but no waver), while Agnes + Diadem horde + both Mage-Priests incinerate the other, obviously bait Warriors. I advance my own, less obvious bait Fire horde in the center, and on the right the Enforcer is shredded by a combo-charge from the Sprites + Fire horde, with the Sprites advancing 6” and the Fire horde backing up 2-3”. Things should get spicy next turn …

… and indeed they do! Blight charge and wreck the right Sprites, as the other Enforcer charges and disorders the inspiring, surge Mage-Priest nearby. The Fire horde perched on the hill/obstacle get jammed by some Vermintide (ensuring they’ll be hindered next turn), and the leftmost Sprites are flanked and removed by the surviving Warriors (who regenerate 2 wounds). The wavered Sprites blocking a Fire horde is wavered again thanks to lightning and poor rout dice, and it’s on to the main event: Can a bane-chanted Shock Troop horde flip over a -/18 Fire Elemental horde in a front charge? Math says it’s close (~11 damage + rerolled 7 rout)!

12 wounds and some solid routs later, the Fire Elementals are no more Q_Q

As we start this turn, I comment that despite getting rocked I have a surprising amount of Fire Elemental left, so maybe I can still fight it out? Ray gives me a quizzical look and I shrug and declare some charges: On the right, one Fire horde charges the Blight and another hits the Enforcer in the flank. After smashing the Enforcer, that horde overruns into the Blight and both Fire hordes go to work. Ensnare is a bear but they manage to put 11 wounds on the horde, which isn’t enough for anything but it’ll do in a grind.

In the center, Agnes is forced to go it alone against the Shock Troops, as her backup Fire horde is stuck behind wavered Sprites. In retrospect it might have worked better to pound the Shock Troops with Agnes’ laser + 20 Mage-Priest fireballs, and let the rats do the charging. As it was, Agnes smashed 4 damage into the horde and they cared not.

On the left, the Fire horde scattered the Vermintide, despite hindering, and the CLOFD backed up a bit and roasted the Warriors again (5 damage total and wavered).

Ratkin 4 and it’s all out aggression now. The Fire horde on the hill take a charge from the CS 2 Shock Troops (hindered), Agnes (-/20) facetanks CS1 Shock Troops + the Demonspawn, and the Blight counter-charge the Diadem horde. Even with bane-chant on them, math says they 7.5 wounds and get melted in my next turn …

15 insane wounds later, that Fire horde is dead, as are the hill Fire Elementals as well as Agnes. All his dice were amazing this game, but the Blight’s were the spikiest by far, pretty much eliminating my ability to grind.

It’s basically over, but there’s attrition to be had. Also vengeance. The surviving Fire hordes go into Shock Troops and Blight respectively, while the CLOFD and Ember Sprites scoot around and bake 10 wounds into the CS2 Shock Troops. The Fire horde punching Shock Troops does a statistically low 6 damage while those fighting Blight do a statistically expected 5 damage. No rat cares.

Ratkin 5 means more murdering.

The CS2 Shock Troops devour the last of the Sprites, the central Shock Troops rip 12 wounds into their Fire horde but don’t roll the 6 to rout, and the Demonspawn + (bane-chanted) Blight zero-to-rout the other Fire horde.

Bloodfire 5 and we’ve got a lot of 12” damage to slop around. One Mage-Priest fireballs the Blight off the table while the other tags 5 damage into the Demonspawn, and the CLOFD hammers 6 more damage into the CS2 Shock Troops as he prepares to meet his fate. The last of the Fire Elementals pounds another ~6 damage into the pathfinding Shock Troops but can’t get lucky.

In Ratkin 6, the CS2 Shock Troops + Demonspawn zero-to-rout the CLOFD and the central Shock Troops finish off the final Fire horde. A Mage-Priest gets tickled by lightning as well.

In a final FU, the inspiring Mage-Priest hammers the pathfinder Shock Troops with fireballs, sending them packing, while her understudy Martyr’s Prayers her clean because reasons. The Herald scooches her pot out of LOS of things in case Turn 7 happens. Blessedly it does not.

BLOODFIRE LOSS

This was a game I was never going to win, especially once we rolled maximum counters, and especially with how his dice were. I needed some things to work out for me to grind things out, but I never caught a break. Ah well.

Up Next: VARANGRRR

GAME 26: UNDEAD

After many months of being very busy with life and faffing around with AOS 2.0 (less irritating now, but still not great), I painted a few more fire elementals and threwdown at the Keystone GT last weekend out near Hershey, PA. The army got a lot of praise from other players, which was definitely appreciated, and felt great to play again. I don’t know if I’m running them at the Crossroads GT in September, as it’s a team tourney and Bloodfire is an intentionally underpowered list, but after being the only Salamanders player at a ~34 player GT I don’t know that I want to be the 5+ Ratkin player at a 48 player one. Though that’s a tale to come.

In the meantime, stay tuned for five batreps from Keystone! I’ll aim to have them done through the rest of the week, starting tomorrow since I need to upload a lot of pics

Salamanders 2250

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

In the end I went with the fifth Fire Elemental horde because it was about half painted already, as opposed to the Jar-raider horde which wasn’t even built yet. While I don’t regret the diadem, especially as it further reinforces the theme of the army, I’m still debating downgrading it to brew of courage and slapping bane chant on the surge priest. But here I am still getting ahead of myself! I’ll be back soon with game one.

First round of Keystone saw me back in the saddle and playing Joe, a super nice dude for whom this was his first GT! So time to teach a tournament newbie how the warm, liquid goo phase that is Bloodfire works

BLOODFIRE GAME 26: UNDEAD

Undead 2250

Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Revenants Horde – Lifeleech (2), Brew of Strength
Wraiths Regiment – Healing Brew
Mummies Regiment
Zombies Horde
Werewolves Horde – Staying Stone
Wights Horde
Soul Reaver Cavalry – Dwarven Ale
Revenant King on Winged Undead Wyrm
Vampire on Undead Pegasus
Necromancer -– Bane-chant (2)

A nice varied Undead force, lots of different tools for different jobs. Bit light on inspiring and I would have scrapped all the items to give the Soul Reavers pathfinder (or the Necro inspiring), but should make for a nice scrap.

First round was Invade, ensuring a grind between our two close-up armies, which I’m all about. Bloodfire won the initiative, which is very helpful when most of your US shambled 6”!

BATTLE


Battlelines!


All the battlines!

Bloodfire rolls out, maintaining standard refused flank formation. I’m fully aware his fast, elite units are headed around the left flank – my goal is to wheel around the central fulcrum while maintaining enough power in my right flank to deal with his troops over there (Ghouls + Wights + Peg). This is pretty standard stuff for Bloodfire at this point.

Undead shuffle forward on the right and begin to head in on the left, while the Werewolves blitz deep down the left flank. The King on Wyrm has some trouble with facing and decides to punch it towards the left at the double rather than getting closer to the red tide.

Turn 2 means Operation: Chaff Cull + Chip Damage goes into effect. The line continues to bow out, maintaining a footing in terrain where able, getting Ember Sprites and the Clan Lord into range. Double bane-chant succeeds on the CLOFD and it’s time to cook: right Ghouls die, Revenants take 5 damage, and left Ghouls take 2 as well.

Not keen to weather the building firestorm, the Undead start to get stuck in, with decidedly underwhelming results. The left Ghouls tackle the Sprites what shot them and fail to land a wound (!), the Mummies smack some central Sprites around and waver them, and the Vampire + Wights get bogged down in the edge of the right pond and largely bounce off the diadem Fire Elementals. Meanwhile the left flank gets oriented to devastate in coming terms – the Werewolves perform an L-shaped maneuver deeper into the southwest to make room for the Wyrm.

The Bloodfire battleline continues to rotate, with Agnes and a Fire horde turning to phase the incoming Undead beaters, as a second Fire horde waits to provide backup to either the left or center. Agnes also tags the Soul Reaver Cav with her heatway, melting 3 wounds into them. The Ghoul’s Sprites walk sideways to get in the way of chargers, then puke on the Ghouls and remove them. Centrally the Clan Lord and more Sprites continue breathing on the Revenants, burning them up to 15 damage, while the wavered Sprites keep the Mummies – and looming Fire horde – gummed up. On the right, Sprites get out of the way so the fresh Fire horde can flank, and obliterate, the Vampire on Pegasus, as the Diadem horde punches the Wights in the face.

No longer able to contain themselves, the Undead pounce on red things across the field: Soul Reavers into Sprites, Wraiths into a Fire horde (hindered), Revenant King into Agnes (hindered), Revenants into Sprites, Mummies back into Sprites, and Wights into the Diadem horde. The Zombies and Werewolves continue their voyage into relevance.

Although the hindered Undead flyers have little luck against their targets – 3 damage to Agnes, 1 to the Fire horde – and the Mummies manage no wounds against their Sprites (?!), other combats are more decisive. The Soul Reavers devour their Sprites (lifeleeching 2), the Revenants feast on theirs as well (lifeleeching 2), and the Wights finish what they started and wreck the Diadem horde, turning to face their bros.

With the grind underway, Bloodfire returns the favor. The right Fire horde charges the Wights, shattering them for great justice. Unable to charge the Mummies thanks to the last of the Sprites, a central Fire horde stands 1” away and waits for their opening (in retrospect I think I could have surged them in, the surge Mage-Priest is on the tall one on the right with nothing to do). The other central Fire horde slams into the battered Revenants (13 damage), finishing them off, as the Clan Lord tries to shoot off the Necromancer (since Soul Reavers in cover were less appetizing!). In the forest grind, the Mage-Priest pulls 1 damage off Agnes with Martyr’s Prayer (7 :P), and both Agnes and the Fire horde counter-charge their partners. Damage happens.

Undead 4 begins with a discussion about what the Wraiths could do to make room for the Soul Reavers, and ultimately they slide sideways 5” and surge forward into a Fire horde, letting the Soul Reavers charge in (hindered). Similarly the King on Wyrm GTFO’d south, tagging the Werewolves into Agnes (also hindered). Finally, the Mummies make contact with their own waiting Fire Elementals.

Damage is light across most combats, with the exception of the Soul Reavers who get their Fire horde up to 10 (vs -/18 nerve), and the Undead bounce. Oh, the Zombies meanwhile realized they should be a little more convincingly in the enemy side and scoot down.

Bloodfire 5 delivers a sharp blow to the Undead, as both the Mummies and Wraiths are exorcised on the counter-charge and the Necromancer is immolated by the Clan Lord + Ember Sprites. Agnes, fully healed by the little Priest’s prayer, smashes 6 damage into the Werewolves and lands a lucky waver, but the damaged Fire horde fighting the Soul Reavers struggle and land just a couple damage, stripping the vampire’s TC at best.

Undead 5 sees the Revenant King reorient his Wyrm to take on whatever he wants next turn, the Werewolves shake their waver and regenerate half of their damage, and the Soul Reaver Cav explode their Fire horde and back up 1”.

Seeing an opening, Agnes corkscrew charges the flank of the Soul Reavers, along with a derpy hindered Fire horde charge into their front. Maybe with bane-chant the horde manages to do something, but the real story here is Agnes incinerating the vamps with 18 CS4 attaks. Other stuff happens – Bloodfire pumps unit strength into the Undead side of the board, the CLOFD tries to breath on the Werewolves, the Herald attempts to block said puppers (badly) – but it isn’t as exciting.

Undead 6: Everybody fights! The Zombies finally make contact, swarming a Fire horde’s flank as their Revenant King slams into its front (hindered). While the Zombies manage a couple wounds, the King rolls like a boss and pops the elementals. Meanwhile Agnes facetanks the Werewolves again, thanks to her friend the forest.

We prepare for Turn 7 but it doesn’t happen.

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

A great first game against a great guy, just what I needed after months away from KOW. Joe would go on to win Best Sports and a pile of swag, all very well-deserved.

Up Next: RATSSSSS

GAME 25: FORCES OF NATURE

The lads are getting ready for the Unplugged GT this weekend, so I escaped the house and headed over for some much needed hang-and-game. Albanyadriel had just finished up his vanguard-happy 2k Forces of Nature for the event, and I was excited to burn it to cinders.

BLOODFIRE GAME 25: FORCES OF NATURE

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Agnih-Bhanu, Greatest Fire Elemental
Herald – Lute of Insatiable Darkness
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Martyr’s Prayer (7)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin

This might be where the army sits for 2000 points, really happy with it. I’ve admitted that bane-chant is still useful in an army of CS(2+), embraced the martyrdom uber-heal, and come to terms with Agnes fitting too well to swap out for the ABP right now. Excited to add Jarraiders for 2250, and still working on a fifth fire horde to push the army past 2500, with two Komodons chilling in their boxes, but dig where COK18 has shaken out for the Bloodfire.

Forces of Nature + Herd 2000

Naiad Ensnarers Horde – Hammer of Measured Force
Hunters of the Wild Regiment
Hunters of the Wild Regiment
Hunters of the Wild Troop
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Woodland Critters Regiment
Druid – Alchemist’s Curse (6), Bane-chant (2)
Druid – Aura of Heroism (3), Bane-chant (2)
Tree Herder
Forest Warden
+
Lycans Horde

A Nature army without the usual lightning storm and not a single Beast in sight! And also an army that approaches speed from a different angle, for the most part relying on vanguard instead of flying to get a jump on things. I can dig. But asking for a friend: What’s a Forest Warden??


Also OMF Woodland Critters @_@

We rolled up Eliminate, then didn’t read the part about putting a token down in the center. So we were going to beat each other up and try to take some tokens. Checks out! Sallies won the roll off and took it.

BATTLE


All the vanguards!


Ok, all the vanguards!

Bloodfire heaves off the starting line. Worth noting that I had bungled my deployment a bit, having deployed my Sprites behind the Fire hordes, which is typically my anti-shooting tactic, not my anti-melee play. This meant my Sprites couldn’t stroll into range and breath on things, and also kept the entire line from advancing very far, as I needed the Sprites up front to chaff things. Not game breaking but certainly kept me from punishing the vanguarders as is my want. I had also kinda screwed the leftmost, token-baring Fire bois by deploying them last and unsupported on a wide open flank, rather than nestled somewhere closer where they were less likely to be flanked. Bleh.

Anyway, the leftmost Ember Sprites breathed on the left Forest Shamblers, for a first wound.

Nature largely shores up the line in response, healing the Shambler wound as they go. The Hunter troop ranges out and pounces on the rightmost Sprites, awkwardly hitting a lot despite being hindered and accidently routing them. Works for me

Meanwhile the flanking Hunters rip across the table!

Speaking of Sprites, the lil’ dudes shuffle into the line of fire while a lot of breath attaks come online and the Forest Warden (?!) cops a Fire Elemental horde to the face thanks to the untimely death of their Sprites last turn. I hesitate on sending the token Fire horde into the Woodland Critters on the left – honestly I didn’t trust that a) they could kill them, b) the Forest Shamblers next to them wouldn’t be ashes, and c) the Fire horde could take a Shambler horde in a grind. Honestly still feeling dumb about that, I should have embraced the fury and gone for it, but you’ll see how that flank turns out.

12 Ember Sprite breaths + 20 Mage-Priest fireballs nukes the left Forest Shamblers! Lots of spikey wound rolls ftw. The Hunters troop also ceases to exist under the attention of Agnes’ doom ray, the CLOFD’s gore cannon and the other Sprites flame spitter. Then the Forest Warden gets whomped by the (bane-chanted) Fire horde. Rest in Pepperonis, cool little un-inspiring hero.

Nature gets angry! Critters flank some Sprites, Naiads power into some other Sprites, Shamblers tackle yet more Sprites, Lycans trip over that annoying obstacle on the way into Agnes and Hunters likewise stumble into the Fire horde that mauled the Warden (RIP). The flanking Hunters of the Wild regiment meanwhile angles in and complicates things for Bloodfire next turn …. . .

Druids kick Rallying (2) onto the Forest Shamblers with Aura of Heroism and rip 4 damage into a Fire horde thanks to Alchemist’s Curse (COK18 in the house!), then fighting happens. Critters scatter their Sprites, Naiads awkwardly Hammer of Measured Force theirs to death, the Shamblers only manage to waver theirs, the Lycan caress Agnes for 3 damage, and the Hunters do 7? to their Fire horde. A mixed bag all told.

The Bloodfire Supreme Bloodstoker thinks for a long time about that left flank, and ultimately chooses poorly, deciding to surge the token Fire horde into the Hunters and either break through or hope to weather the Hunter-Critter sandwich for a turn. Spoiler: They needed 4”, the Mage-Priest only managed 2 out of 8 with elite. Frowny face.

There was still carnage aplenty, if somewhat mediocre dice to accompany it. A Fire horde resignedly charges the Naiads, punching a few but knowing they’re doomed without help. Another Fire horde counter-charges their Hunters, doing decent damage but failing the double rout rolls. Agnes and a cheeky Fire horde flank obliterate the Lycan, grabbing their token, shortly after the CLOFD manages a single damage on the Forest Shamblers, despite a lucky double bane-chant, and the little Mage-Priest syphons off 3 damage from the rightmost Fire horde with Martyr’s Prayer.

Sallies score 2 points [2:0]

Turn 3 continues to be violent with lots of Nature charges and counter-charges: rapidly regenerating Naiad into Fire horde, Shamblers into annoying leftover Sprites, Tree Herder tripping over that obstacle and tackling Agnes, Hunters back into that right Fire horde. Also the token Fire horde met their destroyers:


This looks …. . . bad? I mean, we are a roiling semi-sentient mass of molten bloodfire, right?

Druids Bane-chanted the right Hunters and Alchemist Cursed another 2 wounds into the same Fire horde as last turn, putting them to 6 damage.

The Naiads roll amazing and pile 9 damage on their Fire horde, the Shamblers pulp their Sprites, the Tree Herder bops a single wound on Agnes (bye bye death ray), the Hunters damage their Fire bros to no avail, annnnd the Woodland Critters eviscerate the token Fire horde with 45 attaks, vicious and some stunning dice (the Hunters + not having any inspiring helped :P). They died.

Nature scores 2 points [2:2]

Sallies Turn 4 and the boiling punches intensify. The cursed Fire horde and Agnes team up on the Shambler horde (Agnes trips on the damn obstacle this time on her way into the flank), tagging in the CLOFD on the Tree Herder. Hunters and Naiads are counter-charged by their fiery dancing partners.

When the punching stops the right Hunters are dead, but despite decent damage, rout tests on everybody else are not kind.

With a cry, the flanking Hunters of the Wild leap into the flank of the Naiad’s Fire Elementals, as the Woodland Critters cavort deep into the Bloodfire backfield. The Naiad lend their measured tridents with a counter-charge, accompanied by counter-charges into the CLOFD by the Tree Herder and Agnes by the Shambler horde, with bane-chant help courtesy a Druid. The other Druid Curses the central Fire horde a third time, spiking a rerolled 10+ rout test to banish them! Damn, hippy chick, damn.

The Hunters + Naiad dismember the wounded left Fire Elementals, but the big Bloodfire monsters hold tight (Agnes to 10 damage, CLOFD to 3).

Heading into the late game and currently tied, Bloodfire is out for, well, blood. Agnes rounds on the Forest Shamblers and the last of the Fire Elementals flanks the Tree Herder to support the CLOFD’s counter-charge. The Herald bane-chants the Fire horde, the big Priest body blocking the Naiads nukes the Woodland Critters with a fireball (*cue that scene from Bambi*) and the little Priest Martyr’s Prayers 6 damage off of Agnes ❤

Both Nature units turn to ash under the fiery ministrations.

Sallies score 2 points [4:2]

The waiting Mage-Priest is swarmed by Naiads and a Druid charges Agnes in hopes of disabling her death ray (she fails), and the other Druid Curses the CLOFD for 3 damage (9 total), but no other result. Happily the Priest takes only 3 damage and holds the Nature line back (though she’s wavered).

Sallies Turn 6 sees that upstart Druid charged by Fire Elementals (over the obstacle woooo) and engulfed in flaming fists, then a lot of powering up short range weaponry. Between Agnes’ death ray, the CLOFD’s bane-chanted gore cannon and the little Priest’s fireball, the Naiad’s go up to 14 damage… . . . and nothing. In retrospect that did mean the Hunters weren’t unleashed, which is a thing.

Nature’s potentially final play is to hit the Mage-Priest again and try to Alchemist Curse the CLOFD. The Priest caves under the pressure and the Naiads roll forward, however the Druid can only waver the CLOFD on 9 total damage.

The roll for Turn 7 is a dud, leaving the score 4:2 and a . . .

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

As played, if we had remembered the central objective this would have been a draw, but then again we would have played more centrally as well, so who knows. Fun bloody game with some poor decisions on my part that cost me momentum, however in the end big zappy token-hugging monsters pulled it out. The Lute and Martyr’s Prayer were both cool to have, happy to have a little dice manipulation instead of just complaining about 4+ to hit (5+ against Naiad OMF), and 12 wounds worth of healing over a few turns from one mini is pretty cool. I got a little cagey about the deer coming to eat that Priest late game, although I also multiple times this game didn’t really rely on ranged parts of my army to protect other parts of it. What can I say, I just don’t trust dice :/

GAME 24: DWARFS

We gathered together a solid handful of the club together for some Sunday scrums. Nature vs Herd on the far table, as I took on Dwarfs. Coincidentally both tables diced up Scenario 11: Take & Hold!

Fun Fact: Up until 30 min before this match I thought I was bringing my rats back – nope! Bloodfire can’t be stopped!

BLOODFIRE GAME 24: DWARFS

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde – Blade of Slashing
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Agnih-Bhanu, Greatest Fire Elemental
Herald – Healing Charm
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Heal (3)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin

I’m having trouble building 2000 point lists with this army, which I suppose shows the growing depth of my red fire thing collection. Dropped the second surge – which I’ve never taken advantage of – to free up some points. Was originally going to try Martyr’s Prayer out, but chickened out and went with the old Heal (9) setup. Really left the lil’ Priest feeling sort of underutilized, so next time I’mma get my Martyr on for real.

Oh right: Agnes is back \m/

Dwarfs 2000

*Bulwarkers Horde – Brew of Strength
*Ironclad Regiment
*Ironclad Regiment
Earth Elementals Horde
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Maccwar’s Cat Potion
Greater Earth Elemental
Steel Behemoth
Steel Behemoth
Army Standard Bearer – Diadem of Dragon-kind
*King – Wings of Honeymaze
Stone Priest – Drain Life (6), Inspiring Talisman
*Wall of Iron [Iron Resolve]

Our club’s fearless leader tooled his previous 18 drop Dwarf list (!) down into this more compact, COK-ed up version, complete with double updated Behemoths and a shiny formation! He had his doubts about no shooting beyond 12”, but as that’s basically the name of my game we were well matched at least.

As noted, we diced up Take & Hold (COK18), another new mission for me. Markers went down center and clustered on one flank, ensuring we’d by rocking a 4×4 board at most.

BATTLE


Blurry battlelines!

Dwarfs grab the initiative and waddle forward across the line. Bloodfire shambles up in similar fashion, except for Ember Sprites on the flanks gaining range to some stunties. Brocks take no damage but the right Ironclads soak a couple wounds.

The slightly faster Dwarf flank is brought into charge range, while Behemoths unload into the exposed Fire Elemental horde. 9 damage is no joke but the BOTG keeps them safe (barely!)

Bloodfire enters the danger zone, advancing Sprites into the teeth of the Dwarf hitty flank. The Priests pull 4 damage off the exposed Fire horde, as the CLOFD splashes a single wound on the Greater Earth Elemental and Ember Sprites sear 9 wounds into the Brocks and 2 more into the right Ironclad. Then Agnes hits the right Behemoth with her heat ray, doing a stunning 7 damage out of 12 shots. Rout tests are fine across the board but the Dwarf general is visibly shook

Turn 3, which means time for fighting (and scoring)! The left Sprites are charged by their dancing partners, while the right Ironclad at the double to jam the right flank and the King flies into Agnes to shut down her laser whatever the cost.

Another double dose of Behemoth cannon finishes off that wounded Fire horde, with an assist from the ASB’s diadem, then onto combat. The Brocks evaporate their Sprites, however the Earth Elementals and Greater buddy both manage 4 damage against their chaff and can’t waver either. And the King bops Agnes for 2 wounds, officially drawing her ire.

Dwarfs score 2 points [2:0]

The Bloodfire Supreme Bloodstoker thinks for a very long time about surge options . . . and there basically aren’t any, these Sprites have seriously gummed things up. We go with obvious charges: Fire horde into waiting Brocks, both Sprites into Earth Bros, Agnes into King, Fire horde + Sprites into Ironclad.

The Herald grudgingly heals some Sprites for a couple wounds, and a Priest pulls one off of Agnes. The other Priest combines her fireball with the CLOFD’s gore cannon to do 2 more damage to the wounded Behemoth, bringing it to 9 but no lucky rout. In combat, the left Fire horde obliterates the wounded Brocks, Sprites bounce off of Earth Bros (1 damage to horde, nothing to Greater), Agnes slams the King for 4 damage, and the Fire horde + Sprites combo only gets the Ironclad to 9 but fail the easy rout.

Sallies score 1 point [2:1]

Dwarfs grind on, sending left Ironclad into the Fire horde (hindered by the puddle they’re busily evaporating), Earth Bros back into annoying Sprites, King back into Agnes to keep her distracted, and wounded Behemoth and smoldering Ironclad into the right Fire horde. The other Behemoth unloads into the little healing Priest for no damage (!),the Stone Priest life drains a Fire horde for 1, healing up the Earth horde with that pip, and the ASB wavers the rightmost Sprites with his diadem.

Combats don’t really go as hoped: left Fire horde takes 4 damage but doesn’t care, the Earth horde scatters their Sprites but the Greater Earth double ones on his, leaving them disordered but unwavered. The King boops Agnes again for 2 damage, as the Behemoth + Ironclad only manage 6 wounds on their Fire horde, which isn’t enough to force a rout through.

Dwarfs score 2 points [4:1]

Bloodfire lines up to deliver some serious jabs to the Dwarfs in preparation for a late game points bonanza. Fire hordes jump on the left Ironclad and wounded Behemoth, as the third horde prepares to surge into the flank of the Earth Elementals (who couldn’t protect both flanks and chose the one that required the attention of a Priest, pulling resources from the right at least). Agnes flames up and descends once more upon the Dwarven King.

The CLOFD forgets that he was supposed to snipe the Stone Priest (. . .) and instead tags a couple wounds onto the Greater Earth Elemental (3 total). Some healing happens (the surging horde is topped off and the right horde goes down to 5) and then the other Priest pulls off the 1” surge needed to propel the Fire horde into the flank of the Earth horde.

Things get off to a slow start in the combat phase. The right Fire horde does 2 wounds to their Behemoth, wavering it, and the left Fire horde tickles 4 into their Ironclad, doing nothing. Agnes swings next, obliterating the King with another 4-5 damage, and that momentum carries into the flanking Fire horde, who roll like the molten blood elementals they are, gouging 15 wounds into the Earth Elementals! The horde dissolves under such a furious display.

Sallies score 1 point [4:2]

Dwarfs return the pain in Turn 5. Greater Earth Elemental + Steel Behemoth thunder into the marauding Fire horde, laying on the hurt but not breaking the elementals. Which is not the case to either flank: left Ironclads swing hard and break their Fire horde on the countercharge, as the right Ironclads team up with the smoking Behemoth to dispel theirs. The central Sprites are also scattered by the ASB’s diadem.

Dwarfs score 1 point [5:2]

Monster mash! Agnes and the CLOFD see an opening and storm into the fresh Behemoth’s flank.

It’s super effective! The Behemoth takes 9 wounds from both of the big beasties, detonating spectacularly on 18 damage. The other Behemoth meets a scalding death as well, pummeled by 20 fireballs from the Mage-Priests and finally succumbing to all the abuse. Less epicly, the last Fire horde beats 4 wounds into the Greater Earth (who doesn’t care), the last of the Sprites can’t wound the right Ironclad for a lucky rout test, and the Herald blocks the left Ironclad from flanking the Fire horde (whom she also heals for a couple points). After all the smashing is done, the CLOFD backs up 1” into range of a token, and with a metric ton of deliberation, Agnes turns to face the Bulwarkers, assuming they want to leave the safety of their token.

Sallies score 2 points [5:4]

Dwarf Turn 6 and the stunties go for it! Ironclads charge the Herald and Sprites respectively, while the Greater Earth Elemental decides to clean up the Fire horde rather than surging into Agnes’ flank, leaving her to the Bulwarkers (hindered though they may be by the forest). The ASB breaths a wound on the inspiring Mage-Priest and the Stone Priest attempts a life drain, but really it’s going to come down to fighting.

Whiiiiich is unfortunate because nothing works! The Ironclad don’t even waver their targets, the Greater Earth gently bats 3 wounds into the Fire horde, and Agnes is just too damn huge for the Bulwarkers, who manage just 2 wounds. Nobody cares . . . and no Dwarf scores 😛

Dwarfs score 0 points [5:4]

Sally Turn 6 and things are looking great for Bloodfire. Everybody countercharges, there’s a brief musical interlude as the Dwarf Army Standard is fragged by the CLOFD’s gore cannon (and maybe some Priest fireballs, but I have a feeling they healed Agnes or the Fire horde as the CLOFD rolled strong) and pops, then fighting happens. Stuff got wounded, stuff hung around, but only red stuff was near tokens.

Sallies score 2 points [6:5]

The roll for Turn 7 is a 2, making this a . . .

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

GAME 23: EMPIRE OF DUST

During Black Friday I caved and bought not one but two neoprene game mats – I ended up going with FLG Mats because USA + decent quality + sick discount.

And yesterday I finally busted one out for a game 😐

BLOODFIRE GAME 23: EMPIRE OF DUST

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ankylodon Battle Platform – firebolts
Herald – Banner of the Griffin
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Dwarven Ale

Gotta say, 2k is bit awkward with the new item costs, compounded by my new double priest list taking up more hero points. Came down to BOTG or Healing Charm, and I had to go with Rally. Just makes too much sense in general, but especially when you’re running high defense / low nerve (relatively) monstrous things. Dwarven Ale because I had an awkward 10 points and the CLOFD wavers way more than I’d like, especially in an army of fearless things.

Empire of Dust 2000

Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Crossbowmen Horde – Banner of the Griffin
Mummy Regiment
Mummy Regiment
Enslaved Guardian Horde
Swarm Regiment
Revenant Chariot Regiment – casket
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Bone Giant
Cursed High Priest – fireball & vicious, mount
Cursed High Priest – fireball & vicious, mount

Bones are as tuned up as they’ve been, with lots of tried and true choices, including the horrific possibilities offered by triple catapults. Chariots were the new inclusion, pretty sweet package or 125 points with casket, and rally on the Crossbows instead of a mediocre shooty item is a neat choice.

We diced up Scavenge (COK17), a mission I’d not even heard of until the last week or so. Markers went down center and 12” to either side. On the terrain, my home collection isn’t great, so the books are hills.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

Bloodfire seizes the initiative and rolls out, not keen to weather more catapult fire than needed. Fire Elementals hard right are surged forward 4”.

The wall of bone shambles forward, Mummies cresting the facing hill as all the undead firepower targets one of the central Fire hordes.

Double catapult hits (8 + 7 blasts X_X) and a smattering of crossbow bolts slam into the elementals, but they hold thanks to the Griffin Banner! Meanwhile, the Ankylodon is shoved a few inches backwards by the Enslaved Guardians.

Salamanders count their blessings / Ember Sprites and jam the center with chaff, as the Ankylodon crashes through the forest into the Chariots and the CLOFD likewise uproots some trees on his way into the Swarm:

The Fire hordes all trudge forward, getting off the hill and slooooowly hooking in from the right.

The hindered CLOFD and ABP manage to trip and cause a few wounds to their targets, neither of which care. Combined with the lesser Mage-Priest healing a single wound from the battered Fire horde and that was a pretty lackluster turn.

The Empire responds by pouncing all over the poor central Sprites (spoiler: they die) and hammering down into the mangled Fire horde (6 blast catapult hit gets them up to snakes) and the Ankylodon (combo of crossbows + catapult puts 5 (-1 for Iron Resolve) wounds on him). The towering ABP is also shoved like 5” back by the Guardians.

The rightmost Spear regiment charges a flanking Fire horde as well, doing a couple points of damage, and the Swarm nibbles a wound off of the CLOFD.

Turn 3, time to increase the grind with charges down the line: CLOFD back into Swarm, ABP (hindered) into flank of Chariots, Fire horde surged into flank of Mummies, Fire horde into Spears and more Fire into more Spears.

And you know, despite that wave of raw boiling blood smashing into the deadites … not much actually happened? The CLOFD managed to splatter the Swarm (-_-) and the Mummies died to the flank, but both Spearmen survived with average or below damage (5 + 7), and the Ankylodon continued to show how much he needs Strider. 20 attaks = 2 wounds, which happened to be the same or worse than what he did to the front (also hindered). And now he was going to get himself flanked.

Or not! The EOD piles on the central Fire horde, as Spears counter-charge their Fire bros and the Guardians make it personal and charge the Ankylodon. The Crossbows shamble towards the center to make their big rally bubble relevant …

… and a surge ensures it is. A catapult kills the right Sprites (Rest in Pepperonis, lil’ buddies), but it’s really about fighting. The besieged Fire horde survives with 9 wounds, largely thanks to the Chariot flank doing no damage and the Bone Giant fluffing hard. Neither of the Spears can make headway against their Fire hordes either, and the Ankylodon stands tall with 7 wounds (after IR).

Sallies retaliate as hard as they can. Fire hordes counter-charge Spears and Chariots (going for at least a kill in the latter case, and to free up some board real estate, though they may have been better punching the Bone Giant? Even knowing that’s a grind they won’t win), and for the first time all game the Ankylodon gets to fight something without being hindered, as he counter-charges the Guardians. The CLOFD digs up a loot token and charges through that damn forest to help his pal out.

The ABP is healed for two and a High Priest takes a fireball to the face, then all the Dust regiments are exploded. Unfortunately, 500 points of Salamander monster barely puts a handful of wounds on the Guardians, who hold with no issue. Holy hell guys.

The Empire piles on the pressure, throwing Mummies and Crossbows (!) into the smoldering central Fire horde, slamming the Bone Giant into the Ankylodon’s flank and counter-charging Guardians into CLOFD this time around.


Kaiju Big Battle 2: Monster Chiropractor

Catapult fire rains down across the board, wounding the last Sprites (on the left, looking to dig up more loot next turn) for 6 but for no waver, then slamming a Fire horde which, combined with multiple High Priest fireballs, nukes the unit. In combat, the Mummies + Crossbows manage only 2 wounds on their Fire Elementals, which can’t get through the Griffin Banner boost. The Bone Giant goes in with just 16 attaks, with which he stuffs it and only wounds the ABP 4 times (healed down to 9 with IR). Likewise the Guardians rip the CLOFD for 4 damage but he doesn’t care.

Turn 5 and it’s becoming apparent that the Bloodfire loot needs to be protected ASAP. The CLOFD and ABP (yay hindered!) head back into the Guardians looking to pop them or at least shut out the Bone Giant from the Clan Lord, while the remaining Fire hordes double team the Crossbows to remove a very big unit that’s contesting multiple markers (also rally, etc). Sadly the flanking horde had to sploosh over a barrier, so would also be hindered. Magic sees two wounds healed from the Ankylodon and a few wounds from a fireball into a catapult, for no lucky break.

After a lot of smashing, the Empire holds strong. 17 damage to the Crossbows isn’t enough to pop (I’ve really lost my ability to roll average on rout tests, especially rerolled ones), thanks in large part to the flanking horde really struggling to hit on 5+. The CLOFD + ABP again team up to do token damage at best to the Guardians. Cripes.

Oh, those last wounded Sprites totally did dig up more loot, so there’s that to manage now too.

Dust get another shot at blunting what really felt like a Bloodfire lead and happily take it. Bone Giant heads back into the Ankylodon flank, Guardians into the CLOFD, Mummies flank the rapidly dissipating Fire Elementals and the Crossbows counter-charge their buddies because reasons. High Priests fireball some wounds into the lesser Mage-Priest and Herald, wavering the Herald – but catapults either missed the Sprites or didn’t have a shot. All the wounded Salamander stuff dies in combat (the horde fighting the Crossbows takes no damage), and the Guardians take the CLOFD’s loot.

Sally Turn 6 and, after the last Fire horde digs up some loot of their own, it’s 2 to 1 on markers, with the Mummies clearly set to do some of their own mining next turn.

The Fire Elementals flame out and melt the Crossbow horde, the inspiring Mage-Priest fireballs off a Catapult, and the lesser Mage-Priest and Sprites combine to finish off the Guardians, destroying their loot in the process. 2:0 loot, at least for now.

Clearly the champion of the match, the Bone Giant powers into the Sprites, shattering them and stealing their loot. Meanwhile the Mummies dig up fresh loot, swinging the score to 2:1 in favor of the undead. The last Fire Elementals take 4-5 points of damage from Catapult lovin’ but don’t pop.

And with that the game ends.

BLOODFIRE LOSS

All told this was a great game. It was a bit frustrating to see the lead I had Turn 3-4 just fall apart through incompetence on my monsters’ parts (ABP Strider plz!), but Scavenge is a really cool mission that I’m happy to have finally played. I have no idea if it’s in COK18 but here’s hoping.