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 22: VARANGUR

My clubmate is headed to the US Masters and wanted to get some practice with his finalized list, so I threwdown in the name of getting my teeth kicked in for a good cause ;D

BLOODFIRE GAME 22: VARANGUR + NIGHT STALKERS

Salamanders 2250

Fire Elemental Horde – Healing Brew
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 – Healing Charm
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3), Black Iron Crown
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin

Quintuple Fire hordes \m/ Also went with the ABP over Agnih, almost entirely because she costs 10 more points, which messes with my items (i.e. BOTG costs 5 points more now). But also because while ABP is a doofus he’s better at grinding then she is, and the grind is pretty inevitable for my army.

Varangur + Night Stalkers 2250

Warband Regiment
Bloodsworn Regiment
Cave Troll Horde – Staying Stone
The Fallen Horde
Tundra Wolves Troop
Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Cat Potion
Direfang Horde
Magus Conclave
King on Chimera – Brew of Haste, Lifeleech (1)
Skald – Banner of the Griffin
+
Spectre Regiment
Void Lurker

Bash Bros are still horrifying, but main changes are the now defunct Herja becoming a bunch of Trolls and Direfangs squeaking their way into the list at the cost of downgrading the Sons into Bloodsworn and Fiends into Spectres. Cool to see the ‘Fangs in there, hope they work out for him. Loads of potential but slow and a big target.

We diced up good old Pillage and heavily weighted one flank with markers, as I prefer. He won first turn and took it, after some consideration.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

The Varangur show unexpected restraint and advance very cautiously, and the Conclave lands its only hit of the game (2 damage to the Sprites blocking the Akylodon). In the Sally turn the red wall slops forward at its usual pace, with the damage to the Sprites healed away.

Once again the ravenous hordes of armor and aggression barely shuffle forward, though the revving of the fast blender units to either flank is palpable. Bloodfire responds by scooting Sprites into range and liberally applying vicious breath to things – both Direfangs and Warband begin to accumulate damage. The Ankyldon yelled at things too but to little effect.

Turn 3 means carnage! Sorta! Tundra Wolves whip in from the left flank into some poor Sprites, but despite a few wounds can’t even waver them Q_Q. Fallen and Mounted Sons prepare to obliterate the right and left flanks respectively, as the big flying monstrous heroes salivate and get ready for that trademarked double charge tagteam one hit KO finisher. Also the King breaths on the rightmost Fire horde for a wound, and I have no idea how the leftmost Fire horde was wounded but that happened too (cheaty shot from the Conclave?? No LOS and a penitent for 1’s makes that hard to believe).

The Bloodfire response is … optimistic at best. No brainer stuff happens: left Fire horde punches the Wolves (wavered only!?!), Sprites wander forward to puke on things and get in the way (Direfangs absorb yet more heat), and the Iron Crown Priest + CLOFD combine to fire on the Fallen (not doing nearly as much as expected).

Then things get dicey. The Ankylodon goes aggro into the Warband, with dreams of thundering through them and facing off with the big bads behind them. Except he’s hindered (#striderdreams) and a cuddle bug so doesn’t even waver them. Then instead of surging the right Fire horde into the Fallen – out of fear of sticking and then taking the King (and possibly also Lurker) in the flank – they just straight up charge the King. Knowing that they’ll likely stick and get the Lurker in the flank, or get stuck grinding something they can’t beat.

So yes, nothing really works, and to make matters worse the charging Fire horde outstrips any hope of Inspiring. The Herald scoots herself over to sorta block the Fallen (they can nimble charge the CLOFD anyway), and falls 0.5” short of inspiring that dumb Fire horde. I don’t think it was a terrible plan, but it was certainly the least likely to succeed, even if it had the highest potential payoff – the thing about Fire Elementals is that when all you have is offense, if you can actually hit things they tend to die.

The Varangur counter across the board, as expected.

Lots of red things die: left Fire horde to Mounted Sons (13 wounds in one frontal charge), 2/4 Sprites to Trolls + Bloodsworn, right Fire horde to King front + Lurker flank. The Herald happy came away with a waver vs the Fallen, and the ABP was of course fine.

There’s a lot of pain collapsing in from the left, so the red tide needs to punch up and to the right and turn to face. Double Fire hordes charge the Bloodsworn, Ankyldon jumps back on the Warband, and the third Fire horde surges into the Fallen (on a sweet 7 of 8 surge from one Priest), after they take a shellacking from the CLOFD.

While the Ankylodon roflstomps the Warband, disappointment reigns on the Fire hordes. Somehow 36 CS2 attaks can’t break the Bloodsworn (13+ wounds vs 19 nerve is too hard to beat twice), who waver. And likewise the Fallen take significant damage but are only wavered, despite having no inspiring.

Varangur 5, in which everything that’s left is CS2-3 and busily wrecking red things. Mounted Sons + Trolls flank and obliterate one of the central Fire hordes (31 damage total), the Direfangs get to see combat (annoying Sprites are devoured), and the Bash Bros tussle with the Ankyldon in a proper KAIJU BIG BATTLE:

Which the ABP survives?!

Stunned that this game is still a thing, Bloodfire desperately slam into units that are far scarier than they. AND KAIJU BIG BATTLE INTENSIFIES:

Direfangs explode at a Fire horde’s caress (thanks to 8 wounds of Sprite chip damage), the Fallen are vaporized a turn too late, the Void Lurker is barely grounded by the ABP, and the King likewise takes token wounds from the hindered CLOFD, fighting way above his weight class.

Cave Trolls slam into the rampaging central Fire horde as the big boys counter-charge their targets. Loads of damage is applied to the horde and the Clan Lord, but thankfully nobody cares – and obvs the Akylodon is cool.

Oh, Inspiring Mage-Priest is run down by the mobile blender :/

Sally 6 sees the King finally fall to an ocean of Fire Elemental attaks, along with the ABP patting the Lurker and the Fire horde being well aware of having nothing on the Trolls in a grind.

Is there a Turn 7? THERE IS.

Cave Trolls pulverize their Fire horde and the Void Lurker fluffs against the ‘Don. Sitting on 3 objectives – remember those Spectres? They’ve been parked on an objective far away all game, and the Wolves who miraculously survived are claiming another – the Varangur are content to see what the Bloodfire has left.

Shot of the end. The last Fire horde again sweeps into a monster’s flank and burns it to embers, more than securing one objective, making it 3:2 in the Varangrr favor. The only way to draw at this point is to hope for ridiculous dice and pop both the Trolls and the Mounted Sons from basically no damage to 19 nerve. CLOFD + Sprites take on the Sons and the Crown Priest goes for the Trolls, but 5+ then 5+ is way too much to ask for and that’s game.

BLOODFIRE LOSS

As an aside, I’m realizing after the fact how important of a flub not killing those Wolves was. Photo shows I only did 4 wounds, which made sense that I couldn’t roll the 9 to pop them … except I should have done 7-8 wounds. Which means a 5-6 to rout, which is far more likely (72%+), and would have starved the Varangur for an objective grabber and pulled something away from the center, giving me a better shot at fighting for the draw by nuking a single target. Which in Pillage style games is all I’m trying to do in most cases.

Let’s forget how atrocious my dice were during those desperation shots at the end, which wouldn’t have done anything to a single target, let alone two :X