SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 18: EMPIRE OF DUST

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

Empire of Dust 2300

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

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

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

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

BATTLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everybody back in!

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

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

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

SCUTTLIN’ WIN (15-6)

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

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

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

SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 17: TRIDENT REALM

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

Trident Realm 2300

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

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

Oh right, Kraken Count [5] again.

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

BATTLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCUTTLIN’ LOSS (6-15)

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

Up Next: Empire of Dust

SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 16: DWARFS

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

Dwarfs 2300

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

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

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

BATTLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCUTTLIN’ WIN (14-7)

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

Up Next: Trident Realm Civil War II

SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 15: TRIDENT REALM

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

Trident Realm 2300

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

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

KRAKEN COUNT = 5

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

BATTLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In shooting, Heartpiercers rock his Gigas, wavering them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCUTTLIN’ WIN (17-4)

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

Up Next: Dwarfs

SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 14: ORDER OF THE GREEN LADY

The US Masters tournament for the 2019 Kings of War season was held at Tioga Downs Casino in Western NY, just shy of three hours west of me. More awesomely, there was a side tournament held at the same time in the same room, conveniently called The Best of the Rest. It followed the same rules, points values and scenarios, but blessedly was only five games and not the grueling six of the Masters.

While I very much didn’t fancy my chances, I felt I owed it to the crabs to give them at least one more event before packing them away for the inevitable Clash of Kings buffs at the end of the year (Wyrmriders, I’m looking at you guys!) This also meant I would finish painting more of the army’s stockpile instead of, you know, never getting back to it.

Trident Realm 2300

Water Elemental Horde
Gigas Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Gigas Horde – Staying Stone
Naiad Heartpiercer Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercer Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercer Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercer Regiment
Kraken
Kraken
Kraken
Depth Horror Eternal – Inspiring Talisman
Naiad Envoy – Lute of Insatiable Darkness
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2)

Despite proving scientifically that Kraken are speedy yet pillowfisted pseudo-anvils (aka not hammers), I still wanted to bring all three of the big guys, particularly as I had just finished painting their big little brother, the Deep Crab from Mierce (the Kraken are Mierce’s three Scuttling Nucránca). At some point in my testing I abandoned trying to make Wyrmriders work and had switched to a Water Elemental horde for my unlocks and facebeating purposes. It’s sad when 18 CS1 attaks is your hammer but, well, Trident are like that. Also being natively Def 5+ and Strider (and Regen 5+) are groovy things, as well as putting him roughly in line with the Kraken’s abilities, which is aesthetically nice as all four minis look related.

I kept all the Heartpiercers in, since I made the army around them originally, afforded some anti-wavering tech for the Gigas (being wavered is the worst, especially when you don’t have regen or heal) and grudgingly gave the Eternal true inspiring. It’s always a bad feel to upgrade self-inspo for 20 pts but I really wanted him in there – the only two games I’d won of 3E so far had been because of him – and needed the third inspiring.

I did have a bit of regret going into these games, as a couple days before I realized that I should just give the Water Elementals brew of strength, as they were the lute target 90% of the time … and spoilers, my lute didn’t work 50% of the time. Also CS2 would just fit the model better.

Anyway, while I was sorta ok with Scuttlin’ Realm 2.0, my goal for the event was just two wins. You know, doubling my record for the new edition.

Order of the Green Lady 2300

Order of the Brotherhood Regiment – Banner of the Green Lady, Blade of Slashing
Order of the Brotherhood Regiment – Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Men-at-Arms Retainer Horde
Men-at-Arms Retainer Horde
Order of Redemption Regiment – Brew of Strength
Order of the Forsaken Horde – Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Pegasus
Pegasus
Exemplar Redeemer – Winged Unicorn
Exemplar Redeemer – Winged Unicorn
Unicorn – Wings, Lightning Bolt (5), Heal (5), Shroud of the Saint
Unicorn – Wings, Lightning Bolt (5), Heal (5), Boomstick

Table #1 baby! Fun fact: I watched this army play my Round 4 opponent the night before the tournament kicked off, as I liked both armies a lot. Smart list with six extremely useful flyers. I obviously didn’t realize how great Exemplar Redeemers are, very reminiscent of pegasus vamps, which are one of the flyers I respect the most in the game. Except these regen, and headstrong, and CS2, and etc.

Round 1 was Dominate, and the Scuttlers kicked things off. Grudgingly.

BATTLE

Battlelines! Most relevant notes are the Redeemers stacked on the left flank and the ultra-hammer Order of the Redemption in the second wave on the right flank.

Headed into Order Turn 2. Turn 1 I must have advanced, without being able to shoot my 18” guns, then he advanced, lightninged some Heartpiercers, who regened and returned fire at the offending Unicorn. Worth noting that my dice were ice cold at this point and my brain extremely fuzzy from no sleep / being out of practice (I mean, check out that 10AM Monster :X)

Despite leaving a Kraken over there to intercept one of them, both Redeemers are able to hop my lines. I am well and truly fakked. (The TO walked by at this point, watched the heroes fly over the Kraken, looked at me and shook his head …) Some Brotherhood knights run over some Heartpiercers while the Unicorn zzaps that other unit more, wavering them. Pegasus either try to get in the way or prepare to later.

As it turns out, the Kraken is able to get into those rampaging Brotherhood, and combo-charges with some luted-up Gigas. Since this game has already gone sideways, I go hyper-aggressive on the right, sending 42 CS1-2 attaks into the Men-at-Arms. I know it’ll cost me the right Kraken but I want to break up his lines and start grinding. Heartpiercers pump rounds into the same Unicorn and the right Pegasus, for minimal results.

Both combats fail, despite the odds being in my favor / the best this army can muster. The knights may have wavered (then headstronged out of it) but the Men-at-Arms I couldn’t manage the rerolled rout. Bad times ahead.

The Order responds by jumping on all three Kraken: Brotherhood knights + flank Redeemer + rear Redeemer on the left, both Men-at-Arms in the center (including an ensnare-free flank), and more Brotherhood knights into a flank on the right. Heartpiercers are plowed into by Forsaken and Pegasus, while lightning wavers the central unit a second time. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the Men-at-Arms holding has blocked the Order of the Redemption from descending.

After combat, all three Kraken drop in one turn!! But, uh, the Heartpiercers hold.

In Scuttler Turn 4, those left Gigas finish off the Brotherhood knights and turn to face the Redeemers, knowing they’re about to go rear charge somebody. The engaged Heartpiercers counter-charge, grounding the Forsaken (!) and killing the right Pegasus (!!). The free unit shoots the wounded Forsaken, praying for that waver. Finally, the Water Elementals swing at the Men-at-Arms again, who have been very healed at this point, and the right Gigas chunk some damage into the other Men-at-Arms, knowing they’re dead soon.

This is midway through combat in Order Turn 4. The Forsaken drop their Heartpiercers, that Redeemer in the center has just murdered some other Heartpiercers, the Water Elemental horde is vaporized by the Order of the Redemption (and a few relevant wounds from the infantry horde), but somehow the Gigas hold Men-at-Arms to the front, Redeemer to the flank and Pegasus to the rear! You can also see the Eternal on the right flank had snuck a flank charge on those Brotherhood knights, then was counter-charged here for really a lot of damage on 4+ then 3+.

Scuttler Turn 5, the Gigas turn around and eat the Pegasus in their rear, then turn back around. The Eternal nimblers out and hacks into the Order of the Redemption. And the remaining Heartpiercers try to finish off a wounded flyer (probably the Forsaken in the Gigas’ flank).

The central Gigas are torn apart, while the other Gigas hold a Forsaken charge and the Heartpiercers likewise repulse the fresh Redeemer. The Eternal is shredded by the Order of the Forsaken, while Unicorns rapidly heal the damage to the Men-at-Arms.

Turn 6 and I’m desperately trying to kill something else. The Gigas swing like champs but botch the rout roll on the Forsaken, while the Heartpiercers cutely slap two wounds on their Redeemer but whatever.

Those offending Heartpiercers are cratered by the Order of the Redemption, and I’m pretty sure the Gigas were torn down with excellent dice from the Forsaken. I end the game with just the Envoys kicking.

SCUTTLIN’ LOSS (1-20)

Amazingly I was able to kill enough to earn 1 point! Oh right: we’re playing Blackjack, which uses 14/7 for wins/loses and then modifies that based on how well you won the scenario, and then further by attrition difference.

Given all those flyers and how poorly my list handles them – if it’s a single dragon, I can just shoot it to death, but multiple smaller fliers is really difficult – I kind of felt the outcome was inevitable. Having those early combats where I applied fairly overwhelming force just peter out was sad, but my dice weren’t there for me, plus Trident simply don’t have the combat power to make any match up a sure thing.

This army would go on to win Player’s Choice, and the dude was a pleasure to finally face after seeing him around for years.

Up Next: Trident Realm Civil War

INCOMING CRABS 🦀

Or rather, they arrived a while ago, but haven’t been batrepped for unknown reasons … Bloodfire is still on hiatus while I explore fresher avenues, however I wanted to give some coverage to my current army, plus those that come after this one, and this seems like a decent, agnostic place to do it.

So welcome to the new, expanded, ad-free blood-fire.com!

CRABS (FEB 2020) – Big boys by Mierce, tiny lads by Khurasan, token Hadross dude by CMON

Late September 2019, I finished up a new crab-themed Trident Realm army, just a couple days before the Crossroads GT (which was a 2250 point KOW 2E team event). I played a practice game the night before against a team mate, crushing his new Nightstalkers with the fury of a bunch of crustaceans (GAME 1: NIGHTSTALKERS). And with practice out of the way – I had literally never played the army before! – we got a few hours sleep and headed into the event. The list I took for that first outing:

Trident Realm 2250 (2E)
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Gigas Horde*
Gigas Horde*
Kraken
Kraken
Kraken
Naiad Envoy – Aura of Heroism (2), Banner of the Griffin
Depth Horror Eternal – Inspiring Talisman
Depth Horror Eternal – Orcish Skullpole
Naiad Wyrmrider Centurion – Fire-Oil
*King Crabs

As captain of Team Cuddle Time II, I was vaguely in charge of working out which armies would go up against each other and/or what scenarios they would play, so I had some control over who and what my crabs faced. My goal for the team was to put myself into harder armies but ideally with better scenarios for my Trident … which was total conjecture since I didn’t really know what they could do! Here’s the briefest of recaps:

GAME 2: ELVES

NWC and Kraken doing terrible things to Elf Archers!

 

Couldn’t tell you what the mission was or how things broke down, but holy hell I won! Biggest revelation was that massed heartpiercers are really good at killing big monsters, as his dragon was deleted in a couple turns as it tried to harry my flanks and rear.

GAME 3: KINGDOMS OF MEN

Kraken resolutely face-tanking a charge from a Knight horde!

Knight-heavy (like 2x hordes + regiments + flying heroes) men largely controlled this game, however through the magic of ensnare + hindering the crabs were able to bog down his momentum and smash their way to an inconceivable draw.

GAME 4: BASILEANS

Another fast army, this time 2x Elohi, 2x Uh-Elohi, 1-2x Knights, token foot troops, Gnaeus Sallustis annnnnd the mega-dragon (who is now just the normal dragon). I should have gotten wrecked, however he was extremely caught up in the dance a Kraken and his dragon were having in some woods, where I kept turning or stepping into and out of wood templates and he had to keep over-analyzing LOS and what was going on over there, all while taking continual Heartpiercer damage. Preposterously I won this one too!

GAME 5: UNDEAD

Crabs busting ghosts!

Dawn of Day 2, and while Team Cuddle Time II wasn’t doing stellar (our Varangur player was getting paired up against very hard armies, and pretty consistently getting smashed for his troubles), my Trident Realm was on a real tear! Up against Undead next, a rather standard 2E affair with some hordes, some knights, some wraith troops, some barrow wights, a dragon, etc. Lowlight was a Kraken getting trapped by Wraiths and dismantled – one troop to the front, then more to the flank, then another to the rear! But otherwise the dragon was shot down and the punchy crabs punched hard, with a somewhat lucky Gigas + Gigas + Eternal charge into a fresh horde that helped me roll his flank up and maul through the rest of the Undead line. Another win!

GAME 6: UNDEAD

“Craaaaaab meeeeeeaaat”

Final round of the tournament, and another Undead grinder for me. Main difference here is the abundance of zombies and zombie trolls. I was in control of this game early on, thanks to shooting, but I still remember how, instead of waiting for Turn 3 to engage, when the zombie trolls had been shot off, I jumped the guns and sent the Kraken all in Turn 2, which got most of them killed – including one to multiple wraith troop charges, again. Once the big hammers were down, I scrabbled as best I could but was overrun, earning the armies first loss.

All told, it was a pretty heartening first six games with the scuttlers! Really quite unexpected … although a bit tarnished as the 3E changes for Trident Realm had been previewed the day before the event, and it was clear that almost all the units I was using were going to lose their COK19 bumps. I had a feeling 3E was about to get bumpy for my new army.


Some KOW-less weeks later, the new edition hit, confirming some particularly distressing developments:

  1. Heartpiercers became irregular, making my 2E list illegal and ensuring I will always hurt for unlocks
  2. Heartpiercers lost ensnare, pathfinder and 2 attaks, for the benefit of steady aim, which gutted the reason I based an army around these little, mobile tarpits happy to grab a 24 attak flank when able
  3. Gigas went up to a larger base, making them unwieldy but more importantly meaning I had to paint more of them and rebase the unit (they also lost 1 CS but gained 1 Def and kept their King Crabs Sp, so meh; the added nimble has yet to matter for me)
  4. Kraken lost 3 attaks, severely hurting their abilities as hammers, ironically at the same time as they gained +D3″ charge range

At first I added a Wyrmrider horde for a third hero unlock, but man they suck now. In my first 3E game I lost against Ogres (GAME 7: OGRES):

Then over Wintermas I leant my brother my Ratkin, who brutally beat me at dominate (GAME 8: RATKIN), but then the next day I narrowly squeaked out a win in raze (GAME 9: RATKIN):

With a 3E win under my belt at last, I took on my clubmate’s Abyssals (GAME 10: FORCES OF THE ABYSS), losing again but at least keeping it close:

Meanwhile, my buddy had finally relented to my arm twisting, picked up a load of Mantic minis and smashed through a Northern Alliance army in record time. In short order he hit 2300 points and found himself facing crabs every other week or so. While I won the first match (GAME 11: NORTHERN ALLIANCE), and his first game of full size Kings –

– Trident’s pillowy fists would come up to haunt me, as I lost both of the next two games (GAME 12: NORTHERN ALLIANCE & GAME 13: NORTHERN ALLIANCE). Including this gem:

Aye, that’s a Kraken (with 2 loot tokens) being flanked by Huscarls (with 2 loot tokens) and Half-Elf Berserkers. While the Kraken is in that predicament because I rolled double ones, the North did not repay the favor 😥 Nor did I ever get those 4 loot tokens away from the Huscarls.

Which brings us up to last week! February 22-23 was the US Masters here in New York, and there was a side GT called the Best of the Rest for, well, the rest of us who wanted to scrum and soak up that Masters vibe. I took my freshly reduxed crabs with me and ended up taking a lot of photos with the intent to blog. So strap in, tournament report inbound!

Side Note: Since I’m covering reports for different armies on this blog now, you’ll be able to use the new Category feature >> to more easily select which army you want to follow. Though I do tend to avoid bouncing between armies, it could happen!