Second game of the first day and I’m up against Bill, a new local player who picked up Kings of War late last year. He’s got a largely Mantic Abyssals army with a pair of enormous worms for his Fiends, which I’m 100% here for and look forward to wrassling with.
Forces of the Abyss 2100 Molochs Horde – Despoiler Champ, Sacrificial Imp, Blade of Slashing Abyssal Ghouls Horde Abyssal Ghouls Horde Abyssal Horsemen Regiment – Staying Stone Flamebearers Troop Flamebearers Troop Gargoyles Troop Abyssal Fiend Abyssal Fiend
Looks the business to me, although he wasn’t sold on Zaz’u’szu. I’ve only seen him used in batreps myself, but then Abyssals is one of those armies where I tend to just face them at tournaments. Maybe not any longer, welcome to the scene Bill!
Second scenario is Control, with me making the Abyssals go first, largely to mess with his Flamebearers.
BATTLE: GAME 2
Trident 7: I melt the last fragment of my clock thinking about where to put the central Kraken, in the end deciding to gamble on shooting the Warlock and getting +2 points rather than walking into the upper left for a sure +1 point and then possibly denying him a point. The Centurion does not drop the Warlock, however the Water Elemental horde sends Ba’el screaming back to the pit with my last seconds of clock, which is always a good feel. With 3 sectors to the Abyss’ 1, this is another …
I came close to getting an 18-3 on this and sort of gave it away on a gamble, but whatever, it was great to play Bill and I look forward to more games with him. His indecision with the Abyssal Horsemen early game was saved by hot waver dice keeping the right Kraken from rampaging his line, but then that Moloch rear was pretty catastrophic and let the Water Elementals decimate his hammers into the late game. Mad props on using Ba’el’s Curse all the same!
Alright, last game of the 2021 Crossroads GT. Middle tables, nothing at stake, opponent is a buddy from our sister club and, crazily enough, I almost played him and this army in my third game ever with Herd, before we swapped the Ratkin player over to me. Call it fate.
I really appreciate no item lists, especially when there are units that so often are ‘fixed’ with the same items – looking at the Horsemen without pathfinder or strider here. As my opponent said, what would he drop to get them? Personally I’m not a fan of De3 on Lower Abyssals, with so much P1 shooting in the game, but he doesn’t have the points to make them do work otherwise, so trade-off it is.
Game Five is Plunder, the green tokens are worth 2 points. I scout and lamentably he takes first turn.
Meanwhile, Tribal Spears move down the center line, intent on scooping up another loot token. The Centaur Chief doesn’t move at all, which seems bad when I think how just backing up 5″ makes the Seductress make more of a decision, but it’s not game ending with how fast she is. Finally the Druid bane chants the Forest Shamblers.
The Centaurs re-charge the left Flamebearers (I’m pretty sure they didn’t flank the Warlock because the Flamebearers have double the shots, tho future me definitely thinks they should have, as it inspires / might actually die), the central Herder corkscrew charges the right Flamebearers (largely so he can look to the right), and the Brutal Herder ramps off the hill into Ba’el. For vengeance. The Druid tops him off with a little healing.
I’ve got some weird feels about that omission, as Turn 7 ruined me here, for zero upside despite my power pieces. However I had a great back and forth game up to here and as far as I knew we had the turns correct, so either way that’s am …
ABYSSAL VICTORY (4-17)
I won’t say I wasn’t weirdly disappointed at playing so hard, pushing through some terrible luck (like everything to do with the Flamebearers), having some insane luck (the Ba’el dunk!), and then walking away with next to no points for it, but that’s how the cookie crumbles in a game where scenarios score at the end #progressivescoringnowplz It was a helluva match against an honestly better player, and a great way to cap a great tournament. It’s becoming passe to say this, but in person gaming again has been amazing, and a tournament is like the best way to do it. Minus the lack of sleep thing, tho that probably won’t ever change.
Nor will my placement I reckon – I landed 34 of 52, which I swear I’ve gotten before 😓 2-1-2 (but 49/105 battle points) and average paint will do that. I did get 1 favorite army vote from somebody tho! And played great dudes along the way, many of them for the first time since 2E.
Before signing off on this Crossroads series I did want to comment on Turn 7 being a thing. I’m all for its existence, and I’m fine with it at tournaments as well, but 4+ is far too often for me. I’d like it to be a special thing that maybe happens a third or a sixth of the time, but absolutely shattering a game on 50% – or creating a win-more scenario with the same likelihood – is pretty lame and a little too Games Workshop for me at this point.
Part of this thought was sparked by Saturday night’s discussion with a new KOW player but Warmachine vet, who was enjoying herself but scoffed at KOW’s claims that it’s designed for competitive play. To her, 50/50 Turn 7 and the ability to fabricate situations where units must charge an arc but are not allowed to charge that arc both invalidate the competitive design stance, and I agree on the first point, while shrugging on the second and calling it one of KOW’s NPEs.
I think Turn 7 has the potential to guide comp in a way (speed / shooting / survival in that order) and possibly force more conservative play, so maybe that’s why it always seems to wreck me so badly? As I very rarely have anything left in the late game, either to capitalize on Turn 7 or, more often, to survive it. Hence my feels about Game Five here, as I actually had meaningful tools in position for it, but wasn’t allowed to use them. Honestly, Turn 7 on a 50% would be less of an issue if 90% or so of the scenarios weren’t end scoring only. With progressive scoring, you’re awarded for scenario-minded play along the way, which my Herd basically have to do, in the hope they’ll currently be around to reap the benefits at the very end.
Thanks for reading! I’ve just got a couple more games in with the Hallow, so stay tuned.
Hope y’all had a great holiday season, all pandemics considered. Popping in to toss some shots of my last game of 2020 up (from August!), the report for which got lost in the shuffle, partially because my dice made it a particularly one-sided affair. Also wanted to warn y’all that I’ll probably let my WordPress pay account lapse in 2021 – which mostly means the URL will default to something less cool. Still hoping to log games up here, when they happen again 😞 But anyway, here’s a fast report of a game I barely remember:
Trident Realm 2300 Water Elementals Horde Water Elementals Horde Gigas Horde – Chalice of Wrath Gigas Horde – Staying Stone Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment Kraken Kraken Naiad Centurion – Blade of the Beast Slayer Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2), Tome of Darkness Naiad Envoy – Lute of Insatiable Darkness
This is essentially the final form of the crabs – and will hopefully be painted soon, really putting off painting my last big Mierce crustacean. Water Elementals are really quite good, Kraken work best in pairs, the shooting is real and it’s been cool to realize that individuals have a place in this game.
I’m guessing on some of the upgrades here, but this seems more or less correct. The Molochs might not have champs, which would leave points for the other Lowers to have CS(1) and the Horsemen to get a movement upgrade, both of which seem likely.
Looks like we were playing Plunder, judging by the tokens.
A commanding win for the crabs, thanks in large part to terrible Nv dice for the Abyssals. At the time it felt like this game was really run by the dice, to the point that reporting it felt a little weird, but watching it play out here I’m pretty happy with choices I actively made. Going ham on the left with the Kraken and Water Elementals took me a long time to decide on – this kind of decision almost always bites me – but really paid out, as it held up units that were going to struggle without hot dice and let me grind them down.
Anyway, that’s all the KOW for 2020! Really excited to get back on the table next year, and trying to stay focused and keep working on KOW hobby stuff until then, as opposed to wandering around the grim darkness of GW stuff and getting really nothing done.
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!
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:
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
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
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
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
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:
Heartpiercers became irregular, making my 2E list illegal and ensuring I will always hurt for unlocks
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
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)
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!
Slave Orcs Horde
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Staying Stone*
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Pipes of Terror*
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Chalice of Wrath
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Orcish Skullpole
Abyssal Grotesques Horde – Brew of Haste
Ba’su’su the Vile
Tortured Souls Regiment
Abyssal Temptress with Wings
Third game of Orc Town Day 1 was against one of my favorite opponents (also from our sister club), with the upgunned version of an army I faced at Crossroads last year. I barely understood what Barka and Ba’su’s are capable of, but as it turned out, super-individuals are indeed pretty annoying. I couldn’t tell you what we played – frankly, it may have been Kill! Whatever we were doing, it involved violence and the Dwarfs going first.
Abyssal Dwarfs 1: The formation Halfbreeds are the rightmost two, in flying V’s near Barka
Bloodfire 1: *limbering up*
Abyssal Dwarfs 2: That was fast! Sprites die, wound dice go everywhere
Bloodfire 2: Gargoyles die, as does a formation Halfbreed I’m guessing because I hosed it with shooting and then surge-charged in, AND the left-flanking Halfbreeds thanks to hot Jarraider dice
Abyssal Dwarfs 3: The next wave hits …
Abyssal Dwarfs 3: … taking down the Jarraiders and the Martyr Priest (sorry Agnes!), and otherwise bouncing
Bloodfire 3: Agnes tries to deliver some pain before her imminent death, the Tortured Souls are burnt down, Grots get punched, and in a surprise move, the leftmost Fire Elementals flank the Blacksouls, shattering them
Abyssal Dwarfs 4: Violence! You can see Ba’su’su bouncing around across my deployment zone all game, combo-charging everything
Abyssal Dwarfs 4: Agnes dies (curse you Barka!), as do the Grots’ Fire Elementals
Bloodfire 4: The Slave Orcs get shot to hell, surge-charged and routed; meanwhile the Herald tries to boop a formation Halfbreed regiment, for that lucky pop (no dice)
Abyssal Dwarfs 5: Murder! Including the Slave Driver charging some Fire Elementals, his charges all dead
Abyssal Dwarfs 5: It’s mostly effective! Bloodfire right flank is run down, also Ba’su’su did 7! wounds to the CLOFD in one go O_O
Bloodfire 5: Lots of counter-charges, which mostly work (CLOFD should have just run forward and not even tried to deal with Ba’su’su … which is kind of messed up, given how big and expensive my monster is)
Abyssal Dwarfs 6: More fast murder!
Abyssal Dwarfs 6: Barka kills some Sprites, Halfbreeds kill the CLOFD
Bloodfire 6: Fire Elementals kill those Halfbreeds, other Fire Elementals face south for who knows why!
I kind of think this one came down to a right tidy …
Which was a totally copacetic way to end Day 1, at more or less 50% against some great dudes. I’ll have Day 2 either late this week or next.
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
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 youll see I continually underestimated the Lord of Lies . . . Worth noting that this was the players second game of KOW using physical minis. Respect.
Second round was Push (1 token), and whoever won initiative the Abyssals headed out first.
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 cant 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 cant 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 doesnt 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.
Turn 7 happens! The final Horsemen charge the Fire horde with the Wells token, doing a respectable 8 damage but bouncing. They get flanked + fronted by Fire Elementals and melted to slag.
And big wins for all of Team Cuddle Time, thanks Beef & Wings!
Fire Elemental Horde – Sparkstone
Fire Elemental Horde – Healing Brew
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ankylodon Battle Platform – firebolts
Herald on Raptor – Diadem of Dragonkind
Herald on Raptor – Healing Charm
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin
Last one of these mini reports! This was an intro game for a clubmate who used to play WHFB with us and mostly disappeared after the cataclysm, until he finally caved and bought an Abyssal megaforce late in the summer. He slammed the army out in really stunning time although note that the list he ended up painting and bringing to the Crossroads GT 2017 was not the one above. We berated him out of using the Molochs in short order and he replaced them with a Well of Souls, more Gargoyles, etc.
Pretty sure we played Dominate, because I may as well have an advantage XD
Ha! I dont remember much and my photos are terrible. I think in these intro games I was more interested in talking about KOW and its intricacies than taking board shots. Thats my excuse.
But wow are my guys red!
Eventually a lot of his things bumped into mine and were clobbered back, with the things in the list you expect to die dying Molochs (though they did better than the internet might think, especially with multiple flank charges (!) going off), Horsemen, Succubi, Gargs all succumbing to burning love and breath attaks.
This might be the turning point:
Tortured Souls pulled off a stunner of a long distance charge into the Ankylodons flank, shredding him down 17 wounds and then rolling snake eyes! A lot went sideways after this, with flank charges and surge charges bashing up the rest of the Abyssals but good.