One last practice game for the Dead of Winter GT this weekend, and I’m up against Bill, our local Abyssals player. He threatened to bring his lightning hell, max Flamebearers list but decided to try out a less skewed army …

Forces of the Abyss 2150

Molochs Horde – Despoiler Champ; Blessing of the Gods
Molochs Horde – Despoiler Champ; Boots of Striding
Tortured Souls Horde
Tortured Souls Regiment
Tortured Souls Regiment
Flamebearers Regiment
Flamebearers Regiment
Gargoyles Troop
Abyssal Fiend
Seductress – Gnome-Glass Shield
Abyssal Warlock – Veil of Shadows (3)
Zaz’u’szu the Betrayer [1] – Bane Chant (2-6), Lightning Bolt (4-8)
13 (22)

Bill has found himself in the same place I did when messing with Abyssals: Where the hammers at? He’s not an Abyssal Horsemen fan (Nv too low), and while he usually runs triple Molochs, 2150 points was too tight for all three of his hordes. Hence the Tortured Souls horde is here to see what it can do. There are 5-10 missing points in this list (depending on if it’s Veil 2 or 3), and I kind of think the TS horde might have had something? But it never came up, much like the Veil 😉

Herd 2150

Lycan Horde – Brew of Strength
Guardian Brute Horde
Guardian Brute Horde
Minotaur Chariot Regiment – The Stampede [1]
Tribal Warrior Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Tribal Warrior Regiment
Tribal Warrior Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Lycan Alpha
Great Chieftain – Horn of the Great Migration [1]
Centaur Chieftain
Druid – Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
13 (24)

This game I was testing out one more tweak, dropping the Druid’s reroll staff (which hasn’t worked in ages) and the Centaur Chief’s reroll sword for the horn of dread and WC (+1) on the Great Chieftain. The dread has some skornergy with the Brutes’ brutal, but I look forward to having it and the +1″ when facing other Sp 6 combat units. 19″ charges with the Lycans seems legit too. I’ve never run dread before either so that’s a cool thing to check off.

We played Push, using the tournament tweak that you can’t put more than two tokens in one unit. I made the Abyssals go first because 18″ shooting wants only one thing and it’s disgusting.


Battlelines! Abyssals (left to right): Tortured Souls in front of elite Molochs, Chroneas in front of Abyssal Fiend with Seductress, Flamebearers (1 token), Abyssal Warlock (1 token), Flamebearers (1 token) in front of Gargoyles, Zaz’u’szu, Tortured Souls in front of strider Molochs, Tortured Souls horde.

Herd (left to right): Lycan horde, Centaur Chief, Tribal Warriors regiment, Centaur Striders in front of Brutes and Great Chieftain, Tribal Warriors horde (1 token) in front of Druid, Centaur Striders in front of Brutes, Lycan Alpha, Tribal Warriors regiment (2 tokens), the Stampede.

Abyssals 1: The flanks of the demonic castle roll forward, with the Abyssal firebase holding firm. I swear, I fight two Flamebearer regiments with a Warlock sandwiched between them standing in cover every time I face the Abyss 😛

Zaz’u’s lightning does a single damage to the right Centaurs but wavers them! This is actually kind of terrible for me, well played Bill. (Zaz’u always chooses the Gargoyles as his betrayal target, and they’re always regening as a result. I probably won’t mention this again.)

Herd 1: The Hallow more or less surges forward. Lycan and Centaur Chief prepare a trap on the left, should the Abyss engage early, while the Stampede and Lycan Alpha get within max range of the Tortured Souls horde, protecting their Tribal Warriors carting two tokens. In the center, I actually wanted to shove into the woods to flood the Abyssal shooting bunker with targets, but the Tortured Souls on the right are threatening flanks on the Tribal Warriors horde and right Brutes, so I had to be unfortunately conservative. The Brutes prepared to be lit up. (Also the Druid cleans up the damage on the Centaurs.)

Abyssals 2: The only movement from the Abyss is the Tortured Souls horde disappearing behind the hill and the regiment sidestepping for reasons. Cue the firestorm.

Blessedly, the Brutes take a mere 6 damage and hold firm. Wheeeeew.

Herd 2: The first wave of green vengeance crashes into the Abyssal lines! Tribal Warriors and Centaurs charge the left Tortured Souls regiment, with Great Chieftain’s dread bubble in support, and the smoldering Brutes on the right charge the other Tortured Souls regiment. I figure they’re as good as dead so may as well pressurize those hammers hiding behind the hill. I punch up the center with the next wave of heavy hitters, luxuriating in the woods (and grabbing the center token with the Tribal Warriors horde), while the Lycan and Centaur Chief buddy nimble around the house to be a problem in coming turns. On the right, the Stampede moves within the Moloch’s charge range, assuming that they won’t be able to engage out of fear of the Brutes or not without the Tortured Souls horde moving somewhere it can’t do anything or doesn’t want to be.

Both Tortured Souls regiments are cast back to the pit from whence they came. The Brutes turn to face the Abyssal hammers, disrespecting the hindered Flamebearers entirely … and not seeing the Gargoyle flank, tho I would have dismissed that as well, such is my hubris.

Abyssals 3: The Abyss strikes back across the board. Molochs charge the Centaurs on the left and the Stampede on the right, the latter possible because the Tortured Souls horde indeed backs up and sits this turn out too. Canny play, Bill. The Chroneas and Abyssal Fiend plow into the Tribal Warriors horde in the forest, hindering the Fiend but not the striding Chroneas. The damaged Brutes are indeed flanked by the Gargoyles (with Zaz’u in the front), shortly before the Seductress flies over to menace the Druid next turn. The Abyssal fire base targets the poor Centaurs out in the open.

Cloak of Deaaaaaaath!

Those Centaur Striders who were wavered first turn and vaporized this turn. RIP. In combat, the Molochs decimate the Centaurs on the left, and waver the Stampede on the right (on a rock solid 10 damage). The Brutes are surprisingly driven off by the Gargoyles, with no help from Zaz’u who contributed no damage. Finally, the Abyssal titans stomp 7 damage into the Tribal Warriors horde but they’re fine.

Shot from the left showing the Lycan horde and handler lurking around the house.

Herd 3: Gentle readers, you know I’m down to grind, and so we do. Tribal Warriors and Brutes tackle the left Molochs, but not before the Tribal Warriors horde counters the Chroneas (limiting their slide). The Great Chieftain flanks the Chroneas as well. On the right, the Stampede fury counters the other Molochs, with flanking support from the Lycan Alpha. We discuss whether the Tribal Warriors can fight the Molochs too, but I decide that you can’t multi-charge if one of the chargers can’t actually Charge (in the Stampede’s case). Outside of charging, the Lycan and Centaur Chief move into position to assault the Flamebearers, and the Druid prepares to bane chant one last time before the Seductress does unspeakably sexy things to her.

Thankfully the BC goes off! And the Chroneas is blended, as are the left Molochs. The Stampede and Lycan Alpha likewise tag team the other Molochs to death. Bill is surprised at how easily the Molochs fall – I’m not 😤

Abyssals 4: The Forces of the Abyss are feeling a little light on the ground but there’s a lot of firepower and speed left. The Abyssal Fiend charges (hindered) the Tribal Warrior horde again, as the Seductress trips over some roots and (hindered) charges the Druid tending to them. The Abyssal fire base mobilizes, lining up some shots before the Hallow mobs them all. In a surprise move, the hero Gargoyles charge the two token Tribal Warrior regiment, giving me a concern! And Zaz’u and the Tortured Souls horde declare their relevance.

Firebolts and lightning put the Brutes on 7 damage, the Lycan Alpha on 3, and the Stampede on 13, wavering 😦 In combat, the Abyssal Fiend rolls around on the Tribal Warriors horde, putting them to 10 damage, the Seductress bad touches the Druid for 6 damage (she wavers), and the Gargoyles do 2 to the Tribal Warriors regiment.

Herd 4: Time to seal some deals and pack this game away, because I have some concerns about the right with the Stampede so mangled. The Lycan make contact at least, flanking some Flamebearers over a wall with Tribal Warrior friends. The Brutes flank the Abyssal Fiend for maximum carnage, with Tribal Warriors horde in the front. On the right, the Tribal Warrior regiment counters the Gargoyles and the Lycan Alpha chooses to shut down Zaz’u’s lightning. She had a lot of options: flanking the Abyssal Warlock in the center, shutting down the Flamebearers, grounding the Tortured Souls. Honestly she should have gone with the last option, but that’s a bit of hindsight speaking. I figured Zaz’u’s lightning could reach out and mess with my damaged token carriers worse.

*murder sounds* Many demons are smote, and Zaz’u takes 3 damage. (The Stampede turned in place between shots.)

Abyssals 5: It’s feeling like last gasps but Bill is playing for some serious points on the right. The Warlock charges the Brutes to hold them and/or kill them (7 damage so far), and the Seductress hits the Druid again to end her. Zaz’u counters the Lycan Alpha because, but the real move is the Tortured Souls horde jumping into the token-bearing Tribal Warriors.

Flamebearers toss firebolts into the Stampede but luckily can’t land a wound on 5+ / 4+ dice. In combat, the Druid submits under the Seductress’ heavy petting and the Tortured Souls mangle the Tribal Warriors, taking their tokens. Zaz’u and the Warlock do nothing but sure are in the way.

Herd 5: Blenders can be heard revving up as the Warlock is Bruted and the Flamebearers have 79 quality attaks leveled at their frail red bodies. The Stampede plows into the Tortured Souls horde and the Lycan Alpha shrugs and hits Zaz’u again (who has regened down to 1 damage). The Great Chieftain aims to sit the Seductress down, if not kill her.

The center of the board is almost entirely cleared of Abyssal taint. Zaz’u goes to 4 damage but sticks around. The Stampede does a solid 7 damage to the Tortured Souls but it’s not enough. And the Great Chieftain finds -1 to hit and De 6+ far too hard to crack, leaving the Seductress mobile and her Gnome-Glass Shield intact.

Abyssals 6: If Zaz’u isn’t wavered, he counters the Lycan Alpha? And the Seductress counters the Great Chieftain. The only actual business however is the Tortured Souls ending the Stampede.

Which they do, turning to face whatever the Hallow has for them. The Great Chieftain cops some damage too.

Herd 6: Try as I might, the Lycan horde can’t fit on the Tortured Souls, so it rear charges Zaz’u for murdery reasons, with the Lycan Alpha in the front. The Brutes join the Great Chieftain in trying to rid the world of the Seductress.

Zaz’u is detonated, and I think the Seductress may have been dragged down? The ensnare is killing me 😅 But with no Turn 7 and 5 tokens to the Abyssal’s 2, this is a convincing …


I think it’s funny that the unit both Bill and I were bagging on all game, the Tortured Souls horde, was the power player that kept the Abyssals in the game, even securing them serious points – we’re using Blackjack at the GT, so 2 of 7 tokens is pretty meaningful for a minor loss. I do think they need any item, and my suggestion was the discounted Wine of Elvenkind. Their mobility is one of their few upsides, so what if even more mobile? With Helm of TC +1 as a back up.

While the Horn of the Great Migration wasn’t mindblowing, I ended up keeping it for my tournament list as a tech choice. Speaking of the GT, I’ll be back in the next week or so with the full rundown, so stay tuned. They’ve already announced our first round matchups, and I’m happy to announce my first game sees the return of a familiar face and his green horde …


Gentle readers! Sorry for the lack of reports, but unfortunately it’s been extremely hard to get games in this Fall, as everybody’s availability vanished and the wait time for the BRB to arrive squashed a lot of enthusiasm for our existing armies. Well, we’ve finally got our Big Red Books … just in time for the holidays to smash into whatever free time we might have 😐

That said, my club recently announced its GT dates and details, which has lit some fires. Last weekend of January will be the second Dead of Winter GT here in Albany, NY – 5 games, 2150 points, no triples of any kind. While I think this is pretty reactionary and am pretty sure no quads makes for more varied lists, it’s interesting to say the least and I’ll be there no matter the comp (that’s a lie, I probably can’t make a Highlander (no duplicates) list with any army I own!) This Zweilander format, as I’ve dubbed it, does invalidate all my current armies – I use a lot of triples or quadruples for theme / skew – however I’m down to play something different.

Of the four armies I currently have, the Scuttlers (Trident) could be rebuilt but wouldn’t be a shooting army any more and would probably need the return of the Gigas; Bloodfire (Salamanders) is based around Fire Elemental hordes and Ember Sprites, which I’d be limited to 2x hordes + 2x regiments of at most (the duplicate limit is per unit per size); the Hallow (Herd) I recently rebuilt into a Brute hordes and Tribal Warriors regs checkerboard thing; and my WHFB legacy Nurgling army was last run as a Ratkin army in 2E built around 3-4 hordes of elite infantry. I reported my Nurglekin games over on DakkaDakka as well as my old blogspot (check out a weirdly competent tournament run here). The Nurglekin are also individually based and in the midst of an eternal redux, making them the most flexible for tinkering …

So over the last month I chopped up a couple Zombicide minis and started converting a new wave of Ratkin weird tek. I played a 2300 game against Cory’s Salamanders and really enjoyed it! Ratkin 3E is a strange faction but the playstyle felt good to return to, with a nice mix of grind and responsive shooting. Here are the few shots I’ve got of that game, which I believe was a draw thanks to a Turn 6-7 Mother Cryza lightning bolt rout:

The announcement of the Zweilander format curtailed my enthusiasm a bit (goodbye triple Shocktroop hordes) but I pushed on for a while. As time with no games dragged on, I found myself less enthused by the double horde build and wanting to mess around with a totally new direction for the green carpet, one that would let me use some WMH minis I’d earmarked for the army but Ratkin doesn’t support, as it has no tall 50mm units.

Specifically for this bastard!

Enter the Abyssals. While I’ve looked at the Abyssal list before, as it’s the usual home for WHFB Chaos Daemons, I’ve never actually played as them, and have a good track record of beating them at events. Abyssals seem pretty middle of the road, with ok anvils, decent mid-range shooting, mediocre hammers, multiple annoying flyers, an interesting selection of monsters and solos, and a fantastic titan in the Abyssal Fiend. On rate, I’m a fan of Lesser Abyssals and would use them for the Nurgling bulk of the army. The list also has many heroes for me to use all the Confrontation minis that make up the army’s individuals. And most importantly, Abyssals have lots of tall 50mm options for my boy Omodamos: Despoiler Champion, Chroneas, Manifestation of Ba’el, and the Well of Souls. Dash28 tells me the Well is the big brain choice, but I love how weird the Chroneas is, plus in an army that hits on 4+ I really want to hit on 3+, preferably all the time thanks to Strider. I came so close to trying out Ba’el in a game, however I’ll be real, I waver and kill Ba’el whenever I run into him. The dude is fine and his LB7 would be great for the army, I’d just rather have a weirder, fearless option.

The Zweilander format presented some challenges to my triple Lower Abyssal hordes plan, but here’s where I’ve landed after two test games vs Undead:

  • In both my test games I ran double Tortured Souls hordes but wow are those not good hammers! Did they really only lose nimble from 2E? Maybe they had CS2 before too? I’m shocked at how incompetent they are, even in the flank, and the H2 is a real liability on flyers. I’m hoping that the points saved from dropping one to a regiment (i.e. the correct size for the unit) and put back into killy items will help them both do their jobs better. Plus it gives me a fast chaff unit in the regiment.
  • The Abyssals, Guard or Lower, have been ok. I’m always itching to drop them to De 3+ and CS1 but the prevalence of P0-1 shooting is keeping me at De 4+ for now. I might swap the Lower Abyssal regs to CS1, so they might ever do some damage (I grabbed a flank in one of my games and did a whole 4 damage even bane chanted), but in theory they should be decent little 115 point anvils with De 4+ and regen 5+. A regen value, by the way, that I am really struggling with – Trident’s 4+ has ruined me 😛
  • Chroneas has been fun, Me 3+ CS3 is nice and chunky, Cloak of Death is brilliant. Temporal Ruptures is neat although would be much better if the Chroneas could heal itself, since it’s one of the only parts of the army without its own sustain. Which, yes, it could do with drain life but after taking DL8 in my first game I agree with the Internet, the upgrade is a trap. Cheaper is best.
  • The hero blend is a combination of models I want to use and duplication limits due to the comp meaning I can’t just run triple Champs. The more I use the Seductress, the more I love her, what a great toolbox hero. I haven’t run her with LB yet, but I had the points spare and for consistency and more ranged pressure I like the spell on her. For a brief time she had BC (for the Tortured Souls mostly) but I didn’t cast it, preferring to get her stuck in. She had Pipes of Terror in my second game, which is probably the go to if I wasn’t taking Boomstick. Finally, the Abyssal Warlock. An obviously great 3E hero who currently spends his days casting bane chant on the Abyssal hordes. It’s a living! With so many individuals I’ve decided to invest a few points into the new Host Shadowbeast, which I think has legs with the otherwise weak CS1 of the Abyssal individuals. I’ve tacked on Knowledgeable for an extra +1 from the spell, 10 points that otherwise would become Slashing + Crushing for the Champions. That might be better? Since it’s always on and not reliant on the Warlock not casting BC, but eh, I prefer simpler lists with fewer items if I can.

Let’s wrap this up with some mini-reports. In Forces of Nurgle 1: Undead, my buddy premiered yet another redux of his Undead army:

It’s a very solid list, with the exception of the Lute which I assured Jeff that wolf would probably never get a chance to strum. Relying on the Lykanis for inspiring will often hold them back from going rambo, but with only Att 5 maybe that’s for the better? Keeps them close for combo-charging instead of trying for flank pressure.

We played classic Loot, with the Revenant Hordes eventually getting a token each and proving far too hard for me to shift with their LL2+ and my terrible dice. The highlight for me was slowly whittling down and routing his Soul Reaver Cav with one Abyssal Champion, thanks to wavering them halfway through the process. Shadowbeast +4 gave him the boost he needed to finish them. The lowlight, tho, was taking seven flanks from Goreblights, only one to two of which were thanks to surge …

One of seven Goreblight flanks, each one of which killed a unit.

I was obviously having trouble protecting my hordes’ and regs’ flanks or blocking the Goreblights out, despite having all these dumb individuals wandering around getting into trouble. Like smashing a Soul Reaver unit late game and then going back to back to block out the final token out of spite:

The Undead did get a Turn 7 to try to grab the third token too, but my Apostates of Darkness successfully held the hill:

Despite these late game heroics, this was a decisive NURGLEKIN LOSS. I went back to the drawing board, waffled around with including Ba’el, kept the Chroneas and rematched the Undead a couple days later. He ran the same list, except with the Necromancer swapped to a Revenant Champion w/ Tome of Darkness + Surge (5) and no Lute on that Lykanis. I assured him that ‘wasting points’ on a model you’d rather bring (he hates his Necro) and is only marginally better is both Cool and Good.

In Forces of Nurgle 2: Undead, we rolled up Push. He loaded all his tokens on the Aegis Revenants and successfully grabbed the center token with the Hann’s Revenants, so again put me in the position of needing to crack very tough hordes with a relatively toothless army. Here’s us squaring off on the left:

You can also see me feeding my trash Abyssal regiments to bop the horde or sleedbump things. I messed up and should have blocked the central Goreblight so it couldn’t (SPOILER) flank me in coming turns 😦 But such was the theme of the weekend.

Like so! This is after that Goreblight flanked to the right, killing an Abyssal Guard regiment and spinning to face this flank, which it walked into. Dammit, me. This horde did survive tho, as the Goreblight rolled normal hits for the first time all weekend (my opponent’s dice were FIRE on all his 4+ while mine were wet garbage), and I got to experience the power of the sacrificial imp double regen, which was great fun 😀

Eventually we crack both Rev hordes, then both roll a bunch of snake eyes in a row that extend the rout of the Undead longer than it needed to be. Highlights: the same Abyssal Champ wavering and eventually routing the same Soul Reaver Cav from Game 1; the Chroneas withdrawing (-1 to hit!) and rear charging some Soul Reaver infantry, only to snake eyes them on 16 damage and die in return; both Tortured Souls hordes mobbing the other Soul Reaver infantry, only to snake eyes them on 16 damage and die in return* (well one anyway); an Abyssal Guard unit with 4 tokens scooting off into the sunset on Turn 4 while all this carnage played out on the left. I eventually got the 3 tokens from that Rev Horde as well, making this a dominating NURGLEKIN WIN.

* If you were concerned about Soul Reaver Infantry’s damage output after the nerf, don’t be! They still hit shockingly hard, especially when you’re Jeff and you consistently wound 13+ times with those 20 attaks.

So after these games and a weekend spent in the kitchen with Abyssals, I’m not sure how I feel. The list I posted above is neat and has some tools behind it and I’m down to try it again … but in game, I gotta say rolling 4-5+ all the time is a real slog. I’m pretty sick of playing armies that don’t feel like they do anything, which is how I felt playing my Herd before I added more to them this summer and embraced the hammers that Herd have available. Ironically, I find myself wondering if I should just play the Hallow, which has some very cool 3D sculpts and is my newest paint, rather than putting work into revising my infantry-centric Nurglekin, whether they’re Abyssals or Rats or whatever. But I worry that Herd don’t have enough going on for me, a control player at heart who doesn’t like alpha strike.

Anyhoo, thanks for reading all this! I’ll hopefully be back before the year ends with a proper report or two as we prep for Dead of Winter.


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

Manifestation of Ba’el – Lightning Bolt (7)
Despoiler Champion
Zaz’u’szu the Betrayer – Lightning Bolt (4+), Bane Chant (2+)
Abyssal Warlock – Alchemist Curse (2)

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.


Abyssals 1: The demonic line pushes forward in the middle, hampered by terrain on the left, while the Abyssal Horsemen rapidly redeploy away from the crabby right flank. Lightning strikes some Heartpiercers with no significant impact (apart from 6 damage).
Trident 1: Crustaceans scuttle forth in response, using the Abyssal retreat on the right to push hard down that flank. Harpoons rout a Flamebearer unit, skewer Ba’el for 3 damage and the war-bow Envoy tags the left Abyssal Fiend (WAR-BOW). Bastion goes up on the rapidly regenerating Heartpiercers (down to 2).
Abyssals 2: The bulk of the Abyssals continue trudging through the terrain down the center of the board, as the Horsemen have a change of heart and face the oncoming crabs on the right. Significantly more fire is brought to bear this turn, wavering Heartpiercers on the left (6 damage) and wounding the Depth Horror Eternal (3 damage) and right Placoderms (2 damage). Zaz’u has started to significantly hurt his Gargoyle battery at this point (7 damage) as well!
Trident 2: The sound of the grind revving up can be heard as the right Kraken is released upon the poor Abyssal Horsemen, smashing 5 damage into them. The right Placoderms make contact with Zaz’u, pinching 4 damage into him. The Eternal charges the right Ghouls horde to block them up (2 damage caused), shortly after Heartpiercers stick 2 more damage into Ba’el and lucky waver the big bad! Also the other Flamebearers start to take Heartpiercer damage and the war-bow Envoy tags that Abyssal Fiend again (WAR-BOW)!
Abyssals 3: We’re getting danger close now! The Eternal takes a combo-charge from Ghouls and Abyssal Fiend, while the right Kraken is countered by his Horsemen. The other significant movement is the Molochs moving to reinforce the right flank, but otherwise it’s murder time.
The wounded Heartpiercers on the left are dunked by the Abyssal Fiend and/or Flamebearers and/or Warlock, and some combination of those also does 4 damage to the left Kraken. In combat, the Eternal takes 8 damage and wavers (with bastion on him), while the right Kraken goes up to 7 damage and wavers on a 10+. Touche, Abyssals, touche.
Trident 3: Crabs up the ante this turn, diving into combat across the board. Placoderms charge the left Ghoul horde, and the other Ghoul horde is flanked by a Kraken and fronted by the Water Elemental horde. The Eternal fury counters the right Abyssal Fiend, the right Placoderms aim to pop the betrayed Gargoyles, and the right Kraken furiously regens in place. Real Talk: I need a couple of these combats to go my way or I’m in a bad place. I mean, they totally should, but anything can and will happen with my dice 😐
The Centurion spikes Zaz’u off the board with his laser trident, removing the Gargoyles inspiring and helping the Placoderms rend the stony bird girls to gravel and face the Molochs. The central Ghoul horde is evaporated, allowing the left Kraken to reform out of the left Abyssal Fiend’s LOS and seriously menace the Abyssal lines, along with the Water Elemental horde. In other news, Ba’el takes a couple damage from Heartpiercers (bad dice!), the left Fiend is shot to 6 damage, and the left Ghoul horde snipped to 5 damage. The Eternal must have hacked some damage into his Fiend too.
Abyssals 4: Ba’el kicks things off by diving some Heartpiercers far away from the giant crabs staring at him, comboing with the Despoiler Champion. The Molochs hit the right Placoderms, the left Fiend helps the Ghoul horde out with the other Placos, and the right Fiend counters the Eternal. Shooters in the center prepare to waver or kill the central Kraken.
And waver him they do, rolling that spicy 8-9. In fact, everything the Abyssals touch wavers this turn – EVERYTHING. My scuttlin’ realm for a fury aura!
Trident 4: You know what isn’t wavered? The Water Elemental horde charging the rear of the Molochs 😬 Also the Centurion, who hits the Horsemen to help the Kraken grind them out, since the big guy keeps wavering. Loads of regening happens as well.
The Molochs are brutalized, the Water Elementals turning to eat an Abyssal Fiend next turn. Heartpiercer shooting punches more damage on the left Abyssal Fiend (9 total I think) and a little more on Ba’el. Bastion goes up on the central Kraken.
Abyssals 5: The left Placoderms are again charged by Ghouls and Abyssal Fiend, as the Centurion is countered by the Horsemen and the Eternal prepares to be eaten by his Fiend. Ba’el disengages from the Heartpiercers, preparing to style on me, tho the Despoiler Champ charges them again.
Kings of Hills: The Revenge
Instead of shooting or fighting, Ba’el shouts ‘From the Pit I Curse Thee!’, disordering both Heartpiercer units and the bastion Envoy! Bravo. In more violent news, the left Placos are once more wavered in combat, as is the central Kraken from shooting. WTH. The Eternal falls to the right Fiend, the Centurion takes some damage and the Despoiler Champ nibbles on its Heartpiercers.
Trident 5: Crabby vengeance will be ours! The Water Elementals and Placoderms plow into the Eternal’s Abyssal Fiend, as Centurion and Kraken hit the Horsemen, and Heartpiercers go aggro on Ba’el’s flank and the Despoiler Champ’s front. The wavered Placoderms disengage and the Kraken furiously regenerates (9 of 9 damage!)
Horsemen and Abyssal Fiend are routed, but no such luck elsewhere, with token damage at best from the Heartpiercers (although that left Fiend is at like 10+ damage now).
Abyssals 6: With his mind on the scenario, the Abyssal general eases up on the gas on the left and jockeys units into zones. Ba’el and the Despoiler Champ however do hit those Heartpiercers in the bottom right again.
And dunk them pretty hard. Alchemist curse from the Warlock pressure cooks the right Placoderms as well (and was doing a number on the central Kraken all game).
Trident 6: Things are pretty well in hand (claw) for me, especially once the central Kraken eats those Flamebearer’s in his sector. Some other violence happens, but the Ghouls hold and the Water Elementals can’t finish of Ba’el. Check out that clock at this point, with Bill up 20+ minutes over me 😀
Abyssals 7: The Ghouls overwhem the Placoderm, taking the lower left sector from my Heartpiercers. The Water Elemental thankfully holds Ba’el and the Despoiler Champ in place.

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!

UP NEXT: Nightstalkers!


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.

Forces of the Abyss 2300
Lower Abyssals Horde – CS1/De3
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment
Flamebearers Regiment
Flamebearers Regiment
Flamebearers Regiment
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Abyssal Fiend
Manifestation of Ba’el
Abyssal Warlock

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.


Herd 0: Scouting phase! You can just make out the Tribal Spear regiments to left and right of frame. The rightmost Forest Shamblers scoop up a 2 point token.
Abyssals 1: The demons power forward on the right and creep into range in the center with their shooting elements (Ba’el is the morghast / winged skeleton thing in the field). Note that that field is flat terrain, not that I really have shooting that he’s not getting cover against.
The central Forest Shamblers take 7 damage and I really question what I’m doing with them 😅
Herd 1: The Hallow, freshly regrown from its scrum with the Orcs, collectively shrugs and leans on in once more! Double Forest Shamblers charge the Lower Abyssals, while the Brutal Herder scoots his 50mm base into some Abyssal Horsemen. The Druid runs up on the right to be inspiring (just behind the rightmost Tribal Spears). The rest of the tree things push up the rest of the board, with the Beast taking up position to jump into the fire base and the gently smoldering Shamblers picking up a token. Of note, the Centaurs couldn’t become relevant thanks to the obstacle stopping at the double, and the Tree Herder over there wasn’t able to both turn and put his leaderpoint into the forest, so he can’t see anything.
The Lower Abyssals are pounded to jelly and the Forest Shamblers reform in their forest sanctuary. The Brutal Herder manages to waver the Horsemen, which in a moment will be more relevant than I thought.
Abyssals 2: Strap in, big turn ahead as carnage blossoms across the field. Horsemen charge the Beast over a wall (I missed this, good eye!), Gargoyles charge Tribal Spears (hindered), more Gargoyles charge damaged Forest Shamblers, Seductress charges Centaur Chief, Ba’el charges Forest Shamblers (hindered) with Horsemen in the flank (hindered but off a hill), Horsemen counter the Brutal Herder (because Fury doesn’t allow for charging, so they couldn’t cycle to his flank), and the other Gargoyles charge the Druid because wow it’s hard to protect individuals from flyers.
All shooting goes into the central Tribal Spears, who hold on 6 damage. After a flurry of dice, the combats end up with the Beast holding on 3, the Tribal Spears on 1, the central Shamblers back to 7, the Centaur Chief on 5 (even after the duelist buzz-saw), Ba’el’s Shamblers routed, the Brutal Herder on 3, and the Druid it looks like on 1 but definitely disordered.
Herd 2: The Hallow reaches that glorious state where Everybody Is Fighting (Except the Druid). Beast + Tribal Spears (hindered, also carrying a token) charge the left Horsemen, Tribal Spears + Centaurs charge some Gargoyles, Tree Herder + Forest Shamblers charge some more Gargoyles, the central Tribal Spears make contact with one of the Flamebearers, the Centaur Chief spends his one charge of the game sitting Ba’el down (which may have been a mistake, shutting down the fire base was likely more impactful but I wanted to limit Ba’el just in general), the Brutal Herder + Forest Shambler friends charge the damaged Horsemen, Centaurs charge the third Horsemen, and the Tribal Spears on the far right go up and over the hill and into the Abyssal Fiend. Whew.
The left Horsemen don’t rout (maybe wavered?), both Gargoyles down the middle scatter (with the Tribal Spears sidestepping and nabbing a token), the Flamebearers take frustratingly little damage, the Centaur Chief flubs his rolls against Ba’el, the damaged Horsemen are smashed to bits, and the Abyssal Fiend and other Horsemen cop some damage but whatever.
No, you’re adorable!
Abyssals 3: Shooting removed the central Forest Shamblers and Tribal Spears so rapidly I didn’t catch a before shot! Charges see the left Horsemen back into the Beast, the right Horsemen into the flank of the last Forest Shamblers (hindered) with Ba’el in the front (hindered) for a bit of deja vu, the Abyssal Fiend countering the Tribal Spears on the right and the surviving Gargoyles into the rear of the Centaurs. Oh, and the Seductress into the Centaur Chief for another round.
The Beast is pushed to 7 damage but stays frosty, the Centaur Chief whipped to 7 and wavers, the Forest Shamblers to 7 too for all the good it does, the right Tribal Spears to 6, and the Centaurs shredded by hideous Gargoyles.
Herd 3: This game is wildly too close to call, but I do know that the fire base needs to break if I’m keeping my tokens into the late game. To which ends the central Tree Herder powers into the central Flamebearers (couldn’t reach the right ones) and Centaurs charge the left ones. On the left, the Beast counters the Horsemen with Tribal Spears in their flank (hindered forever). On the right, the Forest Shamblers counter the Horsemen after a very long think, and Tribal Spears counter the Abyssal Fiend.

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.

Those Horsemen rout! But it’s a slog across the rest of the combats, with no standout performances. Here at the midway point it’s 4-0 in the Hallow’s favor, and at the time I certainly felt like I might get away with it …
Abyssals 4: The fire base prepares to deal with its Centaur problem, as the Seductress ends the Centaur Chief and Ba’el and the Horsemen flank-n-front the Shamblers. Classic! The Abyssal Fiend counters the Tribal Spears again and the Gargoyles fly as far as they can into the woods, gunning for that 2 point token.
The Centaurs cling to life on 4 damage, however the Centaur Chief, Forest Shamblers and Tribal Spears are all consigned to the flames. RIP tree bois. Ba’el picks up the 2 point token, tying the loot score.
Herd 4: The game is slipping away from me, so time to overthink things I guess? Tribal Spears grab a second token, but they do so in a way that puts them within 12″ of where the Gargoyles will be when they grab the 2 point token. I forget that you can only charge 10″ with a token, despite the Tribal Spears on the left moving 5″ off of that fence. And I also discount that the Seductress exists and can very easily block them. 100% should have barely grabbed the token and turned to disappear behind the wood.

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.

Let’s cut right to it: the Brutal Herder one rounds Ba’el 😀 Double 10+ Nv rolls banish the demon back to the pit from whence it came. The Herder stays where it is, presenting flanks and glaring at the field of Flamebearers. Speaking of which, some Flamebearers get slapped around but whatever, this thing is a regenerating glue trap that shoots.
Abyssals 5: You know things are getting serious when nobody deigns to shoot. The Centaurs are countered by Flamebearers and flanked by the Warlock (hindered), the Tree Herder is double flanked by Flamebearers (hindered), and the Brutal Herder is charged by the Seductress (hindered) and flanked on either side by the Abyssal Fiend and Abyssal Horsemen (hindered). The Gargoyles grab a 2 point token and turn around, bringing the token score to 5-2 in the Hallow’s favor.
The Brutal Herder is torn down, in an unexpected turn of events hot on the heels of an even less expected turn. The Horsemen take the 2 point token (4-3 Abyssals). In the field, the Flamebearers do 1 damage to the Tree Herder and waver the Centaurs on 5.
Herd 5: Dire straits as I’m now playing for a high loss. The Beast flanks into the left Flamebearers (could have done the middle but given that the Tribal Spears are still in the wood, it’s a moot point), and the remaining Tree Herder powers into the Abyssal Fiend as he can reach it. The Druid prepares to zap the Gargoyles with lightning, cover be damned …
… and she pops them with 1 damage! They drop their token, conveniently right in front of the Horsemen 😐 Neither the Beast nor the Tree Herder can rout their targets.
Abyssals 6: The Flamebearers caper out of the field with a clear mission to burn down the Hallow token carriers, bereft as they are of inspiring as well. But also the Horsemen nab the second 2 point token (4-3 Abyssals once more). The Abyssals engaged in combat counter / charge their targets.
The Centaurs finally die to the Warlock, the Beast goes up to 9 damage but holds, and the Tree Herder takes 2 from the Fiend. But more importantly the two Flamebearer regiments do reduce the two token Tribal Spears to cinders, thanks to being both very visible and not 50% in cover, when either of those could have not been the case (4-1 Abyssals).
Herd 6: Gonna need a miracle if this goes to Turn 7 … The last Tribal Spears lug their token over and pick up the two fallen ones in the forest (4-3 Abyssals). The Beast goes into the Flamebearers again, and the Tree Herder grimly prepares to smash the Fiend down at last.
Well, the Tree Herder makes good anyway. The Beast kicks a couple Flamebearers for no meaningful result. But you know, I’ll take a 3-4 token loss, that feels good aft—-
Abyssals 7: The Flamebearers roast my 3 token Tribal Spears, and because we thought it was the end of the game – you can see my big die got messed up after Turn 4, so we reset according to his top-n-bottom round dial – he didn’t bother escaping the Tree Herder looming within inches of his 4 points having damaged Sp 5 Horsemen -_- Possible the Beast as well, if she isn’t wounded?

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 …


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
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.

Forces of the Abyss 2300
Lower Abyssals Horde – two-handed weapons
Lower Abyssals Horde
Molochs Horde – despoiler champion
Molochs Horde – despoiler champion
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment
Succubi Regiment – lurker
Flamebearers Regiment
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Manifestation of Ba’el – Lightning Bolt (7)
Abyssal Champion – Lightning Bolt (5)
Abyssal Warlock – Bane Chant (2)
Seductress – Bane Chant (2)

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.


The Abyss descends upon the crab line, albeit with some restraint. Lightning plays across the central Gigas (i.e. one of two units that can’t regen).
Scuttlers scuttle in response. Bastion goes on the left Kraken and Heartpiercers left and right begin ventilating the Succubi and the Horsemen, despite the negatives to hit.
Turn 2 means charges! Some Gargoyles successfully disorder some Heartpiercers, but unfortunately the Horsemen hard fail against the wounded Gigas. A catastrophic Kraken flank is saved however when the Abyssal Champ’s 2 lightning damage results in a box car waver on the titan! The left Water Elementals also cop a couple damage.
The crab’s respond by going aggro with the left Kraken (into Molochs) and Water Elementals (into Lower Abyssals), and otherwise counter-charging the middle and letting the Abyssals decide on the flanks. Heartpiercers chunk some damage on the unengaged Molochs and Lower Abyssals.
While there’s a lot of damage spread across the Abyssal line, the Gigas go wild and tear the Horsemen to pieces! Something like 11 damage from 12 attaks <chefkiss.gif>
Turn 3: The next wave of Abyssals hits home, as 5+ regen kicks in. The Bastion/Lute Envoy takes some damage from the Flamebearers before the carnage begins …
The Scuttlin’ center crunches like so much seafood, but the rest of the shellfish hold the line – including the Heartpiercers on the far left (9 damage taken!)
The crabs respond with the coldhearted violence of their genus: Gigas flank the Succubi on the left, the grind continues in the upper-left, Ba’el’s Kraken jumps on the central Molochs while the Centurion and some stalwart Heartpiercers sandwich the fallen demon lord. The sound of regening can be heard across the board.
Once again, Gigas one-round a unit (hindering be damned), taking out the Succubi. The central Heartpiercers likewise one-shot the Gargoyles who killed their mates last turn. Everywhere else the grind continues, with special mention for the Centurion and Heartpiercers dealing heavy damage to Ba’el.
The Abyssals continue to pile damage on in Turn 4 – check out all those double dice! – but the Nv checks aren’t there. The white chits show that the Scuttlin’ center has been wavered tho (Bastion Envoy, Heartpiercers and central Kraken).
Amongst all the regening (actually it looks pretty weak for 4/5+), the triumphant Gigas plow into the left Molochs as everyone else counter-charges …
Yes, gentle readers, all that happened. The left collapses thanks to that combo-charge, three turns of Water Elemental affection (eventually 54 attaks CS(1) attaks pays out) and a brutal single round of Heartpiercer fire into the Flamebearers. The right vanishes when those heavily damaged Water Elementals rolled like 17 hits and erased the horde 😅 Also Ba’el was torn down by the Centurion, which is pretty damn epic and exactly what he’s there to do. (The above shot is actually from Abyssal 5 but shows the combat results.)
With the heart and most of the limbs torn off the Abyssal army, Turn 5 is a little lackluster. The Seductress dunks the Bastion Envoy and prepares to get Gigas’d, the central Molochs get their Kraken up to double dice but can only pull the waver, while the Abyssal Champ can’t pop the mangled right Water Elementals.
A Kraken careens from one hill into the flank of the Molochs’ on the other, along with a brutal flank from those hero Heartpiercers. Also the Gigas chitter into the Seductress and the right Water Elementals prepare to chomp down on the Champion.
The Molochs disintegrate, but the individuals hold. Heartpiercers begin barraging the Abyssal Warlock with harpoons.
Turn 6 last gasps from the Abyssals. The Warlock tries to firebolt the wounded central Kraken, for no dice.
The Gigas see through the Seductress’ wiles and snip her in half, shortly after a wall of Heartpiercer fire impales the Warlock. The Abyssal Champion is the only demon left on the board, as the crabs quickly regen almost all the damage done to them. Oh, and snap up every loot token.


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.

Happy New Year!


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!

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*
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:


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.


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.


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!


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!


“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!


End of Orc Town Day 1 and it’s a familiar face:


Abyssal Dwarfs + Forces of the Abyss 2350

Blacksouls Horde
Slave Orcs Horde
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
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
Brakki Barka*
Ba’su’su the Vile
*Bhardoom! Formation
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.

Round 3 we played on the Town of Yahbuttia table.



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.


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


Abyssals 2250

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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




Salamanders 2000

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

Abyssals 2000

Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Lower Abyssals Horde
Lower Abyssals Horde
Succubi Troop
Succubi Troop
Molochs Horde – [15 point item]
Molochs Horde
Tortured Souls Horde
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment
Abyssal Harbinger
Efreet – Inspiring Talisman
Abyssal Temptress – Bane Chant (2)

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 don’t 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. That’s 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 Ankylodon’s 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.