GAME 40: ABYSSAL DWARFS

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

BLOODFIRE GAME 40: ABYSSAL DWARFS

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
Slavedriver
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.

BATTLE

Battlines!

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 …

BLOODFIRE DRAW

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.

GAME 37: VARANGUR

100+ days into 2019 and I’ve only played two games of KOW: one a couple weeks ago, where my Nurglekin swarmed all over Varangur in Loot and crushed everything under hot dice, and then this Bloodfire game back in January that was nearly lost in time. I finally got the photos sorted out and, since I’m thinking of giving the fire crew one last hurrah at Orc Town GT this summer, figured I should try to muddle through the report for posterity’s sake. My Varangur scrum-mate wanted practice for Masters, but unfortunately he got to play against the red blob!

BLOODFIRE GAME 37: VARANGUR

Salamanders 2250

Fire Elemental Horde – Brew of Courage
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Agnih-Bhanu, Greatest Fire Elemental
Herald – Banner of the Griffin
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Surge (8), Heal (3), Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Martyr’s Prayer (7), Bane Chant (2), Healing Brew
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Blessing of the Gods

Went with the usual, since we were playing COK18 and Bloodfire also doesn’t change much either way.

Varangur + Goblins 2250

Bloodsworn Horde
The Fallen Horde – Brew of Strength
Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Brew of Haste
Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar
Direfang Riders Horde
King on Chimera – Gift of Korgan (Brutal)
Magnilde of the Fallen
+
Spitters Regiment
Spitters Regiment
Fleabag Rider Sniffs Troop
War Trombone
King on Chariot

Seems legit! If 10 points under, Direfangs might have had a gift or the King an item.

Looks like we played Loot? Varangur won initiative and took it.

BATTLE


Battlelines! Varangur L2R: Mounted Sons, Spitters, Direfangs, Magnidle, Bloodsworn, King on Chariot, Spitters, Trombone, Mounted Sons, Fleabags, King on Chimera, Fallen

Varangur roll out, with the leftmost Mounted Sons grabbing a loot marker. Spitters and Sniffs shoot some Ember Sprites but the little things stay cool.

Bloodfire oozes forward, mostly into cover or chaffing range. Ember Sprites put a point of damage on the Bloodsworn horde while the Martyr-Priest cleans off the right Sprites.

Varangur prepare to engage next turn, trying to clear some chaff in this one. The wounded Sprites are dropped by the Trombone (and I think the Goblin bows fluffed into other targets), and the King on Chimera wavers another unit with a strong breath shot, gumming up the Bloodfire right flank.

Bloodfire bows out, setting up Nv support, powering up breath weapons and anticipating next turn’s carnage. The CLOFD and leftmost Sprites hammer the Trombone, only managing a waver. The functional rightmost Sprites angle hopefully, wavering the Sniffs in the process, and Agnes rips a few points of damage into the central Mounted Sons with her heat ray.

The Varangur, who are calling the shots in this game (as they tend to do), choose their dance partners: Mounted Sons crash into Fire Elementals left and center, while Direfangs and Fallen clear some Sprites. The King on Chimera had a flank on Agnes, despite my attempts to save her, which about gave me an aneurysm, but he deigned to take it as -/20 in a wood is a tough call even for a KoC! Instead the King positions to the flank to cause the red crescent major problems in later turns, pausing to assassinate the Martyr-Priest with his breath weapon 😥 The Bloodsworn also scooped up a second loot marker.

Happily neither Fire horde breaks, despite some significant damage being tossed their way. The Sprites however are toast, and some Goblin bows slap a few wounds on the courageous Fire horde.

Having taken it on the red gooey chin, Bloodfire goes about returning the favor. Fire Elementals make contact with left Mounted Sons, with Direfangs (along with CLOFD), and double-time on the other Mounted Sons (during which one of those Fire hordes finally picked up the center loot marker). And the final Fire horde prepares for a 5-6” surge into the King on Chimera, which amazingly makes it (after Agnes lasered some damage into him). The last of the Sprites tries for the Sniffs but can’t land the wound needed to test them.

Sadly, while a lot of damage happens, only the central Mounted Sons rout. The King on Chimera actually took an impressive amount of damage (13?) between Agnes and the Fire horde, however the rerolled rout was too much to ask.

Varangur 4 and the smashing continues. The Mounted Sons and Direfangs go back into their Fire Elemental counterparts, the Fallen jump on the severely wounded central Fire horde, and the King on Chimera counter-charges his Fire horde. All the Fire Elementals in melee die except for the King’s, who take a perfect 10 of 10 damage (THIS GUY!) but hold. The CLOFD also takes 4 damage from Gobliny shooting aggression.

Bloodfire is rapidly melting, but we’ve got plenty of tools left. The King’s Fire Elementals head back in to end his reign, while everybody else prepares for the shooting phase or simply gets the hell out of the way in the CLOFD’s case. The last Sprites puke on the Sniffs, killing them, while Agnes blasts the Fallen and the Inspiring-Priest surges in the loot-bearing Fire horde …

… who smash the Fallen and prepare for more action. The other, mangled Fire horde is able to drop the King on Chimera, which is automatically a victory for me as I rarely am able to take the thing down.

^ I do make a bit of a mistake here, as I made sure the Mage-Priest is out of range of the Mounted Sons but didn’t really check the Direfangs, which it turns out she’s within 12” of by about 0.5”. She couldn’t have moved further, as she needed to cast surge, but she could have accepted her fate and run out into the open to the South, avoiding any chance of an overrun by the toads (and setting them up for counter-charges). This was dumb, and I felt even worse when I saw I had left the flank of the CLOFD open, even if there wasn’t a lot I could have done without nimble.

The Varangur left hook continues powering in. The CLOFD cops an unexpected flank from the Mounted Sons (who had given their loot to some Spitters), as does the Mage-Priest, with a potential overrun into Agnes’ flank? CLOFD and Mage-Priest eat it, although there’s no punishing overrun into Agnes / Fire Elementals. The loot Fire horde takes a damage from Goblins in the meantime.

Even less Bloodfire left now! The loot Fire horde charges the Mounted Sons (for vengeance), as does the other Fire horde tackle the Direfangs (more vengeance).

Agnes frags the War-Trombone but the Fire Elementals waver both of the units they’re fighting.

Varangur 6 mostly involves increasing the pressure and shooting Goblin bows at Ember Sprites, who die. It’s unclear what the King on Chariot is up to, he may have tried for shot on the heavily wounded Fire Elementals while blocking Bloodfire charges.

Dramatic lighting for a brutal turn! The Fire Elementals shatter the Mounted Sons and Direfangs, ending their long campaign of terror. Agnes evaporates the King on Chimera under her molten gaze.

With the game 2:1 in the Varangur favor, he rolls and there is indeed a Turn 7!

The mostly-fresh Fire Elementals carrying loot are mobbed by Bloodsworn and Spitters, as Magnilde makes an appearance and charges the other, smoldering Fire horde.

Preposterously Magnilde fluffs, doing a single point of damage, and the loot horde survives on 6 damage. Whoa. The Spitters with loot tag Agnes for a wound, after a long trek into relevance.

Agnes and the looted Fire Elementals crash into the Bloodsworn, pummeling them for admirable damage but they can’t hit that high Varangur nerve. As fun as that last burst of violence was, it’s still a …

BLOODFIRE LOSS

This game turned out much more fun than I expected – I was very tired, up against a Masters-level list piloted by a dude who knows what he’s doing, and me with an army I know is weak and I tend to get frustrated with. There were some dumb positioning things that reminded me how out of practice I am, and I freaked out about that early Agnes flank a lot, as I direly overvalue the King on Chimera and figured she was dead already. But the match turned out closer than things usually are against Varangur.

I should be back with at least one 2350 practice game (I hope!) before Orc Town, then it’ll be a 5-game tourney report and Bloodfire goes into retirement until third edition I’m guessing.

GAME 29: DWARFS

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

BLOODFIRE GAME 29: DWARFS

Dwarfs + Basileans 2250

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

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

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

BATTLE


Blurry Battlelines!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post smoldering beatdown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

Up Next: FILTHY. ELVES.

GAME 22: VARANGUR

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

BLOODFIRE GAME 22: VARANGUR + NIGHT STALKERS

Salamanders 2250

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

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

Varangur + Night Stalkers 2250

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

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

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

BATTLE


Battlelines!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Varangur counter across the board, as expected.

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

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

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

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

Which the ABP survives?!

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

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

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

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

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

Is there a Turn 7? THERE IS.

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

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

BLOODFIRE LOSS

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

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

GAME 18: VARANGUR

Back with another handful of quickie Salamander reports! November 18th I drove down to Philadelphia to hangout at PAX Unplugged and throwdown in the KOW tournament going on that Saturday. Originally it was supposed to be four games with a 20 person cap … but for whatever reasons it ended up just being me, two clubmates from Albany, and the TO (a great dude I’m happy to see going to more NE events). So we cut it down to just three games, which suited me fine, as I was able to get in a little vendor time and drive home early.

BLOODFIRE GAME 18: VARANGUR + NIGHT-STALKERS

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde – Brew of Haste
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ankylodon Battle Platform – firebolts
Herald 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

Originally I had wanted to change things up and start running double Mage-Priests, but I wasn’t about to go into a tournament with a list I’d never played – one I hadn’t played for a few months was bad enough!

Varangur + Night-Stalkers 2000

Warband Regiment – Banner of the Griffin
Warband Regiment – Brew of Courage
The Fallen Horde – Helm of the Ram
Tundra Wolves Troop
Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Cat Potion, gift of the warrior
Horse Raiders Troop – bows
Magus Conclave – famulus
King on Chimera – Brew of Haste, gift of the warrior
Skald – Lute of Insatiable Darkness
+
Fiends Horde
Void Lurker

The two monsters I respect most in the game right now are probably Kings on Chimeras and Void Lurkers, and this list has them in a tagteam O_O I also was shocked at how mediocre Warbands are, although they are pretty cheap for their stats, so I suppose it works out.

First round was Invade, with Sallies grabbing first!

BATTLE

Deployment sees a flank denied, as is typical for the Bloodfire.


After Sally Turn 2, the red battleline prepares to receive chargers. Not counting the rightmost Sprites, who got eaten by Wolves, who then were barfed on and destroyed by more Sprites.

Boom! The Varangur elite crash into the elemental host. The Fire horde facing Mounted Sons + Void Lurker explode in a shower of fiery gore, however the King finds himself stuck after his solo venture into a neighboring horde. On the left flank the Horse Raiders begin a long grind in the woods vs some very tenacious Ember Sprites.

Retaliation is brutal, with the Void Lurker ignored in favor of hitting the Sons with CLOFD + ABP and smashing the King with a Fire countercharge to the front and surge charge to the flank. The Sons are smacked around (wavered but whatever) and the King is melted to slag under 54 CS2 cuddles.

The Varangur head in again, this time punching in their flankers – Fiends (hindered) + Fallen into a Fire horde, Warband + Raiders into their own obnoxious Sprites. The Void Lurker makes contact with the King’s Fire horde (which had been rather significantly healed at this point) and the Sons countercharge the CLOFD. Despite putting out a lot of hurt none of the Salamander targets go down, including a cheeky snake eyes on the central Sprites holding up the Warbands. Importantly the leftmost Sprites take no wounds from the Horse Raiders.

Last turn’s lucky nerve roles are particularly nasty as they let a Fire horde flank the first Warband reg, followed by countercharges on the Fallen (ignoring the Fiends to keep them hindered), the Void Lurker and the Sons. Plus the free Ember Sprites questing for the Magus Conclave’s heads. And on the deep left flank those pesky Sprites combine fire with the Diadem Herald to cook the Raiders.

After combats, the Sons have been devoured by the Bloodfire heavies, the first Warband is toast, the Fallen are wavered, and the Void Lurker remains unmoved.

As is typical for Fire Elementals, the following turn sees most of them burn out. A hindered flank from the Fiends finishes the leftmost horde and the Void Lurker ends what the King started.

It must be a Bloodfire late game with so few red things on the board. The surviving Fire horde shoots the gap into the Fallen, the CLOFD takes matters into his own hands and stomps into the Void Lurker, and the hero-mode Sprites charge the Magus Conclave. With the exception of the CLOFD, things work out great: the Conclave is devoured by Ember Sprites, the Fallen are beaten to a pulp, and, unexpectedly, the Diadem Herald manages to waver the uninjured Fiends with a ridiculous display of dice!

Varangur 5 sees the surviving Warband shove for the enemy half of the board, and the Void Lurker waver the CLOFD. The end is nigh!

Sally 6 is largely spent sending a Magmadroth into the front of the Warband (no result) and making sure unit strength is on the enemy side. Annnnd the Diadem Herald killing the Fiends with another stunner of a breath roll ❤

In Varangur 6, the Void Lurker chops down the CLOFD and the Skald powers up for what could be a game tying throw. If he can hit and wound the last Fire horde with his throwing axe the game will be a tie! He hits! He fails to wound!

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

GAME 06-10: UNPLUGGED GT 2017

The Unplugged GT went down April 22-23 and was by all accounts a really superb tournament. Well-run with great sports all around, I was very happy that I finally made it out after missing out on the last four years. That said, my fire elementals had a pretty rough run of it, which I’m going to put down to poor luck with scenarios and some bad run-ins with the dice when it mattered (or all the time). Spoilers.

I actually took a ton of photos of each game, with the intent of doing standard turn by turn reports, however I don’t think I have five full reports in me. So buckle up for five brief recaps instead!

SALAMANDERS 2000

Fire Elemental Horde – Blade of Slashing
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Greater Fire Elemental
Herald on Raptor – Diadem of Dragonkind
Herald on Raptor – Healing Charm
Mage-Priest – Surge, Heal, Inspiring Talisman
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin

Only change was dropping the Shroud of the Saint on the Priest for another source of Inspiring, largely so the diadem herald could go ham. And picked up that sweet Blade of Slashing, which I forgot all of Saturday – should have gone Healing Brew, but eh.

GAME 6: FORCES OF NATURE

Naiad Ensnarer Horde
Salamander Horde – Brew of Strength
Centaur Bray-Hunter Troop
Centaur Bray-Strider Regiment
Centaur Bray-Strider Regiment
Centaur Chief
Winged Unicorn – Lightning Bolt (5)
Winged Unicorn – Lightning Bolt (5)
Pegasus
Beast of Nature – Lightning Bolt (6), Fly + Speed 10, Vicious + 7 Attaks
Beast of Nature – Lightning Bolt (6), Fly + Speed 10, Vicious + 7 Attaks

There are 50 points in items somewhere in there (if it were me it’d probably be Hammer on the Ensnarers and Bane-Chants on the Unicorns? But maybe not in this case.)

SCENARIO: LOOT (aka PILLAGE 1)

Pillage is probably the worst scenario for my derpy red shambling castle, so I was prepared to be playing for the draw or minor loss in one to two of the matches this tournament. So prepared apparently that I mistook the TO calling out Loot to mean we were in fact playing the dreaded Pillage (in my defense they’re also on the same page in the OG book, meaning when I checked the rules I picked the wrong column to verify my suspicions). Loot would definitely have been preferred, though still up against a tough fight with all that lightning and speed. I didn’t realize my mistake until like Turn 4, at which point we were well into pillaging.

I guess my plan is to dominate the right section of the board and try to smash through everything, then sit on whatever markers are left with whatever I have left?

Except, being half-asleep and a little hungover, advanced my left wing too far, letting a Beast into the flank of two of my four Fire Elementals, along with Unicorn support. One horde died, the other was crippled, we fought on the most awkward hill we could for a long time, with the Beasts devouring things until I finally burned them down.

Stupidity on the left was matched with tough luck on the right: I had caught a break when both Bray-Striders bounced off a Greater Fire Elemental, letting a Fire horde eviscerate the flank of one of the units – and then snake eyes the break. You can see that horde getting rear charged by a unicorn here (that horn HURTS). So a collapsing Nature flank became a collapsing Salamander flank. And then his hordes descended and ground my center out, leaving just my heroes standing (and unable to contest much of anything).

BLOODFIRE LOSS (4/20)

GAME 7: UNDEAD + NIGHT-STALKERS

Ghoul Troop
Ghoul Troop
Ghoul Troop
Zombie Legion – Hammer of Measured Force
Werewolf Horde
Wight Horde
Revenant Cavalry Regiment
Vampire on Undead Pegasus
Liche King
Necromancer – Undead Horse, Inspiring Talisman
+
Spectre Regiment
Spectre Regiment

Plus like 140 points in items and spells! (Brew of Strength Werewolves, Cat Potion Cavalry, Lightning Heroes, Something-something Wights?)

SCENARIO: SCOUR (aka PILLAGE 2)

And so time to more or less officially play Pillage :facepalm:

My only practice against Undead is at tournaments, and Chris was running stuff I had never faced (Wights, Revenant Cav) combined with old classics and new items (Hammer on Legion!), with a side of allied firebolts. Anyway, a great guy with a beautiful Titan Forge army. Pity about the scenario, but at least we were playing the right one!

We had an incredibly cagey game, where the first four turns (!) were spent with me advancing my line out in Reverse Death Crescent formation and burning his chaff off, as he enveloped from the left, with the Vamp on Peg pushing into my DZ to threaten rears.

Turn 5 he pulled the trigger, and while some match-ups worked out for me (Revenant Cav, Wights), others definitely did not, especially the Hammer Zombies. Once the Werewolves and Vamp slammed in Turn 6 it was well over scenario-wise, though I had held my own in attrition, which is a thing. Plus side of such a dice-light game was finishing 15-20 minutes early and getting afternoon beverages sorted out ;D

BLOODFIRE LOSS (5/20)

GAME 8: UNDEAD

Revenant Regiment
Revenant Regiment
Zombie Legion – Hammer of Measured Force
Werewolf Horde – Brew of Strength
Wight Horde
Revenant Cavalry
Revenant Cavalry
Vampire on Undead Pegasus
Liche King
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman
Necromancer

Plus 120 points in items and spells!

SCENARIO: CONTROL

Up against one of the Unplugged dudes in a game that isn’t Pillage! Plus Undead were pretty fresh in my mind from last game. We both refused our left flanks and prepared for a long shamble into the center …

Early action on my left saw Vamp and both Cav playing with a GFE and two FE, with stunningly bad rout rolls on both our parts keeping that engagement going for too long, even with multiple flank charges going on. Eventually the rest of the lines slammed together (though note most of the fighting is in his central section, as was my plan):

We ground for ages, over which the Werewolves showed some real prowess at putting out fires, until being surged in the rear by yet more Fire Elementals. End game saw Salamanders with an unbeatable scenario lock, thanks largely to cheeky Ember Sprites camping the NE sector the entire game, although we nearly tied on attrition (1075 vs 1080). All told a great throwdown of a game to end a rough day on. Then I drank all the vodka and played all the board games – King of New York ftw!

BLOODFIRE VICTORY (15/20)

GAME 9: GOBLINS + ORCS

Spitter Regiment
Troll Horde – (Item)
Troll Horde
Mawbeast Troop
Mawbeast Troop
Mawbeast Troop
Big Rocks Thrower
Big Rocks Thrower
King on Chariot – Blood of the Old King
Biggit on Fleabag
Wiz on Fleabag – Bane-Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman
Giant
Slasher
+
Ax Horde
Krudger on Winged Slasher

Plus a smattering of items / spells! (Greg’s army got I think Second Best Painted? Losing out to an amazing Ratkin army with stunningly smart multibasing throughout.)

SCENARIO: EXTRACT? (aka PILLAGE 3)

We played the other not-Pillage scenario from COK 2017, where counters are worth different weights. Before I start complaining about yet another round of Pillage, because our counters were all worth 1 except for two near each other that were worth 3 it dawned on me at some point that this was actually winnable for me, if I could hold out and not be dumb.

Given how hungover / exhausted I was, that was going to be a tall order 😐

Fire Elementals on the fire table! Sweet! The markers that matter are by the mausoleum and in front of my dudes. Opening turns, I bowed out, he enveloped and advanced Mawbeast chaff, then I stumbled: 1-1 to clear one Mawbeast pack in the center, followed by huge flop by a GFE to clear another (1 wound, no luck on the rout). While this stalled my line, it also screwed over the parts that were going hard:

Those two fire hordes had punched out a unit of trolls, with the intent of both turning to accept some painful frontal charges but ultimately either pound through them or set up friends to counter-charge in. Unfortunately because those Mawbeasts lived, I couldn’t rotate the two hordes back to back, so the Slasher flanked in, liquefying the left unit before it’s time. Which in turn lost the second unit, and so on – that Slasher chewed through several units, including the Mage-Priest some turns later.

And yet somehow this game hung in the balance even in later turns, as one of the last fire hordes was able to charge into the Ax horde and break them with the help of the CLOFD, giving me 6 points in counters. Until the Krudger, who I just failed to waver with a wall of breath attaks, teamed up with Slashy to shred much of what was left.

BLOODFIRE LOSS (3/20)

Despite the crushing defeat, Greg’s a pleasure to play (and probably the Unplugged guy I meet on the table the most during tournaments), and I was a lot more engaged in this not-Pillage than most, as I felt I had a chance, even after the early kerfuffles with chaff sticking around.

GAME 10: ELVES + FORCES OF NATURE

Kindred Archer Horde – Jar of the Four Winds
Forest Shambler Horde
Forest Shambler Horde
Stormwind Cavalry Regiment
Bolt Thrower
Bolt Thrower
Master Hunter – Piercing Arrow
Tree Herder – Soul Drain
Tree Herder – Soul Drain
+
Air Elemental Horde

Plus 40 points in items (the Stormwind did not have Cat Potion!)

SCENARIO: INVADE

Whew, just one game left, and it’s on the bottom tables versus a very nice dude playing an unoptimized Elementals + Shooting army. And it isn’t Pillage! And I’m going first (for the first time all GT)!

A lot of this game would come down to using the plentiful cover to advance, while keeping some dudes who could handle the Elf firebase. In the end this worked out, with Diadem Herald going ham and blowtorching Bolt Throwers down, Ember Sprites lending their breath / mobile screen powers, and generally overloading the Elves with targets.

Come game end, almost everything had been smashed apart, including the Archers thanks to a Turn 7, though the Forest Shamblers took a painfully long time to dismantle, thanks in large part to horrible rout dice. (This shot is actually not the very end, as he was able to kill the GFE with his GWE (after 5 turns of slugging it out!) and take down the CLOFD, a first for the tournament.) A great slugfest with some funny small moments – the Master Hunter vs Healing Herald support fight was particularly dramatic – and a happy way to finish the GT for me.

BLOODFIRE VICTORY (15/20)

Those game photos are finally uploaded, but rather then blowing this thread up with 600+ MB of eerily similar pics you can check them out in slideshow mode here: http://s1213.photobucket.com/user/bo…PLUGGED%202017

I promised some concluding thoughts from the GT, so here are some bullets where I try to do that:

  • The Unplugged GT was as successful an event as it could be (great players, very well run, lunch included and on site, nice hotel, etc) and it was great to see so many familiar faces again
  • Painting was judged hard but I knew it would be (because the Unplugged Gamers made their rubric clear as well as their intent to judge hard in an effort to raise the overall level of painting in the scene)
  • I expected to have a rough time of some of my games, due to my skewed list, but I guess I didn’t expect to play the worst scenario for me three times (even if we ignore that the first time was my fault!) and lose so badly at it three times
  • On the flipside, I heartily won versus the lower tier dudes who I played non-Pillage games with, so I guess that says the army / me does have some ability
  • Whatever my successes or failures strategically and however bad my dice felt the whole time, I made tactical mistakes that could have been avoided with more careful movement, particularly in regards to giving easy flank charges to fast, flanking monsters
  • I’m pretty up on the competitive KOW meta, but this GT really showed how important units that are both fast and reliably fighty are over all other factors (spoiler: I feel like my army has 0 of these)
  • An army of fearless D5 NV17-18 dudes continues to feel nowhere near as tough as it seems on paper, especially when it comes to grinding (CS is everywhere / NV is everything)
  • Throwing 18 attaks @ 4+/3+ or 4+/2+ continues to underwhelm
  • Despite only having a game within 18″, this army’s 66 breath/fireball still makes for some fun and effective tactical play

Despite Unplugged being super legit, I ended up leaving the weekend exhausted beyond measure (having hardly slept) and fairly frustrated with all the pillaging and with the limits of the Bloodfire skew in general. But then I remember that I’ve played like 11 games with this army? And that it’s a skewed theme list, and that pillage was always going to suck, but even then I had a chance in the weighted pillage, and I made several cataclysmic-yet-derpy mistakes and had some atrocious luck when I needed the opposite.

GAME 05: VARANGUR

And we’re back with another edition of Tuesday Night Fights! My club is headed to the Unplugged GT in Hartford, CT next weekend with lists due this Friday, so this was very much a list testing affair. Also minor celebration for reaching 2000 painted points! Not bad for just about 3 months’ work from start to finish.

BLOODFIRE GAME 5: VARANGUR + HERD

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Greater Fire Elemental
Herald on Raptor – Diadem of Dragonkind
Herald on Raptor – Healing Charm
Mage-Priest – Surge, Heal, Shroud of the Saint (+2 Heal)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin

Dropped the fourth Sprites to afford some items on the heroes, particularly the Heralds, who didn’t seem to do much beyond stand near things, fail to disorder shooters, and valiantly delay terrible things.

Varangur + Herd 2000

Bloodsworn Regiment – Gift(Brutal), Healing Brew
Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Gift(Brutal), Blood of the Old King
Cave Troll Regiment
The Fallen Horde – Brew of Strength
Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Gift(Brutal), Brew of Haste
Horse Raider Troop – bows
Skald – Banner of the Griffin
Herja of the Fallen
+
Spirit Walker Regiment
Stampede Horde
Tribal Totem Bearer on Mount

#BRUTAL (he had wanted to bring Herd to Unplugged but wasn’t going to be able to get everything repainted in time, so took the best the Herd had to offer and combined with alot of nasty from the Varangrr side of the chaos coin)

We played Push, a scenario I’ve read about often in batreps but never played myself. Rolled up 3 tokens, which went on both GFE and rightmost FE for me, and Spirit Walkers, Bloodsworn and foot Sons for him (i.e. the already slow things).

BATTLE

Battlelines! He won and took first, making this match extra rough for my slow, red butt.

New Mage-Priest to finish the first 2k off ❤

Chaos dudes shove forward, with very fast right flank being particularly intimidating. The Horse Raiders on the left land a wound on the left Sprites and get a lucky early waver. Redementals respond by bowing their line out around the tower, being extremely cautious on the right.

Chaos inches their grindy center forward, idles the fast flanks, and lands a few wounds on the central Sprites (who are unphased). In return the red tide shuffles its breath weapons / fireballs into range, roasting the Spirit Walkers to death and lightly singing the Trolls.

Fwooosh!

As anticipated, Chaos brings it, especially on the left. Ember Sprites cop charges from the Raiders, Bloodsword and Trolls, as the Stampede bears down on the left GFE.

It’s a bounce across the line, as Sprites take wounds and either waver or don’t care (take that Trolls!), and the GFE absorbs 11 wounds but holds firm.

The GFE counter-charges the Stampede (for 3 wounds, managing to disorder it) on the left, while the right wing gently shuffles and hits the Trolls with 22 breath attaks, for no appreciable impact (these Trolls regenerated like bosses throughout the game). Although the Diadem gator fluffed against the Horse Raiders, the Mage-Priest put the Shroud to work and healed 4 wounds off of the GFE struggling against a horde of angry pigs.

Chaos finishes what it started on the left, routing both Sprites and the GFE, and leaving that flank feeling pretty dire.

Meanwhile the right flank finally starts cooking, with Herja and her Fallen slamming into the waiting FE horde, as Trolls head back into their Sprites.

Though the Sprites are wavered, the FE hold the line with 10 wounds.

After a heavy think, the Redementals see what they can salvage: FE counter-charge the Fallen with a second FE horde surged into Herja, with half a hope of pulping her and flanking in to support; as the left FE trundle into the Bloodsworn and their Diadem Herald diverts the impending Stampede. The Trolls receive another 22 breath attaks, finally wavering. It should be noted at this point that the Rally(1) Skald has been hiding behind the tower, buffing up the Bloodsworn and Trolls the whole game, and will continue to do so.

All of those combats bounce, although the Fallen are wavered.

The Stampede plows into the Diadem Herald, the Bloodsworn counter-charge their FE horde, and Herja charges the wounded right FE horde, who are no longer benefitting from that little smidge of woods they were keeping between them and Varangur death. The rest of the Chaos dudes smash forward, making sure they’re on the red side of the board. Also the foot Sons pick up the central Push marker.

It’s super effective! Herald dies, Bloodsworn bop some bloodfire dudes, and Herja dissolves some other bloodfire dudes.

Sallies continue the late game panic with more desperation plays: left FE horde corkscrews into the Stampede (calculating that a flank from the Bloodsworn is only about 6 wounds), the Push FE charge Herja, and more FE flank the Fallen. The CLOFD and the Mage-Priest hit the Bloodsworn with 26 elite or vicious shots but can’t waver them (though they get close).

Herja is a rock, Stampede are wavered (and *just* fall short of routing), and the Fallen are obliterated.

Turn 6! The Bloodsworn flank the left Fire horde, the Horse Raiders crash through a hedge and charge the Mage-Priest, the Trolls head back into the Sprite roadblock, the Mounted Sons slam the Fallen-killing Fire horde, and Herja jumps into their flank as well. The Mage-Priest takes a single wound, disordering her (all according to plan), and everybody else dies. It helped that the flanking Bloodsworn rolled hot on wounding and routing.

Redementals don’t have a lot going for them right now, but there’s always vengeance, and Turn 7! The CLOFD dances through the gap between Bloodsworn and Raiders and punches the Stampede, ending its reign of terror. Herja is similarly finally put down by angry bloodfire things, although the pesky Trolls are left alone, to continue clogging the center in case it matters.

Spoiler: it doesn’t. The game ends here, Varangur come away with 6 points to Bloodfire’s 3.

BLOODFIRE LOSS