GAME 12: THE HERD

Threw down last Wednesday! Which also means I don’t remember a lot of the game! But completeness tho.

BLOODFIRE GAME 12: HERD

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
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

Same list for me, still with +1Sp on those fancy elementals. Still toying with BOTOK (because awesome and overextending seems bad) or Pipes of Terror (because brutal is great and keeps happening), but due to flanking being so legit in KOW I’m trying to stick with Haste.

The Herd 2000

Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Harpies Troop
Harpies Troop
Lycans Regiment
Lycans Horde – Helm of the Ram
Centaur Longmanes Regiment – Healing Brew
Beast Pack Troop – Fire-Oil
Stampede – Brew of Haste
Chimera – wings
Shaman on Mount – Heal (5)
Shaman on Mount – Heal (5)
Tribal Totem Bearer on Mount – Lute of Insatiable Darkness

Changing things up a bit: no infantry horde(s), even stronger emphasis on speed, all the bane chant.

We diced up COK #12: Eliminate! Bounties went out on my CLOFD, Ankylodon and Fast Elementals; and on his Lycan Horde, Stampede and Chimera. I won first turn (!) and took it, mostly to get closer to the center I suppose.

BATTLE


Ghostdroth!

Roll out! The Herd moves up in response, cautiously across the main battleline but with Lycan beginning to envelope the right Fire flank, as is their want. Salamanders respond by advancing Sprite Screen™ and breathing all over the enemy chaff / Stampede. Both Harpies and Beast Pack are only wavered (…), and the Stampede’s token wounds will be healed away by Shamans in the coming turn. Speaking of which:

Fighting! I intentionally positioned the Ankylodon so the Stampede could solo into him if they wanted to, but would face some stiff reprisal if they flopped (and even if they didn’t). Though frankly I just wanted to see what would happen when the Ultimate Hammer Unit smashed into a Pretty Solid Anvil Monster. While we wait for that, Ember Sprites got batted around, though only the Longmanes actually routed, with the Chimera and Spirit Walkers just wavering their obnoxious swarm friends.

Anyway, the showdown: Stampede thunders into Kylo Don, 30 dice @ 4+ becomes ~28 hits then 26-27 wounds. Holy. Hell. No snake eyes so the big beasty poofs back to the painted table. (Even discounting batshit dice, the Stampede should still do 13 wounds, which is a hard soak for any monster (also I always think it’s 24 attaks, 30 seems just too crae!))

Wavered Sprites are annoying for me too, and my Fire Elementals are boiling for vengeance. The Fast Horde settles for beating up the Longmanes (routing them!) while the horde to their left bops into the Stampede to at least put some wounds on it / disorder it (success), and the CLOFD flanks into the Chimera and does heavy damage (wavering it). The Diadem Herald and functioning Sprites barf off the Harpies and Beasts on the left flank.

Herd reprisal sees the Spirit Walkers both kill some Sprites, the surviving Harpies on the right flank descend on the Mage-Priest and disorder her (just!), the Lycan continue to menace, and the Stampede countercharge those Fire Elementals. Freshly healed and bane-chanted, they toss out a second two handfuls of dice: 30 attaks @ 4+ @ 3+ does an astounding 17+ wounds! The Fire Horde is reduced to mist and I’m personally stunned at how good these pigs are today O_O

Much of the Sally response runs itself, as the Stampede finally has its reign of terror ended by the Fast Elementals in the flank, the CLOFD slaughters the Chimera (with legit Sprite flanker support of course), and annoying Harpies are mashed to pulp by the central Fire Horde. The real conundrum was how to handle the right flank:

To a large extent I had already written off those Fire Elementals, as I had woefully under-supported that flank in favor of a stronger left/central push (which I tend to do too much). So the fact that those fire dudes were still alive this late in the game was novel, however I also wanted to get something out of them, even if that was just to delay the Lycan. As I saw it, my choices were:

  1. Not charge and cop Spirit Walkers + Lycan Horde in the front, likely dying.
  2. Charge the Spirit Walkers and do a little damage, then take SW in the front + Lycan Horde in the flank, instantly dying.
  3. Charge the Lycan Horde and do a little damage (which would be regenerated anyway), then take the (disordered) Horde in the front and Regiment in the flank, instantly dying (if a little further away from my line and with the wolves consolidated). The Spirit Walkers charge into my central Fire Horde then get killed.

I chose #3, and entirely forgot about the 1” pushback when that beleaguered Fire Horde bounced off the Lycan Horde -_-

Yep, Stampede + Chimera are toast.

Yep, Fire Horde is toast.

The other Spirit Walkers head into the Fast Elementals, which is important because that Fire Horde is holding a bounty token (the CLOFD has the other one), and I’m currently up 2 to 1. The Walkers do good damage but bounce.

In Sally Turn 5, the Fast Horde counter-charges those Walkers, bashing them up, with a side of healing. The other remaining Fire Horde is faced with the Herd flanking force (Spirit Walkers + Lycan Horde + Lycan Reg), and can no longer rotate to keep them all in the front. It turns to face the Spirit Walkers + Lycan Horde, as I don’t have enough faith in my shooting dice. Which is a shame as the CLOFD rolls like a maniac and easily burns down the Spirit Walkers, with an assist from the Mage-Priest’s fireball.

The wolves descend in Herd 5, gorging on that poor Fire Horde. Meanwhile in the woods the Walkers smash the Fast Horde up to 10+ wounds, but can’t land the shaky rout.

Sally 6 and it’s still 2-1 on bounty markers. I get tunnel vision about keeping the Lycan away from my Fast Horde and charge the Lycan Horde with the CLOFD (who has a marker himself and isn’t that tough), who bashes them around (also disorders). The Lycan Reg gets chaffed up by the surviving Ember Sprites, who also manage to waver them with the breath assist from the Diadem Herald. Meanwhile the Fast Horde gets a die of damage removed thanks to Healing Herald + Mage-Priest, then obliterates the Spirit Walkers pestering them and prepares to weather the next turn or two.

With game end looming, the Lycan Horde bites into the CLOFD and rips him for 10 wounds (that bane-chant, so hot right now), possibly wavering him. Shaman and Totem Bearer throw themselves into the Fast Horde but can’t land a wound for that rout test.

THE GAME CONTINUES!

Turn 7 Sallies, I slam the bleeding CLOFD into reverse, chaff the Lycan Horde with the surviving Ember Sprites, waver/rout the Lycan Reg with breath attaks, and liquefy the Totem Bearer with the Fast Horde. Healing goes into the Fast Horde but isn’t great.

Turn 7 Herd and it’s literally the last gasps. Lycan Horde flanks and pulps the hero Ember Sprites (RIP), as Shamans charge the Fast Horde and the CLOFD, my two bounty holders. One Shaman lands a wound on the Fast Horde (!) but can’t manage the rout roll. The other Shaman sneaks a wound onto the CLOFD (!), then double aces the average roll to rout him, nabbing a second bounty and drawing the game! Respect, lil’ Shaman!

BLOODFIRE DRAW

GAME 11: EMPIRE OF DUST

It took a while to get back in the saddle, but Saturday night I threw down with Albanyadriel. Despite telling him I wasn’t batrepping the game, here’s a quick and dirty rundown for completeness ;D

BLOODFIRE GAME 11: EMPIRE OF DUST

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
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

Swapped the double Greater Fires for the Ankylodon and the return of the fourth Sprite base. This leaves 15 floating points, which will probably hover between +1 Sp or BOTOK on the one of the Fire hordes, as my keen analysis has told me that they most hurt for speed and actually hitting things.

Empire of Dust 2000

Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Crossbowmen Horde – Blood of the Old King
Mummies Regiment
Mummies Regiment
Enslaved Guardians Horde
Skeleton Cavalry Regiment – Casket of the Damned
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Cursed High Priest on Mount – Fireball (12), Vicious
Cursed High Priest on Mount – Fireball (12), Vicious
Idol of Shobik

Newly finished Guardians replaced the oft maligned Worm Riders, and the Bone Giant transmogrified into the Idol! At the cost of the third Balefire (and no doubt other stuff, that thing is pricey).

I asked to play Loot, as I don’t know if I’ve done it with Bloodfire (and screwed myself out of it during the GT, because I’m dumb). We basically went equidistant with the counters, despite confirming that you can skew them all onto one side given the 12” placement rules. Which is generally my army’s thing O_O

BATTLE

Part of what I wanted to do this game was work in three battle groups, as opposed to one to two mega clusters, which happens to be what Loot wanted as well. So to that end we formed Bloodfire Squadrons 1 (Fire Elementals + Ember Sprites + Ankylodon + Healing Herald), 2 (Fire Elementals + Ember Sprites x2 + Diadem Herald) and 3 (Fire Elementals x2, Ember Sprites, CLOFD + Mage-Priest), theoretically based on where the Empire was projecting force?

With the general slowness and short range of this army and the spread out loot counters, this also meant that the battle groups didn’t interact very much – which happily worked out in the end (spoiler).

On the left, Healing Herald kept the Fire horde fairly topped off as it advanced at the Crossbows, while the Ankylodon went aggro on the Spears over there. Despite copping a sick flank charge from the Crossbows (:P), the big lizard stomped the Spears out in two rounds, spun around and helped the Fire horde deal with the Idol, which had plowed into them earlier. 20 CS4 attaks in the flank ended the 350-point legend. Late game on the left saw the Fire horde eviscerate the Crossbows (18 attaks into 13 wounds!!!) and the Ankyldon scoop up both the left and the center markers.

The lightly-held center turned early when the Cavalry bounced off the Fire horde, batted around in return, then bounced off the Diadem Herald in a wood, and the Mummies failed to even waver the Sprites. This got the Mummies flanked by the Fire horde and the Cavalry vaporized by breath attaks and fireballs. However the grind with the Mummies would go into the late game, with the same burning out Fire Elementals finally ending them.

Meanwhile on the right, the Bloodfire was applied pretty liberally and did what it does: Spears were vaporized by 32 breath + 10 fireball, Guardians got charged in front and flank by Fire hordes (thanks +1 Sp!), and despite losing a Fire horde to flanking Mummies (I was dumb and overestimated the reach / potential of the Cavalry in the center, turning my flank to the Mummies inches away), burnt them down too.

In the end, the Empire had one Cursed Priest desperately scrambling to fireball things and one Balefire which stubbornly refused to hit anything (AA had maybe two hits all game between the two catapults?), to the red thing’s three loot counters.

BLOODFIRE VICTORY