The final match of Crossroads 2022 sees Cuddle Time rocketing up from the bottom tables to face The Other Canadian Team. Will the Cuddlers be able to finish strong and continue climbing the rankings, or will they find themselves consigned to the snuggle zone for another year?


  • Northern Alliance
  • Trident Realm
  • Free Dwarfs
  • Forces of Nature

Operating according to the plan, I put our Ogres into Trident Realm for the second time that day (SORRY DREW), gave our Ratkin the Forces of Nature and their air elementals (SORRY HUGGINS), the Riftforged faced Northern Alliance in a smashfest, and I ended up facing the Free Dwarfs.

Free Dwarfs 2300
Free Dwarf Rangers Regiment
Free Dwarf Rangers Regiment
*Free Dwarf Shieldbreakers Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
*Free Dwarf Shieldbreakers Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
*Free Dwarf Shieldbreakers Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast – Blade of Slashing
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast – Mace of Crushing
*Free Dwarf Lord – Wings of Honeymaze, Lord’s Jewel [1]
Herneas the Hunter [1]
Free Dwarf Stone Priest – Bane Chant (2), Alchemist Curse [1] (3)
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer – Lute of Insatiable Darkness

Have I really never reported a Free Dwarfs game?? Is it possible I’ve never faced them??? Regardless, I have faced off against everything but the formation before (it gives the flying Lord scout and brutal, and the Shieldbreakers get nimble and brutal and must purchase scout), so it’s not entirely unknown. I appreciate how high drop and regiment heavy his list is, plus it’s all FMC which makes all those bodies standout. The dude himself was relatively new to Kings – this was his first tournament away from his home town events (Hamilton, ON I believe) – and super nice.

We played Control, which I played 3 out of 4 games, often by choice. I wouldn’t have told you this was the go to for my list, but it makes sense, with how relatively little movement is involved and how much effect 23″ scoot-n-shoot units can have from the central sections. He scouted and then went first, in one of the only instances where I would have taken it 😉


Battlelines! Also scouting phase!
Scouting flying heroes are really cool, cause if you get first turn you can … Oh no.

Free Dwarfs 1: The Dwarfs advance their non-scouting elements, including the dogs taking their place on the right. The real power move is obviously the Lord flying into the central Heartpiercers, booping them for 3 damage but more importantly a) turning off their shooting and b) trapping the other Heartpiercer unit behind them, which needed to move up to get into range and looks to be base to base with the booped unit. Ugh. The Coral Giant takes 2 damage from Herneas’ enormous crossbow and I think the Rangers back in the field.

Trident 1: The crabs are in no rush on the flanks, with the Kraken mostly rotating to menace some flanks in coming turns and/or project threat. Speaking of menace, the Coral Giant grimly rotates to help deal with the damn flying Lord next turn, which is easier thanks the trident Centurion landing 2 damage and grounding him. The two Heartpiercer units that can fire slam a respectable 5 damage into the first Ironclad regiment marching down the center of the board.

Free Dwarfs 2: The Lord stomps over to another Heartpiercer unit and bashes it for 2 damage, turning off its shooting and once again trapping that Heartpiercer unit behind it. Dammit. Herneas, the Rangers and the damaged Ironclad’s mastiff put the Coral Giant on 6 damage. Otherwise the Dwarfs continue to push the middle while redressing the right flank as my Sp 7+ threats scuttle closer.

Trident 2: I fight the urge to dive those Ironclad with the Coral Giant, instead sticking to the plan and charging the Dwarf Lord (with Hearpiercers counter-charging). Frustratingly the Lord only wavers on 10 damage, costing me another turn dealing with him. Available shooting shoves those Ironclad to 10 damage but they too refuse to break (or waver even). I’m content to waffle on the right flank as well while I figure out the center.

Free Dwarfs 3: The Dwarf battleline fully reforms as the Rangers step into place. Alchemist Curse from the Iron Priest, Herneas’ ballista, another Ironclad mastiff and possibly some Ranger shots put 8 damage on the left Kraken, which converts to a lucky 9-10 waver. Shooting is less effective against the right Kraken, where both Mastiff pack’s throwing mastiffs do 3ish damage.

Trident 3: Tired of waiting, I let rip on the right, sending the Water Elementals into the Ironclads in the woods and threading the Kraken into some Shieldbreakers. The brutal Centurion charges a Mastiff pack to hold it in place. While none of these combats break (Ironclads hold on 6, Shiledbreakers waver, Mastiffs hold on 3) I’m hopefully well positioned to grind for a couple turns. In the center, the Coral Giant finishes pounding the Dwarf Lord into the mud, and Heartpiercers see the damaged Ironclad off. The trident Centurion has a go at the left Dwarf Lord on Large Beast but De 6+ is too stronk.

Now we’re playing Kings!

Free Dwarfs 4: A lot of time goes into unpacking his options on the right, and we conclude that a) the Kraken cannot in fact be flanked by anything and b) the Kraken can’t corkscrew the Ironclad if the Shieldbreakers stay in its face. So: Rangers and Ironclad combo the Water Elementals (for 6 damage), and the brutal Centurion either takes 3 damage from the counter-charging Mastiffs or from two thrown mastiffs. If it was the former, then the mastiffs were probably tossed at the Kraken or the Placoderms but failed to do a wound. In the center, the Coral Giant holds his ground against the Free Dwarf shooting, sitting tight at 11 damage.

Trident 4: The sound of hungrily clacking claws can be heard as very large crabs plow into the Dwarfs. In the center, a Kraken rampages into some Ironclad as the Coral Giant smashes into their flank, while the trident Centurion holds off the DLOLB over there. On the right, the Water Elementals aim to finish off the other Ironclad and the Kraken prepares to brutalize the Shieldbreakers it had already softened up. The brutal Centurion meanwhile continues petting some dogs, brutally.

All four Heartpiercer regiments are finally allowed to shoot, and the rain of barbs puts 7 damage on the central Rangers and 1 on the regiment in the woods. In combat, all the Dwarf units rout, including the Mastiffs. The Water Elementals sidestep (CRAB. WALK.) to stay in front of the wood Rangers and the brutal Centurion overruns to try to help the right Kraken out, who is in quite a predicament with fighty Dwarfs to either flank. I end up overrunning with the big guy, which puts only a DLOLB in his flank and not Shieldbreakers as well. The slayer Centurion puts 1 damage on his DLOLB.

Free Dwarfs 5: With just a handful of minutes left on the clock, the Dwarfs swing for the fences. Both Dwarf Lords on Large Beasts charge Kraken, ensnared in the front on the left and happily in the flank on the right. Shieldbreakers double charge the brutal Centurion (one ensnared to the front, one clear in the flank and hoping for an overrun into the right Kraken’s other flank). And the Rangers in the wood take on the Water Elementals again (sitting on 6 damage), with the help of bane chant.

Dwarfs on Large Beasts vs Titanic Crabs

Herneas and his Rangers topple the Coral Giant with shooting, shortly before the rest of the Rangers hew down the Water Elemental horde. The Shieldbreakers only manage to waver the brutal Centurion, denying them their overrun into the right Kraken, which would certainly have helped as the right DLOLB only lands 3 damage out of 14 attaks on 3s and 2s. The DLOLB in the center does 2 damage to his Kraken. With that, the Free Dwarfs clock out.

Trident 5: With less than 5 minutes left, I send Heartpiercers into the bottom left section, claim the bottom right with Placoderms (I don’t bother swinging on the Mastiff pack in their face), and shoot the central Rangers off from the safety of the bottom center. The Kraken swing on the Large Beasts to little effect, but the US 1 of the central Kraken contests the DLOLB, meaning the Dwarfs only score the upper right with all three of their remaining regiments. At a score of 3 to 1, that’s a resounding …


It occurs to me that I might have charged the Dwarf ASB with my Kraken in the upper right, with an overrun that might have shot that Kraken into the upper center section, claiming it … but whatever, I was keeping it simple on account of time, burn out and already winning. My opponent was a pleasure to play and sounds like he learned some stuff from our game, which is always nice to hear. Hoping to see him at King Beyond the Wall next year, after missing it the last couple times.

Cuddle Time did well this round, I think winning 2-3 of our games. With a very solid Day 2 and a decent paint score, we actually ended up finishing 11th out of 20 teams! Which I’ll take any day. We also did quite well on Sports, I think getting second most sportsing? Awesome.

Ain’t kidding about that cuddling!

Big thanks to my fellow Cuddlers for another year of being cool and enjoying our race to the bottom. I’m especially proud that everybody but me painted brand new armies for the event! A fact I didn’t piece together until just now.

And thank you for reading! Hopefully I’ll be back soon with some reflection on playing Trident Realm for an entire tournament season, it’s certainly been an adventure but I could really use a break 🦀


After a late night of playing Kill Team, watching board games, talking about Warmachine 4E and obligatory drinking, I passed out only to rise far too soon 😩 It’s Day 2 and time to slam into the bottom tables, Cuddle Time style.


  • Order of the Green Lady
  • Trident Realm
  • Empire of Dust
  • Undead

BDO was made up of two dudes whose team fell apart plus two of my clubmates (the Empire of Dust and the Undead (yes that’s Jeff from all my scrumming beforehand)). True to my captaining plans, I matched our Ogres into Trident Realm, Riftforged into Empire of Dust, Ratkin into Undead, and took the Order of the Green Lady for myself.

Brotherhood: Order of the Green Lady 2300
Order of the Forsaken Horde – Boots of Striding
Earth Elementals Horde
Earth Elementals Horde
Order of Redemption Regiment – Brew of Strength
Order of Redemption Regiment – Mead of Madness
Order of the Brotherhood – Banner of the Green Lady [1]
Naiad Ensnarers Regiment
Centaur Bray Hunters Troop
Centaur Bray Hunters Troop
Exemplar Redeemer – Blade of the Beast Slayer
Druid – Shroud of the Saint, Heal (2(4)), Bane Chant (2), Surge (4)
Devoted – Heal (3), Surge (7)

Bryant was super excited to play me, as we’d either always narrowly avoided each other or played once back in 2E or even Fantasy times. I’m a fan of his army, great Bretonnian feel and a faction I very rarely face. The list itself seemed legit? If hamstrung by cavalry’s middling place in this edition.

We played Pillage (or maybe Salt the Earth without any salting), with the Brotherhood going first one way or another.



Green Lady 1: The Order canters forward, with caution on the wings and a trudging wall of rock in the center.

Trident 1: Crabs respond with a generalized scuttling. I’m content to make his life hell on the left flank, as he’s put a ton of points over there when the only token is the one on his side. Heartpiercers punch 2 damage onto the Centaur troop hanging out on the upper right token.

Bun Bun, Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, prepares to sate her hunger for crab flesh.

Green Lady 2: Indecision racks the Order’s lines, ultimately seeing the right advance a bit, the center widen its coverage, and the left mobilize Centaur chaff while preparing to thunder into combat next turn.

Trident 2: Placoderms advance on the right, being a terrible charge target for the cavalry over there, as I try to swap the Coral Giant and Water Elementals without touching the forest. Heartpiercers back up and put 6 damage on the strength Redemption reg on the right and 1 on the annoying Centaurs on the left. The slayer-trident Centurion fires at the Forsaken horde and fails to get a single damage, leaving them free to fly. What a champ. The Kraken don’t take the bait, letting the Order deal with their own chaff.

Bunny Pegasus with the #promove block.

Green Lady 3: While the right side of the Order line faffs around – and heals all the damage on the Redemption cav! – the left goes hard. Redemption knights (hindered) and Forsaken horde (striding boots) slam into the Kraken in the woods, ensnare be damned, as the Pegasus charges the other Kraken to block him up. Despite taking 11 damage, the multi-charged Kraken only wavers. And the Peg does a tight 3 damage from 3 attaks, nice.

Trident 3: The right arm of the crab war machine grudgingly pumps Heartpiercer rounds into the strength Redemption (2 damage, which I know will vanish), presents terrible Placoderm charges and unjams the Coral Giant / Water Elemental situation. We’re both still avoiding the LOS blocking void that is that forest.

Over on the left, the wavered Kraken skitters 4.5″ backwards and regenerates down to 3 damage (hahaha I love it). The other Kraken bops the Pegabun for 6 damage but flubs the rout (might have wavered her). Heartpiercers and trident Centurion combine fire into the Forsaken, doing a bunch of damage and wavering them. I’ll take it.

Kraken getting pumped to power lift a second time.

Green Lady 4: The Order pushes the center at last, with the strength Redemption finally giving up the right flank and skirting the woods to reinforce the middle. On the left, the mead Redemption charge back into the Kraken they’ve been hunting, with the support of the Forsaken again … which was illegal, as he forgot they were wavered and when we remembered during my turn, he rolled their headstrong test and failed it. The Kraken held solid on 10 damage (hindered and ensnared is rough), so vaguely a moot point, but Bryant tore himself up about it all game.

Trident 4: The whole Forsaken issue is cleared up when Bun Bun’s Kraken corkscrews their flank and smashes them into man/horse/bird parts. Heartpiercers from the center punch across and kill Bun Bun, while the trident Centurion strips the TC from the Brotherhood knights. The other Kraken counter-charges the mead Redemption, slapping 5 damage into them, but ominously only regening down to 8 damage himself.

Elsewhere, Placoderm invite the Order to have a go in the center, the Coral Giant breaks the wood line to become a Problem next turn, and the Water Elementals attempt to punch through the Exemplar Redeemer and into the flank of the strength Redemption. It’s a tall ask, so of course the gigantic crab/horde does next to no damage 😀

And finally, the Heartpiercers on the right skewer the Ensnarers that had dared to come into view around the house.

The sweet, sweet overrun that was not to be.

Green Lady 5: With about 10 minutes left on their clock, the Order lets rip. Mead Redemption and pathfinder Brotherhood knights on the left crash into a Kraken each, thunderous be damned. Both Earth Elemental hordes bash into the waiting claws of the Placoderms (one hindered), and the Redeemer counter-charges the Water Elementals.

It took three charges, but the Order of the Redemption finally drop the titanic crab beast they’d spent the game dueling. The other Kraken lucky wavers on 7 damage (box cars!), however that luck doesn’t hold for the Earth Elementals, which do a paltry 6 damage to the central Placoderms. The Redeemer carves 3 into the Water Elementals.

Trident 5: Vengeance is swift as the Water Elementals batter down the Redeemer, even if regrettably missing the ~4″ overrun into the strength Redemption regiment behind. No other combat is as decisive, with the Coral Giant tearing chunks out of one Earth Elemental horde, the Placoderms poking the other, and the central Heartpiercers and trident Centurion pushing the mead Redemption up to 10 damage but only finding a waver.

Green Lady 6: The last 4 minutes of the Order of the Green Lady’s clock is largely spent frantically rolling combat dice. (The mead Redemption reg failed their headstrong, though the strength Redemption hit the Water Elementals with Centaurs in the flank.)

The Water Elementals are triumphantly torn down, but that signals the last of the Order’s momentum. The Brotherhood knights waver their Kraken again and Earth Elementals waver the Placoderms and apparently do nothing at all against the Coral Giant (he may have clocked out before rolling it).

Trident 6: Heartpiercers shoot off the mead Order of the Retribution, the Coral Giant dunks his Earth Elemental horde, and the Heartpiercers on the right I believe tried and failed to remove the Centaur troop they started the game shooting at. With no Turn 7 and 3 objectives to 2, this is a decisive …


All told a very fun match against an enthusiastic player. Bryant was really down about his play not being clean that morning – the waver token, undoing moves without marking corners, etc – and despite me assuring him it was cool he felt pretty bad. Regardless, I hope to face him again some time in a non-team event.

Speaking of teams, Cuddle Time did very well this round, scoring the maximum 60 points or just shy of it. With this hearty bounce buoying our spirits we headed into the final match-ups.

UP NEXT: Eager Beavers!


The final round of the first day of the Crossroads GT sees Cuddle Time up against the other Western NY team. While I’m excited to play another match, I’m also totally happy with this being my last of the day, after working my other-other job the night before. Onto the carnage.


  • Forces of the Abyss
  • Goblins
  • Undead
  • Ogres

I put our elite Ratkin into trash-n-hammers Goblins, Riftforged into Abyss, Ogres into Ogres and faced the Undead myself. Partially because I’ve been fighting them all the time but also because check out his list:

Undead 2300
*Zombies Legion
*Zombies Legion
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Revenant Cavalry Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Vampire Lord – Surge (4)?
Ghoul Ghast – Aura (TC: Cannibal)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Aura (Vicious(Me): Zombie), Surge (6), Bane Chant (2)?
*The Shambling Blight Formation

I love it so much. Troop spam Undead is not a thing I thought I’d see, yet here it is, in all its pre-Soul Reaver nerf majesty. I’m almost positive I don’t have enough shooting to survive this – especially with the legions in there as well – but I’m excited to cause a mess at least. (I’m not 100% on the last 30 points of his list, so I’m guessing he took those spells, because I would.)

We played Control (second time for me!), and he’s a smart player so had me go first 😦


Battlelines! That central hill being a clutch 20th unit for the Undead.

Trident 1: The crabs scuttle forward, which may or may not have been a good idea since I know what the Undead are aiming to do to my poor crustaceans. If there’s a dim silver lining to the Zombie legions, my Water Elemental horde has sharpness and not strength entirely because De 2+ Zombies exist. So, um, no pressure on your upcoming lift, big guy.

Undead 1: Here they come! The living dead match the crab lines. Those Zombies in the upper left did remember to shamble forward eventually. Also the Necromancer is hiding behind that building in the upper right, as a horrible old crone animating corpses does.

Trident 2: I redress my lines a bit to accept the Undead’s imminent hugs, toss bastion on the central Placoderms, and fire all Heartpiercers available into the Rev Cav troop. Thankfully they crumble under the barrage – Rev Cav are notoriously hard for me to kill and I knew they’d drive me crazy if they survived. And that’s it.

Let the all you-can-blend crab buffet begin!

Undead 2: Ghouls and vampires charge up and over the central hill, crashing into the crabby lines. Ghouls and Ghast into the left Kraken, Ghouls into the brutal Centurion, double Ghouls into the central Kraken, and Soul Reavers into the bastioned Placoderms. The next wave of Soul Reavers prepare to clean up the mess once the Ghouls are dispatched, as the Zombies hove ever closer on the right.

The crabs stand firm, despite the damages: left Kraken to 6, brutal Centurion to 3, central Kraken to ?, Placoderms to 7. Time to clap back.

Trident 3: The Kraken both counter-charge and devour Ghoul troops, the brutal Centurion drives his Ghouls away, and the (bastion-less, thanks to the Envoy needing to run) Placoderms decide to hindered corkscrew the other Ghouls harassing the central Kraken instead of countering their Soul Reavers. The math is way better that they’ll actually do any damage, plus it means the Soul Reavers can be shot. As it turns out, the Placoderms do ZERO damage to the Ghouls, but Heartpiercers do stick 5 into the Soul Reavers. Other shooting grudgingly puts 1 point of damage on both Zombie legions, simply for lack of targets.

In more daring news, I decide after a long while to send the Water Elementals with Placoderm ‘support’ into the central Zombie regiment, as the overrun escapes the Zombie legion’s arc and I’ve basically decided I shouldn’t even start putting damage on the legions, as I don’t have the assets to seal either of those deals. The Zombie regiment does evaporate and my units do escape the Zombie’s arc … but come on dude, surge is totally a thing 😐 Also I shove some Heartpiercers in front of the right Zombie legion in the interest of buying time.

Undead 3: All five Soul Reaver Infantry troops make contact with their quarries: brutal Centurion, central Kraken, damaged Placoderm flank (with Ghouls in the front), other Placoderms, and Water Elemental. The Vampire Lord also skips over to the scuttlin’ Envoy, who has done nothing wrong ever. A Zombie legion (hindered) and the Goreblight lurch into the rightmost Heartpiercers as well, and, after a brief pause …

One Surge Later.

… the other Zombie legion rear charges the Water Elementals (hindered). Oh, and the Ghast charges back into the left Kraken.

After all the blending, everybody but the ensnaring dudes on the left are shredded and/or messily devoured. But sadly those same dudes – brutal Centurion and central Kraken – are both wavered (6 and 5 damage respectively). Losing fresh Placoderms to a Soul Reaver troop is pretty surprising, however having your inspiring source decapitated makes that a little more likely.

Trident 4: Things are getting squirrely with so many Undead threats still on the table and my momentum slipping away, but the crabs take what they can. Heartpiercers finish off the wounded Soul Reaver infantry, while spacing out for the inevitable Zombie legions baring down on them. The Coral Giant wakes from his slumber to pound the last of the Ghoul troops into jelly, and the left Kraken flanks some Soul Reavers only to waver them. I’ll take it. Also I regen a bunch.

Undead 4: Maybe I poorly measured the 10″ needed or maybe IDAGF at this point, but two Heartpiercers are flanked by Zombie legions (hindered) and the Goreblight (hindered) – honestly a surge may have been involved in one case, hard to tell. In vampiric news, the Vampire Lord somersaults into the trident Centurion in the pond as Soul Reavers power into the central Kraken and the Coral Giant. The Ghast also continues to be a pest, flanking the left Kraken for 1 damage (up to 3).

Inset: Crabs In Predicaments

RIP the central Kraken, killed before his time (the Soul Reavers back up). The Coral Giant however just takes it on the chin, going up to 6 damage. The trident Centurion successfully parries the Vampire Lord’s flurry of blows, taking 6 damage and holding. Of his Heartpiercer charges, one is mauled by the Goreblight and 60 friends, while the other takes only 2 damage and survives a Zombie legion flank.

Trident 5: The crabs break open a new box of stakes and prepare to slay some more vampires. Kraken re-flanks Soul Reavers with the brutal Centurion in the front, while the Coral Giant counter-charges his Soul Reavers with some commando Hearpiercers flanking them (hindered). The trident Centurion backs up, regenerating and daring the Vampire Lord to have another go, and the last of the functional Heartpiercers attempt to snipe out the Necromancer (but flub it with 1 damage).

Both combats go well, seeing two more Soul Reaver troops turned to ash.

Undead 5: The Goreblight wavers the swamp Heartpiercers (2 damage), the Vampire Lord wavers the trident Centurion (7 damage), and that damn Ghast wavers the Coral Giant (8 damage)! Those last Soul Reavers on the left rear charge the other Heartpiercers, turning them into mist. A Zombie legion balanced on a wall was in their front as well but whatever.

As this is a game of control, you can see the Zombies upper left and bottom right holding to their zones. Likewise the upper right Soul Reavers.

Trident 6: The remaining Kraken and brutal Centurion front charge the central Soul Reavers, slapping them around until their broke. Nice. The Centurion overruns to protect the Coral Giant (I don’t understand why the big guy didn’t turn to face the Zombies, maybe he did and I didn’t turn the model? Weird flex.) The trident Centurion stumbles back deeper into the swamp, again challenging the Vampire Lord.

Undead 6: The Zombie legion trips into the brutal Centurion (hindered and ensnared) and the Vampire Lord backflips off a stump into the trident Centurion.

While the brutal Centurion easily fends off the hug train of the Zombie legion, the Vampire Lord finally gets what he wants, skewering the trident Centurion, whose blue blood is brackish, cold and extremely dissatisfying. Speaking of dissatisfaction, the Goreblight’s (hindered) affections leave the Heartpiercers unmoved.

Trident 7: The crabs take this lucky last moment to get on the board, with the surviving Kraken scooting away into the lower left sector. The Coral Giant and brutal Centurion bash 9 damage onto the central Zombie legion but it’s not enough to clear them and their US4 out. The Heartpiercers also don’t magically remove the Goreblight accosting them.

Whatever the Undead did in their turn, they didn’t have the movement to secure any more Control sectors, making this 1 to 5 for a resounding …


While I had hoped to do a little better, and might have with a different terrain setup or control of the initiative, it was fun to face a really dynamic Undead list doing something different. I goofed up with the Zombie legions a couple times, however I also didn’t allocate anything to deal with them, so having them essentially close out the win makes sense. Likewise that Ghoul Ghast who I disrespected the entire game and never swung on, but got that Coral Giant waver that took the last of my momentum away. Well played, deadites.

Cuddle Time once again did pretty poorly as a team, with a single victory (either the Riftforged or the Ratkin took it). This put us on a very low score for Day 1, something like 34 points out of a possible 180, but that just means we’d finally be getting the bottom table cuddle we signed up for 😉

UP NEXT: The Big Dead One!


Welcome to the first of four reports covering the 2022 Crossroads GT! Held in picturesque Elmira, NY, Crossroads kept up the four-player team format this year, with five 2300 point games of Kings of War over two days. Crossroads was also continuing to use Blackjack Scoring. I took up the mantle of Cuddle Captain once again for Team Cuddle Time, even though I sadly had to miss the first game due to a scheduling conflict the day before. A bummer to be sure, but there was another three-player team so it happened to work out without needing a ringer. Anyway, on to lists:


Ratkin 2300
Shock Troops Horde – Plague Pots
Shock Troops Horde – Plague Pots
Nightmares Horde – Fire-Oil
Nightmares Horde
Mutant Rat-fiend
*Death Engine Spewer
Scudku-z’luk, Demonspawn of Diew [1] – Lightning Bolt (5)
Tangle [1] – Bane Chant (1+), Fireball (10+), Mind Fog (1+), Weakness (1+)
War Chief – Sacred Horn, Aura (Vicious(M): Infantry)
Brute Enforcer – Lute of Insatiable Darkness
*Smoke, Mirrors and Death Formation

Riftforged Orcs 2300
Helstrikers Horde
Helstrikers Horde
Riftforged Legionaries Horde
Riftforged Legionaries Horde
Reborn Legionaries Regiment – Orb of Towering Presence
Riftwalkers Troop
Riftwalkers Troop
Stormforged Shrine [1] – Bane Chant (1+), Host Shadowbeast (4+), Lightning Bolt (3+)
Thonaar [1]
Riftforger – Wings of Honeymaze, Stormstrike, Host Shadowbeast (6)
Stormcaller – Inspiring Talisman, Lightning Bolt (4), Mind Fog (3)

Ogres 2300
Siege Breakers Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Siege Breakers Horde – Staying Stone
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Boomers Horde – Fire-Oil
Warrior Chariots Regiment – Boots of Striding
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Berserker Bully – Torc of Dissonance
Nomagarok [1] – Bane Chant (3+), Heal (4+), Lightning Bolt (4+)
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), Drain Life (5+)
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), Scorched Earth (2)

(I did fix that Placo’s broken arm when I had a free moment …)

Trident Realm 2300
Water Elementals Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Placoderms Regiment
Placoderms Regiment
Heartpiercers Regiment
Heartpiercers Regiment
Heartpiercers Regiment
Heartpiercers Regiment
Coral Giant
Naiad Centurion – Axe of the Giant Slayer, Trident of the Drowned Sea [1]
Naiad Centurion – Pipes of Terror
Naiad Envoy – Aura (Fury: Infantry & Heavy Infantry), Bastion [1] (2)

The Cuddle Time line up was, per usual, a mix of brawler lists with some shooting and control added for flavor (crab-flavored this time around). Crossroads has a match up phase at the start of each round, where matched up teams put forth two of their armies and the winner of a dice roll gets to decide which two will fight, while the loser decides which scenario they’ll play out of a limited pool for that round. Then the other two teams are presented and the roles reverse.

My goals as captain were a) to try to get my team scenarios that they were cool playing; b) to avoid putting a Me 4+ army into heavy ensnare; and c) to avoid personally fighting Ogres. That was about all my sleep-deprived brain could handle and I more or less accomplished all three … with apologies to our Ogre player, who spent most of the weekend fighting Trident Realm or Ogres 😐


  • The Herd
  • The Herd
  • Abyssal Dwarfs

I was driving to the event during the first round, but when I arrived I got the update that it had not gone great! Turns out my 5 point bye was our second highest score :/


  • Halflings
  • Orcs
  • Sylvan Kin
  • Riftforged Orcs

While I can’t remember who we fed to the Sylvan Kin, I do know we arranged a Riftoff 😀 And I ended up facing Halflings for possibly the first time ever …

Halflings 2300
Stalwarts Horde – Hammer of Measured Force
Juggers Horde – Brew of Strength, Relentless
Juggers Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar, Relentless
Aeronauts Regiment – Wine of Elvenkind
Aeronauts Regiment – Brew of Haste
Braves Regiment
Braves Regiment
Iron Beast – Pride of the Shires [1]
Muster Captain on Winged Aralez – Aegis of the Elohi, Relentless
Gunnery Sergeant on Troll – Relentless
Gunnery Sergeant on Troll
Engineer – Aura (WC (+1): Tinker), Radiance of Life (Tinker), Gadgets and Gizmos [1], Halfling Long Rifle
Sauceror – Sacred Horn

Yowza, that’s a lot of special rules to remember – check out the quadruple upgrades on the Engineer, none of which are magic artefacts! I’ve spent enough time with the Halfling list, and hearing about the army in action, to know that the Aeronauts are the real menace here. Everything else is more or less a standard or slightly worse version of what it looks like. As an aside, the army was being piloted by a local dude (Tim?) who I haven’t played since Fantasy days and hadn’t really played much of third edition. He admitted to being an AOS guy but when the Crossroads AOS event fell apart he was recruited to help fill a team out. Regardless, he was a pleasure and I tried to point out any gotchas during our game.

We played Control, with the Halflings going first.


Battlelines! Also I did not realize that was a Jugger horde until he deployed it …

Halfings 1: The host sallies forth in a graceful crescent (roll) formation. Also the Engineer snipes 1 damage on the trident Centurion over on the right. The left Aeronauts are the Sp 8 ones, and while the right ones have nimble, I don’t believe it ever came up again.

Trident 1: A general scuttling in response, with Krakens flexing some charge distances and me regretting everything I put on the right. I hem and haw and decide to push hard on the right Aeronauts, bringing the Centurion into range. His slayer-trident and the Heartpiercers only stick 4 damage, failing to waver. Other shooting manage 1 damage on the Jugger regiment (after iron resolve) and 2 on the Stalwarts.

Ensnare and hindering be damned!

Halflings 2: The left flank jockeys for position as Braves are mobilized to get in the way, while the center slowly presses forward. Troll Sergeants pepper the left Placoderms and right Kraken with 1 damage each, and the Engineer does the same to the Water Elementals. The real action, sadly, is the Aeronauts plowing into the trident Centurion (let’s pretend he did 1 damage and grounded them) and blowing him the hell up. Irreducible blast Me 4+ is pretty neat, especially against -2 to hit.

Trident 2: I shake off the loss of my Very Cool Gun but am now doubly afraid of the left Aeronauts looming 18″ off my left flank. The brutal Centurion charges into the Muster Captain on Winged Aralez, grounding him (even if doing 0 damage after double IR) while I clear some room for the Coral Giant to do something eventually. Heartpiercers push the Jugger reg to 3 damage, the Pride of the Shires to 2 and the Stalwart horde to 3. Over on the right, I shove Heartpiercers into the Jugger horde to buy the Water Elementals some time (and do 1 damage in the process, despite being hindered <3). It’s a good thing too, because the Water Elementals only do 3-4 damage to the Aeronauts, but at least they waver the death zeppelins.

Halflings 3: The main story here is the Jugger horde feeding the Heartpiercers on the right to their dogs while the center advances more confidently and the Braves on the left continue to bait the crabs. The Muster Captain does 2 damage to the brutal Centurion and a Troll Sergeant plinks the left Placoderms up to 3 damage. We also remember that the Iron Beast has iron resolve, so remove its damage from previous turns. Finally, the Saucerer decides to do some Gastromancy – quite sure Rally (1) was on the menu.

Trident 3: I think for a long time (17 min left on my clock at the half way mark of the game!), and decide to crush his bait and give the left Aeronauts some of their own. Placoderms and Coral Giant smash the Braves, with CeeGee turning to face the center (spoiler: gunning for that Pride) and the Placos protecting his rear as the Kraken looms / prepares to be Aeronauted directly. The Centurion continues to ground the Muster Captain (and regenerate). In the center, more Placoderms (enjoying bastion) hold the Pride of the Shires in place so the Kraken can grind the Stalwarts down. They’re up to 10 damage but still have a ways to go. On the right, the Water Elementals finally finish off their Aeronauts and face the Jugger horde salivating in their direction.

Harpoons have of course been flying during all this combat: Heartpiercers finish off the Jugger reg to the left and start in on the right Brave regiment (looks like 4 damage worth).

Halflings 4: Perhaps wisely, the Aeronauts don’t take any of their available charges, leaving the Jugger horde the only fresh (hindered) charge into the Water Elementals. Many counter-charges happen across the board (Muster Captain to Centurion, Iron Beast to Placoderms, Stalwarts to Kraken), and gun fire pops into the left Placos (4 damage) and rightmost Heartpiercers (1 damage).

The Muster Captain lucky wavers the brutal Centurion, but damage is low across the board, with the Placos taking 4 and the Kraken 2. Oh, except of course the Water Elementals are pulled apart by the Juggers.

Trident 4: Wasting no time, the Coral Giant crashes into the flank of the Pride of the Shires, tearing it asunder, as the central Kraken gently rampages the Stalwarts up to 15 damage. Heartpiercers target the left Troll Sergeant (1 damage) and the surviving Braves (7 total) but really I’m left waiting to see what those Aeronauts are doing and willfully ignoring the Jugger horde out on the right flank.

You’ll notice that the left Kraken didn’t charge the Muster Captain and that the left Placoderms have wandered forward with the flying monster in their flank. I’m pretty sure I’m baiting the Aeronauts to have a go at the Placos so my Kraken can at least hold them in place for the rest of the game. If the Kraken had charged the fresh Muster Captain, he would have fluffed and been flanked by the Aeronauts.

Halflings 5: Able to fly free, the Muster Captain swoops into the flank of the left Placoderms, swinging for the fences and taking the hardy crabs off … but without the help of the Aeronauts, who continue to abstain. In the center, the Braves squeak past the building and flank the Kraken menacing the Stalwarts, but any damage to the titanic crustacean is minimal (4 total).

Trident 5: The drama on the left flank continues as the brutal Centurion and Kraken pounce on the victorious Muster Captain, yet can only manage 5 damage (7 before double resolve). The Coral Giant moves closer to supervise, freeing up space for the Placoderms in the center to flank and scatter the Stalwarts and the central Kraken to counter the Braves and spread them across the field. Heartpiercer fire goes into Troll Sergeants, however they’re hardy heroes.

Oh. No.

Halfling 6: Tim spies a gnarly overrun through the Centurion into the left Kraken, but it’s not to be as the brutal Centurion soaks a relatively light bombing run with only 5 damage. The Muster Captain meanwhile does 0-1 damage to the Kraken in his grill. The remnants of the Halfling army back out of LOS or they’re a Jugger horde who isn’t scared of a pillow-fisted Kraken charge.

Trident 6: The Coral Giant thunders into the flank of the Muster Captain, ripping him off his flying doggo and spiking the diminutive hero. His Aralez flies off to do best boy things in a less crabby land. This frees the left Kraken and brutal Centurion to finally take a crack at the Aeronauts, however 6 damage isn’t enough to matter. Otherwise the crabs secure their hold on the map, and I clock out.

With no Turn 7 and a 4 to 2 control score, this is a …


My opponent was a gent and I hope he went on to have a good time. As it turned out, I was the only win for Cuddle Time this round. Summoning the power of Even More Caffeine, I reracked the crabs and headed into the final match of the day.

UP NEXT: Harlequin Hobby!


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.


Day Two of the 2021 Crossroads GT dawns, bringing with it Skull Face and the Orcs of ORC TOWN. The last time I faced Skull Face was back at the Orc Town GT with my fire elementals, and maybe the biggest change this edition is that Skull Face has lent his slasher to Orcling and deigned to stomp the yard on foot:

Orcs 2300
Greatax Horde – Orcish Skullpole, Potion of the Caterpillar
Greatax Horde – Orcish Skullpole, Boots of Striding
Morax Regiment – Orcish Skullpole
Morax Regiment – Orcish Skullpole
Morax Regiment – Orcish Skullpole
Morax Regiment – Orcish Skullpole
Orclings Regiment
Orclings Regiment
Orclings Regiment
War Drum
War Drum
Krudger on Winged Slasher – Pipes of Terror
Skull Face [Krudger] – Orcish Skullpole, Gakamak’s Bloody Banner, Mead of Madness
Ulpgar the Mad – Bane Chant (3+), Fireball (7+)
Krusher on Gore – Blade of Slashing
Krusher on Gore – Mace of Crushing

As far as I can tell, this list has all the tools Orcs can get, maybe with the exception of springing for Ulpgar at the expense of spamming another 1-2 punchy individuals. Skull Face has had another tough run of things to be down here with me, to be down here fighting me, but as the only Orcs and only Herd, it seems fitting.

Game Four is Dominate, which suits us both fine. I scout up and take first.


Herd 0: Scouting phase! Skull Face is behind the left horde, Ulpgar behind the right.
Herd 1: The Hallow brings its chaff up to bear, including Centaurs on the right tempting his Orclings to get frothy.
Orcs 1: The Orclings both pounce on the Centaurs, doing 2 damage and gumming up my lines a bit. The central Orc brick marches forward several inches as the flanking Slasher and Krushers tentatively move forward.
Herd 2: Embracing the Herd side of the Hallow, I floor it in an attempt to trap the Orcs in their tight formation, and mostly in difficult terrain as well. Left to right, Centaurs charge Morax, Forest Shamblers charge Orclings, two Tribal Spears combo-charge Morax (with a bane chant), more Shamblers charge more Orclings with the help of a Tree Herder, and the wounded Centaurs charge the last of the Orclings. The left side of my army gets away from the Slasher, while the Beast speed walks away from the incoming Krushers.
The left Morax take token damage, but otherwise everything dies! One Tribal Spears regiment sidesteps to block in the left Greatax horde, the other hung out since they were forcing a big weird flank from the other Greatax / blocking the next Morax in the chamber. I’m not sure why the right Centaurs didn’t overrun? But reforming caused problems enough.
Orcs 2: The only way out is through! Morax counter the left Centaurs with Slasher in the flank, left Greatax flank their blocking Tribal Spears, Skull Face shoots the gap left by them to charge some Forest Shamblers, the second wave Morax charge their blocking Tribal Spears, the right Greatax gingerly sidestep to make room next turn (his mega base I don’t think fit anywhere? I feel like he could have flanked those Tribal Spears? But he tried a few things and called it), and a Krusher zooms into the right Centaurs.
The left Centaurs and Tribal Spears explode into sap, but other combats are not as conclusive. Skull Face rips 3 damage into the Shamblers, the Morax do 11 to Tribal Spears but can’t stick the 4 needed to break (didn’t use skullpole), and the right Centaurs are only wavered by the Krusher.
Herd 3: The Hallow begins the heavy lift of the game – grinding out two Greatax hordes while the rest of the Orc army looms. A Shambler horde + Tree Herder go into both Greatax, with the left pair getting bane chant (+ the Brutal Herder’s brutal). The Centaur Chief goes to sit down the Slasher (hindered tho), the central Tribal Spears count their blessings and swing into the Morax who didn’t kill them, and the Beast hops across the field and into the flank of the leftmost Morax who killed the Centaurs.

The Slasher takes 3 damage, the Beast savages her Morax up to 13 damage but can’t break them, the left Greatax take 11 and waver, the central Morax take 4, and the right Greatax take a hearty 15 but hold. So much violence, but the grind is well and truly joined!

Orcs 3: The Orcs strike back, in what we both know is a pretty do-or-die turn. Slasher counters the Centaur Chief, the Beast’s Morax charge (hindered) away from her into some Forest Shambles alongside Skull Face (hindered), a backup Morax unit flanks the Beast (hindered), the central Morax aim to finish off their Tribal Spears, the right Greatax swing into the right Forest Shamblers, and the Centaurs are double-teamed by Krushers. Ulpgar gives the right Greatax bane chant + lifeleech (2).
Both Forest Shambler hordes are one-rounded, those blocking Tribal Spears are axed, the right Centaurs are crushed, the Centaur Chief is wavered, but miraculously the Beast survives being flanked with only 5 damage (bless you, oh might swamp!)
Herd 4: Speaking of do-or-die, the Hallow winds up and swings a second time. The Beast flanks the Slasher, Tribal Spears scramble over an obstacle to charge the mangled Morax (hindered), Forest Shamblers (bane chanted) + Brutal Herder go another round with the left Greatax, and the right Tree Herder sees if he can pop 13 damage Greatax. With such a small base, he might even get another swing.
Yesssssssssss – the Slasher, the Morax and the Greatax all rout. The other Greatax are pounded up to 16 damage and I think wavered. Whew.
Orcs 4: Despite the carnage, the Hallow isn’t wildly ahead on US, so a couple good swings from the Orcs could reverse things, and Morax certainly have a lot of swings. Morax charge the last Forest Shamblers (hindered) with Skull Face assisting, as the other Morax charge the Brutal Herder with Krusher assisting. Ulpgar may have tried to bane chant + lifeleech them but failed.

Neither unit routs, although the Shamblers hit 11 damage and the Brutal Herder 6.

Herd 5: The green fist of the Hallow squeezes. Tribal Spears (bane chanted) flank the left Morax with Forest Shamblers in the front and Centaur Chief in the rear. Brutal Herder counters the right Morax as more Tribal Spears hit the Krusher, routing him and overrunning to flank the Morax as well. The Beast flanks a War Drum and the right Herder plows back into the Greatax.
The broken bodies of the Orcs join the rest of the throng killed in the swamp earlier.
Skull Face and his few remaining lackeys prepare to sell their lives dearly.
Orcs 5: Skull Face charges the Forest Shamblers, getting them up to 9 damage. The remaining Krusher + War Drum (in the rear!) boop 2 damage on the right Tribal Spears disrespecting them. Ulpgar fireballs the Beast back to 5 damage but can’t nail the double 12 rout.
Herd 6: Skull Face is mauled by the Hallow and sent screaming back to hell! The War Drum is sandwiched between Beast and Tree Herder flanks, instantly popping. The Krusher takes 1 damage from the Tribal Spears counter and Ulpgar survives the Centaur Chief’s affections unmolested.
Orcs 6: Ulpgar and the Krusher charge the last of the Forest Shamblers, because YOLO m’right?
The Forest Shamblers rout! And sink back into the swamp that helped me pull this one off.
Herd 7: The rout continues, with maybe 10 seconds left on my clock O_O The Brutal Herder flattens the Krusher and the Centaur Chief does a sterling 4 damage to Ulpgar but doesn’t seal the deal – yes, the other Herder could have charged in but I was melting the last of my time down. I pass on 1 second.

Ulpgar swings on the Centaur Chief but misses, ending a dominating …


Holy hell, what a blood bath. My plan going into this was to trap him behind his chaff, which has worked before for Orcs / similar infantry grind lists, and that sorta happened, except it was more killing his chaff and trapping him behind my thicc chaff. Deciding early on to just punch it forward was obviously the deciding moment, and it was gratifying to see that my army has enough small or fast (or both) units to buy my grinding units time to do their thing. Tournament-wise, I’m 2-1-1 and happy with however the last game ends up.

UP NEXT: Abyssals!


Day One ends with a rare treat on the bottom table, as no fewer than five Tree Herders gather to see whose grain will reign supreme 🌳

Forces of Nature 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Forest Shamblers Horde – Brew of Strength
Scorchwings Horde
Hunters of the Wild Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Tree Herder – Wiltfather, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Unicorn – Lute of Insatiable Darkness, Wings, Heal (5)
Kapoka, The Hidden Savior – Heal (4), Weakness (3)

It’s an interesting list, that really pays for that third Herder by not having any chaff to speak of. He’s clearly not done well either (poor trees), but the match into me is neat. Nature has shooting and dad on their side, I’ve got raw unit strength and chaff to help control the match. Which is fitting as …

Game Three is Control! We have a pretty involved scouting phase, out of which I win initiative but give it to him – because he has Heartpiercers who I want to screw over / make come closer to me, also because it’s control.


Nature/Herd 0: Scouting phase! I threw off his usual scouting plans for his heavy trees, thanks to my flanking force. The Wiltfather is the Herder in the middle of his lines (with a mustache, naturally).
Nature 1: The Forces of Nature move up into line, with the Scorchwings the most relevant movement as they work the left flank. (That proxy base is how far my Centaur Chief can charge.)
Scorchwing shooting slams a respectable 8 damage into my leftmost Forest Shamblers, and that’s turn.
Herd 1: Tribal Spears and Centaur Chief threaten charges on the left (the Hunters are distressingly Sp 5), Centaurs move into scoring position on the right as the Beast moves into terrorize-the-center position, and I mobilize chaff into the center. I don’t really know what to do with my mangled Forest Shamblers so I shuffle them back and hope some Tribal Spears look tastier.

The Druid whips 1 lightning bolt’s worth of damage into the Scorchwings, tho she probably should have healed the Shamblers. I don’t begrudge her.

Nature 2: Fuuuuuuu– the Scorchwings grab a tasty flank on those damaged Shamblers. I’m also reminded that 3x Tree Herders come with a total of Surge (24), as his strength Shamblers are powered into my Centaurs and the sharpness ones miss my Tree Herder by ~2″. But not before he cops 3 damage from Heartpiercers.
Nature punishes the Hallow for its impudence, devouring both the Shamblers and the Centaurs.
Herd 2: Double Tribal Spears mob the Hunters of the Wild (with some bane chant behind them), the Centaur Chief jumps on the Scorchwings to at least sit them down (as much as that will do), and Herder + flanking Shamblers hit his sharpness Shamblers. I press in with my right flank, making that Tree Herder make a decision, as the Beast hops into a shadow zone between Herders. Those central Tribal Spears turn to face the Scorchwings, in what might have been too reactive of a play.
The Hunters are ripped apart by smaller, spikier tree things and his sharpness Shamblers are smashed. The Centaur Chief gauges 3 damage into the Scorchwings, grounding them … except they’re still Sp 10 Nimble :/
Nature 3: Scorchwings rear my Tree Herder, with the Unicorn in his flank and another Tree Herder in the front. My central Forest Shamblers are combo-charged by the Wiltfather + strength Shamblers. On the right, his other Tree Herder decides to whomp my other Forest Shamblers.
Then everything changed when the Fire Owls attaked.
Heartpiercers combine to drop one of the incoming Tribal Spears, moments before the Tree Herder and Forest Shamblers are pulverized, releasing their spores into the surrounding field to regrow in time. The Herder on the right also stomped 6 damage into his Forest Shamblers. Looks like the Brutal Herder has weakness, courtesy of Kapoka, that scamp.
Herd 3: It feels like a bad trade, but I need to stop the Scorchwings’ path of destruction, so I hop the Beast into the hole where the dead Herder was, with the Centaur Chief hitting the horrible owls in the rear as well. Tribal Spears flank the first Heartpiercers, central Spears turn to face the strength Shamblers (…), and the Brutal Herder (weakened) flanks his Herder fighting my Forest Shamblers, who counter. The Druid at the doubles over to lend her inspiring.
Scorchwings and Heartpiercers rout, with the Beast facing the rears of the Herders right in front of her (she maybe should have faced the Shamblers instead, as they were clearly surgable into her flank as is). Weakness helps keep the other Herder alive on 8 damage.
Nature 4: The Unicorn hurtles into the flank of my right Shamblers, with the Herder countering them. The Wiltfather mobilizes and the free Herder prepares to mastermind a 1″ surge.
Surge (8) is enough to send the strength Shamblers into the Beast’s flank. Other shooting puts 3 damage on the Tribal Spears marauding through his Heartpiercers, and Kapoka heals his right Herder a bit (5 damage left).
The Beast and the last of my Shamblers are battered and broken. His Unicorn overruns, possibly to block for the Herder?
Herd 4: Not a lot left of the Hallow, but what I have is pretty great for the scenario, so time to flex those Tribal Spears. Spears charge the Heartpiercers, the strength Shamblers (with the Centaur Chief and bane chant), and the Unicorn’s flank. My Brutal Herder charges his right Herder again.
The Heartpiercers (7 damage) and Unicorn (6 damage) waver, but Great Doom-Owl be praised, the strength Shamblers are dropped. Whew. His Herder is also still standing, on 9 damage. (Looks like the Centaur Chief accidentally picked up the 1 damage die from the left Tribal Spears :P)
Nature 5: The Wiltfather goes to clear up this nonsense on the right next turn, as the other Herder faces the bloodthirsty Tribal Spears, and the other-other Herder charges the right Tribal Spears. He gets them to 7 and wavers. (I don’t think he rolled regen on his Heartpiercers, and admittedly they did just look like elven archers.)
Herd 5: Tribal Spears plow through the Heartpiercers, the Brutal Herder rears his right Herder and shatters it, and the Centaur Chief (bane chanted) chomps 1 damage on the left Herder, but is convincingly in the way. And after 4 turns, the Centaurs on the right turn to face the action. Thanks, me.
Nature 6: The Wiltfather charges the Brutal Herder, the Unicorn snaps out of it and charges the mangled right Tribal Spears, and the left Herder stomps on the Centaur Chief.
The Centaur Chief is flattened, but the Brutal Herder and Tribal Spears survive (on 5 and 8 damage respectively).
Herd 6: Things are looking good for the Hallow, with 5-0 control points. Just a little light murder and we should be good. Tribal Spears charge the left Herder (bane chanted) for 4 damage, the Brutal Herder hits the Wiltfather back for 2 damage, and more Tribal Spears aim to finally drop the Unicorn but fall far short with 3 damage. Ah well, good game, nice to get a wi—
Nature 7: The left Herder fails to rout his Tribal Spears (even with the extra pip of damage the Centaur dragged away, that’d be a rerollable 9), but Wiltdad + Unicorn finally kill the Spears on the right, costing me the lower right section.
Herd 7: My ace in the hole Centaurs come ripping off their hill into the Unicorn, but fail again to drop her. Wow. The Wiltfather hangs on, thanks in part to Kapoka’s weakness, and the other Herder withstands the Tribal Spears’ bane chanted jabs. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but whether the score was 4-1 or 3-0, this was a …


Those Scorchwings! Doing work, and thanks to a flank I didn’t need to give them. Smart play by my opponent, with some very competent surging (Fun Game: Take a shot every time I surge a unit this tournament! Safe to play at work!). I feel like I won this in the army building phase? Even just splitting the Hunters into troops would give him more to work with, though they’re just flat out-classed by my Tribal Spears. Which is a good feel, as the reason I chose Herd and not Nature is because I really like Herd’s infantry options, while I’m really not interested in Nature’s. It was also instructive to see how little Kapoka does – my opponent admitted she wasn’t turning out great – as I’ve been interested in her if I ported sideways to Nature.

Having gone 1-1-1 on Day One, I was content to drink, play some board games, and talk about Warmahordes into the AM. What a day.

NEXT UP: Orcs!


After my Game One drubbing, I plummeted down to the bottom table and got to face one of my favorite people to play, and a dude I very often play somewhere around mid-tournament for score-related reasons 😀

Dwarfs 2300
Bulwarkers Horde – Staying Stone, Throwing Mastiff
Earth Elementals Horde
Earth Elementals Horde
Earth Elementals Horde
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Boots of Striding
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment – Throwing Mastiff
Berserker Lord on Brock – Blade of the Beast Slayer
Berserker Lord on Brock – Mournful Blade
Stone Priest – Conjurer’s Staff, Surge (8), Bane Chant (2)
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer – Lute of Insatiable Darkness

I’m always happy to fight Dwarfs, as I very reliably out-threat them, so get to play the more control oriented game I prefer. His list seems legit? And looks great on the table. I dig the double Brock Lords, and this would be the first time I’ve faced Earth Elementals with my squishier Forest Shamblers.

Game Two is Salt the Earth, and the Herd wins and takes the initiative.


Herd 0: Scouting phase! It’s hard to see, but the seventh token is on that hill back-right, guarded by double Sharpshooters. My fourth Tribal Spears are hard to the right just off shot.
Herd 1: The Hallow rolls out, mobilizing chaff on the left, tempting the Brocks in the middle, and blitzing the hill on the right. Some Tribal Spears take up residence on the token in the fountain, content to never move again.
Dwarfs 1: On the left, the pathfinder Brocks jump on the chaffing Centaurs and the BotBS Brock Lord charges into the Tree Herder, while the Earth Elementals maintain their menacing wall of rock and grind towards that flank. In the center, the Mastiffs (+ Bulwarkers) trot forward and prepare to unleash themselves / bees, and the Sharpshooters hold their ground on the right.
The storm of tossed dogs shreds the central Forest Shamblers (!!!), and Sharpshooters put 2 wounds on the left Tribal Spears and 1 on the Centaur Chief.
The Centaurs are torn apart by angry badgers, but the Brock Lord fails to damage the Herder. And then those Sharpshooters on the hill to the right burn their token 😐
Herd 2: Despite that, the Hallow chooses murder, as is their want. Beast and Centaur Chief charge into a Sharpshooter troop each, while their Tribal Spear escorts go be useful elsewhere. In the center, the Brutal Herder holds the boot Brocks in place to give the Centaurs and Shamblers time to clear the Mastiffs (except the Shamblers have to plow through a fence, hindering them). On the left, Shamblers (bane chanted) and Tribal Spears combo-charge the pathfinder Brocks. I spend a ton of time deciding what to do with the left Herder – because the Brock Lord failed to wound him, the Herder could walk over him if he wanted, tho the 1″ rule makes things weird around the Brocks and etc, etc, and so I just turned him to face the wall of rocks headed in … and forgot I could just charge him. It totally won’t come back to haunt me that I didn’t put 9 3+/2+ swings into that Brock Lord. No chance.
Happily, the pathfinder Brocks pop! And on the right, the Beast kicks her Sharpshooters to death, while the Centaur Chief is content to gnaw his down. The center is less conclusive, with neither Mastiffs breaking (5 and 6 damage respectively, which is pretty superb considering the odds involved), and the Brocks taking 5 damage.
Dwarfs 2: Rock meets Wood as the Earth Elementals crash into the left Shamblers and Tribal Spears. The beast slayer Brock Lord takes another swing at the Herder disrespecting him. In the center, Mastiffs counter the stick-things assaulting them and the Brocks counter the Brutal Herder. And on the right, the duelist Brock Lord goes in to sit down the Beast as the Sharpshooters strike at the Centaur Chief with their rifle butts.
The leftmost Shamblers are pummeled into goo by ambulatory stone statues, but other charges just result in damage – or not in the case of the Herder, who is just too tough for the slayer Brock Lord! The Tribal Spears go up to 6, the Centaurs to 5, the central Shamblers to 2, the Brutal Herder to 6 (!), and the Beast is indeed sat down with 2 damage. The Centaur Chief escapes without damage as well.
Herd 3: My positioning with the left Herder pays off, as it powers into an Earth Elemental flank, with (bane chanted) Tribal Spears in the front. Everybody counter-charges in the center, however the twist is the Beast using her Sp 7 + Nimble to juke the duelist Brock Lord and flank charge the Brocks. The Centaur Chief takes another bite out of the right Sharpshooters. You can see the Tribal Spears making a cautious play for the center objective – at this point I’m doing some math and realizing I need another token to pull a win off, despite my tight grip on two of the objectives.
All combats go the Hallow’s way, such is the fury of the dark fae. The left Herder is facing that way to swing the Earth Elementals into his front if they charge or use up a surge if he wants a flank, and in the center the Centaurs jam the Bulwarkers with an overrun. The duelist Brock Lord on the hill is faced with a choice: sit the Beast down again or prepare for glory. Also I burn the token on the left.
Dwarfs 3: The left Earth Elementals are surged into the Tree Herder flank (the follow-up bane chant must have worked, with the Conjurer’s Staff on hand), with the slayer Brock Lord charging in for a third round. The Bulwarkers make to clear out the Centaurs so they can address the incoming trees, and the duelist Brock Lord, well …
He chooses glory 😤
The Centaur Chief is mulched under those 14 attaks, and the Centaurs don’t fare too well either, but both of their missions are complete. The Tree Herder astoundingly only takes 6 damage (my opponent historically has terrible dice, and the tradition has continued here).
Herd 4: The grind continues! On the left, the Tree Herder + Tribal Spears (bane chanted) hit the Earth Elementals in the front. In the center, Shamblers + Brutal Herder + Beast combo-charge the Bulwarkers … and I realize later that the Beast is probably better used trying to kick the ASB to death, removing the reroll. I also don’t turn the rightmost Tribal Spears to face the duelist Brock Lord, despite them having phalanx and him obviously being cavalry.
8 damage on the Earth Elementals isn’t bad, but I can’t reach that -/18 Nv. Likewise the 12 damage on the Bulwarkers is solid enough, with a ways to go. Note that I’ve been watching his movement in the center, and those Tribal Spears are 16″ away from those Earth Elementals, to make him walk the whole way and not give a speed boost thanks to charging.
Dwarfs 4: Let’s just tear the bandage off – the slayer Brock Lord drops the left Tree Herder 😦 Well fought, tiny dude on badger that I ignored all game. The Earth Elementals bash the Tribal Spears up to 7 damage (wavering them), the Bulwarkers (bane chanted) stab the Brutal Herder up to 9 damage, and the duelist Brock Lord puts 3 on the right Tribal Spears desperately holding a point with no inspiring to be seen. The central Earth Elementals begin to crest the hill.
Herd 5: The wavered Tribal Spears back up to protect the Druid / expose the Earth Elementals to her lightning bolt (!), the Bulwakers receive another round of Brutal Herder + Forest Shamblers, the Beast pounces on the Dwarf ASB, and the right Tribal Spears counter the duelist Brock Lord (but most importantly point their sharp bits at him).
The Druid does wound the Earth Elementals with her LB(2), getting them up to 9 damage … but I can’t manage the double 9 to rout. Still awesome. The Bulwarkers are smashed into the dirt and the duelist Brock Lord takes a shocking 6 damage from small pointy tree things.
Dwarfs 5: Tiring of this grind, the left Earth Elementals trundle away to sit on a token, letting their compatriots take the hill and the token there. The Brock Lords both charge Tribal Spears … and do 0 damage on the left and 1 on the right O_O The ASB tries to ground the Beast but misses her.
Herd 6: Those left Tribal Spears rear the Earth Elementals who dared leave them to their fate, and the right Tribal Spears stab the duelist Brock Lord again. Really though it’s about mobbing the central Earth Elementals to pull the game away from his 3-2 token lead. I also punch the Beast forward in preparation for a Turn 7 run on the Sharpshooters’ token.
The Tribal Spears shatter their Earth Elementals, overrunning to take a point from the Dwarfs. The right Tribal Spears don’t kill their Brock Lord. Magic doesn’t happen in the center and the Earth Elementals hold … and we measure and discover that the Forest Shamblers are 4″ from the point thanks to combo-charge sliding. I can’t burn the point, and my 3-1 lead isn’t long for this world.
Dwarfs 6: The slayer Brock Lord ends those Tribal Spears, and the Earth Elementals swing hard and kill the Tribal Spears on the hill (a tough ask for his dice!) The duelist Brock Lord can’t rout his point-holding Tribal Spears, putting the game at 2-2. With no Turn 7, this is a …

DRAW (10-10)

Attrition put us at less than 500 points apart, for a true draw, which is apparently possible in Blackjack Scoring. It felt a little bad to have things slip away like this, as I had taken an early lead and had a lot of control – and some luck – in my favor, but even during the game I was seeing places where I simply was forgetting to do things (turn to face the Brock Lord on the right) or choosing obvious things (Beast putting a few wounds on Bulwarkers instead of kicking the ASB to death OR threatening the Sharpshooters on a point a turn earlier) rather than smarter things. In retrospect, I think could have won by not charging the Tribal Spears in on the center, as the fresh Forest Shamblers would have slide over fully to a) contest the point and b) block the Tribal Spears from the Earth Elementals, allowing them to score in safety or at the least contest, either of which would have done it for me, without a Turn 7. Instead I tried to punch for the stars per usual, and lost that win by an inch.

NEXT UP: Nature!


After missing last year due to the raging global pandemic, the Crossroads GT returned in 2021 as a 2300 point singles KOW tournament – the past two Crossroads have been team tournaments, and 2022 is slatted to return to that format, but the feeling this year was that most of us haven’t played much if at all in 18 months so why complicate things? Brilliant, I say. I took my Hallow Herd, knowing full well that they aren’t strong and even my usual tournament goal of going 50% could be hard.

The Herd 2300
Forest Shambers Horde
Forest Shambers Horde
Forest Shambers Horde
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Beast of Nature – Wings, 7 Attaks
Tree Herder – Pipes of Terror
Tree Herder
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff, Heal (2), Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (2)
Centaur Chief

Eight games in, here’s where this version of the Hallow landed. I made a last minute decision to give the Druid LB(2) in place of the Centaur Chief’s duelist, and we’ll have to see how that played out!

Ogres 2300
Warrior Chariots Legion – Potion of the Caterpillar
Siege Breakers Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Siege Breakers Horde – Dwarven Ale
Boomers Horde – Piercing Arrow
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Sergeant on Chariot – Blade of Slashing
Ogre Warlock – The Boomstick
Ogre Warlock – Inspiring Talisman
Ogre Warlock – Conjurer’s Staff
Army Standard – Lute of Insatiable Darkness

Yep, that’s a rough place to start! But Ogres (along with Undead) were very well represented at this tournament, so I suppose if I’ve got to take it on the chin from Ogres I might as well do it first game against a good dude I haven’t played since 2E. Going list to list, I have next to no chance, except …

First round is Invade, and my tree things do that pretty well, right?? Unfortunately he wins first turn, so that tightens that screw just a bit further.


Herd 0: Scouting phase! The other Centaurs are hard to the left.
Ogres 1: Rollout! The Warlock conclave is just behind that left hill (currently deploying lasers).
Centaurs cop 7 damage and waver, which could have been a lot worse against 19 lightning or whatever.
Herd 1: The Hallow derdles up, presenting some sacrificial Tribal Spears in the middle and otherwise trying to make charges awkward for the Warrior Chariots and stuff on the right.
Ogres 2: Speaking of charges, here we gooooo! From the left, that’s Braves deep into Tribal Spears, Siege Breakers into the bait Spears, Chariots into the Forest Shamblers hugging the building, Hunters into the rightmost Shamblers and Scouts tripping over an obstacle into the right Tree Herder to get out of / be in the way. The other Braves jammed in to block me from charging something.
The Warlocks pour lightning into the Druid and the wounded Centaurs, disintegrating them both. In the Warm Liquid Good phase, the center is reduced to green jelly but miraculously the Hunters only land 4 damage on their Shamblers, so that flank is alive. The plucky Scouts stab their Herder for 1 damage.
Herd 2: The Hallow strikes back as it can, with an aim to at least not get zero points. The Brutal Herder fronts the Chariots with the Beast just grabbing a flank, with the central Shamblers charging some Braves as they couldn’t fit in the Chariot charge. The Centaur Chief zips in to help them out. On the right, the other Herder counters those Scouts and Shamblers flank them for murder purposes (also hitting on 5+ vs Hunters is fairly pointless and freeing up the Herder is more important). Far on the left, the Centaurs decide to threaten the Warlocks, rather than hiding behind that building and waiting to be bolted off later.
The central Braves take a little damage and hold, the Chariots only take 12 damage and hold, but the Red Goblin Scouts are obliterated. I’ll take it.
Ogre 3: The second big green hook lands. Siege Breakers charge central Shamblers, Braves counter the Centaur Chief, more Braves flank the Brutal Herder with the Chariots in the front (as they couldn’t turn and hit the Beast), and the Hunters have another go at the right Shamblers. The Warlocks fry the left Centaurs.
Dice get weird this turn: The Brutal Herder is wrecked, but somehow everything else holds?! The central Shamblers take 6, the Centaur Chief 3, and the right Shamblers are up to 7.
Herd 3: Time to capitalize on still having models! The left Tribal Spears charge the Siege Breakers (I hate it but it means they get to swing and, hey, it’s invade), the central Shamblers counter their Siege Breakers, the Centaur Chief + Beast charge the Chariots, the other living Tribal Spears bomb in to the Braves what killed the Brutal Herder, and the other Herder flanks the Hunters as the right Shamblers grudgingly hit them in the front.
The left Tribal Spears bounce off Siege Breakers, the central Shamblers punch 5 damage into theirs (for nothing), the other Tribal Spears poke 4 damage onto Braves, the Centaur Chief + Beast wreck the Chariot legion at last, and the Herder + Shamblers do 13 damage to the Hunters but I only waver them 😐
Ogres 4: The Warlocks dash for the Herd side of the table and the Sergeant prepares to charge into the right flank once it clears up, but otherwise it’s business as usual. Siege Breakers counter their Spears, other Siege Breakers counter the central Shamblers, Braves charge the Centaur Chief, more Braves counter the other Spears, and the Boomers charge out of the forest into the Beast.
The Siege Breakers pulverize their targets, while the Braves slap theirs around (Centaur Chief is wavered on 9, the Tribal Spears hold on 5) and the Boomers ground the Beast with 3 damage.
Herd 4: Needing to finish things off to walk away with any points, the Beast + Tribal Spears combo the Braves on the hill, and the Herder + Shamblers prepare to tidy up the Hunters.
The hill Braves die … but I snake eyes the Hunters on the first roll 😦
Ogres 5: The Ogres push deeper into the Herd’s zone, crushing what’s left of the Hallow. Siege Breakers crash into Tribal Spears, Braves go one more round with the Centaur Chief, the Beast takes a second charge from the Boomers, the Herder is flanked by the chariot Sergeant, and the Hunters shake it off and swing on the Shamblers again.
Everything but the Herder dies (and he only takes 4 damage).
Herd 5: The Tree Herder plows into the mangled Hunters, pulverizing them and attempting to overrun off the board. Same feel.
Ogre 6: The burly green lads fully invade the Hallow’s territory, scouring the Herder up to 10 damage in the process.
Herd 6: The Tree Herder turns to face his destroyers, radiancing down to 9 damage and scowling as hard as possible.
Ogres 7: The Herder burns down under the full force of the Ogre shooting, for a very convincing …


It’s hard to remember the last time I was tabled? But I was happy to walk away from a very tough match-up with a point. With normal dice – or not going to Turn 7 – that might have been 1-2 more, however I was never going to win this one, which is what it is. Anyway, Operation: Race to the Bottom was in full effect!

Next up: DWARFS


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!