INCOMING CRABS 🦀

Or rather, they arrived a while ago, but haven’t been batrepped for unknown reasons … Bloodfire is still on hiatus while I explore fresher avenues, however I wanted to give some coverage to my current army, plus those that come after this one, and this seems like a decent, agnostic place to do it.

So welcome to the new, expanded, ad-free blood-fire.com!

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*
Kraken
Kraken
Kraken
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:

GAME 2: ELVES

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.

GAME 3: KINGDOMS OF MEN

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.

GAME 4: BASILEANS

Another fast army, this time 2x Elohi, 2x Uh-Elohi, 1-2x Knights, token foot troops, Gnaeus Sallustis annnnnd the mega-dragon (who is now just the normal dragon). I should have gotten wrecked, however he was extremely caught up in the dance a Kraken and his dragon were having in some woods, where I kept turning or stepping into and out of wood templates and he had to keep over-analyzing LOS and what was going on over there, all while taking continual Heartpiercer damage. Preposterously I won this one too!

GAME 5: UNDEAD

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!

GAME 6: UNDEAD

“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!

GAME 31: ELVES

Crossroads GT this year was a four-man team tourney, which basically meant it was a standard 2250 COK18 event with an added minigame where captains haggled over who got to play whom and what scenarios they’d use. I never really got the hang of the process, and I’m still not confident I got any of them right, but our team was intentionally pretty weak and we were just there to cuddle.

TEAM CUDDLE TIME
– Salamanders (fire elemental / breath weapon spam)
– Night-Stalkers (blood worm legion + mind screech spam)
– Ogres (balanced with chariots + boomers)
– Orcs (balanced with chariots + boomers)

For our first game we played STG, and during matchups I took the worst matchup on myself, to save my teammates the displeasure of playing a brutal af Elf list.

CROSSROADS GAME 1: TEAM STG

– Elves vs Salamanders
– Dwarfs vs Orcs
– Varangur vs Ogres
– ??? vs Night Stalkers

BLOODFIRE GAME 31: ELVES

Salamanders 2250

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

Hot sauce board with hot tamale dispenser created for the event ;D All my team did cute patterned cloth boards instead of using our display bases, which wouldn’t have matched anyway.

Not too mind-exploding of a list tweak, just a pip of Nv on the special horde as opposed to a diadem that I used in 2/5 games at Keystone. These dudes were always overextending and taking it on the chin, so more survival is more better. Extra points went into BC on the inspiring priest, which seems like a nutty number of spells (4!) but then again I found I occasionally wanted to throw some more BC out however the little priest was busy martyring things and couldn’t be bothered to chant things. I’d rather have the option than not, and frankly if I didn’t have all those shambling hordes I wouldn’t be taking surge at all, it’s really there for that once a game spin-and-charge.
Elves 2250

Kindred Archer Horde – Heart-seeking Chant
Kindred Archer Horde – Wine of Elvenkind
Stormwind Cavalry Regiment – Cat Potion
Drakon Rider Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Drakon Rider Horde – Brew of Strength
Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Elven Mage – Heal (3), Bane Chant (2), Black Iron Crown
Noble War Chariot – Inspiring Talisman
Dragon Kindred Lord – Chant of Hate

So this list was designed by the TO and being piloted by an AOS player who had started KOW about two weeks before. This was exceedingly painful to face, and the guy was apologetic, as it turned out much nastier than he anticipated and he spent the weekend apologizing to everybody as a result. Fun Fact: he did lose one match, vs some hero in round five.

I gave us Dominate, one of my stronger scenarios, though honestly I should have done Invade if I really wanted a chance at the draw, as I could have refused the flank. Bloodfire won initiative.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

Bloodfire takes a deep breath and rolls out.

Bam! Elves Turn 1 and the pincers form. The left two Sprites are blown away by Archers.

With few other options, the red tide pushes further into the center, while preparing to engage on the left. The cheeky rightmost Sprites enter the woods and barf a wound on the Noble Chariot.

The Elves take up position . . .

. . . and bring the heat. Shockingly none of the Fire Elemental hordes pop, despite significant damage.

Sally 3 sees me pull a trick from that last game with Elves: I overextend to entice him to engage with his dragon, so I can maul it at the cost of a horde, by charging one of the offered Dragon Breaths. Otherwise my mages heal / pray a die of damage off the mangled horde while Sprites puke a wound off the other central Dragon Breath. Its sister is pulped by the Fire horde, which foolishly doesn’t reform to face the Dragon – I hear the voice of my last Elf opponent saying I shouldn’t be afraid of Archers rearing me, they’ve got better things to do.

The Elves pounce! Which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t also shoot, bringing the Fire Elementals with Brew of Courage (the quadruple elemental unit) up to 13 and popping them (@ 19 Nv) – removing the dragon’s reprisal – and putting a stunning 9 damage into Agnes.

In combat the Dragon shreds its wounded quarry, the Sprites flanked by the Noble annoyingly waver, and the Stormwind do a solid 9 damage to their Fire horde but bounce.

Bloodfire returns the favor where able, sending Fire + Agnes in the flank into the Stormwind and flanking the Noble in chariot.

The CLOFD tags 3 damage into the Dragon, the little Mage prays a solid 6 damage off of Agnes, and Elves get dead in the combat phase, earning me at least 1 VP whatever happens.

With their keen eyes and pointy ears, the Elves spy double overruns I didn’t see – and am fakking furious with myself for. I hate when I do these things, as they’re entirely avoidable. Anyway, Dragon -> big Mage -> Fire horde’s rear and Drakon -> little Mage -> 5” overrun into CLOFD’s flank. Oh, also other Drakon into fresh Fire horde.

The Drakon’s evaporate the little Mage and slam a 6” on the overrun, flanking and obliterating the CLOFD as well (which was not such a sure bet, considering hindering and whatever . . . except that his dice were on fire the whole game, and apparently every game of the tournament; he apologized some more but in my experience Elf players always have hot dice, go figure).

The big Mage is devoured and the Fire horde stomped out by the Dragon, while the other Drakon roll like insane baby dragons and do 11 to their Fire horde, who somehow hold. Worst of all though? Agnes is gunned down by Dragon Breath + bane-chanted piercing Archers. Sweet hell.

Bloodfire 5, for vengeance! A wounded Fire horde smashes another Dragon Breath while a more wounded one puts 2 (!) wounds on their Drakon. Coincidentally that’s the same number of wounds the remaining Sprites do to the other Drakon.

It’s an orgy of violence as the Elves pull the noose tight and kick out the supports. Some Archers flank and pop a Fire horde (*golf clap for style points, young sir*), other Archers scatter some Sprites, Drakons eat the remaining Sprites, more Drakons finish off their mangled Fire horde annnnd the Dragon eats the Herald, putting an end to the spicy scourge.

BLOODFIRE LOSS

So yea. That was rough. I also can’t remember being tabled in a tournament game of KOW, let alone in Turn 5! The dude’s next opponent was likewise tabled, and was seen wandering the hall in a daze, muttering to himself, “”But . . . I’’ve never been tabled. Ever . . .””

The team as a whole did very badly, with 1 losing draw, 2 loses with 1 VP (me!) and one total loss. Oof.

Up Next: BEEF & WINGS

GAME 30: ELVES

Final round, now much more awake and having eaten some pizza for gaming power. Up against one of the largely-similar Elves armies, but happily the somewhat sorter range version (Dragon Breaths instead of Bolt Throwers) commanded by Allen. I wasn’t real thrilled at the prospect of being shot and drakon’d into the dirt, but hey ho.

BLOODFIRE GAME 30: ELVES

Elves 2250

Kindred Archer Horde – Heart-seeking Chant
Kindred Archer Horde – Wine of Elvenkind
Palace Guard Troop
Palace Guard Regiment
Drakon Rider Horde – Fire-Oil
Drakon Rider Horde
Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Army Standard Bearer – War-Bow
Army Standard Bearer on Horse – Diadem of Dragonkind
Elven Mage – Bane Chant (2), Black Iron Crown
Elven Mage on Horse – Circlet of Blood
Dragon Kindred Lord – Blade of Slashing

Seems like pretty standard fair for competitive Elves. The Dragon Breath were good to see, as it meant he intended to engage (though most likely they’re in the list for anti-flier work? Or other hyper-aggro builds).

Fifth round was Occupy, with his primary marker waaaaay in the back left of my zone. Enjoy holding that, whatever noble Elf is sent to push the button. Bloodfire won initiative or might have been given it.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

The Bloodfire ambles out once more. Terrain is hugged, hills are annoying.

Bam! Elves Turn 1 and the elementals are already corralled. That’s how it’s done, kiddos. A unit of Sprites is murdered by the nimble archers on the right.

The red battleline bows out, as it does, continuing to keep terrain in the way. Sprites apply light damage to the left Dragon Breath and right Archer horde.

The Elves increase the pressure in response. The flankers continue to loom while Dragon Breaths roll into range and the Palace Guard troop hurls itself into a Fire horde exposed by the Sprites’ death. The flame throwers result in 4 Ember Sprite wounds and the Palace Guard hack 3 damage into the Fire horde.

Bloodfire 3, and I’m too tired to keep waiting his flank out. Two Fire hordes charge into a Dragon Breath and the engaged Fire horde counter-charges the Palace Guard. Sprites move up and breath on the other Dragon Breath, wavering it, and the bane-chanted CLOFD lathers the nimble Archers with some damage.

After combats. I struggled a bit with how to reform those Fire hordes off of the Dragon Breath, and ultimately reformed them thusly. He immediately charged the Drakon Riders in their flank, at which point I paused the game:

BS: “So yea, that’s obvious. Can I ask if there was a better way to reform?”
A: “You probably would have faced them both towards the Drakon. The Palace Guard are out and I’m not going to send Archers into their flank.”
BS: “But would you have charged one in the front?”
A: “Probably not.”
BS: “Right. Let’s grind.”

Part of me felt dumb for the flank (on my more expensive horde too), but part of me knew that I needed to trade out a piece if we were going to come to grips with enough time for me to retaliate. I needed him to come within 12”, and this was by far the easiest way to make that happen.

Yep, it’s Drakon o’clock. Shooters get range to things and the Palace Guard regiment jams the CLOFD.

Piercing Archers slam 8 damage into the leftmost Fire horde, the Dragon fries the last of the Sprites, and the nimble Archers land 3 damage on the CLOFD. In combat, the flanking Drakon rip right through the Diadem horde, as expected. More surprising is the front-charging Drakon landing 12-15 damage and one-rounding a -/18 Fire Elemental horde! (Math says 9 O_O) So I guess I won’t be flanking them for great justice. Or at least not the mundane way 😛

Bloodfire 4: The Elementals Strike Back! A fresh Fire horde tackles the Drakons up top while Agnes hits the lower ones in the front. A walk, pivot and surge later, and there’s a Fire horde in their flank as well ;] The CLOFD deigns to charge the Palace Guard, preferring to shoot them with 16 unhindered breath attaks, thanks – which is super effective, routing the unit! The double-teamed Drakon get pulverized, however the ones in the Elf half of things take a gentle 5 damage for no result. (Also the martyr Mage-Priest cleans up the surged Fire horde a bit.)

Elfish vengeance strikes hard and fast. The leftmost Fire horde, fresh from flanking the Drakon Riders, is hit with Dragon Breath, Dragon fire and piercing arrows, and is thoroughly routed. The CLOFD likewise suffers the attention of Elven Archers, but the pond he’s been hanging out keeps the damage low (6 total). The surviving Drakon Riders, bane-chanted back to 3+/3+, rolling out of the box again, sinking a bonkers 12-15 damage and one-rounding the Fire horde that had charged them. What is going on with these dudes?!

Aye, that’s a flank then!

Turn 5, looking pretty light on the ground. The last of the Fire Elementals hits the rampaging Drakon in the front with the CLOFD tackling them in the flank (both hindered). After a bit of healing, the Fire horde fluffs a bit but the Clan Lord picks up the slack, shattering the unit at long last. Agnes and her support staff consolidate on a secondary objective.

The Elves prepare for the end game. The piercing Archers prepare to take the other secondary and shoot some monsters next turn, while the nimble Archers contest my primary objective and the diadem ASB blocks the CLOFD just outside of 3”. Not the Fire Elemtanl-sized hole: the nimble Archers + diadem riddle it with damage and the Circlet of Blood boils them to nothingness. Brutal.

Meanwhile, the mighty Dragon Rider sails off to push the win button :/

Bloodfire 6. So much thought when into this turn, trying to figure out ways to both kill the nimble Archers and get the CLOFD within 3” of the marker. In the end it just wasn’t possible this turn, especially with the incoming piercing Archers, but I could have set Agnes up for a Turn 7 charge into the marker, rather than doing nothing with her. Or at the least used her to heat ray the ASB on pony. Anyway, some fun late game, small scale KOW mind games.

What did happen was the CLOFD and both Mage-Priests roasting the nimble Archers, leaving my primary objective with no one contesting it but also no one within 3” to control.

Elves 6 drops one more hammer. The piercing Archers ventilate the CLOFD and then the Mage with Circlet of Blood boils him back to his bloodfire molecules. Annnnd then the war-box ASB shoots the lil’ martyr Mage-Priest and pops her :O


Agnes: NOOOOOOOOOOOO

There’s no Turn 7, capping of an entire tournament of six round games for me. Oh, also a …

BLOODFIRE LOSS

But a much more fun game than I expected. Allen was engaging to play and I very much enjoyed the late game resource management. Still disappointed I didn’t play for the Turn 7 better re: Agnes, who did so very little this game, but it was a moot point ultimately.

With that I ended up going 2 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, which is pretty typical for me and totally fine. I also walked away with the best painting score this army has gotten, which is probably more to do with the generous rubric used and less the awesome-ness of the painting, but also totally acceptable!

Also happy to announce that Bloodfire will be traveling to the Crossroads GT in September. I had thought about swapping them out for my Ratkin, but I’m so tuned into this army it feels dumb to switch horses mid-apocalypse, especially as Crossroads is a team tournament where I (Capt. Salvage) can influence matchups and give the army the leg up it needs, especially when it comes to scenarios. There’ll probably be a practice match between now and then, apart from some rat experiments I ran last weekend which went pretty pear-shaped O_O

GAME 06-10: UNPLUGGED GT 2017

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

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

SALAMANDERS 2000

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

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

GAME 6: FORCES OF NATURE

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

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

SCENARIO: LOOT (aka PILLAGE 1)

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

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

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

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

BLOODFIRE LOSS (4/20)

GAME 7: UNDEAD + NIGHT-STALKERS

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

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

SCENARIO: SCOUR (aka PILLAGE 2)

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

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

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

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

BLOODFIRE LOSS (5/20)

GAME 8: UNDEAD

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

Plus 120 points in items and spells!

SCENARIO: CONTROL

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

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

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

BLOODFIRE VICTORY (15/20)

GAME 9: GOBLINS + ORCS

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

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

SCENARIO: EXTRACT? (aka PILLAGE 3)

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

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

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

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

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

BLOODFIRE LOSS (3/20)

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

GAME 10: ELVES + FORCES OF NATURE

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

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

SCENARIO: INVADE

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

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

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

BLOODFIRE VICTORY (15/20)

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

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

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

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