SCUTTLIN’ REALM GAME 18: EMPIRE OF DUST

It’s the final round of the GT and I’m 2-2 and firmly on a lower-middle table. Sounds about right, and I’ve already accomplished my goal of two wins, so however this rampage ends I’m content. Up against EOD for the first time in 3E, helmed by a dude I’ve seen around for a while now but never played.

Empire of Dust 2300

Revenant Horde – Blessing of the Gods
Enslaved Guardian Horde – Casket of the Damned
Enslaved Guardian Horde – Casket of the Damned
Mummy Regiment – Casket of the Damned
Mummy Regiment – Casket of the Damned
Bone Giant
Monolith
Empire of Dust Balefire Catapult – Scarab Jars
Empire of Dust Balefire Catapult – Scarab Jars
Idol of Shobik
Revenant King on Undead Great Flying Wyrm – Surge (8)
Cursed High Priest – Undead Horse, Surge (8)

The EOD general was pretty down on most of his units who aren’t being repped by a towering bronze statue of Set (obviously Shobik!), however I still rate Enslaved Guardians (Me 3+!) and have distinct memories of being rocked by Bone Giants and struggling to pound through Mummies fast enough in 2E. Also I’m really bad at accounting for Caskets, and they’re everywhere here.

Aside: This game really showed how badly we’ve missed EasyArmy, as both he and I were misremembering EOD stats left and right, and had to keep going back to the giant 3E hardback to double check things. Really the worst.

Found 5 was Raze. Scuttlin’ Realms go first, not by choice.

BATTLE

Battlelines! Scorpions are Catapults, pyramid is the Monolith, other stuff is pretty clear.

Scuttlin’ Turn 1 sees the stranded left flank push as hard as it can through difficult terrain / shambling, and the right flank kinda chill out. You know, get some shooting in first.

The Empire doesn’t do a ton of moving in response, but a horde of Enslaved Guardians is launched up the table and stops 1” short of the right Heartpiercers. Whoa. Catapults splash 4 damage into some other Heartpiercers. And suddenly I’m reminded what Undead surge is like, except with caskets and Monoliths added to the mix.

Scuttlin’ Turn 2, and I’mma need those flanking assets in here pronto, m’k? The leftmost Kraken burns a token (1:0), as does the Water Elemental horde (2:0). Central Hearpiercers begin raking the Revenant horde with harpoons while Gigas prepare to receive. But really it’s about the cccccombo charge on the right: Kraken + Depth Horror Eternal + Heartpiercers into Enslaved Guardians … for 7 damage?! It doesn’t work out 😐

CURSE! CURRRRRSE! Guardians counter-charge the Heartpiercers, the Bone Giant thunders into the Eternal, and Shobik is surged into the flank of the Kraken. Balls. Also Catapults slap those central Heartpiercers back to 6 damage.

That Kraken is dropkicked and the Heartpiercers blended, but the Eternal only takes 2 damage. Time to flex, bro. The EOD burn my right token (2:1).

Scuttlin’ Turn 3, the anvils rotate to receive the dead and hope we’ve got all the surge angles covered. Heartpiercers continue concentrating on the Revenants, getting them to 7 damage for future reasons. The Eternal chooses to hack into the injured Enslaved Guardians, for token damage.

Whether through magical means or their own cantankerous willpower, the Revenants flank the Gigas (I don’t remember seeing this, but I also wasn’t worried, since it was 5+/5+), the Eternal is flanked by the Bone Giant and countered by the Guardians, the Mummies fall short of the other Gigas, and Shobik lumbers into the central Kraken …

Things turn out pretty well, with the Gigas only taking a predictable 5 damage, the Kraken taking 9! damage from Mega Shobik, and the Eternal getting pulverized and lifeleached.

Scuttlin’ Turn 4, time for crabby vengeance. A catapult gets Krakened (it dies), the Revenants get flanked by Water Elementals + Heartpiercers (they die), Shobik gets countered by the Kraken and flanked by the Revenant’s Gigas (it dies!), and those lower Mummies get charged by the Gigas (they will never die, but also take 2 damage).

Gigas, prepare to face-tank! One horde takes Mummies + RKOUGFW + Guardians to the front, while the other receives Mummies + Bone Giant.

That triple charge is super effective! But the other combat is a fluffer, just 4 damage.

Scuttlin’ Turn 5 – you know, I think that central Kraken has a flank on that Wyrm? Ah well. Instead he combo-charges the Mummies alongside the Gigas (who are shoved onto a fence from whence they will never escape). Up top, the other Kraken + Water Elementals take on the other Mummies, leaving it to some Heartpiercers to ground the Wyrm. Now that’s generalship. Other Heartpiercers put some rounds into the unhurt Enslaved Guardians.

While the bottom Mummies die, the upper ones hold, and the Heartpiercers fail to land the one 5+/5+ they were hoping for.

The RKOUGFW hopes into a further back Heartpiercer regiment, letting some Guardians flank the ones trying to poke him. More Guardians front charge the lower Kraken, as the Bone Giant tackles the Gigas and the upper Mummies counter the Water Elementals.

Lots of things get damaged, nothing breaks … because he snaked the Guardian’s Heartpiercers with 20 damage on them! Now that’s generalship. EOD is able to burn another token (2:2).

Scuttlin’ Turn 6! Heartpiercers mob the Wyrm and counter-charge the Guardians (10 damage regened!), along with a lot of counter-charging from bigger dudes into Mummies / Guardians / Bone Giants. The upper Mummies rout and the Water Elementals + Kraken overrun, burning my final token (3:2), but otherwise everything holds tight, and the Wyrm fends off the 16 5+/5+ little stabs trying to ground him.

Everybody back in!

The Wyrm breaks through the Heartpiercer wall, but otherwise everybody wavers … except for those central Heartpiercers, because yes, those Enslaved Guardians got them back to 20 damage and snaked them again! Hahaha!

Scuttlin’ Turn 7! The Gigas, thanks to fury, counter-charge the Bone Giant and cut him down at the knees. The Kraken regens furiously (9 of 15), while the other Kraken shoots into those Guardians harassing those HEROMODE Heartpiercers and ends them (said Heartpiercers regen 11 of 20 damage). Finally, the free Heartpiercers luxuriate on the central token and shoot the remaining Catapult off the table.

Happy to be done with this farce, the RKOUGFW flies off and burns a token (3:3), and the Guardians swing into their Kraken one more time and wavered it. Crabs take it thanks to the center objective (4:3).

SCUTTLIN’ WIN (15-6)

While I started this GT with terrible play and frigid dice, I happily ended it with some actual strategy and deliciously hot dice – particularly if we count my opponent’s double snake eyes, thanks for the assist, man! Good smashy game to end my first 3E GT, and a better run with the crabs than I had expected to have, frankly.

When everything was totaled up, I ended up placing 26 out of 48, just missing the Counter Charge award for dead middle of the pack. But putting the numbers aside, Best of the Rest was a great event that I’m thrilled to have happen in the first place, as it was wonderful to be some small part of the US Masters and share in this amazing KOW community.

Speaking of meeting great players and seeing some of my favorite online armies in person, you can catch some shots of my favorite armies / units (and more of my own) in this album here: BEST OF THE REST #0

GAME 23: EMPIRE OF DUST

During Black Friday I caved and bought not one but two neoprene game mats – I ended up going with FLG Mats because USA + decent quality + sick discount.

And yesterday I finally busted one out for a game 😐

BLOODFIRE GAME 23: EMPIRE OF DUST

Salamanders 2000

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

Gotta say, 2k is bit awkward with the new item costs, compounded by my new double priest list taking up more hero points. Came down to BOTG or Healing Charm, and I had to go with Rally. Just makes too much sense in general, but especially when you’re running high defense / low nerve (relatively) monstrous things. Dwarven Ale because I had an awkward 10 points and the CLOFD wavers way more than I’d like, especially in an army of fearless things.

Empire of Dust 2000

Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Crossbowmen Horde – Banner of the Griffin
Mummy Regiment
Mummy Regiment
Enslaved Guardian Horde
Swarm Regiment
Revenant Chariot Regiment – casket
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Bone Giant
Cursed High Priest – fireball & vicious, mount
Cursed High Priest – fireball & vicious, mount

Bones are as tuned up as they’ve been, with lots of tried and true choices, including the horrific possibilities offered by triple catapults. Chariots were the new inclusion, pretty sweet package or 125 points with casket, and rally on the Crossbows instead of a mediocre shooty item is a neat choice.

We diced up Scavenge (COK17), a mission I’d not even heard of until the last week or so. Markers went down center and 12” to either side. On the terrain, my home collection isn’t great, so the books are hills.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

Bloodfire seizes the initiative and rolls out, not keen to weather more catapult fire than needed. Fire Elementals hard right are surged forward 4”.

The wall of bone shambles forward, Mummies cresting the facing hill as all the undead firepower targets one of the central Fire hordes.

Double catapult hits (8 + 7 blasts X_X) and a smattering of crossbow bolts slam into the elementals, but they hold thanks to the Griffin Banner! Meanwhile, the Ankylodon is shoved a few inches backwards by the Enslaved Guardians.

Salamanders count their blessings / Ember Sprites and jam the center with chaff, as the Ankylodon crashes through the forest into the Chariots and the CLOFD likewise uproots some trees on his way into the Swarm:

The Fire hordes all trudge forward, getting off the hill and slooooowly hooking in from the right.

The hindered CLOFD and ABP manage to trip and cause a few wounds to their targets, neither of which care. Combined with the lesser Mage-Priest healing a single wound from the battered Fire horde and that was a pretty lackluster turn.

The Empire responds by pouncing all over the poor central Sprites (spoiler: they die) and hammering down into the mangled Fire horde (6 blast catapult hit gets them up to snakes) and the Ankylodon (combo of crossbows + catapult puts 5 (-1 for Iron Resolve) wounds on him). The towering ABP is also shoved like 5” back by the Guardians.

The rightmost Spear regiment charges a flanking Fire horde as well, doing a couple points of damage, and the Swarm nibbles a wound off of the CLOFD.

Turn 3, time to increase the grind with charges down the line: CLOFD back into Swarm, ABP (hindered) into flank of Chariots, Fire horde surged into flank of Mummies, Fire horde into Spears and more Fire into more Spears.

And you know, despite that wave of raw boiling blood smashing into the deadites … not much actually happened? The CLOFD managed to splatter the Swarm (-_-) and the Mummies died to the flank, but both Spearmen survived with average or below damage (5 + 7), and the Ankylodon continued to show how much he needs Strider. 20 attaks = 2 wounds, which happened to be the same or worse than what he did to the front (also hindered). And now he was going to get himself flanked.

Or not! The EOD piles on the central Fire horde, as Spears counter-charge their Fire bros and the Guardians make it personal and charge the Ankylodon. The Crossbows shamble towards the center to make their big rally bubble relevant …

… and a surge ensures it is. A catapult kills the right Sprites (Rest in Pepperonis, lil’ buddies), but it’s really about fighting. The besieged Fire horde survives with 9 wounds, largely thanks to the Chariot flank doing no damage and the Bone Giant fluffing hard. Neither of the Spears can make headway against their Fire hordes either, and the Ankylodon stands tall with 7 wounds (after IR).

Sallies retaliate as hard as they can. Fire hordes counter-charge Spears and Chariots (going for at least a kill in the latter case, and to free up some board real estate, though they may have been better punching the Bone Giant? Even knowing that’s a grind they won’t win), and for the first time all game the Ankylodon gets to fight something without being hindered, as he counter-charges the Guardians. The CLOFD digs up a loot token and charges through that damn forest to help his pal out.

The ABP is healed for two and a High Priest takes a fireball to the face, then all the Dust regiments are exploded. Unfortunately, 500 points of Salamander monster barely puts a handful of wounds on the Guardians, who hold with no issue. Holy hell guys.

The Empire piles on the pressure, throwing Mummies and Crossbows (!) into the smoldering central Fire horde, slamming the Bone Giant into the Ankylodon’s flank and counter-charging Guardians into CLOFD this time around.


Kaiju Big Battle 2: Monster Chiropractor

Catapult fire rains down across the board, wounding the last Sprites (on the left, looking to dig up more loot next turn) for 6 but for no waver, then slamming a Fire horde which, combined with multiple High Priest fireballs, nukes the unit. In combat, the Mummies + Crossbows manage only 2 wounds on their Fire Elementals, which can’t get through the Griffin Banner boost. The Bone Giant goes in with just 16 attaks, with which he stuffs it and only wounds the ABP 4 times (healed down to 9 with IR). Likewise the Guardians rip the CLOFD for 4 damage but he doesn’t care.

Turn 5 and it’s becoming apparent that the Bloodfire loot needs to be protected ASAP. The CLOFD and ABP (yay hindered!) head back into the Guardians looking to pop them or at least shut out the Bone Giant from the Clan Lord, while the remaining Fire hordes double team the Crossbows to remove a very big unit that’s contesting multiple markers (also rally, etc). Sadly the flanking horde had to sploosh over a barrier, so would also be hindered. Magic sees two wounds healed from the Ankylodon and a few wounds from a fireball into a catapult, for no lucky break.

After a lot of smashing, the Empire holds strong. 17 damage to the Crossbows isn’t enough to pop (I’ve really lost my ability to roll average on rout tests, especially rerolled ones), thanks in large part to the flanking horde really struggling to hit on 5+. The CLOFD + ABP again team up to do token damage at best to the Guardians. Cripes.

Oh, those last wounded Sprites totally did dig up more loot, so there’s that to manage now too.

Dust get another shot at blunting what really felt like a Bloodfire lead and happily take it. Bone Giant heads back into the Ankylodon flank, Guardians into the CLOFD, Mummies flank the rapidly dissipating Fire Elementals and the Crossbows counter-charge their buddies because reasons. High Priests fireball some wounds into the lesser Mage-Priest and Herald, wavering the Herald – but catapults either missed the Sprites or didn’t have a shot. All the wounded Salamander stuff dies in combat (the horde fighting the Crossbows takes no damage), and the Guardians take the CLOFD’s loot.

Sally Turn 6 and, after the last Fire horde digs up some loot of their own, it’s 2 to 1 on markers, with the Mummies clearly set to do some of their own mining next turn.

The Fire Elementals flame out and melt the Crossbow horde, the inspiring Mage-Priest fireballs off a Catapult, and the lesser Mage-Priest and Sprites combine to finish off the Guardians, destroying their loot in the process. 2:0 loot, at least for now.

Clearly the champion of the match, the Bone Giant powers into the Sprites, shattering them and stealing their loot. Meanwhile the Mummies dig up fresh loot, swinging the score to 2:1 in favor of the undead. The last Fire Elementals take 4-5 points of damage from Catapult lovin’ but don’t pop.

And with that the game ends.

BLOODFIRE LOSS

All told this was a great game. It was a bit frustrating to see the lead I had Turn 3-4 just fall apart through incompetence on my monsters’ parts (ABP Strider plz!), but Scavenge is a really cool mission that I’m happy to have finally played. I have no idea if it’s in COK18 but here’s hoping.

GAME 13: EMPIRE OF DUST

I haven’t played KOW since July, when I closed on a house and instantly lost all my free time. And through a cruel twist of fate all the KOW events in the NE US happened to fall on dates I was already booked for music festivals and stuff like that. The struggle.

That said, before July I did play some games that went unreported, and in the interest of completion I wanted to share what details / pics I have of them. Also because I miss writing and reading KOW reports, which really seem to have dried up in the last months. I’ll be trying to fix that again (hopefully by playing more soon).

BLOODFIRE GAME 13: EMPIRE OF DUST

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde – Brew of Haste
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ankylodon Battle Platform
Herald on Raptor – Diadem of Dragonkind
Herald on Raptor – Healing Charm
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin

Empire of Dust 2000

Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Crossbowmen Horde
Mummies Regiment
Mummies Regiment
Enslaved Guardians Horde
Swarm Regiment
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Bone Giant
Cursed High Priest on Mount – Fireball (12), Vicious
Cursed High Priest on Mount – Fireball (12), Vicious
Undead Army Standard Bearer

*Plus a bunch of items where relevant. Caskets, ASB item, crossbow booster, those sorts of things.

It looks like we played Dominate, with Sallies going first.

BATTLE

Sallies go as aggro as they can, with the Ghostdroth overextending a tidge.

Ka-surge! Ghostdroth gets nabbed by a healthy Mummy surge, they rip into him with hot dice but he stays cool. Sallies respond with some jam for the most part.

Sprites gonna sprite! But meanwhile Ghostdroth is wrecked by smoking Mummy dice.

Retaliation is swift and overwhelming. For the ‘Droth!

The Swarm is cuddled into molten bug goo too as Team Fire prepares to receive Team Dust.

The undead for the most part bounce off the wall of fire.

And are dispatched with uncharacteristic competence!

Can’t stop this elemental train!

End game looks to be a tie by my count, with eight unit strength for both sides within range of the center.

BLOODFIRE DRAW?

GAME 11: EMPIRE OF DUST

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

BLOODFIRE GAME 11: EMPIRE OF DUST

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde – Brew of Haste
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ankylodon Battle Platform
Herald on Raptor – Diadem of Dragonkind
Herald on Raptor – Healing Charm
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin

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

Empire of Dust 2000

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

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

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

BATTLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

GAME 03: EMPIRE OF DUST

With time to burn, Albanyadriel and I re-racked after the last match and headed back in!

BLOODFIRE GAME 3: EMPIRE OF DUST

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Greater Fire Elemental
Herald on Raptor
Herald on Raptor
Mage-Priest – Heal, Surge, Banner of the Griffin
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Healing Brew

While elite on the CLOFD sort of helped him get work done, the heart of the army is all these -/17 hordes and -/18 monsters, which the Mage-Priest is babysitting anyway. So may as well get some synergy going on with Rally (1).

Empire of Dust 2000

Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Crossbowmen Horde – Blood of the Old King
Enslaved Guardian Archer Horde – Chant of Hate
Swarm Regiment
Scavenger Regiment
Scavenger Regiment
Skeleton Cavalry Regiment – Casket of the Damned
Revenant Worm Riders – Dragonshard Shield
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Bone Giant
Cursed High Priest – Fireball, Vicious, Mount
Cursed High Priest – Fireball, Vicious, Mount

No change from last game, in which BOTOK was pretty neat when it came time for the Crossbows to go ham, vicious Guardians was ok, and the Dragonshard wasn’t used.

We chose to play another unit strength scenario, this time Dominate. Once again the EOD took first turn.

BATTLE


Lines are drawn! Swarm vanguards! Ominous killing field in the center is ominous!


EOD rolls out, and realizes how limited their shooting is at the moment, thanks to range and LOS blockers … which doesn’t stop a Catapult from pulping the leftmost Ember Sprites, and Guardian Archers from rolling out of their mind and putting 6 wounds on the left Fire Elementals. Also that Dineen photobomb 😐


Fire Elementals go aggro, as is their wont, jumping on the Swarm as well as some Scavengers that thought they were safe from the right GFE (which they would have been if the GFE had to wheel to clear the tower … but this is KOW, so he just pivoted in place and zipped into them). The Swarm explodes, however the other GFE fluffs hard against the Scavengers, just doing a couple wounds. He is in A Bad Place.

[No Photo]
EOD prepare for charges next turn – Bone Giant and Spearmen shuffling up, Cavalry moving to the right GFE’s flank – but largely just shoot all the things. Guardian Archers remove the wounded left Fire horde, Crossbows + Catapults pummel the central GFE (9 wounds).


Whether or not it was bait (the EOD may have been pulling the fire dudes’ frontage out of the woods and/or trying to garner a flank), the Fire Elementals and left GFE hammer the left Spearmen into ashes. The other GFE manages to finish his Scavengers, but can’t quite scoot far enough into the woods to hinder the pain that’s headed his way (needed 3+” got 2”). In shooting, the CLOFD and some Sprites combine to put a lot of hurt on the right Spearmen, however rolling a 5-7 rout is really difficult.


Post consolidation shot!


The Bone Giant ignores the wall of red in front of him and long bombs the (now) leftmost Sprites, while the Spearmen charge the right GFE in the front and Cavalry surge-charge his flank, happily unhindered. Shooting ends the left GFE and wavers the central Sprites. In combat, the Bone Giant manages to waver his Sprites as well, and the remaining GFE absorbs a lot of damage (11) but holds.


Finally, the left Fire horde makes it into the Guardian Archers for some sweet, sweet vengeance. Also the GFE counter-charges his Cavalry oppressors, leaving it to the CLOFD to end the Skeleton Spearmen. Spoiler: they get vomited off the table. Oh, and Snappy the Herald launches himself into a Cursed Priest – the other Herald has been babysitting that beleaguered GFE on the right. Combat is not great, with the GFE barely touching the Cav, Snappy failing to hit the Priest (5+ is legit hard), and worst of all, the left Fire horde doing so very little to the Guardians.


Having been patiently waiting, the left (and remaining) Scavengers flank the Guardian’s Fire Elementals, along with the Guardians counter-charging them; the Bone Giant charges back into the Sprites, and the Cavalry, who I really hope were at least disordered but I can’t promise that, head into the GFE. Shooting tries to put down a central Fire horde but Sprite screen is too stronk, although Snappy the Herald cops a couple wounds from Priest breath/fireball. In combat, the Fire horde takes a worrying amount of damage for dudes with no inspiring (Snappy was 7” away, as a calculated risk because I assumed Guardian death), but survives the rout. Unlike the Sprites or GFE (!), both of which are snuffed out.


Those leftmost Fire Elementals assault the Guardians again, bereft as they are with the stink of desperation. But Snappy is with them. Chompy, on the other hand, has no more purpose in life, so charges into the other Cursed Priest in the hopes of shutting down his nonsense. After pausing to have the Sprites vomit all over the Worm Riders (to no effect), Chompy misses his 5+ vs the Priest, and the Fire horde somehow manages to put good wounds on the Guardians. They need a 4 with no reroll to end these *******s and turn around. I roll a 3 and lose my cool, in a “it’s been a long day, this is game two, dice have been continually bad, and I’m very tired” sort of way.


The Bone Giant rears those unlucky Fire Elementals, and they are as dead as you think they are (27 CS3 red hot dice will do that). Also the Worm Riders finally sally forth into the red phalanx in the center, sensing the end of the game is looming. They charge some Ember Sprites, get them up to 13 wounds, and roll snake eyes! Which also helps lock out the Cavalry lurking to the right, as their charge space is fairly limited with Sprites gumming things up.


Last shot of the game! Sally Turn 5 sees the token surge play of the game for me, as a Fire horde spins and is nudged into the Scavengers back there, obliterating them, but otherwise is tightening the phalanx and coating the Worm Riders in breath attak. Also Snappy finally made it into a Catapult! And whiffed 3 times! Brutal!

EOD Turn 6 had all the deadites collapse towards the table center, along with a lot of Ember Sprite death. However at that point he wasn’t going to be able to touch my 7 unit strength in Fire hordes + CLOFD, and couldn’t get enough of his own US in there. With 1 min left before the store closed, I passed my turn without doing anything. We rolled for Turn 7 anyway and didn’t get one.

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

GAME 02: EMPIRE OF DUST

Albanyadriel and I got together for a rematch last Wednesday, after postponing for me getting the flu and then again next week when the snowpocalypse happened around our part of the world. Anyway, we threw down with slightly revised lists!

BLOODFIRE GAME 2: EMPIRE OF DUST

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Greater Fire Elemental
Herald on Raptor
Herald on Raptor
Mage-Priest -– Heal, Surge
Clan Lord on Fire Drake -– Blessing of the Gods

Healing Herald became Raptor Herald #2 (Chompy), Mage-Priest learned Heal but isn’t inspiring any longer, and CLOFD got elite (and my only magic item!) in hopes of being more useful.

Empire of Dust 2000

Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Crossbowmen Horde -– Blood of the Old King
Enslaved Guardian Archer Horde –- Chant of Hate
Swarm Regiment
Scavenger Regiment
Scavenger Regiment
Skeleton Cavalry Regiment -– Casket of the Damned
Revenant Worm Riders -– Dragonshard Shield
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Bone Giant
Cursed High Priest -– Breath Attak, Vicious, Mount
Cursed High Priest -– Breath Attak, Vicious, Mount

Scorpion returned to the sands, replaced by Skeleton Cavalry, a unit that I had no respect for, going by stats and what they did in WHFB (i.e. very rarely see the table) … Also COK items up in this!

We chose to play Control (= table quarters, right?), again using COK unit strength. Pretty certain the EOD went first. (The photos + text worked pretty well for me last report, I think I’ll keep that up. Lack of notes makes turn-by-turn rough :X)

BATTLE


Battlelines form! Significantly more skeletons have risen from the sands since last game ;D


Undead shooters struggle with the amount of cover present, even if the fire dudes appear to be busily deforesting their half of the table 😛 Meanwhile the Swarm goes aggro and charges a GFE, in hopes of holding him and his derpy 8 attaks up.



Swarms are smooshed by CLOFD + GFE team up, and the rest of the red army advances into Tough, Smashy Crescent formation. The EOD move up to tempt charges across the line, while on the right Cavalry + Scavengers envelope their flank, and on the left the other Scavengers go ham into an Elemental flank. They land a wound of disrespect. Shooting hammers down on the central GFE and removes him!


Elementals flame up and charge in: GFE into rear of left Scavengers, Fire horde into Worm Riders, Fire horde into Spearmen, Sprites into other Spears (for victory, but mostly to get out of the way), Fire horde into Bone Giant, and final Fire horde reforms and is surged into the right Scavengers lurking in the Sally zone.


Big red dice roll cold: while the Scavengers were both obliterated, the Worm Riders and Bone Giant were barely scathed, and the Spearmen survived the sweet caresses of their horde despite all expectations (horrible hits and/or junk rout test). As for the Sprites vs Spearmen, maybe a Skeleton was wounded …


Reprisal is swift on the right, with Bone Giant + surged Cavalry (to avoid behind hindered on the wall) eviscerating their Fire horde. Sprites also got poked to death (Rest In Pepperonis, lil’ dudes). On the left, the Worm Riders and Spearmen counter-charge, doing quite a bit of damage in the Worms’ case (and a token wound by the Spears). Shooting rips a few wounds into the rampaging CLOFD, but thankfully the Guardian Archers had to pivot to reorient on the action and couldn’t lend their weight.


Vibrating with fury (sorry about the pic), the Elemental line strikes back: GFE + Fire horde into the Worm Riders, Fire horde back into the Spearmen, and right Fire horde into the Cavalry (hindered sadly). The CLOFD contemplates charging into the Crossbows to shut them up, knowing their existence likely means his death … but decides that being reared by the right Spearmen would be a bad thing (ED: I actually think he could have taken it, 45 @ 5+ @ 5+ is not great, even with AA’s crazy good dice, and the CLOFD wouldn’t have been shot at all in that case). CLOFD and Ember Sprites load the Crossbowmen up with breath wounds but can’t reach their -/23 nerve.

Combat sees the Spearmen vaporized by the Fire horde, but everything else sucks. The GFE + horde combo on the Worms is a flopfest, only surpassed by the other Fire horde doing a couple wounds to the Cavalry. Bad times ahead.


The Worm Riders plow into the Fire horde that has been cuddling them, and shatters them handily. The CLOFD takes the full force of the EOD shooting, including a Cursed Priest breath attak, and is vaporized.


On the right, the Bone Giant and the disordered, hindered Cavalry go into their Fire Elementals, but can only manage a few wounds.


The Worm Riders are atomized (let’s admit: those two hindered Ember Sprites are what turned the tables).


Meanwhile, the right Fire horde is healed up and heads into the Bone Giant, but sucks it up. Oh, and the cheeky backfield Sprites flank the Crossbows and pull off the single wound they wanted


Turn 6 has arrived for the Empire of Dust. Spears back up, Crossbows counter-charge Sprites (for 1 sweet wound), Bone Giant and, after some surge to avoid the obstacle, the Calvary head back into the right Fire Elementals. Shooting removes the penultimate Fire horde, moments before the Giant and Cav beat up the last Fire Elementals but leave them clinging.


Turn 6 Sallies sees the GFE and two Sprite regiments on the left back up to consolidate their positions (a mistake, as unhurt GFE wasn’t in danger of dying, but could easily have made a Turn 7 charge into the Crossbows and ended them, along with their unit strength 3 in his quarter). The third Ember Sprites bop the Crossbowmen for another wound. On the right, the Fire Elementals slam the Bone Giant one last time, finally bash him within easy break range (16 wounds) … and roll snake eyes. Ugggggh. Their raptor Herald flings himself into the Cavalry to disorder them, but can’t roll 5+ to hit.


Turn 7 happens! Crossbows mess with their Sprites, Spearmen prepare to surge into the SW quarter but fall 1-2” short, and I’m not sure if we even rolled out the combat in the SE quarter, as EOD had 2 quarters with no way to lose them, vs the Sallies’ 1. Regardless, I extended the hand rather than take my turn, whatever was left for it.

BLOODFIRE LOSS

GAME 01: EMPIRE OF DUST

I’’ve been working on a multibased Fire Elementals *cough* Salamanders *cough* army since early January (2017), and recently got within (flame) spitting distance of 2000 points! And have remained 160 points shy for weeks now, because painting 18 tiny red lizard things is a big turnoff for me 😛

But two blank bases hasn’’t kept me from finally getting in some full-sized games! All against clubmate Albanyadriel‘s own fledgling Empire of Dust. Needless to say, it’s been a learning experience for both of us …

BLOODFIRE GAME 1: EMPIRE OF DUST

Salamanders 2000

Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental
Greater Fire Elemental
Herald on Raptor -– Blade of Slashing
Herald –- Healing Charm
Mage-Priest -– Surge, Inspiring Talisman
Clan Lord on Fire Drake -– Healing Brew

Empire of Dust 2000

Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Crossbowmen Horde -– [Shooting Better Item]
Enslaved Guardian Archer Horde -– [Shooting Better Item]
Swarm Regiment
Scavenger Regiment
Scavenger Regiment
Revenant Worm Riders -– [Melee Better Item?]
Balefire Catapult
Balefire Catapult
Scorpion Husk
Bone Giant
Cursed High Priest –- Breath Attak, Vicious, Mount
Cursed High Priest –- Breath Attak, Vicious, Mount

This game was played on the cusp of COK’’s release, hence the Brew on the CLOFD and the EOD shooters not having +1 to hit (most likely elite on Crossbows and vicious on Guardians).

We rolled up Invade and used COK’’s changes to unit strength instead of point cost. I couldn’’t tell you if my red dudes won the initiative – typically in Invade I really want it (because shambling and setting up chaff screen vs shooting), but I have a feeling I didn’’t get it.

I don’t have strong memories of this game, as it was like a month ago, so this is going to be pictures and commentary.

BATTLE


So red!


Armies shamble towards each other, whilst CLOFD points at stuff! (L2R = Spearmen, Worm Riders, Bone Giant, Scavengers)


Redementals push forward, as the undead attempt to focus fire and the Raptor Herald (= gator, naturally) gets ready to go tie up the EOD shooters.


A battleline shot?! The red tide has deployed Sprite screen and is weathering shooting well.


The Scorpion and Swarms overextend (as seems to be the fate of vanguard troops) and get themselves killed by Elemental hordes. Meanwhile Snappy the Herald has launched himself out of the forest and into the unsuspecting Crossbows …


… and he lands his single 5+ to hit with aplomb! The Crossbows are shut down!


Meanwhile on the right, the fire dudes are in a standoff with Spears, Worms and Giant, but have plenty of inspiring and some healing to back them up, on top of abundant redness.


Unsure of what to do with himself, the CLOFD charges into the Bone Giant … and commences a long grind. Eventually some Fire Elementals flank in and wreck the Giant, which pulls in the Worm Riders, who kill those Elementals but are covered in boiling blood and killed in return.


Back on the left, things have degenerated into Sprites tagteaming some Spearmen – spoiler: they didn’’t get much done 😐 – as the Mage-Priest relentlessly chucks fireballs into a Priest who refuses to die (again). Eventually she burns him to cinders, but not before all those Sprites are speared or breathed to death. Also some Elementals made it into the Crossbow horde and smashed them apart over a couple turns, freeing up Snappy the Herald to pounce on the Guardian Archers, shutting them down for a turn.


The other EOD flank has collapsed under hot, flaming pressure. You can see Snappy doing annoying things to the Guardians (and getting a little beat up for his troubles – he eventually gets clubbed to death with the second Guardian charge, but that’s them not shooting the incoming fire things).


End game has some lucky EOD shooting finish up wounded Elemental hordes, dropping Salamander scoring strength fairly significantly. Despite these last gasps the Elementals win the match fairly handily.

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

Despite the victory, it was a weird experience playing an army so different from my Ratkin, with their oodles of attaks, massive nerve values, ability to project force (even in the striped down combat lists I play), and ability to at the double … I think what most gets me is how not tough an army of D5+ feels, vs my experience playing almost entirely D3+ or D4+, and how pathetic 18 attaks @ 4+ feels when I finally make it to combat. Plus I still feel like a total surge noob, though I frankly am! Which is all to say, more games please!