My run at the Unplugged GT 2022 kicked off with a rematch vs the Basilean army I was thoroughly trounced by at Dead of Winter mere weeks before. While a cute coincidence, I was all for it, as it’s one of my favorite Kings of Warmachine armies out there and it’s marshaled by a gem of a player.
But first, a reminder of my army for this event:
I was super excited to see him field units I hadn’t seen, and I gather he was pushed to leave the Men-at-Arms horde at home and lean harder into speed with the cav regiments. He had misgivings, and personally I was hoping my Placoderms’ phalanx would put in work in what was otherwise a tentative match for me.
First round was Dominate, and he won the roll for initiative and gave it to me. Canny angels.
… except there is no after photo, this is it. The Centurion fails to wound those Elohi, neither Placoderm regiment drops their target (0 on the Elohi, 3 on Sammy) ensuring their deaths, and the Kraken boops the Palace Guard to 7. Heartpiercers stick 3 damage on the strength Knights, continuing to ignore the Elohi horde which I never remembered was Def 4+ for swapping their shields out. I took a lot of risks this turn and would definitely pay for that shortly.
BASILEAN VICTORY (20-0)
Zero points, ouch! I’m a big proponent of blackjack for this very reason, getting zero’d is rough, kids. Chris played great and had great dice throughout, while I had that early shooting result and had my errors compounded by cold dice. Even deploying the Water Elementals that far to the right was a mistake, but they tend to cause me trouble in deployment, as I want them to clean things up but the base is big and my line is full of Heartpiercers who want to shoot Unfortunately for the Basileans, this win catapulted them up into the winners bracket, where they were slapped around by stronger armies game after game. Sorry, bud.
Sunday morning and I’m the least hungover I’ve ever been on the second day of a tournament, which is a good thing because I’ve got some work ahead of me. I’m matched up against Chris, a good player with a smart, aggressive army (and one of my favorites kicking around the Northeast – I’m a sucker for a Kings of Warmachine armies, even if his is sharing the bill with Warhammer minis :P) In my head I’ve already lost, but getting 6 points would be rad, maybe even a draw with some luck??
Basileans 2100 Elohi Horde – Brew of Strength Elohi Horde – Helm of the Drunken Ram Ogre Palace Guard Horde – Chalice of Wrath Ogre Palace Guard Horde – Dwarven Ale Men-at-Arms Spearmen Horde Gur Panthers Troop Gur Panthers Troop
High Paladin on Dragon – Aegis Fragment Samacris, Mother of Phoenixes – Fireball (8), Heal (5) Dictator – Iron Discipline, Lute of Insatiable Darkness
An anemic 10 drops but packed with some serious beef. Flying elite hammers are my kryptonite, especially in such volume, and he’s also rocking one of the other mega dragons of the game. Blessedly no longer fearless but demanding of respect to be sure.
Fourth scenario is Raze, which happily I was able to practice with my crabs before the tournament. He went first, either by choice or because I made him.
BATTLE: GAME 4
BASILEAN VICTORY (3-18)
Wheeeew, what a match. I was a little frustrated, as I tried so hard and came close to getting the 6-15 I had set out for, but looking back it’s pretty clear that I got my fair share of breaks when a significant part of his army was mired in my deployment zone for the entire game. Thinking about it, terrain was pretty important for me getting so little use out of my shooters, along with savvy target selection from him and poor counter assault setup by me. I’m impressed it was as much of a match as it was, tho it was certainly a joy to play Chris, a player I may never have played but seen out plenty.
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!
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:
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
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
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
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
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:
Heartpiercers became irregular, making my 2E list illegal and ensuring I will always hurt for unlocks
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
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)
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!
Bright and early day two, Im up against Steve, another player Ive played near for years but never actually faced (also Tims team mate). An added bonus is that Steve is a very chill, very patient dude. On my part, I was very, very tired from staying up way too late playing Rising Sun and chatting the night before. As one does at tournaments.
BLOODFIRE GAME 29: DWARFS
Dwarfs + Basileans 2250
Ironclad Horde – Brew of Haste
Earth Elemental Horde
Earth Elemental Horde
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Healing Brew
Ironbelcher Organ Gun
Ironbelcher Organ Gun
Berserker Lord on Brock – Blade of the Beast Slayer
Stone Priest – Bane Chant (2), Martyrs Prayer (7), Inspiring Talisman
Stone Priest – Bane Chant (2), Martyrs Prayer (7), Amulet of the Fire-heart
Pretty standard Dwarf fare, nothing too crazy, with pairs of important stuff where able. Fun Fact: There were 5 Dwarf armies at this GT, more than any other faction! Madness
Fourth round was Push, and with 1 token each it was blessedly simple. Dwarfs won initiative and get the push going.
Dwarfs in the midst of rolling out. Getting that speedy flank a-flanking first thing. Pretty sure his push token is in the Ironclad horde at the moment.
Bloodfire saunters forward in response, getting that battleline wheel a-wheeling. Push token is on the central Fire horde.
Dwarfs continue encircling the elemental force – Elohi are to the left of that pond, facing inwards. Organ Guns and possible the Behemoth splatter two units of Ember Sprites. Rest In Pepperonis, little dudes.
The Bloodfire battleline continues canting around. The Diadem horde on the far right and maybe the Sprites near them land some wounds on the rightmost Organ Gun. The tension is mounting!
The Dwarfs refuse to engage! Organ Guns patter into the Diadem horde and the nearby Sprites, but only cause chip damage.
Turn 3 and Bloodfire has potentially disastrous charges it can declare? Here we go! Two Fire Elemental hordes slam into the right Earth Elemental horde, reducing them to slag with the help of at least one bane chant. Meanwhile, the Diadem horde on the right charges and obliterates an Organ Gun, preparing to ride the obstacle into the next one. Sprite fire and hopefully the Clan Lord chips at the Ironclad horde, while Agnes heat rays the surviving Earth Elementals.
Dwarf 4 and apart from giving a Fire horde a really bad time, the stunties for the most part continue to hold off. Elohi fly deeper into the Bloodfire DZ, with Brocks preparing to invade either side of the board as needed. Worth noting that the Brock Riders on the Bloodfire side of the table are carrying the push token at this point (and are the pathfinder Brocks).
Yep, those Fire Elementals get dead. Their buddies nearby take some damage from the Organ Gun before it gets creamed next turn.
Agnes and some Fire Elementals (bane chanted) slam into the Earth Elementals, reducing them to ash, while other Fire Elementals pound on the Behemoth and yet more Fire Elementals melt down the other Organ Gun. The CLOFD attempts to assassinate an Stone Priest but cant roll hot enough.
Post smoldering beatdown.
The Dwarfs bring the pain Turn 5. Ironclad tackle Agnes in the front, Behemoth + Brock Riders + Berserker Lord hit the Behemoths Fire horde, and the Elohi sweep into the Herald, with an easy overrun into the CLOFDs flank. Im kicking myself at this point, I always seem to have a game where I setup such a stupid individual overrun. Brocks to the south also nom up some Sprites.
Better to be lucky than good XD The mega charge against the Fire horde rolls snake eyes, leaving them at 22 damage! And the Elohi painfully fluff their hits against the Herald, dealing just 3 damage for no result. Agnes takes a pretty hearty 5 damage but seriously, Steves dice just saved my butt.
Time to capitalize on the Dwarfs misfortune. The mangled Fire horde and the Diadem horde (hindered) slam into the Brocks, the Fire horde who had grabbed the central push token when they killed the Earth Elementals heads into the Stone Priest, Agnes grumpily counter-charges the Ironclad and the original push token Fire horde flanks the Elohi. The CLOFD doesnt move (…) and preposterously neither does the Herald (SALVAGE, WHY???)
The CLOFD + inspiring Mage-Priest incinerate the Berserker Lord whilst the martyr Mage-Priest heals Agnes down to 1 damage (snacking on her healing brew in the process). And then combat goes less awesome than anticipated. The Brock Riders take 10 damage, but thats a far cry from their bravery, and the 9 damage on the Elohi is not as catastrophic as expected. Im left feeling like I really messed that one up? Or maybe just overinflated what my Fire Elementals could do
(Math Time: 36 CS2 (1/2 of that hindered) into the Brocks = 12.5 wounds, for a 9.5 rout and no chance of a waver. 36 CS2 into the Elohi = 12 wounds, for a rerolled 5 with no chance of a waver. The Brocks were always going to be a grind, especially with the hindrance, but the Elohi wasnt as foolish as I thought at the time. And there also wasnt a lot of options, apart from shooting them with the CLOFD and then surging the Fire horde in, which would have left the Berserker Lord free to rampage. Obviously moving the Herald and rotating the CLOFD where possible was a thing that should have happened.)
Dwarf 6 and we rinse and repeat. Brock + Behemoth back into the severely damaged Fire horde, Elohi back into the Herald (@_@), Ironclad back into Agnes.
The B+B Fire horde erupts into warm goo, the Herald bites it, allowing the Elohi to flank the CLOFD for significant damage (12) but a failed rout (!), and Agnes goes back up to 5 damage. Inevitable but still ouchful turn.
Bloodfire 6 and potentially the end game. The surviving Sprites are tossed a token and then the big boys and girls go to work. Agnes, her damage removed, bats around some more Ironclad (I really dont think they broke). The northern Brocks are removed by the (still hindered!) Diadem horde, while a push token Fire horde punches a meager 3 damage into the Behemoth. And the Elohi are ended, thanks to Fire flank and CLOFD front.