GAME 35: FORCES OF NATURE

Team Cuddle Time finally slumps its way to the final round, beaten and bruised but still kicking. Team MERC greets us with open arms and one last fist to the gut. I end up paired vs a Nature player who I’’ve played three times now at each GT Bloodfire has gone to. In that time he’s learned a lot about target prioritization, scenario play, and so on, and his list is much more tuned now than it was a mostly Wood Elves legacy force.

And let’s admit it, I just wanted to put Fire up against Water ;D

CROSSROADS GAME 5: TEAM MERC

– Forces of Nature vs Salamanders
– The Herd vs Orcs
– Ratkin vs Night-Stalkers
– Orcs vs Ogres

BLOODFIRE GAME 35: FORCES OF NATURE

Forces of Nature 2250

Salamanders Horde – Scrying Gem
Water Elemental Horde
Water Elemental Horde
Water Elemental Horde
Winged Unicorn – Heal (7), Lightning Bolt (5), Bane Chant (2)
Winged Unicorn – Heal (7), Lightning Bolt (5), Bane Chant (2)
The Green Lady – Heal (8)
Beast of Nature – Lightning Bolt (6), Fly + Sp 7, Vicious + At 7
Beast of Nature – Lightning Bolt (6), Fly + Sp 7, Vicious + At 7
Beast of Nature – Lightning Bolt (6), Fly + Sp 7, Vicious + At 7

Yep, spammy min/max Nature, but I can’t fault him. I can fault Mantic for not nerfing Beasts yet (COK19 plz!), there’s something wrong about a unit that can literally do anything it wants and is always fielded in pairs or trios. I have fought a lot of Beasts, and I guess my suggestion would be -1 De if you select lightning (ala the shooty Death Engine) or flatout only being able to select two upgrades. Flying laser turret? Awesome, you don’t get to flank the living hell out of things too. Rampaging combat missile? Fantastic, you don’t get to also have amazing shooting on demand. Plodding laser turret looking for late game beatdowns? I love it, but you’re not gonna see that until flying is really nerfed.

Anyway, fifth round ended up Control, which is rough against those flying US1 shooting things. I think I chose to go first, out of a burning desire to get shot less and get into his zone at some point.

BATTLE

The Bloodfire rolls out over hill and dale!

Nature virtually doesn’t move, content to gather the lightning and let the fire come. Lasers blast away the rightmost Ember Sprites and singe the central regiment.

The red tide flows forward, with the charred Sprites enjoying a martyr’s prayer and tossing some chip damage on the central Water Elementals. Meanwhile a misdeployed Fire Elemental horde surges across the backfield to be relevant later.

Nature again barely moves at all, with just the Beasts working some angles. The Green Lady knows what the Bloodfire wants, and that her troops outrange them in both combat and shooting. With a contemptuous flick of her wrist, the Lady has her pets direct all their lightning at the towering Fire Drake on the hill. He explodes in a shower of molten gore!

Gritting her teeth, the Herald of the Bloodfire has her charges force the issue, moving into charge range across the line. Ember Sprites vomit on the central Water Elementals or secure the field for the late game score.

Suddenly released, two of the Water hordes crash into one Fire horde, as the pack of Beasts hop the Salamanders and enter the danger zone.

Lightning pounds into the Fire horde on the left flank, but 5 damage isn’’t enough to stop their advance. In combat the Water hordes pummel 10 damage into the Fire Elementals however they retain their forms.

Already in Turn 4, Bloodfire can finally strike back, but will it be enough? The flanking Fire horde makes it into its watery counterpart (and is prayed down to 1 damage and bane-chanted as this is a tough ask of them), with Sprites providing flanking support (lulz). One of the central Water hordes is hit in flank and front by Fire hordes, while the courageous Fire Elementals tackle the other Water horde.

Bloodfire dice roll cold and all of the Nature targets stand. Agnes speared some damage onto a Beast but likewise to no great effect. This is especially disheartening knowing the level of regen and heal available to the enemy . . .

The Forces of Nature properly tighten the noose with a bevy of charges: Water + 2 flanking Beasts into the leftmost Fire horde (!), Unicorn into their Sprites’ flank, Water hordes into the undamaged central Fire hordes.

The Beasts smash apart the flanking Fire Elementals and the Unicorn scatters the Sprites (*golf clap*), however the center holds better than expected, including the damaged Fire horde holding despite the lightning barrage of the central Beast. Unfortunately a lot of damage is pulled off of the previously damaged Water horde.

Bloodfire 5 is as violent as ever, with the grind continuing in board center and an overwhelming amount of firepower aimed at the undamaged Beast on the left . . .

That Beast is decimated with extreme prejudice by Agnes’ death ray and 20 elite fireballs, followed by both central Water hordes being boiled off. There’s a whole hell of lightning still on the board, but fakk if that didn’’t feel good.

The Green Lady sends her horde of Salamanders into the courageous Fire horde, as the Unicorns swoop into the flank of a smoldering Fire horde (*double golf clap*) and Beasts prepare to exorcise the mangled Fire Elementals.

It’s super effective! Or at least the Unicorn hooves and Beast lightning is. The Sallies bounce.

Bloodfire Turn 6 feels like the redementals are well out of this one, yet there’s violence to be had. Agnes and the tall Priest cook a Unicorn for reasons and the Fire Elementals bash 10 damage into the Salamanders.

The winged elements of the Forces of Nature scatter to their designated scoring zones as the Salamanders bounce off the fresh Fire Elementals. With no Turn 7 it’’s a solid . . .

BLOODFIRE LOSS

It was cool to go up against this player again and see how far his skills have come, and also pretty neat to have an Elemental Off, and in fact a Reaper-minis-painted-basically-one-color-on-tan-bases off XD


RED VS BLUE

I do think Beasts of Nature are OP and really unpleasant to play against, and I sort of wish Nature armies weren’’t so often this min/maxed affair were you just take the best things, and multiples of them if they shoot lightning. But then again I’’ve also played against non-min/maxed fluffy Nature and consistently torn them to shreds, so who knows. Maybe the Beast is just the crutch of the army? And one you gradually work out? Again ala Death Engines for rats.

Anyway, while I don’t know the final standings for Crossroads 2018 I’m sure Cuddle Time was quite far down there, given our in-game performance at the very least. All the same, it continues to be a great event with great players and I’m happy I could make this year. It sounds like next year is teams again, which I’m grudgingly ok with – I totally prefer the simplicity of single player tournaments and the clarity of how matchups are done, but the increased camaraderie of team tournaments is fun, and I enjoyed making swag for our team (CUDDLE TIME t-shirts, DTC wristbands, cutesy display boards).

GAME 25: FORCES OF NATURE

The lads are getting ready for the Unplugged GT this weekend, so I escaped the house and headed over for some much needed hang-and-game. Albanyadriel had just finished up his vanguard-happy 2k Forces of Nature for the event, and I was excited to burn it to cinders.

BLOODFIRE GAME 25: FORCES OF NATURE

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
Agnih-Bhanu, Greatest Fire Elemental
Herald – Lute of Insatiable Darkness
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Martyr’s Prayer (7)
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Banner of the Griffin

This might be where the army sits for 2000 points, really happy with it. I’ve admitted that bane-chant is still useful in an army of CS(2+), embraced the martyrdom uber-heal, and come to terms with Agnes fitting too well to swap out for the ABP right now. Excited to add Jarraiders for 2250, and still working on a fifth fire horde to push the army past 2500, with two Komodons chilling in their boxes, but dig where COK18 has shaken out for the Bloodfire.

Forces of Nature + Herd 2000

Naiad Ensnarers Horde – Hammer of Measured Force
Hunters of the Wild Regiment
Hunters of the Wild Regiment
Hunters of the Wild Troop
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Woodland Critters Regiment
Druid – Alchemist’s Curse (6), Bane-chant (2)
Druid – Aura of Heroism (3), Bane-chant (2)
Tree Herder
Forest Warden
+
Lycans Horde

A Nature army without the usual lightning storm and not a single Beast in sight! And also an army that approaches speed from a different angle, for the most part relying on vanguard instead of flying to get a jump on things. I can dig. But asking for a friend: What’s a Forest Warden??


Also OMF Woodland Critters @_@

We rolled up Eliminate, then didn’t read the part about putting a token down in the center. So we were going to beat each other up and try to take some tokens. Checks out! Sallies won the roll off and took it.

BATTLE


All the vanguards!


Ok, all the vanguards!

Bloodfire heaves off the starting line. Worth noting that I had bungled my deployment a bit, having deployed my Sprites behind the Fire hordes, which is typically my anti-shooting tactic, not my anti-melee play. This meant my Sprites couldn’t stroll into range and breath on things, and also kept the entire line from advancing very far, as I needed the Sprites up front to chaff things. Not game breaking but certainly kept me from punishing the vanguarders as is my want. I had also kinda screwed the leftmost, token-baring Fire bois by deploying them last and unsupported on a wide open flank, rather than nestled somewhere closer where they were less likely to be flanked. Bleh.

Anyway, the leftmost Ember Sprites breathed on the left Forest Shamblers, for a first wound.

Nature largely shores up the line in response, healing the Shambler wound as they go. The Hunter troop ranges out and pounces on the rightmost Sprites, awkwardly hitting a lot despite being hindered and accidently routing them. Works for me

Meanwhile the flanking Hunters rip across the table!

Speaking of Sprites, the lil’ dudes shuffle into the line of fire while a lot of breath attaks come online and the Forest Warden (?!) cops a Fire Elemental horde to the face thanks to the untimely death of their Sprites last turn. I hesitate on sending the token Fire horde into the Woodland Critters on the left – honestly I didn’t trust that a) they could kill them, b) the Forest Shamblers next to them wouldn’t be ashes, and c) the Fire horde could take a Shambler horde in a grind. Honestly still feeling dumb about that, I should have embraced the fury and gone for it, but you’ll see how that flank turns out.

12 Ember Sprite breaths + 20 Mage-Priest fireballs nukes the left Forest Shamblers! Lots of spikey wound rolls ftw. The Hunters troop also ceases to exist under the attention of Agnes’ doom ray, the CLOFD’s gore cannon and the other Sprites flame spitter. Then the Forest Warden gets whomped by the (bane-chanted) Fire horde. Rest in Pepperonis, cool little un-inspiring hero.

Nature gets angry! Critters flank some Sprites, Naiads power into some other Sprites, Shamblers tackle yet more Sprites, Lycans trip over that annoying obstacle on the way into Agnes and Hunters likewise stumble into the Fire horde that mauled the Warden (RIP). The flanking Hunters of the Wild regiment meanwhile angles in and complicates things for Bloodfire next turn …. . .

Druids kick Rallying (2) onto the Forest Shamblers with Aura of Heroism and rip 4 damage into a Fire horde thanks to Alchemist’s Curse (COK18 in the house!), then fighting happens. Critters scatter their Sprites, Naiads awkwardly Hammer of Measured Force theirs to death, the Shamblers only manage to waver theirs, the Lycan caress Agnes for 3 damage, and the Hunters do 7? to their Fire horde. A mixed bag all told.

The Bloodfire Supreme Bloodstoker thinks for a long time about that left flank, and ultimately chooses poorly, deciding to surge the token Fire horde into the Hunters and either break through or hope to weather the Hunter-Critter sandwich for a turn. Spoiler: They needed 4”, the Mage-Priest only managed 2 out of 8 with elite. Frowny face.

There was still carnage aplenty, if somewhat mediocre dice to accompany it. A Fire horde resignedly charges the Naiads, punching a few but knowing they’re doomed without help. Another Fire horde counter-charges their Hunters, doing decent damage but failing the double rout rolls. Agnes and a cheeky Fire horde flank obliterate the Lycan, grabbing their token, shortly after the CLOFD manages a single damage on the Forest Shamblers, despite a lucky double bane-chant, and the little Mage-Priest syphons off 3 damage from the rightmost Fire horde with Martyr’s Prayer.

Sallies score 2 points [2:0]

Turn 3 continues to be violent with lots of Nature charges and counter-charges: rapidly regenerating Naiad into Fire horde, Shamblers into annoying leftover Sprites, Tree Herder tripping over that obstacle and tackling Agnes, Hunters back into that right Fire horde. Also the token Fire horde met their destroyers:


This looks …. . . bad? I mean, we are a roiling semi-sentient mass of molten bloodfire, right?

Druids Bane-chanted the right Hunters and Alchemist Cursed another 2 wounds into the same Fire horde as last turn, putting them to 6 damage.

The Naiads roll amazing and pile 9 damage on their Fire horde, the Shamblers pulp their Sprites, the Tree Herder bops a single wound on Agnes (bye bye death ray), the Hunters damage their Fire bros to no avail, annnnd the Woodland Critters eviscerate the token Fire horde with 45 attaks, vicious and some stunning dice (the Hunters + not having any inspiring helped :P). They died.

Nature scores 2 points [2:2]

Sallies Turn 4 and the boiling punches intensify. The cursed Fire horde and Agnes team up on the Shambler horde (Agnes trips on the damn obstacle this time on her way into the flank), tagging in the CLOFD on the Tree Herder. Hunters and Naiads are counter-charged by their fiery dancing partners.

When the punching stops the right Hunters are dead, but despite decent damage, rout tests on everybody else are not kind.

With a cry, the flanking Hunters of the Wild leap into the flank of the Naiad’s Fire Elementals, as the Woodland Critters cavort deep into the Bloodfire backfield. The Naiad lend their measured tridents with a counter-charge, accompanied by counter-charges into the CLOFD by the Tree Herder and Agnes by the Shambler horde, with bane-chant help courtesy a Druid. The other Druid Curses the central Fire horde a third time, spiking a rerolled 10+ rout test to banish them! Damn, hippy chick, damn.

The Hunters + Naiad dismember the wounded left Fire Elementals, but the big Bloodfire monsters hold tight (Agnes to 10 damage, CLOFD to 3).

Heading into the late game and currently tied, Bloodfire is out for, well, blood. Agnes rounds on the Forest Shamblers and the last of the Fire Elementals flanks the Tree Herder to support the CLOFD’s counter-charge. The Herald bane-chants the Fire horde, the big Priest body blocking the Naiads nukes the Woodland Critters with a fireball (*cue that scene from Bambi*) and the little Priest Martyr’s Prayers 6 damage off of Agnes ❤

Both Nature units turn to ash under the fiery ministrations.

Sallies score 2 points [4:2]

The waiting Mage-Priest is swarmed by Naiads and a Druid charges Agnes in hopes of disabling her death ray (she fails), and the other Druid Curses the CLOFD for 3 damage (9 total), but no other result. Happily the Priest takes only 3 damage and holds the Nature line back (though she’s wavered).

Sallies Turn 6 sees that upstart Druid charged by Fire Elementals (over the obstacle woooo) and engulfed in flaming fists, then a lot of powering up short range weaponry. Between Agnes’ death ray, the CLOFD’s bane-chanted gore cannon and the little Priest’s fireball, the Naiad’s go up to 14 damage… . . . and nothing. In retrospect that did mean the Hunters weren’t unleashed, which is a thing.

Nature’s potentially final play is to hit the Mage-Priest again and try to Alchemist Curse the CLOFD. The Priest caves under the pressure and the Naiads roll forward, however the Druid can only waver the CLOFD on 9 total damage.

The roll for Turn 7 is a dud, leaving the score 4:2 and a . . .

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

As played, if we had remembered the central objective this would have been a draw, but then again we would have played more centrally as well, so who knows. Fun bloody game with some poor decisions on my part that cost me momentum, however in the end big zappy token-hugging monsters pulled it out. The Lute and Martyr’s Prayer were both cool to have, happy to have a little dice manipulation instead of just complaining about 4+ to hit (5+ against Naiad OMF), and 12 wounds worth of healing over a few turns from one mini is pretty cool. I got a little cagey about the deer coming to eat that Priest late game, although I also multiple times this game didn’t really rely on ranged parts of my army to protect other parts of it. What can I say, I just don’t trust dice :/

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.