SCUTTLIN’ REALM 33-35: ORC TOWN DAY 1

What is up, Bloodfirers! Hope your summer was a good one, mine became very busy with lots of traveling and a side of COVID (I’m quad-vaxed so that Omicron is a beast). Sadly my reporting (and to large extent gaming as well) was a casualty of all this busy-ness. To get up to speed, I’m going to do Day 1 and Day 2 recaps for the Orc Town GT, with slideshows for the full games for those who want to click through. Strap in!

Orc Town was a 2600 point two day event held on Cape Cod, MA from June 4-5, 2022. I took a deep breath, painted two more crabs, and rolled out with the following:

KAIJU BIG BATTEL!

Trident Realm 2600
Water Elementals Horde – Brew of Strength
Placoderms Regiment
Placoderms Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Coral Giant
Kraken
Kraken
Kraken
Naiad Centurion – Blade of the Beast Slayer
Naiad Centurion – Axe of the Giant Slayer
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2), Horn of the Ocean’s Fury
Naiad Envoy – Lute of Insatiable Darkness

Coral Giant and double Centurions were the standouts for this slobber knocker of a list, with the Lute of Insatiable Darkness making a return and the Trident of the Drowned Sea left in the armory.

GAME ONE: LEAGUE OF RHORDIA

League of Rhordia 2600
Knights Horde – Boots of Striding
Knights Regiment – Brew of Strength
Honor Guard Horde – Potion of the Caterpillar
Dogs of War Horde – Chant of Hate, Beasts of Targun Spire [1]
Dogs of War Regiment – Shields of Hetronburg [1]
Spear Phalanx Regiment – Pikes
Mounted Scouts Troop
Mounted Scouts Troop
Duke on Ancient Winged Aralez
Duke on Ancient Winged Aralez
Duke Hetronburg [1]
Battle Shrine [1] – Lightning Bolt (6)
Wizard – Conjuring Staff, Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (3)
Wizard – Shroud of the Saint, Lightning Bolt (3)
Halfling Master Sergeant on Pony

Kevin and I were talking at the last Unplugged GT and realized we haven’t played each other since 2E, and simultaneously grudged each other for Orc Town 😀 The general feeling going into this was that I had an advantage, with so much Rampage, but he’s got some extremely punchy stuff and the support to deliver it.

Looks like this game was Salt the Earth, with the League going first. Here’s a rundown of the game (you’ll need to click back to 29/33 and then move forward, these are uploaded in chronological order and I can’t reverse them easily):

If that seems short, we only made it through four turns of the 69 cute minutes we each had to work with, and that’s including going over into lunch. I don’t know how we were soooo slow but I blame being out of practice and extra chummy, on top of the huge armies. Anyway, this grudge match came down to a very gregarious …

DRAW

All told a great way to start the event, even if I was a little shook at the clock 😐

GAME TWO: ELVES

Elves 2600
Drakon Riders Horde – Banner of Eternal Darkness
Forest Shamblers Horde
Stormwind Cavalry Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar, Quicksilver Lancers [1]
Stormwind Cavalry Regiment – Brew of Strength
Palace Guard Regiment – Brew of Sharpness
Kindred Gladestalkers Regiment – Orb of Towering Presence
Kindred Gladestalkers Regiment
Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop – Piercing Arrow
Hunters of the Wild Troop
Hunters of the Wild Troop
Tydarion Dragonlord [1]
King’s Champion [1]
Elven Archmage – Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (5)
Elven Archmage – The Boomstick, Lightning Bolt (5)

If these green Elves look familiar, it’s because I played Jim back at Dead of Winter, making 2022 the magical year where I played him twice! This is typically a once-a-year event for us. As to the list, seems legit? Lots of nice Elven tools backed up by Jim’s frighteningly good dice. Would I be able to stay on scenario and shake off my slow play from the first game?

The game is Push – I’m sending 2 tokens up with some Placoderms and 1 token hard right on Heartpiercers, while the Elves put 2 on the Palace Guard and 1 on the regular Stormwind hard left. Importantly, Jim’s not really making a play for the center, while I’m flooding it with more Placos and ‘Piercers, with the Coral Giant looming. Crabs go first, possibly by choice since it’s Push and so many Elves have scouted forward. Here’s the rundown (click back to 30/31):

For those who clicked through, you might have noticed the crabs became really passive at the end of the game? I clocked out at the end of my Turn 5 … Fortunately Orc Town had a rule where you were still allowed to change facing in your turn, so I was able to both protect my flanks on my token holders and keep that ensnare in play, even if I couldn’t regen since nothing was actually activating. Thanks to a decisive lead going into Turn 6, I was able to weather two back to back turns of Elven aggression (and blessedly no Turn 7) to hold onto my …

TRIDENT VICTORY

I think one of the deciding factors of this game was his Drakons floating about in the middle without a clear plan of engagement, which let me shoot them to hell while dismantling his scouting forces. At the same time, two Kraken and a wood held back his strong cavalry + dragonlord flank, as they were tasked with from the beginning. However it worked out, Jim’s always a pleasure to play, even if his dice often give me fits 😛

GAME THREE: OGRES

Ogres 2600
Warrior Chariots Legion – Potion of the Caterpillar
Siege Breakers Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Siege Breakers Horde – Dwarven Ale
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Boomers Horde
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblin Spitters Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Giant
Sergeant on Chariot – Blade of Slashing
Nomagarok [1] – Bane Chant (3), Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (4)
Warlock – Conjurer’s Staff, Lightning Bolt (3)
Warlock – Orb of Towering Presence, Lightning Bolt (3)
Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3)

Ahhhh Ogres, it was always going to happen, but at least it’s a rematch with Josh and his awesome Moontian army. Not a ton to say on the list, it’s got lots of gnarly stuff with smart items, with a Chariot legion and Giant for flare. Josh seemed pretty down on his performance so far, and I suppose he didn’t exactly burn the world down if we were playing each other in Game 3? Like me, he seemed pretty out of practice and generally tired. All the same, we were here to make war, so war we did.

We’re playing Dominate this game, which is nice for the Ogres anyway 😀 At this point I confide in Josh that I don’t fancy my chances but I do have one goal. I want my shiny new Coral Giant to kill his shiny new Giant, at which point we’re going to go do shots at the venue’s bar. And then the killing started (click back to 36/37):

Wait wait wait, rewind! Ok, it’s Turn 4, his Giant has spent a couple turns aggro-ing some Heartpiercers while my Coral Giant is stuck on Scouts:

I back the Heartpiercers out, then flank his 1 damage Giant with my Coral Giant. I slam fistfuls of damage into the titan, roll the rout and nail it, reroll and fail by one … and then remember this guy is brutal! I flip out and we go shoot some tequila. Amazing.

And this was after baiting his Chariots in against my Placos in a swamp, who held and completely messed up his plans, getting flanked by Kraken and helping me takeover the momentum of the game, something that’s really difficult for my Crabs against Ogres. The game goes back and forth into Turn 7, when somehow I manage a …

TRIDENT VICTORY

What. A. Game. This was the most fun I’ve had against 3E Ogres in a while – the called shot with the Coral Giant certainly helped 😉 Crazily enough, this win also put me at 5th or so place in the GT at the end of the first day! A clubmate asked what was different this event than usual, and I’m pretty sure it’s that I hadn’t switched armies. The Crabs, even more so than standard Trident Realm, are a weird combination of denial, shooting and scenario play, but staying in that space has helped me learn some of the rhythms required instead of just getting frustrated and jumping factions.

UP NEXT: Day 2 kicks off bright and early with Mr. 300 himself!

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 26: OGRES

The Unplugged GT was held April 23-24 in Milford, MA, delivering on its promise of five great games of Kings of War with a lovely bunch of gentlemen. Lists were 1995 points and, while I had originally planned on taking a very Herd-centric version of The Hallow with a bunch of new units, I found that I really didn’t like actually playing the army, which involved lots of positioning, waiting, and then doing next to nothing when allowed to fight. I’ve got photos of THE HALLOW 16: OGRES, but I think I’ll keep that drubbing unreported for now.

Which meant I would be taking crabs to Unplugged after their lukewarm showing at Dead of Winter! I was on the whole ok with this – I like playing them, even when losing, and they feel like they have tools to keep me engaged despite having a pretty low ceiling. I spent April updating the paint on them: green accents swapped to blue, claw tips blackened and glossed, brighter bone highlights here and there, and tufts everywhere. Time well spent and I’m happy I returned to zazz the crustaceans up a bit.

I managed to get one practice game in a few days before the tournament, so consider this report a prelude to the full Unplugged report. Strap in.

Trident Realm 1995
Water Elementals Horde – Brew of Strength
Placoderms Regiment
Placoderms Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Kraken
Kraken
Naiad Centurion – Trident of the Drowned Sea
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2)
Naiad Envoy – Trickster’s Wand

You’re damn right that’s my 2100 list minus the Depth Horror Eternal but with the wand instead of #warbow 😉 It was a toss-up between the fury aura or hex on the second Envoy, however the existence of Nightstalkers and Ogres convinced me to go with wand. Would I regret it and doom the Placos to a wavered hell??

Ogres + Nightstalkers 1995
Siege Breakers Horde – Staying Stone
Boomers Horde
Hunters Horde
Hunters Horde
Warrior Chariots Regiment
Crocodog Wrangler
Berserker Bully – Torc of Dissonance
Nomagarok – Bane Chant (3+), Heal (4+), Lightning Bolt (4+)
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), Scorched Earth (2)
+
Scarecrows Regiment
Void Lurker

My clubmate continues to rock his Ogres, but this time with an excuse to bring his big blue Mierce demon to the table. Happily Void Lurkers are pretty legit (people try to tell me otherwise but I disagree, they’re still one of the few dragons I respect). The rest of the list is all bangers, with the main downside being no dedicated chaff to speak of, save for the Bully and Scarecrows. The Crocodog was the thing I most curious to see in action, since it’s new and shiny and weird. Which is ironic to say now given what happened in this game …

We rolled up Dominate, I won the roll for initiative and made the Ogres go first.

BATTLE

Battlelines! Worth noting that my bastion Envoy is on the left, trident Centurion is center and hex Envoy is on the right. I would have preferred to have hex > bastion > trident but he knew I was waiting for the Void Lurker to drop so saved it until last, at which point my line had developed and needed inspiring more. For Ogre notes, Hunters are on the flanks and of the two Warlock models, the blue-skinned one in yellow robes is Nomnom.
Ogres 1: It’s a general advance, with the Void Lurker and Hunters on the right toeing into the woods for LOS. Lightning from the Warlock tags the left Kraken for 2 damage.
Trident 1: The crabs scuttle forward in response, staying out of charge ranges except for the Kraken which use their 17″ threat to psych the Ogres out a bit. Bastion goes up on the left Kraken and Heartpiercers stick 8 damage on the Boomers and 3 on the right Hunters.
Ogres 2: Boomers and Siege Breakers press forward, with Bully and Void Lurker preparing to flank in should any crabs get frisky with them. Hunters on both flanks fade back, shortly before the Warlock and Boomers hammer 9 damage into the leftmost Heartpiercers, wavering them. Noms heals the Boomers down to 5 damage.

Trident 2: Feeling tired and saucy, I unleash the crabs a turn early or so (never a good sign!), sending the left Kraken + Placoderms (hindered) into the Boomers. The intent is to crack them and turn to face the oncoming threats to left and right. The wavered Heartpiercers regen down to 3 damage, then their cohorts spike 3 damage on the Siege Breakers (I low key forgot they had Def 6+ :P) and 0 on the Void Lurker. I also tire of being gamey with the left Hunters and press the Water Elemental horde forward, curious to see how that grind works, but confident it buys me a couple turns. Bastion stays on the left Kraken.

The Boomers are splattered. After combat, the Kraken rotates first to face the bully (but later rotates 90 degrees back to face the Warrior Chariots, which was my intent but I didn’t drop a laser, and Corey is a gent). I discover that the Placos’ giant base doesn’t rotate like I expected, so to avoid a flank from the Siege Breakers I have to sidestep (CRAB. WALK.) them over. 1-2″ will see them safe and out of a Void Lurker flank … so I roll 3″ and those dudes are toast 😦 Spoilers: I realized next turn that if the Placoderms had sidestepped first, the Kraken would have the room to put both the Bully and the Chariots in his front. Bleh.
Ogres 3: The Ogres capitalize on my aggression with frightening speed. Hunters on the left charge the Water Elementals; the Bully flanks the Kraken with Chariots in the front; and the Placoderms are charged by Siege Breakers (hindered) and flanked by Scarecrows and the Void Lurker. AND the Crocodog launches itself into my Centurion in the woods.
The Centurion takes up his battle stance as he prepares to gut this mangy mutt next turn.
The Hunters kick off a brutal turn by doing 6-7 damage to the Water Elementals horde then roll a 10 followed by an 11 on Nv to one round it. Shiiiiiii– The Crocodog follows this up by doing 4-6 damage to the Centurion despite 6+ to hit, 4+ up (vicious) to wound. The Centurion dies an inglorious death when the 10+ Nv roll hits. The Kraken has half a chance to live but another 10+ Nv roll routs the big guy, while the Placoderms, who were already dead, in fact die. Yowza. The other Placoderms also take a point of lightning damage.
Trident 3: I’ve got a lot of guns left, which is cool, right? Heartpiercers back up or scoot around to draw LOS to the Void Lurker, while the right Kraken hurtles into the right Hunters and the bastion Envoy cowers by the tower and hits the leftmost Heartpiercers with his buff. 40 harpoon shots (10 cover, all stealthy) do 8 damage to the Void Lurker. The Kraken bashes the Hunters to 7 damage. Oh, and the wand Envoy hexes the Warlock.
Ogres 4: Chariots plow (hindered) into the left Heartpiercers, the Void Lurker pounces the right Heartpiercers, and the right Hunters counter the Kraken as the Ogres descend upon the crabpeople.
The Envoy makes unintelligible scared crab sounds as it prepares to be savaged by the Crocodog. He is a pragmatic crab, after all.
While the left Heartpiercers splatter messily, the other combats are less decisive, with the Envoy, Void Heartpiercers and Kraken all holding tight on relatively low damages.
Trident 4: Heartpiercers punch 2 damage onto the Chariots in cover and successfully ground the Void Lurker, as the Kraken finishes off his Hunters and turns to kaiju big battle the titanic nightmare next turn. Noms is successfully hexed.
Ogres 5: The Warrior Chariots charge (hindered) and obliterate the next leftmost Heartpiercers (great break again). Noms also pushes through the hex and heals the Chariots to 0 damage, taking 6 himself in the process. The Void Lurker meanwhile manages to waver the rightmost Heartpiercers. Also the Crocodog took another bite out of the Envoy but he continues to stick around
Trident 5: Sensing the end, Placoderms rush off the hill and into the Chariots, with the Heartpiercers charging the Siege Breakers to hold them in place and protect the Placos from being flanked. (As you can see, the Placos’ base tucked in and was probably fine by itself …) The wavered Heartpiercers back up 3.5″, making room for the Kraken to charge the Void Lurker. In the end the Chariots are wavered and Noms is hexed again, otherwise we’re grinding with not much left in the tank.

Ogres 6: The Siegebreakers dunk their Heartpiercers, the Void Lurker cuddles the Kraken a bit, and the Placoderms are hit with scorched earth for next turn. The Crocodog also devours the Envoy at last.

Trident 6: Said Placoderms poke ineffectively at the Chariots and I’m guessing the Kraken fluffed. Without a Turn 7 (blessedly!), this isn’t a tabling but it is an …

OGRE VICTORY

What a beat down, with an early assist from hot, hot rout dice to really rub my face in it. Not to just blame the dice, I made a few bad decisions and engaged too early, when shooting could have used another turn to work over the ‘softer’ Ogre units. The Void was always going to be a problem, tho he played a pretty passive game compared to what I expected, not that he needed to go ham. Spoilers for the tournament, my opponent this game would go on to win the Unplugged GT! Great showing for a strong player and fairly unique Ogre list.

Speaking of the Unplugged GT, stay tuned for the reports, which kick off with me rematching the Basilean army I played at Dead of Winter!

THE HALLOW 14: OGRES

A couple weeks after Crossroads, we got a bunch of the club together to keep the hype going and throw down some 2300 and/or 1995 games. With the way things shook out, I ended up playing my usual Ogre sparring partner, with my new (but not too new) Herd list:

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Centaur Chief
Centaur Chief
Moonfang

Zero upgrades. The gamble is that Moonfang’s Primal Savagery will vaguely equate to the Druid’s bane chant, and her damage output and maneuverability take the place of the Beast. Double Centaur Chiefs make me happy, especially in November when Clash of Kings makes their inspiring unconditional!

Ogres 2300
Siege Breakers Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Hunters Horde – Crocodog
Boomers Horde
Warrior Chariots Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblin Rabble Horde
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Red Goblin Blaster
Ogre Warlord – Crocodog
Nomagarok – Bane Chant (3), Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (4)
Boomer Sergeant – Inspiring Talisman
Kuzlo & Madfall – Enthral (5), Hex (3)

There’s a chance he swapped some items around from the last time we played, but I can’t remember and/or it doesn’t really matter.

We rolled up Push, and after scouting the Hallow won and took first turn, because getting past the center line + nabbing the center token are things to do.

BATTLE

Herd 0: Scouting phase! Herd tokens are 1 in the leftmost Tribal Spears and 2 in the Shamblers who didn’t / couldn’t scout. Ogre tokens are 2 in the Goblin horde and 1 in the Siege Breakers. I forget to scout the right Tree Herder but he allows it post first turn roll. Also Kuzlo is hard to the right.
Herd 1: The Hallow rolls out, grabbing the central token with Shamblers in the process. I’m genuinely at a loss on the right, everything out-ranges and out-fights me … Moonfang, by the by, is the sluggy thing in front of the Shamblers with tokens. I’ve got a new, much more visible one in the pipe, promise.
Ogres 1: Goblin Scouts rip through that giant forest into some Centaurs as Braves rush forward into the 1 token Shamblers. The left Centaurs take 6 damage from Boomers (wavering), the central (and obviously chaff) Tribal Spears take 2 damage from Noms / maybe the Goblin Blaster, and the right Centaur Chief takes 1 from the Boomer Sergeant.
Goblin Scouts poke 2 damage on the Centaurs, wavering them! And the Braves slap 4 into their Shamblers.
Herd 2: Time to jam for time and clean things up. Left Tribal Spears ditch their token and charge the Ogre Warlord, left Centaur Chief charges Boomers to disorder / jam them, wavered Centaurs sidestep away from the Scouts (while the other wavered Centaurs do nothing at all …), Moonfang + Tree Herder hit the Scouts, central Tribal Spears charge the Siege Breakers, double Shamblers charge/counter the Braves, and on the right I waffle some stuff forward and send the other Centaur Chief after the Hunters there. IDK.
The Scouts and the Braves detonate, with Moonfang and the token Shamblers backing up as their compatriots stand firm. The other jamming combats result in token damage: 3 to the Warlord, 3 to the Boomers, 2 to the Shield Breakers, and nothing to the right Hunters because ensnare 😐
Ogres 2: Jamming units are counter-charged, but there’s plenty of fresh aggression to go around. Left Hunters spot the toe of the left Centaurs in the woods and slam deep into my lines (!!), and Rabble horde drops their token for Noms to hold and charge into the other Centaurs in the woods. On the right, Braves charge off the hill into Tribal Spears (phalanx’d tho!), while everybody else menaces or prepares to lick things.
Super frustrating :/ I never moved those Centaurs far enough up to get anything from the forest (including LOS), except make them visible to enemy chargers. Hunters are a nightmare for my army, and they’re about to spin and stare down my line.
Noms heals up the Boomers (and gives them vicious), while the Boomer Sergeant and Kuzlo put 5 damage on the right Tribal Spears and drag them out of the Tree Herder’s inspiring! Thankfully they just waver. In combat, both Centaur Chiefs are dropped, as are the Tribal Spears fighting Siege Breakers and Braves. The Warlord smashes 5 damage on his Tribal Spears, the Rabble waver their Centaurs somehow, and as predicted the Hunters detonate their dumb Centaurs, becoming A Problem (TM).
Herd 3: I spot some position mistakes by my opponent and leap on them. Left Tribal Spears abandon the Warlord to corkscrew charge the Boomers, and the left Tree Herder long bombs into 2 token-holding Nom-nom. The Hallow then mobs the Rabble, in a bit of a gamble given all the flanks being shown and that damn wall mucking up an otherwise sweet Shambler flank. The 1 token Shamblers and Tree Herder near the thatch-roofed cottage back up to be within 6″ of each other. Finally, the wavered right Tribal Spears just sidestep even closer to Kuzlo, as delaying is the name of this game.
The Rabble are messily strewn across the forest, allowing Moonfang to face the left Hunters and the Shamblers straddling the wall to fave the Ogre heavy hitters to the right. More amazingly, the Tribal Spears ace the Boomers, inspiring and all! They face back at the Warlord. The Tree Herder only boops 3 damage into Noms but I can’t be mad.
Ogres 3: The Warlord has another go at the Tribal Spears, the left Hunters clear out the annoying Centaurs, Siege Breakers power into the wall Shamblers (hindered), Nom-nom disengages from the Tree Herder, the right Braves charge the right Tree Herder, and Kuzlo tackles the right Tribal Spears in the woods. Murder Town, here we come.
Many little tree things die 😦 The Siege Breakers only manage 7 on their Shamblers tho, and both Herders are doing alright (0 damage from the Blaster’s bombs, 3 damage from the Braves).

At this point opined about how rough this match up is for my army, and wondered if I’d ever beat Ogres with #slowherd …

Herd 4: I’m feeling a bit out of the running at this point, with only heavy stuff left and all my control pieces dead, but you know, at least I’ve got the punchy parts, so let’s punch. Shamblers + Moonfang charge the left Hunters, Shamblers counter and flank the Siege Breakers (blessedly neither hindered), and the Herders hit Nom-nom and Braves, respectively.
Siege Breakers shatter the old-fashioned way while the Hunters are routed with the power of rolling one hot Nv test! Nom-nom is pushed to 8 damage, leaving the left Tree Herder to brace for a Blaster flank, and the right does like 4 damage to his Braves. Tokens are now 4-2 Herd.
Ogres 4: Despite taking a body blow from the Hallow last turn, the Ogres come back swinging. Warlord flanks token-less Shamblers, the Chariots slam into the 2 token, damaged, right Shamblers (hindered), the Blaster flanks the left Tree Herder (Noms backs away), and the Braves on the right have another go at their Tree Herder as Hunters line up for a flank next turn.
The Warlord detonates his Shamblers, but the Chariots can’t land the single 7 to rout their Shamblers, and the Blaster brutally fluffs, doing 3 damage out of a potential 18. Meanwhile the right Herder holds firm at 4 damage.
Herd 5: Shamblers charge the Warlord, other Shamblers counter the Chariots, left Herder hits Nom-nom again and the right Herder pummels the Braves further. Moonfang nimbles into a spot to the flank of the Chariots and in 6″ of the Shamblers.
Nom-nom is spiked at long last, the Tree Herder gathering his two tokens and bringing the score to 6-0 Herd. The other Herder ends the Braves as well, preparing to receive Hunters to the face. The Shamblers slap some damage around but eh.
Ogres 5: Kuzlo flanks into the Chariot-Shambler combat and Hunters do engage the right Herder. Warlord counters.
Kuzlo and Chariot friends shred those Shamblers, with Kuzlo scooping up the 2 tokens. The Warlord chunks 2 damage on the other Shamblers, and of course those Hunters drop the Herder on their first charge, because Hunters. 4-2 Herd now.
Herd 6: I once again find myself hoping for no Turn 7 … The Tree Herder rears the Ogre Warlord with Shamblers in the front, while Moonfang flanks the damaged Chariots. (My opponent gave me no hindering, tho it was certainly close enough to warrant a 4+ roll.)
The Warlord is turned to mist, but Moonfang’s spicy 13 damage flank is stopped short by snake eyes.
Ogres 6: Kuzlo ditches the tokens for the Boomer Sergeant and dives into the 2 token Shamblers, as the Chariots round on Moonfang. Neither combats result in much, and with no Turn 7 rolled up, that’s a …

HERD VICTORY

Holy hell y’all, I beat Ogres! Fittingly in the same game where I complained about never beating them. There were certainly some positional errors I was able to capitalize on, but I also had my share of them (stupid, stupid Centaurs). I actually think it was putting so much stuff on the right, then playing it so passively (out of indecision mostly), that helped get the dubya. Significant, murderous parts of his army couldn’t round that house fast enough to help actually fight for tokens, which was huge.

As for the list, I dig it, but am wondering about taking a Forest Warden instead of the second Centaur Chief. Another chaff piece but one that can do different things, like hold tokens and scout up with the boys, and grab those occasional flanks / rears. A Warden would also give me 20 pts to play with, and I do like me brutal on a Herder.

Right after this I played a second game against a very new Undead player, so stay tuned.

THE HALLOW 9: OGRES

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

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

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

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

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

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

BATTLE

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

OGRE VICTORY (20-1)

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

Next up: DWARFS

THE HALLOW 6: OGRES

With a break in the humidity and inspiration behind me, I printed and painted a Moonfang for the Hallow over a couple days, tweaked out a new list and challenged my usual sparring partner to a match.

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Tribal Spears Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Tree Herder – War-Bow, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff, Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Centaur Chief – Sabre-Toothed Hunting Cat
Moonfang

The concept is that Moony is basically the same cost as a flying Beast with more attaks and essentially as fast and as punchy, hypothetically more survivable (lower Nv but baked in reroll and regens), but also supports the army better by inspiring and providing vicious in combo-charges. It’s a really attractive package … that I might save for 1995 points. More on that later.

Ogres 2300
Siege Breakers Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Hunters Horde – Crocodog
Boomers Horde
Warrior Chariots Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblin Rabble Horde
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Red Goblin Blaster
Ogre Warlord – Crocodog
Nomagarok – Bane Chant (3), Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (4)
Boomer Sergeant – Inspiring Talisman
Kuzlo & Madfall – Enthral (5), Hex (3)

Following the US Masters, my buddy figured he’d stick with Ogres but change a few things up. Exit the Forces of Nature allies and gobbo regiments, enter Siegebreakers, gobbo horde and blaster. The Berzerker Bully also leveled up to a full Warlord, earning my undying respect. Still a great list, and without the allied stink on it 😛

We rolled up Control, a nice token-less experience. Herd scouted and Ogres took first. Here’s a shot of the Hallow at this point, looking arboreal and disorganized:

BATTLE

Herd 0: Scouting phase! Playing on almost all 6 feet of table 😤
Ogres 1: Generally out-moving and certainly out-shooting the Herd, the Ogres trundle forward to menace and prepare for violence to come. Kuzlo hexes the War Herder on the left, while Nomnom lightning bolts the central Centaurs for 2 damage. They aren’t wavered, but they sure are shook.
Herd 1: Tribal Spears are pushed to the front on the left to absorb charges, which is frankly part of their job description. The heavy Herd center tries to predict where the Ogre pincer is going to land, but those two Shambler hordes + Tree Herder are facing a LOT of aggression: Hunter horde, Siegebreaker horde, Braves regiment, Noms, as well as Blaster + Boomers on the hill and potentially another wave of Braves.
Off shot to the right is a Tribal Spears regiment and Moonfang, the latter of which has shoved hard up the flank and is currently outside of the right Hunters’ arc, but nimbled to face them.
Ogres 2: He counter chaffs my chaffing on the left, creating quite the gummy situation. The pressure on the center increases, with both Siegebreakers and Blaster threatening the Herder with a flank, but Hunters ready to zip in and shred the Shamblers. Brave regiments hit both the Herder and the right Shamblers. (You can see that I angled the Herder in such a way that Braves + Hunters couldn’t combo the left Shamblers.)
Right Hunters back up to keep Moonfang in their front. His 18″ charge also pushed the Boomers further forward on their hill than they might have wanted.
Token damage across the board: Boomer Sarge blasts 3 onto the left Tribal Spears, Nomnom bolts the Centaurs up to 3 (wavering them), Boomer horde blasts 2 damage into the left Shamblers in the woods, the Herder cops 2 from Braves, and the right Shamblers also take 2 from Braves.
Herd 2: I melt my clock trying to figure out the center, and ultimately flank the Braves with (hindered) Tribal Spears + Shamblers. If the Herder countered them it doesn’t really matter, the struggle with him was how to rotate to not take the Blaster in the flank. Having the Spears come in and overrun provided an answer, blocking the Siegebreakers from him for a turn. The other Braves copped a flank from more Tribal Spears, with Shamblers countering to the front. They died. On the right flank, more Tribal Spears take the Hunters’ retreat to move up to the other side of the woods; Moonfang nimbles around to continue threatening their flank.
The left flank also eats up my clock, but bad dice really ruin it. The Shamblers charge the Scouts on the hill, but the Centaurs don’t, instead limiting the Shambler slide and then backing up. This big brain play was kind of pointless, plus the Shamblers only do 6 damage and only waver the goblins. Speaking of puzzles, the Tribal Spears charge Kuzlo to clear a path for the War Herder, but the angle isn’t right to hit and lock the Warrior Chariots, so he just goes into the Boomer Sarge, with Centaur Chief in the flank. 7 damage later and the Ogre holds as well. (The Tribal Spears actually did great against Kuzlo, maybe even wavering him!)
Ogres 3: My opponent points out the Tribal Spears about to eat it, and indeed, they did receive Chariots in the flank. The Boomer Sarge counters the Centaur Chief but the Warlord is left out in the cold thanks to geometry. Pretty sure the other two units over there are wavered (not that that turns off Kuzlo’s not-Dread).
The Ogre hammers fall upon the Hallow, with Hunters hitting the Shamblers, Siegebreakers the flank of the poor Tribal Spears, and Blaster in the front of the Herder (possibly not hindered!) The Boomers are content to shoot green things in the face. On the right, the Hunters retreat to put Moonfang in their front again.
On the left, Tribal Spears evaporate and the Centaur Chief takes 3 damage. In the center, the left Shamblers return to the forest from whence they came, the Tribal Spears are pulped, the Herder takes 8 damage from the Blaster careening off the hill into it (the Druid had topped the big tree off the previous turn), and those Tribal Spears on the right take 6 damage from the Boomers, wavering. The center was always going to hurt 😦
Herd 3: I relive the frustration of those Scouts wavering on the left, having to send the Shamblers back into them. The War Herder hits the Boomer Sarge in the flank, as the Centaur Chieftain zips away to possibly hunt Nomnom. In retrospect he could have nimble-charged the Chariots, holding them down and giving me another turn to sort out my ongoing combats … The Centaurs on the left slink away to go hide in a table segment.

In the center, more Centaurs flank into the Hunters (hindered), Shamblers charge the Boomers (with bane chant and a quiet prayer to their verdant deities, as the Hunters are inbound to their flank!), and after a lot of thought, the Tree Herder has a swing at the Siegebreakers. He could have shot away into the Rabble horde, to bop away into the late game and consign the center to its death, but I figured holding the Siegebreakers for a turn (or two?) was better. With Noms heal behind them he wasn’t even likely to stick much damage on them :/

On the right, Moonfang once again moves into the Hunters’ flank.

The left is cleared up, but no miracles in the middle. Hunters take 2 damage, Siegebreakers 5 and Boomers 6, sadly no lucky wavers.
Ogres 4: Warlord + Chariots hit the War Herder, while Kuzlo charges to block his Shambler backup. The center breaks down as expected: Siegebreakers counter the Tree Herder, and Hunters flank the Shamblers with Boomers in the front. Right Hunters turn to face Moonfang, and the Rabble mob forward a few inches.
The Herder and Shamblers in the center disintegrate. The Herder and Shamblers to the left hold, with a shaky 9 damage in the War Herder’s case!
Herd 4: On the left, War Herder + Centaur Chief charge the Chariots, and Shamblers grudgingly counter Kuzlo. In the center, Centaurs rear the Boomers (!) and Tribal Spears front the Hunters (bane chanted) despite the ensnare :X On the right, Moonfang commits and charges the Hunters in the front, as his Tribal Spears backup breaks the treeline to get LOS for next turn.
Kuzlo routs and with 8 damage taken the Chariots waver! The center is even more triumphant, with both Boomers and Hunters dying to my chaff. Hot damn. Moonfang whiffs against ensnare tho, doing 0-2 damage.
Ogres 5: The Ogre Warlord flanks the War Herder, pushing him over. Elsewhere the Siegebreakers pressure the fragments of the Hallow center (yes, the Centaurs are facing away from the Siegebreakers). The Hunters countercharge Moonfang … and one round him O_O The odds on this continue to haunt me, but high five to those guys. Also global brutal is always surprisingly great.
Herd 5: The left Shamblers charge the Chariots, but once again the Centaur Chief abandons the left to menace Nomnom? Your duelist doesn’t work on him, dude! Help out the Shamblers! Anyway, the center Tribal Spears YOLO charge the Siegebreakers (bane chanted), in part because they were already past the 24″ line. If they were a little further back then walking up and holding in the forest might make more sense. Hell, it probably made more sense even here, but I wanted to try for Hot Dice. The hero Centaurs scamper off to the bottom right segment, and Moonfang’s Tribal Spears charge the Hunters, without their living legend being, well, alive. Oh, and the Centaurs in the upper left have turned to face the carnage …
Things go poorly. Tribal Spears do 4 damage to Hunters, get the Siegebreakers back to 7 (Noms has been healing / vicious-ing them when able), and while the Shamblers punch the Chariots up to 14 damage, I roll snake eyes. Bleh.
Ogres 6: Chariots flank the unlucky Shamblers. Siegebreakers counter the doomed Tribal Spears. Hunters counter the other doomed Tribal Spears.
Shambles die, center Tribal Spears die, but somehow the Hunters’ Spears just waver. Which is a lot like death, y’all 😐
Herd 6: The left Centaurs + Centaur Chief bound into the Chariots, finally killing them.
Ogres 7: Sweet hell, there’s more. Hunters end the Tribal Spears, securing +1 scenario point. Nom tries to zap the right Centaurs to deduct a point from the Hallow, but just wavers them.

Herd 7: I contemplate sending the Centaur Chief into the Warlord for some Even Hotter Dice, but even perfect dice couldn’t break the big guy, so I pass. With 5 points to 2, that’s an …

OGRE VICTORY

Soooo I felt like I played this pretty well, despite putting my central Tree Herder into a pretty tight spot there at the tip of the spear, with both hammers best suited to dropping him to either flank. Certainly used chaff better, or the right chaff in the right places, like Tribal Spears getting the real junk duties and Centaurs doing fast / opportunistic things. The rear charge from the Centaurs into Boomers was brilliant, if utterly unplanned 😀

I’m not real hot on adding Moonfang @ 2300 right now, I really like what I was learning using the flying Beast and all the angles she unlocks by being able to completely ignore intervening units. Moonfang is currently more interesting in the 1995 versions I’ve been messing with, where his support package is worth even more.

That’s me caught up on gaming, I expect my club will try to get together once before we hit Crossroads GT in late September. I know I could use more Herd / KOW practice!

THE HALLOW 2: OGRES

With plenty of time left in the afternoon and hungry for another kick in the teeth, my Ogre opponent and I re-racked and threw down once more 😤

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders
Centaur Bray Striders
Beast of Nature – Wings, 7 Attaks
Tree Herder – Trickster’s Wand, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Great Chieftain

This list traded in significant support – the Druid’s bane chant (+ heal) + inspiring and the Warden’s chaffing powers – to get my winged Beast into the mix:

Fun Fact: I’ve never played with a flying monster, just against them!

Ogres + Nature 2300
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Hunters Horde
Boomers Horde
Warrior Chariots Regiment – Mead of Madness?
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblins Spitters Regiment
Red Goblins Rabble Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Kuzlo & Madfall – Enthral (5), Hex (3)
Nomagarok – Bane Chant (3), Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (4)
Berserker Bully
Boomer Sergeant – Inspiring Talisman
+
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Unicorn – Wings, Lightning Bolt (5)

Great list is still great! He waffled about downgrading the Spitters to Rabble and using the extra points to I think push the Bully to a Warlord, but decide to stick it out as written.

We rolled up Salt the Earth, and shockingly I remembered to scout, although the Ogres would win and take priority.

BATTLE

Scouting moves! Beast is hard left and the second Centaur troop plus fourth Spirit Walker regiment is hard right. The right Tree Herder is intentionally in range of the Warrior Chariots and the Red Goblin Scouts, in the name of ‘Come At Me Bro’ Science.
Turn 1: The Ogres indeed come at me …
Turn 1: … and oh sweet dark forest gods, the Hex Herder falls O_O (partially thanks to Nomnom’s bane chant, partially thanks to great dice). My respect for chariot regiments skyrockets (spoilers for my current Herd list ;P), but also Shamblers take damage from shooting to the left and Scouts to the right.
Turn 1: I openly debate restarting, however decide to soldier on sans 1 Herder, again for Science. The Scouts are mobbed and torn to shreds by three units (for unknown reasons, though partially to get them all up the board together), and the rest of the Hallow either threatens charges or forces the big meaty hands of the Ogres. I did not burn my objectives and 100% would regret it later.
Turn 2: Oh lord, they coming! Charges slam in across the line: Braves to Shamblers, Hunters to Herder, Chariot to Shamblers, Hunters to Walkers, Bully to Walkers annnnd Kuzlo to Centaurs hard right.
Turn 2: A lot of damage is dished out …
Turn 2: … like a lot of damage! Astoundingly the only casualty is the Centaur troop derping down the center of the board.
Turn 2: Winged Shamblers corkscrew the Hunters, Spirit Walkers hit their other flank, and Herder and bashed up Shamblers hit them in the front.
Turn 2: The Hunters, well, they don’t make it 🍻 The Herder overruns and the units prepare to receive. Also peep that Beast of Nature nimbling into delicious flanks.
Turn 2: Over on the right, Shamblers punch 6 damage into the Chariots, two Spirit Walker regs scrabble 10 damage into the Hunters (wavered!), and it looks like Kuzlo and the Centaurs are having a grand ol’ time still.
Turn 3: The Ogres tee up another round of violence …
Turn 3: … as is their want (Chariots into Shamblers, Bully into Walkers, Kuzlo back in to end it).
Turn 3: Shamblers and Spirit Walkers are shot off to the left; Shamblers, Spirit Walkers and Centaurs are finished off the right. The Herder absorbs the flank from the Braves and the last remaining Shamblers absorb the other Braves’ affections.
Turn 3: With units left to grind with, the Hallow grinds on! Spirit Walkers + Shamblers hit some Braves, the flying Beast rears the other Braves while their Herder flanks the Rabble and the Spirit Walkers on the right try to pop the Hunters and the Great Chieftain powers into the Chariot regiment to similarly tip them over.
Turn 3: Everything touched, dies. Hell yea.
Turn 4: Ogres line up shooting on the left and send solos into combat on the right.
Turn 4: While the Spirit Walkers finally bite it to the right, the only result on the left is pushing the Herder up to 10 damage.
Turn 4: The Herd is feeling quite light on the field, but keep on smashing, double charging the Boomers as the Beast lines up next turn. The Great Chieftain leaves Nomnom to go mess with Spitters (easier marks than the power solos to the right). Damage happens but it’s not enough to keep the momentum up.
Turn 5: The Ogres, meanwhile, have a lot of tools and they apply them liberally. No Herd member falls but both the Beast and Great Chieftain waver :/ The Bully has slunk off to the right to hold a token for a couple turns.
Turn 5: Beast and Great Chieftain waver around, while the Herder flanks the Boomers and helps the Spirit Walkers pulp them.
Turn 6: The Ogres keep it classy, finishing off 3 of 4 Herd units with charges, including that pinky-finger-up Unicorn rear charge into the Herder. Chef kiss. The Beast cops 2 damage from shooting, bringing it to 4.
Turn 6: The Beast dives the Boomer Sergeant to try for a one-round, but whether or not it worked, the Ogres hold 3 tokens to the Herd’s 0, meaning we’ve got another …

OGRE VICTORY

As appropriate as it is that the Beast of Nature was the only surviving model, she clearly wasn’t able to carry the game by herself, particularly a game that I started 275 points down thanks to baiting with the Hex Herder. Upon review, I’m surprised I did as well as I did (apart from holding 0 tokens), tho with so much highly maneuverable shooting, even if I had burned every token I controlled and made a concerted, cagier play for the Ogre’s tokens, I doubt I would have had much surviving at the end to claim said tokens.

My main feelings after these first two games were a) it felt great to play KOW again, what a game; and b) I really don’t know what Herd in general and this list in particular wants to be doing. The Lycan spam list is probably the only Herd list that I can immediately see the strength in really, but I love how this army looks and I’d like to make the combination of decent infantry regiments and cheap large infantry hordes work together. But it is pretty clear that I need a dedicated hammer, the grind doesn’t really work for Herd or in the meta in general.

Stay tuned for the next report, where I face rats piloted by a Master!

THE HALLOW 1: OGRES

With the army based and lockdown lifting, I was finally able to get a couple games in with the Herd! Against my clubmate and usual punching bag, who at this point was putting in reps for the upcoming US Masters tournament in July 2021. Not expecting great results, I selected one of the many lists I had brought and gathered the angry tree things together for the first time …

The Herd 2300
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Forest Shamblers Horde
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Spirit Walkers Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Tree Herder – Trickster’s Wand, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Great Chieftain – Mead of Madness, Sabre-Toothed Hunting Cat
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff, Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Forest Warden – Surge (4)

I decided to bring the most varied version of the list to start out, including a much-maligned Great Chieftain! I also brought along the Trickster’s Wand thanks to the improvements to hex in Halpi’s, as well as the change to having more Spellcaster 1+ wizards in the game, when previously it felt like most people just took Spellcaster 0 casters that are immune to hex.

Ogres + Nature 2300
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Hunters Horde
Boomers Horde
Warrior Chariots Regiment – Mead of Madness?
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblins Spitters Regiment
Red Goblins Rabble Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Kuzlo & Madfall – Enthral (5), Hex (3)
Nomagarok – Bane Chant (3), Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (4)
Berserker Bully
Boomer Sergeant – Inspiring Talisman
+
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Unicorn – Wings, Lightning Bolt (5)

By all accounts, this is a great list. In my mind Ogres tend to be one-note slow melee armies, but high end Ogre lists like this one are in reality fast melee armies with surprising amounts of ranged damage and a strong ability to play the scenario, thanks to everybody scoring. Add to that the premier allies package courtesy Halpi’s making Heartpiercers unlock, and you’ve got a supremely flexible toolbox of a list.

The Hallow’s first game would be Dominate, which was certainly welcome for my first game of 2021 as well. I won the roll off and took it … and of course I forgot to scout before rolling 😛

BATTLE

Battelines!
Turn 1: The Herd scouts / shambles / sprints forward. I barely know what I’m doing, and the Ogres both out-charge and out-shoot me to degrees I haven’t planned for :X
Turn 1: The Ogres keep it cagey, staying out of charge ranges with the exception of Kuzlo, who has ripped down the right flank and rotated in. Nomnom tags the Warden with 2 damage, and the Heartpiercers stick 2 onto the Druid as well, wavering her.
Turn 2: Stumpy feet shuffle around a little? The Warden demands to be dealt with over in the shooty forest, and the right Centaurs gore Kuzlo for 3 damage. That one Herder lands a hex on the Unicorn too! Result!
Turn 2: Here we go! Kuzlo counters the Centaurs, Hunters + Chariots hit some Shamblers in a puddle, Berserker Braves tango with other Shamblers, other Hunters hit some Spirit Walkers on the hill, the Berserker Bully rushes in and punches more Shamblers, the other Braves rocket forward and hit the leftmost Spirit Walkers, and on the far left the gobbo Scouts charge their Centaur counterparts. Only the Centaurs and the Walkers on the hill rout, the rest of the Herd holds – in the puddle Shamblers’ case, somewhat preposterously (10 damage, 1-2 of it from the Hunters’ 18 @ 4/4+). Oh, also the Warden is evaporated by the shooting bunker.
Turn 3: Sweet, sweet counter-offensive. The Centaurs go back into Kuzlo, the Hunters in the puddle are flanked by Spirit Walkers (who avoid hindering on the wall thanks to the Great Chieftain escorting them in), the Chariots are corkscrew flanked by (bane chanted) Shamblers and fronted by the banged up ones, the Hunters on the hill are booped in the front by a Hex Herder, the left Shamblers counter the Bully, the Other Herder pressures the shooty forest annnd the left Walkers hit the Braves as they wait for the hero Scouts to flank them. While no combat goes poorly, the rout dice are only there for the puddle combats, so the grind continues. (Note that the Radiances of Life are popping off from the Herders all game, where applicable.)
Turn 3: The leftmost Spirit Walkers are eaten by the Red Goblin Scouts in the flank, and the Centaurs way on the right are devoured by Kuzlo and/or Madfall. The mangled Shamblers in the puddle are dropped by shooting, as the grind continues across the center of the board.
Turn 4: The Other Herder finally makes contact with the Boomers and the Great Chieftain doubles back and re-pins Kuzlo in place, while the rest of the combats grind on, resulting primarily in the death of the Berserker Bully. Surviving Spirit Walkers push through cover to become relevant / be harder to hit.
Turn 4: The left Braves grab a rear charge on the Other Herder and the Red Goblin Rabble pounce on the Spirit Walkers emerging from their woods, as the shooters begin descending on the center. The Ogres (and friends) pound a lot of damage around – Other Herder to 11, Hex Herder to 7, winged Shamblers to 4, pond Shamblers to 6, pond Walkers to 5, wood Walkers to 1 (damn you goblins!) – but the Herd holds.
Turn 5: Finally, the Herd grinds out almost all of their Ogre dancing partners. The Boomers are smashed, the left Braves get reared and routed by winged Shamblers, and the other Braves fall to the pond Shamblers. Annoyingly the Rabble soak up the affections of the wood Walkers, while the Hex Herder keeps on getting whittled down by the Hunters on the hill.
Turn 5: The theme of stuff finally dying continues with both Tree Herders falling, one to the Boomer Sergeant’s firepower and the other to a furious flank from Nomnom. The pond Spirit Walkers are ‘pierced and ‘bolted to death as well.
Turn 6: It may be late in the game, but somehow the Herd still have gas in the tank! Shamblers hit the fresh Boomer Sarge and one round him (!), as the other Shamblers launch from the pond into the rear of the hill Hunters, tearing them asunder at long last. Speaking of murder, the Spirit Walkers turn on and blend the Rabble over in the wood. You can also see the Great Chieftain still kicking it with Kuzlo over far right.
Oh no.
Turn 6: The hill Shamblers are sandwiched and murdered by goblins (Nomnom was present) 😐 Also the last of the Spirit Walkers are ventilated by Heartpiercers, and the Druid survives a charge from the Unicorn (tho she is wavered). Somehow the Great Chieftain survives another round with Kuzlo.
Turn 7: We head into accidental overtime with the last of the Shamblers punching some Spitters. The Great Chieftain slaps Kuzlo some more.
Turn 7: The Spitters scratch 1 damage onto the Forest Shamblers, and the Druid survives another charge from the Unicorn! (Tho again wavered – here she’s already nimbled away in Turn 8.)
Turn 8: We roll for an extra turn this time and get it! The Shamblers punch the Spitters into the dirt, then absorb a round of shooting in the Ogre half to survive the game. The Druid, on the other hand, is finally run down by the Unicorn. (The Great Chieftain would end the game on 4 damage, facing Kuzlo on 0 :P) With US 3 vs 5, that’s an …

OGRE VICTORY

I’m pretty shocked I did this well, especially with how light on tools the army felt to me. Locking Kuzlo down all game helped a lot in keeping any semblance of control, but judging by all the flanks and rear charges things were certainly a little wonky. I do feel like I have my buddy’s dice to thank for any work I got done, from that early pond fight to the Herders’ resilience, and so on.

We flew into a second game right after this one, look for the right up soon.

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 20: OGRES

Final round up against our TO Jesse, a dude I knew from Master Crafted Gaming batreps (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpUodTbAv0XfqvwwG2cBHuA/videos?disable_polymer=1) and who my clubmates ran into at Keystone GT not too long ago. All around great/funny guy playing a balanced and unexpectedly strong Ogre list.

BLOODFIRE GAME 20: OGRES

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 – firebolts
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

Ogres 2000

Warriors Horde
Warriors Horde
Siege Breakers Horde – Cat Potion
Siege Breakers Horde
Boomers Horde
Boomers Horde
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Army Standard – Banner of the Griffin
Army Standard
Army Standard
Sweaty Gigante

Third round was Occupy, with Sallies once more going first! Shamble army says yes please! (Admittedly going first wasn’t the best idea in 2/3 of these matchups, but as they all involved moving I was happy to oblige.)

BATTLE

Deployment is central-right, with the left objective ignored. I thought about sending some Sprites to grab it late game, but decided I’d rather they did something in the game itself. Griffin Bearer is the double flag behind the Siege Breakers.

The red wall trundles forward. I expected him to clear chaff next turn, plus was curious what he’d do with his Scouts on the right.

The flesh wall trundles forward. Boomers chunk into the central Sprites, wavering both units and stalling the fire’s advance. The Scouts double charge the speedy right Fire horde, doing appreciable damage but for naught.

Largely stuck in the center, the only real action is on the right, where one unit of Scouts is baked to death by the speedy Fire horde and the other is wavered by Sprite shooting. The speedy horde is healed a bunch, and the left Boomers suffer the CLOFD’s breath, though without even being wavered.

The Ogres continue to press the issue, getting the Boomers closer while setting up traps should the red hordes get stuck. The Giant goes aggro and bops a couple wounds on the speedy Fire horde but whatever. Shortly before which one unit of Boomers clears out the left Sprites, and the other rips into the central Fire horde, shredding 11 damage into them (with 18 shots!). Thankfully they can’t land the rerolled 7 to break them. Whew!

Suffering under the Boomer barrage and needing to act, the left Fire hordes power into Warriors and Boomers respectively, as the right Fire horde countercharges the Giant and Sprites get in the way of Siege Breakers. The Goblin Scouts were purposefully left alone this turn, so they would remain in the way of the Siege Breakers.

While damage is spread around – including breath attaks into the right Boomers – nothing results save for wavering the left Boomers.

The Ogres keep the mayhem going: Warriors countercharge the left Fire horde, more Warriors flank the deeply-wounded central horde, Scouts pounce on the third horde and the Giant countercharges the speedy horde. While the central Fire horde predictably goes down, damage is otherwise relatively light, with the Giant completely fluffing. The CLOFD cops a couple wounds from the right Boomers as well.

More fighting! The left and right Fire hordes countercharge their dance partners, though the third horde chooses not to countercharge the Scouts, to keep them in between the Breakers for another turn (this was an overthinking mistake on my part). The riskiest move was sending the Ankylodon into the wounded Boomers, as I was relying on 8 hindered attaks to land at least one wound and pop the Boomers, allowing the ABP to reform and not be flanked by things with CS that hit good. The plan also required at least wavering the other Boomer horde with shooting, which thankfully the CLOFD + Sprites were able to do, despite hitting on 5+. Combats work out, with the Boomers and Warrior both dying. The Giant is wavered but Fury don’t care. And the Scouts gumming up the right flank are wavered from shooting (I guess I hoped to clear and charge in my next turn? However charging now and charging then would have worked too).

Around this time the Diadem Herald had worked his way around the left flank, incinerating the leftmost Army Standard ❤

Hindered Warriors and Army Standard hit the Ankylodon, doing two points of damage, of which the big beastie heals one from Iron Resolve. On the right the Giant figures out how clubs work and hammers the speedy Horde but no lucky rout.

The Sallies turn the heat up and brutalize the Ogre army, with the left Warriors disappearing under a Fire horde flank attak (the Ankylodon helped), the Giant burned to cinders and the Scouts finally ended, forcing the Breakers over there to make a choice. Happily the Boomers are also routed, thanks to a sterling round of vomit from the CLOFD.

At this point things feel pretty great. It’s Turn 5, with just two Siege Breaker hordes and two Army Standards left up against a lot more red than I’m used to. Clearly I didn’t know what Siege Breakers are capable of O_O

Cat Siege Breakers charge the Ankylodon and the less-wounded Fire horde on the right, with their Army Standards flanking the Ankylodon and blocking the rightmost Fire horde. While the ABP takes 7 wounds, he’s able to survive the rout test. This is not the case for the Fire horde, which is absolutely jellied in one go.

Sally 6 is a scramble that has the left Siege Breakers slammed by Ankylodon + Fire while the right Siege Breakers are fed some Sprites to keep them occupied (and available to be shot). The Diadem Herald is only able to waver the left Breaker’s Army Standard, meaning that despite taking 11 points of damage the central Breakers don’t go down. On the right, breath from the CLOFD + Sprites is unable to dent the other Breakers, and the Fire horde only wavers their Army Standard in combat.

The right Siege Breakers obliterate the last of the Sprites, securing a secondary objective, as the left Siege Breakers erase their Fire horde, securing another secondary objective. With no Turn 7, the Ankylodon contented himself with securing the primary objective and calling it a draw.

BLOODFIRE DRAW

All told three good games, and I’m always happy to go 50%. Mantic provided prizes for the top three, which included me! I walked away with a Forge Father Sturnhammer, which I’m actually very excited to use as an APC in Necromunda. Though that’s a topic for another batrep thread . . .