THE HALLOW GAME 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 GAME 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 GAME 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 . . .