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:
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!
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.
At this point opined about how rough this match up is for my army, and wondered if I’d ever beat Ogres with #slowherd …
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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 …
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!
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.
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!
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 …
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.
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 😛
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.
Or rather, they arrived a while ago, but haven’t been batrepped for unknown reasons … Bloodfire is still on hiatus while I explore fresher avenues, however I wanted to give some coverage to my current army, plus those that come after this one, and this seems like a decent, agnostic place to do it.
So welcome to the new, expanded, ad-free blood-fire.com!
Late September 2019, I finished up a new crab-themed Trident Realm army, just a couple days before the Crossroads GT (which was a 2250 point KOW 2E team event). I played a practice game the night before against a team mate, crushing his new Nightstalkers with the fury of a bunch of crustaceans (GAME 1: NIGHTSTALKERS). And with practice out of the way – I had literally never played the army before! – we got a few hours sleep and headed into the event. The list I took for that first outing:
As captain of Team Cuddle Time II, I was vaguely in charge of working out which armies would go up against each other and/or what scenarios they would play, so I had some control over who and what my crabs faced. My goal for the team was to put myself into harder armies but ideally with better scenarios for my Trident … which was total conjecture since I didn’t really know what they could do! Here’s the briefest of recaps:
GAME 2: ELVES
Couldn’t tell you what the mission was or how things broke down, but holy hell I won! Biggest revelation was that massed heartpiercers are really good at killing big monsters, as his dragon was deleted in a couple turns as it tried to harry my flanks and rear.
GAME 3: KINGDOMS OF MEN
Knight-heavy (like 2x hordes + regiments + flying heroes) men largely controlled this game, however through the magic of ensnare + hindering the crabs were able to bog down his momentum and smash their way to an inconceivable draw.
GAME 4: BASILEANS
Another fast army, this time 2x Elohi, 2x Uh-Elohi, 1-2x Knights, token foot troops, Gnaeus Sallustis annnnnd the mega-dragon (who is now just the normal dragon). I should have gotten wrecked, however he was extremely caught up in the dance a Kraken and his dragon were having in some woods, where I kept turning or stepping into and out of wood templates and he had to keep over-analyzing LOS and what was going on over there, all while taking continual Heartpiercer damage. Preposterously I won this one too!
GAME 5: UNDEAD
Dawn of Day 2, and while Team Cuddle Time II wasn’t doing stellar (our Varangur player was getting paired up against very hard armies, and pretty consistently getting smashed for his troubles), my Trident Realm was on a real tear! Up against Undead next, a rather standard 2E affair with some hordes, some knights, some wraith troops, some barrow wights, a dragon, etc. Lowlight was a Kraken getting trapped by Wraiths and dismantled – one troop to the front, then more to the flank, then another to the rear! But otherwise the dragon was shot down and the punchy crabs punched hard, with a somewhat lucky Gigas + Gigas + Eternal charge into a fresh horde that helped me roll his flank up and maul through the rest of the Undead line. Another win!
GAME 6: UNDEAD
Final round of the tournament, and another Undead grinder for me. Main difference here is the abundance of zombies and zombie trolls. I was in control of this game early on, thanks to shooting, but I still remember how, instead of waiting for Turn 3 to engage, when the zombie trolls had been shot off, I jumped the guns and sent the Kraken all in Turn 2, which got most of them killed – including one to multiple wraith troop charges, again. Once the big hammers were down, I scrabbled as best I could but was overrun, earning the armies first loss.
All told, it was a pretty heartening first six games with the scuttlers! Really quite unexpected … although a bit tarnished as the 3E changes for Trident Realm had been previewed the day before the event, and it was clear that almost all the units I was using were going to lose their COK19 bumps. I had a feeling 3E was about to get bumpy for my new army.
Some KOW-less weeks later, the new edition hit, confirming some particularly distressing developments:
Heartpiercers became irregular, making my 2E list illegal and ensuring I will always hurt for unlocks
Heartpiercers lost ensnare, pathfinder and 2 attaks, for the benefit of steady aim, which gutted the reason I based an army around these little, mobile tarpits happy to grab a 24 attak flank when able
Gigas went up to a larger base, making them unwieldy but more importantly meaning I had to paint more of them and rebase the unit (they also lost 1 CS but gained 1 Def and kept their King Crabs Sp, so meh; the added nimble has yet to matter for me)
Kraken lost 3 attaks, severely hurting their abilities as hammers, ironically at the same time as they gained +D3″ charge range
At first I added a Wyrmrider horde for a third hero unlock, but man they suck now. In my first 3E game I lost against Ogres (GAME 7: OGRES):
Then over Wintermas I leant my brother my Ratkin, who brutally beat me at dominate (GAME 8: RATKIN), but then the next day I narrowly squeaked out a win in raze (GAME 9: RATKIN):
With a 3E win under my belt at last, I took on my clubmate’s Abyssals (GAME 10: FORCES OF THE ABYSS), losing again but at least keeping it close:
Meanwhile, my buddy had finally relented to my arm twisting, picked up a load of Mantic minis and smashed through a Northern Alliance army in record time. In short order he hit 2300 points and found himself facing crabs every other week or so. While I won the first match (GAME 11: NORTHERN ALLIANCE), and his first game of full size Kings –
– Trident’s pillowy fists would come up to haunt me, as I lost both of the next two games (GAME 12: NORTHERN ALLIANCE & GAME 13: NORTHERN ALLIANCE). Including this gem:
Aye, that’s a Kraken (with 2 loot tokens) being flanked by Huscarls (with 2 loot tokens) and Half-Elf Berserkers. While the Kraken is in that predicament because I rolled double ones, the North did not repay the favor 😥 Nor did I ever get those 4 loot tokens away from the Huscarls.
Which brings us up to last week! February 22-23 was the US Masters here in New York, and there was a side GT called the Best of the Rest for, well, the rest of us who wanted to scrum and soak up that Masters vibe. I took my freshly reduxed crabs with me and ended up taking a lot of photos with the intent to blog. So strap in, tournament report inbound!
Side Note: Since I’m covering reports for different armies on this blog now, you’ll be able to use the new Category feature >> to more easily select which army you want to follow. Though I do tend to avoid bouncing between armies, it could happen!
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
Siege Breakers Horde – Cat Potion
Siege Breakers Horde
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Army Standard – Banner of the Griffin
Third round was Occupy, with Sallies once more going first! Shamble army says yes please! (Admittedly going first wasnt the best idea in 2/3 of these matchups, but as they all involved moving I was happy to oblige.)
Deployment is central-right, with the left objective ignored. I thought about sending some Sprites to grab it late game, but decided Id 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 hed do with his Scouts on the right.
The flesh wall trundles forward. Boomers chunk into the central Sprites, wavering both units and stalling the fires 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 CLOFDs 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 cant 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 dont 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. Its Turn 5, with just two Siege Breaker hordes and two Army Standards left up against a lot more red than Im used to. Clearly I didnt 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, hes 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 Breakers Army Standard, meaning that despite taking 11 points of damage the central Breakers dont 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.
All told three good games, and Im always happy to go 50%. Mantic provided prizes for the top three, which included me! I walked away with a Forge Father Sturnhammer, which Im actually very excited to use as an APC in Necromunda. Though thats a topic for another batrep thread . . .