In the run-up to the US Masters this weekend (spoiler: Go Herd!!), a bunch of the Northeast crew got together to dojo some games out before heading to Texas. My fledgling Verdant Herd got tossed into this pressure cooker as a matter of course 😀 I only had time for one game, and ended up playing Corey Reynolds’ Ratkin. Fun Fact: The last time I faced Corey was on the top table in a WHFB GT in Philly where I was playing Skaven and he was playing Wood Elves. He thoroughly outplayed me, but he isn’t called Mr. 300 for nothing. A note on this game, I didn’t take a ton of photos, as I was more keen to hang out and knew I’d be getting smashed to bits regardless 😐
I knew I would need something a little heavier going into this den of masters, so I trotted out the Wiltfather and a second support Druid. I don’t personally love running Wiltdaddy – honestly his vicious aura is the hardest thing for me to say no to – due to his cost and his popularity, but I figured I should see how hard he can carry.
Wheeeeew, it’s a strong list, ok? And fairly 3E all told: fewer bodies, more speed, more shooting, more mobile scoring. He ended up taking a version to Masters that swapped Cryza’s bane chant to a Lute on the other Brood Mother, as the vanilla mom tended to take a more supportive role, etc.
We rolled up Dominate, which initially seemed to favor me (US 26 vs 19) but probably was a benefit for him, as he can direct the hammers and shooting and scoring to the same place. Herd also won priority and took it.
Rats 4: One MRF flanks the winged Shamblers, along with Shock Troops to the front, ending their reign of terror. The other MRF rears the regular Herder, but fluffs and it lives! And the other Forest Shamblers are shot off the table.
It was cool to play Corey again after so long (he tends to run events, not play in them), and good to face Ratkin, something I’ve very rarely done, despite playing them myself. The game had a couple cool moments, like the 10″ surge and Forest Warden on a tear, but again I felt doubly outclassed. Oh, and it was cool to have the Wiltfather go so hard, tho as we see, one model doesn’t a domination make.
That’s my gaming backlog, hope to get a couple more games in soon! Til then!
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!
There’s a magical thing that happens at most tournaments for me, where I’ll chat a person up a whole lot on Day 1, typically about how much I like their army’s models or because it does something cool or whatever, and then get to play them on Day 2. Enter the rat army made entirely out of metal Skaven …
BLOODFIRE GAME 41: RATKIN
Tunnel Slaves Regiment
Tunnel Slaves Regiment
Tunnel Slaves Regiment
Tunnel Slaves Horde
Shock Troops Horde
Shock Troops Horde
Tunnel Runners Horde*
Tunnel Runners Horde*
Weapon Team – Storm of Lead
Weapon Team – Storm of Lead
Weapon Team – Storm of Lead
*Turbo Runners Formation
First game of Orc Town Day 2 was against a great Canadian dude with a legit horde of rats – and yep, no inspiring at all. Whoa. I think we played Ransack, but spoilers, it’s all going to come down to the middle three-point objective. Bloodfire grabbed the initiative again.
Round 4 we played on … a table I forgot to take a photo of and then lost the photo of when I went back. Ah well.
Battlines! Worth noting that his horde order (L2R) is blight, blight, shock (behind blight), shock, slaves (behind stormies), as his blight are nightmares for me (ensnare is horrific for 4+ Me, and my CS2+ means nothing)
Bloodfire 1: *squishing sounds* Red markers are 2 points, green are 1, blue is 3 (I think)
Ratkin 1: His Clawshots all hammered Agnes whenever possible, with this 5 damage opening salvo giving me some fear for her safety!
Bloodfire 2: Lots of fire loiters in that field, ready to grind for the center; Agnes and Sprites start breathing on the right Shock Troops as combat approaches (Agnes gets Martyred up and will continue to be so all game long); Jarraiders and Lekelidon shooting goes into uninspired Weapon Teams with medicore results o_o
Ratkin 2: Sprite death, Night Terrors outflank, Agnes gets shot
Bloodfire 3: Lekelidon shoots + delays, Fire Elementals brace for the Blight grind, right Shock Troops die to I think combat not shooting; two Weapon Teams eat it
Ratkin 3: Lekelidon is mobbed by double Blight hordes, Agnes is pushed to 10 damage but big girl don’t care (-/20!)
Ratkin 3: Blight reform thusly, as the rat general laments some of his Shock Troop / Blight layering, as the Shock are left out of the action
Bloodfire 4: The only way I can deal with Blight to the front is overwhelming force, so two Fire Elemental hordes it is (it doesn’t work); Slaves also hold against Fire Elementals + commando Sprites; Agnes nukes the last Weapon Team as the CLOFD + Jarraiders slam the Shock Troops – you’ll notice Agnes was healed for 6 but the Martyr-Priest didn’t take any, that die appears later when I caught the mistake (she was never targeted anyway)
Ratkin 4: Shock Troops and Blight combo a Fire horde, leveling it; Sprites are also merc’d by Slaves :'[
Ratkin 4: Thick brown line with Runners idling behind it!
Bloodfire 5: Fire Elementals end the Blight and the Shock Troops, the latter with Agnes’ help, while the CLOFD + Jarraiders burn down the Slave horde
Ratkin 5: Tunnel Runners hinder-charge into Agnes (and bounce), Slave regiments start to stream down the field (including booping some Fire Elementals for 1 damage), Blight tear into the central Fire Elementals, left Night Terror finally starts making a play for the left objective
Bloodfire 6: Fire Elementals burn into the Blight (and get Martyred down), Agnes + the backline Fire Elementals break the Tunnel Runners, other Fire Elementals smoke the Slave regiment, CLOFD cooks the Night Terror lurking on the right flank, the Jarraiders grab 2 VP and tickle some Tunnel Runners, annnd the left Ember Sprites shoot and waver the left Night Terror (!)
Ratkin 6: It’s in the rats’ paws now, and the only moves that matter are Slaves grabbing 2 VP and the second Tunnel Runners + Blight combo-ing the Nv -/19 Fire Elementals
Ratkin 6: The Fire Elementals crumble on 15 damage, snatching victory from a game that felt firmly in the Salamanders’ claws
Awesome grind of a game against a very cool army and great opponent. Look forward to seeing him at upcoming events!
Anyhoo, second round is Ray and his rats, an army I play myself but have rarely faced. There were four rat armies at this tournament, and all of them ended up on the top five tables come round five, if that says anything.
BLOODFIRE GAME 27: RATKIN
Shock Troops Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Shock Troops Horde – Brew of Strength
Shock Troops Horde – Potion of the Caterpillar
Enforcer on Fleabag* – Blade of Slashing
Enforcer on Fleabag
Warlock – Bane-chant (3)
Warlock – Bane-chant (3)
Demonspawn – Fly & Speed 10
*Lab Rats Formation
Im not going to say its the best Ratkin list, simply because you can play the army pretty differently and still do great (note the suspicious lack of Death Engines and Weapon Teams here), but its got a smart formation and triples down on what may be the best line unit in the game. Plus lots and lots of bodies for the scenario
Second round was Pillage, a scenario my army is not good at, which is a fact I probably over-focused on going into this game. Rolling maximum counters (7), against a horde army piloted by a very competent player (I heard Ray is the highest ranked player in the Mid-Atlantic currently?), meant I was pretty much resigned to my fate. Ratkin won initiative as well and took it.
Rats roll out, with the Warrior horde going far left to claim one of two tokens (just barely too far apart to claim them both). The +1 to hit Shock Troops are on the left, the +1 CS ones are mid, the pathfinding ones leaving the forest on the right, and the Blight are the rightmost horde. Rat shooting lightnings an Ember Sprite reg off the field, because Ray was more concerned about them than most of the army
Bloodfire shambles forward, but the cagey rats are all out of breath range and theres nothing to heal.
The Ratkin maintain the standoff, except for the Warrior regiments, goaded into bait range, and the Enforcer, who charges the right Sprites and disorders them. The remaining central Sprites are lit up with lightning and wavered.
Given something to destroy, Bloodfire obliges. On the left, Sprites + Clan Lord breath on the left Warriors for 5 damage (but no waver), while Agnes + Diadem horde + both Mage-Priests incinerate the other, obviously bait Warriors. I advance my own, less obvious bait Fire horde in the center, and on the right the Enforcer is shredded by a combo-charge from the Sprites + Fire horde, with the Sprites advancing 6 and the Fire horde backing up 2-3. Things should get spicy next turn
and indeed they do! Blight charge and wreck the right Sprites, as the other Enforcer charges and disorders the inspiring, surge Mage-Priest nearby. The Fire horde perched on the hill/obstacle get jammed by some Vermintide (ensuring theyll be hindered next turn), and the leftmost Sprites are flanked and removed by the surviving Warriors (who regenerate 2 wounds). The wavered Sprites blocking a Fire horde is wavered again thanks to lightning and poor rout dice, and its on to the main event: Can a bane-chanted Shock Troop horde flip over a -/18 Fire Elemental horde in a front charge? Math says its close (~11 damage + rerolled 7 rout)!
12 wounds and some solid routs later, the Fire Elementals are no more Q_Q
As we start this turn, I comment that despite getting rocked I have a surprising amount of Fire Elemental left, so maybe I can still fight it out? Ray gives me a quizzical look and I shrug and declare some charges: On the right, one Fire horde charges the Blight and another hits the Enforcer in the flank. After smashing the Enforcer, that horde overruns into the Blight and both Fire hordes go to work. Ensnare is a bear but they manage to put 11 wounds on the horde, which isnt enough for anything but itll do in a grind.
In the center, Agnes is forced to go it alone against the Shock Troops, as her backup Fire horde is stuck behind wavered Sprites. In retrospect it might have worked better to pound the Shock Troops with Agnes laser + 20 Mage-Priest fireballs, and let the rats do the charging. As it was, Agnes smashed 4 damage into the horde and they cared not.
On the left, the Fire horde scattered the Vermintide, despite hindering, and the CLOFD backed up a bit and roasted the Warriors again (5 damage total and wavered).
Ratkin 4 and its all out aggression now. The Fire horde on the hill take a charge from the CS 2 Shock Troops (hindered), Agnes (-/20) facetanks CS1 Shock Troops + the Demonspawn, and the Blight counter-charge the Diadem horde. Even with bane-chant on them, math says they 7.5 wounds and get melted in my next turn
15 insane wounds later, that Fire horde is dead, as are the hill Fire Elementals as well as Agnes. All his dice were amazing this game, but the Blights were the spikiest by far, pretty much eliminating my ability to grind.
Its basically over, but theres attrition to be had. Also vengeance. The surviving Fire hordes go into Shock Troops and Blight respectively, while the CLOFD and Ember Sprites scoot around and bake 10 wounds into the CS2 Shock Troops. The Fire horde punching Shock Troops does a statistically low 6 damage while those fighting Blight do a statistically expected 5 damage. No rat cares.
Ratkin 5 means more murdering.
The CS2 Shock Troops devour the last of the Sprites, the central Shock Troops rip 12 wounds into their Fire horde but dont roll the 6 to rout, and the Demonspawn + (bane-chanted) Blight zero-to-rout the other Fire horde.
Bloodfire 5 and weve got a lot of 12 damage to slop around. One Mage-Priest fireballs the Blight off the table while the other tags 5 damage into the Demonspawn, and the CLOFD hammers 6 more damage into the CS2 Shock Troops as he prepares to meet his fate. The last of the Fire Elementals pounds another ~6 damage into the pathfinding Shock Troops but cant get lucky.
In Ratkin 6, the CS2 Shock Troops + Demonspawn zero-to-rout the CLOFD and the central Shock Troops finish off the final Fire horde. A Mage-Priest gets tickled by lightning as well.
In a final FU, the inspiring Mage-Priest hammers the pathfinder Shock Troops with fireballs, sending them packing, while her understudy Martyrs Prayers her clean because reasons. The Herald scooches her pot out of LOS of things in case Turn 7 happens. Blessedly it does not.
This was a game I was never going to win, especially once we rolled maximum counters, and especially with how his dice were. I needed some things to work out for me to grind things out, but I never caught a break. Ah well.