SCUTTLIN’ REALM 25: SALAMANDERS

Last game of the tournament and I’m up against Justin, a real gent who’s had the same mixed bag of games that I have. He’s rocking a pure Mantic army that I think was designed to proxy as different armies, but might just be made from various Mantic kits that were available to pull together into one reptilian facebreaker of an army. Without further ado:

Salamanders 2100
Tyrants Horde – Brew of Sharpness, Effigy of Fire
Tyrants Horde – Potion of the Caterpillar, Effigy of Fire
Tyrants Horde – Boots of Striding, Effigy of Fire
Rhinosaur Cavalry Regiment
Rhinosaur Cavalry Regiment
Ghekkotah Warriors Troop
Ghekkotah Warriors Troop
Greater Fire Elemental – Fireball (8)
Greater Fire Elemental – Fireball (8)

Rakawas, The Pale Rider
Mage-Priest – Sacred Horn, Surge (8), Veil of Shadows (3)
Artakl

As a player of a facebreaker Salamander army, I can respect it. Tyrants with fixer items, both thicc and true chaff, double oh-so-satisfying Me3+ GFEs and a Priest to shove them into flanks, and two baller living legends. Apparently he had brought Veil to deal with all the Elves and kin in the meta, but had had the good fortune of not playing any shooting army until my crabs. (For the record, Twilight and Sylvan Kin had quickly stormed up the tables and had been scrumming up there with Jason’s Nightstalkers in the mix.)

Final scenario is good ol’ Dominate, and he goes first probably because I made him. Justin is a smart player and I doubt he’d miss the opportunity to leave my shooting out to dry for a turn.

BATTLE: GAME 5

Battlelines! Artakl is that little green model way out on the right flank. I don’t have a strong answer to her but I figure the Eternal is a good fixer of problems?
Salamanders 1: The death blob slowly rolls forward, with his first cast of Veil of Shadows this tournament ironically failing on three dice 😐 Artakl stays out of the Eternal’s charge range and sticks 3 damage into the non-regenerating crab-person.
Trident 1: The crustacean crescent bows around the Sallies, with Kraken on either end threatening to jump on any flanks. The Eternal advances but keeps Artakl in his LOS at least for now. Heartpiercers stick 3 damage on the sharpness Tyrants in the middle and the right Rhinosaurs.
Salamanders 2: The reptilian deathstar rumbles forward, making a space for Rakawas at its core. Veil of Shadows fails a second time on three dice (!), and Artakl dodges the Eternal’s LOS and pops another damage on him.
Trident 2: I see the opportunity to either trap him behind his H4 Rhino chaff or kill them and keep the rest of the deathball in the front, so the Krakens are released into both Rhinosaur regiments. The right Rhinos are comboed by some Placoderms as well (hindered), and on the left I try to jam the Greater Fire Elemental from flanking the left Kraken. All the other crabs jockey for shots or relevance in later turns, including the Eternal who gives up on Artakl and just pushes back to the action.
Heartpiercers and the Centurion pound the sharpness Tyrants up to 9 damage. In combat, the right Kraken and Placos wreck their Rhinosaurs, but the left Kraken fluffs a single damage on his Rhinos. At least they’re in the way?
Salamanders 3: Despite packing nearly our entire armies into the dominate circle, a surprising amount of movement and counter-punch happens. First, a Ghekkotah troop gets out of the way by charging Heartpiercers peaking over the hill. Shortly after, Rakawas thunders into my Centurion posing on the hill, a GFE and pathfinder Tyrants hit the right Placoderms, and the surviving Rhinosaurs sidestep, making space for the other GFE to flank the left Kraken. Oof.
Kings of Hills: The Final Chapter
The Mage-Priest finally puts up Veil of Shadows! And Artakl blowdarts the Eternal up to 7 damage 😐

Once all the roaring of the combat phase dies down, the Placoderms are dead but otherwise the crabs hold tight. The flanking GFE does 9(?) damage to the left Kraken, Rakawas chomps a hearty 6 into the ensnaring Centurion, and the cheeky Ghekkos do 2 to the Heartpiercers and waver them. Well played, tiny garbage lizards.

Trident 3: Crabs pile on Rakawas, with Placoderms and Water Elementals joining the Centurion in his efforts to drop the rex. The right Kraken hits the pathfinder Tyrants, and after tons of thought the left Kraken front charges the wounded Rhinosaurs gambling on popping them and reforming. The Eternal threatens from the woods and the left Heartpiercers (and war-bow!) grab a bead on the sharpness Tyrants in the back.
Despite stealthy and cover, I manage to drop those sharpness Tyrants! And grudgingly put 1 damage on the right GFE, for lack of another target. In combat, the left Kraken does pop the Rhinosaurs, turning to face the GFE and strider Tyrants to his left, Rakawas goes up to 12 damage but holds firm, and the right Kraken does a meager 4 damage to the pathfinder Tyrants.
Salamanders 4: Crabs brace for the Sallies’ left hook, and boy is it a doozie. Strider Tyrants charge the left Kraken, with a Greater Fire surged into his flank. Rakawas counters the Water Elementals, with a Greater Fire comboing in the front. Pathfinder Tyrants counter the right Kraken, Ghekkos re-charge their Heartpiercers (off the hill!), and more Ghekkos take on the Eternal in the wood. Oh, and Artakl jumps on the bastion Envoy over by the right Kraken.
In combat, Rakawas and the GFE savage the Water Elemental horde, one rounding it and turning to face the tiny crabs surrounding them. The left Kraken likewise is burned down by the GFE hitting its flank a second time (the Tyrants helped, even on 5+ to hit), while the right Kraken lucky wavers on a mere 8 damage. The Ghekkos fighting Heartpiercers somehow waver them again (on 5 damage), while the Eternal takes no damage and somehow Artakl fails to wound the bastion Envoy. [I’m quite sure we forgot she has duellist – I certainly didn’t know that until reading the unit entry right now!]
Trident 4: Wheeew we be grinding, and I feel like I’m gradually losing the grind here, but I do have a lot of guns. Placoderms charge the left GFE to hopefully contain it, while three units of Heartpiercers point their harpoon guns at the titanic dinosaur on the hill. The Centurion jukes around the t-rex to silence the Mage-Priest, while the Eternal counter-charges his Ghekkos and the Kraken rapidly regenerates (down to 2 damage), enjoying bastion as well.
Rakawas is pincushioned up to snake eyes and blessedly expires. So effective is the Heartpiercer shooting that some extra damage is splashed on the Tyrants menacing the wavered Kraken, pushing them to 10 total. The Centurion is also able to spike 1 damage into the Mage-Priest, disordering her. In combat, the Placoderms and Eternal do token damage to the GFE (4) and Ghekkos (2) respectively.
Salamanders 5: Listen, Justin is real good with Greater Fire Elementals, ok? The Placo’s GFE joins the other in a combo-charge on Heartpiercers to the right, as strider Tyrants hit the left Heartpiercers, Ghekkos re-re-charge their Heartpiercers (off the hill again!), pathfinder Tyrants re-charge the Kraken with the Mage-Priest in the front and Artakl in the flank, and Ghekkos in the woods counter the Eternal.
The Greater Fire Elementals shatter their Heartpiercers, turning or overrunning to menace the little bit left of the Scuttlin’ Realm. Speaking of Heartpiercer death, that troop of Ghekkotah Warriors preposterously kill their Heartpiercer regiment this turn, also turning to face the besieged Placoderms; and the strider Tyrants pound 9 damage into the left Heartpiercers, somehow only wavering them. In the Kraken combat, the Tyrants push the giant crab up to 12 damage, and it wavers with the 13th damage from the Mage-Priest 👏 The Eternal takes no damage from his Ghekkos.
Trident 5: In yet another fight-for-your-life situation, the Placoderms charge off the hill into the flank of the strider Tyrants. They’ve got some help from the Centurion, who charges the GFE staring at their rear to block its charge options next turn. Also the Eternal counters those Ghekkos and the last functioning Heartpiercers prepare to end another badly mauled Tyrant unit. The Kraken, naturally, rapidly regenerates (back to 6).
Those Heartpiercers do end the pathfinder Tyrants, having done far more damage than the badly shook Kraken could. The Eternal also ends the annoying Ghekkos in the wood, turning to face the mayhem. And despite a very respectably 9 damage, the strider Tyrants hold, leaving the Placoderm’s rear out in the wind – tho the Centurion does chunk a couple damage into the GFE eyeing them.
Salamanders 6: We do a quick scenario check – I’ve got 9 US vs his 6, but he’s still got a few hammers left in his bag. Tyrants hit the left Heartpiercers, Ghekkos rear charge the Placoderms (technically off the hill!), and the right GFE charges the other Heartpiercers. The other GFE sidesteps and prepares for a 5-6″ surge into the Placoderm flank …
… which falls 1″ short, praise be to the gods of the deep! Artakl does however finish off the Eternal she started all those turns ago. In combat, the Tyrants likewise finish off their Heartpiercers, Those murderous Ghekkos, having gotten a taste of crab mean, do 6 damage (!) to the Placoderms, while to the right the GFE pounds 6 into the last of the Heartpiercers, wavering them.
Trident 6: It’s 6 US to 6 US, but I’ve got plenty to capitalize on. Placoderms charge the heavily damaged strider Tyrants, as the Kraken rips into the rear of a Greater Fire Elemental (on 3 damage). The Centurion prepares to disorder the Mage-Priest again.
Which he does, praise be to the trident (tho he could have charged her anyway :P) The Placoderms tear the strider Tyrants asunder, turning to face the Ghekkotah menace … and I guess the GFE as well because I can’t roll Nv tests to save my life this tournament. The Kraken mashes the towering fire monster to 12 damage (15-16 would have been average) but I can’t roll the 6 needed twice. But you know, it doesn’t matter because with 6 US to 3, this is a solid …
Salamanders 7: The left GFE front charges the Placoderms alongside the Ghekkotahs (off the hill again! which I forgot phalanx turns off), with Mage-Priest in the flank. The other GFE hits the Heartpiercers again (3 damage) with Artakl in the flank.
The sound of roasting crabs can be heard as both units crumble.
Trident 7: Well, it’s now 3 to 1 and I’m pushing for a draw. The Kraken scoots past the GFE into the Ghekkotahs while the Centurion prepares to finish it off.
Thankfully both likely events happen, leaving us with one scoring monster and a few individuals each, for a hard fought …

DRAW (10-10)

We came within 70 points on attrition as well, so just about a down the line draw. Which was a happy end to a smasher of a game – I gave Justin my bests sports, as he really was a gent and knew his rules super well (apart from Artakl’s duelist maybe). This was also a fine close to the tournament. Going 2-2-1 is absolutely cool in my book, playing a selection of armies is even better, with no repeats and just the one Elf. I did get dumpstered on paint yet again, which sucks when the army was a bear to paint and always gets such a good reception from other players, but I was given some pointers on adding pop to the army, which I’ve taken to heart and will be trying to do before the crabs roll out again … which might be sooner than you think 😉

I was pretty down on Trident Realm after the event, and had a good talk with another NE regular about the faction’s struggle to play the meta. As he put it, they’re a finesse army playing in a game that increasingly isn’t about finesse. Our hammers are the anvils of other armies, which totally checks out when you look at what Kraken are good at (spoiler: it isn’t really killing) and how my strongest hammer is a juiced up Water Elemental horde.

All the same, I enjoyed the bag of tools feel to the army, loved the Centurion with the trident, and continue to enjoy the scenario-minded shooting of the Heartpiercer regiments. Placoderms were fine, but they could really use anything else. Vicious would be great but I’d be happy with fury – I hear the Envoy has a fury aura?? Hmm …

Anyway, thanks for reading! I’ve got a couple more random facesmasher games to report on post-tournament, so stay tuned.

GAME 42: SALAMANDERS

Before the tournament began, I was joking with the other Sally player that we’d have to have a go sometime, but I assured him my money was on his meta build. Lo, as if summoned, it’s The Other Sallies in the final round.

BLOODFIRE GAME 42: SALAMANDERS

Salamanders 2350

Salamander Primes Horde – Brew of Strength
Ancients Regiment*
Ancients Regiment*
Ghekkotah Skyraiders Horde – Jar of the Four Winds
Ancients on Rhinosaurs Horde – Potion of the Caterpillar
Ancients on Rhinosaurs Horde
Agnih-Bhanu, Greater Fire Elemental
Lekelidon
Lekelidon
Clan Lord on Raptor – Banner of the Griffin*
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Critter’s Call (8), Heal (3), Shroud of the Saint
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Martyr’s Prayer (7), Bane Chant (2)
*Inspiration of the Ancients Formation

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Gentle readers, this is peak lizard performance. Given how poorly he did to face me in the middle-ish of the pack should also say how much trouble even this has – and he said as much, as a new player to KOW who picked the army he liked the look of but was feeling the low ceiling to the faction. All the same, real smart player who is far more practiced then me, so I knew my sleep-deprived generalship was going to hold me back even more than my derpy list. We played OG Loot, and Bloodfire went first again (4 of 5 games!)

Round 5 we played on The Glade of the Gryphicorn table.

BATTLE

Battlines! Real Talk: I can’t stop the Rhinosaurs, so my goal is to delay them as long as possible and try to punch the center out of the list, then grind the Rhinos and end the game with 2 tokens. No pressure.

Bloodfire 1: I control the right flank, so look to lock that down; sadly, my Jarraiders can’t waver a Lekelidon

Salamanders 1: His two Leklidons lucky waver my Jarraiders on the right; Rhinos envelop

Bloodfire 2: The Ancients at the center his line take significant abuse but hold (Clan Lord’s Rally(2) is real)

Salamanders 2: Wounded Ancients bounce off my Courage Fire Elementals, his Jarraiders + Agnih mangle the CLOFD, somebody hurts my Agnes, and the Clan Lord shoots into my Lekidon and wavers it

Bloodfire 3: Central Ancients die to Fire Elementals + Agnes, CLOFD is Martyr’d down and focuses the Prime horde, one of his Lekelidons is dropped by Jarraiders (two turns late)

Salamanders 3: Because I didn’t rotate my lower left Fire Elementals, they cop Rhinodons in the front and flank, evaporating and putting the Rhinos into me a turn ahead of schedule (I am totally screwed now); Primes tear apart the Courage Fire Elementals, the CLOFD is torn into by his Clan Lord, and Agnes begins to absorb fire from his Agnih + possibly Jarraiders

Bloodfire 4: My Lekidon + Fire Elementals charge into the Primes, CLOFD counters the Clan Lord, Agnes removes his Martyr Priest and the right is thoroughly chaffed up with Sprites breathing on the remaining Lekidon with poor results; my Jarraiders shove some damage on his other Priest

Bloodfire 4: The Primes hold on 13 damage

Salamanders 4: Rhinodons + Primes remove the blocking Lekidon, shooting brings the central Fire Elementals to 9 and Agnes to 11 and kills my Martyr-Priest, the Clan Lord smacks the CLOFD around and on the right his Ancients waver some Sprites

Bloodfire 5: My Jarraiders murder his other Mage-Priest, the CLOFD swings again at the Clan Lord, Agnes chunks 5 damage off his Agnih and the smoldering Fire Elementals swing into the Primes … for only 4 damage (17 total), which is enough to waver them

Salamanders 5: Rhinodons flank the CLOFD, Agnih evaporates the Fire Elementals, his Jarraiders roll hot fire and drop my Jarraiders, and his Clan Lord shoots the 1″ gap between Primes and Fire Elementals to charge and kill Agnes; also those Ancients killed their Sprites *golf claps* (Agnih has both of his tokens at this point)

Bloodfire 6: Fuuuuuuuuuu— The last of the Fire Elementals run over his Lekidon on their way outta here (with a token), as Sprites and characters scramble for safety

Salamanders 6: Clan Lord charges my Mage Priest, shots are lined up …

Salamanders 6: … and the Herald dies one last time, but Jarraiders can’t stop my scoring Fire Elementals and the De 5+ Priest holds

While I didn’t think I would win this one, I didn’t think it would be quite so crushing of a

BLOODFIRE LOSS

All the same, this was a stunningly fitting way to end the event, after slogging through four evil armies helmed by great dudes to play the other Salamander and have them hand me my fiery butt. Also note that this is the first and last time Bloodfire has played against Salamanders. So damn narrative it gives me chills.

I’m not sure what my final record was (2-1-2 or 1-2-2) but as always for me, all but my last games were quite close, which meant low scores either way. I ended up with 44/105 battle, although I’m sad to see I was tanked on painting, tying with a partially painted army for worst paint. That’s … really frustrating, however I guess all the more reason to move on from this army. People either get it or they don’t, and more often than not paint judges don’t (7 points here isn’t as bad as what I got at Unplugged 2017!) Crunching the numbers, it wouldn’t have changed my placing much either way, still putting me in the bottom third.

Anyhoo, that’s Orc Town GT done and finally dusted! Good time in a far away ocean-side land, and officially the end of the road for Bloodfire. I’ll do a retrospective when I get the chance to take some lightbox photos of the army, but I won’t be playing them for a while, or if I do it’s mostly to mess around with KOW 3E when somebody needs a loaner army.