GAME 35: FORCES OF NATURE

Team Cuddle Time finally slumps its way to the final round, beaten and bruised but still kicking. Team MERC greets us with open arms and one last fist to the gut. I end up paired vs a Nature player who I’’ve played three times now at each GT Bloodfire has gone to. In that time he’s learned a lot about target prioritization, scenario play, and so on, and his list is much more tuned now than it was a mostly Wood Elves legacy force.

And let’s admit it, I just wanted to put Fire up against Water ;D

CROSSROADS GAME 5: TEAM MERC

– Forces of Nature vs Salamanders
– The Herd vs Orcs
– Ratkin vs Night-Stalkers
– Orcs vs Ogres

BLOODFIRE GAME 35: FORCES OF NATURE

Forces of Nature 2250

Salamanders Horde – Scrying Gem
Water Elemental Horde
Water Elemental Horde
Water Elemental Horde
Winged Unicorn – Heal (7), Lightning Bolt (5), Bane Chant (2)
Winged Unicorn – Heal (7), Lightning Bolt (5), Bane Chant (2)
The Green Lady – Heal (8)
Beast of Nature – Lightning Bolt (6), Fly + Sp 7, Vicious + At 7
Beast of Nature – Lightning Bolt (6), Fly + Sp 7, Vicious + At 7
Beast of Nature – Lightning Bolt (6), Fly + Sp 7, Vicious + At 7

Yep, spammy min/max Nature, but I can’t fault him. I can fault Mantic for not nerfing Beasts yet (COK19 plz!), there’s something wrong about a unit that can literally do anything it wants and is always fielded in pairs or trios. I have fought a lot of Beasts, and I guess my suggestion would be -1 De if you select lightning (ala the shooty Death Engine) or flatout only being able to select two upgrades. Flying laser turret? Awesome, you don’t get to flank the living hell out of things too. Rampaging combat missile? Fantastic, you don’t get to also have amazing shooting on demand. Plodding laser turret looking for late game beatdowns? I love it, but you’re not gonna see that until flying is really nerfed.

Anyway, fifth round ended up Control, which is rough against those flying US1 shooting things. I think I chose to go first, out of a burning desire to get shot less and get into his zone at some point.

BATTLE

The Bloodfire rolls out over hill and dale!

Nature virtually doesn’t move, content to gather the lightning and let the fire come. Lasers blast away the rightmost Ember Sprites and singe the central regiment.

The red tide flows forward, with the charred Sprites enjoying a martyr’s prayer and tossing some chip damage on the central Water Elementals. Meanwhile a misdeployed Fire Elemental horde surges across the backfield to be relevant later.

Nature again barely moves at all, with just the Beasts working some angles. The Green Lady knows what the Bloodfire wants, and that her troops outrange them in both combat and shooting. With a contemptuous flick of her wrist, the Lady has her pets direct all their lightning at the towering Fire Drake on the hill. He explodes in a shower of molten gore!

Gritting her teeth, the Herald of the Bloodfire has her charges force the issue, moving into charge range across the line. Ember Sprites vomit on the central Water Elementals or secure the field for the late game score.

Suddenly released, two of the Water hordes crash into one Fire horde, as the pack of Beasts hop the Salamanders and enter the danger zone.

Lightning pounds into the Fire horde on the left flank, but 5 damage isn’’t enough to stop their advance. In combat the Water hordes pummel 10 damage into the Fire Elementals however they retain their forms.

Already in Turn 4, Bloodfire can finally strike back, but will it be enough? The flanking Fire horde makes it into its watery counterpart (and is prayed down to 1 damage and bane-chanted as this is a tough ask of them), with Sprites providing flanking support (lulz). One of the central Water hordes is hit in flank and front by Fire hordes, while the courageous Fire Elementals tackle the other Water horde.

Bloodfire dice roll cold and all of the Nature targets stand. Agnes speared some damage onto a Beast but likewise to no great effect. This is especially disheartening knowing the level of regen and heal available to the enemy . . .

The Forces of Nature properly tighten the noose with a bevy of charges: Water + 2 flanking Beasts into the leftmost Fire horde (!), Unicorn into their Sprites’ flank, Water hordes into the undamaged central Fire hordes.

The Beasts smash apart the flanking Fire Elementals and the Unicorn scatters the Sprites (*golf clap*), however the center holds better than expected, including the damaged Fire horde holding despite the lightning barrage of the central Beast. Unfortunately a lot of damage is pulled off of the previously damaged Water horde.

Bloodfire 5 is as violent as ever, with the grind continuing in board center and an overwhelming amount of firepower aimed at the undamaged Beast on the left . . .

That Beast is decimated with extreme prejudice by Agnes’ death ray and 20 elite fireballs, followed by both central Water hordes being boiled off. There’s a whole hell of lightning still on the board, but fakk if that didn’’t feel good.

The Green Lady sends her horde of Salamanders into the courageous Fire horde, as the Unicorns swoop into the flank of a smoldering Fire horde (*double golf clap*) and Beasts prepare to exorcise the mangled Fire Elementals.

It’s super effective! Or at least the Unicorn hooves and Beast lightning is. The Sallies bounce.

Bloodfire Turn 6 feels like the redementals are well out of this one, yet there’s violence to be had. Agnes and the tall Priest cook a Unicorn for reasons and the Fire Elementals bash 10 damage into the Salamanders.

The winged elements of the Forces of Nature scatter to their designated scoring zones as the Salamanders bounce off the fresh Fire Elementals. With no Turn 7 it’’s a solid . . .

BLOODFIRE LOSS

It was cool to go up against this player again and see how far his skills have come, and also pretty neat to have an Elemental Off, and in fact a Reaper-minis-painted-basically-one-color-on-tan-bases off XD


RED VS BLUE

I do think Beasts of Nature are OP and really unpleasant to play against, and I sort of wish Nature armies weren’’t so often this min/maxed affair were you just take the best things, and multiples of them if they shoot lightning. But then again I’’ve also played against non-min/maxed fluffy Nature and consistently torn them to shreds, so who knows. Maybe the Beast is just the crutch of the army? And one you gradually work out? Again ala Death Engines for rats.

Anyway, while I don’t know the final standings for Crossroads 2018 I’m sure Cuddle Time was quite far down there, given our in-game performance at the very least. All the same, it continues to be a great event with great players and I’m happy I could make this year. It sounds like next year is teams again, which I’m grudgingly ok with – I totally prefer the simplicity of single player tournaments and the clarity of how matchups are done, but the increased camaraderie of team tournaments is fun, and I enjoyed making swag for our team (CUDDLE TIME t-shirts, DTC wristbands, cutesy display boards).

GAME 34: LEAGUE OF RHORDIA

After taking another full house of losses, Cuddle Time came up against another incestual team made up of the rest of our club and Unplugged’s (and named after one of our clubmates). Pairing into double Varangur was rough, especially as they put up both at once! So a couple dudes got tossed under the eevil Viking steamroller while I played one of my favorite guys and his fabulously painted Rhordia, which has been transitioning towards Halflings and away from its Empire roots for a couple years now.

CROSSROADS GAME 4: TEAM JOHN HOLST HAS A POSSE

– League of Rhordia vs Salamanders
– Varangur vs Night-Stalkers
– Abyssal Dwarfs vs Ogres
– Varangur vs Orcs

BLOODFIRE GAME 34: LEAGUE OF RHORDIA

League of Rhordia 2250

Halfling Braves Regiment – War Bow
Halfling Scouts Troop
Halfling Scouts Troop
Crossbow Regiment
Household Knights Regiment – Cat Potion
Household Knights Regiment – Mace of Crushing
Halfling Ranger Cavalry Troop
Honor Guard Horde – Brew of Haste
Halfling Volley Gun
Halfling Iron Beast
Duke on Horse – Diadem of Dragonkind
Duke on Horse – Hand Grenades
Duke on Ancient Winged Aralez – Heal (4), Blade of Slashing
Wizard on Horse – Fireball (6), Lightning Bolt (3), Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman
Halfling Master Sergeant – Banner of the Griffin, Bow

Beautiful army with a lot of neat stuff going on. Not built to tear faces off but loads of tools, which I respect.

I send us into Dominate yet again, because Bloodfire? Pretty sure he made me go first, for plenty of good reasons.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

Bloodfire slops forward, burning through the forest sheltering it.

Rhordia rolls out, with small arms fire raining into the Ember Sprites and wavering the ones to the right and left of the tower. The Volley Gun realized it should have scooted up to the wall messing with its LOS but deigned to do so retroactively.

More ebbing from the red tide, with the wavered Sprites gumming things up a little bit. The little Mage-Priest prays the wounds off the Sprites to the left of the tower, and the leftmost Sprites start chipping at the Iron Beast.

Rhordia’s fierce war against short things continues, with minimal movement but lots of aggression directed towards Ember Sprites. The Duke on Aralez scatters the Sprites to the right of the tower while those to the left are shot down, the central Sprites are wavered and the leftmost regiment simply mangled a bit.

Bloodfire’s response is limited but, well, incandescent. The line moves up as much as the wavered Sprites allow, preparing as best as possible for the Aralez lurking on the right flank. The little Priest pulls the wound off of the leading Fire Elemental horde, but the real player to watch this turn is Agnes toeing into the central wood. After taking the usual token damage from the Ember Sprites, the Honor Guard are rocked by a full power death ray, taking something like 10 damage from Agnes! The rout check goes well and the Rhordian chocobo hammer is one-rounded. Damn.


Fweeeeeem!

With a collective intake of breath, the Rhordian line backs up from the legendary fire elemental. Shooting strafes the front of the Bloodfire line, dropping the central Sprites, wounding the leading Fire horde and the last of the chaff.

Turn 4 means we stoke the fires and get aggressive. The wounded Fire horde launches out of the red crescent, intent to do some damage to the Iron Beast and bring the enemy into range of the rest of the inferno. The surviving Sprites block at least some of their flank (or something), the little Priest prays them down to 2 damage and the tall Priest heals the little Priest to 4. Agnes cooks some damage into the Knights on the left flank (who I’m pretty sure did not have pathfinder, despite the woods they’re headed into), followed by the central Fire Elementals doing a pretty terrible job of hurting the Iron Beast. Ah well.

The Duke orders a charge from the back of his Aralez, sending Rhordia’s finest crashing into both ends of the wall of living fire, including daring flank charges by Halfling infantry (https://imgur.com/Hhfj8Mk).

Damage splashes across the Bloodfire battleline, but shockingly only the last of the Ember Sprites are routed (and presumably eaten by Halfling Scouts ). Yes, the Aralez flubbed its flank charge pretty badly (I’m told they do that? Tis a weird beastie), and the triple-charged Fire horde was snake eyes’d!

Bloodfire retaliation is brutal, if somewhat intentionally short-sighted (more on that later): Agnes counters her knights, the Fire Elementals to the right take on their blocking Duke, the smoldering Fire horde and the courageous horde double-charge the other knights, the next Fire horde tackles the Volley Gun that finally set up on the wall and the final horde counters the Aralez (with the help of bane chant from the tall Priest). The CLOFD vomit-cannons the Duke near the Volley Gun, wavering him, and the little Priest pulls a tight 6 damage off of Agnes.

After a lot of pummeling, the Aralez is mangled, the Volley Gun is dead, the central Knights are embarrassingly fine (some very sad rolling), the blocking Duke is wavered, but Agnes steals the show again by hammering her Knights into molten scrap with ~8 damage off of 9 attaks. Sweet hell’s teeth, girlfriend!

It’s Rhordia Turn 5 and things are a bit of a mess, but the Halflings are in command more than it may seem. Wavered Dukes scoot around backwards as another round of mass charges is declared: Aralez + flanking Halfling Cav into the right Fire horde, surviving Knights into the courageous Fire horde, Iron Beast + flanking Halfling Braves back into the rapidly-dissipating Fire horde, and the true heroes, Halfling Scouts into Agnes.

On the whole, things don’t go super great damage-wise, but that’s almost not the point this late in the game. All the Fire hordes stick around and Agnes is not disrupted.

Turn 6, Bloodfire is light on options so chooses violence, knowing that this is going to come down to a Turn 7 roll off. The right Fire horde counters the Aralez, the obstacle-riding Fire horde hits the blocking Duke (with no angle for overrun), the CLOFD + courageous Fire horde take on the central Knights, the central Fire horde hits another blocking Duke, and Agnes deigns to charge the Halflings, preferring to shoot them [Mistake? Because of their stealthy, math suggests she does more in combat, as well as I guess disordering them if that mattered]. The little Priest pulled the 3 damage off the central Fire horde, knowing their Target #1 for scoring the zone. Tall Priest bane changed the Fire Elementals fighting the Aralez.

With the exception of Agnes, who couldn’t laser off some Halflings despite obliterating multiple heavy knight units this game, things go well: the Aralez is roasted, the Knights are baked and one of two Dukes is dispatched (the important one in the center). I possibly made another mistake here, as I didn’t even try to overrun into the Braves, which would have been a significant swing in unit strength and not preposterously far away. Although a failed overrun would have left the horde flanked by the Iron Beast and out of a Turn 7 contest.

Rhordia mobilizes for the center, double-charging the central Fire Elementals with those accursed Braves + Iron Beast.

Shooting drops the courageous Fire horde, but combat can’t put paid to the Bloodfire units in the dominate zone . . .

. . . but they’re not enough to overcome the swarm of Halflings! However, Sallies are well-placed for a Turn 7 sweep, if only the turn die had been as well. So that’s a . . .

BLOODFIRE LOSS

This was a great game that I felt shifted firmly into my hands with that snake eyes and then fell out again when I lost all that momentum the next turn with the combo-charge into the Knights flubbing. All the same, Peyton is one of my favorite opponents, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love every second of Agnes being a gods damned legend.

PS: Here’s a better shot of the Aralez ‘Dirty Birdy’ (https://imgur.com/odzvXlu) and some adorable Halflings riding goats (https://imgur.com/PlhnKpF). Bless.

Up Next: MERC

GAME 33: ABYSSAL DWARFS

Coming off that big win we were up against one of our sister club’s teams, which included our club’s fearless leader by a cruel twist of fate! We were probably going to get creamed again but at least it would be at the hands of great gents with pretty armies.

CROSSROADS GAME 3: TEAM UNPLUGGED RADIO

– Abyssal Dwarfs vs Salamanders
– Night Stalkers vs Night Stalkers (YESSSSSS)
– League of Rhordia vs Orcs
– Forces of the Abyss vs Ogres

BLOODFIRE GAME 33: ABYSSAL DWARFS

Abyssal Dwarfs 2250

Blacksouls Horde – Brew of Strength
Decimators Regiment*
Decimators Regiment*
Slave Orcs Horde
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Abyssal Halfbreeds Regiment – Dwarven Ale
Abyssal Grotesques Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Dragon Fire-Team
Angkor Heavy Mortar
Angkor Heavy Mortar
Angkor Heavy Mortar
Overmaster* – Wings of Honeymaze
Slavedriver – Lute of Insatiable Darkness
Ba’su’su the Vile
*Heralds of the Black Flame Formation

I put myself against Abyssal Dwarfs because a) this dude is the last of the Unplugged Gamers I haven’t played; and b) I rarely face AD and we more or less do similar things, so should be a proper grind. Also I made the Night Stalkers face each other because I could ;D

We ended up playing Eliminate. Abyssal Dwarfs took the initiative.

BATTLE

Battlelines!

Turn 3 as our flanks swirl into each other. His fast wing is pretty gummed up behind stuff, including Gargoyles that refuse to die, while my heavy right flank has little to do until it crashes into his hordes and obliterates them. Along the way I scoop up a token and he grabs one of mine and sits on the middle, currently giving him the win.

Here’s the setup as we go into my Turn 6. The Grotesques in the middle have a token and are sitting on the central objective, however Agnes is my only real active piece since my last Fire Elementals are blocked by individuals. But Agnes is one hell of a piece, and my Mage-Priests are unengaged and ready to rock as well.

As the hordes pummel the individuals, the girls descend on the Grots. Fireballs are nice and all, but it’s Agnes’ death ray that brutalizes the mega cav up to 16 damage.

Yep. Snake eyes and I’ve lost the game despite the hail mary. BUT THEN THERE’S A TURN 7!

This is after his turn – the lower Fire horde is so far forward because it ate the Overlord and overran. The Grots toppled Agnes and backed up, while the units try to mess with the Elementals for no luck.

In response the lower Fire horde murders the Halfbreeds out of spite, the upper ones faff against the Decimators and Ba’su’su absorbs the CLOFD’s aggression and continues to be a beast.* While I gained some needed points in that Turn 7 it was still a . . .

BLOODFIRE LOSS

*The reason you’re not seeing the CLOFD + surviving Priest blast the mangled Grots (12 wounds after regen) is because I stupidly corkscrewed past the Halfbreeds into the Grots with the lower Fire horde and proceeded to smash them in combat, winning the game UNTIL another Unplugged dude asked WTF I was doing and I realized Fire Elementals can’t fly :’( And were disordered if they could 😛 So we rolled that combat as against the Halfbreeds, without backing the game out to shooting, which would have given me another shot at the Grots, although if I’m remembering Eliminate scoring right it wouldn’t have mattered as I couldn’t put a model on the center point nor one-round the Halfbreeds.

Up Next: JOHN HOLST HAS A POSSE

GAME 32: ABYSSALS

After our beatdown at the hands of STG we plummeted down to the bottom and faced Beef & Wings, a crew of 40k players with limited KOW experience, great attitudes and plentiful margaritas ❤ A wonderful follow-up all told.

CROSSROADS GAME 2: TEAM BEEF & WINGS

– Forces of the Abyss vs Salamanders
– Night Stalkers vs Ogres
– Night Stalkers vs Orcs
– ??? vs Night Stalkers

BLOODFIRE GAME 32: ABYSSALS

Abyssals 2250

Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Gargoyles Troop
Abyssal Guard Regiment
Abyssal Guard Regiment
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment – Blessing of the Gods
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment – Cat Potion
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment – Fire-Oil
The Lord of Lies – Lightning Bolt (7)
The Well of Souls
Archfiend of the Abyss – Drain Life (6), Brew of Haste, Wings

A weird list with some truly frightening flying monsters. As you’ll see I continually underestimated the Lord of Lies . . . Worth noting that this was the player’s second game of KOW using physical minis. Respect.

Second round was Push (1 token), and whoever won initiative the Abyssals headed out first.

BATTLE


Battlelines! Lord of Lies = white GUO, Well = swirly mutalith vortex, Archfiend = Belakor! Salamander push token is on a central Fire Elemental horde and Abyssal token is on the Well.

Abyssals roll out! Lord of Lies and Archfiend pound down the right flank as the cavalry gallop in towards the flank of fire.

Bloodfire sludge forward, Sprites voyaging out for a proper chaff-off with all of those Gargoyles.

The Abyssals close further, while some Gargs pounce on the rightmost Sprites, doing 5 damage and wavering them.

Sallies pounce on the Abyssal chaff, sending Fire + Sprites into one, Fire into another and dispatching Agnes to laser off the ones harrying the Sprites. Yet more Sprites scoop up the central push counter as the rest of the red tide flows forward.

The Gargoyles do not survive ;D And the little Mage prays all 5 wounds off of those Sprites.

The Abyssals strike back, Guard charging Sprites and more Guard combo-charging the extended Fire Elementals with some Horsemen, while the final Gargoyles swoop down on those same Sprites on the right flank. Off shot the Archfiend starts to round the building in the Bloodfire zone, tagging the little Mage with his lightning and popping her.

The Guards drive off their Sprites, however the Gargoyles do a single damage to theirs and the Fire horde absorbs 10 damage and holds – possibly without inspiring in range!

The pummeling intensifies as the left Abyssal Guard are slammed by two hordes of Fire Elementals, the Guard next to them are counter-charged by the wounded horde, and the last of the Gargoyles are plowed into by Agnes and those besieged Sprites. The Sprites give their token to the courageous Fire horde. The CLOFD gets double bane-chanted and vomits on the left Horsemen for a few damage.

Combat is fairly expected, with the double-charged Guard melted, the counter-charged Guard relatively fine and the Gargoyles snatched from the air and splattered by Agnes and her tiny friends.

Abyssal Turn 4 starts with the Well pulling the damage off the wounded Horsemen, who flank the wounded Fire Elementals as the Guard head back into their front. They drive their elemental foes up to 17 damage but snake eyes the rout! The Lord of Lies tackles Agnes for 2 damage and the rightmost Horsemen finish off those accursed Sprites.

Fire Elementals mob the Abyssal Guard, reducing them to a whiff of brimstone. Agnes and the courageous Fire horde slam the Lord of Lies but can’t even manage to waver him (8 damage?), and the Fire horde who was lucky enough to charge the Archfiend smash a sterling 9 damage into him but again can’t even waver. In less violent news, the big Mage heals Agnes for 1 damage and the CLOFD pukes a few more wounds into the same Horsemen from before.

Turn 5 begins with the Well cleaning up the Horsemen again . . . and my heart dropping as Agnes is flanked by the Archfiend and counter-charged by the Lord of Lies. The healed Horsemen charge into the mangled Fire Elementals and the courageous horde takes a charge from a fresh Horsemen regiment.

Agnes doesn’t make it. Nor does that Fire horde up top, although the courageous horde is fine.

Fire Elementals rage, swarming those Horsemen up top, counter-charging the central Horsemen and heading into the Archfiend for vengeance. The Well comes under fire from the CLOFD and the big Mage bane-chants the horde about to slag the Archfiend.

The Archfiend and the surrounded Horsemen get pulped. The central Horsemen merely get batted around.

Abyssal Turn 6 sees the Well absorb the central Horsemen damage and charge the token-holding Sprites (who picked it up from the courageous horde at some point), looking to tip the objective game. The Lord of Lies scoots his little base into the flank of the courageous horde (!) as Horsemen charge their front

A thrilling success: Sprites are eaten, healing the Well in the process, and the Lord + Horsemen disperse the Nv 19 Fire horde.

Bloodfire snaps shut on the remnants of the Abyssals, CLOFD + flanking Fire horde grabbing the Well, another Fire horde flanking the Horsemen, and yet more Fire Elementals charging the Lord for another round.

*boom*

Turn 7 happens! The final Horsemen charge the Fire horde with the Well’s token, doing a respectable 8 damage but bouncing. They get flanked + fronted by Fire Elementals and melted to slag.

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

And big wins for all of Team Cuddle Time, thanks Beef & Wings!

Up Next: UNPLUGGED RADIO

GAME 31: ELVES

Crossroads GT this year was a four-man team tourney, which basically meant it was a standard 2250 COK18 event with an added minigame where captains haggled over who got to play whom and what scenarios they’d use. I never really got the hang of the process, and I’m still not confident I got any of them right, but our team was intentionally pretty weak and we were just there to cuddle.

TEAM CUDDLE TIME
– Salamanders (fire elemental / breath weapon spam)
– Night-Stalkers (blood worm legion + mind screech spam)
– Ogres (balanced with chariots + boomers)
– Orcs (balanced with chariots + boomers)

For our first game we played STG, and during matchups I took the worst matchup on myself, to save my teammates the displeasure of playing a brutal af Elf list.

CROSSROADS GAME 1: TEAM STG

– Elves vs Salamanders
– Dwarfs vs Orcs
– Varangur vs Ogres
– ??? vs Night Stalkers

BLOODFIRE GAME 31: ELVES

Salamanders 2250

Fire Elemental Horde – Brew of Courage
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Fire Elemental Horde
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Ember Sprite Regiment
Agnih-Bhanu, Greatest Fire Elemental
Herald – Banner of the Griffin
Mage-Priest – Surge (8), Heal (3), Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Martyr’s Prayer (7), Bane Chant (2), Healing Brew
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Blessing of the Gods

Hot sauce board with hot tamale dispenser created for the event ;D All my team did cute patterned cloth boards instead of using our display bases, which wouldn’t have matched anyway.

Not too mind-exploding of a list tweak, just a pip of Nv on the special horde as opposed to a diadem that I used in 2/5 games at Keystone. These dudes were always overextending and taking it on the chin, so more survival is more better. Extra points went into BC on the inspiring priest, which seems like a nutty number of spells (4!) but then again I found I occasionally wanted to throw some more BC out however the little priest was busy martyring things and couldn’t be bothered to chant things. I’d rather have the option than not, and frankly if I didn’t have all those shambling hordes I wouldn’t be taking surge at all, it’s really there for that once a game spin-and-charge.
Elves 2250

Kindred Archer Horde – Heart-seeking Chant
Kindred Archer Horde – Wine of Elvenkind
Stormwind Cavalry Regiment – Cat Potion
Drakon Rider Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Drakon Rider Horde – Brew of Strength
Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Dragon Breath
Elven Mage – Heal (3), Bane Chant (2), Black Iron Crown
Noble War Chariot – Inspiring Talisman
Dragon Kindred Lord – Chant of Hate

So this list was designed by the TO and being piloted by an AOS player who had started KOW about two weeks before. This was exceedingly painful to face, and the guy was apologetic, as it turned out much nastier than he anticipated and he spent the weekend apologizing to everybody as a result. Fun Fact: he did lose one match, vs some hero in round five.

I gave us Dominate, one of my stronger scenarios, though honestly I should have done Invade if I really wanted a chance at the draw, as I could have refused the flank. Bloodfire won initiative.

BATTLE


Battlelines!

Bloodfire takes a deep breath and rolls out.

Bam! Elves Turn 1 and the pincers form. The left two Sprites are blown away by Archers.

With few other options, the red tide pushes further into the center, while preparing to engage on the left. The cheeky rightmost Sprites enter the woods and barf a wound on the Noble Chariot.

The Elves take up position . . .

. . . and bring the heat. Shockingly none of the Fire Elemental hordes pop, despite significant damage.

Sally 3 sees me pull a trick from that last game with Elves: I overextend to entice him to engage with his dragon, so I can maul it at the cost of a horde, by charging one of the offered Dragon Breaths. Otherwise my mages heal / pray a die of damage off the mangled horde while Sprites puke a wound off the other central Dragon Breath. Its sister is pulped by the Fire horde, which foolishly doesn’t reform to face the Dragon – I hear the voice of my last Elf opponent saying I shouldn’t be afraid of Archers rearing me, they’ve got better things to do.

The Elves pounce! Which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t also shoot, bringing the Fire Elementals with Brew of Courage (the quadruple elemental unit) up to 13 and popping them (@ 19 Nv) – removing the dragon’s reprisal – and putting a stunning 9 damage into Agnes.

In combat the Dragon shreds its wounded quarry, the Sprites flanked by the Noble annoyingly waver, and the Stormwind do a solid 9 damage to their Fire horde but bounce.

Bloodfire returns the favor where able, sending Fire + Agnes in the flank into the Stormwind and flanking the Noble in chariot.

The CLOFD tags 3 damage into the Dragon, the little Mage prays a solid 6 damage off of Agnes, and Elves get dead in the combat phase, earning me at least 1 VP whatever happens.

With their keen eyes and pointy ears, the Elves spy double overruns I didn’t see – and am fakking furious with myself for. I hate when I do these things, as they’re entirely avoidable. Anyway, Dragon -> big Mage -> Fire horde’s rear and Drakon -> little Mage -> 5” overrun into CLOFD’s flank. Oh, also other Drakon into fresh Fire horde.

The Drakon’s evaporate the little Mage and slam a 6” on the overrun, flanking and obliterating the CLOFD as well (which was not such a sure bet, considering hindering and whatever . . . except that his dice were on fire the whole game, and apparently every game of the tournament; he apologized some more but in my experience Elf players always have hot dice, go figure).

The big Mage is devoured and the Fire horde stomped out by the Dragon, while the other Drakon roll like insane baby dragons and do 11 to their Fire horde, who somehow hold. Worst of all though? Agnes is gunned down by Dragon Breath + bane-chanted piercing Archers. Sweet hell.

Bloodfire 5, for vengeance! A wounded Fire horde smashes another Dragon Breath while a more wounded one puts 2 (!) wounds on their Drakon. Coincidentally that’s the same number of wounds the remaining Sprites do to the other Drakon.

It’s an orgy of violence as the Elves pull the noose tight and kick out the supports. Some Archers flank and pop a Fire horde (*golf clap for style points, young sir*), other Archers scatter some Sprites, Drakons eat the remaining Sprites, more Drakons finish off their mangled Fire horde annnnd the Dragon eats the Herald, putting an end to the spicy scourge.

BLOODFIRE LOSS

So yea. That was rough. I also can’t remember being tabled in a tournament game of KOW, let alone in Turn 5! The dude’s next opponent was likewise tabled, and was seen wandering the hall in a daze, muttering to himself, “”But . . . I’’ve never been tabled. Ever . . .””

The team as a whole did very badly, with 1 losing draw, 2 loses with 1 VP (me!) and one total loss. Oof.

Up Next: BEEF & WINGS