SCUTTLIN’ REALM 32: UNDEAD

Gentle readers! I had the great pleasure of attending the Orc Town GT June 4-5 (2022) but then became mired in life and work upon returning home, however next week I’ll have a breather and will attempt to pound all the reports out. In the meantime, here’s abbreviated coverage of my token practice game before the GT. Enjoy!

Trident Realm 2600
Water Elementals Horde – Brew of Strength
Placoderms Regiment
Placoderms Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Coral Giant
Kraken
Kraken
Kraken
Naiad Centurion – Blade of the Beast Slayer
Naiad Centurion – Axe of the Giant Slayer
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2), Horn of the Ocean’s Fury
Naiad Envoy – Lute of Insatiable Darkness

You read that right, 2600 points! I used the bounty of points to finally paint my Coral Giant and second Centurion, which was coincidentally all I could possibly have painted in May, the busiest month of my year thus far 😐 The list itself became a bit of a Kaiju Big Battel affair, with the return of the third Kraken, escorted by the double anti-big stuff Centurions. Also note worthy is the return of the lute, an item I’d moved away from but the Placoderms spending so much time in combat had convinced me to bring it back.

Undead 2600
Wights Horde
Wights Horde
Zombies Horde – Undead Giant Rats
Soul Reaver Cavalry Regiment – Item?
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – Item?
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – Item?
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – Item?
Wraiths Troop
Wraiths Troop
Wraiths Troop
Lady Ilona – Enthral (5), Heal (3), Lightning Bolt (3), Surge (3)
Vampire Lord on Undead Horse – Surge (4)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Heal (3)

After a furious month of painting vampire infantry, my buddy was super excited to play an Undead list that fit his temperament a bit better. If and when he hit combat, he could be assured that it would hurt. I was happy to see the triple Wraiths too, he’s gone from zero chaff pieces to figuring out more and more ways to use them to control the game. Helps that Wraiths are super great. Also Ilona is here!

We played Push, and he must have won the first turn and cannily gave it to me 😛 Strap in, this is going to be largely pictorial!

BATTLE

Battlelines! I have a Kraken hanging out hard left as well, and all 3 push tokens are in the left Placoderms. My heroes go Lute > Bastion > Blade > Axe from left to right. For the Undead, the Necro us behind the Zombies on left, Ilona is central, horse Vamp to the right. His tokens are 1 in the Zombies and 2 in a Soul Reaver unit in the middle. Also check out the shadow the Coral Giant is casting 😀
Trident 1: Scuttlin’!
Doing a menace!
Undead 1: A very timid advance, or lack thereof in the center! The right had to spend some time unjamming itself after deploying with bases interlocked.
Trident 2: Double Kraken pound into Wraiths on the right as a lot of harpoon guns come into range of the central Wights.
The left Wights take a startling 10 damage, and the right Wraiths are decidedly busted.
One Kraken backs up 3″ while the other prepares to get Soul Reavered. Will ensnare be enough to save him from their blood lust?
Undead 2: Becoming aware that he can’t play a waiting game against my shooting, the Undead general makes moves to pressure the center. Wraiths become a nuisance on the left and vampires crash into Krakens on the right.
The Soul Reavers tear 11 damage into the right Kraken, wavering the big guy. Meanwhile the Vamp Lord blocks the left Kraken from coming to his aid, dealing 3 damage in the process. Smart.
Trident 3: Kraken and Placoderms prepare to shoo away from Wraiths far left, harpoons lock and load centrally to end some Wights, and the Krakens on the right largely regenerate, although the Vamp Lord is indeed counter-charged.
One Heartpiercer unit is all that’s needed to drive the Wights off, so the other two regiments hammer 8 damage into the other Wights. Harpoons on fire tonight! The Wraiths on the left are also pinched into ectoplasm, while the Vamp Lord on the right takes token damage as a Kraken rampages him gently.
Undead 3: Another mangled Wight horde moves up into the central killing field! As the Soul Reavers behind them continue to sort their lives out. Wraiths are surged into the flank of the 3 token Placoderms on the left (will they punish my hubris??), and on the right the Soul Reaver Infantry hit their Kraken again while the Vamp Lord continues to pin his buddy down.
It will blend!
That poor Kraken disintegrates 😦 But the Placoderms weather the Wraith flank to the tune of 3 damage.
Trident 4: Kraken and Placoderms on the left prepare to drop another Wraith regiment, while the crab center likewise spots another Wight horde in their cross hairs. On the right, the surviving Kraken backs up rather then be flanked by the Soul Reavers what ate his brother (he was in their flank but couldn’t place thanks to the mighty Vamp Lord, so couldn’t front charge and try to grind). The slayer Centurion charges the Vamp Lord to keep him occupied / preferably dead.
Those Wights do indeed get ventilated, and the Soul Reaver Cav cop 3 damage in the process. Neither combat is decisive (Wraiths to 4, Vamp Lord to 5).
Lady Ilona stands defiant!
Undead 4: The Undead hammers finally begin descending, by which I mean the Zombies flanking the 3 token Placoderms (over a wall). But also Wraiths counter the left Kraken, Soul Reaver Cav hit some Heartpiercers, Ilona blocks the Coral Giant, the Vamp Lord continues to harass the right Kraken, and the right Soul Reavers prepare to blend the slayer Centurion – no ensnare in the flank 😥
Those Heartpiercers get properly reaved, but all other combats are less decisive. The real anomaly is the Soul Reaver Infantry on the right only wavering the Centurion in the flank! Unexpected!
Trident 5: The center pincers around the Soul Reaver Cav, with Water Elementals in the flank and Placoderms to the front. Otherwise it’s a lot of counter-charging across the board, or bringing guns to bear on the lurking Soul Reaver Infantry in the middle. The token-bearing Placoderms on the left take a risk and show their rear to the Wraiths, countering the Zombies.
Heartpiercers punch 6 damage into some Soul Reavers, wavering them (!), shortly before the Soul Reaver Cav are crushed to true-death by enormous claws. The left Wraiths are indeed rampaged away by the Kraken (thanks lute Envoy for the bane chant!), while the Zombies, Ilona and Vamp Lord all take their lumps. The Vamp Lord wavers in the process (on 8 damage). Oh, and the central Placoderms scoop up the central token.
Undead 5: If the Soul Reavers can blend out the crab center while the Zombies hold, they can actually pull this off. Luckily I hear Soul Reaver are pretty great at blending … To wit, the 2 token Soul Reavers dive into the Water Elementals, while the right Soul Reavers hit the slayer Centurion again (ensnared this time), Ilona continues to distract the Coral Giant on his first outing, and the Zombies counter the 3 token Placoderms. The Vamp Lord gets out of the Kraken’s LOS so he can live.
All the combats stall, which is bad for central momentum but honestly pretty ok on the flanks. The Soul Reavers waver the Centurion again, the Zombies stunningly push the Placos to 8 damage, wavering them, and the central Soul Reavers do a mathematically average 11 damage and don’t rout the Water Elementals.
Trident 6: On the left, the Placoderms retreat to let the Kraken have a go at the Zombies. On the right, the Centurion backs out to likewise let a Kraken rampage the Soul Reavers. Centrally, the Water Elementals counter their Soul Reavers as guns target the injured unit behind them. Ilona gets bopped.
Heartpiercers riddle the Soul Reavers with harpoons, adding them to the pile of dead undead in the center of the board. All the combats grind on (Zombies to 9, central Reavers to 4, right Reavers to 8?), with Ilona wavering on 6 damage.
Undead 6: With a Turn 7 victory still possible, the Undead do what they set out to in the first place: murder some crabs. Zombies counter the left Kraken, Soul Reavers counter the Water Elementals, more Soul Reavers counter the right Kraken, with Vamp Lord in the flank. Ilona simmers with rage (but not fury :P)
The Water Elementals explode and the Soul Reavers lurch forward, but not enough to cross the center line. With no Turn 7 and a score of 7 to 3, this is a solid …

SCUTTLIN’ VICTORY

You know, I think I’ve got this ‘shoot the Undead as much as possible’ strat down 😀 But it certainly helped that the Undead didn’t push into the center until it was too late to overwhelm me effectively, while tripping over themselves on the right. The Undead general had some good tactics to protect the Soul Reavers on the way in, but holding them back meant that while they might be more likely to reach combat, they’d also have to work extra hard to wrest the momentum back.

Anyway, that’s Orc Town practice out of the way! Stay tuned next week when we wade into the warm waters of Cape Code for a weekend of carnage.

UP FIRST: League of Rhordia!

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 30: UNDEAD

Unplugged Day Two dawns with me up against my clubmate and tournament bunk buddy Drew and his Undead. We’ve scrummed a number of times, but never at 1995? And certainly not with his shiny new Werewolves or Wraiths.

Undead 1995
Wights Horde – Potion of the Caterpillar
Wights Horde – Boots of Striding
Wights Horde – Fire-Oil
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – Staying Stone
Werewolves Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Wraiths Troop
Wraiths Troop
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Heal (3)
Necromancer – Surge (6), Heal (3)

I continue to be shocked by how good Wights are, tho I probably shouldn’t be at this point 😛 He’s replaced his Ghoul chaff with Wraith chaff and swapped out excessive Zombie regiments with a half pack of Werewolves looking to do things like move at the double. I’m surprised he’s done so poorly to be down here with me but I think he had some hard match-ups in day one.

Fourth round was Salt the Earth, again with tokens pre-placed on the map. The Undead went first, either because he’s slow or I wanted to shoot his dudes.

BATTLE

Battlelines! So clean and fresh. His inspiring Necromancer is centrally behind some Wraiths and next to Wights. My heroes are Centurion > Bastion > Hex.
Undead 1: A general moaning can be heard as the deadites drift forward, with the exception of the Soul Reavers who take advantage of their vitality to jog ahead of the army. The Vampasus is lurking behind the tower and facing to my left.
Trident 1: Kraken angle in on the flanks, but mostly I bring 40 Heartpiercer harpoon guns to bear on the Soul Reaver Infantry …
… and delete the bloodthirsty scourge 😤 (A very average 10 damage followed by a very average 7 to rout. He lamented not having inspiring near them and had me reroll out of curiosity, and of course I got the 5 that with staying stone would have been nothing.)
Undead 2: The ghosts drift up, with the Werewolves protecting the flank of the rightmost Wights. The wolves go ahead and burn that token on the hill while they’re at it, as do the Wraiths in the forest on the left.
Trident 2: I do something that I rarely do and back up. And feel dirty in the process, but hey, I’ve got guns and the Undead are slow and want to murder me in combat. But I’m still me tho and launch the right Kraken into the Werewolves, because a) killing them isn’t crazy (one shot at an 8-10 Nv test), b) killing the Wights next to them isn’t crazy with Heartpiercers (one shot at a 10), c) hexing one of the Necros makes a flank surge more dicey, d) even if the Kraken dies next turn, more of my guns will be unengaged for another turn.
Heartpiercers stick 2-3 damage on the left Wights and 5 on the right ones, for all the good it does. Hex fails to hit a Necromancer as well. In combat, the Kraken only does 3 damage and there’s no lucky 11 rout to save him. Sigh. Would have been much better to rotate him in and let the Werewolves make the decision of where to charge, then either counter them or slowly grind.
Coming attraction for the next episode of ‘Kraken in Predicaments’ …
Undead 3: The dead make contact with the crabby lines at last. Wraiths block up the left Kraken and Water Elementals, as Wights and Vampasus prepare to dunk the left Placoderms, phalanx be damned. The right Kraken is countered by Werewolves and sadly flanked by Wights, thanks to a stellar 4+ surge when he needed 1″. The show off.
The poor right Kraken explodes into crab parts, however the rest of the combats hold tight, with the Kraken taking 4 (!), Placos 6 and Water Elementals 1 damage.
Trident 3: The grind has begun, even if there are more Wights on the table than I had hoped. The Kraken counters the Wraiths (grudgingly), the Placoderms counter the Vampasus with the Centurion charging the left Wights to sit them down / body block, and the Water Elementals counter the other Wraiths (grudgingly). The right, shooty arm of the crab line shores up any flying / surge flank shenanigans.
Heartpiercers push the right Wights from 4 damage to dead, and stick the inspiring Necro for 1 damage, lucky wavering him! The Placoderms snip 4 damage on the Vampasus, the Wraiths take some damage but hold frustratingly, and the Centurion does 0 damage to the left Wights, leaving them free to fly where they will :O
Undead 4: Some very careful measuring later, and the left Wights end up front charging the (uninspired) Kraken with the Wraiths countering. Likewise the central Wights combo into the Water Elemental horde with the other Wraiths. The Vampasus counters the Placoderms (grudgingly), and the Werewolves end up charging into the pond into the other Placoderms, maybe to protect the Wights’ flank if they don’t one round the Water Elementals.
Except Wights are combat gods (especially when they’ve got Fire-Oil vs regening Water Elementals), and the mega crab bites it. The Kraken takes 12 damage and blessedly wavers (WHEW), while both Placoderms take 2 damage and hold (up to 8 vs the Vampasus).
Trident 4: The Kraken disengages and furiously regens down to 6 damage, as the Centurion prepares to sit the left Wights down with his trident and the Placoderms counter the Vampasus. The Heartpiercers to their right charge some Wraiths to sit them down, and the other Placoderms back away from the Werewolves so they can be ventilated by all those Heartpiercers.
Which they are, quite handily. The Centurion does manage to sit down the left Wights (1 damage!), and in combat the Heartpiercers likewise sit down their Wraiths (3 damage total). But I’ll stop burying the lead: the Placoderms kill the Vampasus! Totally unexpected. They take the moment to turn and face the Wights about to kill the Kraken next turn.
Undead 5: Despite my wealth of Heartpiercers, Drew’s still got two very fresh Wight hordes and two very functional Wraith troops to kill me with, plus his Zombies just casually winning the game in his deployment zone. On the left, Wraiths and Wights charge the wounded Kraken. In the center, Wraiths float sideways and prepare a stomach-churningly easy surge into the bastion Envoy and very easy overrun into some Heartpiercers …
Act 1, Scene 1
Act 1, Scene 2
Act 2, Scene 1
Apart from the Envoy getting nuked, the combats go better than anticipated, with both the Kraken and Heartpiercers holding! On 13 and 8 damage respectively. Drew sees those Placoderm flanks/rears and declares the game over, especially if those things can kill a Vampasus 😦
Trident 5: Hindered or not, no way I’m passing up those Wight underbellies! Placoderms and Centurion hit the left Wights in the flank (Kraken backs off and regens down to 6), and other Placoderms rear charge the other Wights (Heartpiercers back off and regen down to 4). The Heartpiercers mobilize, with one unit powering forward to make a Turn 6 play for the center token.
The inspiring Necromancer is shot down, and the other is hexed (FINALLY) but then wavered as well. In combat, neither Wight unit takes much damage – 5 to the left horde and just 3 to the rear-charged horde. Woof. I also take the opportunity to burn the token in the left forest, which I had been debating all game.
Undead 6: With the Placos unable to stop their reign of terror, the ghosts continue their assault on the living. Wraiths charge the Kraken once more, as the left Wights counter the Centurion, looking to overrun into the Placoderms (8 damage) who are reared by more Wraiths. The central Wights ignore the Placoderms to their rear and continue on into the Heartpiercers to their front.
Another horrific montage later and Centurion, Placoderms and Heartpiercers are all dead. (Editorial Note: That 0″ overrun feels pretty bad, but then again the Wights are less than 50/50 that they kill the Centurion. Tho don’t tell Drew’s dice, he was hitting like a madman all game.) The Kraken finally avoids being wavered tho!
Trident 6: I scoot those Heartpiercers to the center, drawing the game, even if there’s some attempted murder to be had. The Kraken swings into the left Wraiths and the Placoderms front charge the central Wights. Neither combat really does much, but both units are grounded, which is nice. The surviving Necro is hexed and wavered again by some Heartpiercers.
Undead 7: On the left, the Wights and Wraiths combo charge the Kraken again, except this time he’s completely regenerated, if uninspired. In the center, we keep that feel good ghost combo going, with Wights and Wraiths hitting the Placoderms (in retrospect this doesn’t seem legal, as I don’t think the Wraiths could draw LOS to the teeny 2.5mm of base peeping around the Wights; surge would make it possible to sidestep the Wights, charge the Wraiths and surge the Wights, but the Necro was out of commission).
At long last, the second Kraken falls 😦 Also the Placoderms die.
Trident 7: My last gasp play is to shoot off those right Zombies, however I only do 1 damage so can’t even spike the box cars victory. I spitefully pour the rest of the Heartpiercers into the central Wights, pushing them to 8 damage but I can’t sink the 9 to rout them. With 2 tokens each, this is decidedly a …

DRAW (10-10)

What. A. Journey. I felt like this was a breakthrough game for me where my deployment was sound and I fully recognized my shooting advantage and really made the most of it. Throwing the right Kraken away was a bummer and would have changed the game wildly if I held onto him, although I really wanted him to dive into the Undead backfield to clear out those Zombies / force him to burn those tokens I otherwise couldn’t get to. Also Wights are frustratingly good and make surge just so much more viable than it usually is (in my head), but you certainly pay for it. Wraiths on the other hand, damn, that’s some value right there. Finally, I’m more and more convinced that I need Lute back in the list, more than I need the trident, almost entirely because it helps the Placoderms do anything. Spoilers I guess for my next list.

UP NEXT: Dwarfs!

BLOODFIRE 46: UNDEAD

A weekend or two after Dead of Winter, a clubmate struggled the 0.7 miles to my house and we threw a couple games down, along with quite a few beers. First game saw me messing with 1995 points of Abyssals, in what I’m pretty sure is my first game with the faction? I may hold on to the report for that game, due to loathesome proxies on my part. More importantly, I busted out Bloodfire after grabbing dinner and we threw down a second facesmasher of a match. Strap in.

Salamanders 1995
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Fire Elementals Horde
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Ember Sprites Regiment
Greater Fire Elemental

Clan Lord – Axe of the Giant Slayer, Raptor
Clan Lord – Torc of Dissonance, Raptor
Mage-Priest – Crown of the Wizard King, Fireball (10), Surge (8), Host Shadowbeast (8)
Battle Captain on Rhinosaur – Inspiring Talisman

Canny readers will notice that this is the Shadowbeast version of the last time I played Bloodfire, with the Torc on one Raptor Lord because it seems good to have around and you can pop it in the shooting phase while eating somebody’s face in the combat phase. I was pumped to give the list – and Host Shadowbeast – a shot.

Undead 1995
Werewolves Horde – Brew of Strength
Wights Horde
Wights Horde
Revenants Horde – Sanguinary Scripture, Undead Giant Rats
Zombies Horde
Wraiths Troop
Wraiths Troop
Goreblight

Vampire Lord on Undead Dragon – Icy Breath (10), Surge (8), Lightning Bolt (4)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Drain Life (4)

This is more or less his 2300 cut down because I asked him to make a 1995 😐 He’s really down on the dragon (I AGREE) but the vampires he’s churning out for the next version of the army aren’t done yet, 335 point sink it is. The Wraiths are the newest addition, which he’s loving. I’ve fought them plenty of times in other Undead armies and continue to be surprised at how just good they are!

We rolled up Raze, and I won and took first turn, because shambling.

BATTLE

Salamanders 0: Scouting phase!
Salamanders 1: The red wall churns forward, promising violence. The Raptor Lord with the torc is positioned centrally.
Undead 1: The deadites likewise shamble forward, with the exception being the Werewolves shooting hard to the right flank. The Necromancer and Vampire Lord attempt to slingshot the Goreblight forward with double surges but they fail quite terribly.
Salamanders 2: Whelp, no time like the present for smashing stuff :/ Ember Sprites scramble out of the way on the left, with one regiment sizzling through the central pond into the flank of the right Wight horde. Double Fire Elementals storm into the stranded Goreblight, as the Rhino Captain hits left Wraiths and prepares to block the infantry hordes up, the torc Raptor Lord charges the left Wights (to sit them down), and the Greater Fire Elemental and slayer Raptor Lord join those cheeky Ember Sprites on the right Wights. The red right flank churns forward, watching for wolves.
Shooting kicks off with the torc Raptor Lord shattering his Torc of Dissonance, turning off the Vampire Lord’s surge 😤 Then the Mage-Priest powers that Raptor Lord up with +5 attaks. Feels good. Ember Sprites stick 2 damage on the Zombie horde, but the two regiments on the right can’t get any damage to stick to the Wraiths near them. The warm liquid goo phase sees the Goreblight immolate completely, and the right Wight horde evaporates. The Rhino Captain punches his Wraiths for 2 damage, however it looks like the 10 attak Raptor Lord fails to even disorder his Wight horde. Feels, uh, bad.
Undead 2: Thankfully with the Vampire Lord’s surge turned off this turn, the nimble-less Wights struggle to spot any flanks they can capitalize on with the Necromancer’s piddly 17″ surging range and height 2 (and of course I’ve got surge waiting if he jumps my lines). The Wights end up combo-charging the leftmost Fire Elemental horde, opening up the Rhino Captain to be charged by the Zombies (hindered). The Wraiths on the right struggle with how to be useful, deciding to charge the Raptor Lord protecting the Greater Fire Elemental’s rear on the odd change they can overrun and ruin her day. The dragon rotates in place, preparing to use its icy breath on the torc Raptor Lord. The Werewolves abandon the flank and return to their starting position 😛
The Vampire coats the torc Raptor Lord in ice, causing no damage but freezing the tough lizard (I missed that Frozen procs on damage, like most all of KOW, and just applied it on hit, for all it matters). The Necromancer attempts to drain life the Rhino Captain, but likewise can’t manage both hitting and wounding. In combat, the left ghost squad is far more competent, smashing the leftmost Fire Elemental horde into embers and preparing for retribution. The Zombies scrabble 2 damage into the Rhino Captain, despite needing 6s then 5s, and the right Wraiths bad touch 3 damage onto the slayer Raptor Lord.
Salamanders 3: I windmill slam the Greater Fire Elemental into the Wight’s flank, with Fire Elementals in the front. Almost as fast, the torc Raptor Lord jumps on the Vampire Lord on Undead Dragon, a Fire Elemental horde plows into the flank of the right Wraiths with the slayer Raptor Lord in the front. And grudgingly the Rhino Captain counter-charges the Zombies. Ember Sprites skitter around …
… and spit a single damage onto the Revenant horde. The Mage-Priest pumps +3 attaks into the slayer Raptor Lord, who revs up and, with the help of the Fire Elemental flank, nukes those right Wraiths. Speaking of applying heat to ghosts, the Greater Fire and more Fire Elementals obliterate the Wight horde. The Rhino Captain pulverizes a few Zombies, and the torc Raptor Lord sits the dragon down (on 2 damage). I burn 2 tokens, starting the scoring off 2-0.
Undead 3: Lots of finagling results in the Revenant horde indeed being trapped behind the Zombies; they side step in a bid to become relevant. The Vampire Lord lopes into the left Fire Elementals, shortly before Wraiths nimble over to the horde’s flank and get surged 1″ in by the Necromancer. The Werewolves turn tail and head back to down the right flank.
The Vampire Lord and Wraiths push the Fire Elementals to 11 damage, but they hold. The Zombies preposterously push the Rhino Captain to 7 damage, tho he also holds firm.
Salamanders 4: The Greater Fire Elemental once again immediately propels itself into a tasty flank, with the Vampire Lord feeling her gentle caress this time. The Fire Elementals team up by hitting the dragon’s front. The torc Raptor Lord lunges at the Necromancer (hindered), the Rhino Captain counters the Zombies again, and a crack team of Ember Sprites, Fire Elementals and slayer Raptor Lord move to intercept the Werewolves.
The Mage-Priest whips +2 attaks onto the torc Raptor Lord – the Wizard Crown is amazing, y’all. That Mage-Priest has hardly moved from that pond, when in the past she’d be furiously moving 5″ every turn and taking the support shots she could get. In other shooting, Ember Sprites tickle the Revenants up to 3 damage and do 1 damage to the Werewolves. Combat begins with the dragon getting dunked by the Greater Fire and friends. The Necromancer is wavered and more Zombies die.
Undead 4: The Wraiths charge the badly mauled Fire Elementals, while Revenants back up and the Werewolves dive further down the flank, disappearing up and over the right hill.
The Wraiths finish off the Fire Elementals, backing up and burning a point (now 2-1). Then the Zombies somehow tear down the Rhino Captain, messily devouring him … and turning their rear to the Greater Fire Elemental in a show of disrespect.
Salamanders 5: I hesitate but a moment before hammering the GFE into the Zombies’ rear. Fresh Fire Elementals power into those Wraiths, and the slayer Raptor Lord pressures the Werewolves into engaging sooner than later. The torc Raptor Lord charges the Revenant horde to hold them in place (not shown above). He gets another +2 attaks from the Mage-Priest’s horse firebeast.
The smell of sizzling flesh pervades the battlefield as the Necromancer is cooked by Ember Sprites, before the Greater Fire Elemental wades into the Zombie horde and it gets so much worse. They incinerate, and the Fire Elementals happily drive off the last of the Wraiths. The torc Raptor Lord chomps the Revenants up to 8 damage. I burn my third token (3-1).
Undead 5: The Werewolves turn to face the elite fire team descending upon them. The Revenants counter-charge the Raptor Lord, doing 2 damage and lifeleaching down to 6 themselves.
Salamanders 6: The Revenant horde is mobbed by Ember Sprites as the Greater Fire Elemental wades to support the torc Raptor Lord. The Werewolves meanwhile are charged by the slayer Raptor Lord.

The Revenants are demolished, thanks in large part to the GFE doing 7-8 damage on 8 attaks. While the Werewolves don’t take appreciable damage from the Raptor Lord, the Undead concede as the wolves can at best drop the Raptor Lord, and very likely get wrecked in Turn 7 by Fire Elementals no matter what they do. With 4 points to the Undead’s 1, that’s a convincing …

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

Though it felt a little bad styling on my clubmate so thoroughly, it’s always fun to slam Bloodfire into armies that also want to fight. I’m really enjoying the double Raptor Lords, and Shadowbeast, while not particularly game-breaking on Clan Lords (especially when you consider what the Mage-Priest costs!), is a lot of fun. Crown of the Wizard King is particularly wonderful on a short support caster whose best surge targets (Greater Fire Elementals) are taller than everything around her.

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 20: UNDEAD

My club is hosting its inaugural Dead of Winter GT this weekend here in Albany, NY and I’ve decided I want to bring the crabs out for it. Mostly because I’m interested in the various tweaks they got from Clash of Kings ’22 but I also miss shooting and needed an excuse to rebase my Gigas into Placoderms. I hear practice is important, especially when running an army you’ve only played maybe once since February 2020?

Trident Realm 2100
Water Elementals Horde – Brew of Strength
Placoderms Regiment
Placoderms Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Naiad Heartpiercers Regiment
Kraken
Kraken
Naiad Centurion – Trident of the Drowned Sea
Depth Horror Eternal
Naiad Envoy – Bastion (2)
Naiad Envoy – War-Bow of Kaba

The GT is a nifty 2100 points, so naturally I took the 1995 point list I’ve been brewing and added an Eternal to it 😛 Although I’m not 100% on it being a) good or b) a thing I understand how to use, I really wanted to bring the Centurion with his new laser trident. For those not in the know, it’s a 5 shot 12″ Piercing (1) shooting attak that hits on 3+ and disorders if you wound. So adds to the combined arms thing going on but also extends his flyer sit-down from 12″ to 18″. Very groovy … although it comes at a heavy cost, as he’d be an Aquamage with some amazing support spells otherwise. We’ll have to see if it was worth it! This also marks the first time I’ve run Trident without a Lute, choosing instead to just bake it into the Elementals, who very often were bane chanted anyway. I kind of miss it already, as the Lute helps a lot of the list do work (like Placos).

Undead 2100
Wights Horde – Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Wights Horde – Brew of Haste
Wights Horde – Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – Staying Stone
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop – Skirmisher’s Boots
Ghouls Troop
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4), Torc of Dissonance
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4), Blade of Slashing
Necromancer – Surge (6), Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman

My clubmate’s 2300 list with the extra Ghouls removed. I think it hurts for chaff, tho as he admitted, what he really needs is Wraiths and he doesn’t have those painted anyway. So hammers it is. Personally, I’d turn most of those items into a second Ghoul troop, but he was apparently burned repeatedly at the last GT when his Wights were hindered all the time, so really wanted terrain mitigation.

We chose Raze, as we wanted a token game but not too involved of one. I won the roll but made him go first because 18″ guns.

BATTLE

Battlelines! Slash the first seconds of Undead 1 … My Depth Horror Eternal is hard right, hoping to punch up and burn my rightmost token.
Undead 1: Shamblers shamble forward, with the Vampasuses maneuvering on the flanks and the Soul Reavers preparing to scrum around the central hill. The Ghouls mount said hill, possibly against their better judgement.
Trident 1: The crabs cautiously skitter up, with only the left Placoderms moving into range of the Haste Wights + Slashing Vampasus if he wants that hindered, phalanx charge. On the right, the Eternal cheekily puts the Torc Vampasus into his flank, but without enough room to land.
Harpoons fly into the Undead lines, only doing ~4 damage to the Caterpillar Wights on the left and removing the Ghouls. The Soul Reaver regiment received some attention as well but no damage made it through cover. Finally, Bastion went up on the Water Elemental horde.
Undead 2: The deadites avoid going in piecemeal and advance the batteline together … with the exception of the left Zombies who are surged 3″ forward most likely as bait. The Soul Reavers have put their leaderpoints on the hill as well. The Vampasuses continue working the flanks, with the left one burning a token and putting the Undead on the scoreboard (1-0).
Trident 2: Despite knowing better, I punch it and engage Turn 2 😐 Kraken whip into the Haste Wights on the left and Soul Reaver troop in the middle, and Placoderms get saucy and waddle into the Zombie bait, their terrible crabby mouthparts twitching. Everything else prepares to shoot or counter next turn, including the Eternal on the right who scoots up within 3″ of the right token to see just how tough he is …

And here’s where I was sure I must have missed an after photo, but nope, nothing died 😦 Shooting did not kill the Caterpillar Wights (10 damage) or waver the Soul Reaver regiment (? damage), Bastion failed on the forward Placoderms, and all the combats were decidedly tepid – tho I did remember rampage against the Soul Reaver troop (+2 attaks)! Oh, and the Centurion’s trident hit the Strider Wights 3 times and then rolled 1-1-1 for damage, failing to disorder them.

Undead 3: Yep, that checks out. The Undead hammers smash down on our squishy crab bodies as one might expect.
Caterpillar Wights + Zombies + flanking Vampasus shatter the Placoderms; Soul Reavers in the front and flank deal the central Kraken 25 damage and turn him into a crab smoothie; and the Strider Wights dunk some Heartpiercers and are decidedly in my lines. In other combats, Haste Wights do 6 to the left Kraken, central Zombies scratch 1 on the other Placoderms, and the right Vampasus begins grinding damage on the Eternal. The other two Undead tokens are burned this turn (3-0).
Trident 3: All guns point at the Soul Reavers on the hill, while bigger crabs fight things, most notably the Water Elementals into the mangled Caterpillar Wights and the Centurion into the Strider Wights.
The Soul Reavers are shot up to 9 damage but are unmoved, although the bait Zombies are ventilated in the process (I’d like to say the Envoy’s War-Bow did the business but that thing missed all game). The Water Elementals boss out the mangled Caterpillar Wights and prepare to menace the Undead’s hold on the center. Everything else grinds.
Undead 4: The Soul Reaver regiment charges off the hill into the central Heartpiercers, dicing up a tasty crab gumbo with the help of the Slashing Vampasus.
In less decisive news, the Placoderms are wavered by the Soul Reaver troop + Zombies, the right Heartpiercers are wavered by hindered Zombies alone (!), and the Kraken, Centurion and Eternal all take a beating but keep on kicking.
Trident 4: The Water Elementals zip into the flank of the Soul Reaver troop, tidily dismembering them and preparing to murder the Soul Reaver regiment next, which has been wavered by the 11 harpoon shots I’ve got left at this point. The surviving Kraken finishes off the Haste Wights (all told this is pretty impressive!) and turns to face the action. The Eternal continues chunking just enough damage into the Torc Vampasus that she can lifeleach it back each turn (…), and the Centurion completely fails to wound the Wights, leaving them free to fly around and be a menace next turn. Bro, come on.
Undead 5: The Slashing Vampasus descends upon the War-Bow Envoy and messily devours it, as the Eternal and Centurion are both torn limb from delectable limb by their assailants (the Wights having decided to end the wrath of the Centurion’s trident before it could truly power up). The Placoderms are again wavered, this time by just the Zombies and their shocking ability to roll 5+/6+. Note that the left Vampasus is out of the Kraken’s arc and facing the Heartpiercers.
Trident 5: The Water Elemental horde-crab continues its reign of terror, eviscerating the poor cowering Soul Reaver regiment, while also receiving Bastion. The left Heartpiercers fire at and miss the Necromancer, as the right ones jab at their Zombies, and the Kraken sidesteps within 3″ of a token and finally puts the crabs on the board (1-3).
Undead 6: The Deadites aim to clear out the right side of the board, with Placoderms receiving a flank from the Strider Wights and the right Heartpiercers a visitation from the Torc Vampasus. The Slashing Vampasus nimble turns and punches it 20″ away from the Kraken’s affections.
The Placoderms are scythed down, the Zombies overrunning to block for the Wights. The Heartpiercers waver but somehow stick around.
Trident 6: The Water Elementals immediately rear charge the Slashing Vampasus (!), shortly followed by the Kraken powering up the hill and into the Necromancer loitering near the central token.
The combats are, well, decisive to say the least. Also the central Zombies are cleared out by the left Heartpiercers. Also the Kraken enjoys some Bastion in case the Wights want to get froggy in Turn 7.
Turn 7: The Wights blow their boots, charge the Water Elementals and one round them, because of course they do. The Heartpiercers on the right also succumb to the Vampasus’ dark ministrations. In the Trident half of the turn, I don’t move the Kraken – without pathfinder on the Heartpiercers in 3E, I can’t move them up to the center and the Kraken off to another token, even if the distances worked out. 10 shots into the Wights yields 1-2 damage and that’s game. With a score of 2-3, that’s a decisive …

UNDEAD VICTORY

If you’ve read my other Trident reports, you’ll see I did what I too often do, engage a turn too early instead of letting my shooting do one more round of work to give my mediocre combat units a leg/claw up. The play with the Eternal seems a bit dumb as well – he’s a great piece that can do many, many things – however keeping a Vampasus entirely occupied for 5 turns is nothing to sneeze at! I’m also not that discouraged by the result. We’re using Blackjack scoring, so despite my impatience and cool dice, I’m thrilled to get 7 points off of a ‘bag of hammers’ Undead list!

Doesn’t look like I’ll get another practice match in before Saturday, so stay tuned for a tournament report next week 🦀

THE HALLOW 15: UNDEAD

We’ve got a new local player who’s pretty new to wargaming in general but is really loving painting and KOW as a whole. He’s still chasing that first win, and I’ve been shopping most of his lists for him, although he’s hamstrung a bit by what models he has available. In this game he borrowed some cav so would have a chaff unit for the first time!

Undead 2300
Werewolves Horde
Werewolves Horde
Wights Horde
Wights Horde
Soul Reaver Cavalry Regiment – Staying Stone
Revenants Horde – Undead Giant Rats
Zombies Horde
Revenant Cavalry Troop
Vampire Lord on Undead Dragon – Icy Breath (10), Surge (8)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Bane Chant (2)
Lykanis

He actually took the first version of this army to Crossroads last month, playing his first game the night before the tournament and then staying up all night finishing painting, like a Real Gamer. Anyway, he didn’t like how many hordes he had, but did like the Wights and Werewolves, so he’s doubling down on the Me 3+ hammers. I’m happy to see the Werewolves, they seem weirdly absent in Undead lists? Maybe because Wights and Soul Reaver Cav exist. He could definitely use another chaff unit – I’d likely downgrade the Revenants to a second Zombie horde, as much as he hates them, to get points for a second Rev Cav troop.

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 – Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Centaur Chief
Centaur Chief
Moonfang

Same list for me, double Centaur Chiefs, no upgrades, etc.

We rolled up Control, which suits me but he’s no slouch at, with 25US and plenty of speed. The Herd scouted and then lost first turn.

BATTLE

Herd 0: Scouting phase! The plan, somewhat foolishly, is to grind through the center while somehow holding off the brutal Undead pincers. That’s 2x Wights + Dragon on the left and 2x Werewolves + Lykanis + Soul Reavers on the right.
Undead 1: The Undead center shambles up, as the Wights apparate through the forest on the left and the Werewolves absolutely punch it down the right, forming a second, very close battleline. He’s intentionally going ham, and given our comparative combat stats that might not be all that crazy.
He needs 10″ or more to surge those Zombies into the left Tree Herder, but he tries for it all the same. The VLoUD’s Surge (8) results in 1″ 😐 His Necromancer then switches to the Revenants, maybe to keep them abreast, and shoves them like 5″ with a Surge (6). Yikes.
Herd 1: The Undead want to dance and the Hallow is happy to oblige. Two Forest Shambler hordes plow into the over-extended Revenant horde (one of them managing to leave the hill for that sweet TC), as their Herder long bombs into the VLoUD – I pointed out in his turn that he had landed 12″ away from the Herder, but he either wanted to wear it or felt like it wasn’t a thing to be worried about … On the left, Centaur Chief and Centaur troop charge Wights to gum them up. On the right, the other Herder hits some Werewolves while more Shamblers charge more Werewolves, with Centaurs in their flank.
*sound of tree limbs slamming into flesh / ghosts* Quite a lot of damage is splashed across the Undead line but everything keeps it together.
Undead 2: The second wave of Undead crashes in, confirming that we’re in the grind now! Zombies heave into some Tribal Spears (hindered), Rev Cav flank the right Herder with Werewolves in the front, Lykanis fronts and Soul Reavers flank the right Centaurs, and otherwise it’s a lot of counter-charging. I convince him to disengage, nimble pivot and GTFO with his dragon, as he’s not going to out-grind a Tree Herder, especially with 5 damage already. The Necro probably bane chants the Revenant horde.
The Centaurs and Chief on the left are torn apart by angry ghosts, and the Centaurs on the right are dismembered by petulant vampires and a rowdy dog man. Otherwise it’s another round of damage dice hitting the table – of note is the right Tree Herder on 7 damage and nearby Shamblers on 8.
Herd 2: The Search For More Violence. On the left, some Wights are flanked by Tribal Spears and fronted by the other Centaur Chief, while the Tree Herder menaces in their general direction. In the center, Tribal Spears + Moonfang take on the Zombies and the two Shambler hordes hit the Revenants again. On the right, Tribal Spears flank the Rev Cav (off the hill), Tree Herder counters the Werewolves, and Shamblers counter their own Werewolves.
Everything but the Zombies routs, which is particularly gratifying when it comes to both Werewolves in one turn. If he had alpha’d me, instead of allowing me to punch first, I’m quite sure I would have lost that grind. Also you know, another gold star for Tribal Spears, wrecking Wights on a flank with a little help from Centaur friends.
Undead 3: Wights take that charge on Tribal Spears and Zombies counter their own Spears, but otherwise the Undead put their speed to work. The dragon gets away from the vampire slaying Tree Herder on the left, while the Lykanis and Soul Reavers continue their flank around the tower on the right.
Wights explode their Tribal Spears and the Zombies waver theirs. Just too damn spooky!
Herd 3: The left Tree Herder goes to bust some Wights, Forest Shamblers flank the Zombies (off the hill for that 0+ to damage) with Moonfang in the front, and Centaur Chief sits down the dragon. The other Shamblers and Herder turn to see if they can trap the fast stuff rounding the tower. A Tribal Spear unit also begins its voyage into the upper right Control section.
The Zombies are pulverized into a rich slurry and the VLoUD is wavered. Also the Wights get punched.
Undead 4: Wights counter the Tree Herder, the dragon turns to face the incoming Tribal Spears, and the Lykanis / Soul Reavers prepare to use their speed to leap out of hiding next turn. The Necromancer also charges some wounded Forest Shamblers, but spoilers, misses his one bop.
6 damage against a Herder isn’t bad!
Herd 4: Tribal Spears + Centaur Chief charge the VLoUD, Tree Herder + Moonfang charge the Wights, Shamblers counter the Necromancer, and Tribal Spears continue their pursuit of scenario glory.
Moonfang + Herder tagteam the Wights to re-death, the Necro wavers and the dragon gets poked (and sat down).
Undead 5: The VLoUD counters the Tribal Spears (phalanx’d!), the Lykanis scampers into the Shamblers on the hill, and Soul Reavers take on the vaguely wounded right Tree Herder.
Lykanis and dragon have a rough time of it (1 and 2 damage dealt respectively), and despite getting the Herder up to 11 damage, the Soul Reavers can’t work magic either. The Undead general concedes at this point, so that’s a …

HERD VICTORY

While the list certainly has the hammers it needs to smash the hell out of opponents, it really relies on getting that alpha, especially with so few control elements going on. So a match where he surrendered his speed advantage and let my #slowherd strike first probably wasn’t going to go well for the deadites :/ I was happy to finally play him, as lopsided an affair as it turned out. I’ll probably ask him to play again soon and maybe bring a more traditional army to slam into.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!

THE HALLOW 8: UNDEAD

Alright, last practice game before the Crossroads GT and it’s a rematch against my clubmate’s Undead. This is essentially the final version of his list, and mine is pretty much there as well.

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
Beast of Nature – Wings, 7 Attaks
Tree Herder – Lute of Insatiable Darkness, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Druid – Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Centaur Chief – Blade of Slashing

I’ve been feeling really ground out with the CS1 of the Forest Shamblers, and finding instances where my fancy Tree Herder doesn’t get to fight, so maybe he could buff a unit 1-2 times a game? Dropped the Druid’s staff for an *ahem* hoot of darkness :X (my fancy Herder has an owl on his shoulder, the true mastermind of the army)

Undead 2300
Wights Horde
Wights Horde
Wights Horde
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – Chalice of Wrath
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Blade of Slashing?
Vampire on Undead Pegasus
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Bane Chant (2)
Undead Army Standard Bearer – Lute of Insatiable Darkness

Triple Wights! That’s a spicy meatball. Slightly fewer Soul Reavers but the reg is a crazy hammer and the troop one helluva glass hammer. I’m pretty sure the Vampasuses had no spells – they might have had Surge (4) each but I think he was smart and put it into fury on the big Soul Reavers. Honestly I’d put staying stone on the troop as well but I’m not sure that he did that here.

We rolled up Plunder (again), so that means super scout phase for me! I also nabbed the first turn.

BATTLE

Herd 0: Scouting phase! The Hallow pushes hard in the center, grabbing the central loot and a two pointer (glowy green).
Herd 1: The forest advances on the deadites. The plan is to grab the right token and then grind the Undead on the left. The other Centaurs are hard to left beyond that wood.
Undead 1: The main body of the Undead force moves forward en masse, while the right arm (ASB + Wights + 2x Zombies) backs up.
Herd 2: The Hallow forms a second battleline across the board, as the rightmost Tribal Spears grab a third token. The Beast of Nature flanks the rightmost Zombies, knowing it can’t be seen by the Wights (the Zombies could have backed up 1″ less and she would have been in arc) and there’s no surge available. The Zombies hold on 8 damage.
Undead 2: Here they come! Ghoul wild charge rolls see one unit into the Centaurs off shot to the left and another with a Vampasus into some Tribal Spears. Zombies counter the Beast, and more Zombies charge the central Shamblers. A slower Ghoul troop picks up a 2 point token. The Undead ASB fails to bane chant the Zombies fighting the Beast, and the Necromancer fails to bane chant the Ghouls fighting Tribal Spears 😀
Big new Vampasus is big! Great mini, excited to see her painted next week.
The Beast takes 2 damage, grounding her; the Shamblers take 2 damage; and the Tribal Spears take 4 after some rough rolls, but waver with some luck in the other direction. Way on the left, the Centaurs take 1 damage, disordering them.
Herd 3: The Hallow strikes out at the Undead, with the hill Herder powering into the central Wights (out of arc of the Soul Reaver regiment) and the Zombies on the right eating Shamblers (loot dropped for distance) and Centaurs + Beast respectively. In the center, Shamblers counter the Zombies, Tribal Spears flank the Ghouls and the Centaur Chief rushes in to sit down the Vampasus. The Centaurs on the left counter their Ghouls. I forget to use the Lute Herders bane chant, but as it turns out the only meaningful target is the Centaur Chief, since everybody else is wounding on 2+ already. The Druid might have tried and failed to heal somebody.
Left and central Ghouls rout, the Wights cop 5 damage, the Vampasus is sat down, the rightmost Zombies are smashed (Beast sidesteps or backs up out of Wight arc), but the Shamblers over there get bogged down in their Zombies. This isn’t great for outgrinding the Wights next turn …
Undead 3: Wights charge Centaurs on both ends of the board, and the third counters their Herder. The disordered Vampasus just squeezes into a fresh Tribal Spear regiment holding a token, as the other combos with some Ghouls into the leftmost Shamblers. More Ghouls charge the hill Tribal Spears, Zombies counter the right Shamblers, and the Soul Reavers rev up to be a menace next turn. The ASB again fails to bane chant the Wights fighting the Herder, as does the Necromancer 😛
Wights crush their Centaurs in both cases, but everything else is a grind. Left Shamblers take 3 damage, hill Tribal Spears 2 damage, Vampasus’ Spears 2 damage, Herder 5 damage, and the Zombies fluff.
Herd 4: The Undead has left a couple flanks open, so the Hallow takes them. Most notably, the Soul Reaver reg is easily flanked by the central Shamblers (bane chanted). The central Wights are fronted and flanked by Tree Herders. The left Vampasus is fronted by Shamblers and flanked by Tribal Spears. The hill Ghouls are charged by more Spears. The other Vampasus is countered by Spears and reared by the Centaur Chief. And the back-right Shamblers counter their Zombies again while the Beast flits off to deal with the Undead ASB (behind that big rock). Yowza. The rightmost Tribal Spears scoop up the 2 point token, adding it to their 1 pointer.
Yes, that’s double snake eyes against the Vampasus and the Wights, two important hammers. Sad times. The combat against the Soul Reavers actually goes terribly as well with very little damage dealt, but I crank double 10+ rout rolls through and pop them on an 11. So there is that. The ASB and Zombies crumble, and the other Vampasus is sat down at least (and robbed of nimble thanks to phalanx).
Undead 4: Listen, be gentle ok? Vampasuses both counter-charge Tribal Spears, miraculously alive Wights head back into that beat up Herder, Soul Reaver troop charges the Shamblers that staked their brethren (and stole their 2 point loot token), and the last of the Ghouls charge the Shamblers on that hill too. Left Wights scooped up a 1 point token and right ones turned to face the Shamblers in the back-right. Let’s pretend the Necromancer bane chanted the Soul Reavers 😉
Lots of damage but the only rout is the Herder to the Wights. Ghouls’ Shamblers to 5, hill Spears to 8, central Spears to 7 (wavered), and Soul Reavers’ Shamblers to 12 but miraculously no rout!
Herd 5: On the hill, Shamblers flank the Vampasus this time, with Tribal Spears in the front. The Centaur Chief charges the other Vampasus to sit her down (she’s floating at 1 damage now after lifeleaching so often). The amazingly alive Shamblers hit the Soul Reavers, with bane chant behind them, while the Lute Herder flanks the central Wights – there must have been a reason he didn’t turn them to face? I think he was worried about the many things that could flank them if he did? I don’t think they were blocked in. Finally, the Beast of Nature comboes into the rear Wights with the Shamblers. Also the rightmost Tribal Spears quietly keep dragging their 3 points of loot away into that swamp …
The central Wights and hill Vampasus are finally dusted, but that’s a third snake eyes on the Soul Reaver troop. Buguh. The remaining Vampasus is sat down and the right Wights are stomped for 10 damage but the single rout roll isn’t strong enough.
Undead 5: The left Wights flank the poor Shamblers fighting the Soul Reavers and the right Wights aim to end the Beast’s reign of terror. The Vampasus heads back into the beleagured central Tribal Spears and the Ghouls on the hill scrabble against the Shamblers there.
39 damage later!
Those Shamblers evaporate into a fine green mist 😀 The Beast is also scythed down and the Vampasus finishes stomping the Tribal Spears into goop. The Ghouls do nothing to their Shamblers.

Quick Token Check: 4 Undead to 3 Herd

Herd 6: The back-right Shamblers charge and rout the Wights they’ve been grinding towards all game. The hill Shamblers scatter the annoying Ghouls. Their Tribal Spear buddies ramp off the hill and punch 8 damage into the Wights with 3 loot points (the Lute Herder helped a little). The Centaur Chief zips into the Soul Reaver troop to hold them in place, but the real magic is that Tribal Spear regiment in the center charging the single damage Vampasus and routing it. I was not expecting that! And am now holding 4:3 loot points.
Undead 6: The Wights counter the Tribal Spears and wreck them handily, as do the Soul Reavers the poor Centaur Chief. The Wights drag their spoils a couple inches away … but there’s a Turn 7!
Herd 7: The hill Shamblers flank and rout the Wights (with the help of bane chant), gobbling up all their loot. The Lute Herder powers into the Soul Reavers and pops them as well.
Undead 7: Last deadite standing, the Necromancer tries to bop the 10 damage Shamblers and release their 3 loot points to the winds. Sadly he misses. With a hearty 7/7 loot points, this is a …

HERD VICTORY

It’s surprising to look back and see how this game almost fell apart as that Vampasus who plowed into my lines Turn 2 waded through an ocean of spears to snatch the tie-breaking loot token. Major cred to her tenacity! On the flipside, I did have triple snake eyes against Undead hammers, so my ability to reflect on tactics or what not is kind of limited. On the whole, this is a game where my strategy turned out sound and played out, thanks to bad as well as good luck (the odds of those spear bois dropping the vamp have to be next to nothing!)

As for the list, clearly the lute isn’t for me. I had a single chance to use it, and not only did I forget but it wouldn’t have meant much. My final list drops it back down to pipes of terror, gives the Druid her conjuring staff back as well as lightning bolt (2). I popped that on her right before submission, so here’s hoping it comes in handy! My thought was that the army could use just a little something in Turn 1 to pop low Nv chaff or Turn 6+ to pop mangled units fleeing my all combat army.

I’ll be back in a couple weeks with news from the tournament. Until then!

THE HALLOW 5: UNDEAD

Immediately after Game 4, the forces of the Herd and Undead regrew / resurrected and we threw down again! I tweaked a couple upgrades in my list because I had to tinker …

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
Beast of Nature – Wings, 7 Attaks
Tree Herder – War-Bow, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff, Surge (4), Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Centaur Chief – Blade of Slashing

Despite hexing a Necromancer twice in the last game, I had cooled on the Trickster’s Wand as a thing I wanted a Tree Herder to be doing. Honestly the range is the nicest part, but without other shooting to make hex feedback matter it feels like a non-issue. The no move thing is pretty neat tho … Anyway, I spread a little more surge around at the cost of the Wand.

Undead 2300
Wights Horde – Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Wights Horde – Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – 10 Point Item
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – The Boomstick, Lightning Bolt (6)
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Weakness (2)
Necromancer – Shroud of the Saint, Surge (6), Heal (6)

The Undead, on the other hand, changed nothing at all. After this game we went through a lot of iterations, and I think he landed on triple Wights, single Soul Reavers, with some remix of the trash (4x Zombies + 4x Ghouls?)

We rolled up Pillage, with max tokens per Blackjack scoring. The Herd scouted but Undead took the first turn!

BATTLE

Herd 0: Scouting phase! We really should have swapped table sides too, tho I tried to shake my deployment up a bit. The Undead certainly did, with the Wights moved from trapped in the middle behind the woods to rocking the flanks.
Undead 1: Roll out! The Undead has an easier time unpacking their deployment this time, with the Soul Reavers + Ghoul escorts working in concert, the Wights enjoying (any) LOS, and the lightning Vampire on Pegasus threatening from the left flank. The blue weakness token of shame is gifted to the right most Forest Shamblers … but speaking of shame, the lightning bolt (6) from the Vampasus completely fluffs :X
Herd 1: The Hallow plays it very cagey on the left, but goes hard on the right. Two Shambler hordes punch into the chaffing Ghouls, with the Beast menacing flank charges on everybody and the War Herder in support. However despite 11 damage, I snake eyes the Ghouls … which might be a blessing in disguise, as they are thoroughly in the way of the looming hammers!
Undead 2: The Undead likewise keeps it cagey on the left, and after a lot of finagling puts Wights + Ghouls into one Shambler horde, leaving the others stuck on the wall.
The Shamblers take 11 damage but they hold, even with brutal!
Herd 2: The Hallow unleash green hell! L2R – Centaurs charge Wights (to sit them down / chaff), Shamblers grab a flank on Zombies, Tribal Spears + Herder charge more Zombies, the Centaur Chieftain charges Ghouls, the mangled Shamblers + War Herder counter the Wights, the hindered Shamblers flank the brutalized Ghouls, and the Beast flanks the right Soul Reavers. Yowza. The Centaurs on the left get bane chanted, as nobody else is in range or relevant (Zombies).
Both Zombies, the battered Ghouls and the Soul Reavers are routed – go Beast! The Centaurs do a solid 4 damage to the Wights from 6 attaks, the Centaur Chief wavers his Ghouls, but despite getting the central Wights up to 11 damage I fail the double rout test 😥 Speaking of sadness, the leftmost Shamblers can’t reform to face the incoming Soul Reavers (but maybe could have if I had done the combats in a different order).
Undead 3: The second Undead wave crashes in, lamentably in some flanks too. L2R – Wights counter the Centaurs with Vampasus in the flank, Soul Reavers flank the leftmost Shamblers, Ghouls charge the Tribal Spears (to get out of the way of Soul Reavers mostly), the bashed up Wights + Zombies charge the bashed up Shamblers, and the other Vampasus charges the Beast for some not-necessarily-titanic-but-still-big kaiju combat. The Shamblers on the wall receive weakness, once again.
Y’all, Undead hammers do work, ok? Centaurs and both Shambler units evaporate. The Tribal Spears and Beast take token damage. If you’re wondering why the right Wights didn’t rotate to face the hindered, weakened Shamblers, there’s a chance he was being cocky and assuming I can’t roll 5+ to hit and wound (a fool’s mistake!), but I think he might have been protecting the flank of the Vampasus, as the Wights are currently aligned with her so there’s no tiny overhang.
Herd 3: The backline of Tribal Spears slam into the Undead left flank, with two into the Soul Reavers and one into the Wights. The left Herder I think flanks the Ghouls that had charged those Tribal Spears, and the Centaur Chief bounds into the weakness Necromancer. The War Herder charges the bloodied Wights with hindered, weakened Shamblers in the flank, and the Beast counters the Vampasus. You can also see the right Centaurs peeking into frame, where they’ve been holding a token all game. Bane chant goes out onto one of the Tribal Spears fighting Soul Reavers.
The good news is that those murderous Wights and Soul Reavers are both dusted, as are the Herder’s Ghouls; the less good is that the Wights, Vampasus and Necromancer only take token damage and are all fine. Also I vow to give the Centaur Chief his cat back, I love duelist too much and miss it whenever it’s gone.
Undead 4: The Wights nuke those leftmost Tribal Spears in one go, Ghouls scratch 5 (!) damage into the left Herder with a hindered rear charge, the right Vampasus smacks the Beast up to 8 damage, and some Zombies slap 1 damage onto the last Shambler horde. Also the other Zombies make a play for the Herd’s DZ token.
Herd 4: The left flank is stressing me out, as I’ve got one hammer left over there and the Tribal Spears are really suffering against the Wights + Vampasus. So I launch the Herder and some Tribal Spears into the Wights (Herder couldn’t stand on the hill, naturally), with the other Tribal Spears charging the Zombies (possibly to get out of the way). Those Ghouls are a problem, so the Centaur Chief re-charges them to try to finish what he started. Both Zombies on the right find themselves in predicaments, including a long range flank from the Tribal Spears that have just been loitering on a token to the right. The Beast, meanwhile, keeps pounding on the Vampasus. Bane chant goes on the Spears fighting the Wights.
The Wights finally pop, thanks to strong Herder damage and stronger Nv rolls. Both Zombies on the right disintegrate and the Beast wavers her Vampasus! Sadly, the Centaur Chief fluffs against the central Ghouls. The Ghouls that have their pick of two rears and a flank 😦
Undead 5: Oof. Ghouls rear some Tribal Spears while the left Vampasus rears more Tribal Spears. Over on the right, the weakness Necromancer charges the Shamblers to disorder them, thus incapable of charging through him.
The rears are successful, blending both Tribal Spear regiments, and also giving my Tree Herder no LOS to either of them (I think he is facing the Zombies, he had turned to protect his rear from both Ghouls and Vampasus). My opponent at this point is real hot for Ghoul troops 😀 Also the Necro fails to boop the Shamblers.
Herd 5: The Shamblers flank the Vampasus – we’ve been playing that for move-blocking purposes a charge is one movement, including the pick-up-and-place, not a sequence of small movements. Could be we’re wrong, I know other players have interpreted it differently, but my opponent agreed so flank it was. She doesn’t survive. The Centaur Chief charges in to sit the other Vampasus down, and both Tree Herders face the center to catch a Vampasus. The Druid heals the left Herder down to 1 damage, then I think the Centaur Chief fails to wound the Vampasus?? Not seeing a damage die O_O
Undead 6: Those damned Ghouls charge off into the last of the Tribal Spears, who are also weakened by that damned Necromancer. Also the Centaur Chieft is charged by Zombies + Vampasus, in a bid to rout him and reform.
The Centaur Chief takes only 3 damage, holding like a champ! Meanwhile the Tribal Spears only take 2 damage from the Ghouls.
Herd 6: The left Herder giddily rears the Vampasus, with Centaur Chief in the front. The Beast flanks into the Zombies while the War Herder helps the Tribal Spears out with the Ghoul troop.
Mmm, success. All of the Undead, save two loathesome Necromancers, are purged from the swamp.
Undead 7: Well, this is awkward. The shroud Necromancer tries to repeat the magic from Game 4, by charging the Beast in hopes of either a lucky rout or more likely disordering her, so she can’t fly exactly to where my opponent is measuring. She flubs the 5+/5+ tho.
Herd 7: The Beast swoops off to claim another token, after which the War Herder charges the offending Necromancer, pulping her and backing up onto a token. With 6 of 7 tokens, that’s a resounding …

HERD VICTORY

While it feels good to have outfought smashy Undead a second time, the left flank showed the importance of keeping my own hammers in reach of my mainline units, as the Tribal Spears kept splashing up against those Wights and getting nothing done, and couldn’t get a bead on his Vampasus, who got up to some short range flying shenanigans, which I gather is what fly is really about, not just long bombing into flanks. Speaking of which, cred to the Beast of Nature, what a power piece. Easy to see how two is a staple and three is common for high end Nature / Herd – whenever I faced Nature in 2E I always had to fight 3x lightning battery Beasts, which is a different and blessedly defunct situation (lol because now they’re called Mindscreeches :P)

I’ve got another game to report on, this time against Ogres and with the Beast (ironically given the above praise) swapped out for Moonfang! Who I realized is the same points but gives me another inspiring and spreads vicious wherever he’s fighting (a bit like my favorite part of Wiltfather). Stay tuned!

THE HALLOW 4: UNDEAD

My buddy has been waffling on the Undead army he’s currently painting for the upcoming Crossroads GT, so I summoned him to my place to smash out a couple games in the name of hobby science. I also rebuilt the core of my list to gain a little more defense – and a handful of points – at the cost of offense I was rarely getting much out of.

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
Beast of Nature – Wings, 7 Attaks
Tree Herder – Trickster’s Wand, Surge (8)
Tree Herder – Surge (8)
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff, Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Centaur Chief – Blade of Slashing

Swapping the Spirit Walkers down to Tribal Spears feels good for the Def4 (relevant in a world of Piercing(1) shooting), plus the phalanx buff for whenever it comes into play (spoilers: not really yet), but keeps the 15 attaks so I can work some dice magic, especially in a flank. The Walkers WC(D3) didn’t really matter – 12+D3″ outranges Sp6 enemies, which is cool, but not really much else – and while the Me3+ is groovy, getting punched or shot first isn’t. I also really like getting them down to 135 pts, these regiments feel like the versatile chaff / scorers I wanted. Also the Beast makes her reappearance, and I think this is the first Centaur Chief? Who is damn amazing.

Undead 2300
Wights Horde – Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Wights Horde – Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment – 10 Point Item
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – The Boomstick, Lightning Bolt (6)
Vampire on Undead Pegasus – Surge (4)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Surge (6), Weakness (2)
Necromancer – Shroud of the Saint, Surge (6), Heal (6)

His goal is to have trash control the field and objectives while the high quality Undead hammers smash things, which seems legit to me. Wights are honestly pretty frightening, between fly and Me3+ and so on. Soul Reaver blender regs are of course the hotness but I’ve been dealing with non-flying hammers for a long time, so a bit more of a shrug. I’m also a big fan of the Vamp Pegs and give them far more respect than Vamp Dragons.

We rolled up Plunder, which I dig as a scenario, bit more dynamic play involved. The Herd scouted and then took first as well.

BATTLE

Herd 0: Scouting phase!
Herd 1: Scooting phase! The Hallow take up position / grab almost all of the loot tokens (there’s one more hard to the left by the rock). The Beast menaces some angles from the lower-left, and in the center-right some Shamblers shelter behind a wall and tempt the Undead to try to unpack the right Soul Reavers and see what they’ve got when hindered. The Hex Herder pinged the weakness Necromancer as well.
Undead 1: The deadites scoot forward, with some Zombies ultimately slapping uselessly against the Shamblers on the wall, after trying to finagle a double charge with the Soul Reavers. Lightning however spikes into the Druid and wavers her!
Herd 2: With control of 6/7 loot points, the Hallow creeps back in the center, while charging out on the flanks. Zombies are flanked by Centaurs on the left and combo-charged by Tribal Spears and Centaurs on the right; to control the chaff game, more Spears jump on the leftmost Ghouls, and the Centaur Chief speeds off to sit down the surge Vamp Pegasus.
Herd 2: Right Zombies and those Ghouls get mulched, but the left Zombies hold the Centaur flank. The Vampasus is sat down.
Undead 2: The rage of the unliving is poured out all over the Hallow – Zombies counter Centaurs, Vampasus counters Centaur Chief, Soul Reavers + Zombies charge Tribal Spears, Vampasus 2 + Pathfinder Wights charge leftmost Shamblers, Ghouls charge center Shamblers (to get out of the way), and Zombies + Soul Reavers manage to hit the rightmost Shamblers. Whew.
Undead 2: Huge amounts of violence later, and only the Tribal Spears hit by Soul Reavers + Zombies rout! And the Centaur Chief is wavered. The Shamblers taking only 8 damage from Vampasus + Wights was certainly the biggest upset.
Herd 3: Made to bleed their own sap, the Hallow grabs as many flanks as possible and prepares for murder. L2R – Centaurs counter Zombies, Centaur Chief nimbles backwards to get in the way of the Soul Reavers, the Beast of Nature pounces on the flank of the lightning Vampasus, Shamblers + Tribal Spears hit the exposed Wights with a Tree Herder in the flank (!), center Shamblers counter their Ghouls, and right Shamblers counter the Soul Reavers with a flank from the Tribal Spears (their 2 pt loot tossed over to the Centaurs). The Druid bane chants somebody (gonna guess the Shamblers fighting the Wights), and the Hex Herder hits the weakness Necromancer again.
Herd 3: The left side of the board sees great success, with all combats routing the Undead. The Ghouls only wavering in the center is an insult, but the Soul Reavers wavering on the right is marginally acceptable.
Undead 3: The second wave of the dead hits the green line. L2R – the Soul Reavers can’t get past the Centaur Chief and into the Beast so grudgingly charge him, Zombies however can get in on her so charge the Beast, the surge Vampasus charges the mangled Shamblers on the hill (holding a 2 pt loot!), Ghouls charge the Tribal Spears near them, Wights blow their j-boots and hit the left Herder in the front, some Zombies fight some Tribal Spears, and more Zombies fight the right Shamblers. The weakness Necromancer pushes through the hex to weakness the right Shamblers, taking 4 damage for his troubles.
Undead 3: Centaur Chief and hill Shamblers get wrecked, otherwise damage happens, including the Beast getting grounded by Zombies 😡 Of note is the Herder copping 7 damage from the Wight charge … which I guess is math but still high five. The 2 pt loot token was not picked up by the Vampasus.
Herd 4: Sweet woodland carnage continues with another mass of counter/charges everywhere. Centaurs on the left flank Soul Reavers, the Beast pouts but counters her Zombies anyway, the hill Tribal Spears hit the Ghouls (sliding over and picking up the 2 pt loot token), the Herder hits the Wights, the central Shamblers aim to end their Ghouls, Tribal Spears to the right counter Zombies, weakened Shamblers counter more Zombies, and the Hex Herder charges the bleeding Soul Reavers with Tribal Spears in the flank. The Centaurs flanking the Soul Reavers enjoy the Druid’s bane chant. At this point I’ll note that the Vampasus is looking at a LOT of flanks and rears, so here’s hoping these combats work out!
Herd 4: The right Soul Reavers and Zombies are finally ground out, turning to face the center, and the center Ghouls rout and those Shamblers can turn to face the Vampasus as well. The Tribal Spears wreck their Ghouls as well, being able to turn to face, and more importantly block the rear of the Herder whomping on the Wights (5 damage). Sadly those Tribal Spears fighting Zombies near the center don’t poke enough … On the left the Beast slaps some Zombies, but really it’s about the Centaurs wavering the Soul Reavers! Hell yea.
Undead 4: Running low on both hammers and trash, the Undead grab what they can. Vampasus take that flank on Tribal Spears with Zombies in the front, Wights rev up to boop the Herder again, Zombies try to ground the Beast again, and Soul Reavers sadly turn to face their Centaur destroyers. The right Shamblers are weakened again.
Undead 4: The Herder drops to the Wights! But the Vampasus gets stuck in the Tribal Spears. The Beast must have been disordered as well.
Herd 5: The real question at this point is how to deal with the Undead hammers, and while the central Shamblers could have spun and been surged into the rear of the Vampasus, those Wights really needed to be held in place … So the central Shamblers hit the Wights, the right Zombies are flanked by the weakened Shamblers, the Tribal Spears see what they can do against the Vampasus (…), the weakness Necromancer is mobbed by hindered Tribal Spears, the left Zombies are flanked by more Spears in a bid to free the Beast, and the Centaurs hit the Soul Reavers in the front, despite Att6 being a really sad stat 😐 Bane chant goes on the center Shamblers, because they are gonna need it.
Herd 5: While both Zombie units rout, neither the Wights (13 damage!) nor the Vampasus (2 damage) care. The Tribal Spears on the Necromancer do 0 damage, failing to even disorder the crone, and while the Centaurs get the Soul Reavers up to 6 they can’t get another lucky waver. Gulp.
Undead 5: The Vampasus counters and explodes her Tribal Spears, the Wights one round the damage-less central Forest Shamblers (brutal tipped it over, plus me walking the Druid out of inspiring range), and the Soul Reavers get the Centaurs up to 18 damage but snake eyes it! What a swingy turn. The weakness Necromancer gets out of LOS and hits the right Shamblers with another weakness.
Herd 6: The Hallow collapses on the remaining Undead units, with the Tribal Spears flanking the Soul Reavers getting bane chanted.
Herd 6: While the Soul Reavers and Wights evaporated as anticipated, the Vampasus actually held the charge from Shamblers + Herder, albeit wavered.
Undead 6: In a final act of defiance, the shroud Necromancer changes the devastated Centaurs, hitting with her one attak and ………. I can’t remember if she rolled the 4+ to wound and then 2+ to rout, but let’s give it to my opponent 😀 Because this was a resounding …

HERD VICTORY

Actually, this my first win with the Herd! I didn’t realize that at the time, but that’s awesome! It was a helluva grind that I dictated from the beginning, when I grabbed 6 of 7 loot points in Turn 1. There’s plenty the Undead could have done – I felt like he was tripping over his chaff units as he struggled to unpack them, and the Wights hidden behind the central wood also meant they couldn’t see to charge, and I wasn’t giving him the range to push forward 7″ then surge in either. I do feel justified for fearing the Wights as much as I do, and his future lists are looking to lean more on them and less on the shiny Soul Reaver blenders.

As for my list, it felt really good to have the Spears over Walkers. Def4+ kept the Zombies or Ghouls from getting too lucky in the trash grind, and while phalanx didn’t come into play really, still having 15 attaks was grand, as was TC1 for flanking and second wave. Also the extra points to bring the Beast in, except in a list where she’s another tool and less of a desperation play like in Game 2.

We reracked and played another game immediately after this one, so stay tuned for more Undead stomping action!

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 36: UNDEAD

Now that Crossroads is reported, here’s a match from last weekend, when the club got some of its long-lost members – some more than others – together to get punched by KOW vets. I mean, makes sense to me. Also I feel pretty good about three dozen games with the army in 20 months. I missed out on a lot of events due to scheduling conflicts, but it’s a nice round number all the same.

BLOODFIRE GAME 36: UNDEAD

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 – Fireball (10), Surge (8), Heal (3), Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman
Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Martyr’s Prayer (7), Bane Chant (2), Healing Brew
Clan Lord on Fire Drake – Blessing of the Gods

Yep, same list. I have half a thought to drop a 15 point upgrade somewhere and give the CLOFD nimble, as it’s always an issue for him getting his gore cannon where it needs to be. Probably one of the bane-chants that I rarely use? The martyr Priest often has her hands full healing dudes.

Also holy crap, did you know she has a healing brew?? Pretty sure I forgot all of Crossroads, as well as this game!

Undead 2250

Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Wraiths Troop
Mummies Regiment
Zombies Legion – Hammer of Measured Force
Soul Reaver Cavalry Regiment – Brew of Haste
Revenant Cavalry Regiment
Revenant Cavalry Regiment
Balefire Catapult
Cursed Pharaoh – Surge (6), Wings of Honeymaze
Vampire Lord on Mount – Surge (3)
Liche King – Surge (12), Bane Chant (3)
Necromancer on Mount – Surge (8), Bane Chant (2)

Somebody had 15 points worth of items or spells that didn’t really come into play. There’s stuff I’d tweak, which we’ll get to at the end. This was John’s (of ‘John Holst Has a Posse’ fame) first game in a while, but he’s not a total newb, although he’s just begun multi-basing his old Vampire Counts hence the ocean of proxies.

Eliminate was gifted unto us, which is probably one of my favorites, as it involves punching things but also has a central marker, two things Bloodfire is pretty decent at. Undead either went first or were forced to.

BATTLE


Battlelines! Undead L2R: Rev Cav + Necro, Soul Reavers + Vampire, Mummies + Liche King, Zombies + Balefire, Wraiths + Pharaoh, Soul Reaver Cav (5 green bases), Rev Cav

Undead, ho! The Balefire tags a Fire Elemental horde for a solid 5 damage.

Bloodfire, ho! Ember Sprites breath 1 damage onto left Revenant Cavalry and the Wraiths, then Agnes punches an embarrassing 4 more damage into the Wraiths and can’t manage the double 7 to kill. Shake it off big gal, s’ok. Mage-Priest heals the catapulted Fire horde for 1 and Martyr Priest prays off another 3.

Deadites pounce across the line: Rev Cav into Sprites (wavered), Soul Reavers into Sprites (dead), Mummies surged into Sprites (dead), Wraiths + Rev Cav into Fire Elementals (11 damage but whatev). Balefire misses and *spoiler* will never hit again.

The red tide gets right to working that short game, with some obvious Fire Elemental counter-charges (into Soul Reavers, Mummies and Revenant Cav). The Soul Reavers cop a surged flank charge from a second Fire horde that plowed up through the woods and the rightmost Fire horde has 6 damage prayed off for grinding purposes. Meanwhile the CLOFD chunders 5 damage into the left Rev Cav and Agnes heat rays the Wraiths off the table. In combat, the Soul Reavers are turned to jelly, the Mummies take 6 damage, and the Rev Cav stick around with a healthy 7 damage taken.

SCORE: 2 | 0 (Soul Reavers +2)

The grind continues in Undead Turn 3 as the left Revenant Cav run down their Ember Sprites, the Mummies faff against their Fire horde (2 damage done, 2 damage regened as well), the Zombie legion eats the last of the Sprites, and the bane-chanted right Revenant Cav roll hot and remove their Fire horde.

The Bloodfire Herald only regrets that she can’t command all 3 central Fire Elementals to punch the Mummies at once 😐 Fire in the front and the flank puts paid to the Mummies, while a bane-chanted Fire horde to the front of the right Rev Cav shatters them as well. The CLOFD charges the left Rev Cav himself, dispensing a solid 5 damage (to no effect), and Agnes body blocks for the Martyr Priest (being hunted by the Pharaoh on the right flank) as she lasers the lurking Soul Reaver Cavalry for 4 damage #hittingishard #saideveryfireelementalever

The Zombie legion lends its considerable weight to the Soul Reaver Cav by combo-charging the fresh Fire Elementals on the right, overcoming their considerable -/18 Nv in one go. The CLOFD is counter-charged by his Revenant Cav, who punch 4 damage through with the help of bane-chant. The Pharaoh jumps on the Herald, doing just 2 wounds for not even a waver, and the Vampire blocks / charges the courageous Fire horde, doing 4 damage in the meantime. I’m reminded how pimp Vampire’s stats are, damn.

As Bloodfire closes out Turn 4, the game does still hang in the balance, but the deadites are rapidly running out of pieces, and the redementals aim to grind more away as fast as possible. The CLOFD counter-charges and smashes the Revenant Cav himself (bravo, big guy), the courageous Fire horde counter-charges the blocking Vamp for 5 damage, two Fire hordes hit the Zombie legion (thanks to surge for the upper one, hence the weird alignment) for 18 solid damage, and Agnes wades into the Soul Reaver Cav for 5 damage – and a disorder. As her last will and testament, the Martyr Priest cleans the damage off the Herald and makes herself very available for the Pharaoh.

Undead take what they can where they can. The Necro – let’s be real, his pony is the real combat power – tries to get a lucky bop on the CLOFD but can’t cut it, the Vampire counter-charges his Fire horde for some more damage, the Zombies rip 7 damage into a Fire horde (HOMF doing work!), and the Soul Reaver Cav do 4 damage to Agnes, bane-chanted but suffering from terrible dice. The Pharaoh does charge the Martyr Priest and pops her like the bloodfire blister she is.

Violence continues! The CLOFD rounds on the Necro but despite a great 7 damage (from 8 attaks) can’t land the rout. The courageous Fire Elementals hammer 7 damage into the Vampire and waver him, and Agnes likewise slams the Soul Reaver Cav and wavers them. Finally the combined might of the central Fire Elementals cremates the Zombie legion.

SCORE: 4 | 0 (Zombies +2)

Undead Turn 6 is all out desperation from the deadites. The Necro(‘s pony) takes another swing at the CLOFD but no luck, the Pharaoh and Liche King rush Agnes for 2 more damage (6 total on -/20), and the Vampire individuals his way out of any Fire Elemental’s LOS.

Bloodfire goes full on vampirehunter in Turn 6, surge-charging the Vampire and flank-charging the Soul Reavers with Fire Elementals and front-charging with an Agnes. Bloodsuckers get redeaded. The Necromancer gets turned into old man paste too.

SCORE: 6 | 0 (Soul Reaver Cav +2)

Of course there’s a Turn 7! The Pharaoh and Liche King go back into Agnes but score no wounds. I don’t think we rolled for Agnes’ CS4 return attaks :/

SCORE: 7 | 0 (Center +1)

BLOODFIRE VICTORY

Wooooooo! Fun to roll dice and push the Bloodfire around, as well as face Undead outside of a tournament. It’s an interesting faction that wants similar things to me, except is generally faster and doesn’t have the same chaff or shooting game I have. I tend to get owned by Vampires on Pegasus and Werewolves, as they’re fast and can easily get to my flanks or even behind my lines. This list I guess relies on the cav for that sort of pressure? But with shambling Rev Cav can’t do it and the Soul Reaver Cav is such a pure hammer that I’m not sure you can be as cavalier as smaller, more maneuverable units.

Anyway, I did some thinking about where I would take the list, maybe some light tweaks like this:

Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Wraiths Regiment
Mummies Regiment
Zombies Legion – Hammer of Measured Force
Soul Reaver Cavalry Regiment – Cat Potion
Revenant Cavalry Regiment
Revenant Cavalry Regiment
Cursed Pharaoh – Surge (6), Wings of Honeymaze
Vampire Lord on Mount – Surge (3)
Liche King – Surge (12), Bane Chant (3)
Lykanis

With 20 points left over for whatever tastiness COK19 brings, or most likely +1Nv on the Mummies or Lykanis and then 5 points of whatever functional thing COK19 brings for the Vamp or the pup. There are some nice 20 pointers as well but I really like the simple nerve bump, especially for regenerating things.