FORCES OF NURGLEKIN: ADVENTURES IN COUNTS AS

Gentle readers! Sorry for the lack of reports, but unfortunately it’s been extremely hard to get games in this Fall, as everybody’s availability vanished and the wait time for the BRB to arrive squashed a lot of enthusiasm for our existing armies. Well, we’ve finally got our Big Red Books … just in time for the holidays to smash into whatever free time we might have 😐

That said, my club recently announced its GT dates and details, which has lit some fires. Last weekend of January will be the second Dead of Winter GT here in Albany, NY – 5 games, 2150 points, no triples of any kind. While I think this is pretty reactionary and am pretty sure no quads makes for more varied lists, it’s interesting to say the least and I’ll be there no matter the comp (that’s a lie, I probably can’t make a Highlander (no duplicates) list with any army I own!) This Zweilander format, as I’ve dubbed it, does invalidate all my current armies – I use a lot of triples or quadruples for theme / skew – however I’m down to play something different.

Of the four armies I currently have, the Scuttlers (Trident) could be rebuilt but wouldn’t be a shooting army any more and would probably need the return of the Gigas; Bloodfire (Salamanders) is based around Fire Elemental hordes and Ember Sprites, which I’d be limited to 2x hordes + 2x regiments of at most (the duplicate limit is per unit per size); the Hallow (Herd) I recently rebuilt into a Brute hordes and Tribal Warriors regs checkerboard thing; and my WHFB legacy Nurgling army was last run as a Ratkin army in 2E built around 3-4 hordes of elite infantry. I reported my Nurglekin games over on DakkaDakka as well as my old blogspot (check out a weirdly competent tournament run here). The Nurglekin are also individually based and in the midst of an eternal redux, making them the most flexible for tinkering …

So over the last month I chopped up a couple Zombicide minis and started converting a new wave of Ratkin weird tek. I played a 2300 game against Cory’s Salamanders and really enjoyed it! Ratkin 3E is a strange faction but the playstyle felt good to return to, with a nice mix of grind and responsive shooting. Here are the few shots I’ve got of that game, which I believe was a draw thanks to a Turn 6-7 Mother Cryza lightning bolt rout:

The announcement of the Zweilander format curtailed my enthusiasm a bit (goodbye triple Shocktroop hordes) but I pushed on for a while. As time with no games dragged on, I found myself less enthused by the double horde build and wanting to mess around with a totally new direction for the green carpet, one that would let me use some WMH minis I’d earmarked for the army but Ratkin doesn’t support, as it has no tall 50mm units.

Specifically for this bastard!

Enter the Abyssals. While I’ve looked at the Abyssal list before, as it’s the usual home for WHFB Chaos Daemons, I’ve never actually played as them, and have a good track record of beating them at events. Abyssals seem pretty middle of the road, with ok anvils, decent mid-range shooting, mediocre hammers, multiple annoying flyers, an interesting selection of monsters and solos, and a fantastic titan in the Abyssal Fiend. On rate, I’m a fan of Lesser Abyssals and would use them for the Nurgling bulk of the army. The list also has many heroes for me to use all the Confrontation minis that make up the army’s individuals. And most importantly, Abyssals have lots of tall 50mm options for my boy Omodamos: Despoiler Champion, Chroneas, Manifestation of Ba’el, and the Well of Souls. Dash28 tells me the Well is the big brain choice, but I love how weird the Chroneas is, plus in an army that hits on 4+ I really want to hit on 3+, preferably all the time thanks to Strider. I came so close to trying out Ba’el in a game, however I’ll be real, I waver and kill Ba’el whenever I run into him. The dude is fine and his LB7 would be great for the army, I’d just rather have a weirder, fearless option.

The Zweilander format presented some challenges to my triple Lower Abyssal hordes plan, but here’s where I’ve landed after two test games vs Undead:

  • In both my test games I ran double Tortured Souls hordes but wow are those not good hammers! Did they really only lose nimble from 2E? Maybe they had CS2 before too? I’m shocked at how incompetent they are, even in the flank, and the H2 is a real liability on flyers. I’m hoping that the points saved from dropping one to a regiment (i.e. the correct size for the unit) and put back into killy items will help them both do their jobs better. Plus it gives me a fast chaff unit in the regiment.
  • The Abyssals, Guard or Lower, have been ok. I’m always itching to drop them to De 3+ and CS1 but the prevalence of P0-1 shooting is keeping me at De 4+ for now. I might swap the Lower Abyssal regs to CS1, so they might ever do some damage (I grabbed a flank in one of my games and did a whole 4 damage even bane chanted), but in theory they should be decent little 115 point anvils with De 4+ and regen 5+. A regen value, by the way, that I am really struggling with – Trident’s 4+ has ruined me πŸ˜›
  • Chroneas has been fun, Me 3+ CS3 is nice and chunky, Cloak of Death is brilliant. Temporal Ruptures is neat although would be much better if the Chroneas could heal itself, since it’s one of the only parts of the army without its own sustain. Which, yes, it could do with drain life but after taking DL8 in my first game I agree with the Internet, the upgrade is a trap. Cheaper is best.
  • The hero blend is a combination of models I want to use and duplication limits due to the comp meaning I can’t just run triple Champs. The more I use the Seductress, the more I love her, what a great toolbox hero. I haven’t run her with LB yet, but I had the points spare and for consistency and more ranged pressure I like the spell on her. For a brief time she had BC (for the Tortured Souls mostly) but I didn’t cast it, preferring to get her stuck in. She had Pipes of Terror in my second game, which is probably the go to if I wasn’t taking Boomstick. Finally, the Abyssal Warlock. An obviously great 3E hero who currently spends his days casting bane chant on the Abyssal hordes. It’s a living! With so many individuals I’ve decided to invest a few points into the new Host Shadowbeast, which I think has legs with the otherwise weak CS1 of the Abyssal individuals. I’ve tacked on Knowledgeable for an extra +1 from the spell, 10 points that otherwise would become Slashing + Crushing for the Champions. That might be better? Since it’s always on and not reliant on the Warlock not casting BC, but eh, I prefer simpler lists with fewer items if I can.

Let’s wrap this up with some mini-reports. In Forces of Nurgle 1: Undead, my buddy premiered yet another redux of his Undead army:

It’s a very solid list, with the exception of the Lute which I assured Jeff that wolf would probably never get a chance to strum. Relying on the Lykanis for inspiring will often hold them back from going rambo, but with only Att 5 maybe that’s for the better? Keeps them close for combo-charging instead of trying for flank pressure.

We played classic Loot, with the Revenant Hordes eventually getting a token each and proving far too hard for me to shift with their LL2+ and my terrible dice. The highlight for me was slowly whittling down and routing his Soul Reaver Cav with one Abyssal Champion, thanks to wavering them halfway through the process. Shadowbeast +4 gave him the boost he needed to finish them. The lowlight, tho, was taking seven flanks from Goreblights, only one to two of which were thanks to surge …

One of seven Goreblight flanks, each one of which killed a unit.

I was obviously having trouble protecting my hordes’ and regs’ flanks or blocking the Goreblights out, despite having all these dumb individuals wandering around getting into trouble. Like smashing a Soul Reaver unit late game and then going back to back to block out the final token out of spite:

The Undead did get a Turn 7 to try to grab the third token too, but my Apostates of Darkness successfully held the hill:

Despite these late game heroics, this was a decisive NURGLEKIN LOSS. I went back to the drawing board, waffled around with including Ba’el, kept the Chroneas and rematched the Undead a couple days later. He ran the same list, except with the Necromancer swapped to a Revenant Champion w/ Tome of Darkness + Surge (5) and no Lute on that Lykanis. I assured him that ‘wasting points’ on a model you’d rather bring (he hates his Necro) and is only marginally better is both Cool and Good.

In Forces of Nurgle 2: Undead, we rolled up Push. He loaded all his tokens on the Aegis Revenants and successfully grabbed the center token with the Hann’s Revenants, so again put me in the position of needing to crack very tough hordes with a relatively toothless army. Here’s us squaring off on the left:

You can also see me feeding my trash Abyssal regiments to bop the horde or sleedbump things. I messed up and should have blocked the central Goreblight so it couldn’t (SPOILER) flank me in coming turns 😦 But such was the theme of the weekend.

Like so! This is after that Goreblight flanked to the right, killing an Abyssal Guard regiment and spinning to face this flank, which it walked into. Dammit, me. This horde did survive tho, as the Goreblight rolled normal hits for the first time all weekend (my opponent’s dice were FIRE on all his 4+ while mine were wet garbage), and I got to experience the power of the sacrificial imp double regen, which was great fun πŸ˜€

Eventually we crack both Rev hordes, then both roll a bunch of snake eyes in a row that extend the rout of the Undead longer than it needed to be. Highlights: the same Abyssal Champ wavering and eventually routing the same Soul Reaver Cav from Game 1; the Chroneas withdrawing (-1 to hit!) and rear charging some Soul Reaver infantry, only to snake eyes them on 16 damage and die in return; both Tortured Souls hordes mobbing the other Soul Reaver infantry, only to snake eyes them on 16 damage and die in return* (well one anyway); an Abyssal Guard unit with 4 tokens scooting off into the sunset on Turn 4 while all this carnage played out on the left. I eventually got the 3 tokens from that Rev Horde as well, making this a dominating NURGLEKIN WIN.

* If you were concerned about Soul Reaver Infantry’s damage output after the nerf, don’t be! They still hit shockingly hard, especially when you’re Jeff and you consistently wound 13+ times with those 20 attaks.

So after these games and a weekend spent in the kitchen with Abyssals, I’m not sure how I feel. The list I posted above is neat and has some tools behind it and I’m down to try it again … but in game, I gotta say rolling 4-5+ all the time is a real slog. I’m pretty sick of playing armies that don’t feel like they do anything, which is how I felt playing my Herd before I added more to them this summer and embraced the hammers that Herd have available. Ironically, I find myself wondering if I should just play the Hallow, which has some very cool 3D sculpts and is my newest paint, rather than putting work into revising my infantry-centric Nurglekin, whether they’re Abyssals or Rats or whatever. But I worry that Herd don’t have enough going on for me, a control player at heart who doesn’t like alpha strike.

Anyhoo, thanks for reading all this! I’ll hopefully be back before the year ends with a proper report or two as we prep for Dead of Winter.

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 45: UNDEAD

The final round of the first day of the Crossroads GT sees Cuddle Time up against the other Western NY team. While I’m excited to play another match, I’m also totally happy with this being my last of the day, after working my other-other job the night before. Onto the carnage.

ROUND THREE: TEAM HARLEQUIN HOBBY

  • Forces of the Abyss
  • Goblins
  • Undead
  • Ogres

I put our elite Ratkin into trash-n-hammers Goblins, Riftforged into Abyss, Ogres into Ogres and faced the Undead myself. Partially because I’ve been fighting them all the time but also because check out his list:

Undead 2300
*Zombies Legion
*Zombies Legion
Zombies Regiment
Zombies Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Soul Reaver Infantry Troop
Revenant Cavalry Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
Ghouls Troop
*Goreblight
Vampire Lord – Surge (4)?
Ghoul Ghast – Aura (TC: Cannibal)
Necromancer – Inspiring Talisman, Aura (Vicious(Me): Zombie), Surge (6), Bane Chant (2)?
*The Shambling Blight Formation

I love it so much. Troop spam Undead is not a thing I thought I’d see, yet here it is, in all its pre-Soul Reaver nerf majesty. I’m almost positive I don’t have enough shooting to survive this – especially with the legions in there as well – but I’m excited to cause a mess at least. (I’m not 100% on the last 30 points of his list, so I’m guessing he took those spells, because I would.)

We played Control (second time for me!), and he’s a smart player so had me go first 😦

BATTLE

Battlelines! That central hill being a clutch 20th unit for the Undead.

Trident 1: The crabs scuttle forward, which may or may not have been a good idea since I know what the Undead are aiming to do to my poor crustaceans. If there’s a dim silver lining to the Zombie legions, my Water Elemental horde has sharpness and not strength entirely because De 2+ Zombies exist. So, um, no pressure on your upcoming lift, big guy.

Undead 1: Here they come! The living dead match the crab lines. Those Zombies in the upper left did remember to shamble forward eventually. Also the Necromancer is hiding behind that building in the upper right, as a horrible old crone animating corpses does.

Trident 2: I redress my lines a bit to accept the Undead’s imminent hugs, toss bastion on the central Placoderms, and fire all Heartpiercers available into the Rev Cav troop. Thankfully they crumble under the barrage – Rev Cav are notoriously hard for me to kill and I knew they’d drive me crazy if they survived. And that’s it.

Let the all you-can-blend crab buffet begin!

Undead 2: Ghouls and vampires charge up and over the central hill, crashing into the crabby lines. Ghouls and Ghast into the left Kraken, Ghouls into the brutal Centurion, double Ghouls into the central Kraken, and Soul Reavers into the bastioned Placoderms. The next wave of Soul Reavers prepare to clean up the mess once the Ghouls are dispatched, as the Zombies hove ever closer on the right.

The crabs stand firm, despite the damages: left Kraken to 6, brutal Centurion to 3, central Kraken to ?, Placoderms to 7. Time to clap back.

Trident 3: The Kraken both counter-charge and devour Ghoul troops, the brutal Centurion drives his Ghouls away, and the (bastion-less, thanks to the Envoy needing to run) Placoderms decide to hindered corkscrew the other Ghouls harassing the central Kraken instead of countering their Soul Reavers. The math is way better that they’ll actually do any damage, plus it means the Soul Reavers can be shot. As it turns out, the Placoderms do ZERO damage to the Ghouls, but Heartpiercers do stick 5 into the Soul Reavers. Other shooting grudgingly puts 1 point of damage on both Zombie legions, simply for lack of targets.

In more daring news, I decide after a long while to send the Water Elementals with Placoderm ‘support’ into the central Zombie regiment, as the overrun escapes the Zombie legion’s arc and I’ve basically decided I shouldn’t even start putting damage on the legions, as I don’t have the assets to seal either of those deals. The Zombie regiment does evaporate and my units do escape the Zombie’s arc … but come on dude, surge is totally a thing 😐 Also I shove some Heartpiercers in front of the right Zombie legion in the interest of buying time.

Undead 3: All five Soul Reaver Infantry troops make contact with their quarries: brutal Centurion, central Kraken, damaged Placoderm flank (with Ghouls in the front), other Placoderms, and Water Elemental. The Vampire Lord also skips over to the scuttlin’ Envoy, who has done nothing wrong ever. A Zombie legion (hindered) and the Goreblight lurch into the rightmost Heartpiercers as well, and, after a brief pause …

One Surge Later.

… the other Zombie legion rear charges the Water Elementals (hindered). Oh, and the Ghast charges back into the left Kraken.

After all the blending, everybody but the ensnaring dudes on the left are shredded and/or messily devoured. But sadly those same dudes – brutal Centurion and central Kraken – are both wavered (6 and 5 damage respectively). Losing fresh Placoderms to a Soul Reaver troop is pretty surprising, however having your inspiring source decapitated makes that a little more likely.

Trident 4: Things are getting squirrely with so many Undead threats still on the table and my momentum slipping away, but the crabs take what they can. Heartpiercers finish off the wounded Soul Reaver infantry, while spacing out for the inevitable Zombie legions baring down on them. The Coral Giant wakes from his slumber to pound the last of the Ghoul troops into jelly, and the left Kraken flanks some Soul Reavers only to waver them. I’ll take it. Also I regen a bunch.

Undead 4: Maybe I poorly measured the 10″ needed or maybe IDAGF at this point, but two Heartpiercers are flanked by Zombie legions (hindered) and the Goreblight (hindered) – honestly a surge may have been involved in one case, hard to tell. In vampiric news, the Vampire Lord somersaults into the trident Centurion in the pond as Soul Reavers power into the central Kraken and the Coral Giant. The Ghast also continues to be a pest, flanking the left Kraken for 1 damage (up to 3).

Inset: Crabs In Predicaments

RIP the central Kraken, killed before his time (the Soul Reavers back up). The Coral Giant however just takes it on the chin, going up to 6 damage. The trident Centurion successfully parries the Vampire Lord’s flurry of blows, taking 6 damage and holding. Of his Heartpiercer charges, one is mauled by the Goreblight and 60 friends, while the other takes only 2 damage and survives a Zombie legion flank.

Trident 5: The crabs break open a new box of stakes and prepare to slay some more vampires. Kraken re-flanks Soul Reavers with the brutal Centurion in the front, while the Coral Giant counter-charges his Soul Reavers with some commando Hearpiercers flanking them (hindered). The trident Centurion backs up, regenerating and daring the Vampire Lord to have another go, and the last of the functional Heartpiercers attempt to snipe out the Necromancer (but flub it with 1 damage).

Both combats go well, seeing two more Soul Reaver troops turned to ash.

Undead 5: The Goreblight wavers the swamp Heartpiercers (2 damage), the Vampire Lord wavers the trident Centurion (7 damage), and that damn Ghast wavers the Coral Giant (8 damage)! Those last Soul Reavers on the left rear charge the other Heartpiercers, turning them into mist. A Zombie legion balanced on a wall was in their front as well but whatever.

As this is a game of control, you can see the Zombies upper left and bottom right holding to their zones. Likewise the upper right Soul Reavers.

Trident 6: The remaining Kraken and brutal Centurion front charge the central Soul Reavers, slapping them around until their broke. Nice. The Centurion overruns to protect the Coral Giant (I don’t understand why the big guy didn’t turn to face the Zombies, maybe he did and I didn’t turn the model? Weird flex.) The trident Centurion stumbles back deeper into the swamp, again challenging the Vampire Lord.

Undead 6: The Zombie legion trips into the brutal Centurion (hindered and ensnared) and the Vampire Lord backflips off a stump into the trident Centurion.

While the brutal Centurion easily fends off the hug train of the Zombie legion, the Vampire Lord finally gets what he wants, skewering the trident Centurion, whose blue blood is brackish, cold and extremely dissatisfying. Speaking of dissatisfaction, the Goreblight’s (hindered) affections leave the Heartpiercers unmoved.

Trident 7: The crabs take this lucky last moment to get on the board, with the surviving Kraken scooting away into the lower left sector. The Coral Giant and brutal Centurion bash 9 damage onto the central Zombie legion but it’s not enough to clear them and their US4 out. The Heartpiercers also don’t magically remove the Goreblight accosting them.

Whatever the Undead did in their turn, they didn’t have the movement to secure any more Control sectors, making this 1 to 5 for a resounding …

TRIDENT LOSS

While I had hoped to do a little better, and might have with a different terrain setup or control of the initiative, it was fun to face a really dynamic Undead list doing something different. I goofed up with the Zombie legions a couple times, however I also didn’t allocate anything to deal with them, so having them essentially close out the win makes sense. Likewise that Ghoul Ghast who I disrespected the entire game and never swung on, but got that Coral Giant waver that took the last of my momentum away. Well played, deadites.

Cuddle Time once again did pretty poorly as a team, with a single victory (either the Riftforged or the Ratkin took it). This put us on a very low score for Day 1, something like 34 points out of a possible 180, but that just means we’d finally be getting the bottom table cuddle we signed up for πŸ˜‰

UP NEXT: The Big Dead One!

SCUTTLIN’ REALM 38-43: UNDEAD & OGRES

My club is sending sent several teams to the Crossroads GT this year (September 17-18, 2022), and in preparation we ground out practice matches as lists were dialed in, as you do. I figured I’d very quickly summarize them here in the name of completeness and catching up before the tournament coverage.

Trident Realm 2300
Water Elementals Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Placoderms Regiment
Placoderms Regiment
Heartpiercers Regiment
Heartpiercers Regiment
Heartpiercers Regiment
Heartpiercers Regiment
Coral Giant
Kraken
Kraken
Naiad Centurion – Axe of the Giant Slayer, Trident of the Drowned Sea [1]
Naiad Centurion – Pipes of Terror
Naiad Envoy – Horn of the Ocean’s Fury [1], Bastion (2) [1]

This is where my list ended up, tho in truth I was only messing with the second Centurion’s item. He had Rampage (D3) at first but I was finding it could potentially never be used, while Brutal works against everything, and may be mathematically superior when it comes to combo-charging with Kraken, for example. It also let me go full +1 to hit on the Water Elementals, which again is mathematically better if not as thematically pleasing as CS(2) on my biggest crab. I’m occasionally drawn to mess with the Envoy, but since the Fury aura doesn’t allow items it’s a choice between doing two Nv support things or one low level magic (spoiler: it would be Lute). So I chose two things and it’s rarely come into play BUT IT COULD.

GAME 38: UNDEAD

Kraken vs Wyrm!

Undead 2300
Revenants Horde – Hammer of Measured Force
Soul Reaver Cavalry Regiment – Dwarven Ale
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Wraiths Troop
Wraiths Troop
Goreblight
Revenant on Undead Great Burrowing Wyrm – Inspiring Talisman, Plagued Breath
Liche King – Boots of Levitation, Surge (10), Alchemist’s Curse (4)
Liche King – Shroud of the Saint, Heal (6(8)), Scorched Earth (2)

My buddy Jeff has almost totally overhauled his Undead over the course of the year, while he’s learned more and more about the game and what it actually wants (like chaff). This is the end result of a lot of tinkering and quite a bit of painting, a sort of sack of hammers style list with some very fun models / units … in addition to the eye-melting amount of vampires. The version used for Game 38 has Zuinok Iceblood in place of one Liche King, 2x Rev Cav troops and the Soul Reaver Cav might be Rev Cav as well? Also no Goreblight, as she was being painted.

Looks like we played Plunder, a favorite of mine, and he made me go first 😦

Battlelines!

Apart from the RoUGBW sallying down a flank by itself, and getting dismantled by a Kraken + Axe Centurion over many turns, Jeff had some decent plans to chaff up my guns and get his blenders stuck in down the middle. The Wraiths drove me crazy per usual, and the Rev Cav troops proved how weirdly tough they are, while the cav regiment broke against the Placos and was dunked by the Coral Giant in the flank.

At some point, the game came down to the Rev horde plunging deep into the crab lines, grinding to a halt on some Heartpiercers and then getting flanked by two titans, reared by Placos and frontally charged by double Heartpiercers. Of course you can guess what happened:

Horde of Undead Heroes more like!

Aside: I have a lot of respect for Revenants, it’s rare to me that an anvil really feels like an anvil in KOW but De5+ -/24 with LL1-3 (Jeff always wants to run full LL on his hordes) is really solid. Anyway, this glorious last stand could only do so much, and with loads of tokens this was a solid …

TRIDENT VICTORY

So much for the Undead!

GAME 39: OGRES

Kraken vs Mammoth!

Ogres 2300
Siege Breakers Horde
Siege Breakers Horde
Boomers Horde
Warriors Regiment
Warriors Regiment
Warriors Regiment
Red Goblin Rabble Regiment
Mammoth – The Big Deal [1]
Crocodog Wrangler
Kuzlo & Madfall [1] – Enthral (5), Hex (3)
Nomagarok [1] – Bane Chant (3+), Heal (4+), Lightning Bolt (4+)
Sergeant on Chariot
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), Drain Life (5+)
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), ???
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), ???

Plus 65 points of smart upgrades, Nv support for the Siege Breakers, etc. Murphy has been really down on making an Ogre army that’s interesting to him but still competitive, and you can see some of that in this list, which is essentially a meta list but with a couple B+ tier choices instead of just S tier. I’ve no idea what he ended up submitting for Crossroads, last I saw he was experimenting with Rabble spam Ogres with heavy Berserker Brave presence.

We played Push this game, he put all his tokens in the Rabble and I put 2 in the Placoderms across from them and 1 in the other Placos pushing for the center token.

Battelines!

The Ogres went a little too ham with the Big Deal, as seen earlier, but then I paid them back by going way too hard once the Warlock battery removed a Heartpiercer regiment about a turn earlier than expected:

The center cannot hold!

That didn’t turn out great for the Coral Giant, but I did lock Kuzlo down with a Kraken (losing the Kraken for several turns, since he couldn’t hit at all), and the Water Elementals were able to eat a Warlock before getting smashed by Siege Breakers + Boomers. As with most Ogre games, I was unable to put a dent in Siege Breakers, or if I did it was healed back by Noms, so I basically stopped trying and just tried to pull the Siege Breakers away from my token carriers. If they wanted to smash things, go smash things far away I guess.

That said, Kraken to the flank and rear can apparently kill Siege Breakers. The aren’t in fact immortal!

By Turn 6, I tenuously held 8 points in tokens while he just had 3, until I shot his Rabble out and brought the score to 8-0. He’d need a Turn 7 to be able to scoop up the tokens and some luck to crack two banged up Placoderm regiments, but the dice declared this one a …

TRIDENT VICTORY

So much for the Goblins!

GAME 40: OGRES

Kraken vs Crocodog!

Ogres 2300
Siege Breakers Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Siege Breakers Horde – Staying Stone
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Hunters Horde
Boomers Horde – Fire-Oil
Warrior Chariots Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Crocodog Wrangler
Nomagarok [1] – Bane Chant (3+), Heal (4+), Lightning Bolt (4+)
Ogre Warlock – Conjurer’s Staff, Lightning Bolt (3+), Scorched Earth (2)
Sergeant – Trickster’s Wand [Hex (2)]

Yep, it’s Cory’s Ogres, fresh off of their run at Masters. The main change to the list was dropping the Boomer Chariot troop, which was apparently a constant victim at Masters, with De4+ and a low Nv being a bad combo with Ht 4 Stealthy or not. I think the Warrior Chariots were the inclusion in their place? With some slimming down of his hero selection. This feels pretty light on HQs compared to most Ogres, but they’re doing good support work, which is fine when you’ve got 5 hordes to do the lifting, plus the Chariot hammer.

I think we played Invade, judging by the lack of objectives. Ogres went first.

Battlelines!
Hunters and Braves one-round the Water Elementals, and in response the crabs unleash titans on the Boomers and Ogre center.

I find my Water Elemental horde often either gets killed without doing anything, or spends 3+ turns trapped behind my Heartpiercers being menacing but at least getting to punch something late game. This was the former. It definitely put me on the back foot, so I went hard in the center while delaying the left and hoping my shooting could fix problems asap.

Boomers die but the Kraken is savaged by Chariots, Siege Breakers and most importantly Noms in the flank …
A significant amount of the Ogre army has succumbed to death by harpoon, however it’s only the end of Turn 3 and the Ogre hordes are looking hungry.
*fast forwarding to Turn 7 sounds* So much for the crabs!

TRIDENT LOSS

It wasn’t until now that I realized I killed nothing in the last four turns of the game. Brutal indeed. Shout-out to the Crocodog, which devoured both the Envoy and the trident Centurion!

It’s a bummer that fighting Ogres feels like a foregone conclusion most times, and Cory’s list isn’t particularly bent (which is probably why it’s good), but I’m here for the few nerfs they’ve caught in the upcoming big red book. From what I know, Cory’s list here would lose maybe a regiment thanks to the Siege Breaker and Noms point increases. Seems legit.

GAME 41: OGRES

Ogres 2300
Siege Breakers Horde – Chalice of Wrath?
Siege Breakers Horde – <item?>
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste?
Boomers Horde – Fire-Oil
Warrior Chariots Regiment – Boots of Striding
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Nomagarok [1] – Bane Chant (3+), Heal (4+), Lightning Bolt (4+)
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), Drain Life (5+)?
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), Drain Life (5+)?
Berserker Bully

Fellow Cuddler Drew 3D printed and feverishly painted an Ogre army using all Gnolls for Crossroads, so we had a proxy game at some point so he could test out an army that wasn’t Undead or Varangur, basically the only armies he’s played for KOW. I’ll figure out his final list by the time I write the tournament report and show you some shots of his finished army, which came out amazing despite not quite being done (so many spots!)

Anyway, here’s a very brief report in the name of completeness. We played Push, which I’m a fan of. Couldn’t tell you who went first 😐

Battlelines!
So much for the Gnollgres!

TRIDENT VICTORY

That proxy base on the wall might be the other Siege Breakers? Which means this is yet another Ogre game where the only units left are two Siege Breaker hordes refusing to die and slowly cleaning house. Long time readers will recognize that this is a startlingly common occurrence, kind of no matter what army I’m playing. I’m content to draw two conclusions: 1) Siege Breakers are really hard and that’s cool; 2) Siege Breakers really do deserve the points hike. Apart from that, I don’t remember really anything about the game other than Drew making some weird decisions and overextending a lot, not knowing how Ogres work.

Aside: I appreciate that the impending big red book is dealing with very good units like Gladestalkers and Siege Breakers by adjusting their points rather than nerfing them. Let people have powerful things … but also make them pay for it so there’s a trade off between them and other units. Internal balance was the single biggest reason I went to Kings after Fantasy was nuked from orbit, GW being truly horrible at it. But let’s move swiftly on.

GAME 42: UNDEAD

Coral Giant vs The Overwhelming Desire to Dive That Goreblight

Undead 2300
Revenants Horde – Hammer of Measured Force
Soul Reaver Cavalry Regiment – Dwarven Ale
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Wraiths Troop
Wraiths Troop
Goreblight
Revenant on Undead Great Burrowing Wyrm – Inspiring Talisman, Plagued Breath
Liche King – Boots of Levitation, Surge (10), Alchemist’s Curse (4)
Liche King – Shroud of the Saint, Heal (6(8)), Scorched Earth (2)

It’s Jeff again! Running a list very close to the above, except with 2x Rev Cav troops instead of the Soul Reaver Cav. The dragon is standing in as the RoUGBW but the Goreblight has arrived in all her sexy / goriness.

We played Raze, because I like it and he wanted to practice it. Pretty sure I went second, as is my want.

Battlelines!
The Coral Giant dives the Goreblight, as his friends grind the Undead across the line.

TRIDENT DRAW

Those blank bases above are Rev Cav troops, which my Kraken utterly fluffed against turn after turn – which ended up being ok, as they were trapping Soul Reaver infantry behind them. This meant my army got to live a little longer, but it also meant my scenario-playing Kraken were trapped bopping skeletal horses or being mulched by vampires all game, instead of burning tokens. I ended up grabbing the center token and burning one of mine, while his Wraiths burnt a token early and the leftmost Soul Reavers glumly walked over to one Turn 6 and burnt it for the draw. Credit to Jeff on the draw!

GAME 43: UNDEAD

Fine, I’ll admit that this was taken for Instagram (@boss_salvage) and to show off Jeff’s painting (@winter.fyre)

Undead 2300
Revenants Horde – Hammer of Measured Force
Soul Reaver Cavalry Regiment – Dwarven Ale
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment
Wraiths Troop
Wraiths Troop
Goreblight
Revenant on Undead Great Burrowing Wyrm – Inspiring Talisman, Plagued Breath
Liche King – Boots of Levitation, Surge (10), Alchemist’s Curse (4)
Liche King – Shroud of the Saint, Heal (6(8)), Scorched Earth (2)

Last battle before Crossroads and it’s Jeff’s Undead again! The dude is all about those reps, and while progress has been slow, he’s definitely learning. Let’s say he actually used the above list for this game. I’m sure I’m running Pipes on my other centurion now.

The game is Plunder, by popular demand. I think Jeff might have made me go first this time??

Turn 1 unpacking!

See that left Wraith troop? It would go on to collect 3 points of loot, as would my right most Kraken, leaving us to grind for the center in classic faux-dominate fashion. Speaking of, see that Revenant on Undead Classic Hydra barreling toward the center token? That’s going to be more of a problem than I anticipated.

Placoderms trying so hard to do work / keep things engaged so the Coral Giant can hold onto that loot.

It seems crazy that I’d leave 10 damage floating on that RoUGBW, but I had been pounding shots into it for the first half of the game and just could not land that double break, while the heal (8) Liche King kept cleaning up my hard work. Although the Wyrm itself isn’t all that important (apart from gunning for my token), it did mean I didn’t have the shots I need to take care of vampiric Undead as they gamboled forward to do a blend.

Tryhard Placoderms paying for their hubris. So much for Placos!

While we ground for the center, the woods to the left were the site of real drama. I hammered anything I could spare into the Soul Reaver Cav, but between the cover and the Wyrm demanding my attention I got very little done. Eventually the Water Elementals got involved, failed to break Soul Reavers and got mulched. The Placos above grabbed a flank on Soul Reavers, did next to nothing thanks to 5+ to hit, and got sandwiched as above. At this point I could dedicate shooting to the SRC but failed to break – I rolled 3+ snake eyes this game and I’m pretty sure the Wyrm and SRC enjoyed at least two of them.

TRIDENT LOSS

A deserved win to Jeff at last, I think this is the first time he’s beat me. A lot of my loss felt like being bludgeoned by my dice, but I also really like his list and it was good to see the Soul Reaver Cav return after a long absence, even if they ironically spent the whole game in hindered or counter-charging in a wood πŸ˜€


Thanks for sitting through those catch up games, sorry about the brevity but I wanted to log them before the Crossroads GT report, which should be happening before the big red book hits at the end of this month. October is a very busy time for me but I’m not really gaming as we wait for updates to hit, so it feels like time to clear the report queue.

UP NEXT: Cuddle Time III

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 πŸ˜› 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 πŸ˜€
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 πŸ˜₯
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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ˜› 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 πŸ˜›
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 πŸ˜› 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 πŸ¦€

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 πŸ˜€
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 πŸ˜›
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 πŸ˜‰
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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ˜₯ 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 πŸ˜€ 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!