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Three and Out

Since moving on from Zaal 2 a few weeks ago, I’ve picked up our second-newest caster and started messing with lists for him, and even getting a few games in. Thats right, I’m playing Hit Squad. I’ve talked a little bit about what I envisioned and how I was going to play him, as well as the first battle report. I’ve gotten two more games in with him now, and even though I’ve won all of them, I don’t think I’m actually going to play him much longer.

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  1. Hit Squad

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Hit Squad

After 7 games with Zaal 2, I had settled on a list that was flexible, resourceful, and applied pressure to the opponents army with a method that I could employ. Once I get to that point with a caster or list, I like to set it aside, especially with a limited time frame left for the faction (come on Denny 3!), and pick up another caster or list and try to get a grip on what their approach to the game is. This time around, I reached for Hit Squad Morghoul 2’s new theme force, released in Forces of Distinction and available in Warroom.

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Zaal 2, Ancestral Advocate

Since a friend picked me up Zaal 2 at Gencon, I’ve been playing him exclusively, with strong results. Part of that is the inevitable surprise that new casters bring to the table, but a substantial portion of his success is due to the fact that he’s a solid ‘Caster. I know better than to believe that he will become one of the staple top 3 caster in the faction, but I do think he will get some solid play. His army list is constructed differently enough to engender a different play experience, but it is still the experience that is to be expected from the Skorne Faction. Skorne players have the same issue that Khadoran players have with their Warcasters, and I really don’t think that the issue is ever going to vanish. Both factions, at their core, leverage the melee potential in their army to finish the game. Zaal 2 does this with troopers, using the inevitable losses that an army sustains to guide and enable that which remainse remaining models to be more effective individually. Most Skorne casters rely heavily on their beasts. Zaal, in both incarnations, does not.

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The last few weeks have been pretty rotten to me in terms of being on a regular schedule with writing. Sadly, I’ve come to a grinding halt with the Mythology Monday articles, because they are extremely hard to write on top of the fact that I don’t know that the provide me anything necessary for the world I am assembling. Combined that with a couple emergencies and family days out, and its been exceedingly hectic throughout the month, and that it looks to be getting worse, not better.

The upside to all of this activity is that I’ve been storing topics and I’ve a number that I’ll be talking about when I get the chance. In preparation of XCOM 2 coming this fall, I’ve decided to try and experience Marathon Mode in all its hellacious glory; I think I’ve talked about it but I’ve recently beaten Dragon Age: Inquisition; I’ve been grinding away at my D&D players will to live, and I’ve picked up the brush and started painting more casters, most recently Zaal 2 and Morghoul 2.

So, I’ll get back in stride as soon as I can manage it, though NOVA and Brawltimore Scheduling will undoubtedly prove to be obstacles. Until then, though, I’m just going to be tossing out what I can, when I can. Today is gonna be a quick rundown of a game I played with Zaal 2 against Garryth.

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In Spite of Myself 

I managed to sneak another game in on Tuesday, though at this point its no longer considered sneaking as I’ve been doing it for months. I brought out Zaal, again, but probably for the last time in a while, as my Skorne days are dwindling and I want to get a few more casters under my belt. This week, I took on a newer gamer from our meta playing a 50 pt. Rhan list.

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The Rage Ghosts

This week I was able to get in a game with an opponent I don’t get to see often. We used to get games in fairly regularly when I lived further south, but its been a while, and I was glad to see Protectorate on the other side of the Table. He brought Durst and Feora 2, While I brought Zaal and Makeda 2. I didn’t know what to take, to start off with, but as we talked and I learned a little more about what a protectorate player wants and doesn’t want to see on the other side of the board, I got a better idea of where I needed to go.

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In Zaal We Trust. 

So. Game 2.

This past week, I got to play a game against a friend of mine who, awesomely, also plays Skorne. Sadly, I don’t get a lot of practice against it, so its good to throw down against someone who I think has a solid grasp of the game and can beat the snot out of me if I mess up. Now, I’d prefer this match up with my Cryx, again, I don’t get to play against Skorne, but playing against it is playing against it, no matter the faction.Continue reading

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Battle Report: Zaal v. Asphyxious 2

I’d finally gotten my army back from Seattle, in pretty fantastic shape, if I do say so, and I’d been itching to throw down with some of my Skorne after getting pretty flustered with how Baranabus was treating me. I’d put the final coat of paint on Zaal just a few days before I left for Lock and Load, so he was on my mind. He’d not made the final cut into the foam for transport, either, so the whole time my army was in transit, he was sitting in front of my computer screen, mocking me. So hard did he mock me that I started thinking about how cool his list, Immortal Host, was and about how I have two units of Immortals, and how just flat out awesome it would be to put them on the board. The desire to do just that grew in me until it was bursting, and I knew I wanted to put him and his host of stone warriors on the board, and soon.

 

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When I left my Skorne army in Seattle after Lock and Load, I knew that I wouldn’t be playing them until they were shipped back, and because I wasn’t in any hurry, I figured it’d be a while. Having purchased and carted the Croak Raiders back to the east coast with me, I figured I’d try and get at least a few games in with them before I jumped back into Skorne, and while I’ll eventually use them in Skorne, I’ve got some plans for what I want to do when I take them out tonight.

I’ve given a cursory overview of two of the games I played back two weeks ago, I even took pictures that I never shared of my second game:

This is how a confident Ginger starts his game.

 

This is how he ends it. Barnabus survived to kill the Judicator, but lost the war.

Last week, I got my third, and final, minions game in against one of our newer Legion players. By newer, I mean has not been playing for 5+ years. Our meta is pretty aged. This fella, though, has gotten pretty good, pretty fast, and is playing some really nasty lists. He’s gone right for the throat, and I cannot be more pleased.

His List:

Saeryn
-Blight Wasps (x3)
-Carnevian
-Typhon
-Zuriel
Forsaken x2
Shepard x2
Deathstalkers x2

 

My list:

Barnabus
-Bull Snapper
-Blackhide Wrastler
Croak Raiders (max)
Bog Trog Ambushers (max)
Gatorman Posse (max) x2
Croak Hunter x2
Gatorman Witch Doctor x2

I lost the roll, and chose the board edge. I thought the hill would be nice, but it ended up being right in the way for most of my models on turn 1, and out of it the second turn and beyond. I deployed a standard formation, with the ‘Caster in the center along with his battlegroup, To either side I placed a full unit of posse and a Witch Doctor. The Croaks advance deployed and the Ambushers, well ambushed. His deployment was a fairly straight forward up-the-middle for Saeryn, blocked by the house that legion just doesn’t care about. I dropped my AD front and center, again, with a Hunter to either side of the raiders.

See, this is where I’m starting to learn a little bit about AD shooting units, and about my deployment in general. I’m not very creative when it comes to getting my troops out, and I need to fix that. Take advantage of terrain, make sure that I get some advantage to my side and deploy with a strategy to take the scenario. Its not my greatest strength. Pre-game, as a whole, is not my strong suit, and I am working on that.

So you understand the layout. This is about turn 3.

We played destruction, and I wasn’t really ready for it, more than anything. i’d not thought about what Barnabus or any of the gators would want, but I pulled out Arcane Wonder because 1 cost IF is an extremely good advantage to have, and being able to cast it on myself fairly easily would likely be key.

Turn one 

Like all turn ones, we pretty much just ran and advanced. He was very aware of what my Croaks would do, and knew that he couldn’t move more than 9″ out of his Deployment zone or get cranked with some Fire Damage rolls. so, he took up a cautionary position, Typhon and Zuriel right in front of the house, the Carnivean on my right. Blightwasps were everywhere, running to either side and up the center. I advanced, tossed a single spear with my Raiders, killing a Wasp, and dropped Iron Flesh on them. One set of Gators ran with Dirge of Mists on the Left, the other with Pathfinder on the right. The Dirged unit and the Croaks received Undead and Tough. everything else kinda just moved up and around, except for the Bull Snapper, who moved up and put Spiny Growth on Baranbus, espousing the virtues of good habits. Baranabus dies the turn he does not have Spiny Growth on him. (Pay attention, this is important)

Turn Two

 

His turn two goes exactly like I expect. He jams in with everything, slaughtering everything he gets his blighted mitts on, and causing me no end of trouble. Though Undead, tough, and defense 16, he managed to land a Breathstealer on them, the leftmost unit of wasps into them,  and then clean up with Typhon and Zuriel, each killing 2.7 of my 10 Raiders fell that turn, with 0 tough checks made. It is what it is. Thankfully, I have backup in Gators, and he left a few of the wasps outside of his feat.

 

My turn was spent gathering forces and preparing my army to try and weather the storm what was going to follow as best it could. I contemplated using my feat here, but was deterred because I couldn’t knock down the flying models like Zuriel and the Blight Wasps. Turns out, In my haste to use a new faction, I forgot that all those blight wasps could be knocked down, and next turn it would be a fury nightmare. Instead, I just tried to make it as difficult as possible for him to make headway next turn without committing some heavies, who I hoped I would be able to kill. I was able to remove almost the whole of the Blight Wasp unit on the left, but as you’ll note in the picture, that left my entire second unit of gators out in the cold, unable to charge the next turn.

Turn Three

His retaliation was swift and brutal, and I really was not prepared for it. Blight wasps killed a gator, and the Carnevian killed another, all under Iron Flesh, Dirge of Mists, and Tough. My last four croaks died inglorious deaths, having done two damage to the Objective and killed a Blight wasp between them all. The king, though, was the Wrassler, who, under Spiny Growth weathered charges from both Typhon and Zuriel. Thankfully, both of their charge attacks rolled snake eyes and I was able to dodge the bullet. Barnabus, in preparation for his next turn, charged up into Zuriel when he landed and did a pretty significant amount of damage, all the while keeping out of melee range of the beast himself.

I started this turn and felt that I had to turn the tide. If I made it through this turn and could take out a substantial portion of his army, I’d be pretty pleased, overall. I brought in the Bog Trogs on the right to try and put pressure on Saeryn and kill some Wasps, and I started the turn by popping Barnabus’ feat, knocking down nearly everything left.I then walked away from Zuriel (who had respawn on him) in order to toss some damage into Typhon, who was under Spiny Growth. I also spent 4 points to heal up the Blackhide, not wanting him to go down to an unfortunate Spiny Growth Damage roll. Sadly, this put Barnabus in a pretty perilous Position (see “FLAG” below), and though I did manage to kill both Typhon and Zuriel, though my bull snapper had to chip in on Zuriel, and didn’t cast Spiny Growth on Barnabus. Indeed, even though I knew that Saeryn had a Grevious Wounds Knife, I still left myself with two fury, enough to have cast Spiny Growth.

Not my best of moments.

Turn 4

This story looks unfortunate for our Gator Hero, but there is still hope. His paltry def 13 won’t save him, but a solid arm 19 could provide the durability he needs to survive the coming onslaught. Saeryn gets the first crack at him and drops Breathstealer on him, then follows up with a knife, hitting and tagging him with Grevious Wounds. Next, she bottoms out her fury and pegs him with a blast of hellfire, doing 8 untransferable damage. Now, the blight wasps come in, with two getting the charge after shaking off their knockdown. After all the attacks are made – two charges and two buy/boost damate, I am left sitting on 2. The final nail has to come from the Carnivian. He is currently engaged with two gatormen, and in order to see Barnabus, he has to move. He takes the first free strike, which does around 7 damage, blowing out his mind. The second free strike spikes hard, rolling 6/6/5 and doing some 12 damage to the poor fella, and blows out his body. He still has his spirit, though, and can force for boosts. With his spray ignoring in combat bonus, he needs a 7 to hit, and at dice -5, he needs 7 damage to kill me. Its nearly a coinflip, but he drops them both, and poor Barnabus roasts in dragonfire.

Afterthoughts

I thought I had it, and my opponent even said the same, but in the end, what I said would happen, happened. Without Spiny Growth, I didn’t have a chance, but with it, I may have been able to survive. the Blight wasps would have left me at much higher health,and a dice -7 spray from the Carnivian is a much harder task to accomplish.

Even with Iron Flesh and Tough, the Raiders were really unable to leverage any sort of offensive output. That is, to be completely honest, my fault. I’ve rarely, possibly never, used an AD shooting unit, and it seems they require much more finesse than at first blush, especially against an army so fast. Me getting them killed, or even simply wasting them, has been a theme in all three games, and I look to make better use out of them when the day comes that I pick them up again. I can see how they are very good, and I know its my inability to use them correctly that is holding them back.

Now, though, I Finished painting Zaal right before I went out to Lock and Load, and I look forward to putting the Immortal Host on the board tonight!

When I left my Skorne army in Seattle after Lock and Load, I knew that I wouldn’t be playing them until they were shipped back, and because I wasn’t in any hurry, I figured it’d be a while. Having purchased and carted the Croak Raiders back to the east coast with me, I figured I’d try and get at least a few games in with them before I jumped back into Skorne, and while I’ll eventually use them in Skorne, I’ve got some plans for what I want to do when I take them out tonight.

I’ve given a cursory overview of two of the games I played back two weeks ago, I even took pictures that I never shared of my second game:

This is how a confident Ginger starts his game.

 

This is how he ends it. Barnabus survived to kill the Judicator, but lost the war.

Last week, I got my third, and final, minions game in against one of our newer Legion players. By newer, I mean has not been playing for 5+ years. Our meta is pretty aged. This fella, though, has gotten pretty good, pretty fast, and is playing some really nasty lists. He’s gone right for the throat, and I cannot be more pleased.

His List:

Saeryn
-Blight Wasps (x3)
-Carnevian
-Typhon
-Zuriel
Forsaken x2
Shepard x2
Deathstalkers x2

 

My list:

Barnabus
-Bull Snapper
-Blackhide Wrastler
Croak Raiders (max)
Bog Trog Ambushers (max)
Gatorman Posse (max) x2
Croak Hunter x2
Gatorman Witch Doctor x2

I lost the roll, and chose the board edge. I thought the hill would be nice, but it ended up being right in the way for most of my models on turn 1, and out of it the second turn and beyond. I deployed a standard formation, with the ‘Caster in the center along with his battlegroup, To either side I placed a full unit of posse and a Witch Doctor. The Croaks advance deployed and the Ambushers, well ambushed. His deployment was a fairly straight forward up-the-middle for Saeryn, blocked by the house that legion just doesn’t care about. I dropped my AD front and center, again, with a Hunter to either side of the raiders.

See, this is where I’m starting to learn a little bit about AD shooting units, and about my deployment in general. I’m not very creative when it comes to getting my troops out, and I need to fix that. Take advantage of terrain, make sure that I get some advantage to my side and deploy with a strategy to take the scenario. Its not my greatest strength. Pre-game, as a whole, is not my strong suit, and I am working on that.

So you understand the layout. This is about turn 3.

We played destruction, and I wasn’t really ready for it, more than anything. i’d not thought about what Barnabus or any of the gators would want, but I pulled out Arcane Wonder because 1 cost IF is an extremely good advantage to have, and being able to cast it on myself fairly easily would likely be key.

Turn one 

Like all turn ones, we pretty much just ran and advanced. He was very aware of what my Croaks would do, and knew that he couldn’t move more than 9″ out of his Deployment zone or get cranked with some Fire Damage rolls. so, he took up a cautionary position, Typhon and Zuriel right in front of the house, the Carnivean on my right. Blightwasps were everywhere, running to either side and up the center. I advanced, tossed a single spear with my Raiders, killing a Wasp, and dropped Iron Flesh on them. One set of Gators ran with Dirge of Mists on the Left, the other with Pathfinder on the right. The Dirged unit and the Croaks received Undead and Tough. everything else kinda just moved up and around, except for the Bull Snapper, who moved up and put Spiny Growth on Baranbus, espousing the virtues of good habits. Baranabus dies the turn he does not have Spiny Growth on him. (Pay attention, this is important)

Turn Two

 

His turn two goes exactly like I expect. He jams in with everything, slaughtering everything he gets his blighted mitts on, and causing me no end of trouble. Though Undead, tough, and defense 16, he managed to land a Breathstealer on them, the leftmost unit of wasps into them,  and then clean up with Typhon and Zuriel, each killing 2.7 of my 10 Raiders fell that turn, with 0 tough checks made. It is what it is. Thankfully, I have backup in Gators, and he left a few of the wasps outside of his feat.

 

My turn was spent gathering forces and preparing my army to try and weather the storm what was going to follow as best it could. I contemplated using my feat here, but was deterred because I couldn’t knock down the flying models like Zuriel and the Blight Wasps. Turns out, In my haste to use a new faction, I forgot that all those blight wasps could be knocked down, and next turn it would be a fury nightmare. Instead, I just tried to make it as difficult as possible for him to make headway next turn without committing some heavies, who I hoped I would be able to kill. I was able to remove almost the whole of the Blight Wasp unit on the left, but as you’ll note in the picture, that left my entire second unit of gators out in the cold, unable to charge the next turn.

Turn Three

His retaliation was swift and brutal, and I really was not prepared for it. Blight wasps killed a gator, and the Carnevian killed another, all under Iron Flesh, Dirge of Mists, and Tough. My last four croaks died inglorious deaths, having done two damage to the Objective and killed a Blight wasp between them all. The king, though, was the Wrassler, who, under Spiny Growth weathered charges from both Typhon and Zuriel. Thankfully, both of their charge attacks rolled snake eyes and I was able to dodge the bullet. Barnabus, in preparation for his next turn, charged up into Zuriel when he landed and did a pretty significant amount of damage, all the while keeping out of melee range of the beast himself.

I started this turn and felt that I had to turn the tide. If I made it through this turn and could take out a substantial portion of his army, I’d be pretty pleased, overall. I brought in the Bog Trogs on the right to try and put pressure on Saeryn and kill some Wasps, and I started the turn by popping Barnabus’ feat, knocking down nearly everything left.I then walked away from Zuriel (who had respawn on him) in order to toss some damage into Typhon, who was under Spiny Growth. I also spent 4 points to heal up the Blackhide, not wanting him to go down to an unfortunate Spiny Growth Damage roll. Sadly, this put Barnabus in a pretty perilous Position (see “FLAG” below), and though I did manage to kill both Typhon and Zuriel, though my bull snapper had to chip in on Zuriel, and didn’t cast Spiny Growth on Barnabus. Indeed, even though I knew that Saeryn had a Grevious Wounds Knife, I still left myself with two fury, enough to have cast Spiny Growth.

Not my best of moments.

Turn 4

This story looks unfortunate for our Gator Hero, but there is still hope. His paltry def 13 won’t save him, but a solid arm 19 could provide the durability he needs to survive the coming onslaught. Saeryn gets the first crack at him and drops Breathstealer on him, then follows up with a knife, hitting and tagging him with Grevious Wounds. Next, she bottoms out her fury and pegs him with a blast of hellfire, doing 8 untransferable damage. Now, the blight wasps come in, with two getting the charge after shaking off their knockdown. After all the attacks are made – two charges and two buy/boost damate, I am left sitting on 2. The final nail has to come from the Carnivian. He is currently engaged with two gatormen, and in order to see Barnabus, he has to move. He takes the first free strike, which does around 7 damage, blowing out his mind. The second free strike spikes hard, rolling 6/6/5 and doing some 12 damage to the poor fella, and blows out his body. He still has his spirit, though, and can force for boosts. With his spray ignoring in combat bonus, he needs a 7 to hit, and at dice -5, he needs 7 damage to kill me. Its nearly a coinflip, but he drops them both, and poor Barnabus roasts in dragonfire.

Afterthoughts

I thought I had it, and my opponent even said the same, but in the end, what I said would happen, happened. Without Spiny Growth, I didn’t have a chance, but with it, I may have been able to survive. the Blight wasps would have left me at much higher health,and a dice -7 spray from the Carnivian is a much harder task to accomplish.

Even with Iron Flesh and Tough, the Raiders were really unable to leverage any sort of offensive output. That is, to be completely honest, my fault. I’ve rarely, possibly never, used an AD shooting unit, and it seems they require much more finesse than at first blush, especially against an army so fast. Me getting them killed, or even simply wasting them, has been a theme in all three games, and I look to make better use out of them when the day comes that I pick them up again. I can see how they are very good, and I know its my inability to use them correctly that is holding them back.

Now, though, I Finished painting Zaal right before I went out to Lock and Load, and I look forward to putting the Immortal Host on the board tonight!