MakeadaFist

Last time, I rounded up my tournament results, as unwell as they were. Going 2-3 in a tournament is not a common experience for me, as I can generally break the .500 mark. Though it left a bitter taste in my mouth the day of, and even a few days after, the farther I get from the event, the more I can see clearly what went wrong, what I didn’t like, and what I want to repeat.

The Good

I feel I played well enough for my second ever tournament with Skorne. The last time I took them out I think I went 2-3 as well, also with Xerxis, but his pairing was Zaal, back at the Gargantuans event. I feel that I had a chance to come out on top in every game, and that there were mistakes that were made that lead to some very serious uphill battles that I didn’t need to fight.

  • I love the way fist works. Its a very strong, backbone army that has a lot of strange plays that can make an opponent regret their decisions.
  • Xerxis can get the job done, though both times he was called upon, he could not. Dice were not with him, but that’s not his fault.
  • Incindiarii are freaking crazy. I was initially pretty reserved about them, but they came through for me every time. Autofire AOE’s are pretty sweet.
  • Cetratii under defenders ward are, to everyone’s’ surprise, incredibly hard to kill. If they died to a single hit, it was often a warbeasts boosted damage.

What went right

A heading that falls under The Good. I think there are a lot of things that I did correctly, and a few major things I did wrong. I feel that I deployed and played quickly enough with an unfamiliar army that I wasn’t going to clock myself. While not a great fear, it is something I worry about with any new army. Though its possible to clock myself, I just tend to take the turn as correctly as I can, worrying as little as possible about the clock. Its not easy, and doing with such an unfamiliar army made me pleased

I was within just a few rolls or a few minutes of winning all the games I lost. These are the points that hurt the most, but are the biggest takeaways to have. While a close game is awesome, It can be extremely draining. The same thing can be said for multiples in a row. Even though I was being put to the grindstone, I managed to maintain a positive disposition, a light banter, and play effectively.

I stuck to my guns and Played fist 4 of 5 times, even when it might not have been the right choice, in order to learn the armies.

I played against a withering barrage of good casters, and have a bunch of takeaways that I can look at for improvement the next time around. I’m not going to just walk out of the stables ready to win all the races, as much as I would like to. Instead, I have to play games, learn, and win, just like anyone else.

The Bad 

I lost. Thats bad. But more than that, I didn’t have a good game plan for The Fist of Halaak other than Be Fist. Now, a lot of that is based on the fact that I didn’t really have a lot of practice, and I was using units I had only used once before (Incindiarii) or only a few times (Arcuarii) This lead to a number of decisions that I would not make again, were I given the chance.

  • The Fist of Halaak is not as auto-pilot as some players, on both sides, seem to think. There are a hundred different things to go wrong, and a million little placement issues.
  • I am way, way to bloodthirsty with Xerxis. He moved out to kill models the rest of his army could have dealt with, and almost ever time it ended in some kind of tragedy.
  • a 10″ Control area is way, way smaller than I thought. Though I have a medium base and the Warbeasts have larges, I found it very simple to just run out of my own control area.
  • I deployed the same no matter the scenario, no matter whether I went first or not. Having 2 units of Arcuarii and Incindiarii means that I could very easily adapt to my opponents deployment and the scenario.

What I Wouldn’t do Again. 

Both Fist and Chain Gang are grindy, meaty armies that are going to just weather through the storm of the opponents storm. They both have high armor, high wounds and move slowly. Neither will get the alpha strike on the opponent, but neither really cares

  • Having two grindy armies can be hell on you, mentally. With no real method of finishing off a game quickly, you get really stuck in there and just burn through your opponents willpower, models, and clock.
  • I want an army with a more active playstyle. I feel that I have a much better grasp on a playstyle that does more in each of its turns. Fist is a perfectly good list, but I can’t rely on my opponents just grinding themselves out on the army every time.

Conclusions

After running through the lists and the plays and the way the armies worked, I really want to drop one of the lists, and pick up something more agile. This likely means dropping Chain Gang, as Fist, and Xerxis, feel the most fun to play, but I also want to run Chain Gang more because I have less practice with it. I’ve pretty much made up my mind that its going to be Fist, though, that I keep.

That means that I’m going to have to pull an agile, active army, and I think that Skorne has the tools to do it. I’ve been talking with a number of people, and this list is what I’ve come up with.

Supreme Acrhdomina Makeda+5
-Archidon7
-Molik Karn11
-Titan Gladiator8
Incindiarii (6)9
Praetorian Swordsmen (10)6
-Swordsmen Officer and Standard2
Paingiver Beast Handlers (4)2
Paingiver Beast Handlers (4)2
Tyrant Commander and Standard3
Gatorman Witch Doctor3
Mortitheurge Willbreaker2
55

I Think is a very fun, interesting, and cool list. It originally had 11 points of Venator Reivers in there, but they just don’t synch well with the feat, and with what I feel I need to drop this against. I’m going to take my fist list, and drop it into any slogs I think will come up: Bradigus, MMM, Gators, and the Fist Mirror. Its going to be a list that is specifically there to pull into those gross grinds. This leaves a list here that has to deal with both high defense and high model count lists, able to counteract with a number of different strategies that will enable the list to start that more active game that I want.

To that end, I had someone suggest the Molik Missle as an option. Its active, its scary as hell, and its effective. In this instance, I can take, under perfect circumstances, Molik Karn from 22″ downtown into a caster. Where I once was concerned about running out of her Control Area, I now have a Mortitheurge Willbreaker. This means that as long as I have a living Karn, they have to play very cautious. Add to that the Archidon, a model with Flight and a solid P+S 17 bite, but a lousy MAT 6. On Makeda’s feat turn, this little sucker can fly an impressive 17″, overtop models and without fear of free strikes during the movement. This gives me a secondary assassination option if Karn Goes down.

Swordsmen are the backbone here, and I have done everything I can to get them into, and keep them in, the game. Road to War and press forward means that this unit can simply walk 10″ forward and make attacks, meaning that they don’t have to give up positioning and facing to make attacks. With sidestep, they can dig in up to 14.5″ and kill things sitting behind the Front Lines. Stay death makes sure that my officer stays alive to grant precision strike and sidestep, even if they fail the tough granted by the Gatorman Witch Doctor. Finally, Makeda’s Elite Cadre grants the unit vengeance, giving them an impressive 13″ walk or 14″ charge, with the Tyrant Commander there to give out reveille  when needed. Under Makeda’s feat, they can get into wherever they need, and with boosted to-hit rolls, their attacks will connect with all but the highest defense models.

The most recent addition are the Incindiarii, and I don’t know why I’d not thought of them earlier. I was worried about high defense, as Fist weathers that only a little better than I want, and I reached for a second unit of Swordsmen. A friend of mine, however, corrected me into taking a unit of Incindiarii instead. Their shots cause fire, so drifting can even be dangerous to the opposing caster, and with the Tyrant Commander and Road to War they can threat out up to 19″ away in any given turn. I think, at the very least, its a solid addition to any army, and with Mak around to get them out of dodge if they get tied up, its just a match made in heaven.

I know there are lots of permuations of this list already out there, but I am really excited to run this one here shortly. While it won’t be until the end of March at the earliest, Its gonna be a damn fun time when It gets there!

Any thoughts or ideas on the lists, and I’d love to hear them! either dig me up on Twitter or leave a comment!

 

 

MakeadaThis past Sunday, I made it to my first Tournament with Skorne since the Gargantuans release event up at Maplewood games a few years back. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fun, but Jesus if I have never been more exhausted after a tournament. It was hard, with a slog through 5 brutal casters and armies over 12 hours on a cold and bitter Sunday morning. Though we started with 26, only around 10 finished the tournament, leaving the shop only a short time after 11:00pm

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Makeada

 

Last week, between Thursday and Sunday, I managed to get six games in with my Skorne. Totaled up, that is more games that I’ve had of any Privateer Press system in that short of window in a long time. Five of those were at a tournament on Sunday which ran extremely long, which I’ll get to on Thursday, but to prepare, I was able to get a game in on Thursday, which allowed me at least a single practice game in before I attempted to take on a cutthroat tournament.

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Contents
  1. Jank Tank

Makeada

 

Jank Tank

This stupid place is where I spend most of my time lately, and part of this is because of the Bradigus Problem. I’ve decided that I am going to take Fist of Halaak Xerxis to he local tournament here on the 15th, but I’ve not really decided what I am going to do with him. There are some strange variations of both him and Rasheths Chain Gang, or non-gang, that I think I can work with in order to do some moderately different things.

First, the two starting points. These are, to me, the basic Fist and Chain Gang list. The fist list curbs my own terror at running into something like Irusk 1 or Rask, while the chain gang is cribbed completely from Trevor Christensen because it looks like a hell of a lot of fun to run.

Fist of Halaak

Tyrant Xerxis+5
-Tiberion11
Cataphract Cetrati (6) 11
-Tyrant Vorkesh3
Cataphract Arcuarii (4)5
Cataphract Arcuarii (4)5
Cataphract Arcuarii (4)5
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)5
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)5
Tyrant Commander and Standard3
Tyrant Commander and Standard3

Chain Gang

Rasheth+5
*Bronzeback Titan9
*Bronzeback Titan9
*Gladiator7
*Gladiator7
Titan Sentry8
Titan Cannonner8
Agonizer2
Agonizer2
Paingiver Beast Hanlders (6)3

However, there are a number of Circle players in our area, and most of them run Bradigus, causing a ton of consternation on my part. At the end of the day, though, He’s much easier for Skorne to deal with than other factions, so I am really pleased. However, I didn’t think that Fist and Chain Gang were the best options. So I started mulling over lists to try and find a way to either have the list break on me, or break it, which lead me all over the world.

One of the first lists I wanted to create was something that was just jam packed with as many Cetratii as I could stomach. They are my favorite troops, and if I could just pack them in there, I’d be thrilled. This was the List I came up with

Tyrant Xerxis+5
-Tiberion11
Cataphract Cetrati (6) 10
Cataphract Cetrati (6) 10
Cataphract Cetratii7
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)5
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)5
Tyrant Commander and Standard3
Tyrant Commander and Standard3

The thought was simple: Replace the 2 units of Arcuarii and Vorkesh with Cetratii. One, likely the smaller unit, would trail a bit and act as bodyguard for Xerxis. One large unit would get Defenders Ward and come up the center, with the other large unit getting fury, stacked either behind the Defenders Ward or to their flank. The Incindiarii would be the flanks and jamming units if needed, with Tiberion and Xerxis bringing up the rest of the army. I thought to myself if 6 models with arm 20 are a pain in the ass, I wonder what 16 would be like. I don’t dislike this list, but I don’t think a 5 person tournament is the crucible this should be tested out in.

That forced me into a non-fist thought process, and what I came up with was this:

Tyrant Xerxis+5
-Tiberion11
Cataphract Cetrati (6) 11
Aptimus Marketh3
Cataphract Arcuarii6
Cataphract Arcuarii6
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)6
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)6
Tyrant Commander and Standard3
Tyrant Commander and Standard3

I remember playing Xerxis with Marketh and freaking loving it. With him in the list, I was able to cycle Fury onto three units in a turn and get miles and miles of work done, even when I wasn’t feated or charging. Its a simple list with a simple plan: Punch the enemy good and hard and make them pay for whatever they decided to do. This is definitely a list I want to try out as well, but once again I think its something that takes a bit fo getting used to to get to work right. Oh, and a friend had convinced me to look at a second beast, because Tiberion with rush is freakin’ bonkers.Which got me here.

Tyrant Xerxis+5
-Tiberion11
Gladiator8
Cataphract Cetratii (6)10
Cataphract Arcuarii (4)5
Cataphract Arcuarii (4)5
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)5
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)5
Tyrant Commander and Standard3
Pain Giver Beast Handlers (6)3

The Two Beast Fist. This is The list that I have seen a ton of places, that I have talked to a friend or two about, and that I think can do a ton of work. It has all the right components of durability, aggression, fire and beasts, and I think that I can really get this list to hum if I play it a few times. Once I get this “tried and tested” list to work for me, I can see why or why not I want to embrace some of the other list concepts I thought of first. One of the casualties of the lack of game time I’ve had due to a child is that lists I think are neat don’t get to see the table anymore. They have to be lists I think mean a damn.

So, now we come to chain gang, a list I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time. Titan herds and cyclops herds are something I’ve been longing for since time immemorial, and now I get to play one. However, Bradigus.

Enter, Rasheth Unchained.

Rasheth+5
*Molik Karn11
*Bronzeback Titan10
*Gladiator8
*Gladiator8
*Titan Sentry9
Extoller Soulward2
Extoller Soulward2
Feralgiest
Paingiver Beast Hanlders (4)2
Paingiver Beast Hanlders (4)2

This list is almost certain what is coming with me, and it has a very, super, ultra specific function. Oh, and its also a bunch of titans. One of the big problems that comes with Bradigus, unsurprisingly, is Kreuger2. This titan of scenario play is something that I’m not sure I am ready to take on. While Fist is going to be my default drop against Bradigus due to the massive amount of boxes and wounds he brings to the board, Kreuger 2 has a very specific situation which makes him highly likely to drop. Any sort of central scenario is going to bring him out, and I don’t so much as like Fists odds there. It will be very easy to move around and TK my models out of position for a scenario win and just not fight the fist list at all. The Titan Train, however, can lock arms and stand in there with the best of em, virtually invincible against the push. TK can get around it, of course, but that is going to be extra focus intensive. The big problem with that scenario, though, is that there are two situations that I can see in which Rasheth could be squaring off against Bradigus. The first is that if the circle player doesn’t know that it is a Kreuger 2 situation, I could be way ahead of the game, and need to fight against Bradigus. The Second is that if the Circle player knows what I know, and is trying to bait the list. This is why I had to break tier. In dropping the Cannoneer, I am seceding the ranged come completely, but I am gaining the ability to toss Molik Karn out there and take down a stone or two before I get completely massacred. Stripping the double or triple port is highly critical in that situation, and I think a rushed, Eyeless sighted, enraged Karn can reach out and touch someone some 13+ inches away, and could be fantastic in being an equalizer.

 

I think we will see, on the 15th, how I do. 29 people are registered for the tournament at the moment, and we can hold up to 32. This’ll be a tournament unlike any I’ve attended! Feel free to leave me comments on my armies, your experience with/against them and anything else you think could help!

 

Makeada

 

Makeda and the Exalted Court

Archdomina Makeda (Makeda1) has always been one of my favorites when it comes to Skorne casters. I’d jumped into Hordes just a bit before Evolution came out, so I remember only having three casters to play around with and she was easily the one that saw the most table time. Her second form came out with Molik Karn, and for a long time the two were intrinsically stigmatized in my head. I used to have a problem playing the more powerful pieces, though that is no longer the case, and with the two tied together so tightly, I never really got around to playing much of her. Xerxis eclipsed my love of Makeda, and when Makeda 3 came out, I was deep in the grips of Cryx. To cut to the chase, I have wanted to play Makeda 3 for a very, very long time. Getting back into Skorne has now given me the chance to catch up, and I am extremely stoked to be doing so.

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