Makeada

 

A Flush of Games

After a number of weeks getting a few games in here and there, the tail end of last week was just chock full of Skorne. While I didn’t do as well as I would like, I can feel myself climbing up that understanding ladder. I’ve got a pretty solid grasp of fist, and Mordikaar, through 10 games, is coming along smoothly.

I’m going to walk through them like I normally do, and I’ll put some of the pictures up here. I played fist twice, during the tournament, and Mordikaar 4 times. Fist performed admirably, but Mordikaar is a very high ceiling caster that I’m just starting to understand.

To that end, I played Mordikaar first as preparation for Philly games con. I’d managed to set up two games in two different stores thursday night, and was ready to break him out.

My Mordikaar list, as I’ve been talking about, was

Mordikaar
-Tiberion
-Cyclops Shaman
-Cyclops Raider
Nihilators (full)
Cetratii (full)
-Vorkesh
Incindiarii (min)
Beast Handlers (min)
Agonizer
Soulward

Specialist
Krea
Orin Midwinter
Tyrant Commander and Standard

 

A Pirates Life

The first game I had set up was against a friend of mine who wanted to try out the pirate Boat, which was fine with me. I’d brought the Mordikaar list to eliminate swarms. We rolled up the scenario, and got outflank Outflank

 

This is a scenario I am deeply familiar with, having played a ton of games last year leading up to lock and load with the Coven. I ended up getting first turn, and deployed fairly standard. His army had

Shae
-Galleon
Aiyana and Holt
Press Gangers (min)
Sea Dog Crew (max)
Sea Dog Crew (Max)
-Mr. Walls
Sea Dog Deck Gun
Devils Shadow Mutineers
Bosun Grogspar
Dirty Meg
Doc Killingsworth
First Mate Hawk
Lord Rockbottom

Opening Moves

He deployed the Galleon to my center-left, along with the Deck Gun. To the right was Shae, all the support solos, Aiyana and Holt, and the one unit of Sea Dogs.

I Deployed the Cetratii Front and Center, with Incindiarii covering my left, along with Tiberion. To the right went the Nihlators. Behind all of that was Mordikaar and all the support.

He AD’d the press gangers to the left, and walls unit to the right, gunning for both flanks and threatening up to 28″ on turn 1!

Turn one, for me, as a touch of a cautious advance, knowing that If I was to aggressive, he could pop feat turn 1 and get a bit into my lines. I wanted to see if I could get him with the feat turn 2, so I could have a bit of a better position. Thankfully, thats exactly what happened, as he rushed across the board, but didn’t feat. 

Middlegame

I took my second turn and ran full bore into the guts of the board, popping my feat and flooding my right zone. My incindiarii wandered over and tried to pop some pressgangers but failed to do anything but light them on fire, which was just fine. Under Feat and Hollow, I was pretty confident that I would be able to weather the pirate storm.

Thankfully, I was able to do just that. Though I lost models on the feat turn, it was an acceptable number, and mitigated by my ability to revive come the next turn. Both zones were contested, and the Galleon wasn’t yet committed, so I was unable to really get ahead on scenario. Instead, we traded pot shots back and forth, where I was able to remove Zira, and thanks to Nihlators being undead with Hollow, he wasn’t able to return any to life.

Final Moments

Have you ever been so greedy in a game for the assassination that you know isn’t going to work, but you can’t stop yourself for the desire to make it work. I have! at the end of his turn 3, Shae was in the woods, almost in the center of the table. I had the Shaman, the Raider, and the Soulward ready to take him down. Sadly, he’s DEF 19 in the woods, and that’s just not really an achievable target. For shame, though, I went for it, and started with the worst model possible, Mordikaar. I resurrected two Nihilators, snipped myself, and boosted my gun into the woods, needing 12’s. Unsurprisingly, I failed. I had one more fury on me and felt that if I could drop some damage into him, he’d play a little defensive, so I boosted the damage after I missed. Ah well, I’ll get him with the Raider, who needed boosted 12’s using eyeless sight from the Soulward to ignore the forest. He, too, missed. At that point I aborted, not feeling I had enough steam left, and sent the last shot from my Shaman into First Mate Hawke, who I had come to realize was within stab distance of Mordikaar. Sadly, the Evil Eye went wide as well, and all I had left was to hope that my opponent didn’t realize that Hawke was in charge range. Sadly, that didn’t happen, and even after remembering that she doesn’t have pathfinder, she still was in range to kill Mordikaar.

Which she did handily.

Game: 300
Result: L
Mordikaar Record: 4-2-1

I let my bloodlust get ahead of me there, and I should have kept playing the correct game for scenario. Instead, my opponent capitalized on my greed and put two swords into the top of Mordikaars noggin.

Fresh from the loss, I took off up north a bit to another local store, and got in a game there against a good friend who loves himself some Butcher three.

His list was
Butcher 3
-Ruin
Wardog
Greylord Ternion
Iron Fang (Max)
-Black Dragon Standard and Officer
Kayazy Assassins
-Underboos
Widowmakers
Epic Eiryss
Fenris
Drakhun
Saxon Orrik

This time, I have pictures!
We rolled up the same scenario as before, and he took first turn. See Deployment below:

Opening Moves

B3 V. Mordikaar

Our turn 1 took on the standard run and position game, with me popping my feat to protect from the inevitable turn 2 clash. It saved me a bit, keeping the Kayazy away, but I gave it all up the next turn. I faded back from the left zone in fear of the kayazy killing everything I know and love, and I paid dearly for it.

Me fatally fading from the zone.

From here on out, I think it was just formalities. I was pushing for the zone with the wrong models, leaving the left zone completely open to domination and swinging the game for the win to butcher 3.  With the Kayazy coming into the left zone, and the tough Nihlators holding the right, I think I should have committed whole hog to the Kayazy zone. They can only kill so much before they run out of steam.

Honestly, writing this up, I think I am much more timid than I need to be with Skorne. Going second is something that can really cause your head to turn inside out as you figure out how and where you can apply force without getting completely hammered. Its not an easy task, even with Cetratii. This game was a ton more fun and a lot closer than I make it seem, but I think it simply boiled down to me not having the capacity or concept to contest both of the zones while making a bid for the game in and of itself

Game: 301
Result: L
Mordikaar Record: 4-3-1

With those two games down, and a portent of doom on my shoulder, I headed into the crucible of Philly GamesCon on Saturday. I was extremely excited  to go up there and play outside my meta, as well as seeing a couple friends I’ve not seen in a while. I brought out the Fist and Mordikaar, even though I wasn’t very confident with him, and took to the road. The trip was long and grueling (I don’t particularly enjoy driving), but I was thrilled to get there and start in it.

My first round was against another Skorne player bringing Mordikaar and, honestly, I can’t remember the other list. However, it was a novel Mordikaar list he chose to drop against me, and I chose Fist, thinking that they would have the endurance and capacity to absorb the inital assault.

Mordikaar
-Krea
-Despoiler
-Titan Gladiator
Preatorian Keltarii (max)
Pain Giver Beast Handlers (min)
Ferox (Max)
Tyrant Commander and Standard
Agonizer
Rhadiem
Void Spirit

We were playing Two Fronts, and I think he went first.

Two Fronts

I’ll just be upfront here, as I have no pictures, but I got crushed. He was on his game, and just brutalized me. This Mordikaar list is fast, agile and can really put a hurt on everything you know and love from the start of the game. Ferox are amazing Revive targets, and Keltarii are giant problems when hollowed. My preference for a battlegroup is a bit different, but I can definitely see why he has what he has.

Sadly, I left his zone completely uncontested for almost the entirety of the match, simply letting him dominate while I putzed around on the other side of the board. He sent in Void Spirits and Rhadiem around the edge, tying up the Incindiarii and Karn, who, though eventually freed, were pretty solidly removed from the game. I was able to pop the feat and rocket Karn into Despoiler, taking him down under fury, the feat, and enrage. I also was close enough after sidestep to smash the gladiator close to oblivion. Sadly, Karn had sustained too much damage from his early assault, and died from the gladiator attack in retaliation.

The Keltarii were the real problem in the match, as they dug in so deep on turn 2, jamming past my friendly zone and stalling out the Cetratii. I wasn’t really able to leverage any of the Arcuarii well or even get good incindiarii shots, as the only good targets were Keltarii at defense 15!  Honestly, after suffering from their hands this game, I am swapping out my Nihilators for Keltarii immidiatly. If they don’t work, then I’ll go back, but I really think they are what I want and need in that list!

Game: 302
Result: L
Xerxis Record: 11-12-1

My next opponent was a minions player who dropped Maelok. Knowing that it was gators, I dropped fist. We were playing on a trench table, and I am extremely happy that I have pictures, because trying to describe this would have been insane.  We were playing Recon:

Recon

 

 

His list was

Maelok
-Bull Snapper
-Bull Snapper
Wrong Eye and Snap Jaw
Gatorman Posse (max)
Gatorman Posse (max)
Gatorman Posse (max)
Croak Hunter
Croak Hunter
Gatorman Witchdoctor
Gatorman Witchdoctor
Bellows Crew
Feral Giest
Feral Giest

And, the table:

The Trench Board

Man, This game was a slog! A million boxes on both sides as Fist and Gators just slam in the center for almost the whole time.

Round 2 I was able to use the Arcuarii to drag two of the Gatorman Posse leaders forward and put three total gators out of formation. It was an interesting technique, and one I may use again against warders or champions.

The game came down, after many rounds of grinding, to a scrum, once again, on my side of the board. I need to find a way to commit better and stronger than my current half assed semi-determination. Thankfully, he commited Maelok just a little to forward and I was able to get a Furied, enraged Gladiator on to Maelok. Feat turn or not, with three transfers or not, I should be able to drop him, or at least make his Beasts sad that they danced the dance. Needing 8’s to hit, I boost to hit on the charge attack, and connect. Unfortunately, the dice were not cooperating, and my roll came up almost as low as it could: 1,1,1 and 2 for column. Well, thats alright. I have another fist. Damage: 1,2. Ok. Tusks! boost to hit here, and do… 1 more damage. He took 7 and still sat on 3 fury, so my Arcuarii charging was just not going to get that last blow in to kill him. With one fury and Defenders Ward, Xerxis prepared to take a whole bunch of gators to the face. And boy did he!

Xerxis tank!

Three Charging Gators later – Two revived by Maelok, and I thankfully don’t have to say that I lost the game because I forgot to put up Defenders Ward on Xerxis. I didn’t even need the transfer, thankfully. The Gladiator decided to do his job this time, and pummeled poor Maelok to death!

Game: 303
Result: W
Xerxis Record:12-12-1

I’ve got two more games to go, but I’ll save that for another time, I am sure that this getting long winded as it is. I will, however, leave you with pictures of the games:

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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Makeada

 

As I mentioned a little bit ago, Skorne has called my name for a time now. This desire to play the empire has not stemmed from the desire for a new and different style of play. I love how Cryx plays so much I could play them for years without getting too bored. Its one of the strengths of the system as there are some 15 casters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses to overcome and to play with for all the original factions, and some 11 or so for each hordes faction.

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The Cephalyx made another outing last week, this time against Butcher 3. His list was one I was not familiar with, but neither was his ‘Caster.

I’ve been having a rough time getting the Croe’s Cutthroats to work, but I wanted to give them another shot or two before I passed judgement on them and called them Terrible. This game was no better than the others for them, but I don’t think it was a really good matchup for them overall.

The Cephalyx list I’ve been running hasn’t changed, though I have some options on the board that I’ll be subbing in soon. For a refresher, the list is

Exulon Thexus+5
-Subduer7
-Warden6
-Wrecker7
Mind Slaver and Drudges (10)6
Mind Bender and Drudges (10)6
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Croes Cutthroats (10)10
-Cephalyx Dominator1
Bloat Thrall2
Cephalyx Overlords4
55
.

I really like the Concept of the list, so I’ll be leaving the core alone for some time.

 

His Butcher Unleashed list was

Butcher Unleashed+4
-Beast 0911
-Drago8
-War Dog1
Great Bears of Gallowswood5
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (5)9
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (5)9
Widowmakers4
Iron Fang Kovnik2
Manhunter2
Yuri the Axe3
55

The table was almost devoid of terrain. It has a single large building on my right side, and two smaller buildings about 20″ on on both sides left flank. Though got to choose, I stayed on the side with the large building because our armies were already out. It was a bad decision. The scenario was Incursion.

Deployment
He deployed both Shock Troopers to my left-center, with Drago nearly perfect center and the IFP Kovnick behind them both. Butcher 3, the Wardog and Beast 09 held the right.

I deployed the Wrecker to face both shock troops, with the Overlords to worry about that flag. The Warden was deployed to the far right to go after that flag, if needed. Centrally located was the Slavers to the left center and the benders to the right center. Dead center was Thexus and the Subduer. Agitators supported all three beasts.

Advanced Deployment
He deployed his Widowmakers and a Manhunter off to counter the Overlords, and Yuri on the far opposite flank, near my warder.

I deployed the Croes right center to get some shots in on the Shock Troopers under my feat.

The Game: 
Turn 1 on both sides consisted of mostly running and getting into position, though I did move a pair of Mind Bent Drudges off to support the Warden, expecting him to be charged by Yuri, and wanted to make sure he got cleared off. The overlords moved up and tried, all three, to spray the Manhunter who’d made it zipping across the board, but they left him alive. – The Flag on the left vanishes.

Using this for an arc node is stupid.

Using this for an arc node is stupid.

Turn 2 was the meat of the game, as it should be. He moved everything up into position to threaten my eventual central surge. I’d positioned my drudges near the Warden poorly, and Yuri got all three. The Manhunter charges into an Overlord and whiffs both attacks. Butcher 3 repositions more toward the center of the board and makes me super-nervous. I move Thexus up to grab almost all his Shocktroopers and feat, pulling the shieldwall apart. I TK Drago backwards into charge range of three supped up Mind Slaver Drudges. I manage to clog myself up really, really bad. Mind Benders stuck in the back. Subduer way to back to do any good, wrecker needed to run to get TK off, Agitator charges Yurri and on dice -3 manages to do 2 damage, leaving the Subduer engaged. Instead of Taking a free strike and getting the point that turn, I paste Yurri with the Warden. Croes gets some sweet shoots off, but between doing dice -7 on three dice to the Shock Troopers and needing 8’s to hit def 13 great bears, I just don’t get enough work done. I think I killed three Shocktroopers and a Great Bear. All the Agitators are jammed up and can’t get in deep enough to help the Adrenaline Overloaded Drudges kill Drago, and I leave him alive.

Turn 3 is the tipping point, with Beast 09 getting into the central fray, and the majority of the Shocktroopers still alive making it into my lines. The Widowmakers continue to harry my troops, picking off models exactly where they are needed. I can’t seem to make any tough rolls, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Croes gets whittled down, an overlord drops, and Drago manages to get cleared out and charge the Wrecker, mortally wounding it, but not killing it. I manage to make a strong reprisal, but its not good enough. I kill all of the Widowmakers and start driving into the Shocktroopers. The Wrecker kills Drago and then 3 more Shocktroopers, missing an attack at Mat 7. Whatever. I send three Adrenal Flooded Drudges into Beast, but I barely scratch the paint, even with the Agitator. I manage to take out the IFP Kovnik, and drop some shots into the Great Bears, but it seems not to matter, as they can’t die. I get my Agitator over to the right flag, with the warden back a bit to counter-charge whatever decided to get points.

Turn 4 is when the game ended, more or less. Butcher 3 charges the Agitator on the flag, casts impending doom on the too-close Warden, and ends them both after popping his feat, dominating the flag. The Great Bears charge the Wrecker and leave it in a pile of quivering chunks. Beast 09 sits in position and continues to give 0 shits about whatever is near him. A nearly complete unit of Shocktroopers sits near the center flag, refusing to die. I run the Bloat Thrall over to futilely contest and try and maybe kill some Argus with its death blast. The Subduer finally gets into position, and charges a damaged Beast 09 with two focus. Under the effects of the Agitator, with three attacks, one a charge, I feel fairly confident I can wreck it. Snake eyes on the charge and on the second bought attack put that plan to its miserable end, and with it any hope of winning. Butcher sits put, killing everything I can throw at him for 2 more turns and eventually wins on scenario.

Thoughts

I made that game a much harder fight than it needed to be. I don’t really have an answer to Butcher 3 that outhreats him, but man it would have been a better game if I didn’t have my head stuck so far into my anal crevice.

Error: I’m used to Cryx. When I point at a unit, any unit, it conveniently removes itself from the board. That is not how Cephalyx are going to work. I need to use the right tools to get the right jobs done. The right tool to take out Shocktroopers is definitely not POW 12 sprays. This error is especially grievous as it wasn’t even a unit I needed to worry about, as there was no flag nearby.

These guys don't kill Shocktroopers

These guys don’t kill Shocktroopers

Error: I bunched all three of my units into a 10″ area. This created over-burdened order of activation problems that I shouldn’t have needed to worry about. My Mind Bender Drudges were stuck behind the Mind Slavers, unable to participate except to give out Adrenal Flood. Let me tell you, its not worth it. I also clogged up two of my three Monstrosities, allowing his ‘jacks and Shocktroppers to choose the engagement.

Error: I ran the wrecker to get an unnecessary TK off. If I had held put and not gotten greedy, I could have been a lot more threatening late game. Drago would not have made it so that the wrecker took trivial amounts of work to kill.

Error: Popping feat turn 2. I had hopped to whittle down the Shocktroopers, but even Poison crossbow bolts don’t really worry ARM 17 8 wound troopers. I could have waited another turn to get more charges, sprays, and other damage in without much of a sacrifice.

Error: the warden was in Impending Doom range, and that was completely avoidable. I could have kept him way, way back.

I don’t want to take away from the game, though. My opponent played clean and without mistakes, and He capitalized on mine. It was a fantastic learning experience with my Cephalyx. Next time, I’ll try not to get all my stuff murdered and remember positioning.

Final thoughts.
The Cephalyx are a blast to play, but I need a ton more practice with them before I become a master. Heavy Arcnodes are not something you force, but something that you take advantage of, and getting greedy with it can make you pretty sad if you use your big beat stick. Croes, also, feel pretty bad. Soon here I am going to go with the double Pistol Wraith/TAC load out and see what I can do with that. I do have a strange desire to run Aiyanna and Holt instead, because Harm in that army will be off the chain. I have to worry about the Dominator being snipped out, but I have a Warden for that.

Till tomorrow!