Darkest Before the Dawn
Sometimes, the hardest part of this game is hitting the reset button. Every once in a while, seeing that you have put work into making a list function, put thought and time into setting up what you think is a formidable and powerful set of synergies, and played a number of games that were, good, but not good enough, you have bow your head and admit defeat. At that point, You’ve reached the hardest part of a list. The daylight is in view. Seize it. I have recently hit that point with Deneghra 3
I’ve gotten three games in with Denny 3, two with the same list, and one with a massively tweaked, though similar, version of the list. Each time, I moved further and further into the insane-tank and had to, eventually, come up for air.
I originally built this:
Soul Trappers x2 (4)
Bane Thralls x10
-Officer and Standard
I Knew I wanted this to be a list that I was going to pair with a form of my Goreshade 3 list, which wasn’t particularly, to me, scary to armor. That meant that I felt like I needed to include some really heavy armor cracking models, Tartarus and Bane Thralls, that would be able to scare anyone from using their big models and bullying me around. I also wanted to use Barathrum, for whatever reason. The Helldivers were there due to the Influence of Trent Denison. I really feel that I need an Arcnode with her, and the Nightwretch is both the cheapest and the best. Soul Trappers are a must for her, enabling any enemy models, destroyed for in any manner, to have their souls appropriated for Deneghra’s use later on. The Scarlock was initially in the list to toss bout boosted mortalities, and ghost walk when needed, but ended up serving a reversed role almost every time on account of having no Darragh Wrath in the list. The Soulhunters were my early soul collection engine that had garnered a lot of success with Goreshade 3. Finally, the Ogrun Bokur was there to eat shots from Eiryss of both stripes and any other stupid gunshots they might want to point at Denny.
My first game out with her was against Grim 2, a list set up to decimate Cryx, because that is what Grim does. I knew it was going to be a brutal game, and it was exactly as gloriously devastating as I expected and desired the game to be. We played Incursion, everyone’s favorite scenario, and I managed to put a lot of pressure on Grim to start the game, and he reacted with a right and proper respect for her threat range, but held back his forces just a little to long, and ended up losing on scenario as I was able to clear and score all three flags, forcing him to over commit. I was getting my face shelled off, and if he had been just a little more aggressive, I think this would have resulted in a pretty significant loss.
After this game, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with either of my unit choices. The Bane Thralls wanted to be babysat for mortality, and were slow, presenting a formidable second wave, but needed the opponents help to really get there. The Soulhunters presented the opposite problem, requiring mortality early in the turn, but were so far ahead of the army they were cut off and destroyed with little more than a pitiful fanfare. I had initially expected to use them in order to harvest souls, but that never came to be as I had misread her Soul Weaver ability as a CTRL area instead of Command, which significantly impacts the threat range of the Soulhunters and their soul gathering capacity. I was not impressed by Barathrum, either, as he was shelled out of existence in a single round by a slag troll. While dug in. Ugh.
The second game was shortly after the first, and I was committed to getting a second game in with the same list. This one was against my Buddy over at Sticks and Dice using his very well designed Irusk 2 list. Sadly, for me at least, the game cemented the few theories I’d formed in the first game. I was able to take first turn, and was even able to get moving pretty swiftly, but was unable to really threaten his Winter Guard with anything I had. Nothing was going to sit in front of those boosted to hit sprays and come out alive, and I was unable to remove an effective number of them before being completely gutted of Bane Thralls. In a last ditch effort to put pressure on Irusk before simply giving in, I rolled my giant dragon into the remains of his army and asked if he could kill me. With Poltergeist up and camping a few, I was still unable to take a charge from MOW. Doesn’t help I missed Gorman and his blind bomb coming in to smash my face.
After that Game I spoke with both my opponents and made a few tweaks to the list to make it more feasible, and wound up with a list like this:
Soul Trappers x2 (4)
Nyss Hunters x10
Satyxis Raiders x10
This was played against Kreuger 2, who is an unlikely pairing against her in any normal means, but I felt it was good matchup practice. The game wen’t much better than I thought it would, and I was able to really spread wide and prevent Kreuger 2 from simply sitting in the center of the Recon zone and pushing everyone away. However, I was unable to capitalize on following turns, and eventually he popped his feat, pushed everything out of the zone, and killed my Objective, as Kreuger is wont to do. capping three points one turn, and then claiming the two for domination after clearing out the zone his next turn.
I’ve decided I don’t want to run Helldiver spam, at this point, as I just don’t have the temperament, yet, for it. The soulhunters are not working out, and I need to replace them with a unit that isn’t so far ahead of my army as to prove impossible to keep up with, and can hit a Khadoran Warjack if given the opportunity. These poor soulhunters just can’t find purchase and it drives me nuts.
I’ll be debating a number of lists over the next week and a half before I take part in the opening salvo of Store Wars, our locak area team tournament event, and who knows, maybe I’ll have even changed composition again by then!