I’ve not been playing a lot of games lately, but I’ve made some progress into my goals. One of the things I wanted to do was to get enough games in with a caster to get their feel before moving onward. I’ve been playing the game and playing cryx long enough to be able to sort out, with a modicum of reliability, how a caster feels and whether or not it plays right, in about 5 games. It doesn’t always give me a taste for the meta and how I utilize it in a tournament, which is a flaw, but I don’t get to enough tournaments to really make it my priority. I do worry about tournament boogeymen, but only in the dojo.
This’ll be my first written battle report with Goreshade 2, and its with the last iteration in his final game before Terminus.
I’ve mentioned the list, and even commented on it before on Advanced Manuvers, but I’ve not done a full battle report here in a long time, and I think I could use one.
Bane Knights x10
Blackbanes Ghost Raiders x10
Satyxis Blood Witches x10
Necrosurgeon and Stitch Thralls
Scrap Thralls (x3) x2
This list is a fairly standard attrition list. With 30+ trooper models, two heavy lifters and an arc node. The Scrap Thralls are there for the feat, and no other good reason. The mechanithralls and Necrosurgeon are there for the feat and late game scenario play. Dropped behind the Blood Witches, they enable a sort of double dip. The Necrosurgeon gets the corpses to make more mechanithralls with, and the Mechanithralls either get to be sacrificed to the feat to bring back those same witches, or they are pushed into the zones and scenario points to make it a touch more difficult for the opponent to score.
I have found that this list is surprisingly flexible. I have two stealth units, two units with apparition, two units that can be incorporeal, a unit with vengeance, two units that are functionally immune to free strikes, and Curse of Shadows. I am wherever this list wants to be. With the new charging rule, this makes this setup of models even better.
What makes this list hum, though, is the feat. Having the Banes lead the center of the army, with the Blackbanes positioned on one flank and a little behind and the Blood Witches a little behind and on the other flank, I feel that the banes are going to suffer terribly. With Vengeance and Mirage, however, I can move a single remaining model, that I had hopefully hidden safely for the feat, 5″ up and then pop the feat to pull as much as the whole unit back into play. At that time, I’ll swing the Blackbanes Ghost Raiders in front of the Bane Knights to try and soften the blow against the returned unit, often returning losses of their own via the feat as well. Few units make it to the enemies side unscathed. Finally, any ancillary attacks that the Blood Witches have suffered will be returned as well via the feat, jamming them all down the opponents gullet. It is hard to wipe out all three units in a single turn. Its even harder to do it twice.
I used to worry about when to pop my feat because I had limited resources to burn on the feat. Now, though, I am really comfortable pushing forward harder than before. The list starts out with 16 feat targets, and can easily have 19 or even 22 the turn I pop the feat, and If I really need it I can pop stragglers of a decimated unit for 25. That is a lot of models comin’ back.
What was I fighting against?
Karchev. Thankfully, it wasn’t Mad Dogs, I don’t think I have an answer to that stupid list ready to go, but it was still the man in the machine himself. The list was pretty good, too. It wasn’t to spamy on the warjacks but still felt like a right proper Karchev list. (Who I have now battled and beat in every edition?!)
Karchev the Terrible.
Man o War Shocktroopers x5
-Man o War UA
This list is a simple, brutal list based on, what else, Karchev bringing the ‘Jacks.
We rolled up Extraction, one of the scenarios I like the most. Its fun, its central, and it has both objectives and flags. What could go wrong? We both had Fuel Cache, so we were going to be putting down clouds the whole time, but it was fair because we both had them. I won the roll to go first and did so, letting him choose the table edge, then we started deploying.
The 2.5d Terrain here is Tectonic Craft Studios Terrain, and it was a joy to build and paint. It took me almost no time (20 minutes to 2 hours) to paint up, looks good and functions well. He did give me these terrain pieces to paint up and use, so I’m not completely in the clear, but I’m in love with them. I just need to get a house and some walls from him and I’ll be all set!
As you can see, I deployed exactly as described. I wanted the Deathjack to have a bite at one of the two character jacks, so I put him on the far side across from them both. He’d counter deployed Ruin against the Blackbanes, But I figured that was going to be the case, so I might as well ti him up as long as possible and keep him away from the juicy souls of the Satyxis. With so little ranged, I was pretty unconcerned about Occultation, but Figured he didn’t have much magical shooting, so instead of the normal move of putting it on Blackbane, I would drop it on the knights.
Turn 1- Cryx.
This was an easy turn: Run almost everything forward, keeping Deathjack out of face crushing range while hoping to avoid getting shelled too bad by the Behemoth and positioning the Arc Node to get a good angle to Curse of Shadows the Man O War for the Satyxis to chew through. Sadly, only one of those things happened correctly. Occultation went on the Bane Knights and Mirage on the Blood Witches. In hindsight, I think in this instance, and a few others like it, its just smarter to give the Knights that additional 2″ on the early turn, making them practically speed 6.
Turn 2 – Khador
I’m exactly 100% not surprised by what happens here. He rushes forward with everything he has except the Behemoth, who moves forward and launches a pair of shells at the Deathjack, dropping columns 1 and 6 on the first shot and bouncing off the second. not a good start of the day for Mr. Deathjack. Satisified, he passes the turn over. A slowish melee force under countercharge is a thing to be reckoned with.
Turn 1 – Cryx
I was not happy being shot in the face, so I’ve planned to put mirage on Deathjack and hide him behind that copse of trees in the center. Not a particularly great strategy, but one I’m kinda forced to take in order to keep Deathjack from being pined between the two characters comin’ for him. I know that I am going to loose him, I just have to make it worth it – Either Ruin or Behemoth has to go, and I have to put Karchev in a position where he feels like he is the only one able to take Deathjack out, and hopefully lure him forward a bit so the rest of my force can take a few swings. Occultation stays on the Knights, Mirage triggers along with Apparition, and a significant portion of my army jumps about 2″ forward.
Its all positioning here. I need to make sure that his alpha strike, because I am going to let him have it, does not cripple me and make sure that I have enough left to be able to swing the hammer crushing down. Blackbanes are measured to be 9″ + out, and then I put one in 9″ because I can’t seem to do this game right. Bane Knights push forward past/Into the trees to give them a chance to take advantage of it, and the Blood Witches settle into a nice little position outside of the Man o War. I trigger no countercharges and pass the turn.
Turn 2 – Khador
This one wen’t pretty well for him. You’ll notice at the center-right of the photo there is a stitch thrall and four Blood Witches in a perfect 4″ formation? Yeah, so did he. He also manages to shatter a number of Bane Knights as well with the bombards – Those things are awesome! Ruin knocks out a Blackbane, the Kodiak vents steam on a witch, clouding up and settles in for the next turn. the Man O war simply go to town on the Satyxis. at the end of the turn I have 6 Bane Knights, 4 Blood Witches, a Stitch Thrall and a Ghost Raider dead.
Turn 1- Cryx
I think I’ve forced the Behemoth up enough to take him down, and Karchev is in a good position to be the main method of taking down the Deathjack afterward, pulling him forward. It is going to involve some tricky stuff, but I think I can make it happen. First, though, Vengeance. I get a single attack on the Mad Dog, and miss. Everyone else is simply to far out. I allocate 2 to the Deathjack, pushing him up to five. Mirrage moves a number of models around Ruin, truing to get good charge angles on him. Finally, Deathjack places himself 2″ in the forest, now able to see, and importantly charge, out.
The Satyxis, what is left of them, go first, and crash into the Man O War like eggs dashed on a rock. There is little effect, and I’m going to be out of eggs very soon. The Necrosurgeon creates three more Mechanithralls from the dead Satyxis last turn and prepares for Goreshades gentle ministrations. The Deathripper runs so that he is within 8″ of the Behemoth, but not within the 6″ countercharge. The Kodiak is taken care of by a poor sacrificial Blood Witch
Goreshade then activates, needing to hit a curse of shadows on Behemoth and does. Just in case all of this goes south, he also drops Occultation on himself. Finally, he pops his feat, returns every destroyed model to the field, and sacrifices all but one mechanithrall and all the scrap thralls. Its a good day.
The Blackbanes Ghost Raiders charge into Ruin and do nothing but set him on fire. A few make a noble gesture and charge the Juggernaut. Finally, everyone is engaged except the Behemoth.
Now the tricks come in. The Withershadow activate, and Malevelous moves within 8″ of Behemoth. Tremulus keep an eye on Malevelous, and Admonia, aware that she’s pretty important, hangs back. Tremulus gives Malevelous Puppet Master, and Malevelous shoots Behemoth with an Abyssal Gate and, without using the reroll, managed to hit and damage. This allows a 3″ place effect on Behemoth, who is now backwards and three inches closer to Deathjack than when he started. A promising position.
The Bane Knights, eager to perform like their days of old, rush into combat with the mad dog, and one makes it all the way over to the Behemoth. Sadly, they do not live up to the promise, and manage to leave the mad dog alive and barely, if at all, scratch even the veneer of the Behemoth.
Its finally Deathjacks go, and he is within 4″ of Behemoth, so he can just waltz right up there and get all 8 attacks against him. It only takes 7.
Finally, I’m ready to pass the turn. Its been a long one.
Turn 2 – Khador.
Without a Cortex, the Mad dog is unable to Power Up or be Allocated focus, and outside of his control range, the Kodiak suffers the same fate.
Karchev is the first to activate, popping his feat and heading in on Deathjack. It only takes a few swings, but he’s dead pretty simply and swiftly. Ruin, Juggernaut and the Mad dog all make their attacks trying to unstick themselves from the Blackbanes and Bane Knights, and with the addition of Karchevs feat, they are easily able to do it. The Kodiak, now within range of the feat, takes down even more of the Blood Witches. Man O War continue the unending slaughter, reducing the unit to two members. The Ternion and Kel each chip in and I am left with 8 bane knights and pretty much nothing else. The turn is passed.
Turn 1- Cryx
Ok! I have it, right? it is time! Karchev is within range for Curse of Shadows, I have some 8 Bane knights that can get on him, and the day should simply be mine. Goreshade goes first and drops a Curse of Shadows, followed up by a hex blast, doing some damage. The bane knights, realizing the time the have is limited, all charge. all but one of them get into Karchev, getting backstrike on 3 of them. All but one connects, and it leaves him on a few boxes The Deathripper charges in and does a little bit of damage, and both available Blackbanes charge in and do damage, as well as lighting him on fire. I’m out of luck, and out of models.
Turn 2 – Khador
Ground Zero is a thing, is it? Seems like it. All my knights except one are dead, and that last one is soon for the darkness, as well. Karchev moves up to engage both the final bane knight and the Deathripper. He destroys the Deathripper and eliminates the Bane Knight. The rest of his jacks finish off most of my troops, but the Kodiak Tramples into the woods next to where Karchev is, and the lights go on in my head. Victory, from the jaws of defeat!
This is it. All or nothing. Goreshade has a line on the Kodiak, and through it, should be able to get his weapon onto Karchev. With only a few models left, I have to go for it. Everyone moves out of the way, Puppet Strings goes out, and Goreshade charges along his angle to the Kodiac. Room is sufficient to get far enough, my a fair distance, to Karchev. Two attacks later, the game is over. Goreshade 2 was able to sweep in and finish off the caster. Cryx wins!
I know I need to do more battle reports of when I lose, as I often learn from them more than these wins, but the play by play of a win sticks more in my head.
That said, I love this list, its fun, dynamic and has a lot going for it. It can’t really handle a ton of armor, which puts it in a tight spot in tournament games, but it does have an overwhelming presence on the board, especially if you can get the feat off at an awesome time. Can’t wait to see how January shakes up the lists and maybe gives it some new life against guns.
Till next time!