Archive for September, 2013

The final game put me up against the Motherland once more. And once more Butcher3 would be on the table, just not commanded by me. Instead I was faced up against iWARGAME, from the awesome iWARGAME blog, at http://iwargame.wordpress.com – if you haven’t checked it out, you should.

Since I was locked out of Butcher3 I took this Vlad2 list:

Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Champion – WJ: +5
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker – PC: 2
– Drago – PC: 8

Doom Reavers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
– Greylord Escort – Greylord Escort 2
Greylord Outriders – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9
Greylord Ternion – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Iron Fang Uhlans – Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3

I’ve been talking with Lemming Stampede quite a bit lately about the joys of Vlad2 and have been hankering to take him for a spin. In fact, if I hadn’t managed to get my greedy mitts on Butcher3 I probably would have rocked The Dark Champion for the whole day.

You can definitely tell that I am a Khador player because I was a bit concerned with the low model count of this army (34) but I felt that everything in this list is pretty solid and capable of punching above their weight, even without Vlad2s feat – the sprays would help mitigate any jamming or horde-style armies (as opposed to Hordes armies).

iWARGAME’s list was:

Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed – WJ: +4
– War Argus
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker
– Behemoth – PC: 13

Widowmaker Marksman – PC: 2
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios – PC: 3
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist – PC: 2
Kell Bailoch – PC: 2
Saxon Orrik – PC: 2

Doom Reavers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
– Greylord Escort – Greylord Escort 2
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4

Setup and Early game:

I ended up going second again and once more chose the side I was on because, you know, crutches. I counter deployed my doom reavers across from his widowmakers and WMM (and Eyriss) and a bit under 5″ into my AD zone to be out of the widowmakers range but within a-bomb range when I run. If his widowmakers are anything like mine, they will break. I also deployed the Uhlans on my far right flank with the intent of using them to take out Behemoth if I got a shot or as a quick redeploy and put my eliminators behind them counter to iWARGAME’s with the though of maybe sending them after Kell and Saxon.

inyoung-deployment

iWARGAME’s first run he pretty much just advanced everything full bore. The WMM  advanced up through the woods like I expected him to and the shot  ended up being short, as planned. Unfortunately this meant that he had a solid ranging shot and the rest of the widowmakers hung back a little bit further. with Eyriss behind them. For my turn, Vlad put Hand of Fate on the outriders, transference on himself and then moved up behind a wall where he basically carved his initials into it and hung out the rest of the game. My doomreavers ran forward – one getting close enough to force an abomination test on the widowmaker marksman, which he failed. I sent a couple out wide to try and jam up his widowmakers and toed in most of the rest of them into the woods. This meant if iWargame wanted to get LOS to shoot at them with the widowmakers they would have to do an abomination check. My IFP ran sideways  and spread out. I didn’t bother with minifeat yet. All of the outriders used Winter’s Wind and advanced just a bit – I was hoping to be out of charge range for half of the eliminators and without two gang bonused attacks I felt pretty decent about them surviving and if he ran to engage to give a gang bonus I could make them stationary which would make clearing them much easier. The ternion put some clouds up just because they had nothing better to do (marked with beads below). I decided to redeploy the uhlans so they just ran behind Vlad to keep their options open.

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The widowmakers moved through the woods to take some shots on my doomreavers but failed the abomination check. The wmm rallied. His doomreavers had crappy rolls and killed maybe one of my doomreavers. Butcher decided to get his hands messy and advanced through the flag.  He cast impending doom and then flashing blade to kill a fair amount of IFP that I had moved too close to the flag as well as a couple of doomreavers. He then energizered back 3″ through the flag and considered feating but realized he was pretty safe so just hung out.  One of his eliminator units charged the outriders, but only one was range to attack. The other ran to give the gang bonus but he failed to kill outrider leaving him on one wound with the combo strike. That model sidestepped out of range of the Winter’s Wind and the other unit just ran but kept their distance from the Outriders. Kell advanced and took a shot but missed due to the high def, as did Saxon.

For my turn I upkept Hand of Fate for free and paid one for Transference. My eliminators charged his and he expected a slap fight, since 9s are kind of hard to pull off. Boosted 9s aren’t so bad, however, and a couple of attacks and sidesteps later both of his eliminator units were down two 1 model each – and the non stationary one was fleeing. The outriders got a bit cocky at this and one missed the stationary one with a spray. The other advanced and did melee attacks and hit but failed to kill. I also killed Kell with the spray and a couple of IFP though the hill provided them with pretty good protection. I then did my light cav move to engage saxon and the stationary eliminator but in her back arc. I know she could just acrobatics away, but at least she couldn’t charge him. My IFP killed a few doomreavers, but one of them made like 3 tough checks. My greylord escort advanced and put a  few points on butcher with the spray (maybe 4?).

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After this I forgot to take pics as I was pretty into the game. Here is the general flow though.

From here Butcher is camping next to his flag grabbing a point every one of his turns. I upkept Transference but dropped Hand of Fate. There was too much in the way for me to feat on the uhlans yet, so instead I send 2 of them in, one charging the butcher and the other basing up behind it for the defensive line buff. I knew that there was no way they would survive and probably should have only sent one in, but I was hoping he would have to spend some effort to kill them both. The front uhlan used tall in the saddle to charge butcher over the war arguses. One of them killed a war argus with an impact and hit butcher for another couple of points with his lance. The other skewered the second war argus, killing it. I figured if I was going to be triggering I wanted to make sure I only did it once.

I moved hand of fate over to the Ternion here as well and they killed some IFP finished off the doomreaver UA and then the  remaining doomreavers. Our IFP mingled it up and the game started to settle into a grind. Butcher cleared out the front uhlan with his vengeance attack (ouch – I was hoping he would at least have to use his activation for that) and then the other with his activation.

I was up on time by about 13 minutes but iWARGAME was getting a control point on each of his turns as butcher cleared out any contesting models pretty easily but I was weeding out the models in the way. I forgot about Gorman and he was able to get a black oil onto my uhlans pushing back the feat for another turn. The ternion killed him with a spray and the following turn he ran the wardog and Eyriss to block the uhlans charge lane. I had to minimize any risk of failure so on my turn I upkept Hand of Fate for free, upkept Transference. The ternion advanced and with the HOF sprays managed to clear the charge lane. I activated Vlad and popped my feat on the uhlans. I declared the charge on butcher (by this time he had about 2 minutes left – not much but enough to clear a flag and score his 5th and winning CP if necessary). I had 4 focus on Vlad and so used transference to boost the uhlans’ attack rolls. Yes, I only needed 3 and was rolling 3 and dropping the low, but it was that important and if this assassination failed the game was over anyway. The first uhlan hit and only rolled an 8 after dropping the low so I only did 3. I was pretty worried now. The next was an average roll of 10 after dropping doing another 5, leaving him with 6 or 7 which meant I needed an above average roll. Luckily, I got a 17 and managed to just barely save the game.

I just realized that I didn’t mention it but Behemoth was dropping 2 bombards every turn – he took out one of Drago’s arms and his cortex as well as killing the eliminators and a couple of the outriders.

Another super fun and super close game against an awesome opponent. We both had a couple of inopportune snake-eyes rolls but the game was a blast. I ended up getting 3rd for the invitational – the highest placing of someone that “dark horsed” their way in on points for the invitational rather than winning and I was pretty happy overall. If you find yourself in Southern California I highly recommend you stop in to Mercenary Market they have a fantastic gaming area and the manager, Greg is a fantastic guy.

Adding this pic here just because I liked it. This is the view after my turn1.

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Game 2 was up against David Henry who was also running Khador. I had hoped to be able to play something other than Butcher3 just to keep my options open for game 3 but one of David’s list was a Butcher1 Claws of the Dragon so I pretty much had to take him. I was planning on playing him twice anyway, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Just to recap so you don’t have to go back to a previous post, this is the list I brought:
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed – WJ: +4
– War Argus
– War Dog
– Devastator – PC: 9Fenris – PC: 5
Man-O-War Drakhun – PC: 4
Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2Great Bears of Gallowswood – Volkov, Kolsk, Yarovich: 5
Doom Reavers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
– Greylord Escort – Greylord Escort 2
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
David did end up playing the Butcher1 list and it looked like this:
The Butcher of Khardov – WJ: +6
– War Dog
– Kodiak – PC: 8Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2
Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2
Uhlan Kovnik Markov – PC: 4Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Iron Fang Uhlans – Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Pretty brutal jam and attrition list. Just the kind of list that Butcher3 likes to face. I also remembered to take a couple more pictures for this one but the painkillers make my hands shake something awful, so they are fairly blurry, sorry.
 
I was going 2nd again and since I was all crutchety I decided just to stay on the side I was on. It wouldn’t really have mattered much anyway, as you see there was basically a line of pikemen facing me across the table. The only thing of note is that the Uhlans were on the far side a bit of shallow water and I lined up my Fenris and the eliminators across from them. Eliminators do a fantastic job of jamming the cav up if they can run to engage them. The cav can’t pick up steam for impact attacks and in melee they need an 11 to hit. Also, uhlans aren’t fearless unless they are in command range of Markov so that would force him to either advance Markov up or keep an Uhlan or two back, which greatly reduces their effectiveness. I also set up the Great Bears to countercharge the Uhlans after they took out fenris (since I felt pretty sure that he would have to try for that or risk Fenris eating a unit).
Also my plan with Butcher was to get him into the zone, clear it out and do some dominating to try and win on scenario.
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Early Game
Most of David’s stuff ran forward and he put Iron Flesh on the central, green IFPs. He did run 2 of the IFP way out front to jam up some of my doomreavers. For my turn I advanced stuff as well, I set up Fenris to receive the charge from the Uhlans and the Great Bears ready to engage the uhlans after. The doomreavers killed the IFP jamming them up. My widowmakers advanced and took out the Iron Fang Kovnik that was trying to hide behind a building. There may or may not have been cover but it turned out I rolled high enough to hit for it not to matter. I spread my own IFP out as  second wave to try and counterjam while the doomreavers just basically ran to lock as many IFP in place as possible but the UA held back – I wanted to have his spray for later in the game. Butcher shifted a bit to the left in preparation to clear the zone. The other eliminators ran and took up position a bit behind the flag and used it to block off a pretty large bit of real estate from the pikemen due to not giving them room for model’s bases. I mostly did this in order to minimize the size of the CMA he could put on them since they also need 11s to hit.
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Butcher upkept Iron Flesh but stayed pretty far back. Not surprisingly none of the Doom Reavers survived, though the UA did. David did a pretty good job with his placements to not give me a lot of options for Butcher. He also ran to engage the widowmakers with a couple of the pikemen. Three of the uhlans did charge Fenris, but surprisingly, one of them missed and he got to stay on his pony. All of his units popped minifeat.
Unfortunately Fenris wasn’t in much of a killing mood (and thanks to the minifeat) and only killed 1 of them and then the Great Bears charged and finished them off other than the two in the background. The Eliminators on the right flank charged Markov and killed him (gang + combo strike is legit). The Doomreaver UA advanced to the middle of the zone and tried to spray off the IFP who had run to engage the widowmakers and killed one IFP. I had sacrificed the spray angle to get him where I wanted Butcher to go.
Mid Game
Butcher gave a charge order. One of the dogs charged and IFP man who was engaging a widowmaker. Butcher charged the UA and used flashing blade to kill a couple of IFP and then did his charge attack to kill the UA who failed his tough check. I cast impending doom and pulled in a pretty fair number of IFP (6-7?) and flashing bladed them to death. I then used Energizer and pulled the a bit closer (I forgot to use sprint) and used one to plug a hole. I considered popping feat since I was sitting on 0 but there were only 3 or so IFP that could threaten me. Granted, Butcher1 feat plus fury meant that they would do a real number on him but I needed to keep my feat as a threat to keep Butcher1 at range so I risked it.
The widowmakers, now mostly freed up, got a charge order. They were a bit confused but when Orsus tells you to charge, you damn well charge, so one of them ran to engage a BD UA. The other two both charged the most most immediately threatening pikeman and actually managed to kill him. My own Black Dragons piled in to shield wall and jammed hard and then popped their minifeat. Without charges the enemy IFP would need 10s to kill them and I was hoping to pull out Butcher1’s feat.
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David in turn charged and killed a couple of great bears and dismounted Fenris. Butcher just upkept Iron Flesh on the green squad and moved over to deal with the eliminators to avenge Markov (and try and camp on the flag). David’s IFP were unable to crack many of my IFPs.
In my turn Butcher advanced, Impending doomed and flashing bladed killing another 3-4 IFP and putting a big hurt on the kodiak and then flashing bladed once more killing another couple of IFP – he missed a couple first time around thanks to IF (ALSO CRAP THERE WERE SO MANY OF THEM!) and then finishing the Kodiak off with his initial attack. Finally he energized back again on no camp. By this time though there wasn’t really anything that could get to him.
He focused on trying to clear the flag to dominate it with butcher and since he used most of his remaining force he did.
End Game
I was able to clear the zone, but unfortunately, by this time I was all but out of time. I collected my 2 CPs for dominating the zone (this might have put me at 4)  and had like 7 seconds left which wasn’t enough to do much of anything. David ran 2 models into the zone and I was unable to kill both of them before my time was up.
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Wow, what a fantastic game! It was very tactical with movement and placement really keeping things interesting. Both of us kept trying to get the other to overcommit and neither of us were willing to make the first mistake. My inexperience with this list is what cost me the game. I think I really only needed maybe an extra 90 seconds and I would have been able to win on scenario which is really encouraging, considering how brutal David’s list was. Obviously I would rather have won, but it was a super fun game and very very tight.
Alex, the PG at one of my localish game stores, Mercenary Market down in Costa Mesa, has been running a tournament series this year. Basically it was one tourney a month and you earn points toward an 8 player invitational to be held in September. The winners of each individual tourney automatically qualified and then it went to the points. One of the people who won 2 of the events is in the military and has transferred to Japan so obviously he couldn’t make it. I never managed to crack further than 2nd at the store but had enough cumulative points to qualify as an alternate.
The invitational took place last weekend and it was an absolute blast. I had knee surgery a few weeks ago and was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to attend but thanks to Alex and the awesome player base they were willing to let me stay at the same table (Alex rearranged the terrain every game) I was able to get in some games. Since my knee got really bad back in July I haven’t really played any games so knew I was rusty going in to the event. I had also managed to get my hands on the Butcher Unleashed and was dying to play him, so despite having no table time with him he was a must play for me. I did spend a lot of time thinking about him while I was lying around.
The format was 3 lists and you had to play 2 during the 3 round tourney. My lists were as follows:
Khador – Butcher3 MMKommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed – WJ: +4
– War Argus
– War Dog
– Devastator – PC: 9Fenris – PC: 5
Man-O-War Drakhun – PC: 4
Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2

Great Bears of Gallowswood – Volkov, Kolsk, Yarovich: 5
Doom Reavers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
– Greylord Escort – Greylord Escort 2
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3

Khador – Vlad2 MM55 / 55 (50+5) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 1 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 0 Units : 6Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Champion – WJ: +5
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker
– Drago – PC: 8

Doom Reavers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
– Greylord Escort – Greylord Escort 2
Greylord Outriders – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9
Greylord Ternion – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Iron Fang Uhlans – Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3

Khador – Strakhov MM56 / 56 (50+6) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 1 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 4 Units : 4Kommander Strakhov – WJ: +6
– Torch – PC: 10

Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2
Man-O-War Drakhun – PC: 4
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 3
Manhunter – PC: 2

Assault Kommandos – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– 3 1 Kommando’s: 3
Iron Fang Uhlans – Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Assassins – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Kayazy Assassin Underboss – Underboss 2

The lists are all pretty straight forward in their intent for the most part. Since Butcher3 is my new toy he would definitely be along for the ride and the list I chose for him was basically to maximize offensive threats. I wanted to present more high threat targets than most opponents could deal with and hopefully cause them to panic and maybe spread fire out rather than focus on something. I picked Vlad2 because I have been talking to Lemming Stampede about him quite a bit lately and getting some fantastic tips on how to run him and wanted to try him out again. Strakhov is there because my last 4 games vs. Menoth have ended with my caster getting tagged by some stupid drifting auto fire AOE and then burning to death. Also, I have an obsession with him. But mostly it was the fire thing in case I faced Menoth or, possibly, Everblight. Call him fire insurance.
The other common theme here is that all of the lists have fairly crazy long threat assassinations. That was intentional because I knew I was out of practice and the clock would definitely be against me. This gave me an option for a hail mary assassination if necessary. At least that was my plan.
The first round match ups were determined by the stats from the regular season as I didn’t have a first place win during the series I was near the bottom. I tried to remember to take pictures, but didn’t always.
Game 1
My first match was against John and his awesome Convergence of Cyriss army playing Supply and Demand. Since I have been broken basically their entire release cycle I had yet to play them and was a bit concerned (I haven’t even read the book) but was planning on playing Butcher3 anyway. My re-creation of his list here might be entirely wrong, but like I said, they all have crazy names and abilities. So apologies. Also, it bears mentioning here that we all agreed before hand that he could use any models released from Gencon – so while he didn’t have the full faction releases he had several key pieces like the Steelsoul Protector and the colossal.
HIs list (more or less) was:
Convergence of Cyriss – Cyriss MM55 / 56 (50+6) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 5 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 4 Units : 1Forge Master Syntherion – WJ: +6
– Cipher – PC: 9
– Diffuser – PC: 3
– Inverter – PC: 8
– Inverter – PC: 8
– Prime Axiom – PC: 19

Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex – PC: 1
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex – PC: 1
Attunement Servitors – PC: 0
Steelsoul Protector – PC: 2

Optifex Directive – Leader & 2 Grunts: 2

I also want to note that since I don’t know much of his stuff there will be lots of unhelpful comments like the Heavy Vector on the right moved over, or some of his models flared the entire western border of Occupied Llael. At least there are a few pictures.
Early Game
The first question I asked after he picked his list was whether the colossal had drag or not. Turns out it does, 2 in fact. My first priority then became dealing with the colossal first and then I’d deal with things as they came up. I ended up going 2nd and for deployment basically just tried make sure I could threaten the center of the table with most of my army. The widowmakers set up to try and take out the enemy objective. I also knew that Syntherion has auto repair and with the mechanics I would have to destroy things completely.
Syntherion and his entire army basically just advanced and the clockwork warcaster set up behind a wall that was just a bit outside his deployment zone and put reconstruct on the light vector, hot shot on the cipher, and something other than synergy on himself (I don’t remember).
 
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For my turn I moved most everything forward as far as I could. I was hoping to trap the colossal on the other side of the wall but couldn’t quite get far enough up. Since there is no healing in his army, Butcher gave 1 focus to the devastator and issued a run order for his hounds and they ran up behind the forest.
 
For the next clockwork turn they flared and shot most everything in my front line. I had one doom reaver who refused to stay down. Fenris got lucky and just ended up getting dismounted.
Midgame/End Game
I spent a long time on the following turn. I knew that the Prime Axiom had to be my top priority but didn’t want to leave Butcher in an untenable position. I decided to go pretty much all in. My IFP charged first and did a little bit of damage, then 2 of the 3 surviving doom reavers charged in and did a little bit of damage. Fenris was equally unimpressive. At this point I was starting to get a little bit worried. Next up the Great Bears charged and even missed with one attack and didn’t do stellar damage with the last. At this point though, I felt like I had committed enough that I needed to stay the course so I sent butcher in. I rolled something like 9 on 4 dice for the charge and started to sweat. The mediocre dice continued, but I was doing some damage with each attack. I ended up feating and killing him with a few left which I used to energizer into the the wrecked base and wrap myself in doggies’ warm embrace. The last few things I had did their best to jam up his jacks. An eliminator ran around behind Syntherion and pinned him to the wall. The widowmakers failed to kill the 15/15 objective after 2 turns of shoot at it.
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(and this picture is blurry, sorry, the other ones are better, my painkillers just make me shaky for a while)
John popped his feat this turn and bounced around some focus but didn’t really have any good angles on Butcher. He did end up killing much of the rest of my army. Also, it is worth noting that I spent so much time agonizing over my decisions that he had something like 20 minutes left and I was down to around 5. He did kill the eliminator but Syntherion was stuck next to the wall thanks to her sacrifice. Butcher had one opportunity and sounded the horn on his belt and declared the charge. I needed 7s to hit over the wall and boosted the first attack roll. I got a hit and my heart sank when I realized I was at dice –8 due to his full camp. However, in stark contrast to the rolls on the colossal I rolled gangbusters for the damage and did something like 12 points after armor (I think I rolled a 6,5,5,4). I bought an attack and chose to try and raw dog the 7 I needed. I got the hit and boosted the damage and did another 5. The final attack was fully boosted and I got the hit and did another 4 damage taking him down.
Whew. What a great game against an awesome opponent.
My clock management was terrible. It was a combination of not playing in a couple of months, playing a new caster with 0 table time, and facing an entirely new army that really just threw me off my game. Also the crutches and pain killers probably didn’t help. My plan of just taking max aggression and attempting to overwhelm him with high value targets worked, but to be fair, I think the matchup was really rough on him. He probably could have hung back a bit for an extra turn or two of shooting.

Haven’t posted for a bit because, as those of you who are friends on facebook or twitter know, I recently had knee surgery. That means no gaming unfortunately but I did recently do some building. What did I build you may be asking?

Take a gander.

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These guys (and girl). They are much maligned I know, but with the introduction of the Iron Fang Kovnik and a few other pieces (as well as the current dominance of Cryx and Menoth) I think they might do okay. I’ll let you know. Torch I think will do quite well with Vlad3 as well as some other ideas I have. I’ll let you know on that too.

Maddie and the Bokur (still in blister) are both looking forward to hanging out with their new bff – Butcher3.