Archive for December, 2014

The joy of randomly generating scenarios is that when you stop and thing about it, sometimes you get something that makes absolutely not sense. Like Thagrosh2 vs. Terminus. In Fire Support. Anyway, Will did Terminus as his caster for the Journeyman League that just ended and Thagrosh2 is one of my focus casters and to be honest the idea of having them face each other across the table just seemed kind of like a fun B Sci-Fi/Horror movie film fest so we went for it.

My list is still the same Thagrosh2 list that I have been running for a while so I am getting pretty comfortable with it. It is also Ben Leeper’s Thagrosh2 list that he took to the WTC last year. I also have to give credit where it’s due – I talked with him a bit on how to get the most out of Thagrosh2 and he has been quite generous with tips on how to play him – like Lylyth2, there is a lot more to Thags2 than giant stompy Godzilla style play. Also, my apologies for this being a somewhat rushed writeup, between the holidays and a couple of writing projects, a newborn, building/painting models, playing games, my day job (oh yeah, that thing), and the tyranny of limited time something had to give. Anyway, onto the main heavyweight event:

Thagrosh, the Messiah 
– Succubus
– Scythean 
– Scythean 
– Raek 
– Raek 
– Seraph 
Spell Martyrs 
The Forsaken 
Blighted Nyss Shepherd 
Max Blighted Nyss Legionnaires 
– Captain Farilor & Standard 
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew 
Max Spawning Vessel 

And facing off across the table from me was:

Lich Lord Terminus 
– Skarlock Thrall
– Leviathan 
– Leviathan 
Darragh Wrathe 
Saxon Orrik 
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan 
Bane Thralls 
Bane Thralls 
Bile Thralls 
The Withershadow Combine 

 

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This is what it looked like at deployment. That’s a whole lotta beef on both sides of the table and I was feeling kinda silly excited  at the prospect for a game that I expected to basically go all Herman Munster mosh pit style. I won the roll to go first and chose the side I was on since it was more or less symmetrical and neither side really had any shooting speak of other than bile thralls which don’t really care.

The cryx brick basically ran everything forward as far as they could.

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For my own turn, I put dragon’s blood on the legionnaires, unnatural aggression on Thags to keep the leviathans honest since I was just going to end up dumping some fury anyway and moved forward myself. I went ahead and ran the left Raek all the way up as close to the flag as I could. In the pic it looks like he is based up to it, but he is actually about a quarter inch shy due to having to move around the objective. The goal was to use his reach to keep the biles from getting in range on turn 3 to purge on any legionnaires or if he stayed too far back I would put tenacity on him and be hard for the banes to hit and possibly even claim the flag for a point. Since terminus doesn’t have much that he wants to cast on enemy units the legionnaire’s flag was the first one in the pot followed closely by two lunch ladies.

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The Leviathans got some focus and popped off some shots at one of the scytheans and did a bit of damage to one with one hitting and the other missing and everything else advanced. He ended up keeping the biles back and just charging a single bane at the raek and failing to hit. The rest of them stayed back pretty far and his support advanced up pretty close behind. At this point I made the off hand comment that I thought I could probably kill Maddie this turn. Will’s eyebrow raised a bit, especially given the lack of shooting and he said he would like to see that. I took it as a challenge and since this was just a silly game for fun, I decided to make that a priority. Besides, depriving Terminus of extra movement is never a bad idea and I wanted to jam my Raek’s in there pretty far anyway.

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I went into the tank for way too long this turn. I was torn between the desire to play it the “right way” and pick up 3 fairly easy points by killing the objective and sitting on both flags with my feat and jamming stuff up or just going silly and having fun. In the end I went with the spirit of the game, at least for this turn and just kind of went nuts, especially because he really wanted to see how I could get Maddie without using any shooting. I dropped unnatural aggression, and kept up dragon’s blood for free. Next up the legionnaires got a charge order and ran or charged into the banes on the left to kill a couple and open up some space for the raek to advance all the way up to Terminus. I took a free strike along the way which promptly went into the pot. Unfortunately, the only tough attack which was made was the most important one, of course. Luckily, Legion has an answer for this. Since it was critical I had the shredder go rabid and advance between two of the vessel attendants and kill them both, filling it to capacity. The remaining attendants carried it as far as it would go and it then spawned a harrier at max distance. The harrier charged over the legionnaires and impaled the knocked down bane which, thankfully failed its tough check and then sprinted out of the way. Also, I probably should have waited to do this until after I activated Thagrosh.

Next up, I measured Thagrosh’s control area and figured out where I would need him to be standing in order to get the raek into my control area in order to force him and potentially use manifest destiny. I also decided to go ahead and feat as well because I was taking forever at this point anyway so may as well. I got a lot of stuff out of order here, I will talk about that at greater length later. I ran the gobbers forward to a bit apart so I could charge them and create clouds with them to protect me from any charges or advances from banes. This is where I stumble a bit with Thagrosh – you need him to go early so you can get max effect out of manifest destiny, but his clouds cause damage, so it can be a bit tricky.[it was pointed out to me by iceDiceWargaming that of course Eruption of Ash doesn’t hurt friendly models – I’ve been looking Kallus too much lately and it carried over to this game – always reread the cards and thanks iceDice!] Anyway, I was happy with my cloud placement. Next up I activated the raek, advanced him the full 7″ into base to base with Terminus and then forced him to leap which did indeed put him in reach range of Maddie and he killed her with his first attack. Everything else on out from here was gravy, as I had achieved my (not so) secret scenario and won the moral victory. I think I have written about secret scenarios before so I won’t go into it here. I had placed myself so that I my bite could go on Darragh Wrathe, but I think I annoyed him by calling him Derrick because I failed to do any damage. I decided to buy two reach attacks and put both of them into the skarlock, but despite being under the effects of manifest destiny missed with both of them. D’oh! Oh well, I couldn’t complain too much, at least I had a reach attack coming.

I sent both of my scytheans in to clear out some banes and the first one I sent I rolled an 11 on the fire cloud doing 6 points to him (ouch [see above why the pain was unnecessary]) which must have left ash in his eye as he missed his first attack which also made him lose out on a clutch chain attack. Ouch again. The other did much better, clearing out 4 banes, as well as a legionnaire and Farilor. The seraph advanced and shot 2 banes, slipstreaming the raek forward but unfortunately he would still have to move through the cloud. Fortunately, when he did, I rolled a 3 and then he went nuts on the remaining banes then moving clearing off the scythean who was still engaged by a bane. Feat move and attack saw the raek try to attack the skarlock and miss yet again. The other raek moved and tried to attack the wither shadow combine and missed (might have been Derrick but failed to pierce armor, either way, basically worthless) and the heavily damaged scythean moved over and took the gun off of one of the the leviathans with a cranked roll. The other scythean and the seraph backed up and I forgot to attack with the harrier or move the shredder.

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It was clearly feat turn for Terminus. Derrick gave him death ride and he advanced an inch and then he did a full advance over the obelisk. He sprayed and finished off the attendants. The bile thralls moved up and purged and killed off the remaining legionnaires as well as the forsaken while the banes killed off the harrier. Both of the raeks proved too difficult to pin down. It was at this point that I realized just how much damage I actually did with my feat. Will really didn’t have a whole lot left on the table. He was sitting at a full camp though, and with the remaining souls he was hovering over armor 30 if I remember correctly – well beyond my ability to touch him. It was clearly time for option b. Option b, of course is…

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Dump some fury, and run full speed at the flag on the right to dominate. The two scytheans were able to destroy the objective easily as well as the leviathan that was contesting. They also position to physically block out any chance of contesting. The seraph ran up to further use its base just to stop stuff from moving up.

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Will did his best to get over and jam up, Derrick again called death ride to shift Terminus a bit and change facing to let him try to charge, but since I had run the full 10″ it was clearly going to be short. He would have been better off charging to clear the seraph I think. As Terminus was the only model that was able to get within 4″ of the flag I was able to dominate again on his turn giving me the 5 points necessary for the scenario win (though to be fair to him, the store was closing up so he was playing a bit rushed there at the end, though there wasn’t much that could be done, other than him going for 3 on this turn, I would have spawned from the vessel on my turn to contest and won on my own turn rather than his.) It was a super fun game! Now he is moving back to his true love, Circle and has threatened to run all Bradigus all the time. I’m actually looking forward to getting some table time against him.

After action review:

What I did well

I had a lot of fun, does that count? Seriously, I was happy to come up with a way to kill Maddie. That range extension can really make Terminus be quite dangerous. I was pretty happy with the way that I used my feat in order really cripple the cryx army and then bounce away. I felt that I took away a lot of his options, and while I didn’t use it to directly get up on points, it totally set me up the following turn to get points and set up in such a way to cruise to a fairly easy scenario win.

What I could have done better

I still need to work on playing faster. I went into the tank for a long time on planning out the raek shenanigans and it was a little unnecessary. I probably should have boosted on that one carnivean’s first attack rather than counting on a manifest destiny getting a 6 to hit to trigger the chain attack. I can also be better at getting my lessers into the action. Especially with the pot, at one point I had a shredder hanging out doing nothing and the pot was full, there was no reason not to send him up doing things. Some of my placements were messy and could have been a bit better. Overall though, I can definitely feel myself being more comfortable with playing legion.

What I learned

Always play for scenario.  Also the legionnaires were terrible lining up across from the biles. Even with the potential of a raek being there to tie up the biles (that was the original plan). Also, more often than not, despite spending a ton of time in the tank, I ended up going back to the first thing I considered. I should just go with that, and if it does’t work out, chalk it up to a lesson learned.

As a practical matter, I got myself a Battlefoam Tournament bag for christmas so may be changing from Thagrosh2 over to Vayl/Vayl2 for my pair with Lylyth2 for the simple reason that I can fit both lists in that bag whereas I can’t fit the Thagrosh2 list with the Lylyth2 list in the smaller bag. So that might happen. We’ll see. Thoughts on Lylyth2 as a pair with one of the Vayls? Or perhaps Kallus?

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Mostly I am just sharing this here on my blog so I can have it for myself later. This is excellent tutorial on how to take awesome high quality photos. This is from the fabulously talented Meg Maples’s website and I was seriously blown away as to how easy (and cheap!) it is to get high quality photos. Now if only painting was so easy…

http://arcanepaintworks.blogspot.com/2014/04/photography.html

Absylonia2

Absylonia, Daughter of Everblight. This is the second installment of my Thoughts On… Legion choices and Abby2 seemed like the natural choice for a couple of reasons. First off, I have the second most amount of table time with her, right behind Lylyth2 and secondly, I have very strong opinions about her based on that table time – also, due to what I end up playing a lot of my opinions are going to be a little controversial. So, that being said, let’s drive straight in.

Let’s look at the front of the card.

She has a pretty legit stat line, Spd 7, Mat 7, and 15/16 Def/Arm and a fury of 6 which give you a pretty good idea that she is a mid line caster. The Def/Arm go up to a very respectable 16/17 with tenacity and has flight so isn’t worried about hanging out in a forest or behind a wall (or other model for that matter) and she also has a couple of other defensive tricks we’ll come to later so overall she is pretty survivable but she is on a medium base. She also has abomination which is sort of a defensive ability in theory but also means you have to be careful with your support pieces, namely the shepherd if you want to use ravagores bricked up in front of her, or the succubus since you have to be within 6″ for the free upkeep. Just remember to measure your control area when you move the succubus up into range and stop right at 6″ if you can.

Finally she has no ranged attacks but has 3 base melee attacks, all of which are magical, but none of which have reach. She has 2 claws which are PS 14 base and a stinger which is only PS 12 but also steals 1 point of focus or fury. Overall, nothing really exciting on the front of the card.

Moving on to the back of the card things get interesting…

Conferred Rage – models in her battlegroup that begin their activations in her control area can charge for free or make power attacks without being forced. If Abby kills a model during her activation then warbeasts in her battlegroup beginning their activations in her control area also get +2 Spd and Mat for a turn. She has no ranged attacks or ranged spells so she pretty much has to go in and kill something in melee to trigger this but it is a pretty big deal. Other interesting things about it is that the warbeast has begin its activation in her control area. This comes up in a two different ways – first and foremost Abby is a very mobile caster – there are many times that a ranged warbeast like a teraph or a ravagore will end up being out of her control area and then walk into her control are to be forced when they shoot. The other really cool thing is that you can do a headbutt or a two-handed throw a model that is clearly out of her control area into it and just do a feeding frenzy on it with your other beasts, which is something that can catch people off guard. At +2 Mat against a heavy you are often only needing a 4 or 5 to hit it which can be pretty surprising. Not something you will do every game, but it is definitely a valuable tool in your toolbox and can swing a game in your favor. There are times that conferred rage can almost seem like a feat to your opponents. Unfortunately, you have to kill a model to trigger it and there are times that you will fail at that, or there just won’t be any good targets to trigger it off of and will make you sad. One bad set of dice rolls can really ruin your day. I played a set of games where my opponent was running Fist of Halaak and I never triggered this ability due to Orin Midwinter’s placement. More on that later…

Flight – She flies. This lets her move through obstacles and terrain as well as other models as long as there is room to completely clear their bases (in the case of other models). The really cool thing is she also gets to ignore intervening models (but not terrain or obstacles) for line of sight when declaring charges which is very useful for hiding behind a brick and advancing up the table but still triggering conferred rage early in your turn.

Energy Siphon (Stinger) – This is the ability that I mentioned above that lets her steal fury or focus on the lower powered melee attack. There are times that you are better off swinging with this one despite the lower power – I’ve gone in and set up where I am engaging a warbeast that was full on fury as well as a trooper model – I was able to boost the attack to kill the trooper, take the second initial and do a couple of points of damage to the beast, steal a fury, do no damage, then buy attacks and steal back all 4 fury with “bought attacks” teleport away and sit on 4 for transfers and make my opponent cut for fury the following turn. If you are able to get on a warlock you are often better off buying stinger attacks because siphon triggers on hit before they can transfer damage, so they will often transfer even low damage rolls just because you are going to steal it anyway.

That gets us to her Spell Card.

Fortify – So far as I know, Abby2 is the only caster with this spell (James Moorhouse pointed out that Darius has this spell as well – thanks!) It is a nifty upkeep that gives +2 armor, that makes the target model, and any friendly model in b2b with it be unable to be knocked down, pushed or, moved by a slam. Sadly it is battlegroup warbeast only so late game Abby can’t shift it onto herself. It’s nice that it stacks with our animi and it really adds to the survivability of our warbeasts and can make some of them incredibly annoying to deal with. Speaking of annoying – Abby’s model makes her pretty much impossibly to base up with a lot of models, and some of the scytheans (and this spell will likely even bring the carnivean off your shelf) so make sure and bring proxy bases. This spell really helps out against some of the things that caused us trouble – in particular being dragged in to our doom either by colossals or butcher3. Unfortunately, Kreoss remains a problem with pop and drop because Fortify is an upkeep so don’t shelf those serpentine models entirely. It also does nothing against place effects. One of the interesting things about this game is that things are so well balanced that just putting a +2 on a stat really tips things in a crazy way. Putting this on a Raek along with tenacity can make it stand up to most units and it can even survive a heavy if it doesn’t get enough focus, or a warbeast can end up frenzying the following turn because it had to overcommit. You can put it on an Angelius and combined with Tenacity it goes up to armor 20! Play around with it. I even put it on a harrier once that I sent off on a death run and it survived the following turn. It WAY out of position and I couldn’t do anything with it so I didn’t upkeep it, it was just there as a lark, but it took way more attention than either of us expected and if I had planned it out better, I could have used that survivability to greater effect, 14/14 with 13 boxes is apparently not really something that most support has a good time dealing with. Don’t count on it obviously, but yeah, it surprised me.

Psycho-surgery – Heals every model in this model’s battlegroup that is in it’s control area d3+1 wounds at the cost of 2 fury. This includes Abby so if you have have taken random damage from blasts or free strikes or cutting for fury don’t forget to heal her up as well. Thanks to fortify and the tendency to brick up, this spell comes up way more often than you would expect it to. Basically if you are going to heal up a model to fix an aspect, consider casting this spell instead. It can eat your clock if you are on timed turns though, so be aware of that.

Return Fire – As fire as I know, Abby2 is the only caster in the game with this 1 cost spell (James Moorhouse also pointed out Grim1 has this spell – so yeah, it doesn’t get used often and thanks James). When a friendly faction model is targeted by a ranged attack, after the attack is resolved the model with the spell on it can make one melee or ranged attack and then the spell expires. This spell won’t come into play very often, but you can use it to dissuade people from shooting at your ravagores with it, which has some value. This spell works on target, so even if they miss, so one thing I liked doing with it was putting return fire on a pair of ravagores, and then putting Abby behind them, and having Fortify on one of them as Abby’s bunker early game and then just shooting with impunity. I either got an extra scather template out, or I didn’t have to worry about taking blast damage. And with fortify on one of them, I didn’t have to worry about getting dragged. The succubus was 6″ to the side with the shredder between and the shredder and the succubus were putting tenacity on the ravagores as well. It was typically just for turn 2 and sometimes 3 depending on how slowing the opponent was approaching. It wasn’t an all the time thing, but it beat just dumping fury which is really all I have to say about the spell.

Teleport – This is the spell that makes Conferred Rage possible with Abby not having a ranged weapon or ranged spell – it kind of makes her a bullet. You use flight to ignore your bunker and declare a charge, zip out, kill something, trigger conferred rage, teleport back or to the side to dominate a flag, or teleport into a position where you want your stuff to end up to kill the caster if that is your win condition. It’s incredibly flexible and what makes her work. When she works.

And now, finally, her Feat:

METAMORPHOSE

“Models in Absylonia’s Battlegroup that are currently in her control area gain +2 STR and Flight, and their melee weapons gain Reach. Metamorphose lasts one round.”

Okay, I quoted it because it is pretty interesting. First off, it is a pulse, which means make sure you are in position before you pop it. It also lasts one round, which means that stuff you tie up with reach, will still be tied up with for their turn, but then the following turn, will not be. Combined with we Conferred Rage it can give you an incredibly brutal alpha strike or an assassination that comes from downtown. Also remember that flight lets you see through other models when declaring a charge. Combined with eyeless sight letting legion beasts ignore clouds and forests most models on the table are really not safe as long as there is a place for our base. With that in mind, get a few proxy bases of each size (30mm, 40mm, 50mm and even 120mm if you are going to run an Archangel with her) to keep with your Abby2 list, and mark their LOS facing. You will need them.

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Okay, now that we’ve gone over what’s on the card here is what I think about her. She is incredibly one dimensional. She is a fantastic game store noob stomp bully caster – and what I mean by that is that the first time you play against her, she can really blow your mind. She has a really cool-seeming personal nibble type attack that she can make where she kills one thing and then bounces back. Ultimately, though, she lives and dies by her alpha strike and Conferred Rage. The problem is that once her alpha strike hits, she can’t pull back for a second one, and fortify just helps a single beast out on armor and not quite enough to survive the inevitable retaliation and conferred rage plus her feat doesn’t quite help her clear out enough of a canny opponent’s stuff to survive the counter and unlike some of our casters like Vayl1 and Thagrosh2 who will let you get an effective double alpha.

List build is really important with Legion of Everblight in particular and the games I have played with her, I have had the most success with a ranged style build. She cranks up their melee to good levels, and their shooting is already pretty good to begin with. I’ve tried an Omnus style melee focused list with a carnivean and pair of scytheans – you can read his writeup here http://handcannononline.com/blog/2014/09/30/guide-absylonia-daughter-everblight-omnus/ but I didn’t really have much luck with it. It could have been the preponderance of meat mountain and Fist of Halaak in my meta but I found that between Orin Midwinter’s anti-magic preventing teleport and the sheer high armor cracking that it was just too hard to get in and kill stuff and pull away.

Some rockstar combinations I did find when playing though I will list below:

Typhon. Giving typhon flight, +2 mat, +2 pow, +2 spd and reach is pretty much money in the bank. A pro tip here, if you have fortify on him, you can have typhon put his animus on himself and then go in – you can take a few free strikes with near impunity.  You are armor 19 with fortify and each spiral has 10 boxes. Even if you get a spiral knocked out, your animus will kick in and you can heal it automatically. If you get really bashed and get 2 spirals knocked out, you have a 66% chance of healing both, and if you don’t heal the spirit,  you can always force to regenerate the other – he is mat 9 and you still have 1 boost if necessary. His ranged threat, while always really good, gets even better since you can fly over models and get three flaming sprays if you brought along a ravagore, which I recommend you always do.

Raek. The raek is always a rockstar but there are two reasons that make him shine above and beyond with Abby2. Conferred rage is models starting in her control area, and her feat is a pulse. If you have played with a raek at all you know it is really easy to get him out of your casters control area. Well now it is more okay to do so. You can give him that mat buff, AND he can do a head butt out of your control area without needing to run a shepherd forward. You might still want to in order to leap or boost, but it isn’t necessary. Also, put Fortify and Tenacity on this guy sometime and be amazed at how hard he can jam a unit. 16/17 no knockdown is pretty hardcore.

Ravagore. The ravagore’s usually do okay in melee after they have shot at something with pincushion for a few rounds but not every caster has that spell, so then end up being a bit mopey in melee. You know what makes them not mopey? Mat 7, PS 18, reach, and flight.

Rather than just list out every ranged beast individually with a paragraph as above, I’ll just say look at them again and give them +2 mat, +2 strength, reach, and flight. They all get better.

Carnivean. If you really want to stack armor Spiny Growth is the way to do it. Getting +4 to the beasts armor and doing damage to beasts/jacks every time they hit goes a fair way toward improving our beasts survivability. I feel that it has to be said though, that there are still other factions that do it better than us and it still gets powered through with them so it isn’t as exciting as it seems like it should be. It won’t increase your survivability as much as you think it should in most match ups, but it will occasionally surprise both you and your opponent. It has been my experience that in most cases, the combination of +1 def and +3 armor will be more survivable than +4 armor.

NephilimIf you really want to push the envelop on the maximum range that Abby herself can threaten you need to include a nephilim something. The reason for this is that all of our other beasts have the blood creation rule and that means they are unable to attack a warlock. That includes the push power attack, even though it does no damage. Nephilim do not have this rule, so they can give her a shove forward for that extra one inch. Which brings me to my next, and likely final point, since I have rambled on for long enough.

One big problem with Abby2 I will call out is that she almost brings a skorne play style to legion – incredibly high melee damage brought in fairly linear fashion. Our threat ranges, while fairly ridiculous, become very predictable. Even with the the seraph. Sure we can slip a bit to the left or right, but ultimately it is an exercise in mathematics. That, ultimately, is why I have decided that, for me, she didn’t really click and wasn’t as fun as I hoped she would be. I expected hers to be a very mobile and dynamic with flight and teleport which, as I explained in my Lylyth2 article, I enjoy immensely, but it just didn’t pan out for me with Abby2.

It is very likely I am wrong, feel free to tell me how wrong I am, and someone please teach me how to play her in a different way, I am always open to learning new ways and am not opposed to pulling her back out of the tray as I did with Lylyth2 after seeing how Ben Leeper ran her. The Abby2 model is certainly fantastic, one of the best in the range and right now she is keeping another best of the range models company in the dark. Poor poor Proteus.

e_absylonia_by_calonarang-d8230zt (Absylonia art from Deviant Art)

Welcome to another installment of Monday Morning Warlock. I was able to get in a game with Inyoung “Baby Metal” Whang a few days ago and as always it was a total blast since he is pretty much one of the 3 coolest guys on the planet. I was trying out some new stuff in my Lylyth2 list and he dropped his Butcher3 list. It is basically the exact same list I was running in my own Butcher3 list (we use different versions of Eiryss) so I know the damage it can cause. We decided to play the version of Incursion where no flag goes away to see how that worked out.

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight 
– Succubus
– Angelius 
– Naga Nightlurker 
– Ravagore 
– Ravagore 
– Shredder 
Blighted Nyss Shepherd 
Blighted Nyss Shepherd 
Strider Deathstalker 
Strider Deathstalker 
Incubus 
Strider Blightblades 

And Inyoung took this Butcher3 list (as an aside, I take Eiryss2 so I can strip bad upkeeps)

Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed 
– War Argus
– War Dog
– Conquest 
Iron Fang Kovnik 
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios 
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist 
Ogrun Bokur 
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor 
Saxon Orrik 
Kayazy Eliminators 
Kayazy Eliminators 
Max Black Dragon Iron Fang Pikemen
Widowmakers 

We rolled for sides and Inyoung won the roll to go first and for some reason took the side with the hill and the wall.  He redeployed conquest right in the center, set up his eliminators to take the flanks, the ifp to take the hill and the butcher and gorman to hide behind the arguses and ifp on the hill.

I ambushed the blightblades, put my stuff mostly central, though advance deployed the deathstalkers counter to the ifp. I tried to remember to take pictures but I didn’t get them every turn, sorry.

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There wasn’t really much for me to do this turn so I just put up shadow pack ran stuff forward.

 

Khador ran stuff forward. The IFP minifeated and spread out on the hill. The butcher nuzzled up kind of close to them, I think perhaps to take advantage of any drifts with a vengeance move. He was expecting me to feat and wipe out the IFP in any event. The Widowmakers ran forward as the Eiryss, setting up for next turn to either run to engage stuff or get within range of shadow pack and start shooting.

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It didn’t seem like a feat turn to me, there was no real threat to me. The blightblades ambushed from the side with the IFP in order to stick them on the hill. The deathstalkers planned to shaved off the front ranks. One hit, and swift huntered back to 4″ from the flag on the right, the other was to swift hunter forward and claim the flag but failed to hit thwarting the plan for a control point (d’oh!). The ravagores advanced and one fired at the front rank and killed a couple. The other fired at one of the widowmakers and killed it. The blightblades came in behind the eliminators and did a charge/run order and moved one of them a bit too far. I had 4 of them dedicated to killing the eliminators and they did just that with 2 man CMAs. The other two jammed up the remaining ones. Lylyth shot Eyriss and killed here and then swift huntered up and ended up killing off 2 of the remaining widowmakers. Finally, the naga advanced to within 4″ of the flag in the center and took a shot at the last widow maker and got the hard 8 needed to hit and kill her. All in all I was feeling pretty good about that turn, especially for it not even being a feat turn.

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For Inyoung’s turn he remained non-plussed and continued with his plan. Saxon charged the naga and came up a bit short. Conquest had a couple of focus on him so just advanced and was within 5″ of saxon and fired into his back and hit, but failed to crit. He used the focus to boost damage and did a couple of points. Very crafty, that one. Saxon died a horrible death. The IFK put shield march on the IFP who then received the shield wall order and moved into the blightblades. They did 2 man CMAs when possible and killed all save the leader who passed his command check. I put out 5 host marks for all 5 blightblades who died for the incubi. The eliminators on the left advanced to claim the flag on my left, one basing and on being within 4″.

(Sorry no picture)

So this was looking like feat turn to me. I placed all of the incubi within 2″ of the center their previous hosts, ending up behind the IFP when I could and out of engagement when I couldn’t. Lylyth went first and put pincushion on conquest and popped her feat. I forgot to move her behind the forest but Inyoung is gentleman and let me go ahead and do that (thanks). Between Lylyth and the two ravagores, I managed to wreck the left side, and then the angelius charged in and did some good damaged to right side but crucially not taking out his fist. The naga shot and killed one of the eliminators and then rolled triple 3s to hit the other which we both thought missed but for different reasons (he thought I was rat 5, I thought he was def 16 – always check the card). My incubi did a number on the remaining IFP knocking them down to just the UA, and 1 other guy as well as making the dog tough (which he did). One of them ran over to the flag and claimed it.

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In return, butcher advanced, the dogs rolled bonkers and killed the angelius before the butcher even had to get involved and then sat on the flag. Conquest advanced and killed the naga. The remaining IFP killed off the incubus claiming flag on the right.

(Sorry no picture again)

For my turn the deathstalkers advanced and shot the IFP in the face and moved to claim the flag, the ravagore charged and destroyed conquest and claimed the flag. An incubus charged the IFK and kills him, the blightblade leader charged and killed the IFP UA preventing anyone from contesting the deathstalker on his turn so now if I could kill kill his arguses, the butcher couldn’t contest… he kills my ravagore and wins on his turn. ARGH SO CLOSE!

Loss to khador, 5-4.

After Action Review

(I am trying out a slightly new format here)

What I did well

I stuck to my plan pretty well. I wasn’t tempted into an early feat. I played range really well, I did a good job of eliminating what could threaten me and ignoring the rest. I didn’t give butcher any vengeance moves and kept his threat ranges static. I did a good job of contesting the flags.

What I could have done better

I probably shouldn’t have bothered aiming with the second deathstalker on turn 2. I should have walked up to the flag to get the guaranteed points and jammed. If I had thought it through I could have virtually guaranteed myself a minimum of 3 control points of that flag on the right instead of completely screwing that up. There was no reason to mess with trying to kill a couple of irrelevant IFP and as it was that pretty much cost me the game. Also, I played Khador for so long that I relied on an overinflated memory of how difficult the eliminators were to kill – I should have just looked at the card. I only needed a 9 to kill them with shooting. The naga rolled rolled that 9, and would have killed the last one with the 2nd feat shot, which also would have saved me the game. Always check the card. A couple of big, unnecessary issues which cost me the game. Also, my time management is still really lousy. I can’t do anything about that right now due to some issues with a migraine medication, but it is a bit frustrating. I need to not panic when time is getting low.

I need to remember to pay attention to unit commander when running units. I had a plan where to place him and then totally screwed it up and ended up with a model out of coherency.

I had plenty of opportunities that I settled for contesting when I could have scored them.

What I learned

An interesting rules thing I looked up that didn’t actually come into play is that with CMA with multiple attacks is that you can mix and match. A model can contribute one attack, and do a single attack on his own, or contribute to two different CMAs. He cannot contribute 2 attacks to a single CMA though. Also, if doing a charge, both models must contribute their “charge” attack to the CMA, no contributing the 2nd attack (see this post for why http://privateerpressforums.com/showthread.php?85101-Common-mistakes-regarding-Cryx-models-and-abilities-v3&p=1144664&viewfull=1#post1144664). Another thing, is that if you are going to do CMAs, if possible, it is better just to walk up since you have to turn to face directly on a charge, so you get better facings if you just walk up. This is an obvious one, but it is good to remember. Also, Mat 6, attacking from the rear, with 2 person CMA, is effectively Mat 10 and that is super legit. The blightblades were pretty phenomenal. I didn’t expect them to be as good as they were. Even when down to just a single model, he still did surprisingly well with 2 attacks. His high speed, moderate mat, exceptional def was able to get some business done long after he should have been irrelevant. These models are definitely on my recommend list. The ability to ambush is super valuable.

Incubi are really good. You don’t always need to combo strike but hitting stuff at P+S 14 +3d6 is very satisfying.

Inyoung felt that I would have been better served ambushing on the other side and claiming the flag on the left and forcing him to deal with it. The deathstalkers and a ravagore or two could have dealt with the IFP and the eliminators on the right and that I didn’t need to worry about jamming them back. He may have been correct and he said it was another habit carried over from my Khador days to think of jamming in the first place. It’s definitely something to think about.

Strider Blightblades unboxing

Posted: December 2, 2014 in models
Tags:

Just a really quick post and pic of the strider box. These models are freaking tiny. They aren’t matched up or anything, just a quick inventory to make sure I had everything last night in case I needed to do a missing parts request.

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I am hoping to get them built in time for my regular gaming night Thursday evening. If I do, I will let you know how they do!

Just a quick update with the built models.

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Epic_Lylyth_by_andreauderzo Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight. Epic Lylyth. eLyl. Ugh, not her. However you say it, it’s usually received with dread when you announce her as your caster. Easily one of the most despised casters to see across the table and for good reason. Many games have been ended before they have been truly begun. Even I have managed a bottom of turn 1 assassination with her. But is that really all she is good for? Is that even the best way to play her? You are likely to get that assassination off once against a newer player, or someone who hasn’t really seen her before and then not likely again. She definitely has a solid assassination threat, but is that the only thing she brings to the table? Let’s take a look at her card a bit more in depth and see what she brings. On the front of the card, a few things jump out right away. She has pathfinder and eyeless sight built in which means when we step up to the table forests will not matter to us negatively, only potentially our enemy, but hills and obstacles still will. Her speed is 7 so that is pretty quick so most scenarios are in play, but while her defense is decent at 16, her armor is poor at 14 and she only has 15 boxes. The ubiquitous tenacity buff bumps us up to 17/15 which is solid, and with forests being hindrance in neither movement nor line of site, we can get that to 19/15 fairly easily but knockdown and stationary are also pretty easily obtained as is blast damage and purify. Luckily, she has no melee to tempt us in closer and her bow is range 12 with a rate of fire 2, so we want to stay back with distance being the best defense. She also has an astounding RAT of 8 which combined with her range of 12 let’s her often aim getting that up to an almost absurd 10. That pretty well covers the front of the card other than the painfully low fury stat of 5. Flipping over the card she has 4 different abilities.

Snap Fire – basically this lets her make a second attack when she destroys an enemy model with a ranged attack during her combat action. She doesn’t get to trigger it with counter blast for instance, but it is a free shot which is nice. It doesn’t trigger another snap fire, so if you want to shoot a mix of single wound infantry and multi-wound infantry (like the UA for instance) during her activation make sure to shoot the single wound during the normal shot and the multiwounder with the snap fire shot otherwise you might lose out on the snap fire shot, whereas you have no chance to generate extra shots with the “free” shot so there is nothing to lose other than a dead enemy. On a normal turn she can potentially get 4 shots off and on feat turn she can get 6 shots off.

Swift Hunter – when this model destroys an enemy model with a normal ranged attack it can advance up to 2″. This one lacks the caveats that snap fire contains, so you can move out of activation with it if you have counter blast up, as well as on free shots. During a normal turn she can potentially move 8″ from swift hunter and on feat turn move 12″ even while aiming.

Evasive – this model cannot be targeted by free strikes and if a ranged attack misses it then Lylyth can advance 2″ unless she was already advancing. This can come up against opponents with a lot of blast damage since Lylyth has such low armor your opponent might be tempted to try and scatter onto you. If that is a tactic you think they might try, make sure to leave nothing else nearby they can target instead. Also watch for models with sprays, this can be a good way to get out of range of them. It won’t come up often, but it can come up.

Range Amplifier – This adds +5″ range to spells cast by Lylyth where she is the point of origin which means that if she casts through a spell martyr it is just the range on the card. One of the coolest parts of this is that animi cast by the warlock are also spells, so this means if your warbeasts are in your control area you can put probably an animus on them. Primarily this will be either Wraithbane, Tenacity or Dragon’s Fire but it’s a good trick to have in your pocket. Next up let’s take a look at the spells. Humorously she has more special abilities than spells. Also, all 3 of her spells are upkeeps which is awesome for a 5 fury caster.

Pin Cushion – this is her signature spell and it gives friendly faction models an additional die on ranged attack and damage rolls against target model/unit. It’s a good spell and definitely an enabler for both armor cracking or hitting a higher def than would like. Plus the fact that it is an upkeep is interesting and with an effective 15″ when cast from Lylyth you can spend a couple of turns finishing off a unit or a heavy/colossal. Unfortunately you have to land it against the target and her fury 5 is a definitely liability.

Pursuit – another offensive upkeep where her fury 5 hurts her and encourages you to put it on something easily hit like a heavy. When the target model/unit advances during its normal movement immediately after ending this movement one model in the battlegroup gets to make a full advance. This can be Lylyth or someone else. Remember that killbox is only counted on your own turn, so this can be a great way to get Lylyth to safety on those killbox scenarios where she is up much closer than she would like to be. You can also shuffle around a heavy to contest or possibly even get the heavy to have a better line for a melee assassination. People often forget a ravagore can get things done with its hands.

Shadow Pack – this one costs 3 and gives your entire battle group stealth. It’s a good defensive measure, but not infallible. As an upkeep it can be purified off, Lylyth is still fairly fragile as are, frankly, all of our heavies. Any damage buffs that affect blast damage can still see our beasts crippled. It is good, but don’t rely on it too much. Finally that brings us to the feat.

Decimation I like to think of this feat in terms of its origin from the Roman military. It was a removal of a tenth. Obviously I hope for more than that, a feat that only killed 5 points wouldn’t actually be that fantastic, but if it kills 5 points MORE than I would otherwise have killed, I am happy with it. It gives snipe (+4″ range) to everything in my control area and my battle group all get an extra shot. This is an extremely flexible offensive feat. There is the tendency to want to pop it right away to maximize the snipe benefit but that is usually not the best use of it. Often I will wait until turn 3 to use it when the snipe will give me full coverage to the back lines of the army and the extra shot will allow me to, er, decimate, the front ranks and still keep me safe from effective retaliation.

I have played Lylyth2 now more than I have played any other Legion caster and to answer my question above, I think playing her just for assassination is depriving yourself of a great play experience. She has a level of depth beyond that. She can team with a pair of deathstalkers and wipe out pretty much any unit of single wound infantry in the game in a single turn. She is incredibly mobile and versatile. She struggles a bit against a hard armor skew more than her previous incarnation – pin cushion is not quite the same as parasite for cracking armor, I’m afraid but she brings a level of personal mobility that is unmatched in the game. On feat turn, assuming your opponent has a few single wound infantry models for you to kill, she can move 19″ from her starting position. That is an amazing field switch that is difficult to see coming and you can easily end games with that kind of mobility – you can get 15″ not on feat turn – it could be possible to get a game ending dominate.

I have to credit Ben Leeper with the list I am currently running and opening my eyes to the idea that Lylyth2 has game beyond the traditional use as an all-or-nothing assassination caster – although in the very near future I am thinking of doing some switches to include Strider Blightblades.
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight 
– Succubus
– Angelius 
– Naga Nightlurker 
– Ravagore 
– Ravagore 
– Shredder 
– Teraph 
Blighted Nyss Shepherd 
Blighted Nyss Shepherd 
Strider Deathstalker 
Strider Deathstalker 
The Forsaken 
Totem Hunter 
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew

To see Mr. Leeper in action with it at the WTC check out this game here:

If you are interested in the more traditional style of playing here, there’s a great write up including some tips on common tourney matchups like eHaley and eKreuger at
http://torbjornhansson.blogspot.se/2014/12/elylyth-big-red-button.html

UPDATE:

Since the release of Zuriel, Ben (and I) have both changed our lists a bit. I am going to include both of them here for completeness, they diverge quite a bit. His is:

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight (*5pts)
* Succubus (2pts)
* Naga Nightlurker (5pts)

* Nephilim Bolt Thrower (6pts)
* Shredder (2pts)
* Ravagore (10pts)
* Zuriel (10pts)
Blighted Ogrun Warspears (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
* Warspear Chieftan (2pts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt) (1pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)
Strider Deathstalker (2pts)
Strider Deathstalker (2pts)
Totem Hunter (3pts)

Mine is:

Lylyth2
-Succubus
-Zuriel
-Ravagore
-Nephilim Bolt Thrower
-Nephilim Bolt Thrower
Strider Blightblades
Incubus
Anyssa Ryvaal
Shepherd
Shepherd
Deathstalker
Deathstalker

Don’t forget the rule which I have dubbed the Nick Freeman rule since he reminded me to add it: “Always remember to bring a jewel-encrusted goblet in which to catch the tears of your opponent to wash down the snacks you will undoubtedly have time to enjoy between rounds. Also, at least be a decent enough opponent to bring enough snacks to share.”