Posts Tagged ‘everblight’

Thoughts on… Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight
thagrosh1
It is kind of shameful to admit, but I first got interested in playing Thagrosh1 this time around while listening to Jeremy from Crippled System on his drunken rambling unplayable trashfest when Nathan was trolling him hard and came up with the idea of using Zuriel’s animus and going for a crazy double jank mutagenesis assassination. Not only is this a terrible plan, it is also not a legal play. But it was enough to turn my eye back the big guy and I’m glad it did, because it reminded me how fun he can be, and how different of a play experience he is from most of the rest of the Legion casters we have. As usual, let’s begin by taking a look at the front of the card.
He’s pretty slow at speed 5, but the rest of stats are solid – Mat 7, Rat 5, Def 14,  Arm 16, and Cmd 9 – the only higher Cmd in faction is himself when he becomes the Messiah – it’s worth remembering his high command, since all Warlocks have the commander trait build in, it can help with the lower command of Hex Hunters or Striders if you don’t bring a UA, as well as shepherds and sorceresses on hellions if they get too close to a forsaken or something. It also matters for something on the back of his card, so remember the 9. With tenacity, he sits at 15/17 defensive stats which is pretty solid (although with many of his lists you may prefer to run him at 14/18 with spiny growth – more on that later) and he has 18 boxes combined with a warlock’s ability to transfer damage make him pretty resilient, despite being on a medium base. He’s got a decent fury stat of 7 as well as a couple of tricks we’ll get to in a minute that actually make it seem a bit higher that that. A pretty respectable stat line and he also causes terror which only affects enemy models infantry models, which is a nice little thing, but don’t count on it because it probably won’t do anything, but don’t forget it either.
Next up, his weapon load out is fairly interesting. He has a rate of fire 1 spray 8 fire type pow 12 gun (his blighted breath) and 2 melee attacks – Rapture, his vaguely klingon looking weapon that has reach and is a magic weapon with P+S 16, and his claw that is not reach and P+S 12.  Let’s get back to Rapture now, because it’s got some rules that are on the back of the card, but we’ll cover them here because it makes sense to. In addition to having the same P+S as our heavy chassis which is pretty impressive, Rapture also centers an AOE on the models it boxes and then removes them from play. The AOE is a cloud and lasts for a round. As if that wasn’t cool enough, it also does a POW 12 fire damage roll to ENEMY models hit when the cloud is put into play. And ENEMY models that enter the cloud, or end their activations in the cloud. Those damage rolls can’t be boosted. Note that the clouds don’t trigger on boxing an enemy model, so if you need to put up a cloud wall, you can do it on a couple of your own models. It does remove from play, so those models won’t go into the pasta pot. It can make him functionally immune to charges from models without eyeless sight, and functionally immune to single wound models of armor 13 or less, and realistically immune to single wound models of about armor 16 or less (I figure most times you are going to roll at least a 5) unless those models are fire immune.
Okay this takes us to the back of the card.
Attuned Spirit [Legion] – Once per activation Thagrosh can cast the animus of Legion warbeast in its battlegroup as a spell without spending fury. This is one of those abilities that makes it seem as though he has a slightly higher fury stat than he does. It just makes sense to try and get out those 2 cost animi here for free and is a reason you see carniveans with him because, combined with Death Shroud (below) you get a very survivable battlegroup, and Thagrosh himself can be an effective armor 20 to melee with 2 more transfers than he “should” have for what he cast. That is incredibly tanky and unexpected for a Legion caster. Beyond that it is just really flexible – the Raek’s Shadow Shift animus for instance is a really good one in ignoring free strikes, but at a 2 cost it is often cost prohibitive, but when you can cast it for free, it opens up some options you might otherwise have not considered. Realistically, though, it will be spiny growth or wraith bane.
Athanc – Immediately after leaching if you have less fury than your fury stat you gain 1 fury. Basically this lets you cut for less. It’s good late game if you’ve lost your beasts, if you are bad at math it is a nice safety net, and if you are new to Hordes it’s a good crutch. Not really a lot to say about other than it might give you the idea that the designers intent is to run beast light with Thagrosh between Athanc and the feat, and along with a couple of his spells I suppose you could make that argument.
Death Shroud – Models within his command range (remember that 9) get a –2 to their strength. So that gives most things near him an effective +2 armor to melee and thrown (most shooting is a straight POW). For this reason there is a tendency for people to brick up with him and his beasts and keep things in kind of close, which isn’t necessarily a bad play and is something you can’t usually do with Legion. It can make Thagrosh himself surprisingly tough to kill when combined with a few transfers and either tenacity or spiny growth – I’ve face-tanked Molik Karn before and it is kind of fun getting him on a rope-a-dope, and isn’t necessarily a bad use of your feat, but you probably will not get an experienced player with it.
The last thing on the back of his card is Rapture and since we already covered Eruption of Ash above let’s just move on to the spell card.
Bad Blood – This two cost upkeep has a range of 10, does no damage to the beast, does 1 point of damage for each fury leached, the beast can’t be healed or have damage transferred to it and loses regenerate. At a glance it looks like a pretty mediocre spell, but it can actually be pretty clutch for a few reasons. If you are facing some common anti-Legion Skorne and Trollblood meat mountain builds there will often only be 1-2 beasts so causing some damage for leaching can be annoying and preventing transferring damage to it can actually be game winning. Where it can really matter against Trollbloods or Circle is if they plan on robbing Thagrosh of his feat by snacking your model out of play. Snacking heals the model to RFP and Bad Blood will prevent the heal. Obviously if they are running Morvahnna or pDoomie, they will just cast purification to remove it, but you want to force them to cast it anyway, and honestly, as a Legion player we’d probably rather they run both of those casters against us than, say Bradigus or a pGrissel Meat Mountain. So yeah, it a lot match ups it will probably be a dead spell, but there are some match ups, or when you get your hordes opponent down to just one beast it can be a game winner, so don’t forget about it. Unless they are playing Warmachine, then just forget about it.
Draconic Blessing  – Another 2 cost upkeep, this one on friendly gives +2 strength and terror. Pretty straightforward in application. I’ll go more into nice places for it below with some specific synergies.
Fog of War  – A 3 cost upkeep that gives concealment to all models in Thagrosh’s 14″ control area (not just friendlies). Our beasts get to ignore it, our infantry doesn’t. For most casters we wouldn’t care, but Thagrosh does pretty well with infantry, but since this helps us out, you will probably cast it most games.
Mutagenesis  – This has a really long writeup but is basically a 3 cost range 8 pow 12 that if you cast it from Thagrosh and kill a warrior model you get to replace that model with Thagrosh. You can’t advance after you replace the model and you can only cast it once per activation, which is why the double mutagenesis dream is a lie. What you can do though is a pretty insane charge 8″, cast this 8″ then hit the caster at reach 2″ for a total distance of 18″ surprise threat in a perfect situation. Which could actually add 2″ for Seraph, 2″ pull for Neraph, and +2″ for Bone Grinder if you were getting ridiculous and everything were just right in the world, which it never will be. But it is a fun mental masturbation exercise on just how the table would have be setup and how Thagrosh could pull it off and what an amazing thing it could be, so go have fun with it. Because really it is about the most fun thing to imagine in this game, and there will be one point in a game and you’ll see it, and you’ll look at the table for about 5 minutes, and then you will get to attempt a mutagenesis assassination and it will fail, probably leaving your target with 3-5 wounds left, and then they will kill you and you won’t even care because it will have been AMAZING. Trust me, I’ve been there. IT’S AMAZING.
Obliteration  – Vayl2 does this too, but better, but it is still a cool and solid AOE. You might cast it once every 5 games, but probably not. It is decent for clearing high def infantry jammers off of your beasts, but the game right now seems to have moved away from there for the time being. They might come back.
And now his feat.
Dark Revival  – While feeling to me that it should come with a tent and a white suit and laying on hands, it does bring a warbeast back from the dead. That warbeast is placed within 3″ of Thagrosh and must forfeit its action but can still move. This is a decent feat for getting up on attrition as long as you can keep it from getting removed from play (Bad Blood can help), you typically want to start off the piece trade with this, but you might also just want to bring something back based on its animus if it is something you really need. It’s flexible and it is a useful, workhorse feat, but isn’t super flashy. There are games where you literally won’t even use either because your opponent has denied it to you via RFP, or you just never really needed it because your beast didn’t die or you flat out forgot about it (I’ve done that, but I am kind of a moron sometimes, especially under the clock). You can bring back character beasts which is pretty cool, and I have actually brought back harriers before if I was facing high def things – I didn’t want to mess with trying to hit a ridiculously high warp wolf stalker one game, so I just brought the harrier back, killed the last threatening beast and bullied my way to victory. It’s a useful feat that I’ve found plays into your list consideration. If you are thoughtful as to what you put in you get more out of it. If you are just throwing in things out of rote it is a pretty meh feat.
Let’s look at some of the things that Thagrosh might consider taking to war:
Warbeasts
Rather than just repeat myself over and over again, Death Shroud is pretty good for helping keep beasts alive, especially with a defensive animus on top of it like tenacity or spiny growth. It is a tough choice as to whether you are better off with an effective +1/+3 or a +0/+4 that does d3 points of damage. When making the determination which animus is best, consider what the probable target hit number is and make your choice which you want to go with. Some example numbers here to help you out I’ll just throw down a couple of samples:
To hit:
5  83%
6  72%
7  58%
8  41%
9  27%
So, as you can see, if you can bump it from needing a 6 up to a 7 you are quite likely better off with tenacity. 5 to a 6 is probably a wash, and 4 to a 5 you should probably go with armor. At least that is my rule of thumb, anyway. If they are willing to boost, it changes the math significantly, but it takes away focus/fury so is probably a net gain and is out of the scope of this anyway. Also, I know it is a static 16% jump, but whatever. On to the choices.
Carnivean – The carnivean is usually a tough sell. He is expensive he is fairly fragile even with his animus, he is fairly short ranged even with his assault spray, and he doesn’t have reach. Thagrosh sort of helps out on 2 out of 3 of those issues. Fog of war helps out a bit vs shooting but the real difference is that Death Shroud combined with the animus makes him pretty survivable, especially versus warbeasts or warjacks when that damage can take out a system making him even more survivable and Thagrosh’s feat can bring him back which helps offset his price. Thags himself likes putting out the animus for free either on himself or on one of the beasts. Draconic Blessing let’s the Carnivean lay out a serious beatdown when he can actually hit (more on that later). You won’t see him often, but Thags and Abby2 are where he’s most commonly found and he can do some good work there.
Typhon – Typhon has a lot of the same problems as the Carnivean so a lot of what I wrote above applies here as well. The animus is a bit different in that it is a heal after taking damage, and varies from 1-3, so there is the temptation to say it’s the same as +2. It’s not. First you have to survive the hit. Then it might be 1 back, it might be 3 back. You get to heal wherever you want, which means that you don’t need to worry about losing a spiral like you do with the carnivean. It’s lazy and inaccurate to treat it as +2 armor and people need to stop doing it. Sorry, it drives me nuts to read when people say it. He is extremely survivable, and can also regenerate and when he does, the affinity with Thagrosh means they both get 3 wounds back. Typhon has no pathfinder and Thagrosh has no way of helping him out there, and no reach. I’ve tried to make him work, but honestly, I’ve always been disappointed.
Scythean – You need to be able to handle tough in the current meta and that makes the scythean kind of important. Thagrosh himself with his high melee potential can put slaughterhouse on himself along with draconic blessing and take out a couple of tough models and create clouds. You don’t want to unless you have to, but it is an option.
Zuriel – Our newest heavy character nephalim fits well with Thagrosh. Draconic Blessing bumps Zuriel’s weapons up to a more respectable PS18, and Zuriel’s mat is decent to begin with which helps offset the fact that Thagrosh doesn’t have a mat fixer.  Zuriel’s Sprays and animus make him a very threatening and effective piece trade option and also mean you want him to be in a forward position which makes him vulnerable to retaliation and Death Shroud and Dark Revival make that option more much more favorable for you. Thagrosh in return gets a resilient piece and an animus that helps out with his spray, potentially with the Rapture cloud wall (possibly putting the harrier out of work – see below), and most importantly, the SUPER SWEET MUTAGENESIS ASSASSINATION (though obviously not the assassination part).
Shredder – Probably always want to take one of these guys. He is a surprisingly good choice for draconic blessing, as with rabid giving a fully boosted pow 12 and causing terror the little guy has been a surprise MVP in many games for me. I am addicted to my spawning vessel and don’t usually buy a shredder but spawn one early.
Harrier – Another thing that I spawn practically every game. Autohitting pow 12s (thanks to draconic blessing) are pretty sweet and being able to auto hit with Rapture is also a big deal. It is almost like having a 1 cost spell to create a cloud that does damage that requires you to sacrifice a model within 2”. Think about it, if you had that spell, you would do it every game and think it was broken. You do have that spell, bring along cheap infantry models if you can fit them in to use it. Remember that they are removed from play and do not go into the crock pot. Sorry, I know this isn’t related to the harrier, but it because you don’t usually have the points for extra models, so I find that I usually end up using 2 of my hex hunters at a critical point for this, and their def is high enough that I have to worry about missing, so I just place them carefully and use this animus – though with Zuriel, this guy might end up being less popular depending on the list pair, although a fire and forget missile is always nice.
Naga Nightlurker – This guy will get Stealth no matter where he is as long as Fog of War is in play and his animus stacked with Draconic Blessing gives you an effective 5 point armor swing vs. arcane shield.
Raek – The raek is an amazing beast with just about anyone. In a lot of Legion lists he can fill the slot of an infantry unit (more on this in an upcoming Thoughts On… the Raek) and I know I am starting to sound like a broken record but Draconic Blessing’s strength boost and terror can be amazing since he is often a bit pillow-fisted. That +2 strength really helps him for sniping out those 5 wound solos and still having extra attacks to either put some damage on a caster if they are in position or taking out another solo, or a few models in a unit. He doesn’t need it for this job, it just makes him more efficient, and it also makes him a bit more more threatening to a caster.
The list could go on and on, Thagrosh has great synergy with most every beast in the faction for the reasons harped on above, but I am just going to move on to units now, since Thagrosh is a surprisingly effective infantry caster thanks to Draconic Blessing being model/unit and fog of war with his fury 7 covering a large area of the board, providing a buff to our already not insignificant defense. Basically, any infantry unit that would like a strength buff, and +2 def will like Thagrosh. He also has an above average CMD of 9, which helps our non fearless units like hex hunters if you aren’t running a UA. That being said, there are a couple of standouts and things to watch which I’ll list below.
Warspears with UA – They don’t benefit from the terror part of Draconic Blessing since they already cause it, but the +2 Str stacking with Prey brings them up to P+S 17 which means on an assault charge vs. conquest at armor 20 you should do 50 boxes which comes incredibly close to wrecking it on average dice, any spikes at all and it is a wreck marker. If you can get Kiss of Lylyss on it from the Blackfrost Shard it is definitely going down – I had just 3 of them wreck mine from full when I was playing Khador against it. It is surprisingly effective.
Hex Hunters – Bumping the P+S up from 10 to 12 is huge in getting off Battle Wizard if they aren’t charging. I usually don’t bring the UA along – he gives hunter which seems like it might be helpful because of ignoring concealment, but it doesn’t actually work for spells which means if you have fog of war up they go down to effective magic ability 4. Either keep them back until you drop fog of war, or charge them out of the area (or at least make sure that their target is out of the area). Their speed of 7 lets them trigger terror on a lot of targets, so if your opponent is susceptible to terror (not that anyone is much these days) they can cause a fair amount of checks.
Raptors – Raptors are fantastic units on their own and Thagrosh’s buffs are solid with them. They have good mat on the charge and then become pow 12 weapon masters with Draconic Blessing, they are usually out on the flanks but can toe into fog of war with their light cav movement and will have a great defense vs shooting.
As I said, anyone that wants more def vs. shooting, or a higher strength will like Thagrosh. Now let’s look at why you don’t see a whole lot of him. I know I gave a whole lot of rah rah! above and he is a solid warcaster, but let’s look at why, in my opinion he’s good but not great.
First up, he doesn’t have a mat fixer at all. He can’t help our infantry hit any better, and he can’t help our beasts hit any better. The majority of our beasts are mat 6, which means that even against a mediocre def 12 they are missing over 25% of the time. He has to be able to bring them back, and when he does they can’t attack that turn. What that means, is that a quite likely scenario is that you will initiate your trade, kill one of theirs, lose your beast, possibly fail to kill theirs, bring yours back, be unable to attack with it, and then just lose it again. That is going to bring us back to the next point which is his feat.
There are a lot of games where you won’t get a feat. Either due to RFP – sure, bad blood can stop one way of RFP, but only on one beast since it is an upkeep, assuming they have no way of removing it. There are plenty of other ways of removing a model from play. Or they might not kill it until they are ready to stop you from bring it back, or they may just kill several beasts in a single turn, and you can only bring one back. Also, as mentioned above, all it can do is move on the turn it comes back.
Thagrosh also specializes in making what are, essentially, fragile beasts, less fragile. He doesn’t make them anywhere near as resilient as what trollbloods can bring, and opponents are fully capable of bringing down those beasts. He can give you a false expectation of what you can survive and make you overcommit as a result. Don’t get me wrong, you will surprise your opponents, and yourself on occasion, but to quote Han Solo, don’t get cocky, kid.
Thagrosh can be really fun, and bring a different play style to your toolbox, he can change up your regular game night, and he can really throw a curve at the tourney table and give you some unexpected game for some of the scenarios that Legion traditionally struggles with, like Incursion and Close Quarters. I’ve already rambled on way longer than I meant to on this, but I will do a couple of battle reports and pictures to show what I mean when I get some time. I’ve been having a great time with him lately.
Congrats on making it through this, if you actually did.
Advertisements

Okay, shadow and flame is a bit, shall we say, melodramatic, but cut me some slack. I am sleep deprived thanks to the new shredder (though with his 6″ spray I thinking this one is actually stinger), haven’t been gaming much but have been doing some writing.

My friend and fellow PG DaveZ dragged me over to his ancestral manse deep in the heart of Sul, (okay, about a mile away and still in Burbank) under threat of wracking (or promise of beer). (Also, I’ll try and cut back on the parentheticals).

This game was played about a week and a half ago but I am just now getting a bit of time to write it up, so hopefully it is more or less accurate.

Enough with the lollygagging, we are both notorious faction hoppers and have decided that for 2015 we are going to try and up our game and to do that we are going to stick to a single faction – and within that faction stick to just a couple of lists to try and get a lot of serious reps in and we are even going to try and hit the monthly tourneys at Game Empire (stomping ground of the likes of Brandon Cating, Tom Guan(until recently), Cwaig Conwoy – Flanzer has moved out to this area so I reckon he will be there and some other super sweet people and amazing players that don’t travel so you probably haven’t heard of – in short, it’s a pretty special place and I am pretty lucky to live in this neighborhood). In addition to getting better at Warmachine Dave is also trying to educate my beer palate somewhat, so this battle report is flavored with a bit of:

IMG_1306

So anyway, my chosen faction is returning to my first love. I am running Lylyth2 and Thagrosh2 as two of my focus casters for the year – the third is still up in the air. I was thinking I would try out Absylonia2 but I have had abysmal luck in the games I have played with her so am looking to Kallus or one of the Vayls. Anyway, that is a post for another day. What matters is that I brought Lylyth2 and Thagrosh2 for this matchup. Well, actually, I only brought Lylyth2, Thagrosh2 was at a friend’s house, but I knew going into it I was playing against Menoth and as a result I felt that Lylyth2 would be the drop I would be making regardless. But Dave didn’t need to know that.

Rather than running with one of JVM’s lists I am actually of the Ben Leeper Reformation Movement of the Church of Everblight so I am running:

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

and for completeness sake, and if you think my eThags list would be better, please let me know – that is also Leeper’s list:

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

Dave had a Feora2 list and a Harbinger list. While I hoped he would bring Harbie, there was really no chance of him bringing anything other than Feora2.

Feora, Protector of the Flame –
– Judicator
– Reckoner
– Templar
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
The Covenant of Menoth
Vassal Mechanik
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Choir of Menoth
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard
Min Holy Zealots and Monolith Bearer

and

The Harbinger of Menoth – WJ: +5
– Hierophant
– Devout
Vessel of Judgment
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
Vassal Mechanik
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Exemplar Bastions – Leader and 4 Grunts:
Exemplar Errants – Leader and 9 Grunts:
– Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard – Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard
Knights Exemplar – Leader and 5 Grunts:
Max Holy Zealots and Monolith Bearer

 

The Game:

So we rolled up Process of Elimination and setup the table. I won the roll to choose table sides and chose to go second with an eye toward winning on scenario. I figured with my speed I should be able to use my feat to clear a zone on turn two as well as to kill an objective and dominate that zone for a fairly easy 3 points. A well applied pursuit should keep Lylyth safe enough and then his Judicator would be unable to contest both zones and as long as I survived a Roven powered Reckoner assault shot I should be able to switch zones and win on 3. No plan survives contact, but it seems sound enough. We set the deathclocks up and began deployment. I deployed with that in mind. This is what the table looked like after Dave’s deployment (ignore the Teraph – he isn’t actually there – I forgot to do a pic after mine).

IMG_1299

I deployed pretty centrally myself with the plan I mentioned above in mind. I had the speed to switch sides pretty easily and that was my intent. He would have to spend a turn running in order to counter and that would let me win without getting shot too much. His infantry was on the left side and combined with the forest I thought it would be a bit more protected so I intended on dominating that one first and then switching field for turn 3 so I had that teraph AD up on that side. The totem hunter put prey on Roven. His guys could stay pretty far back and still do their thing, but this would keep them from being aggressive and getting into the zone (I hoped) and relegate them to a purely support role.

Turn 1 was pretty standard, his zealots popped minifeat to be immune to damage and ran forward into that zone. Feora put escort up and advanced behind the judicator.

I countered by moving up the succubus and putting dragon’s fire on the teraph who then advanced and got a good scatter and set 3 of them on fire including the monolith bearer – I couldn’t hurt them now, but next turn they could burn. Also, with their short range, the teraph’s reach would keep them at bay and prevent them from getting too aggressive with their molotov cocktails. Everything else moved up cautiously.

Lylyth cast shadowpack and I made a coupe of huge errors this turn one mattered, one didn’t. I kept the angelius back thinking to use its handcannon shot on feat turn or to pierce the objective if necessary (remember the plan?). and moved one of the Ravagores out of Lylyth’s control area and thus out of shadow pack range (oops). I also moved the two shepherds behind a forest quite cleverly where they couldn’t be targeted and they weren’t even near anything that could be targeted but were close to each other. Unfortunately, Judicator is kind of like a fireworks stand exploding when it shoots. Two big errors. Gobbers move up and drop a cloud to protect Lylyth and the Angelius and the Shredder moves up. Oh yeah, I didn’t put any fury on any beasts. 3 big errors. D’oh! The totem hunter ran up the right flank.

IMG_1301

We start off the turn by rolling on fire and two of them go out, including the one on the monolith bearer. One of the zealots burns to death. Feora upkeeps escort and gives some focus out to both judicator and reckoner. Roven lets the reckoner ignore stealth and he takes an assault shot at the totem hunter but misses. The zealots all advance at the teraph and throw firebombs and do some damage but leave him on 4 boxes, taking out only his mind aspect. Judicator advances and fires his ridiculous fireworks and lays down fire templates all over hell and half of Georgia setting the unstealthed ravagore on fire and killing the shepherds. I really need to remember to leave them 9″ behind the ravagore. They had no business being up that close. All things considered, I actually got off fairly light, but that was due to me being back really far. Planning for the turn 2 feat let me hang back a ridiculous distance, and having the teraph with reach on one side, and the totem hunter on the other to just be nuisances was really nice. Unfortunately I have lost my fury management so it is time to plan ahead. Also, the choir sang passage on the ‘jacks which I took as a personal insult.

IMG_1302

Remember that awesome plan I had to win? Well, at this point, for no good reason, I had this idea. I wonder if I can kill the judicator if I put pincushion on it. The idea that no plan survives contact with the enemy is SUPPOSED to mean that that the situation on the field necessitates the plan to change. In this situation, the plan was going perfectly, and like an idiot and for no good reason I decided to change it. So let’s see how that worked out for me, shall we?

Well, first off, let’s upkeep shadowpack for free, and cut myself for 3 fury, because that is what you do with a 5 fury caster with 15 boxes and a beast heavy list. Next up, let’s pretend I am going to get a follow up turn and plan for some frenzy management. I used to play trollbloods, so I know how to use whelps. The gobbers run into position to be eaten by ravagores. Lylyth goes next and advances the full 7″, and measures 10 inches and has to guess whether or not judicator is within 15″ for the pincushion. I go ahead and pop feat, think I am out so boost a shot at one of the zealots, swift hunter moves the 2″, takes the shot at the judicator to make sure I am in range for pincushion since being out would be terrible, gets the hit, rolls an 11 anyway and does some damage, lands the pin cushion, takes the feat shot  at another zealot, falls back 2″, (that was the snap fire shot), kills him then falls back again. At this point, I have 2 fury left, (I had to boost to make sure I got in range remember?) and think “She’s like Sorscha, with her stats, 2 extra armor isn’t going to make any difference, especially with cutting for fury” and used it to cast wraithbane on the teraph.

Stop and think about that fail for a second. Fury and armor in the same sentence.

Also I patted myself on the back for being clever enough not to waste a fury to heal the teraph’s mind reasoning that pincushion would let it hit alright anyway. I then proceed to put wraithbane out on the ravagores with the succubus and naga and wreck the right side and get the left down to 13 boxes. The totem hunter advanced and then leapt over the reckoner trying to get to the vassal but could only engage a choir member which he missed on a 3. The deathstalkers killed off all but one of the zealots with their sniper shenanigans and the angelius advanced and fired its handcannon shot at the monolith bearer and missed the first time but killed it on the second leaving the objective in the zone. Ugh. I looked at the table and remembered my plan and saw that had I actually done it, the templar would have been wrecked, the judicator would have had pursuit on it and I would have had 3 control points and been VERY well positioned to get those final two. Sigh. Instead the table looked like this. The shredder, ever the optimist, advanced and put tenacity on Lylyth.

IMG_1303

Dave was determined not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and had plenty of time on his clock so he settled down his excitement a bit and made sure and did everything properly. He upkept escort, handed out focus to both the reckoner and the judicator. He had the choir sing battle on all of his jacks. Went ahead and had the reckoner kill the totem hunter to prevent any lucky free strikes. Roven granted ability to see through stealth, just in case Lylyth was able to evasive away from the first spray. Had the vassal repair the damaged side. Judicator advanced and then Lylyth was just at the 10″ spray range so a single evasive would be HUGE letting me dance back and then he would have to rely on his inaccurate blasts. Alas it was not to be, the first spray hit and the Shadow of Everblight evaporated in the Fires of Menoth.

IMG_1305

After Action Review:

Oof. That was an object lesson in what not to do and what to do. Dave played a solid game. He had a plan and stuck to it. I had a plan and didn’t. He got the win and deserved it. I actually didn’t feel to bad after this loss, I felt pretty good actually. I learned a lot during the course of the game about myself. First off, this was about 4 weeks after my new baby was born was at my most exhausted (I am a bit better now) so was really running on muscle memory, and it was interesting how much of that was still Khador. Not just the fury/focus aspect, but in my head I was calling her Sorscha throughout the night and at one point I was even thinking about windrushing. I am better now, but that tells me I really need to get those neural pathways rewired to raise my game to the next level and the only way to do that is lots and lots of games and studying and working at it. Which sounds strange when you think of it in reference to a game, but its like anything. This is something I enjoy and obsess over, I just need to do a bit of rewiring and the way for that to happen is to narrow it down. So to do that, I have packed up my Khador and put it in storage so I can focus, I’ve changed my avatar on the PP forums (yes it matters) and even put away the cards. I really am enjoying Legion a lot. I like the way that they are a Combined Arms (sorry Shep – I know you hate the term) faction in a way that Khador is. I like the lower model count, I like the dragon aesthetic (I’ve had a dragon tattoo for more years than this game has been around) and I really like the differing play style options it provides. It was a painful loss because I made so many errors, but at the same time, the loss was well and truly due entirely to myself. Looking at the game I can see not just one thing, but MANY things I could have done to make it more competitive and change the outcome – if not to a win, at least to a more competitive game and that really excites me. So I am looking forward to the rematch, as well as to the super secret project we are working on with fellow PG Shawn!

Thanks for making it through this epic battle report, and thanks to Dave for the game! Also, now that things are settling down a bit, expect a bit more regular posting schedule once again!

Ah yes, another game night at the FLGS in Burbank (Emerald Knights Comics and Games). I missed out on last week due to a familial obligation so I was looking to spread some blight. My friend Shawn was there with his Retribution of Scyrah and our games are always tight, hard fought games and I was expecting no less! Last time Shawn and I faced off I was running Khador and he was playing Issyria in his very first game with her – now he was looking for some payback.

For my part, I wanted to bathe in the filthy water that is Lylyth2 and see what all the hype is about – I have only seen her on the table one other time and that was quite awhile back and I don’t remember much about it.

I used a pretty standard Lylyth2 list:

Lyltyh2
Succubus
2x Ravagores
2x Nephilim Bolt Throwers
Naga Nightlurker
2x Shepherds
Striders with UA
5 Incubi

The basic idea was to watch for an early assassination and if that didn’t present itself to use the withering firepower of her feat turn on 2 in order to get a sizable attrition advantage. The Incubi are in there in order to give me a bit of game as far as contesting zones or perhaps even securing a flag.

Shawn meanwhile was trying out his light jack heavy Vyros2 list (from memory so may be wrong):

Vyros2
Sylys Wyshnallyr
4x Chimeras
Gorgon
Aspis
2 Arcanists
Full Dawnguard Sentinels with UA and Soulless Escort
Eyriss2
Lanyssa Ryssl

He might have had 2 gorgons – when he unpacked he realized he was missing a chimera.

I was also trying out my new gaming mat. It is pretty sweet looking, but its looking kind of like photographs from straight above are not ideal. Let me know what you think. Also, painted models look WAY better on this table than unpainted. More so that usual. Also, I need to build some custom terrain to go with it.

Anyway, enough of that – we set up the table using some flat terrain (we were both there late so much of the actual terrain was taken) and the two big greem circles are actually zones, not forests. But the smaller ones are forests, even though they are the same material. Really it wasn’t as confusing to play as it looked on the table.

Speaking of the big circles, we rolled up Outflank for our scenario.

 

Image

This is the terrain below – the brown cutouts are hills, the smaller green ones are forests. The square grey one is a building. The thin short one is a wall. The rocky outcroppings are just a part of the table and are there to look awesome.

I won the roll to go decide and spent way too long making the decision. Ultimately I decided to go first figuring a run forward would put me into position for an early feat. I think it is the first time I have won the roll and actually decided not to go second so it was an odd thing for me. My turn was really pretty much just running everything forward and setting up for next turn. Lylyth cast shadowpack and advanced slightly to the left to toe onto the hill (he didn’t really have anything that could get to me, but the fundamentals are always good to practice).

 

ImageImage

(No paparazzi! That wasn’t his actual facing, I just wanted to take a picture to see how it would look.)

Shawn’s turn was similarly unexpected. Vyros put up synergy, deflection popped feat, and advanced.

Image

So, feat turn was definitely happening. I had originally planned on trying to kill some of his jacks with my feat, but by popping his feat I didn’t really want to give him any extra movement, but I was in a bit of a bind. He was sitting at armor 22 but had come forward pretty far. I decided to just go for it – it would be a short game either way and people tell their children frightening tales about Lylyth to make them behave, so I figured what the hell. The succubus upkept shadow pack for free and I fondled my 5 stack.

I advanced Lylyth up between the two ravagores to give max coverage and the popped feat. I fired my first shot as a ranging shot and it turned out that he was about 14.5″ away. Hmm, he was on a hill which meant I would need a 12 to stick the pincushion but as a Khador player I know the kind of magic that signs and portents type effects can do. Especially with the bolt throwers having a crit knockdown. I didn’t worry too much about pushing him out of range, the ravagores had easy range and one of the nephs was close enough to aim. Lylyth cast the pincushion on him with a boost and managed to get the 12 I needed. I commented “that might just be the game.” I then used the remaining 2 fury to hand out Dragon’s Fire on the ravagore and the nephalim on my right.

I went with that nephalim since he could aim. I did so and boosted the hit and got the crit knockdown which was tranfered to one of the two shield guard jacks in range. I rolled straight damage and didn’t even take out the forceshield but damage on them is irrelevant anyway. I took his feat shot, got the crit knockdown again and that was shield guarded over to the other jack, knocking it down and setting it on fire.

The other nephalim went next and had to advance, meaning he didn’t have as good a chance of getting the crit. He actually missed the first shot, but got a hit but no crit on the 2nd. I am realizing now that we forgot to do the push but it wouldn’t have mattered since they had the shorter range. I boosted damage on it and rolled something like 16 after dropping the low putting 8 points on him. I had forgotten to move the succubus up to put Dragon’s Fire on him but Shawn said go ahead and let’s say you did (what a gentleman that guy!) Also, I think he probably realized it wouldn’t really matter.

Next up a ravagore aimed and hit and did some damage, and then finished him off with the feat shot, leaving me with a second ravagore, the night lurker, and the striders yet to go and both were going to do fat CRAs into him.

Holy crap. That was seriously legit. Shawn took it in stride, and commented that he shouldn’t have moved so far forward. If he had stayed back even 1 inch I would have lost the pincushion and he might have survived. I think I felt worse about the victory than Shawn did about the loss.

We had time to reset for the game and he was willing, even eager, to play the same matchup I asked if we could do that next time. I was somewhat stunned, and feeling a bit dirty, and figured I would try out Vayl2 if he was down for it, spoiler alert – he was.

Shawn played the same list and again I played a fairly standard list:

Vayl2
2x Angeliuses
Ravagore
Scythean
Shredder
Anyssa Ryvaal
Max Raptors
Shepherd
Strider Deathstalker

We played the same scenario on the same table. I ended up winning the roll again and taking a more comfortable 2nd. I picked the same side and we were off. I put prey on the arcanist on the left side. Shawn’s turn was pretty similar to his other opening though he was a bit more cautious. I put refuge on the angel on the right and admonition on the one on the left (that advanced behind the wall). The raptors got occultation and ran up the extreme left flank.

 

Image

I forgot to take a picture of the next couple of turns. Basically though on his turn, he advanced Eiryss up and she shot admonition off of the angel. Vyros popped feat. The sentinels advanced and minifeated and did several 2 man CRAs into the angels damaging both of them pretty decently. One of his chimeras on the left charged the now admonitionless angel and left it down at three boxes thanks to seriously crap rolls. He also realized too late that he had advanced his sentinels and Eiryss in the way of a chimera on my right that he had planned on finishing the other angel with. I offered to let him move through them as if he had set it up right but he declined saying he should know his own army better than that. He also assigned the aspis over to protect the preyed arcanist. He handed it back over to me and I spent some time in the tank thinking. His feat was up so I didn’t want to kill too many things. There was a single model in the zone on the left and I knew that chimera was out of Vyros’s control area because he didn’t get do any synergy. I could get a control point this turn as long as I didn’t kill much. I started off by advancing the deathstalker within 5″ of Eiryss and taking a shot at her. I got the hit and killed her and did my swift hunter advance to get LOS to Anyssa. He resoponded by advancing a chimera up to engage the deathstalker and the ravogore, stymieing further shooting. The angel on the right advanced and wrecked one that chimera and Vyros advanced into the zone on my right to dominate, but that was the angel with refuge and he moved into the zone to contest. The ravagore advanced and did a double handed throw on that chimera mostly just to knock him down but not kill anything.

I advanced the scythean over and killed the chimera on the left side and freed up the angel, but I didn’t want to give him a chance to get anything else into the zone so everything else pretty much just shifted and I scored a control point.

On my turn I measured to the zone on my left and saw I couldn’t walk into it. I was pretty happy with most things as they were though and dropped 6 fury and ran into the bottom part of the zone.  also shifted the raptors into a zone blocking formation. I killed another couple of lessers and then dominated my zone putting me at 3.

Lanyssa advanced around the building and put hunter’s mark on the angel on the right. The aspis pushed one of the raptors picking up an easy synergy point. A couple of others were earned and then he charged the one on the right with sentinels. One hit the angel but then rolled crap damage (something like a 5 on four dice?) and the other missed. He then sent a chimera in but be couldn’t get both attacks on him so he hit the angel pretty hard, but didn’t quite kill it. He also ran a couple of sentinels into my zone to prevent me from winning.

On his turn I advanced Vayl and cast repulsion and pushed them out of the zone and then ended my turn to dominate and win as the store closed. By the way, this happened to be how I lost to Sam at Kingdomcon – he repulsed me out of the zone and dominated for the win so it was nice to be able to put that lesson into practice. This was about the point that I realized I had forgotten to take pics, so snapped a quick one.

Image

So, that is three games in the books with Legion of Everblight and three wins. I really started enjoying them during that Vayl game. Also talking with Shawn and Ryan after about my winner’s guilt was really helpful for me. I’ll probably do a post on it at some point, but I had some interesting personal epiphanies and any therapy that is predicated on talking about my favorite game is well worth the time spent!

Thanks for reading this far, and as always, feel free to comment or critique!