Posts Tagged ‘skorne’

So, Haihastur over on the Legion forums has been singing the gospel about the Fallen Angels tier list for a while, even doing some battle reports and honestly, it looked like a blast to play. I broke down and picked up the three models I needed to complete it (Sorceress and Hellion, a second Protector, and a Bloodseer) – honestly, I was going to get a Bloodseer eventually, so only two of them were a leap of faith and his bat reps convinced. Sure, I could have proxied, but that’s not really how I roll.

Anyway, I ended up running a list that was fairly close to what he recommended – I swapped out the Seraph for a pair of Blight Wasp units because I want to get a bit of table time with them and it seemed kind of fun. I usually cut the theme stuff out but I decided to leave it in since it is a fairly uncommon theme force. Also, I will be doing a blog on theme forces in general, since they are the topic of much controversy in the community right now, and I have been (surprise) opinion on the matter that I have not been shy about sharing.

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight – WB: +5
– Zuriel – PC: 10
– Angelius – PC: 9
– Angelius – PC: 9
– Nephilim Protector – PC: 5
– Nephilim Protector – PC: 5
– Nephilim Bloodseer – PC: 0
– Harrier – PC: 2
– Blight Wasps – PC: 4
– Blight Wasps – PC: 4

Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion – PC: 4
Blighted Nyss Shepherd – PC: 1
Blighted Nyss Shepherd – PC: 1
Spell Martyrs – PC: 1

THEME: Fallen Angels – Tier 4

WARBEASTS
Non-character Legion warbeasts with Flight, Nephilim warbeasts

UNITS
Legion units with Flight

SOLOS
Blighted Nyss Shepherd, Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion, Spell Martyr

BATTLE ENGINES
None

TIER 1
—Requirements—
The army can only include the models listed above.
—Benefits—
Spell Martyr solos gain Advance Deployment.

TIER 2
—Requirements—
The army includes one or more Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion solos.
—Benefits—
You gain +1 on your starting roll for the game.

TIER 3
—Requirements—
Saeryn’s battlegroup includes two or more heavy warbeasts with Flight.
—Benefits—
Your deployment zone is extended 2″ forward.

TIER 4 – SELECTED
—Requirements—
Saeryn’s battlegroup includes three or more Nephilim warbeasts.
—Benefits—
Add one non-character Nephilim warbeast to the army free of cost.

I told Mikey I would be bringing a new Saeryn list (I’d literally only played Saeryn once before – honestly I found her kind of boring in the typical way she is usually played). She is undeniably powerful, but just not that interesting to me. I suppose I suffer from Special Unique Snowflake Syndrome as the Chain Attack guys say. I know that Saeryn gives Skorne the same shivers that Molik Karn in general gives me. I think he might have overbuilt for the feat but that will come later.

His list was an interesting looking theme list I had never seen before that has a really cool name:

Archdomina Makeda – WB: +5
– Basilisk Krea – PC: 4
– Cyclops Brute – PC: 5
– Molik Karn – PC: 11
– Titan Gladiator – PC: 8

Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 3
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer – Tyrant and Standard: 3
Cataphract Cetrati – Leader & 5 Grunts: 11
Venator Reivers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
– Venator Reiver Officer & Standard – PC: 0
Venator Reivers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5

THEME: Army of the Western Reaches – Tier 4

WARBEASTS
Skorne non-character warbeast, Molik Karn

UNITS
Cataphract Cetrati, Paingiver Beast Handlers, Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer, Praetorian units, Venator units

SOLOS
Cataphract solos, Praetorian solos, Saxon Orrik

BATTLE ENGINES
None

TIER 1
—Requirements—
The army can only include the models listed above.
—Benefits—
Praetorian Swordsmen and Venator Reiver units become FA U.

TIER 2
—Requirements—
The army includes two or more Venator Reiver units.
—Benefits—
Add an attachment to one Venator Reiver unit free of cost. This attachment does not count towards FA restrictions.

TIER 3
—Requirements—
The army includes one or more Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer units.
—Benefits—
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer and Cataphract units in the army gain Advance Move. (Before the start of the game but after both players have deployed, a model with Advance Move can make a full advance.)

TIER 4 – SELECTED
—Requirements—
Makeda’s battlegroup includes two or more Cyclops warbeasts.
—Benefits—
Your deployment zone is extended 2″ forward.

So between the two of us, we were 4″ closer together than normal! That plus Makeda having access to Savagery and Rush made Breathstealer seem a lot less sexy, especially with an advance move on the Tycom and and Cetrati. The crippling speed advantage I’d expected was certainly snatched away, but it did seem to split the Army of the Western Reaches into a couple of different armies, so I thought I might be able to use that to my advantage. On to the deployment picture (well, after I moved the Sorceress and then remembered to take it).

IMG_2193

I won the roll to go first, obviously. I didn’t have a solid plan since this was the first time playing this list. It evolved once I got a feel for it, and I should have planned on dominating my own flag early since that is what it became. I ran the martyr over, considering putting Breathstealer on the Cetrati but with Press Forward and Savagery it seemed kind of moot. Instead I decided to hellfire the TyComm to try and get rid of him because I hate that guy so much. Also, in my head I confused Road to War and Savagery and thought that everything in Makeda’s control would get the advance rather than it being an upkeep so kept most things back. Running the Sorceress up was a huge mistake, but I was mad with speed. That is my excuse. Everything else advanced very little because of the mistake with Savagery and just shifted slightly to the right. Saeryn cast Predator’s instinct to give me the option to boost to hit as well with the Hellfire but ultimately I think I just boosted hit and damage, but only rolled an 8 for damage and left the TyComm alive.

IMG_2194

The Cetrati got Savagery (oohhhhh right, upkeep), Makeda got Defender’s ward and then advanced up behind the wall ready to dominate her own flag (much better scenario awareness than I had), the Reiver’s burned the mini feat and killed a couple of wasps in the forest. The Cetrati were pressed forward by the TyComm then went into shield wall and advanced. The harrier was a bit further than Mike thought and he was only able to get a single Cetrati on him (I thought he was going to be out, so we both made an error there). He hit and knocked out the body and did some damage to the mind spiral as well. The Krea used its animus and the Reivers formed up in a circle around it. The Gladiator and Molik both also took up position behind the wall and the Brute stood next to it with the Paingiver Beasthandlers set up behind them ready to hand out some pain to some beasts.

IMG_2195

At this point I remembered why I brought the Sorceress on Hellion was for the free charges as well as the no shooting so promptly fell her back and summoned up some might winds. The two surviving Blight Wasps on the left side got a run/charge order and ran to engage a few of the Reivers on the hill. The close Angelius is in position to benefit from Aerial Coordination and charges the 2nd Cetrati in and boosts the thrust attack, killing him and overtaking an inch to right. It then buys an attack on the one of the others still in shield wall and kills it as well with a forced boost for damage and overtakes once more and uses its animus to push the remaining Cetrati out of shield wall. The other Angelius, unfortunately, cannot benefit from Aerial Coordination thanks to my poor initial play with the Sorceress. It moves over and thanks to the shield wall being broken is able to kill only a single and with snake eyes for damage leaves one alive hugging the flag and engaging the Harrier.  Zuriel advances and sprays twice killing the cetrati who was out of shield wall. The Harrier shifts around the Cetrati (I forget to take the attack because I am so excited at what is coming next. The Bloodseer uses the Harrier’s True Strike animus and Slams the surviving back line Cetrati in direction of the TyComm and I get a 4 for the roll which is far enough for him to hit as well as one of the Reivers which opens up a nice hole for the Blight Wasps! The Slam Damage is enough to kill wounded TyComm thanks to box cars (which I guess makes up for the double 1s the angel rolled earlier) and I boost the damage on the slammed model on top of the additional die for hitting a model the same size killing him as well. The Reiver is also killed. Not to mention just flying over your own models and auto-hitting with a slam is kind of the epitome of the Legion play style.  “Rules? Where we’re going we don’t need rules!” This also happened to leave the Cetrati hugging the flag as the last member of his unit so he was field promoted so he got to work strapping on that big Skorne flag.

Speaking of which, the Blight Wasps got a run/charge order, flew over a whole mess of models, including the Cetrati strapping on the flag who was unable to make attacks since he was busy. They made sure to avoid the Reivers who could take free strikes and set up to take free strikes on the Krea if he moved away as best they could and be really well placed for the impending Blight Bringer. The Protectors moved into position, Saeryn advanced and I realized I totally should have planned to get points on my opponents turn (not that it would have mattered because of the double ones) but still, and cast Blight Bringer on one of the Wasps and killed all but 1 of the Reivers and did a bit of damage to the Krea but didn’t boost (though I should have). I probably didn’t need to feat this turn but I went ahead and called down a spirit of Foreboding this turn anyway just to keep Molik Karn honest. The Shepherds advanced and pulled off fury from places where they could, leaving enough for Saeryn to get up to full and the only beast to have any was the Angelius engaging the Cetrati was left at full because I didn’t really care if he frenzied. All in all I was pretty happy with the turn.

IMG_2198

There wasn’t a whole lot that Mikey could do this turn but he set about doing what he could. Molik got Savagery and advanced and killed the Sorceress and then backed up, the Gladiator rushed himself and charged the Blight Wasps trying to clear them off. He ended up going up to full fury to kill one of them off, but it was very squashed. The three Reivers who were engaged failed to kill it – that Def12 but -1 to attack rolls from Annoyance was coming up more than expected in this particular part of the table. The ones not engaged shot at Zuriel in a pair of CRAs and did minimal damage. The Krea risked the free strikes and suffered some pretty horrendous welts for the trouble. Crit Poison on living models won’t come up often, but a free strike crit poison against a living light is kinda sweet. I took out his mind, but with a boost he still managed to hit Zuriel with Spiritual Paralysis dropping his Def and preventing him from running or charging. The Krea then activated her animus. The Brute put Safeguard on Makeda to prevent any flying auto-hitting slams. Makeda advanced, used her frightening will to command her forces not to die (Walking Death Feat) and dominated her flag and went up 1-0.

IMG_2199Oh right, scenario! The rest of the writeup won’t be near as long because I didn’t take many more pictures, the store was going to be closing soon, and the game was decided soon, so don’t worry, persevere! This turn, the Angelius actually didn’t frenzy, passing it’s threshold easily. The Shepherd advanced, cleared off the 4 fury, the Angelius thrusted and boosted both to hit and damage to make sure he died and overtook to change facing and get in a slightly better position. The Harrier, body still out, used its animus and then charged the TyComm’s standard and killed it on a 2d6 roll and sprinted to a good position for the Bloodseer to use its animus again if I wanted. Instead the Bloodseer decided to use Overwhelm on the Blight Wasps. The other Angelius moved and then shot the closest Beasthandler and killed it. The Blight Wasps charged the rest of the unit and killed 2 or 3 more overwhelming into them. Unfortunately for me, Mikey’s plan of shooting Zuriel was a good one and I was unable to run him to get LOS/Range to finish them off with Arced spells without being engaged by the Brute. Also, my Protector placement was lousy or I would have been able to shield guard. Oh well, my shield guard placement was much better this turn. Zuriel moved and sprayed and killed off the Krea and set the Brute on fire, just missing Makeda. One of the Protectors charged in and killed a couple of Reivers. I knew they would be back, but at least they couldn’t move. Also since the UA wasn’t dedeadath their placement was fairly limited. Saeryn put Blight Bringer up and killed a couple more and did some damage to Makeda which was transferred to the Gladiator. I went ahead and boosted that damage. At the end of my turn I dominated and it went to 1-1. This is also the last picture.

IMG_2200Mikey replaced the lost troops and set to work. He up kept Savagery on Molik and finished off the last Blight Wasp on the left with the Gladiator after way more work than it should have taken. Next Molik advanced over to the Protector and starting beating on it. It ended up taking all of his fury but he finally killed it. Makeda moved back over and started killing wasps and then when she got down to 4 fury she spent 2 to cast fate walker and she walked back to the flag to dominate again. Her armor was pretty high thanks to Blood Fury and Defensive Ward. The revived Reivers aimed, and the rest of the unit moved as best they could avoiding the Blight and put two big CRAs into Zuriel (two of them I think were out of range?) The first one was shield guarded by the protector and he took 12 or so and the 2nd one only did 3. The Brute put Safeguard on her again. The Beasthandlers finished off the remaining Blight Wasps and got fury to manageable level and then the turn ended and we went to 2-2.

My turn I was able to leach everything back up to full. Mikey saw me setting up to send another Nephilim in as well as setting up my defense and conceded realizing that I was going to be scoring on both of our turns and he was only going to score on his and there wasn’t anything he could do about it. The amazing thing to me is that was EXACTLY what Haihastur on the blogs said many of his games ended as. I’ve never actually had that happen and Mikey isn’t a forum goer at all. It was kind of crazy.

After Action Review:

I made some pretty big mistakes both in deployment and play, but once I started to move the pieces it was fairly intuitive for me. I pretty much threw away the sorceress and I can see how that was a big mistake. She is very useful in this list – free charges are HUGE for the lights and even for the Angels. Aside from their thrusts they are pretty pillow-fisted (pillow-tailed?)

Saeryn is our control caster, there is no denying it, but in the past I haven’t had a lot of fun playing her. This list was a blast. Almost everything flies and that is incredibly powerful and dynamic. It’s hard to understand until you just start ignoring your own stuff for almost everything. In Legion we’re used to ignoring rules and this lets us ignore even more, so what’s not to love? We get to ignore other models for moving, and for LOS for charges (but not slams).

I know that the Skorne list was not conventional at all, so it wasn’t the best “test” but this was also my first time every playing this list, my first time every playing many of the models in it so I’m okay with it. The amount of control it has is unreal and until you get it on the table it’s hard to believe. As is it’s resilience. I think I might have forgotten to mention it above because I can’t remember exactly but there was another pretty big CRA that happened from the Reivers on Zuriel and it was nice just to say, nah, I think I’ll just take it here instead. Also, I was amazed at how resilient the one that charged in to contest the flag was. It took Molik Karn’s full fury to get rid of him. I think the amount of effort was ultimately why Mikey conceded, seeing that I still had a nearly full Zuriel, a completely full Bloodseer, two full Angels, and half a Protector, he just didn’t see how he could stop me from contesting, especially when everything could fly. Ultimately I could just take free strikes and toe a zone somewhere.

Anyway, it was a REALLY fun list to play. Very unconventional, very resilient. It felt like I was playing with a rapier and dagger where even my defense was stabby little offense if that makes sense. I highly recommend you give it a shot.

My deepest gratitude to Haihastur for championing this so hard and taking the time to do the battle reports, were it not for your effort I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to pick up the extra pieces necessary and taken the chance with some of my (prior) least enjoyable models.

Je vous remercie beaucoup mon ami! (If the French is wrong, blame Google!)

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Okay I got in a couple of skorne games with the beard and had really hoped to do full battle report treatment on them but I am nuts busy right now and have played another game since so they are all starting to blur together. Apologies, and I hope I get the salient points.
 
First game I played I took the conquest version of Harkevich’s theme force (tier 4) to give it a whirl. The list looked like this:
 
Harkevich
Conquest
Black Ivan
Demolisher
Full Winterguard Infantry with UA and 2 rocketeers
Kovnik Joe
Mortar
Field gun
Battle Mechaniks
 
This list was facing off against a Hexeris2 with Mammoth build that Shep is trying out. From memory (so something might be slightly off) it was:
Hexeris2
Mammoth
Cyclops Raider
Cyclops Brute (bonded)
Krea
Min Beast handlers
Willbreaker
Taskmaster
Max Gatorman Posse
Max Incendiarii
Extoller Soulward
 
The scenario was supply and demand. I started off with fortune on conquest and escort on Harkevich and went 2nd. I also forgot to take pictures for the first couple of rounds. 
 
First turn was pretty standard stuff, everything skorne ran forward except Hexxie and he put Ashen Veil on the gators. The raider was mostly a snipe-bot for the mammoth – so just assume he does that every turn.
 
My turn was pretty standard as well with handing out a focus to each jack. Conquest ran forward just behind a wall. The light artillery went up onto a hill. The WGI bobbed and weaved forward and were tough. Black Ivan advanced to a wreck marker and took a shot at a gator and hit but only did a couple of points. The demolisher took advantage of escort and ran through the forest on my right flank. Harkevich advanced and cast broadsides. The demolisher didn’t shoot, black ivan had an irrelevant scatter. Conquest targeted an incendiarii who was standing right next to Hexeris and got off a 5 inch crit dev which was pretty sweet. I killed the willbreaker and knocked the brute back and down and think I also killed the soulward. All in all I was pretty happy.
 
Second turn gators ran pretty central to set up a big charge. Brute shook his knockdown and ran to get in arc range of the WGI. Hexxie boosted black spot and hit them. The incendiarii shot and set some stuff on fire and I made a single tough and lost 4-5 WGI dudes. Conquest and the clamjack were also on fire.
 
I gave a focus to conquest and paid for both upkeeps. Fire went out on the clamjack (yay?), but continued on conquest but didn’t get through armor. Light artillery both fired at the gators and didn’t really do anything (I killed one, but he toughed and with no sleeping on the job it was irrelevant.) I also debated long and hard about whether to feat on this turn or not. Ultimately I went ahead and feated just because I thought the mammoth might be able to charge me next round. I also did a broadside and conquest got a fortunate drift and killed off a couple of paingiver beasthandlers. Conquest shot the brute and threw him back and did some damage but nothing major to the brute. The WGI did a huge CRA into one of the gators and rolled snake eyes for the miss. Damn. 
 
The gators charged across my line at Black Ivan and conquest and did some damage, but the feat kept most of it at bay. The rest of the WGI were killed by black spotting stuff. The mammoth ultimately didn’t charge due to the wall being in an annoying place so just set up for the next turn. It did some shooting but nothing stands out as shocking. 
 
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My turn I allocate 1 to Ivan, 1 to conquest and upkeep both spells. Conquest shoots rather than doing melee and kills the taskmaster with the secondary cannons and kills 1 or two gators in melee with it. Harkevich charged a gator and killed it and then used beat back to step back into a wreck marker. Black Ivan bulldozed the gator engaging it back and then stepped back and took the free strike and then shot and boosted damage at that gator doing some damage. I also ran the clamjack right in front of the mammoth.
 
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The mammoth was enraged and wrecked the clam jack and cleared out last remaining random models I had around leaving pretty much just Harkevich, Ivan, and the colossal. The incendiarii also moved forward to prevent conquest from charging – that was my last gambit with the clam jack. I took a few shots at the incendiarii out of spite and killed a couple.
 
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The mammoth was then enraged and, unsurprisingly, wrecked conquest with the help of a couple of feat turn hellfires from Hexeris who also dominated the zone. The writing was clearly on the wall so Harkevich took out the mechano-ham, stroked his beard once for luck and charged into the mammoth, determined to die a good death.
 
Man, that game was brutal. I hate incendiarii with a rage that equals their own fire weapons. Seriously, bombardiers are so much more terrible than them by any measure of comparison (more on that next game). It was a pretty solid attrition fest and I made a couple of mistakes. I think I forgot to mention it above, but Joe spent much of the game giving boosted attacks to the light artillery. It isn’t a terrible use for him, actually. That skorne list had no soft targets and Shep told me after that he basically built that list after he saw what I was playing so it was far from his normal Hexeris2 list. It was a pretty hard counter for mine. It was another game that had me thinking that out of theme would have been so much better.
 
Anyway, I will try and get the next report up sometime in the next few days. Thanks for taking the time to read!
I got in a game last night with Harkevich. The list is a bit unorthodox but basically, I got some new models built and wanted to try them out (Alexia2, the AKs and I still only have a couple of games in with the Gun Carriage). 
 
Kommander Harkevich, The Iron Wolf – WJ: +5
– Black Ivan – PC: 10
– Juggernaut – PC: 7
– Spriggan – PC: 10
Gun Carriage – PC: 9
Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2
Koldun Lord – PC: 2
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire – PC: 4
Assault Kommandos – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– 3 1 Kommando’s: 3
 
So, just because it is unorthodox, doesn’t mean I just threw them in without having any kind of plan. I am looking at making Harkevich my pair with Vlad3 for the year and I have been thinking to skew it as my hordes matchup. As I envision it, the assault kommandos are there to use their gas grenades to either provide protection for the warjacks giving them a –2 mat to models engaging them or a +2 rat for ranged shots (particularly a broadsides shot if I choose to use it), or a +2 mat for when the jacks charge (probably on feat turn) where they can possibly also get a def bonus the following turn.
 
Alexia is there because she is new, but also to provide some protection from crippling grasp or other magical armor debuffs as well as another pow 14 that can be used at range and boosted. The thralls are nice disruption pieces and also have some scenario ability.
 
The gun carriage can play slightly different in the Harkevich list in that it can be more up the middle thanks to his Field Marshal [Pathfinder] ability so I can use it almost like a poor man’s Inhospitable Ground as well as doing some nice damage with those high POW aoes. 
 
The rest of the list is pretty standard stuff aside from running 3 jacks in Khador. 
 
Kyle was also trying out some new stuff – namely Zaal and some arcuarii. I’ve played against Zaal exactly once so this should be fun. Aside from the fact that he will steal all of the souls out from under Alexia2 in his control area. Suck for my new toy but pretty cool. At least Alexia2 provided me an option for dealing with the Kovaas.

Supreme Aptimus Zaal – WB: +5
– Kovaas
– Basilisk Drake – PC: 4
– Titan Sentry – PC: 9
– Titan Gladiator – PC: 8
Extoller Soulward – PC: 2
Hakaar the Destroyer – PC: 4
Ancestral Guardian – PC: 3
Ancestral Guardian – PC: 3
Cataphract Arcuarii – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Nihilators – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer – Tyrant and Standard: 3

 
I was a bit worried about my armor standing up to all of his weapon masters, last stand, and Zaal’s feat giving boosts to hit and damage and letting his beasts use their fury to buy attacks.
 
I won the roll and chose the table side and we were off to the races. Sorry again about the crappy pics. It’s an old phone and I can’t get a new one right now.
 
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We were playing SR2014 Incursion again mostly because it is the only one I know and I am lazy. So, yeah, Kyle set up first and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to line my AKs across from his arcuarii and drake. I put the gun carriage central and the jacks, hark, the koldun lord and Alexia on my left side. 
 
The tycom put pathfinder on the arcuarii and they ran through the woods, with inviolable resolve landing on them at some point (it would be there most of the game). The gladiator got the free animus spell and everything else mostly advanced.
 
My turn I put fortune on the AKs, escort on Hark, and advanced most everything else – the AKs advanced in shield wall. The gun carriage trampled forward and dropped a couple of rough terrain templates.
 
We rolled for the flag that vanished and of course, the one we both wanted to disappear (the one right behind the tower) remained. Clearly that was a watchtower which the Skorne invaders needed to occupy in order to press forward into the Khadoran homeland and Harkevich vowed by his beard not to let that happen.
 
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On the Skorne side the arcuarii advanced again and took some shots at the AKs and killed a couple. The nihilators swarmed around the remaining flank flag (backed up by Hakkar) and an ancestral guardian claimed the flag in the middle along with some elephant support.
 
For my turn I had to contest both flags or I would give up a lot of control points fast. I dropped fortune from the AKs so I could give the spriggan a couple of focus and I held on to escort. I wasn’t quite sure if one of the advancing nihilators had engaged Alexia2 and I wanted to get her a couple of souls while Zaal was still back far enough that I could since I wanted to have her available to destroy the kovaas with Hellfire. I debated long and hard about feating this turn but with where the templates were I figured there wouldn’t be much that could threaten me yet so I decided to save it for next turn.
 
The spriggan charged in such a way that he would end up contesting the left flag. I didn’t think I would need both focus on him to kill a couple of nihilators but I did figure I would need it for them to stay dead thanks to tough. Turned out I was right, 2 focus=2 dead nihilators=2 souls on Alexia.  Alexia was not engaged now for sure (the spriggan had killed that model) so she did a ride by attack with Hellfire and made sure that she got her third soul and then returned to the relative safety of the building.
 
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The assault commandos ended up getting the Assault and Battery order and I foolishly shot with their pow10s at the arcuarii and a couple of models didn’t shoot at all due to range. I did send a couple of gas grenades forward on to the arcuarii but I should have done more sooner. For their movement those who could charge did and a couple of others ran. Notably one of the brave flamethrowers ran up base to base with the elephant that Zaal was cowering behind. The ancestral guardian next to the elephant hit it with a defensive strike and he set both elephants, a couple of arcuarii, and zaal aflame. He probably shouldn’t have taken that defensive strike, but it was irrelevant because I had planned on shooting my gun carriage at him from behind anyway. And Black Ivan if necessary. A couple of other ones ran just to the area to contest the center flag. The AKs managed to kill 2 of the arcuarii and hurt 2 others. 
 
The koldun lord gave Ivan a focus again and his shot drifted just a bit and hit two guys, one was killed but the soulward was closer than Alexia was so snatched that soul up.
 
The gun carriage advanced and fired both shots at the low def ancestral guardian who was sitting on armor 20 or 21 at this point. I did some damage and put a few points on Zaal from blast damage as well as putting a couple of points on one of the arcuarii. The rough terrain templates also caught both elephants, Zaal and the ancestral guardian who, wasn’t going anywhere thanks to his low speed. The gun carriage then dropped back thanks to ride-by attack.
 
I think that pretty much wrapped up that turn.
 
The fire went out on one of the elephants but everything else continued to burn. Zaal transferred his damage over to the damaged ancestral guardian to bring the kovaas into play. He wouldn’t be able to activate this turn, but he was in a good central position. Also, Zaal doesn’t like taking fire damage at dice –2.
 
The extoller soulward made the spriggan hit itself and he did for like 8 points of damage.  Zaal shifted a bit over to my left and put last stand on the nihilators who then charged the spriggan. Only 4 of them could get on the warjack but that was enough to knock out everything but his movement. Ouch.
 
The gladiator trampled over the three assault kommandos that were contesting the zone. Oops, I guess I hadn’t actually spread them out that well. The arcuarii killed a couple of the AKs. The drake advanced through the forest and sprayed killing a few more but they passed their leadership test. He did end up scoring a control point.
 
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For my turn, Hark upkept escort and started to shift a bit to the left. I cast broadside and killed a couple of nihilators as well as finishing off the beast handlers. The spriggan killed off one or two of the nihilators. The 4 remaining assault kommandos killed off another arcuarii and prepared to sell their lives to hold things up a bit more. The gun carriage moved forward in a ride by attack, fired a couple more shots and killed the last of the beast handlers. I was trying to be cute and knock down the elephant with a melee attack but rolled snake eyes and so ended up stuck in melee with the gladiator. At least he was contesting the middle flag (or no one was claiming it).
 
Zaal burned some more and transferred a pretty hefty about of damage – 8 I think – over to the drake. He popped his feat stayed in his bunker. Hakkar charged the spriggan and destroyed it. The gladiator destroyed the gun carriage. The kovaas charged and then threshered a couple of the AKs and somehow missed the arcuarii caught in the arc. We played it slightly wrong here in that we had the AK explode in a cloud (which is what the picture shows) but that was his other ability. New models, but it was cool and cinematic. Ultimately it only screwed him because one of the arcuarii only had one box left and couldn’t move through it. The drake dropped back a bit. 
 
 
It was go time for Harkevich’s feat. I gave 2 focus to the juggernaut, 2 to black ivan, and kept escort. He shifted a bit to the left and fired a shot from his hand cannon at max range and put down another nihilator who failed his tough. The juggernaut charged the gladiator and left him with 3 boxes in his spirit, but did make him stationary. Ivan charged Hakkar and killed him. 
 
Zaal continued to burn and sent it over to the drake leaving it almost dead. The gladiator shook the stationary effect and the sentry moved to claim the center flag.  Zaal was starting to get a bit desperate and moved out of his bunker to get range on the last few nihilators and put last stand on them again – he also popped his feat and spent 2 fury healing the gladiator. He then tried to make Ivan hit himself but missed and Ivan dodged forward base up to the flag and try and minimize the places that chargers could stand. It ultimately didn’t matter, because all three survivors were able to get the charge onto Ivan. Even at dice –11 the combination of last stand and charge dice put close to 15 points on Ivan but luckily for me he rolled different columns for everything.
 
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With Zaal’s feat he was able to use all the fury to buy attacks but the combination of  Harkevich’s feat and having to blow a fury to shake saved the juggernaut. He wrecked the left arm but that was it.
 
Whew. It looked tight, but I Zaal was only at 3 fury or so and I thought I might be able to get off a broadsides ranged assassination if everything went just right. Hark dropped escort – there was neither need for the extra movement for the jacks nor one close enough for armor.  The koldun lord stepped up and tried to lock Zaal in an ice cage and… missed. I should have called it off when that failed, but once I set a course I foolishly stick with it. Black Ivan shifted around to where he had line of sight to Zaal and took a shot. He missed and the drift did nothing. Harkevich put fortune on himself and moved to get Zaal into range. I cast broadsides and thanks to the reroll got the 9 I needed to hit. Here I forgot to boost the damage with that 1 focus I had left over. Oops. Oh well. Then I rolled a 2. Kyle obviously marked that on Zaal’s card. Black Ivan’s shot hit Zaal and did enough damage that it had to be transferred to the sentry. Harkevich then fired his regular shot and missed with the reroll. It was definitely time for a bit of damage control to hopefully survive. 
 
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I moved Alexia up to engage the titan sentry and keep him from being able to get to Harkevich and the juggernaut finished off the gladiator. Alexia dropped off 2 thralls in the sentry’s back arc and they both charged Zaal and missed. Man that ice cage was clutch!
 
Damage control was about the best I could hope for.
 
Zaal continued to burn (yay!) and the damage was transferred to the sentry. The tyrant commander (who had been advancing suspiciously) pressed himself forward and charged Alexia! D’oh! I absolutely did not see that coming AT ALL. He was just in range and managed to one shot the witch. The arcuarii charged the juggernaut and did some damage but again spread it out enough to not take out any systems though I only had about 10 boxes left. The sentry had to pay for the charge on Harkevich and missed Harkevich with the boost on the initial attack. He boosted a hit with the shield and did 8 or 9 boxes and then missed with the tusks. Having to boost and pay for the charge meant that Harkevich survived, still having 10 boxes. The soulward made Ivan hit himself again and he lost the bear claw. 
 
Whew. I lived. I spent a long time looking at the table and then thought, you know, they give Hark a 7 MAT and a PS 14 for a reason. I measured my control area carefully and made sure I have the charge and there was a line that could get me past the Tycom without taking a free strike from him. I decided Page 5 and kept fortune up. I started with the surviving thrall who actually got a hit and did a few points of damage which were transferred to the sentry. I had hoped to take out a spiral, but no luck. Next up Ivan aimed and shot the thrall in the back (he had a lower defense). The thrall was pasted and I did 1 to Zaal. Mostly I wanted to get the thrall out of melee so that the koldun lord could redeem himself and ice cage Zaal. He missed again. D’oh! 
 
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Zerkova would be hearing about his failures.
 
Zaal was sitting on 4 fury and I had 5 focus. It was most definitely go time. Harkevich declared a charge on the old skorne. I needed 8s to hit with a reroll. He had 2 beasts left and something like 10 boxes but I would be rolling straight dice. My charge attack not only hit, but got a crit meaning he was staggered and lost his initials next turn! A cool side effect, but largely irrelevant. I also beat him back with every attack that hit just to make sure I was out of tycom range for the next turn. I rolled 10 for damage which was enough to kill the sentry exactly. I missed the 2nd attack. I hit the 3rd attack for 6 points, which he took. The 4th attacks both missed! That stupid koldun lord! The 5th attack missed. The reroll, however, came down a hit. I rolled a 7 for damage which was just enough to splash back and take out the ancient warlock. It had been costly but the invasion had been repelled.
 
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Man that was a FUN game. Exactly what Warmachine is about to me. Two forces setting up and beating the hell out of each other with the generals finally mixing it up and finishing things off. A super fun game that taught me a lot about Harkevich. 
 
He can do some work on his own, and I think he should probably be doing work all game long. His theme list is pretty solid and I get why so many people love it, but it is just a fact of life that our jacks are mat 6. That isn’t good. It means you need to boost to hit def 12 reliably. Or find a way to drop that. The theory behind the Hark lists I am testing are all about looking for ways to cheat that. Assault kommandos do that vs. living. Ice cages do that against everything, assuming you can hit. And they can both stack pretty easily. I am not writing off his theme force, I have seen some really intriguing lists and I will definitely be trying them. 
 
Anyway, thanks for reading this novella 😉 I’ll likely write more, but I am out of time.

Lets do the thanks first. Thank you all for getting me over 10,000 total hits on this blog! I know that is a small number in the grand scheme of things, but for this kind of hobby blog that is a pretty big deal to me, so thank you so much. Now, on to something you care about.

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(My Irusk is painted, but this is not my Irusk)

I played in a tourney that ended up going 4 rounds last weekend. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I hadn’t really played Irusk1 much so decided to give him a whirl at the urging of my regular opponent who wants to practice against him more. I learned a lot about him and about how he is the same and different to Irusk2 (who I love). Here is how I did and what I learned

I took a variation on my usual eIrusk list just because I am pretty familiar with how it should run and the addition of iron flesh should just make it better. My second caster was eSorscha with conquest and WGI/Joe in case I got too frustrated with the “new” caster.

My List:

Kommandant Irusk – WJ: +6
– Behemoth – PC: 13

Koldun Lord – PC: 2
Manhunter – PC: 2

Great Bears of Gallowswood – Volkov, Kolsk, Yarovich: 5
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Iron Fang Officer & Standard – Iron Fang Officer & Standard 2
Kayazy Assassins – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Kayazy Assassin Underboss – Underboss 2
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt – Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4
Greylord Ternion – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4

Game 1 vs. Skorne – Mordikaar

Mordie, krea, brute, archidon, drake, nihilators, tyrant commander, max ferox, ferox dragoon (can’t remember his name)

Kind of an odd list but had a lot of pathfinder in it ferrox and dragoon and archidon- I don’t think I cast IG once in this game. I ran the kayazy to engage the nihilators and then the next turn minifeated and charged through to take out the tyrant commander, put iron flesh on the ifp on turn 2 and minifeated to jam pretty hard. Eliminators charged and killed the krea, I was choking him out pretty hard. The manhunter was dancing with the dragoon basically keeping him from advancing. The other eliminators and behemoth killed the ferrox over the course of 2 turns. I had the ternion put clouds on themselves on feat turn to block LOS to prevent a charge and irusk put IF on himself just in case. Made a couple of toughs with them but archidon go ghostly and charged at irusk but he wasn’t able to kill him thanks to iron flesh. The great bears killed the archidon. At this point my opponent conceded because he didn’t have much left that could do anything.

Game 2 vs. Skorne – Hexeris2

Pretty standard hexxie list – gladiator, 2 bronze backs, min nihilators, max nihilator, marketh, 2 ancestral guardians (something like that)

IG was up most of the game. For some reason he selected his gladiator as arc node (we talked after the game that he might want to consider a brute for that task or one of the bronze backs). He ran in a fairly tight brick with the nihilators each with an ancestral guardian on the flanks – eliminators and manhunter matched up on one side with them and kayazy assassins with the other. since gladiator was his arc node he put him out a bit far, on feat turn he trampled trying to get a bead on irusk for some hellfire death but ended up engaged at reach range by great bears put there for that purpose. IG made sure that hexxie couldn’t advance into range himself. Took out bronzeback and gladiator on following turn, as well as both units of nihilators and minifeated kayazy to surround him and set up following turn with great bears coming up the middle at him, the eliminators on the flank in range and the remaining assassins ready to follow up into the gap created by ashes to ashes on the guys engaging him. Opponent conceded at this point.

Game 3 vs. Menoth – Kreoss2

His list was kind of crazy, Kreoss2, fires of salvation (I think), the book, 2 units of bastions, a unit of the crossbow hunter guys, a unit of croes with attendant priest, anastacia de bray. Absolutely brutal on his feat turn with everything getting an extra attack and autohitting. This game was over on bottom of 3 – turn 1 we both advanced, turn 2 croe got a shot on irusk to keep him from casting, I upkept superiority, stepped out of LOS behind a forest and feated, he feated top of 3 and de bray ran into the forest I was hiding behind for even more autohitting badness – I had a single kayazy assassin make 4 saves in a row (which didn’t matter but was funny). Behemoth stepped forward and smashed fire clearing a lane for great bears to charge kreoss, dropped bombs on the book to finish him off, my ternion hit kreoss 3 times with ice cage dropping his defense down to where the great bears needed 3s to hit, irusk battle lusted them and they put him down.

Game 4 vs. Trollbloods – pDoomie tier 4

Had I not already decided to take irusk all day I would have taken him here anyway, Mulg makes conquest cry. This list is a pain to play but I hit hard enough where basically any single hit would force toughs on the runeshapers. He got hot on a few clutch tests, but failed a lot of others so it was a wash. I was able to shift behemoth over to where janissa was more than 1″ away from a screening model and put 2 boosted arcing fires on her and killed her. On my feat turn mulg trampled up to irusk and got two hits on him, both hit and wounded, the second one killing him but I was able to make my feat tough check. His earthborn charged behemoth on the same turn but was dismayed to learn about pow 0 weapons. Behemoth had been next to irusk so irusk gave 3 to behemoth, behemoth advanced between mulg and the earthborn, killed mulg with 1 focus left over hit the earthborn. Irusk shifted to behind a wall and put battle lust on the great bears who charged and killed the earthborn who was in range of both the wall and the krielstone, at this point both of us were down to about a quarter of the models we started with. He advanced pdoomie up and cast stranglehold twice at irusk behind the wall and missed the first one but hit the second and with just 1 wound left I died. It was a super tight game against a player who is widely considered one of the best in Southern California (Nathan) with a crazy mean list so I was stoked to make him work so hard for it.

After action review:
I used his feat defensively in most every game because I forgot about the +2+2 in most instances. The list is far from perfect and I doubt I will be pairing him with eSorscha so he will probably end up with the WGI and Joe instead of the Kayazy. I never really used A&H – they were in the list for Menoth shenanigans and I never really faced them. I am tempted to switch them out for Alexia and the Risen with Valachev. IG was certainly useful but is so expensive. Battle lust is always awesome. Gives me a shieldwall order and charge boost on the IFP, makes the Great Bears able to take down pretty much anything in the game.

Ternion continued to shine. I love these guys so much and they have so much utility on the table. In the first game they sprayed down ferrox, in the second game they sprayed down nihilators, in the third game they and the koldun lord knocked 6 off kreoss defenses and cleared a charge lane with a spray, last game they blocked LOS to irusk and sprayed whelps out of the way to clear charge lanes.

I really could have played irusk better – I got him forward too often and a war dog would have been nice – probably better even than sylys in this list so this list is going to undergo some pretty major changes but as a first outing it was pretty good.

If you guys have any tips with him that would be great