Posts Tagged ‘thagrosh1’

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.

So I played hark last night vs. a pthags tier list with lots of ogrun. It was practice for a tourney so we used relaxed death clock with 70 minutes per player.

My list was a tier 4 Wolf Pack theme force:

58 / 55 (50+5) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 4 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 1 Units : 4

Kommander Harkevich, The Iron Wolf – WJ: +5
– War Dog
– Black Ivan – PC: 10
– Spriggan – PC: 10
– Demolisher – PC: 9
– Devastator – PC: 9

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich – PC: 2

Battle Mechaniks – Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew – Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
Winter Guard Mortar Crew – Leader & 1 Grunt: 3
Winter Guard Infantry – Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
– 2 1 Rocketeer’s: 2
– Winter Guard Officer & Standard – Winter Guard Officer & Standard 2

Facing me was Jaime and his new Legion of Everblight with a tier 2 Thagrosh1 Army of Annihilation:

Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight – WB: +5
– Carnivean – PC: 11
– Raek – PC: 4
– Ravagore – PC: 10
– Scythean – PC: 9

Warmonger War Chief – PC: 3
Warmonger War Chief – PC: 3
The Forsaken – PC: 2
The Forsaken – PC: 2

Blighted Ogrun Warmongers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 5
Blighted Ogrun Warspears – Leader & 4 Grunts: 8

I won the starting roll and chose table sides:

Sorry about the crap pictures, still no new phone.

I was a bit worried when I saw all that beef over there. The clam jacks are fairly pillow fisted and Thagrosh having Fog of War meant that my light artillery would be even less effective than usual.

I tried to deploy mostly off the center so I could shift either way depending on which flag disappeared. You can see our deployments below as well as the placement of 3 of my 4 wreck markers. The 4th was on the other side of the forest on my left.

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his turn 1 he runs everything except thags, puts up spiny on self and fog of war and the ravagore shoots off a random shot that drifts backwards.

my turn 1 I just advance and do some shooting killing a warmonger and do some blast damage to a couple of others and the winterguard infantry run and spread out and Joe calls tough and fearless. He does that every turn due to basically everything on his side of the table causing terror. I won’t mention it again, just assume that I do. Also the flag on my right side is the one that disappears.

This is more or less what the table looked like during my turn.

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Jaime’s turn 2 he assaults and kills some winterguard andI make my one and only successful tough check this game. My dice were really rolling hot and cold – I got a lot of way above averages and also a bunch of way below averages. His raek moves over to claim the outlying flag and forcing me to respond or give up a control point on my turn and his scythean ran to engage the devastator.

His ravagore got a nuts drift that hit and killed 2 of the 3 crewman of the field gun as well as covering 2 WGI dudes. He had forgotten to use his animus so they weren’t set on fire and he rolled crap so they both lived.

For my turn 2 I debate for WAY too long – like seriously close to 10 minutes before I even allocate focus or pay upkeeps. I have a pretty solid idea of the things I would like to accomplish but have a little bit of an order of activation puzzle. Eventually I get moving. I finally decide just go for it.

I decide to upkeep only escort and hang on to my focus since I am planning on using the feat to get some slams and charges. That is what was making it difficult because I would have liked to have done some slamming and then broadside, but I couldn’t do the slam without the feat. I made the best of it and started off with the WGI who did a couple of fat CRAs into some war chiefs killing both of them and one of the beasts.

Black Ivan advanced to prevent the forsaken on my left from getting cover and got a direct hit and killing it.

Anyway I finally do activate Harkevich and pop feat and use broadside. I take the broadside shot at an ogrun and use my last focus to boost the damage, reasoning that camping one focus isn’t all that hot anyway.

The devastator slammed one of the ogrun into the one behind it and didn’t do much damage to either thanks to death shroud knocking 2 off the devs strength. It was nice taking a free strike from a scythean with impunity. Armor 28 is seriously legit.

The demolisher did a slam at the raek in order to contest the flag (he was out of range to hit thanks to being on the other side of the flag).

The spriggan took its pre-charge shot but, needing a 10, missed and the blast was too weak to hit anything. He did skewer a warmonger and positioned nicely for next turn – in fact, most of what I did was positioning for next turn. The field gun shoots at the carnivean and gets a double 4 not only hitting the carnivean but knocking it down. Suddenly I found myself wishing I hadn’t shot at the forsaken earlier in the turn with my mortar (it missed and drifted 6 in a harmless direction). This is how it looked at the end of my turn.

The mechanics run to “defend hark from trample” formation.

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His turn 3 starts off with the carnivean shaking the knockdown. Thagrosh advanced under fog of war again to take up position on the hill. The ravagore advances a bit and takes a shot at hark but it drifts and kills a mechanic. The scythean uses his animus and moves up behind the armor 28 devastator and hits it twice triggering the chain attack which gives him an extra 3 winterguard in the bloodbath. He boosts to hit on all of them and they all die.

The carnivean charges Joe and kills him and he fails his tough.

My turn 3 I upkeep escort because I have plan and need the extra movement. I hand out all  remaining focus – 3 to the spriggan, 1 to ivan, 1 to dev. I start off with Ivan who advances and bulldozes his way up to Thagrosh (who is sitting on 3) and get a hit but not crit and do 5 points of damage which he transfers. Next up the devastator bullies his way up behind Thagrosh blocking his way to hark and then open up in a rain of death. I get pow 18 on an ogrun and on Thags and rolls pretty well at straight dice and he has to transfer 13 to the carnivean which takes out its spirit. Next up the spriggan moves up and hits with the shield first (which I was not expecting) and then did 2-3 which Thags took (that is why I did shield first – I was hoping to take out that last fury) I then spend 2 boosting both hit and damage with the spear for about 10 which get sent over to the sythean and takes out its mind. I guy one more spear attack and miss. Damn.

Well, the demolisher has 2 shots let’s go for a hail mary. The demolisher moves away from the flag and gets into range of Thagrosh and has LOS through the flag. I need a 12 (well, 13 actually) but think maybe I can do some more damage with blast. I got box cars! Sadly I had no focus to boost the damage but still ended up rolling like an 11 for damage which got like 9 through. The last shot was not so fortunate and at -10 didn’t do anything for the blast. After I had thrown everything at him including the kitchen sink he still had 3 boxes left or something like that.

The mechanics ran over and I was able to get 2 to contest the flag.

I also forgot to take a picture for a while.

By this time Jaime was pretty much out of time so started his turn and then clocked out. The game was so awesome that we decided to play it out. We talked through a lot this turn to figure out if he had a way to get to Hark. Harkevich was not in the carnivean’s LOS so he couldn’t be charged/assaulted. There were a couple of warspears who had shots and took them but missed. The scythean may have been able to trample over to him but would lose his initials and then need to boost his bought attacks thanks to the war dog giving me a 17 def to melee.

Finally he thought he had it, he activated the ravagore and forced it to double handed throw the devastator out of the way to give Thags a bit of room to maneuver. That was when I remembered to take a picture.

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Thagrosh advanced to get a Winterguard (who also looked to be within 2″ of Harkevich) into range of a mutagenesis and boosted the hit. He got that off and replaced the loyal son of the motherland. By this time he had 3 fury left I believe? He boosted his initial attack and missed thanks to the war dog. He bought and boosted and this time did some damage – enough to knock me down to 4 thanks to dark shroud dropping my armor down by 2 points. He bought a last attack and missed. Whew, looks like I might have it. But wait! The carnivean could turn to get facing and spray! That is what he did and he needed an 11 on 2d6 (no forcing because of spirit being out) and he got it! He only needed to roll a 6 to take out the last 4 boxes and that is exactly what he rolled. Again due to dark shroud. About this time we realized that we were doing the wrong shroud – he just had the -2 str one, not both the -2 str and -2 armor. Jaime never said that, I just misremembered and when I asked one of the guys watching had the same misremembrance.

So Thagrosh was left in melee on no fury with Harkevich who was about to get his full stack back – the store was starting to close up so that was the game, but I am fairly confident that I could get those last 3 points off of Thagrosh in my turn so another victory for Harkevich and another notch in the ham-bat. It wasn’t pretty, but there it was.

Some thoughts –
I really missed the juggernaut’s melee weapon. A crit stationary would have really helped out vs. Thags. Lacking that, I shouldn’t have fished for the crit brutal with Black Ivan and just done a head butt to knock him down. That would have let me buy 3 additional attacks with the spriggan and I could have bought an extra ps16 from the devastator rather than boosting the roll at straight dice.

In general, I am not sure about running double clam jacks. Sure, they are great at contesting, but I am really concerned about how low their PS is in melee as well as how much their armor drops when they attack – I know the idea is to keep them closed up, but that is a lot of points tied up in basically something that will get 1 attack per turn (slam or possibly broadside) and just bulldoze most of the time.

I am not writing them off yet – and 1 is certainly in my list. The spriggan shooting is pathetic and if there is no stealth at all the utility of the flare is worthless and he more or less becomes a beat-bot. Reach is nice in that regard though, no denying that – so I think that there is definitely room for 1 in the list. Maybe 2 since if I can knock something down and don’t need to boost to hit that I can get some solid damage with his pointy stick.

Black Ivan is obviously solid on the shooting. His melee is pretty laughable though and his crit effect feels like a trap to fish for. On feat turn it might be worth it to shoot something and charge something on a small base but I should probably just keep him back and consider him +2 armor for hark – this is the 2nd game in a row that I ended up being out of escort armor buff range for him. Though honestly, with khador, the +2 movement is probably enough to keep it up often anyway.

The winterguard infantry did pretty well – they got in my way a bit though. That was due mostly to me trying to spread them out to protect them from ravagore death templates. The mortar was pretty good – even putting some damage on ogruns – his particular list didn’t have many soft targets and even so it got some work done. Especially after the slam when I knocked something down – though it turned out I still needed a freaking 8 to hit because it was on the hill and in fog of war.

The field gun got a couple of hits over the course of the game and did some damage but unboosted pow 14 isn’t terribly exciting. I did get a crit knockdown though, so that was pretty sweet. I think I will use that more in support of the jacks in the future rather than off on a flank.

Hark continued to do some good work on his own – shooting down 2 wounded ogrun in turn 2 thanks to broadsides – I actually ended up not handing out any focus that turn since I knew I was going to feat and would kill anything I got close to, or was just slamming to keep closed up. I am constantly amazed that his attrition game is so much better than it seems like it would be given the fact that I am running multiple khador jacks and skimping on the infantry. Also, the bearded one can take a punch, even on 0 focus. Obviously you don’t want to get too cocky, but he is pretty solid.

Okay I have probably rambled on long enough, if you made it through this, thanks!