pKrueger Vs. eButcher

This time I’ll try out a new format. It may turn out to be to much work but I hope not. I’ll try and go about this more methodically and get more into why I did what I did, what I did wrong, and what I probably should have done instead. Hopefully this will also make these reports more interesting because I miss writing stuff that matters, and since I’ve begun this Circle project I spend all my effort on basic stuff.

  • Opponent: Lars Gade has run Circle as his main list for more than a year and did well at the ETC with pKrueger so I was up against someone who knew my caster intimately. Lars has taken my Circle down a couple of times, and been way to close for comfort on several other occasions, but I don’t think he’s managed to bring my Cryx down yet though Terminus had to take three tough checks to survive one of our first battles back when I was a rookie.
  • Opponents list: eButcher is on my list of casters that are simply to random to be considered good, and he usually rolls low on his Focus the turn where it really matters. The list he brought wasn’t what I would consider top tier and it was a fairly good match-up for me due to all the low armored infantry.
  • Scenario: Demolition (no interactive objects). I thought this scenario would benefit me, since I could reliably hit & run an extra round before getting pushed on scenario. This would be great because one extra round of hit & run is huge, and if I did it right I could probably sit on the game completely.

Kommander Orsus Zoktavir
– Juggernaut
– Marauder
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard
Kayazy Assassins (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Kayazy Assassin Underboss
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Man-o-war Drakhun (with dismount)
Widowmaker Marksman
Yuri the Axe

I would have gone with a bit more support myself. I think eButcher should chain Sylys to a Juggernaut and drag him around permanently, and even though I know the two heavies worked well for his pButcher list I would have gone a different way with eButcher because of the random nature of available Focus.

Krueger the Stormwrath
– Feral Warpwolf
– Feral Warpwolf
– Megalith
– Warpwolf Stalker
Shifting Stones
– Stone keeper
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt)
Tharn Bloodweavers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Druid Wilder
Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove

This list is way out of my comfort zone but since I’ve been having little luck staying there with Circle I thought it was time to break free of it. The games I’ve lost with pKrueger (which is most of them) have mainly been lost when my heavy hitters have been taken out.

The first issue is that I simply had to few heavy hitters since I was spending points on infantry, so instead of two heavies and a light I’ll be going with four heavies. The second reason I was losing my heavies was because of Primal. The king of Animi also removes the heavy from the opponents problem-list for a turn and all he has to do is give it to feed it something he didn’t need anyway and go kill something else.

The issue there is that “something else” was usually my other heavy hitter, and when it died I had no way of saving my frenzied hitter so it died the following round anyway. I decided that even with more heavy hitters losing two hitters where I should have lost either one or none was a bad way to spend my rounds so I ditched the Gorax.

Having ditched the Gorax I needed one unit of infantry, because without Primal I desperately needed some way to remove upkeep spells, or buffed up Colossals would be out of my reach when it came to pure damage. A Feral against a Stormwall with Arcane Shield does around 13-14 damage, while a Feral against a Stormwall without Arcane Shield does about 34 damage, which means that throwing in two Ferals should bring it down while allowing one of the Ferals to sprint away.

This means Bloodweavers and those girls are really good with Lightning Tendrils as well which is a nice bonus. The list presents a line of heavy hitters that are fairly durable and has the ability to heal minor damage where needed. It’s not an attrition list unless I can maneuver but it should have the punch and stamina to lose a couple of models without falling apart.

The game

Lars won the roll and forced me to go first which I thought was a bad choice since it gave me a lot of room to maneuver, but I guess his plan was to force me to play a bit more defensively with my Shifting Stones. I decided I really didn’t need the Shifting Stones to teleport much this game if I could simply dictate the game by speed and destruction so I lined up for just that.

Turn 1: Circle

The Stalker was going up there to threaten the zone early, and was also supposed to ensure that whatever tried to hold that zone would die to a Sprinting stalker with Berserk up. The Ferals were supposed to go up the middle with one slightly towards each flank in order to ensure that I had anti-tank capacity no matter where his heavies were going to end up.

I was sure his Widowmakers would end up in the forest on my right flank, so I deployed the Bloodweavers over there so they could run in and engage. Megalith was on defense and I placed him in the middle to stop melee models from getting at pKrueger, and because he can really go through infantry with Lightning Tendrils/Chain Lightning and I was expecting his massed infantry to try holding the center.

I managed to block Megaliths advance by moving my Shifting Stones early, but since the assassins where on my right flank instead of the IFP and Widowmakers as expected it was fine since I had to get over there anyway. Yuri also camped the forest but is invisible since he’s behind a tree on the picture.

At this point there was no great changes to my strategy and I moved up about as far as I could with most of my models, and if he wanted my Shifting Stones it would cost him the Widowmakers. I put up Skyborne and placed pKrueger in cover  behind a rock wall, and put up Lightning Tendrils on the Bloodweavers.

Turn 1: Khador

His Drakhun ran up full speed, presumably to tempt me away from the Widowmakers who walked up and shot a Shifting Stone from the small set. The Assassins raced up, presumably to tempt me into feating on half of them or put myself in a vulnerable position. Yuri moved up but stayed in the forest out of my LoS so there would be to killing him next round.

  • Mistakes made: My left Feral is behind a Shifting Stone blocking his charge. Megalith is behind a Shifting Stone blocking his charge or advance. This means I might have to activate them first and move them next turn, which would mean that I cannot teleport anything.
  • Lessons learned: Don’t move those Shifting Stones first. Make room during deployment so the big guys can make it through, and the shift later to avoid lane issues. Otherwise I felt my deployment and first turn was solid, and perhaps my deployment of the Bloodweavers forced the Widowmakers out in the open where I could get them for the price of a single stone I didn’t really need.

Turn 2: Circle

He had obviously been to cautious while moving up so I was firmly in power and controlling this game. I decided on pulling a fast one on him and inflicting some damage at the cost of positioning, while making sure he couldn’t really return the favor.

The Stalker on my left had some control area assistance from the Wilder and charged the Drakhun. I was certain I could take out the Widowmakers with the Feral instead, and removing the Drakhun made that flank easy to handle. The first attack dismounted the Drakhun and I used Lightning Strike, then failed to kill the Drakhun with the two remaining attacks and got stuck there.

I took some time and pondered the Assassin situation on the right flank. Lars had put Fury on them so engaged they would be defense 15 which is manageable with Gang, and since he had no really dangerous upkeep spells besides that I could pull ahead in the resource game if I could keep my feat another round. Megalith was out of range or I would have trampled him up there to apply Undergrowth, but I decided to go ahead anyway. I also forgot to use any of their special attacks, so I think I’ll have to write that on the back of their bases. I also ran one of them down to keep Yuri busy for a turn or two.

I’m clearly not used to having reach because I was 0.01″ outside of melee range with half of them when they charged in, so I missed with most of them and inflicted only light casualties on the Assassins. This meant I had to use my feat anyway, which in turn meant that I had to use my Shifting Stones to teleport pKrueger back to safety, which meant that I had two heavies blocked in by the very same Shifting Stones.

The feat takes out most of the remaining Assassins but rolls really poorly against the Great Bears and put a single point of damage on the Butcher. I wasn’t expecting much there but a single good damage roll would have been nice. I shouldn’t have placed the markers where I did but I figured I would boost damage on the Great Bears, but I suddenly remembered that I needed Lightning Tendrils up on the left Feral to do anything.

Megalith walks up and I decide to Geomancy a Chain Lightning into my Bloodweavers, then remember that they’ve got stealth, and since I stopped an inch short of his speed I’m also out of range of the Juggernaut who would have made a much better target anyway.

Finally the left Feral has to navigate around the blocking Shifting Stone and even warping SPD he’s out of range of most of his intended victims and just kills one. Electro Leap fails to kill the Widowmaker Marksman but at least the Feral can sprint away and present a multitude of poor excuses to Krueger.

When I charged in the Bloodweavers I was most certainly thinking “I’ll bait him to use his feat a turn earlier than he probably should” and I most certainly had NOT forgotten everything about NOT FEEDING eBUTCHER WARRIOR MODELS!!!

Turn 2: Khador

Uh oh, I just gave eButcher all the easy tokens I had in my list, which means he can actually come down and hit me. I hope I’ve gotten my distances right so he won’t be able to hurt me to much, but it remains to be seen.

The Juggernaut walks up to my girls and does nothing. I wonder a bit about that until Butcher feats, hits one of my girls in the face, and pops Annihilator on the Juggernaut catching all three girls in the blast (EEEP!!!). The dice gods intervene and only one of my girls die, and Butcher runs away like a little girl.

I later remembered that he had to kill three models in melee to activate his max Focus ability so it wasn’t really that bad. The Assassins and Great Bears handle the last girls except for the one keeping Yuri in check, and she then promptly fails her CMD check and flees.

The Widowmakers shoot my Wilder, leaving the Stalker out of my control area with four Fury on him (feck!). This was expected but still sucked, and then the IFP swarm the zone like crazy. The Reach models and spacing will make it hard to clear the zone so winning on scenario is out at the moment.

Yuri is free to roam and charges down to kill my Gallows Grove on the right flank.

The marauder charges for free and with more SPD now that Butcher has some kills under his belt, so it charges towards Megalith and ends about six inches away. Then a handful of tokens are assigned, three going to a Great Bear and two to the Marauder. The Marauder walks down and kills a Gallows Grove and hits the Feral once, while the Great Bear takes about half of Megalith.

I feel this was a massive mistake on his part. Megalith isn’t dying to one Great Bear with three attacks, and the Feral certainly isn’t dying to one hit, so he just wasted his feat doing a little of this and a little of that but causing no lasting harm.

  • Mistakes made: When I popped my feat with Krueger I forgot to shoot which could have saved my Wilder from the Widowmakers. I also forgot where I wanted to teleport Krueger afterwards and he should have had the Stalker in his natural control area. I failed to measure my melee range with the Bloodweavers which forced me to feat and messed up my entire round, and knowing I didn’t really need my Shifting Stones my left flank Feral could have just trampled over to the Widowmakers and killed them. I failed to consider stealth on my Bloodweavers and should have just gone for a Chain Lightning on the Juggernaut, and I failed to consider the consequences of feeding Butcher my warrior models (that it turned out to be beneficial is besides the point).
  • Lessons learned: Distances, melee ranges, and considering which targets will be taken out by Electro Leaps is important. If I’d had all my distances right I would have annihilated his flank on my right, he would have had to sacrifice my zone in order to bring Butcher to bear on his zone, and I’m a lot faster than he is.

Turn 3: Circle

I need to clear out my zone full of IFP and for that to happen I need to remove the two models blocking good placement of my left flank Feral. The Stalker frenzies and eats the Drakhun he’s been fighting so he’s no help, which means… wait a minute, Krueger melee time!

Look how happy he is! Arms in the air! pKrueger pops Skyborne, charges up into the Stalkers control area, casts Lightning Strike on himself, kills an IFP, Electro leaps and kills the other problematic one, then sprints back to where he can have all his beasts in his control area. My remaining Bloodweaver fails to rally.

The left flank Feral warps ARM and wipes out eight IFP (and is very very happy with that). The right Flank Feral warps STR and swipes the Marauder a couple of times until the Cortex pops, then disembowels the Great Bear and is warped up to the remaining IFP and Widowmakers (those bastards are still alive!) by the Shifting Stones. I wasn’t really scared of the marauder being almost alone with Krueger, but to be on the safe side  the Swamp Gobbers do the Gobber maneuver and block it’s advance.

Megalith is going up to threaten Butcher, knowing full well that Butcher cannot come for him without getting into some furry action he really won’t enjoy, and knowing that one Great Bear probably won’t kill him. He pops Tendrils on himself, charges and kills a Great Bear (2/3 down), leaps to a Widowmaker and kills him (One and the marksman to go!), and uses Undergrowth to stop the Juggernaut from coming near, unless Butcher is willing to spend Focus giving it pathfinder.

I feel I’ve got this under control. Megalith will probably die, and if he dies to the Great Bear my Feral will probably die to Butcher, but I’ve got two more heavies left and Butcher will be toast. It doesn’t really matter that Butcher can actually kill both Megalith and the Feral at once (forgot he hit everyone in range with each swing) because he’s still going to be toast.

Turn 3: Khador

The turn everything hinges on, eButcher might survive if he rolls really well and takes out both my heavies with a couple of Focus to spare! He rolls the die for Focus… the suspense… the horror… the one one the dice that definitively ends the game for him… aaaand that’s what happens every single time eButcher takes the field

I forgot about Yuri down at his zone and lined up all my contesting models in a nifty little half circle fitting his Thresher perfectly, but one stone survived denying him a control point.

His only chance is to kill the Feral with the IFP while jamming so hard that I can’t get the second Feral over there, and killing Megalith with the Great Bear and Butcher.

The Feral doesn’t die… not even close and that’s even when Butcher spent his two Focus giving them Fury. megalith doesn’t die either and at 4 boxes left he’s good to go, and the final Great Bear got squished when Butcher came in swinging. The Juggernaut wobbles about a bit down near Krueger but cannot get to him or get to Megalith since Undergrowth is up (I love that Animus).

I notice he still has Eiryss left but she couldn’t really get to anywhere that mattered, and the two jacks don’t like her nearby anyway so she mostly stayed out of everything. She did shoot of Undergrowth but since the sequence was wrong he didn’t really benefit from it (if he’d done that before activating the marauder it might have gotten to Megalith and killed him).

  • Mistakes made: I didn’t make a lot of obvious mistakes this round which was nice when considering how I did in round two. That Megalith survived was a stroke of luck but ultimately of little consequence.
  • Lessons learned: None, eButcher confirmed as a poor caster due to being unreliable in important situations. Feral confirmed as a great infantry cleaner when positioned correctly.

Turn 4: Circle

Time to take him down. Megalith is up there anyway so he pops Undergrowth and begins hitting him. I hit with every attack but keep rolling 3-4 on damage with dice -2 so Butcher doesn’t really care (damn pillow fists).

Krueger tries to kill the last Widowmaker but fails with a boosted attack roll (NOOOOO!!!). The Stalker clears out some IFP, the Feral clears out a lot of IFP but one remains standing. Crit KD would be a problem but if he doesn’t crit Butcher will get a bad case of furball to the face. He doesn’t, Butcher does, and the game ends with a long overdue pKrueger victory! Huzzah!

  • Mistakes made: I put a boosted attack on a Widowmaker with the Feral where I should have made sure the last IFP was dead instead. The Widowmaker could have made me trample to Butcher instead but the IFP could have shut down my assassination completely. This was a case of letting in-game grudges decide an action instead of common sense, and I would have been kicking myself if it had cost me the game (admittedly that was unlikely since I’d left Krueger outside of Butchers charge range).
  • Lessons learned: Don’t let grudges dictate actions… think!

All in all this game was under my control the entire time. I made some hideous mistakes in the second round but my opponent couldn’t really capitalize since everything but the Bloodweavers had run away again or stayed out of charge range in the first place. I didn’t lose a single beast, and the only reason I lost a unit was because the remaining Bloodweaver failed two rally checks.

Conclusion

Playing without a Gorax was absolutely no problem in this game as the extra heavy hitter made up for my loss of damage potential. Having so many heavies on the table was great fun and is worthy of a repeat, though the composition of the heavies might change. Having two Ferals is great but it could be a problem against someone with a lot of terrain generation, though that remains to be seen. I like the list a lot though it pains me not to have Ghetorix in it, and the “low” threat of the Stalker annoys me as well. I don’t know if this is a winning list, but it’s mine and the only thing wrong with it is that is has no room for a Shadowhorn.

Comments on the format are welcome, and do you miss the lines… come on miss them… I can do skulls and arrows!!!

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12 Responses »

  1. Good report. I like the new format, as it gives more insight into what went on in your head as you took your turn. I definitely think you should try it out some more. As to the lines and all xD I never really understood what was up with them, but maybe you could do a simple form with few symbols or something. I think it would be cool if you could get it to work, as it might emphasize what’s going on in the pictures without causing confusion.

  2. Love the mistakes made, lessons learned bit. Super!

  3. I like the format as far as the text sections go. I honestly never paid too much attention to the pictures, but that might be due to the previous lines + stars version not making much sense. Making them arrows or something might be more useful.

    • I tried with some lines and explanations. Not sure how I feel about them, and adding graphic on kills made it extremely messy.

      • That format is a lot easier to read and makes immediate sense. Whether it’s worth the extra time to do, is up to you. I would probably check the pictures if they were all like that though, instead of mostly glossing over them.

      • That picture is actually quite good. I could image it being a fine art to depict only the actions and events that makes sense, but keeping it to charges ,frenzy, disruption and so on seems like a good idea. I suppose it should be done to such an extent that looking at the picture gives the reader a general idea about where stuff is going and whats going on. And combining this with reading the text one gets the big picture.

        I think you should try it out if your up for it, as it does give the reader more insight into what’s actually going on :)

        • I’ve been searching the net for interesting ways of doing reports, and there are some seriously creative people out there. This one caught my attention but it’s a lot of work.

          Animated reports.

          I think I might try one where most of the information is on the pictures themselves, and in very short form, though that might require me to take a lot more pictures.

          • I don’t really like the animated approach. I find it very boring just looking at stuff drawn in paint moving around. I think a good balance of interesting pictures of the actual gaming table and text describing whats going on is better. With or without any arrows and symbols I’d still prefer pics from the game over animations :)

  4. Have you thought about the Pureblood, instead of one of the Ferals? Ghostly can be a nice ability on both the feral and stalker. It’s not exactly a heavy hitter, but it can bring even more flexibility to the table.

    I like what you’ve done with the lines and explanations, but if it’s too much work you probably shouldn’t bother. It’s fairly clear what’s going on with the text and pictures as it is.

    • I’m not sure my list can handle another decrease in offense, and I don’t much like the Pureblood (on paper anyway, I haven’t gotten around to fielding it) :D

      The missing initial attack is a huge loss of power. The lower P+S is a problem as well. The spray is fine but removing infantry is not an issue with the list as it is. The lower ARM on the first round is annoying and the Purebloods lack of potential speed is sad in a list that can reliably yo-yo Ferals 13″

      The Animus is a life saver when needed. The Ghost Walk warp is fine but it comes at a hefty cost, and it requires the Pureblood to be very close for it to be available. I still haven’t made a list where I thought “A Pureblood would really rock here”, and the only other Warbeast with that dubious honor is the Woldwarden.

      I’ve been considering the Wold Guardian, but speed is just such a nice tool in that list, so it would have to be instead of Megalith and that’s probably a bad idea even though it would give me some more offensive punch.

      Wold Guardian with Lightning Tendrils double teleported with Shifting Stones and using Beat Back can get at some interesting targets, but it can’t get away again and that’s a huge issue.

  5. I’ve also been thinking about reinforcements. I don’t want infantry out there but pKrueger can’t really handle any more heavies. I don’t really fancy any of the light beasts as reinforcements either, which leaves just my favorite option: Lesser Warlocks!

    As I have no Gorax the only real option is Wrong Eye & Snapjaw, but with a Gallows Grove out there I can apply Lightning Tendrils and Snapjaw will be able to deal with almost anything (except for terrain!)

    * Massed Infantry: Lightning Tendrils
    * Multi-wound Infantry: High PS and multiple attacks with Reach.
    * High defense Infantry: Lightning Tendrils and ability to boost attack rolls.
    * Warbeasts: Voodoo doll and high PS
    * Warjacks: High PS and can break systems easily.

    • Rorsh and Brine make nice reinforcements. They come with board control, they are fast, reasonably hitty and good against infantry. Brine is also good with tendrils as he has lots of attacks. Minion caster + Gallows Grove are fun.

      Nice report, well written as it is clear and easy to follow. I’m not sure I entirely agree with you on the Primal thing, in that it is sometimes needed. But you are right in that you have to be very careful when chosing to apply it as it is a double edged sword.

      I like the blog! Going to go through your other posts now

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