Vayl, Disciple of Everblight: 2

Last night I faced up against Peter and his caster of choice: Saeryn. I’ve been up against Saeryn a couple of times before and it’s always some hard games, but this time I had Legion as well!

We took a look at the battlefield and realized that we more or less ignored the terrain on it. Peter brought a less than optimal Saeryn list, mainly because he’s still lacking a lot of models, but I still found it intimidating.

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight
– Raek
– Shredder
– Carnivean
– Ravagore
– Typhon
Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
– Blighted Nyss Striders Officer & Musician
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
2 Spell Martyrs
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker

Facing that was my new and improved list, though I have to say that another round of tweaks is incoming. I was extremely pleased that I’d included a ranged element, because the first version of my list would have been raped against Saeryn.

Vayl, Disciple of Everblight
– Naga Nightlurker
– Shredder
– Angelius
– Scythean
– Seraph
Blackfrost Shard
Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
– Blighted Nyss Striders Officer & Musician
Farrow Bone Grinders (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Spawning Vessel (Leader and 5 Grunts)
The Forsaken
The Forsaken

I’m going to be teased about this, I know, but I already had my doubts about the Blackfrost Shard when going in. The simple truth is, that the way they’re constructed makes it very hard for them to use their abilities without dying.

I won the roll and chose to go second. This was a choice motivated by his need for a smoke and nothing else! I should have gone first to threaten him into an early feat, but we lined up and going second allowed me a better shot at winning on scenario so I decided on going for that instead.

Saeryn, Turn 1: Do what now?

Saeryn advanced her forces very cautiously, and just like when I did the same in my last game it was a big mistake. The point where he parked his heavies was to far away from the flags, and it would allow me to grab the initiative with my slightly superior ranged force, if I did everything right.

pVayl, Turn 1: You know what you’re doing right?

The Striders on the left move up and one of them manages to get in range and kill a Spell Martyr down behind the woods. I sent them out there to lure in the Raek which I really wanted to get rid of, and hoped that giving him a juicy target would prove to good an opportunity to resist. I didn’t want to rely on him making a mistake so I lined them up to abuse him badly if he didn’t come for me.

Then I moved the Seraph up and found myself 1″ out of range, which wouldn’t have been a problem except I forgot to move it up with Leash. His Striders were so far up, that when I put the Bone Grinder grunts in the pot the Stinger could actually get in range of them. Move on the pot, deployment of the Stinger, base size, move on the Stinger, and the spray makes for a really really mean range on the first turn. Sadly he missed both boosted attacks, but at least he was up there being annoying.

The Bone Grinder leader failed his morale check and hung out down back (I messed this up, and I need to find a way to put them in the pot without activating them, so he can regroup with his action on the first turn). The Angelius and the Naga decided to hang out in the woods for kicks, and of course Prowl on the Naga. The right flank had the BFS move up a bit, and stealth would keep them safe from the Striders.

Round 1, Mistakes: I really messed up the lanes here. I could see that the advantage he had given me was gone because I had to stay behind the house to avoid the Ravagore. I should have had Vayl where the pot is, and room to go past the Scythean on that side of the house.

Not a big problem, I still had him where I wanted him and Vayl was safe down back. He could shoot me up a bit but I would be able to hit him back, and probably take out more than he did.

Saeryn, Turn 2: You see that house… I need you to land a blast right behind it.

His Ravagore walks up, shoots the Seraph, misses on triple ones, drifts five inches and lights Vayl on fire (uh oh!). His Striders calmly does a CRA against the Scythean for 10 damage on straight dice and removes an aspect. His one Deathstalker kills my Forsaken since I forgot to pop Tenacity on them, and the Raek doesn’t go for the bait. The upside is, that I have a full pot again! Yay!

His Carnivean stomps on the Stinger and Typhon moves up a bit, but not very far. This is the point where I remind him that we’re actually playing a scenario, and that trying to keep outside of my insane threat ranges probably just cost him the game. He’s played so defensively that I’m more or less guaranteed two points when my turn comes around.

Vayl, Turn 2: OPEN FIRE! RETREAT!

Feat time methinks! The Naga moves up and kills the Deathstalker (covering behind the toilet) with a boosted shot. The Angelius moves up and kills the other Deathstalker, and come feat movement that point is safe.

Having placed Vayl behind the house I had a big problem with activation sequences, and the Seraph had to try for the Raek without help. Then it rolled just a single additional shot, and missed with one of them… New plan!

Vayl moves up now that there’s room where the Seraph was, and pops feat and Incite. The Shredder runs into range of the Raek with Chiller on it, and now I just have to clear a lane for the Scythean.

With two Fury remaining after popping Tenacity and transferring some fire damage to the Seraph again, I remember that I need to heal the damn Scytheans aspect, which leaves me on one Fury and in ‘Uh oh’ land.

The pot moves up and spawns a Stinger, and with Incite up it burns two Striders to death. My Striders kill his Shredder and the last problematic enemy Strider, allowing the Scythean to charge in and kill the Raek.

Feat move allows me to move the Shredder back to grab the left flag, the Naga grabs the right flag, and the Scythean moves back to safety. Vayl moves back behind the house and starts praying, and the Stinger moves up to threaten free strikes on the Striders (I love that guy).

Round 2, Mistakes: I moved the Naga out of her control area with the feat move which was a bit silly. The real bloody stupid mistake was forgetting that I needed to heal the Scythean and leaving Vayl open for assassination, especially when I had the game locked down as long as she survived.

Saeryn, Turn 3: Right ladies. She’s on fire, with one Fury and 14 boxes left, and we ignore most of her defense… GET HER!

The Carnivean assaults down but fails to kill the pot that’s blocking LoS to an Acolyte the Ravagore needs to hit, but hit’s Vayl with  a boosted attack roll needing 12+ to hit, and does nine damage to her that I chose not to transfer, leaving me on 3.

Then Saeryn has to go kill the pot with Hellfires, which she juuuust manages, but out pops a Stinger that blocks LoS for the Ravagore! GO GO POT OF DOOM!

Typhon tramples my forward Stinger but sadly leaves it alive (brainfart there Peter) and does nothing, so it’s all up to the Ravagore. If he can force me to transfer with the final Fury I’ll burn to death, so the Ravagore inches up.

Since it was a friendly game and I had done a couple of minor take backs, I allowed him to move a mm back and take a free strike from the Stinger (that inflicted 10 damage even without the body spiral it lost taking free strikes on Striders… sadly not taking out an aspect), instead of losing the game when the Ravagore walked into melee range and declared a shot. The Ravagore could pull the tiniest sliver of LoS, and hit the Acolyte.

He boosts blast damage on Vayl causing 8 damage and forcing me to transfer. That leaves Vayl on 3 boxes, on fire, and with no Fury, and it’s my turn. If the fire goes out I win on scenario, if it doesn’t I burn to death and lose, and it comes up… a 5… and remains active.

Peter rolls damage on dice -1 and needs a 4 to kill me, AND ROLLS A THREE!!! WIIIIIIIIIN!!! Chicken, you have not been sacrificed in a voodoo ritual for nothing! Voodoo doll I could kiss you if you didn’t have needles sticking out of you everywhere! Deity of dice, you came to my rescue again etc. etc. etc.

Post game!

A wee bit to close for comfort. It’s pretty hard playing Vayl against someone who ignores concealment and can light you on fire, even IF that required a trademark Peter AoE drift. The list itself was a lot better, but the Blackfrost Shard isn’t pulling their weight and I would like to include Typhon as well.

The Spawning Vessel is rapidly becoming my all time favorite model in Warmahordes, and whatever else happens it’s amazingly fun to stuff things in the pot and make crazy Stingers that go burninate on things. The threat ranges a pot made Stinger can achieve are insane, and those five points allow for a world of entertainment and tricks. Realistically it can launch a Stinger at a target from 21-22 inches away, and if we add Slipstream it becomes a bit silly and almost impossible to keep in her Control Area.

I need to find a way to stuff the Bone Grinder grunts in the pot without activating them first, because in this game I messed up and regrouped them illegally because I forgot they had already activated, and while it had no impact on the game at all it would be nice to have that chance in the first round legally. I could shoot them with something of course, but most ranged models like getting up the field so they can gradually fall back later.

As always the most important thing was to have fun, and man did I ever. I’ve given the list some thought and decided to try a slightly different approach to the whole thing, since pVayl seems like a brute and not the tricky movement shenanigans I initially thought I could pull (leave that to her epic version for now).

Vayl, Disciple of Everblight
– Naga Nightlurker
– Shredder
– Scythean
– Seraph
– Typhon
Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
– Blighted Nyss Striders Officer & Musician
Farrow Bone Grinders (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Spawning Vessel (Leader and 5 Grunts)
The Forsaken
The Forsaken

That leaves two points and several possibilities. I didn’t have much trouble with Fury management, but it was sort of annoying that in order to abuse the Forsaken offensively I would have to forgo the Fury management aspect of them, so dual Shepherds is what I’m currently considering, but there are other options.

  • Succubus.
  • Swamp Gobbers.
  • Deathstalker.
  • Spell Martyrs.
  • Lesser Warbeast.

Typhon initially didn’t make the list because I wanted to play without a bodyguard, but with the inclusion of the Seraph he can suddenly be aggressive without getting in trouble with Leash and Slipstream. I’ll give him a whirl next week and see what happens, but I always have trouble stomaching models with such high costs.

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8 Responses »

  1. Well, your beast load-out progresses more and more towards the classical pVayl standard (sycthean+seraph for insane thread ranges with a reach heavy, tpyhon for tons of incite-boosted sprays and funky dark sentinel crit-pitch moments).

    I do like the striders with her instead of a 4th heavy…ranged stealth AD element, that can hold objectives, harass infantry and spread chiller over a large area.

    I don’t think you need dual shepherds…maybe one, but not two…that’s a bit much fury management for 3 heavies and a light warbeast.

    So let’s look at the rest:

    Deathstalker…while I do like those girls a lot, you already have a pretty strong ranged element.

    Lesser…you already have a pot and a shredder..no need for another one

    Swamp Gobbers: Sure, vayl has concealment, but they would deny charge lanes, trigger prowl on the naga and buff typhon to DEF15 against shooting from most enemy heavies. Using them with either a shepherd or a spell martyr wouldn’t be a bad thing to try out.

    Spell Martyr: I like them..

    On the other hand pVayl auto-hits stuff with her fancy globe and you could sacrifice a early spawned lesser for a early game rampager or hoarfrost. SS+movement+throw+small base= 25″ hoarfrost or 27″ rampager… so if you go second and he ends his warcaster/warlock first turn movement more than 3″ outside his deployment zone, you could nuke him with double hoarfrosts and then feat-move pVayl back into safety if he doesn’t go down.

    Guess I would either get gobbers+shepherd, or go ahead and grab the succubus. You’re going to cast tenacity at least twice each round (on vayl herself and then on some beasts and/or the forsaken), not to mention that upkeeping chiller or leash for free saves you another fury for transfers. Which is pretty important, given the fact that pVayl is pretty squishy for a caster that hugs just behind the frontline to get stuff into incite range.

    My money is on the succubus… you have two great upkeep spells and two non-self animi in your list. 3 if you spawn a stinger and want to cast bushwhacker on something…

    • I’ll try the Succubus next time then :)

      I’m slowly but steadily reaching the conclusion, that the reason I could make most maligned options work with Cryx, was because debuffs are not as limited as buffs.

      If you stack enough abilities/synergy and add reliability to them, the world implodes, and with enough time and creativity the amount of combinations become staggering, but buffs usually cannot provide the same flexibility and reliability.

      I think I’m going to like Legion, because the models/units are great and a lot of fun to use (and incredibly powerful), but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go as far outside the box as I did with Cryx.

  2. Quick vote for Shepherd(s) from me. I get what you’re saying about not needing the Fury management, but don’t forget Medicate. As you saw in this game, even saving one Fury on a squishy Warlock can make the different between surviving and … well, surviving, but with brown shorts … :p

    • Indeed, but the Succubus would have allowed that as well, saving me a Fury on upkeeping Chiller and a Fury on casting Tenacity on Vayl.

      The only reason I’m considering two Shepherds instead of the Succubus is because it’s two targets and they can be two places at once (also they look better and can run to allow leeching when some idiot runs his Naga out of control range)

      Ah, now you got me all confused again! :D

  3. The problem with Bone Grinder activations seems to have been solved. If I deploy the Bone Grinders in front of Typhon and trample them on round one, they go in the pot and if the Leader fails his morale he can spend his activation trying to regroup.

    • Yup that works. Sorry, it occurs to me I should have suggested that as a friend of mine does the same by trampling Megalith over Bone Grinders to get first turn souls for The Tree.

      Don’t forget with careful deployment you can get back strike bonus by placing them in front of Typhon; at the edge of the lane his base will cover; and facing sideways so he just clips the back of the base, staying in their back arc throughout the trample move.

  4. You said:
    “With two Fury remaining after popping Tenacity and transferring some fire damage to the Seraph again, I remember that I need to heal the damn Scytheans aspect, which leaves me on one Fury and in ‘Uh oh’ land.”

    I’m wondering why the fire damage matters for this – fire happens before leaching, so worse case you have to cut yourself for one more, rather than actually being down a fury.

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