Every now and then you get to fight something completely new. It’s not often and it’s mostly joke lists, but last night I faced something that I think might actually become a power build with a few tweaks. I don’t know if Jan invented it or borrowed it, but here’s what I was facing.
Madrak Ironhide, World Ender
– Pyre Troll
– Slag Troll
– Storm Troll
– Troll Impaler
– Troll Impaler
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– 3 Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower
– Kriel Warrior Standard Bearer & Piper
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes
– Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder
Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Fell Caller Hero
This list looks like complete auto-fail at first sight, but then you begin to see a pattern emerging. This list uses Warpath which is a spell I’ve never seen eMadrak actually use before. With access to Far Strike and eMadraks feat, this list puts out a shooting round from hell, and with Blood Fury + Acidic Touch/Flaming Fist the list has some melee punch as well.
It has whelps to manage the Fury from that insane round, and then it’s basically just about grinding down what’s left.With Warpath & far Strike it can get aiming bonus from 15″ away and with the Stone it can negate Stealth & Incorporeal.
It’s the longest game I’ve ever had, running more than four hours, and I can’t really begin to write a report, having lost all details from turn four and up, and I stopped counting at about turn six, so I couldn’t even tell you how many turns it ran, but I think it was nine or ten.
In short. I ran, he ran, I killed a bit of infantry but held back to go for massive feat round, and then he annihilated half my list with shooting. Then I popped feat and annihilated half his list in return. From there on it was tooth and nail on both sides, with me forcing a tough roll on Madrak on turn five or six.
I think I lost on turn nine where he was still running around with one box and only two Fury (being unable to cut). I failed two assassinations due to really lousy dice, and two more to being so bone tired that I completely messed up everything and missed obvious opportunities.
In the end I lost when Deneghra was Knocked down by a flying Burrower, who was shot in the back by the last surviving Impaler. eMadrak was on 1 Box with one Transfer and Corroded, and I rolled two attacks on him exactly matching his ARM in damage, where just one more on both attacks would have forced another Tough check.
I have never had so close a game before, and the other times I’ve left casters at one box isn’t even close to comparable.
The interesting part. I brought the pDeneghra Cavalry list, and I knew it was a long way from optimal. It actually performed more or less as expected, with the Steelheads getting slaughtered but doing serious damage with the few that survived (would have been more, but the Cavalry insisted on rolling like crap while the Halberdiers were rock stars).
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 5 Grunts)
– Satyxis Blood Hag
Soulhunters (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Steelhead Halberdiers (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (Leader and 4 Grunts)
I REALLY missed the WSC. The Withershadow Junta enables so many tricks, keeps her Focus economy functional, and bring ranged attacks. I can’t tell you how much trouble Heroes Tragedy was giving me, and ranged pDeneghra is just so incredibly superior to melee that it’s not even funny.
I messed up with the Blood Witches, wanting to lure the Krielstone out, but not knowing that the stone survives by being promoted. I thought I could kill him and be rid of the damn thing when he was outside of self sacrifice range, and mistakes do tend to cost resources.
The Soul Hunters really kicked ass again. They killed a fair bit, played epic defense, and it was two of them getting to eMadrak that almost cost him the game (Tough on casters should be banned! Yes on Terminus as well, it’s ridiculous). The Steelhead Cavalry got shot to pieces, and they need some form of defensive tech in order to get anywhere in safety. Everything else performed as expected.
Soul Hunters are staying in. Those guys are hilarious and really really good. I suspect they’re one of those units that get better the more you play them, because it’s all about when and where with them. Woods are their best friends, and with Ghostly and Incorporeal the only thing saving something from a messy death is a lack of space, where again the ranged element comes into play.
Croe’s Cutthroats (Croe and 5 Grunts)
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
– Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
Soulhunters (Leader and 4 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Satyxis Raider Captain
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
Soul Hunters really need two things to work. They need some ranged elements to clear out models so they can fit those large bases, and they need a first wave. The list I ran last night also lacked WE&SJ so if our third player wants them he’ll have to fight me for them. Finally Croe’s Cutthroats just love pDeneghra, and she loves them right back.
‘How I learned to stop worrying and love the Soul Hunters‘