Aarhus Journeyman League

Tonight was insane by danish standards, as the Aarhus Journeyman league kicked off with 30+ players. There were people I’ve never seen before, players that I haven’t seen in years, and of course a bunch of the lads from the regular tournament scene, but to put things in perspective I can tell you, that no danish tournament has ever reached the number of players we had tonight.

I had painted up a Legion battle-box with Thagrosh1, Harrier, Nephilim Soldier, and a Ravagore. I liked Legion well enough when I played them a couple of years ago, and they’ve gotten some nifty littleĀ thingumbobs and doohickeys since then, so I thought I’d use the opportunity to fiddle around with Thagrosh1, whom I never got around to playing back then.

Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight
– Ravagore
– Nephilim Soldier
– Harrier

The Ravagore is a monster in battle-box games, completely dominating the table with it’s high range and power. It basically forces the enemy to come at you, since most of the other battle-boxes have nowhere near the same fire power. This has some great synergy with the Soldier, who just happens to hit as hard as most of the heavies you can end up facing (when you apply Draconic Blessing).

Then you add the feat, and you end being able to completely control the game, and piece trade the Soldier for whatever the Ravagore has softened up. Then your opponent has to actually kill the soldier, giving the Ravagore another round to shoot, and meanwhile Thagrosh feats the Soldier back… well as long as it’s unfair to my advantage!

Fog of War makes the Harrier and Soldier bloody hard to hit at range (and even the Ravagore is solid at DEF 13), while impeding very little on my side of the table, and the solid synergies continue with Thagrosh getting a free animus each turn, which makes Massacre (the soldiers animus) extremely useful instead of very expensive.

The Harrier is something of an oddity, as it has no real place in games where the enemy is heavily armored and has plenty of boxes. It does of course serve the purpose of transfer target, but again the free animus each round rears it’s beautiful head, because the Harrier is basically a free automatic hit when Thagrosh enters melee.

Game 1

I face up against the standard Trollblood battle-box, run by a solid player I’ve seen do well at tournaments but I can’t remember playing against. The Trollblood list is pretty darn pillow-fisted, so I hug some cover and begin grinding his shooting down, daring him to come closer.

Chief Madrak Ironhide
– Troll Axer
– Troll Impaler
– Troll Impaler

It works well enough, as he has no cover on his side, so the Ravagore just has to deal with Sure Foot and Trollblood DEF isn’t that high. I piece trade my Soldier for one Impaler, while using Bad Blood and the Ravagore to soften up the second one, forcing him to commit.

HUG THE TOWER, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HIS LIST DOES!

Meh, was that it?

I end up being a douche and not noticing that Madrak1 has Critical Grievous Wounds, and suddenly a ‘you’ve got no chance in hell‘ assassination becomes a little bit of a nail-biter. Fortunately his dice don’t spike, and average rolls isn’t enough for him to get though the thick hide on Thagrosh (I like having a caster that can take a beating!), so Thagrosh steps on the puny troll.

Game 2

I face up against Allan who’s running the Cygnar – Stryker1 battle-box. Allan is the store manager and we’ve been buddies for about 17 years, but it’s been at least ten years since we’ve actually played a system at the same time. Allan is the one who introduced me to miniature wargaming back in 1997, so I sort of had to in this one to retain any honor.

Commander Coleman Stryker
– Charger
– Lancer
– Ironclad

This list seems a little weak against Hordes lists. I can see how disruption and a Charger with Snipe could be dangerous to Warmachine lists, but against Hordes it only really has that one round of high armor, and since I got first player I could simply back away during his feat round.

My gun is bigger than yours!

I run up. He advances up and his sniped Charger rolls spectacularly and deals 12 damage to my Soldier. The Ravagore returns fire and destroys the Chargers gun arm, effectively giving me complete control of the game. His list is extremely slow, and the only thing that can really hurt old Thagrosh is the 8.5″ threat Ironclad.

Knockdown, meh

He knocks me down and feats, thinking I will have no chance at destroying his forces with less available fury and with their extremely high ARM, and he’s right but he’s also a rookie. I get up and back away, leaving him out of range and with nothing to show for his feat. I felt a bit bad about it, but then again he did violate me back in the days where I was a rookie in his system (payback is a harsh mistress!).

He’s out gunned so he runs at me, and I destroy his list. We call it when he’s down to just Stryker1, facing an almost entirely unharmed Legion list, engaged by the Soldier, and with just two boxes left after the Soldier failed at dice. I still roll like crap, but it was a great night and just what I needed to shake off the WTC.

The future!

Next week is 15 points I think (it’s my first JML), so I get some more points to play around with. I’m thinking I want a Shredder in order to spam Tenacity, which should add even more issues for enemies when shooting (combined with Fog of War), and a Spell Martyr (for some early Bad Blood applications) or a Shepherd (Fury management and healing).

Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight
– Ravagore
– Nephilim Soldier
– Harrier
– Shredder
– Spell Martyr or Shepherd

I had a great evening and I got a bit of my spark back, just as intended (I love it when a plan comes together!). I’ve actually never played a battle-box game before, and I quite liked it… it presents a lot of interesting problems, while being simultaneously fast paced and relaxed.

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18 Responses »

  1. Why do you need to be first player to be able to back away?

    Is there any penalty for it otherwise?

  2. on the twitter pic whats the model in the middle? not the lesser one, the other winged thing?

  3. It really seems like that alternate Legion battle box is a total beast. I’m dreading going up against it with the gators :D Would be fun though, to have the Ravagore up against his little brother, the angry turtle ^^

    They were sworn enemies back when they were kids, after Thagrosh broke up the family and moved in with his “hotter” new blighted girlfriend, leaving little Ironback and his mother back in the swamp :D

  4. Definitely the Shepherd I would have thought for that last point, as yanking all the fury off the Ravagore (or forcing him when he’s way back) is just superb.

    Interesting that you’re doing a JM league – I got involved in one last summer to try and bump up the playerbase here and it was a blast. I’ve done it with the pMorg battlebox (generally beastly vs. all but pKreoss…) and Kaelyssa (good game against most, but nothing special, just toolbox and pray)….

    In both cases they gave me an excellent idea of what I was getting into with each faction, and certainly I enjoyed the learning experience even as an experienced player. Reassessing certain values, applying new strengths, working with what you have rather than what you need… these are great opportunities to finely hone your tactics and assess decisions in a new light :)

  5. Having done this exact same JM league.
    Week 1
    Thagrosh 1
    Ravagore
    Soldier
    Harrier

    Week 2 15
    + min spawn vessel ( it gains utility as you go up)
    + Shepard

    Week 3 @ 25
    + scythean
    + extra lunch.ladies

    Week 4 @ 35
    + max legionaires
    + Captain Farilor

    I went undefeated. 95% of games weren’t close.

    • I play Mondays immediately after long grueling hours at work, so not exactly the top of my game there… gotten my self killed twice now :D

      Looking at maybe the pot + Legionaires for week 4 as well.

  6. The pot is basically the “I win button” for small games.
    Being able to recycle points into fury is not insubstantial.

  7. It’s terrible bad. Don’t do it.
    However, beast mistresses are ALL the tits with thags.

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