(Mini) Tournament Report II

I took Minions out for the first time yesterday for a sort of mini steamroller (three rounds, one list, 35 points, 30 minute deathclock) in order to try to refamiliarize myself with the faction and with Hordes, neither of which I’ve really played very much of in a few years now (and really I’ve never dedicated serious time to Minions).  Low points events are inherently a little silly and people can contribute to that by bringing swingy lists.  Lover of midrange that I am I brought a list that I thought had a little of everything:

(Rask 1) Rask [+27] (Will Work for Food)
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Bull Snapper [5]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Bog Trog Mist Speaker [4]
Dahlia Hallyr [17]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [0(5)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [5]

The list generally fared fairly well throughout the evening, and in the hypothetical that I were to try to critique a list built for a 35 point single list format I think I’d only reconsider the Mist Speaker – whom I felt I had to include on the off chance that someone brought a Wraith Engine (or Deneghra II I guess).

Before the event began I played a quick scrimmage game against a local Cygnar player who had done the sensible thing and brought a very powerful and resilient Nemo III list to the event.

(Nemo 3) Artificer General Nemo [+25] (Heavy Metal)
– Dynamo [18]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Squire [0(5)]
Harlan Versh, Illuminated One [0(4)]
Storm Strider [18]

I went first in this one and was able to leverage that, scenario pressure, and Dark Waters to force Nemo into me.  When he did move in I was able to make kind of an odd play moving Skarath into melee with Dynamo at an angle so that the snake bounced diagonally forward off of Repulsor Field and into melee with Finch, which it used to overtake into Nemo and eat him.  That was a promising start, but I suspected things wouldn’t be so easy if I had to do it again – part of Rask’s game into Nemo has to do with forcing the issue in scenario – which is hard to do in many scenarios in the pack at such a low points level – and if Nemo were able to just wait me out I’d have to be more creative. . .

Round I – The Pit II


(Barnabas 2) Barnabas, Lord of Blood [+23] (Will Work for Food)
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Boneswarm [7]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [5]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Wrong Eye [17]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (min) [11]

I went second here, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to have to do in a reasonably live scenario with Rask’s engagement power.  Barnabas kept fairly central on his side, with the Bone Swarm heading to my right and the Boomhowlers to my left, and Wrongeye and Snapjaw unsurprisingly hugging their boss up the field – so that I would never not have to attack into Star Crossed if I were trying to engage Barny.

I had to split a little around a central Obstruction (of course so did he) and chose to keep Skarath – easily the most dangerous heavy in the army to Barnabas – to my left to start clearing the unit out of that zone and set up scoring on it, and to ensure that Barnabas couldn’t really try to personally threaten Rask without being charged by the snake.  Specifically, Skarath shot and killed Boomhowler while Dahlia cast Haunting Melody and moved up to probably annoy Barnabas a lot later in the game.  The Bull Snapper also went that way, equipped with Fury to trade up if it was allowed to.  On my Right I moved up the Wrastler with Admonition on it and screened it with Veil.  It likely couldn’t do much to scare Barnabas without Rask’s help (hard to provide with the Bone Shakers around) but at least Barnabas couldn’t really feasibly do anything to it either.

Barnabas did move my way, pushing towards the other side of the central obstruction while casting Execration and putting Swarm on himself and otherwise his army mostly tried to play around my threat ranges.  Wrongeye and Snapjaw also toed the central zone to make my scoring it harder, but at an angle that would make actually getting to them a tall order.  Another member of the Boomhowler unit ran at Skarath to engage it but was knocked down by a Retaliatory Strike spray.

Figuring that with my feat left to use very little could actually go wrong either way, I decided to see how close Skarath could come to killing Barnabas at effectively 17/18 with Star Crossed up and three transfers.  I suspected it was pretty close, and that I’d at least be chewing through most of Barnabas’ battlegroup in doing it.  So on my second turn I upkept Fury for free and first charged the Snapper into his objective to see what I could manage there.  What I managed was about 10 damage.  Rask then swapped Fury to Skarath and added Rage on top of that before feating and moving so that Barnabas couldn’t really walk around the building to get to him.  The Soul Slave popped Boundless onto Skarath as well and Dahlia ran to get both her bond onto Barny and also Haunting Melody.  Eilish added Puppet Master to complete the suite of buffs and Skarath charged in and boosted, hit, paralyzing Barny, and very nearly killed the Bone Swarm in one go on the damage roll.  The next three buys were exactly the worst kind for a model with Puppet Master on it – a lot of 6s that I didn’t want to reroll ending in a 7, and when the dust settled the Bone Swarm was dead, the Wrastler was at least hurting, and Barnabas had something like 7 boxes left.

Things didn’t get better for Big B as he had more trouble killing Skarath than he’d like, because none of the Bone Shakers were in walking range to provide Dark Shroud.  He did eventually get through the Snake but couldn’t do a great deal else other than get his Wrastler into the Snapper, which very immediately died.

Barny had deprived himself of Sac Pawn targets with his feat, which made it a much surer thing for me to give Rask Puppet Strings, walk around the building to Paralyze Barnabas with the Harpoon, and then send an overbuffed Swamp Horror in to get me the rest of the way to an assassination.

Round II – Breakdown


That same Nemo III list

Sooo, as I mentioned this is game is a much harder one in a situation like this – there’s really only the one scenario element for me to score, and it’s not one that it is hard for Nemo to contest without making huge concessions.  As a result, Dark Waters isn’t a free engage as it was in our prior game.  I did go first in this one, putting Admonition on the Wrastler and Fury on the Horror (which is a nice early game target because it really can’t meaningfully have its DEF reduced).  Nemo wasn’t having it this time, and was very cautious on the advance on his first turn.  So I moved to threaten significantly through the zones, but to generally stay out of 10/11” of his models, and popped my feat, hoping he’d feel more compelled to move into me than he was.  Fury was moved to Skarath this turn.

He unfortunately did not, and mostly spent his second turn shooting at his own Firefly to kill my Snapper, which was keeping the Wrastler company on my right side (the Wrastler did use Admonition to walk away from Orin once the Firefly ran so that at least leaps would only be hitting the two beasts).

I was left, then, with a Firefly in melee with my Wrastler but the true key model, the Strider, about 13.5” away from Skarath, and so a puzzle.  I certainly couldn’t just make attacks on the light in front of me for the turn, even scoring two I’d then immediately lose two beasts to Nemo’s feat and with them the ability to play the game meaningfully.  So I settled for a more ambitious line and had the Wrastler angle itself, Rage itself, and throw the Firefly directly away at such an angle that Skarath could use its entire charge distance to end up a legal charge on it while still moving right at the Storm Strider.  Rask then moved over to put Rage on the Snake and boosted his gun on the knocked down Firefly to be sure that Skarath would kill it in one attack.  Skarath then charged, killed the Firefly, and overtook to be in melee range of the Storm Strider, and wedged against a second Firefly so that I couldn’t be pushed out of melee.  It took my full four buys to do it, but I ate through the Strider and overtook to engage both of the remaining Fireflies.

Nemo on his turn used Forcehammer to disengage the two lights, and his feat and their shots as well as his own to remove the Snake, Dahlia, and Eilish (who I’d moved forward as sort of a firebreak – Dahlia was visible in my Veil of Mists cloud and not stealth because she’d had to run so Eilish moved up close to her but 4” away from Rask so that all Nemo could do was kill her but not in a way that could put damage rolls on Rask.  Dynamo also obliterated the Wrastler.

This all left Nemo a little out in the wind, however, so Rask moved up and shot him (paralysis again) and put Fury on the Horror, and the Soul Slave added Boundless.  It then charged a Firefly that had been sort of screening Nemo from it, dragged him in, and ate him.

Round III – Recon II


(Ossrum 1) General Ossrum [+28] (Irregulars)
– Ghordson Avalancher [17]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [6]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (max) [16]

This was an interesting matchup, as I’m actually a more experienced Ossrum player than my opponent (Vic of the Beer Thralls podcast – go have a listen) but he has also definitely played more Minions and specifically Rask Zoo lists than I have.  Fortunately for me, this was a very live scenario, which is quite a thing for Rask at this point level.  I went second here again, but again it was not such a bad thing for me that I did.  He moved up, put Snipe on the Avalancher and Bullet Dodger on Eiryss, and in return I more or less ran full tilt at him and feated, trying to keep too many of his Gunners/Blasters from having walk and shoot threat on a single heavy.  I kept Skarath and the Horror to my right zone, and the Wrastler toward the left (which ended up being a mild issue when I wanted to start spreading my battlegroup and then remembered that in Hordes this is not so easy a thing to do).

He contested the right zone with most of the Forge Guard unit on his second turn, and ran a Gunner more or less right at the Horror, somewhat screening its charge angles.  Otherwise he mostly remained cautious, and Ossrum set up shop behind his flag.

On my second turn I used the Horror and Skarath to bounce around the back end of the right zone to clear it and kill 8 Forge Guard in the process, and did a little incidental damage otherwise, and capped my flag with Orin, scoring two.  I kept Rask on Four (consciously running a little hot – the Horror was maxed on fury) and in a trench, and tried to move him to prevent Eiryss from drawing a bead – there was a central forest between us.

It is sometimes better to be lucky than good, as I did manage that, and so on his turn Ossrum feated and removed Dahlia (though it took him more effort than it probably should have, again, lucky on my part).  He also killed Orin in the Blaster spray that ultimately killed Dahlia, but did not get back into the right zone, letting me score another point and move to 3 at the end of his turn.  I was able to just run Rask to the flag in that zone to end the game.

All in all, the event was a good time, and a good way to start to get my feet wet in a faction.  Rask is obviously very good, and I think Minions are holistically rock solid at this point.  Minions have a ton of strong and interesting Warlocks, strange and effective tech pieces, and I really love the lesser Warlocks (even Brun at this point).  I can’t promise any protracted periods of dedicated Minions play for a bit, but they’re doing a good job of selling me on the idea of getting them on the table more.

Thanks for reading!