Tag: Steamroller

This past weekend I attended a 20 person local steamroller and brought the familiar pair of Ossrum and Thexus, lists as follows:

(Ossrum 1) General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist [0(4)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Ragman [0(4)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [6]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (min) [10]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (min) [10]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]

(Thexus 1) Exulon Thexus [+29]
– Warden [10]
– Warden [10]
– Wrecker [14]
Cephalyx Agitator [3]
Cephalyx Agitator [3]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max) [11]
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max) [11]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Overlords [0(8)]
Cephalyx Overlords [0(8)]
Croe’s Cutthroats (max) [16]
– Cephalyx Dominator [1]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
– Cephalyx Dominator [1]

The questions that I was particularly interested in answering throughout the event were:

  • Whether I should give into my dissatisfaction with Forge Guard and move to an entirely battlegroup and “other” list model with Ossrum (I think Cory Doyle has run a list along the lines of what I’m imagining).
  • Whether the Croes held up their end with Thexus.  I’m not necessarily that enchanted with the backstab/TK combination because they still tend to run into problems with really formidable ARM values, but Thexus is already such a good scenario warcaster I wondered whether he might be able to make a lot out of having an AD presence.  I also had faint inklings that Croe himself and Silencer might be tech for some matchups (e.g. Kolgrimma as a way to stave off giving up looks at an assassination by shooting Mulg).
  • Whether I felt that I needed a more straightforward midrange list to grind against stat skews (probably a Damiano list).
Round I – Breakdown

(Nemo 3) Artificer General Nemo [+25] in Storm Division
– Dynamo [18]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator [4]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]
Stormsmith Stormcaller (3) [0(5)]
Stormsmith Stormcaller (3) [0(5)]
Stormsmith Storm Tower [4]
Storm Strider [18]
Storm Strider [18]

My opponent, a local, and I were a little miffed that we were matched up immediately (but of course you always are) and I was also a little miffed to have to play Nemo III on a fairly slow scenario.  On the top of turn one I ran, aiming to keep my options open if only I could get away with taking a solid shot at Nemo right away and duck having to have a real plan for the game.  This involved keeping lines of threat as open for both of the Gunners as possible around a central obstruction and being sure that Eiryss and the Artillery could manage to clear the same for LOS (but without making a show of measuring from either too much).  The former got Snipe and the latter Fire for Effect.  On the bottom of one Nemo didn’t quite play things safely enough.  He didn’t advance aggressively, but didn’t have to, really, and really I was happy to take what I could get.  Nemo ended the turn having put Electrify somewhere (not on himself, which was really what mattered) and Lightning Shroud somewhere else (not on himself either, but in this case it didn’t matter) and then on the top of two I threw a lot of dice at him.  Eiryss got the show started by seeing if I could roll a 5 and then, having proven that I could, I figured that I was feating this turn regardless of what happened vis a vis killing an elderly inventor, and so I did (but didn’t do damage).  I ran the Basher up into a trench to engage a Firefly near one Strider, to try to encourage poor scenario play as much as I could, but I then managed to avoid coming up with any more ideas because the Artillery and a Gunner killed him.

https://i.imgur.com/dEZXgW4.jpg https://i.imgur.com/WBJaFuI.jpg

Round II –  Standoff

(Mortenebra 1) Master Necrotech Mortenebra [+24] in Black Industries
– Deathjack [23]
– Deathripper [6]
– Malice [15]
– Reaper [13]
– Scavenger [0(7)]
– Scavenger [0(7)]
– Seether [13]
– Seether [13]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Necrotech [2]
Necrotech [2]
Warwitch Siren [4]
Warwitch Siren [4]

This looked like a job for Thexus to me, as I have generally been rewarded for trusting his ability to trade well with Cryx heavies, and it was Cryx heavies on the other side regardless of the list my opponent took (the other was also in BI – a Venethrax list).  This was also a good chance to test the premise that Croes are actually a live unit even against fairly shooting resilient lists that Ossrum might draw out (BI certainly being one, Forges another) because those lists don’t necessarily have the same durability in melee and Thexus facilitates their backstab charges as well as their backstab shooting.

After I moved up on the top of one my opponent responded by moving fairly aggressively and particularly by getting the DJ up behind a central obstruction with Spectral Steel on the bottom of one and trying to keep as safe from my Machine Wraiths as possible (mine were certainly the better Wraiths in the matchup).  I was reasonably sure that I had a decent long game, but also that the game would be pretty short if the Deathjack (or possibly any Cryx heavy) ever got to Thexus, so I spent a bit of time early making sure that I wasn’t within 16″ if I could possibly help it.  On the top of two I accepted that I would have to get within the magic distance if I wanted to have a decent feat, which I did, pulling the Reaper towards the ambushing slavers on the right, the Deathjack towards the Machine Wraith that hopefully spelled its end and TKing the Inflictor on the left side around to set up a Croe unit charge.  Everything went relatively well except in re: the Deathjack, which I failed to roll a five to hit.  I contented myself by trying to jam it up behind the central obstruction as thoroughly as I could, charging in a Warden and beating it back diagonally towards the Cryx deployment zone. The turn was otherwise relatively uneventful, though I managed to kill a Siren but not a Machine Wraith with the one Overlord in range on my right.  On the bottom of two the Deathjack and Seether certainly killed the sacrificial Warden very thoroughly, but otherwise things went fairly well, but he scored a point on his close zone and kept the others contested.  On the top of three I took down the Seether that had been playing patsy to the Deathjack and did a moderate amount of damage to it as well via Adrenal Flooded drudges.  At some point either during this turn or the turn previous I also brought down the two Scavengers.  I scored both my near zone and the right circular zone on the turn to go up 2-1.  On the bottom of three the Deathjack removed my Wrecker, and Malice continued to mostly soak up attacks and hoard souls, slowly fighting the Bender unit on the left but being ARM 22 and in a zone more than anything else.  He scored his near zone one again on this turn, 2-2.  On top of four the combination of a boosted hex blast and three AF drudges finished off the Deathjack, though after Aiyana whiffed her Harm roll.  My volume of attack advantage ground him down to Malice, his Deathripper (scuffed), Darryl and Mortenabra by the end of the turn, and I scored 2 to go up 4-2 (Thexus wasn’t quite ready to get into my friendly zone and my Monstrosities were now gone).  On bottom of four, without a much else to do, Morty went in herself and started collecting souls,  and Malice killed the remaining Warden, but I scored again at the end of the turn, 5-2.  That allowed me to walk Thexus into my near zone and end the turn on top of five to go up to 7-2 and win on scenario.  

https://i.imgur.com/kQ0cVCr.jpg https://i.imgur.com/jl3Vz77.jpg https://i.imgur.com/k2ZUcy8.jpg https://i.imgur.com/GE0kPXY.jpg https://i.imgur.com/CYHa9pM.jpg

Round III – Spread the Net 

(Amon 1) High Allegiant Amon Ad-Raza [+29] in The Creator’s Might
– Dervish [7]
– Devout [9]
– Indictor [15]
– Sanctifier [14]
– Sanctifier [14]
– Templar [15]
– Templar [15]
– Hierophant [0(3)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
The Covenant of Menoth [0(4)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [3]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

My opponent was somewhat concerned from the word go in this one, as he selected Amon out of concern for the Harbinger’s safety against Ossrum, while I assumed that he likely wouldn’t be interested in playing her, and so brought Thexus, content to see what I could do in the matchup if I did end up seeing Harby. He went first and moved forward on top of one, but had to give me a friendly zone that would be pretty punishing to contest, because an obstruction allowed me to really remove a warjack at a time without providing easy angles for retaliatory trades.  He was concerned a second time on bottom of one, as he appreciated the issue that my machine wraiths presented for him (he could attack them well enough because of the Sanctifiers, but couldn’t easily do anything about them until they were committed, which would generally entail sacrificing something much more valuable for the opportunity).  On top of two he moved a Sanctifier into my friendly zone, enlivining it because it was better to do than not.  The vassal responsible set up camp on his flag, with an Indictor for company. Contesting my friendly flag with a heavy was a bridge too far at this point, however, and so on bottom of two I killed the Sanctifier and crippled the cortex and sword arm of the Indictor with the ambushing drudges, positioning the rest of the unit so as to not easily give up backstrikes to Stacy (it wouldn’t do for a Merc to get got by ambush) and killed the Vassal with an Overlord.  A Machine Wraith ran to my flag and so I ended the turn up 2-0.  He felt that things did not portend a long and successful scenario game at this point, and so got aggressive, feating with Amon and ending the turn on one focus and in his friendly zone, which he scored.  He dealt with the wraith my flag with a Dervish after getting the Sanctifier in range.  I don’t believe he contested my friendly zone, and so the turn ended 3-1.  on top of three I felt I had something of a free roll at Amon, as I could probably score both my friendly zone and his flag and make attritional inroads with the drudges and monstrosities on that die of the board, leaving the Bender unit, Overlords, and Holt without anything quite as essential to do with their activations.  One of the overlords managed to hit him and did 1-2 damage through his single focus, and Thexus set Holt up by TKing him into range to aim, and Holt obliged by hitting twice and doing what I think was very average damage.  The Bender unit then advanced one drudge into melee via an Adrenal Flood and the one attack proved enough to force a tough roll, which Amon failed, saving me from having to continue a longer game on attrition and scenario.

https://i.imgur.com/Ew215di.jpg https://i.imgur.com/kEtAsKz.jpg

Round VI – Recon II

(Kolgrima 1) Kolgrima Stonetruth, Winter Witch [+28] in Power of Dhunia
– Dire Troll Bomber [19]
– Dire Troll Brawler [16]
– Dire Troll Mauler [15]
– Mulg the Ancient [22]
– Troll Axer [10]
– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]
Bog Trog Mist Speaker [4]
Troll Whelps [0(4)]
Troll Whelps [0(4)]
Dhunian Knot [6]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]
– Stone Scribe Elder [3]
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew [2]

There were three undefeated after four rounds, and I ended up being the pair down.  Fortunately we all agreed that we weren’t about to play through 10:30 or 11:00 and that we’d just split in the event that I won and we didn’t have a clear winner at the end of the round.  That decision proved wise as both my opponent and I were tired in this one.  Early on I cemented in his mind the conclusion that he didn’t like his chances in a long game by very nearly killing his Bomber for free via a Rampager and the Aiyana/Croe unit activations (and I will add because I can’t stop myself that I should actually have killed it).  He ended up spending his turn two (bottom of two) tanking for a good thirty minutes trying to find a way to kill me, which I didn’t think he could, as Thexus was on a hill, camping 3, with a shield guard and both on the other side of a forest from Kolgrimma and Mulg and more than 21″ from the former and 19″ from the latter (and there weren’t really viable Hunter’s Mark targets around, the angle that would be created would require Mulg to turn to face away from Thexus to get up the table).  Happily for me my opponent eventually decided that I had done a good job of avoiding offering any sort of viable assassination and he conceded, having taken up most of his clock and also having not done anything significant to keep his shot at attrition alive.

The night was capped off by discovering that the game that I didn’t have to play would have been into Madrak I.  I could certainly stand to get more practice in that one, but in this particular case I was more than happy to let the opportunity escape me.

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

Vs.

(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

Vs.

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

Vs.

(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!