Battle 029 – Mercenaries Vs. Skorne – Ashlynn Vs. Makeda2

This week I was matched up against Kassem and his Skorne Army. I am still getting my feet wet with Mercs and Kassem is usually trying weird stuff so this should be a good battle.IMG_3594

Can the Mercenary Freedom fighters of Aslynn D’lyse be victorious against the sadistic hordes of Skorne? Stay tuned!

The lists I brought were 2 lists that I wanted to try out for the first time that were both competing for my Second list spot beside either 1 of my Dwarf casters or maybe MacBAIN.  One was a 4-Star Fiona the Black list with lots of Kayazy and a lot of the same characters as my Ashlynn list which was:

Max Nyss Hunters
Max Boomhowlers
Gun Mages + UA

These lists are competing for the same slot so they both had Rocinante, Sylys, Ragman, Boomhowlers and Nyss. Kassem didn’t care that I wasn’t character restricted because I am still trying out lists for Mercs and they were almost the same list with A) different casters and B)swapping Gun Mages/Mule for Kayazy Assassins/Elims.

The idea for Ashlynn’s list is jam with Boomhowlers and make them hard to kill at ranged with Quicken and in general with her feat. Mule on Gun Mages for lots of snipey crit devastation goodness, and Nyss Hunters to run around the flank and be annoying. Ragman and Alexia to actually kill things.

Kassem brought a Mordikaar list with a Despoiler and lots of Incorporeal models and the following Makeda2 list.

*Cyclops Raider
*Basilisk Krea
*Titan Gladiator
Max Nihilators
Extoller Soulward
Min Beast Handlers
Void Spirit

The basic premise of the list is to have a sniped, eyeless sighted Mammoth firing shots across the table all game while being pretty resilient against shooting with the Krea parked behind and a unit of reach berserk infantry jamming in front and then use the Agonizer to prevent the alpha strike by Jacks or beasts as a kind of mini-feat. Doesn’t seem like a bad plan.

Kassem wins the die roll and chooses to go first. I am ok with that because I want to take the side of the table with 2 hills on it. I want them almost as much to deny them to the Mammoth as I want them for my own long distance shooting heavies and Ashlynn with her base DEF17.

The scenario is destruction (Horizontal 12 x 6 zone with friendly and enemy objectives on the corners which contest the zone until they are destroyed. 1 CP for controlling the zone or killing the enemy objective, 2 CPs for dominating the zone.)


Kassem deployed in a clump in the center of the Board with the Mammoth dead center surrounded by Beast Handlers.  The Raider and Agonizer  were to the left and the Void Spirit was on the far left flank. To the right was the Krea and the Gladiator with Makeda and the Nihilators on the far right. The Will breaker and Soulward nestled behind the Mammoth.IMG_3585

I deployed Aslynn in the center of the Table behind the well with Sylys, Rupert and Reinholdt nearby.  The Nyss Hunters went on the left flank.  Boomhowlers went slightly right of center with Alexia to their right and Gun Mages with their Mule on the left flank

IMG_3584 With that we are deployed and Ready to go. IMG_3586

Skorne Turn 1

-Makeda puts Leash on the Gladiator, casts Road to War and puts 1 fury into the Agonizer. She walks forward and Leashes the Gladiator forward.
-Nihilators run forward and spread out in front of the zone.
-Void spirit runs up the left flank
-Cyclops Snipes the Mammoth and charges forward.
-Agonizer runs forward
-Mammoth runs forward.IMG_3590
-Gladiator puts rush on the Krea
-Krea uses its animus and walks forward.
-Beast Handlers walk forward and whip fury off the Gladiator, Krea and Raider.
-Soulward runs up
-Willbreaker walks up ancillary attacks the Mammoth and the shot deviates to nowhere.  IMG_3591

Mercs Turn 1

-Nyss hunters run up the left flank and spread outIMG_3593
-Mule walked forward and shot at a Nihilator and was out by 1/2″ and it deviated nowhere.
-Ashlynn walked up and put Quicken on the Boomhowlers and Admonition in herself.
-Boomhowler shouts Call of Defiance and they run screaming across the table deep into the zone. Boomhowler stays back on the hill.IMG_3594
-Gun Mages walk forward and 1 kills a Nihilator and the rest were out of range.IMG_3595
-Alexia walked forward and crafted a Thrall.
-Ragman hides a couple inches behind Boomhowler on the hill.
-Sylys and the Gobber just shift around a bit.
-Rupert puts Tough on the Nyss.
-Alexia’s Thrall repositioned. IMG_3596

Skorne Turn 2

I have presented Kassem with a target rich environment and hopefully I can continue to jam him out of the one and not lose too much.

-Void Spirit runs to engage 2 Nyss Hunters.
-Nihilators walk up and do attacks on Boomhowlers in the zones. First misses. Second toughs. Third misses. Fourth Misses. Kassem burns his dice.IMG_3598
-Cyclops put snipe on the Mammoth and Aimed at a Boomhowler and killed it.
-Makeda moved up and leashed the Gladiator forward and cast the Krea’s animus.
-Mammoth moved up ad fired a bunch of shots. 2 at Boom Howler on the hill. First missed and deviated straight forward and killed Ragman and a Risen the second just killed a Risen. Third shot went into a Gun Mage. It was short but deviated into one and killed him. Ancillary shot went into the Nyss and landed on 2 of them and one of them Toughed. The other died.IMG_3600
-Krea moved up, animus-ed and fired at a Boomhowler but was out of range.
-Beast Handlers moved up and whipped fury off the Mammoth cyclops and Krea. IMG_3599

Mercs Turn 2

That could have gone much worse. Losing Ragman was a blow. I don not know how I am going to be able to deal with the Mammoth now.

-Nyss advance forward to try to provoke free strikes from the void spirit but Kassem doesn’t take the bait. The kill 2 Beast Handlers and out 3 damage on the Cyclops and miss the Willbreaker like 3 times.IMG_3603
-Sylys whispers arcane secrets to Ashlynn
-Reinholdt gives her lucky charm.
-Ashlynn fires off a twister at the Void Spirit and making use of arcane secrets, and lucky charm and boosting to be sure since the Void Spirit has cover from the bridge. She hits amazingly, and boosts damage to ensure the kill. That was a lot of resources to kill a 2pt solo.IMG_3602
-Rocinante aims and puts 4 damage on the Mammoth.
-Piper moves up and puts Tough and fearless on the Nyss.
-Mule aims and fires at a Nihilator. It uses the jack marshal boost and gets the Crit. Kills 2 Nihilators, puts 2 damage on the Soulward and tosses the Gladiator back 5 inches causing so collateral damage to some Beast Handlers. Makeda spends a fury to keep a Beast Handler from dying.
-Gun Mages move up and fire Crit Brutal shots at the objective and do around 4 damage.IMG_3604
-Boomhowlers shuffle a bit and kill 3 Nihilators and 1 smacks the objective for a few more points.
-Alexia moves up and crafts a Thrall which walks up to the objective and smacks it for a couple more points for a total of 8 damage.


Skorne Turn 3

Those crit Dev shots are amazing.  Takes forever to resolve it but one thing Titans don’t like is to be thrown 5 inches further away from the action on their asses.  Beast Handlers don’t like Titans lands on their necks either.

-Nihilators activate and 2 are out of CMD and have to walk back in and the leader takes a swing at a Boomhowler and misses.
-Cyclops aimed and shot at Cylena and killed her but she toughed. He put snipe on the Mammoth.
-Willbreaker ancillaried the Mammoth to shoot Cylena again. It hit and killed her and another Nyss hunter.
-Mammoth activated. First shot into the Nyss, deviated but still killed 1, Second shot at Nyss hunter and deviated onto 2, third shot at Greygore Boomhowler missed but still hit him and Alexia. He did 1 damage to Boomhowler and boosted for 6 damage on Alexia which cost her 2 risen. Mammoth put counterblast on itself.IMG_3606
-Krea shot a Boomhowler and Paralyzed him.
-Soulward shot the paralyzed Boomhowler and he toughed.
-Makeda killed the Thrall standing by the objective she leased the Gladiator and put up the Krea animus on herself
-Beast Handlers whipped off fury from the Krea and the Mammoth.


Mercs Turn 3

This turn I want to take out the objective and maybe put some damage on the Mammoth. I still have no idea how I’m going to deal with it but at lest the Boomhowlers are keeping it in place.

-Rocinante goes first.  I had given him 3 focus so that he could kill the objective and the 2 Nihilators standing next to it with blast damage BUT he rolls snake eyes to hit it. The shot deviates back and catches 3 Boomhowlers and the objective in the blast. I boost on the objective but it fails to wound.  I fail to wound 2 of the Boomhowlers but 1 breaks armour and toughs.
-Nyss walk up the flank so more and all fire shots into the Cyclops but only do light damage.
-Ashlynn gets Lucky Charmed by Reinholdt and Arcane Secreted by Sylys and pops her feat to try to zap a Nihilator in front of the Mammoth with a twister to clear some charge lanes. and she misses. I’m not sure what the exact odds were on that one. I needed an 11 on 2 dice to hit but I had 6 dice to get it with. It deviates to nowhere and she advances towards the center of the board to get the mule and the Mammoth in her control area.
-Piper puts tough and fearless on Alexia.
-Alexia aims and boost with a risen to kill the Nihilator that Ashlynn failed to hit.
-Mule aims at the Krea and crits again.The AoE hits the Krea, Gladiator, 2 Nihilators and 2 Beast Handlers. It kills 1 each of the Nihilators and Beast Handlers and put some decent damage on the Krea. Collateral kills the Soulward but Makeda spends a fury to keep it alive.IMG_3611
-Gun Mages kill a Nihilator and the rest do Crit Brutal Shots at the Objective but only do a couple points of damage because it’s in the bubble from the Krea animus on Makeda.
-Boomhowlers get a charge order. 3 Get charge attacks on the Mammoth they do a decent amount of damage and 2 get non-charge attacks on the objective and leave it on 1 box.IMG_3609
-Finally a Thrall charges in on the objective.  Weapon master charge dice minus 8, I roll a 7.


Skorne Turn 4

I didn’t get much done that turn but hopefully I can survive with enough models to recover.

-Nihilator ran to be near the objective.
-Soulward took a shot through the objective at Thrall and killed him.
-Makeda moved towards the center and pooped her feat, gave the Agonizer 2 more fury and Leashed the Gladiator forward.
-Mammoth took melee attacks against Boomhowlers. I managed to force 2 missed attacks due to Ashlynn’s feat but with tough rolls he still managed to kill 3 Boomhowlers with 3 initials and 3 bought attacks. Then he put counterblast on himself.IMG_3613
-Willbreaker did ancillary shot from Mammoth at some Nyss and it deviated wide.
-Cyclops aimed and killed a Nyss.IMG_3615
-Agonizer did it no focus allocation thing and ran forward to catch Rocinante.
-Gladiator moved up into the forest.
-Beast Handlers whipped fury off the Krea.


Mercs Turn 4

Running out of Nyss and I can’t use Rocinante to take out the Mammoth this turn.  Gonna have to improvise.

-Alexia puts some Risen out around the Agonizer. She charges the Mammoth, one Risen charges the Objective and 5 of them clump around the Agonizer. The 5-Risen CMA hits but fails to kill the Agonizer because Risen suck. Alexia starts hacking away chunks of the Mammoth using Risen to buy and boost damage I think she got her charge attack plus 4 more boosted damage attacks and left the Mammoth somewhere around 10 health. Alexia is such a bonkers model.IMG_3618
-Nyss activate. One charges the Agonizer and misses. One charges the Mammoth and does a couple points of damage and one charges the Cyclops and does about 10 damage.
-Boohowlers howl 4+ tough and charge. Greygore charges the Mammoth but gets counter blast punched in the face but passes his tough roll. There is only 1 other attack on the Mammoth and doesn’t do any damage. The other ones manage to kill a Nihilator and the objective.
-Ashlynn aimed at the Agonizer with her Hand cannon and kills it the uses Reinholdt’s reload shot to put a couple more points onto the Mammoth. Totally could have put an arcane secreted twister into him for more damage but forgot.
-The Mule fires on the Mammoth and crits which means the damage roll isn’t ranged and doesn’t suffer the Krea bonus and I roll just enough to kill the Mammoth with jack marshal boost.IMG_3617
-Gun Mages go. Some aim and some advance. 1 kills the last Nihilator in the zone and the rest fire pot shots off at the Soulward but most miss or can’t wound.
-Rocinante aims and fired at the Krea and missed and it scatters wide.

IMG_3616  Skorne Turn 5

-Extoller shot at Alexia and missed.
-Krea moved up and got 1 Nyss Boomhowler and Alexia in its minus 2 defense animus bubble and shot at Alexia and hit making her Def 7.
-Makeda moved up and killed Alexia swung at a Boomhowler who toughed and she Strangleholded Rocinante.IMG_3620
-Cyclops killed a Nyss.
-Gladiator killed a Nyss.
-Will Breaker tried to influence a Nyss and missed.


Mercs Turn 5

-Mule aimed at the Krea and hit and crit once again. It caught The Krea, the Gladiator, Makeda and the Willbreaker in the AoE.  They all got thrown 4 inches back killing a Beast Handler and still not killing the Willbreaker, but importantly all of it including Makeda was knocked down.
-Boomhowlers all aimed and shot at Makeda and did a bit of damage to her but not a lot due to the Krea animus which was still up.IMG_3623
-Gun Mages moved up and all shot at Makeda with Crit Brutals and did a little bit of damage.
-Ashlynn got reloaded and arcane secreted and walk up and pulled Makeda in with Gallows doing a fair chunk of damage and forced Makeda’s first Transfer and left her on 1 box.
-Rocinante couldn’t aim but he shot at Makeda and forced her last transfer doing 6 damage.IMG_3624
-Finally the last Nyss hunter walked around and auto-hit Makeda in melee and I needed a 9 to kill on 3 dice and rolled a 12.

IMG_3622   Victory to Mercs!

Thoughts on the game:

-I probably didn’t deserve this one. The entire win hinged on a Crit Dev knock down and I made a bunch of bad decisions in the last turn.  The biggest was probably doing ranged attacks with the Boomhowlers.  I should have waited on them and done auto-hitting melee attacks instead.  Some of them could have gotten charges off.

– I have no idea how I was able to kill that Mammoth.  Once Ragman died I didn’t really have any hope of taking it down.  It turns out Alexia is a monster when she has Risen to burn.  I wasn’t even rolling fire.  She is just that good. It was just one or 2 spikes on my 5 attacks that brought it down far enough to be in kill-able range. I also got really lucky that Kassem didn’t respect Alexia’s PS12 sword enough to use his counter blast on her (or maybe he forgot about it) He might have one-shotted her or at least made her burn a big chuck of Risen to survive.

-I can see why Mule on Gun Mages is a thing I shot 4 times with it this game and rolled crit 4 times.  Obviously that’s not always going to happen. Even on the last turn until I got that crit roll that knocked down Makeda I still felt like I was going to lose this game. The main problem is that the Crit Dev attacks take a really long time to resolve.  I had to move a lot of models do least disturbance a couple times, roll collateral damage and throw damage.  I’m pretty sure each one took about 5 minutes to resolve. If we’d been playing on a clock I would have timed out or death-clocked myself easily. I don’t see how you can get around it because even if you know what you’re doing your opponent is going to have no idea if you are moving all his models around correctly and I can see it being a hassle in a competitive environment. Chances of rolling critical 4 times in a row is 1.2% by the way. I’ll take it.

-Boomhowlers were stars in this game. They didn’t kill a whole lot but they did so much work clogging the zone and chipping away at the Nihilators. Getting them up field with Quicken on turn 1 was so important for how well they did this game.

-Nyss Hunters mostly just died this game but they did divert a lot of Mammoth fire away from my more important things, like Alexia.

-Ashlynn.  I am still not sold on her as a caster.  Her feat didn’t do much in this match-up and her damage output is severely lacking.  I gave her Ragman to mitigate that and he died to a random deviation which is sad and won’t always happen but can happen easily. That said I’m not sure she would be the normal Skorne drop so she might still have a place.  I definitely didn’t enjoy her as much as Damiano, who is another caster competing for her slot.

3 thoughts on “Battle 029 – Mercenaries Vs. Skorne – Ashlynn Vs. Makeda2

  1. Great report, Nick! I think it’s interesting you prefer Damiano over Ashlynn… I haven’t played either, but I think she interests me more than he does.

    Also, rough luck on Ragman, and I completely agree about you charging with the Boomhowlers instead of shooting on that last turn. Charge 3 of them in to do as much damage (and force transfers) as possible after using the ATGM with their Crit Brutals. Then use Rocinante to take a shot at one of the Boomhowlers, hopefully killing it but if not, at least knocking it down. Ashlynn then moves up and shoots/Gallows Makeda through the hole you just made (only shots if the Boomhowler Toughed, Gallows if he was polite enough to die), and then walk the Nyss in to finish her off if Ashlynn couldn’t close the deal. But that’s just me.

    Thanks for the writeup!

  2. Thanks for the report. One thing about Boomhowlers and the Mammoth – did you always stick to the 4+ tough call, or did you try Ragehowler? I haven’t run the stats, but against the Mammoth Ragehowler might have increased Boomies’ survivability more than 4+ tough, simply through fewer attacks hitting.

    You’re right about Ashlynn’s damage output being an issue, especially against a Gargossal list. I’d prefer Damiano or Durgen in those match-ups. I don’t like Ragman with Ashlynn, simply because he’s quite slow, and Ashlynn’s lists (especially with Quicken) tend to be quite fast. I’d probably have spent the points on Gorman and try for Black Oil to neutralise the Mammoth for a turn.

    I’m coming round to Ashlynn as an anti-Cryx list. Her feat makes it really hard for most Cryx infantry to hit reasonable DEF merc troops, damage output is less of an issue as Cryx is usually low-ARM (Terminus is an exception, of course) and Highborn Covenant gets enough anti-stealth/magic weapon to deal with lots of Cryx tricks.

    I think she might also be reasonable against opponents with either fairly squishy heavies and/or typically infantry heavy. There’ll be some bad match-ups, but Legion, Circle and Khador might all fall into those categories (as would Cygnar and Mercs, but it’s so rare to see them without a colossal these days).

    • You are very right about Rage Howler. I forgot about it in this game. That combined with the feat would have saved a bunch of them.

      I still like Ragman. If he’d been alive Alexia might have finished the mammoth by herself. I can see the case for Gorman though. There are so many power solos in mercs that’s its hard to pick sometimes.

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