With Nick playing Gaven for this week’s Podcast game (coming out on Monday!), I was left free to challenge Kassem. Kassem is also planning on attending the same tournament that Aaron, Nick, and I are planning to attend (as well as Adam, I believe!), so we were both rockin’ lists we wanted to test out for said tournament.
Kassem was actually trying to decide between 2 experimental lists for the event… two Skorne warlocks that he had “good feelings” about, but had never tested: Makeda3, and Mordikar.
As for me, I’m still pretty unfamiliar with both my lists and warcasters, although I’m certainly getting better. I figured another chance to get more comfortable with the Harbinger was more important than testing out my new eFeora build… which I hopefully will get done during my next games against Ozzie! Besides, taking Errants with Rhupert and a no-knockdown effect… too awesome to pass up!
Our Scenario was Fire Support: two central flags, 1 friendly objective on the left and 1 enemy objective on the right. Objectives contest the flags, and you get 1 CP for destroying the enemy objective, 1 for controlling either flag, and 2 for dominating either flag. Also, the Objectives give boosted damage for Light Artillery within 3″ or 4″ when not contested, but neither Kassem nor I brought any this game… more’s the pity, since Skorne and the Protectorate both have some really cool artillery pieces!
We rolled for initiative, which Kassem won and chose to go first. I selected the table side with the forest, hoping to get a Scenario lead on Kassem early on.
Kassem’s List was as follows:
Makeda and the Exaulted Court (Makeda3, 3keda)
– Exaulted Guardian
– Exaulted Guardian
– Molik Karn
– Titan Gladiator
– Cyclops Brute
– Basilisk Krea
– Aptimus Marketh
Tyrant Commander and Standard Bearer
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min)
An interesting list… I was happier to see it than Mordikar list (“Hollow” is just… just awful…), and was pretty confident I could handle it. I was curious why Kassem bothered with the Agonizer in a list that will face WarMachine at least half the time… seems like a Hordes-only thing… menh, probably shouldn’t worry about it.
The Krea, on the other hand… that’s a neat little warbeast! It’s gotta die.
Kassem set up with his heavies and Cyclops on my right flank, the Nihilators extending through the middle, and Makeda and her escorts near the middle behind them (a little hard to spot, due to her being the same black as the Nihilators!). The Agonizer went near the warbeasts with the Willbreaker, the Void Spirit went WAY on the left, Aptimus went between Makeda and Molik Karn, the Soulward went near the Nihilators on the left, and the Beast Handlers went near the beasts (duh).
My list was as follows:
The Harbinger of Menoth (Harby)
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Exemplar Errant UA (Officer and Standard)
Exemplar Errant Seneschal (proxied by a Knight Exemplar)
Choir of Menoth (min)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
High Paladin Darten Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall (proxied by dismounted Gravus)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
The Covenant of Menoth (“The Book”)
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist
There… are a lot of solos in this list. Like… a lot. Which normally would make me at least a little nervous… but with Harby? Oh, this will probably be fine… I just have to make sure I don’t cut her too deeply to keep them alive when there’s a viable (or even SEMI-viable) assassination run on the table.
For my deployment, I put the Harbinger slightly closer to the left side of the table (and slightly further away from Kassem’s warbeasts!), with both “normal” Paladins of the Wall and the Allegiant at 10″ away to her right… my hope was to use those three models, appropriately self-buffed, to contest Kassem’s zone for the entire game. I didn’t care if they killed anything, as long as they refused to die. The Reckoner went on that flank as well, along with one of the Vassals, and a few Choir. The Book went closer to the middle, next to the Harbinger and her Hierophant, with the Vanquisher and the other Vassal going across the table from Kassem’s Nihilators, and the Devout nearby. Vilmon went 10″ to the right of the Harbinger, his responsibility being to either Control or contest his flag while I wiped out everything else to let me start scoring. The Wracks went scattered far and wide (one far right, one far left, one behind center), and the Advanced Deployed Errants with the Seneschal took the middle of the table, ready to introduce Nihilators to the joy that is Blessed Magical Crossbows of Pain/Death.
Thus prepared, our forces were ready for the epic battle that was to follow! Would the protection of Menoth be enough to stave off the stone-soul infused forces of Skorne?
Only one way to find out!
Skorne Turn 1
Okay, TECHNICALLY not true. The Nihilators ran. The Krea used its defensive animus and then charged, while the Gladiator cast its animus on Molik Karn and then walked. Molik ran forward, as did the Cyclops Brute, while the Tyrant Commander and Standard Bearer ran behind the Nihilators. The Extoller Soulward took up a position in cover to the right side, while the Void Spirit ran up behind a building.
Makeda dropped 4 Fury onto her little Fury-Battery-Agonizer, and then she and her 2 stone guardians moved down the table. The Paingivers moved up and whipped off a bunch of Fury, and Kassem was done!
Menoth Turn 1
Just so everyone knows, this was the point in the game that Aaron arrived home, and as a result the pictures will see a remarkable improvement from here on out.
Regardless, I could tell 2 things pretty clearly this turn:
1. It was going to be Feat turn,
2. I was going to get to shoot many of Kassem’s guys. Twice. Which is awesome.
With that in mind, 1 Focus went on each warjack, and Harby camped the rest.
The Errants went first, moving forward and opening fire. The first shot, needing a 7, hit Molik Karn, and Kassem forced me to reroll… which hit. Kassem forced another reroll… which hit. Kassem forced another reroll… which hit. Kassem forced his LAST reroll… and that one missed.
The next Errant in line (I like to imagine him with several question marks over his head as he watches his companion, in a blurring flurry of movement, reload and fire off 5 crossbow bolts almost instantaneously!) fires at Molik, and hits for 2 points of damage. Why Kassem was so scared of a POW10 on an ARM18 warbeast, I will never know…
The next Errant fires at the Agonizer (sure, it’s probably not worth killing, but denying Makeda those 4 Fury later in the game could be significant!), hits, and inflicts 5 damage.
Two more shoot at it, both miss.
The rest open fire on the front line of Nihilators… 2 are killed (after Toughing) and 1 more Toughs successfully.
Oh, and one hits one of Makeda’s Exaulted Court, pinging him for 6 damage (!).
The Errant Seneschal activates, moves up, and takes a shot at the Agonizer… which flies wide.
The Covenant walks forward and announces that there will be No Knockdowns on this, the Forty-Fifth High Holy Day of The Muskrat. Because That Would Be Improper.
Rhupert walks forward and gives the Errants “Tough”.
Harby walks forward, pops her Feat, and takes a Focus from the left-flank Wrack, which decides that life is not worth living and explodes.
One of my paladins runs forward towards the flag, while the other walks up and drops into “Impervious Wall”. Vilmon runs foward towards his flag, careful to stay within 10″ of the Harbinger… just in case. The Allegiant runs forward, skirting through the forest.
The Reckoner runs forward. Its Vassal gives it an Ancillary attack, which goes towards Molik, but sadly is out of range by about half an inch.
The Vanquisher runs forward, and is given an Ancillary Attack by its Vassal, which scatters away harmlessly. Boo.
The Devout walks forward, announces that there will be No Casting of Spells Targeting the Harbinger on This, the 29th Day of Mourning The Loss of St. Fuzzybottoms.
The Choir activates and sings that There Will Be No Casting of Spells Targeting My Warjacks, on This, The 179.34th Day of Remembering Your Socks Should Always Match.
There are a lot of holy days in the Menite calendar.
With that, my turn was over, and it was back to my noble opponent!
Skorne Turn 2
On the one hand, Kassem was in a rough spot… anybody facing the Harbinger’s Feat is in a rough spot, really… but on the other hand, he DID have an awful lot of high-ARM models with which to continue to contest or threaten me with… just, not in the middle of the table.
Makeda draws back in her Fury, and we’re ready to go.
The Tyrant Commander activates, moves laterally and slightly further away from Harby, and uses “Desperate Pace” on Makeda and her Court.
One of the Nihilators stands up, another retreats slightly to make room for Makeda to move forward.
Makeda goes next, casting Molik Karn’s “Fate Walker” animus on herself and then striding forward confidently. She takes 2 points of damage from the Feat, which she shuffles off to the Krea. The damaged Court walks forward… and is outright obliterated by the Feat! Nice. The other decides that standing still is the better part of valour.
Makeda casts Eliminator at a group of Errants… oh, wait, they can’t be targeted by spells! Cursing, Kassem instead has Makeda list all of the prime numbers up to 7,907 in her head.
Molik Karn charges my Seneschal, taking 5 points of damage from the Feat, crippling… nothing. No surprise. He hits the Seneschal and easily slays him, and I Self-Sacrifice the attack off. He swings and misses, buys and hits… self-sacrifice it off. He then uses his animus on himself.
The Cyclops charges the Seneschal (taking no damage from the Feat), and as he’s hit again, I just let him fall… he’s soaked up enough of Kassem’s activation, and frankly, I won’t need Hunter where my Errants are going.
As he’s ending his turn, both Makeda and Molik Karn use Fate Walker to retreat back into safety.
Menoth Turn 2
Well, that went okay… pretty damn well, all things considered. Time to make sure that the game continues to swing in my favour!
I measure out the range to Makeda… I can *just* get her in range of the Vanquisher by walking him straight forward, but there are Errants in the way. Additionally, I see that i can get at least 1, maybe 2 or 3 Errants onto Makeda herself… she’ll be hard to hit and difficult to wound, but doing so will put damage on his warbeasts without me having to actually hit them… and Molik Karn is easily within Charge range of my Reckoner, but I’m not sure 3 Focus will be enough to finish the mighty Cyclops off… but that’s okay. Menoth has a plan, all I have to do is enact his will…
With that in mind, 3 Focus goes to the Vanquisher, 3 to the Reckoner, and the Harbinger camps the last 4.
The Hierophant goes first, exhaulting the Harbinger harmoniously.
Harby goes next, moving forward a little and then casting both “Crusader’s Call” and “Hand of God” on the Errants. She draws one Focus from the back Wrack, which also explodes.
The Errants activate next. I know I want the Reckoner to charge Molik, but I’d rather the Cyclops not get a free strike in the process… I’ve only got a few tools for the job, but hopefully they’ll at least hurt the thing! Two Errants charge the Brute, 1 gets the Charge off on Makeda before I realize that any other trying will have to take Free Strikes (damnit)… 3 others charge nearby Nihilators, and the Officer and the Standard run up to keep everyone in formation.
The 2 charging the Cyclops… the first hits and inflicts moderate damage (7 or 8 points), and the second misses (damn). The three that charge Nihilators manage to kill 2 and make the third knocked down from a Tough check, and the one that Charges Makeda hits, but his sword pings harmlessly off her armour. I also get 1 Quick Work shot from a dead Nihilator, which goes spiraling into the Krea for a few points of damage.
The Allegiant walks up to the Cyclops and swings at it twice… first shot hits and inflicts a few more points of damage, but sadly the second attack misses!
The Choir activates and sings “Battle”. My right Vassal activates and puts “Enliven” on my Reckoner.
No point putting it off longer… my Reckoner charges straight past the Cyclops at Molik Karn. Kassem tags him with his Free Strike, inflicting a few points of damage.
Rules Note here: At the time, I assumed that “Enliven”, like many abilities, does not trigger on your own activation. I may be making that up… but I suspect it must be, since otherwise my Reckoner could, theoretically, get a 15″ charge with reach (charge 10″ with Crusader’s Call past something that Free Strikes him, inflicts a few damage, lets him Enliven forward another 5″). Anyway, I was pretty sure at the time, now I am less so… regardless, I got to Molik Karn intact. Assault shot hits, drops his DEF by two but pings off the armour… I then hit the initial attack, and smacking Karn at dice+1, I drop him on my last Focus. Woo!
Now I just have to worry about that Gladiator!
Both my Paladins on the right flank move forward (still within 10″ of Harby) and drop into Impervious Wall… all the Magic Weapons being on the right side of the table.
Rhupert walks up and gives the Errants Tough. The Book walks forward and says “No Knockdown” on this, the Fifty Third Disciples Burptitudinal Day.
Vilmon walks into B2B with my flag and drops into Stone-and-Mortar (since Void Spirit has magic weapons… as does the Extoller Soulward).
My Vanquisher walks forward and lobs a shot at Makeda… she’s (barely) in range, but is a respectable DEF19 in melee with my Errant. I boost to hit, needing an 11… and don’t get it. Boo. It scatters over to hit 2 of my Errants, Makeda, and a few Nihilators. The blast inflicts a few points on Makeda (2 or 3), fails to wound my Errants (woo!), knocks down the Nihilators, and lights everyone on fire.
The Vassal activates and gives it an Ancillary Attack, which goes towards a pack of Nihilators… but scatters away harmlessly.
Laslty, my Devout activates and steps in front of the Harbinger.
I score my first Control Point, bringing the score to 1-0 for me and putting some pressure on Kassem!
Skorne Turn 3
The nice thing about leading on points is that it often puts your opponent on their back foot, even if it’s unlikely to come down to points at the end of the game… they still need to be active about not letting you get more, which can often force sub-optimal moves (running to contest instead of charging or attacking targets that might be closer/better, for example). Kassem has a solid tradition of scenario victories, though, so I suspected he’d be fine.
Well… I suspect he’ll lose. But probably not by carelessly letting me get scenario points!
This round, Makeda has more Fury on the table than she can deal with (she took in some of the Fury from Molik Karn, just to make sure I couldn’t “accidentally” assassinate her with a lucky shot from the Vanquisher). As a result, the Cyclops is left with 1 Fury, but passes his Frenzy check easily. The Krea also has Fury left (I forget how much… 2, probably?), but also fails to go insane and slip into a murderous rampage.
More’s the pity.
Thus liberated from being eaten by his own troops, Kassem began his turn.
First thing, the Void Spirit charges Vilmon… the angry ghost hits my noble paladin, but even with the extra die granted against living models, he fails to wound. Awesome!
Kassem activates the Nihilators next, who shuffle around and take swings at my Errants, with 1 moving over to hit the Reckoner. The one swinging at the Reckoner hits and inflicts 3 points of damage, which is enough for Enliven to activate: the Reckoner walks away from the Gladiator and safely behind some intervening models.
The look on Kassem’s face? Priceless.
The Gladiator, thus denied a target, merely walks forward. The Willbreaker steps up to keep the Cyclops in CTRL, and the Cyclops swings at the Allegiant… hitting, killing… but the Allegiant Toughs! Nice… and is within 10″ of the book, so isn’t even knocked down! Even better… Kassem takes a swing with the shield at an Errant engaging him and hits… but the Errant Toughs as well.
The Nihilators over by Makeda lean into their blows, trying to clear out the few Errants nearby… they kill the one engaging Makeda (who fails his Tough Check), which I self-sacrifice off to another… they then hit him again, and he successfully Toughs. Unfortuantely, he’s knocked-down as he’s more than 10″ from the Book.
He’s hit again… and Toughs again.
There are a few attacks that hit the other Errants, but they all either Tough or are saved by their thick armour… in the end, Kassem has only killed 1.
Makeda activates, moving forward. She casts “Eliminator” at a Choir Member, but she’s within 10″ of the Harbinger, making him DEF14… and Kassem botches the roll. It scatters to hit the Harbinger herself, the Choir, and my Vanquisher, but without Fury to boost, nothing is harmed.
And now Kassem realizes that without Eliminator, he has no way to move Makeda back behind his lines… she’s at the front of his army, with 1 Fury left…
In desperation, he uses the Agonizer’s ability to prevent allocation of Focus, and moves it over towards my warjacks. With 4 Fury on the little battery, it’s very likely that all of my warjacks are within that bubble of denial… curses!
With time running low, Kassem moves up his Beast Handlers, who whip off a bunch of Fury, and he ends his turn, hoping for the best.
The score remains 1-0 for Menoth.
Menoth Turn 3
I spend a few moments trying to decide if I can get the Harbinger to assassinate Makeda herself… I can either cast 2 boosted Cataclysms, auto-hitting at about POW17, or 3 unboosted damage ones. Either way, she’s only got 1 Fury, and since I can’t allocate to any of my warjacks, the odds of me hitting with any of them is pretty slim…
In the end, I decide to play smarter and keep the Harbinger safe. She can’t allocate, so she camps her full stack.
The Hierophant goes first and Harmoniously Exhaults the Harbinger. The Choir go next and sing Battle again.
Vilmon activates, drops into +5 ARM stance, and swings at the Void Spirit. He hits, and easily splatters the angry ghost.
My Reckoner strides forward to engage a bunch of Nihilators, swings at one, but misses. Oh well.
The Vanquisher goes next, striding forward to the other side of the fence and firing at Makeda point-blank. She’s still engaged, so the shot has little chance to hit… and in fact, does not. But it can’t scatter far, so hits her and inflicts a few points of damage. The shot also hits and kills another Nihilator (who Toughs), and my Errant, who it fails to wound but does light on fire again.
I activate the remaining Errants, one of whom hits Makeda for 2 points of damage, and the rest of which polish off a bunch of Nihilators engaging them. The two over engaging the Cyclops both hit, but fail to kill it by one wound (!).
The Monk drops into Shifting Sands stance and punches the Cyclops to death easily. Makeda pulls in the Fury, keeping her safe from “serious” assassination for the rest of the turn, at least.
My Devout moves up, making sure there isn’t enough space for Makeda to walk between it and the Vanquisher. It swings at the Agonizer, hits, and kills the little bastard.
The Covenant moves forward and declares “No Knockdown” again, while Rhupert moves up and gives the Errants Tough.
The Harbinger goes next. She moves slightly laterally, keeping a solid 8.5 inches between her and Makeda, and pings her once with a Cataclysm at POW13. I boost damage, and roll a solid 12, inflicting 6 points. Not bad, not bad.
My Reckoner gets “Enliven” again, just in case, and the Vanquisher gets an Ancillary Attack, which scatters and lights a few more Nihilators and Errants on fire.
With that, I score my 2nd Control Point, and the score is 2-0.
Skorne Turn 4
Kassem starts with Makeda, who starts by swinging at a few nearby Errants.
She hits, the Errant Toughs.
She hits again, he Toughs again.
She hits again, he Toughs again.
She hits again and kills, and I Martyr him for 1 point of damage.
She hits again, and he Toughs again.
It’s good to be king, sometimes…
At this point, Kassem swears rather loudly and colourfully, realizing that Makeda is once again stuck near several of my warjacks, and THIS time with no way to stop them from just walking up and splattering his warlock. He concedes, and we shake hands.
Victory to Menoth!
A fun game, despite Kassem insisting on running Makeda at the front of his army and in harm’s way two turns in a row… he was VERY lucky that the Agonizer could get up to engage all of my warjacks… lucky I hadn’t killed it with a crossbow bolt earlier in the game as well.
Granted, I didn’t play a perfect game or anything (the Reckoner-Enliven thing for example), but I managed to avoid cutting the Harbinger too often, my Errants were superstars with Tough, and I think I used the Feat more-or-less at the perfect moment. I was putting scenario-pressure on Kassem, systematically removing his threats, and keeping Harby safe.
Kassem says that he intended to cast “Ground Zero” with Makeda to push my models back and then charge Harby (I assume she had a way to get Pathfinder), but even if she did, the Vanquisher was against a wall and wouldn’t move, and the Devout would’ve been pushed closer to Harby… there may not have been room to get Makeda up to the Harbinger. Of course, there MAY have been, so I should be more careful of that in the future.
Anyway! Thanks for reading, and as always, comments and questions are very welcome!
We’re going to be playing at a tournament all day tomorrow (Kassem is coming as well!), so wish us luck!