Let me start by saying that I’m always conflicted on whether Rasheth is more Cartman (“You will respect mah authoritay!”) or Baron Harkonnen. I keep leaning towards the Baron, honestly, since I love the Dune universe so dearly, but for this report I shall stick with the better known comparison…
Rasheth is nothing if not inspirational.
My game this week was against Kassem and his swarm of Skorne, backed up by a Gatorman Bokor with the swamp shamblers… which is a lot like a little Alexia! Very cute. After this game I am definitely going to have to spend more time learning about this guy, since I suspect he’s going to be popular on the wider arena.
I brought two warcasters that I’ve never played before in the hopes of giving them a trial run. The first is “Silent Bob” (the High Reclaimer) who looks super-fun to me but also fragile… a fascinating balance that I look forward to eventually mastering. But after looking over Kassem’s two lists (Mordikaar and Rasheth, respectively), I decided that his clouds might not be sufficient to protect him… my other list was the heartier (and much, much harder-hitting) eKreoss. I love the fluff around Kreoss, and his prime version has been getting a fair bit of use as I try to come to grips with my new Faction, but this would be the first time I play his epic version.
The scenario for our showdown was “Destruction”: a central 12×6″ zone with 2 objectives, one friendly and one enemy, that sit on the corners. The objectives have a modified version of “Self-Sac” which, if the objective is destroyed, lets the controlling player decide to destroy a model within 4″ instead of destroying the objective. 1CP for destroying the objective or controlling the zone, and 2CPs for dominating the zone. And killbox, which is… interesting.
My Kreoss2 list was a Tier 4 “Crusaders of Sul” list which I’m… well, first the list:
Grand Exemplar Kreoss (“eKreoss, Kreoss2″, proxied by pKreoss)
– Fire of Salvation (proxied by an armless Crusader)
Exemplar Bastions (max)
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal
– Vigilant (proxied by a Devout)
Daughters of the Flame
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Officer and Standard
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
Knight Exemplar Seneschal
High Exemplar Gravus
First, the Tier Benefits: 2” on the deployment zones (nice), Advance Move for my 2 Knight Exemplar Units (very nice), a free Knight Exemplar Seneschal (sweet!), and theoretically FA:U for the Knight Exemplars themselves (although I only own 2 units at this point… still, potentially very cool!).
The Tier downside? No Choir, no Hierophant. Both sad, but ya know what? Not critical… Fire of Salvation is a POW18 on his lonesome, and doesn’t really *need* the +2/+2 from the Choir. And in exchange, those benefits? Yeah, I like this Tier.
That stated, I don’t like the Vigilant. The plan was to run it up to keep the Daughters in B2B with it and protect ’em from Blast damage… but it’s too slow and has to stay too close to the Seneschal, and can’t really get any work done on its own. One more point and I’d HAPPILY take a Devout with Kreoss or a 3rd unit of Errants (whenever I get one!), but for now, I have to figure out what else to do with those 4 points. If only I could take Vilmon…
As for Kassem’s list, he was happily rockin’ Fatty McButterpants Tier 4 “Chain Gang” army:
Dominar Rasheth (“Fatty McButterpants, Tubby”)
– Titan Gladiator
– Titan Bronzeback
– Titan Sentry
Gatorman Bokor and Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers
Paingiver Task Master
Venator Slingers (max)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min)
First things first, the combination of the Task Master with the Shamblers? Legit. Throw in Carnivore to make them more accurate and man, do they work well in this list! Now, whether it’s a good list or not is out of my ken, but I can tell you that it was pretty threatening on the table, and fundamentally impossible to clear out of a zone!
We rolled for Initiative, which Kassem handily won and chose to go first. I took the side of the table with elevation and no forests (hoping that it would slow Kassem down a little… spoiler alert: it didn’t). Besides, with my +2″ Deployment Zone, going second is almost a boon!
But wait… Rasheth gets that same +2″ bonus from HIS Tier? Well… crap. Plus Agonizers pre-Fury-allocated, plus faster Shamblers Turn 1, plus cheaper Titans? Wow… great tier!
Almost as good as mine!
Kassem started by deploying his brick of Titans to the left-flank (the Sentry is the one with the Shield, the Bronzeback is unpainted, and the Gladiator is the painted one). The Beast Handlers, unsurprisingly, went to that flank as well.
The Shamblers, Task Master, Gatorman, Nihilators, and Fatty himself all went central, which half of each unit flanking the warlock and the Catapult, which went dead-center and on the Deployment line.
One Agonizer went to either flank, and the Slingers went wide to the far right.
My deployment saw the Bastions smack in the middle of the table with Kreoss behind them and Fire of Salvation and my Vigilant (man I gotta buy one of those) to the left side, opposite Kassem’s warbeasts. One unit of Knight Exemplars went to each side of the central block, and the Knight Exemplar Seneschal went to the right side. Lastly, the Errants and Daughters Advanced Deployed, with the Daughters on the left and the Errants on the right.
Lastlier-lastly, the Knight Exemplars get their Advanced Move forward, basically just walking straight towards Kassem’s troops and spreading out a little (I have learned to respect the Skorne Catapult!).
(This is post-Advanced Move)
Of note, I was kicking myself in the butt for putting the Errants across from the Slingers and the Daughters across from the Beasts… the “plan” was to use the Daughters to kill the Beast Handlers (most armies dislike when you kill their support pieces, I’ve learned!) and shoot the Slingers off the table with the Errants. A *better* plan would probably have been to use the Daughters to run and tie-up the Slingers all game while the Errants went in the middle of the table to wipe out the Shamblers and Nihilators… but that’s not what I did. As you will see!
With that, we were ready to rock!
Skorne, Turn 1
Kassem starts with the Catapult, lobbing a shot at my Errants… thankfully, it scatters away harmlessly. I’m not sure how I feel about other armies trying to drift AoEs into my deployment zone… that’s a MENOTH thing!
Anyway, it missed, so I can’t complain too much. For those keeping score at home, this makes 4 games in a row where the first shot missed… a little less impressive than my previous stat (the last 3 games in a row the opening shot by my enemies has always been snake-eyes… this one was just out of range!).
But after that shot, the entire Skorne army surges forward, with Rasheth putting Pathfinder on the warbeasts and everything running.
The Warbeasts ended up with the Bronzeback at the front, the Sentinel beside him, and the Gladiator slightly behind, all inside the forest.
The Slingers ran forward towards my Errants, “safe” behind the forest (and forgetting that my Errants carry crossbows).
The Shamblers got Carnivore from Rasheth and Tough from the Task Master, but that’s about it. Typical Skorne opening gambit.
Menoth, Turn 1
You know the best thing about an enemy that goes first? Having the ability to kill crap on your first turn. It’s a magical feeling.
So magical that I forget to allocate Focus to Fire of Salvation… but ya can’t have everything!
The Daughters of the Flame activate first, running forward and tying up a single Beast Handler. Yeah, I’m going to like Daughters…
The left side unit of Knight Exemplar also run forward and spread out a bit, taking up a bunch of real estate in the middle of the table and daring Kassem to kill a couple.
The Bastions go next, running forward. The Vigilant activates and runs behind the Bastions, and the Seneschal runs up to be B2B with it.
With the middle sort-of-cleared, Kreoss activates and moves forward. He casts “Sacrosanct” on the left unit of Knight Exemplar, while the Errants get “Inviolable Resolve”. Which, in retrospect, probably better on the Bastions, but hey, this is why we try new warcasters, no?
The Errants, thus buffed, activate and I have half stand and aim while the other half move forward. Crossbow bolts fly, and when the dust settles 6 of the Slingers have been freed from their captivity (in a rather permanent sense) and the rest of the unit breaks! Perfect!
The right unit of Knight Exemplar then run forward, tying up the front line of Shamblers.
The Knight Exemplar Seneschal activates and runs toward the middle of the table, ready to apply sword-to-face when needed.
Gravus, meanwhile, runs forward onto the hill, hoping for a few Souls.
Lastly, Fire of Salvation activates and walks forward. Damn, I wish I gave him a Focus to run… oh well.
With that, I end my turn!
Skorne, Turn 2
That went pretty well for Kassem… sure, he lost a unit of Slingers, basically, but all things considered? Can’t complain too much! Rasheth pulls in Fury, upkeeps Carnivore by taking a point of damage (well, technically, there was only 7 Fury on the table, so Rasheth cuts himself for 1 point of Fury and uses that to upkeep the spell… technicalities…).
Once again the Catapult sings its song, launching men with antlers stapled to their heads at my army. The shot again fails to find purchase among my Errants (although they are in range this time), and instead scatters onto 3 of them. However, their ARM18 proves impervious to the blast.
The Shamblers activate and do a bunch of 2-man CMAs on my Errants, killing 2 from the right unit. The Bokor starts to earn its corpse tokens…
The Nihilators get run-charges, getting 2 on Errants and the rest run up. One Nihilator fails to pierce armour, while the other kills but I Self-Sac off the death to deny him Berserker attacks.
Rasheth activates and moves out of the Killbox (or into the Killbox, depending on whether you define the outside ring or the central zone as the killbox!), and then uses his abilities to turn a Shambler into an Arc Node. He casts some corrosive AoE at my Bastions (“Breath of Corruption”) which manages to inflict a single point of damage on one and kill 2 Knights Exemplar from the left unit. Gravus takes the 2 Souls protectively.
The Task Master gives the Shamblers “Tough” again (no surprise).
The Beast Handlers shuffle around a little and the one engaged by my Daughter actually manages to hit (needing a hard 10!) and kills her.
The Slingers stay put and rally.
Lastly, Kassem’s Titans activate and rile a little, but otherwise don’t move. Interesting choice!
With that, Tubby is done.
I measure a few times to confirm, but I’m pretty certain… Feat Turn, folks. Almost all of Kassem’s army is within 14″ of where Kreoss can be, and I’d really like to take out a few of his Heavies before I have to commit Fire of Salvation to the fight.
Speaking of FoS, I forget to give him his “Righteous Vengeance” move, which would’ve been important… 5″ up the table MAY have gotten me within Charge-range of a Titan… and even without MAT10 POW20 from Choir, I’m pretty confident that my little warjack can get some work done… but regardless, I forgot, so nothing doing.
Kreoss upkeeps both spells and camps the rest of the Focus.
I need/want to get Kreoss closer to Kassem’s troops so he goes first. He walks up his full 5″ (man, I do NOT know how you play with a SPD4 warlock when I have so much difficulty with a SPD5 one!), reconfirms that many, many things will die, and then pops his Feat.
He’s closer to the front lines than I would like, though, so I camp all the rest of his Focus.
The Daughters go next. I have them walk so that I can move into the forest (a couple models looked like they might be further than 3″ in, which means I can’t charge them, and that would be a waste). I swing at one Beast Handler and perforate him, but forget about a second Daughter that got range on another. Oh well.
My left unit of Knight Exemplar go next, charging the Sentry with 2 of them and the objective with 1 more. Between the 6 auto-hitting Weaponmaster POW14s I completely obliterate both the Sentry AND the Objective! Woo!
Sadly, Kassem self-sacs the Objective to keep in alive, destroying a Shambler in the process.
Still, the death of the Sentry required El Fuego rolls, so I’m happy!
The Bastions activate next and charge. I get one on the Objective, 1 on the Bronzeback (which was super-lucky, since I was in by a fraction of an inch, and if I wasn’t he would be able to counter-charge!) and 2 on Shamblers, while the last just runs forward to catch up (slow bastards). The swings on the Bronzeback cripple the Mind (it Hyper-Aggressives forward), I kill 3 or 4 Shamblers after all their Menoth-damned Tough rolls, and I destroy the objective 2 more times (first time it’s self-sac’d again, second time Kassem only has the Bronzeback within 4″ and elects not to self-sac to it… sadly).
The 4 Errants on the right walk forward to engage Zounds Shamblers and a few Nihilators. Their 8 attacks wipe out a handful of both troop type (despite Kassem rolling Tough successfully 4 out of 8 times!).
I briefly consider charging with my Errants, but then decide against it: I can get far more attacks by just walking. So they do, all advancing forward and most firing crossbow bolts to wipe out the unit of Slingers (save 1 who passes CMD) and a few more Nihilators. The Errant Seneschal activates, walks up, and pings the Agonizer on that side of the table for a few points of damage.
The Vigilant runs forward, and the Bastion Seneschal runs up to B2B with it.
Gravus continues his Extreme Flanking Maneuver, heading so far into Kassem’s lines that he had to move some of his cards to leave space! He’s at the very back edge of Kassem’s forest on the left now, and more importantly easily within running range of Rasheth…
Lastly, I decide to protect Kreoss a bit, just in case. I move Fire of Salvation and the Knight Exemplar Seneschal in front of him protectively and end my turn.
Sadly, despite clearing out MOST of the Shamblers, 1 is still toeing into the zone, as is the Bronzeback, so only 1 CP for me this turn. Still, this puts me up 1-0 and I ain’t complaining!
Skorne, Turn 3
This turn Kassem gets that gleam in his eye that means he’s going to try something cute… it starts with Rasheth upkeeping Carnivore again and pulling back full Fury.
And THEN the Gatorman Bokor drops ELEVEN Shamblers back on the table. ELEVEN! Gah! I just wiped those guys out! He places most of them in pairs behind my Knight Exemplar and Bastions.
Rasheth activates first and casts “Blood Mark” through a Shambler onto a Bastion. Kassem decides that he can’t win without cheating and informs me that “Blood Mark” gives -2ARM to the entire unit (which, of course, it does not… but me being the trusting type just nod and agree). Because he’s a dirty, dirty cheater like that. After that Rasheth moves forward and pops his Feat, catching the majority of my army.
He then casts Influence on a Knight Exemplar next to one of my Exemplar Errants. It’s engaged by a horde of Shamblers, making it DEF15, but Kassem rolls solidly and hits! The Knight swings at my Errant… and misses! Rasheth casts Influence again! He hits! My Knight swings at my Errant! He misses! Rasheth casts it AGAIN! It hits AGAIN!
This time the Knight actually connects and kills my Errant. The Bokor gets another corpse!
The Shamblers activate next. There are a bunch of CMAs on Knight Exemplars where Kassem rolls disgustingly well and manages to kill 3 more from the right unit (leaving me with one) and putting some damage on the Bastions (at -4ARM from the Feat and cheating… I’m just joking, I know Kassem wouldn’t do it INTENTIONALLY, but it’s funnier this way!). More corpse tokens pile up on the Bokor.
The Bronzeback activates and swings at the closest Bastion once and kills him. The second swing hits and kills an Errant from the left unit, which automatically knocks down the TItan (in a little bit of counter-cheating, since I am now pretty sure that Titans are not “Warrior models”. Hee hee hee… oops).
However, it works out okay for Kassem… the Gladiator “Grand Slams” the Bronzeback directly over my Vigilant and Seneschal! They’re both knocked to the ground, and Kassem inflicts 6 points of damage on each. The Bronzeback takes a few points of damage from his journey, but still has about 11 boxes left… and is REALLY close to Kreoss!
The undamaged left Agonizer moves up and states that there will be no allocation on his watch (and within 7″ of him).
The Nihilators charge one of my Bastions, destroying him with their first hit and then missing another Bastion on his first Berserk attack (phew!). Another kills an Errant, but obviously I self-sac to deny the Berzerking.
The Slinger moves up and slings at a Bastion, which misses.
The Catapult activates and fires at my Errants again, but this time it scatters away completely harmlessly.
Lastly, the other Agonizer runs behind Rasheth to clog up the closest approach between Gravus and Fatty.
Menoth, Turn 3
The -2STR this round is going to be unpleasant… so much stuff to kill, and now I actually have to ROLL to hit them? Gods, why have you forsaken me!?
Still, at least I remember about Righteous Vengeance this time, and Fire of Salvation walks 5″ towards the Gladiator (which, unlike the Bronzeback, is still in pristine health!).
I again activate my Daughters first. They continue walking through the Forest, with one engaging and killing another Beast Handler and another missing twice. I move one really close to Fatty, but can’t quite get within 0.5″ of him…
At this point I notice that there is one Nihilator between my Errant Seneschal and a straight charge at Tubby himself. At POW7 I’m unlikely to do a lot of damage… but I can at least make Kassem nervous!
As a result, the Errants activate and shuffle forward again. The first crossbow bolt finds and slays the Nihilator, while the rest wipe out the last Slinger and a few Shamblers. I fire a shot at the Bokor, hit, and inflict 3 damage.
The Exemplar Errant Senny charges Fatty, easily getting distance. His Assault shot hits, but at 1d6 can’t wound. His follow up charge attack also hits, though, and puts 9 points of damage on the rotund warlock.
My left Knight Exemplars go next, walking over to the Gladiator and hitting it a few times with their now-POW13 swords (only 2 left, making them POW15, but Rasheth’s Feat drops ’em by 2). They inflict light damage.
My 1 remaining Knight Exemplar from the right unit uses his single attack to destroy a Shambler engaging him.
The Bastions activate and shuffle around a little. I get 2 on the Gladiator, and they inflict light damage, and one that kills a few more Shamblers.
Fire of Salvation activates and Charges the Gladiator. I briefly consider whether to use the “boost all you melee attacks” ability, but then decide that 5s to hit is probably safe enough to save his 2 other Focus for buying attacks.
Thankfully, I am correct… both initials hit (lighting the Gladiator on fire in the process) as do both bought attacks. However, I flub most of the damage rolls and the Gladiator survives with Body and Mind crippled.
My Vigilant sacrifices his movement to stand. He then decides that the Bokor, with his enormous stack of corpses, really should die… so I try something clever.
I 2-hand-throw the Gladiator at the Bokor!
I start by boosting the hit against the Gladiator (with my Marshal bonus, obviously). That hits. I overcome the Gladiator’s considerable STR solidly, and then check the distance (4.5″), which is more than enough to get the Gladiator to its target! Woo!
I roll to hit the Bokur, needing a 6… and miss. Of course.
Thankfully, it doesn’t scatter off the base and ends up hitting!
HOWEVER, after all that, the throw only uses the STR-stat on the Vigilant for damage!? That’s a measly POW9+2d6 on both the ARM19 Gladiator (does nothing) and the ARM16 Bokor (also does nothing)! Gah! What a waste. I suppose at least they’re knocked down?
With all that out of the way, I now have to deal with the Bronzeback which, again, is WAY too close to Kreoss! The Knight Exemplar Seneschal goes first, charging in! He hits with both swords (only POW11s, sadly… oh, wait… damnit, I forgot about Righteous Fury! Oh well) and inflicts 8 points of damage, leaving the Bronzeback on 3 health. I consider briefly on whether to Chain Attack: Smite it, but decide that one more POW11 attack is too risky to hope for killing the Bronzeback if I happen to Smite it out of Kreoss’s charge range!
So Kreoss charges in. At POW14 Armour Piercing, he’s hitting at Dice+4 and instantly kills the knocked down Titan. Kassem pulls in the Fury.
Gravus activates next and runs to engage the Catapult, keeping his front-arc such that he can charge Tubby next turn… now I’m engaging him with my Errant Senny and threatening him with Daughters and Gravus… the noose is closing in!
Of course, I have to survive all the Shamblers on Kassem’s turn since I was unable to kill the Bokor… but what could possibly go wrong?
You will note, looking at the pictures, that Kassem has actually run out of Soul tokens by the Bokor, and so started using just whatever he could to keep track.
The score stays at 1-0 for me.
Kassem puts ANOTHER 11 Shamblers on the table. Gah. Again they mostly go behind Bastions and Knight Exemplars.
Rasheth decides to drop Carnivore but upkeeps Blood Mark (cheater!).
The Catapult activates and run-charges Gravus. Kassem basically just puts them between Gravus and Rasheth… I point out that Kassem has a grand total of 4 minutes left on his clock, and he elects to not both trying to dismount Gravus.
The last Beast Handler Medicates the Gladiator, getting only 1 point which heals the Titan’s Body, but not his mind.
The Gladiator goes next, doing another “Grand Slam” on Fire of Salvation this time… and rolls snake eyes to hit! Woo!
He buys a few attacks, banging up Fire a little, but since he doesn’t want to risk being full of Fury if I try to preemptively kill Fatty, he doesn’t do much.
Rasheth activates and casts “Sunder Spirit” at my Exemplar Errant Seneschal. It hits… Rasheth boosts damage, and kills him!
And, of course, I self-sac it off.
Oh, dear readers… if you could’ve only seen the look of terror/rage on Kassem’s face.
Rasheth casts it again, hits again, kills again, and I casually self-sac it away again. He decides to camp his last few Fury.
The Shamblers activate and kill another 2 Knight Errants (including my ARM20 one… very sad about that…).
The remaining Nihilators charge in. One kills a Bastion, Berserks and kills another Bastion… and then Berserks 7 more times and wipes out half of Kassem’s unit of Shamblers!
The other Nihilator kills a Knight Errant but is then knocked down from Sacrosanct.
With 8 seconds left on the clock, Kassem ends his turn.
Menoth, Turn 4
Okay, so if this was a tournament, all I’m doing is moving Kreoss to the edge of Killbox, and ending my turn on a full camp. Kassem will lose on his turn via the clock. But since I’d rather get a bit more practice in against Skorne… and because Tubby is RIGHT THERE, I figure, hey, what the hell.
Fire of Salvation gets his “Righteous Fury” attack first, which obliterates the wounded and bleeding Gladiator once and for all.
Fire of Salvation gets a full stack, I drop Sacrosanct and Inviolable Resolve, and we’re off.
The Errant Seneschal activates, moves over a little, and takes another swing at Rasheth. It hits and inflicts 4 points of damage.
I activate the Daughters, and one charges straight at Tubby. She hits, and at dice – 5, nails him for a whopping 10 points of damage, dropping Rasheth to the dirt and securing the win for the Protectorate.
Victory to Menoth!
Post Game Analysis:
First, let me say again that I really put the Daughters and the Errants in the wrong places. That was a mistake, but one I’m glad I did so I can be a bit more conscious of.
Also, you MISS the Choir once you can’t take them!
I really like this list, I really like the Tier, but I need way more practice with it… Gravus was under utilitized pretty extremely, the Daughters were poorly used (I mean, they did okay, but honestly what was I thinking putting them near warbeasts?), and Sacrosanct and Inviolable Resolve were both on the wrong units. But Kreoss’s Feat is every bit as wonderful as I hoped it would be!
And man, did I ever need to kill that Bokor faster than I did… oh well.
Still, happy about the win, and more excited about painting up eKreoss now (although I’m not a fan of the sculpt, truth be told, I need him to be tournament-legal). Thanks for reading, and questions, comments, mockery, and observations are always welcome!