Week 2 (well third week at this point) of the Community Integrated Development (CID) is in full swing and I am finally getting a chance to put some “models” on the table.
The two Warlocks I am most interested in trying are the Heretic & the Dreamer. Humorously my Heretic list had to be tweaked a little, as Hollowmen became a point cheaper, which meant I was one point under for getting another free solo in the Bump in the Night theme. So my list for this game ended up being:
The Heretic: Reckoning, Ruin, Shroud
-Skin & Moans
Dread Rots, max
Dread Rots, max
-Lantern Man, free from tier
Lord Longfellow, free from tier
The plan behind this list is to use the BitN bonus of models standing up in the maintenance phase + tough on the Dread Rots to jam forward, while the Hollowmen and Murder Crows scalpel out important pieces. Then once the corpse tokens flow, a fully loaded with fury (and possibly reckoning) Skin & Moans should be able to take out any heavy armour on the board.
On Nick’s side, he was torn between Caine 3 & Lylth 2. Since I was hoping to see the effectiveness of the Shroud Arcana (again this is a game to test new rules) we decided that Caine would be the “fairer” choice. Nick created the following:
Thorn Gun Mages
Honestly looking at the list I am a little worried, as I was not sure the Shroud Arcana would protect me from all those guns. But we shall see! I won the roll and opted to go first, as even though the terrain would be problematic for me, I could not let Nick set up his gun line and try running blindly into it. Deployment wise I set up the Heretic, Death Knell and Cage Rager centrally, one unit of Dread Rots on either side of the objective, and the Hollowmen in front of the water. (Planning to use apparition to negate the rough terrain.) Lord Longfellow deployed over by the forest so as to have a place to hide and Murder Crows waited in the wings to ambush. (Prey went onto the Idrians.)
Nick deployed very symmetrically, Caine near the trench & the Galleon in the middle, one artillery on either side, Idrians upfront. (Their prey was the Cage Rager.) Thorn GM and Gibbs deployed to the right of the Galleon, Tinkerer stayed back but in range to repair as needed.
The scenario was Extraction.
Grymkin Turn 1:
Hollowmen apparition forward first. Lord Longfellow runs behind the forest. Dread Rots, S&M, and Death Knell (DK) all run forwards staying out of the Idrain’s gun ranges as much as possible. Cage Rager runs into the cloud, Heretic advances and puts fury onto the Dread Rots near the DK. All the Crabits run to be in shield guard positions.
Mercs Turn 1:
Power up! Both Dwarf artillery pieces advance and try to drift shots into the clump of advancing bodies, clipping only the DK and doing no damage. Caine and his Hellslingers advance forward, mostly ignoring the trench. Everyone else just runs forward, staying out of charge ranges.
Grymkin Turn 2:
Fury is reeved back, fury is up kept, the Hollowmen apparition forward, and the Murder Crows although not able to charge anything run in to tie up the Artillery. I move the cloud from Fuel Cache to touch the obstruction planning to block all LoS to the Heretic so he can advance. The DK advances, allowing the S&M to run forward into the cloud.
Hollowmen advance forward, taking CRAs into the Idrians killing one. (After a rewind the Lantern Man puts obscuring mist onto the unit; concealment.) The second unit of Dread Rots run forward and off to the side (hind sight too far away from the Heretic.1) ready to charge into the Galleon. The Crabits run forward to protect the Heretic, and the S&M from the harpoon shot from the Galleon. Heretic advances and puts down fire wall, to discourage Idrians from charging forward.
Mercs Turn 2:
Power up! The (Legendary) Tinkerer walks up and kills a Murder Crow. The Dwarves, not to be outdone by the Gobber, kill another Murder crow. (Hard 8s.) The artillery piece now not engaged, shoots towards the Hollowmen, splashing and killing three. (One corpse for the DK.) Reinholdt reloads Caine, who pops FEAT! Watts shoots at the S&M, missing because of the cover. Caine puts his shots into the DK, doing light damage after one shot is redirected into the Crabit. (Calamity also goes up on the DK.) Ryan takes her two shots doing nine damage, finally Mage Sight goes up, just touching the S&M in case I try to use Shroud. The second artillery piece goes and does just enough damage to kill the DK.2
Thorn GM try to hit the healthy Crabit, miss. Remaining shots kill two Dread Rots with one toughing. Gorman misses his Acid shot, and repositions back. Gibbs hits and kills another Dread Rot, repositioning back. Idrians advance, trying to keep an open path for the Galleon to advance, and put shots into the second Dread Rot unit, killing three. Repositioning 3. Finally the Galleon tries putting shots into the S&M in the cloud doing nothing with the gun ports, and missing with the harpoon.3
Grymkin Turn 3:
Fury is reeved, fury and fire wall are dropped, Hollowmen apparition forward. Murder Crows go first and charge into the Tinkerer and Artillery. Failing to kill the dreaded Gobber and leaving just the Artillery Cannon. Hollowmen do more CRAs into the Idrians, killing three and replenishing their ranks. Lantern man uses Obscuring mists again. Dread Rots press forward into the Idrians, only one making it into melee but killing and getting a tasty corpse token.
Lord Longfellow advances, trying to shoot the Thorn GM on the flag, missing both shots. (Sad trombone.) Second unit of Dread Rots press forward onto the Gun Mage while trying to be within 4” of the flag, but miss the melee attack. The damaged Crabit walks over to be in contesting range of the flag as well.
Cage Rager runs forward. Heretic advances putting fury onto the S&M, then advances into the cloud & fires a Hex Blast into the Galleon, hoping to soften it up a little. The S&M is forced to charge, hits with five attacks and leaves the Galleon crippled4. The last Crabit runs into shield guard range for more important things.
Mercs Turn 3:
Power Up! Mage Sight dropped, Galleon allocated two focus. Reinholdt reloads Caine. Galleon advances forward and lays waste to the lightly armoured S&M. (Hitting at dice +6!) Buys an attack and misses the Dread Rot beside him. Caine’s unit advances, fires into the Cage Rager, hits and tries to use Calamity, however I counter with the Ruin Arcana. Second and third shots into a Crabit. Ryan fires into the other nearby Crabit. Watts fires at the Cage Rager, but the Crabit takes the shot instead preventing grievous wounds. (Crabit dies.)
Unengaged artillery fires into the clump of Dread Rots, killing 4 in the blast. Gibbs, fires into a Rot, killing 2 and Lord Longfellow in the aoe. Thorn GM clear out the remaining Dread Rots and score on the now open flag.
The Tinkerer retains his legendary status killing another Murder Crow. Idrians press forward into their prey, the Cage Rager and cripple its spirit. (Leaving it at about half health.)
1-0 advantage Mercs
Grymkin Turn 4:
Fury reeved, no upkeeps, Hollowmen apparition forward. Murder Crows press forward into the Artillery, finally killing the pesky Dwarves. Dread Rots press forward into the Idrians, as they sadly can’t get onto the Galleon because of the flag. Killing many and collecting corpses. Crabit kills the last Idrian freeing up the Cage Rager. A Crabit runs to contest the flag. The heretic puts fury onto the Cage Rager, walks up and kills an Idrian. (Forgetting he had gallows5) The Cage Rager advances, collects two corpse tokens, and finishes off the Galleon.
The Hollowmen advance hoping to put a big CRA into Caine, sadly only two getting into range, then missing.
Mercs Turn 5:
No power up, no upkeeps. Nick becomes increasingly impressed/frustrated by the built in defensive tech on the Heretic. Decides assassination is off the table so goes to attrition/scenario. (Technically he clocks out, but we’re more interested in seeing how the game finishes.) Artillery fires at the Cage Rager, doing good damage, killing a Hollowman and activating Shroud. Reinholdt goes next and removes stealth from the Cage Rager. Gorman does a whopping 10 damage to the Crabit near the flag with his acid bomb. Gibbs gets a deviation onto the Cage Rager and does 1 point of damage. Thorn GM advance and kill of the contesting Crabit.
Caine’s unit activates and finishes off the Cage Rager. Good rolls were had, but there was enough existing damage that it would have happened anyways. Caine then gets perfect deviations catching five Hollowmen, killing five. The unit then uses flicker to back away from danger. Finally the Gobber’s luck runs out and misses the Murder Crows.
2-0 Advantage Mercs
Grymkin Turn 6:
The Hollowmen apparition and kill two, keeping their ranks relatively full. Dread Rots kill the last Idrian and score on the flag. Murder Crows kill their arch nemesis the Tinkerer. The last Crabit runs to contest the flag, while the Heretic moves over and kills two Gun Mages.
2-1 Advantage Mercs
Mercs Turn 6:
Caine’s unit activates and shoots the now exposed Heretic down.
Afterthoughts of the list. Aside from losing the Death Knell by putting it in a silly place, the list performed pretty much as I expected. Dread Rots seem to be functioning as intended, and with the decreased speed give a reason to actually try Neigh Slayers. Hollowmen are, in my opinion, great and should definitely be played. (I will be using them in other lists.) Admittedly they need to be able to kill non construct models to be fully effective, but I think they are pretty much functioning as intended. (Take a Glimmer Imp with them and make your Hollowmen effective RAT 7.)
My selected Arcana I felt were great in this match up. Ruin was key in keeping the CR alive, and if not the CR that turn, then another model. The premise is sound and against Casters who rely more on spells. Although Reckoning didn’t get used, it was always great to have it in my back pocket. In future games where there is more armour it will be worth its weight in gold. Finally Shroud, it was triggered later in the game, however it will be great against many gunlines, barring Issyria and Kara Sloan.
Overall I was quite happy and look forward to playing it again. Changes I am considering are dropping the Cage Rager for either more Dread Rots, or a unit of Neigh Slayers. This gets me another free solo which would probably end up being a Glimmer Imp/Witch Wood. Then buying a glimmer imp or Trapperkin.
- My position was very off here. This unit of Dread Rots and Hollowmen should have switched spots, as the HM have more survivability with concealment, and the DR will be targeted and need to either pass corpses to the DK, or be able to trigger Arcanas.
- Again, my positioning was off here. I brought the DK way too far forward, allowing Nick’s big guns to fire into it. The DK should have been behind the infantry lines, making the infantry the easier target and thus allowing me to use Shroud to protect my army on the approach.
- Should I have used Shroud here? Possibly yes, it might have been helpful to keep models alive. However I had the S&M staring down the Galleon and I was banking on getting Reckoning to help with the damage output.
- So if the stars aligned, the Galleon was left with 21 boxes. Having Reckoning does an extra 10 damage, leaving it with 11. Meaning I needed at least 2 corpse tokens to be transferred. This leaves the Galleon on 1, but I also would’ve had the extra damage from The Heretic’s Hex Blast (reckoning) which would’ve killed it. One heavy killing a colossal seems concerning, but it does take a lot of steps to get this accomplished.
- If we follow this path the assassination is highly assured. I was 12” away, 7 fury, 3 for gallows 1 to boost. Even a roll of 1” brings Caine into charge range. Auto hitting POW 14 (dice -1 damage) does, on average, 10 on the charge, then another 18 from 3 bought attacks.