My Kraye list was originally designed for one purpose, and one purpose only: to deliver a fully loaded Minuteman B2B with a Shifting Stone or two and take them off the table so that Bradigus couldn’t assassinate Kraye. That was it. In the process, it had to be able to play against everything else in Circle, just in case my opponent decided to get “clever” and drop, say, eKrueger into it.
This is a story about what happens when exactly that… happens.
So this batrep is from a game that occured in late February (the 25th, to be precise). At this point I was super, super sick of playing my standard Tournament Kraye list… mostly because I’ve realized in the past 2 months that it’s not *actually* all that good. Especially post-nerf Bradigus, it’s lacking some key tools and, given the opportunity, I would’ve made it completely differently. Still love Kraye, but it’s a mediocre list at best.
So when Nick announced that he would not be available (and, more importantly, not be able to bring the Nyss Hunters that I borrow to make the list actually semi-playable), I gleefully plunged into making a newer, better, stronger Kraye list… using all I’ve learned in the past 2 months to craft a better overall list. This is what I came up with:
Captain Jeremiah Kraye
– Officer and Standard
– Storm Gunner
Sword Knights (max)
– Officer and Standard
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt
Gorman di Wulfe
Is this list perfect? Not by a long shot. But is it WAY BETTER than my other list? Oh yes. Dynamo hits harder than a Stormclad under Feat (if you include the Impact Attack, which you should, his last hit is at POW22 or 23), his gun with “Guided Fire” is bonkers-good (and with Magesight from Kraye also very utilitarian!)… just a fantastic warjack all around. Aiyana and Holt help with cracking ARM and against Incorporeal (which, otherwise, my Kraye list super-struggles against… only 1 Magic Weapon in the entire list!), and the Journeywoman helps keep the Sword Knights alive on the approach and then swaps it over to either the Stormblades or Kraye as the game winds into the mid-to-late portions.
Anyway! My opponent for this match was Gaven, running his Circle. He decided to go with his ol’ favourite of eKrueger, which resulted in the following:
Krueger the Stormlord
– Warpwolf Stalker
– Druid Wilder
– Skinwalker Alpha
That’s a lot of beef… and even without the double teleporting shenanigans of yester-year, there’s a considerable amount of threat range built into that list (and a lot of Charge-denial/area-control from Krueger’s Feat, obviously). That stated, I think it’s probably a little heavy on the expensive-warbeast side of the equation, but I don’t play Circle so I can’t really say one way or the other!
The scenario for this game was Close Quarters, which Kraye actually kind of likes (it’s nice when the enemy warcaster is either guaranteed to be within Feat-Charge range or to be killboxing himself!). It’s unchanged from 2014: two flags, each inset 16″ from their owner’s “right” side and then 18″ up the table. They’re a lot closer than you might think, folks…
We rolled for Initiative, which thank-Morrow I won, and I elected to go first.
I placed my Sword Knights in a double-deep line with the Stormblades directly behind them. The Stormblade Captain went to one side, and the Journeywoman, Rhupert, and my Stormclad to the other. Kraye and Dynamo went on the left flank (close to a wall), and Aiyana and Holt went flanking far right.
Gaven’s deployment was all his heavy warbeasts towards Kraye, with the Skinwalkers opposite Aiyana and Holt. The Shifting Stones went in the middle in a wide V.
Cygnar, Turn 1
My goal is basically to take either Ghetorix or the Stalker off the table with the Stormclad and get the other via a combination of Dynamo shooting and Stormblades. Sure, if Gaven plays really tight, then it will be difficult to shoot his stuff… but “difficult” is not impossible, and I can work with that!
– 1 Focus to Dynamo
– Dynamo runs forward.
– The Journeywoman gives the Sword Knights “Arcane Shield”, while Rhupert gives them Tough.
– Thus prepared for life, the Sword Knights run up the middle of the table in pods of 2.
– The Stormblades spread out and run up behind the “Operation Human Shield” SKs.
– Kraye activates and puts “Full Tilt” on the Stormclad. He moves forward towards the wall.
– The Stormclad runs up behind the Stormblades.
Circle, Turn 1
I managed to get my army pretty far up the table… I’m curious if Gaven will Feat this turn (catching most of my Infantry) or save it for a later turn… probably save it? Probably? I’ll be unhappy either way…
– Skinwalkers run forward and spread out.
– Warbeasts all run and rile up behind the Skinwalkers and within the Shifting Stones Triangle.
– Krueger moves up into the middle but safely behind all his models. Spells of some variety get slung around, he casts Stormwall, and we’re basically done here. I think he casts “Lightning Storm” at my Sword Knights but it scatters away harmlessly.
Cygnar, Turn 2
Man, it is SO MUCH BETTER to go up against Krueger when you get to go first! Wow. Anyway! I think it’s Feat time? If I can get through that 1 Skinwalker between my Stormclad and Ghetorix, it is DEFINITELY Feat turn…
– Pull from the Squire, upkeep Full Tilt and Arcane Shield, allocate 2 to the Stormclad, and we’re off.
– My Sword Knights get Tough from Rhupert and then Charge. A bunch get on a far Skinwalker, while the rest just run forward (and clear a charge lane for my Stormclad).
– Kraye goes next. He does a Ride-by attack, moving up towards the wall (gets within an inch of it) and pumps a couple shots into the Skinwalker I need to have die… sadly, it does not. Ergo, no Feat, and we continue our turn. I do elect to spend the remaining Focus on Guided Fire, though.
– The Stormblades get Assault orders and start pounding shots into the Skinwalker I needed to have die. Obviously, they kill him effortlessly. Wouldn’t it have been smarter to do that first? I think probably yes.
– Aiyana and Holt move up. Hey, they were probably within Kiss range of the Skinwalkers before I went and engaged all of them with Sword Knights! D’oh!
– Dynamo moves over the wall and fires a few shots into Megalith for light damage.
– Gorman moves up and drops a cloud on Kraye. Just in case.
– The Stormblade Captain runs up behind the Stormblades, and we’re done!
Circle, Turn 2
So, if I had actually used MY BRAIN during that last turn, Ghetorix would be dead right now (charging Stormclad with boosted melee attack rolls? Oh yeah, that’s a dead Ghetorix), plus the Druid Wilder (through e-leaps) and maybe a model or two more. Instead, Gaven is still basically 100% functionality aside from the loss of a few Skinwalkers… which is not a good thing for me. Additionally, I am almost certainly going to lose Dynamo… but better him than Kraye!
– Fury in, nothing to upkeep (I believe?), and we’re off.
– The Skinwalkers shuffle around a little and take some swings at my Sword Knights. Gaven manages to only kill a few, despite all his attacks (ARM19 and Tough is a thing!).
– The Gallows Grove shifts forwards.
– Krueger activates. He casts “Telekinesis” through the Grove, getting Dynamo and pulling him forward. He then casts “Lightning Strike” on the Stalker. Gaven elects not to pop his Feat, and keeps Krueger camping a few Fury after casting Stormwall again.
– The Stalker gets teleported up to Dynamo. He activates and effortlessly scraps my new Heavy. The then Sprints back towards his own lines.
– Ghetorix repositions slightly, and Megalith uses his “Rough Terrain and Def-Debuff” animus (“Undergrowth”?).
Cygnar, Turn 3
Okay, that could’ve gone worse… could’ve gone better, but could’ve gone worse. For example, I’m pretty sure I can get Megalith and Ghetorix this turn… or at least hurt them both enough as to make no real difference. But dead would be better!
– 2 Focus to the Stormclad, upkeep Full Tilt and Arcane Shield, and we’re off.
– Kraye goes first. He aims and pumps two shots into the Gallows Grove, killing it on the 2nd shot. He then pops his Feat.
– The Stormclad, freed from the only model blocking his Charge Lane to Ghetorix, charges Ghetorix! Sure enough, a handful of attacks later and the mighty chieftain has been removed from office. Sadly, the electroleaps all go into the Blackclad Wayfarer.
– Aiyana and Holt move forward. Aiyana kiss the Skinwalkers, and Holt empties a few shots into them, doing pretty hefty damage.
– My Sword Knights shuffle around a little and take swings at things. I put a few points of damage on Megalith (ah, Precision Strike) and some Skinwalkers. I think I successfully kill 1 more.
– The Stormblades pull back and get Tough from Rhupert.
– Eiryss moves up and puts a crossbow bolt into Krueger from behind a wall. She hits, but then flubs the damage roll and only inflicts a few points.
– Lastly, Gorman moves up and pops another Cloud.
Circle, Turn 3
Didn’t get both, but I did hit Gaven pretty hard… and I’m seeing a victory avenue that doesn’t require me to try and kill Krueger… I’m going to lose my 2nd heavy at this point (it was a foregone conclusion, really), but whatever kills it will probably die from my Stormblades… probably…
– Fury in, and we’re off.
– Gaven decides to start with Krueger. He hits my Stormclad with a TK, spinning it around (like a record, baby round round right round). He casts “Stormwall” again.
– The Gorax moves over to Eiryss and punches her to death (boo)
– The Stalker gets ‘ported over to my turned around Stormclad. It then liesurely obliterates it.
– The Skinwalkers move up and try to clear out a few Sword Knights, but they struggle to hit and then struggle to kill (ARM19 is a thing!)
– Megalith kills a couple Sword Knights
– The Blackclad moves up and sprays over a few Sword Knights and catches Gorman. He fails to kill the Knight Standard, but does kill Gorman (boo!).
Cygnar, Turn 4
I think I might still be able to squeeze out a victory here, but the odds are rapidly going against me… the important thing is that my Friendly Flag is currently uncontested, and I still have wave-after-wave of troops to keep it that way, even if I’ve run out of warjacks.
– Kraye has nothing to upkeep, so camps everything.
– The Sword Knights shuffle around a little and poke at Gaven’s Skinwalkers, damaging a few but not killing any.
– Aiyana kisses Megalith, and Holt pumps a couple shots into a Shifting Stone, doing a little damage.
– The Stormblades charge in, killing several Skinwalkers and Megalith (hey, POW14 Assault Shots, even with a 1″ range, are pretty solid!). They inflict heavy wounds on the Stalker, but I can only get 2 actually on him and 1 of them miss their charge attack.
– The Stormblade Captain charges a Skinwalker, obliterates him, and does a Quickwork shot into a Stone to destroy Gaven’s ability to teleport.
– Kraye runs up and dominates his flag, with the Squire moving up closeby.
– Rhupert gives the Stormblades “Tough”, and the Journeywoman moves towards Kraye a little.
– I score my first CP, bringing the game to 1-0 for Cygnar!
Circle, Turn 4
Gaven needs to get in and contest my flag, or kill Kraye… neither of which are super probable at this point. Certainly not trivial! And he certainly regrets not Feating last turn, that’s for sure…
– Gaven pulls in Fury, and we’re off.
– The Blackclad moves up and Sprays over a bunch of Stormblades, killing several (and the Sword Knight standard).
– Krueger activates, moves up and Feats to push all my contesting models away. He also catches Kraye, pushing him off my own flag (clever!). He then uses “Sprint” on himself, kills the Stormblade Captain, and Sprints back into B2B with his own flag.
– The Skinwalkers on the table continue to fail to kill Sword Knights.
– The Stalker moves over and kills a bunch of Stormblades, leaving me with 4.
– Circle scores a CP, bringing us to 1-1
Cygnar, Turn 5
I think I can still get this… Gaven is starting to run very, very low on time, and I still have models that can contest pretty effectively. I decide to do that, rather than risking an assassination run that will likely accomplist nothing.
– Kraye camps everything again.
– Kraye moves up into B2B with his flag again and pumps a shot into the Stalker for a few points.
– I run my Squire at Krueger to contest
– Aiyana kisses the Stalker successfully, and Holt pumps 2 shots into it for light damage.
– The Stormblades activate and walk forward, just jamming the area around the flag. Their 1″ range guns can’t hit anything.
– Rhupert gives them Tough again.
– The Sword Knights swing on Skinwalkers, but mostly just jam to keep them away from Kraye.
– The Journeywoman (who apparently has swapped “Arcane Shield” onto Kraye at some point in the past) moves up and pumps a Hand Cannon shot into the Blackclad, boosting to hit and damage. It dies (yay!).
– I score a 2nd CP, and the score is now 2-1 for Cygnar
Circle, Turn 5
I think Gaven was actually surprised that Krueger could possibly be BEHIND on Scenario… and yet, here we are!
– Gaven is tight on time. Krueger activates and TKs a Stormblade away, turning it around again.
– The Stalker warps for Berserk, but only kills 2 Stormblades (LOTS of successful Tough Checks to deny him additional attacks).
Gaven ends his turn, bringing the score to 3-2 for me.
Cygnar, Turn 6
Well, that went well! Let’s finish this off…
– Kraye camps.
– Stormblades move in and swing on the Stalker, crippling both Mind and Spirit.
– Rhupert gives them Tough.
– Sword Knights chip away at the Skinwalkers
– Journeywoman boosts a shot into Krueger, but misses.
– Score goes up to 4-2 for Cygnar.
Circle, Turn 6
With mere moments left on his clock, Gaven can’t unengage the Stalker to get him into contest. I score my last CP and win the game!
Victory to Cygnar!
Post Game Analysis
Gaven missed his opportunity to Feat, and let me start the CP race before he could, both of which ended up being pretty clutch moments in this game. Kraye can be pretty tanky (on full camp, he’s ARM23, throw in Arcane Shield and he’s ARM26 and Steady!). Additionally, he could’ve risked Trampling the Stalker up, but I would’ve attempted a Ride By with Kraye to move up, finish it off, and then move back to the flag again… so probably wouldn’t have changed much!
Fun game, lots learned… and a much better Kraye list than my last attempts! But regardless, this is one of the last Kraye games I’ll be reporting on for a little while… expect to see a lot of Siege and/or eStryker in the near future!
Thanks for reading, and comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome!