Tag: Cryx

The Even Longer One (is shorter)

The Even Longer One (is shorter)

As per my last post, early August was crazy. Well, late August, September and October were even crazier. In short: I had a tumor in my neck that had to be removed, I recovered from it (benign), I attended GenCon Masters, won an Appalachian Cup qualifier, and finished runner up for the Appalachian Cup 2017 tournament. Oh and painted not nearly as much as I wish, but still a fair amount. So this details that entire process in one big post. Hope to get back to regular updates following.

First up, painting. So there are four factions total represented here. A bit of a scattered approach. I mainly played Trollbloods through this period though, as I took them to GenCon and used them in the Appalachian Cup. The others represent the three projects that I’m thinking of focusing on going forward, as it’s time for the Trollbloods to take a break. Three months straight of that army means I’m needing a change.

1 Trollkin Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes Unit

For years I resisted running a Krielstone. I finally had to add one. It still isn’t in all my Trollbloods lists, but I have been exploring some lists where it fits and is important. So here it is…

2 Trollbloods Pyre Troll

Pyre Troll. Thinking toward Horgle2 he’s a handy beast. 

3 Minions Splatter Boar

Splatter Boar to go with my Protectorate-themed Rorsch and Brine. Had a nonsense idea for him with Malekus that never really took off. 

4 Cryx Reaper

It’s been a LOOOONG time since I played Cryx. My team for the ATC is trying to get me to run them, as I haven’t used that faction since Mark II. I got in two practice games with Scaverous and painted this Reaper up. Not exactly my strongest preference, but a thought. They sure did fare well in the WTC this year (nearly 70% win rate is a thing). 

5 Khador Juggernaut

Decimator test model for Khador. I know they look similar to my Protectorate, as I’m using almost all the same tones minus the gold. I honestly like it better I think. The bone stripes on red please me. 

6 Khador War Dog

War Dog. This is the model I’m most proud of in this set. Just really pleased with the look.

For GenCon and the Appalachian Cup, I’m going to skip game pics in the interest of space. Below is the finisher sheet for GenCon Masters. Not great, going 1-2, but still okay. My losses were to the the person who ended up winning the entire Masters event, John Carter with his Convergence of Cyriss, and to Michael Ireland’s Elara2 Retribution list with all the Halberdiers. Finishing right behind Jake Van Meter in a field this strong? Not so bad.

7 GenCon Warmachine Masters Heat A 2017

And for the Appalachian Cup, I’m just going to provide the link to the amazing website for the event. It details the qualifying rounds, standings, and the 2017 Championship. Getting runner up meant being in the Hall of Champions even! I was really proud of myself for doing well, and I was a single dice roll away from snatching victory in a hard-fought game against Rob’s Witch Coven in the final game. One boosted roll that was an 8 which needed to be a 9 or better from victory. Alas!

So I’m now back on the blogging wagon again, hoping to expand both here and restart writing for Bell of Lost Souls soon. More to follow!

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):

509/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 111 (Win/Loss 80/31/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Trollbloods:

40 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn, Kaya2, Helynna x3, Stryker2, Kraye, Venethrax, Kaya3, Absylonia2, Skarre1 x2, Kallus2, Gaspy3, Karchev x3, Una2 x2, Saeryn & Rhyas, Grayle, Baldur2 x2, Baldur1, Horgle2, Kozlov x2, Exulon Thexus, Skarre2 x2, Siege, Vlad1, Lylyth1, Heretic x2, Nemo 1, Kraye, Calandra, Butcher1, Vlad2) / 11 Losses (Feora3, Exulon Thexus, Caine3, Haley1, Calandra, Kozlov, Absylonia2, Butcher3, Vlad1, Axis, Elara2, Coven)

Convergence of Cyriss:

11 Wins (Maddox, Haley2, Rask, Helynna, Makeda1 x2, Gorten, Kaelyssa, Vayl2, Gaspy1, Heretic) / 2 Losses (Venethrax, Helynna)

Protectorate of Menoth:

4 Wins (Kaelyssa, Magnus2, Skarre1, Lyltyh1) / 7 Losses (Makeda1, Deneghra1, Thyron, Kozlov, Kryssa, Fiona, Gaspy3)

Skorne:

8 Wins (Kaelyssa, Nemo3, Zaadesh2, Makeda1 x2, Kaya3, Grayle, MacBain) / 4 Losses (Makeda2, Venethrax, Grayle, Horgle2)

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)

Cryx:

2 Wins (Gaspy3 x2)

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Carnage at the Confluence

Carnage at the Confluence

Well, the Carnage at the Confluence campaign has concluded. This post contains all the battle reports for the entire campaign, and the storyline that was followed. The grand crash between the allied Trollbloods and Khador versus Legion of Everblight ended in a daring raid by Thagrosh himself, allowing him to capture the lost Athanc of Vorspark. For the full details, read the story below. And for those who have been following regularly, note that I reversed the order so the most current week is now at the BOTTOM of the post rather than the lead (so it can serve as a history of what we accomplished in our last hurrah for Mark III event).

Starting Story:

The breeding pens had been set, and the restless howl of the accumulated dragonspawn created a roar in the underground burrows. Thagrosh stalked between the pens, pleased at his plans. Rumors of the bones of a lost kin of Toruk named Vorspark, and the fragmented Athanc they might contain, were turned up by a group of long-ranging Strider Blightblades. They had captured and tortured a Greylord scholar who tended an ancient archive in the northern plains. He revealed a bit of lore that led to more: Vorspark’s Athanc was indeed most likely hidden near the confluence of the Irkel river in northern Khador. 

Yet the location posed a problem. The armies of Khador were spread across nothern provinces retraining and staging for potential southerly pursuits. Even more complicated, the location of the Athanc was right where two large Kriels of Trollbloods had been permitted to resettle as a gesture of good faith by Khador after the Trolls were betrayed by Cygnar. The sheer number of potential foes meant it was time for the Legion of Everblight to strike in true force for the last time.

Thagrosh had summoned all of the commanders, even those he clashed with in the past. The potential of recovering and utilizing another Athanc was too great–especially one that Toruk seemed to have no knowledge about. He sent gangs of captured laborers and the Blighted Ogruns that owned them to hollow out a staging area for the armies of Everblight amidst the winding tributaries of the Tapping River which lay north of the Irkel river. With a huge supply of new beasts created, and tribes of Blighted Nyss creeping southward to support them, Thagrosh and the Legion of Everblight were poised to spread their Wargroups out and drive into the heart of the Irkel river. It would not be long before the ranging scouts of Khador and the Trollblood Kriels would notice them and summon a response in force. It was time to strike, and the howl of beasts in the tunnels would be unleashed in full. 

Starting Position:

Starting Week Confluence of Carnage

Wargroup Legend

Story After Week One:

Scouting parties of Blighted Nyss supported by Beast Mistresses started to appear all through the lands around the Tapping River. With two small Khadorite villages burning, and a small Trollblood kriel decimated, the larger forces of Khador and the united Trolls to the south sent forth their own scouting parties to answer the menace that the Legion’s Forces brought to the land. 

The Trollbloods mobilized Madrak, Borka, and Jarl Skuld to lead their first forays north. Khador, having suffered less losses and not as in tune with the designs of the dragon Everblight as the troll rune-seers, initially only mobilized Forward Kommander Sorscha to investigate the raids. 

eMadrak Madrak2 vs Legion of EverblightMadrak made the initial contact with a sizeable Legion force. Sacrificing a large number of his pledged Fennblades to buy him time, he hoped to stall long enough to get a victory and force a retreat from the Legion. Yet he was forced to flee under the raw might of a Scythean commanded by the tricky assassin Rhyas.

6 pMadrak versus LegionRegrouping his strength with more beasts, Fennblades, and a Krielstone bearer, he returned to the area where Rhyas had last struck, and managed to force a retreat from her by securing the small village after a protracted battle. While it was safe for now, the lingering threat of Rhyas and her fast deadly force kept all of the trolls on edge.

Meanwhile, Forward Kommander Sorscha prepared a larger contingent of soldiers for war. Recognizing the fearsome beasts that might be present in a contingent of Legion, she consulted with the Graylords and recruited a contingent of Doom Reavers to bolster her forces. Prepared and ready, they began the trek northward. Just then, an injured watchman from the town they just left rode up on a winded horse–apparently a sortie of Cryx forces emerged from some hidden chamber the moment Sorscha and her contingent rode off. They had been waiting and used the confusion of the mobilization to strike. 

9 Cryx used a moment to launch a raidSorscha and her force rushed back, determined to protect the town first and foremost. There in the distance, the dead walked and the dead form of Wraith Witch Deneghra leading them all. Sorscha had no choice but to commit her Doom Reavers to defend the town. They managed to strike enough blows to cut through the Cryx line, and once they started landing their magical swords on Deneghra herself she was forced to quit the field. The town was only in partial ruins, as there was much damage done–particularly by a host of noxious Bile Thralls that left their corrosive acid on everything in sight. 

4 Ryans Legion of EverblightWith her Doom Reavers expended in repelling the Cryx menace, Forward Kommander Sorscha turned her attention northward again to march. Gathering what elements she could, including the deadly Behemoth, her forces churned northward. It was not long after that an initial probing raid of Legion of Everblight happened to find their column. Vayl, the Consul of Everblight, appeared leading a host of warbeasts to strike at the Khador exploratory force. 

5 Sorscha2 stopped by Vayl2Forward Kommander Sorscha’s forces engaged at range, with her Winter Guard proving devastating against the lesser warbeasts that formed the vanguard of Vayl’s assault. When the Behemoth demolished her Scythean, Vayl had no option but to take a chance herself at stopping the Khador advance. She strode forward to the spot where Sorscha took cover, and unleashed two deadly bursts of obliterating energy at the opposing caster. While Sorscha had thought herself safe, the power drained from her such that she could not stay in the fight and had to retreat the field to stay alive. She gave commands to Behemoth to follow, but her retreat was so swift the metal monstrosity could not keep up and was captured by the forces of Everblight. 

While Madrak and Sorscha had mixed successes, Trollbloods war leaders Borka and Jarl Skuld had success in eliminating the initial raids of Legion forces that they faced. Both raids were small and tentative explorations by the Legion forces, and while Trollbloods advanced their way forward, their commanders worried that these initial strikes were merely a prelude to further battles when the two forces met on the open field. 

 Week One Results:

Confluence of Carnage Week 1

The Story After Week Two:

The wreck of the massive Khador Behemoth was being dragged northward by a group of conscript Kroaks along a wooded valley. Thagrosh himself had moved to intercept the object from Vayl’s forces, and this road was a good a spot as any. A great Archangel flexed its wings and looked on as Thagrosh himself pried the armor open and extracted the sub-cortex from inside the great warjack. He handed it to one of his waiting attendants, as his cruel voice echoed in the valley.

“Take and bring this to the base we prepared at the confluence. Our forces there may find a use, if Vayl is correct.” 

As the cloaked advisors scurried off, Thagrosh looked to two plumes of smoke rising from a nearby hill. 

“It seems as if the humans in red have come to take their precious prize back. Let’s welcome them.” He mentally directed the Archangel to rest atop the remains of the Behemoth, while the rest of his forces hung back to counter-attack. 

1 Thagrosh defends against Butcher2Forward marched a column of nervous warriors, though whether their nervousness was from the great dragonspawn ahead of them or the bloodthirsty man Kommander Orsus Zoktavir that followed. Their mission was clear: recover the Behemoth from the Legion forces. 

2 The Battle for the Behemoth Thagrosh Butcher2However, as they fought their numbers failed to hold. More than a few Winter Guard were slain by the Butcher’s own frenzied swipes with his axe. While some managed to get close to the wreck of the Behemoth, the furious push back from the deadly beasts and the cruel toadmen that inexplicably served the cause of Everblight kept the Khador forces from moving the heavy object back to their lines. 

3 Legion Scythean finishes off Butcher2It ended with the Butcher himself under assault from all sides. While he single-handedly killed the Archangel for a second time after Thagrosh recreated the blood-built monstrosity, the Butcher could not continue his assault and finally had to withdraw from the field. 

4 Doomshaper2 Doom2 chases ThagroshFollowing standard Legion doctrine, Thagrosh split his force into small bands to move across the lands to regroup. It was one of these bands that caught the attention of Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia. A small knot of Trolls decided that it was time to attack. While other Trollbloods warlocks may have done it to avenge the loss of their now-allied Khador friends, Doomshaper’s motives may have been a bit more simple: elimination of Thagrosh and the Legion menace, humans be damned to the Wurm. 

5 Mulg finishes off ThagroshThagrosh himself led the band which Doomshaper’s force clashed against, and while the Dragonspawn definitely had the upper hand in the alpha strike when the group met, it was Mulg’s great club and surprising speed when backed with the Doomshaper’s power, that shattered the body of Thagrosh. With a last wave of his hand, he blasted a nearby Ogrun with power and shifted his entire consciousness and form through the writing and screaming Ogrun and out of harm’s way. His advances momentarily checked, no doubt both Troll and Khador leader alike were left wondering where Thagrosh may appear next. 

Completed Legion Armies for Carnage at the ConfluenceThe strength of the Legion has been increasing considerably, with the various war commands joining the fray and bringing deadly dragonspawn into conflicts. At the same time, other factions used the chaos to strike. 

4 Trollbloods vs CryxAnother Cryxian foray was launched along the riverways, just as a command was set to press out to challenge the Legion of Everblight. This time, they struck against Borka Kegslayer. While the deadly Bane Thralls did their work, the Cryx forces were too clumped together, leaving the Trolls able to take more ground quickly. Eventually Skarre recognized the depth of Troll control of the area, and escaped with her life. The Cryxian menace seemed to be building toward something big. They had designs on the southern river–is it just strike during instability as normal, or adding up to a larger scheme? Especially given that activity of the faithful of Everblight was up in the area, there has to be some method to the madness. 

5 Trollbloods Grissel vs Circle Orboros Fox ThemeAlso, in the wilds at the center of the disputed territory, the forests were seemingly suffering. Between Trollbloods logging for structures and supports, Khador cutting trees for fire to keep their men warm, and Legion preying on the fauna as victim and food, it was no surprise that the Circle Orboros dispatched one of their number to look into what was happening. Kaya the Wildborne emerged from the woods with a small force, challenging both Lylyth and her Legion hordes to the north of the central woods and Grissel and her Kriel to the south. While Legion forces were forced to flee, the Trolls proved to be much tougher. Literally. Grissel seemed to be in dire trouble, with both the Feral Warpwolf and Kaya herself assaulting her. Yet even as she fell, she resisted the mortal blow–and rose to finish Kaya with a mighty blow from her own savage maul. 

While Legion was victorious against Khador, the remaining battles swung in favor of the Trollbloods. The alliance advanced across the land at better pace. It is time for the Legion to strike back, and in true Legion fashion, that means a covert mission to accomplish in small force what a grand army sometimes cannot. 

Week 2 Results:

Confluence of Carnage Week 2

Here is the Downed Behemoth special mission that we used for Week Two of the campaign (referenced by the battle between Thagrosh and the Butcher above):

Downed Behemoth Special Mission

Story After Week Three:

Licking his wounds from his run-in with Mulg, Thagrosh retreated back to the confluence where he had set up his base for the assault. An unexpected development (the sub-cortex of the Behemoth), had given him an idea. Now it was time to get information to support that idea, and coordinate the strikes of his forces to get a definitive lead on where the bones of his dragonkin Vorspark may be interred. 

That meant sending forth agents on his behalf. He tasked the twins, Saeryn and Rhyas, to press forward on one side and Vayl to take the battle to the other side to build a strategic envelopment of the enemy forces. 

1 Saeryn and Rhyas Talons of Everblight versus Kaya

The first task of Saeryn and Rhyas was to try and root out the Circle Orboros force that was striking from the central woods on the battlefield. The sisters took to their task with ease, and quickly set up a trap for Kaya to reveal her forces. When she finally did, the Legion army encircled the Circle force–stealing a definitive tactical advantage and forcing Kaya to quit the field lest her entire force be eliminated. 

3 Trollkin Scouts and Legion Shredder

Meanwhile, Vayl continued her trajectory toward the Trollbloods commanded by Borka Kegslayer. They clashed yet again on the field, and again Borka was triumphant. This time, he slipped away from a screeching Carnivean that stood before him, buying his trolls time to bring down the beast with multiple smaller strikes from axe and hammer. Vayl tried to bring all of her spellcasting power to bear against the drunken lout, but to no avail–once he closed the gap to her and threatened her in melee, Vayl fled. She vowed to regroup, and knew that perhaps her agents could accomplish in secret what she was unable to do on the battlefield. 

3 Legion of Everblight IKRPG group

Later, a hand-picked group of Legion of Everblight warriors assembled around a campfire. These were seasoned warriors whose wargroup leaders had picked them for a special mission. While the battlefield was fresh, it was time to strike at the regrouping Trollbloods and Khador forces. Thagrosh himself oversaw the mission, and his booming voice spoke to the group as if directly from their blood. 

“We need more intelligence, and the officers of these feeble races have it. Your mission is to follow the regrouping elements from the most recent battles, isolate them, and slaughter all save their commanding officer. Bring the commander back to our forces, and we will insert a shard into them that will allow us full information of the enemy. Go now, without delay.”

The group–two Ogrun Warspears, two Nyss Legionnaires, a Blightblade, a Stalker, and a Sorceress–packed up their things and marched to the site of the battlefield. Finding the remnants of both Khador and Trollbloods, the group debated which path they would take. Deciding that the Khador officer may have more information than some illiterate Troll, they followed the tracks of an organized (thus likely to have an officer present) withdrawal from the battlefield. 

Their pursuit took them into a forest that was aflame with a forest fire, but their keen Nyssian tracking skills kept them on the path correctly with little more than some coughing from the smoke here and there. Continuing their trail, the tracks led to a small ruins just past the forest that was clearly the spot chosen by the Khador as a fall-back rally point. 

4 Chaaad the Blighted Ogrun Warspear advances

Because there were two Winter Guard soldiers guarding the entrance to the ruins, the group endeavored to be stealthy in their approach. All was going fine, except for Ch’aaad, one of the Warspears. As they approached, he felt a sudden rumbling in his stomach–and made a great commotion as he withdrew a snack from his satchel. With the guards alerted, the Legion task force had no choice but to spring their assault. With one being killed right away, the other sounded an alarm and dashed down into the hallway beneath the ruins. 

5 Winterguard Ambush in a ruin

Giving little thought to their own safety, the group charged after the soldier. Underground the landing led to a long hallway, with strange crenelations lining it. As the faster runners moved up, the purpose of the crenelations became clear: an ambush by the Winter Guard for any who pursued them. 

The hallways of the chamber rang with gunshot and scream as the two forces clashed. However, the Winter Guard could not hold up to the sheer fury of assault brought by the Legion force. As their numbers dwindled, the Kovnik Officer continued to fight desperately. He was finally slowed by freezing magical ice from the sorceress and a knock-out knee from the Strider. 

The force tied up their quarry, and lugged him back northward toward Thagrosh. Each of them may have served different masters, but the victory in that abandoned ruin advanced the entire cause of the Legion. 

2 Another Cryx Attack on Sorscha2

Oblivious to the machinations of the Legion and the loss of one of their officers, Forward Kommander Sorscha continued to deal with the occasional risings of Cryx forces along the southern waterways. While she wanted nothing more than to stop the advance of the Legion army in the north, Skarre the Pirate Queen was still moving along the waterways with a slippery little raiding force, causing havoc while the troops of Khador marched northward. Hoping to break Skarre’s force once and for all, Sorscha managed to score a victory, but failed to capture Skarre who slipped away yet again in the chaos. Kommander Sorscha sighed yet again. If only the might of Khador could be simply directed at one foe, they would truly crush that foe under their might. It was the multitude of foes that they faced on all sides that continued to keep the Motherland from victory. 

Week Three Results:

Confluence of Carnage Week 3

This week we had Ryan run a special Iron Kingdoms Role Playing Game mission for everyone in the campaign to participate in. The portion about the Legion of Everblight Strike force was our RPG element. Afterward, when the mission was proven successful, every player wrote down the caster they were “working for” as part of the mission. All those that got more than one vote were granted an additional hex for their wargroup on the campaign board space.

 

Story After Week Four:

The time had come. Thanks to cooperation with agents from Vayl and Kallus, Thagrosh had the information he needed about the enemy defenses. It was time to hit the weak spots, and press onward to the confluence. The bones of the ancient Vorspark, and the athanc they housed, were at the center of the confluence and his for the taking if he could break through the enemy lines. It was time for an intense push. Khador field engineers had been constructing fortified bunkers along much of the frontier, while Trollbloods labored to dig trenches throughout to prepare for the larger attack. By striking at the weak points that they had uncovered, he hoped for a breakthrough.

1 Thagrosh vs Butcher2

Thagrosh personally led the point of the spear, driving directly at a bunker to the northwest of the confluence. That bunker was held by Kommander Orsus Zoktavir and various Khador military assets. However, the rapidity of Thagrosh’s strike left the bunker empty and undefended. While the Butcher dealt out massive casualties among Thagrosh’s warbeasts, his force couldn’t survive on the fury of the Butcher’s attacks alone. Eventually the Butcher was surrounded by Thagrosh and his surviving warbeasts, and forced to retreat from the field. With the bunker lost, the Legion forces pushed closer to their target. 

2 Jarl Skuld Troll Axer Swamp Troll

All that stood between them and their goal was a thin line of earthworks dug by the Trollbloods forces. Jarl Skuld commanded the side closest to the river, while Hoarluck Doomshaper, the Rage of Dhunia, held the more western advance. Jarl paced in his trench, steeling his forces for the inevitable attack of Thagrosh as his forces turned toward their target. 

3 Trollkin Fennblades vs Carnivean

Many Trollkin sold their lives dearly in the attack, but they managed to hold the trench through the fighting. As his forces thinned, Thagrosh felt the momentum flagging. He sent couriers to Lylyth and Kallus, his two reserve forces, that they should launch their attacks against the beleaguered Trollbloods and break the line for good. 

4 Doomshaper2 Doomy2 Epic Doomshaper vs Lylyth

Lylyth, the patient hunter, was already carefully in place and awaiting the word to strike. She unleashed her beasts at the Trollblood contingent led by the Doomshaper. The forward trenches were already empty, the Pyg Burrowers tasked with digging them silently slain by Strider arrows. Her onrushing force had but one more trench to clear and they would breakthrough and force the Trollbloods to turn… which would let Thagrosh’s assault continue. 

Scythean Troll Bouncer and Doomy2 Doomshaper2 Epic Doomshaper

However, the indomitable will of the Rage of Dhunia was not going to be over-run that day. A surge of howling Trollbloods warbeasts and foot soldiers from the Kriels rushed forward out of the trenches. Instead of hunkering down and awaiting their fate patiently, they took the battle to Lylyth’s forces instead. Two huge Dire Troll Blitzers led the way, propelled deep across the battle lines into the midst of the Legion troops. Under the sudden assault, Lylyth found herself exposed to the hungry Trolls and her two heavy beasts too far away (frenzied and chasing down a troll whelp no less) and too mired in the enemy to save her. She had to quit the field, allowing the Trollbloods a scant moment of breathing room. 

If only Kallus’ forces had made it to the Trollbloods lines, they surely would have been shattered as well. Yet his strike on the strung-out defenders never came, as his assault was slowed before it even started thanks to an unexpected enemy. Without Legion’s second reserve making it to the fray, the Trollbloods’ line held long enough that Thagrosh and Lylyth had to withdraw their forces, for now. 

Converted Kallus Legion of Everblight vs Cryx

The puzzle of why Kallus was delayed only reached Thagrosh’s ears later. After many assaults on the southern front, Legion intelligence suggested that Cryx was making their move against the Khadorians and Trollbloods in the confusion of the Legion attacks–it seemed like the Dragonfather’s minions were helping them for once. Yet suddenly, a new assault was launched, this time against them. Again striking from the waterways Skarre, the Pirate Queen, targeted Legion forces. Kallus was newly promoted to reserve commander after supplying agents for the small raiding party that captured the Khador officer. Donning a steel plate armored helm to signify his station, Kallus was marshaling his troops to join the attack on the Trollbloods–and that’s when Skarre’s band struck.

Cryx versus Everblight

The rapid assault of the undead forces caught the Legion elements unaware. The sheer brutality of the attack quickly decimated their reserves, with warbeasts falling to the deadly steamfists of a swarm of Mechanithralls. 

Croak Raider Manages to fell Skarre

Things looked extremely grim for Kallus and his forces, as the push enveloped his army. However, he was determined to keep the field. He surveyed the last of his beleaguered force: a handful of Croak Raiders and a Shredder. With a shout of command, he urged the vile frogmen that served him to finish off the leader: “Cut off the head of the snake and we live!” his voice boomed. With cruel rumblings in their larynxes of acknowledgement, they rushed forward and loosed a last volley of oil and flaming dart. First targeting the weaker support staff surrounding Skarre, they managed to get her doused in the highly flammable oil. Then a lucky shot from a flaming dart managed to strike her cloak. The Pirate Queen was lit ablaze by the attack, accelerated by the viscous oil. With a screech she was damaged, and it took all of her energy to run back toward the river and keep her magical field intact to protect her. Her fleeing the field was enough that the command of the various thralls on the board was lessened, and the remaining Legion troops managed to just barely stop the assault. They had won, but at tremendous cost of life and resources–not to mention loss of time. 

The delay proved costly, as Kallus’ reserve force failed to make contact with the Trollbloods lines in time. The defense held, and a tense standoff between the two advancing forces was beginning throughout the woods that separated the two confluences that formed the base of operations for each group. Who would break the impasse? Only time would tell. 

Week Four Results:

Confluence of Carnage Week 4

This week’s missions were both variants of missions from the Company of Iron campaign that Privateer Press ran. The Trollbloods were defending a trench, using the Chain of Command mission, while Khador forces protected their initial defensive earthworks via the Bunker Raid mission.

Story After Week Five:

The ravages of war continued, as the battles became almost daily across the frontier between the two rivers and their tributaries. A major battle unfolded between Borka Keglsayer and the twins, Saeryn and Rhyas. Borka had seen victories against Vayl, and so the Legion strategists sent a differing force to try and break his battlegroup’s progress. 

1 Earthborn versus Scythean

The valiant trolls of Borka’s retinue hit hard and worried both Saeryn and Rhyas, but they did not have the numbers to handle the massive number of ambushing troops that came from the two sides to envelop them. Finally, the Blightblades cut their way through the troops and reached Borka himself. With their attacks, and his Keg Carrier slain, Borka was forced to retreat from the field–leaving the flanks of a neighboring Khador force exposed. 

Karchev led that force. It was sent to retrieve the missing Khador officer through sheer decimation of enemy assets, but quickly got into difficulties as the column was attacked on two fronts. Kharchev was surrounded by two armies: one led by Saeryn and Rhyas–rushing forward after defeating Borka–and one led by Thagrosh himself. It was then that Kaya, striking with Circle Orboros forces, charged from the woods to help balance the battle. The twins were deadly in their fighting, and just as they seemed to die they revived again to strike in different spots. Rhyas managed to strike down Kaya, and then the combined might of the two armies drove Karchev from the field with their control of the strategic high ground. 

Karchev Menace

Given that the direct approach seemed to be failing, the leaders of Khador and the Trollbloods convened a special group to try a more stealthy approach. They hastily assembled a unit dubbed Combined Assault Team 9 (CAT9), which reported directly to Kommander Strakov, the warcaster serving as the chief Khador/Trollkin coalition intelligence officer. CAT9 consisted of a Man-o-War, a Pyg Burrower, a Field Mechanik Officer, and an apprentice Trollkin Warlock.Having spoken to the lone Winter Guard survivor from the ambush at the Orgoth ruins, CAT9 was tasking with retrieving Kovnik Officer Kerensky, who had been captured by Thagrosh’s Legion forces. The team grabbed their gear and tagged along with Forward Kommander Sorscha’s battlegroup as it returned to its defensive position in the north. Breaking off from the battlegroup, CAT9 headed east to the Orgoth ruins in the hopes of picking up the trail of Kerensky’s captors. 

CAT 9 team assembled

CAT9 located clues under melted snow, and followed the path of the captors back past where the great Behemoth was lost to their foes as well. Finding fresher tracks at that point, they picked up the pace eventually reaching the banks of the Tapping river. Searching the banks they found the body of a dead Nyss Sorceress who had drowned in her attempt to cross the river. Thanks to some strong swimmers and creative use of ropes, they managed to get the whole team across the flooded river including the Man-o-War armor and the Mechanick’s light jack. Picking the trail back up the realized they were deep in enemy territory when they could see numerous enemy patrols in the distance. For reasons unknown to the Khador troops, the Trollkin Warlock on their team decided to fire a burning arrow into the sky which attracted the attention of a nearby Blighted Nyss Strider patrol.

The members of CAT9 attempted to flee pursuit but realized they were quickly leaving the Man-o-War behind–they turned to make a stand against their pursuer. The Striders engaged the team in a shallow valley. The Trollkin Warlock and his bonded beast caught a majority of the arrows with their bodies, but the rest of the group managed to slay all of the Blighted Nyss harriers. With their presence discovered, the team was forced to slow down their search. By nightfall the team had located the enemy encampment where Kovnik Officer Kerensky had been taken, but the strength of the camp had been doubled by the cautious Legion commanders. Out-numbered and out-gunned, CAT9 returned south to the coalition headquarters to report the encampments location and to gain further reinforcements.

Week Five Results:

Confluence of Carnage Week 5

This week was the second of the Iron Kingdoms RPG games that we included in the campaign. Ryan did a great job yet again, and it sounds like players had a lot of fun (I had to miss this one). This time the Trollbloods and Khador team rallied up, and they were mostly successful–at least in discovering the prisoner location before time ran out–so they earned a board space for the wargroups of Sorscha and Strakov.

Story After the Two-Week Campaign Finale:

Things were growing to a head in the confluence, as each faction received their final marching orders. The information from Kovnik Kerensky had led Legion to their goal, but the Khador forces and Trollbloods were racing to try and rescue him. Would they find out in time if they saved him? Would the Athanc be placed in a more secure location? 

1 Sorscha2 Beast 09 Crush Circle Orboros

Khador’s first mission aimed at enabling their columns to reach their chosen destinations. That meant eliminating the presence of the Circle Orboros agent Kaya from the woods at the center of the battlefield. Luring Kaya to engagement thanks to clear-cutting forests, they proved successful thanks to Forward Kommander Sorscha’s deadly assault, and the frozen destruction of Beast 09. 

2 Legion Grotesques vs Skarre

Meanwhile, Legion was experiencing supply-line problems of their own. Saeryn found her forces ambushed by the crafty Pirate Queen Skarre, who continued to strike from waterways. Did she know that they were getting close to finding the lost Athanc of Vorspark, or was it merely Cryx’s interest to seed chaos among both sides so that they had to expend additional military might in these battles?

3 Cryx Seether vs Legion Carnivean

Skarre’s force triumphed, dealing a blow to Saeryn and causing her force to turn back for reinforcements. She would miss out on her chance to try and capture the Athanc, and it left only Vayl, Consul of Everblight and Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight, with effective positions on the battlefield. 

4 Khador Attempt at the Safe House

Thagrosh’s force began in possession of the captured Kovnik Officer Kerensky, hiding him in an abandoned farmhouse while extracting information from him. With the Circle interference taken care of by Sorscha, Karchev the Terrible marched his engines of war straight into the foe. 

5 Repulsed by the Legion Forces

While his steam-powered offensive grabbed a side of the shack, Karchev did not realize just how fast the massive Archangel was, and its shadow soon fell over the Khador forces. Its massive jaw clamped around Karchev, shattering the metal machinery that kept him alive and functioning. It was all Karchev could do to have on of his warjacks grab his inert metal form and drag him away from the scene. 

6 Grissel Attempts a Rescue of Kovnik Kerensky

Alerted that a rescue attempt of Kovnik Officer Kerensky was underway, Thagrosh quickly transferred the target to a different safe house–this one guarded by Vayl, Consul of Everblight. However, an enterprising gang of Trollkin Scouts watched the transfer and gave their force an extra chance to try and save the lost Khador officer. Grissel was tasked with this action, and rushed a fast-moving wargroup forward into the face of the enemy. 

7 Grissel Fails to Free Kovnik Kerensky due to Vayl2

Grissel had counted on her Fell Calls and the magical field produced by Mulg to limit Vayl’s effectiveness as a commander, and in that she was absolutely successful. Vayl found herself unable to concentrate and manifest spells. However, that meant she turned to other methods. Using her strange Oraculus, she struck multiple Trollkin and killed them, leaving a path for her Carnivean to throw a warrior directly at Grissel. In the confusion, Grissel dropped her defenses for just a moment–and sustained a horrible attack from the Scythean. Wounded, Grissel was forced to withdraw, despite the fact that she was standing just outside the safehouse where the captured Kovnik Officer was restrained. 

8 Skarre vs Vayl2

With Kovnik Officer Kerensky safely held, Vayl marched her forces south to assist with recovering the Athanc. Yet again, Pirate Queen Skarre struck the Legion as they were moving their forces. The deadly Banes and their leader Tartarus struck down both beast and Blighted Ogrun, and managed to force Vayl to quit the field with only her own self intact. 

9 Vayl2 Tries to get Past Doomy2 Doomshaper2

Vayl managed to reach Thagrosh and reunite with him, but her force was considerably smaller thanks to the Cryx attack. He gave her command of some forces, and allowed her to make the first attempt at recovering the Athanc from the ruin at the heart of the confluence. Whether it was a legitimate attempt, or Thagrosh’s cagey intention to wear down the Troll defenders before committing his own forces, remains unclear. 

10 Vayl2 Eaten by Earthborn Dire Troll

Thanks to the deadly rampage of the Dire Trolls, Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia, managed to stand firm and defend the secret tunnels of the ruins. Vayl herself was beaten to near death by an Earthborn Dire Troll and left for dead. 

11 Thagrosh Makes His Assault Against Doomy2 Doomshaper2

It was then that Thagrosh struck, his own forces seeking to penetrate the ruins that Doomshaper held so savagely. His troops fought a strange battle–trying to defeat the Trolls that opposed them, but also search the various potential entrances to the tunnel system beneath the ruins where his information showed that the Athanc of Vorspark was held. 

12 A Scythean penetrates the ruin

Finally, one of Thagrosh’s Scytheans pried open a sealed catacomb door. As it dropped down into the underground chamber, Thagrosh magically watched through its eyes. At the end of the short chamber, a strange stone floated under magic power. He could make out the familiar runework of Hoarluk Doomshaper, and knew that this must be a protective stone cover that was designed to contain the Athanc. 

13 Doomy2 Cannot keep the Athanc safe

Thagrosh commanded the beast to rush and obtain the Athanc, which it did with ease. Despite sending an Earthborn Dire Troll down to try and stop the Scythean, as well as his own self (and magical might) Doomshaper was unable to prevent the Scythean from fighting its way to freedom. Only the Scythean crawled out of the catacomb, and it went directly to Thagrosh to deliver the stone case. With a quick swipe of his weapon, Thagrosh shattered the protective runes and the stone crumbled before his eyes. He had recovered another Athanc, and would return it back far north for its immense power to be incorporated into Everblight’s plans. 

The field of battle was scarred from the weeks of fighting, with both sides having suffered losses and managing victories. With their prize in hand, however, the Legion forces fled the field as quickly as they could. Their path led north, toward a spot where they could experiment on the Athanc in relative protected safety. Already, word was spreading in Khador and among the Troll Kriels that the Athanc was lost. Soon no doubt spies for other factions would carry the same words. 

Alone, wandering through the mudded fields, walked Kovnik Officer Kerensky. He finally reached a picket line of Winter Guard, and gave the correct call sign. They embraced him, and questioned how he got free. He related a tale of heroism and daring-do of his own accord, managing to free himself amidst the chaos of the retreat to the north. He was taken back to his command bunker at the rear, and rewarded for his bravery in the face of capture the enemy and ability to free himself. He provided detailed plans of the Legion’s operations, and the Khador war machine was grateful: offering him a promotion to Lieutenant Kommander, which he accepted right away. 

That night, when all the meetings were finished and the pomp of his promotion subsided, Kerensky finally found himself alone in a bedroom. He walked into the bathroom, and stood before the mirror. Taking off his shirt, he carefully tugged on the strange flap of skin that the Succubus skin-grafters had grown for him. It came free, and he could see the shard implanted deep into his heart. He smiled at himself in the mirror as he covered it back up, and carefully obscured the cuts where it was placed. His eyes flickered with only the smallest hint of blight. He didn’t have long, but he would turn the operations of the Khador war machine toward the goals of his new master: Everblight. 

 Final Campaign Results:

Confluence of Carnage Week 6Wargroup Legend

The final two weeks featured two missions. The first one represents the chance for Khador and/or Trollbloods to recover the captured Kovnik Kerensky: “Road to Recovery”.

Campaign Special Mission 2 - Road to Recovery

The second special mission represents Legion of Everblight finally reaching the Confluence and plumbing the hidden catacombs they’ve been seeking the whole time: “Extraction Protocol”.

Campaign Special Mission 3 - Extraction Protocol

Finally, a big thanks to all of the various players who joined in for the event. Thanks to Dan and Colton for fighting on behalf of Khador, and setting up a great storyline for when we return to this story for the next phase of the campaign (the “Manchurian Candidate” Kerensky). Thanks to Tony for joining me in the cause of Trollbloods protecting their settled homes and the Athanc. Thanks to Roger and Terry for running Circle and Cryx as spoilers throughout the campaign. And a huge thanks to all the players who started brand new Legion armies for the event and offered such great diversity of foes for everyone to face: Andy, Ryan, Enrico, Kevin, and Brandon. Congrats to the Legion of Everblight side of things for triumphing in their battles and ultimately winning the Campaign for the forces of the dragon. It was a hell of a great send-off for our final games of Mark II.

Flash of Death

Flash of Death

As always, more games during the week so another update. First the painting, then the three games.

1 Cryx Slayer and Deathripper

Mark III of Warmachine and Hordes is on the horizon, and that means a new battle box and a new Journeyman league. While I’m loving my Trollbloods lately, I think that I’m going to head back to Cryx for the start of Mark III. That means that wanted to finish up the pieces for the new battlegroup box, so I painted up a Slayer and a Deathripper. When I started Cryx, I started in with an alternate starter (Asphyxious), so I needed to get the Slayer done. And another Deathripper never hurts. 

This week I got in three games, two for the Carnage at the Confluence Campaign that we’re doing at Drawbridge Games, and one with a good buddy of mine Tom who’s just starting up with the hobby.

4 Doomshaper2 Doomy2 Epic Doomshaper vs Lylyth

I played Ryan in my first game of the day, bringing a Doomshaper2 list with two Dire Troll Blitzers, a Troll Bouncer, Champions, and Scouts. I faced off against Lylyth, commanding a Carnivean, Scythean, and a Shredder, plus Blighted Ogrun Warspears with UA and Striders with UA. Representing the earthworks the Trollbloods have been building in the campaign, the board was littered with trenches. 

Dire Troll Blitzers pummel Lylyth

Ryan’s Legion inflicted some nasty attacks on my forces, but Lylyth’s range got stretched thin. The Scythean also got a horrible case of “miss every roll ever” disease when trying to finish off the Trollkin Scouts, which helped a lot. Doomy2’s feat turn got me up into her face past her beasts, which meant the next turn the two Dire Troll Blitzers were able to roll in and finish her off. 

2 Jarl Skuld Troll Axer Swamp Troll

Second game I was again in the bunker, this time with Jarl Skuld against Kevin’s Thagrosh. I decided to try an infantry-heavy list, so ran only a Troll Axer and a Swap Troll as my beasts, plus Trollkin Scouts, Trollkin Fennblades, and Pyg Bushwhackers. 

3 Trollkin Fennblades vs Carnivean

I pretty much just fed my troops into the meat grinder, slowly shaving away hit points on his heavy beasts. I didn’t want to kill them because of Thagrosh’s feat, so the lack of heavy-hitting power was tolerable. Because the mission forced Thagrosh to make his way into the trench on my side of the board, turning the board into lines of slow-slog progress through tough troops paid off, and Thagrosh ended the game short of getting into the bunker. 

2 Cryx Starter Box vs Cygnar Starter Box

As I mentioned above, the third game I got in against Tom’s Cygnar force. It was a starter box game, and I knew that Tom had played against Hordes before so I thought I would bring my Cryx to give him a Warmachine foe to face. Thus, it was Deneghra’s battle box that hit the table. It was a great-looking game, as I love Tom’s green color scheme for his Cygnar.

3 Deneghra vs Cygnar Lancer

While I got a lot of attacks in, it wasn’t quite enough. The Slayer and some Venom-baths just couldn’t quite seal the deal on Stryker when I went for assassination. I should have sacrificed an arc node to get a deep Crippling Grasp up on Stryker in a prior turn. Alas, his defense and poor rolls combined to leave me just short. And with that, his Lancer finished Deneghra off with ease the turn after. It was a really fun battle, and very close–a slightly better attack roll with a second Slayer fist or with a second Venom and I would have had the win. 

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

177/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 40 (Win/Loss: 25/15/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Trollbloods:

9 Wins (Karchev x2, Vayl2 x2, Lylyth x2, Kaya, Skarre, Thagrosh) / 7 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2, Borka2, Kaya, Rhyas, Ashlynn)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  4 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3, Stryker)

Skorne:

12 Wins (Butcher x2, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre x2, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2)/ 5 Losses (Rask, Xerxis, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Zerkova2)

Goreshade3 and Me

Goreshade3 and Me

I attended a 50 point Steamroller tournament at Legions Games, and brought my Cryx along for the ride. I really wanted to bring my Skorne, but I’ve been playing so much Cryx lately for the Journeyman League that I was just more comfortable with them at the moment. This event was a two-lists event, so I chose to bring Goreshade3 and Scaverous–the two casters I’ve been running the most lately. Goreshade’s list was designed more for handling infantry, while Scaverous’ list was much more of an assassination vector if my opponent had thin lines and was vulnerable if a corridor is opened (Scavy’s specialty).

First up, painting. I finally added the first Mercenary unit I’ve ever purchased to my force, an Orgun Bokur. The main reason was to give a bit of defense to my caster, as the Bokur can use Shield Guard to take incoming shots for them. It helps prevent nonsense that would cause my caster to lose focus or be unable to cast/gain focus in the next round.

Cryx 1This brings me to 37 points painted this far in 2016. I’m a 10th of the way to having painted a point per day! I did him in the colors I’m doing the rest of my Cryx in, as he’s likely to only ever hit the table alongside my Cryx force. 

The field of 14 players was pretty heavily slanted with four Cryx, three Khador, two Legion, and two Circle. My first opponent was a Cryx player, my second opponent was a Cryx player, and my third game was against Khador.

Cryx 3First up was a pretty balanced Skarre list run by Ian. My Shrike actually did a pretty impressive job in this game. I got jammed by a group of Satyxis Raiders early, so to make sure I could contest I had to use Goreshade3’s feat on the top of turn two. The good news was, that meant the Shrike auto-hit on a long line of tramples and he soared a whopping 13 inches (thanks to Infernal Machine) and obliterated one half of the jammers in a literal fell swoop. The rest of the game he spent dodging attacks from the Bane Knights thanks to his high defense, until one finally tagged him and destroyed the little birdjack. 

Cryx 2Skarre’s alpha strike really hurt, especially the Soulhunters simply annihilating my Revenant Crew. However Goreshade3 was able to rush back and apply some scenario pressure, dominating the zone and getting some points for me while my opponent never quite cleared their zone. It meant that Skarre needed to go for the assassination, but it didn’t quite take. Goreshade was left in range of Skarre with a Helldiver behind her: the little jack surfaced, headbutted her to the ground, and Goreshade3 finished her with a charge. 

Cryx 4Round Two I faced Cryx again. This time I was facing Ryan, who dropped his Goreshade3 versus mine. Our lists were pretty different except for Mechanithrals and Bile Thralls, and Ryan got the first turn–which proved to be pretty decisive. He played his Bile Thralls up, charged and destroyed some with Goreshade3, then used Mockery of Life to get them placed even further up the field. A variation I should have done to him if I had gone first–but instead I had to play a bit defensively and creep around the sides. 

Cryx 5My Goreshade3 played up to the objective between two forests, recognizing that if I was going to do anything I’d need to increase the scenario pressure a bit. 

Cryx 6The problem was that I had to keep flooding the middle to keep him from scoring, and the Kraken and Bane Riders kept him well ahead of the curve. I kept the pressure up as much as I could, but once he got my objective dead and dominated the center for a round, it was all over but the taxes for most part. I crowded the zone once more, but his Kraken did its thing and I was too little too late. Still a fun game, as Ryan is always a great opponent who I learn a lot from when I play (he went on to win first place in the event). 

Cryx 7My third round match was against Justin’s gorgeously painted Khador force. Just look at that Behemoth. He fielded Vlad, which meant that my forces would have to sell themselves dearly–whenever he attacked me he was sure to hit and damage because of the added dice. I started my pressure early with the Mechanithralls and Revenant Crew, and while they did indeed die in droves they at least took some stuff with them–in particular heavily damaging the Behemoth. 

Cryx 8I ended up winning thanks to the death clock–Justin timed out for the round. It was a lucky thing too, as I was definitely losing the attrition game. My jacks were intact, and I was deciding whether I could try to scenario or simply had to nudge an arc node up and hope for a Hail Mary assassination through spells. Thank goodness for the Revenant crew in this game–I think a lot of time was spent dealing with them. Though I never got any back from their unit’s ability (only through Captain Rengrave adding models), the question they ask of “can you kill enough and then get the job done on the unit leader?” is a time sink for the opponent. Overall a great game, as Justin was a really fun player to face and his army was wonderfully painted.

For the tourney, I ended up 6th overall out of the 14, with a 2-1 record, 3 total control points, and 87 army points destroyed. I ended up playing Goreshade3 in all three games, each time for different reasons. Ultimately, that was fine by me as I was proud of my performance. Pretty good for only having started Cryx in December!

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

37/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 8 (Win/Loss: 4/4/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

0 Wins / 1 Loss (Rask)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

The Journey Ends

The Journey Ends

Well, we reached the end of our winter Journeyman League. It was spread a bit more than six straight weeks because of the holidays, but I judge it to be a great success. We had 13 total players show up, including two who split a 2-player starter box on the first night and started building the models right there. Everyone made progress painting, and almost every player earned the full badge set! Glad we got the reinforcements booster!

For the last event, we changed up the scenario from the league ones as people were wanting a bit of variety. For my game, I finally got a chance to play against Colton’s Khador. He had been using Sorscha as well as Karchev in the league, and I was excited to face off against his Karchev list. First up painting, then a bit from my battle, before the rest of the league.

A ShrikeCompleted my Shrike bonejack. Modified slightly to be flying, rather than taking off. Takes me to 34 points painted for the year!

Cryx 1My army arrayed for battle. Even at 35 points, Cryx makes for a fearsome large battle line.

Cryx 2Colton’s Khador line of battle, led by Karchev the Terrible at the front. Less widespread, certainly, but equally imposing as the Cryx line. I had my work cut out for me. 

Cryx 3The battle was joined, and Karchev led the way all across the board to the flag on my side. My poor Defiler was no match for the armored destruction. 

Cryx 4Goreshade3 followed suit, and rode across to the opposite flag himself. To win the game, I merely needed to defeat one destroyer. It took me a full turn of Goreshade3 and the Mechanithralls, then surviving the return attacks from the crippled warjack, and finishing it off the next round. Man, those crabjacks are tough! I managed to pull off the win, but only just. 

Other 1Other games from the evening. Andy’s Thornfall Alliance hog squad against Terry’s Protectorate of Menoth–the smell of bacon grilled on the flames of the righteous!

Other 2Brandon’s Trenchers dig into the zone, firing madly at Dan’s advancing Khador line. 

Other 5Another game for Brandon’s Trenchers, this time facing fellow Cygnarian compatriots in Tony’s force. 

Other 6Careful application of force can sometimes trump raw numbers. Ryan’s Cryx had been the most successful faction at racking up caster kills through the league, but this time the kill went to Rico’s Legion of Everblight. A bow shot and Parasite from Lylyth onto Asphyxious made him quick work when the Carnivean trampled in. 

Other 7The conclusion of the Protectorate/Thornfall match between Andy and Terry. Beautiful models on both sides lured me to get an extra shot of the action. 

Z Journeyman CrewMost of the Journeyman crew. From left to right: Andy, Tony, Ryan, Rico, Dan, Brandon, Colton, and Terry (I took the photo). We had a grand total of 13 players who participated in more than one evening of the event, with 11 who participated in all but 1-2 nights. 

Awards were as follows: 

Overall Journeyman Points: Dan

Most Hobby Points: Andy

Most Battle Points: Tony

All told, a great time. The next events planned at Drawbridge are a “Who’s the Boss” tournament at the end of February, and then participating in the Privateer Press Company of Iron campaign. With all the great painters and modelers, I’m pumped about that event!

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

32/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 4 (Win/Loss: 2/2/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Cryx:

2 Wins (Caine, Karchev)  /  2 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2)

Blightbringer

Blightbringer

On Friday night I got a chance to finally set Goreshade3 on the table for the first time, matching up against Rob’s Legion of Everblight list. Got a couple of pictures in the midst of things.

His Legion list was led by Lylyth2, who had two Ravagores, a Shredder, and a Naga Nightlurker in the Battlegroup. Plus support staff and two Strider Deathstalkers. Oh, and the Blightbringer. How can one forget that monstrosity? The list was tight and shooty, and was going to be a rough challenge for my force.

Goreshade3 v Lylyth2Just a bit of shooting in the opposing list… There used to be a left flank of Mechanithralls…

My force was Goreshade3, with a Leviathan, Hell Diver, Deathripper, and Nightwretch in the battlegroup. Mechanithralls, Bile Thralls, and the Revenant Crew of the Atramentous formed the bulk of my force, with the Withershadow Combine and a Necrotech rounding it out.

Goreshade3 v BlightbringerGoreshade3 stares down the massive form of the Blightbringer that rose beyond the forest.

 

The battle ended up being pretty close. My side took horrific casualties, but I got some luck in one of the Ravagores destroying their own objective and the speed of Goreshade to dominate the right zone. The Everblight player was only able to toe the Blightbringer into the zone to contest the following turn, so all I needed to do was take it down. The Leviathan turned to melee, and as always hit like a truck. The Helldiver also did some damage, but the beast was still up and only Goreshade was left. He charged in, and did a ton of damage but not quite enough (I think it was only five boxes left). Legion was then able to swoop in for the caster kill with ease.

I made some placing mistakes, and got muddled by the forest in the middle for a turn too long on a couple of key pieces. Overall I was pleased–Lylyth certainly butchered my forces but I wasn’t shot off the table and got more competitive as the game went on in my estimation. A few dice higher, or perhaps putting Scything Touch on the Leviathan rather than keeping the focus on Goreshade3 for his run in that last turn would have swung it to a win for me.

Great game and fun opponent–it’s good as I’m learning Cryx to play against people who have familiarity with the force.

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

28/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 3 (Win/Loss: 1/2/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Cryx:

1 Win (Caine)  /  2 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2)

Escalation of War

Escalation of War

 

Another week of the Journeyman league at Drawbridge Games, and that means more painting progress and more games! It’s a brand-new year, so a brand-new start to my gaming record. I’m not declaring this the Year of Cryx for me, but I’m planning on playing a lot of Cryx to get myself used to the faction and options. I’ll still squeeze in some Trollbloods (and maybe occasional Skorne) no doubt, but for the time being it’s the legions of dead for me.

Given that, I’ve added two new painted portions of my Cryx force: some troops and a nasty little bonejack. They bring me up to 18 points painted for January, toward the 366 points in 366 days challenge for 2016.

Cryx Painting 2A Cryxian mainstay: a minimum unit of Bile Thralls. 

Cryx PaintingThe little bonejack that could: the Helldiver. The little marker on the left signifies when it’s completely underground. 

For the league this week, there was good turnout and some beautiful painting progress by every player. I played two games myself. First, a match against Cygnar led by Caine. Then a mirror match against another Cryx player, facing Aspyhxious. For both games, I continued experimenting with Lord Exhumator Scaverous and his magic-slinging Rube Goldberg army of death. But before I get into those battles, some of the other great-looking action that took place.

Journeyman 2 wk 4Terry’s gorgeous Protectorate of Menoth force led by good old Kreoss against Dan’s aggressive Sorscha2-led Khador army. 

Journeyman 4 wk 4Ryan’s Cryxian nightmares face off in no man’s land against the Protectorate faithful.

Journeyman 5 wk 4Nasty Khador-0n-Khador action as Colton’s Karchev-led Warjacks (on the left) powerslide into the “friendly” forces on the other side. Journeyman 6 wk 4Tony’s Cygnar build the “Flying V” as they surge up into the crossroads to take on their snowy adversaries from the north. Journeyman 7 wk 2My favorite moment from my game against Ryan’s Cryx. My Withershadow Combine, thanks to some Telekinesis from Scaverous to get positioning correct, managed to actually get their Dark Industries ability to trigger–destroying one of his light warjacks and replacing it with one of my own. This shot shows the aftermath, as the newly-created Defiler moved up and acid-bathed the opposing Slayer and infantry behind. 

Despite the ten point swing of Dark Industries, however, I still managed to lose the game. I was clearly winning in the piece trade and scenario, and really only had the Slayer, a single bonejack, and Asphyxious left. The Helldiver surfaced and managed to flub its rolls, so Scaverous had to use his feat, Telekinesis Asphyxious out of combat, then tried to blast him with Feast of Worms and spells, plus the boosted attacks from the  Withershadow as well. Yet after the smoke cleared, Aspyhixous was still improbably standing there–thanks mostly to stinky rolls. He moved his remaining arc node up to just hit range against Scaverous, and then blasted my caster to bits with his own feat turn–thanks to a HUGE damage roll in his final chance to finish me off.  Still a blast of a game. 

Journeyman wk 4My other game was against Tony’s Cygnar and Caine. I was really nervous about the pairing, as Caine and the force of Gun Mages and the Black 13th definitely project a ton of destruction that my single-wound infantry simply could not handle. I had to use the terrain on the board to fully obstruct line of sight as much as I could, relying upon Ghostwalk on bonejacks and then Mechanithralls to get them into safe position against the imminent shooting death of my army. 

Luckily the battle was won by scenario before it got to that. The No-Man’s Land was the strip of road down the middle of the board in the picture above, and on the first turn where it could be scored (I have something, opponent has no models), this was the layout. The Cygnar Warjacks and Caine didn’t advance up to contest the zone–trying to draw the Cryx into a spot where his feat turn would be spectacular. That meant I had one chance to sneak a quick win if I could take out the six Gun Mages. 

Moving my arc node into place, Scaverous went first. He used his feat, then started with a Telekinesis to move one of the Gun Mages into the center of the others. He blasted that mage with a Feast of Worms, which took out that one and one other and left the survivors reduced in armor. Another Telekinesis slid the one toeing the road on the left out of the zone. Finally an Excarnate took out a third Gun Mage–adding a new Mechanitrall to my side and leaving only two Gun Mages left standing in the zone. The Withershadow Combine then moved up, and finished the two off with their feat-boosted Dark Fire spells. I’ve struggled with Scaverous in prior games, but this was the first where I really felt like I pulled off his complex victory game successfully. 

So with the start of the new year, I’m at a tied 1/1 with Cryx. Last year my record was helped immensely by playing Skorne (which I know really well) and a lot of brand new players in my area–gotta be honest about that. I’m hoping to carry a winning record forward for 2016, but it’ll be an uphill climb. The more I play Cryx, the more I enjoy them but also the more I fear that I have a Hordes gambler’s brain rather than a Warmachine architect’s brain.

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

18/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 2 (Win/Loss: 1/1/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Cryx:

1 Win (Caine)  /  1 Loss (Asphyxious)

 

Journey into Death

Journey into Death

 

Given the holiday break, I had a chance to get some games in on a Monday night against some new players at Legions Games on the north side of the city (I’m spoiled to be in a city where there are three stores that all support Warmachine and Hordes). These were 50 point steamroller games, and while I’m feeling more confident with my Trollbloods than Cryx, I wanted to start getting used to timed rounds using the infantry-heavy Cryx force, so I bundled them up and took a Lord Exhumator Scaverous list.

So far I’ve been doing quite well at Journeyman games with Asphyxious–at the box size and 15 points the Leviathan is just too destructive at range with Gaspy waiting for his excellent melee assassination chance. As my last post about that league notes, now that we’re at larger points the list advantage is gone, and I’m having to get a handle on the complexities of Cryx. So it was good to get some games in at higher points levels with some really good foes to give myself a challenge to rise to as I sort out these casters and this force.

But first up, as always, my painting progress. I was really pleased, because I had everything painted for these 50 point games except for one unit and two solos. One of my goals of 2016 is to try and play only painted models in games, and I’m getting very close to that threshold (plus there is another incentive that will help–see later in this post).

Necrosurgeon and Stitch Thralls Cryx

First up was a Necrosurgeon and three Stitch Thralls. Mechanithralls without them are simply not as threatening, so this was a very necessary 2 point addition to the army.

Cryx Chalkboardwar

I also added the character warjack Erebus, because he is the bonded jack to Lord Exhumator Scaverous (who I’m going to be running a fair amount). He can trash a fair amount of infantry and generate souls for Scaverous, which seemed like a good addition to my force. Plus, it’s fluffy! The story in the Wrath book abouve Scaverous using Erebus to ambush a train full of dead Khador wizards to steal the information in their skulls’ essences was what sold me on him.

Cryx vs Cygnar

Anyhow, enough on the painting. My first game was against Larry’s Cygnar force. It was Haley with a Stormwall and two large units of the various Cygnar cavalry as the main element. I had a lot of fun in the game, even though my force was picked apart pretty cleanly until Scaverous was assassinated by the Stormwall. I definitely need to work on how to deal with armies built to mash infantry–how to space against electro-leaping is critical. And just takes games like this one getting brutalized. But still a lot of fun, and a great opponent.

Cryx vs Cephalyx

My second game of the evening was against Ryan’s Cephalyx led by Cognifex Cyphon. I’ve played against Cephalyx before, but only against Exulon Thexus–and despite seeing largely the same force across from me as that time, this one ran very different. I had a great time in losing, as Ryan was a fun player who had a lot of experience with Cryx–and he was able to help me learn a lot more about my fledgling force. That’s one of the coolest parts of gaming, as he was willing to share some thoughts about how I could improve after the game that really helped. Cephaylx are fun to play against as they’re neat to see the opponent unfold the plan–it’s always complex, and fun to see unfold (e.g. “this one dies to power that one to move here and allow this spell to be used”). The game ended on scenario, at the point where we realized that I might or might not get one more point, but couldn’t prevent him scoring his fifth for the win that or the following turn.

Overall a great night of gaming on a random Monday evening!

Finally (this post is a long one), I wanted to mention my 2016 project: painting 365 points worth of models.

Painting Challenge

The Warmachine and Hordes Painting Facebook group is hosting a challenge to paint 365 points in 365 days. And I’m participating. My goal is to use this year to get fully painted and flexible-in-options forces for my Cryx and Trollbloods. I may also get some Skorne pieces painted depending on my motivation level with that force–though I’m leaning toward focusing just on the one Hordes and one Warmachine force. The picture above is my to-do list for Cryx to start the year (the contest organizers gave a Christmas present of one week in 2016 to get started, hence my Necrosurgeon and Erebus counting toward the total). That’s 58 points of Cryx pictured, so I’ve got some work to do… good thing that I got two heavy warjack kits, a Dire Troll kit, and Darragh Wrathe as holiday gifts to add to the total.

365 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

10/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Total 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:
12 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, Morvahna2, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, Stryker, Venethrax, Butcher, Thagrosh, Exulon)   /   3 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa/Kaya, Borka)

Trollbloods:

2 Wins (Asphyxious, Stryker3)  /   5 Losses (Kaelyssa, Asphyxious2, Saeryn+Rhyas, Kromac, Kreoss2)

Cryx:

7 Wins (Stryker, Sorscha, Lylyth, Deneghra, Helga)  /  5 Losses (Sorscha, Sorscha2, Dr. Arkadius, Haley, Cyphon)

Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (Morvahna2, Kaelyssa)   /   0 Losses

Legion of Everblight:
5 Wins (Caine2, Kaya, Sorscha, Rahn)   /   1 Loss (Fiona)

 

The Journey(man) Continues

The Journey(man) Continues

 

As I’ve posted before, we’ve got a Journeyman league running at Drawbridge Games, and it’s really growing! There are 14 players who have taken part thus far (3 Khador, 4 Cryx, 2 Menoth, 1 Legion, 1 Thornfall, 2 Cygnar, 1 Mercenaries), and we’ve just moved up to the 25 points level and caster swap weeks. Hence the need to share some coverage of my progress and events.

1 Cryx Lord Exhumator Scaverous Alternate Paint Scheme

So I started with the Asphyxious alternate starter for the league, but I knew I wanted to experiment with other casters. I told Enrico (the owner of Drawbridge and a Warmachine/Hordes enthusiast himself) that he could pick whatever caster he wanted and I’d give it a try as my next level for the league. Given that he was the owner, I was surprised he didn’t say Deneghra3 (she’d be a bigger sale for him, heh). But he went with Lord Exhumator Scaverous, so here he is in the (lack of) flesh.

Enrico said he went with Scaverous because he fit my play style: I like complexity. I’d rather lose in an attempt that’s interesting/complicated/not strightforward rather than win with a right-down-the-gullet beatstick (hence my Hexeris2 and Morghoul2 preference in Skorne). He probably saw me try the goofy two-handed throw assassination with Morghoul2 too often. It’s that “use the Cyclops Brute’s animus, throw Morghoul2, he sacks his attack but advances and then casts Flashing Blade a bunch while drawing from the Agonizer” level of complexity that I tend toward. And Scaverous is absolutely the same way. With Telekinesis, Ghost Walk, Feast of Worms, Icy Grip and a feat that lets him use them all boosted, he can pull off some really strange vectors and attacks. So he’ll be great for Journeyman games!

3 Withershadow Combine

Because I am running Scaverous, it seemed that the Withershadow Combine was a natural addition. They’re good models, and give a lot of tech that many lists need in Cryx (Puppet Master and spell removal). And they synergize with Scaverous’ feat turn to make certain they hit with their magic attacks.

4 Necrotechs

I also added some Necrotechs. Journeyman is somewhat warjack heavy because of the starting boxes, and I tend to like a few more heavies and lights in my lists than most people, so bringing some repair options for them seemed like a definite positive.

5 More Scrap ThrallsMy Scrap Thralls are getting different colors than the dark blue that I’m using for the rest of my army. I wanted them to look like they really were assembled on the run with whatever warjack bits were lying around on the battlefield.

Everyone has been painting a lot for the league, so I wanted to show off all the different battles from the past two weeks of the league. These are only the ones I remembered to get a photo from (I’m slacking, apparently)–but it shows the great variety of forces. And the fact that while everyone else varies color schemes on their forces, Khador insists on being painted Khador red.

6 Cryx vs Thornfall AllianceThey’re going hog-wild!

7 Khador vs LegionThe Scythean faces DOOOOOOM!

8 Cryx vs KhadorWhat happens when both forces decide to do the denied flank–on opposite sides.

9 Cryx vs ThornfallRyan’s Bane Thralls made a mess of the pigs, but the hogs still managed to finish Deneghra.

10 Khador vs CygnarThe classic match-up: Khador and Cygnar

11 Cryx vs Khador 2Doom Reavers are no one’s friend, especially not my Cryx’s.

12 Thornfall vs Cryx againNo shot of Scaverous, but this was my first game with him. His completely convoluted plan to assassinate Helga failed at the last moment (the backup backup was an attack on my own Scrap Thrall that had ran next to her). Yet he survived her assassination attempt due to bad dice, and finished her in very ordinary fashion on my turn–a couple slashes to the face with his magic scythe. 

Overall weeks 3 and 4 of the league went well. I lost more than I won, but I’m starting to get the hang of Cryx–still prone to mistakes because I have such a Hordes brain, but good learning experience.

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Total 2015: 41 (Win/Loss: 29/12/0)

Skorne:
12 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, Morvahna2, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, Stryker, Venethrax, Butcher, Thagrosh, Exulon)   /   3 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa/Kaya, Borka)

 

Trollbloods:

2 Wins (Asphyxious, Stryker3)  /   5 Losses (Kaelyssa, Asphyxious2, Saeryn+Rhyas, Kromac, Kreoss2)

Cryx:

7 Wins (Stryker, Sorscha, Lylyth, Deneghra, Helga)  /  3 Losses (Sorscha, Sorscha2, Dr. Arkadius)

Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (Morvahna2, Kaelyssa)   /   0 Losses

Legion of Everblight:
5 Wins (Caine2, Kaya, Sorscha, Rahn)   /   1 Loss (Fiona)

Warmachine/Hordes: Journeyman

Warmachine/Hordes: Journeyman

 

It’s Journeyman Season in Pittsburgh, PA! With a huge crop of new gamers at Drawbridge Games, I figured it was time to run a Journeyman League. So far the turnout and painting of the battle boxes has been excellent. The first night of the league two brand new players showed up, bought the Khador/Protectorate combo box, and sat down to assemble models as the rest of us played our starting matches.

For the League, I wanted to get working on a different project, so I figured visiting the land of Cryx would be a good option. Once the Journeyman league is over, I’ll be doing a “Tale of Two Dragons” narrative series for players in the area (tracked right here on http://www.chalkboardwar.com) that would have me taking the Cryx role. Therefore I wanted to get some practice and painting in with them at an accelerated pace–hence the perfect choice for the Journeyman league.

FullSizeRender (1)

My Cryx color scheme and starting force: Asphyxious, Leviathan, Deathripper, and Nightwretch

I painted up the initial battle box Deneghra and her warjacks, only to find out that two other players in the league were starting up Cryx and using Deneghra. Given that I was committed to Cryx for narrative reasons, and already had one Deathripper painted from Denny’s box, I went the route of the variant Asphyxious box.

And I’m glad I did. So far he has been fantastic, against veterans and new players alike. I’ve played six matches (tried to catch at least a game with as many people as I could at the first level–thanks to some extra gaming time found throughout the week), and Asphyxious performed admirably. He’s just so basic yet solid: decent spells, can fuel the ‘jacks moderately, and can get the job done in melee against nearly anything on the feat turn. I know that my force and results will reverse once we hit points beyond the 11 of the battle box–the things added will likely be counters to Cryx shenanigans with three of us in the league.

I got starting shots of some of the other starting battlegroups, and figured I would share them here:

FullSizeRender (2)Color-swapped Cygnar

FullSizeRender (3)Beautiful classic Khador

Legion of Everblight JourneymanThis amazing red-and-bone Legion of Everblight group. 

Cryx vs Cryx JourneymanNot the best shot, but my blue/orange Cryx against a Deneghra box with a classic scheme. 

Cygnar JourneymanAnother Cygnar group, this one with the original blue color scheme.

Battles (Privateer Press):
Overall Total 2015: 35 (Win/Loss: 28/7/0)

Skorne:
12 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, Morvahna2, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, Stryker, Venethrax, Butcher, Thagrosh, Exulon)   /   3 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa/Kaya, Borka)

Trollbloods:

2 Wins (Asphyxious, Stryker3)  /   3 Losses (Kaelyssa, Asphyxious2, Saeryn+Rhyas)

Cryx:

6 Wins (Stryker, Sorscha, Lylyth, Deneghra)  /  0 Losses

Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (Morvahna2, Kaelyssa)   /   0 Losses

Legion of Everblight:
5 Wins (Caine2, Kaya, Sorscha, Rahn)   /   1 Loss (Fiona)