Chapter Two: The Brown Land
Part Two: At The Violet Hour
It was time for the first game of the Brown Land campaign, and Stu and I had chosen a 50 point list from our monstrous 160 point reserve to fight over the contested territory of the Darkfen. The idea for this game is that Grand Scrutator Severius’ first foray into the swamp accompanied by a force composed mostly of mercenary elements is intercepted by a warband from the United Kriels, who have arrived to defend the natives. We used the Halfaug region of the Arctic Anomaly, which has a dangerous pitfall. As a Purist player, Stu could use the edges of the structure to gain cover, but could not advance into it for fear of death. As an Opportunist player, I could freely enter and move across the structure to launch surprise attacks. Any model left within the Descent would die a swampy death. We decided this was an ancient shrine to the Devourer Wurm, where fell magics were still strong.
EDIT: Photos are now up!
Region: Arctic Anomaly
The idea for this list was to go troll-hunting and do a little bit of jamming out for scenario. I know that Stu likes to play a lot of warbeasts, so the mix of Croe’s and Idrians and Saxon would hopefully put me in good stead when it came down to the crunch. I wanted to keep Severius safe as a priority, so two light warjacks went in: Devout to safeguard him from shooting and the Revenger to let him open up with spells from far away. I have been playing the Covenant-Rhupert package for a while with Kreoss and I figured it was good to have them in here with lots of infantry to target.
Grand Scrutator Severius (*6pts)
* Revenger (6pts)
* Reckoner (8pts)
* Devout (5pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2 pts)
Croe’s Cutthroats (Leader and 5 Grunts) (7pts)
* Attendant Priest (2pts)
Holy Zealots (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
* Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer (2pts)
Idrian Skirmishers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Idrian Skirmishers Chieftain & Guide (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
The Covenant of Menoth (2pts)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2pts)
Saxon Orrick (2pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pt)
Star Crossed is Calandra’s signature spell and it really is only great with models that are DEF 13+ so I tried to maximize that as much as I could. Nyss are ridiculous under Star Crossed and Burrowers become even more frustrating. The Witch Doctor supports both really well. Dahlia and Skarath become even harder to kill under Star Crossed especially once you put Bullet Dodger on him. Calandra also packs a nasty assassination threat with Force Blow so her shooting heavy battle group is built to capitalize on that threat. Her native re-rolls help fix bad dice on the Bomber’s attack rolls as well. Her Feat not being limited to Faction models also makes her a great choice for Minion models.
Calandra Truthsayer, Oracle of the Glimmerwood (*5pts)
* Storm Troll (5pts)
* Troll Impaler (5pts)
* Dire Troll Bomber (10pts)
* Trollkin Runebearer (2pts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath (9pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)
My side of the table had a hill about midway up the table on my left and a forest on my right. Just beyond the forest was the Temple of Doom which was pretty much directly between the center flag and the flag on my right. I deployed my Nyss behind the forest because it wouldn’t slow them down and gave Cylena a good place to hide. The Croc Doc was deployed with them so he could Zombify them while safely hiding. Calandra was deployed a bit to the left so she could stand on the hill and get her Star Crossed bubble out into Siskey’s lines. Dahlia and Skarath were on the left flank between the two flags so they could go for the left flag if it stuck around. Calandra’s battle group deployed next to her along with the various Troll support solos. Burrowers were deployed in the middle of the table.
Stu won the roll and decided to go first, so I picked the side of the table with the wall midway up. I also had a hill on my left, which was a little too far back to be of much use for elevation, a forest to my right which had the potential to block my force from the right-hand flag. I deployed Severius in the centre, hoping to catch the entire force with Eye of Menoth while still being able to get up to the wall on turn 2. The Zealots went on the left opposite the Nyss between the two flags on the chance that the left-hand flag would be ripe for the scoring, and they could survive the Nyss. The Croe’s took the middle with the Idrians beside them, and the Reckoner lined up opposite Calandra’s hill. When I was done with Advanced Deployment I put Prey on the Dire Troll Bomber.
Turn one my Nyss ran up but stayed in the forest. Croc Doc Zombified them. Burrowers ran up a few inches to try and stay out of threat and didn’t burrow. Dahlia cast Haunting Melody and advanced near the hill. Calandra cast Bullet Dodger on Skarath and advanced. Skarath and the Storm Troll ran onto the hill. The bomber and Impaler ran up as did all the various support dudes. The Chronicler put Tale of Mists on the Burrowers in case they got shot at by Siskey’s AD models.
I moved my troops up a bit conservatively, hoping to avoid being charged and looking to increase their survivability. The Attendant Priest Warded the Croe’s Cutthroats, and hung back a bit with the Croe’s screening him (this wasn’t the genius idea I thought it was!). The rest of the Croe’s shot at the Burrowers but missed thanks to Tale of Mists. The Idrians used their Go To Ground ability, while Rhupert put Heroic Call on them. The Holy Zealots popped their Greater Destiny ability and ran up the lefthand side of the table, ending up ranged between the middle and lefthand flag, banking on the righthand flag disappearing. The Choir sung Passage on the ‘jacks, and the Reckoner and the Revenger advanced up to either side of the wall that lay between the righthand and middle flag. I felt that Severius’ utility was outweighed by the need to keep him safe, so he kept the remainder of his focus and ran up behind the wall. At the end of my turn the righthand flag disappeared, leaving my Zealots in prime position to score the lefthand one next turn!
I opened turn two with the controversial strategy of Burrowing my Burrowers. I Zombified my Nyss and then spread them out so that a few of them were contesting the far flag while others got shots on the Idrians since they ignore Cover. I got two Idrians as well as a lucky shot at the Attendant Priest on Croe’s Cutthroats since I could ignore the Stealthed Croe’s to see him. Dahlia walked up on the hill, forgetting to ditch fury because I’m dumb, so that Skarath could set up a good spray to kill two more Idrians. One made a tough check and got knocked down due to being a hair out of covenant range and dealing 4 points to the Idrian officer and leaving him corroded. He also tagged the Reckoner but didn’t damage him. Storm Troll then walked up and and shot the knocked down Idrian bouncing through the unit and getting the Guide. Calandra stood on the same hill as everyone else and put up Star Crossed. The Bomber toed in the forest to get concealment and threw a bomb at the Croe’s and got two of them on the deviation. He then put Bomb Shelter on Cylena so that a lucky Zealot drift wouldn’t blow her up. Having hopefully blunted Siskey’s options for killing my Bomber and with Calandra reasonably safe I passed the turn.
No longer able to Tough it out, my Idrian Chieftain died from Skarath’s Corrosion. Severius loaded up the Reckoner with 3 focus and now the issue at hand was to clear his charge lane. The remainder of the Idrians charged Skarath, but one of them missed and the fiendish tatzlwurm used Bullet Dodger to move away, meaning that the Reckoner no longer had a viable charge target. It was at this point I realised that Saxon Orrick only affects warrior models, so he left his native forest and ran up the righthand side of the table, hoping to take down some of Calandra’s support before he died. Since my plan of charging over the wall wouldn’t work, I decided to Assault the Storm Troll instead to get some value from the focus, but Starcrossed reared its ugly head and I missed, wasting the other two focus. Severius tried to channel Ashes to Ashes through the Revenger onto the Bomber who was in the forest, but even a boosted magic ability 8 attack is nothing compared to the mighty Starcrossed, so once again I missed. The frustrations of the righthand side of the table were at least mitigated by the Zealots on the other side, who cleared some Nyss off the flag and grouped up around it to score a scenario point. The Covenant read Lawgiver’s Creed, hoping to keep Calandra from casting Starcrossed again.
Siskey 1 Stu 0
My Burrowers pop up and avoid the Cutthroats as much as possible due to Dirge of Mists and my command fixer being too far away to be useful to them. Skarath failed his threshold check with 2 Fury on him because I rolled a 10 and even his ridiculous Threshold of 11 couldn’t save him. He ate one of the Idrians as retribution and I ditched the Fury on him but probably shouldn’t have. The Fell Caller toed into the forest so he could see out of it, put War Cry on the Burrowers and Sprayed Croe who was engaging one of the Nyss killing him thanks to back arc bonus. Calandra moved off of so she could get her Feat onto the Nyss to my far right, Feated and cast Star Crossed. The Impaler sniped the Bomber who walked around in the woods a bit. He then bombed the Cutthroats to bits with his first shot since he was within 5” of them and then threw a long bomb towards the Zealots to my right and was in range thanks to Snipe so he blew up 3 of them. The Nyss then killed the remaining Zealots and the Chronicler ran to base the flag. The Burrowers killed Gorman, the last Idrian, put some damage on the Reckoner and attacked the Revenger. One of the repulsed Burrowers went down the Temple of Doom hole. The Storm Troll walked up and started punching the Reckoner and opened with a Crit Disruption thanks to a double six on his attack roll. He did a decent amount of extra damage to the big ‘jack but didn’t kill it. The Croc Doc is stuck in the woods trying desperately to be relevant while still Zombifying the Nyss. Dahlia just hangs out on the hill.
Siskey 1 Stu 1
Things are getting desperate now, with my offensive units all crumbling before me. I still have one unit left that stands a chance of being relevant however, so Rhupert pipes Dirge of Mists on the Choir of Menoth who are engaged with the Burrowers. The Burrowers pass the immediate command check, but then Rhupert charges into one of them and they flee, freeing up my ‘jacks and giving me some breathing room. Severius casts Ashes to Ashes on the surrounded Reckoner and kills the Burrowers surrounding him. He then casts Defender’s Ward on himself, and feats to keep Calandra from casting Starcrossed again. Meanwhile the Covenant runs over to contest the lefthand flag, and Saxon Orrick at the back of the field attacks and kills the Runebearer. The heavily-damaged Reckoner hits the Storm Troll and becomes disrupted.
Siskey 1 Stu 1
I make a Threshold check on the Storm Troll but he doesn’t give a shit and stays calm, clearly Skarath could learn something from him. The Nyss shoot the book to shit ensuring that I’ll score again this turn. My Burrowers fail to rally like the cowardly jerks they are. My Impaler goes for Saxon, boosts to hit and misses but Calandra burns a fury so that he can re-roll and he hits. I boost damage because I hate that guy and he dies. Skarath goes for the Revenger and misses his first attack. He hits the second and takes out the Shield stopping repulsion but misses his next attack. I leave him with one Fury open in case Dahlia gets shot. The Storm Troll Crit Disrupts the Reckoner again but kills him making it irrelevant. The Bomber aims and with the benefit of boosting, aiming and Calandra’s re-rolls shoots the Revenger to death. The Fell Caller repositioned to be somewhere useful for next turn. Calandra couldn’t Star Crossed this turn so she sat pretty far back and gave out re-rolls.
Siskey 1 Stu 2
All I’ve got left at this point is the Revenger, the Devout and Severius. Severius upkeeps Defender’s Ward on himself and hands out 3 focus to the Devout. Since he’s stuck behind the wall he attempts to Convert a Pyg Burrower, but the tricksy little fellow passes his command check. The Vassal puts Enliven on the Devout, and the remaining Chorister sings Battle to it. The Devout charges Skarath but misses his attack, so the snake once again Bullet Dodger’s away. Even without Starcrossed I can’t hit this game! With his primary prey insouciantly out of range, the Devout contents itself with killing Burrowers.
Siskey 1 Stu 3
The Bomber throws at the Decout and does a good amount of damage to him but I forgot Enliven so he walks out of range of the second bomb throw. Dahlia activated and healed Skarath since his Mind was gone. Skarath then charged him but fails to kill him leaving him on a handful of boxes. The Defensive Strike from the Devout almost blew out Skarath’s mind again but Siskey’s spiral rolling skills left something to be desired. The Nyss shot most of the choir to death and the Fell Caller finished them off with his spray. The Impaler sniped the Storm Troll so he can aim and try and shoot the Vassal. I’m looking for 13s to hit him behind the wall but with boost and re-roll it’s not as crazy a long shot as it normally would be. I got it and killed the vassal. The leap bounced to Severius but did no damage. Calandra put Star Crossed back up and sat at the back of the army camping two.
Siskey 1 Stu 4
Starcrossed has returned to blight my existence again, so when Severius takes a pot shot at the approaching Nyss Hunters his boosted Ashes to Ashes spell misses. The Devout standing in front of the wall swings and misses at Skarath. There’s nothing I can do, so that’s the end of the game and I congratulate Stu on his first victory.
Siskey 1 Stu 5