Game 3 vs Adam playing Minions – Rask
Adam is one of those players who switches faction quite often but always gravitates back to one, and in his case that’s Minions. I’ve played against Minions a handful of times – always Blindwater Congregation – but it’s a different warlock every time. His pair is Barnabus and Rask, neither of whom I’ve faced before. I have a look at my little green book and it says Kreoss1 for Minions. Also Adam asks which of my lists have magical weapons, so all signs point to Errants and Vessel and Aiyana and Holt! Still, I’ve heard Rask is pretty nasty, I’m starting to think a dance-off for the game might be a better idea.
He drops Rask, with three units of Gatormen (they are the Gold, the Facepaints and a very special unit that will be pictured below!), two Swamp Horrors, an Ironback Spitter, a Witch Doc Croc, a Feralgeist and a Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew. I put down Kreoss1. The scenario is Outflank, and the terrain is a bit bothersome, with a house between the two zones. There are two hills on my side, one of them is in the righthand zone, and there’s a forest on the other side (a really nice swampy-looking one which is appropriate for this game).
I pre-deploy my Vessel to trundle up onto the righthand hill. Adam wins the roll, decides to go first, and I pick the table side with the hills. Two of his gatormen units go to the left of the central house, while Rask, the warbeasts and the rest of the gators go on the right. I deploy my Zealots to the centre-right, with the Errants on the left. The support and Kreoss go in the middle, with the Reckoner on the righthand side.
Adam splits his force around the house, the Facepaints move up along with Rask, the Witch Doc Croc, the Ironback Spitter and one of the Swamp Horrors to the right-hand side of the house. Meanwhile, the other Swamp Horror moves to the right, along with the MOST AWESOME OF ALL GATORMEN UNITS:
They all just stand there, menacing me. I do my standard first turn, Defender’s Ward and Heroic Call goes on the Errants, and they run up to the opposite side of the zone from the Golden Gators and the A-Team, hopefully out of charge range. The Vessel moves up onto the hill on the right, and the Zealots and the Reckoner move up towards the centre of the right-hand zone. Kreoss and his support crew camp out in the middle, with a Gorman smoke cloud to block any Ironback Spits.
Adam proceeds to pop Rask’s feat. Holy hell that is a nasty piece of work! For those of you not familiar it gives the models involved Super-Stealth, they can’t be charged or targeted by ranged attacks by a model that started its activation more than 5” away. Rask casts Fury on the A-Team, Admonition on the Ironback Spitter, and keeps the rest of his fury. He holds the two Gatormen units on the lefthand side back on their side of the zone, safe in the knowledge that there’s nothing I can do to them. This is a repositioning turn for him, since there’s very little I can do all of a sudden!
I decide to counterfeat, since this will at least stop the Gatormen on the lefthand side charging and killing all of my Errants, and then…well I do a lot of repositioning too. Kreoss uses Purification to at least force Rask to spend his fury, and then hides behind a Gorman cloud. The Zealots pop Greater Destiny and run up into the teeth of the Facepaint Gatormen. The Vessel shimmies up closer, hoping to at least get a shot off next turn. Not a lot happened in Round 2, but that’s what Rask’s feat will do to ya!
The Golden Gators and the A-Team sacrifice their activations and swarm across the left-hand zone and the A-Team engage a few of the Errants. Thus begins the struggle between man and gatorman that lasts another few turns. Meanwhile the Facepaint Gator, who have been Zombified since Round 1, give themselves Pathfinder and move around and past the Zealots apart from one who is engaged, and move to threaten the Vessel of Judgment next turn. The Ironback Spitter spits at Rhoven and the Honour Guard, hitting Rhoven and corroding him. The righthand Swamp Horror stands up moves up to the corner of the house to threaten my support staff. Rask re-casts his spells and casts Inhospitable Ground, then shoots his Disruption bolt at my Reckoner who is looking mean. The swamp gobbers cover him in smoke again.
In my turn I start to durdle a bit. The Vessel shoots at the Facepaint Gators, boosting to hit the central one but still missing. At this stage I should really be moving it but I don’t. The Errants all decide to aim, the two who are engaged miss their melee attacks though so the rest starting shooting at the Gator in melee to try and free them up. I roll far too many 8’s on these rolls and eventually the Gatorman dies. So it’s a whole unit’s activation to kill two Gatormen, when they should have been running up, engaging the other Gatormen and denying them the charge bonus. Kreoss casts Lamentation on himself to hopefully deny Inhospitable Ground being cast willy-nilly. The Reckoner is sad at his lack of focus and tries to shoot a Gator but to no avail. Since Rhoven is Corroded by the Spitter’s attack, he and his Honour Guard charge the nearby Swamp Horror, doing it a hefty amount of damage but not killing it.
The Golden Gators and the A-Team finally start making headway against the Errants, with both units choosing to re-roll attacks against the Errant. This mitigates Defenders Ward in a big way, although I don’t think any of the bite attacks got through the Armour 18. The Errants start to dwindle, and my Tough rolls evaporate. I’m terrified that Adam is going to heal up his injured Swamp Horror and then Trample past Rhoven & Company to the juicy Kreoss-flavoured centre of my army, but he doesn’t, instead the injured beast flails a bit at Gius and Cassian, not hitting them. The Facepaint Gators charge the Vessel and two of them kill it, while the other start to chomp through Zealots. Rask disrupts the Reckoner again, but since Lamentation is up Adam feels he can’t afford to cast Inhospitable Ground again. Hurray for slightly less unfun!
In my turn, I can see the lefthand zone is dwindling so I want to score the righthand one as soon as possible. All Adam has in it is three Gatormen, one engaging a pair of Zealots and two who have just finished off the Vessel. Even in its disrupted state, the Reckoner deals with the two Vessel-killing Gators pretty easily after an Ancillary Attack and Hymn of Battle. The Zealots make a dog’s dinner of attacking their Gatorman however, with their measly POW 9 attacks. I attempt to shoot it with Eiryss to do another 3 points, but despite aiming she misses and hits and kills a Zealot instead. Rhoven and the Honour Guard move around so that Gius has a shot at the Gatormen, but he misses his attack. The other two at least finish it off, but the zone isn’t clear and so I can’t score.
The A-Team mop up the last of the Errants, and the Golden Gators start looking for other targets. One of them charges Aiyana and bites her in half, while the others move up menacingly. The zone is now clear, and Rask takes up position. Now he just has to deny the other zone and he looks like he’s home free. Adam has a Feralgeist for just such an occasion, and it takes up an annoying position at the far side of the righthand zone. The surviving Swamp Horror moves over to the righthand side since it won’t be needed to contest the zone anymore. The Witch Doc Croc moves up into the righthand zone too, and I’m running out of pieces that can do anything about it! He scores 2 points.
Since he’s one of my only magic attacks left, Kreoss charges his own Reckoner and tries to Immolate the Feralgeist, but his spell misses! In my haste, I have forgotten that the Reckoner was not disrupted by Rask last turn, didn’t give it any focus, and so can’t charge the Witch Doc Croc. To my disbelief, Eiryss does not have a magic crossbow, and so she charges the Witch Doc Croc but her puny daggers don’t make a dent. Gorman and Holt run interference on the Gatormen to block the charge lanes to Kreoss. Rhupert runs into the zone to at least stop Adam scoring again.
This round is just mopping up for Adam. Rhupert, Gorman and Holt are killed. He charges his surviving Swamp Horror into Kreoss and does him some damage. He’s running low on time at this stage, around 4 minutes left, so he contents himself with this, and scores another 2 points.
Since that’s all she wrote, Kreoss batters the Swamp Horror to death and I shake Adam’s hand.
That was a hell of a slog! Adam played well, playing for the long game on both flanks to grind me down and block my chances to score. Rask is a horror to see across the table, and I think Adam showed me most of his dirty tricks, casting every spell except Boundless Charge which never had a good opportunity to be useful. This game has also taught me a lot about this newer version of my list. Before I was playing it with the Judicator, who does indeed do about twice as much work as the Vessel for its points, but works a lot differently.
Before this tournament I had the idea that huge bases should almost always go on hills, but what I learn from the two games with the Vessel is that it should be at the centre of things, within range to use Doors of Judgment and to shoot whatever it chooses, and to be blocked off by my infantry so that it’s not so exposed. In the two games where I’ve used it it’s been picked off by quality infantry. I could see the Vessel surviving a lot better with that sort of use.
So now I was 1 for 3. My resolution for this year was to get an equal win/loss record, so I had one more opportunity to redeem myself. But I was knackered after standing for 3 rounds so first of all it was time to find a chair! My next opponent was a local Skorne player named Mat, whose lists were Zaal and Rasheth. I have very little experience against Skorne, so this was a journey into the unknown. Check back next time for the exciting conclusion!!