Monday, January 9, 2012

The Littlest Battle Report: pLylyth vs eGaspy

Makes sense when you break it down.
As a way of easing back into doing battle reports before tackling the pile that's waiting for some love, today (or whenever this gets posted) I'm doing a bite-sized report.  The reasons for the length will soon be apparent, so let's start at the beginning.  Tuesday is now the day of gaming with EV, so I packed my stuff and made the short trip to his place.  Which faction I'd be playing was never really a question (want more Legion goodness), but I did debate for a bit about whether to bring pLylyth or pThagrosh.  In my first game with Legion and pLylyth (to be reported on in the future) things worked more or less exactly like I wanted them to, so I decided not to fix what wasn't broken.  While not 100% what I would ultimately like to run with her, I didn't have to do a whole lot of compromising to make a list out of the pieces I have.  What I fielded was thus:

35+6 points, 13 models

Lylyth, Herald of Everblight  +6 points
* 2x Carnivean  11 points each
* Seraph  8 points
* Shredder  2 points

6 Blighted Archers  5 points
2x The Forsaken  2 points each

Big nasties with light infantry support, just what I want.  Lylyth flits around to shoot things and debuff, then the beasties charge in (for free, huzzah Blood Lure) and beat the face.  The Seraph is around for movement shenanigans and long-range machine gunnery, the Forsaken for Fury management, Archers because I have them, and a Shredder just for giggles.  Against this force EV gave me a bit of a surprise by fielding that flocking lich that everyone hates, albeit in a slightly different configuration:

35+6 points, 36 models

Lich Lord Asphyxious  +6 points
* Cankerworm  5 points
* 2x Nightwretch  4 points each

10 Bane Thralls  8 points
6 Bile Thralls  5 points
Bloat Thrall  2 points
Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist  2 points
10 Mechanithralls  5 points
* 1 Brute Thrall  1 point
Withershadow Combine  5 points

The standard eGaspy list with Gorman instead of a Skarlock.  Infantry swarms, let alone Cryx swarms, make me a little skittish when I'm fielding a small army, but I hoped that I could punch big holes in the units and my movement shenanigans would be enough to keep me out of danger.  We rolled the double objective scenario and deployed terrain as usual.  I won the roll, decided to go first, and went with a variation on my beloved refused flank.  The Archers went on the left to cover that objective.  The rest of the army would swing left to clear that objective, then munch across the board to take the right. EV responded with a slight wrinkle on his standard Cryx deployment, swapping the Biles and the Mechthralls so that the Biles were on the left flank and the Mechthralls in the center.

Turn 1

Both sides ran.  EV had no upkeeps to cast, or chose to not cast any, while I put up some animi and sucked up some Fury with the Forsaken.  I let the beasts cast their own animii instead of doing it with Lylyth, a slight change from how I had played in my first Hordes match.  EV laid down a couple of clouds to block a gap to his lines on the left side of the woods.

Turn one.
Turn 2

The second turn started with a learning opportunity.  Turns out Fury doesn't go away in your maintenance phase like Focus does, so I couldn't leach Fury out of my beasts.  This was quite the surprise and had I been fully aware (meaning if I'd read the rules thoroughly) I would have done things differently.  It was no surprise at all the the Shredder and the unpainted Carnivean frenzied.  The Shredder waddled off into the woods to do nothing while the Carnivean took a nice bite out of its painted friend.

Post-frenzy.  Also post-Carnivean-moving-away.
I could say that this new information threw a wrench into my plans, but you're all smart folks who have figured that out already.  Much as I'm a "play to the whistle" sort of guy, I was demoralized at this point.  In retrospect I probably could have played my way out of it, but at the time having half of my beasts Frenzy was a significant blow that not only cramped my plans for the turn it happened in, but also in the turn to come.  With that in mind I threw caution to the wind and Slipstreamed Lylyth way out in front of the rest of my troops.  I started by shooting a Bile Thrall (through a cloud no less, love that Eyeless Sight) with the intention of using the (all-but assured) hit to land an auto-hitting Eruption of Spines.  What I didn't account for was that Witch Mark, the effect that allows the auto-hitting spells, affects models and not units.  Thus when the Bile Thrall was killed by an arrow I then had to also throw a spell at the unit, which I boosted to ensure a hit.  Turns out Eruption of Spines is very effective at clearing out infantry.  When the volley was over only two Biles remained.

Clouds?  What clouds?
I thought about keeping a Fury for a transfer, but decided to go whole-hog and buy another shot (love that RoF:2 bow).  I hoped to get the Fatty Thrall with a single shot, but came up a little short on the damage roll.
Pew pew.
The upside-down token marks the center of the Archer's Suppressing Fire effect.  The rest of the turn, Suppressing Fire included, was more going-through-the-paces than playing-to-win, which is not an admirable thing but that's how it worked out.  The Forsaken might have sucked up some Fury, but probably not.  Mostly I wanted to see what Eruption of Spines would do against the Biles (kill them) and was then content to wait for the axe to fall.

Legion turn two.
For a while during EV's turn, I thought the axe wouldn't fall.  He moved up Gaspy but didn't sling any spells at Lylyth.  Instead he double Purged on her, shot her with the Fat Thrall, and then finished things off with the Withershadow Combine.


This was far from my finest hour on a variety of fronts, but I did learn a couple important lessons.  Foremost is how Fury works, especially how Fury sticks around between turns unless you do something with it.  EV and I both learned how Frenzy is resolved.  I found out how much damage I can expect Lylyth to do in a single turn against single wound infantry (4-9 dead depending on how erupty the spines feel) and also how little you can rely on DEF 16 when you're also ARM 14 with 15 boxes and no transfers.  I expected there to be a learning curve playing Hordes and this game I found the beginning of that curve.  The silver lining to this game was that it was over so quick that we had time for another one, but that's a battle report for another day...


  1. Yeah, this was really an unsatisfying game, kind of like (SPOILER ALERT!) today's. I hate one-sided games like this. Next time I'll be bringing out the big guns again, so be warned.

    Oh, by the way, why not set a favicon for your site? You could use the image you have tiled across your page.

  2. At least we got in another game after this one, so it wasn't a complete loss. I'd say I'll come prepared for Gaspy/Denny next time, but the plan is to try out Absylonia who looks to have a bit of a learning curve. Then again perhaps I'll represent the Motherland as a change of pace. Time will tell.

    Never crossed my mind to do an icon, but a bit of Googling at work leads to me believe it isn't that hard. I'll have to give it a shot when it isn't bedtime.