Thursday, February 2, 2012

Battle of the Buxom Babes: pLylyth vs eSkarre

Textbook definition of "buxom."
This is a report that's been in the hopper for a little while and is finally getting some love.  This is partly because I want to clear out the backlog (7 games and counting), and partly because EV told me I only do prompt reports of games I win.  While obviously untrue, I though I'd take a look back to last week (depending on when this gets posted) and the debut of playing Slipstream the right way with EV.  For this game I returned to pLylyth and went even heavier on the beasts (if that's possible) by dropping the infantry and adding some Shredders and a Deathstalker.  My list was thus:

35+6 points, 10 models
Lylyth, Herald of Everblight  +6 points
* 2x Carnivean  11 points each
* Seraph  8 points
* 2x Shredder  2 points each
Shepherd  1 point
Strider Deathstalker  2 points
2x The Forsaken  2 points each

EV brought out someone new, or at least someone I don't see too often: eSkarre.  He told me her ran this list before against me, which is very possible.  Other than a lack of magic support pieces (Withershadow, Skarlock) and no arc nodes, his list was also as usual:

35+6 points, 31 models

Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast  +6 points
* Deathjack  12 points
* Seether  9 points

10 Bane Thralls  8 points
6 Bile Thralls  5 points
10 Mechanithralls  5 points
* 2 Brute Thralls  2 points

Focus efficiency was a theme that even my relatively Cryx-ignorant eye could pick up on.  The Deathjack has a fearsome reputation (though it isn't particularly deserved in my experience) and I think I might dislike the Seether more than DJ.  It does just about everything better than any of my Khador jacks for 9 points, which is what I pay for a standard Destroyer, Devastator, Demolisher, etc.  It's not even a character jack, so you could potentially run multiples.  Not cool Cryx, not cool.
We rolled up the three objective scenario, then I won the roll to go first.  With little other option I deployed in the center.  My vague plan was to send a Shredder racing out to the flanking objectives while securing the center one, then rolling to one side as circumstances dictated.  EV also deployed in the center.  I put the Deathstalker in the woods, EV put the Deathjack behind the big drum, and the game was on.

Turn 1

Stuff ran.  Animi were cast, for no real good reason.  Upkeeps were cast, for good reason (Death Ward on DJ).  I reconsidered running the left Shredder to the objective and instead left it parked in the woods while the right Shredder continued with the plan.

End of turn one.
 Turn 2

Thanks to poor planning and positioning, the left Shredder Frenzied.  Fortunately it missed the Deathstalker, but even so a wrench had been forcibly inserted into my plans.

Near-miss noms.

Back with the plan, Lylyth took out some Bile Thralls with Eruption of Spines.  This spell could just as well be called "Bile Thrall Killer" because that's what it does.  And I love it for that.

Hate those Bile Thralls.
With both jacks running together I don't want to push my beasts too far forward.  DJ can eat a Carnivean in a turn with little hassle, and without Thagrosh's feat to bring it back I had to play with a little more caution.  As such I moved my beasts up some, but not a whole lot, to set them up to take the center objective next turn.  In the meantime the Deathstalker runs out to the left in an attempt to draw the Seether away from the rest of the Cryx force.  This job would have been the Shredder's, but it decided to get frisky instead.

Legion turn two.

EV starts off with the inevitable Purge and gets some good damage in on the Shredder, but is just out of range on the Shepherd.  One of the nice things about running with little (or no) infantry is that Bile Thralls go from "OhDearJesusKillItKillItBurnItWithFire" to a slightly substandard threat.  While nearly clearing out my Shredder in one shot is unfortunate, it's nothing compared to (potentially) clearing out my entire WGI Deathstar, Doomies, etc.

A less painful than usual Purge.
On the left the Deathstalker did her job, and better than expected.  The Seether charged out there after her but didn't kill her off.  Operation: Separate the Jacks was underway.  You can see the Banes spread out all across creation, EV's way of minimizing the damage Eruption of Spines could cause.  An Admonitioned DJ stands on the center objective, daring me to charge while feeling safe behind the bacon-saving spell.  Little does it know plans are already afoot to deal with it and its little spell.  On the right the MechThralls run in, but do not charge, and engage the Shredder (while also contesting the objective).  With this development in mind I begin to hope that Shredder Frenzies and eats the Brute Thrall.
Cryx turn two.

Turn 3

In the Maintenance phase, most of my hope pays off.  The Shredder does Frenzy, manages to pick the Brute Thrall, hits, and does seven damage.  The only problem there is that the Brute Thrall has eight boxes...

Still close, still no cigar.

This picture shows the result of my machinations: a dead Deathjack.  There's more to it than a simple Carnivean charge though.  First I ran a Rabid Shredder in behind DJ to either make it blow Admonition then or at least limit its options when I send in the hammers.  EV uses Admonition then to pull DJ further back into the Banes.  By doing so he not only spells the Deathjack's doom, but also sets things up so that I can leave the charging, Deathjack-killing Carnivean on the center objective.  As a bonus the spray kills a Bane.  As an extra bonus, the Carni does the job quick enough to be able to cast Spiny Growth itself.  It probably doesn't have long to live, but at least Spiny Growth will negate the Banes' -2 ARM aura.

Deathjack noms are the tastiest.

Anxious to join the fun, the other Carni charges out and joins the fray.  My main goal here was to ding Skarre with the spray, which didn't work out so well.  Said spray did kill two Banes though, and like it's counterpart this Carnivean has enough room for Fury to put up Spiny Growth.

Some beasts just want to watch the world burn.

Not pictured: the Deathstalker does no damage to the Seether, the Forsaken kill a couple Banes with a Blight Bomb Shroud, Lylyth and the Seraph do stuff.

Legion turn three.
The Suspense is Killing Me Part One: the Shredder dies a messy death.  No surprise here.

Close enough for the cigar.

The Suspense is Killing Me Part Two: the remaining Bile Thrall tries to catch the Shepherd in a Purge and fails.  Small surprise here because I would have used the spray instead of the Purge.  Not only would the spray have enough extra range to clip the Shepherd (the Purge was maybe a half inch short), but the Thrall would have survived to (maybe) get another activation in.  EV tells me their RAT is horrible, which I'm sure it is, but it still seemed like an odd choice.

That Shepherd is living a charmed life.
The Suspense is Killing Me Part Three: the Deathstalker's luck runs out.  She died serving the Motherland Everblight though, so there's that.  She also took the Seether out for two turns, which is very nice.

Good job taking it in the face.
 The Suspense is Killing Me Part Four: the Banes charge in, but do not kill the Carnivean.  They do kill a Shredder and a Forsaken though.  They do significant damage to the Carni, but it's still alive.  And hungry.

A pissed-off Carnivean makes a poor neighbor.
At the end of turn three we're tied at 3.  I'm feeling pretty good though.  DJ is dead, the Banes are down to half their starting number(ish), the Biles are dead, the Seether is off by itself, and I hold the center, or will soon enough.  The plan now is to finish off the Banes, then run down the Seether and Skarre.

Cryx turn three.

Turn 4

Things immediately go wrong, again, in the Maintenance phase.  My math was bad in my last turn and I'm running hot.  Even after not Reaving the Shredder when it died, I still have two Fury on the table that I can't Leech.  What I want to do is leave one on both Carnis and then pass both Threshold tests like it's my job, but if I tried that I'd inevitably fail both.  Instead I clear off the painted Carnivean and leave two on the unpainted one, which promptly fails its Threshold check and Frenzies.  Fortunately it eats a Bane, but unfortunately that's all it does.  Check that, it also moves away from the Seether and Skarre, or the opposite of the direction I want it to move in.

The beasts just didn't want to listen this game.
Back on track, I get to work killing some Banes.  The Seraph doesn't do much other than Slipstream the Carnivean to avoid a charge in the back.  Lylyth Parasites the Banes, then pops one in the face for good measure.

Sometimes you have to do it yourself.
The Suspense is Killing Me Part Five: the Carnivean eats all the Banes.

Carniveans are just misunderstood.  And hungry.
What I said at the end of turn four still applies, except that I know hold the center unopposed.  I've only gained a single point, but I've split EV's force in half and can now concentrate on Skarre and the Seether.

Legion turn four.  (This pic refused to upload properly)
EV's turn is real quick.  Admonition on the Seether, move it up, move Skarre to the objective, done.  It takes a minute for me to realize that the score is now 5-4 in his favor.  With the MechThralls all over the right objective, I have to stop EV from scoring with the left objective as well or it's all over.

Cryx turn four.  (Same deal here.  No action lost though)

Turn 5

I pop Lylyth's feat, Parasite the Seether, and get to business.  Once again, things go wrong almost from the start.  I've forgotten about Admonition, so when the Carnivean charge hits home, EV just backs up his Seether and all my glorious attacks (except the spray) have no target.  Not a fan.  The Seraph finishes the job off though, so there's that.

Seether down.
The other Carnivean goes rocketing into Skarre, but is just out of Lylyth's control area.  Thus no feat and no forcing, and therefore no damage.  I have feet on the objective though, so as long as Skarre can't kill a healthy Carni in one turn I should be good.

Legion turn five.
The Suspense is Killing Me Part Six: Skarre has a Great Rack.  It pushes the target 1" away on a hit.  Carniveans are not hard to hit.  Thus the game ends.

Great Racked.
While EV may have won by scenario, in my humble and modest opinion it was a hollow victory with his caster hiding on one side of the board, frantically pushing things away while yelling "Not in the face!  We're done here!  Not in the face!"

In a (slightly) more serious tone, this was a good game with all the back and forth swings of fortune, for both sides, that you could ask for.  The Frenzying Carnivean really hurt since it could have gone after the left objective a turn earlier, while also denying EV the chance to simply adjust his forces and stand pat in turn four.  In retrospect I should have Strafed Skarre instead of finishing off the Seether.  It may not have killed her (probably not), but you never know.  A Strafe hit or two plus a claw or bite landing and the game could have ended in a more pleasant manner.  Instead Cryx rolls to another victory.  In the end, if I have to lose I can think of worse ways to go out than by getting pushed around by a broad with a Great Rack.

P.S. - I'm on the warpath to get my internet back up to speed this morning, which means there may not be any painting today.  It also means that I wrote this on one of the dinky word processors that come with Windows 7 that doesn't feature a spellchecker.  After pasting this post into the Blogger interface, I ran its spellchecker.  Result?  A single typo.  Feel free to name your children after me.

P.P.S. - As the last post said, internets fixed.  No painting happened as predicted.  Formatting may be weird in this post since I was forced into evasive maneuvers trying to get those two pics to load properly.  You know which ones.


  1. I was joking about only posting games you win, obviously. (^_^)

    Get ready to start basecoating your Blood Angels, as my Dark Eldar are all assembled and primed. I should have everything painted within a month or so, so you should have plenty of time to get the blacks and silvers down on your marines. I.m not looking to bump HordesMachine out of the regular lineup, but after so much effort has gone into my space elves, I'd like to at least try them out.

    My sloppy fingers do indeed bow before your (mostly) typo-less skills.

  2. Guess that plan to build a little, paint it, then build a little more didn't work out. :P

    Variety is always good, and I do enjoy a trip back to the grimdark every now and again. Should be a nice change of pace to play against something that isn't geared around taking a charge and laughing it off.

  3. The battle report world needs more "Skarre has a great rack" jokes. Or it doesn't. ;)

    1. They're hard to resist. Like any spice, moderation is key.