Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Church League Round 4

With EvilFuzzyDoom

These posts document the NEW CHURCH LEAGUE (named after our regular gaming venue, affectionately nicknamed "the Church"). The NCL has ten participants, and will take place over nine two-week, Round Robin rounds with elimination finals for the top four players. Each player picks two casters for the duration of the League. The match-ups, scenarios and any special rules are posted at the outset. Scenarios are from the PP Official Steamroller 2011 Rules. We should be wrapping by about mid-march.

My Warlocks for the League are pMadrak & pGrissel.

This Round, my game didn't happen, so I played a 75-point 2-caster battle against Cryx!

Round Four of the New Church League

This round took place between 3 and 16 December, but anticipating a forfeit from my opponent (he's been ridiculously busy at the moment) I organised to play a big game against Nonchalance's Cryx to have something cool to report. I almost got to play against Retribution as was scheduled but due to some technical issues with my phone we missed the window and the round ended.

For this special battle, we are playing Overrun, two casters, 75 points.


I'm a little overwhelmed since this is the first time I've played such a large match. Overrun has a big control point right in the middle of the board, which pretty much means there's an inevitable scrap front and centre. I decide to go with what I know, bringing my two League casters pMadrak & pGrissel. Effectively I take two lists: Grissel slightly off-centre to crash through and smash face, Madrak to brick up and steamroll along the flank and deny my opponent a hiding place.

Grissel Bloodsong (*5pts)
* Slag Troll (6pts)
* Troll Impaler (5pts)
* Dire Troll Mauler (9pts)
Chief Madrak Ironhide (*6pts)
* Earthborn Dire Troll (10pts)
* Mulg the Ancient (12pts)
* Trollkin Runebearer (2pts)
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
* 2 Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (2pts)
* Kriel Warrior Standard Bearer & Piper (2pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 3 Stone Scribes (3pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
* Skaldi Bonehammer (3pts)
Trollkin Scattergunners (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
* Trollkin Scattergunner Officer & Drummer (2pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
Janissa Stonetide (3pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)
Troll Whelps (2pts)

My opponent takes a list full of chompy goodness. I guess I don't really know enough about Cryx list-building to really analyse it, but it has Banes, Biles, Bloodgorgers and the Withershadow Combine, which isn't unusual for Nonchalance.

Lord Exhumator Scaverous (*5pts)
* Nightwretch (4pts)
* Nightwretch (4pts)
* Erebus (8pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Lich Lord Venethrax (*6pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3pts)
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Bloodgorgers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
The Withershadow Combine (5pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
General Gerlak Slaughterborn (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan (2pts)
Pistol Wraith (3pts)
Rorsh & Brine (9pts)
Satyxis Raider Captain (2pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)

Battle Report:

I give fair warning, this is done from mid-battle notes about a fortnight after the fact, so it's a little simple and not as detailed as I'd normally like. What can I say; Christmas was busy!

I win the roll-off and decide to go second. I'm a bit out of my depth and figure that if I see Nonchalance's deployment I'll have a better idea of what I'm doing. It'll also mean that I can get to grips a little earlier, since I've taken a highly close-quarters list.

Nonchalance packs most of his force into the centre-right of the board, including both casters. Rorsh & Brine and the biles are on the far-left flank, along with the Stalkers and Bloodgorgers hiding in a forest near the centre.

I set up in two big blocks around a forest; Madrak and his brick of Krielstone, Janissa & Battlegroup on one side; Grissel with the Warriors, Scattergunners & Stone Scribe on the other. I put the Champions and Fell Caller Hero in the forest, knowing I can use Overcome to send them rocketing through on my first turn.

The Satyxis captain and Pistol Wraith use Advance Deplyment to take cover behind a building on the far right, plugging that flank.

First round, a Cryxian tide sweeps forward, with Soul Harvester going on Bloodgorgers, Dragonslayer on Venethrax, Ghostly on the Bane Thralls and an out-of-range Feast of Worms being sent at Grissel to put some rough terrain in my way. My turn is a bit more complicated: Madrak's brick shuffles up behind Janissa's wall, the Runebearer puts Surefoot up on Madrak, the Krielstone pops its aura and I put Transmute on Madrak & Mulg. Madrak has no Fury, but DEF 20, ARM 20 and the scroll of can't touch this. Grissel's crew rush up, doing the jam thing marvellously with the Kriel Warriors out in front (Hoofed it!) and the Scattergunners following up. The Kriel Warriors got Hero's Tragedy from the Stone Scribe.

Second round, during the Maintenance Phase Madelyn Corbeau pushes Gerlak Slaughterborn up to take cover behind a wall. The Satyxis Raider Captain makes a frivolous and ineffectual attack on the Kriel Warriors, doing little more than put her in harm's way. Tartarus moves up to try cursing the Warriors, but is out of range and I breathe a sigh of relief. Nonchalance moves up his Biles to threaten Madrak, and the front bile purges, not doing much to Madrak and his boys. The Warwitches both use power booster, one buffing Erebus and the other buffing a Nightwretch. Gorman drops some smoke clouds near Scaverous to block line of site... not that it's really necessary at 18"+. 

The Withershadow Combine pop puppetmaster on Slaughterborn who then goes to town, mocking me mercilessly by using Crusher to pac-man his way through FOUR Kriel Warriors. He isn't knocked down by Hero's Tragedy because of No Sleeping On The Job, and I fail all my Tough Rolls. The carnage only stops when Gerlak runs out of stuff to kill. Then we break for cheesecake. It is delicious. Nonchalance has his with extra Troll Blood.

The Bloodgorgers charge the remaining Kriel Warriors and my luck doesn't improve - with two Gang Charge attacks each, the Bloodgorgers kill all of them except the Standard. I look over at my growing "Failed Tough Roll" pile in dismay. The Bane Thralls move up to support the Bloodgorgers but don't engage, a Scarlock puts Deathward on the Bloodgorgers to give them a little extra protection. One of the Nightwretches takes a potshot at Grissel to check range for Scaverous, who then casts Feast of Worms at her, missing but killing two of my Scattergunners and wounding the Slag Troll with the blast damage. Venethrax camps focus.

On my turn, the Stone Scribe Chronicler puts Hero's Tragedy on the Scattergunners and then charges the Satyxis Raider Captain (and kills her! yay!). Grissel charges and kills Gerlak Slaughterborn, and my Champions and Scattergunners have at the Bloodgorgers, killing most of them. The Mauler moves up behind the Champions with Hallowed Avenger up, ready to fill any gaps. I give the Scattergunners Hoof It to put some bodies in front of Grissel, and Madrak's brick waddles up, doing much the same as the last turn. I'm starting to realise that Madrak might be tough, but he's too far away to help Grissel at this point.

Third Round, things didn't go too well for me. The Bane Thralls walk up into combat and roll pretty poorly, only killing two Scattergunners and the Stone Scribe Chronicler. Gorman uses Black Oil on the Scattergunner Standard, blinding him, the Scattergunner Officer, the Fell Caller, the Impaler and Grissel. Uh-oh...

Scaverous uses Excarnate on the Scattergunner Standard, reinforcing the Bane Thralls and opening up some LOS to Grissel. The Bloodgorgers cause a couple of wounds on my Champions before some Bile Thralls Purge at them, killing them and hurting a couple of my Champs. Both Warwitches use Venom, one at Grissel (not affecting her but killing the Scattergunner Officer and opening a charge lane) and one ineffectually at the Champions. Scaverous uses Telekinesis on Venethrax, inching him closer to Grissel and I can see what's coming.

A Nightwretch adds its beak-gun to the futile attempts to destroy my Champions, before Erebus charges the Mauler, killing it. Venethrax charges Grissel. He has 8 Focus and 3 Souls, while she has 2 Fury... He makes 10 damage on the first attack, I do some transfers, but I just can't make enough Tough rolls in the end and Grissel goes down.

On my turn, a Scattergunner kills 2 Banes and knocks over the Officer, while the Champs beat on Erebus and tear off his right arm. Madrak moves up and lobs his axe at Erebus, before popping Carnage. The Earthborn charges Erebus and brings him down. It is glorious, but probably a better trade for Cryx than me. The rest of the Madrak brick moves up and takes position behind the Earthborn, staying close to the lake on my side of the field.

Fourth Round, Venethrax has 11 Focus and Scaverous has 8. Ouch. Some of the Biles pop, while the Banes swarm in behind Venethrax and finish off the inactive Impaler. At least his Fury dissipated when Grissel died, so Venethrax doesn't get his Fury. Clearly angered by this, he finishes off the still-blind Fell Caller. The Warwitch charges a Champion, triggering a Skaldi counter-charge. Of course, this means that he's in range to be targeted by Seduction. Which she uses, getting Skaldi to whack Madrak.

Rorsh & Brine buff up and have a go at Mulg, critting with Brine's tusks but not getting the Knockdown because Mulg's still in range to gain the buff from Surefoot. Still, between them they take out Mulg's mind & body tracks - ouch. The Nightwretches take some shots at my Champions but don't make much of an impact.

Scaverous Feats, TKing Admonia forward and dropping Feast of Worms on the Krielstone Bearer (I sacrifice a scribe to keep him allive). He tries an Excarnate on Janissa, but she passes her Tough roll (maybe my second or third save this game... grr!). Some Telekinesis shenanigans move the Earthborn & Skadi out of the way, and Venethrax's Scarlock uses Hellfire and kills another Champion. A Warwitch finishes Janissa off with a Venom blast, before the Withershadow Combine dispel Surefoot and kill Skaldi. Then Gorman di Wulffe blinds the Earthborn, just to ensure that I've really got nothing to stop Venethrax next turn.

On my turn, Madrak chops down a Warwitch Siren and smacks a Stalker. Mulg finishes the Stalker off, needing 5 Fury to do it.The EBDT waddles up and drops Transmute on Madrak & Mulg. The Krielstone pops the Aura to help keep everyone alive on this (final-looking) turn.

Fifth Round, Venethrax hits 11 Focus and glares menacingly at Madrak. The last Bile Thrall Purges and wipes out a Stone Scribe. The Pistol Wraith which had been sneaking around the back lines all game pops my Stone Scribe Elder, while the remaining Warwitch kills the last of the Stone Scribes unit. Venethrax throws two Hellfires at Madrak. I take the first one, then use the scroll on the second. Bane Lord Tartarus kills a whelp, turns it into a Bane Thrall, which hits Madrak and knocks him down. The remaining Stalker charges in and finishes the job.


Ouch! I found myself thinking that a few times this game; when Gerlak Slaughterborn opened a can of whup-ass, when the Mauler went down without a fight, when Grissel got munched, whenever Gorman dropped Black Oil, etc, etc. I think the only real win for me was the Stone Scribe taking out the Raider Captain.

So, lessons to learn from this sound drubbing? Well, the first lesson is that I should play more big games. I get the feeling that I wasn't getting the most out of taking two casters - I played as if I had two separate armies on the field, and they were just not close enough to work together properly. Madrak's brick was moving maybe 6" a turn, while Grissel's front lines were engaged on Round Two.

I also didn't pay much attention to Nonchalance's real threats - the Stalkers, Gorman and the Biles didn't get much attention paid to them. I spent a lot of time and energy wiping the floor with his Bloodgorgers, while I could have probably just sent the Scattergunners at them and ignored the surviviours for much of the game.

Erebus was happily traded for a Mauler who hadn't got anything done except been a Fury-sink for Grissel to upkeep Hallowed Avenger on. I probably packed too many troops onto Grissel's side of the board, where a unit acting on its own (say, the Champs + Fell Caller) could have been much better placed on the flank to distract Rorsh & Brine. I really put too many models in too small a place; the same way that Madrak couldn't help Grissel because he was too far away, the Mauler couldn't do an awful lot because he was stuck behind everything else.

We played another game which has faded into the haze (there may have been some of Borka's brew passed around), but I recall that afterwards, we were reflecting that one of the reasons I'm getting trounced by Cryx consistently is that Nonchalance is probably the person I play most frequently (considering he's a resident at the Church, this is no real surprise). I have a fairly consistent list-building philosophy (probably best summarised as "units+heavies=yay!") while Nonchalance tends to mix it up and plays against pretty much everyone. So, aside from League games I should make an effort to get in a couple more matches as often as I can.

The forfeit puts me at 9 points at the end of the fourth round, still equal second on the ladder.

Next round, I am facing Protectorate of Menoth (Feora, Protector of the Flame or Harbinger of Menoth), playing Overrun, one caster, 25 points, Paint to Win (If your army is fully painted, have 5 extra points!).


  1. Yeah, I think the key thing in that fight was the Cryx fighting as one army and the Trolls fighting as two.

    Sadly, I suspect you'll get good at these two-caster things just about when it starts mattering, in Round Nine.

  2. Sounds like it was a pretty bad Cryx player too throwing away models like the siren and Tartarus from failed charges.

    Nice write-up though! Keep on grinding on those Cryx buggars!