Battle Report 5: Mordikaar vs. Wurmwood

Sometimes the best way to learn about your own caster is to play against him, and it is always best to learn other casters by playing them.

With this in mind, my opponent from last time swapped lists with me, asking me to design my own Mordikaar list to play into my Wurmwood list.

Now I had originally suggested the list he was playing, and after about ten minutes of monkeying in war room, I ended up playing the exact same list. It was certainly going to be weird playing Skorne, as usually I am on the receiving end of their massive damage output, but I was eager to give it a try.

I played this:

Void Seer Mordikaar
-Titan Gladiator
-Titan Cannoneer

Paingiver Master Tormenter
Void Spirit x2
Mortitheurge Willbreaker

Paingiver Bloodrunners
Min Beast Handlers

Objective: Stockpile

My opponent played my usual Wurmwood list with no tailoring:

-Warpwolf Stalker

Lanyssa Ryssyl
Gallows Grove

Max Brigands and UA
Min Brigands
Gatormen Bokur and Shamblers
Shifting Stones x2
Sentry Stones x2

Objective: Fuel Cache

The Table:

I rolled randomly and got Scenario 8: Recon. I think Recon is one of the best Scenarios in the packet. It makes good use of all of the different Scenario elements except killbox, and really encourages armies to actually fight in the center of the table. I won the roll off and elected to go first, and my opponent chose the top side of the table.

Skorne Deployment:

Gotta admit, I don't really know what I'm doing here. I've played against this list a handful of times and seen some batreps on the Skorne Facebook page. I knew that I needed to really focus on the middle of the table since Brigands don't actually shoot that far and I can probably keep them at bay with the Bloodrunners. 

I also know Sentry Stones are going to be a massive pain. I've never played against them without having my own and I'm not looking forward to it.

With that in mind, I deploy pretty central. Cannoneer and Gladiator left, Despoiler and Tiberion right. Mordikaar has an awesome spell that I cannot remember the name of...*google search*....okay called Host of Shadows which gives his battlegroup Ghostly and I intend on casting it most turns. 

After seeing where his Brigands go, I also place my Bloodrunners and Master Tormenter on that side of the table. 

Circle Deployment:

It's pretty standard Wurmwood silliness. Wurmwood goes left, a Gallows Grove goes right so that he can cast on all sides of the board. Brigands right, Bokur and Shamblers right next to the pond on the left side of the table.

Sentry Stones go pretty central, which isn't surprising. There's nothing I can do about them right now anyway, so I've decided to just try and prevent him from getting more than 2 Bloodrunners per spray and then engage as many of the Mannikins as possible without killing them. This forces him to waste activations on his turn killing them if he wants to play placement shenanigans.

Skorne turn 1:

The Bloodrunners and Master Tormentor all apparition up. The unit gets Hollow cast on them by Mordikaar to give them undead and to prevent Wurmwood getting any of their souls. He also casts Hosts of Shadows and Manifest Void just for fun before advancing. 

The Bloodrunners run up the field, staying more than 3 inches apart because I respect Hellmouth. The Master Tormenter flanks really, really hard. 

My beasts pretty much run up, with the Gladiator casting Rush on the Cannoneer and then slamming at Wurmwood for free!

The Mortitheurge gives the Bloodrunners tough and the Beast Handlers spread out. 

Time to brace for things to die. 

Circle turn 1:

My opponent activates his Brigands first, advancing, digging in, and killing a Mannikin from the right unit (as from the perspective of the picture) with one of them.

He moves the Gallows Grove up so that I can't tough with three of the Bloodrunners.

That unit activates and continues to roll as well for fury for him as they do for me (meaning he got 1). The placed Mannikin advances, as do the others, and kill a Bloodrunner.

The other unit activates, ALSO rolls a 1 for fury (again, this is totally normal for them lately) and kills another bloodrunner with sprays.

Wurmwood gets ported into the forest, and Cassius runs up the table. The Cannoneer gets Strangleholded and a forest gets cast with Wild Growth and then Wurmwood pulls Cassius back to safety with Dark Path.

The Shamblers all run up, and then my opponent realizes that he's actually left his beasts out of Wurmwood's control area, so they amble up and rile for a bunch of Fury. The second unit of Shifting Stones port up around Wurmwood, and Lanyssa runs up behind him.

My opponent forgot about his cloud, but it didn't really matter.

Skorne Turn 2:

Well less things died than I expected, so Mordikaar only gets a couple of souls. I also miscounted fury somehow so he has to cut for one. The Bloodrunners apparate, and the Master Tormenter does too. Mordikaar upkeeps Hollow

I charge the Brigand Warlord with the Master Tormenter, miss him, but thresher to kill three other Brigands thanks to Anatomical Precision. He then sprints into them farther to engage four. (not pictured because I forgot about that ability until just before my opponents next turn and he graciously allowed me to - new models are not easy to use fully!). 

The Cannoneer can actually see Wurmwood because he's got less than 3 inches of forest between them, so he sac's movement thanks to Stranglehold and blasts the tree for six damage. 

Despoiler scoots around the objective and casts Arcane Suppression once he gets within ten inches of Wurmwood. 

The Bloodrunners run to engage Mannikins, and one charges the Gallows Grove, needing a thirteen to kill it and rolling it (it should be noted that I had pretty consistently average dice other than this and one other event and my opponent had the most absurdly high dice rolls and absurdly low dice rolls I have ever seen.)

Mordikaar activates, pops feat, moves up, and casts Manifest Void and Revive and sits there. Tiberion runs up.

The Willbreaker puts tough on the Bloodrunners, and the Soulward advances.

Beast Handlers also advance.

Circle Turn 2:

Well I've stuck a bunch of valuable models right next to the objective and my opponent realizes this.

He starts with the Brigands, who actually manage to kill the Master Tormenter and one of the Bloodrunners.

The Bone Grinders charge and fail to kill either of the Bloodrunners, and then Cassius walks up, boosting to hit the left-most of the Bloodrunners and killing it.

The Shifting Stones teleport Wurmwood out of range of both Arcane Suppression and Manifest Void.

Wurmwood activates, casts Hellmouth through Cassius at the objective, and kills the Soulward, Mortitheurge, Void Spirit, and doing 8 damage to Mordikaar.

He casts Dark Path and then feats.

Megalith walks over, but can't quite see Tiberion, so casts Stranglehold at his own Mannikin, killing it.

That unit of Sentry Stones activates, and kills another Bloodrunner, plopping the Stone in such a way as to prevent Tiberion from trampling to Megalith. He didn't account for one of the models preventing this being my own Bloodrunner however.

The Stalker riles and runs, and then so does the Gorax.

(The line of circle fury tokens are the limits of the forest)

Skorne Turn 3:

I upkeep Hollow and begin my turn by activating Mordikaar after the Bloodrunners apparate.

He casts Hosts of Shadows, Manifest Void, and moves over.

The Beast Handlers activate and enrage stuff, all three melee beasts.

Despoiler moves in, kills a couple Mannikins and casts Arcane Suppression again.

The Gladiator tramples in and kills the Gatorman Bokur.

The Cannoneer shoots the two Shamblers in front of him, boosts blast damage on one, killing it, and then failing to wound the other.

The Bloodrunners kill a Bone Grinder, creating a Void Spirit. The other fails to kill the Mannikin in front of Tiberion. The Void Spirit activates, kills a Bone Grinder, void walks over to the Mannikin, and ALSO fails to kill it.

At this point I spend about five minutes with a proxy base and a laser before my opponent and I both agree that I can charge the Sentry Stone, but I'll take a free strike from the Mannikin that wouldn't die.

He does so, kills the stone with his two non-reach initials. I roll pretty well on my Tetsubo damage against Megalith with the first two attacks, but the third is pretty low. I need to roll an 11 to kill him and with his last attack and roll boxcars. Average dice says I do about 32 damage to Megalith at dice plus 1, so this was a gamble but I really needed to put some damage on him and force him to stay out of the zone and deal with me rather than casting Stranglehold every turn for the rest of the game. Killing him was very lucky though with how the dice landed on the first three attacks.

Feeling pretty optimistic, even though Tiberion is certainly going to die next turn, I hand over the clock to my opponent.

(The proxy base is the Gladiator)

Circle turn 3:

My opponent decides to commit his units to killing Tiberion and see if he'll kill him with just the Brigands and the Bone Grinders.

The Bone Grinders charge him with Grievous Wounds and the first rolls a 19 for damage! The second chips in a few more and I'm starting to think that might actually work.

The Brigands charge in, and the first one misses. The second one rolls a SIXTEEN for damage and I'm once again pretty sure that Tiberion won't need any help dying. The rest roll average though (dice -11 is not good odds for them) and he's alive with about 16 boxes left.

My opponent goes in the tank and then declares he can get his Stalker on Despoiler and probably kill Tiberion with the Gorax. He proceeds to 'port Wurmwood away from Despoiler and Hellmouth his own objective, killing the chafe around it and pulling the Stalker in. He then casts Curse of Shadows on his objective, and suddenly I believe him. The Gorax puts Primal on itself and walks up to Tiberion, doing another 8 damage but not killing him. The Stalker walks up to Despoiler, warping strength, and puts decent damage into it, as well as killing the Void Spirit before casting Lightning Strike on himself and getting to safety.

Cassius charges the Gladiator and does a little damage. The Mannikins activate and spray things, while the remaining two Shamblers either charge or run up to my Cannoneer. Lanyssa charges the Gladiator and does a few damage.

Skorne Turn 4:

The Bloodrunners apparate. 

I pull fury from everyone but Tiberion, and upkeep Hollow. Tiberion doesn't frenzy (He's threshold TEN???) and I start off with him killing a Brigand and making two others tough.  (He had mind and Spirit left). 

The Cannoneer tramples up, killing the two Shamblers, and then buying and boosting an attack into Lanyssa and squishing her. 

The Gladiator moves up and crushes the Sentry Stone and Cassius. 

The Bloodrunners walk over and kill the two Brigands that aren't knocked down and engaging Tiberion. 

Despoiler charges the objective, and kills it with his two claws thanks to Dark Shroud and Curse of Shadows. He then kills the Goraxe and the final Bone Grinder and I'm controlling the zone. 

I decide not to dominate as the Void Spirit made when Cassius died fails to kill a Shifting Stone around Wurmwood and I'm wary of the Stranglehold assassination. Instead, he casts Revive and uses the revived Bloodrunner to cast Essence Blast, spraying the two knocked down Brigands to death. 

I score two points.

Score 2-0
Advantage Skorne

Circle turn 4:

Well my opponent is in trouble and he knows it. He charges Tiberion with the remaining Brigands and rolls pretty well to kill him. 

His grey unit of Shifting Stones contest the zone.

He casts Curse of Shadows on the Gladiator and Hellmouth on the grey stone in the middle, killing two Beast Handlers. 

The Stalker warps strength and walks up, killing the Gladiator, but not the Despoiler. 

I forgot to take a picture of this turn, I apologize. 

Skorne turn 5:

I just need to kill the Stalker and remaining Brigands and I'm in the money. 

The Void Spirit walks through Wurmwood and does pretty good damage to the Stalker. The Beast Handlers walk up and enrage/heal Despoiler, who activates and pumps the Stalker full of hits, but fails to kill him by one box. Mordikaar moves up and casts Essence Blast, removing the Void Spirit from play and blasting the Stalker down with a boosted POW 11 spray, also making a Void Spirit thanks to the Despoiler's bond.

The Cannoneer casts Far Strike on himself, blowing up one of the stones around Wurmwood. The two remaining Bloodrunners kill both single-box members of the unit, and reposition to engage the Warlord. 

The spawned Void Spirit charges the Warlord, but rolls poorly and leaves him on one box. 

Circle turn 5:

The Brigand Warlord rolls like fire and kills both the Void Spirit and the Bloodrunner engaging him, before repositioning back into the zone. Wurmwood boosts a couple Strangleholds into the beasts, locking them into half activations the next turn. 

Skorne turn 6:

The Bloodrunner charges and kills the Warlord, spawning yet another Void Spirit. The Despoiler sacrifices action and moves to engage Wurmwood. 

The Void Spirit charges the tree and does decent damage, knocking him down to 7. 

The Cannoneer casts Far Strike on himself, and shoots the tree down. 

Had that failed, I was going to put two Essence Blasts into the tree from the Void Spirit and Despoiler himself, but it was not needed!

Victory for the Tyrants!

Post-Game Thoughts:

Man Mordikaar is fun to play! He has an awesome toolkit, especially against Wurmwood. I got lucky with my dice in a couple of key spots, most notably killing Megalith, but in general I felt like the game was pretty even in terms of the dice swings. Despoiler is nuts, and playing him more defensively (my opponent usually likes to get him into things early) was extremely strong as I was able to spawn I think three or four Void Spirits that game, which definitely is the big reason I won there. 

Overall I learned a lot about both casters. That's a hard matchup for both lists, very, very decision and placement dependent. I think that this Mordikaar list has serious game into Wurmwood and I'd encourage Skorne players to experiment with it.