Battle Report 11: Wurmwood vs. Butcher 3

Butcher 3 is one of those casters that you hear stories about, don't believe, and then play against and get face rolled because he's really that scary. My Khador friends and I joke that he's put three heavies on the table but his list really has four, because the big man can put down anything in the game on his feat turn.

The common consensus among Khador players is that Butcher 3 is not a Wurmwood drop. Stranglehold hurts his game plan too much, the forest screws with his heavies, Irusk 2 is better etc.

I don't think they're right, having played against both Irusk 2 and Butcher 3 many times now with Wurmwood, I feel that Butcher 3 is a far scarier Wurmwood counter than Irusk is.

With that in mind, I started off my day of practice games for the i5 Team Tournament in Portland playing against none other than Butcher himself. I don't like my Tanith list into the Butcher very much, although I should probably try it at some point, so I dropped Wurmwood.


Gallows Grove

Bokur and Shamblers
Sentry Stone x2
Shifting Stone x2
Swamp Gobbers Bellow Crew

And my opponent, rocking the same evil Butcher list I've come to hate:

Butcher 3
-War Argus x2
-Kodiak x2

Alexia 2
Widowmaker Marksman
Man O' War Drakhun x2

Kayazy Eliminators x2

We were playing the Scenario Take and Hold, and my opponent won the roll off, opting to take the side that didn't have a massive house and pond in the way. I was just fine with this as I'd wanted the table edge I got anyway.

Table Analysis and Pre-Game Thoughts:

I've gotten a few requests to do a quick pre-game analysis of the board, the scenario, and my first few turns thoughts of the game. Here's the table with us already deployed, but I'll talk about why I wanted the side I got and how I thought the game was going to develop. H

The Hellmouth Tentacles are the Flags

Interesting and important terrain features include a pair of forests flanking the friendly flag. With Wurmwood, I can fairly easily block that gap with forests every turn, making it very hard for him to contest. He also probably won't deploy a bunch of guys on that side because he won't want to funnel them through the forests as that's a very good way to get them killed.

The house is going to cause me a headache turn 1, and then it's going to be a non-issue for the game.

Given this, I put the Stalker on the right since I want him to clear the flag turn after turn, and I put Brennos and Megalith central since their guns are going to be useful for doing damage before the lines cross.

Alright you've already seen deployment so I'll jump right into the game!

Circle turn 1:

Stuff ran.

Bonegrinders murdered each-other to give Wurmwood souls and the Bokur corpses. The Stalker and Cassius swung wide, trying to bait his Drakhun into running up to engage Cassius so I could murder it with the Stalker and sprint out.

Forests were grown to hide the Bokur, and the beasts in the middle shuffled up.

Wurmwood got ported up to just next to the flag, and Shifting Stones went up to surround him again. He cast Wild Growth to give my forces more cover from the Widowmakers.

Khador turn 1:

Widowmakers are a thing. They activated first and killed the Gallows Grove and a few Mannikins. 

His Drakhun on the left ran up hard and the one on the right ran to engage Cassius. 

Butcher and Co. advanced up and Eliminators got in my face. 

(Sorry for the blurry picture)

Circle turn 2:

I had a couple of clear goals for this turn. I needed to spray down as many Widowmakers and Eliminators as possible, Stranglehold the left hand Drakhun since he was .1 inches out of Megalith's charge range, and kill the Drakhun on the right. I also needed to get Wurmwood onto the flag and kill off the Kayazy there. 

Things got off to a rocky start as the Stalker had to use every single attack available to put down the Drakhun, so no sprinting out. This meant that I couldn't hold my feat for a turn, since he would easily get murdered by Ruin otherwise. 

Megalith landed the Stranglehold and cranked the damage on the left Drakhun, doing 4 damage. 

I was able to hit all four Kayazy, the Marksman, and one Widowmaker, but I failed to roll the six required to kill two of the Kayazy so they survived. 

Cassius ran up between the Kodiaks.

Wurmwood got teleported to the flag, activated, cast Stranglehold successfully on both Kodiaks, and then popped feat before yanking Cassius back with Dark Path. 

The circle fury tokens represent the forest edge

Khador turn 2:

Between Butcher himself, the lone Kayazy left on that side, and Widowmakers being able to see some things, the flag is cleared and dominated. 

The red Kodiak gets to just barely within contesting range of my flag, and the other one also walks up with Ruin behind. 

Score 0-1
Advantage Khador

Circle turn 3:

I feel like I'm in a pretty bad spot here. I had to pop my feat without getting a free heavy, didn't score on my feat turn, and my opponent managed to score on my feat turn. 

Shamblers activate and charge stuff, doing a point or two the Drakhun and killing the Kayazy. 

Mannikins activate and charge, missing the boosted 9 on Ragman. 

Megalith goes into the Drakhun and kills it. This was a massive mistake, Megalith should have just cast Stranglehold again and gotten behind the wall. 

Wurmwood activates, puts Curse of Shadows on the Grey Kodiak and opts not to primal Brennos, but does Primal the Stalker. He also Strangleholds the Kayazy on the right, killing it, and puts up Wild Growth between himself and Ruin.  

Brennos fishes for the crit pitch on his horns but fails to land it, knocking about 1/3 of the Red Kodiaks health off. Lanyssa lands Hunters Mark on the Grey Kodiak. 

The Stalker charges in, and rolls triple sixes for damage at dice +2. He then proceeds to kill both heavies and Lightning Strike over to engage both Ruin and Alexia. 

Yeah....that happened. Don't worry, my opponents dice get pretty hot in the coming turns too. 

The Gobbers move up and Cloud, and Shifting Stones move up to make it impossible for Alexia to charge Wurmwood. 

With me contesting his flag, I score and he does not. 

Score 1-1

Khador turn 3:

Even with his Kodiak duo in the dust, my opponent's list still has a ton of firepower left. 

Ragman does Death Field and Ruin murders the Stalker with his last attack. 

Butcher charges in and kills Megalith handily, popping feat so I can't get Brennos into him. 

Alexia contests by charging and killing a Shifting Stone. 

Score 1-1

Circle turn 4:

Well I'm in a bit of a bind, but with so few models left on the table for him I see an opportunity to score 2 points this turn and make things difficult for him. I upkeep Wild Growth.

The broken unit of Shifting Stones ports up around Ruin. Brennos walks up to Alexia and uses his entire stack to try and kill her. Def 15 is so strong! He does succeed with his last attack. 

The Bone Grinder and remaining Gobber move up, and the Gorax slaughters them both so Wurmwood can have souls. 

Cassius runs left, and I get a Stranglehold off on Butcher. Since I've already damaged him, the Bokur and Shamblers walk up and murder the Argus contesting his flag. The Bokur boosts a Hand of Glory into him and misses the boosted 9. I had trouble with boosted 9s all day. 

The remaining Sentry Stone unit activates and kills Ragman, capping the flag. 

I score 2 points

Score 3-1
Advantage Circle

Khador turn 4:

I was feeling pretty good about the game now. 3 Widowmakers doesn't equal a dead Shifting Stone, and Butcher wasn't in range to shoot it, even with Vengeance, thanks to Stranglehold. I had forgotten that Butcher had Obliteration. 

The Butcher unit gets to Vengeance, and murders the Bokur. Butcher walks up and casts an Obliterate at the Stone in front of Ruin. We immediately realized the Widowmakers should have activated first, but my opponent rolls the hard 9 he needed to kill it anyway. He casts Energizer so that Ruin gets into the forest. Widowmakers kill off Mannikins. 

Ruin murders Brennos and contests by about half an inch. 

Score 3-1
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 5:

Well I'm in a bind again. Butcher is completely dry, but I do the math and I can boost a Curse of Shadows at his unit, and then Stranglehold him with boosted damage 2 times from Wurmwood for an average of 12 damage IF I hit both of them on unboosted 7s. I'd then get one boosted pow 11 from a Mannikin, doing another 6, leaving him at 2. 

Instead, I drop Wild Growth and see if I can get Ruin out of my face. If I can dominate my flag again without Wurmwood doing anything, I think I can clear out the War Dog and War Argus to capture the other flag. 

The Gorax slams Ruin, hitting and pushing him just out of contesting range. 

The two Shamblers run away, one taking a free strike and dying. 

The Sentry Stone unit gets a fury, already camping one, and spawns a Mannikin on the flag which aims and sprays down the War Dog. The Stone ports up to the flag as well, away from the Argus to unengage it. 

Cassius runs over to the far side of the wall (don't give things cover if you don't have to folks!) and Wurmwood puts a couple of boosted Strangleholds into the War Argus, killing it and allowing me to get 2 points. 

Score 5-1
Victory for the Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts:

I need to learn to be much more conservative with my heavies in this matchup. Megalith shouldn't be committing to a Drakhun with Butcher that close. Ever. Dumb luck allowed me to kill 2 heavies in one turn with the Stalker (At dice +2 on the grey Kodiak, he should have killed it with his initials and 2 bought attacks, leaving 2 more bought attacks for the Red one at dice, doing another 14 and leaving it on a couple of boxes) and keep Ruin out of my face for longer. 

Also, in this matchup the Kodiak's should not be my priority heavy. They don't kill my beasts without help from Butcher, and I always get caught in the trap of sending too much into them without thinking about Ruin. 

This was a crazy game, very close on both sides.