Battle Report 20, October 8 Steamroller Round 4: Tanith vs. Butcher 3

This opponent and I have played each-other in the semi finals or finals of many, many, many tournaments. Even in the short time I've been documenting these games, you can read 2 of our Butcher 3 vs. Wurmwood games (I think we've had 4 or 5) and basically it always ends up with him tableing me more or less and then me getting a seemingly miracle assassination.

I decided to buck the norm and play Tanith.

-Scarsfell x3

Wrong Eye

Shifting Stones
Sentry Stones x2

Objective: Fuel Cache

And he dropped this whirling mass of insanity.

Butcher 3
-War Argus x2

Man O'War Drakhun x2
Alexia 2
Widowmaker Marksman

Kayazy Eliminators x2

We were playing Take and Hold (a big part of why I picked Tanith, this isn't a particularly live Scenario for Wurmwood). He won the roll off and slammed the side with the trees.

I deployed pretty centrally. I missed Una again. Sweet sweet Una.

He deployed with the clear intention of making a beeline for his flag.

Circle turn 1:

Stuff ran. I couldn't spray any of his models since he'd deployed them back 1.2 inches. Scything Touch on the Stalker and Admonition on the Pureblood. Notice a pattern? I put one Griffon way right to go and tie up his Drakhun for a turn or two.

Khador turn 1:

Lots of Mannikins died. His central Drakhun ran up pretty far, his battlegroup got Energized and Butcher thought pretty hard about Energizing himself before I pointed out that if he did and charged, Snapjaw could get to him. Suffice to say, he did not Energize the Butcher.

Circle turn 2:

I was in a unique position here of being able to actually kill Butcher's dogs since his positioning with Butcher won't let him Vengeance at all.

Tanith upkept her spells, I saluted my darling Una in my mind and pretended to upkeep Guardian Beast and Wrong Eye took Snapjaws Fury.

Wrong Eye put up Submerge and Star-Crossed before advancing.

Snapjaw charged and murdered the middle Drakhun.

The right Griffon charged and 2 damage to the Drakhun.

Unpainted Mannikin missed 2 boosted nines on the middle Kayazy. These two Kayazy single-handedly almost lost me the game. Read on.

The other Mannikins killed the other two Kayazy and a few widowmakers.

The Pureblood moved up to the tip of the wall and sprayed both Argii, missing the first and killing the second.

The Grey Griffon moved up and killed the first Argus, and then cast Dodge.

The Blue Griffon went into the remaining Kayazy and missed....3 boosted 11s.

"No problem, I've got a Stalker in the stones, port him up, kill on, sprint out, easy!"

He missed 3 boosted 11s too.

I'm in panic mode here, 'till I realize that Butcher won't get pathfinder on the charge now that his pups are dead.

Tanith feats, casting Rift for the first time EVER and getting the right Kodiak and Butcher, boosting damage on the man himself and doing a couple.

Sweating profusely, I end my turn.

Khador turn 2:

The left Kodiak headbutts the Grey Griffon, and Ruin kills it. The red Kodiak hits both initials and then throws Snapjaw into the Stalker, killing one Kayazy and knocking the Stalker, the Bird, and Snapjaw down.

The Drakhun half kills the yellow Griffon.

Butcher feats and moves onto the flag.

Score 1-0
Advantage Khador

Circle turn 3:

Well...I have one chance at this. The Pureblood is within walking range of the Butcher. 

Tanith drops her spells, pulls fury from him and the Stalker. The blue Griffon Frenzies at the Kodiak and doesn't do much. Snapjaw passes his Frenzy check somehow, and Wrong Eye cuts for 4. 

After agonizing about the best way to do things for about ten minutes, I start with Tanith who moves up, shoots Butcher, boosting to hit. She hits, and does another couple of damage with a boosted damage roll. She puts Scything Touch and Primal on the Pureblood. 

I try like crazy to spray the War Dog down, but whiff the damage rolls and he lives. 

The Pureblood activates and walks up to Butcher. I need to do 18 damage with 6 attacks at dice -3 once his power shield is taken into account. 

I spike the first couple of dice rolls and kill him. 

A Lucky Victory for the Druids!

Post Game Thoughts:

I didn't really deserve this win I don't think. I did deliberately move the Pureblood over there to threaten Butcher should he choose to come to the flag, but I was expecting more of a spray than a walk and hit. The rough terrain forced him to charge in order to get to the flag and that was my only saving grace. 

Also, Tanith is the wrong drop, it should always be Wurmwood. 

At 4-0, I ended up taking first, and my round 4 opponent came second, with my round 3 opponent coming third! I had a real blast, some very interesting games were had, and the spread of factions was incredibly diverse outside the block of 3 Khador players.

The Western Washington PG's, of which I am a member, are hoping that we can get attendance up to 16-20 people by 2017, and I'm excited to see where the meta develops from here. We have a ton of new guys coming fresh out of a Journeyman League in about a month, and we're all pulling to have them keep playing once the league is over.

Thanks for reading!

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. 

Battle Report 9, September 9 Steamroller round 2: Wurmwood vs. Butcher 3

I've been playing against this particular opponent a lot on VASSAL since neither of us have a super active local meta and driving to Spokane for casual games gets expensive and time consuming really fast.

We had actually tried this matchup out the previous evening, and I knew it was going to be interesting.

Butcher 3
-War Argus x2

Man O'War Drakhun x2
Alexia 2
Widowmaker Marksman

Kayazy Eliminators x2

Man O'War Drakhuns are a nightmare for Circle. They're fast, accurate, hit like a train, and are insanely hard to kill. I've had to commit heavies in the past, nothing else has cut it.

I played my Wurmwood list. His other list was Vlad 2 which seems like a bad time into Wurmwood and I didn't think Tannith had the ability to deal with Butcher himself.

We were playing entrenched. I won the roll off and chose to go second since I wanted the side with the forest to make my wall of things. We both had Fuel Cache as our objectives, and with the clouds in the middle of the table, I felt like this table edge was better. In hindsight, in a Scenario this dead, going first probably would have been the better choice.

He skewed deployment left with only Ruin, Widowmakers, and a Drakhun on the right.

I counter deployed by putting the Brigands across from the Kodiak I wanted them to prey on and the Shamblers near the water.

Khador turn 1:

I'd screwed up my AD, measuring just from my edge and not from his models, so his Widowmakers were able to kill all of one unit of Sentry Stones' Mannikins. Ruin ran up, the Drakhuns flanked hard. His battlegroup moved up. Pretty typical turn 1.

Circle turn 1:

I premeasured it out and thought I could kill his entire unit of Widowmakers and the marksman AND a Kayazy this turn. 

Cassius ran up, Wurmwood activated, boosted out a Hellmouth and murdered all but one Widowmaker. He then cast Dark Path to pull Cassius back. A Mannikin murdered the other Widowmaker, and I ran the Shamblers up. 

Bone Grinders murdered each-other so that Wurmwood would have souls and the Bokur would have corpses. 

Brigands advanced to outside of the Drakhuns charging threat, and my heavies stayed central. 

Khador turn 2:

My opponent committed Ruin to killing my Sentry Stones and just barely didn't kill the second one. His Kodiaks trampled up and vented steam. Eliminators on the left got in my face.

Circle turn 2:

I screwed up a lot this turn. 

The Bokur and Shamblers charged Ruin and the Drakhun, and with five bought and boosted attacks Ruin was down to 20 boxes. 

Megalith went in and murdered Ruin dead. 

Now I start screwing up. 

What I should have done is cast Hunters Mark on the Drakhun out on the right, charged the Stalker in, murdered it, sprinted back to control the flag, and then have Wurmwood feat to protect my advantage. 

Instead I cast Hunters Mark on the red Kodiak and put Primal on the Stalker, who charges in and just barely squeaks out the kill (I rolled garbage for my first three rolls and needed an unboosted nine at the end, which I got). I then activated Wurmwood, intending to put Curse of Shadows on the grey Kodiak so that my Brigands could murder it, and instead I got Stranglehold happy, killing off both the of the left Eliminators. 

Now I've got both heavies too far up the table, no way to get points this turn, no way to feat and get anything meaningful done with the Brigands, and no plan. I should have feated and gotten Wurmwood out of there, but I decided not to. 

Brigands move up and do 12 damage to the grey Kodiak, perfectly average. They reposition back. 

Khador turn 3:

My opponent doesn't hesitate. Butcher charges in and yanks Megalith towards him, killing him with his feat. He couldn't quite get the Stalker thanks to placement of other things. 

The Drakhun charges and kills Lanyssa, and then repositions into my Brigands. The other Drakhun kills some Shamblers. 

I'm in big trouble. 
Notice the lack of a Megalith? yeahhh

Circle turn 3:

The Stalker frenzied and killed a War Argus.

Cassius charged the Kayazy behind the Bokur and missed a boosted nine. Buy boost, miss. Buy boost, miss. Buy boost, finally hit, boost damage.

I got incredibly tunnel visioned there, leaving Wurmwood with hardly any Fury left to play with. I had to take a good 15 seconds to calm down at this point since I had felt that my dice were consistently poor both games and the first game had really rattled my calm. I hardly ever go on tilt, but I almost did here.

The Bokur activated once I'd gotten myself under control and made Butcher Stationary.

I charge the Drakhun with some Brigands, and do 9 damage.

Wurmwood pops feat and chills.

Khador turn 4:

Butcher can't Vengeance because shaking stationary happens in control phase and Vengeance happens in Maintenance. He does shake though. 

My opponent can't charge Cassius with Alexia because he's 3.1 inches away, so she advances and misses the 8 she needs. She crafts a thrall warrior who also misses. The Drakhun can't get to Cassius either. 

My opponent messes up his Ragman placement and Butcher can't benefit from Death Field. He still murders the Stalker though. 

The Drakhun on the left kills a couple of Brigands, giving Wurmwood some souls. 

Circle turn 4:

Butcher is only camping one, and so I cobble together a plan. Wurmwood will cast Curse of Shadows on Butcher, Hellmouth him closer and then Primal the Gorax. The Shifting Stones will port backwards so the Gorax has a throw target and he will toss Butcher at it. I can then charge 3 Brigands after getting 4 shots with Hog Wild. 

I go for it, putting decent damage on Butcher between Hellmouth and the throw damage. 

The Brigands charge in and put him down. 

Victory (somehow!) for the Druids!

Post Game Thoughts:

That was a super strange, incredibly jank assassination run. I think this is a really hard matchup for both players, and I need to learn to use Wurmwood's feat better and settle for incremental advantages rather than going for massive alpha strikes, especially against a caster like the Butcher. 

Well played game by my opponent, I'm going to remember this one for a long time.