Batrep 35: Grayle vs. The Witch Coven of Gharlghast

Long before these girls dominated the Cryx competitive meta in mark 3, my good friend and regular opponent played the ever living crap out of them in mark 2. I probably clocked in 40 games against them in six months.

They haven't changed much in mark 3, people are just finally realizing A) That they're really good and B) That they're one of Cryx's few answers to gunlines. They also have some pretty sweet game into melee armies too.

As I've mentioned in previous battle reports, the meta I'm working in is brimming with newer players. We just finished a journeyman league up, and we're gradually expanding our player base. As such, when our resident Cryx player wanted to throw down, I resisted the impulse to reach for Wurmwood as my stock reaction to Cryx and instead threw something down that I thought would be an interesting game.


War Wolf x2

Wolves and CA
Reeves and CA
Skinwalkers and CA

And he dropped:

The Witch Coven
-Withershadow Combine
-Inflictor (proxied by Seether)
-Deathripper x2

Pistol Wraith x2

Satyxis Raiders and CA

My opponent won the roll off, and opted to go second after we discussed how one half of the board would basically kill any potential his Kraken had to do anything. If you look at the table edge I'm deploying on, the house would have prevented him from getting into the zone significantly, while the forest would have given me a lot of leeway for a couple of turns by blocking LOS from the Kraken but not too the Kraken.

I deployed pretty central. The Kraken is bad news for this list, as are most colossals. My one saving grace here is that, for a Colossal, the Kraken is squishy.

My opponent immediately makes things hard for me by putting the Raiders opposite my Reeves and the Kraken opposite my Wolves. Ick.

Circle turn 1:

Operation RUN commences. Grayle casts Storm Rager on himself and Death March on the Skinwalkers. The plan there is that the Skinwalkers will slowly win an attrition war with the Raiders.

Grayle then charges the Kraken, hiding behind the cloud from my Fuel Cache and the forest.

Everything else runs. Skinwalkers move up fast, Reeves move central to stay away from the Raiders, and Wolves spread way out.

Cryx turn 1:

He runs at me. Infernal Machine goes on the Kraken and Occultation goes on the Raiders, who pray for Force Barrier.

He pops feat. Looking back at this, that might have been premature. I can't actually get at very many things here except with Reeve shots. I feel he should have been slightly more aggressive in order to justify the feat.

Circle turn 2:

Well I can't do much here. Grayle upkeeps both spells. Skinwalkers pop their mini feat and run at the Raiders.

Reeves pop their mini feat and run. One of the Reeves moves up so I can get a spray onto a Witch with the pureblood. I classically nail my own dude with an unboosted 8 and then miss the Witch. Darn.

Wolves run and jam some more.

Cryx turn 2:

His Pistol Wraiths do terrible things to me this turn.

The left side one murders the Alpha from the Skinwalkers. The right side one murders the Wolves Chieftan and a War Wolf.

The Satyxis hit two Crit Knockdowns (impressive) but fail to kill any more Skinwalkers.

The Kraken eats 3 Wolves and Kill Shots into the Pureblood.

Curse of Shadows gets cast on the Wolves, and the Deathripper moves up and murders one.

Apparently I didn't take a picture of this turn. Hmmm.....

Circle turn 3:

Well I have a plan here, but it's not great. I can get a Pureblood with Primal onto the Kraken, two PS 12 charges, and two POW 15 Reeve shots. The Pureblood does 40 damage on average, the two PS 12 charges do another 8 ish, and the two POW 15 shots do 6 for a grand total of 52. I also have the option to feat and walk the Feral around the forest Warping Speed, but I really don't want to do tha.

Skinwalkers Vengeance and kill a couple raiders.

Grayle activates, Primals the Pureblood, and feats.

Lanyssa lands Hunters Mark on the Kraken.

The Pureblood goes in and....does way less than 40 damage thanks to missing an attack (double ones, yeahhhh).

The War Wolf runs up. Wolves get a charge order, dinging the Kraken for a few.

The War Wolf gets to Sic 'em, and rolls bananas for damage to make up for his big brother Pureblood.

The Reeves move up andddddd leave the Kraken on one box, with a Necrotech right behind.

The Skinwalkers murder more Raiders, triggering the feat twice, once for Morraig to move over, and once for the Feral to. The Feral Warps Speed, moves around the forest, and does the last point of damage to the Kraken. Feat trigger moves the Pureblood up to the Inflictor so that I don't have to worry about his Frenzy.

Morraig charges and murders the right side Pistol Wraith, then repositions into melee with the Deathripper.

Cryx turn 3:

Losing the Kraken is a big deal.

His Raiders wail on my Skinwalkers, knocking another one down. The Inflictor misses 3 of 5 attacks on the Pureblood. The Necrotech whacks the Pureblood for a few.

He decides that his Deathripper needs to get LOS to Grayle for a last ditch assassination attempt. but Morraig makes a massive free strike and tears out its Arc Node, and my opponent concedes.

Post Game Thoughts:

That was a really tense game at points. I feel like my opponents one mistake was not being more aggressive with his feat turn. He could have moved up a little bit more perhaps and been okay, but it's more of a balancing act there for sure.

I did a really good job of keeping Grayle safe, which is important, and he did a pretty darn good job of keeping the Coven safe, which is also important.

Also the Coven's focus manipulation rules are absurd. Egregore can take 15 damage, send 5 to each Witch, and then each Witch can spend a focus to negate that damage. Geezeeeeee.

Hope you enjoyed!

Battle Report 29: Grayle vs. Issyria

Continuing my train of self abuse, I decided to drop Grayle into the local Ret player, little realizing that he would be playing Issyria with a mountain of angry jacks!

This is a really bad matchup in most cases since I can't kill most of his army fast enough, and his feat really negates my feat. I would have to force him to pop feat first in order to even have a chance.

My list, same as last time:


War Wolves

Max Reeves
Max Wolves
Max Skinwalkers

His list:



Pain Knight Skareth Issyan
Eiryss 2
Mage Hunter Assassin x2
Arcanist x3

We rolled Outlast for a Scenario. I won the roll off and opted to go first, thinking I needed to get Grayle's upkeeps out on a turn when he couldn't accidentally die. additionally, there really wasn't a table edge that I didn't want, so I felt pretty good about going first.

Also, my list is really fast and pretty much melee based, and that's a good reason to go first.

Note how I've deployed my feral - he's the more important beast here and his role is to load Brennos up with Primal one turn, and then get sent in to murder whatever kills Brennos. As such, he gets deployed behind the lines like a defensive beast.

Right away I've noticed something kind of huge here - my opponent has almost given me the right side of the table, and there's a nice big piece of LOS blocking terrain there for me to exploit. He *is* going to jam Nayl down my throat turn 1, but I can't do much about that, and Grayle can usually handle loosing fury.

Circle turn 1:

Pretty standard. Grayle puts Storm Rager on himself and Death March on the Skinwalkers before charging.

Literally everything else runs. I skew my heavy beasts and the Skinwalkers left to tie up his Hyperion if he goes for that zone. The Feral plus Brennos can actually likely take the colossal down in one activation too, so that's something.

Lanyssa is really bad in this particular matchup thanks to Arcane Vortex on Issyria and Witch Hunter on Eiryss, PLUS the Wailing on the Banshee. She's mostly going to contest.

Ret turn 1:

My opponent puts Inviolable Resolve on Hyperion and Admonition on Issyria. Speed of Death goes up from Elara (holy crap that's a good spell) and everything runs. Nayl goes to the left zone as well, leaving a lone Mage Hunter Assassin in the right zone to contest.

Circle turn 2:

I upkeep both spells.

Brennos goes first and casts Ravaging Winds at the Banshee. Eiryss shoots him back with Witch Hunter, but fails to do anything.

Brennos connects and then boosts damage on both the Banshee and Eiryss, sadly not killing the solo, but doing a little damage to the Banshee.

The Feral moves up, and then Grayle charges Nayl. Before making my charge attack, I put down two Gale Winds right in front of Hyperion so that he can't shoot his Starburst (hereforward called the Sparkleburst because that's what I call it) cannon at anything important. Grayle then murders Nayl, loses his fury, side steps, and then Sprints back behind the forest. Cheeky little begger.

Skinwalkers run and mini feat, Wolves run. War Wolves run. Reeves....yeah they run too.

Look at that awesome "no shooting" zone! :D
Ret turn 2:

His Mage Hunter Assassin in the right zone murders the poor War Wolf.

The Pain knight murders the other War Wolf.

The Banshee moves up and kills the Skinwalker engaging Eiryss.

Moros fails to kill a Skinwalker, and so does a Mage Hunter Assassin (woot!), meaning Hyperion goes in and kills them himself.

No points are scored.

Circle turn 3:

Well I was moderately expecting to be down on Scenario here, but I'll take it! Grayle cuts for six (ouch) and upkeeps his spells.

Lanyssa lands the Hunters Mark on the Banshee.

Brennos charges in and misses 3 of 5 attacks. Yay.

The Skinwalkers charge Hyperion (they Vengeanced at the beginning of the turn and killed the MHA) and Sylys respectively. Despite hitting him, my Skinwalker fails to kill Sylyss with a charge attack. Awkward.

The Feral moves back. Morraig moves through my own models to kill the MHA and then Repositions up.

Grayle casts two more Wind Blasts and backs up into the zone.

Wolves move up, whack the Banshee, and reposition, waiting for a better mini feat turn. Two 8 man CRA shots fail to dismount the Pain Knight.

I get two points!

Score 2-0
Advantage Circle

Ret turn 3:

We spend a LONG time trying to figure out how my opponent can contest with the Pain Knight without taking a free strike. 

Eventually, Issyria pops feat, and the Pain Knight charges in, impacting one Wolf and then killing a second, before Repositioning into the zone. 

The Banshee trivially murders Brennos. No big deal. Crippled weapon even. *sigh*

Hyperion moves up after the Skinwalkers are dealt with and shoots the Feral, doing about half it's health. *sigh*. 

Lanyssa dies to...something? Eiryss maybe? My opponent gets a point. 

Score 2-1
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 4:

Alright, he's got ONE model that can contest once the Pain Knight dies, and it's a moderately banged up Banshee.

Grayle charges the Pain Knight and pops his feat, killing the elf and moving a Wolf into the forest. He heals the Feral for a bunch. He then Sprints back to safety. Dang I love doing that.

The Wolves mini feat and charge, killing the Banshee, and then repositioning into the left zone.

Morraig runs and engages half his remaining models.

I get two more points.

Score 4-1
Advantage Circle

Ret turn 4:

My opponent knows he can't catch me here, so he opts to just murder as much stuff as he can. 

He ends his turn after killing 2/3 of my remaining models, and I get 2 more points to his 1. 

Score 6-2
Victory for the Druids!

Post Game Thoughts:

Yeah this is a terrible matchup for Grayle in general. Sure, I won, but my opponent almost gave me the right hand zone, and at the end of the game I had half a unit of Reeves, a Feral, Morraig, and Grayle to his almost completely healthy Hyperion, Moros, and Eiryss. 

Not a great matchup there if the game keeps going. 

I still can't get over how much fun Grayle is, looking forward to playing him a whole bunch more in the next little while!

Battle Report 28: Grayle vs. Reznik 1

It's been a pretty competitive last few weeks for me, with the i5 Team Event in Portland followed immediately by a High Reward Tournament at Mox Boarding House in Seattle.

I had actually intended to hang up the Circle hat for a few months after those events and focus on playing Minions or Legion for a bit, at least until I get my Storm Raptor.

Then, on a whim, I decided to put a Grayle list on the table last week, and once again I am all in on Circle.


War Wolf x2

Wolves of Orboros
Reeves of Orboros
Objective: Fuel Cache

List thoughts:

First of all, I chucked this together literally 30 seconds before we rolled off for sides in an attempt to jam the most Wolf Sworn models I could into a list while still playing something I felt was viable.

This list is capable of putting down a massive swathe of no shooting between Brennos' Ravaging Winds and Wind Blast, and a Feat that grants your army Stealth is nothing to sneeze at either when you're playing against many gunlines.

This list will struggle, and by that I mean fail in a spectacular fashion, to kill large amounts of high ARM targets, such as Khador, some Menoth, and some Convergence lists.

It's also a million guys, which is a style of play I haven't had to mess with in nearly five months, so order of activations are tricky (although man, Tactician [Wolf Sworn] helps with that immensely).

We were playing onto Line Breaker and I won the roll, opting to go second. My opponent was playing:


TFG and CA
Min Choir
Rhoven and Co.

Objective: Fuel Cache


Pre-Game Thoughts:

As soon as my opponent put all of his heavies skewed to one side of the table, and a side with a massive terrain funnel at that, I felt like my best and perhaps only chance at winning the game was to plant my Reeves opposite the Daughter cav and blow up 2-3 a turn, eventually running a War Wolf or Lanyssa over to the far flag once he had nothing left. 

I'd use Grayle, Morraig, and Skinwalkers to clear TFG and Daughter Cav off the shooting guys and just keep feeding him Wolves on the right. 

Menoth turn 1:

Stuff runs. Ignite goes onto the Castigator. 

Circle turn 1:

I advance cautiously, keeping my Reeves out of charge range from everything and giving him a sacrificial Skinwalker to trigger Death March after Grayle casts it on them.

I hide most of my important stuff behind the cloud/forest.

Grayle gets Storm Rager on himself and hangs out centrally. Wolves run up, and my beasts go into the trench.

Menoth turn 2:

My opponent decides that sacrificing his Daughter Cav to jam is a bad decision, running them off to the side.

The TFG charge and kill one Skinwalker. They also mini-feat to be ARM 16.

Jacks move up, and the Reckoner pops one Wolf to death. He runs his Castigator around the house to bait out my Wolves.

Circle turn 2:

I reallyyyy want to get 3 of the Daughter cav this turn so that I can run a War Wolf and control that flag.

Vengeance triggers, and 3 TFG die.

One War Wolf runs up to the flag.

Reeves move up, and I only have one in range of the back Cav model. He misses both shots. The others do a massive CRA into the one on the hill and end it.

I DO get the one off shot into the one on the forest though, and the War Wolf sics it, murdering it dead.

It charges another one and misses.

Morraig moves in and kills a few TFG before repositioning out.

Grayle charges in, kills a couple TFG, and then sprints outta there.

The Skinwalkers activate and kill the last few TFG.

The Wolves pop their mini-feat and charge. Their damage rolls were incredible. Dice off 9 on the Castigator, one wolf does 7, the next does 4, the one after that does 9, the next does 3, and the next does ELEVEN. I marked the three that rolled bananas and they're getting repainted with super cool paint jobs and possibly conversions.

Needless to say the Castigator dies, and Wolves Reposition.

Feeling pretty happy about life, I pass the turn.

Menoth turn 3:

My opponent can get Scourge onto my Feral, but it takes a big chunk of his turn to do it.

Reznik gets Engine of Destruction and charges a Wolf, kills it, and Scourge Advances. Reznik Perditions another Wolf, Scourge advances.

Scourge charges my feral and misses half his attacks needing 7s, leaving him on about 10 boxes.

The Daughter cav kill some Reeves.

Circle turn 3:

I murder two Daughter Cav with Grayle. The Reeves put some damage on the objective after CRAing into the other Cav and killing it.

The Skinwalkers charge the objective and it dies.

Lanyssa runs to the flag.

Wolves crowd into the gap, one engaging Scourge.

The Feral doesn't quite kill Scourge, so Brennos and Morraig come over and finish him off.

Score 2-0
Advantage Circle

Menoth turn 4:

My opponent has to make some big plays here. A battled up Revenger solidly murders the Feral and does some good damage to Brennos. Reznik kills a Wolf, makes a Wrack, hits the Wrack, and murders more Wolves with the blast. 

I get another point. 

Score 3-0
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 4:

I'm in the odd position of not really having anything that can actually get to his army that matters this turn, so stuff just kinda runs, and Grayle stays safe.

Wait, that's what I should have done.

Morraig charges the Revenger. Grayle charges the Revenger, intending to Side Step twice into Reznik...but he kills him on the first attack.

He tries the Gallows, and it misses. Curses. He sprints out and I pile models between him and Reznik.

I get another point.

Score 4-0
Advantage Circle

Menoth turn 5:

My opponent has to kill me, but he can't get to me thanks to Reznik's facing and my position. He does murder Brennos and a Skinwalker though. Reznik doesn't mess around.

Score 5-0

Victory for the Druids!

Post Game Thoughts:

There is nothing as fun as a crazy monkey ninja guy running through your lines, killing some enemy stuff, and then running back. Grayle has proven to be more fun than I could have ever anticipated, and I fully intend on taking him to an event sometime soon! Probably paired idea :) 

Hope you enjoyed!