I've only had one other game with the Heretic, and it was a game of such abysmal dice that it has honestly soured my opinion of him significantly. You can read that game here if you want to.
With that in mind, I decided to play the exact same list as I did at Lock and Load in Masters to give myself another go at it and see if my bias was warranted.
I got to play into Minions, and I was pretty sure it would end up being Rask's Avengers Assemble list since he gets to deny me the Alpha pretty hard with the Feat.
- Cage Rager
- Crabbit x2
Swamp Gobbers Bellow Crew
I chose the Ruin (cancel a spell targeting a model in control and make enemy upkeeps/animi exprire) and Labyrinth (when an enemy model advances into your control and ends its movement, you can make all enemy models activating in control to get -2 speed for a round) Arcana in addition to the Heretic's Trump, The Reckoning, which triggers when an enemy model kills a friendly faction model and gives your army prey against that model for a round AND allows you to move it around if you kill the model/unit that has it on them.
We were playing Recon II and I chose to go first since 1) Ambushing Crows need that and 2) I like to get up the table with this many guys. With the Hollowmen I thought I could maybe force a turn 1 feat, which would be great for me.
I thought for a minute or so before decided to put Prey on both of the Efaarit Scouts.
There were a couple of reasons for this. First of all, I really don't want them hanging out in the edges of the table where I can't easily reach out and touch them with my Hollowmen and where they can move in, shoot something and reposition out every turn. Putting Prey on them forces them into the middle of the table where the forest can block LOS for at least a couple of turns.
Secondly, it doesn't take much to kill them, so if I need to transfer prey around later, I can do that then.
My opponent puts prey from the Totem Hunter onto a Gorehound.
Grymkin turn 1:
Time to push up the table really far! Apparition on the Hollowmen and everything basically runs.
Fury goes onto the unit of central Neigh Slayers and the Heretic drops some of his own Fury so he can pull everything from my beasts next turn.
Minions turn 1:
Lots of stuff happened this turn actually.
An Efaarit gets a bead on one of my Neigh Slayers and kills it.
Dahlia casts Haunting Melody and moves up.
Skarath runs up to the rubble to protect him from the Hollowmen.
Brun casts Stonehold (I double checked it so I could get the name right Jeff) and moves up with Lug.
Rask puts Fury on the Totem Hunter and Admonition on the middle Wrastler.
Wrong Eye puts up Submerge and Star Crossed and Snapjaw Submerges and charges.
The Totem Hunter gets right behind the forest.
Grymkin turn 2:
My opponent did exactly the right thing at the beginning of the game in asking me how far my Murder Crows threatened with Ambush, but then he forgot to check that distance and both Skareth and Brun were inside of it.
I ran some quick math and decided I had 70% ish chance to kill both, higher if I could remove the Efaarit Scout from the table that wasn't in the trench, as that one was the unit going after Brun.
I set about doing my beginning of turn stuff including Ambushing, Apparitioning, Leaching, and Upkeeping.
I put a two man CRA into the Scout and miss, and at this point I should have just gone for it, but instead I walk Lord Longfellow up to shoot at one of the few non-character models and he whiffs both his attack rolls two.
I'm starting to feel flashbacks to my first game with the Heretic, and with reservations I charge in my crows.
I leave Brun on one box with no transfers and I leave Skareth on four or five after both units miss at least one attack and roll sub-par for damage. I charge my Gorehound in at Skareth and miss everything.
Ah well, he's tied up at least.
I charge the Totem Hunter with my Gorehound and miss the boosted attack roll.
I move things up out of threat range of his things, put a Wall of Fire next to the Totem Hunter, and call it good.
Minions turn 2:
Damage control time.
The spells are upkept everywhere. Brun and Lug munch on three Murder crows but don't have the attacks to take them all out.
Skareth kills all of the Crows but one, which the Wrastler charges to get in range of the Gorehound, which dies.
The Totem Hunter charges the Gorehound, nearly dying to Fire, and kills it before Sprinting out.
Rask advances, Feats, and attempts to put Boundless Charge on the Wrastler. I trigger Ruin which cancels that and gets rid of Admonition and Fury. My opponent recasts Boundless Charge. The Wrastler charges and kills Lord Longfellow.
Wrong Eye gets into optimal position and puts up Star Crossed and Submerge for good measure, and Snapjaw casts Submerge and riles for a bunch.
Grymkin turn 3:
I can charge the Wrastler with three Furied Neigh Slayers, but that's about it.
I do the hail mary charge with my last Crow on the right into Skareth, which misses.
Crows on the left kill off Brun.
The Hollowmen on the left keep flanking like crazy.
The Hollowmen on the right back up.
The Neigh Slayers charge in, but I miss with one because of Star Crossed
I realize that I can charge Snapjaw and the Totem Hunter as well, so I do with the other unit. The Totem Hunter gets missed, but Snapjaw takes about 9 boxes. Everything repositions as best they can since I charged to max melee and the two heavies.
The Heretic moves over to the flag on the right and puts down a Wall of Fire right in front of Dahlia and the two Efaarit Scouts.
I score a point.
Score: 1 - 0
Minions turn 3:
Rask and all the remaining lessers pull their fury. Dahlia upkeeps Haunting Melody.
Wrong Eye moves up and does his pair of spells again.
The Totem Hunter, Snapjaw, and Wrastler combined kill off all but two of each unit of Neigh Slayers, and I trigger The Reckoning on the Wrastler. My opponent makes his life difficult by moving Rask up next to the objective before activating his Efaarit Scouts, which means they can either go through the Wall of Fire and probably die or they can take the really long way around it and not get to shoot at anything.
Dahlia sits there and heals Skareth for a couple, and Skareth kills off the last Murder Crow.
My opponent opts to keep them alive. We're both getting kind of low on clock here, and he passes over without activating his other Wrastler.
I score again as does my opponent in the left zone.
Score: 2 - 1
Grymkin turn 4:
Time to murder EVERYTHING.
Fury is upkept, and the two Neighslayers charge in on the Wrastler, leaving him on one box.
My hero Crabbit charges and kills him! :D The Reckoning moves over to the Totem Hunter.
The Twilight Sisters kill him and make another Neigh Slayer for the left unit. The Reckoning moves to Snapjaw.
I move up the flanking Hollowmen and start putting two man CRA's into him. At dice off 3, they leave him on a few boxes, and the first Neigh Slayer charge ends him readily.
The Reckoning moves to Dahlia, who eats a 10 man CRA from the Hollowmen, which kills her with blowback damage from her transfer.
The Reckoning moves to Wrong Eye, who gets charged by a single Crow while another runs to engage for Gang. The Crow needs a 12 to force a tough check outright, but only rolls an 11.
The Heretic moves Fury onto himself in anticipation of a Wrastler coming in the next turn and camps on the flag for another point.
Score: 3 - 1
Minions turn 4:
We check, and Rask isn't in range of the Heretic to strip his fury, nor is the Wrastler in range to get to him even with Boundless Charge.
My opponent settles for shooting the Heretic up with the Efaarits and charging the Wrastler into my Hollowmen.
On the left, the Gobbers CHARGE and one of them KILLS A HOLLOWMAN (!!!!!!!!!!!!).
Wrong Eye kills all three Crows and heals up to nearly full.
I score another point.
Score: 4 - 1
Grymkin turn 5:
I just need to clear the left zone and I'm golden.
The Hollowmen apparate everywhere and I upkeep Fury.
The Hollowmen on the left shoot down the Gobber and leave Wrong Eye on a box.
The HERO CRABBIT goes in and kills Wrong Eye.
I put a big CRA into the Wrastler which, combined with two Neigh Slayer charges leaves it on like five boxes, so I charge the Heretic in at it and kill it in a couple auto hitting attacks.
With the Crabbit controlling the left zone and the Heretic on the right, I score two more to win 6 - 1.
This was the first game on SR 2017 that I've played against a solid control feat, and without the scenario pressure of old, they don't feel nearly as effective as they used to.
My opponent probably should have Feated turn 1 with his placement, and it's hard to wrap your head around exactly how far an ambushing unit threatens until you've seen it a few times. Three to five inches more central and he could have easily held his feat for a turn.
Also, The Reckoning is awesome.
Other than that, I don't think this is a great matchup for Rask's "Avengers" list since he just doesn't bring the volume of attacks required to kill this many guys, especially with the recursion and ranged presence.