I've been having a really hard time playing outside of the Dark Menagerie theme force since 1) Gremlin Swarms are amazing and 2) I love Skin and Moans.
With that in mind, I deliberately set up as many dudes as I could fit in a list without resorting to paying points or Cask Imps.
I'm working on my pairing for an Invitational event coming up, and I'm pretty locked on a Menagerie list that's either going to be the Dreamer or the Child (conveniently, they have the same beast points), and for a pairing I think I'm playing the Heretic just because he's so consistently (theoretically) good.
I also haven't been sold on the Witchwood, and I determined to bring a pair in this list to see if they would change my mind.
My opponent is getting back into the more competitive side of the game, and had rolled himself up a Makeda 2/Hexeris 2 pairing.
The Makeda list was a pile of Swordsmen and Ferox with a couple beasts backing it up, and I felt like I could play into that fairly well with Hollowmen. The Hexeris list is an efficient gunline that can do some serious damage at range, but I felt that with the Shroud Arcana and Dispel on the Heretic's melee weapon, I had some game there too.
With that in mind, I dropped my Heretic "30 rot" list and my opponent dropped Hexeris.
I chose the Shroud and Ruin Arcana in addition to the Heretic's trump card The Reckoning.
- Crabbit x2
- Aradus Sentinel
- Titan Gladiator
- Basilisk Krea
- Cyclops Shaman
- Reptile Hound x2
Venator Cannon Crew
Beast Handlers (min)
I lost the roll off and my opponent opted to go second and take the side with the good defensive terrain. He placed his wall close to the rubble on the right.
Deploying this list was...a challenge. I haven't put this many models on the table since I played Gaspy 2 in mark II, and terrain was going to be interesting. The plan was to hide out behind the forest with the Heretic and my Witchwoods and use the two trees to contest and to funnel models out of the trench for me to shoot at.
One nice thing about playing this many guys - there's no single target for my opponent to commit his Siege Animantarax to without trading significantly down.
Grymkin turn 1:
It's hard to describe this turn as anything except running. The only vaguely non-running things that happened was the Heretic putting Fury on the left unit of Rots and putting a Wall of Fire down for fun.
Longfellow switched sides and went hard for the right hand forest to hide behind, and my Gorehounds got into or onto defensive terrain.
Skorne turn 1:
I've screwed up a bit here. My opponent runs his right hand Reptile Hound up as far as it can.
Hexeris moves up, Rushes the Sentinel, casts Cloak of Ash on himself, and puts Black Spot on my Dread Rots. The Siege Animantarax TRAMPLES (yeah I forgot about that) up the table and only gets two shots, killing three Rots and forcing tough on the fourth. It repositions backwards.
The Sentinel moves up and kills two Hollowmen, but we didn't realize the AOE is a scather template so we didn't put it down - this would have made me change my movement the next turn somewhat significantly.
The Reivers move up very aggressively, the Dakaar gives Desperate Pace to the Cannon Crew and they charge.
Grymkin turn 2:
I check, and Longfellow can get to both members of the Cannon Crew and the Gorehound can get to the Cannon itself.
The Hollowmen all apparate up the table. The Witchwood in the left yanks a Reiver out of the trench and tries to have it kill another Reiver, but it misses the melee attack.
The Hollowmen kill a guy and bring back a Hollowman. The Gorehound kills the Reptile Hound in the left zone and Sprints into the Reiver lines.
On the right, Longfellow kills the Cannon grunt and misses the Cannon, so the Gorehound goes in and kills the Cannon before sprinting into the rubble.
The Twilight Sisters bring back a couple of Dread Rots, the Heretic whacks one to get rid of Black Spot and casts a Wall of Fire.
Hollowmen CRAs kill off the Reptile Hound and the melee force in the army just runs and runs and runs. I put a Crabbit in the zone to force my opponent to contest or give me a point.
Skorne turn 2:
The Sentinel shoots at the Witchwood, and I Shield Guard into the Crabbit, which dies. He also puts up Swarm.
I trigger Shroud and give basically everything Stealth.
The Animantarax walks up, nearly kills the Witchwood and puts shots into several Dread Rots. It Repositions back to the side.
The Gladiator Rushes the Shaman, who moves up and shoots the Gorehound, cranking damage and leaving it on seven boxes.
The Krea puts up its animus and gets into the middle of things.
Reivers kill off a few Dread Rots, and Hexeris Ashes to Ashes all but one member of the unpainted but based unit to death (the last one toughed), ironically giving me that zone. He has to Feat in order to get the number of spells off that he wants, so I have no fury on my Gorehounds anymore.
Score: 1 - 0
Grymkin turn 3:
I upkeep Fury and cut for three. Hollowmen all apparate around.
The left Gorehound moves around the back of the Reivers and kills three and Sprints into the middle of them all.
I get two Dread Rot charges into the Siege Animantarax, a pretty big CRA from the Hollowmen and the first Witchwood.
The Heretic puts Fury on the Rattler and moves to the side. The Rattler charges in, leaving the Animantarax on 2 boxes.
The second Witchwood finishes off the Animantarax.
I run the single living Dread Rot controlling the zone away. Longfellow kills off two Beast Handlers and Swift Hunters around.
Everyone runs up that hasn't activated and I score two more points.
Score: 3 - 0
Skorne turn 3:
The Shaman frenzies and kills a Dread Rot.
Swarm goes up again and the Sentinel corrodes and knocks down two Rots and kills a third, so the Shaman is no longer engaged.
The Extoller runs into the right zone to contest. Hexeris moves up, Black Spots the Dread Rots in the left zone, and casts Ashes to Ashes at some more Dread Rots at the unit in the right. I trigger Ruin and cancel the Ashes and purify off Black Spot.
The Reivers kill off five Dread Rots, the Krea moves up and paralyzes the Rattler.
. Score: 3 - 0
Grymkin turn 4:
I check, and I can get the Rattler to walk into the Sentinel, so I upkeep Fury. Everything apparates.
The Rattler leaves the Sentinel on about 12 boxes.
A charging Dreadrot leaves it on two, three, but the other two miss thanks to Swarm.
A Witchwood kills the Sentinel off. On the right, Longfellow hits the Soulward once but can't kill it. The Witchwood ports up, shoots the Soulward, and walks the model out of both zones so it is not contesting. I score two more points for the win.
Score: 5 - 0
Victory for the Grymkin!
I've said this before, I'll say it again. Picking the right Arcana means you either win or lose the game. Both of the Arcana played a massively large part in this game.
Also, playing approximately sixty models on the table is a really difficult task after a year of not playing that style of list.
I didn't mention it, because I can't remember when exactly I did it, but I brought back 5 Dread Rots and 2 Hollowmen over the course of the game between Death Bound and the Twilight Sisters, and that helped a lot.
Finally, I have to say the Witchwoods REALLY impressed me. They finished off about 30 points worth of models, cleared two zones in one turn, messed with my opponents placement and required far more investment to kill than most people want to put into a solo. I'm definitely intrigued, I want to play more with them.
My opponent and I had a really good discussion during the game about placement, timing, and the flow of the game, which was really good. I'm looking forward to more Skorne games in the near future!