CID Batrep - Kara Sloan Hearts of Darkness vs. King of Nothing Bump in the Night

Hellooooo everyone! I’ve been a bit involved in this CID cycle, which means I’m getting games to batrep for the CID in.

I’ve been fairly vocal about concerns on the caster choices of Hearts of Darkness, but was being berated with comments that Sloan with a smaller battlegroup running a big screening force to let her do her thing, and figured I would give it a go. One of my locals shot me a list, which I tweaked very slightly, and I took it out for a spin.

Captain Kara Sloan (Cyrenia)
-Hunter x4 (All non-Ace Cygnar light ‘jacks are Hunters.)
Journeyman Lieutenant Allister Caine
-Ace
Master Theurgist Gideon Asher (Eilish Garrity)
Lieutenant Bastian Falk
Valin Hauke, the Fallen Knight (Champion of the Wall)
Umbral Guardian (Ancestral Guardian)
Howlers x2 (Bastions and Cetratii)
Trencher Express Team (Raluk and the spotter from Skorne Venator Catapult)

My opponent only brought one list today and we hadn’t thought about a specific matchup, and he was trying
King of Nothing with some of the new Grymkin stuff.

King of Nothing
-Clockatrice
-Crabbit x6
-Baron Tonguelick, Lord of Warts
Lord Longfellow
Mad Caps x2
Malady Man x2
Murder Crows x2
Neigh Slayers w/CA x2
Twilight Sisters

We rolled Standoff for our scenario, and he won our starting roll and opted to go first. I chose a side that had a wall, mostly because… I didn’t want my opponent to have the wall. However, it gave him a hill. Small favors. He chose Labyrinth and Ill Omens as Arcana for the game.

Deployment

Mostly symmetrical deployments on either side, with his Twilight Sisters and Clockatrice taking to the left a bit. On my side, Trencher Express Team took the forest just out of my deployment, Caine took to the right side, and my Umbral Guardian did not deploy onto the table. He put Prey on my two outside Hunters. I started with Fire for Effect on Falk and Refuge on Caine.

Grymkin Turn 1

Mostly everything ran. Mad Caps popped out 3 Cask Imps between them. For the most part things stayed back out of my threat ranges, but the mad caps got a little close. Crabbits interspersed throughout the army. He put a couple clouds out to block one of his Mad Caps from my army.

Infernals Turn 1

I can get a bit of work done, so I’m gonna do it. Between Caine and Ace, the Mad Cap on the right side is killed, thankfully not dropping its AOE on any of my stuff. Trick Shots also cleared the Cask Imps it made. Caine refuged back behind the wall to hang out with Ace.

The Express Team killed the last Cask Imp on the left side. Everything else just runs, with the two outside Hunters with Prey on them running in towards my center to avoid the ambushing Crows. Sloan just runs up by my objective.

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Grymkin Turn 2

We’re starting to realize the issues with this matchup here. His mass of Crabbits definitely help, but the cloud wall does next to nothing between the Howlers having Eyeless Sight and my entire battle group and Ace having True Sight. Still, only thing to do is to keep going. Both units of Murder Crows ambush and just run in to engage some of my sides, as I stayed pretty packed in to avoid charges. Neigh Slayers on the right get Desperate Pace and charge, rolling quite poorly and just doing a bit of damage to two Howlers.

Longfellow stepped forward and shot at Falk, hitting him and triggering the Umbral Guardian, which popped out right in front of Falk to keep him safe. The shot does 2 damage to the Guardian, activating Finisher for the second shot, which leaves it on 2. The Clockatrice then walks up and sprays, hitting the Guardian and one Howler, killing both.

The Malady Man’s Monkey on the right side runs in to engage one of my heavily damaged Howlers, and the Mad Cap on the left creates a couple Cask Imps which it puts in my way. The left side
Neighslayers walk up and fall over, playing dead to avoid being shot, and the Twilight Sisters set up behind the Clockatrice. Tonguelick put a big cloud down in his deployment to try and block LOS against the few things it mattered on to King of Nothing. He passes his turn.

Infernals Turn 2

Howlers all Vengeance, clearing the Cask Imps out of my way, and removing the two Neigh Slayers and the Monkey in the way of the right side unit. I allocate no focus and upkeep both my upkeeps.

Step one this turn is clear off the Murder Crows on the right side. Asher walks through a Hunter and Howler with Tactician, getting base to base with one of the two Murder Crows engaging my Hunter. He drops a Hex Blast on them, killing both, doing no damage to the Hunter, and doing 4 damage to himself with a spiked roll. He teleports away. Caine then walks into the middle of the four remaining Murder Crows and boosts two Trick Shots, killing them all, then Refuges back to his spot behind the wall. At this point (after one of the early attacks), he triggers Ill Omens, reducing my attack and damage rolls by 1, Ace and the Hunter shoot the Malady Man down,

Sloan and a Hunter team up to shoot Longfellow to death through a Crabbit shield guard. He had a cloud in front of himself so I could see him, he couldn’t see me, so I was safe from Reciprocate if it came up. Then Falk walked up into the cloud blocking off the Clockatrice, making himself RAT 4 between that and Ill Omens. He shoots over the Clockatrice, one Twilight Sister, and a Neigh Slayer with Rune Shot, but with Fire for Effect he gets boosted shots and he hits all three, killing the Twilight Sister and Neigh Slayer, and doing a chunk of damage to the Clockatrice as well as setting Rune Shot on it. A Hunter and the Express Team put shots into the Clockatrice, doing some decent damage but not breaking any aspects. The Spotter from the Express Team kills a Murder Crow (yeah, under Ill Omens. Guy is a beast.) Then the Howlers charged, one getting B2B with it to try and keep it from getting away once an aspect breaks. However, I have Grievous Wounds, so if I can break the Spirit or something, I’m feeling pretty good about it being out of commission anyway. However, I roll huge on damage with the first one’s charge and finish off the Clockatrice completely. The other charging Howlers kill a couple of Murder Crows and one of the Mad Cap’s unit members.

The Howlers on the right charge in and decimate the Neighslayers, killing the CA and all but 2 of the unit. I pass my turn, scoring 1 on my zone.

Grymkin Turn 3

Least he still has a bunch of Neighslayers, and Hauke’s positioning to try and block LOS to Sloan in case he gets an angle on her leaves him vulnerable. His Murder Crows get in on my models in the forest, doing a bit of damage to the Hunter and killing my Spotter. A Crabbit goes for a long shot on Falk but ends up out of control range and fails to hit him. His Monkey on the left gets an additional die on attack and damage on my Howler, leaving him on 2. The Mad Cap drops 3 Cask Imps all over the place, and a Crabbit fails to damage the Howler. Neigh Slayers charge in and kill Hauke and two Howlers. The Neigh Slayers on the right fail to really do anything to the Howlers on that side, and a Twilight Sister charges in to engage, missing her attack. The King sits on a hill with two shield guards and he passes turn, nobody scoring.

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Infernals Turn 3

Time to close the jaws. The Howlers on the right actually never got hit so they don’t Vengeance. The left side ones kill one Murder Crow, the other fails to hit anything due to the Monkey. I upkeep my spells. Falk walks around to get a better angle against the Crabbit, spraying over it with Rune Shot and kills the Crabbit, but misses the Murder Crow he tried to hit. He Run n Guns back to safety. Asher walks up by the building and Hex Blasts the two Cask Imps out of my zone. Sloan activates, feats, and casts Guided Fire. I want to try and snipe out the Monkey engaging my Howler in his zone, so she aims and shoots his Mad Cap. I roll pretty bad on damage, leaving it alive, so my second shot is forced to go into it as well, killing it. The deviation doesn’t land on anything. A Hunter shoots at the monkey, but fails to hit and instead shoots my own Howler in the back and forces a succesful tough check. I opt to just shoot the Crabbit next to the Monkey since it’s going to take the shot anyway. The Hunter kills the Crabbit, triggering the King’s Trump Arcana, which kills the Howler.

My remaining left side howler activates and kills another Murder Crow and a Cask Imp, leaving him hurt and on fire. The Trencher Express Team Gunner shoots a Cask Imp out of my zone. On the right side, Caine and Ace kill a crabbit and clear the Neigh Slayer and Twilight Sister off of my Howlers, who proceed to charge and kill his remaining Neigh Slayers. Asher actually dies to the Trump Arcana through the building since he was on 1 box. When I end my turn I score up to 2.

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Grymkin Turn 4

He’s pretty behind and I’m going to start very rapidly scoring at this point. His Cask Imp runs 7” at my caster, getting him to just within 5”. The King Sands of Fates into its position and shoots a bunch of nukes at Sloan, but fails to hit her, needing 8’s. We call it there, since there’s no way he survives that position on zero camp.

A lot of my concerns about Sloan in this theme have definitely been mitigated. I definitely still have issues with the idea of ‘jack casters in this theme, but… Sloan brings something to the table here and the army works well with her, even if she doesn’t synergize with it much on a mechanical level. Fire for Effect on Falk is absolutely nuts, and the synergy of him increasing the damage output of Infernal models like Howlers due to the mass of magic weapons is pretty nasty. Refuge on Caine also felt pretty good, letting him use his focus pretty liberally while still staying quite safe. Overall this list felt really awesome, I’m not sure there’s anything I would change; there’s an argument for something like a Journeyman Warcaster instead of Caine to apply Arcane Shield, but I think Caine and Ace’s extreme flexibility makes them too invaluable here. Honestly, I finished this game and basically felt like ‘when can I start painting these models because I want to play this more.’ I’ll be giving more detailed thoughts on the CID forums, but in the meantime, thanks for reading! Next caster I intend to try out is Crosse2 with a Galleon which I’m pretty excited about!