Zaadesh 2 (Exalted) vs. Madrak 1 (BoH) - Warmachine and Hordes Skorne Battle Report

Continuing on the Zaadesh train, I was able to play another Vassal game with the pairing of Xerxis 2 “Kaiju” and this Zaadesh 2 list over the weekend playing against JPs pairing of Kolgrimma Storm of the North and Madrak 1 BoH.

I don’t like playing Kaiju into Kolgrima, since her feat effectively shuts down my entire list, and even knowing that Exalted doesn’t love Take Down everywhere, I opted to play Zaadesh.

JP picked Madrak, and I won the roll off. He gave me the side that would make it awkward for my Supreme Guardian and away we went.

Madrak 1
- Runebearer
- Mauler
- Bomber

Fell Caller Hero
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Bog Trog Mistspeaker

Trollkin Champions
- Sorceror
Trollkin Champions
- CA
Krielstone (max)
- Stone Scribe Elder

Zaadesh 2
- Despoiler
- Archidon
- Agonizer

Supreme Guardian

Hakaar, the Destroyer
Ancestral Guardian
Ancestral Guardian
Abidan, the Keeper
Gobber Chef

- CA
- CA
- CA

Skorne turn 1:

I actually cannot get into his threat ranges, so everything just runs full tilt. Zaadesh puts Inviolable Resolve on the Supreme Guardian and Battle Charged on himself.

I’m trying staggered deployment with my Immortals like I do with Ravagers under Iona to see if I can force Vengeances in both units most turns. It’s a little harder to do since there are more bodies, but these guys can go Incorporeal and charge through each other so that makes things a little easier.

Trolls turn 1:

Fennblades outthreat Immortals, so they come up real far. Madrak gets Pathfinder and moves up with Even Ground up and a bunch of Fury into the Stone.

Champs come up in their clumps of dudes, giving me plenty of (really bad) targets for my Archidon to potentially go after.

The Stone says “No Continuous Effects” and JP passes the turn.

Skorne turn 2:

I think about things for a minute and decide that I need to turtle up for a turn. Zaadesh drops Inviolable Resolve so that he can put three clouds down, which he does. The Archidon runs behind the building and hangs out there with a ton of Immortals.

I contest his zone so that he has to trigger Vengeance if he wants to score points and the Supreme Guardian stays just out of charge range of his Champs and shoots them for a couple damage.

Trolls turn 2:

Not much happens this turn. The contesting Immortal dies. The Bomber gets Eyeless Sight and shoots at Hakaar twice. I Shield Guard the first shot with Abidan, and the AOE does damage to the Orange Command Attachment, triggering Vengeance.

Hakaar takes 8 damage from a very spiked second shot. Madrak gets Harmonious and walks up, Snipes himself for free, kills two Immortals on the right and blood boons Even Ground before popping his Feat.

Champs contest my zone and Trolls score 1.

Score: 0 - 1
Advantage Trolls

Skorne turn 3:

It definitely looks like a Feat turn to me, but first we get Vengeance with the Orange unit of Immortals, which clears off a couple of Fennblades. I forget to bring Abidan back (darn).

Zaadesh goes first, FEATS, and charges into the contesting Champs. 4 successful tough checks later, they are both on one box and standing, so Zaadesh drops a cloud on them in an effort to not die next turn.

My Archidon walks over the house, kills the Runebearer, and Sprints back. The free strike from the Bomber misses, and the Bog Trog does minimal damage.

Two immortals walk in, both doing lethal damage and two more tough checks are made. The same Immortals walk into the Fennblades up top and a combined total of almost 20 attacks this turn have only whittled down 5 Fennblades from the unit (mostly thanks to repeated tough checks).

With no other choice, since I have to kill the Champs in front of Zaadesh, the Supreme Guardian moves up and Threshers, finally killing both of them. The Agonizer cries -2 Strength again, covering the Supreme Guardian completely.

Immortals get in the way a bit on the right, doing some minimal damage to things. My Ancestral Guardian caps the flag on the right, I take my zone, and JP scores his zone again.

Score: 2 - 2

Trolls turn 3:

The tables have turned a little bit since my Feat is very good into his army.

Fennblades Vengeance in and kill a couple of Immortals, using Take Down to deny me souls. The Bomber frenzies into a Fennblade, who toughs.

The Yellow Champs die to defensive strikes, but the other unit completely clears the Immortals with help from a Fellcaller spray.

Madrak contributes by chucking Rathrok to blood boon Even Ground and then Rages the Mauler. The Mauler walks up and eats a countercharging PS 19 attack from the Despoiler and a PS 22 Defensive Strike from the Supreme Guardian. Sadly, I roll poorly on damage and column, only knocking out mind and doing about 14 damage. The Mauler Regenerates its mind, and then kills the Supreme Guardian dead.

Fenns durdle during their activation, since they do not want to take more Defensive Strikes than necessary, and we both score again.

Score: 3 - 3

Skorne turn 4:

I was not expecting to lose my Supreme Guardian honestly, although a lot of that was based off the idea that Zaadesh would have enough fury to put Inviolable Resolve on it and then keep it back for a turn.

Immortals Vengeance and shred some Fennblades.

Zaadesh activates and charges the Mauler, killing it pretty dead.

The Archidon moves up and kills the Bog Trog and then I decide to Sprint to the back of his zone which was, in hindsight, a serious mistake.

Despite my best efforts, one Fennblade and the Drummer pass a boatload of tough checks, as does the Champ that my right hand Ancestral Guardian charges.

I contest JPs zone with a bunch of things, including Despoiler, an Immortal CA, and the Archidon. I really think in hindsight that my Beasts should have continued to play back here as I have the tempo advantage and I should not be giving him pieces for Madrak to kill.

I score another point this turn and JP does not.

Score: 4 - 3
Advantage Skorne

Trollbloods turn 4:

The Fennblade on the left kills off three Immortals between Vengeance and activation.

Madrak moves back and kills the Archidon, blood booning Even Ground. The Bomber kills the 3 Immortals it can get to, and Vengeance is up on both units and Hakaar is full on Souls.

The Champs cannot really move away from the Ancestral Guardian, so they pile in and kill it, and then fail to kill Abidan thanks to the -2 Strength from the Agonizer. Despoiler gets tickled by the Sorcerer.

I score once more.

Score: 5 - 3
Advantage Skorne

Skorne turn 5:

All I have to do this turn to win is kill two Fennblades, a Bomber, three Krielstone dudes, and the Sorcerer. At that point i can score both flags and my zone to go up 8 - 3.

We start things off with Vengeance, which removes both Fennblades from the table. Two charging units of Immortals leave the Bomber on 10 boxes, and then Hakaar goes in. I get three boosted POW 13s, which is slightly better than a coinflip, but Hakaar misses twice and fails to kill the beast.

With that plan out the window, Despoiler comes back into my zone and I contest with an Agonizer, scoring once more.

Score: 6 - 3
Advantage Skorne

Trollbloods turn 5:

The Bomber gets healed from Madrak, who also comes in and kills the Agonizer to blood boon Even Ground.

The Chronicler runs to the right flag and the Champs finish off Abidan.

I score 1 to his 2.

Score: 7 - 5
Advantage Skorne

Skorne turn 6:

At this point, i have the option to make a reasonable assassination run or to try and kite out the game for one more round. I decide that I am too brain dead to keep playing cat and mouse, and go for the assassination.

Hakaar kills the Bomber, and then Immortals charge into Krielstone guys and kill two. At this point, I really should have swapped plans and gone for the scenario play, since I can score 2 - 0 this turn and probably do so the turn after that which would keep me ahead going into turn seven, but instead the Ancestral Guardian charges in and kills the Fell Caller, Despoiler charges the Krielstone and kills it and then buys two attacks into Madrak for some damage. Zaadesh needs to do 15 damage to force a tough check, and he goes in at MAT 9 PS 14 weaponmaster. I boost the charge attack, which Madrak uses his Scroll to ignore. I buy an attack and hit him down to 5, and then proceed to miss 4 sevens in a row, at which point I concede.

Victory for the Trolls!

Post-Game Thoughts:

We calculated a little over 70% of tough checks made this game, so it is difficult to say what I did and did not do correctly in a lot of situations. I definitely regret sprinting forward with my Archidon. It could have hung out behind that house for the entire game and been very happy to just move out, kill a guy, and sprint back every single turn.

I also should 100% have not gone for the assassination run at the end there. Madrak is too tanky. We set up a scenario in which the Ancestral Guardian contests the flag with a cloud wall in front of him and Despoiler behind for countercharge and did some quick moving around to see how it would go and unless dice go very well for JP it ends on turn 7 with me up by a point or two, which would have been the infinitely better play.

Also, on Madrak’s feat turn I think it was a mistake to engage with my Immortals on the right hand side. This let him largely ignore Defensive Strike from my Feat, and I didn’t actually end up doing much damage with their walk and attacks where a Defensive Strike has a better chance to hit and then do damage a lot of the time.

Overall I am pretty happy with the improvements I am making as a pilot for this list, and I am excited to keep playing it!