Borka 1 vs Locke 1 in the Screaming Woods – Disgruntled Wargamer

Borka 1 vs Locke 1 in the Screaming Woods

This battle takes place on one of the Scars of Caen, one of the battlefields blemished by the legions of unnatural, otherworldly forces, leaving behind lasting supernatural hazards. Whether this was the effect of the Grymkin Defiers, or dragon blight, or some other sinister source, it’s difficult to say.

Screaming Mushrooms

Dessa worked on some wonderful new terrain this month, and on Halloween, we decided to play a game using her Screaming Mushrooms.

Screaming Mushrooms are Obstructions. They cause an effect similar to Deafen to all models foolish enough to approach. Other than that, the Screaming Mushrooms are harmless. They howl and yell, as if they are in constant pain. Their volume makes hearing orders difficult, and disorients those who are close.

DEAFEN (Terrain effect): Models within 2″ of the Screaming Mushroom suffer -2 DEF and cannot give or receive orders.

Other options

We considered making them a forest template, but the sculpts are so large, they are more effective as an obstruction. We also considered using Cacophony as their effect, but this would obviously only affect spellcasters, so we decided against it.

Lists

Borka 1 in Storm of the North

  • Borka Kegslayer +28
    • Keg Carrier
    • Rok (17)
    • Pyre Troll (8)
    • Dire Troll Brawler (14)
  • Fell Caller Hero (4) (free)
  • Troll Whelps, x5 (5) (free)
  • Madrak Ironhide, Champion of the Kriels (5) (free)
    • Troll Axer (8)
  • Trollkin Champion Hero (4)
  • Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (7)
    • Northkin Elder (3)
  • Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears (10)
  • Trollkin Champions, Max (16)
    • Skaldi Bonehammer (3)
  • Kriel Warriors, Min (7)
    • Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (2)
    • Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (2)
    • Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (2)
Tom's Portrait
Tom

I’ve changed the Borka 1 list over to Champions. I still don’t own Bumbles or Boomhowler 3, so I’m trying this with Madrak and an Axer. The Axer gives pathfinder out to Borka’s trolls, and Madrak can also throw out that animus one time if needed.

Borka’s battlegroup increased to include a Pyre Troll. I considered an Earthborn Dire Troll, but felt the points could support a Brawler, and Borka could use its animus if he’s in battle.

The Kriel Warriors are new as well. I seem to get pummeled by the Vindicator shots, and the bonus to my armor would help. I worry about Madrak getting blown away by the Crucible Guard guns.

Locke 1 in Prima Materia

  • Aurum Lucanum Athanor Locke +29
    • Aurum Ominus Alyce Marc (4)
    • Toro (13)
    • Toro (13)
    • Toro (13)
    • Liberator (10)
    • Vindicator (15)
    • Vindicator (15)
  • Trancer (3) (free)
  • Trancer (3) (free)
  • Prospero (5) (free)
    • Retaliator (7)
  • Crucible Guard Mechanik x3 (3) (free)
  • Combat Alchemists (7)
  • Combat Alchemists (7)
Dessa
Dessa

I was hoping to get more out of Prospero, so I’m practicing this list again.

Setup (Scenic Steamroller)

Locke’s forces won the initiative, and decided to lay in wait for the Trollblood army. They chose to lay their ambush near the rubble. Due to the hazardous screams of the mushrooms, the armies tried to claim other areas as strongholds. First, units would take rubble. The trolls would take to the woods with their own unit. The Crucible Guard felt placing a warjack on the brown mushroom wouldn’t harm anything, and the Trolls new their bears could ambush from one of the forests. Finally, Locke named the blue mushroom as a place for a solo to hold.

Tom's Portrait
Tom

I wanted to deny an easy scoring piece, so I dropped a Unit tag on the forest to Dessa’s right, on her side of the board. I figured she wouldn’t want to place things too close to the table edge, due to the bears, given her last experience. Her only options would be to give me a terrain piece on my side of the board, or claim the blue mushroom, which the bears could contest or score as required. It gave me options, provided I ambush early.

Dessa
Dessa

I figured if I did take a unit to the forest, I could threaten with a Toro. I would put a trancer on the blue mushroom hoping it could score one or two turns, and if it did get taken out, it would hurt some of Tom’s models anyway.

Deployment

The Northkin deploy centrally. It took longer than normal. The problem with so many models wanting to be in the center of the board poses problems when setting up. Borka wants to be in the front, as does the Kriel Warriors. The Krielstone also wants to move early, since its speed buff helps propel the trolls up the board.

Northkin ready for war

Crucible Guard deploys similarly to how they have been, with Locke in the center, Prospero near her, but off to one side (the left), and the alchemists and trancers spread out in front of the main army.

Unfortunately, no picture.

Turn 1

Twenty minutes later, trolls unpack. The mushroom in front of the Champions did nothing to help their advance. Borka gets topped off immediately, and he places Arcane Ward on the Kriel Warriors, drops some fury on the stone, and plops Wind Wall on himself.

Crucible Guard Combat Alchemists hold up in the rubble, while one of the Trancers talks to a screaming shroom. Another unit of alchemists walk up to the woods, but hang on the edge, weary of an ambush. Locke commands a Toro to provide support, should a bear materialize in the forest. With an even clock (counting up, because deathclock is not a good win condition for us at this time), we’ve both picked up 20 minutes as turn 2 begins.

Turn 2

Trolls push up, the Krielstone full of fury, and Borka drunker than ever. Champions get close to the trench, running fast as they can. The Brawler walks to the edge of the woods and gets Ornery.

Tom's Portrait
Tom

I had trouble unpacking around the terrain, and keeping everyone within the Krielstone. Fully loaded, I still managed to keep all but a single champion in the aura. I tried to space out the cabers so they’d give as many models carapace as possible.

I thought the Toro would be pulled into a Champion, but either Dessa forgot her countercharge, or she had bigger plans.

Bigger plans may have indeed been the motive, for the moment Locke was able, she commanded her Vindicator to fire a solid shot into the Brawler, then follow up with a charge from the Toro. When it couldn’t finish the job, a Liberator moved just behind the mushroom, and Locke jackhammered the Toro’s sword into the warbeast one final time, expiring it. Two other Vindicator shots landed on the Kriel Warriors and Champions. The Cabers kept the warriors safe, and managed to prevent Skaldi from taking any damage. The Champions’ Sanguine Bond kept them alive through several hits. First from the Vindicator, then alchemist grenades and a blast from Locke. All in all, only the Brawler and a single Kriel Warrior died.

Turn 3

Bears ambush in near the blue mushroom. The Champions survive the corrosive acid bombs. The Kegg Carrier tops off Borka. The krielstone moves up to provide some extra strength. Borka uses the pyre troll’s animus on himself, then charges the Toro. The Toro falls to Borka’s drunken strength. With the Toro gone, and having a clear view of the battlefield, he realizes Locke has exposed herself to a Champion’s charge. She has no focus, and only three alchemists stand in their way. Borka feated and turned the battlefield into a Mosh Pit!

Borka, leading the way!

The Fell Caller sang a rousing song, and the Warriors charged forward, damaging both Vindicators, then killing an alchemist. Rok cleared a path for the champions, advancing and spraying both with ice cold breath. They immediately froze, the dire troll’s breath being too much for them.

Sprayed over the Champions to clear a path.

Next, the bear handler and a single battle bear charged the Trancer while the second bear ran to meet a Toro, keeping it from countercharging the Champions. Finally, the Champions charged forward, two to either side of Locke, and Skaldi right in front of her, barely an inch away. His fist blow landed, and she fell over, succumbing his second swing.

Thoughts

Tom's Portrait
Tom

This was a surprise win for me. Borka’s new control range is awesome, and really lets his army benefit from his… well, his only spell that helps them. The extra range wasn’t really needed here, but the knockdown helped guarantee a Locke death. MAT 8 vs DEF 15 can still get it done, and Skaldi still has two of those.

On the change to Skaldi, I would rather have paid a point more for his melee to go back to two inches. But only paying three points is nice, so I’m good.

The cabers turned this game around. They prevented several warriors from dying, even against boosted AOEs, and stopped a lot of potential damage from Skaldi being hit. Usually, I have a lot of trouble with Withering Humor, but this game seemed better. I considered taking two units of Fire Eaters, but I think this works better.

I still wish Borka had something additional. His feat isn’t super, and his spell list is short. One extra spell, offensive or defensive could do wonders. He does get use from his battlegroup. So maybe the spell isn’t needed.

Looking back, I might have accidently cheated a bit at the end. The champions and warriors closest to the mushroom shouldn’t have been able to run when the rest of the unit charged. But when we measured everything out afterward, it didn’t have an impact. That’s what happens when we break for lunch. We forget special terrain rules.

Dessa
Dessa

This was a cool game. The mushrooms made it interesting. You really had to watch where you put your units. I forgot to do a lot of stuff. I forgot about healing warjacks. I forgot some countercharges. I didn’t really use Prospero as well as I wanted this time. I did better than last time, but should have put him in the middle to take advantage of his leadership.

I forgot Locke had flame throwers, and I left her without focus. She could have killed the guys touching the wall, and scored.

I also was surprised by Pathfinder on the Champions. I thought she was safer behind the rubble. Trolls almost always have Pathfinder.

I haven’t had a game using Prospero the right way yet. I don’t want to take him out if there’s the possibility of him doing well. I may take out the alchemists and put in Failed Experiments.

Until next time!