Borka 1 vs Locke 1 – Disgruntled Wargamer

Borka 1 vs Locke 1

A slight change to the format

This battle report will be written by both players. We will both explain our lists, our turns, and everything as though we were doing a play by play on a video.

Introducing the Players

Tom

Tom's Portrait
Tom

I’ve been writing this blog for a few years, almost as long as I’ve been playing. My primary factions are Trollbloods, Cygnar, Crucible Guard. I’ll be playing Borka 1.

Dessa

Dessa

I mostly paint models, but started playing Crucible Guard a month ago. I played Protectorate, Cryx and Circle in the past. I like the idea of playing Locke in CG and switching to Convergence. Today, I’ll be playing Locke.

Borka’s List

Readers may recall a week ago, we presented several Borka lists. These two are in Storm of the North.

Tuffalo Build

  • Borka Kegslayer +28
    • Keg Carrier
    • Rok (17)
    • Dire Troll Brawler (14)

Common Core Group

  • Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes, Max (7)
    • Northkin Elder (3)
  • Fell Caller Hero (4) (free)
  • Valka Curseborn, Chieftain of the North (5) (free)
  • Troll Whelps x5 (5) (free)

List Defining

  • Horthol, Long Rider Hero (7)
  • Northkin Raiders, Max (13)
  • Trollkin Long Riders, Max (17)

Optional

  • Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears (10)
  • Boomhowler, the Destroyer (8)
  • Bumbles (6)
  • Troll Whelp (1)

Champion Build

  • Borka Kegslayer +28
    • Keg Carrier
    • Rok (17)
    • Dire Troll Brawler (14)

Common Core Group

  • Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes, Max (7)
    • Northkin Elder (3)
  • Fell Caller Hero (4) (free)
  • Valka Curseborn, Chieftain of the North (5) (free)
  • Troll Whelps x5 (5) (free)

List Defining

  • Boomhowler, the Destroyer (8)
  • Bumbles (6)
  • Champion Hero (4)
  • Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears (10)
  • Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears (10)
  • Trollkin Champions, max (16)
    • Skaldi (3)

Optional

  • Northkin Shaman (2)
  • Northkin Shaman (2)
  • Troll Whelp (1)

The problem with those lists is that I don’t own Boomhowler the Destroyer, or Bumbles. I wanted to field Long Riders, so I ran this:

  • Borka Kegslayer +28
    • Keg Carrier
    • Rok (17)
    • Troll Impaler (9)
  • Horthol, Long Rider Hero (7)
  • Fell Caller Hero (4) (free)
  • Troll Whelps x5 (5) (free)
  • Valka Curseborn, Chieftan of the North (5) (free)
  • Troll Skinner (3)
  • Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes, Max (7)
    • Northkin Elder (3)
  • Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears (10)
  • Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears (10)
  • Trollkin Long Riders, Max (17)
  • Northkin Raiders, Min (8)
  • Trollkin Scouts (10)

I didn’t realize it when I put down this list that I was two points short on Borka’s warbeast points. I also wanted to try out the Scouts. Are they better or worse than Raiders? Why were they added to the Storm of the North? There are already two advanced deployment units with ranged weapons. The Grievous Wounds on the axes could be helpful, and Tree Walk on the Skinner could also be helpful, or not.

Borka 1 in Storm of the North with Long Riders, Battle Bears, and Scouts

Locke’s List

  • 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)

I had to make some changes because of the new rules. I couldn’t take the alchemists any more for free, so I dropped a Liberator. I wasn’t using them as much as the Toros and Vindicators, just as an arcnode. Prospero gives +1 to the attack rolls on the warjacks near him, which helps hitting things with Jackhammer.

Setup

The Quadrant method was used to set up the table. We grabbed pieces off the shelf, and took turns placing them in the table’s quadrants.

The battlefield

After setting up the table, we realized that three terrain features, the Rubble, Water, and one wall, would violate one of our Scenic Steamroller rules, as they were too close to one of the table edges. It might be okay to have terrain elements, even scoring ones, push into the deployment zones. This seems especially true for the Quadrant method of terrain placement. The terrain is evenly distributed between the inner and outer table area, and both sides have terrain near their deployment areas. Players with terrain close to their edge must decide to contest their opponent’s scoring elements, or claim their own scoring elements. Melee models don’t want to hang back, while long ranged models could remain further back without penalty. Warcasters and Warlocks can’t hang too far back, lest they score a point for their opponent, via the Killbox rule. Giving up ground, even to claim scoring elements isn’t always a great idea in a Steamroller game of any variety.

Scenic Steamroller – Declaring the Scoring Elements

Dessa won the dice roll for initiative, and chose to go second, picking the side with the walls. Rolling a d3+2 resulted in 5 scoring elements.

Dessa

The walls offered cover. They gave my alchemists and my caster a place to hang out from a distance, and yet still affect the game. The trench was a good place for the jacks to go before they got into battle. My liberator would end up pretty much hanging out there the whole game, until I needed him to take care of stuff.

Deployment

Trollbloods deploy first, centrally, with Long Riders on the right, and the Krielstone on the left. The scouts and Raiders all have advanced deployment. The Bears ambush.

Crucible Guard deploys centrally as well, with the units hovering near the woods.

Turn 1

Trollbloods get running. Borka’s out of range from the Raiders, so he puts Arcane Ward on the Long Riders. He probably should have been placed more in line with the Raiders, and they should have activated after him. Regardless, the trolls are far up the board, and feeling fine.

Trollbloods getting out there.

Crucible Guard has a good turn. A few Raiders die to the Trancers, and a well placed Vindicator shot. A misplaced Vindicator shot misses some Scouts, and falls on the Alchemists who were hiding in the woods. They all splattered, due to the boosted blast damage.

Turn 2

Trollbloods deal a crucial blow to the Crucible Guard, as the Battle Bears ambush Prospero near the woods. One of the long riders charges in, but gets blown away by a countercharging Toro. A second one gets a charge onto the Toro, but does little to its heavy armor. Valka hangs out on the building, and the Skinner chills in the water. Trolls are primed to score some points.

Trolls looking like they’ve got Crucible surrounded.
Dessa

It just happened all of a sudden. There wasn’t anything really I could do. I kind of forgot you had Ambush.

Tom's Portrait
Tom

Next time, respect the Battle Bear threat. They have 3″ off the table edge, and can get another 11″ easily. Sometimes more, depending on which Warlock I bring.

Crucible retaliates. Locke uses Jackhammer to clear a path for her Toros. They charge ahead, slaughtering Long Riders. A Toro engages the bears, taking out all but one of the unit. Locke feated on this turn.

Locke scores the wall, and her jacks score the trench. The forest is taken by the red armored Battle Bears. Their leader is in the woods, while the two bears hang back so they can’t be seen. The Troll Skinner takes the water, Valka takes the building.

Score is 3 to 2, Trollbloods.

Turn 3

Troll Impaler engaged the Toro threatening the Krielstone. Raiders engage the other Toro and kill a mechanik. The Scouts contest Locke’s wall. Trolls couldn’t really do anything due to Locke’s feat. If they spend fury, she and her warjacks get impossible to remove.

Trolls pick up 3 points, and CG picks up 1 point, for 6 to 3 Trollbloods.

Locke’s Vindicator acts before she can redirect it. It fires a shot at the Scouts closest to it, and misses, placing the AOE over one of the Alchemists. This is the fourth alchemist it killed, and the poor guy was only three days from retirement. Somehow, the trolls survived the blast, but everyone is covered with alchemist flesh.

He was so close to retirement! WHY????

Locke kills the Impaler, slaughters the Raiders, and uses Road to War to get her warjack back onto the building. She also directs a Toro to sit in the woods after it kills a bear, enabling her to catch up a little on score. Not to be outdone, she roasts the contesting troll on the wall with her flame throwers.

Turn 4

Tom's Portrait
Tom

It feels like Borka’s in trouble. He hasn’t done much this game, hanging in the back, and not even casting spells, except for his defensive spell at the beginning of the game. I’m worried here that I am about to lose attrition. Locke’s jacks are just so good, and I only have one heavy warbeast remaining.

Borka charges a Toro, brutally wrecking it, but it lingers with 5 boxes. Horthol charges in, kills it, and repositions to the building. Rok primals, and throws the other Toro into the Liberator. A whelp ran into the trench. The red bears try to take apart the Toro in the woods, but to no avail. Borka picks up a point for the building and water, while contesting all other pieces. The score is 9 to 5, Trollbloods.

The cat tripped me. I swear. Hence, the fuzzy picture.

Locke won’t tolerate failure. The Vindicator in the trench shoots Rok, weakening him. Her Toro pulls itself off the ground and charges Rok, killing the dire troll. Meanwhile, the other Toro rips apart the battle bears. The other Vindicator tries to hit the Scout, but the nimble warrior manages to duck under the mace. The Liberator whallops the whelp, splattering everyone in the trench with blue paste.

Borka gains 2 points, Locke gains 2 points. Score 11 to 7, Trollbloods.

Turn 5

Horgle slams into the Vindicator, who stumbles back, stepping on the mechanik. The mechanik is crushed, dying under the weight of the Vindicator. Borka charges in, finishing the heavy warjack with some very spectacular hits from his club. The Krielstone charges the Toro, actually putting some damage on it.

With Horthol in the trench, it is contested. Borka can’t contest, remember, because he is a warlock. Trollbloods score two, and Crucible Guard scores 1.

Trollbloods win, 13 to 8, because they hit the 5 point difference.

Thoughts post game

Tom's Portrait
Tom

The scenario win was a surprise for me. I really thought I was in trouble. I had trouble generating fury after the warbeasts died, and if it hadn’t been for the lack of spellcasting and for the keg carrier topping Borka off every turn, I wouldn’t have been able to clear the Vindicator.

I think Borka wants at least three beasts in his battlegroup. The pyre troll would be an excellent choice, due to the +2 for Borka’s melee damage. He would have hit at POW 19 instead of POW 17 with Trauma.

Borka doesn’t provide much support for his army, to be honest. He offers little in the way of buffs, and his feat is lackluster. It still only provides 2″ movement to his army, but only when not engaged, which means he either needs a jam unit up ahead of the charging models, or needs the alpha.

Borka’s beasts don’t get support either. Borka can’t give out pathfinder without an Axer in the battlegroup. Next game, he gets access to an axer somehow.

It’s possible I had Borka’s role wrong in his army. He really does need to be up front, and that means a different build, in the way that I want to play Borka 2. Borka 1 seems to do more than Borka 2, due to his crazy drunken fury. Long Riders, though fun, might not be the best for his list. They might actually work in Borka 2. Weird. I’m going to look at the Champions list next game, and add Madrak 0 for an Axer.

On picking terrain for scoring, I don’t know why Dessa didn’t pick the closest wall. If she had, contesting would have been more difficult for me.

Dessa

I feel like I missed an opportunity to kill Borka in Turn 4, but I think I did the best that I could do with everything that was going on. I didn’t get to really play the new list, because Prospero died right off the bat. So I will try it a time or two before changing it.

The ambushing bears really helped you out. I don’t know if I just got lucky with the cavalry, or if it’s just a good matchup, but they died really fast. I felt that was odd.

I don’t know why I didn’t pick the wall. I tend to lean toward one side of the table. I’m not sure why.

Until next time…