Let’s start with the obvious questions:
- Why play a 25 point format?
- My wife is still learning her faction, being new to the Protectorate.
- Small lists help learn a unit, and a small number of warjacks or warbeasts.
- Games are supposed to take a shorter amount of time, which is important to parents who might have to stop a game for parenting duties.
- Why Brawlmachine, specifically?
- The 25 point games on their own don’t work well. So why not try a format with some list restrictions, and some zones that make for a close, dynamic game?
Now that the obvious is taken care of, let’s look at our lists.
Ragnor Skysplitter, the Runemaster in the Power of Dhunia.
- Ragnor +30
- Dire Troll Mauler (15)
- Troll Impaler (9)
- Troll Axer (9)
- Janissa Stonetide (4)
- Dhunian Archon (requisition)
- Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (7)
- Stone Scribe Elder (3)
- Trollkin Runeshapers (8)
What’s the deal with this list?
Ragnor at Fury 7 is phenomenal. He has enough fury to cast and camp, and he completely fuels the stone on turn one in Power of Dhunia, since he doesn’t have to cast his upkeeps.
The plan is to use the Archon to keep a Runeshaper alive when they inevitably get swarmed at the beginning, and let the Impaler or Axer disassemble a warjack. Hopefully the elder will keep my warriors free of fire effects.
Feora, Priestess of the Flame, in Guardians of the Temple
- Feora 1 +31
- Hand of Judgement (18)
- Castigator (12)
- Purifier (8)
- Menite Archon (8)
- Nicia, Tear of Vengeance (requisition)
- Daughters of the Flame (10)
Old School Feora?
Believe it or not, she’s been kicking Troll butt lately. Her feat, left unchecked, absolutely destroys units. Hand of Judgement hits deep with his spray, and mace that reaches out two inches in melee. Am I reading this right? How is this thing getting a two inch reach, when Rok only has a one inch axe or one inch claw? Shouldn’t a weapon the same size as the Hand’s add an inch to an arm that already reaches out an inch? I’ll never figure this out.
The list sets things on fire, and those Daughters absolutely decimate other units. Single wound? Gone! Even multi-box needs to avoid taking a charge, because Feora hands out +2 to their damage. If they don’t break your armor, they just do a point anyway.
Game on! First Bout
Protectorate fans out. It looks like we’re after the same zone, and have a similar plan.
Ragnor builds a fort, and sends Runeshapers out to the front.
Protectorate runs up, except for Feora. She walks and throws out a fire wall, hoping to keep her Daughters safe. The archon hangs out behind the forest, a trick that’s been effective in other games, but won’t be as effective here because of the large size of the zone, and the forest that lets me hide behind and also touch the zone. The trolls run up, mostly. Runeshapers have a dilemma. If they get too far ahead, they’ll push out of Krielstone range, and be subjected to pointy daggers.
Protectorate makes the first kill. The Daughters take down two Runeshapers, leaving Janissa, and one lonely guy contesting the zone. The Hand of Judgement wanders in, and tries to spray down the last Runeshaper, but the Dhunian Archon will have none of it! She takes three damage, and the Runeshaper lives to fight another turn. Jacks enter the rectangle zone, and Nicia camps the flag.
Trolls get to work. Mauler puts rage on the Impaler, and stands on the edge of the zone, hiding behind the forest. The Impaler slams the Castigator, knocking down both it and the little jack. Axer charges in, and sweeps away a bunch of dudes. The Runeshaper walks around, and manages to pull off battle wizard, hitting and killing a Daughter, then dropping a Trembler. Janissa cleans up with a Rock Hammer. Rock and Roll, Janissa! Trolls own the zone. We’re up by 1.
Feora’s annoyed. She sends in the archon, but all it can do is contest. She also tries to kill the Impaler, but charging the Impaler only helps me out, and prevents the jack’s first attack from hitting. Castigator moves deeper into the zone, and really there wasn’t anywhere for it to hide. Feora tries to hide a little behind the warjack.
Trolls try to win the circle zone. The Impaler rips apart the little jack, and the Axer walks in to attempt murder on the archon after the last Runeshaper tries to drop a rock on the winged demon’s head. Mauler positions for a fight, and Ragnor camps the flag. Trolls up by 1 still.
Castigator walks up, and throws the Mauler! Now, that’s a first. Usually, it’s the Mauler doing the throwing. This knocks down the Impaler, and the Hand finishes it off. Janissa survives an onslaught with a Tough check, and the Axer lives with a few dots in each spiral, but the Dhunian Archon fades away. The score evens out.
Trolls retaliate with some janky plays. Janissa pushes the Hand and Archon out of the zone. Ragnor’s casts spells, knocking down the Castigator, and a supercharged Mauler finishes it off. Axer charges Nicia, killing her. Trolls claim the circle, Ragnor’s flag, and the rectangle, for three. Ragnor feats. Life happens, and I forget to take pictures.
The feat seals the deal. She can’t break armor with one less die. So, she mainly contests, and Trolls win turn 5 because they’re in the lead.
This time Trolls go first. Same setup. Those aren’t drifts, they’re left over from Storm of the North.
Far away, Protectorate forms up. She didn’t change much.
Both armies run in, and the Daughters are paced off so that I can’t get a Quake or a charge.
Trollbloods run into the rectangle zone, and march into the circle zone, where they chuck rocks at the Daughters, taking out a few. This formation has its strengths, so I’m sticking with it.
This time, the heavy warjacks push into the rectangle. The archon stays hidden, however. Daughters try to take out Runeshapers, but this time, they aren’t as successful.
Trolls clear out the circle zone, and start working on the rectangle. That archon is hiding still, so he hasn’t been useful. Mauler tears apart the closest heavy. The axer gets close to the enemy flag, so Trollbloods score two, and Protectorate doesn’t.
Feora sprays down the Axer, and the archon reveals itself, crashing into the troll. Nicia manages to pull off a charge, and the kill lets her jump back to the flag. The remaining heavy starts working on Mauler, but the Mauler is very resilient, and the Castigator is very pillow fisted. Trolls gain one from the flag, but so does Protectorate. Trolls are still up by two.
I see a win. Mauler can throw the Castigator out of the rectangle, I can score the circle if I can kill the little guy, and I can contest their flag. So, first we do the throw. Mauler’s a 6, and Castigator is a DEF 10, oh… it’s not. Living models suffer the effects of Ashen Veil, so it’s really a 12. Guess, we’re boosting.
Uh oh. I stick with my plan, hoping to run up the score. Mauler damages the jack on his next two hits, but doesn’t get to throw. To take down Purifier, I have to be able to boost a hit. That means Ragnor needs to get involved. He charges the Purifier, and downs it. Janissa has to run to get near the flag, and the Dhunian Archon runs to mine. Trollbloods up 5 to 2.
I think I should have held off with Ragnor. He is definitely within charging distance of Feora. Between the archon providing Grievous Wounds, and Feora being an Engine of Destruction, Ragnor wasn’t destined to survive this turn.
Feora wins, via assassination.
Game 3 – The Finale
Okay, so Trollbloods go first again. The deployment is the same as before. I can’t really justify changing it up for this scenario. It’s pretty evident that the Runeshapers need to be in the circle. Protectorate doesn’t switch it up either.
Trolls run up. No surprises here, except I try to get cute, and Rush the Mauler, and hide the Impaler behind the cloud.
Protectorate responds by holding back a little. The warjacks spread out a bit more, and the Daughters don’t line up in a row.
Trollbloods look to the rectangle zone again, and the Impaler walks up to shoot and slightly push the Hand back a little. An inch, I think. Runeshapers score some lucky hits, and AOEs decimate the Daughters.
Protectorate decides to get aggressive, and runs the Archon into the circle. I had a hard time killing the archon without boosted rolls, so the Runeshapers and Janissa will have problems. Hand moves up and sprays at things. Everyone gets a point for flags.
Here’s where things get amazing. Impaler charges the Hand with Pulverizer and Rage. The hand melts to some amazing rolls. Turns out, two boosted POW 17s and one non-boosted are great. Counting last turn, it was a total of 4 hits. The Mauler gets into it, and tears apart the Pulverizer. Despite best attempts, the circle zone can’t be won. Still, Trolls go up by 1 point, and are 2:1.
Protectorate clears up most of the circle, and I miss a picture. They can’t score though, because of Janissa and the Axer. The Castigator attempts to kill the Impaler, but falls short. Nicia tries to help kill things, but rolls badly and misses. She can’t get back to her flag. Ragnor picks up 1 for a flag, 3:1 Trollbloods.
The archon drops to the Axer. The Castigator gets pushed out of the zone. Daughters own the circle. Trolls are up, scoring again, and finish with 5:1.
Feora has difficulty against this list, as the Elder running anti-continuous effects makes things impossible to set fire. She doesn’t have any long ranged stuff to get into the Krielstone either. Taking them out early is super helpful. Normally, I wouldn’t suggest running a full boat, but they can reach way out with their aura, and that means they are hard to get at.
I don’t think she was aggressive enough with the archon. It’s a really good tool, offering Grievous Wounds, and being generally hard to kill.
In the future, I might drop my Dhunian Archon for Boomhowler 2. I would like reposition on Ragnor, so I can move up a little and cast a spell before falling back.
I really miss not having free Whelps. That’s something I don’t know if it should change — how requisition models allow multiples of things, and this format doesn’t. It’s weird.
Anyway, the games were fun, sometimes frustrating, and good learning.