Ragnor vs Thyra – Brawlmachine

Three points scored.

The Lists

Trollbloods

Ragnor’s doing well for me. The changes allow me to play a list I’m already familiar with, with the improvements that I wanted a few years ago. The Impaler is suddenly good again, punches a little above his weight class, and the Runeshapers perform admirably. The only change to my Brawlmachine list was dropping the Dhunian Archon and picking up Boomhowler 2.

  • Power of Dhunia
  • Ragnor Skysplitter, the Runemaster +30
    • Dire Troll Mauler (15)
    • Troll Impaler (9)
    • Troll Axer (9)
  • Janissa Stonetide (4)
  • Boomhowler, Solo Artist (free)
  • Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (7)
    • Stone Scribe Elder (3)
  • Trollkin Runeshapers (8)

Protectorate of Menoth

A little net-decking went into this list. It’s literally the list from LOSWarmachine with some minor changes (adding the Menite Archon). The idea is to fuel Sanctifier with Flameguard, but make the Flameguard difficult to kill so that there’s some defensive stuff in front of the warjacks.

  • Thyra, Flame of Sorrow +29
    • Blood of Martyrs (16)
    • Sanctifier (14)
  • Menite Archon
  • Nicia, Tear of Vengeance (free)
  • Vassal Mechanik (1)
  • Choir of Menoth (4)
  • Temple Flameguard (7)
    • Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard (4)
  • SPECIALISTS
    • Vassal of Menoth (3)
    • Wrack (1)
    • Pyrrhus, Flameguard Hero (5)

The Game (round 1)

Deployment

Trolls go first, and start way up the table. They’re lined up mostly center, with Boomhowler poised to take a flag, the Runeshapers to occupy a circle, and the warbeasts to destroy some warjacks. Pulverizer is on the Impaler, and Chosen Ground is on Ragnor.

Protectorate lines up on the other circle, jacks centered, and Flameguard on the flank. Looks like the archon is going to try for the flag.

There’s a lot of walls and forests on this table, with a fire burning down the forest on the right, and a burning earth on the left, near the water bottle.

Turn 1

The Runeshapers pile into the the circle zone, followed by the Krielstone. Ragnor drops all his fury on the Krielstone. There’s no way the Protectorate can reach Ragnor’s band, so there’s no need to use the Krielstone. The Axer rushes the Impaler, who riles and runs, and the Mauler riles and runs just behind the Impaler. Boomhowler camps the flag.

Trollbloods taking the field.

Something I may not have pointed out last game is the almost army-wide Pathfinder. The advantage of moving unimpaired through forests, or charging over walls changes gameplay tremendously. The heavy hitters can get to anything in the area, and on a table like this one, if an army can’t push over walls or cross small forest clusters unimpeded, they’re going to suffer, as will be illustrated next turn.

Nicia takes to the flag, while the archon threatens the center of the table. Flamebringers and Warjacks crowd the walls, thinking that they would provide protection from Impaler spears or Runeshaper Rock Hammers. While that’s an accurate conclusion, the walls also provide protection for the Troll army, since without Pyrrhus, they lack Pathfinder.

Protectorate crowding the walls.

Turn 2

Boomhowler barks a Fell Call at the Impaler, giving it Special Orders (Reposition 3″), and lays out covering fire between the walls. The Flameguard won’t be able to charge over the walls (no Pathfinder), and moving between the walls requires a POW 10 damage roll. The Impaler walks up, and chucks a spear at the archon, then falls back behind the wall. Axer runs into the zone, to give the Protectorate a target, hopefully luring in the Blood of Martyrs or the archon.

The Mauler lumbers forward, ready to take on anything that might threaten Ragnor or the Krielstone. The Runeshapers throw a couple of Rock Hammers at Nicia, but fail to kill her. One does contest the flag, and Janissa positions to run to the flag on the next turn, or to move the archon if needed. The Krielstone runs combat warding, to prevent continuous fire from the archon.

Trollbloods set up for Protectorate’s turn 2 and their own turn 3.

Protectorate was concerned about taking the POW 10 from the Covering Fire. Shield Wall won’t protect them, especially if they charge. Iron Zeal gives them ARM 16. The POW 10 stands a 58% chance of killing them if they cross the covering fire template under Iron Zeal, and a 92% chance otherwise. That’s too risky for Thyra’s army, so they try to work around it.

Thyra feats and casts Carnage, so her army will hit. Blood of Martyrs phases, and then charges the Axer, hitting hard, sidesteps, and hits the Mauler with the rest of its attacks. Sanctifier shimmies over, and tries to finish off the axer, but the axer survives on 1 point. The archon walks in, and lays into the Mauler, hoping to cripple an aspect. It fails to do enough damage, but both the Axer and Mauler are grievously wounded. Nicia, knowing that the Runeshapers are after her position, and unable to score a point, risks it all for a kill. She figures she can charge the closest Runeshaper, shoot another, then dash back to her flag. The Runeshaper proved too tough, however, and Nicia was stuck in melee.

Trollbloods gained a point. Not the best outcome for someone who went second and should have scored bottom of two.

Turn 3

Trollbloods unleash their plan.

Boomhowler lays down another covering fire template. Axer steps back and feebly swings at the Blood of Martyrs. Impaler charges the Sanctifier, wrecking two systems (right arm, and movement), and is left with few boxes remaining. Ragnor charges the archon and misses. That isn’t the first time he’s done that, so I’m not tilted. In fact, that’s why I started with the Impaler. In case Ragnor missed, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget to work on the Sanctifier.

Mauler finished off the archon, thanks to a successful boosted attack roll and weight of stone putting the next attack in easy reach. The Runeshapers carefully surround Nicia, tremoring the earth and smashing her with their axes. Their care enabled Janissa to move through a sizeable gap as she ran to the flag.

Clearing the zone and claiming Protectorate’s flag while maintaining Boomhowler’s flag ensured the Trollblood victory. They gain 3 points, and win, 4 to nil.

Crippling Warjacks and claiming their own flag.
Janissa claiming another flag
Three points scored.

Round 2

She has a plan. She noticed that Pyrrhus passes out Pathfinder during charges, so she’s subbing him into the list, along with the Vassal of Menoth.

Since she goes first, she deploys a little more centrally, looking like she’s making a play for the center of the board.

Protectorate Deployment

Trollbloods flip the script, and position the Runeshapers on the right side, and Boomhowler on the left.

Trollbloods flip the script.

Turn 1

Protectorate crowds the walls again, and Blood of Martyrs hides behind the forest. If anything tries to take down Nicia, the warjack is ready to make a move.

Trollbloods respond in kind, preparing to take the left zone on the bottom of two, and possibly shooting Nicia off the board. The Runeshapers prepare to throw rocks at the Flameguard. Janissa stands her ground.

Trollbloods prepare for turn 2.

Turn 2

I think she was disappointed that I didn’t present her any real targets last turn. Sanctifier ran up, threatening to charge my army on its next turn. The Flameguard poured in. Blood of Martyrs stood by. I feel this was a mistake. Sanctifier should have stayed out of range of my warbeasts, and the Flameguard should have stayed in front, in a shield wall and maybe Iron Zeal.

Questionable move here.

Trollbloods take advantage of the situation. Unfolding this turn requires careful activation. The Impaler moves first, charging up and destroying Nicia with a carefully placed spear, being just within 5″ of her. The Mauler enrages the Axer, who doesn’t need Rush due to Chosen Ground, and due to being so near the Sanctifier. With little fire to worry about, the Krielstone runs Stone Strength. The Axer charges, wholloping the jack. Between the Axer scoring an amazing hit, before buying two more attacks, and three good hits from Runeshapers, the warjack falls apart.

Where did the Sanctifier go?

Trolls score one for the circle, and one for their flag, giving them two points to nil.

Turn 3

Thyra gets a little tilted, losing sight of the circle zone and flag. Instead of moving Blood of Martyrs in to take the Impaler, she takes down the Axer in a fit of revenge. The Runeshapers get charged, and manage to stay on their feat. Trollbloods score another two points, putting the score at 4 to nil. We forget that Brawlmachine is scored at 4 points, and Trollbloods take another turn.

Impaler moves back, chucks a spear into the Blood of Martyrs for kicks. Boomhowler takes the flag, and kills off a choir member. Trolls go up three points for a seven-nil finish.

Analysis

The warjacks don’t stand a chance against very angry light warbeasts. I’m wanting to try the Slag Troll, but am happy with the extended threat range of the Axer. Moving into a 75 point list might see the Slag make an appearance.

Protectorate had difficulty here. A little due to terrain, a little to the scenario. The game felt very one sided. Boomhowler 2 makes single wound infantry sad. The Runeshapers performed very well, providing some knockdown when it was permitted, but mainly were just annoying to remove.

The games were so fast, Ragnor didn’t hardly use his feat. I would like to see a more balanced game, so our next will field something that hoses magic, hopefully placing the Runeshapers and warbeasts on notice.

Thyra wasn’t really in a position to assassinate, as Ragnor gets to play a little cagey with his 14″ control range. His army really packed it in, and moving out to 75 points will only fill the battlefield even more. Even Blood of Martyrs couldn’t sidestep its way into Ragnor. Things just weren’t clicking for the list.

It’s possible that assassination lists aren’t the best thing to do in Brawlmachine. It’s a gamble, to say the least. If an opponent isn’t opening themselves up for it, it’s not even a play.

Models of note: Impaler. Fully loaded, it’s wrecking heavy jacks consistently. I don’t know if everyone realized how effective it would become after the CID. It’s attack stats are relatively low, compared to others, but boosting solves that most times.