Sunday, February 16, 2014

Battlecry 2014 - 35 pts + Moar Cryx hate

aka. How to Write Stupid Lists at 35pts

Step 1 - Choose casters

I went with Rask and Maelok. Calaban can only "really" be played with his tier (note that unlike Runes of War, this does not make him really baller, just makes him less bad) and the tier is not great at 35pts. He himself is not really that sweet at 35pts, or ever.

Rask is good because he does Rask things. Combine this with 35pt foolishness and you have a pretty strong skew. I usually play Barnabas as my second list and wanted a change, therefore going for Maelok (the only other alternative).

Step 2 - Choose to skew or not skew.

I decided to skew one, and then skew both:

3x Gatorman Posse
Min Troggs

This list is pretty stupid. I called it "GOING FULL RETARD", which it was. 3 Posse at 35pts is the kind of skew that makes games uninteresting, but hey, why not do it if they're not going to fix it. 

If you ask me, I think we should move to 60 or 65 pts as the new tournament standard as it'd make factions like Cryx, Circle and Legion a little weaker, Trolls a little stronger, and everyone else more or less the same. And include 15 pt Specialists on top of that. Boom.

The Maelok list was the same as the Rask one, except switching Feralgeist and Trogs for 2 Witch Doctors, and the Croak for Pendrake. Pendrake did nothing good in any game - he is the king of the sideboard.

Behold, this zoological majesty!

A very short summary of my games

1- Luke H w/ eDoomshaper, Mountain King, Earthborn, Krielstone and Scouts. 

His second list was eGrim with 2 shooty heavies and the Krielstones UA. Despite this (the Incorporeal destroying Stone UA), I had a nagging feeling I should have picked Maelok, but I pushed this out of my head and picked Rask. This was a bad choice as eDoomshaper's feat is "+3 SPD, full stop, bitches!", not "+3 SPD if charging or slamming" as I had first thought, meaning his entire pathfinder list responds to my feat by jamming me with tramples and killing my stuff.
As expected, Luke's response to me popping Rask's feat was jamming me with everything in his list, including the Scouts to block charges to the MK. I wasn't able to get enough damage on the King because of some fortunate tough rolls on his part (ie. 4 in a row on the same damn Scout), so he healed to full and kept swinging.
Luckily Rask is basically immune to assassination with Trogs around, so I ran him over to the right flag over 2 turns, where the Croak Hunter had been parked since turn 2 and won on 5 CPs. A stolen game I should have lost on account of getting outplayed and outlisted, but managed to take advantage of his skew list's small footprint.

2. -  Paul H w/ Hexeris2, Bronzeback, Gladiator, Krea, Nihilators, Incindiarii, Nihilators, Paingivers. Process of Elimination

I was forced to pop my feat turn 1 as I had ambushed my Bog Trogs and only had Rask on 2 transfers - had I not used it, Hexeris would likely have spelled me to death using his feat. This was a planning mistake on my part as it otherwise only blocked 2-3 Nihilator charges from happening (which likely would have been stopped by Inhospitable Ground alone). So, I more or less played without a feat.
Otherwise it was mostly a matter of charging Furied Gatormen into things and trying to keep Rask alive with Admonition and transfers alone, which worked pretty well. I ended up assassinating Hexeris in the end after he decided to YOLO charge some Gators, then got hit by 2 Furied Gators (from different units), a charging Croak and died to a Bog Trog hook in the back.

Rask is pretty good against Skorne.

3. - Dave S w/Skarre1, 30 McThralls (that's 15 pts, btw), 10 Bloodwitches with UA, 2 Necrosurgeons, 2 Helldivers, Min Blackbanes. Destruction.

Dave said he took this list just to play against me. Thanks Dave. You are too kind. His list writing took my 35pt motto "GOING FULL RETARD" to heart, and managed to out-retard my list - proving that only Cryx is capable of giving 110% retardation by simply Cryxing harder.

Basically the game was a huge grind where I popped my feat on my second turn and killed like 22 guys but none of the Necrosurgeons, then he popped his feat and got boosted-to-hit POW 20s everything (cause Cryx). In the end I mistakenly assumed Skarre was SPD 6, when she is in fact SPD 7, so she just walked over to Maelok and easily killed him with her 11 focus (all in the name of balance). Thus began my downfall.

I think overall we both played quite well with some minor mistakes here and there to even things out. The only huge mistake in the game by far, on both our parts, was when I cast a boosted Venom at a Necrosurgeon hiding behind a wall, and Dave called Sac Pawn to a Stitch Thrall. We got into a short debate regarding Sac Pawning sprays and agreed that you could, when in fact we should have been focusing on the fact that Venom is a spell, not a ranged attack! If that Necrosurgeon had died (very good chance - need 7s on 3 dice + Corrosion), the game would have played out very differently I think, with that flank collapsing much faster and Maelok being entirely unthreatened and able to pull back and stay much safer while simultaneously pushing me forward in attrition. Basically a massive boost for me. Alas, you live, you learn, you continue to hate Cryx.


Skarre1 and McThralls are straight up OP, and where probably designed in the midst of a really dark LSD trip, overflowing with hatred of the world. Here is how you fix them:
Skarre - Remove Ritual Sacrifice entirely. Dark Guidance is not a choice when you have 10+ focus at next to zero cost (like losing one of your 45 small-based models matters), and non-choices are the antithesis of games design and competitive play. And who the hell thought it was a good idea to make it a d6 roll? Going from 1 more focus to 100% more focus seems legit, right?
I'd say make her focus 7 to compensate but her feat is also simply stupid (it is literally pStryker's feat + a 100% denial of eStryker's feat - all for 5 life points) so I wouldn't want more stuff affected by it, but it's probably the simplest way to do it. That or +1 ARM.

McThralls - MAT 4 -or- no combo strike. You shouldn't be able to hit an average heavy on expected dice if you cost 0.5 points and hit at P+S 15 completely independent of buffs/debuffs (of which there are PLENTY in Cryx). HALF. A. POINT.

Easy. Too bad it's not going to happen since PP are scared shitless of balancing anything post-release :) 


4. - Nikola w/Vayl1, Typhon, Seraph, Scythean, Raek, Shredder, Shepard, 2 Deathstalkers. Some scenario (Incoming?)

Nikola played actually really well and I played really bad. Like, really really bad. I think Rask was a way better matchup here, but I dropped Maelok again for practice since I realized that the prize pool didn't include mugs, and mugs are the only thing I care about in NZ tournaments (I have 4).
Basically I ran stuff up way too far, Typhon and Scythean one-shot like 9 Gators under Incite, then I tried to assassinate Vayl with feat + Revive BS, got cock-blocked by Dark Sentinel and forgot to move my unit leader so the Revived guys couldn't even make attacks. What a muppet. Got steamrolled and outplayed and basically put up the worst match one can imagine. Much like the last time we played. I am guessing his total nice guy approach disarms my asshole WAAC ethos, making me play like a complete ballsack.

Usually I consider myself 50/50 against Legion and it is one of my fairer matchups, but this time I really wasn't in the right mindset. I need to practice more with Maelok, as I play him far too aggressively, which gets him killed. He's tough but he's not Barnabas sitting in Swamp Pit with transfers and Spiny Growth tough.

Dave came 1st, Paul placed 2nd and Nikola placed 3rd, giving me officially the most ball-busting schedule in the tournament.  I'm guessing I placed something like 8th or 9th out of 17. Overall nice tournament, thanks to Darryl Painter for organizing and running it!

Some thoughts

  • I don't like 35pts much as I dislike skews and list-design having that much impact on the outcome of the game, but I really like one-day events so that worked out alright in the end. Came home to a nice dinner of salad + fish. Good stuff. Cryx is OP.
  • I should probably practice with Maelok more, but our local Ret player is about to get his new caster Tinkerbell in the mail, and I think she will totally steamroll Maelok. He will probably still refuse to play Rask :(
    I don't think Maelok is as good as Circle/Legion matchup as Barnabas, but he's the better Cryx matchup. It's the eternal question in a 2-list format.
  • I think my all-star picks in the Rask games was the Croak Hunter. Despite their mediocrity, as I have gotten better as using them they seem like a worthwhile addition to most lists given then ability to clear jams and charge lanes, or countercharge like mad, or just go for scenario points. He pretty much single-handedly won me my first game by just being a solo with Stealth, and did a crapton of damage on Hexeris in the second game.
  • Yeah, I am totally mad about Cryx. Deal with it, because I can't (at least until my Battle Engine loaded with anti-incorporeal, anti-tough and anti-undead tech is released).


  1. A totally worthwhile read. I owe you a mug at Ides for cheating horribly because I don't know the rules. In my mind I really had our first game ever made out to be something special and deep and meaningfully romantic. I blame Cryx faction design for ruining that beautiful and pure intent.

    Pretty much agree with pSkarre fixes. Ritual Sacrifice is dead stupid (especially because the Skarlock can cast it so there's NO gamble involved). When she clocks up a big Focus turn with auto-knockdown BS it's "GG thanks for coming I'm cutting myself to become a POW13 weaponmaster trololol". Or some make Ritual Sacrifice "self" so the Skarlock can't cast it, she can but if she does that AND Dark Guidance she's on zero Focus. I dunno.

    I hated on Mechanithralls for years. Then I ran them with Surgeons. Then I lightbulbed for this weekend and ran 30. It gets pretty silly pretty fast. Did you see that post on the PP forums where the guy was suggesting +2 points cost for ranged units and -2 for melee units as a FIX?! 1pt 6-man McThrall units. Nice call, genius.

    1. Skarre could also cut herself for up to d3 health per turn to get d3 focus next turn (seperate rolls), which would suit the rest of her shtick and actually make your life a risky resource.

      Grats on the win regardless, you must be doing something right! When in doubt, Cryx harder :P