Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Battle Report: 75 Points, Menoth vs. Trolls

75 Points: Severius1 (Menoth) vs. Doomshaper2 (Trolls)

Thanks in advance for checking out my battle report! I hope you enjoy it. If you do, here are links to two other battle reports I’ve written, both hosted on my friend's blog Dice of the First Degree.
My previous two games were against Travis and his Cygnar. This game I partnered up with my buddy Joe, better known as Joe the Gozerian, Joe the Destructor, Joe the Traveler, Volguus Zildrohar, Lord of the Sebouillia, and Joe the Former Store Champion.

Seriously, Joe is one of my favorite opponents because 1) he’s good and 2) he plays with his entire faction (like me) and so our games are usually very interesting and feature a wide variety of caster pairings. My all-time favorite Warmachine game was against Joe, a Jarl vs. Vindictus battle a couple years ago where the only models left living on the table were our casters and Jarl, with only 1 remaining wound and sitting on 1 Fury, killed Vindictus on a hill. I think I had to roll a hard 10 to hit and then a boosted 11 for damage or something close to that to make it happen. It was crazy.

Anyway, enjoy! We had a great time playing this game, so I hope you have a great time reading about it.

**Edit: Joe was gracious enough to write out his thoughts about each turn of the game. I have added those comments in light purple so that it's clear who's talking and so people who have already read this report can quickly find his excellent contributions.**


Eastern Khador near Kovosk Hills

Hoarluk Doomshaper knelt in the dirt, head bowed and face twisted in concentration. His right hand held tightly to his staff, a kind of talisman that helped focus his mental energy. His left hand rested on the foot of an enormous Glacier King. Having recently located the beasts, Doomshaper found them to be much harder to tame than the Mountain Kings. Without the benefit of the blood shed during the battle against those honorless Druids when he opened a crack into the minds of the Mountain Kings, he could not use magic to assist in dominating these mighty trolls. He had only his force of will to bring them in line, and this particular Glacier King was proving especially stubborn. Doomshaper nearly lost his concentration as be began to chuckle. He knew a thing or two about being stubborn.

Suddenly Doomshaper felt a shift in the Glacier King’s attention. It was no longer focused on him, but seemed to find a new target for its rage. Doomshaper lifted his hand from the creature’s foot and looked into the distance. Pushing through the edge of a small forest was a Mountain King, escorted by a number Trollkin from Doomshaper’s Kriel. They were giving the beast a wide berth. For its part, the Mountain King was hungrily gorging itself on trees, boulders, and anything else that lay in its path.

Many things happened at once. The Mountain King noticed the Glacier King and, with a bone-shaking scream, hurled a tree at the Glacier King. The tree crashed against the Glacier King's shoulder and shattered. The gargantuans began to posture.

“This is bad,” thought Doomshaper. Mulg, feeling his turf challenged by the newcomer, also adopted an aggressive stance, backed up by a Dire Troll Mauler whose muscles began to swell as it let out a roar of its own. Doomshaper immediately reached out to calm Mulg and the Mauler. Even under normal circumstances this was a challenge, but staring down two huge creatures it was difficult to make them relax. But eventually he locked eyes with Mulg, and Mulg lowered his club. Mulg turned and shoved the Mauler. The two briefly scuffled, but they would not be a problem. Doomshaper turned his attention to his tenuous bond with the Glacier King. The Glacier King was pawing at the ground and spitting, each fleck turning to razor sharp ice crystals as snow began to gather and circle around the beast. As the wind picked up and the ground began to freeze, Doomshaper threw everything he had into the bond. It was like trying to keep a boulder from going over a cliff using a piece of thread, but Doomshaper was not about to lose this battle of wills.

Doomshaper was vaguely aware of the Mountain King in the background, who trampled towards the Glacier king using the awkward four-limbed gallop the creatures preferred. Not having a bond with this beast, there was nothing Doomshaper could do to stop the charge. Mulg must have sensed this, because he himself stepped in front of the sprinting Mountain King. Buoyed by the strength of the Mauler, Mulg swung his club, catching it under the Gargantuan's chin and stunning the creature. Doomshaper could feel Mulg’s pride and arrogance through the bond. With the threat neutralized, the Glacier King relaxed a bit, giving Doomshaper time to move to the Mountain King's side. While the creature regenerated from Mulg’s blow, Doomshaper initiated a bond with it. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew that trying to control two Gargantuans at once would be difficult, perhaps impossible, and maybe even suicidal. But he had little choice.

With the job done, Doomshaper turned to his kin.

“What are you doing here? Explain yourselves.”

“Grissel sent us to find you. Armies of the Farrow and Blindwater are gathering and threatening our forces, and Madrak is uneasy. He spends his days brooding and talking to himself.”

“And you brought a Mountain King? However did you control the beast?”

“Truth be told, we mostly followed it. It seemed to know where to find you somehow.”


“Hungry bastards, though. Don’t feel very safe standing anywhere near them.”

Doomshaper nodded. He would need to release them to graze soon. He was pretty sure some human villages lay nearby.


Grand Scrutator Severius stepped from his command tent. He yawned and stretched, taking in the sunrise. Normally he woke stiff and sore, but today he felt thirty years younger. The Khadoran villages nearby had been welcoming to his men, and he felt his sermons were having a great impact on the populace, especially the youth. He was sure to collect more souls on this trip than in his previous Crusade, and this put him in a good mood.

After breakfast and his morning prayers, Severius gathered his honor guard and set out for the nearest village. As he crested a nearby hill, however, he was shocked to find a scene of ruin and carnage. Most of the buildings in town were flattened and crushed. Everywhere he looked trees were uprooted and the land was covered by giant craters in the shape of footprints.

When he reached what was once the village center, a few frightened villagers emerged from storm cellars and ruins. So few remained, and those that did looked terrified and injured.

“You, woman.”


“What happened.”

“It was terrible,” Katya whispered, her voice wavering and tears filling her eyes. “Monsters, giant Trolls taller than the trees and more massive than the hills. They came and, and…” She couldn’t go on.

“Trolls!” Severius nearly spat when he said the word. How dare they interfere with the Creator’s work? How dare they defile His creations and lay fingers on His children? Their murder of these people before they could convert cost Menoth important souls. “When I return with the heads of those Trolls on a spear, these people will know the power of the Creator! They will bend knee to Him and commit their souls to His fight!”


By the time Severius reached his camp, word had arrived that four more villages had been attacked and destroyed by giant Troll-like creatures. Without hesitation, Severius readied his men and lit his warjacks's furnaces. With the Choir’s songs as a backdrop, columns of Exemplars in gleaming white armor set out on a road heading east. The earth shook as a Judicator and the Avatar of Menoth marched at the rear of the column.

As they passed each village, injured and frightened peasants gathered and followed in the army’s wake.

“They must feel safer with us than in their homes,” Severius thought. He considered sending them away, but thought better of it. “When they see us lay low the Troll menace, they will no longer have any doubts of the Creator’s strength.”

Scenario 7: Outflank
  • Two 12” Circular Zones
  • 1 CP for controlling a zone,2 CP for dominating a zone
  • Killbox: NO
  • First player to 5 CPs wins

Our first two rolls for first player were 3-3 ties, a sure sign that this would a hard-fought battle. :-) I won the third roll, and chose second player and table edge because I wanted to force him to deal with the building and the forest and I wanted to use the rough terrain of the shallow water feature to potentially help protect Doomshaper from getting charged. I also didn’t want Severius to be able to sit behind the wall all game long.

Joe:  “I was really disappointed when Alan won the roll for first - being forced to deploy between an obstruction (the house) and a forest with very little pathfinder made for a very packed deployment zone. Also, Severius *really* wanted to sit behind a wall for most of the game. I also got a little nervous looking across the board, my army was pretty well stocked with anti-infantry removal between the Errants, Flameguard, the AOE madness of a Judicator with Eye of Menoth and the Vessel of Judgement. Unfortunately, there was very little infantry on Alan’s side of the table. Doing enough to take out two Gargantuans with the extra armor from the stone was going to be rather tricky…

Turn 1: Plans Set in Motion

Top of Turn 1: MENOTH (Joe)

Severius ordered his columns to halt. Spread across a distant ridge lay a small Troll army accompanied by the two largest creatures he had ever seen. Each massive Troll was easily the size of his Judicator.

Between the armies lay two encampments full of Khadoran civilians, who by now were running his direction. Given the makeshift nature of the camps, these must be refugees from the nearby villages. Severius knew that the Trolls would try to reach these camps, and that is where he would engage them. He drew up hasty battle plans and passed along his orders. While his army marched into position, Severius said a prayer for strength and protection.

Empowered by his faith, Severius stepped forward, his voice ringing out loud and clear across the surrounding fields.

“In the name of the Creator, I condemn all of you creatures to death. You and your kind have no claim on the lives of His children. For your transgressions, I will have your heads!”

Trumpets blared nearby, echoed by roars from the massive Trolls across the field. His army advanced and Severius smiled. Battle is when he felt most alive.

Severius allocated 1 Focus to the Blessing of Vengeance. The Judicator generated 1 Focus (in Joe’s words “because of a dead man in his roof”) and the Avatar generated 2 Focus.
  1. Errants:  Ran forward.
  2. Flameguard:  Ran forward.
  3. Piper of Ord:  Walked forward and gave the Errants +1 DEF and Terror.
  4. Avatar:  Used Gaze of Menoth and ran forward next to the building.
  5. Blessing of Vengeance:  Ran forward.
  6. Vessel of Judgement:  Ran forward.
  7. Judicator:  Ran forward.
  8. Knights Exemplar1:  Ran forward.
  9. Knights Exemplar2: Ran forward.
  10. Choir:  Moved forward and sang the song that prevents non-magical shooting against the jacks.
  11. Vassal:  Moved up behind the Judicator.
  12. Hierophant:  Moved up and used Harmonious Exultation.
  13. Severius1:  Casted Defender’s Ward on the Errants arced through the Blessing of Vengeance. Casted Vision on the Blessing of Vengeance and Eye of Menoth on himself.

Joe:  “The basic plan was to use the Temple Flameguard to screen the Judicator who would hopefully be able to drift some AOEs onto the Krielstone unit and help whittle down the support while holding my right zone. On the opposing front, the Errants with the Vessel of Judgement should do a decent job of thinning out the Kriel Warriors, and without a way for Alan to stand them back up for free, him making tough rolls wouldn’t even be that big of a concern if I could at least knock most of them down. Lastly, the Knights Exemplar would be my second line counterpunch to whatever heavy warbeasts Alan sent after my front line. Except for how badly my army was pinched in by that lousy house, I was feeling pretty good about the position on the board.”

Bottom of Turn 1: TROLLBLOODS (Alan)

Doomshaper laughed out loud at the human’s threats.

“You will find my head hard to take, you worthless piece of bison dung.” Beside him, the Mountain King and Glacier King both roared. Through the bonds Doomshaper could feel their hunger, their anticipation of a coming meal, and their bottomless, unending anger and rage. Doomshaper allowed himself to tap into a small bit of that fury, and instantly he felt his face flush and his heart speed up. Fueled by such power, it took him a moment before he could think clearly enough to order his forces ahead.

Transferring a bit of his energy into the stone and feeling the embrace of its power envelop him and his troops, he advanced. Janissa Stonetide, the young, talented Runeshaper, threw up chunks of earth just ahead of him. He didn’t even need to ask. The lass was talented and had a keen mind for strategy. To his right, the Mountain King galloped forward, bellowing. Across the field, a Menite soldier grabbed his head and then fell over and lay motionless. To his left, the Glacier King summoned a fierce, howling wind that froze the ground nearby and pelted the oncoming Errants with hail formed from moisture siphoned from the nearby pond. One fist-size chunk of ice connected like a cannon shot into an Errant, piercing his armor and killing him instantly.

  1. Janissa:  Moved up and created a wall template.
  2. Doomshaper2:  Transferred 5 Fury to the Krielstone. Moved up.
  3. Mountain King:  Charged, targeting the Errant in front of him. His Assault spray caught the lone Errant. Boosting the attack and damage rolls, the Errant died. Joe chose to sacrifice an Errant in the second row instead.
  4. Kriel Warriors:  Ran forward.
  5. Chronicler:  Moved forward and told theTale of Mists to the Kriel Warriors. (Concealment and Feign Death, so if they get knocked down they can’t be targeted by ranged attacks.)
  6. Mauler:  Walked forward.
  7. Mulg:  Walked forward.
  8. Glacier King:  Moved forward and shot the closest Errant. He boosted the attack and damage roll. The Errant was pushed forward an inch and then died, but Joe chose to sacrifice another Errant from the second row.
  9. Whelps:  The three Whelps ran forward to sit behind the Gargantuans.
  10. Runebearer:  Walked to the side.
  11. Krielstone:  The unit moved forward and spent 1 Fury to put up the aura, giving +2 ARM and immunity to continuous effects within the bubble.

I really wanted to maximize the Fury on the Krielstone, but I knew that the Judicator could lay down lots of fire and I didn’t want to risk it putting a lot of damage on Doomshaper, so I kept 2 Fury for Transfers. I charged with the Mountain King not just to kill an Errant, but to set myself up to potentially get to the Avatar the next turn under my Feat. My rough plan at the time was to hopefully kill the Avatar with the Mountain King and get a Raged Mulg on to the Judicator. That would severely limit his ability to kill the Gargantuans. However, I was very concerned about the potential for him to pepper some damage on to my big boys and then get the Judicator to them both on the same turn. At P+S 23 that would be bad news. Notice that I purchased one set of 5 Whelps for this list and deployed 3 of them to start the game with 2 held in reserve.

Turn 2: What Happens when Two Gods Collide?

Top of Turn 2: MENOTH (Joe)

The battle was unfolding just as Severius had envisioned. The Errants, supported by the mighty Avatar of Menoth, were keeping the Trollkin warriors at bay on one flank while the Flameguard and Judicator threatened the opposite flank. Mighty Knights Exemplar held the center, while his honor guard stood proudly before him. Not knowing quite what the giant creatures were capable of, Severius kept his distance. If his instincts were right, those monsters would try to collapse the center of his army and cut his forces in two. If that happened, his army would not fold. His men felt no fear and would crush the beasts between two hammers. While the Judicator rained fire down on the Troll forces, Severius held his breath and waited for the Trolls to make their move.

Severius allocated 2 Focus to the Judicator. The Avatar generated 3 Focus. Severius upkept Eye of Menoth and Defender’s Ward.
  1. Errants:  Advanced and fired at the Kriel Warriors. Their rolls were very poor, and when they did manage to hit and break armor I made several tough checks. At the end of the shooting they had killed only one Kriel Warrior and knocked down two more.
  2. Avatar:  Used Gaze of Menoth and ran forward “to complicate my movement next turn”.
  3. Flameguard:  Advanced and gave a Shield Wall order.
  4. Judicator:  Walked forward and began firing at the Glacier King (doing no damage). The extra deviations clipped a member of the Krielstone unit, who passed his tough check. Other shots failed to do any damage or hit anything.
  5. Vassal:  Moved forward and gave the Judicator an ancillary attack. It did nothing, hitting the Glacier King (doing no damage) and the follow-up deviation didn’t hit anything.
  6. Knights Exemplar1:  Ran forward. Joe said this was to give me “lots of glorious spray targets for the next turn.”
  7. Vessel of Judgement:  Moved forward and shot at the Kriel Warriors. The shot killed 1 and knocked down another after he passed his Tough check.
  8. Choir:  Moved up and sang “no non-magical shooting” against the Judicator and the Blessing of Vengeance.
  9. Knights Exemplar2:  Moved and created a wall in front of Severius. Joe said he was concerned about the Glacier King, under the feat, potentially getting enough range to move up and shoot Severius to death. I haven’t worked out all of the distances, so I don’t know if he was in range for that or not, but Joe decided to play it safe.
  10. Hierophant:  Ran to reposition.
  11. Severius1:  Ran to reposition.
  12. Blessing of Vengeance:  Moved forward.
  13. Piper:  Move forward and gave the Errants Tough and Fearless for one round.

Joe:  “Ok - this starts out bad. My plan of at least knocking down the front line of the Kriel Warriors was foiled by some pretty lousy dice rolls by the Errants. I’m also realizing a pretty major weakness on my left flank. The only model on that side of the board that had a shot of doing damage to the Mountain King is the Avatar of Menoth and while Alan hasn’t used his feat, the Mountain King has a couple extra inches of threat. Considering I have a decent screen of what would be Tough, DEF 14, ARM 18 Errants with Self-Sacrifice, I move the Avatar up where he would threaten the Mountain King if he can survive until the next turn. Unfortunately, due to the position of that stupid house and how my army is pinched in by it, my Vassal can’t get a line to Enliven the Avatar.

On the plus side, my zone on the right is looking pretty solid. The Judicator can start lobbing rockets towards the enemy, but with the armor buff from the Krielstone, the rockets just aren’t doing any damage to the Glacier King and my secondary deviations aren’t doing much damage either.”

Bottom of Turn 2: TROLLBLOODS (Alan)

Doomshaper was beginning to feel outnumbered. The humans were swarming the battlefield like ants, forming a wall of steel and armor in front of the warjacks and that arrogant human leader. It was time to thin their lines.

He signaled the Kriel Warriors to charge, and they crashed into the Errants’ flank. The Glacier King continued to hammer the oncoming forces with hail, but Doomshaper sensed that it wouldn’t be enough to stop their advance. Taking a deep breath, he bellowed at the top of his lungs, sending his strength and force of will out through the bonds to his warbeasts. They instantly responded, Mulg charging into the very heart of the opposing army, swinging his club and laying low all who surrounded him. The Mauler charged into the Flameguard, an unfortunate suicide mission that was necessary to hold back the advancing soldiers and Colossal.

To his right, the Mountain King howled as it sprinted towards the mighty glowing warjack. Doomshaper concentrated and sent bolts of magical energy harnessed from the primal strength of the beast to clear its path. The warjack braced itself for the impact, pieces of its armor flying off from the power of the Mountain King’s cries. The first punch landed and left a fist-sized depression in the warjacks torso. Two more blows in quick succession and the machine lay in pieces at the Mountain King’s feet. Salivating, it turned its attention on the surrounding soldiers, crushing them and screaming a challenge to all those nearby.

The fury of battle left Doomshaper out of breath. The Mountain King kept glancing back at the Glacier King after each kill. It was clear that he was trying to intimidate his new rival.

Doomshaper collected all of the Fury off of the Mountain King. The Glacier King ate a Whelp to shed the Fury Doomshaper couldn’t collect.
  1. Kriel Warriors:  Received a Charge! order. The knocked down models stood up and walked forward or out of the way (depending on whether or not they are within range of the Avatar’s Gaze). One Kriel Warrior got to the Errant on the far edge, and the two Caber Throwers each reach an Errant. The Caber Thrower on my right further towards the board edge hit and slammed the Errant in the middle of the zone. The slammed model died, but the other lived (although he was knocked down). Joe tried to use self-sacrifice to save him, but no other Errants were within range. The next Caber automatically hit, but the Errant passed his Tough check. The charge attack from the Kriel Warrior grunt missed. So there is a knocked-down Errant in the Mountain King’s way still. Argh!
  2. Glacier King:  Sacrificed his movement to Aim. I thought he was within 12 inches of the knocked down Errant, but he ended up being about 1/8" short. So his first shot missed. The second shot targeted an Errant nearby that he could use as a sacrifice target. The shot killed the Errant, and I ended the Glacier King's activation by using the Frozen Ground animus.
  3. Runebearer:  Used Harmonious Exultation.
  4. Doomshaper2:  Moved forward and casted Primal Shock twice through the Mountain King to kill the Errants between the Mountain King and the Avatar. He left two remaining Fury on himself and then yelled “Smell my Troll Feat!” He finished his activation by casting Rage on the Mountain King for free.
  5. Janissa:  Advanced and summoned a wall template.
  6. Mountain King:  Charged the Avatar (for free because of the feat). The Assault spray did about 4 or 5 damage to the Avatar and missed the Errant behind him. The charge attack rolled a 14 at Dice+1 for damage, and the second initial attack and one bought attack finished off the Avatar. The Mountain King purchased another attack (boosting to hit) and killed an Errant. Joe sacrificed the Errant nearby. Another bought attack (boosting to hit) and the Errant died. Kill shot put a spray through the Battle Engine. It did no damage but killed one Knight Exemplar near Severius.
  7. Mulg:  Charged (for free) the closest Errant in the middle of the table, killed him, goaded forward, and repeated. All told Mulg killed a few models before finishing his activation sitting in the middle of the table.
  8. Mauler:  The Mauler charged (for free) the Temple Flameguard, killing two of them after Goading off of the first and planting himself directly in front of the unit and the Judicator.
  9. Krielstone:  Spent 1 Fury to create the Aura for +2 ARM and immunity to continuous effects. I ran the stone forward hoping to catch Mulg in the aura. Alas, the stone ended up Mulg just outside its protective bubble.
  10. Chronicler:  Told the Tale of Mists to the Krielstone unit.
  11. Whelps:  Ran forward next to the Gargantuans.

I had a tough decision to make. I needed to start interfering with Joe's advance. I couldn’t let him totally surround me, block me in, and start scoring at will. So I decided to sacrifice the Mauler to slow him down and commit Mulg to the center of the table. I hoped that he wouldn’t be able to kill off Mulg, but it was a risk I felt I needed to make. Unfortunately, the Krielstone Aura was just shy of including Mulg. Without the armor bonus he was in a precarious position.

Plushy Shredder watches Joe's reaction as he loses the Avatar. [Photo courtesy of our friend Alyssa.]


Turn 3: A Battle of Wills

Top of Turn 3: MENOTH (Joe)

“How quickly things can change,” Severius thought. “The Creator is testing me this day. I will not be found lacking!”

The loss of the Avatar was like a punch to the gut, and, despite their bravery, the Errants began to collapse. The left flank was nearly lost, and the giant troll was ripping apart everything that came near him.

“We must revise our strategy and swing like a gate from right to left lest we be destroyed,” he thought. He sent out orders to destroy the nearby Dire Trolls and push forward and right.

He prayed to Menoth, lending the strength of his faith to his army. By the time he opened his eyes, the two Dire Trolls were cut down and his forces were advancing as ordered. Sensing that he might have to expose himself to danger soon, he said another short prayer and felt the Creator’s protective powers envelop him.

Severius allocated 2 Focus to the Judicator (which generated 1 additional Focus on its own).
  1. Flameguard:  Received the Shield Wall Order and surrounded the Mauler as much as possible. A 3-man CMA did 2 damage, and I chose to shed 1 of my remaining 2 whelps. He attacked the whelp and killed it with one attack, and performed another 3-man CMA on the Mauler and did 4 damage. The Mauler was now on fire.
  2. Choir:  Sang Battle on the jacks.
  3. Judicator:  Walked up and punched the Mauler 3 times, turning him into a steaming pile of mush. I did not Reave the Fury. I had shed a whelp on the first hit, and the Judicator purchased a final attack to kill the little bugger.
  4. Errants:  The Errant next to Mulg was out of formation. He tried to move back towards the leader model, took a free strike from Mulg, and died. The leader attacked and killed the closest Caber Thrower, but I used Take Up to remove a nearby grunt instead.
  5. Blessing of Vengeance:  Walked up and attacked Mulg once, doing 3 damage.
  6. Knights Exemplar1:  Received a Charge! order. Three of them moved 3” or more, one did not. The non-charging Knight rolled snake eyes and missed his attack. The remaining three charging Knights all hit and did massive amounts of damage to Mulg, leaving him with only 7 health.
  7. Vessel of Judgement:  Sacrificed movement to Aim, and fired a boosted ranged attack into Mulg. The attack hit, and the boosted damage roll killed Mulg. I did not Reave the Fury.
  8. Knights Exemplar2:  Ran forward.
  9. Hierophant:  Used Harmonious Exultation.
  10. Severius1:  Casted Defender’s Ward on himself, allowing Eye of Menoth to drop. Moved a bit.
  11. Piper:  Gave Tough and Fearless to the Knights Exemplar2 Unit near Severius.

Joe:  “Ok - that was bad. [And for the record, the “pouty” picture was posed ;) ]. Losing my Avatar means I’ve basically lost that side of the board. On the plus side, my counterpunch strategy can come into play. One unit of Knights did a good chunk of damage to Mulg and a boosted shot from the Vessel takes him out of the fight. Unfortunately for me, between the #!$% house and the Mountain King, I couldn’t move the Vessel anywhere, pinning my remaining Knights behind it. I can at least position those Knights to punish whatever Alan sends in to remove it from the zone.

My other zone is still looking good, between the Flameguard and the Judicator, I feel confident of clearing that zone each turn at the moment.

Severius is in a precarious position and he really, really, really doesn’t like being shot. So dropping Eye of Menoth for Defender’s Ward and camping whatever other Focus I can is about my best shot at keeping him alive while slowly walking him towards the zone that I have my Colossal in.

I also make a mistake here by not doing *anything* with my Vassal of Menoth. He got forgotten in the middle of trying to work through my Knights. If I would have Enlivened Blessing of Vengeance he might have been able to survive this next turn.”

Shedding the whelps from the Mauler was perhaps a mistake, but I’m not sure where they would have been more useful. I knew that the Judicator was going to likely kill the Mauler, but what I was hoping was that some bad rolls might allow the Mauler to survive, and if he did, I would need a way to shed his Fury the next turn if I had a prayer of using him effectively. Alternatively, I was hoping that one of them would survive if the Mauler didn’t so I could continue to contest the zone. By finishing off Mulg as well, Joe really removed a lot of my threat up the middle of the board. I didn’t see it coming, but he would take good advantage of this deficiency on the following turn.

Joe scores 1 CP for controlling the zone. He leads 1-0.

Bottom of Turn 3: TROLLBLOODS (Alan)

“NO!” Doomshaper screamed as Mulg took a series of devastating hits and fell to the ground. Doomshaper could feel nothing through the bond. He hoped that he was wrong, that it was only the severity of the injuries and the distance between them that made his lifeforce hard to detect. Not willing to let the humans continue to chop at Mulg’s fallen form, he willed the Gargantuans to focus their attention towards the center of the battlefield.

The Mountain King stomped and smashed everything within reach, stopping to scream a deadly challenge to those out of range of its fists. The Glacier King continued to funnel moisture from the pond into a deadly hailstorm while the Kriel Warriors moved up to threaten the enemy commander’s honor guard. The Kriel Warriors used the Mountain King for cover as they advanced, hoping that the beast wouldn’t turn on them.

As Doomshaper moved up to get a better view of where Mulg lay, he heard a female Trollkin shouting a battle cry. He realized that Janissa was sprinting in the direction of the oncoming Flameguard, willing to sell her life to hold down the flank. There was a part of him that knew it was the right decision, that it might be the act that saves his own life and seals victory. But the much larger part of him was heartbroken. First Mulg, now Janissa. This battle was already too costly by far.

Doomshaper took all 5 Fury from the Mountain King. The Glacier King ate a nearby Whelp and shed all of his Fury.
  1. Krielstone Unit:  Moved forward and spent 1 Fury to create the Aura for +2 ARM and immunity to continuous effects.
  2. Runebearer:  Moved forward, used Harmonious Exultation.
  3. Doomshaper2:  Moved forward, placed 3 Fury on the Krielstone and casted Wild Aggression on the Mountain King.
  4. Mountain King:  Turned and walked to his left. First attack he killed the closest Knight Exemplar and used Kill Shot targeting the distance Judicator to line up the shot. He clipped two Flameguard, but failed to hit them. The spray did kill all but 1 of the Knights Exemplar that had destroyed Mulg. He then bought attacks until he destroyed both the Blessing of Vengeance and the Vessel of Judgement. He ended his activation sitting on max (5) Fury.
  5. Chronicler:  Gave Tale of Mists to the Krielstone Unit.
  6. Glacier King:  Moved forward and, using ranged attacks, killed the last member of the Knights Exemplar who had attacked Mulg and then hit, pushed back, and knocked down the Knight in front of the Piper. The Knight passed his Tough check, however, and lived.
  7. Janissa:  Ran to my left to toe the zone being controlled by the Judicator.
  8. Kriel Warriors:  Received a Charge! order. They moved forward and either ran into a more threatening position or engaged the last two Errants. The charge attacks killed the rest of the Errants unit.
  9. Whelp:  The last surviving Whelp ran over to within 1” of the Glacier King. [Note that we took the pictures for this turn before I moved the Whelp, so he appears in the wrong place in the photo. His position on the diagram is accurate.]

I realized after the Mountain King's activation that I could have gotten an extra spray from Assault with him and (with Wild Aggression on him) the charge would have been free. He was not engaging one of the models he ended up in melee with, so I could have charged that model and used the spray. I’m still getting used to having that ability on him. Also, I messed up by not having moved forward the Runebearer last turn. I wanted to have him use Power Glyphs to place Wild Aggression on the Mountain King, freeing Doomshaper up to drop Fury onto the stone and run to perhaps start dominating the zone. Since the Runebearer was out of range for this, I had to settle for walking Doomshaper forward and casting Wild Aggression himself. I was starting to feel good about the attrition balance at this point. I knew that his Judicator could kill my Gargantuans, but I was hoping to threaten Severius on the following turn enough that he had to commit to killing one of them, and I could finish off the Judicator with the rest of my army. If I managed that it would probably end up being the game. At least that was my plan.
I score 1 CP for controlling the zone. We are tied 1-1.

Turn 4: You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

Top of Turn 4: MENOTH (Joe)

Severius ordered the Flameguard to collapse the right flank and put pressure on the huge Trolls. Those creatures must be stopped. He had faith in his Creator and in the power of the Judicator to bring justice down on these beasts. He just had to lure them in and smash them.

With his men valiantly sacrificing their lives to hold the line, Severius ran towards the Judicator while he willed it to cover his advance by lobbing shots at the giant Trolls. He needed to give his men confidence and bring the creatures closer.

He reached the Judicator’s feet as it continued to fire. One stray blast landed near the Trollkin chieftain, spraying him with dirt and rocks. Severius watched the Troll wipe blood from his cheek.

“Your goddess is weak and shrinks in the gaze of the Creator!” Severius screamed. “You can try to kill me, but my faith protects me. My faith is my armor and my sword, and with it I will crush all before me in the name of Menoth! Let those who oppose me feel His wrath!”

Severius upkept Defender’s Ward and allocated 2 Focus to the Judicator (which also generated 1 additional Focus).
  1. Knights Exemplar2:  Charged the Mountain King, making sure to get at least some models into the zone. Joe rolled fairly well and removed nearly half of the Mountain King’s remaining health. The Mountain King shed 3 Whelps.
  2. Piper of Ord:  Gave Tough and Fearless to the remaining Knights Exemplar.
  3. Flameguard:  They receive a Charge! order against Janissa. While Joe makes sure to maximize the number of models engaging her, his first charge attack kills her and she fails her Tough check.
  4. Choir:  Moved up and sang Battle on the Judicator.
  5. Judicator:  Lobbed some shots into the Glacier King, doing a few points of damage. One of the additional deviations clipped Doomshaper and scratched him for 1 point of damage. Joe laughed and shouted, “I’ve shown them that their god can bleed!” The shot also caught one of the Krielstone Unit Grunts, killing him.
  6. Vassal:  Moves next to the Judicator, uses Ancillary Attack. The attack does nothing.
  7. Severius:  Ran to toe the zone.
  8. Hierophant:  Ran Forward.

Joe:  “Well, things are actually bad now from trying to take down Alan’s Gargantuans, but I have a glimmer of hope. I’ve been able to score 1 control point so far, and when I measure my control area, my zone with the Judicator is *just* under 10 inches away. So if I can clear Janissa out of the zone I’ll have 2 CP this turn, which will force Alan to take me out via ranged attacks or lose to scenario. The odds aren’t great, but with the notoriously bad RAT of the Trolls, I have a chance at least. I also achieve some sort of Pyrrhic victory by doing a random point of damage to Alan’s caster from a Judicator shot. It’s the small things in life…”

Wow! I don't know why, but I did not see this coming. Severius was so far away from the zone that I really wasn’t expecting him to zip over there and start dominating. I thought I had two more turns to position myself and finish him off, but Joe basically guaranteed this would be my last turn. I didn’t think I could get enough into the zone to keep him from dominating next turn, leaving me only one option (in my mind): go for the kill. With Defender’s Ward up, Severius was DEF 16 and ARM 21. Joe had also put a lot of “junk” in the Mountain King’s way so that he would have a hard time contesting the zone and/or getting to Severius for melee attacks. He also lined up the Vassal so that if the Glacier King was able to hit and push him back with his ranged attacks that Severius would not leave the zone. Very crafty play, Joe! I had a lot of firepower between my Gargantuans and Primal Shock to try to finish him off, but DEF 16 was a tough nut to crack. Could I pull it off? Let’s see!

Joe scores 2 CP for dominating the zone. He leads 3-1.

Bottom of Turn 4: TROLLBLOODS (Alan)

Doomshaper wiped blood from the shallow cut on his cheek. The cut quickly closed, but Doomshaper had had enough of this arrogant human. He sent an image of the enemy commander through his bonds with both the Glacier King and Mountain King. The Glacier King searched the battlefield until he found his prey. He channeled his roaring winds and hail directly at the commander, who was pushed back by the force of the wind. But one of his men braced him and allowed him to remain on his feet. The Glacier King hollered in frustration.

The Mountain King, eager to show up his rival, moved towards the enemy commander while crushing the humans that stood in his way. Looking directly into the Glacier King’s eyes, he stuffed a Troll whelp into his mouth, swallowing it whole. Taking in a massive lungful of cold, dense air, the Mountain King let out the loudest roar Doomshaper had ever heard. Everyone on the entire battlefield instinctively covered their ears, including both Doomshaper and the Glacier King. The power of the roar knocked the enemy commander flat, and sent an almost unbearable surge of power back through the bond. Doomshaper was overcome with a rage so powerful he thought his blood might boil. His vision began to tunnel and he had to kneel down to keep from falling over. Reaching out, he could sense the approximate presence of the enemy commander even if he couldn’t see him, and lunged at him with a primal bolt of energy from the Mountain King. The enemy commander flailed, managing to deflect the attack away. Doomshaper channeled all of the power and rage coursing through his veins and repeated the attack. The enemy commander exploded like a bloated pumpkin, showering his nearby companion in a wave of blood and viscera. The Colossal immediately went inert, and the Kriel Warriors ran down the fleeing remnants of the Menite forces. Khadoran civilians ran screaming for the hills.

Doomshaper took all of the Fury from the Mountain King. The Glacier King ate the last surviving bought Whelp to shed his Fury. Doomshaper upkept Wild Aggression on the Mountain King.
  1. Glacier King:  Moved forward and shot at Severius three times. Before my first (boosted) ranged attack, I said, “Dice! Please give me doubles!” I asked Sam, a bystander, to blow on my dice for good luck. He said, “You don’t want me to do that.” :-) The result? I rolled triple ones. I bought and boosted a second ranged attack. I needed an 11, and I rolled 2-2-4. We all had a good laugh because my dice gave me exactly what I asked for on both rolls: doubles! Unfortunately, neither attack actually hit. I should have been more specific… I bought and boosted a final ranged attack. This one hit, pushing Severius back into the Vassal. But I didn’t get a critical (so he wasn’t knocked down), I didn’t break armor (so he was still at full health), and he was still sitting in the zone. Dang!
  2. Whelp:  One of the shed Whelps ran into position near the end of where I wanted to get my Mountain King (near the Glacier King).
  3. Mountain King:  Ate the two whelps still next to him and healed 4 damage. He then Trampled (for free because of Wild Aggression) towards the center of the table, slightly in the direction of the Glacier King. He passed over two Knights Exemplar. He killed the first while the second made its Tough Check. The Mountain King took a free strike from an Exemplar, knocking out his mind. He then ate the whelp I had run into position, healing 1 Wound and putting him back at full functionality. He bought an attack against the closest Choir member, killing him and triggering Kill Shot. I sprayed in the direction of Severius. I missed the Vassal, but killed all of the remaining intervening Choir members. The moment of truth had arrived. Would I be able to hit Severius and do significant damage to him? I boosted the ranged attack roll on Severius. I needed an 11 and rolled a 12. I boosted the damage roll and… TRIPLE SIXES!!!!!!!!!!! I literally ran a lap around the store I was so excited. Joe just laughed and shook his head while he counted off the damage. At Dice-5, the attack did 13 damage. Severius had 3 remaining unmarked damage boxes. I had a chance…
  4. Krielstone Unit:  Created the Aura for +2 ARM and immunity to continuous effects, then ran forward.
  5. Runebearer:  Used Harmonious Exultation.
  6. Doomshaper:  Cast Primal Shock through the Mountain King, targeting Severius. Boosting the attack roll, I missed. He had 4 Fury remaining. I used 2 Fury to cast Primal Shock again, boosting the attack roll. This time I hit. With his last Fury, I boosted the damage roll. At Dice-6, I needed a 9. I rolled a 17!!!!!!!! Severius exploded and we shook hands.

I decided to go for the assassination even though the odds weren’t great. We talked after the game that I could have trampled the Glacier King over some of the Flameguard, having him end his move toeing the zone. Then I MIGHT have been able to somehow clear enough of a path for the Mountain King to run and toe the zone as well (probably not). We replayed this last turn as if I had done that, and the Judicator killed the Glacier King with Focus and attacks to spare. Furthermore, even if the Mountain King had toed the zone, he was hurt badly enough that the Judicator might have been able to finish him off in addition to killing the Glacier King. It would have been bad, so I’m glad I went for the kill even though it took some crazy dumb luck to pull off.

We did some math** after the game, and the assassination odds were actually not as bad as they seemed. Had the Glacier King knocked Severius down with either of his first two ranged attacks, I think that the probability of killing him would have been very high. But the triple sixes is just a great story that we won’t soon forget!

**Edit: I later designed a complex Excel spreadsheet simulation for this assassination run, and I can't recall what math we did, but we were WAY wrong. In 6000 trials, the simulation says I should have only succeeded 2.4% of the time. My victory was amazingly lucky indeed!


Joe:  “Noooooooooooooooooo! I knew the odds weren’t great of me surviving, but when the Glacier King failed to do any damage at all, I felt like I was going to be able to pull out a victory. Remember how I mentioned earlier that Severius really doesn’t like being shot? He *really* doesn’t like being shot and having massive damage rolls on top of it. Well played Alan, well played.”

Note: I am adding this note because the first few people who read the report told me that I could not have used Primal Shock against the Errants or Severius because they have Spell Ward (or Sacred Ward). According to its wording, and Infernal confirmation, Primal Shock does not target the enemy model. Doomshaper casts it on himself (which is why it has RNG: CTRL), then chooses a warbeast in his control area. One enemy model within 8" of the warbeast and in its line of sight suffers a magic attack roll at a POW equal to the warbeast's base strength. The spell itself never targets the enemy model, so it gets around the warding. Hope this clears up any confusion. :-)

After the Game:  BEER!

Doomshaper took a dozen deep breaths to regain his composure and then ran to Mulg’s side. He touched the ancient Dire Troll’s face softly, reaching out in search of the bond. After 30 agonizing seconds he sensed the slightest sign of life deep within the beast. He placed both hands directly on Mulg's chest and sent him every bit of his own life force and energy that he could spare. When Mulg’s eyes fluttered open, Doomshaper collapsed next to him in pure exhaustion. In the distance, Doomshaper could hear the Gargantuans wrestling for dominance. He didn’t even try to stop them. They would work it out between themselves eventually.

After the game we retired to our usual post-game watering hole: The Beer Research Institute. I had the 480G IPA and I bought Joe a Peach Lolli to ease the sting of defeat. We toasted to good friends and a fun game. :-)

My Thoughts on the Game

1.   Despite the general disdain for the Mountain King, I have always really liked him and have a lot of fun playing him. In fact, I have been playtesting the Glacier King lately and I honestly think that the Mountain King is a better piece (at least for my playstyle). The Glacier King has a nice gun and can participate during the whole battle better than the Mountain King, but at the same time he suffers from a generally low volume of attacks. He can never shoot and use melee attacks in the same activation and, while I like his gun, the lack of AOE or secondary ranged weapons mean at most he can kill three models at range per turn (if he’s lucky) or put a bit of damage on a heavy. The push and knock-down effects are great, but not totally reliable and can even be a liability by pushing the target out of range. I know that I didn’t use him to his full ability in this game because he got stuck on a flank across from stuff that would kill him easily if I pushed him forward, so I played very conservatively. But when you look at the impressive path of destruction left behind by the Mountain King in this game, it’s clear what a high volume of attacks gives you when facing an army with generally low defense. If their spots on the board had been switched, the Glacier King could not have generated as much destruction. [I do know that he is designed to be more of a support piece, and that his area effect that gives concealment and supports a screening infantry unit are nice abilities that simply didn’t matter in this game. However, I like to play Trolls very aggressively and project offensive threat as much as possible, so I tend to value offensive abilities over defensive abilities.]

2.  At all times, pay attention to the scenario and all of the ways that your opponent can score. By not attending to Joe’s ability to dominate the zone to my left I almost lost the game. I was counting on him to keep scoring in that zone, but thought he was only going to get 1 CP each turn. As soon as he began dominating, I was immediately put in a really bad position.

3.  Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. When your back's against the wall, sometimes the Dice Gods smile upon you.

That's all, Folks! Hope you had a good time. If you enjoyed this and want more battle reports in the future, let me know! It's always easier to get motivated to do something when you know people appreciate it. :-)



  1. Just some quick napkin math, you're assassination run was like 6.7%.so Joe, Sevy actually was pretty safe. If you had needed to knockdown sevy, I know you didn't need to, just bear with me, it was more like ~1.4% to kill.
    Other than that great report, I love the thematic stuff also

    1. Huh, i guess i should have been more confident :)

      It always feels scary when a relatively squishy caster like Sevy is anywhere near the enemy, let alone within range of 2 different gargantuans.

  2. My gut instinct was that your calculation was too low, but in fact it was too generous to me! I designed an Excel spreadsheet simulation to calculate the probability of success for each hit along with the damage roll minus armor (with a minimum of 0). I even included the probabilities for knocking the caster down with the GK using nested if statements and the subsequent damage rolls for the rest of the attacks maximized for damage (no boosting to attack). It turns out that, in 6000 simulations, the attack run was successful about 2.4% of the time. That makes me want to take another lap around the game store to celebrate my luck. :-)