I got in two games this weekend against the forum’s own @Mitch_novem. The first is Battle 028, with the Varangur vs Salamanders in a bloody game of Dominate.
I’m still finding my footing with the Varangur, but they are proving to be a lot of fun. For this game I ran a list of mostly new things, trying to explore a variety of the army’s infantry options and a pair of Cavern Dwellers.
- The Cavern Dwellers are similar to the Abyssal’s Chroneas, a “mini-giant” but without all the fancy damage manipulation rules and powerful Cloak of Death. They are also pretty comparable to a Lord on Frostfang as it turns out. Their biggest advantage seems to be just being on a 50mm base; able to squeeze in and deliver some good damage. They seem like fun and probably worth playing around with more in the future.
- The Draugr are really growing on me and did great work all day for me.
- -Huscarls do good work against anything if you can protect them.
- -Night Raiders with axes are … intresting? They are flexible, but I’m not quite sure how to use them yet, and this wasn’t a great match-up for them. More games are needed to figure them out.
Thank you to Mitch for the games! A report for the rematch we played will be up later this week.
thanks again for the games! These last two games are showing me I need to really invest in chaff and smaller units. Big stompy units are nice, but if they get stuck only fighting other chaff then they are basically useless. Built a few new lists, so I am excited to try them out next time!
Thanks for the report! I feel like this was a textbook game of delaying tactics buying time for hammers to strike, well done. He said without spoiler tags
Looking forward to the next one!
I had a great time! While writing I was wondering if Fire Elemental Regiments might work with your more elite playstyle? Kind of fighty-chaff to assist your infantry? Regardless, I’m looking forward to the next games and seeing what you field next time! Thanks for fitting these games in Mitch.
Thanks @Boss_Salvage, yeah, things worked out nicely for me here, and it was a good clean game.
Magnilde tanking units worked better than I was thinking it would, which opens the door a bit to testing out a cheaper Lord on foot, maybe with a fancy banner. The army has way more options than I originally thought and it’s been fun exploring so far. More to come from the Varangur!
And our immediate rematch, Battle 029, is now up. We got Raze for the scenario and each switched up our respective lists to try out some other things.
The Varangur brought a cavalry-focused list with three regiments of Mounted Sons and two Magus Conclaves to soften up the Salamanders before the charges. The Salamanders brought two heavy fliers and a lot of heals to keep their elite units up.
The final tally ended up being incredibly close, and the dice made the game quite memorable. Thanks to Mitch for fitting these games in!
March has been stressful for me, so I was quite pleased to get in two games in recently against the forum’s own @Mitch_novem.
The first game was Battle 032, with Push as the Scenario. I brought Jabberwocks, Night Raiders, and several groups of Mounted Sons. Despite not having much shooting to get the blood flowing, the Jabberwocks both did far better than expected, even without their Feeding Frenzy rule coming into play much. Just being cheap, Nimble monsters makes them pretty fun to run.
The second game was Battle 033, with Plunder. This list swapped out the Jabberwocks for a Frost Giant, but kept most things the same, since I was traveling. The Frost Giant was interesting, but a bit disappointing in this situation. He’s got a breath attack ability, but it’s not likely to do much, and here he took the Rampage upgrade and then got stuck fighting monster-sized units, which was a bummer.
In both games, the Draugr continued to get in the way and impress and the Mounted Sons performed well as a cheap but potent cavalry threat. The Night Raiders performed well, but had some hot dice, so it’s hard to say just how good they actually are. The axes seem really hard to use well with only a 12" range, so we’ll need to take them for another outing at some point.
Most of the folks that read and post in this thread have already seen and posted there, but my opponent is soliciting advice in another forum thread, so feel free to check that out, and thanks to those that have already given him some feedback.
Cheers, and thanks for reading.
Wow I’ve never seen a match where one player just did nothing But I give the Sallies props, since you seem to keep kicking them first turn out of indecision yourself, so well played?
Weird game was weird, with floppy dice in the early rounds keeping the chaff wars from resolving in your favor and snake eyes keeping you from wresting the mid-game momentum. Hard to punch through bad luck some times
Also, only list comment from me is that this game seemed to validate the prevailing theory that slayer is better on Giants than rampage. Plus it gives him an edge in the wonderfully photogenic titan vs titan match-ups, and we battle reporters know that’s half the reason we’re playing
I will be completely honest, I was feeling pretty low that day and brought those sour feelings into the games I played. Bad luck didn’t help me at all, and through no fault of my opponent I was not having too much fun. I was a bad opponent myself, and I already apologized profusely to @TastyBagel during the day. The first game hit me pretty hard with the bad dice rolls, as despite what I thought was good placement and tactics nothing worked and I kind of checked out of it pretty quickly.
Honestly the first turn stall was something I learned from Age of sigmar / Warhammer fantasy. My opponent and I both brough cav lists so it was really going to be who moved first. my opponent was a lot slower than me so he just turned it over to me after doing some buffs. It kinda worked for me until the last turn where I got some good units wiped out.
Which is why I opened that thread. Something isnt working right with Sallies, and I dont know if it’s me or my army list. I will probably try out the suggestions you had for a list, and see if that makes a difference, but I may abandon the army all together and go for a list like Northern Alliance or something.
All good @Mitch_novem. It is hard to have fun when your opponent isn’t, so I appreciate you being open and vocal on the day. I hope we ended the day on a better note and that this week is treating you better.
That thread has a lot of good advice and ideas so far - I’ll try to add my two cents to that later today. Whatever you run, I’m looking forward to seeing you across the table again soon.
I think the skipped turn was so arresting because the list you played had 24x 18" shots that could start cooking chaff and 2x Sp 4 infantry that needed to get their stubby legs moving if the goal was to hold tokens (and that’s gotta be a strong part of their job description). It did feel like the best reason to completely pass was because @TastyBagel put the brain work of opening the game on you, in which case I can respect just flat refusing
Having played them for 18+ months of 2E, Sallies are a weird army that historically have struggled to arrest the momentum of the game. I think 3.5E Sallies are better positioned to do this than ever, thanks to all the 18" shooting and decent maneuverability (i.e. Scorchwing and Phoenix buffs in addition to the existing mid-range options), and my attempts in the other thread have mostly been around building in that 18" game and ensuring there’s the chaff to deliver the dedicated hammers.
My schedule has still been bonkers, but I was able to sneak in some games against @Cartwright recently.
Our first game of the day was Battle 034 with Push for the Scenario. I was trying out some Abyssal MSU, where I don’t take anything too expensive nor anything larger than a regiment. My list had some neat ideas, but this list attempt struggled a bit against the Northern Alliance, who brought two Snow Troll hordes, two Cavern Dwellers and a Frost Giant.
Still, I had a great time rolling some dice. Thanks to my opponent for the game!
Great game and report. The seductress opening move was clever and completely caught me off guard, though in retrospect it didn’t accomplish much because the flamebearers didn’t have enough firepower to really make me pay. Still, lesson learned for next game.
With hordes and regen, my list was more forgiving. I felt like you had to do everything exactly right to win, and one missed flank or bad roll put you in a tough spot. I picked off a few units early to even the odds, and then didn’t need to worry too much about what you could do back. Let’s see if those lessons hold for round 2…
Thanks for the report! I feel for your efforts to make MSU Abyssals work, to a greater or lesser extent this is how I’ve been trying to run my own daemons, except I’ve got 2-3 Lower Abyssal hordes to soak damage and less of the really good stuff (no Abyssal Fiends, just one Seductress). I wrote a little bit on my blog about struggling to find the hammers in Abyssals, and I think you felt some of that here. Tortured Souls are just kind of not good, regs are thick chaff at best but even then they’re pretty slow and pillow fisted at the same time.
If you’re willing to bend your no-horde rule, it would be great to shove a Nv sponge in there. I’m pretty down on Molochs but a horde could give you a pseudo-anvil that can also punch (and is taller than all that H2, which is a nice thing to have for comboing and playing the chaff game).
Yes, I remember reading some of that commentary in a few of your reports @Boss_Salvage. I was indeed feeling that here! A warlock or something with Bane Chant could help a bit in a future version (I’ve like Zaz the Betrayer in some other games), but it also seems a little rough to be buffing smaller regiments only.
Running the “regiments-max” playstyle is just a personal ambition of mine that I return to from time to time. It’s just more fun pushing more units around the board for me.
I had heard really good things about the Tortured Souls online, but I have struggled with them. They are not really maneuverable, are not really speedy, and are not hitting particularly hard most of the time. They are just hard to use and I haven’t quite figured them out yet. I think retaining a unit or two as big chaff could work in a future version, but yeah, I have not cracked these yet.
I’ve had some decent success with Molochs in more normal lists. There I am trying to shoot in the early turns with Flamebearers and then close with the Molochs, which has worked out ok before. Their lower defense is a bit of a bummer, but I’d agree that they are one of the few smashier units the Abyssals have.
This was a tough game, but I felt like I learned a lot, and I was pretty happy with my Seductress tech. That didn’t pay off this game, but will be nice to have in the arsenal for the future. We got in one more game on the day, and the report for that should be up sometime tomorrow. Cheers!
And our immediate rematch in Battle 035 is now posted. My opponent had dropped the Frost Giant for some Huscarls, and my Flamebearers were regiments now, but I had already shown my hand with the Seductress + Enthrall trick, and I was still up against a sturdy NA list.
Despite our combined efforts, we look to have dropped a full round during play, skipping from Round 2 right to Round 4 in our heads, thus speeding the game up a bit. I was trying out a new template for battle report notes, and uh… yeah… I did not make good use of it this game! Still, it was a grand time. Thanks to @Cartwright for the games!
Great report, all 5 rounds of it
I feel like your Tortured Souls were listening to us badmouthing them
Also your Abyssal Champ could have been an Abyssal Warlock in a heartbeat, I’m very used to seeing them anchor Flamebearer regiments in Abyssal lists. Between the support magic and shooting and scoring and so on.
Ah, I didn’t realize we dropped a turn. That’s a bummer, though I don’t think it would affect the outcome. You did the MSU well here–swarming me and putting pressure on flanks/rears by late game. The tortured souls did a ton of work at the end of the game here. You thoroughly outplayed me. There were a few nerve rolls (fiend, gargoyles) that hurt my plan, but I don’t think they ultimately mattered in the big picture. I was so worried about the flamebearers that I came after them without really thinking through any other part of the game. Maybe I should invest in veil of shadows for the next matchup? NA doesn’t have much fast cav to pressure shooters other than maybe tundra wolves (de4).
Ooo, that is a good point on the Warlock @Boss_Salvage! I may need to seek out a model or two now. Thanks for the tip!
Yeah, the Tortured Souls looked deep down and finally got some good things done for me this game, but they are still just so awkward to use. We’ll see if I can figure anything out with them over the next few Abyssals games.
I think the scenario did me some big favors @Cartwright. In this case I think rushing the Flamebearers was the right idea, as those are the scariest things in the list if left untouched, but it just didn’t work out here. The NA movement phases were always complicated with Wavers, and the Insane hold of the Gargoyles just put your advance even further behind.
Tactically, I think this was a job for Snow Foxes. I don’t think either of us appreciated just how much damage the Snow Trolls were going to take though. Advancing everything while getting the Snow Foxes out a few inches in front to be sacrificed would have given the Trolls cover, and made my life harder.
Otherwise, strategically, yeah, dabbling in Veil of Shadows, adding in more screening Foxes, or just having your own shooting regiments all would have had this play out differently. Regimental shooting had much better performances on the day.
Jumping in with the abyssal reports, but I am chewing through the rest from the start.
Thanks for sharing, it’s a fun read.
These last two were interesting for me because I have a soft spot for abyssals (I started KoW with abyssals) and your lists are vaugely similar to my dwarf list, which is also MSU and relies on shooting (nudge, wink).
Two differences, though, is that I am fond of “versatile units” (i.e. that have ranged attacks and combat ability) and I have second line damage dealers (not a lot of damage, they’re there to finish things off).
I think your abyssal list could benefit from the latter.
You seen to struggle to deal enough damage, which seems to be a danger with MSU, so I think a combat capable unit would help your list.
It’s worth noting that you fared better in the game where you concentrated your shooting and got good damage on a few units.
Bane chant might help too.
Oh, wow, I missed that post. Thanks for the link @DarkBlack! I might have more thoughts for that thread later, but that was a fun read.
Dwarfs are obviously on the slow side, but with great stats and the throwing mastiff option, they looked like a very fun army for MSU. I picked up 60+ Mantic dwarf minis second-hand over the last few years, but just haven’t been able to bring myself to start hobbying on an entirely new army yet. Your list and approach really resonates with me though. The “nothing fancy, we’re a bit of a backwater” was how I approached my Empire in Warhammer. It was fun and fluffy, though not how that game was intended to be played. I didn’t win many games.
I have not explored MSU too much with the Abyssals quite yet, but would agree with your assessments so far. The Flamebearers have been nice in just about any list I’ve run, but they need about three regiments focusing to be really dangerous, and the melee damage output for the army has been a big issue. Abyssal Guard and Tortured Souls haven’t been used consistently well, so aren’t delivering quite as I had hoped they would. I think Bane Chant (probably via Warlocks) would be a good addition to a future attempt to help, but I think the list also needs some refinement. With everything needing to work together, list building, deployment, etc all need to be a bit better than what I usually bring to the table.
I appreciate the feedback and the dwarf report! That looks like a very fun and rewarding list to field.