A Study in Purple #1.5

Greetings, and welcome again to A Study in Purple. This will be a supplementary installment. I had a chance to play a game with one of the lists I talked about on Wednesday, and I would like to share a battle report of the game. I’m here in Iowa so I had an excellent opportunity to play against my friend John DeMaris better known as Phatasian. We played down at the local game store here in Des Moines Mayhem Comics and Cards, the original home and sponsor of the Mayhem Cup. The cup will be returning to Mayhem on January 7th and 8th after an extended stay in my hometown of Madison WI. At any rate, onwards to the report. First things first, here is the list:

 

Pirate Queen Skarre (*6pts)
* Helldiver (3pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Blackbane’s Ghost Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (5pts)
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts)
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
* Satyxis Blood Hag (2pts)
Soulhunters (Leader and 4 Grunts) (9pts)
Darragh Wrathe (4pts)
General Gerlak Slaughterborn (3pts)
Ogrun Bokur (3pts)

 

John was playing a new Sevvy1 list, that was a bit unconventional.

 

Grand Scrutator Severius (*6pts)
* Redeemer (6pts)
* Redeemer (6pts)
* Repenter (4pts)
* Repenter (4pts)
* Repenter (4pts)
* Repenter (4pts)
* Reckoner (8pts)
Vessel of Judgement (9pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)

 

On the surface it looks like sheer lunacy, but it is quite unnerving for an infantry heavy list to stare down that level of ranged power. The Redeemers produce a high volume of power 9 blast templates. The Reckoner and the Vessel of Judgement have the ability to surgically remove key models, and the Repenters are the true terrors. Effective Rat 8 sprays at power 15. With two Ancillary Attacks available, this list can remove a staggering number of models from the table on any given turn.

 

Luckily for me the matchup was not all bad news. Without an arcnode the only magical attacks that Blackbane and co. had to worry about were from the Vessel. This would also allow me to move the Blood Witches up the field safely. Dispell on the Blood Hag’s dagger the only way I had to remove Defender’s Ward. The Helldiver can’t be prevented from moving up the table and represents a serious threat to anything within 12″ of the burrow marker. Also, Blood Magic is a great feat to have when facing down 7 warjacks and a battle engine.

 

The scenario is Process of Elimination. A winable scenario, but not the easiest to win by any means. If you aren’t familiar with it there are two rectangular zones set side by side, each can only be scored once and you have to score both to win. There was a forest along the right scenario zone on his side, a hill off to the left on mine, a wall just in front of the zones on my side, and another behind the left zone on his side. I won the roll to set up and go first, which I think was very impactive.

 

Turn 1- Keith

 

Run! There’s nothing for my Skarre list to do turn one except go flying across the table at top speed. The good news is that top speed is very fast. Soulhunters and Wrathe flanking on the left, Blackbane’s flanking right. Skarre runs up behind a wall just short of the scenario zones. One stalker goes wide in either direction. Helldiver burrows up the middle in amongst the Blood Witches. The Hag, knowing what Redeemers do with Sevvy1 decides that early is better than never for her mini-feat. Mechanithralls and the surgeons bring up the rear. The skarlock ritually executes a Mechanithrall netting me an irrelevant 4 focus for next turn. Gerlak, huffing and puffing, struggles to keep up with Blackbane on the right. At this point my army threatens the entirety of both scenario zones. I’m happy with that.

 

Turn 1- John

 

If the one word that described my first turn was run, John’s would be the opposite of that. Lounge, stagnate, waddle, trundle, mill about, these are all accurate descriptors. The Redeemers knocked out 2 Soulhunters. The battle engine blew up 2 or 3 of the Ghost Raiders. 2 Mechanics failed to repair it. Upkeeps were cast, the Vessel got Defender’s Ward. None of his pieces went so far as to touch the scenario zone. Very exciting stuff.

 

Turn 2- Keith

 

Well this sucks. He didn’t put a single model in my threat range and he’s taking my expensive models off the table with blast damage. To make matters worse I can’t score the zone yet. Patience I suppose, is the applicable virtue. I don’t want to give him too much of my army to kill and I certainly don’t want him scoring a point. I also don’t want him so entrenched in the zones that I can’t dislodge him.

 

Easy stuff first. Scarlock blows up another mechanithrall and I hit a solid 5. This is good. I’m 90% sure I will use my feat next turn and having focus to allocate, camp, and cast Dark Guidance is very handy. The Helldiver advances and burrows, he’s far enough up the field at this point he’s making Severius a bit nervous but my plan is to have him eat the battle engine. Soulhunters and Wrathe reposition to threaten the left zone a bit more thoroughly. Blackbane does likewise on the right. Stalkers go wider either way taking advantage of extended control. The Mechanithralls shuffle forward over the wall in front of Skarre. The Surgeons advance just behind, covering the likely places Skarre will be after she feats, ready to heal her.

 

If I hang too far back or bunch up too much the Redeemer shots will be awful. I’d like to jam him up a bit to make scoring next turn that much easier. Gerlak is an obvious choice for a sacrificial distraction, tough, immune to knockdown, good armor and boxes, and John isn’t running any infantry. The only major impact Gerlak might have on this game is if I can get him back into the choir. More likely he’s just going to get shot to death. So he runs out in front of Blackbane’s boys and does a little dance. I thought about what to do with the Satyixs for a bit and decided to just run them full out into John’s army. Hoping they would soak up enough attacks to draw some attention away from the Stalkers and Soulhunters. I pass the turn.

 

Turn 2- John

 

John has to move into the zone this turn, giving me a free point and allowing me to reserve my feat another round would be the game. Also as long as the feat remains unspent the Helldiver represents mortal danger coming ever closer to Severius. A Redeemer gets three focus, a few of the Repenters get one. Defender’s Ward is upkept on the Vessel.

 

The Redeemer goes ahead and pops off another 2 Soulhunters… !@#&%^#*#@$^#^!##%@#*&%#$. I wanted more of those to live. It also gets a few Mechanithralls in the bargain. Having some corpses on the surgeons gives me some versatility for next turn so there’s the silver lining.

 

Repenters spray down half of the Satyixs and miss a Stalker needing an 8 on 3 dice. One of the Repenters ends up in the left zone. Gerlak soaks up a spray, a shot from the other Redeemer and an ancillary attack before he goes down. After successfully getting repaired, the Vessel moves up into both zones and misses a Blackbane needing a 7 on 3 dice. I’ll take a little luck. The Reckoner moves up behind a wall and gets Enliven.

 

There’s a battle engine in both zones. And a Repenter in the left zone as well. Certainly more than I can remove without my feat. And beyond those 2 models there still isn’t much in my threat range. Despite being down about 10 points of models I’m feeling pretty good about this one. The turn passes.

 

Turn 3- Keith

Skarre replenishes to 6 and gets her 5 extra. The Helldiver comes up 2″ in front of the battle engine. I’m about to give him 3 focus when I notice that 2 Witches and the Blood Hag are still alive and in striking distance of the monster. After some quick math Skarre hands 3 off to the Stalker on the left and keeps the rest.

 

This is a really handy wall Skarre is hiding behind. She has control to most of the scenario zones. Dark Guidance, Blood Magic for 5 health, camp 4, Skarre is done. I need to find out what’s going to happen with the Blood Witches before I can plan the rest of the turn so I activate them next. 2 grunts and the Hag successfully charge the Vessel. The Hag’s dagger takes care of Defender’s Ward and before the third witch can make any attacks the battle engine is gone. Delightful! The Helldiver advances on Severius and burrows again.

 

At this point I’m free to score the right zone, but I’m stronger on that side and John will have trouble contesting it next turn so I would much prefer to score the left. One Repenter stands between me and my goal. I have a fully loaded Stalker and the last Soulhunter in range. Unsurprisingly the mat 7 power 17 Stalker gets the job done. With Death Ride the Soulhunter gets a charge off on another Repenter just behind the zone taking a good chunk out of it with his Scythe. I have control of both zones.

 

I feel at this point the game is mostly won. I’m even or a bit behind on points destroyed but I have a point and commanding board position. All the same I need to prepare well for next turn. Blackbane and the Mechanithralls position to receive whatever happens into the right zone. One of the Surgeons gets a good heal on Skarre bringing her back up to full, and the other holds her corpse tokens and advances. I held off on building the thralls because I wanted to guarantee greater threat range for next turn. Attrition wasn’t my focus. The Skarlock continued his pattern and promised me 6 focus for next turn.

 

Turn 3-John

Severius had to run this turn to escape the Helldiver so Blackbane and crew remained safe from Ashes to Ashes. All he can do is allocate focus. The Repenter that was damaged by the Soulhunter gets repaired by all 3 mechanics and killes the Soulhunter. Redeemer damage is blunted by the feat, I only lose one Mechanithrall. The Reckoner ends up being too far left to make it into the relevant zone. My right hand Stalker survives a beating from yet another Repenter and at the end of the turn there are two light jacks contesting the zone. A Redeemer and a Repenter, the Redeemer is enlivened.

 

Turn 4- Keith

The Helldiver surfaces in the back arc of both the contesting ‘jacks. Skarre slides 3 focus to both jacks on the right side. Skarre then activates immediately, casting Dark Guidance and advancing to hit the Repenter with a pow 12 Sacrificial Strike dealing only 3 or 4 points of damage. Blackbane gives the charge/run order and puts 3 of his boys on the Repenter, nicking it up for the expected third of it’s health, and 2 on the Redeemer blocking off Enliven. Or so I thought. After taking 2 points from the first Raider the Redeemer Enlivens through the second who hasn’t made an attack yet and is thus still incorporeal. The annoying Redeemer can’t go very far without leaving the zone however so all is not lost.

 

I activate my two warjacks to finish off his wounded Repenter, despite my hope that I would not need both of them. It is up to the 4 newly built Mechanithralls to get the job done. 4 combo strikes later Skarre and her army control the zone, and score the second point securing victory.

 

Wrap Up

 

The speed of the list is what decided the match. Process of Elimination is not a difficult scenario to contest but the mobility of Skarre’s army allows her to push into zones that a more standard Bane-centric Cryx force would be unable to. Her feat also allows her to give up parts of her army for nothing other than board control, knowing that the counter punch will be enough to even the tables.

 

The one change I made after this game was removing Gerlak. I had noticed in previous games that he was often too slow to keep up and be able to make any attacks on the feat turn to take advantage of Dark Guidance and his synergy with the Blood Hag. So for Detroit this weekend I replaced him with a second Helldiver. Which is a change I felt strengthened the list.

 

The report turned out quite a bit longer than I expected rather than being supplemental it was longer than the original. That’s all for today then. Swing back later this week I’m going to take a look at some of my favorite mercenaries and how they fit into the Dragonfather’s armies.

 

KC

Author: sepher32

Keith wears a purple shirt. He's one of the regular hosts on the Muse on Minis podcast. He plays Cryx. Keith is from Madison, WI.

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