While a previous instalment had some thoughts on the most criminally underplayed warlock in the faction, I’ll continue with her soon-to-be ADR buddy Madrak2. As far as power level and underplaying go, he’s not very far behind1.
My post-2015WTC experience with the World Ender started at the Belgian Masters XXX, by far the sexiest tournament on the planet.
I was on the roster as a reserve player, and only heard on Friday evening that I was going to play. I had my Grissel list with all the things, and needed something to pair it with. After some dojoing with the German rising star of the medium base, Dominik de Cassan, we came up with the following:
Max Krielstone +UA
Min Scattergunners +UA
Fell Caller Hero
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Since, according to Dominik, I needed a Menoth drop next to Grissel. You will notice the single unit of Fire Eaters, well, that’s because I only own one, and no one had me any units to spare2. After lucksacking myself through the first round, I met Philipp Schäper, aka Brezel, the fearsome captain of Team Germany Bier & Brezel, in my second round. He had recently made the switch to Menoth, and when he saw my lineup, he reached for his revolver:
Max Errants + UA
Max Zealots + UA
Max Forgeguard + Attendant Priest
Rhoven & his little friends
Anastasia di Bray
Actually, a very interesting list there. Madelyn turns the Awe factor up to 11 (quite literally, too), and Anastasia is just full of annoying goodness. Philipp obviously knows what he’s doing, goes first, and meticulously positions his army in the middle of the board. I shuffle and durdle and amateur a bit too, but manage to assault his Errant UA dude to death with my Fire Eaters. Always a pleasure.
Philipp continues to press forward with his army, he kills the Fire Eaters and feats. I unburrow my Burrowers but take lots of damage trying to buff them, because I’m a derp, mostly. My Bomber walks up and tries to shoot Harbinger, but then notices that he’s within 11″, which means Awe3. Due to the extra -2, Bombur4 misses and scatters onto my Burrowers instead. It seems that luck favours the stupid – only two Burrowers get damaged, and one of those makes his tough check. The bad positioning of the Bomber has a second downside: I have to move Janissa to put her wall in front of the Bomber again, netting her a few points of damage too.
The Burrowers have great fun with the Errants, but them hitting on 8ths like bosses is perfectly offset by Brezel making his tough checks like an even bossier boss, meaning the death toll on the Errants is neglegible. My Scattergunners do manage to CMA Nicia to death, which is already something.
In Philipp’s turn all my burrowers die, while my objective is destroyed by the Knights Exemplar, who also score on the flag. The cluster of models in the middle makes it nearly impossible for him to bring out his hammer dwarfs fully, meaning my Bomber only takes superficial damage after his valiant attempt on Harbinger’s life the previous turn. He does get slammed, which is highly annoying. Score is 2-0 to Menoth.
My turn then … it is time for Madrak to do Madrak things. My Scattergunners walk into position and start spraying, while my Warders set themselves up for major killing as well. Madrak charges in, feats, and goes to town on the cluster of models in the middle. Because they’re Menoth, there isn’t much of a Pacman thing going on, but it’s fun none the less. My Warders kill the Exemplars (clearing the flag again) and my Scattergunners kill lots of stuff. My Bomber shoots at Harbinger, but because he had to shake, he can’t fully boost the second shot (the one that matters), doing little damage.
After my turn, the Errants are largely gone, there are two Hammerdwarves and the Attendant Priest left, Corbeau is dead, the Zealots are alive and well, Rhoven and his friends are too, and Madrak is sitting on one transfer behind a wall, with Blood Fury up (DEF 12 there) and one Warder within 1″. Brezel decides to go for it, and gets the two Hammerdwarfs, the Attendant Priest, and Battle-driven Rhoven and his two frieds onto Madrak. After the dust settles, the one Warder is gone, Madrak has taken 9 damage, and has the one transfer left. I have honestly never seen anyone roll that kind of crappy dice, I mean, Moorhouse has nothing on this guy.
My turn: Bombur gets sniped, aims, and kills Harbinger.
Take-away from this game: Madrak’s feat is bonkers, and it turns out he is hard to kill. I really like the ranged game with him, Bombur is definitely a good option.
Through my haze of pre-convention-crud-that-had-only-gotten-worse, I play the third game against the very same Dominik who dojoed my Madrak2 list with me. I play Grissel because Grissel (and everyone telling me how amazing she is in the mirror), Dominik’s Madrak2 looked like this:
Max Stone + UA
2x Fire Eaters
Sons of Bragg
I wish I could tell you how the game went and how my Madrak2 list is so much better than this one. Truth is I mostly remember the splitting headache and the floods of fluids running out of my nose. I contested too lightly on my feat turn, Dominik got ahead, and managed to clear 4 Long Riders and 4 Warders out of the zone the following turn, to keep ahead on scenario. The game finished on 5-4 to him.
Furthermore, this Madrak2 list is definitely better, if only because it has Mulg, and everything is better with Mulg. I prefer a second beast, if only so you can actually max out Mulg on fury (and not invalidate any transfers you might have), but the Sons of Bragg can easily become a Slag Troll, or maybe an Impaler and … gobbers or so.
So. Going forward on that, I went with the following Madrak list, to take on Tommy Guans5:
Max Stone + UA
2x Fire Eaters
Yes, it’s a point down, because I don’t own Swamp Gobbers (I know, I know), and because I felt confident I could play a point down against the following list:
Druids of Orboros + UA
Shifting Stones + UA
Max Tharn Bloodtrackers + Nuala
Lord of the Feast
Gatorman Witch Doctor
Oh, it felt so great seeing that list again. We played Two Fronts, because that was on the table, and had a go. Bear with me if things are a little fuzzy, I seem to block out memories of Morvahna16.
Tommy runs up, Bloodtrackers to my left, the rest in the middle, Regrowth on the Druids, clouds all over the place. I fumble a bit with my Wheel of Fire (turns out you really need a Trollkin in the middle when doing two units), and charge up the board. Burrowers burrow. Tommy advances more, contests only lightly on his zone, and keeps everything behind a cloud wall. I think he killed something, but nothing I was worried about. I decide to make my play and try to get ahead on scenario. Burrowers unburrow, catch all the buffs, and charge in. I needed to kill one druid and one objective. I manage the objective (I put 4 Burrowers on it to be sure, and I needed all 4 of them … great damage rolls there guys), out of 4 attacks I manage to hit the one druid, but he toughs twice. On the other flank, my Warders play it cool in the zone, and my Fire Eaters shoot a few random Bloodtrackers, because Elemental Protection is a pain. Oh, I hate them Druids. Anyway. I can’t manage LoS with Pendrake on the one KD druid in the zone, but I can try and shoot it with Madrak. I mean, if all goes well, he wants to be in the zone anyway. I shoot, I hit, the druid toughs. Gah. Mulg shuffles, Janissa puts her wall up, and we’re back to Tommy.
Much pondering ensues. Ghetorix is close, but we’re unsure how close, and we’re unsure whether he can land. First, the Lord of the Feast and the Druids go to town, killing and maiming and pushing and pulling stuff all over the place. Many burrowers die, and out of one single bolt, Mulg gets knocked down (grr). When the time for the teleport comes, there is only one Trollkin left within 1″ of Madrak, who sits on two transfers. Out comes the proxy base, and Ghetorix comes in, frothing at the mouth. He has no melee range on Madrak, but a big Troll named Mulg so happens to be near. Five auto-hitting swings at straight dice for damage mean 35 damage and a dead Mulg.
So, I sigh, and start the turn of desperation. I still have a feat, I can do a lot of damage, and Madrak tends to surf around and gather fury from the stuff he kills, so there is still a way to put some pressure. There is one druid in the zone (the very same one), and the Gorax is there too. I buff the remaining two Burrowers again (Pendrake is just a nut hair out of range tho), and they put some good damage on the Gorax. The Pyre Troll puts flaming fists on Madrak, who activates, walks into melee range of Ghetorix, the one Druid, and the Lord of the Feast, and feats. Thanks to the feat, the Burrowers kill the Gorax (but miss a shot at breaking the set of Shifting Stones on a double one), the Lord of the Feast dies, Ghetorix takes some damage, and the Druid toughs. I cycle Blood Fury to Madrak, and start swinging. It wasn’t as successful as I had hoped – I miss three attacks, meaning both Ghetorix and the Druid are still alive.
Tommy’s turn – Ghetorix randomises his frenzy attack on Madrak, and the Stalker ports in to finish it.
Despite the fact that the dice were not in my favour, there are some lessons to be learned from this game. I should have put up Mulg’s animus with Madrak, to seriously hamper the Druids’ effectiveness. They cleared the landing zone in front of Madrak and Mulg, I don’t think Tommy would have managed that with them not casting. Also, my Pendrake placement was horrible, he didn’t contribute at all. Quite a shame for a solo who has the power to swing games all by his lonesome.
So, here is where we are. There are many paths to walk with Madrak2 (and with Grissel, too). The issue that remains to be solved is: who gets Mulg, who gets Janissa. I’m not sure that they need to be together in one list, I’m trying to prove my hypothesis as you read this.
(1) Wild theories exist on the why. For now, I’ve settled on him being so deadly no one lives to tell the tale.
(2) Shock. Horror.
(3) The Madelyn Corbeau factor.
(4) the Bomber. Yes, I’m very creative with my name giving, my Bomber is called Bombur.
(5) Tommy Geuns, but a shirt swap at a WTC can do strange things to the way people are referred to.
(6) She is bad. Don’t play her. Don’t listen to Wedding or Wilkie (or anyone whose name starts with a W). They don’t know what they’re talking about7.
(7) People whose nickname ends with a W, on the other hand, are the bossiest bosses of awesome sexyness, spewing only truths of galactic proportions.