Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Battle Report 46: 2Una vs. Durant 2

In our search for reliable Una 2 tech in Menoth, my team and I (well mostly me to be honest) hit on the idea of Durant 2 with 3 Reckoners and double Idrians.

The idea is simple - tag a couple griffons a turn with Flare thanks to Durants' Field Marshal [True Sight] and blow them up with Idrians preying them.

Both I and my Menoth buddy K are sick today, and so we took the opportunity to try it out on Vassal.

My list:

Una 2
- Wilder
- Scarsfell x7
- Gorax
- Pureblood

Blackclad Wayfarer

Sentry Stone x2
Shifting Stone x2


Durant 2
- Reckoner x3

Punch Monk x2
Wrack x2

Idrians and CA x2

We rolled up Incursion and I lost the roll. My opponent took first turn, and I chose the side with the hill for my Griffons to hover over.

He deployed pretty central, jack fort going up the middle and Idrians on either side. He ended up preying both units of Sentry Stones.

My deployment is more or less setting me up for a Scenario game here. I'm going to run Griffons over to the other side of the right hand forest to save them from guns and I'm going to pile stuff on that hill in order to make the Reckoners slightly less likely to shoot the birds with flare guns.

Menoth turn 1:

He runs up. Respecting the Sentry Stones' threat ranges, he parks his Idrians in semi circles just outside of the walk and spray death zone. Reckoners move up and get...Battle, cuz I literally have nothing to shoot them with that isn't magical and Hunters Mark isn't in play yet.

Durant moves up and casts Inviolable Resolve on the central Reckoner.

Circle turn 1:

I really can't afford to sacrifice my Sentry Stones so early, so they all back up outside of the 17 inch threat of the Reckoners' walk and shoot.

I run Griffons up, keeping them more than 12 inches from the Reckoners and on the hill so that K can't aim and shoot.

Hand of Fate goes on one Sentry unit, and Mirage goes on a Griffon because I messed up my deployment. I normally want it on the Pureblood.

Griffons run to behind the forest on the right and farther than 11 inches from the Idrians on the left (6 inch walk plus 5 inch shoot under stealth).

Such Pre-measuring. Very wow. 
Menoth turn 2:

The theory becomes practice as the first Reckoner moves up and Flares a Griffon, doing 18 damage in the process.

The other two Reckoners miss their boosted 12s, so only 1 Griffon and a bunch of Mannikins die.

Circle turn 2:

Spells are upkept, and Mannikins are placed. A bird is Apparitioned up from the right.

I can get a charge on each jack, and two on the right hand pair.

My opponent has also contested rather lightly on all flags, if you consider Shifting Sands Stanced Punch Monks light.

The Sentry Unit with Hand of Fate slaughters a few Idrians.

Una goes, Feats, casts Primal on a Griffon and Hand of Fate on another. She takes an aimed shot at the right hand Punch Monk, doing lethal but K rolls tough.

Gorax activates and Primals up a second one.

I run a pair of Griffons to engage all three heavies.

Griffons go in, murdering the left Reckoner and leaving the right on 3 boxes.

The Blackclad moves up and sprays down the line of the Punch Monk and a few more Idrians. He connects with the Punch Monk (!!!!!) and my opponent fails his tough check. He also kills the other Idrian that is contesting.

The last Sentry Unit kills the final Idrian contesting the middle, and I cap the mid flag with a Griffon.

Shifting Stones on the left contest the flag.

I make a wall of bodies in front of Una and score two points.

Score 2-0
Advantage Circle

Menoth turn 3:

K drops Inviolable Resolve and thinks pretty hard. 

Durant feats after healing the right Reckoner for a couple. 

The mid Reckoner moves back, taking minimal damage from free strikes, and Flares the second from the left Griffon. 

The Punch Monk charges and one-shots the left Sentry Stone. 

The left Idrians kill both left Griffons pretty happily. 

The right Idrians move up and shoot at the Blackclad, missing, and the Sentry Stone, for superficial damage and contesting. 

Score 2-0
Advantage Circle

Circle turn 3:

The one Griffon frenzies from Primal, and it's off to the races with both spells upkept. 

Blackclad Sprays plus Sentry Stone sprays clear off most of the right hand flags. 

The right side Griffon charges the nearly dead Reckoner and kills it. 

Two Griffons go into the still healthy Reckoner and I hit a grand total of twice or three times for nearly no damage at all. 

Una aims and shoots the last remaining Idrians contesting down, and I cap both flags with the Wilder and Gorax.

Pureblood moves up and puts a dent in the Idrian population on the left. 

I go to four points and my opponent concedes. 

Score 4-0
Victory for the Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts:

The more I play Una, the more I realize that she has the complete package - Scenario, Attrition, and Assassination all rolled up into one. The only tricky parts in playing her are basically this - which win condition is the right one? How do I keep her alive? 

If you can answer both of those questions, I feel like she is golden outside of certain extreme gunline skews (Sloan, Issyria, maybe Caine 2) or armies that can do a lot of damage indirectly through eLeaps or magic attacks and sprays. 

This particular matchup comes down to terrain. If you can boost the Griffons DEF even higher against the Reckoner shots, the math gets really bad, and quickly. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Battle Report 45: 2Una vs. Vlad 2

Some of my friends from the big city came over today for Warmachine and "Friendmas". We were originally going to play bunches of games at our LGS, but my LGS owner slept in until 5 PM this evening and didn't have his phone with him, so we rotated through games on my kitchen table.

I got to play in the last set against my Khador buddy A, who has been playing Butcher 3/Vlad 2 forever.

Since we are testing for ATC in March, I've been planning on an Una 2/Wurmwood pairing now that the errata is officially dropped, and into that pair I'm always going to drop Una 2.

Una 2
- Wilder
- Scarsfell x7
- Gorax
- Pureblood

Blackclad Wayfarer
Sentry Stone x2
Shifting Stone x2

And he was playing:

Vlad 2
- War Dog
- Conquest

Rifle Corps (max)
- 3x Rocketeers

Shocktroopers (max)
- CA

Kayazy Eliminators x2

MOW Kovnik
Kovnik Joe
Saxon Orrik

We played Entrenched, and I lost the roll off. My opponent promptly chose first, and I took the side with the most options for cover.

Shocktroopers on the side with the pond, with both the Kovnik and Saxon to help their terrain issues.

Conquest central as expected, and Vlad too. His Kayazy are the scariest things in his list to me, but Hand of Fate on Sentry Stones can probably take them out.

Without Reinholdt in the list, I'm not too worried about his Rifle Corps (which in hindsight I should have been).

My opponent felt that with the ridiculous amount of guns in the list, this had a fighting chance into the Murder of Griffons.

I think I'm playing for Scenario this game. I can push real hard on the right side once the Conquest inevitably dies, and he'll have a hard time doing much about me dominating my zone.

Shifting Stones are once again basically there for Fury management.

Khador turn 1:

Stuff runs. Hand of Fate goes on his Rifle Corps, Assail on the Conquest.

Desperate Pace is whipped into the Shocktroopers, and they run.

Cloud went down from his objective at the end of his turn.

Circle turn 1:

Well, the big priority is the Conquest and preferably 2-3 Shocktroopers on my Feat turn. If I can get that done, I think I win this game pretty handily. I also have to be super scared of Eliminators until after his Feat turn.

Stones port up, Griffons run to just outside of Kayazy charges unless he pops Feat on both sides.

I foolishly put my Blackclad right next to a Shifting Stone (derp derp) and that's going to cost me.

Hand of Fate goes on the unpainted Sentry Unit and Mirage goes on the Pureblood before it warps Spell Ward, and Una hides behind a forest wall.

Khador turn 2:

He gives one Focus to the Conquest and upkeeps Hand of Fate.

Rifle Corps move up and blast two Mannikins and a Shifting Stone andddd the Blackclad to death.

Kayazy charge and murder Sentry Mannikins on the right, and run on the left.

Conquest moves up and shoots the Pureblood with his big gun, missing the boosted 14 and doing decent blast damage to the second Griffon from the right. He then puts down his version of Covering Fire.

Shocktroopers get desperate pace again and Shield Wall up. Saxon runs to contest my zone.

I forgot to take a picture of his turn, so imagine a Conquest in the middle of the table and 3 more Shocktroopers there.

Spoilers: the Conquest dies.

Circle turn 2:

Well I can charge the Conquest with 3 Griffons, run one to engage for Flank, and probably kill a few Shocktroopers between the Pureblood and Griffons.

Hand of Fate and Mirage both stay up. The Hand of Fate Sentry Stones kill off the Kayazy near them.

Una activates, swaps Hand of Fate to the other unit, casts Primal on a Griffon, and pops Feat before moving into the trench.

The painted Griffon runs to engage the Conquest, and his buddy goes to tie up Winterguard.

I Primal another Griffon with the Gorax, and the three in range Griffons charge in and take down the Colossal.

I screwed this up slightly, and should have sent the two Primaled Griffons in first to max them out and then sent the one without Primal in after for Fury management sake, but I messed up.

Pureblood assaults and kills one and a half Shocktroopers, Griffon walks into the Shocktroopers and kills the half dead one, and other Griffon walks up and kills the Shocktrooper I'm flanking.

I very deliberately port Shifting Stones around Una to block LOS to her unless his modesl are nearly in my deployment zone.

Khador turn 3:

Rifle corps get to keep Hand of Fate. 

Joe gives them +2 to hit, and the four engaged by the Griffon walk away and take horrible free strikes.

The Griffon dies very quickly.

Vlad Feats, making all three Shocktroopers, the War Dog, the Kovnik, and one Rifle Corps member super buff. He then walks away thanks to parry.

The Shocktroopers murder the Pureblood super dead.

The Kovnik assaults and hits the right Griffon, doing some damage.

Circle turn 3:

Nothing but the Primaled Griffons frenzy somehow. The Hand of Fate Sentry Unit places a Mannikin, as does the other unit.

The left Sentry Unit murders 5-6 Rifle Corps members thanks to Hand of Fate. 

The Yellow Griffon walks up to Vlad and head butts him, knocking him down. He buys an attack, and does a couple damage.

The unengaged Griffon on the right walks up to Vlad, leaving him on 2 boxes and my opponent concedes with one Griffon still to activate with charge distance to Vlad.

Victory for the Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts:

I've played 12 games with Una 2 so far, and have won all 12 of them. She is the best Warlock in Circle right now, and she doesn't have too many bad matchups, all of which (I think) are conveniently covered by Wurmwood, who also escaped the errata relatively unscathed. 

While I think I still have a lot of things to get into muscle memory with Una (activation order, placement, which things to primal, etc.), I definitely think she's on the top tier of the game right now and if you don't have a strong anti Una list, you're not going to win major events all other things being equal. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Battle Report 44: Wurmwood vs. Feora 2

Well friends, the errata came and shook up the world pretty darn good. Circle came through much more intact than I expected it to, and I was pretty excited about that.

Before I get to my report, I'd like to quickly highlight what exactly changed:


Wurmwood's feat went from RNG control to RNG command, decreasing in radius by 4" to a 10" measurement from his base. (slight nerf)

  • While this is annoying, and will definitely make playing him more challenging, it isn't going to end Wurmwood's reign as the king of anti-gunline tech. He still has Hellmouth, Stranglehold, and Wild Growth to give him massive control over the game. He can still get 10 Fury a turn pretty reliably, and he's still nigh-impossible to assassinate. This change will just make playing him correctly slightly more difficult and can be overcome with practice. 

Sentry Stones must now place their Mannikins in Maintenance Phase, so you can no longer place them perfectly late in the turn, and they cap at FURY 3. (slight nerf)

  • This change takes this unit from bananas insane to just extraordinarily good. I will seriously miss the extra potential boosted attack or damage rolls, and I feel that is the main nerf to these guys. Placing during Maintenance is just going to require more pre-planning and care and, like Wurmwood, can be practice until they are approximately as deadly as they were pre-errata. 

Lanyssa Ryssyl went up to 4 points. (will not see play in Circle outside of maybe Wurmwood and Baldur 1)

  • When she and the Blackclad compete for the same spot, I think the Blackclad is going to end up in lists more often than she is. A RNG 8 spray attack is generally better than her single target spell, and he also gets in-faction buffs. She will still see play with Wurmwood to deny pathfinder, and maybe with Baldur 1 to deny flight, but I suspect she won't be showing up much in Circle anymore.


Woldwyrds went from POW 10 to POW 12. (massive buff)

  • This is a ridiculously significant change. The Wyrd used to be...well kinda weird. He had a gun that didn't really hurt high ARM targets unless they had the fury to boost and their target had an upkeep on them, and he was very short on Fury. Now, however, these guys are amazing into things like Cavalry, Heavy Infantry, Jacks, Casters....basically anything. I'll break down the math for their kill potential later, but it's very high. 

Woldwardens went from PS 15 to PS 16. (slight buff)

  • Well he can do 5 more damage now if he gets to charge for free, and that might make him good enough to consider for some lists that are strapped for points and want the Megalith experience. I still don't love him, but he might see some play. 

The Ogrun Bokur became a Minion that works for Circle, giving us a five point Shield Guard. (MASSIVE buff)

  • Circle needed this so badly. I can't even begin to describe how much this is going to change the way I play the game (starting with him being in every list I build more or less). 

So we got two very slight in-faction nerfs, one nerf to a staple minion which will make her hardly ever see play now that she costs the same as the in-faction equivalent, and we got two really incredible buffs in the form of a really effective light gun beast and a shield guard.

Overall I'm surprised and happy to see how lightly we got hit.

Okay, onto the game! I forgot to take pictures after my opponents turns (sorry), but I decided to try out almost everything that got changed in the errata for us with this little number:


Ogrun Bokur (proxied by Totem Hunter)
Gallows Grove

Sentry Stones x2
Shifting Stones
Gatormen Bokur and Shamblers
Min Bone Grinders
Bellows Crew

The real question you should all be asking is....why does Jaden have three Woldwyrds already?

My opponent dropped:

Feora 2
- Heirophant
- Blood of Martyrs
- Hand of Judgment
- Reckoner x2

Min Choir

Punch Monk!

We played the pit, and my opponent won the roll off and went first.

And I deployed...actually pretty poorly here. I put both Cassius and the Gallows Grove on the same side, which was a massive oversight. I also forgot that when the Bokur's client is AD (I chose Cassius), he also gets AD.

I deployed him normally and way away from Cassius. Yeahhhh the rust is real with Wurmwood.

My game plan here is basically to kill off his infantry and then slowly kill his jacks with shooting. If he decided to put Escort up on Feora, I can potentially kill her pretty easily and if he doesn't, then I can use Hellmouth to extend Megalith or Brennos' threat ranges.

Also, never forget that a Gatorman Bokur can kill a heavy on his own.

Menoth turn 1:

He ran the troops! Daughters next to the building, Flamebringers by the edge of the forest on the left.

Jacks came up the middle after getting the Hymn of No Spells on them from the Choir.

Feora cast Fire Starter on Blood and Escort on herself.

(no picture, but I didn't get much done on my turn so it'll be roughly where stuff was).

Circle turn 1:

Sentry Stones each rolled max fury and...I missed a lot of boosted 10s to hit daughters, only killing one between the two units. I made a nice little forest wall next to the building though.

The Gallows Grove ported up, and Wurmwood arced a Hellmouth through it, catching three Flamebringers and killing two with boosted damage.

Bone Grinders murdered eachother for corpses and souls, and the Bellows Crew put a cloud over Wurmwood so that he couldn't be shot at (he was too far away from Hand).

My heavies wandered up behind the cloud wall.

The left side Wyrd killed the third Flamebringer that had been left by the Hellmouth and the other two ran into the trench.

See?? Too many Daughters left. Grr.....
Menoth turn 2:

My opponent upkeeps his spells and gets aggressive.

Hand moves up and sprays down a Mannikin, and gets two Wyrds and the Sentry Stone on fire and banged up.

Daughter cav run/charge, killing the tree and a Shambler or two.

Both Reckoners miss the frontmost Woldwyrd, and Feora moves up to hide behind jacks on the hill.

Circle turn 2:

Alright, this is either Feat and kill a couple heavies turn or possibly just kill Feora turn?

Math time for Woldwyrds.

Against an ARM 19 Menoth Heavy with an Upkeep on it, they are 3 dice to hit at RAT 6, so let's just say not missing, and they are Dice - 7 with 4 dice for two attacks, and 3 dice for one attack, for a total of 7/7/4 or 18 damage per Woldwyrd.

Two of the Wyrds one round a Heavy at ranged with Purgation.

Against Feora, I ran the math:

She's DEF 17/ARM 19, but I can get Curse of Shadows onto her and move the LOS blocking jacks out of the way with a Hellmouth.

So DEF 17/ARM 17 with three focus. I get one aiming Wyrd, so needing boosted 9s and doing dice -5 on two 4 dice hits and one 3 dice hit for 9/9/6 or 4/4/1 after focus reduction.

I get two more that need boosted 11s to hit, so I'm thinking one or two hits each at 9 damage per connecting shot.

I also have Megalith and Brennos who can potentially get some boosted spells into her if all else fails.

Seems pretty good.

Shamblers and Mannikins get placed. I take a second to spray down the Daughters cuz I hate them.

Shamblers kill the Daughter cav in the way of where I want the third Woldwyrd to go, and one goes to within 3 of the pair of heavies and punch monk.

Wurmwood gets ported up (should have just ran Cassius, big mistake here) and then activates. Hellmouth on the Shambler clears the heavies and kills the punch monk, but I make a mistake and boost the hit needing not double 1s. I boost a Curse of Shadows into Feora and then realize I'm on one fury and can't Dark Path out of danger. ALL IN!!!

The aiming Wyrd gets Feora down off all of her focus, connecting with all three shots. The second Wyrd misses two attacks, so I boost the hit and damage rolls of the last one, leaving her on three.

I realize that I need to kill a Shambler to get the Wyrd in range of Feora, so Cassius moves up an does that.

The last Wyrd moves up and finishes her off.

Victory for the Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts:

So Wurmwood is still Wurmwood. Hellmouth and Curse of Shadows are very strong still, and better play would probably have let me Feat this turn and still get my Wyrd attacks in.

Mannikins feel very awkward right now, but they felt that way when I first started using them too so I'm sure it'll pass.

I absolutely LOVE the Woldwyrd. I think I'm gonna be playing 2-3 in a module in quite a few lists. It's unusual and amazing for Circle to actually have a boostable, accurate gun, and I think this is going to catch quite a few people off guard as they start to see what they can do.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chandler's Protectorate Corner! Batrep 3: High Reclaimer vs. Helynna

Long live the king!

In light of High Reclaimer find his way untouched through the newest errata, I decided it was time to start inflicting his madness on my local meta. I'd been holding off because I figured he was seeing a nerf, but apparently he's totally balanced so whatever!

In all seriousness, HR has a lot of counterplay; while he's a strong piece, he has some definitely rough matchups and counters, but he's definitely something most factions need to be wary of when coming up with list pairs. I threw together my list fairly quickly, mainly just running a defensive package with a lot of strong units that I like. Can't really go too wrong with that for him.

The High Reclaimer
Wrack x3
Vassal of Menoth
min Choir of Menoth
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Idrians Skirmishers w/ Chieftain and Guide
Knights Exemplar w/Officer x2

Just a solid, hard hitting attrition brick. Primary change I would make is dropping one unit of Knights and probably Dartan in favor of Exemplar Vengers, which are absurd with the Reclaimer but unfortunately I don't yet own Vengers. Still, being "stuck" using Knights Exemplar is a pretty cool place to be.

My opponent was running Retribution today (he's got a few factions to choose from, but since I'm painting his Idrians, his Protectorate is useless to him. USELESS. Also we typically avoid the mirror match, but yeah.) He's practicing for an event I'll be running in January, so we brought a tournament pair, and between Thyron and Helynna he opted to drop the latter.

Magister Helynna
-Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker
-Manticore x2
-Griffon x3
Arcanist Mechanik x3
House Shyeel Magister x2
Lys Healer
Mage Hunter Assassin
House Shyeel Artificer x2
House Shyeel Battle Mages

I think that was it. Hopefully. Most Helynna builds I'd played against were running double Sentinel nonsense, so more of a warjack brick should be interesting to play into, especially given the covering fire templates dropped by Manticores.

We played on a pretty vicious bunch of terrain, and rolled Extraction. He rolled a five on his start of the game roll and asked me which side of the table I'd like; I smugly rolled a six and told him I was going first. Of course, he then got to give me the nasty side of the terrain so... joke was on me I guess.
Water, water, wall, forest, forest.... great.
 Glad I have *something* with Pathfinder. 

I deployed the Reclaimer centrally and slightly to the right, basically sort of avoiding the water. Both 'jacks were set to head into the pool in the middle; with HR's extremely attrition-oriented style, the 'jacks wouldn't be hitting the fight for a long time anyway so... whatever. Knights took either side, support more or less centered, and the wracks positioned with HR's slightly right-oriented position in mind. Idrians were slightly to the left, mostly just to get around the objective.

My opponent basically bricked up in the center, Battle Mages behind a wall of Manticores and Griffons. Assassin set up over on my right, Chimera much more to the left. My prey choice was the Manticore on my left.

Protectorate Turn 1: 

Well, time to start weaving through this bloody terrain. The Hierophant stepped up a bit and cast Harmonious Exaltation on the Reclaimer, who then put Hand of Fate on my Idrians before charging one of his Griffons, putting him up pretty close to the objective. My Idrians ran full out, taking up some space in the center of the table so I could decide what to do with them on the next turn. Both 'jacks also ran, the Reckoner getting a bit into the water, the Templar not even quite getting there. Choir sang Hymn of Shielding onto the 'jacks. In my experience, 'jack heavy Ret lists leave you basically never doing Passage since all their guns are magical anyway. Just have to keep those Battle Mages off my 'jacks and I should be fine.

My Knights all ran, the left side unit cramping up a bit in the space between the two pools. The right side ones were just behind the wall. Dartan Vilmon (who deployed on the right a bit) ran up to snuggle in with that unit. My Vassal ran up to snuggle with the Templar, and I passed the turn.

Go! Kill! After you get through all this damn rough terrain!

Retribution Turn 1: 

Helynna's battlegroup can get *really* far up the table if he wants... we determine that's probably a bad idea, given how absurdly hard I hit. Luckily, barring me killing a bunch of my own stuff and feating, I've got fairly predictable threat ranges (part of why I want the Vengers in there, get that threat range muscle confusion going.) The Griffons all cruise up the table, staying a bit outside my threat ranges. His Assassin stays put essentially. His Chimera, of course apparitioning forward at the start of the turn, runs up onto the hill super close to my Idrians. The Artificers put up their bubbles, keeping most of the army close enough to gain the +2 DEF bonus against range.

Sylys gives Helynna Arcane Secrets. She moves up to cover her army and casts Obliteration into my Idrian Guide standing in the back of the unit. He opts not to boost, relying on Arcane Secrets, and proceeds to roll three 1's. This was the beginning of a long string of incredibly poor dice for both of us, I'm not sure I've ever seen more double or triple 1's in a single game. Anyway, it deviates and kills two Idrians, one Knight Exemplar, and puts 3 damage on the Guide. She casts Deceleration and Rhythm of  War. The Manticores move up and drop covering fire templates in front of the Chimera so it doesn't get charged by a million Idrians, everything else runs and settles in around Helynna to prep for the next turn. Rhythm of War lets him do some minor repositioning of the 'jacks.

The walls with the red marks are covering fire,
 we figured I wasn't going to land on them anyway so wasn't too obnoxious.

Protectorate Turn 2:

Well, time to position to eat it for a turn. His army threatens quite a bit further than mine, but my counter punch is going to be absurd. I'm fairly sure I can even hold off through his feat for an extra turn due to how extreme the terrain is for both of us.

I have a couple of souls from the Obliteration so... that's something. I upkeep Hand of Fate on the Idrians and hand a focus to my Reckoner, which was unnecessary but I forgot I had a Vassal. Not a huge deal though. The Choir sings Hymn of Battle onto my 'jacks so the Reckoner can scoot forward and boost an attack and damage roll into his Chimera, taking out the shields. The Templar runs up a bit, well dug in to the pool by my objective. My priority this turn is doing as much damage to the arc node as possible, since Hellyna loses a lot of personal effectiveness if she can't arc nukes out like that. The Idrians all start putting shots into the Chimera in two man CRAs. They didn't aim (in hindsight they should have) and instead swung out to the left in a bit of a flanking maneuver. Even with hand of fate a lot of the shots miss, but I do put another chunk of damage onto the light. Sadly the Arc Node remains intact, but at least I softened it up because I'll likely be having to finish it out on his feat turn. The Idrians mini feat, digging in to survive another turn.

The Knights on either side run. The right side Knights move two of their members up very aggressively, basically trying to bait attacks onto them to proc Battle Driven. If he doesn't kill them, they're in prime position to charge stuff and do some pretty alright damage, so win/win. The left side ones don't have that luxury, still wading through some water a bit... although luckily he did proc Battle Driven on them last turn, giving them a bit more freedom. My objective has a cloud out, and HR opts to walk over to the water instead of off to the right to keep him in good range of soul collection. With Harmonious Exaltation on him, he's able to get out three clouds, blocking LOS to most of my right side, and be camping two focus. The Devout snuggles up with him lovingly. Vilmon nestles in with the right side Knights, hoping to get a Righteous Vengeance from one of them dying, and uses Stone and Mortar Stance. Behind a wall with stance up, he's very difficult to handle.

Walk this glorious tightrope.

Retribution Turn 2: 

Continuing a tightrope walk. You'll see very little difference between last turns picture and the next. The Chimera apparates back a bit. His Assassin runs to the flag, which I have failed to contest at all (I figured I would likely concede a couple control points this game.) Helynna gets Arcane Secrets from Sylys and attempts to cast Hand of Destruction onto my Idrians. He misses, attempts a second one and boosts. He misses again. Dice did strange things this game. He basically shrugs it off and keeps going.

Battle Mages move up on the left, shooting at some dug in Idrians and failing to hit anything, one hitting a Knight Exemplar and failing to kill him. His Manticores got some focus from the Arcanists and spun up the guns; one rolled two shots, the other merely one. They put some shots into my Knights Exemplar, killing one I believe. His Griffons all positioned around on the right defensively, relying on the feat and my largely poor threat ranges to stay alive. No knights on the right die, he uses Rhythm of War to reposition his 'jacks a little, and he ends his turn to score a point.

This slow dance of death... 
Protectorate Turn 3:

Alright. I have to just hold on one more turn. Sweating a little positioning around this game, it's a bit of a game of just inching forward and using the terrain to what advantage I can while not letting it screw me. I got very little in the ways of souls that turn, I believe only two. I upkeep Hand of Fate and don't hand out any focus.

My Choir again sings Battle for my 'jacks. The Reckoner scoots up a bit and puts a shot into the Chimera, taking the shields back out again and doing a bit of extra damage. My Idrians scoot out further to the left and a 4-man CRA leaves the Chimera on 4 boxes, with only a cortex and an arc node. A couple more CRAs end with a dead Battle Mage and a dead Magister. Still no attacks into my Prey, but oh well. They then Reposition back towards my army; I have a bad habit of trying to spread out my units a lot, which is normally fine but HR really wants his army quite close and I need to remember that. It's really easy to flank Idrians out so far that he can't even feat more of them back, much less ever get souls from them.

This is really another turn of just positioning. My Knights on the right do a get a charge order, just so one can charge his Griffon up behind the wall and roll double 1's to hit. The rest stay back quite a bit and just position for another round of attacks, the Officer hiding behind the wall. Vilmon moves right up to the wall, staying within 5" of almost every member of the unit. High Reclaimer again gets Harmonious Exaltation, pulls focus from a Wrack, and drops three clouds down to block up LOS. My Templar scoots forward a little, Devout adjusts to stay B2B with the Reclaimer, and the Knights on the left move forward and spread out. The Officer settles in between my Templar and Reckoner, with a Knight just ahead of her. This is so in a moments notice I can have either 'jack kill her and use the feat to catapult the unit about a mile forward, but it's also a pretty safe spot in case I want her to still be alive.

I'm lying in wait, and next turn is when I have to pull the trigger. Better make it count.

I made a melee attack this turn! Huzzah!

Retribution Turn 3: 

Well, his feat is gone, and his arc node is gone. He's got a scenario play going on over on the right, but it can't last really. Luckily he can finally start making attacks in earnest into my units.

Spells upkept, a few focus gets tossed around to the 'jacks. Helynna casts Hand of Destruction onto the Idrians, followed by an Obliteration which kills two. The Manticores and Battle Mages start putting shots into every Idrian and Knight in sight, killing most of my models over on the left side. His Chimera even gets in there, boosting with his derp arms to kill an Idrian. In the end, two Idrians are left alive and one of the Knights sticking out over there is dead. My two forward Knight son the right side are killed by Griffons, and the one behind the wall moves up to aggressively jam me, right in front of the Templar. His Assassin runs way into my back field, and two Griffons, the Magister, and the Artificer settle in around the flag to score another point. Lot of shots went out, but my units all have members left on the table.

I seem to have a Griffon right in my face.

Protectorate Turn 4: 

Finally, I get to do stuff! I knew this was a patience game, but it's time to start making stuff happen. The Reclaimer is on 11 focus this turn, so I upkeep Hand of Fate pointlessly on my two Idrians. My Templar gets loaded up with focus to handle the Griffon in my face. Vilmon gets a Righteous Vengeance move, which he uses to walk over and plonk 8 damage into the jamming Griffon. My Templar and Reckoner get Hymn of Battle, allowing the Templar to easily remove the Griffon (I don't use Templars often and only realized when I was about to make attacks that he has Chain Weapon, ignoring the Griffon's shield. 3 focus was a bit overkill.)

Well, it's time to do the thing. High Reclaimer scoots up a bit and feats. I roll to get 7 models back, which is conveniently exactly the number of dead Knights Exemplar. I place a few over on the far right to go mess up the brick of models on the flag. I go to place the Knights on the left when I realize.... his caster is basically right in the middle of everything, and well within range of my Knights. He's also camping no focus. So, I drop four Knights in a line directly in front of her and cycle Hand of Fate to that unit. I camp six because... not sure what else to do with my focus anyway, clouds would just get in my way.

My Reckoner boosts a shot into his Chimera, finishing it out. My Knights on the right charge (I just want to see what they're capable of for the practice, so I don't go for the throat just yet.) Two of them kill one Griffon full to dead with mini feat, leaving the Officer with no target to attack. The Knight charging the other Griffon misses (like a 2, 2, 1 roll or something), and one Knight charged his Magister and kills him. Vilmon charges the Griffon I missed and like half kills it. What a beast.

Time to pull the final trigger. Four Knights under Hand of Fate and their minifeat charge Helynna. Two will be attacking over a wall, two will not. I opt to start with one of the ones attacking over the wall. He needs a 12 to hit, which is pretty easy when you get four dice dropping two lowest, and I roll 6,6,1,1 to hit her. That Knight then proceeds to do 17 damage in one swing, killing her in one shot.

Post Game Thoughts

So a lot of things about this game seem sort of awkward on the surface, but it was actually a ton of fun. We were both very away of how quickly that game would fall apart for either of us, but as long as I can keep at least one member of my units alive, he has to be very concerned. Overall I think this particular list build for Helynna has an extremely uphill fight into the Reclaimer, since all my job really is is to not die until I can pull the trigger and win. Both units of Knights at essentially full strength after the feat and under Battle Driven will kill his entire battlegroup instantly if he can't stop them. His Manticores likely should have been stuck to just dropping Covering Fire templates every turn to keep infantry away, but the Idrians will start to roll over the army if he doesn't get those attacks out.

High Reclaimer is a vicious creature if you aren't prepared for him. Typically you want him to try to get at least a bit of an alpha, lose a bunch of units, then counter punch again but even in this situation where I basically had to take it in the face for a few rounds, the threat of the feat was just too strong. I like this battlegroup package with him, with the Templar, Devout, and Dartan I don't feel like I'm getting shot to death any time soon, the Devout obviously keeps him very safe from spells, and then I just have my army in the way and clouds to prevent much in the way of a melee assassination. The biggest weak point of the list really is the Reclaimer but Protectorate has such a great suite of defensive models that are also great at doing work (the Devout, Templar, and Dartan are hardly just "support" pieces with how much output they can do).

Knights Exemplar are always a treat, too. The things I've had them do on the table is insane, and they impress me every single game I drop them in.

Great game, great opponent. As shall be my tradition, here's an overly filtered shot of one of my pieces for the game: the Reclaimer himself.

He's so mysterious... and handsome...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Chandler's Protectorate Corner! Batrep 2: Kreoss1 vs. Rask

Welcome back, followers and foes of the Devourer alike! We're here to take a little break from your regularly scheduled stalking and sprinting to yet again bask in the glorious light of Menoth!

I've been throwing Kreoss1 around the dojo for a while but have never really seemed to quite get him on the table. One thing I like about him is the same thing I love about Severius1: he lets you play stuff you wouldn't normally play and make it work to brutal effect. So I figured this might be a fun time to bust out my big, expensive Protectorate models and throw some huge bases on the table again.

Today's list was a bit of a thrown together concoction. Most of my competitive lists start out as just silly fun nonsense and then I see what worked and what didn't; this is the same style I used back in my time with Circle as well, and lead to finding a lot of interesting gems in places you wouldn't expect, including my Mk. II Morvahna2 list which I believe was one of the best lists I ever constructed. So, here's what we're working with:

High Exemplar Kreoss
Vessel of Judgement
Idrian Skirmishers w/Chieftain and Guide
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
min Choir
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard
Wrack x3
Vassal Mechanik

I believe at this point that Kreoss1 may be one of the only plays you can still take a Judicator and have it be worth his points... but we'll see how he plays out during this game and talk a bit about more serious changes to the list I'd make afterwards.

Today's game was into our local minions player, and one of the better players in the northern Utah area. He was also playing a bit of an experiment... lets see if I can remember his list exactly.

-Ironback Spitter x2
-Blackhide Wrastler
Farrow Brigands w/Warlord
min Croak Raiders
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
Bog Trog Mist Speaker x2
Bog Trog Ambushers
Swamp Gobber Chef

Let's get this show on the road!

Our scenario was Close Quarters (Take and Hold.... it will always be Close Quarters to me) because that's what was set up on the table when we got there. He won our starting roll off and opted to go first, so I took the side with two forests because I had plenty of pathfinder so whatever.

Bottom of 1, forgot to take a picture after deployment. 
I chose the Wrastler as prey for my Idrians. His Brigands chose my Idrians as their prey. I deployed my Judicator on my left side, Vessel on my right, and all the support right in the middle with Kreoss dead center. Idrians lined up on the center, with Nicia taking a spot over on the far left of them, Eiryss on the far right.

Minions Turn 1: 

He moved up but kept back from my Idrian threat range (the two black bases there are the front end of my Idrian threat range. Huzzah, premeasuring. Admonition went up on the Wrastler, I believe (might have been the next turn but doesn't really make a difference.) Rask was cruising up on the left; it seemed he was going to go for aggressive scenario play on his own flag, which was a decent idea since my Judicator couldn't really get up to the flag very well. In hindsight I think that wall isn't supposed to be there since a huge base can't control on that side, but whatever. Most all of his beasts were on my left, facing off against the Judicator, and on the right were most of the infantry, directly opposite my Vessel.

Protectorate Turn 1:
My Idrians moved up and popped their minifeat, digging in to survive the onslaught of attacks coming into them this next turn. I wanted them as far forward as they could be to react to Rask's feat turn; I knew they wouldn't fare well this game but they could at least do a bit of damage before going down. Digging in would give them at least a chance to survive against the Spitters (still get corroded) and would keep the Brigands from doing much work into them. Nicia nestled in among the Idrians in the hope she didn't die to blast damage.

The Judicator plodded forward and launched some shots towards his brigands, hoping for some neat deviations to land on them and blow up some piggies, but all the deviations sort of durdled around no mans land between the armies. Kreoss snagged a focus off the left side Wrack, which stuck around, and put up Lamentation on himself and Defenders Ward on the Idrians. Choir had done Hymn of Battle on the Judicator (he wasn't really in danger and I hoped to kill some pigs), and Rhoven n Co ran up the center. Eiryss killed a Croak that had run up (apparently my picture above was like only 2/3 of the way through his turn for some reason) and stayed where she was at.

Prepping to deal with Rask's feat turn. I've done it so many times before... 
Minions Turn 2:

So it begins.

Rask moves up aggressively, feating and standing on his flag and boosting his gun into an Idrian, hitting and stripping off Defenders Ward (as well as killing the poor thing.) Brigands moved up and proceeded to attempt to hit my Dug In Idrians needing 10s. A couple shots do connect, taking two Idrians down. Sadly I forgot about the Vessel of Judgement's Doors of Judgement ability or I probably could have killed a Brigand during his turn. His Croak Raiders realized they basically had no function here and just ran to engage stuff on my right side.

The Wrastler moved up on the left, Admonition keeping him... somewhat... safe. The Spitters walked up and flung shots out towards Nicia and my Idrians. In the end, Nicia is on 1 hp and corroded and an Idrian is corroded. Mist Speakers and Bog Trogs move up and throw some clouds around.

Nicia.... please don't die girl! We need you!
Protectorate Turn 2:

Nicia doesn't die.

Unfortunately her Idrian friend does but that's acceptable. With corrosion rolled out on Nicia, she gets more time to try and get some work done. Rask's feat is up, though, and I've got to try and shave off what I can. I've played against Rask so many times, it doesn't even phase me anymore but man is he strong.

My play into Rask, though, is typically the same: get aggressive. My Idrians, having mostly weathered the storm, moved up and started putting shots into anything they could. Three of them put a few points into his Wrastler, and a few Brigands go down to gunfire. On the right side, my Vessel scoots up close to some Croaks and fires his Eruption of Faith, killing a couple. He then fired Divine Wrath into a Brigand on the far right that was outside Rask's feat, Admonisher rolling max jumps and in the end, three Brigands are dead, another knocked down. The Vessel has begun its game-long pain train. Spoiler: I'm in love with this battle engine after this game.

Eiryss scooted into the forest just barely getting LOS to a croak raider and shoots him... basically all she's going to do this game is shoot a dude per turn, but if you know much about Protectorate, you'll realize that my positioning on her was very poor. If you don't see it.... you'll see next turn. The Judicator runs, not having much to do (I debated having him use an Idrian as a firing beacon but... really I'm more likely to kill my own stuff than his.) Kreoss snags another focus off the Wrack on the far left, which explodes, having done its duty. He puts Defenders Ward up on the Idrians again (figure I'll make him shoot if off again), and stomps forward aggressively. Gius and Cassian run up to block LOS to him, Rhoven lags behind.

My Choir sing Hymn of Passage for the Judi, and the Mechanik moves over closer to the Vessel (not pictured below, I forgot about him until after I flipped my clock but my opponent graciously let me scoot him over a bit.) Nicia runs over to the left to get away from the Spitters. I figure they can shoot her if they want but if they get that close, they're in for a world of pain.

Come on, Nicia! Stay on your feet! Also, Kreoss, don't die either, because... yeah. 
Minions Turn 3:

So I successfully contested, and Rask is feeling a little bit crowded. Ambushers pop up over on the right side, which is more or less what I expected. Rask steps back a bit onto the hill and shoots Defenders Ward off of my Idrians. Brigands shoot a bunch of Idrians, really that unit gets basically decimated this turn but that's about what I expected. My Vessel does use Doors of Judgement this turn, causing an Idrian to walk up and smack a Brigand in the face, which actually saved my Chieftain from a follow up charge attack, even though the Brigand did succeed his tough check. The Spitters move up and start blasting shots into Gius and Cassian. In the end, Gius is left on 1 hp and corroded, Cassian is dead, and a crazy blast damage roll puts a few damage onto Kreoss, leaving him also corroded.

His Wrastler (not pictured because it was a post-turn mulligan) walked up on the right and snacked an Idrian. His Ambushers charged! So this is where my positioning with Eiryss was bad: one charged the Wrack there and it exploded, taking Eiryss with it because she was too close. Derp. Four Ambushers get range onto the Vessel, poking it a bit. ARM 20 is a thing, it seems. The rest fan out to try and be a second charge wave. The one remaining Croak Raider charges Nicia, failing to hit because 10s are hard. The attrition war is in full swing.

Fun little note, the Spitters wanted to put up Counterblast but couldn't because Lamentation is sweet.

Get off my lawn, bog trogs. 
Protectorate Turn 3:

I wonder if this is feat turn?

So I've weathered Rasks feat and taken... relatively minimal losses. It's time to show him what a REAL feat looks like.

Disclaimer: I'm joking. Rasks's feat is really good.

Kreoss loads up the Judicator with focus.
Rhoven tromps over to my Vessel and hands it some sweet, sweet Eyeless Sight. Kreoss feats, snags a focus off the Wrack in my back center which decides to stick around a bit longer, and walks backwards. The only things not in the feat are Rask, the Brigand Warlord, one Brigand, and two Ambushers. Kreoss stands just at the edge of the killbox, which puts him in range of one Spitter (we thought it was both but... more on that later.) My Vessel aims now that it isn't engaged, and fires another Eruption of Faith, killing three Ambushers and the remaining Croak Raider, shoving the surviving Ambusher out 4", which actually was an amazing result, which you'll see in a minute. It then puts a shot into the Bog Trog Mist Speaker, using its glorious Eyeless Sight to see through Prowl and killing both the Bog Trog and one Brigand.

Nicia lived the dream; because the one knocked down Ambusher was pushed back against his buddies, she was able to charge another KD'd one and get in range of two of them. She proceeds to kill both knocked down Ambushers, and also fire Quick Work twice and kill two more. She then sprints over closer to the Brigands.

Idrians move to the right, a couple putting a few points of damage onto his Wrastler, the one out of range shooting his remaining Swamp Gobber (the other had been eaten for tasty fury management.)

Hymn of Battle goes up on the Judicator, who walks up to within 8" of his Wrastler. He then proceeds to blast the Wrastler off the face of Caen (also one of my Idrians but whatever). Just doing Menoth's work.

My Mechanik fixes up the Vessel a little. I pass the turn.

Alright... don't die Kreoss.... Plz....
Minions Turn 4:

My opponent yanks in some fury and does a bit of quick measuring to check distances on the Spitters. He decides it's time to shoot at Kreoss. His Brigands stand, the two that were already standing moving up and putting shots out to finish out my Idrians, moving Prey to the Vessel. His Spitters then activate. One walks up and fires, hitting Kreoss square in the face and putting a few points on him, corroding Rhoven but doing no damage to him. The other Spitter walks up... and we realize he's out of range. His measurements had been quite quick and in the end he was a good half inch out, shutting down any thought of assassinating Kreoss. He shoots at Kreoss anyway, but it deviates into the middle of nowhere.

Rask moves up and boosts a damage roll into the Judicator with his gun, putting a few points onto him. He casts Admonition onto one Spitter. The Ambushers over on the right stand and move around to flank. Not much left on the table at this point, really.

Picture is a couple activations into my turn. 
Protectorate Turn 4:

Well, Judicator gotta go do some work. The Mechanik repairs the battle engine for a couple points. My Vessel scoots back a little, firing another Eruption of Faith which finishes out the other three Ambushers. He shoots a Brigand, bouncing I think once, knocking down the main target and killing another. Nicia walks into the back arc of a Brigand, killing him with her second swing and using Quick Work to shoot another. Honestly the dead Brigand count confuses me slightly this turn but whatever, end result is the next picture.

My fully loaded Judicator gets Hymn of Battle, Kreoss fires Purification and puts Defenders Ward onto the Judicator, and Judi goes in to do work. At dice +5, a couple awkward damage rolls leave me at killing one Spitter and getting one attack into the other, which does a respectable 14 damage. The Judicator feels safe to me though; even with Fury, Spitters don't hit that hard, I should have some systems left next turn to finish things out. Rhoven runs up behind the Judicator to start getting involved next turn.

Wish I'd killed or otherwise done more damage to both Spitters, but ah well. 
Minions Turn 5: 

Operation murder a Judicator is a go!

Rask scoots over a bit, boosting a damage roll from his gun into the Judicator, stripping Defenders Ward and doing a few points. Fury and Boundless Charge go onto the Spitter.

The Spitter does a jank charge because huge bases are a thing. He then proceeds to beat the Judicator mostly to death, leaving it on only a couple boxes, surprising me a bit. A Brigand Warlord charge leaves me suddenly with no colossal, and a Spitter with more health than I like standing there. Somewhat concerning. I get a bit lazy about the pictures here so... sorry.

Protectorate Turn 5:

Well, gotta just get some damage on the Spitter, I guess. Carapace makes it hard for the Vessel to do a ton but... commence poking. The Vessel fires at his Spitter, boosting damage and putting a few points onto it. Admonisher jumps to his Brigand Warlord, doing 4 damage to him. Rhoven charges his Gobber Chef, who had actually charged the Judicator and done a point of damage in there somewhere. He kills it and Battle Wizard's a Cleansing Fire into the Warlord, finishing him out. Nicia walks around the forest and shoots a Brigand in the back of the head. At this point no Brigands are left.

Kreoss puts Defenders Ward on himself and heals a few points; the only attack he can get on me is the Spitter, so I just keep one focus. The Choir runs way off to the left to start turning into contesting pieces.

Judicator, where did you gooooooo
Minions Turn 6: 

The Spitter has a choice: go shoot at the Vessel and die to Kreoss, or try to start a scoring race. He opts for the second option. Rask walks up B2B with the flag and shoots Rhoven, leaving him on 1 hp. The Spitter charges Rhoven and finishes him out. I believe he also puts up Counterblast. Minions score 1 point. I get extra lazy about pictures here.

Protectorate Turn 6: 

Operation continue poking the Spitter to death, awaaaaaay. The Vessel scoots up a bit to get range and shoots the Spitter in the back, doing a few points. Admonisher jumps to Rask, where I boost damage and figure hey, I can force transfers into the Spitter, that would be neat. Rask takes about 6 points.

Nicia walks up into Rask's back arc and shoots him. Well, it turns out his Spitter was maxed out and I didn't realize it so... Nicia's bullet goes right through the back of Rask's skull, finishing the game instantly.

Post Game Thoughts

While Rask is an amazing warlock, there's no denying that Kreoss is a vicious creature as well. My Judicator actually did pretty well; in the end he traded down a few points, but my damage rolls into one spitter were very awkward. In hindsight I should have swapped over and put two attacks into the other Spitter when the first was only on 3 hp, I can handle two 3-10 HP spitters a bit better than I can one that has around 20 hp left, since I wasted a ton of damage swinging a dice + 5 hit into the 3 hp one. That said... the Judi comes out if I want to take the list seriously, he's just so inefficient.

Eiryss I'm also not a huge fan of here or... really anywhere outside ADR. She's a lot of points and as soon as you drop into Hordes it's like great, guess I'm just pew pewing one dude per turn. Also the new focus mechanic in many ways reduces her usefulness; I'm fairly sure I can shoot most casters off the table even through focus camp once they're knocked down. My first edit was to drop Eiryss and the Judicator, add two Reckoners, a Redeemer, and a second Mechanik. More focus efficient, more effective guns, all the good stuff. Another thought would be to drop a Wrack or that second Mechanik, drop Nicia, and put in two Allegiants of the Fist, who fulfill a somewhat similar role but without as many points in one basket and really more obnoxious to actually get rid of.

The Vessel of Judgement.... boy was that thing a beast this game. 6 Ambushers, I think around half the unit of Brigands and enabling killing the Warlord, a Mist Speaker, and about 1/3 of his casters health on the accidental assassination run... the gun is great, the utility is great, this is just an awesome piece. With the drastic increase to WJ points in Mk. III, Battle Engines are extremely hard to fit into lists, but I forced myself to squeeze him in there and boy did he do some serious work. I think taking a second Mechanik to just top off its health as much as possible is warranted, the thing does enough work and the Mechaniks do have good use elsewhere.

Anyway, thanks for getting to the end! Was a great game, playing our local minions player is always a seriously enjoyable time, and he stuck around super late into the evening to make sure I could get a game in when I really wanted to. Glad he did, it turned out to be one of the more epic games I've played in quite a while.

To finish out, here's a heavily filtered image of my Judicator, who I love but unfortunately isn't what he used to be.

Maybe I'll actually paint him someday...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Tactica Time: Baldur, the Stonecleaver


Baldur, the Stonecleaver has had perhaps one word added to his card in the transition to mark 3. His feat and spells now affect Friendly Faction models only, and other than that, he hasn't changed at all.

The rules of the game have shifted around him though, and because of the way that forests now work, as well as speed reductions not preventing charges, as well as upkeep removal largely disappearing, he has come out as one of the best control Warlocks in the game. If Wurmwood wasn't a strictly better matchup into a lot of factions at the time of this writing (December 2016), I suspect Baldur 1 would be a regular in competitive Circle pairings.


Hey wait...I don't look anything like my artwork...

Stats and Abilities:

Baldur is really slow for a Circle Warlock - he's only speed 5. He's got a good MAT of 7, which, combined with Weight of Stone, makes him very accurate. 

He has no ranged weapon, so his terrible RAT doesn't matter. He's typical Circle DEF of 14, which is pretty low for a Warlock, and he's got moderate ARM of 16 with 17 health boxes. He can take a punch, but unless you feel really safe, I don't recommend putting him in harms way, since he's not nearly as durable as say Kromac 2. 

He also only hits at PS 14 with reach, which isn't going to break hard targets by itself.

At Fury 6, he's sitting right at the bottom edge of Circle Fury stats, but he makes up for it a little bit by having...

Elemental Mastery: Construct Warbeasts in his battlegroup get to make free charges and power attacks without being forced as long as they are in control. I constantly forget about this turn one, but it's always something that comes back to me by turn three. 

With a battlegroup composed of Megalith or Woldwrath plus something else, Baldur runs a pretty efficient ship. 

This ability also lets him heal construct warbeasts, which is a big deal since the other ways of healing them are pretty limited. 

Forest Walk: This is a nifty little trick - Baldur can sacrifice movement as long as he is completely inside a forest to teleport to a place completely inside a forest that is completely inside control. 

Be aware that you cannot do this if you get placed by Shifting Stones as they require you to sacrifice movement already, but it can be a powerful scenario play since Baldur can put a forest down on himself to get this off. 

The dream with this ability is to have an enemy Warcaster camping nothing within 2 inches of a forest in your control area, sac movement, teleport next to the Warcaster, and then murder them. 

This is actually much more situational than it looks, since Baldur isn't accurate or hard hitting enough naturally to really kill someone by himself. 

I really like to pick on pNemo since he's got the worst statline I can think of at DEF 14 ARM 15 with 14 boxes. 

If Baldur has to cast Wild Growth on himself to get in a forest, he can teleport and boost the first hit on Nemo to drop him to DEF 11. At dice - 1 you will do an average of six damage per hit, and with two for the spell and one to boost the hit, you get four attacks for 24 damage total. 

If Nemo is camping 3, he lives through this on average. 

Compare that to someone like Butcher 3 - DEF 14, ARM 18 with 18 boxes. 

Dice -4 on four attacks is 12 damage, or not nearly enough to kill them. There are, of course, many other ways to soften the enemy caster up before Baldur goes in, but the chances of him killing another caster on his own are pretty low.

Bottom line - don't go for this unless you can do some damage to the enemy caster first. 

Weight of Stone: An excellent offensive ability on his weapon that gives whatever it hits -3 SPD and -3 DEF. This makes Baldur (or Baldur's heavy coming in after Baldur) very accurate. 

Wait....I don't look like my art EITHER, what the heck?!
Spells and Feat:

Baldur has a good spell list, with no less than three upkeeps, and one very strong nuke. 

Stone Skin: 

This is a really excellent spell, doubling up as both offensive and defensive in the same thing. It gives +2 Strength and Armor to a Friendly Faction model or a unit, while giving them -1 Speed and Defense. 

With Circle's easy access to Hunters Mark, the -1 speed isn't as big of a downside as it might otherwise be. We also have pretty high speed models to begin with, so going down to speed 5 for a big increase in damage output and survivability is usual a reasonably good trade off. 

The two stand out units that really abuse Stone Skin are Bloodtrackers and Wolf Riders. The +2 Strength gives them a really scary PS 11 thrown weapon base, and for the Bloodtrackers that means RAT 8 PS 13 Weaponmaster shots. Against an ARM 20 heavy, that's 3.5 damage each, not accounting for spikes. They'll put a serious dent in colossals too. 

Their Advanced Deploy and native Speed of 7 means that the negative speed is less impactful than it usually would be, and their native stealth means that they don't mind the slightly lower defense either. 

Wolf Riders get to do truly goofy things with Stone Skin. Speed 8 and POW 11 Weaponmaster throws combined with Reposition 5 keep them safe while they harry things, and then eventually they get to assault in for a POW 11 Weaponmaster attack and a POW 11 Weaponmaster charge. 

It's a good idea to put this on one of those two units early game if you're going to include them in your army, and then later game switch it over to one of your heavies or Baldur himself. 

Solid Ground: 

This spell is either amazing or totally useless. It prevents Friendly Faction models in his control range from being knocked down. 

If you opt for a Warpwolf heavy version of the list, it shores up the wolves' main weakness - getting knocked down so their high DEF doesn't matter in the slightest. 

It also lets you do some really funny things with a thrown heavy, like Ghetorix. If you play Megalith and a Feral in conjunction, you can throw Ghetorix 12 inches and have him beat up whatever he is next to at the end of it. 

The other REALLY important aspect of this spell is that it gives Friendly Faction models in his control area immunity to blast damage. 

Bloodtrackers love that. They're usually going to die to drifting AOE's before anything else kills them, and this just completely neuters that. Against Khador lists with Behemoth or Menoth lists with a bunch of Redeemers, this spell is total money. 

This spell is pretty terrible against pKreoss though, since Kreoss has Purification, letting him trivially strip it off before he pops feat. 

Wild Growth: 

Same spell Wurmwood has, put a 4 inch AOE of forest down completely inside control. This spell is fantastic for LOS denial, letting you control your opponents' charge lanes trivially and giving you a legitimate defense against shooting with other cooperative terrain or Sentry Stones. 

The applications for this spell are almost innumerable, and are also highly dependent on the terrain, scenario, and matchup. I tend to not upkeep it every turn, since where I will find it most useful varies from turn to turn. 

Earth Spikes:

This is one of the best nuke spells in the whole faction. At cost 3, Range 10, and POW 13 with a 3" AOE, that's already pretty solid for a spell nuke. Add in that it ignores the Elevation, Cover, and Concealment bonuses and you've got a pretty awesome Geomancy spell for Megalith. That isn't all though! On a critical hit, it knocks down everything in the AOE, which can occasionally be a huge blowout. 

This spell is one of the reasons that I really like taking Megalith with Baldur - it gives you something resembling a ranged game, and using Megalith to get a crit KD on a squishy but high DEF Warcaster or Warlock can occasionally just end the game as Bloodtrackers, Woldwrath, Baldur, etc. all converge on the poor Warnoun. 

The FEAT!!!!!

Baldur's feat is one of the most controlling, defensive feats in the whole game. It says that while in his control, enemy models (including colossals) lose pathfinder and treat all terrain as rough terrain. If also gives all Friendly Faction Models cover. 

Until you have felt the awesome power of parking your Woldwrath 6.5 inches away from a speed 5 colossal and being totally free from retaliation, you haven't lived. It's a pretty amazing feeling. 

It also guarantees you a couple turns of dominating a friendly flag or zone, since there's not a whole lot the enemy will be able to do to contest when running for most models will only move them 5 or 6 inches. 

This is obviously totally useless against mass Ghostly skew (Cryx) or lists with a ton of flying models (Una 2, Fyanna and angelii spam, etc), but against most conventional lists, the combination of cover and rough terrain can absolutely wreck their plans. 

You can use this feat to get ahead on scenario, spend two turns in a row shooting at your opponents' models, advance up so you can get a melee alpha, or sometimes all three. 

General Play Style:

Baldur is a Scenario caster primarily the way I play him, with a really good attrition chance against most non-Cygnar lists, and the ever present danger of assassination via a crit Earth Spikes. 

Typically turn 1, you cast Stone Skin on your early game target, put Solid Ground up if you're playing with Bloodtrackers or other squishy infantry so that they can't get blast damage or for no KD on Warpwolves, and then charge up the table. I like to go second with him so that I can score easily, and with Wild Growth, getting the side of the table you want is often very beneficial. 

Turn 2-3 you feat, which either buys you a solid Scenario lead or lets you get the Alpha off in a very definitive manner. There are some lists that you absolutely have to feat against to not get Alpha charged yourself, and this is another reason to feat early. 

Model Synergies:

Baldur synergizes well with a lot of Circle models and units. He can be built as a gunline, a melee force, or a combined arms caster. 

I only have experience with him as a combined arms list at 75 points, but I have played some of the other, also interesting options, at lower point levels. 


Wow did this guy get a massive upgrade in mark 3. Spell Ward getting changed to Sacred Ward is such a big deal. 

Baldur loves to chuck Stone Skin on the Wrath late game for an ARM 22, PS 21 Auto KD colossal. Oh did I mention it has hyper regeneration? Baldur can also heal it thanks to Elemental Mastery. 

Also thanks to Elemental Mastery, this guy charges for free every turn, and that is a massive deal. The extra attack is the difference between a banged up enemy colossal or heavy and a dead heavy/crippled colossal. 

Also, he has a fantastic gun now at Range 14, AOE 5, POW 15. The AOE stays for a round and anything that enters it takes a POW 10 electrical damage roll. With Baldur's feat, you can really use the Woldwrath as a bully, taking shots for 2-4 turns before finally going in and messing up the remaining models on your opponents' side of the table pretty good. 

Stick him in a zone and he's not going to be easily removed, especially under Baldur's feat. 

Druid's Wrath also opens up some interesting control builds with Druids. Boosted MA 6 knockdown or push spells are not bad at all, and can really give some lists with many heavies and not much infantry fits. 

The Woldwrath is one of the two ways to build his list, and I think it's a really strong one. 


An LED keyboard, a rock, and Rocky had a baby. They named it Megalith.

Megs is a strong consideration with either Baldur, but he's not nearly an auto-include with Baldur 1. 

Baldur 1 doesn't need the hyper-regeneration nearly so badly as Baldur 2 does, and Baldur 1 only has one spell for Megalith to Geomancy as opposed to Baldur 2 who really, really needs the extra Roots of the Earth every turn. 

That being said, Megalith is definitely a choice worthy of consideration with him. He's a good Stone Skin target, going to PS 19 and ARM 21 with it on him. He can channel an Earth Spikes every turn, which contributes to Baldur's pseudo-gunline. 

An expensive choice, but one that can definitely pay off big dividends.


I'm going to file these under a broad category since it's a completely different playstyle choice with Baldur, and if you're going to play with them, I suggest going in on the living beast theme. 

You do lose out on Elemental Mastery giving out free charges, but the Warpwolves are generally superior beasts to most of the Wolds, so maybe that's okay. 

All of these beasts get massive benefits from Solid Ground. Most of the time, good opponents engineer ways to knock a Warpwolf down before sending in their heavies so that they can guarantee their hits. Knocking a Warpwolf down is a death sentence for it, since their ARM and boxes aren't high enough to live through anything that auto hits them. 

Ghetorix is a monster with Stone Skin, hitting at PS 21 before Primal and sitting at ARM 21 with Spiny Growth on him. 

The Stalker also gets a lot of mileage out of the additional hitting power, as does the Feral and Pureblood. 

If you decide to go this route, I like three heavies, some combination of Stalker/Ghetorix/one of the other two. Personally, I go for a Pureblood and a Gorax, but that's due to my love of the Pureblood's spray and having access to Wraithbane

Other Wolds:

I will be blunt - from a competitive perspective, these are almost all bad options. I don't like the Woldguardian or Woldwarden when for a small point increase I could just have Megalith. 

The Woldwatcher losing Shield Guard hurt him really badly. Fertilizer on his gun can lead to some interesting LOS blocking, but it's not reliable enough for 9 points. 

I don't actually mind a Woldwyrd in there if you're going to play a more ranged centric build. Against any upkeep spell on a unit, he can get some major work done every turn. 

Sentry Stones and Mannikins:

They block LOS, they clear charge lanes, and they're cheap. We already know how amazing these guys are and they're just as good, or better, with Baldur thanks to Wild Growth. You can grow a 10 inch forest wall every turn that both Stones are alive. 

As of this writing, I can't help but recommend taking 2 in each list. 


I've already touched on this, but giving them a damage boost through Stone Skin and immunity to blast damage via Solid Ground is a huge boon to these ladies. I'd strongly consider taking them in basically every Baldur list. 

Losing the point of speed hurts a bit, but they still threat 13 inches and can shred a heavy or unit of heavy infantry. 

Wolf Riders:

Again, I've touched on this already, but these guys are monsters with Stone Skin. This is the one place I'd really consider taking them in the faction right now. 

Skinwalkers and CA:

These are a really interesting option for the non-Woldwrath builds. The idea is that they follow the Bloodtrackers or other, faster unit, and then stick in a zone and become nightmares to remove. 

With Stone Skin, they hit at MAT 8 PS 16 when Gang is factored in, and they sit at ARM 18 base with Hyper Regeneration and Unyielding.

With their 8 health boxes, it takes most heavies two swings to kill each one of these guys. A fully loaded Reckoner isn't actually all that likely to kill two of them in a turn. 

Add to that the beautiful screen they can provide Baldur, and I'd highly consider taking them if you don't have access to or do not like the Woldwrath. 


I know, these guys took a massive hit in the transition from mark 2 to mark 3. That being said, I think they're sill a definite consideration if you're also taking the Woldwrath. 

Druid's Wrath makes them quite accurate, and the denial they can have with their push-away spell combined with Baldur's feat can break some very jack or beast centric lists. 

The ability to make a big cloud wall beside the Woldwrath for Baldur/Megalith/everything else to hide behind isn't nothing either. I've played with them probably half of the games I've played with Baldur, and I have really enjoyed them. 

The CA, while nice, is not strictly necessary. If you forget to Apparition a lot, I wouldn't really consider taking him since that's a big part of his draw. 

Shifting Stones:

Honorable mention, mostly because they can heal the Wrath and Megalith, and they're really good for contesting with. 

Do note that you cannot control flags or zones with Immobile models anymore, so don't just send a unit of stones to take the zone over without backup. 

Blackclad Wayfarer/Lanyssa Ryssyl:

I actually like the Blackclad over Lanyssa in lists with the Woldwrath, since Druid's Wrath makes him much more accurate than she is. 

That being said, there's something pretty sweet about popping Baldur's feat, putting down a forest in front of her, and then popping Winter Storm with her to strip flight off enemy models activating within nine inches. 

Either way, you want a source of Hunters Mark in the list to offset Stone Skin and to make your models threaten farther. 

Druid Wilder:

You know what Baldur has lots of? Upkeep spells. You know what Baldur doesn't have a ton of? Fury. If you can make the points work, bring a Druid Wilder. Upkeeping a spell for free every turn is a big deal when you might be upkeeping three. 

She can also run up the table and let you force outside of Baldur's relatively small control area. 

Sample lists:

Baldur has basically modes - Woldwrath and non-Woldwrath

I think currently that the Woldwrath build is superior, and this is what I've been playing lately:

Baldur the Stonecleaver
- Druid Wilder
- Megalith
- Woldwrath

Lanyssa Ryssyl

Sentry Stone and Mannikins x2
Tharn Bloodtrackers and CA
Druids of Orboros

I've played with the Druid CA over the Wilder a few times, and I think into most matchups that I prefer the Wilder. Apparition and Elemental Immunity are both really good, but the extra fury every turn can be an even bigger deal.

This does, of course, change depending on the meta. If you have to drop him into a Menoth heavy Meta, I'd take the CA over the Wilder any day. Being immune to fire really increases the survivability of the unit, and the combination of high value shooting and spells in the list that can completely neuter jacks makes the Menoth player have to actually think about which song the choir is going to sing every turn.

If they sing Spell Ward, then I get to shoot at the jack. If they sing no shooting, then you can knock down and push around the jacks until you can deal with them.

The other build, or something similar, that I would consider running is:

Baldur the Stonecleaver
- Druid Wilder
- Ghetorix
- Warpwolf Stalker
- Gorax Rager

Lanyssa Ryssyl

Sentry Stone and Mannikins x2
Tharn Bloodtrackers and CA
Warpborn Skinwalkers and CA
Shifting Stones

Two high damage heavies, a really hard to remove unit, and the ever present Bloodtrackers to go in and mess things up in advance of the rest of your army.

I still think the Woldwrath build is better, but this definitely has some merit.

The main problem here is that you really want Stone Skin on like...literally everything in the list all the time, and that means that it cannot quite run at max efficiency until late game once you have traded pieces back and forth.

Also, Wurmwood runs a very similar list and does it much better, so I don't typically consider Baldur for this kind of list.

Good Matchups:

Baldur has a lot of game into conventional, mixed arms lists. Anything that doesn't skew incredibly ranged heavy will generally be an okay matchup for him.

Even Sloan with a bunch of Hunters has to make a hard choice against the Wrath build - do you ignore the Bloodtrackers making a beeline for the jacks and shoot down the Woldwrath? Or do you go after the Wrath at dice off six when Stone Skin is factored in?

I like him into almost all of Menoth, with the exception of Kreoss 1 and Harbinger since Purification really ruins his day.

I think he has good matchups into the typical Cryx lists right now that are running Satyxis and 'Jacks over Banes and other Ghostly models.

He also seems pretty darn good into Legion and Minion and many of the Troll lists out there.

I also think he's pretty good into non-ARM skew Mercs, Khador, and most of Cygnar, simply because you get to control the game so well with his Feat and Wild Growth.

Bad Matchups:

I do not particularly enjoy Baldur into most of the ARM bricks that are running around right now. This matchup is a little better if you're running Druids, since you can really mess with their ability to actually engage you between pushes and KD spells, but in the end you really struggle to kill very much.

I dislike him into Cryx if they start running lots of Banes again, since Ghostly just flat out ignores the Feat.

I'm also not too sure I like him into a lot of the popular Circle lists right now. Baldur 2 tanks harder, Wurmwood controls better, and Una 2 will just fly over your army and murder Baldur unless you play super conservatively.


Baldur 1 is a legitimately competitive caster. He's got an excellent toolkit of spells and abilities, a Feat that can just end the game under the right circumstances, and a highly flexible game plan. \

Currently, he is overshadowed by Wurmwood, who can do similar things, but arguably does them better.

That being said, he can ask different questions than Wurmwood can simply by being able to run the Woldwrath so well. That is a big part of why I think the Woldwrath build is superior - it requires a different set of tools to handle than anything else in the Circle arsenal.

I hope this little tactica was helpful, and thanks for reading!