Following the recent discussion on Facebook regarding my assessment of the faction, I decided to break my longstanding "play it painted" rule for Circle and test out a list that I had formerly written off as sub-optimal.
I've been hearing talk of double Tharn Ravagers in Devourer's Host being good enough to play, and DGI even had a top 3 place with it as a third list, so I copied it model for model and decided to put it onto the table.
My opponent had chosen, unbeknownst to me, a very infantry heavy Kreoss 2 list, a list which I believe gives the Tharn a great opportunity to show off what they can do.
- Scarsfell x5
The Death Wolves
Tharn Ravagers (max) x2
- CA x2 (free)
- Fire of Salvation
Bastion Seneschal (free)
Rhoven and Co.
We rolled up Extraction, and I was able to go first - again, optimal conditions for my list.
Blood Pack on the right are Ravagers #2, and the Whiteman is their CA.
I put prey on the Errants, distribute my corpse tokens to the Death Wolves, and off we went.
Circle turn 1:
Una goes first and puts Mirage on the right unit of Ravagers, Hand of Fate on the Bloodtrackers, and advances.
Side note - I just got the Circle upgrade pack from Broken Egg Games, and it is SO nice to finally have the Hand of Fate token.
The Bloodtrackers ran up to 10.1 inches away from the Errants, with Ravagers behind them. On the right, the Tharn run up and the Birds all fly into spaces where they can land.
Menoth turn 1:
Kreoss puts out some spells, Sacrosanct on the Errants (ewww), Inviolable Resolve on the Knights Exemplar, and then charges forward.
Errants assault a couple of targets, picking off a Bloodtracker and dinging up a Ravager on the right hand side, triggering Vengeance.
The Bastions run up behind the wall, and the Knights do as well.
On the right, Crusader and Seneschal move up.
Circle turn 2:
Una pulls Fury, upkeeps both spells, and Vengeance and Apparition extend the Ravagers threat range by 5 inches.
Una moves up first, shooting down two Errants.
With her up so far, I am able to move Griffons around, kill a couple Errants each, and then Sprint back.
By the time I get around to activating my Ravagers, there are only four Errants left, three behind the wall and then one on the flag.
My Ravagers activate, and the comedy of errors ensues. First of all, I screw up placement and let my opponent freestrike one as I charge the KE behind the right hand Errant (mark your arcs guys, it saves so many headaches).
Then I forget that the Bastion Seneschal has defensive strike and lose another one that way.
THEN I miss four attacks in a row needing 5s and 7s. I was laughing my head off by the end of that activation.
Tharn: 0, Exemplars: 2
The Bloodtrackers murder the remaining Errant over there, getting a knocked down guy thanks to Sacrosanct.
I toss a random spear into a Bastion and hit, doing 6 damage thanks to Hand of Fate.
Ravagers and Death Wolves move up.
Menoth turn 2:
Ravagers die en masse on the right side, leaving two alive at the end.
Kreoss puts Sacrosanct on the Bastions and moves up.
The Bastions jam me, and Fire runs up over the wall rather than risk being trapped behind it for the rest of the game.
The Vanquisher gets Eyeless Sight from Rhoven and blasts my clump of Griffons, doing over half their health each and lighting them all on fire.
Circle turn 3:
I upkeep both spells, and somehow all but one griffon loses fire.
Apparition plus Vengeance = two dead Knights Exemplar and a Corpse Token on both my remaining Ravagers.
Bloodtrackers with Hand of Fate gun down the Bastions and get knocked down all over the place. Silly girls, don't go falling for Exemplars, they'll just die on you. I run the back Griffon to engage Fire, use Una to heal a damage off each Griffon that was hurt, and pop Feat.
Gorax puts Primal up, and that Griffon walks into Melee with Fire, killing him.
Two more Griffons go in and only do about half the health on the Crusader.
I get one point after running the Ravagers into the flag.
I forgot to photograph this turn, but Circle moves to 1-0.
Menoth turn 3:
He's got about 8 models left, but with Kreoss' feat, I still lose nearly half my army, including two Griffons and a bunch of Tharn.
He contests my flag with Choir and gets a point.
Circle turn 4:
With Knocked down Bloodtrackers, I can't do a whole lot.
Tharn go in and kill Rhoven, but not his buddies.
Una kills off the last two Knights Exemplar.
The two usable Griffons kill off the Crusader, and one sprints out. Prey swaps to Rhoven and buddies.
I take my flag again and go to 2.
By this point, my opponent and I have combined 8 minutes left on our clock.
Kreoss charges in and kills off four Tharn. The Vanquisher and Seneschal leave the right hand Griffon on 1 box and on fire.
Gaius and Cassian charge in and kill a Tharn and a Griffon and contest. My opponent clocks himself in here somewhere but we keep going.
I didn't take a picture here, but look at the next turn picture and imagine Gaius and Cassian in there somewhere.
Circle turn 5:
Fire on the Griffon goes out!
The remaining Male Tharn kill off Gaius and Cassian, and Prey swaps to Kreoss.
Bloodtrackers with Prey and Hand of Fate need sixes to hit Kreoss at dice -6, and the Warcaster dies under a hail of spears.
Victory for the Druids!
So....an infantry list for my POW 13 weapons to handle, Bastions (which are insanely squishy and ineffective outside of Harbinger it turns out), and terrain that heavily favored me, and I still felt like I had serious options to lose the game despite these advantages.
The only thing that was exceptional about this list, I felt, was Hand of Fate on Bloodtrackers, and let's be honest - Hand of Fate on weaponmasters has never been disputed as strong.
First impression of the list - I'm not particularly impressed so far. Had this been a bunch of Menoth heavies under Kreoss, I would have basically bounced off them with my Ravagers, killed a couple with Griffons (like I did) and then lost most of/all of my Griffons to the ensuing counter-feat. I'd kill another heavy with Bloodtrackers probably, and then run out of steam.
I don't think it's going to be very common to bring this many dudes without threat extensions, so next time I play this list I'm going to ask my opponent to bring a bunch of warjacks and see how it goes.
Thanks for reading!