We decided to skip terrain making this week, in favour of actually playing some games (especially since Shiny’s damn near finished his battlegroup: it looks SMASHING, as good as one would expect from a Proper Artist, and I’m going to make him take some decent photos of it sooner or later). There’d be proper battle reports, but the camera packed up within about half a turn of starting our first game.
Shiny borrowed all my Mercenary infantry so we could scale things up a bit – he was fielding Sorscha, a Juggernaut, a Destroyer, Gorman di Wulfe, and full units of the Nyss Hunters, Croe’s Cutthroats and Steelhead Halberdiers. First time out, I took Deneghra, a Slayer, two Deathrippers, two Defilers, two Bloat Thralls, two Pistol Wraiths, a Skarlock, two Necrotechs and a full unit of Mechanithralls with a Brute Thrall (I’m sure my maths has gone wrong somewhere; that’s a LOT of stuff… although it is all very cheap).
The Deneghra game did not last long. Shiny moved Sorscha out to take a Razor Wind potshot at a Pistol Wraith, and even as he did it he was saying “she’s probably going to die”. I hadn’t been trying for the assassination shenanigans but after he’d said that I couldn’t resist giving it a go. Cutting a short story even shorter, one feat, one Scourge and one Pistol Wraith later and the Kommander was no more and I honestly felt I’d been a bit harsh, so I offered to rack ’em up again and bring a ‘caster less likely to win at the top of turn two.
Said ‘caster was my favourite: the Iron Lich Asphyxious. Same army, pretty much, although I swapped a Defiler for the Cankerworm and stuck an extra Brute Thrall in (since Asphyxious has one more warjack point).
This game took a lot longer – Asphyxious’ style is definitely “I will kill everything I can see, slowly” rather than Deneghra’s cut-to-the-chase swift assassination. I also gave Shiny a bit more advice on how his infantry might be used; the Steelheads aren’t for fighting, they’re for getting in the way, forcing the opponent to commit resources to killing cheap, nasty infantry that would better be expended on killing something decent. The Nyss Hunters belong on the ground, where they can run around and charge things and make the most of that SPD 7 and Weapon Master that they’ve got, rather than up on top of a building where he’d stuck them in the first game. The Cutthroats… were actually not that useful in either of these games, and I felt a bit bad for saddling him with them in the cause of getting more pieces on the board.
It was another Cryx win, but a closer one, with a decent death toll on both sides and some comical moments like me taking half a turn to kill my own Mechanithrall leader after leaving him hopelessly out of position and buried in a mass of Steelheads. Hark was watching and taking photos and seemed quite taken with the Cryxian potential for explosions and corrosion and other splattery – she’s been thinking about playing for a while, gave the game a try a while back, and seemed to enjoy it. I’ve been trying to persuade her to play Trollbloods, partly because she was quite attached to mine when I was playing them and partly because they’re full of elemental fun time and power attack opportunities and lobbing spears that knock things over and that sort of thing, which appear to be the bits she enjoys the idea of most.
Back to the matter in hand, though. I do feel bad for lumbering Shiny with an ill-matched grab-bag of Mercs while I had a faction army, with all the internal synergy that implies. We’re going to scale it back a bit next week, leave him with the Nyss Hunters (who he does enjoy using, and does well with) and teach him how cavalry work with the help of my Soulhunters, and that might be as far as we can go with Educating Shiny for now. He’s already thinking about his next shopping trip: Berserkers, a Kovnik, Winter Guard Mortars, Widowmakers and possibly some Winter Guard infantry (he says he’s not a hundred per cent keen on the models but he likes the rules a lot) would be in the offing.
Meanwhile, I have a rather large pile of Satyxis to paint-strip, Revenants to rebuild, a Reaper to fix and a Lich Lord to rebuild (I’ve been reposing my painted Asphyxious; got the model right-ish, but ruined the paint job). Lots to do. We also have to actually build the trees so we’re not just using empty bases; that’s the job for tomorrow, assuming I can be bothered to get some sleep in the meantime.