I’ll be honest, I’ve got the blues a bit at the moment. Not as regards actual gaming, still doing a fair bit of Blood Bowl and WoW, although the Goblins! game has stalled owing to the near-impossibility of getting seven people into a room at the same time. Strange that it’s only RPGs that seem so afflicted; the local wargames club pulls in more people than that to play wargames and boardgames every week and most of us manage to turn up regularly.
I do have the blogging blues, though. It might be that I’ve been talking about one company’s games more than I like to, it might just be one of those fallow periods that we all go through from time to time. However, I did say I’d have a quick look over the Khador lists that I took to FQDII, just to see what I’ve managed to assimilate from the day, so here goes.
All these lists were built up from looking at what I owned and figuring out what basic synergies were offered. Sometimes that was caster-down – Sorscha has Fog of War and is fast so she gets all the AD stuff that likes concealment and the Iron Fangs, because they can get a bit of a nip on if they choose to. Sometimes that was stuff up – Valachev makes the Nyss get faction buffs, who has a cool faction buff, okay that’s the Vlad list sorted.
I admit, I was rather disappointed at losing both my games with this one, especially since it was to beginner’s errors (leaving a straight line between my ‘caster and a Dervish, and forgetting to actually *destroy* the arc node in front of Vlad). Thing is, this was unquestionably the techiest list to use – there were lots of little gimmicks that depended on me doing things in the right order.
I built this list up from the Nyss Hunters with Valachev – the idea of making a good Merc unit into Faction models tickled my fancy somewhat, as did his ability to shrug off debuff spells (bye bye, Crippling Grasp!) and the wonderful 3″ tweak that can be accomplished with Zephyr, repositioning the Nyss for extended threat range on their shots or a move into combat or to back off just far enough from a model engaging them to charge straight back in again, or just getting out of the way of stuff they’d been screening. I tried to do some of that, and to be fair it sort of worked, letting me bypass the Coven’s feat and do some damage to a unit they’d never ordinarily have been able to reach, and scoring me one of my few control points during the event. However, and it’s a big however, committing 12 points into eleven models in a 20 point game may not have been strictly clever, as it left me very vulnerable to crowd control like Fire and Corrosion based attacks, and Nyss die like rabbits to blast damage. Not a bad idea, but one for bigger games.
Vlad was picked because Signs and Portents seemed like the coolest buff to stack with the Nyss, ensuring that I’d get the most out of their delicious Weapon Mastery, and the Devastator was picked to go with Vlad, because that 16″ run or, more hilariously, 13″ charge-then-Rain-of-Death option just seemed too cool to miss out on. It was cool. I battered my way into the Menoth brick in the first game and put out a lot of hurt on Malice in the second, tying up key opposition pieces both times. However, it wasn’t quite enough on its own – for one thing, I could have done with a Power Boost for the big lad, just so that Vlad had a bit more of his own focus to play with, and for another, I’d have liked another shooty unit to soften up the Devastator’s targets somewhat. Possibly a gimmick for bigger games…
The Greylords benefitted enormously from Signs and Portents, which let me pull off some Ice Cages I’d never have managed with two straight dice, and in testing they did very well for themselves with spray attacks. Not a bad word to say about them.
So, the Vlad list is one that’s not bad but has too many expensive pieces for a game this size. I’d use it as the core for a 35 point list given my druthers, and if I were retooling for another 2o pointer I’d probably drop the Nyss and go for two cheap units instead. Iron Fangs with no UA and… Winter Guard Riflemen? I dunno. There’s always going to be one awkward list at FQD if you have a small collection, just because you will run out of staple choices long before you run out of list. I didn’t have anything else that I hadn’t used already, so my hand was forced. Odd that this list turned out to be the duck, as it has by far the most potential, but potential’s all it has when you’re so focused on shiny toys that you forget how to play properly.
Not one of my opponents over the weekend had the faintest idea what the Kossites did, and I couldn’t quite stop myself answering ‘not a lot’. Prophetic words. I’d stuck them in here on the grounds that the extra damage die from the Butcher’s feat might have helped – dunno why I bothered, as they could hardly hit a thing, downing maybe four single-wound targets across the six or so rounds of shooting I got with them. They’d have been better off sticking with Sorscha, who could at least have given them some DEF5 to shoot at.
The big bad Butcher-man himself is well fearsome. He made it into melee in both games, despite what I see as a rather paltry 10″ threat range and a tendency to prohibit himself from charging. The downside is that he did it by walking over or hiding behind the wreckage of his big lumbering ‘jacks, which between them notched up a single melee attack all day. The lack of Boundless Charge means you really feel that SPD4 start to bite, and I’ve achieved a significant and nuanced understanding of why people take ranged pieces with him.
Gorman was okay, more of a contributor than usual to be honest, and tag-teamed well with the Manhunter or the Butcher himself, debuffing targets, clearing lanes or just preventing retaliation with a well-placed Black Oil AOE. The Greylords… didn’t do much other than put up clouds and spray, and I’m not sure what to make of them. In theory they can do a lot of damage on his feat turn, though, so they’re in for now. The Manhunter himself felt a bit redundant, though that might be the lack of other AD in the list – all he really got to do was take a chunk out of something scary and then die.
I think this is the list that would benefit from the most rejigging; I’d probably rebuild it around the Destroyer and Widowmakers and maybe just not bother with Full Throttle and Fury down here at 20 points. I’d also have been mad keen on Saxon Orrik with this mob – Butcher needs all the help covering distances that he can get, and a bit o’Pathfinder wouldn’t go amiss in this list.
Sorscha herself did me proud in this one – Wind Rushing around, chopping up warbeasts, actually getting some mileage out of her feat – and I feel like I have more of a handle on her than I did before the event, which is all good. Same with the Iron Fangs, who are a lot easier to time right if you’re going first; run, then shield wall until a charge opportunity emerges, then charge and Defensive Maneouvres into the enemy’s grill and see what happens if they live. Manhunter was fine, running around distracting whatever he charged. He’d have been as fire-and-forget as he was in the Butcher list if Kira could actually roll dice worth a damn, but he’s not a bad two point spend if you don’t have anything you actually need.
Not so much for the Destroyer, which did more damage in melee than by shooting, and I’d almost have rather had a Marauder or Juggernaut if I were going to go with a single ‘jack. With more AOEs on the table and maybe a Koldun Lord to Power Boost him and let Sorscha hog focus like she wants to, the big lug might have been more use, but just one big blast doesn’t go far enough. The Widowmakers were… well, they shot some dudes, and that’s good I suppose, but they didn’t need what Sorscha was dishing out in the end, as they have the range to take Cover when it’s offered and not really need Fog of War. The Kovnik… eugh. He came so close to being useful, but that lack of Reach and Sorscha’s tendency to have something better to put Boundless Charge got him every time, and he ended up just lagging behind the AD/Boundless Charge/Wind Rush bum-rush, always waiting for a next turn that never came.
Rebuilding the list, I’d chuck him for Herne and Jonne, and trade the Widowmakers for Kossites, or drop the Destroyer down to a seven-point melee ‘jack and spend the five points on something else that can shoot worth a damn (Rifle Corps?), and still trade the Widowmakers for Kossites. Either way, the Manhunter would go out and a Koldun Lord would come in; the Manhunter is nice but an extra focus every turn would be nicer.
However! I’m taking a six-week break from Warmahordes – not out of choice, but out of necessity, as my am-dram company is rehearsing on Tuesday nights and unless I can browbeat someone into playing on my home board, that restricts the availability of games somewhat. Hopefully I’ll remember how to blog about anything non-Privateer-Press-ish in the meantime. Any requests?