Alexia & the Risen
Beanpole was trying a variation on his previous list:
Paingiver Beast Handlers
Gobber Bellows Crew
We had the scenario with three flags. Beanpole won the roll and chose to go first. I chose the side with forests over the side with the house.
He deployed centrally, with the Nihilators on my left and the Incendiarii on my right. I wanted one advanced deployment unit behind each of the side flags and the Nyss in the center, so I put the Cutthroats opposite the Incendiarii, figuring they had a better chance than the Doomreavers. The Spriggan was directly facing Tiberium, and everything else bunched up around him in the center.
Everything advanced. He put Defender's Ward on the Nihilators and put up the Krea's animus.
I advanced my models and spread them out. Iron Flesh went on the Nyss Hunters. Alexia created a Thrall.
Makeda cast Carnage. The Nihilators moved up and killed my two sacrificial Doom Reavers and a Nyss Hunter. The Incendiarii killed some dudes with fire, but not as many as they might have with better scatters. The Void Spirit ran to engage Croe, who's gun was the only magical weapon I had on that side of the board, and scared the Cutthroats into a failed command check. Makeda popped her feat, and the Gobbers put up a cloud in front of some Nihilators.
The closest Nihilator was engaging a Nyss Hunter, so I had to take a risk and move Sorscha up to engage him in order to cast Freezing Grip with any realistic chance of success. I boosted the attack roll and the spell landed, so Sorscha finished up by killing a couple of frozen Nihilators and knocking down another with her quad-cannon.
Between the Doom Reavers, Nyss Hunters, and Risen, I managed to wipe out the entire unit, along with the Tyrant Commander. The Cutthroats rallied.
The Tyrant Commander was returned to play thanks to Makeda's feat. Under Carnage his Beast Handlers killed a Doom Reaver. The Tiberion and the Incendiarii took out some Nyss Hunters and set a hunter, Cylena, and Sorscha on fire, leaving Cylena with a single damage box. The Gobbers put up a cloud to make sure the Spriggan couldn't charge Tibbers, who got Defender's Ward.
The fires on Sorscha, Cylena, and the Nyss Hunter all went out. I walked the Doom Reavers back to start scoring the flag. Croe walked away from the Void Spirit and tried to shoot it, but missed, getting pushed backwards by Poltergeist. This left a couple of Cutthroats out of command range and most of the rest I had held back, leaving them nothing to shoot at, but between that couple that did have shots and my Nyss Hunters I killed some Beast Handlers and all but one of the Incendiarii. I decided that Sorscha should take over the left flag to be ready to take over from the Doom Reavers, so she used Boundless Charge to get through the forest by charging a Doom Reaver, then Cyclone to reposition before she could actually attack him. The Spriggan shuffled to the left a bit, as Tiberion had been slowly edging closer.
He pulled the Void Spirit back to be able to score the flag on my right, and walked the last Incendiarii over to help contest, killing a Cutthroat while he was at it. The Krea charged over an killed another. Tiberion killed some Nyss Hunters, a Paingiver took out a Doom Reaver (reducing the unit to below half, meaning they would not be able to score any more). The Gobbers again put up a cloud to protect Tiberion.
Sorscha moved over to base the flag and gunned down the close Paingiver. The Doom Reavers then charged the Tyrant Commander; the first was a little out and the second missed on account of Set Defense. The Nyss killed a Paingiver, then I realised that they couldn't see anything else but the Tyrant Commander, so I decided to try to go for it. The first missed and killed the engaging Doomreaver, but this left the Tycom unengaged, allowing Cylena to finish him off. Croe missed the Void Spirit again, but one Cutthroat killed the last Nihilator and another did respectable damage to the Krea. Alexia flooded Tibbers with Risen and created another Thrall. The Risen managed to kill one Gobber, and the other failed his command check.
|The poor little fellow was understandable panicked by the surrounding hordes of Undead.|
|It's possible that the bottom Risen was one that I was preparing to place then forgot about.|
The Void Spirit ran over and blew up a bunch of Risen. Makeda killed another, allowing Tiberion to charge up and splatter Alexia. I let her die and kept the Risen in play. Marketh tried to kill the Thrall but missed (somehow). Makeda hadn't had the focus to spare to heal the Krea, meaning it was rolling a single attack dice and couldn't be forced, consequently it failed to kill the Cutthroat engaging it. I scored a third point with Sorscha.
Sorscha dropped Iron Flesh, gave the Spriggan 4 focus, cast Boundless Charge on him, and feated. Croe finally managed to gun down the Void Spirit, while another Cutthroat finished off the Krea and the rest took futile shots at Makeda. The Thrall missed his swing on Marketh. The Risen shuffled around before I realised that their CMD was 3 and most of my moves with them had pretty much been illegal. Oh well.
The last Doomreaver charged the Gobber and viciously murdered the poor little fella, then Berserked onto Tibbers, doing a couple of points of damage. One Nyss Hunter took out the last Paingiver, while the other charged Tiberion for a few more points of damage. Finally the Spriggan charged out of the forest, making sure to base the flag for scoring purposes, and laid into the big guy. Even with the free charge, four focus, and Sorscha's feat doubling damage, he was unable to kill the Defender's Warded Titan. I forgot to base the right flag with the Cutthroats, but Sorscha still scored a fourth point at the end of the turn.
Makeda killed a Nyss Hunter, Doom Reaver and a couple of Risen (in a tournament setting it would have been worth it to try to score more points), then Tiberion laid into the Spriggan. Without cold dice and no Paingivers to Enrage him (and with us rushing and messing up some simple maths), he wasn't able to able to finish it off, but he did crit his final attack, allowing him to knock the Spriggan clear; not only did this save him from being made stationary, it meant that he would have been able to score if he could kill the last Nyss Hunter. Sadly he'd missed the Nyss with his shield, denying him a final point. Well, at least Marketh finally killed the Thrall. At the end of the turn I scored my fifth point and won the game.
My dice were very hot; I think I only missed a small handful of attacks all game. Meanwhile Beanpole's were pretty cold; he couldn't make the tough rolls he needed to bring back the Nihilators with Makeda's feat (which could have brought back a large number of un-frozen Nihilators dangerously close to a zero-camp Sorscha, with of course Carnage to help them land hits), the fire on Sorscha went out immediately, Tiberion kept getting 4s on his damage rolls against the Spriggan, his scatters were usually straight back away from my lines, and he even missed attacks against Risen on a couple of occasions!
Hmm, in retrospect I got lucky with the Nihilators, but if I hadn't managed to kill them all then he would have brought most of them back and they would not have been stationary. Perhaps it would have been smarter to just leave them frozen and focus on the rest of his army on his feat turn? At least shooting down Incendiarii means that they only come back with one damage box next turn. Or maybe I should have swapped Iron Flesh for Shatterstorm on the Nyss that turn, but if I had that then I wouldn't have been able to boost the Freezing Grip and I'm pretty sure it would have missed.
I thought this might just be the game where I finally manage to kill Tiberion, but no. I just cannot seem to put that guy down! You know, Beast Handlers under Carnage are pretty good; MAT 7 Reach with Anatomical Precision is pretty effective, especially when he can give them an additional 7" of walking distance between Savagery and Press Forwards. These are half-point models by the way. Maybe he should bring more and just charge them forwards as melee troops?
The Doom Reavers didn't exactly mow down all who dared stand before me, but they did grab the flag early (even if I forget to actually score with it), thanks to Reach and good MAT a pair in front were enough to hold off the Nihilators for a turn. The Croe's didn't do much at first, but they were useful in the late game and probably would have won me the game a turn earlier if I'd (all together now) remembered to base the flag. Also having another magic weapon is never a bad thing. I think this is the best I've ever seen the Nyss; they even managed to pass a command check once, something they normally seem to have trouble with. Alexia did a great job of being super annoying, sending out hordes of Risen and shooting Thrallpedos all over the place. In the end she even lured Tiberion into my threat range.
Overall I think this is probably the most competitive list I've played thus far, but I do miss some of my support models. I don't want to lose the Nyss or Alexia, and taking out the Cutthroats would weaken my ability to get upfield in a hurry and play for scenario, but it might be worth dropping the Spriggan for a Juggernaut just to get Sylyss and Reinholdt back in. The lack of Reach probably isn't a huge deal when I'm just hiding my jack behind a sea of bodies until late game; I didn't even use the Spriggan's grenades this game as I was too scared of drifting back over my own squishy troops, plus the Nyss don't need flares as much as others sometimes do. Or we could start playing at higher points levels, but this game already took a couple of hours or so to finish, so maybe not.