Chaos Renegades after 3 games: What I learnt and new army list

I have had 3 games with my Chaos Renegades so far, one of which I wrote a battle report about on this site. I won that game and a game against a Tau army, which was the trial by fire for the army as Tau excel in anti-infantry fire with their plethora of S5 shots at high ranges. I lost one game against Space Marines at 1750 points as I was unable to score objective points fast enough and eventually fell behind 9-11 on points. During those games, I have learnt a lot about the army, including the following:

This is genuinely a fun army

At the beginning, I was not sure how my opponents would feel about facing a human wave of chaff charging towards them. It is a clear example of a skew list, so a list that focuses on one quality and hopes that the opponent cannot deal with that quality. In this case, the quality is quantity and it is clear that many armies simply do not have the necessary number of shots per round to deal with the number of models this army presents. The issue with that is that some people might feel bad about losing to a skew list, as they might not have a great chance to win to begin with if they are not prepared to deal with the skew. As this is definitely a casual project, it should be an army that is not only fun to play with, but also fun to play against.

It is indubitably fun to play with, as it is strangely liberating to charge towards the opponent and remove your own models in spades. There is still a definite element of tactics and strategy involved, as you still need to select targets and make sure you concentrate on the right targets to make sure at least some of your howling fanatics get to the other side. Moreover, as most of the models in the army only move 6 inches a turn without access to transports or other mobility enhancers like jump packs or drop pods, it is vital to ensure the correct deployment of your units as a unit that is misdeployed might spend most of the game trekking towards combat without ever seeing it.

What I have underestimated though is the fun opponents get from killing models and this is where the army is fun for them too. As a matter of fact, each of my opponents so far has marvelled at the amount of models they managed to kill, regardless of whether they lost or won. The average in the first three games is over a hundred miniatures per game, with over 140 killed models being the record. Most games at 2000 points don’t even feature so many models, let alone see so many killed from both armies together. Gunning down this mass of infantry makes games feel epic and just like GW’s fluff department has always described 40k battles, especially those featuring Marines: a small pocket of the Emperor’s Finest surrounded by a mass of enemies, mercilessly cutting them down.

The most common thing I have heard from my opponents or just passers-by is: ‘How many points is that army?’ In essence, this army plays like ‘Apocalypse in a box’, bringing a huge number of models to a small game size. It thus creates that Apocalypse feeling without the need to paint up superheavies or dozens of vehicles and games can be wrapped up in less than three hours, two if you don’t count the time it takes to unpack and pack the army.

250 models take up more real estate than one would think

It turns out that 200+ models fill all of the normal 72 by 12-inch deployment zone, and when I say fill, I don’t mean ‘Make sure models are spaced out wide enough to avoid blast templates hitting multiple models’ full, but rather in the sense of ‘every single square inch is filled with models’ full. That has caused me some issues as I have to deploy either multiple units behind each other or deploy some units in a deep and narrow frontage instead of a wide frontage. I also had issues unpacking my army in the game I lost, as I entangled multiple units and thus had them get into each other’s way. I will have to take more care to make sure each unit can advance without getting into another unit’s path. Another solution I have found is to get some models that can deploy on the first and second floors of buildings where they don’t take up real estate so to say as other models can be deployed below them. Furthermore, I need to deploy my Aegis Line a bit further back so that melee units can deploy in front of it.

I need more suppressing fire to handle medium tanks, especially Dreadnoughts

This ties in nicely with the topic just mentioned. In two of my games, I ran into Walkers or Monstrous Creatures that I could not deal with. Especially now that Dreadnoughts rock 4 attacks a piece, they seem to have become a lot more popular in the local area and they do have the means to ruin my army’s day by virtue of being difficult to damage when moving from cover to cover and immune to S5 or less attacks in melee, which means all of my army. I have a large number of autocannons in my units and each time they actually got a Dreadnought in the open, it promptly died, but I want a weapon that can one-shot a Dreadnought, meaning that I can just throw a few shots at one in cover and know that the one shot that is not saved will actually do some permanent damage or even take one out. Likewise, in the game against the Tau, I tabled his entire army by turn 4 except for a single Riptide. I had enough shots to force some armour saves, but 2+’s are not that difficult to make and I would have needed 24 wounds to make him fail enough saves on average, which is rather a lot. The first measure was to give each melee unit Krak grenades to at least give them a fighting chance versus Walkers and monsters.

So as I was going through the list to see how I could change it to fit a normal table better and to deal with Dreads and monsters, I came across the Disciple squad, which resides in the Elites section. I hadn’t really looked at them beforehand because they have one of the weird point cost schemes Forgeworld is so fond of. Usually with Forgeworld, a unit has a high starting cost, but then drops sharply the bigger the unit gets. For instance, 30k Marine squads start at 150 points for 10, but then only charge 10 points per extra Marine, so a 20-strong unit is a mere 250 points. Disciples are the opposite for some reason, costing 35 points for 5, but then costing 10 per additional model. The Veterans are the same, but at least they get to buy an upgrade at a flat rate per unit, so you can assume that their higher individual cost is compensated by the lower cost of the upgrade per model for a larger unit. The Disciples on the other hand pay the higher cost, but have no flat rate upgrade to justify it, which is why I never really looked at them before. But then I noticed that they are the only BS4 unit in the game and had access to all heavy weapons at the usual Imperial Guard cost. As I wanted to get rid of my allied detachment and also reconsidered the idea of the 50-strong Mutant unit, both because it relied on the allied Dark Apostle and because I had no way of fitting another 50 models into my deployment zone, I decided to include 3 units of 5 Disciples, each with a single lascannon weapon team. They should be able to deploy on the higher floors of buildings where available or behind my other units if no such buildings are on the table (which never happens where I play), then take potshots at enemy tanks or monsters. At 165 point for 3 units, they will be annoying and difficult to remove, as they require far more firepower being dedicated to killing them than a 55-point unit warrants, which is also known as the Rhino conundrum.

So, this is my current 2.000 points list:

Renegade Command Squad: Grenade Launcher, Arch-Demagogue with Covenant of Tzeentch and Master of the Hordes

Renegade Enforcers (2): Each with Power Axe and Combat Drugs Injectors (one joins the 30-strong unit of Renegades, the other one the Mutant Rabble)

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

3 Chaos Spawn

3 Chaos Spawn

Mutant Rabble (30): Champion with Power Axe, Meltabombs and Covenant of Khorne

Platoon Command Squad (30): Demagogue with Covenant of Tzeentch, Chaos Sigil, 3 Autocannons, Militia Training, Autoguns

Renegade Squad (20): Chaos Sigil, 2 Autocannons, Autoguns, Militia Training

Renegade Squad (20): Chaos Sigil, 2 Autocannons, 2 Grenade Launchers, Autoguns, Militia Training

Platoon Command Squad (30): Demagogue with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, 5 Flamers, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades Pistols and Melee Weapons

Renegade Squad (20): Champion with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, 3 Flamers, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades, Pistols and Melee Weapons

Renegade Squad (20): Champion with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades, Pistols and Melee Weapons

3 Sentinels: Multiple Rocket Pods

6 Sentinels: Autocannons, Militia Training

3 Rapier Laser Destroyer Arrays: Extra Crew, Militia Training

3 Rapier Laser Destroyer Arrays: Extra Crew, Militia Training

4 Thudd Guns

Aegis Defense Line: Quad Gun

As you can see, this version of the list is slightly leaner, trading some bodies for more guns, but retaining the basic concept of swarming forward with a mass of bodies to overwhelm the opponent.


Battle Report: Blood Angels versus Crimson Fists

A few weeks ago, I played a game against the Crimson Fists with my Blood Angels. It was a 2000-points game using the Tactical Objectives from the Maelstrom of War missions. We rolled a 1 for the mission, so played the basic Maelstrom mission. Here are some pictures of the game.

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My Sicaran parked on objective 1, where he spent most of the game.


Thanks to the Veritas Vitae, I had two Warlord Traits, one being Move Through Cover (ruins) and Stealth (ruins), the other one allowed me to infiltrate my Warlord and three units. Two of them were the Death Company and Lemartes, seen here threatening the enemy’s right flank.


The other part of my deployment. The Sicaran was at the bottom, the Vindicator in the middle and the Baal on top, with an Assault Squad with my Warlord in front of it.

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Turn 1, I drop two pods with Melta units. They manage to blow up two Rhinos containing Sternguard Veterans, 10 in 1 and 5 in the other. In total, he had 25 Sternguard and Pedro Cantor to grant them Objective Secured. My Death Company moved up, but stayed in cover to gain a 3+ cover save.

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My Melta squad is wiped out by the disembarking Sternguard and the third unit of Sternguard disembarking from their Rhino. More importantly, he drops a unit of Centurions with Gravguns and they unload on the Death Company, but cover saves mean that I only lose 4 in total. The Assault Squad with my Warlord is also mauled by the Sternguard on top and the Devastators in the ruin on the right.

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In turn 2, the Death Company charge and overrun the Centurions. My Tactical Squad lands in front of the two Sternguard units near the building and torches 4 in one combat squad and one in the other. My Assault Squad wipes out another combat squad in front of the building whilst the disembarked Assault Squad from the Drop Pod ties up the last member of the other combat squad of that unit.


The Tactical Squad is in turn killed by the remaining Sternguard before the Death Company rip them apart. A Stormtalon arrives from reserves, but does not do a great deal.

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A unit of Scout Bikers outflanked behind the Baal Predator to fire 6 Krak grenades in its rear, but they roll poorly and it is only glanced once. The next turn, a unit of my shotgun-wielding Scouts outflank near them and they and the Predator wipe out the Scout Bikers.

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On the other flank, a unit of Scouts outflank behind the Sicaran, trying to grenade it, but it turns around and guns them down despite losing 2 wounds to a Meltabomb and a lucky Krak grenade.

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A last unit of Scouts outflanks behind the Stormtalon, which once more fails to do much of an impression on the Death Company. Annoyed enough, the Death Company turns around and charges the hovering Storm Talon before ending their reign of terror by killing the Scouts.

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Pedro Cantor and his Honour Guard arrive late in their Storm Raven. They disembark and kill the Vindicator, but fail to reach the Sicaran, so they end up in the middle of nowhere.

Overall, I got luckier than my opponent with my objective cards, though it has to be said that I was more mobile in general, so I could fulfil more cards than he could. Furthermore, rolling the Infiltrate Warlord trait was an important part of my plan, though admittedly I have 4 chances to roll it up each game (two Warlord traits thanks to the Veritas Vitae and the possibility to re-roll each one due to having a Combined Arms Detachment). Nevertheless, it was a fun game and a bit of dice luck on my opponent’s part could have cost me my Warlord’s unit or the Death Company early on, which would have made it very difficult for me to take the game home. A re-match is definitely in the cards.


Random model I painted and some updates

Hello everyone! It has been a while, but I will have a couple of articles I will upload this week, so there will be some new content soon.

First of all, I have been painting quite a few models recently, mostly for my Renegades army that is reaching 2000 points quickly as we are speaking, but also some Warmachine models. One of which you can see below: The Ogrun Bokur.

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Ogruns are aligned with the Rhulic Dwarves in Warmachine, but they can also be fielded as Mercenaries, just like their Rhulic friends. The Bokur is a bodyguard first and foremost. On the table, he has the Client rule that lets you choose another model to be the Bokur’s client. The Bokur gets combat bonus while close to the client and even gains Advance Deployment if the client has it. Moreover, it has Shield Guard, so ranged attacks hitting the client or another nearby model can be redirected to the Bokur, who can take a hit as you might have guessed based on the model’s appearance and the fact that it is an Ogre, erm Ogrun. Finally, it can slam like a warjack or warbeast, which is always an interesting option and combat trick to have available.  It will be included in my new Haley2 list, standing besides Haley in case anyone tries to shoot her.

I like the model and think that I have done a decent paintjob to do it justice.

I have also played more games with Haley3 and am now more or less set on how I am going to run her in the weeks to come:

Major Prime Victoria Haley

– Squire

– Sentinel

Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord


Journeyman Warcaster

Trencher Infantry (min)

Storm Lances (max)

Tempest Blazers (max)

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers

– Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer

Stormblade Infantry

As I play to run her with Haley2, I needed to replace Anastacia DiBray and Lady Aiyana and Master Holt as they will join Haley2. I replaced Aiyana and Holt with the Ragman as my ARM debuff and used the leftover points, together with the spare point I had previously used to include a Trencher Rifle Grenadier in the Trencher unit to buy a unit of Stormblade Infantry. They will give me some more ump, as I feel like my army was doing well in the control and support elements, but lacking simple hitting power. With their MAT7 POW13 attacks (without factoring in any boosts), they can handle most medium and light units well and help me deal enough damage in a reasonable amount of time.

I have so far played Haley3 and gone 5-5, 2 of my losses being due to clocking out and running out of time, so the objective for the next two weeks is to become faster with her, as well as refamiliarising myself with Haley2 after 6 months of Legion and Haley3.


Time travelling with Major Prime Victoria Haley

I have recently decided to move back to Cygnar for a while after playing Legion exclusively for the last 5 months. The main reason for that is the newest Warcaster for Cygnar, published in the new Reckoning expansion, Major Prime Victoria Haley or Haley3. As a matter of fact, not only is she the third version of Victoria Haley, but she is actually a unit consisting of 3 Haleys. So, how does this work on the table?

Well, Major Victoria Haley has now mastered time travel to the point that she has been named Prime, an arcane rank only awarded by unanimous decision by all other high-ranking Cygnaran mages. As a result, she can now summon echoes of herself to fight alongside her on the battlefield. She is therefore joined by her past version, also known as Young Haley, Haley Past, DILF or similar, and her future version, Granny Haley or Haley Future. The echoes do not count as Warcaster, but are part of her unit, have their own focus pool and can channel spells through her warjacks. In addition, the echoes are Incorporeal, meaning they can’t be harmed by non-magical weapons as long as they have not used their melee or ranged attacks in last round. This gives them another layer of protection. Should an echo die, Haley can summon it again for 2 Focus Points, but the echo cannot activate on that turn, making losing one really annoying. Furthermore, each Haley has her own spell list, though Prime Haley can copy any spell another version has cast on the same term, which means that she cannot use the spells of a freshly summoned Haley.

Regarding their physical stats, they each have the same stat line the previous version had, good SPD, high DEF, but low ARM with OK attack stats. Haley Prime has the usual amount of hit boxes and the echoes have the typical 5 boxes for a solo. Prime has 8 FOC, however, she has to spend two Focus Points for each echo she wants to upkeep at the beginning of the turn, meaning that she usually only has 4 to spend or 5 with the Squire. Her echoes have 4 FOC each, which makes Past Haley’s attack spells a bit difficult to use, as she uses her FOC stat to aim. Finally, her feat is called Arcane Singularity and it gives each Haley in the unit +2 FOC and 2 Focus Points for the turn. This makes Haley Past more accurate and lets them each cast more than one spell per round.

Speaking of spells, what can they cast? Haley Past is all about the offensive, with Chain Blast throwing out 2 templates and Force Hammer, which is great as it slams the target, which damages the target before knocking it down, potentially also dealing damage and knocking down the model behind it. This makes her a good assassination starter, as she can use a low DEF model standing in front of a warcaster to slam it into the warcaster and then knock the warcaster down to make them easier to hit. She also has a unique ability, Raw Talent, which gives her an additional damage dice on her spells and her Telekinetic strike melee attack, with Reach. In fact, she has an alternative mode where she can engage a target and then whale on them with 7 Weaponmaster attacks thanks to Raw Talent.

Haley Future, on the other hand, has no offensive spell, instead relying on her POW13 ROF3 ranged attack. However, she has two amazing support spells that no other Cygnar caster has and that some people already claim Cygnar has no business having. Revive, which lets you return a friendly faction model to play with one unmarked damage box, and Ghost Walk, which gives a unit Ghostly. Ghost Walk is great as it makes you immune to free strikes, letting your ranged units disengage from melee and then shoot the offender in the head. It also makes Cygnar less dependent on Rhupert Carvolo and Archduke Alain Runewood as it effectively gives you Pathfinder. The real kicker though is Revive, as it can let you return models that died previously and more importantly letting you place them further ahead, provided that deploy in formation and in the caster’s control area. This lets you create really long assassination runs because Haley Prime on her feat turn has a 20-inch control are, 22 with Squire, and she can add models to a unit after Future Haley has cast the spell first. That way, you can chain models really far ahead, letting you deploy them in the opponent’s back arc or just much further ahead than they expected. As such, it is an amazing spell and has also boosted the sales of Storm Lances and Tempest Blazers, as those fast cavalry models can make the most of this spell.

Finally, Haley Prime has 4 spells, in addition to being able to replicate her echoes’ spells. She has the brand-new Repudiate, dispelling all enemy upkeeps on a target and dealing damage to the caster of those upkeeps, which is great as Cygnar had no in-faction upkeep removal before this. Her one ‘stinker’ spell is Dominate, which is only rarely useful, but with the amount of spells she has available, it is hardly an issue. Her real winner spells are Tactical Supremacy and Temporal Flux. Tactical Supremacy is another one of those spells Cygnar should never have. In itself, it looks quite harmless, only letting you move a unit 3 inches after activating your whole army. It becomes amazing with Cygnar’s black sheep unit, the much-maligned Trencher Infantry. Trenchers can drop cloud effects to shield the rest of the army, but they themselves have to be in the area of the cloud when dropping it. Units inside of clouds only gain the concealment DEF bonus, whereas units behind clouds cannot be targeted at all by models that don’t ignore clouds (which only Legion does on more than a few units). This meant that Trenchers would put up a cloud wall to shield the rest of the army, then die as the enemy army could only target them. With Tactical Supremacy, those days are over as they can drop their clouds, then step behind them at the end of the turn and become invisible too. The real game winner is Temporal Flux, which adds +2 DEF to her unit and every friendly model in 5” of one of them, whilst also reducing enemy DEF in that area by 2. This is such a kick in the teeth for some armies, as Gun Mages all of a sudden have a DEF of 17, Haley herself goes to 18 and even more with Rhupert Carvolo or against charging opponent, meaning that even elite units need 10s or more to hit. By the same token, the -2 DEF penalty skews dice math in your favour, as units that you would normally hit on an 8 are hit on a 6 now, which drastically changes your odds of hitting (you roll 8s 5 times out of 12 and 6s 8 times out of 12 or so).

In conclusion, you can see that she has an enormously flexible and extensive spell list, with no less than 8 spells and being able to use an unprecedented 12 Focus Points per turn, able to go to 18 (19 with Squire) on feat turn. In terms of roles, she is not really committed like the previous Haleys are. Haley 1 and 2 are both control casters with spells and feats that slow down the opponent long enough to win on scenario or eliminate enough key models to make victory impossible for the opponent. Haley3 still has a control element, especially with the Trencher Cloud Wall being able to prevent charges and shots to anything behind it. Unlike the previous incarnations of Haley, she also has a strong attrition element by being able to Revive key models when necessary. This lets her play more aggressively as she can send Storm Lances and Tempest Blazers off to their death to trade for solos or small units, then Revive them and have them available for the mid- or endgame. Finally, she has an amazing assassination potential because of Force Hammer, Revive and Ghost Walk. So Young Haley can cast a fully boosted Force Hammer at FOC6 on feat turn, hopefully slam the enemy caster into a wall for 5d6+12 damage or ‘just’ slam someone into them to knock them down, then Old Haley can Revive a Tempest Blazer or Storm Lance before giving that unit Ghost Walk to make them immune to Free Strikes if necessary, otherwise dropping a second Revive. Then Prime Haley can drop Temporal Flux (or probably has done so already before moving) to give the enemy Warcaster -2 DEF if they are still standing, following it up with another Revive or Force Hammer. With potentially 3 models Revived, the unit can be extended quite far forward, as the Revived model has to be placed within 3” of an existing model and in command, letting you chain them by placing each one within 3” of the previously placed model to extend up to 9” from the leader model (as they have to be in command), but adding another two inches by virtue of being on a two-inch base as only the rear part of the base has to be in command. As the Revived models can then activate with the rest of the unit, they can charge a full 11 inches further ahead than the unit could otherwise. Getting two Stormlances on a Knocked Down Warcaster is usually enough to end the game even if they have not taken any damage beforehand. This means that she is a triple threat caster who can easily switch her victory condition on the field and thus adapt to multiple situations. She might suffer a bit from being too flexible, as her spell list is not really focused on one aspect or playstyle, but the fact that she has 8 spells makes her able to have the necessary tools to assume each role without being out of her depth.

Having talked about Haley3 so far, I now want to talk about the units that go well with her. First of all, she is a Cygnaran Warcaster, so it is a given that she wants a Squire and a Journeyman Warcaster, especially as she is the Warcaster who benefits the most from him as he can cast Arcane Shield on all three of them instead of just one model as is the case with all other Cygnaran Warcasters. The Squire only lets Prime Haley take a Focus Point off her or get the re-roll, but it is still an extremely useful model for her.

As I have talked so often about the Trencher Cloud Wall, it is clear that a unit of Trencher Infantry is almost a given in her list. Cloud Wall is a strong strategy as it lets your units advance without fear of being shot or charged, which increases the survivability of your main units and lets them attack at full strength. Moreover, opponents often have to sacrifice units, especially arc nodes, to run into the clouds to cast spells behind it or have targets inside the cloud wall to charge or shoot at (so a model with multiple attacks, especially with Overtake or Sidestep, can charge their own model that has moved into the clouds, then move on to attack enemy models behind the clouds). Like most people, I will stick to a minimum size unit as it can become difficult to extend the Cloud Wall much further due to the unit leader’s command limit. As the maximum unit is 10, whereas the minimum size is 6, those extra models would not do much to extend the Cloud Wall. One alternative is to get some Grenade Porter weapon attachments, as they are simply one model for a point, so it would be possible to add two models to extend the Cloud Wall to its maximum size without spending on unnecessary models.

Another essential for her is Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord. The first turn, he can give Pathfinder to a unit to let it advance through rough terrain without being slowed down. From the second turn onwards, he will spend most of his time playing Dirge of Mists to the Haleys, as this will make them DEF19 and cause Terror. Admittedly, Terror is rarely useful for a Warcaster as the things attacking them will rarely not be Warcasters, Warjacks or Warbeasts, all of which are Fearless, but DEF19 forces most units and Warjacks/Warbeasts to only hit them on 13s (so only on boosted attacks and even then it is very shaky) or by rolling boxcars, neither of which is really reliable as a tactic. Even the most elite Warcasters like eCaine and Butcher3 will only hit them on 10s, though that is feasible on boosted attack rolls. All in all, Rhupert adds another layer to the sum of their survivability, combining his DEF bonus with that from Temporal Flux, the echoes’ Incorporeal ability, Arcane Shield and the Cloud Wall. This means that Haley3 is able to take a lot more risks than her previous incarnations and move much further forward to help support the main line with Temporal Flux, making them both more accurate and more difficult to hit, which is amazing value.

This means that we have spent 13 points so far, leaving us with 40 as she only has 3 Warjack Points to start with. Speaking of Warjack Points, we should also add a Warjack now. And here opinions vary. One option is Thorn or a simple Lancer to give her an Arc Node. As all Haleys can use the Arc Node, provided it is in their own control area, it is useful to have one. However, neither Thorn nor the Lancer are very good damage dealers themselves and this means you spend points on models without adding to your damage output. As none of the models added so far are really good at dealing damage, we need to carefully consider if we should spend more points on a model that costs a lot for little offensive output. The next option would be a Sentinel. At 4 points, it is significantly cheaper than a Lancer or Thorn. It also does not really need any focus as it will spend most of the game walking next to Haley, spraying fire with its chain gun, but mostly just being there for its Shield Guard rule to take shots going on Haley or a member of her support staff, such as the Squire, Junior or Rhupert. Again, its offensive output is limited to a single chain gun, but it is cheap. Finally, there is the Charger at 4 points. It has a decent melee weapon and, more importantly, its Dual Cannon has the stats of a handcannon with ROF2 and Powerful Attack, so if it is allocated 3 Focus Points, it can pump out two fully boosted handcannon shots, which can kill two solos or really hurt a light Warjack or Warcaster. However, three Focus Points is a lot as Haley is often focus-starved despite having a potential 19 Focus Points available. I have tested Thorn and the Charger, but neither has really convinced me. I will give the Sentinel a go next and I expect that it will work fine and do work without breaking the bank.

Moving on, we should now add some actual damage dealers as we have solely focused on support so far. To the surprise of nobody who has actually bothered reading the article so far, the two first units we could try are Storm Lances and Tempest Blazers. Both units can hit very hard over very long distances. Tempest Blazers can hit targets 19 inches away even without adding Revive shenanigans, going to a whopping 30 inches when Reviving 3 Blazers. On the other hand, their shots are not that powerful, capping at 3d6+10 for their Brutal shots. Storm Lances have a shorter range, as they can charge targets 13 inches away, but compensate for that by having a P+S15 lance and MAT9 on the charge or with Temporal Flux (or 11 when both are combined). Of course, when you factor in Revive, they go to a threat range of 24” or half the table. Beyond the assassination run, both units are also good at the attrition game, as they can kill multiple targets per round each. They also all have access to Electro Leap on either their guns for the Blazers and melee and ranged attacks for the Lances, meaning that they can try to bounce a shot off a low DEF model to hit a high DEF model next to it. I think one unit of each is best, as it gives you access to both an extremely fast hit squad and a slightly slower and harder-hitting one.

So, having added these two units, we now have spent 38 of our 53 points, leaving us with 15. Having added some heavy hitters and support, we can now look to branch out to iron out our weaknesses. I am still looking at what option is best here.

The first option is the utility package:

6 Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers plus Gun Mage Officer Adept

Lady Aiyana and Master Holt

Archduke Alain Runewood / Captain Maxwell Finn

The Gun Mages do their usual shtick, shooting people off objectives, sniping out blocking models or dealing with Incorporeal or high DEF threats. Being able to ignore Stealth, they can handle all those problem models quite easily. Lady Aiyana either provides another damage buff to facilitate assassinations or Magical Weapons when facing Menoth or Incorporeal models. Master Holt is ‘only’ two RAT8 handcannons to clear lanes or snipe solos. Finally, we have the choice between two excellent support solos. Runewood’s Battle Plans can be adapted to the situation on the fly, letting a unit charge through rough terrain or providing a MAT buff with Fearless tagged on to enable a Storm Lance charge that can kill even the most agile Warcaster reliably enough. Captain Maxwell Finn is less flexible, but Desperate Pace on Trenchers is great, as they can then advance 8 inches before dropping their clouds, giving you more space to deploy behind the Cloud Wall. There is also a moment in the mid- or end-stages of the game where the Cloud Wall is no longer necessary or feasible and the remaining Trenchers are actually expected to do some fighting. At this stage, having a +2 bonus makes them more reliable to actually hit someone, though Finn does nothing to help their slightly pillow-fisted attacks wound.

The second option is the heavy Warjack road:

Lieutenant Allison Jakes


Ragman / Stormblade Captain

Jakes is a Journeyman Warcaster, so she can field Dynamo and give it 3 Focus per round without taking from Haley’s stack. She also has Sidekick as an upkeep spell, which adds +2 DEF to its already nice DEF 12. Stack Temporal Flux on top and all of a sudden you have a DEF16 heavy Warjack with Set Defense, making it all but immune to charge attacks and with enough ARM to shrug off non-charge attacks. Dynamo can also stay behind the Cloud Wall and advance whilst taking shots with its Firestorm Cannon without having to charge ahead to actually have an impact on the game. As Dynamo can easily kill most heavy Warjacks and cripple a Colossal/Gargantuan, it is a powerful tool to hide behind the Cloud Wall and deploy when necessary. Jakes is also quite survivable at DEF16, but she needs to stay well-hidden to avoid becoming a priority target. Finally, Ragman replaces Aiyana and Holt as a cheaper, though not as efficient, ARM debuff or the Stormblade Captain enables the Storm Lances to charge through each other in case they get entangled, which is bound to happen as they have to clump together behind the Cloud Wall.

A variant of this is:

Lieutenant Allison Jakes


Ragman / Stormblade Captain

Stormsmith Stormcaller

Gallant is a point cheaper than Dynamo, trading offensive output for resilience. Gallant has DEF13 on its own, going to 17 with all the bonuses, as well as ARM19 with its Buckler. It also has Shield Guard to protect either Jakes or Haley and even wields a Magical Reach weapon in the cases where this is needed. The Stormsmith adds some solo sniping, but to be honest, it is mostly there to fill up the last point. Yet another option could be to drop the Sentinel and the Stormsmith to give Haley a Minuteman to have yet another high DEF Warjack that is very good at crowd control.

I have given some of these versions a go and will try to work my way through them all to see which one suits my playstyle the most. This gives me something to do over the summer I guess.


Battle report: Renegades versus Space Marines

I recently had the first game with my new Renegades force. As I have not yet finished assembling the army, I agreed with Jean-Claude, my opponent, to play a 1.500 points game.

My list included:

Arch-Demagogue (Master of the Horde) with Command Squad

2 Infantry Platoons: 2 20-strong and 1 30-strong units per Platoon.

3 Chaos Spawn

4 Thudd Guns

3 Sentinels with Multiple Rocket Pods

3 Sentinels with Autocannons

3 Rapier Laser Destroyers

3 Rapier Laser Destroyers

Aegis Defense Line with Quad Gun

  The complete army. Rather a lot for 1.500 points

Jean-Claude played Ultramarines. He ran:

Tigurius (who went all in on Telepathy)

3 Grav Centurions with Missile Nipple Guns

3 5-strong Tactical Squads in Drop Pods, 2 with Meltagun and Combi-Melta, one with Flamer and Combi-Flamer

1 5-strong Tactical Squad with Meltagun and Combi-Melta in a Razorback with Lascannon turret

6 Bikers with 2 Grav Guns

3 Scout Bikers with Grenade Launchers

Thunderfire Cannon

Sicaran with 2 Lascannons and Ceramite Plating

As he had taken an all-comers list just like me, he was slightly mismatched against my force, having a lot of anti-tank weaponry and grav guns. But I guess that is the risk of an all-comers list and an advantage of mine, attacking the meta at an angle by having more bodies than the other side has bullets.

We played Cloak and Shadows, a Maelstrom mission where players keep their objectives secret until resolving them. As usual, we agreed to immediately discard and replace any cards that would be impossible to fulfil.

I won the roll to deploy first and put everything in a long line. The guns all went centrally behind the Aegis, with a 30-strong unit between them and a smaller unit behind them to avoid Drop Pod assaults from the rear.

My Warlord Trait let me Infiltrate three units of infantry, which was a blessing as I had a lot of models to put into my deployment zone. Note the unit of Delaques with cloaks next to objective 3. They held that objective twice for two easy Victory Points.   

On the other side, we have 6 Bikers, a Thunderfire Cannon and Tiberius leading the Centurions.  The Bikers started a tradition of Jean-Claude rolling poorly on armour saves and they failed 6 out of 12 armour saves when targetted by the Thudd Guns turn 1, netting me First Blood and Take No Prisoners, as well as removing one of his most mobile units right off the bat. 

Turn 1, I ran forward with all my men. The Rapiers turned out to be just out of range of the Sicaran, which wisely decided to stay out of their range for the rest of the game. Apart from the Bikers being massacred, nobody died on his side. I got First Blood, Take No Prisoners (destroy any unit to get a point), Objective 3 and Objective 2 next to the Sentinels in the back, so I was off to a 4-0 lead. In his first turn, the Thunderfire got unlucky and only killed two Cultists in the large red unit, though one of them was the Sigil bearer. He dropped two pods, the flamer unit torched 9 dudes in the large unit guarding my artillery and the other one melta-gunning some crew men of my Thudd Guns, but not enough to force a test. He also made the Centurions Invisible, as well as scoring 2 points for Objective 6 and killing a vehicle (a Sentinel).

In my second turn, my dark blue unit on the top left managed an 11-inch (9 plus obstacle) charge and overran the Thunderfire Cannon. The turn after, they are wiped out by the Centurions and the Scout Bikers coming in from reserves. I also wipe out both Drop Pod units thanks to a lot of unlucky save rolls and cause the front Drop Pod to explode.  My Sentinels ping the Razorback. I score another point I think. As mentioned above, he wipes out my blue unit, which fails their 5+ roll to be put in reserves. He also drops the last Drop Pod behind my Thudd Guns to do some more damage on them. However, as he has drawn the Kingslayer card, he combines the fire of the dropped unit and the two Drop Pods to try and kill the Warlord, but I drop into cover and only a single Disciple dies and the Demagogue takes two wounds. He scores some more points for wiping out my unit and holding Objective 6.     I advance on his castle. The Drop Pods and the last Tactical Squad deployed from them are also destroyed. However, my Thudd Guns fail to leave a mark on the Razorback and the Centurions are Invisible again. My Spawn fail to reach the Razorback and take some fire in return. 
  The Spawn fail to charge the unit that has disembarked from the Razorback while the rest of his army castles in the corner. I get a bit nervous as he has actually managed to catch up on points by drawing cards that help him more (I was lucky early on, so it balances out). The red squad is slowly whittled down and fails a charge on the Tactical Squad hiding in the ruin. The red squad ends up being wiped out too. 

At the end of the game, we have a sort of armistice where I cannot reach his units in the castle and his units cannot kill enough of my stuff. The Thudd Guns rain fire on the Centurions and actually manage to bring them down to one and Tigurius after a few rounds, but not having my Rapiers in range hurts a lot.   

His Scout Bikes charge a unit of Renegades, but both units mostly handbag each other and they stay locked in combat until the game ends. In hindsight, I should have removed the Sigil bearer in a melee phase in one of his turns to wipe them out in my next turn. As I had two full units and the Thudd Guns nearby, killing three Bikers would have been eminently feasible. 

In the end, we play 6 turns until the game ends and we manage an 11-11 tie as I had Linebreaker and First Blood as well as 9 Objective points, whereas he had 11 Objective points, 3 coming from a single card. It was a really fun game as our lists were so radically different and I love the way my army plays, just shoving waves of peons closer to the opponent and removing my own models by the bucketload. It helped of course that Jean-Claude is a very nice opponent and he even had a Warhammer soundtrack running in the background to set the mood.

I am going to have my two-months summer holiday coming up and will be painting the rest of the 2.000 points army, as well as hoping to get some games on.


Tournament report: Learning from my own bad example

The last time I wrote a post, I was busy preparing my Vayl1 list for a tournament in Trier. This is the story of how the tournament went. Spoiler: not very good. But as I am still getting to grips with the complexities of Warmachine, this might be a good thing and so I have decided to reflect on my mistakes and how they led to the results I got.

Mistake 1: Playing lists I was not familiar with.

A couple of days before the event, I had a change of heart. I was looking at the list of registered players and as I know most people from the local meta, I was more or less aware of what I could face in terms of lists. One thing that struck me was that there were two Cryx players amongst the 6 players on the list, both of which would play Asphyxious 3, who has a very good matchup against Hordes due to his feat being so good, healing damage each time a beast forces to boost and gain a soul token as well. This would mean that I shot him with a Ravagore, boosting to hit and wound, he would regain 2d3 wounds, so every shot after the first one (where he could not yet heal as the damage is applied after my rolls) would not really deal more than a few points of damage and give him two souls that would turn into focus the next turn. With the Vayls, I could try to bypass his feat by backing off and not doing much on the feat turn, but that would give him a virtual time walk and time walks usually win games. But then I realised that he only had a 14-inch control zone and that Ravagores also shot 14 inches normally, but 18 inches in Lylyth2’s feat turn. So if I could use Lylyth2, I could use her 12-inch bow (16 under the feat) and those of the Deathstalkers in her list to ‘pre-measure’ 14.1 inches away from Asphyxious, my Ravagores and Bolt Thrower should be able to fire at him without giving him a feat bonus. As Lylyth’s feat would also give them a second shot each, that would mean that I could rain death down on him and have a good counter for the Hordes counter. As the event was 3 rounds and we were 6 in total, odds were good that I would face one, perhaps even both Cryx players. So I decided to go Vayl1 for the other match-ups and Lylyth2 for Cryx.

Trouble is, I haven’t played Lylyth 2 in months and I had in fact never played her with Zuriel in the list. Now Zuriel is a great addition for hordes clearing, as it has 2 (3 on feat) sprays with an animus that gives an additional dice to all to hit rolls against non-warlock/caster warrior models and also enabling Lylyth to copy that animus for an extra die on her 4-6 shots per round, but it changes the list to a large degree. In addition, not having played the list for so long meant that I didn’t have a good feeling for the numbers I needed to roll.

So long story short, only one Cryx player played as we were only 5 in the end and the other one dropped to avoid having to hand out byes, so we had a 4-player ‘Everyone plays a game against other player’ mini-tournament. Which meant of course that I was guaranteed my game against Cryx, so the plan should work, right? Well, we faced each other in round 3 where I was list-locked into Lylyth (still good), but he was list-locked into Body and Soul, the Deneghra2 theme force. So no Asphyxious, but instead 50 odd infantry models. Still, given that I had all those AOE 3 templates and Zuriel’s sprays, I should be good. Well, not if you don’t know your list it seems. In turn 2, he had advanced most of his army as a living wall of infantry towards the centre line, aiming for a turn 3 feat that would give all my models in 14 inches of Deneghra -3 DEF and leave the affected models unable to advance for a turn, which would mean that he could easily win on scenario that turn or at least get a commanding lead. But Deneghra was located close to my lines, behind a wall and camping 7, making her an ARM21 caster with 14 boxes, which is rather easily killable for my Ravagores and other models. Just one teensy wee problem, the wall gave her DEF20, which required 13s or better for my beasts to hit. So in this situation, what I should have done was stay put with Lylyth, call feat and then use my Ravagores to drop 4 Scather templates into his frontlines. This would have made it impossible for his mass of infantry to move as they would take an automatic wound when moving through the templates. So either they would have died when the Ravagore shot them, the next turn when making their roll for being on fire or be unable to advance due to the clouds. That would have enabled me to ignore his feat or force him to wait with it for another turn, thus giving me more chances of hitting Deneghra with a Bolt Thrower to push her into the open where her DEF would be easily manageable for my Ravagores. But instead of murdering half his army in a hail of blight, blows and arrows, I decided to concentrate all my fire on Deneghra and continued even when I saw that I would need 13s to hit. Admittedly, a low scatter roll would still have clipped her and set her on fire, but it was a rubbish plan. If I had had more experience with Lylyth, I would have seen that attrition would be the better option here and I could have easily shifted the pressure over to his side as he would have to deal with losing his front line and having his rear line pinned behind blight clouds. In the end, he feated on me and Lylyth somehow survived the assassination attempt, but as Lylyth has no melee weapon, she could not disengage and thus was unable to do anything relevant the following turn. I managed to drop Deneghra to 4 wounds and set her on fire, but the fire went out before dealing damage, for the second time on her that game as a matter of fact. If it had continued, I would have needed a 6 on 2d6 to kill her, but it would not have been a deserved victory.


Mistake 2: Don’t get penisy!

In my first game, I dropped Vayl1 into Butcher3 and the game was going rather well on my feat turn. I had blunted his first wave, killing nearly all the Doom Reavers in his two units, as well as Butcher’s two Argus hounds, which would give him a 3” movement, but nothing would be close enough to him to let him use it to kill models of mine. Also, as both dogs were dead, he could not use them to jam me and force me to kill them later on, which would give him a Vengeance movement at a better point of the game. So I was down to the Ravagore and I could either try a shot into the Butcher, needing an 11 to hit and an 6+ to wound or drop it into a pack of Iron Fang Pikemen, likely hitting and killing three and blocking a couple more behind a blight cloud. Of course I aimed at the Butcher, actually hit and dealt 10 wounds on a spiked 16 on 3d6. Great! So when it came to my feat movements at the end of the turn, I had the choice between ramming my beasts down his throat to pin him into his deployment zone or pull back to limit his retribution to a few Pikemen charging into a waiting counterattack force. Guess which one I took? Yup, I went full aggro and as a result, I lost a significant part of my army to his counterattack. The next two turns, I dealt some damage to him, including wiping out a complete unit of Kayazy Assassins with a Forsaken Blight Shroud attack, but the Pikemen and his solos rolled over me whilst Ruin and the Butcher kept me from meaningfully counterattacking. I had a hail mary assassination attempt available when the fire actually dropped the Butcher to 6 damage boxes and ARM21, but the Ravagore missed the boosted 11 this time. If I had instead fired at the Pikemen and fallen back, I would not have lost two heavy warbeasts and a Raek and could have dictated the pace of the game, taking out the Kayazy and Pikemen the turn after and then engaging Ruin and Butcher on my terms instead of his.



Mistake 3: Don’t be hasty!

In the second game (yes, we are non-chronological today), I faced off against one of the best regional players, who was playing Skorne. He dropped Rasheth’s Chain-Gang into my Vayl1 and it looked like I had a good chance at the start of turn 3. My Raek had managed to annoy a whole unit of Slingers by being just out of 5” and thus making them miss their shots due to being Stealthy, his three Titans were in the middle of the table, the Sentry on the left flank, the Gladiator hanging slightly back and the Bronzeback on a hill, whilst his Gatormen were advancing on a flank, far from my beasts. Only one Gatorman had split from his unit and stood in front of the Gladiator and an Agonizer was close enough to them and giving my beast -2 STR.  The plan was easy. Have Vayl move forward and cast Incite, then Rampager on the Gladiator to have it move past the Gatorman, whallop it and stand with its back to my Carnivean and Seraph. My two Scytheans could easily reach the Sentry and finish it, then the Ravagore could take a shot at the Gladiator or the second Agoniser or even a Gatorman, who knows? So I advance Vayl, call feat, cast Incite, then notice that the Raek had been shot by his Basilisk Drake and lost its Mind and Body to a lucky 15 damage hit. So I heal it for 2 to bring all its aspects back to operational, then immediately activate it. Notice something? Yes, I forgot the Rampager on the Bronzeback. No matter, the Raek was in Vayl’s Incite Range, so it would get +2 to damage from her and -2 from the Agonizer, so they would cancel each other out. But then it missed twice and only dealt 8 damage on the other 3 attacks, leaving the Agonizer alive. Hmmm. At least the Scytheans managed to kill the Sentry, so one down, two to go. The Carnivean would be able to reach the Bronzeback and it was out of the Agoniser range but in Vayl’s, so it would hit with POW18-19 against ARM19 with a potential 7 attacks. I only needed to kill that Gator. So I charge in the Seraph and it oneshots the Gator, but I stupidly placed it too quickly and now the Carnivean was without a charge lane! So I could not kill the Bronzeback or at least cripple it and instead killed some Gatormen with my Carnivean before casting Spiny Growth. As you might have guessed, that did not work out that well and the Gladiator killed both Scytheans over the next two turns before dying itself. The Bronzeback died too, but it killed the Carnivean in the process. Finally, the last two Gatormen killed the Seraph and the Basilisk Drake teamed up with his Krea mate to finish off the Ravagore and leaving me with nothing but Vayl.


So in the end I got thoroughly trounced 3 times, but I can honestly say that I have nobody to blame for that but myself. My dice were not above or below average, neither were my opponents, I think I managed to avoid falling for any traps or tricks and I had a fighting chance to win every single game before I managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory each time.

I will write the lessons learnt on a piece of paper and laminate it to remind me of not falling for those mistakes again.


Weekly update: Who needs skill when you can have luck?

I have been making quite a bit of progress with my Renegades army, having recently finished another 20-strong unit of ranged Renegades with 2 Heavy Stubbers. As a matter of fact, I am only one unit of 20 away from filling my second platoon and thus all my Renegade platoons. The only infantry remaining at that stage will be the Mutants, of which I have 10 built, 10 waiting in their box and another 30 that I need to acquire at a later stage. I have also made a bargain on a couple of Squat Thudd Guns, so I will use four of those instead of two. At 120 points for 16 S5 AP5 blast templates, they pack quite a wallop for their cost.


I have also recently finished my first Sentinel and I am planning to build another two over the weekend or on Monday. The three of them will be armed with Multiple Missile Pods to rain more pie-plate death onto my enemies. The three remaining ones I picked up will be given autocannons and will form a 5-strong unit with two I have yet to acquire. The good thing is that I have also got the Kataphrons I intend to use as Rapier Laser Destroyers, so I am actually seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Light of course being a bit of an optimistic term, considering I have nigh-on a hundred miniatures left to paint at this stage, some of which are not even built, let alone bought. Well, something to keep me busy over the summer I guess.

So the plan for the next week is to build the other two Sentinels and the Thudd Guns and paint these up. The last unit of Renegades is primed and ready on my desk, but right now I can’t bear the thought of having to paint another unit of infantry, so I will do the artillery first to avoid hobby burnout. I have also ordered some parts for Warmachine models, namely the sword arm of Alexia 2 that broke off when I got her online and the head of Lord General Stryker (Stryker3) that I lost when I dropped Stryker after basecoating him. That should give me enough hobby diversity before diving back into the last 70 infantry of the Renegades army.

UPDATE: I managed to build, base-coat and paint the two Sentinels, the Thudd Guns, as well as building, priming and inking the first unit of Rapier Kataphrons, so I hope to have that unit finished by the end of the week as well. I have also tentatively scheduled a game for Saturday in two weeks, as I should have 1.500 done by then, in fact, I am only missing 3 Sentinels and the second Rapier unit to do so.

IMG_0616 IMG_0615 IMG_0618 IMG_0617

I also managed to get a game in yesterday, playing Chris’s Cryx with my Legion army. I have become a bit bored with Absylonia2, as she is very good at what she does, but also very linear. This means that a clever player can figure out her threat ranges and when she is going to most likely feat to increase her threat ranges, so they can try to reduce the impact of her alpha strike by not putting anything too valuable in her extended threat range. And as she is really all about the alpha strike, that does hurt her a lot. But as she was my high-ARM drop to go with Vayl2, I would need another armour-cracking list to replace her. So after some perusing of the forums, I have decided that the best caster to complement Vayl is Vayl, namely her first version, Vayl, Disciple of Everblight. Unlike Vayl2, who is primarily a control caster that specialises in hit-and-run strikes to chip away at the opponent until the key models no longer have anywhere to hide so she can spell-assassinated them with an Icy Grip dropping their DEF followed by a double Obliteration, Vayl1 is an aggressive caster with a spell suite that can augment her beasts to turn them into murder machines, with a hit-and-run feat to make sure they survive their first attack run and can go for the beta strike after the alpha strike.

Long story short, I mostly played like a muppet, which I guess is par for course for me with a new caster at this stage, but I nevertheless managed to have an out by going for the jugular after losing half my army to Asphyxious 3 and his army. As Gaspy can generate a free spell each round with Blood Boon by simply killing an enemy model and it was the turn after his feat, he was sitting on full health and 5 camped focus, so had 18 damage boxes and 22 ARM. The models I had left to kill him were some Hex Hunters, Vayl1, a Spawning Vessel with 3 corpse tokens, a Seraph, a Ravagore and a Scythean that was too far away from the main battle. Gaspy was in the open and there were a Bane Rider, a Bane Knight and a Nightwretch threatening free strikes. So that was a bit of a puzzle, but I tried to go for it. First, Vayl advanced to be within 9 inches of Gaspy, then cast Incite to give a +2 to hit and damage to her battle group to models within her command, then she dropped a boosted Hoarfrost that actually dealt 6 damage to Asphyxious on dice -6. Then the Hex Hunters activated and tried to kill the Bane Knight and maybe even the Bane Rider to reduce the number of free strikes I would take. No dice as they all rolled terribly. Not good. Then the Ravagore activated and shot Gaspy in the face, doing another 6 damage thanks to Incite and setting him on fire. Only 6 to go, but only the Seraph and the pot were left. I foolishly decided to activate the pot first, spawning a Shredder and having it go Rabid before moving up to Gaspy. It missed its first boosted attack, needing an 8 on 3d6, then hit with the second and at dice -10, it dealt an amazing 5 damage. Wow! Now if only the Seraph could charge without taking all those free strikes. But wait, I have the Scythean who can trample over some Raiders, then buy additional attacks to kill the Bane Knight engaging it, thus freeing it up to shoot Asphyxious with the Incite bonus. Well, it turned out that the Raider Captain engaging the Scythean snuggly rolled a Critical hit on her free strike to knock it down, so no trampling for the Scythean. On the other hand, the Seraph had DEF15 with Tenacity and ARM 17, so it might just survive a MAT6 (8 with back strike bonus) POW13 boosted Weapon Master free strike. Not if your opponent hits and does 16 damage on 4d6 -4, knicking out its mind and reducing it to 1 attack dice (2 with boosting). As Gaspy was in melee due to my order of activation mistake, it unsurprisingly failed to hit him at all, leaving Gaspy on one damage box. But he was on fire. So I pass the turn, Christian fails the roll to have the fire go out and I roll a 6 for the fire damage, resulting in exactly one point of damage, killing Gaspy with exactsies! Yay!