There's been a lot of discussion about the new Fire Eaters, and with Madrak2 specifically. I think they'll work very well with him, and I think he's pretty decent against 3 units of Gators too. The main concern I had was the Sacral vault in the list. 80% of my army can't even get near it, so that was an issue.
*Spiny Growth bot (Let's be honest)
Bog Trog Shamblers
Witch Doc Croc
This was a Blindwater pact, so he got two water templates to put in place. I came wanting to play Madrak2 or Borka2's tier. Looking back, I think Borka2 would be playable into the list, but the low model count would have struggled against 15 gators. Madrak2 was a better matchup against Minions in general, be it Jaga or Rask. I built this list earlier this week, and it was a delivery module for Fire Eaters, and Kriel Warriors, because I'm trying to make 100$ work for me. So far, the Kriel Warriors are looking like a waste of time on anyone but Grissel1, much to the chagrin of the Trollblood forums or facebook group.
Max Fenns w/UA
Min Kriels w/ 3 Cabers and UA
Min KSB w/UA
We rolled off and I won, electing to go first. My opponent chose the side with the wall for Rask to hide behind.
Deployment was pretty straightforward, and I tried to line the Fire Eaters up to flank, and take a unit of Posse each.
Everything runs on my side, and I cast nothing. Madrak fully loads the stone. I'd just as soon not have -2 DEF on anything because of Blood Fury. Looking back, the only ranged attacks he had was Rask or the Vault, so I probably would have been fine, but meh. I was expecting Rask's feat on my opponent's turn to hurt my alpha, so my opponent would probably get the alpha, so it made sense to keep the DEF normal for the fenns.
Pretty simple reply. Rask put Boundless Charge on the Vault, Fury on posse, and Admonition on himself, and Feats, which I expected. The Shamblers run up, the Vault charges one of them, kills it in melee, and then uses the rest of it's shots on the fire eaters, killing one, much to my frustration. The Posses move up, but only use about half of their full movement, playing it very conservatively.
So I've got a couple of options. The Burrowers are going to pop up, and definitely be in range of shooting the battle engine once they've moved. The question here is how much I want to focus on the Vault. It honestly me worries me some, and most of my army can't do a lot about it. At ARM20, the warbeasts are pretty much useless against it, so that leaves Madrak, Burrowers (shooting) or the Fire Eaters.
Madrak's feat is incredibly adaptive. You can clear tarpits engaging you with it, you can run through forests and then attack after the run with it, (suck it Bradigus), you can charge a bunch of stuff, and kill everything else you engaged with it, all sorts of things. An ideal Madrak2 feat turn for me is Blood Furied, War-Cried Fenns charging in a 24'' line with the UA/Drummer duo centered, forcing CMD checks on the world, engaging as much as possible, getting off a bunch of decent attacks at MAT8 Weapon Master, and then Madrak feating, and killing everything else. It's a thirty minute turn but it's amazing.
However, here, I can use it run fenns into the faraway gators, get really agressive with Madrak2, and maybe kill some gators early. However, I'm really worried about the Vault still, so I decide to make it up as I go, and pop the Burrowers. I carefully move them to within 5'', but not within 2'', and all but 1 Burrower makes it. At RAT4, I need 6s to hit, and I think most of them hit ok. I got like six or seven hits out of nine.
Then I rolled like crazy for damage, and left like, two boxes on this thing. Really frustrating.
So my Fenns run. They can't charge anything, so they just sprint around in a tarpitty sort of way and mini-feat because I expect Terror checks here shortly from the Gators. This leaves my Fire Eaters on the right. The Pyre hits them directly and lights them on fire, for little to no damage. The little guy assaults a Burrower (conveniently landing the Vault in the spray) and the other guy assaults a juicy row of gators by targetting a Fenn.
The little guy, of course, hits the Vault and fails to do damage. Horrible damage roll. The other guy scratches a few gators, but I'm so used to 8'' sprays on the Scats that 6'' sprays catch me off guard. Everything else runs, and here's where I debate. I can feat with Madrak, and with 2 boxes left, definitely kill the Vault, or I can save it. I debate, and debate, and debate, and feat. The second or third burrower kills the vault, and I kill a gator or two. Worst feat ever.
Then the Gators proceed to come in. The unit on the far right does work. The unit in the middle runs into the Burrowers which miraculously pass their CMD, and the unit on the left tears into the Kriel Warriors. At two attacks each, most with rerolls, they did work. Even the Swamp Horror moved in and cleared at least three models. I think one model toughed out of the whole group. The attrition level very clearly swings in my opponent's direction. I lose 7 Fenns, most of the Kriels, the Fire Eaters on the right and a few Burrowers.
This is where it gets rough. My Fenns use vengeance, move into melee, and fail CMD. Just like that. I was hoping to clear the center unit of gators, but with five badly needed models now fleeing, it's not going to happen.
I still think I can clear the left flag and control it with the Fire Eaters and the Kriels though, and I think Madrak can start doing work on the right flank, so it's still possible. However, the order of activation issues are crazy. My brilliant plan involves the Fire Eaters on the left assaulting the gators on that flag. One can target a dude, land in melee with him and stay base to base with the flag The other can spray him, and two more badguys, and do it first so as to light the other guy on fire for his boosted damage. I try this, and realize I need 9 to hit my guy on the hill in the back, and I make it. Sweet, high rolls. Then I do damage and roll and eleven, then fail the tough, killing him. And the plan goes to pieces. The kriels get in there a little bit, but it's a lost cause there, and I leave one gator alive.
The Stormtroll goes after the Swamp Horror with flaming fists, barely scratches it. The Caber misses the attack against the same beast. The Burrowers scrape some damage onto the Gators, and Madrak kills like three. The stone charges into combat, passing CMD, and starts trying to provide Grim Salvation targets. The one gator on the left and the one gator on the right are both contesting, or it would have been a point each.
On the plus side, I just remembered how much damage my MAT4 burrowers did that turn. Three gators are dead. This game was about a month ago, so remembering everything is rough. My fenns did pass CMD though and are back.
Speaking of rough, this following picture is crap. The gist of it though is that the Gators are attritioning better than I am at two attacks each, and the Gator Bokor is getting all kinds of corpses from me.
Rask and crew clears most of the left flag, and the Shamblers start CRAing on the Burrowers. The Gators on the right start working their way into Madrak.
Madrak moves right, with blood fury on him at this point, and kills all four gators at the flag, and goes base to base with it. Go Tide of Death or whatever it's called. The Burrowers keep working on the Center Gators leader, who has toughed by now. And they're killing shamblers because DEF10 is in their comfort zone. The Pyre moves to the center flag to control and bombs a bunch of shamblers, but one contests, putting me at 1 CP for the one Madrak is on. My Kriel flag contests left flag.
The Swamp Horror charges in and kills the Pyre. The Bokor drops a bunch more shamblers and these both contest, and kill things. He has to fight Madrak instead of contesting his own flag because Madrak will definitely clear his own flag faster than Rask can. He outnumbers me all day long and I'm losing models, but he has to keep coming to me.
I'm down to one Burrower at this point, a couple of KSB, and a Fennblade UA. One shambler contests me.
At this point in the game, it's been going on four hours, and we're just going through the motions. I'm pretty sure I'm missing pictures here, but you're not missing much. My opponent clears contesting models and contests my flag. I'm at 2 CP, but I get up to 4 at some point, Madrak just cutting for fury lol.
Yeah, I'm missing pictures. There's like a whole other round after this, but you can see the writing on the wall. It ends with just Madrak, by himself, swinging an axe. The Shambler Bokor gets in there and finishes him finally, but I'm at 4CP when I die, all of those gained after the game went against me.
Victory to Minions.
Thoughts on the game:
1. Most important: The Sacral Vault is not that scary. Is it a problem? Sure. It's Defenses are many and prevent me from doing much about it throughout the game. However, it can't do much while it's alive. It takes huge parts of the board, but really, the only other thing it does is shoot things, and it's D3 at best. I should not have Feated to kill it. That's where I lost the game I think.
2. Failing CMDs and inopportune dice rolls begone, I almost had 5CP in at least 3 different spots. At some point in the game, I gave up on it and was just finishing it, and I gave it a good try, but I just wasn't in it, and I could have gotten that 5th CP.
3. Rask didn't feel like much of a threat. The Shamblers really turn him up since he has sac pawn to them all day long, and I basically fed him bodies for it, but really, Triple Posse is a Hipster MMM, and Madrak2 eats it up all day long. We go for a rematch a week after this, and he changes his caster, and I drop:
4. The Kriel Warriors. I really get a lot of flak for disliking these guys, but I really do. No Vengeance, Set Defense, Minifeat, nothing. I think Jarl and Grissel1 can probably use them, but Madrak2 has got better things. In the next game, I replace them with Min Scats w/UA, and I like that considerably more. Here, they really didn't do anything. They need Tough to work before they're making points back, and I've got no use for that.
Excellent game though, and I've only played against Rask a handful of times. Really enjoyed the matchup, even with some lousy CMD checks on the Fenns.