Zerkova isn't a caster I see often. In a meta with at least 7 consistent Khador players, that's kinda funny. To be fair, I don't see Strakhov either, and oddly enough, I rarely see Old witch. I see every Butcher, some Sorschas and a lot of Harkevich oddly enough. Nobody admits that Karchev exists.
However, my opponent is a Khador player who regularly beats me fine. Our two lists were Hark/Zerkova and RoW/Grim2. His Hark list is a really difficult matchup for my Cygnar, and I wasn't too comfortable dealing with it in Hordes, so I rolled with RoW. PS23 Mulg can handle ARM25 clamjacks, and I don't think they can handle him. My opponent, knowing this, drops Zerkova.
Zerkova gets a lot of hate. This new tier is not bad though. It gives her FA:2 on Kayazy UAs, and makes the Vanguard a faction warjack. Gorman is also in-tier, which is super nice in a list with access to Shield Guard. Zerkova and Gorman both appreciate that.
Zerkova NQ T4 "Hunting Wolves". Warjacks wearing Wolves not allowed, oddly enough.
Max Kayazy w/UA
Max Kayazy w/UA
My list is a run of the mill Runes. I don't want to change it for the first drive out of the garage without knowing what I don't like.
Max KSB w/UA
That many Kayazy are an issue, and so are the Outriders. I feel like I can brick hard enough to prevent landing spots on Doomy, and I can mitigate the Kayazy quite a bit with walls. Outriders, however, are a major issue. They'll be in my back arc in two flanks, spraying and running away. I'll be lucky to have KSB by turn 3.
I win the rolloff to go first. My opponent builds the map and we land Fire Support for scenario. He leaves me a wall on my side, and gives me a giant obstruction in the middle of the map, essentially dividing the map. It also gives me another block from Kayazy. Something they can't actually charge through. With a 7 Khador meta, I've lost both doomys to Kayazy on multiple occasions.
So, major mistakes. My walls are all good. The center one is not Janissa's, it's the terrain. Janissa ran. The problem is that I ran all four beasts. Doomy filled the KSB to the top, cast Fortune (Rerolls) on the front left unit, and did something else. Oh, put Rush on Mulg to get him up the board farther. This left me on one Fury, with four in the field. Top of 2, Doomy will have to cut. Brilliant.
The game starts into a drag. The Kayazy sprint forward in a horde, and the unit on my right lands Banishing Ward, so I cannot target them with AOEs. I think about purification but it's not overall worth it. Incidentally, non-Iron Fleshed Kayazy against Runeshapers get hit on 7s. Not bad. I'm feeling better about this already. I was hoping for Force Lock from Janissa to do work, but I'll be too spread out for that.
I push the Runeshapers pretty hard on my flanks, getting the Warder proxies out there first and bunkering the other units. I'm trying to keep the Outriders out of my KSB, and I'm trying to keep the Kayazy out of them too. Between the wall on my right, the wall that was there when I started and Janissa, I can block my beasts in well enough that Kayazy will really struggle to land in there. I do throw the Axer forward, trying to force them to kill him to get Gorman close. Pathfinder isn't much of a concern here, and there's too many models and Vanguards to think that if Mulg gets an assassination run, it won't be done with Goad.
There's a few key moments on my opponent's coming turns. On the bottom of 2, Gorman misses a blind bomb on Mulg (DEF15 behind the wall), and it drifts, catching the Earthborn just barely. The Outriders start killing Runeshapers, and the Kayazy are killing about 2 runeshapers per turn. His right unit gets deep in my right flank, starting to work on my back right and getting towards the KSB. On his next turn, I've moved up quite a bit, and KSB moves up to keep track, and I pack models around the KSB. This is where the Kayazy minifeat and Outriders get busy and go for the kill. Five sprays into my KSB later over the top of minifeated Kayazy, I've lost maybe two KSB models. Either he missed, or failed to break ARM, or I tough. Either way, there were about 30 terrible rolls. The Outriders back up and the Kayazy stay packed in. Because I dominated the flag on the previous turn, I'm at 2CP. Zerkova runs for the hills away from Mulg.
When it cycles back to me, the Axer moves into the Vanguards, threshers, boosts to hit on Gorman and ends that menace. He doesn't do much else, but I goad him to the left and try to get him out of the way. I feel like Mulg can goad into Zerkova, and I've got the attacks to make it happen. The Earthborn moves out of the way, and Mulg goes into the Underboss. However, he misses both initials, and that's off the table. So he moves around and kills the the Vanguards. I want to go after the Outriders because I'm 1 domination and an objective away from winning the game. All of which will happen. However, Mulg doesn't have a way to get into the Outriders behind the wall and goad into the rest of them, so yeah. Both Vanguards die and everything around him. Also, the Vanguards are only alive because the Mauler couldn't kill them to save his life. So Mulg does it.
There's 5 Outriders, and a one Kayazy that can get into Doomy. The entire left army has been held up by Runeshapers, down to the last man. There's one left standing, and one eliminator has got past him, but she's out of range of Doomy. So it's just these six, and Zerkova going for it. There's a couple transfers. The Outriders get in there, and only two manage to connect, one being high enough damage for me to transfer. Mulg kills one with protective fit. The Kayazy gets in there, damages him, then forces the last transfer. Zerkova charges in at a Kayazy that runs to be in place just for that reason, and she's a half inch out of range of reaching Doomy, even with her +3RNG. We go ahead and roll it out for kicks and giggles, and Doomshaper toughs. I don't even think we roll it out after that. The objective will die, Doomy will dominate, and Mulg will kill Zerkova easily.
1. I thought I played it decently for being outnumbered as badly as I was. Runeshapers can hang onto their own pretty well. Versatile, and it's fun to use that many of them. I built a list with 10 units, Mulg and an Axer w/Janissa and full KSB. It's a list I want to vassal once lol.
2. The big points in this game where I won weren't really on my turn. I just cleared lines, pushed forward and killed things. The most important thing I did was kill Gorman. The 3 big points of this game for me were when A) Gorman missed. Blind would have taken Mulg, the EBDT and the Mauler all at once. Would have been brutal. I legitimately don't know how to handle Gorman except to throw a 6pt Axer at him. B) The Outriders chopped off their hands and tried to do magical sprays while intoxicated. They should have killed all of the KSB and put a lot of damage into Doomy. Did not happen. C) My opponent ran Zerkova too far. It was an afterthought for him, he was just getting away from Mulg. If he'd of thought of it just one more time, he'd of kept her just out of range of a Rushed Mulg and he'd of been plenty close for the assassination.
3. Overall, solid game. I felt like the matchup was pretty even, but the map helped me more than anything. Being able to isolate half his army from me and go all in helped quite a bit. I think with a different map, I'd of just been swarmed and would have had a really difficult time clearing Kayazy. Runeshaper AOEs help, but on the off chance I get a crit too close to my beast, I'm dead.
The next matchup is into Abby2. The Legion matchup isn't always a super rough one for trolls, but gearing for them and keeping a list that can be used elsewhere too is somewhat difficult as it is for a lot of factions. Runes of War straight up shuts them down, and after the Saeryn matchup awhile back with Borka2, I broke out Runes. Yesterday, I brought Borka2 out again for three games, all of them pretty close, but Runes is still a hard counter to most Legion lists whereas Borka2 is counting on a non-saeryn, non-ravagore matchup.
There's a couple of casters in Legion I worry about with Runes. Lylyth1 with Raptors is somewhat concerning, but it's on a timer that I'll win. The other is Abby2. Everything w/Reach, flight and +2SPD can be an issue that will mostly ignore walls that make RoW so stupid. However, if you can force the issue and feat first on Abby2's best chance to do work, you'll neuter a lot of what she can do. Also, limiting the models that she can kill will help as well and try to prevent Conferred Rage.
Shepherd. Maybe two.
This is my second Runes game in that week, and my original list against Zerkova had a Mauler. In this list, I try a Pyre, Runebearer and Whelps. The Mauler is nice, but I don't feel like he does a whole lot that the Pyre could. I'll sacrifice 1 point of damage per attack on PS19 mulg any day for Fire Immunity on Doomshaper, a boostable AOE, and Whelps, Runebearer. Mulg will still get to PS22 easily in this list. It'll be ok.
Runeshapers (Proxied by Warders)
Runeshapers (Proxied by Warders)
Scenario is Recon, which is perfect for Runes. Objective is right center where I can protect it, and it's a single zone scenario, in range of my walls being placed on either side of it.
I win the rolloff, we deploy, and I move, and this is my first turn here. Stuff is moved up,
So yeah. New favorite scenario. At some point, something will go kill the objective, and the rest of the time I'm just clearing zones and hanging out at the edges of walls. I can dominate the zone from behind cover without using Janissa. Not broken at all. RoW is getting nerfed SR2015. Sure.
His stuff moves up and plays the tenacity game. The Raeks get close and a deathstalker goes waaaay wide on me, KSB hunting. Doomy upkeeps Fortune for free. The unit with it moves up and shoots at a Raek, killing it. Doomy moves up, casts Fortune on the unit closest to the Deathstalker and then spams the EBDT animi everywhere. The front right Runeshapers somehow botch killing the Deathstalker, so the Runebearer has to minifeat and put fortune down on the next unit. Finally kills him, but six Runeshapers are out in the right field now. Janissa drops a wall, everything pushes up, and I realize I forgot to feat.
That's pretty dumb folks.
This is the turn Abby2 has to do things. I suppose she could just wait a turn, but if she doesn't, I just charge up the field, kill the objective, dominate the zone, and now I just have to weather the next turn and let Mulg do his thing. She's got to go now, and the best way to limit her is feat and I forget about it. Brilliant.
Abby2 does indeed feat, and charges into my Runeshapers I left out there shooting at the Raek so handily. We were both impressed they killed one Raek and severely hampered the second. Was some solid shooting. Anyways, She uses Slaughterhouse animus to make sure no runeshapers tough and clears out charge lanes as best she can before fleeing.
Typhon goes in first, trying to spray through Mulg and get the KSB and maybe Doomshaper. He hits Mulg, and then rolls terrible for damage. Then he hits Doomy, and again rolls terrible for damage. He damages everything else, including Janissa, and maybe gets a KSB. What I needed though was that damage on Doomy. He rolled like, double ones or something. I wanted Mulg to get in there and change his spray directions (Typhon has Gunfighter, so he can spray in melee, but has to target who he's in melee with. If it's Mulg, I can direct the spray), but because he rolled crap on Doomy, no dice. The next shot spikes hard and kills Janissa. Everything else Typhon does is pretty ineffectual. KSB is spread out pretty decent.
Then come the Scytheans and Angelius. Nothing can get to Mulg, so they go all in on the Pyre, Axer and Earthborn. With walls and whelps, everything is at DEF15 which isn't horrible, even with Abby2's feat and conferred rage. Also, ARM20 minimum, everywhere. Even the Pyre is ARM20. When it's all said and done, the Pyre is on maybe two boxes, the EBDT is in the single digits as well, and the Axer is pretty decent since he ends up running his last Scythean, trying to save him for endgame. The last Raek jumps the lines and lands in my back arc just to irritate things.
Janissa's wall drops. All of the whelps get eaten and bring the Pyre into a manageable state. He puts Flaming Fists on the Axer, and moves into the scythean to swing. Nothing crazy. Does some decent work but he's just getting out of the way. The Stone shuffles in, pops aura. Runeshapers on the right send some POW14s into the Angelius. The Axer moves into the hole left between the Scytheans and Typhon, and threshers for some sweet POW17 damage.
Doomy gets flaming fists on the Earthborn, who sidles up into the Axer for some adaption goodness. He's STR12 POW3 base. Flaming Fists take him to PS17. The Stone goes to PS18. The Axer is POW5, so now EBDT is POW20. He's +3 on the Angelius. Between that and the POW14s from the Runeshapers, the EBDT kills the Angelius in a few swings, goads into the Scythean, kills him too.
Mulg turns, smashes the Raek, smashes Typhon. Pretty simple.
I unfortunately did not get the objective. The EBDT had enough fury left to Goad that way, but he wouldn't have reached it, and I could have reached the Forsaken, but I was like "Meh, not worth it."
Oh ho ho.
My opponent looks at my EBDT with 4 fury on it, the Pyre with 3, and the Axer with 3. He cracks his knuckles and tells his friend "Watch this". Then the Forsaken goes jihad, moves in with all of the tokens already on it and blows up. It's like 9 dice damage on my EBDT. Does maybe four damage.
The Pyre has 6 or 7 boxes left. Doesn't kill it.
Axer doesn't even notice.
I've never seen so many ones and twos rolled simultaneously.
The Sycthean moves in, misses one of his initials, but still kills the Pyre finally and the EBDT. However, Mulg is well within Rush range of Abby since she moves up to dominate a side flag, and the game ends pretty quickly. Otherwise it was a matter of clearing the zone and dominating.
1. I really prefer the Pyre/Whelps list to the Mauler. The Runebearer is also really nice for bouncing Fortune. If I had to change something, I might drop the Runebearer for more whelps because 5 isn't always enough, but overall, I like this list. Getting Mulg to DEF14 is stupid. God forbid I get him in water with Transmute. DEF16, ARM23. Go.
2. I was really proud of myself for killing the Raek with Runeshapers, but I gave Abby a great target for conferred rage. If I had just held back and filled places for the Raeks to land, I'd of been in better shape,
3. Forgetting to feat. Twice, actually, since I meant to on the following turn as well. Pretty dumb.
Overall, I feel like Abby2 probably has more game against RoW than a lot of Legion, but it's still pretty difficult since I can control so much of the landing places with Runeshapers and walls. And whelps now too. I am enjoy RoW though, and I'm looking forward to fielding it more often. To me it's an enjoyable list. It gets a bit of a rap for being a boring list to play, but against high-model count lists, it's really interesting to figure out how to mitigate so many different avenues when all you've got is Runeshapers. It can be a different game every time even though the end result is usually the same. Mulg gets within range and goes to town.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed this semi-quick overview. In the works:
1. As a PG, I'm doing demos pretty regularly, meaning I need to flesh out my battleboxes and paint them. I'm working through the Menoth one currently.
2. As a commission painter, I'm still getting Cryx in, including the Witch coven, and now Ruin. I opened my mouth and mentioned how much better Ruin would look with a space-wolf like cloak instead of the little dog carpet he has on his shoulder. Now I have a Ruin commission.
3. I ordered my first mold from Hirst arts and plaster too. That'll be here this week. I'm excited to start working with that again. I've been reading Poppabear's threads for awhile, absolutely fascinated by what he can do. I don't think I want any of the 200lb tables he has, but I definitey would like to incorporate more stonework and such into my bases and terrain without having to cut it out of foam or sculpt it every time.
4. That being said, a new board needs built. One with less permanent terrain, non-folding and scottish bluffs looking. I'll end up building 2 I think. A small one for Demos and a full size for home. I'm waiting for Hirst Arts to start that.
5. I'll be doing another overview soon on Borka2. For all my complaining about his Saeryn matchup, I fielded him all day last week and went into Lylyth1, Butcher1, and Abby2 with him. He's a fun caster, but a good shooting list that ignores stealth will kill him pretty quickly. Which takes him out of the running for Legion and Cygnar.
Anyways, enjoy your summer folks. The weather's getting nice in some places, and the water getting deep in others. We'll see you around. Follow me on twitter if you haven't already @diceotfirstdegree and I'll look forward to my followers pushing further along in the single digits.