We've finally reached the end of the Skorne lineup. If you've been following this blog, I went down the list of Skorne casters, taking a list with each of them that included a Mammoth. In my last post I covered a game using Mordikaar, who was the last of the released warlocks. But of course the Mammoth wasn't the only cool thing that Skorne got in the recent release. I wanted to get in a bunch of Makeda3 test games in the next few weeks, and what better way to start than to use her with the Mammoth to finish out my series?
Normally I don't think I'll be using a Mammoth with Makeda (at least not her third version). She really wants Karn and a bronzeback, or other beasts that can really capitalize on her feat. However, if you're willing to give up some of the more obvious models you might want to bring with Makeda3, her tier list looks interesting. I figured I should go ahead and use her tier if I was going to do a Mammoth test. then to round out the proxies for this game, I tossed in my unit of Cetrati who would be standing in for a unit of Incindiarri.
Makeda and the Exalted Court (tier 4)
Her tier list gives her a few neat perks. for tier 1, Makeda and her bodyguards get Advance Move. tier 2 gives Marketh and the AG a soul token when the game starts. Tier 3 gives me +1 to the starting roll, and tier 4 makes the Mammoth cost 2 points less.
This game was again against my regular Legion opponent and fellow BoLS writer Caldera. He wanted to proxy something from Gargantuans as well, and was going back and forth between playing with the BloodSeer with Vayl or the Beast Mistress with Thagrosh. since I play against Vayl all the time, and already have a game against her for this blog series, I convinced him to run with Thagrosh.
Thagrosh the Messiah
* 4 X Shredders
2 X Forsaken
This is kind of a silly list, but could be really strong on attrition. Basically the list brings as many little lesser beasts as possible. Thagrosh himself was bringing 5 lessers (plus the one that pops out when he takes damage), plus 3 on the beast mistress, plus whatever gets tossed out of the pot each turn as it gets fueled by a cheap unit of legionnaires. all that is backed up with 2 nice heavy hitters and thagrosh himself.
The scenario we pulled was Chemical Reaction. this scenario is one of my favorites, as most of the action is pretty central on the table, but there are 3 different ways to score during the game. I don't remember where much of the terrain was, but I know there was a forest on the far side of my friendly zone, a hill on his side of his friendly zone, and a house opposite the hill. I believe there was a wall between the two zones. Even with the +1 to the roll I lost the roll and would be going second.
He deployed the beast mistress and her herd of lessers on my far left, behind the forest. next came the Carnivean and Thagrosh, then the Scythean, then the pot and legionnaires taking up my right flank. the lessers that belonged to Thagrosh were spread around, with three shredders more towards my right side, and the remaining shredders and stinger a little bit left. the shepherd went centrally and the forsaken went behind the bigger beasts.
I deployed with the Mammoth slightly offset to the right (pre-deployed there) with the Krea and Makeda to its left with her court, followed by the shaman and Gladiator on my left side going into my friendly zone. the incindiarri deployed pretty packed in right in front of the gladiator and shaman. the AG went behind the Incindiarri. beast handlers went in the back.
he started with the Beast Mistress, who used Energizer and moved up (I think she charged to get more distance). her beasts ran in front of her, part way into my zone on turn 1. Thagrosh put Dragon's Blood on the Carnivean and spread some Spiny Growth. everything else ran. the scythean ended up slightly in front of the carnviean, both more or less cenrtally located. three shredders made their way towards the Mammoth, and some Legionairres started into his friendly zone.
My turn had a ton of running. makeda put up Vortex and counter blast and ran/charged her unit. everything else ran or charged, with the shaman and gladiator touching my zone with some Incindiarri in front of them. one Exatled Court member was pretty far forward hoping to draw a little bit of fire (not that there was much shooting on the other side of the table). the Mammoth put up counter Blast and charged up to almost toeing the zone.
the Beast Mistress started things off, moving up into my zone and casting Energizer for 3. her beasts moved up and started charging. the Harrier went first, charging into my Exalted Court and killing it, sprinting into the Shaman's melee range. the Stinger killed an Incindiarri. the shredder just ran, I think, adding to the little jam on the edge of my zone. on the other side of the table, the legionnaires ran further into the zone, right in front of the Mammoth. the Mammoth fired off a counterblast shot and scattered, killing one legionnaire, who was out of cookpot range. the pot moved up next, getting into the back of the zone.
Thagrosh moved up and feated, putting Spiny Growth on the Scythean and casting Manifest Destiny. the mass of lessers all ran to get into good feat positions. one shredder ran into Makeda's melee range and she swung at it with counterblast, missing. the Scythean ran towards Makeda, the carnivean just moved to the middle of the board in from of Thagrosh. the feat kicked in, and things moved again. 3 shredders attacked the mammoth, doing 10 or so damage total. a stinger joined in, doing another couple points. the one shredder attacked Makeda, doing 3 damage (that's what she gets for missing!). the other shredder did something, I think he might have just tried to get in the way somewhere. the carnivean moved to protect thagrosh and to counter anything that might move up. the scythean advanced to Makeda and attacked, but missed.
Bottom of 2
I was jammed in good now, with almost everything in my army engaged but still well on my side of the table. sounds like a good feat turn. Marketh upkept Vortex with his free soul. I started with the Mammoth, figuring it was ok if not everything was effected by the feat. he wiggled a bit forward, bulldozing the shredders towards Makeda and advancing into the zone. he fired a shot at the cookpot which was in range and boosted damage. it was left on one or two boxes, and 3 lunch ladies were killed. the second shot killed the pot and it popped out another Stinger before being removed. the final shot went into the objective, doing 6 damage but failing to kill the shepherd that was right behind it. the Mammoth then put up counterblast.
Makeda issued a run/charge order and charged the Scythean (not getting a full 3", but vortex makes that not matter). the court charged the shredder and killed it (Makeda is now at 7). Makeda spent 3 fury to kill the Scythean (bringing her to 5) then blood-booned an eliminator into one of the bulldozed shredders. Boosted hit and damage killing one and hurting another (now at 4). Makeda moved 2" and was in melee with another shredder. somehow it took her all 4 fury to finally kill it (and finished with 1 fury due to feat).
On the other side, I needed to clear out the 4 lessers in my way (three from mistress, one from Thagrosh). the Ancestral Guardian moved up and killed the Harrier with 2 swings and damaged one of the other lessers down to one box. the gladiator pushed one of the two lessers near him and advanced so he was in melee with both. it took him all of his fury, but he managed to kill both, using the last one to add a fury to Makeda (now at 2). Marketh advanced up to the damaged stinger and hit it with an eliminator and killed it, letting Makeda advance 2" back to safety. the Shaman advanced, using a fully boosted shot to kill a forsaken, putting Makeda up to 3. the Incindiarri advanced and lit a bunch of stuff on fire. one lit the beast mistress on fire, one lit the objective on fire and killed the shepherd, one caught thagrosh on fire, and one advanced behind the mammoth and killed a legionnaire and set 2 more on fire. the last one set a shredder on fire. the paingivers cleared all my beasts. finally the krea went and hit the carnivean, keeping it from charging for a turn.
Fire damage killed the Beast Mistress, one legionnaire, damaged the shredder a bit and did 2 or 3 points to the objective. He was in a much weaker spot now, with one heavy down and most of his lessers gone. the Carnivean would have done a lot of work this turn, but he didn't have the distance without a charge. the carnivean started anyways, walking tot he Shaman and easily killing it with 2 initials. He put Spiny Growth on himself. Thagrosh got into the zone right behind the Carnivean and put up manifest destiny and spiny growth on himself. the Legionnaires all charged the mammoth (except one who charged the Incindiarri that had lit him on fire). between their charges and 2 or 3 that had hit with vengeance, they did another 12 damage or so. the stinger from the pot charged and I used counterblast and missed again. it did another few damage. a forsaken moved up and filled up on Fury near the zone with thagrosh and the carnivean.
Makeda upkept Vortex again. I started with the Mammoth who kind of gyrated around the zone, bumping things around and knocked a number of legionnaires out of the zone. he then easily killed the remaining legionnaires in the zone and the stinger. the Incindiarri went again, killing a few legionnaires, lit the forsaken on fire and did a 3 man CRA into Thagrosh doing 3 damage. Makeda charged the Carnivean, but didn't have battle driven this turn and it was Arm 22. she did very little damage and decided to camp the remaining 3. the ancestral guardian did a little more damage and tried to keep Makeda covered with Defensive Strike. the Krea shot Thagrosh and paralyzed him. the gladiator got enraged (and everything else got cleared) and charged the Carnivean. Vortex made it pretty easy to kill the Carnivean even with the armor buffs. other stuff ran to get in the way a bit. I scored 3 points (dominating my zone and controlling his)
the Forsaken died in a fire, thagrosh took 3 more damage. some stuff got into the zone with the Mammoth to contest. Thagrosh advanced and found a spot where he could reach Makeda, but wasn't hit by defensive strike. Manifest Destiny went up and he swung at Makeda and did 8 or so damage. it all got transferred tot he gladiator. he swung his fist at the Exalted Court member but failed to damage arm 20. now he was dice -1 on Makeda. he swung a few more times but didn't get through her transfers. a shredder riled and ran and died to a free strike that I probably shouldn't have taken giving Thagrosh 2 more fury.
The Krea moved up and did her animus catching Thagrosh. Makeda took 4 swings to do it with crappy dice but managed to kill thagrosh.
I really really enjoyed my first attempt with Makeda3. I can see why she's getting some hype on the forums. She didn't look all that impressive on paper, but putting her on the table definitely helps me see how the pieces fit together. I will of course need a lot more test games with her to come to a final verdict, but she definitely seems like a playable caster, even if she doesn't end up being a tournament regular.
This game was an interesting one for Makeda. Being legion, there weren't many infantry models to get a lot of eliminators and blood boons off of. there were legionnaires, but they stayed off to the flank where I didn't really want to send Makeda. even so, eliminators killing one lesser managed to do a good bit of work on feat turn. 2" is a lot in this game. I imagine that it will be much stronger against players that bring more infantry to mulch through.
The feat was just as powerful as I expected. Makeda was able to personally plow through 3 shredders and a full health Scythean and then fill back up to 3 fury for transfers. her beasts didn't get a whole lot from this one, since only the gladiator and shaman went after the feat was popped. had I activated the Mammoth after Makeda, I could have killed a few more free models with it, but I really needed to get that pot dealt with and push some shredders over to Makeda to maximize her activation.
Overall, this game let me try out several of the big things people have been talking about with Makeda3. her feat, her ability to personally plant a heavy on feat turn, her ability to take a few hits, and her ability to maximize damage from her beasts using vortex. Next time I'm hoping to get a bit more from her list, moving away from the tier restrictions to get Molik and a Bronzeback, along with an agonizer and willbreaker.
Thoughts on the Mammoth
the Mammoth did well in this game, basically holding a flank all by himself. he personally killed 2 or 3 lessers, most of a unit of legionnaires and the cook pot. point wise that's not a ton, but he wasn't needed to deal with heavies this game.
Counterblast was uncharacteristically bad this time around. I missed 3 melee counterblasts between Makeda and the Mammoth, and only killed 1 model with a AOE counterblast. normally it does more for me. Makeda seems like one of the few casters that can make good use of counterblast, dishing out a Mat 8 pow 17 with boosted damage. had she hit the shredder that came after her, it would have likely died.
Even with that, I'm not totally sold on bringing a Mammoth with Makeda3. I like the idea of using a bronzeback + karn on feat turn to mow things down. the added benefit of that combo is fate walker, which was sorely missing in this game. Fate walker would let Makeda move up to help kill off the Carnivean without being in range of Thagrosh at the end of the turn. Since playign this game, I got one more game in with a different non-tier list using molik + bronzeback, and fatewalker was a huge deal in that game.
The one nice thing about the Mammoth with Makeda is the huge amount of pressure you can put on zones. Makeda has proven to be able to clear a zone by herself, or with limited help from her army. the Mammoth likewise can really clear out a zone in a turn or two. the two of them together can really push that scenario win. in this game, the mammoth handled the enemy zone all by himself, and Makeda enabled taking my own zone from the rushing lessers + Carnivean. adding this to Makeda's strong assassination potential could be really strong. I do think if I run her with the Mammoth, I really want to add in an Archidon at least, so I don't have to leave her too forward.
Well, that's the end of it. I have now run a Mammoth with every Skorne caster. If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. Hopefully these reports were enjoyable, or at least informative. Now that the series is over, I probably won't be doing as many battle reports. I did enjoy writing them, and I know a lot of people like reading battle reports, so i will try to keep some of them coming. but I won't be writing down every game anymore. I might do some full battle reports with pictures later on since I'll have more time to do a good job with a single report that doesn't have a (self-imposed) deadline.
Also, keep an eye out for a full summary article on the Mammoth, looking at some more tactics and lessons learned, along with ranking the casters to use with the Mammoth. I won't be posting it on here, it will be for Bell of Lost Souls, so look for it there!