Oblivion has gone live and so my WarmaHordes lists needed changing. On top of that, we have a fairly big tournament here in my local area this weekend and I wanted to get one more game in against Joe before it so that I wasn’t going in with completely unpractised lists. Plus, most importantly, I really love to play this game and Joe is a truly lovely opponent.
Game 6 – King of the Hill vs Joe’s Mercenaries
[Theme] Will Work For Food
[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar 
– Gun Boar 
– Road Hog 
– Road Hog 
– War Hog 
– War Hog 
– War Hog 
– Targ [0(3)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Underchief Mire 
– Blackhide Wrastler 
Thanks to all the Oblivion changes to Farrow, there are lots of options open now to modify the Dr Arkadius list from last time. In the interests of simplicity dropped Kwaak and Gub (not free any more) and a Gun Boar, then took advantage of other points drops to add a third War Hog. I have a feeling that another version of this list which keeps closer to original one but adds a Bellows Crew for a unit would be better, but this one looks easier to pilot and that is a big consideration for me. I intended to use Hutchuk here but left him at home, so I tried the Totem Hunter instead.
[Theme] The Irregulars
[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader 
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker 
Alten Ashley [0(6)]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [0(5)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Croe’s Cutthroats (min) 
Kayazy Eliminators 
Kayazy Eliminators 
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt 
Precursor Knights (max) 
– Precursor Knight Officer & Standard 
Oblivion and recent CIDs have changed a lot for Mercenaries. This is an experimental list for Joe, also with an eye on the weekend. Note that Dahlia and Skarath are representing Rorsh and Brine here.
I end up going first and aim more or less for the middle. Ideally, I want Dr Arkadius to hide behind that house in the centre. Mire and the Wrastler get sent out left as I guess I’ll want to make some effort to score that zone and I can’t cover all three with my Battlegroup. The Totem Hunter goes on the right with the hope of using the forest for some cover. The Totem Hunter picks Alten Ashley as Prey. Croe’s Cutthroats select the unpainted Road Hog, and are also chosen as Fiona’s Cultists.
Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Dr Arkadius puts up Guardian Beast (spoiler alert: Aggravator was the right choice) and casts Forced Evolution is put on a Road Hog. Mire drops a cloud in the centre and sticks Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler simply because it would be free later on. I think that Joe can’t get anything serious on me here so both Mire and Dr Arkadius end the turn on zero Fury.
Turn 1: Mercenaries
Alten Ashley starts us off by sticking Grievous Wounds on the Gun Boar. Eilish puts Puppet Master on Fiona and Sylys gives her Arcane Secrets, then she knocks Forced Evolution off with Chasten through a Cutthroat and follows up to put Veil of Mists on that Road Hog. The advance is a bit more cautious to respect my Feat threat ranges.
Turn 2: Minions
I don’t think that I can get anything interesting with my Feat this turn, and I probably need it to deal with the Blockader. Dr Arkadius upkeeps Guardian Beast. The Totem Hunter misses both swings at an Eliminator (how I hate those ladies!) but the Gun Boar gets me smiling again by vapourising Alten Ashley, along with a Precursor Knight who was standing too close. My Battlegroup mostly shuffle round to avoid giving up too much to the Blockader while still being relevant to the scenario elements. Dr Arkadius puts an adrenaline needle into one Road Hog and it sprays down a Cutthroat and a couple more Precursors, and Targ uses Ancillary attack to get a few more. On the left, I put the Wrastler into the zone so it’s contested, and Mire clouds in front of it to give Joe something to play round.
Turn 2: Mercenaries
Veil of Mists is upkept for free and two Focus go to the Blockader. The Eliminators have no trouble dealing with the Totem Hunter. Aiyana puts Kiss of Lyliss on the lead Road Hog and Holt shoots it a few times; the Blockader finishes it off. This allows Prey to be moved to the Wrastler. Eilish and Sylys turbo-charge Fiona and she Befuddles and Veils the Wrastler before the Cutthroats and Rorsh finish it off. Fiona also feats, covering a whole load of the board. The Precursors jam the centre in Shield Wall. Brine scores the left zone; 0 – 1.
Turn 3: Minions
I don’t fancy ramming my Feat into Fiona’s, so it’s another turn of playing cautious for me. The Gun Boar moves into the right zone and shoots the Eliminator at a short enough range that the scatter will still hit and kill her. Most of my Warbeasts durdle around just outside the Blockaders melee threat range but Dr Arkadius needles the other Road Hog and it sprays a couple of Precursors. He puts Forced Evolution on the far left War Hog and positions so it’ll be in control when it gets to Brine. The Battle Boar Primals it for good measure and I send it off. The War Hog isn’t quite in range to get directly into Brine so it smashes the Objective and Overtakes into Brine and tear him to bits. It felt good not having to force for Aggression Dial. 3 – 1 (left and right zones plus the objective).
Turn 3: Mercenaries
Another two Focus are allocated to the Blockader. On the right, an Eliminator storms in and kills Targ and Aiyana Kisses the central War Hog. The Precursor Knights use their mini-Feat but can only get a few onto the War Hog and mostly roll very low, doing a pleasingly small amount of damage. The Blockader kills my Objective and leaves the Gun Boar on a couple of boxes and on fire. The Sylys and Eilish pit crew do their tricks for Fiona and she Befuddles and Veil of Mists the far left War Hog who is then shot down by Cutthroats and Rorsh. Fiona moves right back to the edge of the Killbox. Ragman runs to the Flag, the score goes to 3 – 3 (flag, objective for Joe).
Turn 4: Minions
Sadly, the Gun Boar burns to death, leaving only a delicious bacon smell to remember him by. Dr Arkadius continues to upkeep Guardian Beast. Mire charges over and kills an Eliminator as I decide I need to start thinning out Joe’s forces a bit more effectively. The Battle Boar moves across and Primals the left War Hog then the Witch Doctor charges the Eliminator in the back and hits her… but rolls 1,1 for damage. The Road Hog aims and clears out all three Precursor Knights gumming up my lines. Now for the fun time. Dr Arkadius maltreats a Fury back off that Road Hog, casts Forced Evolution on the Primalled War Hog and Feats. The frenzy charges get me some position and Lady Aiyana, plus the Battle Boar finally deals with the Eliminator on my right. Then the super-charged War Hog uses Aggression Dial and scraps the Blockader from full, even having a spare Fury to Overtake across and eat another Precursor. My back-up War Hog sheepishly kills Holt and Overtakes into the right zone, scoring me up to 4 – 3.
Turn 4: Mercenaries
The left Eliminator kills Mire and the other one moves to contest the right zone. Sylys, Eilish, Fiona, the Cutthroats and Brine repeat their cool Befuddle and kill trick on the Road Hog; no one scores.
Turn 5: Minions
The War Hog Frenzies and kills the Precursor Knight officer. The Battle Boar move to the right zone and kills the Eliminator there and the other War Hog runs to the centre to be relevant next turn. Dr Arkadius heals with Psycho Surgery and kills a Cutthroat with Primal Shock. I score the right zone again; 5 – 3.
Turn 5: Mercenaries
Sylys and Eilish power-up Fiona again and she Chastens Forced Evolution off one War Hog and Befuddles the other. Some bad rolls from Rorsh and the Cutthroats (and also because I’ve actually killed some of them now) mean that the War Hog survives. Orin runs to contest the right zone, right at the back where I’ll never get near him. No-one scores; 5 – 3.
Turn 6: Minions
Again, I upkeep both Forced Evolution and Guardian Beast. I realise that I’ll never deal with Orin so the Battle Boar abandons the right zone and moves to the centre, casting Primal on a War Hog when it arrives. The Witch Doctor runs onto the Flag. Dr Arkadius misses a Primal Shock into Sylys but does heal the Warbeasts with Psycho Surgery. The War Hogs combine to clear the zone. I get the Flag and centre zone; 7 – 3.
Turn 6: Mercenaries
Orin zaps the Battle Boar for a small amount of damage and one of the leaps lands on Dr Arkadius too. Rorsh kills the most damaged War Hog and hurts the Witch Doctor. Fiona Befuddles the other one and kills the Witch Doctor with Chasten once she arrives in the left zone. The remaining Cuthroats can’t manage to kill the last War Hog. Sylys runs to the flag; 7 – 5 (left zone and flag). Looks like I forgot a photo on this one.
Turn 7: Minions
The War Hog smacks Rorsh in a frenzy but he Toughs. The Battle Boar kills Sylys and Dr Arkadius kills another Cutthroat with Primal Shock (in retrospect I would probably have been better going for Rorsh, though this did clear the zone for me). The score moves to 8 – 6 (centre zone for me, left zone for Joe).
Turn 7: Mercenaries
Orin hurts the Battle Boar a bit more with lightning. The last couple of Cutthroats shoot at the War Hog and Fiona finishes the last couple of boxes. Rorsh, who is now free, shoots the Battle Boar and kills it on his last shot. Joe scores the left and centre zones, bringing the score to 8 – 8 and wins on army points destroyed. Minions lose!
What a game! I don’t think that I’ve had such a close game before; it literally came down to the last activation of the very last turn. Farrow Warbeasts, and especially the War Hog, feel really nice now that you don’t have to Force for their dials. The game was filled with entertaining things but I really loved the Feat turn for Dr Arkadius. Things I learned:
- I should have cast Aggravator instead of Guardian Beast as it would have meant that I could avoid losing a Warbeast per turn to the combination of Befuddle and Croe’s Cutthroats. To make matters worse, the one time that Guardian Beast could have been relevant (letting the Battle Boar attack Sylys when he ran to the Flag on turn 6) I forgot about it until we’d started the next turn anyway. Unfortunately, this didn’t occur to me until the following morning.
- The Totem Hunter needs slightly easier victims than Kayazy Eliminators. The chance to miss and get stranded was just too high. Alternatively, I guess I could have put Prey on them but I was worried that they were fast enough to just run laterally and avoid the Totem Hunter entirely.
- The wide scenario is a bit of a problem for a Battlegroup based list like this one. I didn’t really want to put the Wrastler out for scoring purposes but I felt like I didn’t really have a choice. I suppose that my plan will be to use Hutchuk to stymie scoring by Ambushing into a zone I’m not committing to; at least he’s a lot cheaper than a Warbeast.