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    • Right - here we go: Sunday – Game 5 – Joe and the Skyfires (DoT-off) Skyfires were one of the units I was hoping to avoid. Joe had 21 and the Battleplan was Starstrike. The repointing is insufficient – they are still better than Kurnoth Hunters (they do more effective pew pew than bows and as much melee damage as Scythes), Dracoth Knights and Plague Drones. I think the biggest fix would be reducing the maximum unit size to 6. Wiping out 36 wounds is incredibly difficult – especially as they will be getting a 1 on that Battleshock roll. One brightspot was that I would be able to pick who would be going first.   Deployment I won the roll and got the side with the Damned Terrain on it (so preventing the autowin for Joe). I deployed in a fairly tight multi-layered bunker slightly to the right. Joe deployed his Skyfires close together in a cluster behind a thin line of chaff. I'm pretty sure that he expected I would give him turn one – as on reflection his deployment actually handed me the chance to win the game on a platter. In particular Joe's Shaman wasn't tucked away in the corner, so I would be able to summon units within 9" of it.   Battleround 1 I needed Joe to commit his forces, bounce off my Treacherous Bonded Kairos and the IllusionistMantisorc and chaff and then for me to focus fire one unit of Skyfires with my whole army. This meant that I needed to take turn one. Had I not done so, he could likely have taken Kairos off turn one. I realised that the same ploy I had used against Matt could also work here. By lobbing in Pink Horrors, I would end up with 10 Blue Horrors at the end of my turn. Joe wouldn't be able to zap them off in his hero phase and so they would hold up some or all of his units. I had a solid set of DD this turn and Joe's were dreadful, which gave me some hope. I reasoned that with the Pinks' pew pew and Magic, if I managed to make the charge into the 9 Skyfires on the right with 20 Summoned Bloodletters, I could kill enough of them to put Battleshock in jeopardy. If Joe used a 1 for Battleshock, then the Hornblower would force him to reroll this, or Kairos could change it to a 6. I reasoned that the -1 rend of the Bloodletters would chop through their 5+ save nicely. The spells all went off. Sadly Bolt of Tzeentch only claimed 3 wounds or so. Kairos bonded himself to a chariot. The Pinks shooting contributed another 2 wounds. I used DD to make the Pinks' charge. Sadly the Bloodletters failed their charge and so Kairos had to rig the roll.  In combat, I activated the Bloodletters first – they were extremely underwhelming. When all was said and done only 2 Skyfires died and another lost 3 wounds – absolutely dismal. Two Skyfires in the other unit killed about 7 Pinks by themselves. To compound my misery –without the rerolls, the Skyfires killed 18 Bloodletters after Joe rolled a 3 on a D3 for their attacks. The unit was dead. On a brighter note at the end of the Combat Phase I was able to slot all of the Blues into place behind Joe's line (wholly within 6" of the Pinks) – tagging all 3 units of Skyfires and the Shaman. Joe wouldn't be able to zap them off before the Movement Phase and so his whole effective army would be stuck for a turn. I used a 1 for the Pinks' Battleshock and got the unit back up to 6 models. I was livid about the Bloodletters derping so badly. However, on reflection, this was just a terrible plan – they just don't do the damage I was counting on in my imagination (probably 7 mortal wounds and another 4 regular ones).     On reflection, all I had to do was not summon the Bloodletters. Instead either cast Bolt of Tzeentch with the Pinks at the Shaman and use Kairos to turn this to a 6 to one-shot him or summon on a Herald as well and use Pink Fire, Bolt of Tzeentch and then Arcane Bolt if needed to finish the job. This was all possible as Joe's Shaman wasn't more than 9" behind his front line and Joe's DD weren't good enough to block my spells. With Kairos Treacherous bonded to 3 Toads and theMantisorc immune to mortal wound pew pew from the Skyfires – I think this would have been game over. Joe's turn was uneventful – he failed his spells, although the Changeling revealed himself and proceeded to zap off my Gaunt Summoner (he rolled a great cast roll). I didn't really see the point of this – I suppose his spell was ok against 9 models. I won the initiative and gave Joe the initiative – he seemed surprised by this. The point was that after wasting my summoning points – I had literally nothing in threat range against the Skyfires. Had he won, he should have given me the turn.   Battleround 2 Joe zoomed forwards and was able to cast Mystic Shield unopposed. This is where the 27" unbind trait would have been huge. He shot the Curseling dead. He zapped off the Marauders and charged into the Acolytes with one unit of 9 (the one with Mystic Shield) – he just made the 7" charge, but at least he didn't connect with theOgroid. He shot the Bonded Chariot.     I was dented but still in the game. I revved up everything and poured everything into the big unit of 9 Skyfires. I may have failed Bubble at this point, which was frustrating. Kairos either failed Wind of Chaos or did very poorly with it – somehow there were still 9 Skyfiresalive when I charged in. I bonded Kairos to 10 Marauders who stayed back. Everything else lined up charges into the Skyfires. I made all the charges (in some cases narrowly) and had them surrounded. The impact hits from the Ogroid were poor. The melee from the Ogroid was really poor (despite Infusion Arcanum). Joe rolled fairly poorly for the number of disk attacks, which gave me some hope. The Ogroid got to attack again and I believe he may have rolled a double one for his 3 damage attacks. The derping theme continued. 3Skyfires died in the end – seriously dismal. I won the must-win initiative roll and took the double turn.   Battleround 3 I continued the zapping and the chopping. The Skyfiresslowly died but it wasn't enough – Joe did some damage back. In the end I think there were still 3 alive – obscene. Joe blasted the Marauders and then started chopping wounds off Kairos. I had a final chance to wipe the unit, but blew it. Joe won the initiative and I conceded soon afterwards. I don't think I've ever thrown away a game as badly as this one. I am still kicking myself over this one. Joe was lovely throughout (his dice were also lovely to him, which didn't help). We're 1 win each now (1:1). Aftermath This knocked me down to 3 Major Wins and 2 Major Losses. I came 32nd from memory – not bad – but I should have beaten Joe and snuck into the top 10. I still detest Skyfires as the worst designed unit in the game  and they are still a significant imbalance in the game (because they are amongst the best melee damage per point in the game on a unit that can make turn one charges and which is deceptively resilient). As predicted, Tzeentch have eaten a load of unjustified nerfs (in addition to the justified ones) because Skyfires are so hated. They've even nerfed the Eternal Conflagration – the never used Battalion with like 6 Exalted Flamers – garbage; and nerfed the Windthief into the ground so it's unusable – it should be a move in your hero phase – it's limited to Arcanite Heroes so it doesn't even enable an alpha strike charge of any substance. All in all, a fantastic weekend at a great venue - really enjoyable. The entire SLL crew had a great time and our leader Rob Bradley would have been 3rd had he prevailed over Mark Wildman. @Chris Tomlin very kindly gave me some painting tips after the event, which was cool.  
    • Thanks - you're right about the basing. I need to have a little more discipline and patience to finish that side of things too, especially on the larger models. The Alarielle base is huge, so I will take your advice and think of some good stuff to add
    • Thanks Steve! The best is still to come - taking on Joe's 21 Skyfires. Yes - here are some photos from another post on the blog:    
    • These are really nice!  
    • These are great - my only critique is the basing - its very much in the Games Workshop style, but on such large models I think there is so much more you could do to add interest, particularly now with the creeping vines and skull packs, as well as all of the different tufts and grasses that are available.  In terms of the painting I think that you have clearly got the hang of highlighting and blending effectively, but now you need to consider colour choice and position more. For example on the Treelord you can create a much more effective composition by repetition of the spot colours in more areas. As an example above you could use the ice blue from the loin cloth on the claws, head dress and ends of the spirals on the staff. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for your next army