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The Krell Bomb - Firestorm Fours 2017

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Nico

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Last year's event

Firestorm Fours last year was a fantastic event. I was brought in as a mercenary by captain Rob (Rufio!) Symes. After nearly breaking WhatsApp in the lead up to the event, Rob, Nathan Prescott (#LongLiveTheHoodedVillain) and Rob Crouchley arrived for what turned out to be an epic event. The atmosphere and all 6 games were exceptional. 

I got kerbstomped hard by Terry Pike game one - nothing like drawing the Facehammer Team for the first round of an event - learned a lot from talking to him - chatted about the TeleThanquol combo - Double Deceiver plus Thanquol - they were awesome. I avenged our defeat in part by beating @Lez at The Warlords.

 

In the final game, I had the pleasure of facing @Dan.Ford, the godfather of Tomb Kings and a truly formidable opponent. He opened my eyes to the possibilities of alpha strike lists, extreme movement and Tomb Kings in particular. He used a very effective strategy of sitting well back and lobbing in an expendable unit each turn that had been buffed up to the maximum. In this case, it was an obscenely fast unit of 3 Chariots, which would receive at least +2 to hit, +1 to wound and Righteous Smiting. The game was surprisingly close, Dan committed to killing my Verminlord Deceiver (who I had left on the backline by himself outside of my bunker, thinking that he was safe from rendless chariots). 

While it's fairly obvious (especially almost a year later), I believe I was the first person to use Vanhels Danse Macabre on top of Settra's buff and two Tomb King Buffs on a unit of Necropolis Knights at SCGT (as part of @Vincent Venturella's last March of the Tomb Kings. This made them even more brutal with the double pile-in. I put these to good effect, but was outplayed in some games along the way - nothing like seeing the Necrosphinx's 10 mortal wounds special bonus rule come off turn one - against your own Necrosphinx - sigh....

After SCGT, I was determined to build armies for the other two Grand Alliances - the results being Mostly Grots (how can you not run 5 Forgeworld Monsters and 23 Grots in one list); a mixed Order force, which continues to grow; and Mostly Grots II. The Tomb Kings lurked on my shelf for some time waiting for their chance to return to the fore!

Overall - I cannot recommend team events highly enough - especially if you're a less experienced player - as your team mates can support you (or viciously blame you for dragging down their otherwise perfect scores :D - joking). Mo's scoring system works really well for team events and ensures that it's always worth fighting a losing battle just to pick up a point here or deny a point there. The setting - Cardiff - and the venue - Firestorm Games - are both superb!

Firestorm Fours 2017

I had high expectations for how fun the event would be this year and was not disappointed. The South London Legion was out in force. I was leading a team of Ben Raven @Thanatos Ares, Tom Lambert and James Grant (all club mates), while @Tom Loyn was captaining Team Wales. We rocked up on the Friday and managed a practice game - which helped us to chill out and gel as a team. As a practical bit of advice if you can take a day, a few days or ideally a week off before a tournament, then do so, it makes such a huge difference to how your perform, your enjoyment of the games, your resilience when things go wrong or you have a draining 3 hour game at the end of the first day. We'd not had much preparation time for this one - due to real life commitments; and this was the first tournament of any kind for Ben.

Our lists

The lists were very unusual for those familiar with the GH as we were using Mo's Clash Comp. The salient points were that heroes and single models could never score, but there was also no hero cap. This has a huge effect on the game - last year the emphasis had been on remorselessly killing the scoring units while completely ignoring everything else. Riderless Monsters and Artillery (cf. units of Kurnoth Hunters) are generally garbage under this pack. DoT were not allowed at the event, although the book was out and one spectacularly drunk player had brought a Changehost (it's an old Battalion). 

@Thanatos Ares took his Flappies with a sideboard of Ghouls.

James Grant took a combination of the Skyborne Slayers and the Hammerstrike Force (mixing it up compared to the usual Warrior Brotherhood ) with a Drakesworn Templar as a sideboard.

Tom was taking his deceptively killy Dark Aelves - the Thrall Warhost, Witch Aelves, plus a Black Dragon as the sideboard (@Paul Buckler might be interested in this). The secret weapon was Volkmar the Broken Grim (100 points well spent - I suspect @Thomas Lyonswould agree). His army was the best painted of our team and had a really striking scheme.

The Krell Bomb

The Krell Bomb was something I've been pondering for a long time. I had the model already, but at some point it clicked in my mind that despite having only movement 4, Krell could be used as a devastating and cheap cannonball. Furthermore his small base size would allow him to get into spaces that 6 Necropolis Knights couldn't fit into. Finally, Krell is surprisingly durable, with a 3+ save and halving wounds mechanic.

Krell starts off at 4 attacks 3+, 3+, -1, D3 damage. However, his special rules also mean that he gets +1 to hit vs Heroes and if he inflicts any wounds on an enemy model, then he can roll a dice and try to beat the number of wounds remaining for an autokill!

The +1 to hit was huge as it synergised with Tomb Kings key synergy. Krell is also both a Skeleton and Deathrattle. As a result, by taking Settra, a Necbromancer, a Liche Priest, a Tomb King (or two), a Vampire Lord on Abyssal Terror, a Necrotect and Krell, I could unleash the following:

Movement goes from 4 to 8 (Hellish Vigour only working on the movement statistic itself), then adding 3 to 11 and then doubled to 22. 

4 Attacks, hitting on 2s, exploding on 3s against heroes, then 4s, then 5s, then 6s (under the SCGT partial nerf to exploding attacks), 2+ to wound, rerolling ones, -1 rend, D3 damage. If Krell survived the opponent's activation (3+ save, halving wounds taken), then he could move a further 3" (even if there was no enemy unit within 3" as he had charged this turn) and keep on chopping!

I converted the VLoAT from a Gorebeast and a Daemon Prince with some greenstuff (it's my Twitter profile photo). it will soon be a Tzeentch Lord on Manticore. However, I never found an opportunity to unleash the Krell Bomb. His mysterious absence from the General's Handbook put an end to such plans - hopefully he's going to be an epic new model for a brand new Death faction. "Lord of despair rules the rime-frozen Helspoint, the lord is said to be far older than the age of myth." 

Another concern was the unreliability of relying on casting 3 spells to get a combo off the ground, one of which was vital. Even if the cast rolls were 5, 6, 6, this isn't trivial.

Enter Arkhan

 

 

 


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Hoping that Sepulchral Guard means a return of Krell! 

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Enter Arkhan

Arkhan solved one problem in the list - namely that of unreliable casts of spells. He could take charge of casting Vanhels and Mystic Shield with +2 to cast.

However, Arkhan also supplied another cannonball for my arsenal - for he is a Skeleton. That means that he is able to be buffed by Vanhels and Righteous Smiting and by the Tomb King buff (unlike Nagash or any other Mortarchs or other big scary heroes).

Arkhan is movement 16", so long charges are a real possibility. Full buffed, his Ghosts would be 6 attacks, exploding on 4+ and simultaneously doing a mortal wound, which is great. The Claws would be 6 attacks, exploding on 4+ , 3+ to wound, rerolling ones and then -2 rend, 2 damage. 

Furthemore, Arkhan could also summon with +3, this gave me the option of using either Spirit Hosts or Zombros as a summoning pool. I devised the following plan. After buffs were placed on the cannonball, Arkhan would summon 20 Zombros on a cast of 5 (there was no Battleline requirement by the way under the pack) to form a protective wall or ring in the middle of the table, which Settra could move up into (so that he could be in range to buff the cannonball. The first cannonball could fly over the Zombro wall in the movement phase (as Settra grants Fly in the movement phase only).

 

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Nico

Posted (edited)

Budget-Krell

Krell mysteriously lacks points, so I had to come up with a way to use the budget version - the wight King with Black Axe, who has 1 fewer attack and only a 4+ save (significant nerfs). However, being generic does open up artefacts and the Cloak of Mists and Shadows fitted perfectly.

This meant that the Wight King could be setup 12" forward in the hero phase (after being fully buffed). He would then be able to move 14" (with Fly) and then charge, for a suitably deadly cannonball (for 120 points)

Edited by Nico

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Nico

Posted (edited)

The list

My 2,500 point list was as follows:

  • Settra 369
  • Tomb King 100
  • Liche Priest 120
  • Necromancer 120
  • Necrotect 100
  • Tomb Herald 100
  • Arkhan 340
  • Coven Throne 260
  • Wight King 120
  • 6 Necropolis Knights 320
  • 9 Spirit Hosts 360
  • 30 Zombros 180

2480 points

The units in blue were the options. I could build 3 lists of 2,000 points - 1 offensive, 1 bunker and 1 bunker with the Coven Throne. Spirit Hosts were perfect for a defensive unit as they synergise well with Settra.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nico

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Nico

Posted (edited)

Round 1

We were fortunate in knowing our opponents were the legendary EATBATS crew - so super dudes with awesome paint jobs.

As for the draw (itself a fascinating part of the game), you are basically able to choose the opposing army for two of your players (by putting your player out front and holding the other one in the "pocket" so to speak). Throughout the event, I adopted the approach of protecting James (who was our least experienced player), rather than going for aggressive 20-0s. Ben's list was pretty solid all round and I figured that Tom would be competitive in most match ups (his big downside was the low range of his pew pew).

As none of the rest of the team were particularly experienced against Sylvaneth I opted to take on Jimbo's Sylvaneth. I'd played Jimbo at Heat One (one of my best games - sadly only a practice game on the Friday so it didn't count).

Jimbo had a text book Gnarlroot plus Loremaster list.

I deployed in a bunker behind some of the Zombros.

Battleround 1

James went first and spawned a Wyldwood on my left and another one on my right. He moved his 3 Scythe Hunters through to the central Wyldwood. His Kurnoth pew pew fired at the Necbromancer but achieved little due to the wound bouncing mechanic. Durthu and the Ancient moved to the Wyldwood on my left and did some pew pew, but elected not to charge in. The Scythes made it in and killed a Necropolis Knight and dented the Wight King.

My turn was brutal. Arkhan buffed himself with Vanhels Danse Macabre, but double oned the Mystic Shield cast like a boss. The Liche Priest did cast Righteous Smiting. The Necromancer lobbed a bolt at Durthu and did 2 wounds. The Necropolis Knight came back to life. Mr Whippy buffed the Wight King, before he teleported 12" forward - off to hunt the Loremaster.

Arkhan moved 16" forward over the Zombros to be 3" away from Durthu. Settra and the Knights stayed put for some grinding against the Hunters.

Arkhan made the charge as did the Wight King. I activated Arkhan first and he proceeded to delete Durthu without much difficulty. The 6 attacks from the Spirit Hosts exploding and doing a mortal wound on 4+ was brutal. I deliberately ensured that the Ancient was out of 3" both to avoid the Stomp and to avoid a pile in.

The Kurnoths hit back and from memory did some damage to Settra. I wiped them out in return.

The Wight King slew the Loremaster comfortably.

Battleround 2

Jimbo won the initiative and extricated his forces to distant Wyldwoods. He knew that he had bounced and was quick to switch to playing for the secondaries. The Ancient went back to defend the Bow Hunters.

In response I put the movement buffs onto the Necropolis Knights and send them sharply right towards the Kurnoths. The offensive buffs went onto Arkhan again. Arkhan smashed into the Ancient and half killed him, took some wounds back, but healed back two at the end of the phase. The Necropolis Knights managed the feat of losing 3 models out of 6 when they charged into the Wyldwood. They killed another Hunter.

Battleround 3

James again won the initiative, which kept him in the running. The Ancient went off to support the Kurnoths in the race to wipe out the Necropolis Knights (and to hold an objective). Against all probability his pew pew attack actually went through and did 5 damage. The combat was tight. The Hunters were wiped out, but the Ancient managed to get his impaling Talons through on the last Knight. With only a few wounds left, Jimbo needed a 3+ to wipe out the unit. Tragically a 2 it was. The Knights clung on.

Mr revenge was brutal - Arkhan cast the reanimate spell on the Necropolis Knights to bring back the banner bearer - I put the model closer to my forces and then planted the Tomb Herald's banner to bring back another model and a third came back from the banner bearer - evil! I put the buffs onto the Necropolis Knights. Arkhan also flapped over to hit the Ancient from behind. Settra rolled about pointlessly. The Ancient went down and I had the objective now.

Battleround 4

I won the initiative and tightened the noose. The Wight King moved over to take the building (which was one of my secondaries). Arkhan and the Necropolis Knights went after the Bow Hunters who were hiding in a Wyldwood on the far right of the table.

Jimbo did what he could, but probably could have retreated more aggressively.

Battleround 5

Jimbo won the initiative and made a play for one of the secondaries with the 5 Tree Revenants that were in his back corner - my whole team (and Jimbo) were playing this wrong to our disadvantage all tournament (playing that the unit had to be in the enemy deployment zone at the end of the game, not at any point - which is trivial).

In my final turn, Settra had to make a charge into the Tree Revenants to wipe them out and stop Jimbo scoring. Everywhere else the forces of Death wiped out the last of the Sylvaneth, but Settra derped.

That made it an 18-2 victory to me. A promising start. Even better, while James and Tom had lost, they had kept the losses to marginal ones; whereas Ben had smashed face, so we recorded a 49-31 win! Jimbo @Jimbo was a pleasure to play against - a true gent as always!

Edited by Nico
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