At very short notice I got a 35ss game against Dave H at the club last night.
We flipped for Strategies and Dave H got Contain Power (ie. kill Seamus, bonus points to do it with your Master) and I got Turf War (more of my models in his table half than he has in mine, bonus points to get someone in his Deployment Zone).
With targeted assassination as his Strategy, Dave picked:-
McMourning (6ss cache)
He also picked Stake a Claim on a boat off to my right and McMourning’s A Piece For Me (get 5 body part counters from Master, Henchmen or Totems).
I had come with the core of my crew in mind, so the rest was just to flesh out the Ultimate Terror crew:-
Seamus (5ss cache)
2 Rotten Belles
I picked Kill Protege on Bete Noir, and Breakthrough to complement my Strategy.
The table was a crowded city, with two 6” towers in the middle linked by a high bridge, lots of stairs and raised balconies, and finally some docks, running along the whole right hand side of the table.
My game plan was bunch up (to get the most from –Wp buffs) and try to keep key models alive until Seamus could Avatar on Turn 3 and get the Terror Train going, and then see how effective it was. It quickly became apparent Dave’s plan was to steam McMourning into my crew asap and kill Seamus, caution be damned.
I moved for position, gathering my models on my side of the large gap between the two central towers. Yin floated up on top of one of the towers, making her the closest model so that the Flesh Construct would fruitlessly try and climb the tower in the closing step. The Belles targeted the closest Necropunks with Distract, and succeeded in getting Slow on one of them. No Flurry for you next Turn, Mr Necropunk!
The Grave Spirit attached to Seamus, and it was only after that I realised it did nothing, as Seamus was not undead.
It turned out I didn’t really have to worry about Flurrying Necropunks too much, as it took Dave until Turn 5 to flip a high enough Mask to get Leap off! So everything of Dave’s moved up, with McMourning by far the closest (hidden on some steps on the right hand side of the rightmost of the two central towers.
My hand was middling this Turn, but not a single Crow. For a Molly crew this is bad news.
My hand had the Black Joker (which I kept for the rest of the game), two very low Crows and only one high card.
Dave got Initiative and his McMourning missile was put into effect. He had to move up through the tower to get in range of Seamus and tried his Scalpel Slinging. I knew I had to try and stop this, so cheated high on Df and stoned. Only a lucky SS flip on Seamus’ part kept him safe, and McMourning was stymied. He tried a spell on Molly, but Molly won the Wp duel from Pitiful, got the trigger and gave McMourning 2wds for his trouble, and McMourning scurried back to where he started. A big turning point in the game – had McMourning got into melee, it would all have been very different.
The Flesh Construct moved up, stopping in melee with Yin and a Rotten Belle, and passed the Anathema test from Yin. Yin and both Belles wailed on him. Molly hit the closest Necropunk, and Seamus moved over to the left (away from that horrible McMourning person) and blasted a Severe onto the same Necropunk, with only its Hard to Kill keeping it alive.
The Grave Spirit linked to Yin.
At the end of the Turn, the Flesh Construct hooked the Belle on my right, but Black Joker’d the damage.
I won Initiative and activated the Rotten Belle on my left. She was blocking Seamus’ path to the centre of the melee, so my thinking was I would move her up and then I could get Avatar Seamus into the fray. She moved up and walloped the Flesh Construct with her brolly.
The Flesh Construct activated and had another go at the Belle on my right. One hit got a trigger off and did a massive 6Dg, but the Black Joker struck on the next hit and the big guy missed!
Yin finished off the Flesh Construct and Bête Noir popped out (a Dog picked up the corpse counters). Dave had to cheat high to avoid the Anathema when she activated. She flurried at Yin, but only one hit got through and the Armour 2 kept the damage on Yin low.
At this point I should have used the Grave Spirit to cast Philosophy of Uncertainty on Bête Noir, all but guaranteeing 2VP for Kill Protégé. I should have, but I didn’t. Instead, the Crooligan activated and after two attempts got Mist to go off. Why? I have no idea
McMourning activated. Uh, oh. He moved up, Scalpel Slung into the badly wounded Belle on my right, killing her and netting a Corpse Counter. This landed him in melee with Yin, so McMourning got his first taste of Anathema (on a -2 Wp from Yin and the Crooligan!). He passed it, and then stabbed the Grave Spirit twice, getting him 2 of the 5 body parts counters he needed for his scheme (as well as healing him the 2wds he suffered earlier). The Grave Spirit died. Fortunately I remembered Seamus’ rule and drew cards for the dead totem and the dead Belle – I usually never remember to do that!
Seamus Avatared. I had a choice to either head into the middle of the melee or try to freak out McMourning. I went for McMourning, knowing that McMourning could probably take Seamus in melee easily, if he got Initiative. I boosted Seamus’ Terrifying to 15 and moved to within 3” of McMourning.
Molly killed off Bête Noir, getting me 2VP. Amazingly, Dave had cheated in his “bring Bête back card” so she could pass her Anathema test earlier on, but managed to flip high enough to Bury her anyway and heal all her wounds!
A Necropunk activated, failed Anathema from Yin and ran away (with Yin failing the disengaging strike). The Dog activated as well, failed as well, and was kept in place with a disengaging strike. Anathema was really starting to pose a problem for a crew not used to having to deal with Terrifying.
I got Initiative. Yay!
I also got a crap hand of cards. Boo. I kept the Black Joker, though, and a low Crow.
Seamus went. He tried Bellowing of the Big Bastard, but McMourning was having none of that. He tried to hit McMourning, but McMourning was too quick for him. Hmm. I boosted Seamus’ Terrifying to 17 and put up his aura of -2Wp. Deal with that, pal!
McMourning activated, having to make a Terrifying test of 17 with an effective Wp of 1! Dave flipped a 1(!), and cheated in a 13. He stoned, needing only a 3 to pass. He flipped a 2!!! I laughed, but I don’t think Dave laughed so much!
To make matters worse, to rub salt in the wound, to add injury to insult Yin succeeded in her disengaging strike and I flipped the Red Joker for damage, doing 6wds to McMourning and stopping him running away! He was now surrounded by enemies and on –flips for all duels until the end of his next Activation…
Yin then Activated, cast Constrict on McMourning (giving him Slow) and hit him, for a total of 5wds.
A Necropunk attacked my remaining Belle on the left, putting 6Dg on her.
Sebastian moved up, keeping away from Molly and Anathema Yin, and Cast Bloody Harvest, with Dave cheating in the Red Joker on the cast to make the total 19! Who died? Lots of people, that’s who. The Dog died (and Bete Noir popped back out), the Necropunk died (and moved back before dying to give Sebastian his corpse – ick!) and my last Belle died. Yin, Molly and the Crooligan all took 4wds. But the Belle, with her Slow to Die, cast Lure on 1Wp Seamus, dragging him into the middle of the melee (she Bashed him for 1wd). Since this was now the end of Bloody Harvest, Sebastian had to test against Terrifying 17 on a -3Wp ( He failed, tried to run and took wounds from Yin, and his Activation was over.
Molly activated and cast her damage spell, stoning it to put 2wds on McMourning and kill him off. She then tried to do some other stuff and failed.
Bête Noir had to activate now, and on -4Wp not even the Red Joker would be enough to pass Seamus’ Terrifying. She tried to flee taking disengaging strikes from Molly, the Crooligan, Yin (who all failed) and finally Seamus, who did 4wds to her, killing her off for the last time. She used her Slow to Die to try and make Seamus Insignificant, but was out of control cards now and failed.
What do you mean, the third Necropunk? Oh, yes, the third one. It had spent the whole game heading for the Stake a Claim target, climbing up and then down a 9” high bridge tower down by the docks. It was nearly there!
I drew a hand with three severes and a ten. Lovely!
Seamus killed off Sebastian and my whole crew moved forward, with Molly summoning Sybelle from the ruins of a Rotten Belle and McMourning hisself!
The other Necropunk (who had run away and spent Turn 4 Rallying), finally managed to cast Leap (told you it took 5 Turns!) and got out of their way.
There was no need to finish the Turn or play Turn 6, as it was obvious that Yin could easily Float into Dave’s deployment zone and I would have max VP from the Strategy and 2VP from Breakthrough.
Result: Dave scored 2 VP for Stake a Claim. I scored 2 VP from Kill Protege, 2 VP from Breakthrough and 4 VP from Turf War. 8-2 win for Seamus!
Thoughts: This was a cracking game, with several turning points. In Turn 2, if I had not stoned high for Seamus’ defence, McMourning would have found it much easier to deal with him. In Turn 4, if McMourning hadn’t stoned so low for his Terrifying test, he would have had a good chance of killing off Seamus (Dave had the Red Joker in hand). I think I got lucky, and I would really have been on the ropes if either of those events had gone another way.
The –Wp effects of the models in this crew stack to extreme effect, and I did not even get a chance to use Yin to give Molly Anathema. She would have been on Anathema 15 with Avatar Seamus on the table, but Yin can only give Anathema to a model that has Terrifying already, and Molly has to activate to get Terrifying. This sequence of Activations never came up, as I was always Activating Yin first.
For Dave’s part, he commented that he has yet to win with McMourning, which is a bit surprising. I wouldn’t take bets on that losing streak not ending soon! Avatar McMourning would have posed all sorts of problems to me, for one.
Yin is terrific, and well worth her points. Df6, 8 Wds and –flip on all Attacks against her makes her a rare support model that is very hard to put down, and that is before you consider how Anathema protects her! Adding in Wicked is the cherry on top, as a model that is forced to Rally in the middle of your crew is almost certainly going to die due to the –flips they are on for everything. When you combine her 2” melee with Seamus’ potential 4” melee reach, that is a huge area of the table you can make a no-go area to opponents who don’t want to burn their high cards or use soulstones just to get close.
Now, I am going to have a think about whether I should replace Molly with Jack Daw, and whether that will leave me with any friends whatsoever…