This Weekend saw the release of release of the Chosen Axes and Spiteclaw’s Swarm. Our friends over at Asgard Wargames were kind enough to give us access to their demo copies of the new expansions. Armed with these new warriors we plunged into a few games.
After quickly building and ogling the new cards we decided to have a game using the “out the box” Skaven and Fyreslayer warbands to test them out, so here’s how it went:
Kie playing the Skaven
Isaac playing the Fyreslayers
Fyreslayers win the roll off for board deployment, with Isaac opting for a long board edge set up.
Kie then wins the deployment roll and chose Isaac to deploy first.
Isaac went for an aggressive stance, deploying all his Fyreslayers as close to Kie’s warband as possible, hoping to minimise the impact of the Fyreslayers low movement stat.
Meanwhile, Kie deployed “deep”, hoping to use the Skaven warbands greater speed to his advantage.
The Skaven comfortably win the first turn roll off 2 crits to nil.
1.1 Kie decides on a conservative activation, moving the Hungering Skaven onto Objective 5, with both players passing.
1.1 Isaac immediately declares Fjul with move onto Objective 3, in the hopes of triggering his inspired mechanic. While Isaac passes on a card play, Kie uses Scratching in the Shadows to deny Isaac an easily gained inspired character.
1.2 Kie maintains his conservative posture by opting to draw a power card and both players pass on playing cards.
1.2 Isaac attempts to Inspire again by moving Vol onto Objective 3, with neither player able to use (or unwilling to use) any cards.
1.3 Skritch charges from the relative safety of the pack to attack Vol, rolling 1crit to Vols shield. Causing enough damage to kill Vol. While gaining the Glory Point for the kill, Skritch is the Greatest, yes, yes! objective is also scored. Using his newly won glory Kie plays Tricksters Charm on the Festering Skaven.
1.3 Maegrim then moves onto Objective 4 with no competition.
1.4 Krrk moves up adjacent to Skritch in support.
1.4 Tefk moves into the centre of the board.
Kie: Gains the Honed Survival Instincts objective and plays Skitter Scurry on Skritch. He redraws 2 objective cards and 4 power cards.
Isaac: Gains the Honest Opponent objective and Maegrim inspires. He also redraws 3 objective cards and 2 power cards.
Turn 1 ends with the Skaven on 3GP and the Fyreslayers on 1GP.
Kie (again!) wins the first activation roll off with 1 crit + 1 support to nil
2.1 Using the Tricksters Shard he plays Musk of Fear on Krrk and moves the Lurking Skaven in support of Skritch. He then spends a glory point on Bodyguard for a Price on Krrk, while Isaac plays Slaying Blow and puts the Shadeglass Axe upgrade on Maegrim.
2.1 Isaac starts the turn off offensively, charging with Maegrim to attack Skritch with the Shadeglass Axe, however an unlucky roll of 1 hammer which Skritch is able to dodge with 1 dodge roll.
2.2 Skritch then retaliates, attacking Maegrim with 2 crits to 1, causing 2 damage. Isaac uses Urgold Boon but unfortunately rolls a support for the chance to heal.
2.2 Teefk charges into the fray and attacks Skritch, however (as seems to be the theme!) only rolls 1 hammer to Skritch’s 1 dodge.
2.3 Skritch maintains his assault on Maegrim, throwing another unsuccessful attack against him with 2 swords.
2.3 Fujl moves defensively onto Objective 3, looking for a mid-game inspiration.
2.4 Skritch continues to attack Maegrim, successfully this time with 1 crit and 1 hammer to a failed defence roll. Killing Maegrim Scoring another glory point for the Skaven, extending their lead to 3GP. Kie then upgrades Skritch with the Shadeglass hammer.
2.4 With Isaac being out of character actions, he decides to draw an objective card.
Kie: Redraws 2 Objective and 3 Power cards.
Isaac: Redraws 1 Objective and 3 Power cards.
Kie maintains his domination of the game by winning 2 critical hits to nil for the activation roll off.
3.1 Using the Tricksters Shard, Kie plays Momentary Boldness on Skritch, whom promptly charges Fjul. However, without the support of his pack mates he misses his attacks, only rolling 2 swords!
Returning to his main activation, Krrk moves adjacent to support Skritch once again.
Kie decides to use Curious Inversion and Isaac opts for The Earth Shakes to move Krrk away from Skritch.
3.1 Fjul takes advantage of the Skritch’s proximity to attack the leader. However, due to Curious Inversion the hammer result was turned into swords, resulting in a miss.
Playing Oathsworn Isaac decides to try his luck, using Fjul to attack Skritch again. Unfortunately his dice rolling stays true to form and he misses with both attack dice.
3.2 Kie uses the Lurking Skaven and attempts to cause some damage on Fjul. Charging in he rolls 1 sword and 1 support to Isaac’s Shield, causing a measly 1 damage, but still a wounding hit!
3.2 Isaac attempts to have Fjul again land a blow. Attempting to hit Skritch but fails to land a single result on the dice!
3.3 Noticing Fjul is practically surrounded, Kie charges with the Hungering Skaven and lands a critical hit which is promptly deflected with a critical defence!
3.3 Isaac evaluates his leaders position, deciding that being surrounded by Skaven is not a good position for Fjul. With the game coming to a close he charges Fjul out from between the Skaven and attacks Skritch from behind…… 2 misses for the attack dice!
3.4 Running out of options, Kie opts to move the Festering Skaven further up the board for a quick turn.
3.4 Utilising his last remaining activation Isaac charges with Tefk into the Festering Skaven but with characteristic misfortune only lands 1 hammer to 1 dodge defence!
In the final end phase neither player was able to claim any further objective cards.
Fyreslayers 1GP to Skaven 4GP
Kie: I like the movement potential and deployment capabilities of the Skaven. Due to their movement value of 5, it opens up more of the board as they can be extremely fast. However this speed is at the cost of starting melee potential with the basic Skaven all 1 damage and even then”heroes” being a measly 2 damage.
But I love how easy they are to inspire and with a custom deck built around this mechanic they will be a warband to be feared in the table! With some easily claimed objective cards the normal Skaven can rapidly become quite deadly.
Isaac: So having played the Fyreslayers, I think their Inspire condition, it’s only once they achieve this that they really come into their own. If you’re playing Fyreslayers you’re going to want to place the objectives as close as possible to your deployment or the midfield but a clever opponent can probably foretell how a Fyreslayer player is going to move based on where the objectives have been placed.
Once inspired; they pack a hell of a punch, there are ways to get them stuck in faster or keep them fighting for longer. This good mix of durability and killiness is a great mix.
I think cards that allow you to move objectives will be very useful to Fyreslayers players as it allows you to get one step ahead with a cleverly applied move or ploy. Because of the Fyreslayers Inspire conditions I can see a lot of Hold X Objective cards decks being used by many players.
Chris (battle reporter): I learnt a lot about each warband by watching (and recording) this game. The Skaven seem like the strongest warband out-of-the-box but I think the Fyreslayers will be a very strong warband using a customised deck. Getting them to inspire shouldn’t be difficult but relies heavily on winning that initial roll for board placement to take advantage of the 3 objective placements. Meanwhile the Skaven can manipulate the board with ease through a high movement characteristic (just think of using Sprint for 10 movement!). With some careful manipulation of upgrades and ploys, I have seen the Hungering Skaven (in a previous match) reach a mighty 6 damage on his attacks while attacking 3 different characters!
Time will see how both warbands shape up on the tournament scene. However, I don’t believe that there has been an unplayable faction to date so watch this space!
Note: in our excitement to try out the new factions we made an error in objective placement! Luckily it didn’t play any noticeable part in the game so it all ends well!