My third opponent was Keith, a kid from the local scene. Here he is setting up his Circle Orboros army. You can see Weirdsketch in the background.
You might also know him as a love that smashes (Lovesmasher on the Privateer Press forum).
I hate, hate, HATE, H8 sentry stones, as you might already well know.
The funny thing is, I completely forgot that he had brought the Bog Trog Ambushers, and their presence in the game could have absolutely wrecked the frail old man.
Bog Trogs can come in from the sides and activate normally. If I had cowered with the Hierarch in one corner or the other, he'd be a Hierarch looking for a friendly res.
It's completely embarrassing because we were discussing his Ambushers at the start of the event and he was showing me various starts and stops with its paint scheme.
As Prey, he nominates my Idrians for his Wolf Riders and my Temple Flameguard for his Bloodtrackers.
My Huntsman declares Gudrun to be the Prey (or whatever the rule is called for Idrians).
Bloodtrackers rush forward but out of range of the Temple Flameguard.
The Pureblood and Warpwolf run up and put on some Spurs and buffs (I can't remember what anymore), riding Fury as Baldur moves up without casting any spells. I didn't realize this was an error as I still forget the way Fury and Focus differentiate.
The Shifting Stones do their thing and transform the Sentry stone from a tactical annoyance to the object of my pure H8! It's truly an evil thing, this highly armored invisible rock that produces little twig beasts that somehow mess up my whole entire army. And now Keith has surrounded them with things that can teleport them! I mean, really!
The Wolf Riders all flank from all sides, three on my right and two on my left with the Bloodtrackers.
The Protectorate response is textbook: advance the meatshields and prepare to counter-attack.
The Hierarch doesn't like the hungry look on the faces of the Tharn Wolf Riders, so the Holy Zealots advance and the Monolith Bearer enacts their Greater Destiny. The enemy will be unable to touch them on their turn, securing the right flank.
The Idrians advance with an Intercept order, giving them first strike capabilities should Gudrun the Wanderer get any ideas. They attempt to fire at him with their rifles, but his Bladeguard ability keeps him safe and Keith and I have a good time trying to figure out which times they just completely miss and which times the sound effect of a rapidly blocked bullet is appropriate.
*Ting* *Ting* *Ting*
The Idrian advance is typical of all my advances, though. It gets in my own way. The Blessing of Vengeance moves and only barely gets Gudrun the Wanderer in range.
Keith, the Smasher of Love, begins wishing he had remembered to do a number of things here and I try to convince him to take a Mulligan. He refuses because he's a masochist.
Boosted Immolations from the Hierarch deal enough damage to destroy him. Had Keith remembered, he could have had Gudrun Feign Death and knock himself down, which would have kept him from being targeted by ranged and magic attacks. Instead, Gudrun's first death gives him a Hangover, which refreshes his damage boxes and prevents him from being killed for good until the following turn.
At least he's on fire now (that's what I think the second token is for).
Keith's second potential Mulligan of the game was to drop Fury on Baldur on the first turn. Instead he had himself a Fury problem. He had only leached enough Fury from his Pureblood, and rolls high on the Warpwolf's Threshold check. It frenzies, goes after the nearest model (his own Pureblood) uses its full attacks, hits with its Throatripper Chain Attack, and knocks it down. This is on his turn, so it would not be able to get up again until the following turn.
When I ask Keith why he doesn't just take the Mulligans, he says it's to punish himself to make him not forget in the future.
I believe this is a picture of The Blessing of Vengeance taking damage in the rear. (stupid Mannikins. H8!)
Gudrun charges the Idrians, ready to go Berserk on their DEF 16 butts. They Intercept, dealing enough melee damage to kill him for the second, and last, time. They re-assign their Prey target to Baldur.
The Tharn Bloodtrackers Ambuscade for additional movement against their own Prey, the Temple Flameguard. Though they benefit from cover, Prey and Ambuscade bonuses eliminate all models except the unit leader. Courage of Faith keeps the troops in line and fighting for the glory of Menoth.
The Temple Flameguard commander advances on his activation and attacks one Tharn and stays engaged with the second so that the Covenant of Menoth can advance and read True Faith to create an anti-magic zone within 8" of itself.
Third potential Mulligan: Baldur could have used his ambushing Bog Trogs this turn. Keith swears and leaves them in their carry tray because he had forgotten to announce their entrance at the appropriate time.
The Wolf Riders move in on the Idrians, advancing as they destroy models, and then move away as is usually their wont.
Baldur upkeeps the forest to keep him safe from the swarming Idrians.
The Idrians charge the Warpwolves, finishing off the Pureblood. The rest run, but not close enough to engage Baldur.
The Holy Zealots advance and melee the Mannikin and then avoid firebombing the Wolf Riders. This frees the Blessing of Vengeance to position at the edge of the woods. One lone Acolyte trails behind the Choir.
Severius charges the poor two point model, killing the Acolyte. He then uses his feat, the Fires of Communion, to take over the protective Shifting Stones (on hindsight, I should have taken over the Sentry Stones to steal Baldur's Fury) as well as the only Wolf Rider that he can reach in his control area.
He then casts the Light of Truth and tries to finish the Stonecleaver off with Immolation spells, but it's not enough.
The Shifting Stones move away to leave Baldur clear. The Wolf Rider charges Baldur in the rear and deals damage.
The nearby Sentry Stone poops out another Mannikin, and tries to survive a freestrike from the Choir Acolytes' Reach to create a forest under Severius. The Acolytes beat the unnaturally annoying creature down. (H8!)
However, Keith is angry with himself again at this point. He shouldn't have tried to do that because he had wanted to remove the forest spell from Baldur rather than have him Forestwalk in front of Severius. I try to get him to take the mulligan on the mannikin, and he refuses, but I argue that he had forgotten to pay for the upkeep anyway. So he drops the forest but refuses to retake the mannikin's move.
Baldur is on Fire (I'm sure it goes out), and forgets that the Blessing of Vengeance has a Defensive Strike. He charges it, eats the strike and transfers the damage. However, at this point Keith is so frustrated that he uses his only Mulligan the whole game. He doesn't transfer the damage and Baldur dies, abandoned by his cruel and heartless master.
I like playing Keith because he plays regularly against a Protectorate player. I can ask him rules questions about my own army. The only ruling I think I got right was trying to figure out how the Huntsman's Prey worked vs. the Circle version of it.
Post Post Mortem
Looks like I cheated on this game. Fires of Communion could not have taken over any of the stones. So technically I went 2-2 at the Schism Event.