You'll have to excuse the fact that we're playing on bare tables with the minimum of terrain. The Yorkshire Open Tournament 40k Heats were taking place downstairs, and they'd nabbed most of the club scenery!
Me: Pandora, Candy, Baby Kade, 3 Sorrows, Teddy (Ade kindly lent me his model to test him out)
Ade: Kirai, Lost Love, Datsue-Ba, Shikome, Gaki, 5 Seishin
Strategies: Shared Reconnoiter - We both would gain victory points for table quarters occupied at the end of the game
My forces deployed in a line, and Kirai's crew deploys in a loose mob formation on the right hand side. Winning the initiative, Kirai gives up some of her own Wds to summon Ikiryo and a second Gaki. The Sorrows link up to Pandora and Candy to form their human shields. The Ikiryo advances and uses (0)Call Spirits, which means that pretty much all of Ade's crew can advance 4" forwards. The Shikome advances on my right hand side, with one of Pandora's linked Sorrows as its target. The photos here are all end-of-turn views of the game.
Again winning the initiative flip, Ade activates the Ikiryo, who charges Kade. Thankfully he defends himself against the strike, which would have been nasty because Ade had flipped the Ikiryo's trigger to give her ++ on the damage. Kade isn't so lucky the second time though, and suffers 2 Wds from her next strike. Teddy isn't too pleased with this spirit beating on his little friend, so he uses (2)Flurry, discarding a low control card and mashing the Ikiryo into a pulp with his claws. Both Kirai's spell casting attempts fail, so she begins (0)Uncontrolled Crying (an overreaction if you ask me!). Pandora, seeing the threat to her pet Sorrow from the incoming Shikome, casts Self Loathing on it, cheating with a crow to get her Mental Anguish trigger off, which sends it fleeing to the table edge before clawing itself to death. (We weren't sure whether the spell effect still takes place after fleeing, can anyone clarify?). Baby Kade, seeing the oncoming pair of Gaki, and not wanting to be snacked on next turn, makes a break for it, switching over to hide near Pandora.
The Datsue-Ba casts (0)Denial of Sanzu on Teddy, stopping him from making any movement actions. For a melee beast such as the Ted-ster, this basically shuts him down for the whole turn. Pandora spends her activation using Incite on several models, inflicting a Wd here and there, followed by a couple of failed casts (Dementia on Kirai is shifted onto one of her nearby Seishin minions). One of the Gaki then runs up and, rather impertinently, eats one of the Sorrows right in front of Pandora, healing itself to full in the process! This is somewhat of a suicide mission though and, exposed as it now is, Candy forces the Gaki to eat itself using (1)Self Loathing. Kade advances towards Kirai, intending to attack her next turn, but Ade casts (0)In the Spirit World which teleports her 18 inches away and safely next to her Lost Love. She then summons an Onryo. It seems that whenever I put one of Ade's crew down, another pops up in its place!
Freed from his anti-movement curse, Teddy wades into the mass of enemy models and makes mincemeat of Lost Love. Next, fancying herself a nice new furry coat, the Datsue-Ba goes to work on Teddy with her skinning knife, inflicting a few Wds but not enough to take him down. Pandora fluffs her Incite flip, meaning she is unable to do much damage this turn, but Kade kills the Seishin that had been left behind when Kirai scarpered last turn. Then, in the most insultingly hilarious move of the whole game, the surviving Gaki uses (1) Absorb on Teddy, swallowing him whole for a light snack! If there was anything I was not expecting to see this game, that was it!
Kirai heals herself, and then resummons Ikiryo, who speeds off to hunt down Kade and finish him off. Kade is unable to defend himself against its Razor Sharp Fingernails, and gets shredded. Next, Pandora attempts to cast a spell on Kirai. First she has to flip to get through Kirai's Pitiful ability, and the resulting WP duel causes Ade's master to flee due to another Mental Anguish trigger. I'm now starting to realise the sheer power of this trigger! Not content with that, Pandora also avenges Teddy by killing the remaining Gaki, and causes 2 Wds on the Ikiryo. The Datsue-Ba casts (1)Weigh Sins on a Sorrow, flipping severe damage, and replacing it with a new Gaki right next to Candy, just when I thought I was rid of the damn things! Candy promptly poisons it with (1)Sours, and it attempts to eat her but fails, causing only light damage.
Potentially the last turn in the game, we both knew that it was make or break time as far as the Strategy (and the victory) was concerned. With that in mind, Ade uses a Soulstone to reflip to make sure he gets the initiative, but his Gaki is still unable to kill Candy. I want to give Candy the "Activation of the Match" award for what she did next. (0)Incite on Gaki, dead. Move. (0)Incite on Onryo, dead. Move. (1)Self Loathing on Ikiryo, dead. You go girl!! The Datsue-Ba tries twice to repeat her Gaki-summoning trick from last turn, but is unsuccessful, and is forced to slit her own throat by Pandora, who then picks off 2 Seishin before pushing into one of the empty table quarters. Flipping to see if the game continues for a 7th turn, Ade flips a 5 which means the game ends.
Pandora and Candy both claim a quarter, and Kirai claims another, but there are no other survivors, so the game goes to the Neverborn 2-1.
- I had a lot of fun playing Ade, and as a fellow Neverborn-aholic, he certainly knows his stuff.
- Using strategies for the first time added an extra layer to the game, as table quarters had to be borne in the back of my mind throughout. With Reconnoiter though, it was surprising how much of the result rested wholly on the actions of the last couple of activated models. I think this was due to the game being so close fought that neither of us had much left at the end to claim quarters. If Datsue-Ba had managed to summon that Gaki, or had survived Pandora's final attacks, the result would have been different.
- I liked the Kirai crew's mechanics and they were fun to play against. I think we mis-played the rules for Spirit a couple of times in that sometimes we forgot to halve their incoming damage, but in balance, we also allowed the Spirits to attack through terrain (believing their special move through terrain abilities meant they could also see through obstructions) which with hindsight I think was incorrect.
- A couple of times when Ade activated his first model (after winning initiative), it was the same model that activated last in the previous turn. This created the illusion of massive speed, which took me completely by surprise, and is a tactic I may consider using in the future.
- Teddy is a combat monster - but who didn't know that already?
- I was more restrained in moving Pandora about this time, and it paid off. She never got stranded and (I think) never even got attacked!
- Mental Anguish is very painful for your opponents. I almost felt bad using it on Kirai the second time! It did it's job though of taking her out of use for a full turn.
In my next post, I'm going to be doing a bit of mathematics for your viewing pleasure, and looking at the probabilities of certain card flips and how we can use these numbers to our advantage.