First Game for the Forces of the Abyss

Boiling steam and smoke announced the arrival of the furious horde of demons which set loose from the bowels of the earth on an unsuspecting village. 

Unprepared for an attack by loose bowel demons, the Trident Realm defenders desperately attempted to light a signal beacon to summon armed assistance to drive the invaders back to the Abyss…

and that is how demons, full of hell’s fury, bent on destroying and burning everything in the mortal realm, found themselves defending a pile of dry sticks…

I will start this post with a big thank you to Lord T – thanks for the game and the tutorial. His after action report can be read here on his blog “Real Men Roll Dice”

I don’t plan to give a blow by blow account of my first game – Lord T has already done an awesome job of this. Instead I will share some of the things I learned as a first time player.

List construction. When Lord T challenged me to a game, I really should have asked “how many points?” Not that it mattered too much, I had a bit of fun over the week tinkering with various 100pt and 200pt lists. I knew I was playing against Trident Realms, but wasn’t thinking too much about building a list to counter or to build a list for a specific scenario. The 200pt list I landed on was built on a principle of having a little bit of everything and a little flexibility – a Despoiler as a heavy hitter, a Imp Swarm to use as support & a blocker, 2 Gargoyles and  Blood Masque (Commander) for fast attack & rapid response. The main difference in most the lists I toyed with was in the number of Flame Bearer missile troops & warband bulk that I was planning to come from the Lower Abyssal Grunts & Warriors. In the end my 200pts list had only two missile troops and one warrior and I went with the full allocation of five Lower Abyssal Grunts.

The “Light the Beacon” scenario requires me to drop 25pts of troops & I chose to leave a Gargoyle and a Grunt at home.

Following this game, I think I will swap out the Blood Masque for Seductress.

Cobra Kia – Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy! While the Abyssal “Fury” faction ability to retaliate is handy, I learned very early in the game the value of positioning to engage opposing troops first in melee. While it is good to strike first, being able to “see” your opponent and get the extra dice on a straight line charge is more effective than running & pushing fatigue to get into combat (as my poor Gargoyle was to learn in the first turn).

Don’t leave “live” power in your pool. Ok. Rookie mistakes here. My first turn I was so hung up on getting the mechanics right I didn’t spend any power dice at all in the first turn of the game. None. What is worse was I had a pool of 5 power that went unused. I  hind sight, I had plenty of opportunity to boost attack & defence (might have even saved my poor Gargoyle!)

Grunts are brittle. When putting together my list, I struggled a little to decide weather it was better value to have the Lower Abyssal grunts or the Abysall Warriors. I didn’t realise how easy it was to take them out of the game. My more experienced opponent was able to pick off isolated grunts & with only one wound, this removed them from the game without them having the opportunity to strike back or even tie up his troops for more than a turn. Having realised how brittle the grunts are, I think I will try not to be as cavalier in leaving them alone & unsupported not to mention that to get any value from them they are need to be the on to strike first because they are not good units to use as a blocking / delaying force. (That is a better role left to the Imp Swam)

Kill them. KILL THEM ALL! I suppose this is similar to my observation about how brittle 1 wound troops are. I had made some serious in-roads into causing wounds to Lord T’s commander and his big Gigga crab monster. I that it might have been a mistake not to commit more Forces & effort to “finish-off” these multi-wound heavy hitting troops. Both of which threatened the “signal beacon” at the end of the game.

Play the Scenario. Well this is more a lesson that I learned from my opponent. When I discovered I was defending in the “Light the Beacon” scenario and it was turn limited, my plan was simple. Try to engage the enemy in the middle of the table and to contain any sneaky little “runners” with a flanking force. I expected it to be bloody, I expected to have to throw troops into the meat grinder – and it was costly. By turn 5, I had been reduced to only two warband team members huddled around the beacon. I can’t help but think of Trident Realms started their final run on the beacon a turn earlier rather than mopping up my remaining troops, their commander & Gigga would have taken the objective.

It has been more than a few weeks coming. I have enjoyed assembling & painting my Abyssal Warband and very much enjoyed my first game. I think I have learned much from my first outing & once again – thanks Lord T for the game and the education!


Picture of General POTUS

General POTUS

Monday Knights founding member, known for occasionally losing his pants

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The Monday Knights are a gaming group based in Melbourne Australia.  We are happy to play just about any game at any time.

We meet every Monday night at the Auburn Bowls club in Hawthorn East, Victoria, from 6pm onwards.

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