Hello Brushheads and welcome to part one of a 6 or 7 article series. I’ll be covering my experiences in our local Journeyman League. I plan on posting one of these a week for each week of the league, then one wrap-up at the end.
I decided that a Journeyman league was the best time to start playing Minions. In addition to the models I use in Circle, Retribution, and Mercs, i’ve been picking up models here and there for a while. So, I figured I might as well get some use out of them and signed up with Farrow. We’re using the standard Journeyman rules, with the change of allowing you to swap out one model/unit every week. Just in case something isn’t working.
So the Farrow “Battle Box” is Helga, a Battle Boar, a War Hog, and two Razorboars. I was troubled with how pillow fisted this force was, but figured i’d just power through and see what I could do. Week 1 (and 2) are played with Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw, so there were two ways to win.
My first game was vs Brett Painter, with his Cryx. I quickly realized that he had a better threat range than me (aside from Helga) and that was before realizing that he had a Reaper. With canny use of a wall and Cyclone, Helga just continued to take shots at the Reaper until his Slayer started to advance on me. I then relocated to the other side of a forest, but I misjudged the threat of the Slayer and he walked into melee with Helga (with the help of Ghost Walk), but couldn’t kill her. So, with the help of Gang Fighter, I manged to kill the Slayer, then the Deathripper that followed, while I manged to take the harpoon of the Reaper. At that point is was just a matter of cleaning up, which the Battle Boar did. 1-0.
Game 2 was vs Trollton Heston, playing Trolls. He had thoughts of just staying back with his Impaler, but I told him that would end up as a gun fight between him and a Defenders Warded Helga, which would end in my favor. He saw the light and we actually played the game. He chose to take the charge from my Razorboars, but he wasn’t counting on me feating and primaling them, to get great damage (all spirit) to the Axer and slamming the Bouncer. They got into a protracted fight with the Razorboars (a phrase I doubt I will ever use again), where he could not hit and do good damage at the same time. Meanwhile, I sent the War Hog in on the Impaler (on his feat turn) and crippled it. I had left him out of control, so he couldn’t use Aggression Dial or buy attacks (bad me). He decided he had to kill the War Hog, so the Impaler took a free strike (I let him go, not wanting to give him any of the fury left on him from last turn), and use Hex Blast to remove Defender’s Ward. The Axer charged, taking a free strike from a Razorboar. Wouldn’t you know that the boar hit him for a ton of damage in the spirit again. The game functionally ended when the Battle Boar slammed the Impaler into the Axer, killing both. 2-0
On Saturday, I came in for more games. El Marshall was first up with his Ossrum battle box. This was a weird game, since i’ve played Ossrum a ton and El Marshall had only played two games with Rhulic (and one was months ago). He moved his spray bunny up into threat of the War Hog and his Driller was just in LOS and threat of the remaining Razorboar (unshockingly, one died to shooting). I popped my feat and sent them both in for slams. The Razor boar slammed the Driller back a bit. The War Hog crippled the spray bunny and slammed it back into another, but it didn’t die (1 or 2 boxes left). Ossrum popped his feat and cast Irresistable Force, allowing the Driller to bulldoze the Razorboar out of the way to get to the War Hog. Defenders Ward did enough to leave the War Hog fully functional. On my turn I went all in and primaled the War Hog, plus Aggression Dial and Gang Fighter and killed the Driller with fury to spare. At the point it was just mop up. 3-0.
After lunch, I played Kevin, who was just getting back in after Mk2. He was player the Trollbloods box. We got into a proper scrum in the middle of the table and my War Hog killed his Axer and Bouncer on his feat turn and then I cleaned up. Though, to be honest, he made 3 toughs in a row and I only had one War Hog attack left to kill him with, or he would’ve probably killed Helga. 4-0
That night I played Oak, with his Magnus battle box. I always worry about forces with two heavies, and the Rover and Mangler. I was setting up for the Razorboars to charge in and pin his jacks (or at least force a trample), but he lead with the Mangler, and I got the War Hog into it and crushed it. I went all in again and probably didn’t need to. He popped feat for Magnus for the tactical movement and did some damage with his Rover and moved away, leaving my War Hog to frenzy into a Razorboar…but he missed. He managed to kill the War Hog as I chipped away at the Rover. His final turn had Magnus repair the Rover, who had only 2-3 boxes left, instead of killing the Razorboar on him. The Rover managed to kill the Battle Boar and he other Razorboar, leaving me in dire straits, but I had Helga cyclone into his rear arc and kill him with the assault charge. Good game. 5-0.
Initial model thoughts:
Helga: She’s ok at this level, but really needs more warrior models to take advantage of her spells and field marshal ability.
Razorboars: Not good. Sure they are cheap, but they’re only POW10 (12 of the charge) and don’t give you fury when they’re dead. Plus they’re not fast (SPD 6). They’re ok when there is infantry for them to kill, but right now, they don’t do enough.
Battle Boar: Great animus, mediocre beast. He’s only really good vs infantry, since POW11 doesn’t even do well vs other lights. Again, he’d be better when there are other models for him to kill. He’s worth it just for his animus.
War Hog: Very killy. Not super-tough, but no slouch. Defenders Ward makes him terrifying. A good, solid heavy with decent output and a solid animus.
Final week 1 thoughts: This is not a Battle Box for new players. I had to use all my tricks in every game to keep up. Minions are hamstrung by their available beasts and casters, so I don’t blame them…but having a melee-centric caster as your starter box is a bad call. The only other easy option is Midas, but he’s a bit complex. If I were PP, I would make sure my next caster for both Farrow and Gators were usable as Battle Box casters. Or, my dream, make a generic Minions caster who can use both stables of beasts. I am going to swap out Helga for Sturm and Drang for Week 2, and add a Gun Boar. I think this will be much more interesting to play, since all my spells matter.
Until next week…RAHN!