Tally recording wins and loses, from games recorded on blog, since september 2014 and from certain memory over the last 3 years. (Beyond 3 years I just dont remember any games out of a 5 year history) of course its not ALL of my games but as much stunning victories and crushing defeats as I care to remember.

pVyros, W11 -L4 -. Assassin 10.
eVyros, W4 - L5. Assassin 3.
Rahn, W8 -L8. Assassin 6.
Garyth, W11 - L3-. Assassin 7.
Ravyn, W9 - L3-. Assassin 9.
Kaelyssa, W9 - L4- Assassin 6.
Ossyan, W13-L10-. Assassin 6.
Issyria,W15 - L1-. Assassin 9.
Thyron, W1 - L0 Assassin 1.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dahlia Hallyr and Skarath. Retribution minions.

"Whistle while you work." 

Walt Disney.

Dahlia Hallyr. 

Dahlia was or is an elf and a member of Iosan high society. But she was weird.

Dahlia was so weird that she was shunned from Iosan society, probably as much as she shunned Iosan society herself and set out into the world to make her own way.

Like so many pretty wayward girls she ended up in the entertainment industry.

Snake charming in the iron kingdoms is small beans. She had a fair proficiency with the flute but with warlocks bounding around controlling Warp wolves and mountain kings Dahlia was more than a little out of her league.

So she did what any little girl with daddy issues would do, got the biggest, meanest, most intimidating, nastiest thing she could possibly find and started dating it.

Skarath is an appreciator of fine flute music. When he was not busy melting faces with acid spit or swallowing people whole he was working in his death thrash metal band Solid Snake. However Dahlias specific charm was enough to persuade him to launch a career in performing arts, dancing to Dahlias flute music.

Many Solid Snake fans bitterly hate Dahlia for this treachery,  which is fortunate for Dahlia as all of Skarath fans reside in Ios and Dahlia has no interest in that place.

Except that is for the Retribution of Scyrah.  Dahlia is an artist, as an artist she is sensitive and attune to the deeper rhythms of urcean and being an elf just compounds this. Because of this she cares greatly for endangered species and Noble causes. The most of which is the endangered species of her gods which is a very noble cause.

So whenever the Retribution ask her to do a gig for the forces she is always willing to accept. What Dahlia doesn't understand is why these performances are always arranged at the front lines of battle...

This is not so bad however as Dahlia and the artist formerly known as Skarath have a huge following outside of Ios. You can guarantee that when they show up on the front lines trolls and humans and elves alike all stop to applaud and wolf whistle Dahlia and dance with Skarath. Dancing with Skarath however is an exceptionally dangerous activity as he is after all an extremely jealous Grey tatzl wurm. Tatzl wurms themselves are not known for their affability and Skarath is exceptionally un affable.  It's a good thing he's so good at what he does.

The Artist Formerly Known as Skarath.

Haunting Melody hits charts at number 1.

Haunting Melody is Dahlias signature tune. It is actually her only tune. However she has been so successful with this piece of music that she hasn't yet needed to write a new one.

When Dahlia is playing Haunting Melody Skarath whips himself up and starts flailing about, teeth gnashing and acid spray spurting all over the place. It's quite a show. 

The crowed is almost always too enthralled with Dahlia or entrancingly terrified with Skarath to do much more than walk around, any attempts at ordered cohesion are useless. 

  1. Haunting Melody stops people from hurting you.
  2. Haunting Melody limits people's ability to run away from you, many have conjectured that this attribute is exactly why the song is so popular.
  3. Never stop playing Haunting Melody. 

Move with the music.

The key to a successful performance with Skarath is not to limit him. Dahlia needs to keep close so he can follow her prompts but other than this its pretty much do as he likes. The good thing about interpretive dance is Skarath is free to engage with the crowd as he sees fit. It's important that he doesn't get too worked up, he does tend to accumulate some fury but if you keep him just below his threshold he will not tire out and be useless to Dahlia. Or if he does get over excited or bursts out in a frenzied fit of jealousy Dahlia at least has developed a charming way to reel him in.

Ultimately Skarath is just a distraction, Dahlia loves crowed surfing and once she has her song going she is likely to run full tilt at the crowd and bob up and down in front of them while Skarath gets to work.

Unfortunately with any amount of extreme popularity there are those that don't like Dahlias art. Specifically these are the kind of people who are good at hurling magical rocks, lightening or fireballs at people. Thankfully Dahlia likes to perform for the Retribution and the people who don't like her, the Retribution exceptionally hates.

  1. Skarath likes to kill people or things that don't appreciate Dahlias music out of a sense of pride. Some might call this thuggery however he maintains it is out of a sense of romantic love.
  2. Skarath is exceptionally pussy whipped and will do whatever his darling Dahlia requests of him, this includes foot rubs buying sanity pads and not biting people's faces off in fits of rage.
  3. He might have a mean venomous exterior but he's just a big softy deep down.

For a commander of the Retribution mastering Dahlia Hallyr and Skarath is a piece of snake.

As part of your forces line up.

First of all, make sure she is playing her song. Always, it's good for troop morale but even better that drivel stops anyone with ears dead in their tracks. For Scyrahs sake don't let her get near anything undead or those abominable robotic contraptions, they don't stop to listen and will just cut her down.

If the enemy is alive, and even better, heavily armored with shields or exceptionally organized and likes to give orders.  Tell her they are really big fans.

Don't worry about the snake, it will usually be eating something or wrecking whatever can't listen to her music.
If the snake is feeling particularly useful it may use serpent Strike. Dahlia practically never performs this animus, it's better to let her keep her fury for transfers than anything else.

Having Dahlia dance about in front of a living enemy, preferably in their scenario zone is exceptionally amusing and I greatly encourage any commander to laugh and enjoy the show. Not being able to remove her from the path of a fully enraged Bronze Back Titan or Dire Troll Mauler buys times and is good for a laugh.

There is not much to master skill wise with Dahlia. What it comes down to is positioning.  There are some corner cases where it's useful having the snake not be able to be knocked down. But for the most part she is just there for her music.
  • Against some opponents she is cripplingly annoying and will easily save you the game.
  • Her stage is the scenario zone, there is no reason ever... ever, ever, ever , ever that she should not be inside a scenario zone. Ever.
  • If she is not inside a scenario zone by turn 2 you are playing her wrong, unless your playing against Cryx, then you are still playing her wrong. 
  • In case you are playing her wrong and are playing against Cryx,  she just tends to mope around the back line and hand out serpent strikes to people while Skarath spits acid in anger.

Good gigs within the Ret.

She doesn't really care who she performs for. On our side at least. 

  • Ravyn has been good at giving her a smoke and lazers show. 
  • Ossyan likes to quicken her advance towards her adoring fans. 
  • Vyros in no form is particularly fond of her. 
  • Rahn however doesn't mind her. 
  • Garyth however is particularly fond of her and she has a bit of a soft spot for the old prick himself. 
Garyth doesn't mind getting a little freaky with 3 some snake action and is a massive fan of flute jazz and interpretive dance.

Garyth likes to keep his focus on himself, he loves a little distraction while he gets to work, so Dahlia and Skarath work in nicely. Even better Garyth has a spell and a feat that keeps Dahlia safe from her haters, usually with head popping efficiency.

Why you would want Dahlia and Skarath at your next party.

The old "snake in the engine so there is no reason not to drink tonight" excuse. 
Dahlia is an attrition piece in an army that doesn't do attrition so well. Most things in the game are either problems or answers. Dahlia is a problem, a really big problem in the right places. This is exceptionally valuable in the Retribution because it is more a faction with answers than problems, subjectively speaking. Literally speaking you could say they have lots of problems what with dead and missing gods and all that and no answers much at all.

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