Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Base Value

I have painted a thing of beauty. It is like a perfect clear sky in winter.
I think I'll stare at it for another half hour.

A pity it's only eMagnus' epic base.

[edit] Ok I've stopped staring at it since Magnus is now standing on it, obscuring its mesmerising beauty.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Minor Updates

I've changed some settings for the blog so that anyone can post comments now instead of just other bloggers. There's also been some very minor tweaks to the layout which I'm sure you'd only notice if you knew they were there.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Gaming Blog: Shooting Blanks

Two games tonight, though the end of the second one should have been resolved differently - it was a Roulette + Puppet Strings interaction, very messy. I played Danny with his gun mage centric Cygnar army and then I played Mark who was using the Coven.

Danny's List:
Lieutenant Allister Caine
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
Long Gunners (9)
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt

I was a bit intimidated by all the shooting things Danny took - I thought I was going to lose the vast majority of my army very quickly. I moved Anastasia far too close to Caine in an effort to learn a secret immediately - I should stop leaving her out in the open to get killed horribly really, Invisibility doesn't stop everything (as the second game demonstrated). The Black 13th were right in front of her so I thought Danny would move one of the Gun Mages next to them up to her then nail them with Fire Beacon - it does no damage and would have meant that he could then blow Anastasia to bits. Instead he just ignored her and ran everything forward to the far side of a small forest near the middle of the board.

My second turn involved my Steelheads moving forward and killing the majority of the Long Gunners, the GMCA and getting into a position to absolutely murder Aiyana, Holt and a unit of Gun Mages. My cavalry hadn't even got to hit anything yet, I was slightly worried that Holt would be able to shoot Ashlynn somehow so I moved the Bokur to block Holt's LOS. I thought about using Roulette, but the majority of his army couldn't see me simply because I'd put down a couple of smoke templates and there was a small forest in the way. It was this turn that Anastasia learned a secret from Caine (he's called Wendy on weekends - OH HO HO, I'm so witty...) Danny ignored Anastasia some more, blew up half my expendable Halberdiers - it's what they're there for, that and Flank. Then he teleported Caine to a spot about 8 inches directly to Gorman's left. I even asked if Danny was absolutely sure he wanted Caine to be there. Twice.

My third turn started with Anastasia running back to Ashlynn's Command range and everyone getting into position to turn Caine into a shish-kebab. Gorman covered Caine in Black Oil, then Lord Rockbottom set Caine on fire. I thought about firing the Mule's Steam Lobber at Caine, but if he got thrown behind some rocks then I would have been boned. Instead I elected to kill Caine the good old fashioned way - by stabbing him with my warcaster. Ashlynn feated, charged, missed(!) with her charge attack, then killed Caine outright with her hand cannon. That hand cannon is a scary business.

Mark's List:
Witch Coven of Garlghast
Mechanithralls (9 or 10) - either these or the Bile Thralls was a full unit, other unit had 9.
*Brute Thrall
Bile Thralls (9 or 10)
Skarlock Thrall
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith

The casualties in this game were horrendous. I killed just about all his infantry except for a couple of Bile Thralls and kept Ashlynn at DEF 19 or better for the most part. Those few Bile Thralls I'd failed to kill managed to purge all over my poor Halberdiers, killing them all. I totally wasted Anastasia by parking her almost directly in front of the Bile Thralls. No prizes for guessing what happened next.

Mark won this in the second turn since Ashlynn was so far forward when he managed to land a critical hit with Stygian Abyss - using Puppet Strings to get a critical even though Roulette was up. We did the interaction of my feat with the spell wrong however. I'll use a nice handy list to show how we did it:

Skarlock casts Puppet Strings on a Witch.
Other two Witches move into position for Perfect Conjunction
Bonejack moves into range of Ashlynn (Roulette up, DEF 19)
Last Witch arcs Stygian Abyss - automatically boosted at Ashlynn
Mark rolls 5 dice
I choose 2 dice to dicard
Mark uses Puppet Strings to reroll the dice he doesn't like

Critical hit with Stygian Abyss
Ashlynn gets hosed.

The two bolded lines are WRONG. You apply the attacker's effects before the defender's. It should have looked like this:

Mark rolls 5 dice
Mark uses Puppet Strings to reroll the dice he doesn't like
- attacker's effect
I choose 2 dice to discard - defender's effect
Ashlynn does the Happy Dance
Ashlynn dies to a triple 6 damage roll
Andy cries

What this means is that while the Coven are very likely to still hit Ashlynn with Puppet Strings up, it's still almost impossible to get a critical hit (they need 4 of a kind or a full house - if you've played Yahtzee you know what I'm talking about) while Roulette was up. This in turn would mean that the next two boosted Stygian Abyss spells were most likely going to miss Ashlynn since Roulette was still in effect.

All this only occurred to me once we'd packed up (with me calling Mark a jammy bastard) and I was watching Jim's game against Ian (the Sorscha player who beat me at the tournament). It's weird what you have an epiphany about while puzzling out how Ian was going to kill Mortenebra. And no, Jim won as usual. Oh well, good to know for next time. Maybe I can have a career as an Infernal...

I've now got confirmation from an Infernal how to resolve this effect - attacker's effect first, then defender's. I'm not sure Devilsquid knows what Puppet Strings does however. The Privateer Press forums broke and were rolled back to Saturday.

Gallery Updates

I've borrowed my mother's very fancy digital camera for this week and made myself a proper light box. I'll be testing it all out over the next few days in an effort to find the best way to take pictures of my miniatures. The current results are being added to my gallery as I type, and I'm going back and replacing the older pictures too. There's still some lighting issues, but I don't think I can correct those without forking out some money for some more lamps.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Tournament Log: Conflagration '09

Place: 4th
Well, I've survived half of Conflagration, Glasgow's annual role-playing game/wargame/whatever even at the QMU. Yet again I'm at 4th place, this appears to be an ongoing theme with me. One day I'll get me one of those shiny, shiny medals...

Game One: ...
Scenario King of the Hill (Mosh Pit with a hill in the middle instead)
I got a by in the first round since the Murchie twins had not arrived yet, and so I won by default - I had an usually good strength of schedule because of this. I'd like to have tried out Ashlynn against either of their lists - Menoth or Cryx - but it wasn't to be so I sat around watching other games. Some of my friends from Aberdeen had come down, but only one was playing in the Warmachine tournament and that was Chris. He was unlucky enough to draw Jim in the first round and Chris has never played a scenario before so took a list with a massive bias towards shooting. As it was he never entered the area of the hill, and once he realised this all he had left was Caine to get up onto the hill - right in front of a full unit of Iron Fang Pikemen. Caine got hosed.

Game Two: Jim, Khador
Scenario Some sort of territory map.

Zevanna Agha, Old Witch of Khador
Greylord Ternion
Iron Fang Pikemen (8)
*Iron Fang Officer and Standard Bearer
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist

I opted to use my Ashlynn list, which wasn't a bad choice but wasn't ideal in dealing with the Old Witch. There's not much to say about this game, Jim locked my army down with the Old Witch's feat and I really should have used Ashlynn's feat on turn two. If I'd had another turn I think I could have made the assassination run once Anastasia had brought the secret back with her to Ashlynn.

Game Three: Chris, Cygnar
Scenario Assassination

Lieutenant Allister Caine
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Trenchers (10)
*Trencher Officer and Sharpshooter
*Trencher Grenade Porter
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt

Chris decided to be a bastard and deployed his entire force on top of a steep plateau with an entrance about 4 inches wide for me to get up and engage him with. The Ogrun Bokur I'd advanced deployed with Stannis as his client (Stannis using the Highborn Covenant's AD tricksiness) ate the dirt stupidly early, despite hiding at the base of the cliff. Eventually I managed to get most of my Halberdiers up the narrow gap - along with Stannis himself holding point - and got rid of the majority of those pesky trenchers shooting me. No such luck for the Black 13th however and I had to use my feat defensively to stop him from destroying my army.
Anastasia proved to be the deciding factor as she learned a secret and then Chris failed to kill her by a single point of health. Despite Caine being on a cliff to the right and behind Ashlynn and Gorman, once I'd gotten back to Ashlynn with the secret I was suddenly facing the right way and within range of both a Black Oil Grenade and Ashlynn's charge. It took a couple of hits but Caine eventually took a dirt nap once I'd used Point Blank to shoot him with my Hand Cannon - which would have killed him outright, even without the charge attack with Nemesis (the sword!).

Game Four: Bill (Sevwall), Trollbloods
Scenario Ridge Raiders
Perhaps one of the worst scenarios - why this one just isn't replaced with No Man's Land I'll never know.

Madrak Ironhide
Dire Troll Mauler
Troll Impaler
Trollkin Champions
Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes
*Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Hero
Fell Caller
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew

I totally played into Bill's hands for this one. He deployed his force VERY heavily on my left and moved into some ruins where I could only engage him on three very narrow fronts - which he quickly blocked off with his Champions. I just couldn't hit and damage the DEF 16 Champions, even with Roulette up. I massacred the Dire Troll Mauler however, and some Stone Scribes, but really I'd have been better off trying to stay back a bit and making him spread out. As it was he just wore down my forces. Next time I'll put Feint on the Mule instead so that once it's killed the Dire Troll Mauler it can get the hell away from those Champions with the STR buff aura from the Krielstone.

There's nothing to really conclude about this tournament, it was fun, I got to try out Ashlynn a bit more and discover her limits - which are actually rather similar to Magnus' except her feat is made of pure awesomesauce. She manages to be unusually threatening in person, and on the feat turn the troops can very reliably hit high DEF models, but outside of that it's the same slug feat to get the Steelheads into position. I had a good Q&A session with Jim to figure out some tactics for her so I'll try to put those into effect in the next game we have, which should be a week on Tuesday.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Painting Blog: Nomads and Mules

I've finally got everything I need for both my Ashlynn and Magnus lists for 500 points. I've put just about everything together - both the Nomad and Mule look amazing by the way. Painting them will take some time, but at least I've finally done those two lonely Steelhead Halberdiers who have only had their base coat on for ages.

Painted Stuff:
Ashlynn d'Elyse
Magnus the Traitor

Mangler Heavy Warjack

Renegade Light Warjack
Renegade Light Warjack
Talon Light Warjack

Steelhead Halberdiers x8
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry Sergeant
Lady Aiyana

Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Stannis Brocker, Steelhead Commander

Things to Paint:
Magnus the Warlord
Durgen Madhammer

Mule Heavy Warjack
Nomad Heavy Warjack

Steelhead Halberdier x1
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry x2
Master Holt

Anastasia di Bray
Gorman di Wulfe (90% done)
Lord Rockbottom, Expedition Financier
Ogrun Bokur
Rupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord

Gorman should be done the next time I've got some time to do his highlighting, then I think I'll slug my way through the Steelhead Cavalry. After those... hmmm... warjacks or soloes... warjacks or soloes? Probably the Mule since I'm going to be using Ashlynn quite often in the near future and it would look good in the middle of my army if it was painted up.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Gaming Blog: Playing Roulette

I play-tested my new list today. It was awesome. Really, it was. It poses a much greater range of threats than my Magnus list. I played against Mark using his slightly odd Mortenebra list. This is my first foray into using Ashlynn and I have to say, I'm impressed.

Andy's List: Highborne Covenant 497/500
Ashlynn d'Elyse
Anastasia di Bray
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Lord Rockbottom, Expedition Financier
Ogrun Bokur
Rupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Stannis Brocker, Steelhead Commander
Steelhead Halberdiers (8)
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (3)

Mark's List: Cryx 496/500
Master Necrotech Mortenebra
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Mechanithralls (9)

We played two games tonight, the first one didn't last very long since Mark forgot about half the things he should have been doing so I destroyed both his warjacks, all the Mechanithralls and was poking Mortenebra with the Ogrun Bokur before he conceded. I think I'd lost a couple of Halberdiers... Mark also made the Steelhead Halberdiers Nightmare's prey in this game, wasn't the best choice really.

The second game was much better, but I delayed using my feat. I think if I'd used it a turn earlier, my losses would have been at least halved.

Mark won the starting roll and opted to deploy and go first, weighting his force heavily on my right. I plonked most of my stuff in the middle and behind a hill, with Ashlynn hiding behind the Mule at the left edge of my deployment brick. Stannis was advance deployed with his Ogrun Bokur buddy, but I just put them about 4 inches ahead of my main force of Steelheads. Anastasia wouldn't get to go Invisible before Mark could get to her, so I placed her pretty much in my normal advanced deployment zone, well away from any Mechanithralls and bonejacks. This time around Mark picked Ashlynn as Nightmare's Prey (a much better choice really - I would have gone with Anastasia first myself).

Turn One:
Mark advanced up the right side of the board, I moved to occupy the middle area. Mark put Spectral Steel on the Slayer, I put Quicken on my Steelhead Halberdiers and Feint up on Ashlynn - my experiences with Jim and his bloody Seether in my deployment zone on turn 2 have made me cautious about the helljacks in Mortenebra's battle group. Other than that, not a lot happened, I think I may have shot a Mechanithrall or two. Ah yes, I gave the Halberdiers Fearless and Tough from the Piper, a decision that paid strong dividends in the next turn.

Turn Two:
This turn involved a lot of moving forward but not into melee range of the Steelhead Halberdiers by Mark's Mechanithralls. No forfending makes Andy a sad panda. =( He then cast Death Race on Mortenebra and tried to nuke a Halberdier with Doom Spiral. Luckily for me I passed both Tough rolls so the Nightmare didn't end up 5 inches closer. Instead the Slayer and the Nightmare trampled through some of my Steelheads to engage some of my cavalry before I could get a charge off, the Slayer managed to miss all three of the Steelheads it was trampling over too.

I should have used my feat this turn, if the Nightmare had moved due to the Prey ability, then that would have been fine, I had enough troops around it to bog it down with free strikes and Ashlynn would have been able to use Feint during Mark's turn if it came down to that. Since I was afraid the Nightmare was going to appear next to Ashlynn I left her until last to activate - a big mistake. This meant I missed a few attacks that would have otherwise totalled or at least disabled Nightmare and the Slayer. As it was the Slayer took some damage to its paint work from a pair of March enhanced Steelhead cavalrymen, while the Nightmare lost an arm and its movement to a combination of my Bokur, a cavalryman and a couple of Halberdiers. I haven't had more than one attack from Flying Steel yet. It's early days however. I'd hoped for a Critical Slam with the shield on the Bokur so that the Nightmare would be in trouble next turn, but it wasn't meant to be. Anastasia also moved close enough to Mortenebra to learn a secret.

Turn Three:
This was an eventful turn as Mark activated Mortenebra's feat and most of my army died. Mortenebra took down Anastasia herself. He also gave the Slayer and Nightmare full focus and watched as they ate through my cavalry, Stannis Brocker and the Bokur. The Mechanithralls chewed through the remaining Steelheads. It wasn't pretty. I also used my feat this turn. Ashlynn charged the mostly undamaged Slayer and totalled it, much to my surprise. Don't be fooled by that P+S 9 sword, she can lay the beat down when she needs to! Then I proceeded to kill all the Mechanithralls but one, Lord Rockbottom managed to spray Mortenebra with his fiery gun and also killed Deryliss. I used my remaining Steelhead Halberdier to let Gorman throw a perfectly placed Black Oil grenade onto both of Mark's bonejacks.

Turn Four:
Mark had most of the last turn but we ran out of time since everyone else had packed up and was heading home. After Mortenebra burned for a bit from Lord Rockbottom's fire, he activated Nightmare and took a couple of swings at the Piper since Ashlynn had used Feint to get the hell away from the helljack. The Piper survived oddly. Then he moved Mortenebra forward and attempted to nuke Ashlynn down with a couple of boosted Doom Spirals. One hit but didn't kill Ashlynn. There was some more stuff moved but it's irrelevant since I would have just dumped some Black Oil on Mortenebra (my Gorman being 10 inches away and had a totally clear path to Mortenebra's back) and then charged her with a full focus Ashlynn on my turn.

Thoughts on Ashlynn
Ashlynn is much more fragile than Magnus but is much easier to get up the field and into the enemy forces. Despite being so fragile she's tremendously hard to pin down directly, you really have to take specific casters or some form of reliable knockdown to stop her from just ignoring you as you charge in and she Feints away. I'll have to try playing against different types of casters, especially those with good ways of dealing with high defence targets - for some reason I'm finding Terminus with his throw to be rather intimidating . If I can figure out how to keep Ashlynn alive against those types of caster I'll be sorted.
The fact I don't need to bother with a ton of warjacks also means I can have a wider variety of things to threaten the caster kill on my opponent. Having the option to use more these extra threats is a great eye opener to the limitations of Magnus and the dual Renegades. Ashlynn definitely moves your opponent to reacting to her rather than forcing you to react to them - something I've found I end up doing against Jim, I react to what he does rather than making him play my game.
At first I thought Ashlynn's spell list was quite weak. There are spells that are pretty feeble but the value of Feint and Quicken alone is worth her weight in gold. I'm yearning for the opportunity to land Distraction on Caine or Grim Angus, denying them the ability to make ranged attacks would be too priceless.
Ashlynn is also deceptively dangerous. The low power of her sword cunningly hides the fact she's a Weapon Master. She DESTROYED a Slayer tonight, pretty much on her own and didn't even use all her focus to do it. Roulette allows you to play a very risky style of play with her, putting her in situations where you wouldn't normally put a warcaster. She's definitely a step up from Magnus for me, I just need to ignore the big scary things I *think* might hurt her but really can't until she's made stationary somehow.

Monday, 16 February 2009


Yes, Privateer Press have announced that they will be releasing Warmachine MkII in 2010, with Hordes MkII the following year. It looks like there are going to be major changes to make warjacks better. I'd spew more information but it's probably best if I just provide a link to the MkII FAQ:

Warmachine MkII FAQ

There are a whole raft of issues I'd like to see addressed with the new addition. Mostly the feats or spells that the Prime warcasters have (I may have mentioned how gay I think Sorscha's feat is). I am Very Pleased with the changes to warjacks, just thinking about Nomads in MkII gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Hopefully all my Steelheads keep that lovely Forfend and maybe the Mercenary Warcasters will get better spell lists. Only time will tell. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Tournament Log: Rising Conflict - 350 points.

Place: 4th - Best of Mercs - Painting Runner Up
Today was the first of the Rising Conflict tournaments, which are tournaments Johanna has schemed to make us paint our miniatures - you can only use painted models. It was only 350 points, but I really struggled to get my stuff done in time. My sister recently had a baby girl, my mother's visiting, and I've been going over to help out so I've not had that much time to paint recently. I also got sidetracked by my new shipment of Mercenary goodness. It was only once I'd finished Ashlynn that it dawned on me that none of the actual stuff I was going to use were actually finished - except for Magnus, a Talon, and about half the Steelheads I'd need for one of my planned lists. As it was my carefully planned lists went out the window in favour for the following:

Magnus the Traitor
Gorman di Wulfe

Not a very balanced list, but I hadn't planned on playing in this tournament to begin with (originally it was to take place on the 1st but I would have been at Daniel's wedding then.) I've decided that using Obliterator Rockets as denial devices is a total waste of time, something that I've been doing a lot recently. Instead they should be viewed as 10 inch guaranteed knockdown devices. Anything outside of 10 inches means the template can scatter away from the target - 5 inches of movement and 5 inches to make the scatter irrelevant since the template is 4 inches in diameter - I call this range 'Scatter-Doesn't-Matter'. I've come to realise I can actually dictate where my opponent goes just by putting a Renegade there. Something to remember for the next time I get ganked by Jim.

Game One: Thomas, Circle
Scenario: No Man's Land (territory to hold running through the middle horizontally)

Baldur the Stonecleaver
Tharn Bloodtrackers (8)
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew

This was the game where I decided to experiment with using Renegades and their rockets slightly differently, though I almost handed the game to Thom straight away when I moved a no-focus Magnus out of my deployment zone and he got a face full of javalins from the Tharn Bloodtrackers. Oddly I repeated this mistake later against Adam.
There was lots of mincing about and Thom killed Gorman and Reinholdt but failed to kill the Mangler. I killed most of the Bloodtrackers in the last turn - I hadn't used my Obliterator Rockets yet and Magnus had nothing to spend his focus on that turn so I dropped templates all over them. We through Thom had won on VPs until he kindly came over during my second game and informed me that we'd forgotten that I'd killed a Woldwyrd early on, meaning I'd won instead.

Game Two: Andrew Paul, Skorne
Scenario: Some sort of kit-kat bar one with territories running vertically up the table. I hate this one, it's made of gayness.

Lord Tyrant Hexeris
Titan Cannoneer
Cyclops Savage
Praetorian Swordsmen (8)
Ancestral Guardian

I was dreading this game since the scenario has traditionally been one I do horribly at - it forces my army to spread out in a way I don't like. Andrew Paul did some amazingly basic errors in this one. His Praetorians were crowded together very closely in some ruins - so I dropped an Obliterator Rocket on them and then sprayed them with Magnus a couple of times using Reinholdt's Reload ability. This unfortunately fuelled the Ancestral Guardian but I'd fired my rocket and was fully prepared to lose my Renegade the turn the Ancestral Guardian charged.
Then Andrew moved Hexeris and his Cyclops Savage bodyguard up my left flank and left them within 10 inches of Gorman, the Renegade that still had its rocket and within charge range of my undamaged Mangler. I didn't really need to Black Oil Hexeris but I thought I'd do it for good measure (you never know!). Anyway, Hexeris ate knockdown and then was pounded into the ground by the Mangler. Perhaps my easiest win of the day.

Game Three: Adam, Legion of Everblight
Scenario: Destruction (destroy the flags)

Lylyth, Herald of Everblight
Shredder x3
Strider Deathstalker x2
Totem Hunter

Adam should have won this one. I had a total brain-fart and moved Magnus out of my deployment zone with no focus, no cover or anything. Adam immediately saw the opportunity and came forward to attempt the assassination run and if weren't for some bad dice rolling Magnus would have been a very dead pincushion. As it was Magnus lived on 4 health despite being shot and chewed on by Lylyth (+ feat), both Deathstalkers, a rabid Shredder, and the Carivean's spray. Lylyth unfortunately was now in charge range of the Mangler and within the 9 inches of a Renegade (putting her inside SDM range). Knocked her down with the rocket, beat her up with the Mangler.

Game Four: Sean, Cryx
Scenario: Assassination (straight caster kill)

Warwitch Deneghra
Deathripper x2
Mechanithralls (6)
Pistol Wraith

Sean dominated me in this game. He just cast Parasite on each of my warjacks and then blew them to bits with the Leviathan's gun. He managed to blow the left arm off both Renegades almost straight away, meaning I had almost nothing to threaten him with. The game came down to time, but really, unless I had another 7 turns to chase after Deneghra with Magnus there wasn't a lot I would do. At least I did manage to blow up the Pistol Wraith in my first turn however, and killed all the Mechanithralls. Ah well.

Game Five: Iain, Khador
Scenario: Mosh Pit

Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff
Doom Reavers (6)
Kayazy Assassins + Underboss (7)

Quite frankly this was a joke. Certain casters dominate this scenario heavily - Baldur, Sorscha, eMagnus being the main ones that come to mind. On a board that was 40% swamp (WHY OH WHY?!) against Sorscha and her amazingly stupid feat I didn't even make it into the Mosh Pit after losing my second turn. I thought Sorscha's feat was almost identical to Kreoss' feat, but no, it's about twenty times as gay. At least I can do some things after being knocked down. Don't feel Iain earned or deserved this win at all.
[edit] To clarify, Iain certainly deserved his 3rd place, I'm not trying to take that away from him; I just feel that our game shouldn't have ended the way it did - in total gimpyness through the sheer power of Sorscha's feat. If he'd totalled my army (highly likely with all those weapon masters and sneaky assassins) then sure, I'd feel a lot better about it.

Well, three of us won painting prizes. Dermot for his Champions, Daniel (Johanna's boyfriend (I think)) for his Trollbloods in general and me because my painting "was the smoothest". I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I got a War Wolf solo out of it. I think I'll give it to Thom or Jim since they play Circle and I don't.

Overall I quite enjoyed this tournament, I got to meet a whole bunch of new people and hopefully get some regular games against more people. Next week is Conflagration, but Hannah is visiting so I might have to pass on it.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Painting Blog: Heads of Steel

I haven't updated my painting blog for a while now, but since Stannis Brocker was done I've done the Sergeant for the Steelhead Heavy Cavalry, a minimum unit of Halberdiers and I've just finished my new warcaster, Ashlynn.

Cavalry are a total pain in the arse to paint, they take ages. At least I should have the other two cavalry guys done before the 500 point fully painted tournament. Actually I'll need to do a ton of work for that tournament if I want to field an alternative list.

Ashlynn suffers a strangely shaped head, but I remember someone sculpting on some extra hair to frame her face and cover up her ginormous cheeks. So I've whipped out the GreenStuff and did the same, it makes her look much better. I've also done some minor work to Nemesis (her sword) - straightening the handle and moving the blade slightly so it looks better coming out of the basket hilt. Overall I'm quite pleased with her, there's a couple of bits I don't like, but they're quite small and you can't see them unless you look closely or know where to look. I might even go back and do some freehand...

My latest shipment of Mercenary goodness has arrived, including a Bokur. Holy crap he's huge, he's much heavier than any of my light warjacks. At least he's mostly metal plates and chainmail, it shouldn't be too hard to get him done in a hurry. Rather unfortunately the shipment is quite big and it ALL needs to be painted for my 500 point list at the next tournament. Ugh.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Gaming Blog: Yarrr, Thar Be Ganking Off the Port Bow.

Yep, once again beaten by Jim - he was using pVlad again. I swapped out the cursed Mangler for a Nomad and dropped a halberdier to fit in Eiryss. Swapping out the Mangler was definitely a good idea against an opponent like Jim who doesn't clump his troops together, the Nomad performed fairly well, trashing half a Destroyer before it got mashed by the Destroyer and a Juggernaut. Eiryss... well she died on Jim's second turn. I think I need a lot more practice with her to stop her dying horribly. Next time I plan to use the Piper of Ord instead, the bonuses he can give my Steelheads would be incredibly useful for my play-style. I'm not good at the denial style of playing, I'd rather just get stuck in and smash stuff.

Tonight's game was still fun, though Jim had the upper hand through a lot of it - once again I almost pulled off an assassination attempt against Vlad, this time using Magnus' Backstab ability through an arc node. Unfortunately the second Arcane Bolt missed then I ate a full focus Juggernaut to the face. At least I killed a whole bunch more models than last time. Signs and Portents supported Widowmakers are still incredibly irritating, if I could fit in Gorman he could hopefully shield my troops a bit as they advanced. Oh, for the want of swamp gobbers...

Unfortunately my latest shipment of Mercenary related goods hasn't arrived yet - I blame the terrible weather. Hopefully I'll have Ashlynn ready for next week. Jim has kindly bowed out of our weekly schedule so that I can play against Mark and his Cryx. If he's not using Skarre then Ashlynn will get a go, if he is then it's back to good old Magnus.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Gaming Blog: Foiled Again

Yet again ganked by Jim, though I'm starting to see the margin decrease. Even against Vlad and his sheer uberness I dropped him to half health before Magnus died horribly. The opportunity to assassinate Vlad was there but I just didn't have the fire power to pull it off - both Stannis Brocker and an obliterator rocket failing to do their assigned tasks (kill Vlad). Still, moral victory as always. Ashlynn should be arriving some time this week hopefully, so I'm going to try her out next week, see how that works out.

Tonight's game was very fast, Hardcore fast. Jim had come straight from work so we nipped out to get him some food and then we were distracted by a game on the next table. By the time we'd started we were almost two hours behind schedule. Luckily for both of us we seem to know our lists inside out so we may as well have been playing Hardcore timing rules. We'd finished by 9 pm after my failed assassination attempt and me forgetting about pVlad's feat - I'd remembered about Boundless Charge though. My mental checklist went off just as Jim had started his turn to sound of me saying "Crap, that's prime Vlad." and so Magnus ate a Destroyer to the face. I'd even checked to make sure Magnus was outside the normal Boundless Charge range of the Destroyer. Ah well, it was a fast and brutal game - on Jim's part anyway, I'd committed to attempting the caster kill on Vlad and so suffered the repercussions.

Things I Learnt:
Signs and Portents is as cheesey as a dairy farm.
Blood of Kings is just as cheesey.
Beating Vlad requires some way to deny him the ability to cast spells - Eiryss, Aiyana or Orin Midwinter spring to mind. Alternatively I need to be able to drop some insanely high powered attacks on him.
Jim has a feat too.

Non-Gaming Related: The Clewless Wedding

As I mentioned in the previous post my friend Daniel is now married to a lovely girl called Rachel. I was an usher at this wedding so I travelled up a couple of days early - forgetting the new black shoes I'd just bought in Glasgow too, so I had to buy a new pair in Aberdeen the day before the wedding.

The day before the wedding was a day of high stress: there was a wedding rehearsal, then we all went to the respective bride's or groom's houses. It was some time after arriving at Daniel's house that Daniel vanished... Yes, he went AWOL on us. We were supposed to have a poker night in our very snazzy top hats (I think I was the only groomsman who actually liked the hats). Instead we were wondering if Daniel had perhaps perished in a ditch somewhere. We didn't want to make the bride worry so we didn't phone Rachel. It wasn't until we began to call and text EVERYONE we knew (at about midnight I was looking up A&E numbers for the local hospitals) that we discovered that Daniel had been at the church with Rachel all this time. Bastard.

The wedding itself was made of awesome. I can't stress just how awesome it was. It was so awesome that AWESOME deserves capital letters. Eliza Helmond, the Dutch bridesmaid, tried to chat me up until she found out I'd brought Hannah with me. She was very forward, I like that. Maybe another time! All the bridesmaids looked amazing, though I have a distinct lack of pictures of the bridesmaids on my mobile... Oh yeah, I was busy with the wedding camera so didn't have time to take all the pictures I'd have liked.

The Wedding Breakfast had the best way of identifying each table I've ever seen. Each one was named after a comic book and had the cover of the particular comic on a tall stand in the middle of the table. I was sitting at the Ghost Rider table, which was slightly disappointing, I wanted Silver Surfer or Batman... Nonetheless, I got to sit next to the STUNNING Jocelyn Alithia Susan Grier - she's the VERY blonde bridesmaid (it's totally going to creep her out that I know her full name (it was on Facebook)). Each table also had a bucket of chilled IRN-BRU in small bottles. Classy stuff.

The official wedding photos were a blast, though there was one point when I thought the Best Man, Chris, was going to get hit in the face by a bus. The photographer had asked him to hang onto a lamp post and lean into the road. Once we arrived at the reception there were more photos, this time with fake moustaches and toy light sabres. I kid you not. I almost fell off a set of spiral stairs for those pictures. "Lean out more!" he said. "You won't plummet and land face first into the gravel path." he said. I tried to keep my fake moustache on for as long as possible but it started to get very itchy and had to be discarded.

I loved the ceilidh (as always) though my shirt wasn't much fun to sweat in. The shirts for the groomsmen were all rented so were very starchy and made out of polyester I think. Getting hot and sticky in them was not fun. I discovered Hannah is rather light and easy to fling around - perhaps all my working out is paying off after all! I think I missed about four dances the whole night, simply because I was in charge of the 'official' wedding camera until it ran out of batteries.

After the ceilidh there was a magician. No really, a magician. While not the best magician I've seen he'd clearly done performances for the university circuit, he was side-splittingly entertaining. He also had an albino rabbit called Basil that performed the last trick of the night - which Daniel almost screwed up somehow.

There was a disco once the magician and the ceilidh were over but I had to leave with Chris since I was staying at his place for the night. Both of us were totally exhausted when we got to his place, he pretty much collapsed once we'd put Hannah in a taxi back to her sister's place. Being made of sterner stuff (cough cough) I stayed up and sorted out all the stuff I'd have to return before I went to bed.

Congratulations Daniel and Rachel Clews.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Wedding Bells and All That Jazz

One of my best friends Dan is now married. Huzzah! I, however, am knackered from all that wedding stuff - the dancing, the standing, the running around doing stuff. So I'm going to sleep now. If you have Facebook then expect to see a whole load of pictures I took on my iPhone appearing shortly.