Monday, 30 March 2009

Field Test News

The announcement on the Privateer Press website has changed slightly, but here's the important information:

The field test starts on the 6th of April (Monday)
You can download it at from the 6th onwards
You will have to register to be able to download the rules
Once you have registered you will also be able to provide feedback

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Feeling Lethargic

Jim and I were supposed to play a 750 game at GUGS today, but alas the QMU was closed due to the Easter holidays (philistines!). Luckily I'd arrived at about the same time as Jim at the QMU and so we migrated to Jim's house to play instead, though without the company of other gamers - I had hoped to return some heavy books to Thomas but he seems to be avoiding me. Perhaps he can sense my epicness shining through now that I'm playing eMagnus.

I'm not really sure my brain can cope with writing a full battle report but I'll see what I can do. This may be filled out in greater detail later.

Game One: Supreme Kommandant Irusk vs Magnus the Warlord
Scenario: No Man's Land (although we both forgot about it)

Jim's List: 750/750
Supreme Kommandant Irusk
*Behemoth (I did ask why)
Doom Reavers
Greylord Ternion
Iron Fang Pikemen (8)
+Iron Fang Officer and Standard
Kossite Woodsmen (8)
Winter Guard Mortar Crew
Man-o-War Drakhun (+dismount)

Andy's List: 750/750
Magnus the Warlord
+Renegade (bonded)
+Renegade (bonded)
Kayazy Assassins (8)
+Kayazy Assassin Underboss
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt
Steelhead Halberdiers (9)
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (3)
Eiryss, Angel of the Retribution
Kell Bailoch
Lord Rockbottom, Expedition Financier
Rupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Stannis Brocker, Steelhead Commander

The board is pretty heavy with terrain - almost all of it linear obstacles and the like. I win the starting roll and opt to go first. The Kayazy Assassins take the right, eMagnus and his battlegroup are on the left with the Steelheads in the middle. Eiryss and Kell take up positions on the left near the centre of the board. Aiyana and Holt stay between eMagnus' battlegroup and the Steelhead block.
Jim puts his Iron Fangs in a bunch to my left between a house and a fence, eIrusk is next to them with Greylords spaced out evenly behind everything. The Behemoth and the Mortar Crew hold the right side of the centre. The Kossites take up position on top of Jim's TV where we all forget about them. Finally his Doom Reavers go up on the right in front of the Behemoth, and the Widowmakers take positions behind a wall just in front of Jim's deployment zone. I almost forgot about the damned Manhunter in the middle of the table behind a line of barrels.

Turn One:
Stannis gives the Furious Charge order to the Steelhead Heavy Cavalry. The Piper of Ord gives the cavalry March straight away - the Manhunter is in charge range - and away they go. Unfortunately they miss everything against Manhunter and I cry into my non-existent beard. Kell tries to shoot a couple of Widowmakers and fails miserably. Eiryss attempts the same with no success. eMagnus casts Mobilize and Lethargy (targeting my cavalry), everything else pretty much runs forward and towards the zone in the middle, I stupidly turn the Kayazy to face AWAY from the table edge having forgotten Jim has those sneaky Kossites sitting on top of the television (such a cunning place to hide them).

Jim starts things off by having the Manhunter charge Kell, I miss my free strike from the cavalry engaging him due to negative Lethargy still being up. I resign myself to having bad dice all game at this point. Kell dies horribly, though it does look like the Manhunter is going to follow suit on my turn. The Doom Reavers move forward to engage my cavalry but only kill one of them. The Behemoth and Mortar Crew drop some templates on some Steelheads and Renegade A. The Widowmakers come out from behind their wall but otherwise don't see a lot of action this turn.

Turn Two:
Stannis Brocker activates first, tells my cavalry to Furious Charge and then charges the Manhunter almost directly in front of him, Ghengis Khan promptly misses. eMagnus casts Misdirection and Mobilize. eMagnus and his Renegades swing around back towards the middle of the board, while the Nomad advances up the right flank. I quickly realise I've let the Nomad get outside my control area, but oh well. My Kayazy run again up the left flank and ONCE AGAIN turn away from the table edge - immediately afterwards I glance at the television and see all those Kossite Woodsmen sitting there. Eiryss heads very far up the left flank and caps a Widowmaker. The two cavalrymen I have left declare cavalry charges through the Doom Reavers, killing three of them but one makes his tough check thanks to eIrusk.
Jim starts his turn by bringing in the Kossites and killing half the Kayazy Assassins - fortunately the Underboss still lives. eIrusk drops an Artifice of Deviation over a patch of rough terrain and moves forward to activate his feat. The surviving Doom Reavers move through the Artifice of Deviation to mince the remaining Steelhead Heavy Cavalry, most of the Halberdiers and with some help from the Drakhun they disable the Nomad. The Manhunter kills Stannis Brocker with very little fuss and then the Behemoth blows the left arm off Renegade A. The Greylords drop a whole load of blizzards on the Iron Fangs around eIrusk.

Turn Three:
Most of my army is caught by eIrusk's feat, except for Aiyana and Holt, eMagnus, a Renegade, eEiryss and my Kayazy. I can also see a very solid assassination run, except that it revolves around a Halberdier killing a very specific Doom Reaver. I did get the sequence of activation slightly wrong for this.
I allocate one focus to Renegade B. I move Renegade A back and out of the way (instead of forwards and into the Manhunter's way) and the Kayazy on the left move to engage a Widowmaker or two and get closer to eIrusk. eMagnus casts Mobilize and moves forward to spray a few Iron Fang Pikemen, managing to kill the Officer and a normal trooper. I then use Kill Box and select my table edge and Jim's table edge in case my assassination run fails miserably.
The keystone of the assassination attempt comes along, can my two surviving Halberdiers kill the Doom Reaver that's occupying my firing location for Renegade B? evidently... no, they can't. Aiyana and Holt move across to the left and attempt to land Harm on eIrusk anyway, Aiyana fails and so Holt shoots some Doom Reavers instead. Renegade B opts to run to the left and hopefully I can drop a rocket on eIrusk next turn. To herald the end of my turn eEiryss moves forward to kill a Greylord.

I've caught almost all of Jim's army in eMagnus' feat, but eMagnus is extremely exposed. Jim decides to drop bombard shells all over eMagnus and then attempts to shoot poor eMagnus with eIrusk's gun. When the smoke settles he's still got 10 health. Jim tries to get a Widowmaker into a position to shoot eMagnus but one takes a free strike from a Kayazy and then the remaining Widowmaker flees. I chortle happily.
Then Jim activates the Manhunter, who can still charge eMagnus, they're directly left of each other. I ready the marker pen to mark down ludicrous amounts of damage. The charge attack misses! I silently thank the Dice Gods. The second attack hits however and removes 9 health from eMagnus, alas Jim doesn't have anything else left to attack eMagnus with, even though my warcaster is sitting at a single point of health. The Greylords move forward and hose a couple of the Kayazy just out of spite and Jim ends his turn.

We calculated our VPs in the scenario zone this turn since most tournaments call time in the third turn. I had 6 VPs to Jim's 5. Go mercs!

Turn Four:
Well, eMagnus is still alive, eIrusk hasn't moved and now I might just pull it off. Two focus go to Renegade B. eMagnus activates first and moves around the side of the Manhunter so that there's no dispute on free strikes and the like when Aiyana and Holt move past later. I cast Mobilize and then miss both attacks against the Manhunter. No matter, if I fail this I'm so very dead. Renegade B steps up to the plate, moves up but can't quite get into Scatter-Doesn't-Matter range and it still manages to land a rocket on eIrusk. Eat that! eIrusk does not seem impressed with my impressive damage roll either...
eEiryss moves back around a house so she can see eIrusk and shoots him, removing the two focus he had on him. Even with no focus she fails to damage him. Aiyana and Holt move up behind the Manhunter, drop Harm on eIrusk and Holt finishes the job.

There's so many things that could have gone wrong for eMagnus in this game. If he'd failed a channelling roll and taken a point of damage, if the Widowmaker had passed their command check, if the Manhunter had rolled one more damage... Next time I'll just upkeep Misdirection and figure out how to work with the rest of my focus.
This also heralds my first genuine victory over Jim - in previous victories we'd done such things as swap armies or he was using a gimped warcaster (though I play Mercenaries, so clearly all my warcasters are gimped). I may even break out the Happy Dance.

Game Two doesn't deserve a real report, we can safely say that eButcher with 12 rage tokens and a full unit of Doom Reavers ate eMagnus. Maybe if I give eMagnus a more interesting base then he'd survive the pitiful onslaught of these non-character troopers...
I have started to add snow to my bases, and for the most part they look better! There are some exceptions, but those are mostly because some of the snow broke off or the brush accidentally left some 'drift'.

WARMACHINE MKii Field Test Dates

Privateer Press have announced the date when we can download the MKii rules from their website in this announcement:

"Field Test Date Announced!

The WARMACHINE community has been buzzing with anticipation since the announcement of WARMACHINE Mk II and the public field test. The wait is quickly coming to an end, as the full field test materials will be posted Monday, April 6, 2009.

The Mk II field test documents will be available for download from the WARMACHINE Mk II field test site at Players will also need to register on the site in order to provide feedback from the field test. Registration will open with the release of the WARMACHINE Mk II field test documents.

Get ready to Play Like You’ve Got A Pair!"

I've put off painting until I know exactly what's going to end up in my army. I'm also fighting the urge to e-bay everything so I can get it all again with a different colour scheme. I was thinking desert themed Mercencaries.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Metallic Experiments

After looking at several pieces of work done by the Zen Masters of painting I decided I'd give working with metallics properly a go. They're much harder to blend than normal paints - I can't just add water and blend it on the model, you really notice the brush strokes. Here are the results of my work so far:

Magnus the Traitor - original

Magnus the Traitor - updated

Better or worse?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Kobra Kai

My first 750 game did not go well. Jim took an eSorscha Winterguard zerg and sprayed/CRA'd me to death. Writing a battle report would be a rather moot point for this game, it was over fairly quickly but was long enough to give me some feedback on playing eMagnus. eMagnus died to the Drakhun during eSorscha's feat turn, despite being too beautiful to die the Flying Steel couldn't be denied. Since we both need more practice we'll be playing another game on Saturday (if all goes to plan) - it should be my modified eMagnus list vs eVlad.

First of all, eMagnus is very focus intensive, he's doing things with just about all his focus every turn: casting Lethargy (a tricky, tricky spell), Mobilize, Bullet Dodger, Misdirection etc. This means he's a 'sit at the back' type warcaster, only his feat doesn't let him sit at the back, you need him up front to catch the enemy forces in Kill Box. On any given turn I should be spending 2 focus to cast Lethargy on a new target, then another to upkeep Misdirection (if it's active) and giving at least 1 to my warjacks - that leaves me on ARM 19, 1 below my preferred norm. Alternatively I could spend it all to use Mobilize to make the warjacks (and Magnus) faster, but I find sitting on no focus is an invitation for assassination. I'm definitely going to need a few more games to figure out how he works.

Given that my list is so heavily weighted for the melee side of things I've taken Jim's advice (see comments on previous article below) and swapped around some things in my list. While I would *love* to use a Mangler it's a massive focus hog without Frenzy, so I've opted to downgrade my Mariner to a Nomad and got myself some Kayazy Assassins and Kell Bailoch in exchange for one of the units of Steelheads. It was also tempting to use pMagnus, but I'll give eMagnus a few more tries first. If Kell doesn't work out, then I'm sure I can swap him out for Gorman and fun times will be had by all.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Rules of the Game

I was going to write a big long article about this article I saw on the Privateer Press forums the other day. Unfortunately I couldn't really find anything new to say that wouldn't place me on a very high and precarious pedestal, and so you're going to end up with this post instead.

So I've been playing Warmachine for three months now and come up with three simple rules to play by:

Don't be a dick. Perhaps the most important rule. This covers "don't be a rules lawyer" and "don't cheat".

The objective is to win, the point is to have fun. I cannot take credit for creating this rule, I believe one of the Infernals came up with it on a sportsmanship thread. If you're not enjoying playing a hyper-competitive list, then don't.

Everyone loses at some point. It happens to everyone, at some point you'll lose - it could be for any reason, from bad tactics to cold dice. Expect it to happen some day and try to learn from it. Don't throw a hissy fit.

Lessons Learnt from Losing Constantly
Here are some of the more important concepts I've developed in the time I've been playing Warmachine.
There are only two types of play styles in Warmachine and Hordes: assassination and attrition.
If the assassination can be prevented, an attrition list will almost always win.
A competitive list combines both melee and ranged attacks. This is the primary reason I lose so many games, any ability to neuter my melee offensive usually results in a loss.
Denial abilities weigh heavily in determining the winner of a game.

Perhaps not my most in-depth and though provoking article, I may come back and fill it out.

Additional Authors

I've been toying with the idea of having a couple more of the Glasgow gaming crowd being able to add posts to this blog. If you're interested, have decent grammar and spelling, and I like you then I'll add you to the list of people who can contribute to the blog. To be able to contribute you'll need a blogspot account and send me your e-mail address. Be sure to make it obvious who you are. If I do somehow get more contributors then I'll do some reshuffling of the layout so it's not so focused on what I'm doing and more focused on Glasgow Hordesmachine.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Barf Bagged

I went to Jim Lawrence's house today to have a quick 500 point game against him - he used a Terminus list and I used Ashlynn. It wasn't a huge challenge for Jim to beat me; Terminus was sitting at ARM 32 at one point and there wasn't a lot I could do to damage him. Definitely a warcaster to bring Eiryss along for.
Jim also brought Bile Thralls, which I tried to mitigate slightly by spreading my Halberdiers out in a long formation. Having the first turn meant he got them across the board in pretty short order and still managed to Purge a few over the Halberdiers he needed. It was only during my last turn when my brain clicked on that hitting the Bile Thralls with Distraction (-2 MAT+DEF, cannot make ranged attacks) means they cannot Purge or spray. It was far too late by then, but it's a valuable tactic to remember with Ashlynn since it's one of the few things that can automatically hose her.
I'm also not sure why, but Jim seems to almost constantly win the first turn against me, even with Anastasia in my list, something no one else seems to manage. I can count the number of times I haven't won the starting roll on one hand. I probably could stand to lose a few fingers from that hand too. I might have to practice a few games where I voluntarily give the opponent the first turn so that I can build a better formula of what to do.
Anyway, we're scheduled for a rematch on Tuesday, we're going to bump things up to 750 points so that we have some practice before the Masters. In the words of Kobra Kai: Strike Hard, Strike Fast, No Mercy, Bring eVlad. (or eSorscha)

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Wolf? I See no Wulfe

Well Gorman's now done, but not to a very high standard at all - so he's pretty much never going to be in my gallery. This is mostly due to the work I did on him for the 350 point part of Rising Conflict - where I painted him in about 12 minutes. I might even go so far as to buy another Gorman di Wulfe so I can do him up to my usual standards, or get another bottle of paint stripper. At least he's good enough to look like he's part of my army.
I also put some freehand on the back of Ashlynn's... skirt-thing. I'll have to start practising doing freehand stuff and proper in-depth blending. After seeing Adam's commissioned work from Ali McVey I'm inspired to try more complicated and more difficult work. One of the first steps will have to be making my bases more interesting. Then it's on to more complex blending techniques or just doing more layers of blending. One day... non-metallic metals!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Painting Schedule: Rising Conflict

I will scribe a schedule here and not deviate from it until the Creator says otherwise. This shall be the order of what I'm going to paint:

Gorman di Wulfe
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (2) - 2 days each
Rupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Steelhead Halberdiers (2)
Nomad Heavy Warjack - 2 days
Anastasia di Bray
Mule Heavy Warjack - 2 days
Ogrun Bokur - possibly 2 days... he is a big lad after all.
Lord Rockbottom

I shall endeavour to do at least one miniature a day and the Scrutators will wrack me for my slothful ways if I fail to do so. That means I should be done in about 16 days, plenty of time to do touch ups and interesting things to my warcasters and character models before the 500 point Rising Conflict tournament.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Idrians... Bleh

I played at Adam's place tonight against... Adam! Suppress your shock and surprise here. I'm sure I'll write a more extensive battle report later, but the battle can be summarized by this: I took Durgen Madhammer to try him out, Adam's Idrians killed everything.
I don't like Idrians, they eat up significant amounts of time during my turn as I move a model and wait to find out if they intercept at all. It does make me wonder what happens with them during Hardcore... So much so that I've actually asked. Not really the replies I was expecting since I just wanted to know how this stuff works in Hardcore, but now I know.
Durgen I don't much like either. I can see how he works, or at least how he's supposed to work but there's just something lacking (an arc node and a basic shot). He's a good match up against the Old Witch however - as long as you're already in melee when she uses Field of Talons you can just have your troops explode. Other than that, not as fun as Ashlynn or pMagnus. I may even go back to painting my cavalry now.
Overall game was quite enjoyable, though lack of pathfinder became something of an issue since there was a big river crossing the middle of the board. I'll definitely have to come up with other options than my Steelheads if I want to deal with that sort of thing - the Nyss Hunters would probably be a good idea. Of course I could just run my own Idrians with Magnus...

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Tonight's game against Thomas (using the Old Witch) wasn't fun. He didn't leave his deployment zone except for Scrappy and a Destroyer, it made for a very dull game for me after he'd stalled my assault using the Witch's feat. Next time I think I'll just charge into his Kayazy with Ashlynn regardless and see how the world implodes with endless Riposte spam. Magnus would have been a better choice for this, I could have just nuked his deployment zone.

Apparently I've also been doing Roulette slightly wrong: once my turn ends I don't get all those lovely extra dice on my attack rolls, so no bajillion dice Forfends. I owe some people rematches!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Utter Skorne

Once again Saturday was upon us and once again Sebastien had to cancel our game. Luckily for me GUGS was invaded by numerous Warmachine and Hordes players so instead I got another game against Sean Murchie and his Skorne. I like playing against Sean, or at least when he's playing his Skorne, our armies are actually very similar - we're both melee retaliation type armies. I use Forfend and he uses Death March. When he charges my army it takes a long time to sort out all the out-of-activation attacks we both get, but at least there's massive amounts of casualties on both sides.

Sean's List: Skorne 499/500
Lord Tyrant Hexeris
Basilisk Krea
Cyclops Brute
Cyclops Savage
Immortals (6)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (4)
Praetorian Swordsmen (9)
Ancestral Guardian
Ancestral Guardian

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)

There's part of a forest and a big rock in my deployment zone, though Sean has a similar set up. Just ahead of the giant rock in my deployment zone is a fence that was really annoying during the actual game. I win deployment thanks to Anastasia and place the majority of my forces between the forest and the giant rock, though I put the cavalry on the far side of the rock in an effort to let them get out and about quickly. Stannis and the Bokur deploy just ahead of the giant rock so that my Steelheads will benefit from his various abilities immediately.
Sean divides his forces to be on either side of the forest in his deployment zone. I immediately see that I can split his forces and go after each half pretty much separately since my army is so much faster.

Turn One:
Everything runs forward, Ashlynn puts Feint on herself and Quicken on the Halberdiers. Stannis once again demonstrates his incompetence with a Hand Cannon and misses a Praetorian Swordsman.
Sean's army advances, he uses Death Bringer to blow up Anastasia almost immediately - there doesn't seem to be somewhere I can leave her without Death Bringer bring a total pain. Hexeris gives the Praetorian Swordsmen Death March.

Turn Two:
The magic starts to happen.
I give the Mule a single focus so that it should get a critical hit. I activate Ashlynn first and use Roulette, she advances and kills an Immortal with her Hand Cannon. Stannis Brocker activates, gives the Halberdiers the Furious Charge order and manages to kill a Praetorian with his Hand Cannon, luckily the Praetorian is too far away to Death March up to my Halberdiers. The Bokur runs towards my left flank in an effort to get out of the Halberdiers' way.
The Mule fires and crits the Cyclops Savage, throwing it a few inches to the right. Rupert Carvolo uses March on the Halberdiers to give them additional movement and four of the Halberdiers charge the knocked down Savage, Hexeris and a couple of Immortals. The remaining Halberdiers move to screen the Praetorians, the Brute and the second Ancestral Guardian from assisting Hexeris.
Finally my Steelhead cavalry advance and take some pot shots at the Praetorians, managing to kill only one despite Roulette.

Sean's turn heralded a flurry of out-of-activation actions. The Cyclops Savage stands up and moves into the middle of the four attacking Halberdiers, taking three free strikes and a Forfend. This leaves it on a measly two health on its life spiral. Then Sean activates Hexeris, uses his feat and then Death Bringers his own Savage, killing all four Halberdiers and the Savage. The dead Halberdiers then move and take swings at my Mule and the remaining Halberdiers, however Roulette and high ARM saves me from any more losses.
The Praetorians advance into the remaining Halberdiers, taking Forfends all over the place and then Death Marching forward to attempt to kill more Halberdiers. At the end of it all I'm left with two Halberdiers and Sean has four Praetorians left. Both his Ancestral Guardians are looking awfully full on souls at this point. The two Steelheads that died both attack my Bokur, dropping the Ogrun down to four health.
The Ancestral Guardian on my left uses two souls to move and then charge my Mule. The animated statue manages to take out the Mule's movement but nothing else despite putting damage all over the place.

Turn Three:
I allocate a single focus to the Mule as I have a Cunning Plan to get it to shoot more things. Stannis activates first promotes a Halberdier, gives Furious Charge to Steelhead Cavalry. The Halberdiers then charge the Ancestral Guardian on the right, I really didn't want that thing to massacre something important since it was almost full on souls. The two Halberdiers manage to drop the Ancestral Guardian to about half its health. I lament their impending deaths. Lord Rockbottom sets fire to a pair of Immortals and I get to chuckle happily.
The Steelhead Heavy Cavalry charge the Cyclop Brute since there's no room to attack the Ancestral Guardian. The Brute dies to their many, many attacks with Flank.
Ashlynn advances to the other Ancestral Guardian since the Mule is in the way and prevents her from charging. She kills it after two attacks, but is perilously close to the Mule, I can sense the incoming Death Bringers already.
My freed up Mule fires at the Krea and gets another critical hit. The Krea, an Immortal and Hexeris are thrown around. The Krea even lands on a Paingiver. Gorman blinds an Immortal by accident after he discovers that Hexeris was just out of Black Oil range.

Sean drops Death March and attempts to assassinate Ashlynn with a couple of Death Bringers at the Mule next to her. First one does no damage, second one deals her 7 damage. The Krea stands up and uses its animus on my Mule. The surviving Paingivers charge Ashlynn and Gorman. Gorman takes a little damage but survives and Ashlynn kills the Paingiver attacking her with a Riposte attack.
The Ancestral Guardian fighting the remnants of my Halberdiers on the right decides it has had enough of this foolishness and ends them. The remaining Praetorians advance out from behind the Ancestral Guardian.

Turn Four:
Hexeris is blatantly within assassination range of Ashlynn. My only problem is that there's a whole load of things blocking my charge lane or generating a movement penalty on her.
I give the Mule a single focus and opt to move it away from Ashlynn. It fires at the Immortal immediately in front of Hexeris and the Krea and once again scores a critical hit. More throwing ensues and luckily Hexeris doesn't end up six inches further away. However now MORE Immortals are in the way of my charge lane. The Piper of Ord gives March to my remaining cavalryman and then moves to block the Ancestral Guardian on the right just in case I somehow fail to kill Hexeris.
Stannis Brocker then activates and takes a pot shot at a Praetorian Swordsman, missing yet again.
Time for my assassination run. My remaining cavalryman activates and advances into the melee with the two Immortals blocking Ashlynn's charge lane. Between his three attacks he manages to kill both of them. Gorman dies to a free strike from the Paingiver as he attempts to advance and throw a Black Oil on Hexeris. Ashlynn then charges Hexeris and demonstrates the superiority of a Hand Cannon with Weapon Master.

Base Elements

I've finished Durgan Madhammer's base and discovered how to make really good looking rock platforms using cork. The secret is to use *very* thin layers of paint and washes to build up the base colours over the rough surface so that the surface doesn't smooth out. Unfortunately now I want to go back and redo my less interesting bases.

While I was at it I thought I'd do some touch ups on my other miniatures - namely both versions Magnus and Ashlynn. Magnus the Traitor required a new drybrush along the bottom of his cloak since the old dirt was still shiny, I also corrected a really horrible highlighting error I'd made ages ago on him (not that anyone but me would notice really). Magnus the Warlord had some blending corrected and got himself some dirt along the bottom of his cloak. Ashlynn had some work done on her base since there's just something... lacking on it. I may just redo her base entirely. I'll be sure to update the pictures in my gallery when everything's up to standards.

Not only am I giving myself more work with redoing old bases I can't stop doing work on Durgen. Every time I put him down I then realise I could do a quick bit here and there so I get everything back out and do that. Finishing the Steelhead Heavy Cavalry looks less and less likely, at least until Durgen's finished anyway.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Rising Queues

With the next part of the Rising Conflict tournaments looming in the not-too-distant future the growing pile of half painted miniatures sitting on my desk or in my carrying case is somewhat distressing. While I find painting therapeutic, actually working myself up to do some is a small miracle. It's hard work defeating the procrastination monster. Here's what needs to be done for both my lists:

Mule Heavy Warjack
Nomad Heavy Warjack
Anastasia di Bray
Gorman di Wulfe (just need to finish the highlights)
Lord Rockbottom
Ogrun Bokur
2 Steelhead Heavy Cavalry
1 Steelhead Halberdier

The warjacks are probably the fastest and easiest things to paint with the cavalry being the hardest. My plan is to finish the cavalry next week along with two Halberdiers - though I only need one Halberdier, if I do two then I'll have a full unit. After that it's solos galore.

Now if only I'd stop doing work on Durgen Madhammer, I don't need another warcaster yet. I've just finished doing his base and working out his colour scheme. He should look really good when he's finished, which will be AFTER I finish all my Rising Conflict pieces. Maybe.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Photo Updates

Somehow I managed to solve all my lighting issues when taking pictures of my miniatures. I'm not sure how, since the only thing I changed was the background to a blue pillow cover instead of a grey t-shirt. Having discovered this wondrous marvel that we'll just put down to my incredible genius, I have retaken all my pictures and removed the old ones so you no longer have to strain your eyes to see the detail.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Enter the Warlord

I've just finished painting eMagnus and I'm Very Happy with the results. I've experimented more with two brush blending and I'm starting to get to the stage where I can say Less is More. This is a special stage of development in the painting cycle it seems and I'm beginning to understand what all those Zen Masters of the miniature painting world are speaking about.
There's something definitely satisfying about picking up a painted model that's heavier than it should be simply because it's epic. I should be able to get a picture up tomorrow night or there about.

Now I'm ready to partner with up Sean Murchie (or whichever of the twins is pretending to be Sean that day) and his Skorne since all my stuff is painted and ready for the 1,000 point team games. Granted I only needed to do eMagnus and two Renegades - Sean's providing the other two - so it's a bit of a cop out. At least my eMagnus will be too beautiful to die!

Monday, 9 March 2009

iBodger, Do You?

iBodger is now available to those of us with an iPhone or iPod Touch. It's a Warmachine and Hordes army builder and it also has the capacity to send saved army lists to applications such as Armies of Immoren and Tabletop Commander or even straight to e-mail.

Useful iBodger Tips:
To delete things touch and slide (to the left) the point value of whichever model/unit you want to delete. The points number will vanish and turn into a red delete button. This applies to just about everything.
To change the quantity of troopers in a unit just double tap the unit and select the unit size from the screen that appears.

The Bastions are Here

Behold the coming of a new dawn. Plastics are here with the new pictures of the Exemplar Bastions appearing on the Privateer Press website. They look big, and pretty cool.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Updates, there are MOAR!

Yet more minor edits to the blog so it looks that tiny little bit spiffier. I'm going to have to find more things to write about that aren't just my battle reports, the blog's getting a bit one sided in that regard.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Return of the Traitor

I was supposed to play Sebastien today with his Khador army (of DOOM) but he'd forgotten and instead went to his driving lesson - the bastard. Instead I watched Dermot with his Trollbloods play Penguin (real name... er... Dan?) and his Legion of Everblight. Dermot's entire army was multi-wound models - Champions, Hero, Long Riders, few warbeasts and Penguin's army was... hmm, lacking really. I couldn't see the core of Penguin's army. Anyway, Dermot's Trollbloods dominated everything.

I also got two games against Sean Murchie using his Skorne, the first game was very fast, only two turns each before Ashlynn bit the dust.

Sean's First List:
Lord Tyrant Hexeris

Basilisk Drake
Basilisk Krea
Cyclops Savage (I think, I keep getting confused between the Brute and the Savage)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (4)
Praetorian Ferox (3)
Venators (8)
Ancestral Guardian

I was using my Ashlynn list and made good progress in the first and second turns since Sean probably didn't realise just how far I could charge with my Steelhead Halberdiers (17" threat range including the Reach). I decimated his Venators but had Ashlynn quite far forward with a smoke cloud blocking line of sight to her. Unfortunately I forgot that Sean could just move something in front of her and slam it over her and so poor Ashlynn died horribly to Ferox - though it took two to kill her since the first did no damage. Sean had to clear out a whole bunch of my Steelheads to make the slam lane, but he got it done. The game didn't last very long so we decided to have another one.

Sean's Second List:
Lord Tyrant Hexeris

Basilisk Krea
Cyclops Brute
Cyclops Savage
Paingiver Beast Handlers (4)
Praetorian Ferox (4)
Praetorian Swordsmen (8)
Ancestral Guardian

Against this list I opted to pull Magnus out of the case since he hasn't seen action in a while.

My List:
Magnus the Traitor

Stannis Brocker, Steelhead Commander
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (3)
Steelhead Halberdiers (9)
Rupert Carvolo

This game went much better for me and was mostly carnage everywhere.

We were playing on the desert map at GUGs with a large plateau on either side of the board - we both ignored of the plateaus - and a nice big open area in the middle, which we immediately rushed into and began killing everything. I had my two Renegades on the right with Magnus immediately to their left next to a gigantic rock. On the other side of the rock was the Nomad and then a line of Steelhead Halberdiers with the cavalry and Stannis Brocker behind them.
Sean put his Praetorians on my left next to the plateau, then a wall of beasts with Hexeris in the middle and finally the Ferox on my right with the Paingivers behind them.

Turn One
I won the first turn and so ran everything forward, I put Frenzy on the Nomad and... that was it really.
Sean put Death March on the Swordsmen, activated the Krea's aura and ran forward too. I believe Sean used one of the Cyclops animi on Hexeris to make me reroll hits, just in case I had some Renegade sneakiness to exploit on my turn.
As you can see it was very exciting stuff this turn.

Turn Two
The first turn of utter carnage.
Stannis Brocker activated, gave the Furious Charge to the Halberdiers and then took a pot shot at a Swordsman with his Hand Cannon. It missed and he was done. Then the Halberdiers charged the Swordsmen and one Ferox who had got too close to the middle area. The Ferox was pasted by three of the Halberdiers and a whole bunch of Swordsmen died, fuelled the Ancestral Guardian almost to full and their Death March attacks killed a couple of Halberdiers in return. My cavalry couldn't get into melee range so I moved them up and only managed to shoot a single free Praetorian with their Blunderbusses. I then moved the Piper forward and used his +1 DEF and Terror thing on the Halberdiers.
I moved the Nomad forward, hoping to be in a position to charge next turn and bunched the Renegades together behind it. I then realised I had 4 focus on Magnus and nothing to do with it so I just ran him left to behind the Steelheads.

Sean activates Hexeris, uses his feat and fires Deathbringer at his Krea, blowing up a bunch of Steelheads who then kill some other Steelheads. This clears the way for his Enrage enhanced Cyclops to charge my Nomad and puts some damage on it, thankfully not all that much. I thought my Nomad had gotten off pretty well until the Ferox charged in and destroyed both the cortex and right arm - the important arm! He then attempts to kill more Steelheads with his Swordsmen but it's a rather pitiful showing. Some Praetorians die to Forfend followed by Death Marched Praetorians killing some more Halberdiers. At this point there's three Halberdiers left compared to four Praetorian Swordsmen. Just to add injury to insult he uses the Krea's Animus on Stannis Brocker - who is standing right in the middle of my army.

Turn Three
More carnage.
Stannis activates first, field promotes a Halberdier and then moves back so the rest of my army isn't caught in the slowing field he's currently generating. Stannis tries to shoot a Swordsman with his Hand Cannon and once again misses. I then activate a Renegade and attempt to shoot my badly damaged Nomad in the back with an Obliterator Rocket. Due to the align of stars and global warming I managed to miss but still knocked down both Cyclops and caught two Ferox in the blast. The blast damage did a total of one damage to a Ferox. Not my best Obliterator Rocket I have to say.
My Halberdiers then activate and the sergeant moves to engage both Cyclops. The sergeant manages a respectable charge against the Cyclops with the shield and the other two CMA a Swordsman who kills another Halberdier with Death March.
Now the Piper activates and uses March on the Steelhead Heavy Cavalry who charge both Cyclops and manage to turn both the Skorne warbeasts to bloody mush.
I had given a focus to Renegade A (the one that still had a rocket) but realised I had nothing to do with it now that both Cyclops were dead and my own cavalry were in the way so I just ran it over to the left instead. Magnus followed fairly closely behind since I couldn't figure out where to put him without him getting charged by the Ancestral Guardian. I totally forgot to use Hit and Run, casting Temper Metal on Renegade A instead since I thought Sean would try to kill it with the Ancestral Guardian. Sean saw the opportunity for assassination and asked if I'd like to go back and use Magnus' feat, I declined since I'd already done all Magnus' other stuff, it's my own fault if I screw up.

Sean moves his Swordsmen past the two Halbderdiers engaging them and I promptly kill all the remaining Swordsmen with a combination of free strikes and Forfend. He uses Death March to kill one of Halberdiers and a cavalryman. His Ferox move around and attack my Steelhead Heavy Cavalry and while they're there one eats the Halberdier sergeant. Another of the cavalry dies and I fail the command check.
The Moment of Truth arrives when Sean activates the fully fuelled Ancestral Guardian and burns two soul tokens to move four inches and then charge Magnus. Luckily the charge attack misses. The Ancestral Guardian still manages to put nine damage on Magnus in a single hit even though Magnus was camping ARM 20 at the time. Unfortunately for Sean the rest of the attacks miss or do no damage to good old Magnus.
The Krea activates and uses its Paralytic Field to hopefully save Hexeris from horrible, horrible death.

Turn Four
It's getting late and I can see something that resembles a very unreliable assassination run. There's also an angry looking Ancestral Guardian glaring at Magnus. My last surviving cavalryman does his fleeing movement and dies to free strikes after we debate what he'll actually do (since he could actually move somewhere, despite being surrounded by Ferox, he died). This turned out to be rather useful to me since the damaged Nomad was still in the way of my planned assassination attempt.
I allocate two focus to Renegade A (one with rocket) and one to Renegade B. Magnus activates, I declare use of my feat and then decide that's a waste of time, we're going to get kicked out of the QMU after this turn anyway. He casts Temper Metal on Renegade B (without rocket, still on the right side of the board behind the Nomad) and I consider killing the Ancestral Guardian using Magnus, but with only a single focus point on him he's get minced by the retaliation if it didn't die. I opt to see if my assassination run pays off rather than risk dying on my own turn.
Renegade A moves to within five inches of Hexeris and actually manages to hit with the Obliterator Rocket despite Hexeris benefiting from the Krea's aura. I then do a comfortable 9 damage which Sean transfers with his last fury.
Just because I don't like the Ancestral Guardian and I no longer have any units left I opt to charge the Ancestral Guardian in the back with the Piper of Ord, reducing the damned thing to a single health. Curses!
The Nomad activates, moves out of the way of Renegade B's charge lane to the knocked down Hexeris and attempts to swipe at a Ferox with its open hand. It fails miserably, no surprise since it couldn't boost attacks. Renegade B then charges Hexeris, taking a free strike from the Ferox in front of the Nomad. Thankfully Temper Metal saves me from taking enough damage to lose an arm. Renegade B goes to work on Hexeris, killing him with three Shredder attacks.
Victory for Magnus!

Overall a much more enjoyable game with a nail biting finish - if Renegade B had rolled low damage at any point I would have been screwed but the Renegades pulled it out for me nicely. I still enjoy Ashlynn a lot more since she makes my army so very fast, but it's nice having a tough warcaster who can take the punishment.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Snipery Death

Once again it became time for my weekly gubbing from Jim. Tonight he wanted to test out Zerkova as his warcaster and I played my Ashlynn list.

Jim's List (OF DOOOM):
Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova
Greylord Ternion
Widowmakers (oh how I hate them...)
Winterguard Mortar Crew
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
Kell Bailoch

Shockingly I didn't win the first turn - perhaps the first time that's happened with this list. It made for some strange placement, I had a brain fart and didn't realised until it was too late that Anastasia wouldn't be able to go Invisible in the first turn and had placed her far too close to Jim's front line. I tried to salvage the situation by using her before-game movement to get her into a forest. There are Widowmakers to the left in front of a wall, with a Devastator next to them in the centre of the board, then the Mortar Crew and Destroyer. Zerkova starts off placed slightly to the left. Eiryss and Kell Bailoch lurk behind a wall directly in front of the forest on the right where Anastasia is hiding. The Greylord Ternion is behind the soloes.
I deployed mostly in the centre as usual, though not right up to the deployment line (may have been a mistake). Rockbottom, Gorman, Mule and Ashlynn are to the left of my deployment block, Steelhead brick take up the right. I put Stannis just in front of the Steelheads and his Bokur up behind the forest on the right.

Turn One:
My Bokur and Anastasia are in a forest to the right side of the map, the forest isn't too far away from Eiryss who moves up to it and blows Anastasia to bits. Jim took a load of pot shots with the Widowmakers at the Bokur and dropped him to half health - will have to keep him further back next time. The rest of Jim's stuff moved forward. I don't think Jim used Zerkova to cast anything at all this turn.

Ashlynn activated first, cast Quicken on the Halberdiers and Feint on the Mule next to her before charging at the Widowmaker captain who was miles away. Mule runs, Gorman moves and puts smoke on Ashlynn, Rockbottom runs but stays roughly in command range of the Steelheads. The Piper uses his +1 DEF and Terror song on the Halberdiers, raising their DEF against shooting to 16. The Steelhead brick runs forward and spreads out and I run the Bokur back - I've come to think of the Bokur as a late game piece, sticking him out so far in front is just stupid.

Turn Two:
Jim promptly kills almost all the Halberdiers through a combination of Icy Grip, sniper fire, and a variety of template weapons. He moves the Devastator forward to make me deal with it. He then uses his feat to prevent me from running or charging or generally getting stuck in.

So... I discover there are 5 models that can give/receive orders and generally do their stuff - the Bokur, Stannis, a cavalryman who happened to be out of range for the feat, Rockbottom, the Piper and Gorman. The Piper activates and uses March on the few remaining Halberdiers, then Stannis activates to field promote one and take a shot with his Hand Cannon at a Widowmaker, missing by 1 (this becomes a reoccurring theme in the game). Stannis also gives the lonely cavalryman the Run order since the Sergeant was caught in Zerkova's feat. The Halberdiers advance but only one gets into combat with a Greylord and misses with both attacks. The Steelhead cavalry then run or walk, the one that can run makes it to engage Zerkova, a Widowmaker and the Destroyer. I run my Bokur over to the left, hoping that Jim will open up the Devastator and I can then poke big holes in it.

I can't run the Mule so I advance it up to Devastator but I'm just short from engaging it in melee so I take a shot at the Destroyer in hope for a critical hit - no critical but it hits, I do no damage at all. I decide I need to split up Ashlynn and Gorman, though DEF 19 is lovely. Ashlynn moves right to get my entire army in my feat - using it defensively disgusts me but there's nothing to be done about it, Jim's using a shooting army. Gorman moves runs left. Rockbottom runs to some craters since I thought they were cover, but they're just rough terrain.

Turn Three:
Despite having Roulette up Jim didn't seem able to roll less than 2 fives and 2 sixes on just about every dice roll this turn. It made me die a little inside. The Destroyer moves up to the cavalryman engaging Zerkova and pastes him. The Greylords then spray the remaining Halberdiers, Stannis and Ashlynn. Stannis takes a little damage, one Halberdier dies, the rest missed. The Devastator farts about in front of my Mule refusing to move forward. That's fine with me, my Bokur is almost in position. Jim moves Icy Grip onto my cavalry and then drops a couple of Blizzards on them. Lord Rockbottom survives all the Widowmaker's shots, taking no damage. A Widowmaker does shoot my Mule to remove the last Cortex box however, no crits for me.

Having lost pretty much a core component of my army - the Halberdiers - things aren't looking good. Ashlynn and Stannis move forward to try and shoot some Greylords with their hand cannons, both miss. I use the Piper to give my cavalry +1 DEF and Terror and move them to engage two of the Greylords, I manage to kill both, but the leader refuses to die to the Halberdier attacking him. I swear this Greylord leads a charmed life. Rockbottom moves forward and manages to kill the Widowmaker captain with his spray of fiery death. Gorman drops a smoke cloud on top of Rockbottom in an effort to preserve him against Widowmaker fire next turn. The Bokur moves a bit closer to the Devastator. Overall a very ineffective turn.

Turn Four:
Jim shoots Rockbottom with the Widowmakers, turning him into swiss cheese, so much for the smoke saving him. The Devastator once again farts about in front of my Mule. I'm not really sure what Jim wants to do with it. Either way I need to keep it from walking up to Ashlynn and dropping explosives all over her. The Greylord sprays more things but fails to kill anything. Eiryss bayonet charges the cavalry sergeant, who's standing next to the Destroyer and does a single point of damage. The Destroyer then activates and kills him. I lose the other cavalryman somehow, but I forget exactly how.

I realise I'm playing Jim's game and that putting Feint on the Mule was a total waste of time. If that Devastator wasn't going to engage me, then that was fine, it could fart about that part of the board all day. It's time to take back the initiative and I can see the pieces of the assassination jigsaw coming together. The Piper activates and uses March on the last remaining Halberdier, who then proceeds to miss the Greylord twice... again... Getting fed up of this foolishness I move Stannis into melee with the Greylord and miss. Ashlynn casts Feint on herself and charges Eiryss, killing the Mage Hunter with her hand cannon attack. One thing to worry about down. I move the Mule slightly out of the way of the Devastator so my Bokur can have a charge lane. Because I *really* don't want to miss this slam attack I move Gorman forward and Black Oil the Devastator. Then I slam it one inch with the Bokur.

Turn Five:
No this game actually ends.
Jim moves the Destroyer to engage Ashlynn and triggers Feint. I use my three inches to move directly behind him, I thought I was engaging him but it turns out I wasn't so Ashlynn ate some unnecessary damage later in the turn from Kell Bailoch and the Widowmakers. With no melee targets in sight Jim opts to fire the bombard at the Bokur, who promptly drops dead. The surviving Greylord sprays the Halberdier again, catching the Piper. The Piper dies but the Halberdier is made of sterner stuff. At this point Jim realises that Zerkova is in charge range of Ashlynn, regardless of where he moves I can still get him with Lunge and Point Blank. His options for moving Zerkova are limited since Gorman is lurking at her only possible escape avenue. After much fluffing about we realise it's getting late and so Zerkova charges into melee with Ashlynn - he manages to drop Ashlynn down to 6 health before running out of focus.

Ashlynn camps all her focus and starts poking Zerkova with Nemesis - doing a PITIFUL single point of damage with my initial attack. My hand cannon attack also proves to be somewhat dismal, doing five damage. That used up three of my focus. I opted to buy unboosted attacks and attempt to concentrate on boosting damage instead. First bought attack... Miss... Two focus left... Miss... Last focus point... I manage to hit with the last focus point, unfortunately I don't have any focus left to boost the damage. I roll my damage dice in total disgust at my rolls so far and promptly roll far in excess of what's needed to kill Zerkova. Go karma!

I hate Widowmakers. I hate them so much.
Jim's army was based on attrition, in trying to keep the Mule shooting - which was ineffectual at best - through keeping Feint on it I ended up keeping Ashlynn in a very defensive position. This is not the way to play Ashlynn, she likes to get up close and personal. I should have just slapped Feint on her and waded into Jim's army while keeping the Devastator tied up for as long as possible.
Instead I lost almost all my troops through attrition until I placed my trust in Ashlynn's ridiculous DEF and Feint, going instead directly for Zerkova.
When I don't have the first turn I might consider using my feat on my first turn against a range biased army, this would have saved a number of my Halberdiers from snipery death and let me be in a much better position on Jim's feat turn - he might have even opened the Devastator to kill the Halberdiers then.
Don't place Anastasia anywhere near the enemy lines if I don't have the first turn. Keep her back and trust in her Stealth to keep her alive in the first turn.
The Bokur's slam really won the game for me, it placed Jim in an unfavourable position to keep Zerkova away from Ashlynn. I really should stop putting him so far forward with his advanced deployment, all it does is make him an easy target.