Thursday, 31 December 2009


I have returned from visiting family in France, though I actually have a cold rather than manflu (mancold: does it still apply?); it does stop me from sleeping, which is a pain. However, sleeping in the living room in a house occupied by young children also stopped me from sleeping... (Uncle Andy, look! Thomas go choo-choo! - thank you my nephew, it's only 5:30am, don't mind me).

Staring at all the clutter on my desk is somewhat demoralising, there's a lot of things to get done. A nice surprise to come back to was the latest update to the Hordes Field Test rules:

I don't see any changes to the Trollbloods, which is helpful, it means I don't have to go and print out any new sheets of paper. I'm going to give pDoomshaper a few more whirls, but I'm not sure if he will outweigh the fun factor I get from eDoomshaper. There's something exceedingly pleasant about being able to rampage across almost half a board. Oh Long Riders have 8 wounds again, woot.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Spy vs Spy

I have just returned from an EPIC game against Jim. I was trying out a pMadrak list against Jim's new pButcher warjack zerg. It also brought into focus the strengths and weaknesses of each system for me.

My pMadrak list was most experimental, I thought I'd test out my new Fennblades, the Stone Scribe Chronicler and pMadrak as compared to my usual eDoomshaper list of Mighty Pwnage. Jim's pButcher Warjack Zerg - it has progressed to the point where it has earned capital letters - swapped out his usual Widowmakers for 2 squads of Mechaniks. While the game was awesome and had a suitable finale - I charged the Butcher with Madrak and left him on 5 damage, then Madrak died - giving a blow by blow account wouldn't convey what was learnt here.

Firstly, Hordes has a vastly higher 'front load' of damage than Warmachine, but once the warbeasts start to drop there is a noticeable decline in performance in the army. I blitzed three of Jim's warjacks in the game - unheard of before - and came close to annihilating the Dreaded Juggernaut (my hatred of the Dreaded Juggernaut is likened to the hatred one has for cold showers) but once my Mauler was gone there wasn't a lot I could do against ARM 20 models and eventually my army sloooowly died.

Initially Jim supported the idea that Hordes was still leagues ahead of Warmachine when comparing heavies, but I like to think our game has shifted his opinion. I'm quite worried about the damage output of a faction like Circle whose heavies are usually quite low in the P+S (usually about 15 for Circle) against a faction like Khador. Of course, perhaps Circle aren't supposed to get into a straight up punching match... Design and development continues!

Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain:
Not inspiring. I made a boo-boo with Crusher, but then again against a list comprised almost entirely of warjacks he wasn't the best choice. I never saw the point of casting Stone Fall. All he seemed to do was upkeep Sure Foot and chuck his axe at Khador warjacks. Needs something more fun to happen to him. If we *had* to keep an AoE offensive nuke I'd like to see Eliminator on him instead.

Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls:
Didn't survive long enough to really test him out. I should have used his feat but we'll just have to see through more experience. Seems to requires a way to increase his spell range or hike up his armour.

Trollkin Fennblades:
Awesomesauce. Strangely enough Hard was a factor in the game, seeing as Jim brought with along a Marauder. Snag & Slash was totally useless, I feel we just don't see enough cavalry in the game to bother with the rule. I did have a few problems with having 10 medium bases getting in the way of my warbeasts but maybe I just need more practice. I suspect my opinion of the Fennblades may be skewed by the bajillion Tough checks I succeeded at. I'm going to try replacing my minimum unit of Champions with a maximum unit of Fennblades to see how that works with my Doomshaper (either one) lists.

Stone Scribe Chronicler:
Finally, my first model to have Overpowered in its feedback. Hero's Tragedy is very intimidating to fight against and Tale of the Mists was almost a game winner against Jim's Legion in our 2nd game (or course I made a good 90% of my Tough checks then). With an army of medium bases Hero's Tragedy means we can just swarm a target and if it fights back it's toast next turn (unless our own medium bases get in the way).

The Hordes vs Warmachine debate continues!

Spy vs Spy name and image copyright of some guys who aren't me. Please don't sue me.

To be continued...

Friday, 18 December 2009

Hordes MKii Field Test Update 3: The Skorne Edition

The 3rd update is now available for download and it's jam-packed with Skorne loving. There's a few tweaks here and there for the other factions, but this update focuses heavily on Skorne. The changes are too numerous for me to list - and the fact I don't play Skorne means I don't know the implications of many of the changes. Fortunately someone else did all the work for me.

Snacking is now optional on the Dire Trolls and pDoomshaper swapped Death Sentence for Fortune. Kromac lost Pounce and gained Leap while in Beast form. Geomancy now specifies that it can only be used once a turn. The Woldwarden and Megalith animi stay in place when they are cast, apparently this was what MrSoles actually wanted us to test - many of us thought the animi were supposed to move with the construct warbeasts because of a previous post of his. eLylyth gained... er... Range Amplifier? and Typhon has had a Mystery Change. You can tell I play against Legion a lot...

There's a few interesting development with Minions too. All the minion warlocks had their cost reduced by 1 and Alten Ashley lost 2 RNG on Bucking Jenny (woohoo). Saxon Orrik gained Take Down but that doesn't increase the likelihood of him making it into one of my lists.

Quick errata of the update concerning Skorne.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Blades of Fenn

The plastic has cometh. I've just unpacked my box of Fennblades and they're pretty nice actually. The usual removing of flash needs to be done, but it's not world ending. Lots of the swords are bent but I've discovered this can be fixed with a hair dryer (no I'm not kidding). It's a bit unclear who the unit leader is, but I think I figured that out through a process of elimination - there's only one guy who isn't duplicated, ergo, he must be the leader. I'll have to make an epic base for him so my opponent knows who he is.

The parts all fit together with in-built pegs on the arms/kilt bits that slot into the torso. The Fennblades are slightly larger than normal trollkin, they tower over pMadrak and eDoomshaper. I've also discovered an amazing fact about the Fennblades. They aren't covered in all the crap that usually covers Privateer Press miniatures. They aren't carrying every single possible item or piece of equipment a trollkin might need. They have swords, quitari, armor, a couple of belt pouches, and a tiny beer keg (what is a trollkin without his beer?).

I think I'll even do a Sunshine Kriel tutorial using these guys, they're just that awesome.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Hordes MKii Field Test Update 2

Hordes Update 11/12/09

Wow. Just wow. Despite me thinking that we'd never see Full Throttle for Hordes, there it is. On Kromac. It's called Havoc in Hordes and I'm not entirely sure if people realise what a fury multiplier it actually is. Wild Aggression doubles the effective fury a warbeast has. Havoc multiplies that also by the number of warbeasts you have. Not that this matters to me since I play Trollbloods and you don't need boosted hits to hit my models anyway; but still... It's gross.

Many warbeasts now have increased damage boxes, and more than a few have had their threshold stat improved. Holy monkey Jesus on a bike, Paralysis got nerfed! Avert ye eyes if you don't want to witness the Happy Dance.


Oh and Geomancy is back to what it used to be. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that.

Ahh, design flaws that still creep in: Mulg cannot use Overtake if he is killing living models since he has Snacking. Overtake triggers on destroyed, Snacking triggers on boxed. Someone said his animus had improved. It's the same animus effectively, only worded different. However, a faster Mulg (at base speed that is) is a better Mulg!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Child's Play

A reminder to everyone: Child's Play is still accepting donations. Donate and help a children's hospital somewhere in the world.

I really should have been paying more attention to Child's Play this year, and I've left it very late - I blame the Field Test! I'll try to organise something next year if we're all still playing Warmachine/Hordes.

Made from Concentrate

Now that I have had a rather lengthy time off the plumbing I've been lurking on this here 'intarwebs' and managed to get myself dragged into the horrible mire of other faction's "feedback" posts on the Field Test Forums. Oh {divinity of choice} why?! I know telling people Lern2Play (oh the days of WoW come back to me now) isn't really valid and actually quite stolid but it's something some people need to have tattooed onto their foreheads.

Having dragged myself free of the quagmire (and throwing Sean in instead) here is a list of all the feedback I am actually qualified to give concerning Hordes:

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia: Excellent warlock. Wild Aggression is an amazing spell and the rest of his spell list is pretty solid. Feat needs tweaking to do things that aren't a trample, slam, or charge. Hyper-Regeneration allows eDoomy to be fairly careless with fury management.

Dire Troll Mauler: Excellent warbeast. So far it has performed admirably against other Hordes factions. It does seem very slightly expensive for what it does but that seems to be a trait with most heavy warbeasts.

Earthborn Dire Troll: Hide it in some rough terrain and it's an ungodly lurking terror. While I would like Elemental Communion to be less reliant on terrain on the table, the Earthborn is worth the extra point over the Mauler just for Pathfinder.

Troll Axer: Strangely I haven't actually had my Axer make it into combat very often. It's very solid for its point cost and the amount of utility I get from it is amazing. No changes suggested for the Axer, it may just be the perfect light warbeast.

Troll Bouncer: It exists for Bump and Shield Guard, neither of which I am able to fully utilize at the moment. I'm going to need more experience with the Bouncer before I can say I'd change anything.

Trollkin Champions: I am in awe of the Champions, though I've never used heavy infantry before. The only feedback I have for them is that the grunts in the unit need a resculpt badly. I honestly have no idea if they're too powerful or not, I've never had a problem with killing them in MKi and they don't seem any harder to kill in MKii. I'll consult my opponents about this.

Troll Whelps: These things are so unbelievably awesome. They're *totally* worth their point cost, even before the change to their Fury management. No changes suggested.

Pyre Troll: The Pyre Troll seems to require the use of an Impaler to get the most out of his ranged attack. Combo-strike would be an excellent improvement.

Trollkin Champion Hero: I'm afraid he just doesn't bring anything amazing to the table, at least not in my list. Maybe if my army had models that weren't fearless then he would be worth taking. He needs some sort of ability to bump up his armour as he's actually easier to kill than a normal Champion at the moment.

Fell Caller: Amazing utility. No changes suggested.

I just don't have any feedback concerning other factions. All the models used against me seem to do their jobs or get eaten by dire trolls. I haven't encountered a model that I think is totally broken. An ARM 23 Gladiator was intimidating but it wasn't something I wasn't equipped to deal with. I didn't even find Jim's pKaya list that threatening; he certainly could have gotten the kill there but it did serve to highlight that Kaya herself hits like soggy toilet paper.

For those who were curious (all one of you) my eDoomshaper list is the following:

35 Points
Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia
*Earthborn Dire Troll
*Dire Troll Mauler
*Troll Axer
*Troll Impaler/Pyre Troll/Troll Bouncer - use whichever is most appropriate
Trollkin Champions (min)
Fell Caller
Trollkin Whelps

This weekend I'm due to play a Cygnar player so I'll be able to give some feedback on how my list fares against a Warmachine faction.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

iBodger Update

iBodger by Whicken has been updated to include the Hordes Field Test models and points - this does not include the small update we received on the 4th however, so keep a note of any point changes (so.. the Winter Troll).

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Om Nom Nom

Do you hear that? Listen carefully. Do you know what it is? It is the sound Snacking.
Finally a win with eDoomshaper, also the first game where I’ve been able to get his feat off - in the first turn too, I ate a Feral Warpwolf and then lost my Mauler, but it was totally worth it! I was not aware that Kaya had a ludicrously long assassination run (somewhere in the region of ~24”); but luckily for me her weapon is feeble and Jim did not get the critical knockdown after 4 boosted attacks, eDoomshaper still had 2 damage boxes and 2 fury left after Jim's assassination run. Then my Earthborn Dire Troll with Wild Aggression ate her.
Having used a Fell Caller now instead of a Hero, I noticed a massive different in utility. The Fell Caller can just do so much more stuff. Definitely makes it on to my To Buy list. This does highlight the issues with the Hero though, he does seem a massive waste of points except with pMadrak - he’s prime Crusher material then.
Overall the game was quite enjoyable, I certainly didn't expect to survive through Jim's assassination, especially with Doomshaper - I was also expecting Jim to play a game of attrition using Spirit Door to just wear me down; however, the opportunity to kill eDoomshaper came up and Jim went for it. I totally need to remember about Goad though, it may have saved my Mauler from a horrible, horrible (though comedic) death. Lessons to remember before Jim Strikes Back in our next game.

'Ee's Oooge.

Ahhh, finally done. At least until I have a mad urge to do crazy amounts of extra detail work. My normal technique for making a model super-matt appears to have failed me, so I think I'm going to have to pick up a can of Testor's Dullcote at some point.

Note to Self: Check the label of the spray can I pick up. Just because it looks like varnish doesn't mean it isn't white undercoat. Oops

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Hordes FT: Update Changes

So... the first of the Hordes update changes arrived and... not a lot happened in it. Absylonia had quite a few changes, perhaps becoming the pMagnus of Hordes, but otherwise the update brought about a bunch of very small corrections. I was really hoping for something more but there's a lot of feedback to sort through. I did indeed send in my feedback about Elemental Communion and I still think "build more terrain" is not a solution to triggering an ability in a game. Answers like that make me think someone needs a slap.

Having had another game where I haven't been able to get anything out of eDoomshaper's feat I've realised that he requires some very specific support to function: a Krielstone Bearer with Stone Scribe Elder and a Bouncer. The first is to remove things like Paralysis, which so far has been the bane of my life. The second is to prevent such things as Kaelyssa draining off all his Fury. No doubt I'll find something else to include after my game against Jim on Tuesday.

On the painting side of things my Earthborn Dire Troll is almost finished. Woohoo! I'm not sure what's next, probably the Axer or Dire Troll Mauler.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Lethal Feedback

The feedback forms for the Hordes MKii Field Test are now open.

My feedback so far:
eDoomshaper - pleased with him so far. Feat needs work as if you are denied the charge/slam/trample (or just charge) it is totally worthless. Feat needs to give a simple increase to either movement or SPD (SPD please!) and not rely on those 3 special attacks. Also asked for Full Throttle instead of Wild Aggression but don't expect that will happen, as much fun as it would be to run masses of warbeasts with it and oh so Fury efficient.

Earthborn Dire Troll - very tired of Elemental Communion, would like it to change to be exactly like Controlled Warping with +2 DEF/+2 ARM/+2 SPD. This takes away the terrain lottery and improves versatility.

Dire Troll Mauler - solid, very happy with this warbeast.