Saturday, 30 January 2010

Post Update Feedback

I played against a rather horrible Terminus list today using my not-quite-optimised eDoomshaper 35 point list. I say 'not-quite-optimised' in that I really want a Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribe Elder in my list, but they haven't arrived in the post so I was stuck with my Troll Bouncer. I'd like to say good things about the Troll Bouncer, but I just can't. At least with my play style, he blows goats. There's almost nothing that effects Hordes where I'd rather have Shield Guard over +2 ARM now - especially with the changes to Monster Hunter.

Anyway, I got humped. I knew it was going to happen as soon as I saw Bile Thralls hit the table. With no SSE to prevent horrible corrosion death I just wasn't prepared to lose all my Kriel Warriors. I was also expecting to make a tough roll or two but those were few and far between in this game as my new sets of dice are made of hate and fail. I may have to get my old dice sets out instead.

One of the new tricks I've learnt with eDoomshaper and Mulg is the madness of Refuge combined with Goad and Overtake. Mulg was all over the place, shifting about smashing face. I love it, it's one of my favourite things about Trollbloods. Refuge on eDoomshaper's feat turn is amazing: Mulg gets to move 7" after he's done breaking things. It's like a very small Spirit Door...

I did learn a major weakness of my eDoomshaper list too, it has a lot of problems with infantry machine, particularly infantry that can really hurt my heavies. Usually I just zerg my opponent with my big, clunky medium base infantry to bog them down while my warbeasts start on one flank and just chew their way through the opposing army at my leisure. If I can't make tough checks or there are Bile Thralls, however, then my list just falls to pieces.

The good news is that I should be able to start playing 50 point games with my Trollbloods shortly, which should be cool. I'm vaguely worried that I'm going to swamp myself with a million medium bases but being able to shoot in my army would be a pleasant experience.

Frankenstein's Daughter

It is here at last, the Hordes Field Test Model Update brings us tournament legal rules until we hear otherwise. Of course there are the usual typos - human form Kromac appears to be suffering from Beast Mind - but there were always going to be minor errors in a document this size.

I have two issues with some Trollblood models. Firstly, why is the Keg Carrier still slower than Borka? Secondly, pDoomshaper is made of epic fail. He doesn't even make it up to failcake. Other than that, WOOOOHOOOO! Borka and eDoomshaper are made of raw mineral awesomite, pMadrak and Grim Angus got some love. There's a list of comprehensive changes here for the Trollbloods. On the whole, I am Overjoyed with the Trollbloods. The nerfs were expected in the right places (except pDoomshaper, I liked Purification) and the buffs made me smile.

Other factions didn't make it out so well however. Circle seems to have eaten the nerf bat and Sweet Monkey Jesus on a Bike, Saeryn ate a massive nerf. Of course, this makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, but I can see that a massive dose of DOOOOOOOOOM is about to hit the forums. I have no opinion on what happened to Skorne, but I'm sure Sean will find the time to make a post (yeah, Murchie, I mean you).

On the minion front I'm really pleased with Saxon Orrik. He may just have turned into the utility solo I always wanted. Monster Hunter on Alten Ashley received the nerf I've always been hoping for. No longer do we cower in fear of losing 33% of our heavy warbeasts' life each turn. Did I mention Jim used him the entire Field Test?

I really want to use Borka against Thomas Rolland's Retribution on Tuesday now, but with Wind Wall the angry elves wouldn't stand a chance. I'll just have to Snack my way through his army instead.

Update Change Posts:
Circle of Orboros
Skorne - for an organised evil empire, you'd think they'd have an update changes thread...
Legion of Everblight

Friday, 29 January 2010

All that Glitters

The Golden Slayer is complete. It's a bit bizarre, I can't stop staring at it on my desk. The Golden Slayer exudes some sort of mental magnetism. Perhaps it's trophy-related, shiny new trophies that haven't been awarded yet draw the eye while post-awarded trophies slide conspicuously into one's blind spot...

And here is the latest addition to the Sunshine Kriel at long last.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Painting Time

Huzzah, another Trollblood model is now painted. I'll stick up a picture of my Troll Axer once the varnish dries - that'll be tomorrow, it's paint on satin varnish at this stage. I'm rather proud of how the majority of his skin turned out and almost all of the metal - though there's a few bits where I was trying to paint with chalky paint so it now has a weird texture. I do have to go back and add a couple of metallic items which I strangely totally forgot about until I was varnishing the Axer.

I'd rather like to get my Whelps finished next but the Golden Slayer for Conflagration takes precedence at the moment. I should also go and arrange additional prize support... There's just so much to do as a tournament organiser, I do wonder how Johanna found the time to do all her other hobbies. I need to craft another bajillion little pirate flag markers for objectives, and it would be really nice if the workshop at Strathclyde uni would get back to me on cutting out all those templates to mark various scenario zones. So much to do, so little time.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Chillaxing Like Bill Paxman

Today I ran the first of the Rising Conflict series of tournaments for 2010 (perhaps I should just start calling it Rising Conflict 2010...) - a small 15 point fully painted affair. The turn out was quite small at 8 people, which was fortunate in its own way, the amount of admin work I had to do wasn't too bad. I definitely need some form of software and a portable device (i.e. a laptop) to be able to track information better between players; figuring out who would come 3rd was a lot of legwork that a simple spreadsheet would have let me solve in half the time.

Having said that however, the tournament itself was a breeze to run, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, there weren't any arguments or disagreements that couldn't be resolved in a matter of minutes. I'd like to thank all the players who were there for making it such an easy event and one that was really great to run. It makes me really look forward to running the event at Conflagration in a couple of weeks.

The standings for Rising Conflicts MKii are as follows:
Jim - 8 points
Kris - 7 Points
Murray - 6 Points
Johanna - 5 Points
Iain - 4 Points
Tom McC - 3 Points
Andy S - 2 Points
Brian - 1 Point

While Jim won the tournament his first two games were seriously close calls. If Johanna's Rockram had hit the Butcher once more (7 health left) or Murray's bane thrall hadn't missed Karchev (2 damage boxes left) then either one of those would have probably won the tournament. I was surprised by how quickly Murray had Jim on the back foot in their game, and it did seem a forgone conclusion that Murray would win that one. Jim did manage to pull it out of the bag there however (I'm sure he sacrificed an animal of some sort in the toilet over his dice to get the numbers he needed though) and I'll have to say I was impressed with his solution.

We used the new Steamroller 2010 scenario pack, playing through Capture the Flag, Process of Elimination and Kill Box. I don't think scenarios were the best choice at this point level, players just don't have enough models to attempt the scenarios but they seemed to work for the most part and didn't cause anyone any headaches.

Onwards to Conflagration!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Supersize Me

Hmm, I was initially worried that the Conflagration Warmachine/Hordes tournament would conflict with the Superbowl Sunday, but unless the tournament runs until stupid-o'clock AM I should be fine. I'm going on a limb and hoping to see Colts vs Saints for the Superbowl. Being a relatively new fan of the sport - my brother-in-law is a big fan and that's how I got into it - I suspect my prediction is somewhat groundless and any American readers of this blog will no doubt come lynch me in my sleep.

Sign ups and details for the Conflagration tournament can be found here:

As a Press Ganger who runs tournaments the need for timed turns has become more important. This brings us to chess clocks: why are these things so expensive? It makes me wonder the viability of duct-taping 2 digital alarm clocks together...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Experimental Procedures

The inconceivable may have happened: I have rebuilt my unit of Croe's Cutthroats. I think I'm going to see if I can get them to do... anything... in the next few games. I also thought I'd experiment with eMagnus lists and dual Manglers since they're so cheap in his tiered list.

Not only have I submitted to madness (re: Croe's Cutthroats) I have this crazy urge to get ALL my mercenary models painted. Too many of them have languished in the underworld realms of undercoated or half done. I'm sure it's Jim working some voodoo since there's one badly painted Steelhead Heavy Cavalry model that I've had half done for almost a year now - it drives him mental. The first models I'll have to do are Gorman di Wulfe and Kell Bailoch, staples of my Magnus lists.

For those people playing in my tournament on the 23rd (a week on Saturday) I have been making objective markers using the very fancy toothpick you see above. Who can refuse the pirate flag objectives?! Clearly more people should sign up.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Blood, Coin, House Keys, Phone

The secretive workings of the MKii Mercenary Contracts have been unveiled to us plebeians at last. You can find them here:

Magnus' Agenda players will be disappointed to learn that the specific contract no longer exists. Fret not though! For instead there are tiered lists for both versions of Magnus - unfortunately it doesn't change my pMagnus list, at least I could bring 2 Manglers instead of a Mangler and a Nomad in my eMagnus list. It's certainly tempting.

The other Contracts have also been changed. The Searforge Commission now benefit from an increased deployment zone (+4" - that's 20" AD for them, the joy). The most impressive change is in the Highborn Covenant however: they can now bring a unit of Gun Mages or Long Gunners, complete with attachments. Side note: Magnus' tiers also allow the Long Gunner or Trencher units to have attachments now.

What does this mean for you? Well... a Mule being 'jack marshalled by the Gun Mage UA can use Snipe. Having experienced the wonders of a Mule with Snipe on it while playing pMagnus, this is HUGE. Granted you have to bring 8 points worth of squishy Gun Mages with you, but it's certainly an option to consider. I think some experimentation will have to be done.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A Healthy and Balanced Diet

Here are my thoughts on other faction models:

Baldur the Stonecleaver:
Being able to charge or power attack for free on a warbeast or warjack is HUGE. That's 2 free focus/fury (1 for the charge, and 1 for essentially an extra attack). It's just enough that he tips into my Overpowered book pamphlet. However, that was what he did in MKi, so I can't see it changing. I'm also jealous of Earth Spikes being an AoE as well, but it's fairly costed for what it does.

Kaya the Wildborne:
A nightmare to fight against if you do not have some means to match the speed of her warbeasts (strangely Trollbloods seem to be able to pull this off quite well) or a way to really hurt them at range. I like her and I'd consider her well balanced.

Tharn Ravagers:
Quite impressive for all the complaining I read concerning them (go forums go!). They're fast, hit hard and are a lot tougher than their armour would suggest. They don't make me cringe when I see them on the table, so they don't make it into the Overpowered pamphlet. I haven't seen them taken without the Shaman UA however.

Lord Tyrant Xerxis:
Doesn't wow me. He's looks quite nifty on paper but has quite a static play-style from what I have seen of him. I've come to the conclusion that he requires the use of multiple units of heavy infantry to function at his best. I suspect he's going to be Skorne's 'brick' warlock.

Master Tormentor Morghoul:
I view pMorghoul as what a 5 fury warlock should be. He is rather interesting to fight against and has a lot of ways to really hurt Hordes players - though Warmachine opponents aren't excluded totally. I liken taking Morghoul down to solving a mildly complex puzzle. Along with pKaya (or Kaya1 now?) I view Morghoul as perching on the much vaunted Balanced pedestal.

Cyclops Savage:
Along with the Troll Axer I view the Cyclops Savage as being as close to perfect Light Warbeasts as is possible. Both can take down a heavy with a little help from warlocks or support models but are still useful on their own.

Alten Ashley, Monster Hunter:
WHY IS THIS MODEL EVEN IN THE GAME? Much like pEiryss' Disruptor Bolt (to be filed in my WTF? folder) I believe Monster Hunter in its current form should have been scrapped. Disable an aspect for a round or something instead. Hmm, actually that might be bad...

I've just thought of an immensely evil combination to try out with Dahlia and Skarath...

Oh dear, I've been blogging for a year now. There's just no end to the narcissism!