Thursday, November 25, 2010

25.11. Epic Sorscha mistakes skorne's pointy bits as hammers to be nailed in.

So, today it was Skorne against Khador. It was a 35 point game and I was sporting with:

- Bronzeback Titan
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea

Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Minimum unit of Beasthandlers
Aptimus Marketh
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor (who you can see blurry in starting picture. At first I thought I'd take pictures that showed only or mostly painted models but, well, it was a bit impossible.)

Opponent had:

Epic Sorscha
- Beast 09
- Devastator

Great Bears of Gallowswood
Maximum unit of Winterguard Infantry + Unit Attachment
Greylord Ternion
Kovnik Josef
Gorman diWulfe

And it happened so nicely that for starters I won the starting roll. Nothing much happened as I advanced cautiously as did my opponent and to cut short on the reporting nothing here's a picture from the end of my second turn. I decided to take the picture a bit farther away so that the level of my unpainted-ness wouldn't show that badly.


I had put up Psychic Vampire, Death March on Praetorians and Soul Slave on the Bronzeback.

You can also see in that picture my greatest single mistake in the whole game, which was to gravely underestimate the 6" move and 8" boosted hit sprays.

Now thinking back I should have been more courageous with Hexeris and put him in middle of praetorian because I was sitting anyway with Krea's animus that made both Hexeris and everyone within 2" of him difficult to hit with ranged attacks.

But leaving speculation behind, here's a picture that makes things a bit more clear:

I was thinking that I'd lure the winterguard to kill a few of my swordsmen, I was considering 5 or even 6 kills wouldn't be too bad because I had Aptimus Marketh close by. But the resulting bloodshed killed nine of my swordsmen and the bloodrunner master tormentor.

Epic Sorscha came there a bit too close and got two damage points in because of casting spells under my Psychic Vampire. In that picture you can see a bit more clearly my futile attempt at making a death trap to one of the heavy warjacks. Luckily opponent didn't take the bait because, uhh, well, after that situation we had a talk where I was reminded that Beast had thresher. So maybe risking two free strikes Beast could probably have taken down all my Cetrati and Bronzeback too. Eww.

My response:

You can't see epic Sorscha in that picture really well but she's behind those two huge warjacks.

First I moved my Basilisk Drake up there and sprayed a lone winterguard who was standing there. Opponent had messed order of activations a bit so Winterguard didn't have Iron Flesh on. Had they had it quite a few of my swordmen would have been saved but no. It was the critical inch there...

Anyway, basilisk managed to score a hit on Sorscha and deal 8 points in which was a success in my book.

Then I got a bit too greedy with Hexeris. I wanted to get the full use out of his feat so I moved him to a risky position with only little gain. I had upkept all my spells with Aptimus. I tried to make a potshot with Obliteration against Sorscha, I hit Devastator in front of her and got a blast damage roll against her. I boosted it of course but resulted in no damage.

Then my remaining few praetorians advanced to the winterguard and used the minifeat of theirs. I managed to kill four winterguards, all of which were turned into my zombies but not one of them managed to hit their fellows. Why is this feat always so glorious when I use it?

Then I tried to put some stuff in front of Hexeris to block the easy charges against him.

You can see how much that helped, though.

Sorscha was feeling brave and moved close-by and used her feat. Then she shot remaining two praetorians with her quad-iron. Also she took one point of damage from casting Boundless Charge on Beast 09 so she had only 6 points remaining.

Then came the Greylord Covenant and tried to spray the remaining models from Beasts path away and well, they succeeded. Partially at least.

They didn't manage to kill Aptimus Marketh (who did take 2 points in from one spray) but they did kill the most important blocking Cetrati with few lucky enough rolls. Sorscha's feat is annoying because it escalates the lucky rolls of the little performers to astonishing heights.

But they all died to Psychic Vampire though, the Greylords I mean.

Then came the remaining winterguard and shot Aptimus to pieces.

Funny thing in the last picture, however, is the fact that it's not the picture of the last turn of the game!

Beast put on Murderous which even froze Hexeris on the first strike which also dealt 28 points of damage. Twenty eight.

But I had two fury remaining for transfers and such damage was promptly dispatched to Bronzeback.

Next damage roll was double 1's and I sighed in joy. Double ones dealt, under epic Sorschas feat, only 10 points in.

Last damage roll did a bit more, I think 22 points in. Which was transferred to my undamaged Basilisk Drake and some damage even came back from there. But Hexeris survived.

My response:

I thought my only chance would've been either to destroy the undamaged Beast 09 and then charge Hexeris to Sorscha or get a line for my Cetrati to charge to Sorscha. The line that was there would have provoked too many free strikes from both Beast and few Great Bears.

Earlier in game I had been toying around with the idea of Beat Back on Hexeris' weapon.

I got all I could away from my Krea and one I got from reaving a dying Bronzeback. Then I had to cut myself all I was able to and it resulted in having 6 fury for Hexeris, who was then at only one hit point.

Hexeris shaked off the stationary (though this was done on the hindsight - both forgot he was frozen but fury was enough to backtrack that a bit) and upkept Death March that Aptimus had cast on Cetrati on the last turn he was still alive.

So I shuffled there a bit and Beat Back Beast 09 as far as I could to open a charge lane to Sorscha who was behind a fence (+2 to defense in melee). I think Hexeris even did a few points of damage in the way!

Well, I needed 9+ to hit and I managed to bring only two Cetrati in melee with her. One died to a free strike from a Great Bear.

Sorscha had 6 hit points left and had one focus left on her. So if even one of my attacks hit her she would die on a damage roll of 11 with four dice.

But as it happened, even if I could have "combined" their attacks rolls together I wouldn't have hit her. First Cetrati rolled 1 and 2 for hit. Second one rolled exactly same.

Then it was the last round of the game.

Sorscha Cycloned in and killed all the three beast handlers you can see there and then charged Hexeris herself. She managed to hit and let's have the picture speak for itself: (the faction dice you can see there is the charge damage roll)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Painted pool party

I finished painting all the new Sacred Pool characters for talisman.

They are pretty much the finest miniatures that Fantasy Flight has come up with Talisman. Even Cleric who is the smallest of the lot is pretty decent sized. At least when you compare her to the ancient but tiny weeny vampire that was introduced in last expansion...

But anyway, now I'm ready to play a game of Talisman. Hopefully it'll be soon enough.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

17.11.2010 - Touched by Evil. Twice.

Today I played two games of Touch of Evil at friend's place.

First game we randomised the villain and got Necromancer up.

Heroes involved were Anne-Marie the Schoolteacher and Eliza the Witch Hunter.

All in all that game was incredibly brutal. Zombies were popping up from everywhere, which was most of the fun of course. It didn't actually help that Eliza couldn't win any fights but luckily Anne-Marie managed to get herself one book that made her able to beat zombies rather single-handedly. Their ears may have rotten off but still they dissolved at Anne-Maries words of wisdom.

However, there were just too many and Eliza lost way too many turns by getting Knocked Down during mystery phase.

The game was over almost before it even started. When Anne-Marie bit the dust while Eliza was lying there at the Town Hall there were twelve monsters on the board by then.

Because first game was so short we decided to play another against the same villain. We randomised heroes again though and this time we got Katarina the Outlaw and Isabella von Took.

That was an awesome game.

Again it was "zombies, zombies everywhere!" atmoshpere but this time the heroes fought back valiantly.

It did help that Isabella was able to ditch most of the random wounds the Living Dead gave her by losing Investigation Points. Also Katarina was blessed with plenty of wounds and good combat abilities.

However, Isabella had a bit too high opinion of Katarina because she was sure Katarina could take on all the zombies marching toward the Town Hall. By leaving the village and venturing off to monastery Katarina was left with around four or five zombies to take care off.

It should have been piece of cake for Katarina though but even zombies can roll triple sixes with four dice it seems.

But it was not all in vain, because Isabella found spiritual enlightenment from the monastery. She found an item that rised the Honor of her by +2, and earlier in the game Isabella had the courage to eat a really exotic meal with the Hanbrooks at their manor (roll 3 dice, 1 wound for every 1-2 rolled because it tastes so weird and for every 6 you gain one honor because you manage to eat it with a smile). Those together raised her Honor to equal Katarina's, which in turn managed her to train her skills so that Cunning and Spirit was equal to 8. (If they weren't 8 or more combined the villain would've been next to impossible to defeat).

However, because of nasty rolls from the zombies Katarina shared the fate of Eliza from earlier games. She lost quite a many turns because she got knocked down during mystery phase, but different from Eliza was the fact that she managed to kill her tormentors before she went down herself, giving her enough investigation points not to lose items when she got up.

When Isabella came back from Echo Lake things were looking nice on the zombie front, both had enough brawn to fend them off. But then a few mystery cards made things desperate.

First, came The Hour is Late, meaning it was guaranteed that the Shadow Track dropped every single turn. And once it's red you get two zombies every turn instead of one.

But once "Something Wicked" hit the board it was decided that there would be no other chance than to start Showdown as soon as we could. We had geared up nicely, though both were rolling only 5 dice on damage.

Well, Katarina had spent most of her game lying knocked down at Town Hall. It was a bit weird that she hadn't figured out already that villain was hiding exactly there.

Showdown started with Isabella with three investigation, four base wounds and 5 dice on damage and able to prevent 2. Katarina had four wounds too and no way to prevent them and 5 dice too.

Villain had 16 wounds and 7 damage dice (one of each being the "Good" Doctor)

Well, Villain rolled rather badly but we didn't exactly shine either.

First round Isabella gave Katarina a total of 13 dice to damage.

On third fight round Katarina died but Isabella was still saved but left with only one wound. Fourth fight round Isabella was dealt two wounds, both of which she prevented. Villain had two wounds and Doctor Manning with him, which still meant 7 fight dice.

Isabella had 5 fight dice and crossbow, which meant that as long as one of the dice she rolls is a 6, one additional wound is delivered.

Well, Isabella was splattered to the wall, but as her last effort she managed to... roll a 6. Only one 6. Which meant the villain was left with one wound that obviously was Doctor Manning.

So if a storyline is to be found, the Necromancer either fell and Doctor continued his reign of terror or if not, he healed Necromancer after the heroes were turned into hideous zombies...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sacred Pool in my pocket

I bought the Sacred Pool expansion to Talisman today.

First thing you really notice is how massive the new miniatures are. It will really be a funny game where there are the Magus, Pixie and Leprechaun together.

Best thing about Sacred Pool seems to be that the new characters aren't laughably overpowered. All of them are pretty "balanced".

Alternative ending cards are quite a disappointment however.

Sacred Pool card is nearly identical to the other "revealed" card that makes you complete four quests before you can win the game. The difference is that you don't have all the quests at the start of the game and you need 4 discarded quest rewards to start the race to crown.

Demon Lord is really stupid alternative ending too. It's a "boss" with lots of Craft. Also one of its rules makes it impossible for other players to enter the inner region when someone's at the crown, battling Demon Lord. So it's kind of an automatic win when a player with high Craft gets there.

Also that ending makes craft users more powerful, again. What I've played Talisman is most often won with Craft so if Demon Lord would use Strenght instead this might be interesting alternative end...

Last card, Judgement Day is actually quite interesting. It's a bit like Hand of Doom. Dice rolls of 4-6 are different kinds of wins, either by just you or with some other players.

2-3 results in your death. However, if you roll 1, the alternative ending is discarded and the game goes as it's printed in the rulebook. Also, every player can modify the roll before the roll is made by 1. So that means that you, as the entering player to crown of command, want as much + modifiers as you can get. Obviously other players don't want that so they give you as much - modifiers as they can... but if they give too much they actually give you a chance to win still.

Nothing exceptional caught my eyes when I skimmed through new adventure cards. Quest Rewards, stable deck or new spells didn't really make an impression either. They're all nice to be there though.

Vassal being the relief

when you can't arrange games in a timely fashion.

Today I played a 35 point game, epic Asphyxious vs Vayl.

My list was:

Epic Asphyxious

Full unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Mechanithralls + Brute Thrall
Gorman diWulfe
Bane Lord Tartarus

Opponent was sporting:


Full unit of Hex Hounds + Bayal.

Legion of Everblight actually seems rather nice army against epic Asphyxious. Caustic Mists don't mess up opponent that bad so the battle feels more like it's taking place on equal terms.

Anyway, opponent won starting roll and opening was pretty brutal. Legion advanced real fast and so did I. I moved most of my troops way within opponents charge and all kinds of destruction range on purpose because hey, I was playing Epic Asphyxious.

First lesson learned: it's easy to dodge Caustic Mists if you place them badly. Second lesson learned: Tough works only 33% of time or actually a little less.

I got half of my army butchered including the Seether. Then opponent used his feat to move everyone away.

Well, I wasn't feeling too worried because hey, I played Epic Asphyxious. I managed some shenanigans (charged Tartarus to Hex Hounds and killed one and made one thrall able to charge Angelius while rest beat Hex hounds) and Skarlock succesfully cast Parasite on Angelius too.

When I charged that damn beast with that Bane Thrall I was giving it -5 to armor. However, Bane Thrall missed the attack and so did my Brute Thrall and two Mechanithralls. Yeah, three attacks needed 8 to hit it and two 9's but still I didn't think it would've been that impossible to get even one decent hit in.

My army slowly whittled away but I didn't think it was worrying because hey, I was playing Epic Asphyxious.

I did an unsuccesful attack with my Stalker against the beasts that were guarding Vayl and didn't really take Chiller into account. Dark Sentinel made mincemeat out of my Stalker (or, the next turn a frenzying Seraph did but before dark sentinel hit made me lose two focus.)

Hex Hounds, while they aren't exactly a tar pit unit tarpitted all my plans at my side of the board.

Finally they were down to one hound and I had a small score of bane thralls and bane lord Tartarus with me. Opponent had all beasts intact.

I had a moment where I could have charged my own bane thrall, used my feat and would have probably killed off Carnivean and maybe did some damage to Angelius. Now on hindsight I should have taken the chance because if opponent was reduced to only Seraph, Shredder and Vayl I could have had a decent chance of getting them with Asphyxious, a handful of Bane Thralls and Tartarus.

But I chickened out and did something real stupid instead, moved close to Tartarus and put up Soul Reaper and Caustic Mist on the remaining Hound.

Maybe I will remember now, then, that Hellbound doesn't actually prevent a charge when you're standing almost base to base with another model.

Carnivean charged Tartarus and after him it finished Asphyxious in two hits.

I weep, bitterly.