Sunday, August 28, 2011

When Darkness Comes

I used a gift token to Fantasiapelit brand of gaming stuff I got from Ropecon to buy a new game.

Eventually I chose the game "When Darkness Comes", mostly because it looked like it had miniatures as gaming pieces and it looked different enough from games I already own. And, heh, it has plenty of expansions up to date, and they're very affordable, too.

Obviously I haven't played it yet and only vaguely read the rules, but it looks like fun. It's "pseudo-roleplaying".

I mean, it's competitive game, only one player wins. But you're still a team, you can all always lose if you lose the scenario. And if one character bites the dust, it hurts the other characters permanently.

So there is a nice little tension between players. You can't win just by yourself, and not without other characters help, but if you sacrifice too much for others it's still game over...

Also, players got cellphones they can only use during their own turn.

So, players are encouraged to plan their actions and cooperation and trade for stuff and whatever, but only within the confines of cellphone's rules. I don't know if there are dead zones in the game, but it would be cool if there were. Oh, and if players are close enough they can just speak aloud, you don't need to call for a friend who's figuratively within arm's reach.

Anyway, I'm looking for a first game of When Darkness Comes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sacrifice in vain

Played a game of Warmachine yesterday and it was Cryx versus Cryx, 35 points and a randomised scenario.

Scenario turned out to be Sacrifice.

My list was:

Goreshade the Bastard
- Harrower
- Erebus
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Minimum unit of Soulhunters
Darragh Wrathe
Warwitch Siren

And opposing undead were:

Witch Coven of Garlghast
- Deathjack
- 2x Deathrippers

Minimum unit of Bane Thralls
Minimum unit of Bane Knights
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Bane Lord Tartarus

Opponent won the starting roll and first picture is taken from the end of my turn, where was my face palm time.

I was all serious telling my opponent that damn, I needed to run my helljacks so stupidly up front because scoring would start on second players second turn.

When I said that I realised that I was the second player. I would've lost nothing by letting opponent contest the control zone first... Live and learn?

Next picture, then, is no suprise.

Deathjack mauled Erebus and was left with focus to spare.

Tartarus and a couple of random thralls dropped both weapon systems of my Harrower.

Bile Thralls were positioned quite close but still in a very unassailable position. I felt that my situation was all kinds of screwed, though as long as I had my Mechanithralls + Surgeon going on I thought I was still competing for victory.

Being somewhat desperate, I tried to start cherry picking key models like Tartarus from opposing army and hopefully even damaging Deathjack, as I had no souls in my army it could heal itself with.

First Darragh Wrathe charged one bane knight and cast Death Ride with battle wizard skill, shuffling my troops so that I could line up as many charges as possible.

Two soulhunters charged Tartarus and, well. Six attacks later, two of them being p+s 13 charge attacks with MAT 8, Tartarus was still alive... or un-alive? with one hit box remaining.

In the end Goreshade himself chose to enter the battle, camping 6 focus after finishing Tartarus.

All the charging mechanithralls missed the Deathjack and even the most critical thing, Warwitch Siren, missed Deathjack with her attack.

Goreshade had used his feat to bring some meat to the table after losing my heavy hitters.

Then it was opponents turn again.

Three bile thrall purges cleared the way for Deathjack to get a charge to poor Goreshade. They did a damage point to Deathjack, though, which was more than my Mechanithralls ever did.

Veil of Mists gave Deathjack pathfinder where it needed that. Oh, and bane things wrecked Harrower too.

Deathjack killed Goreshade, who was then restorated by Deathwalker. And Witch Coven used their feat.

On my turn I made a second serious blunder, which is illustrated in the embedded picture. I had to activate Goreshade so early in turn that I didn't have a clear picture where he would need to be. Also... I was suprised when I noticed that "Hey... I can't activate anything anymore and there is more than a clear line between Deathjack and him..."

But I felt that I could do something with free strikes from my Mechanithralls and Darragh Wrathe. I'm not sure how I didn't remember I was playing against Witch Coven...

Anyway, I managed to put some pressure on the Witches too, as my soulhunters advanced, beat up stuff and advanced as light cavalry, the unit leader engaging two of the witches and Egregore.

Also, all the opponents other troops were engaged by my models, which meant the sole surviving opponents bane thrall, two bile thralls and both deathrippers.

All in all my situation didn't look so bad if we forget the little fact that Witch Coven is a foc 9 caster with 18" control area with Ghost Walk and Veil of Mists and undamaged Deathjack staring to Goreshade who had 5 hit points left with no focus camped.

Yeah. So my sitation was a hellish one, in matter of fact.

Goreshade's gore spilled out and it didn't look that shady at all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A game of Thurn und Taxis

I really couldn't make up a clever name for this.

But anyway, today was a rare occasion of playing Thurn und Taxis. I think it's been over a year since the game was played last time.

We had three players, two of whom had never played Thurn und Taxis or much even board games in general. The latter fact somewhat affected the choice of game, I guess it'd have been a bit of a bad sport to take a 3-hour session of some of the more complex games I have.

Anyway, there's not much else to tell except that it's still an entertaining game. Final scoreboard was 16, 8 and 7. And I didn't actually have the highest score even when I had the most experience.

The deck was poorly shuffled, I say. Heh.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Is there life after purge?

I played a game of Warmachine yesterday too.

It was against Protectorate of Menoth and I had brought my Cryx with me. It was a 35 point game and my list was:

Warwitch Deneghra
- Erebus
- Slayer
- 2x Nightwretches

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Darragh Wrathe

Opponent had the following list:

Epic Kreoss
- Avatar of Menoth
- Crusader
- Repenter

Minimum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Exemplar Bastions
Maximum Choir of Menoth

We played the good ol' Mosh Pit scenario. And I must warn again that in case you see any drudge thralls on opponents side of the board they are singing hymns for the protectorate warjacks until choir arrives from the mail.

Also, Satyxis Captain tries to disguise herself as Nicia.

I won starting roll and rushed to mosh pit already. Picture is from the end of opponents first turn.

Inviolable Resolve had been cast unsuprisingly on Avatar.

I decided my best bet would be to try to get Ragman into position to give Slayer Dark Shroud, load up the warjack with 3 focus, give 1 focus to Nightwretch and cast Ghost Walk on Slayer too.

That way, with some luck, I might drop either the sword or the shield from Avatar.

Well, first Nightwretch scored a hit, but pow 14 + 3d6 couldn't penetrate Avatars armor value of 23.

Then Ragman went to cast his spell and Slayer charged Avatar, attempting a combo-strike.

Slayer was less than half an inch away from gaining the Dark Shroud from Ragman and it botched its combo-strike. If I remember right it dealt something like 8 points in, which in itself wasn't bad, but I needed a little above average rolls to do any real damage. And I got a little below.

A new attack did some damage in too, but whole sorry affair merely tickled the Avatar of Menoth.

You can see Satyxis Raider alias Nicia peeking in that picture. Darragh Wrathe had cast Beyond Death and there was a little moment of thrill next turn when opponent tried to figure a way to charge Deneghra with Nicia. Charge attack with poower + strenght 10 + 4d6 followed with two p+s 10 + 3d6's could really have threatened Deneghra, who was focusless and had armor 14.

Darragh Wrathe's Beyond Death dropped a lot of threat from trying to pull off such a charge, so things went on differently.

Opponent retaliated by using Kreoss' feat.

Avatar rolled only 2 focus for it, yet it wrecked both Slayer and Nightwretch.

Crusader decided to charge one mechanithrall because it was so-and-so if it could reach Erebus.

It slapped one mechanithrall dead and hit Erebus real good. And, to be honest, during whole game I didn't need Erebus' defense 14 nor Overtake. But arm 18 over Slayer's 17 saved it when it was left with 5 or 6 hit boxes from about 4 attacks.

Now, thinking back, had I lost Erebus there I would've been really screwed as it still had Cortex and one arm intact.

Then it was Deneghra's turn to feat.

First Deneghra cast Ghost Walk on mechanithralls and then cast Crippling Grasp through arc node to the Crusader.

Picture doesn't show but bile thralls killed all but one bastion by purging all over.

Bile Thralls, half-hearted Erebus and aiming Nightwretch wrecked Crusader and five combo-strikes from Mechanithralls mopped up Avatar. Satisfying feat turn I guess.

Once Repenter had sprayed all over the place and a lucky random temple flameguard killed necrosurgeon, troops were spreading thin. Though now when I think of it, I think we forgot to reduce MAT and STR of the flameguard who killed Necrosurgeon.

Anyway, Kreoss decided to start tanking. I think we also forgot to stop Kreoss from running, but that didn't really change things all that much.

On my next turn I tried to cast Crippling Grasp on Kreoss through nightwretch, but I had ran it just into melee with Kreoss. I guess I should've tried to live with the elevation bonus.

Not much else to report, as the remainder of mechanithralls and temple flameguard were stuck in endless melee.

Then opponent makes a ballsy move of running Kreoss, camping all focus except upkeeping Inviolable Resolve on himself, where you can see him in first picture:

In second picture I moved nightwretch to get a back strike bonus against Kreoss in melee. Then Deneghra cast Crippling Grasp on him and ran away, giggling.

Erebus, that had been allocated 3 focus, smashed all it could at Kreoss and dealt plenty of damage.

However, Kreoss, despite being crippled, just turned around and destroyed the poor warjacks.

Then, on my next turn, the sole surviving mechanithrall comes to combo-strike Kreoss and Darragh tries to cast Hellfire on him. Kreoss is having about 5 boxes left.

In last picture, however, I made a funny little mistake. Deneghra re-aligned her position to get a good charge next turn, as she couldn't charge from where she was earlier.

Out of Mosh Pit.

So it was Kreoss' time to wipe out everything or die trying.

There was a big fight between Repenter (who had lost its flame thrower) and Nightwretch, but sadly Repenter just didn't kill Nightwretch.

Kreoss himself, however, dismounted Darragh and killed the mechanithrall. He did even get additional attack on dismounted Wrathe, but rolled damage miserably and Darragh took only couple of damage boxes.

Anyway, brave last stand.

Focusless Kreoss that had around 3 hit points was a foe worthy of Deneghra's personal attention, so she charged in and skewered the grand exemplar.

Curses! Foiled again! (Talisman)

Before bidding my friend farewell, we played a two player Talisman.

We used random end condition and characters drawn were the Necromancer and the Gypsy.

Gypsy started recruiting a good posse around her early in the game. She got something around 2-3 followers almost from the start and after both characters had got their first few craft/strenght raises and went to Highlands, she stole even two followers the poor Necromancer had managed to find. One of them being the gnome. And damn that was a long sentence.

Necromancer started enthralling spirits and that went fine only so far. It seemed that if there was a battle Necromancer could lose, he lost. That trend went straight into the end game too where he, despite being strenght 16 against Lord of Darkness who had strenght 12, rolled a tie and used a fate token to roll off his dice again, resulting in a loss.

I'm writing in a hurry and I think it might be a bit difficult to actually read this text, but oh well.

Both characters had ridiculous strenght at the end (at least 14 on necromancer and about the same on gypsy), but the gypsy had gnome follower and got her craft value to 10. So she went into the inner region, but as it turned out, we were facing the Demon Lord himself, who had to be fought with only craft.

Gypsy put up a brave fight and lasted for ages, bringing Demon Lord down to 2 lives even when she was severely handicapped against him. But then Demon Lord stroke gypsy down to 1 life and she took her leave.

All that resulted in many, many extra turns for necromancer.

However, all he could find were strenght monsters and his craft value was miserable. It didn't actually help him that the Clansman was following him around (gave -2 to psychic combat but +2 to battles).

Gypsy had found the Dreadwing follower by fighting the eagle king at the highlands, so she could find a way to heal herself quite soon and started repeatedly punching eagle king in the face (or beak? Whatever...) and got the Windlord's amulet.

Ultimately it all came down to Gypsy getting Craft value in combat to 15 and riding fast to inner region again for a re-match that ended Demon Lord's reign of terror.

Necromancer was left in the dungeon to have tea parties with spirits he had enthralled. Oh, and the clansman.

Dracula hunting

Yesterday we played a second game of Fury of Dracula.

This time I was playing the hunters, and obviously the game experience was a lot different.

First of all I deployed my hunters initially a bit weirdly, leaving almost all of Eastern Europe empty. I did have Van Helsing himself and even Lord Godalming going to have a little trek there, but Van Helsing tried to catch train and was "delayed by the papers" twice in a row, and even Godalming once.

And as it turned out, Dracula started in Eastern Europe, very close to Castle Dracula.

It was an epic game, and during whole game I think Dracula got more event cards than hunters, which is somewhat rare as there are about twice as much bonus cards for hunters than for Dracula in the same deck...

It seems that Dracula needs to be quite careful, as once his trail starts to unveil, the knot tightens around his undead neck very fast.

This time Mina Harker fought Dracula three times. Two first times were quite filmatic. First, bitten Van Helsing was hypnotised and Dracula announced his next move. Mina Harker used one resolve to go to the town where Dracula was heading.

When they encountered, Dracula played "Trap" card, but Mina had taken that into account, she knew Dracula knew she was waiting him. And played "Advance Planning".

Well, ultimately Dracula escaped and the final encounter was somewhere in Italy, when the doctor had tried to confront Dracula, but just as he was going in with his crucifix shining bright, a herd of wild horses came and brought him to Rome.

It was time for Mina to use a resolve token again, finally putting the end to Count Dracula.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Come, my beautiful, beloved one. Leave these mortal dregs behind... Uh, what's that stake you're holding for, my dear?"

It's getting late, but a friend is visiting me and brought Fury of Dracula with him.

We just finished playing one game and it was all good.

I was playing the Dracula and we're planning to play another game some other day when I'll be the hunters.

Anyway, I started dangerously close to one hunter. He was in England and Dracula started in Ireland. I pulled a good bluff by using Hide -skill tactically in Ireland before moving to Atlantic Ocean.

Ah well, I'm way too tired to write a longer report. I may edit and add more later.

Except I'll say a word about the game rules itself: I liked them. There was a real thrill of a hunt. Though Dracula always felt a bit cornered, he also felt a bit cocky and arrogant. "Yeeeah... sure they got firepower, but they can never penetrate my disguise!"

At one place I messed up with the Dracula's Track. I had thought of escaping to Atlantic Ocean when Dracula was cornered in Biscayan Bay, but the card was already reserved there.

That lead to Dracula's ultimate demise, when Mina Harker attacked him when the sun was setting, yet it wasn't night.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Continuing Slayer/Reaper/Malice with Erebus

Well, I bought the Erebus upgrade kit. And wanted to magnetise it.

However, it was a lot more... adventurous thing than making a soul swirl base for Malice. The loin cloth and shoulder thingies were difficult to magnetise, and in the end, I didn't magnetise the shoulder stuff.

I toyed with the shoulder things, first I was thinking that maybe I could thin the metal parts enough to slot them steadily to recesses between torso and shoulders. Well, didn't really work, but then I wondered how I would do if I put some wire to them.

Until my cloud castle falls down, they seem to be easily detached and inserted, and don't drop from use.

Loincloth was a nasty one, too. I put a magnet into Slayer torso's butt and then put quite a lot of milliputty to the loincloth and placed a magnet there too, but had to fix its position so that the loincloth wouldn't snap to the magnet on to the torso vertically.

Anyway, after some work (painting obviously was the fastest part, the Slayer could transform into Erebus. And back, if needed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Last two games of the warmachine tournament at Ropecon

So, third game was against Cryx, again.

This time I was facing epic Deneghra who had a rather big fella to back her up.

Yeah, I get to fight a real battle-engine, in flesh and blood! (Well, that may not be an apporpriate description...)

Anyway, I went with epic Krueger, because I wanted to have a full choice of lists during last round (because every list needed to be used at least once).

Scenario was the horrible Command and Control, or whatever the name is for the one where you have to control a small circle in middle of board with your troops and a flag somewhere else on the board to score points.

And this game was actually one of the most thrilling games I've had for a long while.

Opponents list was:

Wraith Witch Deneghra
- 2x Deathrippers
- Deathjack

Wraith Engine
Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
2x Warwitch Sirens

However, one thing became clear with the Battle Engines.

Lord of the Feasts annoyance factor goes up. This time he didn't roll all that well, he killed only Necrotech and did some random damage to two Withershadow members. You can see his horns peeking just behind the Wraith Engine. That's how far he went.

Luckily I had the druids with me. With Deathjack and epic Deneghra around I would have been rather messed up if two Hellmouths started flying around with a base Focus stat of 7. I mean, nowadays I can respect two hellmouths at fury 6...

Well, then.

Next picture is taken from the thick of action.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the turn after Deneghra's feat. First she stopped my army on its tracks and Wraith Engine moved up to beat up stuff, Megalith mostly. Then, during this turn the picture is taken, opponent cast Hellmouth on his own battle engine, dragging all nearby models closer so the huge wraith could have another round of beating up my models...

I did try to shoot it down with Krueger, but in the end it was left with just a few wounds.

Whoops. Looks like I'm talking nonsense here. Sorry people, that people was taken from the end of my round under Deneghra's feat.

And this picture:

is taken where my troops were Hellmouthed around. Sad picture indeed, no wonder I tried to forget its existence altogether.

I think I actually wanted to feat a round earlier, but forgot because I was too enthusiastic trying to get Thrullg into contact with Wraith Engine. So, as it turned out, Thrullg wasn't in range and I lost my chance to use Kruegers feat.

Well, because Krueger survived the turn, I actually got a good spot to use feat still.

And once the Wraith Engine went off, the board somehow seemed a lot more... empty.

Green AoE effect on shifting stone is a Lightning Storm from Krueger that nailed three bane thralls. Also, the unseen hero, the Blackclad Wayfarer, did a nice spray that dealt with plenty of bane thralls too.

I don't remember who or what did the final blow on the Wraith Engine, but seeing as everyone else except epic Deneghra herself was under Krueger's feat, I was fairly safe from retaliation.

My main interests besides the engine was killing off Tartarus and arc nodes. While I didn't wreck any bonejacks, if I remember right the one currently engaging ravagers lost its arc nodes and decided to go into offense.

Next round, when Gnarlhorn beat down the engaging bonejack, my other troops were ready to charge around. Thrullg disrupted the Deathjack and a couple of ravagers hurt it badly, but didn't wreck it.

However, this was a timed tournament with 59 minutes for both players. My clock was ticking, and damn it was ticking fast.

Well, opponent destroyed almost everything I had left. Overseer, all the ravagers and even the over-enthusiastic, drooling thrullg met their ultimate demise.

Reeve Hunter, on the other hand, survived about everything.

Could be that opponent didn't think of it as a too big of a threat, and judging from it's performance, I don't wonder. Early in the game it shot one scrap thrall and rest of the game it spent on charging warwitch sirens, always missing them.

So, when my turn started, I had Gnarlhorn Satyr, Reeve Hunter and epic Krueger left. And just above 5 minutes playing time.

So, I decided to try an assassination.

I tried to get Line of Sight for Krueger against Deneghra, but the small hill was in the way. First Reeve Hunter, finally getting a chance to do something useful, like killing Admonia, who had one or two hit points left. Missed.

Then I figured I had to burn fury for telekinesis.

I moved Krueger as much forward as possible and used telekinesis to place him on the hill so he'd have line of sight to Deneghra.

I was in a real hurry by then, so the picture shows Krueger behind the hill, but around three minutes playing game doesn't really leave much wiggling to try to balance a model to an unsteady slope...

I have a good record of missing the first shot with epic Krueger, but this time it wasn't so. First attack hit, and I boosted the damage. Bought another attack, boosted the damage. Deneghra was still left with some hit points, and I didn't have the fury to boost last damage roll because I had to use telekinesis to get into position. However, damage roll was enough to kill her (again?).

After that my head exploded with excitement.

Then, the last game.

Which was short.

Game 2:

Scenario was Destruction. If you see any Wurmwoods in the pictures, they're the objectives, as I was playing Mohsar there.

But... the game was all kinds of brutal. And opponent knew how to play against Mohsar and in my opinion he made no mistakes at any point of the game.

His list was:

Epic Thagrosh
- Carnivean
- Scythean
- Seraph
- Typhon
- 2x Shredders
- 1x Harrier or Stinger, don't know which

3x Spell Martyrs
2x Shepherds
The Forsaken

Now, starting the first turn, things looked "fairly" good.

However, Slipstream + 9" charge + reach proved enough to get Scythean to my first objective during second round.

Sure, it was a trade-off as there were my Bloodweavers and 2 heavy warbeasts, but given the scenario, I'd do the same trade if I had the chance.

Now, looking back at the game, I think I would've had two chances to counter that loss of first objective so early. I should've ran my warbeasts and infantry so that opponent should've charged them first, but. There is a big but, sacrificing troops that badly just for the sake of scenario feels absolutely horrible.

The other way could've been trying to place the pillar of salt so that it would have blocked any possibility of Scythean charging the objective without provoking a counter slam from Gnarlhorn, but salt pillars aren't exactly indestructible.

I honestly don't know what I could have done there differently to have a chance.

But, then. In next picture sun started shining through a nearby window.

That's why it looks a bit goofy.

But yeah. Then, on my turn, the next objective spawned. And I think opponent could hear the gulp of horror when I realised that I was looking at my last objective that was facing possibly 5x pow 14 sprays that were boostable and whatever the Seraph could do, and failing to kill the objective for some weird reason, feat would give plenty of melee attacks against it as well.

I tried to protect it with as many salt pillars as I could, to no avail.

Thagrosh and Carnivean sprayed the salt pillars away, one shepherd ran to block counter charge from Gnarlhorn and Typhon moved closer. A couple of sprays later the scenario was lost.

So, people. Pow 14 sprays are the absolute murder in Destruction scenario.

So, that was the last one of the tournament.

With my games I was exactly 10th, which is about where I have always placed in tournaments. Exactly, or very near, the absolute center.

Anyway, all games were awesome in their own way, even the last one where I couldn't do much else than raise my hands in the air and say: "gg". In its short brutality I feel I got some new insight about the expendability of the army, when you mostly need to do surgical strikes to remove objectives.

First two games in tournament

I'm writing two battles per posting for not to get a terribly long write-ups.

First game in the tournament was against Skarre, the Pirate Queen. Scenario was, ah, it was Killbox. I chose my list to be the one of Cassius'

Anyway, opponents list was something like this:

Pirate Queen Skarre
- Deathripper
- Stalker
- Reaper

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Maximum unit of Mechanithralls
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Bane Lord Tartarus
Ogrun Bokur
Satyxis Raider Captain
Saxon Orrik

Terrain was awesome for Cassius. I could get Wurmwood pretty centered with good enough safety not to get thrashed by just about everything.

However, I tried to play safe and parked Woldwatcher next to the tree, still. I obviously lost it to the Reaper just then. Should have placed it more carefully so it couldn't be dragged through a building or something.

Gnarlhorn is in the right side of the board, doesn't show in the picture.

Then, after my next turn and opponents next turn situation started building up. Both of the casters and warlocks were pretty safe. Skarre can't be actually even seen during whole game, as she hides behind the building, casting Dark Guidance all over the place.

Satyxis had used their Power Swell and killed a few ravagers and did some damage to Gnarlhorn.

Maybe the situation there was optimal for Cassius, but seems a bit like 50 points with living models on both sides with melee heavy stuff is awesome with Cassius. Just about every turn I had the potential either to cast two hellmouths or one hellmouth with serious boosts. Full potential just doesn't show all too well here, as I was lucky enough to roll plenty of low magic attack rolls.

Looking at that picture I think I skipped one turn where I probably used my feat.

Well, it was definitely a killbox there, looking at next picture. Cryxians just came in waves after waves, yet somehow I endured.

I'm not sure where Skarre used her feat, probably here in this picture or maybe last picture. Anyway, I weathered it just fine, maybe that's why I don't remember when it was used.

Good use of Hellmouths and Megalith's Geomancy wrecked Reaper and Ogrun Bokur.

However, I knew I would be losing attrition very soon if Necrosurgeon started crafting thralls. Now it started having tokens.

So, my next turn was a bit... hasty.

No, not hasty.

It was totally embarrassing.

I ran one Wolf of Orboros next close to Necrosurgeon. Then I activated Cassius, took the souls from Wurmwood, walked to the hill. I was thinking Wurmwood wasn't in range to let Cassius ignore melee penalty, so I cast Unseen Path to get it closer. Then I launched a fully boosted Hellmouth at the wolf of orboros.

Yeah, I killed the surgeon. And other stuff too.

Too bad I was left with 2 fury and decided to teleport to safety.

Out of Killbox.

I guess I won't make that mistake twice? I hope?

Next game:

Second game was against Circle and scenario was Outflank, Outfight, Outlast.

I decided to take Mohsar for the job for once to get some use out of his feat.

Opponent chose Kaya, and his list was something like this:

Kaya the Moonwalker
- Warpwolf Stalker
- Feral Warpwolf
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Gorax

Minimum unit of Warpborn Skinwalkers
Druids of Orboros (+ possibly overseer? Can't figure out, but missing 2 points)
Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Alten Ashley
Blackclad Wayfarer
Lord of the Feast

So, I had never played against Kaya. I had a vague impression what she could do, though. And if people are complaining Spirit Door is useless because it was changed, I would have a different opinion on that.

Anyway, back on track.

Skinwalkers and Ashley went to contest the other zone and massive amount of warbeasts were closing in to the second.

Lord of the Feast and Wolves of Orboros were playing cat & mouse, though they cannot be seen in first picture.

However, I managed to shoot Hunter's Mark on one of the skinwalkers. Then Wilder advanced and cast Gnarlhorn's animus on Feral warpwolf and tried to offer her command range in case my wolf would charge out of Mohsar's control area.

Warpwolf butchered the two of them and Woldwyrd shot the last one if I remember right. At least it was shooting at them.

Bloodweavers advanced into melee with Alten Ashley. The other one missed and the other one did enough damage to bring it to 1 wound left. Bah.

Gnarlhorn is actually facing 180 degrees the other way after counter-slamming itself into a difficult position to balance on.

I used Mohsar's feat then, as most Kaya's beasts had fury on them and Kaya herself had none. This was because opposing druids dragged Woldguardian rather close and the beasts came and killed it.

I guess I learned a little why it's good to have many heavy warbeasts around. When you lose one you don't feel all that crippled.

Anyway, then I lost whole unit of Wolves of Orboros to a spray from Blackclad Wayfarer and a Blood Reaper attack from Lord of the Feast. I guess I didn't need to pay the upkeep of Mirage any longer, then...

However, on my turn I got to kill Alten Ashley and ran my Feral Warpwolf deep into enemy territory to block possible running. Opponent couldn't get anyone to contest the second scoring zone, so it came out as a victory for me.

Pre-tournament blabber

I thought it'd be easier as a reference to write something about the warmachine tournament in Ropecon in general.

First of all, there were 20 participants in the 50 point tournament on Saturday.

There were lots of Cryx and Circle players around, probably making about half of the players.

Then there were a couple of Legion and even Trollblood players (no Skorne, though). It's nice that Hordes is starting to show up in tournaments in Finland.

The tournament format was a randomised scenario, 50 point lists.

There were three lists to choose from (every list needed to have a different caster, epics counting as different) and every list needed to be used at least once in the tournament. There were 4 rounds.

I'm writing down my lists here for future references in the actual write-ups.

List 1: Stoning like a hurricane!
Krueger the Stormlord
Gnarlhorn Satyr

Druids of Orboros + Overseer
4x Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain + Shaman
Shifting Stones
Blackclad Wayfarer
Reeve Hunter
Lord of the Feast

List 2: Crush my salty tears
Mohsar the Desertwalker
Wold Guardian
Gnarlhorn Satyr
Feral Warpwolf

Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Tharn Bloodweavers
10x Wolves of Orboros + Attachment
Blackclad Wayfarer
Druid Wilder

List 3: The Redneck Tree & some cat litter
Cassius the Oathkeeper
Gnarlhorn Satyr

Druids of Orboros
4x Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain
10x Wolves of Orboros + Attachment
Shifting Stones
Sentry Stone & Mannikins
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Lanyssa Ryssyl
War Wolf

These "3 caster, need to use every list at least once" tournaments are quite popular format around here and I like it a lot too, because I like to use as much different lists as possible.

Also, I try to construct my lists so that there is not a single auto-include, which means there is not a single model that is present in all of the lists. However, I didn't succesfully manage it this time, as I have Gnarlhorn Satyr in every list.

A permissible cheat is to use a unit in a different combination, which means a minimum/maximum units with or without attachments are different combinations, so Shifting Stones don't count.

Heh. I think I'm a bit silly there.

But then, on with the write-ups!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pointy ears versus pointy teeth (proxy warning)

I played two 35 point casual games at Ropecon too, both against Retribution of Scyrah and Ossyan. These are the last casual games, next in the works are write-ups from the tournament games.


My list:
- Woldwyrd
- Woldwatcher
- Woldguardian

Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Blackclad Wayfarer
Lord of the Feast
Reeve Hunter

Opponent's list:
- Banshee
- Hypnos

Maximum unit of Houseguard Halberdiers + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force + Commander
Sylys (warcaster attachment)

So, Phoenix model is actually Banshee there, and Discordia acts as Hypnos.

Anyway, this game is somewhat hazy in my memory, but I tried to do a funny list with only wolds in it as warbeasts for Morvahna.

I don't remember who won the starting roll, but sure it was sweet for once to rely on Lord of the Feast + Shifting Stones staying on board, because all were stealthed.

Green template is Ossyan's temporal distortion effect. Banshee shot its slam bullet to Woldwatcher too, which was a clever way to move the distortion template.

In next picture Lord of the Feast did naughtiness. It was in charge range of some Strike Force members and butchered them to pieces. After that the crow took Lord into contact with Banshee, where was fresh supply of elven hearts to feed the ancient horror.

And, well. Uhm. I can't find my Woldguardian in that picture?! Did it die already? Could be that I rushed it to protect my other beasts and Hypnos is standing there proud after killing my heavy hitter.

Then I use Morvahna's feat and hope to get random shots at Ossyan off. Well, I didn't, but the infantry opponent had was pretty much gone. However, two warjacks and me with no serious hitters didn't still look all that good.

I guess a turn or two earlier Shield Guard and Sacrificial Pawn messed up opponents attempt at assassinations.

Well, looks like I lost my Woldwyrd too and chose to go in with straight offense. Combined efforts of Morvahna and Wolves of Orboros destroyed Banshee. A couple of regrowthed wolves actually got to threaten Ossyan too, but to no avail.

I haven't taken a final picture, it seems, but that situation there was desperate enough.

It was possible that Ossyan hadn't even used his feat, so Morvahna was kind of a... dead.

Game 2:

Well, on Sunday I played the another game against Retribution.

This time I was with Cassius and damn, that came out as amazing game deserving the "epic" tag.

So, the lists:

- Argus
- Woldwatcher
- Gnarlhorn Satyr

Maximun unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Shifting Stones
White Mane
Lanyssa Ryssyll


- Banshee
- Hypnos
- Discordia

Epic Eiryss
Sylys (warcaster attachment)
2x Arcanists
Ghost Sniper

In the picture you can see how Narn and Discordia destroyed two of my Ravagers that had been placed too far. Oh, and about the proxies here, Discordia is actually Discordia, Phoenix is the Banshee and Slayer is Hypnos, because the colouring reflected the name so well.

Ravagers had to deal with Narn, which was easy enough for them because of their impressive melee attack score during charges. Opponent had a bit too much infantry clearing power in the form of a range 10" spray and AoE's from Banshee, so I decided to try to be as offensive as I could (not verbally, though). I ran everything forward and used Cassius' feat.

Opponent didn't do much else than positioning.

Ossyan was camping 5 focus but he was at a delicious place, so I really tried to figure out how I could get the caster kill.

But as anything I could come up with seemed like a far stretch, I decided to beat up opponents warjacks instead, and, to be honest, that didn't go all too well.

Cassius casts Gnarlhorn's animus on both Argus and Gnarlhorn Satyr.

Lanyssa manages to hit Discordia with Hunter's Mark.

Argus charges first and misses its charge attack that I decided not to boost. I thought that hitting with 5 on 2 dice was reliable enough. It buys another attack, which needed a hit roll boost, because its MAT was back to 5 after Gnarlhorn's animus expired. If I remember right all it managed to do was 1 point in.

Then came in the Gnarlhorn and did impressive damage, yes, but didn't kill the thing.

Also random solos were flanking on the right side of the board. No wolf was facing Eiryss, so I had to creep the officer into melee range with her to propose her. And so they were engaged. Other wolves did random charges at the warjacks and killed the Ghost Sniper.

A picture from the end of opponents next turn where you can better see the situation with Eiryss, and the loss of Gnarlhorn, which was more than expected. Rather unexpected was, though, that the Argus survived.

Then Argus and a charge from ravagers wrecked Discordia. White Mane charged the arcanist behind Discordia and sprinted to engage Ossyan himself.

Eiryss survived two combined melee attacks made by Wolves of Orboros. The other one needed 7's to hit (rolled 6) and the other one needed 6's to hit (rolled 5).

I was confident enough that Cassius would survive where he stood because there was a shield guard nearby.

But, well. Lil' Argus was killed and the line of ravagers shattered too. Ossyan beat White Mane in melee by himself. Well, he cast a spell on it after failing melee attacks.

Anyway, my next turn was interesting, too.

First of all, I really wanted my Wolves of Orboros to charge. So I had to get rid of Eiryss.

I had grand plans of killing her in melee with Cassius, which I attempted too. But then I realised I had charged so far that Wurmwood was no longer in Cassius' control range. Pfft. At least Eiryss died.

Yet Wolves didn't manage to kill Banshee and I wanted to get a charge with my Ravager Chieftain at Ossyan. (It was only later I noticed I had teleported shifting stones from blocking Cassius's charge to block the Chieftain's charge...)

Then Woldwatcher took an aimed shot at the warjack and finished it.

Then it was opponents turn. Cassius was standing there in the middle of nowhere, Ossyan hadn't used his feat and he still had Hypnos with a nasty gun and his own nasty gun to shoot Cassius.

However, Hypnos activated.

It tried to disengage to get a good shot at Cassius.

Lanyssa Ryssyll makes a free strike. Opponent asks if any of the models have any special rule that will mess up his attempts. I say "Well, she has critical freeze" and shrug my shoulders. And then the dice came out as double 6's.

Pretty damn epic place to land a critical freeze on.

On my turn I walk Cassius as much forward as possible to get a spell at Ossyan. Boosted Stanglehold hit and did some damage.

Then the ravager chieftain, who was still carrying Narn's heart, charges Ossyan and kills him.

All kinds of unexpected things happening, which was cool.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Introduced to Battletech

I had been thinking of it for a long time already, but had never gotten to play Battletech.

That's probably just because I don't generally like giant robots that are the size of skyscrapers and stuff. Also, the other hobby side of Battletech doesn't really inspire me. The models are really small and somewhat undetailed. Also, the fact that the game is played on a hexagon map is, to me, visually detestable, though it offers rather exact measurements.

Anyway, I was offered a demo game in Ropecon and, well. Why not? Since small bits and bobs I have heard from Battletech here and there are rather interesting. I'm a sucker for detailed rules, for sure. Obviously the demo game didn't use the full potential of terrain rules that are available, but it's so cool not only to have terrain affect about everything, but also the ability for you to affect the terrain.

Also, the fact that there is a pilot inside your huge battlemech is an interesting thing. It's almost like having a model inside a model.

Game mechanics seemed... nice? I like the two six sided dice bell curve that Battletech utilises too. Also, movement (both your and your opponents) gives modifiers to your accuracy when you try to shoot your big guns around.

However, if both players moved even somewhat and weren't nearly standing next to each other, hitting seemed to become difficult indeed. And that's not too cool, as the game seemed to have no real way to sit still and "aim" your shots.

I'm sure the game seemed a little bit boring because, well, I won nearly every initiative roll so there were really few suprises. Except when opponent DID win the initiative, things went crazy. My battlemech got kicked in the back, the kicker being on top of a hill. There was a really good chance I would've been crashed down there and then, but my pilot was skilled enough to pass the required check to stay on both feet.

Also, heat wasn't actually a big problem in the game. Opponent started to get some heat because his cooling system wasn't as good as my mech's, but still.

I could advance a bit every round and shoot every single one of my weapons, gaining heat only very little.

So... a random, newbie thought I had from that fact was that it'd be nice if you could generate a random amount of heat (something like d3+1?) for some kind of an aiming bonus.

But yeah, it was only a demo game with only one battlemech for both players so it's bound to lose something from the real "feel" of the game.

But still... I wasn't totally sold on the system, though it definitely has it's strong points. Maybe I'm more open for a little bit more complex demo game or something in the future, who knows.

(Just in case I start to play and stat around in future: I played Hunchback mech and won the game. Hah.)

Start of Ropecon 2011 write-ups

So, last weekend I went to the Ropecon gaming convention.

I played lots of Warmachine games there and luckily I took pictures from every game. Luck being, I slept so bad and so little there my memory fails me and hopefully the pictures remind me a bit what happened and where. Still I'm suspecting these reports will be a lot less detailed than usually.

Anyway, I'm starting the gaming write-ups with a random game that took place on Friday night. I also played in the main tournament on Saturday, but those will have to wait for a bit now.

This game was a 50 point game against Cygnar. I was playing Circle all through the ropecon.

My list:

Cassius the Oathkeeper
- Argus
- Woldwatcher
- Gnarlhorn Satyr

Sentry Stone & Mannikins
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Tharn Bloodweavers
Maximum unit of Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain
Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Lanyssa Ryssyll
Lord of the Feast
White Mane

And opponents list:

Captain Haley
- Thunderhead
- Thorn

Alexia & The Risen + Captain Murdoch
Minimum unit of Trencher Commandos + 2 Scattergunners
Maximum unit of Longunners + Unit Attachment
Arlan Strangewayes
Journeyman Warcaster
Stormsmith Stormcaller

We played a random scenario that proved to be Capture the Flag. In case you're wondering about the Ogrun Bokurs there, they're the flags.

Anyway, I have little to tell about the start of the game. I don't remember who won the starting roll. Also, I was quite worried about Thunderhead in the center of the board, and this was the first game ever where I was facing Alexia Ciannor and her merry band of dead fellows.

I vaguely remember what happened in the second picture.

I had lost my White Mane to trencher commandoes at the right side of the board. However, I felt confident enough that my stuff could contest the flag there for a long time to come.

I wanted to push my forces to the flag I was supposed to capture, and Thunderhead, again, was scaring the crap out of me. So it was time to feat.

All in all, things looked good. Once Cassius' feat wore off the Ravagers were able to charge Thunderhead, who had Arcane Shield on from journeyman warcaster and Curse of Shadows on from Cassius.

One of the ravagers tried to harass the long gunners. Bloodweavers were supporting the big guy. However, his killing spree ended rather short when he managed to kill only the initial charge target.

Other ravagers didn't quite manage to finish off Thunderhead. If I don't remember totally wrong it had only one or two boxes remaining?
Woldwatcher finished it, by shooting its elemental strike to the warjack that had its movement system broken.

But then it was opponents turn.

And, to me, it very much looks like Haley used her feat.

I lost most of my hitting power in one fell swoop.

However, Haley charged into melee herself. She did camp some focus after it, don't remember how much, but I jumped at the chance to pull off some Unseen Path shenanigans.

First, I cleared everything I could from the center.

Then I activated Cassius, took five souls from Wurmwood, advanced him as far forward as possible and cast Unseen Path twice, and was left with 7 fury.

That meant I could do four melee attacks with boosted hit roll, boosting damage as required.

I needed 10 with three dice to score a hit.

I... I scored no hits. None at all. Zero.

Four times in a row, not a single time 10+ with three dice.

Then I had one Ravager to charge her, but with Set Defense it was quite impossible to hit her. So, yet another miss, this time an expected one.

After that Cassius was pretty much butchered.