Friday, October 28, 2011

Total change of "meta": recommended!

Played a game of Warmachine today.

It was against an exchange student in my town of residence, and despite it being against Protectorate of Menoth (which I've played against most) it was something I had never seen before.

First of all, he was playing Vindictus.


My 35 point list:

Dominar Rasheth
- Rhinodon
- Cyclops Shaman
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea

Full unit of Praetorian Swordmen + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Aptimus Marketh
Master Tormentor
Orin Midwinter
Totem Hunter

And opponent was playing:

Vice Scrutator Vindictus
- Reckoner
- Devout

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Holy Zealots + Monolith Bearer
Minimum unit of Exemplar Vengers
Rhoven & Honor Guard
Vassal of Menoth

Opponent won the starting roll, and first picture is taken from the end of my first turn. Now, a word needs to be said about a couple of proxies. Exemplar Errant with standard acts as if he's Vilmon, Rhoven is a hierophant & two exemplar errants and the paladin threw his armor and weapon away and looks like Allegiant.

Well, picture is small and hazy and not too much to tell about the first round, except that Totem Hunter chose Vengers as its prey.

Second picture is taken even farther away and is even smaller, but it's there mostly to illustrate the situation, as trying to take impressive pictures from unpainted miniatures with my less-than-awesome photoshooting skills is a quest in vain.

Anyway, this is the round I understood how awesome spell True Path is. Vengers rushed in and trampled a couple of praetorians under their hooves, and zealots walked 8" and threw their bombs away, knocking out body & spirit from basilisk drake. They used their minifeat of near-invulnerability. Tons of bombs landed on random targets too, but didn't roll enough to kill anyone.

Vengers had Defender's Ward on them, so I really, really wanted to remove them from board or at least neutralize well enough.

Though I must admit that I may have used excessive force when I enraged the Rhinodon and charged one of the vengers, destroying it outright.

Then Basilisk Krea shoots a paralyzing gaze at the venger in the back. Hits.

Aptimus Marketh tries to fry one venger with Sunder Spirit and deals a couple points of damage.

Then cames all kinds of hilarious dice rolling. Praetorians had Carnivore on them so were hitting on 6's. However, both were sitting on armor 21.

You would think that getting a hit on 6 and rolling at least 12 even once, or less with more hits, but it just didn't happen. First Venger was left alone. Then four combo-strikes were done on the paralyzed knight. Now he... he was left with one or two hit points.

Luckily Totem Hunter came and finished the non-paralysed one, but still... it relly didn't work as planned.

Next I became overfixated on killing the lone venger. I shot a boosted Drake spray at it - nothing. I shot a boosted sunder spirit on it with Rasheth (through a "meat node" - nothing. Even Cyclops Shaman tried to stare it down, but nothing. Not a single time I rolled over 10 with three dice.

At least Orin Midwinter fried a couple of zealots.

Now, to be honest, next opponent showed what exemplars are capable of.

As was to be expected, Reckoner charged Rhinodon and nearly skewered it. It had something like six or seven points remaining after the beating. It would have probably killed it, but it had to take care of of the Cyclops Shaman too. Which was quite killed after getting mauled by... uh. After getting mauled by Holy Zealots. Stop laughing!

High Paladin Dartan Vilmon charges in with his holy blade of magic and might. Well he misses with double 1's.

Cassian, feeling it his duty to protect Vilmon and maybe gain a little bit more honor by slaying the huge beast confronting the epic paladin charges in. Misses with double 1's.

Ancillary Attack finishes off the beast, however. Trust only Reckoner.

Now, losing a couple of my beasts did hurt. Also, during whole fight Vindictus had made good use out of Devout's spell barrier, which meant no unsporting Blood Mark shenanigans.

On my turn praetorians used their minifeat and mopped up a whole swath of enemy troopers after Totem Hunter killed the lone remaining exemplar venger.

Basilisk Drake and Aptimus Marketh both tried to do their best in getting at least some important system broken from the Reckoner, but failing miserably.

However, it would have meant 4 points more damage in if I had activated Rasheth first and cast Blood Mark on it before those attacks.

But at least I had one transfer point.

Next I lost every swordman except the standard bearer.

I lost my basilisk drake too.

It really started to look rather grim.

I figured out only one way I could "win", and I'm quite glad I didn't win because of that, because it wouldn't have felt like a victory at all when you look at that picture...

So, I ran the lone standard bearer as far as possible close to Vindictus. This was first round when spell barrier from Devout wasn't on.

After vengers bit the dust Vindictus had cast Defender's Ward on himself and he was sitting behind cover, so he had defense value 21 against spells. My fury of 8 required me to roll at least 13 with three dice to get a spell off... Blood Mark being that spell.

Well, it didn't get off.

Then Rasheth cast Blood Mark again on Reckoner with one fury left for transfers.

Funnily enough, almost all the proxy models are present in this "Finish Him!" picture. After cutting and getting random damage in Rasheth had 17 damage boxes. First palading that charged dealt exactly 17 points damage in, so off to Reckoner they went, breaking off one of its arms and movement.

Then Vilmon charges in and rolls a bit more nicely, which means "not killing" Rasheth. He had three damage boxes left when Cassian finished him.

If I nominated a central miniature for this game, it has to be the Reckoner. It just shrugged off everything I threw at it and in turn killed three warbeasts. Or did it kill all of them? I don't remember the fate of basilisk krea any more.

Anyway, it was a good game with a fresh take (for me) on Protectorate of Menoth!

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Who's the Dragon Lord now, punk?"

I finally finished painting all of new characters for Talisman.

As I have made it into some sort of a tradition to post the painted characters here, here they are:

As I said earlier their level of detail is amazing when comparing to most other Talisman figures. Also, their size too.

Especially the Dragon Rider is somewhat... big. Not that the Minotaur needs to be in any kind of a shame there. Fire Wizard with his dragon tail cloak and a huge pyroblast makes him a lot larger than standard human sized figure in Talisman range.

Even the normal sized characters compare in size to other large human characters in earlier expansions.

To illustrate their hugeness I assembled a picture where is every released Talisman figure this far. Keep in mind that these models are in the back row!


Still waiting for a game of Dragon expansion.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lamenting Mouths of Hell

Played a game of Warmachine today.

I played Circle and opponent had Protectorate, and our list were:

Cassius the Oathkeeper
- Woldwatcher
- Woldguardian
- Gnarlhorn Satyr

Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Druids of Orboros
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Lanyssa Ryssyll
War Wolf

And the redneck tree was facing:

High Exemplar Kreoss
- Revenger
- Repenter
- Dervish
- Crusader

Minimum unit of Exemplar Errants
Minimum unit of Deliverers
Vassal of Menoth
2x Paladins

We played straightforward caster kill in a post-apocalyptic, crowded shanty town of Nuka.

Opponent won the starting roll. No forests was bad, but on the other hand the map had plenty of cover against shooting.

First picture is taken from the end of my first turn. Opponent had cast Lamentation on his turn. I had little choice except either to make a huge blob out of my troops or split my forces into dozen tiny pieces.

I chose to suffer the hail of deliverer rockets, which did little during second round.

However, errants gunned down the officer of Wolves of Orboros with a lucky shot.

On my second turn Wurmwood had collected four souls from my casualties and I was wondering what I should do with my short ranged spells and Kreoss being so close.

Druids of Orboros activated (who kept Counter Magic on them during whole game) and one of them scored a critical hit on Dervish, knocking it down and pulling it to just a wonderful spot to place a Hellmouth on. I think that sealed the deal of Cassius casting a Hellmouth on the small gathering. That's 8 freaking Fury right there. Tree Daddy pays, however.

Damage rolls weren't exactly impressive, as Kreoss had camped around five focus. Errants obviously didn't camp any focus, but still Hellmouth didn't kill but one of them. Dervish at least took some damage. Earlier it had taken some from an elemental strike launched by Woldwatcher (and damn, I'm starting to like that little beastie!)

Also, Cassius had to use his feat or be dead.

Protectorate troops decided to fall back a little, which in a way bought me a turn. Only in way, because Kreoss still hadn't used his feat.

Well, first Woldwatcher advanced into the ruin in the center of the board and shoots Dervish and rolls an absurdly high damage. Dervish is wrecked.

No models had died in while, so Wurmwood didn't offer any souls for Cassius. But Cassius really wanted to shoot yet another Hellmouth.

Wolves of Orboros charged around and killed one exemplar errant. One wolf ran so I would catch all three errants under Hellmouth, and Cassius could throw the spell from outside of Kreoss' control area.

A good plan, but it didn't work out all that well.

First, only two errants actually fell under the template even after moving them closer. Then Woldwatcher happened to be within 3" of the target wolf.

Effects of 2nd Hellmouth: 2 points of damage to Woldwatcher and dragging it to Crusader's charge range, one dead Wolf of Orboros and one dead Exemplar Errant (mouths teeth didn't bite through the other errant's armor... Their feet are well protected!)

Well, on opponents turn Crusader did beat the... umm... mold out of Woldwatcher? despite bad dice rolls. Oh, and Kreoss used his feat too just before that.

Wolves of Orboros, as to be expected, were almost wiped away. Only one Wolf was standing in middle of opposing army, weeping in fear after failing a command check.

Flanking semi-unit of Paladins launched a cruise missile known as "Vilmon" at my front lines to make it difficult for Gnarlhorn to get a charge lane right.

Couple of druids were butchered too.

Things were looking really bad for me. All of my army was knocked down, except my two remaining beasts. Gnarlhorn had one fury from shake off, so it wasn't fully effective either.

Something unexpected happened then, however.

As Crusader was quite in the middle of everything and Vilmon was blocking Gnarlhorn's charge lane I tried to do following:

Cast Hellmouth (cost: 8 fury + hit roll boost...) on Crusader, dragging Vilmon, one lonely exemplar errant to the AoE and hope for lucky rolls to cripple Crusader enough with the satyr.

However, what did happen was all of the above, except Kreoss himself was just within 3" of Crusader too.

Satyr did what it did best and performed a grand slam on Crusader, knocking Kreoss down in the process and following up into base contact with the enemy warcaster.

Kreoss had taken about 5 points of damage by then (one from a boosted Hellmouth this turn and rest from collateral damage of the satyr's slam).

I had boosted attack roll, because if it wouldn't succeed, ah, well, there would be a goat meat barbeque next turn. That meant I could buy two more pow 15 attacks against Kreoss.

Those two attacks were enough to finish the high exemplar.


Without that quarter of an inch in my favor game would have probably looked a lot different. Also, it's interesting how often Gnarlhorn gets the caster kill. I wonder if I should start doing statistics on which model does caster kills most often...

Anyway, it was refreshing to play on such a board that consisted mainly of obstructions.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Even later night gathering

The family I was visiting, being somewhat enthusiastic Magic: The Gathering -players convinced me to have a go with a 3-player multiplayer game.

A couple of years back I had been playing Magic: The Gathering too, so it wasn't really a problem, when only a brief update on changed rules was needed.

Anyway, I see no real point in giving a short detailed write-up of the game, as I played with a deck I don't own and can't remember the names of the cards that were involved...

Except that I didn't win, heh.

But I can tell a little bit of a story about... statistics.

In a former relationship we both got hooked up on Magic: The Gathering. And as both of us liked such statistics, we had a whole little world of Magic: The Gathering meta going on... we wanted to construct a two-colour deck of each combination, plus a one-colour deck (but that came in only later...)

Then we had a sheet where there was marked game statistics of every deck versus every deck.

We even made these "tournaments", where every deck played once against every deck, and the one that scored most would win such tournament. And, of course we marked up the winners of every tournament (red/green was an unequaled master).

Oh, those were the days.

But surely I don't miss how much money went into that stuff.

Late night massacres (Smallworld)

Heading back home from my trip I stopped at Orivesi to meet some old mates.

I had brought Smallworld with me. Originally we had it planned for Salo, but other stuff came up there so we didn't have time to play there.

But we got a game in at Orivesi with three players.

Since it was a new game for the people there, Tales & Legends wasn't used.

Game started with Swamp Ratmen, Diplomatic Ghouls and Spirit Goblins in that turn order.

Diplomatic Ghouls picked up Ratmen as their allies and goblins just... spread around.

All races went into decline rather soon.

Mercenary Tritons emerged to continue the legacy of Spirit Goblins. Stout Orcs played just one turn after Swamp Ratmen, because once-so-populous Ratmen were reduced to just one decline token.

Diplomatic Ghouls that became just ghouls caused some problems on the other side of the board and Wealthy Priestesses began constructing their ivory tower.

Stout Orcs were replaced by Heroic Wizards, which guaranteed them two extra points every turn.

Mercenary Tritons conquered huge swathes of land in just two turns and got replaced by Hill Homunculi (with 2 extra racial tokens), and this is where Spirit Goblins started to shine. Sure there weren't many of them left, but having two races in decline scores... points.

Wealthy Priestesses managed to construct a nice 5 point tower and Barricade Sorcerers came to support that tower.

It was actually a nasty combo of having one big near unconquerable tower and sorcerers. Sorcerers managed to steal four areas in total during the whole game, so there was no exact rush to go into decline, despite of some losses.

But when Hill Homunculi decided to go in decline and emerge as Peace-Loving Kobolds, the ivory tower was crumbled. How can they be so peace loving if they come and destroy such historical monuments?

Game started to near end, and Heroic Wizards changed to Cursed Barbarians. There were six victory coins on barbarians, so it didn't really look that horrible.

Because sorcerers lost their tower, they went into decline too and played the last round as Corrupt White Ladies.

So, in the end, the scoreboard was:

Diplomatic Ghouls/Wealthy Priestesses/Barricade Sorcerers/Corrupt White Ladies: 118
Spirit Goblins/Mercenary Tritons/Hill Homunculi/Peace-Loving Kobolds: 104
Swamp Ratmen/Stout Orcs/Heroic Wizards/Cursed Barbarians: 7? (question mark because last digit was forgotten...)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog us.

A couple of days ago I was visiting some dear friends of mine in Salo, Finland. (Like I ever visited other countries...)

Trip was nice, though a little bit too short.

However, there I was challenged to play a journey version of Blokus.

I have never played Blokus before, though, so I don't know how much the "go" version had been shortened up. That much I heard that in the original game you can have four colours simultaneously on board, either by having four players with one colour or two players with two colours.

Anyway, Blokus is a sort of a tetris game. You need to place your pieces on board under certain rules. Opponent tries to do the same. If you're crafty enough you can block your opponents placements.

I played one game, which I won, and then I played two games against the champion of the house and promptly lost them both.

Easy rules, challenging play.

I guess it's real good game "on the go".

Friday, October 7, 2011

Second Mk2 demo given in

Today I gave in a second demo game for another possible new player.

I used the same demo groups I used earlier, and the opposing player picked up Deneghra's group.

It's curious, now, to start seeing which elements of the game are hard to grasp for players who have never played the game.

Also, I really need to get a small mercenary group to make real demo games, as I feel it might give a bit different feel of the game when both sides have powerful spells and quick arc nodes.

Anyway, this time around there was a severe beating around. Everything else but one bonejack and the necrotech were destroyed during the game. In the end the situation was familiar; Asphyxious was able to engage in melee with Deneghra, despite getting a free strike from a deathripper that had lost its head.

Asphyxious had been brought down to 7 hit points remaining. He cast Scything Touch on himself and dealt exactly 16 points in to Deneghra.

I think, however, that the opponent got the run for his money as Deneghra's feats effects were somewhat hilarious - next to everything I did missed or dealt no damage because of the -2, even in such a corner-case scenario when my Nightwretch would have hit opposing Deathripper with normal rolls, but missed because of the feat. I guess it was a good demonstation how feats can, and will, change games?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Facing my own medicine

I also got in a game of Warmachine today. These two occasions kinda took the whole day, though, but I guess I don't complain.

I played against a long time on/off player, who at the moment didn't have an army of his own, so I loaned my Cryx for him. It was a bit ironic situation, as I had bought the playing board from the same person and as his warcaster he chose Scaverous, a model which I had bought also from him earlier. So the original owner got the first game out of my Scaverous on a board that was originally crafted by him. Boo hoo.

(I haven't played Scaverous yet because he isn't painted yet.)

Anyway, it was a 35 point game with a straight caster kill. Lists were:

Epic Krueger
- Megalith
- Gnarlhorn Satyr

Druids of Orboros + Overseer
Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Totem Hunter
Reeve Hunter
War Wolf

Lich Lord Scaverous
- Harrower
- 2x Deathrippers

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Bane Lord Tartarus
Warwitch Siren

Opponent won the starting roll and the first picture is taken from the end of my first turn. I tried some laughable shenanigans there by making druids of orboros immune to elemental damage and casting two lightning storms on them, but to be honest, it was pretty ridiculous as the deviations strayed badly. Maybe it'd be good enough to try in some other situation.

Well, there's not much else to tell about the first round, except that druids with their antimagic really saved my bacon versus Scaverous.

Lucky shot from Harrower killed one of my druids, but that was really the only loss I suffered there. Otherwise it just could've been 2x Excarnate + 2x purges even at this point of game...

On my turn I got to do a nice pull tricks again. However, first I charged with Totem Hunter some bane thralls and sprinted behind the ruined pillar thing at the back of picture. Totem Hunter is just beyond picture. His prey was Bane Lord Tartarus, by the way.

Then Reeve Hunter charges a bane thrall, kills it and shoots two bile thralls dead. Then he gets greedy and tries to come poke bane thralls with his p+s 9 battle blade, failing miserably.

Druids advance and shoot off at Harrower some force bolts. Every bolt that hits drags harrower only 1" and the last one bring it into combat with Reeve Hunter too, so all in all that didn't go too well.

But then Krueger activates, moves up and casts Gallows on Harrower, boosting hit of course. Gallows hits despite of harrower's melee bonuses and is pulled whopping 6" directly towards. Learning to play safe I didn't boost the damage and cast Telekinesis instead, getting Krueger a bit farther from arc nodes and other stuff, retaining one fury for damage transfers.

Megalith starts beating up the harrower and doesn't do it just by itself and the satyr needs to come up and help. Harrower had the Death Ward spell on it, but throwing enough pillows at it finally wrecked the thing.

Now, then it's opponents turn and again counter magic from druids saves quite a lot.

Because for now, Scaverous casts Telekinesis on only one bile thrall, Tartarus and ghost walk on Bane Thralls.

Now, you may wonder why the heck Tartarus is where he is, but he went off to kill Totem Hunter. Which he did, really really well.

The one bile thrall who was moved up a bit tallied the following with a purge:
- Reeve Hunter
- 5x druids of Orboros + overseer
- 4 damage on Gnarlhorn
- 4 damage on Megalith

So... screw you bile thralls.

Now, I don't even want to imagine what would've been done without the counter magic.

If I'm doing my math right, it seems very possible that correctly lining up two bile thralls could've erased those things this one purge did, and on top of that most of my Wolves of Orboros. That imaginary potential will surely give me nightmares once I go sleep.

Anyway, on my turn the Megalith advances as far as it can and casts Gallows on Scaverous, who was without any camped focus. Scaverous is dragged for only 1", but boosted damage roll was a bit excessive, dealing 10 points in.

Then gnarlhorn beats up the lone bane thrall who was out-of-formation and Krueger advances towards Scaverous. Krueger had to cast telekinesis on himself as Scaverous was beyond 10" but below 12" away from Krueger.

First lightning hits, deals 4 points in.

Second lightning deals some 8 points in and it's game over.

This game really made me wonder again why I've been a bit hesitant to use Druids of Orboros...

Desecrated pool (Talisman)

I played a game of Talisman today.

It was a two-player game with the other player not being familiar with Talisman before. That's why we played a "standard" game, if you can speak about standard talisman anymore with all these expansions around...

Anyway, both extra boards were used, and alternative ending was chosen to be the Sacred Pool in the hope it would speed up the game a little.

The Dragon expansion was left largely unused, and the Reaper was left home too, which would probably have been done anyway, since I've found it's rather boring and time consuming addition to two player Talisman games and never really affects anything... I guess it'd be best with about four players, though surely it sees a lot more use in three player games too.

But let's get started with this.

Characters drawn were the Magus and Cleric. Somewhat classic Good/Evil match up. I for one was overexcited, as neither character has ever been played since the starting of this blog.

Game started rather steadily with both characters gaining power slowly. Cleric completed first warlock quest and gained Prolific Pockets reward. Soon after Magus completed his first and second quest too and got a warhorse as a reward the Vengeance Hex (or something like that) turning poor Cleric into a toad.

Now, Cleric had only treasure box around and four loyal followers. Magus hadn't had all that many followers by then, and Magus' power depends on them somewhat.

This lead into a curious situation. As the Cleric-frog dropped everything she held to ground and couldn't pick anything up, yet she pulled a coin every turn from her prolific pockets, for a little while there was a frog jumping around that dropped a gold coin wherever it went.

As an insult & injury to insult & injury the Magus went and stole Clerics treasure box and half of the followers. Only half of the followers, because Magus didn't have any gold, and two of the followers (Mendicant / Mercenary) wanted a payment.

Magus started trampling around the playing board with his new and shiny warhorse, and pretty soon was contesting for the crown of command.

Cleric didn't do actually that bad and recovered quite soon from being a toad. However she constantly struggled with carry limit - and getting a lodestone in the Highlands didn't actually help with that. However, she had a pretty handy combination of cards with always having at least 1 coin and having mercenary by her side.

Yet Cleric had interesting problem - she had completed around 6 warlock quests, but didn't have even a single one of them used up. Sacred Pool alternative ending required four or more discarded quest reward cards.

By this time the Magus had raised his Craft value to around 10 and had discarded four quest rewards. It all started to look very grim for Cleric, but Highlands had a Gong of War there, which could be used to summon any player from any region to fight.

Against all odds Cleric managed to cast Displacement spell and put Gong of War within her reach in the Highlands and just as Magus entered Valley of Fire, she succeeded in rolling the required dice number to encounter Gong of War, summoning Magus into Highlands.

And Cleric paid back all the toadifying. Despite she being -3 in combat against Magus, she still beat the bad guy and stole his Orb of Knowledge, and because he lost a fight he lost the Warhorse and Fiend Slayer followers.

Well, truly that was rather unexpected, and a bit climatic, but it really didn't help on finishing the game soon enough. It's curious how often Talisman does this - just as game is about to finish, something totally unexpected happens and the game just goes on... Bad thing when people are in somewhat of a hurry.

Anyway, this bought precious turns for Cleric to try to burn up all her quest rewards. Talisman she already had. Magus started trekking through Highlands to get a teleport to any outer or middle region space.

Cleric still didn't have good enough strenght or craft to really attempt going through portal of power and mines or crypts. She thought it best to try go racing through Dungeon side board to build up a little strenght and then do some movement shenanigans to get instantly to Valley of Fire.

That, however, took a few turns to accomplish and Magus beat up the Eagle King like he was nothing. There were two treasures left in Eagle King's treasury and Magus drew Arnkell, the one that's usually worst of all the treasures, especially for a character who's power builds up with each follower with him.

However, Magus didn't really need the followers if he could just reach the Crown of Command first, since Sacred Pool alternative end gives the victory to first player on crown.

So Eagle King dropped Magus to Portal of Power, from which Magus entered into inner region with ease. Cleric was racing through Dungeon with riding horses and she had a quest reward that could teleport her into any space in any region except the inner circle.

Magus used Arnkell, left all his followers to Plain of Peril and entered Valley of Fire.

Cleric got to treasure chamber and beat up Lord of Darkness, getting Cloak of Feathers. She was teleported into chasm and lost her mule, riding horses and the mendicant there. She lost a life even herself, which was actually good, since she could then lose a life from one of her quest rewards, which was then discarded. Then she discarded her fourth quest reward to teleport her into Portal of Power.

However, next turn Magus could just walk a space forward and claim the crown.

Just two turns more for Cleric would've given different outcome for the whole game. So in the end, it became a very close race, though alternative ending was pretty harsh when it came in determining the winner.

But people of the world were made into mindless thralls, serving every whim of the dark Magus instead of a world of peace and justice.