Sunday, August 26, 2012

Being a semi-TO

Well, things are nearing their completion.

On next weekend Jyväskylä's gaming shop Fantasiapelit will hold a Warmachine/Hordes tournament. The staff doesn't actually play Warmachine themselves, so they needed a tournament organizer who was experienced enough for the job.

Well, I really don't know if description fits me, but we'll see that next Saturday.

Here in local area I guess I've been the most active player and trekked through various tournaments that have been held in this country, if situation has allowed it for me.

However, I don't feel quite comfortable in any sort of boots of authority. This will be a completely new experience for me in this area of hobby. Luckily I won't be responsible for absolutely everything, since the gaming shop actually organises the event and has tables, terrain and whatnot there. So my role will mostly just be to act as the TO when there is a need for one, for example in rulings, and the tournament rules have been created by me.

Because in this area there are quite a few starting and/or seldom playing participants I tried to modify Steamroller rules a bit to take these things into account.

For example, first scenario will be just plain caster kill with Killbox artifice, with first tiebreaker being the warlock/warcaster who has taken least damage when round ends is the winner.

Two other rounds are Gauntlet and Incursion.

Well, I guess even if I fail completely when it comes to resolving disputes during games, organising something like this made me do some productive things.

For example, I found a few plastic sheets from my apartment and cut 'em up as 6"x8" Gauntlet scenario templates. Also my long-time frozen flag/whatever 40mm objective markers took a step forward in being progressed. I doubt I will finish their painting unless I'll be bitten by a crazy inspiration mosquito, but at least they will be something else than proxied medium base models. Though one flag in Incursion will be a Sentry Stone from Circle, but I think that's a pretty good flag marker, actually. At least no-one will mix it up with anything playable.

At the moment it looks like event will be either 8 players or 10 players, depending on a couple of uncertain players.


I'm looking at next Saturday with both excitement and pure dread.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dead on 7+

Finally I get to write down a game that has been dragging on for a few days.

I forgot my camera when I left for Salo, and of course I hadn't taken the pictures out for my laptop.

Anyway, it was a 25 point game of Warmachine.

I knew I was almost certainly facing Kreoss, so that affected my choice of army. It was Skorne, with epic Hexeris leading the way. Reason for this? Well... I try to have all of my warcasters and warlocks to play against Kreoss. If you ask for reasoning behind that, there is no good answer other than I like to collect sets... hah...

My list was:

Epic Hexeris
- Rhinodon
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea (bonded)

Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen
Minimum unit of Paingiver Beasthandlers
Minimum unit of Farrow Bonegrinders
Aptimus Marketh

And opponent was playing:

High Exemplar Kreoss
- Crusader
- Repenter
- Revenger

Minimum unit of Exemplar Errants
Maximum unit of Paladins (= 2x Paladins + Vilmon)
Vassal of Menoth

So... what the heck is that? Protectorate list without soft targets? Or tons of AoE's for notorious "Pop & Drop" -tactics? Surely it was doomed to fail!

We were playing Gauntlet scenario from Steamroller 2012. First picture shows first turns of any action - in the first I have sacrificed one of Praetorian Swordsmen for Ashes to Ashes. Boosted damage rolls did only a couple of damage to paladin's, but killed three errants without any boosts. Go figure.

Ashen Veil was cast upon Swordsmen, but Hexeris didn't upkeep it on that turn, and after Ashes to Ashes shenanigans Aptimus Marketh cast it back on them.

Then opponent makes a fatal mistake on not casting Defender's Ward! That's blasphemy, right...? Yeah, right. Kreoss upkept Lamentation and cast two Cleansing Fires on veiled Swordsmen, and Repenter launched it's spray upon Skorne warriors. Result was 5 dead praetorians, so not much hitting power left in that unit any more.

Well, it's my turn then.

I thought that this was my turn to use Hexeris' feat, because next turn my forces would probably be knocked down and Hexeris under Lamentation, too.

And what a turn of total mayhem it was! Skorne triumphantly crushed Protectorate forces under their feet!

Farrow Bonegrinders shoot use Magic Bolt on one of the damaged paladins and kill him. Also, a spray from basilisk Drake takes down Vassal of Menoth who was hiding behind Crusader. Ashes to Ashes kills all but one Exemplar Errant, and at least one Hellfire was cast upon Repenter. Last two Fury was spent on casting Black Spot on lone remaining errant just for giggles.

Aptimus Marketh cast Hellfire on Repenter too, and then remaining Praetorians charge. Two charge Repenter and two charge Revenger. Both who charged Revenger missed, but both who charged Repenter hit. And thanks to a couple of damage rolls of 14+ on 3 dice the warjack was turned into a 40 millimetres of rough carton.

Look at that situation, now. What could Kreoss possibly do any more? Using his feat would probably only buy one more turn for Protectorate or something. Pitiful believers. Down with their god!

Then it's opponents turn.

Whoops! All Skorne models in that picture except for Krea and Hexeris was knocked down when my turn started. Accurately so, in fact. Bone Grinders weren't knocked down.

How did that happen?! I mean casualties, obviously Kreoss used his feat. He also killed one of the Praetorians "engaging" Revenger.

Revenger then charges Basilisk Drake and makes a few froglegs out of it. Crusader mauls Rhinodon and... err... what bad pun I can insert here? Cooks up some turtle soup?

So easy was the downfall of Skorne. With only two models that could do anything useful, I had to bring Hexeris himself to the thick of melee.

Two praetorians still alive forfeited their action and tried to engage Kreoss. Basilisk Krea and Hexeris wreck Revenger together with some really crappy rolls.

It was probably not enough to save Hexeris' arse, but we would see.

Opponent charged one Praetorian engaging Kreoss and managed to kill it. Crusader smacked Krea down for some roasted frog.

Then it was down to this:

Caster versus Caster. The stuff of legends.

Two hits and the master mortitheurge was down.

I hope this will serve everyone as a reminder that a completely different list that isn't optimized as per the "forum wisdom" can actually win games. I've played a few times against this particular gamer with him having only minor changes to the list that used in this game too, and I've always had the same problem. Warjacks don't go down fast enough. With a good alpha strike I can drop one to two warjacks, but then will always come Kreoss' feat and whatever I did the alpha strike with will most certainly go down too, because there are still warjack on opponents side of the board.

Title, by the way, comes from the fact that whenever I got to make Ashes to Ashes against enemy, no matter what model it was in the whole army list, I needed at least 7+ to kill.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's a plane? It's a bird? No, it's an ORC! (Smallworld)

Okay, I did a weird and rather spontaneous visit to friends at Salo.

Despite my leaving being a bit hectic and very unarranged, I still picked up Smallworld with me.

And yesterday we played two 3-player games of Smallworld.

By the way, I see that a lot of random "googlers" come to this site with queries if Smallworld is good enough for just two players.

I've played only a couple of such games, and I played those with Tales and Legends event card deck. I think that the games were nicely chaotic and had weird occurences, but really, even with the card deck Smallworld is really at it's best with larger number of players.

But anyway, now to actual write-ups.

First game had following starting races (in turn order):

Wealthy Skeletons, Bivouacking Wizards, and Stout Amazons.

Stout Amazons were actually a damn good combo. They were last player in turn order, so they could choose where they landed their first conquests with little fear of reprisal. Because of that they played a second turn too, and went In Decline with amazing number of regions. Race they chose next was none other than Heroic Elves.

Elves in general are a horrific race if you got a good race In Decline. Amazon/Elf player couldn't have made it better, I must say (and it wasn't me, I'm not flattering myself here, heh).

Skeletons gave way for Corrupt Halflings, and Wizards soon forgot their spells and played only card tricks. They were switched to a mind-baffling combo. Flying Orcs! That's one fantasy cliché we haven't seen too much of yet.

And it wasn't a bad combo either. That meant that if there was only one region anywhere with only one defender, orcs would score another point from conquering it.

The emergence of flying orcs made other races less interested in leaving only a few tokens to defend their regions, so, for example, Corrupt Halflings didn't want to overextend their military might when slaying amazons in decline.

It took plenty of turns for Halflings and Orcs to whittle down the ancient and mighty empire of amazons, but eventually it happened and Elves were finally put into decline. About then, at the same time, Halflings went into decline too, because Orcs. Just because, orcs.

And then Orcs went in decline too.

Last races were (continuing Elves): Hordes of Giants. Halflings got Pillaging Trolls as their new active race, and Flying Orcs cut off their wings and Historian Dwarves started to speculate if they did ever actually fly fly.

Hordes of Giants and Declined Elves took a lot of casualties every last turn, but this didn't actually matter them much. Their player was scoring 10 or more points nearly every turn.

It was a nice and close game. I'm not sure if I've played a game where there was so few points in between 1st and 2nd place... Though if I felt industrious, I guess I could search whole this blog for Smallworld games. Heh.

Final scoreboard for game 1:
Stout Amazons/Heroic Elves/Hordes of Giants: 85
Wealthy Skeletons/Corrupt Halflings/Pillaging Trolls: 82
Bivouacking Wizards/Flying Orcs/Historian Dwarves: 71

Game 2:

Well, one game just wasn't enough. We played a second one straight away.

Races drawn (in turn order) were Imperial Tritons, Spirit Pygmies and Hill Pixies.

Because Imperial Tritons started the game, they had it easy to get perfect spots because of their racial benefit. They started to score Imperial extra points on the first round of the game.

Pixies were a weird race to play. They easily claimed a lot of Hills for them, but because of Tritons's racial ability they took always a serious beating on next round. This soon made tritons to go In Decline... and their legacy continued in a really horrible combo. Marauding Skeletons. With two rounds of attacks, they could somewhat easily get TWO skeleton tokens more per round, and certainly at least one.

Pygmies and Pixies both played perhaps one round too long. They finally went In Decline, but this only meant an extra turn for Skeletons to farm more bodies... Pixies took Dragonmaster Homunculi next, and Pygmies took Fortified Barbarians.

Together they were able to destroy enough Skeletons (and of course each other) that during last rounds of the game all races went in decline. Skeletons continued with last game's favorite combo, Stout Amazons. Homunculi could have continued maybe, but still decided to switch to Ransacking Trolls to get a fresh race for last turns.

Fortified Barbarians, whose fortresses had been brought down by Dragons and swarms of Homunculi, switched to Commando Giants. How the hell does that combo even make sense? How will giants infiltrate places unseen? Unless the meaning here is that they assault places while going commando or something...

However, it looked like we had a clear winner. Imperial Tritons/Marauding Skeletons and finally Stout Amazons were a tough combo of race combos (That sentence sure makes sense to the uninitiated...)

Final scoreboard for game 2:

Imperial Tritons/Marauding Skeletons(!!!)/Stout Amazons: 89
Hill Pixies/Dragonmaster Homunculi/Ransacking Trolls: 74
Spirit Pygmies/Fortified Barbarians/Commando Giants: 71

Friday, August 10, 2012

Match Up From Hell

Yesterday (I think it was yesterday? Yeah, must've been) I played a game of Warmachine, or actually Hordes.

I don't know why I ever chose Cassius.

I knew which faction I was facing (Legion) and I knew which warlock would be against me. I still chose Cassius.

It's probably the fact that I want to actually try everything out, and to see and prove "theorymachine" happening in action. I also believe that despite of match up, you will always have something to do to possibly win a game. It might not be inside the box, probably it's not in the near vicinity of the box or even on same continent, but still it is there.

Scenario was "Supply and Demand" from Steamroller 2012.

My list was:

Cassius the Oathkeeper
- Megalith
- Feral Warpwolf
- Woldwatcher

Tharn Bloodweavers
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobbers
Lord of the Feast
Lanyssa Ryssyll
2x Gallows Grove

And opponent had the following nightmare:

Epic Lylyth
- 2x Ravagores
Striders + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Raptors
Anyssa Ryvaal

Opponent won starting roll, and first picture is from the end of my first turn. When I was taking pictures I think I should have looked at the pre-look picture, because in two first pictures I've pictured only half of my army.

Anyway, I decided to leave Wurmwood out of the fight. Completely. I parked it behind a large hill and it never moved during game.

Cassius is a little South East from Bloodweavers in the picture. You just might see a red menace on the horizon. That menace erupted into Decimation on opponents next turn, and, well.

It's really a shame that my army doesn't show in the pictures. Instead I have to do a text-based tally on what opponent did.

Lylyth's first shot took down Lord of the Feast. It was shield guarded by Woldwatcher, though. Lylyth's second shot took down Lord of the Feast. Shot triggered by Snap Fire destroyed one of the Shifting Stones I think.

First Ravagore activates and shoots Cassius. Twelve points of damage, which were transfered to Megalith. But Cassius was on Fire now, thanks to Ravagore's animus. Second one hits too, and deals "only" 8 points to Cassius. These blasts also killed off one Bloodweaver.

Second Ravagore activates and shoots Cassius too, but this one is a little bit too far away and the shot automatically misses. However, the shot deviates something like 3 inches straight forward - and Cassius still falls under the template. Boosted blast damage deals a few points in. Additional shot from feat goes in to the middle of Bloodweavers, killing two.

Striders activate and shoot down Gallows Grove and do some damage to Warpwolf.

Raptors activate and shoot down the second Gallows Grove and, thanks to a very good attack roll, Lanyssa Ryssyll too.

I think Anyssa didn't do any casualties that I remember. Grand total is still a bit overwhelming:

1x Shifting Stone (preventing teleports)
Lord of the Feast
3x Bloodweavers
2x Gallows Groves
Lanyssa Ryssyll
At least 12 points to Megalith
About 7-9 damage points to Feral Warpwolf
11 damage points to Cassius + Fire (which dealt 5 points of damage on my next turn...)

Damn, I hate epic Lylyth's feat even when we did play it correctly this time.

Though picture is taken from the end of opponents next turn, I'll tell few things about my turn.

First, Wurmwood had been close enough to get three souls from my casualties.

Woldwatcher advances and just manages to shoot one Raptor into a forest.

I parked all of my warbeasts about in the middle of the field and healed them as much as I could. Cassius healed himself and went to control Fuel Depot on my side of the board. Bloodweavers just ran, one of them getting itself to base contact with enemy fuel depot. Scather clouds made it impossible for two remaining weavers to engage any Striders, which was a bummer.


That was the best I could do. Score one scenario point and just hope for the best.

On opponents turn Lylyth cast Pin Cushion on Feral Warpwolf, and then opponent uses all of his forces to total it and kill two Bloodweavers, forcing morale check on the last (who fails it) and then. Uh. I think at least Woldwatcher lost its Spirit there, too.

Many, if not all, people in this world know that "hope" is not an effective weapon.

My turn failed miserably.

First, I was going to do the ol' good trick of teleporting a shifting stone in thick of enemy models and casting Hellmouth on it. Anything but double 1's to hit.

You can guess it. Snake eyes.

I had positioned Cassius so that Megalith might just be inside his control area if it trampled next to enemy objective. Eight inches were, however, too short distance and Megalith had to stop where you can see it in the picture.

Had that succeeded, I would've scored second scenario point and with amazing rolls even damaged Lylyth with Stranglehold! Now I just killed two or three Striders.

Well, opponent then kills Megaliths with two Ravagores, Woldwatcher with a charging Raptor (which was somewhat funny. The Nyss riding the elk didn't do any damage at all. The elk itself, however, destroyed the whole thing).

Striders shoot at least one of the gobbers. Remaining gobber doesn't actually fail morale check, which was nice. The filthy little swamp dweller grinned maniacally and drew his... umm... melee attack? and saw only red... Sadly, he didn't get a second kill mark to his base. Boo hoo.

Other Raptor had charged Cassius but failed to kill him.

Anyssa, then, helps things a bit by missing Cassius and shooting the engaging Raptor dead.

So I had Wurmwood, one swamp gobber and Cassius on board. When situation is this grim, it calls for an impressive showdown.

And here it is:

Cassius "charges" one Ravagore, though the charge obviously fell was too short. I rarely use this stupid spell casting shenanigan (I think this was second time well... ever?) but I was fairly sure it wouldn't win me the game any more, only make things cooler.

So, Cassius charged full 9" and cast Hellmouth on enemy objective. This gave something like 6-7 points in to Lylyth. Oh yeah! I got to deal damage to Lylyth with Cassius!


Then, well, his activation ended. Because his charge had failed.

Lylyth activates, moves where you see her in the picture, and does the very same thing she did to Baldur when he was still non-epic. Filled Cassius with blighted arrows.

I guess that was a relief, when you consider the fact that Cassius had already been 3-4 rounds on fire.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Spycraft in a cyberworld... why not?

Finally some random writings.

Some time ago I got two expansions for When Darkness Comes.

I bought Spycraft and This Is Not Happening... boxes. Though Spycraft is somewhat of a stand-alone game.

Considering the price tag I guess I didn't do a good trade, because I'm more interested in the horror theme of When Darkness Comes. I can mostly mix and match elements from both sets to the original.

However, the new elements seem actually quite nice and will surely expand the gaming experience of When Darkness Comes. For instance, there will be a good pool of outside encounters now in the form of vehicles, civilians, "foil", street encounters and even human thugs. Also monsters from This Is Not Happening look like they will fit right in, except for the weird techno ball. Traps from the same expansion also look good and refreshing change of pace if included in horror setting. Who knows what kind of dark magics and such are present when there are undead around?

I hope these will, in a way, fix the problem of streets being mostly "safe zones".

One thing I consider is making adversaries from This Is Not Happening to work like those from Nameless Mist. That would make Willpower more of a game element than just a curiosity.

Also PSI from This Is Not Happening needs to be converted to Willpower, probably.

Now I'm only missing the two "main" expansions. I wonder if I'll actually get them ever if this games goes out of print or something soon. There hasn't been support for it for ages...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lots of mental notes

So, today I played three games of Warmachine.

I was against a starting player, and we played 15 point games.

I played with a same list all three rounds, and it was:

Epic Deneghra
- Seether
- Nightwretch
- Defiler

Iron Lich Overseer

You might want a reasoning for the Overseer? Well... truthfully spoken, there is none. At least no other than "I wanted to play with it since I got it painted."

All the three games really pointed out the obvious: Iron Lich Overseer isn't suited for 15 point games. Well, that is to be expected surely, but I dislike this thing called "theorymachine" and want to test around with unexpected combinations.

Except here was no combination, only fail.

I was against Retribution of Scyrah, and Ravyn.

First list for opponent was:

- Phoenix
- Aspis

Minimum unit of Houseguard Riflemen + Soulless Escort

Opponent won starting roll, but it doesn't exactly matter here because first picture is taken from Cryxian second turn.

Houseguard Riflemen and Phoenix together had shot left arm away from Seether, so this was first instance where I thought that I would have been a lot better off with Warwitch Siren + Necrotech instead of Iron Lich Overseer.

Anyway. Curse of Shadows was cast on Phoenix, and Iron Lich Overseer, followed up by a charge from Seether, almost destroyed the heavy myrmidon. Except for Arc Node and Field Generator and Open Fist.

Aspis and what was left of Phoenix wreck Seether next turn.

I seem to have missed Deneghra's feat turn when taking pictures. What happened was that Deneghra charged Aspis and used Dark Banishment to move it blocking Ravyn's line of Sight to Deneghra. After these a Hellmouth was cast upon Riflemen, which was somewhat funny because of one particular interaction. As Soulless Escort took 5" away from Hellmouth's range of 8", it meant that the arc node itself needed to be within 3" of target. So the poor Nightwretch was dragged to the mouth too... along with four riflemen and the escort itself.

The mouth did bite Nightwretch's Cortex off.

After that things didn't go as planned, though.

Defiler failed to take Phoenix down (Field Generator wasn't disabled), so opponent had both a serious gun, plus a few riflemen at his disposal.

Ravyn used her feat next turn, and Deneghra was left with 8 hit boxes just from the two attacks.

Well, on my next turn Deneghra backed off a little and cast enough of spells to bring Ravyn down to some 4 hit boxes remaining.

Other models finally wrecked Phoenix, too.

Then it was opponents turn again, and I was a bit scared here, as my warcaster was down to 8 boxes. And Ravyn, taking aiming bonus, did hit Deneghra even with her having DEF 18. Hellebore did 7 points in. One more damage from dice and Deneghra would have been down. Phew.

Last picture shows situation where game ends. Deneghra turns incorporeal and charges Ravyn (who was camping up focus enough for Arm 20), and misses. Well, another attack hits and damages. Ravyn is banished to right of Deneghra, with back arc to Defiler.

Last attack with hit roll & damage boost is finally enough to kill Ravyn, though. A close match, when my warcaster was left with just one hit box!

Game 2:

Next game was with me playing the same list and opponent switched Arcanist and Soulless Escort to Ghost Sniper.

Opponent started the game again, and first picture is taken from the "opening" of the game. Deneghra cast Hellmouth on Aspis, and tried to score damage both on Aspis and Ravyn, failing in both. I guess I should have spammed Deneghra's upkeep spells.

Well, needless to say, it was the end of that particular bone chicken.

What especially hurt me here was a Combined Ranged Attack (actually a second one) against Seether. Those knocked off it's Movement system, so Phoenix was out of my reach.

I had used Deneghra's ability to go incorporeal a turn too early (I was too afraid of a Combined Ranged Attack against a focusless caster), so I wasn't able to get that defensive ability on my warcaster for now.

I ended up walking the nearly broken Seether a little bit forward and parking Deneghra behind it so enemy would need to first destroy Seether, and then kill Deneghra who would then be behind cover. Sounds like a good plan? Not really.

All efforts I did against forces of Retribution of Scyrah either missed Ravyn (despite Deneghra's feat) or just missed Ravyn. I did maybe 4 points of damage in.

Then was opponents turn and Ravyn used her feat.

Now, you'd think that even with a boosted attack roll it would be tough to hit a DEF 20 model.

It wasn't.

Not a single attack roll missed her. She was shot to pieces after I think Phoenix shot the Seether down.

Epic Deneghra, for sure, isn't that brutal against Ravyn. When only Aspis doesn't shoot, Deneghra's feat only affects a little bit of movement that isn't most often even needed. But I'll blame everything on Iron Lich Overseer, just because.

We still played a third game, though.

Game 3:

Both of us had the same list as earlier, but now I won starting roll.

It wasn't actually a long game, at least in turns.

Opponent moved Phoenix within 12" of Epic Deneghra, and Aspis was standing in front of Ravyn at the start of my second (or third?) turn. So Deneghra charged Phoenix and moved it full 9" closer to Cryxian forces. I had tried to move Deneghra so that Ravyn would not get line of sight to Deneghra, and that I still could move Phoenix where I wanted to. I thought I had succeeded. Deneghra obviously used her feat.

After that I rolled damage rather badly against Phoenix. Not one POW 14 from Nightwretch, and one POW 12 from Defiler, and one P+S 13 + 3D6 from Iron Lich Overseer and tons of attacks from charging Seether wrecked it.

Anyway things weren't too bad. Or so I thought.

It was Retribution's turn then, and Ravyn checked for line of sight to Deneghra. She was actually 1-2 millimetres positioned wrongly, and Ravyn had LOS. Hellebore dealt something like 10 damage to Deneghra, and Eliminator did the rest.

What bugs me a little was the fact that if it wasn't for those couple of millimetres, Deneghra would have needed to take only a POW 13 Combined Ranged Attack from riflemen.

All games were close-fought and interesting. However, as a hindsight, I was way too overconfident on Deneghra's survivability. Even DEF 20 wasn't enough to save her from Ravyn's feat, and last game shows how damn important positioning is in this game.

Maybe I'll leave Iron Lich Overseer away from my next 15 point game with Cryx...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Last two games in WM tournament at Ropecon 2012

Then, next I was playing against Cygnar.

This time it was epic Haley on the opposing side of the board.

I find it somewhat difficult to write about this game, because I don't want to be a jerk who writes bad things about some individuals.

Gaming experience was somewhat unpleasant and left a sour taste to mouth after the match. I mean. Just about every possible rule was played wrong, and to the benefit of opponent. Some of the rules interpretations were, in fact, outrageous.

I used my Deneghra list in this match.

Anyway, opposing list was something like this:

Epic Haley
- Stormwall
- Thorn

Maximum unit of Long Gunners + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Field Mechanics
Storm Strider
+ some other 2-point option I can't remember any more.

Scenario was A Flag Too Far, and used reinforcements.

Now, I did think 4x pow 12 covering fire templates were a bit... much. Somehow I didn't want to double check that one, though even by this time it was apparent that opponent was reading the cards very shoddily.

Anyway, what gave me a nice chance was Pistol Wraith. It Death Chilled the Stormwall for ages, which also blocked the movement for Storm Strider. I could actually attempt scenario victory.

I brought in my reinforcements as fast as I could to swarm up the leftern flank.

Next picture is probably from Deneghra's feat turn.

It was blatantly obvious to me now that the covering fire templates were played wrongly, when three of them were placed on board, when Stormwall used only one cyclone cannon for them. However, three templates were pretty much the same as two templates where they were located so I just let it be and focus on other rules corrections that popped up all the time.

I started scoring points there, and things looked pretty damn good, actually. Sure I could do nothing to the 120mm bases there, but they were far from my objectives.

Opponent shot down my scoring models and Junior Warcaster took down my savior, the Pistol Wraith. He also brought his reinforcements and got rid of Bane Thralls and started to threaten with scoring control points.

However, I managed to score one point more on my next turn by running Satyxis Raider Captain to primary flag.

Well, now, on opponents next turn Satyxis Raider Captain was shot down by the lone long gunner next to building.

And then Stormwall trampled through my Nightwretch to contest my primary flag, meaning I could no longer score points from it.

I did ask my opponent if he was certain that colossals could trample through medium bases. I would have probably insisted on seeing the rule in a little bit more detail, but someone on next table was sure they got a special rule for that. I was fairly certain that this was not the case, but I hate drama. Looking back at the game I should have asked to see the rules and cards a lot more than I did, but this would have lead only to a longer game and probably angrier atmosphere.

What can I say. Live & don't let this happen again. Maybe after this it will be easier to call TO (tournament organiser) over in situations like these.

Game 2:

Last game was Command & Control scenario (if I remember right - the control zone in circle and need to contest flag with warcaster/warlock).

I was facing Retribution, so my choice of list was pretty clear. Deneghra, again.

This was my first time getting to taste the joy that is Ravyn's tier list.

Opponents list was something like:
- Banshee

2x Maximum unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force + Officer
2x Stormfall Archers
Maximum unit of Invictors
Epic Eiryss
+ models I can't figure out.

Game was brutal.

First picture has already combat raging all across the board. Soulhunters had charged in to kill epic Eiryss and tie up potential turn 2 feat from Ravyn.

And it worked, too. Just somehow the angry elves weren't able to kill the Soulhunter who was engaging Eiryss. My next turn looked like a perfect spot to use Deneghra's feat. Skarlock cast Ghost Walk on her, and she emerged from the woods and used The Withering on just about every enemy model. Only a couple were left over. Ravyn was under.

I attempted assassination. Pistol Wraith advanced as far as it could on left flank and took a shot at Ravyn, and dealt respectable damage. However, as it turned out, as the wraith turned corporeal it was engaged in melee and couldn't shoot second shot at Ravyn.

One of Helldivers attacked her too. Sadly nothing else could reach her at the moment.

Opponent weathered Deneghra's feat quite nicely. The elves even did casualties - even under Deneghra's feat Banshee managed to wreck what was left of Ripjaw.

Then came my next turn, and I had another chance at assassination. However, Helldiver engaging Ravyn was as good as dead. It had unmarked damage boxes left only in Movement system. Which was good, because it could burrow away and get rid of Ravyn's melee bonuses.

Ravyn was brought down to 2 or 3 hit boxes remaining, but the bugger escapes Cryxian grasp.

Ravyn backed up and went to contest one objective flag. This made me realise I could actually only bring Deneghra to contest center zone. I also tried to fling a few spells at Ravyn, because focus wasn't much of use to Deneghra against Mage Hunter Strike Force.

Ravyn had healed herself with focus. And she didn't die. Still she didn't die. Huge tarpit of a melee raged above, and it was slowly turning against me. Only really operational and functional piece was Erebus, other warjacks were either wrecks or left only with very few hit boxes.


I tried one last desperate action. Deneghra tried to cast away all Mage Hunters engaging her with a Venom and then making a hopeless charge against Ravyn.

I don't remember how the game actually ended in detail.

After two turns from this last picture I either succeeded in killing the Mage Hunters and did a charge at Ravyn, or then Ravyn just charged Deneghra with Vortex of Destruction up.

Either way, Deneghra lost.


Truly. Now, with Scaverous being the only warcaster who got a victory for me in a tournament, I realised his curse wasn' broken. It was merely mocking me.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First two games of WM tournament at Ropecon 2012

Well, now I'll start to compile the main tournament games here.

I decided to make it into two posts with two games in each. The tournament was 50 points, with three lists and character restrictions. I wrote up my lists here on a different post so they won't take up space here.

Well, then to the write-ups.

First game was a good example on what happens when your opponent knows exactly what he does, and you're unsure how to react.

Scenario was gauntlet. I thought that Mortenebra could launch her warjacks easily to the gauntlet zone with overrun shenanigans and do stuff. That plan didn't survive contact with the enemy at all.

I was facing following list (about something like that):

Prime Haley
- Stormwall

Sword Knights
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
Junior Warcaster
- Hunter
Storm Strider
Arlan Strangewayes

I really messed up the picking of Nightmare's prey. Somehow I thought that Hunter was a good choice, since it would go down so easily... Somehow I didn't see Stormwall as an imminent threat.

I approached cautiously, because I was unsure what would be the best course of action. As a hindsight, obviously it wasn't standing on a hill, getting shot to pieces!

When opponent was taking down 1-2 warjacks per round I noticed that I just need to do all-out attack and hope for the best.

Overrunning Nightmare advanced to Storm Strider and tried to smash it down with a combo-strike. Lame damage rolls made sure that it wouldn't just happen. Nightmare was pretty much a joke in middle of enemy lines. It was no hinderance at all.

Only thing left to do was to batten down the hatches (hah, pun! Look! A pun!) and charge in with Mortenebra. She camped all focus she could and killed some lone gun mage.

Cygnar couldn't actually take her down with shooting. Opponents damage rolls had become a bit more manageable during late game, but Gun Mages were using their Thunderbolt or something like that, which pushed Mortenebra out of Gauntlet control zone. End of story, really.

Game 2:

Next round began, and the scenario was Incursion.

I thought Scaverous might be the best here with his telekinesis to shuffle models left and right to control or contest flags.

Also, I was facing Cryx.

Opponent had a list of something like this:

Warwitch Deneghra
- Nightmare
- Defiler
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Bane Knights
Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
2x Pistol Wraith

I think the one thing that saved me here was Icy Grip. Denying Bile Thralls from purging in a horde army like that was golden.

Scaverous had a nice position in middle of forest, where he was safe from enemy charges. Though Deneghra has easy access to Ghostly, enemy still needed Line of Sight to get to him.

Rightmost flag was the one that was removed. This wasn't good, because opponent had way more models on left. However, thanks to me passing Tough-rolls in a godlike fashion, opponent didn't get an easily scored point there.

Next picture might be from using Scaverous' feat.

Anyway, I had tried to throw Blind Oil on Nightmare and cast Feast of Worms on a close by bile thrall to get Nightmare under penalty.

Neither succeeded, but I got to clear a charge lane for Seether. Nightmare was brutally mauled by the charge. Thanks to opponents list composition that wasn't a big issue. There were loads of heavy hitters still around...

Next round it was opponents time to use Deneghra's horrible feat.

Deneghra herself backed up, though, and it happened so that Scaverous was left just outside The Withering. Her feat could have been a lot worse, but I lost a lot of key pieces from my army (Skarlock, Gorman, Tartarus, and of course Seether) and was unable to damage enemy in any meaningful way next turn.

It was thrilling situation, because Scaverous was in the thick of action all the time. Granted, he was inside the forest, but I was scared that opponent would hit the "Seeing red" switch on and cast Ghost walk on Bane Thralls, use her feat and take just a couple of pot shots at Scaverous. That could have been enough if no-one rolled any misses.

However, then scales were finally weighted down to my favor.

Nightmare positioned itself a bit badly, because Admonia and Maelovus could charge it, and Tremulus could run into base contact with it. It's been so long since Dark Industries has happened. I brought back the Seether I had lost earlier.

Attrition slowly won Scaverous his second game, well, ever.

I couldn't believe this. My Scaverous, the thrice cursed warcaster, won his second game! It didn't make any sense by then. However, just two games later it was all clear, I had fallen to a miserable joke played by fate.

Venethrax Goes Downtown (Mangled Metal)

So I decided to write up the later tournament first, because it had only three rounds.

Tournament format was a little bit modified 25 point Mangled Metal. Up to two points could be spent on anything. There was also standard time for 25 point games per round - 5 minutes. That was damn short time, actually, but manageable.

I wrote up all my lists used during Ropecon tournaments in my earlier Warmachine blog post here so I don't need to repeat them.

So, first game was against Retribution of Scyrah. First of all I need to praise the color scheme. That's damn effective, I love the yellow.

Scenario was The Gauntlet. Opponent was playing Ossyan, Hypnos, Phoenix, Discordia and two arcanists. It looked like a brutal match. It's a shame I didn't take any more pictures, but the 5 minutes per round did restrict taking pictures somewhat...

Anyway, picture is taken just before decisive things happened on the battlefield. Phoenix charged and combusted Reaper, Slayer and Venethrax. I don't remember exactly every detail, but Reaper and Slayer were both rather damaged. Main damage dealers were actually my light warjacks with Armour Piercing.

On my turn Machine Wraith took over Phoenix, and this was what screwed over the opponent. He was remembering Machine Wraith was more like Feralgeist from the Hordes side.

Discordia was destroyed by the combined efforts of Stalker, Reaper and what was left of Ripjaw (could be there was nothing left - I don't remember any more), and Cankerworm launched an attack against Hypnos.

Opponent didn't shake off the Machine Wraith from Phoenix because, as earlier mentioned, he wasn't aware how it would function on my next turn.

Stalker and Cankerworm and what was left of Reaper killed Ossyan then.

Victory for Venethrax over Warmachine in Mangled Metal! Wheee...

Game 2:

Next I was against a Hordes army. I wasn't however, exactly thrilled about that because it was army of Legion of Everblight with Saeryn in command.

Opponents list was:

- Carnivean
- Angelius
- 2x Shredders
- Nephilim Soldier
Blighted Nyss Shepherd

Scenario was Overrun.

Saeryn must be one of the best counters Hordes has to offer for Venethrax. Let me explain.

What has happened in that picture is that I dragged Carnivean maybe an inch closer to the wall to have enough range for Stalker and Cankerworm to charge. Well, they charged and tried to do some damage, but damage rolls weren't exactly too grand. They did make it lose it's Mind -branch, though, and thanks to Stalker's Grievous Wounds the beast would not be able to be healed next turn.

However, Blight Bringer and some rabid Shredder destroyed that first line of offence, and Carnivean charged Reaper. Thanks to destroyed Mind it didn't score any hits. Angelius was busy wrecking Slayer. Obviously Saeryn feated here.

One full round later Slayer and Reaper were both wrecks, as well as Stalker and Cankerworm.

Now Venethrax was close enough to charge Carnivean, though, which it did. The beast was hacked to pieces... but then Respawn triggered. Venethrax had to shoot Carnivean fully dead with a damage boosted Hellfire. This resulted in both Venethrax not reaving Carnivean's Fury, and wasting a lot of Focus points that he needed for Armor.

Venethrax was charged by Angelius, and luckily it didn't score too much damage on Armor Piercing attack. Only 10 or so. Problem was, however, that Respawn was now on Angelius.

He survived that turn, though.

And on my next turn Venethrax tried to beat up Angelius, but he only got down to trigger Respawn. My last hope, the Helldiver, didn't kill Angelius either.

Next turn Angelius messes up everything. It misses Armor Piercing attack, though another bought attack deals 5 points in.

Now, this is where the real hero of the match comes in.

The often dismissed Nephilim Soldier comes and backstabs Venethrax to death.

It was a damn tough game with a lot of excitement.

Game 3:

Round 3 was last, because there was only 8 participants. Low number of participants wasn't exactly a suprise, because this tournament was straight after main 50-point four round tournament.

This time I was against Borka the Kegslayer.

His list was:

- Bomber
- Mauler
- Slag Troll
- Swamp Troll

Scenario was Process of Elimination.

Again it's a shame I didn't take more pictures, because actually a lot of things happened during the fight.

Just after following picture situation changed so that Dire Troll Mauler and Slag Troll started wrecking face in the right side of board and Bomber, Swamp Troll and Borka himself advanced to the left.

There was a cruel round of beat-up then, when Venethrax charged Feralgeist who tried to block charge lines, and then bought attacks enough to kill Bomber next to the ghost. Then Stalker and Reaper destroyed Swamp Troll together.

Cankerworm probably helped Venethrax in his battle.

I don't exactly remember how my warjacks were positioned, but Slag Troll did a two-handed throw and released Dire Troll Mauler from melee, who then tried to come help Borka in a desperate battle.

Borka smacked Venethrax with Mauler's animus on, but didn't bring the Lich Lord down. I bet he was quite traumatized, though.

Next round Stalker and Reaper kill Borka together.

These two victories and one defeat gave me third position in the tournament (thanks to Strenght of Schedule)

All in all it felt like my list was actually quite good for this sort of play. Helldiver eased a lot of the pressure on keeping warjacks alive, and machine wraith could have potentially depleted opposing warcasters from focus.

Venethrax doesn't look like a Mangled Metal caster on paper, but he didn't do so bad after all. I half-jokingly thought that because he has no spells to actually cast other than upkeeping either Dragon Slayer or Lamentation, he'd have all the freedom in this world to allocate focus around or camp focus for armor as needed.