Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beast Handler Conversion

or: A 35 point Protectorate vs Skorne battle report.

Finally got to play against local players, which has been a bit of a rarity lately.

Anyway, my list was plain old Hexeris after quite a while. I wanted again to do things a little differently, and decided to try out only heavy warbeasts for Hexy's battlegroup.

- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- Rhinodon

Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Paingiver Beast Handlers
Venator Flayer Cannon
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Aptimus Marketh

And opponent had:

Grand Scrutator Severius
- Crusader
- Revenger

Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Exemplar Errants + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
Knight Exemplar Seneschal
Vassal of Menoth

And scenario was randomised to be Fire Support, and Skorne got to start game. Objective rules seemed to be match-made for the Flayer Cannon... d3 shots with increasing damage against larger bases + damage boost? Sad thing really that I picked Aptimus Marketh instead of Extoller Soulward, for I would've had real chances of dishing out incredible damage with it.

Ah well, but enough of such nonsense.

Soul Slave was on Archidon and Death March on Praetorian Swordsmen. First picture is taken from the end of Skorne's second turn, and a word needs to be said here about the forest. Next picture actually shows it a lot better. But anyway, we removed one part of it, because it was a pain to try to check if Rhinodon could trample and get a few shots at Exemplar Errant Seneschal. Two red dice and one black die mark where the forest had been.

So yes, there was a gigantic forest in the middle. But in friendly games I love to play in some weird set-ups, so I didn't see any reason to object this kind of terrain. But I sure did miss Eyeless Sight from that Extoller.

On opponents next turn I lose Rhinodon and way too many Praetorian Swordsmen. Bronzeback Titan counter-charges one Errant, but fails to hit their def 14. They had Defender's Ward on.

Severius also uses his feat, denying Hexeris and Aptimus Marketh any spellcasting.

On Skorne side of things, it's counter-feat time. After Vengeance shenanigans from Swordsmen, Hexeris activates, uses feat and charges away to one Exemplar Errant. Opponent was hesitant to let my feat start rolling, so Hexeris managed to kill a couple of Errants, before finally killing his target, and backing up 1" with Beat Back.

Bronzeback then uses Train Wreck animus on itself and kills about 6-7 models. Not too shabby, but zombies gained from Hexeris' feat do nothing except set one Flameguard on fire.

Archidon charges Revenger so that it couldn't be pushed away from melee range (next to Knight Exemplar Seneschal) hoping to shake things up. It did break its arc node, but nothing else. Too bad.

And that was about all I could do.

Next turn Revenger and Knight Exemplar Seneschal make some pudding out of Archidon, and anything else that is able to is launched at Bronzeback Titan. Who endures, though plenty of damage is done and the poor beast is set on fire.

Though things looked pretty good at this point, I was starting to worry, if I would actually lose to scenario. I had next to no models to contest things on leftern front.

On my next turn Bronzeback makes a complete failure at being a Bronzeback. It takes every last bit of Fury from it to wreck Crusader up. Yes, it wrecks it, but come on... it was even enraged! Rest of menite schmuck needs to be mopped up by Hexeris himself and a couple of lucky hits from Praetorian Swordsmen.

And then starts a race for Control Points. Neither player has been able to score any points yet, but opponent goes to 2 on his next turn.

And on my next turn Skorne goes to 2 and contest points away from Protectorate. I somewhat foolishly bring Bronzeback easily within charge range of both Revenger and Knight Exemplar Seneschal, but I felt I had to put some pressure on enemy, or lose to scenario.


Next round opponent does something that really caught me by suprise. Well, now we know we actually played it wrong in a few occasions, but barring that, the thing that pooped in my sadomasochistic orgy party of black magic and dark powers was a failed CMD 8 command check.

Severius clears whatever was contesting his flag and converted a beast handler of mine. This was the first screw-up, since Convert special action is targettable ability, so it needs a line of sight. I was unsure of this and somehow was inclined to think that no LOS is needed if it's not separately said. But that thing was selecting a model... Ah well.

Then the beast handler in question activates and goes to contest my flag, bringing Protectorate to 4 control points and leaving Skorne to 2. Later we found out that you can't activate on the same turn with the converted model. Which is a bit funny, and I intuitively thought that it could activate, because so many abilities that bring back models and take control over models let them activate. Except Convert. I guess if you're brought back from the dead, you get more time and are more responsive to things on the battlefield, but if you have a sudden change of heart in your inner beliefs, you become so stupefied that you lose an activation.


Last picture is a rare shot of a scenario victory.

On my next turn I managed to bring points total to 4-4, and it looked that opponent wouldn't be able to get anything within 4" of my flag, so situation would be at least 6-6. But Revenger charged objective marker that had only 6 boxes remaining, wrecked it and gained one victory point. So victory for Protectorate of Menoth.

Though we played that one critical thing wrong the game itself was absolutely fantastic and exciting. And if the point is to have fun, all of this was a total success.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Hobby Post (magnetised Desecrator/Leviathan)

Since I've written something about my magnetising projects earlier, I guess I continue the trend with Cryxian spiderjack chassis.

I already own a metal Harrower, so I didn' actually have to magnetise the head plate. Keeping an eye on future releases, though, I glued it into place with only tiniest bit of super glue. Once it breaks I might even use blu-tack.

So, magnetising desecrator/leviathan was ridiculously easy. Shoulder joints conceal magnets perfectly. Only thing I ever did was to glue the magnets into shoulder sockets and cut the weapon ball joints for them to have an even surface.

Heads didn't need any kind of magnets, but it was a little tricky to drill a deep hole into the neck tab. Let's just say that Desecrator/Leviathan has been baptised in blood. Or perhaps Blood Creation would be better term? Though that's Legion stuff.

I took a little picture from the assembled chassis, with and without weapons. Of course the pictures haven't been focused too well, but you get the point. For any and all spiderjack enthusiasts out there, you can especially see one nice detail in first picture. Yes, you can actually glue this model to its base!

If you're wondering about the book, it's "Extraordinary Popular Delusion and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay.

Magnetising warjacks is all nice and sweet (as in sugary). Of course it is a little extra challenge for aspiring hobbyists, and bang for your buck for those on limited budget (such as myself), and additional versatility to army construction... but I didn't mean those. Magnetising warjacks gives you the ultimate ability to do absolutely retarded things like this, and not regret it once glue sets:

And last but not least (oh well, let's admit it's least), I finally got my filthy little hands on some Risen. I've had Kraken on painting table for quite some time now, and these three guys will be the final little extra on such a centerpiece model. They will represent corpse tokens for Collector.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

We put a Vassal in your Vassal so you can Enliven while you Enliven

Since it's been difficult to get a game in my hometown right now, I decided to start Vassal once again.

I would've wanted to go with epic Asphyxious, but you know... epic Asphyxious carries a sort of stigma with it.

I made a somewhat whimsical list for Witch Coven of Garlghast that I really wanted to try. It felt different enough that I ditched any plans I had for epic Asphyxious.

It was (a 50 point list):

Witch coven of Garlghast
- Harrower
- 2x Slayer helljacks
- Ripjaw
- 2x Nightwretch bonejacks

Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Satyxis Raider Captain
Bane Lord Tartarus
Gorman diWulfe

I was against the forces of Menoth, controlled by someone from United Kingdoms. And the usual praise I often give to Vassal at this point is the fact that you easily get to play Something Completely Different.

This time it was:

High Reclaimer
- Reckoner
- Devout

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Exemplar Bastions
Maximum unit of Holy Zealots + Monolith
Maximum unit of Croe's Cutthroats + Attendant Priest
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt + Attendant Priest
Madelyn Corbeau
Vassal of Menoth

This was probably the second time in Mk2 that I got to play against High Reclaimer, and last time the match was so exciting that I have been waiting to get a second chance for a long time now.

Scenario was randomised to be Into the Breach. I won starting roll and decided to go first - I thought positioning would be the key here, since I had no over-excessive ways to remove infantry from board.

On opponents first turn I was horrified again that burning ash spell is only 1 focus. First picture shows the situation I started my second turn.

Since Holy Zealots hadn't gone into Greater Destiny, I tried to navigate through the smoke cloud by advancing Satyxis that had been given Desperate Pace by satyxis captain. Their effective speed of 9 + reach got them into good positions, and awkward Combined Melee Attacks later they had killed about 5 models.

First I had tried to trample with Harrower to kill 3-4 Croe's Cutthroats, but it got only within melee range of 2, and missed the extra attack I could buy.

Slayers advanced closer, and last but not least the Coven advanced as far forward as possible, and used Nightfall. I actually thought I'd be able to get more enemies under feat, but no, such key pieces as enemy warcaster were out.

-2 MAT & RAT effect from Nightfall actually did save Harrower. Fully loaded Reckoner missed one attack because of it. Actually when Reckoned ended it's activation Harrower had lost only ranged weapon, and I was almost giddy, because I was having fantasies about an assassination there. Then Vassal of Menoth activated and used ancillary attack on Reckoner... Boom, gone were movement and cortex, and the warjack itself was standing with about 3 damage boxes left.

However, I guess such a straightforward assassination wouldn't have worked, since opponent was really good at protecting High Reclaimer. Places where I could fit a large base close to the caster were nonexistent. Also Devout made it impossible to cast random Stygian Abysses at the Reclaimer.

Holy Zealots went into Greater Destiny and tied up Satyxis (strange... shouldn't that go the other way around?)

Plenty of the horned warriors died to Ashes to Ashes.

On my next turn Infernal Machine was upkept on Harrower, who made a thresher attack. It snatched two souls from Croe's Cutthroats, and boosted damage against Reckoner with a soul it had got from last turn. Damage roll was excessive. Oh, and two Satyxis Raiders happened to fall to the thresher, too. Anyway. Then Harrower buys another attack against Reckoner with a soul, and boosts damage, and another crazy damage roll. Both arms were gone.

Next a Slayer walks up and finishes the job Harrower began after Gorman diWulfe throws acid bomb on people who were blocking straight lane for that particular helljack.

Witch Coven cast Curse of Shadows on Exemplar Bastions, and Infernal Machine on rightmost Slayer. Or, actually I think it was Skarlock who did the Infernal Machine, but that's a minute detail.

I was terrified with the thought that High Reclaimer would use his feat next turn and bring back all kinds of stuff to kill one witch, so Coven walked back, and I even broke Perfect Conjunction so that one of the witches would not suffer back arc penalties in case of a random charge.

Rightmost Slayer advanced through an Exemplar Bastion that was standing about in the middle of the trench and killed both Lady Aiyana and Master Holt.

So, all in all it was quite good turn, but there was still High Reclaimer's feat to be involved.

I usually push way too aggressively with my warcaster(s) and die foolishly because of that. So now that I actually backed off I was pretty much saved (at least for a turn) because of that. Maybe this is learning or something crazy like that. However, High Reclaimer rolled five models back, and back came Lady Aiyana & Master Holt, two Bastions and a Croe's Cutthroat.

Harrower was obviously devastated, as well as middle Slayer. It didn't quite break, but if memory serves, it had nothing but Cortex left.

Last of the Satyxis died to Ashes to Ashes, and Tartarus was killed by charging Devout.

Just a round before everything looked quite okay, and then, suddenly, I had lost all attrition.

Slayer on the left, however, luckied out. It took heavy damage from two charging Exemplar Bastions, but damage that came in broke no systems thanks to columns rolled.

This was my chance. Curse of Shadows denying free strikes from Bastions, Veil of Mists to ignore Vassal of Menoth and Infernal Machine for speed & MAT boost for the only functional helljack plus 3 focus was enough to bring High Reclaimer down.

I need to say again how awesome this game was, and how it could have ended either way, and there were big swings in perception "who has the upper hand".

What played in my favor was probably the fact that this was not a Killbox scenario. I couldn't have ran back where I did with Coven unless I wanted to give in Control Points.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

About a Demo (Warmachine)

What really made Levels 2013 Warmachine tournament such a success was some sort of publicity.

And by publicity I mean that it eventually lead into a demo game of Warmachine that took place about a week and a half ago.

Person in question was a long-time miniature gamer, so Warmachine was cross-demoed (I raise my middle finger to dictionary here I guess) with Hordes.

Game itself was somewhat epic, because it happened to go into caster versus caster personal melee combat. The melee combat itself wasn't that epic, however, because first Scaverous failed to nail down Kaya the Wildborne (she was left with two hit boxes) and in return Kaya didn't manage to bring down focusless Scaverous by herself, even by using her feat.

Gnarlhorn Satyr had to dislodge itself from melee and come and stomp Scaverous a bit more. Problem here was that Gnarlhorn Satyr had lost its Mind -branch, which was healed by Kaya to one point remaining.

Free strike was made by P+S 7 Nightwretch, so barring absurd damage the beast would survive, but even such a pesky melee ability could cripple such a mighty warbeast by rolling only one point of damage to wrong branch...

But it was not meant to be. If memory serves, Nightwretch rolled enough to get exactly to Gnarlhorn's armor value.

It seems that the Curse of Scaverous carries even into demo games.

What I did notice during this demo game is the amount of rules you, as a somewhat active Warmachine player, start to take for granted. Last time I gave a demo game of Warmachine it was to a player with next to zero experience in miniature games. It was easy to explain everything with "this is just how everything goes" mentality. I mean, I did not actually have to stop and give any introspection to the inner workings of game mechanics.

But this time around opponent (or rather the one receiving the demo game) had the experience to ask questions, and it was a very different thing to answer questions than to just say okay things happen like this - oh, except you can't do just that, you have to do it like this.... I guess some real questions gave some insight on what basic things do raise questions in first-timers.

Curiouser and curiouser, but that's for my musings now.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


And finally last game written up that dates waay back.

It was before the Levels -tournament, a practice-sort-of game with someone who was about to enter tournament (but eventually couldn't make it, sadly.)

We played a 35 point game with random scenario.

I took my Cryx with following list:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Malice
- Slayer
- 2x Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Withershadow Combine
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Warwitch Siren

Opponent was playing something like this:

- Phoenix
- Manticore
- Aspis

Maximum unit of Houseguard Riflemen + Unit Attachment + Soulless Escort
2x Arcanist
Ghost Sniper
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios

Scenario was Outflank, and area middle points are marked by Helldiver burrow markers.

Board itself was restrictive as hell itself thanks to the river. It was agreed as being only shallow water with no extra elements to it, though it is icky green and gooey and stuff.

On Cryxian side there was this nasty bottleneck caused by obstructions, river and covering fire templates by Manticore. That much for my mechanithralls advancing through.

However, I was able to pull Phoenix with Malice to that aforementioned bottle neck, possessed it and walked itas far into Cryxian territory as possible. I had messed up my activation order, I had planned to cast Parasite on Phoenix before starting all these fancy shenanigans. And I was reminded pretty well that you just don't do mistakes like that.

Malice was the only model that rolled a couple of good damage rolls. I was thinking if I should try to clear lanes for getting Withershadow Combine to make their Black Industries, but looking back I'm glad I didn't. Mechanithralls failed so badly, either they missed completely, or did next to no damage. And they did have Scything Touch on them that Skarlock had graciously managed to cast. But nonetheless, myrmidon was still pretty badly mauled, so I tried to soften it up a little more before going in with Asphyxious.

Withershadow Combine shot spells at it, doing nothing. Well okay, maybe Asphyxious might sacrifice a couple Focus points more, no problem.

Asphyxious charges and misses. All the following attacks fail miserably, and Aspyxious has to burn all focus to finally wreck the thing. All focus but two, of course, that were reserved for Teleport.

But still I would've liked to nail Eiryss down with Breath of Corruption.

Next turn opponent sent a fully loaded Manticore (that moved a bit with Locomotion) to Malice. Damage rolls were just not quite enough to wreck it, if I remember right it lost just about everything else except Cortex.

Combined Ranged Attacking Houseguard Riflemen shot my arcnode down on the leftern front. That's something those pesky Mage Hunter Strike Force wouldn't have done except with phenomenal rolls.

On my next turn I had learned my lesson about activation orders, and cast Parasite on Manticore first. This time two charging mechanithralls, almost wrecked Malice and possibly a few Dark Fires and/or random Hellfires brought the myrmidon down.

This pretty much secured right side for me so much so that on following turns I could actually start dominating the zone.

However, I did have some trouble on left side. I had Slayer and two solos there, and if I wanted to dominate, the Slayer wouldn't gain too much focus from Asphyxious. His control range isn't that far reaching, after all.

But what I could drag to the left side zone were enough to contest it long enough for Asphyxious to dominate twice and other Cryxian troops to control once.

Though Ravyn was footslogging in the river most of the game, it wasn't actually that bad position. For whole game I tried to find a good way of delivering 4x Hellfires into Ravyn, but it just wasn't doable.

Different terrain output really shaked the game here. I think board in the end favored Asphyxious because of his teleportation possibilities, but really... if you want something different, do weird terrain with scenarios. Maybe not in a tournament, but now and then it surely makes for interesting games.