Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jolly Good Genocides Before Christmas

I had also packed up Smallworld with me when I came to spend some Christmas time.

We had time to play two games, one with four players and one with five. Descriptions will be brief, because it's been quite a while since these games were played.

As there was a person who had not played Smallworld, first game was played with no extras.

I'm not quite sure what happened there. Mounted Skeletons/Fortified Wizards combo won the game. It's very rare to see someone triumph by going in decline only once, but here two such players got pretty decent points. If the race combos would have played other way around (Fortified Wizards/Mounted Skeleton and Diplomatic Sorcerers/Dragon Master Pygmies) I think both would have scored a lot more points.

Again I noticed how much the Kobolds suck as a secondary race. They pretty much need to be either first race or chosen when your In Decline race is all but destroyed.

Final scoreboard:

Mounted Skeletons/Fortified Wizards: 87
Wealthy Elves/Seafaring Kobolds/Merchant Leprechaun: 85
Dragon Master Pygmies/Diplomatic Sorcerers: 78
Peace-Loving Goblins/Forest Orcs/Mercenary Amazons: 71

Second game was played with full board just a day before Christmas. This time we had the Tales and Legends card deck with all the cards shuffled and drawn randomly.

For reference I'm writing down the cards and the turn where they were in effect:

2. Forbidden Forest
3. Flooded!
4. The Art of Combos
5. Gift from the Sky
6. Wizened and old
7. Necromantic Elixir
8. Forest Clump

Three first turns were quite interesting, because both turn 2 and turn 3 had effects that made certain regions unconquerable. For that reason Flying Trolls were a pretty damn good choice, and Heroic Sorcerers, too. Fortified Tritons could've been quite nice too, but they were pretty much beaten and mauled by other races in just one turn. They went in decline right on turn 2.

The Art of Combos on 4th turn was the Imperial special power. Were-Amazons switched to Goblins and they won the auction too. So we were looking at Corrupt Imperial Goblins with a huge fallen Were-Amazon empire to back them up. I believe other players should have already started to beat Amazons at this point, but everyone was busy wrecking Sorcerers and in-decline Trolls by then. Goblins reigned unopposed.

Once Sorcerers went in decline, Seafaring White Ladies tried to cleave four lenght unconquerable in decline empire, but their actions were thwarted, and Sorcerers were surrering pretty much by Barricade Gypsies (a horrible combo, by the way! Would be pretty succesful as a second race) and Mounted Wizards.

Wizened and Old cleared a lot of old races away from board. Last of trolls and sorcerers disappeared.

Corrupt Imperial Goblins won the auction for Necromantic Elixir and they went in decline right away.

Gypsies had finally started anew with Swamp Orcs, who finally started attacking the Amazons of old. But that was way too late. Barbarians had tried to kill some Amazons too, but they went in decline when they were still controlling 5 regions, and punishing Amazons stopped right there.

Mounted Wizards gave way to Catapult Pygmies, and Stout Barbarians picked Berserker Dwarves from the start of turn 6. Nobody really attacked the dwarves, so they could just build their lilliputian mining colony. Berserker Dwarves could've been pretty bad choice otherwise, but they had been skipped six or seven times already.

Anyway... once the goblins went in decline (still fully functional!) and emerged as Hill Ratmen, the game was pretty much over already. The player was getting 18-20 points per turn during turns 6-8.

After counting up there were no suprises - those damn goblins really won the game.

Final scoreboard:

Were-Amazons/Corrupt Imperial Goblins/Hill Ratmen: 103
Flying Trolls/Mounted Wizards/Catapult Pygmies: 91
Fortified Tritons/Stout Barbarians/Berserker Dwarves: 87
Barricade Gypsies/Swamp Orcs: 78
Heroic Sorcerers/Seafaring White Ladies/Historian Giants: 66

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Miserable tragedies just before Christmas (Gloom)

Tomorrow (probably today when I've finished writing this) is the Christmas eve.

Before that we had to witness countless tragedies that crippled the hearts and lives of various family members in a world filled only with Gloom.

I'll summarise the highlights of the two game played, and lastly write something about the game itself.

First game was played with 3 players, and even this first play revealed quite a few horrific happenstances and interesting stories.

Darius Dark, the failed circus ringmaster, lived quite an interesting life. He had a severe alcohol problem that supposedly stem from the fact that even the neighbouring group of lame children was more skillful and entertaining than Darius's shows. For a brief moment his life - outside of the circus - was quite good. No wonder he didn't want to go back. He even had a wonderful marriage arranged for him - but that was also his downfall. Bride never showed up and Darius was ditched at the altar. He wanted and tried to die many times, but something always came in between. Eventually he had to crawl back to his circus, only to find out that he himself was the only living member left.

Mr. Giggles, the clown, also had quite a remarkable story. Being a clown, he obviously had to deal with children. There were, however, some evidence that Mr. Giggles suffered from some sort of phobia towards children - when he was chased by children, he felt that he was being hunted by horrors. To make matters worse - the phobia wasn't irrational. It made sense perfectly, when one of the children, his own kid in fact, killed him.

Balthazar, the almost loyal dog from another family, was also living the dream. For a while, at least. Balthazar went to a picnic with his family, and none of us, the players, got to know what exactly happened during that picnic, but the end result was that the poor dog was shunned by society ever after. That, however, was a real good step ladder to enter the parliament, and Balthazar was indeed quite succesful there. He could have probably won the next elections, until something unspeakable happened... again. This time Balthazar was cursed by the queen herself. That dog really did hide something heinous within his soul.

These were the bigger story arcs I remember from the first game. Other characters had good (bad?) things going on, and two highest final scores were 110 and 105, so it was quite close game, too!

Game 2:

After two days we played another game of Gloom, this time with four players. This game took actually at least twice the time it took to play a 3 player game.

Anyway, there were some highly entertaining tragedies.

Most amazing story was the story of the work-in-progress grooming teddybear from the frankensteinish family. He was forgotten in a train, probably on purpose, for not too long after its brains started to show signs of some serious infection - the teddybear's brains (the only organic part of it) were suffering from painful boils. Next the tormented patchwork teddy started dreaming some delirious dreams... Everything was good, everything was perfect, it found love in the train, and yes, yes! There was even a priest in the same train car, and teddy was wondrously well wed! But then... then it woke up. There was no marriage, there was no priest, only it being forgotten in some dark corner of a train with painful, debilitating boils slowly destroying whatever ability it had to realise it's situation. The train traveled on, and the teddy never returned...

Circus had some strange happenings, too. Samson O'Toole, the bearded man, was very unsuccesful in the circus. He was quite the simpleton. Once he won in some card game quite a bit of money, and felt quite good about it. But wealth alone does not make a man. With his beard he had quite a resemblance to the current president, and so he was mistaken in the parliament. Everyone tried to gain his attention, he was loved by all. However... such a mistake doesn't live forever. Soon he was kicked out, and Samson went back to the circus. Well, at least he won once with the cards. Later he borrowed his beard for Angel, when she too became very popular at the parliament.

Darius Dark, the ringmaster, had done some quite shady dealings in the past with completely wrong persons. He was jinxed by the gypsies, and misfortunes started to follow him. Eventually someone pushed him down the stairs, and that was the end of him.

Mr. Giggles got only a slightly better life than in last game. Instead of being chased by children, he was being chased by poodles. After a nice little picnic to the city park, coming back to the circus he found that he had been written out of the will. And it was quite curious that Thumbelisa had landed on quite a legacy... Counting one plus one, Mr. Giggles went mildly mad. Next morning he was found dead, and he had fallen from a great height. Did he jump himself, or were there some darker powers behind all of this?

Thumbelisa did survive all possible tragedies. So maybe it wasn't so bad that she had possibly made some... adjustments to the will of the ringmaster. She went to a dance, but her height became an issue there and she was disgraced. Weeping bitterly she ran to the moors, where she got lost and got marooned rather badly. To make matters worse, a lone bear found her and ate her, thinking she was a rabbit of sorts. Bear possibly forgot to bite, so Thumbelisa cut her way through the bear's stomach and came back to the circus.

The evil twins of the top hat family were wondrously well wed even before the age of consent, which indeed was quite disturbing. But before anything entirely morally wrong happened, they got both sick from a salmon they ate at the wedding. There were also some maggots in the meat. But the salmon... the salmon was really bad. They caught a consumption from it, and died shortly after.

Balthazar wasn't very politically active this time, in fact he was quite neglected and early in the game he died of despair. Aww, poor dog.

So... the game does offer some awesomely disturbing happenings and weird stories. Gloom is a very good game, but even these two games revealed a bit of an annoying fact: there are too few cards. There was inevitably some repetition, so either the game needs to be played rarely, or you need to buy expansion.

I'm opting out on the last one, probably buying the Unhappy Homes expansion next.

Anyway. Maybe we just got the right cards to drag the game on unnecessarily long in our four player game, but the discard pile had to be shuffled over twice, whereas in the three player game it needed no reshuffling (though it was very, very close).

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Frozen Wolves (Warmachine)

Then right the next day (from last game) I played against Khador.

Since every warcaster and warlock have already played against Khador, I wanted to stack even more games to Kaya to make her as played as my other Circle warlocks.

Nice otherwise, but it was a sheer moment of horror when I saw what I was against.

It was the prime version of Sorscha with a full unit of Croe's Cutthroats with Valachev.

And of course now I went even more beast heavy than I usually go, at least points-wise.

Anyway, my list (it was a 35 point game):

Kaya the Wildborne
- Feral Warpwolf
- Pureblood Warpwolf
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Scarsfell Griffon

Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Druid Wilder

Opponent had:

Sorscha the original version
- 2x Juggernaut

Maximum unit of Kayazy Assassins + Underboss
Maximum unit of Croe's Cutthroats + Valachev
Harlan Versh
Orin Midwinter

Circle got the start, though Khador won the roll. I guess opponent didn't want Circle to go into forests, and there were a lot less LOS blocking terrain on the Circle's side.

First picture is from the end of Khador turn 1.

Next turn I would've liked to charge Feral Warpwolf into one of the juggernauts, but that wouldn't succeed unless Pureblood Warpwolf cleared two Kayazy Assassins from the way with the spray attack. Neither roll hit, even with a boost.

Ah well. Feral Warpwolf then charged the Kayazy Assassins instead, and killed three of them. Afterwards Kaya called both Feral and Pureblood back to relative safety.

Next Sorscha casts Tempest so that Gnarlhorn Satyr was knocked down. Then all the Cutthroats closed in and took shots at Gnarlhorn Satyr. Damage rolls weren't exactly high or anything, but they did some damage nonetheless. Even pow 10 with three dice is bound to give something in to an ARM 18 target that's missed only on double 1's. Then they backed off a little with Zephyr from Valachev.

Kayazy Assassins charged/ran to melee with the warbeasts and Wolves of Orboros. Not many of them got to charge, but of course Circle's main body was now engaged with Def 16 targets.

Then it was my turn again, and what an annoying turn it was! The knocked down Satyr who had lost its Spirit branch blocked every good action I could take.

I ended up with activating Kaya first, taking Gnarlhorn off from blocking things and then Pureblood Warpwolf sprayed with an aiming bonus the couple Kayazys that were blocking Feral's charge. Feral took 5 points of damage from that spray, too. And then when the Feral charged one of the juggernauts with STR warped up, nothing happened. Yeah, it did at least average, if not even above average damage in, but the columns were so evenly spread out that not even one system broke down.

Also Kaya had already activated, so I wouldn't be able to get the warpwolf away from there. So it was a piece-trade where Circle didn't get its half of the trade.

Wolves of Orboros and Scarsfell Griffon were trying to kill the Kayazy Assassins, but Def 16 was just too high for them to handle. Maybe two of the Assassins died in that melee to Combined Melee Attacks by the infantry; none died to MAT 8 Scarsfell Griffon.

I had a really bad feeling now of things to come. I mean... it was granted that Sorscha would use her feat now.

And yeah.

I think my only saving grace was that Croe's Cutthroats weren't rolling that good, again.

Feral Warpwolf just laughed down with its ARM 16 against automatically hitting melee attacks by juggernaut. The juggernaut had enough Focus even to take a swing at the center objective, which defied the odds and didn't get destroyed.

As Kaya was behind the heavy warbeasts, she didn't get under Sorscha's feat.

Gnarlhorn Satyr just refused to die when Cutthroats started raining death over it. Thanks to many unsuccesful rolls, I believe, Pureblood Warpwolf stayed pretty much alive, so much in fact that not a single branch broke down.

Then another juggernaut lumbered forward and smacked my beautiful little lionbird with a couple swings. It also moved in base contact with the objective marker, blocking any LOS to Sorscha herself.

So... my turn started with a frozen Pureblood warpwolf, about five or so frozen wolves of orboros, and two functional wolves of orboros, the other one of them being the flag bearer.

Circle was so mauled and beaten up at this point that there was absolutely no question about winning the game in any honorable way.

There seemed to be one "all or nothing" approach, and that's what I tried.

Pureblood shook off the Stationary effect, warped for Ghostly, walked up a bit and sprayed at the objective marker. In this scenario they were only ARM 15 models, and would explode and deal pow 12 damage roll to all models within 2" and set them on fire.

Thankfully Pureblood managed to destroy it (well, it didn't have many damage points left anyway, but crappy rolls that ruin everything aren't completely unheard of) and as an added bonus one of the Kayazy Assassins was just within 2" of the objective. Sorscha didn't have any focus on, so she took some damage from the pow 12 hit, too.

And then came the question if Kaya could land a critical hit against Def 18 Sorscha early enough with 10 Fury available (6 on herself and 4 with her feat from the Pureblood)

After having burned up 4 Fury, Kaya got in one hit, but it wasn't a critical one. Damage was quite nice, however. Two Fury left she bought extra attack... miss. Of course. Well, then Kaya got 4 Fury from her feat, bought extra attack, boosted, and finally scored a critical hit.

I don't remember if I boosted damage and bought one auto-hitting attack that finished Sorscha, or if I just used the Fury to buy auto-hits. End result was, however, that Sorscha died.

Victory in this one was a real stretch. I actually felt that I shouldn't have won because I took such heavy damage. However, this game was probably a perfect example of one of the nice aspects of Warmachine and Hordes - even if you take a severe, crippling beating like the Teletubbies used to back in the time, there might still be a sudden chance to win.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bye Bye Titan got to do its trick

Before coming to visit my family I played a couple of Warmachine games, and here is one of those.

As I knew I was playing against Cygnar, I wanted to fill "every warlock and warcaster having played against Cygnar" achievement, so I took Skorne, and my list was (a 25 point game):

Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Bronzeback Titan
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea

Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Totem Hunter

And opponent was trying out a new warcaster, that turned out to be Nemo1. So that wasn't really the best match-up for Nemo.

Anyway, opponent had:

- Ironclad
- Lancer

Black 13th
Junior Warcaster
- Charger
3x Stormsmiths
Arlan Strangewayes

All of that was quite unexpected, and even if I was playing Hordes against pNemo, at least I wouldn't be able to get a huge mileage out of Lord Tyrant's feat.

I think Skorne started the game, and first picture is taken from the end of Skorne turn 2. Lancer has the +2 damage roll spell on it and Ironclad has Arcane Shield from junior warcaster. Basilisk Krea had Soul Slave from the Skorne side of things, and Praetorian Swordsmen had Death March on.

The big AoE on Totem Hunter is the arcane sight template from one of the B13th which scattered exactly above its target, removing stealth and everything. Another one of B13th took a Snipe shot against it, but luckily it didn't die.

Next turn Charger took a shot at Bronzeback Titan, and then Lancer with 5 focus charged Bronzeback Titan. I wasn't sure what to expect out of all of this, but in any case damage rolls should've been excessive to harm Bronzeback in any fatal way. Well, they weren't excessive. In fact they sucked. I guess this was the biggest single thing that mattered during whole game.

Black 13th finish Totem Hunter and damage basilisk Drake, and Ironclad advances mid-field.

On my next turn Bronzeback wrecked both the Charger and Lancer, and if it hadn't rolled so high damage against Lancer, it could have gone and whack Ironclad, too, all this thanks to Train Wreck (that was cast on the Bronzeback via Hexeris).

Bronzeback was in quite bad position there, though. Ironclad could easily charge it next turn. Praetorian Swordsmen charged against Ironclad, and five of them could go into base to base contact with the warjack. That meant ten attacks with MAT 8. Hammer was what needed to go down for Bronzeback to survive, so all of the praetorians did one automatic point of damage. All of them managed to hit Ironclad, so the hammer was gone. Take that, Nihilators! This was a thing you couldn't have succeeded in.

Basilisk Drake manages to spray one of the Black 13th member away.

My achilles heel is usually leaving my warcaster way too vulnerable to such things as Trample. This time I remembered to block that option from opponent, but now when I look at the picture in some other situation Hexeris would be asking to getting slammed. I'd like to say that "I saw no threat in placing swordsmen to protect Hexeris thus, because in given situation there was no models capable of slamming them to Hexeris" but the truth here is... I didn't even consider and/or remember the existence of a Slam power attack.

Anyway. Nemo did what he could - he cast Chain Lightning on praetorian swordsmen that I had for some clever reason (= no reasoning behind it at all) moved out of the protection of melee. This and Ironclad itself cleared quite a bit of the swordsmen.

Arlan Strangewayes attempted to run to Ironclad so that he might possibly fix the warjack next turn after Bronzeback had mauled it. It turned out that Bronzeback mauled Arlan with a counter-charge.

Nemo used his feat during this turn, and if I remember right it dealt only a couple of points to basilisk Drake, and double 6's to either basilisk Krea or the Bronzeback.

Next it was Skorne's turn, and Cygnar lost pretty much all other models except Nemo.

Game ended in scenario victory for Skorne.

Bronzeback really was the king of this game - it suprised even me how one-sided the game turned out to be, thanks to the contributions made by the beast.

Overall it was quite tough match-up for Nemo. But at least the old guy survived without any broken bones.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I hate my life and want (my family members) to die

It's been a while since I bought any new games.

Yesterday, however, such a thing happened.

I've disliked actual card games for some time now (I'm a sucker for all kinds of tiny bits in games, and while cards can be part of a game, I don't like it too much when they are the game) but now I bought one.

I got the basic set for Gloom. The goal in Gloom is to make life as miserable as possible for the members of your in-game family before they finally die, and at the same time try to make other players' in-game families as cheerful as possible.

Such a disturbed goal for a game was enough for me to win my distrust of card games.

Oh boy. I can't wait for the loved and loyal family dog to die of consumption.

Monday, December 16, 2013

StellarSkill - The Tactical Boardgame (AKA getting in touch with your inner Archon)

Well now, his write-up is something completely different for a change.

I was playing and playtesting a homebrew boardgame that used hexagon board and miniatures from the old Starcraft board game from Fantasy Flight Games.

First of all - I don't know what to write. I mean that any references to rules will not tell anyone anything about the game itself. So maybe I just ditch any attempt to make this write-up readable to anyone not familiar to the game. Which is not a very big group of people.

Also because the rules may be adjusted this write-up will serve only as a document what happened during game on 15th of December 2013 with the rule-set that was available then.

Few things about the game itself - players took turns where you activated all of your army with each unit rolling dice to see how well they activated. Failing this activation roll resulted in quite limited options during activation. At the start of every turn players also rolled dice to see who got to play their turn first - possibly giving the player two turns in a row.

When I was reading the rules first on my own and not actually having played the game I was a bit concerned how big an advantage first player would get. There was, however, a clever trick in the rules that removed most of the advantages of getting first turn or even two turns in a row. Any casualties and/or damage inflicted took effect only after both players had resolved their turns. This meant that the player who was playing second during a round could still play a full turn even if some units had already suffered enough hits to get killed.

Anyway, first we played a small game of zergs vs terrans. Back in the times of Starcraft I was a zerg and protoss fan. I took zerg for this first game, and wanted to try out the ol' basic zergling rush. I also wanted to try out how well game rules would handle quantity vs quality mentality.

And there seemed to be no real problem at least in this match-up. Terrans in much fewer numbers made for a tough game, though in the end zergs managed to kill all terrans who had any attacks at their disposal. We didn't, however, play exactly to the scenario requirements, so it's a bit unclear which side actually won.

Next game was a big one with terrans vs protoss, where I was trying out the terrans.

This game was dominated by science vessels which had a disruption ability. Of course that feeling could've spawned from match-up, too. Terrans had two battlecruisers, whose amazing damage output was quite good countermeasure against the shields of protoss. At first protoss were winning by the scenario in question, but an atom bomb to the right and battlecruiser and a crapton of other attacks in the middle secured a majority of control points for terrans later in the game.

But as was said, science vessel and their disruption abilities were a big hinderance to protoss, and they themselves were nigh invulnerable when backed up with a Medic.

All in all, the core rules felt pretty solid on this homebrew game.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Power Boost my brain next, Warwitch Siren

Tuesday I played Warmachine again with the same opponent who played last game.

This time we randomised a scenario which proved to be Rally Point.

I continued playing Cryx, and my 25 point list was:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Erebus
- Nightwretch
- Nightwretch
- Cankerworm

Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

Opponent had:

Stryker1 (I still don't remember the title...)
- Lancer

Journeyman Warcaster
- Ironclad

Black 13th
Minimum unit of Storm Lances
Reinholdt the gobber speculator

Again there are some proxies in the pictures. Nemo is Stryker's journeyman warcaster (how wrong is that, fluffwise?) Mechanic unit leader is Reinholdt and a gobber mechanic is Squire. Black 13th is formed from Caine the Ryan, and Watts & Lynch, the Long Gunners.

Cryx started second, and first picture is from the end of Cygnar's turn 2. Thus far Cankerworm took a horrible damage roll from a non-charging Storm Lance, and the ranged attack from another Storm Lance killed a Scrap Thrall, and ensuing electro leap took Necrotech with it. B13 took over half damage boxes away from Erebus, though no systems went down yet.

That was a bad start. Really bad.

Next turn I try to take out the Storm Lances by giving Cankerworm two focus and casting Parasite on the cavalry unit.

Cankerworm obviously misses the first attack, but buy another one and kills one Storm Lance. Sadly that could have easily been two. Well, then Cankerworm tries to advance with affinity from Asphyxious to engage Lancer, but 6" movement wasn't just enough.

Warwitch Siren gives Power Booster to Erebus, who then runs to engage B13. Erebus tried to run so that Ironclad wouldn't be able to charge it, but next turn I learned that B13 has Gunfighter. So Erebus pretty much ran just to kill itself.

Except this time around Black 13th didn't roll so exceptionally high damage rolls, and only a few damage rolls exceeded armour. Ironclad ran right next to Erebus. Stryker then activated, advanced, shot the Nightwretch with the disruption pistol and used his feat. Lancer & Storm Lances try to wither Cankerworm away, but the pesky thing loses only its head (the armor piercing attack).

Ring you see in picture is Mage Storm from Cryan.

Next turn pretty much all I tried failed.

Erebus took its two tries against Black 13th, but missed both. Cankerworm hit the Storm Lance, but did only two points in. Storm Lance on the hill actually died to Hellfire either from Asphyxious or Skarlock.

Asphyxious missed the Storm Lance in melee, but I still thought that a bile thrall could come and Purge it away. So Asphyxious used his feat and teleported to enemy zone. The bile thrall in question looked like it was short from Purge range, so I decided to use he spray attack instead. Well, now. RAT 3 missed, what a suprise. To my consolence yeah, the bile thrall was out of purge range.

Well it was desperate plan anyway, but still it wasn't too absurd. I could have started dominating on that turn.

Next turn Ironclad downs Erebus in two hits.

Black 13th don't overperfom because one of them misses an attack against Nightwretch. It still has arc node intact. However... Stryker activates, walks up, casts Earthquake and shoots the wretch. Damage roll is quite poor and it still has arc node, but the bonejack is disrupted and knocked down. Not a good thing, really.

Much to my amazement Cankerworm survived a charge from Lancer and initial attacks from the lone Lancer. With one damage box remaining in Movement system. That hilariousness stays for quite a while...

Anyway, it could have been a lot worse. And I saw actually a pretty decent opportunity to kill Stryker.

Nightwretch on the hill runs as far as it only can, and then Asphyxious casts Breath of Corruption on Reinholdt, who was standing right next to Stryker. Stryker takes some 8 points of damage. Rest of focus go into beating up Lancer, but not much is done.

Then two bile thralls walk as far as possible. One purge deals a few damage points, but the last purge is just out of range. Damn.

Oh, and Cankerworm manages to kill the Storm Lance. Finally.

Then Cygnar shoots Warwitch Siren, and Stryker himself charges and puts the disrupted Nightwretch out from misery. Lancer scored only one decent hit against Asphyxios.

The lone Stormsmith tries to disrupt the last Nightwretch, but I lucked out when he failed the skill check.

So now I had yet another chance to kill Stryker! Awesome!

Nightwretch advances as far as possible, and then Asphyxious advances and casts two Breath of Corruptions on Stryker. The damage rolls weren't too good, and Stryker is still left standing with 4 hit boxes remaining. Looks like I forgot to take a picture from this turn, but you can all see the Nightwretch's wreck on which Stryker is triumphantly standing. Damn. Did the poster boy really destroy two of my arcnodes by himself?

Black 13th shoot Skarlock, and when it's my turn again I only have Asphyxious with about half damage boxes remaining and Cankerworm with only one damage box. The bonejack had survived all these turns.

I was so severely outnumbered, that I attempted final, desperate assassination.

Asphyxious charged stormsmith (missed, how else) and there was now a couple of options. Either I cast a fully boosted Hellfire at Stryker (one chance, needed to roll 13+ to hit) or two Breath of Corruptions (two 33% chances to hit by deviating only 1-2 inches).

I chose the Breath of Corruption way, but neither spell hit.

Next turn Asphyxious was standing all alone against the whole enemy army.

Ironclad attacked Asphyxious and even with full hit boxes it would have one-hitted Asphyxious. Ouch.

Looking back at the game I think I should have sacrificed one Nightwretch to kill Ryan and the other guy from Black 13h with a Breath of Corruption, but I wasn't entirely sure if 3" template would cover both of them. Probably yes. I was thinking that I need to get rid of Storm Lances quite fast, because they'd be a hard and mobile nut to crack on Stryker's feat turn. Black 13th would still die to a boosted Breath of Corruption. Before I got there, however, my arc nodes started getting disrupted. And I actually realise now when I'm writing this that, heh.. yeah.


Warwitch Siren knows how to take disruption away. I'm such a fool.

Anyway, a really close game again.

I believe next I will be playing Skorne.

Monday, December 9, 2013

+8 Arm does not a happy Harrower make

Last Saturday I played a game of Warmachine with a new player who has been starting out. And what a game it was...

I knew that he'd be playing Cygnar.

Looking at my excel spreadsheets, I saw that Venethrax had never played against Cygnar. For sure he isn't the best choice against Cygnar, but I thought that it'd even the gap in experience a little, and it'd be good practice for me too.

So, my 25 point list was:

Lich Lord Venethrax
- Harrower
- Defiler
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 2x Brute Thralls
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

Opponent was playing with:

- Ironclad

Journeyman Warcaster
- Charger

Minimum unit of Long Gunners + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Storm Lances

And that really was something I wouldn't have expected.

Game was a crazy grindfest, and it continued for many, many turns. Two Arcane Shields and Stryker's feat really brings some survivability to Cygnar, and of course I was playing the Cryxian warcaster who had no defense or armor debuffs.

A word about proxies in pictures: Caine is the Long Gunner officer, Nemo is the standard bearer, a gobber is the Squire, and Stormsmith is the Journeyman Warcaster.

Well, anyway. Cryx got to start the game. First picture is actually taken from the end of Cygnaran second turn. What has happened so far is that Long Gunners who had Snipe on them devastated much of Mechanithrall unit. One Storm Lance had died to spray from Defiler and a fully boosted Hellfire from Scaverous. Because Scaverous was sitting focusless, I thought I might just as well use his feat and screen my army a little by killing two Mechanithralls by myself.

Venethrax chose Lamentation as his upkeep of choice. Cygnar had no arc nodes, so I thought that at least Venethrax would be safe from any Earthquakes and whatnot.

I think I really messed up my start of the game by not bringing Mechanithralls to right and Harrower to left. Stryker has his +5 arm feat going on in the picture. For some reason I decide to just run & charge Mechanithralls to engage Long Gunners, and charge to Ironclad with Harrower. I thought that if I only could do at least some damage (not much, but with good rolls maybe 5-6 points in?) with Harrower against Arm 26 Ironclad, and then Ironclad wouldn't kill Harrower in a single round, it'd be a good trade.

Harrower did one damage in with two damage boosted attacks, and Ironclad one-rounded it. Uh oh. And as an insult to injury, none of the four attacks I could do with Mechanithralls against Long Gunners hit their target.

And then, as a decapitation to injury, MAT 4 P+S 7 Long Gunners go all kinds of crazy in melee, and kill three out of four engaging Mechanithralls with melee attacks. Rest of the gunners shoot even more Mechanithralls, and then Storm Lances come and attempt to finish the unit for good. Only two thralls remain, and situation starts to look a bit grim for Cryx.

I decided to bring Venethrax to the front. He charged Ironclad and took a couple of swings at it. He camped four focus, but still I kind of expected him to die, since nothing of consequence broke down in that charge. Stryker and Journeyman Warcaster were, however, well within Lamentation range.

Mechanithralls multiply by hard efforts from Necrosurgeon, and then they charge. All attacks against Long Gunners miss, as do most other attacks too, except for one good combo-strike by one of the thralls against Storm Lances. So after all I did manage to kill one model during that turn.

I have skipped one turn in pictures here, because the pictures looked rather similar. Anyway, what happened during Cygnar's turn was:

Long Gunners beat up Mechanithralls in melee again. Ranged attacks were made against Necrosurgeon, who lucked out - last combined ranged attack targetted against her missed with double 1's, when she had no longer sacrificial pawn models close by.

Ironclad fumbles its activation and brings Venethrax only down to 11 hit boxes remaining. I don't remember what the Storm Lance was up to.

Defiler and Charger had been duking it out on the right for some time now, and if I remember correctly, Defiler was hammered so badly that only its Movement system was still functional.

On my turn I thought that wrecking Ironclad would now be a piece of cake. First attack by Venethrax against it was very succesful indeed and broke down its hammer. I decided to speed up the game a little, and started buying attacks with Venethrax. Success for any of the bought attacks was nowhere close to the first... and at the end of my turn, Venethrax was sitting focusless right next to Ironclad who had its fist and cortex still operational. Well, crap.

Mechanithralls manage to kill the last Storm Lance, and one of them even scored a hit in melee against Long Gunners!

Well, then. I was quite sure Venethrax would die again now, but Ironclad managed to score only one decent hit against Venethrax that brought him down to 3 boxes. Second bought attack hit, but did no damage thanks to abysmal damage roll.

Long Gunners and Stryker himself are unlucky, too. One of the Mechanithralls defy all attempts to kill it, and so does Necrosurgeon. If I remember correctly, Necrosurgeon survived with one box remaining.

Then it's Cryxian turn again.

This time Venethrax manages to wreck the Ironclad, and even scores a hit with a fully boosted Hellfire against Stryker. Damage roll was rather disappointing, though, when the POW 14 +3d6 bolt dealt something like 5 points in against Arm 16 Stryker.

Necrosurgeon brings even more Mechanithralls on board, and finally they actually did something. They killed enough Long Gunners to provoke a Command check, which was failed.

And then Cygnarans got to activate.

Long Gunners failing their check was immense help, but still I was nowhere safe. Charger loaded up with 3 Focus came and took two shots at Venethrax. Venethrax was camping 1 Focus and he was behind wrecks, so he was effectively Def 19 Arm 17. So if Charger rolled once 13+ on three dice and then 8+ with three dice, Venethrax would be dead. Luckily for me, both attacks missed.

Stryker casts Arcane Shield on himself and charges Nightwretch. I don't remember the damage done, but the bonejack was engaged now, and disrupted anyway. Stryker had Arcane Shield and enough focus to bring him to Arm 19.

And then it was my turn.

I was pretty confident I would win now if Necrotech managed to remove Ironclad's wreck marker. The roll was success, and Venethrax had clear charge lane to Stryker. So I charged to end the game that had lasted for about three rounds too long already thanks to critical dice failures made by both players.

Charge attack missed.

Second attack missed.

Then Venethrax hits, but does next to no damage. Then he missed again, and with last possible attack he does enough damage to bring Stryker down to 1 hit box remaining.

No way. Just... no way.

I still hadn't activated Mechanithralls or Necrosurgeon. They were my last chance.

Necrosurgeon creates two thralls into Stryker's back arc, and one to his front. Nobody even got a charge bonus.

The two Mechanihralls on the back needed 9+ to hit, and the one in front needed 11+ to hit. Not good chances by any means, but first thrall who made its combo-strike rolled exactly 9, and enough damage to kill the poster boy.

So. It was pretty amazing game. In all honesty, I think Venethrax should've died when he charged the Ironclad. But for some reason the dice decided against it. In matter of fact it felt like the dice wanted for the game to go on and on, never to end.

If I do my math right 15-18 new Mechanithralls were created during this game. And that was again thanks to the dice 1) making Mechanithralls die in troves and 2) not killing Necrosurgeon, no matter the odds.

But I go to sleep now.