Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Toads and death everywhere!

Last two games of Talisman for this year were a four player game and a three player game.

First was the four player game, and characters were Knight, Vampiress, Priest and Prophetess. So there was some sort of a theme here, when everyone started from chapel except one player, who started in the graveyard. We played a revealed game variant "A Hero Rises" which

Knight went to Highlands right away, and there he picked up two monsters that caused extra damage before the fight. Due to a stand-off he didn't die yet, but during first fifteen turns or so Knight had died. New character was the Bounty Hunter.

Vampiress and Priest went to forest quite early in the game, but Titania's or Oberon's or someones gate teleported Vampiress to the space right before Treasure Chamber in the Dungeon.

Prophetess got stuck in the Highlands when there was a Talisman in an eagle's nest in the mountain pass space. Whatever she did, she just didn't land on the space. She did pick up amazingly good items and tossed enemies left and right as she drew them, so her Strength and Craft started soaring. At one point Prophetess did run through the Woodlands and got herself a wealthy destiny - whenever a player gained gold, she'd replenish fate. And because we had this game variant where you gained a Fate if you replenished when at maximum Fate, this destiny made for a nasty combo with Bounty Hunter. Bounty Hunter gains a gold whenever he wins a battle. Prophetess looked like a strong candidate for victory.

Vampiress took her chances in the Dungeon, but in the end it didn't pay off. She died there, and got replaced with Highlander. Bounty Hunter had had a good start even if original character died. Highlander also had a really good start, but this death happened in the middle stages of game, so it was a lot more punishing.

But yeah. Bounty Hunter was amazing, and gained both Talisman and enough fate to begin the race for Crown of Command. Well, this time it just couldn't be called a "race", since nobody else got into the Inner Region in time. Just a turn before Bounty Hunter reached the valley of fire, Prophetess encountered the Gong of War or something like that, which summoned a character from any region to battle her.

She chose Bounty Hunter.

And Prophetess was the same player who added some extra hours to the game length last time around at the very last possible moment. I guess she has a knack for these things.

So, the game continued.

Bounty Hunter, having both Talisman and enough Fate started a second run to the Crown of Command, all the while Prophetess desperately tried to get the Talisman from the birdie.

And there he was again. Just as he was reaching the valley of fire Prophetess cast a spell on him that removed all of his fate and gave them to Prophetess, which in this game variant meaned Bounty Hunter wouldn't be able to win the game, and had to slowly backtrack away from Inner Region.

Finally Prophetess got her Talisman, beat the Eagle King and teleported close to Portal of Power. Seven rounds later the game ended to the triumph of Prophetess.

Oh, and the Priest. I haven't talked anything about the Priest.

Well, Priest played entirely mediocre game with no real highs or lows. Only memorable thing was when he turned evil just a turn after he had cast the very same fate stealing spell Prophetess later used to win the game.


Game 2 (or 3?):

Last Talisman for the year started with a hidden ending, Amazon, Elementalist and Totem Warrior.

Statistically I was a bit bummed by Amazon and Elementalist, since they've had a lot of screen time. But at least we saw Totem Warrior make his entré.

Amazon had a rather hilarious start. No matter wherever she went, she picked up absurdly powerful magic weapons. So much so that she soon couldn't carry any items any more and started leaving magic weapons behind.

Elementalist also got a good start. He rolled a six from encountering the Reaper, and got turned into a lycanthrope from an encounter with the Werewolf. And it felt like the game was played in an eternal night, giving only bonuses to Elementalist and penalties for other characters. His progress was astonishing.

Totem Warrior was messing around in the Highlands and danced there for a long time with only one life remaining, and managing only stand-offs even against Strength 1 monsters. I guess Totem Warrior got all bad luck that should have been evenly distributed between players.

Soon it started to look like it was mostly a game between Elementalist and Amazon. Amazon thought it was a good idea to enter the Woodlands, since with two dice for movement she'd be able to dodge most of the more annoying spaces.

And just there was only about 30% left to go, she encountered a Fey Witch or something like that who rolled two dice for attack. If it rolled doubles, the character got turned into a toad. Double sixes.

Nice.

All the items she had dropped there, as did the followers. And worse yet - if the toad didn't move forward, it'd start fleeing the Woodlands and not be able to move forwards any more until it or she'd get out. Once Amazon finally turned back into a real person, she had only one chance to get her stuff back - by rolling a three for movement. And then she'd have to flee the entire Woodlands and abandon her path.

Amazon thought the items were better than the non-destiny reward of completing her path, and she did roll a three for movement. All items back.

One turn later she encountered the Toad King. Toad King turns your character into a toad for three turns and jumps three spaces counter-clockwise. If you encounter Toad King as a toad, your character gains either Craft or Strength.

But the horrible thing here was that Amazon had to dump all her items, and since she was fleeing the Woodlands, there was now absolutely zero chance of easily getting the items back. Perhaps after twenty turns or something.

Next space the Toadzon landed it encountered Dryad. Roll two dice, if the score is equal to or less than your Craft, you gain one Craft. If not, you're teleported to the forest space.

Really?

Twice in a row turned into a toad, then teleported away from your items and as an added insult being denied your prize of encountering Toad King again.

What a cruel way for fate to revenge the good luck at the beginning of the game.

Amazon never really recovered from such a crash land, and now there was nobody to challenge Elementalist unless he'd get his share of bad luck.

He didn't, and it was a victory for the Elementalist.

And the last adventurer was slain in the Magic Room

During visit to Kuhmo we also got to play one four player game of Dungeon Lords.

One player hadn't played the game before, so we didn't use Festival Season, but we also didn't play it entirely with beginner rules. We used random inaccessible orders at the beginning, but that was it. Though we did use additional rule of the three paladin variant - which mattered very little, as nobody triggered any paladins in either year.

First year special event we lost half of our gold, which wasn't too bad - except for one player who received three dead letters because of that.

Second year we had Monster Strike, which turned monsters face down if you didn't pay one part of the monster's wage.

Four players wreaked surprisingly little havoc when it came to orders phase. A player didn't get a minion on a location perhaps only twice during whole game, so I guess playing with three players is a bit more challenging in this matter.

This was also the first game we played the "build rooms" order correctly. Tee hee. I hope that's the very last rule that's been played wrong.

In the end scores were 21, 10, 7 and 1. So everybody got their dungeon builders permit again!

But this was the last game of Dungeon Lords for this year.

I need to figure out a better way to write the dungeon lords, I'll probably try to write up the exact order of tax day/pay day/special events for every season from now on.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best Christmas present ever

Just a day before Christmas we played a three player game of Talisman.

We used a random ending with a few most annoying ones removed.

Characters were Chivalric Knight, Tavern Maid and, well... the Alchemist.

Alchemist.

Such an annoying character that's all but bound to win any and all games he plays.

The other two players tried to balance out the Alchemist by targeting mostly him with any possible opportunities to kick another player in the knee. And for a moment it almost seemed to pay off - but then he picked up the Everfull Purse. Just what the Alchemist needs. If he doesn't have a gold at the beginning of his turn, he gains one.

Tavern Maid had a really good start, too. I don't remember any more what the items were that she got, but that didn't matter for long - she encountered the Leprechaun at the beginning of Highlands and got turned into a toad. Before she managed to get her stuff back, the Chivalric Knight picked them up.

For one reason or another Alchemist didn't start gaining Strength or Craft too much, and neither did anybody else. It was a slow start all over - don't know if some trips to the Woodlands caused that.

First Alchemist ran through the Woodlands board, but luckily didn't get a real Destiny. Only reward for him was to raise Strength or Craft.

Tavern Maid started grinding the Woodlands and during whole game managed to gain two destinies for herself, and even a magic object that essentially functioned as a destiny. And they all combo'd up.

I don't remember the complete horror, but it was something like that whenever another player rolled "1" for movement or lost a battle or psychic combat, she would replenish one dark fate. She was able to spend a dark fate to choose the result of a movement roll for anyone. One magic object gave her a fate if she started her turn without any. There was additional shenanigans involved, too, but those were the ones that came up most often.

Chivalric Knight managed to snatch Alchemist's Everfull Purse eventually, but by then all heroes got around 8-10 of either Strength or Craft, and so the race for Crown of Command began. Probably there were lots of memorable little happenings that I fail to remember, but game had already lasted for quite a while. Everybody was getting tired.

Alchemist was the first to try to enter Inner Region, and he had Craft 9. And somehow he managed to fail three times in a row to pass the Mines. By this time Tavern Maid and Chivalric Knight had got a bit scared that the Alchemist was running for victory, so both of them entered Inner Region too. Chivalric Knight was the last one to enter, but he had Cloak of Feathers. Before Chivalric Knight started stripping his clothes, Alchemist failed to pass Mines fourth time in a row with a roll of 6, 5, 5. To the tavern it was, then.

But game didn't end just yet, though Chivalric Knight teleported to Valley of Fire, and picked the ending next. Oh no. The game was just beginning, since the ending we got was "Spreading Flames", where every player dropped a fireland token at the start of turn.

And, well. Alchemist looked like the winner here, since he had easy healing available. And things didn't look any better for other players when he snatched Everfull Purse right back.

Tavern Maid had only dark fate, and she encountered Death and rolled one. The board was almost filled with fireland tokens, many spaces containing more than one token. Well, it had been a long game, but finally it'd be over.

Nope.

Chivalric Knight drew some kind of Ifrit enemy that removed all fireland tokens from current region. Gosh, looked like game just didn't want to stop.

So Alchemist and Chivalric Knight started to dance around the board again, trying to dodge the fireland tokens.

That one enemy unnecessarily easily added an extra hour to the game length, but the result was fully worth it.

Alchemist was left in the Outer Region that again had perhaps two spaces with no fireland tokens, and many spaces with two or more tokens. Chivalric Knight dodged the tokens and got his heals first twice from Chapel and then from Castle in the middle region. Final steps were that Chivalric Knight entered the black knight space that didn't have a token, and Alchemist had had to melt his Everfull Purse last turn to heal enough that he wouldn't have died. And then after over two hours of dodging the hot spaces Alchemist was not able to heal any more, and he lost.

Alchemist lost a game! Party!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bi-Polar Dungeon Lord

So, my bi-annual trip to visit my parents started only a few days ago, and already it has yielded two three player games of Dungeon Lords.

First time around we only added into the soup all easily integrated parts of "Festival Season" expansion (that is - monsters, bards, rooms, special events) since it's been a while when any of us played Dungeon Lords.

And did it show!

I messed up completely my finances, though the yellow guy is to be blamed a little here, too. I didn't have any food or money available during second year (except for taxes), so my only defense against leveled up adventurers during second year was a lone demon. No other monsters, traps, or anything.

Special Events screwed every player up. First year we had Witch Hunt (remove one of your monsters or gain 3 evil) and second year was Impatient Heroes (various highly annoying effects from adventurers you get that season).

Two players got some dead letters, but I avoided them like a plague. One of the letters was received from using the plague trap, heh.

Only one player got to use new monsters (the cocatrice), and only two bards showed up, both years combined. Nobody triggered paladin even if there was this Witch Hunt.

It was a real struggle for every player, a minimum of five squares was conquered from all players, and the final scores weren't too shabby, either.

Winner scored six points despite having three dead letters.

Second player scored five, and last player scored the loneliest number of points - but still got the dungeon lord's permit!


Game 2:

Second game we played we used all the components of Festival Season expansion. I find it somehow fitting that this happened only a couple of days before Christmas.

Since nobody has played the game extensively, it was bound to happen that the game went into full chaos.

First year we all managed quite well. This was probably due to special events not being too punishing - first we got Rats when nobody had over one food token, and the last one was A Scout at the Entrance, but everybody had a trap for the scout.

I got myself a Cocatrice with +2 attack modifier from the Unique Opportunity.

The unique opportunity (bank gold farm) ruined my first year Tax day, and as a result I got two Dead Letters when nobody else had those. I didn't have a gold to put into the farm.

First year I got a vampire and the aforementioned cocatrice as my monsters. At this point my play style could be described as "bi-polar", since at the end of first year I was as good as it can get: lowest of the lowest on the Evil-O-Meter.

But then first two seasons next year I purchased a ghost and a dragon before it was pay day... So that's effectively a nine step rise. At that point I just stopped caring. And I also had some wild dreams of getting the dwarf paladin to visit my dungeon. And that looked like a very real possibility, when the Masquerade unique opportunity was revealed to be the very last unique opportunity in the whole game...

Two special events were the Earthquake and Danse Macabre. Har har. Danse Macabre with six monsters. Last year I'd have a guaranteed rise of +15 in the Evil-o-Meter, before taking into account possible additions from Masquerade. I've never felt so good. I mean... I've never felt so evil.

Thanks to Masquerade every other player (well, except for the yellow idiot) (I don't usually speak bad of other players, but yellow was a non-player character, so it's okay) got over the Paladin space on Evil-o-Meter, too. So I got the dwarf. Just as I planned. Damn, I've never felt the idea of growing any kind of mustache, but in situations like these it would be so lovely to get to twirl.

Then it's the last quarter of the game, the fight round of year two.

One of the players is whining excessively and ready to flip all her dungeon tiles over because she would just get her ass kicked with no possibility to survive. I don't usually speak of other players in a bad tone, but she was my little sis, so it's okay.

I don't remember too well how the other two players did, because I was so immersed in my own nefarious plots.

First the Paladin eats a poisoned meal, and then dart of madness causes the warriow right behind of the paladen to strike him for three damage. Who knew getting rid of paladins could be so simple?

In the end the adventuring party of two bards, a wizard, warrior and a palading conquered only two tiles.

Having played such a successful second year I was rather certain I had won - especially when I compared my points to those we had scored a day earlier. I had scored twenty one points.

Final scores were:

Winner: 30
Second: 21
Third: 11

Damn you, sis... Damn you!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Forge Master vs Void Seer

This game also dates a couple of weeks back.

I continued to play with Mordikaar, and I was against Convergence of Cyriss.

It was a 50 point game, and my list was a copy of one of my earlier lists... Shocking, I know. I never do that.

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Bronzeback Titan
- Archidon
- Basilisk Krea
- 2x Reptile Hounds

Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Aptimus Marketh
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Void Spirit
Saxon Orrik

Opponent had (or at least I think I got the list right... so many vectors again):

The Great Machine tier 4
Forge Master Syntherion
- Assimilator
- Cipher
- Monitor
- 2x Modulator
- 2x Diffuser
- Mitigator
- Corollary
- Free Galvanizer

Optifex Directive
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex
Accretion Servitors
Attunement Servitors

Scenario was Destruction, which looked rather challenging on this board! Flayer Cannon and Dominar Rasheth act as the objectives in this game because I forgot to take my usual objectives with me.

Convergence started game, and first picture is from the end of Skorne turn 1.

Syntherion had his usual set of Synergy, Reconstruct and Hot Shot going on, thanks to tier bonuses. Reconstruct was on one of the Modulators, and Hot Shot was on Cipher.

Skorne had Banishing Ward on Cetrati and Hollow on Praetorian Swordsmen.

Turn 2 Convergence casts Magnetic Hold on Praetorian Swordsmen and kills one Cetrati and a void spirit.

Mordikaar uses his feat and tries to rush forward with entire army. Cataphract Cetrati charge various vectors on the left, and Archidon flies straight to the ruins against a modulator. Bronzeback Titan backs up the flying reptile. Magnetic Hold on Praetorian Swordsmen was a costly affair. Aptimus Marketh cast Banishing Ward on them, and then Mordikaar cast Hollow right back. Anyway, the Swordsmen and two Reptile Hound clog the right side of the board. Skorne didn't do much in terms of casualties, but hopefully +3 def would have some effect.

Turn 3 Syntherion replies with his own feat, but that +3 defense is a tough one. Only a couple of Cetrati die plus ton of Swordsmen, but they just turn into souls for Mordikaar. I think Archidon took a few nasty hits and was left with only about 20% of damage boxes left.

The ruins in the middle make for rather confined battleground, so I decide that Archidon is dead anyway, so it flies over the Modulator and takes a free strike - which doesn't hit. Nice. Then Archidon tickles Cipher a bit. Bronzeback Titan comes and mauls Modulator with just initial attacks, but damn. Exactly this Modulator was the one with Reconstruct. And it popped up from behind of Bronzeback Titan.

Mordikaar brought back at least two Cetrati, one of which was dedicated to take out the reconstructed Modulator, and thankfully it succeeded.

Three charge attacks and a Basilisk Krea was enough to wreck the Assimilator (one charge attack had come a turn earlier).

Turn 4 Convergence killed Archidon, Basilisk Krea and I think even one Reptile Hound, which was kind of a bad thing. Just a while ago situation had looked so good. After all, Skorne infantry is the very definition of "disposable" with Mordikaar.

But I still got my Bronzeback, who single-handedly goes and wrecks Cipher and the enemy objective. Praetorian Swordsmen gang up on Monitor and deal one point of damage with precision strikes. Last Reptile Hound tries to come and finish it, but there's only so much P+S 8 can do.

Turn 5 Convergence finishes off all Cetrati, which is kind of a harsh blow. Only real heavy hitter was now the Bronzeback Titan - and opponent still had tons of warjacks. Granted, none of them seemed to have the hitting power to easily kill Bronzeback either! But I'd be losing that attrition thanks to Reconstruct.

Swordsmen still aren't able to finish off Monitor, who in turn scores a hit on the last remaining Reptile Hound, killing it. Random assassination, here I come! No other chance any more, really.

Wall of steel starts to form up right in front of Bronzeback, who impatiently waits some reinforcements from Praetorians. But they're a turn too late in any case, and finally Bronzeback falls down, succumbing to the terrible amount of low-powered attacks slewn at it. By then the Swordsmen have arrived, but there is a wall with see-through windows in-between them and enemy forces.

With two Revives and a Ghost Walk from Aptimus Marketh... would two Praetorian Swordsmen kill uninjured enemy warcaster with two P+S 12 boosted attacks?

No.

So Convergence now needs only to mop up the battlefield from last remaining Skorne models. They fail to kill Mordikaar, who just manages to cut himself down to one hit box remaining and get full Fury for one last turn. He casts Ghost Walk on himself, charges Corollary, and... well. That's it. There was now a Furyless warlock with only one hit point sitting in the middle of enemy warjacks.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sold to the pits

Last Thursday my Carnival of Chaos played three games. And how terrible games they were.

I wonder why it is that every time I go to play Mordheim, I haven't slept, like, at all. Ever.

So this is why I'm writing these Mordheim games first, though I still have one Warmachine game to write up that was played earlier. But I need to do this quick or I'll forget just about everything.

Anyway, first game was against Reiklanders warband.

I only have one decent picture from this game, so it will have to do.

Scenario was surprise attack, and I rolled really good for warriors who started the game on board. Only one brute, tainted one and brethren hero started off board. Nice, I thought. But then I had to deploy all of the warriors so that nobody was within 8" of another... not so nice.

I had taken chances with the double handed weapon wielding brute and deployed it close to one of the table edges with no lesser models acting as buffers. Of course Reiklanders randomly started just from that table edge.

Reiklanders' start was a bit underwhelming, though their archers got nasty positions in a tower, and other warriors had clear charge lane to the double handed weapon brute.

The brute survived an attack of four enemies, though he stunned only two of them. Then he failed his "all alone" test and took a run, provoking two automatically hitting attacks. And yet he survived even those.

What he didn't survive was a rally check, and he ran off the board.

Joker (hideous + cloud of flies) Tainted One and flail wielding brute showed up on my next turn, and from a random board edge - which was the very same edge Reiklanders started. So it was some sort of double-surprise attack?

Joker charged the two stunned Reiklanders and put them out of their misery. Flail guy killed another Reiklander

So things looked pretty good - Reiklanders managed to take down only two nurglings, which wasn't enough to cause a rout check.

But then the downfall began. On my very own turn, even. Flail guy turns into a fail guy and knocks himself down in combat. I don't remember what happened to the joker, except that he didn't get any kills either. My last hero didn't show up even this turn.

Reiklanders then kill both the flailer and the joker, and even a poor little nurgling. Things went horribly bad in very rapid succession. Voluntary rout it was.

When I started rolling for injuries, I almost cried when I rolled 1 for tens for flail brute. But then I was relieved when I rolled 6 for ones, meaning brute didn't die, but suffered multiple injuries. Then I almost cried again when I rolled SIX additional injuries. What an emotional rollercoaster.

Brute rolled bitter enmity (Reiklander warbands), which was good. And then he rolled four full recoveries. So I was again quite relieved. But then the last was "sold to the pits", and the pit fighter brutally mauled him. And again to roll injuries... Deep wound, miss one next game. Phew.

He also got a skill advance, which was Step Aside.

My new and improved Tainted One rolled a leg wound (-1 M), and I had a vision of converting a clown on a pogo stick... but anyway. That sucks.

Brethren hero raised his Ballistic Skill.

I think two nurglings died out of three taken out of action, but I bought them right back.

As an added insult one of the Reiklanders was sold to the pits, too. And won.


Game 2:

Second game was against a Possessed warband, and a terrifying warband it was. Scenario was Skirmish.

I managed to arrange nice little bottleneck to the middle with a nurgling. Probably the best hero of the Possessed got stuck there.

Double handed weapon brute merrily charged in to the thick of Possessed henchmen - backed up with a couple of nurglings and arrows from my own henchmen and heroes.

I remember I rolled five dice for exploration, so one of the heroes must have been taken out of action. I don't remember who it was, but enough nurglings plus the hero died, so I took my leave voluntarily. My reasoning behind this was that I sorely needed some cash, and didn't want to risk losing any more exploration dice against melee monsters of Possessed.

With five dice I find two shards. Whee...

Two handed weapon brute rolled an extra point of leadership. Yay.

The new Tainted One rolled an extra skill, and I decided to take Sprint to make up for the loss of a leg.

Another Tainted One rolled extra Initiative.

I think two nurglings died again, but I replaced only one.


Game 3:

Because last game was so quick, we played another one, so this was against Possessed, too. I hoped for a little better outcome, because two last games had been so underwhelming. But...

The scenario was Chance Encounter, and I was carrying one shard, opponent two.

This time I had good feelings about the game - I got to deploy first, so I was able to take good positions. Opponent would need to come get me from inside the building, where all of my carnival was.

And things looked going well enough - opponent had to split his forces, so I got to pick my fights. Random happenings gave a thick fog to the field, which annoyed my ranged weapons a little, but it also denied crazy long charges for the enemy.

But then suddenly everything went wrong. Every attack I could make with flail brute, double handed weapon brute and joker tainted one either missed or didn't wound. One tainted one failed to climb to a building despite having I4. Joker killed himself, and two nurglings were gone, too.

If I remember right, the Plague Bearer took something out of action at least.

Opponent charged Carnival Master dead and the last nurgling died, but double handed weapon brute stood valiantly. A bit of a shame that I just couldn't take any enemy warriors out of action, not even with two attacks at weapon skill 4 and strength 6. I don't believe the Possessed were impossible to defeat here - I just didn't score those few critical hits that would have impacted the game.

But I didn't want to leave the game as cowardly as I last time did, and I was hell-bent on inflicting some casualties on the Possessed, who have a very good chances of starting to snowball their way to power level over 9000. So I don't voluntarily rout, and pass my test.

Henchman and a hero take a diving charge against whoever it was that killed carnival master, and the tainted one who failed to climb came to assist with his meager WS2.

Double handed weapon brute managed to stumble down and stun himself, and the combat in the middle wasn't going much better, but at least they didn't offer themselves as a sacrifice for the Possessed next turn.

But it happened anyway. Flail guy and double handed weapon brute both went out of action, and plague bearer was stunned.

This was too much. I took my leave.

Funny thing, really. I rolled as many wyrdstone shards with two dice as I did with five dice... c'est la vie.

Carnival Master rolled multiple injuries... first was a leg injury. And second was "sold to the pits". Damn it! And though my carnival master fought quite a few rounds more than my brute ever did, he still lost. And was robbed as a consequence.

Flail brute rolled a skill again and picked Resilient. He should be tough one to take down now with two wounds, toughness 4, step-aside and resilient! But we'll see.

Hideous & Cloud of Flies Tainted One rolled an old battle wound, so he'll be out of about 16% of games from now on.

Brethren hero rolled a skill... through these three games I rolled quite a lot of skills. Anyway, I took Wyrdstone Hunter for him, since my luck in finding wyrdstones has been so abysmal...

This time there were no real life-costing (or existence-costing) casualties. Only very crippling ones.

Damn, I start to remember the good old days where I had my beloved Clan Eshin Sorcerer with only one leg, one hand and one eye - plus possibly a chest wound.

My plans of getting a Plague Cart are not going too well.

Last Rally Point of the year

This game dates way back, a couple of weeks I think.

It was a 35 point game of Warmachine, and since I knew I would be playing against the first incarnation of Kreoss, I took Asphyxious the Hellbringer with me. Reason? He's never played against Kreoss1, and it's a bit of a vanity and twisted pride to keep all of my warcasters and warlocks having played against Kreoss1.

Funny thing, really.

I've played more against Kreoss1 than against quite a few whole factions.

Anyway, my list was:

Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
- Malice
- 2x Helldiver
- Ripjaw

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 2x Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Darragh Wrathe
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Scrap Thralls
Saxon Orrik

Opponent played with:

High Exemplar Kreoss
- Crusader
- Revenger
- Repenter
- Dervish

Maximum unit of Choir of Menoth (the yellow bases)
Minimum unit of Deliverers
Paladin Vilmon
2x Paladin of the Wall
Reclaimer
Wracks
Vassal of Menoth

Scenario was Rally Point, and Cryx started. Saxon Orrik was a blessing, truly, when you take a look at the forest.

Anyway, Scything Touch was on Mechanithralls and Ashen Veil on Asphyxious. Kreoss put up at least Lamentation.

Turn 2 Malice with two or three focus (plus Mobility) tries to drag Revenger into getting pulped by Mechanithralls, but accidentally (more ways than one) misses. Deliverers try to shoot Darragh Wrathe, and I vaguely remember they did something like two damage points. One Deliverer advanced to contest my enemy zone. Repenters and a couple of Cleansing Fires take a toll on Mechanithralls, and Paladins advance under Impervious Wall.

There must be a full round in between next picture, but turn 3 Malice walked up, possessed the Revenger and moved it so that Mechanithralls under Reconnaissance charged it to bits. Asphyxious advanced boldly forward, under Lamentation, and used his feat. At least he'd gain one soul from upkeep.

Everything else tried to block easy charges to Asphyxious, since it was quite guaranteed that Kreoss would use feat next. Someone removed the deliverer from the right zone, and Cryx scored one control point.

And then everything except Necrotech and some models on the right was knocked down.

Casualties in itself were thankfully low - only some mechanithralls and Darragh Wrathe had to dismount - but Malice had lost cortex and some (or both) weapons.

Turn 4 I wanted to charge Asphyxious to Kreoss, but there was my own army and a paladin in the way. Malice attempted to walk as far away from the melee as possible. Then Warwitch Siren tried to spray the paladin, but failed. Then Necrotech tried to kill the paladin, but failed. Then Necrosurgeon constructed a few additional thralls, which then were able to charge the paladin. Finally paladin was killed... but the one who did the deed looked like he was standing in the way of Asphyxious.

I couldn't kill the thrall with anything else, so I ditched whole assassination attempt and decided to go in for scenario victory.


Asphyxious walked or ran to enemy zone, and Ripjaws and Scrap Thralls and whatnot killed another bold Deliverer contestant.

So that was three scenario points.

Protectorate wrecks Malice and a Helldiver and mauls another Helldiver. Only Vilmon gets to contest the zone, and he does so with Stone & Mortar stance.
Turn 5 it was only the question if Asphyxious could take down Vilmon. Dices didn't fail that badly, and Cryx went to five scenario points.

"Jamais plus" said the Corbeau

I'll quickly leave this here before I start trying to overcome the huge backlog of games.

It's Madelyn Corbeau, the Ordic Courtesan - a mercenary model who works for Cryx. I especially wanted to go all sorts of wacky colors with her. I wanted her to be so out-of-color-scheme both from Cryx and any other army I have (for whom she doesn't work) and from any army I might possibly get anywhere in the future. This is what I came up with.

Reason? I don't need a reason!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Then they punched the clown in the tummy. Its guts fell out.

So.

Last Thursday there was a gathering of five Mordheim players, and I ended up playing one three player game.

I was absurdly tired then (well, nobody forced me to stay up for over 30 hours) so anything I write here should be taken with a grain of salt. Or perhaps even with mixture of crushed glass and salt.

But that much I know that the scenario was multiplayer ambush where defender was the warband with highest rating (beastmen) and the rest were attackers, and game would last for ten rounds without taking rout tests... how insanely punishing for the defending warband! Well, I guess it's high risk, high reward sort of thing, because every defending hero was carrying d3 wyrdstone shards.

We also used the Random Happenings, where every player rolls a dice at the beginning of turn and when 1 comes up, something happens, and only once per game.

It looks like I was a sloppy picture taker here, as I took only three shot. But first, however, seems to be taken from turn where the beastman leader saw a Nurgling from across a crumbled wall, and thanks to frenzy, it had to charge in.

Well. The beastman leader was in a horrible position, but still I didn't dare to attack it. The leader had this scary special skill, where it'd get to make attacks first, regardless of charges and initiative.

So instead I thought it'd be best to try and shoot the beast down, as I got to make four ranged attacks against it, three of them at point blank range. Four attacks only stunned the leader, but at least my clowns would feel a little bit more confident next turn to charge a target that was lying unconscious on the ground.

Somewhere here a random happening number fourteen was rolled - the upcoming hurricane has caused some high winds to hinder combat. From now on all hit rolls (in close combat and ranged attacks) were made with -1 penalty and all initiative tests suffered the same penalty, too. I guess this was a boon for beastmen, who, to be honest, needed it.

The beastmen and the undead hadn't yet closed in that turn, but soon enough they did. Second picture is from an angle that will break necks, but anyway, it looks like Carnival has managed to shoot that beastman leader down, and at least Centigor is stunned or knocked down. One undead wolf-hound or dire wolf or what they are called seems to be dead, too - wasn't enough to stall whole bunch of beastmen, I suppose.

Carnival's plague bearer (Hordes Feralgeist in picture) and brute with double-handed weapon were slowly skulking to right side of the board, hopefully coming late even to the afterparty, and rake in a few extra wyrdstone shards from half dead targets.

Undead closed in against the beastmen next, which was fine by me. In the picture you can see the joker-esque Tainted One stalking a good time to charge in with its impressive WS 4 and three attacks.

Beastman leader went dead here, and half of my warband were rather stranded away from action.

Situation looked really hopeless for the Beastmen, but somehow they managed to slowly endure the waves of undead. The undead player was rolling dice really badly, and was grateful when he rolled a second hit in the whole game in somewhere around third round of combat, or something like that...

Centigor and some other gor were going to come at the two-handed weapon wielding brute and plague bearer, but there isn't a picture for reference. Situation there went something like that some kind of gor charged the brute and stunned him, and it was Carnival turn next, so brute raised one step to "knocked down" status... still a really bad status to be in combat! Plague Bearer had to charge in to save the brute, though I was really hesitant to get the bearer into melee... they're 50 gold coins per nose, or in some cases multiples of noses, but the point is they're not cheap, and if taken out of action, they die 50% of the time.

But the plague bearer didn't die. Swarm of Flies and the high winds and WS 4 caused enemy to hit mostly on 6+, or in some rare cases 5+. It's a mystery how the flies weren't blown away by the winds. I don't think it killed the gor, though it did kill the centigor next turn. If memory serves, the gor was stunned, so when my turn came around the brute stood up and smashed the gor.

Somewhere, somehow, I had thought that the joker Tainted One could charge beastman shaman, and perhaps kill it or at least stun it with three attacks. Nope. Not today.

When it was the beastmen turn, the shaman and tainted one attacked each other with same iniative, and took each other out of action. Pantomime gone all wrong. Or right. Depends from the point of view.

So, I had only three heroes on board now (one was recovering from his dive to the well and didn't take part in this game) and I really wanted some wyrdstone shards from search, too. Since beastmen and the undead were mostly occupied with each other, I did the courageous route of action, and ran as far away as possible with my whole warband all the remaining few turns.

I got to pay for my cowardice right away. I found only two shards, though I had collected four from beastmen.

Two nurglings out of three dead nurglings died completely, and my joker... my poor joker. My beloved little joker. He died.

Other than that I couldn't complain the advances I got. Carnival Master raised ballistic skill by one, and the two-weapon wielding brute got another skill, which was sprint. That's 12" charging Strength 6 hero right there, with two Wounds and Resilient skill. If I ever lose that one I think I'm bound to cry.

The surviving Tainted One rolled one extra attack, which was a bit of a lackluster with only WS of 2.

The henchmen group of two Brethren rolled "The lad's got talent", so I was overjoyed. I chose academic and shooting skills for him, because if I ever lost Carnival Master, I'd lose access to academic skills forever. Or at least until I'd get another Lad's got talent, which isn't something you should count on.

He also got an additional wound from the free roll at hero advancement table, and seems like I have forgotten to re-roll the result for the lone guy at henchmen group. Need to remember that next time.

I had one wyrdstone shard stashed, and I sold all seven. I couldn't bear the loss of my joker, so I bought him back, new and improved. Though it cost just about all gold I had, I thought it'd be good investment for future to have a Tainted One with Hideous and Cloud of Flies mutation. I guess if you want to think it storywise, yeah, the clown did die even by Carnival's standards, and he was left rotting in some back alley. And when he got back to camp later, stinking more putrid than ever and nesting a host of flies, nobody even said: "Oh, sorry. Welcome back."

I still got gold to buy one nurgling I had lost.

Even after all these changes and advancements my warband rating dropped. Well... only by one, but still.

Now I need to start saving for the plague cart. Can't make a proper show without a decent cart.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rage, Feat, Go!

It's about time I write this thing up.

I played a 50 point game of Warmachine last Thursday, and continued to toy with Skorne and Mordikaar.

My list was:

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Archidon
- Bronzeback Titan
- Basilisk Krea
- 2x Reptile Hound

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Beast Handlers
Aptimus Marketh
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Void Spirit
Saxon Orrik

Opponent was playing legion with a warlock I've never faced before:

Epic Absylonia
- Scythean
- Seraph
- 3x Ravagore

2x The Forsaken
2x Strider Deathstalker

Huh. I guess a list like that won't be losing to deathclock in tournaments.

Anyway, scenario was Outflank, and Skorne started game.

Turn 1 most models just ran forward. I think Mordikaar himself ran forward too, and parked right behind Archidon. Bad mistake. Aptimus Marketh cast Hollow on Praetorian Swordsmen. Since Absylonia has absolutely zero spells she can cast on enemy models Banishing Ward was a bit useless spell I didn't bother to cast. Opponent could also erase a spell from Absylonia's spell card - Return Fire wouldn't probably see much action, since I only got one 6" ranged attack, and one other ranged attack on Mordikaar himself.

Slipstream + 6" move + 14" range caught me by surprise when a Ravagore shot the burning blast over Archidon and set both the heavy beast and Mordikaar on fire. The blast damage dared to do six points of damage, which was transfered to Basilisk Krea.

Turn 2 Strider Deathstalkers were on the left control zone, but they're not present in the first picture any more. Looks like the first picture is from the end of Skorne turn 2. Two Praetorian Swordsmen who had been brought back with Revive charged them and managed to get kills.

I consider doing the unthinkable, and proceed to run another turn with my whole army. No matter where I'd hide, I'd be in Absylonia's threat range, so better to embrace the incoming slaughter. With Mordikaar's feat, of course.

I'm not sure if I had done that if I'd remembered Absylonia's battlegroup got +2 MAT from Conferred Rage... oh well.

Absylonia easily triggered the additional bonuses from aforementioned ability on a poor Praetorian Swordman, used her feat and teleported away.

At least Mordikaar's feat did that much that I only lost both of my heavy warbeasts and two Cetrati that turn.

I only. Lost. Both of my heavy warbeasts. Opponent had five.

I also had blundered my placements on the left zone - I hadn't brought anyone to control it, so I didn't score a control point on opponent's turn even when he brought nothing to contest it.

Turn 3 I did score that control point, and I really did try to clear two beasts from the rightmost zone, too. The things I did to accomplish that... *shudder*

And I failed.

Void Spirit killed a Forsaken that was in the zone. The Ravagore in the right zone had Fortify on it.

Saxon Orrik advanced (he had been doing reconnaissance for Cetrati the whole game) and tried to take a rifle shot at Scythean. Missed or didn't damage.

Cataphract Cetrati charge, and three go to Scythean and one who didn't get a charge bonus attacked fortified Ravagore. Scythean was left with four damage points. Damn it. Four!

Mordikaar activated here. It was a desperate course of action that was most probably rather foolish thing to do, but he cast Essence Blast on a cetrati and attacked the Scythean again with POW 12. Only a 10+ to kill on a three dice!

I rolled 9.

So Mordikaar cast another Essence Blast on another Cetrati, and thankfully rolled 7+ with three dice. Killing two of my own heavy infantry was bad enough.

Then everywhere else things failed slightly. Or in a big way, depends how you look at it. Any more warbeasts didn't die. I vaguely remember that all of them had something like 14 or 15 damage boxes left.

Rufus, the named Reptile Hound even performed "bite" trick to get the Arm 20 Ravagore down, but there's only so much P+S 8 warbeasts can do.

One Ravagore was left with full four Fury, so to my advantage it frenzied and ate a Praetorian Swordman.

I was a bit worried if I'd lose to caster kill now, but most likely ravagore to do that was the one who frenzied.

Absylonia cleared the two Swordsmen that were engaging Forsaken and then she teleported away.

Forsaken attempted to clear the gathering of Praetorian Swordsmen with that annoying POW 8 blast action. No too many died. The Ravagore in left was already full on Fury - it had succeeded in the Threshold check. But as a consequence it didn't get to trample or do any other such shenanigans to the control left zone - and three Praetorian Swordsmen had been left alive who blocked a plain advance to the zone.

Seraph and fortified Ravagore took down all of the remaining Cetrati. Yet the last few attacks by that ravagore (well, three attacks or so...) failed to kill a Reptile Hound.

Skorne scored second control point then.

Turn 3 Skorne would win if Seraph and fortified Ravagore died. A combined charge by Saxon Orrik, Void Spirit and enraged Basilisk Krea killed the Seraph. But then there was the Arm 20 Ravagore.

Now that the enraged Reptile Hounds both started in the same melee, they both got flank bonuses. It did take all the Fury they could generate, but the Ravagore finally died.

I don't know what desperate actions I would've needed to take if that Ravagore had managed to kill one of the hounds... No other option than to revive as many swordsmen as possible and hope those P+S 12 attacks would have scored some high rolls.

Anyway.

Scary warlock, that new Absylonia.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

If there's an earthquake, just dance! Dance!

Last Wednesday I played two Mordheim games against Beastmen warband. We played at my apartment, and I was a bit worried about the scenery situation here. However, as I put all the Mars Attacks and Deadzone scenery pieces together, there were some rather nice multi-story buildings. Unpainted, but what can you do. Well, you can paint. Which I didn't. But I digress...

My warband was the unfortunate Carnival of Chaos, which I intent to play as long as realistically possible.

First scenario was Chance Encounter, where Carnival rolled one wyrdstone shard and the Beastmen rolled two.

We were supposed to use "random happenings" chart from Annual 2002, but we kind of... forgot.

This time I tried to make use of nurglings, that had been just hiding in the shadows until now. Well, mostly this was because beastmen outranged my charges with every single model they got. And I thought no matter what, I would be able to re-recruit at least two back.

The beastman shaman had this Eye of God or Chaos or something like that spell, and it cast it successfully on one of the gor heroes.

I really don't see other way to act other than close in and take the charge in, blocking at least some charges with the wall of pus and ooze. Here I realized how damn good ability the Cloud of Flies really is. It can easily make enemies hit only on 5+ in melee, which normally happens only when you got over double Weapon Skill over your opponent. Not a single nurgling got Out of Action.

A few beastmen got a charge against Carnival heroes, though, but failed to cause any casualties. Brute with double handed weapon wrecked its melee opponent though.

On my turn all the heroes except carnival master either continued to fight or charged into melee. As I'm completely unfamiliar with the beastmen warband I can't give any names here, but the situation was that one beastman hero had gone out of action, and I believe all henchmen (sans minotaur) had fallen also.

Beastmen unvoluntarily routed.

Carnival got a total of six wyrdstone shards (four from rolls and two from scenario). I added fourth nurgling and a plague bearer to roster.

Carnival Master got a really good advance, +1 toughness. Two handed weapon wielding brute got a skill and took Resilient (-1 enemy strength in melee combat). Carnival Master upgraded his weapon ranged weapon from short bow to an actual bow.

Then we played a second game.

Scenario was Skirmish. This time we remembered to use the random happenings, and first player (the beastmen) rolled a random happening right away - and it was an earthquake. And the maximum number of turns, too. That's three, so not too bad.

Beastman shaman tried to cast its spell, and succeeded. Target was the minotaur, but I guess whatever god the shaman worshipped didn't hear quite correctly what the shaman was praying for because of the roaring earthquake. Minotaur died.

I tried the same tactic I was using last game, screening carnival heroes with nurglings. One gor or ungor was flanking carnival from the far right. I don't think it shows very well on the pictures. A lucky shot from Carnival Master's bow dropped that guy.

Beastman leader, suffering/benefitting from frenzy, charged a nurgling and died to that nurgling. Wow. The game was definitely giving the middle finger to beastmen now.

Elsewhere nurglings started finally dying, but any attacks against heroes failed to kill. Except attacks against beastmen heroes and henchmen. They were dying in droves. Carnival wasn't rolling dice that well during their own turns, but in beastmen close combat phases they somehow started (t)rolling hard.

But again I'm going too far ahead. Beastmen could have routed, but since they got quite a few heroes still around, they chose not to and made all-out charge. I think only the shaman didn't get to melee. One henchmen and some nurgling more went out of action from carnival again, but heroes were impervious to any and all damage.

Carnival played one more turn, and then beastmen rout voluntarily.

And the testament to the poor luck of beastmen during this game was the fact that the minotaur died - permanently. That sucks. I guess it fell down to a crack caused by earthquake, and then the crack closed. One nurgling died permanently from carnival, but it was summoned right back.

Advances Carnival got were really good - flail wielding brute got an extra wound, the joker-esque tainted one got Weapon Skill 4 and the tainted one with stream of corruption got yet another skill. It chose Dodge (5+ save against ranged attacks) so I guess that guy is my dedicated runner escapist now.

Carnival rolled four shards and a well. Flail-wielding brute took a dive to the well because he saw a shimmer of wyrdstone there. After half an hour other carnival members started wondering what had happened to the flailer, and there he was. Still at the bottom of the well. He failed toughness test and must miss next game.


Well, carnival master bought rope & hook for himself, and joker tainted one got a lucky charm. The other tainted one also bought a light armor, because I didn't have the money to buy two and equip them to henchmen.

Next Thursday there should be more multiplayer Mordheim, so let's see how many clowns survive until the end of the year.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Rainbow Colors

Well, technically these guys seem to have quite muted palette, but anyway.

As I'm most probably taking Talisman with me when I go for my bi-annual trip to visit my parents, I had enormous pressure to get the new characters painted.

And here they are. With and without flash, as I couldn't decide which one of the pictures was better - or, less worse in this case.

So, on to other painting projects now.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Victim of some marketing tricks

Well, yet again I wanted another stamp on the Fantasiapelit board game coupon.

This time it meant I bought both expansions for Small World that were released just this month: the Royal Bonus and Leaders of Small World. And, well... also one expansion for the Small World Underground. Though I don't have Small World Underground myself.

But!

Here is a catch. All the races and special powers in the Spider's Web expansion are playable in the original Small World board, too. At least I didn't find any game term from the expansion rules that were exclusive to Underworld only. So... why not? I got another stamp.

Yaaay.

A stamp.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stench stinks (Mordheim)

People suddenly started playing Mordheim in this town.

Mordheim brings a lot of good (terrible) memories... I think last games of Mordheim I played some six years ago.

So I tore into my nostalgia boxes and unearthed my old Carnival of Chaos warband.

I had played with Carnival of Chaos and Skaven before, but I sold my Skaven army for Warhammer Fantasy Battle a long time ago, so just about all of the ratmen went away to hide in another hole.

But the Carnival, looks like, had been waiting me all these years.

My initial roster was:

Carnival Master
- Sword, helmet, Stench of Nurgle

2x Brute, one with Flail and one with Two Handed Weapon

Tainted One
- Axe, Mace, Hideous mutation

Tainted One
- Sword, Stream of Corruption mutation

2x Brethren
- Hammer, Shield, short bows

3x Nurglings

Five players gathered in a basement last Friday, and the warbands there were:
Carnival of Chaos
Possessed
Beastmen (from Empire in Flames)
Middenheimers
Undead

We had two boards, so there were one two player game and one for three. I got to the pool with three players. Others were the Undead and Middenheimers.

Scenario was Wyrdstone Hunt (I think...) anyway, we had two Wyrdstone shards lying around.

Turn order was Undead -> Middenheimers -> Carnival of Chaos and first picture is taken from the end of Carnival turn 1. Empty 20mm square bases are the wyrdstone shards.

I aimed to get the shard over the stone block and leave vampire and Middenheimers to duke it out with the other shard. After all, there were just some zombies and the necromancer plus some heroes (dregs? Ghouls? I know not).

Anyway, the Carnival took residence in a nearby building. Brutes are both in front of the house, if you look close enough you can just see their weapons there in the second picture, which is from the end of Carnival turn 2.

Next turn the tougher undead up there in the side of Middenheimers did some serious flanking, and I was quite happy about that. They'd be a lot more important threat to deal with than my clowns. I don't remember if it was this turn where the necromancer took one of Carnvial brethrens down with a lucky shot.

Middenheimers shot one wound off from vampire and secured the central wyrdstone shard, and I tried to do the same with the brutes over at the stone block. Now they would just have to weather a crapton of WS 2 STR 3 attacks. Shouldn't be a problem, really.

Except, well, it was.

Flail using brute went down to the minor undeads, and the two handed weapon wielding brute failed its Leadership check versus fear. I don't remember what the vampires & its buddies did there in the right, but I remember that Middenheimers shot the ancient evil out with a cross... bow. Wyrdstone carrying Middenheimer failed initiative test to jump down.

Despite losing one brute I was quite sure I'd be able to take enough zombies down to make escape with the shard a real possibility. Hideous Tainted One charged there in, too. The clown killed his targets easily, but the brute, hitting on 3+ and wounding on 2+ failed to do anything. One attack missed and one just didn't cause a wound.

Next turn undead initiated melee with Middenheimers. In the melee phase the last remaining brute did nothing yet again, despite attacking first, having two attacks and hitting on 3+ and wounding on 2+. Oh, he did do something. He got stunned. He got stunned from WS 2 STR 3 attacks.

Luckily Middenheimers were too busy with the undead on right, though the undead were rolling as badly in melee there as I was rolling on my side of the board. They suffered quite severe casualties.

I was panicking with the stunned brute, and tried to charge in with everything that might even remotely be in range. Well, Tainted One I had forgot to activate after turn 2, failed its charge. Last remaining brethren succeeded to charge, though, but got into contact with only one zombie.

In the close combat phase the hideous tainted one continued to win, but brute was put out of its misery, as was the brethren. Yippee.

But undead had lost too many party members and decided to voluntarily rout. Middenheimers shoot down the tainted one who had failed charge, and then it was turn for Carnival to rout or continue.

I decided to continue, snatched the wyrdstone shard and took a run as far as possible. That hideous tainted one was truly the only successful actor in this play... Anyway. Middenheimers took a couple last shots at the hideous tainted one, and then Carnival routed, too.

Carnival didn't lose any henchmen, which was good. They did lose the two handed weapon wielding brute, though. The other brute got Hardened -injury result, so he became immune to fear. Stream of corruption tainted one suffered a hand injury, so he was WS 2 from now on.

Super heroic tainted one got an advancement, and he raised his Leadership. Oh wow. I doubt anything could have been worse upgrade for him, since thanks to hideous blessing of Nurgle he was immune to fear anyway. I bought a short bow for Carnival Master.


Game 2:

I played a second game against the undead of last match. Scenario was breakthrough, and I chose to be the attacker. I thought that three models with ranged weapons on top of buildings would have some effect in a scenario like this.

I forgot to take pictures from this game and took only one from few last turns.

Anyway, things went horribly wrong in this game. In the left side of the map I had both tainted one's, brute with flail and one nurgling. On the right were the three short bows and two nurglings.

First I tried to break through from left, and I tried to accomplish this by sacrificing my brute and charging him to undead. Two attacks against a WS 2 zombie, wounding on 2+. Two hits. No wounds. Thank you.

Next vampire and things like that charged to hideous tainted one. This time he wasn't so heroic and died somewhere. Undead close combat phase the brute attacked first, and yet again failed to cause even one wound. Thankfully none of the undead did anything important either.

Well, things looked grim now. The shortbows had been missing every shot they made during the game, except one zombie that a brethren managed to kill. Uh oh. Nurgling started to crawl forward. If the nurgling were models that won me the scenario, how hilarious would that be? In the close combat phase flailing brute scored a first kill for any brute in two games. Wow.

Next the undead butcher both the flail brute and stream of corruption tainted one.

"This play is over" thought the Carnival Master and voluntarily routed.

Injuries were thankfully non-existent. Three full recoveries. I was able to re-recruit a second brute with a two handed weapon.

Flail brute, both tainted ones and brethren all got advances. The brute, who was immune to fear anyway, got to raise leadership. Dice, why do you mock me so!

Hideous tainted one got a good advance, additional attack. Stream of corruption WS 2 tainted one got a skill. I was torn between some defensive skill and sprint, and in the end I got sprint. In this scenario it would have been really useful, as well as for future wyrdstone pick & runs speed would be welcome, I thought.

The henchmen raised initiative, which was neither good nor a bad advance. At least they'd have over 50% chance of climbing now.

So.

Those were the two first games of Mordheim.

It's still a fun and light-hearted game. I hope my luck improves a bit later on, and I learn when to voluntarily rout.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eagle King: Banned


Last weekend I was visiting friends and I defied my shoulders and brought Talisman with me.

We played two games there, one with three players and one with four.

First game was the three player affair. Victory condition was a secret, and characters were Warlock, Druid and Minstrel. There seemed to be two distinct stages to the game. First half Druid and Minstrel were doing great, while Warlock got stuck to the middle region by refusing to come down.

Druid was the first character to complete a Path from the Woodlands expansion and gain a Destiny, which was a really good one, too. I think it was the one where the character may use light and dark fate liberally as either fate.

When just about every player had either Strength or Craft at 9-12, every player went to the inner region almost simultaneously. Minstrel went first, followed by Druid and Warlock was last.

Minstrel found out that it was the Eagle King up there. I think Minstreal had strength of 11. He won once the Strength & Craft 12 Eagle King, but then was thrown to the crags.

Druid had a lot better statistics, I think he had 12 Craft or perhaps even more. But Minstrel had cast a spell on Druid that removed all Fate from him, so unlucky rolls caused Druid to be thrown to the crags, too. Warlock was the last to come to the party, but he had lousy statistics for a fight. It was either nine or ten. So he was thrown out too.

Druid didn't have any followers when he encountered the vampire's tower, which caused him to lose two lives. Then he lost to the Eagle King, so suddenly probably the strongest of the three characters was walking very carefully with no fate and only one life. I don't remember what eventually killed the Druid, but die he did. New character was the Sage.

Now Warlock started to gain some impetus, and he was the second character to gain a destiny from the Woodlands. He didn't have all that great Strength and Craft, but he finally started getting some good spells, which caused him to win the Lord of Darkness not once, but twice. We were all starting to get really tired, so Warlock just started rushing to the crown of command when he had 12 Craft in battle.

And then yet again all the players were simultaneously in the Inner Region. Even the Sage, who just tried it for giggles.

But Warlock had the Cloak of Feathers, so once he got into the Inner Region, he jumped straight to the Valley of Fire, and next turn he fought the Eagle King. Thanks to objects and spells Warlock had to fight Eagle King honestly only once. But it was enough. Warlock won the first game.

I'm rather tired of the Eagle King as the random ending. I'm seriously considering of removing him from the random pool, since he tends to find his way to the crown way too often. I want to see something else as the random ending.


Game 2:

Second game was four players, with one who had never played Talisman before. We didn't use Reaper, Werewolf or night/day card because of that.

Characters were the Ley Walker (who is still unpainted, which annoyed me slightly), Doomsayer, Cleric and Elementalist.

Leywalker took some bad hits in the middle region. Since this happened very early in the game, the player decided it's worth it to kill Ley Walker and get a new character. So Ley Walker died and Dervish stepped in instead.

Cleric had a good start, as she got flail from the City armoury deck just by switching it to broken armor item. She also had other really good objects, but soon enough she picked up the living doll. Living doll forces you to pick it up and ditch every other object you have. And you get it off only at the alchemist. To make matters even worse for the cleric, Elementalist picked her stuff up - and next die roll cleric made for movement would've got her to the space where she had had to leave her stuff.

Doomsayer had a really good start too. He spent a lot of time in the Highlands region, and soon got enough gold to go and buy warhorse and riding horses from the stables at the city region. Nobody gained Strength or Craft insanely fast, but Doomsayer would have started snowballing himself if he only would have drawn monsters to fight.

Later in the game cleric cast Mesmerism on doomsayer's warhorse, but it was too late to actually affect doomsayer much. I think he had around seven strength by then.

Elementalist attempted to travel to the woods, but failed to meet complete his path. Cleric attempted to travel the woodlands twice, and once she succeeded. Her path was the "clear path", though, so she didn't gain a destiny.

Somehow cleric fell behind from the progress of others, even with her warhorse. All other characters were trying to get to the inner region. Doomsayer got first to the Plain of Peril, and he used Arnkell to teleport to Valley of Fire.

The Eagle King was robbed empty in this game, by the way. So much for his glory.

Random ending was Crown and Sceptre, which turned out to be a weird ending. Penalties to other players are so harsh, that to me it seems a little pointless to even have those effects - the ending might just as well read "Congratulations! You won the game!"

Well, at least it didn't take an eternity to resolve like in last few games.

Freak Circus

I visited some friends last weekend, and we played two games of Gloom with three players.

First game we had the Hemlocks, artists and gangsters getting depressed.

Butler was a curious personality, and deserves a spotlight here. He served absolutely rotten meals to Hemlock family, and was fired as a consequence. He proved to be quite a misanthropic fellow, and he spent time mostly with his raven friend. He took long walks in the graveyard, and met frankenstein constructs and vampires there. To him, they were better company than that of the living.

As he was socially very challenged person, he got married by accident. And this was where the butler saw his true position in the society: he was absolutely nothing. Even the priest forgot his name during wedding ceremony. To the living, the butler was to all intents and purposes invisible. So invisible, in fact, that his wife died of sorrow as her husband was nowhere to be found.



Second game we had Slogar family, the circus family and the gangster family, and for the record this was shortest game of Gloom ever. Ringmaster Darius was a ghoul this time, and he had an amazing idea for a really good tourist attraction: an invisible person! Well... it seemed like a good idea at the time? Mr. Giggles, the clown, found love early on in the game. That love was underage, though, so he was condemned in a court. And as if that wasn't enough, he walls killed in a prison. Poor Mr. Giggles, got what he deserved.

Thumbelisa was a little better curiosity for the circus, as she was a were-duck. After being wed to a werewolf Samson O'Toole was found a vampire. The only truly dead family member was Mr. Giggles, the rest were undead.

Game took probably fifteen minutes to play. Well, it was an experience at least. The cards had been shuffled thoroughly, so it was just pure chance that made the game that short.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

This time no Train Wreck

Funnily enough, I'm writing this on a train.

I played my first game with Void Seer Mordikaar last Friday.

My list was:

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Archidon
- Rhinodon
- Cyclops Shaman
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Beast Handlers
Aptimus Marketh
Agonizer
Feralgeist

Well, yeah. The list is missing Void Spirits which are an obvious choice with Mordikaar... or are they? I don't know. At least they seem so. I also left Bronzeback home, so I knew I would be struggling against tough targets.

Opponent was playing Convergence of Cyriss:

Carrier Group tier 4
Iron Mother Directrix
- 2x Modulators
- Cipher
- Assimilator
- Monitor
- Diffuser
- Mitigator
- Corollary

Optifex Directive
Elimination Servitors
Attunement Servitors
Accretion Servitors

That seemed like a lot of heavy warjacks to take down without Bronzeback.

Anyway, scenario was Close Quarters and Convergence started game. First picture is from the end of Skorne turn 1.

Not much happened on round 1 anyway. Tactical Supremacy was on Monitor and Hollow was on Praetorian Swordsmen. Krea and Cyclops Shaman used Krea's animus. I figured I wouldn't really need Banishing Ward, since Hollow just had to be on Swordsmen and Shrapnel Swarm would do diddly squat against Cetrati. And the two other offensive spells affected only warjacks.

Somewhere during game I realised that our feats had some funny interaction. Mordikaar gives +3 DEF, and Directrix' feat essentially gives +3 MAT & RAT to her battlegroup. If Mordikaar used feat first, there would be almost no effect from either feats. But if I wouldn't use feat first Skorne would have to deal with MAT & RAT 8. But enough rambling for now.

Round 2 Cipher shoots some rough terrain splotches and servitors come to tease Cetrati and contest my friendly flag. Various Convergence models shoot three Praetorian Swordsmen dead.

I'm wondering if I should lure out Iron Mother's feat now, but I decided not to, come what may.

Cetrati advance in shield wall and kill some servitors. Rhinodon charges a servitor in a trench. Mostly just to get the additional movement, since the King Bowser was crawling in the craters. Basilisk Krea and Cyclops Shaman used Paralytic Field again.

Mordikaar revives two swordsmen and advances to hug cover and Paralytic Field from Cyclops Shaman. Aptimus Marketh casts Ghost Walk on the swordsmen, who charge next. Modulator seemed like bad news for swordsmen, so I left that jack alone. In fact it looks like the two revived swordsmen were the only models who actually made casualties. They killed two servitors and one point to Monitor.

Basilisk Drake advances as much forward as possible and sprays Modulator and Mitigator. Damage roll to Mitigator was amazing, but not amazing enough to kill.

Round 3 Directrix uses her feat. But first remaining servitors mostly float around and miss things, though in case of Attunement Servitors that doesn't matter much. Some Cetrati and Basilisk Drake were under the effects of flare when Directrix activated.

Her own servitors shot Imperil to Basilisk Drake. Directrix cast a Shrapnel Swarm at the swordsmen, who mostly died. What else they could do? Then Mitigator and Modulator punish swordsmen even more. Well, at least that meant a lot of Fury for Mordikaar next turn. But real loss to the unit was the death of the officer who wouldn't be coming back.

Drake had suffered one point of damage either from Mitigator shot or the Shrapnel Swarm. Monitor proceeds to shoot Basilisk Drake, and rolls critical brutal damage. Thanks to Imperil the attack dealt 18 points of damage. I was remembering that most light warbeasts have about 20-21 damage boxes, so I was a bit shocked to find that the Monitor just killed the warbeast with one shot. Drake has only a total of 19 boxes. This was so unexpected that I forgot to use Feralgeist here.

Cipher and Assimilator shoot models at my friendly flag, but make no mistake. Basilisk Krea is worth it's weight in gold especially during MAT & RAT 8 feat turns. Enough attacks missed or did no damage at all. I think Agonizer took two points in from some vector.

Diffuser shoots Rhinodon and scores a hit. Modulator then charges Rhinodon, and damn it. The beast just dies there. And whole Cipher & Assimilator thing had looked so good just a moment before. And again I forgot to use Feralgeist.

But then it's Skorne, and obviously it's time for Mordikaar's feat. But before that happens Cetrati advance in shield wall and make attacks against the Modulator. Plasma Nimbus isn't that scary when you got ARM 20 and multiple damage boxes.

Basilisk Krea uses her animus and walks or charges into melee with the Modulator just because it can. But the vector ain't dead yet.

Beast Handlers enrage Cyclops Shaman and Archidon. Shaman charges Modulator and leaves it standing with just one box remaining. Aww heck. Archidon feels bold enough to charge Cipher, right there in the middle of three heavy vectors. I was counting on it surviving with DEF 17 and no focus allocation to enemy warjacks. Well, it does respectable damage but doesn't wreck Cipher.

Mordikaar activates now and uses feat. He revives three swordsmen and uses Krea's animus on himself. Mordikaar then shoots the last remaining damage point off from Modulators with his ranged attack and aiming bonus.

Praetorian Swordsmen charge around, and three of them wreck Mitigator. Well, that sounds grand, but most of the job had been done by Basilisk Drake last turn.

Last but definitely not least, Agonizer starts crying and runs into the trench.

Round 4 then. Despite all efforts made by Convergence the Agonizer just doesn't die. Diffuser gets it to one hit box remaining and nothing else hits or damages it. This was a lucky turn of events, since when I had rushed in with my only remaining heavy warbeast, I had been completely ignorant that some of the heavies had Sustained Attack. That could have been ugly.

All the heavy vectors mostly miss whatever they were attacking. Directrix shoots Feralgeist down. That was a good thing in case I would actually remember to use it one day... sigh...

Modulator on left kills swordsmen. That straight line of automatically hitting pow 10's (if the ranged attack is a direct hit against something) was surprisingly effective even during Mordikaar's feat.

Then it's Skorne. In the trench the Cetrati gang up on Diffuser and wreck it with a few combined melee attacks. And to nobody's surprise Agonizer continues to cry.

I was quite sure that an enraged Archidon would be able to wreck Cipher, so it charged Monitor and bought extra attacks against Cipher. But turned out that Archidon couldn't do it, so an enraged Cyclops Shaman had to come and make up for Archidon's failing. Last possible attack by Cyclops wrecks Cipher.

Mordikaar revives swordsmen, Marketh casts Ghost Walk on swordsmen and then swordsmen charge, but they don't do much. At least they were in the way of enemy models.

Round 5. Convergence makes good effort to get rid of every and all remaining Praetorian Swordsmen, but there were far too many misses for that to become reality. Monitor fails to kill Archidon. Only one attack hit and didn't break any branches.

I couldn't count on Archidon surviving much more any longer and after it died I wouldn't have much chances on wrecking three enemy heavies. Well, obviously Cetrati could do something, but their number of attacks would be quite limited. Same goes for Convergence, though. My guess is that situation would have went to full and slow trench warfare.

So I want to try an assassination instead. I've had dreams of charging a warcaster with Ghost Walking Archidon, and that dream finally came true.

It's just that...

It charged outside of Mordikaar's control area. So it was just amazing luck that Archidon hit with it's MAT 6 and dealt something like fifteen points of damage in. That felt almost like cheating.

After that Mordikaar advances to bring the warbeast back to control range. He casts Essence Blast on Archidon and finalizes Directrix with POW 15 spray.

My first impressions about Mordikaar?

Hollow is an amazing spell.

The actual Enemy Unknown

Last Sunday I got to play Deadzone again after a while.

We were mostly testing a homebrew set of rules for X-Com Ufo Enemy Unknown setting.

Since all point costs and whatnot are arbitrary, it probably doesn't tell much that the game was played with 100 points.

However, my alien Strike Team was:

Ethereal Leader
Sectopod
3x Muton grunts with plasma rifles
Celatid

... and that was all?

X-Com had a bit more models, but not that much. If there isn't someone hiding somewhere in the picture, it was only 7 infantry models and hovertank. Well, hovertank probably explains that.

Two civilians were rolled for the game. X-Com got their mission from the Enforcers deck I think, and aliens had one from Asterian deck. It was just a killy mission for aliens, which was quite fitting. Though looking back now that was probably the reason I didn't rush too much forward... which can be a bad thing in Deadzone.

Anyway, X-Com started the game. Civilians tried to get safe positions, but situation looked pretty grim for civilian in square A6.

Ethereal leader had command value of 3-3 plus Psychic special rules. This mean that aliens could play a full turn in just one go. After all there were only six aliens. However, with Psychic aliens could go up to seven activations, and that was exactly what Ethereal was up to. In fact I don't think Ethereal did anything else during whole game except to remove activation counter from Sectopod?

Second picture is from the end of first full round. It's difficult to take comprehensive pictures from Deadzone because the buildings block line of sight to camera. Everything that has happened in the top-right corner of the board is entirely obscured.

But Celatid and a rank-and-file Muton shot down the civilian hiding in there, but set themselves up for a nice blast from one of the X-Com agents armed with small launcher.

Sectopod had caused one injury to hovertank, which had Vehicle (4). Injured Muton in the building took a lucky shot at agent in square G4, but didn't kill. I forgot who returned a lucky shot against that very same Muton, who got injured in the process.

Second round started with aliens having the initiative. Sectopod managed to snipe the X-Com commander model out of the board, which was perfect for my mission.

But just as in the original game from '94, AI took some very weird actions next. Aliens hadn't been programmed properly to grasp how important it is to contest objective in this game.

Muton in H7 just took a step and shot the agent in H4, failing to kill. What I should have done instead would've been at least to sprint to a neighboring square. I don't remember if I had Move tactical cards. If I had, shame on me twice.

But yeah. Game ended when X-Com got to activating their models.

I don't remember X-Com mission for sure, it was something along the lines of "control two objectives and kill things", and X-Com killed the Celatid and a Muton, plus mission had exactly the X and Y objectives. I don't know what would've happened in the computer game. Perhaps Ethereal commander would have panicked again and shot every alien, including itself, with blaster launcher.

I have to stop using that joke.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On the fence

Oh dear, these write-ups are severely lagging behind some imaginary make-believe schedule.

Anyway, last Thursday I played a 50 point Warmachine game.

My list was:

Cassius the Oathkeeper & Wurmwood, Tree of Fate
- Megalith
- Pureblood Warpwolf
- Woldwatcher

Maximum unit of Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain
Tharn Bloodweavers
Shifting Stones
Minimum unit of Farrow Bonegrinders
Swamp Gobbers
2x Gallows Grove
Tharn Ravager White Mane
Reeve Hunter
War Wolf
Lanyssa Ryssyll

Opponent was playing:

Lord Commander Stryker (that's the second incarnation)
- Lancer

Maximum unit of Storm Lances
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers + Officer
Black 13th
Nyss Hunters + Jonas Murdoch
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Journeyman Warcaster
Stormblade Captain
Squire
Epic Eiryss
Gorman diWulfe
Rhuper Carvolo, Piper of Ord

Scenario was Two Fronts, and Cygnar got to start. First picture is from Circle turn 1. I had placed Wurmwood rather front even if there were Stealth ignoring shooting available for opponent... But I believed that, if needed, Arm 16 would weather POW 10 shots enough, especially when there was one Shield Guard model close by.

Turn 2 I was takene by surprise, when opponent launched pretty much all-out assault. First Nyss Hunters assault all over the place and kill all Ravagers who are outside of a forest. Storm Lances assault and kill War Wolf. I don't remember what Gun Mages tried to shoot, but judging from the picture they failed to do much.

Stryker uses feat, and ties up whole leftern flank with Def 16 elves. Def 15 saves Ravagers, as none of the ravagers died. Hit rolls were pretty abysmal there.

Situation on left would have been hellish for me, but Hellmouth made up for that. I filled Wurmwood with souls, and then I was going to proceed with double Hellmouths. Well, the first one is a double 1's for hit. In essence Cassius paid 8 Fury for that one Hellmouth, but it was a really good one as it took most of the Nyss away. Cassius used feat, too.

White Mane tried to free Ravager unit with a charge, but with MAT 10 failed to hit a Def 16 elf. Oh well. I wasn't in a position to complain, though. Only two Ravagers got to charge stuff beyond the two or three remaining Nyss on the left, but it was enough to kill Murdoch and someone from Black 13th.

Reeve Hunter ran to engage Storm Lances after Megalith had beaten the lone Lance on Circle side of the board.

Turn 3 was annoying for Cygnar, I believe. That 10" forest bubble made most shenanigans impossible. Looks like I haven't taken a picture from the end of Cygnar turn 3, but I think it was mainly positioning aside from Black 13th shooting Ravagers and two Storm Lances charging Megalith and objective marker, which was wrecked. The objective, not Megalith.

This turn Cassius cleared Gun Mages with a Hellmouth. All Circle forces charged forward and it looked like a clear game then and there. Cassius started dominating friendly zone, and Cygnar had only, what... Warcaster, Lancer, a few solos and two units with only one member alive.

The distance between Cassius and Stryker2 looked safe. On opponents turn, however, I found out I had been remembering the wrong spell all along... Stryker2 has Velocity, which grants up to 6" movement instead of that some other spell that granted only 3".

Stryker rolls for overload, and he jumped up to somewhere P+S 34 or something. And stupid me had left Cassius with only one Fury for transfer.

At least that absolute maximum threat range charge from Stryker burned a lot of his Focus, so Cassius needed to survive only a handful of attacks. Cassius was behind a wall, so it was essentially Stryker's MAT 7 vs DEF 16.

I don't remember how much Stryker had Focus available, but obviously he needed to boost to hit. Either the charge attack missed, or the second attack missed. Either way, first attack that hit would have one-shotted Cassius, so the damage had to be transfered.

Stryker had possibly only one Focus left then, and bought one last attack either with attack roll boost or no boosts at all. Damage roll wasn't boosted, that much I remember. On 9+ with two dice an Arm 16, 20 hit box warlock would go "splat" from only one hit.

Cassius was left with two hit boxes.

And then it was pretty much game over there. Pureblood ate Stryker.

Opponent had mostly infantry on board, and I had Cassius on board, so I guess I had advantage when it came to lists themselves.

But that threat range. Damn that threat range. If it wasn't for that linear obstacle, Cassius would have just died and Stryker would have had spare Focus after.