Saturday, September 27, 2014

Once you drink paladin's blood, no other blood will satisfy you

The last game today was a four player game of Dungeon Lords.

It was quite exciting to see how it would play with four human players, because the NPDL (non-player dungeon lord) is so random after all.

Since I was the only player who had played the game before, we didn't use the full rules.

To try something new, and to possibly rid myself of unfair advantages I decided that I would trigger the Paladin in this game and plan around it - not trying to lose, but to win with extra points from paladins. Big promises, grand words.

You could see the difference between three player and four player games. Certain orders seemed to pile up in some turns, and a lot more minions were sitting on the cards than in three player games.

But then... my boast. Uh.

First year I failed miserably with any and all goals I had with the Paladin - well, I did succeed in one goal, though. I managed to get him come to my dungeon. Well, and I did also kill him, but I didn't have enough resources to wipe out the entire party. So it was four conquered tiles that year.

Second year went a little better. Except that I kind of accidentally triggered the paladin again. Well, I wouldn't have had to, but I thought that what the heck. Might as well try.

I was relying heavily on traps, as I had the trap producing workspace. First year had actually went so horribly, because there was a thief with two trap damage blocks, plus the two from Paladin... so I made every possible action to dodge all incoming thieves. This called for some really desperate actions. Such as reaching the Ultimate Evil space on evil-o-meter.

I didn't have any healers or thieves in my adventuring party, well, except the paladin who is them all.

Adventurers were lead to anti-magic room, where I tried to stall them as long as possible. And it worked quite well, paladin and wizard both died in the anti-magic room. I was happy with that performance.

Then we started counting points, and even recorded hand clapping with a mobile device, playing it whenever a title was announced for a player.

I had the exclusive title of The Lord of Dark Deeds and a shared title of Monsterlord.

But however evil I was, jailing two paladins didn't make up for the loss of, what, eight tunnels an rooms... I definitely took a little bit too much for me in this game. I was last on the scoreboard. Which was, by the way:

Winner: 22
The rest: 14, 13 and 12.

So stay out of paladin's blood, kids. It ruins your career.

Lucky Bastard (No, not Goreshade)

Saturday was quite full, as I double-booked myself to play Warmachine and a board game. All things combined they took about eight hours - almost full working day. Well, except for the fact that I was having fun. And that I wasn't tied to other time schedules other than having some fun later. And also I was not getting paid.

I guess it wasn't even nearly a working day, when you think of it.

Anyway, yesterday had a big suprise, when one of the underground Warmachine players needed some back-up to give in some games for two new Warmachine players that appeared out of nowhere. It was too good chance to make contacts.

As I was in a bit of a hurry, I just threw up (that sounded wrong... how do you say it? Threw together?) a following 35 point list I thought would be really fast to play:

Master Necrotech Mortenebra & Deryliss
- Harrower
- Leviathan
- Slayer
- Ripjaw

Minimum unit of Soulhunters
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & scrap thrall

I was against Legion of Everblight:

Rearguard tier 4
- Typhon

Maximum unit of Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Ogrun Warspears + Chieftain
Maximum unit of Ogrun Warspears
Ogrun Warmonger

We had no scenario, and Cryx went first.

First picture is from the end of Legion turn 1, and Slayer is already gone. It was the prey target for Warspear unit, sure, but still it was a bit disheartening to see a heavy warjack fall to a few thrown spears. I guess I should have placed Spectral Steel on the Slayer instead of Harrower.

Next turn I decide to use Mortenebra's feat, coupled with Terminal Velocity. A lot of weight was now on Harrower's shoulders. And sure it mulched a lot of infantry - two Warspears along with their Chieftain, plus four Swordsmen and an abbot (or champion? Anyway, one of the unit attachment models.) Deryliss had cast Overrun on the helljack.

But then I kind of messed up with Leviathan, who tried to take a shot at Warmonger Chieftain... who had Occultation on. Pew. Leviathan, you aren't still convincing me of your usefulness! (Yes, I'm blaming Leviathan instead of the one who wasn't paying attention to Occultation... but isn't that the Cryx thing to do? Blame useless minions, not yourself.)

Ripjaw luckily managed to kill the Warmonger with Armour Piercing attack.

Soulhunters charged to the other unit of Warspears, but one charged away from Mortenebra's control area, and one couldn't charge anywhere thanks to linear obstacle. Meh. I guess there was some potential in Mortenebra's feat there, but I thought that if Harrower launched itself deep into the Legion, there wouldn't be much models left for me to take advantage of Recalibration.

Next Rhyas uses feat, too. She casts Dash, and takes a couple of swings at Harrower, not doing much.

Typhon, on the other hand, did quite much. Single handedly it took down the Arm 20 warjack.

Warspears on left killed two Soulhunters, and Swordsmen went completely nuts. They wrecked Ripjaw, and after only two Swordsmen who got into contact with Leviathan, the last warjack of Cryx was left with one box remaining in right arm. That hurt.

Yeah, I pretty much lost all of my damage potential that turn, but it wasn't the scariest thing that happened.

The three remaining Warspears from the 6-headed unit launched an assault at Mortenebra. I had left her quite forward, as I was sure that shooting wouldn't do much to her effective DEF 19. And, well, all three spears did miss.

But charge attack from first ogrun didn't. Ten points in. Six remaining. Extra attack from Rhyas' feat hit. Three points in. Three remaining.

Second ogrun. I was sweating blood here. Necrotite, I mean. Charge attack is mercifully a miss, but extra attack from feat isn't. Dead Mortenebra on 7+. Damage roll is 6. And nobody else could attack her, so she was left alive with one box remaining. Well, I had completely underestimated the threat from Warspears. I didn't take into account their ability to ignore free strikes with Dash, and that Relentless Charge is, in fact, tactics and not a granted ability. Huh.

Next turn Warwitch Siren seduces a Nyss Swordsman, who goes and takes a swing at Ogrun Warspear that is blocking Mortenebra's route to Rhyas. It's a hit, but doesn't kill. Deryliss advances and casts Doom Spiral on the same Warspear - doesn't kill. And then the last possible has to clear the way - the Necrotech Solo. And that MAT 6 P+S 10 attack did the trick.

Next Mortenebra would need to get two free strikes from remaining Warspears. She was camping all seven focus, so she was sitting on Arm 23. Ogruns would kill her on a damage roll of 11. Both attacks hit, but highest damage roll was exactly ten. The amount of luck she had had started to feel surreal, and a bit unfair.

Anyway, charge attack missed Rhyas, and here was again one more possibility to kill Mortenebra - Rhyas' riposte. Either attack missed or damage didn't break the armor, but damn, did missing with steadily disappearing pile of Focus start to look rather threatening. But at that situation what could I do other than carry on, and hope for the best?

Second attack hit, and dealt enough damage to bring Rhyas down to 9 points remaining. First attack bought with Focus also hit, and now Mortenebra had only two focus for her. So either one 3d6 roll of 11+, or one 7+ damage and one 6+ damage on 2d6, with a possibility to miss.

Well, after all Mortenebra would have been dead next turn, so it wouldn't really matter if she died to Riposte. I went with two unboosted damage attacks. And, well. I almost feel like a dirty cheater, when she actually rolled 7+, hit with the last attack and killed Rhyas.


What this thing is with my Mortenebra? Not all, but most victories with her have come from these kinds of situations, where she is fooling around with less than four boxes remaining. It almost feels like some sort of charm - but I shouldn't believe in it. After all, right after I had started to firmly believe that my Scaverous was cursed to fail in every way possible he started winning games. So if I'll admit there's a charm on my Mortenebra, she'll lose it for sure.

Oh no. I said it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Distress (of sorts)

And then the last game.

I'm not actually sure how I feel about this.

Damn you, modern technology! You're making my (non)life difficult!

Ahem. Well, anyway, we played one game of Small World 2 on a tablet. It's a digital replica of the board game. It had the base game and Be Not Afraid... expansion. My problem here is that am I obliged to write it up on this blog? After all I do count all the Warmachine games I've played on Vassal if I'm using models that I physically own.

I guess.

I guess it counts as a board game session, especially when all of us were present during play.

So I'll be using this post to compare the experiences a bit.

First, the game was played while we were eating pancakes. That's just not possible with the physical board, at least in any good and safe way.

Since everyone played their turn and passed the tablet on there was a lot less analyzing the situation during opponents turn, and planning beforehand. But that's not necessarily a bad thing - it's just a different thing. The user interface is pretty good, and game play is fast. Really fast. It took perhaps a little over half an hour to play a three player game - all the while eating pancakes.

It's probably perfect for practicing Smallworld, too. As it's an exact 1:1 replica, there is no content that isavailable in the digital play only, or vice versa. It definitely has its place and occasions to exist. Oh, and this one is a bit of a personal perversion of mine... it also has awesome statistics tha is practically impossible to keep track of in board game play.

It tells how long a race was scoring, maximum and minimum points you scored with a race in a turn and also favorite victim.

I copied some statistics from the end screen. This was the final scoreboard along with details:

1. Pillaging Amazons/Forest Trolls/Flying Dwarves: 93
- Amazons: Maximum points in a turn 15, minimum 3, 33 points total.
- Trolls: Maximum 9, minimum 3, total 36.
- Dwarves: Maximum 10, minimum 6, total 24.

Favourite victim: Player 3.

2. Swamp Pixies/Commando Leprechauns/Heroic Pygmies: 92
- Pixies: Maximum 14, minimum 6, total 62. Amazing total.
- Leprechauns: Maximum 6, minimum 1, total 18.
- Pygmies: Maximum 7, minimum 5, total 12.

Favourite victim: Player 3.

3. Underworld Barbarians/Mercenary Halflings/Wealthy Giants: 76
- Barbarians: Maximum 9, minimum 1, total 32.
- Halflings: Maximum 8, minimum -1, total 29.
- Wealthy Giants: Maximum 8, minimum 6, total 14.
Favourite victim: Player 2.

Dwarf skipping

Last weekend I took part in a four player Small World.

Game started with Pillaging Trolls, Dragonmaster Giants, Mercenary Pygmies and Flying Amazons. That's actually the turn order, too.

Pillaging Trolls and Dragonmaster Giants had no contact, but Pygmies were bordering with the Giants. Flying Amazons were everywhere, as was to be expected. Main body of Amazons, however, locked Pygmies up in a corner along with the Giants, and disappointed with the race, Pygmy player went in decline right after the first round.

A couple of turn later there was a big decline trend, and new races and combos were (in vague order of going in decline):

Mercenary Pygmies/Mounted Ratmen
Dragonmaster Giants/Commando Pixies
Pillaging Trolls/Spirit Orcs
Flying Amazons/Swamp Tritons

Ratmen took out Giants and Pixies had a revenge on, well, just about everyone. Spirit Orcs carved an empire in between the ashes of remaings of Pygmy and Giant civilizations, as far from original position of Trolls as possible.

However, combined efforts of Tritons and Ratmen took out all but one of the Trolls, so Spirit Orcs went in decline quite soon. With such quarrelsome races around all over (actually all but the dwarves had some kind of mechanic for conquering regions cheaper) another great age of decline was soon in the horizon.

I think new order was this:

Commando Pixies/Were-Sorcerers
Spirit Orcs/Imperial Ghouls, which would have been a pretty nice combination if everyone didn't beat the Orcs...
Mounted Ratmen/Catapult Elves

Tritons were still continuing because of their awesome decline race of Amazons.

Sorcerers entered play during night, so they removed most of Ratmen and a lot of Amazons, too, finally arriving close to Spirit Orcs.

Imperial Ghouls just played one turns and went in decline right away, because why not? There was a maximum of only one troll remaining. Ghouls started from a corner where they could kill as many sorcerers as possible. However, this was happening near the end of game, and whatever new race would be, it would only play the last turn.

Catapult Elves also considered Sorcerers to be a serious threat, so most of their attacks were directed that way. Sadly the Spirit Orcs had their share of attacks nonetheless.

Finally enough Amazons had died, so Tritons went in decline.

Before it was last turn also Sorcerers went in decline, and they continued to play with:

Were-Sorcerers/Fortified Humans
Swamp Tritons/Barricade Dwarves

Everyone had been jumping over the dwarves on a regular basis, so the player who picked them got seven victory points just from that. And Barricade Dwarves is one of the only combinations that might be worthwile for that sorry race. I think all of us were trying to get the dwarves by then, but they ended up with Triton player.

Humans started clearing rat infestations, and as has been hinted, game was nearing end. Also Catapult Elves went in decline to play one last turn with a fresh race.

Spirit Orcs/Imperial Ghouls chose Marauding Goblins as the last race, and those guys really stormed the board full of decline tokens.

Catapult Elves took Hill Homunculi that had two extra race tokens.

After counting final scoreboard was:

Flying Amazons/Swamp Tritons/Barricade Dwarves: 113
Mercenary Pygmies/Mounted Ratmen/Catapult Elves/Hill Homunculi: 96
Dragonmaster Giants/Commando Pixies/Were-Sorcerers/Fortified Humans: 85
Pillaging Trolls/Spirit Orcs/Imperial Ghouls/Marauding Goblins: 75

Funnily enough, that is exactly the inverted turn order.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ending my new career (as a Dungeon Lord)

This morning a third game of Dungeon Lords was played.

We had three players again, plus the yellow guy. Actually the yellow player was different than in last game - it was no other than Eeyore.

First year event was VIP visit, which didn't cause problems for anyone. Second year event, however, was Earthquake that is bound to have a real effect, as two tunnels (or rooms, if you wish...) are collapsed.

In third game players started to manipulate the Evil-o-Meter more than earlier - previously it was mostly avoiding to attract paladin, but first real attempts to get the right adventurers were made now.

Oh. And the demon made first appearance now (and saved my arse, or whatever counts as an arse for a dungeon lord).

It's too early to say, but I think I'm falling in love with this game.

Scores were something like 23, 13-16 and 11, and again the winner got tons of titles. Perhaps it tends to go that way at least in three player game? Or is it just lack of experience?

Game lasted almost exactly two hours. I wonder how much fourth player will add to this?

Since this game doesn't have that much direct player interaction it's difficult to write any meaningful description of the games. But don't get me wrong, Dungeon Lords is full of indirect player interaction, so it doesn't feel at all like you're playing solitaire and then count points and see who won. No. Far from that.

In fact CGE has found a pretty damn good mechanics where you can, should and will affect other players, but nobody will feel like all the blows are aimed at him or her, because after all it's just blind guess work when and where you put your minions. At least in three player games, where the fourth player will be a completely random spoilsport.

But it was the last game for now.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Starting a New Career (as a Dungeon Lord)

During ongoing weekend I got to play the newest board game in my collection - Dungeon Lords.

We had three players, obviously complete newbies everyone of us. Except the yellow player, who was a pro-player and a master in complete randomness and bluffing. It was the non-player-dungeon lord.

But despite this we played suprisingly few rules wrong - we only forgot that trap buying is a little different during second year, and that you start with three tunnels (we played with one). So that is to say that the rules are very well written and there isn't many rule entries that can be understood in different ways.

First game (along with tutorials and whatnot) obviously took many, many hours. The second game, however, took only about two. I guess this is a prime example of a game that is "easy to learn, difficult to master"? We also played the second game with full rules. They seemed quite easy and natural to adapt even after only one game.

Nobody attracted the paladin in either game, though it was a close call a couple of times during second play. I guess we're not that evil yet and the paladin saves itself for a worthy foe.

Both games had in common that one of the players gained most of the titles, so they weren't exactly "close" games when it came to victory. First game scoreboard was 31, 16 and 8 (three dead letters is really this fatal). Second game was 23, 14-16, 13.

One of the more memorable moments in first game was an annoying situation where my dragon was turned into a sheep, and another player had some other monster turned into a sheep, too. And were those sheep bloodthirsty! Both dealt the final damage point to an adventurer.

Special events in second play were Extra Tax and Rats. Neither had a very big effect, since special events came during spring in both years. Only one player had rooms to pay extra tax for in year one, and rats ate only four food tokens, all players combined. If I remember right, it ruined my plans of recruiting a goblin, but that's only a goblin.

Second game also saw a lot more situations where minion token would sit on an order card because there was no space at the order spots. Everyone hated the yellow player at one time or another.

Nobody recruited the demon.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Madrak Ironhide, the Thornwood Fertilizer

Last Tuesday I played two 26 point games of Warmachine. Bastard point cost is again because of reasons.

Anyway, opponent played both games with:

Chief Madrak Ironhide
- Dire Troll Mauler
- 2x Impalers
- Axer

Minimum unit of Krielstone Bearers
Stone Scribe Chronicler

My first game was:

Cassius the Oathkeeper & Wurmwood, Tree of Fate
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Woldwatcher
- Gorax
- Argus

Tharn Bloodweavers
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobbers
Minimum unit of Farrow Bone Grinders
Gallows Grove

Scenario was Close Quarters in both games. Trollbloods started game if I'm doing my maths right. However, I have skipped first round entirely as the progress was rather slow - troll brick slowly rumbled forwards, and Circle was too scared to close in.

Trolls got to start dealing the pain and hurt, but, well. Main interest here was that an Impaler critically slammed Gnarlhorn. Next turn was a bit more interesting for Circle. I was quite confident that I'd be able to assassinate Madrak this turn, as I would be able to charge him with Gnarlhorn Satyr, Woldwatcher, Cassius and a primaled Argus.

It was somewhat distressing to notice in the middle of your all-out assassination that, in matter of fact, no warbeast would actually be charging Madrak, thanks to Talisman of Subdual.

Before this dawned on me, I had already pulled Madrak closer with Hellmouth. Since I was figuring that Gnarlhorn would need more space for him, Cassius actually charged the shifting stone he had failed to kill with a boosted damage from Hellmouth. Well. That was one tough stone, I must admit, since even charge attack from Cassius did not destroy it. Only extra attack did. And then. Cassius did no damage in melee to Madrak, probably thanks to Scroll of Perseverance.

It's a special feeling when you see everything you attempt to do unravel before your eyes, and then dissipate into nothingness. Cassius said "screw it" and spent last two Fury to cast Unseen Path on himself and move to relative safety. For some reason or another I didn't use Wurmwood's feat. If I want to try and save my face I'm saying that it was because I still wanted to attempt an assassination with Gnarlhorn Satyr and Woldwatcher. But if I'm honest, I just forgot.

Well, since Gnarlhorn Satyr is not able to charge Madrak, it charges some other troll and uses remaining attacks at Madrak. But charge had cost one Fury, and the Satyr had had to shake itself up from the critical slam. I don't remember if Madrak even had to resort to transfering damage.

It had all started good, when primaled Argus dealt a lot of damage in to Madrak, and Madrak didn't transfer those away.

Bloodweavers and Bone Grinders had been beating themselves (stop hit yourself!) to provide Fury to Cassius in this grand assassination of self-esteem.

Trolls obviously killed Gnarlhorn Satyr, Argus and what was left of Bloodweavers. I think Madrak used his feat this turn, but it didn't do as much as I've seen it does.

So. On my next turn I had inflicted zero casualties to Trollbloods, and I had lost 17 points worth of models.

No other chance to aim for what I started last turn - even more attacks against Madrak.

I don't remember if Woldwatcher managed to do anything useful against Madrak. But Wurmwood was full on souls, but stood in-between Cassius and Madrak. That meant 9 Fury worth of attacks against Def 16, Arm 18 Madrak with some damage boxes.

Hmm. Now I'm wondering if Madrak used the scroll last turn or no, or if he just had that much Fury camped up. But Cassius required at least three attacks to hit and damage.

Not a single attack missed, and Madrak didn't pass Tough. Cassius fertilizes a forest out of Madrak.

Game 2

Second game I played was with following list:

Mohsar the Desertwalker
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Wold Guardian
- Gorax

Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Swamp Gobbers
Gallows Grove

Scenario was again the Close Quarters, but Circle got to start this time around.

First picture is from the end of Circle turn 2 I think, because Trolls are reacting next. Impaler scores a critical slam again - this time against Wold Guardian. But as it was standing right next to Gnarlhorn Satyr, the goat was knocked down again. The slam master of Hordes (perhaps even including Warmachine?) spent both games grazing the grass.

Damage rolls were amazing, though. Boosted super slam damage against Wold Guardian didn't even punch through it's armor, as dice came out something like 1,1,2,3. Collateral damage did nothing to Gnarlhorn Satyr, and the original ranged attack dealt nothing. Well, Wold Guardian did have it's animus on, but still it's adding insult to injury.

Well then!

I must say I didn't do any better.

I thought that a primaled Gnarlhorn Satyr and Wold Guardian and some random damage rolls would be enough to kill Def 14, Arm 20 Dire Troll Mauler. Perhaps it could have been a possibility, but again Gnarlhorn had had to shake itself up, and sometimes Def 14 is too much for a Mat 8 beast. And it even succeeded in missing another attack. Only one attack dealt some damage, which spawned a Whelp, that blocked charge lane of Wold Guardian.

Mohsar dealt with the Whelp personally. He sprayed it dead and went to safety with Sands of Fate. Wold Guardian charged Dire Troll Mauler, and missed one of it's available attacks, don't remember if it was the actual charge attack.

Oh, Wolves of Orboros had earlier charged around a little bit, but I was scared to bring too many of them into the fray because of the earlier experiences against Madrak.

Gnarlhorn Satyr was killed instantly, but Wold Guardian took a little bit longer to deal with. In fact it survived with Body and Mind unbroken, but of course Spirit was knocked off.

So it was bad, I was in very much same situation as I was in last game. But it wasn't all hopeless - this time I remembered to use Mohsar's feat, and it was nice to actually see it do things for once. Big things. But first Gorax charged Impaler on the hill, and Wolves of Orboros used Power Swell and attacked all over. The result of all this was two Impalers with 2-3 hit boxes remaining. Whee.

Both warlocks were dominating their friendly flags, just for the record.

But the damage output of Circle had been miserable during whole game.

Trollbloods luckily did a lot more damage. In fact they did 10-12 damage points to Madrak. All warbeasts except one Impaler that didn't have any Fury failed their Threshold checks. Mauler attacked Wold Guardian, who still didn't go down. Axer attacked Madrak with the results above, and Impaler took one Wolf of Orboros down.

Madrak uses his feat this turn, an takes care of Wold Guardian - personally. Let's just not compare the personal achievements of the warlocks in this game, yes?

Free Impaler didn't do much as Carnage had not been cast. Krielstone Bearers charged into battle, which was kind of funny.

Ah well. Anyway. Trollbloods didn't really do much that turn, but I was still woefully behind in attrition game. So I attempted the very same thing I did last game - warlock vs warlock assassination!

First Wolves of Orboros charge, and one of them goes against Madrak, who doesn't have a single Fury left for camp.

Mohsar enters the Wolf with Sands of Fate and uses Maltreatment on Gorax to get one extra Fury.

So, would Mohsar with 7 Fury kill Madrak with some 5-6 boxes remaining, without Sure Foot?

First attack is a hit and deals enough damage to bring Madrak to one hit box remaining. Next attack is prevented by Scroll of Perseverance. Third attack is a miss, and Mohsar has only one Fury remaining by then. So. Mohsar needed 9+ to hit and 9+ to deal the one last damage box remaining, and after that Madrak needed to fail Tough roll.

Unlikely, yeah. There was a tiny amount of excitement, though, when last attack actually scored a hit. Sadly damage roll wouldn't have punched through Madrak's base armor, as entire damage roll came out as 16.

For once it was a good thing Mohsar was blind - his last moments would have been a horrible sight to behold. So many teeth...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beautiful Purge

Last Friday I played a 50 point game of Warmachine against the resident Convergence player.

He had taken a new warcaster for him, Iron Mother Directrix. So in that way last week was amazing - outside of a tournament I got to play against two casters I had never played before!


Anyway, my list was:

Lord Exhumator Scaverous
- Seether
- Ripjaw
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Iron Lich Overseer
- Desecrator
Darragh Wrathe
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Warwitch Siren

Opponent had:
Carrier Group tier 4
Iron Mother Directrix
- Prime Axiom
- Monitor
- Assimilator
- Mitigator
- Diffuser
- Corollary

Optifex Directive
... + amazing amount of different servitors I can't even begin to guess. I can count 17 Servitors from the first picture, two who are from Mother and three that are from Prime Axiom, so it's four batches of various servitors that actually use army points.

Scenario was Two Fronts, and Cryx started game. First picture is from the end of Convergence turn 1. Death Ward has been cast on Seether.

Best thing I could figure out to do was Telekinesis a bile thrall forward, then use Death Ride with Darragh Wrathe, and then purging out. It took out five servitors.

Scaverous was scared of the harpoon drag of Prime Axiom, so he hid behind objective marker, Darragh Wrathe and Seether. I'm not sure why I brought Darragh Wrathe that much forward. Maybe because if I had to lose something to Prime Axiom, a 4 point solo would do just fine there.

Desecrator missed a boosted shot at servitors and template deviated so that nothing was under. Damnit, I'm giving you a chance, Desecrator! Don't fail me! Anyway, Iron Lich Overseer then stealthed both.

Skarlock cast Ghost Walk on Bane Thralls, who then charged. Or only one did, and the rest ran.

So... what's this Prime Axiom made, of, then? After a little bit of shuffling and Fire Group from Iron Mother, it advanced and yanked Darragh at it, who had first been knocked down by Mitigator. We actually messed up quite a few rules here, but the end result was that Seether was left alive with six boxes remaining. It was my bad, really, and those are always annoying, because Seether should have got one more P+S 20 damage roll against its ARM 19, which would have been a dead Seether on 7+ - so about a 50% chance of making entire game different.

Assimilator harvested some Bane Thralls with Ground Pounder, but they were lucky with a few Tough rolls, and only two died, despite elimination servitors backing the heavy vector up.

Well, who knows what I would have done next turn if Seether would've been crippled enough to be of no use or a smoldering wreck. At least this way I wasted scaverous' feat probably a turn too early. In fact I played next turn so badly that I'm almost giving "fail" tag to this game, but as it wasn't entirely game-changing grand mistake, self-ironic main topic has to suffice.

My main goal was to somehow reduce colossal support and get rid of some repairers. Nightwretch ran into middle of enemy forces and Scaverous activates, uses his feat and shoots away one Optifex with Excarnate and adds a Bile Thrall. Then he shoots Feast of Worms on the Prime Axiom, and Seether starts mauling it. Damage rolls are absurdly high and it takes out one damage grid, minus one box in weapon system.

Desecrator had taken an aimed, boosted shot at Iron Mother's servitor. This time it hit, but that servitor was the only casualty there, really. Iron Lich Overseer tried to cast Dark Fire on the elimination servitor in front of the wall, but failed to score a hit. That was bad, because I could have brought a Bile Thrall deeper into enemy lines if it wasn't for that meddling Elimination Servitor...

Then the Bile Thralls activate. The excarnated one advances and I take my time carefully positioning it - I deemed one POW 12 damage roll at Nightwretch worth three servitors and a damage roll at Mitigator.

But sure that 6" is a long, long distance. Well, all that were supposed to took their damage, though it was a bit annoying that Mitigator took only one point of damage and Nightwretch some five or six. What was downright horrible was that Desecrator, Iron Lich Overseer, objective and even Scaverous himself just caught themselves in the purge! It was a matter of 2-3 millimetres, but they were undeniable 2-3 millimetres. Scaverous took three damage, Iron Lich Overseer took four and Desecrator suffered only corrosion.

Great job there.

On the right I also accepted the price of POW 12 damage roll at Ripjaw in exchange for two servitors and a damage roll at Diffuser. Well, Diffuser was out of range. Ripjaw didn't take much damage either, but still...

Great job there.

Bah. Maybe at least Bane Thralls would do something useful? Well, in a way they did. Two got to charge Assimilator - and only half of them missed. The damage roll from hit was quite good if I remember correctly, so missing didn't feel that bad. But how good would it have felt to wreck a heavy vector with two Bane Thralls? I guess I'll never know.

Then it's Convergence, and I don't remember if Iron Mother used her feat last turn or this turn. Somehow I think it might have been this turn, because there are suddenly so many wrecked Def 15 bonejacks in the uppermost picture. Mitigator at least knocked down the Nightwretch who even gained cover bonuses. Then Prime Axiom finished it with drag drill, and Seether went down with a weak slap - Scaverous had quit upkeeping Death Ward, too.

Opponent took some various shots at objective marker, but damage rolls were abysmal. Assimilator also failed most rolls (and Banes passed?) on the right and downed only one tormented spirit.

Next turn Bane Thralls charge, and what is this sorcery, I must ask? Assimilator has now survived four charges and one unboosted attack from Bane Thralls. But they didn't fail entirely - they destroyed enemy objective, so Scaverous could start gaining control points now. And that pretty much looked like the only possible way to win this game by now.

Warwitch Siren charges Diffuser and hits, so the vector is shadow bound for a turn.

One full round has passed in between the middle and last picture. There is so few moving pieces on the board any more that including them all seemed like a waste! But anyway, Convergence unleashed everything they had at the objective marker. That's 6 accelespiker shots from Prime Axiom and two drag arm drills and a critical shot and boosted shot from Monitor. Mitigator had already activated, but I don't remember what it did. Anyway... after all this the objective marker stood defiantly at one damage box remaining. If the goddess of maths and probabilities drinks morning coffee, they'd have been all over her keyboard there.

Diffuser is locked in shadows, but Assimilator goes crazy and kills all three Bane Thralls that are engaging it. Well... at least nothing got to contest my friendly zone. Oh wait... there's still Iron Mother left! And she casts Tactical Supremacy on Assimilator, who then advances to contest.


At the start of Cryx turn the objective melts to corrosion - that I had caused by myself.

Again one full round, and Bane Thralls advance here and there. Two get to Assimilator and Officer goes for Mitigator. One also gets Corollary.

Assimilator has now survived four charges from Bane Thralls and three unboosted attacks from them. At least Corollary takes quite a blow, but one Bane Thrall is not able to entirely wreck it.

Before Iron Lich Overseer and Desecrator say good bye to each other, Desecrator charges Assimilator and does its most heroic moment, well, ever. It wrecks a heavy vector who has steadily suffered severe hits from Bane Thralls during course of three or four turn. My hero.

Iron Lich Overseer on the other hand starts to advance to my enemy zone, but casts stealth just in case. Warwitch Siren hits the Prime Axiom, and that's it. Cryx goes to four control points.

Corollary comes to contest the zone, and Warwitch Siren finally dies. But too late - Corollary is the only model in between victory for Cryx.


It was a hard fought and interesting game. But the objective was one of the main contributors for this victory - as it refused to die even after two rounds of shooting and one purge from me, opponent didn't have enough reliable resources to deal with Warwitch Siren. I think the priority was right - first objective, then the Siren, because Siren wasn't a factor when it comes to control points as long as the objective is still standing.

But really, considering my own play, I should have saved up Scaverous' feat and one arc node instead of trying to wreck the colossal with only a few models. Even if a good assassination chance wouldn't have ever come, the threat would have been there. All I caused now was just a purge that dealt more damage to my own army.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

How to play attrition under time constraints?

Answer: you don't.

But that's what happened last Monday.

I played a 50 point game of Warmachine with following list:

Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
- Erebus
- Cankerworm
- Deathripper
- 2x Helldiver

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Bane Lord Tartarus
Satyxis Raider Captain
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Machine Wraith
Warwitch Siren

I was against a Blindwater Congregation. A very special treat, or at least it still feels that way.

Maelok the Dreadbound
- Ironback Spitter
- 2x Bull Snapper

3x Maximum units of Gatorman Posse
2x Gatorman Witch Doctor
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

Scenario was Process of Elimination, and I think the Blindwater started the game. However it went, the first picture is from the end of Cryx turn. Erebus has Ashen Veil and Scything Touch is on Satyxis Raiders. Only shooting opponent had was the Ironback Spitter, and Satyxis are immune to blast damage anyway, and all the Gatormen Posses (possii?) could go undead whenever they wished. So Ashen Veil seemed a bit useless in this game.

Anyway, Gatormen did a cautious charge next, three of them coming up close. The three Gatormen killed four Satyxis.

The unit which is harassing the middle board is the one who has +2 arm & undead spell going on for them, and the most middle gatorman of all even has Spiny Growth on.

First Erebus tries to use Combo-Strike on the middle Gator, and you'd think that P+S 22 + 3d6 should do something to, well, arm 22 target. Attack is a hit, but the bugger stays alive with two boxes remaining.

Then Bane Thralls do an awkward run/charge, which kills one Gatorman. Then Satyxis Raiders charge, kill one of the Gatormen but the Arm 22 Gatorman still stands, even after getting -2 arm from Dark Shroud. With one box remaining. They had even used Power Swell, and that caused the death of an objective marker. Oh, that confirms that minions started game.

Well then. It's up to Asphyxious to kill that doubly undead target, and he charges, hits, and either fails to roll 7+ with 3 dice or the gator passes Tough check.

That was a terrible turn. Really... I mean... really? Three Gatormen stalled my whole damn army! Well, Asphyxious had used up his feat. One turn too early, I think.

Next turn a lot more gatormen enter my front line and kill a few Satyxis, who then fail their Command check. Ah well, I can't complain, they have passed it twice in a row before this. (Yes, that was sarcasm right there.)

Snapjaw and probably those few gatormen there kill objective from left, so it's 1-1 with control points now. Looked like it'd be a long, long game after these lines had been formed and warfare devoled to trench war - in melee.

Feat yield five focus for Asphyxious, and I'm wondering if I should try an amazing assassination attempt - either slam gatorman to Maelok or slam Spitter away with Helldiver. But since I couldn't figure out how to do both I didn't try anything foolish. There were too many critical points to completely fail everything. Looking back now, I should have tried anyway.

Instead I tried to remove any and all Gatormen and try to win with scenario, and keep a keen eye on a possible opening for assassination. Deathripper, Cankerworm and Helldiver contested left zone and tried to take care of Snapjaw and/or Wrong Eye. If I remember right Cankerworm made a really high damage roll with the armor piercing attack against Snapjaw, but Helldiver missed or didn't cause damage to Wrong Eye.

Machine Wraith boasts to kill Gatorman Witch Doctor in the fields, and nearly lives up to its words - it was either three or four points in.

When I'm counting it from the pictures it looks like I managed to kill two gatormen with Asphyxious' post-feat turn. That's... that's horrifying.

Anyway, opponents starts securing the control zone on the left. I think Asphyxious did have some kind of Focus camp for armor boost, but they're not in the picture... surely I didn't leave Asphyxious in the middle of enemy army without focus in this situation? Perhaps I did.

But in the middle of enemy turn the store closes. Well, not close as in "we got locked up inside", but we had to pack our stuff and get going.

Well, it's a second draw during Mk2, and the earlier one years ago was because of exactly same reason.

I have a very personal pet peeve with draws. As I keep quite highly detailed spreadsheets about my games, including many different forms of win/loss/draw ratios it's frustrating how draws skew those statistics. They make many records unfeasible for direct comparison.

What can I say? Boo hoo.


Finally complete.

GR 77 Sectopod, who will use rules of Plague Strider in games of Deadzone.

All things considered I think it turned out well and has some resemblance to the original. At least more than the Chryssalids I finished a while ago. However, it annoys me a little that there is nothing from the real Strider miniature here. I'd like to use as much pieces from original models as possible (some kind of perverted loyalty to the game I play, caused by Privateer Press' conversion policies? No idea, really.)

The miniature I used as the base was Grymn Walker from Hasslefree Miniatures.

Front should be more curved and the somethings above Sectopod's weapons should also be larger. The amount of milliputty I had to use was intimidating, and I decided not to try to go for 1:1 look-a-like, as it wouldn't have ever finished, and the whole model would have looked like Sectopod's behind.

As a side note... trying to find a view of Sectopod that shows it's back was a real challenge that tooks hours.

For funsies I took a picture where I tried to include all aliens finished so far, but blind as a I am, I somehow managed to leave one muton and celatid too far to the right.

Oh well.

It's over 100 points painted Plague for now. I tried to do an accurate calculation, but those damn Apocalypse Spitters made it impossible, as I don't know what they would represent in game. Also I don't know if I should count the plague hounds in or not. Meh. My personal first world problems.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Trivial Pursuit sucks as much as it always did.

I hope I will remember that for another ten years to come.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Asphyxious vs Proxbloods

Last Sunday I played two 25 point games of Warmachine. Well, actually they were 26 points, but that way opponent didn't have to break the initial idea of his list too much by taking proxies for models he never intends to use, so better this way. There's a lot of proxies going on here, so pictures might be even more confusing than usual.

Trollbloods played both games with:

Chief Madrak Ironhide
- Dire Troll Mauler (Rhinodon and/or the proxy base in pictures)
- 2x Impalers
- Axer

Minimum unit of Krielbearers (Boomhowler grunts + Stage 1A Krielstone Bearer from another dimension)
Runebearer (Boomhowler himself, I think?)
Whelps (Gobber mechanics)

First game I played was:

Orchestrations of Annihilation tier 3
Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon (additional soul)
- Malice (additional soul)

2x Minimum unit of Mechanithralls + Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & Scrap Thralls (additional corpse)
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Necrotech (free)
Pistol Wraith (additional corpse)
Machine Wraith (additional giggles)

Scenario was Supply and Demand, and trollbloods started this game. As I was trying out the tier list, I didn't have access to either Satyxis Raiders or Erebus. I couldn't figure a good target for Ashen Veil, so Asphyxious just slapped in on himself. Scything Touch is on Malice. Trolls were in a brick blob contesting the zone, but Malice was able to yank Dire Troll Mauler with a boosted Harpoon shot.

Damage rolls were disturbing, and Malice killed the Dire Troll all by itself. I had been thinking of charging the troll dead with a couple of Mechanithralls, but instead I got to run all over the place, trying to block entry to Asphyxious who is currently feating in the picture.

Pistol Wraith with an aiming bonus succeeded in Death Chilling the Axer, so I was pretty confident after my turn ended. However... I had never seen Madrak's feat in effect. I mean, sure... of course I was aware that most of my infantry would just die to the feat, but it'd be highly likely that Asphyxious would have a huge number of souls after that, and if I only had Asphyxious and Malice alive, maybe along with just a few Mechanithralls and whatnot, I'd have enough killing power to deal with enemy beasts.

Well... uh. There is a "before" and "after" picture, and all the destruction was caused by two Impalers and Madrak. Also, the Impaler on the right took off Malice's melee weapon.

Damn it. I was pretty much crippled if Asphyxious failed to kill Madrak, who was Defense 16, Arm 18, one Fury for transfers and the perseverance scroll unused. Asphyxious did have 15 Focus for use that turn, though.

Bile Thralls scored a couple of random points to Madrak, but most importantly they killed enough krielstone bearers so that Madrak dropped back to Arm 16.

After a lot of shuffling around Asphyxious finally charged Madrak, and 15 Focus did it's thing. Again Asphyxious couldn't have done it with his normal 7 focus, even when he didn't miss any of his attacks. And Madrak didn't pass Tough.

Game 2:

This game I had the following list:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Leviathan
- Cankerworm
- 2x Nightwretch

Minimum unit of Bane Thralls
Warwitch Siren
... oh, and it's one point short.

Scenario was Supply and Demands, but Cryx started this time around. Last game I had so many warrior models on board, and this time I had only a handful. Literally - if I didn't care for the chipping paint job, I could probably balance the nine models to one hand. It felt... scary. Especially as I had seen how many infantry models Madrak's feat can clear - though to be honest, nobody forced me to place them so tighly packed.

First picture is from the end of Trollbloods turn 1, and the Surefoot brick has taken nasty position on a hill. The empty base is proxy for Dire Troll Mauler here because Rhinodon just didn't want to balance.

On my next turn I try to kill the Axer with a fully loaded Cankerworm, Parasite and Scything Touch. It almost succeeded, the Axer was left with only a few damage boxes remaining. But, well... in the end it just didn't succeed, and I lost nine points worth of models thanks to such a random charge. Also it wasn't even a good bait or piece trade or anything - opponent was way too far for Cryx to counter assault.

Bad choices on my part just continued, though I was quite sure I was doing something I shouldn't be doing. But that Axer had slurred a personal insult against Asphyxious by refusing to die, so next turn I did absolutely everything I could to take the Axer down. I gave up a Nightwretch, Skarlock and Asphyxious' feat to deal the last remaining ~4-6 points to Axer.

Madrak also used his feat, and yet again I had packed the infantry I had too closely together. Four out of six Bane Thralls died to a charging Impaler. And yet again a feated Impaler rips off my heavy warjack's melee arm! They must use melee arms as some sort of trophy.

So. Impaler or Mauler has to go. Bane Thralls would decide - one went to beat Mauler and one went to Impaler. The one who got to Mauler only tickled the big guy, so Asphyxious goes to kill the Impaler instead. He really tries to save up focus for Arm boost, but rolls damage quite poorly. Impaler pops up a Whelp at some point, which Asphyxious also kills to gain an additional soul token.

I don't remember what Leviathan did that turn, but probably pretty much same it did whole game - missed things and cried its loneliness.

I also don't remember who or what killed Bane Thrall from front of Dire Troll Maulerodon, but the end result is that Mauler charges Leviathan, hits with both attacks and double-handed throws Leviathan at Asphyxious (with Chain Attack). Finally Leviathan didn't have to feel lonely, and for the first time in game it did something! It dealt damage to Asphyxious because it landed on top of him.

Madrak advances and throws the axe at Asphyxious as he is crawling out of reach of way too clingy Leviathan. Asphyxious is down to five hit boxes, and I guess an oversight from opponent (and pity from Madrak) made Stranglehold go unused this turn. I guess Madrak looked at the thing going on with Asphyxious and Leviathan and he thought that Asphyxious was Strangleheld enough already.

Next turn Warwitch Siren tries to charge Madrak, but doesn't hit. Bane Thrall runs next to Madrak, and Asphyxious who had shaken himself up walked to Madrak. Asphyxious had eight focus to deal with the warlock. The pillar was as well as Surefoot made Madrak equivalent of Def 18, so Asphyxious needed twelve to hit. First attack is a hit, and as a consequence every attack from then on was a hit, too. Hitting with first attack was probably what killed Madrak.

I don't know. Madrak the Thornwood Chieftain doesn't seem that bad against Cryx, as clearing infantry doesn't seem to be a big problem for him. And that's what Cryx is feared for, I guess. The infantry. Not the Leviathan.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What trolls and imps and... oh my!

Actually this should have been written in Thursday 4th of September, but I felt moral obligation to write last games of Warmachine in first.

But anyway, I bought a new board game last Thursday called the Dungeon Lords.

Idea seems weird and lovely twisted - you're the evil overlord building underground dungeon, and some annoying goodie good heroes are attempting to do good things (ie, loot your treasures).

Rules look really complex and deep, probably a little bit too complex for random gatherings. I have this fear that Dungeon Lords needs a dedicated gaming group. But we'll see.

Also I thought that there would have been imp miniatures you can paint to match player colors. Well, yeah, there are imp miniatures, but there's not much point in painting them, since everyone uses same stack of imps.

Last two games of Kurry Killbox, finally

Third game during Kurry Killbox tournament was very special for me.

It was against a future possible dream of mine - Exulon Thexus. I doubt I can perfectly reconstruct the list because there is not Exulon Thexus or even Cephalyx in the Forward Kommander army list constructor, not to speak of the tier list.

Anyway, it was tier 4 list something like this:

Exulon Thexus
- Subduer
- Wrecker

2x minimum units of Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (in ambush)
2x maximum units of Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges
Maximum unit of Nyss Hunters + Dominator
2x units of Cephalyx Overlords
2x Cephalyx Agitators

If there's any mistakes there, I won't take any responsibility over those. Even if I probably should.

Scenario was Process of Elimination, and Cephalyx got to start the game. Since it's been over a week since these games were played, and these are last two games in a one day tournament and I managed to get a mediocre level concussion injury to the back of my head two days ago I'm afraid I've lost most details by now. Fate struck me and gave a punishment for not writing earlier.

In the second picture the monstrosity with the Drag weapon (Subduer? It'd be a matching name, at least) has dragged Erebus to its death. This was the one game I later thought that maybe Ashen Veil would have been better off with Erebus, but come to think of it... the Monstrosities probably got Eyeless Sight, too. (Checking...) Oh yes, they do. Exulon Thexus had to use his feat to manage all of this, but I guess it was worth it. Any intantry I had would easily blow up to Benders. Pun intended.

Well, I guess it's of some consolence that Ashen Veil wouldn't have rescued Erebus here.

Also, both of the Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges came out from Ambush this turn, and it's quite suprising how much anxiety two minimum units of the most laughed-at choices in Cryx arsenal can cause.

My response was probably the exact response I shouldn't have made - I tried to remove those ambushing units. I guess it could have been passable idea, but opponent showed no shame in passing tough rolls.

During opponents turn I was looking greedily at the leftmost Mind Slaver unit - if I only brought Tartarus there, he could have got four of them within melee range. Funny thing was that when it was my turn I kind of... forgot. First Saxon Orrik gave pathfinder for Bane Thralls, and I activated them and in the middle of their activation I realised that Tartarus wouldn't be able to do anything useful after I moved them. Thresher cuts both ways.

Ripjaw and a ton of Satyxis charged to the wall of Cephalyx, but even with Power Swell they really didn't do much. I really, really tried to take down the Wrecker, but full 36 damage boxes is a lot. Anyway, Asphyxious used his feat this turn.

Most of the Satyxis fell to Benders, their constitution just didn't hold up POW 12 shots.

Wrecker destroyed Ripjaw, and a few Bane Thralls died, but all in all it wasn't too bad turn. Opponent didn't use too many abilities, and Asphyxious gained only four extra focus next turn.

Now when I look at the picture I'm not sure if I should have actually tried to play things out. Perhaps I would have, but as I had failed to kill any monstrosities I felt way too overwhelmed, and when I saw a possibility to do an assassination, I tried.

Helldiver popper up right behind Wrecker. Asphyxious cast Mobility and charged a Nyss Hunter, killed it and cast Carnage with Blood Boon. Well, there was one more Nyss Hunter in the way, but I thought that FOC 7 + 3d6 would be enough to hit a DEF 15 model. Turned out it wasn't.

I was quite depressed there. A beautiful assassination failed with such an unlikely event - I mean, if the failure would have been likely, it wouldn't have felt that bad.

Getting desperate, I spend many a minute figuring out if there is any way I can apply Helldiver to Exulon Thexus. Only thing I can try is to advance Saxon Orrik and shoot with military rifle. RAT 7 + 2d6 against Def 15 looks a lot worse than FOC 7 +3d6, but nonetheless, Saxon Orrik shows Asphyxious how these things should be taken care of. Bam. Dead Nyss with a failed Tough roll, too.

Helldiver takes one Free Strike from a nearby Cephalyx, but that doesn't do anything important. Since Helldiver hits on 6+ thanks to Carnage, I decide not to boost so I can get two damage boosted attacks against Exulon Thexus - he was camping two Focus, so Arm was 16.

Charge attack is obviously miss. Extra attack is a hit and gives 8 points of damage - obviously not enough to kill uninjured warcaster.

But hey! I hadn't lost yet, right? Right?

Asphyxious was focusless in middle of warcaster and two heavy monstrosities plus a crapton of autohitting POW 12 blasts?

Yeah, game over.

Game 4:

Last game was against Protectorate of Menoth, with following list:

Harbinger of Menoth
- Avatar of Menoth
- Templar

Maximum unit of Exemplar Errants + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Visgoth Rhoven & Honor Guard
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt + Attendant Priest
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
Covenant of Menoth
Vassal Mechanic
Vassal of Menoth
Alten Ashley
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord

Scenario was Close Quarters and Protectorate started game. I've heard rumors that Harbinger is quite popular tournament caster for Protectorate of Menoth, but I haven't played against her all that much, so I was quite happy for this match-up. At least until Harbinger used her feat.

Harbinger's feat has been in effect in the first half of second picture. Only models that could actually do any kind of advance were the Helldivers, who appeared as far forward as possible, moved a tiny bit backwards and re-dug their marker down.

Neither side has suffered any serious casualties when turn 3 started for Protectorate, and, not during that turn either. Master Holt failed miserably, and I guess I passed all Tough rolls in this game that I had excessively failed during last three games. So things were looking quite good.

However, I was terrified with the Avatar of Menoth. More accurately I was terrified of the thought that Avatar would lock Asphyxious down with Gaze of Menoth, and either come finish him next turn or wreck whatever I could bring to protect him.

My grand plans was to wreck Templar with Erebus and Vassal Mechanic with Helldiver, with a Bane Thrall giving -2 Arm to Templar.

Could have been effective, but Bane Thrall didn't get Templar into its melee range even running. Erebus did quite respectable damage in, but as I was saving Helldivers last I forgot to activate not only one of them, but both of them.

I guess I went so out-of-my-head when Asphyxious with 8" advance couldn't move from behind of Erebus, away from Avatar of Menoth and still be inside the Killbox. No. He was out, and that was 2 control points for Harbinger.

Well, luckily opponent didn't roll too well next turn, and Erebus and Cankerworm were the only real casualties Cryx suffered. I don't remember if the lone Satyxis in the picture failed Command check or if she was just out of 4", but opponent really didn't have to inflict much casualties, as Harbinger scored third point.

Because I was losing that badly in scenario points I decide to go into frenzy mode. However... I can't quite figure out what happened. I guess that's to be expected in frenzy mode, right? Anyway, I remember that Tartarus rolled absolutely hideous damage roll against Avatar of Menoth, but can a Ripjaw without focus and a charging Asphyxious with possibly one extra attack really wreck an uninjured Avatar of Menoth? Looks like they can. Asphyxious uses feat.

A couple of Bane Thralls and what's left of Helldiver nearly drop Templar, and all in all it could have been a very interesting game from that point on if I hadn't messed up that Killbox earlier. Or if I would have tried to contest my own flag a little more. I guess I fell to the Steamroller 2011 or 2012 thought of "if you want to win, you kill my caster because he's contesting right there." ... except that casters no longer even contest. So if opponent could kill Tartarus and one Satyxis Raider (possibly Ripjaw), it was game over.

Well, Satyxis was no problem, and Harbinger personally charged Tartarus and killed him. And after precision measuring Ripjaw is not contesting the flag.

Anyway, even if tournament went 1 victories, 3 losses, I think I had my moments in all of the games where I could have gained the upper hand, and even if I made some seriously stupid mistakes there seemed to be some kind of chance. Good games, all of them, and not absolute stompfests from any side.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First two games of Kurry Killbox 2014

Last Saturday was an intense day, as I participated in a one-day Warmachine tournament that had four rounds. The whole trip took about eighteen hours.

Anyway, specs were 1-2 lists, Divide & Conquer [1], 50 points and 60 minute deathclock that doesn't include deployment. And in my opinion the more minutes in deathclock, the better. Winning or losing because of deathclock would feel annoying, and too tight schedule takes away some of the most grittiest grindfest -style games that usually are quite entertaining, barring some very special circumstances. But of course tournament needs to progress in a timely manner, and I think this format hits a certain sweet spot, where seeing 6th or 7th turn is an actual possibility, and those players who finish their games assassinating on second turn don't have overwhelming time to wait for next round.

But that's just my opinion, more about the games next.

I took only one list, as I wanted to get some varied opponents for Asphyxious the Hellbringer. And oh boy, was I in for a treat!

Anyway, my list was:

Asphyxious the Hellbringer & Vociferon
- 2x Helldiver
- Cankerworm
- Ripjaw
- Erebus

Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Bane Lord Tartarus
Satyxis Raider Captain
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Saxon Orrik

As I got my Saxon Orrik only a few days before the tournament, I was unable to do anything to him except to assemble. I don't remember when was the last time I played with entirely unpainted miniature in my list. It has to be before starting to write this blog, and damn... that's already quite long ago.

But I'm rambling now.

First game was against Skorne, and even better - Skorne was led by Xerxis! I have never played against Xerxis, and the first time is always special, or something.

The list was something like:
Fist of Halaak tier 2
Tyrant Xerxis
- Tiberion
- Archidon

Maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati
2x minimum unit of Cataphract Arcuarii
3x minimum unit of Cataphract Incindiarii
Minimum unit of Beast Handlers

Scenario was Destruction, and Cryx started game. I know I play Cryx, so saying this will sound funny, but the sight of that many Cataphracts was unholy sight indeed. Well, Bane Thralls might still crack their armor if only enough would survive the shots from Incindiarii.

Ashen Veil is on Satyxis Raiders, though Erebus seemed like a good target, too. But something needed to tarpit Skorne.

So, Cryx second turn started with charging Satyxis into Cataphract Cetrati, one Incindiarii and a random Tiberion. Thanks to Power Swell the Satyxis actually managed to kill half the Cetrati and the only Incindiarii they could reach. Cetrati had Defender's Ward on them, I think.

Cankerworm tried to jam two units of Incindiarii, and it killed one and affinity movement brought it to engage two more. Encouraged by this, Bane Thralls ran under the guidance of Saxon Orrik, merrilly and happily believing they would not be set on fire. Tartarus was a little more clever than rank-and-files, and ran behind a forest.

I was very unsure what kinds of threat ranges I could expect from Tiberion, so Erebus, Necrotech, a Helldiver and Ripjaw tried to form some sort of wall for Asphyxious. And that was it. Come what may.

And Xerxis' feat came.

Tiberion was indeed able to charge suprisingly far and got Erebus, who'se Poltergeist did diddly squat to Immovable Object, and by the looks of the picture, Tiberion needed only to spend two Fury to completely demolish uninjured Erebus. Eww.

Archidon then wrecked Cankerworm, or if it didn't do it all by itself, then a couple of Incindiarii helped to complete the job. Six Bane Thralls died to blasts, which wasn't too bad, I guess. One of them was the Officer, though, which caused some problems next turn.

Satyxis with Ashen Veil were a nightmare for Cataphracts to deal with, as they needed 9+ to hit. And dice were twisting the knife in opponent's veins as he was rolling a lot of 8's.

But the situation here was that Tiberion was now sitting middle of the board with armor 23. Very few things cause anxiety as effectively as an enraged titan that you know is killable in theory, but not in practice.

Oh well.

Asphyxious upkeeps Ashen Veil, but this time the Satyxis don't accomplish anything, really. P+S 9 without charge bonus and additional die will get you only so far with heavily armored medium base infantry even if Satyxis ignore Shield Wall.

Well, they were the easy part. Then... then the Tiberion. Tartarus advances and curses a unit of Incindiarii and gets three of them within reach. Two get killed and turned into Bane Thralls, but because they lost the officer new thralls were placed completely sub-optimal. I was thinking of creating new thralls and them to Tiberion, but no matter what, in the end objective stubbornly stood in between Tiberion and additional thralls.

Only one Bane Thrall could make the charge, and this is where I ditched any and all possible considerations to kill Tiberion. Asphyxious advanced and used his feat, and camped six focus, getting him to Arm 23. I was thinking of bringing Asphyxious to the party had Bane Thralls been more succesfull in injuring the warbeast.

Then it's Skorne's turn. Both beasts are enraged by Beast Handlers, and Archidon charges Helldiver, but fails to kill or critical pitch it. Actually that critical pitch could have been potentially disastrous - I was wondering why opponent didn't just charge right past Helldiver to Asphyxious, as it looks like there is Line of Sight, but if Asphyxious had been knocked down. Eww. I don't want to think about that. It really was worth a try, though it forced Xerxis to come and take care of the Helldiver personally.

Tiberion then charges Asphyxious and boosts to hit. There was now a glimmer of hope for the iron lich - it was a miss.

I don't remember how and where the boosts were used, but the remaining three Fury scored two hits with both dealing 8 damage, with Asphyxious healing five points or so from his feat.

So, Asphyxious didn't die, but it wasn't for the lack of trying. Afterwards every single Incindiarii who only could attempt it tried to land a continuous fire effect on Asphyxious.

Asphyxious had gained ten souls from his feat, which meant seventeen Focus next turn. Tiberion had reach, so the titan wasn't standing in the way of Asphyxious and Xerxis. Archidon, though, only has normal melee range, and would have got a free strike. It wasn't the P+S 15 + 3d6 that worried Asphyxious with his armor of 34, but I have seen disturbing things with my own eyes, and dared not risk to take a critical hit.

Luckily a curse from Tartarus and charging Bane Thralls managed to take down the reptilian warbeast, and there was no need for further, more desperate measures.

Satyxis Raider Captain tries first to score a critical knockdown on Xerxis, but fails.

Then Asphyxious charges Def 15 Arm 20 warlock with 19 damage boxes. MAT 6 & P+S 16 should be enough, right? After a flurry of blows Asphyxious finally does kills the tyrant, and I remember making a mental note that Asphyxious couldn't have done it with his regular seven focus.

Game 2:

Second game was against Cryx, but at least these Cryxes (Cryxii?) were quite different, as opponent was playing with Witch Coven of Garlghast.

Opponent's list was:

Witch Coven of Garlghast
- 2x Deathripper
- Kraken

Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Withershadow Combine
Maximum unit of Nyss Hunters
Bloat Thrall
2x Warwitch Siren

Scenario looks like Supply and Demand. Cryx started the game. Hah, that was a good one, no? I can also spoil that Cryx also won this game. Oh, please, someone shut me up before it's too late.

So, Witch Coven of Garlghast started game, and first picture is from the end of Asphyxious turn 2. Coven has their feat in effect. I think one of the Witches shot the Satyxis unit attachment off the board with a Stygian Abyss, which made for quite a slaughter. Bloat Thrall and Kraken have quite impressive AoE's, after all. Kraken also fed its meat furnace with Satyxis.

Cankerworm had tried to block Kraken's movements a bit, but looking back I probably should have taken any and all possible casualties caused by Kraken, as now Kraken didn't even have to wreck face excessively and insanely without any remorse - any casualties it dealt were just a bonus, as nobody would charge it next turn thanks to Nightfall.

I try to put some pressure on the witches and Ripjaw runs within 5" of Egregore. Asphyxious shoots a boosted Bone Shaker at it. But when it comes down to triple 1's, what can you say. Of course I didn't expect a boosted POW 12 to deal enough damage to actually kill anyone, but with a little above average rolls each witch might have taken a couple damage points. It's debatable if it would have ever been worth it, but somehow it felt like only real damage I would be able to do that turn.

Now that I'm looking at the next picture I think it was actually this turn where Kraken filled its furnace. That turn wasn't all that horrible for me, though. Casualties weren't that bad. Next turn, however... my turn, that is, was disastrous.

Ripjaw tried to do Vice Lock on Kraken, which felt like a good plan - Ripjaw would be pretty much the only thing Kraken would be able to attack next turn, because nothing else had realistic chances of taking Ripjaw out entirely. But sometimes... usually at the most critical stages of all... MAT 6 vs DEF 10 is a miss. Aw crap.

Erebus and a Helldiver also failed miserably to do anything to Deathripper in melee with them.

I had thought that killing one of the Withershadow Combine members would be worth one Helldiver. Maybe it would have, who knows. I'll never know, as Helldiver did manage to hit Maelovus - twice - but did not score a kill. Whee. Dark Industries, anyone?

Bane Thralls at least scored a lucky hit to Warwitch Siren and killed her. Also if I'm not mistaken, Scrap Thrall blew up the other Warwitch Siren. But that was the extent of my luck during that turn.

Because Ripjaw failed to lock Kraken, Asphyxious was too scared to advance. However he had to use his feat this now, or never.

Then it's Coven's turn again, and casualties start to build up. The only thing that might have won me the game - Bane Thralls - are pretty much wiped out when I managed to pass perhaps one (or none) Tough rolls. Only the unit attachment remained, which was cute, somehow.

Withershadow Combine built a Stalker out of my Helldiver.

I'm not entirely sure what Nyss Hunters did - probably shot off even more Bane Thralls, and the three on the right probably took a combined ranged attack at Asphyxious? I don't remember.

This turn I did have a little bit of luck, as Kraken failed to kill Erebus - which was left just one hit box left in either Movement or Cortex. Looks like Asphyxious got three souls from his feat.

Well, it did feel like an uphill struggle, but if I only managed to down Kraken next turn I might still stand a chance. Maybe?

First I'd have to clear path for Asphyxious to charge, and the Nyss Hunters were a bit problematic because of that. Yeah, there was Erebus, who would roll one die for attack rolls. Erebus gained back strike bonus, which meant the helljack would be hitting with 6+ on one die. Might as well try?

Both attacks are a hit. Well well. I didn't know if that was good, because I probably burned up all my good luck for that turn there.

Anyway, Bane Lord Tartarus charges Stalker and curses Kraken. Bane Thrall unit attachment charges Kraken. Ripjaw then Armor Pierces Kraken, and Asphyxious casts Mobility and charges Kraken and buys a lot of attacks that don't deal any real damage. Seeing that the attack's weren't going anywhere, Asphyxious stopped when he still had four focus left for armor boost. I think I broke both arms from Kraken, but not the Cortex.

Then it's Coven's turn and I notice I have failed to remember one very important thing - the +2 MAT from Infernal Machine. Even if Kraken had lost its melee weapons, MAT 8 + 2d6 had good chances of hitting Asphyxious, and P+S 21 equaled Asphyxious' armor.

Kraken does not crack Asphyxious, and neither does a couple of purging Bile Thralls, and neither does Bloat thrall nor the Seether.

What Seether?

Well, the one Withershadow Combine built up from Erebus.

But it was close, really close. Asphyxious fell down to two hit boxes remaining, and he had Corrosion continuous effect.

When my turn began, he dropped down to one hit box remaining.

I don't remember what one of the Witch Coven members had come to do close to Stalker in the picture, but seeing as I was losing the game, I wanted to take at least one of those damn kids with me to the grave. Bane Thrall Officer beat down the Kraken, Helldiver head-butted Seether down and Asphyxious cast mobility and charged the Coven member, and I got my pleasure in killing the witch. Asphyxious cast Ashen Veil on himself with the Blood Boon, though now when I think of it, I should have tried some really messed up Hail Mary -assassination and flinged a Hex Blast at the rest of Witches. No, it didn't have a snowball's chance in a lake of fire of succeeding, but perhaps a boosted POW 7 could have done something to an ARM 16 target? Defiance, and all that?

But no, last focus was used for an attack against Stalker, and turn was over.

If I gained any moral victory from the fact that I killed one of the Witches, it was taken away from me in the most horrible way imaginable.

I cannot even write it down. You have to see the picture yourself.