Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blood all over the dessert

Last Saturday I played a 35 point game of Warmachine. Tomorrow I'm also playing, so I believe that's the reason why I gathered myself to hastily write this one up.

This game was against Legion of Everblight. Since my Cryx is all over my apartment from my visit to Kuhmo and I haven't got into packing them into foams yet, I decided to play with Skorne. Mordikaar also needs some games, statistically.

My list was:

Void Seer Mordikaar
- Archidon
- Rhinodon
- Basilisk Krea

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

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponent had:

- 2x Scythean
- Zuriel

Striders + Unit Attachment

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Scenario was Fire Support and Skorne started game. First picture is from the end of Legion turn 1. Hollow is on Praetorian Swordsmen and Mordikaar cast Banishing Ward on himself. Legion has Respawn on Zuriel.

Turn 2 I figured my warbeasts were facing wrong flanks. I tried to reposition them, which was easier than it usually is, thanks to Archidon being a fast, flying model.

Cetrati enter Shield Wall, Krea uses her animus and Mordikaar also uses her animus, and then what's left just ran forwards. I didn't want to use Mordikaar's feat just yet because it would be 100% countered by Saeryn's feat if she just decided to run into melee and feat.

Saeryn does use her feat, though. Now Mordikaar might use his feat next turn in attempt to mitigate three invulnerable warbeasts in middle of my army - so many models died from Skorne this turn would dictate much of the remainder of the game. I think Saeryn cast a Hellfire on Rhinodon, or somewhere.

A Scythean wasn't sure if it'd make it into melee with the Cetrati, but it attempts anyway. And it got not only one, but two Cetrati within reach range. Charge attack is enough to kill the initial target. Then Scythean uses its animus and takes 1/4 of Cetrati completely out of the game.

Striders didn't get much mileage out of their activation. They missed a couple of shots, and Praetorians passed a few Tough rolls. Zuriel ran into middle of Praetorians, probably to make some use out of Blight Bringer next turn.

Turn 3 Mordikaar uses his feat, and casts Amuck on Rhinodon. He Revives one Cetrati and one Praetorian Swordsmen and leaves two Fury on himself for transfers as Saeryn has automatically hitting attacks at her disposal.

Enraged Rhinodon charges objective, wrecks it and kills two Striders with the Thresher attack. Praetorian Swordsmen then charge Striders, and manage to kill.. what... two more?

Def 17 Archidon just stays next to Scythean. Perhaps it could face tank Scythean with that. Other Cetrati and a Praetorian Swordsmen try to block line of sight to Mordikaar... and that was it, pretty much. Skorne was at one control point.

It took quite a lot of Fury for Legion to kill the whole unit of Cataphract Cetrati, but in the end they succeeded. The Scythean didn't even want to try to take a bite from Archidon.

Zuriel used its animus and tried to kills some Praetorians, but at Def 16 they were quite a challenge, too.

Turn 4 Rhinodon and the whole unit of Praetorian Swordsmen really try their best to kill Zuriel, but it goes to the last possible attack a Praetorian Swordsman would be able to make. The 6+ attack roll is a hit, and it's automatic point in. Get off my lawn, you damn Zuriel! ... oh. Respawn triggered. Crap.

Archidon rolls a lucky critical pitch against a Scythean and throws it back at its mate. As I had already enraged all of my beasts Basilisk Krea had to charge somewhere, so it charged to the thrown Scythean. At least she'd be some sort of a road block there.

Oh, and Void Spirit had charged Saeryn and dealt 12 points in. Zuriel had respawned just outside of 4" from flag, so Willbreaker ran to control enemy flag, and thus Skorne was at two control point.

Then it's opponents turn, and both Scytheans fail ther Threshold check. I guess this was it for Legion.

Zuriel beats Rhinodon and Saeryn casts a protective coating of disgusting bile and miasma over Zuriel.

Turn 5, well. We didn't play till the end of turn 5, as it became quite apparent that there was very little chance for Legion to triumph. Void Seer Mordikaar shot Zuriel down personally with his ranged weapon, and he was pretty much the only model in my current situation that was able to make any attacks against Zuriel.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Yesterday I bought the Harbinger expansion for Talisman.

I don't have a good reason for why I did it, since I haven't even played with the earlier expansion either.

The figures are beautiful - at least for Talisman figures.

I didn't look into content yet, but I find it an interesting possibility to play with more NPC's than actual adventurers. Reaper, Werewolf and now the Harbinger of Doom.

But that's it. No more jello for me.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Whatever happened to Reinholdt?

During my trip to Kuhmo I played a traditional game of Warmachine.

It was a 35 point game and my list was:

Lich Lord Venethrax
- Kraken

Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Bane Lord Tartarus

Opponent had:

High Executioner Reznik
- Devout
- Crusader
- Reckoner

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Minimum unit of Holy Zealots
Knights Exemplar
Dartan Vilmon
Vassal of Menoth
Rhupert Carvolo
Saxon Orrik

Scenario was Close Quarters and Protectorate started game. First picture is taken from the end of Cryx turn 1. We played the grey movement tray as an obstacle, skaven screaming bell as obstruction and 5" AoE ring attached to a cardboard flower of sorts as a forest.

So far Kraken has tried to shoot Vilmon. Pow 14 just didn't do it, and Vilmon took only one point of damage. A choir member behind him died to the blast damage.

Turn 2 the Holy Zealots prayer for fervor and charged Satyxis. Only three got to make attacks, and only one hit.

Protectorate's heavy warjacks formed a wall to block Line of Sight to Reznik. Oh, and Reznik is the lone Bastion out there. Original model had broken down (or had never been glued in the first place...) so we needed a substitute. Amon has also had to endure an insulting demotion to a mere hierophant.

Reckoner tried to shoot the Sea Witch, but missed. Those words will be plentiful in this battle report. This and that missed.

Cryx... oh, hey. Don't get any crazy ideas there. I may sometimes make sub-par choices on the field, but even I cannot wreck my own undamaged colossal on my own turn. The wreck marker is for a bit more accurate positioning,

First Kraken activated and put a Zealot into its furnace. I had loaded the thing with Focus, and Kill Shot was targeted at a gathering of Knights Exemplar. The shot missed. At least the blast damage rolls (some of which were boosted) were enough to kill three Exemplars.

Venethrax activates and casts Lamentation. He then advances as far as he was required to get Reznik inside his control area. He had both Ignite and Iron Aggression on. Venethrax uses feat.

Satyxis use Power Swell and charge around. Leader misses both attacks on Rhupert. Two Satyxis damage Crusader for a grand total of two or three damage points. Third one missed.

Five combined melee attacking Satyxis manage to kill three Zealots. "Yo dawg, we heard you like misses, so we put misses in your misses so you can miss with a miss." One Satyxis tried to attack a Knights Exemplar, but either missed or didn't damage.

Bane Thralls tie up Vilmon so he wouldn't win scenario alone.

Turn 3 Zealots, Knights Exemplar and Reckoner butcher almost all the Satyxis. An honourable mention goes to Crusader, who managed to miss three out of its four possible attacks. Reznik uses his feat, which made otherwise "okay" situation into a challenging one, as I couldn't load up Kraken with Focus.

Kraken eats at least one, possibly two Zealots.

Tartarus charges Reckoner and curses Crusader. Damage roll was abysmal. Satyxis then get themselves out of the way of Bane Thralls, and fail their command check because of Reznik's Terror. Good thing that Venethrax has command 9, because they didn't fail Venethrax' command roll. Out of all the attacks they did, only one hit but dealt no damage to Crusader.

Bane Thrall officer mauls respectable damage in to Crusader. Another Bane Thrall that was able to charge it... missed.

Venethrax advanced with full camp.

Turn 4 for Protectorate was an onslaught of terrible misses. With all of their combined might, Reckoner and one P+S 15 weapon master Knights Exemplar took only about half of Kraken's damage boxes. With no systems broken. Only an Ancillary Attack from Vassal caused Kraken to lose right arm.

Devout missed both attacks against Satyxis. Crusader did manage to destroy Bane Thrall officer.

Cryx loaded up Kraken with full focus, who rolls for some absurd damage against Reckoner and wrecks it. Of course effective P+S 23 helped there.

Remaining Satyxis, a Bane Thrall and Bane Lord Tartarus do some damage to Crusader, but I think it lost only movement and the fist weapon.

Turn 5 Protectorate kills Tartarus, and the last remaining Satyxis fails a command check. Reznik comes to the sight, and I curse my poor positioning, as Venethrax wouldn't be able to charge him from behind an obstacle. He was camping something like four or five Focus. Reznik, I mean. Not Venethrax.

Venethrax then loads up Kraken and shoots Vilmon dead with a boosted Hellfire instead. Kraken and Bane Thralls dispatch half-dead Crusader. Rolls are generally fairly poor, and I had hoped Crusader would go down in just a couple of swings. Devout might have suffered a few attacks, then. But as I had only one Focus left after wrecking Crusader, Kraken made an attack against Rhupert instead. Kraken hit him and killed him, and Kill Shot was launched against Hierophant, Vassal and last remaining choir members. Needless to say, the shot missed and killed only one of the choir boys. Sure... both Hierophant and Vassal did get caught under the template. But POW 10 blast damage only gave them a new haircut.

Turn 6 Saxon Orrik killed the Bane Thrall standard bearer. Somehow you'd think the old man is not such a great melee piece, but he does have MAT 7 and P+S 10, which actually is a fairly good chance of taking a Bane out. Then it was a clear charge to Venethrax with Reznik, who cast Engine of Destruction.

Why the title?

Well... I'll just leave this here. Call it Arcane Wonder, Effigy of Valor or even a Stockpile.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Winter continues

These are all the rest Dead of Winter games I played in Kuhmo. All of them were played with four players.

Game 1: Winter Has Come

Winter Has Come main objective is cleverly designed. At first I thought that damn... we're all really screwed if there is even one betrayer. But on second reading... even the betrayers need to pile in fuel during every colony phase. Failure in adding fuel doesn't drop morale to 0, after all. It just ends the game in loss. Only exiled players might benefit from this ending.

My secret was something like "have books equipped to survivors", so that's what I proceeded to look into right at the start. I made a mistake though when I entered school and not the library, because there might have been fuel in library. My survivors were the doctor and the janitor, and doctor found a "beginner's martial arts" book for the janitor.

Situation at the colony was nightmarish. Two of the first crises were no other than "use fuel or a legion of zombies appear." We failed both, but lost no survivors. For the record I think this was the first game where there was game-making-or-breaking, meaningful use of "attract zombies" player action. Also, it helped immensely that the mother survivor and a helpless survivor came to the colony to clean up the zombieful situation there. And a pilot with a shotgun.

Other players had been voicing quite a lot of suspicion about betrayal towards me. And I can't really blame them. I had been scavenging through library and police station like crazy, and caused tons of noise and attracted zombies to non-colony locations - yet I never added an fuel to main objective, or the crises for that matter. Well, except for one where I added three cards to make for an extraordinary success.

But my intentions were honest and true, but luck was not on my or our side. I had been spending most of my action dice into searching, and the doctor had already found library blueprints and police station blueprints. Imagine how it looks to other players when you draw something like eight cards in a turn and yet "sorry guys, I just don't have anything to help the colony." But the truth was that I really did found nothing of use.

Well. I wasn't voted out at least. Nobody was.

I wasn't the only one suffering from the fuel shortage. We survived till fourth round I think, when we had to face the fact that nobody had a fuel card to spend.

Turned out there were no betrayers at all.

A bit of an annoying loss. We were doing pretty well, all things considered. It was mostly because of amazingly poor luck that we lost. Mostly.

So the game was a loss for everybody.

Game 2: Leave It All Behind
So. The colony required a lot of food, and every player needed at least one equipped gun.

Very early in the game a crossroad card made moving around even more dangerous than it already was - we were chased by well armed cannibals. But that was a choice - a choice that one of the players had to make. They were something like "roll exposure few times" and "from now on when a survivor moves, roll a normal die. On a result of 1-2 the survivor takes a wound."

Then next turn somebody sabotaged a crisis and caused loss of two morale. I had contributed two cards, and one other player contributed only one. So the crisis would fail anyway - but at the "resolve crisis" step of the colony phase it turned out somebody had contributed junk instead of medicine. I knew for sure that I had contributed only medicine...

So once it was my turn I called for a vote to exile that player, and betrayer he was, as suspected.

But. Then one of the most characterful little stories within Dead of Winter happened.

Price, the student (exiled player's survivor) was at the school with the bald principal (my survivor.) A crossroads card triggered, and caused a mugging. I had to give all but one cards from my hand to the exiled player or take one (or two?) wounds. There were enough wounds on the principal that the crossroads would kill him, so there really was no option for me. The student mugged the principal at the school. I guess he wasn't in good terms with the principal. What a troubled youth.

To me that was a serious blow as I had "The Hoarder" secret.

The colony didn't survive for long after this. The exiled player started to attack survivors, and morale fell in rapid succession. The student even went to kill the principal. What a troubled youth.

After the loss all of us revealed our secrets. There were three ordinary secrets and Serial Killers betrayal objective... what a troubled youth indeed.

Game 3: Raiding Party
2x betrayers wins, gluttony + all for one

Last game we played Dead of Winter was about scavenging. Two location decks needed to be completely emptied of cards.

I had the Gluttony secret betrayer objective. Fortunately for me, I got the student (Price something... surely not Vincent?) and Andrew Evans, the Farmer. That meant I'd be able to drain four cards from the Grocery Store location per turn with just two dice.

Or so I thought. Two rounds in a row I rolled only one 3+ for my three dice. But I wouldn't give up, no! I needed food! So I ate our supplies to raise action dice results. I tried to mitigate any suspicion towards me by playing enough food to the supply to not cause any problems with my... heh. Gluttony.

My first truly suspicious act was to not play food to one of the crises that came up. After all I had been digging the grocery store for quite a while. But I was the last player before colony phase, and there was only one contribution. I'd have needed to contribute three cards, which is quite a lot. It might be possible that I didn't have all three even if I wasn't a betrayer...

Well. I wasn't voted off at least. I guess it was believable enough that I was draining the grocery store pretty fast.

Major setback for the colony was when a third survivor entered the hospital and rolled a bitten result from the exposure die. Second player decided to roll the die hoping for a blank instead of any other result, yet it was a wound. Last survivor did roll a blank, but that was two dead survivors in one go.

Otherwise everybody was playing well and making good choices. Zombies were masterfully manipulated and destroyed, and even food wasn't a problem once the cook survivor entered colony.

But all the hardships had lowered morale down to 1, which is a good place for betrayers to thrive.

However. Gluttony required six non-started food cards in my hand, and I only had four. And there was only one card left in grocery store - and I knew for sure it wasn't a food.

By then I had grown my following with the pilot and the park ranger.

Stretching my luck, the Pilot searched at the gas station like crazy (found two food cards), and then entered grocery store to deplete it. It had four zombies there, though.

Current crisis required junk to complete, and generously I contributed three cards when there was already two contributions. One more, and colony would gain a morale bonus! Well. Except that I added two medicine cards and an outsider card.

Last two remaining players managed to bring the hospital to just one card remaining. But at least five survivors would die to the failure of the upcoming crisis.

So, a victory for me! The grand betrayer! The unsuspected master planner, who sneaked one more victory under the radar of vigilant watchers that were the three other followings in the game!

... right?

well. Almost.

There was one even more cunning master player at the table who also won the game as a betrayer. She had All for one betrayer secret, and got everything she needed for victory.

People had at least been voicing some questions about my true intentions... but nobody suspected her. Not even me. I was absolutely certain I was the only betrayer.

Oh well.

The more the merrier!

And as a side note... only my park ranger survived the last zombie additions, and he had entered my following during the very same turn. A beautiful story there. While the whole colony is trying to stave off a horde of zombies, a completely random dude entered through the back door and ate all the food.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

More victims

I'm on my bi-annual visit to my parents. Since my sister is here also with her boyfriend, and later some other acquaintances too, I wouldn't miss a chance to bring board games with me. Dead of Winter was my weapon of choice this time.

First we played a three player introductory "We Need More Samples" game.

Start of the game was devastating. First two rounds we lost three survivors to Bitten! result on the exposure dice. Game seemed to punish us just for trying to raise our follower count above 2... and still, one player was left with only one survivor. The sheriff, I think.

Zombie killing also didn't work as planned. Over ten killed zombies and only two successful samples. Helpless survivors started piling up at the colony with most of them being because of one particular player. That seemed rather suspicious, and on the brink of starvation I called for a vote to exile that player. I wasn't 100% certain she was a betrayer, but casting that player out from the colony saved the rest of us from starvation. Majority kicked her out, and yes. We had had a betrayer amongst us. However, betrayer had also dropped something like three helpless survivors to the colony... and they wouldn't be cast out.

Due to amazing turn of events (good sample rolls), completing the main objective started to look like a possibility. Exiled player also had a few turns of play time, so this was the very first time ever when a player was exiled without the game ending right away.

So. We got the nine samples, but morale was at 1. There was one starvation counter.

This was probably the closest game up to date.

Main objective was completed, as well as my personal objectives. The other good survivor also had his goals completed.

Yet... we lost to a dying survivor at Colony phase stage 4. We'd have won on stage 5.

Game 2:

Next day a second game was played. This time we had four players. Chances for at least one betrayer were high... and yup, that was me. Trigger happy victory condition.

Talia, the fortune teller was my initial survivor of choice, combined with the police dispatcher. The fortune teller is a wonderful survivor for a betrayer, as you'll be able to manipulate the worst crises to happen at the worst possible moment, and still keep an honest face - the second crisis might have been even worse!

Oh, and the game mode was "Eight weeks of darkness."

Fairly early in the game somebody made a crisis fail by giving in a completely wrong card. And that wasn't me. Did we have another betrayer in the game? Perfect! If I figured who it was and exiled him or her I'd have free reign to do as I please, as surely nobody would suspect that there was two betrayers?

I was confident enough to even succeed at one crisis doubly well and raise morale just to negate any doubts against me.

But my plans didn't come into fruition. I just couldn't figure who the other betrayer was. I had one reason or another to suspect any of the three other players - though one of them was, of course, my main suspect.

A crossroad card raised the morale yet again, which was a bit worrisome, as we were doing surprisingly fine. Food was a gigantic trouble, but we somehow managed to get enough supplies every turn. We didn't get starvation counters in this game, yet last game one came up.

I had three survivors, the Fortune Teller, Thomas the Soldier and the police dispatcher. I had shotgun on the soldier and a tactical rifle on fortune teller. I had two pistols in my hand of cards, so all was well. But to build up some trust towards me, I gave the police dispatcher on of the pistols and securely shot off a zombie somewhere. It was a little bit of a risk, since people had died and crises had been failed. The police dispatcher had only twenty two influence, so she'd be one of the first to die in case of zombie overflow.

Well... there was no zombie overflow, thankfully. But there was a bite epidemic. Actually there were two bite epidemics at locations where there were at least three survivors, and my police dispatcher was present in both. First time she rolled a blank, thus surviving. Second time, however... not so lucky. And there went my fourth weapon back to the deck, also. Morale had been been racing towards zero for a while now, which had looked good while I had four weapons to use.

I was last in turn order when morale was at 1. That's a perfect spot for a betrayer to be. But I still needed a weapon. I sent Thomas to scavenge Gas Station, as there was only two cards left in the police station deck.

Causing a lot of noise, he managed to find a switch blade, and we'd be losing already in many of the colony phase stages. However... it had to happen before "adding zombies" phase, because my own survivors were in locations where they'd most probably die.

But I did have some random cards to throw to crisis contributions, and there was a crisis lowering failure effect coming up.

Yet I somehow failed to notice that all of my careful planning had been for nought - there were ten cards in the waste pile.

So. We did have two betrayers, but he didn't have his personal objectives completed. But much to my surprise this betrayer was the player I had least suspected. So well played, there.

Even with two betrayers the colony survived six weeks of darkness. But six is less than the required eight.

I was supposed to write all Dead of Winter games of my visit here in this blog post. But we kind of got carried away and played three additional games, so it's probably best to write those later.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Ragman ain't no bragman

Last Thursday I played two 35 point games of Warmachine.

Both were played with same list, which was:

Iron lich Asphyxious
- 2x Nightwretch
- Ripjaw

Maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party
Maximum unit of Nyss Hunters
2x Pistol Wraiths
Madelyn Corbeau
Gorman diWulfe

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponents were two different lists, however.

First game was against Convergence of Cyriss. It was a special game, since it was against Aurora. It's special, because now I have played at least one game against every Convergence warcaster, and I have to confess that the very core of my soul is that of a set collector and a bingo player. Convergence has been filled for now. Hooray.

Next closest factions are Retribution of Scyrah (missing Vyros1 and soon Thyron) and Legion of Everblight (missing Lylyth3 and Kallus, and soon Saeryn2.)

But I digress.

First game was against Convergence with following list:

Aurora, Numen of Aerogenesis
Maidens of Gear tier 4
- Corollary
- Conservator
- Cipher

5x Clockwork Angel units...!
Optifex Directive
Steelsoul Protector
Attunement Servitors
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex

Objective: Fuel Depot

Scenario was Incoming, and Cryx started game. It was a lucky thing I did, as Aurora and the Clockwork Angels seem to be quite fast - even before counting in the fact that opponent forgot about Advance Deployment of the Angels!

First picture is from the end of Convergence turn 1, and I continue off from there by trying to kill as many Clockwork Angels from near my friendly zone as possible. But as luck would have it... I killed only one or two.

Things went at least a little better on my enemy zone, though at first I had kind of wanted to throw Breath of Corruptions to my friendly zone to mitigate charges from the onslaught of winged maidens. Though I only killed one or two maidens there also, the smashing success was Pistol Wraith causing Death Chill to the Conservator.

Convergence killed most of the Nyss Hunters, and, considering what was left of my troops, pretty much secured their enemy zone. One Nyss defied death long enough to contest the zone. Generally speaking... flare is nasty.

Both Pistol Wraiths also died to various attacks. They had both been shooting, so they were corporeal. Not that it mattered much, because for some reason most of the Clockwork Angels' attacks are magical in nature.

Turn 3 it was rather difficult to assess the situation. Was I losing? Was I winning? After this turn who would have the upper hand in attrition? There weren't any too tight clumps of enemy infantry to be Breathed upon, so I went for assassination instead. Madelyn Corbeau moved Gorman for 3", and then Gorman advanced 6" to lob some Black Oil on Aurora. I had estimated distances poorly (to my benefit this time), and that 9" was more than enough to cause -4 DEF & various other penalties for Aurora.

An arc node advances into position, and finally Asphyxious advances. He casts Parasite on Aurora, and then Hellfire. Damage roll is absurdly high and kills Aurora in one shot.

Well... the game was over before I had the chance to actually get to know Aurora personally. But those Clockwork Angels. Yikes.

Game 2:

Second game was against Cryx, against no other caster than the notorious Warwitch Deneghra, who had:

Warwitch Deneghra
- Leviathan
- 2x Nightwretch

Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Withershadow Combine
2x Pistol Wraith
Warwitch Siren

Scenario was Outflank, and Cryx started game. Ahhahhah. Get it? Cryx started game! (Please, make me stop before I lose the rest of my dignity.)

Anyway, Iron Lich Asphyxious started game. There has already happened quite a lot before I remembered to take first picture. It should be the end of Asphyxious turn 2.

I tried to seize the zone on the right, and a lucky deviation from Breath of Corruption sniped off the standard of Bane Thralls. I tried to remain as far from Deneghra as possible, and Outflank scenario seemed to encourage that.

Black Ogruns and a stray hen were contesting Deneghra's zone. At least the Ogruns were good for something, even if they're not good at something.

Turn 2 Deneghra casts Crippling Grasp on Nyss Hunters, and they start dying all over the place. Luckily for me not that many were within opponent's reach, and not that mane Bane Thralls were alive any more.

But then to the Black Ogruns.

Skarlock cast Crippling Grasp on them after Bane Thralls and Pistol Wraith were done with the Nyss, and just that one spell was enough to wipe the whole goddamn unit. Well... to be honest, Leviathan, Pistol Wraith, Withershadow Combine and Warwitch Siren may have also had something to do with their departure. Well. At least they succeeded in their Command check.

Turn 3 for Asphyxious, then. Madelyn Corbeau moved Gorman up front, who then proceeded to lob Black Oil over Warwitch Siren and two members of the Withershadow Combine. Combined efforts of the Nyss, Pistol Wraith, Ripjaw, Nightwretch and even the Ragman manage to clear the zone on the right from enemy models. During the three times I've played this list this was the first time Ragman actually had any kind of an impact within a game.

I tried to bring the leftmost Nightwretch to Asphyxious' Control Zone, but failed to do that by something like three millimetres. That was probably the final deciding factor if I'd use my feat now or later. Asphyxious had to advance those three millimetres, and started flinging spells. Tremulus and Warwitch Siren died easily enough, but somehow Admonia remained completely uninjured. Perhaps she used Tremulus and Siren to screen the hits?

Ripjaw acted as a node for two Hellfires that went to enemy arc node that was hiding behind the building. I'm not sure on this, but did the two spells really wreck the light warjack? Maybe, as it probably had some earlier damage from Breath of Corruptions that were aimed at Bane Thralls. Then Asphyxious teleported to dominate the zone on right.

Deneghra needs to make a fairly desperate turn. She advances, uses her feat and casts Ghost Walk on Skarlock. Most of the Nyss and Asphyxious weren't under her feat, but everything else was.

Skarlock ran through the building in the middle to contest the zone I had in my possession.

Enemy Pistol Wraith shot Gorman and Ragman off the board, but the remaining models failed to wreck my Nightwretch. I think it was left with something like three damage boxes remaining or something. Enemy Nightwretch on the left had been Death Chilled a turn earlier by my Pistol Wraith.

Turn 4 dispatching the Skarlock wasn't a problem. It wasn't even a challenge. More important was trying to block the advances any other models that'd be coming to contest next turn. I had been considering to use Vice Lock on Leviathan, but after all it was Deneghra's feat turn. No special attacks for me. I still tried to block a little bit of movement by walking Ripjaw right next to the helljack.

My Pistol Wraith and a Hellfire later the enemy Nightwretch on left was destroyed.

Then it's Deneghra's turn again, and Leviathan easily runs to my zone. The free strike even missed. My Nightwretch on the left was finally wrecked. Enemy Pistol Wraith shoots Madelyn Corbeau off the board. Only character models were good enough prey for this guy.

But then it was pretty much a question if I'd manage to kill the Leviathan in time. And damn it was hard! It literally went to the last possible attack I was able to make with Asphyxious, and even that wasn't a given - it required 8+ to succeed. But 8+ it was with three dice.

As much as it tears me, I think I'll have to ditch Ragman from this list and pick a Skarlock instead. I just can't seem to be able to use Ragman effectively, and there's not that much synergy for him in this list after all.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Menoth's Yowl

Last Thursday I played a 35 point Warmachine game.

I may go to a tournament that's being held on 1st of August, and there's Venethrax and Iron Lich Asphyxious in Cryx Active Duty Roster. So this month goes with those two warcasters.

But the actual game.

My list was:

Iron lich Asphyxious
- 2x Nightwretch
- Ripjaw

Maximum unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party
Maximum unit of Nyss Hunters
2x Pistol Wraiths
Madelyn Corbeau
Gorman diWulfe

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponent was playing:

- Reckoner

Maximum unit of Exemplar Bastions
Maximum unit of Horgenhold Forge Guard + Attendant Priest
Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Epic Eiryss
Anastasia diBray
+2 points I can't figure out. Was there some solo that died before first picture was taken? Or did the list fall short?

Objective: Effigy of Valor

Anyway. Scenario was Two Fronts, and Cryx got to start despite of Anastasia's +1 to starting roll. Yet again the oppressive deathclock made me forget about the camera, so first picture is taken when Protectorate has already started second turn.

Cryx used their second turn to shoot various targets with a Pistol Wraith and Nyss Hunters, and even one Black Ogrun advanced forward to drag Exemplar Bastions... which, by definition, is a stupid idea since they cannot realistically be dragged. Vindictus hadn't used his feat just yet, so I tried to remove a bit of infantry.

My grand plan was to shoot a couple of Breath of Corruptions to block any meaningful advance by Horgenhold Forge Guards, but once I had positioned Asphyxious to do just that, it became apparent that Attendant Priest had given them "no spell targeting" prayer. Oh joy. Well, Asphyxious shot a couple of clouds at Bastions, then, and hoped for good deviations so that at least their charge would be mostly blocked.

First Bastion was just within range, though, so the attack didn't deviate anywhere. Second Breath was cast upon same farther Bastion, but it deviated right over the first Bastion. What a waste.

So, it's Protectorate's second turn now. So far Eiryss had shot Madelyn Corbeau, who had to use Sucker! -skill to redirect the hit to... well... Gorman. Now that was some expert positioning right there on my part!

Temple Flameguard just charge around aimlessly, and look at that. One charged Black Ogrun. What's the worst that could happen? Well, Black Ogruns fail their terror check from Menoth's Howl, and I'm left wondering why I even bother with the Party Pirates.

At least Nyss pass their check, though only barely.

Next picture seems to be from the end of this particular Protectorate turn. The rest of the turn was Attendant Priest giving magic weapons for Horgenhold Forge Guard, Vindictus using feat and casting True path, and the aforementioned dwarves wrecking my objective and Pistol Wraith. Oh, and Anastasia appeared from out of nowhere, too.

Turn 3 was terrible for Cryx.

I probably balanced out every bad roll from earlier "continuously above average dice roll" games against this opponent. Or perhaps it just felt like it - now that I look at the picture, at least some Temple Flameguards and Anastasia have died.

But the Bastions were completely impervious to any and all damage (and even attack) roll I was able to make. Multiple Combined Ranged Attacks by Nyss Hunters - nothing.

And the greatest failure of all. Asphyxious himself decided to show his unworthy minions how things are handled here. He charges Bastion and misses. He buys an additional attack and boosts attack roll, and misses. He buys one last desperate attack, and misses. Then he teleports away. Talk about focus efficiency. But there was an occurrence that might keep me going in this game - Terror check that Asphyxious caused to Horgenhold Forge Guard was failed.

And at least Black Ogruns rallied.

Turn 3 Protectorate easily destroyed the Nightwretch that was contesting my friendly zone, and Vindictus ran around to where the orange proxy base is. Protectorate was at three control points now.

All the Black Ogruns miraculously survived any attacks that Bastions were trying to make. Temple Flameguard were so few in number that they didn't do much either - right flank was pretty much mine, now. But would it matter in a situation like this?

Come Cryx turn 4, I ran so tight on clock that if this was an actual tournament game, I'd just have to try an assassination. So that's what I tried... Dice rolls would need to be quite phenomenal to assassinate Def 17 (on a hill) Arm 20 (with focus) Vindictus, but let's see how it goes.

Black Ogrun shuffle themselves into better position, and then Asphyxious charges a Bastion, and tried to shoot Vindictus with Hellfire. Well, it was a horrible miss, so I ditched whole assassination plan and tried to injure Bastions instead by shooting Breath of Corruptions left and right, and finally teleporting away.

Fun fact: Black Ogruns had miraculously survived a round of melee against Bastion. They weren't so lucky when Asphyxious came to "help" them. Best damage rolls were against my own models. Sigh...

Nyss killed enough Temple Flameguards to cause a massive casualties test on them, which failed. What's this? Three failed command checks in just one game?

They weren't, however, weapon masters enough to wreck the enemy objective. Armour piercing Ripjaw also wasn't armour piercing enough, so yeah. That was my game. Had I succeeded in destroying the objective, I'd have gone to three control points, too, and then, if I prayed Toruk hard enough, Madelyn, Ragman or Nightwretch would survive a round of beating in the enemy zone.

But either I didn't pray hard enough, or Toruk just didn't care. First system the Nightwretch lost was Movement, and that was my best bet in hoping a dice screw for opponent.

Oh well.

Ragman and Madelyn didn't really do much for me in this game. Perhaps I should drop them and get, perhaps, Skarlock and Saxon Orrik or something. Or learn to play and plan better in the long run.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

There's a muton under my baton!

Last Tuesday I got to play some Deadzone. Ongoing ten mission campaign went past the halfway mark.

Dreaded infiltration missions were my bane yet again. I got the infiltrate/survive mission (Quietly does it, I think)

Well. At least I got both of my plague swarms to use.

My strike force ended up being:

Plague Leader
3x regular mutons + 1x regular New Guy muton
Heavy Machine Gun muton
2x plague swarm (one of which had an intimidating Survive score of 7+...)

Enforcers had a list something like:

Enforcer Sniper
Missile Launcher Enforcer
Probably some special weapon Enforcer
Most likely 3x Trooper Enforcers

Well. My mission was to infiltrate and survive, so I didn't overextend myself too far during first round. I was considering in locking up my troops in the green building at space G6. However, I needed to go and contest the objectives somehow, because I didn't know opponent's mission. If I had known it, locking myself up would have been a good enough idea!

Enforcer sniper was in a disturbing position on top of the watchtower in cube B6. Finally once I started to come out from the closets of blue and green building, I tried to suppress the sniper with HMG muton, but either it completely failed, or opponent played Steadfast card. Random trooper muton found Intel from E7.

One plague swarm speeded to eat some Enforcers in D6, and there was nice odds of scoring two kills - if only enraged Fight 3+ Brawler with a veteran die and charge bonus would be able to double opponent's survival rolls. Not today. One success too short. And there the plague celatid was... right under Enforcer Sniper.

Meh. Another such chance opened at C1 where there was a support missile launcher and some other enforcer in same cube. This swarm wasn't a Brawler, but it had a veteran die also. It was slightly tougher fight than the one at D6, but should be easy enough to at least kill the missile launcher. Nope. Not today. Missile launcher was only injured.

Those were my last activations in turn 3, so I had scored three victory points. Both plague swarms were easily removed by the Enforcers, and that combined with a couple of other casualties made me flip the table and abandon mission. I didn't score any additional kills, though, because Enforcers got their ten victory points. It was some kind of "kill specialists and leaders and control an objective" mission.

Post mission rolls were... interesting.
A trooper muton and a plague celatid swarm both rolled 1 on the injury table. Of course the dead swarm was the better one - I was left with the 7+ Survive one.

Oh well. Even if the massacre was, in the end, pretty one sided, I don't think it was a bad game. There were a couple of turning points that, if given a bit of luck, could have tipped the game in my favour - most notably the attacks of the plague swarms.

Game 2:

For five missions I had saved up to buy me a Boom Stick muton, and for the sixth mission I finally had enough reputation to do just that.

And my plague aliens truly are cursed. We chose mission this time like you regularly do: pick two and choose one. First draw for me was infiltration mission again. Second one, however, was Stack 'Em High (kill troopers and expensive models)

Since the campaign had been going so badly for me, I thought it might be fun to play high risk, medium reward game. After all I had very little to lose, and with some serious fire power I just might make it through at least one mission with plague being the victorious faction. So I hired the most notorious mercenary of them all - Wrath.

Plague Leader
2x regular mutons
3x plague hounds
HMG muton
Boom Stick muton
Plague Swarm

Opponent had at least:

Enforcer sergeant
That thrice damned sniper
Assault enforcer
Possibly 3x regular troopers?

First for starters... The Boom Stick didn't land even one successful hit during whole damn game. It did score a couple of good blasts, though, that were slightly inconvenient for Enforcers. The plague hound on top of the tower is there because it got Spotter ability and a fight value of 7+. HMG was just one cube below, trying to lay down some covering fire.

Some Enforcer was advancing somewhere around G6 cube, presumably coming to check the objective. Command action, move card and sprint + move later Plague Swarm slaughtered the trooper. Now only it would need to survive a round of fire from 5+ enforcers, and it had only 7+ survive. If memory serves, the lucky Celatid did survive a sniper shot, but once somebody drew pistols it was game over, man. Game over.

First round Wrath acted fine. He tried to shoot a grenade, and it did throw some enforcers around even if it didn't do any damage. Second turn it did absolutely nothing. Third turn it shot MY ETHEREAL DEAD. Fourth turn he did absolutely nothing. What a fine investment of points!

I guess that was the ultimate downfall, the loss of Ethereal and 75% of inactivity from Wrath. Somehow, somewhere I had killed a second Enforcer, but I just can't remember where...

So. Quickly enough plague forces scattered into the winds, and I scored most reputation points yet during this campaign! Six.

But then I had to pay wages to Wrath for his astonishing services. What is this I don't even...

To hell with Wrath. At least I now know why his name is Wrath. It has nothing to do with his personal innermost feelings. It has everything to do with emotions he evokes in his paymasters.

Post mission. Let's... let's skip this one. It's too painful.

All celatids gone. Gone.

Ethereal leader dead.

And the most cruel death of them all. The Boom Stick muton that I had been waiting for an eternity to buy to my roster. It didn't survive even one mission.

Also one of the plague hounds, named Lucky, died. He wasn't so lucky after all, I guess.

Few next games will be interesting as my strike team will mostly consist of new recruits who have -1 dice to all rolls. As it stands, my strike force doesn't have enough models to make 70 point strike teams.