Friday, October 30, 2015

Adventures of Failhorn Satyr vol XVII

Last Tuesday I played a 35 point game of Warmachine.

I've had enough of Cryx for a little while, probably focusing on Circle of Orboros.

My list was:

Morvahna the Autumnblade
- Riphorn Satyr
- Gnarlhorn Satyr
- Rotterhorn Griffon

Druids of Orboros
Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Shifting Stones
Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove

Opponent had:

Master Necrotech Mortenebra
- Harrower
- Slayer
- Helldiver

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Mechanithralls
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Warwitch Siren

Scenario was Two Fronts and Cryx started game. First picture is from the end of Circle turn 1. Morvahna has no Fury at all since she cast Regrowth on Wolves of Orboros and Harvest on herself. Spectral Steel is on Harrower.

Turn 2 Cryx advanced forward aggressively. Though a couple of various thralls were able to charge random targets, no real damage was done.

Circle turn 2... Circle turn 2 was lovely to play. My only gripe was that I just HAD had to use my newly painted warbeasts, Rotterhorn Griffon and Riphorn Satyr. Rotterhorn might be okay there, but Morvahna's forests can make Satyr movement difficult.

Also I really wanted to see Riphorn Satyr in action, so I planned around on charging it to Slayer. Being enthusiastic about new stuff makes false impressions if you go to make piece trades with a nine point beast against a six point warjack...

Anyway. Morvahna was one of the first models to activate. Blackclad Wayfarer cast Stone Spray over Mechanithralls first to fill Morvahna back to full Fury. Gallows Grove repositioned itself better, and then Morvahna activated. She advanced forward to middle of the board, used her feat and started casting Eruption of Life. I cast that three Fury spell three times that turn, killed a Mechanithrall that was engaging Rotterhorn Griffon and was left with no fury at all.

As a side note I'm not entirely sure why on earth I placed Gallows Grove on the left. Well, actually I know why I did that. There was a forest, and a tree likes to hide in a forest. What escaped my attention was that if I really needed Stealth against enemy with not much real shooting, I could always trigger Prowl from Druids of Orboros vortex clouds...

Then rest of the infantry models activate and clear a few Bane Thralls and Mechanithralls. That one critical Mechanithrall was left alive. Bummer. Four Bane Thralls get destroyed, and then Riphorn Satyr charges Slayer. Arm 17 warjack with a light warjack damage grid wasn't a problem for a Fury 4 heavy beast with three P+S 16 initial attacks and Grab & Smash.

By now Morvahna got a couple of fury points from Harvest for transfers. Shifting Stones teleported her to safety.

Turn 3 Cryx uses Mortenebra's feat. Mortenebra charges Riphorn Satyr and does mediocre job in damaging it - even when she forgot to cast Terminal Velocity with the last three focus points she had saved for it. Sometimes you just get bloodthirsty like that.

It didn't actually ruin anything that much as Mechanithralls were able to kill Riphorn Satyr, and Harrower had enough movement to charge a Wolf of Orboros and a Shifting Stone. Bane Thralls don't do anything too impressive, though one had ran into contact with Riphorn before Mechanithralls charged.


Mortenebra didn't have any focus points on her, but she was in cover behind the wall.

I guess I could have tried to assassinate her with two Eruption of Lives and P+S 11 light warbeast. That just seemed too unlikely, so I tried to play safely and grind my way to victory with unending wave of Wolves of Orboros.

But annoying things started to happen. Well, to be more accurate, they continued to happen. Every goddamn time I give even a tiny amount of responsibility for Gnarlhorn Satyr, it fails. It's a good thing I've been keeping this blog going on for quite some time. I have the data to prove that there is something wrong in my Gnarlhorn Satyr. But I'm getting ahead of things a little.

First Wolves of Orboros activated and charged here and there. I dedicated only two to Harrower as I could and would use Power Swell this turn. They dealt a respectable amount of damage. I don't remember how much, but 7-9 or so would be my guess. More than enough to secure that at least one or two systems would break even if Gnalrhorn would roll badly.

Gnarlhorn. I wanted to believe in you. I put all my faith and all my trust in you. I was like Gandhi, who instructed to offer trust in an individual no matter how many times that individual betrays you.

But you worthless carcass of a goat did not even break the ranged weapon.

I even forced the fourth fury in desperate hope to cripple the fighting capabilities of the warjack even for a tiny amount.

But that was not the greatest failing. It was only the most outrageous one because of the history.

I got afraid of Helldiver and moved Morvahna as far as possible. I didn't pay attention to Rotterhorn Griffon, who had already activated an secured a location to contest my friendly zone.

Morvahna had three fury left for transfers, but she had no transfer targets.

Next turn Helldiver one-shotted Morvahna.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Goat on Fire

I've usually posted a picture here if I have magnetised a Privateer Press heavy warbeast/warjack kit. And I'm continuing that trend.

This time I've magnetised Shadowhorn Satyr and Riphorn Satyr. Kit was easy to magnetise and barely required any work at all. Every part, however, definitely needs a magnet unlike Warpwolf kit, which was every magnetiser's wet daydream.

Also included are three smoke pillars I've made over the last few months.

My terrain collection has a serious lack of trees and forest. This has bothered me a bit, since they are important area terrains in Warmachine. Nowadays I have a green grass mat, but before I got that I wanted some kind of terrain that could act as a forest on a grey surface. Bright green foliage would have looked a little out of place there.

So here you can see three "trees" from a smoldering "forest". They look nice, but they were a pain to work with.

They're made of some sort of insulation silicone which I heard are good for projects like this. Well, this particular brand, while probably perfect for intended purposes, was terrible for making miniature terrain. Fumes gave headache and shaping it was difficult. On top of that it was resistant to paint. Resistant. To. Paint. My choice of materials had clearly been a success.

I spent months coating them with extra layers of primer sprays and varnishes. Finally they felt sturdy enough to actually touch and paint. Paint no longer chips when you just look at them with a mental image of a paint brush glowing in your eyes. You can move them around safely, but I am a little afraid of what will happen if one of them falls on a floor.

They've all been sculpted on a heavy bolt's nut to balance it correctly.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Frostgrave multiplayer

Last Tuesday I played in a all-against-everyone three player game of Frostgrave.

Yesternight I got this inspiration for the background of my warband that's based on my Carnival of Chaos models. Double duty, so to say.

But these games we've been playing are pretty much just some practice for the real thing, so I'm saving the actual background story for a possible campaign.

So. There were three warbands. My Summoner and the Sigilist are already old acquaintances (whoa, I didn't need to double check the spelling of that word!), but this time there was also a Necromancer digging up (frost)graves.

Maybe he'll raise a long dead but still a serviceable pun, since I don't seem to be able to.

What became clear early in the game is that the game is a lot more chaotic (in a good way) with three players. Since there is no set turn order, the actual order in which you get to activate your models changes constantly. Though you need to remember your initiative number. I'm not very good at that, so perhaps I'll dedicate one die for that in future games.

I've tried to pinpoint loot tokens in the second picture, as well as give an idea of the deployment sides.

Personally for me one treasure was a stupid easy snatch - if we played it correctly. And I don't see why wouldn't we. The token was exactly within 9" of table edge and I had my wizard and a treasure hunter near that. With group activation Treasure Hunter moved and picked up the token, and wizard cast Leap on Treasure Hunter for him to jump 10" away from table. Hmm. I actually wonder if carrying a treasure halves the leap to 5"? Probably not since moving by spell seems to ignore most things, but it's not explicitly stated.

Sigilist had two fairly easy snatches on their side of the board, Necromancer had one. Four tokens in the general middle area looked like they'd attract most attention, though high up there in the north (depicted with a yellow arrow) was one treasure nobody seemed to really care about. It's was probably hard being that one lone treasure.

I speak mostly from the perspective of my Summoner, how things looked on my side of the board.

Early Necromancer started building walls to block me from getting to blueish treasure counter in south-west. Summoner replied by summoning a heroic imp in front of the zombie and some kind of a soldier. The imp single-handedly butchered the zombie and tied up the soldier for many turns to come.

Combat can be brutal in this game. Necromancer felt that harshly. He empowered some spell, I forget which. Possibly Leap to get to the red loot counter in the middle. That dealt a little bit initial damage. When it's soldier phase my crossbowman takes a shot against the necromancer because he was the only target he could see. Bam. Dead necromancer.

What comes around goes around. While I didn't lose my wizard, a single random arrow from an archer brought my barbarian just to two hit points remaining.

Sigilists threw some dogs and whatnot on my summoner, but he personally dispatched the dog in melee. Good boy. Now play dead.

To me it looked like Sigilist had strongest position in the game at the moment. If I'd start contesting the token on top of the bridgeway, pretty much all of my troops would be involved there and then. I was already playing down one dog, barbarian and treasure hunter and thief. A big brawl between Necromancer and Sigilist apprentices was about to happen behind the bridge where one treasure was located. Winner there was unknown, but at the moment looked like Sigilist would get four treasures plus one question mark, I'd get two and Necromancer would get two plus one question mark.

So I proposed an uneasy alliance with the Necromancer - I'd get south-west token without interference, and I'd let enemy barbarian with token from the bridge pass safely. This way I'd get sooner to the treasure token on the crates and who knows - perhaps even reap the treasure the enemy apprentices were fighting over!

But alas. Sigilist got first to the token on the crates anyway. My wizard had to summon one heroic imp again to block the path enemy treasure hunter was escaping. This time it killed a charging knight.

Sigilist himself went the way of a true hero - escaped the board with only two boxes remaining. He was afraid of Spell Eater and failed casts especially now when he had injured status. I spent a while looking at the FAQ, and turns out Spell Eater actually deals the damage to the one who casts Spell Eater, not to the caster whose spell was removed. Fair enough I guess. You're not actually taking a bite of the enemy caster, but swallowing toxic magical residue. Before he escaped he had cast Draining Word spell on Leap - which both of us, me and the Necromancer, were utilizing.

I started chasing the treasure hunter with everything I had left - mostly that was Possessed thug, my apprentice and a war hound. Wizard was at five hit points, so he wanted to play safe. My archer would have wanted too, but she had to take care of enemy archer or ranger or something that was in perfect sniper position in regards to my Summoner. Archer had never landed a truly successful, not in either of the games I've had her in my warband. This time she went full melee, and look at that. A kill.

Apprentice called Adon tried every trick he had. Well, pretty much he only cast Elemental Bolt and was fairly successful in doing so, despite having difficulty 16 on that spell. Actual attack rolls weren't as good.


My Possessed thug was able to catch the treasure hunter, but he was beaten like the good boy before. Now he played dead, too. I forget who killed my war hound, but suddenly I had to face a situation where there was only my apprentice with half of his hit points remaining in the middle of enemy troops. Apprentice improvised and cast Leap on himself and jumped to the other side of the bride up there in the north. Maybe he'd get the loot token from there instead.

By now the Necromancer apprentice had also died, but so did the Sigilist apprentice, too. After a struggle that lasted for many turns a few shaken and bleeding Necromancer followers picked up the treasure. To me it looked like everyone would be gaining three treasure tokens now. I was okay with this. Sigilist troops started falling back, and I promised fairly safe passage for a sigilist archer in the middle if he'd just get off with his loot token. Mostly I just wanted all ranged weapons off the board so I'd be able to safely bring my apprentice away from opposing table edge!

Very last turns there were only one necromancer archer around and me with two spellcasters who were receiving -2 to all rolls from being injured, and an undamaged archer and crossbow.

The movements of the archer were highly suspicious to me - he was moving north, where also my apprentice was hiding. Not directly towards him, but still...

I tried to encourage the archer to leave table by shooting him with my ranged weaponry, but they failed to cause any damage. The archer didn't even have line of sight - but I started to move her as fast as possible to cover my apprentice.

And indeed the necromancer archer had a higher (no, LOWER!) goal in his mind than just escaping. When this was fairly apparent I decided to risk it and cast Leap with the apprentice, though effective difficulty for his Leap was 15 thanks to Draining Word, being injured and being an apprentice. Leap failed and the insolent bastard dared to shoot an arrow through the apprentice's head(s). My two remaining uninjured warriors were closing in, so I guess the enemy archer's lust for blood had been satisfied and risk/reward told him to escape the board.


In the end everybody did indeed get three treasures. Nobody lost permanently important figures, like apprentices or wizards, and as far as I remember soldier deaths were rare, too.

My rolls for treasures were fairly bad. I got 200 gold, magic crossbow (+1 shoot), scrolls of Miraculous Cure, Heal and Dispel, and a Grimoire of Crumble. Crossbow and scrolls will be useful, though.

My wizard got 230 experience (210 from battle and 20 from Laboratory) I raised Fight stat and made Elemental Bolt easier to cast.

Multiplayer experience was fine, as there is no excessive wait time between player turns. Our Necromancer player had the longest waits after losing both his wizard and apprentice fairly early, but once late game was looming the wizard and apprentice phases for other players didn't take that long. Often wizards seem to be hiding then with no models within 3" to speak of.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cruor et caedis


"So repulsive!" Jack thought to himself. Or maybe he thought aloud. He wouldn't know.

"You hideous piece of turd, I hope you rot in hell and die painfully. I hate you. You filthy animal." Jack continued thinking himself, or maybe aloud. Adon raised his head and met Jack's fiery gaze. Did it hear me?

Jack was building up steam. "Your bloated corpse makes me want to vomit. Mere sight of you makes me close my eyes in disgust. Give me one good reason I won't smash your ugly skull this instant and finally start enjoying my life? Well? SPEAK!"

Adon gave only a blank stare, but one might see tears building up in the corner of his eyes. "Nn-nnnuh" was all Adon could say. It was all Adon would ever say. He took one step forward, and blocked Jack's view to the mirror. There was a moment of silence.

Jack sighed. "I know. You're my brother. I wouldn't do that to you. Now get lost." Truthfully, family ties didn't matter much for Jack. Many times he had contemplated if he would finally get rid of that abhorrent half-wit. But he was Jack's brother. And they were the last two remaining in the great lineage of the leaders of world famous circus, "Cruor et caedis", which, so Jack thought, meant something about sunset. Yes, they were the last now, that Jack had killed his father.

Jack might not admit it to himself, but he both envied and pitied Adon. Their father had brutally beaten Adon. Jack had heard the screams and eventually even the hits once screams fell silent. And for this Jack envied Adon. Because once his intoxicated had finished with Adon, Jack would face a fate far worse Adon ever did... and as Adon was usually beaten to a pulp, he'd never hear Jack's screams.

When jack was seventeen and had already learned most of the tricks of his trade, a mysterious fortune teller had approached the circus in need for a job. Intoxicated, again, his father spat on the face of the fortune teller and said only way for fortune teller to work for Cruor et caedis was for the fortune teller to pay him, and not the other way around. Insulted, the fortune teller left in a huff. Jack had seen this from a distance, and also saw that fortune teller accidentally dropped a scroll that emanated great power.

Before anybody saw, Jack snatched the scroll and studied it carefully. It was an arcane spell, called "Spell Eater". That day everything would change.

Except that father beat Adon, as usual.

Except that right after mauling Adon unconscious, father would enter his side of the coach, as usual.

But here Jack was reciting the scroll, and the enchantment of unbearable beauty that had been cast upon father shattered to pieces. That unearthly beauty no longer stood between defending himself and submitting to father's will. And now father lay on the floor with a dagger thrust through his throat into his brain. Jack felt a surge of power, victory, and accomplishment. Now he would become the ringmaster of Cruor et caedis. Youngest ever, though he had heard stories what kind of monster his grandfather had been, and how father had been forced to kill him...

Next day Adon realised what had happened. Adon cried for three days in a row. And for this... for this Jack pitied Adon.

Hated more than pitied, but then again... Jack could not deny the fact that Adon was able to breathe fire - even without a lit torch. Sometimes even without a torch at all.

It runs in the family.

Chapter I:

"What do you mean? Last night's show was a success. Every limb of that stupid clown had been turned into a separate imp! Even in a small town like this the people can't be such uneducated savages that they do not know how much effort that takes! It was only a minor accident that the torso was not turned invisible in time..." Jack was shouting.

"Ah yes, you see... I'm entirely certain the gasp that was heard throughout the audience was not one of horror, but one of wonder. Yet the mob is waving torches and pitchforks outside. It's merely my humble guess, but Bonzo has raised their ire. When you masterfully called a demon to enter Bonzo's body and soul for astonishing performance on stage, after the show the demon apparently refused to return to the abyss. Somehow Bonzo escaped straitjacket and slaughtered twelve cows, four sheep and one of the horses from post carriage before a local axe found an entry through Bonzo's skull" said a masked performer, whose gender Jack did not know even after all these years. Either, none or both seemed all to be an equal possibility. Masked performer was Jack's second-hand in running the circus.

"I see. Will Bonzo be back?" Jack inquired with a voice which's tenderness surprised even himself. That demon he had called to Bonzo had been a very powerful one indeed.

"I'm afraid we'll not be able to bring back his corpse, for the mob burned all of his remains... twice. That's the only reason why it's taken so long for them to close in on our camp. We should react."

"A pity. How many are there?"

"Fifty eight, one of whom is within the womb. "

"All of them armed, you say?"

"I'm afraid so."

"Let me take care of this" Jack said. Did he only imagine that the eyes rolled within the mask?

Jack climbed upon a stagecoach closest to the entrance, where a formidable number of angry peasants had formed. One thing daddy had taught him well - the usefulness of a beauty enchantment in situations like this. Especially in situations like this. He shouted: "Why are you so upset, good folk? There is nothing to anger over for, unless it's about the dullness of your ordinary lives! Ah, I see! That must be it! Well, you've come to the right place. Tonight Cruor et caedis shall make an exceptional performance just for you! What's the price, you ask? There is no price for you tonight, good folk! The show is going to be free!"

If that didn't work, nothing would. Jack smiled and assured himself that the fools would fall for that bait. People just can't resist free...


A burning arrow had hit the stagecoach, and fire quickly spread to a cloth that was hanging on a rope between to stagecoaches.

Oh my. The peasants must be rather furious indeed if they could so easily see through his illusion. Or was their frenzied urge to kill stronger imperative than his enhanced beauty? Those dirty ruffians!


Was that... an axe? Oh, they are already stabbing Squeaky the Clown with spears and pitchforks. Well... got to admit. That name was very fitting, after all.

Jack raised his top hat and took a few step dance manoeuvres while holding his baton. He muttered a few arcane words that enabled him to jump distances that were physically impossible and jumped over the burning camp.

He trusted his crew. They know what to do when something like this happens. It's not like it's the first time this has happened...


"I AM THE RINGMASTER!" Jack was bellowing to the remainder of his troupe.

"They are not allowed to do this! They're just swine who cannot understand art! I cannot tolerate it! I will not tolerate it! I'll take Cruor et caedis to somewhere they appreciate real art!"

The masked circus person was closest to Jack and spoke softly: "Alas... our magnificent circus has been denied from entering most of the larger cities in this region by a threat of killing on sight. Our coffers are empty. We lost our bears and elephants. The white horse had to be slaughtered for food yesterday. My dearest friend, and my boss... I loathe to suggest this, but we need to renew our program!"

Jack hit the masked person with the back of his hand, enraged. The mask fell off, and still Jack didn't know the gender of this person.

"I AM THE RINGMASTER!" he shouted from the bottom of his lungs.

There was a dramatic silence when masked person picked mask and fastened it back in place.

Jack felt ashamed, but hid it perfectly as he calmed down and said: "I am the ringmaster. Yet... I do not have a ring. Tell me, where were you from again?" Jack addressed the words to the masked person.

It took a long time before answer came, and there was a new kind of coldness in the soft voice of the masked person: "I am from the place they now call Frostgrave."

"I remember you mentioning it, yes. Now tell me... do you think I might find myself a ring from there? A ring of great power, of wealth and of influence? A ring that is truly worthy of me? If I shall find such a ring there, we will renew our program."

Even colder, the masked person replied: "Yes. That is exactly what you shall find from Frostgrave."

- - -

Continue to chapter II

Monday, October 19, 2015

Last two games of Kangasala Steamroller

Game 3:

Third game was against Circle of Orboros.

I was kind of happy that I was againt epic Morvahna. Somehow until now I've dodged all games against Morvahna2, so this was my first time playing against her.

Opponent had:
Morvahna the Dawnshadow
- Warpwolf Stalker
- Gorax

Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Maximum unit of Tharn Bloodtrackers
Maximum unit of Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain
Maximum unit of Skinwalkers + Warpborn Alpha
2x Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove
Gatorman Witch Doctor

Scenario was Close Quarters and Cryx started game. First picture is from the end of Cryx turn 2. As someone may have already guessed, Venethrax has used his feat. Venethrax also cast Soul Harvester on Satyxis Raiders, but Gatorman Witch Doctor had cast Zombify on Bloodtrackers. Venethrax got only one soul from a lucky Ravager kill.

Nyss Hunters rolled damage terribly on any targets they acquired, but did manage to down one additional Ravager.

Circle turn 2 couldn't have started off worse. A full unit of Nyss Hunters fail their command check against Skinwalkers. A big minus for me. But at least the smoke screen I had gained from Venethrax feat delayed Circle's advance on the right. Most of the Satyxis Raiders died, but that was to be expected - Satyxis had been the Prey target for Bloodtrackers.

Turn 3 There was only one Bloodtracker near Cryx friendly flag that might be contesting it. So Venethrax with eight focus points and Dragon Slayer upkept for free by Admonia started dominating points. Bane Thralls were supposed to be some sort of reserve. Nyss Hunters passes command check to regroup. My heavies were patiently waiting on the hill for something to slaughter. It was nice to notice that Snapjaw's warlock bond made it possible to remove models from play.

Circle mopped up what was left of Satyxis and switched Prey target to Bane Thralls.

Tharn Ravagers charge in and one chops off left arm from Seether. Another takes a swing at Ogrun Bokur, but since Bokur is still in the picture I have to assume the attack missed. Skinwalkers continue to butcher elves. Which is kind of OKAY for me. Butchering elves. Especially if they pee their pants every time a warped human/wolf hybrid with axes bigger than the elves themselves charges in....

Two Skinwalkers also try to kill Snapjaw, and they do in fact break the body branch.

Turn 4 Venethrax dominated another scenario point and even gained one soul from a nearby Ravager who died somehow, somewhere.

Wrong Eye healed Snapjaw (finally I remembered and activated these two in correct order!) and then Snapjaw mulched two Skinwalkers into such tiny bulbs that even Morvahna wouldn't be able to resurrect them with her feat.

Admonia got to use Disbinding to remove Carnivore from Skinwalkers.

My Bane Thralls, however, were badly exposed now to attacks by Bloodtrackers and whatnot. Here was hoping for a streak of good Tough rolls... but I guess my opponent from tournament round 1 rolled even my successful Tough rolls on turns 1-3.

Turn 4 picture is terribly out of focus, but I chose to include it anyway to visualize Morvahna's feat better.

She didn't feel confident enough yet to start dominating her own points as she only had a couple of damage boxes left after she brought dozens (exaggeration) models to contest my friendly flag.

Suddenly it started to look rather unlikely to win by scenario despite the good beginning.

Rest of the game was mostly just opponent throwing everything he got against Venethrax and clogging my flag, so I won't go into too many details. Except to brag a little.

Venethrax stood there for, what, four turns taking charges in from Ravagers and Bloodtrackers, and even face-tanked a Primaled and strength warped Warpwolf Stalker (which Venethrax then ate for breakfast).

When scenario points were 4-2 for Circle on my turn and I had lost all but Withershadow Combine game looked like it was over.

But I had nothing to lose - I ran to the flag with Admonia, taking a free strike from a Skinwalker. Skinwalker hit, but dealt only four points of damage. Yay. Prolonged the game unnecessarily against all the odds.

In the end it was a scenario loss for Venethrax, however.

Game 4:
By now I was so exhausted that I actually asked opponent: "Wow, you got Venethrax too?" or something like that when I was looking at a tray on the other side of the board.

It was my own tray. Ahem.

Opponent played Retribution of Scyrah, and the list was:

Lord Arcanist Ossyan
- Banshee (which I believed to be Hypnos for no good reason...)

Maximum unit of Invictors + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Halberdiers + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force + Commander
Maximum unit of Riflemen + Unit Attachment
Houseguard Thane
Some kind of Eiryss...?

Scenario was Fire Support, and I don't remember who started. I had picked Venethrax as my list. Picture is either from the end of Cryx turn 1 or 2.

I was happy for the fact that I had Effigy of Valor on a hill. With Ogrun Bokur I might very well be able to go and camp focus on the hill despite threat from Ossyan and Mage Hunter Strike Force. So I slowly started to drag Venethrax to the hill, all the while Wrong Eye & Snapjaw under Submerge advanced towards the soft and juicy Mage Hunters.

Feat turn for me was a complete waste of time. Attack rolls were so depressing that only four enemy models died - even if I had six Satyxis and a few Nyss Hunters making attacks.

At least Venethrax got to a relatively safe spot behind Ogrun Bokur and the objective. I had thought of asking about what Hypnos was able to do, but for some reason I didn't. If I had, I might have actually been informed that there was, in matter of fact, a Banshee on the board.

I made it all too easy for opponent.

Next turn Banshee just loaded a slam shot on Ogrun Bokur and knocked both Venethrax and Ogrun down. Ossyan advanced, used feat and various models killed objective. Mage Hunter Strike Force activated and turned Venethrax to the signature spell of Lylyth2.

Stupid mistake. This might have been a very interesting game otherwise. But I'll probably remember to double check unfamiliar warjacks from now on - at least for a while.

Kangasala 50pts Steamroller (first two games)

Last Saturday the big day finally came.

It's a good thing, because I was starting to get tired of playing Asphyxious1/Venethrax!

So, tournament was held in Kangasala. It was 50 points, 1-2 list DC [1] and used Active Duty Roster season 2.

I'm quite fond of playing less used warcasters, and what's better than getting a real incentive to use them?

Taking advantage of that my lists were:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Ripjaw
- Nightwretch
- 2x Slayer

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 2x Brute Thralls + Skarlock Commander
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius
- Harrower
Pistol Wraith
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Saxon Orrik
Gorman diWulfe

Objective: Fuel cache

Ogrun Bokur
Orin Midwinter
Machine Wraith

List 2:
Lich Lord Venethrax
- Seether

Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Maximum unit of Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
Ogrun Bokur
Satyxis Captain
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

Objective: Effigy of Valor

Warwitch Siren
Maximum unit of Bile Thralls
Madelyn Corbeau

This was a 30 player tournament. Surprisingly there were only three Cryx players, me being one myself.

Game 1:

So needless to say, first game was obviously against Cryx.

I don't remember what was the caster pairs opponent had, but I considered Venethrax to be good enough for both of them. Opponent ended up choosing following Deneghra1 list:

Warwitch Deneghra
- Slayer
- Nightwretch
- 2x Deathripper

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

Objective: Arcane Wonder

I used Active Duty Roster to switch Bane Thralls for Bile Thralls.

Scenario was Recon, and Venethrax started game. First picture is from the end of Deneghra turn 1. I thought that Lamentation might bring better defences against Deneghra if I only could somehow get rid of the arc nodes. Satyxis had ran forward pretty much as far as possible. Enemy Deathripper got engaged by a Satyxis Raider by accident. That was a major bonus considering Deneghra was free to cast Venom three times, or two with various boosts.

Turn 2 Venethrax used feat, which turned out to be somewhat of a lackluster (are there any other kind of Venethrax feat turns?) as enemy was advancing from two fronts. To make matters even worse, damnable Bane Thralls seemed to have something equal to 2+ Tough rolls. Only one Bane Thrall actually died, and another was knocked down.

Sea Witch used Power Swell so that they'd be able to crack through Slayer and Deathripper armor.

I had thought of shooting a couple of Bane Knights with Nyss Hunters, but decided against it because they were packed together so closely - even if I managed to turn somebody to Charnel Flame template, it wouldn't truly block Knights' advance... and I'd only trigger Vengeance.

Deneghra turn 2 Bane Knights charged Nyss Hunters, mostly just to engage them.

Four Satyxis on the left perished under Bane Thralls and a Pistol Wraith. Skarlock and a Warwitch Siren unleashed Venom over Satyxis, but on a hill they were quite capable of dodging the corrosive fluids that were flying left and right. One Venom, however, caught the Sea Witch and killed her and broke Satyxis Raider coherency.

Venethrax turn 3 Satyxis wrecked Slayer and tried to do something to Deathripper. By now Feedback had given quite a few damage points in to Deneghra.

Next two Bile Thralls advance to Purge, one takes down the Deathripper (and the two Satyxis engaging it...) and the other one purged over Bane Thralls and caused a number of successful Tough rolls yet again.

Nyss Hunters attack Bane Knights and roughly take half off the unit. There might be one ninja Knights on the right that's not seen in the picture.

Since Deathripper and the two Satyxis went away, Seether charged the Warwitch Siren. Somehow it felt like a good idea to give a little bit more additional threat saturation than just Venethrax on the middle, when Deneghra hadn't even used The Withering yet...

Deneghra turn 3 she does use her feat, though. She was afraid of coming too close to the action (probably because of having lost about half of her hit boxes to Feedback?) so she got only Venethrax, Seether and all the remaining Satyxis under it. That obviously spelled certain doom for Satyxis.

Gorman lobbed Black Oil over Seether, and Deathripper with three focus points advanced to dismantle the heavy warjack. Withershadow Combine also walks closer to Seether and shoots it with Dark Fire bolts. All this brings Seether down to some three or four damage boxes remaining.

Pistol Wraith shoots a few Bile Thralls away.

Venethrax turn 4 Venethrax was all but useless with his might 10" control area and penalties to everything. So he just stays there, giving the other Cryx a stern look.

Bile Thralls purge quite a few Bane Thralls away this time. Opponent probably expended all luck on Tough rolls over turns 1-3.

Since Bane Thralls were pretty much the only thing contesting the middle zone, I tried to destroy the enemy objective to get a scenario game going. It required quite a lot of shuffling because of difficult charge lanes, but in the end Ogrun Bokur and Snapjaw scored the kill.

Then I was about to activate Seether, and realised that I had Seether with less than five damage boxes remaining, and enemy Withershadow Combine were waving their hands in anticipation towards it. This would not do.

But I had already activated all but Satyxis Captain. She'd have to do it before enemy Combine does it.

And she succeeded. That might have cost me the game had she failed.

Remainder of the game was short. Opponent rushed in to contest, and I had to clear the zone. Clearance was successful, so the game was 5-0 for Venethrax.

Game 2:

Second game was against Convergence of Cyriss with:

- Cipher
- Corollary
- Inverter

Maximum unit of Reciprocators
Maximum unit of Obstructors
Minimum unit of Reductors
Optifex Directive
2x Clockwork Angels
Attunement Servitors
2x Enigma Foundry

I picked Iron Lich Asphyxious for the job, but I somehow thought it would be good idea to switch Harrower for Nightmare and Saxon Orrik for Orin Midwinter. Somehow it escaped my thinking at the time that Harrower could have actually taken souls from the small based infantry, and that Cipher shot rough terrain batches.

Scenario was Incursion, and I believe Convergence started game. First picture is poorly focused and from the end of Cryx turn 1. I didn't have much of a plan yet. Mostly I was anticipating a feat round for Lucant.

Turn 2 was not a feat round for Lucant. In fact Convergence pulled back a little on the western front, and didn't press all that aggressively on east either. Two nasty 4" AoE's of rough terrain took most of my chances to get any kind of meaningful alpha strike off, however.

On my turn I'm absolutely certain Lucant will use feat next turn, so I have to use this turn to charge and engage as much of enemy forces as possible. It failed spectacularly. Most of my attacks missed or dealt no real damage. Nightmare charged the Reciprocators, and with three focus points did not kill even one ARM 20 target. And now I had thrown away the one and only model that might be able to do damage if Lucant uses feat... pro move, here.

Slayers at least did a little bit more. Two six point warjacks killed four models. At least the eastern flag was contested now.

Necrosurgeon built three Mechanithralls, so I did get about five Mechanithralls to actually charge despite the rough terrain. They killed one servitor, one Clockwork Angel and one Reductor.

Though why am I listing the kills here? All of them would just be coming back...

Turn 3 casualties were surprisingly few. Necrosurgeon was still alive and well, so Mechanithralls didn't count. Only Nightmare and possibly Pistol Wraith died permanently. And still Lucant didn't use feat! Well, I guess the damage done by both parties involved was rather laughable, so I guess there was no need to seize a turn of nigh invulnerability.

On my turn Slayers, Warwitch Siren, Orin Midwinter and even the oft neglected Scrap Thrall conquered eastern flag, so I would score 1-0 for Cryx this turn.

Other than that, Mechanithralls just shambled about and Asphyxious advanced under full focus camp. Skarlock cast one Breath of Corruption cloud to the middle just for kicks - and hopefully to block one wound infantry advancement.

Turn 4 is rather annoying. Opponent didn't have too much time left on his clock, so he went hellbent on assassination of Asphyxious. First he had to clear the charge lanes, and then successfully charge with two heavy warjacks. Cipher had easy enough charge lane, but Inverter needed a bit more work. Eventually one Mechanithrall or Stitch Thrall or something was left standing in-between, so Inverter had to charge that guy. Asphyxious was just out of 2", so assassination attempt failed and opponent's clock ran out.

I would've wanted to play that game properly, since the situation was rather interesting - not clearly in anybody's favor, though I think I was slightly on the losing side because of the strong attrition that Enigma Foundries brought.

But tournaments are tournaments. Oh, and the last picture looks like that since I was too slow to take a picture. We had already began removing models from board.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Greedy Ending

Week ago I played a 50 point game of Warmachine.

Yet again we practised for a tournament that actually starts tomorrow. Oh my.

Game was against Protectorate, so I played with Iron Lich Asphyxious. On hindsight I should have taken Venethrax because of reasons.

Anyway, my list was:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Ripjaw
- Nightstalker
- 2x Slayer

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 2x Brute Thrall + Skarlock Commander
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius
- Harrower
Gorman diWulfe
Saxon Orrik
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Pistol Wraith
Wawritch Siren

Opponent had:

Northern Crusade tier 2
Hierarch Severius
- Judicator
- Reckoner
- Blessing of Vengeance

Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Rhoven & Honor guard
Covenant of Menoth
Vassal Mechanic
2x Vassal of Menoth

Scenario was Outflank and Protectorate started game. First picture is from the end of Cryx turn 2.

So far Reckoner has shot movement off from Harrower. I tried to seize eastern zone since there were only Gius and Cassian contesting it. My plan relied on giving three focus for Ripjaw and Power Boost a Slayer to one focus with Warwitch Siren. Slayer was successful, but Ripjaw was not. Boosted charge attack either missed or dealt laughable damage despite being P+S 14 with Armor Piercing and Scything Touch.

Severius has shot Pistol Wraith dead with Admonisher, and I guess we're ready for turn 3 by Protectorate.

It was turn when he used his feat and butchered nearly every infantry model I had, plus Slayer and Ripjaw. It was a terrible turn for Cryxian attrition game, and Severius was way too far to pull off any kind of assassination anyway. Though now that I'm looking at the picture I guess I could have tried to assassinate Severius with four Hellfires if I had succeeded in bringing Nightwretch within 10" of Severius and in Nightwretch's line of sight. Difficult to judge distances from picture, but it would have probably been my best course of action anyway in an actual tournament.

But no. NO.

I do what I always do. In a desperate situation I look for an unlikely way to cause as much damage as possible. My plan this time was try to destroy both Blessing of Vengeance and Reckoner and teleport to safety.

My pro play move was to charge Blessing of Vengeance and swing it twice with Asphyxious and get pushed back by repulsor shield within reach to Reckoner. But first I tried to soften up Blessing of Vengeance with a combo-striking Slayer, and then Reckoner with Mechanithralls. Since unit leader had been dying all over the place during enemy turn, I was unsure about the unit coherency. And, yes. Of course both Brute Thrall and the Mechanithrall close by were out of the pesky CMD 6 of Mechanithralls. Brute was perhaps two millimetres off, but enough for a 6" measurement piece to move freely between the two models. Combo-Strike by the Slayer was rather unimpressive, too.

I died a little inside.

Well. Most likely I would be losing this game, but damn it! If my minions are this useless, Asphyxious would be taking down the two warjacks all alone! Well, Skarlock did cast Scything Touch on him. At least one minion was doing it's job correctly, which isn't surprising - Skarlocks are pretty much extensions of the warcaster's will, anyway.

Asphyxious charged Blessing of Vengeance and deals good enough damage, but doesn't break the shield. He is pushed 1" back and buys one more attack against Blessing of Vengeance and wrecks it. Alas, it was yet again a very close call, but it turned out that Asphyxious wasn't within reach of Reckoner. It was a very awkward situation where Asphyxious barely did have Line of Sight to Reckoner and his back arc was easily within 2" Reckoner, but reach measured from front arc was not.

Oh well. Since there was no place I could safely teleport and be out of reach of Reckoner, I decided to teleport out of charge distance of Judicator and facetank Reckoner with only three focus. Easy!

Well. I guess I should have used feat anyway. Perhaps cast Parasite on Reckoner to bring Asphyxious up to ARM 25, and see if a colossal and Reckoner would bring Asphyxious down. Probably, but at least not as easily as a Reckoner kills ARM 19 Asphyxious. But I was greedy again - I wanted to believe in miracles and save feat for a turn where I'd be able to fully utilize the 14 focus points.

That turn never came.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Venethrax Hard Mode

Week ago on Monday I played a 50 point game of Warmachine. It was against the same opponent as last game, and the same list also. I used a few Specialists because Nyss Hunters had been so useless last time I tried them versus full stealth army...

So. My list was:

Lich Lord Venethrax
- Seether

Minimum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Bile Thralls
Maximum unit of Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
Withershadow Combine
Madelyn Corbeau
Ogrun Bokur (Venethrax client)
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

Objective: Effigy of Valor

I was against:

Ravens of War tier 4
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
- Naga Nightlurker
- 3x Ravagore

Strider Rangers

Strider Rangers + free Unit Attachment
4x Strider Deathstalker

Objective: Effigy of Valor

Scenario was Two Fronts. I'm slowly getting tired of Two Fronts. Anyway, Cryx started game. I decided to run forward as fast as possible with just about everything I got. First picture is from the end of Legion turn 1, and see what's missing? Everything!

Well. At least my offence made Lylyth to use her feat right there on turn 1. I had been thinking if I should use Venethrax's feat also, but I had not been actually planning around on Lylyth using her feat so early.

I guess it could have been worse. The feat took off only, what... almost twenty points from my roster?

Turn 2 I continue to push stuff down opponents throat and Venethrax uses his feat. He makes a nice smoke screen for him from two Bile Thralls. I was aiming for some kind of scenario game here. Last turn Ravagores had been making some heavy shooting against Snapjaw and destroyed his Spirit. My grand plan of getting both under Snapjaw's animus was foiled by me forgetting to heal Snapjaw first. I was certain that it was over now for Snapjaw...

One Ravagore frenzies, but its anger is sated by eating just one Strider. Actually, make that two, since I see only five Striders on the left at the end of Legion turn, but there were six of them at the end of my turn.

Unpainted Striders on left tried to kill all Bile Thralls. Deathstalkers were busy with wiping off the remaining Satyxis. For no good reason two Bile Thralls survived the enemy turn, which was kind of miraculous.

The unexpected frenzy of two Legion warbeasts made it look like it's a possibility for Snapjaw to survive. Naga Nightlurker tries to land a final shot on the heavy alligator, but fails to kill. Last Ravagore that did not frenzy tried to shoot Snapjaw dead, but missed its shot. And obviously the template landed almost directly on Wrong Eye. "Yay" for Snapjaw's animus.

Now. Things did not look too bad at all when my turn 3 started. Well, okay, maybe it looked bad but I still had a game worth playing.

Two Bile Thrall purges killed three Striders and three Strider Deathstalkers. Well, one of the Deathstalkers was reduced to one hit box remaining and corrosion, so technically it was Venethrax's caustic presence that killed the third Deathstalker.

Bane Thralls and Snapjaw killed enemy objective and Naga Nightlurker. This time only Snapjaw had its animus on and Wrong Eye didn't, since he had to heal Snapjaw for two. I wanted to have one Fury for damage transfer, so he healed for three instead. I don't have a good explanation why I rather had damage transfer available, since only a couple of Striders could have charged Wrong Eye. It's a shame I couldn't figure out any way to kill the Strider musician on enemy zone... if I could have killed it, scenario would have went 3-0 for Cryx in one turn. Now it was only 2-0.

I didn't take any pictures (minus the very last one) after this, but the game went so that scenario was 2-1 for Cryx, 3-1 for Cryx, 3-2 for Cryx, 4-2 for Cryx and then suddenly opponent grabbed point situation to 4-4 stall. My scenario game had looked a real possibility and I didn't think twice about the chance that opponent might get to even scores. I completely forgot to bring any kind of contestant near to enemy zone, so we would score to 5-5 on my turn and then opponent essentially just needed to end his turn to go to 5-6, or the game would end on my turn to 4-5 for Legion if I didn't kill the Ravagore who was contesting.

There was no other option than to attack Lylyth and kill her with two Hellfires. Since she had three Fury for transfers, that would have required quite a few sixes on the damage rolls. There were no sixes.

Oh, and about the title.

Since his release back in 2010 I've played Dragon Slayer completely wrong. For some reason I had been thinking that you wouldn't be able to go over you Focus via focus points gained from Dragon Slayer. At some point during this game I re-read Dragon Slayer and much to my amazement I didn't find anything that would deny focus points over seven. I thought I must have missed something, forgotten perhaps. After the game I started to do some research on the subject, and turns out that there is indeed no limit.

During my research I also found out that Dragon Slayer is not restricted to melee attacks only. If Venethrax kills a warbeast with Hellfire or Blood Rain, those fury points get stolen also. Heck... Dragon Slayer doesn't even specify warbeasts as the targets you can get focus points from. Hello there Agonizers and Forsakens. And Krielstones and Sentry Stones too, though I doubt latter two will ever end up as focus for Venethrax.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Summon Miscast, Inverted Heal and other popular magic tricks

Last Friday I played my first game of Frostgrave.

As I'm basing my wizard on my Carnival of Chaos warband from Mordheim, I tried to make his spell choices reflect a troupe of magical circus.

Base class I took was Summoner with:
- Possess
- Leap
- Summon imp
- Elemental bolt
- Fog
- Spell eater
- Beauty
- Strength

Initial warband was:
2x Thieves
2x Thugs
War hound

I was against a Sigilist of some kind, which was kind of an interesting coincidence - sigilist is directly opposite of summoner in the spell school alignments.

His warband was (about):
5x warhound

Scenario was the basic treasure hunt to keep things simple. Yet a few misconceptions sneaked in at least in my part.

Opponent won starting roll and initiative for first round. He picked the side where there were more treasure counters relatively close. My group comes from south and enemies approached from north.

Sigilist secured two treasure tokens easily enough. One was in the graveyard and another in a small tower in the north-east side of the table. I drew a little circles to the picture to mark down the treasure locations.

One was an easy grab for me, and thanks to Leap spell another one seemed to be snatchable - provided the thief who jumped to the treasure east on the bridge survived archer fire from the tower nearby.

Treasure on the ruin seemed like a difficult catch for anybody, so it looked like a big fight would be coming up in the middle of the board.

Though I had cast Possess on my barbarian and even Strength on my own war hound. What could possibly fail here? I had my wizard, enhanced war hound, demonic strongman and an ordinary thug there plus smoke wall screening my troops from missile fire. Opponent had four dogs and a fifth one coming up, but I also had another thug coming up, so at no point was I truly outnumbered.

One turn later both barbarian and war hound were dead and a thug was limping back to my deployment zone with four health left (which triggers injured status), and even my wizard had taken some damage via miscasts.

Now those were some angry dogs...

But in truth... well, they really were angry dogs. But I wonder if I'd been allowed to "force combat" for a couple of dogs who ended their movement less than 1" away from my thug? Well. It isn't that serious business.

Then I forget to take pictures for quite long time. So far I managed to escape with on treasure counter, but lost two thugs, a barbarian and a war hound in the process. The thug in pink clothing bit a bullet while escaping. My wizards saves himself from the crazy dogs with a successful Leap... cast by Apprentice, because he himself failed the check. Sigilist had cast a spell that raised a difficulty of my Summon Imp spell, but in defiance to that I had tried to cast the spell two or three times. It was only difficulty 13, but it never came even close to success. By far my Wizards failed more spells than my apprentice during the game.

Early in the game Sigilist failed miserably in casting some spell. But he did have healing spell backing him up. Two first times he tried to cast it, however, he not only failed casting roll but failed in badly enough to cause damage. Just as planned. But third time's the charm, so they say, and heal worked just fine.

When the third picture is taken I have only a thief with treasure counter, archer, injured wizard and injured apprentice left. I had succeeded in removing three of the five bloodthirsty hounds. I was genuinely afraid of them and didn't want to engage.

And here's the funny thing. I had thought that you cannot voluntarily move off the board. That's why I started doing some shenanigans. Sure I was losing the game, I brought my wizard to the corner of the board where the thief with treasure had been waiting. Thief dropped the treasure and wizard picked it up. Then apprentice cast Leap on wizard, who jumped off the board. Escape with a style.

But all that was useless, as everybody could have saved them already many times over. Ah well, at least this misunderstanding brought some desperate atmosphere for me.

After the game I found 100 gold and Gloves of Strength. Only one thug and one thief died completely off the roster. I bought a new Treasure Hunter for me plus a replacement Thug.

Opponent found a grimoire, a bit over 300 gold and some kind of a magic item. Though treasure rolls are very random (d20 always is...) I don't think the results were too far apart. After all I got only two treasure counters and opponent had four.

My wizard got two levels and raised the casting chance for Possess and Beauty. I don't remember how much experience the Sigilist got, but I'd wager at least three levels.

Carnival took Library for home base and the Sigilist went on a bender in an abandoned inn. Isn't that the opposite what should have happened?

Anyway. How do I feel about Frostgrave now after one real game?

Well, definitely need to play a second game. After all the melee combat probably gave more static and overpowered impression than it really is - we completely forgot about the forcing to combat and that the winner can push either model a full inch. Not to mention that few last turns of somewhat uninteresting escape runs would have been completely avoidable.

Most common damage rolls were either zero or "explode instantly into thousand tiny fragments". Only a few times during the game one or two damage points were scored in. This is not a bad thing in itself - you just have to realize ten Frostgrave hit points is not equal to ten Mordheim wounds.

It's a fun system for light hearted play. There's also enough tactics in Frostgrave that it doesn't feel like purely random dice rolling just for kicks - mostly in how you activate your models. A true campaign probably needs at least four players to keep things interesting. That way things can be kept in check even if one wizard starts to snowball itself with amazing treasure rolls. Though now I'm just speculating with after only a one game. I'll save more opinions for later.