Monday, November 30, 2015

There's a muton under my bacon!

Today Deadzone campaign came to an end. Originally we had planned a ten mission campaign, but since Deadzone second edition rules are going to drop to kickstarters any moment now, we just played an improvised 100 point game. Well it was the ninth game, so we didn't miss the mark that much.

As Plague had had terrible start in the campaign, we decided to triple the victory points gained from the game to give Plague an actual chance to win.

First half of the board was alien battleship. We placed the control zone accordingly. That was homebrew on the fly. Is this what I have become? Ahem...

It was time to pick missions. I had two choices, Close In and Fight Another Day. Considering the placement of control zones I couldn't bring myself to pick Fight Another Day. Gaining two victory points per turn until Enforcers would be even close to objectives on a 16x8 board, and then continuing to gain two more as long as I had over 50% of my troops remaining looked like an anti-climatic ending.

So, my old beloved Infiltrate missions it was, with a little bit of killy objectives, too.

My strike team was:

Ethereal Stage 3A General (Slow mutation, one veteran die and jump pack)
4x Stage 3A trooper mutons with various handicaps and disabilities. Hello, 7+ Shoot and 6+ Fight troopers, for example)
3x Fresh Recruits (They actually looked like they might do better than older troops...)
HMG Heavy Plasma muton
Celatid Swarm
2x Plague Hound & Silacoid
Stage 2A Chryssalid with Agile mutation. That was almost as scary as Chryssalids in the '94 X-Com.
Chovaar Sectoids with Mind Probe

Opponent had just seven models in their 100 point list.

1x Strider (which explains extremely low model count I guess)
Enforcer with Thermal Rifle
Enforcer Medic
... possibly the rest were regular Enforcer troopers?

Their mission was Zulu.

First picture is the deployment from within my battleship. It's a shame the humanoid figures in greenish vats don't show too well. They were pretty awesome. A miniature was put inside a small tube and then filled with some kind of shower gel. Brilliant.

Second picture is from the end of round one. Nothing really happened yet, but it shows the absurd threat range with Plague models plus... shenanigans.

I found a smoke grenade from inside my ship, and went into offence with that. I thought the LoS blocking would be enough, but how wrong I was... An Enforcer, probably the one with thermal rifle, just huddled a little closer and lobbed a grenade over my stack of three mutons adjacent to another space with two. Wound were caused. Reducements in aggression were made. It had a major psychological impact on me. It gave too painful flashbacks from missions 1-5...

Another Enforcer secured position one the metal barrels in the middle of eastern map. So. Chovaar psychic is awesome. Ethereal used command action to move Stage 2A one cube. Then it used Sprint and Move actions. Then Chovaar psychic took away the activation marker, and Stage 2A activated again. I intuitively played it so that I wouldn't be able to use Agile twice in a turn even if there were two separate activations. Without even using battle cards the Stage 2A moved six cubes, possibly seven with battle card or potentially eight cubes if I played the Agile wrong...!

Attack in itself wasn't too shabby. Only one wound was caused to the Enforcer.

Then another Enforcer enters the same combat to help his friend, but no damage is done to anyone.

Next turn a muton with Reinforced Spines (Tough) mutation comes to help the outnumbered Stage 2A. And I guess it does that, in a way... It fails the combat so miserably that the target gains a free escape. Now Stage 2A was able to finish what it began. Attack roll was doubled or tripled, so Stage 2A got to move one cube. Then Chovaar removed the activation marker again. Stage 2A used Sprint and then Move to enter combat with Enforcer who had thermal rifle. It was a bloody slaughter, and doubles or triples again. Another move. That's five cubes of advancement, and combat in two different cubes not next to each other. Damn it. That Chryssalid truly was living up to its name!

Though all was not that fuzzy and cute on Plague side of the board. Original non-fresh mutons started dying left and right. It's possible that the muton in the middle is the only trooper muton still alive. Oh, the little sectoids are my fresh recruits, by the way.

I was worried about the Strider, though. I boosted Celatid swarm with everything I got and launched it against the hulking behemoth - and no damage. At all. I thought that cost me the game, but Enforcer shooting was extremely inefficient that turn.

The Stage 2A Chryssalid entered the middle once more to cry havoc on a bold, yet foolish Enforcer who had entered to contest the barrels once more. But then Stage 2A failed everything. Everything!

A plague hound, the silacoid there, had to come and help the melee beast. Yay, one injury in.

Two Enforcers were in the second story of the building behind the melee. They shot the Chryssalid down. Well. That's the way you need to kill them anyway. Somewhere high with no entryway, possibly because you shot the stairs yourself to prevent the Chryssalid from climbing...

But that was a serious blow to me. One of my two killers that were worth something was dead now - and the other one was tied down to melee with Strider.

Or so I thought.

Plague Hounds charged to the Enforcer that had been in melee with Chryssalid. Bam. Dead Enforcer.

The second one went to help Celatid swarm in melee with Strider. Bam. Two wounds in.

Jealous of the performance of pesky Silacoid, Celatid wanted to show what it was made of. It managed to cause two additional wounds. But this is no Plague strider, no. This one has five wounds. So it was not over yet.

A hail of continuous bullets rain down from the building that was occupied by two Enforcers. But as far as I remember, only Silaoid actually died, though Celatid became injured and lost enraged status. Losing enraged status only made the Celatid real pissed off, and it wrecked the Strider. Things started to look pretty good, then. I started to move all of my remaining troops so that they might possibly get to infiltrate. A plague hound and one fresh recruit had already done that.

Enforcers lobbed a grenade on top of Celatid, but now the Celatid was really pissed off, and totally flipped out and killed everybody.

I'm not even exaggerating. Grenade pushed it one cube to exactly wrong direction... to the Enforcers, that is. I had Get Mean card in my hand. I played it on the Celatid, who then moved one cube and used Agile to make short Climb action to Enforcer on the highest floor of the building. It killed the Enforcer and doubled or tripled the result, and moved down to last remaining true Enforcer. There was also one some sort of support drone.

Now Chovaar psychic is moved with Move -card, and yet again it succeed to rouse passion in the... uhh... whatever can be considered a heart deep inside of the Celatid. It activated again, killed the Enforcer with doubles or triples, takes a move to the drone and wrecks that also.

I don't know how all of this was possiible, but I know that the Chovaar was far more influential in this game than my actual strike force general.

In the end I received exactly forty points . 13 times three, plus four for completing core mission minus three for using a mercenary. This brought me to 81 points.

Opponent had 78 total reputation.

Well... of course this wouldn't have been possible without the tweaks in the reputation rules for this grande finale. But hey, AI cheats.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Frostgrave campaign game 3

Last Thursday I played a campaign game of Frostgrave against a rival Summoner warband.

Scenario was The Complex Temple.

We were playing at my home instead of the usual cellar, so terrain is a bit on the low side at least vertically. Temple also looks highly advanced - perhaps it had become a place of worship because it had been standing in this place long before the frozen city had been built?

Anyway. Scenario is pretty standard scenario, except that treasures are inside pillars that you have to fight to get hold of them. Every treasure is worth additional 20 gold coins.

I've numbered the treasures in most of the pictures for easier orientation.

Treasures one and two looked like they'd fall to my pockets easily. Opponent had only one just as easy treasure, the number six.

Jack possessed the barbarian and Adon the Apprentice cast fog to screen my main body from lethal missile fire from the opposing side. Those rolls were quite something. My own archer and the crossbowman who tried to take good vantage points were single shotted by archers and elemental bolts. Or crossbowman might have taken one hit first to the stomach muscles, but that's beyond the point.

Barbarian wrecked the treasure pillar, as did treasure hunter at pillar number two. Those were fine rolls, but otherwise I seemed to be unable to cause damage to enemy soldiers and to protect myself from enemy attacks. Most of my spells failed also. If it weren't for the empowering, I think I'd have failed way over 50% of my spells.

But that's enough complaining about my luck. Enemy didn't have it too easy, either, from about the middle of the game forwards.

Once enemy wizard had reached pillar #4, the pillar beat him to two hit points remaining. My wizard had already taken so much damage that Ennu the Apothecary made Jack drink the healing potion. Barbarian had picked up the treasure and leaped close to the boards edge, but I didn't want him to move out of the game just yet. I'd rather switch the treasure to the apothecary and get barbarian back in action.

In my mind the game played so that I'd get treasures 1-3 and opponent would get 4-6. As I was relocating my troops from treasure #2 to #3, they started dying one by one. Contesting treasure #3 started to look very difficult.

But as I said, luck started to swing in my favour. I started finally to get in some kills. Most notable one was Jack shooting enemy wizard dead with Elemental Ball. I was a bit too greedy with Adon the Apprentice and empowered a spell that brought him down to three damage boxes. The Elemental Ball cast by him killed something also, but in turn Adon died to missile fire. So enemy had lost his wizard and I had lost my apprentice.

By now I had recovered treasures one and two and opponent treasures four and six. Enemy apprentice was closing in to treasure five, and my lone Treasure Hunter with Fleet Feet cast upon him was faring well enough against three enemy warriors. Well enough in this case means that he didn't die to just a couple of hits - he wanted some more.

I try to bring a thug that I had forgotten completely and the possessed barbarian to treasure in the middle. Enemy apprentice gets scared of them and decides to fall back. A possessed thief enters combat with Jack, but Jack knew this trick all too well and killed the thief with one punch.

My treasure hunter falls and enemy starts to walk off with treasure #3. Barbarian manages to take the treasure from the pillar in the middle, and Jack succeeds to cast Fleet Feet on him.

An enemy archer jumps to the very same tower where my own archer had died. The archer tried to shoot a couple of shots against the barbarian and Jack, but they didn't do much. This game ended with the victory condition of all treasure counters exiting the board.

I take a moment to reflect the results with our set of house rules.

Routing was not used, though both teams were eligible to use it.

My wizard was lucky enough to kill enemy wizard with a spell attack. With main rules this would have yielded him 150 experience points, but now he got only 75. He did beat another enemy warband member in melee, so that was +115 experience for me from kills by wizard. That's one level outright. Normally it'd been +190 experience.

Since my apprentice went out of game by enemy attack, I was left with only two "actions" in between the games. However, I only needed one - to recruit additional warband members.

To me this looks good. House rules are serving their intended purposes.


None of my warband members died, but Adon rolled "close call" and lost Imp scroll I had given him for the battle.

I found 260 or so gold, two grimoires and two potions.

One treasure hunter and the archer rolled close calls also and I decided to disband Archer and get Marksman it his/her place.

Jack got 150 experience from treasures, 115 from kills and only 80 or something from spells. This was enough to get three levels. With main rules that would have been four levels, which would have felt rather unfair.

Detailed roster below. I might exchange one war hound for a thug if I find a proper extra figure, though.

Jack Saturn is level 8 with 890 experience.
He has leveled fight by +2 and health by +1.
Fleet Feet spell has been improved by +3, Elemental Ball by +1 and Fog by +1.

Home base is Inn with Sarcophagus of Healing

Vault has Magical two handed weapon (+1 damage modifier),
Grimoire: Reveal Secret, Poison Dart, Control Construct
Scroll of Planar Tear.
Potions of Invulnerability and Teleport

Total gold that has been collected is 930, unspent gold is 420.

Warband roster is worth 1050 gold (level 8 apprentice is 280) and includes:
Barbarian (with the two handed weapon from vault)
2x Treasure Hunter (Miss next game)
2x War Hound

Part of the background story that relates to events in this game can be found just below, or here.

Cruor et Caedis chapter V

Earlier chapters:
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV

- - - -

The inn was a roadside inn relatively close to Frostgrave. It's name was "Roadside Inn Welcome", which told everything there is to know about the imagination of the innkeeper.

Regardless their ragged band of performers had shambled there after a recent encounter in Frostgrave.

Their poor looks made the innkeeper suspicious... or perhaps it was the tainted, demonic aura that by now emanated from every member of Cruor et Caedis? Were the two even separable?

In the end innkeeper let Cruor et Caedis stay for free. It had taken a little bit of... convincing. Not in the way Jack had anticipated, though. First he let Groldo, the world's strongest man, express his dissatisfaction after a hard day... week... few months of fighting the wilderness, law, monsters and eating old friends. Now Jack owed a new, well... half of the inn for the innkeeper. Somehow the innkeeper did not appear frightened at all - in fact looked like he'd put up a fight at any given moment.

But then Adon and Ís had entered hall that was still fairly intact. They had somehow managed to cast the enchantment of unbearable beauty upon themselves. The innkeeper was transfixed. He could not get his eyes away from the sight. Equal measures of terror and awe were painted all over his face, plain for everyone to see. And also a slight hint of... lust.

So they got a permanent, free attachment for their remainder of world renown circus. At a half-broken inn in middle of nowhere close to the very edge of known world. Had they really sunken that deep? Where was their class, their dignity?

You have betrayed the legacy. You're useless. Worthless. One day I will gut you and read the future of Cruor et Caedis for the world to know - crap, nothing but crap. Crap with small bits of undigested morsels of world renown artists. You're nothing. You're...

"Have you never wanted to slice through that throat?"

Ennu froze in place and the sudden stop of movement caused a nasty cut to appear on Jack's throat. Jack did not flinch. This was their personal tradition; a solace and a small escape from hectic circus life. Not the slicing of Jack's throat, no. Rather this beard shaving ritual.

"Mister... why do you ask? Have you gone insane?"

"I've ruined this circus. This is no art we're doing here. What am I without an audience? What are we? Fighting for survival against the dead and the scribes. Pathetic." Jack spat on the floor and Ennu had to dodge the projectile. Floor started to slowly hiss and dissolve beneath the saliva.

"Mister is only testing us. Do no talk such sad things. It does not suit you, my dear... boss. Lead us to new glory if that is your wish. Do not talk of death. At least your own death. I have no other desire than to see these crumbs of beard fall off."



"I hit you and made your mask fall off."

Another sudden cut appeared on Jack's face. Ennu said: "Now look at what you made me do!" and Jack could hear the strain in the voice.

"It won't happen again. You're the only one I trust. It was a terrible thing for me to do." Jack said awkwardly and hesitantly. Apologies didn't come naturally from him - unless they were part of the show.

There was a silence, followed by nearly whispered: "Mister is only testing us."

"You're right. We can all use this as inspiration. And I still haven't found my ring. We're going back for more."

It took a few days to re-supply their party, take care of the wounds (both physical and psychological... and magical) and to fit the strange sarcophagus they had found with wheels, so that Jack could be dragged to places without going insane and violent over Ís. Jack had trusted the navigation of the expedition to Ennu, who had some sort of mysterious relation to this place.

But the journeys felt rather long inside the metal box. Jack had a lot of time to think. He wasn't actually claustrophobic, no. He wasn't even that afraid of being buried alive. All of this had happened many times already during his training. Yet... he was terrified. Why was he terrified? Perhaps being terrified was his way of life. The only thing you could trust in this world was sheer, absolute horror. Dread is all there is. Fright is all there was. And terror is everything there ever will be.

This metal sarcophagus reminded him of things. Bad things. Like being buried inside a box with his father and a volunteer from the audience. Jack didn't know what the trick had been, but he knew he was the one who suffered. His father had lousy numbers. He had been a selfish and terrible man. Though now that Jack was thinking about it... there had been that one good performance where the volunteer would be sawed in half, the steaming guts exposed to the crowd and then being melded back together with some aides from beyond. Why did they ever remove than number from their repertoire? Was it because of that one time when aides refused to graft the flesh and instead possessed the two halves, and started doing acrobatic tricks? Jack had thought it had been genius.

The sarcophagus came to a halt. The lid was raised. Before the silhouette took the shape of Ennu, Jack couldn't help but feel the primordial fear that his father was reaching for him.

"We're at the temple" Ennu said. "Somebody lives here now I think."

"What?" Jack shouted and sprang up from the coffin-turned-into-a-carriage. He could hear the shriek coming from Ís right away.

"I don't care. I... I don't care. If they come our way, kill them. I can't stand that noise any more than I have to" Jack ordered.

"What noise, mister? The hum coming from the sacred pillars?" Ennu enquired but received no answer. Jack no longer paid attention to the conversation. His eyes were fixed on a strange and exotic figure in the distance. A figure that Jack could sense wielded a power not unlike his own. Was he a rival? An ally? An usurper? A teacher?

Jack left the rest of Cruor et Caedis to their own devices and started to pay close attention to every move of that stranger. Jack summoned some unclean spirits to inhabit Groldo and Wanny the Juggler just to see how the stranger would react. But the stranger did not react. He closed in and neared a pillar that was giving off an aura of great power. He touched the pillar, but Jack could not fathom why.

Since the stranger was not openly aggressive, though everybody else was fighting, Jack felt interested. He might actually invite this individual to Cruor et Caedis, if he could only talk to him... He started imagining the great wonders they could do together. A new rise for the circus. A show unlike any other. Until now, the only person Jack had ever felt such a connection had been...

Suddenly all Jack could see standing next to the pillar of power was his father.

The things they had done together. A great anger arose in him. A hatred unlike any other.

Calling forth all pyrotechnical prowess he had at his disposal, he blasted his father dead with a ball of fire.

Next chapter

Friday, November 20, 2015

Warmachine Demo

Last Wednesday I did a small demo game of Warmachine for a starting Protectorate player.

Demo forces were:

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Leviathan
- Stalker
- Nightwretch


Warwitch Deneghra
- Slayer
- Defiler
- Ripjaw

Which makes a total of 11 points per side.

I tried to make the demo forces fairly balanced against each other, and I think I succeeded at least somewhat. Leviathan would be able to dish out damage from afar, but not end the game right away by getting lucky shots against Deneghra. Stalker would be relatively safe from Crippling Grasp and Parasite. Deneghra on the other hand had enough arc nodes to afford to lose one by accident. And even if Slayer would die to just about anything, Ripjaw would be able to deal damage in this small game size.

Opponent took Asphyxious.

Since it was a demo game I chose not to play too safely, and pushed on aggressively instead. Opponent probably got good taste of the combo mechanics of Warmachine, when Ripjaw dealt charge damage to Nightwretch with dice + 7...

Slayer fell to Leviathan shots and I charged Leviathan with Deneghra. Damage rolls were excessively poor, so that was a little bit of an anti climatic moment. Leviathan on the other hand shook off Shadow Bind and hit Deneghra once, bringing her to two damage boxes remaining. Asphyxious made short work of her. In fact there was a chance that Deneghra might have died to the POW 5 damage roll from Asphyxious' feat... now, even if I wasn't playing WAAC in this demo game, that would have been embarrassing.

Gambles of Fate

Last Monday I played a 50 point game of Warmachine.

My list was:

Morvahna the Dawnshadow
- Pureblood Warpwolf
- Woldguardian
- Gorax

Maximum unit of Tharn Ravagers + Chieftain + Shaman
Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Sentry Stone & Manikins
Blackclad Wayfarer
Gallows Grove
Ravager White Mane
Reeve Hunter
War Wolf

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponent had:

Feora, Protector of Flame
- 2x Reckoner
- Vanquisher
- Redeemer

Maximum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Aiyana & Holt
2x Vassal of Menoth
Gorman diWulfe
Saxon Orrik
Epic Eiryss

Objective: Fuel Cache

Scenario was Recon, and Circle started game. First picture is from the end of Circle turn 2.

It's been a while since I played Morvahna the Dawnshadow, looks like. I don't know why I didn't leave one Ravager lagging far behind. Earlier some Ravagers and a few Bloodweavers have died to Redeemer shots. The two AoE's about there in the middle are forests from manikins.

Turn 2 Protectorate makes a massive dent in my forces. My only saving grace was that two combined melee attacking Temple Flameguards somehow missed the last Ravager who had charged Eiryss. Def 15 from treewalker special ability sure still kept me in this game.

Turn 3 I had to use Morvahna's feat. She brought all the Ravagers and Bloodweavers back as well as War Wolf. Morvahna was at two hit boxes remaining or something. I had been thinking of going to a nice little killing spree with White Mane and heal Morvahna with Carnivore, but that didn't quite work out. Carnivore removes from play and White Mane needs corpse tokens to do that...

Pureblood Warpwolf advances to use its spray to get rid of Saxon Orrik, Gorman diWulfe, a Vassal of Menoth and a choir grunt.

Shifting Stones teleport Woldguardian right next to Reckoner. Reckoner had Enliven on, but Woldguardian knocks stuff down with its bare fists. Damage rolls were only so-and-so. I'm not sure if any of the systems actually broke.

Bloodweavers dispelled Ignite from Temple Flameguard.

Turn 3 Protectorate killed off Woldguardian and a whole lot of Ravagers die, because that's what they do best. I think Feora used her feat this turn, but it was a little bit of a lacklustre. Def 14 miraculously saved Pureblood Warpwolf, which still kept me in the game. Though Pureblood was on fire and had, what, four or five damage boxes left? Death by fire was well within realms of possibility here.

Now, Warpwolf didn't die. Turn 4 Morvahna healed it and cast Primal on it. It then proceeded to slaughter absolutely everything! Yet it failed and killed none. The Reckoner who had already been beaten by Woldguardian was so badly injured after one attack that I relied on other models to bring it down. It crippled the other Reckoner well enough also, but not completely. This performance took quite a toll on Morvahna's life track.

Last remaining Ravager and even charging Reeve Hunter tried to score the few remaining points in to Reckoner, but it was all for naught. At least the Bloodweavers mopped up Eiryss and Temple Flameguards.

It started to look bad. Reckoners both were pretty useless by now, but I'd lose Pureblood now and there was still unscratched Redeemer and Vanquisher to deal with.

Except. Well.

Protectorate turn 4, and Pureblood defied all odds and stayed alive. One of the Reckoners killed last remaining Tharn Ravager. The other Reckoner and the Redeemer... uh. The dice rolls must have been really skewed.

Turn 5 Bloodweavers kill Holt, a choir grunt and the Reckoner. Pureblood Warpwolf frenzies and wrecks the other Reckoner. I don't remember where and why I did it, but I do remember that I did a re-roll gamble twice with Morvahna during this game.

I got no idea why there is a Ravager in the zone in the picture. It's dead anyway. Can't you smell the rotting flesh?

Protectorate then finally punches the Pureblood in the nose and it dies. Feora advances close by and casts Fire Step, which takes four Bloodweavers down. They fail their massive casualties check.

Vanquisher probably set Morvahna on fire somehow. I definitely remember rolling some fire checks for Morvahna. Perhaps that happened a turn earlier, since there is no longer a Reeve Hunter in the last picture. Maybe Vanquisher smacked him. Anyway, for the track record - only one fire continuous effect got naturally extinguished. Even from the many models that hadn't been in Feora's control area.

Feora had come closer to hug a wreck marker for cover.

This proved to be Feora's undoing.

Turn 6 Gorax destroys my friendly objective from the way of Morvahna, and shifting stones teleport themselves elsewhere, too.

Morvahna then charges Feora. I thought this would be an easy kill thanks to Morvahna's unsporting Life Trade sword. But this was before I learned Feora was at Arm 21 thanks to two focus being used to overboost power field, and Escort.

It was far from easy, and Morvahna was also far from her maximum health. It took all of Morvahna's life (except for one or two) and all of Morvahna's fury to kill Feora.

Tough game that I probably should have lost. Giving whole Ravager unit on a plate shouldn't have went unpunished - especially when opponent lost because of one small mis- (or fire?) step.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A bash in the middle

Last Saturday I played a 35 point warmachine game.

My list was:

Krueger the Stormlord
- Riphorn Satyr
- Scarsfell Griffon
- Gorax

Druids of Orboros
Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Blackclad Wayfarer
2x Gallows Grove

Opponent had:

Lich Lord Asphyxious
- Desecrator
- Nightwretch

Maximum unit of Bane Knights
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls
Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Warwitch Siren

Scenario was Recon. Circle started and first picture is from the end of Circle turn 2. Looking back now at the pictures makes it easy to see one of my greatest mistakes during game.

Instead of moving in one big blob of dissolving fleshy tissue, I should have split up my troops. Now it was all too easy for opponent to block the advance of pretty much all of my one wound infantry. By splitting up I would still have had one major part of my troops blocked off, but perhaps not 100% of them. Oh well.

Counter Magic was blocking any nasty Excarnate tricks. Perhaps that was one of the reasons I chose to advance in one giant ball of meat - I didn't want any extra Bile Thralls on the board.

Turn 2 Desecrator landed a direct hit against Blackclad Wayfarer. Nightwretch also walked close by to shoot at things, but I forget where the shot landed. All in all Cryx just advanced behind the clouds.

Turn 3 Nightwretch was mauled into a wreck by Riphorn Satyr. Next Krueger advances to middle of the board, shoots a couple of Lightning Storms and a lightning bolt from his stick, and uses feat. Using Krueger's feat this cinematically is always a great pleasure, though there are some risks involved if enemy has units with Vengeance and ranged weaponry available. Of course I could have negated threat from Desecrator with Storm wall (spell, mind you) but wasting three Fury just for one pesky AoE shot seemed like a waste...

Anyway. So far so good.

Cryx turn 3 thralls struggle to get within striking distance. Desecrator scores a lucky hit against Scarsfell Griffon, and one of the Bane Knights also take a swing against it. Mind and Spirit branches break down. That was just about all.

Circle turn 4 I feel like I got strong enough position to throw the game. Sorry, I mean to take carefully weighed and meticulously balanced risks. Initially I had wanted to teleport Riphorn Satyr to place I've marked with a red star, but there wasn't enough space. I opted to take out Tartarus and Maelovus instead, then.

Then Gorax dislodged Scarsfell Griffon from melee and forced Primal on it. The rest of Circle tried to remove Bane Knights as much as possible, and did respectable job in doing that. Only three (3) remained.

Then I completely forgot that Scarsfell Griffon had lost two branches. Without healing (druids could have also done that, by the way...) the Griffon charged to Desecrator. Charge was free because my objective was Fuel Cache. I had kind of relied that Griffon would have broken at least something from the helljack, but without Mind and Spirit that proved to be too much of a challenge.

Cryx turn 4 Asphyxious and Withershadow Combine kill Riphorn Satyr, and Scarsfell Griffon fell like a lousy duck to deep fryer. Those were to be expected, all things considered. But I did not account for two Bane Knights to kill Gorax with a couple of swings. So I just all of my warbeasts. That just happened.

Circle turn 5 I just tried to scramble some sort of an unorganised assassination. Asphyxious was in Caustic Mist template, but he had no focus. I tried to score a critical knockdown with everything I got (even Stone Keeper!) but the only model that actually hit Asphyxious was Krueger himself, and that was with second attempt.

Druids of Orboros had over-enthusiastically even blocked lane for one or two Wolves of Orboros to charge Asphyxious, so the game was pretty much done.

Krueger was put out of his misery like a disfigured puppy with fatal heart condition. Two Bane Knights and a Bile Thrall purge was all that was needed. Poor Asphyxious didn't even get a chance to use Spectral Legion.

Though I wonder what kind of a monster euthanasises a puppy with corrosive fluids and ghostly halberds.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Frostgrave Campaign game 2

Second game in an ongoing Frostgrave campaign was against Sigilist warband.

I almost forgot to take pictures in this game, and first one is where enemy Treasure Hunter is closing in on my apprentice Adon. Adon has already suffered damage so he's at five health left. One more, and he'd get injured penalties.

Well, more likely the treasure hunter was after treasure token being carried by my thief.

To the second picture I have placed the vague locations of all treasure tokens.

Since I have such a speedy warband, I thought I might be able to get all four treasure tokens I've numbered. One and two were almost too easy (though not as easy as one token in the Sigilist deployment side) to get. The thief in the first picture is carrying #3, so there was some contesting there.

Treasure token number four was high there on top of the ruin. I thought that using Leap snatching it would prove to be no problem. It would take quite a many turn for Sigilists to get their (relatively) slow troops there. But I had been rejoicing too early - a random arrow or bone dart dealt enough damage to my thug who had leaped up to cause injury.

Crossbowman might have leaped to the treasure next, but I needed him elsewhere. The treasure hunter had injured the only thug I had protecting Adon. To get a more equal standing, the crossbowman rushed in to help and support. Adon summoned an imp to tie up enemy archer.

While the barbarian, Jack and a war hound were able to dispatch warriors who had been sent against them, a bone dart dealt killing blow to the barbarian. Now I only had a possessed war hound, who would not be able to carry treasure. Enemy had already brought a treasure hunter up to treasure #4. If Jack would not have already empowered so many spells, I might have been crazy enough to try and re-take the treasure with my wizard. But he had too little health left, and my possessed war hound also died somewhere, somehow.

Adon had leaped to safety from the scary treasure huntes, and suddenly Jack was absolutely all alone on the field.

He danced a little and leaped 20 additional experience points. I could have used routing house rule, but I chose not to as in this situation it felt almost like abusing it - opponent would get less experience points from treasures his models were carrying.

In the end the result was the same, since Jack could escape before any of the treasure carriers from Sigilists had walked off the board.

So this time I'll write the complete warband roster here, as I don't have to try to remember things. I can just check my sheets.

By now Jack is level 5 with 545 experience.
He has leveled fight by +1 and health by +1.
Fleet Feet spell has been improved by +2 and Fog by +1.

Home base is Inn with Sarcophagus of Healing

Vault has Magical two handed weapon (+1 damage modifier), Grimoire: Reveal Secret and scrolls of Imp and Planar Tear.

Total gold that has been collected is 670, unspent gold is 160.

Warband roster is worth 750 gold (level 5 apprentice is 250) and includes:
Barbarian (with the two handed weapon from vault)
2x Treasure Hunter
2x War Hound

In my background story for this warband, the chapter that relates to events in this game is just below, or here.

Cruor et Caedis chapter IV

Earlier chapters:
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III

- - -

Chapter IV

Jack was thinking about his father. He had to, since his father was looking down to him from the big, yellow and green sky that had small purple spirals here and there. His father smiled. He smiled in that one certain way Jack knew all too well. Jack tried to hide, but he knew it would be futile. He called for great billows of fog to appear in front of him, to screen him.

There were scary, shadowy creatures moving around him. Sometimes he thought he knew them. That one looked like his strongman, but something was wrong with him. He was talking to Jack, tried to warn him of something, but Jack could not make any sense out of the echoing blabber he heard.

"QUIET!" he shouted. "Quiet quiet quiet quiet quiet QUIET!"

Leering, unfamiliar faces appeared in the fog and they were repeating "quiet" mockingly. Strongman and a dog were fighting them, it looked like. But Ís was not quiet. This was perhaps sixth day with no sleep.

He wanted to sit down, so he sat. All of this was not so different from his youth, the days in the glass tub. His father had deemed Jack old enough to perform in the main show. He was supposed to become a mermaid. Jack was being kept in the glass tub for many days. There were some fishes for him to eat if he only could catch them. Eventually he could. In the end he was even able to catch fish with his bare hands in pitch black darkness, and could feel which creatures he touched were fish and which were... something else. Something more sinister, that were inhabiting the physical vessel of a fish.

Finally there were nothing else left than the possessed fish. There was nothing else to eat. So he ate the possessed fish. And became a mermaid. And suddenly he could see...

... he could see the great fists of his father raining down from the sky. His wrathful bellow almost drowned the monotonous shriek of Ís. Celestial father was apparently trying to hit Adon and Ís, he was not after Jack! ... yet. That part would come next. And indeed, he could already see fingers of his father, single digits only, flying towards him from the ruins. They were sharp and cruel, like arrows from a bow.

Jack was alone. All alone.

So he left. Jumped off a cliff, and he fell, he fell for a long time. He smiled. There at the bottom was a coffin. He knew he would hit the coffin, and get some sleep at last. He hit the coffin, and Ís was silent.


When Jack opened his eyes, he was dizzy and couldn't see anything. He was tightly confined somewhere... it was some sort of a metal box. Box, and not a crawlspace. But the box was in motion, so Jack assumed he had not been buried alive. He knocked on what he thought was the lid. Motion stopped and the lid was being lifted.

Grim face of the strongman and the mask of Ennu were looking at him.

"Jack! You're awake! How do you feel?" Ennu asked.

"Silly you. I feel fine. Can somebody explain why I am this... what this box is, anyway?" Jack said as he arose from his confinement. But just as he was stepping out of the box, the shriek of Ís pierced his skull, and Jack fell back to the box.

"I... uh, I think I'll be here for a while. Now, explain."

"Well, mister... you haven't been alright for a while. You were quite out of you mind. Sleep had escaped beyond your reach. For a week or so. We tried to follow your orders as best as we could, but, forgive me for saying this, but they were rather insensible. We were going to escape the city when we encountered some resistance. We could not fight them, for your condition was our primary concern. In the middle of the fight we found this curious artefact and thought it best to keep it with us. You were following it with great interest, and once we were sure we were not being pursued, we began to inspect it. When we opened the lid, you climbed there before we could even remove the desiccated corpse. I'm afraid your cloak might be a little filthy, for we could not move you."

"Oh. Oh. I'll get to that later. I just don't feel like getting up just yet."

"You've been sleeping for over two full days, sire. You could not give us orders, so we left Frostgrave."

"Good, good. Find an inn or something. We need some supplies anyway. Wake me when we're there."

Next chapter.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

On a campaign (Frostgrave)

Last Thursday was the beginning of a campaign of Frostgrave.

The rules are slightly modified version from the actual rulebook. Some folks at Bad Karma dot net (for some reason the site gives me database error at the moment of writing) had already compiled a set of house rules for their enjoyment, and they had raised some good points about where campaign system was lacking. They were not incorporated as is, but were great inspiration for many rules of this campaign.

So here's a summary of our set of rules:

- Victory condition is Transcendence
- Injured rule is used, but critical hits are not

Actual house rules:

- Rout: If half of the treasure has been carried off the board and 50% of the warband has been put out of game by damage, a player may declare rout in wizard phase. At the start of next round all the remaining models from routing warband are removed from board. If they were carrying a treasure token, the token falls to the ground. If the models were in melee combat, other participants may force combat if they wish. Routing models cannot gain supporting melee bonus from other routing models. Note: the models still escape whether forced into combat or not. This just ensures that routing is not used just to escape freely from melee just to save that injured apprentice or high cost warrior with no threat whatsoever.

- Recovering treasure: Only treasures that are actually carried off the board are considered "recovered" for experience gain purposes. Treasures that are left on board when game ends are recovered by no-one, but every wizard who took part in battle gain 25xp. If a tresure token is being carried by a warband member when game ends, wizard gains only 25 experience from that. This is to encourage treasure hunt instead of head hunt.

- Wizard experience: Wizard gains only half of the listed experience from kills made by spells. In melee combat wizard still gains full experience from kills, since wizard is actually risking something (his life) in melee combat. Wizards gain 25 experience from using non-offensive scrolls.

- In-between the games: You have four options when spending treasures.
1. Purchase one item and/or sell as many items as you want.
2. Recruit new soldiers and/or sell one item.
3. Buy a base upgrade and/or sell one item.
4. Scour the ruins for treasure: If warband was unlucky enough not to get any treasure tokens at all during game, one option can be used to gain one treasure and 25 experience point.

You always get one action. You get two actions if either wizard or apprentice survived the game without being removed from game by damage. If both wizard and apprentice survive, you get three options.

This is to limit what you can do between the games even a little, because it feels a bit goofy that if you got the cash, you can do pretty much anything. This doesn't seem to limit early stages of the campaign at all, but hopefully it will stop instant and absolute power boost if one player gets lucky and gain ridiculous amount of gold in one game.

- Death of a wizard: If wizard dies completely before reaching level ten your new wizard is assumed to find the base of your earlier wizard. You don't lose any items or base upgrades, but you lose your warband and all gold.

This is to keep the threat of death always present, but only few things suck more than losing all of your progress especially in a campaign.

So. I played two games, but I'm writing only the first one here because of reasons.

My wizard was almost the same as it was in test games. Let's still list important statistics for completeness' sake.

Warband World Renown Circus Cruor et Caedis

Ringmaster Jack Saturn, summoner with hand weapon and dagger. Apprentice named Adon is carrying a staff.
Summoner: Leap, Imp, Possess
Necromancer: Spell eater
Illusionist: Beauty
Elementalist: Elemental ball
Chronomancer: Fleet feet

2x Thug
2x Thief
War hound

Leftover gold: 5

Again I've crudely photoshopped the approximate treasure locations into the first picture. Opponent was playing Necromancer who had at least Bone Dart, Leap and Raise Zombie.

Initially I thought treasures from locations 1-4 would be fairly easy snatch for me. The treasure from location #1 was a first turn grab, when wizard cast Fleet Feet on thief, and thief then advanced 9" to the treasure and picked it up. Apprentice cast Leap on the same thief. Simply beautiful.

But no plan survives contact with the enemy. After I had taken the treasure #1, opponent scored a couple of brutal hits against all soldiers I was going to bring to location #4. Namely that was just my crossbowman. But I had had great plans for that crossbowman. Reinforcements redirected their course to the location #2. The yellow star in the picture is inaccurately placed to wrong place. But some kind of enemy soldier has leaped there, but barbarian counter-leaped to block.

I had thief there at location #2 who was supposed to pick up the treasure, but he was shot down to injured status by a stray arrow. Thug had to do the job, then.

From the Necromancer side a flying zombie (well, technically a leaping one) went to pick up treasure from behind the white building on top. Some turns later the zombie jumped off the building, dying again in the process, but at least it got the treasure token to the ground.

Location #3 was a fierce battleground. Kind of fierce, at least. Well actually there was very little fighting being actually done - my apprentice, Adon, had cast Possess on my thug, who managed to kill opposing warrior.

I had earlier cast Imp to harass the two warriors up there, but since the other died to possessed thug and another warrior ran out of sight, the imp had no other target than my own model, the thug who had picked up treasure. Nooo!

Luckily no damage to either side was done by the pesky little demon (or aide, as Jack calls them) and later I patched up my mistake by summoning a new imp to location #4. Which was a new mistake. There was a duel between enemy war hound and my own war hound, and when imp finally activated, my dog was closer. Noooo!

When opponent had carried off two treasures and had lost five members of his warband he decided to declare rout. Situation was fairly bad for the necromancers, because I had fast troops and more of them. It seemed likely I'd be able to swarm the treasure #4.

That campaign evening three games were played, and this was first time our set of house rules had some real impact in the outcome. So let's discuss.

With regular set of rules I would have been the clear winner with four treasures and 200 experience points from them. Opponent would have gotten two treasures and 100 experience points.

With our set I got three treasures and 150 experience from them and opponent got two treasures and 125 experience from them. At least this time the house rules seemed to give more balanced ending.

I really didn't want to, but I had to choose the Inn as my base of operations. No other base made any sense for my little circus.

I'm writing up some kind of a disgusting story about this particular warband. Events that relate to this game being played are just below this post, or here.

Cruor et Caedis Chapter III

Earlier chapters:
Chapter I
Chapter II

- - - -
Chapter III

Ís was shrieking. Ís was still shrieking. Nothing Jack had done helped in that matter.

Other didn't seem to bother about it too much, but Jack had the impression they didn't hear the shriek continuously. Late at night Jack stuffed Ís' mouth with a filthy rag, but that didn't help. Voice was so loud he couldn't sleep.

The next night Jack tried to sleep as far from Adon and Ís as possible, and eventually there was almost one kilometre between the two. And that didn't help.

Three full days without sleep and Jack could take no more. He raided their medicine supplies where there still was almost a full bottle of pure alcohol for cleansing of wounds. He drank it, and ate everything else. Even bandages. He started screaming himself, tried to make enough noise to drown Ís' voice. Finally he started to summon little... aides from another dimensions, and called for demons to inhabit any poor soul from his circus who happened to cross his path. He set fires and caused explosion. And finally, he collapsed.

But even that didn't help. Jack saw drunken dreams, or actually only one dream that lasted all through the lack of his consciousness. In that dream Ís was still shrieking.

Once he sobered up, he rose with murder in his eyes. He stormed to Adon and started beating Ís. Repeatedly, without mercy. "Nnnuh... Nnnnuhh", Adon was crying and shaking his head. Jack did not stop hitting. No, he would not stop it until there was silence. But he could not stop, for the voice pierced his skull. Insane, he suddenly saw his own face to appear where Ís' head should have been. That only doubled his rage.

He did not stop out of his own volition. His own face changed to that of his father. His beautiful father. His beautiful, perfect father that he had murdered. Now Jack stopped and fell to the ground and cried in foetal position. His father would not stop shrieking.

Somebody shook him gently. Jack opened his eyes, but could not see through his tears. "Who are you?" he asked.

"Don't you know me, it's Ennu. Are you alright, sire?"

"Your name is Ennu?" Jack sobbed. He didn't recall he had ever heard the name of this genderless person who wore pink even though they had known each other for years.

"Yes, Jack" Ennu said with alert, yet empathetic voice.

"Ennu, I... I cannot concentrate. I can't focus. I can't think, not until that horrible noise is gone..."

"... I understand. But you need to raise up. We need you. We have a matter in our hands of most troubling degree."

"What, what is it?" Jack said while he tried to raise his failing body and mind. Ís was still shrieking.

Ís was still shrieking, and Jack couldn't believe his eyes.

Ís was still shrieking, and now this.

Out of all places in the whole wide world... A competing circus. Rivals. And what a miserable circus it was.

First, they got no style. Second, they were ugly.

"Who are they? Some amateurs I see. Their stage hand look more like some savage militia!" Jack spoke, recovering from his mental breakdown with each word. Savage militia had driven off Cruor et Caedis many times from different towns where people were not quite ready for Jack's rather... exquisite show.

"I'm unsure... look there. They don't look like beginners to me. And they have a wolf" Ennu said.

"A wolf? What kind of circus they think they are? Sorry, I must laugh this off" Jack said and pretended to laugh. The laugh had just a little bit too high pitch.

"Anyway. You mean those in dark robes? And is their hunchback... dead? Ugh. They're a disgrace. What kind of a circus would save off their audience? We need to teach them a lesson."

"They seem to be searching for something. They're not performing here. Remember the houses you ordered us to investigate? In my judgement looks possible they after the treasures we found, sire."

"What? My ring! They're going to steal my ring! They must be stopped! Hide my treasure somewhere and kill everyone!"

Then Jack saw the zombie gracefully flying through the air after necromancer had cast a spell upon it.

"Oh... they do have some tricks up their sleeve after all. I must learn that one. The dead. Flying through the air instead of being buried in the ground. So beautiful."

Chapter IV

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cruor et Caedis - Chapter II

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a Frostgrave campaign. That calls for second chapter of the story of our beloved, if slightly deranged ringmaster Jack.

Follow this link for earlier chapters.

- - - - - -

Chapter II:

There was nothing poetic about it.

Their father had always wanted a daughter. Would a daughter have made father more... well... stable? Would Adon and he have received less beatings and... other things?

Probably not. Definitely not.

But there was no daughter, there was no mother. Jack didn't even know what a mother meant until he was eleven. None of Jack's fathers' girls had stayed around long enough for anybody to suggest she should be called a mother. Though that's not the issue here. The issue is, or was? ... no, still is that he wanted a daughter. Since birth Adon had been horribly disfigured and hideous, so he had probably been twice the disappointment and had to suffer the violence that would have been lethal to just about anybody else other than Adon. Now... Jack was the girly one of the brothers, at least much more so than Adon.

So father would use cruel hits of his fists as tools to shape Adon into a daughter.

But there was nothing poetic about it. No, because that's what happened literally.

A hunchback Adon had been through all of his life. But a siamese not. When Adon was seven the abnormal hump on his shoulder started to show some facial features. Sinister energies that flowed through their lineage had caught the underlying psychological tones behind this inhumane domestic violence. The hatred and disappointment in the will that dominated the laws of nature caused those knuckles to beat a physical manifestation of their father's wishes out of Adon. Every time a hit landed in Adon's face the hump resembled a human face a little more. Father was literally beating a daughter out of Jack's brother.

Father was oblivious to this. Weirder things had happened in the circus during his reign, so he wouldn't try to solve the cause of this what appeared to be human budding. But Jack knew. Or if not, at least he understood.

In Jack's mind the name of the new "face" that would later become a fully fleshed out head, was Ís. That's the name father had wanted for his daughter.

Ís never spoke. Not that Adon technically spoke either, but the second head never made voice or showed any signs of sentience. If the head suffered an injury, Adon would sob. Never Ís.

Until now. Ís was shrieking, though the sound was devoid of any emotion. Eyes were staring, though they were not looking anywhere in particular. Jack sighed and rubbed his tired eyes with the back of his hand. How to shut her face for good?

Journey to this region called Frostgrave had been long and arduous. But he was not a leader that gave up any goals he would set. His crew would not abandon him either, no matter what would happen. To be honest, some performers were probably brainwashed and otherwise insane to all intents and purposes. After all it was rather... taxing to the mind to be used as a repository for demonic beings beyond mortal realm during feats of exceptional performance in the world renown circus Cruor et Caedis.

But then again. You have to suffer for your art. Everybody has to. Though to what extent?

Only a handful of performers were still alive. It had not been a clever idea to start travelling just before winter arrived. Especially without much rations or anything of value to exchange for food and supplies if they happened to cross any city or village where they had not been outlawed yet... which was unlikely.

Once magnificent zoo had been reduced to just few mangy dogs. Elephant had had to be eaten first. Dymbô was going to starve anyway.

Then went the lions.

Then the dancing bear, Yogy, had killed one of the white mares in its hunger while the animal trainer had been riding the horse. Both had died. Yogy was put down and all three made for a fine feast to raise declining morale of the troupe. Though at the start the effect on morale seemed to be quite the opposite. Jack didn't understand why. As far as he knew, animal trainer had not been a well liked person.

So, one by one repertoire of highly trained and skillful animals was sacrificed to keep the rest going forwards. Mules and horses were top priority to keep alive, though. Once there was nothing else left...

Then circus midgets went missing one by one. Jack wasn't particularly proud of that. Many of the midgets had felt like his own children to him. Devouring your own children is something no parent should ever have to experience. Though on the other hand... Jack Saturn was quite catchy stage name. Perhaps it had happened for a reason.

If anybody refused to eat, Jack called a demon to possess him or her, and ordered the demon to devour allotted meal. Jack was not very proud of that either. It was terribly cost-inefficient. That particularly furry fellow had made for quite a fine blanket, though.

But finally! Finally they were here! They may be insane, they may be undernourished, they may be bloodthirsty soulless lunatics with a taste for human flesh, but finally they were here, at Frostgrave!

"Well done ladies and gentlemen! Now, let's make this worth the trouble!" Jack had boasted.

And then Ís had suddenly started screaming, and despite having seen such horrors already, everybody was terrified.

Damn it. How to make her shut her mouth?

Chapter III

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Harbinger of Talisman

As I usually do, I make a separate post once I've finished an expansionful of Talisman miniatures. This time here are the figures from latest expansion; The Harbinger.

So here they are. Possessed, Celestial, Ascendant Divine and The Harbinger himself.

I went the lazy way and just dipped them to Army Painter Quickshade.

I put a few scenery pieces in the picture that were finished with the Talisman figures. The fountain gets an honourable mention. That has been sitting on my shelf for, what, five or six years. It became an oppressive symbol that was quietly judging me and everything I ever did.

Deadzone walls were probably the reason I finally finished this phantom that was slowly draining the life out of me. Ha.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mid-autumn(blade) Warmachine/Hordes

I played against Cryx twice in a quick succession against different opponents. I had nearly the same list in both games, so I'll put both games to same post.

Fist game was last Sunday.

To some of you the armies involved may look familiar. Yes. They're both my own armies. We got a "new" old player who's about to start Cryx, but since his army is still in an unnamed freighter somewhere out there in the big world, I loaned my Cryx for this game.

My list is vaguely the same as earlier, though I made it a little more useable in the warbeast department.

My list was:

Morvahna the Autumnblade
- Argus
- Rotterhorn Griffon
- Riphorn Satyr

Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer
Tharn Ravager White Mane

Objective: Arcane Wonder

Opponent had:

Pirate Queen Skarre
- Seether

Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Mechanithralls + 1x Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Minimum unit of Bile Thralls

Objective: Bunker

... and that's all. The way War Room handles warjack points caused opponent to build a 29 point list instead. Well. That's probably a mistake you make only once. High model count managed to make Cryx army look "big enough", so it didn't raise my suspicions either.

That being said, the game was far from a one-sided faceroll anyway. Circle of Orboros started game and first picture is from the end of Cryx turn 1. Morvahna cast Regrowth of Wolves of Orboros and Harvest on herself.

The platform in the picture blocks camera's Line of Sight to Bile Thralls, who ran to top-east corner. We had agreed that the walls were obstructions that give cover as one would expect, but the platform was accessible otherwise from all directions.

Anyway. Turn 2 Wolves of Orboros continued to move to east, as far from Bile Thralls as possible. They're just too cancerous for Regrowthed targets that mere sight of them gives instant tumors.

Rest of my advancement was cautious, too. I went to contest the zone and wanted to place Riphorn Satyr so it would be able to wreck enemy objective next turn and that no Seethers and/or Bane Thralls would charge it just yet. Morvahna cast Restoration on the goat. Druids put up some Vortex clouds and anti-magic field.

I wasn't expecting Skarre to use her feat just yet, but I think it was the right moment to do exactly that. Wrecking the objective was kind of out of question now. Skarre cast Hellfire on Riphorn Satyr, which was interesting since I had anti-magic field on. I need to make a better reminder token for that... Otherwise Cryx just advanced, though a couple of Bane Thralls charged Wolves of Orboros. A Bile Thrall purged Druid of Orboros dead and caused corrosion on Argus and a Shifting Stone. Or perhaps not... somehow I don't remember anyone using purge. Did RAT 3 really hit DEF 14?

Turn 3 Morvahna upkept all spells and brought three Wolves of Orboros back. White Mane and Blackclad Wayfarer tried to fill Morvahna with fury by killing soft targets. Soft armor 17-18 targets. Well. They were not enough, so Argus ate some rotten Bile Thrall flesh also. Morvahna finally activated and used her feat. She cast a couple of devastating Eruption of Lives and was left with no fury points for transfers.

Since opponent didn't have anyone to repair Seether, I thought that maybe with a little bit of luck Riphorn would be able to tear off an arm and throw the jack away with chain attack. Shifting Stones teleported Riphorn to brawl with Seether. Plan was a half-success. Damage was laughable even when I boosted it on a couple of occasions. I got mixed up in my calculations and had forced Riphorn full when I resolved chain attack. Satyr had no Fury left to boost, so everything relied on a 7+ with two dice. This time it worked - and I'm glad it did, since total damage being done was five or less.

Druids of Orboros tried to shoot some random thralls, and they managed to kill two. Then Wolves of Orboros activated and started poking Bane Thralls. And that's all they did, really. Harmlessly poked around. Two Bane Thralls who were outside of Morvahna's feat went down easily enough, but then either every attack missed or didn't deal enough damage to punch through Arm 15 and 20. So... Morvahna didn't get any forest templates from her feat. A feat well spent!

Bane Thralls must have had some sort of spell on them - outside of the game, I mean. Three thralls killed Riphorn Satyr, and not a single thrall missed attack roll against Wolves of Orboros.

Last remaining Bile Thrall purged Gallows Grove and a Druid of Orboros dead. This time I'm positive that Argus took the corrosion.

There were only two Mechanithralls contesting the middle zone, so turn 4 I made all efforts to start securing scenario victory. With Riphorn gone and Wolves of Orboros stuck in an endless fight against Bane Thralls, there weren't many models for me able to cut through even the pesky Arm 17 of Seether.

Argus and Blackclad Wayfarer cleared the zone, and then Morvahna charged the objective herself. It took quite a few attacks to chew through it, so she wasn't able to cast any actual spells. In the end Shifting Stones teleported her to safety inside a druid's Vortex cloud.

Rotterhorn Griffon charged Brute Thrall and killed it after spending all available fury. Yay...

Scenario was 3-0 for Circle now.

There wasn't much else for Cryx other than to try and stuff the zone full of random models and hope Circle would have a major dice screw next turn.

No dice screw, and 5-0 scenario victory for Circle.

Granted, Cryx was playing six points down against a warlock who does attrition pretty well in right circumstances. I should have probably left Seether alone on turn three and saved Riphorn to actually counter Seether and not throw it around like basket ball. After all Seether wouldn't have been able to charge anywhere itself either from behind the obstacle. But I got to make throw attack, the joy... almost a throw move.

Game 2:
Finally I had to admit that I'm wasting Rotterhorn's potential here, and I don't want to give me impression that it's a poor model. With a heavy sigh I dropped it from my list and got the following list instead last Tuesday:

Morvahna the Autumnblade
- Argus
- Riphorn Satyr

Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Maximum unit of Wolves of Orboros + Unit Attachment
2x Gallows Grove
Reeve Hunter
War Wolf
Blackclad Wayfarer
Tharn Ravager White Mane

Opponent had:

Warwitch Deneghra
- Nightwretch
- Defiler

Maximum unit of Mechanithralls
Maximum unit of Bane Thralls + Unit Attachment
Withershadow Combine
Warwitch Siren
2x Pistol Wraiths

Scenario was Close Quarters, and opponent let me go first. The usual turn 1 happened again, Regrowth on Wolves and Harvest on Morvahna. First picture is from the end of Cryx turn 1. Cryx ran forward. Three Mechanithralls try to bait my forces into charging and over-extending. And they succeed. I clump a big chunk of Wolves and various other models closer to enemy friendly flag. Only two of the Mechanithralls die thanks to certain double pip.

Morvahna cast Restoration on Riphorn Satyr. Druids cast Vortexes and put up anti-magic field.

Cryx turn 2 Deneghra plays a little too safe when she uses her feat. Morvahna is out of her control area plus most of the Druid of Orboros. I had been afraid that Deneghra would advance straight forward and use Withering to deny me casting anti-magic field next turn. Yeah. Even after all these years I always initially think Withering forbids special actions also... which it doesn't. But hey. At Least I got a little bit of extra thrill.

Mechanithralls and Pistol Wraiths make impressive job in reducing Wolf count. From a full unit of twelve models only four remains. Bane Thralls who are up there in the picture miss their attacks against War Wolf and Ravager White Mane, so Wolves remain the only real casualty.

Turn 3 most of them just jump right back, though. This meant Morvahna was at zero fury even before activations began. To fill her fury pool I tried to teleport Riphorn Satyr so that it might be able to kill Maelovus and Tremulus and a lone Mechanithrall. Eight inches weren't quite enough to do that, so instead Riphorn was teleported to kill three Mechanithralls. Such fine use for a nine point warbeast.

Gallows Grove in north teleports itself to deny tough rolls from three Bane Thralls. White Mane kills one, but War Wolf is just as good at killing Banes as Banes were killing it. I think I activated Druids of Orboros first to score a few kills from easy targets, and of course to add anti-magic to the equation. No, actually that's not what happened. Druids knocked down and pulled Defiler to melee with Wolves of Orboros. It has had to be Blackclad Wayfarer who sprayed single Bane Thrall or something.

Morvahna finally activated and used her feat. She cast Eruption of Life twice - once on Bane Thralls and once on Pistol Wraith.

Wolves of Orboros charged (except for the two or three who were under Withering) and formed a nice wall of forest between Cryx and Circle. Well, except for the Riphorn Satyr who felt a sudden gush of loneliness and isolation when there were no friendly models in sight - only the dead, and the trees. Anyway. One of the Wolves managed to kill the second Pistol Wraith, who were greatest threat to anti-magic field.

Cryx then charges with Bane Thralls (who had Ghost Walk from Skarlock) but they fail to have any meaningful impact. Honourable mention goes to the three Bane Thralls who all miss their attacks against War Wolf.

The scary moment was when Withershadow Combine activated. I had been telling me throughout the game that "don't bring Wolves and Riphorn Satyr both close to Admonia". Well. What can I say. I really, really wanted to charge Mechanithralls, I guess. There went Regrowth and Restoration. Morvahna took two damage from the removal.

Deneghra cast one Scourge on Argus, but it missed and deviated back. It did take one Druid with it.

Turn 4 was rather brutal. Riphorn kills both Tremulus and Admonia, and Wolves of Orboros used Power Swell to take care of the Defiler. They also blew up Cortex from Nightwretch. Morvahna re-cast Regrowth on Wolves of Orboros and Restoration on Riphorn Satyr.

We didn't continue the game after Circle turn 4, since there didn't seem to be any potential even for an awkward assassination.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Story of a Thug and a Dog.

Last Thursday I played last practice game of Frostgrave.

We're trying to set up a campaign next with new warbands.

Anyway, it was a four player game. One was a completely new player. Game took three and half hours to complete. Considering it was a four player game and game system was somewhat unfamiliar to every player it wasn't too oppressive length.

Yet again it's difficult to give a complete coverage what happened between all of the warbands. I won't even try, I'll just stick to my Summoner.

I've written down the deployment zones for each player and general location of treasures. Wizards present were the same Sigilist, Summoner and Necromancer we had in last game, plus one additional Necromancer.

Originally I had thought I might be able to escape with four treasure tokens fairly easily. However... only one of them was piece of cake. That's the #1 treasure on the tall building. My crossbow equipped coupled with my apprentice snatched it without any difficulties.

"My" treasure #2 could have been an easy grab, but I somehow managed to mess up my activation orders for next turn by moving a thief way too far from my wizard.

Now, treasure #3 went away completely by surprise. Just as the building blocks camera view, it blocked my personal line of sight, too. There's a dirty thief or treasure hunter or something like that from Sigilist warband behind that building, moving steadily towards my precious. Initially I had anticipated toughest fight to be at treasure counter #4, which is behind that crumbled corner of a building.

Sigilist had cast Draining Word on Leap, as that was a spell all his adversaries had in common.

A warhound from Sigilists wanted to come and contest my treasure #2, but I may have overreacted when I sent my barbarian to handle the dog. Or perhaps not, as we'll see...

I had cast Possess on one of my war hounds who was heading to the treasure #4. A barbarian from Necromancer team #1 ran to engage this hound from hell. The hound forced combat and sent Boris the Barbarian reeling with only two hit points remaining. If I don't remember completely wrong, War Hounds have caused much trouble and distress especially for Barbarians in earlier games, too. I guess I was lucky when my barbarian succeeded in killing the hound during second round of their personal combat.

Sigilists on the bridge were occupied with an Imp my apprentice had summoned plus members of Necromancer team #2. Necromancer team #1 also was hesitant to come to treasure #4 because of the unexpected result of fight with dog versus postman. Treasure #4 fell to my hands.

My game had been going relatively well. That's a good way to make me greedy, so I started dreaming about seizing treasure in the middle of the bridge. The place was full of Sigilists, but if I only could distract them long enough for somebody to take up the treasure and the Leap away...

Well, some member of the sigilists had already picked up the treasure, so I needed to block his advance somehow. My wizard cast Leap on Barbarian, who jumped pretty much to where I drew black circle on the picture. My possessed war hound and a thug were already fighting their way to get through.

Barbarian held off for a while, buy couldn't crack any skulls. Demonic war dog also died. I don't know if that relates somehow to the fact that my thug became possessed too - without the spell!

I'll go fast forward with this write up, since by now Necromancer teams had been wiping each other pretty much out. Necromancer #1 was still teasing my and Sigilist's fight in the middle with Crumble spell. I got three treasures off board in the end. Sigilists probably took four. I don't remember how treasures went between the Necromancers.


The thug. The Thug. The lowliest 20 gold coin soldier you can get.

He beat the ranger (or something like that) in front of him and attempted to come and help barbarian, who was still alive then. Barbarian died, but this bought time for The Thug to enter fight over there.

He killed the thief who was carrying treasure.

He was outnumbered and there were multiple supporters in fight against him. A crumble from Necromancer #1 fell somebody to the hole, though I forget who he was. Probably the archer in the upper picture. But whoever that brown guy in front of the hole is, was beaten to injured status by the thug. Finally Sigilist apprentice charges in to the thug, and fall to just one hit point remaining.

All this throughout multiple turns of combat. That thug was frenzying like no other.

Finally he fell, though. Furious Quill poked him in the eye and hampered his performance too much.

But respect the thug. And the dog.