Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dice: the most cruel lash of them all

Since errata and all that, it was good time to give first game for my Skorne in new edition. Since Hexeris1 with whom I started Skorne, he was all but solidified choice for my list. Of course he receiving quite a few changes in errata had a kind of an impact here. Anyway, it was a 75 point game.

Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Agonizer
- Archidon
- Basilisk Drake
- Tiberion
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min)
Praetorian Swordsmen (max) + Command Attachment
Venator Reivers (max) + Command Attachment
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
Mortitheurge Willbreaker
Hutchuck, Ogrun Bounty Hunter

Effigy of Valor

Opponent probably had:

Theme: Operating Theater

Exulon Thexus
- Subduer
- Warden
- Wrecker
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt + Dominator
3x Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max)
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max)
2x Cephalyx Overlords
2x Cephalyx Agitator

Effigy of Valor

Scenario was Entrenched and Skorne started game. Death March is on Praetorian Swordsmen and Soul Slave on Archidon. I bunched up my infantry in the middle and tried to use Hexeris' feat way too early. Which was turn 2. I had thought that I might have chances of removing some 8-10 drudges at least, but damn they were good at passing Tough checks this time. Hexeris' feat gave Skorne only one extra... knockdown.

Opponent dealt less damage than I had anticipated. Only a few Swordsmen died, but opponent secured two scenario points - one from dominating their zone and one from destroying my objective. Could have been three, though, because opponent had no-one to control it.

Next turn I wanted to have an assassination or something, and used Tiberion to kill a monstrosity and Praetorians who used Power Swell to kill another - which had been knocked down by Hutchuck. Exulon went down with the bomb, too. Praetorians got the monstrosity down to one hit box remaining after Basilisk Drake had sprayed around a little with it's eye. Spray attack was sacrificial pawned on the last monstrosity, too.

But Sacrificial Pawn works while knocked down, so Venators removed the knocked down monstrosity and had pawned damage roll on the last one.

Hexeris with Puppet Master cast two damage boosted Sunder Spirit's at Exulon, and dealt seven points in total. Exulon had two focus points remaining and Deceleration on. Now Hexeris had no fury, three beasts on maximum fury and only a few contestants on both zones. Whee.

Because of some bad dice rolls (namely with Telekinesis and three misses on equal to Magic Skill 8 ) Hexeris survived. But first things first. Master Holt took shots at Hexeris, one of which was shield-guarded by Tiberion. Not sure what triggered such a terrible hatred and frenzy on Tiberion, because next moment he attacked Hexeris, dealing enough damage to bring Hexeris to nine boxes remaining. Cause was Rampager from Exulon Thexus, of course. Immovable object is not that immovable any longer.

Well, then Exulon Thexus was sitting there in the middle of Skorne army with no focus points, already being injured. At three control points, though.

I felt like I should have lost the game. I made so many ridiculous mistakes (wasting my feat, not contesting my zone with, for example, immovable Tiberion, fooling around in the middle with no transfers...)

Opponent conceded, as there was no chance for def 14 arm 14 target to survive Venators, Basilisk Drake, Hexeris with seven fury points and what was left of Archidon.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Length of seventeen focus

These are two 50 point games of Warmachine against Trollbloods that were played recently. Trolls had the same list in both games, but I tried a different list in the second game. Both games were played with Recon scenario.

Ragnor Skysplitter, The Runemaster
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Troll Axer
- Troll Impaler
Trollkin Sluggers (max) (pre-errata)
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) + Stone Scribe Elder
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Trollkin War Wagon

Objective: Effigy of Valor

Game 1 list:

Lich Lord Asphyxious
- Desecrator
- Corruptor
- Slayer
Bane Warriors (max) + Command Attachment
Bane Lord Tartarus
Warwitch Siren
Soul Trapper

Objective: Effigy of Valor

Game 2 list:

Asphyxious the Hellbringer
- Harrower
- Corruptor
- Nightmare
Mechanithralls (max) +2x Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
Warwitch Siren

Objective: Bunker

First game was quite straightforward Asphyxious2 game, at least for me: Bane Warriors ran first to get themselves killed, while heavier targets tried to hide behind Caustic Mists. Opponent was hesitant to bring models too much forward. I guess it was an oversight when there was only the objective and a krielstone grunt contesting middle zone at the start of my turn 3. Well, it didn't really help that one major contestant had lost it's activation to a failed threshold check - Dire Troll Mauler had eaten a krielstone bearer grunt to help with some sort of problems with anxiety or stage fright.

As hopeful as I had been with the acquisition of Tough for Bane Warriors once more, the War Wagon was a terrifying piece to negate that precious Tough - as knockdown happens before damage is being done, it negated Tough altogether.

Impaler had been really proficient at rolling for criticals. I don't think it rolled any non-critical attacks in this game?

Anyway, once an ARM 17 warjack goes down to def 5, Sluggers are suddenly rather a scary prospect. But there must be some sort of hidden ammunition type special rule for them. Every time they rolled three shots, there was only one or two points of damage, or none at all. And every time only one shot was rolled, they must have been some sort of depleted uranium shells from the grim distant future, because of their high damage.

But there were no warjack casualties. Desecrator and Corruptor both had suffered heavy damage, but weren't quite dead yet. Necrotech kept their systems functional.

I didn't even go for actual enemy models during Ragnor's feat - I dedicated everything to destroy the objective. Which succeeded even if it wasn't easy. Bane Thrall with it's Dark Shroud gave the required extra punch for Slayer to destroy objective. And then Cryx went straight to three control points.

Next opponent caused some impressive damage on Cryxian forces, and I lost any desire I could have had at playing any kind of attrition.

There was Mauler, Impaler and Slugger contesting the central zone. I had Tartarus, Asphyxious, movement-less Desecrator and Asphyxious' feat. It was all-out onslaught, which did succeed in removing trollblood troops and giving Lich Lord those remaining control points.

Game 2:

Last game had evolved Asphyxious2 into Asphyxious3.

Beginning wasn't that grand, when I advanced Corruptor to take a shot at War Wagon. I had thought that I might have done some 4-5 damage points in, perhaps, and then make enemy deal with the heavy warjack and any Mechanithralls I would be running up the middle zone. But opponent didn't need to expend any extra resources at all - everything was just shot off the board. Damn that knockdown cannon. Oh, and the Necrojector shot was triple 1's.

Then I brought Asphyxious up to feat, and had Mobility up. Nightmare had Ashen Veil.

I had trusted Nightmare to deal with War Wagon, but damage rolls were pretty terrible. Charge attack even missed the DEF 9 target.

Hellfire from Vociferon missed one krielstone grunt that was contesting the zone.

Harrower, Necrotech and Brute Thrall were what it took to remove enemy objective - and then I noticed I had completely forgotten about that contesting krielstone grunt. Mentally I had already dealt with it with the Hellfire. Three control points denied.

I lost pretty much everything on next turn. Buffaloes knocked Nightmare down, and suddenly Ashen Veil stopped doing, well, anything at all. Dire Troll Mauler wrecked Harrower and Axer came to finish off Nightmare. At least post-nerf recursion had kept Mechanithralls on the board. During course of the game six extra grunts had been reconstructed to offer some bullet practice targets for Sluggers.

At least that turn yielded ten extra focus points for Asphyxious - and opponent forgot to use feat. Well, at least that still kept me in game, though gaining advantage over such memory lapses don't feel clean.

There were only a Slugger and a krielstone grunt contesting the zone. Absolutely everything I threw against them failed miserably.

Mechanithralls weren't doing anything either. I guess it fits some sort of archetypal "worthless minions, must I do everything by myself" trope.

Asphyxious had to cast Mobility to get to Dire Troll Mauler, which was annoying. He then charged and bought an extra attack against Slugger, killing him and casting a boosted Hellfire at the krielstone grunt via Blood Boon. At least that much succeeded.

Then he cast Calamity on Dire Troll Mauler and started swinging his blade.

All the attacks had terrible rolls. Six was the most common damage roll for the attacks that even managed to hit a def 10 target. I wonder if Asphyxious was hitting the troll with his sword's handle instead of the blade.

Ten focus and the charge attack was what it took to kill a def 10, arm 18 heavy warbeast with MAT 6 and P+S 16. Asphyxious had zero focus point in camp.

But karma (sometimes) has this fickle way of balancing things out.

Opponent wasn't much better at rolling dice on his next turn. First, and most importantly, Ragnor missed the knockdown spell. He got scared then and ran off to the hills all the while listening to Iron Maiden.

War Wagon scored only one Mechanithrall kill. Spray missed both the Siren and Vociferon, and I don't remember at all what it was that the knockdown cannon tried to shoot. Axer scored only one hit against Asphyxious that dealt something like six or seven damage points. Impaler had been busy removing remaining Mechanithralls, and the whole unit was indeed wiped out that turn.

But - Asphyxious was miraculously alive, and there were only War Wagon and Axer on the zone. And Ragnor had still not used his feat.

Asphyxious destroys War Wagon and casts Calamity on Axer via Blood Boon, and proceeds to finish the light warbeast, bringing Cryx yet again to five control points.

Now, this game was solely won because of opponent forgot to use his feat twice in a row. Though, of course he had left the scenario zone way too uncontested in both games. But whatever the case, I felt kind of weaponless in both games. Enemy had a low model count, but still I was unable to reduce that count all that much. Corruptor that I usually take as a form of crowd control mechanic felt rather useless now, when POW 10 AoE would be stopped by a 5+ tough roll, and even if it did succeed, krielstone aura made it require 7+ or 8+ to kill any extra models.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cataclysm Characters

Finally it happened.

All five figures from Cataclysm expansion for Talisman are now painted.

Sadly my camera is all messed up and shows these strange vertical lines when not using flash.

I kind of got bored with the Scavenger in the end. That miniature is so full of tiny little details that painting them was almost a frustrating experience, considering that two years or so might actually pass before she gets even one game. And that's optimistic guess.

But as far as Talisman miniatures go, I'm quite content with this batch. Almost happy, even.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Breach of Contract

This game was played over a week ago. I had originally planned to play Deneghra3, but I forgot both the miniature and a few warjacks at home, so in haste I threw this list together:

The Witch Coven of Garlghast
- Erebus
- Slayer
- Leviathan
- Nightwretch
- Defiler
- Deathripper
The Withershadow Combine
Cephalyx Overlords
Bile Thralls (min)
Pistol Wraith
Soul Trapper
Swamp Gobber River Raiders

I am not entirely sure about the enemy list, but it was something like this:

Operating Theater
Exulon Thexus
- Subduer
- Warden
- Wrecker
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max)
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max)
Horgenhold Forge Guard (max) & Cephalyx Dominator
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt & Cephalyx Dominator
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max)
Cephalyx Overlords
3x Cephalyx Agitator

Scenario was Take and Hold and Cephalyx started game. For whatever reason Cephalyx had turned their weapons against their Cryxian paymasters (or bodymasters?)

In the first picture I have sent Slayer to kill one of enemy monstrosities. Witch Coven has used their feat, so I had a relatively safe turn coming from the opponent next. Even Slayer gave tremendous difficulties for low MAT & RAT models.

Opponent had been failing Tough rolls far below average, and still there were so darn many mind slaves on board. Even with Bile Thralls and my own Cephalyx Overlords I was running low on the number of attacks to kill that many models in time. My choice of warcaster didn't actually help in this matter either - Coven doesn't really have any tools to remove large number of models.

Forest was an easy hiding place for Exulon Thexus, but Maelovus had been casting Ghost Walk on various arc nodes, who had then ran to channel spell at the enemy warcaster. Arc node #1 caused a few damage points in thanks to Puppet Master. Most of them were removed via Psycho Surgery, though.

I don't have the actual details on my memory any more, but Exulon had kept failing at something on his feat turn, so he only had one focus point left for damage block. Most of my Bile Thralls had been lined up to die under psychic sprays of different Overlords.

I was too afraid of losing Erebus and then having nothing to deal with monstrosities, so I tried assassination.

It took a little bit of shuffling to get Defiler to run for channeling position, but after that was done two damage boosted Stygian Abysses with re-roll from Puppet Master was enough to give me the victory.