Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Introduction to Malifaux

This past weekend I played a game of Warmachine with the local Malifaux rep. After the game he gave me a demo of Malifaux, a game I've been looking at lately because of the gorgeous models and interesting card dynamic.

It was a lot of fun.

We played a very small scale game. I had Seamus the Mad Hatter and Hatter and two Rotten Belles (literally undead hookers). He was playing Nicodem the Undertaker and two Samurai-Punk Zombies (just what they sound like). I was able to kill his models, lost both Belles, and won the game.

Seamus - image from Wyrd Miniatures

The game is based off of a deck of cards instead of dice. When making an attack, casting a spell, etc. you and your opponent draw the top cards from your decks, add the appropriate attack or defense stat, and compare totals. If you win the attack goes off, if your opponent wins it doesn't.

You also have a hand of cards from the deck that you can use to cheat fate. Don't like the card you drew? Replace it with a card from your hand! This dynamic gives you a little more control over things in the game than dice do.

The scale of the game is very small, usually around 6 or 7 models per side. The models themselves look great and are priced about the same as Warmachine or GW metal models.

I bought the rule books on my way home and am planning to pick up the Viktorias started box soon so I can get some games in.

one of the Viktorias - image from Wyrd Miniatures

the other Viktoria - image from Wyrd Miniatures

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Warmachine - Pirates!

I played my first game this weekend against the pirates of Warmachine. My opponent hadn't played a MkII game yet and brought out a very nice looking pirates force led by Ashlynn.

6 Seadogs
Alexia and the Risen
Aiyana and Holt
Bosun Grogspar
Dirty Meg
Gorman di Wulf

I was playing a Butcher list with my new Doom Reavers.

Doom Reavers
Great Bears

Aiyana and Holt did a number on my Doom Reavers and only one made it up field. He whiffed his one charge attack on the Talon and then died - hopefully they'll handle themselves better in the future.

I was able to take out Aiyana and Holt with the Great Bears and most of the Risen. My 'jacks handled his with no toubles. Dirty Meg survived three Widowmaker hits and dodged not one but two thrown 'jacks.

In the end I chose to ignore his Sea Dogs who had worked their way through my two Kodiaks (picture above), thinking they couldn't scratch the Butcher who was camping three focus. He charged in with four of them and after the only good rolls he had all game, three Sea Dogs did 15 points of damage to the Butcher and killed him.

My opponent is the local Malifaux rep so after this game he ran me through a demo. I'll put up another post on that later but long story short, I won, had a great time, and left the store with the rules and plans to purchase a starter box.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Doom Reavers WIP II

Three Doom Reavers done, three to go!

These guys will get a test run in some games this weekend. I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with their Berserk ability without the Greylord Escort but I suppose that's part of the fun. These guys weren't chained to swords with demons in them for no reason.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Doom Reavers WIP I

Painting infantry units can be a big grind for me which is why I've avoided large units of infantry in my Khador army thus far. However, it is time I got started on a few. Here's the first three (of six) Doom Reavers I'm going to be working on over the next week.

So far I've finished the the swords and the red and silver armour bits. They need their skin and leather parts done next before details, clean up, and basing. Hopefully these three will be done for some games this weekend with the other three done for the April Fools tournament.

Monday, March 22, 2010

April Fools Tournament

There is another Warmachine / Hordes tournament at my local store on April 3rd that I'm planning to attend. Since it is the April Fool's tournament the format is not typical:
  • Bring 3 different 'casters from the same faction (epic and non-epic versions of the same 'caster count as being the same).
  • Build a 35 point list using the 'caster with the lowest available warjack points.
  • Each round you will randomly determine which 'caster to use.
This doesn't sound like a very serious tournament but it does sound like a lot of fun. Here's the list I'm looking at:

Kodiak (8)
Spriggan (10)
Great Bears (5)
Doom Reavers (6)
Greylord Ternion (4)
Koldun Lord (2)
Kell Bailoch (2)
Man-O-War Drakhun (4)

I'm looking to use pButcher, Zerkova, and Strakhov.

I like to run three heavies with Butcher to get the most out of Full Throttle but here I'm losing a Kodiak and gaining a Drakhun and Doom Reavers. The list has a ton of weapon masters to take advantage of Butcher's feat, two 'jacks for Full Throttle, and some support pieces in the Greylords to help where Butcher can't.

I'm dropping the Demo Corp from my normal Strakhov list for the Doom Reavers. They're much faster but more fragile so I'm interested to see how they work out. It should also be fun to have a SPD 7 Drakhun running around on feat turn.

This is my wildcard because I've never actually used Zerkova. She needs self sufficient troops since she has no buffs (Great Bears fit this and Doom Reavers can't get supported anyway) and some baby sitters (Spriggan with Watcher and Drakhun should handle this). I'm going to test her out this weekend with this list and see what happens.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Second Tournament - Great Success!

Steamroller 2010 - image from Privateer Press

Today I played in a Steamroller 2010 tournament at my local store. The format was 35 points and 2 'casters and I brought pButcher and Strakhov, knowing full well that I'd only be using Strakhov. Eight players showed up and everyone got in three games.

I thought there would be timed turns but there weren't which made me quite a bit less nervous about playing. I was correct about Strakhov being new and throwing people off and I think that helped me win my first two games (model unfamiliarity was also part of what cost me my last game). I lost in the finals to take second place overall!

Game 1 - Kill Box
6 Stormblades + UA
Journeyman Warcaster

pNemo - image from Privateer Press

My first pairing was against my recent nemesis pNemo. This was not the guy I've been playing lately but the list was similar. I put early pressure on the Lancer and was able to pin it down and kill its arc node with my Manhunter. I played very aggressively and kept my opponent on his back foot and reacting to me for the whole game. The Great Bears notched another Thunderhead kill and were the eventual killing blow to Nemo.

Game 2 - Destruction
6 Invictors + UA

Vyros - image from Privateer Press

I had never played against Retribution before and three heavies were were pretty intimidating. He spread out to minimize the effects of my feet, sending the 'jacks toward my left side objective and parking his Invictors on his right hand side.

I was planning to win by 'caster kill and not scenario and set up accordingly. He was in a better position early on, making a serious threat on my left objective with his Phoenix and holding me up well in the middle and right side. The game took a serious turn in my favor when my Spriggan totaled his Manticore on three unboosted attacks (I rolled 12, 10, 10).

On his next turn he tried to throw my Kodiak out of Strakov's control range but missed by about half an inch and got me within charge range of his left hand objective. The Kodiak wrecked it and my Manhunter put 15 damage on his right objective. His only option to win the game was to kill Strakhov (because on my next turn I'd get my second control point and win). It was tense for a second but he missed by about 7 health boxes.

This was my favorite game - I played my best here and my opponent was my favorite of the day.

Game 3 - Incursion
+Cyclops Brute
+Molik Karn
6 Cataphract Arcuarii
Tyrant Rhadiem

eMorghoul - image from Privateer Press

I was quite surprised to find myself in the finals, I knew my opponent was very good, and I didn't know what most of his army did - I think I psyched myself out for this game and lost before we even started.

He got a control point on his second turn and simultaneously blitzed my lines. There wasn't any way I was going to clear him off that point on my turn which meant he was going to win if I couldn't kill Morghoul. He was sitting at DEF 19 and even though I managed to charge him with my Spriggan I couldn't hit.

I finished 2-1 on the day and ended up in second place! I know I played well in my first two games and even though I was thrashed in the third I'm very pleased with my performance overall. Strakhov has definitely become my favorite 'caster to play.

Next weekend I'll be practicing with Zerkova for the April Fools tournament the following week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Steamroller 2010

image from Privateer Press

This weekend I will be attending a Steamroller 2010 tournament. This will be my second Warmachine tournament and the format is a lot more formal than the first one I attended.

The biggest difference, and the one I'm most worried about, is that each player has timed turns. Each turn lasts for 10 minutes and I've never played in a timed format in any wargame. After 10 minutes my turn just ends, whether or not I've done everything I wanted to.

Hopefully I'll get in four games this weekend. I can bring two different 35 point lists and these are what I'm planning on:

Strakhov (+6)
+Spriggan (10)
+Kodiak (8)
Great Bears (5)
5 Demo Corps (9)
Widowmakers (4)
Koldun Lord (2)
Manhunter (2)
total: 34

pButcher (+6)
+Spriggan (10)
+Kodiak (8)
+Kodiak (8)
Great Bears (5)
Widowmakers (4)
Manhunter (2)
Kell Bailoch (2)
Orin Midwinter (2)
total: 35

I don't really see myself using the Butcher list at all. I had a lot of fun playing Strakhov this past weekend and I'd like to get some more games with him this weekend. Also, I'm hoping that since he'll only have been out for a week and a half that I can catch some people off balance with him and maybe squeak out a win or two.

I finished the last tournament 1-2. In a perfect world I'd like to win 2 games this weekend but I know that this tournament is going to be more serious than the previous one so I think a more realistic goal is to win 1. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Painted Strakhov

I bought this guy on Saturday morning, played two games with him, and knew that he needed to be painted for the tournament this weekend.

His eyes make me cringe. I don't do eyes well at all and I'm not sure why I chose to give them a try on this model.

I'm considering redoing the face but I don't want to add more layers of paint for fear of obscuring the details and I don't know how to remove the paint from just that area.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Finished Great Bears

The Great Bears were finished last week and they were so happy to be painted that they killed a Pureblood Warpwolf and a variety of Cygnar infantry this past weekend.

They're still no good at passing their Tough checks, but they do look good on the table. Up next on my painting to do list, Strakhov!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekend Warmachine

This past Wednesday was the Khador release and I was pretty excited about the new 'caster Strakhov. I bought him on this morning and brought a list to play with him.

5 Man-O-War Demo Corps
Great Bears
Koldun Lord

Strakhov - image from Privateer Press

The plan was to maximize his feat with the Spriggan + Superiority, the speedy Great Bears, and the Demo Corp having Reach. The Koldun Lord was there to help get the Spriggan moving with some focus while Strakhov set up his upkeeps in the early turns.

My first game was against a Baldur Circle list.

+Pureblood Warpwolf
+Feral Warpwolf
Druids of Orboros + UA
Blackclad Wayfarer
Lord of the Feast

Baldur's feat is the anti-Strakhov feat, making everything in his control area Difficult Terrain and preventing any of my models from getting Pathfinder. After trading a little bit Baldur feated and I was pretty stuck.

I countered with Strakhov's feat and my two remaining Great Bears managed to catch and kill the Pureblood. On his next turn Baldur used Forest Walk to get to Strakhov but missed all three of his attacks. I was able to kill him pretty easily with Strakhov and six focus on my turn.

The second game was against the same Tier 4 Nemo list from last week.

Nemo tried similar tricks, running the arc node 16 inches forward, but I countered with Strakhov's feat and charged it with my Spriggan (15") and Manhunter (13") - it didn't play a role in the game after that.

The game developed into a huge melee in the middle of the board with lots of models on both sides getting killed. After the congestion thinned out I saw an opportunity for Strakhov and some movement shenanigans.

He cast Overrun on himself and charged the Stormblade UA Officer. He needed 7 to hit and I didn't boost, wanting to save the focus for Nemo. I missed and had to buy another attack which killed the officer. Strakhov then Overran into Nemo, eating two freestrikes from two Stormsmiths but taking only a little damage.

The assassination run didn't work out (that extra focus would have been golden) and Nemo, with 10 focus, was able to beat Strakhov down.

So far Strakhov has been a lot of fun to play and he's definitely going to be one of my two 'casters at the Steam Roller 2010 tournament next weekend. He'll for sure get painted up during this week.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Great Bears WIP

I've been working on the Great Bears this week trying to get them done for my games this weekend.

I've been working quickly on them and sacrificing a little quality but I think they're turning out well. I haven't started the arms yet but I think I can get everything done for Saturday morning.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Year Anniversary!

This happened last week but I completely forgot. One year (and one week) ago I started this blog as a way to share my experiences in the wargaming hobby and to get involved in this little community that was starting over at From the Warp.

Thanks to everyone who signed up to follow this blog or who has left a comment. It's been a good first year and the second should be even better.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Losing to a Tier 4 Nemo List

I haven't been down to my local store in two weeks but today was free and I got two games in. Both of them were against the same tier 4 Nemo list. I was using my Butcher list.

Great Bears
Kell Bailoch
Orin Midwinter

Stormblades + UA
Journeyman Warcaster
3 Stormsmiths

Nemo - image from Privateer Press

Game 1
This game was a total mess for me and clearly illustrated the point that what you don't know in Warmachine will kill you. At tier 4 all of Nemo's 'jacks get +2 SPD on the first turn. My opponent used that to run his Lancer and Thunderhead right up into my lines, but just far enough that I couldn't charge with my 'jacks.

I moved my three 'jacks up in a line in front of Butcher, planning a counter attack when the Thunderhead charged and killed one of them. Instead, Nemo arced Voltaic Snare onto the Kodiak in the middle. I wasn't familiar with this spell and had my 'jacks clustered close enough that all three were pinned.

Since those three 'jacks represent about two thirds of my army and I was pretty powerless to stop Nemo from repeating that every turn the game was pretty much over at that point.

Game 2
After the fun of last game I kept my 'jacks spread out and made an early and aggressive push on his Lancer to keep the arc node under pressure. He was able to arc Chain Lightning and kill my Widowmakers early on but otherwise I kept the arc node on its back foot.

I played a little more conservatively this game and let him come towards me. He tried a bad assassination run with the Thunderhead on Butcher but wasn't able to do much. On my next turn I feated and the Great Bears fully trashed the Thunderhead and a Kodiak wrecked the Charger.

Thunderhead - image from Privateer Press

The game turned into a slugfest with the Great Bears chopping up a unit of Stormblades, getting killed, and then Butcher finishing off the unit with Obliteration. On the other side of the board my second Kodiak vented steam to kill four Stormblades and then Butcher followed up with a second Obliteration to get the unit.

At this point I had the Kodiak and Butcher against Nemo, a Lancer, the Squire, and one Stormsmith. Butcher got slowed down by all of the wrecked 'jacks on the board trying to get to Nemo. The Stormsmith kept the Kodiak disrupted while Nemo and the Lancer slowly whittled it down. The Kodiak eventually fell but that opened up a lane for Butcher to cast Obliteration on Nemo. I boosted the hit and damage and did enough to leave Nemo with two boxes (he was camping two focus). Next turn Nemo and the Lancer were able to take down Butcher.

Even though I lost both games I learned a lot about my army. I've never really though of Obliteration as being very useful but today it accounted for about five Stormblades, a Stormsmith, and very nearly Nemo. I also made great use of Vent Steam, something else I've rarely used.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Strakhov Spolied! (Again!)

After yesterday's post I've kept up on the threads relating to Strakhov on the PP forums. There was a lot of OMGWTFBBQPWN about the potential for 21" threat ranges on Khador's 'jacks so several people asked jack frost for some clarification.

Turns out, jack mis-posted and the actual feat reads more like this:

when friendly faction model(a) charges another model (b) while that model (b) is in strakhov's control area....+7 total charge

Suddenly those 21" threat ranges are a lot harder to work out. Strakhov now needs to get deep in enemy territory, probably using a charge and Sprint, to sling shot some other models forward. A bit dangerous for him if it doesn't work out but still quite devastating if it does.

The rewording (or correct wording) now just means that there is less of an auto-win button for Strakhov and players will need to finesse him a little more. Here are a few more changes and additions:

Strakhov has Pathfinder and his feat grants Pathfinder.

Sentry costs 2 focus to cast (and is an upkeep) on a friendly faction model (a). When an enemy model (b) ends its movement in LOS of that model (a), the model (a) can make a ranged attack and then Sentry expires.

I guess it's worth noting that jack types fast and loose so this could all change again. Exciting!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Strakhov Spolied!

jack frost on the Privateer Press forums has got a pretty complete spoiler on Strakhov, the new Khador 'caster. Let's take a look!

image from Privateer Press


DEF 15
ARM 16
Warjack Points 6

(no posted info about his CMD or health boxes)

Nothing about his stats really jump out at me, they're all pretty standard for Khadoran 'casters. If I had to guess I'd say he'll have 17 or 18 health boxes and a command of 9 but that's just me making stuff up.

Weapons (from Bell of Lost Souls):

Cinder Bomb [1x] (None) RNG: 6 ROF: 1 AOE: 3 POW: 14 Damage Type: Fire Cumbersome - If this model attacks with this weapon during its activation, it cannot attack with another ranged weapon that activation. If this model attacked with another ranged weapon this activation, it cannot attack with this weapon.
- This weaponʼs AOE is a cloud effect that remains in play for one round.

The Cinder Bomb is a very short ranged Bombard that also provides a smoke cloud. Since it is a Fire attack Strakhov is immune to the damage and can throw it for some cover, bumping himself up to a nice DEF 17 in the cloud. POW 14 isn't anything to laugh at.

Riot Gun [1x] (None) RNG: 10 ROF: 1 AOE: - POW: 12 Rapid Fire [d3] - When you decide to make initial attacks with this weapon at the beginning of this modelʼs combat action, roll a d3. The total rolled is the number of initial attacks this model can make with this weapon during the combat action, ignoring ROF.

A hand cannon with a little less range but the potential for more attacks. The saying "boosted POW 12's kill 'casters" is pretty accurate and Strakhov has the potential to throw down three for no focus investment - not too shabby. His RAT 6 isn't great here but the potential for extra shots might mitigate it.

Trench Sword [1x] (None) POW: 6 P+S: 13 Magical Weapon Brutal Charge - This model gains +2 to charge attack damage rolls with this weapon.

Nothing spectacular here, although Sorscha is more than capable of taking out 'casters with her P+S 13 weapon. He's going to benefit from MAT boosts or having his target knocked down or debuffed a bit.

Alchemical Mask
He can ignore clouds when determining LOS and isn't affected by gas effects (which only Assault Kommandos have).

Elite Cadre Assault Kommandos (Pathfinder)
If you're using Assault Kommandos this will make them a little faster and a little more threatening.

This is sweet and allows him to run around the table if he manages to kill a model in melee. Shouldn't be too tough to make this work.

Immunity Fire, Immunity Corrosion
He isn't affected by his grenades and seems tailor made to take on Menoth and Cryx.

friendly faction models that charge or slam while in strakhovs control area get +4 mov...jacks in his battlegroup can charge and slam without spending focus

That is jack's text quoted. I imagine that the actual feat text is a little more clear but it looks like the feat gives any friendly faction model +4" on a charge or slam and allows 'jacks in his battle group to charge without focus. I think the feat is pretty awesome.

Most Khador 'jacks have a SPD of 4 and a threat range of 7" on the charge. This usually means that early in the game they're getting charged, surviving, and striking back. Under this feat they have a charge threat range of 11" and can get the first charge off! And it doesn't cost focus to do it! And the extra 4" applies to my units and solos too! Manhunters with a 13" charge range, Great Bears with a 15" range - how awesome is that!


Battering Ram
Cost: 2

Range: 6"

AOE: -

POW: 12
Enemy model hit is pushed 3" directly away from the spells point of origin.

The range on this is very short and you have to push the model directly away from the spell's origin but this looks like a slightly less powerful version of Telekinesis. With some careful positioning of Strakhov I can see this being useful for opening up charge lanes.

Cost: 2

Range: 6"

Target model / unit gains Stealth.

The potential here is limitless. Stealth MOW? Stealth Iron Fangs? Heck, Stealth Beast 09?

Cost: 2

Range: 6"

battlegroup model makes a kill another model in battlegroup makes full advance..expire.

jack's text is quoted here because it isn't hugely clear. It sounds like if a model in Strakhov's battlegroup (so him, a 'jack, or Wardog) kills a model then another model in the battlegroup can make a full advance, then Overrun expires. This could be a great way to get Strakhov out of messy situations, especially if he's already Sprinted. It could also be a great way to get a 'jack an extra 4" of movement towards a target.

Cost: 3
Range: 8"
AOE: 4
POW: 13
The AOE is rough terrain and remains in play for one round.

Butcher has this spell and I rarely cast it. The rough terrain is nice and POW 13 is nothing to sneeze at, but the cost is so high for a FOC 6 'caster.

like counter charge, but no range necessary and may shoot at enemy model.

Again, jack's text is quoted above because it isn't terribly clear. Counter charge lets a model charge an enemy model that ends its movement within 6". I'm not sure what would trigger the Sentry ability but it's interesting that the model can shoot or charge. Could be useful for protecting Strakhov if cast on a 'jack.

Cost: 3
Range: 6"
Target friendly faction warjack gets +2 SPD, MAT, and DEF and cannot be knocked down.

Irusk has this spell and it is awesome. I can't imagine it being any less awesome with Strakhov, especially since he's already boosting a 'jack's speed with his feat. On feat turn, a normal Khador 'jack with this spell on it can charge 4 (movement) + 3 (charge) + 4 (feat) + 2 (spell) = 13"! That's almost double the normal 7"!

The feat is awesome. I don't see myself taking more than 2 heavies with him but those two heavies are going to be super fast. He doesn't buff troops at all except for Occultation (but what a great buff that is) and the SPD buff on feat turn. primarily focused on making his battle group faster. I don't see using Rift much but Battering Ram has some potential for movement shenanigans.

Here's a thought. Cast Superiority on a 'jack (assume SPD4 on the 'jack). Next turn, upkeep it. Activate Strakhov, cast Overrun on the same 'jack, feat, and have Strakhov kill something. Using Overrun, that 'jack moves 6" (Superiority bumps the SPD to 6). Activate the 'jack, pick a target, and charge. The charge range on that 'jack is 6 (Overrun) + 4 (SPD 4) + 3 (charge) + 2 (Superiority) + 4 (feat) = 19". Ninteen inches on a regular 'jack and 21" on a 'jack with Reach. We're seriously talking about half the board!

My first list thinking at 35 points goes like this:

Great Bears
Full Kayazy Assassins + UA
Koldun Lord

Put Stealth on the Great Bears and then send them and the Kayazys (who have Stealth already) down the flanks. Widowmakers and the Manhunter are for harassment like usual. Superiority could go on the Spriggan to make it a monster or the Kodiak to guarantee the chain attack comes off.

With the fast moving flanks and slow moving center, hopefully I can encircle the opponent's core, pop Strakhov's feat, and get a bunch of long range charges off and then mop up after.

Strakhov is the first 'caster to make me seriously consider the Decimator, pending a more clear wording on Sentry. Getting some free shots with the Decimator's gun would be sweet and the massive charge range + Sustained attack on the buzz saw could do some serious damage.

Here's a link to the theory thread about him.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

February Summary

New Model Fund
This month started at -$1.92 and I can't say that I was very disciplined with my spending. I bought the Forces of Warmachine: Cygnar book, some new Warmachine templates, a set of Dragon Forge bases, and some models for a secret project. March is going to start at an even worse mark of -$34.53. I do plan to but the new Khador book when it comes out but otherwise don't have any other purchases planned.

On the plus side, all four of my ebay auctions sold for almost $60. I might use that money to buy the new Khador book, save the rest, and not count the book towards my fund.

Painting for Points
The second month of the year saw me continuing to do well with my painting. I finished (and the finished again) my third Warcaster, Kommandant Irusk, and a Kodiak. That's another 6 points added to the 4 I already had which bumps my total up to 10 on the year so far.

The Kodiak was my first month's entry for the Tale of Painters going on at Librarium Online which should keep my painting level high.