Monday, May 31, 2010

Dire Troll Mauler

I've been working slowly on this guy for a few weeks and finished him off this past weekend. I used the same general method I worked out on the test model with a few modifications. Because there are so many large, open areas of color on a model this big I had to incorporate some highlights after the washes to give him some life.


I used the same basecoats and washes but went back in with the yellow and white to bring those colors out, and made a quick mix of my purple base and some white to brighten up some of the purple. All of the highlights were quick and a bit heavy handed but I think they do the job well.



Even with the added step I think this model still clocked in under 2 hours of total painting time, and the limited number of colors allowed me to do complete steps in little time blocks (10 - 15 minutes usually). My next project will be giving my lonely Champ two more friends so he has a unit to hang out with.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Malifaux Gang

I'm playing in a 30 Soul Stone Malifaux tournament this weekend with my Outcast army. My hobby time has been really shortened lately due to my night classes but over the past few nights I've found the time to get my army (mostly) assembled and ready.

The list I'll be taking is the Viktorias, 3 Ronin, a Convict Gunslinger, and Misaki. This leaves 4 Soul Stones for the Viktorias to use and gives me an army that moves fast, hits hard in melee, and can shoot reasonably well. Here's the gang in their mostly unpainted state:



I'm a little nervous about the tournament because I've only played two games before. I hope to be able to get a quick re-read of the rules tonight and a chance to review my models' special abilities, but mostly I think I'll just be moving little men around and hopefully having a good time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Analyzing Warmachine Lists Part 3

Continuing in the theme of the previous two posts, here are some more thoughts on list building in Warmachine.

This comes from Malebolgia on the Privateer Press forums. He's using the specific example of building an eSorscha list for a tournament to illustrate some important list building considerations. The whole post is good, but here's my favorite part:

I build my tournament armies as follows: Warcaster [1. Core] [2. Complementary Unit/Jack] [3. Flexible Units and Solos] [4. Gapfillers]

He starts, obviously, with a 'caster. Warcasters have spell lists, feats, and abilities that lend themselves to certain aspects of the game (ranged vs. melee, infantry vs. 'jacks, etc.) and in Warmachine it is usually better to buff a strength than it is patch over a weakness. So, once the 'caster is chosen the next step is to pick a core of units and / or 'jacks to take advantage of whatever the 'caster offers.

Weaknesses shouldn't be ignored though, so after maximizing his strengths, Malebolgia picks a unit or 'jack to help shore up the major weakness that the 'caster + core has.

The first two steps will take up the majority of your army points, so steps 3 and 4 help you fill out the rest of your list. Step 3 is about support - are there any units or solos that will help your army perform better? Things like Greylords, Aiyanna and Holt, Eiyrss, and Manhunters fall into this category.

After that, if you have any points left over you turn to step 4 - gap fillers. The Wardog is probably my most common gap filler because he's one point and every 'caster can benefit from him.

Again, take a look at the original forum post - Malebolgia does a better job explaining his ideas and is building a list while he explains what he means.

Monday, May 24, 2010

(Sort of) Tournament Report

The tournament didn't happen exactly as planned this weekend. This was supposed to be the second of two warm up tournaments for the New England Team Tournament which is taking place on June 5th. Only four people showed up today, myself and the local Press Ganger among them.

So instead of a tournament we just played some low-pressure games to fine tune our lists. All three of the other players (two Cryx and one Cygnar) are very talented and I had my butt handed to me in both games I played. Here's how they went:

Game 1
eHaley
+Thorn
+Hammersmith
+Squire
Black 13th
3 Stormlances
Journeyman Warcaster
Katherine Laddermore
Stormsmith
Gorman di Wulfe


Hammertime!

I played the Irusk list from two posts back. I really dislike playing eHaley and this game wasn't much different. I over-reacted to the cavalry coming down my left flank and ultimately left myself open on the right side for a bonded Hammersmith under Temporal Acceleration to make a mess of my flank. That attack left Irusk with two possible ways to die, and I chose to let Haley and the Black 13th shoot him dead.

Game 2
eAsphyxious
+some kind of Bonejack
+another Bonejack
10 Bane Knights
5 Soulhunters
Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Pistol Wraith
Machine Wraith
Machine Wraith


these guys are every bit as scary as they look

I went for the same Irusk list because I think it is the stronger of the two and probably the only one I'll end up playing in two weeks. This eGaspy list is really nasty. My options are to either not kill anything so the feat turn isn't so bad but get torn up, or kill a lot of stuff and have feat turn be decimating. I ended up taking out the cavalry and letting the Kayazy tie up the Banes. I died to two Soulhunters on feat turn.

What did I learn?
A lot actually.

The simplest thing I learned was that the Juggernaut is not as useful as a Kodiak, so I'll be dropping the Wardog and Juggernaut to add a Kodiak.

I learned that Kayazy are a lot stronger than I thought. DEF 19 in combat is almost untouchable, and their mini-feat is great for moving through meat shield models to get to a 'caster. Even though I was dead, my Cryx opponent let me try out an assassination run I had thought of while he was killing me.

I used the mini-feat and charged six Kayazy into combat with Asphyxious. With the Gang bonus they're effectively MAT 9 and POW 12, and I only needed five of my six hits to take out a full health Asphyxious. This is a lot stronger than I expected and is something I should be abusing a lot more.

I learned that I don't actually know how to play the game. I understand the rules and mechanics but my grasp of strategy and tactics is almost nil. I need to have a plan for each of my units and models before I make my first move. I need to be constantly looking to end the game instead of being happy to kill the other army. Not only that, I need to be aware of how my army can win before the game even starts.

These are things that both of my opponents were thinking about the whole time and were nice enough to talk to me about while they were taking my army apart.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Analyzing Warmachine Lists Part 2

After Wednesday's post on analyzing Warmachine lists I was thinking some more about things I consider. Here, in no particular order, are a few other things to keep in mind when building your lists:

Stealth
This is a super annoying ability for shooty armies to deal with. I don't tend to have much shooting in my lists but it is still worth thinking about how to deal with it. I'm not talking about armies that spam Stealth units and solos, because they're giving up other things for that ability. I'm talking about one or two Stealth solos or a single Stealth unit - is your list able to deal with this?

Recently my Spriggan has been finding himself in most of my lists and he provides an easy counter to small amounts of Stealth. If that isn't a good option I'll just engage them with one of my many melee units.

Objectives
Most of the tournaments in my area use the SR2010 rules, which means I need to keep objectives in mind. This is a holdover from my 5th edition 40k days, but I like to have a fast moving, hard hitting solo in my armies to either contest my opponent's objectives or sneak in to claim mine.

A Manhunter or Drakhun serves this role nicely. They're cheap, hard to hit or durable respectively, and pack a punch. They'll spend the first few turns staying safe and then spend the later parts of the game being super annoying. This tactic actually helped me win a game in a recent tournament because I was able to sneak a Drakhun around my opponent's flank and take out a destructible objective.

Magical Attacks
Nothing throws me off my game more than seeing lots of Incorporeal stuff across the table. Sure, most Warcasters have magical weapons in MkII, but if your are spending focus or charging a Pistol Wraith with your 'caster your opponent is probably happy to make that trade.

I like to have Kell Bailoch and / or a Koldun Lord around to help my 'caster out with this. They're both GREAT little solos anyway, and having magical attacks to put me at ease against Incorporeal stuff is an added bonus.

These three things are a little more specific than the more general list building advice from the previous post, and might depend a little bit on the meta in your store or area.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Analyzing Warmachine Lists Part 1

I was reading a post on Lost Hemisphere recently and one part caught my attention:

So whenever I am building an all comers list, there are certain elements I try to tackle. These elements are the following…. high DEF, high ARM and massed infantry. Examples are trying to hit a Windrushing Sorscha, trying to damage a closed Devastator and safely killing a full unit of infantry(preferably more) per turn.

I've never thought much about my lists like this before but with a tournament coming up this weekend I figured I'd give it a try.

List 1 - pIrusk
Irusk
+Spriggan
+Juggernaut
+Wardog
Great Bears
10 Kayazy + UA
Widowmakers
Koldun Lord
Kell Bailoch

High DEF
The Widowmakers are MAT 7 or 9, Kell is MAT 8 or 10, and the Great Bears are MAT 8. Superiority lets me get a 'jack up to MAT 8 as well. Combined with Irusk's feat these stats jump up to a range of 9 - 12 which should be more than enough to tackle high DEF stuff.

High ARM
A Juggernaut has a P+S 19 axe and the Spriggan has a P+S 18 lance. With average rolls and a boost the 'jacks can get up to 29 or 28 on a damage roll. Also, the Great Bears can be doing 12 + 5d6 with Battle Lust on a charge which gets their damage output in the 27 range as well.

Infantry Spam
Widowmakers and Kell can account for 6-ish infantry a turn. Throw in another potential 6 a turn from the Great Bears and infantry don't look so scary. I can also tie up swathes of infantry with the Kayazy under Iron Flesh.

List 2 - Strakhov
Strakhov
+Spriggan
+Kodiak
+Wardog
Great Bears
5 Demo Corps
Koldun Lord
Manhunter
Widowmaker Marksman
Kell Bailoch

High DEF
Again, the Great Bears and a 'jack under Superiority have MAT 8 and Kell and the Marksmen have high RATs. Strakhov doesn't have any buffs to get these higher but the Koldun Lord does have Ice Cage to give -2 DEF to an enemy model.

High ARM
My Demo Corp on the charge can throw out 14 + 4d6, the Great Bears and do 12 + 4d6, and the Manhunter has 11 + 4d6. Add in the P+S 18 on the Spriggan lance and the P+S 16 on the Kodiak and armour shouldn't be a problem.

Infantry Spam
My two snipers are a little less effective than the five snipers in the Irusk list, but that's balanced out by adding in the five Demo Corp with their Backswing. I've also got the Kodiak and its autohitting POW 12 Vent Steam attack.

Overall I think the Irusk list is the better of the two for general use, with the Strakhov list being a little faster and giving me the option for an alpha strike. It is also almost fully painted (just missing the Marksman and Wardog) so it might see a game just for that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finished Spriggan

Here's the finished Spriggan:







The battle damage didn't turn out as well as I would have liked but overall I'm very happy with him. It is great to have this 'jack done since recently it has been appearing in most of my lists. He'll be joining Irusk this weekend at a 35 point Steamroller tournament.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spriggan WIP

I've finally managed to get some good work into the Spriggan. Right now I've just applied the major base coats to the model (red, green, gray metal, and bronze).



The next step will be to clean up the mistakes I made with the base coats and apply shading to everything. After that it is on to highlights, details, and last touches.



This weekend will be very busy for me with my family visiting and with work and next week I am starting night classes so I'd really like to get the major work done soon on this 'jack. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Troll Test Model

I'm not supposed to be working on this project until my Khador is finished but I don't think that is going to actually happen. Last night I did a test model and here's what I came up with:


All told I think I spent about 2 hours on him. I'm going for a tabletop standard on the Trolls because I want to get them painted and on the table quickly. I'm really quite pleased with how he turned out, especially considering how quickly he came together.

I really should be working on my Spriggan right now but there will probably be more Trolls popping up in the next few weeks.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My New Troll Army

One of the historical wargamers at my local store was trying to get rid of his Troll army and I got a very sweet deal on 100+ points of Trolls and five warlocks! I won't be painting or playing with them until my Khador army is complete but it is exciting to be able to jump in feet first when that happens.


Troll stew

Currently sitting in a bucket of Simple Green I have:

pMadrak, Borka Kegslayer, and Grissel Bloodsong
a Dire Troll Mauler, an Earthborn Dire Troll, a Pyre Troll, and an Axer
8 Kiel Warriors, 10 Pyg Burrowers, 6 Krielstone Bearers, 3 Long Riders, and 5 Champions
a Fell Caller, and a Stone Scribe Chronicler



Waiting their turn for a bath on my shelf:

Grim Angus and pDoomshaper
a Bouncer, 2 Impalers, a Winter Troll, and a Dire Troll Blizter
10 Scattergunners and 10 Pyg Bushwackers

There are a few models I'd like to get to fill out the army (two more Kriel Warriors come to mind immediately) but this is a great start and I'm very excited!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Finished Gunslinger

Here's my finished Convict Gunslinger.





He needs some Dullcoat pretty badly but I'm out of varnish so that will have to wait. I don't think my color choice was great (too much red / orange) but overall I'm pleased with him.

Up next, my last Khador 'jack, the Spriggan.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gaming in San Francisco

I took a long weekend vacation in San Francisco to visit Spoony and we got in a few games of Warmachine. Spoony was playing a Siege list with the following:

Siege
+Thunderhead
Gun Mages + UA
+marshaled Defender
Reinholdt

We wanted to check out a few of the stores in the SF area so we played games at two different ones.

I played a pButcher list in the first game with a Kodiak, Spriggan, Doom Reavers + UA, Manhunter, and Kell Bailoch.


somewhere around turn 2 or 3

I don't remember much about the game. The Spriggan tore the Gun Mages apart with grenades while the Thunderhead wrecked my Doom Reavers. I was able to catch Siege near the house with my Manhunter and end the game.

The second game I tried pIrusk and some Kayazy for the first time. My list was pIrusk, Spriggan, Juggernaut, Widowmakers, Great Bears, and 6 Kayazy.

My plan was to have the Kayazy get Iron Flesh, move up with the Great Bears hiding behind, take a pulse from the Thunderhead, and then move away so the Bears could wreck the T-Head. The T-Head took out 4 Kayazy (the other two passed their super Tough checks on Irusk's feat turn) and then got mostly destroyed by my favorite bears.


deployement

The Defender was wrecked by the Spriggan and then the game developed into a huge grind. Siege got himself on the big hill with Irusk on the other side. Over three or four turns I wore Siege's health down, rolling terribly with sword cannon shots and having my Spriggan constantly pushed around with Thunderbolts and Force Hammers. Siege couldn't do much to me but it took me forever to wear him down.

We also played a 2v2 game against two local guys we met at the first store. Their Legion and Retribution did a number on us, but everyone stopped playing seriously because we all had to leave.

Irusk was a lot of fun to play with and the Kayazy work great with him. I can't wait to field a whole unit of 10 with the UA. Spoony's army is taking shape and proved to be pretty tough to walk up to and surprisingly annoying to finish off.

Monday, May 3, 2010

April Summary

Painting for Points
April was a pretty great month for painting. I managed to finish Orin Midwinter and the last 3 Doom Reavers for my Khador army, I painted up a Ronin for my new Malifaux army, and I painted a unit of 6 Gun Mages for Spoony's Cygnar army.

That's 11 new models painted and brings my total to 28 on the year!



all the models I painted this month!

New Model Fund
I'm still struggling mightily to get my hobby fund out of the negatives. Selling a bunch of stuff on ebay helped offset my Malifaux army purchase but I still ended up spending $10.36 above my sales. I also bought the new Greylord Escort for my Khador army, which brought my total spending for the month to $20.97.

Add that to the -$31.26 I started April with and I'll be starting May with -$2.23. I'm still negative but it is a much nicer number than some of my most recent month start totals.