Monday, January 31, 2011

New Zerkova Theme List

I don't have much experience (read: 1 game) with Zerkova but she is one of my favorite characters in the Warmachine world and I've always wanted to play her. The internet doesn't much like her and my own musings on her sort of agree. She wants to be up close to use her spells (because there are no arc nodes in Khador) but has terrible defensive stats. She needs several babysitting models to keep her safe which limits what she can take in her army, and she offers zero buffs to help out that limited army.

The newest NQ has a brand new theme force for her and I thought this would be an excellent time to give her a whirl.

Death by ice cream cone! - image from Privateer Press

The theme list limits Zerkova to 'jacks with ranged weapons and Marauders; Widowmaker, Kayazy, and Greylord units; and Gorman, Widowmaker, Kayazy, and Greylord solos.

The two best benefits are at tier 1 - can take Vanguard lights as friendly Khador models in her battlegroup - and tier 4 - point costs of 'jacks are reduced by 1. The tier 4 benefit is absolutely worth going all the way for. On the way to tier 4 you also get 2 extra inches on your deployment zone and a 3" cloud AOE for each Greylord unit you bring. Pretty cool stuff.

  • Any list here is going to struggle to crack high armour. Kayazy bring POW 13's with Gang and that's about as high as it goes outside of the 'jacks. Widowmakers could help against high ARM single wound infantry and on a charge the Kayazy can throw out POW 23's on average rolls, but against a whole army of beefy stuff there could be problems.
  • My experience with Zerkova is limited, but I feel like there could be some focus issues in this list. Getting to tier 4 requires 3 'jacks in her battlegroup and that gets expensive. A Koldun Lord can help but he's only one man (and one focus).
  • Vanguards really help out in the babysitting department.
  • The infantry and solos are all pretty quick for Khador and the army contains a lot of denial and spot removal. I think the army will run more as a precision instrument than a brutal in your face killing machine, looking to deny enemy opportunities while it focuses efforts on select areas.
Some Lists
This first list was made with the idea of getting two heavies in to help with high armour and to give a lot of good targets for Watcher. There wasn't space for a Koldun Lord so I'm concerned about Focus.

10 Kayazy + UA

The second list swaps a heavy for a second Vanguard, allowing me to sneak in a Koldun Lord. It suffers from only one heavy and is going to be weaker against high ARM.

10 Kayazy + UA
Koldun Lord
Widowmaker Marksman

Of the two, I think I prefer the second list. I'm a little nervous about running just one heavy 'jack and not having Iron Flesh for the Kayazy, but I think charging Kayazy will be OK for most situations. I also like the Koldun Lord for extra Focus and the double Vanguards to protect Zerkova.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Painting Round 6 - DONE!

Alten Ashley got himself painted over the past two nights.

He was the last model I needed to finish off the Grim army list...

... and the last model I needed to finish EVERYTHING for Templecon!

All 36 models are done a week before Templecon and it feels fantastic to be finished. The whole project was starting to drag out and I'm looking forward to some new things.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Painting Round 5

With this second unit of Scouts done there is only Alten Ashley standing between me and three fully painted armies for Templecon!

I tried a doing a white-ish pig with black spots in this unit and I'm pretty pleased with him. I don't think this unit came out as well as the first one but I'm starting to feel a little burnt out on this project and I'm happy it is almost over.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Practice Games Round 4

There were a lot of players at the LGS this weekend so a lot of us were playing 25 points to make sure we all got some games in. I played two games with my Death Race list.

Game 12 - pButcher - Death Race - Win by assassination

Opponent - pThagrosh, Swordsmen + UA, Carnivean, some lesser beasts

I lost this game super bad. He was able to trounce most of my Kayazy and the Underboss, even with Iron Flesh, in one turn. They failed their morale check and things went downhill from there. I won because Thagrosh got greedy and wanted to kill the second Kodiak himself instead of leaving it alone - he walked too close and I got him with Butcher.

Game 13 - pButcher - Death Race - Loss by assassination

Opponent - a standard eCaine list

I asked for this game because I figured eCaine would be a popular choice in Death Race. This is going to be a tough match-up for me because Caine can ignore the wall of bodies in the middle of the board and because he and his Gun Mages ignore Stealth and have great RATs with the Ranger bonus. I lost because I was out of range to put Iron Flesh back on the Kayazy after I let them charge some Rangers.

I'm expecting to get one final group of practice games in this Thursday before I stop worrying about it. I'm also expecting to finish my painting for Templecon this week!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stuff I Painted in 2010

The other day there was a fantastic article on Bell of Lost Souls written by GentleBen called 'Stuff I Painted in 2010.' He had photos of the massive amount of things he painted over the course of the year and it was very inspiring. So inspiring, in fact, that I decided to see what my collection of painted models in 2010 looked like.

I started the year still working on my first Warmachine army, Khador. I added a few new 'casters and infantry units to the army, which was lacking in both categories. I also added a few 'jacks and solos to round things out.

The second half of the year was taken over by my yellow Trolls. Armed with a quick and effective painting method I was able to really crank out these models and got an impressive amount done in the last 7 months of the year.

Other Stuff
Right at the beginning of the year I finished some Crimson Fist Sternguard, finally putting that army (and GW games) to bed. I picked up a small Malifaux crew and painted a few models there, and painted a unit of Cygnar Gun Mages for Spoony. I also just recently painted up an Orc Shaman for a Christmas mini exchange.

All told I managed to paint 90 models in 2010, an average of about one model every 4 days.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Painting Round 4

I'm getting very close to the end of this massive painting adventure. Here is the first unit of Scouts that I finished this weekend.

They were the last unit I had to paint for the tier 3 epic Doomshaper list, so here's a shot of that fully painted army.

All that's left now is the second unit of Scouts and Alten Ashley. I've got a little over 2 weeks left before Templecon and I know I can get everything done.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Practice Games Round 3

Game 9 - Grim Angus - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers - Win by assassination

Opponent - Lord Carver, 2 War Hogs, 2 Gun Boars, full Brigands, some solos

What I learned - Pigs are slow and tough like Khador. The game ended on my second turn when Carver got himself left alone too close and my Bomber took him out.

Game 10 - Grim Angus - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers - Win by assassination

Opponent - epic Vladimir, Drago, 6 Ulhans, Iron Fangs + UA

What I learned - My plan was to keep the Uhlans busy on each flank with Scouts and some poor rolls on my opponent's part helped me out. The Burrowers handled the Iron Fangs and eventually Grim and the Bomber took Vlad down. My opponent forgot some of Vlad's rules that would have helped him out but we both agreed that we'd rather learn our models now than at Templecon.

Game 11 - Grim Angus - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers - Loss by assassination

Opponent - epic Kaya (Tier 4), Warpwolf, Pureblood, Skinwalkers, Druids + UA

What I learned - Druids drive me crazy and I focused too much attention on them. I got my army engaged in an attrition war that I shouldn't have and eventually got worn down and overwhelmed.

These three games were good for me to get a lot of practice with the Grim list. Despite having 22 infantry models it doesn't do attrition very well unless I can get a very good alpha strike with the Burrowers. The Bomber is a good assassination vector but not a game changer because he doesn't have arcing fire and only has a 12" range with Snipe. I'm not complaining about him, but he isn't as capable as I'd like my biggest assassination threat to be.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Painting Round 3

I had hoped to be a little more productive on the painting table these past few days but there have been many distractions keeping me from my brushes.

Widowmaker Marksman

I painted the Marksman over 2 days because I liked the model and wanted to give him a little more attention than I've been giving some of then other models. I'm pleased with how he turned out, although I wish I had added a little more depth to some parts of his coat.

He's the last model to be done for the Khador list, so here's a group shot of that army:

And here's last nights work, some WIPs of the first Scout unit. They're maybe 60% done and I hope that they'll get finished tomorrow night in time for some games on Saturday.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Practice Games Round 2

Practice games continue.

Game 4 - eDoomshaper - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers - Loss by assassination (and bad dice rolls)

Opponent - eMakeda Molik Karn missile with all the bells and whistles. I asked my opponent to play this list so I could see Karn in action.

What I learned - Molik Karn will do what he wants up to about 20", including nuking my Earthborn on the first turn. I was able to get my Mauler on a solid assassination run on eMakeda but missed two attacks needing 9's on 3 dice. Apparently my dice hate it when I try to kill the enemy 'caster.

my Mauler fails to kill Makeda

Game 5 - pButcher - Death Race - Win by forfeit

Opponent - eVladimir with Drago, 6 Ulhans, Markov

What I learned - Not a whole lot. I didn't know how to play against this list and was in a bad position until Markhov missed a lance attack that would have killed 5 Kayazy in the AOE. His plan fell apart after that and I was able to decimate his army on my next turn under Butcher's feat.

Game 6 - eDoomshaper - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers - Win by assassination

Opponent - Strakhov, Torch, two units of Assault Kommandos + Flamer Throwers, two units of Kossites

What I learned - Sometimes the Earthborn missile is a bad idea, like when Strakhov is DEF 17 near the Wardog. I left Strakhov on 2 health on my second turn but got a second try with the Earthborn on my turn 3. It was still a bad idea to try to hit DEF 17 Strakhov, so Doomie had to use Primal Shock to finish Strakhov off. Also, Torch is a monster when he is bonded to Strakhov.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Painting Round 1 and 2

I've been painting pretty steadily for the past 10 or so days but haven't been able to fit in a post with photos of what I've been doing. Here are the first two batches of painted models I've done (many photos incoming):

Batch 1, painted over last weekend and Monday

the first 5 Whelps

Runebearer, aka Troll Moses

Dannon Blythe (the red head) and Bull

Swamp Troll

my favorite thus far, a Dire Troll Bomber

Batch 2, painted over the end of last week and this weekend

4 Kayazy and the Underboss

Buckley the War Dog

Epic Doomshaper

the last 5 Whelps

A lot of these models have seen time on the table since receiving paint and most have performed well. Templecon is a little over 3 weeks away and I've already completed 22 of my 36 models. The biggest hurdle left is the 12 Scouts but I'm very confident I can get everything done.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Practice Games Round 1

Practice for Templecon has begun!

Game 1 - pButcher - Death Race - Loss by rules mistake (and assassination)

Opponent - Cruise missile heavy Strakhov list - Manhunters, Drakhun, Fenris, Beast 09, Manhunters.

What I learned - At first blush, the list works well. Everything I planned worked well and I got models into combat with Strakhov on turn 3. I would have won if I remembered that you can't charge over walls. As it was, the single Kayazy who made it into combat with Strakhov did 10+ points of damage.

Game 2 - eDoomshaper - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers - Loss by terrible dice (and assassination)

Opponent - Siege list with a ton of guns designed to maximize damage on feat turn.

What I learned - The Earthborn missile works! I got a turn 2 hit on Siege with a 13" charge on a Ranger and 2 Goad moves. Sometimes your dice just aren't working - I wasn't able to roll an 8 on three dice TWICE and only had one Fury to buy attacks on Siege when I got there. Positioning is going to be tough with this list. The beasts outpace everything in the list so I'll need to figure out how to keep Doomie and the Runebearer up with them. Also, there is no way the Whelps will tie stuff up since they're only SPD 5. They may get relegated to being screens for Doomie.

Game 3 - Grim Angus - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers - Loss by assassination

Opponent - pSorcha, Winterguard Deathstar and Mortars, Beast 09, Destroyer, Widowmakers

Sorcha in the top right - just outside of Grim's feat is close enough for her to kill me

What I learned - This list wasn't build for Killbox and didn't perform well in that scenario. I was doing pretty well in attrition, trading 2/3 of the Scouts for most of the Winterguard, Joe, and the Widowmakers. I lost to Sorcha 101, a Wind Rush + charge + feat assassination run that I absolutely should have seen coming. I only left myself 2 Fury for transfers because I had Grim cast the Swamp Troll's animus, thinking it would up my DEF and help me stay alive. DEF doesn't matter when you're stationary and I would have survived with the extra transfers.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Templecon 2011 - Fully Painted

When I decided to go to Templecon this year I also decided that I would bring fully painted armies to all of the tournaments. Most of my stuff is painted already so this didn't seem like a huge commitment, but now that I have some list ideas my to-paint list is looking very daunting. Here's what I have to paint in a month:

Khador -
4 Kayazy and the Underboss
Widowmaker Marksman

Trolls -
Epic Doomshaper
10 Whelps
12 Scouts
Dire Troll Bomber
Swamp Troll

Minions -
Alten Ashley
Blythe and Bull

By my count that's 1 large base, 16 medium bases, and 19 small bases - 36 models in total. I've got a busy month ahead!

Monday, January 3, 2011

December and 2010 Summary

The year is over and this is the last month's summary of 2010 (and the first post of 2011).

New Model Fund
I wanted to close out the year without buying any new models but wasn't able to do it this month. I had to purchase a model for the Secret Santa model exchange I participated it, and also some Troll Whelps for a tournament. I ended up spending $28.11 in total, well under the $50 I started with. Usually I'd turn half of that money over into next month but I'm going to let it go. Once I start prepping for Templecon I'll need to buy some models for my tournament lists so hopefully I'll get some money for Christmas.

For 2011 I've been thinking about cutting my hobby fund a little in an attempt to save some cash, but I think I'll hold off on that plan for right now. I have had to buy a lot of models for Templecon but after that I'd like to take a break and paint up some of the models in boxes that I have instead of buying new ones.

Painting for Points
I was already way over my total from last year and the two tournaments this month helped push me even further. I ended up painting 14 points this month, including Grim Angus, 10 Bushwhackers, a Troll Impaler, and the Orc Shaman.

I'm finishing 2010 with 118 points - 40 more points than last year. That's due mostly to my break-neck pace with the Trolls in the past few months. My goal for 2010 was 75 points and I think I'll up the ante for 2011 and set my goal at 100 points. This Templecon painting frenzy will get me off to a good start.

2011 Goals:

Go to Templecon fully painted. I'll post more about this in a few days, but I have one month to paint a ton of models.

Finish all of my Troll and Khador models.

Participate in some kind of slow grow league at my LGS.

Purchase fewer models and paint more models.

Sell off my Tau and give some serious thought to selling the Wood Elves.

Make a conscious effort to improve myself as a player.