Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Summary

Painting for Foints
Following Templecon I was very motivated to paint and I finished a ton of Troll models over a few days.  Then I ran out of paint and motivation and haven't done a whole lot since.  The Trolls were worth 8 points so I'm up to 22 total.

New Model Fund
Templecon helped me rediscover how much I enjoy Khador so for the slow grow league coming up at my LGS I'm going to be running Zerkova.  I bought a Khador battle box for the two heavies, the Black Ivan upgrade kit, and the Old Witch for $72 so I'll have $28 for March.  I'd like to add Nyss and some Eliminators to my Zerkova lists but I'll probably skip the Nyss for now to save my pennies and keep on budget.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Working Towards Fully Painted Trolls

I have an even 100 models in my Troll army.  Currently, 93 of them are painted.  This is because after my post-Templecon detox I was immensely motivated and started painting yellow skin like it was my job.  I've been blitzing through the remaining Trolls on my shelf and I think I can be 100% painted in just a few more days.

First I painted the last two Stonescribes to get myself to a full unit of 6.  The minimum unit were painted in July 2010, so these last two have been a while on my shelf.


Then I attacked my Fennblade UA.  I still don't have Fennblades but now I can proxy them without getting confused.  These two models are very well sculpted and were a ton of fun to paint.


Next I moved on to the softer side of Trolls and painted Janissa and Calandra.  Both of these are excellent sculpts and Calandra in particular was a lot of fun to paint.  I think her face came out well.


 

Finally, I painted my second Impaler.  I've now got a fully painted Troll battle box, only 21 months after getting started on the army.


They're all a little shiny from the washes but that gets taken care of with some dullcoat. All that's left for the Trolls is a second unit of Champs, Skaldi, and pDoomshaper.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Things I Painted Before Templecon

The run-up to Templecon came right down to the wire for me and I was painting models for my Hardcore list two days before the event.  I forgot to take photos at the time but now I have some pictures of what I painted last month.

Lady Aiyana and Master Holt.  These two were a lot of fun to paint, with the exception of all the yellow trim on Holt's jacket.  That was a bummer.


Boomhowler and his band of merry men.  These guys actually went a lot faster than I thought and based on the success I had here I'm giving some serious thought to buying Fennblades.


A final picture of Saxon and eEiryss with their bases completed.  I didn't want Eiryss to look like she was on a roof top so I painted the whole thing gray, dirtied it up a bit with washes, and I'm pretending that she's on a some kind of ruined statue in the wilderness.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Templecon 2012 - The Aftermath

Hardcore
This was a huge highlight of my weekend.  I love the format and had a blast even though I was so bad I didn't get to play in the last round.  I'm pretty convinced that in this format I need to bring a beast heavy Hordes list.  Warmachine lists are just outclassed when a Hordes list with four heavies can spend 16 - 20 Fury on a single turn plus 'caster buffs.  I will absolutely be back next year.

Steamroller 2012
The SR2012 rules were a bit of a let down for me.  I like what they're trying to accomplish but a lot of the scenarios are needlessly complex and are more of a distraction than an aid to the game.  A friend noted that the Primal Mark II rules are 60 pages long and the SR2012 rules are 40 pages long.  That's a huge document and I can say that a lot of the rules feel bloated.


We've been talking about picking a few of the scenarios and using them at our store.  There are several that are elegant, simple, and fun - they add a good dimension to the game without being overbearing.  Hopefully these rules are a misstep and not the direction PP wants Steamroller to go.


What Next
The guys at my LGS have been talking about a few different things we'd like to do in the coming months.  Last year we ran a slow-grow league and that was a lot of fun.  We haven't made any decisions yet but some ideas we've tossed around are another slow-grow league or a campaign of some sorts.  We've also talked about introducing more scenarios into our play and trying to encourage more people to bring painted armies.

For me, I've got two plans for the next few months:

Zerkova
She was so much fun to play at Templecon.  There is an immense amount of depth to her and I think she could be powerful in the hands of someone who really understands all the things she can do.  I've got a bunch of lists in my head and a number of things I'd like to try.

Borka
This guy is my early front runner for Hardcore next year.   I'm working on some lists that use three heavies, Fennblades as a screen and tarpit, and a few solos for support.  With Iron Flesh and Stumbling Drunk he's very hard to kill and with his feat and Mosh Pit there will be a lot of knocked down, easy to hit models.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Templecon 2012 - Hardcore

Hardcore was something I've wanted to do for a while.  I love playing with painted models and I wanted to experience the challenge of competitive, fast paced tournament format.  I fully expected to have my ass handed to me but I was excited for the experience none the less.

pMagnus
+Renegade
+Renegade
+Nomad
+Mangler
10 Boomhowler
10 Steelhead Riflemen
Aiyana and Holt
eEiryss
Saxon
Kell

I built this list because I thought it would be flexible and be reasonably 'jack heavy for time considerations.  It also had some nods towards being fluffy and fun.

These were terrible mistakes for Hardcore.

I kind of knew this but as the event got closer I started to suspect it more and more.  I had nothing to seriously threaten high armor targets, just a lot of infantry, some weak 'jacks, and two Obliterator rockets.  By the time Saturday morning rolled around I was nervous about my list and nervous about the tournament in general.

Game 1
Absylonia with Typhon, a Sythean, Ravagore, Carnivean, some lights, and some solos.


I'm already in trouble because there is no way I can deal with 4 heavies, especially considering Absylonia's feat.  I decided to open the game with some serious aggression.  My plan was to throw everything at a single heavy on turn 2 and kill it outright, then see what I can do for the rest of the game.

After two boosted Obliterator rockets, shots from Holt, Eiryss, and Kell, and two 5-man CRAs from the Riflemen I'm left staring at a Sythean with 4 boxes left and a bad feeling about game 1.

 death by all the fire

I was able to mount a surprising come back with some risky play over the next few turns that resulted in my killing two heavies after Absylonia feated but also left me open for a Ravagor + Typhon ranged assassination attempt that smoked Magnus.

My opponent's stuff was painted very well and he was a great guy to play against.

Game 2
Epic Doomshaper with Mulg, an Earthborn, and a Bomber, some Champs, a Krielstone, and some solos.

Again, I'm feeling worried looking at this heavies and my inability to deal with them.  I do know what he's planning here though and my plan is to win on scenario.  I fill the zone closest to my deployment zone with Boomhowler and his trolls while aiming to nuke his Champs on my left side and fight for the furthest control zone.

I'm making pretty good headway on both sides of the board and he triggers the eDoomshaper Dire Troll delivery system.  Both Mulg and the Earthborn fail to get damage on Magnus and I'm feeling pretty good about my position.

I decide to give 3 focus to each of my heavies and really go to town on Mulg and the Earthborn.  Magnus walks into combat with Mulg needing a 5 to knock him down.

Magnus misses.

this didn't need to happen

Now we have a problem.  The Mangler and Nomad manage to kill Mulg but I was so focused on killing him to save Magnus that I forgot to screen him from the Earthborn.  My opponent takes full advantage of his second change and splats Magnus quite easily.

This was a stupid way to lose and I was pissed at myself.

Game 3
Siege with Rowdy, and a Defender, Sword Knights, a Storm Tower, and some solos.

Another situation where I can deal just fine with the small amounts of infantry and solos but have no good answer for the armor across the table.

 everything died

I tried a similar plan from last game but Siege's feat demolished me and the game got quickly out of hand.  He managed to kill everything except Magnus before dice-down (Feign Death FTW!) and I was playing very badly the whole time.  I did manage to take out the Storm Tower, so a small victory there.

A very friendly guy though and we talked for a while after the game and tournament.

Game 4
Someone dropped from the tournament after the 3rd round and since I was the worst player in the tournament I got a bye.  Probably a good thing because I was reeling from my previous few games and I imagine I wouldn't have played this game well at all.

Conclusions
I didn't struggle in this format nearly as much as I thought I would.  I was very nervous about 7 minute turns and keeping everything straight in my head but for the most part I think I did well.

The Hardcore meta really favors beast heavy Hordes lists.  The amount of damage three or four beasts can put out in one turn is huge and there isn't much a Warmachine list can do to counter it or even match it.  The lists I saw weren't terribly balanced, they were there to kick serious ass and by hyper aggressive.  I kind of knew all this going in but didn't realize how true it was and how seriously bad my list was for this format.

I had a lot of fun and will be back in Templecon Hardcore next year much better prepared.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Templecon 2012 - Blood, Sweat, and Tiers

Blood, Sweat, and Tiers was on Saturday.  It was a two list, SR2012, 35 point tournament where each of your lists must be at least Tier 1.  I brought brought a Tier 3 pButcher list and a Tier 4 NQ Zerkova list.

pButcher
+Kodiak
+Kodiak
+War Dog
5 MoW Demo Corps
5 MoW Shock Troopers
Manhunter
Manhunter
Yuri the Axe
Reinforcements: Widowmakers and Widowmaker Marksman

Zerkova
+Vanguard
+Spriggan
+Destroyer
10 Kayazy + UA
Greylords
Widowmakers
Gorman di Wulfe
Reinforcements: 6 Kayazy + UA

Sorry about the lack of photos - I was too excited and forgot to take any!

Game 1
I'm matched up against a Legion player running Saeryn with two Angelius, a bunch of Grotesques, and some other stuff.  I played this guy last year running a similar list and beat him camping focus on Butcher so I went with that again.  I forgot that Angelius have Armor Piercing and the pair ate Butcher.

Last year he only had one Angelius so my flub didn't cost me the game but this year it did - my bad.

Game 2
Round 2 sees me matched against a Circle player running eKaya with 3 heavies and some druids.  I don't know a lot about eKaya aside from the fact that I'd never catch her heavies so I opted for the more agile Zerkova list.  He was in the process of demolishing my army when he forgot about the control zones and didn't contest a zone the he could have very easily.  I snuck out a win on control points!

Round 3
In this round I played a Khador player running a pButcher tier list very similar to mine.  I took Zerkova because I had a lot of high DEF models to tie up his slower, lower model count army while still making plays at the objectives.

It turned out to be an excellent plan and I was able to get a solid win on control points.  In particular, some smart plays with my reinforcements allowed me to get two points in one turn and really get his army turned around and out of position.

Round 4
I was feeling pretty good at this point with two straight wins until I ran into my next opponent.  He was running eCaine with a million Gun Mages.  Gun Mages seriously counter both of my lists - they ignore Kayazy Stealth and push slow MoW's around so they can never engage.  I chose the Butcher list, hoping his high ARM plus Iron Flesh might save me from a Caine assassination attempt and allow me to counter.

I made a silly decision out of frustration late in the game to try to hit an Obliteration shot on some Gun Mages.  I missed, Butcher had no Focus, and I was Caine-ed to death after a very slow, painful slog up the field.  A very pleasant opponent but a very frustrating game.

Round 5
To finish the tournament I ran into an Ashlynn list running two units of Gun Mages.


Damn.

In hindsight I should have tried the Zerkova list after just losing with Butcher, but since there were less Gun Mages this time around (only 14 instead of 20+eCaine) I thought I'd have a better chance with the MoW's.  I did manage to make a game out of it and ALMOST trapped Ashlynn, but she evaded my trap and nuked the Butcher.

Thoughts
Overall I was happy with how I played even though I finished with a losing record.  There wasn't a lot to be done about the last two games, they were just bad match ups and both opponents were nice guys.  I did manage to play well with Zerkova twice and win twice by scenario so there are lots of positives to take from the tournament.

Up next - Hardcore!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

January Summary and Templecon

I haven't taken photos in a while but I have been painting like a mad man for Templecon this weekend.

Painting for Points
This was a good month for my painting schedule.  I finished Aiyana and Holt, Saxon, eEiryss, and full unit of 10 Boomhowlers.  That's a solid 14 points to kick of 2012 and a large chunk of my unpainted models done.

New Model Fund
Another month were I didn't spend any money on models.  Since I don't have any plans to buy anything in the future anyway I'm not going to roll over anything and just reset my budget to $50 dollars.

Templecon!
I'm leaving for Templecon tomorrow morning.  I've got my Hardcore list all painted and two theme lists for the Tier tournament.  The Tier tournament is going to be pretty low key for me - I haven't practiced either of these lists and I haven't read any of the new SR2012 rules yet.  Hopefully I'll just have a good time rolling some dice and playing with toy soldiers.

Hardcore is another beast.  I'd like to do well but I know I haven't put in the time with my list.  Too many things got in the way this year and I wasn't able to practice nearly as much as I did for last year's Templecon.  I'm still very excited to see how the tournament goes and hopefully I can sneak out a win or two.