Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Click and Drag

Having now had a few games with a slightly changed up battlegroup, I'm rather pleased with the extra options afforded by the Swamp Troll.  The pDoomshaper themed force suffers from not being able to reach out and seize the enemy (at least against Warmachine) but with the Swamp Troll this is alleviated.  Critical Consume isn't a bad bet either.  Unfortunately that means ditching the Pyre Troll and Earthborn for a Dire Troll Mauler and the Swamp Troll (and a Runebearer) which makes me a sad panda.  I do like my Pathfinder, warbeasts without it promotes a heavier reliance on Rush, so I'll need to keep the Axer alive if rough terrain abounds.

With this shift in battlegroup I've picked up my Mauler and got back to painting him.  He's been about 30% done for ages, now I've got him about half done and if I can keep up the current progress he should be done just  before the new year.  I had a crazy idea to give him very pale blue Maori style tattoo's much like this from CMON.  My big worry is that I won't get a similar finish and it'll be very rough, so I'm going to finish the Mauler in my current scheme and then puzzle over whether I want to attempt the tattoo's/paint.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Ageing Process

I've had a brief hiatus from Warmachine and Hordes, indulging myself in the world of Dragon Age for almost 2 days worth of gameplay (so... about 2.5 days of real time if you throw in some sleep - yes, I'm one of those people).  However, it's all completed (including DLC) and now I can get back on track with Caen-related events.

On Saturday I tested out my army against Jim testing out his Menoth army.  Generally I detest the Covenant of Menoth like nothing else on Terra (except perhaps this one ex-girlfriend...) but sacrificing a heavy warbeast just to get rid of it is probably a mistake.  Better to just live with it and get around to killing everything else - or bring a list with ranged attacks.  The Runeshapers did surprisingly well, I'll have to come up with different tactics to keep them alive and get the most out of their spell-slinging.

The Bouncer appears to have been superseded by Janissa Stonetide.  The Wall of Stone she provides easily overlaps the uses I had for the Bouncer - which oddly, wasn't Shield Guard, the Bouncer was there for Bump to be used against lists such as eSkarre.  Now that I can just slap down a wall in front of my heavies pretty much gives them immunity from non-Reach charges.  So out goes the Bouncer and I once again have 5 points spare; I think I'm going to throw in an Impaler and see how the results work.  My main concern about the Impaler is how hot it usually runs, but it's been a solid performer before.  A side benefit is that I will have a fully painted battlegroup.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Merchandising

So I beat Jim's Mohsar to death with eDoomshaper's walking stick in a classic "Get Off My Lawn" throw down on Tuesday.  Good times were had by me.

I've been working on gift ideas for the Tartan Brawl lately, and I wanted to have oval-shaped metal discs on a keyring engraved with "Tartan Brawl", but quickly discovered that it's next to impossible to order anything less than 250 of the things and that quickly overspends any semblance of a budget I had.  Then inspiration arrived in the form of dog tags.  Stick an engraved dog tag on a split ring (the ring thing you attach all your keys to) and you have an almost identical product.  I've ordered a handful of test dog tags to see how they respond to engraving.  I knocked up that concept picture up on the left using Photoshop, but I'll be sure to stick up a picture of the test tags once they're done.

On the same note I've come to realise that my poor Press Ganger t-shirt just isn't cutting it.  It's too cold, and if I wear a jumper, that obscures the t-shirt, so if anyone needs a PG, they need to know me personally rather than just looking for anyone with the correct t-shirt.  If I were a bulkier person maybe, but I definitely need something with sleeves - my twig-like arms aren't going to impress anyone I'm afraid.  To this end I'm checking out various t-shirt companies in the local area who can whip me up a Press Ganger jumper/hoodie.  Preferably in white, black is a slimming colour and if I get any slimmer I'll be able to slip under doors.

I was drafting a long list of cool things to give away at the Tartan Brawl but I think I'm at the limit of my budget.  The list of costs has grown quite large, and while I'd love to give away more stuff, it's all my own money I'm spending.  On the plus side however, the list of goodies has grown fairly large and reached a stage where I'm content and can hope that everyone walks away with something they like.  Now all I need to do is convince the other Scottish players to travel...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Measured Pace


I am currently dying from the ManFlu and wasn't very keen to go to G3 (though I did in the end, feeling much better today - see how tomorrow goes...) and I was on Vassal on Monday night when Kris Tannahill popped online.  We'd arranged to play at G3, but I wanted a tutorial at using Vassal.  Thinking that we'd have plenty of time we settled on a 50 point game.

I got to test out my tier 4 pDoomshaper themed list against Kris' fairly solid Baldur list.  In the end the strength of my battlegroup prevailed and Baldur was fried by a frenzying Pyre Troll (see picture).  Actually I was quite impressed with Flamey overall, he put up quite a solid performance.

While Vassal may not be the guaranteed way to test out my new list, it did let me learn a few things about how the list performs:
1.) The free wall within 20" of my table edge is a godsend.  It provides everything I need with a cover bonus, something to get ARM buffs from, all the good stuff.  I do realise the wall is illegal in that screenshot (whoops) as I forgot that it has to be at least 3" away from other terrain.  So it should be about 2 inches more to the left and half an inch upwards.  Anyway, the wall is fantastic.

2.) My list relies almost solely on how my battlegroup performs.  It's a monster of a battlegroup (except the Axer, who dies all the time) that just keeps on churning out the damage.  I'm not entirely sure how it keeps doing it, but it does.  It's tough, durable, surprisingly fast and wrecks all sorts of havoc.

3.) Janissa Stonetide is awesome.  Seriously, if you're going to get me a Christmas present, then Janissa Stonetide or more Runeshapers is a good bet.  When you have to split your force to cover multiple objectives, then her and a couple of Runeshaper units is an intimidating split.  Or she's a portable wall-maker for the EBDT animus.  I anticipate all kinds of awesome from her.

The themed force is pretty awesome overall, though I'm somewhat underwhelmed by the Runeshapers, though this is probably because I can't judge distances at all in Vassal yet so I was constantly out of range.  On the normal tabletop I'm sure they'll perform much better.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Vassal Tutorial: How to Install and Run Warmachine & Hordes using Vassal

1.) Google Vassal or go directly to this link: http://www.vassalengine.org/
2.) Go to the Downloads section (bar is at the top)
3.) Download the latest version of Vassal - you will need Java to run it, but I suspect 99.9% of people have Java and just don't know it.  If you don't, then Google Java and download the Free Java Software.
4.) Download the version of the module (4.1 currently): http://z7.invisionfree.com/vassalwmh/index.php?showtopic=2
5.) Install and run Vassal.
6.) A Vassal window will appear, select Open Module and find the Warmachine download.
7.) Search for a game online
8.) Wander around crying about other people's activation orders.  Remember that selecting something and right clicking usually shows you a way to resolve most problems.

I found this very useful website that covers most of the questions I had about Vassal: http://vassalwmh.co.cc/

UPDATE: The tutorial website appears to have vanished from the internet.

To start a game:
1.) you must enter or create a room and have another opponent in that room.
2.) One of you must create a map, there should be a number of Steamroller friendly maps.
3.) The player who did not create the game needs to right click and select SYNCHRONIZE with the other player.
4.) Pick a player number (one or two) and away you go.

Tips:
To stop the tape-measures going wild after measuring, have the zoom at 100%

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Grid Iron I

Yesterday's tournament went fairly well, except for starting a LOT later than I'd have liked.  The GUGS person with the cupboard keys (who is usually very reliable) didn't even turn up, so we were delayed almost 2 hours from starting.  To say I was not amused would be a massive understatement.

Nevertheless, we did get the cupboard open (BEFORE Jim and Alan could cut the door off the hinges with the angle grinder we keep in the van (I bet you think we're kidding too)).  I found my newly bought cake boards start to bend during gameplay, which is less than optimal.  I've got to find a way to keep them flat or at least break them in until they stay flat.  Or spend MORE money getting something better.  Time to start testing solutions!

While Jim and Murray played the finals, everyone else tested out the Grind scenario for me, and it's pretty good. What makes it better is if it were played in the Mangled Metal/Tooth & Claw format.  Which leads me to my next series of tournaments: Grid Iron.  25 points of warjacks/warbeasts only mayhem using the Grind and Demolition scenarios in SR2011 (available to Press Gangers in draft form atm).  I'm going to run the first one in January if I can find out which date Intrepidations wants to run their tournament on - just so we're not conflicting (though I may be running the Intrepidations tournament anyway).  If it's a success, I'll try to bring the format to Perth and Dundee just to break up the endless series of normal Steamroller tournaments that I'm running.

Also: Vassal... how the hell do I use it?  I've managed to spectate on some games (and cringe at how bad some people are with activation orders) but actually playing a game is currently beyond me.  I'll have to set aside some time to master this digital form of our favourite wargame.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Render Unto Caesar

New models have appeared on the Privateer Press website today:
Skaldi Bonehammer (Trollkin Champion Character UA)
Tharn Ravager Chieftain (Tharn Ravager UA)

I missed out on the previous releases, but I'm sure the people 'in the know' will have seen the pictures and descriptions already.  Both Skaldi and the Chieftain are really nice figures, though I think the Chieftain is an incredible figure, we're going to see him entered into all the major painting competitions I reckon.  I'd love to paint one up at some point, when I'm not doing my fifty bajillion Trollblood models...

Speaking of painting, I'm still working on my Runeshapers, the leader is nearly finished - though I've left the hammer completely untouched so far as it's a separate piece.  The other two are base coated and have had their first sets of washes.  The metallics are coming out nicely, but I do wonder how I can make them better.  After this of course, there's only another two units of Runeshapers, the entire KSB entourage and... everything else really.

Plans for next years tournaments are getting steadily greater, I've already got plans to run a 25 points Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw tournament using only Grind and Demolition scenarios from the SR2011 pack; I'm just having a problem coming up with a name for the tournament (Grid Iron?  Scrap Metal?).  The Tartan Brawl has all its groundwork laid out, though I'm still hunting around for additional prizes - Cerberus (via Vish) have kindly donated a Dire Troll Mauler EXTREME(!!!), faction coins and faction badges.  I have a few extra ideas for prizes but I'll have to hunt down some people that could approximate sponsors for them.  I'm sure I could finagle more out of Vish, but I don't think he'd appreciate every e-mail I send him being one where I ask for Stuff.

For those who are donating to my "Fund a Press Ganger"... fund(?) I do accept cash.  Please stop saying you'll give me cash; being super-polite (and possibly Singaporean) means I can't ask you directly for it after you say you'll give it to me.  Just get the cash straight away and shove it in my bony fists or transfer it via Paypal using the Donate button on this blog (it's on the left).  That way I can then pass it on to Matt Reid (who now follows this blog!) to build us all new terrain, or buy Steamroller related products and prizes.

On the topic of Paypal, if you want to participate in the Scotland heat of Hardcore Series I, then you MUST buy tickets via RHQ (they use Paypal).  If you do not book your tickets beforehand, you don't get entry into the tournament.  If you do not have access to Paypal, then I can take cash and book your ticket for you.  The sooner you guys book the better, or else a load of soft southerners are going to get all the tickets and steal all the places.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Yellow Brick Road to UK Masters

Though I'm probably speaking too soon (as tickets are not yet available and it is no guarantee I will be able to get one) I'm starting to look at what to take to the UK Masters. I'd like to take my planned pDoomshaper themed list and just hump everyone in a similar fashion as last time. So I was thinking of the following:

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls
+Mulg the Ancient
+Earthborn Dire Troll
+Troll Axer
+Troll Bouncer
+Pyre Troll
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max)
+Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Runeshapers x3 (theme bonuses)
Janissa Stonetide
Troll Whelps

Tier Bonuses:
+2" Deployment
KSB starts with 4 Fury
Free 4" wall template within 20" of my table edge

I still need to buy/order Janissa Stonetide, 2 units of Runeshapers and the last two Stone Scribes, but otherwise I have everything - most of it's painted too!

Now, the list is neat, it's fairly simple and I just plan to rock across the board like I did at the previous UK Masters and stomp on anything that gets close enough. The list has a few weaknesses however: it is vulnerable to cheap weapon masters, anti-magic effects hose it, low model count, low range. Its strengths however are: it's a fortress to attack (walls, EBDT animus etc), lots of Steady, mostly high ARM multi-wound infantry, Mulg.

To counter the prospect of meeting serious anti-magic I need to draw up a second list that can romp across the board just as well.  To this end I think I should pick up Borka and a number of faster troop options.  Fennblades, Long Riders and all the extras are all in my collection already, I'm just missing a Dire Troll Bomber, the Fennblade UA and Borka himself.  It's not a themed list but I'll do some testing on some unsuspecting fools and see how it performs.

Things to Gets:
Borka the Kegslayer + Keg Carrier
Dire Troll Bomber
Trollkin Fennblades UA
Trollkin Runeshapers x2
Janissa Stonetide

How I'm going to afford this stuff (or get enough PG points) is still a bit of a mystery but I've got until June to plug away.  Failing all that, I'll just run the UK Masters next year instead...  Ridge Raiders for everyone!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Painting Blog: Mulg the Ancient

I've finally found an adaptor so my camera is working again.  Woohoo!  I've also fixed my lighting set up so there isn't the awful glare reflecting off my miniatures any more.  At some point I'll have to go back and redo the pictures of the Earthborn and the Impaler - both of whom have horrendous glare.

For now however, feast ye eyes on Mulg!







Monday, 8 November 2010

November Errata

There is a new errata for Hordes and Warmachine on the Privateer Press website.  Nothing really exciting about this one I'm afraid.

Funding

Aloha my erstwhile (and no doubt captive) readers, I'm here to plead my case for people to use that button to the left labelled "Donate".  With the Tartan Brawl coming up (and SR2011) I'd like to stockpile enough terrain, scenario markers and timers for 16 boards.  Unfortunately this costs quite a bit, and since I'm not swimming in money (DAMN YOU LOTTERY!) I would appreciate it greatly for any donations people can pass my way so that I can in turn pay other people for these goodies.

Here are my costs for the Tartan Brawl in March:
16 digital timers - £32
32 4"/8"/12" cake boards (scenario markers) - £28
32 Flags - actually I already have these...
48 linear obstacles (walls etc)
15 forest flats (the flat piece of board you put the trees on)
30 forest markers (the trees you put on the flats)
1 swamp flat
2 swamp markers
16 hills
16 obstructions
The estimated terrain cost is £361

Luckily these are all pretty much a one-off series of costs - I expect everything I'm getting will last a fair while, so they'll eventually pay themselves back over multiple tournaments.  Short-term however, it's much like a punch to the nuts.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Tartan Brawl 2011

Behold, Scotland's first two day event for Warmachine and Hordes! The first Tartan Brawl will be held on March 12th-13th 2011.
The event will use the most recent Steamroller format, and all games will be at 50 points.

Venue: Food Factory, Queen Margaret Union, University of Glasgow
Cost: £10 entry, payment to be taken at the door. Please express interest as soon as possible though, I don't want to bring in fewer tables than players.

Times:
12th: DAY ONE : 11am - 2am
Players will play their first set of three games. I expect drinking will become involved once the bar downstairs opens.

13th: DAY TWO : 11am - 6pm
Players will play their second set of three games.

How to Get There:
The QMU is relatively easy to find in Glasgow's West End.
Google Maps reference
Any taxi can take you there.
The HILLHEAD underground station is very close to the QMU, just proceed up Ashton Lane and turn up the slightly dodgy alley to the left behind Brel.

Accommodation:
Glasgow Hilton Grosvenor
Clifton Hotel
Kelvin Hotel
Heritage Hotel

All these hotels are within walking distance of the venue - varying between 5 and 15 minutes walk (I'd advise walking down Byres Road, not up the big-ass hill). Failing any of these, any hotel near an Underground station will get you to the venue with no hassle.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Read your feat people!

The tournament at highlander games at the weekend was a blast (thanks again Andy)
I ran
Epic Lylyth
Ravagore
Nephilim Bolt Thrower
Shredder
Striders With unit attachment
Strider Deathstalker

Epic lylyths feat is in basically 2 seperate parts. Epic lylyth and her battlegroup gain an extra ranged attack regardless of RoF, awesome game winning stuff right there.
The other part is that ALL friendly models in her control area gain snipe, not just the battlegroup like I played it all tournament, GRRRRRR.

So I basically hadicapped my poor striders the whole tournament. Not a mistake I will make again.

I am hoping to write a blog entry for each game I played while they are still fresh in my memory. Keep a look out folks.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dramatic Timing

The tournament at Highlander Games was a very pleasant event.  I was originally stupefied at the gaming tables set up at the shop, they were small and there were only about 5 of them in the shop.  Then I was told those were for the Yu-Gi-Oh players, all the wargaming was next door.  Phew!  The actual playing area is a little tight, but there's plenty of boards and more than enough terrain - and not just enough terrain, it was really nice terrain.  Now that I know who makes it, I'm hoping to update the terrain available for my tournaments next year.  The final rankings can be found on Warmachine UK here and here.

We'd originally pegged the tournament as being a 20 person affair, 22 had signed up but I guess one or two would drop out simply because that's how things are.  As it was, we had 16 players total, less than I thought we'd have, but still an excellent number (the perfect number for a single day event).  Apart from forgetting all my kitchen timers - they were in a box by my front door, so of course I left them behind when I left the house... - the event ran very smoothly.  No one had a strop, there were no dodgy rules callings, everyone seemed to be having fun, all a win-win situation for me.  A special thanks goes to Gary Campbell, the owner of Highlander Games for his many, many, many food and drink runs.

The next tournament I'm running will be Icy Grip on the 20th, though I'm going to have to make neat tournament prizes.  Having given up on students as an organised entity, I'm planning on independently booking the QMU for the 12th-13th of March for a 50 point tournament held over 2 days.  I'm still puzzling over names, but such things as 'The Tartan Brawl' spring to mind - cheesy but easy to remember.  As a side benefit to running the tournament in Dundee, I now know someone (Matt Reid) who makes incredible terrain and another who can make scenario markers and zones of all sizes (Midas).  Now I'll just have to work out what to get for all the scenarios and the maximum number of players I'm willing to herd.

Also: eKrueger's Themed Force has appeared on Bell of Lost Souls.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Slaves to Fashion

Well, mounds of metal have made their way back onto the painting table and I'm actually slapping paint on them.  Jim's Overseer is completed and has been handed over, unfortunately I can't find the adaptor for the battery charger so I haven't been able to update my gallery in AGES.  I'd rather like to put Mulg up there too...  The Overseer is perhaps my finest work so far, I opted for a higher degree of contrast and highlighting, and I think the result really paid off.  Of course you'll all just have to take my word for it until I find an adaptor...

This weekend is the 25 point tournament in Dundee, and I'm puzzling how to get there.  I thought getting on a train from Glasgow to Dundee would be simple, but alas strange transfers and astrological alignments get involved.  I will have to resort to taking the dreaded bus.  Unspeakable I know.  People should know that the start times have shifted around slightly, the doors open at 9:30 am, and hopefully the first games will begin at 11:00 am.

Monday, 18 October 2010

A Very Articulate "Blergh"

I'm afraid I'm just too busy/tired to keep up with the Monday/Friday schedule.  Instead I'll go back to writing posts as I can since I don't play games as often as I should/could.

The Druid Overseer I'm painting for Jim is *finally* nearly finished, I just need to do the brown bits and he'll be all done.  Then I'm going to see if I can get some work done on my Krielstone Bearer & Friends unit since I never leave home without them.  40 minutes each day should get me a painted unit or two fairly quickly.  The Swamp Troll has also been built, and he's actually very large, occupying the vast majority of a medium base.  Swampy is still a very cool miniature and I'd like to test him out in actual gameplay.

Congratulations is in order for Jamie P as he won the Benelux Masters.  So... grats!  I'm actually really curious to see what lists Benjamin Fuzi (Retribution) brought, as it's rare that you see the Angry Elves place highly in tournaments - especially if they can't bring the usual Rahn list of their choice.  Personally I like Rahn and Kaelyssa, but I'd love to see what people have had actually work for them.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Icy Grip SR2011 Tournament.

Venue: QMU
Date: 20th Novemember 2010
Time: 11am - 5pm+
Fee: £3

35 point Steamroller 2011 tournament.

Bring the following items:
2 copies of each list - one copy if for the TO (myself) and the other is for your opponents.
Templates
Wreck markers
Tape measure
Pens
Dice
Cards
Card sleeves
Yourself

You can sign up for the tournament at the following forums: Warmachine UK or GUGS.  If you can, please use the GUGS forums to sign up, it helps reinforce that the WM/H community has members who are members in GUGS and that the community brings in 'outsiders' to GUGS.

I'm afraid the scenario pack isn't available just yet, but it should be released before the event.  I will post a notice on the various forums and on this blog when the scenario pack is released to the general public.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Roughing Out

The latest rough draft of Steamroller scenarios for playtesting have made their way into the hands of the Press Gangers, and there's some very interesting new scenarios.  Hacksaw76 and his team have really pulled out some cool stuff - though some of the newer ones are confusing to read the first time through (though there's nothing like Ridge Raiders thankfully).  It's time to subject the local players to all the new scenarios and provide feedback!

While I do love my metal rings of circular scenario goodness, it's just too expensive to pick up another set (or 3 in this case, 4"/8"/12" rings seem to be the new black in scenario zone sizes).  I think I'll follow suite of the PGs at the UK Masters and make the zones out of some sort of mesh or fabric.  It may not be as precise but its certainly easier on my wallet.  Maybe Privateer Press should start putting stop watches on the list of things I can buy with PG points...

For those of you who are Legion of Everblight players you can find two of the themed lists at Bell of Lost Souls: pThagrosh and pLylyth.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Binary States

Sorry for the lack of normal updates lately, I've just been busy or sleeping.  There doesn't seem to be a calm in-between stage at the moment, it's a binary state: BUSY or UNCONSCIOUS.  I played a horrendous game against Jim on Saturday when he tested out Venethrax, a LOT of infantry, 2 pistol wraiths, and Gorman.  Those last two entries made Mulg spend the entire game out of the action - though I did come up with a viable counter-tactic later.

I'm still quite unsure about what infantry to take in my 50 point pDoomshaper list - I know I should include Janissa Stonetide, what she does for my play-style (Denial) makes her a real bonus.  However, I do have an unusually large battlegroup (2 heavies, 3 lights - 38 points worth), which doesn't leave a lot of points for infantry.  Large battlegroups need screening infantry, ideally infantry that is both expendable and flexible.  Many experiments will be conducted before the next UK Masters... Starting with a maximum unit of Kriel Warriors, no bells and whistles.  Or I could splurge all my Press Ganger points on a pDoomshaper themed list with 3 units of Runeshapers...

This Saturday is a GUGathon, so there will be gamers at the QMU until 2am.  I'll be there from about lunch time.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Yellow Peril

Sorry about the late post once again, this is my first time back home since lunch time yesterday.

Zaal was clobbered by a tree after pDoomshaper survived 4 Last Stand'ed, feat-assisted Immortals charging him.  It was the stuff of legends.  I have to say that playing against Zaal is strange as most of what you plan to kill dies at the end of the Zaal player's turn anyway.  Loads of models just die and you're left there standing bewildered as to what happened since you made no attacks yourself.  He's certainly not a warlock to bring expensive infantry against.  However, I remain the Yellow Peril; cries of "Next time, Palmer, next time!" were heard.  I need to remember that Immortals have Vengeance, that left Mulg open to get slammed and then there was no Protective Fit. =(

Once again my Runeshapers worked really well, though it helped that they made a whole slew of Tough checks (totally unnecessary to both our game plans) and blew up the Bog Trogs/Void Spirit.  I can't wait to test out three units of them along with the utterly broken character solo - does Warmachine have character solos as broken as Aptimus Marketh and Janissa Stonetide?  Maybe they've been around so long they've just merged into the background... *cough* Gorman *cough*

The Glasgow Summer League has now concluded, and the winner is... Michael Murray!  He fought a very entertaining game against Jim on Tuesday night to take the league crown.  Prizes will be handed out this week.  The final standings for places are:

1.) Michael Murray (Cryx)
2.) Jim Lawrence (Circle)
3.) George Halbert (Cryx)
Everyone else.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Beams of Up

Eek, it's Monday already!  Tomorrow is the final day of the Summer League, huzzah!  I'll be able to get games against people who aren't Jim again.  I should really get a game against Murray, as we've never played each other yet, even after all this time.

Another event of note is that GUGS is now back on Saturdays (or so I'm led to believe) so a Battle of the Yellow Peril (well I'm the Yellow Peril, Sean just has a yellow Skorne army) is in the works against the Murchie.  I believe I have now tweaked pDoomshaper's battlegroup to a point where I'm happy with how it performs, how much fury it generates and how it can deal with enemy stuff (death by tree is heavily involved).  I'll have to pick up a Slag Troll though...

Friday, 17 September 2010

Bending Time...

Many, many new things things have appeared on the Privateer Press website: Janissa Stonetide, Bull Snapper, Reeve Hunter, the cover of the Forces of Hordes: Minions book!  All that's appeared just today too, never mind all the other goodness we got during the week.

Next week we bid farewell to the Glasgow Summer League and all its glory.  I hope everyone participating had fun, though next time I run this thing I'm including myself in the league.  Speaking of which I managed to squeeze in a game against Jim on Tuesday, it was rather close too - though taking Boomhowler & Co (aka the Wall of Tough) vs eMorghoul isn't all its made out to be.  Despite losing Boomhowler almost immediately they did rather well at holding one of the O3 circles (Outfight, Outflank, Outlast (or something like that)).  In the end though Jim had an assassination run on pDoomy and we had a minute or two before we got kicked out of the hall (really we should have ended on my turn however, Jim went first) so we quickly did the assassination run and lo, pDoomshaper died.

Protective Fit: utterly broken or appropriate for Mulg's cost?  This is the Great Debate that current consumes us.  Have your say, tell us what you think!  How do you prevent the Unholy Lurking Terror from blatting your assassination run with a tree?

Monday, 13 September 2010

Shocking News

Some days I think I can feel Fate.  It's hard to describe, I'll get the random urge to buy a lottery ticket or something similar.  Saturday was one of those days.  I could sense the win hours before I arrived at Jim's house, though I did totally duff up not one, but two of my assassination runs on eGoreshade with my Dire Troll Zerg (DTM, EBDT, Mulg - one was a totally screwed activation order (no rush on Mulg) and the other was Mulg failing to blat Goreshade into paste).  I had to resort to spamming Primal Shock.  Still, I am now ahead of my normal quarterly victories over Jim.  From now on Jim's promised to bring lists made of raw brokenness, mined from Broken Mountain.

I found that Fennblades aren't such a terrible unit, as long as they don't flee or all die before contacting the enemy.  Much like every other unit in the game then.  Having three heavy warbeasts romping around the board certainly works wonders, I can even afford to lose one (or two as long as the last one standing is Mulg).  Having an Earthborn near an obstacle or obstruction and within the Krielstone's Protective Aura is fantastic.  It's like having a Devastator that can attack without opening itself up for heinous brutalising.  I'll have to run more experiments in a list filled with dire trolls.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Big Splash

I'm staring at the latest No Quarter magazine here in utter bewilderment at Bloody Barnabus.  How does something like this make it through the playtest phase?  Honestly, he's the bane of anyone who wants to take non-amphibious warjacks.  This isn't as much of an issue if you can prevent knock downs (hi there Covenant of Menoth) but otherwise your warjacks are going to spend a lot of time (if not all of it) being inactive.  Start swatting up on the rules for reactivating warjacks.

Everything else in the No Quarter is pretty awesome.  Being a Trollblood player I'm more than happy with the Trollkin Scouts (and their pig-stealing ways) - giving them Gang means they're pretty accurate melee infantry, and they already have Pathfinder so there's no pressure to take a Fell Caller with them.  The Fell Caller helps, but he's not the concrete necessity that he is in other lists.  I'm going to test them out in combination with the Swamp Gobbers.  I'm sure the other factions (besides Circle, it's not like anyone has the Reeves anyway...) are just as pleased with their shiny new toys.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Pyramid Scheme

Let this day be Marked as a Momentous Occasion.  It is time yet again for my quarterly win against Jim, though if I'm honest it was a totally soft win, eMagnus hoses Strakhov.  We did find out that eMagnus' feat is an aura now, NOT a pulse as it was in MKi (and the field test).  You pick two table edges when you declare using the feat, but it effects enemy models beginning an advance within his control area.  After all this time you'd think that I'd actually read his feat text...

I demand a rematch Murchie, that Kovaas wouldn't have been able to get to me!  I think...

Spoilers from the Trollbloods book dominate the faction forums at the moment, as people have been able to get hold of the book at PAX.  I'm rather pleased with both the tiers for Doomshaper, especially pDoomshaper - what I was planning to get when I saw Janissa Stonetide's information follows the themed list very closely.  In fact, it's so close that I end up with enough spare points for a 3rd unit of Runeshapers (not that I'll be able to physically buy them for ages) but no Lanyssa Ryssyl.  It's worth testing out with proxy models at the very least.  Expect some feedback on this later in the month.

Friday, 3 September 2010

DOOOOOOOM

The next of the Trollblood tiers has appeared on Bell of Lost Souls.  It's for eDoomshaper, and it isn't actually that bad.  At 50 points I can cram in 4 dire trolls (including Mulg), buttloads of Whelps and lots of Champions.  It does leave eDoomshaper a bit vulnerable unless he has some terrain to camp near for the Earthborn's animus, but the benefits are pretty awesome (SPD 7 Dire Trolls during turn one?  Yes please!).  Missing out some some support pieces - the Krielstone in particular - hurts a bit, but it may yet pull something out of the bag.

Someone's managed to get their mitts on an early copy of NQ 32 and there's spoilers all over the various Hordes faction forums.  We get to see Grissel's tiers (cheap Fell Callers,  but lacking in heavy infantry) and what the Trollkin Scouts do.  The Scouts interest me, they're not exactly wonderful statwise, but they seem to function in a similar way to Daughters or Kayazy - they do have a very high MAT and decent P+S with Gang, so I think I'll try them out and see how they perform.

Spoilers from the Trollbloods book are slowly leaking in from PAX.  Most of what's being revealed is incredible.  Janissa Stonetide here we come!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Intrepidations 25 Point Tournament

Hurrah, I'm finally home from running the tournament at Intrepidations in Perth.  It was a fairly small point size but the turn-out was excellent - 14 players - especially considering how many people came in from outside Perth.  It was an excellent chance to meet with the people from Dundee and we dragged several Glasgow players to the tournament (with a minimum of kicking and screaming).  We're only really missing people from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to round out the Scottish ensemble.

Overall the entire event went smoothly, there were no drama issues to deal with and no excessively incomprehensible rules queries to answer.  It actually ran very quickly, we finished about 30 minutes before I expected to.  No one appeared to have any issues with the timed turns, which was slightly surprising given the number of very inexperienced players were attending.  All the issues I were expecting just never came up.

Winner: Jim Lawrence
Second: Adam Davies
Third: Thomas Rolland

Random Painting Prize: Alan Kennedy (initially it was Ken Laidlaw, but getting store credit at the store he owns is a bit of a moot point)
Wooden Spoon: Alan Kennedy
Full rankings can be found on the Warmachine UK forums.

Watching the games, you could generally tell who the experienced players were at a glance: they were the ones running full tilt into the control zones.  The newer players were cautiously advancing forward, perhaps hoping to minimise losses, only to discover they were losing control points at a very rapid pace.  I hope this changes as people get more experienced, I'm sure most of the players learned something new and interesting about the game.

There were a few real highlights to see as I wandered around the tables though:
Tom Hanratty pulled off a very surprising win against John Sinclair in the Revelations scenario (round 1), I was quite impressed with it.  Tom went second and elected to head to where the second flag would spawn and filled that area with the majority of his army.  Once the flag spawned, he camped it for 2 control points and held out until dice down was called - though he'd humped John's heavies by that point I believe.

Murray lost a game to Mark (Fae Perth - it's what his handed in army list says!) as Mark had a unit of Swamp Gobbers touching the flag and Murray had no complete units (or solos) in the zone when dice down was called.  Thus, Mark had a single point in the zone, Murray had none.  Go gobbers!

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and the newer players now crave more of the crunchy goodness that is Warmachine and Hordes.  The next tournament will be at Highlander Games in Dundee on the 31st of October.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Whoops

I totally forgot about Monday's post as I was babysitting - where I discovered there is indeed a limit to the amount of piggyback rides Uncle Andy can give.  Oddly I thought I'd saved the majority of this post on Wednesday night, but apparently it was not so.  Here's a rehash of what I'd written:

I had an educational game against Martin on Tuesday where I used pMadrak against his Zerg Swarm (Mercs in this case).  It's the first time I've been able to get any sort of use with Crusher - I think I killed about 40 models during the feat turn.  Unfortunately Alexia then spawned a bajillion Risen and fried them all to kill Madrak.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Jim and I were having a conversation on the way to a job about list building and he made a comment about someone else's list having nothing unpredictable or surprising about it.  It's certainly a thought to consider seriously when list building.  There was a long-winded and detailed explanation of examples, but the basics of it came down to my Mercenary has surprises in abundance, my Trollbloods list doesn't.  More on this later!

A reminder that Intrepidations is holding a tournament this weekend on the 29th (Sunday).

Friday, 20 August 2010

The Swarm

The Glasgow Summer League is progressing nicely.  Side coaching has gone out the window now - we have adopted the "2 Foot Rule" (aka: "stay the hell away from my table") to help with this.  Since I'm not part of the league (and have no desire to play against Menoth at the moment) I've not been getting games in at the club, which in turn makes me a sad panda - and a worse player, without constant practice you start to lose that edge that made you sharp.  Unsurprisingly Jim is at the top of the league (since I'm not in it really), Murray may or may not have lost to Barry at some point - this is unclear to me as there may have been side coaching involved (and I'm not the guilty party either!).  I'll have to corner one of them about this next week.

I've been twiddling my thumbs over Warmachine and Hordes and come to realise a strange thing: Warmachine's response to Hordes is Infantrymachine.  At high level of play, Hordes clearly has an edge over Warmachine - this is due to the way Fury works.  Yes, we could hear arguments about Focus camping until the sun stops shining, but Fury lets you improvise your turn as it were - you can do more with it (or have more of it on the table - I frequently run out of counters to use as Fury while running either Doomshaper, I wish I had that problem with my Mercenaries).

Why Infantrymachine though?  Focus camping to boost your armour up is a tried and tested technique for keeping your warcaster alive.  The less warjacks you have to dish out focus to, the more focus you can camp.  This is probably best seen with warcasters like Terminus (henceforth 'Big T') who are nigh-untouchable monsters while they camp the majority of their focus.  Less warjacks means more other stuff, typically infantry - and weapon masters at that.

edit: or you know... people could just like their infantry...

Monday, 16 August 2010

Sleep Deprivation

This weekend's amazing discovery: a total lack of sleep does effect game play.  Very poor game against Jim on my part.  I did discover I like having a ranged warbeast though, it does expand my options (I set eIrusk on fire! Woooo).  The Fennblades continue to make me want to /headdesk, so I think I'll experiment in the use of the Long Riders for a bit.

Besides that I'm afraid the weekend was mostly uneventful as I've been immersing myself in Fallout 3.  Once I've cleared the Wasteland of all its mutated scum I'll get some painting done - the aforementioned Long Riders (and Horthol) as well as Jim's Druid Overseer.  The Overseer taunts me from across the desk, as he is not mine but is perhaps my best painting work I've done so far.  Speaking of painting, my old friend Gus has painted Cygnar stuff on his blog, go check it out (and the foamcore buildings).

Friday, 13 August 2010

World Hunger

The first of the Trollbloods tiered lists has been unveiled at Bell of Lost Souls.  We discover that Grim Angus likes Skinners and Alten Ashley.  Can't say I'm a huge fan, but then again I don't play Grim Angus (yet.)  Hopefully we can see one or two of the other tiered lists in the next few weeks before the Trollbloods book is released. Doomshaper, Doomshaper, Doomshaper, Doomshaper, Doomshaper.
I think I've given up all hope for the Fennblades, they fail command checks as if doing so would end world hunger.  Out go the Fennblades, in come the Champions or Long Riders in my latest list.  Both of those are Fearless (woot!), though I only have a minimum unit of Long Riders this is countered by my early purchase of Horthol.  If only all these models were painted...

The cover of the Circle Orboros has crept up on the Privateer Press website, it's pretty.  The Warpwolf Stalker in the background has something weird going on with its hand however.  Looks uncomfortable.

edit: Cassius the Oath Keeper has appeared on the Privateer Press website.  He comes with a tree!

Monday, 9 August 2010

It's Character Building

The Big News from GenCon (as if people reading this haven't already found the spoilers) is that all the Warmachine factions (except Mercenaries (WHY OH WHY?!)) are getting new character warjacks.  These come in the form of small blister packs you buy to add the parts onto an existing plastic kit.  Personally I think it's quite ingenious - the blisters take up less room on a rack and more heavy warjack kits get sold.

Triumph - Defender chasis - affinity with Siege
Scourge of Heresy - Vanquisher chasis - affinity with Reznik
Torch - Decimator chasis - affinity with Strakhov
Malice - Reaper chasis - unknown affinity
Discordia - Manticore chasis - affinity with Rahn

Other news is the big list of Skorne goodies that are arriving with their Forces book.  Also on the list are the Druid Wilder, Stone Keeper for Circle (or they would be if Circle players weren't total douches about consolidating their spoilers), and Captain Gunnbjorn for the Trollbloods.  I almost forgot about the Legion spoilers too.

As a Trollblood player I can see why some people would like Gunnbjorn, but he doesn't really wow me.  It's interesting that he brings Critical Devastation (a pretty damn amazing ability in its own right,) Snipe and Rock Wall but I'm more of a punch-in-the-face kinda guy.  Which is of course why I play the Old Man of the Trollbloods...  I'd be much more interested to see what the Trollkin Scouts bring to the table and what they can do for my army.

For those of you who share in my video game obsession, the Warmachine video game by White Moon Dreams finally has a website of its own.  Screenshots from the demo can be found on their forums.

Mentioned Spoilers from GenCon:
Cygnar - Captain Jonas Murdoch
Cygnar - Archduke Alain Runewood
Khador - Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Cryx - Revenant Crew Rifleman
Protectorate of Menoth - Flameguard Cleanser Officer
Cygnar - Storm Strider
Khador - Gun Carriage
Cryx - Wraith Engine

There's also this very helpful interview.

Friday, 6 August 2010

From the Sidelines

While the Summer League has prompted more Warmachine and Hordes games at the club, it has also made people more competitive.  The term "side-coaching" has entered the vocabulary - and I am soaked in guiltiness at committing this new verb.  It comes about when the guilty party (usually Jim or myself) walk up to a table and blatantly state a technique to win the game in the current turn.  This was acceptable before the Summer League as it promoted better game play: when we wandered over and there was no such statement, you became the wargaming version of the Made Man.  Now however, any form of side-coaching, even meaningful stares at potential assassination runs is worth deeming interference.  This has led to two league games being nullified, though all parties concerned are quite happy to schedule a rematch, and it also means an end of one of my guilty pleasures.

Intrepidations is hosting a 25 point tournament on August 29th, run by yours truly.  Luckily I've just forked out a ton of cash for metal rings to mark circular control zones (see how expensive the life of a Press Ganger is?!) and a giant box that jangles arrived at my flat this morning.  The store is in Perth, and the website has a map to the location if people are interested.  Obviously, it will be awesometastic.

A reminder that Kingdom of Adventure has a tournament tomorrow.  At the time of this writing I have no idea if I'm going to go as the bank saw fit to levy me with multiple charges for seemingly mystery items.  A trip to the bank is due in short order.

GenCon Indy (I believe it's Indy anyway) is under way this weekend (possible "now" when the automated schedule posts this) so I expect a fair amount of spoilers and news to post on Monday.

Interesting tidbits from the internet:
Jabba the SkorneRasheth spoilers from the Skorne forum
White Moon Dreams trivia contest (now closed unfortunately but some of those questions are hard, feel free to post what you think the answers are) - actually the winners will be announced by the time this is posted. Woot, I came third.
An enlightening post on the state of Menite afterlife by Doug Seacat
A new competition from Privateer Press!  Warmachine: Wrath lists the next wave of warcasters and their description if you take the time to translate the runes: Constance Blaize, Knight of the Prophet; Thyra, Flame of Sorrow; Kommander Harkevich, the Iron Wolf; Lord Exhumator Scaverous; Lord Arcanist Ossyan; and Captain Damiano.

Interesting note I came across: warjacks with a crippled cortex cannot spend focus.  At all.  If your Deathjack loses its cortex, it still gains 2 focus from the Skulls of Hate, it just can't spend the focus (until it eats someone and recovers the crippled system.)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Autonomous Play

Games were played at Sean Murchie's house on Saturday and I did not emerge victorious with my eMagnus Four Star Syndicate list (of doom).  The list does run like a well oiled machine however, each part does its assigned purpose and on the whole, the job gets done.  I was ultimately undone by my lack of magical attacks - stupid kovaas!

Four Star Syndicate - 50 Points
Magnus the Warlord
*Mangler
*Mangler
*Nomad
*Renegade (bonded)
Cylena Raefyll and Nyss Hunter (max)
Kayazy Assassins (min)
+Underboss
Madelyn Corbeau
Gorman di Wulfe
Rhupert Carvolo
Eiryss, Angel of the Retribution
Dirty Meg

The list is *fast*.  Individual models and entire units can easily redeploy across the table as needed and very aggressive play suits the list - just don't be suicidally aggressive and leave eMagnus out in the open for Mortenebra's Reaper to drag him in.  Key moving parts of the list is the combination of Corbeau and Gorman, who deal with any big threats the opposing list may bring - particularly the likes of Mulg, the Deathjack, or Molik Karn.

The infantry have horrendously high DEF, and seem to survive a great deal of punishment where my previous use of Tough units would have perished.  I suppose if I fought against more AOE heavy armies the situation might be reversed, or if I faced the Winter Guard Death Star style list with all their boosted spray attacks.

Overall I'm quite happy with the list's performance, it does need a little more play time to fine tune the tactics, but it's certainly a list that I'd be tempted to bring along to a big tournament.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Update Scheduling

I've decided that I'm going to introduce regular updates on Mondays and Fridays instead of the semi-random updates I do at the moment.  This will allow me to gather up all those interesting bits of gossip and information that spread through the fabled "intarwebs" I have heard about, and put them together in a coherent format.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Tournament Calendar Update

I recently received an e-mail from Kingdom of Adventure in Kirkcaldy about their upcoming tournament on August 7th.  I'm not 100% sure I'll be going but it would be nice to play in a tournament rather than run one for a change.

The Warmachine & Hordes UK Grand Tournament Scotland Heat will ideally be held at either the end of September or early October, I'm currently in negotiations to secure the venue - I suspect it may have to wait until November however.  I'll have to go shopping for stop watches and scenario zone markers.  Not to knock all the effort going into the UKGT, but it does feel a little like someone's jumping onto the band wagon to run a big tournament.  Where on earth am I going to get enough boards?  Do I have enough terrain?  There's a lot of things to think about.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

And the Tongue of Gene Simmons

Having secured a copy of the latest No Quarter from Jim (he won the coin toss, so we opted to fight lions for it) I had the opportunity to ponder what all these shiny new Hordes models mean for future lists.  I'm trying to find out if the Skorne Paingiver Task Master's abilities apply to eMagnus.  It's never actually going to come up and I'm 99% sure it doesn't apply, but it could be funny if it works.

The Swamp Troll brings a more interesting ranged option to the Trollbloods.  I have a special place in my dark, shrivelled heart for models and abilities that can move around other models, so the opportunity to use Drag is certainly tempting.  Critical Consume on the ranged attack is also incredible.

I suspect the Thrullg is going to become the Hordes version of eEiryss.  Expect to see it following people's favourite units around to remove such spells as Crippling Grasp from them.  I'm not entirely sure what to make of the increased ability for various factions to remove enemy upkeep spells - will we ever see spells like Calamity or Crippling Grasp being upkept after this year?

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Errata Update

The first instalment of the Warmachine and Hordes MKii errata can be found here: http://privateerpress.com/warmachine-mk-ii-official-errata

Personally I didn't really see anything special, though eGaspy is now limited to using small and medium based models for his feat - so no more returning Soul Hunters.  Kara Sloan's feat now works as I read it should work when I first flipped through the Cygnar book, and we get a small spoiler for the Trollbloods book: there's some model called Janissa Stonetide, and she(?) has Wall of Stone.

I've now worked my arse off making a good Mercenaries list, and had a couple of games against Jim (one of which ended with Jim getting a Turn One assassination off on me (how embarrassing!)) using it.  I think I'll get a couple more games with eMagnus against other armies before I put it back in the box and get back to work on the Trollbloods.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Mechanikal Ceiling

Glasgow Summer League Changes!
Take note you infidels:
Play each person in the league ONCE, rather than twice.  Make that game count!
The period of play has been extended to 10 weeks (ending on Tuesday September 21st)
Sign ups are still open.

In other news:
A world of shenanigans has been uncovered while playing my Mercenaries again.  In a practice game against Jim (he was using a Molik Karn list - Xerxes was in it!) I discovered that Kayazy Assassins - with Underboss of course - are devilishly sneaky.  They have a very high DEF, especially in melee, are very accurate and can hit at a decent P+S using Gang.  Previously I've been a bit wary of the Kayazy Assassins, I have a unit of 8 plus Underboss from MKi but never used them in MKii.  Now I may have found the answer to Daughters of the Flame I've always been looking for.  Generally nice miniatures too...

Another trick I've learnt is the combination of Gorman di Wulfe and Madelyn Corbeau.  This pair makes a truly evil duo, worthy of Supervillainhood.  A Death Bubble around Gorman appears, it's 13" from the Rogue Alchemist, and that's where he can automatically blind something with a Black Oil grenade - even if you miss, you should be within the Magic 4 (4 inches that is, a 3" AOE cannot miss its target regardless of how it deviates from 4" away).  It's been a long time since I've had the chance to chase something around with Gorman, but French Kevin's poor Avatar just spent an entire game Blind.  My inner bastard was howling with laughter, the normal exterior feels slightly guilty.

I'm still displeased at the P+S 17 cap for the non-Dwarf mercenary warjacks, but it's just something merc players have to live with.  Oh well, maybe next year we'll get the Steelhead version of the Arcanist...  I should really update my Mercenaries gallery too, I've redone heaps of the metallics and bases.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Arts and Crafts

After much fidgeting with a 5" smoke cloud at the UK Masters this year I encountered Alex Smith and his lampshade rings of varying sizes.  I've tried several times to locate a store in Glasgow that sells these metal rings but come up dry, but no longer!  The "internet" these kids were talking about has provided my salvation.

This store sells the precious metal rings, is based in the UK and seems to be reasonably priced.  More so for us Press Gangers as they provide 11" and 12" rings for use in scenarios.  If I ever have to fly to a convention as a Press Ganger I'm not sure how I'm going to explain the large quantity of strange metal objects in my bag (that aren't toy soldiers) to customs.

I'll be setting up an ebay page shortly to sell some of my painted miniatures, more news on that when it happens.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Wait... What?

Trollkin Scouts.

Yes, really, I kid you not.  One is even carrying a pig, how awesome is that?  He's carrying a pig and a telescope, I believe to aid him in finding a greater quantity of pigs.  Another one has a hat with ear flaps.  Ear flaps!  I was about to splurge my vast quantities of PG points on Kriel Warriors, but I think I'll await the Trollbloods book first.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Glasgow Summer League 2010

Starting Date: 13th July 2010
Finishing Date: 24th August 2010

Registration:
Sign up here or with me (in person or via text message) before week 2 starts (20th July).

Rules:
Pick your faction at the start, that's your faction for the league. Congratulations.
Play every other player in the league twice, any point value, and at any time during the 6 week period, report results on Warmachine UK or contact me directly.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Bastion of Grr

I had my first game against Kevin (French Kevin) this week, in a small 35 point game against his Protectorate. Kevin was using the Harbinger and I thought I'd see how pDoomshaper does against her (I'd left half my eDoomshaper list at home). Having never played against the Harbinger I have to say she's incredibly irritating to play against, particularly with Bastions. At least at the smaller point value games - in larger point games I could just power through Martyrdom, or bring a more balanced list to shoot the wench.

The game wasn't the most riveting of encounters, both of us were using denial casters so there wasn't a lot going on that stayed on the board. Kevin got to use Purification a few times to wipe Banishing Ward (had extra Fury and nowhere to put it - yes, my KSB was full), Fortune, and various animi, but all the Harbinger seemed to do was camp ludicrous amounts of Focus, spam Martyrdom and then heal up the following turn. Eventually I powered through the Bastions/Martyrdom mixture through the cunning use of Thresher (go Axer!) but Mulg failed me and did not destroy the Avatar - Mulg missed 2 attacks needing 5+ to hit, with rerolls, so the Avatar survived and then got a turn with maximum Focus; once both my heavies died it all fell apart and I was a sad panda. It was very educational however.

Bastions do not like Thresher. Also, Bastions seem to like being close together most of the time. I must really remember is that Thresher damage is simultaneous, so it's a bit more complex when figuring out how damage is distributed amongst the Bastions. What I really need are some effects that move the Bastions out of the way... Hmmm... I guess I may need to dig up some Kriel Warriors and their associated Caber Throwers. Or I suppose I could resort to using eMadrak - Thresher for everyone!
edit - ffs, Martyrdom is within Command range, not Control, them Bastions be deaded!

Having said all that however, I think I'll try out pMadrak again. I'm not a fan of having a measly 5 Fury, but I do need more experience away from both versions of Doomshaper.

Yes, Jim is missing from the list of authors. He's still got permission to post and when he makes a post I'll add him back on - he is awfully busy, so we'll see how it works out. We're still awaiting Sean's Blog Post of Super Amazing Awesomeness.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Steamroller 2010 Revision 1

Steamroller 2010 Revision 1 is now live.

There's some interesting changes that have been made.  All the scenarios with flags - Incursion, Capture the Flag, the new scenario Revelation - now have a 4" zone for contesting.  I suspect this was due to large units having difficulty in capturing the flags rather than it being hard to contest them.  Ever tried to cram in a full unit of Kriel Warriors around a flag?

The biggest change however, is the new deployment zones.  The first player has an 8" deployment zone, the second player has a 12" deployment zone.  Not only this, scoring now starts on the first player's second turn.  The scoring is the part that worried me a bit, but will require play-testing for me to be sure.  We've played a few games with the new deployment zones previously and overall found them to provide a better gaming experience for both players.  For those wondering how we achieved this mystical feat of time travel, the Press Gangers were given a pre-preview of the amended rules but the scoring changes weren't in place then, only the new deployment zones.

Now I just need to have a whole bunch of games to test this all out.

Intrepidatious Retreat

The first tournament went fairly well at Intrepidations, it didn't end up as a normal tournament as there was a lot of swapping players in and out for the Intrepidations people but it was definitely an educational experience for them.  We heard stories of utter brokenness floating around - Admonition effecting entire units, Synergy triggering off each weapon rather than each model, units requiring a command check to receive an order.  Mind boggling, but with enough game play they should be able to iron out the issues.

The store itself is very well laid out for wargaming of all types and has plenty of terrain.  There's even computers in the back room so I may be able to abuse tournament software instead of doing all the paperwork for strength of schedule!  I'd like to do more tournaments there through the summer.  Ken, the owner, even gave me a Call-to-Arms league kit.

Armed with said league kit, once I figure out how to run the league I should make a post on the Warmachine UK forums for sign-ups and the like for a 6 week league starting in mid-July.  Once I figure out how it all works of course...  I may just run it like a sports league where everyone plays each other twice.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Plastic Fantastic

It looks like all the new battle boxes for Warmachine are going to be plastic miniatures.  The Cryx one has been posted on the Privateer Press website about a minute ago, I expect the others to appear shortly.  We also know July's releases courtesy of Tabletop Gaming News.  I can't wait for the Hordes faction decks...  I can destroy the bajillion sheets of paper I have lying around.  Not only do we have all this juicy information now, but Malefic has September's *planned* releases.  Personally I think the Nihilators look pants, which means they're going to be ungodly uberlicious rules-wise.

A few of us are heading to a beginner's tournament at Intrepidations, a store in Perth, on Sunday.  It's a 25 point affair (which Tom forgot to mention) and the aim is to introduce the players to Steamroller scenarios and help the new players navigate their way through the rules.  I hope to instil in them my two core rules of WM/H: have fun; don't be a dick.  If you need an explanation of either rule then you should hang your head in shame.

Update:
Cygnar Battle Box
Khador Battle Box
Protectorate Battle Box

Monday, 14 June 2010

REAL Men Bring Kegs

Isn't it a glorious sight to behold?  I feel that the cover has a distinct lack of Mulg.  Everyone knows all Trollblood problems can be solved by applying more Mulg.

Two items of interest on the cover: trollkin with mini-sluggers (same gun as Maxwell Finn) and the Pyg Bushwhacker with the Davy Crocket hat (possible solo/UA).  Apparently one of the normal Bushwhackers has that hat.

While there is no Mulg present on the cover, there are everyone's favourite solos, the Whelps.  People just don't understand the amount of rage the Whelps produce in my opponents and I am delighted to see the little critters made it into the cover art.

I wish I'd held off my Press Ganger order now though, I just spent a fortune (of PG points) on the stupendously expensive Runeshapers to add more ranged options.  Now I may have the option of a unit of RNG 10, d3 shots (EACH!), POW 11 guns.  Motherf-

Serverius is the man

Hey Guys.

I Had a couple of games today versus Tom with his retribution and Gary using his cygnar.

Game 1 was against Tom and his list was
Garryth
Griffon
Gorgon
Full unit of mage hunter strike force plus UA and soulless escort
stormfall archers
2 ghost snipers
2 mage hunter assassins
2 arcanists
Nayl
Eryiss

I won the roll and deployed first. Blessing of vengeance went slap bang in the middle of my front line so he could move to wherever sevvys spells were required. The reckoner went a few inches to the right of the blessing while the vanquisher went a few inches to the left of the blessing. The vassal was then placed in base to base behind the blessing of vengeance with serverius not far behind. The choir was then placed about the back line with 2 near each jack. The zealots took my left flank and the cleansers were on my right flank.

Tom then deployed his entire force on the left half of the board. This put his squishy infantry as far away as possible from my infantry munching vanquisher, the bugger!
The better part of toms force has arcane assassin, looks like serverius will be spending all his focus every turn.

Turn 1
Every jack gets 1 point of focus. Defenders ward is cast on the cleansers and eye of menoth goes up. The choir protect the jacks from toms considerable ranged attacks with a good old song to god and my army advances/runs forward. The zealots use greater destiny this turn.

Garryth allocates 2 focus to the griffon and keeps the rest for himself. The griffon then spends the focus for extra movement and a run and moves 14" to my lines. An arcanist uses power booster to give the gorgon a focus point which it also uses to speed towards my line. The other arcanist runs after the 2 light warjacks. The ghost snipers then move forward to start shooting my cleansers and 1 of my cleansers fall. the strike team move to join them and fell 2 more cleansers with crossbow bolts. The loss of half there number force the cleansers to flee. The assassins then run up the flank safe from flamethrowers.
Nayl and Eryiss run closer to the strike force and Garryth and the stormfall advance. Garryth using this opportunity to cast mirage on the strike force.

Turn 2
Eye of menoth is upkept by serverius. 1 focus is given to the Blessing and 2 given to the reckoner.The cleansers fail to rally and continue to flee. The choir then gives all my warjacks the battle hymn and its to war we go. The Vanquisher move forward and lobs a shell of menoths fury at the gorgon, in a blaze of fire the power field vanishes. The vassal then moves forward and commands the vanquisher to fire again on the heathen construct damaging its form considerably. The zealots spurred on the by the destruction done by the warjack move forward and try to emulate the warmachine by throwing bombs at the Griffon. Amazingly after 6 pow 15 bombs the light warjack is still standing with only 2 boxes of damage left but is on fire. Caught up in the carnage The blessing of vengeance acts before his time and charges the damaged gorgon and impales the machine oh his blessed halberd destroying it. The Reckoner then charges toward nayl and Eryiss, as its thunders across the battlefield its condemer cannon fires its payload straight into the chest of the soulless warrior and within an arcane storm dies. As the reckoner finishes its move he brings down his mighty mace and with a direction from serverius smashes Eryiss to the ground. Serverius then casts defenders ward on the zealots and vision on the all important vassal.

Garryth upkeeps mirage and keeps the rest of his focus as his only remaining warjack has had its cortex wracked by fire. The arcanists rush towards the warjack to help keep it in the fight. The lead arcanist repairs the warjack for 6 points bring all its systems back online and the trailing arcanist uses power booster to give it a focus point. The griffon then advances to engage the zealots and kills 2 of them with its mighty weapons. 1 of the mage hunter assassins continues down the flank unhindered due to the fleeing flameguard. The strike force vow to take revenge for eryiss and with the help of a ghost sniper fell the mighty reckoner. Garryth and the stormfall archers recognise the threat of the arc node and decide to destroy it before it can be used against them. Garryth uses his feat and the 5 elven warriors fire there weapons at the warjack but the sturdy shield carried by the warjack wards off most of the shots only doing minor damage to the menite machine. The remaining assassin puts herself in harms way to protect garryth from the light warjacks retribution next turn.

Turn 3
Serverius upkeeps eye of menoth and defenders ward leaving him with 6 focus. Garryths feat stops my warjacks from being guided by serverius. Serverius decides to personally see to the destruction of the elven warjack and spends all of his focus blasting the jack away with a couple of immolations. The zealots now able to move freely advance and kill the arcanists with there firebombs. 1 of the zealots threw a bomb at the assassin which blocked the blessing of vengeances path to the elven warcaster but he missed and the assassin survived with 1 health left! It was up to the vanquisher to destroy the enemy warcaster in the name of the creator. With help from the vassal of menoth 2 shells found there mark but only did 8 points of damage against the enemy warcaster. Garryth was now on fire as the menite turn came to an end.

The fire continued to burn away at garryths power field and he now only had 2 boxes of health left. It was now or never for the retribution warcaster. He decided to end the matter personally and advanced into a position to fire his pistols at serverius, the first shot found its mark and took the menite priest down to 1 wound. The second pistol rang out but just missed hitting serverius by 1 point. The strike team then advanced but the only members in range of Serverius were now engaged by a choir acolyte (go reach!) and had to give up on the kill. It was up to the stormfall archers to win the day. They advanced into firing positions and fired with the longest ranged arrows they possess. 1 Of the archers managed to hit serverius but on a roll of a double 1 failed to deal the 1 point of damage need to win the game.

Turn 4
The creator indeed must have greater things in mind for serverius and will not let him fall on the field of battle. It was now time to destroy this warcaster in the name of Menoth.
The Vanquisher would be thine instrument of destruction foul elf. The menoth warjack lumbered forward and with 1 massive swing of its morning star the Elven war caster was crushed!

Victory For Menoth!!

Friday, 11 June 2010

The Emperor's New Clothes

There's been some funky upgrades to Blogspot and I've been playing around with them in an effort to make a more sleek design and generally all-round better looking blog.  There's a few things that still need doing, such as the title bar graphic, it's now not wide enough, but overall I'm liking the new look.

Now I just have to wait for the arrival of Rahn and my first Myrmidon.  I still have no idea what colour I'm going to do them.  I'd like do use the same scheme as Chris at the UK Masters, but that's his scheme, I'm all about my army being a unique snowflake.  I have visions of players outside the UK just cradling their heads at the thought of "Retribution+unique snowflake".

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Mod Cons

Now that I've had the chance to really see my list in action there are changes I'd make to let the list cover a wider range of threats - like its singular inability to clear out infantry swarms (why doesn't Doomshaper have an AoE spell?).

I'd ditch all my infantry - Fennblades, Fell Caller, Swamp Gobbers, Nyss Hunters.  That frees up 19 points to spend on other stuff.  While the Nyss Hunters are amazingly flexible, they're Mercenaries and I'd rather use faction models.  The Runeshapers and new Runebearer are all pretty much auto-includes, the only reason they aren't in my UK Masters list is that I don't have them (also, the Runebearer isn't out yet).  Runeshapers bring a handy AoE spell to deal with high DEF targets (I'm looking at you Daughters of the Flame!).  The Runebearer just gives pDoomshaper that little extra flexibility with casting spells.

I took out the Swamp Gobbers simply because 90% of the time there's just no room for any of my models to hide behind a smoke cloud.  There's always at least one warbeast, the Krielstone, Doomshaper himself and often a wreck marker all in the way.  I'd rather find something else to spend that point on.

Anyway, 13 points to go after all those caster trollkin.  If I bring along the Burrowers then I really have to bring back the Fell Caller.  I do like the miniatures however, so I'll give it a go.  They also bring a much needed AD option to my army.  That's a minimum of 7 points.  Since I need something with a medium base to tie up heavies I'd like to put the Fennblades back in, but a unit of Kriel Warriors is cheaper (pointswise), and if I throw in a Chronicler they can be a total pain.  Looking at the list now makes it reek of denial abilities.  I'll see how it performs against Jim's eKrueger list once I have all the models.

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls
* Runebearer
+ Mulg
+ DTM
+ Axer
+ Bouncer
Kriel Warriors (min)
Trollkin Runeshapers
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes
+ Stone Scribe Elder
Pyg Burrowers (min)
Fell Caller Hero
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Troll Whelps

Alternatively I've been thinking I'd start a Retribution army, Adeptis Rahn gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.  Any warcaster or warlock that has movement effects has a special place in my dark, shrivelled heart.

I wonder if I can become a professional blogger... A donate button has been added in the vain hope people will shower me in money.

Monday, 7 June 2010

This Tree is Made for Whumping

Here's my write up of my games at the UK Masters.  All the crazy stuff that happened away from the games will wait for another post (like being woken up at 4am by Jim wanting to know if he should change his lists (I answered "No.")).  Maybe we can hear Martyn's impression of a Boosted Damage episode again at some point.

The list I used for the entire event was:

pDoomshaper
+ Mulg the Ancient
+ Dire Troll Mauler
+ Troll Axer
+ Troll Bouncer
Trollkin Fennblades (min)
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min)
+ Stone Scribe Elder
Fell Caller Hero
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (max)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
Troll Whelps

Ironically this list does not deal with infantry swarms very well but eats lists with multiple heavies (usually, it didn't work out that way against Tim Lawrence).  I was not aware that the metagame outside Glasgow seems to be all about the infantry and the Great Bears.  If I never see the Great Bears again, it will be too soon.  My "decoy" list was:

eDoomshaper
+ Mulg the Ancient
+ Earthborn Dire Troll
+ Dire Troll Mauler
+ Troll Axer
Trollkin Long Riders
Horthol, Long Rider Champion
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes
+ Stone Scribe Elder
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew
Troll Whelps

As most of the people I've played with eDoomshaper before quickly learn to deal with him I never even considered using him.  Once you nullify his super-charge the list quickly peters out and it all goes down the drain.  It never occurred to me that it might not be the case at the UK Masters.  Looking back on the majority of my games, I really do think eDoomshaper would have easily rocked up my first 3 games with no hassle and actually let me go check out the Games Expo.

Game One: pDoomshaper vs pIrusk
Opponent: Alex Smith
Scenario: Process of Elimination
I really hoped he'd choose his Karchev list but it was not to be.  I remember Ironfangs, a Winterguard Death Star and the Great Bears.  Oh, a Spriggan and a Devastator also featured (briefly).  He managed to kill the entirety of the Nyss Hunters with boosted spray attacks with the Winterguard and Kovnik Joe quite early but never really capitalised on this advantage.  In the control zones however Mulg, my Mauler and the Axer were rocking up the business.  I completely cleared out the right hand zone and kept it that way - the left hand zone wasn't looking good as Battle Lusted Great Bears charged Mulg and... well that was the end of Mulg.
Once Mulg was dead the Great Bears were in a lovely group and so my Mauler ate them.  Alex had a way to stop me winning by scenario (running the Winterguard into the zone) but for some reason chose to mess about trying to shoot ARM 20ish models with single attacks.  It was a bit bewildering at the time.  Not one to pass up the scenario win the Mauler ate his remaining models in the other control zone and that was that.

Game Two: pDoomshaper vs eIrusk
Opponent: Tim Martin
Scenario: Capture the Flag
Unfortunately I kept calling Tim "Martin" for the majority of the game.  Quite embarrassing really.  He had a *very* similar list to Alex Smith, only he'd swapped pIrusk to eIrusk.  As some of you could have guessed, I was not overjoyed at this.  This time the Battle Lusted Great Bears killed my Mauler before Tim had a big panic attack about my Nyss Hunters coming around the side of the board and promptly moved eIrusk into Mulg's trample range.  Predictable death-by-tree followed.

Game Three: pDoomshaper vs Testament
Opponent: Toby Jennings
Scenario: No idea, I'm sure it was rocking.
A valuable lesson was learnt in this game about Shield Wall.  Do not use it.  My Axer managed to Thresher a stupendous number of Temple Flameguard - it did give the Testament a great number of souls but he was in pDoomy's feat area when they were converted to focus.  He was welcome to spend them, it *might* not kill him.  I ran out of time on my extension turn, which meant I didn't get to kill the Avatar with my Mauler (priorities Andy!  The objective can wait, the Avatar hurts!) and so Toby saw the chance to poke Doomshaper a few times with a giant flaming sword.  Luckily he ran out of focus before I ran out of fury and then it was a case of death-by-tree once again.
I feel a bit bad about this game as it was the first time I've played against Menoth (yes, really).  I kept having to ask for Toby's cards every few minutes as he did something I'd never even heard of.  We're really going to have to find a Menoth player in Glasgow soon.

Having won all three games on day one put me into the top eight for day two.  Dinner that night centred on ways to make the Lord of the Feast even more broken - we came up with what has been named the "Palpatine Manoeuvre".  I'm sure someone can figure it out.  We now progress to Day Two.

Game Four: pDoomshaper vs eFeora
Opponent: Tim Lawrence
Scenario: Outflank, Outfight, Outlast
My second game against Menoth... ever... 
Made a dufus mistake in my first turn of not running my Nyss Hunters straight into the zone.  I'd declared they were advancing and measured the movement and it didn't feel right at this point to go "er... no, they're totally running".  As it was Tim just dominated the zones and easily outed me once both my heavies died in one turn (perhaps a surprise to both of us).
I did catch Tim with a very sneaky manoeuvre with Mulg though.  The Avatar had Enliven up on it and was well within the Book's 'no knockdown' aura, so Mulg walked through a forest, weapon-locked the Avatar's sword and then pummelled the Avatar to near-death.  I had to use the Mauler to help finish it off though, which made me a sad panda.  This in turn led me to losing both heavies in my list and it all went down hill from there.
Tim's didn't Shield Wall his Flameguard at all, which was an excellent idea, Shield Wall just seems to be a magnet for having your stuff die horribly.

With this loss I was out of the running.  Sad panda face.

Game Five: pDoomshaper vs eSkarre
Opponent: Jon Webb
Scenario: Destruction
It turns out Jon and I are probably quite similar in personality and type of humour (bitter and filled with hate!). This was easily the most fun game I had the entire weekend.  Strangely enough I asked if we might just do Scissors, Paper, Stone and the winner of that get the win.  Then we'd both get to go check out the Expo.  We decided to put that off until a couple of turns, if nothing was happening for either of us, we'd do that instead of grinding it out.
Jon's list was brilliantly painted - I thought his painting was more ambitious than mine but roughly at the same level; then I learnt he'd done it all in a hurry, which means his painting blows mine out of the water.  Anyway, it looked like a rather bizarre list to me.  There were Ghost Pirates, both types of crabjack and a distinct lack of a Deathjack.  I wondered if there was perhaps something I didn't know about Cryx...
Having decided that Jon's army lacked any sort of ability to punch through armour I promptly marched forward in my turns, totally ignoring the majority of his models in an effort to get to the objective markers.  Then Jon used eSkarre's feat to select all my warbeasts.  In turn I ran my Mauler straight into base-to-base contact with Skarre, taking a feeble free strike from the Harrower - the damage was then removed by the Whelp that was spawned and eaten.
The next turn or so was Jon trying desperately not to get eaten by a Dire Troll and me trying to keep said Dire Troll within Doomshaper's control area without getting Doomy killed horribly.  In the end it came down to rolling a 5+ on 2d6 for my Mauler to kill a Necrosurgeon, which would have in turn let me Goad into Skarre and pummel her with my remaining 4 fury.  Jon commanded my dice to roll a 4 and they promptly obeyed, much to my distress.  Then he unloaded *everything* into Doomshaper.  Unfortunately I only remembered about Protective Fit once the Pistol Wraith got involved and by then it was too late.
The game ended with the bizarre paradox of Doomshaper in the middle of the table and Skarre nearly at the table edge.  It was an epic game to play however, Jon even gave me an interview for the podcast (whether my voice translates into digital medium however is a bit of a mystery, I'm afraid I do sound like a girl).
I still ranked higher than Jon however! It may be one place, but it's still higher.  Mwahaha.
The Boosted Damage interview is at 49:24 of episode 39.  I sound much dorkier than I do to myself =(

Game Six: Darius vs pDoomshaper
Opponent: Matt Herbert
Scenario: Gauntlet
There was no way Matt was going to win this.  My list is almost custom made to deal with his.  Each turn he was losing warjacks as I removed all his upkeeps, spammed Rage on my dire trolls and then scrapped all his stuff.  The game went to time, but literally the only model Matt had left on the table was Darius facing down my Axer, Bouncer, Mauler and untouched Nyss Hunters all within charge range.  I feel a bit sorry for gubbing him so badly.

Final Ranking: 11th - Top Troll.  With pDoomshaper.

As I was discussing with Jim Lawrence (UK Masters Champion (again)) on the way back, actually eDoomshaper would have rocked most of my opponent's lists.  Very often there would be warcasters about 14" away with nice, big, empty spaces around them.  That's an invitation to death-by-tree with eDoomshaper.  I think only the Menoth players would have a chance to stop me with those medium based Bastions.  Also, my list has a definite hike in power against Hordes - I did not play against a single Hordes person the entire weekend, I was gutted.

I would recommend people attend the UK Masters, the social environment was incredible.  The Welsh lads and Vish were particularly awesome.  If you do come, do not wear a club t-shirt, it seems to be an invitation for disaster.  I don't think anyone who wore one made it out of what is known as the "Chump Room".