Monday, 31 May 2010

Gnarly Shamans

Gaze upon the finished glory of the crotchety old bigot of a trollkin!  Isn't he glorious?  Vote for Doomshaper on CMON!  I'd say he's a 7ish if the other Doomshapers there are anything to go by.

Now that I've had a few more games with pDoomshaper - though I lost the last one because I forgot to use my feat... for 3 turns... totally pr0 skillz there - I think I've got a good grasp of his tactics.  His army is all about denial and works best in scenario play where the opposing player must move forward to engage.

I can see why most Trollblood players dislike or are prejudiced against using pDoomshaper.  There's no obvious buffing effect he brings to the army, he doesn't make your models crazy, he's not *obviously* good.  Unlike other the other two warlocks I've tried so far (pMadrak, eDoomshaper) pDoomshaper doesn't seem to have a great deterioration in effectiveness as my army gets worn down.  Even when the going is very rough he seems to have some sort of solution.  The answer may be unconventional or unorthodox, but if it gets the job done...

Certain spells really shine with pDoomshaper: Rampager is ridiculously fun to cast on an opponent's warbeast.  The uses of Rampager are too many to describe in detail, but include things like moving warbeasts into charge range, moving them out of control areas, or even hitting their own warlock.  It's all fun and games.  Stranglehold is the other spell worth mentioning.  It's basically old skool knockdown in a spell.  Use liberally on opponent's heavy warjacks/warbeasts and mock them as they flee.

The UK Masters is this weekend and so there probably won't be another post until Sunday or Monday night.  Expect photos of my glorious victory (or spectacular defeat).

Friday, 28 May 2010

Painting Log: Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls. Part 3

Behold the wonder of the nearly finished pDoomy!  All that's left to be done are the scrolls on his back, the 4 tiny metals items, the staff wrapping, the forearm guards, that flask thing and... ummm... oh yes, his hood.

I attached the scrolls to Doomshaper's back and then realised there was a very visible gap where the separate pieces connected.  To hide this I had to whip out the GreenStuff and create cunningly placed strapping.  Not exactly the hardest of sculpts but it's certainly got the job done.

I've discovered that GW Kommando Khaki may be my new favourite paint.  It's very thin and responds to being mixed with GW washes very well.  My only problem is that both the scrolls and all the strapping are the same colour... I may have to come up with another colour for one or both of them.

At the current rate of progress the miniature should be finished in the next update - baring varnishing.  I would really like to add some sort of dangling object from the end of the staff for some reason - much like Modelpainter's Doomshaper on CMON.  I wonder where I can get one of those censer thingies...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Painting Blog: Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls. Part 2

Blogspot has released a new post editor so now it's easier to make shiny new post formats like this.

Work continues to progress on pDoomshaper as you can see.  I've finished his skin and the red cloth parts of him barring any mistakes.  The stone at the top of his staff is done except for the straps.

While I'd like to leave the staff that colour I'm going to have to make it much darker to provide contrast with Doomshaper's hand, glove, and the wrapping around the staff itself.

The base is also finished and it looks really good now that I've added the scenic snow and static grass to it. Once I've finished the leather skirts I'll fix Doomshaper to the base and take another picture.  So far I guess I've put in just over 9 hours of work into Doomshaper, at that rate he should be finished by the end of the week. Woot.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Painting Log: Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls

Having a surprise day off I have started work on pDoomshaper. I'm determined to have him completed for the UK Masters - ideally I'd like my army to be done as well, but beggars can't be choosers. I've decided to approach painting him as if I were entering the likes of Golden Daemon - I'm not going to reach that standard, but I'm going to damn well try.

At the moment I'm worried about his base. I'm not sure it will do justice to the miniature when I'm done, but it's hard to tell at this point. It's just a case of finishing the base and seeing how it looks - the base and Doomshaper are still separate, he's attached to a piece of cork while I'm actually painting. If it's not as grand as I hope then I have plenty of spare medium bases and I'm sure I can use it on a less central figure to my army - maybe my Fell Caller.

So far I've done 4 hours work and pretty much finished Doomshaper's skin except for the spikes on his chin. I'm not sure if I'm doing to do any work on the wood of the staff, it's actually the colour I wanted after a single wash. So far it's been a very enjoyable painting session; the miniature sculpt is great, it's not covered in every random item known to man or beast, and it all seems to be coming together nicely. Watch this space.

But You'll Die.

And so we move on to the second game. I won this game against Jim (eMakeda) and wasn't going to make a big deal out of it. LIES! WOOHOO! VICTORY FOR ANDY!

This of course marks my quarterly win against Jim, which was currently 2 months overdue. Not to worry however, I plan to get my next quarterly win at the UK Masters in the final (unless we're REALLY unlucky, which means I'll just get it sooner).

At 50 points I have to say the amount of denial I could bring to the table was stupendous. I use that word in its literal sense. pDoomshaper, with Mulg and a Bouncer close makes pDoomshaper almost untouchable, especially during his feat turn. Yes, you can hit him, but Mulg's going to smite you hard and failing that you're spending focus/fury galore. Systems are going to get ruined. By the time I get my turn not many things are left fully functional and so it's a simple matter of moping up and then ploughing onwards.

I feated first turn and basically had Jim on the back foot the entire game after that. Granted Jim's dice did blow goats throughout most of the game, I have to give him that. The catchphrase of the game in Jim's last turn - when Mulg was standing next to Makeda looking angry, and pDoomshaper *might* be in assassination range was "You can do it, but you'll die." as Jim went through his options and I vetted them for viability - most of which would have resulted in Mulg getting a free Protective Fit (with Fortune) attack on eMakeda (7 damage left) and killing her after transfer overload on the barely alive Canoneer (4 damage left after healing).

edit - no, he couldn't have used Subdue to reduce the hit damage, Mulg had Runebreaker up. Yes, I used Mulg's Animus. Seriously. I bet some of you didn't even know he had an animus.

While pDoomshaper does have Old Man Stats (low DEF/ARM) he does bring a massive toolbox to the battlefield, I wish I'd tried him out more seriously sooner. It's quite possible he's an equal to eSkarre.

You Can Do It...

Two days of working on Jim's house and two great games. Well, one was EPIC, the other was just epic for me.

Mark Bonatti sold a vast hoard/horde (both apply) of Skorne models to Jim and Jim felt like testing the Skorne out. I needed more practice with pDoomshaper so we sat down to have a game on the Saturday after doing some work on Jim's ruin house. As I said before I was surprised at how versatile pDoomshaper was and this first game just served to reinforce what we'd discovered. pDoomshaper is a goldmine that spills out raw, undiluted Trollblood goodness in a never-ending supply.

In our first game there were 5 assassination runs. pDoomshaper (and Mulg(!)) stalked pMakeda around the board for 3 turns running: the first assassination run failed because Mulg has a threat of 11", not a move - unless Relentless is up - and so there was a lonely Praetorian in the wrong place; the second failed simply because Mulg missed his Goad target twice even with Fortune up; the third was when the Nyss Hunters flubbed their damage roll for a nice, big CRA. All of these would have won me the game.

Jim tried to kill pDoomshaper twice before finally succeeding in his fifth turn. The first time Doomshaper was attacked by multiple Cetrati and Praetorians, and then he survived a second turn of this (thanks to Tough!) before finally succumbing to the onslaught.

Overall this was the most fun game I think either of us had in a while. Although I lost the sheer comedy of action both of us had made it easily worth the while.

Note: Rampager is so much fun.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


The latest Privateer Press newsletter contains the stat card for the Warpwolf Stalker. The animus is interesting (Sprint) and Circle finally get a furry warbeast with Pathfinder (and Reach...). Initially I thought it would pair up very well with the Pureblood (and it does) but many of the benefits it would gain from the Pureblood already exist on it. Sprint on a Feral might be a nice option of course. Sprint on Kromac would be into the realms of pMorghoul annoying.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Chewing Jerky

Interesting couple of games against Jim in our efforts to prepare for the UK Masters. A much better performance from both of us today than on Tuesday - I think sleeping at regular GMT hours may have helped my cause. Anyway, the first game I tried out eIrusk to help Jim test out his eSkarre list and it eventually turned into a bit of a grind.

Khador mechanics are stupid. I'm sure Cygnar mechanics are too, but honestly, 3 turns of the Deathjack wailing on my poor Behemoth. Fortunately for Jim he took out its Cortex every single time so I could never detonate the Deathjack in return. The list I put together really didn't work all that well with eIrusk, as Jim commented later, eIrusk probably works best with things like Man'o'War. There were a lot of shiny moving parts to the machine, but actual function was lacking.

The second game moved me back into familiar territory, I brought my Trollbloods with me. Using pDoomshaper against eDeneghra was something of an eye-opening experience. I've never been able to nullify her feat before and having stymied Jim's assault - though hitting the Deathjack with Stranglehold - her assault really petered out. Jim saw a very long and complicated opportunity to assassinate pDoomshaper but needed some help with the technical details. Eventually a Whelp was placed on the table that thwarted the entire effort but it felt like cheating and we just called it quits then.

I really don't know if I'd have put the Whelp there to deny Jim if I hadn't known what he wanted to do for the assassination run. Playing against someone like Jim you drop Whelps down wherever you can in *front* of your important things, rather than behind for the warbeasts to eat. This saves you a world of pain in the long run. Sure you can remove 12 damage next turn from Mulg, but that's no good if you just lost your 9 point Mauler that you could have saved by spawning 2 Whelps in front of it.

At the end I feel like I could have won simply by grinding Jim down with my superior troll toughness, though I was a few points down on the points left on the table when we stopped. It's a bit of a mystery however as one of us (me) could have made a mistake and ended it all in tears, or Jim's McThralls could have rolled a bajillion damage if they eventually got to attack Mulg... Or I could have wiped out Jim's McThralls and remaining Banes with my Nyss Hunters (HAH, Cylena stabbaged BLT!) and warbeasts... A little too much to work out without moving into the realm of pure TheoryMachine.

An interesting thing to find out was that pDoomshaper has more answers to the problems I encounter than eDoomshaper. Heavy {something} about to rampage into your army? Stranglehold it. Enemy about to attempt spell assassination? Feat or Banishing Ward. I'm going to see if I have enough Press Ganger points to get him before the UK Masters anyway. He definitely deserves more playtesting.

As for the Mercenaries? They just don't bring the hitting power with them, nor the answers I really needed. Today's game really clinched it so I'm going to see if I can get my entire Trollblood collection painted in 3 weeks. My goal is at least 5 miniatures a week. They'll have to be completed as well. Luckily my collection of light warbeasts is already done, so I've saved myself a little time.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Food for Thought

Despite aspirations of being placed highly in the UK Masters, between Jim and myself on Tuesday it's surprising we had a brain between us. I screwed myself by forgetting to move Eiryss away from BOTH my heavies, which Jim then corrected by killing Eiryss even after he'd realised my mistake. Despite this I made a /headdesk error by not moving my Nomad further across to obstruct his Harrower - which ironically I thought about beforehand but failed to put into action. I can see Patrick Stewart facepalming already.

My inability to make any sort of command check remains unabated. Thor and his spraybunny didn't quite bring out the wonders I was hoping - the power of the spray on the Blaster is a little too low for what I need. I don't need more POW 10 attacks, I need more POW 12+ ones. To that end Thor and his buddy are out. My list also has no answer to the likes of the Avatar, Mulg or the Deathjack, models that exert a gravitas of their own merely by being on the board. Mercenaries just don't have something like that (yet) so I need to bring something to neutralize them - Black Oil. Back in comes Gorman di Wulfe.

That leaves me with 3 points... I need some sort of mechanic to repair my warjacks, and the only other mechanic available is Dirty Meg. The only single point option for Mercenaries is good old Reinholdt. Dirty Meg comes with a lovely gun that causes Stall, which is an added benefit; and Reinholdt's Lucky Charm will certainly be useful with all the Calamity spells I'm throwing around.

I've been in an odd painting mood this week and I've now done the majority of Mulg. Why did I choose Mulg to paint when I have an entire Mercenaries army to do before Masters? I have no idea, I just picked him up out of the foam and got painting. He's actually looking pretty good at the moment, I've almost finished all his skin. Once that's done I'll get back to my Mercenaries... I *must* finish my all my solos.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Locomotive of Thought

Having now had a couple of games against Jim and his Cryx lists with my eMagnus Masters list, I think I'm going to tweak my list slightly. I've found in MKii that Gorman di Wulfe is not the wunderkind I was hoping him to be, he's useful but to be useful he's got to be very, very close to the action and that means he gets killed. A lot. While I do love Boomhowler & Co, and having played the Trollbloods for a while too, shuffling all those medium bases around just gives me a headache. They last forever and effectively freezes part of my opponent's army, but I don't think I need 10 of them to pull that off. Strangely, once Boomhowler is on his own, his personal effectiveness increases as you aren't constrained by the 4+ Tough anymore. Rage Howler will make your opponent ragequit if they have a warjack/warbeast heavy list.

So... Who gets to step up to the plate to replace these stalwarts of my army after so long? Well, I'm reducing Boomhowler & Co to a minimum unit. This will give the rest of my army room to manoeuvre around the bulky Trollkin. To replace Gorman and remove the constant problem of not having someone to repair my warjacks, I'm going to bring in Thor Steinhammer and with those extra points from the smaller Boomhowler & Co unit, he gets a Grundback Blaster for spray attack goodness.

So now my list looks like this:
Magnus the Warlord
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (max)
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (min)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Thor Steinhammer
+Grundback Blaster

I'm going to test this out against one of Jim's lists tonight and will report back once the dust settles.