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".

A new start

Hey folks, new author here. My name is Adam and I have been playing warmachine since it was first released. Over the years I have amassed a very sizeable collection of miniatures for warmahordes. Trouble is I seem to find very little time to build/paint/play anymore due to "real life" getting in the way. So I have gotten Andy to add me to the steamworks authors in an attempt to spur on my gaming habits.
Many years and a staff discount at a local games shop has given me a fairly impressive amount of toy soldiers, most of which remain unbuilt! That's that real life thing kicking in again . So I have decided to back to my roots and concentrate on a 35 point menoth force that I will build and paint up, tracking my progress on the steamworks blog. I will also update on how my little force has been fairing on the battlefield against as many opponents as possible.
My favourite warcaster is prime Serverius. Eye of menoth is argubally the best support spell in the entire game especially for an upkeep and is a big reason I like the old priest so much. On top of that he brings plenty of other great upkeep spells and doesnt' lack in the offensive spell department either. I love the old guy so much that a few years ago I commisioned Alison Mcvey to paint mine for me, since then she also painted the blessing of vengeance warjack to go with him. These 2 models are my starting point for the force. The 1 extra point you pay for the blessing over a standard revenger is a no brainer when using serverius. Not only does it fit the background but defensive strike and the warjacks affinity with serverius make it invaluable.

So my 35 point list is going to be
Serverius +6 WJ points
Blessing of Vengeance 7
Reckoner 8
Vanquisher 8
Vassal of Menoth 2
Full choir 3
Full zealots with monolith bearer 8
Min Flameguard Cleansers 5

I will be using this list pretty much exclusively for the forseeable future while I paint it. So my next entries will be my figures as I paint them, and games with this force. Once I have this fully painted (may take a while folks) I will do a proper battle report with photos etc.
I may even see if the other 3 authors on the blog want to play me and i'll do battle reports of all three games, hows that sound guys?

Hopefully by the end of the week I will have taken some photos of my 2 Alison Mcvey Minis and post them first.

Top Troll

OH YEAH!  Ranked 11th (respectable, could have gone higher really (DAMN YOU JON WEBB! - yes, Jon Webb from Boosted Damage)).  I'm the highest ranked Trollblood player in the UK now.  Used pDoomshaper in all six games.  None of this multi-wound infantry swarm crap, that's for chumps!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Authoritarian Regime

I managed to squeeze in a practice game at G3 against Martin's Mercenaries.  It wasn't much of a game, I don't think anyone's ever slammed their own model over Ashlynn against Martin before - he ran her very far forward.  After removing Admonition with Purification she ate a faceful of Dire Troll Mauler (Mulg slammed it over her) before the Nyss Hunters filled her with arrows.  Annoyingly, the Mauler could have just thrown a Fennblade at her, but I missed my attack roll due to Roulette.  Always, ALWAYS boost when Ashlynn's feat is up.  Ironically I made the same mistake Martin did in one of my early games against Sean Murchie when I was using Ashlynn and he was using Hexeris.

Anyway, I thought I'd put out the call to other potential bloggers who play Warmachine/Hordes in Scotland.  The Scottish community is starting to expand lately, with communities emerging in Dundee and Perth.  Edinburgh may go through a phase of revitalisation as Frazer Penman has taken over as Press Ganger - if it isn't in the midst of such already.  I'd love to roam between the various cities running tournaments...

While the Scottish Gaming Forums isn't the central hotspot for information and news yet, I'd recommend that the players in Scotland start using it.  The more use it gets the better the community that gets build upon it.

As an aside: Murchie you lazy gimp, more posting now that your exams are finished!  Also, Jim you are authorised to make posts too.  I think I'm going to have to code in pop-up profiles of the various authors...

My e-mail address is at the bottom of the blog by the way.