Sunday, 29 May 2011

Final Hurdle

So... testing out my third list has ground to a halt with the noted absence of Grim Angus... anywhere.  Static Games didn't have the gimp in stock.  On the other hand the PG points for my last 3 tournaments have been approved.  Free Wrath and Constance Blaize here I come!  Or I could get more Trollbloods stuff.  Perhaps it's time for a eMagnus Bad Seeds themed list.  Hello Ambushing Sword Knights!

Having played about with my Mercenaries at the Welsh Open during a bye round I've come to appreciate Orin Midwinter and his infantry clearing potential.  I spent a few turns running around spamming Arc Lightning into the back of my own Renegade and hey presto, Eiryss and lots of the Nyss Hunters were electrocuted.  Score one for the Inquisition.  If only I could duplicate the success in other games...

Back to the Trollbloods however.  I've decided to use the Earthborn Dire Troll and the Pyre Troll instead of the Bouncer and Mauler in pDoomshaper's list.  The primary reason for this is that my Mauler keeps dying and then I have no damage buff.  This makes me a very sad panda.  Also, I become immune to a significant amount of Legion and Protectorate attacks by virtue of being immune to fire.  Much hilarity will ensue I'm sure.

While Borka is certainly fun, I think pMadrak is what I'm after.  He's more proactive about doing horrible, horrible things to my opponent (apply axe to face liberally.  If symptoms persist, apply additional dosage) whereas Borka seems to be about farting about with ludicrously high DEF guys.  Anyone who gets around Iron Flesh tends to get over Borka in a hurry.  I also like the way that pMadrak doesn't give a monkey's uncle about casualties as long as his feat is still up and he has a big conga line of things to kill.  Another cool thing is that I can ignore any of these feeble effects that cause a single point of damage for the most part as the entire army is multi-wound.

Finally, I'd like to run Grim Angus as my last caster - if I can find him anyway.  He's got a nice denial feat, and a gun (well, 2 actually).  My only problem with him at the moment is that I haven't had the time to figure out exactly how he works.  I get the impression I'm supposed to put Return Fire on him most of the time so that I can shoot back at people with my Snare Gun.  Also, Burrowers continue to give me a headache.  Trying to get them to hold zones is a real head-scratcher at times.  I'll just have to use him early on, gub some poor, poor simpleton and then go on my merry way with my other lists.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Yes, it's here and it's fairly controversial as these things go.  eGaspy's feat and Side Step have been hit with the nerf bat.  There's some minor wording changes to Eyeless Sight and a few other abilities, and weapon/head locks have been changed (again).  The changes to the weapon/head locks now means that even if you can't attack with a weapon (i.e. I headlocked your Devastator) you can still attempt to break the lock during your combat action.  I'd suggest reading the wording exactly rather than relying on my explanation however, as there's a little more to it.

I tried out the Pygmy Burrowers with my pDoomshaper list and I was distinctly not impressed.  The Nyss Hunters perform much better in that particular list, but it was worth seeing how the Burrowers function.  Having the Burrowers on one side of the board, and my Scouts on the other, my support wanted to be in both places at once.  Also, the Burrowers don't shoot and have problems with high DEF.  Tunneling also gives me a headache when trying to hold scenario zones - the Burrowers aren't on the table half the game, so figuring out how to stop my opponent scoring in a major pain.  Definitely using the Nyss Hunters in that list.

So that's two lists tried and tested, now to figure out what to take for my third list...  Something to deal with the infantry-swarm meat-grinder, or something to bring that extra level of denial: pMadrak or Grim Angus are my choices, I've tested out the pMadrak list before and it certain chews through infantry swarms like no tomorrow, but Grim Angus brings more options to the table I feel.  Unfortunately the shop didn't have a Grim Angus in stock, I'll need to run around like a mad man to find one in the next couple of days.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Drunken Mayhem

Borka = Fun.  A surprisingly easy equation.  I tried out his themed force, and he's very simple to play: spend 5 fury on Iron Flesh+Mosh Pit/Wind Wall (or use Animi), Keg Carrier tops up.  Next turn Borka leeches 3 Fury, repeat as needed.  I like using AD on my Bomber, it lets me throw templates into the opponent's front line nice and early with a couple of good deviations.

My only worry about the list is the giant unit of Fennblades (I have stooped to using them).  With the UA, it's a 12 model unit and it is very hard to score scenario points with such a large unit footprint.  It also doesn't help that the unit often misleads me as to how much of it is actually contesting a zone.  I took my eye off a zone earlier today and totally missed the fact that only two Fennblades were in the zone, the rest were beating up Bane Knights.

I discovered that Champions and Scouts make an excellent combination.  The Scouts are fast with AD and quickly engage the enemy long enough for the Champions to get into position and ready to smash face.  Of course, Skaldi is pretty awesome.  So far he's been fairly legendary in every game I've used him in.  It's tempting to see if I could find a way to squeeze him in to my pDoomshaper list, but I think my pDoomshaper list is almost set in stone at this point - I just need to test it out using Burrowers instead of the Nyss Hunters.

I'm set on Borka and pDoomshaper now.  Borka is simple, fast, and nigh unkillable - that alone allows me a great luxury.  As for pDoomshaper, I'm sure this blog may be some sort of digital shrine to his use.  For my final caster I'm going to test out Calandra and Grim Angus, hopefully I'll be able to find something simple and easy in a hurry.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Under the Boot

If you aren't a Rules Forum lurker like I am, then you may have missed the recent ruling of Trample.  If you end your movement in base-to-base with a small based model, you no longer get to make a Trample attack against them - well, if they're in your front arc at the end of the Trample.  Apparently now you must move over their base now.  As a giant can of worms, this is pretty big.  Does that mean all the way over?  Can I stop halfway across a base, get reset to my last valid position and then still get my Trample attack?  Why is this being implemented now after we've played with Trample as it was for over a year?

There are a lot of questions being asked now in the Rules Forum, which implies there has been a change in a core mechanic - which there has.  I don't view that as a good thing: if it isn't broken, don't fix it.  All this came about because someone asked "what happens if I'm in base-to-base with a bunch of small bases and I trample 0"?"  Given that the game has 0.5" melee range on all models, the odds of getting more than 2-3 small based models with this technique was nearly non-existent.

But alas, strange rulings and impending errata are not my providence.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Zap Zap Pow!

Spoilers for the Cygnar Storm Strider have appeared on the Cygnar forums!  It's really quite good in my opinion, particularly in a storm army as it can run around hosing things with lightning left, right and centre.  I'd be tempted to take one or two with pNemo and the Thunderhead to see how much lightning spam I could fling around before being shot to death by MHSF+UA during Ravyn's feat turn.

Still no sign of the PG order, nor can I log into the PG section of Privateer Press' website to see if my points have been deducted.  I remain a sad panda.  I suppose I could show up on the Friday night with my bajillion PG points and spend them right there and then if Mike allows it (and has his laptop on hand).  However, I'd miss out on the pre-tournament chat and banter that usually goes on at the Duck as I assembled all my toy soldiers.  I wish the US Quartermaster would update the order forms too, being able to pre-order Wrath would be awesomesauce - though I wouldn't be able to read it on the way back as I'd be the one driving.

My PG points have been deducted, I am a happy panda now.  Models should be arriving at some point  between Friday and next Tuesday.  Woot!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Like a Remora

Well, that was a short-lived job.  I had a job for about half a week doing what essentially boils down to door-to-door sales.  It's not particularly hard, but it does feel incredibly impolite to bother people in their homes when they haven't requested it or it isn't an emergency.  At least I picked up some free training in sales techniques and suspicious corporate infrastructures (multi-layered marketing... hmmm).  Also, one of the head guys in the office seems particularly interested in Warmachine and Hordes, so I dropped off my MKi copies of Prime Remix and Primal at the same time I informed them I was quitting (though, the position is technically self-employed, I'm not sure I can quit, nor that they can fire me).  Either way, he seemed like a pleasant enough person, I hope he turns up at the gaming club to get into the game.

In tournament news, don't forget the tournament in Perth this weekend.  It's a 25 point one, with all the usual bells and whistles.  I'm thinking I might make the trip up to Dundee to visit Hannah while I'm vaguely in that part of Scotland.

Lists for the UK Masters are due in at the end of next week, if you don't send your lists in, then you're liable to be delayed in your first game with the Press Gangers having to check your lists and assign you an opponent - after all, same faction match-ups suck.  Don't be a remora, get the lists in early.

Speaking of the UK Masters, I'm still twiddling my thumbs waiting for my PG order to arrive, but at least Mike W knows I have an order now - as confirmed on the PG forums.  If it's not here by this weekend however, I'm going to ditch my ticket and go head referee instead.  Maybe I can have a throw-down against Vish, I hear he's the business.  If I do withdraw from the tournament (booooo) then I'll have to flog the ticket to some other UK Masters hopeful, luckily I have these new-fangled sales skills...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Wrong Ideas

I'm not entirely sure what Google is thinking with my adverts.  For a while it had the right idea, but now it's just well off the beaten track.  Maybe I should mention Firestorm Games and Maelstrom more often.  After all, this is a blog about Warmachine and Hordes, perhaps I need to mention Privateer Press in every blog post too, just to be on the safe side.

Also, to clarify some information about the Gathering of the Clans in Edinburgh: I am not Andy Meechan, nor is Andy Meechan me.  Therefore I am not involved in any way in the running of any events at the Gathering.  It may prove surprising to many people, but I am not innately connected in some way to all the other Andies.  To rectify this I have decided to once again start calling myself Lee (and if my old friends turn out to know my new friends again, I may end up as Andy-Lee).  I'm not sure where the rumour that I was running the tournament at the Gathering came from, but it certainly wasn't me - if it turns out some imposter has said they're me, I suppose I may have to visit the Gathering in order to subject them to a Sockmulg.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Welsh Open Postscript

The Welsh Open is now concluded.  Huzzah.  While entertaining and useful in creating contacts, I wouldn't say I'll be going back - at least not as a TO or referee.  I believe my opinion would be more respected if I school the other TOs with my 'mad skillz yo' than the validity of any opinion or point I make.  Bring on the UK Masters!

As a referee I saw and heard about several things that bug me.  These don't detract from the event, as it was a spectacular event, there's no denying that, but are things that make me want to slap some sense into some people.

Tokens, players MUST put tokens on the table that clearly represent effects in the game.  This was distinctly lacking on several tables and I think next time I will administer some Singapore Justice to one and all who fail to do this if I'm ever called over to a table.  No clear token means no effect.  I'd even stop all the players in a given area of the room to point this out.  It's harsh, but not having the token both misleads your opponent and wastes their time.

Themed force discounts.  A larger number of players than expected could not figure out that your opponent is awarded the full points for the model/unit they destroyed, even if it is discounted by a themed force tier.  Just because you get it cheaper doesn't mean your opponent has to make any less effort in destroying it.

Flags.  The radius is 4 inches.  Yes, FOUR.  Please pick up the latest version of Steamroller and READ IT.  This was perhaps the most common rules query I was asked.  Please do not consult Prime MKii for the radius from a flag, Steamroller 2011 came out more recently.

Overall the event was great fun for the players.  The community is very pleasant on the whole, the barbecues were a great idea (if only we could do that here in Glasgow...) and the background organisation of the event was spectacular.  The planning for the scenarios was pretty awful (a lonely bead in the middle of a circular zone instead of marked circles?!) but the prize support was on a scale I can only dream of.  It's almost incomprehensible how much stuff Martyn and Sam got hold of to give away.  I can safely say I'm extremely jealous of what they managed to achieve.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Welsh Open Incoming

As the Welsh Open is happening this weekend I find myself staring at my Nyss Hunters and wondering if I should perhaps swap them to Dygmies.  Both have different virtues, though it basically comes down to: which unit causes more problems for my opponent?  So... Nyss Hunters or Dygmies + Champion Hero?

I won't be competing in the Welsh Open, I'm one of the (two) referees so I've been living in the Rules Forums to find any crazy new exceptions of rulings that I need to be aware of before we head south.  I've also got to remember to pack the Monsternomicon Vol. 1 that I promised to Jon Webb (of Boosted Damage).  Wrapping it feels a bit metrosexual however, so I think I'll just stick it in a plastic cover to prevent damage.

The pairings for the first round can be found here.  The list is about two-thirds down the page.