Ancients and Machines

Ancients and Machines

Game on, game on. This post has a whole heap of Skorne games with my growing Immortals collection, plus some silly Convergence experimentation.

On the painting side of things, I’ve just not been feeling my Retribution force. I love the color scheme when it’s done, but getting the red tones right is laborious. So I decided to just dabble a little with yet another Warmachine faction: Convergence of Cyriss. Yeah, I know. I should focus on one faction (Skorne) or just stick with Retribution.

Convergence of Cyriss Inverter

I started with an Inverter, as it seemed like the ubiquitous choice for both the game and practicing painting. After a first attempt that I greatly misliked, I moved to this scheme which I am much more pleased with. 

2 Convergence of Cyriss Father Lucant

I also finished up Father Lucant for my Convergence of Cyriss. I’m particularly pleased with how he turned out. I’m liking the ceramic-looking select plates, and the light blue of the robes isn’t too off-putting (that’s the bit I struggled with the most). I’m working on the glow effects, and the one on the top of his staff is the one that I’m most proud of so far. 

Skorne Immortals Jade

I also painted up another unit of Immortals for my Skorne army. They’re on the left, meeting the first unit I completed on the right. 

I traveled during the start of March, so I was a bit slow on games at the start of this month. Managed to sneak a few in though, and then the floodgate opened as I got a bunch in all right in a row.

Skorne Zaal1 vs Makeda1

Started out with a Skorne vs. Skorne match-up against Kevin. He fielded Makeda1, while I tested out my first draft of a Zaal1 list. I survived a pretty good assassination attempt, and managed to get four Last Stand-buffed charging Immortals onto Makeda1 during feat turn. The boosts to hit were enough to connect, and despite transfers managed to knock her out. Her self-harm on her own feat turn helped a great deal. It was a very close match and a great learning experience about how Zaal1 runs (and how Exalted models trip all over each other if I’m not careful). 

Skorne Zaal1 vs Skorne Makeda1 Again

My initial attempt at Zaal1 hit the field again, against Ryan’s… Skorne… using Makeda1. A little bit of deja vu, but different options change the battle considerably. The big object in the middle of the battlefield had two arches, but charging would have to be straight thru because of size and angles. That lead to a bit of round-robin, and Ryan’s swordsmen started out of place and facing incorporeal solos which proved to be the definite edge I needed. 

Zaal1 Melee Assassination

The game was the Crossroads of Courage Season 3 Week 3 scenario, with teleporting circles. There was a bonus for having your warcaster/warlock in them with an assassination, so I actually had to have Zaal1 go for it to seal the deal. The rest of the army killed Makeda’s transfer targets, and he teleported to the ring. Casting Last Stand on myself meant that I needed to succeed or I’d lose my caster (for those unfamiliar: any model that attacks under Last Stand is destroyed at the end of the turn). Took a few swings with my puny weapon, but managed to finish her off. 

1 Zaal1 Kovass vs Mercenaries Drake MacBain

My next game was against Andy’s Mercenaries, led by Drake MacBain. I took Zaal1 again. This time I got into a bad situation on attrition, but was able to use incorporeal to my benefit even in the face of MacBain’s ugly feat. Thanks to the Feat turn, the soul-loaded Kovass got the job done with assassination. 

2 Zaal1 Skorne vs Cryx Venethrax

Following that, I faced Ryan’s Venethrax list. And the exact opposite of what won me the game against Andy happened. I got into the spot where I was ahead on attrition that he took a chance on assassination and managed to kill Zaal1. 

3 Skorne Titan Cannoneer vs Circle Orboros Wolves of Orboros

Still more Zaal1, this one against Charles’ Circle Orboros army led by Grayle. This one was right down to the wire, but I managed to pull out the assassination victory. You know it’s bad when you’re counting on the Titan Cannoneer to hold one side against melee infantry.

4 Zaal1 Skorne vs Kaya3 Circle Orboros

Onward to the weekend, where I played… Zaal1 again. Heh. This time I faced off against Larry IV’s Circle army, led by Kaya3. He wasn’t ready for how destructive my Immortals can be with Last Stand, so it went my way pretty fast. I definitely want a re-match at some point when he knows my list a little better and has more experience with Kaya3. 

5 Hexy2 Skorne vs Makeda2 Skorne

Following that match, I faced Larry III’s Skorne force in a grand Skorne-off. He had Makeda2 and Xerxis1 as options, and I was reasonably certain he’d be bringing Makeda2. Because neither list I brought had an answer. I decided to drop Hexy2, which wasn’t a particularly good plan. It didn’t help that I came up short on what could have been a more aggressive play. He definitely had the upper hand in the game, and finally finished off Hexy2. While I’m okay with Zaal1, I definitely need a pairing for him that isn’t Hexy2. 

6 Father Lucant vs Venethrax

Final game of this cycle, I broke down and put mostly unpainted Convergence of Cyriss onto the table. I have been trying to play as fully painted as possible, but in some discussions people said that I paint fast enough that I should just play what I want–and let my play drive my painting passion. So it was time for Lucant to strike out against foes. 

I faced Ryan’s Venethrax list with some heavy modifications from the last time I clashed. I got on a bad start from the beginning as I didn’t have the ability to land things close enough to deny him points on the friendly flag. I was ahead in attrition, but time and score conspired to make me have to get too aggressive with Lucant. He rumbled up and did a great job against a sea of Warjacks (notching four total if my memory count is correct–two heavies and two bonejacks), but his urge to get up left him too easy prey for Venethrax who ended things with a charge of his own. I was honestly just glad to get a little table time with my Convergence. As I’m planning on doing some silly things with them going forward, and their induction system for Focus is a little wonky. 

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):

155/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 34 (Win/Loss 25/9/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

8 Wins (Kaelyssa, Nemo3, Zaadesh2, Makeda1 x2, Kaya3, Grayle, MacBain) / 2 Losses (Makeda2, Venethrax)

Convergence of Cyriss:

0 Wins / 1 Loss (Venethrax)

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)

Trollbloods:

4 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn) / 1 Loss (Feora3)

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle

It’s been a while, but I finally got a chance to get in some Bolt Action again. I’ve so far shown my Italians here, but this time my Japanese took the field. They’re still a little rough in the paint department–something I’m hoping to get into shape soon. But I wanted to show off the fun game anyhow.

1 Bolt Action Pacific Board

I mainly wanted to show off the great table that Ryan has started. He’s got many more plans for adding Pacific elements to it for our clashes. We’re also plotting an extensive Guadalcanal series of games to structure our ongoing play. 

2 Bolt Action Japanese Soldier

This Japanese solider is the completed look of what most of my uniforms will be. I’m actually doing a Nomonhan force, not a pacific island force, but they’ll be fine for the purposes of our games. Here he’s sneaking around the jungle treeline to strike at the Marines command taking cover behind the fence. 

3 Bolt Action US Marines

Ryan’s Marines are in better shape than my Japanese. They’re looking really good as a force. 

4 Bolt Action Japanese LMG

The game itself was pretty rough. My sniper team managed to do well, and I had an amusing moment where one of my anti-tank suicide teams charged the Marines’ sniper and took them out in combat. But otherwise, until I get more numbers done for my squads I’m going to struggle with the Japanese. 

Battles (Bolt Action):

Overall Totals 2017: 5 (Win/Loss: 2/3/0)

Japanese: 0 Wins / 1 Loss

Italians: 2 Wins / 2 Losses

The Gobber Chef Classic 2017

The Gobber Chef Classic 2017

With the expansion of space at Drawbridge Games (three times the number of tables), I was pleased to finally be able to run a sizeable Steamroller event at that venue. In chatting with the owner, we were laughing about how the Swamp Gobber Chef is by far his best-selling model. That got us thinking: well, how about a Chef-themed event?

Thus, the Gobber Chef Classic was born. We decided to have a steamroller that included all the different bells and whistles of official trophies, plus a bonus trophy awarded for painting and conversion work: the best food-themed model.

gobber-chef-classic-2017-food-conversion-trophy

I’m really pretty proud of how the trophy for the conversion model turned out!

In addition, Enrico managed to get Whole Foods to sponsor the event as well and provide prize support in the form of a number of gift cards.With new table space and ample prize support, the Gobber Chef classic just needed players. And players we got, with 14 showing up for games.

Results

First up, the overall winners by points:

Gobber Chef Classic top three

Les (center) took first place with an undefeated run and best strength of schedule. Larry (right) got second, also undefeated. And Savage managed to finish third with only a single loss and one of the best strength of schedules for the day (5 means some harrowing opponents in all three rounds). 

Overall Standings from the event shook out as follows:

Name Caster Pairing Win/Loss Strength of Schedule CPs
Les Smartnick Maddox / Sloan 3 – 0 4 3
Larry Paladin III Makeda1 / Makeda2 3 – 0 3 10
Andrew Savage Amon / Vindictus 2 – 1 5 3
Ryan Nolte Denny3 / Terminus 2 – 1 4 10
Brad Randall Naaresh / Hexeris2 2 – 1 4 8
Stuart Surgent Durst 2 – 1 3 5
Mike Meharey Kraye / Caine1 1 – 2 6 10
Kyle Tanczos Scaverous / Denny1 1 – 2 6 3
Ryan Murray Thexus / Ossrum 1 – 2 4 0
Andy Dobies Stryker2 / Kraye 1 – 2 3 7
Alex P. Vyros1 / Kaelyssa 1 – 2 3 3
Kevin Finch Tanith / Kromac2 1 – 2 3 0
Addison Krueger2 / Kromac2 0 – 3 6 10
Larry Paladin IV Rask / Barnabas 0 – 3 4 3

On the best Food-themed conversion side of things:

img_5923

Kevin Finch won the overall prize with his epic Swamp Gobber River Waiters conversions. They’re delivering fine dining and a bit of death to battlefields across Immoren. 

food-entries

The other entries were great as well, from Mike’s chef-slash-sawbones, Larry’s Swamp Gobber Chef, and Addison’s Gorax-dining-on-a-Tharn conversion. Eeep!

We also gave out a best-painted award for the best of two fully painted lists.

Cryx Classic Color Scheme by Ryan Nolte

Ryan N. won with his classic Cryx scheme. Denny3 and Terminus. 

Gobber Chef Classic Painting and Sportsperson awards

(L to R) Addison won Best Sportsman, Ryan N. got the majority vote for his classic Cryx theme for best completely painted army, and Kevin won the best Food conversion. 

I also got a few action shots of games being played, though certainly not an exhaustive set.

IMG_5915

Ryan N.’s Denny3 clashes against Addison’s Krueger2, and managed to pull out the win on scenario thanks to a Poltergeist effect pushing Krueger2 off a flag when he missed a shot. Ouch!

IMG_5916

Larry in the final stages of his plan to have Molik Karn strigke from all the way downtown and take out Kyle’s Denny1 (she’s hiding right behind the pumpkin objective, and Karn is the yellow proxy base). 

IMG_5918

Crash of the heavies as Larry IV’s Rask-led wall of warbeasts met Brad’s Naaresh-led wall of warbeasts. 

IMG_5914

Andy’s Kraye got a little too close to Ryan M.’s Ossrum list and was shot down by all the little dwarf jacks. 

IMG_5929

Denny3 again for Ryan N., who was worn down by the sheer volume of Savage’s Vindictus list. 

IMG_5930

Mike’s Cygnar try to hold the line versus Brad’s wall of Naaresh, but the big elephants triumphed again. 

IMG_5931

Andy’s Cygnar, this time led by Stryker2, faced off again Stu’s Durst list. In a complete grind that ended with literally only the two casters left trying to kill each other, Stu managed to win thanks to a Durst retributive strike on Stryker2. 

IMG_5921

This last one came after a battle: Kevin’s Kromac2 sits down for a pleasant goblin-served dinner with Savage’s Vindictus following their epic clash. 

Gobber Chef Classic Door Prizes from Whole Foods

Finally, a shot of the winners of the Whole Foods Door Prizes: various gift cards loaded with cash kindly provided by the grocery company to support our local endeavor!

 

 

The Empire Returns

The Empire Returns

Okay, so I’ve played Skorne for a long, long time. And despite always moving on, it seems that I always come back to it. This time it was two things. One, some friends getting fired up about doing a joint Skorne project together. And two, finding a painting scheme that I liked for my Immortals and Ancestral Guardians units. So it meant some change in what I’m painting (tho with Zaal1, I refined some of my purple painting and I’m relatively pleased there too). I also got a few games in with the Skorne to shake the rust off, and the new Errata has pleased me a great deal. It seems like around this time last year I was fooling around with Hexy1, so it was a nice thing to drop right back into him with added improvements. I also got Zaal1 painted up so I can start to give him a go (need one more unit of Immortals finished to run him, I’m thinking).

As always: first painting progress, then games.

1-skorne-supreme-aptimus-zaal-zaal1-kovaas-alternate-color-scheme-purple

I’m really liking the way these two show all the colors of my force at once. Yellow for magic/soul energy, purple armor, mixed brown-to-yellow robes with pale blue cording, and jade statues. 

skorne-hakaar-the-destroyer-jade-color-scheme

Hakaar the Destroyer. I like the model a ton, but I’m still somewhat meh on him without the right list (Zaal2 I’m guessing). 

2-skorne-ancestral-guardians-jade

Three Ancestral Guardians. They’re great after the errata, as boosting Immortals’ speed is critical. 

3-skorne-immortals-jade

The Jade Immortals themselves. I really like the way they turned out. 

On the gaming side, I managed to get in three games. All of them with Hexeris1, as I wanted to try out his changed-up abilities. I’m loving Parasite with Skorne, and the fact that he upkeeps one spell for free is a big deal in his spell-slinging ability. And as always, his feat was HUGE when it was huge, and terribad when used at the wrong time/against the wrong foe. Ah, good to see he hasn’t changed too much.

skorne-versus-retribution-of-scyrah

First game was versus Steve’s Retribution force. Against Dawnguard, Hexy1’s feat was great. Took out an entire unit with a single shot from a Cyclops Raider to start the chain. I’ll take it! Managed to swarm the shooting elements with Immortals, as Krea-boosted ARM 20 on the approach is tough to stop. That let Hexy1 get a Gun Bug into melee with the objective to win the match. Bonus shout-out to Steve for the great looking Chimera model. 

skorne-hexeris1-vs-cygnar-nemo3

Second game was against Michael’s lovely Cygnar force. He fielded Nemo3 in theme, while I took a bit more shooty of a package with Hexy1. Again, the Feat turn worked. Took out his whole unit of Stormblade Infantry, though it took a lot more of my models to keep the chain running. The game was still close, as his Warjacks were pressing hard on my weak side. I managed to get an opening to put Parasite on Nemo3 when he had no focus. Even though only two Bloodrunners actually got to him, their Death March MAT 9 charges with Gang were enough to finish him off. Great game, and now another player will not fall for Hexy1’s shenanigans again. That’s my main worry with him–once an opponent really knows, they can take more care with their clusters and spacing and minimize an already kinda-clunky Feat. 

skorne-hexeris1-vs-skorne-zaadesh2

Third game was against Brad’s Skorne. Time for a Skorne-off! He fielded Zaadesh2. Honestly, I should have lost this game–so I’ll only credit luck on my part and food poisoning on Brad’s. He was way ahead on attrition, but Hexy1 managed to get to the objective himself and cap the game for the win solo-style. Swarm (from the Aradus Sentinel) is a great animus. The lesson of this game, tho, was that Hexy1 vs. Tough troops is bad, bad news. Not only do they tend to survive, but you cannot kill them after knocked down–as they cannot make the advance or swing if knocked down. Too many chances for an opponent to get lucky and stop the Feat train. 

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):

111/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 26 (Win/Loss 20/6/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

3 Wins (Kaelyssa, Nemo3, Zaadesh2) / 0 Losses

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)

Trollbloods:

4 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn) / 1 Loss (Feora3)

Points for the Pointy-Eared

Points for the Pointy-Eared

Another stretch of gaming, more painting and games. I’m on a roll for 2017 so far, and I hope to keep it up. Retribution has become a very entertaining faction to play and to paint so far. I’m still inclined to play some of my Skorne as well, but these ladies and gents will do for a while. As always, painting first:

1-adeptis-rahn-retribution-of-scyrah-alternate-color-scheme-red

Adeptis Rahn. I like how he turned out, and he has been quite the pleasure to play on the battlefield so far. I know he’s going to take a long time to master, despite the fact that I’ve been successful in most early games with him. 

2-retribution-of-scyrah-sphinx

Sphinx heavy warjack. The Vyre chassis seems to take longer to paint than the Shyeel chassis. A lot more red surfaces in the arm joins and legs I think. Still, pleased enough with him. 

3-retribution-of-scyrah-arcanist-mechanik

Arcanist Mechanik. He was fun to paint up, and was my main test for how I’ll be handling the different cloth and leather tones on my Retribution models. So far so good I think. 

On the battles side, there were no tournaments in the first half of this month so it was mostly just open games against friends. I did get a good amount of variety in my games. I’m hoping to play a Steamroller with my Retribution in mid-February, so that’s on the docket–which means I’ve got to punch my painting and practice games into overdrive.

1-retribution-elara2-vs-khador-strakov

I got a few more games in with Elara2 before swapping to Rahn. First was against Andy’s Khador. It is a warjack brick with Strakov. The speed of Elara2 caught him off guard, and I managed to get my Chimera into Strakov as he dealt with my force to finish the job. 

2-retribution-elara2-vs-circle-tanith

I faced Kevin’s Circle Orboros force led by Tanith next, and lost the game to assassination. He staggered his stuff well enough that I couldn’t leverage the threat range the force can generate, which eventually led to a Warpwolf to the face for Elara2 as I had to get more desperate with my positioning. 

3-retribution-elara2-vs-cricle-grayle

Final game with Elara2 for now was against Charles’ Circle force, facing Grayle the Farstrider. It was a good match that turned into a grind. Ended with Grayle having to make a play for Elara2 and failing, leaving Elara to finish him off in return. I had to show the picture of Charles’ Gorax above, because he still uses the old metal model. I like the new one, but the old one has a silly charm to it. 

4-retribution-rahn-vs-skorne-zaadesh2

Got started with Rahn against Brad’s Skorne force led by Zaadesh2. This was an absolute slugfest, but Rahn’s annoying telekinesis to keep his warbeasts turned around and out of the game was sufficient to get me the opening I needed on Zaadesh. 

5-retribution-rahn-vs-trollbloods-borka1

This great shot of Joe’s Dire Troll Mauler smashing my Chimera was part of a game of Rahn vs. his Borka1. Again, keep-away and isolating warbeasts with telekinesis led to an advantage. My mostly-dead Sphinx could block most of Borka’s stumbling drunk movements, and the Manticore managed to get into his back arc for a hit that finished him. 

6-retribution-rahn-vs-circle-tanith

Rahn faced my good friend Kevin’s Circle Orboros Tanith list, ready for redemption. Kevin played a very tight game again, but the Chimera was just able to slip free of the Reeves that ran to engage it with its Apparition move in the control phase. A quick run and it was right up within range to ignore Tanith’s Prowl-given stealth. That let Rahn knock her into the stone, then telekinesis her to partially out of the woods. And the Sphinx shot plus Battle Mages did the rest. 

7-retribution-rahn-vs-skorne-makeda1

Rahn again against Ryan’s Makeda1 Skorne list. I’m really liking what he can do in terms of personal impact. In this game, he got a good Forcehammer onto her that sent her into the Agonizer, then a Telekinesis to turn her around and Battle Mages to pull her out and kill her. When Rahn works, he seems very powerful to be sure. 

8-retribution-rahn-vs-cryx-venethrax

Venethrax was a tougher challenge for Rahn than others, as Lamentation doesn’t make things easy. Mercifully I could use my arc node and get the right telekinesis into him and let the Sphinx in the back do the rest of the work. A good game against Charles’ Cryx.

9-retribution-rahn-vs-cryx-gaspy1

Last game of this set was my first loss with Rahn, against Adam’s Cryx led by Asphyxious1. Rahn got a bit too ambitious where he stood at the end of the game having used his stack of Focus to severely hamper the enemy. Gaspy1’s feat gave him just enough oomph to seal the deal with a spell assassination. This was a great game and a long grind–Adam is a cagey opponent and definitely won due to his good positioning throughout the game. 

 

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):

62/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 23 (Win/Loss 17/6/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)

Trollbloods:

4 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn) / 1 Loss (Feora3)

Retributive Strikes

Retributive Strikes

My Retribution of Scyrah army is growing in size and experience. I’ve added more models, and gotten a variety of games under my belt thus far. First, as always, the new additions:

 

1-retribution-of-scyrah-aspis-alternate-color-scheme-red

The humble Aspis. It’s a cheap model with shield guard and the ability to regenerate damage. It seemed like a good choice to add, and I really like the way that reposing the leg made him a lot more dynamic than some of my other warjacks for the faction. A friend Scott suggested that I paint the orbs on his hands like basketballs and put an Air Jordan logo on his shoulderpad. Funny, but I like him as he is. 

2-retribution-of-scyrah-lys-healer

I also added a Lys Healer to support my current Warcaster, Elara2. With absolutely no defensive tech other than a mid-high defense of 16, Elara2 has felt very squishy to me. The Lys Healer goes a long way in shoring that up, for a very cheap points cost. I’m pleased with the paint job, and I love the deep hood of the model itself. 

On the gaming front, I got in a variety of games at different points levels. The momentous game of the week was against my friend Charles. He’s cooked up a sort of story-driven campaign, and is inviting friends to join in with portions of it. Charles is always a great opponent who puts RPG-level elements into these types of games, so I was happy to jump in.

3-scenario-objectives

For instance, he made these special scenario markers for the first event. Two strange symbol tablets and a pile of energy crystals. 

The story is set in the Black River region of the Iron Kingdoms, and involves different factions competing over strange Orgoth runes that are appearing from the earth.Charles even wrote up a hand-written mission for it–I had to share for the old school gaming cred and great penmanship alone.

4-charles-is-old-school-with-gaming

A blast from the gaming past.  

5-elara2-vs-venethrax

The game itself was a fun mission, where Elara2 faced off against Venethrax. I used teleport to grab one of the three objectives early (in this battle, you carry them with you). Venethrax gathered the other two, so I had to set up a chance to steal them. Again, Teleport saves the day: I rushed up, managed to hit enough to take both, then teleported away with my final two. My warjacks ran to box Venny and his army out of a path to Elara2 and I was home free with all of the objectives. A great game, and a fun narrative story. 

I also got in a bunch of regular games with my Retribution over the past two weeks. I’m really liking Elara2 in terms of threat range and flexibility. I’m excited to add more into the force to support her, but I’m also inclined to get some practice with a second Warcaster as well so I can start to suss out a pairing.

6-elara2-vs-malekus

Terry’s great-looking Protectorate force faced off against mine. Thanks to a few bad dice rolls on his part, my Chimera survived a failed assassination run on Malekus to get the killing blow the subsequent turn. 

7-elara2-vs-gaspy1

My game against Adam’s Cryx was a fun one marked by Elara2 demonstrating just how far her Warjacks can project threat. A running and fleet Griffon with Scything Touch from across the board combined with a Manticore to put some serious worry into Gaspy1. He survived, but was finished off by the Aspis in the subsequent round. 

8-elara2-vs-ragnor

Joe is a new player in our meta, who has a great-looking Trollbloods force already growing. His Pyre Troll in particular looks super-dynamic. I clashed against his Ragnor force. Unfortunately, my experience with Trollbloods meant a strong advantage for me against a newer player, so I ended up with a win. 

9-elara2-vs-xekaar

A close loss to Ryan’s Xekaar-led Skorne army. I really like a lot of the changes to Skorne with the errata, and they’re definitely on my docket for a return once I get my Retribution into shape. But Xekaar still stinks as far as I’m concerned. Ryan plays him about as well as he can be played in my opinion, so kudos to him for polishing that turd as best as can be. 

10-elara2-vs-zaadesh2

Final game of the week was against Brad’s Skorne force. Skorne is getting really popular now that they’ve got some interesting warlocks. Definitely got me to make them my Hordes priority for 2017. Zaadesh2 was definitely ahead in the attrition game, but as Brad said “maybe I should have looked closer at your Feat”. A knockdown from a thrown Gladiator let Elara2 stroll directly through a huge obelisk that was blocking her way on feat turn and finish the job. Ghostly is a solid ability to be able to access. 

 

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):

41/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 14 (Win/Loss 10/4/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Retribution of Scyrah:

6 Wins (Tanith, Venethrax, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2) / 3 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar)

Trollbloods:

4 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn) / 1 Loss (Feora3)

Return to the Kriels

Return to the Kriels

I took my Trollbloods on the road for a Steamroller event about an hour away. I was reasonably pleased with my progress with Trolls, and the event taught me a fair bit about my thoughts going forward in 2017 in terms of factions and painting progress.

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Trollkin Runebearer. Yeah, I’m really proud of this guy. He turned out great. I think I worked out a really slick scheme for my Trolls, and this model brings all the bits together well. He also filled a need in the Steamroller pairings, as I definitely needed his support to make Jarl work more effectively. 

The Steamroller was a standard 3 rounds tournament, and a good 14 people were there for it. My pairing was a Jarl list that I’ve been working on using the Power of Dhunia theme list, and a Borka list that I wasn’t, and still am not, particularly happy with. I’ve included the Jarl list below:

War Room Army – Trollblood – Jarl has too many Upkeeps

Theme: The Power of Dhunia – 75 / 75 Army

Armory – Steamroller Objective

Jarl Skuld, Devil of the Thornwood – WB: +30
–    Trollkin Runebearer – PC: 0
–    Dire Troll Bomber – PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 19)
–    Dire Troll Blitzer – PC: 16 (Battlegroup Points Used: 11)
–    Dire Troll Blitzer – PC: 16
–    Dire Troll Mauler – PC: 15
–    Storm Troll – PC: 9
–    Troll Axer – PC: 10
–    Troll Bouncer – PC: 9
–    Troll Impaler – PC: 11
Janissa Stonetide – PC: 0
Troll Whelps – 5 Whelps: 0
Troll Whelps – 5 Whelps: 0

Jarl’s upkeeps are his main problem, and this helps minimize that problem by letting you start with upkeeps on models–normally it takes him two turns to cast all three if you want them. I like Quicken on Jarl himself, Weald Secrets on a Blitzer to go hunting through forests, and Tactical Supremacy on a Bomber for the ranged attack then retreat trick. So far I’ve been really pleased with the list.

I took the Borka1 list because I’ve been rather unhappy with non-ranged Trollbloods lists recently. I’ve enjoyed Hunters Grim, but them AND Jarl was not a good plan as a pairing. I got in a practice game shortly before the Steamroller with my buddy Ryan to test out a Grissel1 list that I liked.

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The list was pretty heavy on the infantry, and while I did well and won the test game, I could tell that playing to a clock was not going to happen with this list without a lot more practice. Way too much toggling of buffs to make it work. 

That left me with a Jarl list that I really enjoy, but no melee pairing that I particularly liked. My Doomshaper2 army with five heavies is a fine list, but would have the same weaknesses as the Jarl list (all warbeasts). The Grissel1 list was too slow, Hunters Grim too much of the same offensively, and I haven’t gotten enough practice with Ragnor or Madrak2 to really feel comfortable setting them on the table. Thus, it was the old standby Borka1. He’s easy to play, so I took him for this tourney.

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My first match was against Savage’s Feora3 list. It was fun playing a new warcaster, and Savage is a fun opponent. Tho I believe the last game he and I played was also with Borka1! Unable to project threat and deal with his Daughters in reasonable fashion (thanks to a whole lot of missing by the Trollkin Champions), it started to go downhill fast. He won by scenario, as Borka proved unassailable as always but just not supportive enough of his army in my opinion. Defense 16 Champions is great, to be sure, but it’s just too little and I couldn’t clear the jam effectively. I’ve heard people on podcasts thinking that Feora3’s feat turn isn’t that great, but man… Daughters with acrobatics can really get anything they want lit on fire during the feat turn. 

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Second match was against Larry Jr’s Minions, led by Barnabas. Frustrated by Borka, I resolved to just play Jarl in the next two matches. This one was a pretty simple win for me, as Larry is a developing player–I got ahead on clock and scenario, and there’s not much you can do against that but feed units into the fast and accurate ranged list. A good game nonetheless. 

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My third match is the one I’m most happy about, facing Sean’s Trollbloods and Gunnbjorn. It was a “my feat nullifies your shooting” battle of subsequent feats against two equally shooty armies. I got slightly ahead in points, so he went for the long range assassination on Jarl–and got so very, very close. Man, the War Wagon can hit shots from way downtown with Gunnbjorn! Jarl managed to live with two boxes left, then engineer his own ranged assassination of Gunnbjorn. It was a hard-fought game against a cagey opponent, so I’m pretty pleased with that result. 

All-in-all for the Steamroller I went 2-1. As always, I had a good time. I got to play a brand new opponent, give my Jarl list some real stress-testing, and just get into a somewhat different meta and check out what lists people are fielding.

That said, I have the distinct feeling that my Trollbloods will retreat to their Kriels for a much-deserved rest. I’ve played a whole lot of them this past 2016, and while I like them I’m feeling a bit constrained with some of the limitations of Trolls. It’s not that I mislike the faction, or I’m worried about power level, just that the variation in Troops choices is a bit underwhelming for the faction. I’ve still got my love for Jarl, but I’m inclined to test some other waters for my Hordes faction of 2017.

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):

32/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 8 (Win/Loss 5/3/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

 

Retribution of Scyrah:

1 Win (Tanith) / 2 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra)

Trollbloods:

4 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn) / 1 Loss (Feora3)

Italians in Action

Italians in Action

Another few weeks, another game of Bolt Action with my Italian force. Time to update with my painting progress and the game I played.

I’ve been wanting to add a tank for a while, so it was time: the Carro Armato M13/40 tank joined my force’s ranks.

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I’m reasonably pleased with my M13/40, except for the the unit indicator in red. The black line at first seemed to improve it, but the more I look I think that it would be better without the black border on the symbol. 

This week’s game again had me teaming up with a German force against a large army of the British. We had planned a 2v2 scenario to teach a new player, but with life complications to one of our number we had to proceed together with three: my Italians plus James running the Germans, versus Chris’ host of British infantry. The scenario was envelopment, and not surprisingly the Italians got the position of defender. Yay for national rules (?). Our forces set up on the table edge and waited for the British to appear.

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With the German 88 gun suffering numerous pins from preparatory and artillery bombardments, combined with failing their rally test, the British tried for a quick points grab with their armored vehicle. The Italian Elefantino team survived fire from the car to return a shot, and blew it up on their first try. Got to impress the nearby Germans apparently. 

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As the British line closed, I worked to take out any real anti-tank threats. Which meant that my tank could run roughshod over the infantry when it came onto the table. Definitely liking the durable yet mobile platform for those machine guns. 

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The British soldiers were better off ignoring the tank, so ignore they did. Instead they charged the 88’s position. The gun crew were slaughtered to a man: which meant the great casualty models could find a use. Assaulting Bersaglieri managed to wipe out the British vets in return. That left the Allies side short of the number of units in the Axis deployment zone to scrape a win, so it was victory for the Italians and Germans combined. 

A good game with some improbable dice, which made it all the more memorable. I’m looking forward to finishing up some more infantry for my force, as that’s what it really needs.

Battles (Bolt Action):

Overall Totals 2017: 4 (Win/Loss: 2/2/0)

Italians: 2 Wins / 2 Losses

Journeyman 2017

Journeyman 2017

Our local Crossbones Crew gaming club kicked off 2017 with a bang: a Journeyman League. All the details on the league can be found here, and this page will track the League standings and feature pictures of the clashes and painting progress. Players shouldn’t be disheartened if they’re not in first place: remember that you get the full starter design patch and three bars for getting a game in all six weeks, whether you win or lose.

Final Standings

Skorne started strong and remained strong in the event, with both Brad and Ryan finishing at 3 total Destroyer points. Adam was the third who managed to net three, with his Gaspy1-led Cryx. Andy and I each earned two Destroyer points, with Andy playing the role of spoiler in the final week: none of the leaders managed to beat his final week record, so they split at three–meaning that we had to run a tie-break championship event. Kevin also managed to sneak in a Destroyer point in an early week to reach the upper standings.

All told, we saw 74 games of Warmachine and Hordes played during the event over all six weeks. It was a great Journeyman league, and people really stepped up their play and their painting for this one.

When looking at the standings, remember that as a Journeyman things are a bit different: so best record is first destroyer points, then wins, and then third total games (rather than ratio of wins to losses as would be usual). Better to play a bunch and lose than not play at all!

Name Faction (Caster) Win/Loss Weekly Painting Destroyer Points
Brad Randall Skorne (Zaadesh2) 12 – 4 0/1/1/1/1/1 1/0/1/0/1/0
Ryan Nolte Skorne (Xekaar – Makeda1) 10 – 7 1/1/1/1/1/1 1/1/1/0/0/0
Adam Rutledge Cryx (Gaspy1) 9 – 5 1/1/1/1/1/1 1/0/0/1/1/0
Andrew Lotz* Skorne (Hexy1) 12 – 5 1/1/1/1/1/1 0/1/0/1/0/0
Andy Dobies Khador (Strakov – Butcher3) 8 – 4 1/1/1/1/1/1 1/0/0/0/0/1
Kevin Finch Circle (Tanith) 3 – 8 1/1/1/1/0/0 0/0/1/0/0/0
Joe Seals Trollbloods (Ragnor – Borka1) 2 – 7 0/1/1/1/1/1 0/0/0/0/0/0
Steve Yaworski Retribution (Kaelyssa) 6 – 3 0/0/0/0/1/0 0/0/0/0/0/0
Scott Kinola Cygnqar (Maddox – Nemo3) 1 – 7 1/0/1/1/1/1 0/0/0/0/0/0
Colton McBryer Khador (Kozlov) 3 – 1 0/1/0/0/0/0 0/0/0/0/0/0
Tom Kelly Protectorate (Thyra) 2 – 1 1/1/0/0/0/0 0/0/0/0/0/0
Gary Hart Cygnar (Haley 0 – 4 0/1/0/1/0/1 0/0/0/0/0/0
Brandon Mozingo Legion (Kryssa) 2 – 2 0/1/0/0/0/0 0/0/0/0/0/0
Ian Fielder Khador (Sorscha1) 1 – 2 1/0/0/0/0/0 0/0/0/0/0/0
Dana Babal Protectorate (Malekus) 1 – 2 0/0/0/0/0/0 0/0/0/0/0/0
Terry Mealy Protectorate (Malekus) 0 – 4 1/0/0/0/0/0 0/0/0/0/0/0
Kyle Tanczos Cryx (Deneghra3) 0 – 4 0/0/0/0/0/0 0/0/0/0/0/0
* As the event organizer, my standings don’t really count as I don’t win prizes.

Week One: 0-Point Lists

I missed a fair number of photo opportunities in the madness of getting all 14 players signed up and set up for the games. But we had a full house, and everyone is excited about the fact that Drawbridge Games will be nearly tripling their amount of gaming space starting in February.

journeyman-week-one-skorne-cryx-circle-retribution-khador-protectorate

Some of the pictures I did get of games. Clockwise from top-left. War of the Skorne between Brad and Ryan. Adam’s Cryx move in against Kevin’s desert-themed Circle Orboros force. Andy’s Khador brick pushes toward Terry’s defensively-postured Protectorate on a hill. Tom’s great purple-scheme Protectorate man the walls against my Retribution. 

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Didn’t get as many shots of the games this first week, but I got one of FOUR games going on at once. Heated warfare across the Iron Kingdoms! Everyone is concentrating except for Brad–I guess when you go undefeated for the day you can mug for the camera. 

Week Two: 10-point Lists

Clashes continued as Battlegroups expanded in all sorts of ways.

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Andy’s war-worn Khador trade blows across a stone wall with Gary’s sleek Cygnar. Tom’s Protectorate deal with the pain that is Admonition on Kevin’s heavy Warpwolf. Adam’s Asphyxious plays keep-away with the onrushing Skorne forces of Brad. Dana’s Protectorate get in a shooting match from the trench system with Colton’s Khador. 

week-2-journeyman-2

Joe’s amazing addition for week 2, a Pyre troll smashing through a tree, gets into the face of Adam’s Cryx. Dana’s friend is fire as his Protectorate sears the paint from Gary’s Cygnar. Scott’s Cygnar grind a long game against Steve’s Retribution. And Ryan’s Skorne watch carefully for Brandon’s Legion creeping through the treeline. 

Week Three: 25-point Lists

Troops arrive on the scene, making the battles a bit more varied!

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Ryan’s Xekaar faces Kyle’s mighty Deneghra3, and manages to assassinate her. Kevin’s Circle found the path through Elara2’s defenses to victory. It was a battle of Red-on-Red as Ryan’s Skorne managed to triumph over Andy’s Khador. And the Pirate Fleet arrived in force as Adam’s Cryx took the fight to Steve’s Retribution. 

week-3-2

Kevin’s Warpwolf slips away from Joe’s Dire Troll Mauler thanks to Admonition. Adam’s Gaspy1 makes his heroic last stand in the face of Andy’s Khadorian might. Scott’s Cygnar face the rush of Brad’s Nihilators. Kyle’s Deneghra3 towers over the battlefield as Brad’s Skorne press forward. 

Week Four: 50-point Lists

The fight was on as lists really fleshed out. Almost everyone added some measure of troops by this point, and some people opted for Warcaster and Warlock changes this week.

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Steve’s Retribution manage to weather the storm against Andy’s brick of Strakov-led warjack fury. Adam’s Reaper goes toe-to-toe with Scott’s light warjack. It was a clash of Cryx-on-Cryx as Kyle’s Deneghra3 squared off against Adam’s Gaspy1: “Now, the Student will become the Master!” And Joe’s Trollbloods, led by Borka1, duked it out against my Retribution force. 

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More and more Retribution and Skorne action this week. Steve’s Retribution managed to stop the advance of Brad’s Skorne, while my Retribution took out Kevin’s Circle Warlock, Tanith. Brad then got in a double-header on Sunday against two different Cygnar players. First (on the left of the image above, rather than clockwise) he faced Scott’s Cygnar, then Gary’s Cygnar. He managed to get a win in both, but Adam and I still ended the week as the top scorers overall.

Week Five: 65-point Lists

Games got a bit less frequent as they start taking just that little bit longer at this points value (closer to two hours rather than one). Still, ample clashes to observe!

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Steve’s Retribution force, commanded by Kaelyssa, comes under assault from Adam’s ghost pirates. Clashing Skorne forces of Ryan and Brad form the “my tusks overhang my base” conga line of death. Adam’s parrots of death (Carrion Thralls) rush into Brad’s Skorne front line. Gary’s Cygnar take refuge behind a building as Andy’s Butcher3 slowly advances. 

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Metal meets stone as Steve’s Chimera faces down my Hakaar the Destroyer. Andy’s Khador force takes the battle to Brad’s Skorne. Scott’s journeyman-guided Charger blasts at Joe’s Fire Eaters. Ryan’s Makeda1 tries to finish off Brad’s Zaadesh2, but comes up just short. 

Week 6: 75-point lists

Week six was for all the marbles, when people brought out all the stops in their lists.

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Joe’s Dire Troll Mauler EXTREME crashes into Ryan’s Cyclops Raider. Steve’s Retribution manage assassinate Kyle’s Denny3–it’s hard to hide that big base. The Jade constructs of my Skorne crashed into Brad’s Zaadesh2 list–Hexeris1 managed to win the battle through extreme luck of cutting his way to the enemy objective despite losing on attrition. Andy’s Khador press into Adam’s Cryxian forces, inflicting terrible losses. 

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Steve’s lone Chimera faced down the entirety of Adam’s Cryx. Ryan’s Ferox cavalry manage to put out Joe’s Fire Eaters. Adam’s Satyxis Gunslingers take out Andy’s converted ash-wastes Kazazy Assassins. And Joe’s force fought hard, but couldn’t stop Ryan’s Bronzeback from reaching the objective. What the elephant will do with all those sacks of potatoes is anyone’s guess, but it won Ryan the game. 

Fully Painted Journeyman Armies

I wanted to make a separate space to recognize all the players who fielded a fully-painted force through the entire event. I need to get a couple more shots to complete things, but the first two were Joe’s Trollbloods (which won the Best Painted award for the league) and Ryan’s Skorne.

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I love the snowy basing and the fire effects. Great stuff! This force won the Best Painted award, and was very deserving of the recognition chosen by the players (via vote). 

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That’s a beautiful classic Skorne color scheme.

New Year New War

New Year New War

Well, it’s 2017 and time for a brand new year of Warmachine and Hordes battles. As I mentioned in my past post, I have four goals for 2017:

  • Settle on a caster pairing and play a majority of games with them
  • Focus on a single Hordes and a single Warmachine force for the year
  • Play in more “away” tournaments
  • Paint at least 365 points this year
  • Play 150 games or more this year

Points two and four I’m doing the best on, as I’m really making myself limit to Trollbloods and Retribution of Scyrah for 2017 as best I can. I really like the paint scheme I’ve worked out for both, and painting them is smooth and quick for me, and that’s a big part of what I need to stay focused on factions. On the painting side, working through the models I’m using to jumpstart Retribution is a good start to the year. Here are my completed models for 2017 so far (I painted the Griffon in 2016):

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I wanted to try something different, so Elara2, Death’s Shadow, seemed like a fun option. Her running pose made her miserable to take a good close-up photo. I’m looking forward to learning her play style, and I really encouraged by how far she can project melee threat with her force. 

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Retribution of Scyrah Chimera warjack.

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And of course, the Manticore to go with it. 

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This is the combined photo for what I’ve finished in the faction thus far. I’m really liking their look on the table, and I think it will be all the better when I get infantry and more Warjacks mixed in. 

For points one and three, things are a bit less clear. I need to get some tourneys on my schedule–I wasn’t able to go to the Las Vegas Open, though I truly wanted to. I’m eyeing GenCon, and I’m inclined toward Lock and Load and NOVA if I can swing them. I’ll also keep my eyes peeled for more single-day-away tourneys during the year. And on the caster side, I’ve got my Warlocks pretty well refined: Borka1 and Hunters Grim seem like my go-to pair for a while, though I may paint up Calandra to give her some reps and I’m tinkering with a Jarl list that might be fun. Warcasters is where I’m a bit behind: I’m going to give Elara2 a try for a while, and maybe spread into another from their current ADR list or out into the faction.

As for new year games, I’ve gotten a couple in. Of course, my Retribution games are going to be small–but I hope to remedy that soon (even if I have to play unpainted a few times… I’ll just limit photos to the good-looking portions).

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The first real game of 2017: My Jarl Skuld test using the Power of Dhunia theme list. This game was a friendly practice game, where I asked my opponent to bring an infantry-heavy list, as that’s what I’m worried about with my Jarl force. I ended up clearing some infantry, but Gaspy1 was left a bit open so I engineered an assassination. It nearly went awry, but thank goodness for the Bulldoze ability through the Blitzer’s animus! He managed to get into range and land the last shot to win the game. 

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Thyra bunkers up behind a wall to receive the charge of the myrmidons! A quick clash against Tom’s Protectorate ended with Thyra taking out my Warcaster after I completely flubbed my own melee charge attacks. 

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The Manticore lays down covering fire into the forest, sensing that the beasts of Circle Orboros lurk behind. Kevin’s beautifully-painted desert theme Circle were a pleasure to play. I managed to pull out a win. 

I also played Brad’s Skorne led by Zaadesh2, which was a fun upgraded journeyman casters/warlocks clash. However I failed to get a photo. Zaadesh was able to man-handle my forces effectively–by the time I got to a point to handle the clouds on a dense terrain table, I was too behind in attrition to be effective.

All in all an average start to 2017. I’m looking forward to many more games!

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):

28/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 4 (Win/Loss 2/2/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Gaspy1) / 0 Losses

Retribution of Scyrah:

1 Win (Tanith) / 2 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra)