Month: December 2015

Journey into Death

Journey into Death

 

Given the holiday break, I had a chance to get some games in on a Monday night against some new players at Legions Games on the north side of the city (I’m spoiled to be in a city where there are three stores that all support Warmachine and Hordes). These were 50 point steamroller games, and while I’m feeling more confident with my Trollbloods than Cryx, I wanted to start getting used to timed rounds using the infantry-heavy Cryx force, so I bundled them up and took a Lord Exhumator Scaverous list.

So far I’ve been doing quite well at Journeyman games with Asphyxious–at the box size and 15 points the Leviathan is just too destructive at range with Gaspy waiting for his excellent melee assassination chance. As my last post about that league notes, now that we’re at larger points the list advantage is gone, and I’m having to get a handle on the complexities of Cryx. So it was good to get some games in at higher points levels with some really good foes to give myself a challenge to rise to as I sort out these casters and this force.

But first up, as always, my painting progress. I was really pleased, because I had everything painted for these 50 point games except for one unit and two solos. One of my goals of 2016 is to try and play only painted models in games, and I’m getting very close to that threshold (plus there is another incentive that will help–see later in this post).

Necrosurgeon and Stitch Thralls Cryx

First up was a Necrosurgeon and three Stitch Thralls. Mechanithralls without them are simply not as threatening, so this was a very necessary 2 point addition to the army.

Cryx Chalkboardwar

I also added the character warjack Erebus, because he is the bonded jack to Lord Exhumator Scaverous (who I’m going to be running a fair amount). He can trash a fair amount of infantry and generate souls for Scaverous, which seemed like a good addition to my force. Plus, it’s fluffy! The story in the Wrath book abouve Scaverous using Erebus to ambush a train full of dead Khador wizards to steal the information in their skulls’ essences was what sold me on him.

Cryx vs Cygnar

Anyhow, enough on the painting. My first game was against Larry’s Cygnar force. It was Haley with a Stormwall and two large units of the various Cygnar cavalry as the main element. I had a lot of fun in the game, even though my force was picked apart pretty cleanly until Scaverous was assassinated by the Stormwall. I definitely need to work on how to deal with armies built to mash infantry–how to space against electro-leaping is critical. And just takes games like this one getting brutalized. But still a lot of fun, and a great opponent.

Cryx vs Cephalyx

My second game of the evening was against Ryan’s Cephalyx led by Cognifex Cyphon. I’ve played against Cephalyx before, but only against Exulon Thexus–and despite seeing largely the same force across from me as that time, this one ran very different. I had a great time in losing, as Ryan was a fun player who had a lot of experience with Cryx–and he was able to help me learn a lot more about my fledgling force. That’s one of the coolest parts of gaming, as he was willing to share some thoughts about how I could improve after the game that really helped. Cephaylx are fun to play against as they’re neat to see the opponent unfold the plan–it’s always complex, and fun to see unfold (e.g. “this one dies to power that one to move here and allow this spell to be used”). The game ended on scenario, at the point where we realized that I might or might not get one more point, but couldn’t prevent him scoring his fifth for the win that or the following turn.

Overall a great night of gaming on a random Monday evening!

Finally (this post is a long one), I wanted to mention my 2016 project: painting 365 points worth of models.

Painting Challenge

The Warmachine and Hordes Painting Facebook group is hosting a challenge to paint 365 points in 365 days. And I’m participating. My goal is to use this year to get fully painted and flexible-in-options forces for my Cryx and Trollbloods. I may also get some Skorne pieces painted depending on my motivation level with that force–though I’m leaning toward focusing just on the one Hordes and one Warmachine force. The picture above is my to-do list for Cryx to start the year (the contest organizers gave a Christmas present of one week in 2016 to get started, hence my Necrosurgeon and Erebus counting toward the total). That’s 58 points of Cryx pictured, so I’ve got some work to do… good thing that I got two heavy warjack kits, a Dire Troll kit, and Darragh Wrathe as holiday gifts to add to the total.

365 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

10/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Total 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:
12 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, Morvahna2, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, Stryker, Venethrax, Butcher, Thagrosh, Exulon)   /   3 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa/Kaya, Borka)

Trollbloods:

2 Wins (Asphyxious, Stryker3)  /   5 Losses (Kaelyssa, Asphyxious2, Saeryn+Rhyas, Kromac, Kreoss2)

Cryx:

7 Wins (Stryker, Sorscha, Lylyth, Deneghra, Helga)  /  5 Losses (Sorscha, Sorscha2, Dr. Arkadius, Haley, Cyphon)

Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (Morvahna2, Kaelyssa)   /   0 Losses

Legion of Everblight:
5 Wins (Caine2, Kaya, Sorscha, Rahn)   /   1 Loss (Fiona)

 

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The Journey(man) Continues

The Journey(man) Continues

 

As I’ve posted before, we’ve got a Journeyman league running at Drawbridge Games, and it’s really growing! There are 14 players who have taken part thus far (3 Khador, 4 Cryx, 2 Menoth, 1 Legion, 1 Thornfall, 2 Cygnar, 1 Mercenaries), and we’ve just moved up to the 25 points level and caster swap weeks. Hence the need to share some coverage of my progress and events.

1 Cryx Lord Exhumator Scaverous Alternate Paint Scheme

So I started with the Asphyxious alternate starter for the league, but I knew I wanted to experiment with other casters. I told Enrico (the owner of Drawbridge and a Warmachine/Hordes enthusiast himself) that he could pick whatever caster he wanted and I’d give it a try as my next level for the league. Given that he was the owner, I was surprised he didn’t say Deneghra3 (she’d be a bigger sale for him, heh). But he went with Lord Exhumator Scaverous, so here he is in the (lack of) flesh.

Enrico said he went with Scaverous because he fit my play style: I like complexity. I’d rather lose in an attempt that’s interesting/complicated/not strightforward rather than win with a right-down-the-gullet beatstick (hence my Hexeris2 and Morghoul2 preference in Skorne). He probably saw me try the goofy two-handed throw assassination with Morghoul2 too often. It’s that “use the Cyclops Brute’s animus, throw Morghoul2, he sacks his attack but advances and then casts Flashing Blade a bunch while drawing from the Agonizer” level of complexity that I tend toward. And Scaverous is absolutely the same way. With Telekinesis, Ghost Walk, Feast of Worms, Icy Grip and a feat that lets him use them all boosted, he can pull off some really strange vectors and attacks. So he’ll be great for Journeyman games!

3 Withershadow Combine

Because I am running Scaverous, it seemed that the Withershadow Combine was a natural addition. They’re good models, and give a lot of tech that many lists need in Cryx (Puppet Master and spell removal). And they synergize with Scaverous’ feat turn to make certain they hit with their magic attacks.

4 Necrotechs

I also added some Necrotechs. Journeyman is somewhat warjack heavy because of the starting boxes, and I tend to like a few more heavies and lights in my lists than most people, so bringing some repair options for them seemed like a definite positive.

5 More Scrap ThrallsMy Scrap Thralls are getting different colors than the dark blue that I’m using for the rest of my army. I wanted them to look like they really were assembled on the run with whatever warjack bits were lying around on the battlefield.

Everyone has been painting a lot for the league, so I wanted to show off all the different battles from the past two weeks of the league. These are only the ones I remembered to get a photo from (I’m slacking, apparently)–but it shows the great variety of forces. And the fact that while everyone else varies color schemes on their forces, Khador insists on being painted Khador red.

6 Cryx vs Thornfall AllianceThey’re going hog-wild!

7 Khador vs LegionThe Scythean faces DOOOOOOM!

8 Cryx vs KhadorWhat happens when both forces decide to do the denied flank–on opposite sides.

9 Cryx vs ThornfallRyan’s Bane Thralls made a mess of the pigs, but the hogs still managed to finish Deneghra.

10 Khador vs CygnarThe classic match-up: Khador and Cygnar

11 Cryx vs Khador 2Doom Reavers are no one’s friend, especially not my Cryx’s.

12 Thornfall vs Cryx againNo shot of Scaverous, but this was my first game with him. His completely convoluted plan to assassinate Helga failed at the last moment (the backup backup was an attack on my own Scrap Thrall that had ran next to her). Yet he survived her assassination attempt due to bad dice, and finished her in very ordinary fashion on my turn–a couple slashes to the face with his magic scythe. 

Overall weeks 3 and 4 of the league went well. I lost more than I won, but I’m starting to get the hang of Cryx–still prone to mistakes because I have such a Hordes brain, but good learning experience.

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Total 2015: 41 (Win/Loss: 29/12/0)

Skorne:
12 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, Morvahna2, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, Stryker, Venethrax, Butcher, Thagrosh, Exulon)   /   3 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa/Kaya, Borka)

 

Trollbloods:

2 Wins (Asphyxious, Stryker3)  /   5 Losses (Kaelyssa, Asphyxious2, Saeryn+Rhyas, Kromac, Kreoss2)

Cryx:

7 Wins (Stryker, Sorscha, Lylyth, Deneghra, Helga)  /  3 Losses (Sorscha, Sorscha2, Dr. Arkadius)

Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (Morvahna2, Kaelyssa)   /   0 Losses

Legion of Everblight:
5 Wins (Caine2, Kaya, Sorscha, Rahn)   /   1 Loss (Fiona)

Warmachine/Hordes: Song

Warmachine/Hordes: Song

I got a couple more games in on Sunday, and added some new models to my Trollbloods for the game (as it was non-Journeyman League play). I finished a new warlock, Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller. I also added two new other models to run with her, a Fell Caller Hero and a Troll Bouncer. I forgot to get shots of the games, but I remembered to at least take pictures at the end–I was too busy losing both times. I lost a somewhat close one to a Kromac list, as I was able to keep good pressure up and the piece trades okay, only to leave just too narrow a gap between models that let Kromac turn on his animal form, teleport up, and smack Grissel to death. The second game was against a Kreoss2 list, and I squarely lost. I had an assassination opportunity with my ranged warbeasts and took it, but couldn’t quite seal the deal on damage. With 4 hit boxes left Kreoss closed the gaps around him that I had exploited in my failed in my attempt and bricked up, leaving me well behind and eventually annihilated.

Warmachine Hordes Trollbloods Grissel pGrissel Grissel1So I’m relatively pleased with the paint job on Grissel. I’m not particularly in love with the model, as the face is one of the worst I’ve seen in the faction. Having recently painted Janissa, who has a great expression and look, Grissel’s garbage-can mouth is just a travesty. That said, I’m pleased with how the model looks at a distance–standing amidst a force, the blue “magic” runes pop nicely in my otherwise earthtones plus dull orange army.

Warmachine Hordes Trollbloods Fell Caller HeroThis is the model I was most proud of in this group, as I really didn’t think he would turn out as nicely as he did. I’ve seen Fell Caller Heroes in other players’ forces, and never really liked the pose or paint job. But I’ll toot my own horn just a bit on this guy. I really liked how he turned out. He’s not the ideal piece to go with Grissel because their songs cannot stack, but he fit nicely into my thoughts for adjustments to my Madrak2 list and hit a nice 3-point spot that was missing in my first attempt at Grissel.

Warmachine Hordes Trollbloods Bouncer

 

Yeah, I had to do a Bouncer. I really wanted to get my hands on an old metal one, as his face has so much character to it. But plastic is so nice. And I’m reasonably pleased with his look now that I got him done. He’s the first of my clothed Troll warbeasts that I’ve finished (getting close on the Impaler), and I was worried that while I like the green stones look on the Earthborn, Swamp, and Storm that I painted up, that it would be watered down somehow on the clothed Bouncer, Impaler, and Axer. I think it remained pretty striking, and the limited metal palette I’m using wasn’t so bad here.

Overall, a win day for painting even if resulting in some losses for games. The good thing is the more I play Trollbloods, the more I’m liking the puzzle of how I want to win with them. I’ve seen how others win with them, and there’s lessons to be drawn there. But I’m having fun working out my own ideas. Just means a lot more lumps along the road.

Battles (Privateer Press):
Overall Total 2015: 37 (Win/Loss: 28/9/0)

Skorne:
12 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, Morvahna2, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, Stryker, Venethrax, Butcher, Thagrosh, Exulon)   /   3 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa/Kaya, Borka)

Trollbloods:

2 Wins (Asphyxious, Stryker3)  /   5 Losses (Kaelyssa, Asphyxious2, Saeryn+Rhyas, Kromac, Kreoss2)

Cryx:

6 Wins (Stryker, Sorscha, Lylyth, Deneghra)  /  0 Losses

Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (Morvahna2, Kaelyssa)   /   0 Losses

Legion of Everblight:
5 Wins (Caine2, Kaya, Sorscha, Rahn)   /   1 Loss (Fiona)

Warmachine/Hordes: Journeyman

Warmachine/Hordes: Journeyman

 

It’s Journeyman Season in Pittsburgh, PA! With a huge crop of new gamers at Drawbridge Games, I figured it was time to run a Journeyman League. So far the turnout and painting of the battle boxes has been excellent. The first night of the league two brand new players showed up, bought the Khador/Protectorate combo box, and sat down to assemble models as the rest of us played our starting matches.

For the League, I wanted to get working on a different project, so I figured visiting the land of Cryx would be a good option. Once the Journeyman league is over, I’ll be doing a “Tale of Two Dragons” narrative series for players in the area (tracked right here on http://www.chalkboardwar.com) that would have me taking the Cryx role. Therefore I wanted to get some practice and painting in with them at an accelerated pace–hence the perfect choice for the Journeyman league.

FullSizeRender (1)

My Cryx color scheme and starting force: Asphyxious, Leviathan, Deathripper, and Nightwretch

I painted up the initial battle box Deneghra and her warjacks, only to find out that two other players in the league were starting up Cryx and using Deneghra. Given that I was committed to Cryx for narrative reasons, and already had one Deathripper painted from Denny’s box, I went the route of the variant Asphyxious box.

And I’m glad I did. So far he has been fantastic, against veterans and new players alike. I’ve played six matches (tried to catch at least a game with as many people as I could at the first level–thanks to some extra gaming time found throughout the week), and Asphyxious performed admirably. He’s just so basic yet solid: decent spells, can fuel the ‘jacks moderately, and can get the job done in melee against nearly anything on the feat turn. I know that my force and results will reverse once we hit points beyond the 11 of the battle box–the things added will likely be counters to Cryx shenanigans with three of us in the league.

I got starting shots of some of the other starting battlegroups, and figured I would share them here:

FullSizeRender (2)Color-swapped Cygnar

FullSizeRender (3)Beautiful classic Khador

Legion of Everblight JourneymanThis amazing red-and-bone Legion of Everblight group. 

Cryx vs Cryx JourneymanNot the best shot, but my blue/orange Cryx against a Deneghra box with a classic scheme. 

Cygnar JourneymanAnother Cygnar group, this one with the original blue color scheme.

Battles (Privateer Press):
Overall Total 2015: 35 (Win/Loss: 28/7/0)

Skorne:
12 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, Morvahna2, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, Stryker, Venethrax, Butcher, Thagrosh, Exulon)   /   3 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa/Kaya, Borka)

Trollbloods:

2 Wins (Asphyxious, Stryker3)  /   3 Losses (Kaelyssa, Asphyxious2, Saeryn+Rhyas)

Cryx:

6 Wins (Stryker, Sorscha, Lylyth, Deneghra)  /  0 Losses

Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (Morvahna2, Kaelyssa)   /   0 Losses

Legion of Everblight:
5 Wins (Caine2, Kaya, Sorscha, Rahn)   /   1 Loss (Fiona)