Month: April 2016

Borka Kegslayer

Borka Kegslayer

We’re gearing up for a Map Campaign at Drawbridge Games, and with the focus being Legion of Everblight versus a Trollbloods and Khador alliance, I wanted to get another new caster added to my collection. Enter Borka Kegslayer:

1 Trollbloods Borka Kegslayer Pyg Keg Carrier pBorka Borka1I’m really pleased with how the model turned out. I’m not the best painter, but I’m proud of what I worked out for my Trollbloods. Finishing Borka and the Pyg Keg Carrier also gets me to 133 points of models painted this year!

For this week, it was simply open gaming before the campaign begins next week. So I nabbed a chance to play a game against Colton’s Khador army, as we’ll be allies for the duration of the campaign. We played a 35 point game. He ran Karchev with two Kodiaks and two Berzerkers, a unit of Man-o-Wars, some field mechaniks, and the dog. I brought Borka with an Earthborn Dire Troll, two Winter Trolls, and a Swamp Troll, plus Janissa, Troll Whelps, a Stone Scribe Chronicler, and a min unit of Pyg Bushwhackers with UA.

2 Karchev and Warjacks versus Winter TrollsThe Winter Trolls took the brunt of the Karchev Warjack bundle. The Freezer animus helped somewhat, leaving two of the advancing jacks who ran up into my face stationary. But that didn’t save the Winter Trolls the following turn, as they were pretty easily cut down after an ineffective turn of spraying his models hoping for more stationary effects. 

3 Pyg Bushwhackers and Swamp Troll vs Khador Man O WarsOn the other side, I was doing much better. There was a large obstacle that split the battlefield in half. Because of my shooting, the Man-o-Wars advanced slowly in shield wall, which let me get into my opponent’s zone quickly and sneak some early points. The Swamp Troll proved to be a fantastic ally to the Pyg Bushwhackers. He pulled Man-o-Wars out of formation with his drag, leaving the other isolated ones to be shot down without the benefit of shield wall.  Then the Slip Away order for the Bushwhackers UA allowed them to drop out of combat without free strikes and do it all over. 

4 Earthborn vs Khador Karchev KodiakWhile Karchev managed to dominate my zone eventually, that early turn of getting a quick point paid off. I managed to clear the last of the Man-o-Wars in his zone with a charge from Borka, leaving the Swamp Troll controlling that zone. Scored me my fifth control point on the same turn when Karchev dominated a second time (giving Colton four). It was a really close match, and if I hadn’t grabbed that early turn point with the Pyg Bushwhackers he would have definitely won the match. 

After the game we were laughing, because every time I play against Colton it’s a really close match up, and this time was the same. But what was extra funny to us was that the only wins I’ve gotten this year with my Trollbloods have been against him, and only against Karchev. It was a fun game, and I’m excited to ally with Colton’s deadly Khador in our upcoming campaign!

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

133/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 31 (Win/Loss: 18/13/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Trollbloods:

2 Wins (Karchev x2) / 5 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2, Borka2, Kaya)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

Skorne:

12 Wins (Butcher x2, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre x2, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2)/ 5 Losses (Rask, Xerxis, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Zerkova2)

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Mistakes Were Made

Mistakes Were Made

This week I entered an expanding points tournament at Legions Games, and brought along a Skorne Tier 4 Mordikaar force to give it a try. I finished a few models to add to the army, so I’ll go into that first:

1 Skorne Void Spirit FeralgeistA Feralgeist and two more Void Spirits added 5 points to my painting total, taking me to 127/366 for my one-point-per-day painting challenge. 

The list I brought was an experiment with Scarab Packs and Mordikaar’s odd tier list. For every two units (which Scarab Packs count as) you get a free Void Spirit, and once you get five incorporeal solos they get advance deploy, as well as an expanded starting zone from all the beasts. I wasn’t too confident, as so far my Scarab Pack had not exactly impressed me. It was time to see what four would do.

2 Skorne Mordikaar Tier 4 list Scarab PackThe one wrinkle about this tournament was that each round expanded the number of points. The first round was 15, second 25, third 35, and fourth 50. The above is a picture of my full 50 points list. At 15 it was Mordikaar, four Scarab Packs, and the two free Void Spirits that came with it. Going up I added the additional Void Spirits, Feralgeist, and a Cyclops Brute to hit 25, the Bronzeback for 35, and the rest at 50. 

3 Mordikaar Scarab Pack XerxisTo say I didn’t play so well would be a fair assessment. That said, I also think the list didn’t help. Even with 10 boxes each, the Scarabs fold under almost anything trying to attack them. And in return, they cannot muster the hitting strength to do much. In a later game, I had all four packs go all out–and they managed to only kill six Doom Reavers. And that was maybe their most productive round across all four games. 

4 Mordikaar Scarab Pack ThagroshI faced (in order) Larry’s Skorne, Matt’s Khador, Andy’s Legion, and Scott’s Khador. The only game I was remotely close in was against Andy, but I couldn’t keep enough pressure up on the flag that Thagrosh was dominating to be able to win myself (the game ended with him clearing the center zone, and going up 6-5 on control points). My force simply didn’t have any staying power beyond the Bronzeback–and that’s not enough in a Legion match-up.

On the whole it was a really fun tournament. All four players I faced are people I’ve had good games against in the past, so their clobbering me was enjoyable enough. That said, unless Mark III changes the way Scarab Packs work in dramatic fashion, I think the Scarab experiment will have to wait for a long while before I try it again.

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

127/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 30 (Win/Loss: 17/13/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

12 Wins (Butcher, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2)/ 5 Losses (Rask, Xerxis, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Zerkova2)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Karchev) / 5 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2, Borka2, Kaya)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

Carnage at the Confluence

Carnage at the Confluence

The breeding pens had been set, and the restless howl of the accumulated dragonspawn created a roar in the underground burrows. Thagrosh stalked between the pens, pleased at his plans. Rumors of the bones of a lost kin of Toruk named Vorspark*, and the fragmented Athanc they might contain, were turned up by a group of long-ranging Strider Blightblades. They had captured and tortured a Greylord scholar who tended an ancient archive in the northern plains. He revealed a bit of lore that led to more: Vorspark’s Athanc was indeed most likely hidden near the confluence of the Irkel river in northern Khador. 

Yet the location posed a problem. The armies of Khador were spread across nothern provinces retraining and staging for potential southerly pursuits. Even more complicated, the location of the Athanc was right where two large Kriels of Trollbloods had been permitted to resettle as a gesture of good faith by Khador after the Trolls were betrayed by Cygnar. The sheer number of potential foes meant it was time for the Legion of Everblight to strike in true force for the last time.

Thagrosh had summoned all of the commanders, even those he clashed with in the past. The potential of recovering and utilizing another Athanc was too great–especially one that Toruk seemed to have no knowledge about. He sent gangs of captured laborers and the Blighted Ogruns that owned them to hollow out a staging area for the armies of Everblight amidst the winding tributaries of the Tapping River which lay north of the Irkel river. With a huge supply of new beasts created, and tribes of Blighted Nyss creeping southward to support them, Thagrosh and the Legion of Everblight were poised to spread their Wargroups out and drive into the heart of the Irkel river. It would not be long before the ranging scouts of Khador and the Trollblood Kriels would notice them and summon a response in force. It was time to strike, and the howl of beasts in the tunnels would be unleashed in full. 

 

*One of the smaller kin of Toruk, potential “Dragon Y” on the known lore of Immoren.

Battle of the Five Forks Campaign Map

Get ready for a new Warmachine and Hordes campaign at Drawbridge Games: Carnage at the Confluence. The battle lines are set, and rules on how the campaign will run can be found here.

Starting Week Confluence of CarnageThe map above has the tiles marked with starting positions for Wargroups–the units functioning as a combined army of sorts. The legend below shows which Warcasters and Warlocks lead each Wargroup.

Legion Wargroups Code Khador + Trollbloods Wargroups Code
Thagrosh T Butcher and Gunnbjorn BG
Lylyth L Sorscha and Grim SG
Saeryn and Rhyas SR Karchev and Grissel KG
Vayl V Strakov, Calandra, and Jarl SCJ
Absylonia A Vlad and Doomshaper VD
Kallus and Bethayne KB Irusk, Zerkova, and Madrak IZM
Harkevich, Old Witch, and Borka HOWB

While Khador and Trollbloods have shed blood in the past, an uneasy truce exists for now between them. However, the machinations of Cryx, Cygnar, and Circle Orboros operatives in the area may yet drive these erstwhile allies apart.

Campaign games will start on Thursday, May 5th.

Troll Down!

Troll Down!

Another Thursday night of gaming, and more battles cataloged for my Trollbloods. But first up as always, new painting to display. Two Winter Trolls ready to go, though now that I look at the pictures they look a bit darker than the others. I might want to highlight their skin back up a bit more.

1 Winter Troll x2They are not particularly good in the game, but they are 10 more points painted toward my totals–which puts me at exactly 1/3 of the way through the painting progress. And with the new edition of Warmachine and Hordes coming in June, there’s hopes that the old models that haven’t been particularly great will get new rules that improve them. Winter Trolls haven’t been good ever (not Mark I, nor Mark II) so perhaps they’ll finally get their moment. 

In terms of gaming, I got two matches in this week. First, a Trollbloods vs. Trollbloods battle against Tony, and then a smaller battle-box sized game against Roger’s fox-colored Circle Orboros. First the big Troll clash:

2 Doomshaper2 eDoomshaper eDoomy TrollbloodsMy Doomshaper2 force. With added Winter Trolls, because well… I just painted them. I also forgot my Impaler at home, so had to borrow a friend’s for the battle, so that’s why he doesn’t match. The basic plan is using the movement boosts and tricks of Doomy2 to yo-yo ranged warbeasts and knock out key models/dent things as they close in. I’m not sure it works (I’m leaning strongly toward the idea that it’s a complete flop). It also definitely suffered from the two Winter Trolls, because…

3 Trollbloods Bearka Borka2 eBorkaMy opponent Tony fielded Borka2, who makes his whole battlegroup immune to cold, and can selectively give cold immunity to a unit with an upkeep spell. Battlegroup was Mulg, Impaler, Bouncer, and Pyre Troll, supported by minimum Tuffalo, a big group of Fennblades with two pieces supporting them, and a Krielstone.

4 Troll Bouncer versus Dire Troll BlitzerThe lines got pretty mixed, as Borka2’s feat turn left me unable to project much against his forces beyond sending a few Fennblades to their ancestors. The rampage of the Dire Troll Blitzers was blunted by the heavy forces they matched up agaist. I managed to finish off Mulg after this photo, and was starting to put some pressure on controlling the far scenario zone to get an advantage and hopefully grind out a win. 

5 Fennblades and Fell Caller Hero Doomshaper2Sadly, Doomshaper2 got buried under weight of attacks from stragglers as the forces got thinned out, and his utterly feeble old man stats started to show themselves. He was assaulted by a Fennblade and a Fell Caller, lit aflame from a Northkin Fire Eater (the hit also forcing the tough and knocking him down), and finally slain by a shot from the Pyre Troll. Overall a really fun game, as Tony is a great opponent and it really helps me to see how other Trollbloods players build their lists and react to the flow of battle with familiar pieces. 

My second game of the day was a quick battle-box sized skirmish against my buddy Roger who is just starting out with the game. He’s got a beautifully painted fox-colored Circle Orboros group that he’s working on and playing, so it was good to get a quick game in. I didn’t bring the pieces I needed to do a proper battlebox, so I looked through what I had for what would work okay and settled on Madrak2, Two Winter Trolls, and a Storm Troll.

6 Battlebox Game Madrak2 vs KayaAnd I promptly learned that luck would simply not be with me this game. The light warbeasts are tough enough, but with dice going awry they got downright awful. Here they are crashing agaist the Circle menace. 

7 Ultimate Shame Madrak2 killed by two Circle Orboros ArgusThe most ignoble part of the game came from when I realized that Madrak2 needed to mix it up himself to win. So I put his buff up on himself and rolled up onto the near Argus… only to miss and miss again until I was left with too low a fury stat and a still mostly-healthy Argus. I further complicated my mistake by trying to make up for his misses by going hog-wild with my light warbeasts and forgot to leave open fury on them for transfers. That left me with my defense lowered thanks to my own buff spell–and Madrak2 was unceremoniously laid low by the assault. 

All told some great gaming, and really nice looking forces to play against. I’m committing to Trollbloods for a while, at least at Drawbridge, as I want to get better at playing them. First stop: a completely changed list from the nonsense I was running with Doomshaper2!

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

122/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 26 (Win/Loss: 17/9/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

12 Wins (Butcher, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2)/ 1 Loss (Rask)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Karchev) / 5 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2, Borka2, Kaya)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

Company Complete

Company Complete

Well, we finally finished up our Company of Iron league at Drawbridge Games, and it was a huge success. The final standings of the players and results:

Place Name Faction Total Wins 50-point Victories Platoon Victories
1st Andy Minions 7 3 4
2nd Andrew Skorne 6 5 1
3rd Ryan Cryx 5 0 5
4th Colton Khador 4 1 3
5th Dan Circle Orboros 3 0 3
Honorable Terry Protectorate of Menoth 2 1 1
Honorable Enrico Legion of Everblight 2 0 2
Honorable Brandon Cygnar 1 0 1
Honorable Tony Trollbloods 1 1 0
Honorable Kevin Legion of Everblight 0 0 0

It was a great gaming opportunity overall, and the Drawbridge player base nicely shifted across multiple factions so that pretty much everyone got a reward. Extra bonus congrats to Ryan, who won the remaining pins with his great terrain building donations to the store (the trench and the bunker).

As for my progress, I was a painting fiend this week: I finished three full units of Skorne Scarab Packs to go with the first unit I already painted and shared.A great time seemed to be had by all. I know that I had a lot of fun in my games–and while I did terrible in the Platoon missions, they were great fun nonetheless.

1 Skorne Scarab Pack x3They’re for a mad scheme I have for a Mordikaar theme list, and they’re a fun little unit (that is horribly fury-inefficient). But completing them adds 15 more points to my total. That means I’m up to 112/366 points for 2016, and closing in on 1/3 of the way to the goal!

I got in one game for our final night of the league, facing off against Dan’s Circle Orboros force. The game was 50 points, and the Fire Support scenario from Steamroller 2015 was what we rolled on the Company of Iron chart.

3 Circle Line of BattleDan’s deployment of his Circle. The Warbeasts get advanced deploy because of the tier, and the Skinwalkers got an advance move. His Warlock is Kaya2, run pretty strong side on beasts–a Feral, a Stalker, and a Riphorn led the charge, with support from a Gorax, Druids of Orboros, Skinwalkers with Alpha, and Shifting Stones. 

4 Skorne Line of BattleMy force also had a fair amount of advanced deploy. I haven’t completed everything for the Mordikaar tier experiment yet, so I decided to see how the Scarab Packs did without any support–hence, more experimenting with Naaresh. The list is Naaresh, four Scarab Packs, a Gladiator, a Bronzeback, the Company of Iron Platoon components, and some Paingiver Beast Handlers. 

5 Brave Paingiver BloodrunnersThe Paingiver Bloodrunners got into the action fast as they could. The Stalker had reached out and struck down some Scarabs before lightning strike carried him away, so these two brave Bloodrunners sacrificed their lives to close lanes and block. 

6 More Skorne Paingiver Bloodrunner ShenanigansMore Bloodrunner shenanigans. Their Shadow Play ability is really amusing, and lets me set up some ugly positioning and activation problems for my opponents. The Bloodrunners don’t ever really shine themselves, but their annoyance factor cannot be understated when they can get Shadow Play to trigger. 

8 eKaya versus NaareshIt got pretty touch and go in the battle, as I was not afraid to stand Naaresh up close (nor afraid to damage him with my Beast Handlers’ whips). Kaya2 brought herself and a lot of her forces up and into the fight with the crazy rapid strike she can manage. Dan’s forces would have finished me off, but the Feral Warpwolf missed its headbutt attack on Naaresh (which he had a pretty decent chance of getting). Even with the blood tokens from his Pain Monger ability would not have let him live through the following assault if he happened to be knocked down. Once he had committed, it was a matter of finishing off Kaya2’s beasts and threat vectors to win the game via assassination. 

A great close game that could have gone either way honestly. He had more bad luck rolls, particularly with his Stalker, and that is often the difference in a closely matched battle. It was great fun overall, as Dan’s force is always excellently painted and he’s a fun and challenging opponent in the game.

 

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

112/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 24 (Win/Loss: 17/7/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

12 Wins (Butcher, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2)/ 1 Loss (Rask)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Karchev) / 3 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

Campaign idea: War in the North

Campaign idea: War in the North

To give ourselves something to occupy our games while we’re waiting for Warmachine and Hordes Mark III to arrive in mid-June, discussion of a narrative-based and/or map-based campaign surfaced. Currently a number of players in the Drawbridge Games community area starting Legion of Everblight armies (Andy, Ryan, Enrico, Kevin, and Brandon). And those who are not starting Legion mostly have Khador or Trollbloods as their forces of choice (Tony, Colton, Dan, and Me). So the thought was: why not start a campaign built around a Legion of Everblight assault that forces Khador and Trollbloods to team up against them?

Territories of the Trollkin from IK game book

Okay, so given the map from the IK Roleplaying book (above), the overlap of Trollbloods and Khador seems to be particularly present in those northwestern forest areas. It looked like the best spot to me was the spot where two rivers tributaries seemed to pose opposite each other (the Irkel and the Tapping rivers). It makes for a nice little area where Khadorite field troops and Kriels of Trollbloods would have to band together to protect themselves (and each other) against an onrushing menace from the Legion of Everblight’s advances.

Battle of the Five Forks Campaign Map

As for campaign rules, the goal is to encourage and support all the players building new Legion of Everblight armies. So the central component will be that when a player completes a certain amount of painting, they can choose one of the Legion of Everblight Mystery Boxes–all of which contain something to add to their forces. I’m thinking that completing the Battle Group, or a Battle Group equivalent (fifteen points of Legion including a Warlock) should earn a chance at one of the mystery boxes.

Mystery Box

As for the rules of the Campaign, the story will be that a new secret base for the Legion of Everblight has been established at the confluence of the Tapping river. Their machinations have allowed them to establish a major incursion, and the Khador army is recalled to deal with the threat. Given that a number of Trollblood Kriels are also in the path of destruction, a number of Warlocks have been recalled and set up a temporary truce with the Khador military to work together in opposing this set of foes.

Six Forks Campaign Map One

That’s the initial map without the starting placements of various Warlocks and Warcasters. The idea would be that we’ll poll the players about which Warnouns they are most likely and least likely to use in the campaign. Those would then get split into various combined forces. So for instance, one group could be the Butcher (all three versions) and Hoarluck Doomshaper (all three versions). Another could be Jarl, Strakov (both), Borka (both), and Karchev. A win by one of their warnouns would mean that their area would expand. If adjacent to foe tiles, then a loss would mean they shrink. And if adjacent to a foe who was played in that fight, the winner would spread into the foe’s space that is lost. The starting Khador/Trolls blocks will obviously form a line in the south, while the Legion form a line in the North. To accommodate a couple of players who are not fielding Legion, Trollbloods, or Khador, there can be rules for a river-borne contingents of Cryx (and maybe Cygnar) raider seeking to weaken Khador and the Trollblood Kriels, as well as find information about the Legion base of operations.

This gives players flexibility to control the destiny of the fight–whichever warlocks and warcasters won most would find their armies spreading over the lands. There will be a reason to be ahead on individual battles won, as well as the faction lead as a whole. That means that players don’t have to play every week to still get a meaningful campaign, but they’re encouraged to play frequently as benefits accrue for more participation. Games can be any points value, and we’d love for players to rise to the 50 point level. But to accommodate starting players, 15 point games are also permitted, and the expectation is that 25 point and 35 point games will be common early in the campaign.

There will also be special missions (using the IKRPG rules) for commando raids, run by Ryan.

The campaign will end with a big mega-battle between the two sides with multiple players playing at once. If Legion has amassed more wins and controls more territory, there will be a raid on the Troll/Khador settlements as the final battle–and prizes for Legion players who successfully carry the most “plunder” away. If Trollbloods/Kador have instead accomplished more wins and control more territory, then it will be a last-ditch effort of the Legion forces to evacuate their hidden base, and Trollbloods/Khador folk securing intel. Individual success records will determine placement for the final battle, with more central spots given better odds of accomplishing the win elements (but certainly not guaranteed).We will also be tracking number of times each player fielded each Warcaster/Warlock–the player who played the most of that caster gets to field them in the final game (effectively gets right of first refusal). This will reward players who stick with the same caster for the campaign, and also make showing up for continued games important.

 

Nearing the End

Nearing the End

This past week was week five of the Company of Iron league that I’m running at Drawbridge Games, and clashes are getting heated. I had such a painting binge done for last week (the end of the month) that I didn’t get a chance to add any more to my painting totals. However, I did manage to get a game in this week against Tony’s Trollbloods. We played the Chain of Command special mission from the Company of Iron rules, and Tony was randomly determined to be the defender.

1 Company of Iron vs TrollbloodsThe Trollbloods deployment. The list was Borka with Rok and a Glacier King, plus a max unit of Fennblades with UA, a Fell Caller Hero, and the platoon elements (Stone Scribe Chronicler, Scouts, and min unit of Pyg Bushwhackers). He positioned them ready to leap into the trench. 

2 Company of Iron Skorne ForceMy force was the first outing for Master Ascetic Naaresh under my command. His feat seems to translate well for hitty warbeasts even though he’s a bit of a generalist, so I went for a mostly general battlegroup: a Bronzeback, a Gladiator, a Aradus Sentinel, a Cyclops Brute, a Cyclops Shaman, and my new Scarab Pack hitting the table for the first time themselves. That combined with some Paingiver Beast Handlers and the elements of the platoon to complete the list: a Mortitheurge Willbreaker, a Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor, a unit of Paingiver Bloodrunners, and two Void Spirits. I rushed up the board in the rough block in the picture above (this is after movement), doing my best to use the two linear obstacles that were provided. 

3 Tonys Glacier King and SorcererAnd I needed that cover because of the shooting onslaught. The Glacier King’s deadly shots, plus the spell of the Sorcerer, were directed my way time and again. Luckily the cover, the high defense on some of the models, and the additional armor bonus on the Aradus Sentinel blunted the threat considerably. 

4 Naaresh takes the trenchThe mission makes the attacker (me) win by getting their Warcaster or Warlock into the enemy trench, and then start their following maintenance phase inside. I had a moment of opportunity when the Fennblades panicked from the nearby Void Spirit, so I took my shot. The Paingiver Bloodrunners cleared a model inside the trench then used their ability to draw the model that hit him out of the way. I ran the Cyclops Brute up for protection, and then managed to get Naaresh into the trench with his Cyclone spell. With Iron Flesh upkept upon himself, some damage tokens boosting his armor from a friendly whipping, and the Safeguard Animus from the Brute, he was going to be hard to shift out of place. 

5 Naaresh survives the retaliationThat didn’t stop Tony from trying. He had the Fennblades flee away, and basically had a shot from Rok (who got into the trench, so had a chance to hit even my high defense) and then melee from Borka to try and finish Naaresh off. Borka got really close, but not close enough. I took some damage, and had to transfer twice. But in the end Naaresh was still standing in the trench at the start of my Maintenance phase which won me the game.

 

This mission is probably my second favorite in the Company of Iron set (first being the “Sabotage!” mission for the Platoons), but man it can sneak up on the players. If the attacker goes too slow at the start, the defender can simply string out their force and keep the caster out–even losing in model count they can stay in the game through denial of space. And likewise, if the defender is slow to shore up the position and lets the attacker get a toe hold at the wrong time (with the critical models just too far away on the sides), it can end in a heartbeat. Definitely fun gaming, and a great looking battle against a great opponent is always a joy.

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

97/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 23 (Win/Loss: 16/7/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

11 Wins (Butcher, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre, Kreoss2, Borka)/ 1 Loss (Rask)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Karchev) / 3 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

Platoon-ery Buffoonery

Platoon-ery Buffoonery

I’m a bit behind on my blog because of a slight personal life complication, so this post will cover weeks three and four of the six week Company of Iron event that we’re doing at Drawbridge Games. The good(ish) news is that in week four I only squeezed in a single platoon game, so gaming-wise this update has about the same content. I did, however, manage to get a ton of painting done. Some shots are from the case at home, others I brought to Drawbridge as I like the scenery and lighting better for photos there.

1 Naaresh SkorneMaster Ascetic Naaresh completed. This model was a pain (haw haw), as his skin is all broken up by the bladed piercings that litter his body. I like the look overall, but felt that the skin was somewhat too busy to pull the model together well. Dunno. He does add three points to my painting total (warcasters get points for their base size).

2 Skorne Paingiver Bloodrunners UnitI also finally finished another part of my platoon: the Paingiver Bloodrunners unit. These murderous assassins are pretty fun to play, as their Shadow Play ability can let some really wacky things happen. They also net me five more points for painting progress. 

4 Scarab Swarm SkorneThe second unit I got done: a Skorne Scarab Swarm. Sorry for the bad picture, I’ll take more when they hit the field for the first time. But hey, five more points to the painting totals. 

5 Skorne Siege AnimantaraxThis is the one I’m really proud of. I finally finished the big boy: my Siege Animantarax. Not only is he a great model, but he adds nine more points to my progress. I managed to finish it on March 31st, which brought me to 31/31 for the March painting challenge. And leaves me at a crazy 97/366 for 2016. Just over 25% of the way done–which is exactly right given that I’ve done three months of “paint a point a day” progress. 

Week Three I got in two games: a 50 point slug fest against Terry’s Protectorate of Menoth and a Platoon game (the “Assassination” mission) against Brandon’s Cygnar. Week Four I only got in a single Platoon game, a re-match clash against Colton’s Khador–this time with me as defender on the Sabotage mission.

6 Mordikaar Skorne ForceMy line of battle for the big game versus Menoth. Mordikaar is the Warlock I’m riding pretty heavily in the league–he’s the one in the fluff of the Platoon that they are working for, and he’s a good match for the units included. It was a pretty heavy melee and beast list, with a Titan Cannoneer included to help thin a bit of infantry on the advance. 

7 Protectorate of MenothAnd oh, what infantry there was. Terry’s force was led by Kreoss2, and in addition to the Platoon there were two other units of troops (not even including the max Choir). Mordikaar had his work cut out for him. 

8 Lines get mixedEspecially because Kreoss2’s feat completely denied my feat. I looked at his card and everything before the game, but somehow I missed the “attacks automatically hit” and saw only the additional attack portion. I should have known, as I’ve faced Kreoss2 plenty of times in the past. So of course my not remembering led me to near-complete disaster: I rushed my jammers and relatively higher defense beasts right into a bad spot and hoped that +3 Defense and Poltergeist would minimize the damage. I was so wrong. 

9 Void Spirit closes inKreoss2 did all this safely from behind a warjack screen, and I simply did not have the leverage to fair-fight my way to possession of the flag on that side. So it was time for what Mordikaar does best: a last minute assassination attempt. 

10 Bronzeback Essence Blast AssassinationMy Cyclops Shaman got a shot off on Kreoss2 as he got close to the flag–ignoring line of sight problems and landing a few points of damage. The the Bronzeback got rush put on him (from the Cyclops Shaman) and dashed forward with a charge. After the first swing, a bit of beat-back allowed him to drive more deeply into the enemy forces toward Kreoss. I parked an “insurance” Bloodrunner behind him just in case, had my Willbreaker put Puppet Master onto my Warlock, and then activated Mordikaar. Another Essence Blast assassination vector off a warbeast did the trick. The hit comes at such HUGE strength off a Bronzeback, that it blasted away the last of Kreoss2’s hitboxes with relative ease.

This was definitely a game that I was losing the entire way–my forces had crumbled around the Protectorate onslaught. Yet Skorne does the deep threat assassination so well when it needs to, it got me the win despite being absolutely manhandled by the Protectorate forces the entire game. 

Platoon 1 1Game two of week three started with a flying stop, as my Skorne Platoon simply crumbled against Brandon’s Cygnar platoon as they attempted to escort a military officer to the safe house. It didn’t help that the Bloodrunners managed to be just a little too close to the gunmages, so their stealth didn’t protect them. My mistake in placement, which compounded by failing the command check afterward. 

Platoon 1 2I blame Victoria Haley. She was the Officer model that Brandon was fielding for the mission. And I have yet to win a game against her in my entire span of playing this game (dating back to my brutal Khador-gap warjacks in 2003). This one was no exception, even if she was just the stand-in for the Officer. I rallied the Bloodrunners and they got up to her, and simply failed to seal the deal. The missed her attack, so the Poltergeist effect for the platoon starting promotion triggered–leaving her out of melee range, and letting the Gun Mages mow down the last of my Skorne troops. 

Platoon 2 1Week Four of the event I only managed to squeeze in a single platoon clash–largely because there was great turn-out and everyone was getting games in. My Platoon faced off against Colton’s Khador again, this time with me protecting the objective in the center that he was attempting to sabotage. Above, you see the abysmal failed charge of my Void Spirit at his Widowmaker Marksman. Lack of Incorporeal (and thus caring about the movement penalty of the stream) strikes again. 

Platoon 2 2I mounted a pretty solid defense against his models, with the Bloodrunners doing great work cutting through the Doom Reavers and the Bloodrunner Master Tormentor being a thorn in the side of the Widowmakers thanks to the nice combination of Stealth to protect the approach, Reach, Thresher, and Sprint. However, I couldn’t stop the Manhunter from reaching the objective obelisk and setting the charge. The remaining Doom Reavers moved away, and the Widowmaker advanced and died from the free strike. And just like the last game against Colton’s Khador where I got a lucky explosion on the first attempt, he got one here and won the game. 

All in all great fun so far with the Company of Iron league as a whole. We’ve got a good, dedicated core playing it which makes for a lot of fun and variety in the event. Now to try to win a few more Platoon matches in coming weeks.

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

97/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 22 (Win/Loss: 15/7/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

10 Wins (Butcher, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre, Kreoss2)/ 1 Loss (Rask)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Karchev) / 3 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

Company Continues

Company Continues

Week 2 of the Company of Iron league at Drawbridge Games continues, and that meant more playtime for my Skorne. That said, painting-wise I finished up the final touches on my Trollbloods Pyg Bushwhackers Officer and Mortar UA.

1 Pyg Bushwhacker Officer and Mortar UA TrollbloodsI just love the character of these models. The officer especially. They add 2 more points to my painted total as well. 

One of the other developments in the league is that people can build terrain to earn the pins of the factions that don’t have any players in the league. Check out the following amazing entry:

2 Minions in TrenchRyan (whose Cryx you may often see on these posts) completed this awesome double-size Trench for the special mission as part of the League. He’s also working on a similar bunker for the other mission. Andy’s pigs on display in the trench to give a sense of scale. 

This week I managed to get in two games. Just timing-wise other players were paired up elsewhere, so Colton and I faced off first in a small Platoon Skirmish, then in a larger 35 points game using the new trench system.

3 Khador defending Old Witch HutThis smaller platoon game was the “Sabotage” mission. We decided that a small Khador force was protecting the Old Witch’s hut from being blown up by marauding Skorne forces. Colton’s forces surround the hut in readiness. 

4 Company of Iron EnvelopmentThe fun thing about this mission is getting to deploy all-around the central models. The above is a shot of my attempt at envelopment. 

5 The Hedges Do NothingWell, the Void Spirits are just sad in this match-up. Denied their Incorporeal protection, and with Khador’s starting promotion making the entire army fearless, these boys had little to do. Even hiding behind the hedge for the good defense bonus couldn’t save them. That said, I was able to slip my Bloodrunners in close enough to the cabin to set a charge, then got lucky when I pulled away and managed to detonate it on the first roll. Finally, a win for my Platoon–which gives a promotion that makes them slightly better in large games (pretty much all of the Skorne platoon promotions improve their abilities in the bigger games, not platoon combats). 

6 Skorne Trench DeployI was the defender in the second game. Colton had to merely get Sorscha2 completely into my trench and then start his maintenance phase with her still standing there (before the end of the eighth turn). I brought a force led by Mordikaar, as he’s my preferred slow-down and denial caster for the faction–the ability to bring back grunts in annoying places to force you to deal with them again really helps delay opponents. Otherwise it’s my usual shooting-focused beast package, which hopefully had the oomph to soften up his forces at range. 

7 Khador ForcesThe besieging Khador force. Winterguard deathstar in the middle, platoon on the right, and Sorscha2 with Beast 09 on the left. 

8 Close Up of Command PostClose up of Mordikaar, his Cyclops Shaman, and a Void Spirit as they hold firm in the trench waiting for the advance of the enemy infantry. 

9 The AttackMy shooting decimated the enemy infantry, but that didn’t stop Beast 09 and Sorscha2 from drawing up into range of my forces. Too little shooting too late, but I didn’t have to defeat it–I just needed to keep her out of the trench. 

10 Mordikaar vs eSorscha AssassinationOf course, that’s easier said than done against a caster with the Cyclone spell. As time started to run out on the game, Colton had to take a chance and rush her forward and hope she survived. She ended up in one end of the trench, with Mordikaar at the other. Then it was just a hope to weather storm. Unfortunately for Sorscha2, she couldn’t quite get it done. My Cyclops Raider managed to get up into position fully within the trench and land a bit of damage on her, only to be followed by his insides exploding all over her in a shower of gore (good old Essence Blast from Mordikaar) and finishing her off. 

Another good week of scenarios. Privateer Press really out-did themselves with this league. There’s some moaning on the forums about the various platoons, but in my experience and from the rest participating, they’re great little games with good scenarios and some solid balance in most cases. And the larger game missions are definitely great–they really put a different set of pressures on the players, which leads to some really fun moments.

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

75/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 21 (Win/Loss: 14/7/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

9 Wins (Butcher, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre)/ 1 Loss (Rask)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Karchev) / 3 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)