Month: July 2016

Protectorate Again

Protectorate Again

I’ve dabbled with Protectorate of Menoth before, and while I like their play style more than any other faction, I never found a color scheme I liked at all. I tried the classic one once, I tried a blue-tone version, and I tried one in drab browns and reds with greyscale for metallics rather than proper metallic paints. I got deepest into the latter, but still the painting did not excite me. As is often the case, without the enthusiasm for the painting it’s difficult to make progress.

So with Mark III I was convinced that I’d be giving Cryx a return for the new edition with Skorne and Trollbloods in support. I’ve been really motivated with my Trolls, but the other two have languished somewhat–getting the new Battlegroup Box painted for Skorne was a struggle. And in the process, I realized that maybe it was time to take care and work out a color scheme that I truly liked for my Menoth–strip them and repaint it all. Thus, the Mark Three Menoth Project was born. I messed around for a long while with colors, and finally settled on something I liked: a red-dominant scheme with dulled metals and bone portions behind any Menofixes (the little cross-looking symbols) and on the steam caps. Finally, a scheme I liked and felt motivated to paint. I finished the new Battlegroup in a single week of painting.

1 Malekus the Burning Truth Protectorate of Menoth Alternate Color Scheme Red

Malekus, the Burning Truth. I love the model, as hefty models are fun and have a lot of persona. He’s no exception, and I really like the balance that the slight portions of white and dull gold provide in the scheme I’m working with. 

2 Castigator Protectorate of Menoth Alternate Color Scheme Red

Castigator. I resolved to have the bone color be very limited, so he doesn’t have any on his shoulders other than the small portions. Basically the theme is red everywhere, except behind a Menofix. The Crusader/Templar/Vanquisher chassis would have more prominent cream sections, but this chassis will be nearly pure red. 

3 Repenter Protectorate of Menoth Alternate Color Scheme Red

Close shot of one of the light warjacks (Repenter) for their look. I was worried the gold shoulders would be too much, but I really liked how they turned out. 

4 Starting Battlegroup Box Protectorate of Menoth Alternate Color Scheme Red

The completed Protectorate of Menoth Battlegroup Box for Mark III.

I also got four games in with the group. Three as part of a Journeyman League we’re running at Drawbridge Games, and fourth just for fun with some expanded models to try a later level build idea for the league.

5 Malekus vs Agathia

First game of the Journeyman was against Ryan’s Cryx Battlegroup. A critical central copse of trees and the Repulsor Shield on the Revenger helped me avoid the Reaper’s Reel-in-and-Kill long enough to get two models onto Agathia and finish her off. 

6 Malekus vs Agathia Again

Ryan and I played a second game, this one with more points than just the Battlegroup boxes (but of course, they’re the only things visible in the picture… /sigh). This time we played the scenario from the Prime rulebook with the five flags, each of which can be scored only once, with scenario victory at five points. It’s a pretty ludicrous scenario, but a lot of fun. Cryx’s mobility proved to be the main advantage, as I couldn’t keep them away and still score the flags myself. Finally, Malekus was assassinated by a rampaging Helljack as he was forced to try and turn the tide himself (and came up short). 

7 Malekus vs Tanith

Second Journeyman game was against Dan’s Circle Orboros and Tanith the Feral Song. This is the caster that worries me the most among the new Battlegroup Boxes, as she’s got some nasty abilities between her gun, Feat, and spells. Mercifully, Dan moved her too close to my Revenger and forgot about the Arc Node. A quick Scourge later and Admonition was not going to save her, which meant flames from Malekus and the Castigator to finish her off. 
8 Malekus vs Retribution and Helynna

Third Journeyman game was against a brand-new player to our group, Steve. He started with Retribution, with I definitely feel is one of the stronger of the starter boxes. Being able to take hits and then under Feat act without any systems being crippled is huge. As it was a new player, a fair amount of the game was helping my opponent with the best ways to assassinate my caster and deal with my own jacks. While I won this one, I think he’s better equipped than other players for what Malekus can do and how to stop him. He got very close to finishing me off, but had just a few critical misses right at the end that kept my caster alive and I could finish his last Warjack. 

A good week of gaming with the Protectorate, and I’m really excited about them and what they’ll bring in terms of painting progress as well as game fun.

500 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

244/500

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 57 (Win/Loss: 33/24/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Protectorate of Menoth:

3 Wins (Agathia, Tanith, Helynna) / 1 Loss (Agathia)

Skorne:

14 Wins (Butcher x2, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre x2, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2, Stryker x2, Ragnor)/ 8 Losses (Rask, Xerxis, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Zerkova2, Stryker x2, Magnus2)

Trollbloods:

11 Wins (Karchev x2, Vayl2 x3, Lylyth x2, Kaya, Skarre, Thagrosh, Asphyxious3) / 11 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2, Borka2, Kaya, Rhyas, Ashlynn x2, Twins Saeryn and Rhyas, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Vayl2)

Cryx:

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

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Mark III CHARGE!!!

Mark III CHARGE!!!

Time for an All-Things-Officially-Mark-III post. To kick things off: we did a Battlegroup Box Brawl launch event on Thursday, June 30th, where everyone got to try out their new battlegroups in a fast-paced small-scenario setting. We great turnout for the event: 12 total players, including three brand-new players.

1 Trophies

Trophies for the Event. Officially the Scrap Thrall Brawl I suppose… 

2 Full House

Minds hard at war. We used a variant of the Steamroller Rumble rules for deployment to make the small mats that come with the new Battleboxes useful for the event. I wanted people to play on their neat new terrain!

3 Yes Local Film Crew

Enrico (the store owner of Drawbridge Games) specifically arranged for a local news film crew to come and film the event and interview him about his store and the hobby of miniature gaming!

4 Winners Circle Drawbridge Games

Congrats to the winners for the event. Paul went 3-0 for the gold, with Ryan finishing 2-1 with strongest strength-of-schedule for Silver, and Ray nabbing a 2-1 finish with second strongest strength of schedule for Bronze. Special congrats to Ray, as he’s a brand new player! Terry went 0-3 and scored the lowest number of control points, so he received the bonus “Maybe You Should Play a Different Faction” prize of a new Battlegroup Box. 

I also painted a fair share of new models, as I wanted to get two functional Hordes Battlegroup boxes ready for demos. These were painted by the end of June, so I’m using the Mark II points system to add to the totals for the year completed.

5 Beast Master Xekaar Skorne

Beast Master Xekaar, a model that I really like. The insect-stinger whips are great, and model really came together well. 

6 Ragnor Skysplitter Trollbloods

Ragnor Skysplitter, the Runemaster. I’m not sure his feat is as amazing as everyone is saying it is (if so, then Stryker’s is all the more amazing), but I love the model. 

7 Skorne Cyclops Savage

Finished up a Cyclops Savage. I’m surprised I never ran one before, because the animus ability to let a model boost after attack or damage proved to be amazing in the first game I fielded him in. Definitely will see rotation with my Skorne. 

8 Skorne Battlegroup Box Mark III Trollbloods Battlegroup Box Mark III Xekaar Ragnar

Side-by-side shot of the two finished Battlegroup Boxes: Trollbloods and Skorne. I’m pretty happy with both, and they’ll make for good demonstration boxes for people who want to learn the game. 

9 Skorne Paingiver Beast Handlers

I also finally finished up my unit of Paingiver Beast Handlers. Here they are in front of some funny terrain at my buddy Tom’s place: got to love the stables!

 

While I was running the Battlebox Brawl rather than playing, I still managed to get in four more games of Mark III against various opponents this week. A large clash against Ryan’s Mercenaries, and smaller games against newer players Tom (and his Cygnar) and Michael (and his Trollbloods).

10 Skorne Xekaar vs Mercenaries Ashlynn

My first game of this set was against Ryan’s Mercenaries, led by Magnus2. His list was a number of warjacks, Alexia and the Risen, and some Steelhead Halberdiers. It was my firs time running Xekaar and trying out some various Mark III ideas. While I learned that Xekaar’s feat is definitely defensively nasty (s0 many misses and so little damage), the list itself was clunky and had stuff that didn’t really gel together. 

11 Not Quite Enough Ooomph

It wouldn’t be my models if a number of them didn’t work together and still fail to finish off a single light Warjack (a Renegade). Because I couldn’t clear out my flag fast enough, Magnus was able to move and gradually take the lead away and put the game in a spot where I wasn’t going to be able to reach his total. It was a good clash overall, and I had some plays that pleased me and were effective, but ultimately I’m still going to do a lot of trial and error to get Xekaar right. 

12 Xekaar Skorne List

My next game was against Tom’s Cygnar. As he’s building a force we played a pair of games just under 50 points. This time I went for a beast brick with Xekaar first. So much tusked death, but I’d need it to face off against the wall of Warjack armor I knew I’d be facing. 

13 Stryker Cygnar List

Tom’s Cygnar force: the Stryker starter box plus a Stormclad and a unit of Long Gunners with UA. 

14 Xekaar kills Stryker

The slug-fest went exactly as anticipated for the most part. I hovered at the edge of the zone, waiting for Stryker’s feat. Then it was time to throw/slam jacks and counter-feat with Xekaar for my defense. I survived the trades well, and opened a lane to get Xekaar onto Stryker on a later turn. Prescience from the Cyclops Savage was huge in his successful assassination, as boosting after-the-fact was clutch in getting the first hit in, which enabled Mortality through Witch Mark to make the process easier. 

15 Hexeris2 eHexeris Skorne List

Another game against Tom, and this time I took Hexeris2–because I wanted to try out the long-leashed Razor Worm with him, and to give Tom experience with a variety of caster styles. This time I built a pretty similar to Mark II Hexy list that focused on supporting shooting with Warbeasts. 

16 So Close and Yet so far

It was one of those games where I focused so much on winning, I forgot to not lose. We played a scenario from the basic rulebook, the one with five flags that can all only be scored a single time. It’s a great scenario–not “balanced” per se, but a great one at making both forces really do something different. I had only one flag left to score, and so was angling to get that done. And I moved my Aradus Sentinel just a bit too greedily to try and add his shot to the assault–leaving a knocked down Lancer to sacrifice action to stand and simply move into the center flag and let Tom score his last point. Kudos to Tom for keeping his eye on the scenario and out-foxing me at the end. 

17 Trolls vs Skorne

The fourth game was against Michael, who is just starting into Warmachine and Hordes. He’s a longtime friend, who played Warhammer and Living Greyhawk with me for quite some time, and is just now starting up a Trollbloods force. He’s an amazing painter (look at the Dire Troll Mauler below!!! WOW!), but as he’s just starting out he borrowed the contents of the new Battlegroup box from me so we could play a larger-than-demo sized game. So it was my Skorne, led by Xekaar, versus his Trolls and Ragnor in a 50-point clash. 

18 Agonizer gets a Kill

MVP combo of the game was Xekaar and the Agonizer. The -3 Threshold on Xekaar’s feat, plus the Agonizer’s cry that adds a fury to all nearby Warbeasts was epic. The Dire Troll Mauler that I threw back next to Ragnor turned and attacked him, while most of the rest of his battlegroup attacked each other. After the chaos, in my following turn, the Impaler had only a few boxes left on him–so it was time to Enrage my little Agonizer, put Mortality onto the Impaler, and that was just enough so that the Agonizer got his first confirmed kill. Sure, the Cyclops Savage could have done it and the Agonizer may have better used his add-fury or minus-strength again, but I wanted to let the little guy shine so I went for it. 

19 Xekaar defeats Ragnor

Xekaar tried to finish the game out, but couldn’t quite seal the deal on Ragnor the following turn. It took a few beast attacks after this to finally stop the sturdy-as-nails Troll caster. No knockdown plus Tough means the same 33% survive chance Trolls had all through Mark II, but I finally made my way through it. 

 

I’ve still got some adjustments to make in my mind about Mark III, and I think I need to rethink how I build a list for my Skorne from the ground up, but I’m loving the new edition so far. Definitely quicker play on my turns, even needing to look at cards more often than I did at the end of Mark II.

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

209/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 53 (Win/Loss: 30/23/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

14 Wins (Butcher x2, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre x2, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2, Stryker x2, Ragnor)/ 8 Losses (Rask, Xerxis, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Zerkova2, Stryker x2, Magnus2)

Trollbloods:

11 Wins (Karchev x2, Vayl2 x3, Lylyth x2, Kaya, Skarre, Thagrosh, Asphyxious3) / 11 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2, Borka2, Kaya, Rhyas, Ashlynn x2, Twins Saeryn and Rhyas, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Vayl2)

Cryx:

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