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.
Trophies for the Event. Officially the Scrap Thrall Brawl I suppose…
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!
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!
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.
Beast Master Xekaar, a model that I really like. The insect-stinger whips are great, and model really came together well.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Tom’s Cygnar force: the Stryker starter box plus a Stormclad and a unit of Long Gunners with UA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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):
Battles (Privateer Press):
Overall Totals 2016: 53 (Win/Loss: 30/23/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)
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)
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)
4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad) / 4 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3, Stryker)