Month: January 2017

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:

 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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A blast from the gaming past.  

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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)

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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.

week-2-journeyman-1

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. 

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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!

week-3-1

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.

week-4-pt-1

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. 

week-4-pt-2

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!

week-5-img-1

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.

journeyman-wk6-1

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):

retribution-of-scyrah-elara2-alternate-color-scheme

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. 

retribution-of-scyrah-chimera-alternate-color-scheme

Retribution of Scyrah Chimera warjack.

retribution-of-scyrah-manticore-alternate-color-scheme

And of course, the Manticore to go with it. 

elara2-and-retribution-of-scyrah-warjacks-alternate-color-scheme

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).

jarl-skuld-versus-gaspy1-trollbloods-cryx

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. 

retribution-vs-protectorate-of-menoth-thyra

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. 

retribution-vs-circle-orboros-tanith

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)

Bolt Action!

Bolt Action!

Well, if I didn’t get enough gaming in with all the Warmachine and Hordes and Board Games, I got lured into painting and playing some Bolt Action, the WW2 skirmish miniatures game.

Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to start with some Italians. I love the desert war uniforms, and the idea of playing an off-beat force. So Italians seemed perfect to start with.

bolt-action-italian-bersaglieri-500-points

My initial 500 points was really, really thin. Had to add a forward observer (Guiseppe) to hit the mark. I love the notion of the Bersaglieri veterans, so I started with them as the core of my force. I’ll be expanding with some Blackshirts and colonial infantry eventually, and maybe a unit of Paratroopers for some Tobruk games. 

bolt-action-italian-bersaglieri-medium-machine-gun

Closer view of the rank and file, and the medium machine gun team. I love the feather on the sun helmet, as well as the little red and white badge on it. It really makes the models pop on the table. 

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This may be the best photo of a mini I’ve ever taken, and a mini I’m really proud of. A year ago, I couldn’t paint skin tone to save my life. After personal teaching from a good friend and amazing painter, Enrico Nardini, I really think I’ve upped my game–and this guy is good evidence of it. I love the character of him, and as he’s my Lieutenant/Captain for the force, I get to field him prominently in battles. 

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My Italians’ first battle against the British, alongside some German allies. I may have taken fire, but we held for longer than I expected in the crop fields. Eventually the losses of my small units added up, and that left our side in the hole because of progressive loss differential–and the Italian special rules that makes things get worse when things start to go bad. 

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My second game was another team-up: again Germans and my Italians (this time with more men in squads) against the British. While we ended up losing the scenario, the highlight was my Elefantino gun being on Ambush and scoring a killing blow shot onto the Sherman tank when it arrived from reserve. Well, that and the heroics of the German squads trying to chip away from the British corner defense in wave and counter-wave of close shooting from reserve.

I played a third game that was a demo with a friend who is also starting–this time my Italians versus his U.S. Marines. We pretended my Italians were French and it was one of the few African landings where Marines took place. A good game, but sadly I forgot to take photos! It’s all for the best, as I’m also working on some Japanese forces to be able to play games set in the Pacific. Here’s a sneak preview of my Japanese uniform scheme–I’m doing a late war, Island defense color scheme with them: aimed at Iwo Jima and Okinawa particularly:

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And while I like the Italians, I absolutely love the plastic of the Japanese kit. 

Overall, I’m really enjoying the game. The order dice mechanism makes things enjoyable, and the fact that battles are varied is really good. I’ve grown in my tactical and strategic skill after just three games, and already itching for more. I’ve got some Italian fascist militia (Blackshirts) and an Italian tank on my painting table along with the remaining start-up stuff to get fielding my Japanese.

Battles (Bolt Action):

Overall Totals 2017: 3 (Win/Loss: 1/2/0)

Italians: 1 Win / 2 Losses

 

 

 

 

2016: Faith and Fury

2016: Faith and Fury

This is it, the final update of 2016. I got behind in updates due to the madness of the holiday season, so pardon the fact that this one is a LONG one.

The big highlights: I painted 727 total points (converted to Mark III costs) in 2016, and played 122 games fielding four different factions (Trollbloods, Protectorate of Menoth, Skorne, and Cryx).  I finished up with a 60% win rate overall, which I’ll take as pretty good for the sheer number of Warcasters and Warlocks I plunked onto the table during the year (27). I played the following Warcasters and Warlocks in at least one game this year: Feora2, Amon Ad-Raza, Kreoss1, High Reclaimer, Malekus, Durant2, Goreshade3, Asphyxious1, Scaverous, Skarre2, Deneghra1, Borka1, Grissel1, Doomshaper2, Hunters Grim, Jarl, Madrak2, Ragnor, Makeda1, Xekaar, Hexeris2, Morghoul2, Hexeris1, Naaresh, Morghoul1, Mordikaar, and Xerxis2.

My goals for 2017 are fourfold: Settle on a caster pairing and really play a lot of them, focus on a single Hordes and single Warmachine force, play in more “away” tournaments to get more exposure to players outside of our local meta, and paint at least 365 points again for the year.

On the painting side, here are the models that I completed to finish off 2016:

1-protectorate-of-menoth-scourge-of-heresy-alternate-color-scheme

The Scourge of Heresy prepares to cleanse the unfaithful. 

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Not a great photo, but the Vigilant stands ready to defend my warcasters.

3-trollbloods-hunters-grim

The Hunters Grim, which were a super-fun unit to paint up. I really love Krump in his little bowler hat and stogie. 

4-trollbloods-dire-troll-bomber

Dire Troll Bomber stands ready to blow up some foes. 

5-retribution-of-scyrah-griffon

And my final addition of 2016, a hint of my 2017 project: a Retribution of Scyrah Griffon. 

 

I got a heap of games in to finish out the year as well. Some brief photos from each:

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Mortenebra could not handle the charge of the Allegiants of the Order of the Fist under Durant2. They gummed up the works long enough that I could get her into the range of the Book, and once she couldn’t cast spells she was done. More of a grind than an assassination, but it ended with her dying. I also got in a game with Malekus, who lost to Deneghra3 (but I failed to get a photo of them). 

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Kreoss1 faced off against Fyanna2. It’s a rough match up for Fyanna overall I think, as his feat hurts her. After the knockdown, it only took an Eyriss1 shot and a single Vanquisher shot to finish her off. 

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Did I mention that my meta is chock-full of Cryx players? Because it is. These are Terry’s amazing Bloodgorgers opposing my Malekus force. I managed to carve my way to Gaspy1 and finish him off. 

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My newly painted Vigilant hits the field… and immediately loses me the game. Forgot the Banshee shot, having a medium as part of my bunker (rather than just heavies) turned the Vigilant into a slammed knockdown on Kreoss1. And Kreoss did not like the taste of his own medicine as he was promptly shot to pieces. 

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With a sour Protectorate taste in my mouth from my blunder, I decided to play some Trollbloods for a bit. It also helped that I finally painted up the Hunters Grim and really wanted to give them some table-time. This is list absolutely not the list I want to field with them, but it was good to give a go with. I’m still finding Dire Troll Blitzers to be somewhat bland (the change of their animus is the worst part… as I loved the hijinks that I could do with their Mark II animus). My force took on Absylonia2, and I managed to triumph after a long grind of a fight. Abby2 came up just a bit short on killing Grim2 personally, which let me finish her off in return. 

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Next I took the Hunters Grim into Deneghra1. Overall I think I played okay in this game when it came to attrition but ended up losing Grim2 when my center couldn’t quite hold to protect him. 

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The Denny1 game had been against my buddy Ryan in prep for a Tournament we were headed to. Sadly, nasty ice and snow managed to keep us from heading down into the hills of West Virginia, so the four of us who were going to carpool played the “Bummer Bowl” instead at Ryan’s place (as so very much went wrong that morning it got to be absurd). I got paired against Ryan’s other half of his pairing: Aspyhxious3. It proved to be a very rough game, but the Hunters Grim managed to hold on for the win. Grim2 got a Blood Lure shot onto Gaspy3 and put up Rage on the Mauler, and I cleared the path with the remaining Blitzer. Despite being way behind in attrition, a single Dire Troll Mauler can get the job done when he can play with all five Fury. 

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Another day, another Hunters Grim day. I faced off against Skorne this time, and my first chance to play Zaadesh2. The good news was that Grim2 had many of the tools to help against Zaadesh2. The bad news was that it took too long to get them leveraged in the right places. I lost by points on two opponent-turn dominates as I just couldn’t contest the left zone in the picture. 

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Finished 2016 with a game against my buddy Michael’s Trollbloods and Horgle2. I fielded Ragnor, as Michael is just starting out–so seeing his other caster is almost like getting reps himself. Horgle2 puts on a heck of a nasty show. We played the scenario “The Pit”, and my early scores on my friendly flag left me able to steal a dominate of the zone in the middle of the game to win. I’m definitely nervous about the next time I face off against Horgle2’s flaming fury!

 

 

All in all, a heck of a 2016 year of gaming. I painted a ton of models, got in heaps of games with lots of casters while maintaining a solid win rate, won a best-painted award for my Trollbloods force at a Steamroller, and ran two amazing (I thought) home campaigns for a dozen players in our local meta each time. I’ll take it! Here’s hoping to make 2017 even better!

500 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

504/500 (actually 727 if I convert everything to Mark III points)

Battles (Privateer Press):

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

Trollbloods:

18 Wins (Karchev x3, Vayl2 x3, Lylyth x2, Kaya, Skarre, Thagrosh, Asphyxious3x2, Venethrax, Deneghra, Grayle, Absylonia2, Horgle2) / 14 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2, Borka2, Kaya, Rhyas, Ashlynn x2, Twins Saeryn and Rhyas, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Vayl2, Sturm and Drang, Deneghra, Zaadesh2)

Protectorate of Menoth:

25 Wins (Agathia x3, Tanith x2, Helynna, Lord Carver, Terminus, Beth Maddox x3, Ragnor x2, Sorscha, Stryker2, Rask, Xerxis, Butcher, Sorscha2, Haley, Aiakos, Reznik, Deneghra3, Mortenebra, Fyanna2, Asphyxious) / 12 Losses (Agathia x2, Haley, Terminus x2, Kaya2, Rhyas, Amon, Tanith, Deneghra3 x2, Helynna)

Skorne:

25 Wins (Butcher x2, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre x2, Kreoss2, Borka, Kaya2, Stryker x2, Ragnor x2, Agathia, Malekus, Durgen, Kozlov, Bart, Terminus x2, Tanith, Kallus, Harkovich)/ 19 Losses (Rask, Xerxis, Butcher3, Thagrosh, Zerkova2, Stryker x2, Magnus2, Terminus x2, Tanith, Vlad x2, Rahn, Arkadius, Deneghra, Gorten, Asphyxious)

Cryx:

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