Month: January 2018

A Monstrous Mistake?

A Monstrous Mistake?

So my last post was pretty positive about Protectorate. And then I proceeded to remember why I stalled with them the past few times I’ve done them. I just don’t feel pulled to paint that scheme, particularly the infantry that I had to complete (40 or so Exemplars for the Testament list). So it was a bit of back-to-the-drawing-board. And I decided to resurrect a force that I haven’t fielded since October 2015: Legion of Everblight. In Mark II I played mostly Skorne, but before even that I amassed a Legion of Everblight army at the very start of Mark II through when I started up with Skorne. They were pirate-themed, converted to have tricorn hats and ship-decking bases, and generally pretty enjoyable. They’re where I cut my teeth as a Warmachine and Hordes player–a whole lot of Saeryn1 and Vayl1 reps under my belt from back then.

And now instead of going with Protectorate of Menoth, I’m actually thinking of getting back into Legion. This may very well be a monstrous mistake, as I have a more Protectorate I can paint and field compared to what I can do for Legion. That said, I’m just not feeling it with Protectorate. And I had an idea. I was looking at the models and thinking about color scheme (because I want to do a new one, rather than my current purple-skin, orange-spectrum chitin look). And I realized that the feathers on all of the Nyss could be the focal points of those models, and they looked somewhat Aztec in a way. And I realized I’m going to try for that sort of look to my force.

 

These images give a good sense of what colors I’m thinking of using for feathers and armor. Feathers will be reds, blues, teals, rare greens, and purples. Armor brown/yellow/bone/gold hues (going to work on that part). If I use the jaguar skin look anywhere is unlikely, tho maybe certain fabrics to represent pelts. 

So here’s my first test model, a Blighted Nyss Shepard. I was most inspired by the colors of the woman with the bird headdress: muted palate, blue tone feathers, yellow armor. I’m skipping the red tone, as it will keep the model in a more simple two-tone that I like.

Blighted Nyss Shepherd Legion of Everblight

Yeah, the base is still incomplete–I ordered a set of Aztec-themed bases from Dragonforge, but they’ll be a while until they get completed and shipped to me. It’s a great company, but just a single dude who casts his product on request. So gotta wait a bit on those, but it should be worth it if they turn out right. Check them out:

Dragonforge Aztex Bases

As for games, these first few were pretty ugly because I’m running lists more on what I have painted and table-ready (even if in old scheme) than what is really good with those Warlocks. However I need to start getting reps, no matter how the models are painted, so I can feel more confident with the force. I went with a mix of a new Warlock (Thagrosh2) that I’ve always wanted to try, and a classic I feel semi-comfortable with (Vayl1) as my first pairing attempt for these games.

Vayl1 vs Denny1

Vayl1 takes the field against Deneghra1. I lost my first game with Thagrosh2 when I came up one attack short on Denny1 (and totally forgot to Feat… which would have led to the winning attack on a Scourge-knocked-down Denny). I won this game in the same way, he just couldn’t finish off Vayl1 thanks to enough transfers. Which led to a Incited Raek surviving a free strike and getting onto Denny without any Focus for an assassination. 

It’s a start at least. Now more games will slowly let me shape things up. A new model painted, a lesson learned, bases completed. It’ll be a long road, but I’m excited about the promise of this faction and this year of gaming. Is it a monstrous mistake to go down this road rather than Protectorate? Time will see.

365 Points Challenge Progress (2018):

70/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2018: 14 (Win/Loss 6/8); 2017: 120 (Win/Loss 86/34): 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14)

Legion of Everblight:

1 Wins (Denny1) / 1 Losses (Denny1)

Protectorate of Menoth:

4 Wins (Gaspy2, Helynna, Vlad2, Sorscha1) / 0 Losses

Convergence of Cyriss:

1 Win (Haley3) / 7 Losses (Heretic, Rask, Kaelyssa, Xerxis, Siege2, Testament, Bradigus)

 

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A Plan to Keep the Faith

A Plan to Keep the Faith

So following my first trip to the Warmachine ATC (America’s Team Championship), I resolved to play a single faction more consistently. Given what my interests are in the game, I evaluated the factions at my disposal and I’m leaning toward the Protectorate of Menoth. I want to focus for the year on a single faction, and right now I’m leaning this way. However, I reserve my right to change my mind. February 3rd is my deadline to have decided on the faction to focus upon for this year: my teammate Ryan has ensured that he will mock me mercilessly if I swap at all after that point.

To that end, my painting focus started on things that I can use with my Protectorate army that I was already working on. So here is Eilish Garrity, all done up in my Protectorate color scheme and ready to hit the table (and be painting progress for this update). I’m going to dive into some Protectorate troops next, but he was already in progress so I got him done and out of the way.

Eilish Garrity the Occultist in Protectorate of Menoth Color Scheme

I had been leaning toward Protectorate prior to the ATC anyhow, and had already gotten together and assembled an Exemplar Interdiction list that I wanted to run. I didn’t take them to the ATC simply because they were unpainted, so I’m relaxing that rule this year and allowing myself some unpainted play–just going to try and make sure I make progress between each gaming excursion.

Focus also means picking Warcasters and practicing them in repeated fashion. I looked first at the ADR casters selection that will run from January to July, but only one of them really appealed to me (Thyra). The others are not exactly in my interests to play. I love Durst, but I fear he’s got a fundamental flaw in his play style. Though I did laugh that all three “big armor” warcasters made the list… Made me think of a comparison:

2 Protectorate of Menoth Season 7 ADR

Also, after making that I have been listening pretty much non-stop to the Fat Boys, now realizing that now as an adult I really like their music.

With the decision to just skip ADR concerns, I started with a Warcaster that had some sort of question they could ask an opponent. I’ve never had one that posed the “can you handle this many weaponmasters?” question, and that’s what Protectorate does very well (prob only second to Cryx). So I decided on my first Warcaster experiment with in leading my forces: the Testament of Menoth.

Protectorate of Menoth Testament of Menoth

I’m not doing anything particularly special with him–there are a number of lists out there that combine him with Exemplars in interesting ways, leveraging his ability to return them and their ability to hit hard without buffs and get where they need to go on Feat turn.

Played a few games so far, and enjoyed them. Spacing is something I need to watch, as is my clock. I lost a few too many in my game against Retribution by being clumped up and suffering an AOE. And same with Kodiak clouds against Khador. I think these are things I’ll learn as I play them more on the table.

Testament vs Gaspy2

Not the best picture because of the sunlight streaming in, but took on Ryan’s Gaspy2 list. The clouds were difficult to deal with, but there were so many banes he couldn’t cover all of them so I still was able to leverage my attacks for a win. 

Testament vs Helynna

Second game against Steve’s Helynna and Ret. They definitely tested my recursion on one turn, taking out a lot of models when they committed the turn after Feat (as I mostly hung back to wait out the Feat). The Helios is a pain to be sure, but I managed to finally fell it with enough charges. 

Protectorate Testament vs Khador Vlad2

Next up I faced Justin’s Vlad2 list. This was a heck of a grind of a game, as working through his high defense solos and all that armor was a pain. I finally managed to get a point where I could get charges onto Vlad himself as my opponent worked to get ahead in points. It took Elias Gade, Rhoven’s Honor Guard Gius and Cassian, and Testament himself down to the last bought attack to finish him. 

Protectorate Testament vs Sorscha1 Khador

Justin and I played a second game, and he swapped over to Sorscha1. Again, a grind of a game (I’m starting to see that’s a thing with Testament). He went for an assassination with Sorscha, and even though I was stationary from her Feat his damage rolls were just too poor to get through my stack of focus. Another win for Testament, and it taught me even more about running this list (which is more fiddly than it looks). 

So four games in and four victories. Should I take that as an omen? I’m looking forward to getting a second and third list up-and-running, so I can have some options–and I may experiment just a bit with a Hordes option as well. About three weeks until I need to be sure. I can do this!

365 Points Challenge Progress (2018):

69/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2018: 12 (Win/Loss 5/7); 2017: 120 (Win/Loss 86/34): 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14)

Protectorate of Menoth:

4 Wins (Gaspy2, Helynna, Vlad2, Sorscha1) / 0 Losses

Convergence of Cyriss:

1 Win (Haley3) / 7 Losses (Heretic, Rask, Kaelyssa, Xerxis, Siege2, Testament, Bradigus)

 

Converging at the ATC

Converging at the ATC

So this past weekend I attended the America’s Team Championship (ATC), playing with great players from my local meta of Pittsburgh. Our team, The Terminus and Friends Variety Hour (named that way because the only caster we were sure would be included for a long time was Terminus), managed to finish in 8th place overall with a 3-2 record as a team. We had some tough matches to be sure, playing our round 3 against the team that won it all (Top of 2 Grab a Brew) from California, and our round 4 against the team that finished 4th overall. You can check out the rounds and standings here and you can find our lists at the Conflict Chamber site. My own performance was not what I hoped it would be. I’m proud of two games: my first game was a solid win against a Haley3 list that I played a good game on, and my third game against Brandon Owens’ Siege2 list from the ATC-winning team ended in a 5 to 7 points spread in his favor at the end of seven rounds. He was ahead in attrition, but I scored first and managed to push it to seven (even while my forces dwindled due to his far better play). The other three games I made some key errors that cost me each game. So 1-1 I’m happy with, but there’s a distinct 0-3 I know I can improve.

Some more ruminations on the ATC are yet to come, but first painting as always… though maybe I need to revise that. I ended up playing Convergence of Cyriss at the ATC because I felt I could get it fully painted in time as a primary reason. And I think I need to put practice and familiarity ahead of painting completion to raise my competitive play level. So yeah, I’ll still list my painting as what I’m most proud of with these in future posts. And I’m doing the 365 points painted in a year challenge again. But expect a bit more acceptance of playing unpainted (and more focus on a single faction, but that’s for the next blog post). Anyhow, on to what I completed for the event:

1 Convergence of Cyriss Eminent Configurator Orion

Eminent Configurator Orion. A really fun piece to paint, as the strange solar calendar neck-piece is fun with him. There was lots of “ooh and ah” as opponents refreshed themselves on his rules, as he’s a very recent release. Pretty sure I didn’t represent him as well as one could. Still… happy with the paint job. 

2 Convergence of Cyriss Assimilator Art Deco Style

A second Assimilator to go with Orion. 

3 Convergence of Cyriss Prime Axiom Art Deco Style

And a Prime Axiom to go with him as well. I actually finished painting him after the first day of play in my hotel room overnight–so you’ll see he doesn’t have his porcelain art deco panels in the pic below. 

The ATC itself was a great event and great tournament, and I absolutely intend to return next January if I’m able. I was pleased with how my two lists painted up, and I think I presented a decent question with Lucant and covered his weaknesses with Orion okay.

4 ATC 2018 Convergence of Cyriss

My two lists, on the tray ready to play before round one!

The place was bustling with people, and one of my regrets was my plan for team T-shirts didn’t pan out. Lots of other teams had them! Gotta plot that for next year.

5 ATC Process 2018

Our first round opponents (from Missouri). This picture shows the set-up of the play and the size of the room. 155 players is a lot of Warmachine games at once!

Team tournament is a great format in many ways, as you get a bit of control (hopefully) over your games, to ideally face things you won’t be blown away by. But not entirely, as the other team is doing the same.

6 ATC Matchup Book 2018

We kept our “matchups book” ready to go thanks to our team captain Rob.

For each opponent/faction we listed Green for confident, Yellow for iffy, and Red for unlikely to win. You’ll see that the Khador and Retribution in this group had things that would be trouble for me, but I was confident into Cygnar. I got lucky and got paired against Cygnar that round (yay!) and won my game (only one of the weekend… /sob).

7 ATC Game 1

In the pressure of the games, I didn’t remember to take photos of all of them. Here’s game one at least–setting up to attack Cygnar and Haley3. Buildings would be my bane in round 4, but in this round it helped me to have that building in the middle for Lucant to hug up against.

8 ATC Game 4

The other game I snapped a shot of was round two: this is right after I went for it against Xerxis1. I could get a line on him from Orion, both Assimilators, and the Prime Axiom. And with my Feat up, I had hoped I could punch through his defenses. Unfortunately, the dice thought differently. 5 or less came up waaaay too often. Alas, can’t blame the distribution too much.

My third round ended in the loss on control point differential vs. Siege2 (run by Brandon of the tournament-winning team). My fourth round was a blowout facing John DeMaris’ Testament. I made a critical mistake with my Prime Axiom, but even if I hadn’t my chances in that game were very slim. And my final game was against Bradigus, and I got caught off guard and found Orion assassinated way too early in the game. I do truly loathe circle and their shenanigans, but I also need to be ready for them even in list construction. That’s one of my three takeaways from the event too–that I need to refine how I’m building lists.

So three big takeaways from the ATC 2018:

  1. I need to play a single faction more consistently to know them better and elevate both my speed of play and positioning of pieces. Getting reps in would have helped, especially in my Orion games. I ended up playing him three times out of five, and those were my three biggest losses–and it’s because i adopted him late and didn’t practice him nearly enough.
  2. I can relax my need to play things painted. I had a couple incomplete models at this tournament, and my list still made me happy on the table. And even if they were all just bare metal: this isn’t the forum for the painting to be something that keeps me from playing what is best.
  3. I really enjoy the team format, and definitely want to give this another try again next year.

I’m looking forward to following up on all three of these going forward. Onward to more gaming, more painting, and more fun!

365 Points Challenge Progress (2018):

64/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2018: 8 (Win/Loss 1/7); 2017: 120 (Win/Loss 86/34): 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14)

Convergence of Cyriss:

1 Win (Haley3) / 7 Losses (Heretic, Rask, Kaelyssa, Xerxis, Siege2, Testament, Bradigus)

Protectorate of Menoth:

0 Wins / 0 Losses

Calculations of a Year

Calculations of a Year

It’s the end of 2017, and I’m writing my final blog wrap-up for my personal Warmachine and Hordes gaming. I’m judging it as a successful year for me. Painted a whole ton of miniatures (561 total points). Won a qualifier for the Appalachian Cup, and got to second place in the Cup itself. Showed well enough in the GenCon masters to consider attending again. And played just about the same number of games as last year (120).

I’ve also learned that I have some specific faction interests, and that is focusing my painting. Trollbloods, Convergence of Cyriss, and potentially Protectorate of Menoth are the three that will be the one’s I’ll sustain for the long run. In particular, Convergence is calling my name right now.

It was a crazy fall semester for me, and that slowed my pace of gaming and painting somewhat. I didn’t hit my double-points for the year goal (730points), but I still did well beyond the 365 minimum I set myself. I also had to slow down my blogging, so this is just a final culminating one with some shots of the last bits of painting I’ve accomplished (and finally updated stats for my games).

Painting-wise I finished up a bunch of Convergence models and one Protectorate of Menoth Warcaster. At least for the start of 2018 I am going to focus on Convergence of Cyriss, as I’m enjoying playing them and managing to paint them effectively enough.

Convergence of Cyriss Transfinite Emergence Projector

Transfinite Emergence Projector. This is a great model, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. 

Convergence of Cyriss Modulator

Modulator. My second for the force. I sadly think that I’ve already changed my mind and only need one for my Orion army plans… but at some point when I finish a Prime Conflux it will be nice to have a pair of them. 

Convergence of Cyriss Accretion Servitors

Accretion Servitors. Gotta repair those robots!

Convergence of Cyriss Elimination Servitors

Elimination Servitors. They’re handy for spot removal, and get to be shield guards in theme. Now to finish two more sets to run with Iron Mother (and paint her… heh). 

Protectorate of Menoth Testament of Menoth

The lone non-Convergence for this stretch. I REALLY like how he turned out, as I love my theme for Protectorate. They’re just such a pain to paint, and are seeming to need more and more models to do right. Gotta get working on them. 

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):

561/365

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 120 (Win/Loss 86/34/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Trollbloods:

40 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn, Kaya2, Helynna x3, Stryker2, Kraye, Venethrax, Kaya3, Absylonia2, Skarre1 x2, Kallus2, Gaspy3, Karchev x3, Una2 x2, Saeryn & Rhyas, Grayle, Baldur2 x2, Baldur1, Horgle2, Kozlov x2, Exulon Thexus, Skarre2 x2, Siege, Vlad1, Lylyth1, Heretic x2, Nemo 1, Kraye, Calandra, Butcher1, Vlad2) / 11 Losses (Feora3, Exulon Thexus, Caine3, Haley1, Calandra, Kozlov, Absylonia2, Butcher3, Vlad1, Axis, Elara2, Coven)

Convergence of Cyriss:

17 Wins (Maddox, Haley2, Rask, Helynna, Makeda1 x2, Gorten, Kaelyssa x2, Vayl2, Gaspy1, Heretic, Haley3 x2, Butcher3 x2, Terminus) / 5 Losses (Venethrax, Helynna, Heretic x2, Child)

Protectorate of Menoth:

4 Wins (Kaelyssa, Magnus2, Skarre1, Lyltyh1) / 7 Losses (Makeda1, Deneghra1, Thyron, Kozlov, Kryssa, Fiona, Gaspy3)

Skorne:

8 Wins (Kaelyssa, Nemo3, Zaadesh2, Makeda1 x2, Kaya3, Grayle, MacBain) / 4 Losses (Makeda2, Venethrax, Grayle, Horgle2)

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)

Cryx:

2 Wins (Gaspy3 x2)