Monday, December 27, 2010

Black Library eBooks

Well, I received a Nook for Christmas, and I've been loving it so far.  Upon getting it though, I've been looking into where to pick up a ton of e-books, and additionally, ones which I want to read.

I realized today that Black Library produces ebooks for some of their books.  That's really exciting.  Does anyone have any experience using the ones they produce?  How good are they, quality-wise?  Just wanted to get some opinions before I pick up any books.

Thanks guys!

A set of wonderful Christmas gifts!

Well, with Christmas (and the gifts) done, I finally can post and enjoy my new gains.

To start, Rob bought me Conflict of Heroes: Price of Honour - Poland 1939, an expansion to the Conflict of Heroes series.  I've never managed to play more than the first 2 firefights from the first game (Awakening of the Bear), despite really liking the rules.  Let's hope I can get some time and drive to get it and this expansion on the table.  Thanks Rob!

Next, the girlfriend bought me a Nook, from Barnes and Noble.  I'm in love with the thing.  Currently, I'm reading Anabasis by Xenophon.  More on all of this in a later post.

When I came home from spending the weekend with the girlfriend's parents, I found on my doorstep a copy of GMT Games' The Spanish Civil War.  I had apparently ordered it, and long forgotten about it (I had canceled all my GMT preorders earlier this year because of financial constraints).  That was a pleasant surprise, I don't own a single game on the subject, and I've heard good things about this one.

Finally, I received a ton of free ASL products, to help assist with playtesting, as well as being a better player.  This included a bunch of the old ASL Annuals, which was a huge surprise.  I'm almost done clipping the counters for Beyond Valour, and once that's done, you can be sure to see several battle reports of Advanced Squad Leader as I work to gain more proficiency with the rules and tactics.

I got a ton of other great gifts, but they aren't really relevant to my wargaming, so I won't list them here.

Anyway, hope everyone's Christmas was awesome!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Yeah, like there isn't enough blogs saying this exact thing today :).

No real content, but I wanted to wish everyone who takes time to stop by and read this blog a Merry Christmas.  I really appreciate you guys stopping by, and I have a bunch of ideas for the new year to provide reason to come back!

Have a safe and happy holidays in the meantime!

Merry Christmas!

Yeah, like there isn't enough blogs saying this exact thing today :).

No real content, but I wanted to wish everyone who takes time to stop by and read this blog a Merry Christmas.  I really appreciate you guys stopping by, and I have a bunch of ideas for the new year to provide reason to come back!

Have a safe and happy holidays in the meantime!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reinforcements for my Warmachine armies assembled!

Finished assembly on a few miniatures.  Nothing special conversion-wise, but it's nice to have new toys to use (and I've already gotten use out of some of them!).


Rutger Shaw and a Warwitch Siren

Rutger Shaw doesn't really help me much, since I can't use him in any of my armies, but since I'm only a unit away from having a playable Four Star Syndicate Army, maybe I'll have a chance to get him on the table one of these days yet.

Next on the assembly table are Cataphract Arcuarii for Skorne and Khorne Berserkers for 40K.
Hopefully I get some painting done this upcoming week!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quick Battle Report, Cryx vs Khador, 35 pts, 12/16/10

No pictures today, although Rob took a few, so whenever he gets around to posting I'm sure you can see them there.

I played a quick 35 point game against Rob yesterday.  I randomly choose my caster nowadays, and ended up with Iron Lich Asphyxious, for Cryx.

My list:
Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Deathripper
- Deathripper
- Defiler
Bane Knights (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Soulhunters (Leader and 2 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Warwitch Siren
Pretty basic stuff.  I wanted to give the Soulhunters a shot, to see how they functioned.  The Warwitch Siren is also a new addition.  Still working to bring new awesome things into my armies :).

Rob's list:
Vladimir, The Dark Prince
- Behemoth
- Drago
Man-o-war Bombardiers (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Winter Guard Mortar Crew (Leader and Grunt)
Winter Guard Mortar Crew (Leader and Grunt)
Widowmaker Marksman

When we were teaching Frans to play warmachine, Frans used (with some direction) Vlad to pretty cool results, especially with shooting.  Rob wanted to leverage this into a fairly strong ranged list, and although I think this is a good start, I could tell that this wasn't going to be an easy fight for him.  Most of those AoE (even after Signs & Portents) aren't terribly scary to my infantry, since I'm generally stealthed.  Regardless, you never know.

We rolled up a random scenario, and ended up with Convergence.  Basically, an 11" circle in the middle of the table, at the end of every player's turn, if someone is in full control of the circle, they get a point- first one to 2 points wins.

Rob won the roll, and chose to go second.  I think that was probably a mistake (I would always go first!), and I told him so, but still, I was plenty happy to go first.

Turn 1:
I started my turn by advancing everything forward.  The Warwitch gave a focus to the Defiler, who ran forward (although not into the circle), and everything moved up 4-5 inches.  Nothing in the control zone yet.

Rob pretty much did the same.  Everything moved forward a few inches, although the jacks ran forward maybe 7 or so inches.  He tried a ranging shot with the mortars but was still far out of range.  However, he ended the turn with nothing in the control zone.  Bad news.

Turn 2:
I ran a Deathripper forward, and cast Parasite followed by a boosted Hellfire onto Drago, dealing about 10 points of damage.  Bane Lord Tartarus moved into the control zone as well.  My Bane Knights, Warwitch, and the Defiler moved towards the circle from my right.  The Bane Thralls moved in from my left.  I sent the Soulhunters 20" across the board into combat with his Widowmakers and Man-o-War Bombardiers, with the hopes of distracting them from shooting at me for a turn.  With things in the control zone, and no Rob- I gain the first control point.

Rob moved Vlad forward and popped his feat (as well as cast S&P).  Drago charged Bane Lord Tartarus, killing him.  The Behemoth charged my Deathripper, and killed him.  The Man-o-Wars managed to kill the Soulhunter engaged with them, but the Widowmakers didn't have much success, dealing only 4 points of damage to one of the other Soulhunters.  Rob ended the turn claiming a control point, tying us at 1-1.

Turn 3:
I see my chance.  The Bane Thralls attempt to charge Drago, but only two of them can make it.  They still manage to deal a decent amount of damage, however.  The Withershadow Combine finishes him off though, creating a Slayer.  With only the Behemoth left, I can tell I only need to kill him to win.  Asphyxious decides he's up to the task.  I cast Parasite on the Behemoth, and Scything Touch on myself, and charge in.  Dice-1 with Sustained Attack, in addition to popping my feat means a dead Behemoth, and a victorious Cryx.

I think poor Rob was hindered both by the scenario.  Next time, we're going to randomly choose two scenarios ahead of time, write a list with those in mind, then choose one of them randomly before the game starts.  That should help both of us have a chance when we play again.  We'll see though!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Battle Report: Nations at War: WSR Basic Scenario 2: Le Hauderie and Montmar Tin-En Graignes

Wow, I've been busy!  This took me a bit longer to post up than I expected.

The final gaming I did on Black Friday was another game of Nations at War: White Star Rising, this time with an opponent: Rob.  We played scenario 2.

Scenario 2 covers, according to the description, an attack by the US 175th Regiment and 29th Infantry Division to take the towns of Le Hauderie and Montmar Tin-En Graignes, held by the German 17th SS and 352nd Divisions.

A quick Google search doesn't turn up either of those two towns, but I'm guessing that the scenario references the towns of Lenauderie and Montmartin-en-Graignes, which were kind of a side show to the Battle of Carentan (town shown on the map linked).  Maybe the names (or spelling of them) have changed in the years since the battle?

Regardless, Rob played as the Germans, and I took the Americans.  The goal was to advance the Americans across the map, and take either of the two cities.  I had 8 turns to accomplish this.  Nothing else special going on. 

I have two formations under my command: the 2/16 Infantry, consisting of a lot of infantry on foot with some heavy weapon support, and the 73rd Recon, with some Armored Infantry and an M8.

Rob's formations were elements of Kampfgruppe Dauer (SS infantry with heavy weapon support), and elements of Schtz.Btl.107 (consisting of... more infantry with weapon support).

Just a warning, pictures are a little flaky this battle report.  I struggled to get the camera to work correctly at the store.

Turn 1:
I advance both of my formations west (the American formation automatically activate the first turn of this scenario), crossing the bridges, and pretty much being stuck out in the open.

We then draw both of the German formation's chits, and Rob uses the opportunity to reposition his units to receive my attacks.

Movement in the North. No shooting yet.

And my movement in the South, again, thankfully, no shooting yet.

Turn 2:
The first chit drawn was the Schtz.Btl.107. They started shooting at my infantry (with their 81mm Mortar), disrupting one, and reducing another by shooting from a German Infantry unit.

I was disappointed, however, when we drew two straight End of Turn chits, ending the turn. That left my 2/16 Infantry a bit damaged and out in the open, without first getting a shot at recovery.

Turn 3:
First activation is the SS in the south. Since I'm out of effective range (and still embarked, limiting the effectiveness of his infantry) they don't accomplish anything.

2/16 activates next, and they begin to move into the woods. Having played on map A during my first solo experience with the game, I figured that the best way to get into position to attack the city would be through the woods. This helped a lot, since it meant I was out of sight of most of Rob's shooting. However, I didn't get away fully- the Schtz.Btl.107's mortar took an Opportunity fire shot against my ATG, and managed to disrupt and reduce it.

The Schtz.Btl.107 activates at this point and the mortar attempts to finish off the ATG, but failed to get any hits. Rob sends his HQ with an Infantry unit into assault against my HQ and Infantry, and are dealt 3 hits (and cause 1, I think), causing the unit and the HQ to be eliminated. Not good for him.

The turn couldn't end until the 73rd activated, and they finally did so, moving up safely (Rob had attempted firing with the SS earlier to no effect), and I disembarked my infantry, deciding that either way I was going to be vulnerable, but hoping to take cover in the cultivated terrain next turn and advance into the town.

Action in the North. With no Germans defending the forest, I'll get a good shot to move through it and threaten the target city safely, I hoped.

Status in the South. With luck, next turn I would begin to take chunks out of my opponent.

Turn 4:
The first chit drawn was the 2/16 Infantry, which is great news for me. I rally what I can, and I push through the forest. The 57mm ATG doesn't rally, and sits out in the open. I opt to leave it behind. My goal is the city. I move one of my infantry stacks to get a line of sight into the open road, just in case Rob tried to move across it, and threaten my army.

After drawing one of the End of Turn chits, we then drew the 73rd Recon. I chose to start reducing my opponent, and I open fire, killing one of the Arm Inf units facing me, and disrupting the ATG.

Fortunately for me, the second End of Turn chit was drawn, and although the German formations were required to activate next turn, it still felt great to get a practically free turn.

Progress in the north. Looking good!

Progress in the south (sorry about the glare!). The defenders start to feel a little sparse.

Turn 5:
Of course, in true 'fair' fashion, the Germans are the first two formations to activate on Turn 5. The Schtz.Btl.107 activates first.

With the HQ being thrown out of position by its death, the whole formation is not in a good spot. The 81mm Mortar failed it's Out of Command (OOC) check, limiting what it could do (basically, it's only allowed to fire as Opportunity Fire). The German HQ and the Pioneer unit went after the rear of my infantry column, assaulting into me and causing 3 hits, while taking one in return. The HQ attempted to bring a second unit with it, but it was disrupted en route.

The SS activated next, and began firing at my attackers, who were in the open. They disrupt the infantry squad stacked with my HQ, as well as another one of my infantry squads.

The 2/16's formation chit is drawn next, and ignoring the Germans, I move to the edge of the woods closest to the town, and prepare for my glorious assault.

The first end of turn chit is drawn, and I briefly stress that the 73rd could be subjected to a second round of shooting in the open, effectively ending it.

It's not to be, however, as the 73rd Recon's chit is drawn, and I rally my army. I assault into the nearest Arm Inf unit, but sadly take three hits (and dealt 1), eliminating the Infantry unit, and the HQ with it. I shove the rest of my infantry forward into the cultivated field, hoping that I activate before the SS do, so I can deal some heavy damage.

Turn 5 ends with me threatening both towns, but with pretty heavy losses in the south.

In the North, things aren't going so terrible. I can begin to attack the town next activation.

In the South, things aren't as great, as I'm now outnumbered and surrounded.

Turn 6:
The 73rd do get to activate next, and I quickly assault an Arm Inf squad, killing it. My M8 fails to provide any help with its shooting, yet again.

The first end turn chit is drawn, followed by the SS formation. They start by shooting at my Infantry squads, dealing 2 hits, disrupting my units. This is followed by an assault by one of the Arm Inf units, who dies for his efforts, but clears out my infantry, leaving me with only the M8 stacked with the HQ. Not a really scary combination. This effectively ends the game in the south- I spend the rest of the game taking a few shots at the defenders, and try to assault at one point, but I have no realistic shot of success there.

Unfortunately, the second End Turn chit is drawn, moving us to Turn 7.

American offensive is effectively ended in the South.

Turn 7:
The Schtz.Btl.107 activates to start the turn, and Rob begins to retreat everything he can back towards the town (sadly, it's less than he'd like). Everything has passed their OOC checks and rallied, so he's as good as he's going to be at this point. The HQ and the Pioneer assault another group of American infantry, and deal two hits.

The 73rd Recon and the SS both activate here, but since Americans have already lost down there, I'll skip the recap.

The 2/16 gets to activate before ending the turn, and I begin my assault. I send two Infantry units assaulting into the first hex of the city, and although they only score one hit (and take 0 in return), it's enough to clear the squad in there out of the way, meaning I've claimed the first hex of my goal! However, it's about to be turn 8, and if I don't get an activation I've lost!

Americans take the first hex of Ste Jeanne.

Turn 8:
And I get lucky. First activation is the 2/16!

They assault the city fully, and completely claim it, killing the defenders. Rob realizes that he has nothing that can get there and win it for him... and concedes the victory to me. Americans win!

I thought this scenario was a bit more interesting (and closer) than the first scenario, although it's a bit peculiar. There's two battles going on, and they have no reason to ever interact (since the Germans need to defend both cities. It's almost like two small scenarios being played at the same time. I'm not sure what the Americans can do in the South, although I suppose staying in the vehicles and maybe trying to get into the forest in the south would be an option. I don't think there's enough time to do it though.

In the North, I think I did what the Americans will have to do. Rob believes he set up his defense too far forward (meaning he was chasing me to the town at the end of the game) which is probably a true observation. If I ever get a chance to play this scenario again, that's probably what I will end up doing.

So far, definitely like the system. Hopefully I'll get a play on Scenario III soon!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cryx vs Khador, 35pts, 11/26/10

Part of my fun non-shopping Black Friday was spent playing Warmachine (amidst plenty of board games, as mentioned on my Cardboard Warriors blog).  Rob had been really excited to play Karchev, who he's been getting more and more experience with, and I was definitely eager to play.

I've been getting in the habit of randomly choosing my warcasters/warlocks before each game, this way I won't neglect casters just because I'm not good with them.  Occasionally, I'll be forced to play with casters/locks I'm not great with, and hopefully get some more practice.  My random choice this time was Epic Deneghra.  She's an interesting choice- most people think she's just the most amazing scenario caster in the game, and we just happened to be playing a scenario.  Hmm...  Sadly, I've not used her in MkII.  That means this would be an EXTRA interesting game.

My list:
Wraith Witch Deneghra
- Nightwretch
- Nightwretch
- Skarlock Thrall
Bane Knights (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith

Just about the same list I ALWAYS take.  Unfortunately, after randomly choosing my caster, I realized I didn't have her model handy.  It's assembled, but sadly it was at home.  Sad.  That means that yes, I did proxy her.  I can't go against the random-ness, can I?  I used regular Deneghra for her instead.

Rob's list:
Karchev the Terrible
- Berserker
- Juggernaut
- Marauder
Greylord Ternion (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Greylord Ternion (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Man-o-war Bombardiers (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Man-o-war Shocktroopers (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Koldun Lord

Rob ran a Tier 4 Karchev list.  Not a bad choice of models, honestly, although I might have switched up the jacks.  Regardless, pretty hard looking army.


Plenty of terrain on the table. That hill was our objective. We were playing Convergence (I believe that's the name). Basically, we need to control the hill to win.

Rob deployed first:

Since these were completely proxied, a quick translation for you. The Assault Kommandoes are Ternions, those medium based models are all Man-o-Wars of some stripe, the jacks are jacks, aside from the Slayer, which is actually Karchev.

My deployment:

Spread out, just like usual.

Turn 1:
Rob advances everything as far forward as he can.

I advance everything as well. I run a Nightwretch onto the hill, and cast Curse of Shadows on the Shocktroopers, and Pursuit on the Bombardiers.

Turn 2:
The Shocktroopers charge the Nightwretch, and do 10 damage to it (and most importantly, knock out the Arc Node). The Bombardiers shoot, and manage to kill a Bane Thrall. Everything else moves towards the hill.

The Nightwretch advances through the Man-O-Wars and shoots them, dealing 4 damage. The Withershadow Combine manages to kill one of the Bombardiers, and the Bane Thralls kill the unit of Shocktroopers. I move eDenny up onto the hill, and pop my feat, locking the Khador army in place for a turn. I also try to Hellmouth the Bombardiers, but don't deal much damage. The rest of my army swarms the hill.

Turn 3:
Karchev chooses to spray his own jack in front of him, and manages to get eDenny under the spray. He kills a Bane Thrall, deals 9 damage to Deneghra (and knocks her down!), and damages a Nightwretch. Rob tries to follow up with the 2 Bombardiers nearby, who should've killed her... but rolls a double one for one of the shots, and the second shot only deals 5 points of damage. The Ternions manage to kill 3 Bane Knights.

I finally remember to go Incorporeal at the beginning of my turn, and stand up, and move out to the back of the hill, away from the action. Eek. I keep swarming the middle though- my Bane Thralls, Mech Thralls, and Bane Lord Tartarus all charge into the Khador jacks, dealing a ton of damage, and crippling a few systems. I send the Bane Knights into the Ternions, locking them in place, and killing a few. The Withershadow Combine finish off the Bombardiers.

Things aren't looking too too bad at this point, I'll almost have killed the majority of Rob's threats, and I still have a few parts of my army intact. However, with some luck, Rob could definitely wipe out my front rank of guys, and I didn't have much left after that should he succeed.

Turn 4:
Rob knows he has to do things now to win, or else I would wear him out, and then he wouldn't stand a chance. He has the Juggernaut and Marauder trample through my troops, killing a total of 3 Bane Thralls. The Koldun Lord sprayed another Bane Lord... giving Karchev a path to move up and spray Deneghra. He does, and deals enough damage to kill her.

Unfortunately for the both of us, I learned a few days later that Karchev's spray isn't magical, and Rob definitely thought it was. With that said, I think the game was still fantastic, and I still have it marked in my books as a loss. Rob put himself in position to win throughout the game, and although I was saved by luck once, I was going to struggle to keep the pressure going on him after his mass trampling.

I'm still pretty unfamiliar with epic Deneghra, so I'm looking forward to playing her again. I'm not sure when it will be, but I need to re-evaluate what I take with her. I'm assembling some Soulhunters, which should help provide me some extra threat range, and I'll probably need to fit in another arc node. We'll see how I perform next time I use her!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Last weekend gaming

On Black Friday, instead of wasting my time with all that 'shopping' stuff my girlfriend talks about so much, I decided to go play some games at Games and Stuff in Glen Burnie with Rob.

It was a pretty interesting event- it ran from 11am till about 3 am on Saturday (and we were there for all but maybe an hour or so of it).  And man, did we get some games in. 

Starting the day off, we played two games of Dust Tactics- a newish release from Fantasy Flight Games.  It uses miniatures, but it's not really much of a 'miniature' game, since a lot of mini concepts don't really fit.  It's pretty simple, and played pretty quick (once we figured out that Rob was teaching the rules wrong ;) ).

Ended up playing it twice, with Rob taking the first scenario, and me the second.

Scenario 1:

Scenario 2, early in the game:

We followed this up by playing two games of Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943. I was the Americans twice, and lost both times. I'm just not sure how to get the Americans to win, grrr.

Next time we play, we should be trying a scenario, maybe that will make the games more competitive.

Next up, we played Incursion, by Grindhouse Games, a Nazi-era game with zombies. It was a pretty good time, and plays similarly to Space Hulk in some ways. Our first (introductory) scenario was a basic one- the Americans have to close off the entrance points to stem the tide of zombies. After a particularly unlucky turn for Rob (playing the Americans) I cruised to a win.

The second game involved both players trying to retrieve an item in the center of the map, and taking it off board. I got there first, but died, and Rob grabbed it and took it off the board for a win.

Some pictures from the second game:

Next up was a game of Warmachine. That gets covered on one of my other blogs.

Next, we played a game of Manoeuvre, a quick-playing favorite of ours. We ended up playing the Ottomans (run by myself), vs the Spanish, run by Rob. After trading some blows early on, I pushed forward for a nightfall victory, by having my cav swarm his side of the board late game.

This picture is a little after halfway through the game. One of my cav units got surrounded up towards the top, but thankfully survived.

Nations at War, scenario 2 followed- I'll put a post up about that here soon.

Hold the Line was next. This is a Worthington Games release covering the Revolutionary War. The scenario tried was the invasion of Long Island, with me playing the British. I'm not sure I really got the hang of this game- the Americans retreated pretty easily, and I wasn't able to put much pressure on them throughout the game.

Early game:

Later on:

We finished up the day with another game of Manoeuvre, with me as the Americans facing off against the Austrians. It came down to the wire- I put myself into position to win on the last roll of the game, assuming an about average roll. Failing that though, I ended up losing.

Lots of gaming, and lots of fun. I also won a copy of the Flames of War Operation Bagration campaign game which was a nice bonus.

Will have the playthroughs of the two games mentioned up as soon as I can!

Skorne vs Khador, 35 pts, 11/18/10

Rob and I played a game, this time taking my Skorne- his first experience facing them.

My list:
Lord Tyrant Hexeris
- Cyclops Savage
- Cyclops Savage
- Molik Karn
- Titan Gladiator
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Ancestral Guardian
Totem Hunter

I randomly determine my casters before each game, and thankfully I chose Lord Tyrant Hexeris, who I've been eager to play forever.  I wasn't really sure what to run with him, so I chose a varied assortment of stuff, plus added Molik Karn, who I haven't tried using before.  The Totem Hunter was another new choice for me.  Figured it'd be a fun army.

Rob's list:
Kommander Strakhov
- Destroyer
- Spriggan
- War dog
Assault Kommandos (Leader and 5 Grunts)
- 1 Assault Kommando Flame Thrower
Assault Kommandos (Leader and 5 Grunts)
- 1 Assault Kommando Flame Thrower
Assault Kommandos (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Widowmaker Marksman

Rob chose a Tier 4 Strakhov list.  Strakhov was one of Rob's first casters, and I think it's just plain awesome he's trying out the theme forces.  Moral win for Rob already!  Regardless, I'm not sure how this would function.  Two flamethrowers really aren't scary enough, and the Kommandos themselves would struggle with my beasts. Still, you never know what Rob has up his sleeve.

We've been trying to get more scenario play into our games, so for this game our scenario is Killbox. If a caster is too close to the edge of the table at the end of his activation, he loses. This didn't come up this game... but as we do other scenarios we'll start seeing the effects of them come into play, I'm sure.


A few buildings. Green felt is forest, wooden pieces are walls.

Rob deploys first:

Since he proxies, I've labeled what everything is.

I deploy next.

Nothing terribly exciting- really didn't have a game plan at this point.

Turn 1:
The Khador advances forward, with the Assault Kommandos hoping into the trenches.

I also advance forward, and cast Death March on the Swordsmen, and Soul Slave on the Titan Gladiator. I had dreams of slamming something into Strakhov and punishing him for the win, but it was just a dream. Having some ability to put some distance on my spells would be helpful though, I thought.

Turn 2:
The Assault Kommandos spring forward and kill 3 Swordsmen with their shooting. Another unit shoots at one of my Cyclops (as well as dropping his defense), and the Spriggan joins in, resulting in 7 damage to the Cyclops, and a dead Paingiver.

I send everything into his line, trying to do all the damage I can. I think I killed about 12 Assault Kommandos? Something like that. It was a beating. Swordsmen and Ancestral Guardians charge in on the left, both Cyclopses and the Gladiator go in on the middle, and I send the Totem Hunter off to my right, leaping into combat with the Widowmakers, killing one and locking them all in combat.

View of the battle on my left:

On my right:

Turn 3:
Strakhov pops his feat, but after a lot of deliberating, Rob decides he can't really get to my warlock, and instead charges the Destroyer into my Gladiator, dealing heavy damage (bringing him down to 2 health!), and the Spriggan charges into one of my Cyclops, killing him. The Widowmakers, desperate to add their fire onto the Gladiator, attempt to leave the combat with the Totem Hunter, but are killed to a man.

Molik Karn joins the Titan Gladiator in killing the Destroyer. The Totem Hunter comes across the table, into contact with some of the remaining Assault Kommandos, killing two, and Hexeris hops into the forest, nice and safe. The remaining Swordsmen and the Ancestral Guardian kill the last Assault Kommandos on my left.

Rob concedes at this point. I have a pretty intact army, and he's down to his warcaster, War Dog, and a Spriggan. The Totem Hunter and Molik Karn are likely to put a LOT of heat on Strakhov next turn, so he decides to give me the victory.

Rob mentioned that he enjoyed playing against Skorne- they are a lot less tricky to play against, and they definitely don't feel much like Cryx to play nor face.

I had a good time with my Skorne, as I always do, but my warlock spent the entire game doing almost nothing, so I don't have much of a feel for Hexeris. I'll hopefully get him into another game soon, because I really do enjoy using him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Battle Report: Nations at War: WSR Basic Scenario 1: Noville, Belgium

After reading the rules, clipping the counters, and looking longingly at Nations at War: White Star Rising for several weeks, I finally got around to playing it.  Unfortunately, I didn't have an opponent handy, so I ended up playing it solo.  This generally isn't a bad thing, especially when I'm first playing a game, because I'm sure I'll need to check the rules multiple times, slowing down a Face-to-Face game.

The first scenario covers a precursor battle to the Siege of Bastogne, in Noville, Belgium.  In the battle, a battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) and 4 M18 tank destroyers attacked units of the 2nd Panzer Division who were en route to capture fuel dumps needed for the German offensive.  The M18, a notoriously fast vehicle, and the infantry support got to a spot on the highway well before the German objective, and began to attack.  The result was a solid victory for the Americans- the M18's strong shooting and mobility caused the Germans to stall on the attack (believing they were going up against a significantly stronger force than they actually did), and the Americans ended in possession of the town.

In the scenario, we have a similar situation.  Kampfgruppe Beck, with its 6 tank platoons and infantry support are attacking the town of Ste. Jeanne, defended by infantry of the 507th PIR, as well as tank support from Combat Command Alpha (CCA).  An M18 platoon is attached to the 507th.

To make the game more interesting, a portion of the Kampfgruppe Beck formation enters from a randomly determined board edge as a flanking force.


The Americans deployed on both sides of the road, but kept a sizeable amount of forces back with the town, in case the Germans broke through (the tanks would hopefully have to assault the town, which isn't favorable for tanks vs. defending infantry).

The Germans deployed in the town, prepared to advance across the river as soon as possible.

Nations at War: White Star Rising uses a chit-pull system, so there's no guarantee certain formations will activate from turn to turn. This factors into the German plans- they have to move into position fast, because they can't know how many chances they'll have (they will activate a minimum of once every other turn however). They have 8 turns to accomplish their objective.

Turn 1:
Very uninteresting turn. The first chit draw was the End of Turn chit. CCA was then drawn, but with no one in sight and no real need to reposition, they passed. The second End of Turn chit was drawn, ending the turn.

Since neither the 507th nor the KG Beck chit was drawn this turn, neither End of Turn chit was returned to the cup. One would be added back to the cup upon each of these formations activating.

Turn 2:
The first chit was the 507th, who passed, since they didn't have anything to do.

KG Beck finally activated. The flanking force rolled to see their entrance location, rolling a 3, meaning they were coming in from the south. The tanks on the right moved across the river. The M18 on the hill took the opportunity fire shot at a Panzer IV, and reduced it. The unit of Para Inf with the HQ also Op-fired at another tank, but failed to get any hits.

The units coming from the south (a Tiger, a STUG-III, and a unit of Infantry) advanced into the forest right next to the 507th. The 57mm ATG fired at the Tiger, but had no result, but the mortar hit the STUG-III and disrupted it.

The 2nd End of Turn counter, just added back to the cup, was drawn, ending the turn.

Turn 3:
507th start the turn by activating, and with plenty of targets, they unload.

57mm ATG fires at the STUG for no result.

The Para Inf and HQ fired at the Panther nearby, resulting in 3 hits (using 2 Fate Points to enhance the rolls), which kills it. The other Para Inf deployed towards the front retreats some.

The M18 fired at a Panzer IV, disrupting it, then moved back. The 60mm mortar tried adding its fire to the Panzer IV, but did no damage.

Not a terrible round of shooting- losing a tank this early is bad news.

CCA activated next, but did nothing but reposition to prepare for the German advance.

Two consecutive End of Turn chits end the turn, and with the Germans out in the open- they definitely had to be concerned about getting their activation (so they could rally from their disruption) before taking more fire.

Turn 4:
End Turn marker is drawn. The second one won't be added until the KG Beck activate, however.

Luckily for them, they get the first activation. Unfortunately, both the STUG III and a PzIV fail to rally (although the PzIV with the HQ does), meaning they would be unable to shoot or move closer to enemies they could see.

The Tiger takes a point blank shot at the ATG, rolling 4 dice and needing 3s to cause hits, he manages to get only a single hit, which disrupts the ATG. The PzIV and the HQ take a shot at the ParaInf (w/HQ) in front of them causing 3 hits and killing it. I have two of the German Infantry units unload from their APCs, and try to have the Panther assault the Mortar, hoping to clear it out of the forest. The Panther, sadly, deals 0 hits, and takes 1 in return, disrupting it. The other transports wait, hoping that next activation the tanks can clear enough of a hole for them to make a move towards the town.

And the second End Turn chit is drawn ending the turn. Halfway through the game, the Germans aren't making very good progress, although the 507th isn't looking very good at the moment.

Turn 5:
At the start of this turn, a Chaos Marker is added to the cup. If it's drawn, a random event occurs.

The 507th activated, and with the HQ being moved way back after his death (and his reduced command range), the formation had to start checking for being Out of Command. The ATG and the mortar both failed the test, meaning they wouldn't be allowed to shoot or move, except as Opportunity Fire. The ATG did rally, however. The HQ moved onto the hill, to bring the southern elements back into command.

The Chaos chit was drawn, and the roll resulted in a Comms Breakdown- the next activation to activate would have to roll for being Out of Command, regardless of where their HQ is!

CCA got the pleasure of suffering the effects, and it was pretty painful, with an M4A1, and Armored Infantry, and the M4A3E8 going OOC. A different Sherman with the HQ fired at a Panther, causing a hit, but was negated by the armor.

The 81mm Mortar was more successful, however, firing at the Sd.Kfz.521, causing 2 hits (using 1 Fate Point), reducing and disrupting the half-track.

The first End Turn chit was drawn, bad news for the German...

But again, are lucky to be activated in time. The STUG and Sd.Kfz.521 all rally, starting things off great.

The sHQ and a Tiger assault into the ATG, causing a single hit (and taking none in return), knocking it into the open. The STUG III and the Arm Inf did the same to the 60mm mortar, but caused two hits, reducing it before knocking it into the open.

The reduced half-track overran the mortar, causing a single hit and killing it, but takes 2 hits (and negating one) from the M5A1's OpFire, disrupting it. The other Sd.Kfz.521's infantry disembarks. The HQ and PzIV moved up to the M18, which OpFired, causing 3 hits (using another Fate Point to increase the die roll), only one of which gets negated, reducing and disrupting the PzIV.

The second End Turn chit is drawn, ending the turn.

Turn 6:
The first two chit draws were End Turn chits. A VERY quick turn.

Turn 7:
Every formation would have to activate this turn, since none activated last turn. The first End Turn chit was drawn immediately, for all that it matters.

The 507th activated first. The ATG in the open failed to rally. The M18 fired at the PzIV next to him, hoping for the kill, and caused a hit, but the armor negated it, and the M18 moved away. The 507th end their activation, since they didn't really have much else to contribute.

Combat Command Alpha activated next, and started by shooting their M4A1 with the HQ at the STUG III, causing 3 hits (with none negated), killing it. The M5 fired at the reduced Sd.Kfz.521 in the open, and gets a hit, but the armor roll negated it. However, the 81mm mortar took a shot at the unit, and caused two hits, killing it.

KG Beck finally activated, and managed to rally everything, but by now they were pretty severely weakened, and needed to get to that town as soon as possible. They advanced up, with the sHQ and Tiger overrunning the ATG, killing it.

Turn 8:
Well, it's not looking good for the Germans. They need to take all three town hexes, and don't really have a lot of forces in range. Plus, they needed to actually be activated this turn. Going to be tough!

The 507th was activated first. The HQ and the Para Inf moved up, hoping to assault the Tiger, but the OpFire from the Tiger deals 3 hits (with the terrain negating 1), disrupting and reducing the Infantry.

KG Beck gets their activation, and prepare for the final push. The sHQ and Tiger fire at the CCA HQ w/ the M4A1. They cause 2 hits, and although 1 hit is negated by the armor, it's enough to disrupt the unit, preventing it from shooting.

An Arm Inf moved to Assault the M5 and the reduced Para Inf, and deals 2 hits, taking 2 in return, but manages to kill the 507th HQ, and again, prevents the M5 from shooting.

Finally ready for the push, the KG Beck HQ moves with the PzIV towards the town, and are fired upon by the M18, who causes 3 hits, killing the PzIV and HQ.

Unable to achieve their objectives, the Panther tries to go in anyway, and takes a shot from a Sherman, disrupting it.

Game ends with no hexes of the city under German control. Pretty solid defeat.

This scenario is tough on the Germans, who really have no choice but to go straight at the city, right through the prepared defender's lines of fire. There isn't enough time to go around to either the north or south, though I suppose they could take a shot at going through the southern forest some, to protect against some fire, but I'm not sure it would help tremendously. However, it's a fairly good introduction to the series, and hopefully I'll get some more games in soon!

Local Competition November Results

Painting: Frans wins this- he did small amounts of work on a large amount of models, and really that's pretty tedious, but important work!
Construction: Rob wins here- he assembled two Firestorm Armada fleets, which was a task filled with hurdles.
Blogging: I win here, since most of my friends didn't blog all last month (again).

Gaming: Votes had me win here- Frans did teach several people to play though, which is great for the hobby, but my games were all larger and more involved, which people were more impressed with (or something).

So the totals:

Frans: 6 (3 Playing, 1 Construction, 2 Painting)
Steve (me): 6 (4 Blogging, 2 Gaming)
Ben: 4 (3 Painting, 1 Blogging)
BK: 2 (2 Construction)
Rob: 2 (2 Construction)
Nathan: 0

I climb into a tie for first.  One month to go!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Accomplishments for November

Alright, another month down!  What did I do?

Painting: I made some progress on my Titan Gladiator, finally.  It's not much, but I finished the red and began painting the bronze.  Hopefully I can have him done by the year end (if I push myself!)

Here are the current pictures (thanks Rob!).

Assembly: I began working on assembling a 3-man unit of Soulhunters (the Cryx light cavalry). They've been filed, washed, and I've started assembling them, but they aren't finished. Surprisingly, I've also been working on some 40K miniatures- I began filing and working on a unit of Khorne Berserkers! Not very far along though, I admit.

Gaming: Played 4 games with my Cryx (25 pts vs BK, 35 pts vs Rob twice, and 25 pts vs Ben), 1 game with my Skorne (35 pts vs Rob), and 2 solo games of Blood Bowl.

Blogging: Like always, you can just look at my blog(s) to see what I've posted last month.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Review: The First Heretic

Recently finished the most recent release for the Horus Heresy series, so decided I'd write a review of it.

The First Heretic is the 14th book in the series, and is written by Aaron Dembski-Bowden ('easily the coolest name' according to a clip from the DLT podcasts).  He's written a few other books for Black Library, but I don't believe I've read any of them yet.

The novel covers Lorgar and his legion, the Word Bearers.  There are three phases to the book, which are actually divided to help the reader out:
Grey, the Word Bearers fall from grace, and their punishment by the Emperor.
Pilgrimage, their voyage to discover Gods worthy of their worship and go to the place where 'gods and man meet' or some such, and
Crimson, their first steps as a legion of Chaos.

I'll highlight the good/bad things about the book, and what I think of it overall- I don't think there is much in the way of spoilers, since the basic story (the Word Bearers turn to Chaos) is not surprising to fans of the universe.

First, the overall progression of the story is fantastic.  Covering some 43 years of Word Bearers history is pretty significant given the end result of the period.  As you read, you get to see how a very very loyal (and faithful legion) gets on the Emperor's 'bad side', and how it is hinted to be very close to receiving the same treatment two of the other legions (the expunged legions).  You also get the whole story as to the journey of discovery the legion undertook to search for the gods of the Old Faith- who they are convinced exist, since so many different worlds in very different parts of the galaxy have stories related to them.  Upon finding the gods, we get to experience the legion's transformation into the new Word Bearers, as well as read about the first Possessed.  The story moved along pretty well throughout.  There was plenty of dialogue, which is important for fleshing out the background of the Horus Heresy, but there was no shortage of action (including another perspective of Isstvan V) to help break up the 'slower' parts.

To me, the focus of the Horus Heresy series is (or largely should be) on the Primarchs, and this book does a great job of that.  Lorgar features heavily and there are interactions with Guilliman, Magnus, and Corax (briefly), as well as appearances by Perturabo, Konrad Curze, and Alpharius.  Corax, Guilliman, and Perturabo really haven't been in the series thus far, so their inclusion was a nice bonus (at least for me).  Curze has only been in the Audiobooks, so again, I loved the fact he was in it.  Of course, the focus of the book is on Lorgar, and the book does a fantastic job filling in details of his personality and skills (largely as an orator).  It also makes a point to show that he is VERY different than his brothers when it comes to combat skills.  Lorgar laments several times throughout the book on this, early on saying "I will never understand tactics and logistics with the effortless ease of Guilliman or the Lion.  I will never possess the skill with a blade shown by Fulgrim or the Khan," as he struggles with his role in the galaxy.  As the book progresses, he struggles with his role and beliefs, finally deciding to worship gods that WANT to be worshipped, and provide gifts to those that do. 

This book, like the first few in the series, I think does a GREAT job of really giving the reader a view into the mind of a genetically engineered superhuman- something I think makes these books the best in the series.  You get to know Lorgar, his goals, his feelings on faith and the universe (and his place in it), and also you sympathize somewhat with the reasons for his turning traitor.  Dembski-Bowden does a fantastic job of getting you inside Lorgar's head, as well as any of the authors in the series have done so far.

I love the new perspective on the battle of Isstvan V.  Sure, we read about the battle somewhat in Fulgrim, but here we read about the roles of some of the various traitor legions who came towards the end of the fight, as well as how the massacre at the end unfolded.  Lorgar's role in the battle was an interesting read, as well as the interactions between him and two of his brothers.

Overall, I'd say this is a great addition to the series- indeed I think it's one of the stronger books in the series, and although it hasn't moved the story on past Isstvan, knowing the background behind another legion's fall and the brief lead-up to the battle on Calth (where the Word Bearers fight the Ultramarines, delaying their movement to defend Terra) is fascinating.  If you love the series, you'll read it anyway.  If you have interest in the Word Bearers, there are plenty of background bits to warrant reading it on its own.

**** SPOILERS? ****

You know, there's a point where Ingethel is showing 'truths' to members of the Word Bearers legion, including Argel Tal, and implies/states flat out that the Emperor only learned of the science needed to create the Primarchs (and the Adeptus Astartes and Custodes) by interaction with the Chaos gods.  I wonder how true that is.  It could be a trick of the Chaos gods, but if it's true... that really throws the Imperium in a new light, and especially changes how I'd view the Emperor.  That's just a crazy insinuation.  That whole scene is just filled with a lot of revelations about the universe, assuming they are all true.

I LOVE the references to the missing legions.  To me, one of the more interesting parts is a member of the Word Bearers implying that they may have had to fight one of those legions at one point, that it was indeed a heartbreaking moment in history, and that the loss of one (or both) of the legions is what gave the Ultramarines their recruiting numbers, helping them to become the most populous of the legions.  We may never know what the truth behind those legions were (story-wise, I understand their role from Games Workshop's standpoint), but it is fun to read hints about them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can't seem to protect my warcaster! (Cryx vs Trollbloods, 25pts, 11/16/10)

Ben and I played another game during our lunch break.

My list:
Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Nightwretch
- Deathjack
- Slayer
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Bane Lord Tartarus
Ben had expressed a lack of fear over the Cryx jacks, aside from Arc Nodes.  I wanted to try to run more jacks, and hope to inspire some terror.

Ben's list:
Captain Gunnbjorn
* Troll Impaler
* Troll Impaler
* Dire Troll Bomber
Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Trollkin Sluggers (Leader and 4 Grunts)

This is actually 26 points, but I doubt the single point mattered ;).  Ben has loved Gunnbjorn ever since seeing the concept art for him, so he's been eager to get him on the board.

Our terrain was our normal lunch-time setup.  3 walls, two rough patches, and a column (a salt shaker) in the middle.

I deployed first, and put Asphyxious and the jacks near the middle (the Deathjack was in the middle, just further up due to Advance Deployment), and my Bane models to my right.

Ben deployed Gunnbjorn in the center, an Impaler and his Sluggers off to my left, his Burrowers to my right, and everything else fairly near Gunnbjorn.

I advanced everything forward, but hid Asphyxious and my jacks behind a wall, so they wouldn't take much shooting.  I sent my Nightwretch forward, but it turned out to be out of range for arcing spells.  Ben responded by taking a few shots at my Bane Thralls, but didn't do any damage.  His Burrowers crept on up near the Bane Thralls, however.  Shooting from the Impaler and Gunnbjorn killed the poor bonejack.

I moved my jacks out of cover- the Deathjack ran towards the Sluggers, the Slayer and Asphyxious moved towards the middle, and Asphyxious camped his focus.  My Bane Thralls kept advancing (through a patch of rough terrain), and Bane Lord Tartarus tried to run around a long wall on my right.

One of Ben's Impalers started the turn off by Frenzying, rushing towards his Sluggers, but not quite reaching them.  His Burrowers popped up, and killed 4 of the 6 Bane Thralls.  The Sluggers opened fire on my Death jack, at d3 shots apiece, but ended up doing about 10 damage.  His Bomber attempted to assist, but found himself out of range.  Not quite the effective turn he wanted.

I went aggressive at this point.  The Deathjack charged into the previously frenzied Impaler, killing it, and healing 5 points of damage.  Next turn, I was going to have it start eating through the Sluggers.  Bane Lord Tartarus moved up behind the Burrowers, killing 3 (and replenishing some Bane Thralls) before the Bane Thralls activated, killing the Burrower unit.

Asphyxious charged the Bomber, dealing a ton of damage... then Teleported away.  As we'll see, that was a huge mistake.

Ben was pretty excited at this point, cast Guided Fire, and fired with Gunnbjorn, getting a Critical Devastation, knocking Asphyxious down and back, and dealing a LOT of damage to him.  The Impaler next to him stepped up and finished the job.  Loss for Cryx.

Really, I had this game, but I was a little stupid with Asphyxious.  I keep neglecting to pop his feat when he's in danger, wanting to use the extra focus for his turn offensively.  Had I kept smacking the Bomber (probably killing it) with the last two focus instead of Teleporting, and popped my feat for the 7 focus, I probably would've survived.  At that point, I probably could've won the game, since I had already dealt so much damage to the Troll forces.

I'm really going to have to work to remembering that.  Twice now, I've had this happen.  Going to try harder to make sure there's not a third.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I haven't been idle, I swear!

This past weekend, I finished clipping the counters for Nations at War: White Star Rising, and read the rules.  I'm planning to get the first solo play done tonight or Friday night, so look for a battle report soon!  Hopefully a few more games later, I'll get my first game review up.

Two Quick Battle Reports

Played two games last week, and although I didn't take pictures, I'll write brief reports up just for my own memory, and the enjoyment of whoever will bother reading them.

Game 1:
First game was last Wednesday, at 25 points.  My Cryx vs. BK's Menoth.

My list:
Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Nightwretch
- Deathjack
- Skarlock Thrall
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Pistol Wraith

Fairly standard stuff, I think.  I was trying to take a decent variety of things to show BK different things about Cryx.  I thought the Deathjack would be fun, since I knew he would be taking the Avatar, and having the two on the table could be a pretty great battle.

BK's list:
Harbinger of Menoth
- Crusader
- Hierophant
Avatar of Menoth
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts)
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Vassal Mechanik

BK took a Tier 3 Harbinger list, which has been the primary focus of his Warmachine purchases from the very beginning.  I think he just loves him some Paladins.

The table was very basic, flat terrain, with a lot of small patches of rough terrain.  Not many interesting terrain features, although BK's theme list puts out some Wall Templates which really screwed with me.

BK got the first turn, chose to go first, and deployed all of his guys near the middle of his deployment zone, fairly close together.

I did my usual 'fill the board' deployment, with Bane Thralls on the right, Mechanithralls in the middle, jacks, the Pistol Wraith, and my warcaster on the right.

For the first turn, we basically pushed everything forward.  BK used the walls to gain a defensive position while advancing the Avatar towards my line.  I set up my guys for a potential charge on his Paladins or the Avatar next turn should he move forward.

BK took the bait somewhat, charging Vilmon into my Nightwretch, killing it, then using the Avatar's Gaze to lock some of my models in place (the Mechanithralls mainly).  The Harbinger slowly advanced, primarily to ensure that Vilmon was in her control area.

Turns out... I was taking the bait ;).  Asphyxious gets into position a few inches away from Vilmon, and drops some spells on him, which the Harbinger Martyrdoms away.  My Bane Thralls then charge, killing him twice more, meaning 3 more damage on the Harbinger.  My Pistol Wraith attempts to shoot at the Vassal Mechanik, hidden next to one of the wall obstacles, but fails to hit.

BK has the Avatar charge the Bane Thralls, killing the 4 who were around Vilmon.  Vilmon then charges Asphyxious, who was left pretty much in the open, because I didn't see the danger.  Ugh.  Well, he has a lot of health, I'm sure I can survive.  4 dice, dice-1 for damage... BK rolls a 20.  Game over.

BK played very well for not having much experience, and I was a little disappointed I didn't give him more of a game.  I had him use some of his other models to beat on me, just so he could see their relative power.  I'm sure our next game will be a lot closer.  At least I hope so!

Game 2:
Game 2 was a 35 point game, played on Thursday, against Rob's Karchev list.  I chose to try out Epic Asphyxious.

Rob did take pictures of this game, but it does take him a bit to upload them ;).

My list:
Lich Lord Asphyxious
- Cankerworm
- Nightwretch
- Nightwretch
- Skarlock Thrall
Bane Knights (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith

Really, I had no idea what was best to take with him, so I went for my usual things, expecting the Bane models to be what I use for his feat.  I haven't tried using the Cankerworm prior to this either, but sadly, I don't think I got a good handle on him from this game.  Maybe next one.

Rob's list:
Karchev the Terrible
- Beast-09
- Behemoth
- Berserker
Greylord Ternion (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Koldun Lord
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator

Rob's in love with Karchev lately, and he even wrote an article on him.

The tables had a few buildings on the right and left side, with some walls near the middle.  I went first.

I spread out, with Asphyxious, the jacks, and the Pistol Wraiths on my left, all of my Bane models on the right.

Most of his army was deployed on my right, aside from Eiryss who deployed in woods closer to the center of the table.

I basically started off the game advancing everything forward.

Rob advanced Karchev, using tow, and turned around to get his jacks close to the center of the board, prepared to fight me.  Everything else advanced, aside from Eiryss, who took a shot at a Nightwretch and disrupted it.

I sent the Pistol Wraiths through the forest to try to Death Chill some of his jacks, to give me the chance to send the Bane models in, prepared to cause a ton of damage.  First Pistol Wraith shot at the Behemoth, needing anything but snake-eyes to hit, and missed on the second shot.  The Second Pistol Wraith chose the same target... and then missed on the second shot.  Ugh.

The Banes all advanced up; close enough to be a threat to Rob's jacks next turn.  I manage to get a Parasite onto the Behemoth.

Rob hesitated a bit with his movement, and had his jacks mill about, although the Behemoth succeeded in killing both Pistol Wraiths.  Eiryss dealt some damage to Asphyxious.  The Greylords and Koldun Lord moved up, and killed 2 of the Bane Knights, due to poor rolling.

The Bane Knights made their Vengeance move, and killed the a few Greylords.  Bane Lord Tartarus charged into the Berserker, nearly destroying it, and a few Bane Knights came with him, nearly wrecking the jack.  I moved Asphyxious up to try to throw some damage onto the opposing jacks, but couldn't roll well for damage.  The Skarlock moved up and tried to cast a spell onto Eiryss, missed, and died for his efforts.

Karchev moved forward, and cast Unearthly Rage.  He followed this by charging Beast-09 into Asphyxious, dealing decent damage, but not serious.  The Behemoth, with nothing to get into combat with shot at the Withershadow Combine, dealing small amounts of damage off the scatter.  The Berserker failed to kill any of the Bane Knights assailing it.

Asphyxious laid into Beast-09, not dealing tremendous damage, but hurting it some, then Teleported away to safety.  The Cankerworm attempted to follow up, but didn't do much better on the damage rolls, even with the Armor Piercing attack.  Ugh.  Tartarus and the Bane Knights did succeed in killing off the last Greylord and the Berserker though. 

Karchev again advanced, dropped an Eruption template in front of him (killing a Bane Thrall, probably) to stop Asphyxious from feating and killing him (smart!).  Beast-09 tried to get into contact with Aspyxious, but couldn't. 

The game ended with Tartarus and all the Bane Knights charging into Karchev, and after some favorable damage rolls, ending him.

The game was, sadly, fairly one-sided towards the end, although he did manage to get some pressure on my warcaster which isn't common.  I think Rob needs to spend another turn towing his warjacks into position to ensure he gets the charge into my lines next time.  With that said, after some practice, this could be a much more difficult matchup!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Local Competition October Results

Painting: Well, the only one of us that did anything was Frans, who primed almost his entire army, as well as worked on painting some of the weapons for his army.

Construction: BK wins this one, although Frans was a VERY close second!

Blogging: I win here, since most of my friends didn't blog all last month.

Gaming: I finally wrest a point away from Frans here, but I'm sure this won't last ;).

So the totals:

Frans: 5 (3 Playing, 1 Construction, 1 Painting)
Ben: 4 (3 Painting, 1 Blogging)
Steve (me): 4 (3 Blogging, 1 Gaming)
BK: 2 (2 Construction)
Rob: 1 (1 Construction)
Nathan: 0

Frans has the sole lead at the moment, and there's only two months to go!  Frans ALSO has the most variety of points, which shows he's definitely working hard!

Accomplishments for October

Well, another month down.  Let's see what I managed to get done.

Painting: Nothing

Assembly: I assembled the Withershadow Combine, and Lich Lord Asphyxious.  It would have been more, but Asphyxious was a bit of a pain...

Gaming: Ben has been too terrified to game with me at work, so I only played 2 games of Warmachine (both 25 pts, one as a three-player game), and 2 games of Blood Bowl (solo).

Blogging: Again, you can just read them here.

Will have the competition results up as soon as I can!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Master Tormentor Morghoul Tier 4 List

So, after playing with several of the Skorne models, and giving serious thought to others, I think I can take a shot at some of their theme forces.  I figure it'll be easiest to start with the 'battle box' warlock, Morghoul.  I've already gone over the basics of him, and his capabilities here.  In this post, I'll take a look at his theme force.

Let's start by taking a look at the benefits of such a list.
  • FA U for Paingiver Beast Handlers, and Pathfinder for all models during the first turn of the game.  The extra FA is handy, especially since the list is going to be running a lot of beasts.  Pathfinder is even better though, since you'll be able to move up very quickly, regardless of terrain.  Might be critical for certain scenarios.
  • Cataphract Arcuarii get Advance Deployment.  Since you'll have to take two units to get to Tier 4, this is a nice benefit as it gets them much closer to the enemy, where they need to be.
  • Cheaper heavy warbeasts.  That's always good.
  • Increased deployment zone.  Yeah, it's only 2", but it gets your melee-oriented beasts up the field a little faster, and every inch closer is going to be helpful.
Overall, pretty good benefits.  Cheaper beasts and ways to get them up there a bit faster certainly seem like a good match.  You're going to be very aggressive, and you're going to likely be melee oriented.

Well, what can Morghoul take?

Warlock: Obviously, you have the choice of Master Tormentor Morghoul, and that's all.  Given the purpose of this list, he's going to be a great choice regardless.  Abuse is going to get some power out of your beasts, while Morghoul himself can be used to clear out single-wound infantry quickly.

Warbeasts: Non-character Cyclops and Titans are available.  That leaves the Cyclops Savage, Shaman, and Brute, and the Titan Gladiator, Sentry, Cannoneer, and the Bronzeback Titan.  You'll need two heavies to finish out the tiers, and I'd recommend the Titan Gladiator and Bronzeback. 

The Cannoneer doesn't really help you all that much, since you're going to be depending on melee punch more than your range attacks.  The Cyclops Brute can help keep the warlock alive.  The Cyclops Savage and Shaman provide good animi, so are a good choice if you have a few points available.  The Titan Sentry is probably not offensively oriented enough to be a good fit.  The Gladiator provides a great animus and can hit hard.  The Bronzeback is a great beast, and his Counter-Charge works really well with Morghoul's Admonition.  Back the Bronzeback 3" away, then charge him back in.

Units:  The theme list can take Paingiver units, as well as Cataphract Arcuarii.  You're required to take 2 units of Arcuarii, and although they are a good unit for certain things, I don't feel they are useful enough that you're going to find much use to take more than the two minimum units.  They'll provide a way to handle multi-wound infantry, and are going to be very helpful for killing key medium-base models.

Paingiver Beast Handlers are going to be hugely important for this army because of the heavy beast theme.  Once the beasts get into contact with the opposing lines, they'll be running with a LOT of fury on them, and they'll be taking some damage.  Having Beast Handlers around to keep things under control is going to be vital.  In the theme force, they are FA U as well, in case you find yourself really needing more than 2 full units.

Paingiver Bloodrunners are another unit that can be taken.  They don't really gain anything from the list, and the pieces you can include in the theme force don't help them any either (aside from the Master Tormentor).  They can definitely be useful for going after ranged infantry in your opponent's army, or for going after other flanking units (like Daughters), especially if you take a Master Tormentor to increase their MAT. 

Solos: Paingiver solos are available.  Without Minion units, the Paingiver Task Master really doesn't have a role, so for now that just leaves the Paingiver Master Tormentor.  Thresher, Reach, and Anatomical Precision give her a pretty effective ability to clear out single-wound infantry, and if you take Bloodrunners, she makes them pretty incredible at doing so as well.  We may find a place for her.

How about some lists (all Tier 4):

Master Tormentor Morghoul
- Bronzeback Titan
- Titan Gladiator
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts)

That's a lot more Beast Handlers than you'll need for only two beasts, but they'll be helpful for clogging up charge lanes or blocking your opponent in other ways.  They also can kill single wound infantry, but that can't really be counted on.  The key is the two Titans, who will bust through the center of the opposing army and mess up anything in their path.  The Arcuarii can take out certain targets (like stupid Trollkin Champions).

At 35, I keep the core, and add some utility and protection:

Master Tormentor Morghoul
- Cyclops Brute
- Cyclops Shaman
- Bronzeback Titan
- Titan Gladiator
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts)

The Brute is there to protect Morghoul.  It can eat a combined ranged attack a turn (until it dies), which is a huge help in keeping my warlock alive.  The Cyclops Shaman can drop negative spells/animi with his animus, which is great against some armies, while the Primal Magic ability can give me another casting of Rush while saving Fury on my primary combat beasts.

And here's the list at 50:

Master Tormentor Morghoul
- Cyclops Brute
- Cyclops Savage
- Cyclops Shaman
- Bronzeback Titan
- Titan Gladiator
- Titan Gladiator
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor

The Savage's animus is really helpful for maximizing your fury efficiency on those beasts.  You'll NEED them to kill things, you can't afford them missing or wasting fury, and you'll want them doing as much damage as possible.  Another Gladiator gives you more killing ability on the front line.  The Bloodrunner Master Tormentor is great for clearing out infantry, which there isn't a whole lot of in this list.  The last point is spent maxing out one of those Beast Handler units.  You're up to 6 beasts now; you'll need the Beast Handlers.

I think this list could be very effective.  That's a lot of beasts, and a decent amount of ability to support them.  Certain armies will certainly give them problems, but I really think this army could be very tough for many armies to handle.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

3-player Free-For-All, 25 points, 10/16/10

Having a free Saturday, Ben, Rob, and I all decided to spend some time playing Warmachine/Hordes.  With three of us, we figured that playing a bunch of one on one games would be pretty enjoyable.  However, we didn't want anyone to be excluded to start, so decided to go with a three-player game just to get the day going.

Three players is a bit of a challenge, as anyone knows, so we had to figure out a good way to go about this on short notice. We decided to go with a 'Capture the Flag' style game, with a token in the middle of the board, and the players trying to capture the token, and return it to their board edge.

Picking up the token was an action (but didn't stop you from using another action or an attack), and once you had the token you couldn't run, use any of your special movement rules, and you lost Incorporeal.

Also, we assumed the casters would die at some point, so caster death didn't end the game for you. Your jacks did become autonomous though.

The armies:
I chose my trusty Cryx, and decided to use Goreshade, hoping that a potentially chaotic game would give me a chance to see 'what he could do'.

My list:
Goreshade the Bastard
- Slayer
- Skarlock Thrall
Bane Knights (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Pistol Wraith

Nothing terribly new here.

Ben ran Trollbloods, since he doesn't have much in the way of choice.

His list:
Chief Madrak Ironhide
- Troll Axer
- Dire Troll Bomber
Krielstone Bearer and 3 Stone Scribes
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler

This is Ben's normal list as well. Basically a brick of beat-downs heading straight down the opposing throat.

Rob chose to run Khador, since he has almost no experience with his Legion.

Rob's list:
Karchev the Terrible
- Beast-09
- Decimator
- Spriggan

Lots of scary jacks there. I haven't seen the Decimator used, nor did I really remember what it did (Rob stole my book >:( ) but I would find out soon enough.

The table and deployment:

The entire table was part of the game, not just the green part. We didn't have enough felt to cover it, because we're lame. The well in the center of the table has the token we needed to bring out.

After rolling, we started deploying.


Despite owning many of these models, Rob hasn't gotten around to assembling them. Tsk tsk.



With that, we got it started!

Turn 1:
Not much happened at this point, since we were all quite a distance away from one another. Rob advanced as fast as he could directly towards the center. I did the same, but cast Shadowmancer. Ben did the same, after doing all his bricking abilities.

Turn 2:
Karchev tows his jacks forward. They then run towards Ben (Rob was trying to trick me into ignoring him. Not a chance).

I move towards the center and cast Mage Blight, after popping my feat to give me some bodies to face off against Rob.

Ben moves up, and his Bomber begins shelling my infantry, dropping 4 Mechanithralls and 3 Bane Knights.

Looking a little sparse on my side!

Turn 3:
Rob, a little unnerved by the mage blight, advances directly away from both me and the action (I marked this in my notes as a ?!, like in chess). I certainly wasn't going to complain about the reprieve.

I try to take advantage of the lull by attacking Ben. My Bane Knights charge into his Axer, dealing some damage. Everything else advances towards the center, and again I Mage Blight.

Ben's Axer uses Thresher against the three Bane Knights next to him... and misses all three times. His Bomber tramples through the Mechanithralls, into combat with Tartarus... and fails to hit. The Champions kill two of the Bane Knights, but overall, definitely not the turn he (and I, really) expected. Not much you can do about that, man!

Turn 4:
Rob's Spriggan flares some Bane Thralls, and the Devastator manages to drop one of them. Karchev tows Beast-09 into position... he then charges into my Bane Thralls, killing 4 of them.

Beset on both sides (how did I end up in the middle?) I began to unleash some paint. My Pistol Wraith Death Chills his Spriggan. My Bane Thralls + Goreshade (who Mage Blighted again) + the Withershadow Combine drop Beast-09, creating a Seether, who runs towards the Trolls to put some pressure on them.

Tartarus, my Slayer, and my few remaining Mechanithralls kill the Bomber, and the Deathwalker runs into contact with the token. If I can buy her a turn to pick it up, and some time to start moving, I could take this game!

Ben moves Madrak back, so he's out of Mage Blight range. The Champions do some heavy damage to the Seether.

Running out of guys...

Engaging Ben.

Turn 5:
Karchev sprays a Bane Thrall, and manages to hit Goreshade, knocking him down. The Decimator then unloads into him, killing him once (bye Deathwalker!). Fairly scary turn for me.

Goreshade heals, and my Slayer kills a Trollkin Champion. My Bane Thrall and the Withershadow Combine charge into the Decimator, dealing a ton of damage to it.

The Champions bring down the Seether, and almost succeed in killing the Slayer. I'm definitely definitely running out of guys.

Of course, I'm fighting off two armies at the same time, no wonder I'm losing guys so fast!

Turn 6:
Karchev tows the Decimator out of it's engagement... into Bane Lord Tartarus, who it kills, and the Decimator finally picks up the token. The Spriggan flares then shoots at the Withershadow Combine, but fails to kill any.

The Withershadow Combine, trying to find a good target, charge into Karchev, dealing fairly minimal damage. The Bane Thrall kills the Decimator. I have a Mechanithrall grab the token, while Goreshade Mage Blights, hoping to buy a turn.

One of Ben's champions kills the last Bane Thrall. He also kills a Mechanithrall and the Slayer. Madrak shoots and kills the Skarlock, while the Axer gets into combat with Goreshade and deals three damage to him.

Turn 7:
Karchev sprays again, killing the Mechanithrall and knocking down the Axer.

The Withershadow Combine's spells kill a Champion, and the Pistol Wraith Death Chills Karchev.

Madrak misses Goreshade with his thrown axe. However, the Champions, with their axes in their hands, do not miss him. No recovering for him this time.

I am down to the Withershadow Combine and a Pistol Wraith at this point.

Turn 8:
Karchev kills the Axer, and the Spriggan takes a great opportunity shot at the Pistol Wraith.. but deals only 4 damage!

The Pistol Wraith responds by freezing the Spriggan. The Withershadow Combine kill 2 members of the Krielstone bearer unit, trying to collect some souls.

Ben, realizing I'm not quite threatening at the moment, moves in, and the Champions begin taking chunks out of Karchev.

Turn 9:
Karchev kills a champion, and the Spriggan tries to move around to get away from the Pistol Wraith.

The Pistol Wraith doesn't let him, and again freezes him. The Withershadow Combine use their magic on Karchev, and this time do pretty good damage to him.

This is followed by the Champions charging into him, nearly killing him.

All this time, the token is sitting on the ground, by the way.

Turn 10:
Karchev uses Ground Zero, killing a Champion and pushing the other one away from him.

The Withershadow Combine kill that Champion.

Ben rushes in, Madrak throwing his axe, and having a Krielstone Bearer pick up the token.

Turns 11-End
Karchev does finally die, and with my remaining guys I wipe out everything of Ben's except for Madrak... who kills my Pistol Wraith. The Spriggan kills all but one of my Withershadow Combine.

We finally all get locked into an unfortunate combat. Spriggan against one of the Withershadow Combine against a heavily damaged Madrak. Despite Madrak and the WC member swinging at the Spriggan, it eventually slays us both.

With the only model left on the board... Rob wins!