Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Oos a good boy!? Oos a good wikkle puppy!? - Circle on a Budget (Month 4)

OK, I finally broke this month and got me...

Warpwolf Stalker (£23)

...I love this little puppy.  In the first game against Chris' Cryx, it took out five Mechanithrall, five Bane Thralls, a Deathripper, a Slayer and eleven points of damage to Asphixious.  Berserk on a P+S 16 large based monster with reach is beautiful, and Prowl on something that big is, quite frankly, insane.

With Kaya the Moonhunter, the Stalker becomes even better.  Advance Deployment means he can be set up to counter the biggest concentration of infantry, and Forced Evolution makes him P+S 18 (20!!! with Warp Strength) and DEF 16.  I've yet to get a shot off with Dog Pile, but a 13" Threat Range has gotta be fun, too.  In the list as it currently stands, the Stalker blitzes up the middle, flanked by the Ferals and protected by the Druids' Counter Magic and Shadow Pack and, the second the lines connect, Kaya moves back and Feats to regroup and give myself a turn to redeploy to hit again.

This works a lot better if you fight things that can't heal.  Trainee's goddamn mechaniks can happily repair a near-totalled 'jack in a single round which necessitates actually wrecking the thing.  Warmachine is so broke...  But hey, at least the Stalker's mini is great.

Next month...  The litter!

Skiing When You're Skint: Ooh Ahh, Just a Little Bit. Ooh Ahh, A Little Bit More (Khador Month 4)

The theme of this month, as the title implies is MORE! What do I mean by that? Well my purchases of course! I picked up more Doom Reavers, more Ternions and more Doom Reaver UA's.

It is a bit boring talking about how my experiences this month have been doing more of the same, but my tier list demands these things be so. Regardless my infantry swarm is looking rather menacing. Two units of Doom Reavers with tough... not a pretty sight for the enemy. The problem I've had with getting those bad boys to hit however still exists. Their spell ward means they can't be pumped up but in the future I am thinking having them backed by a personal greylord ternion entourage will be in their best interest...if I can avoid the abomination checks that is.

In the coming month I'll be picking up a Kodiak, hopefully he will be a prime target for Watcher. My Koldun Lords should also add a bit of flexibility to the list, adding some much needed mobility for my 'Jacks which end up being kind of shackled to my caster when they could do with being elsewhere.

In other news I have had a bunch of intense and close games this month. Some I have won, some I have not, but grinding that Titan into dust made me a very happy chappy.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Circle so far, a story in pictures...

I feel I owe you guys an explanation, what with the posts being a few weeks late.  Due to some unforseen complications, our order was delayed slightly, and we like to have at least one night's gaming before we claim to be experts.  And so, both to put SOMETHING up and as I've been playing with my phone's camera (and I need some distraction from my Stalker, who insists on falling apart, what with the ridiculous joint on the right ankle of the top heavy mini...), I hereby present...  Kaya's battlegroup!

Kaya the Moonhunter
Beautiful model, truly beautiful.  She sports the classic druid brown, brown and brown with hints of brown and blue warpaint.  I'm not a fan of oddly bright minis that many people seem to like - the multiple dull shades work for me.

What the pictures don't show is that Laris is actually much paler than the Warpwolves.  He's also the best example of the warpaint thing I've got going on.

I spent far too much time on this little puppy.  He never gets enough table time, what with everyone else inexplicably wanting to kill the arc node that gives Kaya +2DEF.
The first of my Feral Warpwolves, this was the test for the drybrush-heavy colour scheme.  Personally, I think it works!

To distinguish Weylyn from Convel, I spent ages smoothing over the shoulder joint so the left arm looked different from a distance.  After three weeks of his tail falling off (a problem I've never had with Convel, go figure), I eventually sculpted over the hole and now he's obviously different!

The lesson here, kids, is never try.  Something will always happen that'll be better than your feeble attempts.

Finally, after this tirade of negativity and hate, I present you with the blurry battlegroup photo!

I did try taking pictures of the Blackclads, but alliteration demands that I refer to the pictures I got by the fitting title of bullshit balls of blurry brown bollocks.  This is primarily because, well, they are.  I hate painting small-based units, and this shows in the overall quality of the poor druids.  Their recent performance may warrant a better paint job.

Anyway, that's enough of a distraction, and my Stalker's just fallen apart again and his massive sword is just...  Taunting me to actually stay on.  As of this week, I hope the blog will return to it's regularly scheduled programming, so long!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Month 3 Story - Reinforcements

Jekkala approached Deneghra and Asphixious before giving a half-hearted salute, making her contempt for her 'superiors' clear.
"We found yer scholar in a small village jus' north of here, 'oled up in a church o' Morrow.  We got some information out of 'im but..." She motioned to a dismembered corpse, little more than a head and a spine. "Me girls 'ad a bit too much fun with 'im."
"Jekkala, you and yours are near useless."  Deneghra despaired of the Satyxis sometimes, but aside from some Mechanithrall, they were all she had.

The War Witch sighed to herself.  "Alright, I'll see what I can do..."
Zaal strode through the camp, casually observing as the paingivers lashed a titan, enjoying the aura of pain and power that emanated from the great creature.  He gestured to the robed Skorne behind him.
"The Titan is scared, it is in pain.  It is more powerful now than it will ever be in nature."  The Extoller he was addressing nodded.  "But that is the Mortitheurge's art.  We care about these."  As they kept moving, Zaal motioned to a unit of Praetorians as they drilled, fresh from Makeda's army and ready for combat, their blades flashing in the sun with the precision of warriors born.

"...These are the heroes that will make our Extollers great."
Kaya led her Druids to a grove with a naked Khadoran chained to an altar.
"In times of peace, I would rather allow these to breed naturally, but..."  Laris began to whimper as the young druid solemnly offered the man a drink.  Gasping, he accepted it, gulping it down.
 "Why...  Why are you doing this?"
"We found you scouting our domain.  You may not have known, but ignorance is no excuse."
"Then why...  Did you give me drink?  Why keep me alive?"
"I didn't give you a drink."  He stared at her for a second, completely uncomprehending before he screamed in pain, his bones snapping and reforming, his muscles growing and shifting, his muzzle elongating... "...and I would never do this to one of my own."  The new Warpwolf broke free of the chains and, with a lunge, tore a druid apart with new and infinitely sharper teeth before Kaya could fully bend it to her will.  Newly cowed, it took up a branch and started wielding it like a blade, warily keeping the humans at a distance.  Kaya looked up at it, surprised.

The Greylords forced several Winter Guard into a chamber of the Khadoran fortress that even Irusk didn't know existed.  The men were cowards, traitors, deserters and overall embarrassments to the Motherland.  Zerkova looked them over, sickened at what she saw, but with a renewed hope for her forces.  She would give these men a second chance to serve their country.  She would give them a second chance to be great.  As one broke down into tears and tried to flee, the chains around his legs forced him over, and one of her greylords struck him with his staff.

The lead Greylord started unlocking and opening several lead-lined chests and, if she heard the whispers, she gave no sign.  The traitors flinched and cried as they had chains strapped to their wrists to stop them simply dropping the swords they were equipped with, all in the cause of reinforcing the Greylord's army.

She would make them great.
In death, the archaeologist had proven more useful to Deneghra than in life.  Still, he couldn't tell her what he just didn't know, and the remnants of his body had been retrofitted by the Necrotechs as a new Mechanithrall.  Still, she had a name, something to look for, and the locations of the burial sites of some of Llael's greatest heroes.  As she broke into yet another tomb and began an incantation to fill another ancient warrior's remains with the power of the Void, she allowed her mind to wander over her goal in this god-forsaken country.

The Silent Child.  What power it would bring...

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Skorne Month 3 - Saving on slaving- There Is No Morghoul Only ZAAL!!

Well Im late for my month three blog. My excuse is pure lazyness, and a desire to do other stuff.
On the gaming front ive missed a decent amount of weeks for people to Forget i turn up My new Name is Huang And I enjoy Playing Skorne.
Anyhoo For month three I purchased Zaal and Kovass (£11), Hakaar the Destroyer (£11) and an Ancestral guardian (£8) Which nicely gives me Zaal Tier 2 in my 25pt list of; Zaal, Kovass, Titan Gladiator, two cyclops savages, cyclops shaman, Hakaar the destroye, Ancestral guardian.  This month I hvae played a staggering six games with Zaal winning all but one. The entire list is a Titan Delivery system who just slams everything. So far it appears to be working but the opposition is learning (Except chris who decided to charge the gladiator with his caster....)
On the painting front all models where finished the week of purchase and I managed to grab some Dragonforge bases for my skorne, which are also all painted and looking oh so pretty (pictures coming soon).
Next month I get Infantry so I should be able to use Zaal effectivly!


Thursday, 31 March 2011

Cryx Month 3 - Units

So this month i decided to add a couple of units to my warjack heavy force, namely a unit of Satyxis Raiders and some Mechanithralls.

I have found the Mechanithralls to be very hit and miss, they are very cheap, but do not stand up to much punishment so i have mostly been using them to annoy/distract my opponent rather than as a direct fighting unit. I am not sure if they will be a regular addition to my army but are useful to fill out those last few points.

When i first used the Raiders i imagined them assaulting warjacks and using their feedback to damage a warcaster directly but after the first game i realised that they make excellent infantry killers, with an average Mat and low P+S they should only be attacking lightly armoured warjacks. their strength lies in the fact they have 2 attacks of similar P+S, therefore giving you 2 chances to kill an infantryman, or if facing a unit with tough a 2nd chance to make them fail the tough roll should they succeed.

Next month i will be adding a tougher unit of Bane Thralls

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Born survivaaaaaaaaaah!!! - Circle on a Budget (Month 3)

Last time on this blog,I said it was either a Stalker or the Druids and, as Trainee ranted yesterday, this month's purchases were...

Druids of Orboros Box (£20)
Druids of Orboros Overseer (£8)

Oh yes.  The paragon unit of denial, the Druids make the Choir of Menoth look like pathetic man-children.  Delivering army-wide (more or less) immunity to spells, a wall of LOS blockage AND Force Bolt, which on it's own made me pick up a unit of Battle Mages for my Ret.  The Overseer's extra abilities on top of that are just amazing.

I've only just remembered they have Medicate too.  Holy shit these dudes are awesome.

Now that I've got the gushing torrents of praise out of the way, onto the lessons I've learnt in the last...  7-8 weeks?

1 - Kaya the Moonhunter is a scenario 'caster trapped in an assassination 'caster's body.  With combat stats that rival the Butcher when she's with Laris and in the thick of things, she LOOKS like she should be able to teleport in and trash face, but I've had very limited success with that.  What I HAVE had success with is using the frankly disgusting speed she can grant her battlegroup at near enough no cost - Warpwolves, warping for speed and on the Advance Deployment line can get 32" (that's running, which is free with Alpha!) across the board on turn one.  This means they can grab objectives to fortify before other forces can get near them, which is nice.  Don't get me started on her Feat, which is a counter attack/refortification in a bag.

2 - Fury is more adaptable than Focus, but it'll bite you in the arse if you fuck up.  It's commonly said that Fury is better than Focus, but all it takes is one turn of slightly misjudging the attacks you'll need, an extra transfer you didn't account for...  You're stuck with either too much Fury on a beast, or you're cutting like a little emo for Fury.  I've left the self harm wagon behind - no more cutting for Fury.  I'll either learn to manage Fury better or Kaya will die, out of transfers and with a pile of dead 'beasts.

3 - Druids are awesome.  Yeah, I said this up above, but it bears repeating!

I'm loving the Circle right now, the speed they can reach and the obscene damage they can throw out are great fun (current record is one Warpwolf totalling two undamaged Cryx Heavies in a single round...).  We also get to use phrases to "so these werewolves are fighting the giant robots..." when explaining the game to interested passers by.  Which is a bonus.


The Faceman Award - Trainee.  Just after we switched to scenarios, we set up for a Mosh Pit.  After slaughtering the stuff in the middle and trying to work out why he'd left a bunch of stuff on the outside, he revealed his plan...  He'd set the goddamn terrain up an inch smaller than the Mosh Pit.  I'd overextended and he mangled me.  (Un)fair play to him, it worked!

The Alex Murphy Award - Chris.  Once again, a Mosh Pit.  Once again, it involved slightly misjudging the distance.  I think Chris may have still been a full foot out of the Mosh Pit by turn three.  Pain was received.

Next month...  S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Call of Orboros.

EDIT - Also, a quick plug for Trainee's band (really), this month's blog title is from their song, Born Survivor, which I will inflic...  Grace you with now!

Skiing When You're Skint: If You Can Hit It, It Will Die (Khador Month 3)

After the successful debuting of Zerkova, the oddly much hated caster of Khador I moved forward with my greylord army. This month's additions to the war effort were a max unit of battle mechaniks (more on them later) and a unit of Doom Reavers with their greylord escort.

The Doom Reavers are a nasty little unit, with reach weapons AND weapon master, coupled with a high MAT and P+S if you charge something with these guys you will either end up missing spectacularly or whatever you charged will be mush. The escort mitigates a lot of the weaknesses of the unit, for example without him they tend to get a little bit too choppy...with the heads of their own friends... and their low DEF and ARM makes them pretty squishy targets, which the escort also fixes by granting them tough.

The battle mechaniks have become the new thorn in my side this month due only to the fact that privateer press seems to have forgot to make the chief... This means I find myself without the stat card (for one wound models this isn't a drastic issue) but it also means I have to proxy in some models which always looks crap. I have also fallen into the same trap I did when I played my previous factions, forgetting to activate the mechanik unit. As was pointed out to me yesterday though my 'Jacks tend to either be in a state of perfect health or totalled.

My results this month in terms of victory have been a little more of a mixed bag than they were last month. I finally proved to Chris that Khadorans actually COULD stomp a mudhole where Cryx's heads used to be when I faced him one on one, however I did meet a sticky end facing the Skorne (for the whole 1 game Dan played this month). My experiences fighting the Circle have been...frustrating... Those damn druids have some mighty fine spell casting ability meaning I more or less HAD to go toe to toe with them but those damn cloud effects made it even harder for my guys to actually hit anything... They have booked themselves an appointment with the Doom Reavers I think.

Tactically I have found that Zerkova's weakness lies in scenario play, her strategies really depend on deciding on a course of action early on and building your turns carefully around that goal but scenarios require a more reflexive touch that is tricky to implement with our one eyed wonder.

Also (it was bound to happen) counters for 'The Watcher Problem' have begun appearing forcing me to rely on slightly altered game plans ( Watcher is still a SWEET spell).

So a mixed bag for me this month but a good one for the most part, join me next month as I blitz the field with...EVEN MORE DOOM REAVERS!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Month 2 Story - Beginnings.

Kaya awoke with a start to find a druid kneeling over her.
“My lady?  You were hurt in battle with Khadorans.”  Kaya cringed, both at the memory of her battle with Zerkova and at Overseer Alissa’s formal nature – she’d experienced the Wilding late.  Late enough for a Llaelese upbringing to start to take hold, with all the pomp and circumstance that held.

Kaya had done nothing but fight running battles against Cryxians and Khador since she had got here, and it was a losing battle – they had numbers on their side, and Kaya could only kill so many and, if she was honest with herself, she couldn’t fight their magics.  She hauled herself to her feet and greeted the Blackclads in front of her.  She didn’t like it, but she needed their help.

Baldur had always said her independence would be the death of her...
Aleksandra Zerkova stormed into the council room like a frigid wind that caused everyone except Sorscha to shudder.  The Kommander didn’t even  look up from her maps.
“Koldun Kommander, glad you could come.”
“It still amazes me that you think you can play war, Kratikoff.”  Zerkova glided past her with an air of contempt.  “Still, at least you know when you’re outmatched and when to call for backup.”  She slammed a scroll onto the table bearing the seal of the Empress.  The two Warcasters locked gaze for what seemed like an eternity before the Greylord smirked.  “I mustn’t keep you waiting, Irusk wants you back in Korsk.”
“KORSK!?  But that’s nearly a week away!”  Zerkova’s smirk grew wider.

“Then I suggest you start riding now.  And while you’re on your way, please ensure my mechaniks are en route.”

The arrangement had worked out, but as a mixed blessing.  Morghoul had needed an extoller more knowledgeable than him in the arcane, and Makeda had sent the best.  Still, as Supreme Aptimus Zaal marched into the tent, the paingiver had his doubts.
“I believe you need my assistance?”  The extoller looked both at Morghoul and, somehow, through him.  Even with everything he’d seen and done, this still unnerved him.
“Yes.  We have a prisoner and, while I can get the information, I don’t know what to do with it.”
“Where, naturally, I come in?”
“Of course.”  Morghoul turned to the Winter Guard crucified on a tree, and then to the beaten and bloodied soldier cowering at it’s base.  He sharpened his claws and spoke to the man in broken Khardic.

“Now...  You will tell me and my friend everything we need to know about these...  Orgoth...”

“So.  What do we do with them?”  Deneghra motioned to the Satyxis, the crew of the Widower that had been left after Skarre had gone off after Magnus.
“Use them?”  Asphixious glided up behind her.  “Until their captain returns, they will follow our orders.”
“Indeed.”  She turned to her Skarlock.  “Ready them and my Mechanithrall.  We still have a toy to find...”

Skarre had expended every augury in her pursuit of Magnus, and had ended up on the shores of a lake in Khador.  Finally, after weeks of running, he turned to make his stand.
“Do you know why I’ve chased you here?”  Magnus instinctively ducked under Takkaryx and parried Bloodworm, leaving himself open for a vicious headbutt, sending him sprawling to the floor.  He stopped moving and hoped she’d take the bluff.  “Get up, worm.  I won’t be denied a good fight before I finish you.”  The Cygnaran pulled himself to his feet and wiped the blood from his nose.

“Ah well, worth a try.  And yes, I know that you think I owe you coin.  Here.  Take it.”  He unclipped a pouch and threw it at her feet.  She didn’t even look at it.
“This is no longer about the coin.  You know too much.”
“That you’re looking for something?  Most people are?”  Skarre hurled a bolt of green fire at him and was at him before he’d recovered.  Magnus’ vision flashed red, then white, and then he became very aware he was looking at his own intestines.

“Yes.  I am.  And these will help me find it...”
A hooded figure formed from a tree into the grove Alissa had chosen to meditate in.
“You have found her?”  His voice was grating and deep, but not unkind.
“Yes, my lord.  What would you have us do?”
“Just keep her alive.  She doesn’t know what she’s getting into.”
“But my lord, she is headstrong, she runs into fights she knows she can’t win, and she has nearly died so many times already!”  A booming laughter filled the grove.
“Yes, that sounds like the child.  Still, you have your orders.  Do this, and do it well.”  The figure faded back into the trees.  Closing her eyes again, Alissa contemplated her situation.

Things would not be easy...