Monday, 28 February 2011

Cryx Month 2 - ups and downs

Having only played Warmachine for a few months before starting this tour i was still getting to grips with how everything works and different tactics. Two months later i have finally had my first few wins with Cryx and understanding how different they are to Khador.

I have found that their strength lies in outmanuvering an opponent, debuffing opposing warjacks and totally destroying a target before i can retaliate.

This month i decided to boost my ranks with a new caster, Asphixious who is a very different caster to Deneghra while still keeping with the core powers of the Cryx.

I also decided to add another heavy warjack in the form of the Reaper, the combination of a harpoon to drag unsuspecting warjacks and a hard hitting sustained attack reach weapon to decimate whatever is dragged.

I have yet to manage a successful drag but the reapers melee attacks have tasted Circle Warlock blood this month.

Next month i move onto some units to provide some variety in my armies.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Skiing When You're Skint: Keep On Watching (Month 2: lessons from the battlefield)

Oh my God. I have one thing to say to everyone who says that Zerkova is the worst caster in Khador. You're so wrong.

It's been a long time since my last post where I told you I was looking forward to playing the one-eyed ice queen of the North, and this is due to many irritating factors, but boy was the wait worth while.

First of all 'Watcher'. If this spell is not an auto cast and upkeep then you're playing Zerkova wrong. Her focus orb means it can be cast for a measly 2 focus (being 7 focus in Khador is nothing to sniff at), and only costs 1 to upkeep thereafter.

The easiest way to get the most out of this spell, and so far the central strategy to my Zerkova battles has been to keep the Juggernaut close to her. Watcher activates whenever an enemy ends its movement within 6" of Zerkova and gives ANY warjack in her battlegroup a full advance and a FULLY BOOSTED attack. This gives your Juggernaut companion a heafty chance to critical freeze the charging enemy meaning that charge is now just a big old sack of damage boxes ready to be split open on your turn.

On its own this is filthy but you might be thinking "if the enemy is in a position to charge my caster I'm probably not in an optimal position". This is another issue that Zerkova's abilities can placate.

1. Offensive spells targeting Zerkova lose 3 RNG
yes, offensive spells targeting your caster lose 3 RNG, this pisses spell assassins (I'm looking at you Asphyxious) off to no end, whilst not a direct threat to casters themselves per se, their arc nodes are in trouble. An offensive spell would have to be RNG 10 for it to still be in range without triggering Watcher.

2. Offensive spells that hit Zerkova result in a d6 damage roll to the caster
Another spell assassin counter, if a warcaster, or even a magic unit, manage to hit Zerkova with an offensive spell they take a d6 damage roll that doesn't take any kind of defense into account. Low box units that rely on magic spells will have a very hard time surviving if they want to try to damage Zerkova (there spells are affected by the above ability).

3. Can make one spell per turn have +3 RNG
This is a mitigating factor for the lack of an arc node, not a bad little ability since it would give Razor Wind a threat range of 19"

4. Her feat
Her feat just stops things in their tracks. Not just slows them down, but just stops them dead. Not making them stationary like our old friend pSorscha does but removing their ability to run, charge, make special attacks, use special actions, or give orders. It also removes intial ranged attacks for that pesky gun line that just wont budge.

These abilities just pile all together to give Zerkova that ultimate fisherman's toolbox, just the right ways to lure powerful enemy pieces into the position that you want them before you trip watcher to reel in the victory.

My other pick-up this month the Greylord Ternion has had...issues. I had trouble figuring out the right way to deploy them so they would be effective and not get annihilated. After I did figure this out though I quickly found use for them by lowering foes defenses and laying down blizzards (For even more protection for Zerkova!). In general not my favourite unit ever but not an awful one by any means. (We'll find out what happens when you put more of them on the field later in the tour.)

In general I feel I was able to continue to the successes I had in month 1 this month, admittedly not as strongly due to the various crises that hopefully will not come back to plague us in month 3!

More to follow.

Skorne Month 2 - Saving on slaving- Being lifes Slave

As we are almost at the end of month two & the task masters whip was cracking I decided to write my blog. Unfortunatly I havent been able to get a game in this month as I have had life issues, Finish up work for College courses and Personal life really are a bane on painting and gaming, Along with the issue of almost losing our gaming venue.

This Month I purchased; Skorne Beast handlers MAX £18 and a Cyclops Shaman £12.
This Gives me some more Flexibility with my beasts and allows me to buff them up good and proper for more annoying of Circle, The beast handlers allow me to run my beasts hot without having to worry, Enrage will also allow me to beatdown enemy heavies quicker, (Khador springs to mind) And medicate will keep them in the fight longer, meaning ranged attacks will be less daunting.
The Shaman Gives me a nice bit of range support, The craft talisman ability Will really boost Morghouls offensive ability and allow him to hang back if needed and spell things to death (it may not be his strong suit but it will kill infantry) With the shaman comes Primal magic, This allows it to cast another beasts animus, thats right kids another model with FUTURE SIGHT! Its own animus Spirit blade will also be helpful against the cryx as enemy upkeep spells/animi on friendly units expire. Its ranged ability Evil eye also has ghost shot, No more tricksy Circle and there stealth ya say?. He also is no slouch in combat a Reach magical spear will deal with any minor threats the savage has'nt dealt with yet.

With month 3 fast appraoching im very much looking forward to my new caster! he is my favourite caster in skorne and a magical buff machine, Want a hint? It sounds a bit like Baal.....

Sunday, 20 February 2011

New models. New time. New rules.

Seeing as February isn't a proper month, we're getting swiftly to the end of it!  In a few days, March will be on us and we'll be getting £60 into our armies.  As such, we're bringing in some new rules;

We're just getting out of the 15 point, mangled metal games, and into larger games with infantry and actual armies.  Now, as much as I love Privateer Press, and I do, the scenarios in Prime/Primal are gash, and I can't be arsed with the Steamroller ones, so we're adapting ones from another game we're picking up that, for reasons of avoiding copyright infringement, rhymes with 'Balifaux'.  I'll post these up later on after a bit of fine-tuning, but they shoud set up some nice casual play above and beyond "GO HERE! KILL THIS!".

Anyone can play Warmachine, but it takes more skill to play it WELL.  As such, starting in March, we'll be launching our awards scheme!  These are divided into two groups - the Achievements and the Awards.  Achievements are all set up as things to work to towards the campaign, while the Awards are done by nominations, and the best one will get the final...  Whatever we decide to set up as prizes.  A piece of toast, or used toothbrush or something of that calibre, probably.

Achievements include...

Victor! - Most Wins
King o' the Hill – Most Wins by scenario
Slayer - Most points killed by a 'caster in a single game
Assassin - Most 'casters killed in a month
Destroyer - Most 'beasts/'jacks totalled in a single turn
Ivan the Tier-ible - Most wins with a Theme List (at least Tier 2)
Monogamy - Most wins in a row with a single 'caster
Polygamy - Most wins in a row without using the same 'caster twice in a row (min. 3 seperate 'casters)
Unde-Feat-ed - Most wins without using your 'caster's Feat
Total Wipeout - Most games played that end without a single living model (except 'casters) on the field.
Showin' Yo Colours - Most wins with a fully painted force.

Awards include...

The Hannibal Smith Award - Best combo
The B.A. Baraccus Award - Best bringing of PAIN
The Faceman Award - Best blag.
The H.M. Murdoch Award - Best successful mental plan.
The Jonny Gatt Award - Best one-hit kill.
The Alex Murphy Award - Best recieving of PAIN.
The Clarence J. Boddicker Award - Best random betrayal in a multiplayer game.
The Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman, all rolled in to one Award - Coolest thing, done or said.

Starting next month, I'll keep a running count of any Achievements, and we'll make nominations over our posts, with some stories to keep you loyal readers in internet land amused.

Yeah, I've started playing around with it.  We'll see how bored I get with normal looking posts from now on!

Until next time, chiiiil-dren!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Winning Is My Habit; What's Yours? (Khador Month 2)

And so the first month of the tour comes to a dramatic conclusion with Sorscha and the Khador Jacks being the only force able to claim victory over every other army. The majority of the time I lost the first game against a new force as I expected I would, but a lesson learnt painfully is a lesson learnt well, leading me to win a lot of my subsequent battles.

I've had a good time with Sorscha and she will definitely be remembered as the first caster that I have ever achieved any sort of solid ability to win with, hopefully her replacements will serve me just as well.

Month Two sees the appearance of Zerkova, the one eyed treasure hunting spell caster of Khador (£5.95) with a rather swish entourage of Greylord Ternions (£9.95). This spell slinging core of devoted servants to the motherland should be able to give my battle-tested 'Jacks some support, hopefully with the ability to match-up against the choices of my opponents.

I will be writing up the findings from my first few battles with this new force as they start seeing some action, but from the test run I have done with the ternions all I can say is; watch that formation very, very, carefully.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Blood, Sweat and (lots and lots of) tears - Circle on a Budget (Month 2)

First things first, the new purchases!

Kaya the Moonhunter and Laris (£13)
Feral Warpwolf (£17)

This gives me a solid 15 point list - Kaya the Moonhunter and 2 Warpwolves - but due to the fact Kaya still hasn't showed up, I've been using the two Warpwolves with basic Kaya with...  Well, it's loathed in our group!  This is due to the new uses of Spirit Door I've had to find after the terrifying discovery that I can't use it to just teleport in with Kaya, hit the offending Warcaster, pop the feat and hit the offending Warcaster some more.  Still, using it on Warpwolves to perform an evac after they've charged is hilarious (and is referred to on the forums as the "Warpwolf Yoyo".  It's on page one of 'How to be a Druid'.) and was used to great effect to smash apart a Mangler and a Talon in a single turn without fear of retribution.

Still, Kaya is actually quite a boring 'caster to play, and I'm hoping that epic Kaya's more in-your-face beatstick nature will make her more fun for both me and my opponents.

Next month...  Either a Stalker or the Druids of Orboros, depending on how much the rest of the group piss me off!

Month 1 Story - The Prologue

Sorscha stood on the battlefield, stained with soot, sweat and blood.  She had seen off attackers from all sides, and fought with the unlikeliest allies to keep Llael free of Magnus' mercenaries and Cryxian invaders.  She nodded at the Druid that had already gone from fighting her to fighting with her over the space of days.

"Do not consider this an alliance, Khadoran.  Just the lesser of three evils.  It lasts no longer."  The blackclad and her warpwolves faded into the trees.
Kaya strode over to the hollow tree she had been using as a base camp in Llael for the last few months, stopping only to calm Convel, the eldest of her warpwolves as he shrieked in pain, reverting back to human form.  Taking Glimmer from the tree, Kaya silently summoned a great white wolf to her side, kneeling beside him and patting him.

"Hello, old friend.  We have a task to attend to..."
As Magnus fled the battlefield alongside the War Witch he had been hired by, he decided that there was no amount of coin that would be worth dealing with this level of incompetence.  He could travel quickly, his beloved warjacks had been devastated by a surprise union of the Khadoran occupiers and the druids which left him unburdened, unlike his erstwhile employer.  Still, the job sounded like it may be something useful for him, something to investigate later on, once he'd got reinforcements.  But for now, he ran.

He didn't need to be fast.  He just had to be faster than her.
Deneghra cursed the mercenary for his cowardice as she abandoned her warjacks to cover her own escape.  Not long after, she had found her way back to the Cryxian camp where Skarre was waiting.

"A failure, I presume?"
"Your mercenary deserted us.  Next time I see him, I shall take our advance payment from his hide."
"No.  You won't.  I'm going to deal with this personally..."
The figure stood overlooking the battlefield as four armies clashed, his bladed hands nearly rubbing against each other with glee.
"We may not have to attack this stupid land ourselves!  Wait long enough and they'll kill themselves!"
"But that is not the Hoksune way!" A single soldier spoke out, only to be struck down by the Master Tormentor.
"No.  It is the Paingiver way.  Still, I would have sport among these playthings.  Fetch me my beasts, I march at daybreak."

Morghoul gave a rictus grin.
The Winter Guard had almost finished picking over the wreckages of the warjacks when one ran up to Sorscha, stopping only to give a stilted salute.
"Kommander, there is something you should see, from the mercenary's belongings!"  He handed her a note which she skimmed before barking orders.
"Pack up!  We're moving!  You, you and you, get my Warjacks on the cart!  You!  bring this to Koldun Kommander Zerkova!  She'll want to see this..."