Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lock and Load: Day 0

Hello from Lock & Load 2013...downtown Seattle. This is Privateer Press' showcase home turf convention. I've been looking forward to going for several months now. Arrived this morning after an ungodly early flight. I was lucky, and my room was available for check in at 8:00 AM.

Normal badge holders can't register until tomorrow morning, so wandered around the Red Lion Hotel, and found pick-up games to play with some others who were looking to get some practice in today.

First off, some early pics of the Iron Arena open game area.

Cool new Convergence board.

Met Sean from Vancouver. We had a pick up game in the morning in the tournament area. I was looking to get time in with my eFeora lists. I'm most shaky with her play style. It showed. Three games with her today and lost all of them...yay.

Anyway, Sean turned out to be a nice guy. He played a gator army led by Rask and won on scenario.

In the afternoon I took a walk over to the Raygun Game Lounge. It's about 20 minutes from the hotel. A very cool place to play games. Nice big tables. Food. Beer. What more could you ask for. Several Warmachine players showed up, including a nice fellow from Norway by the name of Jonas.

He had a beautifully painted Skorne army, carried around in a very solid wooden crate. Everything was magnetized to minimize travel damage.

He didn't have any broken pieces as far as I could tell. Any case that can get an army to the West Coast from Oslo has to be pretty well built!

Jonas was a very good player. We ground our armies down, but when his Mammoth charged and took out my Judicator, the writing was on the wall.

I also had a pick-up game with Matt from Puget Sound. He played Trolls, and although I got ahead on attrition, he gained the center of the board first and won on scenario. Good game, and a tough opponent.

There are a whole slew of guys here from Alberta, so looking forward to catching up with them tomorrow when the main tournaments start. I did run into the usual suspects from Thunderground. On the left is Roy Kim, our store's owner and all around good guy.

Did manage to pick up some Warmachine geek swag today over at Raygun Games. These are the new dice sets from Q-Workshop.

I'll post again tomorrow and report on the first day of the Masters.

'Til next time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

pKreoss vs Barnabas

Long time followers of this blog should be asking at this point..."What's with all the battle reports? Where are the painting bits?" Apologies. I'm mid-way through a crazy project at work and have had little time to whip up something new on the hobby table. That will turn around at some point. But, in the mean time...

Elliot and I got together for our Tuesday night game at the club. This was a 50-point tilt between pKreoss and Bloody Barnabas Tier 4. Battle of the knock-down casters. Going in, it looked like the winner might be the caster to feat first. Kreoss should have a mild advantage due to 2" extra in control radius...but that's why you find out.

We played "three flags". I'm Menoth on the right side of the table. Elliot is Minions, playing on the left side of the table. Terrain is forest and rocks. Flag stands can be seen down the middle of the board.

Elliot's starting line. This is On his right flank, closest to the camera, he is sending Wrong Eye, Snapjaw and a Croak Hunter to look after one flag. The rest of his army, Barnabas, Wrastler, Spitter, Horror, and two Gator units are going up the middle. Bog Trogs are ambushing.

My starting line. I have pKreoss, two Reckoners, a Vanquisher, a Redeemer, Hierophant, Flameguard with UA, Choir, two Vassals, a Mechanik, Rhupert, Daughters and Wracks. Mine is a shooting army with the pop & drop assassination threat, plus DEF 18 Daughters to infiltrate Elliot's backfield.

Tier benefit for Barnabas enables Elliot to go first.

Minion turn 1. Barnabas gets out Warpath and lays down some swamps. He will use swamps to negate my range combat advantage while closing.

Coming up my left flank is the Wrong Eye group. Croak is out front.

Menoth turn 1. On my left flank, I send the Daughters over to deal with Wrong Eye. They get Dirge of Mists from Rhupert and Defender's Ward from Kreoss. DEF 18.

In my center, I send everything else. Elliot's force is relatively slow, so I'm advancing as a messy cloud. I'll sort everyone out once the battle is engaged. Kreoss has Lamentation up.

Minion turn 2. The flag on my left flank (closest to the camera) disappears. Bog Trogs come in agains the Daughters and kill three. Then we remember that Daughters have Terror. We roll the Bog Trog morale check after they attack. They fail (head slap), and will remain fleeing for the remainder of the game. Although we did this incorrectly, and I should still have the full unit of Daughters out, we just left half the unit dead.

In the center, Barnabas gets all the heavies into swamps, but keeps Barnabas back to avoid shooting...and my feat, which is coming up. There is a screen of gators in the lead. I believe Elliot is worried about an alpha strike on his heavies.

Menoth turn 2. Kreoss moves up and feats. He catches everything in the center except for Barnabas. No problem. My strategy is to play for attrition, and this should give me a leg up. The Reckoners assault into the leading Gators. Flameguard charge into Gators, mini-feat and set a couple of guys on fire. The Vanquisher kills one Gator outright with his opening shot, and sets 5 other figures on fire. Follow-up ancillary attacks from the Vassals set more Gatormen on fire, while another goes down to a Reckoner shot.

This was one of those rare Menoth games when fire did a lot of work. And I mean a lot. Fire dice were on fire. Skipping ahead a little...ranged attacks and fire alone killed 6 of the 10 Gatormen on the table. Ouch.

Anyway, Elliot's heavies were relatively unscathed. But the Gators got the snot kicked out of them. I kept my 'jacks back to force Elliot to shake effects when it came around to his turn.

On my left, I got Daughters into contact with Wrong Eye. One landed an incredible hit that brought the Warlock down to 1 hit point.

Minions turn 3. Barnabas feats. All my stuff gets knocked down. However, as suspected I'm at an advantage in this knockdown exchange. Elliot's troops must get up and move into me, diminishing their hitting power by quite a bit. In the end, Elliot delivered a beat down to my Flameguard, but the 'jacks were relatively unscathed. Barnabas wants to Iron Flesh, but Lamentation is up, so he decided to camp his fury instead. Elliot knows he is on the slippery attrition slope and is worried I may break through his line and get to Barnabas on my next turn.

Menoth turn 3. I'm thinking the greatest assassination threat to Kreoss in the coming Minion turn might be the Croak Hunter, so I send a couple of Flameguard over to lock him down. I set him on fire.

The two remaining Daughters on the field finish off Wrong Eye. Snapjaw leaves the table.

In the center, I play purely for attrition. The Horror goes down, and Wrastler takes a ton of damage. His mind and spirit are out.

Minion turn 4. The Spitter frenzies. Barnabas goes first to heal the Wrastler. Wrastler throws the Vanquisher at Kreoss, doing respectable damage. Elliot is starting to run out of time on his Death Clock.

Menoth turn 4. More beat down. A Reckoner starts laying into Barnabas. Transfers take down the Spitter. Wrastler gets pushed to the edge of elimination by a Reckoner...then the Redeemer moves in and kills the Minion heavy with his mace.

Minion turn 5. Barnabas gets out Iron Flesh, disengages from melee, and scores two control points by running over to the far flag and dominating it.

Menoth turn 5. I'll have none of that. I load up the closest Reckoner and Assault/Charge into Barnabas. Boosted hit with the cannon, kill Barnabas...he toughs...follow up swing with the mace, failed tough check. Game over. Thanks for the game, Elliot. Fun as always.

Off to Lock and Load in two weeks, WhooHooooooo!

'Til next time.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

eFeora vs Calaban

This week, Elliot and I got together for a 50 point Warmachine game over at the club. We played Steamroller scenario #9, Chemical Reaction. First off, I'll apologize. We were very remiss in taking photos at the right times, and from easy-to-follow angles. What follows is essentially a hodge-podge of pictures...but I'll try to make sense of them for you.

No photo of board set-up, but if you're familiar with the scenario, you know there are two objectives in the middle of the board that protect your troops from continuous effects. At each side of the board are control zones. Dominating the far zone is worth 3 points...which is pretty big. The table was a mix of forests and rock obstructions.

Elliot rolled to go first. Sorry, no line up photo. He was playing Calaban tier 4 with Gators, Witch Doctor, Wrastler, Feralgeist, Bone Grinders, Bone Swarm, Swamp Horror and a Bullsnapper. He also had Wrong Eye with Snapjaw and a Spitter in his battlegroup.

Elliot Turn 1. The advancing horde. Out of frame and off on my right flank was Wrong Eye and his two beasts. It looks like Elliot was making a strong play for my zone, while sending Wrong Eye's group to contest his zone.

My turn 1. I'm testing out my Hardcore eFeora list. It's pretty much all melee and is designed to get to the opponent quickly then land super-hard blows. I have eFeora, bonded Sanctifier, Fire of Salvation, Blood of Martyrs, Avatar, Choir, Rhoven and Guard, Book, Mechanik, Vassal and a full unit of Flameguard with UA. 

I send Avatar and Rhoven's boys to contest my zone on the left, while...

...moving everyone else up my right flank to take Elliot's zone.

Elliot's turn 2. On my right flank, Wrong Eye's battlegroup gets ready to hold his zone. The Spitter hits my Sanctifier and rolls fire, knocking out my main reach weapon. What? Ouch!

On my left, Gators, Wrastler and Bone Swarm move into my zone...acting tough and looking for trouble.

My turn 2. On my left, I run the wounded Sanctifier over to get a heal from the Mechanic. Failed repair roll...great. Avatar doesn't want to mix it up with a single Gator in order to then get pulverized by a Wraster/Gator counter-charge, so he tucks in behind the forest and waits for next turn's developments. Cassius walks out to put some hits on a Gator, expecting to die and then battle-drive the two others in the Rhoven unit.

On my right flank...this is a funky view, but anyway, in the back you can see that I got a charge off on Calaban with three Flamegaurd. I simply needed to roll a five to hit and get fire on him. Rolled a 4. Dang. I jam Elliot's beasts with expendable infantry and get ready to follow up with 'jacks next turn.

Elliot's turn 3. No pictures, but essentially, on my right flank, Elliot blows away all my jamming infantry, Calaban gets Parasite on Fire of Salvation and then Snapjaw charges in and wrecks the 'jack. Calaban also feated this turn, getting lots of Bone Shakers off.

On my left flank, the Gators wade in but only manage to kill Cassian. Everything else on my side lives and gets ready to counter-strike.

My turn 3. On my right flank, in my main scoring zone, the only units in there are Wrong Eye (exposed) and the Spitter. Snapjaw is in my face as well. I see a chance to score a quick 3 control points. I move remaining infantry out of the way and clear a path for Blood of Martyrs onto Wrong Eye. My MAT 10/POW 22 juggernaut charges in a quickly rids the world of Wrong Eye. This forces Snapjaw to leave the table and the Spitter is now wild. The zone is free. eFeora runs in and I score 3 points.

On my left flank, the Mechanik fails a second repair attempt on Sanctifier. Undaunted, Sanctifier moves up to clean up some of the Avatar's mess. Avatar has already whacked most of Elliot's Gators in the woods...but some toughed and the Sanctifier put an end to that nonsense.

Elliot's turn 4. Wrastler charges in and scraps Sanctifier. Avatar chuckles and gets ready to put the hurt on during my turn. 

On my right flank, Elliot tries to get an assassination off on eFeora with Swamp Horror and a Parasite from Calaban. He misses the charge by a quarter inch. We both sense checkmate coming.

My turn 4. Blood of Martyrs is loaded with focus, Parries past the Swamp Horror and lays a holy beat down on poor Calaban. Two transfers aren't nearly enough to stave off Blood's whirling blades of death. Win by assassination.

Thanks for the game's nice to win once in a while! Hahaha. Hmmm, not very gracious of me.

'Til next time!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

MayDay Steamroller 2013 Recap

Saturday, May 4th, The Edmonton Wargame Group put on its annual miniatures convention, MayDay. I ran the Warmachine Steamroller tournament and 19 players from Edmonton, St Albert and Red Deer showed up for the day. 

Surprisingly, there were five (!) Retribution armies at the tournament. Four Cryx made it too. Then a pretty standard mix of other factions, except that Legion, Trolls and Menoth (!) gave the day a pass.

This turned out to be a 4-round affair which ran from 9:00 AM to about 5:00 PM. While the games were on, I took some photos of some really impressively painted armies that turned out for the competition.

Here's Tyler Webb's beautifully painted Skorne army, with the new Mammoth.

Tom Carter had two fantastic Merc armies at the con. Here's his Dwarf force.

Gord Weppler's Stormwall army.

Cory Cass' Cryx.

Elliot's Gators and Josalynne's Cryx fight it out. You can see more of Elliot's fantastic Gators in battle reports on this blog.

A chunk of Tom's pirate army. This one was really beautiful. The paint jobs on the 'jacks and cannon were sublime.

Another one of Gord's great Cygnar armies. I've played against this one in the past, and it is nasty. Double Stormstriders and Thunderhead.

After the 4th round, we were able to determine a winner. Cory (Cryx) from Red Deer took first place. He beat Gord in the final round with:

Epic Skarre
^ Deathjack
^ Nightwretch
Bile Thralls (min)
Satyxis Raiders (max) with UA
Raider Captain
Warwitch Siren

For his troubles, Cory walked away with trophy, coin and certificate, and the Skorne Mammoth.

Andrew Munn (Khador) took 2nd, beating contender Bryan Lang in the final round on scenario with:

Old Witch
^ Scrapjack
^ Behemoth
^ Kodiak
Pikemen (max)
Black Dragon Officer
2x Manhunter
Yuri the Axe

Andrew took home a trophy, coin, certificate and a Woldwrath.

Coming from behind to take 3rd place after losing in the very first round was Mike Weaver (Cryx). His final round list was:

Epic Skarre
^ Kraken
^ Deathjack
Bane Knights (max)

Besides the trophy, coin and certificate, Mike got a Hordes 2-player boxed set.

Our best sportsman award went to Josalynne Balajadia. Everyone that played against her voted her into the category. Josalynne was a awarded a $50 gift certificate from Thunderground in St Albert.

Tyler Webb won best painted army in a walk. The Mammoth army was just about everyone's favorite. Not to take anything away from some of the other beautifully painted forces that made it out...the caliber of painting in the Alberta community has really gone up in the past two years. Tyler got a Throne of Everblight for his efforts.

And then there was the Perseverance Award. This went to the guy who played every round and had the worst record. Congratulations Mat Kohlruss! Mat's actually a good player...makes me think he sandbagged the whole day to get the $25 gift certificate (and a few extra Thunderground comics). Haha. Mat took his fair share of ribbing and jabs for the award...and got the most applause for his efforts.

So, standings for the day...

1. Cory Cass (Cryx)
2. Andrew Munn (Khador)
3. Mike Weaver (Cryx)
4. Gord Weppler (Cygnar)
5. Bryan Lang (Ret)
6. Elliot Christian (Minions)
7. Dwight MacCallum (Circle)
8. Josh Paquette (Ret)
9. Paul Kingston (Cryx)
10. Tyler Webb (Skorne)
11. Mike Kolkman (Ret)
12. Greg Rumbolt (Ret)
13. Tom Carter (Mercs)
14. Luke Baron (Ret)
15. Josalynne Balajadia (Cryx)
16. Christian Lombardi (Skorne)
17. Rob MacKinnon (Circle)
18. Joel Bacso (Khador)
19. Mat Kohlruss (Mercs)

Fun day. Thanks for coming out, guys.

'Til next time.