Wednesday, July 31, 2013

pKreoss vs eMorvahna

OK, time for the weekly Warmachine game with Elliot. This week we played Incoming...and because this scenario affects light artillery models, and neither of us brought any, this was really a game about taking juicy scoring zones.

The opening set up.

Before we start, it's worth noting that Elliot painted his eMorvahna piece. She's beautiful.

Great paint job, Elliot!

OK, Elliot with Circle rolled to go first. Here's his opening set up. He has eMorvahna with a Stalker, Ghetorix and Gorax. Druids, Bloodtrackers, Wilder, two sets of stones (and one UA), a tree and the Blackclad round out the force.

I'm playing my pKreoss list. Standard pop 'n drop build with Daughters thrown in to keep the enemy 'caster off guard. pKreoss, Fire of Salvation, Reckoner, Vanquisher, Redeemer, Temple Flameguard and UA, Daughters, Rhupert, eEryss, Choir and two Vassals.

Circle turn 1. Bloodtrackers have my Daughters as Prey. Everyone advances. Druids pop smoke and an anti-magic aura. Carnivore goes on the Stalker. Fog of War is up.

Menoth turn 1. Daughters get Defenders Ward and Dirge of Mists and plow straight into Elliot's front line. Bloodtrackers fail the morale check. Three Bloodtrackers go down to shooting. Kreoss has Lamentation up.

The Flameguard advance in shieldwall, leaving shooting lanes open for the 'jacks behind.

Circle turn 2. The Daughters are a big problem. They are within striking distance of Morvahna and are DEF 18. Elliot dedicates the turn to clearing them away. Three go down to Morvahna casting Death Knell on her own Ghetorix. The beasts clean up the rest.

Menoth turn 2. I attrition down a lot of infantry with AOE shots. More go down to charging/mini-feating Flameguard. I move Fire of Salvation to contest my zone (which I see Elliot will make a play for). I place Salvation behind the wall in order to get a DEF bonus when Elliot sends in his beasts. As it turns out, this measure does not work like I want it to.

Circle turn 3. Ghetorix double teleports and just clears Salvation's wall to hit on 3s. Salvation goes down. Ghetorix then sprints to get close to my 'caster. Stalker kills eEryss, who is my only other piece holding the zone. eMorvahna feats and brings back 9 guys, clogging up the center of the board and ensuring I can't make a serious attempt at gaining back my zone on my next turn. It's looking bleak. Elliot scores two scenario points.

Morvahna is in Elliot's backfield, cackling over her impending scenario victory.

Menoth turn 3. pKreoss feats. Most of Elliot's army gets knocked down. I blow away most of it (again). Ghetorix goes down to the Reckoner. The Flameguard are free to run into my zone and contest it...but I only get three models in. Impending doom. No scenario points scored this turn.

Circle turn 4. The Stalker and the Blackclad stand up and quickly dispatch the infantry I had in the zone. Morvahna runs into the zone to dominate in. Elliot scores 3 more victory points for the total of 5 he needs. Game over.

Another good game. The more games of SR 2013 I play, the more I realize I'm super weak on scenario play...I'm going to have to concentrate on that for the rest of the year. Good game, Elliot.

'Til next time.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Damiano Tier 4 Project: Part 1

OK, first week of the Mercenaries project.

In terms of chewing through the infantry portion of this project, you can see that I have the riflemen cleaned up and based. Damiano got onto his base very quickly. Hmmm, halberdiers...why are there only two done?

Rage mode on.

OK, halberdiers are 1 hit point infantry with crappy defensive stats. They are the definition of popcorn troops. So, they're going to be flying off the table. As a service to players, they should be as easy to assemble as they are to kill. But wait. Have a look. Each guy is 6 pieces. WTF! And they are small finicky pieces. Ridiculous! How does anyone have the constitution and patience to get through a full unit? Well...maybe I'll get there by next week.

And 'jacks. So, instead of the three heavies I need for my Tier 4 list, I've decided to do four. I'm going to build an additional Nomad in order to have a little flexibility in list building.

The mould line extravaganza on these soft plastic kits made me regret the decision to build four. So, during the first week, I've only been able to clean parts. No assembly yet. The good news: All the parts are ready to go. Assembly next. This will two Mules, a Nomad and Rocinante.

Back to the table.

'Til next time!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Step-by-Step: Bastion Seneschal

Before I got my new Mercenary army last week, I finished of a Menoth Bastion Seneschal. Here's the play-by-play for this very cool figure.

The Exemplar Bastions needed a 'Jack Marshal...then one showed up as a pile of metal.

Standing with the resin/plastic base unit models, the new Seneschal measures up nicely (unlike the anemic Black 13th next to the Gun Mage unit...what planet did those guys get sculpted on?). started with construction, but left the flags off to be painted separately.

Mounted the model on a plastic cylinder and spray primed black. This was the first time I used the P3 black primer. I usually use the grotesquely overpriced GW Chaos Black primer. In comparison, I'd say that the P3 spray does not cover as well. It took a couple of coats to get a solid black undercoat.

So the first order of business was getting the Menoth White layer down. After many years of wrestling with the color white, I've decided that the best way to get it down with with an airbrush. I started with Vallejo Model Air Sand, and over-sprayed those areas that would end up white on the model. I made sure to leave the edges of the areas with a hint of the black undercoat to accentuate the shading.

Here's the back side of the model. More white on this side. In the Privateer Studio scheme for this model, the shoulder pads are gold. However, I felt that scheme was too gaudy, and wanted to stick with a more "realistic" or "workmanlike" paint job...whatever that means. Well, what it means for me is white shoulder pads.

Next, I highlighted the white areas with thinned down Menoth White Highlight, making sure to stay away from the panel edges and ensuring a little bit of the sand color showed up as well.

Finally, I highlighted the white armor with a quick spray of Vallejo Model Air White...again just trying to concentrate in the center of the panels.

At this point, I just wanted to block out the main color next up was Reaper Shadowed Steel for the silver areas, and P3 Molten Bronze for the gold areas.

Now that the three main colors were down, I switched over to washes. The white areas got a very thin wash of P3 Gun Corps Brown. The silver areas were hit with P3 Armor Wash, and the gold areas took an orange/brown wash.

I'll be doing the dark blue cloth and sanguine tabard colors later.

Highlighting pass. I left the white pretty much as is, but did a few touch ups where I'd messed up with metal paint and crossed into the whites. Anyway, the silver got a drybrush of GW chainmail, and the gold areas were highlighted with P3 Gold and Radiant Platinum.

Again a rear view. I was trying hard on this model to get more of a gradient with the whites. I still need to be braver with preparing the shades for this color. I can just never commit to really dark white areas.

OK, time to finish the model off. Black menofixes, highlighted in grey. The tabards and tassels took a few shades of P3 Sanguine Base and Highlight. I also did the jewels at this time. I painted the disks black then started working up a red underside on each one. They then got a dot of white to highlight where the light is hitting them.

Cloth was Foundry Storm Blue and trimmed in Sanguine.

And here he is with his finished base amongst friends.

The flags had fairly robust locating pins, so I've just glued them in without pinning. If them fall out later, I may have to pin them at some point.

A very pretty model, and I like the metal cast way better than the plastic that the base unit is made from.

Well, there he is. Now it's time to move onto that Mercenary army.

'Til next time.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Damiano Tier 4 Army Project: Part 0

Hello painters, gamers and Warmachine hobbyists. If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that I usually take on one big army project a year. Whether that's been Cryx, or historical Celts, or whatever. You get the idea. This year, I've decided to paint up a 50-point Mercenary army for Warmachine. My birthday was this past week, and it was a good excuse to get all the required material onto the hobby table. 

I've chosen to build and paint up a Damiano Tier 4 Free Companies army. It's thematic, mildly competitive and can be mixed to good effect with other Mercenary units I've painted up for Cygnar.

Here's the pile. This creates the following list:

Max Steelhead Halberdiers
Max Steelhead Riflemen
Min Steelhead Cavalry
Min Steelhead Cavalry
Stannis Brocker

Under the tier benefits with reduced cost cavalry, this actually creates a 48-point army. There are no other 2-point Steelhead solos or unit attachments at this I'll play two points down and see how it goes.

I'll post weekly on progress...looking forward to getting this balanced combined arms force out on the table.

'Til next time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

pSeverius vs eMorvahna

Elliot and I got together for our Tuesday night Warmachine game at the club. We played Into the Breach (SR 2013 Scenario #9). Here you can see the terrain set up, the zone and the flag. My Menoth force will be coming in from the left. Elliot's Circle army will be coming from the right.

This game will forever be known to me as the match of two grave mistakes...

This is a 50-point game. I rolled to go first. I'm set up on the left with pSeverius, Elliot is on the right with his new eMorvahna Tier 4 list.

Menoth opening set up. I have pSeverius with Hierophant, Blessing, Reckoner, Avatar, Choir, two Vassals, a Mechanik, Rhoven & Guards and the book set up on the base line. Advance deployed are the wracks and Errants with UA and Seneschal.

Circle opening set up. eMorvahna is with the Stalker, Pureblood, Gorax, Ravagers, the Ravager solo, Tree, Bloodtrackers and a min unit of Cavalry.

Here's Elliot's battlegroup on the start line. The army is so new, Elliot just has primer down on several pieces. They look great, however...will be awesome when all painted up.

Menoth turn 1. Elliot has set up after me, so my pieces are mismatched. On my right (closest to the camera) I have Blessing up against his Ravagers. I'd rather be arcing into the Bloodtrackers, which are on my left. Oh well. The Ravagers are only armor 14, so Severius should be able to do some work against them anyway.

On my left flank (away from the camera) the Errants line up outside the wood and scoring zone. Elliot's Bloodtrackers have the Errants as Prey, and will be able to rush through the woods no problem, so I play conservatively there.

Circle turn 1. On my right, the Ravagers run up.

On my left a few Bloodtrackers move up to throw spears. They get one Errant even with Morvahna cutting plenty for re-rolls. I should say at this point, our dice were cold the entire game. Fog of War is up, so my shooting options next turn are cut way down.

Menoth turn 2. On my right, Blessing moves up and I arc Ashes to Ashes into the Ravagers. I catch 4 and put good damage on all of them.

On my left, the Errants move into the woods, whack some Bloodtrackers and put a lot of damage into the Ravager solo. The Avatar sandbags and gets ready to take a charge from the Stalker next turn. I put Menoth's Sight onto the Reckoner and shoot at the Stalker. More terrible rolls follow. It seems that the whole key to playing against eMorvahna is to try and get at her while killing as few of her troopers as possible. A tall order that winds up being very frustrating.

Circle turn 2. On my right, the Ravagers get into my support troops, killing a Guard, Rhoven and a Vassal. The Tree also moves up and I take a Death Toll on the final Guard and 4 points onto Blessing. The Pureblood also sprays into a group of my dudes. Ouch. Attrition going good for Elliot on this flank.

Meanwhile, on the left, the Bloodtrackers finally get stuck into the Errants and get rid of most of them. The Stalker goes ghostly (from the Pureblood) and gets Primal from Gorax and plows into Avatar. But my big 'jack is left with a column of boxes and will exact revenge next turn.

And here is where Elliot serves the game up to me on a platter. Morvahna is sitting in the clear at 6 hit points (due to all the re-rolling he is doing) and with no Fury (he cast Purification to strip Defender's Ward off of Avatar). The game is mine to win. Big mistake number one is pending.

Menoth turn 3. Sideshow on the right flank. Blessing takes out a couple of Ravagers...big deal.

On the left flank...brain fart disaster. There is a single Bloodtracker standing where I want to move my Reckoner to put Morvahna out of her misery. I have multiple ways of clearing it. But I pick the stupidest. I want to charge into it with an Errant, but to get through, I want to eliminate the Stalker in order to avoid the free strike. I quickly dispatch the Stalker...and in so doing, Morvahna reaves 4 fury. Damn it! Dumbest move ever. Sure, I charge and clear the Bloodtracker, but Morvahna can now transfer and I will not win this turn. My loaded Reckoner moves up anyway and shoots 9 damage into Elliot's caster. Transfer to Gorax. I'm an idiot. Ancillary attack with Vassal...just to get more damage into Elliot's beasts. Miss. Oh God.

Now for the second big mistake of the game. When I activated Severius, he put Defender's Ward up on himself (good) but did not feat (super-bad). Now, Morvahna can Purify again and Severius will be standing in the open with his pants down.

Circle turn 3. An easy decision for Elliot. Morvahna moves up and Purifies. The Pureblood moves up and sprays into Severius, starting the assassination by landing 11 damage. The Bloodtrackers activate, eliminate the last of my Errants and move Prey onto Severius. The remaining two spear attacks then take my 'caster down. Sad face.

I deserved the loss because I had the win right in my butter-fingered hands. Yet another good, hard-fought game with Elliot. Always fun and challenging.