Thursday, May 17, 2018

Blood, Souls, and Fashionable Gator Boots - Cycle 4 Batreps

Good day to you fellow wargamers and I hope you are faring well in whatever it is you are doing!  We are back here today with another batrep post starring your potentially favorite tactical game of steam-powered robots and angry beasts: Warmahordes!  I had the privilege of being able to play some really cool gents for our local Journeyman League and this time I actually took more than 2 pictures.  I’m really excited to go over the games so let’s get right to it, shall we?  This might be a nice long post since I’ve got three games to cover this cycle, so get a nice drink and get comfy for the ride ahead!

So the first thing I wanted to mention is that my list-making has been craptastic this League.  The caveats of not being able to change my list at all in conjunction with forgetting about the Mk3 theme list push has left me with only one option to go for my Cryx and that is the Infernal Machines theme force.  Truthfully it wouldn’t have been so bad if I had planned it out but due to forgetting that themes were a thing I chose my models poorly and subsequently I’m catching up.  So I had to adjust my warcaster to meet the needs of my list and so I switched out Bane Witch Agathia for Warwitch Deneghra, as I’m going to need the “Queen of Debuffing” to help my poor undead minions out.  So here’s my current Cycle 4 list:

·         Warwitch Deneghra
o   The Withershadow Combine
o   Deathripper
o   Slayer
o   Reaper
o   X2 Ripjaws
·         Pistol Wraith
·         Mechanithrall Min. Unit
o   X1 Brute Thrall
·         Necrosurgeon and Stitch Thralls
·         X2 Soul Trapper

Had I planned this list out I would have avoided taking the Withershadow Combine and instead of a Skarlock Thrall, and I would have been spending more points on the Mechanithralls and Brute Thralls and instead of Ripjaws maybe a Defiler or a Nightwretch.  While I like the potential Ambush rule being used on a unit of Mechanithralls with Brutes, the giving of Hyper-Aggressive to my warjacks is not really that great when my ‘jacks are paper thin and break easily.  Ultimately it was my fault for not paying more attention when designing my list and so any derision has been my fault only, I’ll own that.  So for me, this theme is meh right now, but I’m determined to make it work!  Eventually, I’ll have it working but until then I made due with what I have.

My first game was against Mark and his Khadoran force chock-full of Winterguard infantry, led by the Supreme Kommandant Irusk.  Initially, I felt intimidated by the number of troopers he had on the field, and placing them in a brick formation around Irusk gave me pause as I didn’t feel like I had enough bodies of my own.  Not to mention his 3 warjacks coming down the field as well, all those hitboxes and ARM 20s were not appetizing.  It was going to be a test to see how well I could debuff his forces and whittle them down before they could crash on me like a tsunami of angry Khadorans.
The first turn was full of movement followed by turn 2 of cautionary placement and preparing for the inevitable melee.  Mark kept the majority of his infantry in the back and let his Decimator take the first hit from my Mechanithralls.  With the onset of Parasite, the amount of damage coming from combo-smite was impressive, but the follow-up attacks from Mark cleaned them out pretty quickly.  I think in this game the Necrosurgeon only managed to bring back 3 zambos before the unit was wiped out.  Meanwhile, on my right side, I moved up my Ripjaws along the flank to keep them far away from his jacks, knowing full-well that one hit would cause them to crumble immediately.  Early on I cast Crippling Grasp on his closest unit of Winterguard as they would jam the rest of the unit down with their decreased SPD stat.

After several Venom sprays and a "get over here" shot from the Reaper

Trying to clear out his warjacks
It was about turn 3 that I remembered that Deneghra also had Venom and realized that spell was my only counter against his infantry horde.  Mark took out a Ripjaw and my Deathripper without batting an eye (DEF/ARM 14 and 20hp does not last long) and leaving me with only 1 arc node to play around with.  I put Parasite on his Marauder, but not before it had a chance to deal some real damage.  This turn I popped my feat as well as I knew I would need that sweet -4/-4 to his Infantry as I cast multiple venoms.  I managed to clear out a good chunk but the Tough granted by Irusk left a lot of bodies unharmed.  I was able to do some serious damage to his Marauder as well but that Juggernaut was ready to replace its role and I was running out of options fast. 

The hard fought bloodbath

Mark’s Juggernaut was doing some real work on my left side as he quickly took out the Slayer and started putting the hurt on the Reaper.  I was running out of options so I resolved to try and assassinate Irusk with Deneghra.  It took me a turn of positioning and keeping his Juggernaut busy, but eventually, I was able to jam it up long enough for the Reaper to take it out (with the help of Parasite).  I was then able to rush on in and take out Irusk for the hard-fought victory against the Motherland!  Mark was an excellent person to play with and the game was difficult on both ends, definitely one of those “it’s anyone’s game” type of match.

My only chance to take out Irusk
My next game was against Scott’s Skorne and Lord Tyrant Zaadesh leading the massive beef wall that was his beasts.  This matchup was difficult for me for many reasons including the aforementioned list difficulties, but also Zaadesh was able to maintain Battle Lust which left a bubble surrounding each of his beasts where he could counter-charge anything of mine that moved within 6” of his.  Compound that with the animus from the Titan Sentry allowing him to make strikes back if attacked put me in a pretty rough position of hesitancy.

So Scott laid down a couple of Burning Ash clouds which effectively neutered my ability to engage him first, which only further compounded his defense and limited my options.  Scott sent out one of his Cyclops early on but left his big beefy boiis in the back.  I was left with assaulting this lone light beast and hope the counter-attack wasn’t too bad, or I would let him rampage through and hope that it wouldn’t leave me unable to engage his heavies.  I went with the former option and went in for the kill.  A good shot from his Cyclops Raider took out half of my Slayer’s hitboxes, and thus crippling move and one of his arms.  That hurt more than just the lost health as it also neutralized my alpha Combo-Strike + Charge + Deneghra combo before he had the chance to get in the fight.

Initial advances
On my right side, his Gladiator and Bronzeback worked their way through my Ripjaw and Mechanithralls with relative ease, mere momentary roadblocks towards the march on my caster.  The only consolation was that my Necrosurgeon did some work and kept the 6 Mechanithralls up almost all game.  On my left flank, his Sentry engaged both Ripjaw and Reaper with some solid damage to both jacks.  I had a gamble and hoped that it would pan out as I was quickly running out of options.  I cast Ghost Walk on the Reaper, who I also fully loaded up with focus as I then moved him up into the woods nearby and took a shot at Zaadesh.  It was a hit and I was able to drag the little bugger closer in for some damage! 

Me taking the bait
Unfortunately, while I managed to score a nice combo off Zaadesh had some fury stacked on him and the counter-attack from him, 2 attacks specifically, took out the Reaper without blinking an eye.  At this point all of my heavy hitters were down and out, leaving little offensive bite to take on his beasts.  I had one chance, but in reality, it was more of a Hail Mary dropped in a prayer to win this game.  The mechanithrall farthest on the left took out the Beast Handler, leaving Deneghra a shot at being able to charge Zaadesh.  I managed to hit and deal some damage but let’s be honest folks, the Queen of Debuffing is no fighter and Zaadesh had fury on him to transfer the damage.  After my failed charge I conceded the game to Scott as my lovely lady was dead-center of the board surrounded by angry elephants.

The stifled advance of Cryx against the meat of Skorne

Last ditch effort
My last game for Cycle 4 was against Richard and his Gatormen, specifically running a nice Barnabas 2 list chock full of corpse tokens.  Hoo boy, this was going to be rough because a) his list was definitely superior in synergy and efficacy and b) I knew very little about his models except for a few exceptions here and there.  After deployment I moved my forces up on the two flanks, trying to spread my threat as best I could.  Richard responded in kind my deploying his forces in such a way that he had a central base to support his flanks but was able to send out countermeasures for what I had lined up.  Specifically, anti-infantry towards my infantry and anti-jacks to my jacks.  The first turn was what you expect happened as we ran and got into better positions for the next turn.  One thing I want to throw out so it’s not repeated was that he maintained was the spell Execration of Blackest Night which caused a -2 to all attack rolls within 10” of Barnabas.

Up against the Gators
This was a rough game for me but I gave it all I could!  I had some bad rolls early so threats that might have been neutralized or mitigated were not and I was left to spend more effort to trade pieces than I would have liked.  I was able to take out the Blackhide Wraslter, but at the cost of my Reaper taking his charge (which was ridiculously awesome for Richard, sad news bears for me) and committing a fully focus charged Slayer to take down.  Meanwhile, my Ripjaws were useless despite Powerful Attacks I only managed to get 1 crit off of the Boneswarm.  Deneghra couldn’t cast debuffs to save her life.  My Brute Thrall took out the Totem Hunter but that’s about it.  Meanwhile, Skarath was wiping out Mechanithralls left and right with his sprays and Counterblasts.  He had a perfect counter to every move I made, it was like a dance of perfect death.  Even on my feat turn, it made little difference, my debuff helped a little bit but without the weight of additional spells I just could not capitalize on this opportunity.

After the first turn runs!

Taking the Gator hit...not that well
Next turn Richard charged Barnabas in and let me tell you, where Deneghra is not a fighter…Barnabas is a murderer.  So one thing about Richard’s list was that he included a Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron.  This cauldron was pumping out special sauce like it was no business.  Big Shaq would have been impressed with the level of sauce.  Corpse tokens were flowing like Willy Wonka’s chocolate river.  These gators were so fed on spicy corpses that they were looking like Homer being force-fed donuts in Hell.  Barnabas came in and slaughtered my remaining jacks and then he popped his feat.  Oh lawdy, this feat made me sweat.  So I did some damage right…Barnabas used all his fury…I was thinking “yeah I can maybe get him”…nope.  Richard used that feat, swallowed up his Farrow minions, some boney boiis and not only regained his fury but also healed up all that damage I had to manage to pull off on his Boneswarm.  So now I had one fat and angry Gator Boii with only a barn and the Withershadow Combine in between him and my sweet gentle Deneghra.  On my right flank, my Mechanithrall unit was being a nuisance but that’s about it.  His Boneswarm hot on Denghra’s heels, my only saving grace was that he could not hit a 10, which would have ended the game.

Trying to make some headway

Aaaaaaand Barnabas came in the fight.
Once again I found myself in the hot seat of “my only chance” and I put Ghost Walk on Deneghra and walked right through the shack right on the other side.  I managed to get Crippling Grasp on Barnabas and tossed Black Talons on him, which I managed to get the crit effect and Shadow Bound his reptilian self.  The Withershadow managed to get a couple good hits on him but not enough to get a transfer, but enough to get him down to 4 hitboxes.  Sadly the revenge of the angry Gator Boii ended the game for a victory to Richard.

The last attempt to snipe out Barnabas
I won’t lie all of these games were difficult and hard fought, which I can say is primarily due to Deneghra and her ability to debuff like no one else.  Each opponent played well and I learned a lot from the games played.  I think one core issue was that I spread my forces over-confident in their ability to hold their own, but forgetting that 12/12 zombies are not effective meat-shields.  Especially since I only have 6.  I think once I catch up in the next cycle or two my list will be a little closer to where I want it.  Not having the bodies leaves my threat limited to key pieces and ones those are gone I had little option left.  1 Brute Thrall isn’t intimidating, but if I had 6 on the field it might be a little different.  20 Mechanithralls move from annoying to difficulty, especially with the recursion mechanic with my Necrosurgeon and Gollums.  So for next game, I think if I stick with overwhelming force in one area versus spreading them out I might have better luck.  We’ll see.

Well, folks that is all for these three games.  I hope this has been an interesting read for you all and I look forward to bringing some more batreps in Cycle 5.  With more zombies!  More debuffs!  Extra tears!  Until then fellow gamers may your dice be kind and your opponents kinder!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Opening up Aristeia!, Blood Bowl, and Necromunda for the very first time!

Greetings fans of the hobby and welcome back to your lovely afternoon reading time!  It’s been the start of weather changes here and that means priming and painting galore for many!  It also heralds the coming of new games and that’s what we are here today to talk about, new stuff!  Not like a GenCon haul or anything but I’ve been eyeing a couple of games lately and so I decided to not only purchase them but also go over my initial impressions of just opening the box.  I’m sure you’ve seen many of these games and their respective unboxings but this is from the viewpoint a guy who a) hasn’t seen any of those unboxings so I have no idea what’s in them and b) I’ve not done much research on the games in terms of how they are played.  So let’s get to it!

The three games I’ve been eyeing are Aristeia!, Blood Bowl, and Necromunda.  I know what these games are on a surface level and so I’m not completely clueless about these games.  I’ve never played a game of any of the three except for a brief trial on the Blood Bowl PC version.  Since I had no idea what I was doing, however, I quickly moved on. With the recent revamping done by Games Workshop with their respective games and some of the good things, I have heard about Aristeia! I decided that it is time to dive in and just grab the 2 player boxes to check things out.  The first box I opened was Aristeia!

So my initial impression was that the contents were packed in neatly but the first thing I saw was a guide to the rules, a quick How to Play, followed with some large booklet about the game in the Infinity universe.  Next came the board, some weird angular things which ended up being team organizer spaces, followed by the rest of the box contents.  The miniatures came pre-assembled and in their own space along with a couple token sheets.  Overall it was easy to find everything and it is one of the few times where putting everything back was a breeze. 

Miniature quality was also good and even though I heard it was PVC I was still overall impressed.  Only a couple minor quirks like the big panda dude’s staff was bent as was the old man’s revolver.  I felt like I could with minimal effort starting playing this game from the get-go.  Everything was user/new player friendly and neatly organized so there wasn’t a lot of fuss about trying to hunt down what I might need to start playing.

Blood Bowl was opened up next and the first thing I saw was the miniatures and with it some gaming aids I can presume.  Now I have no idea what the tokens/ruler thingy is used for so I had to dig a little bit past the plastic frames to start locating the board and rules.  The models seem pretty easy to put together, I’m not sure if that’s how the whole BB range is but the simple plug-and-play type of models means that for a new player assembly isn’t as intimidating.  If you didn’t want to paint the models up they were in bright green and blue respectively so that there would be little confusion at a glance as to who was part of which team.  Beyond the models, there was a cardboard insert that had some info for Blood Bowl as a community/hobby/game.

Beyond that insert, I found the board and the rulebook, as well as some other cardboard pieces which I guess, is for the team managers?  As well as some cards but right now I have no idea what they are meant for.  The board and rules appear high quality and the dual-sided nature of the board meant some variety for gaming.  Everything was neatly packed albeit without any organizational aids but that meant putting things back meant that I would have to figure out myself how to reorganize it.  I felt like within an hour I could have the models clipped off and start to play at the bare minimum level (i.e. unpainted).  Now for the rules themselves, I have no idea but the rulebook didn’t seem too thick so I figure as a newbie it can’t be that bad to pick up on them and play a game.

Finally, I opened up Necromunda and I was a little overwhelmed if I could be honest.  This is not a new player friendly set I can tell you that much.  I closed the box and asked my wife to take a look inside to see her reaction (she is quite a new player type gamer) and her reaction was a mix of “oh geez” and “yeah I don’t want to touch this.”  The sprues for the models was a true GW model kit and the level of details on the parts are standard quality.  This is not an easy peasy lemon squeezy kind of assembly though, it is full hobbyist level if you ask me.  I’m excited to assemble the gangers but if I was brand new to the hobby I would be a little overwhelmed.  I also see they brought back the templates much to my delight (I miss those templates!) and they included some nice looking wall terrain as well.

Past the kits, the cardboard insert was a giant assembly guide for the models if that is any indication of what kind of models these are.  Beyond that, the rest of the box was neatly assembled like Blood Bowl with a nice quality cardboard board, token sheet, rulebook, dice, and cards.  The rulebook was a big larger than the BB one and a bit thicker but a casual glance through reassured me in that a good chunk of the contents were lore-based instead of rule heavy.  Still, the quality of the game appears to be GW standard in terms of what I paid for, so I am excited to see how it plays.  As far as prep work to get playing it definitely feels like I’ll need some time before it’ll be ready to play.  With all of the options on the sprues, I get the feeling that the gangers will need some forethought in equipment and/or load-outs before putting them together.  So I think they could be ready after a day or so of assembly and planning.

I thought it was interesting that the order in which I opened the boxes is the same order I would place the games in order of new player friendliness.  Aristeia! was definitely the easiest of the three to get started but I also feel like it’s less of a wargame/hobby than a board game so there is probably that element to consider.  Blood Bowl certainly has the hobby element to it but the impression I got overall was that it is in that spot of being a board-game and a hobby and so it had elements from both sides of the coin.  Necromunda was on the other side of the spectrum and despite the board that it came with, this is definitely not a board game but part of a bigger hobby.  I’ve heard that in the first expansion book the rules provide a means to play Necromunda without a board and into the 3D, so that reinforces my opinion.

So there we have it!  I enjoyed letting myself get an initial impression from these games since I had the opportunity to open three new games where I have NO experience with them outside of acknowledging their existence.  I’m looking forward to trying these games out and putting together the models, or in Aristeia!’s case painting them, and I’m already thinking of color schemes and backstories for the gangs.  Maybe I’ll do a Slaaneshi Escher cult gang…  Anyways until next time folks enjoy yourselves in the hobby and may your dice favor your armor saves!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Time for Batreps Part 2

All righty folks and welcome back to another post by yours truly, I certainly hope your day is going well and you are enjoying yourselves.  We’re following up on last batrep post with another one, except this time we are going to try and cover 3 games all in this post!  Truthfully it’s because I sort of…maybe…didn’t take as many pictures as I had before?  Woops.  Anyways here we go with the next game we played, Guild Ball!  Sadly I took fewer pictures as we played, a bad habit of mine, and so the picture quantity and content is limited.  My apologies.

So starting the game off Wells wanted to try a different guild this time around and settled on the Mortician’s Guild versus me playing as the Alchemists.  Our rosters were:

1.       Obulus
2.       Dirge
3.       Cosset
4.       Ghast
5.       Mist
6.       Silence

1.       Smoke
2.       Flask
3.       Katalyst1
4.       Compound
5.       Vitriol
6.       Calculus

I felt bad for Wells because my friend here plays 40k a lot, but doesn’t get much exposure to other games and so I could tell he was having a hard time.  Throw on top of that a new team, especially one as nuanced as the Mortician’s, and it was just hard for the guy.  I can’t say for certain if he felt this way but the way he was playing suggested that he initially went defensive because he wasn’t sure of what his team could do.  Also, the terrain was randomly generated (by tossing the 2D terrain like pancakes from like a foot away lol) and so it was hard for him to maneuver around without taking penalties.  I’d say about mid-game the gears were turning again for Wells mechanically (also he had an overnight break to read about his team) and he started to work on making plays but at this point, it was too late.  The Alchemists had strong board control, kept slowly ticking away at his health with condition damage, and the scoring potential was too strong.

Right at the start of turn 2-3
In the end, the game was 13 to 3, with the Alchemists scoring 2 goals and 3 KO’s (one was the mascot).  Smoke is a fun captain I have to say with her Cloud Jumper ability and AoE manipulation.  Wells and I talked about the game afterward and his early game hesitancy really hurt his chances in the later phases.  The lack of team knowledge definitely hurt him as well and coming from a Fisherman’s coach straight into Mortician’s with no pre-knowledge was not going to be easy.  We also talked a bit about how some of his player use was sub-optimal and if he decided to try Mortician’s again what he could have done differently, for example, he rarely used Ghast except to shuffle around the board a bit when his playbook is pretty solid for damage and some board control.  I think next time I’ll see either the Fish back on the field or perhaps this new Falconer’s minor guild that might be interesting to Wells (dude loves birds).
Vitriol on the right went and scored while the middle was jammed up
Our next game was Infinity and I’m not going to lie I was really excited about this game.  I’ve been feeling the Infinity itch lately with some of the new models being published (the new JSA force is so goooood) and so Wells agreed to try it out.  We had a beginner style game at GenCon last year and he enjoyed it and so we decided to do “intermediate rules.”  This was like a style that had more than the basics but wasn’t full blown Infinity either, for example TO camouflage was the -6 to hit a penalty but didn’t have the marker/deployment shenanigans.  Our lists were 300 points and made up of the models from Operation Icestorm and Beyond OIS.  Wells went with PanO and I went with Nomads.  We settled on the scenario Supremacy from the core rulebook and because we were using starter box models/lists we decided everyone would be a “specialist troop” but in a generalized sense so they didn’t get any special abilities apart from if they were an actual specialist.  Also, we didn’t play with Command Tokens because we’re still acclimating to this game.
Not Infinity, but Smoke on the top left scored the last goal of the game
So I won the initial roll and chose deployment zones and order and let me tell you this was my crucial mistake.  I chose a bad zone and I paid for it dearly.  This game was in Wells’ hands from the beginning and it was like shooting fish in a barrel for him.  My active turn 1 had my Spekter, Intruder, and my Kriza Borac all go unconscious because of his sniper Nisse.  Oh man, this was going to be rough.  Then my Reverend Healer acted as if she was a bad anime trope as an MMO healer and ended up killing off the Kriza with a natural 20 on her Doctor roll.  At this point, I lost a significant chunk of my firepower and it just went downhill from there.  My Mobile Brigada Lt. was able to move up along a building edge and take out the Nisse before being able to move in and secure a computer for 1 point.  On Wells’ active turn it was just a slaughterfest.  He jumped his Akhali out of LoS from anyone, moved him up, and took computers for his ever-increasing score.  He moved his Father-Knight up from out of cover and was able to take out my Lt. and hold the zone.  Turn 2 and 3 there wasn’t a whole lot of interesting action, as Wells bagged the game early on with his sniper.  So the score ended up being 9 to 1 with PanO walking away from this fight with barely a scratch.  Rough game but it taught me many lessons about Infinity in general and it’s still a game I very much enjoy, even when I am dying by the droves.
Do you see the Spekter and Intruder down for the count?  The peeking Kriza in the bottom left was down too!
Our final game of his trip was a match of Dark Age and we played a 1000 point match where I made a couple lists I had been using (not that they are super-efficient or anything since I’m still newish to the game also) and we played Kukulkani versus Horde Skaard, Wells and myself respectively.  The scenario was Ancient and Bloody Wasteland where the goal was to kill each other dead.  You gained a VP per 100 points (rounded up by to the nearest 50) killed off and whatever Secondary Objective VPs gained.  Think Secondary Objectives like the Tactical Objectives from 40k, randomly drawn objectives but with the caveat that you can tailor the deck (as long as you have at least 16 cards) with whichever cards you think you can get that game.

I’d like to spend a lot of time on this game as Dark Age is a pretty solid game overall.  I only took one picture however and Wells having only played 2 games before was not prepared with knowledge to know how to best use his guys.  As a result it was a pretty harsh game for him as he struggled with a lot of the nuanced rules that K3 have and as much as I tried to help remember which rules he had, there was only so much that could be done.  The other part was not knowing how to use the models to the best of their abilities.  I give Wells credit it though he started to piece some things together pretty quickly and started using squad-links and combos here and there.  The nature of Dark Age is that it’s a brutal game and by the time the gears were turning, the sand was stained deeply with Kukulkani blood and littered with crystal skulls.  The game ended with a big advantage to the Skaard with a total of 13 to 3 VPs.  The Warhead gave a lot of damage out that, at times, was absolutely terrifying.  When down to only 1 hp that lummox hits with a PW of 14, and if you happen to be prone that’s x2!  For those unfamiliar with Dark Age mechanics when you hit someone they then make an armor check where you take your armor value and subtract the attack’s PW.  In a game where you are rolling low that means even if you had the highest armor value of 20 you’d still only be able to avoid a hit like that on a 6 or lower, and if there’s a damage multiplier then you roll that many dice and need to save on ALL of them to not take a wound.  Oh yeah, he was nasty.
How to ensure that no one else plays with you
So overall despite the beatdown Wells seemed to have enjoyed Dark Age and my impression was that with more games for experience and perhaps a different force then it would have definitely been a different game.  I think the big difference was that K3 is a wonky force in my opinion and the learning curve, while not too steep, does require some practice games in before it starts to click.  There were a lot of little rules here and there that ended up making a big difference and I think once taken into consideration I think our future games will be vastly different. 

Well, that’s it for gaming my fellow wargamers and I hope you enjoyed the batreps despite the lack of pictures and further details.  We pretty much played a game a day and so the details started to get hazy at times and the longer I play the more likely it is I forget to take some snaps.  Anyways I hope you’re enjoying your hobby and time and until next time have a fun game and may your dice be kind!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Time for Batreps Part 1

Good morning fellow wargamers and welcome to today’s post, hopefully for your reading enjoyment!  It was relatively quiet for the hobby lately and then my good friend Wells came down to visit.  Next thing I know I’m playing a game daily with the guy and having to flex some game muscles I haven’t in a while.  It was a great time and I was able to catch up on some games and relax during a rough work week.  So I wanted to share my battle reports with you all on the 4 games we played!  Just like last time I can’t recall all the details because of old man brain but I will share my impressions and some cool moments, and with that let’s begin with part one of a two-part post!

So our first game was the venerable and well known Warhammer 40k and Wells brought his Daemons of the great sorcerer himself, Tzeentch (mono-god build)!  This time he faced the growing legions of the new Death Guard, the mortal vessels of his arch-nemesis Nurgle.  We played 2000 points and after rolling for the mission and deployment we played Contact Lost and deployed in corners (one of my favorite deployments to be honest).  If you’re not familiar with Contact Lost the gist of the mission was that you gained your Tactical Objectives by holding the objectives and could have up to 6 at any time, so the game was like double objective focused.  Objective squared. 

End of my turn 1
Let me tell you about this game.  Daemons of Tzeentch were rough to handle at first.  I forgot a couple key points about them such as not caring about your AP at all and they shoot…A LOT.  A host of 30 Daemons was cheaper than my 7 Plague Marines.  The first turn didn’t have a lot of happenings going on other than some movement towards the objectives and hopefully better positioning for the next turn.  Once Wells explained how his Pink Horrors could fire 90 shots at full strength at S4 with +1 to wound it was pretty clear that I needed to get stuck in and fast.  However, since I play Death Guard fast was not really my strength so casualties were expected even with my unholy resilience.  I split my force to try and cover two sides of the board and capture as many objectives as I can, and Wells equally split his force but had the upper hand in mobility, numbers, and firepower.  It became quickly apparent just how difficult it would be to budge his daemons from any point on the field and suitably for the Death Guard it became a war of attrition.

The (in)famous Death Guard Champion
Long story short (I have 3 more games to cover!) I barely won 12 to 11 and that was due to Wells having some poor luck with his d3 objectives and never being able to score more than 1 point for those.  We had some good moments though.  Wells managed to Treason of Tzeentch my daemon prince and subsequently charged one of my Helbrutes taking it from a healthy untouched to nearly exploding with 2 wounds left.  Wells took out one of my Rhinos near his Lord of Change causing it to explode for a nice 5 mortal wounds.  The Noxious Blightbringer, a model I previously held little care for, was instrumental in my Plague Marines being able to cut through 30 Pink Horrors with relative ease (I gave him the Dolorous Knell for that sweet 2 dice on LD checks and pick the highest, with a nice -2 LD penalty as well).  Wells was able to pick apart my backline units like the Predator and Helbrutes with his Burning Chariots and he was able to secure objectives easily as he needed to, as his blobs kept my line troopers busy by sheer numbers.  My MVP of the game, however, was a Plague Marine champion who single-handedly charged into a blob of 23+ Pink Horrors, and managed to survive the overwatch fire to go on survive 8 rounds of melee combat ALONE before Typhus waddled in to help.  Then he rolled up on an objective to score the last point I needed to win the game, what a trooper! Wells was kind enough to give me a spare model he had so I gave him a little trophy, some battle damage, and will be giving him a name for his honorable service to Nurgle.

Still holding strong for Nurgle!
Survived and took an objective, mah man!
Like I said it was a rough game for me as I took models that eventually did very little than what I expected or their gear wasn’t that great against daemons.  Instead of Blight Launchers, I should have gone with the Plaguespewers for the auto-hit d6’s to spread the wounds on his units, as the higher AP didn’t matter squat to his models.  I also lacked a lot of multi-wound damage dealers so when faced with his bigger stuff (i.e. Burning Chariots, Soul Grinder, and the Lord of Change) my options were limited and scarce.  Late game I had nothing that could threaten his Lord of Change and if Wells had better dice rolls for his psychic powers overall (he still had some solid rolls don’t get me wrong) things might have been very different when those mortal wounds start flowing in.  As a side note, I still do not like using Poxwalkers as a unit and I am still not a fan of their models so I think for future games I will forgo them in favor of Plaguebearers.  I’ve heard on some sites about the Poxwalker infinity circuit or whatever, but truthfully screw that noise and stay on the shelf.  I mean the Plaguebearers are comparatively T4 with ++5 and Disgustingly Resilient with better attacks, and only at a slightly higher cost, it makes it kind of hard to NOT take them over the zambos.  Also I wouldn’t have put forth points into power fists unless I knew that squad was going to try and tackle these bigger targets, but with the prolific number of ++4 saves rolling around it was hard to land some of that much needed damage and so maybe they had a place and I just didn’t use them correctly. 

With a new Tzeentch trophy
Overall it was a good game and we both had a lot of fun but I felt that Wells should have won by all rights.  If he had some better VP dice rolls he would have definitely come out of this victorious.  As for me, I think I’ve learned a lesson about making sure you have the right tools for the job in this edition.  I know I’ve said that before and I truly believe it, but for some reason this game I went potato and didn’t consider it more carefully.  I’d like to think I am usually decent at doing that but perhaps I need more exposure to different armies to be better at that skill.  Ah well!  There is always a next time, and speaking of next times we’ll go over part 2 of the batrep summaries.  Until then happy gaming and hobbying folks!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Iron Dice and Bloody Paint

Good tidings to you my fellow gamers and welcome back to another exciting (maybe?) post by yours truly!  As usual, I hope things are going well for your all in your lives and I hope whatever progress is being made in your hobby life is going better than expected.  Today’s ramblings are a bit of a mix between your usual “this is my update lulz” dashed in with some talk about recent games I’ve had.  So let’s get on with it!
It's a good day when you have updates AND games to talk about!
Since the start of the New Year I’ve finally adjusted myself proper to the new work schedule, which is a normal routine one, and as a result, I’ve been able to get some regular painting in.  I’m not a fan of making hard deadlines like “in three weeks I’ll paint a whole army” because I can’t predict what will happen in life.  Instead, the approach I’ve gone with has been “try to do something each day because some progress is better than no progress.”  With that motto, I’ve got to say I’ve been able to get some progress in!  For one I am almost done with my Gates of Antares Algoryn army with only 4 vehicles and 20 troopers left before having a fully painted (i.e. until I get more models) force.  I’ve had to divert some of my attention away, however, due to more pressing events in terms of gaming and commitments.
Most of the Dust Reaper force, for more info check them out here.
If you’ve been reading this for a while you’ll probably remember that I put Warmahordes on the backburner as it was just not the game focus at the time.  Since the release of Mk3 I’ve not had a lot of incentive to go back and with the community changes PP had (i.e. getting rid of pressgangers and the implementing of CID), it felt that the focus of the game was slanted more towards tournament players.  Recently we’ve had a local resurgence of the game and the old fires have started kindling again.  We’ve had a total of 30+ players join this shindig, myself included, and we’re going with an alternative setup with the Journeyman League rules.  With this run, I’ve decided to refocus one the Warmachine side of things and I’m going with the undead forces of Cryx!
Old color scheme
New color scheme!
Since we’re not doing weeks per se but rather 4-week cycles it’s taken a lot of pressure off of me to rush and get games in like a madman.  It’s also helped me with the painting portion as I can take some time working on models instead of rushing as I have in the past.  Unfortunately, my color scheme idea has changed from my original run with Cryx and so I’ve had to strip a lot of models, but that is ok with me as it saves me some money and time assembling.  For my initial battlegroup, I decided to stick with a simple choice and picked up Bane Witch Agathia and her battlegroup in the Mk3 starter box.  We had the option of picking our own battlegroups but truthfully I didn’t care enough at the time to bother with it.  One caveat I will need to keep in mind with the league is that our lists do not change at all, so whatever I choose to take in the upcoming cycles will stick with me for the whole league.
75 pt game Asphyxious2 vs Elara2
As I said I managed to get some games in with some of the other leaguers and they’ve been great to game with.  Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of my matches with them, but I have some when I played against my wife (which after hearing about the league games wanted to get one in herself).  Last Saturday I was able to get a total of 5 league games in and got some decent practice with Agathia as a warcaster.  Her battlegroup consisted of a Slayer, Reaper, and Deathripper.  Considering my loadout my general starting strategy would be to put Parasite on a target, drag it out with the Reaper, and then finish it off with a Slayer.  If I was lucky to put Parasite the turn before, then if need be I could further debuff ARM with Agathia’s Dark Shroud for a nasty -5 to the stat.  Most of my games didn’t really follow through with this strategy but that was my initial plan at the very least.  If I won the roll-off I generally chose to go second so I could react to my opponents, a strategy I’m not sure
After 1st turn move my right side is under attack with her Myrmidon's and I'm taking a beating from Imperatus, while on my left side her infantry fall to the combined might of my Mechanithralls and spell slinging Gaspy (who sucks up those souls).

Another round of engaged combat and her jacks put many of my troops back into the ground while the Satyxis Gunslingers sneak around the side and help clear out more infantry.  Gaspy is getting ready to pop his feat down below.

I started off the day playing a game with Jared and his Mk3 Legion battlegroup.  Despite the nerf to Shredders, they hit pretty hard against Cryx’s paper-thin armor (also not helped by Jared’s great dice rolling) and so I had to rely on my Reaper’s harpoon drag to pull his beasts out from position and take them down bit by bit until I could charge in for the assassination.  My next game was against Cody and his Mk2 Skorne starter battlegroup.  Cody had some great placement for his models and if he hadn’t told me he was a new player then I wouldn’t have thought he was.  Unfortunately, the dice were really against him and both of his Cyclops’ charges failed terribly leaving him wide open for the counter-attack and refocus onto his Gladiator and caster for the second win.  My third game was with Mark and his Mk3 Khador starter box, a matchup I was concerned about due to Khador’s high damage output and my terrible armor.  Unfortunately for Mark a Parasited Juggernaut combined with some lucky damage rolls (a combo-striking Slayer with triple 6’s on the damage roll for example) took his jack out before he could get some mileage out of him.  With one less jack, I was able to maneuver around more freely and eventually I was able to charge Kozlov for an assassination win.  My fourth game was against Tom and his Mercenaries Magnus battlegroup, which was a hard-fought battle.  I went with an aggressive move and ran up towards mid-field cover, popping my feat early to take advantage of the stealth it brought.  Tom just wait the feat turn out and in the following turn blasted my jacks out of cover.  He was able to take apart my battlegroup easily with his high P+S and my low ARM, so I had a desperate gamble to try and snatch victory.  I charged with Agathia and plinked his health down 3 pts, then 3 pts, then 2pts, and with dice -3 for damage I needed boxcars to pull it off.  Luck was with me because boxcars it was and just barely did I manage to secure victory!  My last game was a rematch with Cody and this time he was more prepared for my battlegroup’s shenanigans.  His charges were more successful this time around so I lost some key momentum to maneuver around for a warlock kill.  Due to losing my Deathripper and Slayer, I did not have enough activations left to take advantage of an opening to Morghul, and so in his following turn, Cody was able to secure the victory against me.  Overall 4W-1L was not a bad way to get back into WM/H, and the opponents were all great gents so truly that was the best part.
After Gaspy's feat turn I chunked her Manticore and took out Imperatus but I didn't have enough activations left to take Elara down.  She gambled on leaving melee as Elara only had 5 boxes left...

With all my free strikes missing by 1 each Elara was able to walk around my troops, got Marked for Death on Gaspy, and took him down for victory to the Retribution!  It was a good game overall.
As far as hobbying goes I am doing the bare minimum for my Cryx, not in terms of painting effort but in terms of numbers.  I still want to finish my Gates army and since I am also concurrently in an Age of Sigmar campaign I need to get my ghostly Ironjawz painted up.  So my plan is to paint what I need for the current cycle in the Journeyman League, and then paint something else up.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to balance the games out and get some overall progress done as needed.  I am also looking forward to some more games as well in the future, and hopefully, I’ll have pictures to go with the games I actually played.  That’s it, for now, gamers and I hope your dice run hot and your paint flows smooth!  Until next time, happy gaming!