Painted Tharn Blood Pack

These are Tharn Blood Pack, a unit for Circle Orboros in Hordes. The Tharn are a traditional Tolkein-esque (or Star Trek-esque, if you prefer space rather than forests) race in the sense that they are just like regular humans, only with funny hats on and a highly specific culture. In this case, they’re meant to be primitive cannibals and worshippers of terrifying forest deities. Ironically, since they’re the first unit I’ve actually painted, I think that these are probably the least useful Tharn unit. Their ranged attacks aren’t particularly exciting and they are massively outshone in melee by the other male Tharn unit. They were first in the queue since I got them as part of a lot of other Tharn and these were the only ones which didn’t need paint stripped off them.

It took me a long time to decide on a paint-scheme for the Blood Pack. On the one hand, they live as one with nature in huge forests. But on the other hand, painting a load of giant people entirely in tones of green and brown isn’t really my cup of tea. In the end I chose to give them brightly coloured clothes and keep to more naturalistic colours for their accoutrements and weapons. I think that the white and purple combination makes a nice contrast between the layers of their skirts and choose to ignore the impracticalities of acquiring and cleaning such cloth in the middle of a primal forest.

I think that the central Tharn here is meant to be the unit leader on the basis that he’s wearing the fanciest hat. In my experience, that is usually a give away for ‘being in charge’ in wargames sculpts. Either that, or not wearing a hat at all when everyone else has them.

However, the Tharn on the left here might be the leader as he has more bling dangling off his belt. I received the unit already assembled and so it could actually be that the head from the Tharn above and the body from the one below are supposed to go together, which would make matters clearer.

Next on the painting table: Grundback Gunners (again).

Categories: Hordes, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 24Sep2020

Marc offered a game of Warmachine / Hordes via Wartable and I was very keen to take him up. We discussed a bit about a fun match-up between my theoretical pair (Jaga-Jaga and Dr Arkadius) and his (Durst and Reznik2).

Game 25 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD
Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

This is the same version of the Jaga-Jaga list I’ve played for the last few games. I think that in general Dr Arkadius would be a better drop into the Protectorate but Marc felt that Reznik2 into Dr Arkadius would be a pretty rubbish game so I went for Jaga-Jaga. The Valkyries are a bit less valuable here than in some match-ups since there are no incoming shots for them to Shield Guard, but they’re still quite effective body-blockers and they’re fun too.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1peU1X1XgagagajCjC3EoLoL3r3r3r3B2_nini

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

[Durst 1] Anson Durst, Rock of the Faith [+28]
– Guardian [15]
– Guardian [15]
– Purifier [8]
– Purifier [8]
– Purifier [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon [0(6)]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Paladin of the Order of the Wall [4]
Paladin of the Order of the Wall [4]
Paladin of the Order of the Wall [4]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]

Having asked me not to play Dr Arkadius into Reznik2, Marc realised that Reznik2 into Jaga-Jaga would also be a terrible game so we ended up with Durst. I’ve never played against Durst but I think that Marc has pretty much never played with him either so maybe we’re on the same level there.

Marc wins the roll-off and chooses to move first so I take the side that will allow me to do annoying tricks with Ghost Walk through that central building. I realised after set-up that I wanted the Wrastler further right to have the option of putting Rage onto Brine so Marc kindly allowed me to fix this before we actually started. I’m stacking the right side a little here as I’m hoping to clear things on that side early and then pivot round (or through) the house in the middle. Marc comes at me with a symmetrical deployment. The Menite Archons are out on the flanks where it will be hard for me to bring anything notable to bear on them.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Durst casts Bulwark and puts Hallowed Avenger on the left Guardian. Otherwise, everything runs headlong at me.

Turn 1: Minions
I also run everything forward at top speed since I’m not at all worried about the threat range that Marc’s army projects. Rorsh casts Pig Pen since it is free to upkeep anyway, and Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host on herself and Grave Wind on the Void Archon on the right. I took this screenshot before I remembered to move that Void Archon.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
Durst upkeeps Bulwark, casts Deceleration then moves up and uses his Feat. Everything continues to lumber towards me, the Paladins go into Stone and Mortar stance and the Choir sing Passage.

Turn 2: Minions
There isn’t much point in engaging anything near Durst as I’ll have to deal with Warjacks at ARM25 or so. I’m pretty sure that I can take out the Menite Archon on the right so I will aim to contest where possible as make the most of Marc’s short threat ranges to keep safe. Brine gets buffed up with Rage from the Wrastler and then goes into murder the Menite Archon; the overtake move keeps him facing the incoming Champion. The Void Archon on that side gets a lucky roll under Signs and Portents to kill one of the Initiates so Void Walks back behind a line of Valkyries. Over ont he left I mainly pull back, though the plucky Chef stands in the zone where I think that nothing can get to him. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Durst upkeeps Bulwark and allocates nothing. The Initiates on the right charge into Brine to hurt him a little. The Champion there charges one of my Valkyries; the impact hit doesn’t kill her so the Dhunian Archon cancels the lance attack; this means that in the end the Purifier has to finish the job which causes a bit of a traffic jam on that side. The other Champion charges into my Objective and leaves it on fire on a single box. The Choir sing Passage and Durst makes a little Warjack fortress for himself and recasts Deceleration. No scoring again.

Turn 3: Minions
My objective burns to death. I don’t think that I can score anything this turn but I can probably remove both Champions and all the light Warjacks so I go for that option. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells, casts Signs and Portents and puts Rage on one of the Swamp Horrors. The Wrastler puts Rage on the other one and makes a total mess of attacking the Champion, eventually leaving him on a single box, still on his horse. Brine kills both Initiates on the right the dismounts the other Champion. Rorsh aims and boosts two shots into him, resulting in two passed tough checks. The Valkyries on that side poke ineffectually at the Purifier on that side and generally gum things up; one further back aims and forces another successful tough check on the Champion. Over on the left, the Valkyries and the Void Archon miss all their attacks into the Initiates, leaving all three just standing there untouched. I make a mistake and send in both Swamp Horrors up the centre; this allows me to take out both Purifiers and the Champion but I didn’t need to get both Warjacks; I could have kept one back for a counter punch next turn. The Dhunian Archon sidles over and uses Shepherd’s Call to reduce my Fury on the board. Marc scores his point for my Objective dying; 1 – 0.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Vengeance moves hurt the lead Swamp Horror but the Champion amusingly misses Brine. Durst drops Bulwark and allocates two Focus to the left Guardian and one to the other. The Choir sing Battle. Vilmon and a Paladin poke the leading Swamp Horror then Durst charges in and explodes it with a massive damage roll. This is actually a bit awkward for Marc as he planned to charge it with the Guardian and then buy attacks on the other Swamp Horror but now he can’t see a target. Durst puts Boundless Charge on that Guardian. The Initiates shuffle a little to open up line of sight to a Valkyrie on the left of the cloud, then the Guardian goes in. It kills the Valkyrie with the charge attack then annoyingly finishes the Swamp Horror to the box with spear attacks. Various Paladins and the other Guardian attack Brine, also killing him to the box on the last attack. Finally, the Menite Archon shrugs off the pitiful free strike from the Valkyrie to set up a beautiful Thresher attack which kills one Valkyrie and the Chef; the Dhunian Archon cancels the hit on the last one so I still contest that zone. Neither of us score; 1 – 0 to Marc.

Turn 4: Minions
I’m pretty much out of Warbeasts and even if I can deal with both Guardians (which I doubt) Durst is still enough to take out any remaining big targets on his own. Instead, it’s time for assassination. Jaga-Jaga puts up Signs and Portents and puts Rage on the Wrastler. The Soul Slave applies Ghost Walk so I don’t have to worry about that building being in the way. The right Void Archon charges the Guardian and uses Dual Attack to spray first, killing both the Champion and the Paladin. It then Void Walks behind Durst and boosts a nice hit into him; the main point, of course, was to get Dark Shroud over there. I think that this is OK in the rules but if please correct me if not. The other Void Archon aims and puts some more damage on Durst, also killing off a couple of the intervening Paladins; it also Void Walks to Durst and hits him. Finally, the Wrastler strolls through the building, overtakes off the last Paladin and eats Durst with a single boosted bite. Even if I couldn’t have made the attack with the first Void Archon I feel that the Wrastler was enough to do the job. Minions win by assassination.

Another fun game with Marc who is always a lovely opponent. The game was an interesting mix of my mobility versus Marc’s sheer staying power. I think that perhaps Marc used Durst’s Feat a turn too early, but I might have had the firepower to pull down some of his models in the centre in turn 2 if he had held off. The threat range on the Swamp Horrors is enough that he has to Feat proactively.

Things I learned:

  • I keep getting greedy and going for big plays like using both Swamp Horror when one would do. If I kept the second one back in turn 3 and just dealt with the Champion, I could have made Marc commit his left Guardian for just one Swamp Horror instead of giving him both of them.
  • I was probably too conservative with the Void Archons. Especially on the right I could have made good use of Entropic Force and then body blocked with Valkyries (or just relied on Def16 under Grave Wind) rather than timidly Void Walking backwards after each attack.
  • On the other hand, the mobility of the Void Archons to put Dark Shroud where I want it is truly amazing. I think that I got them where they were needed right at the end, but I have to work on getting more use out of them turn by turn.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine, Hordes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Wroughthammer Rockram

This is a Wroughthammer Rockram, a heavy Warjack for the Mercenaries of Warmachine. Indeed, it’s even more limited than that since Mercenary Warjacks are locked to either human or Rhulic Warcasters and this one needs to go with Rhulics only. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the Rockram in game; its cannon is good but too short-ranged to get much value out of, and the whole package is too expensive compared to tightly-focussed cheap heavies like the Driller and Basher.

For painting I kept broadly to the same colour-scheme as my other Rhulic Warjacks and eventually I’ll have enough to take a little family photo of them. I don’t especially like the positioning of the right leg as I tend to think of these Warjacks as inexorably stomping their way around the table rather than running headlong anywhere, but it does break up the profile a little compared to the Driller.

Next on the painting table: Tharn Blood Pack.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warmachine | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Painted Rorsh and Brine

Here are Rorsh and Brine, a solo and Warbeast for Hordes in the Minions faction. Rorsh is the little chap and has a natty line in guns and dynamite; he is certainly more than just a handler for Brine. Indeed, I usually lead with Brine since he goes away if Rorsh is killed, then throw Rorsh into the fray in the late game. In the meantime, he supports Brine with various movement tricks and takes potshots with his amusingly named Pig Iron. Brine is a little soft-hitting on his own but has loads of attacks and therefore takes any buffs extremely well; coupled with Rorsh’s movement shenanigans he is a serious assassination threat with a long and non-linear movement. I’ve been playing the pair with Jaga-Jaga in the Will Work For Food theme force where the combination of Rage (from a Wrastler), Signs and Portent and Overtake make Brine a real danger to anyone.

Rorsh is a very busy model and I tried to keep him fairly simple so as not to be overly cluttered. After much consideration I went with a pink piggy skin tone to stand out better against the dark coat, and then picked a fairly ridiculous red for his hair. The sculpt is a bit unclear in the sense that there are parts of Rorsh’s arms that I think are meant to be hairy but could possibly be a jumper or something; anyway here he is either hairy-armed or wearing a jumper that is the same colour as his actual hair! For Brine I mirrored the colouring of Rorsh as much as possible; there is some fluff in Warmachine about the big pigs being litter-mates with the smaller ones. I’m not actually sure if that is explicitly the case for Rorsh and Brine but I liked the visual link.

Next on the painting table: Wroughthammer Rockram.

Categories: Hordes, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Painted Sgt Nicolas Verendrye

This is Sgt Nicolas Verendrye, a solo in my Mercenaries army for Warmachine. He’s a Steelhead by model type and specifically I use him a lot due to his Reinforcements ability which allows me to bring back some dead small-based Steelhead grunts, usually Halberdiers in my case. This is rather ‘unflashy’ in the sense that he sits at the back and passively recurs Halberdiers but it’s really useful to the game plan in the Soldiers of Fortune theme where I can recycle dead Halberdiers not only back into live Halberdiers via Nick, but also into Thrall Warriors via Alexia2 (about whom more later). As a solo, Nick can also do late game duty scoring a flag or contesting something but he’s so easy to kill that this is really a ‘single turn’ event.

I painted Nick more or less in the same style as Hutchuk, although the latter is not actually a Steelhead. But I liked the effect of the yellow quilting on the coat and I think that it reduces the risk that I paint an army of Steelheads as basically entirely dressed in shades of grey. I’m happy to paint my little soldiers in bright colours even though that would probably be a terrible idea in the ‘real world’ where bullets and such are flying everywhere. Reality takes a back seat in a world where magically powered robots are stomping around the place.

Next on the painting table: Rorsh and Brine.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warmachine | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 10Sep2020

It’s a good week for playing Warmachine / Hordes via Wartable. This time Frazer was up for a game so we racked up via the magic of the internet. Frazer actually rolled up King of the Hill again but I asked for a re-roll since my previous two games used that scenario.

Game 24 – Spread The Net (scenario 3) vs Frazer’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWoPoP7FfFoNoNjDjDjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

This iteration of my Jaga-Jaga list removes Dahlia and Skarath for another two units of Farrow Valkyries. I went back to the second Dhunian Archon instead of the Hermit as I think that there is now enough infantry to warrant coverage from them both. Finally, I added a Chef on the basis that it is just one point and I needed to fill that spot. I don’t envisage it doing anything other than standing cheekily on a flag or contesting something.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1q171q1q1ql_l_1LmelUlUoLoLlM1G3t3t3z3z3B2_2_
Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Amon 1] High Allegiant Amon Ad-Raza [+29]
– Dervish [7]
– Dervish [7]
– Dervish [7]
– Indictor [14]
– Indictor [14]
– Vigilant [9]
– Hierophant [3]
Exemplar Warder [0(5)]
Exemplar Warder [5]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Redeemer [11]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

Frazer randomised his Warcaster and ended up with Amon. I’ve no idea what he does so Frazer summarised him as ‘Synergy and Mobility on a stick’. Seems fair to me since I’m playing ‘Signs and Portents on a stick’ in the form of Jaga-Jaga. It’s a Protectorate list so of course it has the expected Sev0 and two Menite Archons.

I win the roll off and opt to move first so Frazer gives me the side with the slightly more annoying building. Rorsh and Brine go on the right where that forest won’t be in their way and the Wrastler makes sure to be close enough to Brine to put Rage on him if needed. The rest of my forces are spread across the front line with my battlegroup fairly central and the Valkyries sprinkled liberally throughout. Actually their Shield Guard will be close to irrelevant in this match. Frazer also deploys rather symmetrically. Both Warders take an Archon as their Client. Severius starts with Road to War up and Amon has Synergy on himself and Fortify on the right Indictor.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host and puts Grave Wind on the left Void Archon. Rorsh casts Pig Pen even though it is never relevant, and I’m sure that I’d forget about it if it ever came up.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Amon casts Mobility with the assistance of the Hierophant, then everything runs an alarming distance toward me. The Vassals both Enliven the Dervishes and the Choir sing Passage but some Warjacks have outrun them so actually the ones that I would want to shoot aren’t affected. Severius casts Mystic Wards. The Redeemer lobs shells at my Void Archon in the forest, eventually shipping a couple of wound off it.

Turn 2: Minions
I don’t think that I can get enough damage out to make any kind of alpha strike worth it so my plan is to contest where I can. I’ll leave the right flag as I’ll certainly lose anything that goes over there. Otherwise I think that I can leverage the relatively long threat of the Swamp Horrors to keep Frazer’s heavies back. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells and casts Signs and Portents, then the Valkyries shoot at Dervishes who both Enliven backwards. On the left, the Void Archon goes in and hurts the Menite Archon and sprays to tickle the Warder but does kill one of the Choir so I Void Walk it deep to hopefully keep one of the Dervishes out of my hair for a turn. In the centre my Warbeasts all just shuffle forward while staying out of threat range. Finally, the left Dhunian Archon sits on my flag to make Frazer commit something to contest it and the Chef makes a cheeky end run to contest the left zone.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
All spells are upkept. Two Focus are allocated to the Redeemer and one each to the Dervishes. All the support stuff gets going while Frazer decides how to play this turn out, so the Hierophant does Harmonious Exaltation, Severius runs up to keep an eye on things, the Mechanics repair Dervishes (apart from the one still in Entropic Force range on the left) and Vassals Empower some Dervishes. Amon casts Mobility and takes a Focus from the Wrack. On the right, the Choir sing Battle and on the left they use Passage. Over on the left, a Dervish charges into a Valkyrie and misses both initials so no Sidesteps; the Dhunian Archon prevents it killing off bought attacks. The left Indictor goes in and Toughs another. The Menite Archon shows that killing single individuals is rubbish for a 14 point heavy Warjack and, as an 8 point solo, it easily Threshers down three Valkyries. On the right, the Indictor backs off behind the building. The Dervish on that side comes into my zone, Sidesteps off a Valkyrie and does a bit of damage to the Void Archon. The Redeemer moves up and boosts three rockets into the Soul Slave and improbably misses all three; they scatter nowhere interesting. The last Dervish charges my Void Archon on the left, manages to land the initial and kills it off. Frazer scores his flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
OK, I need to clear off my flag on the left and the zone on the right. If I’m lucky I might possibly be able to score the central zone. I also need to make sure that the Menite Archon on the left goes away. Annoyingly, Jaga-Jaga is in range of the Indictor so can’t upkeep Battle Host; she backs off and casts it as I need the extra move on a Swamp Horror, she also predictably casts Signs and Portents. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk on the left Valkyrie and the Wrastler puts Rage on it then maxes out Fury killing the Dervish in my zone as it misses all three initials. The turbo-charged Swamp Horror does me proud, strolling through the building and killing off the Indictor, the Dervish and pulling the Archon out range of the Warder and hurting it badly. The remaining Valkyries finish it off and I breath a sigh of relief. On the right, the Valkyries charge into the Indictor, Redeemer and Warder for trivial damage on the first two but ‘killing’ the latter; the main purpose was to get in the way of course. Brine continues to stare at the Menite Archon from slightly outside of its threat range while the Void Archon moves into the centre. I score my flag and the right zone; 2 – 1 to me.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Amon drops all his spells and upkeeps nothing in anticipation of a Feat turn; Severius upkeeps Road To War and allocates two Focus to the Redeemer. Both sets of Choir sing Battle and the Hierophant does his Harmonious Exaltation. The Menite Archon kills one Valkyrie and the Dhunian Archon prevents the hit on the other one. A Vassal Mechanic runs to contest on the right and the Vassals Enliven the surviving Indictor and Dervish. Amon Feats then casts Mobility (two Focus to the Dervish), Synergy (two Focus to the Vigilant) and Fortify on the Indictor (allocating two Focus to it in the process). He also takes a Focus from the Wrack which explodes this time. The Indictor clears the Valkyries (actually if I’d been a bit more careful with positioning here I could possibly have blocked the Indictor from getting to one of them due to the position of the left one and the Redeemer) which allows the Redeemer to go into the Void Archon and kill it. Somehow I just hadn’t expected that; I just thought of the Redeemer as a gun platform; at the time I was bit annoyed with myself there but actually I was going to lose something to a fully-loaded Warjack so it might as well have been the Void Archon. The Dervish and Vigilant kill off my Swamp Horror in the centre. Frazer scores his flag and contests mine; 2 – 2.

Turn 4: Minions
I think that I can pick off the Menite Archon and all the remaining Warjacks apart from the Indictor here so if I don’t give up too much on the scenario then I can probably grind out attrition after that. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps Battle Host for free but has to cut for one. She casts Signs and Portents after shuffling to a slightly safer position, then puts Rage on the surviving Swamp Horror; the Soul Slave applies Ghost Walk to it. Rorsh uses Diversionary Tactics to move Brine forward and the Wrastler puts Rage on the pig. It also wrecks the Redeemer and Overtakes back into my zone (credit to Frazer here for letting me amend my Overtake move a couple of activations later after I realised that I put the Wrastler about 0.1” outside the right zone). Brine makes pretty hard work of it but does kill off the Menite Archon so job done there. The Valkyries knock down the Vigilant but the Dervish Enlivens into a slightly more annoying place in front of my Swam Horror. Luckily Ghost Walk lets it ignore free strikes so it just strolls round into the Dervishes back arc, kills it and pulls in the Vigilant to wreck it too. The right Dhunian Archon kills the jamming Mechanic to clear my zone on the right and the Valkyrie kills the Warder but of course he stays around long enough to contest my flag. I score the right zone, 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Amon drops Synergy as it’s no longer efficient but does upkeep Fortify; he also allocates two Focus to the Indictor. The Vassal Enlivens it and the Choir on the right sing Battle. On the left, the Choir rather optimistically charge in to the Swamp Horror, doing nothing but guaranteeing that they are next on the menu. The Invictor charges into the Wrastler (I constantly forgot about Field Marshal: Parry in this game) but misses one attack to leave my Warbeast alive on a few boxes. Incidental healing from the Dhunian Archons’ Mother’s Embrace ability eventually fixes the crippled aspects. On the left, the Vassal finally deals with my Swamp Gobber Chef which allows Amon to charge into the zone there and kill a Valkyrie. Severius goes ninja and kills one of the Valkyries in the centre and Toughs the other. Frazer scores the left zone and I score the right; 4 – 3 to me.

Turn 5: Minions
I just need to deal with the Indictor and stop Jaga-Jaga from dying to some shenanigans from Amon, then I can close out the game. Brine Frenzies and eats one of the Choir on the right which is a bit annoying as I could possibly have cleared the flag there and got something onto it. Jaga-Jaga again has to drop Battle Host due to the Indictor, so she moves away then puts Rage on the Wrastler and, of course, casts Signs and Portents. The Archon on the right bops Fortify off the Indictor but sadly can’t break armour so doesn’t trigger Enliven. The Swamp Horror reaches out a tentacle to fix that (the Indictor moves such that I can’t get any back strikes on it) then eats all the Choir and Severius for good measure. Rorsh guns down another Choir member but rolls really low on damage and doesn’t get the Vassal. The Wrastler easily kills the Indictor and the left Archon kills the contesting Vassal. I score the centre zone and left flag; Frazer scores the left zone; 6 – 4 to me.

Turn 5: Protectorate of Menoth
We’re pretty much done here. Frazer moves his few remaining models to contest zones, then moves Amon to go for a wildly optimistic ranged assassination on Jaga-Jaga. It doesn’t work. Minions win (by scenario next turn, I suppose) as we don’t play out the rest since it’s already close to midnight.

I really enjoy playing against Frazer; he’s a lovely chap with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the games rules and minutiae. I think I played this one solidly if not particularly well, but it has to be said that I was definitely aided by Frazer’s frankly terrible dice. I think that I like the list change to swap Dahlia and Skarath out for the Valkyries and the Chef; this makes better use of the Dhunian Archons and I think that I prefer the improved board presence over the power of Skarath. They’re probably more useful if there is any incoming fire from the other side so that Shield Guard becomes relevant.

Things I learned:

  • My positioning of things around Menite Archons continues to be rubbish. I left brilliant Thresher targets for both Archons and at least the first was very avoidable.
  • The Void Archons need some more thought on when to commit them. In this list they’re by far the most mobile option and I sometimes feel that throwing something deep into an opponent can be quite useful just to keep them off balance (especially if playing on a death clock, which we were not here) but on the other hand they’re not cheap and I don’t like to lose them too easily. Perhaps this is just a case where more practice is needed.
  • It’s not something that easily fits into battle reports, but the incidental healing provided by the Dhunian Archons’ Mother’s Embrace ability as I gradually get models sanded down is really helpful.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Cygnar (75 points); 08Sep2020

I managed to squeeze in another game of Warmachine / Hordes, this time with Gareth. Spoiler alert – there is some seriously poor play from me here as I got confused on a rule.

Game 23 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Gareth’s Cygnar

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWbHoPoR7FoNoNjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Dahlia Hallyr [17]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

It turns out that Void Archons aren’t quite as good as I had thought since they can’t actually buy attacks using Soul tokens, but they’re definitely still good enough to put a pair of them in my list. I decided that a single Dhunian Archon was enough and swapped the second for the Hermit, who should hopefully assist with armour cracking a bit.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1I7D9b9y9IoQpjoToRoMoMaep2o_p2oW

Cygnar
[Theme] Flame in the Darkness

[Stryker 2] Lord Commander Stryker [+28]
– Charger [9]
– Lancer [10]
– Ol’ Rowdy [18]
Alexia, The Undying [0(5)]
Black Bella, Duchess of Dread [4]
Grand Master Gabriel Throne [7]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Legion of Lost Souls (max) [18]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Order of Illumination Resolutes (max) [13]

This is the same list as Gareth’s last play with Flame in the Darkness. This time he was adamant not to give away a cheap assassination by just leaving Stryker too far forward. I’m actually not so worried about this list now as the lack of infantry on my side makes the Legion much less punishing – the ones I kill will mostly stay that way.

I win the roll off and decide to move first. Gareth gives me the bottom side which I think I would have picked anyway with the objective of hiding Jaga-Jaga in that neat pocket within the central zone but behind the forest. I put a lesser on each side to at least threaten to score the rectangular zones and the rest of my force stays central; I need to keep Jaga-Jaga able to cover as much ground as possible with Signs and Portents. Gareth puts the Legion on the right so that they can at least eat the Valkyries. The Resolutes take a position on the far right, presumably to cover for whichever light Warjack gets assigned to sit in there.

Turn 1: Minions
Needless to say, all my stuff runs up the board. In theory I stay out of threat range of the Resolutes’ shooting but in practice I don’t think that I can get in range anyway. The lesser Warlocks cast their upkeep spells and I’m sad to note that Dahlia’s will be of no use whatsoever against the onrushing Legion of Lost Souls. Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host and puts Grave Wind on the left Void Archon.

Turn 1: Cygnar
Gareth’s stuff does likewise, moving up the board and spreading out a bit to minimise the number of models I can spray to death. Throne makes the Legion Tough and Stryker casts Deceleration.

Turn 2: Minions
I need to contest the central flag and make sure that the left zone isn’t too easy to score. Gareth helpfully has no Warjacks on the right so I don’t have to worry about bleeding points over there. I have to decide how to play the left zone. If I put Brine in there he’ll die for no gain so in the end I figure I’ll throw him forward and try to cause a bit of chaos. Jaga-Jaga upkeeps her spells, strolls forward and casts Signs and Portents. Skarath, the Valkyries and the Void Archon on the left kill a decent number of the Legion; the latter also Void Walks back to safety. The Void Archon on the right sprays across the Lancer, doing trivial damage to it but at least dropping one of the Battle Priests over there; it then Void Walks back behind the cloud (before I find that the Resolutes ignore clouds anyway). Brine get Rage, Rorsh uses Diversionary tactics to move him forward and then I throw him away. He scraps the Lancer and one of the Resolutes before accepting his inevitable fate. In the centre I out-threat Rowdy (apart from under Stryker’s Feat) so my battlegroup mainly hangs back. I also make a mistake with the Hermit, putting him 4.1” away from the Flag which is pretty stupid of me.

Turn 2: Cygnar
Vengeance attacks from the Resolutes hurt Brine and the Morrowan Archon eventually finishes him off. Stryker allocates two Focus to Ol’ Rowdy. The Resolutes shoot the Void Archon who thought that it was safe behind the cloud. The Charger considers lining up a shot to deal with it until I remind Gareth that he can score the left zone just by running into it. Stryker shuffles forward, Feats and casts Positive Charge on Ol’ Rowdy who runs to prepare for a Feat attack. Throne puts Stir The Blood on the Legion and they come forward (along with the Morrowan Archon) to beat up my Objective, Skarath and kill a Valkyrie. Gareth’s Hermit runs to the flag and thumbs his nose at my Hermit from 4.1” away. Feat attacks hurt the left Swamp Horror and both Valkyries and finish off my Objective; I get very lucky not to lose either Valkyrie to this. Gareth scores the left zone, Flag and Objective; 3 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
I’m going to end up bleeding points on the left so I need to contest it now to get enough time to play the rest of this game. On the other hand, I can probably score on the right without too much trouble. Finally, I have to deal with Ol’ Rowdy before it kills Jaga-Jaga and I want to tidy up the rest of the Legion so that I don’t have to worry about those annoying buggers. I upkeep everything and Vengeance kills one of the Legion. Jaga-Jaga casts Signs and Portents and kills another. My Hermit risks the free strike moving past Ol’ Rowdy who, of course, gets the critical knockdown. At least he made it to within 4” of the Flag now. Over on the right, Skarath clears the zone and remembers to cast Counterblast this turn; the Void Archon and Valkyries finish off the last of the Legion so I ‘just’ have the Archon and Throne to worry about on that side. Rorsh moves to be just within the left zone and hucks some Dynamite at a Resolute. The Archon takes it with Shield Guard and I decide to change priority and boost damage on him with the Pig Irons too, leaving it on a couple of boxes. The Void Archon kills it but ends up with its back to the Resolutes which I sense will end poorly next turn. Then comes a huge error as I send the Wrastler in to eat the Hermit which of course triggers Dark Shroud and messes up the rest of my plans. To compound this, I get mixed up on how this works* and spend the rest of my turn fumbling Swamp Horrors around the place and still not quite finishing off Ol’ Rowdy, though I do cripple everything except the buckler. I score the right zone; 3 – 1 to Gareth.

*We left the Hermit icon in place with an aura marking what was affected by Dark Prophecy so it was clear what was in it. I got confused and played as though this was an actual aura and made moves to get out of this aura so that I could buy extra attacks. Gareth didn’t spot that this was my intention and instead assumed that I was trying some shenanigans with Pull.

Turn 3: Cygnar
Stryker camps all his Focus since the Charger is out of Control and Ol’ Rowdy’s Cortex is crippled. Bella hurts the Void Archon but doesn’t finish it off; the Resolutes can’t do it either but they do at least deal with Rorsh to clear that zone. On the right the Morrowan Archon kills my Void Archon and contests the zone. Throne tells Stryker to March, and then it’s go time. Stryker uses Velocity three times to get toward Jaga-Jaga, then Overloads. Hilariously, he rolls 1,1,1 for the strength boost, which not surprisingly is not enough to kill Jaga-Jaga especially as he also misses a couple of attacks. I figure that this is karma for my errors and misunderstandings next turn. We don’t both rolling out my entire army murdering a no-camp Stryker next turn; Minions win. For completeness, we re-rolled the strength boost and re-ran the assassination and a Str25 Stryker made short work of Jaga-Jaga.

That was a very fun game, as is every game I play with Gareth. My colossal blunder on turn 3 with Gareth’s Hermit was annoying and easily avoidable, but not nearly as annoying as my misunderstanding of the rules causing me to make a mess of the rest of my turn. Oh well, maybe it’ll help me to remember for next time. As a result, perhaps there isn’t a great deal to learn from the outcome here, but there are still lots of things that I did wrong during the game.

Things I learned:

  • Stryker’s personal threat is much further than I had understood. Admittedly I was planning to have something (probably a Swamp Horror) a bit further forward to body-block him but even so that is a scary distance that he can move and explode my Warlock.
  • My positioning of the Void Archons was not great. I feel like I should be Void Walking them to make better use of Dark Shroud, especially turn 3 onward.
  • This list really misses something cheap and disposable that I can use to contest scenario elements. Having to give up Rorsh in turn 3 just to avoid ceding a CP in the left zone felt very painful. I’m not sure if there is an easy answer here or if I need to rejig the list entirely to include some Gobbers or something.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 07Sep2020

It’s been a while since I put my Minions on any table, even a virtual one, for Warmachine / Hordes but I felt that there was an itch to scratch. Marc was also looking to play via Wartable so we racked up our armies together thanks to the magic of the internet.

Game 22 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWbHoPoP7FoNoNjD

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Dahlia Hallyr [17]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Rorsh [15]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

I love playing Jaga-Jaga so I started out with the list I’d used before in real-life games. Then, since I’ve been vocal about Void Archons being far too good for their points, I naturally added them at maximum FA. That cost me Boomhowler and Co which does feel a bit tough as I have no screen and a very slow, killable front line. I also reshuffled the solo load-out to remove the notably under-performing Totem Hunter and replace them with Dhunian Archons. I think that probably one Dhunian Archon would be enough and I could maybe use the Hermit instead of the other, but this way also was simple enough to be practical for playing.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1qqb1q1XeVga9xmek9oLoLlM1q3t3t3z3z3B2_3F3H

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Feora 4] Feora, the Forsaken [+28]
– Dervish [7]
– Guardian [15]
– Hand of Judgment [18]
– Purifier [8]
– Repenter [8]
– Hierophant [3]
Exemplar Warder Elias Gade [0(5)]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Dervish [7]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (min) [9]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]

Marc was testing out Feora4. If I understand the list here, the plan is to gum up my stuff until Feora is fully-charged up, then saunter over and explode everything she touches.
Marc wins the roll-off so I give him the side without the houses to hide behind. I stuck the lesser Warlocks out on the flanks where they can hopefully work somewhat independently and then mixed the Void Archons and Valkyries somewhat to the left so that they can Shield Guard if possible. Marc takes a fairly symmetrical approach. Those Menite Archons out on the sides really will need early attention to stop them just rolling inwards until they kill Jaga-Jaga. The Idrians pick the Wrastler as their Prey, Gade chooses Brine. Feora utilises the theme benefit to it’s maximum extent by starting with a whopping four upkeeps in play: Hellwrought on the Guardian, Death March on the Idrians, Firestarter on the Dervish and Road to War on Feora herself.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
The entire Protectorate force races up at me. The Idrians also use their mini-Feat, not that I have much in the way of shooting anyway, and Severius puts up his own Road to War.

Turn 1: Minions
All my stuff also runs up. I stay out of melee threat ranges (other than the Idrians) but I’m going to have to accept a bit of shooting unless I cede scenario entirely. The lesser Warlocks cast their upkeep spells on the basis that they’re free from now on. Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host and puts Grave Wind on the nearer Void Archon.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
All spells are upkept but no Focus is allocated. The Guardian runs over to within Arc Node range of Brine. Gade puts a couple of bolts into him and Feora channels three Scorns into my big ninja pig. The Guardian and the left Dervish get Enliven and Hand of Judgment shoots a Valkyrie; I figure that this is basically the only shot coming in so one of the Dhunian Archons stops it. In the centre some Idrians charge in and jam up my Swamp Horrors.

Turn 2: Minions
I’m going to try to clear the flag, deal with the Guardian and take out at least one Menite Archon. All spells are upkept, then Jaga-Jaga shuffles around a bit and casts Signs and Portents. I decide to take a chance on Brine dealing with the Menite Archon without Rage and he does so on his last attack, then Overtakes to face the oncoming Dervish. The Wrastler strolls up and eats one Idrian, then puts Rage on the nearer Swamp Horror. The Void Archon clears the other jamming Idrians and teleports out of my way behind the Horrors. The Raged Swamp Horror moves up and pulls in the Guardian but it Enlivens behind the corner of the building so I can’t pull it in for a good Beak-ing. Actually, I should have used the Soul Slave to put Ghost Walk on the Swamp Horror and had it move through the building itself, thereby blocking off that route. The other one eats up almost all the infantry within 4” of the Flag but leaves the Repenter on a single box (even more annoyingly, in it’s right arm). Over on the left, Skarath wrecks the Objective but the Dervish Enlivens to safety. Many thanks to Marc letting me correct my order-of operations here and having Dahlia put Mist Walker on Skarath first so that it could actually reach the Objective in the first place. I resign myself to losing the big snake shortly. The score goes to 1 – 0 me as I did at least pick off the Objective.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Feora drops Death March from the handful of surviving Idrians and Severius gives up his Road to War. Severius’s Dervish gets allocated two Focus, as does the Guardian; Hand of Judgment gets one in anticipation of being topped up by a Vassal later. The Dervish kills Brine neatly to the box, allowing Gade to swap Prey onto Rorsh and shoot him twice. The Mechanic repair Hand of Judgmnt and, crucially, the Guardian’s spear. It then uses said spear to kill one of my Swamp Horrors and Hand of Judgment critically wounds the other. The Menite Archon almost one-shot’s Skarath and the Dervish leaves it on a couple of boxes. I wonder why Marc is obligingly leaving a load of my Warbeasts at the ‘almost dead’ stage instead of finishing them off when he explains to me about Feora’s Feat. That goes off, finishing Skarath, the Swamp Horror and two Valkyries; she kills the last one with a channelled Scorn. The ‘good’ news from all this carnage is that the Dhunian Archons have healed almost everything else back to full. Marc scores the left and centre zones; 2 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
I’m quite far behind here, but I still have some good plays possible and I think I could possibly get back into the attrition game if I can handle both heavies and do something about the Menite Archon; a tall order but probably not out of the question. On the other hand, I have Void Archons who are glutted on souls from losing most of my army last turn and they’re just as dumb as Menite Archons, so it’s time to kill Feora instead. Jaga Jaga uses Signs and Portents, then the right Void Archon kills a handy Idrian to Void Walk up to Feora. Between the spray and three bought attacks under Signs and Portents [edit: turns out that Void Archons can’t buy attacks], Feora is down to a single box despite burning through her three Focus camp. The other Void Archon turns out to be annoyingly just out of melee range of Feora after Void Walking off another Idrian but she has only one box left so a fully boosted spray finishes the job. Minions win by assassination.

It was great to get back to playing Jaga Jaga, and it was also lovely to get in another game with Marc who is a terrifically nice opponent. I felt quite rusty with this list but Signs and Portents just makes things work so nicely and that’s always and enjoyable feeling. [edit: As pointed out by some lovely posters over on Lormahordes, Void Archons can’t actually buy attacks so clearly I cheated Marc out of a deserved win this game. I’ve apologised to him accordingly.]

Things I learned:

  • Not really a ‘thing I learned’ but Void Archons are ridiculously good. It blows me away that they made it out of playtesting with these rules. One of them was a single box away from one-shotting an unhurt three-camp Warcaster who has some very nice defensive stats (admittedly, under Signs and Portents) while having to cross both of our front lines. [edit: OK, so they’re only that good if you don’t read the rules properly and cheat. Oh well.]
  • I could have done more to support that assassination run. I should have had the Soul Slave cast Ghost Walk on the lead Dhunian Archon and probably got it within range of Feora to blow-up using Jaga-Jaga’s Feat. That would have nicely placed a bit more damage onto Feora and made the assassination even more of a sure thing.
  • I need to get a bit more clever with my Swamp Horrors. Notwithstanding that cleverer use of Ghost Walk could have netted me the Guardian in turn 2 as mentioned above, I seem to be very good at letting them get killed for little gain. Perhaps I’m overestimating the effort that will be required to kill them each time; Impervious Flesh only goes so far with only ARM15.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ten Thunders Qi and Gong crew

Here is a group photo of all the Qi and Gong keyword miniatures I’ve painted up for my Malifaux Ten Thunders over the past few months.  There are slightly too many of them here to play all at the same time in a standard sized game so any tabletop crew would only feature a subset of these.  However, M3E appears to more strongly encourage staying within keyword (compared to M2E basically not doing it at all) so perhaps these would eventually form the bulk of any crew I might actually play.  They were a joy to paint and I really relished the opportunity to use so many vibrant colours while still keeping a general sense of theme for the Qi and Gong crew.

Categories: Malifaux, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Painted Yuoko Hamasaki

This is Yuoko Hamasaki, the master of the Qi and Gong crew in the Ten Thunders faction of Malifaux. Hamasaki seems to play a rather control-based game rather than pure damage, and this is a style that I’ve historically been pretty poor at playing. Unfortunately the combination of COVID-19 and the existence of many, many other good wargames has pushed Malifaux far down the priority list to play and I’m not sure that I see the latter changing in the short term. Perhaps by the time face-to-face gaming opens up again my hobby butterfly will once again alight on the bright flower of Malifaux.

As a Master, I should perhaps have made Hamasaki an wild, stand-out centrepiece miniature but somehow that seemed rather unfitting for one who manipulates from the shadows. Instead I deliberately made her look like one of the Geishas as I felt that she should fit in rather than take the limelight. I really like the pose of Hamasaki drawing a concealed katana from her parasol and I think that it captures her character very nicely.  The facial details are rather soft and, while this certainly doesn’t bother me on the tabletop, I don’t love the way it looks in these photos; admittedly my painting skills are not helping the situation either.

Next on the painting table: Sgt Nicolas Verendrye.

Categories: Malifaux, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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