Painted Ogrun Ironmongers

These are Black Ogrun Iron Mongers for my Warmachine Cryx force. They’re basically very tough mechanics within the Scourge of the Broken Coast theme force but as a small unit they would certainly have a place scoring circular zones in the late game too. I have to admit that I’ve never played them or even really thought much about doing so; I got this unit as part of a second hand lot and painted them up as I have plenty of time on my hands in the evenings during this pandemic.

I really enjoyed painting the Iron Mongers; they’re a very characterful unit and I quite like the modest poses to go with their relatively unassuming role in the game. The boys have fish hanging from their belts and that’s the kind of little detail that can bring a miniature to life for me. The leader is my favourite though; I love the nonchalant way that she’s chewing on that cigar. She in particular would make a good Shadowrun character. The gas-masked Iron Monger is using a spare head from Hutchuk; the original head rolled out of sight during assembly and I swapped Hutchuk’s in before I eventually found the proper one. Somehow I find it fitting in Warmachine that a welder would go bare-chested but don a full gas-mask.

Next on the painting table: Baron Zemo.

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Khador (75 points); 09Jul2020

I’ve really been enjoying getting in games a lot more than normal thanks to Wartable. Normally family life makes it awkward to do face to face gaming but now we’re all stuck at home so everyone else is available for gaming. In this case, Allan asked for another Warmachine match-up.

Game 3 – Anarchy (scenario 5) vs Allan’s Khador

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

I’m really enjoying playing the Soldiers of Fortune list; it feels strong and thematic with a lot of options but without getting too many of the things that I find overtuned in the game right now… specifically the Archons.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1QhDf8didijyoM8xbR7H7I7H7I

Khador
[Theme] Legion of Steel

[Strakhov 2] Assault Kommander Strakhov [+22]
– Victor [34]
Iron Fang Kovnik [0(4)]
Iron Fang Kovnik [0(4)]
Kapitan Sofya Skirova [0(5)]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Uhlan Kovnik Markov [7]
Great Bears of the Gallowswood [9]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]

Allan seems to be making the most of Wartable allowing him to use any model in the game and is really mixing things up. He felt at the start of this game that the Iron Fang list was just going to be a weaker version of Doom Reavers in Wolves of Winter so we’ll see if that turns out to be true.
Allan wins the roll-off and chooses to go first so I pick the side with the houses right in the way. I put the Blockader behind the forest so that it can ignore the trees as it crashes through, then if it lives long enough my Arcanists can Empower it while cowering on the safe side of the forest The right unit of Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists.

Turn 1: Khador
A cloud of Iron Fang Pikemen run at me. Everything else is a bit more restrained and makes sure to stay out of Cannon range at least. Strakhov puts Inviolable Resolve on the Victor and Quicken on the left unit of Iron Fangs.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
I run up too. I can’t keep out of range of the Iron Fangs if I think I’m going to be able to stay in the game on scenario so I lead with a couple of hapless Halberdiers on each side and then try to keep the second line safe. There’s no point trying to stay out of the way of Victor’s main gun so I just accept that will shoot whatever it likes. The Cannon on the left kills a few Iron Fangs. Fiona takes Arcane Secrets from Sylys and channels a fully boosted Soul Fire at the Thamarite Archon, sadly leaving it on a single box. She also cases Roth’s Mercy on the right unit of Halberdiers.

Turn 2: Khador
Strakhov drops Quicken but upkeeps Inviolable Resolve; he allocates nothing. His unit chooses to reposition with Battle Manoeuvres, shoots at the Blockader (amusingly Strakhov himself manages to miss on 1,1) then fails to break armour with Lock The Target. He Feats to cheer up a rather sad activation. The Iron Fangs on the left get the front few into the Blockader for some nice damage and then use their mini-feat to reposition into Shield Wall in an annoying position. Victor shoots a bit more damage into my colossal but misses with the main gun and lights up most of the jamming Iron Fangs. Over on the right the Thamarite Archon shoots a couple of Halberdiers and the Iron Fangs kills some more and mini-feat into Shield Wall; I use Roth’s Mercy to make sure that the most annoying ones die while some at the back feed Alexia with their souls.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
The Halberdiers on the right don’t get a lot done under Shield Wall plus Strakhov’s Feat and I manage to lose one of the Cavalry to a counter-charge from the Drakhun. Alexia creates some Thralls that run to gum up the centre. The Blockader doesn’t get too much done (mainly because I forgot that I could heal its crippled left arm with my objective) but does at least remedy the situation of having some Iron Fangs on that side of the board who were not on fire. Fiona manages to kill one of the Great Bears with a channelled Soulfire and then Feats as far forward as I dare. Neither of us score; 0 – 0.

Turn 3: Khador
Lots of the burning Iron Fangs succumb to the flames, including the Drakhun which will make things a lot simpler. Strakhov drops Inviolable Resolve and Allocates two to Victor. We start off with the last Great Bear cutting up the Blockader a little. The Iron Fangs on the left kill a Halberdier to give Victor a landing zone and Strakhov puts Quicken on the giant robot. It comes in and smites my Blockader but leaves it on 8 boxes thanks to Fiona’s Feat. A few shots from the Thamarite Archon aren’t enough to finish the job. The Iron Fangs on the right shuffle back into Shield Wall and stab a couple more Halberdiers. Everything is still contested; 0 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
I heal both crippled arms on the Blockader with my Objective and Anastasia runs in from the left. Actually that was a bit pointless as Strakhov is within 4” of the flag so even if she could reach it I can’t clear it without killing Strakhov and thereby winning the game anyway. Instead she lurks behind the burning cloud in case this becomes relevant next turn. The Arcanist Empower the Blockader and it beats up Victor in a highly satisfying manner. Eventually both Cannons, Dez (who has strolled onto my flag) and one of the Halberdiers bring Victor down. The Halberdiers also finish off the left Iron Fangs and the Thralls from last turn take out the last Great Bear and Kommando. In the mess on the right I kill a few more Iron Fangs and make sure to drop Sofya last so she doesn’t heal up, though of course she won’t actually die until she has contested my flag for one last time. Fiona kills the Archon with a channelled Soulfire [but we forgot to remove the hapless Halberdier who gave her life for that until after I took a screenshot] and then retreats as fast as her little legs will carry her. Alexia makes some more Thralls and they run to get in the way as well as I can manage. Still no scoring but surely I can get something next turn; 0 – 0.

Turn 4: Khador
Allan looks at the board state for ages and theorises that he could possibly kill the blocking Halberdier with Lock The Target then charge in and Overtake his way into Fiona. We play it out and it doesn’t work (amusingly by missing the Halberdier on the first shot), we put the Thamarite Archon back into play and it still doesn’t work. In the end we decided that he probably would need to roll nothing but sixes to pull this off so I guess I’m quite happy with that result. Mercenaries win by concession.

That was a fun and interesting game. I especially enjoyed having the giant robot slugging-match in the centre on turn 2 and was quite pleased that I was lucky enough to have my giant robot be the one still standing at the end. I felt like our forces were quite similar in the sense that we had a time-walk feat, one Colossal, a couple of units and some support solos. But the Soldiers of Fortune recursion engine is quite good and being able to throw disposable Thralls around the place was probably the difference in the end. I will note that Allan’s dice were quite awful at the start when attacking the Blockader so probably I got a bit lucky.

Things I learned:

  • I hardly ever make an attempt to attack enemy Colossals early in the game and am constantly surprised when random charges strip off a few boxes on mine which eventually ends up being relevant. I think that I need to be a bit more proactive in dealing with them.
  • Also on the subject of the Blockader, I deliberately tried to be as aggressive as possible with its turn 1 positioning this time. I think that I need to screen it a bit better, but this felt more useful than my more cautious approach in previous games where I couldn’t get into the targets I needed. As usual, more practice is needed.
  • Not really a learning but I realised that I haven’t been mentioning in detail the impact of the combination of Roth’s Mercy, Sgt Nick and Alexia on attritional play. Being able to choose which Halberdier dies then turning the dead ones into Thralls and bringing back live ones each turn has been both effective and satisfying.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 06Jul2020

Time for more Warmachine. One advantage of the Wartable system is that I can play with friends who would be awkward to reach normally; in this case Marc who is based on the opposite side of our (admittedly not very big) country.

Game 2 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

This is the same list as last time. There was nothing that I felt needed to be changed so I’m going to keep playing it this way until I fancy a change or some alteration suggests itself.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1plTl_3Ume2e3kjCjCoLoL3B2_3F3Hninini

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

[Cyrenia 1] High Exemplar Cyrenia [+28]
– Indictor [14]
– Sanctifier [14]
– Hierophant [3]
Avatar of Menoth [18]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (min) [9]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]

Marc isn’t playing the underpowered part of the Protectorate options. In fact, apart from the absence of a Judicator or Severius0, I think that this list has all the stuff I find most annoying to deal with in it: Allegiants, Initiates and Champions of the Order of the Wall and Menite Archons. This should be interesting.

After a couple of ties and rerolls, I eventually win the roll-off thanks to Anastasia; Marc gives me the top side presumably so that Cyrenia can hide behind that house in the middle. I end up splitting my force around my own central house though I am somewhat skewed to the right in terms of my power. The right unit of Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists and the Idrians choos my Cavalry as their Prey.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Everything races forwards, though I do make a bit of an error and box my Blockader in a little bit. Fiona puts Roth’s Mercy on the right Halberdiers and Occultation on the Cavalry.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
The Heireophant starts us off with Harmonious Exaltation on Cyrenia, and will do so every turn so this will be the only time I mention it. Cyrenia casts Dash, puts Inviolable Resolve on the Avatar, sticks a Rock Wall in my way and then uses her Feat. The Choir sing Passage on the Warjacks.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
Fighting into Cyrenia’s Feat feels like a bit of a waste of time. The Cannon on the left takes a shot at the Avatar but it gets Shield Guarded away to an Initiate; needless to say he doesn’t die and can’t get knocked down either. Both units of Halberdiers run to jam as hard as I can. Fiona Befuddles the Champion on the right forward but with the dismount option I can’t do more than get my Cavalry to knock his horse out from underneath him. She uses her Feat as well to make life as hard as possible for Marc.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
Cyrenia drops the Rock Wall but upkeeps Inviolable Resolve. She casts Dash and adds Positive Charge to the Avatar. On the left, the Champion kills a couple of Steelheads and the Menite Archon gets another pair. The Champion on the right also kills one but I save that particular Halberdier using Roth’s Mercy. The Menite Archon on the right takes out a pair of Cavalry and dispels Occultation in the process. Idrians disengage and Marc manages to get a couple of them out of Fiona’s Feat to lead CRAs, dropping another two of my Cavalry. The Monk moves into a very annoying place and stands in Shifting Sands and finally the Choir sing Passage again. We both score our zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Anastasia comes in on the left and fails to even hurt the Champion with her throwing knives. On the plus side, she does provide Mark Target. Annoyingly, Dez and the Cannon both roll low on damage and leave the Champion on a single box, still on his horse. Fiona takes two tries but does manage to Befuddle the Allegiant out of my way. The Blockader is Empowered by both Arcanists and goes in on the Avatar. On the last swing, with the Avatar on two boxes and knocked down, I take a shot at the Menite Archon but miss. That turns out to be a big mistake; I should have just finished the Avatar. Alexia creates some Thrall Warriors who unjam the Halberdiers from the Idrians and run to get in the way a bit; the Halberdiers do at least wipe out the Idrians. Stannis goes in to Bulldoze the Archon away from the flag on the right and smacks the Champion but he Toughs so I don’t score it. Again, we both score our own zones; 2 – 2.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Cyrenia Allocates two to the Indictor; the Sanctifier has plenty of souls on it already. The Archon on the right Threshers, killing the last Cavalry but amazingly leaving Stannis and a Halberdier alive (though the former is on one box and on fire). Initiates kill the Thrall in the centre who was blocking the Indictor, which then receives Positive Charge and scraps half of the Blockader. The Allegiant and the Initiates over on the left kill more Halberdiers which lets the Avatar get stuck into the Blockader. Considering that it has only two boxes left, both in movement, it does a highly impressive amount of damage; I definitely should have finished it last turn. The Santifier leaves the Blockader on a single box which the left Archon removes neatly along with another four Halberdiers. Rather incredible for 8 points. The Champion on the left kills Anastasia and repositions back to sit on the flag. We both score our zones but Marc also gets the left flag; 4 – 3 to him.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
Stannis rather unhelpfully burns to death. Dez and the Cannon kill the left Archon at last; the right Cannon knocks down the Indictor. The Halberdiers on the left finally deal with the dismounted Champion. The Arcanists, realising that their job of fueling the Blockader is now done, run forward to jam, apply Mark Target and be channelling options. The one in the centre survives being the conduit for a Soulfire that finally kills the Allegiant and also gets an Initiate and also for a Curse of Veils onto the Sanctifier. Alexia creates even more Thralls who charge into knock plenty of boxes off the two warjacks in the centre. I score my own zone and am contesting everything else; 4 – 4.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
The surviving Archon kills yet another Steelhead with Vengeance and Cyrenia allocates two to the Indictor. The Initiates do various combinations of CMAs and single attacks to kill a Thrall, both Arcanists and a couple of Halberdiers (how are they base MAT6 on top of all their other stuff?); the Sanctifier kills a couple more Thralls. The Avatar kills Dez and contests my zone. Marc scores the left flag and his own zone; 6 – 4 to him.

Turn 5: Mercenaries
The left Cannon bounces off the Avatar so the other one has to finish it off. Thralls continue to beat up the Warjacks in the centre; they end with only a couple of boxes between them. On the right, the Halberdiers try to contest the flag in such a way that the Archon can’t just Thresher and get the lot. Fiona gets Eyeless sight and clears the Champion and the left Initiate from the flag on the left with Soulfires but I don’t have a solo handy to run onto it. At this point we call it a night since we’ve taken ages and we’re after midnight (we would have clocked in about turn 2!); Marc thinks that I probably have enough of an attrition advantage now as I can bring Thralls into the game that I can probably close out a scenario win and I kind of agree that it is at least my game to lose from here.

Well, that was a hell of a game. It was super nice to get another game in with Marc and we played very casually, both allowing take-backs so that we can learn these rather tricky armies. It almost felt like the game could only properly start after we had both Feats out of the way as they’re very strong denial.

Things I learned:

  • I need to finish off Warjacks. I keep thinking that when they have crippled systems they would be less of a threat but there is still a lot of damage potential in there. Especially for the Avatar that doesn’t need a cortex. I think that at one point I had all three of Marc’s warjacks only fewer than 5 boxes but they were still fighting.
  • Steelhead Cavalry are only resistant relative to Halberdiers, they still die like flies. I need to be aware of threats to them.
  • The abundance of solos (and especially disposable ones like Thrall Warriors) in this list means that I am always in with a chance of scoring a cheeky flag here or there… even if I didn’t actually do it this time.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Underchief Mire

Here is Underchief Mire, a lesser Warlock in my Minions army for Hordes. I really love Mire on the table as he brings so many extra options to the table. For a start, it means I can bring Blindwater Warbeasts into an army led by a Farrow Warlock, for example the Blackhide Wrastler and its delicious Rage animus into a Dr Arkadius force. Not only that but Mire can also cast one animus for free each turn, so in theory I could put out four sets of the spell… at least if I didn’t mind him dying immediately to even the slightest return fire.

I had a lot of fun painting the Underchief. Initially I had all of his skin the same green but decided it looked a bit boring and added those creamy stripes to his throat-sac. I’m still not entirely sure that they work but it’s a bit more interesting than flat green. I love that the ‘armour’ Mire is wearing is all shells and bones from animals, for example the elbow-pads are turtle shells and the pauldrons are Bog Trogs (another unit with the Blindwater tag that I just don’t own yet).

Here is Mire with his favourite Warbeast; a Blackhide Wrastler.

Next on the painting table: Black Ogrun Ironmongers.

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Protectorate of Menoth (75 points); 04Jul2020

I got another game of Warmachine in with Frazer, this time trying out some Mercenaries. Partly I’m keen to play them as I have had a bunch of Mercenary models sitting in my house in various states of painting for several years, and partly I keep getting trounced by them with Joe at the helm and felt like trying this out. Wartable continues to be my outlet for gaming while face-to-face is impossible so I might as well make full use of being able to try out any options that I come up with.

Game 1 – Recon 2 (scenario 6) vs Frazer’s Protectorate of Menoth

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnvnsnsiBiB62

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Fiona 1] Fiona the Black [+27]
– Blockader [33]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [4]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Stannis Brocker [0(7)]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

I like Steelheads, and I particularly like the idea of dead Steelhead Halberdiers being recycled back into living Halberdiers plus Thrall Warriors with Mark Target so both Alexia2 and Sgt Nick go in the list. Since I have Mark Target I might as well take Steelhead Cannons, and since I have Halberdiers, I want to take some Steelhead Cavalry to actually hit hard. Having all those Steelheads means that Tactician is going to be really handy, so I took Stannis. Fiona and a Blockader are my choice of Warcaster and battlegroup since they look fun. I looked to Joe for advice on the rest of the list and went with his suggestion of Sylys, Dez and Anastasia. Time to see how this all hangs together.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1O0-3NlVoLf72_dS2P3R2K2L

Protectorate
[Theme] Guardians of the Temple
[Feora 1] Feora, Priestess of the Flame [+31]
– Blood of Martyrs [16]
– Judicator [35]
Menite Archon [8]
Pyrrhus, Flameguard Hero [0(5)]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Flame Bringers (max) [17]
Flameguard Cleansers (max) [15]
– Flameguard Cleanser Officer [0(4)]
Temple Flameguard (max) [11]
– Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard [0(4)]

So Frazer’s list came about because he couldn’t decide what to play, and asked me what I fancied. I don’t know anything much about the Protectorate so I arbitrarily picked a Warcaster and Theme and let him have it. I think that I accidentally picked the weakest of both, but again the advantage of Wartable is that there is no financial commitment to bad models. Nonetheless, both a Menite Archon and the Judicator are in the list since, as Frazer said, ‘Just because I am playing the bad theme doesn’t mean I can’t take the great models.’

Frazer wins the roll-off and chooses to move first. I give him the top side as I seem to remember slightly preferring the bottom; however now that I look at the screenshots I don’t really remember why. I put a unit of Halberdiers and Cannons on each side but I back up the right with Cavalry as I have some kind of vague idea that they might want to get stuck into the Judicator. The Blockader and Fiona are slightly more on the left, and my recursion team are in the middle along with the majority of the solos. The left unit of Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Everything races at me. Feora casts Ignite on the Flamebringers and the Choir sing Shielding on the Warjacks. The Judicator fires some rockets into the distance but they don’t scatter anywhere interesting.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
All my stuff runs forward too. Fiona gets Arcane Secrets from Sylys but still manages to miss a Soulfire at the lead Flamebringer. She does Chasten off Ignite but rolls low on damage and doesn’t even get the kill.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
The Judicator is Allocated two Focus. The Flameguard use Iron Zeal and kill a couple of Halberdiers; the Judicator kills a couple more. Feora reapplies Ignite to the Flamebringers and puts a Flame Wall in the right zone. The Cleansers kill another Halberdier. Two of the Flamebringers wreck the entire right side of the Blockader with some rather hot dice and the Choir put Shielding back on the Warjacks.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
The Arcanists power up what is left of the Blockader. Alexia brings a trio of Thrall Warriors into existence, they run up and stab a couple of things but mainly I’m looking to get some Mark Target out there. On the right, my Halberdiers fail to do anything useful to the Flameguard; they do try to make sure that the zone will be hard to score. The Cannon on that side does take out a Flameguard as I need to whittle them down a bit. Dez misses her shot but does at least sit on my flag. The Halberdiers on the left stab a few Flamebringers but annoyingly are unable to finish off the one engaging the Blockader; in the end Fiona has to kill her with a Soulfire channelled through one of the Cannon crew. To continue my run of good dice, she then misses a Curse of Veils into the Menite Archon (I was going to put it on Blood of Martyrs, but Frazer reminded me that the Choir said ‘no’). Fiona does at least use her Feat to make things awkward for Frazer next turn. The Blockader charges across the field and smashes the Menite Archon and slamming its corpse across three unlucky Cleansers. It punches Blood of Martyrs and pushes the heavy Warjack back out of Feora’s control range which was certainly rather lucky. Dez scores my flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Feora upkeeps Ignite and Allocates the usual two Focus the Judicator. The remaining Flamebringers kill one of my Thrall Warriors but bounce off the Blockader. The Choir since Battle on the Warjacks this time and Judicator leaves my Blockader on two boxes; the Cleansers finish it off. It also kills a couple of Halberdiers and an unlucky Flamebringer with an amusing rocket scatter. Over on the right the Flameguard contest my flag and engage the Cannon; Feora puts up a Flame Wall to protect the second wave. Neither of us score; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
I’ve lost my Blockader and I am not sure that I have enough punch to deal with the Judicator any more so it’s time to focus on scenario and not getting Fiona killed. Anastasia run in from the left and kills a Flamebringer. The Arcanists run forward to apply Mark Target as needed. The Cannon on the left knocks down the Blood of Martyrs; eventually the Steelheads and a couple of Thrall Warriors finish it off. Unfortunately I need to use the last Thrall Warrior to kill the Warjack as I had hoped to run it to the flag instead. Over on the right, the Halberdiers and Cavalry clear my Flag and the Cannon, killing a handful of the Flameguard and Cleansers in the process. Dez and the Cannon take out Frazer’s Objective. Fiona walks into the now-cleared left zone and kills a few Cleansers who were standing too close to each other with Soulfires. I score my flag, the left zone and for killing the Objective; 4 – 0.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Feora drops her Flame Wall and, of course, Allocates two to the Judicator. Pyrrhus kills the jamming Halberdier and Cavalry. The Choir sing Battle again and contest the left zone and flag. The Judicator strolls into the right zone, finishes off the Halberdiers on that side and kills Sgt Nick with a handy scatter; however the Cannon survives the onslaught. The Cleansers use their mini-feat but there are only two left; even so they kill four Halberdiers, an Arcanist and one of my Thrall Warriors. Feora casts Engine of Destruction and sprays the Cannon to clear the right zone; she also Feats to get what’s left of the right side of my army. Finally, the Flameguard kill Dez. Frazer scores the right zone; 4 – 1 to me.

Turn 4: Mercenaries
On the one hand, Feora is right up in my face and I feel like she’s quite killable from here. But I can just clear off the left zone and one of the flags and win on scenario instead, so that is much easier. Firstly though, fire kills a Thrall and another one of my Cavalry which seems pretty uninspiring for a Feat. Stannis kills a Flameguard and repositions to score the right flag, so that is one thing down. Anastasia, the Steelheads and a Thrall clear out the left zone and I end my turn to go to 6 – 1. Mercenaries win on scenario.

I really enjoyed playing this list; many thanks to Frazer for being a fun opponent and gamely playing the terrible option that I had suggested for him. I was pleased that my strategy worked broadly as I had planned though of course there were plenty of tactical and positioning errors that I should work on. In particular, the combination of Sgt Nick and Alexia2 recycling Halberdiers into more Halberdiers plus Thrall Warriors was every bit as satisfying as I had hoped. I do recognise that, list-wise at least, this game was a pretty easy ride.

Things I learned:

  • My positional play continues to be too clumped up behind the front lines which allows sprays and blast weapons to be highly effective. In particular I need to find a way to keep the Cavalry relevant while there are enough Halberdiers left alive to trigger Flank, but without just getting them killed.
  • Since I can upkeep two spells for free each turn (Cultists and Sylys) I might as well have cast them on turn 1. Occultation might not have been much use in this match-up but I’m sure that I could have had some value from putting Roth’s Mercy on some Halberdiers at least.
  • I’m normally terrible at recognising scenario options so I have to continue to have this in mind. Especially with the option for Bulldoze on the Cavalry and Dez’s Momentum weapon I should look to clear zones without even needing to attack many things.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Crossbones

This is Crossbones, another miniature from Marvel Crisis Protocol. I have to admit that I had never heard of Crossbones before picking up this box so I had to look him up. I wondered if Crossbones is in the core box because he is obscure enough to not be expected to sell well, but then I remembered that the Venn diagram of comic book fans and wargamers probably overlaps at ‘completionists’ so perhaps I am being cynical. It turns out that he is not only in plenty of comics but also shows up in one of the current series of MCU films.

Crossbones was not very satisfying to paint since he’s basically only three colours – his skin, his mask, and everything else. I did try to pick out a few bits of interest on the black clothing / armour just to make him look a bit less monotone and it did work to an extent. In the end I just got him to ‘good enough’ and decided to move on to the next miniature; he’ll be fine to play with.

Next on the painting table: Underchief Mire.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 8 Comments

Painted Gatorman Witch Doctor

This cheerful looking little character is a Gatorman Witch Doctor, part of my Hordes Minions army. I’ve had her for ages and took advantage of the lockdown to actually get some colours on her. Mainly the Witch Doctor has two roles. Firstly, she can sacrifice a friendly model to zap a nearby enemy. This is all well and good but I normally play the Witch Doctor in a beast-heavy army so there aren’t really many low value options to vaporise. Secondly, she can give Ghostly to a nearby model. Being able to ignore terrain and free strikes is utterly hilarious when the model in question could be a fully revved-up War Hog under Dr Arkadius’s Feat; this can end games as Warcasters hiding behind buildings suddenly find themselves slightly less alone than they had thought.

Painting the Witch Doctor was a bit of a mixed bag. The skin worked quite well, especially considering the ease of painting. But the coat (robe? rags?) just never looked quite right, and the addition of those rather random cords and skulls all over just made the whole thing look weird. Well, weirder than a magic bipedal alligator normally would be. In the end I got to a result that I found OK and figured it would be fine at tabletop distance; she’s hardly the centre of attention anyway.

Next on the painting table: Crossbones.

Categories: Hordes, Painting and modelling | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Khador (75 points); 26Jun2020

Last week was quite the busy week of Warmachine / Hordes. I finished up with a game against Allan who is one of the heroes organising tournaments in central Scotland… at least when there is no global pandemic.

Game 8 – Bunkers (scenario 2; but note that we removed the central flag as this seems to be intended for SR2020) vs Allan’s Khador

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-2acGmOoP54mUmj5wmj5wmHmT

Circle
[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Morvahna 2] Morvahna the Dawnshadow [+27]
– Storm Raptor [34]
Dhunian Archon [6]
Tharn Ravager Shaman [4]
Tharn Wolf Rider Champion [0(7)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Wolf Riders (max) [18]
Well of Orboros [10]

No change to my list; I feel like it is good enough and that the issue is really around my capabilities.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1S7b7p7p8fno8h8hoMpipinfnfnfnfnn

Khador
[Theme] Wolves of Winter

[Zerkova 1] Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova [+28]
– Destroyer [14]
– Destroyer [14]
– War Dog [3]
Fenris [8]
Koldun Lord [0(4)]
Koldun Lord [0(4)]
Thamarite Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [10]
Greylord Ternion [0(7)]

Allan is actually playing Khador with Khador models (or at least, Khador sprites on Wartable). I think that the idea here is to deliver the Doom Reavers with a cloud wall, then get Zerkova’s Feat to more or less skip my turn and have them spend two activations carving up my stuff.

I get lucky again and win the roll-off which feels like it could be quite important with the long threat ranges of the Doom Reavers. I put the Wold Riders out on the right where they’re a bit more open for javelin-throwing. The Ravagers go up the middle and on my left, accompanied by the Dhunian Archon. Allan puts his Doom Reavers out in a line across his whole force and keep the rest tightly bunched in the centre.

Turn 1: Circle
To no-one’s surprise, I run up with my whole army. The Wolf Riders can get hilariously far with their run move. The Well gets a lucky scatter onto three Doom Reavers on the right but my luck balances out as I don’t break armour on two of them; it creates a Ravager Shaman to accompany the second unit. Morvahna puts out Carnivore onto the Ravagers and casts Fog of War.

Turn 1: Khador
Zerkova uses her cool magical toys and puts four clouds out; the Doom Reavers pace up behind them, being careful to stay out of walking threat from my Ravagers. One of the Destroyers gets revenge for my lucky shot with the Well by scattering a shot directly onto one of my Wolf Riders, killing her to the box. The Koldun Lords do various things to stop shooting.

Turn 2: Circle
Morvahna upkeeps Carnivore and drops Fog of War. The Well has a target rich environment so I deliberately shoot something out of range in the hope of getting better blast damage. I luck out spectactularly getting a couple of Doom Reavers but more importantly rolling like a champion to dismount Fenris. The Wolf Riders take out most of the right and unit of Doom Reavers. My Storm Raptor wastes a load of Fury and Morvahna’s hitpoints by repeatedly missing the Void Archon on the right. Finally, the Ravagers run to jam a bit and Morvahna recasts Fog of War.

Turn 2: Khador
The central Doom Reavers use Apparition for a better threat range. One unit of Doom Reavers gets hung up on the central jamming Ravager; I use the Dhunian Archon to make the last attack miss too. Fenris walks up and smashes the poor chap, taking out a pair of Doom Reavers in the process. Zerkova walks up and zaps a Ravager to turn him into an Arc Node; she kills another Ravager with channelled Frost Hammers and then uses her Feat. The left Void Archon vapourises half of my left unit of Ravagers including the Chieftain, leaving me wondering yet again how the Archons made it out of playtesting. The other one, along with the few remaining Doom Reavers on the right, kills a couple of Wolf Riders. The Thamarite Archon guns down a pair of Ravagers in the centre. We both score our zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Circle
Morvahna drops both her spells. One Ravager in the centre Vengeances forward and is torn apart by a counter-charge from the War Dog (Kommader Barkevich, the Iron Woof) so I guess I’m glad that I didn’t bother to upkeep Carnivore. I hatch a cunning plan to shoot Zerkova with the Storm Raptor until I realise that, surprisingly, being with 14” range of the its gun will also mean being within 14” of Zerkova and therefore not allowed to shoot due to her Feat. Thinking are hard. Instead Morvahna puts Carnivore on the slightly larger left unit of Ravagers, recasts Fog of War (I might as well have upkept this but I made a big error with my activation order) and bring back some Ravagers and Wolf Riders with her Feat. The Storm Raptor kills the Void Archon on the right at last, the Wolf Riders clear the Flag over there and the Champion sits on it to score. The Ravagers on the right get stuck into the Doom Reavers over there but Allan’s poor luck earlier with Tough rolls evens out and I end up only killing one of them. We both score our zones in addition to me getting the right Flag; 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 3: Khador
Nothing is Allocated. The Doom Reavers kils a few more Ravagers and both Koldun Lords casts their ‘no shooting’ spell, which is fittingly called Wind Ravager. The Dhunian Archon cancels the one spell from the Greylord Ternion that hits the surviving Chieftain; the Thamarite Archon guns him down instead. Fenris kills a Wolf Rider on the right and one of the Destroyers lumbers over to stop me scoring the Flag. The Void Archon and Doom Reavers on the left wipe out my Ravagers over there, though the Doom Reavers do helpfully thin their own numbers a little with Berserk attacks. The War Dog carries on its reign of terror by killing another Ravager and Zerkova kills the last one herself while heading back away from my few remaining pieces. We score our zones again; 4 – 3 to me.

Turn 4: Circle
Zerkova is standing in the open, and I have lost far too much to contemplate any kind of attrition play now, so it is definitely assassination time. The Dhunian Archon kills the nearer Koldun Lord, allowing the Well to shoot again. It drops the other Lord and a couple of fools standing near him at the wrong time. The Wolf Rider Champion fails to kill the War Dog, who is certainly earning her pay today. The Wolf Riders sneak into Zerkova’s back arc and throw javelins; I get lucky and hit twice which forces Zerkova to use her remaining Focus. Morvahna casts Skyfire and moves to within range of Zerkova, being careful to stay away from that counter-charging War Dog as it has done enough damage for the day. The Storm Raptor comes in and electrocutes Zerkova on the second shot. Circle win by assassination.

It was lovely to get a game of WarmaHordes with Allan; despite him being so involved with the community here I think I’ve only ever played him at Malifaux many years ago. If I’m being honest with myself, the game was Allan’s to lose at the end of his turn 3 as he had pretty much eliminated my forces and he just needed to move Zerkova to somewhere that I could have shot her. That said, I was pleased with the way that the assassination came together at the end, with all my remaining pieces having a role to play.

Things I learned:

  • Once again my positioning behind the front line was too clumped, allowing the teleport / dual shot / entropic force combination on the Void Archon to wreak havoc on the left.
  • The Wolf Riders are good for dealing with light foes but were outmatched when the Destroyer came over. In retrospect I should have been less worried about keeping them with the Fog of War / Scales of Fate aura and just sent them as deep as possible to kite Allan’s army from the rear.
  • Although the attrition ended up going against me quite badly, I did feel that Morvahna’s Feat bought me enough time to enable the Skyfire / Storm Raptor assassination. I was also pleased to play the Storm Raptor such that it contributed without getting destroyed (notwithstanding the poor run of dice shooting the Void Archon on turn 2).
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Chaos Knight War Dog

This is the second War Dog for my Chaos Knights in Warhammer 40,000. There’s probably not much to add from a mechanical perspective since I posted her sister machine; needless to say I haven’t been getting a lot of in-person gaming done lately.

I wanted this War Dog to be a nice deep red in honour of the Blood God. As with the other Knights, I kept the machinery parts a metallic colour and went for primary colours on the armour plates. I’m pretty pleased with the overall effect, though it is certainly true that the War Dog looks better at tabletop distance where the fairly binary transitions from dark to light red on the hull aren’t quite so obvious. The kit was a lot of fun to assemble and paint; just one more of the big Knights to do now and this project is complete (-ish).

I dedicate this post to Ann‘s Sixty Day Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge. As a giant, terrifying engine of war dedicating herself to slaughter in the name of unholy powers, I feel that this War Dog fits the bill nicely. Many thanks to Ann for curating this particular internet challenge.

I used head from a Juggernaut of Khorne instead of one of the standard heads.

Next on the painting table: Gatorman Witch Doctor.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer 40000 | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Circle Orboros vs Khador (75 points); 25Jun2020

Last night’s game of Warmachine / Hordes was against Lewis, another local player that I’ve never previously faced. I had the impression that, despite his modest protestations to the contrary, he might be quite good at the game.

Game 7 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Lewis’s ‘Khador’

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-2acGmOoP54mUmj5wmj5wmHmT

Circle
[Theme] The Devourer’s Host

[Morvahna 2] Morvahna the Dawnshadow [+27]
– Storm Raptor [34]
Dhunian Archon [6]
Tharn Ravager Shaman [4]
Tharn Wolf Rider Champion [0(7)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Ravagers (max) [15]
– Tharn Ravager Chieftain [0(5)]
Tharn Wolf Riders (max) [18]
Well of Orboros [10]

The exact same list as last time. I feel that this could do good work if I can just find the right balance between attrition and not getting assassinated.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c3201b_-1GbWlVjCjCoR3EoLoL3z3z2_2vdR

Khador
[Theme] Warriors of the Old Faith

[Vladimir 3] Vladimir Tzepesci, Great Prince of Umbrey [+27]
– Judicator [35]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon [0(6)]
Menite Archon [8]
Menite Archon [8]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Exemplar Vengers (max) [20]
Flame Bringers (min) [11]

I’m listing this as a Khador force since it has a Khador Warcaster, but due to rules oddities and cross-faction themes it could easily be part of a Protectorate pair. I’ve never played against Vlad3 before but I know that Hand of Fate on Judicators is a bad sign. Double Menite Archons is also likely to cause me a problem as they’re so hard to remove.
I win the roll-off and choose to go first. I put the Ravagers in the centre and right with the Wolf Riders and Storm Raptor on the left. The unit on the right can hopefully abuse that forest and I prefer the Wolf Riders to be the ones out in the open on the left so that I can worry about the cloud only with some Ravagers.

Turn 1: Circle
My first turn is the same as usual. Everything runs up about as far as possible; I stay out of melee threat range but there’s no point worrying about the Judicator as it can get just about anything with its guns. Morvahna casts Fog of War and puts Carnivore on the central unit of Ravagers. The Well magics a second Ravager Shaman into existence.

Turn 1: Khador
Vlad puts Hand of Fate on the Judicator (surprise!) and casts both Dash and Windwall. The Vassal and Choir power up the Judicator and it strolls forward. Despite me cancelling one damage roll with the Archon, the Judicator rolls like a champion, killing one of the Ravagers and knocking down two more.

Turn 2: Circle
Morvahna upkeeps Carnivore and drops Fog of War. The Storm Raptor uses its animus and zaps a couple of Vengers (granting various forms of Vengeance to just about every solo in Lewis’s army) and backs up to be mostly out of range of the Judicator. The Wolf Riders go in and hurt a couple more and jam lightly on the left. The Ravagers all rush up as deep as I dare. On the one hand, I don’t want to just get them all killed but on the other hand Lewis’s threat range is rather higher than mine so I feel like I need to try to get some board position and hope to pin the Khador army out of scenario.

Turn 2: Khador
Hand of Fate gets upkept and Vengeance attacks kill a Ravager in the centre. The support team power the Judicator up to maximum, then Vlad uses his Feat and casts Dash and Windwall again. The Champion on the right kills a Ravager and sprints away so that the Judicator has a landing spot. The Judicator stride forward and unleashes its firepower at the Storm Raptor, leaving it on a dozen or so boxes (I didn’t know that Flying High was among the many things ignored by spray attacks). The Archon on the left rushes in and kills my Archon, the Ravager Chieftain and a regular Ravager and applies Grievous Wounds to the Storm Raptor and the Champion on that side goes in too and leaves it on 6 boxes. The Vengers finish the job and take out a pair of Wolf Riders; Vilmon gets another. Back on the right, the other Archon does a lovely Thresher attack to finish the last member of my central Ravager unit and gets another and the Flamebringers kill one each. At the end of each activation the cavalry all make use of Dash, Parry and Sprint to get way back out of retaliation range. We both score our zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Circle
That hurt a lot more than expected. Vengeance attacks kill the only Flamebringer in range. The Wolf Riders kill most of the Vengers and the Champion gets one and repositions to the left flag. On the right the remaining Ravagers kill all the Flamebringers and put a few wounds on the Archon. The Well, a few Wolf Rider javelins and finally Morvahna kill the central Archon and dismount the Champion; Morvahna then Feats back three Wolf Riders and four Ravagers and repositions back to the zone and hopes for the best behind the cloud. The Ravager Shamans both sit on flags; the central one uses a re-roll from Morvahna to finish the dismounted Champion. I score all three flags and we both score our zones; 5 – 2 to me. But Morvahna is left on 1hp and no transfers.

Turn 3: Khador
The Judicator gets cleared off, walks up to within 10” of Morvahna and immolates her with its flamethrowers. Circle lose by assassination.

Many thanks to Lewis for being a great fun opponent. I wasn’t really prepared here for the sheer impact of Menite Archons – high melee impact models with Flight, Parry (from Vlad’s Feat), Thresher and Grievous Wounds are very bad for me. That said, I got too greedy with the Storm Raptor and could have done the same kind of damage in turn two from much further back simply by boosting damage instead of using the animus. Losing it for a couple of Vengers was not much help and once it went down I was pretty much out of the game.

Things I learned:

  • My positioning was poor here, allowing lots of spots for Menite Archon landing zones to remove swathes of my stuff at a time. They’re so hard to kill (for example, compared to light Warjacks of the same point cost) that unless I commit heavily into them then I will end up letting them do it again.
  • I still don’t have a plan to deal with a Judicator.
  • I have to work on the right balance of offense and defense. Here, I went ‘all in’ with my units in turn two to keep board space and ended up losing just about all of them. Thinking about this, I do wonder if it could have been a broadly successful strategy if I hadn’t also let the Storm Raptor die so easily. With the Gargantuan alive, I would at least have been able to transfer some damage in turn three. Oh well: ‘could have, would have, should have’. I’ll be back.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine, Hordes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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