Monthly Archives: August 2020

Chaos Knights force

This is the group photo of my painted Chaos Knight force for use in Warhammer 40,000. I don’t think it adds up any particular size of game at the moment but last time I played I used two Despoilers and one War Dog and we had a satisfactory game at 1000 points. I’m looking forward to being able to meet my friends again for some in-person gaming.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer 40000 | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Painted Chaos Knight Despoiler

This is a second Despoiler for my Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Knights. There isn’t much to add about the Despoiler’s performance in-game since firstly I haven’t played any games of 40K due to COVID-19 and secondly the entire ruleset has changed underneath us since our last games. Like her predecessor I magnetised all the weapons so in theory I can pick and choose the most effective options for gaming. I also magnetised the waist for ease of transport.

I deliberately didn’t go mad with ‘Chaos-ifying’ this Knight as I wanted it to represent a machine that was recently captured and repurposed in the service of the Dark Gods. I recall a story from my early days in the hobby (presumably from Epic) about Titans being manufactured during the hardest fighting of the Horus Heresy and being sent into battle with their paint still wet. That was the idea I was going for here. I was a bit worried that the green wouldn’t work so well with the white pauldrons and weapon but I’m really pleased with the outcome here.

The baddies who took over this Despoiler only had enough time for a couple of crude daubings in honour of their dark masters. In retrospect I think I would have been better served making the line on the Chaos symbol thicker but I’m not going to change her now.

Next on the painting table: Yuoko Hamasaki.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer 40000 | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Painted Chiyo Hamasaki

This is Chiyo Hamasaki, a part of the Ten Thunders faction in Malifaux. Chiyo is the totem for the leader of Qi and Gong: Yuoko Hamasaki (about whom more later) and consequently can only be taken in a crew that includes her master. I think that in M3E this extends to making her free but I’ve only played one game of the net-very-new edition and even simple things aren’t really familiar yet.

Painting Chiyo was a very swift and enjoyable bit of work. I like the understated pose and the difference between cute child from the front and scary ninja from the back. The clothes ended up looking a bit dirtier than I had planned but in the end I think that I’m pleased with the result and maybe they’re quite fitting for someone who evidently doesn’t mind getting into scrapes.

Next on the painting table: Chaos Knight Despoiler.

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

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Cygnar (75 points); 20Aug2020

Gareth asked for another game of Warmachine / Hordes and I was very pleased to oblige him. Strictly speaking, I guess it’s just Warmachine since neither of us is playing a Hordes faction, but on the other hand I don’t really know why Privateer Press keep the separate branding anyway.

Game 12 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Gareth’s Cygnar

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24oHnV9vpb7jplfi7AnvnxnsnsiBiB62

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 Ironhead [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [6]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (max) [18]

I went back to Fiona this time for the highly sophisticated reason that I felt like playing her again. Theoretically my list pair would be Fiona and Ossrum but we haven’t really been doing the whole ‘list chicken’ thing for these friendly Wartable games.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1I7D9b9y9IoQpjoToRoKoKaeo_p2oWp2

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]
Morrowan Archon [8]
Morrowan Archon [8]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]
Legion of Lost Souls (max) [18]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]
Order of Illumination Resolutes (max) [13]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (3) [0(6)]

By contrast, Gareth did come equipped with a proper pair of lists; the above Stryker2 option (which he selected) and something with Kraye that I didn’t pay much attention to. I guess that the main thrust of this list is to make use of the unholy interaction between Blood Bound on the Legion of Lost Souls, Vengeance (from the theme benefit) and Stryker’s Feat, then use stacking strength buff and armour debuffs to get them to hit like tanks. I’ll need to make good use of Fiona’s Feat and clear them out as efficiently as possible; I think that Roth’s Mercy also gets around Blood Bound so that is potentially another tool to keep them honest.

I win the roll off and decide to move first; interestingly Gareth gives me the side that I would have chosen anyway. He must have felt that the bottom edge had terrain that worked better for him. I set up somewhat symmetrically with the Cavalry on the left and the Blockader on the right. Gareth puts the Legion on the far left; I guess that this is probably to stay away from the Blockader’s sprays but their fantastic hitting power seems like it’ll be wasted against the Steelheads on that side. The number of Shield Guards here is going to be really annoying for my Cannons and Dez. My basic plan is to try to put Ol’ Rowdy down early and then focus on taking out the Legion. Stryker can probably one-shot the Blockader on his own if he Overloads high enough, but if he does I can hopefully just assassinate him. The left unit of Steelhead Halberdiers are Fiona’s Cultists.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
As usual, everything runs forward as fast as possible. Fiona puts Roth’s Mercy on the Cultist unit and Occultation on the Cavalry. In retrospect, I think that this was a bit of a mistake and Occultation would have been far more useful on the other Halberdiers.

Turn 1: Cygnar
Everything on the Cygnar side also runs up. Stryker arcs Rebuke onto the left unit of Halberdiers and casts Deceleration.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
I decide that this turn I’m just going to do what I can to the Warjacks since Gareth has helpfully left them out of Shield Guard coverage and otherwise just batten down the hatches and cower under my Feat. The Cannons knock down both Ol’ Rowdy and the Lancer, and the Blockader walks over and liberally douses the former in flames. I see that Gareth has left Alexia where I can get to her so Fiona kills her off with an Arcane Secrets fully boosted Soul Fire then Feats.

Turn 2: Cygnar
Stryker drops Rebuke, allocates to the Charger and both of the other Warjacks shake knock down. The mechanics repair both of them too, undoing almost all of my work from last turn. Stryker casts Positive Charge on Ol’ Rowdy and then kills a couple of Halberdiers with Lightning Storm. Ol’ Rowdy and the Lancer kill a couple more and the Legion jam me up as hard as they can on the left while Throne makes them Tough. On the right my Halberdiers fare rather poorly (although it has to be said that this is pretty much as expected) as the Charger kills a couple and the Resolutes pick off one each. Neither of us score and my screenshot didn’t save properly.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
I start planning an attrition turn where I take out the bulk of the Legion with the Cavalry and Thralls, and then use what I have in the centre to deal with the two central Warjacks. Before I move, I realise that I can get to Stryker so I go for the assassination instead. The Blockader gets allocated one Focus and the Arcanist Empowers it up to full; it strolls over to the Charger. Unfortunately needing 7s to hit turns out to be hard and it lands only one of five swings. In retrospect I should have just boosted the last swing and made one less as I just needed to move the blasted machine out of my way anyway. To make up for this, the Charger obligingly rolls 1,1 on a free strike to move the engaged Halberdier out of the way; actually I wouldn’t have minded it they had died as I had plenty of other options for arcing spells into Stryker but it saved me some spacing issues. The Cannon on the left shoots the Objective but it turns out that the rightmost Gobber isn’t under the template so survives and continues to block my access to Stryker. I do a bit of jiggery pokery to move Alexia forward so that I can get a Thrall in for Mark Target before I recognise that the Lancer isn’t going to miss more free strikes and give up. Luckily Dez comes to the rescue and slams the surviving Gobber into Stryker to knock him down. Gareth has seen enough as I have more than enough ranged attacks now to finish him off even with the Hermit negating one. Mercenaries win by assassination.

Many thanks to Gareth for a fun evening playing with our virtual toys. In some ways this was a fairly unsatisfactory game for both lists as Gareth’s stuff did virtually nothing and mine only really served to clear enough space to Stryker and kill him. In the end, I think that only Alexia3 died on Gareth’s side other than targets that were stopping me getting to Stryker. This is the kind of game where I really want to be able ‘save my game’ video game style and see how things work out if I play attrition in turn 3. Still, full credit to Gareth for taking this as another learning opportunity; in this case that he needs to keep his Warcaster safe because this list can reach out quite a long way.

Things I learned:

  • I played the boosting poorly on the Blockader in turn 3. I didn’t actually need to kill the Lancer once I decided that I was going for the assassination and I just have just boosted an attack to push it out of the way of the lane I was trying to clear near the building.
  • I need to make better use of Fiona’s spell list. I’m always terrified of Befuddle when I’m playing against Fiona so I should try to use it more. Especially against lists like this one that don’t pack a colossal to stop me doing just that.
  • My positional play continues to be woeful. The pictures don’t really show it but I really jammed myself up in the centre on my last turn trying to get the relevant pieces to have line of sight to their needed targets.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Vision

Here is Vision, another miniature from Marvel Crisis Protocol. He’s actually the last of the current batch unless my daughter decides that she doesn’t want to paint Captain America after all, in which case he’ll be added back to the queue. In general I’ve quite enjoyed painting and a tiny amount of playing this game so I suspect that I’ll end up getting some more miniatures for Crisis Protocol; they have some lovely sculpts available.

Having said that I enjoy painting these miniatures, I am definitely making an exception for Vision. I just couldn’t get him to look right at all; all the colours look flat and there is no depth at all. It’s a shame since I really like the sculpt of him floating through the wall. In the end, he got as far as ‘good enough for tabletop’ and no further. I used the colours from the art on the game card for Vision but interestingly I was just reading a comic and he’s done all in white like a ghost.

Next on the painting table: Chiyo Hamasaki.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 7 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Circle Orboros (75 points); 14Aug2020

Andrew and I managed to arrange another game of Warmachine / Hordes via Wartable. Our group is playing a lot of the Brawlmachine format lately, but my preference has still been to play full 75 point games and Andrew was happy to oblige me.

Game 11 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Andrew’s Circle Orboros

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24b_9o9o949494929292pb7jplfinvnsnsiBiB

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]

Still no change in my Ossrum list as I work out which parts are failing because I’m playing poorly versus which parts should actually change. I’m not sure that Fiona isn’t a potentially better drop into Circle as they probably mostly want to be in melee and I can use Befuddle, but anyway I wanted to play Ossrum so here we go.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c8201b_-1xfcmKmOmJmJ5AmVmIjXeE

Circle
[Theme] The Wild Hunt

[Kromac 2] Kromac, Champion of the Wurm [+28]
– Ghetorix [19]
– Storm Raptor [34]
– Warpwolf Stalker [17]
– Warpwolf Stalker [17]
– Druid Wilder [0(4)]
Gallows Grove [2]
Lord of the Feast [0(6)]
Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron [5]
Death Wolves [9]

I don’t have any cool insight into Andrew’s thinking for the list; I guess to use the Lightning Strike animus on his Stalkers to pick off leading threats and then bully the board with his Storm Raptor and Ghetorix. Even with Ossrum’s Feat I will be at a bit of a disadvantage in threat ranges here.

Andrew wins the roll off and chooses to have the first turn, so I give him the side with more buildings in the hope that he jams up his Storm Raptor. I go with a fairly symmetrical deployment but put the Warjacks very close together in the centre; I don’t really know if this is a better option to screen them or if it cedes too much movement on the already-slow Rhulic Warjacks. I’m hoping to take the brunt of Andrew’s first wave on the Halberdiers and just gradually push him back with my own heavies. Critically, he has three heavy Warbeasts and I have three really simple ways to cause knock down so perhaps I can also mess with his fury efficiency by making the Stalkers and Ghetorix repeatedly waste a fury to shake knock down.

Turn 1: Circle Orboros
Everything runs forward as usual. Kromac puts Vengeful on Ghetorix and the Boil Master gives the Lord of the Feast some corpse tokens.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
I also run forward as fast as possible. Andrew’s army out-threats mine by a lot so there’s no point in trying to stay out of range. Ossrum puts Snipe onto Dez and Fire For Effect on the right Cannon; all three shots miss the Stalkers. There is a bit of a traffic jam in the centre of my lines; in retrospect I should perhaps have put Dez somewhere else as she isn’t affected by Ossrum’s Tactician.

Turn 2: Circle Orboros
Kromac upkeeps Vengeful. Ghetorix puts up Spiny Growth and kills a single Halberdier on the left to make a landing spot for the Storm Raptor. This allows it to Energy Pulse and kill every single Halberdier from that unit, plus one of the Cannon crew. It reloads for another couple of attacks to finish the Cannon unit too. Well, at least Alexia is full of soul tokens now. Kromac moves up and Feats then the left Stalker kills my lead Driller and Sprints back to safety. The Boil Master loads up the Sköll who then single handedly Pac-Mans his way through the entire right-hand unit of Halberdiers with Overtake. So I’ve lost all 20 Halberdiers in a single round; that feels somehow impressive.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
I’m well on the back foot here so I need to make some headway into the Circle heavies, contest the central and right zones and deal with the Lord of the Feast and Sköll before they murder Ossrum. I upkeep Fire For Effect and allocate a couple of Focus to Drillers. The Arcanist Empowers the Basher on the right and it kills Sköll. Alexia creates some Thrall Warriors who run to apply Mark Target. Dez knocks down Ghetorix and the surviving Cannon gets the Stalker on the right. Ossrum Feats, casts Energiser to move my Warjacks into slightly better positions and crosses his fingers. One Driller takes out the knocked down Stalker and the Lord of the Feast, the other one pokes Ghetorix fairly ineffectively. The Blasters on the right spray down the remaining Death Wolves (one survives because they had a corpse token) and contest the zone. The Basher misses a boosted slam into the standing Stalker; I had hoped to use Grand Slam to follow-up and keep Kromac busy. Neither of us score.

Turn 3: Circle Orboros
Kromac drops Vengeful and Ghetorix shakes his knock down. The Stalker and Ghetorix scrap the Basher to clear a lane for Kromac. The Storm Raptor kills a Thrall and Sgt Verendrye with the Energy Pulse but is careful to leave the more central Thrall Warrior alive so that Kromac has a charge target. The big Tharn king casts Carnage and charges in, splats the Thrall on the charge and then sets about Ossrum. Andrew gets pretty unlucky by missing a couple of attacks but he rolls quite high on damage for the ones that do hit; Ossrum lives on five boxes. I’m not sure how likely it is that Ossrum dies here but it certainly felt tight. The rest of the list moves to try to tie up everything I have; in particular the last Death Wolf runs around the building to tie up my Cannon crew. We don’t score for scenario again.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
Time to finish Kromac since if I don’t, he certainly won’t make a second mistake. Ossrum upkeeps Fire For Effect. Anastasia ambushes in on the right and stabs the Death Wolf in the back to free up my Cannon. It aims and smacks a cannon ball into Kromac, knocking him down (which is probably game over anyway) but also rubbing salt in by rolling crazy on damage. Ossrum finishes the job personally, but I had plenty of other options to apply damage by that point. Mercenaries win by assassination.

Thanks, as always, to Andrew for being a fun and engaging friend to game with. I felt like I was on the back foot as soon as my entire screen evaporated in two model’s activations. Andrew could easily have won this game just by using Kromac to kill the Driller in the central zone and the Storm Raptor dealing with the other one. But he wanted to have the satisfaction of a caster-on-caster assassination and the dice just didn’t work out. If I’m honest with myself, this game is really a loss as I don’t imagine that Andrew would have taken such a needlessly risky approach if this was a tournament.

Things I learned:

  • The sheer number of models to unpack continues to be a challenge in turn 1; I just can’t seem to get everything where I want it. As mentioned above, I probably need to keep Dez out of the centre as she’s a major stumbling block as the Warjacks can’t just move through her with Tactician.
  • I didn’t appreciate amount of light infantry killing power that Andrew had here. I’m not sure that I could have positioned to keep many Halberdiers alive but even one would have let me use Sgt Verendrye’s Reinforcements rule and therefore had a few more blocking bodies if I had needed them.
  • Once I had Ghetorix knocked down in turn 2 I should have just left him alone; the stacking armour from Kromac’s Feat plus Spiny Growth was just hopelessly inefficient to attack.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine, Hordes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Bill Algren

Here is Bill Algren, a part of my Ten Thunders for Malifaux. Like the other Malifaux miniatures I’ve been painting recently Bill has the Qi and Gong keywords. He’s a bodyguard with a fairly tasty damage track on his big stick, and doesn’t appear to be particularly tricksy otherwise.

I wanted bright colours on Bill Algren to keep him in with the general gaudiness of the crew so I went with an eye-catching yellow for his robes, which I think accentuates the brown armour plating he’s carting around quite nicely. As with Durgen Madhammer, photography of Bill’s face was quite annoying as his hat gets in the way of the light. He’s got quite a dapper line in facial hair though, which I hope stands out well enough here since it’ll probably never be seen on the tabletop.

Next on the painting table: Vision.

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

Painted Winter Soldier

This is Winter Soldier for Marvel Crisis Protocol. Unlike all the others I’ve painted so far, Winter Soldier doesn’t come from the core boxed set but is in a separate expansion box. I picked him up because he is my son’s favourite superhero (Black Widow, who is in the starter box, is my daughter’s favourite. But she won’t show up here because my daughter painted her too) and I hoped to spark a bit of interest in the game which has been of limited success.

I had quite a bit of fun painting Winter Soldier; since he’s mostly a regular human and isn’t wearing a full helmet there are some nice details to paint. I’m not at all familiar with him from the comics but I think that the sculpt matches the MCU version quite nicely – possibly this means that the movies were just well-cast. Despite the dark clothing I like the overall brightness and cartooniness that comes from the metal arm. I painted the latter in an uncharacteristically bright style using a blue base rather than my usual black as I didn’t want Winter Soldier to come out too dark.

Next on the painting table: Bill Algren.

Categories: Marvel Crisis Protocol, Painting and modelling | Tags: | 2 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Cygnar (75 points); 10Aug2020

Gareth and I got in another game of Warmachine / Hordes; he wanted to try out some Gun Mage stuff and I wanted to test my Ossrum list into Cygnar as, realistically, I’m not likely to choose to play Fiona into so many guns.

Game 10 – Invasion (scenario 4) vs Gareth’s Cygnar

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24b_9o9o949494929292pb7jplfinvnsnsiBiB

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]

This is the same list as last time; I just need to actually run it the way I planned. I suspect that some changes are going to be needed as there are just too many things trying to trudge up the same space and even Ossrum’s Tactician ability makes this a tight fit in the middle of the board.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c1201b_-1M8Wf5f6akfMagaj9cjz9K9Mp0cX

Cygnar
[Theme] Sons of the Tempest

[Caine 2] Captain Allister Caine [+27]
– Ace [10]
– Hurricane [35]
– Squire [0(5)]
Arcane Tempest Rifleman [4]
Gun Mage Captain Adept [0(5)]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
– Firefly [8]
Lieutenant Bastian Falk [0(5)]
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages [11]
Black 13th Strike Force [10]
– Morrowan Battle Priest (1) [2]
Tempest Blazers (max) [18]

Gareth is a long-time fan of Caine in the stories and the Sons of the Tempest force is a fitting home for him at least from a thematic perspective. I have the impression that this is pretty much one of everything and then some fun Warjacks on top. I’m not too worried about the Hurricane; it’ll wreck a few Warjacks but I think that I have enough to keep it in check.
I win the roll off and choose to move first; Gareth gives me the side with the most scenery in the way. This time I do put the Halberdiers more central; this has the downside that some of my Warjacks are starting even further back then normal which might be a problem since they’re so slow. I’m not expecting the Halberdiers to last too long but I guess I only need them to survive long enough for my force to make contact since I’m seriously disadvantaged in a shooting match here. My basic plan is jump right down the Cygnar force’s throat.

Turn 1: Mercenaries
Everything runs forward; even with the long range on Gareth’s guns I don’t think that he can get too much damage on me this turn. Ossrum puts Fire For Effect on the left Cannon and Snipe onto Dez.

Turn 1: Cygnar
Caine takes a Focus from the Squire but doesn’t allocate anything. The Journeyman casts Arcane Shield onto the Hurricane; I thought Gareth might use Fire For Effect. Instead, that goes on the Rifleman (who guns down the nearest Steelhead), Bullet Dodger goes on the Captain Adept and Heightened Reflexes is cast on Caine himself. The force advances very cautiously; I do suggest that Gareth might want to take up a bit of board space but he feels happier to stay back and vapourise my infantry next turn instead of getting engaged in melee.

Turn 2: Mercenaries
I just need to make sure that I end up contesting all the scenario elements enough that I’m not ceding too many points. Ossrum upkeeps both spells and allocates nothing. Anastasia comes in from the left and stabs a Tempest Blazer to death; it’s not super useful but the Blazer costs more than she does anyway. Both Halberdier units run as deep as possible as I want to jam Gareth’s stuff as far back as I can. The left Cannon rolls rather well to hit the Firefly but then rolls abysmally on damage; the one on the right sends an optimistic shot in the general direction of the Gun Mages and gets a lovely scatter to kill one. Ossrum puts Bullet Dodger on Alexia as he has more Focus than I really know what to do with this turn.

Turn 2: Cygnar
Caine allocates two Focus to the Hurricane and one to Ace, then upkeeps all his spells. The Journeyman upkeeps Arcane Shield and allocates one to the Firefly, which it immediately uses to shake knock down. The ATGM roll pretty poorly and take out 3 Steelheads on the right, and Falk clears the jammers in front of the Hurricane. The big robot then knocks down both of my Bashers and kills a couple more Steelheads; the Black 13th finish the entire unit to a man while standing in the freshly cleared right zone. Ace misses a trick shot into Dez that leaves me breathing a sigh of relief; the Rifleman leaves her on one box and the GMCA hits her too but I get very lucky and she passes her tough roll. Over on the left the Firefly zaps 3 Steelheads and one Tempest Blazer who was standing in just the wrong place; the other three kill off all but one Halberdier. Caine makes short work of Anastasia. So in one turn I have lost 19 Halberdiers… impressive. Gareth scores the right zone; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Mercenaries
This is going to be an attrition turn as I‘ll have to be very lucky to clear the central zone (Hurricane in it) or left zone (not enough tools in the right places to handle those Blazers) and on checking it turns out that the Cannon on the right is too slow to walk into the zone there and I’d rather have them shooting. Ossrum drops Bullet Dodger and Snipe but upkeeps Fire For Effect; he allocates two and one Focus to the lead pair of Drillers and the Arcanist tops up the latter. Both Bashers shake knock down. Dez misses Ace; knocking it down would have made my life rather easier. The Cannon on the left knocks down the Firefly again and does a nice chunk of damage. Ossrum Feats and casts Energiser to get some nicer angles though the left Basher is still poorly positioned to deal with the Firefly. It goes in anyway and leaves the light Warjack on a couple of boxes so a Blaster trundles over and wrecks it, killing the Rifleman at the same time but sadly not rolling quite heroically enough to explode the Journeyman through his Focus point. The other Basher rolls high to connect with a slam into Ace; this kills one of the Black 13th and the GMCA dies to a lucky roll of the Flak Field. I position poorly with the first Driller to go into the Hurricane which prevents the other one getting there at all (what a waste of Focus) and it does around a quarter of the boxes of the colossal. The other two Blasters and some Thralls get in about Falk and the rest of the ATGM and Black 13th. Neither of score so we remain at 1 – 0 to Gareth. Annoyingly, my screenshot didn’t work here.

Turn 3: Cygnar
Gareth reckons that he’s far enough down on attrition that it’s now assassination or bust. After we measure it out there isn’t any way for Caine to get close enough to Ossrum so he throws in the towel; Mercenaries win by concession.

It’s worth pointing out two things here. Firstly, I originally was going to place Ossrum a bit further forward, but Gareth warned me of the sheer range of the assassination threat. I had some stuff that would have been blocking (notably that pair of Drillers) but there are various options for knock down, Shadowfire, etc that could have been used to open up line-of-sight. Secondly, we decided to roll out the assassination run anyway as if Caine had been in range and he handily put Ossrum down even through his Feat and the one Focus left on him. That assassination run would be no joke.

Many thanks to Gareth for a very fun way to spend an evening, even if it did turn out to be a bit of a mismatch. The amount of light infantry clearing across the board from me was hilarious but in the end there was only Hurricane (and Caine on Feat turn, I suppose) which was going to do much to my heavy Warjacks. As much as anything else, this is part of Gareth learning the game as he finds out the balance of what he needs in a theoretical list pair.

Things I learned:

  • Although I feel like I got the initial positioning of my Warjacks a bit better in the sense that they had a screen, it was terrible after that. My heavies in particular were tripping over each other as I tried to keep them central to threaten the Hurricane but the terrain was just constantly in my way. Gareth did a far better job than I did of unpacking his list.
  • Further to that, I am getting sloppy about keeping the Blasters in particular within Ossrum’s control area. I’ve wanted to use them on the edges of my Battlegroup to harass lighter targets but between the places they need to be and the fact that I want Ossrum to stay back and not be killed meant that two of them would have been out of control if I had had another turn. Actually, this was also true of the lead Driller but that concerns me less as I was expecting to lose that to the Hurricane anyway.
  • Although the Halberdiers are just there to die, the efficiency with which they were killed was quite surprising. Considering that I’m trying to use recursion I wonder if I need to make more of an effort to keep one back further just to avoid losing the entire unit. Alternatively, perhaps I should make my peace that they are there purely to soak up attacks that would otherwise go into something more expensive, i.e. literally anything in my army.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Mercenaries vs Mercenaries (75 points); 05Aug2020

It’s been quite a long time since I managed to get a game of Warmachine / Hordes in with Joe but our timings lined up nicely for some Wartable action. This was preceded by a long round of gentleman-machine in the group chat used for arranging games, with much ‘after you’ ‘no, after you’ going on until finally a few matches were sorted.

Game 9 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Joe’s Mercenaries

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-24b_9o9o949494929292pb7jplfinvnsnsiBiB

Mercenaries
[Theme] Soldiers of Fortune

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire [0(7)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Dez [4]
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye [4]
Steelhead Arcanist [4]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Cannon Crew [0(6)]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]
Steelhead Halberdiers (max) [11]

I’m looking for a list that is somewhat more gun-resistant than my Fiona list and am currently trying out Ossrum in Soldiers of Fortune. The theme is selected for practical reasons in the sense that having both of my lists in the same theme reduces the number of minis to buy and paint even if it ends up being a bit less powerful overall. The basic thinking is to jam with Halberdiers as hard as I can, then send in some Warjacks as a second wave. I can use Ossrum’s Feat to extend threat for the Warjacks or make them a bit more resistant; in an ideal world it would be both. The Blasters also provide a bit of shooting to thin out infantry and avoid the inconvenience of Shield Guards, though the latter is not relevant here.

https://conflictchamber.com/?c6201b_-2582nVnVpj8SnPnPnP8MnLkoo18oo4

Mercenaries
[Theme] Talion Charter

[Montador 1] Captain Bartolo Montador [+28]
– Blockader [33]
– Blockader [33]
Black Bella, Duchess of Dread [0(4)]
Lord Rockbottom [4]
Powder Monkey [0(2)]
Powder Monkey [0(2)]
Powder Monkey [0(2)]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
Press Gangers (max) [12]
Scharde Dirge Seers [0(6)]
Sea Dog Pirates (min) [7]
– Mr. Walls, the Quartermaster [4]
– Sea Dog Pirate Rifleman (2) [2]

I suppose that the plan here is to jam two Batten Down The Hatches Blockaders into me as hard as possible and stymie any counter attack with Bart’s Feat. Note that Black Bella is actually Bella2 using the not-final rules.

Joe wins the roll-off and picks to go first so I give him the side with the slightly more annoying houses. I immediately forget my plan about screening Warjacks and put the Halberdiers out on the flanks. I probably had some concern about board space but really the Rhulic Warjacks are so slow that I should be more concerned about keeping them alive until they can do something; getting in the way is what I have the Halberdiers for in the first place.

Turn 1: Bad Mercenaries
Joe throws everything he has right at me. Bart casts Batten Down The Hatches and puts Hot Shot on the right Blockader. Aiyana uses Ayisla’s Veil though I’m not sure what Joe thinks I’m going to shoot her with from this distance.

Turn 1: Good Mercenaries
Most of my stuff also runs forward and spreads out a bit. One Cannon splatters a Press Ganger, the other tries an optimistic shot toward the Sea Dogs but it scatters somewhere inconsequential. Ossrum puts Fire For Effect on the right Cannon and Snipe on Dez. Note that I make a big mistake putting pairs of heavy Warjacks close enough to each other that the Blockaders can get two with a spray.

Turn 2: Bad Mercenaries
No Focus is allocated but Hot Shot is upkept. The Powder Monkeys Empower the Blockaders. Rockbottom gives Payday to the Pressgangers who kill a Halberdier on my right, and Money Shot to the Sea Dogs who do rather better and kill 6 Halberdiers on the left. The Blockaders advance and take advantage of my bad positioning to half-kill both Bashers and two Drillers; in between activations Bart rushes forward, Feats, recasts Batten Down The Hatches and swaps Hot Shot over.

Turn 2: Good Mercenaries
I consider trying assassination here but I can only get Dez and the Cannon onto Bart; since he can’t be knocked down that seems pretty improbable. I don’t think that I can contest Joe’s zone without it costing too much so my plan is just to hold up the Blockaders in the centre and clear the left flag. On the right, the Halberdiers knock down a bunch of Pressgangers but they all pass their Tough rolls. It goes better on the left as the Cannon vapourises Mr Walls and the Halberdiers kill all but one of the contesting Sea Dogs. Unfortunately, my newly created Thrall Warriors aren’t able to get the last one, so I don’t score that flag. The Bashers run to block the Blockaders (how ironic) as I figure that their defence is poor enough that being knocked down by Bart’s Feat is probably not a big problem. I don’t Feat either as I’m losing those anyway and I can hopefully make it hard to get the Drillers. Dez takes a shot at Bella but I forgot about Call to Sacrifice so end up just killing a random Pressganger. We both score our zones; 1 – 1. I’m feeling in a pretty poor position though with those Blockaders right in my face.

Turn 3: Bad Mercenaries
Bart allocates one Focus to the left Blockader and upkeeps Hot Shot; the Monkeys top up the rest of the Focus to the colossals. Bella hurts the right Basher to get out of the Blockader’s way, then it moves laterally and wrecks both Bashers. The other Blockader comes forward and wrecks on Driller and leaves another on a handful of boxes. Aiyana Kisses one of my Blasters and Holt shoots it fairly ineffectively. Bart walks back to a slightly safer location and casts Batten Down The Hatches again. The Sea Dogs and Press Gangers kill a handful more Halberdiers but slightly to my surprise Joe doesn’t contest my zone (he’s normally very strong on scenario elements). We both score our own zones again; 2 – 2.

Turn 3: Good Mercenaries
This turn I need to bring down one of those Blockaders before they over run me, and I need to start picking up some points on the scenario because it’s clear I’m not going to get a win by attrition. I drop Snipe as there are plenty of targets for Dez now, but upkeep Fire For Effect. The left Driller gets two Focus and the other gets one, which the Arcanist immediately tops up to full. Anastasia runs on from the right and engages one of the Monkeys. The Steelheads thin out the infantry on both sides. One Thrall runs to contest Joe’s zone; Alexia sits on the left flag and creates another. Ossrum Feats and I throw everything I have into the left Blockader and bring it down to about half damage. This is probably pretty bad news for me. I do score my zone and the left flag; 4 – 2 to me.

Turn 4: Bad Mercenaries
Bart drops Hot Shot, allocates two Focus to the left Blockader and one to the other. Bella improbably misses an inconveniently-placed Halberdier in the back with her melee attack but shoots him thanks to Dual Attack and Black Penny. A Pressganger can then run to contest my zone and the others mill around my Halberdiers fairly ineffectively. The Dirge Seers pick off a pair of Thralls and another Steelhead, clearing Joe’s zone in the process. Bart casts Batten Down The Hatches as misses Anastasia with his gun; Rockbottom gives Money Shot to Holt who also misses her twice. The Blockaders smack my remaining Warjacks silly and make sure to contest the centre and right flags. However the placement of one of the Dirge Seers means that nothing can get into contesting range of the left flag. Joe scores his zone and I score that flag; 5 – 3 to me. It looks like I forgot to take a screenshot this time.

Turn 4: Good Mercenaries
I need to finish this or I’ll end up with a Blockader in melee with Ossrum which I fear will not be very good for him. Fortunately since Joe couldn’t contest the left flag last turn I just need to pick up three scenario points. The Cannon fires a truly heroic set of damage dice into Joe’s Objective to get me most of the way there. A Blaster sprays to clear my zone, and Ossrum puts Snipe back on Dez. She rolls terribly for damage but it’s enough to finish the Objective so Anastasia saunters into Joe’s zone and I end my turn. I score my zone, the left flag and one for taking out the objective; 8 – 3 to me. My Mercenaries win on scenario.

That was a very enjoyable game and I always learn a lot from playing with Joe. I felt like I was on the back foot for the entire game but, as Joe pointed out afterwards, the whole point of having scenario is so that you can’t just focus solely on killing everything. Joe could have won pretty handily if he’d paid a bit more attention the scenario; for example I think that on turn 3 he could have cleared enough from the centre flag to let something (probably Bella or Rockbottom) score it.

Things I learned:

  • I should have actually deployed in accordance with my plan to use the Halberdiers to screen my Warjacks. As it was, they ended up in a fairly irrelevant fight on the periphery with Joe’s infantry. Apart from fueling Alexia’s Thrall engine, I think that if we’d both just played about 20 points down and ignored the outside edges of the board there wouldn’t have been a big difference in the game.
  • I should have been far more careful of my Warjack positioning on turn 1; as it was I gave Joe a free head-start of about half of the boxes of two heavies because each Blockader could hit two at a time with their sprays.
  • Keep my eye on victory conditions. Even games where I’m down heavily on attrition can be won if I just keep plugging away at the scenario or can find an assassination option.
Categories: Battle reports, Warmachine | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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