This a Steelhead Cannon Crew, a unit for my Mercenaries for in Warmachine – specifically the Soldiers of Fortune theme force. They’re pretty straightforward in application; there is one shot from the Cannon itself that does a decent amount of damage but most interestingly causes knock down on hit. So ironically the main use I’ve found for the Cannon hasn’t been so much about the damage but rather to knock down models either to inconvenience them or to enable the rest of my stuff to hit them more easily. As they’re a unit, they also have a secondary value in scoring circular zones but in practice in the armies I use the Cannons in have so many other units that this is rarely relevant; plus they’re so slow that it’s hard to actually get them anywhere interesting.
I painted the Cannon crew themselves in the same style as the rest of the Steelheads and I think that the green and yellow scheme works pretty nicely. I was torn over how to paint the Cannon itself; initially I considered painting the screen in green to match the crew. Eventually I decided that Steelheads would be pragmatists, not bothering with fancy painting on their kit and so left it metallic apart from the wheels. A fun little unit to paint… now I just need to assemble and paint the other one.
Here are another pair of Grundback Blasters for my Warmachine Mercenaries army. There isn’t much more to say about them than the last time I painted some of these except that I’ve been playing a list with three of them; hence I picked up another pack.
I kept the general colour scheme the same as the other Rhulic Warjacks I’ve painted lately but made sure to put a couple of the armour panels for each in a cream colour to give each Blaster a bit of individuality.
Next on the painting table: Steelhead Cannon Crew.
This is Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios, another solo in Warmachine for the Mercenaries faction. This particular Eiryss is Eiryss1; there are 4 versions of her in existence at the moment representing her at various stages in her story. For this reason and others, I suspect that Eiryss is a PC in a hypothetical ongoing RPG played by the developers at PP; she shows up a lot in the stories and is one of only a handful of characters to get a fourth iteration. Eiryss has lots of rules that enable her to mess with Focus allocation and she’s ridiculously accurate with her main crossbow. I just never seem to have the space to fit her into a list; in theory she would be brilliant in Soldiers of Fortune (where she can be free) but in practice she has never made the cut for me. I’ve been stung by Eiryss in Joe’s hands plenty of times though, so I have no doubt of her efficacy.
This version of Eiryss is the first and therefore the oldest sculpt, and it shows. The miniature itself is rather two dimensional and the detailing around the face in particular leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, I do really like the dynamic pose and I think that the sculptors did well for the time. Even though Eiryss could theoretically appear in a Soldiers of Fortune army I wanted her to be very distinct from any Steelheads as she is very much a free agent. That, combined with the cloak and hood that she wears, led me to for a Little Red Riding hood look which I think works rather nicely. She was a quick and easy paint and I’m very satisfied that she’s ready for the tabletop.
Here is a Steelhead Arcanist, a solo for my Mercenaries in Warmachine. Like (almost) all Steelhead models, he is at home in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force; Steelhead refers to the name of the mercenary company to which most of the nominally professional mercenaries belong in the game story. This is as opposed to loads of the other Mercenaries who occupy various statuses along the lines of outlaw, desperado, pirate etc. The Arcanist is a pure support piece, being able to give a Focus to a Warjack or remove cloud effects from the game; he also passively gives all nearby friendly Steelheads magical weapons which can be critical in some match-ups. I like him especially with Fiona the Black as in the late game once the Warjacks are all gone and I’m at the stage of desperately throwing everything I have left into the fray, she can channel spells through the Arcanist and he has enough health to survive the experience at least once.
The Steelhead Arcanist is a newer miniature so it’s a mix of very crisp resin and a few frustrating metal pieces. I went with the same general colour scheme as Sgt Verendrye (and, spoiler alert, the rest of the Steelheads will get the same treatment) as I felt that a co-ordinated colour scheme matched the flavour of a professional group of soldiers. In addition, I’m really enjoying painting yellow at the moment so it works well. The miniature itself is a really lovely pose; it would probably make quite a good option for RPGs, for example as a Cleric character.
Next on the painting table: Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios.
These are Thrall Warriors, solos in my Mercenaries for Warmachine. Thrall Warriors are quite unusual in that they can’t actually be chosen as part of your army but rather are summoned by Alexia as she gathers souls. They’re easy to kill so my main experience is to summon them, send them off to hit something (and usually miss) and then they get killed next turn. Still, being a solo that can score flags, apply Mark Target (in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force), get in the way etc, has it’s own value and I don’t hesitate to include Alexia2 in my lists.
I actually got these Thrall Warriors as part of a second hand lot and wanted a quick and easy paintjob since they’re barely more than tokens in the actual game experience. I’m not even sure if the one with no head is supposed to be that way or if it just got lost somewhere; luckily since they’re meant to be dead already it’s not so important. They must have ended up being my quickest finished miniatures in ages but I think that the simplicity has worked quite nicely here.
It feels like a long time since I was able to play Allan at Warmachine / Hordes but we both had a free night and decided to spend it pushing pretend dollies across a pretend table. Allan has temporarily cut down to a single physical faction and he played them here.
Game 26 – King of the Hill (scenario 1) vs Allan’s Retribution of Scyrah
No changes from my Jaga-Jaga list as I’m pretty happy with how it works; any errors are on my side. Looking at the match-up I’m interested to see how my plethora of shield guards will fare into the Valkyries. I think I’ve only played into the Retribution once or twice ever so I’ve no real idea what I’m going to do.
Allan stated that this is a variation on a favoured list of his, dropping the Hermit as it doesn’t add much that the list needs. I guess that the idea is to leverage the shooting power of the Tridents while threatening to flood the board with Halberdiers.
Allan wins the roll-off and decides to move first. There’s not much to choose between the table edges so I go with the bottom one as the house in the centre at the top will be quite annoting to work round. Allan’s deployment is almost symmetrical; I skew a bit to the right in the hope that I can collapse that side quickly and swing into the centre.
Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Everything runs up. Issyria casts Admonition on Hemera, Inviolable Resolve on the left Trident and then uses Velocity to move back a bit (though I have no idea what Allan though I was going to do to get his Warcaster from such a distance).
Turn 1: Minions
I can’t stay out of threat ranges so I just send everything in. I try to limit how many Halberdiers can get to any one thing even if Allan casts Crusader’s Call, and I keep the Valkyires spread out to catch as many bullets as possible. The Void Archon on the right gets Grave Wind and sits in the rubble; I’m hopeful that will tempt Allan to commit a Trident to kill it and I’m probably OK with that trade. Rorsh casts Pig Pen which I’ll never remember to use and Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host.
Turn 2: Retribution of Scyrah
Allan spends a lot of time thinking about his options here. In the end he allocates no focus but upkeeps both spells. Hemera runs right into my face. Issyria moves forward to cover a landing spot for the Trident on the right, Feats and arcs a boosted Blinding Light into the right Void Archon which misses. The Trident charges it and kills it in melee anyway, then guns down a couple of Valkyries and hurts Rorsh. On the left, the other Trident kills the Chef and another Valkyrie and the Harpy takes out two more. The incidental healing does get most of my other models up to full health though. The Halberdiers walk up and adopt Shield Wall.
Turn 2: Minions
I could possibly score the right zone but I think that leaves Brine in the awkward position of sitting around twiddling his huge meaty thumbs. Instead I decide to do as much damage to Allan’s big hitters as possible. Jaga-Jaga casts Signs and Portents and moves a bit further away from the scary Trident on the left. The Wrastler helpfully misses all three initials into the Chimera, then casts Rage on Brine who wrecks both the Trident and the Chimera. Rorsh guns down the Ghost Sniper on the right. One Swamp Horror triggers Admonition on Hemera (which I had forgotten about) but the other one pulls it in and teams up with a Valkyrie to leave it on a single box in movement. On the left, the surviving Valkyries and Void Archon do some damage to the Trident and the latter sprays a couple of Halberdiers down to teleport to the back of the zone engaging the Ghost Sniper. Neither of us score.
Turn 3: Retribution of Scyrah
Issyria upkeeps Inviolable Resolve and allocates one Focus to the Harpy. It guns down my Objective (I was tempted to take one shot onto the last Valkyrie but I figured she was doing a better job gumming up the Halberdiers) in two shots, taking it out exactly to the box. The Trident turns around and explodes the Void Archon easily and kills one Valkyrie but the Ghost Sniper misses the other one. A Halberdier charges through the Trident to finish her though which clears that zone. Issyria puts Admonition on herself and stays safe. The other Halberdiers mostly just derp around; one of them hits the blocking Valkyrie but the Dhunian Archon stops the attack. Allan scores the left zone and killed the objective; 2 – 0.
Turn 3: Minions
The left zone is going to be a massive problem from here on as I don’t think that I can get anything to it in a single turn which means that Allan will always be able to gun down anything I send in that direction. I also need to think of how I’m going to deal with scoring the right zone as I kind of need Jaga-Jaga and my Warbeasts to head left. In the end I figure I can have Brine sit in the right zone this turn as my Warbeasts will get in each other’s way around that central forest if I use too many of them; fortunately Brine doesn’t Frenzy. The central Valkyrie finishes off Hemera with Vengeance. Jaga-Jaga, of course, upkeeps Battle Host and casts Signs and Portents. The Swamp Horrors kill off the Harpy and eat a handful of Halberdiers and I send one Dhunian Archon to make a token effort around contesting the left zone next turn. I score the right zone and Allan scores the left; 3 – 1 to him.
Turn 4: Retribution of Scyrah
The Objective and the Mechanic repair the Trident which easily kills the Dhunian Archon and repositions back into the zone. Issyria casts Crusader’s Call and moves to safety with Velocity. The remaining Halberdiers go into both Swamp Horrors, killing the left one and mauling the right one quite badly. Allan scores the right zone; 4 – 1 to him.
Turn 4: Minions
I need to get the centre cleared so that I can stop Allan just running away with the scenario. Rorsh clears the right zone with his Pig Irons and Brine reluctantly stays there to score it. The Wrastler and Swamp Horror clear the flag and the Dhunian Archon sits on it; sadly I couldn’t quite clear the whole zone. I score the flag and right zone, Allan scores the left; 5 – 3 to him.
Turn 5: Retribution of Scyrah
The Trident continues to get repaired. It shoots the Swamp Horror and the Halberdiers eventually kill it. The latter also kill the Dhunian Archon with a truly heroic dice roll and she sadly fails to Tough. We both continue to score the same zones; 6 – 4 to Allan.
Turn 5: Minions
Jaga-Jaga swaps places with Brine in the left zone. I clear off the flag for the Soul Slave to run onto but I can’t quite pick off the last model contesting the central zone. I move Rorsh round the building as I’ll need another solo to sit on that flag soon. I score the flag and right zone, Allan takes the left; 7 – 6 to him.
Turn 6: Retribution of Scyrah
The Trident easily guns down the Soul Slave but can’t quite take out the Valkyrie. We both continue scoring the rectangular zones; 8 – 7 to Allan.
Turn 6: Minions
I finally clear out the central zone, but now I don’t have anything that can get to the flag. Brine swaps again with Jaga-Jaga as I’ll need to have her control range more central for the last turn. Rorsh continues to move toward the centre but critically I move him to exactly within range of the Trident; obviously I didn’t notice this until it was too late. I score the centre and right zones and Allan scores the left; 9 – 9.
Turn 7: Retribution of Scyrah
The Trident is now back to full health. It lines up on Rorsh and I know that this is going to be rough as Allan rolls up the maximum 9 shots and 3 power tokens. His dice slightly desert him as several shots are missed and I transfer the boosted damage ones to Brine; in the end Rorsh lives on a couple of boxes. The Ghost Sniper makes no mistakes, killing off my Farrow. Allan scores the left zone and contests the centre with the final Thane; 10 – 9 to him.
Turn 7: Minions
I ‘only’ need to score two scenario points and contest the left zone for a win; in a pinch either would do as I’m probably ahead on points destroyed too. Jaga-Jaga casts Ghost Walk on herself (as I need it to get to the flag) and the Wrastler, and applies Rage to the latter too. The Wrastler walks round to the back of the Trident and wrecks it in a highly satisfying way, then Overtakes and kills the Objective too. Sadly, the second overtake move is millimetres short of getting into the zone to contest it. The Valkyrie at the top charges into the Thane and misses both attacks. The other skirts round into his back arc and misses her first attack. She hits the second… and rolls low enough to leave him on a single box. Allan scores his zone again and I only get the point for the objective; 11 – 10 to Allan (note that we forgot to note the point I scored in the screenshot). Minions lose on scenario.
Wow, what a close game! Many thanks to Allan, that was a terrific way to spend an evening. I can see what he means about the power of the Tridents, I think that they basically killed almost my whole force between the two of them.
Things I learned:
I’m still getting sloppy with threat ranges. If I’d kept Rorsh 1mm further back in turn 6 he would probably have lived.
I need to remember Jaga-Jaga actually has a Feat, even though I often joke that her real Feat is casting Signs and Portents every turn. If I’d remembered to use it in the final turn I could probably have made sure that the Thane would go down.
My plan to stack the right side did work, but it came at the cost of losing the left; I do recognise that this is quite a predictable outcome in a symmetrical wargame of course. In this case my lack of ranged threat compared to Allan’s meant that this probably ended up as an advantage to him. I’ve been thinking of this as rather an ‘anti-shooting’ list with all the Valkyries but maybe I also need to consider what I’m going to do when, as here, almost all of my Valkyries explode in one turn.
Here are three more Ghordson Gunners, Rhulic Warjacks in my Warmachine Mercenaries. If I’m being honest, the two of these I had is probably more than enough but I got this trio as part of a second hand lot of various other Mercenaries so they went into the queue. Probably somewhere there exists a decent list with a whole raft of gun-bunnies but I haven’t taken the time to think about it yet.
For admittedly not-very-inspiring sculpts I did really enjoy painting the little cuties. I continued with my green and bronze colour scheme but I did mix in some cream sections to break them up and individualise them a bit. With so few different colours it was nice to just get the Gunners done and off the tray in a short time.
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
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.
[Durst 1] Anson Durst, Rock of the Faith [+28]
– Guardian 
– Guardian 
– Purifier 
– Purifier 
– Purifier 
Champion of the Order of the Wall 
Champion of the Order of the Wall 
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon [0(6)]
Menite Archon 
Menite Archon 
Paladin of the Order of the Wall 
Paladin of the Order of the Wall 
Paladin of the Order of the Wall 
Choir of Menoth (min) 
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.
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.
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.