Painted Steelhead Gunners

Here are a pair of Steelhead Gunners, solos for my Mercenary force in Warmachine. Apart from their scoring utility as cheap solos, their main purpose is to support the artillery pieces in the Soldiers of Fortune theme which in my case would mainly be my Steelhead Cannons. But actually I have to say that I’ve not really found even having one of these little chaps is a very effective use of points; they improve the damage and accuracy of the Cannons but in general I’m looking to use the Cannons to knock down low-defence pieces anyway and I just don’t need more support bloat in my forces.

The sculpts for the Gunners are identical but helpfully the helmet is a separate piece and the unhelmeted head looks like just a bald head anyway so that helps them to look a bit different. The colour scheme was the same green and yellow coats as for my other Steelheads and I was pleased to gets the Gunners painted up nice and quickly. As an aside, it looks like they were sculpted by someone who has never seen a moustache up close (or maybe it’s just that, as Rhulfolk, their facial hair doesn’t grow like humans) since their moustaches grow up the sides of their noses rather than across their upper lips.

Next on the painting table: Deffkilla Wartrike.

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

Painted Steelhead Halberdiers

This is a unit of Steelhead Halberdiers for my Warmachine Mercenaries army. They’re about the most bargain-basement of all units in the game, with almost no fancy rules and a price point to match. Luckily this fits well with how I use them in game: mainly to take up space and waste incoming attacks, with a side order of giving me corpse and/or soul tokens in the process. They have stats that make them slightly irritating to kill for a few popular unit types but in general I find that there has been considerable power-creep of attack stats since the Halberdiers got their rules and I am generally not disappointed when I expect them to die in droves.

The sculpt quality for these Steelhead Halberdiers is really poor and it isn’t helped by the nasty resin/plastic hybrid that Privateer Press used for this kit. As a result, these poor folk got a ‘good enough for tabletop’ paint job as I just couldn’t face spending more time on them than necessary. In that sense the painting process for the Halberdiers was quite liberating as I just ploughed through one section at a time. I’ll also admit that it felt extremely satisfying when I got the final stages of painting them, safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to do it again since my other unit of Halberdiers is the older metal kit acquired in a trade with Joe for ancient GW Tau miniatures.

Next on the painting table: Nebula.

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Painted Drake MacBain

Here is Drake MacBain, a Warcaster for Mercenaries in Warmachine. I’ve actually never played him in the game yet; I picked the miniature up as part of a second hand lot a long time ago and just finally got the inspiration to put some paint on him. I feel like his spells would allow him to fit well into the Llaelese Resistance theme force, but actually building lists there continues to be an exercise in frustration for me.

MacBain isn’t, strictly speaking, a Steelhead. But he’s always depicted as a hard-bitten professional mercenary so I decided that he’d go nicely in the green colours that I’ve been favouring for the Steelheads anyway. I’m not a fan of the ludicrously oversized sword but the posing in general feels suitable for the action hero that he so clearly is. I also have to admit that I love the cigar-chomping sculpt of his face; it just tells such a story.

Since MacBain has languished in my Pile of Shame for too long now, I dedicate this post to the excellent Ann and her ‘Paint the Crap You Already Own!’ Painting and Hobby Challenge. You should also read her blog as it is very entertaining.

Next on the painting table: Intercessors.

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Painted Ghordson Basher

This is a second Ghordson Basher for my Warmachine Mercenaries. There isn’t really much more to say than I wrote when I painted the previous Basher – it’s a cheap and cheerful Warjack that specialises in slam attacks.

I stuck with basically the same paint scheme for this Basher as the previous one as I wanted to keep them as clearly part of the same force. I’ve slightly mixed up which parts are cream vs green, and also those which are silver vs brass to keep them slightly unique but my vision for these Rhulic Warjacks is that they look to be part of the same force.

Next on the painting table: Drake MacBain.

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Painted Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire

This is Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire, also known as Alexia2.  She’s a solo for the Mercenaries faction in Warmachine and I use her in my Soldiers of Fortune theme force.  In the storyline, Alexia is the end-boss of an old RPG (specifically, The Witchfire Trilogy) in which she is possessed by the magic sword Witchfire; this iteration of her is presumably set after those events and she is now in control of the sword rather than the other way round.  In game she can collect soul tokens from living models that die nearby and use them for a variety of purposes, my favourite of which is to summon Thrall Warriors.  This is a key part of the recycling engine that my army is based around: Steelhead Halberdier die, giving Alexia souls to turn into Thrall Warriors while Sergeant Verendrye brings them back as reinforcements.  Being able to summon Thrall Warriors is, of course, invaluable for scenario play so I generally try to keep Alexia safe from harm in the early stages of the game and only commit her in the late game.

I loved to paint Alexia; she has a very dynamic pose that I find really evocative of a rider in full flight.  I deliberately didn’t stick with the green and yellow scheme of the Steelheads, instead going for a nice bright Red Riding Hood look which I think works quite nicely.  The horse is meant to be some kind of undead beastie but after a bit of experimentation I couldn’t make the skin look the way I wanted so in the end it’s more like part-normal-horse and part-skeleton-horse.

Next on the painting table: Ghordson Basher.

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

Painted Steelhead Cannon Crew

Here is a second Steelhead Cannon Crew to join my Warmachine Mercenaries army. They’re FA2 so this is as many as I can field in a normal game, though I can’t think of a reason I would take a third anyway as there are only a finite number of suitable targets that I might expect to see across the table from me. There isn’t much more to say about them in the game than I said for the other crew.

I stuck with essentially the same paint scheme as the first Cannon Crew on the basis that they’re supposed to represent a professional army. I painted the shoulder pads different to make it possible to tell them apart in game when face-to-face gaming becomes possible again.

Next on the painting table: Tharn Ravager Chieftains.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warmachine | Tags: , | 9 Comments

Painted Lady Aiyana and Master Holt

Here are Lady Aiyana and Master Holt, a unit for my Warmachine Mercenaries. They’re quite interesting mechanically as they feel to me rather more like a pair of solos who have to stay near each other rather than a unit. Lady Aiyana is a spell caster whose main ability is to increase the damage done by other friendlies to a chosen victim. Master Holt is thematically her bodyguard and has some tasty gunslinger rules. I have to admit that I have never used them on the tabletop (I got the pair as part of a secondhand lot) but Joe uses them against me to great effect quite often.

I really enjoyed painting Lady Aiyana and Master Holt. I kept a single scheme of predominantly blue and yellow to tie them together visually, but gave Lady Aiyana some brightly coloured hair to emphasise her status both as unit leader in the rules and exotic adventurer in the stories. Considering the age of these sculpts they still look the part.

I dedicate this post (or at least Lady Aiyana’s part of it) to Fembruary which is being run by Alex on the excellent LeadBalloony blog.

Next on the painting table: Steelhead Cannon Crew.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warmachine | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Painted Fiona the Black

Here is the Warcaster Fiona the Black. She’s part of my Mercenaries force for Warmachine; I’ve used her mainly in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force, though she fits in plenty of others. As a Warcaster she’s the most important piece in the game for me; the vulnerabilities of a chess King but with the powers of a Queen. I’ve had a lot of fun with Fiona; she can Arc spells through friendly cultists which allows her to keep her easily-killed self far away from nasty threats and her Feat is really annoying for melee armies to deal with.

I struggled to get a paintjob that I like on Fiona. She’s depicted in the Privateer Press artwork with flaming red hair so I stuck with that approach. But her clothing tends to be shown as very dark (presumably at least in part due to her epithet) and I found it hard to bring her to life in a way that would look good at tabletop range. In the end, I kept the dark colours of her ‘normal’ clothes and went with a bright yellow on Fiona’s cloak to make her stand out well. In the end I’m not totally satisfied with the result but it’s good enough to move her out of the ‘to do’ pile.

Next on the painting table: Lady Aiyana and Master Holt.

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Warmachine / Hordes battle report: Minions vs Convergence of Cyriss (75 points); 19Dec2020

I got another game of Warmachine / Hordes in via Wartable. My opponent this time was Andrew who is working on a Convergence list with more than a little jank in it.

Game 33 – Bunkers (scenario 2) vs Andrew’s Convergence of Cyriss


[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Azazello 1] Lord Azazello, the Castellan [+29]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Dhunian Archon [0(6)]
Flugwug the Filcher [4]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Primal Archon [8]
Primal Archon [8]
The Wastelander [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Farrow Valkyries [8]

This is the same list as I’ve used for the last few games. I think it’s useful to play a list for a few games regardless of how good or bad the match-up is so that you can see where it has good options and where you’ll struggle. More importantly, I’ve been finding it really fun.


[Theme] Strange Bedfellows

[Aurora 1] Aurora, the Numen of Aerogenesis [+29]
– Mule [14]
– Mule [14]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
J.A.I.M.s [5]
Prefect Hypatia [5]
Void Archon [8]
Void Archon [8]
Asphyxious the Sanctified [14]
– Stalker [8]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Negation Angels [0(6)]
Soulhunters (min) [11]
Soulhunters (min) [11]

Andrew is using the Convergence theme that incorporates a load of random Mercenary and Cryx options. I assume that the point of this list is to turbo-charge those Soul Hunters and fire them into me from across the board.

I win the roll-off and choose to move first. Against such a fast force I’m worried that I’ll be jammed up in my own deployment zone if I let Andrew take the first turn; he gives me the side with a slightly more annoying house. I keep my deployment quite symmetrical as usual, with one of each Archon and one unit of Valkyries on each flank and everything else going straight up the middle. My JAIMs picks the left unit of Negation Angels as Prey; Andrew’s JAIMs chooses the Void Archon on the right.

Turn 1: Minions
Everything runs forward. I can’t avoid being in range of the Negation Angels with the leading Valkyries so I spread them out to ensure that I should only lose one per unit if Andrew commits them (which I doubt). Azazello casts Storm Rager on himself and Phantasm on the leftmost unit of Valkyries.

Turn 1: Convergence of Cyriss
Everything moves up but mostly stays clear of my threat ranges. Aurora casts Aerogenesis and Arcane Might; Asphyxious puts some clouds on the left to cover some Soul Hunters.

Turn 2: Minions
I’m not really in range to do much so my plan is just to rush up and claim some table space where I can, then Feat and hope not to lose too much. Azazello drops Phantasm but upkeeps Storm Rager; he also Feats and shoots a couple of wounds off the central Void Archon. Over on the right the Valkyries drop a Soul Hunter and I send Flugwug in to eat a pair of Negation Angels; I figure that he’s cheap enough to make that a worthwhile trade. Then I pass the turn and cross my fingers.

Turn 2: Convergence of Cyriss
Aurora upkeeps Arcane Might. Various things move with Swift Vengeance or Apparition; JAIMs triggers a Counter Charge from the Primal Archon which misses anyway. Aurora Feats (catching pretty much her entire army), casts Aerogenesis and then charges a Valkyrie on the right and repositions onto the flag. We mess the rules up a bit here as we forget to give her Shadowbind from the Primal Archon and I also take a Riposte attack when she misses the Valkyrie even though she’s too far from Azazello to get Riposte. We figure that this evens out fairly, and anyway Aurora could have just run to the flag if she really needed it. The Hermit uses Whispers at the Gate and repositions deep into my right side. JAIMs kills her Void Archon and sidesteps into my zone; the lone Negation Angel flies right to the back of my zone too. The Soul Hunters on the right charge into the Dhunian Archon; the first one amusingly misses an impact attack on Flugwug and dies to Riposte but the second one leaves the Archon on a single box. The Stalker and a unit of Negation Angels team up to kill the Primal Archon on that side. The lead Void Archon finishes the wounded Dhunian Archon and also incidentally kills Flugwug with the spray. Asphyxious kills the two contesting Valkyries on the right and puts down a cloud in the centre to block my view. On the left, Andrew pulls back most of his models, though the Negation Angels do get stuck into the Void Archon for a little damage. Andrew scores his zone and the right flag; 2 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
Ouch! I’ve lost a lot and my first thought here is to go for assassination. I upkeep Storm Rager. The Valkyries in the centre have a go at clearing the way for Azazello to get to Aurora but I would need to get extremely lucky to get everything (in fact I’m not at all certain that I even have enough attacks to make it work) and abandon the attempt as it’s clear after just this activation that it isn’t going to work out. Instead, I switch to seeing what else I can do to stay in the game. On the left, JAIMs and the Dhunian Archon clear the Negation Angels off my flag, though due to poor positioning and order of activation issues I need to waste the Void Archon’s activation to just sit on the flag. The Road Hog sets JAIMs and the lead Void Archon on the right ablaze and Boomhowler knocks down JAIMs but can’t get lucky enough to kill the contesting Negation Angel. Crucially, I forget to put Special Orders on Azazello. My Warlock uses Wind Rush to get round the building and walks over to kills Asphyxious (and JAIMs by using Flashing Blade) but it takes all of his Fury to do so, meaning that I can’t use Sprint to get back to safety. We each score the edge flags; 3 – 1 to Andrew.

Turn 3: Convergence of Cyriss
Aurora upkeeps Arcane Might and the Hermit puts up Whispers again. The Negation Angels make full use of Arcane Might to Paralyse Azazello and kill him easily without any other models even needing to activate. Minions lose by assassination.

Many thanks to Andrew for being a fun opponent, and sorry to him for not putting up more of a fight here. Andrew made very good use of his mobility to pivot me round that building in the middle and ensure that most of my hitters were stranded away from where I could use them. I need to think of a way to deal with such an army; I’m just not certain how to position against an alpha strike with such a long threat range, Flight and Parry. Any suggestions will be gratefully received. That said, I think it’s easier to learn from a defeat than a victory so hopefully this will help me improve as a player.

  • Always use one of Boomhowler’s Fell Calls. Repositioning Azazello 3” backward behind the house in my last turn might well have been enough to keep me in the game.
  • Also on the subject of Boomhowler, I could have made much better use of him further on the right; his gun is perfect for handling the Hermit in particular since the low POW doesn’t really matter. Critical knock down can be clutch too.
  • I’m not really getting good value out of the Primal Archon’s counter charge. Perhaps it is just something where I need to opportunistically take advantage of a positional error from my opponents but in general I find that it is very easily shut down.
Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Ghordson Driller

This is a second Ghordson Driller for my Warmachine Mercenaries. I have three in my current Ossrum1 list, so hopefully I can find where I put the third kit before face-to-face gaming restarts!

I kept the paint scheme very similar to the first Driller, mixing up where I put the accent colours a little. My hope is that when they’re all on the table together it’ll look like the Warjacks have all come from the same factory but without them actually being identical. Since there are only four colours and no fiddly details, painting the Driller was a lovely simple palette-cleanser between more complex living miniatures.

Next on the painting table: Tharn Whitemane.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warmachine | Tags: , | 10 Comments

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