Posts Tagged With: Cryx

Painted Satyxis Blood Witches

These ladies are Satyxis Blood Witches, part of my slowly-expanding Cryx force for Warmachine. In these days of ‘theme for everything’ they fit in the Scourge of the Broken Coast, a theme that is basically limited to Warjacks and things with the Satyxis tag. These particular ones are specialised as ambushers, so I often try to leave them off the board at the start in the hope that the other player will leave a soft solo somewhere they can get to easily. Otherwise they just end up swarming on from the side of the board and gumming things up as best they can. The Blood Witches are mostly useful for taking down other lightly armoured foes, so if I’m facing a really heavy-weight foe then I just have to use them for body blocking. Like all Satyxis, they are lightly armoured but have high defense. As a result they really hate it when someone has an attack that automatically hits, or if anyone can fire template weapons.

I really love the sculpts of the Satyxis range but I find them incredibly fiddly to assemble. The arms are separate on most of them which is manageable with a bit of pinning, but worse, the horns are most separate pieces. Needless to say I just trusted in superglue for the horns. I also think I may have received a minor mispack as I don’t actually have a proper set of horn-pairs – if you look closely a couple of them have mis-matched horns. Painting started off well but I gradually got bogged down in all the belts, straps, necklaces etc and I have to admit that I was quite glad to finally call the unit done.

This one is the unit leader (at least until I get round to dealing with the unit attachment, in which case she’ll be outranked). I had all sorts of plans to make her multi-layered skirt look cool with all it’s trimmings but I decided in the end to leave it simple. From table top distance, of course, the difference is barely perceptible.

I wanted red clothing but also stuck with pink as the spot colour for my Cryx force. Unfortunately I think that it doesn’t really work quite as well as I had hoped.

I spent a while at the start trying to keep skin colour, hair colour and sculpt separate. In particular, I think that I’ve managed to keep those with duplicate sculpts to have different skin tones so they don’t look like twins! To the best extent I could manage, I avoided repeating the same combination of hair colour and skin colour across the unit.

Keen observers will note the battle heels again. Why do sculptors insist on these for female miniatures? The rest of the clothing isn’t too silly, at least taken in the context of the genre

Next on the painting table: Poxbringer.

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

Painted Satyxis Blood Priestess

Here is the Satyxis Blood Priestess, a caster attachment for my Warmachine Cryx army. She gives allows your Warcaster to upkeep one spell for free which is quite handy for the Witch Coven – I always seem to be short of Focus for them, despite having literally the highest Focus stat in the entire game. Her main draw is on the sword though, as it has a variety of effects beyond the obvious. Notably, she can dispel ongoing effects on units, which can be quite useful to remove some of the more crippling spells from your own units (admittedly at the cost of stabbing one of them in the back).

The miniature is quite nice, if predictably cheesecake-y; it seems de rigeur for ladies in these games to go about with only a bikini top on. Presumably the Scharde Islands are really warm, and that hat is intended to keep the sun off and not to keep the Blood Priestess’s ears from getting cold. Anyway, I stuck with the black and pink theme that I used for the Warjacks and was rather pleased with the outcome. The skin tone worked out well on the body and arms but I couldn’t seem to get it to look right on her face. I stopped painting eyes on miniatures of this size long ago as they don’t really show up at tabletop distance, though their absence is rather strange looking in these blown-up photos.

Next on the painting table: Troll Whelps.

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

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Southside Steamroller (75 points); 03Nov2018

I recently attended my first ever Warmachine / Hordes (or WarmaHordes, or whatever… just Warmachine from now on) in Glasgow. Apparently this was the first Steamroller in Glasgow for something like five years, so it wasn’t only a first for me. I’ve got to admit that I was a little nervous for two reasons. Firstly, the Warmachine event scene has a bit of a reputation for taking their gaming seriously and I was worried that by going along and being really bad at the game that I’d be effectively denying one player per round a decent game. Secondly, competitive Warmachine is played on a Death Clock, meaning that it is possible to lose the game just by playing inefficiently. Joe helped me with the latter by giving me a timed game to practice, and I’m pleased to report that the clock was not an issue as he’d finished beating me long before time was up.

https://conflictchamber.com/#c7201b_-0b0g0r9DiRjpiXjq7d6R750k0m

Trollbloods Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Power of Dhunia

[Skuld 1] Jarl Skuld, Devil of the Thornwood [+30]
– Dire Troll Bomber [19]
– Dire Troll Mauler [15]
– Earthborn Dire Troll [14]
– Mulg the Ancient [22]
– Troll Basher [7]
– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]
Janissa Stonetide [0(4)]
Troll Whelps [0(4)]
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (max) [19]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]
– Stone Scribe Elder [3]

My list is mainly put together as a combination of things I own, things I think look fun to play and things I think look good in an army. The only concessions to playing competently are the Runebearer (seems like a no-brainer choice for Jarl Skuld but has a boring miniature) and the Nyss Hunters (useful jamming unit in a theme force that doesn’t have any units, and anyway I already own them). The basic game plan is to move aggressively at the start and use Jarl’s Feat to block much significant attacking that turn. Then ram Warbeasts in with Rage applied and hope that the other force runs out of pieces before I do. The Nyss usually either jam or take shots of opportunity as needed.

Having a single list is a bit of a disadvantage as the other player can choose whichever of their lists will be best placed to face it. I did consider taking a second list but decided that would be a waste of time. I don’t have any experience with another list and even if I did, I’m not really sure yet when I would drop one or the other anyway.

Once I arrived in the admittedly rather ropey looking pub that was hosting us, I chatted with some other players and was pleased that I wasn’t the only attendee who was hopelessly inexperienced. I will note that I prefaced each game with an apology to each of my opponents for the likelihood of me getting some of the complex rule interactions wrong and they were all very cool about it.

Game 1: Andrew Murchie, Convergence of Cyriss

Scenario: Recon 2

https://conflictchamber.com/#cc201b_-0ilIdndndBd9d9dbdCdedfdfdgdz___-0id8dndBd9d9d9dedfdfdgdgdzdFdF

Convergence Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Locke 1] Aurum Lucanum Athanor Locke [+29]
– Conservator [12]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [6]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
– Prime Axiom [38]
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex [2]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]

Convergence Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Axis 1] Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [6]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]

Andrew selects the Axis list, presumably on the basis that it is better for dealing with a smaller number of tough targets. I choose to move first.

Trollbloods turn 1: My Theme Force benefit allows me to start the game with my Warlock’s upkeep spells cast. I have Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl himself. Most of my force runs forward at top speed; Jarl dumps most of his Fury into the Krielstone.

Convergence turn 1: Many clockwork robots run at me. Iron Aggression is cast on one of the Inverters and a cloud of Servitors spread out to make my impact shooting irrelevant with all the Shield Guards.

Trollbloods turn 2: I think that I can take out the right side Transfinite Emergence Projector. The Nyss drop some Reflex Servitors on the left (they’re quite good at this since they ignore Concealment) and try not to line up too many nice sprays from the second battle engine. Jarl Feats to put his cloud wall in the way of Andrew’s central advance and casts Quicken on the Mauler. The Runebearer then casts Rage on it and the Mauler smites the Transfinite Emergence Projector with some Fury to spare. This does mean that I can’t manage to get the Runebearer onto my flag as I had originally planned.

Convergence turn 2: Axis Feats and swaps Iron Aggression on to the Inverter on the right; it makes short work of my Mauler. The remaining Transfinite Emergence Projector lines up shots on Nyss via the Conservator and kills a few. Convergence score a point from the flag and the right zone; 2 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: There’s not a lot that I can do this turn thanks to Axis’s Feat. I back off a bit to limit the damage those Inverters can do to me. Jarl kills a couple of Servitors with Magic Bullet to at least allow me to score my own flag but I can’t get anywhere near the other one. 3 – 1.

Convergence turn 3: Andrew could kill a load of my stuff here but he realises that he can just win the game via scenario instead. Axis casts Bulldoze. The Transfinite Emergence Projector clears the rest of the contesting Nyss. The Conservator pushes the Bomber out of the zone and the central Inverter kills the Runebearer; this allows Andrew to score both zones and his own flag. Trollbloods lose on scenario; 1 – 6.

Despite the one-sided nature of the game, I really enjoyed this. Andrew didn’t have to do anything particularly clever but he was very clear in his explanations as to not only what he was doing, but why he was doing it. This was really helpful – I learned a lot, and hopefully I can apply it in future games. In particular, it seems that I need to be a lot more aggressive against this kind of control list and just suck up the damage that inevitably comes after it.

Game 2: Stuart Fraser, Cryx

Scenario: Spread The Net

https://conflictchamber.com/#c4201b_-0B0WkA1u1hi22nf0f0dWhZh-h_h-h____-0UbY1k1f1t1e1u1u1v1v1v1h2k2nf02B2B

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Dark Host

[Terminus 1] Lich Lord Terminus [+27]
– Barathrum [15]
– Seether [13]
– Stalker [8]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Necrotech [2]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
Bane Warriors (max) [16]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (max) [16]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Black Industries

[Asphyxious 3] Asphyxious the Hellbringer [+24]
– Cankerworm [9]
– Nightwretch [0(7)]
– Reaper [13]
– Ripjaw [0(7)]
– Seether [13]
– Seether [13]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Stalker [8]
Machine Wraith [2]
Necrotech [2]
Soul Trapper [1]
Warwitch Siren [4]
Warwitch Siren [4]

Discussing before the game, it seemed that Stuart was rather more at my level of experience than other players attending, so I had high hopes to make him work for his victory here. He selected Asphyxious and I ended up with the first move again.

Trollbloods turn 1: Once again I start with Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl. This looks like quite a live scenario and I know that Asphyxious can make his Warjacks move very fast so I need to get some table position before I get locked out of scenario. Jarl fills up the Krielstone.

Cryx turn 1: Everything moves up but the advance is rather more cautious than I was expecting.

Trollbloods turn 2: With help of Magic Bullet, the Bomber and Jarl clear out the solos on the right. The Nyss do a couple of massive Combined Ranged Attacks and cripple movement on the Stalker and drop Vociferon. I have no idea what Vociferon actually does, but it looked like something that was worth getting rid of while I had the opportunity. Especially considering the Carapace rule on all the Warjacks making the Nyss shooting a bit less effective. Jarl Feats too, covering the centre of the board.

Cryx turn 2: On the left side the Warjacks come in and clear about half of the Nyss; the Stalker and Ripjaw position to contest my flag too. Asphyxious uses his Feat. On the right, Stuart seems curiously reticent to engage Mulg, so I get to score my zone with the big chap; 1 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: Janissa charges in and drops the Stalker in one shot while the Earthborn wrecks the Ripjaw. The Nyss ding up the Nightwretch, Seether and Slayer and generally gum things up. The Runebearer puts Magic Bullet on the Bomber which scratches the paint on the central Warjacks and takes out the Warwitch. The Basher gets both Quicken and Rage and rushes over to smack the central Slayer. I’m not actually expecting to kill it; I just want to keep those Cryx Warjacks away for another turn. The Krielstone move into the central zone and I score 3 points; 4 – 0.

Cryx turn 3: The Seether tries to position for a drag on the Mauler but can’t because I explain the Whelp placement will stop it. The Seether comes in and hurts the Mauler anyway and contests. The Basher remarkably survives the attentions of the Slayer due to some bad dice on Stuart’s side. On the left, the remaining Nyss are killed off by Warjacks. I still score 2 point this turn to Stuart’s 1, so I get a rather surprising scenario victory. Trollbloods win on scenario; 6 – 1.

Well, that certainly went better than I expected. Stuart probably was too cautious with his movement, especially in turn 1. I don’t think that I have enough good attacks to deal with so many Warjacks coming across the board at me. By slowing down his advance, especially on my right, I was able to deal with the Warjacks in more manageable chunks. I was quite pleased that Jarl did what I expected of him, i.e. kill off some annoying solos and stop them from scoring or contesting. This was a nice, relaxed, fun game between probably the two worst players in attendance.

Game 3: Shane Frost, Circle Orboros

Scenario: Standoff

https://conflictchamber.com/#c8201b_-0p5v4QjGjF4H4H4Hg4g45gmVmV0U5e5e5f5f___-0WgM4B4B5H5H5H5H5H5H5HmO5g5g5f5f

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Bones of Orboros

[Wurmwood 1] Wurmwood, Tree of Fate [+27]
– Megalith [20]
– Wold Guardian [16]
– Woldwarden [14]
– Woldwyrd [9]
– Woldwyrd [9]
– Woldwyrd [9]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Gallows Grove [2]
Gallows Grove [2]
Farrow Bone Grinders (min) [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Shifting Stones [3]
Shifting Stones [3]

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Call of the Wild

[Una 2] Una the Skyhunter [+29]
– Gorax Rager [7]
– Gorax Rager [7]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Storm Raptor [34]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]

During the pregame discussion phase, Shane decided that he would treat this as a teaching game. I get the impression that he’s pretty good (anyway, much better than me) but was having a bit of a bad day at the office with results so far. He chose to use Una on the basis that it would make for a more entertaining game. I get to go first again.

Trollbloods turn 1: I start with Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl. Jarl fills up the Krielstone and everyone rushes forward as fast as possible. No reason to change a ‘winning’ formula.

Circle turn 1: Shane’s force unpacks. It has a much bigger threat range than my army so the actually movement forward is not so much. Everything is still in range to do horrid things to me next turn though.

Trollbloods turn 2: The Nyss take a massive 10 person CRA into the lead Griffon but roll 1,1 to hit. That’s quite annoying as they could have done some rather good damage if they’d landed it. The Bomber and Jarl land a few hits on the Griffons on the left and Jarl Feats. Shane spends a good amount of time explaining and advising on good places to put my clouds to mitigate the effect of his next turn.

Circle turn 2: Una Feats and puts Hand of Fate and Primal on a couple of Griffons. Despite the inconvenience of the cloud wall I lose the Bomber and Janissa (though I expected to lose her easily) but otherwise get off quite lightly. The Storm Raptor moves to my right in preparation for electrocuting all my Nyss next turn. Circle score 1 points (back zone) while contesting my zone. 1 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: It takes a bit of work to unjam myself from the centre Griffon since it dodges away from my first couple of attacks. The Nyss put some damage onto the Storm Raptor. On the left, the Mauler finishes a Griffon and Jarl puts Weald Secrets back on himself and continues to shoot chunks out of the Griffon lurking behind the wall on the left. We both score for the rectangular zones; 2 – 1.

Circle turn 3: The Storm Raptor wipes out all the Nyss in a single go. One Griffon comes into the Mauler to trigger Flank but the Primalled one can’t get the job done and the Mauler survives on a couple of boxes. Shane scores the right and back zones while I score my rectangular zone; 4 – 2.

Trollbloods turn 4: The Mauler heals up by eating Whelps and kills the first Griffon and leave the Primalled one on a couple of boxes. Jarl takes a few wounds off Una with Magic Bullets bouncing off Shifting Stones and the Basher charges in to start hurting the Gorax in the middle. Mulg commits and smacks a Blackclad. Finally, the Earthborn is powered up with Quicken and Rage and rushes over to take a good chunk out of the Storm Raptor. We both score for the rectangular zones again; 5 – 3.

Circle turn 4: The Storm Raptor and Griffon make short work of the Earthborn but a Whelp survives to contest and even the Blackclad misses it. On the left, the Frenzying Griffon fails to finish the Mauler. The Gorax hurts the Basher rather inconsequentially. Once again we both score for the rectangular zones; 6 – 4.

Trollbloods turn 5: The Griffon on the left leads a charmed life; avoiding all my attacks to survive to contest again. Mulg goes in to kill the Objective and contest the rectangular zone and Jarl continues taking potshots at Una (I think I forgot that he has Black Penny so I could possibly have killed that Griffon). I score my rectangular zone and one for the Objective; 6 – 6.

Circle turn 5: The Griffon and Storm Raptor come in and attack Mulg but he turns out to be quite tough. The Mauler finally goes down but the Whelp improbably survives another round. Una pushes Mulg out of the zone so we both score our rectangular zone; 7 – 7.

Trollbloods turn 6: Mulg can’t quite finish the Storm Raptor; the Basher drops the Gorax. Jarl continues to pump bullets ineffectively into the Griffon on the left. We score a point each; 8 – 8 .

Circle turn 6: The scrum in the centre continues without any kind of resolution. The Griffon attacks Jarl but can’t make anything stick. The Whelp gets ignored in favour of the Blackclad desperately trying to deal with Mulg but failing. More scoring rectangular zones; 9 – 9.

Trollbloods turn 7: My last turn. The Basher attacks Una, killing the Gorax through transferred damage. Jarl kills the Griffon and moves to cover both the circular and rectangular zones. Mulg finally offs the Storm Raptor. I score both rectangular zones and the left circular zone. 9 – 12.

Circle turn 7: Una and the last Raptor flail ineffectively at the Basher and Mulg respectively. Scoring is the same as last turn so Trollbloods win 15 – 10.

I know that Shane was going very easy on me, but it still felt nice to come out of that with a win. I was quite close to running out of clock (less than one minute left) but since I had no actions left it didn’t really matter. I got cocky with Jarl a couple of times and Shane did point out twice when he had reasonably good chances to win by assassination so I definitely have some more to learn about keeping my Warlock safe while still being relevant. I’m very appreciative for the teaching opportunity, and I hope that Shane enjoyed the game process as much as I did.

So, in the end I got listed with two wins and one loss, though that should really have been two losses since I’m pretty sure that Shane could have beaten me if it had mattered at all. Either way that far exceeds my expectations for performance here. Overall I had a really good time and I’m especially pleased that the Warmachine gaming scene is indeed not as hardcore competitive as I had heard. Thanks to Andrew, Stuart and Shane for three fun games and of course to Allan for running the event and making it all happen.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Painted Barathrum

Here is Barathrum, a character Warjack to go in my Warmachine Cryx force. In this context ‘character’ means that they are unique for some combination of fluff or game reasons; anyway, I can only have one Barathrum in my army regardless of how cool it is. The main reason I picked up Barathrum as opposed to any other Cryx heavy Warjack is that it is specifically allowed in the Scourge of the Broken Coast theme force, and since that is the one I’ve been buying miniatures for, I figured that Barathrum should also be in my collection. So far, I haven’t seen any particular synergies that link Barathrum to the Satyxis (about whom more later) that make up the majority of the theme force so I assume that there is some kind of story reason for its inclusion.

I really struggled to get started with Barathrum’s paint job since it is covered in various layers and raised edges I was hardly sure how to approach it. In the end, I more or less painted from the inside to the outside with black for most of the carapace and bronze for the edging. Of course, I also used pink for some of the bits and bobs to bring a bit of colour to the otherwise rather drab machine. There are also elements that I assume are supposed to be actual bone so I painted them accordingly; this is probably because Cryx are the baddy faction and prone to adorning their stuff with skulls etc. Indeed, they’d look quite fine in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. One of the things I like about Barathrum’s miniature is that it is rather more dynamic than most Warjacks in the PP range. Barathrum is clearly advancing whereas most of the other Warjacks are just standing around like they’re admiring themselves in a gym mirror (I consider this particularly fitting since they generally give the impression of having skipped leg day a few times too many). There are meant to be a couple of tusks on the side of Barathrum’s head but I couldn’t get them to look good during assembly so they went straight into the bits box.

I dedicate this post to Azazel’s Mechanical November Challenge. I’ll admit that this is a bit of a cheat because I was planning to paint Barathrum anyway and it just happens to coincide with the hobby challenge; still, it’s not like anyone has any money riding on this so I’m going to count it anyway.

Next on the painting table: Hunzakut with Rifle and Light Grenade Launcher

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warmachine | Tags: , | 15 Comments

Painted Deathrippers

These lovely twin robots are Deathrippers for my Cryx force in Warmachine. They are Arc Nodes, which means that my Warcaster can use them as casting points for magic. In a game where having your Warcaster killed means you lose, this is quite important; this goes doubly for the Witch Coven since they’re so easy to kill. They are the cheapest Arc Nodes available and as such are pretty useless at actually doing anything on their own.

I stuck with the same pink spot colouring as the Witch Coven but opted for more black and bronze for the rest of the Deathripper chassis; it seemed more fitting for the robot. I’m not sure if the skull at the front is meant to be an actual skull or just a manufactured thing like a ship’s prow, but I painted it as the former anyway (I’m not aware of anything in the Iron Kingdoms setting that looks like it would have such a skull but I’m hardly a close follower of the lore).  Overall a simple but effective paint job; I’m happy with the result.

Next on the painting table: Peacemaker and Auxbot

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

Painted Witch Coven of Garlghast and Egregore

These are the Witch Coven of Garlghast and Egregore, part of the Cryx faction for Warmachine. They’re Warcasters (i.e. the leaders of your army) but since there are three Witches in addition to the Egregore they break loads of the basic rules of the game. Not least is that in Warmachine a caster kill is an immediate defeat so having three Witches makes it a bit harder to suffer this (though in fairness, they are individually pitifully easy to kill so I guess it works out well-balanced). I’m not familiar with the Warmachine stories so I have to admit to having no idea who the Witches are, where/what Garlghast is, nor why they are being followed around by a big spiky ball. I suppose that they must have some kind of flair for stealth though, since most of their spells involve hiding your own forces or turning various things into ghosts so that they can run through terrain or other models. Overall I have found them highly amusing to play though I probably should have followed the general advice I received when picking them up – don’t use them to learn the game.

I very much like the models, even considering the rather silly cheesecake poses, and had a terrific time painting them. I went for pink armour and white cloth because I consider it entertaining to have these people from the baddie faction dressed accordingly. The skin tone is darker to get nicer contrast with the white hoods in particular. As for Egregore, I decided eventually to keep things simple and did it black with highlights in matching pink to link it with the Witches. I did consider giving it some brass banding but an early test didn’t look too good so I went back to black all over.

The Witches have names, although in game terms they are all identical. In case you’re wondering which Witch is which, you can tell them apart by the number of hand on their (somewhat comical) weapons:
No hands on dagger: Helleana
One hand on dagger: Selene
Both hands on dagger: Morgaen

Next on the painting table: Valerya Gromoz.

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

Starting Warmachine and Hordes

The next Big Thing here at Chateau Argentbadger is Warmachine and Hordes, hereafter known as WarmaHordes. Of course, there are always reasons for choosing to buy into one game or another, and (for me at least) there has to be a good reason to spend my limited time, money and attention on a particular game. This goes double for a new game where we all have to learn new rules and buy new books and miniatures.  Since this is one of the few games I’ve bought into with even a modicum of thought beyond ‘looks cool’, I decided to show my workings.

This story started when I started using my Ogre Kingdoms in Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I am not an especially good player, but I have literally never lost with this army, and in almost all battles I felt that there wasn’t even much of a threat of that happening. The feeling of being unduly powerful was compounded by Furycat picking up Tomb Kings at the same time and going through the sort of process I expected – i.e. losing a lot until finally getting the hang of the army after significant practice. Worse, I proxied a single game of Lizardmen against the Tomb Kings and won crushingly despite playing terribly for the entire game. This contrasts with my experience with Beastmen, where I always feel that I have to either play well or get lucky (or both) to avoid defeat. To summarise, I felt that there were serious balance issues between the Warhammer Fantasy armies. This isn’t going to stop me from playing the game, as it’s still a lot of fun (especially with Beastmen), but I have been a bit frustrated by the feeling of choosing to play on ‘easy’ or ‘hard’ mode depending on which army I select.

The first part of what I needed was a game with tolerable balance between armies so that I wouldn’t feel like the army was playing itself without me, or that one side was facing a significant uphill struggle solely as a result of faction choice.  For clarity, I’m not thinking about army building here (which I see as a skill in wargaming) but rather selection of which faction to play.

Next, Mrs Argentbadger and I have decided to try a bit of wargaming together. She isn’t a natural geek like I am, so we’re going to take this slowly and see how this goes.  We have busy lives, so this was suggested as a possible way to dedicate an evening to sharing a hobby rather than watching television, or simply indulging our own separate forms of entertainment even when we’re in together.  The main criteria here for game selection are rules which are tight and reasonably simple (by which I mean that they can be followed with logic rather than interpreted) and low model count armies for speedy games.

So, in a slightly roundabout way, I found that I was looking for a wargame with good internal balance, with a simple set of core rules and a relatively small model count. A bit of looking around suggested WarmaHordes as that game.  Let us see if that turns out to be right.

A few tries with the free-to-download rules seemed to be fun enough to entice Mrs Argentbadger back for more tries. I imagine that I am going to need to give myself a bit of a handicap to begin with, but I think that if this proves to be fun then she could easily become strong enough at the game to beat me without assistance. She can defeat me at chess without difficulty, though admittedly that can be said of a lot of people.

In the interests of putting some pretty pictures into the post, I have selected Circle Orboros as my faction. Choosing a force in any wargame always begins with the miniatures for me, and I like the variety of styles in Circle Orboros, ranging from werewolves, stone monsters, druids and barbarians.

I’ve (somewhat arbitrarily) decided to use Morvahna the Autumnblade as my initial Warlock to learn how to play, since her rules look amusing.

Mrs Argentbadger has chosen the Retribution of Scyrah, a faction of angry Elves. After a bit of research they seem to be regarded as a ‘new’ faction with fewer unit choices compared to the others. This might turn out to be an advantage as it will be easier to focus on learning how to play the units that do exist well, rather than swapping out frequently (which I expect to do).

Furycat has, as expected, decided on Cygnar. He always seems to prefer to play the protagonists in any setting (Empire in Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Imperial Guard and/or Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000). We’re going to get in at the deep end and play larger games straight out of the gate as it looks like the test games we’ve had have been a bit imbalanced due to the low army size.

Finally (out of those who’ve expressed an interest in playing at all) Aramoro has looked at Cryx. They’re the evil undead faction, and seem to revolve around crippling the defence of their foes. Still, as he put it: “I don’t always select the annoying faction on purpose”. Here’s a random picture of a group of Cryx Warcasters that I think look cool.

Categories: Hordes, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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