The Weekend in Review (pButcher vs Kromac!)

So lets talk about this weekend, and all the awesome and crazy that happened! So, friday night I went and cashed my paycheck and, with the cash burning a hole in my pocket I hit the nearby store Magic Inferno to pick up some Warmachine. Yea thats right, the physical location of an internet store is near my house (like 5 minutes away) and I can get those internet prices there without shipping, its freakin awesome. But it does have a downside, which I will explain shortly.

So, I go up there, and ask if they have pButcher, the War Dog, and the Widowmakers. They didn’t have the Widowmakers, but did have the rest, so I was able to pick Butcher and the pup for $20, and then ran home to assemble them.

The next day (Saturday), Dan comes over and tells me he has decided to go up to a full 15 points, and what he wants is Kromac and a Stalker. So, knowing that Magic Inferno does not stock Hordes yet, we call up Rhubarb Games to see if they have them, as Rhubarb was having a liquidation sale. I also visited Joann Crafts to get some spray paint (I intend to paint my 15 points BEFORE I go to 25, but more on that later)

Yes, thats right. A game store, the one where I actually play was closing down.

On the front page you can see the news post, but it basically runs down the reasons for closing as follows:

1. Economy forcing people to curb their spending or find alternative cheaper prices.
2. Internet pricing, cannot compete with it.

These are valid reasons, and both are true. With the way the economy is right now, I personally cannot afford to buy things at full price if I can avoid it. Its a fact of life. Yes, I want to support where I play but at the same time I need to think about my bottom line and how to stretch my cash the most. Some people may disagree with me and thats fine, but I am a firm believer in getting the most out of your dollar (hence my Budget MTG Deck articles).

So anyway, Dan finds that they have the Stalker, and he can nab it for 20% off. We get them to hold it, and head over to another game store (and the biggest game/comic store we have in the area) called Sci Fi City to see if they have Kromac. They ended up having a Mk1 carded Kromac Blister, but Dan had got the Circle faction deck so he was fine with that. I also found the Widowmakers at Sci Fi (Rhubarb did not have them, so I had to pay full price)

We headed over to Rhubarb, picked up the Stalker, and began to assemble. The store was dead, which was something I had never seen before on a Saturday, and it made me sad.

Note: The Widowmakers are one piece models and that made me VERY happy. Just some trimming of the little base slot bar and bam, done.

So I finished my Widowmakers and Dan was still fighting with the Stalker, hadn’t even touched Kromac. So I sat down with the store owner of Rhubarb, a really cool guy named Chris, and another guy named Chris (also cool, but now we have 2 Chris’s!) and played Munchkin Supers.

I lost, and then me and Dan had our first 15 point non battlebox game against one another.

I brought the following:

pButcher
– Juggernaut
– Destroyer
– War Dog
Widowmakers

And Dan brought the following:
Kromac the Ravenous
– Feral Warpwolf
– Warpwolf Stalker

Kinda one sided dontcha think? In reality, those 2 heavies and Kromac alone are enough to handle my army. The Stalker, if warping Berserk, could easily take out my entire unit of Widowmakers, and possibly under Warpath bounce around and nail my dog.

Alas, Dan was still learning and made a large number of errors. He really overestimated the threat of my Widowmakers, who spent the game running around trying to plink things. I think they managed 4 damage on the Feral and that was it. In fact, on Butchers feat turn they missed EVERY SHOT against the Stalker. They need a 7 to hit, I roll a flipping 6 on every shot. ARG!

In the end, pButcher with Iron Flesh and the Dog proved to hard to nail, and the damage I had put on Kromac thru the Destroyer earlier on my feat turn (additional damage die woot!) stalled him from using his feat to full effect. He ended up jumping into melee with the Butcher but could not hit a DEF 19 (needing an 11 to hit with the MAT of 8 ) and on boosted rolls just could not do it. He managed to hit the Butcher once, and did 3 damage. The next turn, Kromac had 1 hit point left due to his feat, and Butcher creamed him.

I think the biggest mistake Dan made was keeping Kromac in beast form for a good chunk of the game. It lessened the impact his spells could make as he could not use them. I also think Dan learned a few things in this game as well!

So now I am planning both on painting my current 15 point army, and also expanding it straight to 25. I decided that instead of a Red I would go with a snowy blue color, and I got the suggest from Owen of Far Far Away to spray paint the base color on them rather then priming black and then painting, as we all know how I feel about actually painting (here is a hint, I don’t like it). So I am sprayed with a light sky blue, and am going to get some metal paint and also some bronze and flesh tones so I can paint my 15 point list.

Once that is done, I am gonna go up to 25, but I need some help.

I got a couple of options when it comes to heading up to 25, 2 of which take advantage of Butchers tier list and the 3rd option does not.

Option 1:

pButcher
– Juggernaut
– Destroyer
– War Dog
Widowmakers
Min Man-o-War Shocktroopers
Min Man-o-War Shocktroopers

Yes, this is actually 25 points, because the Butcher’s tier list makes those min Man-O-War units cost 5 points each instead of 6. The advantage of this list? I get 2 units of some heavy armor (Shield Wall!) heavy hitters, who I can make worse through the use of Fury. Disadvantage? I am dead slow, but on the first turn the Shocktroopers are SPD 6 due to the Tier Bonus, but after that…slow.

Option 2:

pButcher
– Juggernaut
– Destroyer
– War Dog
Widowmakers
Max Man-o-War Shocktroppers
Manhunter

Once again, thanks to the tier list bonus the Shocktroopers become cost 8 instead of 9, which allows me to fit in the cruise missle known as the Manhunter. Put Fury on the Manhunter and he becomes a PS 14 Weaponmaster, and I catch him on my Feat turn he can roll 5d6 on his charge attack. Thats hot sauce right there. The con here? I dont get the speed bonus to the Shocktroopers, and the Manhunter is a glass cannon.

Option 3:

pButcher
– Juggernaut
– Destroyer
– War Dog
Widowmakers
Max Winterguard
– Winterguard UA
Kovnick Joe

This option completely forgoes the tier list, and instead goes for bodies on the table. The Winterguard, with the UA, and Iron Flesh hit an impressive DEF 17, and Joe makes em Tough. Feat turn, with Fury and Joe yelling Strength at them, they hit PS 14+4d6 on the charge. They are a solid solid option, but I forgoe the tier list as Joe is not allowed under the Butchers tier.

So which option do you all think I should go with? They all cost roughly the same money wise, so thats really not a factor. Of course, the Winterguard will cause me to have to paint ALOT of dudes…. yikes.

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Gamer ADD – Or “Darnit WARMACHINE!”

So, I am once again fighting the pull. In my last post I mentioned that I was considering playing Warmachine again, this time on Vassal only. You are probably wondering why I would even bother since I “quit” before. Well, let me break it down.

Since I quit, I had a large number of people tell me I shouldn’t, that I should just take a break and come back. That kinda tugged at me and I have not forgotten it.

I have still been getting the No Quarter magazines and I still read them, and what I am seeing I like.

The game store I frequented for this was very warm when I went to do the Brushfire demo (including getting a hug from one of the players, which was VERY random).

However, I am still not sure if I want to invest money again into playing. I will admit, I was not happy with the Mk2 Trolls, and Hordes in general. I have issues with the fury mechanic, but I won’t get into that here.

Now, several times, Owen of FarFarAway has mentioned that I have “Gamer ADD”, and I finally explained something to him and I will explain it here.

I have actual Attention Defeceit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. I have had it since I was a small child, and used to be on Meds for it. So yea, my attention tends to shift from game to game. Its nothing unusual for me personally, its just the way I am. Frankly, the fact that even when I AM NOT PLAYING WARMACHINE I want to play it makes me amused in a way.

So, here is the “plan” as it were. I want to play Warmachine again, but I don’t want to invest money right this minute. So my plan is to purchase a Forces of Warmachine book for the faction I am interested in, and play solely on Vassal against anyone who is interested.

The two factions I am interested in are Khador, and Mercenaries. You all know how I feel about Mercs (I did enough articles on them) and Khador just have always been something I have wanted.

I leave it to you all to suggest which faction I would like, and then if you want leave a comment as to why you feel that one is the one I should go for. I intend to take these votes into account when I finally decide.

Here is the poll!

Finally, I will close this poll the day that the Forces of Warmachine: Mercs comes out (or when I catch that it did)

So let me know folks.

Shae vs Vyross – 15 Points

So last night me and Gday had a Mangled Metal match, and it was a blast. I am not used to playing a force with any form of mobility, but I did make some mistakes, which were correctable. For example: Storm Rager can only be cast on a WARRIOR model and I had it on a jack. Silly me, but we simply added 2 damage (the jack had only taken 1 hit) and gave me a focus back as I had upkept it. We also had a bit of a confusion as to whether or not a building as an Obstruction. The reason this came up was the spell Veil of Mists which allows you to move through obstructions. Turns out we could either declare the building a structure or obstruction. We went with the obstruction.

So, what did we each run? I ran, by suggestion from Jme of Warpainter, the following:

Phinneus Shae:
– Freebooter
– Freebooter
– Freebooter
– Buccaneer

Silly list right? 3 Heavies? Yea I thought so too. But oddly enough they helped deal with my opponent. Gday ran the following filthy elves:

Vyros:
– Griffin
– Hydra
– Manticore

2 heavies and a light, and Vyros. First time for Gday to run Vyros, and the first time I have ever faced him. I had no idea what Vyros could really do, or the Manticore, but thankfully Gday answered my questions. The Hydra and Manticore are no joke in melee let me tell you. The Griffin took down the Buccaneer before it could do anything, which means either I have no idea how to use that little guy or its as worthless as I first thought. Going to have to work on it.

I ended up having to use my feat early when he pressed in, getting the jacks that I was trying to flank with into range so they could defend Shae. I was trying to work my way around the building in the picture attached, but he pressed forward to cause me to retract my movement. I also completely forgot to allocate focus to get those 2 Freebooters to run around the building. Silly me and the focus mechanic.

He actually only fired a few shots. Most of our fight was in melee, with him doing the most damage to my jacks. As you can see from the image, he tore my jacks apart.

However, Shae with Storm Rager proved the Equal of Vyros. Vyros got a charge in, and with Flank did a massive amount of damage. He took his second attack and…MISSED! That left Shae with 5 boxes left. In order to win, I would need to leave the melee range of the Manticore and risk a freestrike, but with a DEF 17 ARM 21 (thanks to 5 FOC and Storm Rager) I risked it. I was able to kill Vyross in 2 strikes of my sword.

What did I learn? Shae is tough to hit. Plain and simple. The Freebooter that trashed the Griffin did it thanks to getting a Headbutt off and then using its remaining 2 FOC to buy additional autohitting attacks. I did forget that the Headbutt does get a damage roll with a POW equal to the strength of the attacking model, which would have been a POW 11 vs ARM 18. May not have done much but could have. The Freebooters are awesome. I am thinking when I get ready to expand to 25 I may end up with something like this:

Phinneus Shae
– Freebooter
– Freebooter
– Buccaneer
Min Sea Dog Crew
– 3 Sea Dog Rifleman
First Mate Hawk
Commodore Cannon and Crew
Lord Rockbottom

That would let me give the Sea Dog’s tough and rolling 3 dice against warrior models, and Shae would give them ALL boosted charges. Furthermore, I could cast Storm Rager on Hawk, making her MAT 9 ARM 15 PS 11 Weapon Master, which is pretty nice. The 3 Rifleman gives me a CRA Option and the Commodore Cannon is well, the cannon. This is all based on how my list fared and how I like Shae vs Bart so far. I need to play Shae a few more times at the MM level I think.

The Talion Charter: Warcaster Theory

So, after Gdaybloke posted his “Thoughts on Theorymachine” I figured I might as well post what he suggested to me. Now, after some thoughts I decided to go with Pirates, the Talion Charter, for my Merc Mk2 Warmachine faction. At least to start of course. I eventually want to get a Magnus force, a Searforge Force, and even a 4 Star and Highborn force. Thankfully I can buy models that work with multiple contracts. But enough of that. This post is all about the 3 Talion Charter Casters: Capt Bartolo, Capt Shae, and Fiona the Black.

Captain Bartolo Montador:

This is my caster of choice. When I think Warmachine I think Warjacks. Unlike alot of players who still prefer to only take 1 or 2 jacks and then stuff their lists with Infantry (at least in my Meta), I like Jacks. Much as the same that I like beasts (but find them harder to stuff into lists). Bart here is the pirates “Jack Caster”, with spells that boost his jacks in a couple of ways. Now wait, you say! What do you mean? Well I am talking about his spells Broadside and Batten Down the Hatches. Now most people seem to focus only on Broadside, because its part of his nickname, Broadside Bart. Broadside lets each of your Jacks with a ranged attack fire, ignoring their ROF. This lets you get an extra shot with your jacks, and alot of people focus on this spell. However, ignoring his OTHER Jack Buff is just silly. Batten Down the Hatches gives each member of his battlegroup (so him and his jacks) +3 ARM at the cost of -2 DEF. Given that most pirate heavies are DEF 12 / ARM 17, this is a huge boost, putting them up to Khador ARM levels. I mean, a change from DEF 12 to 10 is nothing major, most things now a days can hit a 12 (I play Trolls, trust me I know this) but ARM 20 is darn hard to crack. Especially given how many boxes a heavy jack has.

Next up is Bart himself. He is a melee caster. He has a ranged weapon, which is a spray at POW 12, but you really want to get into melee with the man. He has a good MAT and solid defensive scores (DEF 15 / ARM 16) which under Batten Down the Hatches becomes DEF 13 / ARM 19 so if you know he is gonna get hit by something you might as well use this. His sword is a solid PS 14, and with his Blood Quenched special he can get really strong really fast if he can kill a few targets, and with Overtake you know he can bounce around killing people. Finally he is Tough, which I like (Troll player!) and has roughly 17 damage boxes, with 5 Warjack Points.

Finally, the feat. Bart’s feat is just straight up good. Any enemy that ENDS their advance inside his CTRL area is knocked down, and all attacks made by enemies in his CTRL area suffer -3 to their rolls. I did some asking on the forums, and apparently the knock down happens BEFORE a charge attack, so if you use his feat you can prevent a charge, as they would get the movement and then at the end of the advance get knocked on their rears. With a 12in CTRL area that gonna effect alot of stuff, and since its an Aura and not a Pulse it will follow him. Good for defense, or offense (You can use it and cover part of the enemy, forcing them to move out or stand still.

So what do you want to take with Bart? Well a Mariner is an obvious choice if you are staying in the pirate theme. You can get a few shots off (2 a turn) at RNG 15 POW 14 AOE 3, which is nothing to sneeze at, and then when its time get that bad boy into melee and watch as his tear things apart with his POW 17 Thresher Anchor. You could also take a Freebooter or two, giving you a couple of jacks that in Melee are DEF 10 ARM 20, with 2 attacks each at POW 14. A Buccaneer if you have the points is not bad either, as you can get 2 shots off with his Net Gun, possibly knocking down 2 models. Beyond that, any infantry support is fine, and the usual pirate ones should be taken (Sea Dogs, Hawk, ect)

All in all Bart is my favorite caster right now by looks, and hopefully once I get him into practice I will be happy with him as well.

Captain Phinneaus Shae:

Ah Shae. There is one main reason to take Shae: The Commodore Cannon. Actually there are plenty of reasons to use Shae but that is one of the big ones hehe. Shae appears to me at first blush to be a combined arms caster. He brings a bit of buffs to both Jacks and Infantry. The Talion Charters middle of the road caster. Now the big thing here is that Shae can ONLY be used with the Talion charter. Whereas Fiona and Bart can be used for a few contracts. Shae is a pirate plain and simple. Lets start with Shae’s feat this time. Its called Godspeed, and its very straightforward. It lets every model in his CTRL area move 3 inches ignoring free strikes. Once again, this is offensive OR Defensive. What do I mean? Well lets say last turn you charged with your Sea Dogs and did some damage, and they survived the retaliation. Well, you feat, move them back 3 inches, and then when you activate them you charge AGAIN and BAM, 3 inches moved, charge bonus granted. See? Or you can just use it to jump 3 more inches across the battlefield, or use it to bounce around a target to get at something squishier behind it. With something like Hawk for example, she can charge 10 inches, and if you give her 3 more inches to work with in a turn that’s a crazy threat range.

Couple more fun things about Shae. He is a melee caster again, and he does it well. Firstly, if Shae is knocked down you do NOT get bonuses against him. You still have the beat his DEF thanks to Groundwork. Also, he has Swashbuckler, which lets him attack each enemy in his melee range in a 360 degree arc. This means if he gets surrounded you can beat the tar out of each target. His sword has Beatback, meaning if he hits someone he can move them an inch and move an inch as well, allowing him to bounce around like a crazy person. He has 6 Warjack points, and DEF 17 with ARM 14. He is a bit harder to hit (really hard if you think about it) but if you do hit him its gonna hurt. This can be mitigated by using his own spell Storm Rager on him, which would give him +2 ARM (Along with +2 MAT and STR).

Now Shae has a few different spells, and they are all solid. Coup de Main lets everyone in his CTRL area gain +2in Movement and can charge for free. For 3 FOC this is expensive but its something you can use to close the distance faster and save FOC for boosting attack and damage rolls as needed. Blow the Man Down is a POW 15 attack spell with a cost of 3 FOC, and if the model is HIT, not damage, its knocked down. You can use that to setup some decent assassinations but its cost is a bit high. Storm Rager is an Upkeep and one from the look of it that you should be casting turn 1 and keeping up on a target, as it grants +2 STR / MAT / ARM and makes the target immune to CRA / CMA. That’s an crazy boost and you could even cast it on Shae himself to make him even more of a monster. I would probably use it on someone like Hawk or Braddigan though to make them more dangerous. Phantasm is another Upkeep that makes RNG attacks targeting the unit/model to suffer -5 RNG which helps keep them alive. Finally Veil of Mists is another fun spell, but once again with a cost of 3 FOC. It lets you put a 4 inch AOE anywhere completely within Shae’s CTRL area (which is 12). This AOE is a cloud effect that does not block LOS for friendly models, and if they move into it they gain Pathfinder and can move thru obstructions and other models if they have enough movement to pass them. You can use this to setup tricky charges and whatnot and get through rough terrain quickly as well. My big issue here is with all these awesome spells and only 6 FOC (and 2 upkeeps that you WILL want up) how are you going to manage his focus? I mean you cast both upkeeps turn 1 for a total of 4 FOC, and then each turn after that you will only have 4 FOC to work with. That’s one of his other spells, or you can allocate some to his Jacks.

Now, if I was taking Shae I would probably take 2 jacks (because of the FOC issue), and then infantry. I would also take the Commodore Cannon. That single cannon is amazing and should not be skipped when taking Shae. Plain and simple.

Fiona the Black:

Finally we have Fiona the Black, the only female Pirate Caster, and what I consider to be the closest to an infantry caster that the pirates have. She is also the primary Spellcaster, as you do not want to get this girl into melee. She is DEF 16 ARM 15, FOC 7 and 15 boxes. She also has 6 War Jack points. We are going to start with her feat, which is a pretty solid feat. All enemies in her CTRL area roll 1 less attack and damage die for 1 whole round. This, coupled with her 14in CTRL area makes you have 1 turn of hard to kill models. At first glance Fiona looks like a support caster, best used in 2 caster games, and in some cases I think that’s true. But I also think that she can stand on her own as well, it just takes proper management of her spell list, which is where her power lies. Before I get into that let me talk about her 2 special abilities. One is Cultists, where you designate a single unit of Sea Dogs (and apparently anything marked as a Sea Dog unit applies) and if she starts her turn within 1 inch of someone in that unit she gets an extra FOC, giving her 8 that turn. That’s huge. My suggestion? Sea Dog Deck Gun. It doesn’t have to move, and its ranged, letting her stand back near her cultists. Second is Whiplash. Miss her with a spell attack and the attacker gets automatically hit, and if its an AOE its centered on the attacker. With a DEF 16 she can cause some issues.

Ok, so her spell list, what makes her unique and dangerous. We are gonna start at the top with her spell Affliction. This spell makes every unit who attacks the target model or unit Anatomical Precision against it. Put this on a high armor target and you are gonna be assured to do at least 1 point of damage per attack against it. Its an upkeep as well. The RNG is short (RNG 8) but her other spells make up for it. Next up is Influence, which lets her take control of a enemy model and have it make a normal attack against someone in range. You can use this to have her smack infantry with each other. Now what makes Influence useful is the cost – 1 FOC. You can basically spam this spell and have a unit of infantry, if you are lucky, chew itself up. After Influence you have Nonokrion Brand, which allows the unit or model its cast on ignore intervening models when making ranged attacks. It also makes its weapon a magic attack. How is this useful? Put it on a Mariner, which is RNG 15. You can now fire straight down the line and if the enemy caster is within 15in its no longer safe. And you KNOW that 14in is your CTRL area. See how that works? All of a sudden you can have a wall of protection with Fiona and a ranged unit or model and still get shots off.

Up next you have her spell Roth’s Mercy. Now this is one of the spells in the game that kinda confuses me. I mean, I get it, I think. With the rules for field promoting the only use I can see of this spell is protecting UA / WA of a unit, as they become part of the unit. What Roth’s Mercy does is let YOU decide which model is destroyed in a unit when a model is destroyed. I can also see a use of this on multiwound infantry. For example: You have a full health model and one with 1 box left. The Full one gets hit and would be destroyed, you then just sacrifice the one that only has one box left, thus making all the extra damage dealt useless. After Roth’s Mercy comes her primary attack spell, Soulfire. Its cost is 2 FOC, but if you kill something with it you get a FOC back. Its only POW 12 though, so yet again its an infantry clearer. You can use this and Influence to clear out infantry pretty handily. Finally you have her spell Telgesh mark, and this is what makes all her spells come together. Telgesh Mark makes the target act as an Arc Node. Now its not a full arc node but the wording of the spell makes the target follow the RULES of an Arc Node. So now you can use her 14in CTRL area and really get those spells out there.

Overall, Fiona really favors a mix of stuff, but most of her spells work kind of strange. I am still not sure exactly how she works, but reading about her makes me think she needs protection and a ranged option or two for the Nonokrion Brand spell.

So there you have it. The three Privateer Casters. I hope this post has shed some light on my thoughts and feelings of each of them. You can blame Gday for this post as well! I am also taking suggestions all the time for what I should post or what you would like to see, so if you got something please let me know.

A Vassling We Go (Games 3 and 4)

So I am up to 4 games now in Vassal and have a solid grasp on how to work the system. I really enjoy it and am having fun playing my beloved Warmahordes on it, even if I suck. I am sure a few of you blogaholics have seen the post on Lost Hemisphere where Gday talks about our 35 point game. I am gonna tell you flat out: I made mistakes. Lots of them, sometimes twice, and most of the time a mistake every turn with something. I could blame the loss on die rolls (they were HORRIBLE I am not kidding) or my brain friedness from work, but in the end I simply made a large number of tactical mistakes. I have yet to update my Win Loss record but now there will be another loss to Retribution and now another to Menoth which I will talk about next.

So, it was Rahn vs eDoomie, and you can find the lists over at Lost Hemisphere but I will post mine for the sake of it.

eDoomshaper
– Mulg the Ancient
– Slag Troll
– Axer
Champions, Full Unit (5)
Fell Caller
Chronicler
Thumper Cannon

I figured I would outnumbered, and I was. He used alot of solos, and ran what is called at my FLGS as a Poncho list, so named after our beloved player Poncho, who hates infantry and loves his solos. He also used his “fury bomb” aka Nayl, which I remember picking up and tossing 10 inches away (with deviation of course) from Mulg which made it useless save for the fact that I had to spend a fury to throw it. Oh, and I rolled a 1 on my throw check, bring my total to 14. Nayl couldn’t beat me but this was a sign of things to come.

Things I learned:
1. DO NOT WALK BEASTS NEAR ARTILLERY. 4 Stormfall Archers, 2 Snipers, and Rahn on a side of the board is not where I would want to be. Then again I walked both my Axer and Slag over there who both died after being turned around and shot in the back a whole lot.
2. Mulg + Forest with no Rush = BAD. I realize now what I should have done is feated, rushed Mulg, and had him trample through the forest over pEiryss, crushing her and making his way to the other side of the forest to threaten the Phoenix and Rahn. He had the distance to do it. But no, I didn’t do that. BAH!
3. I forgot I could charge over rough terrain, leaving my champs bogged down behind a wall and NOT Charging the stupid snake.
4. Dice hate me. I kid you not. I rolled 4 attacks, all boosted, from eDoomie and could NOT HIT NARN ONCE! Assuming an average roll of 9 on 3 dice, I should have hit def 14 which is Narn’s def. I rolled 4 attacks all of them under 6 total on 3 dice. Think about that for a minute.

So yea, I got crushed, severely. I think I killed 2 magisters, Nayl, and pEiryss and that was it. Yea. On the plus side the Thumper kept the Phoenix away for a few turns which was fun, and I did slam it into Rahn once.

Now for the second game, against John G, the man who got me into my Trolls. He played Menoth, and I played a pMagnus 4 star merc list. It was a 15 point game and we were doing it so he could learn Vassal.

He ran:

Reznik
– Avatar of Menoth
– Reckoner (the mace guy with the gun)
Min Choir

I ran:

pMagnus
– Renegade
– Nomad
Gorman di Wulfe
Boomhowler Min Unit

The problem this time? My sucky rolls. I tossed a rush bomb for example and hit my own Nomad after missing the Avatar, and I could not crack the Avatar’s heavy armor. It didn’t help that I tossed the grenade AFTER I got into melee with the Avatar. DOH! Well it was my first time playing Mercs in general and its my first time in about 4-5 months of playing a Warmachine faction.

Overall I am having a blast playing Vassal games. I cannot wait to face more of you and welcome each of you to face me when you have a chance. Alex and me are gonna try to set something up after the holidays cause my weekends tend to be crazy right now, but my evenings are still free. I want to face Mael next, with my new 35 point Broadside Bart list. After testing pMagnus I want to give one of the pirates a shot. The sheer thought of what I can do with the list I came up with makes me giggle. I don’t care if this list wins. Its gonna be hilarious seeing what I can cause with it.

5 3in AOEs, shot 14inchs away, all POW 14 or better. EACH TURN. Hilarious. For those who are curious here is the list:

Captain Bartolo Montador
– Mariner
– Mariner
3 Sea Dog Deck Guns
Steelhead Halberdiers Full Unit
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Dirty Meg
Aiyanna and Holt
Lord Rockbottom OR Kell Bailoch

The basic idea of this list is as follows: 1 Mariner stays in B2B with Bart, the other with Meg. Meg is basically here to repair my jacks as needed and to also use her Stall attack on enemy jacks. I could replace her with Thor if needed if I face Hordes for the flamethrower, but I think Meg will be fine. Between the Mariners and the Deck Guns I can fire 5 RNG 14 AOE3 shots a turn. If I cast Broadside that goes up to 7. That’s alot of blasts. If I use the mini feat on the Master Gunner I can suddenly fire 16 inches away for a turn, once again up to 7 shots. Lets not forget that each turn one of my guns will get a +2 RAT boost from the Master Gunner as well.

The Steelhead are there as a wall to protect the ranged elements, and Carvolo will keep them Tough. Rockbottom if used will be there with them to flame things and to keep them from breaking if it happens with his Bought Loyalty. If Kell is used he will pick off solo’s or support units from cover, as he can pull 2 shots a turn if he doesn’t move and has Stealth if he is in Cover or Concelment, which is awesome.

Aiyanna and Holt are there to help crack harder targets with their +2 damage spell, and with their stealth trick they can move around fairly freely as long as my opponent cannot ignore stealth. Also the +2 Damage Spell coupled with Holt and his Gunfighter/Virtuoso skills can make for 4 attacks at +2 damage, and he is no slouch at that sort of thing.

Once in Melee, the jacks will start being effected by Batten Down the Hatches. Their base DEF is 12, so a -2 reduction will barely be felt. However, boosting their ARM to a 20 is a solid boost, and Bart will become DEF 13 ARM 19 under Batten Down the Hatches. The Feat will be used to really mess with my opponent because knocked down targets don’t block LOS and I can auto hit them with my Steelhead, Holt, Meg, and so on.

I think this list is a solid list and can cause some issues with anyone. I mean, the Mariners are POW 15 shots, and if I boost their damage roll that can get pretty painful. Sadly I think I will be able to boost one of them a round, possibly 2 because of the cost of Broadside (3 FOC), and the fact that I will likely upkeep Hot Shot (free boosted ranged damage rolls) on one of em.

The next couple of people I play I think will be facing this list. So, who is next? Barret? Mael?

Vassal Challenge – Match 1 Set!

So another Vassal Challenge Update. My first match will be against Gdaybloke of Lost Hemisphere and his Retribution, currently set for the 17th of December. Its gonna be a 35 point game. Now, since Vassal does not have Retribution in the system yet he is going to be proxying his dudes with rough approximations obviously. I of course will be busting out my trolls. I was planning on a 35 point eDoomshaper list, as the new Hoarluk looks like a fun guy to break out.

Here is what I was planning. I have 2 lists and wanted your opinions my gentle readers.

List 1:

Hoarluk Doomshaper
Troll Axer
Dire Troll Mauler
Mulg the Ancient
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew)
Fellcaller
Stone Scibe Chronicler

Now this list is all about getting those beasts up in my enemies face. The Runeshapers are there to cause some AOE Damage and possible Knockdown (both with Tremor and with CritKnockdown on the AOE), and the Chronicler / Fell Caller are there as support for my Kriel Warriors.

List 2:

Hoarluk Doomshaper
Troll Axer
Dire Troll Mauler
Mulg the Ancient
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower
Thumpercrew (Leader and 2 Crew)
Fellcaller
Stone Scibe Chronicler

This list uses the Thumpercrew as a ranged autoslam threat. Since I know I will be facing Rahn I won’t be slamming things INTO him but I will be able to slam other things around, like his Arc Nodes, Narn, what have you. The Caber Thrower was there cause I had an extra point, and hitting everything in a 3in Line is just something nice. Once again I have the Fell Caller and Chronicler as support.

In both cases I fully intend to cast Wild Aggression on Mulg turn 1, and probably Refuge on the Axer and upkeep them for the rest of the game. From that point I will have 5 fury to work with, and I can use that to cast Rage, Rush, or Primal Shock. And yes, Primal Shock will probably be used to get an AYGET off at some point to get Mulg moving faster. I have no Whelps but with the new Frenzy rules I don’t feel that I need em.

I am leaning towards list 1, but at the same time I want to see a Thumpercrew in action. Both the Runeshapers and Thumper are things I have been considering purchasing based on the Field Test, but I want to wait till its set in stone how they will interact.

These 2 lists are probably what I am gonna run in any 35 point Vassal Challenge Game right now, unless I decide to try out a ranged heavy Calandra list or something. There is something about putting Pygs, Dygmies, and some Thumpers in with Calandra and her feat. I dunno. It just sounds…evil. Oh and lets not forget our 2 Impalers! :D

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Mk2 Trollbloods: Impressions

So yesterday I got a chance to go down to my FLGS and play a few games, 3 to be exact. I ran 2 lists, pretty much the same except for the Warlocks (and one had gobbers) and I have thought about how I feel about this since last night. I figured I would first do a quick overview of the 3 lists I faced (roughly) and how I fared. For those who want the short of it: I lost all 3 games.

First match was against Legion: Vayl, 2 Carniverans, Shredder, 2 units of Striders (The archers) and 2 of the solos that can do Snapshot. Second match was against Menoth: Reznik, Avatar, Reckoner (the mace/gun dude), Revenger, 5 Bastions, Covenant, Choir, Vassal. Third was against Khador: eButcher, Beast, Marauder, Mechanics, Great Bears, Fenris, Alten, 2 Manhunters, Yuri. In all 3 I lost, and in most cases pretty badly, but I did have fun. All games were 35 points.

So lets go over each unit I used and how I felt about the changes. First up the 2 Warlocks.

pMadrak: Ok so the new pMadrak has his spell Surefoot, Carnage, and Stone Fall. He is still 5 Fury. His RAT went up but he lost Richocet. His axe critical is nice as it prevents transfers and healing for a turn. Overall he seems pretty solid save for 1 thing. He is not a beast friendly caster. Why do I say this? Well he is Fury 5 and wants to keep that. Sure Foot is now an upkeep so you can cast it turn 1 and then just upkeep it, but that leaves him with 4 Fury. His spell Carnage, which you WILL want to use, is 3 Fury. Furthermore, with the Trolls lower THR scores, running your beasts even the slightest bit hot can screw you up. He wants Infantry, lots of it. Kriel Warriors and Champs are his friend. Also the KSB is a useful piece for the his army but he will have issues filling it. Overall a decent caster. But I do not have the Troops to really support him. His feat is unchanged as well.

Calandra: She kept Befuddle and Star Crossed, gained Bullet Dodger which is a nice upkeep, and also switched out her damage spell. Her stat line is still the same, and her feat is completely different. Her feat basically makes it impossible to roll a 1 or 2 on attack rolls. Its much more offensive oriented. Her Befuddle gained 2 inches of range but is no longer an upkeep. Still awesome, and Star Crossed is unchanged. But here is my issue with Calandra. With the low DEF of most of our models (12 is the average) and the MAT buffs alot of other factions have access to, Star Crossed doesn’t help as much as it used to. Back in Mk1 when I could get my Champs up to DEF 14 ARM 19 (B2B and the KSB) Star Crossed gave people fits. Instead now I can get em to DEF 12 ARM 20, and that is much easier to hit even on 3 dice. To be exact, Star Crossed never once stopped someone from hitting me. Ever. During either game I used it in. However the extra range on Befuddle actually DID allow me to use it to move a Carnie out of the way so I can throw a spear at Vayl. Didn’t do much but at least I hit her! Overall, Calandra is a mixed forces caster at best. You want a few beasts as she still has Soothing Song to help lower their fury, and you want Troops (Ranged are KILLER) for her Feat Turn. 2 Units of Champs getting a charge off on her feat can cause much havok. Bushwackers and a Blitzer are also crazy dangerous on her feat. Solid caster I feel, but I gotta learn how to use her better.

Next up we got the Beasts I used.

Axer: Oh Axer how do I love thee, let me count the ways. +1 MAT, Thresher stayed, and he gained Reach. His Animus is now +2 Move and Pathfinder. He is DEF 12 ARM 18 base. Its like having a Mini Heavy and at 6 points there is no reason NOT to use this guy.

Impaler: He lost a point of DEF. In all other aspects he is the same, save that his animus can only effect Trollblood models now. 5 Points for him means that in a ranged list you should take one.

Mauler: The biggest changes for this guy are the +1 MAT and the change to his Chain Attack. His new Chain Attack allows you to hit various power attacks, my favorite being the 2 Handed Throw. Of course you could also Headbutt to knock your target down and then buy more attacks. I got the chain attack off twice, but in both cases it was against Jacks, and they just stood back up. Didn’t help a huge amount but since Throws use MAT now, you could theoretically hit a target more reliably and cause some damage. 9 Points seems a bit much though to me.

Finally the Troops and Solos:

Kriel Stone Bearers: They are for the most part unchanged. They still do the +2 ARM, its still 4in + 1 for each fury point on em, and they still have it as a Special Action. Unchanged. But their UA is a bit better.

Stone Scribe Elder: Now here is where the changes came in. He no longer replaces the aura but rather adds to it. He can grant everyone immunity to Continuous effects and expire the ones existing, he can let you target Stealth and Incoporeal models in the Aura (this is just silly if you ask me) or he can give +1 STR. Any of those and the +2 ARM. For 1 point you should always nab him if you are nabbing the KSB.

Champions: They can now be bought in either 3 or 5. They are all 8 wounds, and now instead of +2 DEF in B2B its +2 ARM. This actually kinda bothers me now that I have seen it in action. Most things I have faced can cause some serious damage even WITH 20 ARM, and furthermore, they are still very easy to hit. Also, they are now Weapon Masters and no longer have concert. On average you could expect to do more damage on a charge, but thats if you are lucky. I have crap luck (example: 4 Champs get a charge on a Carnie during my Feat (Calandra) and do a grand total of 7 damage between all 4) so yea. They lost some POW on their weapons, so are PS11 now. I want to see em more in action.

Fell Caller: Being able to Fell Call and attack is amazing. Also he is RAT 6 now meaning his 8in Spray can hit more reliably. I would have to say killing a Great Bear with it (Pow 12) was awesome. He is unchanged otherwise, save he lost some range on 2 of his calls, and his stand up call is his CMD area and effects beasts. His other 2 do not. Oh, and he no longer grants +2 RAT. He only grants MAT.

Chronicler: This guy has changed for the better. He can now read his stories in any order, and they are CMD Ranged. He is also effected by his story as well. One grants concelment (14 DEF vs Ranged/Magic Champs? Cool!), one makes an enemy get knocked down if they kill a model in the unit, and the last gives +2 damage to the unit if there is a beast engaging their target. Champs with that story charging a model engaged at reach with an Axer = Pain.

All in all we changed for the better overall I think. But it was not a huge boost to be honest. Mulg still is kinda iffy, and the EBDT costs as much as Mulg does! 11 points each…eww. We have no fury management, but we can use Whelps to stop a frenzy. That doesn’t really help to be honest.

I do want a Thumper Cannon if it doesn’t change though. Base RNG 14 POW 14 RAT 7 (if the crew is in B2B), Impaler Animus means its RNG 18 and its currently Auto Slam, with a POW 14 collateral damage roll.

Oh and for the record: The List I Ran:

Calandra
Impaler
Axer
Mauler
Champions (5)
KSB (Full Unit)
SSE
Fell Caller
Chronicler

Or the same list as above, just switch Calandra for pMadrak, and add Gobbers (who are not so great anymore, as they dont grant -2 to attack rolls, just concelment)