Monday, August 1, 2011

Ropecon 2011

The biggest roleplaying, larping and miniatures convention is now over. For me it meant two days of Warmachine/Hordes and avoiding larpers/cosplayers as much as possible. On Friday evening we had a 25-point Highlander v2 feat. No Characters -tournament. My list was pVlad, Devastator, Spriggan, Widowmakers, Marksman, Wardoggy and Greylord Ternion. My plan was to shoot infantry with Widowmakers, and be indestructable with Vlad and Devastator while Spriggan was lurking for assassination vectors.

In the first game I was paired against Jani's Trollbloods army (Grissel, Swamp Troll, Mauler, Kriel Warriors, Krielstone gang, Chronicler). I was really scared at first: Jani went first and the scenario was Incursion. So, after his first turn about whole his army was beyond the flags and up in my face. I moved up and started shooting with Widowmakers, inflicting damage nicely. On his second turn he charged Spriggan and inflicted major pain on him but didn't kill it. On my second turn I used my feat, ran Devastator to one objective and charged Spriggan to Mauler and to hold the second objective. Spriggan didn't kill Mauler, but Widowmakers kept shooting the endless waves of Trolls. On his next turn he scrapped my Spriggan and I had no choice but to send Vlad to hold the center objective. Though, I was not really worried about that, he seems to be quite tough nut to kill with Blood of Kings. His Grissel was close to that objective too and we ended up bashing each other's casters for a couple of rounds. In the end he was not able to kill Vlad and Vlad finished off Grissel.

My second game was against Olli's Cryx (pAsphyxious, McThralls, Surgeon, two nodes and Harrower). Scenario was Destruction this time. Olli started and ran everything towards me. I shot with widowmakers and moved up a bit. On my second turn I managed to charge Harrower with Spriggan, but on his third turn he charged Spriggan with pAspy, used feat and turned it into a pile of scrap. Widowmakers and Greylords killed all McThralls but Aspy was able to kill all my other models too besides pVlad. So in the end we had only Vlad and Asphyxious standing, watching each other. He could always move up a bit, throw some spells at me and Teleport to safety, so I saw no other choice than to try casting some missiles at him (while casting BoK to keep me alive). Missile missed, Asphyxious charged me, hit me and killed Vlad in that one activation. This game got me really frustrated as I had thought I could beat any caster in end game but it wasn't like that. But no worries, this was the more casual tournament and had only one game left.

In the last game of the night I was paired against Tero's Circle army (eKrueger, Stalker, Woldwyrd, Woldshooters, min Wolf Riders, Shifting Stones). This time scenario was the radial "control the center and contest a flag with warcaster". Armies met at the center, he charged and destroyed my Spriggan with Stalker. I was able to kill Woldwyrd with pVlad's charge (previously shot it with some Widowmakers) and sent Devastator to use Rain of Death against Krueger. I rolled 13 and already rolled a branch where he'd transfer the damage. He just raised his hand to shake mine as the Stalker was full of Fury. This completely caught me off guard, but I guess that's just fine in WM/H. I can't really remember another time where I have killed an opposing caster completely accidentally.

Later that night we grabbed some beers, went to sauna and played some drunken hardcore WM/H. Next time I'll write about Saturday's main tournament (and one of the most horrible hangovers I've had in ages).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A couple of games with Cygnar: Impressions

We had quite a long gaming session last night and I was trying out some Cygnar stuff: most importantly Triumph ( !!! ) and the Storm Strider. I played all my games with eHaley and thus these thoughts are mainly focused around her.

Storm Strider seemed to be rather good. Chilling near back end of the table and shooting lazerz (pewpew). It provided easy solutions to units that are sometimes hard to kill (high DEF and/or stealth), though Cygnar doesn't seem to have real problems with them. Add Arcane Shield and Deceleration and he is not that easy to kill either and he collects power tokens to shoot stuff even more dead. With Power Tokens and Temporal Acceleration it can really give some hurt even to warjacks.

Then, the Triumph! God I like him a lot. Being able to ignore stealth while aiming is a huge thing in my book. Say bye bye to Tartarus. I played him against Witch Coven and slowly walked up the field and started to threaten the Egregore (which normal Defender could never do). With a shield and Arcane Shield he was able to hold an objective for quite some time. Yeah, he might be a point overcosted, but I'm still very happy to have some anti-stealth stuff in my army.

Monday, July 18, 2011

First game against Wraith Engine

Yesterday I got the first game against the new Cryx Battle Engine. I was playing eHaley and my opponent eAsphyxious (casual sunday evening gaming and stuff...). He had quite basic eAspy stuff (Bane Thralls and Knights, Biles) besides that huge terrifying monster. We deployed and I started the game. I ran everything up and he ran everything and set up some smokes so that I could only see his Battle Engine. The Battle Engine also started to be too close to my army (it having a 13" threat range etc) so I knew I had to get rid of it. I shot B13's brutal shots and a couple Arcane Bolts from eHaley and the Wraith Engine was only a smoking wreck (that is still not a wreck in the game...). A huge "PHEW" came out of my mouth, now I only had to worry about Banes, Excarnated Biles and eAspy's feat...

So, so far the Battle Engine didn't ruin my game, quite the contrary. It actually got me thinking is it too soft, now I was able to take it out quite easily. Add Aiyana&Holt to your list and you never have to worry about the Wraith Engine again...

Maybe in my next game I'll see the Engine in the middle of the action?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

RopeCon and Mael-ETC 2012

I have a couple of events upcoming: one in near future, one further away. RopeCon (basically translated to Roleplaying Convention) is the biggest roleplaying, larping, card game, and most importantly, miniatures convention in Finland. For me it means a lot of Warmachine/Hordes (and trying to avoid larpers as well as possible, they scare me!). There are two tournaments in RopeCon: on Friday evening a Highlander 2.0 (instead of just one of each you get to choose 1-2 of each) and on Saturday is the main event, a 50p SR2011 tournament. So far my lists are pretty much all open. I have a couple of quite good of them, now I just should choose it and paint it. At the moment I'm thinking Trollbloods for the main event (them being my main army and stuff) and Khador for the Highlander 2.0 (there are a couple nice lists in Khador for a smaller point event). But only time will tell what happens, I've had some other thoughts too...

On the other hand, me and some friends decided to attend Maelstrom's ETC next year, wohoo! Tickets must be bought August 3rd (hopefully we won't miss that). The list metaing has already began and we were thinking to start insane practising for the event (so we wouldn't be total losers there). I counted 112 Warcasters in WM/H. If I play twice against every one of them (or once against it and once with it against my list), it means a game more frequently than every other day. Not an impossible schedule, but maybe I'd better start playing asap...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First games with Damiano

I managed to find a counts-as-miniature for Damiano (God I hate that model...) last week and even got a couple of test games with it already. My first list was Highborn Covenant:

Captain Damiano (*6pts)
* Mangler (8pts)
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen (Alexia and 9 Risen Grunts) (5pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
* * Mariner (8pts)
Steelhead Halberdiers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Steelhead Riflemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile (2pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2pts)
Sylys Wyshnalyrr (2pts) 

First game was against Scaverous' quite basic Cryx army (Deathjack, Banes, min unit of Biles, a couple of nodes, solos and stuff). My opponent managed to kill my Gun Mages on his second turn (Excarnated Bile Thralls have too big threat range) and then I had huge troubles killing his Banes (especially Tartarus) and at the same time they just multiplied (grrrr, Tartarus...). His DJ was hiding behind a forest at the beginning of the match, and finally I managed to throw my Mangler at him (with Warpath, on my feat turn). Mangler only managed to scratch the DJ and on the next turn my poor Mangler was turned into a Seether. I thought ARM22 was something, but against Cryx it wasn't... At this point I had only remnants left of my units and nothing was able to destroy to heavy warjack so we shook hands. What I learned from this game?

I hate Cryx.

Also, play better. The game definitely was not lost at the beginning, I should have kept Gun Mages more safe to kill Banes. Also, my list seems to be missing the thing to kill Tartarus, that might be worth some thinking...

For next game I swapped Halberdiers and Alexia to Boomhowler's gang and Ragman. I just got the Boomhowler's miniatures and was really eager to test them out. On paper they should work very well with Sure Foot. This time I was playing against Kromac's Circle army: Stalker, Pureblood, Gnarlhorn, Gorax, Wolves of Orboros and the like.

The game was fast and bloody. I casted Sure Foot on Mangler, surrounded him with Boomhowler and armies started to meet on the midfield. On my second turn I gave Boomhowler Deadeye and went after Wolves. My dice failed horribly, and didn't really hurt anyone. Next turn the Wolves charged Boomhowler&Co but B&Co lasted well, just as planned. At the same time he sent Stalker for an assassination run. It ended up quite luckily as Stalker stopped about 2,5" from Damiano after Warpath movement. Then I proceeded to kill about his entire his army which he had to leave quite vulnerable for him assassination to have a chance. I still almost managed to fail and left Damiano within 13" of Kromac. Luckily (again, for me) I had one last Boomhowler's buddy standing in front of Damiano and my opponent had nothing to kill it. First victory with Damiano, wohoo!

So, post-game thoughts then. Boomhowler&Co worked just like I had hoped, DEF15 and 4+ KD-immune tough seemed to cause some problems on my opponent. Deadeye is such an awesome spell on pretty much any unit, but especially on Gun Mages. SH Riflemen didn't convince me yet really well, but it might be just the opposing armies' fault, I didn't get a real chance in either game to use them properly.

That's all this time. Thanks for reading this far!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lock&Load spoilers

We had a local tournament a week ago, at the same time as L&L was held. After that I left for a summer vacation for the week: When returning from the holiday I found out that there were a couple of quite tasty spoilers in L&L.

Level 7 !!! Zomg zomg zooomg, what the heck is it? That's pretty much my feelings about L7 now. All we know about it is that it's a sci-fi setting, "something completely different than PP has done before" and will have multiple games in the setting. Matt Wilson explains in his forum post what Level 7 is not. Everyone is guessing that it's not a straight-up miniature game (competing too much with WM/H). I'm also not convinced that it's purely a card game. Perhaps there is a card game set in Level 7 but I hope that's not all. What I'm now guessing is that it's a Descent-style board game. Though Matt Wilson said that the miniatures won't be made in Bellevue, so I don't really know. This all is naturally purely guessing and anything can happen in the future of Level 7. The only thing sure is that next summer can't come fast enough.

Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game returns in GenCon 2012. This is where it all began (for Privateer Press and for me personally too) and it's good to have it back. IKRPG has been dead in my play group for years now and it's really nice to have a date set to wait for. I'm curious about playing Warcasters/locks but they have their problems in RPGs. Of course if they are just a possibility to play there's no problem, but if the party is always focused around Warcaster/lock, I'll be hugely dissapointed.

Epic Alexia was on sale in L&L. The figure seemed quite nice, though I was hoping a bit more. Probably that was just me wanting her to be something superspecial. Her stats on the other hand seemed really nice. She collects souls from her control area, and can use *action to create Thrall Warriors (up to the number of souls she has, which is max three). As we already knew, she is mounted on a dead horse and is thus quite fast, able to deliver the three Thralls wherever needed.

Scattergunner UA gives the unit Granted: Quick Work, Tactics: CMA and Tactics: "sprays automatically miss friendly models". This definitely changes the unit from "spray & pray & never hit anyone" to "let's try to hit them in melee and then we might get a shot to try to hit someone with spray". I'm not totally convinced about Scattergunners yet, but with the new UA I probably should give them a try. With Fellcaller they are MAT7, P+S9. CMAing two guys brings this to MAT9 P+S11 which is about the same as Fennblades with Fellcaller and Scattergunners get an odd spray there too. On the other hand, the Fennblades charge miles further than Scattergunners...

Scattergunners seem to have some nice synergies with Warlocks too. pDoomshaper gives them Fortune to help hitting (which is the main problem there, naturally), Calandra helps them in both hitting and damage power with her feat and Grim can give DEF minuses to enemies either as a spell or his feat. They might also turn nasty with pMadraks feat, if it really works that they can kill an enemy, spray, then move 1" and get the new melee attack. Though, they still have problems hitting even the broad side of barn...

Wrathful review: Cygnar part three

Now it has become the time for the last part of my Wrath:Cygnar review.

Archduke Alain Runewood, Lord of Fharin (Character Solo)

Cygnar got their first melee weaponmaster! Though, that's not probably the main thing about this guy, buffing your dudes is. He gives Sword Knights Reform (as Elite Cadre) which should help SKs a little, though I'm still not that convinced about SKs (mainly because Steelheads rock so hard). He also has three battle plans he can give to a unit: pathfinder, raising them from Knockdown or a small buff hitting on charge attacks.

So, he should work rather nicely with Rhupert buffing a unit. He frees Rhupert from giving Pathfinder when necessary and can raise your unit up after they have all toughed. Though, Runewood+Rhupert is five points supporting your units, which is quite much. He also has a Handcannon and the already-mentioned weaponmaster melee attack, both of which are quite nice (and he can use one of them and still give a Battle Plan to a unit).

IMO he is definitely playable, but three points is quite a lot for him. Though, two points would have been too little (kinda having 2,5 point dilemma)...

Captain Jonas Murdoch (Mercenary Unit Attachment)

Murdoch has been out for a while already. He can be added to any Mercenary Unit (naturally they have to work for Cygnar) and he becomes the unit leader. The unit becomes Cygnarian while Murdoch is alive and is thus able to profit from "friendly faction" buffs. The main things seem to be his own abilities, though. He has Assault order and Go to Ground minifeat. So the best units for him should be the units with both melee and ranged capability, eg. Nyss Hunters, Ogrun Assault Corps, Devil Dogs and the like. With GtG Nyss Hunters should become quite a pain to kill and assault gives them some random shots before charge attacks. Also, Murdoch is the unit leader and thus Cylena can hang out way back and there's not much of a risk to lose CRA she grants.

Storm Strider (Battle Engine)

It has two guns with respectable POW to hurt pretty much anything besides closed Devastator and might be able to boost the damage rolls (it gains power tokens when it is hit by the enemy, up to three). The guns also give D3 bounces that inflict POW10 damage rolls. It has Repulsor Field (pretty much the same as Revenger's shield) which makes it quite hard to kill in melee. Or at least you have to do some tricks not to bounce away. Or just charge it with Bane Thralls...

With DEF10 ARM18 it's not very hard to kill in a turn (to deny him getting power tokens), but give him Arcane Shield and your opponent starts having troubles.

Strider also gives +2 to electrical ranged attack rolls if the target is within 5" of SS. This should help Storm Blades and Storm Lances quite nicely.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the Storm Strider. It has its place in some lists but probably not in all of them. And I'm interested to play against it (or with it), but not that scared of it.

Next up: My thoughts about the spoilers from Lock&Load (hopefully tonight) and after that I'll continue my Wrath reviews.