Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The new site is now up and can be found at All future posts will be posted there but this site will remain open and the archives here will remain to avoid problems with links on other sites.

The week should see most of the content up and the new authors introducing themselves for real. Please be patient with us as we'll be tweaking the site and working on the design.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pollyfilla basing

I just stumbled upon this little gem: LilLegend Studios. It has a lot of interesting things about painting that's way out of my league but also some very useful low-tech ideas.

Black Ogrun Conversions: Part 1

Since I received the first three Black Ogrun models I've been thinking about what I could do with them. I really want to do away with the whole pirate feel so I dug through my bits looking for "something". I didn't really know what I was looking for but I found it.

Lich Lord Venethrax has some serious cryxian vibes going on and it would be pretty cool if I could steal his sword and a shoulder plate for the Black Ogrun. The sword and gauntlet would be unaltered but the shoulder pad would have the "beak" removed and end up like this.

If I add some grey stuff I think I can get them looking like Cryx versions of Warmongers. I've done some attempts at copying the gear with Easy Mold but it isn't working out well enough. That could be because of my very limited experience with the stuff, but if it doesn't improve I might have to find some other way of casting (If you have ideas, links, guides, whatever I'd love to have them)

They also need harpoons in order to be tournament legal, but the models become really crowded if I add the ones they come with on top of a sword and shoulder armor, not to mention the fact that the harpoons look clumsy and ugly. I did try some Circle Wolf Rider spears on them but they were tiny and I want these guys to look brutal and threatening (since their job is to attract attention and survive it).


Monday, April 23, 2012

pDeneghra Vs. pStryker

It was an interesting game because I got to meet my first Battle Engine but that's about it. I really like this new pDeneghra list but it makes for some seriously uninteresting games if the enemy isn't prepared for it, though the list I was facing had me seriously confused:
Commander Coleman Stryker
- Ol' Rowdy
- Stormclad
Storm Strider
Stormblade Infantry (Leader and 5 Grunts)
- Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard
Captain Arlan Strangewayes
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Journeyman Warcaster
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
His deployment was standard and that Storm Strider really dominated the line, but I brought the Black Ogrun and those POW 10 leaps didn't scare me nearly as much as they would have with my old infantry spam list.

First turn running as usual (the Bloat Thrall on the bottom right had the "honor" of being Parasited because the Bloats would do fuck all this game anyway). The Bloodgorgers are Black Ogrun but I did receive the first three real models today so next week should feature less proxies (but damn they're ugly models)

Then he ran everything up and popped his feat. Arcane Shield on Rowdy and Juniors Arcane Shield on the Stormclad made the two front-line jacks damn near immortal (armor 28 and 27 respectively). His infantry was mostly armor 20 and even with the debuff queen that nut was hard to crack! I decided I didn't need to crack it and scenario was the way to go (Overrun).

Peanut butter jelly time!
Deneghra feats and catches almost the entire list since it's so small. Gorman Black Oils the Stormclad and the Sirens lock down a heavy each. The Stormclad was actually down to defense three at the time but I couldn't manage more than five damage total on that armored monstrosity. A Pistol Wraith managed Death Chill on the Storm Strider so it couldn't aim, and without tokens and with The Withering up it had little chance of hitting a barn door. A Crippling Grasp on the Storm Blades and they were out with SPD 1 and no run/charge.

Then I just ran up the remaining Black Ogrun (a couple of them were fried by the Storm Strider since it was impossible to avoid as the thing threatens 23" with Snipe) and made a wall of flesh. I positioned the WSC to make a new Seether when his turn was over (no running away with Shadow Bind on the heavies) but he pondered the setup for about fifteen minutes and declared the game unwinnable.
Warwitch Deneghra
- Deathripper
- Deathripper
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (Leader and 4 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Bloat Thrall
Bloat Thrall
Gorman di Wulfe
Orin Midwinter
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Saxon Orrik
Skarlock Thrall
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren
This list impresses me every time and even with stupid moves (I wanted to nuke the elf hooker but when I tried bouncing lightning through my own Saxon Orrik I was outside 5" and stealth works on my own models as well) it was never really a problem. Now I just need to convert my Black Ogrun and find a workable paint scheme for the Pistol Wraiths and I'm golden.


Spotlight: Orin Midwinter

It took me a long time to figure this guy out and as usual the revelation came when I looked beyond his intended purpose: Specialized in hunting spell-casters, Midwinter uses his arcane energy to draw power from enemy wizards, suppress their magic, or simply strike them down with arcs of lightning.

Bug Zapper Extraordinaire

That sentence actually holds the key to Orin Midwinter because it talks about abilities that very rarely have any effect and casually mentions what makes him a wild card powerhouse so I've rewritten it: Specialized in hunting high defense solo characters, Midwinter occasionally uses his arcane energy to draw power from enemy wizards and Arc Lightnings something important.

As always the Battlecollege will take you through most of it. Orin Midwinter will die to a single Gun Mage almost every time, and unless he's using his stealth or hiding he'll die to anything that manages a slightly above average attack roll. This is what you have to work with but luckily Orin Midwinter has a few things going for him.
  • Stealth
It's his most widely used spell but it's important to know that it's not always worth casting. Stealth is great unless you happen to be up against one of the many things in the game that simply ignore or circumvents it, but hiding behind something or someone works equally well. If you can manage both it's great but do remember not to stand to close because blast damage will kill him.
  • Null Magic & Energy Vacuum
Null Magic is the ability that made him famous and a trap spell if there ever was one. This spell will stop all spellcasting within twelve inches of Orin Midwinter (yes even your own) but since he dies if a little girl slaps him it's just about guaranteed that he'll be first on the hit list that round. Null Magic doesn't stop channeling either so positioning is vital with this ability, and no matter how hard I tried to make this work he always died. (if you need a guide on using that ability this one should help)
Null Magic. Now this is where it all comes together. Skorne hates (...) those guys with spells such as Forcebolt which can pull you close to them, destroying your positioning, shieldwall, and general movement shenanigans. Parking Orin behind a large or medium base will make them immune to those RNG10 attacks, keeping your important models safe from those nefarious magic users. - Cardboard
Null Magic also stops Energy Vacuum and we really like those power tokens. Energy Vacuum gives Orin a token every time an enemy model casts a spell within twelve inches and that's a lot easier to achieve than blocking spells (people will occasionally cast within the area because it benefits them somehow or they need it to be in range).
  • Arc Lightning
... well now that's interesting. The guy has a magical ability score of seven which means he can be expected to hit what he likes if he has access to debuffs. The average number of leaps is two so he can be expected to put three POW 10 attacks out there if he manages that first hit. The really interesting thing is that you get one leap automatically which means an answer to high defense/stealth models like Eiryss (if you don't know how that works you can go to 05:10 in this video where Galea does it with his Storm Lancers).
How to zap bugs: Advance
The first thing I discovered was that if I had the first turn if was counterproductive to use his Stealth spell. If you have a way of keeping him safe from long range shooting (or your opponent has none) then run like the wind. There's 31" between deployment zones, which means that unless your opponent has something that can reach 19" on his first turn (or Advance Deployment, extended deployment zone, etc. etc.) you should be safe. If you go second then stealth is important unless you're facing Legion/Cygnar or something that in general ignores it.

The reason you run is because Orin Midwinter threatens sixteen inches with his Arc Lightning, and that means frying models on turn two if they dare leave the deployment zone (if you're really lucky you can Arc Lightning and have it leap back and fry important support models even if they didn't advance at all). If you advance just six inches you risk having no viable targets in turn two since that leaves an opponent the option to advance eight or nine inches and remain outside his threat range.
How to zap bugs: Defense
Models that ignore stealth rarely ignores Cover as well and Orin Midwinter is hard to shift at defense eighteen. There's no reason not to give him a little extra defense if you can, but let's be honest and admit that he's probably not important enough to get any of the good spots. Orin Midwinter has a special defense you won't find on his card though, and it's more powerful than stealth and cover combined: perceived threat.

If you cast Null Magic his perceived threat will be very high but if you run or stealth it will be extremely low because most people think Orin Midwinter is shit (not THE shit, just shit). Few people really expect him to fry half a unit or kill Eiryss while she's stealth and in Cover, so they leave him alone and expect to dedicate a couple of models to ensure an easy kill when he unveils himself and pops Null Magic.
How to zap bugs: Offense
Orin Midwinter needs no help but his potential skyrockets if he gets some. Arc Lightning threatens sixteen inches and with three potential leaps you can theoretically zap a model from 34" away by bouncing lightning bolts off two large based models. Realistically though  we're talking 21-22" threat by bouncing a single bolt of the initial target and everything else should be considered a bonus.
  • pDeneghra: The Withering makes him RAT 9 and POW 12 which is exceptional for a two point solo. Parasite means bouncing what amounts to POW 15 lightning bolts around and that's enough to fry several of the cavalry models in the game.
With War Witch Deneghra the man becomes a legend. Her feat is designed to turn him from alright into a whirlwind of destruction with lightning bolts taking out solo characters on average dice, and with the defensive qualities of of The Withering he might even survive a round/game.
  • eDeneghra: Web of Shadows and Curse of Shadows makes him RAT 10 and POW 12.
While not as powerful a combination the ability to ensure that his initial lightning bolt hits is pretty sweet. With Marked for Death and Web of Shadows he'll be hitting defense nineteen on average dice, so you can rely on him connecting with the solo you're really trying to kill.
  • Scaverous: Telekinesis is hilarious when you need to set up a chain of lightning going exactly where you need it. Defense and Armor debuffs available means Orin will fit here as well.
With Scaverous there's no need to run in your own models to make the perfect chain because you can just move his. Back strike bonus, Icy Grip, and Feast of Worms also means he can hit and damage what he needs to.
  • All others: Solo characters like Eiryss and Anastasia are hard for Cryx to take out at range and we really need a way to handle them. A special mention should go to eSkarre and her feat which can keep him safe from almost anything, and the "Immortal Null Magic Orin Midwinter" is impressive.
Orin Midwinter is in my Terminus list for just that reason and there's not a single caster in Cryx that won't benefit from having him.


Orin Midwinter isn't in all my lists but he's a fine answer to enemy incorporeal models, stealth solos, and against things that are immune to magic he can lay down a beating if he's got a few tokens to back him up (MAT 6 and PS 9 with three tokens means two dead solo characters if he can reach them).

It's important to remember that he's an offensive solo and not like his abilities otherwise suggest a defensive one. He'll probably die after he engages and throws out an Arc Lightning but he can inflict massive damage if you apply that spell correctly and there's usually no hiding from it. Orin Midwinter is a solid two point solo and he performs as such.


Scaverous conversion by Sanctjud

Every once in a while you stumble upon something that just makes the jaw drop. Usually it's some major piece of terrain or an impressive paint job but this time it's a conversion. The thing is made by Sanctjud from the Privateer Press forums and his thread has a lot of very unique ideas I'm going to shamelessly steal from now on.

The idea is fantastic. I don't think I've ever come across a more unique and stunning conversion. I think he messed it up a bit later on since the "flying rocks" aspect died (presumably because it was to hard to pull off) but I'm certainly stealing this idea.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mountain King in action

I think I just wet myself. There are more of them over here. I don't think I've ever been so impressed with a model before and this conversion holding a tree is just...

The Whelps are a bit annoying, but I guess they're optional so it won't really matter, but the thing itself defies words. I thought the Conquest was alright, I didn't much like the Stormwall, and the Kraken was not that bad but this thing...


Skarlock done

I got around to putting the final touches on the Skarlock conversion. I know I should probably learn to enjoy painting but I just never do and the quality shows.

The thing looks nice at a distance though and I really like how it turned out. It looks a lot more like an arcane spellcasting assistant than the regular little wimp.


Orin Midwinter done

I finished painting Orin Midwinter in my new scheme. It's not the best of images as usual but I think you can get an idea about the model.

I like how corrupted he turned out and though he's been performing somewhat below expectations in most games so far his potential with pDeneghra is impressive (and he did wipe out half a unit of Blackbane's Ghost Raiders in my last game). I've come to the conclusion that his magic suppression ability is a trap and using him for his bug zapping ability is the way to go.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Black Ogrun incoming

The one good thing about being ill is that you get to buy stuff and it's alright because it makes you feel better (shut up... it does!). I've decided that I like Black Ogrun enough to actually buy them, even if I only get to field them with a couple of casters.

I'm thinking they need new melee weapons and some serious work on their heads. I also think they need armor and a more cryxian feel (I would have loved another model entirely but PP conversion rules are hard to work with).

I would have loved to use the Skorne Arcuarii weapons but I doubt I can buy ten of those without making these guys the most expensive models in my collection. Just because I'm interested I did a little comparison between Arcuarii and Black Ogrun since their so similar.
  • Black Ogrun are one inch faster.
  • Black Ogrun are two points stronger.
  • Arcuarii are Fearless.
  • Black Ogrun cause Terror.
  • Arcuarii hit about 2.5 points harder.
  • Arcuarii have 0.5 additional threat due to reach.
Everything else is identical which makes Arcuarii slightly better but not by much. Fearless allows for more reliability while Terror means winning a game every now and then when something important fails that check.
  • Arcuarii: 1.5 points / 1.5 points (min/max)
  • Black Ogrun: 1.3 points / 1.2 points (min/max)
That just makes me giggle. Black Ogrun just keep making more and more sense to me and I'm looking forward to getting the models finished so I can get them in games without having to proxy.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

While I cough and die

Well it feels like it... I hate being ill and I can't even stay home from work because I have a three day event going the rest of the week. Instead I can link an article about using cavalry from Lost Hemisphere: My little pwnies

If you don't check LH regularly you're missing out on things. The articles are often very interesting (if not especially thorough) and the sheer amount of them makes for a lot of gold nuggets just waiting to be found.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When clones fight...

We got in the pDeneghra Vs. pDeneghra game last night and the result was as predicted. My opponent had a non-stealth melee list against a ranged list backed up by debuffs and it's not worth going into details. Instead I did some thinking and came up with the reason ranged pDeneghra is so brutal.

Ranged lists have two major problems. The first is that ranged attacks are often low powered and the second is that you normally only get one round to make it count, but Warwitch Deneghra solves both issues. Feat round and debuffs make cheap ranged models hit as hard as most long range Warjacks and The Withering/Crippling Grasp makes sure you get another round of shooting in, which is usually enough to completely break the back of any list.

The Black Ogrun were kings of the battlefield again, Orin Midwinter lucked out and took down Blackbane and three Ghost Raiders with a single spell, but the Bloat Thralls never got around to doing much (mostly because I tried to hard to keep them safe). I also tried Nightwretches instead of Deathrippers but in this game it made no difference. The kill was a Scourge + Black Ogrun drag followed by Gorman hitting the Black Ogrun with an Acid Bomb and killing Deneghra with the splash.


Monday, April 16, 2012

pDeneghra Vs. pDeneghra tonight

Jelly-belly and Butterball are ready to take the field (just need front arcs). Their first game will be a pDeneghra mirror match tonight though it's against a new(ish) player with what I feel is a less than optimal list.

I love those guys!
It will be our first large game (we've had some 15-20 point games before) and he'll be bringing the list below. I think it's mostly what he has painted and it would probably be better for him to face up against someone else, but most of the local players are going to see Iron Sky instead so he's stuck with me.
Warwitch Deneghra
- Deathripper
- Deathripper
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Blackbane's Ghost Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Bane Lord Tartarus
Gorman di Wulfe
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Skarlock Thrall
+ something worth four points
The list I'll be using, proxies and all...
Warwitch Deneghra
- Nightwretch
- Nightwretch
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (Leader and 4 Grunts) - Proxies
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (Leader and 4 Grunts) - Proxies
The Withershadow Combine
Bloat Thrall
Bloat Thrall
Gorman di Wulfe
Orin Midwinter
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Saxon Orrik
Skarlock Thrall
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren
I think he'll be blown away but maybe we'll both learn something. Feat timing seems critical as I need my feat offensively and he needs his defensively. His first line will be Blackbane's since they're so fast, but I think Venoms, Pistol Wraiths, Dark Fires, and Orin Midwinter will take care of them. I would be nice if I could prevent his Pistol Wraiths from tagging mine but it's still an exchange he can't really afford.

The Bane Knights will be targeted by a Crippling Grasp since he has no upkeep removal, which effectively takes them out of the fight. The Bloat Thralls can shell the center and the Black Ogrun can clean up. I do have some problems actually hitting Deneghra since I have nothing that can boost to hit besides Nightwretches, but we'll see how that goes.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Holy crap

I was looking for inspiration while painting my Bloats and stumbled upon this. I wish the real Bloat Thrall model looked more like this one!

Bloat Thralls WIP

I do actually own two Bloat Thralls so I dug them out of the bits box. Then I remembered that one came with no legs and I dismembered the other one in order to make a Deathjack I don't even use. I thought about it and decided I'd gotten very little work done on my conversions lately so I probably shouldn't start new ones.

Jelly-belly and Butterball, dynamic duo!
Grey stuff to add some flesh at the bottom, cork to lift the models up a bit, and I threw on a little paint as well. I'm very much looking forward to putting them on the table Monday but I see that most of the club is going to see Iron Sky instead so that might not happen. I really don't have enough time for gaming and tournaments these days so missing a Monday makes me a sad panda.


Friday, April 13, 2012

May you live in interesting times!

The new site is almost up and running now. I'm very excited about it but the import function is messing everything up and redirecting every link in the Cryx Archive on the Privateer Press forum will be an arduous task as well. I'll probably end up creating some link archives to this site instead but now you know why there's been so quiet lately (that and vacation of course).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Theory Machine: Bloat Thralls

I had a lot of time to think on the way home from Barcelona. Our original tickets were booked on an airline that went bankrupt and our new tickets had a stop over which took more time than anticipated so we missed the train. Then the next train was late so I had five hours with nothing but a sleeping wife, two drunks, and sugar to keep me company.

Sleep got me around 4. AM
At some point I got to thinking about the whole multiple wound model thing I have going on in the pDeneghra list with two full boarding parties, and I realized that a couple of Bloat Thralls would be a less obvious target in a list like that. Usually the POW 10-12 shots will target my single wound models and the POW 14+ shots will be free to one-hit Bloat Thralls but in a list where the majority of models have similar durability these guys might actually work.

They're horrible marksmen but pDeneghra solves a lot of problems in that department (Aiming + Withering + Crippling Grasp equals a RAT 10 shot with POW 18). POW 7 blast damage is alright but with the debuff queen it becomes very dangerous to bunch up. Arcing Fire enables me to deal a little better with second line models and blast damage gives me a threat against squishy stealth solos.

I've always wanted a list with dual Bloat Thralls and while I remain skeptical I'll be trying it out as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Kraken

You've all seen it already but for the sake of completeness I'll include it anyway. The thing is I really like the Kraken which is a total surprise and very unlike me.

I've been pining for more Corpse fueled models since I discovered Warmachine and now it seems we're getting some. The rules could still suck but I like the concept and model a lot so far.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vacation update!

I got the hotel Internet up and running. I have a lewd mind and a tendency to misinterpret signs, so here's a couple of treats I think you might like ;)

I wonder which types of ships can dock there.
Turns out it really IS a gay porn movie theater
Probably got the idea at Boyberry
And finally a classic: Restaurants that should have checked their spelling before printing.

Check out the fourth item in the desserts section... I tried it, it was delicious.

Monday, April 2, 2012

All aboard the Black Ogrun pain train!

I got my game in and since I don't have the time to write up a full report I'll just comment on the Black Ogrun. I brought two units (proxies of course) and HOLY CRAP I've been underestimating the impact a unit with multiple wounds can have on a game, much less two full units of them.

I'll need some more games (a lot probably) in order to run them well but they were devastating. The WG Deathstar was wiped of the table since Withering + Crippling Grasp allowed me to pull a model into range of Unbinding (dual tough checks didn't work out as he had hoped there), and after that my solos cleaned up what was left. The other squad took care of three Doom Reavers and Rorsh took care of the rest.

It was a complete rape and I lost a grand total of three models (three Black Ogrun got blown to hell by Widowmakers during eSorschas feat round... who knew they carried 0.50 BMGs). I absolutely love them so far, and while I doubt they'll perform so well every game I've found something new to love (if only they weren't so darn expensive!)

Vacation time

Tomorrow I'm going to Barcelona and I'll be offline until April 10th. If I do manage a game tonight, even with extra shifts at work and a ton of things to do before I leave, I'll get it done before I leave but I doubt it.

Theory machine: Black Ogrun Boarding Party

I've been thinking a lot about the Black Ogrun the last couple of days. It's really bloody annoying that the models are so horrible, not to mention exceptionally expensive (80 dollars for ten of them is ridiculous), because they have some potential with pDeneghra (in theory).

Warspears conversion looks great but is stupidly expensive!
I've been looking for a way to reduce the number of models in my lists since I'm such a slow player, but I still need ranged models because pDeneghra likes them so much. I also need multi-wound models that can survive damage dealing buffer effects, and some board control, and something that packs a punch.
The Black Ogrun are amongst the fastest heavy infantry in the game though the lack of reach does hurt. If we compare them to Man'o'Wars they have comparable charge ranges but the Black Ogrun pull ahead because of the ability to run twelve instead of eight, and that their survival isn't tied up on an ability that prevents them from running (Shield Wall). They're a lot slower than Tharn Ravagers but still amongst the fastest heavy infantry in the game.
Offense (Melee)
Accurate little bastards with MAT seven. They have PS thirteen on their basic melee attack which is acceptable in a faction of debuffs, but a bit low when compared to our other melee options. They need a lot of help bringing down large targets and medium sized bases is not making it easier.
Offense (Ranged)
Fourteen inch threat makes life hard on enemy heavy infantry. With The Withering and Parasite on something these guys are effectively  POW 17 and even without a drag effect that will hurt. Against medium or smaller bases that ranged attack will be followed by a PS 18 melee attack if the drag works. Combined Ranged attack also seems worth mentioning but I don't think I'll be using it much.
Defense (Survivability)
Two full units bring a massive eighty damage boxes to the table and are highly resistant to the massed POW 10 attacks that completely destroys my normal infantry lists (a single POW 10 hit cannot kill a Black Ogrun and it takes four of them on average to end a single Black Ogruns life). The many damage boxes also enables them to power through damaging effects if needed, and they'll survive a charge every now and then (which can really mess up an opponents plans).

It takes about four Gun Mages to bring down a single Black Ogrun on average and a Chain Lightning that jumps to every single one of them will take just 25% of their total boxes. They don't care about blast damage as rolling slightly above average will just annoy them (unlike single wound infantry that die if you beat their armor with even a single point).
Defense (Morale)
Never underestimate morale checks. It makes no difference in 9/10 games, but when it works you often win. I fondly remember a game against Menoth where both his units of Daughters turned tail and ran, and just recently a failed Abomination check by a full unit of Kayazy Assassins made my opponent fight an uphill battle he eventually lost.
Utility (caster defense)
The boys are big and they screen casters well. They block tramples and are difficult to shift. With pDeneghra they're very hard to kill if you happen to be under effect of The Withering (and pSkarre makes them stupidly tough to kill on her feat round).

What to do with them

My idea is to play them as a primarily ranged unit with pDeneghra. The drag effect will be nice in case of tough rolls (try again then will ya!) and engaging them isn't exactly healthy for most things in the game. A caster coming within fourteen inches is playing with fire unless he/she is immune to KD (Scourge is bad news) and has very high defense (The Withering + Crippling Grasp makes them RAT 9), and few things can walk in and one-shot them during my feat round.

I think it'll be funny and I hope someone will let me proxy them. It will take something special for me to consider buying and converting two full units.
Warwitch Deneghra
- Deathripper
- Deathripper
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (Leader and 4 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Machine Wraith
Machine Wraith
Machine Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith
- Brine
Saxon Orrik
Skarlock Thrall
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren
Theoretically that list can push the Black Ogrun to PS 22 (13 base, +2 Withering, +3 Parasite, +2 Rust Bomb, +2 Dark Shroud) but with the Doom Piglet in there I shouldn't have to worry about very high armor targets as Brine will destroy one without blinking on feat turn, and a second, third and probably fourth heavy can be shut down hard with Crippling Grasp, Death Chill, Shadow Bind, and Black Oil.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Legion arrived today

The pile of models arrived today. They're poorly painted (even below my standard) but I can live with that or fix it up (can't really complain at that price).

It'll be a while before my Legion takes the field for real, and I still need to find a Raek or two, but I think it will benefit my chances at the ETC if I get in a couple of games with them. There's nothing better than running a faction yourself when you need to figure out how to beat it.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

More people should quit the hobby!

... and sell me their models. I've been looking for a deal on a Legion list for a while now, since I can't justify blowing a lot of cash on a... what is it now... fifth faction.

I own your ass now!
I spotted a deal and grabbed a couple of fellow gamers that had expressed an interest in some models in the pile (but the seller wasn't interested in splitting up the sale), and short of divine intervention I now own:
Legion - Forces of Hordes (Softcover) - MKII
2x Forsaken
3x Spell Martyrs
Blighted Archers
- Archer & Ammo Porter
2x Striders Units
- 2x Striders Officer & Musician
2x Harrier
4x Shredder
2x Stinger
Raptors (3)
Lylyth the Shadow
Thagrosh the Messiah
Absylonia Terror
Thagrosh Prophet
Vayl Disciple of Everblight
Lylyth Herald
That's what's left after the boys got their share, and what did I end up paying for this lot then? 130 dollars... that about 520 dollars worth of models with the current Danish prices. If you're not in a rush there's some really great deals out there.


Quite Interesting: Taking away the doubt

This little article about dice is worth your time. It mirrors something I've been saying for years and while we can all succumb to the aptly named "dice rape", most games can be won in spite of it.
By removing any possible idea your dice are rolling high/low due to imperfections, superstition or any other related issue.  By removing the doubt from your mind, you are increasing your ability to look at a situation logically and objectively.  To succeed in Hordes/Warmachine or any other miniature game  strategic planning and logical thought processes are required.  If anything is distracting you from this then your success outcome is lessened.  Dice doubt is one of these issues that often goes unappreciated and put under the ‘dice are dice’ phrase – as if that eases the blow.
- Rich Loxam

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Game Theory: Opponents

It's always worth considering what kind of player you're facing. An opponent might look aggressive but be easily intimidated, or look disorganized while setting three layers of traps for you.

Treat your mother right!
I've stolen the definitions from an article I read about poker players a while back and it places everyone on a tight/loose and passive/aggressive scale.
Tight players
A tight player calculates odds and determine his chances. Rarely will a tight player commit to the Hail Mary attempt unless there's absolutely no other options available to him. This makes a tight player dangerous but predictable.
Loose players
A loose player goes on instinct and gut feeling. The loose player is unpredictable and defending against him is incredibly hard. Loose players tend to do poorly in tournaments because their crazy plans inevitably blow up in their faces.

Opponent types

Combined with the Passive/Aggressive scale this produces four types of players. Recognizing these types will help determining the best ways to apply pressure in a game, but like most things in the Game Theory section this is just a tool that might give you a little edge, and not the answer to every question in the book.
Tight Passive
This is me. I run math and scenarios in my head and never play the long odds unless I'm forced to. I design my lists to absorb an impact and then sucker punch him when he fails to do me any real harm. The weakness is that an opponent that knows me can rely on being safe from long shot attempts, and that frees up some resources he can use to hit me harder. I wish I could play Tight Aggressive and I'm working on getting better at it.
Tight Aggressive
This is probably the strongest type of player. They calculate and apply pressure where it hurts the most, and a good TA will keep you off balance until it's to late. TA players are usually highly skilled because it takes a lot of mental resources to dictate how an entire game plays out, which makes them incredibly dangerous opponents.
Loose Passive
I think these are the weakest types of players. They never really get into the game and usually end up doing something silly with no real chance of success. There are very few successful LP players and they're complete cakewalks for a TA player.
Loose Aggressive
These guys will come for you without much planning, cannot be reliably predicted and it only takes one of them to knock you out of the top five in a tournament. It bothers me that they throw away game after game and then luck out and nuke someone. Recognizing a LA player is vital because you can dedicate a mountain of resources to defense and hope they mess up.

Spotting the types

The easiest to spot is the Loose Passive player. Look for sloppy deployment and lists with no offensive tools, no thought given to activation sequences, and an army of questionable choices. Don't let your guard down as they might still have teeth or be Tight Aggressive players in disguise, but unless you're also a LP player you're in for an easy ride. The one exception to this rule is a LP Menoth player, as several of their builds can pull a LP player through.
  • Low offensive power.
  • Key models/units missing.
  • Sloppy deployment.
  • Sloppy activations.
The Loose Aggressive player is next up, and sloppy deployment is key here as well. The LA player usually brings "up in your face" models with lots of power and very few tricks, but make no mistakes because these guys will come straight for you. The LA player is also marked by his sloppy advances and lackluster defense of their casters.
  • Very high offensive power.
  • Little thought given to survival.
  • Sloppy deployment.
  • Extremely aggressive advances.
The Tight Passive players are nearly impossible to spot before they deploy, but impossible to miss when they do. TP players often have systems they adhere to and I've even seen a guy with a sheet full of little formations (I've made them but never brought them).
  • Armored and Tough lists.
  • Lists with many deterrents.
  • Organized deployment.
  • Calculated advances. 
The Tight Aggressive player is a right bastard because he often disguises himself as a Loose player. There's a system you're probably not seeing and when the hammer drops it's to late to act. I've worked really hard on identifying these guys but so far the only thing I've come up with is to look for discrepancies.
  • Streamlined lists with what looks like sloppy deployment.
  • Balanced lists playing very aggressively or building castles.
  • Cards, dice, tokens etc. are ordered and prepared.
The second part of this article will be up soon (I hope) and will deal with the best way of taking on the different types of players.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An avalanche of models

My desk was covered with packages today (I receive them at work to make things easier): Ghetorix, Woldstalkers, Woldstalkers, Wold Guardian, Megalith, and more Gallows Groves. I'm really looking forward to trying that ranged Mohsar list with dual Woldstalkers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Garlghast Girl Power: 1

I've been considering what I learned from last nights game. The first thing is to stay more than five inches away from anywhere anything in my opponents army can reach by walking. That means I need ranged threats, and Duskern suggested Leviathans so I'm interested in seeing what his list looks like.

My new list sadly has no room for the Terror birds, and Eggy being on a medium base is still a problem I haven't addressed. It looks interesting though very vulnerable to massed infantry and at some point I'll cave in and include the Bile Thralls.
The Witch Coven of Garlghast
- Deathripper
- Deathripper
- Leviathan
- Leviathan
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Gorman di Wulfe
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Skarlock Thrall
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren
Stealth Nyss Hunters sounds like fun. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Coven Vs. eHaley

I've actually had a game with The Coven before, back about a month after I discovered the game, but I still felt like a virgin going in. To make matters worse I was going up against an ETC team partner and he was fielding eHaley: Trial by fire bitches, let's roll!
Major Victoria Haley
- Thorn
- Ol' Rowdy
- Stormclad
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts)
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Stormblade Infantry (Leader and 5 Grunts)
- Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard
Archduke Alain Runewood
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller
I decided I had to force him to feat, so I ran up and deployed in a way I felt would force him to advance and feat, allowing me to counter feat and negate the worst of it.

Cryx round one.
The Scavenger to the right had Infernal Machine up and being an idiot I put the Skarlock on the other side of my army, but more on that later.

Thinking cap engaged!
Saxon Orrik survives B13: Epic!
Then he advanced and didn't feat. Then I looked back at him and declared the game over. Infernal Machine on a Deathripper, Power booster on the Deathripper, then run the Deathripper 18" and spell assassinate eHaley with Stygians. The upside is that my opponent now knows how that works in case he meets a Coven list at ETC, but the downside was a game that took about ten minutes.

I decided not to do it so we could have an actual game, but in hindsight we should have reset the game completely because I was lined up to force that feat round, and when it didn't come and I couldn't end it because it would suck, I was left stranded. Instead I advanced Malice and promptly missed Rowdy with a drag which would have resulted in a Seether (sigh). Damage control time!

I told you that wouldn't work!
I ran up Eggy and popped feat, then flew the Terror-Bird through his lines of non-fearless troops, but CMD 10 and rerolls meant that didn't do anything. The Seagull flew up to threaten Haley as well, and the other Seagull placed itself to block Thorn and Rowdy, but since I needed Infernal Machine to threaten Haley it was out of range to completely block their path, which ended up being a really bad thing.

Rowdy goes to town!
Rowdy waddles in though he got beaked for six damage when doing so. Then the Stormclad is frigging speed seven (damn cheating Haley, I missed that!), and waddles down to Malice but Nightfall and defense thirteen keeps him alive. Sadly the one hit electro leaps to a witch and takes her down to three boxes (damn they're fragile).

Malice wrecks the Stormclad but since WSC was forced to go first: No Seether!
Then eHaley feats and Thorn comes out to Arc a bomb on Eggy, which brought down the already damaged Witch and I lost the game right there. It took him another round to bring me down with Gun Mages and he was severely mauled by that time, but the game was over when the first Witch died (though the Seagull threatening Haley beaked her for ten damage when she had to move in order to avoid death by beaking the following round). I'm not sure exactly what I learned so I'll think about it for a few days before drawing any conclusions.


Asphyxious the Hellbringer

Holy mother hellcrap. We all knew this was coming but seriously... I'm buying this one even if it has swamp gobber stats and no feat.

Somebody bring me my spare pants!

Garlghast Girl Power

I've been threatening you with The Witch Coven of Garlghast for a while now, but I could never really put together a list that would work with the way I usually play (Hjelmen calls it defensive and reactive, which is a pretty good description). I usually design my lists to withstand whatever my opponent throws at me, and then sucker punch him when he overextends, and that probably won't work with the bondage girls.

To the bondage mobile! Power up the greenish floating reactor!
Then I tried figuring out what they needed from an army to, which turned out to be a damn long list of things to include so that didn't work either (not a great caster for a sudoko list attempt). I gave up and found some advice in posts from Vermithrax & Ressurection so I think I'll be trying this tonight (ns = non stealth).
The Witch Coven of Garlghast
- Deathripper (ns)
- Deathripper (ns)
- Scavenger (ns)
- Scavenger (ns)
- Malice
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
- Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Gorman di Wulfe
Saxon Orrik
Skarlock Thrall (ns)
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren
I wanted to include the Scavengers because I rarely get to field them, and with Infernal Machine they could do some damage. In case my opponent brings a lot of non-fearless models there's also the Terror-bird tactic to consider (Ghost Walk + Infernal Machine Scavengers can run 18" inflicting Terror on anything they encounter). I also see some potential in using Nightfall very offensively after running two Terror Birds around his army and planting them both on his caster when they're done.

Screw you puppy, I'm a TERROR bird!
Two Deathrippers because the Coven sadly needs Arc Nodes, but I like the option of killing people with speed nine melee lights if the Arc Node falls off. Malice should have Occultation to keep it safe. Bane Thralls, because I need a train to keep my opponent busy while the tricky parts do their job, and with twelve Bane Thralls coming at him the options to maneuver becomes limited and mistakes occur (hopefully). Sprinkle on stealth support models and it's done but I have no idea how this will play out.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Better late than never!

I finally got around to introducing myself! Hjelmen is my usual nick' on all the gaming forums I frequent, so you might have seen me around. Ye have been warned!

I've been playing Warmachine/Hordes since, I think, mid-2007, but have been involved in miniatures gaming for much, much longer. I started out playing Blood Bowl, then moved on to Warhammer 40.000, and after the long dark tea-time of miniatures gaming that is the late teens, I picked up a Legion of Everblight army for Hordes in Mk1. After a while, I picked up a Searforge army.

Suddenly! Mk2! I tested Searforge extensively during the field test, and once the Hordes Mk2 field test came around I had totally lost contact with LoE, so I sold them off. And until recently, I had never looked back from the Searforge Commission.

I've had Cryx as well, but I couldn't figure out how to handle all those tricks, so they went too. Lately I have been prepping a Thornfall Alliance army, a Khador army (lovingly referenced by Lamoron as the "Gun Carriages at Dawn"-list), a Blindwater Congregation army, and expanding my Mercenaries quite aggressively. Some of that will probably get sold off again, as I come to terms with the facts of life and that there just isn't time for everything!

I hope to be able to provide some quality articles for The Overseer, and while I do have a tendency to ramble on a bit, there is usually some sensible stuff in there somewhere!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tournament: What a mess

I drank a little last night, so when I turned up at the tournament I had... issues... but I brought the Warwitch Deneghra list I had a lot of success with a while back, and then forgot to bring a second list. That proved symptomatic for the day as a whole, but my first battle was against The Couch, as we were an uneven number of players due to a cancellation.

The second game was against a Menoth player and Harbinger took the field. Self sacrifice and that feat against a living infantry horde... blergh. I might do a battle report later but to be perfectly honest that feat cost me the game, and not because it did any damage. In retrospect I should have gone "these guys don't move" and "these guys don't move either", but I didn't and it took more than twenty minutes to measure, move, and re-measure my entire army. Then I rolled the worst dice I've had in fifteen years of miniature wargaming (The rest of the game was just crappy dice, but that round... Jesus)

Messed up deployment + damn annoying feat
The game is the closest game I've ever had, period, and I began my last turn with 1.47 left on the clock, then I killed Harbinger with feedback and looked at the clock maybe 5 seconds later (after getting my arms down): 00.00 and the alarm hadn't sounded. A spectator then told us I hadn't made it in time (missing by maybe 20 seconds) and I had no choice but to believe him.

I can't blame my opponent one bit but it was all a bit fishy and I felt a cheated by nobody in particular. He won his next game the exact same way, and the rules don't support making those measurements on his time, so I'll have to think up a way to avoid repeating that nightmare. Interestingly enough I was so focused on winning that my wife stood behind me for fifteen minutes with a hot sandwich and sodas, talking to the spectators without me ever noticing her (until some of the guys thought it was getting ridiculous and poked me).

I moved on to game three with a defeatist attitude and a hangover from hell, which was interesting because my opponent was looking as shitty as I was. It was a Gunnbjorn list, and my opponent kept entertaining himself (and me) by declaring random rules and happenings, since he enjoyed the look on my face every time my broken brain thought I had lost the game. It sounds really lame but it was pretty funny, especially since I took him down with a couple of available Raiders and won the game. We both went out to get some air, which cleared up my head for the final game against eNemo.

Game of the year!

Now this game was something else. I didn't get to take any pictures because I had enough to do with playing the game but wow... just... wow. I don't think I've ever had a game turn on me so many times, with fractions of an inch meaning life or death and the placement of every model having to be perfect. Dougal MacNaile rolled 8+ four times in a row and I was ahead, then eNemo rolled six leaps on a chain lightning and I was up shit creek.

Thunderhead couldn't pulse because of Crippling Grasp and I was back in the lead, then B13 wiped my Satyxis and I was screwed, and the game continued like that until we were both down to ten minutes on the clock in round six or so, and he finally made a mistake that allowed me to pop'n'drop him after removing his Arcane Shield.

I took fourth but the guy on third is automatically qualified since he took second in last years masters, so with a bit of luck I can put pDeneghra back in retirement and call it a day. If not I have some serious work to do on the list since I had way to many models to run in a Deathclock tournament with the speed I can manage.
Warwitch Deneghra
- Deathripper
- Deathripper
Croe's Cutthroats (Croe and 9 Grunts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts)
- Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
The Withershadow Combine
Skarlock Thrall
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Satyxis Raider Captain
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren