Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bane Thrall UA - Hot off the painting desk

Well, I recently picked up 2x Bane Thrall units and 2x UAs, mostly for a future Goreshade list, and while I'm still working on the unit itself, I did finish up the UA for the 1st unit. These guys served as my "Test minis" for the unit, and give a good idea of how the paint scheme will look for the whole unit. Overall, I'd say I'm pretty happy with their outcome!

... I also just realized that despite having 90% of my Cryx collection fully painted (only have the Banes & Bloodgorgers left) I do not have pics of them posted up. Guess I'm gonna have to fix that in the coming weeks!

- EBC -

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

nom nom nom, Paincakes!

Good news, I just joined up with the House of Paincakes Blog Network! I can already tell based on some the antics from their main page that these seem to be a fun bunch of guys, with a good sense of humor!

Thanks for the approval guys, hope I don't let you guys down!

Now, on a side note: It looks like I will be getting into Dystopian Wars in the next week or so with a Britannia fleet as Prussia seems like it could be very popular and I would like to avoid the "Space Marine Syndrome", if you know what I mean! My entrance into Dystopian Wars will be quickly followed up by a Relthoza fleet in Firestorm. Flames of is still on the radar, but that will take some significant planning and cash investment before I can make that plunge!

See you guys after the Holidays!
- EBC -

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who needs a heavy? pGaspy sure doesn't!

The latest list I have been running with a bit of success is another pGaspy one. I think it is better than my previous one, but I need to get in some more games to determine just how competitive it may be. The list is as follows:

I should note that the scrap thralls are just filler for the final point and could easily be swapped for a necrotech or machine wraith. Another possibility would be dropping the 1 point filler and 1 bone jack to add in a rip jaw for the extra AP attack if you feel the need. You could even swap Gorman and the 1 point filler for a pistol wraith if need be. Needless to say, these are all tings I may be playing around with in the future.

The list is sneaky as it may seem weak on the table top at first due to its lack of a heavy, which may fool other players into rushing their heavies into your lines. However neither of the 2 main units are slouches in combat, and a heavy may quickly find themselves scrapped! The idea is to stack several effects like Scything Touch, ParasiteDark Shroud, Rust (vs WM), and gang on the bloodgorgers. I'll go through and explain, starting with the Bane Thralls.

Bane Thralls naturally have a P+S 11 w/ weapon master, and their dark shroud lowers a target's armor by -2. Scything Touch add +2 to the damage roll, Parasite reduces armor by -3, and Gorman's Rust causes -2 armor to jacks. So, stacking all those benefits, plus charging will yield some nasty results... especially vs jacks. Vs Jacks it would look like P+S 11 + 2 dmg with 4 dice on the charge, and the target jack could potentially have -7 armor! (-2 Rust, -3 Parasite, -1 Shroud) Even vs a Warbeast, it would still have -5 armor. There are not a lot of things that could stand up to effectively what would be multiple P+S 18/20 attacks with 4 dice each.

The Bloodgorgers, while not as nasty as the above example, can still surprise people. You'll be stacking the same effects mentioned above, even dark shroud if you manage to get a Bane Thrall into the Target's range. The Bloodgorgers get +2 dmg when in melee with a model in Melee range of another bloodgorger. While they lack weapon master, they do have 2x attacks each at P+S 11. So, Combat with these guys would look like: P+S 11, +2 gang, +2 scything touch (P+S 15 in total) with same -7 armor provided its vs a jack and you can manage to get a Thrall in range... effectively P+S 22/20/18 depending on what debuffs you can stack, and on 3 dice for the initial charge attack.

With effective stats like that, do you even need a heavy? Not to mention, both units effectively have a "no-Knockdown-tough roll", and the ability to create new Bane Thralls.

Scything Touch and Parasite is key, and getting them to go off on the multiple targets in a single round is pretty easy and just requires a little set up to pull it off to its fullest extent. You will have Gaspy casting 1 spell, and your Skarlock casting the other... the plan is to abuse the upkeep of a spell on 1 target, activating that unit 1st, then activating Gaspy/Skarlock and recasting the same spell(s) on a different unit. For example: Gaspy activates turn 1 and casts Scything Touch on the Thralls and Parasite on the potential charge target. Turn 2, Gaspy upkeeps Scything touch on Thralls and Parasite on the Target, you Activate the Thralls 1st Charge in, and do their stuff. Next you activate Gaspy, cast Scything Touch on the Bloodgorgers (removing it from the Thralls) and the Skarlock casts Parasite on the Gorger's charge target before the Gorgers in turn activate and charge in. Thus 2 uses of Scy-Touch/Parasite in a single round... easy stuff!

Jack wise, it's all about the Arcnodes to make the above 2 key spells easier to cast while keeping Gaspy out of range/in 2 places at once. Honestly, the Cankerworm is in there just for fun, and could easily be swapped out for another arcnode. It should also be mentioned that Gaspy is no slouch in combat on his own, and often I find my Banes/Gorgers simply open up a hole for Gaspy to rush in and finish off the opposing Caster/Lock with relative ease!

So, there you have it! Like I said, I'm not sure this list has been fully optimized just yet, as I have a handful of minute options I would like to try swapping around. But hey, I think its off to a decent start!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Possible expansion into new games...

Well, some of my interest in GW games has started to dwindle as of late, I have all but the latest models from Malifaux's Neverborn, and I have most of the models that interest me for my Cryx force from Warmachine. I have also started a small Legion army from Hordes, but my Cryx is still holding my interest on the Privateer Press side. So, what am I going to do next? Perhaps I'll pick up a new game!

I've decided that after the Christmas season to expand my gaming horizons... after all, I bought a gigantic battlefoam case so I should probably make sure it gets filled! Anyway, here's what games have peaked my interest that I may be starting in the near future:

Firestorm Armada - From Spartan Games. ( ) This game seems to have a decent following at my LGS, as a good majority of the "regulars" have models in their collection, yet I have not seen a game played. A buddy recently let me borrow the rulebook over a weekend, so I have a brief idea of the rules. Models/Faction wise I'm leaning heavily towards the Sorylians and the Relthoza. Paint scheme wise, I'm thinking of doing a bright yellow, with some black squad markings, with teh typical grey/silver mechanical sections (like the thruster area) for the Sorylian ships. For the Relthoza, given their arachnid appearance, and use of cloaking technology, I'm going to go with a dark black/grey mottled look similar to the shadows from Babylon 5. To keep things from looking to bland, I will be sure to either put some glowing blue effects into the cracks in their armor plating, and/or pick out the lights on the ships as well. The plus side is that due to a fairly low model count, I can easily do both fleets in a fairly short amount of time! This is probably my 1st choice for a new game.

Uncharted Seas
- Another one from Spartan Games. While a similar concept/game to Firestorm Armada, this one features sea ships in a fantasy setting. It is also another game that a lot of the guys at my LGS have models for, yet I have only seen 1 game played. Just like Firestorm, 2 factions have caught my eye: The Elves, and the Bone Griffons. I tend to naturally gravitate towards elves in any fantasy setting, however their ships are a little bit bland. The Bone Griffons are the undead in Uncharted Seas, and feature some more dynamic, interesting ships... as well as undead, half-eaten whales as small frigates! However I'm more into space and scifi than fantasy and pirate ships, but that is not to say I'm opposed to starting up a fleet at some point in the future.

Dystopian Wars - Guess what, another one from Spartan Games! This is a game that has only recently been released, and seems to be gathering a lot of hype at the LGS. I'm a bit reluctant on this one simply because I know next to nothing about the game except for some fluff and some models. Model wise, the only ones that I am actually liking from pictures online are from the Prussian Empire. (with Britania a close 2nd) I worry however, that everyone else will be drawn to those 2 factions as well, which could get old. I'm going to hold off on this one until I can find out more about the game, and what factions will be played at the LGS.

Flames of War
- From Battlefront Miniatures. ( ) This is a historical WWII game, and one that I have looked at getting into in the past. I constantly see people working on the minis, but I think I have only seen 1 or 2 games played. For those that don't know, the game is divided into 3 categorys: Early, Mid, and Late War. Right now, if I played I would shoot for a mid war army that I could easily adjust by adding/removing a few models to make it legal for the early/late war games as well with ease. Being of Italian and German ancestry, my initial thoughts would be to lean towards one of those two. I'm initially drawn more towards tanks and heavy guns more than the infantry, and it seems that the Germans fit that bill more so than the Italians. So, while I have family ties to Italy and Germany, my Wife has family who have actually fought in some of the most famous battles of WWII, so an American force (with actual family members on my Wife's side present in the army) could be interesting as well. The downsides would be the larger model count and cost involved as well.

Well, there ya go! Right now, I'm leaning towards picking up Firestorm Armada for sure, with the possibility of picking up either Dystopian Wars or Flames of War at some point down the road as well. Check back in a month or two for some possible updates on which game(s) I choose!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scenarios in Warmachine & Hordes...

After running a tournament a few weeks ago I had come to realize something... no one in my community is actually playing any of the WM/Hordes scenarios! I cannot tell you how many times scenarios played a pivotal role in determining the outcome of a game, even more so since very few players were actually taking into account the scenario itself. Players seemed to go for the assassination victory every single game, and were extremely frustrated when they lost a game despite the fact that they felt they were "dominating" the other guy all game. It all boils down to the fact that very few (if anyone) in this area are actually playing scenarios in regular games, and thus were unequipped to handle any of them in the tournament environment. I had been pushing for months to get the local playerbase to play scenarios in their games, but none of them were interested back then... I bet they regretted that fact at the tournament!

So if there was anything I learned from that tournament, it was this: "If you are not playing scenarios in every game, you are not fully playing Warmachine & Hordes", it may seem harsh, but its true. Assassinations are not the only way to win games, and likewise scenarios can easily lose you games if you are not careful! (As the local playerbase found out) Look at it this way, Casters/Locks typically fall into 1 of 3 categories: Assassination, Attrition, and Scenario in their description. If you only play "Assassination Victory" as the only means to victory in your games, you have effectively cut out 1/3 of the game's casters full potential in your games. How are you gonna know all the nasty tricks a Rahn player call pull out in scenarios if you never give him the chance? Do you really want a tournament game, when 1st place is on the line, to be the game that you discover what Rahn's all about? I doubt it.

Another way to look at it is from the Assassination player's point of view. It is no secret to my playerbase that I am a HUGE Terminus (no pun intended) fan, and it is also no secret that my regular 35pt "Tournament Terminus" list has yet to lose a single game. Despite the fact that my Terminus list is a straight assassination list, I still always encourage people to play a scenario against it. Why? Because it gives the opponent a chance to win the game without going toe-to-toe with Terminus, AND forces me to keep an eye on the actual objective of the game and not just kill, kill, kill. In the end, it is a challenge to me that wouldn't otherwise be present in just an "assassination victory" style of game, it helps keep things interesting for me when I play Terminus, and forces to me to think outside my normal strategy.

Long story short, I encourage people to play a scenario in every game they play, whether it is from the SR2010 (or 2011) rules of just the rulebook itself so that you get to experience every facet of Warmachine & hordes and every facet of your Caster/Lock as well. Sure, a good chunk of your games will still end in an assassination, but the option for an alternate win is still present to BOTH players. In the long run, especially in the tournament scene, the person who is familiar with the scenarios will have a distinct advantage over the player without that experience.