Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Random Model Wednesday 1 - Ork Runtbot

In an effort to stave off my inability to post regularly I have decided to start Random Model Wednesday. I'll pick one of my old models or someone else's, take some photos and write a brief description of any conversion work and painting methods. Wednesday seemed like a good day, nothing ever happens on Wednesdays.

My first Random Model Wednesday model is my Ork Runtbot. It was a limited edition Forgeworld model only sold at events in 2010. You can still see them on Ebay but they sell for silly money.

There's no conversion work on this model as I didn't feel the need to make it unique as its pretty rare anyway. I magnetised the join between the legs and the torso for transport and to avoid it snapping as being resin its quite fragile. I experimented with different washes to create a dirty rusty effect, I never seem to stick to the same method of painting rust for long.

Too much power for a grot!

I've used him a couple of times as a Warboss in my army. I had him leading a large squad of grots in a battlewagon. I quickly learned that this just doesn't work. Putting a big combat monster in a truely terrible combat squad doesn't balance it to a moderate combat squad, it just makes my big thing get trampled when they inevitably fail their morale test and run away. I'd love to make a grot army and have this dude in it but I don't have the patience to make hundreds of grots, I even know what models I want to represent things. There's some resing grot commissars models on the web that I'd use for runtherds, I'd convert some sort of model to represent a big mek with kustom force field, probably a bunch of grots with a big mechanism on wheels. I'd have to make some grot vehicles like buggies or maybe use the forgeworld grot tanks.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Warmachine Journeyman league - week 3

Yesterday was week 3 of the Journeyman League at the Cranfield Conquerors club (temporarily residing in Milton Keynes). For this week we were allowed 25 points but still must include the starter box for your faction. My faction for the campaign is Cryx, so I've got the Deneghra set.

My list for the night:

2x Deathrippers
Skarlock Thrall
6x Banethralls

Game 1

The aim of the game this week is still just kill your opponents caster. The League is meant for new players so it makes sense to keep it simple.
My first game of the night was against Ian Wardle and his Trollbloods.

There was some nice scenery on this board for me to hide things behind and the ghost walk through.

Both our forces moved together and ended up in combat, as is inevitable in this game. I thought he had me on the ropes at the beginning after he killed one of my deathrippers and nearly killed my slayer before I'd managed to do anything to him. But then the rest of my force moved in, my high Def on my bonejacks and stealth on Deneghra and the Banethralls proved to be a problem for Ian and his unlucky rolling was failing to do much damage to me. My units started chomping their way through his trolls without taking much damage. Eventually staring defeat in the face, Ian conceded. While he was greatly outnumbered at the end, I wasn't in a particularly effective position to finish him of quickly. It would have been a protracted exercise with his forces performing a fighting retreat hoping for an opening but with Deneghra having stealth he couldn't shoot me, so it did make some sense as we still had to fight another game that night.

My nearly dead slayer just wouldn't die and just kept punching his big scary beasty in the face, eventually it died.

The Stalkers incredibly high Def of 16 saved it quite a few times, I like this jack.

Game 2

An almost mirror match against Carl Sharman's Cryx. Carl is an experienced player and I'd heard that he had changed his list for fighting against me. The only difference between our lists was that I had the stalker and Skarlock Thrall, he had a Helldiver and a squad of mechanithralls.

Carl has a nicely painted Cryx army, no journeyman points for him for painting models then lol.
After his deployment I used the denied flank tactic that I've practiced well in 40k, his Banethralls with their slow movement then took a while to catch up with events.

It didn't take too long to see that his strategy, or at least part of it, was to sneak in the Helldiver and try to pump out a ton of damage on my caster. The Helldiver is a particularly nasty bit of kit, it burrows underground and can't be hit until it has popped out and starts doing damage. Well it popped out next to my Denegra and promptly failed to kill her, my slayer turned around and gave it what for. 

I forgot that once his chicken hit any further his would be automatic thus negating the high Def of my stalker. He popped his feat, lowered my Def, boosted the first his and then had 2 more automatic hits to finish me off.

Near the beginning of the game we both cast crippling grasp on each other's slayer jacks, lowering most of their stats by 2. This nerfed both our big hitters so we ended up using our bonejacks to do all of the work. Somewhere in the middle of the game we both cast our feats, negating both our force's stats and leading to straight rolls for some things, as he had -2 arm from my feat but I had -2 strength so they both cancelled out. 

Towards the end of the game my Deneghra had fought off a couple of assaults on her successfully and we had both lost a great deal of troops. I made a BIG mistake, I reminded Carl of the killbox as he was measuring his move for his Deneghra, EPIC FAIL! He was just about to move into it! I managed to manoeuvre my Defiler into position to belch forth toxic goo on his Denegra, it did a ton of damage but failed to kill kill her and she shook off the corrosion immediately. He had already sprayed my Deneghra with his Venom spell and I died to corrosion damage after he was running away fast. 

This was an incredibly close game at the end with some real nail biting moments but in the end Carl won. I'm quite glad with my performance though as I'd really thwarted his plans and managed to pull off a nice combo at the end with ghost walk on the Defiler that nearly killed him.

I really need to paint some models now to claim some journeyman points in the league, I've got so much to paint and so little time :|

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Warmachine for beginners - Warhahordes Journeyman League

Last week saw the beginning of our club’s Journeyman league. It’s a league designed to get you to try Warmachine/Hordes with a starter box and build up from there. You even get points if your models started off unpainted and you paint them over the course of the league. I’d played Warmachine a couple of times in the current edition and found it a bit of an uphill struggle so this league seemed perfect to get to grips with things.

For those who aren’t familiar with Warmachine; it’s a game where you are a Warcaster (kind of a nasty wizard) who controls a small skirmish scale force consisting of a handful of mechanical monstrosities a bit like steam powered dreadnoughts, some infantry (if you want) and solo characters. The aim of the game is to kill your opponents Warcaster.

Your warcaster gets focus points which allow you to cast spells. Some spells do damage, some do buffs to your stuff or debuffs to the enemy and some do more exotic things like make one of your models ghostly and able to walk through other models and terrain, even out of combat. Warcasters also each get a Feat, which is a once per game ability that usually has a game wide effect. You normally pop your Feat on the turn in which you expect to make a big push.

Warjacks can be allocated some of your caster’s focus so that they can boost their to hit rolls or damage rolls or do other things like charge or run. Boosting means you get to roll an extra dice to hit or to wound.

Basics of how combat works in Warmachine

Your model’s basic statline consists of a move speed, MAT (melee attack), RAT (ranged attack), Strength, Defence (Def) and armour. There are other stats like Focus or Cmd but I won’t go into this.

When you declare an attack on a model you compare your MAT if in melee or RAT if shooting to your opponents Def, normally your MAT will be a fair bit lower than the Def. You then roll 2 d6 (or 3d6 if boosting) and add your MAT, if you equal or beat the Def then you have hit.

Then to damage your opponent you compare the strength of your weapon you’re hitting with to their armour. The weapon’s strength is represented by P+S on your models stats. You roll 2d6 (3d6 if boosted) and add your P+S. How much you beat their armour by is how much damage you’ve done. E.g. a P+S weapon with strength of 16 hits a jack with armour 20, you roll 12 so the jack takes 8 damage.

The League

I’ve already got a Cryx army, I just don’t know how to use it. To start in the league I needed to buy the starter Cryx box anyway as I didn’t have those models. My starter set consisted of Denegra as my warcaster, a slayer jack, 2 ripper jacks (death chickens) and a defiler. I’ve never used Denegra before so I went into the league pretty much as a new player. The 3 little chicken jacks act as arc nodes, meaning I can cast spells as if they’re coming from the jack instead of my caster.

Looking at the spells that Denegra could cast for the first time, I found she does some nasty stuff. She has an ability called Crippling Grasp which can nerf a heap of an enemy’s stats by 2, making it a lot easier to kill. She can cast Ghost Walk on one of your models which lets them move through terrain or models without problems. Her Feat is amazing, all enemies within her control area (14 inches around her) suffer from -2 to their speed, MAT, RAT, strength, armour, Focus and they can’t charge.

Week 1 – Starter boxes only

Game 1
My first game of the league was against Dave Bartley and his Menoth. I won this but can’t actually remember what I did lol. It was a learning experience to get to grips with my caster. I do remember using a combo strike with my slayer jack to great effect.

Game 2
This game was against David Copperwheat’s Skorne hordes army. We had a building in the middle of the table and both of our forces moved up and hid on opposite sides of it. With my arc nodes though I had the advantage of casting spells round corners. I won by using crippling grasp on his caster and Ghost walk on one of my jacks so that it could charge through his big beasty and straight into combat with his caster to squish it.

Week 2 – 15 points but must include starter box

For most players the 15 points allowed them to add a solo or small squad. For my Cryx I only had 1 point to play with and only 1 model that costs 1 point, so I added a machine wraith to my list.

Game 3
This time I was against Martin Copperwheat’s Khador, basically a caster, 2 big jacks and some sniper dudes. I managed to get my shooty death chicken to vomit acid on his caster and rolled a 12 for damage leaving him with only 4 health. In the next turn I again Ghost Walked one of my jacks to charge straight through and squish his caster. He made a mistake in moving his caster nearer to me and running away his big jack that wasn’t stuck in combat.

Game 4
Barry Wardle used a bunch of Hordes crocodile things against me. This bunch just walked all over me. He had a buff on his big beasty that made it nigh on impossible for me to hurt it and I took D3 damage whent I tried, it moved up and I charged it but couldn’t scratch it. My Crippling grasp failed to work twice due to high Def stats.

He cast his feat which knocked down everything I had, he then shot my caster who’s Def was reduced significantly due to being knocked down, my caster nearly died. He then didn’t something beyond what I thought was possible. He charged his other large beast into combat with the first one, he then picked it up and threw it at my caster and she died. It was dirty, very dirty lol. :(

After much thought I think the only way of countering his force is to spread everything far apart and try to pick things off individually, maybe even just ignoring the big beasts as they’re so hard to hurt.

Now I just need to get my stuff painted to get some journeyman points for the league. I know who my opponents are next week. Ian is using his trollbloods and Carl is using Cryx. I expect some dirty shenanigans from Carl as he’s very experienced in doing hard and nasty things in whatever game.
I have to work out how best to spend my 11 points, so many choices.

Edit: I found out that the feat-puddle combo can't work as you can't place them on top of other models. It would have been increadibly overpowered otherwise.