Gamechanger

•October 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Quick post…do have some battle reports in the hopper, for Warmachine and Warhammer alike.

This post, though, is a short one. A short, tragic tale…which didn’t start out tragic, at the least, but I confirmed what I was about to type and realized that my dreams were utterly dashed. See, I was reading this article, and right off the bat hit the line about how taking a model in Mega Armor grants Slow and Purposeful to the unit (didn’t know that Slow and Purposeful was something that carried into a unit!) which, in turn, grants the entire unit the ability to fire heavy/salvo/rapid/etc. weapons freely. So I thought Hey, Self! You only run Noise Marines, ever, because you love them and all your CSM are converted to be them! So this is essentially the best thing ever. You can take a cheapish Chaos Lord in Terminator armor<&mdash>which is non-Ork Mega Armor<&mdash>with the mark of Slaanesh, and suddenly you’ve got mobile Noise Marines!

I thought that this was an awesome example of how minor rule tweaks over editions can dramatically alter the quality of units and options. Mostly, I deal with Slow and Purposeful with my Nurgle Daemons, where it’s a straight nerf since daemons lack any form of rapid fire, salvo, or heavy weapons on infantry or monstrous units. I’d never had any reason to consider the rule beyond it preventing my boys from running, so it felt completely reasonable for me to suddenly learn that it was a rule that was actually dope. I’ve still got the Stormclaw box, entirely untouched. At some point my wife’ll put the Orks together, bolstering her forces by a fistful of Nobs and some Kans, at the least; meanwhile, I’ve a multitude of Space Wolves to apply in a variety of ways. My plan has been to turn some Bloodclaws into Raptors which are magnetized to also serve as Warp Talons; I know Warp Talons aren’t good, but that only tempts me to attempt to put them to valuable use, and having a daemon-heavy army with lots of Icons improves the utility of their blinding deepstrike. They are mad expensive, though! Still, my regular use of Furies means I appreciate having maximal jump troops to shove down an enemy’s throat.

Anyway, Stormclaw also came with a unique model I’ve already turned into a Warpsmith…

Snerr Aspenthet

Unfinished but…sup?

…despite how universally reviled Warpsmiths are. I considered having one high-value because I rely so heavily on Soul Grinders, which lack It Will Not Die, and thus suffer badly when immobilized or deprived a weapon. I do struggle to find an appropriate place for him, since his weapons are relatively short-ranged and he’s a close-combat monster, but I tend to run my Grinders in the back of the map. Nonetheless, I love having him and enjoy practicing with his proper application.

Anyway, for what’s left I’d planned to use some of the Wolf Guard Terminators to make HQ slots (a Sorc and a Lord, most likely) and the rest to make another 3-man Obliterator unit, potentially magnetized to serve as Mutilators as well.

All this to say that learning Terminator armor provides huge bonuses to my Noise Marines was very exciting!

Then I read my codex, and saw that Terminator armor doesn’t actually give Slow and Purposeful. Then I read the 7e codex and learned that the things it does provide aren’t unit-wide, unlike Slow and Purposeful.

Then I wrote this post.

I feel there’s solace to be taken in not being the only one who thought he’d crafted this incredible and valuable combination, only to learn that it in no way actually works. Right?

Right?!

WaH: Twofer!

•September 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This is the (bereft of actual notes) battle report of a 2v2 game at the club’s Saturday Open Gaming.

On Thursday, my wife and I popped over to the shop for a day of games. After the somewhat grim tidings earlier in the week, we wanted to till the community soil, so to speak. We’d planned to play a one-on-one game (her first) but a couple of friends were just starting up their own game with relatively slim forces, and they invited us to join them.* They ultimately decided to bust back down to their respective battlegroups, though we discussed just adding Stacey’s and my forces each to a table side (our points break out at the same, so that would have balanced things too).

Force Setup

On one side of the table, we had my wife playing The Retribution of Scyrah (Elven xenophobes with quick, relatively low-damage Warjacks who enjoy a unique forcefield system; the field is repairable for focus, meaning that with careful management these guys are insanely durable. She made excellent use of the Chimera’s teleportation and Arc Node abilities to throw some magic death into the back ranks) and Danny following up his last administered beating with the return of his Khador forces (Honkin’-high armor, brutal close-combat, and that icy-gaze-having Warcaster).

The Hordes side of the table featured me with my gator boys and my partner with the Legion of Everblight force (which I’ve talked about before). Having the Shredders on the board gave us a slight model advantage, and my two heavies helped Hordes tie the Warmachiners in that regard. Having fewer light ‘Jacks meant that we’d be at a disadvantage in terms of durability, and be reliant on charges and perhaps ‘Caster assassination to succeed. Continue reading ‘WaH: Twofer!’

WaH: Playing Dead

•September 27, 2014 • 1 Comment

I played my first proper Battlegroup game! A lot of factors were working against it–some club dramatics, prevailing illness leaving folks ragged, fewer supplies than would be ideal (when my marker started to go out it was a dangerous time, because marking things). The relative newness of the rules isn’t on that list, though, because my opponent, Danny, is a champion dude and we always have excellent, brutal games. It’s very much an atmosphere of “fuck it dude, take it back and do it over,” which is probably an excellent way to learn WaH, since it doesn’t appear to be how people actually play the game.

S’anyway, my Blindwater Journeyman Battlegroup (Bloody Barnabas, Blackhide Wrastler, Ironback Spitter) went up against his Khador forces. He’d wanted to run the alternate box but one of his characters didn’t arrive–there are a lot of things from various orders not in yet, despite the Wednesday bonanza. He had more stuff he could have thrown in, even sans proper caster, but since my G-men aren’t in, and the only other Hordes stuff we have is from the Legion starter and thus all warbeasts, we did this bare bones. Probably for the best!

Setup with Flash

Flash on the pic was necessary due to lighting and the unpainted nature of both of our armies.

I won the roll for deploy and first go, and set up around the building; we’re using a table built for 40k games, and a lot of 40k terrain, but I’m hoping the club goes in a terrain-heavier direction than I understand most WaH games to be. I parked Barnabas directly behind my turtle, both to block charges and because the turtle prevents AoE damage.

R1T1

Barnabas made it rain, spraying water templates all around which my boys hopped into. I ran the beasts, threw the Spitter’s animus on himself primarily to generate some fury, and riled my Wrastler to the same end.

R1T2

my opponent moved up, mostly staying clear of the water. As it turned out, though, having Sorscha and her pathfinder-granting spell dramatically reduced the efficacy of my ponds. Knowing how good that spell is, I’d be sure to give myself a considerably larger buffer–I pressed up against his line figuring he’d have scarier guns than fists, since I know Khador is a high-armor faction and didn’t expect their offense to match.

It matched!

R2T1

I splashed some more agua around, pressing forward with the confidence that I’d foil up his charges and survive a few slaps thanks to my Armor 19 ‘gator and GIANT TURTLE. Aforementioned tetsudine rocked a vicious spittle blast, putting some corrosion and damage on the Juggernaut. This turn would have been a great one to throw some defensive magic on my Wrastler, but I opted to pour those points into a third puddle instead. Timing Barnabas’s Swamp Pits proves much more challenging than I expected it to be, primarily due to activation order. I want to have the spell down before I move anyone, but without pre-measuring I’m not confident in estimating where to lay the pits so that I can be assured of both making them with my movement and maximizing my progress down the board. Again, though, had I stayed a bit further back in this game I would have been much more successful. Similarly, having more living models on the board to eat with Barnabas’s axe would have generated a non-zero quantity of fury to spend.

R2T2

This is where I began the process of getting wrecked, and my blood is on my own hands. As I’d said, this was a learning game, so I encouraged my opponent to carefully take note of the “feat” section of his caster card. Combined with the pathfinder spell, this meant he paralyzed my Wrassler, then charged with his Juggernaut unimpeded by the water. This meant that my failure to cast my defensive spell didn’t really matter—though I sure wished I had Parasite available—because Barnabas boosts the actual Def stat, and stationary makes that irrelevant. However, I forgot (during this assault and the next turn’s) that a ‘Jack can only have 3 Focus allocated to it; that meant I ate three damage-boosted attacks (1 on the charge, two purchased and auto-hitting) but was still standing…woozy, but standing…before the third one landed. Now, even unboosted I think that the third damage roll would have probably killed me, but with my armor matching his P+S it could have been a near thing. That’s no sour grapes, but fully the opposite: I love that things can get that close, and that if I’d had even one activation with my Blackhide I could have turned things around!

R3T1

Instead, my Wrastler died without swinging, but with Sorscha’s feat expended there was hope I could push back. I used Barnabas to slip a Swamp Pit behind the Juggernaut and slammed it with the Spitter, throwing it into the water for an instant deactivation. I knew water was bad for ‘Jacks, but I’d somehow interpreted its badness as a full-on, instant death (which is true for deep water, but not shallow). Had I realized it wouldn’t completely put him down, I think I would have done more with my ‘caster. I could have moved Barnabas up to take a few shots at the Juggernaut, put a little damage on him, and then still had my Spitter in a position to block attacks on Barnabas during Danny’s turn. Instead I threw Ornery on the Spitter, along with Iron Flesh to boost his abysmal Def. The other key thing I wasn’t aware of here was that I couldn’t buy extra ranged attacks for my Spitter after the Slam. I’d been under the impression that Virtuoso’s and Gunfighter’s respective value was in letting you fire shots into melee. It did make the pair seem redundant, but there are so many minor variations in the game between similar-seeming rulesets that I’d just convinced myself Virtuoso was for people better at melee. I thought Gunfighter appealed to people whose RAT was markedly superior to their MAT, meaning you’d never want to alternate strikes; Virtuoso then served as the option for someone who had status effects or other qualities on both weapons and wanted to intersperse them. That’s not entirely untrue, but had I realized my Spitter wasn’t going to have a shot after the slam I probably would have also boosted some sort of attack with him behind just ensuring the hit.

R3T2

Here’s where things broke far worse than I expected. His Destroyer stomped into me, pathfinding past my pond (which I had successfully positioned to muddy Sorscha’s movement). He was only barely able to reach me, but even with my boosted Def he landed enough fully-boosted swings to pulp me. Those axes are no joke! Again, this was a turn where I took hits from a 4-focus ‘Jack instead of a 3-focus ‘Jack, and it definitely came into play with his shots here. The end result, alongside a potshot from Sorscha, was a dead turtle.

R4T1

While Reaving had me sem-set for fury this round, I knew Barnabas would be in a rough way if I couldn’t get down to a one-on-one (which I was confident I’d be able to win, given my melee-centric ‘caster). I cut for two fury, then used my feat to knock the Destroyer down before charging into him. I put some damage on the mech between base and additional hits (more later, when we realized I’d forgotten my other two initial attacks and added them in—like I said, we play a friendly game). Unfortunately, even though Barnabas is a dude of flashing blades, carving through Arm 20 was a time-consuming process. I once again craved the joys of Parasite.

R4T2

I’d been able to damage the Destroyer badly enough that he was coming at me with a wrecked movement and crippled axe-arm. We actually thought that would prevent him from fighting at all, and he was planning to step away (inviting a brutal free strike that all but wrecked him); luckily, Majordomo Kyle cleared up the effect of the wrecked system. It kept him in combat with the terrifying axe, but this was also where we realized I’d missed out on a bite and tail strike, so there was a balance to things. Still, Barnabas lost another sizable chunk of health boxes.

R5T1

I had no choice! Barnabas cut the ever-living…life…out of himself, because without that I wasn’t confident in my ability to break through his armor. After throwing a bucket of dice at the problem, the Destroyer was down! Things did not favor my ability to reach Sorscha in time to kill her, however. I did throw a Swamp Pit down between the ‘caster and the ‘Jack, which meant she couldn’t activate him and give herself Pathfinder to reach him in the same turn. I’m definitely looking forward to having my own little Swamp Pit templates to throw around, because trying to mentally mark 2.5″ out from the center of a 25mm base was inefficient (particularly as I was dropping them around a wall, and thus trying to balance the base atop the broken rebar jutting from the wall).

R5T2

Sorscha woke the Juggernaut.

R6T1

I managed to get up on Sorscha and chop into her a bit, but cutting for the fury to go all out left me on two boxes.

The Juggernaut then ate me.

It was a great game, and only whetted my appetite for more. Obviously a lot of things—on both sides—could have played out differently; we didn’t retroactively undo the 4-focus ‘Jack turns because that’s tricky bookkeeping. Danny also could have used Wind Rush to get Sorscha into and out of combat more (and he did use it, once, to boost his Def). Also—and I’m looking at the starter stuff as I type this, and boggling—Freezing Grip would basically have ended the game in Round 4. Khador are no joke, and I know that Blindwater has trouble with high armor, but I didn’t leave the game at all dissatisfied with my choice of faction or the game in general. Hopefully Saturday is a day of many games, and I dunk lots of ‘Jacks until the bubbles stop rising!

 

WaH: The Journey to Journeyman

•September 25, 2014 • 2 Comments

Journeyman Starter

My gators came in today! Sadly, none of my wife’s action did, but she got a bunch of games she’s pumped to use for work. Since I run a table for the 5th ed Adventurers League, (Wow, that sure feels like it needs an apostrophe) I didn’t get to jump into them right away, but they’re put together now! Stacey played for the first time in the League–she’s a relatively old hand at gaming itself, compared to most of my players–and her warlock brought much destruction to the table. She completed the ideal gaming trifecta: rolled a 20 on her first throw, had an rp idea that saved the party great misfortune, and proved the DM to be in error. I could not be more proud! Continue reading ‘WaH: The Journey to Journeyman’

WaH By Myself: Legion Takes First Victory

•September 23, 2014 • 1 Comment

It’s a challenge, because any abbreviation using Warmachine and Hordes treads dangerously close to sounding like a Warhammer reference; I’m sure this is where that portmanteau I won’t use came from in the first place. I’ma try out WaH, though; the only reference it really calls to mind is Orks yelling, and nobody’s having a bad day if they’re reminded of that.

Like dropping to a pug carrying a straight razor...

Like dropping to a pug carrying a straight razor…

I’ve continued my solo explorations of WaH with another battlebox game between the Legion (Lylyth the Herald–whom I believe is referred to as mkiiLylyth because pLylyth is a different form of the same lady?–alongside a Carnivean and four Shredders) and Retribution (Kaelyssa with a Griffon, Manticore, and Chimera). Continue reading ‘WaH By Myself: Legion Takes First Victory’

As Close to Playing a Game as Not Playing Can Be

•September 22, 2014 • 1 Comment

The original intent for this blog–and the name–was proactively arresting a sort of bulbous-headed mental over-saturation to which I am subject. My head fills up with excitement, or interest, or sometimes boredom, and the compensation for my hyper engagement is usually a mixture of disaffectation and jawing the ears off of anyone in my reach. I like to teach, and I like to sell, and somewhere at the heart of that twining hydra is a fundamental urge to learn and comprehend via reflection; I show other people something, watch them internalize it, and in so doing come to better understand that thing myself. I think about new things as though I’m explaining them to some combination of novice/fellow enthusiast/my wife/potential customer. The urge to convey information is so strong that, over Christmas, I sold a woman at the Barnes and Noble several Halo books—I do not work at our Barnes and Noble (but, honestly, you’d be hard pressed to prove that anyone does).

With Warmachine/Hordes, the brain is reaching a boil faster than I can vent the steam. Stacey and I picked up a couple of starter boxes this weekend, even though it’s only a few days until the boxes we actually ordered came in. This turned out to be a good decision from a demo perspective, as her stuff won’t actually be in any time soon. The idea was to bust open some crisp resin-plastic in a homeward way and then play that game. Instead, we passed out at something like 7, due to the kind of long day that starts with a Farmer’s Market and also involves making burgers in the fashion which you desire. Sunday we got the models put together–she kicked my ass in this regard, despite having almost twice as many to assemble, because my wife is thoroughly adept and also:

These adorable bastards are wee.

Continue reading ‘As Close to Playing a Game as Not Playing Can Be’

Communicating with the Younger Generation

•September 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I have a pretty large family. Most of us are in Wyoming, though that’s shifting now–I’m the oldest and I went the hell away for college and only returned to the home state a few years ago, but as my cousins reach the age of autonomy some have left. One actually came TO Wyoming, though, so there’s some fluid dynamics going on.

Anyway, one of my cousins maintains at least a tertiary interest in the things I’m into. This is distinct from the good hours I’ve spent playing video games with my little brother, because he’s my little brother (well, younger…he’s like 6’6″) so I was able to apply sibling pressures when we were kids, and playing a game via the internet’s been one of the more effective ways for us to stay in touch as he deployed his fully-operational 60-hour-a-week work ethic in his adult years. With my cousin, finding out he’d held a controller was a bit of a revelation (that’s not exactly hyperbole, as two of my other cousins, at my wedding, legitimately didn’t know how to hold a 360 controller).

We don’t hang out all that often because we’ve got like an 11-year age difference–so high school is a thing–and the parent with whom he lived wasn’t exactly encouraging of our interacting. He’s popped by the game store to watch (and even play!) a few games of Warhammer though–he even Instagrammed a picture of a dwarf slayer killing my carnosaur, which I can’t for the life of me find anymore.

With Warmachine/Hordes starting to pick up steam at the store (demos were last night, and their success was…middling, but the big game in the basement went much better), I extended an invitation to my cousin to join us. Continue reading ‘Communicating with the Younger Generation’

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.