Sunday, December 15, 2013

50pt SR2014 in Omaha, NE

  One of our local PGs put together an end-of-the-year tournament for 50pt lists using the new SR2014 rules.  Spoiler alert, little has changed.  Control Points are still the name of the game.  There's a few minor differences.  A caster can dominate an objective/flag at 4'' instead of 2''.  There was a scenario or two where dominating a flag didn't necessarily add CPs for you, but instead, removed CPs for the other guy.  Somewhat interesting, but if you're worried about your current lists becoming invalid in January, don't stress out too much.  What worked in 2013 is going to work in early 2014 at least.  It'll be Vengeance before we see any major changes.

  The two major things I wanted to see was LESS scenarios and/or more priority on Army Points Destroyed, or something at least to change up the scenario world.  The fewer Scenarios was more important though.  12 scenarios that are minorly different from one another gets old really quick and I think they could cut it down to six, easily.  But no dice.

  I had 3 options for lists, eCaine, eStryker and Kraye.  Originally, I wanted eCaine and eStryker, but neither really answered different questions.  eCaine answered most of what Stryker could, and Stryker didn't really add a whole lot except a much stronger melee threat than Caine is.  Kraye, on the other hand, is completely different, and for kicks and giggles, I ran a jack heavy list with min Nyss, max Blazers, and some support.

*Ol' Rowdy
Boomhowlers (max)
Aiyana + Holt
Blazers (min)

  eCaine's list was pretty straightforward.  Avenger is the only thing I don't see in most lists, and I'm the only guy in my meta that ever brings it.  That should be a hint, but I love me some 18'' KD threats.

Blazers (Max)
Nyss (Min)

  Kraye was my Anti-Warmachine list.  There was a 4 Devastor Harkevich list running around that I really wanted to tangle with for kicks and giggles, but didn't get the chance.  The Minuteman would flak up any infanty, the Hunters would work on a Heavy, the Hammersmith would hopefully get the Alpha (not hard on Kraye), for some piece trading and let the Cent finish up.  Blazers were there for support, Nyss for tarpitting and eEiryss because she's amazing.

  We ended up with four rounds, and I landed the bye for Round 1.  Round two put me up against the PG not running the tournament, and he dropped Jarl against eCaine.  Jarl's a decent matchup for eCaine, I think.  I'd rather face him than eMadrak (Darn you, Grim Salvation), but he's still an interesting matchup.  His feat makes life kinda difficult for eCaine for a turn.  Unfortunately for me, Turn 2 had me taking the Alpha from his mini-feating Fennblades, which forced 4 CMD checks.  My ATGM and Boomies both failed, and my Rangers failed shortly thereafter.  My turn on Round 2 left me A+H, Blazers, 2 jacks, and Caine + support.  Wasn't a lot I could do.  Went for the assassination.  Everything went pretty well, considering.  The Avenger even rolled the 14 I needed to KD a few targets, which let Caine charge in to get the distance he needed, shoot the downed Kithkar with his initial, and shoot everything else at Jarl.  I hit him three times, had three more shots, and missed the last two.  He had two transfers, so I needed everything to hit, and with the Rangers fleeing, couldn't get them in there to help at all.  It was a rough game, but wasn't one I felt bad about losing.  3 CMD checks was 26 models in a 50pt game failing to be of any use to me on the next turn.  It sucked.

  Game 3 was against eBaldur's skew list.  Megalith, Guardian, Warden, Druids w/UA, LotF, and the Celestial Fulcrum.  The Battle Engine was kind of a wierd choice, and pretty detrimental in this case.  I won the rolloff, chose second and picked the open side of the table.  With as much terrain on his side as there was, he had a really difficult time moving in and around the battle engine.  Turn 1 had a full-tilted Minuteman in his face to deal with the Lord of the Feast, but some lousy terrible rolls managed to keep the guy alive.  However, next turn, I sealed it with a Hammersmith, and since the battle engine was blocking the way to the jack for all of the Wolds to charge him, eBaldur stepped in to do it himself. Turn 3, my Hunters shot the Fulcrum to pieces, and a full-tilted, feat-turn Centurion wrecked face and killed Baldur with his initials.  I had 3 more attacks, and 2 more (possibly 3) from the Hammersmith.  Pretty sealed deal.  I didn't want to drop Kraye against Hordes, but I didn't feel like eCaine had anything like what he needed to handle that much Hi-Arm.  And I needed to drop my Kraye list at some point.

  Game 4 was against pDenny, Bane Thralls, 2 Pistol Wraiths, 2 Bonejacks and a Kraken.  Pretty standard.  You better believe eCaine came out for that one.  He pushed Denny pretty far forward on turn 2, feated and caught most of my army except the Avenger, 2 rangers, the blazers and eCaine.  Caine walked up, feated, murdered Denny.  No sweat.

  Overall, I landed 6th in the tournament, missing 5th by Strength of Schedule.  I, as usual, scored 0 CPs, because that's how I roll.  Out of 21 people playing though, I'll take 6th, definitely.  5th actually got a prize, so I would have rather had 5th, but I'm pretty happy with 6th.

  I like my eCaine list, and Idk that there will be a lot of tweaking there until I've played it quite a bit more.  I think I've only played with 20% of the list, really.  A+H will come out though.  I'm not sure what I'll do with the 4pts, maybe fill out the Blazers, but Aiyana and Holt don't necessarily need to be in a Gunmage list.  I'd rather have them dropping armor for Kraye.  Granted, against the Trolls they theoretically were ok, but I still think I'd rather have them with Kraye.

  Kraye's list was fun, but will change.  I'm tired of Hunters.  They barely pulled their weight and only because of the Celestial Fulcrum.  They got their chance to shoot ARM21 and I wasn't impressed, at all.  Instead, I'd rather have a second Minuteman, fill out the Nyss, run A+H and/or maybe a Journeyman.  I'd rather have the Ironclad than the Hammersmith, but I don't own an Ironclad right now (Converted it to Rowdy), so it'll have to wait.  Had a lot of fun with the list though.

  Overall, had a lot of fun.  Interesting points of the tournament involved watching 1) eHaley forget to feat on the front lines and getting smashed by a primaled Ghetorix.  2)  Lylyth2 Assassination against Vindictus surrounded by Holy Zealots on feat turn (Impossible.  I'd feel kinda bad, except that Legion has pVayl, so I don't want to hear about ''impossible to kill'') 3) 4 Demolishers on Harkevich just being a pain.  4) Lylyth2 vs. Lylyth 2.  5)  Seeing Convergence, period.  Had a lot of fun.  The PG and I shot some pictures with my camera, and I've posted the highlights here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cygnar pouring off of the painting table, along with an Ol' Rowdy conversion.

  In a good way.  Not just falling off in a tide of models as the cat wantonly causes destruction.  My wife and I pulled a couple of units that I've had assembled and primed, but not painted, for probably six months now.  We tackled them over the weekend, and put a serious dent in the models we have left to paint, and then I took them to the Shoppe the next day and successfully proved that Painted models do Not play better.  I've never rolled so many ones in my life.

  Happily though, they looked really pretty.  We'll lead off with the Arcane Tempest Gun Mages.

  My wife did a lot of the base coating on these guys, and I chugged through the highlights Friday morning.  I'm really pleased how they turned out.  I'm also glad I waited six months to finish them.  I had basepainted the jackets already with a desert tan like you see on most of my stuff, and I'm glad I changed my mind since then.  The brown jacket like what I did with Caine has been really pleasing for me, so I stuck with it.

  Next we've got the Stormblade Captain.  I've seen this model get a lot of hate on the forums, but I love it.  I would pay serious money to see a 5 man unit of these guys on the table with Cygnar.  5 box Weaponmaster Stormblade captains with Quick Work?  Yes, please.  I love this guy.  So far though, every time I actually get a weaponmaster attack with him, he either misses, or whuffes the damage roll.  Double ones, buddy.  I think I've gotten quick work to trigger once.  The model and the rules on him are fantastic though.  It's just the player that can't get him to work.  Really happy with how he turned out though.

  Next, we've got an Ol' Rowdy conversion.  I've had my Ironclad for a long time, but he raaarely gets played, and I've more use for Ol' Rowdy.  So we took the Ironclad in the back below.

  Then I took polystyrene plastic and made a shoulderpad, modeled a Cygnus on top and a cable for his arm.  Turned out pretty decent, I think.  Took pictures of the process as well, so we may have a tutorial running around at some point.

  Then we've got Stormblades.  Base coated these dudes probably seven months ago, and finally finished them over the weekend.  Really like how they turned out as well.   

  That UA is a chunky guy.  Anyone notice that?  He's a big dude.  I really hated his model until I started painting him, and then it was actually kind of fun and I'm much happier with him now.  He's kinda dumb though.  Fast assaulting unit, so this guy will wear a thick cloak.  Good job.  

  I also removed the flag, because I hate it.  That guy is almost impossible to stand up straight.  I'll probably model my own flag, Japanese Samurai style, to go in it's place.  Makes more sense to me than that fancy curtain he had instead.

  This took a huge chunk of painting off the table.  About 60-70% of it really.  I've got a few jacks that need highlighted, and then some solos that need finished.  My wife got pStrakhov and a Manhunter yesterday, and the two of us got Ragman, Ayaina and Holt, Eiryss2, and Madilyn Corbeau.  On top of that, I have Harlan and Gorman both that are base coated, but not finished, and my eStryker actually needs to be painted.  So there's a decent amount to be done, but this last wave put a huge dent in it.  On the other side of things, I'm picking up trolls here soon, so the painting will not stop in the forseeable future, especially as much as we enjoy it.  

  Comments, questions, tutorial requests, have at it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jarl (Trollbloods) vs. eCaine (Cygnar) 50pts

  This last Saturday I got the chance to take my table from my previous post down to our FLGS and get a few games in.  I managed to get 50pts vs. Trollbloods, then went after a Khador Harkevitch list with eStryker.  Haven't gotten to play eStryker a whole lot lately.  I've been on a Kraye kick and have been fleshing out eCaine after having recently purchased him.  eStryker did great.  I didn't actually take pictures of that one, so I won't batrep it.  I should have.  The guy I was playing normally rolls with Vlad3, and Harkevitch is a sudden change for him.  I managed to assault with the Boomies early on and at RAT4, needing 9s, killed 6 Iron Fang Pikemen.  My dice were on fire.  After that, it was just a slow game of attrition with the Centurion Stryker creeping in while Harkevitch tried to clear out the Boomies while my Stormblades weakly contested the left flank.  By turn three or four, he left a hole in his front line, daring Stryker to take three or four free strikes to make the charge.  I manage to kill one IFP, and squeeze past all but one, who hit but only did one damage.  Then Stryker rolled for +17 STR and only like, 8 damage.  It was awesome.  Hit Harkevitch twice and killed him.  Got fairly lucky.  The Boomhowlers toughing pretty consistently and shooting down 6 IFP early on pretty much forced an uphill battle for everything else.

  That's all besides the point.  The actual batrep has me up against Jarl with Trollbloods vs. eCaine and Cygnar.  I took the table down, unfolded it, and garnered a game.  Let's run through the table real quick.  Left, we have elevation dead center, two forests opposite of eachother, and a building on the left as well.  The building is simply a square of linear obstacles.  No LOS blockage or anything.  The road is nothing, just board decor.  The water tower towards the back is an obstruction, and the tiled pad next to it is elevation, with both shallow water (the irrigation drain) and then there's the building on it too.  Also linear obstacles.  

  Now, keep in mind that +4 Cover and +2 Elevation normally stack, but for ease of balance and playability, it's one or the other.  It hasn't come up as far as LOS issues are concerned, but I assume that being behind the door frame would give +4 cover, and LOS as well, but not the +2 DEF for elevation.  That's not technically following the rules exactly, but when was the last time you saw cover on top of a hill?  You haven't, because it's messed up.  As the builder of this board, it would be assumed almost immediately that this is so I can park eCaine behind the wall at Base DEF17 +6 for elevation/cover and then camping Blur too.  That's DEF26.  Laying down, He'd still be DEF16.  I don't care what Marx says, High DEF is going to stop you from shooting my caster in this case.  So, elevation is not factored into the cover.  This may change in the future, but I doubt it.  

  Lastly, the field is rough terrain.  Nothing crazy, no cover, extra DEF, just needs pathfinder.  The goal of the board was to make it Not symmetrical, but not skewed either.  The woods are a bit symmetrical obviously, but everything else works pretty well.  The two armies I wanted to run on it were Trolls and Cygnar, just so I could see how medium based trolls do on this map, and Cygnar's shooting.  Happily, that was the first match.

  So!  Lists.  I bought eCaine last week because I'm tired of getting murdered by eMorvahna.  Plain and simple.  pCaine's a blast, I love Kraye, eStryker is still winning me games, but I'm tired of eMorvahna just pretty nearly dominating me every time.  At the same time, I grabbed Sylys, Reinholdt, and Taryn.  Yes, I'm going all out with this guy.  

Trencher Master Gunner
Nyss Hunters
Taryn de la Rovissi.  
Black 13th

  I just realized it, but I think that list is like, 98% painted...  Wait, no, the ATGM aren't completely based, and the Avenger doesn't have highlights.  Everything else is done though.  My wonderful wife painted the Nyss, Taryn, Sylys and Reinholdt too, so a lot of my painting credit goes to her as well.

  The goal here is to try and convince myself that I have 12 pts of Hunters for a reason.  On eCaine, they seem like they might make sense, because they don't need a whole lot of focus.  The other option is Rowdy.

  The ATGM because... eCaine loves ATGM. The Avenger because I like RNG14 POW14 KD AOEs, that don't need any help from eCaine.  Nyss because Nyss are awesome and capable of so much, and Boomhowlers because medium based guys with 50% chance of tough with no knockdown from Heightened Reflexes.  That's just messed up.  Anyways, this is a lot of stuff to tie up pretty nearly anything.  Lots of Hi-ARM might be an issue, but hopefully I can just attrition it out, and if there's actually a few beasts or jacks out there that really are an issue, between 2 hunters and eCaine's feat, I can handle them.  We'll see though.

  I went up against Trollbloods.

*Runebearer (The Moses guy)
Fell Caller
Trollkin Champions
*Skaldi Bonehammer

...I think that's all of them.  We rolled off, I won it, and took second, because I actually wanted a specific side of the board.  Either one would have worked, but I wanted the less open one, which was great, because he wanted the open side.  He deployed with the brick on the center, all the support in behind them and the Longriders out on the flank where the Fell Caller (I think) could get them pathfinder for the rough terrain.

  My hunter sat opposite of the Longriders, Nyss went towards the woods, ATGM behind the building with Caine and Boomies took center.  The goal was to stop the Longriders with Hunters and tangle them with Boomies while the Nyss tied stuff up and helped the ATGM shoot things while the Rangers hang out in the woods and support everyone.  Taryn hung out towards the woods as well, and the B13 forgot to get deployed, but would end up on the right to support the Hunters and/or Boomies.

  We actually got a scenario, incidentally.  Fairly simple.  I think it was Incoming, but we had to flip the zones because of terrain.  Objectives across from eachother to be destroyed for one point, zones that can be friendly dominated for 1, controlled for 2, and dominated by the enemy for 3.  

  So, game begins.  I don't remember the OOA, but I think Jarl activates... Or Moses.  Runebearer activates, hangs out, and makes one spell cheaper for Jarl.  Jarl puts Quicken on the Fenns for a SPD/DEF bonus, and Tactical Supremacy which gives an extra 3'' movement after all of the unit has activated.  Lastly, he puts Weald Secrets on the Longriders for Pathfinder and camouflage, and moves up.  The Chronicler puts "Feign Death" on the Fenns, so that they gain +2DEF and can't be targeted while KD.  the Fenns run forward, because that's what Fenns do.  I love those models and that unit.  Those guys are awesome.

  The Longriders run as well, pushing as far up on the flank as they can, while taking advantage of the cover to be had in the shed.  The Stormtroll runs, and riles, and so does the Impaler.  The Champions run as well, and Skaldi right with them.  Fell Caller runs too.  I was trying to remember if he got pathfinder to the Long riders, but I think he does that later.  Horthol charges way down the opposite flank from the Longriders.

  Then it's my turn.  Caine hands a focus to each hunter and keeps the rest.  Rangers move up, and one gets within 5'' of Horthol, and that one shoots a Fenn, who fails his tough.  The other five rangers shoot at Horthol, and take him down a few damage, but nothing crazy.  I briefly consider CRAing the Nyss, but there's no way they'll have Range I don't think, so I run them instead and fill the woods up.  The Avenger moves up, and takes a shot, but doesn't have range (even with snipe) to hit a clump of troops like I'd like to, so he only hits one, who toughs.

  The hunters activate, and one aims, and the other moves up.  The one that aims is just out, and the other rolls snakeeyes to miss.  Waste of focus, and 2 Longriders live because of it.  That'll hurt.  The B13 pop a few shots off at them, and throw a Magestorm out to stymy them a little.

  The Boomhowlers roll with Fell Call and run forward in two lines.  I'm starting to learn how to actually tarpit and not lose the whole unit on turn one.  Caine moves up, puts Blur on the ATGM and Heightened Reflexes on the Boomhowlers.  Reinholdt tucks in behind him and Sylys follows.  Taryn takes a couple of potshots at Horthol, but fails to finish him off.

Action shot!

  Jarl's turn.  He drops Weald Secrets, I believe, but keeps Tactical Supremacy on the Fenns.  The Fell Caller shuffles over, get Pathfinder onto the Longriders, who charge.  One hits a hunter, and shuts down his gun, while the other cleans out a Boomhowler.  The other three run around engaging things because my Magestorm messed up their charge lane.  I probably would have chanced it.  ARM17 vs. POW12... I'd have to roll 13 to kill, so they should have been safe, but he ran around it.  I'm ok with that.

  Then the Fenns mini-feat and come at me.  They bring Terror with them, but the ATGM, Boomies AND Nyss all pass CMD, which I couldn't believe.  Then the Fenns proceed to shred my Boomies, EXCEPT, I have a 50% chance to Tough.  At the end of his turn, I lose 5 of them altogether.  So far, a Long Rider gets one, and I think of the seven or eight Fenn attacks I take, I tough all but 3 of them.  It was awesome.  Even better, Heightened Reflexes didn't allow the Boomies to go KD, so they just kept tanking it.  It was amazing.  I loved it.  One Boomie, in particular, toughed 3 times with 3 Fenns tucked in around him.  So, the Stormtroll activates, and shoots/throws at this engaged Boomy.  Boosts to hit, going up against DEF16, and... misses...

  He then hits his own guy in the back, and rolls 3 electro leaps, that chain leap and kill the three Fenns engaging that one Boomy.  Heh.  The Impaler then kills him in a fit of rage though, so he still dies, but he caused a lot of problems.  In fact, he causes problems for me too.  That last boomy takes me to half a unit, and they fail their cmd check...  

  Random side note, I almost died here, because Caine's positioning left him open to Magic Bullet which Jarl hilariously has alongside eCaine.  I figured he was safe at DEF21, but magic bullet careth not, but my opponent decided it wasn't a good option, so he passed.

  Anyways, the Fenns killed a few Nyss too, so there was that.  The Champions run forward and clump into 2 3man groups for the ARM bonus, and then Horthol charges his own Fenn in the back and slams him forward over like, three Nyss and a Ranger, killing all four.  Heads up, if you see Long Riders, and put medium based infantry in front of your small based infantry, you're going to have a bad time.  D6'' Slam with like, POW14 collateral damage?  POW12?   Either way, it's auto dead for more light infantry, and anything but snake eyes will kill wannabe medium based infantry like Stormblades.  "We're really little but we're ARM15!  Blast Damage... well, it MIGHT kill us.  We seriously doubt it though."

  Anyways.  The Chronicler puts Feign Death (Important!) on Jarl, who shoots a Ranger I think, and feats, and manages to put 6 cloud templates down.  These all go within his control, block LOS, and put -2MAT or RAT on enemy models inside the template.  Kinda nifty, but a very defensive feat.  On the downside, it works great against eCaine.

    So, I upkeep Heightened Reflexes, drop Blur on the ATGM because that was kind of silly, give the black Hunter a focus, and keep the rest.  The Boomies rally, which is something, but meh.  I can't see much, in fact, I can only see the models that are actually in the clouds, or the Longriders on the far right.  While I'd like more shooting, this lets me focus quite a bit, and in retrospect, outside of an assassination, I don't know that I would have shot at anything else.  

  However, Reinholdt opens the ball and gives an extra shot to Caine, and the Trencher Master Gunner gives +2 RAT to the Avenger.

  Side note:  Every time this warjack shows up at the shoppe, someone looks at it and goes "Is that an Avenger?"  The warjack never sees any use.  Ever.  I think if it wasn't part of the Centurion kit, most people wouldn't even own one.  I love mine.  He's completely negated any use for the Defender for me (I'd rather take a hunter *gasp*) and his KD shot is incredibly handy.  On the ATGM, I lose the ability to use him in melee but I don't think he's ever gotten into melee because he's standing 14'' away from his target.  Avengers never get to do that.  Maybe my opinion will change.  Quite possibly.  I love mine though.  I love catching people unaware when they sidle a little hi-def model up near a warjack to screen themselves.  Thank you, so much.  On top of that, the ATGM have pushed models for me before that weren't within KD range of what I actually wanted to KD, and that's awesome too.  Anyways.  Let's do some math.

  Horthol needs to go away.  He's really the biggest priority target I can see, and he's only got about 21 guns looking at him.  I want him dead, and saluted all at the same time.  The Avenger goes first.  Horthol is A) Engaged, and B) in a cloud.  This leaves him at DEF 18, which is pretty daunting for a RAT4 jack.

  However, my Jack is A) RAT 4, B) aiming for +2 RAT, C) Got Artillerist for another +2 RAT), D) Preparing to shoot at a target that is under Mark Target from the Rangers for another +2 RAT.  My Avenger is RAT10 right now.  Against DEF18.  The thing here is that I really want Horthol dismounted.  Really badly.  I want to put that Jackmarshal point to Damage, not Boosting.  I debate about it for awhile.  If this was Vassal, I'd of boosted.  Heck, I'd of boosted if I needed a 6.  On tabletop....

  I roll it, and roll a 9.  Boost damage, and easily kill Horthol's mount.  The troll is dismounted and KD.  Haha.  My ATGM all aim at this point, and half shoot at Horthol and finish him, and the other half plink bullets off of the Champions and Skaldi.  My Nyss then activate, shuffle around, kill some Fenns, though I'm not quite able to finish the UA who's unseen on the other side of the building.

  The Rangers push forward into the zone, and two shoot Moses, who toughs both times, dangit.  The other three plink a few wounds into Jarl, but nothing crazy.  Really, they're just being annoying.  I should have run one into the woods to be Reeeally annoying, but I wanted Moses dead.

  I still have a few things left.  The hunter that's engaged swings his axe and misses the Longrider.  The other one aims, and oneshots a Longrider.  Bout time.  It also ensures that at least one Longrider will be out of CMD range next turn.  The new leader becomes the central one, leaving the far right rider out of CMD.  The b13 pop a few shots at the one on the far left who can put the hurt to my Boomies, but don't kill him.  Caine activates, shoots him, kills him easily (Hot dice), then empties the last two shot into Bonehammer for little to no damage.  He then gatecrashes into the woods and calls it a turn.

  My opponent opens his turn by deciding that his Storm troll is on the wrong side of the board.  ARM16 Boomies don't mind electro leaping nearly as much as Nyss do.  So.  Moses... does something, I think he minifeats and casts a spell for Jarl, but I don't remember what it was.  Magic Bullet on Jarl, I think maybe.  The longriders activate, and one charges the Boomy in front of him, and rams him through Lynch and Ryan behind him, killing all three of them.  Those Longriders are handy.  Watts... passes CMD I think.  He's used to dieing.  Doesn't even scare him anymore.  The other longrider knocks out the axe on my hunter too, and the third one runs to be in CMD.  I would have walked the Hunter away with Parry, but the gun was gone after the first charge, so meh.

  The Fell Caller moves up and gives War Cry (+2MAT) to the Champions.  I think.  Skaldi and 2 champions charge while the other three shuffle around to protect Jarl.  Skaldi crushes the objective, because that's what you do when you're playing scenario, and the other two get into the Boomies, and utterly smash them.  The Boomies tough and remain standing because Sylys has been upkeeping Heightened Reflexes.  Go Sylys!

  The Impaler activates, aims, boosts to hit, and murders a Ranger, and puts his animus on Jarl.  Jarl activates shuffles into the edge of the zone, boosts to hit, hits a ranger, magic bullets another one, buys, boosts and kills the last one.  That leaves me with no Rangers in the zone, and he's dominating it.  With nothing contesting either zone, and an objective gone, we're at 4 CPs to 0.  The Chronicler throws Feign Death back onto Jarl and calls it turn.

  It's an all or nothing turn for me, which is fine.  I have eCaine, and it's feat turn.  I decide that I can either use Taryn to open LOS to Jarl, knock Jarl over with the Avenger, and murder him with eCaine, or use the ATGM to thunderbolt a Champion back into Jarl, and KD them both.  The Avenger is going to hit.  I don't have my rangers, but the Avenger is still RAT8 considering everything, and a 1, 1, 2 will hit (I'd probably TB the Champion back, seems like the safer bet).

  Then my opponent reminds me that Feign Death means that Jarl can't be targeted while knocked down.

  This pretty nearly ruins my fool-proof plans.  Little did either of us know (I should have, I've been playing the Chronicler and KNOW this), that the Chronicler's buffs are Units only.  Not warrior models, and much less casters.

  I don't realize this though.  This makes life a lot more difficult.  Factor in that Jarl has an ability that gives him 2'' of movement if he's missed by a ranged attack.  This sucks.  But it's all I've got. I realize at this point that the Axer is at full fury as well (Animus on Jarl, and boosted to hit), and that I might still have this.

  Taryn activates, and shoots two champions.  One hits, and opens LOS.  The Hunter moves up from the right flank, and is way out of range, so I wasted that.  I should have shot the Storm troll.  Watts sends a Brutal into the Stormtroll, and does like, 10 damage.  A Nyss opens fire at Jarl, through the hole Taryn opened, and does a handy amount of damage, but Jarl keeps it.  The ATGM activate, and a few throw shots at the Troll, and a few shoot Jarl.  One hits Jarl, and the other misses, so Jarl moves closer to the Champions so I can't shoot them with the Avenger and open up more LOS.  So I shoot the Troll with the Avenger, and pretty nearly finish him.

  So Caine, here we go.  He activates, moves forward, shoots Jarl.  Jarl transfers, and kills the Stormtroll.  I fire again, and miss.  Jarl moves to the right, out of LOS, with an engaged Fenn and an unengaged Champion between Caine and Jarl.  Caine handily kills them both and opens fire on Jarl again.  At this point, my opponent realizes that he misread the Chronicler's card, and that Jarl would probably be KD right now.  This is frustrating, but we've already moved on.  I keep shooting.

  Comes down to the very last shot.  I have two focus left, and Jarl has 3 health.  I'm at dice even at this point I think, if not dice plus one.  I buy and boost to hit, and roll triple ones to miss.

  ...  We didn't even play it out.  He felt pretty bad for misreading the rules, and I was kind of frustrated with trip ones missing what should have been an easy shot.  But, he won, definitely.  All he had to do was move Jarl back into his zone to dominate it, and he was done.  Wasn't really any need.

  Victory to Trollbloods!

  Thoughts on the game.  We talked about it for awhile, and I think I'm ok with.  Technically, he won it, and tournament wise, he would have moved forward.  As a friendly game between to guys at an FLGS though, I'm pretty ok with how I played it.  Everything did what it needed to, and with the exception of horrible dice at the very end, everything went pretty decent.  Actual points though:

1.  I love this table.  I'm really really happy with how this table played out.  I didn't want to have too much cover, but I wanted it to be a good looking board too.  I also didn't want it to look like I stacked the deck in Cygnar's favor.  I've played as Trollbloods enough recently to know how frustrating that much cover is.  Trollbloods was actually the army I had in mind to counterbalance Cygnar's playstyle as I tried to design an accommodating board, and I was lucky enough to have Trollbloods as my first opponent.  I'm reeeallly happy how it turned out, and how it played.  Very excited with the board.

2.  This is the... third?  I think third time I've played eCaine, 2nd time on tabletop.  The first game, I narrowly lost as well with lousy dice (eCaine vs. Circle's cassius.  Rolled 1,1 and 1,2 damage a few times on feat turn), and the second time, well, here.  But I won the vassal game with him, and the game right after this one.  I like him.  He's not as addicting as Kraye, or eStryker, or even pCaine but he's fun.  Heightened Reflexes on Boomies is hilarious.  All that being said, my list building with him needs work yet.  I got a lot of recommendations for Ol' Rowdy, so that might happen.  I think I may drop the Hunters for him.  The B13 were also 4pt filler.  I have Ayaina and Holt on the way to replace them.  That still leaves me 3 pts.  I also need to trade the Nyss out, because depending on my second list, I think they'll be in there.  If it's eStryker, they'll Definitely be in there, and maaaaybe in my Kraye list.  So I need to figure out 10pts for eCaine.  Silverline might be fun, but I don't have them yet.  I really don't actually have much infantry.  Generally, it's my Nyss, Boomies, or Stormblades.  Some Forgeguard might be nice at this point though, but it's not the time of year to put 70$ down on a 10 model unit.  And I don't have Ol' Rowdy either.  A Centurion will probably have to do for him for awhile, and maybe a Journeyman.  Idk.  Or Eiryss.

  So I need to figure out how to replace 10pts of Nyss.  Stormblades could be ok, especially with Rangers already in the mix.  Jr. would definitely be a good idea in that case, because if AS isn't on Rowdy/Cent, then it's on the blades.  10pts of Stormblades is everything but 1 Stormgunner, and I'm ok with that.  So that might be an option.  Any suggestions, comments.

3.  Gameplay.  I should have shot the Storm Troll with my Hunter.  That would have won me the game I think.  That's the one shot I really wuffed.  Like, nvm that I could have KDed Jarl.  That's besides the point.  I almost gaurantee a win there.  Going the direction we did, I think the Hunter shot was the key failure here.  That almost definitely would have killed the Troll sooner, and at 3 boxes left on Jarl, that would have been enough.

My opponent also realized that he definitely didn't need all 4 CPs.  He told me he should have pushed Jarl behind the water tower, and I agree, that would have kept him alive.  At that point though, I think I would have killed his army.  The Boomies were back in commission at that point too.  ATGM and Nyss would have killed as many Fenns and Champions as they could, while Caine would kill what was left of the champions, and hopefully get a Longrider too so that they couldn't score.  It would have been close, and he would have had the upper hand at that point I think, but it would have been a good feat turn for me.  Overall though, I'm pretty happy with how everything went, and thoroughly enjoyed the game.  I chalk it up as a pseudo win.  The official record shows a loss, but that last turn was solidly in my hands and it wasn't like I just threw it away, it just got the rules messed up and rolled trip 1s when I needed just trip 2s.

  Comments!  Insults!  Bring them on!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

4x4 Folding Desert Farming table Finished

An earlier post saw a folding 4x4 table built, but devoid of terrain except for the normal tabletop pieces I dropped in.

Nothing really awesome, but functional at least. This last week, I pulled all the stops, and built terrain into the board. First off though, I stained it. Here it is, sitting under a futon from my bachelorhood.

Threw some felt on the bottom to protect whatever surface it's sitting on, gluing it on with some 3M adhesive spray. Nvm the random pieces of terrain I have on top. All prototypes. They look good, but definitely prototypes.

It turned out pretty decent. The basis for it is half inch foam insulation that I brushed down with acrylic, then brushed in watered down glue at which point I threw on the ballast rocks. In the future, know that 1) The Acrylic is pointless, since you're spraypainting it, and does Not seal the foam against spraypaint, and 2) spraypaint before you add ballast so that you'll avoid the foam peeking through the rocks when they break loose as thousands of the millions you put down will.

Elevation, forests and a road. The hill was easy. More half-inch foam board, cut the edges every which direction and tear out random bits until it looks pretty beat up, seal, spraypaint, add ballast, dry brush. Tada.

The road was kind of the same concept. Drag something through in the direction of the road so that it rips up the foam, and then do it a lot. Eventually, you'll have a lot of ruts and rises and it'll look pretty beat up. Paint it dark brown (Or tan, depends on the road you want), add way more ballast to it than you did anywhere else, paint it again, wash it as best you can (I advise making your own wash, using walmart acrylic and a paint/water mix of about 40/60), then drybrush a little. Not a lot, but just some. The wash did most of the work, and unlike everything else you paint, gravel roads don't actually have any wear to them. The rocks shift, go away, whatever, so don't drybrush like crazy, just enough to highlight them a little bit in the sunlight.

The forests, I basepainted in some dark brown (Walmart stuff, not the good paint.) then stabbed a bunch of little trees I got at hobby lobby. They were on sale, my wife made fun of me, and we've used them in everything. Our Nyss have them, Taryn has one, they'll be in a lot of places. JTT Scenery Products, apparently, is the company we got them from. We've used maybe a third of the trees that came in the package, and we've used about 20 trees. Well worth the like, 6 bucks I spent on it.

After you've poked the trees in and glued them, I scattered in a lot of Red Pepper flakes from Walmart's seasoning aisle. The other two ideas were more expensive terrain-dedicated options, or crushed eggshells and food dye. This was way easier than eggshells and cheaper than the other option.

The dock was constructed out of craft sticks from walmart, washed and drybrushed for the mud. The little grass tufts you see here and randomly throughout the board are from Army Painter. The water effects are from Hobby Lobby. 90% of any dedicated terrain products we grabbed for the table are from Hobby Lobby. They've got a daily coupon online that will get you one product, any product, for 40% off. That takes 20$ water effect bottles down to around 14$ with tax. It takes Air Compressors and Air Brushes way down, it helps with regular brushes, paint modifiers, you name it. It's awesome.

Anyways, make sure you seal where this water goes! I didn't do it right the first time and assumed the elmers would get it all (Normally it would, but there were some serious gaps), and happily, the felt soaked all of what drained up, and not my carpet, but heads up.

The little water pump, and piping is plasticard or plasticard piping from Hobby Town (not Lobby, gasp). The basis of it was one of my wife's bead cylinders that I repurposed and added edges and exhaust to. The paint is bronze stuff from Vallejo with pigments added in on top. The goal here is for the water pump to pull water from this resevouir, irrigate the little field, and then dump what's left back into the irrigation drainage pit to be sent back into the resevouir.

Speaking of fields, this be it. I dragged a row through the foam, then came back in and cut at an angle on both sides, then sanded the whole thing to get rid of the rough edges. There's used tea grounds in there, used coffee grounds, and a little bit of dark green turf as well. Turned out ok. I didn't want it to be a field in the spring, but rather, fresh after planting, or maybe late fall after the havest has been done for a few months. I would have loved to have had dried cornstalks up everywhere, but that's completely impractical for wargaming. As it is, it functions as rough terrain.

I love this pool, I could care less about the pad. I don't like how the tile turned out, and you can see some spraypaint errosion as well. The water, however, looks awesome. I put plasticard on the bottom, sealed it with elmers glue and green stuff, added in a plasticard grate that I made and poured in the water.

The building is foamboard with the edges sealed in watered down glue, and some sweet vines I got from Hobby Town.

Another building, more foamboard, vines and craft sticks. I really liked the looks of this one though.

The other side of the board was pretty empty, and I wanted to break that up, so I built a water tower. More craft sticks. The basin is the bottom of a disposable moutwash cup with a reinforced plasticard rim. I threw leaves in the bottom for character and water effects. Makes for a fantastic obstruction. One of the goals with this table was to make it Not symmetrical, and give a benefit to going second. One side favors shooting, the other favors melee armies. Makes you actually pick.

First game! Jarl's Trollbloods vs. eCaine's Cygnar! Actually was exactly the two armies I wanted to put on this table to test it out, and it was a blast. Very playable, very enjoyable, had a great time.

So that's it for the table. I'm really excited it turned out, and I'll be doing a few tutorials in the near future on specific aspects of it. Chime in if you want to see something in particular.