Sunday, March 29, 2015

Something Different than Trolls - Kracken Commission

  Our newest Cryx player is expanding his army in leaps in bounds.  A constant theme in his lists is his Kracken.  He had the based version of it at the latest tournament, but I got the last touches of paint on it yesterday morning and turned it over to him.  Was interesting to get back into Warjacks a little bit after a year of organics.  The airbrush makes it considerably simpler, and it was a godsend for the OSL.

  The guy wanted it based more excessively than normal.  He originally wanted it tearing through a boat, but couldn't find one of a suitable size.  So he ended up handing it to me with some aquarium terrain he found.  I did the base seperate from the Kraken, but about the same level, trying to pose them together.  I ended up spiking a back leg on the kraken up pretty high to land on a column once I got the base completely made, and then I painted the base before moving to the Kracken.

 I had to glue it together and basecoat the whole thing briefly for a Masters tournament, but otherwise they've been two seperate pieces.  The pillars kinda took me in a ruined greek temple direction, so that's the pallete I stuck with for the most part. I did the basecoat on the Kracken with the airbrush then went into detail work with a brush.

This is un-rusted.

  The client wanted a rugged, used looking kracken, so I set into the rust.  I tried to make a solid orange wash, but ended up with a nasty looking yellow, and a mars red when I tried both times.  This actually worked better.  I essentially pretended to be a watercolor painter and left deep red in some spots and yellow in others, then mixing and blending as I went.  It gave a really good natural random look to it.  Very inconsistent.  Then I dabbed watered-down elmers in spots and sprinkled secret weapons pigments on it.  Then I sealed the model.

  Only thing left was OSL.  I did forest green first, mixed it with a lime green, then went to the lime green, narrowing my focus each time with the airbrush.  As I moved through the levels, I would place the Kracken on the base and see where the light would reach on the base and airbrushed forest green into those spots.  The final step before glueing the whole thing together finally was to create a near-white thick wash from white and lime green, and flow it into the vents at the center of the OSL.  The final effect is what we have here.

  So there you have it.  I'm a commission painter on the side now it seems.  I'm excited to see what else comes down the road from this player.  There's some really awesome Cryx models out there I wouldn't mind seeing on my table for a painting session.  I just need him to get into Khador so I can paint Ruin too.

  I have two Batreps en-route very shortly, both against Gators.  Our normal Cryx/Circle player that thrashes me on a regular basis recently got into Gators with the release of Jaga and the Vault, and both games have a Vault in them.  Until then.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Omaha Masters tournament

  Our masters tournament came and went yesterday.  We had a 35 player turnout, including most of the guys from Muse.  The day began pretty horribly for me since I forgot my Highwaymen, Fire Eaters, Pendrake, Warders and Bone Grinders.  The TO gave me bye for the first round to figure things out and my wife drove the models to me.  So yeah...

  However, she came in just as I was setting up my first game, and I owe her a ton.  She told me she was going shopping and I pretty much just nodded my head and off she went.  There could have been a new Ford sitting in my driveway when I got home, and I would have been understanding of that.

  A lot of work went into this tournament.  ADR is a really cool format and I've been looking forward to it, but between Exigence, plastic resculpts and the option of 20pts of sideboards, I realized how many models I don't own because I simply don't have room for them in lists.  Pendrake's a good example.  Pendrake, to me, is a Specialist model.  There's so many 2pt solos and I'm always going to want an SSC, but against say, Legion, Pendrake is better.  So I ordered him, and actually, everything that I listed above.  In fact, they were sitting in their own carboard box on my painting table, which is why I forgot them.

  I also built a huge wood tray for this thing.  There may or may not be a tutorial for that later, but it's basically just fancy work with a holesaw and a lot of 1/4'' plywood.  My original model count with ADR factored in was 94 models, and only 19 of those were small based.  Trolls are a pain to transport.  However, I played my Kriel Warriors a few times, and they really annoyed me, so I dropped them from the lists and replaced them with Fenns until I understand Kriels better.  So that saved me like, 15 model spots.  So, lists.

Max Long Riders
Max Fenns w/ UA
Fire Eaters
Fire Eaters

*Fell Caller

  Jarl is my Legion, Cygnar, some Circle, and support heavy list counter, E.G., some Skorne and Menoth.  The ADR options are pretty simple.  Storm/Pyre swap depending on Circle/Cygnar or Menoth/Legion.  If a Colossal enters the game, Mulg and the Fell Caller come in, and Horthol, Pendrake, the Slag and the Runebearer come out.

Fell Caller
Min Bone Grinders
Max Burrowers
Max Fenns w/ UA
Max Highwaymen

Min KSB w/UA

  Grim is my all-comers.  He's primarily tailored for Cryx, but there's not much he can't deal with.  I can tarpit, deal with ARM, DEF, and if all else fails and I really need an ARM skew of my own, I drop the Fenns, HWM and SSC and bring in the Specialists.

  So yeah, I byed the first round.  Second round I landed Crump.  MoM Miami #52 talks about this tournament a bit, and he covers it pretty well.  He ran Kallus and Vayl1.  Jarl is my Legion drop, and I've played Kallus before, but at that point I only had the models for Jarl, so I wasn't really considering what else I could do.  Going in though, I was very aware that Long Riders were going to get shafted by Kallus's feat and Incubi spawns.  Crump ran a ton of units, no solos and 3 shredders.  Long Riders can handle infantry swarms, and I had Fire Eaters too, but Incubi spawning in behind everything pretty much shuts down my Riders bad.  On top of that, Blight Blades came in from behind and pinched my army in pretty well.  I failed to score any CPs, and lost pretty quickly.

  Grim2 would have definitely been a better drop, but I do think Jarl could have handled it a bit better than I let him.  I'm not super worried because the chances of running into Kallus again are pretty slim, but yeah.  The highlight though was that by turn 3, I was fully aware that I could not win this game.  We had plenty of time left, so I told Crump that my goal this game was to see how many things Fire Eaters can kill.  Keith was sitting right next to me, and Crump was interested too.  Turn 2, one unit of FIre Eaters killed all a unit of Blight Blades effortlessly.  On turn 3, they killed another 8 models between legionairres, swordsmen and incubi.  This was while they were lit on fire, so it was pretty much only a question of range and SPD.  If a model was in range, it died.  I was pretty happy with them.

Round 3, I landed Legion again.  He dropped Thags1 and I dropped Jarl again.  This was actually a legion list I was ok with, even though there was a ton of arm in this list.  He ran tier, with two units of Warspears, 2 scytheans, one carnivean and 2 pots.  I had a forest right central in my deployement path, so that was an issue.  However, most of my list has easy access to pathfinder, even without the Fell Caller.  So stuff flanked, and the pathfinder stuff ran through the woods.  The Warspears tried to assault things, but the juiciest targets were the Long Riders, and they were DEF16 because I know this trick.  This is not the first time Warspears have needed 11s against Long Riders, and it makes me happy.  However, it made for a pretty solid wall that his beasts hid behind.  The scenario was Fire Support I think too.

  So Fenns charge in, jam, and miss the Fell Caller a lot.  I think, needing 8s, only 3 hit, and did little to no damage because Thags1 has an automatic STR debuff that's dumb.  Jarl feated behind them, covering them in clouds and protecting everything else, and then he went to the right.  Long Riders hid behind clouds except one that smashed a pot.  Horthol did the same thing on the opposite flank, but failed to kill the pot, but he took two turns to dislodge.  On the legion turn, the warspears tried to clear Fenns and did ok, but that was pretty much all that happened.

  At this point, I realized that my Fenns were pretty much gone, but the right flank was completely unoccupied and I had the means to clear the objective and dominate pretty easy.  So the Fire Eaters charge in, and annihilate the world.  Not kidding.  These 5 models (the Carnivean sprayed one and cranked the dice.) killed almost all the warpsears.  It was amazing.  4 were on fire.  8pts, made back super easy.  The Long Riders finally commit to the fight, leaving the objective on one box, and basically trying to block paths to the flag.  I blocked a good charge lane for my long riders with the Impaler that I charged into a Scythean, because I just wanted him to engage, but otherwise it went ok.  Jarl moved in, magic bulleted a model, killed the objective and swift huntered into the flag to dominate for 2, taking me to 3.

  Legion counterattacks, and kills most everything.  He gets a Scythean into my Long Riders and kills all of them, and Thags charges in at his own model.  This is pretty key.  He's trying to get a mutagenesis on Pendrake so he can land next to Jarl and kill him.  However, he charges, kills his model, and I put an ash cloud down because I'm the one with surplus 3'' rings.  This blocks LOS to Jarl, because Thags wasn't close enough to the model he charged to be in the cloud, as far as we know.  My opponent got ahead of himself, removed the model and I placed the ring, and then we didn't know if Thags was in the cloud or not.  If he had been, a Mutagenesis would have happened, and Jarl probably would have died.  The better option would have been to charge the model, and because he lands in range, he doesn't fail the charge.  At that point, he casts Mutagenesis because he can cast a spell at anytime.  He lands near Jarl and uses his initial there instead of at his own model.  It's not a failed charge because he made melee range.  I was not aware of this trick, and my opponent forgot it.  Would it have got him the game?  I don't know.  It would have been close.

  However, on my turn, there's a Scythean in my way of dominating.  So, I begin a very careful order of activation.  I have one fire eater (that blows his fire out, dangit), pendrake, Jarl, a Pyre that can shoot, a Slag a long ways away and... that's it.  I really want to charge Pendrake in and use dismember, but it's actually better to KD the beast if at all possible.  So Pendrake moves, KDs the beast, and blocks my Slag's charge lane.

  I'm an idiot.

  So the Pyre buffs the Slag, moves in, shoots the Scythean.  Does ok.  The Fire Eater assaults and does solid, getting most of a spiral, which is awesome.  Jarl activates, quickens the slag, shoots Pendrake and kills him, and shoots the Scythean, boosting damage.  The Slag charges in, has range (I was iffy, but he was well within what he needed to be), and on the very last roll, kills the Scythean.  I end turn and dominate for my 5 CPs total that I need.

 Round 4 shows up and I get Fox from Muse, and he's got Denny1 and Goreshade3.  Either way, my Grim2 list is my drop, and I don't want Warders for this.

  He drops Denny1.  Croes, bonejacks, Nyss, 2 units of Banes...  All that stuff.  Fenns get Crippling Grasp right away.  Top of two, Denny pushed way in and feats, catching most of my stuff.  Happily though, she's not far away.

  So Grim2 moves up, feats.  Burrowers come up, mark target everything.  Grim lands Mortality on Denny (and mage sight, because Gorman put a cloud up) and hits her, doing decent damage.  The Bomber moves up, and is just a hair out of range.  I was leaving room on a central hill for my HWM to get LOS to her, but after I had already moved Grim2 and left him on no transfers and forgot to reform him, I realized that HWM cannot igore stealth.  So yeah.  If I had put him on the hill, the Bomber would have range, and it would have been a different game.  As it was, I targetted something else with his second shot, and dealt some decent blast damage to Denny.

  Then I prepared to die.  Somehow, that did not happen.  My fenns get pretty much wiped out, and I take some losses in everything else.  Denny tries to run a way, but Killbox won't let her.  So Grim2 pulls in everything, moves up, boosts Mortality and MISSES.  So I boost my rifle shot, hit, and leave her on one box....

  Then Rok assaults and misses her.  And the Bomber tries to move, and dies to a free strike (Three total hits from Banes over his turn and my turn.)  1 Box, and denny survives.

  So he tries to kill Grim2 again.  Tales of Mist is up on him, and he's on a hill.  Nyss try to get him, he toughs, and cannot be targetted.  However, a bane sneaks in and finishes him off.  And Gorman blinded him.  Not in that order, but yeah.

  1 box.  I should have boosted to hit, boosted damage, and it'd of been game.  But I wanted Mortality, for Rok.

  Overall though, I reeeaally enjoyed the tournament, and it was good to meet some of the Muse guys.  The two I played, Crump and Fox, were decent guys to play and Fox specifically was a pretty funny game.  It took us awhile to roll off successfully because we both rolled a 6, then we both rolled a 5, then a 4.  It finally broke at three, and he won the rolloff, but there for a bit it was weird.

  Great games though, and I love Fire Eaters. So much.  Now that Masters is done, I'm excited to go back to other casters.  I want to push Calandra's EE tier a bit more, and I want to run Borka2's tier.

  Until then, enjoy your spring weather guys.  It's beautiful out here, and I'm loving it.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Unboxing the Fire Eaters

    As soon as the rules came out these guys, I wanted two units.  Trolls has a weird thing with the point cost of 8 and 16.  In ADR, that's super cool.  I noticed first with Champions vs. Long Riders.  LR w/ Horthol is 16pts, and so is Champs w/ UA and Hero.  This can be replaced with 2 units of Warders really easily.  Now with the HWM, it can be replaced with Warders - Highwaymen.  The Fire Eaters step into that circle too now at 4pts.  2x Fire Eaters is six models instead of 5 Warders.  This is really good for us with the new ADR rules.  It's very easy to standardize your battlegroup and tarpit then fill your army up with 8pt options and swap them out as needed.  My Jarl list, for example, can have 2x Warders, 2x Fire Eaters, Highwaymen and solos.  Feralgeist and Fellcaller, Pendrake and Runebearer, or better yet, min KSB w/UA.  Whatever.  Completely changes up the army after you know the enemy caster.  This is pretty powerful for Trolls where infantry is our bread and butter.  Madrak2, Jarl, Grim2, everyone will run 2x Warders the same way, and that will be an ARM skew.  Don't need an ARM skew?  Highwaymen/Fire eaters.  Now we have a completely different list.  I like it a lot.

  So, anyways, I saw their rules, and their rules are awesome.  People don't want to bring a Pyre, but you're already bringing a pyre for a damage buff.  People don't want to waste his shot, but mine rarely shoots.  He buffs a warder and runs around.  Now he's firing a shot at this unit, buffing a warder, and resuming his business.  Not a big deal.  But if you're bringing a 5pt Pyre already, just bring 2.  8pts for 6 models is pretty reasonable in trolls where 8pts usually gets us 5 Warders.  I think they're perfect.  

  That's the preamble.  I've got them.  They showed up Thursday with a Slag, Pendrake, Kriel Warriors, Bone Grinders, second unit of Warders (Apparently that's a thing), my AOE keys and a receipt from Discount games who mailed it a day before the Fire Eaters released.  Pretty legit.  Right away, the box displays an impossible standard of painting and dares you to try.  The box is the little one like the light warbeasts ship in.  Probably the most expensive small box Trollbloods has.  As far as painting goes, I'm super excited to give it my own shot, and I'm eagerly awaiting Arizona Troll's rendition on the forums.  These will be specifically difficult because of the area effect lighting that the flames generate.  I think it's possible to do without an airbrush, but I'm really glad I have mine.

  Bunch of little pieces.  PP is getting brave with their plastics these days, and these are very well done.  

  I assembled my Warders in the same evening as these guys, so I may be overly appreciative of these dudes, but I'm not seeing molding much.  This cape as a small gate issue on the bottom right of the cape, but all the seams are on the edges as they should be.  

  That's really all I'm finding though, just fill port issues, and they're in easily accessed areas of the model.  There's not fitting a tiny sanding tool in there to get it down.

  This is the pyg.  Probably the least impressive of the three.  He's still cool, but you feel like he's the tagalong to the party.  One of the dude's little brothers that won't go away or something.

  This is the worst seam I've found I think, running down the side of our tagalong.  It's easily cleaned though, 

  This guy's billowing fire.  He's a little more complicated, but here's his pieces.  The hands are seperate, the little whelp holding the torch is his own piece, and there's a keg and his head.

  Best for last.  I love this sculpt.  He's almost got the Indiana Jones torch looking thing going on and I really like it.  I'd be tempted to use the base of this guy for a Borka1 or Madrak2 conversion.  Borka1 is probably better suited, but I'm a sucker for flowing coats, and this guys does it beautifully.  He comes with both hands separate, his head, the keg on his back, and two little pieces that slot in on his back.  

  Overall though, they're pretty simple to put together and I love the models.  Super excited to paint these.  

    Overall though, these guys are solid, easy to assemble and great looking models.  I think they're going to be awesome hits in the field and I'm excited to see them go.  

  I've got two batreps to put online with my ADR lists.  I'm also painting two Krakens for commission, and they'll get on here at some point.  We're through the worst of the winter here and things are starting to get a little less busy, so hopefully we'll see more of the blog.  Hopefully you guys are enjoying your weekend and we'll see you around.