Sunday, 7 September 2014

Staying alive.

My mate said that his blog was deleted because he had gone so long without blogging. I can't have that happening, hence this post...

Saturday, 31 May 2014

The next rush job; more Menoth painted for Warmachine.

Sean is participating in a Warmachine Journeyman league and had recently moved up to 25 pt. so I agreed to match this. After a little procrastinating I realised I had just three evenings left for painting. To make life easier I decided to use all of the 15 pt. that I had used in the last two games so that left 10 pt. to paint and base. Uh oh!

Long story short, I finished basing my battle group 15 minutes before Sean was due to arrive. Here they are, in all their crimson glory.

 Vassal Mechanic - 1 pt.

 Temple Flameguard UA - 2 pt.

 Temple Flameguard (min) - 4 pt.
I was going to paint another min. unit at the same time but dropped them on the floor... :(

 Choir of Menoth (min) - 2 pt.
(I painted the whole choir...)

Wracks - 1 pt.

Sean arrived, the game took place. Details coming soon...

Club Night - 15 pt. Warmachine refight.

Sean and myself found out that neither Keith nor Dave could make it to the club so we had a change of plan and switched over to Warmachine using exactly the same two forces as in our previous game.

My list - Menoth - 15 pts.

2 x Revenger

Sean's list - Cygnar - 15 pts.

Black 13th Strike Team

This proved a much quicker game than our previous encounter. We were just that little bit faster with the rules but also managed to get a decisive result in less turns; last time was an attritional grind. I forgot to take photos apart from a couple of shots during turn 2 (3?) and the details are hazy.

Early in the game I moved Kreoss up behind a wall and cast Defender's Ward on him which I think I upkept for most of the game. The Revengers pressed the attack in front of Kreoss while the Castigator moved up the left flank to engage the 13th who ran across to the other flank leaving him stranded. He toasted one but made no other contribution to the game.

All the action was on the other flank. Stryker feated first and did a lot of damage to my Revengers, crippling several systems and leaving one without it's arc node and the other disrupted. This made all the difference when I feated with Kreoss straight after. Both Revengers moved through the huge gaps between the knocked down Cygnar 'jacks to attempt an assasination but neither could charge. If they'd been in any fit state they'd have got the job done but instead they left Stryker on one box!

The mists of time have clouded what happened next. I know a Revenger went down and maybe a Cygnar light  'jack. Stryker really needed to get out of dodge but instead stumbled into Kreoss' line of sight. Focus was duly camped and a boosted Immolation fest saw Stryker incinerated as befits all heretics.

Later I realised I had forgotten the +2 shield bonus for the Revengers for the entire game. This might have made all the difference in Stykrer's feat turn leaving them able to kill him for me in mine.

'Man' of the Match was awarded to the wall that sheltered Kreoss throughout the game.

Song of Blades and Heroes - Game on

Sean came over a few weeks ago for my first 'proper' game of Warmachine but later in the day Keith arrived so we moved on to SoBaH. I'd been itching to give this a go and had had various lists and fully painted warbands sitting on the sidelines for days.

I'd planned a classic Dwarf v. Goblins game. The dwarfs are more powerful, costing more, so were massively outnumbered. Most AAR's I've seen for SoBaH have been between two similar warbands with similar capabilities and they looked like fun games but I can sum up my feelings on how well the rules stood up to a more asymmetric scrap in one word... Disappointing.

Hordes of poor quality troops in SoBaH seem to have no chance against smaller warbands made up of high quality troops. The points system fails to allow for the massive disparity in the abilities of the troops. It was bad enough in the first game we played but once we added Leaders it was ridiculous. The dwarf player just kept shouting, "3 actions!", rarely causing a turn over. The Short movement dwarfs ran rings around the goblins, setting up advantageous fights and slaughtering them. Gruesome Kills happened all the time causing 50%+ of the goblins to flee every time the dwarfs ploughed in. I played a 3rd solo game after the others had left, same results.

I took loads of photos, planning on doing a detailed AAR/batrep but it all seems pointless now as there wasn't really a battle. My enthusiasm for these rules which was riding high has really drained. I'll give them another go with two warbands of similar size/quality but first impressions are that the game engine won't allow me to do what I want to do.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Warmachine Wreck Markers

I really like the Menoth wreck markers for destroyed warjacks but they're expensive for what they are and they're not really a 'playing piece'. Flicking through Ebay the other day I spotted some resin bases for sale with metallic / mechanical debris and figured they were just the job. They arrived Monday and they're the first thing in a long time that I've painted the very day I got them. I only got around to photographing them today though.

Not wrecks as such but it does at least look like a 'jack might have taken a pasting in the vicinity. Each one has been matched to my normal bases and has just enough crimson and white to mark it out as Menoth.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Warmachine BatRep - 15 pt. Skirmish, Menoth vs. Cygnar

Sean came around for a day of gaming on Tuesday, giving me my first chance to use my new Menoth battlegroup that I had finished painting just the day before. My only previous game was at the club two weeks ago with the Cygnar and Cryx starter boxes. I am very much a newbie... Sean has been competing in a Journeyman League in Stafford and built up quite a collection of Cygnar; he was going to have to be rules guru for the day.

My list - Menoth - 15 pts.

2 x Revenger

No min-maxing here, it's all the 'jacks I own and everything I had painted.

Sean's list - Cygnar - 15 pts.

Black 13th Strike Team

We played along a 4' x 2' strip at one end of my table though pretty much all the action would play out in a 1' square!. The photo's show the initial deployments.

I knew I couldn't pussyfoot around as Sean had shooty goodness and I had none. I ran everything forward inc. Kreoss so he didn't get left behind. This meant no defensive spells. I figured I'd be out of range for at least one turn. Wrong. My Castigator took a real pasting and I was struggling to see already how this could go my way. Turn 2 Kreoss walked and cast Defensive Ward on the Castigator (below).

Sean's Ironclad knocked Kreoss and both Revengers down but was pushed back and couldn't capitalise on the situation. The charger moved up to block the Castigator.

I then forgot to take photo's for several turns so things get a little sketchy here. Kreoss popped his feat and the Castigator slaughtered the Charger in fine style. The Revengers made little impression on the Ironclad however even with auto hitting but they made a start.

Sean tried to run Stryker and the 13th around the Castigator but they were trapped against the 'edge of the world' and were truly 'castigated' with Combustion. The Castigator had one arm functioning at this point and about 3 boxes left - turning his back on the Charger didn't seem to matter.

Stryker popped his feat but even so two of the 13th died in the conflagration though Stryker took just 3 damage... With no cortex the Castigator couldn't 'focus' on the job and finish Stryker for me. The Revengers pulled a neat maneuver and kept Kreoss covered.

Confident that Stryker could deal with the Castigator, Sean moved both his other 'jacks in for the kill. The Ironclad finished off one Revenger while the Charger started to take potshots at Kreoss.

Stryker fluffed it and so the Castigator used combustion again leaving Stryker on 1 box left! The final 13th chap was incinerated too.

Stryker's flames were extinguished and he finally eliminated the Castigator. The Ironclad advanced across the wreck of the Revenger and Kreoss finally got a pair and smacked him down, opening up a route to Stryker.

The game now devolved into a pair of duels. The first. the Charger attempting to shoot down Kreoss sheltering in the cover of a wreck, gradually chipping off boxes. The second, the Revenger trying to assassinate Stryker.

Stryker was also benefiting from a wreck and kept disrupting the Revenger. Without focus the Revenger couldn't get the single damage point I needed. Desperate times call for desperate measures; the Revenger moved to the side and Kreoss moved forward to get LoS. Two attempts at Immolation with every spare focus used on boosting and Stryker was gone. Phew! Win: 'caster kill!

The most fun I ever had with just four figures; I think I may be hooked on Warmachine already. I think Sean was going easy on me as it was my first 'proper' game, he could have done a lot more shooting before engaging but I was never going to enjoy THAT game. With less figures and Sean having ranged attacks I felt that Kreoss was very vulnerable and like I had no options. I'm looking forward now to upping the limit to 25 pts.

Weekend Challenge V

OK, so the weekend has long passed but (thanks to the bank holiday) I did complete the painting task and I'm pretty chuffed with the results. Pinker then expected if I'm honest but I really like the look.

Alternate metal Kreoss1 (is that the same as pKreoss?)

 Classic metal Castigator in classic Fonzie pose.


Group shot. 15 pts. ready to play.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Weekend Challenge IV

After a full evening's painting I finally finished the rest of the 15 pt. battlegroup; Kreoss, a Castigator and the second Revenger. Now for basing, ready for tomorrow's gaming.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Weekend Challenge III

Rainy morning and so with the gardening schedule pushed back I've started painting the first 'jack. This took way longer than I expected, even with the limited palette so the alternative 15 pt. battle group is looking unlikely at the moment. I've gone vanilla Menoth with a conventional colour scheme. First photo is just after blocking in the colours.

It's particularly garish and very 'Hello Kitty' but it'll calm down with a good ink wash. The pink is Warlord Purple from the Game Color range. Thank goodness I'm using a white primer, I'd have needed 10 coats over black! Second photo is after a wash, white highlights and painting in the eyes.

Well, I think I've managed the tabletop standard I aspire to; I don't have the patience for anything else. The pink is now the crimson I was aiming for and I'm happy to move on to the other figures with this scheme now. I'll base them all together and then show off the battle group in another post.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Weekend Challenge II

The 15 pt. force I've selected to start with consists of Kreoss and 3 jacks, a Castigator and 2 Revengers. A 15 pt. force normally seems to fit in a unit as well but the three Menoth jacks are expensive pts. wise. All the figures were undercoated in black or badly painted, both Revengers were damaged, one had an arm that had snapped in two different places.

I drilled and pinned the damaged arm and took the opportunity to repose the figure as the two Revengers were almost identical. The second Revenger's 'loin cloth' was missing. The ebay lot had come with several mystery fabric loin cloths that didn't fit any of the figures so I added one of these. The Castigator is in a weird pose, like it sagged while the glue was drying. I decided to live with it, not knowing where the joins were to break them apart.

The next big decision was base colour. I nearly always favour black but for Menoth thought white might be worth a try / good idea. It'll certainly take me out of my comfort zone wrt. painting. A quick spray of Halford's acrylic primer and I'm done for the night.

It seems unlikely that I'll manage 25 pts. for the games on Tuesday but if I get the chance I'll paint a few figures for a variant 15 pt. list. I've fixed up minimum strength Temple Flameguard and Choir units and sprayed them in case I get the chance. Points wise they'll replace one Revenger. More tomorrow.

This Weekend's Challenge - Painting Menoth for Warmachine

One of the new projects I mentioned a few posts ago is a small Menoth army for Privateer Press' game Warmachine. Sean bought some starter sets a while back (and I bought the rules) but the game didn't 'take' at the club and was forgotten... by everyone but Sean.

Sean never gave up and returned to the club last month with his painted starter sets and put Keith and myself through our paces; Cygnar vs. Cryx. Keith still didn't bite but I've gone for it in a big way (typically).

I snapped up over £200 worth of Menoth stuff in an Ebay auction for £82 plus postage. It was well packed but still felt like assembling a 3D jigsaw when it arrived because I can't tell Menoth arse from Menoth elbow at the moment... (Heresy!)

After sorting I had the Mk II rules, the expansion Wrath, the Menoth faction guide, the official counters and lot's of figures.

Warcasters: Kreoss and Thyra; Jacks: Castigator and 2 x Revenger (and a Merc. Gunbunny); Solo: Nicia; Units: 6 x Choir, 6 x Knights Exemplar, 6 x Flameguard, 6 x Deliverers. Unfortunately the commander of the Flameguard seems to have a Relic Sword instead of a Flamespear but I can live with that for £82...

Why is this a 'weekend challenge'? Sean is coming around for a game on Tuesday and I am too snobby to play with unpainted figures. 15pts will be painted for Tuesday, 25pts if I can. Let the challenge commence.

Club Night 18th April - Hammerin' Iron

(Bugger! I just accidentally deleted the photos from last nights game... Sean's ships are lovely too!)

Sean acted as a non-playing game master for a session of Peter Pig's Hammerin' Iron leaving Dave to play the Confederates against Keith and myself as the emancipators. Dave had the mighty CSS Virginia and the tiny ram CSS Planter. Keith had the CSS Chillicothe and the monitor Keokuk at his disposal while I just had the CSS Tuscumbia to look after.

Both fleets went straight at each other, though the Keokuk was in a bad position and spent most of the game going around an island to come up behind the 'feds. Planter managed an early ram on Chillicothe but damaged herself almost as badly. She then went on to disable one of Keokuk's turrets but shortly after her guns were all shot away, she started to burn and finally Tuscumbia sent her to the bottom.

The star of the show was the Virginia who focussed fire on the Chillicothe whenever possible in an attempt to even the numbers. Once the Planter had been turned into the latest Confederate submarine all the Union ships concentrated on the Virginia and the battle become one of firepower and attrition with very little movement.

The Chillicothe was soon very battered and in danger of sinking. Keith commented on how none of the light guns on either side had managed to do any damage in the entire battle; shortly before just such a gun sank the brave Chillicothe.

It was too little, too late for the Virginia which was in a terrible state by this point. She switched fire to the other two Union ships finally causing damage to the still fresh Tuscumbia but under a withering fire that would have soon sunk her she was forced to strike and was captured.

Goodbye USS Chillicothe and hello to the new USS Merrimack!

Thanks Sean, great game. Can't believe I deleted the photo's...

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Song of Blades and Heroes

Just over a year ago I purchased Song of Drums and Shakos, the fast play Napoleonic skirmish rules from Ganesha Games. We played a single game at the club (granted it was ACW...) and it went down well. I purchased the expansion More Songs of... and determined to play more... I went to Salute 2013 intending to purchase some Napoleonic figures but I ran out of money and it never happened (but it will, one day!)

Squad level ACW fun.

A year later and I've purchased the fantasy variant of the game, Song of Blades and Heroes. I suppose the proof of the game is in the playing but I'm convinced these are my cup of tea. I've started throwing together a couple of 300 point warbands and you should expect a batrep soon.

The first warband consists of dwarfs. I managed to pull enough figures out of my Warhammer army to throw a list together and a few extra figures for variant lists. They were all already painted but needed re-basing to my Mk III standard.

Wizard, Hero/Leader, Troll Slayer

Veterans, Young Dwarfs, Crossbows

The second warband is composed of goblins. First up again, some old figures that I just needed to re-base.

Night Goblins with Leader/Hero

They have a troll!

Night Goblin / Common Goblin Archers

Goblin Shamans

Not having a finished army to cherry pick figures from I had to paint up the rest of the figures I needed over the weekend. Like the dwarfs I now have enough spares for a couple of different lists.
Common Goblins with Hero/Leader

A major Hero/Leader and Squig Herder with... Squigs

First game on Tuesday hopefully so expect a batrep shortly and maybe a fully fledged campaign not long after.