I’m writing this before even heading out to lock and load, but I am scheduling this to show up on Thursday, at noon, right about the time I’ll be getting breakfast with a friend from Muse on Minis on the other coast, gearing up for a day of PG gaming. I’ll also be looking to get a first bite at a Cephalyx army. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get these guys and put them on the table as often as possible between then and August as I can. I’ll probably even be playing them at NOVA, so if your coming down, find me and see if we can get a game in!

The list I’ve put together to put together is a simple tasters choice affair, in order to let me get a feel for all the models in the range

Exulon Thexus+5
-Subduer7
-Warden6
-Wrecker7
Mind Slaver and Drudges (10)6
Mind Bender and Drudges (10)6
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Croes Cutthroats (10)10
-Cephalyx Dominator1
Bloat Thrall2
Cephalyx Overlords4
55

mind bender

I’m considering cutting the Croes down to 7 and adding a Pistol Wraith, or even cutting them down to the Tactical Arcansit Corps, and adding two of em. Either way, I feel I’ve done right by the army.

I’m worried that the amount of Officers, the vulnerability of them, and the reliance the army has on them will end up making it completely worthless, but Deceleration makes them just hardy enough I’m not clenching my buttcheeks in terror, just worry. I really wish I had more to go off of, though, but having no play time fills me with trepidation about making any sort of predictions.

I’m also negotiating a trade with a friend of mine, so I’ll be able to repaint my Cephalyx models in a deep red color, one I think goes with my Cryx army, but apart from it.

I know its short as hell, but its a Convention update, and I expect to be tweeting and facebooking updates starting at 11:00 PST, so stay tuned anyway!! I’ll also be doing a wrap up on Tuesday, writing it on my flight on my tablet, so we will see how that goes!

 

Recently, if it has not been clear, I’ve been playing the Witch Coven, trying to get a handle on them as I intend to play them at the Spell Draft event at lock and load. There isn’t much practice on can really do to prepare, other than make sure that you know the caster inside and out, allowing you to make do with a new spell list.

I managed to get 8 games in before the trip out to Seattle, Going 6-2 in that time. Granted, its 50 point games instead of 35, but the core of the list is staying very much the same.

Coven v. Kaelyssa – Loss: Assassination – List v. 1
Coven v. Butcher – Loss: Assassination  – List v. 2
Coven v. Iron Mother – Win: Scenario – List v. 3
Coven v. Reznik 2 – Win: Assassination – List v. 4
Coven v. Sturgis – Win: Scenario – List v. 3.1
Coven v. Morvanna 2 – Win: Scenario – List v. 3.2
Coven v. Kreoss 3 – Win: Scenario – List v. 3.3
Coven v. Rhan – Win: Assassination – List v. 3.3

The list that I’ve settled on looks like this:

The Witch Coven of Gharlghast+5
-Egregore-
-Deathripper4
-Nightwretch4
-Nightwretch4
Bane Thralls (10)8
-Bane Thrall Officer3
Satyxis Raiders (10)8
-Satyxis Sea Witch2
Bile Thralls (6)5
Warwitch Siren2
35

That is the core of list 3. I’ve messed around with some of the support staff, and at 50 I add a second Warwitch Siren, A Scarlock, and a full unit of Bane Riders. I really like this list. It can handle massed infantry, heavy armor and High Defense. Its durable against shooting and has some peculiar scalpel elements. I think its as close to a take on all comers list that I can write.

Now, with my list down, I’ve started to look at all the casters and see what spells they have and what would be nice to see get passed to me. There are some very nice ones out there, and while I still have some questions as to what spells are in the packs, I have some really cool plans. They did, however, say that they’ve removes spells that would “break the game. ” That is a bit of an opinion statement though, as I know plenty of people that feel that Purification breaks the game even now. That said there are some particular spell categories that I will be looking to grab:
Army Support – ex: Carnage,Signs and Portents,Transference, Mockery of Life. Arcane Shield
These are spells that will allow my normally average stat troopers to step up a notch. An 18″ control area really pushes spells like Signs and Portents and Carnage through the roof, while the Focus 9 will really give transference a boost.

Speed Buff – ex: Road to War,Dash,Superiority,Killing Ground, Crusaders Call, Coup de Main, True Path, Tactical Supremacy, Unstoppable Force, Quickening
These spells either give a single unit or my whole army a speed boost. Superiority is a specifically desired spell, as having a def 17, speed 9 Arc node would be magnificent. I really think that the scenario is ripe for Jamming, and I want to exploit that if at all possible. Besides, Satyxis with a +4 movement would be glorious, right?

Defense- ex:Fog of War, Temporal Barrier, Storm Wall, Star Crossed, Solid Ground, Caustic Mist, Rapid Growth, Pillars of Salt, Ashen Cloud, Deflection, Deceleration, Castigate, Lamentation, Bestial
These allow the Coven to capitalize on their main game: Army delivery. I’m fairly sure that this is going to be critical to getting a good Spell list. Fortunately, there are a ton to choose from. My personal favorite would be the 9 1cost Caustic Mists, but I’ll take pretty much everything on this list, and I could even double up. Star crossed + Ashen Cloud? Fog of War + Pillars of Salt?

Chain Lighting

Nuke- ex: Soulfire, Siphon Bolt, Razor Wind, Bone Shaker (probably the best 2 cost Nuke I could grab, netting me up to 18 dead models a turn), Chain Lighting, Sunder Spirit, Convection, Excarnate
This is the bread and butter of my concept. If I can grab just one 2 point nuke, I can eliminate units a a time. I’d need only 8’s to hit DEF 17, and at cost 1, boosting is easy. Most of them are POW 12 allowing great flexibility in the targets that it can kill.

Defense or Speed Debuffs – ex: Crippling Grasp, Quagmire (Imagine, if you will, Satyxis), Inhospitable Ground, Freezing Grasp, Black Spot.
With a pile of Banes and Satyxis, I could use a bit of help against some of the higher defense models. Yes, I have Biles, but I landing an extra shot or two on some of the Iron Fleshed Gunmages, Daughters of the Flame or other problematic models would be pretty useful.

Other- ex: Telekinesis, Ritual Sacrifice
There isn’t a ton to say here, really. I want both of these spells.

While looking through the spells, there were many that I really wouldn’t want, and while that will make the first few picks a lot of fun, it can make some of the later spells that no one else wants very damning. I’ve drafted a lot of M:TG, and the last few picks are whatever everyone rejected from the pool. I know I can end up with a pretty dead slot of I have Unearthly Rage or Positive Charge, but I can make do. There are very few spells I don’t want at all, or couldn’t use, especially at -1 cost. I’d really like to get as close as I can to keeping the Delivery Caster mentality, with some extra “pop” that would make the Coven really hum.

What I am really excited about is that I can use multiple Self-Upkeep spells in a round, due to the multiple activations that the coven has. The thought of starting the turn off with Signs and Portents, pushing the middle of the pack up with Road to War and then ending with Both Deflection and Fog of War really makes me giddy.

evayl

While I have all these grand plans, I expect there to be a ton of Vayle 2, Kreoss 3, Harbinger, Haley 2 and Coven. Each of them has a ton of focus and a back breaking feat. I even expect there to be a few Rogue casters looking to get one in – Casters that run Jacks well and will pick all the jack spells to make themselves super-powered: Absylonia, Darius and Magnus come to mind right away. While each of these casters can cause a massive amount of damage on their own, what I am really worries about is Timed Turns. I’m not particularly good at them, and prefer the deathclock variant overall, so I am worries that I’ll end up busting my turns by waiting to get that last move in.

No matter what happens, I expect Friday to be a ton of fun. Its an exceptionally long tournament with 6 rounds and the draft itself taking us all the way to the Staff Panel. I will have almost no time to play Iron Arena games that day, but I’m OK giving that up to play in the first Sanctioned Spell Draft Event.

I’ll be trying to update via facebook and twitter the coolest things I see at Lock and Load, so find me and follow!

Coven Art By Dan Roman

All the things that PP released from Templecon this weekend have me immensely excited to be playing their games, all of them. Even Level 7: Invasion has me really stoked to pick up a copy and defend the world.

There have been spoilers coming in from a thousand different directions, and I’m going to try and consolidate as many of them here as I can. If I’ve missed something, let me know.

Vengeance:
The very first thing that came out, Wednesday, was the Warmachine: Tactics Backer update. In it we got two Images:
Vengance Novice Warcasters

The first, above, is the painted sculpts of all the novice Warcasters, coming in Vengeance, along with Sturgis in both his epic and original incarnations. Sturgis is a separate release, but you know, I’ll accept that.

The second, below, is the cover of the short story compilation of all the novice Warcasters. If you look close enough, though, you’ll notice that the Khadoran ‘jack is wandering about in a distinctly different weapon load out. This lead to Kiko commenting on it and Matt Wilson replying with:

Indicating he knew about it, which is fantastic. Later on, Sunday evening, rumours started to surface that the gun on the hidden are of that monstrosity was a beast: ROF 5 and Double strike. Crazy, I say, but most things I’ve seen that are crazy come to light from a grain of truth.

Vengance new Khador Jack

Thursday morning, the store opened, and there were a number of early releases available, as their always is at these events. Among them was Rollin’ Bones Goreshade – a con exclusive sculpt of a soon to be released alt sculpt. Plarzoid got some unboxing pictures, and he looks really cool. He is not my style, but I can definitely see where he could appeal to a lot of people. s. Its a fantastic sculpt, and I look forward to the standard one.

About 10am. Chain attack got the scoop on Stryker 3, and man is this guys good!

Stryker 3 Compiled

I spoke with Lyle, who’d been running his Theme list all weekend:

Lord General Coleman Stryker,+5+5
-Stormwall19
-Ol' Rowdy9
Storm Lances 10
Storm Lances 10
Major Laddermore5
Stormblade Captian2

As you can see, the Theme List does at least two things.
-Point Cost reduction on Storm Lances
-FA Increase on Storm Lances

Lyle also mentioned that there were two other benefits: Armywide Pathfinder on turn 1, and +2 speed for ‘Jacks on turn 1. None of that is wasted space. The speed combined with Escort will rocket the battlegroup across the table. Pathfinder will make sure the army gets in position regardless of deployment, and cost reduction is two free points in the army, enough to grab a Stormblade Captain, say. I do not look forward to the beatings I expect to receive the first few times I fight him.

The next peak was late Thursday night, when Will Schick had his Goresshade III photograhped and put into the Cryx forums. I am really looking forward to grabbing him and putting him on the table.
Goreshade 3
Goreshade 3a

The final drop on Thursday was Will, again, sending a simple tweet out.

Turns out everyones favorite executioner got a bump in focus. With the known spoilers so far giving him a debuff feat that also makes enemies explode into fiery bonfires, and the Wracks immunity to non-magical shooting, the extra focus is going to be a stellar addition. with that 14″ control area and the Huge 4.75″ base, he can really reach a large portion of the battlefield with any control area effects he has, including his feat!

and this was all before the keynote Presentation Friday morning!

The keynote was all sorts of insane, too. While I was disappointed at the keynote of L&L last year, nothing of the sort can be said of this years Templecon. Dear God, did they set the stage. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch all five parts here

Lets dive in one piece at a time!

First came the Warmachine Tactics preview, where they showed all sorts of Sexy model preview and level designs. While I appreciate the preview, I’m still stoked from Kickstarter. I didn’t need anything to raise my level of excitement. It was really cool to see the Protectorate ‘jacks, along with Sorcha and Strakov. I Hadn’t know that they were going to have Strakov, though, and that’s cool to know.

The next Portion moved into something near and dear to my heart: IKRPG! They seem to have done the same thing with the IK as they did with Warmachine and Hordes. Its two separate, compatible games. IKRPG: Unleashed gives us a whole pile of new player character races: Tharn, Gatormen, Bog Trogs, and Pygs. You can also take Human, Trollkin and Nyss, though they are available in the IKRPG:FMF. They have Bonegrinder, Monster Hunter, Tharn Ravager and Bokur as classes for the taking. They also specifically call out each race as having vastly different Warlocks, which will create some really cool characters. Oh, and over a hundred pages of monsters! A hundred! That is just overwhelming. I can’t wait to get back to playing the IKRPG! Screenshots:

Unleashed 1

Unleashed 2

Unleashed 3

Now, now we get to the meat of the matter, the huge pulsating heart of the keynote.
Hordes: Exigence
Now, here is where we get all sorts of screenshots and Details. I’ll just link the pictures to a gallery. If you want to see what something looks like, click the link!

Hordes Exigence:
Female Gator (Juga Juga) and Farrow Casters (Helga the Conqueror)
The female gator has an undead snake, and behind her is an undead Tatzelwurm
Xerxes 2, mounted on a Rhino, on what looks to be a Huge Base. He’s also mentioned as having the most badass wheelchair, so its plausible his legs are broken.
Legion gets Epic Absylonia, who is said to have Conferred Rage, stolen from Butcher 2
Gator and Farrow Battle Engines: The gator one is a mobile sacrificial alter, and the Farrow one is a meatgriner/flamethrower.
New Character Warbeasts, including a Heavy Nephalim for Saryn/Rheays That has two different affinities
Satyr Warbeast that looks blind. Has a spear/staff for circle. Mentioned at the same time as more character warbeasts, but who knows.
Lesser warlocks for each faction with no set battlegroup but affinities for certain beasts
Troll: Pyre/slag
Circle -Falconer w/ Griffons
-Legion Lesser warlock mentioned, but no picture.
Three of the four (five?) factions will get Warbast “packs” of four smaller warbeasts. Is a combination of both unit (separate damage tracks like a Medium based unit, no spiral) and a warbeast (all the fury rules apply)
The Skorne look like little monster diggers
The Legion ones look like giant wasps
Rules:



There was also a brief moment that a trollkin unit with pistols showed up

Then, there is a short stint about a Risk-like game for Level 7: Invasion. I’ve very much enjoyed [escape] so I’m pretty sure I’ll pick this one up.

And, they saved the best for last, IMO. The new Mercs that are coming out at Lock and Load 2014: Cephalyx! Its been 6 years in the making, but it looks glorious!

Cephalyx will be a merc contract like Talion
– They will have living monstrosities, That are Living giant “not warjacks” with low arm but 36 boxes. – No cortex, do not count as warjacks, and are super cheap: No more than 7 points.

Cephalyx have Merc Attachments for any small or medium based merc unit, with Boomhowler, Alexia and Forge Guard called out. The UA will make them better, but if he dies, the unit starts to run.
A solo, a unit and a caster were spoiled:
Exulon Thexus


The solo is supposed to act like Choir, giving Cephalyx models +2 to hit and damage, a welcome addition to the monstrosities stats:
Cephalyx 1

The Unit is a Cephalyx and some special drudges that it can use as arc nodes, hopefully for some good effects. Thankfully, most of the Cephalyx have some sort of sacrificial pawn ability, enabling them to stay alive longer than would normally be the case. Except for Blast: that’ll kill ’em every time.

The final Spoilers I’ve managed to collect are on the Cygnar Reliants Gun. Supposedly, it shoots thunderstorms: AOE clouds that do lightning damage.

All in all, I am very pleased. Definitely picking up Cephalyx at L&L in June. Epic Xerxis looks awesome, as does the Skorne Beast pack. I am kinda upset I didn’t get to see the Skorne Lesser Warlock, but I can wait what with all the other Insane crap coming out!
Oh lord! I am going to have to get someone to paint my Sacrificial Alter for the Gator Exchange…

Till next time!

Man.
While it was brutally exhausting, I’ve not had a more enjoyable convention experience than this weekends NOVA Open.
So many tournaments were played, friends seen, and rulings made.
On a judging note: I don’t think I made a single incorrect call. HA! that feels good!

The weekend started on Friday, with a trip down to DC from North Baltimore County that took 2.5 hours, in traffic, in 90 degree heat, in my wrangler. Blech. I got to the Convention in order to start judging round 2 of the Team Tournament. That ran until 2 AM, but was a blast to oversee, with names such as Pants Off Dance off, Struggle Snuggle, and BBD. I had no horse in any race, but It was fantastic to see all 36 people going at it.
Got 4 hours of sleep and back at it, with the Who’s the Boss tournament in the morning, with hilarious matchups like Xerxis of Everblight, Absolonyia of Everblight, and Orsus Zoktavir – Butcher of Ios! I followed that up with a short lunch, and then right back at it for the featured open tournament of the con: Hardcore.

7 minute timed turns.
Fully Painted armies.
50 points.
70 minute total round timer.

Because it was fully painted, it was a stunning show of almost every army out there. I tool pictures every round, and they are located here if you have any interest in peeking at them. They are Phone pics, but if I am going to do this, I will most likely get an actual camera here soon.

With Hardcore over after 5 rounds at 2:00 am, it was back to bed, and then up and out by 7 to get coffee and start the Masters tournament. Each tournament had a number of top spots that qualified for the honor of the Masters in the morning. With no drops – A first ever in my experience – the tournament got underway at 9:00 with a big guns, badass lists, and to my surprise, an abundance of my faction: Cryx, who went on to do very well, getting all three top spots of the day.

It was a fantastic experince and I’m glad to be giving my con season a send off like that! I’ll be back in the saddle again about NOVA next year, once my daughter hits about 10 months.

Get NOVA Open results here

NOVA is upon us!
And it can only be a good thing!

The NOVA open is a Convention in Washington DC (NOthern VirginA) that draws a pretty large crowd. I’ve been PGing there for Privateer Press for the last two years, this being my third. I’ll be judging Tournaments, running Iron Arena, and generally working my ass of for two days. My buddies Brian and Brendan will be there way earlier than I will, arriving on Thursday morning. I’ll be heading out of work early to get there around 5, and run the first of my tournaments – I don’t honestly know what it is I’ll be running, but damn it, I’ve got my bag packed and ready to rock. 50 Objective markers, 50 flags, 16 circular scenarios, 16 rectangular, and more scenario sheets than you can shake a book at.

I’ll also be judging Hardcore, Masters, and anything else being run.

Its always awesome to see the Masters Tournaments. But sometimes it can be a bit disheartening to know that people you know well and root for to win the thing will drop after being beat. I’ve really been wondering if a single elimination style tournament would be better overall. There can be only one!

In addition to what I run, and what the Pressgangers are going to go out and do, there are a HOST of other activities: MTG tournaments, Painting and Hobby Seminars, Warhammer 40k and Fantasy tournaments, a Vendor hall. I almost forgot my Infinity buddies! They will be running tournaments to! SO MUCH TO DO!

Its all pretty damned impressive for a convention that is only 5 years old.

It is a bittersweet time for me, however. Its the last convention I am going to be able to run or even go to for a while, because my wife will be giving birth to our daughter in October. Normally I also travel out and do both the Warstore Weekend and the Colonial, but this year, it looks like its gonna be out of bounds. It happens! I’ll be using it to get caught up in painting.

As I was Putting this all together it looks like I’m just shilling a product, but its just happenstance that this is what is coming up when this starts. You’ll see!

If you have Any comments, write em, I’ll read.
Also, Help me define a style. This is so.. Bland, but I’ve yet to make it my own. Color changes, modifications, whatever!

Now, off to the Adventures of Jerek of Jord!

-Tio

Welcome Back.

This week has me really pumped. There are a ton of Nerd things coming up are nothing short of fantastic:
M2e Beta (part 2)
Theros Block (MTG)
Relic Knights Rules book and cards released
NOVA Open
I’ll dedicate a post to each of these things in turn in the next few days, but man is it a good feeling to have so many things to look forward to doing.

In addition, I’ve been playing Heroes of Might and Magic VI … Or Might and Magic:Heroes VI. I don’t know. Its dumb that they changed the name, or maybe even didn’t. No one seems to know.
Oh, Shit! X-Com Enemy Within! How could I have forgotten. Announced recently, and coming out in November, Its something I am really, really looking forward to.

-Tio