Saturday before last I took a trip to the local store and played in a little three round tournament. I am the normal PG for the store, but as I’d recently had a baby, I hadn’t had a lot of time to play Warmachine, so I was determined to play.

It had been a while since I’d played, and I thought that the I’d built some decent lists. I was going in without Epic Asphyxious because I was sure people would be teching against him, and I thought my chances without him were greater than with him.

I brought the Following lists:

Faction: Cryx Faction: Cryx
Tier 3Tier 0
Goreshade the Cursed +5Pirate Queen Skarre +6
* Kraken19Leviathan9
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) 8Skarlock Thrall 2
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard0Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) 10
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)8Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)8
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard3* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard 3
The Withershadow Combine 5Blackbane's Ghost Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) 9
Bane Lord Tartarus4Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls 2
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall1Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts) 5
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall1* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch2
Pistol Wraith 3Pistol Wraith3
3 Scrap Thrall1Pistol Wraith3
3 Scrap Thrall1
3 Scrap Thrall1

I’d been 11-1 with Epic Goreshade, and Skarre was bringing along Incorporeal to make peoples lives miserable. ┬áThe goal was to jam scenarios and flood the field with bodies, making making every choice of the opponent a painful one. Goreshade brought the Kraken for extra phantom hunter goodness, and I was ready to rock and roll.

The field was a tough crowd. There was only 9 of us, but we were all good. Locals Chris, Anthony and Phil had all won tournaments both locally and at nearby conventions. I’d tangled with Jason, Andy and Ryan both before and neither of them were pushovers. I knew that Curtis was a newcomer to the Area, but he’d been playing since the days of yore. The only person that I’d not played against or knew was a fellow I just referred to as Beard.

The Field was thus:
Phil and Me: Cryx
Anthony: Cygnar
Ryan: Mercs
Chris: Protectorate of Menoth
Andy, Curtis, Jason and Beard: Khador.

I knew it was going to be a long day. I’d been fighting Khador a long time, and its not my favorite fight.

I get paired up against Khador in the first round (surprise!) and Its Beard! Turns out his name is Paul. This is cool to me because I like playing against different people, as they tend to have different theories and ways of playing the game. I was stoked, and he had only one list. I figured I’d take Epic Goreshade on his first tour, as I was familiar and confident. Sadly, I’d just picked poorly, as he was playing Vlad. This allowed him to wind wall away my only shooting threat and make me one dimensional, as I’d forgotten to pack an arc node into the list. He also got to choose sides, and due to table setup one of these was in the way of the center of my deployment zone:

Gale Force 9 Badlands Plateau

It was massive, and blocked my everything, but, I felt it was part of the deal with playing the game, so I worked around it. I ended up loosing in part because of it, in part because I forgot how the game worked, and in part because I hate Khador. I did have him kill some 40 Bane thralls, but at the end of the day, the Greylord Outriders he had were more than up for the task. both the Kraken and Goreshade ended up not committing until very late, and that caused me to not gain points nearly fast enough. we were scoring at the same rate until he was able to stop me from scoring on his turn, and he won the game, fare and square.

I entered the losers bracket, and was ok with that. I was fighting for second with about 3 other people. I had take out 47 Army points, and scored 5 control points in the last game so my tiebreakers were awesome.

Instead, Jason crushed my soul at the top of turn 2. I got one turn in and BAM, Sorcha’d.

See, Sorcha ran turn 1 into a defensive position, and I had moved Scarre prematurely up 7 inches from her deployment zone. Turns out, one wind rush + charge + feat later, Skarre was Frozen in place. Eiryss followed, doing what she does, and stripped my 5 FOC camp, and did a damage or two. Winterguard Rocketeers then slid up, bobbing and weaving, and did their job, lobbing rocket into a frozen Skarre until she was little more than quivering flesh chunks. It was significantly disappointing, as I’d not only gotten rolled, I didn’t kill a single model on his side.

I started doing the math about who was playing who, and I realize that unless Curtis loses his match, I was going to get the bye with the worst record in the tournament. So guess what happens? Curtis Wins. I get the bye, and Don’t even end up with the worst record and get my tournament fee back so I can play a later tournament (a bye counts as a win! Yay!)

At the end of the day, I enjoyed getting out and seeing some good friends. I didn’t put up a good show, but I expected that. I have to knock the rust off of 6+ months of not playing competitive Warmachine. Fortunatly, I had friends coming over on the 28th.

Sadly, as you’ll soon read, that didn’t end well for me either!

Having an infant requires most of my time investment, so I haven’t had much time to do a lot of non-sedentary nerding, so i was really pleased to played my first game of Warmachine in months Wednesday before last. I felt rusty and hazzy but it was a very close, very enjoyable game. Having a buddy who also has children come over for the game was a bonus, because he knows the routine. He showed up a bit after 6, and we chatted for a bit about all sorts of topics. I was starved for non-family contact! We set up the table and pulled out the armies to get things rolling.

I hemmed and hawed all week about what I was going to play. It’d been so long I didn’t want to try anything super-complicated. None of my coven lists made me excited to play, and I really was going to make sure my bane knights made it into the list as well. Eventually, a different friend and I hashed out a list that seemed pretty interesting. I didn’t have all the solutions like a tournament level list might, but it had enough.

Iron Lich Asphyxious
-Nightwretch
-Nightmare
-Cankerworm
-Scarlock
Bane Knights (10)
Soulhunters (5)
Withershadow Combine
Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech and Scrap Thrall

Soulhunters are generally derided, but I always enjoy putting them on the table. They fill a similar slot as Satyxis and Blackbanes, running interference until the rest of the army arrives. With the POW on guns being around 10, it takes more than pot shots to drop the arm 15 5 wounds models, but not much more.

This army doesn’t really have a general plan. Its got answers to almost everything, though, so it can almost take all comers. High Def is taken out with Nightmare. Asphyxious and the Cankerworm deal with high armor, Tartarus and Bane Knights deal with Terrain and other uncomfortable positions. Scything Touch and Parasite will swing almost any non-def based combat in my favor. Arc nodes, Darragh, Withershadow and Warwitch Siren providing support just rounds it all out. I figured I’d just react to his game plan, and see what comes up.

He brought out his Rhulic force. Solid, hard, and full of pain.

Gorten Grundback
-Driller
-Grundback Blaster
-Ogrun Bokur
Thor
-Grundback Gunner
-Basher
Brun
-Lug
Hernne and Jon
Rockbottom
Highshield (10)
-UA
Forgeguard (10)

I knew I wasn’t going to get to the juicy center of that rock hard nugget, so I decided to play the scenario game. We rolled up one of the new 2014 scenarios. Into the Breach – It had a single zone, two effigy objectives, and a flag. Dominating the flag gave a single point, the zone was a pair for dominating and a single point for controlling, and if I took out his objective, I’d get a point: 5 to win. I didn’t really know how the game’d play out, but his deployment was a wall of arm 18+ on the flank with the zone, and enough deployed to the flag to keep me honest. I deployed with the soulhunters to the zone flank, the bane knights ready to wander through a building on the flag flank, and the bulk of my forces front and center. Its my general deployment: A central deployment will allow me to adapt to whatever the opponent does. He tries to force one side or the other, and I’ll slide off to the opposite and play cagey. If he goes center, I’ll try and envelop: I almost always have superior numbers as cryx just does infantry well, so envelopment is always a potential.

He took first turn and trundled his dwarves up the field. I find their speed 4 allows me to do more than I’d expect with some of my units, but their having ranged models makes up for it with significant threat projection. I’m worried that he’ll gun down important models, so I’m playing a little cagey. After turn one, I abandon the flag. I’d originally sent Asphyxious that way, but He sent Brun and Lug over, and I don’t think that I really want to commit enough to take them out. The center of the board, however, turns out just as perilous for him, as I was probably within 1/4″ of being slammed by a Basher and into the stand of trees. With no focus. He chose not to go for it, so we will never know, but It was really, really close. After realizing that, I reached out and blew the damned thing off the planet: Parasite + 3 banes will do most models in for the count. I softened it up a little with other models first, but it was off the board. Slamming into the front line with the Soulhuntersat the top of turn two cleared the Zone, and I camped firmly inside it, scoring with Asphyxious who had teleported over to get his toes into the zone, now safe from a removed Basher.

I was up 2-0, but he wasn’t going to make it easy on me. Gorten popped his feat, and slid half half the zones worth of models either out of the zone or into a position that they were easily dispatched. Thankfully, I had Asphyxious safely in the back, because everything else was murdered. He moved about 3″ deep into the zone with enough models to make scoring very difficult. With the turn passed over to me, I had to rely on everything I had to score 3 point by killing the effigy and dominating the zone. I shot the damaged effigy with the Withershadow Combine, did damage to it, but not enough to take it down. That complicated matters as there was an undamaged Gunner and some very frustratingly placed Rhulfolk in the zone to take care of. The way it was all situated, there was a single dwarf behind a solid line of models that I could not easily get to. Tartarus was in range, but thresher would end with that single dwarf, in combat, still contesting, with only ranged/magic attacks to get to him. I had to use Asphyxious to trash the gunner, because no one else was available. He succeeded and used the rest to clear some dwarves, teleport back and lob a hellfire at the Objective, killing it. One point, two to go. Darragh used some strange charge angles and the power of his horse, cleared the angle for Tartarus to charge in and sweep the last few dwarves out of the zone, netting me two points.

It ended the game, but it was nothing representing easy. A lot of rolls had to go my way towards the end there in order to pull it out. and after that, If it all failed, I was going to face an unhurt Gorten, a nearly full unit of Horgenhold, and a driller to the face of Asphyxious. Things were not going to be pretty. It was a fun game, though. My buddy is a great opponent. The rust is starting to come loose, and hopefully I’ll be able to play again, and more often, soon.

So, a while back I posted that I had acquired a box of Bane Knights from a friend, and that he’d gotten the better end of the deal.

I’m not so sure now.

Once I started cleaning the bits and getting them ready for general assembly, I decided that I wanted to do a shield swap. Not really knowing where to start, I headed over to the Privateer Modeling and Painting forums, and asked them what was out there. I got some really cool options, but what really struck me was Scibor Miniatures spartan shields. With my degree in classic history, how could I resist! Now, armed with a shield swap out, I was emboldened. What else was out there? I found, again on Scibors site, Spartan helms. Sure they had heads inside, but I could drill them out, right? I could make them work. Now I was in a bind. I had spartan shields and spartan helms, but the bane lances of the bane knights didn’t fit the theme at all. I needed a good, solid, no frills, spartan spear.

At the same time, I was selling off everything I had left of my GW stuff. Among that lot was a huge bitz bag, some pound and a half of plastic parts. Among those parts were these spears:
Ungor Spears from GW

They seemed perfect! I only had 8 of them, but how hard could it be to get more? I’ve got a post out there on bartertown now with a pair of leads, so here is hoping!

Now I’ve got everything: Spears, Helms and Shields. Time to get to work!

I had to drill out the helms, which was easier than I thought it’d be, but still no simple task. The Scibor resin is extremely soft and I would have been disappointed with it in any other circumstances but having the soft material was useful, as it allowed me to cut the helmet down fairly easily. Once the hole was drilled, I carefully cut out the face using my hobby knife. I then shaved as much as I could out of the helmet, making it as thin as I could, so as to fit on the bane knight heads.

Grabbing one of the Bane Knight skull faces, I tried to stuff it in there.

The head was too big.

I was a little stuck, but like any good, determined nut job, I went with plan B: cut the face off. I’d expected something like this, though not as extreme, and figured out the basics of what I wanted. Cutting the face off was difficult, no lie, but nothing I couldn’t do. Well, except that once face that I had the clippers on backwards, and the face completely shredded.

Sadly, even the face clipped off was to large. I ended clipping the forehead off, both cheekbones, and even some of the eye socket. Whatever it took to get the face to fit in that head. Thankfully, I never needed to take away any of the defining characteristics that made it a face.

I had the face all cut and ready to go, and I shoved it into the Helm. The skull face was a little far back, but I figured that that would work out just fine. I kept trudging forward, drilling holes into heads and cutting off faces. The third one, I managed to get perfect.

Damn it. That meant that I had to go back and do the rest of them correctly. Ah well, the price of a coherent unit!

Once I got the heads drilled out, I had to build necks. I’d completely missed that neither the faces nor the helms contained them after I was done chopping them apart. The necks took some doing, but with proper green stuff blobs, they lifted the heads so that they weren’t sunk into the chests.

With all the heads mounted on the bodies, I did the easy part next: Shields. I clipped off the spike that held on the bane knight original shield, and slapped on the Spartan lambda shields. Done!

this next part was the second trickiest because I’d only done it once on a much larger centurion warjack. I clipped the bane lances off the hands and gingerly drilled through the hands to be able to line up the spear shafts that I had clipped off the Ungor hands.

Once I’d gotten the spear arms ready, it was all over but the posing!

I only got the first set of heads, which allowed me to get the 6 members of the minimum unit finished. Once I get the rest of the spears and heads, I’ll be on track for my Bane Spartans!

Oh, and of course, I have to do nice bases on them, so I just had a friend order the Forgotten Empires bases from Dragonforge. because dead spartans of a forgotten empire make only the most perfect of sense.

It has been a hard year for Cryx players. The best caster in the game, Asphyxious II, has been justifiably nerfed twice. Though its needed, it does not sting any less. Adding on top o that, we’ve not seen a new release in probably 12 months. I know: Hard is relative. However, we are starting to get some cool information coming through about what we will be in Vengance. Its been a trickle, but I’ll take it, and its hopefully going to come faster as Vengeance nears.

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Earlier this year I signed up for Project Orange Crush Hunger. The concept is for the community to volunteer to paint models of a given army in an orange theme of each painters choice, and then once the army is finished, its raffled off. The proceeds of the raffle go to hunger relief in conjunction with the years Foodmachine efforts. This, the third year, they’ve chosen to do an orange Convergence army.

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Earlier this year I signed up for Project Orange Crush Hunger. The concept is for the community to volunteer to paint models of a given army in an orange theme of each painters choice, and then once the army is finished, its raffled off. The proceeds of the raffle go to hunger relief in conjunction with the years Foodmachine efforts. This, the third year, they’ve chosen to do an orange Convergence army.

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On the last Sunday of September, I played a pair of games with Lord Exhumator Scaverous

He worked alright. That actually surprised me as I was 2-7 with that giant bastard. I’m not sure that list would have worked in a tournament, but it was definitely fun. It also had some glaring weaknesses that I only discovered once I played the list. Lets get into it.

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On Sunday, I made a trade with a friend. This trade was probably much better for him than it was for me. I am now in the possession of a box of bane knights. Unpainted, unassembled bane knights.

What did I trade for this marvelous prize, you ask? What could I have given away for this particular wonder? How about painted, assembled bane knights?

That’s right. I have a problem.

I’ve done this a few times so far, and I’m really hoping that this time it will be just as good as the other two.

Last time I painted these models, I got about 2/3 the way through and just burned out. they are hard to assemble, they are full of detail, and they are pointing and sticking in every direction. They were hard to store, they were bending every way, and while I was painting them I was just burning out. I finished them, as best I could, and then called it a day. 4 years later, I’m ready to try again, I hope. I’ve got an idea of what I want to do with them, and I have a better grasp on color theory (Thanks, Meg!) and I think I can do magnitudes better to them. The pure bronze scheme I had for them just didn’t work at all. The black and bronze I used for the bane thralls works really well. Those same mentioned bane thralls were one of my units I got again and painted up a second time and the first go round was good, but the second is something I am really proud of.
I’m really hoping that this time I can assemble them in a manner that is easier to store, and I can paint them without burning out. Its along shot hope, but I’ve got it.

I’ll keep updating this as the project continues, but with the massive amount I am playing of Heroes 6, it might be a while. I’ll take pictures along the way, as well, and you can see where they stand.

The box of Pewter that will eventually be 10 banes

The box of Pewter that will eventually be 10 banes

Look at these bent lances, from the box!

Look at these bent lances, from the box!

after about 20 minutes of unbending

after about 20 minutes of unbending

The Sanctuary faction in Heroes 6 is pretty cool. I will say I was initially all bad mouth on the Sanctuary models, but after using them, I’m really fond of them. Sharks-at-Arms, Naga, Medusa, Water and snow spirits, and Frogmen? The Champion creature, each factions biggest and baddest, is the Kirin, which looks neat, has a huge hit pool, and comes out very fast.

It is much better than Haven, and almost on par with Necropolis in terms of fun factor. The elite naga troopers are pretty terrible which makes me sad though. The big problem is that they are on par with the Haven’s griffon troopers in terms of durability and damage output: which is to say both of them are 0. It is a huge disappointment for both of tthe units, as they are fantastic looking troopers. The upgraded Kenshi/Kensi is a four armed, katana wielding snake man! What is cooler than that? And Haven’s only Non-Humanoid creature is the Griffon, who leaps into the air and diving-assaults people! But both are extremely weak defensively, to the point where core units can break them apart, and their damage output against other elites just isn’t there either. Both have been relegated to the sidelines unless I could stack an enormous amount of them.

Also, My favorite unit, Coral Priestesses, get the hell shelled out of them by the opponent, causing me no end of grief. I only have one or two ranged units, and having one of them burned out by the opponent as fast as possible has been really frustrating.

I’ve made it to map 4, and I’m about to tear Gerharts heart out of his chest, which, for me, is just about as awesome as it gets. I also got to toy around with the Stronghold faction, in the last map, and that got me really pumped to play them.

A Couple Mid-game Observations

Extra Heroes seem redundant unless you need to transport armies. The Enemy armies are just to large for you to be splitting your troops

Chain Lightning seems like a game breaker, but It could just be a factor to try and get the area cleared better and easier.

Water as a spell school is terrible. Air is Amazing.

There are tons of ways to increase your Magic Power stat, but very few to raise you’re Might Power.

There is no good online Resource. Maybe I’ll make one.

Also, on Sunday I traded my perfectly fine, painted bane thralls for unpainted unassembled ones. This’ll be the 3rd time I have done this. I hope this one turns out as successful as the first two.

This weekend was chock full of awesome gaming.

As I mentioned yesterday, I managed to beat Haven, and I’ve started Sanctuary in Heroes of Might and Magic VI.

This new campaign is full of terrible racist steyotypes and is poorly voiced with Asian accents that are just awful. 1930’s cringe worthy awful I can’t believe as I listen to it, that this actually made it past the publishers.

The creatures are cool, being a bunch of Asian mythology inspired themes like Frog-spirits, Sharks-at-Arms, Naga-warriors, and Naga Lightning Mages. The music is very oriental-inspired as well, and makes for a good dissonance with the rest of the levels I’ve been through. I’ve yet to make it deep, as I saved once I found my very first town, but I should dig a little deeper into the campaign tonight and see what happens.

Sunday, I made it over to a friends house to help him practice for a set of tournaments coming up. He’s a great player. He asked for Cryx specifically, so I game him the best we got.
Epic Asphyxious.

Here is the list:
Lich Lord Asphyxious
-Nightwretch x2

Bane Thralls x10
-Bane Thrall UA
Satyxis Blood Witches x10
-Blood Witch UA
Bile Thralls x10
Bane Knights x10

Saxon Orrik
Warwitch Siren x2
Bane Lord Tartarus
Necrotech and Scrap Thrall

Artificer General Nemo (3) got the best of me for two rounds, killing almost 50 models in one turn of shooting. He made a single (and I mean just one) mistake that cost him the game: not laying covering fire at his feet to prevent the bane thralls from charging stormwall. Parasite + 5 bane thralls later, stormwall is in the dirt, and my feating bane knights are free to take down the Thunderhead with two more popping the objective. I dominate one zone, control the other, and break an objective all in one turn: 4 points. If I get one more on his turn I win, so he goes for the assassination. He leaves me with two boxes. Its less disappointing than it seems for him, as hot rolls balanced cold, and it seemed about right. Doing 18 damage at dice -6 (even boosted) from 3 attack is 3 points off of average.

With the failed assassination run, he contests both zones, and has to hope for my banes to fail, which they thankfully did not. Victory Epic Asphyxious!

I’ve never played a betrayal game before yesterday, and it seems to me I was missing out on huge fun. I really need to get my group of friends to play a few of these.
Yesterday, I played Battlestar Galactica. In it there are about 7 ways to lose, and only one to win. The humans are pretty screwed. and its completely awesome.
Basically, the games goes as follows:
Players are handed, at the start of the game, a character and a loyalty card.
The character card has three abilities and three stats. The stats determine the type of cards that characters can draw. The loyalty cards have two phrases: You are not a Cylon, and You are a Cylon.
Key: Only half the Cylon/not Cylon deck is dealt out at the start of the game. Meaning that there is a distinct possibility that there are no Cylons to start the game.
Each player takes a turn, wandering about the Battlestar and the colony ship, and at the end of each turn a crisis happens. Most times, this is an event. Sometimes its a Cylon Attack featuring Giant Basestar’s, Raiders, and boarding parties.
The events each have a target number, and define what cards are used to succeed, and what are used to penalize. each player then contributes, in secret, any number of cards to the pot, that is then shuffled and totaled. If the success cards outnumber the failure cards, the crisis is averted, most of the time with no gain. If the crisis is failed, bad things happen, and one of the 7 ways to die ticks down. Cylons try to subtly bait out failures and humans try to succeed at these impossible tasks.
Its very hard for the Humans to win.

Both games went to the Cylons, with me dealing the deathblow as I revealed from the Shadows to end the game on game one, and then the two Cylons revealing themselves back to back and summoning a huge death fleet to destroy us as we tried to power up our FTL engine to make our final jump. We almost had it!

-Tio