Tournament report! 

Sturgis 2 at Bel Air Games 4/22. 

As the first voted-on caster of the Tour de Cryx, I was excited to get him to a tournament and put Sturgis through the paces. That is not to say that I was excited to play Sturgis – I was decidedly not, but I had just gotten a win with him the other week – by sheer luck and force of will, so I hoped maybe I wouldn’t completely tank the tournament! 

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I’ve not been playing a lot of games lately, but I’ve made some progress into my goals. One of the things I wanted to do was to get enough games in with a caster to get their feel before moving onward. I’ve been playing the game and playing cryx long enough to be able to sort out, with a modicum of reliability, how a caster feels and whether or not it plays right, in about 5 games. It doesn’t always give me a taste for the meta and how I utilize it in a tournament, which is a flaw, but I don’t get to enough tournaments to really make it my priority. I do worry about tournament boogeymen, but only in the dojo.

This’ll be my first written battle report with Goreshade 2, and its with the last iteration in his final game before Terminus.

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As I’ve mentioned more than a few times, Last weekend was the NOVA Open down in DC (5 minutes from the airport and IN a hotel. Check it out next year!). While I was busy leading most of the time, I attempted to get two games in. The first game on Thursday was a bust, but Saturday night I had some unexpected free time. Anthony from Frozen Kommander was walkin’ around looking for Iron Arena games, so we sat down and got to it!

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I don’t get to go to many tournaments. Its not a problem for me, just a statement. When I go, though, I often fret for a while on what I am going take, what I can do to cover match-ups, and how I am going to avoid being curb stomped. Saturday I made it to my first tournament in a rather long time (December?), and my first one back with Cryx. I had a great time, played three insane games, and walked away with my head held high!

This one is long, bear with me! Three awesome games!

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Darkest Before the Dawn

Sometimes, the hardest part of this game is hitting the reset button. Every once in a while, seeing that you have put work into making a list function, put thought and time into setting up what you think is a formidable and powerful set of synergies, and played a number of games that were, good, but not good enough, you have bow your head and admit defeat. At that point, You’ve reached the hardest part of a list. The daylight is in view. Seize it. I have recently hit that point with Deneghra 3

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Makeada

 

A Flush of Games

After a number of weeks getting a few games in here and there, the tail end of last week was just chock full of Skorne. While I didn’t do as well as I would like, I can feel myself climbing up that understanding ladder. I’ve got a pretty solid grasp of fist, and Mordikaar, through 10 games, is coming along smoothly.

I’m going to walk through them like I normally do, and I’ll put some of the pictures up here. I played fist twice, during the tournament, and Mordikaar 4 times. Fist performed admirably, but Mordikaar is a very high ceiling caster that I’m just starting to understand.

To that end, I played Mordikaar first as preparation for Philly games con. I’d managed to set up two games in two different stores thursday night, and was ready to break him out.

My Mordikaar list, as I’ve been talking about, was

Mordikaar
-Tiberion
-Cyclops Shaman
-Cyclops Raider
Nihilators (full)
Cetratii (full)
-Vorkesh
Incindiarii (min)
Beast Handlers (min)
Agonizer
Soulward

Specialist
Krea
Orin Midwinter
Tyrant Commander and Standard

 

A Pirates Life

The first game I had set up was against a friend of mine who wanted to try out the pirate Boat, which was fine with me. I’d brought the Mordikaar list to eliminate swarms. We rolled up the scenario, and got outflank Outflank

 

This is a scenario I am deeply familiar with, having played a ton of games last year leading up to lock and load with the Coven. I ended up getting first turn, and deployed fairly standard. His army had

Shae
-Galleon
Aiyana and Holt
Press Gangers (min)
Sea Dog Crew (max)
Sea Dog Crew (Max)
-Mr. Walls
Sea Dog Deck Gun
Devils Shadow Mutineers
Bosun Grogspar
Dirty Meg
Doc Killingsworth
First Mate Hawk
Lord Rockbottom

Opening Moves

He deployed the Galleon to my center-left, along with the Deck Gun. To the right was Shae, all the support solos, Aiyana and Holt, and the one unit of Sea Dogs.

I Deployed the Cetratii Front and Center, with Incindiarii covering my left, along with Tiberion. To the right went the Nihlators. Behind all of that was Mordikaar and all the support.

He AD’d the press gangers to the left, and walls unit to the right, gunning for both flanks and threatening up to 28″ on turn 1!

Turn one, for me, as a touch of a cautious advance, knowing that If I was to aggressive, he could pop feat turn 1 and get a bit into my lines. I wanted to see if I could get him with the feat turn 2, so I could have a bit of a better position. Thankfully, thats exactly what happened, as he rushed across the board, but didn’t feat. 

Middlegame

I took my second turn and ran full bore into the guts of the board, popping my feat and flooding my right zone. My incindiarii wandered over and tried to pop some pressgangers but failed to do anything but light them on fire, which was just fine. Under Feat and Hollow, I was pretty confident that I would be able to weather the pirate storm.

Thankfully, I was able to do just that. Though I lost models on the feat turn, it was an acceptable number, and mitigated by my ability to revive come the next turn. Both zones were contested, and the Galleon wasn’t yet committed, so I was unable to really get ahead on scenario. Instead, we traded pot shots back and forth, where I was able to remove Zira, and thanks to Nihlators being undead with Hollow, he wasn’t able to return any to life.

Final Moments

Have you ever been so greedy in a game for the assassination that you know isn’t going to work, but you can’t stop yourself for the desire to make it work. I have! at the end of his turn 3, Shae was in the woods, almost in the center of the table. I had the Shaman, the Raider, and the Soulward ready to take him down. Sadly, he’s DEF 19 in the woods, and that’s just not really an achievable target. For shame, though, I went for it, and started with the worst model possible, Mordikaar. I resurrected two Nihilators, snipped myself, and boosted my gun into the woods, needing 12’s. Unsurprisingly, I failed. I had one more fury on me and felt that if I could drop some damage into him, he’d play a little defensive, so I boosted the damage after I missed. Ah well, I’ll get him with the Raider, who needed boosted 12’s using eyeless sight from the Soulward to ignore the forest. He, too, missed. At that point I aborted, not feeling I had enough steam left, and sent the last shot from my Shaman into First Mate Hawke, who I had come to realize was within stab distance of Mordikaar. Sadly, the Evil Eye went wide as well, and all I had left was to hope that my opponent didn’t realize that Hawke was in charge range. Sadly, that didn’t happen, and even after remembering that she doesn’t have pathfinder, she still was in range to kill Mordikaar.

Which she did handily.

Game: 300
Result: L
Mordikaar Record: 4-2-1

I let my bloodlust get ahead of me there, and I should have kept playing the correct game for scenario. Instead, my opponent capitalized on my greed and put two swords into the top of Mordikaars noggin.

Fresh from the loss, I took off up north a bit to another local store, and got in a game there against a good friend who loves himself some Butcher three.

His list was
Butcher 3
-Ruin
Wardog
Greylord Ternion
Iron Fang (Max)
-Black Dragon Standard and Officer
Kayazy Assassins
-Underboos
Widowmakers
Epic Eiryss
Fenris
Drakhun
Saxon Orrik

This time, I have pictures!
We rolled up the same scenario as before, and he took first turn. See Deployment below:

Opening Moves

B3 V. Mordikaar

Our turn 1 took on the standard run and position game, with me popping my feat to protect from the inevitable turn 2 clash. It saved me a bit, keeping the Kayazy away, but I gave it all up the next turn. I faded back from the left zone in fear of the kayazy killing everything I know and love, and I paid dearly for it.

Me fatally fading from the zone.

From here on out, I think it was just formalities. I was pushing for the zone with the wrong models, leaving the left zone completely open to domination and swinging the game for the win to butcher 3.  With the Kayazy coming into the left zone, and the tough Nihlators holding the right, I think I should have committed whole hog to the Kayazy zone. They can only kill so much before they run out of steam.

Honestly, writing this up, I think I am much more timid than I need to be with Skorne. Going second is something that can really cause your head to turn inside out as you figure out how and where you can apply force without getting completely hammered. Its not an easy task, even with Cetratii. This game was a ton more fun and a lot closer than I make it seem, but I think it simply boiled down to me not having the capacity or concept to contest both of the zones while making a bid for the game in and of itself

Game: 301
Result: L
Mordikaar Record: 4-3-1

With those two games down, and a portent of doom on my shoulder, I headed into the crucible of Philly GamesCon on Saturday. I was extremely excited  to go up there and play outside my meta, as well as seeing a couple friends I’ve not seen in a while. I brought out the Fist and Mordikaar, even though I wasn’t very confident with him, and took to the road. The trip was long and grueling (I don’t particularly enjoy driving), but I was thrilled to get there and start in it.

My first round was against another Skorne player bringing Mordikaar and, honestly, I can’t remember the other list. However, it was a novel Mordikaar list he chose to drop against me, and I chose Fist, thinking that they would have the endurance and capacity to absorb the inital assault.

Mordikaar
-Krea
-Despoiler
-Titan Gladiator
Preatorian Keltarii (max)
Pain Giver Beast Handlers (min)
Ferox (Max)
Tyrant Commander and Standard
Agonizer
Rhadiem
Void Spirit

We were playing Two Fronts, and I think he went first.

Two Fronts

I’ll just be upfront here, as I have no pictures, but I got crushed. He was on his game, and just brutalized me. This Mordikaar list is fast, agile and can really put a hurt on everything you know and love from the start of the game. Ferox are amazing Revive targets, and Keltarii are giant problems when hollowed. My preference for a battlegroup is a bit different, but I can definitely see why he has what he has.

Sadly, I left his zone completely uncontested for almost the entirety of the match, simply letting him dominate while I putzed around on the other side of the board. He sent in Void Spirits and Rhadiem around the edge, tying up the Incindiarii and Karn, who, though eventually freed, were pretty solidly removed from the game. I was able to pop the feat and rocket Karn into Despoiler, taking him down under fury, the feat, and enrage. I also was close enough after sidestep to smash the gladiator close to oblivion. Sadly, Karn had sustained too much damage from his early assault, and died from the gladiator attack in retaliation.

The Keltarii were the real problem in the match, as they dug in so deep on turn 2, jamming past my friendly zone and stalling out the Cetratii. I wasn’t really able to leverage any of the Arcuarii well or even get good incindiarii shots, as the only good targets were Keltarii at defense 15!  Honestly, after suffering from their hands this game, I am swapping out my Nihilators for Keltarii immidiatly. If they don’t work, then I’ll go back, but I really think they are what I want and need in that list!

Game: 302
Result: L
Xerxis Record: 11-12-1

My next opponent was a minions player who dropped Maelok. Knowing that it was gators, I dropped fist. We were playing on a trench table, and I am extremely happy that I have pictures, because trying to describe this would have been insane.  We were playing Recon:

Recon

 

 

His list was

Maelok
-Bull Snapper
-Bull Snapper
Wrong Eye and Snap Jaw
Gatorman Posse (max)
Gatorman Posse (max)
Gatorman Posse (max)
Croak Hunter
Croak Hunter
Gatorman Witchdoctor
Gatorman Witchdoctor
Bellows Crew
Feral Giest
Feral Giest

And, the table:

The Trench Board

Man, This game was a slog! A million boxes on both sides as Fist and Gators just slam in the center for almost the whole time.

Round 2 I was able to use the Arcuarii to drag two of the Gatorman Posse leaders forward and put three total gators out of formation. It was an interesting technique, and one I may use again against warders or champions.

The game came down, after many rounds of grinding, to a scrum, once again, on my side of the board. I need to find a way to commit better and stronger than my current half assed semi-determination. Thankfully, he commited Maelok just a little to forward and I was able to get a Furied, enraged Gladiator on to Maelok. Feat turn or not, with three transfers or not, I should be able to drop him, or at least make his Beasts sad that they danced the dance. Needing 8’s to hit, I boost to hit on the charge attack, and connect. Unfortunately, the dice were not cooperating, and my roll came up almost as low as it could: 1,1,1 and 2 for column. Well, thats alright. I have another fist. Damage: 1,2. Ok. Tusks! boost to hit here, and do… 1 more damage. He took 7 and still sat on 3 fury, so my Arcuarii charging was just not going to get that last blow in to kill him. With one fury and Defenders Ward, Xerxis prepared to take a whole bunch of gators to the face. And boy did he!

Xerxis tank!

Three Charging Gators later – Two revived by Maelok, and I thankfully don’t have to say that I lost the game because I forgot to put up Defenders Ward on Xerxis. I didn’t even need the transfer, thankfully. The Gladiator decided to do his job this time, and pummeled poor Maelok to death!

Game: 303
Result: W
Xerxis Record:12-12-1

I’ve got two more games to go, but I’ll save that for another time, I am sure that this getting long winded as it is. I will, however, leave you with pictures of the games:

This has been an interesting week for warmachine, hasn’t it! I normally do my Warmachine /Hordes posts on Tuesday and something else on Thursday, But I am glad I waited. Tuesday had the cover of the next Warmachine book – Reckoning – come out, and today had complete spoilers of two more entries from that book, joining Dynamo and Moros.

I’ll just go in chronological order here, simply so I hope I remember whats happening.

First, Reckoning.

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Makeada

 

Last week, between Thursday and Sunday, I managed to get six games in with my Skorne. Totaled up, that is more games that I’ve had of any Privateer Press system in that short of window in a long time. Five of those were at a tournament on Sunday which ran extremely long, which I’ll get to on Thursday, but to prepare, I was able to get a game in on Thursday, which allowed me at least a single practice game in before I attempted to take on a cutthroat tournament.

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Last Thursday I was finally able to throw down in a game of warmachine against my buddy over at Sticks and Dice. He’s a friend I’ve been playing for amost 10 years now, and we very much know each others methods, styles and armies, so these games are always challenging, hard fought and a blast to play.

We’ve recently taken to playing even our casual games with Deathclock, so this is no different. However, I have a strange mental block against friendly deathclock. Even though I know that my opponent can clock themselves, I never use it advantageously. Instead, I assume that my opponent has infinite time and will keep playing beyond the ting of the clock. I’m not sure if its good or bad, but its always there. Whenever I see my opponent start to run down on time, I think to my self “If he clocks, we’re just gonna play this out anyway. There is no reason to end a perfectly fine game now!”

Well, enough rambling! Onto the game!

I’ve only gotten a single game in with my Goreshade 1 list, and I’m still trying to shake out all the kinks. I’ve not changed the list from before.

 

This isn't his first rodeo

This isn’t his first rodeo

Goreshade I+6
*Deathwalker-
*Nightmare10
*Slayer 6
*Slayer6
Bane Knights (10)10
Bane Riders (5)11
Bane Lord Tartarus4
Darragh Wrath4
Warwitch Siren2
Warwitch Siren2
Necrotech + Scrap Thrall1
56

My friend brought along a fairly standard Anit-Cryx list, run by Forward Kommander Sorscha

I don't like this one all to much....

I don’t like this one all to much….

Forward Kommander Sorscha+6
*Conquest19
*Sylys Wyshnalyrr2
Iron Fang Uhlans (3)7
Kayazy Eliminators 3
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt4
Tactical Arcanist Corps4
Winter Guard Infantry (10)6
*Officer & Standard2
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich2
Eiryss3
Gorman di Wulfe2
Battle Mechaniks (4)3
56

The table was fairly sparse, as they are want to be for warmachine, and we rolled up Fire Support, which even further exacerbated the issue in the center of the table. He won the roll, and chose to go fist, and I chose my side of the board.

As much as I feel confident in my skills with the warmachine game and my ability to make fairly strong decisions in game so as not to get my face melted off, The pre-game portion sometimes gets me very, very hard. During casual play its not terribly important to choose which list you’ll be using, so list chicken and matchup analysis is not a skill that I’ve developed extremely well. In addition, board edge and first turn has always been an automatic with me. I am very much in the camp that espouses building your army so that you can always take advantage of going first, and I’ve always played in a manner that tries to ask questions, including my favorite: Can you break through to my half of the board. Often the answer is no.

He deploys Conquest first, and then the rest of his army, as I have no PD or AD to worry about. His uhlans and Eleminators take my left flank among the trees, folowed by conquest and the Mechanics, with Sorscha and her cadre of Dwarves, Elves, and Alchemists took the center. Off to my right he placed the Winterguard Infantry and Joe.

I’d been thinking about how to counter what I new was coming with my army, my small, dense army, and I had a plan. I was going to try to counter his deployment. Conquest was going to get his shots, no matter what, and he was going to play a huge part in the game, no changing that. I wanted to try and get a jack or two over there and finish off with the Bane Knights or Thralls. Nightmare, both Slayers, Darragh Wrath, and Goreshade went in the center, with Warwitches behind. The Knights, who with vengeance and a little bit of positioning could out threat the Uhlans went to my left, and the Bane Riders, with their Possible MAT 10 attacks went out to the right across from the WGI. I knew it was going to be a difficult threat game with the Infantry, but I needed to play it.

Fuzzy Turn 1 Deployment. Forest, Rough Terrain, and walls.

Turn 1 is spent running into position by both armies. I try to put as many Bane Riders as I can into cover and concealment to raise their defense to tolerable levels, and layer my Bane Knights so that if the Uhlans do bring it in, I’ll be able to use Tartarus and the remaining Knights to level out the playing field.

Turn 1 Positioning.

Turn two sees the expected advance of the Winterguard, and their subsequent shots into the bane riders manage to remove two of them, even with the +2 defense. Normally, I’d have Darragh Wrath over there to help them out with -2 Str to living, but guns just don’t care. The Uhlans repositioned back into the woods, seeing the threat of the Bane Knights, but the Eliminators were emboldened by the MAT 6 of the Bane Knights, and strode in to contest the flag. On my turn, Gorehade started off by moving forward to get a bead on one of the Winterguard who had Iron Flesh on them, tossed out a boosted hex blast, and stripped the spell off, toasting one of the troopers in the process. Next, I fouled up my own movements by being to greedy and charging a scrap thrall where he wasn’t needed. The Bane Riders followed up and, between the three that remained, cut down nearly half the squad. I had really envisioned them doing more, but I cannot complain, it was more than I should have hoped. The Bane Knights, Inspired by the Bane Riders performance and spurred on by Tartarus, took a few stabs at the Eliminators. Though 3 of our whiffed, the fourth one connected and removed the threat of the double-combostrike-feat turn that was inevitable. Seeing that Epic Eiryss was within running distance of my clump of jacks, I tried to spread out a bit so that she wouldn’t completely ruin my day, but that 11″ bubble is hard to avoid. One Slayer made off to the right, one to the left, and Nightmare kinda trundled up the center , trying to make sure conquest couldn’t charge him and end him. Finally, the Heroic Necrotech took business into his own hands and interposed bodily between conquest and Nightmare, not to mention the bottomed out Goreshade.

Turn 2: The Bane Riders do their Job.

It was Sorscha’s turn next, and man it was gonna be bad. She moved up early, popped her feat, and thankfully missed on her Freezing Grip, making it so that my Bane Knights weren’t completely hosed. Between her Quad Iron, though, Holt, and the Arcanist corpse mans single fireblast, they were able to clear out the charge land for the Uhlans on my slayer. The Winterguard, though, weren’t out of it, and they took it out on my poor slayer and one of my Bane Riders. Both the Uhalns and the Winterguard managed to mangle the slayers in a single hit. The Winterguard CMA, with Joe backing them up, Rust Bomb and Harm, managed to roll, at Dice +1, the hard 12 to blow him of the planet. The Uhlans didn’t technically do the same damage, but doing 26 of 28 damage in a single blow is close enough for me. The impact attack that had helped it along was just icing. Finally, though he was out of the feat, the remaining Kayazy Eliminator managed to dust Tartarus with a single hit.

The Carnage of her feat. Note the distinct lack of Slayers

Now, a little bit worse for wear, I tried to take the offensive to the Khadorans. This turn, though, I got a little greedy as my clock wound down and did some peeing down my leg. I spend a strong portion of my turn trying to get rid of the Uhlans that had taken down my jack, they were in the way of my feat popping and dropping off a half-dozen bane thrall babies into conquest, but I also needed to get rid of the remaining Eliminator and Eiryss. I move the breathstealer up to get the -2 defense on both of em, I then move up and try to spray Eiryss off the table with a Warwitch, who promptly wiplashes her self to death. My scrap thrall, eager to bring death to the Khadorans also managed to get himself killed in a glorious position, blowing up the leader of my Riders and preventing the other rider from taking a charge attack on the objective. Instead, he rolls over to Joe to be scary. The Necrotech, hero of this portion of the game, Rolls up on top of the slayer wreck, turns it into four scrap thralls, and drops them behind the Winterguard and Eiryss. The Banes finally go, and stab to death everything they can to clear a lane for Goreshade, but I’d given up on my inital plan, and was going to have him pop feat and charge Conquest down the center. I charge the now DEF 15 Eliminator with Goreshade and, boosting to hit, put her in the ground. I pop my feat and place my Unit of Banes. Problem with that is that I forgot about the wreck marker completely. Charging Banes without Tartarus only go so far, and I managed to only get 2 on conquest, who was significantly unimpressed. Nighmare then moves over to Eiryss, who has two scrap thralls behind her, and stabs one of them. He then expodes, killing his friend and bringing Eiryss down to a single hp. The second scrap thrall, just to spite me, doesn’t do me a damn bit of good and forces me to attack the stupid elf directly. With the -2 Def from the Deathwalker, I’m able to put her into the ground for good. Shoulda just made the attacks and saved the Scrappies.

Popping shadowmancer and using Darragh Wraths ability to back up a bout an inch, I was confident, but not convinced. This game was all about positioning, and I needed to see what he did next.

The end of Round four, where things start to break.

Not a Good turn for me, it turned out. Joe Stabs my final bane rider, and calls it a day. Sorscha Freezes my Bane Knights, and conquest lays into my Thralls, along with Holt and the TAcC blowing more of them up. Gorman took advantage of the situation and Black Oiled Nightmare. I did not feel confident going into my turn.

Thankfully, my boys were able to pull it out for me. The Bane Thralls got a few more points of damage onto conquest and jammed him up a little bit, and an insane, charging Warwitch Siren managed to off the final Uhlan. The Deathwalker enabled Darragh Wrath to Hellfire Holt off the board, and a timely explosion of a scrap thrall send Gorman to hell along with one of his Winterguard buddies. Goreshade, being Terrified and out of meaningful things to do, Camped full and ran to the other side of the board. My hope was that I would be able to take the objective and get a few points, maybe forcing Sorscha into an engagement.

That was never meant to be.

The turn before everything broke loose.

as you can see, the clock was winding down towards the someones demise as I shipped it over to his turn. Neither of us had a lot of models, but we didn’t have a ton of time either. Sorscha allocates four, stands her ground, and pops boundless charge. The TAC and Winterguard each remove a Bane, and Joe shoots the Deathwalker in the face with a boosted shot, killing her. That leaves a big, empty hole for Conquest to Punch Goreshade in the face. Thankfully, for me, he was about an inch out of melee range, and Goreshade, staring down the face of a colossal, lives to fight on. My Friend ships the clock over to me with 44 seconds remaining on his clock.

At this point, the game kinda breaks down. With 2:27 left on my clock, I can easily Camp Goreshade, run away, and let him clock himself. I don’t because I don’t think like that, and instead I move Goreshade around to get a good line on Aiyana, who is blocking nightmares charge lane, boost to hit on a bleed and take her out. I send Nightmare in to get Sorscha. With a speed 8 and Reach, I was well within range of getting my claws on her, so I literally pick him up and put him next to Sorscha. My friend states that he gets a free strike from conquest, which I was convinced he did not have when I started my activation. However, I cannot place Nightmare back where he was, so its on me to prove. I say go for it, and he mangles me, rolling 10 on the three dice, popping out 32 damage, blanking his movement. This is when I remember Ghostly, and my friend is kind enough to let me pop the focus to do it. Down to 1 focus left, after the charge. I manage to hit my charge attack combo strike MAT 8 on these jacks is awesome. However, I fail to kill, dropping a 7 on the dice and leaving her with three HP. I buy my last attack, in vain, and I fail to hit. The clock runs out, and the game ends.

My opponent insists that I won, having more time on the clock and the ability, knowledge and capacity to simply camp and flee, winning on clock. He also sated that even failing to kill Sorscha, he’s in a bad position.

I refuse, insisting that my opponent won. I went through with the turn, I clocked out, and I didn’t kill him. Even if he gets another turn, Conquest is sitting right in front of Goreshade, needing 9’s to hit at dice +6. Goreshade, I don’t think lives through that.

It was an amazingly close game, and the first I think I’ve ever had were both players are trying to foist the win on the other person. I enjoy every game I get in against this guy, and he’s made me a very strong player, especially against Khador.

I love this list, man. I really do, but I want to take it to 11, and its just not there yet. The Slayers are slated for replacement at the first opportunity. As my opponent said, the game has just outgrown them. Specifically, I am looking at replacing them with Inflictors. Not only do they have +2 armor, they also have reach, a Warwitch Siren Strapped to their back, and a Crit Poison weapon, which is important as this list would be my hordes drop. Armor 22/23, with DEF 13 is going to be a hard nut to crack, and I look forward to the day I can place them in the list!

My final option would be to try and sneak the Nyss in instead of the Bane Knights, and get 4 points of other for Tartarus. My initial thought would be another Necrotech and a Pistol Wraith, and I may give that a go once I get my Nyss.

 

y, I was asked a simple question, mostly off the cuff, by a friend of mine.

“Random speculation time: Who do you think we’ll get for ‘casters in the next Warmachine book (since the Hordes one seems to be locked up)? I don’t feel like they’re going to pull the trigger on any new ‘casters, so I think it’s going to be more epics, but I’m having a hard time guessing who.”

This simple questions got my mind churning. What are the next casters, and how are they going to shape the game? What characters are the closest, in fluff terms, of being promoted to Epic?

Off the top of My head, I was able to go through this list

I really don’t want to see them go back to the well for epics, though it makes sense at this point. Supposedly, this is the “Legends” of MK II – The end and culmination of the stories leading so far. That leads me too completely insanely guess the following:
Cygnar: Haley 3 – She’s been poisoned and out of it for a while while Stryker and Nemo take the fore. With her final recovery, she heads back into combat, aware that Deneghra, now alive, is plotting.

I really think this is likely. With the amount of time that Privateer has spent on Haley, for her to be out of the story this long is ludicrous. She has to come back soon, and I can’t see a reason why it won’t be now. Her poisoning has only driven her desire to return to the battlefield.

Khador: Strakov 2 – He’s hunted down Karchev and has returned its hero to his country. Now, given greater leeway and force allocation, he’s able to drive deep into the enemy with complete abandon.

I think that this is a good time to try and bring Strakov, who the story writers seem to really enjoy, into the big time. Toting Karchev back to the motherland, alone and through the heart of the enemy territory should grant him a singular hero status. Strakov – Savior of the Motherland has a fantastic ring to it.

Only the Greatest heroes get parades like this!

Only the Greatest heroes get parades like this!

Protectorate:Feora 3: Taking control of the the whole of the flameguard and forcing the southern protectorate to declare her “Protector of the South” she sets of on a campaign of destruction against the Cygnaran south.

I think this is something that’s been building for a few books. Her interaction with Vinters minions and her open disdain for Severius has lead her down an irredeemable path. She sees herself as the Protector and Defender of the Protectorate itself, she will cause a huge schism with her hubris.

Cryx: Deneghra 3 – Culmination of plans enables her to achieve whatever status she’s been searching for, though her complete plans are thwarted by Haley somehow, because Haley

I think its past time for Deneghra to Level Up again, and it would be perfect to pair it with her sister. I’m terrible at guessing twists and turns in plot, so I expect it to be something cool, but I have no idea what it is. I do expect, however, that it will be thwarted. Its starting to be that time.

Ret: New Caster, enabling a form of gameplay that Ret neither likes nor wanted.

Man, I wish I had a better answer, but its almost exactly what I expect of the younger child. eventually you grow out of it (mercs) but the young ones always act weird to the old folks.

Mercs: Magnus 3. The Civil war for King Vinter starts again, thrusting Magnus and his mercenary army into the forefront of combat once again.

I cannot wait for this. It has to happen sometime. His story has been building, he is going around preparing for Vinters Return. My favorite Merc characters revolve around him as well, so I hope to see more of Saxon and Orin.

However, I am not convinced that they’ll go strictly on story. Sometimes, Epics have come out of nowhere, with Borka 2, Reznik 2, and Butcher 3 kinda coming out of nowhere. If we were to go with casters I’d be interested in seeing go epic, I vomited out these: Sloan 2, Sorcha 3, Thyra 2, Skarre 3, Garryth 2, Gorten 2. Each of those characters are compelling on their own, though not always great on the tabletop, and I’d like to see what type of design or character space they’d entail.

My friend responded with a number of affirmations, and some thoughts of his own:

Cygnar: Agreed. Dark horse potential for Constance, though I think that’s unlikely.

I’d not thought of Constance, and that would be extremely legit. I look forward to seeing her epic form, one day!

Khador: Agreed, kinda. My gut says “here comes Sorscha3 or Irusk3” because of course. Strakov’s got a good dark horse bid though.

I could stomach Sorscha 3, but Irusk going epic because of defeat would be way to much like his standard epic incarnation. I’d be sad to see them retread that ground.

Protectorate: Agreed, yet again. No dark horses stand out because Protectorate fluff is crazy limited in who gets screen time.

There is one standout, though, and we’ll get to that one later.

Cryx: Agreed. Dark horse potential for Skarre3, because 3 is “in” this year.

Its the same thing I felt when writing the initial go through. Skarre 3 would, I think, be a ton cooler, but Deneghra 3 seems more right.

Ret: Will be totally true until someone like Pagiani wins 3 Masters in a row with the new ‘caster, then everyone will C&P his list forever (even past when it’s really useful in the meta, thus proving them “right” in the long game.) I feel like any of the Forces ‘casters are very likely for an Epic, just because people seem to like Epics.

If its not Garryth, it better be Rhan. Epic Rhan will be amazing, I’d think, and I would have to pickup the whole faction. Crazytalk, that would be. Garyth’s jack gives me hope.

Garreth Jack

Maybe? Who knows.

Mercs: If this book doesn’t give us Magnus3 or at least Gorten2, I’m going to be fucking stunned. That pot has been on the burner for way, way too long now.

100 times yes. GIVE ME MAGNUS 3, DC! LOWREY, DO YOU HEAR ME!

In my heart of hearts, I want PP to corkscrew everyone and fill this book with Apotheosis epics: Darius2, Karchev2, Harby2, Termnius2. There’s no practical reason why they can’t do that anymore (‘caster power level isn’t a factor, alternate materials make it much more cost feasible,) and indeed they’ve written some mighty goddamn good fluff reasons as to why at least two of those all but have to happen at some point.

I cannot put enough Oomph behind this concept. Each of those casters has pleny of following and plenty of character within them to force Epic without missing a beat. Terminus has been defeated twice now in this body, and he can’t be too pleased about it. Darius had to abandon his armor and spend a ton of time crafting the Stormwall, give him screen time! Harbinger is now out and about int he world, moving and shaking it and creating a new vision of the Protectorate, A Queen not dark but beautiful and terrifying. Finally, Karchev has been torn out of his suit, tortured, drug across a continent and nearly killed, and he still has not given in. The powerful, unstoppable caster should be rewarded with a new set of armor and set on Khadors enemies like a storm of vengeance.

Karchev, Storm of Vengeance – Epic Khadoran Warcaster

SPD:6
STR:8
MAT:7
RAT:4
DEF:13
ARM:19
COM:9
FOCUS: 6
HP:22
Weapon: Greataxe – P+S 14 – Kockdown
Weapon: Greatshield – P+S 10
Field Marshal: Critical Brutal Damage
Warjack Bond: Bloody Spectacle: When a model bonded to Karchev boxes a model, remove it from play. If the model is part of the unit, that unit must immediately make a command check or flee
Rage of the Motherland – When this model is an offensive spells point of origin, that spells damage rolls are boosted.
Survivor – if this model is destroyed, this model instead heals a number of Health equal to any focus on the model, and then remove one focus from this model.

Spells:
Ground Zero
Death Knell
Iron Agression
Surefoot
Tyranny of Gears – Warjacks in this models battlegroup gain +2 speed and boosted melee attacks. Warjacks in this models battlegroup that charge, run, slam, trample or make a melee attack suffer d3 damage at the end of their activation.

Feat: Limitless Strength models in this models battlegroup currently in its control area gain +4 Strength and Follow Up. Models activating in this models control that declare a Powerstrike, Slam Revisited or Slam Power attacks gain +2 to the distance Slammed. A model that throws or slams a model may move directly towards that model the distances thrown or slammed after resolving the attack.

I’ve gotten my relic knights in, but an burning away at painting my Cephalyx for the Nova Open. I will do a complete unboxing and pictures and everything, soon enough!