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Category: Warmahordes (page 1 of 2)

Conspiracy: Steamroller Tournament Report

As a Galway man, spending the weekend in Kilkenny was… interesting. The convention itself was amazingly good fun. There was a friendly, open vibe to the whole event and I spent a very nice Sunday morning and afternoon, playing various board/card games with pleasant folk.

The Saturday saw Ireland’s first German-style Warmahordes tournament, named after the German-style points limit. Each player brought two 42 point lists. The rules pack was the ever reliable Steamroller 2012.

I represented the True Faith with two Protectorate of Menoth lists. The second list is pictured above.

First Menoth-Blessed List

High Exemplar Kreoss
-Reckone
-Vanquisher
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Daughters of the Flame (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
The Covenant of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
The classic pop and drop list, brought along on the off-chance someone hadn’t run into it yet. It saw no play as there was a distinct lack of bunnies at the event.
Second but Equally Good List
Grand Scrutator Severius
-Blessing of Vengeance
-Reckoner
-Vanquisher
-Hierophant
Avatar of Menoth
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Daughters of the Flame (Leader and 5 Grunts)
The Wrack (3 wracks)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
The actual game list, a jack wall with support elements and the ever-excellent Daughters of the Flame. Sevvy spent the tournament racking up a seriously high body count with his spells.

The terrain bore all the hallmarks of a talented craftsman. My favourite has to be this majestic if slightly barnacle-infested shipwreck. Nice one, Brian.

Game 1: Paul’s Legion (pVayl, Close Quarters)

Close quarters is not an easy mission to score in, it requires you to degrade the enemy to the point where they can’t defend their zone. The other option would be to pack some manner of push-pull ability, which my Menites lack. I based my plan on a half-remembered quote from the internet, “Legion beasts are pillow-fisted”. The heart of the enemy list was a pair of Ravagores and a single Carnivean.

The Daughters peeled out to tie down the Hex Hunters for the duration of the game. An early charge by the Avatar fell short and he was lucky to survive the counter-charge using Enliven to duck away from most of the potential attackers.

It turns out that the internet lied. Incite makes the Legion beasts hit with very respectable POW 20 and 18 weapons. Coupled with the Carnivean’s animus on all the beasts, this resulted in a bruising encounter. The Vanquisher and Blessings both fell but both Ravagores joined them in the aftermath.

I managed to take a two control point lead but was not confident of taking a third without exposing my caster to some serious bodily harm. The end game saw two damaged heavies trying to stalk a single slightly injured beast without great success. The timer gave me the win, had we played on, things could have soured for the Menites.

 Game 2: Noel’s Cygnar (Siege, Process of Elimination)

A quick glance at his lists showed that playing the scenario would involve sitting under his guns and dying. The bloody Stormwall simply scared me. With no notion as to it’s capabilities, I decided to rocket my jacks at it and see what came to pass.

Noel managed to predict my cunning and subtle plan and clogged the approaches with Boomhowlers. The Daughters moved in to clear a path but got zapped by the combination of Stormsmiths and Lightning Pods. I found my attack stalled, Nyss threatening my right flank and my jacks seemed unlikely to make it through another turn. With no other option, I went for the last-ditch assassination on the caster.

Severius moved in to deliver his buff to attack and damage, committing me to either instant victory or certain defeat. The angles were kind, the intervening models were knocked down and some spell-slinging bought Siege to half his health and killed a lot of the support units. A freed up Vanquisher lined up a shot and rained fiery doom on the heathen, killing him outright.

Game 3: Merlin’s Skorne (eMorghoul, Restoration)

This struck me as a winnable scenario. Merlin had a light fast force, I had a clunky heavy force suited to taking the central zone. I figured a run at a scenario win would draw him into a battle of attrition that suited my list.

As things turned out, the semi-final match turned out to be a soft run. It was a simple lack of experience against Menoth which led to a fatal error in placement on Merlin’s part. Under-estimating the reach of the Avatar and Reckoner left three warbeasts dead by the end of turn 2. The Gatormen did what they could, killing my arcnode but the main battle was clearly lost.

He fought manfully on, trying to get his Totem Hunter into position for an assassination attempt and when that failed, Morghoul made a last-second run at Severius. It just gave him the honour of dying at the holy man’s feet. The heroes were the many support pieces who gave their lives that I could arc Ashes to Ashes onto high DEF targets. We must never let the names of Choirboy #3 and that Hierophant guy be forgotten.

 Game 4: Bob’s Khador (pButcher, Supply and Demand)

This was never going to be anything other than a bloodbath. Bob had enough infantry to rack up quick control points so I had to draw him into a stand-up fight and smash him before he remembered how my army worked.

And that’s how it went. The overly-clumped Iron Fangs, Kazazy and Winterguard fell to the unholy combo of massed Ashes to Ashes, Vanquisher blasts and the luckiest unit of Daughters to ever fight in Menoth’s glorious name. Beast 09 went down under a flurry of blows from the Avatar. Even Butcher couldn’t swing matters around as Severius’s feat left him without focus during his counter-attack. The Menites closed in, giant clubs were raised and the Butcher went down.

Sorry, Bob. That’s his third defeat in a final in as many tournaments. He is now officially due a win.

With the sound of heartfelt booing echoing through the hall, I ducked a smallish volley of spoiled fruits and took my very familiar looking prize.

Irish Wargaming Tournaments Update: 12/08/12

Ireland is a cold, dark, unwelcoming place for non-GW wargames. The tournament scene is held in a death grip by the twin monoliths of 40K and Fantasy. Every convention features one or both, with mere lip service being paid to other systems. So it has been, so shall it be.

But there are some green shoots appearing. Tournament organisers are beginning to run events focused solely on one non-mainstream system and in other cases, allotting reasonable amounts of time and space in their events to such systems.

The massive rise of Warmahordes over the last year has played a large part in this. Infinity saw more play due to the evangelism and hard work of Quozl. Flames of War is beginning to take hold in the North and a certain southern club. We’ve even been informed of Malifaux and Battlefleet Gothic tournaments running later in the year. I thought it would be nice to look at some upcoming tournaments.


 August Assault
26 August 2012
Gamer’s World, Dublin

Ireland’s longest running series of Warmahordes events continues into August. It’s a 35 point tournament played with the Steamroller 2012 rulespack. The main draw is the guarantee of a good player count as it’s a firmly established event.

Click here for more details.

 The Irish Open
 8/9 September 2012
Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny

The first Irish Open, timetabled for the Saturday, is shaping up to be quite interesting. With players from Leinster, Munster and Connacht attending, there’s going to be an interesting mix of meta-games. It’s also following the European standard by bumping the points limit from 35 to 42 points.

There’s also some manner of doubles event on the second day for those who like teamwork and sharing. Dirty communists. Only sixteen spaces for the Open (of which three remain) so consider preregistering.

Click here for more details.

 Round 5
13 October 2012
Gamer’s World, Dublin

Quozl has announced the 5th round of the 2012 All-Ireland Infinity Cup. This is the latest event in his successful bid to establish Infinity as a regular tournament game. For anyone waiting to take the plunge, I played in the 2nd round with no prior experience and had a blast. It’s an excellent game system and the cost of assembling an army is low.

This event is a 300 points/6 SWC tournament which is an average sized game of Infinity. I also must warn that there’s only ten spaces available so if interested, you should move quickly.

Check here for full details.

 Winter in Minsk
 10/11 November 2012
 Ballymena, Antrim

Now to a popular choice in these parts, Flames of War. This is actually Ireland’s first Flames of War tournament and it’s looking good. Expect a reasonable crowd, including yours truly. It’s quite standard in format, following the traditional 1750 points and Late War setting.

With the Plastic Soldier Company making the buy-in cost for an army extremely low, it’s worth considering. With UK attendees, a strong Northern FoW presence and a big chunk of the Warheads attending, I think it’s going to go pretty well.

Click here for full details.
 

 N.W.G.
31 August 2012
Grand Hotel, Wicklow

I’ll have to admit that I know nothing of Malifaux. I’ve heard it’s big in Cork and I know that the models are very pretty (just google Death Marshals). Since it’s running on a Friday as part of a larger convention and the sign-up sheet is looking healthy, this is your best chance to get some competitive play against shiny new opponents.

Click here for full details.

Braycon BFG Championship
7 October 2012
Bray

And finally, a very very rare event. There’s a Battlefleet Gothic tournament on in Bray this October and the organisers do expect it to fill quickly. We’ve got three players from the small burb of Maynooth alone, so if you’ve got a fleet lying around, this is your chance to dust them off.

The organisers are using the 2010 BFG FAQ which made some beneficial changes to the core rules. With two 750 point and two 1,500 point battles, we’re looking at smallish to average sized fleets.

EDIT: This tournament is now full.

Click here for more details.

If we’ve missed any upcoming events, let us know.

Army Showcase: Anto’s Trollbloods

After all the doom and gloom relating to the release of 6th edition, we’ve decided to go with a human interest piece. It’s a little tale of hope for us all. Imagine, if you will, a painter of average quality. Solid, reliable but not great. Let’s call this hypothetical painter… Panto. He knuckles down, practices his craft and becomes very very good.


Now the big reveal. That’s actually a true story. Although his real name, Anto, is slightly more skangerish. After years of fopping about with the Cryx, he took on a new challenge. He went with those Stone Age warriors, the soon to be extinct (yay!) Trollbloods. I’ve only got a tiny portion of the army here but it’s large and pretty.

The first shot is of his Fell Caller Hero. I’m fond of this, as at a glance, it highlights all the effort put into this force. He’s tried to make the blue flesh more lifelike, he’s reflected the shoddy troll metallurgy in the weapons and equipment. Even the clan tartans look authentic.

This is the solo character, Janissa Stonetide with the ability to shape the earth around her. The column on the left of the model is entirely converted from greenstuff and looks suitably craggy. Check out that that chin, you could use it to break rocks.

Here we have a unit of Stone Scribes guarding a Krielstone Bearer. This is included largely to show the basing and quality stonework. The basing looks suitably moor-like while stonework of this quality is actually quite difficult to produce.

We take a closer look at one of the Stone scribes to see the care lavished on the small details from the ragged bandages to the scrolls at his waist.

Something a little higher up the food chain, Captain Gunnbjorn and his ludicrous cannon. In a faction without stubble, he’s managed to grow… something… on his face to represent his incredible toughness.

Remember the careful stonework in an earlier shot, here’s the likely cause of such expertise. It’s a walking mountain. Mulg the Ancient is about four time as large as the Captain and full of little crevasses. Check out the teeth for some really refined work.

All in, all, it’s very easy on the eye and can be seen in all its glory at Conspiracy 2012 (Towncon to our southern brethren) or in Gamer’s Hub on any given Friday.

Warmahordes Battle Report: Menoth vs Cryx

We’ve got a pretty strange battle report for you today. The two sides are not the traditional, balanced builds but very heavily focused lists coming from the extreme ends of the infantry/warjack spectrum. This wasn’t deliberate, we both brought secret lists and revealed them simultaneously to mutual confusion and dismay.

The Cryx player, who we will shall codename Lady-Boy, has brought an infantry spam list, based on large squads of troops. When supported by the caster’s abilities/feat, they can smash up heavies with ease. But if they fail, the light troops will find themselves trapped in a battle of attrition against heavy armour.

Standing against the ravening horde, a Protectorate warjack spam list commanded by yours truly and some floating teenaged bint. If the jacks can survive the initial assault or weather it without fatal damage, then they are likely to grind out a victory. Their ace in the hole is their caster’s feat which will prevent the enemy from advancing for a turn.

Neither player were quite certain of the likely outcome of this odd clash. Or as my propaganda wing would have it, despite being outnumbered by more than four to one, the Brave and Heroic Menites were totally confident of Final Victory.

You can look over both lists above. The Protectorate list has four heavy jacks in a 35 point list. The support units have been stripped to a minimum and there is no infantry support. I could have replaced the Choir and Vassal with a light jack but that would have been crazy.

The Cryx player has three large units of infantry and the ever-menacing Stalker light warjacks. They are extremely dangerous flanking units. He has a hard hitting solo in Gerlak Slaughterborn and a focus battery in Skarlock and the Scrap Thralls. There’s also a small selection of support pieces. All in all, a lot of toys.

On to the scenario, no.15 in the 2012 Steamroller rules, Restoration. Some scenarios are quite challenging and people are forced to focus on assassination or attrition strategies but in this case, the scenario is quite winnable. The central zone is small and easily cleared.

If you can control this zone and an objective (most likely to be your own), you can begin scoring points. The only real risk is that it requires that the caster moves up to claim the objective, personally. The Harbinger is not suited to that style of play. Skarre is not particularly fond of it but stands a better chance in no man’s land.

The Cryx have the first turn. With the Harbinger’s feat likely to stall his advance, Lady-Boy must prepare for that and immediately clog the control zone with Satyxis Raiders. He is hoping that they cannot be cleared out within two turns and thus they will contest the zone until help arrives. 

On his right, the Bloodwitches move into the shadow of the woods, ready to move up once the feat has lapsed. They do have the speed to strike from great distances so they can afford to hang well back.

Lumbering Mechanithralls swarm over the hill on his left. They are supported by a Necrosurgeon, which is annoying. I could waste all of my fire here and any casualties inflicted will simply be revived next turn. This makes them a low priority target.

The Menites immediately hone in on the targets in range. The enemy have attempted to spread out but our guns do make very large explosions. However, the Raiders are enchanted to ignore any shots that do not hit them directly. This means that our usual tactic of lobbing shots in and hoping for lucky scatters is slightly doomed.

Even that little buff cannot save them from the sheer number of high-powered cannon blazing away. One five shot volley later, the Raiders are down just over half their numbers and they break, refusing to advance. The feat is popped, delaying the opposing army for a turn. The gathered crowd (not pictured) cheers wildly at my tactical cunning.

In a display of blistering Cryx pace, a Stalker is already jockeying for an assassination run while staying outside the range of the feat. Hate that.

With the hapless Scrap Thralls at the back of the army being ritually sacrificed to give her strength, Skarre sits on a pile of focus almost as tall as herself.

Which is nice but not quite useful here. With the Harbinger’s feat active, the infantry cannot advance without bursting into flames. They must sit and wait for the magical firestorm to die down.

The enemy have been delayed but with few targets in range and Stalkers closing on both flanks, the Menites find that they cannot take full advantage of the lull. They press forward, exterminating the remaining Raiders and positioning themselves to receive the charge.

Once the feat fades, the Bloodwitches move forward preparing for their own feat turn. They try to lock the heavy jacks with brave volunteers while the others line up their attacks. It is not enough to smash one jack, they need to strike at all four.

The Mechanithralls do likewise, two unlucky sods run in to lock down the Vanquishers, while the rest move into position. If they can keep the Menites bogged down on their next turn, the damage on the feat turn will be immense.

The Menites have to try and cripple the two units closing in while also covering both Stalkers and Gerlak. With five threats and only four combat units, this will be very difficult. The Reckoner moves to cover a flank as a choirboy sacrifices himself by moving to deny a charge lane for one Stalker.

The flagship jack hits the largest threat. The Avatar’s charge reaps a heavy toll on the Bloodwitches as he kills every single one he can reach. He then triggers the Gaze of Menoth, forcing all nearby units to charge him. This is a serious problem for the Cryx player as if he is forced to waste either of his surviving two units on the Avatar, he will not be able to deal a fatal blow to the other jacks.

The Vanquishers move to neutralise the threat on the right, killing a host of Mechanithralls. More importantly, they manage to explode the Necrosurgeon’s lackies. Without their help, she will not be able to resurrect the thralls enmasse. They have done all they can, over to the enemy.

With his surviving units battered, it is time to see what Lady-Boy can do. It should only take three or four models to kill each heavy, the troops are available but the order of activation is important. The Avatar must be destroyed and neither of the units can be used to do so.

Behind the lines, the ritual sacrifice proves favourable and Skarre gains the maximum amount of focus available. With that surplus of energy, she sweeps in and tears apart the Avatar. This frees the Bloodwitches to pile on one Vanquisher and the Mechanithralls to pile on the other. They fall just short of killing either but both are very, very, crippled.

The Reckoner comes through unscathed but he is engaged by Gerlak and will find it difficult to disengage.

The damage boxes of the jacks tell the story. One jack is completely dead, the other untouched. The Vanquishers are on the bottom row. One has two hitpoints left but has lost both combat arms, the other has six hitpoints but his only remaining weapon is ranged and cannot be used in melee.

The Cryx assault has fallen short but not by much, the battered heavies will fall to any above average dice roll and there are enough enemies about to achieve this through sheer number of attacks. Only one jack is combat effective and things look dire.

Luckily, the objective has a special rule which allows one Vanquisher to be slightly repaired, the right-hand Vanquisher gains the use of his arms and smashes some Mechanithralls. It might be possible to recover this. The Bloodwitches are trapped, the Mechanithralls are too few to damage a heavy. Neither Gerlak or the Stalkers can stand up to the Reckoner if he can get another turn of attacks. I begin to smirk.

The Cryx player has to free up some assets, Gerlak successfully evades the Reckoner’s clumsy swing and attempts to finish off the Vanquisher engaging the Bloodwitches, letting them swarm all over the Harbinger. He fails, falling slightly short. The Stalker runs in to keep the Reckoner busy. I continue to smirk at his desperate efforts, which I find reminiscent of a rat caught in a trap.

My gloating may be a little premature. There’s a look of rekindled hope in the enemy’s eyes which suggests that he has a cunning plan. It must revolve around the last Stalker who has made his way behind my entire force. But there’s yet another choirboy blocking his path. Killing him would be easy but then the Harbinger will simply revive him. And she could easily do so seven or eight times.

But Lady-Boy is undaunted, he has seen his chance. The only option is to get the Blood Hag out of combat with the Vanquisher and into a position where her aura will prevent the offending choirboy from being healed. But even if he can sneak her across the front line, he will still have to find a way to fry the choirboy without using the Stalker.

The Cryx player delicately disengages the Blood Hag, while the Mechnithralls throw themselves out of Skarre’s path. With the Hag in position, Skarre manages to slip to just within range of the choirboy, kills one of her own troops for the magical juice and splatters the errant choirboy over the landscape.

This clears a path for the Stalker to the Harbinger and he charges in. The Stalker is designed to ignore magical defensive buffs, this is an optimal target and he chops up the Harbinger without any difficulty.

 Aftermath

High-risk, high-reward tactics on both sides. Skarre had a feat which would allow her troops to smash heavies easily, the Harbinger had a feat to slow the infantry. In both cases, you could argue that the feats were slightly mistimed.

The early game saw the Menoth player focusing on reducing the number of possible chargers. He knew that if two heavies could come through intact, he could win through attrition. The Cryx player focused on force preservation and pushing up on the flanks. With six distinct threats and only four opposing units, there was a strong chance of slipping an assassin through to the caster. The Harbinger’s feat was popped a turn too early. The only unit in charge range was crippled and the remainder of the army was happy to sit off for a turn. Had it been popped a turn later, fresh units would have been trapped under the guns.

The Cryx player’s feat turn was somewhat ragged as losses had begun to mount but he managed to deal enough damage to the heavies to stall any Menite push on the caster or a scenario victory. That said, he faced slow, certain defeat unless he could get to the caster promptly. It was not an easy task, both sides were heavily committed and key assets were trapped out of position. But he took his chances, unlocked the defence and managed a last-ditch attack while he still had suitable units left in his arsenal.

Bonus: Snow Skorne

I know, it’s been quiet, but here, I present the rarely seen Arctic Warbeast.

This conversion is the work of one Sean Malone, who can be found lurking around Gamer’s Hub in Maynooth. For reference, the original looks like this…

 His are a little different.

He’s burnt through a large quantity of green stuff adding fur and dreadlocks. The original beast has enameled samurai-style armour plates but the Arctic version has a functional, bare metal look about it. It just looks that bit more menacing. I hear reports that the rest of his armies are equally pretty so keep an eye out for him.

And… away.

Irish Warmahordes Faction Rankings

While we wait for the Retcon/Moofool results to wind their way onto Ranking HQ, we briefly consider the newly founded Warmahorde rankings. To those weaned on Ranking HQ, this system is very different. The various factions and casters are ranked, no details on individual players are available. The Warmahordes players have consciously avoided a player-centred ranking system, largely based on their unease at its impact on Warhammer 40k and Fantasy tournament scene.

The system is very much in the teething stages with less than a handful of tournaments submitted. Each new event will cause some major shifts but, for now, let’s just examine the state of play. We disregard the Mercenary faction as they have yet to be played.

1st Place

The barbaric and backwards Trollbloods finish top of the faction rankings with a win ratio of 87.5%. Their casters all perform well. Prime Grissel leads them with a 3 for 3 record. Borka has the dubious honour of being the only Troll caster to lose a game, going 2 for 3. With a total of eight games played, they are the least used faction in this ranking period.

2nd Place

Lagging well behind the leaders, the twisted Legion of Everblight have a solid win ratio of 71.43%. Everblight’s draconian rage should be focused on Epic Lylyth and her shoddy 0 for 2 record. The blighted poster-children are Bethanye and Kallus, each on 3 for 3. Their position is impressive as they are joint fifth, with Skorne, in popularity. Fourteen games played in the period.

3rd Place

The righteous, just and godly Protectorate of Menoth have a respectable 60% win ratio. The perfectly rounded number reflects Menoth’s divine influence. That it is not 100% is clearly due to a lack of faith on the part of the Menite players. Thyra leads the congretion with a 2 for 2 record. The ever popular Prime Kroess is the shakiest caster on 2 for 4. They are still an uncommon faction, sixth favourite with ten games played.

Not On The Podium

Those desert rats, Skorne, are close behind on a win ratio of 57.14%. Rasheth and Epic Makeda are the two main casters with a combined record of 7 for 10. They find themselves tied with Legion as the fifth most popular faction, on fourteen games.

Poxy Druids, what have they ever done for us? They ruin the roads, block the drains,burn your schools and warp our cattle. For all their efforts, Circle has a 55.56% win ratio. Morvahna is, by far, the most popular choice running 3 for 5 in her games. A rare faction, joint seventh on nine games.

Those genocidal, sectarian fascists, Cygnar sit on a 47.62% win ratio. May it slump further. Epic Caine is their only strong performer, going 2 for 2. His struggles can’t compensate for Siege, who goes 2 for 7. Despite their reputation as under-powered in tournament play, they are the second most popular faction with 21 games played.

The humble and gentle animal faction, Minions, have a symetrical win ratio of 44.44%. Most of their casters are winning half their games with Sturm and Drang dragging the average down on 0 for 2. Another rarity, joint seventh in popularity on 9 games

The Retribution of Scyrah. They may be a doomed race but they’re determined to get a few hits in as they’re dragged towards the door. They’re just not hitting hard enough, a win ratio of 41.18%. Even their most popular caster, Rahn, is running 4 for 9. Another common choice, Ossyan is doing terribly on 0 for 4. Third in popularity with seventeen games played.

This is a surprise as Cryx is seen as one of the strongest factions. But they slump to a 34.78% win ratio. Some of the strongest casters, in theory, come in very low. Epic Skarre is 0 for 1, Epic Deneghra is 1 for 3. They can take some consolation from the fact that they are the most popular faction with 23 games played in total.

Regrettably, Khador appear to have replaced Cygnar as the whipping boys of the Iron Kingdom with a win ration of 26.67%. Strakhov fights bravely and manages to go 2 for 2. But some of the remaining casters are starting to look like traitors. Karchev, Prime Butcher, Prime Irusk, Prime Sorcha and Epic Sorcha have a combined record of 0 for 9. The fourth most popular faction with 15 games played.

For more detail on all casters and factions, the full rankings are available here.

Army Showcase: Harry’s Cygnar

Time for a refreshing change from our usual fare of wargaming-related accountancy. Despite the fact that I’m a god-fearing Menite, even I must admit that Harry’s Army of Damned Heretics* looks pretty… pretty.

*Not their name for themselves.

He’s veered wildly away from the canon colour scheme with a daring but effective orange and blue blend. There’s a lot more to his force than the sample provided below so if you see it at a tournament, wander over for a closer look. You can even pick them up without asking. If you see something you like, just stick it in your bag, Harry doesn’t mind.

Caine, the roguish war caster with multiple pistols. The casual observer will notice the graying temples from a life of sinful hedonism. Due to his erratic nature, few notice the severe psychosis brought on by late stage syphilis.

Nemo is something akin to the Professor from Back to the Future but slightly more effective and focused. What a pity that his soul is doomed to burn for all eternity.

Just so we’re clear, this man is the only non-Aryan caster in all of Cygnar. That’s because they’re a racist, murderous, Nazi-esque country.

The Stormclad, one of the Cygnaran heavy jacks. Pretty, eh, look at the battle damage on that shield and the gorgeous banner. The distinctive beetle-back look of the faction’s warjack can seen clearly in this shot.

The Defender heavy jack. Like all Cyngarans, he’s a total poser. In this case, Harry has reposed the model to give the impression that it is in the process of firing its cannon or possibly bracing to fire downrange.

Stormblades, I’ll let you in on a secret. They’re rubbish. Their equipment is great but they lack the raw power of the righteous and just. In the middle of this shot, we see a brave trooper, sickened by the fecklessness of his comrades, preparing to strike down his officer from behind.

Captain Arlan Strangewayes. Look at his pipe. What a badass. He’s definitely one of those rare Cygnaran Menites.

All of the Warmachine factions have access to mercenaries. Above we see Harlan Versh. Harry ensures that he blends with the rest of the force by using his core army colours on the hatband and waistcoat. This means that the model does not lose the non-uniform look of a mercenary model but still meshes well with the others.

We hope to bring you more eye-candy in the coming months.

Steamroller 2012: February (50 points)

Steamroller Sunday

This was the second tournament of the 2012 season and the first 50 point event run in the Irish calendar. All ten attendees enjoyed themselves but the turnout was a little poor.

I suspect that the higher points limit scared off some players. Players with large collections were most likely to play. But this also meant an abundance of veteran players which meant that there were few soft matchups available. Spare a thought for tournament virgin, Eoin, who found himself walking into a buzzsaw of a tournament.

Aiming for victory, I had gone with expanded versions of my Harbinger and High Exemplar Kreoss lists. Both have been quite solid in the past and as I was lacking in practice, I reverted to the lists I knew best. The extra fifteen points was used to convert the Harbie’s list into a true Heavy Jack force while Kreoss grabbed a hodge-podge band of mercenaries and an extra Vanquisher.

Harbinger
-Avatar
-Reckoner
-Vanquisher
-Vanquisher
Choir of Menoth (Max)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Hierophant
Holy Zealots (Max)
Monolith Bearer
Knights Exemplar Seneschal

The Avatar performed extremely well across the tournament and the four heavies simply overwhelmed the opposition. The Knights Exemplar Seneschal only struck once but did so to great effect. The weak link in the list was the Zealots, they proved a little unsuited to most of my match-ups.

High Exemplar Kreoss
-Reckoner
-Vanquisher
-Vanquisher
Choir of Menoth (Max)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Covenant of Menoth
Holy Zealots (Max)
Monolith Bearer
Daughters of the Flame
Madelyn Corbeau
Keil Bailoch
Eiryss, Mage Hunter

The Kreoss list might as well have been played at 35 points. Both in the tournament and my practice game, the original list did all the work while the additional points sat around waiting to be called into action. Madelyn was particularly poor as with Kroess safely tucked in behind his jacks, her ability could only be used to move him slightly left or right.

Game 1: Conor’s Cygnar (eHaley, Incoming)

With five Cygnar players in the mix, I was hoping to run into at least one. The fates provided. I’ve had long experience against their lists and I was confident of my chances. Kreoss tends to do horrible things to Cygnar and the game went on auto-pilot. The Daughters tied down the right flank, pinning a unit of Gun Mages and a Cyclone. On the left, Keil Bailoch got splattered by Gun Mage Adepts while I marched up the centre. The Zealots cut into the Sword Knights, the Lancer was fragged and before long Haley was forced into an assassination run.

It came close to succeeding as her Domination spell came up just short of my Reckoner, which might have been able to land a killing blow on my caster. She was now horribly exposed, a Vanquisher shot targeting one of my own zealots clipped Haley and finished her in a blaze of fire.

Game 2: Neil’s Retribution (Vyros, Demolition)

New opponent, new list. I admit that I’ve never run into a jack-heavy Retribution list. His ability to shoot through intervening models forced me to keep well back with the Harbinger. He spread out to cover the zones and objective. His lunge around the central objective brought him into range of my jack-line and managed to put a few points of damage on the Harbinger.

But that was the high point of his advance. The Avatar smashed home to demolish the damaged Manticore and Hydra. The Zealots, covered by the Harbinger’s feat began to eat through the Halberdiers. Despite racking up some scenario points, the Retribution were slowly ground away in a slow rolling advance towards the central objective, losing all of their jacks and most the Sentinels in a delaying action. Once my jacks finally arrived, the position was secure, I was down 2-0 on scenario points but only the round timing out could lose me the game.

With his entire army eliminated, the remaining jacks closed in on Vyros. He managed to smash one on the charge but then the others gathered to beat him down. Neil can console himself with the thought that he was the only player to kill any of my jacks through the three rounds of the tournament.

Game 3: Phil’s Cryx (Terminus, Incursion)

After two wins, I find myself in the final against a Terminus list. My last game against it ended in a bloody massacre but with four heavy jacks, I expected a little more time to get a feel for the list and hopefully win out. The disappearance of the left-hand flag left the battle focused on the centre and right. The unit of Zealots managed to contest the righthand objective for several turns but couldn’t hold out against a sustained press of enemy troops. The scenario points racked up on this front would eventually cost me the game.

The central front saw a swarm of Revenant Crewmen crash against a wall of jacks.  The heavies didn’t really suffer much damage with only Terminus really capable of threatening them. Two Seethers got smashed for no real gain. I put my efforts into eliminating the crew to give me a chance of killing Terminus. Terminus himself got locked down by the Gaze of Menoth and was forced into melee with the Avatar to try and extract himself. In hindsight, focusing on the crewmen was a major error as I learnt afterwards that Sacrifical Pawn does not negate melee hits. So a handful of solid assassination attempts were overlooked in favour of splattering piles of humble troopers. The Avatar passed up at least two chances to trample through the crew and smash Terminus into goo. Bugger.

Unfortunately, my loss dropped me all the way into fourth once strength of schedule was taken into account. Two finals, two losses. Next time, next time. I’m consoled by the fact that those Cygnarian heretics were slapped around like red-headed stepchildren. (Hi, Stryker)

Phil takes the win with Stu and Neil rounding out the top three. Congratulations to them all.

 In other news, Stu reclaims his position as Anto-kryptonite.

Steamroller: December 2011

The final event of the 2011 Warmahordes series was a quiet tournament as many players chose to stand, sobbing, in toy-shop queues throughout Dublin. Its small size is reflected by the length of the tournament report. For those lucky souls who did attend, they had the opportunity to beta test the Steamroller 2012 rules. But first, the violence. I deployed my Menoth, bringing a pKroess Pop’n’Drop list and the Harbinger.

Game 1: vs Anto’s Cryx, eSkarre

Going into the game, I reflected on Anto’s limited intelligence and silly hair. I spent a good five minutes debating the relative merits of incessantly mocking his defeat for the rest of the day or simply sporting an insufferably smug look everytime he wandered nearby. That concluded, we diced off.

*draws breath* Hate, hate, hate. Die in a fire, eSkarre. *draws breath*

I regret to report I was rather nicely outplayed in a short, sharp shock. Having played this exact match-up recently, complacency had nested. My opponent reinforced this by going with what appeared to be his standard opening. Deathjack and Nightmare both postured for the assassination run and I decided to play defensively and lure him in for a failed attempt.

This caution left me unable to react when he completely reversed his normal game plan and made a bid for a scenario win. By turn 3, he was poised for victory. One futile attempt to gun down his caster and the Menites had crashed to a defeat.

Game 2: vs Steve’s Circle, Morvahna

This seemed somewhat familiar. Steve. Circle Orboros, that nameless mission. Looking at the large swarm of infantry, the Harbinger was the only choice. The mission suited me, the list composition suits me and the caster match-up suited me. Despite this, I still managed to make it far too close a match.

His army was a sight to behold, massive amounts of Tharn infantry filling the deployment zone. My slightly anemic force, hiding in a forest, may have wanted to run at that point. But a series of lucky scatters saw his caster, beasts and some druids lit on fire. With the tricksy assets being removed, I felt a little safer about the course of the game.

His caster was heavily dependent on upkeeps, my caster could cheaply and easily remove all upkeeps in a large zone. This rather simple course of action never occurred to me. But the Harbinger’s feat disrupted the tempo of his advance and the troops never really managed to hit home. By the time his flankers were in place, my warjacks were firing on Morvahna.

Game 3: vs Peter’s Cryx, pDeneghra

Well, it was something of a wash. There was a brutal bloodbath in the centre into which both sides fed most of their armies. We both felt rather pleased with ourselves by the end of the first hour. Peter felt he had the advantage in the endgame and I felt likewise. After several turns of slaughter, a trio of Bane Thralls and Nightmare faced off against a Reckoner and Vanquisher. We’ll never know what would have transpired as the game ended very early.

Peter took the win on tertiary tie-breaker with a Deathripper partially in the primary flag zone. Bad beta rules, bad. No reducing the time limit to an unfeasibly short amount of time. Admittedly, my dislike may be based on losing by time and the fact that we played ten minute rather than seven minute turns would skew the system but I really dislike the idea.

The games were fun, my final standing was disappointing.

But the beta test certainly reveals that next year’s tournaments will see some major changes. The shortened turns and potential for reduced match lengths make units with multiple AoEs unpalatable. In fact, even large infantry units threaten to use too much of your precious time limit. Warbeasts and warjacks will be tempting and those casters/locks which support them will see more play.

The character restrictions, however, will certainly shake up list design. The stronger builds will still see play but expect the alternate lists to be more focused, optimising a specific caster rather than being similar to the primary list, with a second choice caster. I’ll miss you, Covenant of Menoth.

Warmahordes Battle Report: Ossyan vs Madrak

So we have another battle report, this time it’s Trolls vs Elves, as Madrak Ironhide leads his scruffy troops against the Retribution of Scyrah. Following some trash talking and a frankly awful dance-off, both players are hustled to the table and forced to deploy their armies.


Deployment

Say hello to Anto’s Trollbloods, a nicely painted, standard Troll Brick list. For new players, his support units layer protective and aggressive auras onto his troops, letting them grind the opposition down. The Pyg Burrowers, in particular, have a strong record of killing far more than their points. They even threaten the most heavily armoured troops. Trolls as a faction have the Tough rule, on death, they roll a d6. A roll of 5+ leaves them knocked down rather than killed.
Mark’s Retribution force, or at least, the central section. Retribution are noted for their excellent infantry and thus tend to run a lot of troops and few myrmidons (warjack equivalents). This commander is no exception, with units of Sentinels and Invictors in the field. The latter are ranged troops while the former are melee fighters.

The remainder of Mark’s force consists of two solos, Narn on his left, eEiryss on his right. Narn is a close combat-oriented character and eEiryss is a ranged combatant. Both are advance deployed and represent a minimal flanking force.
The battlefield in all its glory. The scenario requires you to hold uncontested flags to earn points, each flag held at the end of either player’s turn is worth one point. The first person to score three or more points and have more points than their opponent will win. Of course, an assassination victory is also possible.

Turn 1

The Pyg Burrowers trigger their special ability, unsurprisingly, this involves them burrowing underground to pop up on their next turn. If you have any surplus malice in your heart, I strongly encourage you to direct it their way.
The remainder of the troll army advances, attempting to keep assets within range of all three flags. The abundance of medium based troops does make redeployment difficult and the Troll player must carefully position troops to cover all three axis of advance.
The Retribution mirror the tactic but go about it very differently. Narn moves up to stand off his left hand flag. Although well outside contesting range, the flag will not activate until the end of the second player’s second turn.
eEiryss does likewise on the opposite side. In both cases, the Retribution stands well off the flag to protect his flankers from unexpected charges.
Having been utterly butchered in earlier games by Burrower charges, the Sentinels are ordered to form a line to hold the menace off. Their weapons have a very long reach and careful positioning should expose only the front rank to imminent death and dismemberment. The Burrowers will not be able to charge through to more valuable targets.

Turn 2

As expected, the Pygs pop up and take the bait. A forgiveable decision as there is no better option. Burrowers must reappear the turn after they descend. They have to charge now or die next turn. Their trollish nature cannot compensate for their general squishiness.
As the left hand flag has vanished, the trolls move on the right hand flag. This is a lucky break for the Trollbloods as they are far better positioned to seize this flag than its vanished companion. The Bomber and Pyre Troll represent a sizable force by themselves and there are additional solos moving in place behind them.
The Pyg charge wipes out the first line of Sentinels as a mix of ranged and melee attacks kill all within reach. Those poor sods are deemed acceptable losses and their friends start plotting a terrible revenge.
The brick sweeps onto the central flag in all its glory. This mass of tough infantry will be very difficult to shift and could easily achieve a scenario victory if not countered in some way. The defensive buffs are in place and the caster stands nearby. The Trollbloods are clearly intending to claim a scenario win or failing that, draw the Retribution into close range and pummel them.
The Sentinals take their Vengeance actions, chopping down some Pygs. Some are killed outright, others make their tough rolls and are merely knocked down. But this is only the first step and their death is imminent.
An overhead shot of the line shows that the Burrowers have taken some hits but, as you can see, the majority remain intact. For now.
In the first action of the normal turn, Narn runs in to contest the flag and tie down the bomber. This is most certainly a suicide mission as the pointy eared git cannot hope to survive. If the bomber does not crush it, there are two solos and another beast who can oblige.
This is the moment Anto realises that Invictors shooting while under the Shatterstorm power, will bypass his Tough rolls. His impenetrable central block seems a little more vulnerable.
The focus now switches to the centre and the point of decision is clearly the block of Fennblades. Lady Aiyana casts Kiss of Lyliss on the unit. This spell will increase all damage rolls against models in the unit and generally means that each hit should be a kill. The Invictors grin.
Her lackey/partner, Holt breaks out his pistols and drops two Pygs clearing a section of the line. This is not mere random violence as shall later be revealed.
One Pyg proves too stupid to run away as his friends are butchered. As part of their activation, the Sentinels have left a hole in their formation.
This gap has been created to allow the Invictors and the Phoenix to position themselves for attacks against the Fennblades, just visible to the left of the picture.
The Invictors shoot well, dropping six Fennblades and a Stone Scribe, permanently, which tears the heart out of the Troll’s main infantry block.
To finish the job, the Phoenix charges in and combusts, turning two more Fennblades into torches. The unit is now under half strength and while they may contest it, they cannot score points on the flag.

Turn 3

The trolls, rocked by a nasty turn, start by killing Narn. This leaves one flag entirely in their hands. It’s also unclear whether the Retribution can get any reasonable portion of their army into the area. It appears that this flag is now completely secure.
The trolls around the central flag appear to be clearing a path for someone or something. Bear in mind that most of the above are support rather than frontline troops.
The bomber smashes through the trees, appearing on the Retribution’s left flank, lobbing bombs around with abandon. This snarling beast eliminates any chance of breaking through to the Troll-held flag.
The hissing, powder-filled kegs begin to rain down. Lady Aiyana takes a bomb directly to the face and expires. The Invictors manage to duck.
She is quickly followed by Holt as his heart breaks at the sight of the mangled elf. Or a misplaced bomb scatters next to him and blows him up. We’ll leave it to the poets.
As a formality, the Pyre Troll moves onto the right flag to grab the scenario point.
The Phoenix quakes (insomuch as a soulless contruct can) as Madrak Ironhide storms in, swinging his world-ending axe. In the fluff, this is the most dangerous weapon in existance, an apocalypse with a hilt.
Clearly, the responsiblity is starting to weigh on the feckless savage as Madrak fluffs his initial charge, missing the opportunity to do some major damage.
But with his fury reserve and a feat which grants extra attacks, a wrecked Phoenix is inevitable. The trolls score two points on both flags and need only one more for victory. A solid comeback which maintains the scenario pressure on his opponent.
With Madrak exposed, Lord Arcanist Ossyan moves in. He must go for the assassination as the trolls will certainly score a third point at the end of the turn. Simply shooting everything at Madrak will result in failure. The troll warlock is protected by layers of overlapping defences which have to be stripped away. But his faction does have the tools required with multiple medium strength ranged attacks.
Ossryan magically blasts two Fennblades to clear a path to the support models which provide defensive buffs. The Fennblades have had a rather terrible game as their signature resiliance is bypassed by precise shooting.
The Sentinels sweep in to eliminate the support unit, making a terrible, terrible error.
This is the moment when Mark realises that he has accidentally engaged Madrak in close combat, which will give him a defence bonus against Mark’s ranged attacks. With only an ranged unit remaining, he may have lost himself the game.
To resolve the issue, he must use one of his own spare Sentinels to hack down the offending model. The unit leader finds himself fragged by his own men.
Elsewhere, the last Pyg gets chopped and diced. Always good to see the wretched, undercosted vermin get theirs.
Initial shooting drops Madrak’s grenade jumpers. The warlock has an ability whereby warrior models near this particular warlock take hits on his behalf and die. It was necessary and more resource-efficient to clear them out first with single shots. This finally leaves Madrak exposed.

To boost the chance of hitting and wounding Madrak, all remaining Invictors combine their last shots into three volleys. The first of three combined ranged attacks inflicts light damage, taking off four of eighteen hitpoints.
The second attack is much better, knocking off 8 hitpoints. An average roll should see him downed.
With six points of health left, the final volley inflicts only five. Madrak lives, the Trolls score a third point to win by scenario.

Or do they?
Having skulked on a nearby hill for the entire game, Eiryss finally rouses herself.

The shot is on target and the special bolt inflicts an automatic point of damage.
Will he make the tough roll? No.

The End

With a last ditch assassination, the Retribution steal victory by the skin of their teeth.

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