Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Battlereport: Warmachine

Good evening ladies and gentlemen... Brian and Garrett. This is a report of my first ever Warmachine battle! Neither of you play this game but it is fantastic and awesome (and cheaper).

Game: learning phase. Set-up and fight. I represent the forces of Cryx, lead by the Warwitch Deneghra. My opponent played the kingdom of Cygnar lead by the Commander Stryker. Players roll and highest picks to go first or second. First turn also deploys first.

As you can see here we have a large factory on the right, a couple of silos on the left, a lone leafless tree in the middle. Forces deploy up to 10" away from their edge and 20" away from each other. The board is usually 4x4'.

In Warmachine one of the ways to win (if the mission has other ways) is to kill off the opposing warcaster (general). This is not as easy as it sounds! Each warcaster has the warjacks assigned to them. These steampunk engines of war have a magic-mechanical brain that responds to warcasters commands. Without the warcaster they become inert. Troop units can operate independently but can be aided by the warcaster via buffs or allocation of the game's central mechanic: focus.

Think of focus like mana. A warcaster can channel it into their own spells or directly into their warjacks or troops to make them more effective. Part of the game becomes a balancing act of using focus for spells, helping crucial units perform actions and getting your warjacks to wreak havoc on the battlefield.

While a warcaster is strong, they aren't the unit killing monsters like 40K characters. They aren't completely fragile but you have to calculate the risks you take with them.

I rolled higher so I deployed first to go first.

Turn 1 Cryx:

My units are directly from the Cryx battlebox. A cheap box that gives you the basic components to play the game: warcaster, units, unit stats, and basic game rules! You don't need the main rulebook to start playing! The starter rules are abridged to make it easier. Cards come with the units so you can mark damage on them (as applicable).

Cryx warjacks are light bonejacks (defiler is a shooter and deathrippers are close combat) which are fast and agile vs. the heavy helljacks (slayer is slightly slower but tougher and packs a wallop). Deneghra is a lithe, fast, debuffing witch very capable of dishing out damage but not as good at taking it.

Turn one had me running everything up and since nothing was in range (defiler has short range) I couldn't do anything.

Cygnar turn 1:
Stryker and his jacks run up. The Defender is a heavy with a gun and hammer. The Sentinel is a light with a gun and shield. The stormblades are troops wearing armor and wielding these sword pikes that shoot lightning. They start to go to town on my deathripper. The other two jacks aren't as effective at shooting me.

Turn 2: Cryx
Fun times here: on the left Deneghra casts a damage spell called Scourge: it hits a target then a 3" AoE knocks everything around it (friend of foe) down. Being knocked down in this game is bad. Close combat hits automatically, on your turn to get up you have to sacrifice your movement or your action, etc.

You'll notice the spell arrow goes through the deathripper. Many bonejacks have an arc node which allows casters to channel spells through the 'jack. This keeps the caster out of harms way while spells rip open the enemy and your deathripper runs in and kills everyone! Almost.

My slayer rushes the defender and slams it causing it to fly back into Stryker causing some damage to both and knocking them down.

Here the stormblades get back up and countercharge using some of Stryker's focus. Stryker and the Defender reposition themselves and the Sentinel shoots at my slayer, damaging it some more.

Turn 3: Cryx
My deathripper on the left kills some more stormblades. My slayer charges the defender and my deathripper on the right charges the sentinel. Deneghra lowers the defender's armor so the slayer can smack it around with greater ease.


Stryker charges the Slayer with the Defender and wreak it. The stormblades take out my deathripper and the sentinel tries ineffectually to beat up my defiler.

Turn 4: Cryx
The defiler rushes the sentinel, knocking it out the way. Deneghra casts a knockdown spell on Stryker then rushes in with the remaining Deathripper and finish him off!
With Stryker dead all the remaining warjacks go inert and the remaining stormblades probably start to make a run for it. Victory for the Cryx, now let's go make a puppet show with their corpses! YAY!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eldar FTW!!! (Kinda)

Check the forgeworld website!!!

New Eldar units released for the upcoming Imperial Armor 11!

New Aspect Warriors, the Shadow Spectres, and the new Grav-tank, the Warp Hunter.

The rules are linked below in the description. Overall I would say that while the intention for the units are cool, I feel that they just don't quite cut it as far as competitive units. Here are my arguments why.

Shadow Spectres:

1) 35 pts a model!?!? - Just like everything in the eldar codex, these guys are another OVER costed unit. I see the need to make them similar in points to Dark Reapers, but I was hoping that they would be more aligned to be a preview of the next Eldar codex as far as points values go. Running the numbers I found a full squad of 5 with Exarch Cynosure, and EMP Launcher to be 212 points!!! Keep in mind these guys are supposed to be an Anti-tank unit. For 212 points I can think of all other races and their equivalent choices and the sheer amount of firepower that they can produce versus these fragile pea shooters.

2) Not enough shots - Even if you upgrade the exarch to carry the EMP launcher thats still only 2 anti tank shots from a single unit per turn. IMO that's not enough, especially to warrant their high point cost.

3) Battlefield role?? - These guys were designed to be long ranged anti-tank support, a particular part of warfare the current aspects don't cover. I think these guys just don't cut it as far as being able to compete with other choices in the Eldar list for killing tanks. Yes the range is good, and the ability to use Jet-packs is great but again, durability and lack of shots are their downfall. Fire Dragons are way more efficient (perhaps overkill), a shooty Wraithlord is more durable, EML Wave Serpents handle smaller mech (Rhinos, Razorbacks, Chimeras) just fine, with Vypers, Warp Spiders, or any other Str 6 shooting able to do the trick as well.

4) Another Heavy Support choice!?!?! WTF! - Again, Eldar are thee most heavy support 'heavy' army in the game. With Reapers, Wraithlords, Support Weapons, Fire Prisms, Nightspinners, Falcons, War Walkers, and now Spectres and Warp Hunters.

All in all we'll have to play test them to see if they are effective in their designed roles or not. I am skeptical, but I must admit the models and fluff are badass. However I have said the same thing about other models.... Pyrovore

Warp Hunter:

Finally!! A D Cannon on a Vehicle, besides the retarded support weapon!! Not to mention a greater range of 36", blast (meh), and barrage!!! Add on top of that the awesome secondary fire mode and fire it like a Hellhound and you have a D Cannon FLAMER!!!! Mwahahahaha!!!

Overall the concept for these guys are great. I have some problems with them though.

1) BS 3..... - Someday the designers will realize that the Eldar are supposed to be the most advanced race in the galaxy and should be able to shoot better than a freakin' human.

2) One hit wonder - This tank suffers the same problems that Night Spinners, and Prisms have. 1 BIG weapon. Lose it and the tank is effectively useless. Not to mention with a AV of 12 it isn't all that hard to stun or shake the tank and stop it from shooting all together.

3) Blast..... really.... just a blast template?!? - The D Cannon is supposed to be a Black Hole gun for crying out loud!!! Make it a 5" template and I would have been happy since that is more in line with the rest of the Apocalypse Eldar that have been released thus far (Cobra has a 7" D Cannon blast.... it is one of the most efficient and effective tanks in large games). Also I think Invulnerable saves shouldn't be allowed against these weapons, but that is just my take on it.... Somehow an energy shield can save you from the forces of gravity!

4) Yet again.. another Heavy Support - Nuff Said.

Overall the model is awesome and the template attack option pretty much makes this tank really shine! Albeit suicidal...

I think this is a step in the right direction as far as Eldar design should go. More aspects, more tanks and next more psychic stuff!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Niffty Spore Pod/Happy New Year/Tyranid thoughts

First up, I found this while I was browsing the other night. I don't think I would buy one but it definitely will be an inspiration for my Toys 'r 'us conversions.


Secondly, happy new year to everyone! Here is to another great year!

Third, I have been planning to purchase my own 'Battlefoam' so that I can transport my precious Nids without damaging them. I know the foam is expensive but I have found that with Tyranids they have too many eccentric arms, unusual poses, and spiky bitz that tend to make standard pluck foam or regular foam trays useless (Hormagaunts are a pain). I hope to have the foam by the upcoming tourney so I can transport my bugs in style/protection.

The first 3 Tyranid Shrikes have their wings and are ready to create havoc on the battlefield! Pics to come! On a positive note I have completed 96% assembly on all tyranids that I own and 46% of them are painted!! Whoooooo......