Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Army Lists: Skorne

One of the things I always find amusing as a Skorne player is the ease of list building for certain factions in comparison to Skorne. Models-wise Skorne has underwhelming ranged models and their key solos are now support solos with the attacking ones being supplanted by far better minion options. The amount of synergy needed to 'cover all angles' means that playing less than 50pt lists with Skorne can be a gamble - with a chink in the armour often present. When taking a warlock it is therefore always a quandary for list building. As a melee orientated faction Molik Karn and the Titan Gladiator are often seen as auto-includes but that is very dependant on who and what are supporting them. When facing a strong shooting list access to Defender's Ward and a Krea's animus is just as valuable as a heavy beatstick. Putting all your eggs into the Molik Karn basket is a sure fire way of printing a target on his chest unless you have a raft of further support. It is also good to note that unless your playing one of the Makedas the Bronzeback outperforms Molik as a heavy hitter and lacks his fragility. With the constant threat of gun lines and chance of facing casters that can shut down models/units playing a combined arms list is almost second nature to Skorne players.

Combined Arms List

Archdomina Makeda 5
- Molik Karn 11
- Titan Gladiator 8
- Aptimus Marketh 3
Cataphract Cetrati (Leader and 5 Grunts) 11
Nihilators (Leader and 9 Grunts) 8
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) 2
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) 6
- Praetorian Swordsmen Officer & Standard 2
Hakaar the Destroyer 4

This list is actually about denial. It denies the opponent by resurrecting the models killed. In the first turn the Cetrati have savagery cast on them and move up the table quickly in Shieldwall. The Swordsmen run with Defender's Ward on them - making them Def 15 and ARM 16 (good against scatter damage). The Nihilators can also run in relative safety behind the Swordsmen and Cetrati. In the second round the infantry don't need to even charge they can also run to engage as long as a couple remain safely hidden away behind terrain or the Cetrati Shieldwall. Obviously this is the round where Makeda feats. The enemy has little alternative but to plow through infantry that will be coming back next round. On the third turn Makeda changes attack and casts Carnage, with Aptimus Marketh casting Defender's Ward or Savagery as needed. Whilst the Cetrati, Nihilators and Swordsmen (under mini-feat) clear charge lanes (MAT 9, 9 and 8 respectively) Molik Karn can ping-pong into position, and the Gladiator or Hakaar have surprising threat ranges under Savagery. The 'combined arms' aspect of this list is that it works no matter what the opponent brings. The entire army throw themselves up the table regardless of the opponents list. The loss of beasts can hurt this list but with resurrecting MAT 9 Cetrati - this list can provide many opportunities for winning the game.

Tournament List

Supreme Archdomina Makeda +5
- Cyclopse Savage 5
- Cyclopse Shaman 5
- Molik Karn 11
- Titan Gladiator 8
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) 2
Praetorian Ferox (Leader and 4 Grunts) 11
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) 6
- Praetorian Swordsmen Officer & Standard 2
Tyrant Rhadiem 5

The 'Molik Karn Bullet' list is by far the most common Skorne tournament list and as such is seen in pretty much every Skorne players arsenal (though with variations on the above). The list excels against almost any opponents list as it has many aspects of the combined arms list. This makes it doubly powerful and doubly common. The list strikes in the Skorne player's second turn and actually relies on the opposing warcaster being within a 6" model free bubble that also blocks charge lanes. Any friendly model that is within 6" of the caster also has to have a 6" distance from a model that Molik Karn can reach.
The set up is that the Ferox run and block line of sight and guard Rhadhiem, eMakeda and Molik Karn. The Swordsmen also run to provide as many distractions as possible to the opponent and to remove all emphasis from the cyclops chieftain as he lurks at the back. In the second turn the Skorne player has a number of options but typically eMakeda has upkept leash and charges forward killing a Swordsman so to not end her activation. She then casts Road to War catching as many Ferox and Swordsmen as possible, feats and sits on 3 Fury. The Ferox have a charge range of 15" and strike to clear a charge lane for Molik. The swordsmen can also do their bit by moving up with Vengeance, mini-feating and charging 11" with auto 1 point of damage and side-stepping away or into position where they are 4" away from the opponents warcaster or a model within 2" of the opponents warcaster. Remember all these infantry attacks are boosted and they are all immune to free strikes. The Shaman get's rid of any nasty upkeeps on Molik (or puts Rush on the Savage) and next the Gladiator moves up and pushes him 1" and casts Rush on him. Next the Paingivers strip the fury off the Shaman and Gladiator and enrage the savage and Molik. The final stage is when Molik (who has already moved 4" and should now be about 5" behind eMakeda) charges his natural 13" and strikes something 2" away. He then side steps either once or twice and ends within 2" of the opposing warcasters and then proceeds to have 5-7 boosted MAT 7 attacks that do 15+3d6 damage each. Typically the Warcaster or warlock will not be able to survive this - but the joy of this list is that if the do somehow survive the opponent is still beset by Ferox, Swordsmen and Cyclops that all have boosted free strikes, can't be knocked down and even if they can open a charge lane to eMakeda she has 3 transfers or can use a fury to resurrect a Ferox that was killed to unblock the charge lane. Rhadhiem and the Gladiator are typically still in play for 3rd turn threats and with Engine of Destruction eMakeda can afford to go to an end game with confidence that she can still win. In certain cases Molik can be used to target a series of solos and support units to hamstring an opponent and still leave eMakeda in good shape to survive the retaliation round. This safety net makes the MK Bullet one of the most versatile tournament lists in the game as it combines many aspects of the combined arms list with the crazy threat range of a top assassination list.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

MK2 Musings Pt2 - Retailing Warmachine

Being a retailer of Warmachine in Serbia over the past year has been challenging. The move to MK2 and the way this was greeted by the Serbian community has been discussed earlier but it has also created an interesting environment of speculation. The questions raised below have been asked by many players/forumites but they are in fact far more important to a retailer/distributor and with a comprehensive answer the strategy for marketing/selling WM/H would be easier.
- With the first Heavy Warjack kits coming out it is also interesting to see if there will a 2nd warjack kit. The Cygnar Defender/Cyclone/Iron Clad kit being complimented by a Centurion/Hammersmith/Storm Clad warjack? Menoth could have the Reckoner/Guardian/ Castigator kit and so forth. The Harrower/Leviathan/Seether combination seems to suggest that the Warjacks of renown like the Unique warjacks may keep maybe kept separate seems to point to another heavy warjack release that would compliment the remaining "non-renown" warjacks in each faction's arsenal. Once this has been completed could we see Hordes going the same way? The release of the Ravagore and Scythean (both beasts being based on the Carnivean) seem to suggest this could be a very real occurrence. Theses now join the 3 Titan kit, 3 Warpwolves Kit and the 3 Dire Trolls kit. Beast kits and Jacks kits being complimented by unit boxes with 10 men and leaving only the UAs, WAs, solos and Warcasters for blisters would certainly be a very welcome change from this retailers point of view.
- This week also saw the start of the Wrath releases with the appearance of the Koldrun Lord Valachev. I feel his appearance is both a good and bad thing. It is good in that it starts to get the Warmachine player's juices flowing for that next set of releases. For the past 6 months the focus has been entirely on Hordes and for WM players this must have been a little frustrating. However there is a negative side to this too. The first is the fact that a large percentage of players will play both a Hordes and a Warmachine faction. For the avid collector this becomes expensive as they fill out their MK2 Hordes army having just completed their MK2 WM army only to see more WM stuff come out. On top of that with the new 10 man unit boxes coming into play it is very difficult for a retailer to gauge the ordering process. Why get in several of the new 10 man Trenchers Unit Box when in wrath a new unit comes out that makes them obsolete? The perception that the product lines are expanding too quickly is apparent to many players. Financially it maybe viable to invest more in support products and tournaments rather than in the relentless release of new models. The second, and more important reason why this is a little concerning is over quality control. The speed in which the balance of MK1 spiralled out of control can easily occur with Wrath. Already MK2 has flaws but every PP gamer has found these acceptable and the game is in a healthier state than it was 2 years ago. With the release of the "Forces of...." books the signs of rules creep and imbalance that MK2 was created to address started to appear. The Mage Hunter Assassin is a classic example of this. Shouldn't the dust of MK2 be left to settle a little before Wrath comes out? In its current state WM/H is a marketable game that has advantages over its competitors. No one wants a third edition for several years and a single bad release can undo all the hard work of the last 18 months. Let a raft of new players come into the game knowing what they are buying into. I, for one, would prefer to see the 10 man units and warjack/War Beast kits come out this year/next year and Wrath in the summer of 2012.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Army Lists: Cygnar

The two lists below represent an example of a ‘Combined Arms’ list and a ‘Tournament Level’ list. Recently the fashion is for players to play combined arms lists at clubs and small events. These are lists where the models form an all round useful list. It has melee and shooting and magic and assassination potential. The tournament list usually falls into one of two categories. The first is the assassination/alpha strike list; this means they are almost guaranteed to either get a chance to kill the caster or hit the enemy so hard that they can never recover. In MK1 the king of these was the Epic Vlad lists that won all the major events. The second tournament list is called the ‘Magic Bullet’ list and it is designed to stop another tournament list. These lists usually appear as a second list in the tournament player’s arsenal and are designed to take out the Achilles Heel of their primary tournament list.
While Combined Arms lists struggle to have the competitive advantage of being able to always deliver a chance to win (the dice Gods willing) they are much more fun to play and usually can deal with certain lists that the tournament list can’t. With the Tournament list you will almost always get a shot to win but they can be a bit routine (move forward do this in this order and if your lucky and your opponent isn’t very cagey, you win) and can be brought down by a Magic Bullet list.

Combined Arms

Commander Coleman Stryker +6
- Lancer 6
- Ol' Rowdy 9
- Squire 2
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team 4
Long Gunner Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) 10
Storm Lances (Leader and 4 Grunts) 11
Journeyman Warcaster 3
Major Katherine Laddermore 5
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt 4
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord 2

This list basically allows Cygnar a fantastic amount of board control for objective based games and also has a number of threats whilst being able to defend very well. The primary objective is to buff the Storm Lances and charge them into the enemy front lines. They form a difficult barrier that the enemy must deal with and behind which the rest of the force assemble. By the time the opponent has chewed through them they are facing knock down through the Lancer and Combined Ranged Attacks from the Long Gunners not to mention Ol’ Rowdy and Stryker breathing down their necks.
Round 1 (Stryker gives 1 focus to the Lancer and if the enemy has a credible ranged threat takes 1 from the Squire)
JMC puts Arcane Shield on the Storm Lances and sits back – he is now finished until he recasts Arcane Shield on Stryker for the end game.
The Storm Lances move up in a row of 3 followed by a row of 2. If they can have rough terrain or some small obstacles in their way then that works out as even better. Laddermore is flanking them and Rhupert Carvolo is behind the back row ready to give them pathfinder (this turn he gives the cavalry +1 DEF). The lancer runs behind the Storm Lances. Stryker casts Arcane Shield on the Lancer and Snipe on the Long Gunners and moves up. He may need to put Blur on himself, depending on the opponent’s list. Ol’ Rowdy and the Squire join him. Aiyana & Holt and the Black 13th do their own thing but stay safe and minimize the threat of ranged attacks (both units should have stealth).
Round 2 (If the Lancer can arc Earth Quake onto a priority target it gets a focus. Stryker takes a focus from the squire and both Stryker and the JWC upkeep all their spells)
If the opponent has a line/lines of infantry with heavy hitters behind them: The lancer moves up to be touching the front row of Cavalry so that any spell scatter won’t hit them. Stryker moves up and feats making sure to catch the front of the opponents first line within the feat range as this is where his front row will soon be. He arcs Earth Quake into the front row specifically targeting high DEF models. Rhupert moves up and gives the Storm Lances pathfinder. Laddermore then runs to the side of the front line. If possible she should be out of the way so that if the opponent dedicates resources to kill her, it would severely dampen their ability to deal with the problem they will have right in front of them. She should of course be with 5” of where the Cavalry will hit any warjacks or beasts. The first 3 Storm Lances charge the front row while the other two stay 5”-7” back. They try to impact the front row (especially if they are knocked down) and have their charge attack (at MAT 9) on the row behind. With the electro-leaping each one can hit 3-4 models. If they hit a jack or beasts they are POW 17 +3d6 near Katherine. They are also ARM 25. Under the feat, the Long Gunners are now safe from scattering AOEs so can move forward to CRA a key solo or take down the opponent's ranged units. The B13 and A&H can find relative safety in the region behind all the cavalry. Ol’ Rowdy stays close to Stryker.
If the opponent is Jack/Beast heavy: The jacks and beasts will chew through the Storm Lances even under the feat. Use all the same tactics as above but maybe wait a round to pop the feat. In the first instance the opponent would be forced to commit the heavy hitters as they infantry wouldn’t be able kill the Storm Lanes – in this instance the heavy hitters are already committed and the feat is superfluous.
Round 3 (Stryker keeps the focus to himself and all upkeeps stay in place)
The Lancer should have easily survived the feat round and should no longer need focus. With Arcane Shield in place it should be able to eat a free strike from infantry to move to a better position if necessary. This round is otherwise similar to the last except that A&H and the B13 should now be playing a far bigger part. Use Harm on a large target before charging with the remaining Storm Lances and Katherine. Clever use of the B13 will mean stealthed models are killed and the opponent is now still having to chew through ARM 20 cavalry but with less models and increased alternate threats.
Round 4/5 (End Game)
The Arcane Shield spells switch to Ol’ Rowdy and Stryker. If the Long Gunners are alive their threat combined with Earthquake should win the day. Remember Ol’ has Counter Charge but remember that Stryker is DEF/ARM 18 while next to him and immune to sneaky knockdown assassination attempts. With the use of Harm and Holt and even boosted attacks from the JMC a victory is very obtainable here.

Tournament List

Captain Allister Caine +5
- Thunderhead 12
- Squire 2
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) 6
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer 2
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) 6
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team 4
Rangers 5
Sword Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) 6
- Sword Knight Officer & Standard 2
Captain Arlan Strangewayes 2
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution 3
Gun Mage Captain Adept 2
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan 2
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator 1

In this list only several models are important. The first of course is eCaine. He has a basic threat range with his guns of 19”. With some very easy planning his threat range for the purpose of the assassination run goes to 23”. If he is 23” away from your caster and has line of sight to them – you are very likely to die.
The second 2 models that are essential are the squire and Reinholdt. They provide Caine with a further 2 shots. The fourth are the unit of Rangers. They are going to give Caine +2 on his RAT and make it 10. With this he isn’t going to need to boost ‘to hit’ rolls. Epic Eiryss is there to strip away any nasty upkeeps like Arcane Shield or Iron Flesh. The Arcane Tempest Gun Mages with UA, B13 and THead are also useful. They are all great at clearing infantry and can help in getting LOS for Caine. The THead can also give him a push to extend his threat range by a further 1” (therefore 23” instead of 22”). Madelyn Corbeau with her Intrigue ability to move Warcasters is also another nice to have. Given the extreme threat range she is not always necessary but the ability to zig-zag is great for opening up LOS angles if the opponent is hiding behind large based models or terrain.
The Sword Knights are simply chaff used for dying until the assassination run begins and Strangeways is great for giving the THead a focus point that he may or may not need. This list lacks grind potential – if your opponent survives the assassination run you are probably going to lose but it takes a hell of a lot to survive it. The procedure is simple; an avenue of attack opens up. First the Rangers activate. Throughout the game they have been hiding in terrain and running a single member forward to aid the Gun Mages in killing whatever is coming at them. Here the Rangers run so that 1 of them is within 5” of the caster. Next, using the measurement of the control zone a sword knight moves 9.5” – 10” away from Caine slightly at angle to the opponents Warcaster. If Caine may need that extra inch Strangeways gives the THead a focus and he pushes Caine. Caine (having taken a focus from the Squire and an extra shot from Reinholdt) charges the Sword Knight in the back. Unless two 1’s are rolled he hits and is still facing the warcaster. With his second shot he starts on the warcaster. First shot is a POW 13. He then uses Reinholdt’s shot for a POW14 hit. He then buys up to 7 more shots which increment in POW to POW 21. This is over kill on most casters and very likely to kill even caster’s that are focus camping or keeping a lot of fury in reserve for transfers. Of all the tournament level armies this is one of the nastiest. If the caster has stealth Caine can get around that with the B13 or True Sight. DEF 16/17 casters may survive with bad rolls from Caine but those casters typically have low ARM. Better to shoot the first 2 or 3 shots at any low DEF warjack/beast in range and then even if some shots miss later you should be at a high enough POW to kill your target.
Terminus with his sacrifical pawn is a typical Magic Bullet to this army although with a hill nearby the Gun Mages and B13 can clear away nearby mechanithralls/revenant crew.
A pMakeda/Xersis’ brick could also cause this list problems. Even with Eiryss dispelling Defenders Ward the brick is a fast moving group of ARM 22 (Krea) multi-wound models and it can be very difficult to get LOS to the Warlock.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Club Night Battle Report

This little battle had quick assassination written all over it but in fact turned into a hard grind sort of game that saw both player have the chance to win.

35pt Caster Kill Scenerio

Stef (Cryx)
Master Necrotech Mortenebra +4
-Cankerworm 5
-Deathripper 4
-Harrower 10
-Slayer 6
10 Mechanithralls 5
-Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls 2
Bloat Thrall 2
Gorman di Wulfe 2
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall 1
Warwitch Siren 2

Rick (Orboros)
Kaya the Moonhunter & Laris +3
-Gorax 4
-Feral Warpwolf 9
-Pureblood Warpwolf 9
Shifting Stones 2
10 Wolves of Orboros 6
Wolf of Orboros UA 2
Blackclad Wayfarer 2
Lord of the Feast 4

The board was set with multiple forests (cough, cough) on both sides. Along the centre there were numerous walls and hedges providing linear objects, cover and concealment. This was my first MK2 game with Orboros and I quickly realised how different they are to Skorne (my primary faction). I sorely missed running my beasts hot and using pain givers to remove fury.
Stef won the toss and went first. His set up was a clump in the middle of the table with Jacks and Mech Thralls at the front. I set up with the Wolves, stones an Blackclad behind a forest on my left that straddled the middle of the table. The beasts and Kaya were in the middle and the Lord of the Feast on the right.

Round 1
Cryx moved up with the Scrap Thrall, Mechs and Jacks running and Morte, Deryliss, and the other solos staying back. The Deathripper (with a boost from the warwitch) runs across the table towards where my Wolves are deployed. I put Forced Evolution onto the Feral Warpwolf (what a great spell!!) and cast Shadow Pack (leaving 1 Fury) and move forward. Kaya and the LoTF find themselves behind a wall in the middle. The wolves run toward the forest and the stones phased into the same forest. It is important to note that one or two of the wolves couldn't fit into the forest and stuck out.

Round 2
Now I have faced Morte before but I tend to forget Overrun. This is a bad mistake and possibly fatal. 3 focus goes to the Harrower, the mechs then cleared the way and Morte activates. She moves up , feats and casts Terminal Velocity. Deryliss then activates and puts overrun on the Harrower. Not wishin gto waste time, Stef charges the Harrower at a WoO and after killing him and getting a soul he moves forward to Kaya. Across a wall she's DEF 18 and the Harrower needs 12 to hit. He has 3 focus and a soul and proceeds to lay into her. The first attack hits and stef decides to boost the damage. It's a huge roll and I have to transfer it to the Gorax, which it nearly kills. The second roll hits and the damage is not so big so Kaya can take it. The third a final attack misses and even though there is a reroll it misses again. Kaya is alive and stef is left kicking himself that he boosted the damage on the first attack and did not use it to buy a fourth attack. The slayer and Cankerworm move up and does the other models.
So luck aside I have a problem. I can use Laris' animus to put the Harrower beind me but I really don't want to leave this thing alive. I upkeep Forced Evolution and cut myself for 1 to get back to 5 Fury. Stef has placed Gorman and the Necrosurgeon next to the bloat thrall and I have a plan. I use the Blackclad to move up and spray the Bloat but unfortunately don't kill it. I then Run Laris to the far edge of the forest so that I am still in Kaya's control area but can see that ugly group. The Warpwolf activates and attacks the Harrower. With some very underwhelming dice I manage not to kill it. The warpwolf is on 4 fury though, so I need to be careful. I use the Pureblood to move so that I am safe from the Cankerworm but use the spray to take out the lone scrap thrall. Lame I know but Kaya is not on great health and frenzying beasts could literally be the death of her. I then use the LoTF to finish off the Harrower before activating Kaya. She uses her attacking spell to finish off the Bloat an cause a nice 5" pie. This takes out quite a few Mechs (though the Necrosurgeon survived due to sacrifical pawn) but Gorman survives on 1 wound. She again keeps a fury spare. The shifting stones move to block charge lanes to Laris and the heavily wounded Goax just advances.

Round 3
Stef has to regroup as his primary plan has failed. The Cankerworm, Slayer and Warwitch move forward. The Death Ripper now blocks any charge lane to Mortenebra for the WoO that can see her. Deryliss pus spectral steel on the Slayer. After bringing back 3 Mech Thrall they do their thing. Some charge the Warpwolf (missing because of his high DEF) one manages to kill the Black Clad and one puts some damage on Laris. One Shifting Stone is also destroyed.
My turn is one of clearing Mech thralls. Again unglamourous but I have to be patient. The Gorax moves up and puts primal on the Feral Warpwolf. The LoTF and Kaya clear the Mech Thralls and the FWW charges the slayer and again fails to put it away. It has a couple of boxes left but that includes its cortex. The Pureblood is still out of the action and it's spray misses both the Necrotech and Necrosurgeon. Both the Warwitch and the Cankerworm have charges to it but I am risking that it'll survive their attacks. The wolves clear the forest of Mechanithrall and put a bit of hurt on the Deathripper and Laris shifts his position for next turn. Even though Stef drew first blood I am now starting to get the upper hand.

Round 4
Stef gives the Slayer 3 focus and has Spectral Steel upkept. The necrotech moves up and fixes it back to fully operational (though it is still 6 or so boxes from being destroyed). Mortenbra/Deryliss do the whole Terminal Velocity/Overrun thing again. The Slayer then activates and with suprising efficency totals the feral warpwolf. Judging it to be out of range of Kaya it moves into the edge of the forest and kills the WoO officer (note to self - mini-feat earlier!!). The warwitch tickles the pureblood and the Cankerworm takes the safe option and kills the Gorax. The Death Ripper misses the WoO model hugging it despite terminal velocity and the Necrosurgeon is now more or less alone and simply tries to get in the way.
So - it's time for me to do my assassination run. Kaya is on 6 fury. Laris runs to engage Mortenebra. Kaya activates moves forward and uses 2 fury to cast Laris' animus. She appears next to Morte and with the flanking bonus and some decent dice rolls (the perfect time for them to come good) I kill her and claim a hard fought victory.

This means I am at 100% success rate with Orboros in MK2. I actually really enjoyed the game because playing Orboros is like the antithesis of playing Skorne. You don't want to get your opponent into a moss pit, you hate not getting the alpha-strike and heavy warbeasts are seldom overkill. Having both armies is really interesting.
I see why Morte is rapidly becoming a favoured tournament caster. An outrageous threat range, great assassination potential and really useful utility throughout. It really is almost like playing against eMakeda with that whole feat/spell/bullet option

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Mark 2 Musings Pt1 - Warmachine in Belgrade

Warmachine has rapidly become my primary hobby and as a hobby store owner it is something of double interest for me. In the last 2 years the only hobby game that has really taken off in Belgrade is Flames of War and that's pretty much due to the work of one promoter. Warmachine, after initially getting around 18 or so players, has stagnated and atrophied down to around 10 players. There are various causes but one of them is the transition from MK1 to MK2. Players saw it as a bad GW practice and watched as competitive models became uncompetitve - the cynical seeing it as a way for PP to sell product lines that languished in their warehouses.

I personally watched as my stock didn't move and as my choice of opponents vaned. As this happened two things made me struggle to act. The first was the birth of my first child and the second was the clashing of personalities in our local community. Having a child is the best experience in the world but also it means you disappear off the face of the earth for about a year. I have no regrets and I am looking forward to doing the whole thing again (biology and my wife willing) soon. However keeping the enthusiasm for Warmachine was not an option and therefore the new edition came at the worst possible time for me personally.

I came back to hobbying and had a choice to make; keep Warmachine just for me and a few close friends and turn the club into a Flames of War club or try and revive Warmachine and rebuild a new and strong community. Luckily a couple of the existing players rallied round and together we decided to make a go of it. The first thing was I stopped acting like a hobby store owner and solely focussed on being a player looking to promote the game. The second was getting some new players interested right from the grassroots. Friends canvassed their friends and got them to watch the game and play demo games. To the existing players and especially the new players I offered a large part of the stock at cost price. For new players this got them enough models to build a 35/50 pts army quickly and cheaply and for the existing players this was about rekindling their love affair with the game. The next thing was (and is) about putting a structure and dependability to the community. The existing wargaming community in Serbia all use a forum called 'Klub Zmaj'. Just as Warmachine had stagnated in Serbia so had the entire gaming community. The keen young players had all grown older and more cynical and (with a few exceptions) their enjoyment of gaming had turned into conceit and they spend their time belittling new people looking to get into hobbies and gaming. The environment is extremely political and very toxic. Luckily a friend (Painbringer) shared the desire to keep the game in the public domain and after bringing in some of his friends he suggested starting a new forum. We didn't do this but instead set up this blog in order to have a healthy location to promote Warmachine in Serbia; to reach out to other communities around the globe; and to discuss and mull over the Warmachine & Hordes games without negative influences.
I also started a club night just for beginners and inexperienced players and hopefully now Belgrade has a place that people interested in gaming and more specifically Warmachine and Hordes can go and they;
- are always welcome
- can always get a game, no matter if they have models or not
- can seek advice on lists/tactics and assembling/painting
- can buy/order models at a really reasonable price
- can avoid egos and tantrums
We are also running very regular events and tournaments and looking to get groups to travel abroad and play international events and tournaments.

To see if the seeds grow ... watch this space

Monday, 8 November 2010

Next Event on Rankings HQ

The next tournament is here;
It's a promotional event with very specific scenarios.
It is also in the Progres Gallery and I'm hoping to attract the attention of passers-by.
November 20th is the big day!!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

[Battle Report] The first club night

If you follow the blog, you have probably noticed that we started playing Warmachine and Hordes regularly, every Wednesday at "Sigil" game store. For our first meeting, we decided to play one multi-player scenario; I do not know the exact name of the scenario, but it was published long ago in NQ magazine. One player is defender, and he deploys in the center of the tale. The other players are attackers and they try to kill him, but also, they try to kill each other. Defender needs to survive for 5 (or 6, I don't remember) turns to win the game... or he can simply destroy the opposing armies. 

So, for our first game, Dejan was the defender and he played 50pt Harbinger list; the rest of us played 35 point lists. Rick was playing his new pig army, led by Lord Carver. Stef was paying Cryx and Mortenebra and I decided to try pSorcha. 

After setup, Dejan got the first turn. He destroyed some Mechanithralls with his Deliverers (yes, they were causing troubles... again. Fortunately, not for me this time) and did some other stuff, mostly preparing to face the attackers. On my turn, I shot Harbinger with Disruptor bolt (so she lost all her focus points), then advanced Sorcha, used Wind Rush and then used my Feat (yes, that was the meanest thing I could possibly do). So the situation was something like this:

Harbinger is about to die.
Rick just moved his pigs and shot at Dejan's Zealots. Dejan really couldn't do much on his turn, because a lot of his important models were frozen and Harbinger was unable to replenish focus. His Avatar charged one of the Cyx jacks and destroyed it in just 2 or 3 swings. On my turn, I shot the Harbinger with Eyriss, then shot her with Destroyer and rolled enough to finish her. Game over. 

"Ok, now you are going to be the defender," Rick said to me. I spent some time thinking what to play and decided to go with 50pt Strakhov list. I wanted to get to Rick's beasts as fast as possible and hope that Dejan and Stef will have to meet each other at the center of the board. There was not much action during the turn one, but on my second turn I used Strakhov's feat and manged to kill Rorsh, Gun boar and some other stuff. Unfortunately, that was all I could do. Stef used Mortenebra's feat, then cast Overrun on one of his 'Jacks (Harrower, I think) and easily killed Strakhov. 

Strakhov's army prepares to charge Lord Carver's pigs.
So, after two relatively short games, we realized that we would definitely avoid scenarios like this one for some time. I think that 50pt army against three 35pt armies is too much. Defender should have 75pt army, then the game would be more balanced, I think. Otherwise, with all the abilities, feats and effects present in the game, defender will die quickly and painfully. 

Next week, we will play some good old 2 vs. 2 battle. I also expect to play some 1 on 1 games against Rick's pigs, or maybe face some of the new players (maybe Nenad and his Orboros army). 

Saturday, 6 November 2010

[New stuff] Oh, shiny!!!

Despite my promise that I won't buy any miniatures for some time... Oops, I did it again (but the Children of Bodom version, not the Britney's. Unfortunately both of them suck big time. Aw, damn... let's get back to the important things). As some of you know, I was always looking at Khador. Recently, I decided to start collecting them - and man, they are so fun to play. So, on Wednesday (our first official club night, yaaay), I bought these models:
  • Widowmaker marksman
  • Gorman di Wulfe
  • Old witch of Khador and Scrapjack
I really love Widowmakers (even if Dejan keeps hitting and killing them with AOE deviation rolls) and this guy makes them even more dangerous. The ability to move again after they kill something is great. Old Granny is quckly becoming one of my favorite warcasters even tough I have never played with that model :D I just can't wait to see her in action! And Gorman just screams and begs to be played in her list - but really, I can see him in most of my Khador lists. Black oil + Gallows is going to hurt (when it hits, of course).

Now, next Wednesday, a lot of things is going to happen. Rick wants to try Rasheth. I will accept the challenge and I'll play the Old Witch, since we are using our casters for the first time. So yeah, there will be some virgin blood. A lot of it.

On the other hand, there is also a chance that Dejan and I face Rick and Nenad in 2 vs. 2 match. Since the scenario we played this Wednesday turned into bloody mess (report coming soon), we'll play some old - fashioned, 2 vs. 2 multi-player games. I expect nothing less than total madness.

Here's the little teaser for the upcoming battle report. Something is very wrong with this picture. Yeah, there are some Menoth and Khador models. Notice the Cryx army in the corner? There's one more army on the table. Are we insane? Probably. What the hell is going on here? Stay tuned.

Somethingis VERY bad is going to happen here...
Until next time, beware of клетва баба Живане.