Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A Call to Arms - (A how to lose a Warmachine special)

A Call to Arms – A How to lose at Warmachine special

First up, big shout outs to Sicarius for running an awesome event. We had great tables, good organisations, awesome prizes and all the good things you expect at an event like this. 

Well readers, let me say I had a tournament to forget.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a plenty good time and met some great people. My main lament is that I played about as well as a drunk panda with head trauma….. I could put it down to sickness but in the end, I simple didn’t play the game well as I hoped I would. Not the dice, nor the flu, but simply bone headed moves of dumbness that my excellent opponents capitalised on.

Also, heres a bonus shot of all the colossals that were at the tournament. It’s also worth noting that as a faction Cygnar came dead last….

I took two lists to the tournament but ended up playing the same one 6 times in 7 games. Funny how that always works out (I’ve now played Siege in 17 of the 21 games I’ve played at tournaments, time for a change?)

Game one vs. Chris Parkin (Legion)

Those of you who have read this column before may have seen my previous battle reports against Chris and his Legion (One and Two).  Let me assure you that this game went much the same way. 

Cygnar shoots…. Hit a few times…. Misses more…. Does some damage ….. absyolnnia heals them all ….. Legion eats Cygnar.

Chris has a nice relentless play style and I saw a few new tricks from him that I hadn’t seen previously. The Angelius Animus that repulses models is a game winner when you are playing scenarios.  I was playing pHaley backed up with storm knights, b13th, storm strider and support. I used my feat on a shooting round and whiffed. In retrospect I should have saved it for an assault round as when the storm knights did throw down with the Legion Beast they did respectable damage (Pendrake boosting their to hit rolls was a real asset).
Chris focussed on the objectives and easily scored a scenario victory and I really didn’t have an answer for him.
I removed my guys first, but thats what was waiting for me on the objectives

Result – Legion doesn’t eat all of Cygnar and instead scores the scenario win. 0-1

Game two vs Chris Otton (Cryx)

Sometime a game goes all one players’ way until the last dice roll when they lose. That was this game for Chris Otton. I took my Siege force with a Stormwall, Sentinal, Rangers and support units vs Denegra, thralls, Wraith engine and a trio of jacks.

Let me say that the Wraith Engine is awesome, both in appearance and effect. Incorporeal on a model that size is really annoying and the “I kill you, get a soul token, buy another attack and kill you” thing is just downright mean. Chris also proved that the best cure for a Stormwall is some debuffs and a group of weapon masters.

But check out this picture as it shows Chris’s one error and the dire position I was in. With an inert Sentinal, Siege, Reinholdt , one ranger and the Squire left on the field Chris Decided to park Denegra by the objective to get the additional victory points. Clouds and Stealth do not keep you safe from mage sight, Rat 10 and boosted Power 14 rocket shots.

Two smoking high heels later and Chris couldn’t believe he had thrown the game away. I mean, I was packing up as I thought the scenario was to 2 control points and not 3.

Sometimes you win a game, sometimes your opponent loses one. I can claim no real credit for this win but as baker says “if in doubt, steal a win”

Result- no control points but Siege chalked up another caster to his doom rockets (1-1)

Game three vs. Rick (Khador)

Speaking of bone headed moves, this game has one epic case of me saying “THAT DOES WHAT NOW?” and an assassination run that left many people in stitches laughing at my ass.

This game was going quite well for me. Siege had blown away the Khador reinforcements, Beast 09 was damaged badly and disrupted and my rangers and gun mages (reinforcements) had done a number on the Kyazy. All in all it was looking like a game where I could get some scenario points. But check out the picture below.

The distance between the Khador Battle Engine is exactly 10 inches.  Siege was in his fox hole saying “Meh, its got big guns and im def 18 immune to blast…. They couldn’t possibly hit me from…..”. then the engine charged, knocked him down and applied cannon to face until he was dead.

I was quite stunned, I had no idea they were that fast and could fire in melee after charging. Even camping focus Siege was hit with 5 high power attacks and collapsed into a sad pile of wibbly wobbly gooey siege chunks. 

Well done Rick, that was one of those serious “WTF just happened” moments for me. This is also the first time I have ever lost to Khador.

Result – Siege changes his name to “Hubcap” Khador wins (1-2)

Game four vs. Thomas (Cygnar)

I’m not going to say much about this game as Thomas and I agree it was not much fun. It was pHaley and Stormwall vs Siege and Stormwall and that should have been interesting. However I was feeling rather sick by this point and a terrible accident occurred early in the game which saw all of Thomas 2nd list being smashed on the floor.

Thomas was clearly off his game after that and so was I. No one likes seeing someone else models badly damaged and after that point we both made poor moves and generally played like puddings. 

Thomas’s ambient skill level was higher and he carried the day by applying a Stormwall to Siege’s face, but only after Siege had flubbed an easy assassination run on Haley (her on one focus, ranger in range, breach and I forgot to use reinholdt for the 2nd shot and missed terribly on the first roll). This is also after Thomas failed an assassination run after messing up his own timing as well.

Not a fun game for either of us. I was glad to get home and rest.

Result – Haley survives, Siege gets buried in a tin can. (1-3)

Game five vs. Nic (Menoth)

So after a good nights sleep (and some groaning and wailing on the sofa of suffering that evening) I arrived fresh and feeling a lot better for day two. I pretty much needed to win every remaining game compressively to end up middle of the pack. As you shall see that really didn’t happen.

Nic and I had played once before at Valleycon and his list looked similar to the one he played there. Kreoss, Exemplars, Errants, Bastions and Jacks backed up by a choir.

This is honestly a dream matchup for Siege and his list. Choirs aren’t a problem when you can grant magic attacks to units and lightning attacks can arc from the jacks to kill the Choir. Bastions HATE breach, it means small arms fire is doing enough damage to kill a Bastion outright. My stormcallers did enough damage to kill a bastion or two non the breach round.

The hero of the day was the lightning pod though. Disrupting the menoth jacks blunted Nics attack on my centre (Stormwall, Siege, StormStrider) and the lightning arcs killed off his support troops. Disrupted, without choirs and vassals menoth jacks don’t stand a chance against a rampaging collosal.
This game nearly went to time though, I think Nic and I were playing pretty casually and it wasn’t until my clock got below 10 minutes that I really knuckled down and started to play fast.

Kreoss had learnt from our previous game and stayed far away from Siege.

Result – Stormwall and Siege sit on the objective cooking hot dogs with menoth fire while Kreoss beats a retreat and hides behind a shrub. (2-3)

Game six vs Will (Cryx)

First mistake, took Siege list as I was feeling good from the big win over Nic. Second mistake…. Playing the game…. But seriously, Will fielded terminus and the largest pile of Undead I have ever seen.  There were probably 50 models on the other side of the table…. With tough…. Ugly ugly stuff.
I love the goggly eyes
Will played mercilessly and some of the highlights were my Gun Mages reinforcements missing almost their entire round of shooting only to be exploded by a bile thrall, A group of Satyxis eating my Storm Strider for breakfast and a Stormwall so badly debuffed that Mechanathralls were rlling straight damage dice in melee….. Its amazing how many mechanithralls you can fit around one models base. (I’ll give you a hint, enough to scrap a Colossal in one turn).

I made some major mistakes, some by psyching myself out about the size of the enemy force, and some because Will crammed a legion of corpses down my forces throat.

I misinterpreted how sacrificial lamb work (thought it counted for melee) and botched an assassination run at Terminus with the Stormwall. Played again I would have focussed on clearing the charge lane and not worrying about the models around him. Even terminus has to worry about a collosal engaging him in melee, especially during Sieges feat round.

But all credit to Will, a solid ass kicking if ever there was one.

Result – Terminus and the undead horde wreck everything but Siege survives a face to face battle with Terminus. Objetive victory to the evil cryxies (2-4)

Game seven vs Matthew (Khador)

Well my target of 4 wins was in the toilet so the last game was playing for pride.

A shout out to Matthew who is a great guy to play against with a great attitude and some amazing models. He would have been my pic for the painting trophy as I simply love his painting style and his Fenris conversion is simply fantastic. HES RIDING A BEAR GODDAMMIT

In another grossly unfair match up the forces of the butcher were matched up against Siege and his Stormwall. Matthews force was a mix of fast moving aggressive units like the Great bears, Manhunters and Fenris, Big chunky Beast 09 and Gun Carraige, and support models like widowmakers.
He pulled a nice move to swing around behind my formation to make an assassination run on Siege. Unfortunately guys like Fenris don’t last long against Siege and Breach. The Manhunters got ground pounded, Beast disrupted, his support units ate lightning and the gun carriage made little impact on Sieges fox hole.

Facing desperate times the Butcher took some swings at the Stormwall and very nearly killed it. It is amazing how much damage that guy can put on one model. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough and Arlan repaired the damage weapon systems that allowed Stormwall to pound Butcher into a nice fine paste.

Result – Nearly total wipe out but sadly only 1 CP…. (3-4)

32nd out of 45 was not the result I was going for, but I learned a lot and when I wasn’t feeling like death I had a good time.  Look forward to the next one but im probably gonan take a break from painting warmachine to focus on some other projects. I will also get around to photographing the models I finished for the tournament as well.

Mike O’sullivan may have finished last in the points, but he has the most amazing conversions. I shared some of his bases from a game we played in Napier but hes really out done himself here. These Wraith engines are so over the top I cant help but take my hat off to him.


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Stormwall - Complete

Yeah! Look who is large and in charge, its my goddam Stormwall that's who.

This was an epic paint job over a two week period, not as long as you might expect either (I wasnt painting 24/7 by any means). I did learn a couple of interesting lessons while doing this sick puppy and heres my advice for anyone planning on doing one.

Pinning isn't a must. This is 95% held together with just super glue and its been remarkably stable. I only pinned the torso to the hips and one of the arms (The left one, mostly because i'd put the shoulder shield on in an annoying place so the arm wouldn't go flush into the socket).

I also painted it fully assembled and that didn't present too many issues. I either held the model by the base (like a waiter holds a drink tray) or placed my thumb under its groin and another finger on the main smoke stack. (And immediately after typing that word he notices he hasn't done the smoke stacks yet... doh!). The models weight can cause some strain on the wrist after a while though.

The sheer size of the model has its positives and negatives. The massive surface areas mean doing the base coat is really easy, you can be really messy and fast and its still very easy to tidy up as you progress through your paint layers.

The biggest challenge on the model was the areas of white. None of my current Warjacks sport the alternate Cygnar blue/White pattern but I thought it would be great on the Stormwall. With all those big areas you really need something to break the model up so its not just one big blue blob. The white gives the model more space and actually makes it look a little bigger.

The white was done in many layers, starting off white brown, through leather, then bone and finally white. The white was very lightly washed over the joints in the arms and legs to give the highlighting a little more subtlety.

I'm also pleased how well the blue citadel glaze worked on the tesla coils to give them a nice crisp shiny look.

The Stormwall is also a model that lends itself well to weathering effects. A little grime and dirt makes the model more believable and helps break up those massive single colour areas.  I'm very pleased with the mud effects on the feet and knees especially. Nothing looks dirtier than mud flung onto a freshly painted white model. 

And in combat?

Well its been a mixed bag so far. Mainly due to my opponents trying everything in their power to cripple and smash it as soon as possible.

A couple of quick tactical tips I've picked up are.

  • Lightning pods are Def 5 and immune to lightning. Other models can target them with lightning attacks that arc and this is a great way to damage stealth units.
  • Covering fire can go out to the weapon range, but its almost always better to place them about 2" in front of you so people cant go around them to engage you. (That means you tunnelers!)
  • Being in melee doesn't mean you cant shoot. This is important if you in an assassination run and those pow 15 cannons might make a difference between success and failure. 

I'll be taking one to the upcoming tournament and i still don't know what caster i'll use him with.

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