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Bobby's Games

I will be posting monthly recaps of my gaming which I have been doing in GeekLists. I'll also be commenting on games on occasion, though I can tell you that I will be behind the curve because I just don't get to play the new games as soon as some people do.

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AiO Battle 05: Fell Call of the Wild

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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Another battle using the army boxes.

I played the Trollbloods all-in-one army box force list:

Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller (-5 pts.)
• Dire Troll Blitzer (9 pts.)
• Dire Troll Mauler (9 pts.)

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribe (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4 pts.)
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10 pts.)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8 pts.)

Shawn played the Khador all-in-one army box force list:

Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff (-6 pts.)
• Demolisher (9 pts.)
• Spriggan (10 pts.)
• War Dog (1 pt.)

Widowmakers (4 pts.)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
• Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeer (x3) (3 pts.)
• Winter Guard Officer & Standard (2 pts.)
Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt (4 pts.)

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich (2 pts.)

Shawn wanted to play and I suggested the Khador army as being pretty straight forward, so he ran with them. I suggested some changes in his set-up and he ended up having almost everyone in the center, with the Widowmakers on one flank in a forest with Aiyanna and Holt by them with the intent to run up the flank. I was also bunched in the middle, though Trollkin take up more space than men.

Shawn ran the Demolisher up and tried to wipe out the Champions which were advancing up the middle. The nice thing about Trollkin is you can do 20 points of damage past his armor and he might still survive. Mine did, even after being wounded some by the Winter Guard and Widowmakers. He then found out how nasty Champions can be with Grissel's feat which gives the models extra attack dice, especially when the target is down a lot of armor. Scratch one Demolisher.


The Spriggan was in battle with the Warders and fared a little better, still having the lance arm left.

Over by the Demolisher, the Winter Guard also suffered at the hands of the resilient Champions and the Widowmakers were eliminated. The Blitzer managed to take out Holt and get in a pot shot on Sorscha, doing a fair amount of damage. It was looking hopeless, so Shawn charged Grissel with Sorscha, using up precious focus to maneuver so she could make the charge. In the end, she didn't have enough focus and Grissel had more than enough fury to prevent damage. Sure, the Blitzer had to die, but it was worth it as I finally scored a win with Grissel.

Sure, it was against someone who never played, but it was a win.

I am still not a huge fan of the Krielstone Bearers, but my biggest issues when playing these guys is making sure the beasts are free to roam. Having a bunch of 40 mm-based troops takes up a lot of space on the table and I never position my forces to give the beasts the room to wreak havoc on the enemy.

I will play a different army next time. Since I was teaching, I really wanted to play something I was familiar with. I would have played Cygnar, but I wanted to play the alternate list with pHaley and Thorn which needs the Aiyanna and Holt from the Khador list, so that was out. I believe I will either play Skorne or Cryx the next time.
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Wed Jul 8, 2015 2:30 am
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AiO Battle 04: Insurrection

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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This time I was playing Nick during what I hoped would be a day where several of us played multiple games, but it just ended up being Nick and I playing a game because real life and Father's Day weekend interfered.

I played the Trollbloods all-in-one army box force list:

Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller (-5 pts.)
• Dire Troll Blitzer (9 pts.)
• Dire Troll Mauler (9 pts.)

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribe (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4 pts.)
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10 pts.)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8 pts.)

The Retribution of Scyrah had just released and I hadn't quite finished building it, so Nick wanted to try out the Cygnar all-in-one army box force list:

Major Markus "Siege" Brisbane (-5 pts.)
• Avenger (9 pts.)
• Defender (9 pts.)
• Squire Solo (2 pts.)

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Unit (6) (6 pts.)
• Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2 pts.)
Stormguard Unit (10) (9 pts.)

Journeyman Warcaster (3 pts.)

So Grissel was leading a force trying to force out some Cygnar forces that were encroaching on the territories that a Kriel claimed as their own.

When we set up, our deployment areas were a little small because the table we were playing on was not quite four feet by four feet. This is a pain when all the troop figures in a faction have 40 mm bases! I definitely felt crowded and suspect Nick might have as well.

He deployed his Stormguard in the center, the Arcane Tempest Gun Mages to my right, and the battlegroup to my left. Across from his battlegroup I deployed the Champions, then the Krielstone Bearer squished behind them and to the right. I deployed Grissel there with the Warders in the center and the two beasties to the left.

The entire battle amounted to a standoff in the center between the Stormguard and the Warders which did an admirable job standing their ground until Siege popped his feat and all hell broke loose. He dropped a ground pounder on Grissel and almost killed her in one shot. That turn Nick eliminated all but one of the Warders, three of the five Champions, and damaged the big beasties as well. The next turn he finished off Grissel with a shot.

I was definitely not used to playing a Hordes faction. I forgot that I could transfer damage from Grissel to a beast for a focus point and that would have let her ignore the big hit from Siege's attack on his feat turn. Another mistake I made was not keeping the Champions in base to base contact which gives them +2 armor which might have saved a model or two.

The Krielstone Bearer still doesn't seem worth the four points to give one unit +2 armor for a turn, and Grissel is just not my kind of warlock. I also did a poor job of positioning my beasts because they never really got into the fight nor made much of a contribution. Not having a way to ignore the terrain was also a hindrance. An Axer with their animus sure would have helped.

I'm looking forward to playing the Trolls again and trying out some of the other Hordes factions, specially the beast-heavy Legion of Everblight list. Alex was watching and stated a desire to play his Everblight again. It might be a while before we have another Warmahordes-friendly Saturday where a group can play, but I hope to play a few games here and there before we try another one.
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Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:25 am
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Upgrading the 35-point all-in-one army lists to 50 points

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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Here are the 50-point lists for the four base factions from both Warmachine and Hordes. I had done a detailed post on Khador for their 50-point list and their alternate 35-point lists and that was way too much work! So I'm posting the lists and commenting on them.

The ones which are red are the units that were added to the all-in-one box to bring it up to 50 points.

Warmachine factions

Cygnar

Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane (-5 pts.)
• Avenger (9 pts.)
• Defender (9 pts.)
• Squire (2 pts.)
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (5 pts.)

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6 pts.)
• Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2 pts.)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4 pts.)
Rangers (5 pts.)
Stormguard (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9 pts.)

Journeyman Warcaster (3 pts.)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1 pt.)

This is an expensive list to get to 50 points: Alexia Ciannor ($64.99 retail), Black 13th ($16.99 retail), Rangers ($30.99 retail), and Reinholdt ($5.99 retail).

The Black 13th is another effective ranged attack unit, the Rangers would help the ranged attacking units, Alexia can be a machine that cuts through units like a hot knife through butter, and Reinholdt can give Siege an extra shot with his cannon. I still can't see buying all of this to boost the list to 50 points. I can see getting Alexia at some point because I didn't realize how good the unit could be for only five points.


Cryx

Wraith Witch Deneghra (-6 pts.)
• Leviathan Helljack (9 pts.)
• Nightmare Helljack (10 pts.)
• Nightwretch Bonejack (4 pts.)
• Nightwretch Bonejack (4 pts.)
• Skarlock Thrall (2 pts.)

Bane Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11 pts.)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8 pts.)
• Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3 pts.)

Pistol Wraith (3 pts.)
Warwitch Siren Solo (2 pts.)

All that is added is the warjack and a couple of solos. Nightmare gains Stealth while in Deneghra's control area, so it's a good match. The Pistol Wraith is a solo-hunting machine, and the Skarlock Thrall is attached to Deneghra and can cast one of her spells each turn.

This is a list that I could easily see upgrading to the 50 points if we end up playing at that point level.


Khador

Forward Kommander Sorscha (-6 pts.)
• Demolisher (9 pts.)
• Spriggan (10 pts.)
• War dog (1 pt.)

Kayazy Assassins (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8 pts.)
Kayazy Assassin Underboss (2 pts.)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4 pts.)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4 pts.)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
• Winter Guard Infantry Officer & Standard (2 pts.)
• 3 Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeers (3 pts.)

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich (2 pts.)
Widowmaker Marksman (2 pts.)
Yuri the Axe (3 pts.)

I talked about this list in a long posting on expanding the Khador box. I already own the Widowmaker Marksman and Yuri and had planned on getting the Kayazy Assassins at some point, so I'll likely be upgrading this when I am done getting the army boxes and having them painted. As a 50-point list, I like what all three of the additions do for the list.


Menoth

Grand Scrutator Severius (-6 pts.)
• Redeemer (6 pts.)
• Reckoner (8 pts.)
• Vanquisher (8 pts.)
• Hierophant (2 pts.)

Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3 pts.)
Exemplar Errants (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8 pts.)
• Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard Bearer (2 pts.)
Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
• Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer (2 pts.)

Exemplar Errant Seneschal (2 pts.)
Initiate Tristan Durant (3 pts.)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2 pts.)
The Covenant of Menoth (2 pts.)
Vassal of Menoth (2 pts.)

The Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard Bearer is a nice addition though I suspect it means the wrath of God will rain down on the unit from the word go. I guess that could be a good thing since it means other things won’t be targeted.

The Holy Zealots and their Monolith Bearer make a nice, inexpensive unit of rabble that also sets things on fire and have the ability to get tougher when one of them is killed. They seem like a nice addition to the list as a tarpit to slow the progress of the enemy.

The Covenant of Menoth is a solo and it gives crazy protection to the friendly figures in its command range or stops enemies in the range from casting spells. All-in-all, it's an awesome addition to the list. I see more and more why Menoth is all about the buffs.

Initiate Tristan Durant is a journeyman warcaster and really should be assigned a warjack. Unlike the Cygnaran basic journeyman, Durant’s spells work on a model in his battlegroup alone, so I would want to assign one to him. I just don’t know which one it would be.

If I had bought this box, I could see myself looking into adding the additional models to bump the list to 50 points. The only additional model not used in the alternate 35-point lists is Durant and those add a warcaster, a warjack, and a mercenary (and I have both mercenaries already). See, I should have bought this one as well!


Hordes factions

Circle Orboros

Kromac the Ravenous (-4 pts.)
• Warpwolf Stalker (10 pts.)
• Ghetorix (11 pts.)
• Gnarlhorn Satyr (8 pts.)
• Gorax (4 pts.)

Tharn Blood Pack (10 pts.)
Shifting Stones Unit (Leader and 2 Grunts) (2 pts.)
• Stone Keeper (1 pt.)

Gallows Grove (1 pt.)
Gallows Grove (1 pt.)
Blackclad Wayfarer (2 pts.)
Lord of the Feast (4 pts.)

Ghetorix is a another Warpwolf which is better melee attacker than the Stalker and it can be bonded to Kromac. The Gallows Groves are terrific solos that Kromac can use to channel spells and prevents enemies from healing and making Tough rolls. The Blackclad Wayfarer can help fury management by allowing friendly models charge or make slams without being forced. The Wayfarer is also has a magic spray attack.

This would be a pretty easy to expand and everything additional works with what is already there.


Legion of Everblight

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight (-5 pts.)
• Nephilim Bloodseer (5 pts.)
• Angelius (9 pts.)
• Neraph (7 pts.)
• Scythean (9 pts.)
• Zuriel (10 pts.)

Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6 pts.)
Spawning Vessel (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3 pts.)

Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1 pt.)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1 pt.)
Strider Deathstalker (2 pts.)
Strider Deathstalker (2 pts.)

At first glance this looks like a relatively inexpensive list to bring to 50 points, until you consider that you'll have to purchase some lesser warbeasts to add during the game as the Spawning Vessel creates them. So this is a pass unless I come into a bunch of mini-beasts. Zuriel looks like an awesome addition and a second Deathstalker can’t be a bad addition, so it’s possible I could change my mind.


Skorne

Supreme Archdomina Makeda (-5 pts.)
• Basilisk Krea (4 pts.)
• Molik Karn (11 pts.)
• Titan Gladiator (8 pts.)
• Aptimus Marketh (3 pts.)

Cataphract Incindiarii (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9 pts.)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3 pts.)
Praetorian Keltarii (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8 pts.)
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)

Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer (3 pts.)

Like the Trollbloods, they had only two large beasts in the initial box, but at least they got another warbeast in the Basilisk Krea. The Krea get plus points for having Eyeless Sight and causing Paralysis, but negative points because its animus targets itself and its Flank bonus doesn’t work in this list. Still, it seems like a decent enough beast. The Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer is like having an über-powered Kovnik Joe because the Commander’s orders work on all friendly faction units or models.

The Keltarii are decent-enough models, but I still have nightmares from trying to assemble the Stormguard and these guys look like they might be just as cantankerous to assemble. I really don’t want to put the Keltarii together, so I’m likely to pass on expanding this box, though if they are a lot of fun to play I might change my mind.


Trollblood

Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller (-5 pts.)
• Dire Troll Blitzer (9 pts.)
• Dire Troll Mauler (9 pts.)

Kriel Warriors (6 pts.)
• Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (Leader and 2 Grunts) (3 pts.)
• Kriel Warrior Standard Bearer & Piper (2 pts.)
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribe (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4 pts.)
• Stone Scribe Elder (1 pt.)
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10 pts.)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8 pts.)

Fell Caller Hero (3 pts.)

I didn't like the Kriel Warriors when I used them in the past and mine are for sale. I would rather have seen the Fennblades plus UA and a Trollkin Sorcerer in place of the Kriel Warriors. The Fennblades have one less armor, but one more point of MAT and speed as well as having reach, doing two more damage when they hit and Vengeance, which lets them advance up to 3" and make a normal attack during the maintenance phase if they any member of the unit was destroyed or removed from play in the opponent's turn. Plus you would get the Sorcerer added, which is a handy little solo. The other loss is two less bodies, but I like the ability advantage over the numbers advantage.

The Stone Scribe Elder is a good single-point addition to the Krielstone Bearer unit and I was surprised that the Fell Caller wasn't used in the initial list because the bonuses and abilities it gives to the others is awesome.

In fewer words, I won’t be making this 50-point list or one of the alternate 35-point lists, which uses them. I might build the other list at some point, if I decide I would like to play with Grim Angus as the warlock.
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Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:55 am
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Circle Orboros all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The Circle Orboros is an ancient society of mystics who have spent millennia working to master the secrets of nature. They are a loose organization which protects nature and their ancient sacred sites. The main body of their forces consist of humans and the savage Tharn race. They control giant wolves, satyrs, griffons, as well as stone constructs in their arsenal which protects their interests. They appear to be a formidable, flexible foe which can come at their enemies with living or animated forces.

I really don't know much about the Circle Orboros. Like the Skorne I haven't seen much of them, only playing against them once in a fang and claw game.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Kromac the Ravenous (-4 pts.)
• Warpwolf Stalker (10 pts.)
• Gnarlhorn Satyr (8 pts.)
• Gorax (4 pts.)

Tharn Blood Pack (Leader and 5 Grunts) (10 pts.)
Shifting Stones Unit (Leader and 2 Grunts) (2 pts.)
• Stone Keeper (1 pt.)

Lord of the Feast (4 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Kromac the Ravenous is a shapeshifter. He can be either in human form or in beast form and can switch between them during the game. He's armed with two axes which are both Magical Weapons and have Reach.

Abilities

In both forms he has Pathfinder, meaning he can move through rough terrain at no penalty and can even charge through them. He also has Altered States which lets him switch forms during the Circle's maintenance phase.

In Human form, he also has Beast Out that will let Kromac switch to his Beast form after taking damage from an enemy attack on the enemy's turn.

In Beast form he causes Terror, forcing enemy models in his melee range to pass a command check or flee. He is also unable to upkeep spells and cannot cast non-animus spells because he has a Beast Mind while he's a Beast. Finally, he can Jump, which means he can move any place within 5" of where he finished a full advance.


Feat

Blood Rage allows Kromac to suffer up to seven damage points and he gains one fury point for each damage suffered. His fury point total cannot exceed his current fury stat as a result of Blood Rage. If Kromac is in human form when the feat is used, he can immediately take beast form. Effects on the replaced model are applied to the beast model.


Spells

Kromac can cast Bestial on himself to make it so enemy models in his control area cannot cast spells or be used to channel spells. It doesn't seem like it would be useful all that often, but sometimes it might just completely shut down someone's plans so it is a nice weapon to have in the arsenal.

Inviolable Resolve is a simple defensive upkeep spell that gives a friendly faction model +2 armor and the Fearless ability for a round.

Rift causes the area in the 4" area of effect to become rough ground for a round, as well as being a fairly strong attack spell.

Warpath is another spell that would be cast and upkept on himself. It lets a friendly faction warbeast advance up to 3" after a faction model in Kromac's control area kills an enemy. Each warbeast can only advance once per turn because of this spell.

And for his warbeasts, Kromac has Wild Aggression in his arsenal. It is a spell that he can pay to upkeep on a friendly living warbeast that lets it run, charge, or make slam or trample power attacks without being forced and gains boosted melee attack rolls.


The Battlegroup

The Warpwolf Stalker is a huge bipedal wolf carrying a huge sword and it can still attack with its off hand. The sword has Reach.

This versatile beast has Pathfinder to move through rough terrain and Regeneration[d3] that allows the it to be forced one a turn to heal d3 points of damage. It also can choose one of the Controlled Warping effects at the beginning of its activation. Warp effects last for one round and the choices are:
Berserk: When this model destroys one or more models with a melee attack during its combat action, immediately after the attack is resolved it must make one additional melee attack against another model in its melee range.
Prowl gives Stealth to the Stalker while it is within terrain or an AOE that provides concealment. Stealth means any ranged or magic attack originating from more than 5" away automatically misses.
Warp Strength gives it +2 STR.

His animus is Lightning Strike which can target a friendly model which gains Sprint for a turn. If a model with Sprint destroys one more enemy models on its turn with a melee attack it can make a full advance at the end of its turn.

The Gnarlhorn Satyr has two fists and its horns that it can attack with. It's a little easier to hit than the Stalker, but it's harder to hurt and a little stronger. It makes a great partner to it.

Like a bull, urr, goat in a china shop, the Satyr likes to put its head down and run over things. Thanks to the Grand Slam ability, it can make slam power attacks without spending focus or being forced. And it is so good at it that figures slammed by it are moved an additional 2". On top of that, Follow Up lets the satyr advance directly towards a model it slammed up to the number of inches said model was slammed.

And speaking of slamming, if an enemy model advances and ends its movement within 6" and in the LOS of this model, the Satyr can Counter Slam: immediately make a slam power attack against that model. If it makes a counter slam, it cannot make another until after the Circle's next turn. It can't make a counter slam while engaged.

The Gnarlhorn's animus is called Bounding. It can be cast on a faction warbeast and gives it + 2" of movement and +2 to hit if it charges or makes a slam or trample power attack.

The Gorax is a strong attack light beast. It has a Pain Response which lets it charge or make power attacks without being forced. And its animus, Primal, gives a friendly living warbeast +2 STR and MAT for one round but it automatically frenzies during the Circle's next Control Phase.


Units

The Tharn Blood Pack are bad boys that have both the Fearless and Pathfinder special abilities. They can also be given the Assault & Battery order which allows them to make a ranged attack before making their movement, which must be a charge or a run. If charging, the target is not declared until after the ranged attack is resolved. This stacks well with Treewalker which means they ignore forests when determining line of sight. They also gain +2 defense against melee attack rolls while in forests and can advance through obstructions and other models in forests if they have enough movement to move completely past the model.


The models in the unit are Heart Eaters which collect "corpse tokens" each time they destroy a living enemy in melee combat. They can use the corpse tokens to make an additional attack, boost their hit roll, or boost their damage roll. Each model can have three corpse tokens at a time.

The Shifting Stones are three rocks. They have Advance Deployment which lets them set up after normal deployment and up to 6” beyond the established deployment zone. Because they are rocks, they are Constructs. They're also Immobile, meaning have no movement or action, cannot be knocked down nor moved. Their front arc extends to 360° and they have no melee range, cannot engage, and are automatically hit by melee attacks because, you know, they're rocks.

Because of Serenity they're calming rocks. Serenity allows the removal of one fury point from a friendly faction warbeast within 1" of a stone at the beginning of the Control Phase.

The Stones aren't rolling. They have Shifting Powers which let them do one of the three following powers which they select at the beginning of their activation:

• The Healing Field allows models in this unit that are in formation and friendly Faction models within 1" of one or more of them heal d3 damage points. This is one way which warbeasts that are Constructs can be healed, not that it matters in this army list.
Shifting is how the stones more. If they are in formation, they can be placed anywhere within 8" of their current location.
Teleportation allows one other faction model which are within the triangle formed by these three models (if they are formation) anywhere within 8" of its current location. The placed model must forfeit its movement after teleporting.

The Stone Keeper, as you might guess from his name is attached to the Shifting Stones unit. That's right, he's a leader of rocks. More than that, the apparently listen to him because he's an Officer. Like the rocks he leads, he has Advance Deployment and he can Shift, though when he does his Disorientation ability kicks in. Disorientation means he can't advance after shifting. He's armed with a Magical Weapon that has Reach.

The Rock Commander also has Pathfinder and the Granted: Stealth abilities. Granted: Stealth gives the Shifting Stones Stealth as long as he's not stone cold dead. He also has Stone Heart which means he never flees and automatically passes command checks.

He has a Magic Ability [6] which is used to power one of these two things:

Rock Hammer is a special area of effect magic attack that will knock down models hit on a critical hit.
Stone Form is a special action that gives the Stone Keeper +4 armor and reduced the defense to 5 but makes it automatically hit by melee attacks. It lasts for a round or until he makes an advance.


Solos

The Lord of the Feast is loaded with special abilities, including Fearless, Pathfinder, Stealth, Terror and Heart Eater. He also has Advance Deployment. He's also a Virtuoso allowing him to make both initial ranged and melee attacks on his activation.

He's armed with two "weapons," one of which is a Raven. The Lord makes a ranged attack with the Raven and if it his, the Shifter ability kicks in and it allows the Lord to immediately move into base contact with the hit model. It allows him to move around and get to targets and beat on them with his Wurmblade, which is a Magical Weapon with Reach and Blood Reaper, which lets him makes his first melee attack during his activation with it against each model in his LOS and this Wurmblade's melee range.


Summing it all up

I don't understand the Blood Rage feat. (See comments below.) I know what it does and that makes sense, but warlocks can already cause damage to themselves to gain fury, so the only bonus I can see is he is able to change shapes if he is not in beast form, which he can do during the maintenance phase or when damaged by an enemy. The feat seems pretty weak to me, but that doesn't mean Kromac is not a powerful warlock. He seems quite deadly.

During battle I can see putting Inviolable Resolve or Wild Aggression on any of the warbeasts to buff them up. He can also cast any of the three animi which the beasts have and they are all good at boosting attacks or movement. Lightning Strike is especially good if you want to play a hit and run game, attacking then moving back to a defendable position.

Besides his boosts for the beasts and the troops, the Bestial spell looks to be a great way to block the enemy from casting spells, hopefully gumming up their plans from the very beginning since his control area is 14" around his base.

Both the big beasts are good killers but they aren't the only ones. While the enemy looks at the two heavy warbeasts as the threat, use the Gorax to sneak in and kill whatever needs killing.

The Shifting Stones can help keep the fury down on beasts as well as healing those that need it. The Teleportation ability can also help with the mobility of the army.

The Blood Pack is great at clearing out enemies that want to try and use the forests to hide in and attack from. Their Treewalker ability means nothing in the woods is safe from them and they can use the Assault & Battery order to shoot first and chop off heads later in the same turn. Add their Heart Eater ability to gain extra attacks or boosting attacks and they are a serious threat.

We still haven't looked at the Lord of the Feast. If the enemy warlock gets too close to him, the Raven can be used to pop the LotF right next to it and the Feaster has any corpse tokens on it already, then he can go to town, possibly killing it in one turn.

There are lots of options with this army. While there are some buffs from outsides sources, it doesn't require a complex chain of activations in the right order to get the perfect combo like the Molik Karn one I mentioned in the Skorne overview or the combo building of the Menites. It still needs to be played smart and activations need to be handled properly to be effective, but it feels like it might be a little more forgiving than some army lists.

To my barely-trained eye, this army list looks to be neither over-powered nor under-powered. It feels like one which should be in most games and could win any time if played right. I look forward to playing these guys and seeing how things play out with them.
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Fri May 22, 2015 7:15 am
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AiO Battle 02: Lightning Strikes

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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Mike and I played again and this time I took Cygnar and Mike got to play the fully-painted Khador. He's still not built his Menoth and I hope he does soon so I can whine about facing the abominations they are.

My Cygnar all-in-one army box force list:

Major Markus "Siege" Brisbane (-5 pts.)
• Avenger (9 pts.)
• Defender (9 pts.)
• Squire Solo (2 pts.)

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Unit (6) (6 pts.)
• Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2 pts.)
Stormguard Unit (10) (9 pts.)

Journeyman Warcaster (3 pts.)


Mike's Khador all-in-one army box force list:

Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff (-6 pts.)
• Demolisher (9 pts.)
• Spriggan (10 pts.)
• War Dog (1 pt.)

Widowmakers (4 pts.)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
• Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeer (x3) (3 pts.)
• Winter Guard Officer & Standard (2 pts.)
Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt (4 pts.)

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich (2 pts.)


We each had a forest on our side. There were two buildings, one on each side of the middle of the board to the left and right sides of the board with some fence pieces between them.

Mike went first and he moved up, placing his Widowmakers at the edge of his forest which was on my left, the Winter Guard up to a fence, and the warjacks, Sorscha, and the rest up the side to my right.

I ran my Gun Mages partially into the forest on my left, the Stormguard up behind a fence, and the rest up my right side with the building between our two battle groups.

Mike moved up with the Winter Guard and removed some of the Stormguard. His Widowmakers missed the Stormguard. My next turn I moved up the Gun Mages and removed one of the Widowmakers.

I moved the Stormguard from behind the wall but not far enough to be able to attack them. Mike then managed to thin out the Stormguard, but they survived and managed wipe out most of the Winter Guard, who then whittled the Stormguard down to one model. I had also hit the Winter Guard Rocketeers with the Avenger's gun after thy managed to hurt Siege.

After the Gun Mages finished off Widowmakers they moved towards the center of the table and got off a shot at Kovnik Joe and managed to hurt him.

Siege tried using the Ground Pounder attack from his gun to catch Sorscha who was on the other side of the building, but the cover she got from the building caused the surprise attack to miss. That was the one time Sorscha was threatened.

Mike's warjacks split up around the building. I blocked the Spriggan with the Journeyman Warcaster so the Defender would get into position to hit it. The Avenger moved in to hit the Demolisher. The Journeyman managed to avoid a couple of attacks from the Spriggan before he was demolished. The Spriggan tried one last attack on the Defender.

That’s when the Defender was able hurt the Spriggan quite a bit, crippling the cortex so he wouldn’t be able to use focus. The Avenger did some damage to the Demolisher, but not enough to cripple anything. I decided to run up to the Demolisher with Siege to beat on it, but I failed to disable it and Mike finished off Siege on his turn.

Yeah, I should have moved back and shot the Demolisher and not left Siege vulnerable. I also should have popped his feat before attacking the warjacks with my warjacks. I would have done a lot more damage.

In the end, I cost myself the game, but I wanted to hit with Siege and try and make something happen.

I liked the way the Arcane Tempest Gun Mages worked towards thinning out and eventually wiping out the Widowmakers. If I had played smarter, they would have begun to threaten Sorscha and shifted the game to my advantage.

If I had placed the Stormguard better, I think I would have been able to damage the Winter Guard before they were hit, though the Widowmakers might have done significant damage to them.

Still a lot of fun though I am still unsuccessful when trying to beat the Khador armies.
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Fri May 15, 2015 7:44 am
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AiO Battle 01: Hammer and the Swan

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I finally get a chance to play a battle with the armies from all-in-one boxes released by Privateer Press over the last few months. The original plan was to play against his army, but he hadn't had the chance to finish building his Menoth and I had just finished building the Cygnar list. Mike is not a fan of mixing Hordes and Warmachine, so that meant one of us was going to play the unpainted Cygnar against Khador.

I was really interested in trying out either force and know I will be able to play either one at any time. Mike didn't have a preference so we randomly determined side.

I played Khador all-in-one army box force list:

Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff (-6 pts.)
• Demolisher (9 pts.)
• Spriggan (10 pts.)
• War Dog (1 pt.)

Widowmakers (4 pts.)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
• Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeer (x3) (3 pts.)
• Winter Guard Officer & Standard (2 pts.)
Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt (4 pts.)

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich (2 pts.)


Mike played Cygnar all-in-one army box force list:

Major Markus "Siege" Brisbane (-5 pts.)
• Avenger (9 pts.)
• Defender (9 pts.)
• Squire Solo (2 pts.)

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Unit (6) (6 pts.)
• Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2 pts.)
Stormguard Unit (10) (9 pts.)

Journeyman Warcaster (3 pts.)


The fist thing which became obvious to me after starting, is I placed my fores poorly and talking to Mike he felt he made errors in placement as well. The center of the board funneled into a space between two buildings, and there wasn't enough room for me to move my Winter Guard through it.

On my Right flank, Mike had his gun mages and I had Lady Aiyanna and Master Holt. Her ability to give them stealth allowed me to pick off a couple of gun mages early on, and when Holt got into melee combat with them it was over.

Mike moved one of his heavy warjacks over to support them and I countered with the Demolisher. He did manage five points of damage on my warjack, but then I was able to destroy it, clearing that side.

Meanwhile, my Widowmakers cowered after taking casualties, but the Winter Guard was able to pack in the hole, and tie up the other Cygnaran. Then they were able to loose their spray attacks and decimate the Stormguard. As the two heavy warjacks moved in from the flank we called the game.

Thinking it over, it probably would have been better if I had played Cygnar since Mike was more familiar with Khador and he hadn't played the game since probably the last time we played in May 2012. That being said, we both enjoyed playing again and getting our feel back for the rules.
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Sun May 3, 2015 5:33 am
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Cygnar all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
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Okay, okay. So I broke down and bought the Cygnar box. I am weak, take my money.

Cygnar is the most technologically advanced nation in the Iron Kingdoms. They are nation everyone else wants to be or possess and some might even say they are the good guys. Their armies use lots of gunfire and electrical attacks to soften up the enemy.

They are another one of the armies I have never seen played, though I did look at playing them for a little while when I first got back into Warmachine a few years back.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Major Markus "Siege" Brisbane (-5 pts.)

• Avenger (9 pts.)
• Defender (9 pts.)
• Squire Solo (2 pts.)

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Unit (6) (6 pts.)
• Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2 pts.)
Stormguard Unit (10) (9 pts.)

Journeyman Warcaster (3 pts.)


Warcaster/Warlock

Major Markus "Siege" Brisbane looks to be pretty vanilla as far as warcasters goes. He has decent stats, nice spells, a good feat, and his weapons are good, if not shining examples of warcaster armament. He's armed with "Havoc," a big hammer that is also a Magical Weapon which has the Critical Smite ability which may slam the target directly away from Siege if he rolls a critical hit.

While Havoc is nice, the Rocket Cannon is even better. Besides being able to place a normal shot Siege can make the Ground Pounder attack order which lets him place a 4" AOE completely within the 14" range of the gun and then lets him roll to everything under it with a fairly high AOE power 12 attack.


Abilities

Some figures in the game are so cool they don't need special abilities. Siege is just one of those badasses. That, or he already has enough to do that he just ignores.


Feat

His Breach feat solves the problem I've seen mentioned as Cygnar's biggest: they don't have a way to crack high armor. This halves the base armor value for any enemy model in Siege's control area for the next time that model is hit for the next round. So make sure the big target is within his control area when the move is made to crush it.


Spells

Explosivo turns a normal ranged attack into a 3" AOE and makes the weapon a Magical Weapon for the attack. The limit to this is models not directly hit by the attack only suffer the normal blast damage and do not suffer any other effects of the attack. The attack modified by Explosivo cannot be a spray attack and the attacking model cannot participate in combined ranged attacks. Explosivo only works on the model's next attack and will expire after a turn.

The Force Hammer is an attack that slams the target d6" directly away from the spell's point of origin.

His Foxhole is a 5" AOE anywhere completely in his control area that gives models completely in the AOE cover and they do not suffer blast damage. Models in the Foxhole do not block line of sight.

Mage Sight is a 5" AOE placed completely in Siege's control area that allows models in the battlegroup to ignore forests and cloud effects when drawing a line of sight to models in AOE and it allows the battlegroup to ignore Stealth when attacking those enemies.

Rift causes the area in the 4" area of effect to become rough ground for a round, as well as being a fairly strong attack spell. It can be used to both damage and slow down the advance of the enemy


The Battlegroup

Both of the warjacks have big guns and big melee beat sticks that mess with enemy warjacks.

The Avenger's gun is a Seismic Cannon which has a 4" area of effect and the Quake special ability which knocks down any enemy model hit when there was a direct hit against the target. Its hand-to-hand weapon is a Stun Blade that Stalls a warjack hit it. While a warjack is suffering the Stall condition, its base DEF becomes 7 and it cannot run or charge.

The Defender has a slightly lower armor and slightly higher defense than the Avenger. Its gun doesn't have any special abilities, but it's Shock Hammer automatically does one damage to a cortex box of a warjack it hits thanks to the appropriately-named Cortex Damage ability. The gun would make a good option for Siege's Explosivo spell, adding the AOE to its incredible 16" range.


Units

Something I don't recall seeing before in units that aren't led by a character are special attacks that the leaders of the unit can make. In this army both of the unit leaders have them.

The Arcane Tempest Gun Mages and the Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer attachment are the core unit for Cygnar from what I've seen. They are armed with swords and their Magical Weapon which is the Magelock Pistol that can fire special magical ammo. Each time one of the makes a ranged attack they can choose one of the abilities to use for that shot:

• On a critical hit, Critical Brutal Damage gives an additional die on this weapon's damage roll against the model directly hit.
Snipe gives +4" of range to the attack, increasing the range of things they can pick off if the enemy decides to try and be tricky by staying back.
• When hit by Thunderbolt, enemy models hit are pushed d3" directly away. On a critical hit, the enemy model is knocked down after being pushed.

Each turn, the unit commander model can give the Arcane Inferno order which lets members of the unit participate in a combined ranged attack for the activation. The unit commander must be the primary attacker. The AOE of the unit commander's ranged weapon becomes 3” for the attack and it cannot choose one of the special attack abilities.

The Gun Mage Officer has the Attachment [Arcane Tempest Gun Mages] ability. He is also an Officer which makes him the leader of the unit but he will not be replaced by a grunt when he's killed. He also grants the unit Tactics: True Sight which lets the unit ignore concealment, Camouflage, and Stealth.

He's also a 'Jack Marshal which allows up to two warjacks being assigned to him, though this isn't likely to be something you would do when running this list. The officer does not have the ability to give focus to the units but can give them some orders. He also has Rune Shot which lets a warjack controlled him to use one of the special ammo attacks available to the unit when it makes a normal ranged attack during its activation.

The Stormguard has the Combined Melee Attack which lets them focus attacks on a target to gain pluses to hit and damage. They have Immunity: Electricity which is good because their weapon is a Voltaic Halberd which has the Reach (2"melee range) and Electro Leap special abilities. Electro Leap causes a straight up damage check against the closest model to the target within 4" of the model hit, ignoring the attacking model. Sometimes this can be a friendly model and you wouldn't want to be shocking your troops, would you? The unit also has Ranked Attacks, which lets friendly models ignore them when determining LOS, which is really useful when you have an army that loves shooting things as much as the Cygnar army likes to shoot.

The special attack the leader can make is called Electrical Discharge and it can be made after all models in this unit have completed their actions. The leader can make one 3" AOE ranged attack that gets more powerful for each model in this unit that hit an enemy model with a melee attack this activation. The Gunfighter ability is included in the unit so it can make the attack even though it might be in melee combat.

The halberd also give the unit Set Defense which causes enemies attacking from the front arc with a charge, slam power attack, or impact attack -2 rolls against this model, giving them hope of surviving a charge so they can retaliate.


Solos
At least one or even both of these solos appear in just about every list I saw back when I was looking into playing Cygnar and looking over their abilities it is pretty obvious why that was the case and I bet it still is.

"Junior!" That is the nickname for theJourneyman Warcaster which is, as the name might indicate, a Warcaster of the Journeyman rank. You gotta love those clever naming conventions! He is not considered a full warcaster in game terms though he has several of their abilities but I'll skip over the ones that allow him to control a warjack because he won't be doing that in this list.

He is armed with a Hand Cannon and a Mechanika Blade which is a Magical Weapon. Like all warcasters he is Fearless and he has three Focus that he can use to cast his two spells, add extra attacks, or boost his attack or damage rolls.

Junior's Spells

Arcane Bolt is an attack spell that has the same range as his hand gun and is a little less powerful and it costs two focus. I would see casting this only if the target required being hit by a magic attack. Otherwise, his gun is a better option.

Arcane Shield is what I'm talking about! It is an upkeep spell that gives +3 Armor defense to a model or unit. Slap this on someone or something you want to protect and upkeep it the entire game while keeping Junior safe behind the lines because the model(s) with the upkeep spells don't have to be in range once the spell is on them.

The Squire Solo is a little Construct that is Attached to the warcaster and which works like the Energizer Bunny and WiFi repeater all in one. Being a construct, it never flees and passes all command checks. Each of the three remaining abilities work when the Squire is within 5" of the warcaster. They are:

Arcane Realignment lets the warcaster reroll one failed magic attack roll each turn.
Arcane Repeater which boosts the control range of the warcaster by 2", increasing the amount of the battlefield Siege can influence.
Reserve Accumulator lets the Squire start the game off with three unmarked Accumulator Circles. In each Control Phase, after replenishing focus, the warcaster can mark off one of the boxes to gain an additional focus above and beyond his maximum level.

Summing it all up

Versatility is the theme of the army according the included Army Tips & Tricks card.

My first thought when thinking about playing Cygnar is to use the ranged attacks to kill the enemy, which might work against infantry, but against bigger things I wouldn't count on it. It straight melee combat, Cygnar is inferior to the other factions which are more geared to going toe-to-toe, which is why you will need to play to smart. Both the warjacks in this list can hit hard so they can take out the big targets. Their advantage is the turn or two they will be able to use their guns to soften up the enemy before moving in for the kill, and this is how I would look to do that.

All of Siege's spells are useful for this army and don't forget the bonuses that the Squire gives.

• Use Foxhole as both a refuge for the advancing units and warjacks and a way to clear line of sight so those behind them can shoot.
• Mage Sight should be cast on the enemy which is trying to hide from being targeted by the warjacks' ranged attacks so they can be whittled down before being crushed by the Defender and Avenger charging in.
• Rift can be used to cause some damage and to slow down the enemy by placing some rough terrain.
• If something needs to be moved out of the way, Boom! Force Hammer!

And then there is the feat. Triggering it at the right time should mean a lot of big enemies will fall but be sure to be in a good position to hit them hard, because you will only get one chance at the soft underbelly of each target revealed by Breach.

Don't forget the units. The Gun Mages should be used to thin out the ranks of the enemy troops as well as harass the enemy warcaster or warlock so they have to split their time between saving their skin and supporting their units.

The Stormguard can be a powerful force, so make sure to protect them as you advance them. Use them to hold your objectives or engage enemy heavy infantry, but do your best not to let them take the first blow without some protection. They are a hammer. They aren't Tough like Trollkin and only have one wound each, so they might be your best bet for the Journeyman Warcaster's Arcane Shield spell.

Oh, and if the enemy general gets close enough to Siege, let the Major pound it into the ground himself. I hear he likes doing it.

One of the options in the Army Tips & Tricks is to use the Journeyman Warcaster to control the Defender so Siege has more available focus. It's something I might try, but I think I would want to do that after trying out the army with Junior being used as a defensive buff with his Arcane Shield on something and a combat boost/support for where needed.

The general plan for Cygnar is simple, but how to execute it going in is not as easy as the Skorne tactic of setting Molik Karn loose and watching the havoc that ensues. You'll have to evaluate what you are facing and then pick the right order to execute the actions for best success. Because of that, this might be the best list to learn to get the feel of how to best play Warmachine and Hordes.

Modeling Post Script

While I think this army looks great for someone wanting to learn how to play Warmachine, there is one big problem for someone wanting to get into miniatures without having to be expert modelers. The Stormguard are a royal pain to assemble. You'll have to figure out which of the three right arms go with which halberd, then the same for the left arms, then line them up on one of the three bodies.

I ended up with a couple of pretty bowed halberds because the only way I saw to be able to assemble them without having four arms was to glue the arms to the halberd then bend the halberd slightly while getting the arms into place on the figures. Because the keying on the arms and halberds is subject to flashing, sometimes it has to be trimmed and the fit ends up being loose.

But the troopers are the worst of it. The leader comes with a body, two shoulders, two arms, a gun, a backpack, and a coil that connects to from the backpack to a small hole in the gun. The only keying for alignment is on the left hand to the rear of the gun. Everything else is a flat connection, or there is some minor alignment help that has too much variation to be any help at all.

I figured the easiest thing to do would be to glue on the shoulders and then the left arm and gun, then position the right arm so it goes on the gun. This was a bad idea. I was unable to get the right arm to line up at all, even when I tried to use some green putty to adjust the angle of the arm in the shoulder pad. My manipulations cause the gun to break, so I decided to try and start over since pinning the gun wouldn't be too big a problem. Another mistake on my part. When I tried popping the arms off the body they both broke. Generally, I am a fan of the plastic models, but when you have to try and correct something after gluing it becomes a problem.

Luckily, Privateer Press is an awesome company because I wrote them and told them of my problems and they are sending a replacement leader. They offered to replace the halberds as well, but they aren't broke and if I would have been a little more patient I think I could have avoided the bending. I don't know how I am going to assemble the leader because dry-fitting everything before gluing is not an option with how it is cut, and I haven't even thought about getting the backpack in a position so I can run the coil from it to the gun.

The other option would be to go to the Privateer Press web store and order the parts to make an original metal Stormguard unit leader. Not ideal, but it would work.

If you are an experienced modeler, I think you should be okay building the nine troopers and I bet many of you skilled ones will be able to build the leader with none of the headache I experienced. If you have patience and not much experience, I'm sure you will be able to build the nine as well, just be prepared for it to take some time. If modeling isn't for you, then find someone to build them for you or try another box.
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:33 am
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Legion of Everblight all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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Dragons in the world of Warmachine and Hordes are not what you see in other fantasy worlds. They are demigods which were created by Toruk and rebelled against them and failed and went into hiding. While Toruk is looking for his hidden spawn, one of them has awoken and is forming an army to march across the continent to face the Cryxian forces of his father, who he plans to kill. The Legion of Everblight is the army of the dragon Everblight. The core of the army is the beasts supported by corrupted Nyss elves and Ogrun.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight (-5 pts.)
• Angelius (9 pts.)
• Neraph (7 pts.)
• Scythean (9 pts.)
• Nephilim Bloodseer (5 pts.)

Strider Rangers (6) (6 pts.)

Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1 pt.)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1 pt.)
Strider Deathstalker (2 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight is all about staying away from the enemy, though she can defend herself, while the beasts kill, kill, kill. She has a ranged and melee weapon and both are Magical Weapons and cause Grievous Wounds, which removes Tough from a model hit and it cannot heal, be healed, or transfer damage.

Abilities

The only ability that matters for this army list is Force Barrier, which means Saeryn gets +2 DEF against ranged attack rolls and does not suffer blast damage. This means it's just harder to hit her with ranged attacks and that she needs to be directly hit to take damage from (most?) AOE attacks. Her second ability, Channeler [Rhyas] only comes into play when there are more than one warlocks on a side and at least one of the others is Rhyas.

Feat

Holy crap, do I want to play her just to use Foreboding! It prevents models in her battlegroup that are in her control range from being targeted by melee attacks for an entire round. That's the Legion's turn and the opponent's turn!

Spells

A useful protection spell for Saeyrn's units and beasts is Banishing Ward. It is an upkeep spell that cancels enemy upkeep spells on target friendly model/unit and prevents them from being targeted by enemy spells or animi.

Blight Bringer is a huge area attack (5" area) which is centered on target friendly Faction warbeast. Enemies in the area are hit with a corrosion attack and the area remains toxic to enemies for a round.

Breath Stealer is a nice spell for softening up a target. The target model/unit suffers -2 SPD and -2 DEF for one round, both softening it up and slowing it's progress.

Hellfire is a ranged attack spell that also forces the attacked model/unit to pass a command check or flee if it was hit.

A hugely annoying spell, for the opponent, that should always be kept up on one warbeast is Respawn. It allows a warbeast in this model's battlegroup that is disabled by an enemy attack to be resurrected, though in barely functional condition, anywhere within 3" of its current location.


The Battlegroup

Some of the cheese the army is known for are a couple of abilities most of the warbeasts have. Eyeless Sight lets the possessor ignore cloud effects and forests when determining line of sight. It also ignores concealment and Stealth when making attacks. All four of the warbeasts have it.

The Nephilim Bloodseer is the only warbeast that doesn't have Blood Creation. A model with it will never attack friendly Faction warlocks and cannot choose them as its frenzy target.

And most of them are Souless which means it does not generate a soul token when it is destroyed.

The Angelius has the three abilities above and it has Flight which lets it move through terrain and obstacles without penalty and it can advance through obstructions and other models if it has enough movement to move completely past them. When it destroys one or more enemy models it can Overtake and advance up to 1". Its Serpentine so it cannot make slam or trample power attacks and it cannot be knocked down.

It has two "weapons": A flame attack and a tail strike. The Flame Jet attacks a single target with fire attack that has Critical Fire which sets the target on fire with a critical hit. The Tail Strike has Reach and is Armor Piercing halves the base armor stat of hit models that have medium or larger bases and it gains +2 to damage rolls against models with small bases.

The angelius' animus is Repulsion. It pushes enemy models that are within 2" of it directly away from it.

The Neraph has Eyeless Sight, Blood Creation and Soulless. Like the Angelius, it also has Flight and Serpentine. Also like it's serpentine cousin, the Neraph does not have any arms to attack with. It can attack with its head and Grasping Tail. The tail has the Coil ability that, if it hits, means the rest of the melee attacks made by the Neraph against the enemy model hit automatically.

It's Vortex animus has a range of self and enemy models currently within 2" of it are pulled 2" directly toward it. Out of range? Not anymore! The 2" range isn't as useful as it could be, but there are times it will be just what's needed to get the enemy in range. Teamed up with the angelius' Repulsion, it creates a push-me-pull-you which might be fun to try and pull off.

The Scythean also has the four abilities mentioned above. Instead of fists or hands, the Scythean has long chitinous blades at the end of its arms that have Reach and with which it slices and dices anything that gets in its way. It also has Chain Attack: Bloodbath, so if it hits the same target with both its initial attacks with the scythes, it can immediately make one melee attack with this weapon against each model in its LOS and in melee range.

It's not surprising that the animus for this nasty beastie is called Slaughterhouse. It has a range of self and gives the model the Take Down ability which prevents Tough rolls from being made and the dead thing doesn't generate a soul or corpse token.

The Nephilim Bloodseer has Eyeless Sight but has a soul and doesn't care who it munches on when enraged. It also has Flight.

It has Primal Magic which means he can use the animus of any friendly faction warbeast in its command range as if the animus were its own. It also has Telemetry which gives friendly faction models gain +2 to magic attack rolls against enemy models that are within 5" of the Bloodseer.

It's armed with a Gaff, a pole arm with a hook, which has Reach. The model also gets +2 to damage rolls when charging because of the Brutal Charge ability the weapon has.

Witch Blood is its animus and it has a range of self and lasts for a round. When an enemy model casts a spell while within 5" of the Bloodseer, increase the spell's cost by one. Enemy models cannot upkeep spells on models within 5" of this model.

Units

Units? Make that Unit. (Not U.N.I.T.)

The Strider Rangers are called Blighted Nyss Striders in the forces book. They have Advance Deployment which lets them set up after the opponent's initial set-up, Pathfinder which lets them ignore movement penalties for difficult terrain, and Stealth which prevents them from being hit by ranged attacks that are from further than 5" away.

They also have Combined Ranged Attack which lets more than one of them combine their shots for better chances to hit and damage while reducing the number of attacks they have. They are armed with a longbow and a sword.


Solos

Like the Strider Rangers, the Strider Deathstalker has Advance Deployment, Pathfinder, and Stealth. It also has Swift Hunter which lets it advance 2" after destroying an enemy model with a ranged attack. Its Leadership [Striders] ability confers Swift Hunter on Strider models within its command range.

It also has Snap Fire which lets it take a second shot with the longbow if it kills an enemy with it, but no more than the one extra attack. Finally, Sniper which means it can either do normal damage or choose to do one point of damage to the target. It also allows them to select the column/spiral they are going to damage on a warjack/warbeast.

The Blighted Nyss Shepherd is essentially a solo similar to the Skorne Paingiver Beast Handlers. Their Beast Manipulation is a little less efficient but still useful. Its two options when using the ability are:

Condition allows them to place or remove any number of fury points from a warbeast.
Medicate heals d3 damage points and can only be used once per turn on a beast.

The shepherd also has Beast Master which lets it force friendly faction warbeasts in its command range as if it were their controlling warlock, which is really useful when there are four beasts in the battlegroup.

It is armed with a staff that Reach but I doubt that you'd want it to be in combat all that often.


Summing it all up

There's no wonder why this is a beast-centric list with just the one unit. It's because Saeryn's abilities not help units a whole lot. Her best attack spell is also centered on one of her warbeasts.

So what's the plan? Death to the enemy!

The army is very mobile. Because of their flight and eyeless sight, the neraph and anglius make great choices for sending after the enemy warcaster/warlock. If you can pop Saeryn's feat as the beasties go in for the kill, it will make it that much more difficult for the enemy to save their caster.

Meanwhile, the rangers and deathstalker can be used to contain enemy units try and keep them off objectives while the scythian and the nephilim can be used to try for objectives, kill other things, and generally be difficult for the other side.

The Blighted Nyss Shepherds should be kept around the beasts to heal them and control their fury. Having a shepherd near a beast that respawns from the spell would be most useful, especially if a healing can be gotten off before the warbeast activates.

For me, this appears to be the most straight-forward of the armies I've looked at so far.
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Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:05 am
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Trollbloods all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The Trollbloods are a loosely united band of troll races who are fighting to defend their lands from encroachment by the warring human nations, the duplicitous Circle Orboros, the invading Skorne, and Everblight's expanding plague. The core of the forces are the Trollkin, which stand around seven feet tall and are thicker and bulkier than humans. They command full-blood Troll and Dire Troll beasts. Also part of the forces are their smaller cousins, the Pygmies.

This was the faction I have been most attracted to and have built over time. I haven't played them as much as I had many of the figures off being painted when we were regularly playing. This is another one I don't have the actual army box because I had all the figures already, except for the Dire Troll Blitzer.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller (-5 pts.)
• Dire Troll Blitzer (9 pts.)
• Dire Troll Mauler (9 pts.)

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribe (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4 pts.)
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10 pts.)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8 pts.)


Universally Tough

One thing I won't be mentioning in the descriptions is the Tough ability, because all the Trollkin have it. As a reminder, when a model is killed, it can make a Tough roll and is not killed if a 5 or a 6 is rolled on a single die. The figure is instead knocked down. The Dire Trolls do not have Tough.


Warcaster/Warlock

I've played using Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller a couple of times in the past and she just didn't work for me. I was going to sell her along with some of my extra metal trolls, if I ever get around to it, but since she is in the army list I'm keeping her.

She's armed with a big mallet and can also create a sonic blast. The club is a Magical Weapon and has Critical Smite, which allows Grissel to slam a model that is critically hit, knocking it away from her d6" and doing slam damage. The sonic blast is an 8" spray attack with a decent power.

Abilities

Fell Calls are songs sung by rare members of Trollkin society that train to inspire warriors to great feats. Bloodsong can make one of the three following fell calls each turn and each model can only be affected by only one call each turn and they last one round.

Cacophony prevents enemy models in Grissel's command range from giving or receiving orders and they cannot cast spells for one round.
Heroic Ballad gives a friendly unit Fearless and then the model(s) can make one additional melee attack during their activations this turn.
Hoof It. A friendly model/unit can make a full advance at the end of this turn after all friendly models have ended their activations. They cannot be targeted by free strikes during this movement.

Feat

Fell Chorus combines all three of Grissel's fell calls into one effect while increasing the range from her CMD (9") to her control area of 12". That's it, that's the explanation.

Spells

Calamity targets an enemy model or unit, is an upkeep spell, and friendly models gain +2 to attack and damage rolls against the target.

Hallowed Avenger targets one a friendly warbeast in the battlegroup and it is also an upkeep spell. When an enemy attack destroys or removes one or more friendly Faction models within 5" of target warbeast, the affected warbeast can charge an enemy model.

The one attack spell is Rift, which has a radius of 4" and a decent power. The AOE is rough terrain and remains in play for one round.


The Battlegroup

Both of the Dire Trolls have the same two abilities. The first is Regeneration[d3] which allows the beast to be forced one a turn to heal d3 points of damage. The second is Snacking which is another form of regeneration. When the Dire Troll takes a model to zero wounds, the model is removed from play and the Troll heals d3 wounds.

A Dire Troll Blitzer is a big troll with a big machine gun attached to its shoulder with a small Pygmy (a smaller genetic cousin to the Trollkin) riding on the back of the Troll and firing the gun. The gun has Rapid Fire [d3] which means that every time it is fired it can make one to three shots. It has Gunfighter and can make ranged attacks against those that it is in melee combat with. It's also a Virtuoso meaning it can make melee and ranged attacks during the same combat action.

The Blitzer's animus is Repulsion and enemies currently within 2" of it are pushed 3" away from the Blitzer. It's got a range of "self" so it can only be used by the Blitzer and the warlock.

The Dire Troll Mauler doesn't need to be armed. Its only ability is Chain Attack: Grab & Smash. Should it hit the same model with both its initial attacks with its fists, it can immediately make a free power attack (double-hand throw, head-butt, headlock/weapon lock, push, or throw) against the poor model it got its hands on. It's animus is Rage and it gives the target model +3 strength for a round.

I was never a big fan of the Blitzer, but looking at it now I appreciate more than I had. I will proxy the figure for now, though if it performs well I will end up getting one. The Mauler has always been a favorite of mine and nothing has changed that.


Units

The Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes unit is about support. It's doesn't appear to be in as many required lists as the Choir of Menoth, but still is extremely popular. The unit is Fearless so they won't flee. Sure they have hand weapons and pack a decent punch, but they all about the big stone.

The leader of the unit, the one carrying the huge stone, has the three abilities. The first is Fury Vault which lets the warlock move fury to the stone as kind of a bank, and also leach fury from the stone when needed. The reason it's considered a high-priority buy in army lists is the Protective Aura, which allows the leader to spend one fury point to give friendly faction models within 4" of this it, plus 1" per fury point on it, +2 armor.

Finally, the Bearer has Self-Sacrifice and is able to remove another model in the unit when he would be killed and he heals one wound.

Trollkin Champions are a Fearless killing machine. They have two attacks because of their two hand weapons, have a high melee attack skill, and are Weapon Masters, dealing an extra die of damage with each hit. They also have Defensive Line which increases their armor by +2 when they are in base contact with one or more models in the unit. They have eight wounds each so are hard to put down.

Trollkin Warders have a single weapon and shield. They also have Fearless and Weapon Master plus their weapons have Reach. They are a little slower than the Champions, who aren't exactly speed demons, but have one higher armor. They also have the Battle-Driven ability. When one of them is damaged by an enemy attack, the unit +2 STR and ARM and Pathfinder.

Summing it all up

My initial thoughts when looking over the list is one of worry. They only have two combat units that only have five figures each and no solo support. I thought adding a unit of Fennblades with their Officer & Drummer in place of the Champions, or just the unit in place of the Warders. The advantage the Warder and Champion units have is it takes 40 wounds to fully remove each units, not including made Tough rolls, so they have some staying power.

For me, Bloodsong's fell calls are not as useful as the Fell Caller solo, but a combination of Heroic Ballad and her Calamity spell will give either unit, especially the Champions a major boost when attacking an enemy. Her Cacophony call can annoy and frustrate the enemy. The Dire Trolls appear to be forgotten in her abilities. Hallowed Avenger will let a beast charge out of turn, but that's about it.

The list has some powerful offensive options, can frustrate enemy options, and a Dire Troll Mauler. But I feel it might not have enough figures to cover the battlefield and compete in control scenarios. Here's hoping I'm wrong about that.
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Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:53 pm
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Skorne all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The Skorne are the invaders from the east. They are a society of warriors and are an entirely different race than humans, though they are man-sized. They have crossed a great desert to expand their influence and prove their worth as warriors, which is the basis of their society.

In my limited experience, I have not played against nor watched a Skorne army. I do have this army box and used the tips and tricks to help me with the write up.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Supreme Archdomina Makeda (-5 pts.)
• Molik Karn (11 pts.)
• Titan Gladiator (8 pts.)
• Aptimus Marketh (3 pts.)

Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
Cataphract Incindiarii (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9 pts.)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Supreme Archdomina Makeda is a commander that is focused on boosting her army's killing power. Her weapon is a Magical weapon.

Abilities

Makeda's first ability, Elite Cadre (Praetorian Swordsmen) makes the Praetorian Swordsmen unit, which is included in this army, a more mobile and deadly by bestowing it with Vengeance, the ability to move 3" and make a melee attack if one or more models in the unit is destroyed or removed from play by enemy attacks.

Inspiration (Skorne models) means that she's also quite inspirational (or terrifying!) and prevents Skorne units within her control range (2 x fury stat of 6 in inches) from failing morale checks and fleeing.

Using Stay Death, she can also prevent one trooper model from dying each turn, which is a great way to keep a living shield in the way of enemy, possibly blocking attacks by leaving the model in the path to block the enemy's movement.

Feat

Her feat is called Instruments of War and it's all about killing with a little murder on the side.

It boosts melee attack rolls (makes it easier to hit) and prevents the models from being knocked down. It also makes them immune to being targeted by free strikes, which is an attack an enemy can make if a figures moves past it in its melee range. This allows the Skorne forces to move through screens of figures set up to protect soft, valuable targets and attack those targets.

Spells

Makeda has four spells.

Engine of Destruction can only be cast on herself and boosts her offensive melee capabilities for a round.

Leash is an upkeep spell that cast on a warbeast and allows it to move 3" toward Makeda after she finishes her move.

Road to War lets friendly Skorne models in Makeda's control range move an addition 2" the turn it is cast.

Stranglehold is Makeda's only attack spell. It can damage an enemy and if it does the enemy will have to forfeit its movement or action on its next turn.


The Battlegroup

This army comes with two heavy warbeasts one of which might be described as cruise missile and the other is a land fortress.

Molik Karn is not the biggest heavy warbeast, but he's one of the really dangerous ones. He's the missile you will want to be launching at the enemy warlock or warcaster. He's armed with two falchions which have Reach and he's a Weapon Master with them, which means his damage rolls get an extra die. He also has Combo Strike which combines two attacks into one, boosting the power of the attack.

He has Affinity [Makeda] which boosts his fury to 5, making him more dangerous because he's already pretty efficient using it because of Future Sight which lets him boost attack and damage rolls after rolling!

Karn's Intuition is a nice defensive ability that allows Makeda to force him to gain a fury when he is hit by an enemy which forces the enemy to reroll the attack dice. He also has Side Step which lets him move 2" after one of his initial attacks hits, which grants him some nice mobility one combat starts. His final ability, Chieftain [Cyclops], has no impact on this list.

Fate Walker is Karn's animus and can only be cast on himself (and Makeda can cast it on herself). It allows Karn to make a full advance after all models have moved at the end of the turn.

The Titan Gladiator is the closest thing to a living Khador warjack that you will see. It's slow, has a high armor, and hits really hard, but what else would you expect from a four-armed giant anthropomorphic pachyderm? It has three initial attacks: a war gauntlet on each arm and his tusks. The Gladiator also has a Hard Head which allows it to add the power of the tusks into head-butt and slam power attack damage rolls.

It's Bullheaded which has it make slam power attack instead of a charge if it frenzies. Follow Up allows it to move directly up to a model it hit and knocked back with a slam attack, which is really nice because Grand Slam lets it make slam attacks without being forces and models it slams are moved an additional 2" away.

The Gladiator's animus is Rush. It targets a friendly warbeast, including itself, and it gives +2" of movement and the Pathfinder ability.


Units

The Cataphract Incindiarii is a heavy-armored light mobile artillery. They are armed with an Incindus and an Incindus Blade. Both weapons causeThe Incindus causes the Continuous Effect: Fire when a model is hit by one of them. The Incindus is essentially a grenade launcher which is good at clearing out infantry by roasting them. The Incindus Blade is a decent melee weapon when they have to get into HtH combat. They have Combined Ranged Attack which lets them focus their fire on an target and gain pluses to hit and damage. They are also Fearless and have eight wounds each.

Praetorian Swordsmen are an offensive machine. They are armed with two swords and can attack with each of them separately, or use the Combo Strike to make one attack which is stronger. They have Penetrating Strike so when they hit they can just do one point of damage instead of rolling for damage against warbeasts and warjacks., which is a great way to weed out troopers. They also are granted Vengeance by Makeda, allowing them to be more mobile when they are being attacked by the enemy.

Paingiver Beast Handlers are included to handle the warbeasts. I know it's not obvious, but follow along and you'll see why the Beast Handlers are meant for that. The Beast Handlers are armed with a barbed whip which has Reach and Inflict Pain which lets it add or remove a fury point from a warbeast that is hit. This can be used mess with the enemy's plans for fury and can end up forcing beasts to rage. Like many support units, they have an ability that grants one of three options a turn to a faction warbeast. It is called Beast Manipulation and each beast can be the recipient of only one them a turn. The three possible actions are:

Condition allows them to place or remove any number of fury points from a warbeast.
Enrage gives a warbeast +2 STR and it must charge or make a slam or trample power attack without being forced during its next activation.
Medicate heals d3 damage points and can only be used once per turn on a beast.

The Paingiver Beast Handlers are also quite capable of whittling down enemy troops of the living persuasion because of their Anatomical Precision ability which lets them choose to do one point of damage after rolling for damage and not penetrating the target's armor.


Solos

Only Aptimus Marketh who is attached to Makeda's battlegroup.

Aptimus Marketh is character that is attached to the Warlock Warlock's battlegroup. His main purpose appears to be to cast one of Makeda's spells (including the animi from the warbeasts), which he can do once each turn. The strategy guide included in the box suggests casting the Titan Gladiator's Rush animus is the obvious choice, but that's against the rules. It is nice to see that even the publisher can sometimes get a rule wrong.

He also collects "soul tokens" when a friendly model is killed within 8" of him. He can use the soul tokens to increase his number of attacks, his chance to hit, or his damage. He can also use soul tokens in place of fury to maintain upkeep spells, which are spells that generally cost one fury/focus to keep going on turns after they are initially cast.


Summing it all up

The infantry of the Skorne does not get a lot of the bonuses that the Khador and Protectorate of Menoth units get. They are pretty much left to fend for themselves and the best strategy might be to use them to clear the way for Molik Karn, who does get all kinds of upgrades from others to move in and create mass amounts of havoc.

As I said above, Molik Karn is the missile. Here's what you need to do to launch him at his greatest capability.
• Be sure to have Makeda's Leash spell on him.
• Have Makeda or Aptimus Marketh cast the Titan Gladiator's Rush animus on him. (+2" of movement and Pathfinder.)
• Move Makeda towards the enemy, making sure Karn's target ends up in her control area if at all possible. Molik Karn then moves 3" towards Makeda. (+5" bonus movement so far.)
• Have Makeda cast Road to War (+2" movement -- +7" total)
• Have Makeda pop her feat (boosted attack rolls, immunity to free strikes).
• Enrage Karn with the Beast Handlers.
• Unleash the hounds!

Karn will be able to charge 13" from his starting spot, which is 3" closer than where he started. He has reach, so he can hit anything that is within 15" of where he charged from. Once he likely hits the first target with an initial sword attack, he can use Side Step to move 2" more, make another initial attack, move 2" more if he needs to, and he will still have all his fury, boosted melee attacks, and the ability to boost damage after seeing what was rolled.

If, for some reason, he ends up with a couple fury left after making his power play, he can use his own Fate Walker on himself and make a full move to put himself in better position, though if you pull this off there is a good chance that the enemy just lost their warlock and the game.

And if that doesn't work you still have the Titan Gladiator which is capable of dealing out all kinds of damage and can be the target of the same spells and abilities used on Karn if he's not around.

Makeda can also perform quite well when making an assassination run against the other general because of the Engine of Destruction spell.

It appears to be a nice army built mostly around the Molik Karn missile tactic. Others can work, but this army doesn't feel as well-rounded as the first two I looked at. But does it need to be since it has the most powerful single tactic so far with enough support to clear out any annoying infantry and solos that might stand in the way.
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:45 pm
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