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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Help Bobby learn to play Menoth, or “Forcing an idiot focus!”

Bobby Warren
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Since I am getting back into playing Warmachine and trying a new faction, I thought I would ask for some help. I posted the following on the Privateer Press forums and thought I would cross-post here with some minor edits.

Help Bobby learn to play Menoth, or “Forcing an idiot focus!”

I’m looking for advice on how to best learn to be an effective Protectorate of Menoth player. They look like the best faction to learn the intricacies of playing of the game and for recognizing and using the synergies of the game. I've never been good at staying with one faction or warcaster to really learn how to play and hope I can use the launch of the new edition to get better experience and learn how to make the game work for me.

About my experience.

I never played Warmachine MK1. I bought some mercenary figures, but after having some issues with building some of the warjacks, I opened the infantry models and was completely irritated by the sheer number of parts for the grunts that I gave up painting and building minis for a long time.

By the time of Warmachine MK2, I had come back into minis for smaller games, like Malifaux (speaking of difficult minis). A friend mentioned how most of the warjacks were now plastic. I got sucked in and we played it occasionally. I focused on Khador, with some Rhulics, then picked up some Gatormen and then a lot of Trolls.

I picked up the two-player box and was going to give the Protectorate figures to a friend out of state when I visited but he wasn’t interested. I ended up giving them, with a Choir and Vassal, to a friend here while another friend gave a bunch of old Cryx to someone else to try and get some in the board game group interested. It worked a little. The Menoth player’s family growth led to us seeing him less and less, and the others just weren’t as committed. That meant I played games against one guy who had played since MK1 most of the time and usually got my rear handed to me. Not that I am complaining. Well, except about Thagrosh 2 and MK2 Everblight. Khador I was happy to lose to, but I hated seeing him bring the Legion.

When the all-in-one boxes came out, I had extra hobby money available and ended up getting all of them. I got the core eight built and painted and ran out of steam at the Retribution which is mostly built. The idea was to have full armies that would get some of the slightly interested parties to play. (Protectorate-related, I also grabbed the two-player figures again because they were cheap and used the extra bits from the all-in-one to make Templar instead of a second Vanquisher.)

In the end I managed to get in six whole games with the boxes.

I recorded all my plays on the Board Game Geek.

All my Warmachine games played:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/plays/thing/67254?userid=1269

All my Hordes plays:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/plays/thing/74771?userid=1269

A new edition

Now is Warmachine MK3 (which is still not approved and in the database). I am ready to play with people outside of my group. This might fail because I generally have a problem playing against tournament players because of their bad behavior. I just want to have fun. I also am easily irritated by a lot of people. I am not a real social person.

My problems learning the game and playing it well was the limited pool of players. I never learned how to best use the tricks of the system to my advantage. I really wanted to like the Trollbloods, but couldn’t make them work for me. I found the Krielstone to be a huge area of irritant in the middle of my forces that didn’t feel like it gave enough benefit for the points. But all the Troll players love it always take it. Trolls looked like the Protectorate of the Hordes side of things to me, which is another reason why I am going to try Menoth.

Since I already had a good start with the all-in-one and two-player figures, I thought it would be a good learning experience to play Menoth in a Journeyman league since they were all about the stacking buffs. Plus, I already had a bunch of warjacks, the Choir and a Vassal, and their awesome Exemplar Errants. I had also picked up a unit of the Knights Exemplar.

I picked up some extra figures for the league and because I can’t always help myself on eBay, but am at a spending stand-still for a little while. I’d like to use what I have for now. I’d also like to stay with Malekus when I have the chance to switch casters, just so I am forces to work out better strategies with him. One of my issues with the game is it is easy to drop one caster to move onto another because there is always something greener over the fence.

Some thoughts on the Protectorate of Menoth

Not having a lot of accurate range seems to be the biggest issue facing the faction, especially with Cygnar and the good guns that Khador has in MK3. While there are some good Protectorate warjacks with ranged weapons, they look to be hard to integrate in the Journeyman league because of the way the points are added. I suspect that having a character warjack or two might also be important for the faction down the road. Overall, I like the MK2 box over the new one but believe Malekus can be a useful warcaster and the Castigator is a decent second heavy for him to have in his battle group.

The Journeyman League


The battlebox game looks a little tough. I have a slow heavy that is not as good as the other factions’ heavies. Malekus is not a big spell caster so the arc node (which Khador and the Rhules have not prepared me to play) isn’t much of a help, but he looks like he might be one of the better melee casters in the group from the battleboxes.

I have limited experience using light warjacks other than the gun bunnies that are position and shoot.

After skimming the forums, it looks like I would want to use the terrain to force the other players to move into me, hopefully goading them into a funnel so I can take on one at a time. Or have a free-for-all and engage their jacks/beasts and hope Malekus can eliminate their caster.

Khador looks like the toughest match in Week 1. I have their battlebox and Koslov is not a good one-on-one match-up with Malekus. My thought would be running Repenter around the heavies to try and do some damage (or kill him outright) before Makekus could take him on.

Week 2

I was initially going to add a Devout, but looking at the box and the challenges, I am leaning towards adding the Crusader for some punch. I’ll still be slow, but only Cryx looks like they can add a heavy.

Week 3

The Choir and a unit of Knights Exemplar look like my best option. I thought about adding a minimum unit of Exemplar Errants, but they just aren’t as useful as they used to be. This is when the army starts to feel like it is meant to. I have the Choir to help the warjacks.

Week 4

I plan to reduce the Choir to a minimum unit, add the Exemplar Cinerators, the Vassal, the Vassal Mechanik, and the Covenant.

Week 5

I was originally planning to add the Reckoner. I was running a point short because of the Devout but since replacing it with the Crusader, I now have 15 points to work with instead of 16. Unfortunately, 15 points doesn’t seem to be enough to work with to deal with my dearth of ranged attacks, unless I want to toss in a Redeemer for 11 to get the inaccurate ranged attacks. Luckily, I will have some time to see what is being played before making the final decision.

Week 6

I was going to add a minimum unit of Exemplar Errants but now I am not sure and will probably have a better idea after a couple of weeks of the league.


Advice?

This is where you come in. Any advice on playing the box? Are there tricks I should use and traps I can avoid? I plan on posting my experiences and what I learned, so hopefully the experienced folks will tell me how I am being a huge idiot and how I am doing it wrong or how I could improve on what I am doing.

Thanks in advance to anyone who has read this and is even thinking about offering advice.


Available Forces

Just as a reference for anyone who cares, here are the forces I have to work with here in the desert.

Unpainted figures are in italics. I just picked up another battlegroup from the two-player box for less than the cost of a new heavy – these are not included and are unassembled.

I don’t want to spend more money unless I really have to. Things I am currently willing to buy and might on a whim in the near future are some Wracks, a second Mechanik, and maybe a second Vassal. If I make it through the league and am still playing, I will look at other ways to expand as well. I picked up Amon because of all the jack-heavy lists I’ve seen with him and because the store had him and he was not too expensive. I am a little impulsive on my purchases.

Warcasters: Malakus, Kreoss1, Severius1, Amon.

Light Warjacks: Devout, Redeemer, Repenter x2 (1 unpainted), Revenger.

Heavy Warjacks: Castigator, Crusader, Reckoner, Templar, Vanquisher.

Units: Choir of Menoth, Daughters of the Flame, Exemplar Cinerators, Exemplar Errants w/Officer & Standard, Knights Exemplar x2 (one unpainted).

Solos: Covenant of Menoth, Exemplar Errant Seneschal, Hierophant, Knights Exemplar Seneschal, Paladin of the Order of the Wall, Vassal Mechanik, Vassal of Menoth.

Mercenaries

Units: Dannon Blythe & Bull, Herne and Jonne, Horgenhold Artillery Corps, Horgenhold Forge Guard, Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt, Ogrun Assault Corps.

Solos: Eiryss1, Eiryss2, Gorman Di Wulfe, Lord Rockbottom, Rhupert Carvolo.
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Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:56 am
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The return of steam and fury!

Bobby Warren
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Warmachine and Hordes are back on my radar. (The latest editions are not yet in the database.)

Privateer Press released new editions late last month, retooling the game. Besides the core rulebooks for each game, they released a battle group starter box for each of the main armies that includes a warcaster or warlock and their battle groups and decks of army stat cards, which update all the released models to the new edition.

The awesome thing about these starters is they literally come with everything a new player would need to learn to play the game and have a small starter force with which to use when playing. Included in the box is a digest-size rulebook, which has all the rules. The book doesn’t include the fluff that the full book has nor does it include the huge chunk of army stats included in each book.

The box also has 10 focus/fury tokens and three spell tokens that are the same quality as the tokens they sell for each faction, though these are generic. The down side is they are a dark gray and any writing on the spell tokens with an erasable marker is going to be hard to read. There is also four dice (a nice quality), a laminated paper ruler, a 2’ x 2’ map that can be used when playing a smaller game (like battle box against battle box), a training manual which has a bunch of scenarios laid out to teach game concepts, and a faction-specific booklet.

The map is two-sided and has marks on one side that correspond to the training manual scenarios so it can be used to walk through the training using the models. The training manual has paper templates spray and area effect in it that are used in the game. These can be copied or cut out.

The faction booklet has a short story, tactics advice for using the figures in the box, a recommended army list to grow the force into, and a second army list using many of the same figures with a different warcaster/warlock. There is also a section on how to paint the figures to match the official studio style.

The starters retail for $40, which is 20% less than the previous starters which really only included the figures and none of the other goodies. I know a lot of people that would pay $15 or $20 just to have the rules digest. They are an amazing deal and really do included everything someone would need to learn to play the game.

I’ve picked up five of the faction decks and broke down and bought the Khador starter because I wanted to get their new warcaster. I built the figures the day I got them and they are in the mail to be painted.

Mike and I have been talking and e-mailing about the new edition, just as he’s also been reinvigorated to play Guild Ball and has bought another faction for that game to try. So it looks like I will be playing some miniatures in the future. From famine to feast.

I’m even considering playing with the unwashed masses (i.e., you and the rest of the public shake) if the Game Depot runs events.

One thing I learned which might interest experienced players. If your store ordered the pre-order launch kit they received a box of cards for the units that they can give out when they sell a figure so people buying the figures which were produced before the current release can get the current cards for the models. So when buying from your FLGS, ask if they have the current cards for figures.
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Fri Jul 8, 2016 3:10 am
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Painted minis and too many armies!

Bobby Warren
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As anyone (you know, the three of you) who regularly check out my musings knows, I've been buying all the limited army boxes released by Privateer Press for the Warmachine family of games. All of them. Eleven of them.

There's one problem with getting so many miniatures. I gave up painting a long time ago. I can do it and am not too bad. I was even paid a couple of times to paint for others. But I came to hate doing it. So now I pay people.

Currently, and for the last few years, I've been using Ken of Rogues Gallery Productions. I found him when I bought some figures off someone on eBay and asked who painted them because one of the figures needed touching up. He does really nice table-top quality paint jobs at a very fair price.

Over the years we've chatted through e-mail as well and he's a great guy. I'm pretty sure he's not a BGG user, so I wanted to toot his horn here and direct any of you who were looking for minis painters over to his Facebook page.

I know he's looking for more work right now as he finishes up my Circle Orboros army for Hordes along with some extras from the Two-player Battle Box. Those are the pictures I've spread through here which I just pulled off his page.

When these are done and in my sweaty hands, I will have the core eight factions painted with three more to go. I have a couple of minor things to finish building the Retribution of Scyrah army, the Convergence of Cyriss and Cephalyx armies are sitting in the boxes demanding to be built. I looked at some of the Cephalyx figure in blisters on the wall at the store this past weekend and really, really don't want to mess with the abundance of tiny metal arms on a few of the figures.

Ken's also painted Dreadball, Warpath, Guild Ball, Relic Knights, Pathfinder figures we use for the card game and some others I am sure I am forgetting.

I've also used regular BGG poster Michael Jordal for a couple of figures (awesome job!) and Euen McMurry, who painted most of my Trollbloods figures and a Malifaux crew. You couldn't go wrong with hiring any of them to do your painting.
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Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:43 am
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Awesome Terrain

Bobby Warren
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I was looking for some neoprene mouse material to make myself some terrain to use for Guild Ball to represent rough ground or slick ground since most 3D terrain can make it hard to move figures or can eve make it impossible for some to stand on. Plus, the neoprene would be easier to transport.

Someone on the Guild Ball forums pointed me to the Neoprene Terrain and Zone Kit for Warmachine and Hordes Kickstarter which ends in about a month and they plan on shipping in November.

You can choose to order just the terrain or the zones, or combine them and save a little cash.

I just wanted to point it out for the more casual mini gamers who might not have heard it about it yet.

The terrain is pictured below.

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Wed Sep 2, 2015 3:46 am
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AiO Battle 05: Fell Call of the Wild

Bobby Warren
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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
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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
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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
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Glendale
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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
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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
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Glendale
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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 Mike's 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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