Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Khador isn't a warjack faction.

Many, many people say Khador isn't a warjack faction. I think I've hit my threshold with that. Yes, it's true that Khador lacks many options that can benefit wajacks, especially when compared with other factions. Yes, we lack light warjacks, and arc nodes. Yes, our RAT is four, and our DEF is typically ten.

When I read that, I can see why people wouldn't consider Khador as a warjack-friendly faction. Damn.

I plan on changing that. Apart from finally getting off my ass and ordering my Black Dragon Iron Fang Pikemen, I will be running more warjacks. I will probably set aside the Conquest for a while, and pick up a few Berserkers. They are focus-efficient, since they run or charge for free. This allows me to use my focus for buffs/debuffs. Also, my dream of running pVlad with a ton of Berserkers needs to become a reality.

All of this is assuming I don't get sucked into Warhammer Fantasy. The end times, man. The end times...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Impressions on Warmachine: Tactics

About a year ago, I backed the Kickstarter for Warmachine: Tactics. It was pretty exciting to see it fully fund in less than a day. In fact, I believe it may have funded faster than Reaper's last Bones release. Either way, it was exciting to see a game that I was interested in, since Privateer Press' initial attempt was kind of lame. A lot of people I know went in for beta access, and many of the other bells and whistles. I was a bit more conservative, and opted for the art work, and alternative color scheme...because the 5th Border Legion is the shizz. The game was slated for release in August 2014, so I kind of forgot about it, especially since I didn't opt for beta access.

Fast-forward to this summer, and the announcement of beta access. I was excited because I knew the game was right around the corner. Then I heard that there would be a slight delay. I can live with that, since I'd rather have a finished product that was delayed, than an on-time product that sucks. However, Privateer Press announced that those who backed the project through Kickstarter, but didn't get beta access would get "Backer Access." Sort of a beta-lite?

I downloaded it, and jumped right into a PvP game against a friend (Khador vs Cryx). I was immediately impressed with the graphics. While not 100% perfect, the detail is still really good. I also loved the camera. It is very easy to use, and allows you to zoom in for all of the individual action, or out to take in the grand scale of a game. I was slightly disappointed that I could only choose Sorscha from the start. No offense to her, because she's a very good warcaster, but I prefer a more melee-centric warcaster. Still, she offered an interesting counter to my opponent's choice of Deneghra.

My initial warjack options were...interesting. I had the choice of a Juggernaut and a Marauder. I have honestly never used my Marauder in the tabletop game. In fact, it's not even assembled. Yes, people do seem to be a fan of it. I still prefer a Juggernaut or a Berserker hands down. I took a Juggernaut and a Marauder for the first game though. I planned on using the Marauder to block LOS, and to be a shield for Sorscha. I then turned my attention to infantry "units." Each character/warrior in the game is considered a "unit." It's not something I'm a fan of, because spells that affect a unit will only benefit/hinder a single character. I know it's a limitation of translating a tabletop game to a video game format, but it is still a little frustrating. Although, to compensate, units have some innate abilities that they would only receive through unit/weapon attachments in the tabletop version. For example, a Winter Guard unit has the option of a normal ranged attack, or the special "grape shot." In the tabletop version, they would only have the option of grape shot with a Winter Guard Standard Bearer. So, it's a weird trade-off, but it seems to work.

The game plays like a standard turn-based tactic game. In this, it's similar to the tabletop. Dice rolls are handled automatically. I'm sure that may piss off the purists, but I enjoyed it. Spells look really, really nice. Sorscha's Fog of War, and her feat were especially well done. I noticed a few bugs where defeated/dead characters disappeared from the game, but seemed to remain in other matches. I reported those bug, and I assume others have as well, so it shouldn't make it into the final version. I was bothered by the lack of chat options. Relying on Steam's in-game chat is frustrating, because I have to pause the game in order to interact. While it would be nice to have an integrated voice-chat option, I'd settle for text-based. Hell, even pre-scripted like in Hearthstone. I see the game as a great way to introduce people to the tabletop experience, but I can't do that if I can't communicate with them.

Overall, the game was fun. There are a few issues here and there, but many of them will be resolved as development on the game wraps up. For the others, it's easy to run a voice-chat server, and just invite an opponent into it. I'm eagerly anticipating the game's release, along with additional factions...and the eventual Hordes expansion.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Battle Report: Khador (pVlad) vs. Retribution of Scyrah (Rahn) - 50pts.

Yes, it's been far too long since I've posted anything. Divorce will do that to you. That being said, let's get to the battle report...

I had wanted to build a new eButcher list that incorporates my new Spriggan. However, it's been far too long since I've had a change to play, so I thought I'd fall back on my typical pVlad list. I tweaked it to include Malakov and a Conquest. The new normal for Warmahordes will be to field a colossal/gargantuan, so I might as well use mine. Plus, Malakov really makes it shine with his four focus and Redline spell.

My list consisted of the following:

  • Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Prince
    • War Dog
    • Drago
  • Kovnik Andrei Malakov
    • Conquest
  • Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
  • Winter Guard Infantry (full)
    • Winter Guard Officer & Standard Bearer
    • Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeer
  • Yuri the Axe
  • Manhunter
  • Widowmakers
  • Widowmaker Marksman
  • Kell Bailoch
He was running this (I believe):
  • Adeptis Rahn
    • Chimera
    • Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker
  • Elara, Tyro of the Third Chamber
    • Hyperion
  • Dawnguard Sentinels
    • Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard Bearer
  • House Shyeel Magister
  • House Shyeel Battle Mages
  • Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
  • Mage Hunter Assassin
  • Mage Hunter Assassin
  • Arcanist
I think there might have been another Arcanist, but I don't fully remember. Adding one more would bring that list to fifty points, so it was probably in there. Although, I might have a few of the units off. I'll find out, and update this post so it's more accurate. Honestly, I haven't played many games against Retribution. I know that they can be a real pain with their shields, and to never let the assassin get a good charge on you.

We rolled, and I won. I opted to go second. He placed an Assassin on each flank with Eiryss on one side of that, and the Battle Mages near the other. I have to say that I was fairly concerned at this point because I know I'm going to need to concentrate on taking them out. The Hyperion was in the center with the Sentinels on one side and the Chimera on the other. His warcaster was behind the colossal.

The terrain consisted of a few forests on the flanks, some hills, and one obstruction on a flank. We were playing the hardcore scenario, so the center was left open.

I deployed the Widowmakers, Yuri, and the Manhunter on the side with Eiryss and the Assassin. I then placed the Marksman and Kell on the side with the other Assassin and the Battle Mages. The rest kind of mirrored his with the Conquest in the middle, Malakov behind that, pVlad on the side with Drago and the dog, and the semi-Deathstar on the other side of the Conquest.


He ran nearly everything up into a better position, and walked the rest. He dropped Polarity Shield on the Hyperion, and used Telekinesis to move the Chimera into a better position. He popped Force Field, and ended his turn.

I ran Yuri and the Manhunter into the forest. I then moved the Widowmakers into a better position, and tried to take a few shots at the Sentinels. I was just short. The Marksman and Kell moved up, and took a few shots. Kell just barely missed the roll against DEF, but the Marksman took out a Sentinel. The WGI and company Bobbed & Weaved up. Kovnik Joe dropped Fearless and Tough on them. The Conquest moved up, and took a sounding shot at the Chimera. It just barely missed the mark. Since Force Field was up, he put the deviation direction towards pVlad and the dog. Luckily, I rolled low. Drago ran.


Shit got real, son. Spells were upkept. The Assassin charged Yuri, and killed him. He used Chain Blast through the Chimera to kill three of four Widowmakers. Luckily, I passed the command check. The other Assassin charged the Marksman...and missed. The Sentinels and Battle Mages repositioned. The Hyperion moved up into the zone, and Rahn inched his was around.

I had the Marksman move closer to the Assassin, and killed it. The remaining Widowmaker took out a Sentinel. I had the Marksman try to kill the other Assassin in melee. Sadly, with a MAT of four, he wasn't able to do much. Kell sacrificed his movement to take out to Battle Mages. The WGI moved in, and sprayed several Sentinels and a random Battle Mage. I took out his Standard Bearer with the spray too. I had pVlad cast Blood of Kings, then Boundless Charge on Drago. He then moved up with the War Dog leading. I had the Conquest run to reach the zone. Drago then activated and charged the Chimera. I was just barely out of melee with enough room for the Chimera to move around, and have LOS on pVlad.

At this point, I was pretty sure he had the game.


He asked if I wanted to just play it out, or if I wanted him to go for the assassination. I told him to play it like he plans for the upcoming Coal & Claw tournament in Dallas. He opted for assassination. He did not upkeep his spells. He then had the Assassin reposition, and was able to just barely tag Kovnik Joe. It was more than enough to slay the brave Kovnik. The Sentinels moved in to chop at the Conquest. They did a bit of damage, but nothing to really impact it. He then positioned the Chimera to have LOS to pVlad. Rahn then popped his feat, and the pain train rolled into the station...except, it didn't. With Blood of Kings up, he was unable to exceed my DEF. He blew all of his focus trying to get over my DEF, with no success. He then had the Battle Mages attack. Only one was able to hit pVlad, and did a measly one point of damage.

I took a deep breath, and allocated a focus to Drago, and had Malakov allocate three to the Conquest. I then had the Manhunter charge Eiryss and kill her. The last Widomaker took a shot at his Arcanist(?) and killed it. I had pVlad cast Blood of Kings, Boundless Charge on Drago, feat, then move up to kill a Sentinel. Since he has Blood Boon, he cast Wind Wall just because he could. Drago then charged Rahn, taking a free-strike from the Hyperion. The Hyperion did minor damage. Drago's first hit took Rahn to one box, and his second initial sealed the deal.

I'm still floored at what happened. If I had been playing a different warcaster, he would have been able to hit me, toss my warcaster into the Conquest, thus knocking it down. The Battle Mages would then have been able to kill me on his feat turn. This is why I love pVlad so much. He doesn't have the over-the-top aggression that the Butchers have, or the army support that you see in an Irusk or Sorscha. What he does have is the ability to become near-impossible to take out. Throw in Drago and the War Dog, and you have this little nugget of awesomesauce.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Malakov has arrived...

Kovnik Andrei Malakov...an up-and-coming star in the ever-expanding Khadoran Empire. He's young, he's arrogant, and like other Khador models, he has the potential to hit like a truck. Malakov is Khador's newest (and only) journeyman warcaster and is part of their new "Vengeance" expansion. I received mine as part of the kickstarter for the new Warmachine: Tactics game. The kickstarter offered different sculpts, which was a good incentive for me to pick it up.

As you can see, Privateer Press did not skimp on their packaging. Only the highest quality manila packaging for us high-quality Khador players. All joking aside, Privateer Press actually packs their miniatures very well. Their blisters are pretty solid, and handle shipping like a pro. I always keep mine in case I sell off any minis, and need to ship them.

He comes with the "gold bordering" so you know that he is limited edition. My Conquest has one as well, along with a regular card for everyday use. His stats are decent, but I am slightly disappointed by the low health. Although, I don't think he'll get much action on the front lines. For now, I'll be having him marshal a Conquest in my pVlad list. It allows Vlad and Drago to do what they do best, and have the Conquest back them up (especially with Malakov's Redline) if things get real.

He's a fairly solid model with no bends in the arm, and very little flash. The pose is pretty sweet as well.

There's also a limited edition coin, or as people who are desperate for attention call them: shinies

So...yup, that's about it. I'll be assembling and priming him this weekend, and looking over color schemes. I'll probably use the same colors for both Malakov and pIrusk. They both seem to have that similar military elitism.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Battle Report: High Command (Hordes)

Hot on the heels of High Command: Warmachine, comes High Command: Hordes. Overall, I've heard positive things about both card games, and recently picked up the Warmachine version for myself. A friend of mine was tapped to write up a review on the Hordes version for BoLS. We've logged some games, but tonight was a full four-player match, so I thought I'd write up my thoughts on it.

You have your choice of four different Hordes faction: Legion of Everblight, Skorne, Circle Orboros, and Trollbloods. Sadly, no love for the Minions fans. Privateer Press did a really good job of emulating the "feel" of the tabletop faction in High Command. Skorne feels...like Skorne. Your army cards are expensive, so you tend to be a little slow to develop. However, once you are ready to deploy, you hit like a truck and are difficult to remove. Legion is very similar to their tabletop counterpart. They have strong warbeasts, and are loaded with shenanigans...because they're cheaty. Circle is very close to the tabletop version. Army cards have a low cost, and you can move things around quickly. Trolls...well, we didn't actually play Trolls. Meh, I probably wasn't missing much.

So, I was able to get four people together. The faction breakdown looked like this:

  • Me - Circle Orboros
  • Jon - Legion of Everblight
  • Anthony - Skorne
  • BJ - Cryx

BJ wanted some of that hot, Cryx action, and there was no way I could refuse a follower of the Dragonfather.

The first few rounds were fairly typical. We covered the basic rules for Anthony and BJ. Forgot a few key rules, remembered a few rules, etc. I was able to pick up a bunch of cards for my deck, since Circle can be cheap. After that, all of us tried to start building some type of strategy. One of the things I like about the game is how you can tweak your strategy on the fly. You choose several decks to make up your army deck and reserves deck. Each one has slightly different cards. During the game, you have a fair amount of flexibility in what you choose to deploy. This can be beneficial as the game progresses and plans/strategies change.

Things picked up mid-game with Jon and I trying to contest each other's locations in order to prevent each other from winning. This worked well, but also allowed Anthony and BJ free reign of the remaining locations. Also, warlocks were now being deployed, and shit got real.

The final few rounds of the game went fast. We'd nearly used up our locations. The current Winds of War card allowed everyone to bank more than one card for the next turn. There was a tremendous amount of excitement over this. I had Mohsar waiting in the wings though, which would have caused everyone (besdies me) to discard two cards. This would have painted a huge target on my back, but I was hoping to screw up any late-game plans. Sadly, my plans did not work out. We ran out of location cards, and the game ended. After tallying the points, the results were the following:

  • Me - 19 points
  • Jon - 22 points
  • Anthony - 33 points
  • BJ - 32 points

So, while Jon and I were busy focusing on each other, Anthony and BJ quietly amassed a ton of victory points. I'll make sure to watch them more closely in the future. At the end of the day, High Command will never "replace" tabletop Warmachine/Hordes for me. It will be a great supplement though. I'm excited to see how the expansion sets add depth and replayability to the game.

Monday, December 30, 2013

40K Kill Team

So, it's been a fairly busy few months since my last post.

I picked up the updated rules for Kill Team for 40K. It was part of Black Library's digital Advent thing. I really don't have the time/money to fully invest in 40K. As much as I love the lore, I cannot find the time to play a full 1500 point game. Hell, I can barely find the time to play Warmachine anymore. I'd love to be able to scratch-build a few Stompa's for Apocalypse, but I know I'd never really find the time to enjoy it. That's why Kill Team is so great. I can easily play a 200 point game. I have more than enough Orks and Space Marines for it. With a minimal investment, I could even field some Chaos or Tau. This is definitely on my agenda for the new year.

As I said before, time has been an issue these last few months. When I have had the chance to play Warmachine, I've been using a proxy of Butcher 3. When it is finally available, I will own him. He is one of the best warcasters I have played in a long time. He supports his troops better than eButcher and can seal the deal by giving out grievous wounds. I used to have issues with Hordes players. Not anymore. Now all Khador needs is a light warjack with an arc node...

Speaking of Warmachine, Privateer Press recently announced the date and prices for Lock & Load 2014. The price has gone up a few dollars, which isn't too bad. However, it will not be at the Red Lion this year. I am a bit disappointed by this, because the new location is not on the train route. Also, it appears that food options are a bit limited. I'm happy that there will be more space available, but I may end up spending more on food and transportation, if I choose to attend.

I have gotten into Infinity recently, but have not dedicated the time to it that I'd like. It's fast-paced, and very reactive. There is still a defined "turn" in the game, but the opposing player can react to the other player's actions. The games are fast as well. The only caveat to it is that model point cost is freaking weird. As in, Europe's love of soccer and/or cricket weird. Shit does not add up very well. I don't know if they converted it from metric or not, but Corvus Belli needs to spend some time addressing this.