NC Gunbunnies Blog

Bringing Page 5 to the Old North State.

Live and Let Die

Posted By on April 14, 2014

Last Saturday held witness to short but odd little tournament. We only had 6 players, not quite enough to be a Qualifier, so a Qualifier will be rescheduled for this summer.

We were fortunate to have been raided by 2 awesome guys from Wilmington: Matt and John. I made a booboo during second round pairings and they faced each other. They can do that any old day. Sorry guys.

I chose the No Caster Kill format to encourage people to take models/units that don’t normally see table time. I don’t think it worked.I chose timed turns because it’s funny to watch grown men panic over tiny metal figurines.

If you’d like to check out the player lists, they’re here.

Unfortunately we had to stop after round 2 due to multiple, family related drops. Fortunately, the gents unanimously decided to determine winners based off the standings at the time. Due to Dav2k5 and Twity both having two wins, the tiebreaker came down to Control Points.

1st Place: Twity 10 CP
2nd Place: Dav2k5 8 CP
3rd Place: Matt 5CP

 

Jacking In: Cygnar

Posted By on February 13, 2014

Unemployment plus being snowed-in equals a brand new segment about running warjack heavy.

Today, I want to talk about everybody’s favorite starter army. Now, you can find plenty of discussion and army lists about your Nemos, Caines, Strykers,  and Haileys on the Privateer Press forums and abroad. Occasionally, people will chat about Seige, Sloan and Kraye is always a favorite for jack running due to granting Cav rules, but you will almost never hear about Darius. I find this incredibly unusual as he is a fabulous jack runner. He meets all the criteria: battlegroup spells, jack specific abilites and upkeeps and a feat that’s specific to warjacks. The only reasons I can think of why people don’t play him often are that Cygnar players don’t play jack heavy or Darius’ abilities are too localized. Let’s take a look anyways.

To start out with, he’s easy to hit but hard to kill: 13/18 with 22 life boxes. He’s not a great fighter but if his weapons hit, they hurt. He has the same hammer as an Ironclad and his gun is RNG 12 AOE 4 POW 13. At focus 6 he’s nothing to write home about, so far, but when you flip over his card he has quite a few nice tricks. For starters, he gets to put out a bodging mine at the end of his Control phase, for a total of 3. As a star action he can immediately stand up anything within 2″ and then place one model 1″ away from its current position. Oh, and he has the Repair action. That’s right, he can repair his own jacks without spending any fury… er, focus.

His spell list is lovely. Full throttle lets all of his warjacks run/charge/slam or trample for free and all their melee attack rolls are boosted. It’s half his focus to use this spell so you wouldn’t do it if you only had one or two jacks. This is the kind of spell that gets better the more jacks you have in the army. That kind of scaling is why Darius wants a proverbial a wall of jacks, which leads me to his next spell: Fortify. It grants 2 arm to a warjack in his battlegroup and both that model and anything in base-to-base with it cannot be pushed, slammed or knocked down. This is how Darius can safely sit behind a bunch of heavies and the only way anyone can get to him is with Acrobatics, Flight, Phantom Seeker or a few other obscure abilites. Jackhammer lets a warjack make out of turn attacks (for a total of 6-7 depending on the warjack and full focus).

What does one take with a caster like this? Well, obviously you want as many melee attacks as possible to make the most of Full Throttle, but I want to say two Stormwalls. You see, with Darius and his scrapjacks, you can heal both colossals to full health on his feat turn. If all 3 scrapjacks are out, you can heal up two other jacks as well. If your opponent does not completely wipe out the colossals, any effort they put into damaging them is gone the moment Darius super repairs. Darius doesn’t even have to do it himself. The scrapjacks are solos, which means they can move as far up field as you need them to and at speed 6, you can heal at least X number of warjacks anywhere in his control area. Other great additions to his battlegroup include the Ironclad, Ole Rowdy, Gallant, Thunderhead, Stormclad and the Hammersmith.

We could debate about which attachment to take, the Squire or Sylys, but as most games don’t make it past turn 3, the only real difference is whether you want an extended control area or an extra 2″ range on spells. As I would be playing Darius fairly close to all the warjacks, the extra range would mitigate the need for an arc node.

To round out the list, one could take Stormsmiths to utilize the Stormwall’s lightning pods and I dare say this is an opportunity for the Trenchers to shine. Picture this: two Stormwalls with an assortment of heavies interspersed between them, marching down the field. Smoke clouds conceal their advance. And what’s this? ROF 3 jackmarshalled grenadiers popping 3″ AOEs over the Stormwalls to take out any pesky high DEF infantry?

Not convinced? I tried. Someday little Trenchies, some day.

Strange Synergies Episode 3: The Minioning

Posted By on February 12, 2014

Waaaaaaaay back in 2012 I promised a blog about nothing but Skorne and Minions. I wanted to let some time pass to see if PP would add any more models for me to yap about but their releases have been plagued by re-releases of existing things in plastic, so I’ll just go ahead and babble about what’s out. I’ve already covered Bog Trogs and Gatormen and Slaughterhauser are fine no matter what you do with them, so I’ll focus on a seemingly less powerful unit.

As previously mentioned, Skorne is the most minion friendly of the “core” factions. Skorne has also suffered from something known as Skornergy.

Skorn·er·gy

1. A spell, feat, action or ability that appears to have synergy with another of the same, but is, in fact, incompatible or, in some instances, conflicting with another of the same.

It was a lot worse in MK I but the term currently stems from the interactions between Mordikaar’s Hollow and Essence Blast spells, or Hollow and Soul Guardian/Gatekeeper, Zaal’s Last Stand and Soul Guardian/Gatekeeper or the fact that Immortals need Ancestral Guardians for the speed boost, but Ancestral Guardians want nothing to do with Immortals as they do not provide souls. One could also make a case for Impervious Flesh not really protecting Rasheth with a whopping DEF 10 ARM 14, Vorkesh’s Spell ward or the Siege Animantarax  but that’s outside the scope of what I’m getting at. You see, Skorne used to be a wierd combination of Protectorate and Cryx with the whole self-flagellation, soul manipulation and fist-to-face fighting style. The problem was that spells and abilities that require(d) self-harm or the death of one’s own models neverquite matched the benefit gained. There was no recycling abilities like with Alexia and Cryx corpse/soul collection or the forthcoming Alexia/Cephalyx/Drudge and Thrall factory I predict will take place.

This problem appears to be, somewhat, remedied by the inclusion of the Gatorman Bokur and Swamp Shamblers unit. For the uninitiated, they behave  like pAlexia’s Risen: when a living model dies in the command of the unit leader, that model receives a corpse token which creates more grunts for the unit. The important bit is that the corpse is created regardless of how the model is destroyed. Soul Guardian and Gatekeeper both rely on the opponent to destroy a model, but the Gatorman just doesn’t care. This means both Essence Blast and Last Stand trigger corpse creation.

Additionally, the Task Master can make the Shambler’s Tough, so when the Bokur disseminates damage, the Grunts get to make a Tough roll to resist destruction. They also make great targets for Last Stand or Fury as they already have a laughably low DEF. This means with Xerxis/Taskmaster they are POW 13 or Zaal/Taskmster they are Weapon Masters with boosted To-Hit rolls and CMA that just keep coming back.

Unfortunately, that still leaves Hollow conflicting with Raise Dead.

F$#&ing Mordikaar, man.

 

The Gaggle of Griffons!

Posted By on September 10, 2013

 

Today our own Chris-Ret brings us a discussion of an increasingly popular Retribution of Scyrah list.  Griffons, Griffons, and MOAR GRIFFINZZZ!!!  Take it away, Chris!

 

Vyros

 

 

The List:
Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard +5
-Manticore 8
-Griffon 4
-Griffon 4
-Griffon 4
-Griffon 4
-Griffon 4
-Griffon 4
-Griffon 4
-Aspis 4
Destor Thane 4
Dawnguard Sentinels 9
-Dawnguard Officer and Standard 2
Arcanist
Arcanist

The General Rundown
eVyros’s tier gives every jack in his battlegroup a free focus for turn 1.  If fighting a heavy ranged army this means Vyros has focus left for deflection, if not, he has focus to give a few griffons an extra 2″ of movement.  The key to this list is jamming the zone with a bunch of higher armor light warjacks.  This list is fast, and by fast I mean REALLY fast.  eVyros will want his feat popped after his first turn, everything runs on turn 1 except big V himself who will charge 11″ after spellcasting and feat popping.  Sentinels are AD in the list so they’ll run up ahead of the rest of the army.  The glorious part about them is it doesn’t matter if they die at all.  Every Sentinel that dies moves a Griffon up further, every sentinel that lives is a donkey punch to somethings’ nuts.  Once the ranks have closed, Synergy abuse takes over, and removing armor cracking models becomes key.  Building up the Synergy chain the Manticore can go last for the biggest beatdown ever…

7 Griffons, an Aspis, and eVyros hitting gives +9 to attack rolls, an Arcanist adds 2 to the damage roll for a total of +11, the Manticore pumps its STR with the generator ability and you get to see a jack with effectively 15 MAT and P+S 29 swing 4 times.  It’s quite entertaining asking your opponent, “What’s your caster’s defense?”, getting an answer, “17″, and getting to say, “Not snakes to hit”.  Also, one-rounding ARM 20 colossals with 4 swings on less than average dice seems good.

The Good
Speed: This list is fast, Sentinels are on the opponent’s side of the board on turn one, as they die the griffons move up into position.  If the opponent is not in the zone on turn one with a lot of stuff, it will be a very fast game by scenario.  Also, it moves through terrain well because most of the models have built-in Pathfinder, and eVyros can give Pathfinder to the rest.

Armor: 244 boxes at ARM 18, 30 at ARM 16, eVyros at 15/18+overboosting and a shield guard to eat a shot.  This list will take a lot of punishment and while it’s not a brick, it will act like one with that many boxes to chew through.  Even more fun is that if a Griffon goes down, it’s now cover for the rest of the list.

Faaaalcon PUNCH!: MAT 15, P+S 29 finisher on a synergy chain is a little ideal, but the great part about it is, it costs 26 ARM 18 damage boxes to drop the MAT and P+S by 1.  Not to mention the damage the Griffons can do while building the chain.  Light jacks swinging for P+S 20 isn’t uncommon.

Threat Vectors: Synergy opens up a world of possibility.  This list has ultimate flexibility about where it wants to apply light, medium, and heavy POW damage just by switching up the order the jacks go in.  10 battlegroup models and any one of them on the caster at the end of a synergy chain is a dead caster.

The Bad
Skew Lists: This is probably one of the most skewed lists possible with Retribution.  Bane swarms with eat through the armor pretty easily, very high model count lists are hard because this is a low swing-count list like many warjack heavy ones, disruption on the key players can severely weaken the effectiveness of the finisher(s).

Ranged wha?: This list has 2 guns.  Reaching out and touching someone is not an option for this list, flanking models will likely not be targeted much, instead just soaking the damage and plowing through the center aiming for a scenario win.

The Ugly
One does not simply run many griffons…: With the models in this list, positioning, order of activations, and target priority are of absolute importance.  It isn’t a forgiving list.  Getting caught in a Tractor Field from Nemo2 because the front line was a hair too close together can easily cost the game, as can ordering Griffons to activate in the wrong order.  Also, it’s an arms race of who can kill the armor cracking of the other first.  If Griffons do die early, then the entire scheme falls apart as Synergy requires more models to be more effective.

In Conclusion
Similar lists have had a lot of success at Gencon, Nova Open, and other places.  It’s a hard counter to Lylyth2, which has traditionally been one of Ret’s worst match-ups and it really does a lot for the options Ret can bring.  The biggest drawback is that you’d be insane to run this many Griffons with any other caster… but fortunately [url=http://ncgunbunnies.org/forums/index.php/topic,2413.msg21139.html#new]they’re a ton of fun to mod and paint![/url]

Cheater Cheater, Pumpkin Eater… (but not intentionally)

Posted By on September 3, 2013

Until we work out some bugs with the blog and get others access, it looks like I have to post all the Blog articles…  :(

SO… Without further ado, here’s a real chin scratcher to mull over. PG Chris_Ret brings us some useful info about things to consider during our games.  Are you guilty of any of these?  Do you see it much in your opponents?

As I read it before posting it, I realized I am guilty of many of these unintentional ‘bad moves.’  And in fact I’ve already started to rectify my “Bakers Inch” problem.

Thanks, Chris, for pointing out many things we inadvertently bring into our games without realizing it.

 

cute-cheater-cat

 

How to Stop Cheating

Did you know you’re a cheater?  If you’re like me and most other players, you probably are thinking “BS!  I play by all the rules.” Let me preface this by also saying, you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it.  We all prefer clean, precise play when we’re throwing down whether it’s at a tournament, game night, or just messing around with friends.  One of the biggest draws is the rules, but players have an unconscious tendency to get sloppy and inadvertently cheat.

It should be noted that the purpose of this article isn’t to call individuals out about things, but rather to bring awareness of the issues to the minds of players.  I’ve spoken with several about some of these bad habits and without exception none of them realized they were doing it and once they realized what was happening they made some minor adjustments and I’ve never had to ask about it again.  I’m hoping this will provide “ah-ha” moments for others and let everyone enjoy a more quality experience.

The Baker’s Inch
Have you ever seen someone measure a movement they’re about to make, and notice the measuring tape moves while they’re relocating the model?  A SPD 6 model without reach miraculously succeeds at a charging a model 10.5 inches away?  Yep, it happens to all of us.  It’s due to a mechanism in the brain that allows us to make synchronous motions with both hands easily and it’s actually a little tricky to overcome.  Musicians are among the best at it, but it takes training to go from chopsticks (synchronous hand movements) to Fur Elise (very much asynchronous hand movements).

How can you stop cheating here?  The easiest way I’ve found is to hold your tape measure like a stereotypical high-society snob holds a wine glass… pinky finger extended, and plant your pinky on the board.  It will help you train your brain to not move the hand that holds the measuring device and help keep it more steady at the same time.

Banana Charge!
Silly and tasty as it sounds, it’s actually something that can win and lose games.  Can that model thread the needle and get the charge on the caster?  Does that model have a legal charge on it’s target that is behind another model?  Finding the angle that gets you into melee range and doesn’t clip another base can be tricky and many times when it’s close we just go ahead and move the model and adjust as needed to get it in melee range.  Straight lines are really hard to draw, and just as hard to move a model in and sometimes we move models in ways that aren’t strictly legal but once they’re moved there’s no way to undo the movement precisely.

What stops banana charges in their tracks?  Proxy bases!  Keeping an extra base of each size around lets you plant the base where you want to charge, then check if it’s a good charge.  The model is still in its original position so if the charge is illegal it can be tried again or adjusted so that it works.

Wait, what happened last turn?
Things can get loud at a game store.  Distractions are plenty.  Maybe your opponent didn’t hear you say you were using your feat, or casting an upkeep on a model.  Maybe you were planning to use something but someone came over to talk to you briefly and afterwards you forgot it wasn’t done already.  With the hundreds of effects that can modify how models interact with each other, the game certainly isn’t doing players any favors and mistakes happen.  The problem is when these things happen they can severely impact the game and often cause resentment between players, sometimes going so far as accusations of cheating.

Care to skip the drama?  The easiest way is to make sure you mark EVERY bonus that one of your models confers on another.  Token sets, paper, rocks with writing on them.  Any of these things can save a massive headache when your opponent asks what bonuses your models have and you can point to the token.  It’s also extremely helpful if you have a dispute with your opponent you can show the TO that you had the effect present as the TO can’t watch every game and if it isn’t marked on the table, there’s no way for him or her to know what happened the previous turn.

The Military Ball
Ever watch a military unit go out dancing?  Maybe not in the real world, but almost certainly on the table.  Units move around, charge, run, but have you ever noticed that players sometimes dance around between models to adjust them for best possible placement?  Charges are especially guilty of this, and it can be very important as adjustments will sometimes cause illegal charges (though few actually realize that).

The rules state that each model moves one by one, once it completes its movement it stays where it is.  The biggest thing you can do is hold yourself to that, even in casual play.  It’s fun doing more damage, but at the same time, it’s still cheating at your opponent’s expense.  Take an extra second to consider the order that models charge and think about how the first guy to charge can block charge angles of the next ones.

I’m gonna measure…
Measuring is something required for many actions in the game, but here’s a fun fact, did you know you can’t measure your weapon’s RNG when you make an action from range?  How often have players measured the full 12″ to find that their target is 9″ away?  This one catches even experienced players off-guard, and is typically even harder for them to fix as they’ve grown accustomed to measuring the full distance.  Here’s the lowdown on what you can and can’t do in regards to measuring:

1) You may measure any distance up to your caster’s control range from that caster at any time.
2) You may measure the distance between the leader of a unit and any grunt in that same unit during that unit’s activation only.
3) You may measure the distance up to the range of the effect or attack between two models when determining whether they are in range for the effect or attack being used.

[editors note: in other words, you may not measure past the target up to the maximum distance, only TO the target - editor = guilty as charged]
4) You may measure the melee range of your models at any time.
5) When playing a scenario with the Killbox artifice, you may measure 14″ from the board edge during your turn.
6) You may measure the distance of a model from an objective or flag up to the relevant distance for the object as it pertains to Steamroller scoring or contesting control points during scoring between player turns.

 

Conclusion
The first step to cleaning up gameplay is to recognize mistakes being made.  The second step is to figure out ways to avoid the mistakes.  The third step is to eliminate the mistake from being made.  Hopefully this helps with steps one and two, and I’ll leave step 3 for everyone to take as a personal challenge to make gaming better for everyone.

UNDERRATED UNDERDOGS – Goreshade the Bastard

Posted By on August 12, 2013

Good afternoon, fellow bunnies.  I bring to you today PART II of Liam’s discussion of Goreshade the Bastard.  In our first installment, Liam went over The Bastard himself, his Companion Deathwalker, and introduced some general list-building concepts and suggestions.  Here in PART II, Liam will delve deeper into that last category – Bastard List Building – by taking you through a list he recently used in a Steamroller event, and then regale you with Stories of Glory from that day, putting finer details into how the list functioned against various opponents.

Enjoy!

 

Goreshade Deathwalker shamelessly borrowed from scrollmaster.net

 

PART 2

Playing Goreshade at a Steamroller Event

So, instead of giving you a whole “why I’d use the Bastard over my other list…” spiel, I’m just going to provide a quick run-down of my list and how I played Goreshade at a recent Carolina Invitational tournament, including my general thoughts on list match ups and how he plays.

The List

Goreshade the Bastard  <6>

-Deathwalker 0

-Nightmare 10

-Stalker 4

Max Bane Knights 10

Max Black Ogrun Boarding Party 6 (lovingly referred to as Monkey Pirates)

Min Blood Witches 4

-Sea Hag UA 2

Saxon Orrik 2

Necrotech 1

-Scrap Thrall 0

Bane Lord Tartarus 4

Darragh Wraithe 4

Wrongeye 9

-Snapjaw 0

Nightmare is a very good jack for Goreshade. He doesn’t need a lot of focus thanks to prey, three base attacks and reach.

The Stalker is great for assassinations (arcane assassin and grievous wounds) and negates Tough, so he can go and tear up that front line of Boomhowlers plugging the zone.

Bane Knights are pretty immune to blast damage, ignore terrain, have reach, and massive damage. Plus with Tartarus have a built in MAT/SPD buff.

Black Ogrun Boarding Party provide medium bases to prevent LOS and tramples to Goreshade. They have a great MAT for infantry. They have CRA and Drag which can surprise people. They also have terror which can be game changing.

Blood Witches have gang, giving them a great MAT and good P+S. They have two base attacks. They have a special ability tied to their knives that can do more damage. They’re SPD 7 base. Their UA has dispel on her weapon and provides Entropic Field to help get rid of stuff like Harby’s Martyrdom, Tough, etc.

Saxon is there because I didn’t need him in my other list and I have several units/solos that don’t have pathfinder. Plus he negates tough, is a weapon master vs Warbeasts, and can manipulate fury. Plus his stats are close to Warcaster stats so that’s always nice.

The Necrotech is there in case some ranged attacks get lucky and plink some early damage on Nightmare or the Stalker.

Bane Lord Tartarus is there to ensure I have the threat and MAT buff with the Bane Knights—or Thralls when I make them with my feat—thus adding to either of my Bane units if the chance arrives.

Darragh Wraith is there for the STR debuff or death ride to get extra threat range. He is also hard to kill, so he makes a great tarpit in zones to either contest or potentially control.

Wrongeye and Snapjaw act as a heavy hitter type “jack” that have their own focus/fury mechanic so Goreshade doesn’t really have to power up his jacks. They may be Minions, but in this set-up, they act more like a ‘Jack with a Jack Marshal.

As you can see, Goreshade doesn’t really do anything for anyone listed here. So you have to build around him by making the list function just as well without him. The few strong synergies are the teleporting jacks, the summoned Bane Thrall unit that benefits from Tartarus, the Monkey Pirates getting the benefit of the Deathwalker’s STR debuff (and possibly Darragh’s) and stopping the caster from getting melee attacked to death, and Darragh’s movement buff or STR debuff.

So then, how did this list do in a recent tournament?  Let’s take a look, recapping the event from Goreshade’s perspective.

 

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX D530

awesome conversion borrowed from coolminiornot

Game 1 against Retribution. My opponent had Kaelyssa and Ravyn. I realized how much I could get out of stealth here no matter what. He ended up going with Kaelyssa. I split my forces sending Banes after the strike force and Nightmare/Blood Witches after the Sentinels with Goreshade and some Monkey Pirates down the middle. This scenario had fuel caches and he put his Strike Force a little too close to one so I was able to take a decent amt of them out by killing the objective and lighting stuff on fire. Banes do a massive amt of damage to objectives especially when you can Vengeance move. On the other side of the board, Nightmare and the Blood Witches were doing a good job killing Sentinels and then teleporting Nightmare back to safety with Soul Gate and sitting Incorp witches based with Sentinels. I didn’t keep a lot of focus on Goreshade since Kaeylssa could take it and kept my Monkey Pirates in the way most of the time to prevent the charge from his jacks. My opponent saw that he was losing the attrition game, so he went for some points by killing the middle objective and a couple of Monkey Pirates and then shooting at Goreshade. The nice thing about Goreshade is that even a ROF 3 gun at PS 10 fully boosted only does around 12 damage to him on average (it also leaves Kaelyssa dry on focus). Even if he were to spike a shot, the good old Deathwalker was there to keep me going. Luckily I survived but it put his caster close to the battle. I allocated three focus to my Stalker, moved Goreshade so the Deathwalker could advance and use her debuff, ran Tartarus up for Dark Shroud, and Walked my Stalker into combat with his caster for game.

Game 2 against Cryx. UGH…mirror matches are awful especially when it’s against Denegrah1. So my game plan here consisted of me trying to out attrition him, but there wasn’t a lot I could do with feat. Luckily I have Hex Blast with Goreshade so I wasn’t as scarred of Crippling Grasp getting off early. I had battlegroup stealth meaning that Denny would have to get an arc node way up in my face if she wanted to get a shot off on my jacks or Goreshade. Plus I had Wrongeye and Snapjaw who are immune to Ranged/Magic Attacks as long as I keep them submerged. That gave me several advantages that a lot of players normally don’t have against Denny. I played this similarly to how I played Game 1. There were two large zones to control for points and I put My Gators in one with some Witches backing them up. I ran the Banes in another with Tartarus backing them up. I had Nightmare and the Stalker walk down the middle with my Monkey Pirates in front of Goreshade blocking LOS to him. This game was pretty brutal. It was a lot of back and forth. Every round something died and with mostly dead/undead in our lists, we couldn’t really bring anything back with Tartarus. The big thing my opponent had to watch for was that on his feat turn, if I popped feat, my Banes could still activate normally and that really made a big deal as I was able to get the attrition advantage causing me to start racking up on CPs. This forced him to have to play a little more aggressively than he wanted with his Bile Thralls sacrificing them and putting a lot of focus out with Denny in closer ranged areas. In the end, he had Denny about 8 inches from Nightmare (with a busted arm and movement) and I sent her own character jack in on her (she was his prey at the time) and ended the game. Sorry Denny but looks like Nightmare got mad that you let him get snuffed out in the fluff.

 

goreshade conversion 2

another great conversion, borrowed from privateer press forums

Game 3 against Khador. My opponent had Butcher1 and Vlad3 and went with his Vlad3 list. It’s a great new tier list for Cavalry. It’s incredibly fast and threatens very quickly, is highly accurate, hits very hard, and can space out really well. I’m not going to write a lot about this game, my opponent made a mistake and ended up losing on CPs in the end (walked out of a zone when he didn’t really have to, so I could put a solo in it there to end the game).  Besides that, though, it was a blood bath. Both of our lists hit hard and killed pretty much every time we hit…normally that is. See here’s where the Goreshade list starts to shine (you’ll see it more in the last game). With all the Cav he had a lot of living models, So I had Darragh Wraith cast his -2 Str spell every turn as well as positioning the Death Walker close to my main line. This essentially gave me a +4 armor against all of his melee attackers. That’s a big deal. Fenris isn’t as scary as a PS 9 weapon master when he’s charging a bunch of armor 15 stuff with 8 wounds. And that’s the tactic I used. I put a lot of my force in a zone leaving my Bane Knights, Gators and a couple of Witches (they got blown away pretty early from some Hand of Fate Sprays) in the other zone.  This enabled me to dominate a zone, while whittling the other zones guys down with Gators and Banes.

Game 4 vs Trolls. My opponent ran Madrak2. I wasn’t sure I could whittle through all his Trolls due to the sheer amount of infantry he had. Tag on the tough and I had a problem. The good thing is that I have 2 models that ignore tough (Saxon and the Stalker) and a model with Entropic field (although I knew keeping her alive was going to be hard as my opponent was going to do everything he could to kill her). So my tactics were similar to Game 3, only now I didn’t really have to worry about magic sprays and warjacks. This list was all about delivering a massive amt of melee punch to your face including Dygmies. Madrak can make any infantry model in his list a weapon master with Blood Fury. So, I used my +4 Str debuff swing to do as much as I could by keeping the models in the back behind my main line but still close enough to effect my enemy. That really drops the PS on the Kriels, Fenss, and Dygmies significantly and it’s the only reason I didn’t lose the game very quickly. I also made my opponent take a lot of terror checks by good positioning with my Monkey Pirates and Tartarus. He only failed one terror check the entire game (I think he had to make around 6-7 between terror and massive casualties), but man was it an important one as the Dygmies failed, and fleeing models can’t contest, thus scoring me a point and taking out one of his most important units. I was also able to keep my jacks safe until about end game thanks to soul gate and the strength debuffs. In the end, I was able to hold the zones and use my opponents sheer number of guys against him for the win.

Conclusion

So playing the Bastard is just a bastard to play. His games are very hard, they attrition, and they are bloody.  BUT, then again, I’m sure that’s just what Goreshade would want considering his name means he leaves a trail of gore in his wake.

What it all boils down to is Goreshade the Bastard is great, but unlike many other Cryx Warcasters, he doesn’t do much in the “helping his army out” department.  So to mitigate this, one simply needs to build the right list with him.  A list that is as self-sufficient as possible on a model-by-model (unit-by-unit) basis.  Luckily for The Bastard, Cryx (and to a lesser extent, Mercs and Minions) offer self-sufficient models/units in spades, so he has a lot to choose from.

UNDERRATED UNDERDOGS – Goreshade the Bastard

Posted By on August 5, 2013

Greetings, Bunnies.  I present to you a non-PG post (our first, maybe?) by our good friend and Servant to Lord Toruk, Liam P.  Liam and I have been in cahoots in the background, and let’s just say that the “series title” gives you a decent idea of what to expect from Liam’s articles in the future (coughrhuliccough).  

Anyhoo…  Onto the Bastard!

 

PART 1

 

34022_goreshade_the_bastard_blister

 

Playing The Bastard

I love Goreshade in the fluff. He’s a very dynamic character and really pushes some great plot points forward (the whole Nyssor arc, the fights with Vyros and Ossyan, the pinning Eiryss to a tree…well we all want to do that when she shoots our caster). Plus, unlike most Cryx casters, he’s not a 1970s Dick Dastardly mustache twirling villain (we still love you though Gaspy). He’s very fun to read; however, as much as I love his fluff, playing him is something else to look at entirely.

First let’s look at his stats.

He’s got pretty good stats across the board with a Mat of 7 and Def/Arm of 15/16. Like all good Cryx casters he’s got a 7 Focus score.

His feat is very simple – he summons a minimum unit of Bane Thralls to the board, placed within 3 inches of himself (note: not completely within), and they can activate the turn they’re summoned.

Ok, so that sounds good on the surface, and the lower the point game, the more effective this is. It’s incredbily strong in MM/TC and at the 25 point level. It kind of becomes a middle of the pack feat at 35 and loses a lot of its uhmph at 50. But with Steamroller play, it still lets you potentially control a zone/flag, and/or they can run to contest things if needed.

Next we’ll take a look at his spell list.

Bleed.  A Range 8, PS 10 spells that heals him d3 points if he’s injured. Well, this sucks and will likely never get cast. “Why not?” you say. Well Goreshade has a lot better spells to cast and they are all pretty expensive so he’s going to make them count. What about the Skarlok? Well, he’ll be casting Hex Blast since it has a higher POW, longer range, a special ability, and an AOE.

Speaking of Hex Blast. What a great spell, not only does it give Goreshade a way to remove upkeeps, but it’s a decent POW AOE. One of his saving graces as he can negate a lot of the nasty upkeeps in game.

Mage Blight. Man, this spell is a 5 cost and can be ground breaking. It prevents spells and feats from being cast in his control. There are a lot of ways around this, but anyone that has an aura feat will need to watch out for this control. It also prevents stuff like Battle Mittens and Druids from doing anything which can be game changing.

Shadowmancer. Battlegroup stealth is a pretty big deal. It also gives jacks Dark Shroud (enemy models suffer -2 ARM if within the melee range of a model with Dark Shroud). Both are dependent on the opponent but can stop the Ret Mage Hunter assassination as well as those big Defender/Stormwall shots.

Soul Gate. Goreshade can remove from play a trooper model and replace it with a Jack. The jack can’t activate after Soul Gate though. This is great for when you over extend your jack. It allows you to be a lot more loose with them and then just “yo-yo” them back to safety.

Finally, Goreshade’s little helper, his BFF, his Significant Other…
We can’t end talking about Goreshade without talking about the best thing he brings to the table – DEATHWALKER. The Deathwalker is a solo that has to end her activation within 3 inches of Goreshade or she’s destroyed (her “Tether” rule).  But she provides a -2 STR and DEF debuff to all living enemy models within 5 inches of her! Wow, that’s a passive ability, and an awesome one at that. She also brings to the table another passive ability – If Goreshade the Bastard is disabled while within 3? of this model, this model is destroyed and Goreshade the Bastard heals 1 damage point.  Damn, what an ability. It’s like auto passing tough and not being knocked down. This can be the difference between losing right there to some crazy assassination.

With all that the Deathwalker provides for Goreshade, her downfalls are: a horrible stat line (she dies to anything), she doesn’t have a weapon, and again we have to focus on the Tether rule that she has with Goreshade, which limits some of her debuff movement shenanigans. The good thing is that if she does die, Goreshade can summon a new one by killing a living enemy warrior model with his sword.

 

Goreshade CROP

 

Building a List with Goreshade

Like so many casters in Cryx, Goreshade brings an armor buff, a couple of debuffs, a speed/movement buff, and….wait… What?  He DOESN’T?!

Well, Ok.  So then what does he do for infantry, solos, and jacks?  Truth be told he doesn’t really do anything for them in an active manner. So how do you build for a caster that does that, or should I say, doesn’t do anything for his infantry? Simple, you take a lot of self-sufficient stuff.

Units: Since Goreshade doesn’t provide any type of buffs to units, you need to make sure they have either high Mat/Rat, some form of pathfinder, decent speed, and damage dealing. Examples of this include Bane Knights, Blackbanes, Black Ogrun, Satyxis of both types, and some of the Mercs like Nyss and Steelheads. Make sure you also take the unit attachments as they always add something to the units. Since Goreshade doesn’t add anything, you really need what you can get.

Solos: Going with the trend of Goreshade not doing much for his army, you can use the solos as more of unit/jack buffers. Tartarus provides three things – (a) a damage buff in dark shroud to anyone that engages a model in his melee range, (b) a to-hit buff and movement buff to Banes against his Curse target, and (c) he also allows you to add to your units (but that’s more of a HOLY CRAP thing than needed in this list). Darragh Wraith can provide an armor buff against living models, along with the Deathwalker, this can add up fast. He can also add a movement buff to any undead models in his command with Deathride moving them an inch. Warwitch Sirens can provide Shadow Bind dropping Defense on models to ensure you hit, as well as adding a magic spray to take some pressure off of Goreshade’s magic needs. Rengrave adds a melee bonus to any Revenants including Blackbanes with LOS to him.

Jacks: Goreshade can help make sure jacks get where they are going without damage thanks to stealth. He can also yank them back out of the fire when they get too involved thanks to Soul Gate. But what he doesn’t have is a lot of focus to allocate and he can’t speed them up or provide pathfinder. So you need jacks that either have native pathfinder or something like it, and aren’t focus hungry. The Kraken, Nightmare, Deathjack, Cankerworm, and the Stalker all have ways to help get around some of the issues that Goreshade has with running jacks.

Mercs/Minions: It’s also worth noting that both Wrongeye and Rorsch are good to run with Goreshade because they don’t require his focus and the rest of the list will provide buff/debuffs to help them out. Conversely, while Merc staples like Saxon, Gorman, Nyss, etc. all work well with Goreshade, they’re likely better used in another list (assuming character restricted multi list format) since most of the units/solos you’re taking with Goreshade won’t need the support they bring.  Having said that, Saxon and Gorman can certainly add to the Goreshade list assuming they aren’t needed elsewhere.  Gorman always has Blind to save the day, as well as providing a huge melee/range buff to the army via Black Oil.  Saxon provides some movement buff (pathfinder) to the list, and is otherwise fairly self-sufficient on his own.

 

That does it for this first installment on The Bastard.  Tune in next time, kiddies, when Liam will delve into more specifics about Goreshade the Bastard list building, and regale you with stories of some real-life tabletop action he recently had while fielding The Bastard in a recent event.

OpEd: ALTERNATE FORMATS

Posted By on July 30, 2013

Warning: OPINION Incoming! Your mileage may vary…

In the Triangle area, and in general on the Carolina Gunbunny Forums, folks seem to prefer the 50 point level. The most common reason as to WHY that is the case? It is a balanced level that allows a player to have all the tools necessary to counter a variety of situations.

I like ‘odd point’ and low point and alternate format games because, in my opinion (you were warned it was coming), these things portray a more realistic combat situation. Think about it. What great war movie or epic historical battle included two sides that had everything they needed, contained all the perfect counters, and occurred on the most ideal battlefield? None of them. Or at least none they’ll make a movie about or one that becomes “epic” in nature. Think 300. Think Starship Troopers. Think Saving Private Ryan. Think The Last Samurai. Think Braveheart. And at the risk of using two Mel Gibson references, think Apocalypto. What do all these have in common, other than being gripping tales? Simple. Insurmountable odds. Dire straits. Less than perfect battlefield conditions. And “making due” in every sense of the phrase.

It is these reasons why I love playing in alternate format events. You DON’T have every tool you need. You CAN’T directly counter everything your opponent throws at you. And you have to “Make Due” in every sense of the phrase.

Now, having explained a little about WHY I enjoy the less than standard game, let’s go over some of my favorite Alternate Formats. This is not an exhaustive list of them. But rather, just a little bit about some of the things I like when it’s not a “50 point Fisticuffs in the Middle” deal.

Battleboxes / 15-20-25 Points / Mangled Metal-Tooth & Claw

At the lower point end of the scale are a variety of games typically played at the sub-20 point level, 25 points tops. Frequently these are played as Mangled Metal-Tooth and Claw formats including only a battlegroup, but not always. Admittedly, these games can become very unbalanced. Things like pGoreshade in Mangled Metal or pDeneghra or pKreoss in Battlebox games can be a tough nut to crack. But I also feel the purpose of these types of games is not necessarily to be the most balanced, well rounded games. They are more for just doing something different; for trying to rack up a ton of games in a smaller amount of time; learning something new – be that a new faction altogether or simply a new warcaster/warlock/theoretical list; or otherwise “just mess around” for grins and chuckles.

A relatively recent twist on this general style of format I have come to enjoy is Speedmachine. Low points, ridiculously short time limits, and a format that will basically toss everything you’ve learned about the game out the door. It’s fast. It’s furious. It’s a basically “throw it out there and think about it later” kind of format. Yes, mistakes will be made. But again, it’s not done to determine the best warlord out there – it’s about doing something different. The most common comment I’ve heard after Speedmachine was that it was such a liberating experience to play games and not have to “think” about them.

1-1-1-1

My absolute favorite alternate format is what is generally called 1-1-1-1 format (sometimes called “Highlander”, but I’ll get to that in a moment). The basic premise of the original 1-1-1-1 format was it was like the Highlander movie series – there can be only ONE. Players have to field one warcaster/warlock, one warjack/warbeast, one unit, and one solo. Any remaining points (typically a 25 point level) can be only spent on warjacks/warbeasts. In addition, ALL models become FA:C so you cannot take more than one of any type of model.

Unfortunately, over the last couple years, the 1-1-1-1 format has hit a bit of a speed bump. The reason is basically Battle Engines. These do not fit into any of the four categories allowed. But, I think the simplest solution to this is to allow a Battle Engine to be taken after the initial 1-1-1-1 requirements are met.

This format also offers something more than the Mangled Metal / Tooth and Claw format – support. Protectorate players can use their choir, Skorne can field their Beasthandlers, and everyone can take a few extra tools, without including the kitchen sink.

Yes, this is one of my favorite alternate formats.

Highlander

Occasionally you’ll still hear the 1-1-1-1 format referred to as the Highlander format. But Highlander is a term better applied to a format that includes one Warcaster/Warlock and one non-character Warjack/Warbeast. Plus, this format is typically played as a multi-player game. Four, six, or even eight players will play against each other (and typically on a larger than normal table – 4×6 for example). Deals are made, deals are broken, and backstabbing generally ensues until the game arrives at the ultimate winner. Because in the end, There Can Be Only One.

Unexpected Allies

Unlike the above formats that are typically at the 25 or under point level, Unexpected Allies is a team format that can be played at any point level. Two players are paired up in a game versus two other players. Regardless of which factions the team plays, a player’s partner is considered friendly, but not friendly faction, to his teammate. The most interesting twist is that players get a new partner each round. So in order to win, one has to win with the help of his or her partner, but then has to hope said partner goes on to subsequently loose.

 

So there you have it – a few of my favorite Alternate Formats for games of Warmachine and Hordes. This isn’t all the alternate formats out there, just some of my favorites, and the ones you’ll often see around the Triangle area.

 

Now it’s your turn. Comment below. Alternate formats – like them or hate them? What is your favorite? Care to explain other formats I didn’t elaborate on above?

Blink And You’ll Miss It: January

Posted By on January 27, 2013

The shutdown of Lost Hemisphere and a general lack of things to do has inspired me to catch up our loyal one or two readers on goings on since the last post.

Going way, WAY back, I realized I had not posted any updates from Food Machine (the last tournament of `12). So, here our a few bits for your enjoyment:

The blurry scene from my Tournament Organizer Spot

Our glorious trophy

Our winner, enjoying a NOM

So, why the long wait in between updates? Well, people gots sh*t to do, yo. For instance, earlier in the month a small group of us enjoyed a game day at Atomic Empire….

Which also happened to be a Furry meetup. Who knew.

January was also Illogicon. Here was the view on the balcony leading to the GM food room:

And here was my view for the rest of the Con:

Unfortunately, our presence went mostly unnoticed at Illogicon. For those of you unfamiliar with Illogicon it’s a smaller Scifi (and in tiny subprint, Fantasy) convention that occurs in various locals throughout Raleigh each year. The standard staples of a retail room, Author panels, various social meetup groups and a gameroom were all present. We were placed in the very back of the game room, so if one was not already aware of our existence, one had to stumble upon us purely by accident. This, of course, is why there were only 2 WarmaHordes demos for the entirety of the Saturday I was present.

It didn’t help that we were in the darkest corner, either. It could be a very nifty convention to have around. The group who recreates Stormtrooper and other replica armor is neat. There’s surely a market for such a convention but I don’t think there was enough marketing or hype this time around, though.

Scarab happened on the 18th through the 21st in SC. I’ll leave it to those who were there to do any commenting.
And finally, this past Saturday was a maxed-out steamroller at Hanger 18.

 

Coming up for the Triangle:

February 17th is an Unexpected Allies tournament at Atomic Empire.
Spring Fever (wargaming convention) is March 8th through the 10th.
March 23rd is a steamroller at Endless Gaming.

Eleswhere in the world:

Templecon is February 1st through the 3rd.
Con-Nooga is March 1st through the 3rd.

Strange Synergies Episode 2

Posted By on December 12, 2012

I’m specifically avoiding looking at in-faction synergies simply because those depths have been plunged time and time again. Rarely is a new model released that isn’t instantly dissected and all possible faction combinations applied by the end of the day; which is why last time I spoke on Mercs. Far fewer people play the faction. There’s still math do be done!

This time I’ll focus on Minions. I won’t bother with Gatormen simply because Gatormen are good on their own, without any sort of buffing or model pairing. Anything you do to Gatormen makes them that much better. Instead, we’ll focus on their slimier cousins the Bog Trogs.

On their own, their stats aren’t all that bad: average SPD of 5 and Reach, decent DEF of 12/16/18 with Camo and with an ARM of 14 they have good odds of surviving most blast rolls.  They’re MAT 6 or 8 on a charge. For damage output they aren’t too terrible at POW 11 and they can scale this up with Combined Melee to deal with higher ARM targets.

One of their neater abilities, which also works against them, is Ambush. They can pop out late-game to go for an objective. Unfortunately, most Hordes factions have very little in the way of spell Arcing so a warlock will have to be near the edge they come into play from.

So, who to take them with?  pDoomshapers, Calandra, pGrissel, pLyleth, pThagrosh, Rhyas, Saeryn, Absylonia, Kallus, Bethayne, Grayle, Cassius pKreuger, and Mohsar can keep them alive longer or increase their damage output. Skorne adores minions. Of all the Hordes factions they are the most minion friendly. In fact, they have a solo devoted to minions. pMakeda, p/eHexeris, Xerxis, Zaal, Mordikaar, Rasheth and Naaresh all play well with Minions (more on this in episode 3).

There is, however, a set of interactions that provide synergy, and are quite strange indeed. pBaldur has a spell called rapid growth which creates a 4″ forest in his control area. If one was trying to control an objective, a forest can be placed next to the objective to provide what the Bog-Trogs need to trigger Camo. If one also took Lanyssa Ryssyl, she can stand in the forest (gaining stealth from Prowl) cast hunters mark on a target, and Trogs (no longer needing line of sight) can charge 10″ through the forest at the marked target.

One could combine eMadrak’s Blood Fury with Pendrake’s Beastlore for a unit with Reach, CMA, Pathfinder, MAT 8 + 3D6 to hit warbeasts and 4D6 +POW 11+ x on a 7″ charge.

You could do a similar combo with Kriel warriors, but you need a Fellcaller for Pathfinder which adds on 3 pts making them more expensive than the Trogs. Fennblades have a bigger threat range and slightly more survivability with Tough but you still need the Fellcaller and they’re MAT 6 with no CMA. However, Borka’s feat does give friendly faction models +2″ movement and with Lanyssa that’s a SPD + 7″ charge.

And I just know Circle players will be all “But I could just take Wolves of Orboros. They have the same abilities and a UA. Myeah.”

Oh yeah? Well do they have fins?