Thursday, 30 June 2016

Get in the Blender!

Got in a game against Butcher 3 last night, I opted to play a variant on the Triple Stormclad Haley2:
(Haley 2) Major Victoria Haley
 - Avenger
 - Stormclad
 - Stormclad
 - Thorn
 - Squire
Captain Arlan Strangewayes
Storm Lances (max)

It swaps a Stormclad for an Avenger which gives the list a bit more utility
It has the excellent Quake cannon (now at RAT 5!) and the sword is P+S 18 (makes a Warjack Stationary on hit) at MAT 7 and it picked up 2" Reach

The Butcher list was the following:
(Butcher 3) Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed
 - War Argus
 - Behemoth
 - Kodiak
 - Kodiak
 - Marauder
 - Juggernaut
 - War Dog
Widowmaker Scouts
Widowmaker Marksman
Ogrun Bokur
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor

Lots of High ARM and boxes to chew through with a Shield Guard and Arcane Vortex.

I won the roll and opted to go first.

I ran everything forward with the Lances making a beeline to the Widowmakers and the Heavies getting TK'd and running with Thorn reaction drive and running.

Turn 1

 Butcher energised and advanced up with his unit then two Kodiaks trampled up and clouded, one of the clouds clipped an Argus and the Boxcars killed it outright.

Dog gone :(
The Widowmakers & Marksman kill one horse and put a point onto another and Behemoth has a poor damage roll failing to kill.

Next turn I charge two of the Storm Lances into the Widowmakers and Kills 3 of them and the Marksman. I use Thorn to TK a Kodiak which gets cancelled by Orin then I do it again which goes through so I turn it around, Thorn drives away.
The Avenger shoots and knocks down the front 3 Jacks, boosting the blast on Orin but fails to kill him.

Butcher stands up his Jacks and continues to trudge forward making the cloud wall, Behemoth throws out another couple of shots at the Lances killing one.

The Bunker of Jacks moves up and has Orin and the Bokur covering everything.

I now set up a potential assassination that involves:
-          The Lances killing the Bokur (3 Assaults and 1 Charge Attack)
-          TK'ing a Jack that isn’t within 3" of Orin
-          Hitting an Argus with the Quake Cannon hitting Butcher
-          Sending in a Stormclad onto Butcher who is camping 3.

I allocate with this in mind and start with the Lances, they leave the Bokur on 1 box so I have to change plans.
I end up using Thorn to disrupt three Jacks and then Stationary two of them, I get Ragman up to apply death field to them all via Thorn.
I Feat, TA Both Stormclads and power boost one with Arlan. I put one Stormclad into the Juggernaut leaving it on 5 Boxes so the other one goes in and finishes it off as well as killing another.

Two Jacks on the right die

Next turn the Butcher Energises and casts Silence of Death on himself and puts all 4 of my jacks in the blender via flashing blade.
After that turn I look at my options and realise I'm done and concede.


Concession Loss

The Butcher 3 brick is very hard to deal with, if I'd managed to get Orin or the Bokur I would be in a much better spot, I also probably should have made more use of the KD on the Avenger and forced Butcher to spend his camp opening him up to assassination.
I committed too hard to kill jacks that were Knocked Down, disrupted and under my feat, I could have just ignored them, a lot of this was down to some poor positioning on my part and overestimating Butchers threat against me in the open.
The Storm Lances were unable to use accumulator to help the clads due to how I had unpacked/deployed.
I possibly could have gone for control/scenario play on turn 3 but I wasn’t sure I was going to have a better chance to take out a couple of Jacks.
Thorn is still really neat and I should have probably been sneakier with him and tried to laser out the Bokur.
Overall I think with practice it will become an easier matchup to work out and so I'll have to keep practising.

There’s a tournament on Saturday, it’s only going to be three rounds but it should be a good chance to play organised games, on clock this time, which should be really beneficial.
I'm trying to decide on a second list, alongside Haley2, I'm thinking Caine2 or possibly Sloan but she does seem just that little bit broken.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

More games, Draginz.

Continuing on with the Battle reports this week.

I played a couple of games against my brother and fellow Team Ceol member.

I wanted to see what all the hype was about with Caine2 so I took him out for a spin:
(Caine 2) Captain Allister Caine
 - Defender
 - Hunter
 - Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator
Storm Lances (max)
Stormblade Infantry
 - Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
 - Captain Jonas Murdoch
 Journeyman Warcaster
 - Charger
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord

I was facing off against Lylyth3:
(Lylyth 3) Lylyth, Reckoning of Everblight
 - Angelius
 - Ravagore
 - Nephilim Bolt Thrower
 - Succubus
 - Typhon
The Forsaken
The Forsaken
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Scouts
 - Strider Scout Officer & Musician
I won the roll to go first and elected to do so.

Caine gets heightened reflexes and hides behind a rock.
I pushed stuff up and screened the Stormblades with the Lances as best I could to avoid them just dying to Deathstalkers.
The Lances got Arcane shield and the hunter moved up behind a central wall.
The Charger and Eyriss hide behind the forest on the right, ready to move out and strike.

Mike took some shots, discovering the Scouts no longer have CRA, and put a little bit of damage into the hunter.

The Lances push into the Zone killing some Striders, Caine gets a couple of other models and the Defender and Hunter shoot the Ravagore.

Lylyth feats and is able to go to town on the toys, over the Turn all the lances are made stationary, the hunter dies to the Angel and the charger get shoves out of the zone by the Bolt Thrower.
Mike Scores 1 CP

I have 3 Stormblades left and a unit of frozen Lances with an Angelius stood behind a wall just in front of me.
I put a few shots and then charge it with the Stormblades who manage to finish it off, Caine is able to kill a couple more enemy infantry.

 All but 2 of the Lances die and the Stormblades get finished off.
The Charger also bites the dust.
Mike goes up to 2 CPs

I am able to remove the Ravagore and Bolt thrower with my combined shots; the remaining Storm Lances kill the last couple of Striders.
I Dominate for 2 CPs

Mike is able to shift the remaining Lances with Typhon and Lylyth tramples over to the other zone, shoots Eyriss and repositions to score 3 and win on CPs.

Scenario Loss.

I probably should have kept the Storm Lance screen up longer to protect the Blades from just dying to stuff.
Caine probably should have done more, I was very cagey with him and I don't think that much actually threatened him that well, he probably could have killed the Bolt thrower a turn earlier and leveraged himself better.
The Defender seemed lacklustre but I still have to practice.
A&H spent the whole game scared of all the Eyeless sight, squishy things that rely on stealth tend to have real problems against Legion so this probably needs more testing against other factions.
Eyriss didn’t do much but she did project threat quite well and I’m happy with that.
Lylyth3's feat is incredible against infantry like Storm Lances and she’s a tough nut to crack with Caine as well, 15/16 or 15/18 is tough and factor in a hill that becomes 17/18 and will be hard to shift.

My next game was against Rhyas, I pulled out a Haley 3 list that was in my War Room, not sure where it came from and it probably needs to be scrapped!
(Haley 3) Major Prime Victoria Haley
 - Centurion
 - Gallant
 - Squire
Trencher Infantry (max)
Storm Lances (max)
Journeyman Warcaster
 - Hunter
Captain Maxwell Finn
Harlan Versh, Illuminated One

Mike was playing Rhyas and once again Typhon was there!
(Rhyas 1) Rhyas, Sigil of Everblight
 - Typhon
 - Seraph
 - Succubus
Blackfrost Shard
Blighted Ogrun Warspears (max)
 - Warspear Chieftan
The Forsaken
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen (max)
 - Blighted Nyss Swordsman Abbot & Champion
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker

I won the roll again and opted to go first, setting up the cloud wall.

Mike Advances and doesn't do much.

I continue forward with the cloud wall, shooting the hunter at the Seraph.

Mike kills my Objective and goes to 1 CP

I shoot a couple of Swordsmen and cloud up.

Some Swordsmen go into the lines and are able to kill a few trenchers; I of course forget they have tough.
Mike Scores 1 more CP (2 Total)

I retaliate by clearing the Swordsmen and killing a couple of Warspears.

Eventually the wall opens up and Rhyas feats pushing Typhon deep as well as a couple of Spears, able to remove Gallant and 2 Lances as well as the few remaining Trenchers.
He Scores 1 more CP (3 Total)

Baby Haley, 2 Lances and the Centurion kill Typhon and I put a Lance into his zone along with Finn.

Rhyas is able to charge and Slizzice the Centurion (it also turns out Polarity field is an imprint not a * action) Dominating my zone and going to 5CPs.

Scenario Loss

I should remember Trenchers have tough.
The list was fine but I didn’t use the Unchargeable Centurion correctly, he should have been where Gallant as and he wouldn't have died nearly as easily.
Gallant did nothing really but I can see its use.
Storm Lances have reposition, I should use that.
This list probably needs an armour fixer like Ragman but he’s frowny at Harlan and Gallant.
The Squire probably isn’t necessary with revive plays being less likely.
DEF 15 Trenchers are a great front line Jam/Screen unit.

I managed to finish painting up Stormclad #3, happy without it turned out and there’s no ambiguity about what Warjack he is. 

Getting in a game or two against Khador on Wednesday evening and then there is a tournament in the local shop that I am running on Saturday; we have 16 people playing so there should be some good games going on and hopefully some interesting lists.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Mk3 Games 1&2

I played two games on Saturday, my very first Mk3 Games.

Overall the rules are pretty similar, it plays the same but I think Premeasuring is going to solve a lot of things on the table.

Especially arguments about ranges etc, I was playing 40k when they allowed premeasuring and it did make the games much smoother.

I didn't play on the clock for either game but it’s going to be essential in any tournaments otherwise there will be mountains of proxy bases all over the battlefield as people try and engineer these elaborate plans before moving a model.
I must admit I was guilty of this in my games, checking angles and distances etc before even allocating focus, it was nice knowing what I could pull off an not having a plan hinge on a distance guesstimate.

The list I played was one I talked about before, using 4 Warjacks and 9 other models, including the caster.

Here’s the list:
Haley 2
- Thorn
- Stormclad
- Stormclad
- Stormclad
- Squire
Storm Lances (Max)
Cpt Arlan Strangeways

Game 1 was against my fellow Irish WTC Captain Pete playing Legion on the new Line Breaker Scenario.

- Ravagore
- Ravagore
- Bolt Thrower
- Naga Nightlurker
- Succubus
Strider Deathstalker
Strider Deathstalker
Annyssa Ryvaal

I won the roll and opted to go first; my army is small enough to not have to worry about too much terrain.

I TK'd all three Stormclads, reaction drive'd with Thorn and then ran everything forward.
In doing this I had measured the Ravagores threat ranges and then just proceeded to place Thorn nicely within them, no idea what I was doing.
I used the Lances to make a wall behind Thorn and in front of Haley to keep her safe in case Lylyth got notions to try and shoot her.

Pete advanced up both Ravagores and Shot Thorn twice, Boosting Damage on him and the two Storm Lances behind. Killing both Lances and taking out Thorns Cortex and Node.
The Bolt thrower moved up and Knocked down one clad and pushed it back an inch.
The rest of his force did nothing much apart from position.

I moved thorn backwards and had Arlan repair him.
I then assaulted the objective with a Lance and a couple of the Stormclads making some e-leaps into Lylyth but the Objective died quickly and lylyth didn’t take much damage.
I then feated and charged Haley forward at a Ravagore, camping 9.

At this point Pete reckoned that he could possibly assassinate Haley so we proxy and diced it, Haley ends up living on about 4 Boxes thanks to two Ravagore shots missing and deviating away.
So instead he goes for the attrition, Pincushions and feats, killing one Stormclad outright and damaging the other two, due to the angle he’s able to get charges in with the Raptors who do well.
Lylyth retreats as far back as possible.

So I'm left with a Stormclad with its Sword and Cortex, another who I believe to be fully intact and Thorn who is basically back in my deployment zone.
I try to engineer a manoeuvre that will allow me to position Ragman for death field and get a fully loaded Stormclad into both Ravagores hopefully doing enough damage to turn the attrition tide in my favour.
I use the Lances to make some assaults and then the crippled Clad to hit the other Raptors jamming, use Thorn to arc the spells in and then realise that the Clad I'm trying to do all this with has crippled movement.
So he dutifully waddles over to the bolt thrower and puts him a Raptor and the Strider Deathstalker in the dirt.

Lylyth then kills Haley who is camping none.

Games Played: 1
The mistake on the movement probably comes from using the War Room for the first time to play a game and it would have been a really neat manoeuvre if I’d pulled it off and Haley might have lived without the two Ravagores to shoot at her.

On Average Dice a 3 Focus assaulting Stormclad with Death field and Temporal Acceleration does 49 Damage to a Ravagore assuming it hits all swings/shots.
5s to hit with the Assault and 4s on the swings. There’s also a potential 5 extra damage from e-leaps at POW 12.

Ravagores have 30 boxes so killing both is very unlikely, but killing one and crippling the other is pretty good.

Game two is against the infamous Rob Read, another Team Ireland member.
He's playing Durst and his flying V of Jacks. We're using "The Pit" Scenario

- Reckoner
- Reckoner
- Templar
- Templar
- Vigilant
Choir (min)
Knights Exemplar
Knights Exemplar
Knights Exemplar

I win the roll to go first again and unpack with TKs on the Clads and push everything up to the edges of the Zone.

Rob advances, casts Bulwark and feats and sets up at the edge of the zone.

I then spend about 20 minutes placing proxies to engineer an elaborate plan to disrupt the two 
Reckoners with Thorn and then charge each of them with Stormclads and have Ragman granting Death field.

It starts off okay but Thorn misses his charge attack so I have to boost with future sight so I can only get into one Reckoner, he makes up for it by doing 6,6,5 on the damage roll.
Haley Ta's the Clad and feats, Ragman gets TK'd up and then death fields.
So a Stormclad goes in and wrecks the Reckoner, the rest of my army just durdles about.

Rob can't do much so he retreats Durst and takes one Reckoner swing at Thorn which does a little damage but doesn’t cripple anything.
He walks some Knights Exemplar in to jam up what of the Jacks he can.

I am able to manoeuvre Thorn into a position where he can See Durst, I then clear out the infantry in the way of my right most clad and setup death field with Ragman.
Haley TA's the Clad and TKs Durst around and into walk and hit range.
The Clad strolls over and applies his sword to Durst who is only camping 3 and is able to overkill him with 1 focus left.

Games Played: 2

First impressions of Mk3 are good, I love Power Up and that’s probably due to the list I was playing which is understandable.
There are some things that have been cleared up and we did try and use a decent quantity of terrain but I'm not sure if it was all that relevant at this point.

The Scenarios on the other had seem strange, Line Breaker being one that really favours any sort of Gunline, with no real penalty for giving up ground, unless you give up a huge amount of it, means that you can just shoot and walk backwards until the opponent has nothing left.
Even with the 14" threat on the Stormclads I felt that it was an uphill battle from the start as my stuff was just going to die all the way in, having no option to start scoring pressure as well meant that there was no reason for Pete to close.
The Pit seems to swing in the other direction, heavily favouring a brick style list that can get into the zone and threaten both flags very easily due to the close proximity of them to it. It worked out well for me, allowing me to get up fast and apply scoring and threat pressure early on.
I guess the way that the Meta shapes up will decide the power of the scenarios.
I'm running a tournament on the 2nd of July so I'll definitely include one if not both of these to see how they go down with the players.

On the modelling front I haven't really done anything more with my toys recently, I was more interested in playing games than painting but I hope to get Clad #3 complete this week and then start work on other toys that are outstanding.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Mk3, Swanning around.

It’s been a while.

Last time I made a post I was all aboard the Cryx train, playing games in preparation for the WTC 2016.
Then Life got in the way, my last post was November, in December I was made redundant then I had to go look for a new job.
Before that, Christmas.

Fast forward a while and Mk3 is announced, zip forward again and there are some spoilers and leaks that come out of PP and I'm drawn back into the lightning shrouded fold.

That’s right, back with the Swans again after my brief hiatus, one glance at the Caine2 card was all it took and I was sucked straight back in.
So then we end up with now.

The core rules came out on Sunday and are free for everyone:

And there is a useful thread on the forums for all the changes:

And finally there is a web based list builder that’s pretty awesome:

With the new edition comes a new War Room (War Room 2) and all the cards. It seems that the spoilers that were floating around the internet a couple of weeks prior to the official release at Lock & Load were legitimate and the War Room has verified this.

So I have downloaded the new War Room and started to build Cygnar lists again.

One of the reasons I picked Cygnar initially over the other factions was robots, now I'm going to tell you a little story about it.
I was playing a lot of 40k at the time and two of my friends just took voluntary redundancy from their jobs and they picked up the 2 player Battlebox.
So we had a Menoth and Khador, I went into the local shop and had a look what was on offer, the then girlfriend selected Cryx, so I was left with Apple Inc looking Robots or Cygnar.
So Cygnar it was (I wasn’t aware of Hordes at this time or I just looked at them and decided to blank them from my mind)I guess there was simply something about the robots that called to me.

So back onto the stompy robots, with Mk3, you are actively encouraged to take more robots, Battlegroups have got larger (due to an increase in Warjack Points).
The point values have doubled over most of the game, with a few minor changes meaning more granularity. And the ‘standard’ size is now 75pts.

One of the biggest things to encourage the use of Warjacks is the new Power Up Rule. When a Warjack is in the Casters Control Range during the Control Phase it automatically gains a focus. This means you are no longer so strapped for resources and jacks can at least contribute when you can't afford to allocate anything.

Saturday coming will be the first few games of Mk3, with the full rules, that I will be able to play and I am excited to use my Robots.

I'm very excited about a list that involves 3 Stormclads, now I already have an old metal one that I took to the WTC last year and has been a staple in some lists. I also picked up the new Reliant/Stormclad hard plastic kit when that came out and I have finished painting it.

Deciding that 2 wasn't enough I set about turning another Ironclad Chassis that I had lying around into a 3rd Stormclad, most of the credit should go to Pat Dunford (Yay Pat) who donated the chassis when he left to England (Boo Pat). He'd already added a few extra bits of armour plating so I kept them. I figured that the Stormclad has 3 defining features, Banner, Buckler and Sword so I set about making these. The banner was easy, stolen from a box of Tactical Marines. The Buckler was a Lancer shield cut up and rounded off with some sandpaper. The Sword was the hardest part, I took a spare Stormblade Captain sword and added on two blades from Grey Knight Halberds and used the shaft from a Lancers spear, the pommel came from the Reliant Kit, intended for the top of the banner. I then tried a bit of Green stuff to round off the ends of the blades into the hilt and it was done!

I'm going to try and paint this one as a really old Proto-Clad that has been repaired and fixed up with different parts whilst being out fighting on the front.

 So its off to play Mk3 on Saturday and hopefully I’ll have the reports and some pictures up for you to look at.

I'll try to keep the blog updated in the build up to the WTC as well as showing off some modelling projects etc, if I have time.