Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cryx pt. 6: 50 pts. pDenghra vs. eIrusk

This Monday, I had my first go at a 50pts. Cryx pDeneghra list, inspired by information I found over at The Overseer. In a way, it was more of an expansion from the list I fielded against Menoth two weeks ago (I did skip a Warmachine night to play Death of Winter down at the game store) and I was a bit nervous about it. I was going up against Khador again, and it being my former main faction, I know these guys are not neccesarily to be trifled with for a new player.

My list was something like this:
Full unit of Nyshunters
Full unit of Crow's Cutthroats
Full unit of Satyxis Raiders with attachment
2 deathrippers
Warwitch Siren
Master Gunner Dougal
2 pistol wraiths
A machine wraith
Small unit of bile thralls

I was going up against eIrusk – I'll admit, I'm not entirely surprised by this. I know this particular opponent has a soft spot for this guy, and he is great, no doubt about it. I faced two full units of iron fang pikemen, one of the black dragons, with attachment and Kovnik. Along with a devastator and black ivan. A unit of widowmakers and Irusk brought along Reinholt and Sylys. Finally, staring The Great Bears!
We played Outflank and I won roll-off.

Again, I wish I'd taken pictures along the way.
In general, deployment was something like this:

During my first turn I moved pretty much everything up, hogging focus and having the siren boost the jack. I went for a very aggressive style early on, trying to psych my opponent into reacting to it. I know from experience that pikemen can become quite speedy and dangerous, and I hoped he'd do the same and move way too much forward for his own good. Luckily, he did. Part of him counted on the cover from the low hedges to protect him, I think, but luckily, Nys Hunters don't give much shit about that.
Black Ivan had a really lucky shot on one deathripper, leaving him standing with three boxes left or so. Even more lucky, his arcnode was still intact, which was all I needed for the following turn. I moved up Denny to take good cover behind the obstruction and feated, catching 75% of the army with it, missing his caster though. People seem to know this lesson, keeping the caster in a safe distance from that mess.

Then followed a Crippling Grasp on the red pikemen and Parasite on the black ones that had minifeated on the previous turn. I needed that debuff if I wanted Crowe and friends to do something. I even had one bile within a blow-up range, even though it wasn't much.

Irusk was one of the first casters I played with. It shows in how much time I spent painting him.
The bile blew up five fangs and corroded another two. Crow and friends killed another four from the unit and kept their place up on the hill. Dougal popped his minifeat and let the pistol wraiths shoot both Jacks for the Chill effect. I admit, this was likely an overkill. They were already debuffed, but I suppose I wanted to try. Gorman, with his new range, hit the Devastator with a rust bomb and the Nys had plenty of range for the red pike unit. With the nasty -4 armor debuff, they wiped out more than half of the unit in one turn. Then I smashed the Satyxis into the remaining pikemen and the Devastator. I may have got a bit overconfident there. Even with -5 armor, Armor 25 is a lot to handle for Satyxis with their PS 8 and 9. Okay, I may have rolled like a moron too... I counted on destroying it, but it stood well with less than half its boxes once done. I did mange to feedback some damage to his caster, however. And more importantly; wreck his cortex!

This was one of the times my opponent stared a bit at me.

On his turn nothing much happened, really. Both jacks were unable to do much besides doing some attacks. Black Ivan shot the already smashed bonejack and the remaining pikemen attempted to kill off some Satyxis. Doing so with -2 to MAT versus DEF 14 is surprisingly hard, though. One of the Great Bears was outside of feat range and got in to smash a couple of Satyxis, including their Sea Witch, who I had placed stupidly.And the Widowmakers shot the remaining biles to pieces. Poor Gorman was charged by a lone pikemen and then things went bad. Ah well... The kovnik ran up with the remaining pikes to at least engage Crowe and his friends.

The good thing, though, was that one of the zones had been completely abandoned by him, letting my Nys score point. I still wanted to win on assassination though.

On my third turn, things weren't that fun. I was aiming for a solid assassination, but Irusk had camped almost all his focus. Armor 21 and def 15 is not to be ignored. My original plan was to crippling grasp him, ghost walk on either the Satyxis or Crowe's and run up into Irusk's face, or turn him into a pin-cushion. In hindsight, it was a long shot. I still had a good handful of Satyxis left, but they were all locked up in melee; on the next turn, pain would start.

I of course botched my roll to grasp Irusk and got reckless and cast it again. Again, a miss. And that was all focus. That was a bloody stupid move that happens whenever I lose focus on things. Even if the second one connected, most of my troops would've splattered to the free strikes it would've taken for them to get near him. Instead, I should simply have Ghost Walked the Crowe's out from melee and up close to start shooting the shit out of the widow makers and remaining pikes. They would've been very close to Irusk, charge distance, on the next turn, meaning I would have pressured my extremely much. Instead, I handed him another round of being exactly where he wanted me to be. Idiot I am.

So Denny moved down to the lower end of the right zone and I had the Crowe's kill off the remaining black dragons for domination of it. I tried gutting as many pikes as I could, but the Nys being too far away for a good charge and some suddenly good Tough roll from my opponent made things look a bit grim. This is the thing; a lot of people tell me how insanely good Satyxis Raiders are; yet, once their feat is popped and done, that PS 9 isn't going to do much wonders against anything heavy, except when they have grasp and feat on their opponents.

At this time, the Machinewraith had made its way close to the front lines, and hovered through the ranks in to engage the widowmakers. I was happy with this, seeing how he suddenly had to use Irusk to kill it off, before he could use the widowers.

So end of turn, I scored three points, ending at 4.

During his turn, there wasn't really that much left. I suddenly realized that holding my Nys back was a boon. He could move his three pike men in to contest, which he did, but that resulted in fewer troops to kill Satyxis. The great bears had to chop through what remained. I imagine he was going through the chaos I did a turn before. His original plan was to do either run or trample down my units and get into the zone with the devastator. Only, it's cortex was broken and it couldn't get down there in time. Calculating all his possibilities, he could either go for an assassination attempt through Airburst. With Reinholt and Sylys it's two additional dice, discarding the two lowest on the rolls. He could potentially score an 18 on dice, which would still not be enough to kill her off. So the alternative was to move stuff into the zone, but seeing how either denny or crowe's would kill it off, or the nyss simply charge and clear the other zone, he decided to call it. Cryx scenario victory.


Most of these are mixed into the report. I'm still a stubborn guy; when I go for a plan I close up so many alternatives and this is still something I need to improve on. On another front, I felt I've developed my sense for synergy between the units a lot. I admit this likely isn't the most complicated list to play, and I'm still amazed how awesome a caster Deneghra is. In fact, she took up well over 15 minutes of shaming, when we went to burger king afterwards...

That being said, I think I also need to keep more in mind what I'm going to do AFTER her feat is off. It's a bucket of fun when it hits, and still loads in the opponent's turn. But after that, you need to rely on the debuffs. I really imagine that good Cryx players don't need more than that to win the game, but I'm not entirely there yet.

Will return for more updates on this.

My main concern so far, is actually whether I'll ever want to try anything else but her. I love her so much as a caster; mainly due to her stealth and feat; it removes so much concern I usually struggled with in the beginning of my Warmachine career. I've considered Terminus for some time, but been told he's not nearly as good, and the other Cryx top-tier casters tend to be a lot more complicated to play. Where to go next? We'll just have to see about that.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cryx pt. 5: Painted Satyxis Raider

This night, I finished the prototype for my Satyxis Raiders. I did one back a while ago which I simply didn't like that much. In general, I've been struggling a bit deciding which theme I want to run for the Cryx army. At first, I liked the notion of a frozen army with ice and snow, but I can't shake the feeling that this simply is too much like my Khadorians. I'm still contemplating, but so far I'm growing more and more fond of the Coastal Cryx. It's kind of original with a Terror From the Deep setting and also quite challenging to do properly.

So, I went for the coastal approach with my raiders and I like it. The idea that they are storming up the beach is good; making it look like it, less so. Water is notoriously hard to do perfect, especially when it's shallow. So take it for what it is on this model. I still prefer it over snow, and I think it'll look great once there is a whole unit of them!

Oh yeah, and boobs. Because.
I like boobs.

This is the standard I'd like them all to be in

My first painted model on the right. I don't think I'll redo her, but just make her the unit leader.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cryx pt.4: Painted Warwitch Siren

Hey all!

Just throwing in a short post here with celebration of the newest painted addition to the Cryx forces. A Warwitch Siren. She's painted NMM (as in; I've used no metal-paints for the gold and steel on her) and I think she turned out pretty well. I'll do my best to update later on with a painting guide.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cryx pt. 3: Freshly risen from the grave...now what?

Evening, all!

In my recent posts about learning with Cryx, I realized it would probably be a good idea to share with you some of the sites I've used to study up on the undead legions. There are a lot of Cryx related sites out there, and I'm in no way claiming these to be the end-all-be-all. Just saying that, if you're looking, these are by far not the worst places to start.

I know a lot of people would recommend Battlecollege for starters. I used that in the beginning, but somehow I found the information to be lacking and not that much theorycrafting. I imagine this is in order to keep it reader-friendly. It's a good place to begin, I imagine, and for an overview of the entire faction it's decent.

The Cryx sections of the official Privateer Press for a is of course a solid tome of knowledge. I tend to stay far away from internet fora when it comes to seeking advice on power building. They have their moments, but sorting through the flame wars and “This unit suxx!” “NO, U JUST USE IT WRONG NUB!” and so on can be a chore. Luckily, there is some solid information in the stickies there. Some of it pointing on to the best source of information I've found by far.

The Overseer is a site dealing heavily with articles on Cryx and their units. Even though some of them are semi-dated it's a very solid foundation to build upon. It's also very critic and analyzing about things usually taken for gospel on the fora. Actually reading an article on Tartarus that wasn't all “OMG SO STRONG!!” was refreshing. I especially recommend the Compendiums in the side bar. Also; there is a very good (albeit quite long) Podcast with the author, in which he discusses most of the units, solos, jacks and casters of Cryx. You obviously should check that out.

On youtube there is plenty of more information. CounterSlam Faction did a good little video in which they go through some of the casters and units too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8kPO-txVg4
Youtube is likely also a wealth of knowledge for battle reports. Personally, I decided to simply become a member of Miniwargaming.com and go through their vaults. Some of their recorded battles are really good. The site can be somewhat confusing to navigate on at times, knowing where to start or end, but trust me, it's worth it.

Do you have any other recommendations? Feel free to share them!

Painting Guide: Daemon Prince of Nurgle

Hello again!

As recent posts have stated, I've been working on commission for a Chaos Space Marine player with a gray army. Not usually an ordeal I'd undertake, I was still thrilled for the chance to paint some 40K models. I've always said one of the things that drew me into that universe (if not the ONLY thing...) were the awesome minis. I've never played 40K myself, but it sure looks fun.

But I digress.
I posted a small painting guide on the Nurgle marines some time ago, and just as I'd finished them, my friend turned up with his Daemon Prince he wanted done too. It was the forgeworld one of the not so fresh Nurgle prince of Bel-Warp. The imperative description being 'make him disgusting'.

So I thought I'd share my disgusts with you. Here's how I painted the Nurgle Daemon Prince.
I didn't get to take pictures that much during the process, so you'll have to make do with what I've got. Again, this is with GW-paint. I know a lot of you hate that stuff, but you'll have to use it as guidelines then.

Doing the research
“Disgusting” is such a nice description to paint from. At first I thought about a “Sex and the City” theme; failing that, I thought rotting flesh. Doing the mandatory Google on “rotten flesh” “disease” and “infected wounds” - it wasn't pretty. But educational for sure. Take heart that you're spared for this at least.

I wanted to approach him a bit like the Skaven Abomination – a lumbering pile of flesh, with enough variety to make him stand out with the shitload of little, nice details.

The foundation
I undercoated him white because dead and rotten flesh would be great with a pale tone. Then overbrushed him with black wash.

On top of that, I painted him with Red Gode pretty much all over, except for the wings, emulating his bloody, skinless body. There are so many wounds on this guy that it seemed easier to just paint flesh on top of this instead.
I suppose you can do a wash here if you want.
I also applied some of my favorite blood-paint to this, to make it look really messy. This is the Sanguine 270 from “Sennelier” - it doesn't take very much paint and it really looks like blood. The result was red and gory.

The metal parts were simply done with Ironbreaker. As for the wings, see later entry.

Making a sample
I started out experimenting on his arm, to find a theme I liked. Eventually, I settled for a balanced mix of Graveyard Earth and Bleached Bone (around half and half, I think) for the first layer. I left the obvious open wounds red and just did a smooth surface across the skin.
I then went for another layer of 2:1 Bleached Bone and Graveyard Earth. The finally, with a thin layer, I applied Bleached Bone, mainly on the elevated areas or to clear up mistakes.

I then applied some washes. Orange, brown and even greenish works. I mainly used Seraphim Sepia. The trick here is to apply not too much and then, with a sponge or something, dab it gently before it dries, since this gives a slightly “corroded” look to the skin. Then I looked at it, and applied more thin strips of Bleached Bone (mixed with a fair amount of Lahmian Medium, otherwise you risk ruining the wash effect) and repeated till I was happy.
You can go even lighter with white paint if you wish; the great thing about this approach is that it's very open for experimentation. And messing up on Nurgle minis is usually a boon anyway.

So, the first arm was done and while I wasn't completely satisfied, I had a good idea of what I wanted to accomplish. So there we went and repeated for the entire model. This is likely the biggest ordeal for this guide.
Also, it's up to you how many crevices you want to show in his skin. I decided to leave a lot, since it looks better from a distance.

Once done, the real fun begins. Go over the entire body and start applying pure Bleached Bone, maybe mixed with a tad bit of Skull White, to the most elevated areas. Like the heights of the broken flesh, his mouth, nipples...pretty much anything largely elevated.

Then on to the wounds. There are some things that make out for disgusting wounds (again, don't google this shit) – First, the wound itself will likely be bleeding, so I painted the recesses of it red gore, applied the Sennelier Sanguine 270 and called it a day. If you don't have access to this, red wash or just red gore mixed with chaos black and then Gloss Varnish is a good alternative.

The flesh around a wound is usually red and touched by inflammation. Basic red wash thinned down will do this nicely.

Some wounds are so nasty they ooze with infection. You can either imitate this by pure Seraphim Sepia, applying so much it runs, or mix it up with something thicker. I used a drop of Water Effect-goo (I can't find another word for this, sorry) and mixed it with Sepia, thoroughly and then just applied a load to the wound so it would run naturally down his body. Then carefully soaked up the mix from the wound itself, so it wouldn't cover for the good, red blood. I think you can accomplish the same with ordinary basing glue, just you have to use more Sepia and know it's a lot thicker. Try and experiment!

The horns, nails and teeth
Starting with a layer of bestial brown, I added a little bit more Bleached Bone (like, a thin brush worth) and thinned with Lahmian Medium. Applied this almost the way down to the root of the nail/horn. Let it dry. Add a bit more Bleached Bone, apply almost the way down to the root, only this time, not as far as the last stroke and so on till you reach the very tip where it ideally will be pure Bleached Bone. This technique takes some getting used to, but once you've got it it's really, really easy and quick. Lahmian Medium helps a lot here! Or water, if you please. The trick is to keep the paint so thin the layers below show. For the teeth you can add an edge highlight of Skull White and then wash them with whatever sick color you want afterwards. I went for Athonian Camoshade, because it's brown and green in the same go.

The imps and the barrel
The little green critters – I went for a color that would compliment the yellowish theme, so...Golden Yellow, then applied Waywatcher Green for a wash and there you go. Do some red eyes with blood red and add details as you see fit. You can also add more yellow for highlight and was again for some contrast.

The barrel was done with Ironbreaker first, then washed heavily with Earthshade. Once dry, drybrushed again with Earthshade and washed again. Then do edgehighlights with Ironbreaker and you're off. You can do the chips of metal by applying small patches of Sycorax Bronze and then even smaller patches of Ironbreaker on top of those. It looks really well. You can also do Camoshade wash instead on the entire barrel for a green tint.

As for the goo, it was quite simple. I did a basing of Scorpion Green (Moot Green, these days), then washed it with Waywatcher Green. Then I highlighted the natural spots and kept doing this for a couple of rounds till it looked good. You can get the shiny look either by a layer of Gloss Varnish or water effect-goo. I use the Woodland Scenics C1211. It takes a little while to dry, but you can keep applying layers till you're happy about it. You can even wash on top of the layers if you please.

I would have painted the imps here purple or something, to make them stand out, but this wasn't my decision as it wasn't my mini.

The wings
This design isn't mine; it's the one they used on Nagash in the official how to paint-video. I still love it a bunch and has used it on a lot of models so far, seeing how it's really easy to accomplish if you have access to Lahmian Medium.

The ides is; paint the top half of the wing in Incubi Darkness. Let it stretch into the bottom in 'spikes'. On the bottom, paint it with Celestra Grey and make it 'spike' into the Incubi Darkness too. Then wash the gray part with Nihilakh Oxide concentrating on the transition area.

Once done, mix a 1:3 Coelia Greenshade and Lahmian Medium and apply thin washes at the transition. You need a good amount of layers; the most important thing is you keep it thin, otherwise the effect is ruined. It should eventually even out the color.

Then do a 3:1 of Nuln Oil and Lahmnian Medium and wash the Incubi Darkness part, like you did with the horns. Put layers on layers, going a bit shorter down the wing for every layer.

If you're bad-shit confused, I just recommend you watch their video. It shows it off much better. It goes from the beginning and around 10 minutes in. Patience is the most important factor here.

The purple stuff
This didn't end up on the final model, since my client didn't want it. But I'll share with you either way! This was a simple layer of Daemonette Hide, washed with Druchii Violet and then drybrushed with the Lucius Lilac. You can do with Daemonette Hide+Skull White instead, but the new drybrush specific paint really is strange and funny to work with. Simple as that. Add some Gloss Varnish for the slimy effect.

Drool and slime
It just wouldn't do without it. This one you can easily do with Woodland Scenics C1212. Alternatively, use ordinary glue, which is a bit thicker. Add Seraphim Sepia for extra gross.

Done and done!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cryx pt. 2: Lessons learned vs. Vlad1 and Feora2

I thought I'd sit down and share some of the things I've learned the hard way during my first two games with Cryx. I went respectively for battles versus Khador (Vlad1) and Menoth (Feora2)

 Versus Khador – Incursion. 35 points.
This was my first game of Cryx in which I fielded pretty much what I'd assembled so far. My list was something like this:

2 Deathrippers
1 Skarlock
1 General Slaughterborn
1 full unit of banes with UA
1 Tartarus
1 full unit of satyxis raiders with UA
2 machine wraiths

Vlad fielded a unit of doomreavers, winterguard rifle corps with Joe, a behemoth and a good handful of mechanics, a small regiment of widowmakers and two infiltrators.

I lost this fight, even though it looked pretty interesting. I decided to do an all out on the rifle-corps, not wanting my precious raiders to splatter too soon, so I got to engage them from the first turn. This was likely a rushed move of panic for me, since threatening them was nice, but the doomreavers had a field day tearing them apart. And with Signs and Portents+Joe's speech, even riflemen can be bastards in melee.

It did serve to occupy the masses in a nice big group for my banes to get in on the flank and start butchering. I got Denny up the field, feated, and through not giving a shit for my own people clever tactics, sprayed all over those pesky doomreavers with venom, butchering them and the entire unit of riflemen. Sadly, general slaughterborn splattered early in the fight to a very precise shot from the Behemoth; he would have turned things significantly around. I kept getting pestered by the infiltrators and one reaver who refused to die, making me spend way too much time on them. When finally I got into melee with the Behemoth and the cowardly Vlad hiding behind it, my forces were way too reduced and I had to rely on scoring enough points. This was a mistake, as I placed Denny too close to the front without crippling grasp'ing the Behemoth. Meaning the next turn, it came trampling through the lines and tore her apart. 

Well, that, and the fact my opponent was sure he could trample through Tartarus...which you can't because he's too big and fat. We only realized this after the game, so it was kind of hard to say. I settled for a draw, being pessimistic that I'd made so many mistakes either way, that he likely would've killed me in another way.

Lessons learned:
  • If no feat up, block or debuff any jacks who get trample happy.
  • TARTARUS HAS THRESHER; YOU MORON! Learning how and when to be aggressive with Mr. T is definitely something that will take time.
  • Spread this shit out. I still struggle a lot with this old Warhammer mentality. It's a skirmish game, and had I spread out my raiders more, I could've denied him charges and engaged more riflemen.
  • Machine wraiths are kind of awesome. I likely wouldn't bring 2 again, but as flag-cappers and taking out a jack's focus for one turn they're really good for that one point. Also, there's a psychological effect against newer players, so see such a huge, incorporeal model coming, floating your way. I pretty much parked one at one flag and he actually moved his widowmakers closer to it just to contest, rather than moving in to shoot at banes.
  • Arc Nodes are fucking awesome. Work with me here: This is coming from a long time Khador player who then moved to Skorne. I love arc nodes. More more more.
  • I deployed my banes wisely, I think, but again I brought too many of them in on the same target, meaning I couldn't get them where I wanted later on. Sure, it's awesome to have four of them stare down a feated-down Doomreaver, but then again, you won't really move out from him either. A man, did I feel like an idiot when one splattered him and the rest just stood there because they didn't want a free strike?
  • Morale: Learn to love Ghostwalk. There are so many possibilities in this one.
  • Also: Withering decreases FOCUS too! Remember!

Versus Menoth. Outflank. 35 pts.
My list was something like this, on the top of my head.

2 Deathrippers
1 Skarlock
1 Gorman
1 full unit of Satyxis raiders with UA
1 full unit of Nyshunters
1 full unit of Crow's Cutthroats

His list:
Judicator (scary!)
A choir
A unit of mechanics
Unit of Exemplar Bastions
Unit of Knight's Exemplar
Vassal of Menoth

I'm always a bit twitchy when facing colossal. They sure make for an impressive look on the battlefield. I was honestly expecting a harbinger list, which is why I just threw something together as an opportunity to play around for a bit with shooting.
Much of my army had advanced deployment, which helped me with one of my flaws in this game – deploying wisely in accord to what I'm facing. In the beginning, I've always found it easier to be second player because you can react to what shit is put down. While ideally you should be the one forcing the reactions, I've found this to be a good entry to a new faction, as long as you can apply the pressure. Also, when facing a non-harbinger list, going second doesn't bother me that much.

That being said, I went first for this, so I set out full speed ahead, throwing Croe's at the left flank, the Nys at the right where they could remain nice and tighly in a cozy forest for some of the way. Again, my poor purple babes with chains would go for the brunt of stuff, but being blast immune would hopefully buy me a little time. I'd like to pat myself on the back for better deployment here; they remained spread out, so even during the first round of fire, the bouncing AOE only managed to kill two raiders and ignite one other (which usually means she'll die anyway). There were a lot of models on the table, and he spread his firepower a bit. I think I got a bit lucky too with the rolls, but mainly my deployment was solid in this regard.

On my turn, I moved Denny up, feated and got an arc node close enough to the colossal that it had a Parasite as well. She camped her remaining focus and the Nys ran out and fired separately (at this point the big machine was so crippled I thought it worth it) taking out a healthy chunk of boxes. Then entered the Satyxis. They weren't close enough to get in with their horns, but five of them reached the debuffed colossal. Now, granted; I did roll quite lucky on those dices. With minifeat on, they slammed for four dices of dam on top of their PS 9. I believe with a minus 5 to armor, a judicator is firmly planted around the value of 14 or so. Added on top the Nys-shots, the huge machine went down.
Also, the rest of the army was so slowed and crippled, there was very little he could actually do to touch me for a whole turn.
Needless to say, I was kind of impressed...

Crove's boys did a spectacular job on the flank. I love how slow factions such as Menoth can have a minus 2 to movement, being unable to receive orders and then enter units with Bushwhack. Making a hail of shots only to move backwards and keep firing? With poison on top of an already debuffed armor. It barely wasn't fun, and the entire unit of Knight's Exemplars went down in a single round. Crove's seem really good as long as they have something to help them out with their despicable RAT.

Most of the Bastions were butchered by the remaining Satyxis. Again, the damage rolls are insane when coupled with Withering and mini feat. Up till now, my opponent had celebrated that he'd placed Feora far back and thus away from my feat, but at this time he needed to win by assassination or half a unit of Satyxis with Ghostwalk would be at his tail on the next turn. After much measurement, he realized there was no way for him to get close enough and the game was won.

Certainly went much smoother this time around. There are still lessons to learn!

  • Gorman didn't do a single thing, except popping some smoke bombs to screen Denny. It didn't help much in terms of a colossal though, but it did keep her defense on the high side throughout the battle. I do wonder whether it would've been more prudent to have had him further up with the boys to keep the judicator busy. As said, I rolled very well on the dice against it (three of the rolls were 17+ on four dice) and I can't count on that in every battle. In the future, I may just keep him closer to the front.
  • I could've gone in more aggressively with the Satyxis. Pushed them further up the line. In that way, I could've gotten in more attacks on the massively debuffed colossal, since I can add their horns to the attacks and combine arms.
  • I really like Crove's and not that many people in my meta use them so I think I'll stick to them against certain armies. I definitely wouldn't send them out on their own, though. They need help, but when they have it, I think they can perform well.
  • Using Nyx to shoot at the colossal likely wasn't that optimal. In better circumstance they would've charged, which would've wrecked it absolutely even with mediocre rolls on the dices. Again, I didn't push enough forward, thinking the forest would keep them safe. It would likely have payed off to keep them spread out more and sacrifice two or three to a rocket. It's a very fine level of detail, though, if you still want to remain outside flamethrower range. I need to work on this cost-benefit analysis.

With this being said, I'm off for more lessons. Stay tuned for some pretty undead pictures soon!

Cryx pt. 1: "See the world" they said...

I abandoned the previous entry on a cliffhanger, regarding the newly discovered faction I've taken up in Warmachine. It's not really that huge of a spoiler anymore, if you've followed my tweets, but I'll still pretend it's a surprise to most of you.

I threw myself into a fiery volcano and have become a trusty servant of the Dragon Father.
Shocking, I know. If you can't beat them, join 'em and all that.

Some history and background for this decision for those of you who'd care:
I began playing Warmachine in the spring of 2013 or so and one of the things that intrigued me the most was the whacked and interesting factions. I wanted to play everything at the time, including Cryx, but read several places on the net that this was the “high skill, high reward” faction that was very unforgiving to newcomers. A lot of people loved to bash on these guys too, so I thought I'd make a good impression and chose something more tolerable; enter Khador.

Khador, I was told, was a beat-stick faction that seemed very straight forward. In one of my earliest posts about them, I compared them to the Warriors of Chaos 8th edition pre-new armybook – Forward and hit them in the face till it drops. Today it puzzles the living fuck out of me why anyone would really describe them like that, but hey, maybe it was a remnant from distant times, I don't know. I played Khador a lot like that in the beginning, two, at times three, heavy jacks and just something to hit stuff. It failed miserably. Then I went to shooting, which Khador really isn't that terrible at, but it just meant that in good games with good rolls, I could actually win something with long shots and gunning assassinations against new people. Only after several games, did I realize the staggering amount of potential Khador held for infantry-spam and suddenly a lot of jacks were shelved for a

Khador-shooting. It can certainly be a thing.
I had a lot of games against Cryx at the time, but mostly new players who didn't like the faction, so I won all my games. But there was a huge amount of rage against the poor undeads still, so I didn't venture into that territory. Instead I went on to have a short going thing with Skorne, having been away from the game for almost a year (because, girlfriend lolol). It wasn't really the success I'd hoped for; mostly due to me and the Hordes rules not getting along (see previous post)

Some time ago, I decided I wanted to become more hardcore at Warmachines, because it's by far my favorite game out there and the hobby aspect amazing. Not necessarily a tournament player, but I wanted to actually have a fair chance of winning again. So I started looking into Cryx. As stated earlier, I've always loved the models. Also, they seem to like their infantry spam a lot, which I approve of. It looks so awesome, and who doesn't just love the undead? Anyone saying no is in severe denial, of course.

I've always had a thing for the 'broken stuff' when it comes to competitive gaming. When I play a computer game with any chance of power creep, I'll look at it. In wargaming I want to make sure I play a faction that can pack a punch (I had a glorious time when Skavens dominated the meta with their pseudo 8th-edition book) – yet I was deterred by Cryx because people warned me against them being so hard to play.

Granted, I've only played three games with them so far, but the sheer amount of reading up on battle repports, rules, guides, podcasts and forum posts about them is beyond counting. Mastering Cryx has become some of an obsession now, and the strange thing is I enjoy it miles more than I ever did with Skorne and Khador. There is no denying that Cryx has some downright dirty moves, but it's like the possibilities are endless and I want to try it all out. So much I've bought most of the models needed for the armies I wish to play, without a single regret. I've had only one victory so far, but the losses all seemed logical to me. I knew what I did wrong and I have a strong idea what I need to do different the next time.

So my point; I've only played Warmachine for two years or so, but I think that's enough experience under my belt to say – yes, Cryx may indeed take longer to get into. But I don't think the learning curve is that much steeper than just learning Warmachine in general. I wish someone had explained me that back then.

So, here's to a grand campaign serving the Dragon Father, with plenty of more articles to come!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The end of Skorne

So, I might as well just let the cat out of the bag and say that Skorne didn't cut it for me. Or, I'd rather say; Hordes didn't cut it for me. As I wrote a lot about in previous blogs, Skorne was an army that had a huge aesthetic appeal to me and one I really wanted to paint. At the same time, I thought it was about time to get to know the Hordes system better. When I played against Hordes players, I felt they could give their models just about any ability or amount of Fury, and I'd still say “yeah sure, if you say so” - It's not a healthy approach to a game like Warmachine.

So, my understanding of Hordes has increased dramatically and for that I am thankful. I've often found that the best way to learn how to exploit your enemy's weaknesses, is by walking a mile in his shoes and stumble a couple of times. And by gods did I stumble. Also, I have a really nice pair of shoes.

"Don't go, man. It's just a phase, c'mon. We'll find you some nice Bronzeback, how's that?"
Going from Warmachine to Hordes is in the grand scale of things a small step, yet the implications enormous. Whereas Warmachine appealed to me due to its FOCUS management system, I suddenly had to gamble with my resources in a huge investment game that could just as easily collapse in a moment as blow up three jacks in a turn. Add on top of that how you also had to secure enough resources for your caster and the synergy grew a lot more complicated.

A lot of people have told me that Skorne is especially notorious for this, so maybe I did pick my battle a bit unwisely. Also, I only fought three battles with them, all the time using a Fist-list which I found rather interesting; except for using warbeasts which I felt took out all the fun. Playing around with Molik Karn was fun, of course. Shield walled units with plenty of wounds and armor was exactly what I loved about it.

But Hordes didn't cut it for me. It was a valuable lesson, because understanding the rules now allow me to engage Hordes players in a totally different perspective. Of course I wish I hadn't bought half the models for my army already, but they're nice and I'm very happy painting them. Maybe I'll trade them in for another faction one day, who knows?

I really did want to try out that Hydra, though...

The good news in this regard; I decided to move on to my third option on my list, in terms of what I always wanted to try out. And man, was that ever the right decision for me...

Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.1

In other, and very much delayed, news; Warlords of Draenor raiding is going nice and tight. It's not bleeding edge progress, since we only raid two nights a week and usually have to fill in the blank spots with pick-ups. Henceforth, the degree of success varies from that factor.
I still wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, though. Raiding with a bunch of real life friends and nothing else, talking in your common tongue and just having room for fun and yet determined progress is honestly more than I could ask for.

WoD has been a blast of an expansion for me, so far. Mainly due to just mentioned reason, but it's a nice step back towards what we loved in TBC. Maybe not as huge a step as I could've hoped for, but it suffices for me. I understand a lot of the recent fuss about the so-called 'content patch' 6.1 which kind of felt like a letdown (but let's be honest; I'm still waiting for the rogue buffs. You know they're coming! RIGHT?) - The thing Blizzard likely ought to have done, was either delaying Foundry till 6.1 itself hit, or have gotten their act together and released everything in 6.1 when Foundry hit. I imagine the last option would've been most beneficial. There is no doubt that Foundry was the real meat of this patch, but since it released so early compared to the actual patch, it was pretty much like a tiny bit of salad on a plate.
Also, I still don't think that selfie-options counts as content, but that's me.

Here's to taking down Blackhand tonight! He's the only guy left before we kick on to heroic. We got highmaul heroic all the way up to Imperator, so I have hopes for us!

In other news, I finally got my Thunderfury!