Battle Report – Scaverous 50 pts

A hoy hoy, it’s been a long time since I actually played a game! I got in one game this week with Scaverous against a Menoth player using pSevvy. My list was:

Lord Exhumator Scaverous (*5pts)
* Nightwretch (4pts)
* Deathjack (12pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3pts)
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
The Withershadow Combine (5pts)
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius (3pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
Darragh Wrathe (4pts)
General Gerlak Slaughterborn (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)

It was a brand new list and I thought I’d try out a little bit of the “MSU” style that has been popular lately.

Scaverous and I have a love-hate relationship. First off, I love the model. It’s one of the main reasons I chose Cryx as my first army, and I had bought Scaverous and put him together before I had any clue what he did. I also love the concept of Scaverous as a caster. He has a broad toolbox of spells that includes telekinesis, one of my favorite spells in the game.

On the other hand, I hate how difficult it has been for me to play Scaverous. In 7-8 tries I’ve never won a game with him, and honestly never even felt like I was close. People describe Scaverous as a Rube Goldberg machine, and it has never felt like I got that machine to work. Because he’s not super popular there isn’t a huge database of Scaverous lists out there for casual players like myself to netdeck from. That’s kind of a stupid reason to hate a caster, but for beginner/intermediate players like myself who want to play good armies with a chance of winning, sometimes it’s hard to come up with lists that work.  Anyways I’ll save some of my bitching for the end of the report, haha.

I went into the store knowing I was going to play my Scaverous list. When I told my opponent I was playing Cryx he said “cool, I’m going to use my anti-Cryx list.” Greaaaaat. As a Cryx player I’m used to playing against everyone’s anti-Cryx list, but every once in a while it’s nice to throw my random list down against someone who’s doing the same thing. Oh well, can’t blame people for wanting to try out their anti-Cryx tech. His list looked something like this (taken from memory so it could be off):

Grand Scrutator Severius (*6pts)
* Blessing of Vengeance (7pts)
* Judicator (18pts)
* Hierophant (2pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Exemplar Bastions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
Exemplar Bastions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal (3pts)
* Reckoner (8pts)

So lots of multi-wound models that are tough to kill and a few jacks. Never played against multiple units of Bastions before, and never played against the Judicator. We roll up a scenario and it’s Fire Support. I win the roll and decide to go first. Here’s my deployment:

IMAG0087With Deathjack eventually getting placed over on the right side. Basic idea was throw the Banes up the middle and then use the heavy hitters to control the right side of the board. He set up a unit of Bastions and each side of the Judicator.

Turn One

I run up and so does he. He tries to drift some Judicator AOEs onto my units but fails. Here we are after one:

IMAG0090Turn Two:

I mostly just run up and try to spread my unit of Banes out to avoid all the blasts/Ashes to Ashes. My idea for the Deathjack is to charge up and put Icy Grip on the right unit of Bastions. Unfortunately I have the rules wrong (pretty rusty here) and forget that a failed charge means you can’t cast a spell. What I could have done was set up a Bane Thrall in range for the Deathjack to charge, then cast the spell after the successful charge. Oh well, next time. This means my Deathjack is just hanging in the wind out there. After my turn two:

IMAG0091His turn two he cast Ashes to Ashes on one of the Banes and rolled a 4, forcing tough checks on all 5 Banes of which I passed one. He jammed a Bastion into the Deathjack and assaulted Wrathe with the Reckoner, knocking him off his horse. Everything else just jammed up. I think he might have scored a control point?Didn’t take a pic of this one.

Turn Three

The Reckoner is in a prime spot for me to Dark Industry, so I spend basically my entire turn setting that up. I begin by purging on the left unit of Bastions, doing a few damage but forgetting to put Corrosion on any of the models (oops). I feat with Scaverous and TK the Reckoner and turn his back towards the Withershadow Combine. I get a Bane Thrall on the Reckoner and put some damage into him, then clear Darragh and Slaughterborne out of the way so the WSC can all charge in. The WSC all charge the Reckoner’s back arc needing anything but double 1s to hit. I roll double 1s twice in a row and miss on the first two charge attacks. Brutal. There’s like less than a 1% chance of that happening, but that’s why you roll the dice. The reckoner survives with 7 or 8 boxes. Deathjack then activates, kills a Bastion, TKs another bastion, and then needing 5s to hit misses a boosted attack and a regular attack. I begin to fantasize about melting my dice down into a frisbee and hurling it off my balcony. He scores another control point on my turn. Here it is after my turn three:

IMAG0092He casts Ashes to Ashes, rolls a 6, and kills all 7 models he hits. Wow, his Ashes to Ashes rolls were really good this game. He gets some hits on the Deathjack, charging in with the Bastion Seneschal, and kills the Withershadow with the still-standing Reckoner. My force is decimated but he doesn’t score a control point because he moved off the flag.

Turn Four

I’ve checked out mentally at this point in the game and just want it to end. I’d concede right away but figure that would be rude so I’ll play it out another turn or two. There’s no way for me to get close to his caster, so my Deathjack gets loaded up with focus and inches up towards the Bastion and Reckoner. He claims this results in his Seneschal getting a defensive strike, which is wrong because the Deathjack started his movement inside the Seneschal’s melee range (See: http://privateerpressforums.com/showthread.php?10866-Defensive-strike-and-models-already-engaging). Being a lawyer by trade you’d think I’d really get off on arguing about what the phrase “advance into” means but at this point I’m too frazzled to care and I let him take it. He spikes the damage roll with a 17 and cripples my Deathjack’s left arm. If it had actually mattered I would have argued more and brought someone over to rule on it, but in a friendly game that I already was going to lose it seemed pointless. I finish my turn and concede, having lost the will to go on (he would have won easily on Scenario the next turn). He played a very good game and really got me good.

Thoughts

Another disappointing Scaverous game; I just cannot figure this guy out. My models were clustered up too much on the right side and I wasn’t getting meaningful activations with Gerlak or Aiakos. The Bastions were a great answer to my army, since even though I got off a couple nice purges with the Biles, he was able to spread the damage around so it didn’t actually kill anything. In the end I only killed a couple Bastions, despite landing some pretty big hits. Even if Gerlak had managed to charge in he would not have done much since the Bastions would have spread the damage around to keep him from bouncing around. I had a couple tactical blunders, like failing to get Icy Grip on the Bastions, and in the end I didn’t manage to push up far enough to contest the flags. Even if my WSC had scrapped the Reckoner I think he could have won on scenario. His anti-Cryx list did what it was supposed to do, but I think I would have had a much better chance with an eGaspy list or a pSkarre list. Scaverous doesn’t seem powerful enough to “Cryx harder” when playing an anti-Cryx list, at least not with the list I brought. If this had been a two-list format I would never have risked dropping Scaverous (though I’m not sure why I would have brought Scaverous in the first place).

The takeaway for me is that I need to deploy my threats more spread out. The WSC, Gerlak, Aiakos, Wrathe, Deathjack, and my caster were all on one side, and all I had on the other side were a unit of Biles. He was able to push up on that side and start controlling the flag very early on. The turn I charged the Reckoner with my WSC I basically just had to move Gerlak and Wrathe out of the way since everything was so bunched up.

So Scaverous is going back on the shelf for a while, haha! It seems like every couple months I forget how terrible I am with him and I bring him out for a night only to get beat up on.  Anyways even though the game itself kind of sucked it felt good to get a game in. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next time🙂

Product Test and Introducing Friends to Warmachine

Last night I finally had the opportunity to bust out the Tablewar Gaming Mat I reviewed earlier this year. The initial impressions can be seen HERE.

A friend of mine named Chris has been talking about getting into Warmachine and I thought I’d try my hand at running a demo game for him. His opponent? My fiancee who also had never played before. Sounds like a good idea… I think, hah.

So first the mat review: everything worked very well on it! Some of the light plastic piece were a little too easy to slide around, but I’d take that any day over pieces getting stuck in unruly felt. Dice roll really well on the mat and it does add a cool visual element to the game. I didn’t have the terrain to support it (and wouldn’t want to overload new players with terrain anyways), but I think overall it looks great and plays well. I’m going to keep trying to stockpile terrain so I can get a real photogenic game going in my basement. I snapped an action shot:

IMAG0052On to the demo game. I pitted pGaspy against pDenny because… I’m not sure why I picked those. The rest of the casters I have felt too complicated (Scaverous), too contingent on certain mechanics (Terminus), or too overpowered in a small game (eSkarre). Each player got 2 heavy warjacks and a light warjack and I essentially encouraged them to run everything into each other.

After helping with the game I have a new-found respect for PGs and what they do. It is HARD to teach people this game. There are tons of rules and they’re not intuitive for people that are brand new to tabletop gaming. I felt like at times I was getting lost in the minutiae, and other times I definitely helped too much.

I also had very different audiences on either side of the table. Chris was more serious about asking questions and figuring out the rules, while my fiancee just wanted to smash the robots together.

If I could do it again I think I’d pick two opponents that have the same goal in playing the demo game. Chris, for example, was already interested in Warmachine and wanted to see the nuts and bolts played out on the table. He wanted to see how measurement worked, what all the stats meant, and generally get a feel for whether he wanted to buy into the game. With two people like this playing I could have stayed in teacher mode for the whole game, or at least been equally technical with both players.

My fiancee on the other hand had to be convinced to try the game. With her I could have just played with her myself and been super lax with the rules. When you’re trying to get someone interested in Warmachine who has never really looked into it before, maybe it’s best to let them bend the rules and just have fun. With Chris on one side of the table and my fiancee on the other, I was torn between bending the rules to make it fun and showing Chris how the game really gets played.

Anyways, in the end my fiancee triumphed, which may have had something to do with me helping her more than Chris. I felt a little bad about it afterwards, since the general consensus is you’re supposed to win your first demo game, but hopefully I didn’t scare Chris off!

IMAG0062The face of victory!

 

Product Review – Secret Weapon Wet Earth Pigment Set

Wanted to try a muddy earth base for my upcoming Kraken so I ordered the Weather Pigment Set – Wet Earth from Secret Weapon Miniatures. The set I’m talking about (and the guide I followed) are here: http://www.secretweaponminiatures.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_38&products_id=364

I tested the set out on a resin swamp base from Secret Weapon. First I primed it black, then I painted the whole thing Khaki. Those two steps are too exciting so I didn’t take any pics. Next I applied the “Dark Earth” pigment:

IMAG0039The base was very, very rocky, so there were places where the Khaki color shows through quite a bit. The guide shows this color going on and really having lots of shading to it, there are light and dark areas all over. I found that the color blender together more than that, and I didn’t have light and dark areas, just more or less brown areas. Next I added the Terracotta color:

IMAG0040Again, I wasn’t getting the kind of contract in the guide. As I will explain later, I think the problem was I didn’t seal in each layer with alcohol, but waited until everything was down together, so I got lots of mixing of colors. After the Terracotta I put down the Violet:

IMAG0041Well, more blending of colors. Then I sealed it all together with alcohol and it REALLY just blended together. I had to go back after sealing it and add more Terracotta and Violet, but at that point I think it was beyond hope. I went ahead and added the gloss varnish to show where the wet mud was:

IMAG0043And then I added the green to show corrosion:

IMAG0044The green effect is subtle and I like it quite a bit. I think the reason it worked well is because everything had been sealed and I was able to decide exactly where I wanted the coloring to go.

Overall I like the idea of the pigment set, but it’s hard to recreate the effects on the guide. Not surprising since it’s my first attempt, but I think it’s important that people know that your colors will all flood together if you wait to seal the pigment until the very last step. Might seem pretty obvious to some, but I was so excited throwing pigment around that I forgot about the colors blending together. Next time I think I’ll try layering alcohol down and then sprinkling the pigment on top, just to see how it looks.

Anyways, I like the effect, and I think with some practice it will look a lot cleaner (which is funny since I’m going for a muddy effect). A tentative recommend to buy from me, but don’t expect to get studio results without some tinkering.

Feat of Service 2014 – WIP Pics

As June 7th draws nearer I’ve continued to work on my custom caster for the event. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to the event itself, but that hasn’t stopped me from converting my caster and slapping some paint on her!

As I mentioned in my original Feat of Service post, I wanted to use pDenny as my chassis, in part because pDenny was the first caster I put together and my paint job on her doesn’t stand up to some of my more recent stuff. Originally I had planned to swap out the head for Alexia’s head, but I found that the shape of Alexia’s neck was too difficult to work with, so I ended up using the head of Annyssa Ryvaal (an idea I blatantly stole from plarzoid.com).

Other than that the plan came together pretty well. I stuck the metal pDenny body on eCaine’s base and then wrapped a couple of eGaspy’s souls around her body. Without further ado:

LzmwSF5And here she is with a base coat on her:

Denny editedTechnically I’ve finished most of my shading and whatnot, but the Feat of Service guys want to keep the completed models a surprise until the day of the event, so no further hobby updates from me. Keep looking at http://novanomads.com/featofservice/ for updates on the event!

So what do you think, does it still look enough like pDenny to use her as such after the Feat of Service?

Battle Report – eGaspy

Long overdue for a battle report here! I’ve been trying to get some warts removed from my hands and the freezing/pain makes it hard for me to paint or play, but I’ve still gotten in a few games.

I got my first game in with eGaspy against Clint playing Iron Mother. My eGaspy list had the full bane package, blood witches, Darragh, biles, and a couple arc nodes. Pretty standard — it’s basically my pGaspy list with the caster upgraded.

I’ve played against Iron Mother before but it was a tier4 list with tons of servitors.  This time Clint was running 3 heavy vectors (Assimilators, Inverter, and Cypher I think), a unit of Reductors, and a unit of Reciprocators. Honestly the names of the Convergence units are such a confusing mess, it’s hard to know what someone is playing with.

The scenario was Incursion and I went first. After a round of running it looked like this:

IMAG0016_BURST002My basic idea was put the Bane Knights near the side with the forest so they could run through it if needed, and put Saxon over by the Banes so they could charge over that wall if needed. In retrospect I should have switched it since the Thralls can’t swing an axe over the wall, while the Knights can. When he jammed two heavies up against the wall the Thralls were pretty useless.

Unfortunately my phone’s camera was crapping out on me (I’ve since gotten it replaced, phew). His first turn he moved up and killed a few Thralls with shooting. I ran everything up to try to put some pressure on the scenario, then used clouds to (hopefully) block LOS to BLT.

After my round 2:

IMAG0018_BURST002He moved up and started killing Knights with his Reciprocators. His Assimilator and Inverter (I think), got up behind the wall and put some damage into the Thralls and Knights. I’m down 6 Knights and 4 or 5 Thralls at this point (exactly what I wanted for my feat). His Cypher ran to contest the far flag. Unfortunately his Reductors (the spray guys) were boxed in pretty well by his own Reciprocators and couldn’t do much. After his turn 2:

IMAG0019_BURST002 (1)I couldn’t score a control point with the Knights because he reduced the unit to 4 guys. This was my big turn. I moved my witches out of the way, moved eGaspy over to  the far flag, feated, and then teleported into base contact with the flag. All the Thralls and Knights spawned by eGaspy charged the Cypher and scrapped it, ensuring me at least 2 control points.

BLT charged into the Reductors and cursed them, killing quite a few. The Knights and a couple remaining solos then charged in and wiped out more Reductors. The cherry on top was Gorman drifting a black oil onto the Inverter behind the wall. Darragh moved into base contact with the middle flag and I scored a total of 3 control points. Here we are after my 3:

IMAG0023_BURST002 (1)Realizing he couldn’t get anything over to the far flag he conceded.

Not a bad way to start out with eGaspy. Wow, what a powerful feeling caster. I’m sure he has bad match ups, but it felt like he could do whatever I wanted him to this game. Need to block LOS? No problem. Need to get into B2B with a flag that’s 14 inches away? No problem. Need to take down a heavy when you have almost nothing supporting that side of the field? No problem.

Anyways I’m considering heading to a tournament in Maryland tomorrow so we’ll see if I get off the couch and play some more. If I do I’m sure I’ll post a tournament report of sorts. Happy gaming!

 

Tablewar Gaming Mat: First Impressions

Back in December I backed a Kickstarter for the Tablewar Gaming Mats from Frontline Gaming. I was first exposed to the guys at Frontline Gaming (www.frontlinegaming.org) back when I was playing 40k, so I was pretty excited to see what they had come up with in terms of table mats.

I’ve always wanted to be the guy with the awesome mat and terrain that everyone wants to play with. I bought a Zuzzy Mat and painted it up back when I was playing 40k (http://www.zuzzy.com/) but it’s still in 4×6 size and dice do seriously strange things on that mat. The shipping and communication from the owner also are pretty spotty.

Unfortunately us poor 4×4 Warmachine schmucks were the last to get our mats, but it was definitely worth the wait! This beauty was waiting for me on my front porch when I got home today.

IMG_0781The pictures from a distance don’t really do it justice. They have packed quite a bit of detail into these mats and they feel substantial. It’s a thin mat, but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to rip or tear. It’s essentially a gigantic mousepad. Here is some of the detail work from the bottom left corner:

IMG_0782So here are my preliminary thoughts:

Detail: The detail is great. They packed tons of detail onto the mat that just doesn’t come through in the pictures on their website. The detail definitely adds a lot to the experience, but I don’t know how it’s going to look with terrain on it yet. My guess is OK? I suppose I will take some shots the next time I do a battle report.

Quality: The quality seems to be pretty good. It’s a very heavy mat despite how thin it is, and without having put any real miles on the thing I honestly think it will hold up fairly well. They say it’s water resistant so I guess we’ll see if anyone ever spills something on it (I sure hope not, haha). They also included a cloth carrying case, which feels slightly less high quality than the mat but is a welcome touch.

Texture: I pushed a few miniatures around on the mat and like how it feels. The miniatures don’t slip and slide around, but they don’t catch too badly either. We’ll see how it plays when I actually take it for a run, but my initial thoughts are that it will work out fairly nicely. The backside of the mat is like a mousepad, so it’s not going to slide around on the table like your typical felt mat might. That’s a huge plus in my book.

Convenience: The mat does not stand up straight, and there’s no tube inside it to keep it rigid, so it’s kind of a pain to carry around. I might buy a 4′ tube just so I have something in there to keep it from flopping around when I’m trying to hold it with one hand. One nice thing is that the mat lays out absolutely flat despite being rolled up in a tube since it was shipped from China. No more playing with crease lines all over your mat if you buy one of these.

IMG_0783So all in all I’m definitely excited about trying it out! For people who have tables built at home I don’t think this will replace that, but for someone who wants a great mat to take to the store, or put away and store easily, I think this is a great option. The mats are a little pricey at $65.00 (before shipping) but if it adds to the playing experience and you have the disposable cash I’d say dive in. As of the date of this post they’re still technically doing pre-orders I think but the link to the shop is here:

http://www.frontlinegaming.org/shop/frontline-gaming-and-tablewar-gaming-mat-grassy-plains-4×4%E2%80%B2-pre-order/

Happy gaming!

Feat of Service 2014

My local group is doing a caster draft to benefit the Wounder Warrior Project. The Facebook page for the event can be found HERE.

The caster draft is a little unusual so I’ll outline the rules. You pick a caster and then strip that caster of all of his/her spells, but keep the feat/stats/etc. You can pick any of the casters that come for free in War Room and play them with your faction of choice. I’ve decided to keep it 100% Cryx, meaning pGaspy, pDenny, and pSkarre. Once you pick your chassis you build a 25 point list not knowing what spells you’re going to end up with at the draft. After you’ve drafted your spells you can finish your list with an additional 10 points. You get to keep a number of spells equal to one less than your focus/fury stat.

The idea is to write a fluffy background for your “new” caster, and to use that caster at a tournament that will benefit the WWP. One of the prizes is for the best converted warcaster.

My Caster Chassis

I decided to go with the pDenny chassis for my caster. pDenny seems like the most survivable of the three casters I’ve limited myself to. She has stealth and a small base, and her feat is ball breaking. The chances of me being able to draft crippling grasp is very low, but hopefully I can fish out a DEF debuff or some way to buff my MAT even further.

My current idea for a list is as follows:

Faction: Cryx
Casters: 1/1
Points: 25/25
Warwitch Deneghra (*5pts)
* Defiler (5pts)
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)

Yeah yeah, I’m not getting any points for creativity I know. The Bane module is relatively self-sufficient and I know it packs the hurt. I will spend my remaining 10 points based on what I’m able to draft. If I draft lots of spells and debuffs I’ll probably toss in another arc node. If I draft buffs for my own units I may try to put a unit of Blood Witches in there, or Darragh Wrathe and a unit of Biles. I haven’t had the opportunity to do a mock draft yet so I’m not sure what all is out there.

Hobby Reasons

This event is a good opportunity to repaint my old pDenny model. pDenny was the first caster I painted straight out of the battle box and I hate the my paint job on it. I’m also not a big fan of pDenny’s head… it just looks so stupid with those bug eyes.

My idea is to create a caster that is undeniably pDenny, but different enough that I can play her as a “new” caster for the purpose of this event. Currently my idea is to use the metal Deneghra body:

Deneghra Body

With the head from Alexia:

Head

On the base from eCaine:

base

I need to come up with a suitable way to deface the Cygnar base, but at the moment I’m considering a combination of blood splatter, corpses, and souls rising up from the ground. There isn’t a ton of room to work with on a small base, but I think I can fit in at least 2 or 3 souls rising out of the ground and doing my caster’s bidding. Honestly my biggest fear is the staff on pDenny. I absolutely hate when my models have bent weapons, and that staff looks like it will be a complete pain to replace with a brass rod.

In any event hopefully there will be more hobby updates from me in the future as I put together what is sure to be a monstrosity of a model🙂