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All posts for the month April, 2014

My gaming buddies have been formalizing into a proper club over the past month, and one of the driving forces behind this has been running a charity event. This event, recently dubbed “Feat of Service” will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Awesome, right?

Feat of Service

The Event

The event format is right up my alley, combining the new Spell Draft format with the tried and true Who’s the Boss to make a fun “Create-a-‘Caster” type play day. Here’s how it works:

  1. Take the warcasters that come free in Warroom (Prime & Primal, Rahn & Kaelyssa, Barnabus & Carver, Magnus1 & MacBain)
  2. Remove their spells and all the fluffy bits
  3. Pick one of these “chassis”
  4. Pick your faction (your chassis uses your faction’s FOCUS/FURY mechanic)
  5. Build a 25pt list (using WJ/WB pts) for your faction, using what you know about the chassis (weapons, abilities, feat)
  6. Do a spell draft, using just the spells from the above warcasters
  7. Tack on the last 10 points to your list (buy back up to 5 pts from your original list via extra donations to WWP)
  8. Order bits, build, and paint your new warcaster along with a 500-word backstory and PP style Supervague™ description.
  9. Use your new custom warcaster to play in a Summer Rampage-esque, scavenger hunt-esque play all day style event.

There’s more details in some of the steps above, but that’s the jist of it.  There will be an award for the person who scores the most points (scavenger hunt), and one prize for the best converted & painted warcaster.  Lastly, there’s something for the club / group that donates the most to the WWP.

A Dry Run

So, this week, a few of us got together to do a practice draft ahead of time, so we had time to double check the event’s rules and test out a few caster concepts we had.  I decided to take Vlad1’s chassis (stat line, weapon stats & abilities, feat) and run it in Legion of Everblight.  My thought was that I could utilize a Harrier’s animus to guarantee Blood Boon, effectively paying 1 FURY for a 3 FURY spell.  In addition, doubling my warbeast’s SPD on my feat turn would be disgusting with Legion’s already fast beasts.  Since Vlad1’s chassis comes with two non-reach weapons, I figured I could do something based off the Bayal model, or the Swordsman Champion, and make a Hex Hunter caster.

73049_HexHunters_WEB

My starting 25(+5) pt force was:

  • Angelius (9)
  • Harrier (2)
  • Full Hex Hunters & Bayal (11)
  • Blackfrost Shard (5)
  • Shepherd (1)
  • Spell Martyr x2 (2)

I wanted to use the Hex Hunters because I love the models, and they would keep with the theme of the Warcaster.  Since they handle Infantry fairly well, I took an Angeliusto crack armor, with the help of the BFS.  The BFS are there to be a good toolbox, to help make up for any obvious deficiencies in my spell list (which could be anything).  The Spell Martyrs are there as filler,, but they also fit into the caster-y feel of the theme.

With 10 points to fill at the end, I know I want a second heavy, but I don’t know what it’ll be.  Maybe a Ravagore if I happen to snag Snipe or Deadeye.  Maybe a Carnivean if I snag Arcane Shield or Boundless Charge, just to push his armor or Assault range to ridiculous.

The Draft

Round 1: Eye of Menoth, Arcane Shield, Stone Skin, Snipe, Fail Safe, Boundless Charge, Parasite and Incite

I pick Eye of Menoth.  It’s a forcemultiplier on my Hex Hunters, since it’ll help them hit and then kill, which will trigger Battle Wizard, and they get the +1/+1 on their Hex Bolt too.  In addition, it’s on a 7 FURY chassis, it’s a decent area that will be affected.

Round 2: Wind Rush, Surefoot, Parasite, Snipe, Abuse, Malice, Skyborne

I pick Wind Rush.  The smarter choice is likely Parasite, but I’m so used to playing Butcher1, and I have “Vlad1” on my mind, so I’m in a super solo frame of mind.  Still, it’s a fantastic tool to get the warcaster where it needs to be, and it’ll help counter the fact that my chassis is only SPD 6 and DEF 15.

Round 3: Psychic Vampire, Banishing Ward, Razor Wind, Deadeye, Ghost Walk, Flesh Eater

I pick Psychic Vampire.  If I’d taken Striders, the two Snipes and this Deadeye would have been no brainers, but my Hex Hunters cast spells, they don’t shoot bows, and the only other thing in the army thus far with a ranged weapon is the Angel, so Deadeye’s not really worth it for me.  Ghost Walk is useless when I have pathfinder or flight on my beasts, and Banishing Ward just isn’t my style.  Psychic Vampire, however, is very much in theme for my concept, and is a great denial piece for the board.

Round 4: Energizer, Obliteration, Tornado, Mobility, Backlash

I pick Energizer.  For one, it’s a powerful battlegroup spell, and the guy these cards are headed to next is running Deneghra1 in Retribution, and I know he has a Phoenix in his list, so I’m not giving him Energizer.  Secondly, Backlash is too situational for me (relies on my opponent’s faction choice and list comp), and for the same reason I didn’t want Ghost Walk, Energizer is a better spell for Legion than Mobility.  Also, Obliteration and Tornado are too expensive to be Blood Booned, so they’re not worth it.

It was here that I realized I hadn’t yet picked up a zot spell for Blood Boon, and I was really missing that Razor Wind from the previous round.

Round 5: Snipe, Boundless Charge, Stone Skin, Failsafe

I pick Snipe.  My first round cards are back to me again (there are only 4 people in each draft “pod”), and the choice is obvious.  I have more than enough speed boosts, and Failsafe is useless for me.  Between Stone Skin and Snipe, it’s no contest.  Warmachine is a game of amplifying your best trait, not sacrificing what you’re best at in favor of reducing weaknesses.

Round 6: Malice, Abuse, Surefoot

I pick Malice.  Surefoot is cool, but not in theme or terribly necessary, and only affects one model.  Abuse is handy, but I really need a Blood Boonable zot, so I have to chose Malice, because I don’t remember there being any other useful zots in the next two rounds.

Round 7: Razor Wind, Flesh Eater

I pick Razor Wind.  I should have picked Abuse last round, but them’s the cards.

Round 8: Tornado

So, now I have my 8 spells: Eye of Menoth, Wind Rush, Psychic Vampire, Energizer, Snipe, Malice, Razor Wind, Tornado

The next step is picking FOCUS/FURY – 1 spells to keep.  Since I’m on a 7-FURY chassis, I need to pick 6 spells.

Malice is a more situational, weaker Razor Wind.  It goes.  Tornado can’t be Blood Booned, despite being a nice control piece, and potentially in-theme.  It goes.

I’m left with:

  • Eye of Menoth
  • Wind Rush
  • Psychic Vampire
  • Energizer
  • Snipe
  • Razor Wind

The Final List

Now that I know what my caster does, I need to figure out my last 10 (15?) points.

Eye of Menoth amps everything, so it won’t affect my list much.  Psychic Vampire is defensive, so not a worry for list building.  Wind Rush and Razor Wind are selfish, so don’t affect list building, and Energizer helps everything.  Notably, it’s awesome for a Ravagore, since it gets to move 3″ and still aim.  Considering Snipe targets, I could bring in Striders and really be nasty, but that leaves me with only two beasts, generating only 6 FURY a turn if they’re full.  I definitely need a second Heavy.  I think a Ravagore will use Snipe nicely, especially when combo’d with Energizer, and cycled onto the Angelius until the enemy closes.

So I have a pair of Spell Martyrs that really won’t do me any good.  If I’d had something like Eruption of Spines, Parasite, Calamity, or Ashes to Ashes, they’d be more useful, but with my exiting setup, not so much.  They can go.

I decide on this for my final list:

  • Hyraal, Will of Everblight
    • Angelius
    • Ravagore
    • Harrier
  • Full Hex Hunters & Bayal
  • Blackfrost Shard
  • Full Spawning Vessel
  • Shepherd

The Model

Gameplay is just one aspect to the event, hobby is as well.  One of the reasons for doing the draft nearly a month ahead of time is so that you can order bits, build, convert and paint your warcaster.

I would probably pick up Bayal’s Left and Right sword arms, and use the Swordsmen Champion’s body for at least the legs.  I could spice up one sword by using Kallus’ blade.  I might be able to use Anyssa Ryvaal’s torso, and use Captain Farilor’s cape.  Lastly, I’d probably use Anyssa Ryvaal’s head, or Bayal’s.

This is a fairly crappy mock-up, most of the bits store images had to be scaled down to the Chapion’s body, which is the smallest of the images.  It still gives you an idea of what’s possible.

Hyraal

 

Other Thoughts

I could have used a few other chassis for this same idea.  Rahn would have worked very well with the Hex Hunters and BFS, and might have warranted a Sorceress on Hellion or even a Throne of Everblight.  I could have used Kallus’ blade, since it’s nice and big and could be thought of to have reach.  I could have also used Magnus1.  His free upkeeps would be in a super-magic-user-esque theme, and something that knocks down could be portrayed by a magical gauntlet or orgoth artifact.  I could have also gone a completely different direction, used Butcher1’s chassis and tried my hand at a Nephilim Warcaster.  Any of the Troll warlocks would have also been a solid choice, adding Tough on top of their stat line and feats.  Lastly, I could combine both my theme and the idea for a Nephilim Warcaster via Asphyxious1.

All in all, this is a great format that will be used to benefit a fantastic charity.  The definition of win-win!

Check out more at: http://www.novanomads.com/featofservice

Had some time this weekend to work on miniatures.  The amount of progress made vs time put in isn’t what I’d like it to be, but given how organic and iterative the process of working out a scheme can be, I’m still happy with where I am.

Most of the work fell to the Shepherd and Legionnaire.  I had an idea for the feathers, and it took a bit of work to make it happen.

Shepherd_1b

Since I can’t use the few pots of old GW washes I have (which would have been perfect for this), I had to make my own.  I used a roughly 3 or 4:1 mix of water to P3 Exile Blue, and washed the P3 Meredius Blue basecoat on the feathers.  I then picked out each feather Meredius Blue, and then highlighted the tip of each feather with a roughly 1:1 mix of Meredius Blue and P3 Arcane Blue.

The same method was applied to the Legionnaire:

Legionnaire_1

The Legionnaire’s skirt bit was shaded with a 1:1 mix of Meredius Blue and P3 Sanguine base.  This is a very tempremental mix, and doesn’t take much to shift it more red or more purple-y.  I started with a more purple mix, but it wasn’t dark enough, and I added more Sanguine Base and got something darker and more in the red realm than blue.

Legionnaire_1c

So, overall, the Legionnaire is now shaded with three different hues – Coal Black on the padded armor.  Exile Blue on the feathers, and Sanguine Base on the skirt.

Can you spot the difference?

Playing with some color now.

I knew I wanted to try out P3’s Exile Blue as a shade. I’d like it to be the majority shade, so I’m aiming for it to be all beasty aqua bits, and likely cloth. Here, I’ve applied it to one wing of the Harrier. You can see how much just the shade helps the 3-dimensionality of the wing.

Wing_shade_test

I’ve also been considering P3’s Coal Black for shading. I think since it’s aqua in it’s own way, it’ll very much act like a shadow. The Exile Blue could be a shadow, it could be a natural coloration in the beast’s flesh/chitin. The coal black, though, should leave no doubt. I’m trying it out here on the Legionnaire’s padded (leather?) armor.

Padded_armor_shade_test

Highlights are important, and to keep the padded armor from being too dark, I’m using P3’s Arcane Blue. This does two things. It lets me highlight the areas that are catching the light, and because it’s closer to blue than green in the aqua scale, it balances the more green Coal Black.

Padded_armor_highlight_test

What do you think so far?

Not much progress has been made since last week. Holidays, family in town, that sort of thing.

I’ve been able to get small bits done here and there, but I’m still firmly in the “block out colors” stage, where I’m not even thinking about highlights or shades.

Model Updates

Harrier

I just love the lesser warbeasts. They’re so adorable! In a gnaw off your foot sort of way.

I started by carefully painting the “fingers” between the webbing on the wings. This is just a coat of P3 Greycoat Grey.

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I also painted the webbing between the spikes on his head with P3 Meredius Blue. Gotta keep the theme of aqua webbing. I will paint all the armor nibs and plates, but after I paint up the flesh. So far, I like the balance between the grey and the Aqua. It gives a cold feel, which will be somewhat mitigated by using flesh tones to highlight the grey.

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You can see in that side picture that the ankles have been broken and re-pinned. I didn’t do a great job getting them aligned. I’m not terribly worried, though. This guy’s mostly here to be a test scheme piece, and I have three more. If I need a Harrier in a Hardcore army (that I’m shooting for Master Craftsman with) it won’t be this model.

Legionnaire

I really wanted to get some metal on this guy. A coat of P3 Pig Iron works for that. This dark metal emulates the grey on the rest of the models, so I’m not worried about the Legionnaires fitting in. I also had a chance to take a better look at their armor, and it looks like their hands are covered in the same style of armor ad their thighs, so I painted those aqua too, which hslps bring some of the color to the top of the model.

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Shepherd

I debated on having the chest armor aqua, but she really needs some on the front of here, and that’s the most logical place…

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…since there’s already so much on the back.

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Scythean

I painted the armor plates on his arms Aqua, to help get an idea of what that’ll look like. I also found that he looks a lot more animated with one claw up in the air.

ECnVyNC

There’s lots of claws and armor on the torso that need to be aqua-fied, but I think I’ll be trying out experiments on the smaller models, and not so much on the Scythean.