The dust swirls around the long forgotten ruins, aloft on eddies of warm air stirred by the sun’s harsh rays. The distant sound of hundreds of feet marching on the packed dirt floor reverberates down the stone canyon, easily mistaken for far off thunder. Side-by-side in immaculate formation, columns of Exalted Immortals walk in lock-step. Each cohort is accompanied by an Extoller Advocate, a watchful shepherd of the ancient souls inhabiting the stone and metal bodies of the sleepless soldiers. Led by Zaal, the Ancestral Advocate, his Obsidian Staff alight with magical essence and purpose, the Immortal War Host of the Exalted marches tirelessly to battle…
I’m back painting again after a too-long hiatus thanks to Overwatch. Most nights, I’m painting for a few hours, then playing for a few, when friends are online.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Trevor Christensen, from the Chain Attack podcast. His commission painter, Ashton Holbrook (aka. Red Modeling & Painting), was no longer taking commissions (for a very good reason) and Ashton had referred Trevor to me as a possible replacement. Trevor needed his Karax unit painted before he heads to Amsterdam for the WTC next month, so I got to work as soon as I could. Trevor asked for something quick and simple, so he’d be sure to have them on time. I’ve always wanted to paint these models (I love cool looking shields) so I gave them an extra special treatment and went all-out.
I’m not going to go into the process and recipes used here – it’s predominately 2-brush blending with a little glazing. The recipes are Ashton’s and truth be told, I enjoyed mostly being a mechanic following the directions as written rather than having to actively figure everything out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy that part too, but this was rather refreshing.
Trevor sent along an Extoller Advocate to use as a test model, along with a few models Ashton had painted for color and quality reference. Since this was the first time I was painting someone else’s color scheme to match previously done models, this was incredibly helpful. I’ll probably ask for that sort of thing next time I have to match an existing scheme for a project.
Trevor seems pretty happy with the results, and I’ll be showing these guys at the Nova Open next weekend before shipping them to Trevor. I’m not sure how well they’ll do in the painting competition where every brush stroke is examined – corners were cut for time and I didn’t worry about getting every blend perfect, but they’re firmly an above tabletop quality job on a 10-man unit done in about 12-15 hours, and I’m eager to get feedback on them. I’m confident that an army painted to this level would be in contention ofr a Master Craftsman award, and I’m very happy I was able to do that as quickly as I did.
Enjoy the pics, and stay tuned for more models in this scheme in the future!
Here’s a photodump of stuff from the First Annual Feat of Service, hosted by the Nova Nomads.
Bold strategies on the battlefield, a humble work ethic in the workshop and a shared love of good ale has earned Katya the respect and undying loyalty of the soldiers under her command.
Katya grew up and an orphan on Elsinburg’s streets. Her fate changed when she was selected to be a blacksmith’s apprentice when the man she would eventually marry fixed the stove in the orphanage she stayed at. Her affinity for metalworking and mechanikal design led to her apprenticeship being years shorter than any the Khadoran Mechanikal Assembly had heard of. She aced the Assembly’s entrance exam at the age of 15, and still holds the record for the youngest person to pass.
Her path through the courses at the Mechnaiks Assembly left an exhaustive trail of broken records. Ending with her graduating a year earlier than the rest of her class. During her time there, Katya’s ability to control and commune with warjacks surfaced, and soon it became clear to the instructors that she had warcaster potential.
Katya charged head first into her Warcaster training, spending most of her time among the soldiers of the Unbreakable 11th, stationed at Ravensgard on the Khador-Cygnar border. There, she practiced commanding warjacks in border skirmishes during the day, and spent her nights in the Supply Depot, repairing destroyed Warjacks, Man-O-War armor and anything else she could get her hands on. In exchange for her extraordinary repair services, Katya made an arrangement with the Supply Officers of the 111th that kept her detachment well stocked on beer and ammunition.
Katya is often seen leading a pack of warjacks from the front line, protecting and guiding her forces. Her custom suit of Man-O-War armor sacrifices speed in favor of armor and strength. It is equipped with a massive Mechano-Wrench that doubles as a weapon, and Welding Torch that can be quickly configured to act as a flamethrower. Katya’s arcane gifts and extensive intellect help her use these tools to orchestrate complex battlefield repairs on destroyed and damaged warjacks, effectively resurrecting the war machines.
Nothing too exciting really, I got the second unit of Swordsmen done. These guys were done before Templecon, but I was holding off for a Clash of teh Titans wrap-up post before revealing them.
Since I have no idea when that will be, I’ll just go ahead and post this here.
I gave these guys yellow/orange arc markings to separate them from the other unit. Otherwise, they’re identical. I added the same colored arc markings to Hexeris, the Razorwurm, and the Swordsmen UA.
All told, the army looks pretty cool, eh?
That’s it for now. I’m still writing my Templecon wrap-up, so I’ll post that up this weekend, along with a Battle Report from the War-Torn Alliances League!
Last week, I played a game against local player Mark, who you may or may not remember from one of my first battle reports. He plays Cryx, and he plays dirty. Games with him are never boring, and are always bloody.
I was trying out my 35pt Hexeris T3 list, and Mark concocted a list on the spot with only the knowledge that I was playing Skorne. As I build the lists on Forward Kommander, I think Mark was one point over, but I don’t think it had an effect, nor do I think 1 extra point at 35 would be a game changer.
Here are the lists:
[wpcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]Lord Tyrant Hexeris (*6pts)
* Cyclops Savage (5pts)
* Razorworm (4pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
* Aptimus Marketh (3pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
* Praetorian Swordsmen Officer & Standard (2pts)
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
Ancestral Guardian (3pts)
Hakaar the Destroyer (4pts)[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]
Lich Lord Venethrax (*6pts)
* Helldiver (3pts)
* Helldiver (3pts)
* Corruptor (8pts)
Bile Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (Leader and 4 Grunts) (6pts)
Bloodgorgers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
General Gerlak Slaughterborn (3pts)
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall (1pts)
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall (1pts)
3 Scrap Thrall (1pts)[/wpcol_1half_end]
Along with trying out this Hexeris List, this was also the first game with my new terrain. I traded some models with Carl, a local guy who enjoys making terrain and helping out new players. He’s a fantastic guy, and this terrain he made is much more awesome than the felt cutouts I had been using.
Mark won the roll-off, and chose to go first, effectively negating one of my tier bonuses, Advance Deploy Swordsmen.
Another of my Tier bonuses was Upkeeps in play first turn. I had Soul Slave on my Razorwurm (turning it into an Arcnode). I put Death March (+2 MAT and Vengeance), on the unit of Swordsmen without the UA, my sacrificial lambs. Lastly, Hexy had Psychic Vampire up and running.
Cryx Turn 1
Venethrax put Soul Harvester on the Blood Gorgers, so anything they kill would feed souls to Venethrax. Helldivers advanced and burrowed, and everything else ran.
On my first, I went for the sucker punch. Hex upkept his three spells, and the Swordsmen and guardians ran. Hexy charged the Ancestral Guardian, in order to get up field further without sacrificing everything to run. I caught the first handful of Blood Gorgers in Hexy’s control area.
Hexy feated, and started firing Soulfires into them via the Razorwurm Arcnode. The first Soulfire hit, and the Blood Gorger failed his tough check, so it turned around and smacked his friend, then died. His friend made his tough check, and that feat chain ended. Hexy fired off another Soulfire, and failed to kill the Blood Gorger.
Tough is a huge rock to Hexy’s feat’s scissors. I should have waited to catch more of his models the following turn, but I had read up on this first turn blitz strategy and wanted to try it. I think it has merit, but I don’t think this was a good army to use it against.
Cryx Turn 2
Mark advanced the Blood Gorgers into combat, being unable to charge over the linear obstacles. The killed all but one of the Death Marched Swordsmen. The Bile Thralls advanced, and a few were in range to spray the Wazorwurm, knocking about half it’s life off.
Venethrax put up Lamentation, and then advanced far enough to catch Hexy in his control area. The Black Ogrun advanced and shot at Hakaar, but missed. The Necrotechs advanced behind the bulk of the army, and the Scrap Thralls ran along the flanks, one of them engaging the Razorwurm, nullifying the Arcnode.
The lone Swordsman Vengeance moves and kills a Blood Gorger. Hah! Corrution doesn’t go out on the Razorwurm, due to Venethrax’s Caustic Presence, takes out last box on its body. Hexy is one fury short (because I didn’t leave myself enough on the board) and, only upkeeps Psychic Vampire, and has to pay 2 Fury to do it due to Lamentation.
The unit of Swordsen with UA pop their mini-feat, which causes them to automatically do a single damage point. They eat several Blood Gorgers, paying them back for the other Swordsmen.
The Ancestral Guardian (who is on his last leg due to Hexeris’ Turn 1 charge) frees up Razorwurm by charging the Scrap Thrall engaging it. The Razorwurm then attacks a Blood Gorger, boosting damage to get 2 dice, and drags it under.
Marketh circumvents Lamentation and puts Death March on Swordsmen with UA, knowing they’re going to get hit with the remaining Blood Gorgers. Hexy puts 3 Fury on the Agonizer, rather than pay double to cast something. The Agonizer and Hakaar then advance up field.
Venethrax has 12 Focus this turn, due to all the kills the Soul Harvesting Blood Gorgers. He upkeeps his spells, and passes out most of his focus to his ‘jacks, avoiding Psychic Vampire. A Scrap Thrall charges, and then takes out the last two points of health on the Ancestral Guardian.
Blood Gorgers walk forward, attack the Swordsmen and kill 3 of them. Corrupter shoots a Burster shot at the Agonizer, killing it and a nearby Beast Handler. A Helldiver attacks Hakaar, deals 6 damage, and misses the last 2 attacks.
The other Helldiver attacks the Razorwurm, misses first attack, misses second attack, and then misses the third attack. The rolls were snakeyes, then 1,1,2, then the roll was low by 1. Lucky me!
Gerlak kills some swordsman, then kills Hakaar, then kills another Swordsman, with nothing nearby to continue the whirlwind of death. A Scrap Thrall engages the heroic Beast Handler, and the Black Ogrun party advances. They then performed a Combined Ranged Attack on the Gladiator, dealing 7 damage and pulling it way off course. The melee followup attack deals another 6 damage.
Skorne Turn 3
At this point, we were getting close on time, the store was due to close in about half an hour. I saw an opening, and took it.
The Swordsmen’s Vengeance allows for it to move out of the way, and it attacks the Helldiver, doing not much. Marketh’s Soul Tap gets around Lamentation, and lets Hexy upkeep Psychic Vampire and Death March.
The Swordsmen activate, again shuffling out of the way, and put some more damage on the Helldiver with a combo strike, as well as killing off a Blood Gorger.
The Cyclops charges Venethrax, and after moving but before attacking, casts its animus on itself (which I realize now was entirely redundant – it’s a latent ability.) It needs a 9 to hit Venethrax, and ends up having to boost. The auto-boosted charge attack deals 12 damage to Venethrax. The Cyclops takes a second swing, and misses. If I;d not made the mistake with the animus, it could have boosted the second attack, and possibly ended the game.
I ended up forgetting to activate the Razorwurm, his brown paint scheme blending into the dirty linear Obstacles.
Cryx Turn 4
Venethrax has 10 Focus this turn, and rips into the Cyclops Savage. In one hit, he deals 19 damage, which is sufficient to end the beast’s life. What’s worse, is all three Fury on it immediately get added to Venethrax’s Focus. he then heals himself for 6 of the 12 damage he received from the Savage, adding insult to injury.
The Blood Gorgers attack the remaining Swordsmen, killing the UA, leaving a lone Praetorian, who valiantly passes his command check.
A Scrap Thrall Charges the Gldiator, dealing 5 damage, and the explosion’s blast kills the Hero Beast Handler. The Black Ogrun CRA the now unengaged Gladiator, but fail to wound with snakeyes. Had they been successful, the Gladiator would have been drug out of Hexy’s control area, leaving him short on FURY the following round. Dirty Cryx!
A Helldiver engages the Gladiator, and Gerlak charges a nearby Beast Handler. He kills it, then kills the next one in line, then kills Marketh and finally engages Hexeris. Gerlak’s first attack hits, deals 8 damage which Hexeris takes.
The remaining Helldiver attacks the Razorwurm, killing it. The Bile Thralls advance, and two are in range to spray Hexeris. The need 12s to hit, and both miss.
The Corruptor attacks the last remaining Praetorian, using a Distillation shot. It hits and kills the swordsman, healing Venethrax for a further 2 health, leaving him at nearly full.
With the store closing time imminent and two models left to tackle the oncoming avalance of undead, Hexeris conceeds.
Feating turn 1 was not a good idea. Tough is a fantastic counter to the feat, since the feat is entirely driven on deaths. I needed to wait, and catch the majority of the enemy army in Hexy’s control area, in order to make maximum use of the feat. I also could have used the swordsmen auto-point as a great feat chain starter.
Having the Cyclops cast its animus on itself was a rookie mistake. Had that not happened, it would have had another FURY to use, and would probably have hit and dealt some damage. Ideally, the Gladiator would have made the assassination run, but the Black Ogrun completely side tracked it.
All in all, Mark’s list was a good counter to mine (Soul Harvester completely robbed Marketh and the Guardians out of souls, which hurt), and while I got completely dominated, I saw just about everything this list can’t handle well. Hopefully, I got all my learning done early, and I’ll fare better during my next game.
What would you have done differently?
What would you like to see in future battle reports?