Theorycraft

All posts tagged Theorycraft

This past weekend, there was a 35-pt 2-list event.  As I mentioned earlier, I took Legion.

The event had 20+ attendees, so there was a split into an upper and lower bracket after the first round.  There were trophies for the upper tier and coins for the lower.  I liked this approach, since it meant that the ‘game’ wasn’t over for anyone that didn’t manage to win their first game.

Anyway, I took notes and pictures of my turns during the games I played.

For those that want to skip to a particular game, here’s an index:

  1. Thagrosh1 vs Skarre2
  2. Thagrosh1 vs Hexeris2
  3. Thagrosh1 vs Kaya2
  4. Lylyth1 vs Rahn
  5. Thagrosh1 vs Father Lucant

Let’s fire up the post-game over-analysis machine, shall we?

*whir*  *click*  *bzzzzzt*

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Suck it up, ‘zoid

I’m sick of playing with bare models, and I have as good of an excuse as any to get started:  There’s a 35pt, 2 List (D&C) event this weekend, and models must be primed with at least one color on them.

Can I get enough models primed, airbrushed and (hopefully) blocked out by Saturday?  I’m not sure, but over the weekend I assembled a Neraph (what a cool model) and played with paints until I came to some mixtures I like for my Aquablight Color Palette.  Getting these colors nailed down has been the primary issue with getting the iceberg moving again.  Well, enough is enough.  For better or worse, this is what it’s going to be.

wpid-20141102_232445-e1415026885639

The armor chitin recipe hasn’t changed from the Scythean prototype I worked on months ago.  That was the one good thing that came out of working on that model.

The flesh recipe is about the same; it’s still grey mixed with flesh tones.  However, I finally found a base and highlight color that I like.  Despite being icy creatures, they’re still warm blooded, and I want the flesh to have a warm feel.  This not only conveys the fact that they’re living beasts, but the warm counteracts the cold feel of the chitin.  They don’t really give that feel in the picture, but they’re more flesh than grey, and have just a bit of warmth to them.

I sifted back through all the feedback on the Legionnaire trials, and most of feedback preferred the red.  Since it was my first option from the beginning, I decided to keep it, but shift it away from the core primary color red, and more towards a wine or sanguine feel.  Less natural, more blight-y!  I plan to use this for the skirts on the Legionnaires, sashes and weapon hilt wraps, etc.  It’ll be a unifying accent color.  On beasts, it’ll be gums, injuries, those sensor pads on the sides of their heads, etc.

I left the purple on here, since it’s such a fun transitional color to put between armor and flesh, but that could be too tedious, and might be too many colors.  The sanguine color may do well in that same place – I’m not sure.  Something I’ll have to try out.

Lastly, I threw together something to cover metals.  It’s based on my Lylyth1 resculpt and will work for now until I find something better.  Heh, looking back at her now, she has that same sanguine accent that I’ve come back around to ow, two years later.  Good omens?

The Lists

After consulting the forums, I’ve settled on the two following lists to get me started:

Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight (*5pts)
* Carnivean (11pts)
* Ravagore (10pts)
* Scythean (9pts)
Blighted Nyss Legionnaires (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Spawning Vessel (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)

This army is an armor cracking bunker of beast-y awesomeness. Spiny Growth + Dark Shroud gives a net +4 ARM to my front line beasties, and the Ravagore keeps the pressure on my opponent or lets me control the board with Scather templates. The tarpit and stew pot are staple units and can easily hold or contest a zone for a few turns if I need them to. This list is a colossal or armor skew buster.

Lylyth, Herald of Everblight (*6pts)
* Shredder (2pts)
* Ravagore (10pts)
* Scythean (9pts)
* Seraph (8pts)
Blighted Nyss Striders (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Blighted Nyss Striders Officer & Musician (3pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)
The Forsaken (2pts)

This list is an anti-infantry focused counter to the Thagrosh1 anti-armor build. Lylyth1 loves quantity of attacks in order to get the most out of her feat. The seraph lets her do some interesting things with threat ranges that most won’t think of, and can offer her some interesting options when combined with bushwhack. The forsaken gives me fury management and some additional anti-infantry or anti-Hordes tech, and the Striders supply me with a nice shooting / jamming unit depending on what I need. Lastly, I play Lylyth1 all the time so she’s a very comfortable warlock for me. Her magic arrows will provide interesting lures for a potentially slipstreamed Scythean…

Let’s get Rockin’!

So, to field these two lists on Saturday, I need to get a fair bit of models painted!  They only need to be primer +1 color, but I’m hoping to have the colors all blocked out.  I’m not going to worry about shading or highlighting at all, just getting the color where it needs to go.  Additionally, I’m not going to re-use any of the original models I painted four odd years ago.  Everything’s getting the new P3 colors and scheme as done on the Scythean.

That means I can use my painted Lylyth1, Stinger and Seraph along with the half-finished Scythean and barely started Shepherd.  That leaves:

  • Thagrosh1
  • Shredders (I have four plastic ready to go)
  • Harrier (I have one assembled – this is for the pot)
  • Carnivean
  • Ravagore
  • Legionnaires (max)
  • Spawning Vessel & 6 Acolytes
  • Striders + UA
  • Forsaken

Two large based models, two medium based models, and 30 small based models.  I guess it’s a good thing I have this Friday off work, eh?

I’m not sure how much I’ll stop to full on write an article here about progress, but Twitter and Facebook will probably get updated fairly often, and I’ll probably do one larger update late Friday with an after action report on the tournament.

Wish me luck?

Earlier, LynchPin spoke about his Tau Force and I wanted to quickly discuss my plans for Dark Angels.

In most regards, the DA are standard Space Marines, but they have a fun back story and hidden agenda:

Back in the day, when Horus pulled an Anakin Skywalker and flipped to the Dark Side, most of the DA were away from their homeworld, Caliban, fighting for the Emperor out in the fringes of known space.  They got wind of the betrayal, but arrived at the party too late to stop Horus and his chaotic crazies.  They then got word of shenanigans at their homeworld, and when they got there, the guys in charge of safekeeping the planet had turned evil on the inhabitants and slaughtered everyone.

That pissed off the non-crazy Dark Angels, who then landed at the HQ and the head honcho (Lion El’Johnson) slugged it out with his boy-hood friend and second in command, Luther.  They accidentally opened a wormhole inside the planet, Star Trek style, and the only thing that saved them was the force field around their HQ castle.

DA_&_The_Rock

This “castle-monastery” is now called “The Rock” and floats around as their mobile HQ.  To everyone else, they say that Caliban was destroyed while anonymous bad guys assaulted them.  In secret, they know that their own guys lost it and went bad.  What makes this all worse is that the crazies that got sucked into the wormhole when the planet got destroyed started popping up randomly all over known space – they just kind of re-shuffled into existence.  So, now, the DA are on a secret crusade trying to find these “Fallen” before they cause too much damage, because the DA feel responsible for their existence, and are trying to keep their messed-up history a secret lest they be thrown out of the Imperial clubhouse.

That’s a really long winded way of saying that these guys are super-paranoid battle monks with an overactive Internal Affairs department.  What’s not to love?

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Some locals and I are getting our feet wet into 40k as a beer and pretzels game, and a way to tell some fun stories about our characters.  I’m likely to run Dark Angels (despite the earlier Tau Paint Scheme which is completely unrelated).  Buddy Ron is going to play Dark Eldar, and we may have a few others as well.  This is LynchPin’s thoughts on his Tau force.

Originally, I got my nerdly feet wet with a Warhammer Fantasy Dark Elf army back in high school. I played a few games here and there, but didn’t have much guidance or understanding on how to build a strategic army or fill army slots. But man was I sold on the models. My so called “army” consisted of the bare essentials of two regiments of Dark Elf spearmen followed by every big toy you can imagine; I had Malekith riding a dragon, Assassins, Ballista Warmachines, etc, etc. I didn’t really dive fully into the wargaming pool until I became enamored with Warhammer 40k 3.5 edition after I spent a couple of years in college. I poured over unit options, built solid armies, and strove to learn the Black Tome forwards and backwards. After experiencing the competitive scene for 40k though, I slowly abandoned the game in favor of a decade happily spent playing Warmachine. Though over the years, every so often, I find myself surfing over to the Games Workshop website on lazy Sunday afternoons to drool over new plastic kits and ever impressive sculpts from newly updated armies.

Malekith on Dragon, painted by Minus of DakkaDakka

Malekith on Dragon, painted by Minus of DakkaDakka

I’ve thoroughly allowed Warmachine to become the game I play as competitively as I can, but I do yearn for an opportunity to fiddle with 40k modeling and build a force based very little on tactics and competitive edge and more on a pleasing aesthetic that keeps a focus on what I enjoy modeling and telling a narrative about. I’ve been treading water, hoping one day to find a good group of like-minded people who were interested in doing a 40k project with the same aspirations in mind and who have decided to leave their razor sharp competitive edge dulled and rusted by sentiments such as: “oh that twin-linked flamer Crisis Suit looks awesome. I’m doing that.” And so I have. Continue Reading

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