Friday, January 29, 2016

Battle Report: Absylonia2 vs Calandra

No photo. Very brief battle report. Just for my own tracking purposes.

My list: Absylonia2, Blightbringer, Carnivean, Seraph, Stinger, Shredder, Warspears (5+UA), 2x Shepherds.

My opponent: Calandra, Bomber, Impaler, Horgle, Pyre, Slag, Chronicler, Fennblade Kithkar, Fennblades (10+UA), Fell Caller Hero, Long Riders (3), Fire Eaters.

This was a poor showing on my part. Quite honestly I was so mentally tired I probably shouldn't have played. I completely misinterpreted a piece of terrain on the table and thus picked the wrong side. Then chose to put Abby centrally forward but not in B2B with the Fortified Blightbringer, which would have prevented her being knocked down by Calandra's Force Blow and then being killed handily.

Lessons learned: Remember my features, and don't play when really mentally tired. *sigh*

Games this year: 4

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution

This is a really nice model to paint. I'm a little ashamed at the shortcuts I took on some of the smaller details. However it's done and I had a fun time playing with colors on this one, trying to find something that struck a balance between appearing natural and magical at the same time.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #106

So very very tired.

So first up is progress on Eiryss2. She's my last remaining mercenary model to paint so I was eager to get her started. However what I discovered was that it's a really nice sculpt. A little challenging for sure, but absolutely gorgeous detail. I'm spending more time on it than I had anticipated but enjoying every minute of it. She won't turn out as a competition level model by any stretch, but I am going to use it as an opportunity to paint to a higher standard than I have been lately.

Next is my progress on the Sacral Vault. This kit is a real beast. I mean seriously, it has a ton of parts to it. However the real tricky part is getting everything prepped for priming. I want to paint the two pushing gators separately, and of course I got a Secret Weapon Bonefields base for this model since it seemed appropriate. And that means all those parts need to be separate for the painting process. This means I needed to have a plan for how to handle the assembly work once the parts are painted and yet still have everything come together nice and stable. To handle that, I got everything carefully positioned on the base to my liking, then used some painter's tape to secure the Vault to the base. After removing the two pushers temporarily, I turned the Vault and base upside down and drilled holes for 3 pins that go through the base and into the wheels. Then I repositioned the pushes and drilled pins for them too. You can see how all those pins stick out the bottom of the base in the next picture. Those pins are obviously not glued in yet (I'll do that later) but I wanted to make sure everything test fit nicely. At this point I basically just need to finish all the tiny pieces, which is something like 40 candles, skulls and such.

Beyond that, it hasn't been very busy on the painting desk this week. Finishing the Black 13th gets me a bit closer on my pCaine tier list target, but that isn't going to get finished anytime soon. I'm pretty committed to getting my mercs and minions wrapped up before working on anything significant for Cygnar.
I'm also trying really hard to hold back from picking up any new models for now. There's something working on my side though: My LGS is opening another store even closer to where I live! Soon there will be an extra-local LGS. In an effort to show my support for that store, I'm holding back on any purchases until they open. Of course once they do open, then the backlog of stuff I want (Ace, Blightbringer) will instantly get purchased I imagine, which will ruin my fully painted status for Legion.

Cygnar Paint Taget (tier 4):
pCaine - done
Ace - unowned
Reliant - done
2 Gun Mage Captains - done
Gun Mages + UA (1st) - done
Gun Mages + UA (2nd) - assembled
2 Hunters - done
Black 13th - done
Tempest Blazers - done

Friday, January 22, 2016

Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team

Ok, these weren't as bad as I was expecting them to be. In fact they were actually kind of pleasant to paint once they were assembled. The sculpted detail is pretty crisp and easy to pick out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Savio Montero Acosta

I don't have enough time to write a proper post for this model, but let me say that this was a wonderful model to paint. Great pose. Great detail. Really enjoyed painting it. Highly recommend painting this one even if just for fun.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lord Commander Stryker

Continuing to fill out my stable of painted Cygnar casters. Although I like the pose of this model, it was a little tricky to work on. First was the problem of not using his epic base since I wanted to keep him on my existing basing theme. That caused some weirdness with his footing on the base. Next was the tail of his coat which is flat and pretty uninteresting. I tried to paint it appropriately, but it basically felt very boring. Third was the lack of decent sized flat spaces on the armor for insignias. I essentially just crammed in as many as I could all over his armor without making it look silly. I really wanted to reinforce the sense of it being prototype armor per the original fluff.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Battle Report: Absylonia2 vs Axis (again)

My list: Absylonia2, Blightbringer, Carnivean, Seraph, Stinger, Shredder, Warspears (5+UA), 2x Shepherds.

My opponent: Axis (tier 4), Corollary, 2x Inverter, 4x Enigma Foundry, 2x Obstructors, Reductors, 3x Clockwork Angels, Optifex Directive.

This was sort of a refined rematch from the previous game. We played the SR2015 Outflank scenario again, and our lists were basically refinements from the previous game. I should also note that we played to deathclock during this match. Fortunately I won initiative again and opted to go first. I surged forward and tried to be in a good position to push harder into each zone. Axis' force then surged forward. Next I opted to use the Carnivean to get a deep strike and got a lucky assault spray damage on a Foundry and took it out, then used Slipstream to pull it back. On the other side I pushed forward with Warspears covered by the Blightbringer's aura for bonus ARM. There was a fair amount of killing of Axis' troops, but against this list it's just a matter of trying to overload the Foundries' ability to put them back on. The follow up was not so bad, with a key Warspear getting taken out and allowing Axis to score a scenario point. This turned out to be a key point later on, but more on that later. I then pushed forward further, nearly taking out a second Foundry with the Carnivean, taking out more Angels, and more troops. Unfortunately in the next round an Inverter (aided by Axis' feat) managed to take out the Carnivean. After lamenting my choice to not Slipstream it back again I realized that the right zone was starting to collapse on me, and while my Warspears were doing an admirable job of holding the other zone, they wouldn't last forever. I was also down to a little less than 8 minutes on my clock, and Axis' feat had hit most of my force. At this point I played pretty fast, pushing further into the left zone with my Warspears and Blightbringer to make sure I couldn't lose on that side, and then blocked off the Inverter with a Warspear and my Succubus on the other flank. I also put Abby into a somewhat dangerous position, especially given that my Shredder had been taken out by Angels in the previous round, robbing me of my precious Tenacity animus. So what was I to do at this point? I charged into the center with Abby, then teleported to the Blightbringer's cloud for the ARM bonus. I hit the clock and had just barely 2 minutes left. The reason I had to go down this path was not just deathclock, but also because I was down on scenario points. Although Abby was sitting on 4 fury, it wasn't enough and after a Corollary headbutt to knock Abby down, Axis finished her off with a series of nasty rolls.

Lessons learned: Well, I didn't lose due to countercharge! Also, Abby is badass, and the Seraph is just a must I think. In hindsight, I also need to make sure I'm remembering the Blightbringer's aura since I believe I spaced and forgot the bonus to Abby's ARM during the pummeling from Axis. Oh well!

Games this year: 3

Sunday, January 17, 2016

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #105

Shiny happy week.

Got more painting done on Stryker2 and Acosta. Also ended up playing some Diablo3 due to the 2.4 patch releasing. In addition I have my Bone Grinders prepped for priming and played 2 games.

I cataloged my remaining unpainted stuff in an effort to get myself psyched. I'm so close to fully painted and the prospect of reaching that excites me. My goal is to close out mercs next, followed by minions. However I'm sure I'll crank out a few Cygnar along the way. I'm still sort of aiming at this pCaine tier list for now though so I'll leave it as my paint target for the time being.

Cygnar Paint Taget (tier 4):
pCaine - done
Ace - unowned
Reliant - done
2 Gun Mage Captains - done
Gun Mages + UA (1st) - done
Gun Mages + UA (2nd) - assembled
2 Hunters - done
Black 13th - painting
Tempest Blazers - done

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Battle Report: Absylonia2 vs Axis

My list: Absylonia2, Blightbringer, Carnivean, Proteus, 6x Stingers, 2x Blight Wasps, Shredder, 2x Shepherds.

My opponent: Axis (tier 4), Corollary, 2x Inverter, Galvanizer, 4x Enigma Foundry, 2x Obstructors, Reductors, 2x Clockwork Angels, Optifex Directive.

We played the SR2015 Outflank scenario. Fortunately I won initiative and obviously chose to go first. If I hadn't it would have been a disaster since Axis' army deploys so far forward. The battle was a slugfest, with me ripping huge chunks out of his army every round and him putting most of them back out for the first 3 rounds. I ended up timing out on the deathclock first but we kept playing for fun. There's no other way to describe the game than grindy. In the end I was loosing on attrition, but he just couldn't get a grip on Abby. I managed to jam in and prevent losing on scenario temporarily and be set up for an assassination run. Unfortunately on my following turn when it was time to execute, I moved a Shredder up which then allowed Axis to trigger counter-charge and charge away from Abby. DOH! At that point I conceded.

Lessons learned: So yeah, countercharge. I forget about it all the time. I really need to start remembering it. I will say that after playing Abby a second time, I really enjoyed her. This was a good match up since she had plenty of targets to trigger Conferred Rage with which really kept my army rolling hot. I do however need to get better at holding her feat back for just the right time.

Games this year: 2

Friday, January 15, 2016

Battle Report: Nemo3 vs Doomshaper3

No picture for this battle. The report is 3 days late too.

My list: Nemo3 (tier 4), Finch, Stormwall, Dynamo, Thunderhead, Stormsmith Stormcaller, Mechanics (6), Silverline Stormguard (10).

My opponent: Doomshaper3 (tier 3), Glacier King, Earthborn, Mauler, Axer, Fire Eaters, Whelps, Krielstones (4+UA).

We played the SR2015 Outflank scenario. Henry won initiative, and in my opinion, especially given the scenarios and the lists, that dictated a huge amount of the battle. He jammed forward which put the Glacier King close to the center line. I moved forward cautiously trying to cover my heavies with Stormguard lined up to prevent charges, and my Stormwall on the other flank dropping pods hoping to block charges on that side. Then the Fire Eaters basically turned the entire game for Henry with assault charges, clearing stormpods and all the relevant Stormguard so that the rushed Earthborn was able to charge Dynamo. At that point the Glacier King was jammed pretty hard in the center of the board and Doom3's feat was up. My only real counterattack options were to pray for crazy dice and charge in, or go for the assassination, which is what I tried. Here's how that played out, with numbers commentary so that you can get an idea of what the math looked like between the two feats...
Doom3 was under the effect of both his feat and the stone's aura and the Glacier King's concealment area. This put him at effective 15/17, untouched at 16 boxes, with 1 less die on damage rolls and healing d3 after each hit. He also had 2 Fury on him for transfers.
Nemo allocates 2 focus to the Stormwall and Thunderhead each, which with Finch's bonus gives them 3 each.
First I charged with my Stormguard into the Fire Eaters. They got 4 hits, killing 1 of them. This allowed the leader to then drop the 5" AOE effect on Doomshaper (and his UA) that gives +2 to any lightning damage rolls against the affected models.
Next Nemo3 feats (granting an extra die on all lightning damage rolls) and moves just enough to have Doom3 in range for his lightning strike. He boost to hit (6 RAT vs 15 def) and hits, and then boosts damage (10+2+4d6-1d6, or 12+3d6, vs 17), and rolls 1-1-4, which then gets healed leaving Doom3 at full. Lightning bounces into the UA who gets snuffed handily.
Next Finch moves up and makes an attempt at Doom3 with her tuning fork but misses on the attack rolls (RAT 5 vs 15). If miraculously she had hit, it would have been effective 12+2d6 vs 17.
Next Thunderhead moves up and takes a boosted shot but misses (RAT 6 vs 15). If he'd hit, he'd have sustained attack, meaning he'd get 3 hits of effective 16+2d6 vs 17.
It was at this point that I actually just conceded the game, but here was the remaining of the potential attacks.
The Stormwall could then march forward, lining up on Doomshaper for the big guns, and take 2 shots. These not being lightning makes them unfortunate, but it was RAT 6 vs DEF 15, so my plan was to boost one but not the other, hoping for average rolls on the attack to hit both times. That would have been 2 boosted damage rolls of effective 16+2d6 each.

Lessons learned: Doomshaper3 is ball-busting. The Glacier King is super legit. And most of all, the Fire Eaters have assault with their 6" sprays which is a real flexible option for them. Perhaps the real takeaway though is that I'm just not prepared enough to deal with jam lists and I need a lot more practice against them. I will say that I really enjoyed playing Nemo3 and I'm looking forward to playing him more.

Bonus analysis: So yeah, failed due to key roll failure unfortunately. But let's look at the math overall. Assuming all average rolls (and rounding down 0.5's) for all of the above, and taking out Finch since on average she would miss, it turns into the following net damage amounts: 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4... for a grand total of 23 (not counting that the last d3 heal would not actually happen though). Even if one of the Stormwall big guns had missed, it still would have been 19. The assassination run plan was sound, but I needed slightly better than average dice, and for Doomshaper to not make a Tough roll. It was bad.
Now as a thought experiment, let's take out Doom3's feat, but keep Nemo3's feat. Those damage rolls suddenly turn into averages of 9, 6, 6, 6, 9, 9, for a total of 45.
Now let's take out Nemo3's feat but keep Doom3's feat in. The average damage rolls now turn into: 0, 0, 0, 0, 4, 4, for a total of 8.

Games this year: 1

Sunday, January 10, 2016

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #104

Fantastic week! Except for the whole going back to work thing.

Well my DZC collection is now fully painted as well. Now on to Cygnar to catch up on. As you can see pictured here, I've got Stryker2, Acosta, and the Black 13th on my desk right now all in progress. The Black13th models are just crazy small in comparison.

I've packed away a bunch of models as well. All of my trolls and menoth are packed away. I also threw a few blisters for models that I've classified as "never going to paint" into that storage as well. I've removed them from my collection on this blog more for psychological reasons to myself than anything else. The models I packed away include:
* Arkadius and Carver - Because I'm never going to play a pig army.
* Kreoss3 and Durant - Because I'm unlikely to pick Menoth back up anytime soon.
* Triton A2s - I'm actually looking to find a new home for these with the local DZC community since they are extra that I can't really use.

Cygnar Paint Taget (tier 4):
pCaine - done
Ace - unowned
Reliant - done
2 Gun Mage Captains - done
Gun Mages + UA (1st) - done
Gun Mages + UA (2nd) - assembled
2 Hunters - done
Black 13th - painting
Tempest Blazers - done

Remaining DZC models:
2 Triton A2s - selling
2 Phobos - done
2 Odin - done
2 Enyo - done

Saturday, January 09, 2016


Finished! Nothing especially amazing. It's been a while since I finished Cygnar warjack.

Friday, January 08, 2016


Enyos done!

Thursday, January 07, 2016


Odins done!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Phobos (take 3)

Last Phobos done!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Neptune (take 6)

Last Neptune done!

Monday, January 04, 2016

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #103

First roundup of 2016 is late, but off to a good start.

Lots of progress in the last couple weeks. My remaining DZC models are almost done. My Reliant is started. I've got a few models ready for priming tonight too. I'm hoping to have all my DZC stuff closed out by the end of this week. After that, it's time to focus on my remaining Cygnar and see how much of that I can get done before new releases start hitting. Having the pCaine tier list target will be key to getting a big chunk of that done.

Cygnar Paint Taget (tier 4):
pCaine - done
Ace - unowned
Reliant - painting
2 Gun Mage Captains - done
Gun Mages + UA (1st) - done
Gun Mages + UA (2nd) - assembled
2 Hunters - done
Black 13th - assembled
Tempest Blazers - done

Remaining DZC models:
Neptune - done
2 Triton A2s - selling
2 Phobos - done
2 Odin - painting
2 Enyo - painting

Friday, January 01, 2016

2015 Wrap Up and 2016 Resolutions

[Disclaimer: This post contains fluffy, introspective nonsense... Just like last year's did.]

2015 was generally a solid year for hobby time. There was a pretty solid block where family stress smashed my motivation though and I fell into a Diablo3 pit for probably 4 months. If it hadn't been for that, this would have been a banner year for playing.

Last year's goals:
1) Get my Cygnar force up to 100 painted models - Success! Easily beat this goal.
2) Get caught up on all new Legion releases - Fail! But oh so close. I'm missing Blightblades. Otherwise I'm caught up on new things. I'm still behind on older units as well, specifically Archers, Swordsmen, and Grotesques.
3) Play 52 games of Warmachine - Fail! There was a solid block of 3 months where I barely played anything. If I add in my DZC games, I'd actually be closer, but still a ways off. Probably 44 games total.
4) Attend 1 convention - Success! Lock & Load for 3 years straight now! Not only that, but I played Unbound there AND got to play a game with Jason Soles which was hands down the highlight.
5) Not delude myself on other factions - Success! Other than the foray into DZC, I stayed very focused this year as my painting tally shows. Speaking of which...

Models painted last year:
Cygnar: 66
Legion: 16
Mercs: 7
DZC: 41
Looking at it from a size perspective (excluding DZC):
Small based: 63
Medium based: 10
Large based: 14
Huge based: 2

So this year I painted a total of 130 total models (89 of which were 30mm scale) compared to 85 the previous year. This year I was again very focused on what I was painting, with Cygnar being the bulk of it.

Goals for next year:
1) Paint arcs on all my Legion models - I love having arcs painted on my Cygnar. Time to bring my Legion collection up to the same standard.
2) Close out DZC - There's only a few left, but it would be nice to have it completed. I don't anticipate needing to add a whole lot of models to that force.
3) Get my Cygnar collection up to 95% painted - This is just so I don't lose steam and end up with a bunch of unpainted things sitting around.
4) Play 52 games this year - Gonna try this one again. If I can keep pace and not fall into "Murtaugh Mode", then it should be easy. I should note this is not limited to Warmachine.
5) Attend 1 convention - Again. Probably gonna be Lock & Load.
6) Paint a Batman model for my comics fixer - A friend of mine (who doesn't play miniatures games) is my fixer when it comes to comics. He has made amazing recommendations. He's a big Batman fan so I managed to get one of the great Knight Models versions of Batman and I want to paint it for him to premium quality as a way of saying thanks. 7) Play tighter games - More about this below.
8) Pack away old models - I don't want to get rid of anything, but there's lots of models I simply don't play anymore, and they are taking up precious case space. I think it's time to put them in long term storage.
9) Archive selected models - I've got a bunch of models I'm just never going to paint. For my own sanity, I owe it to myself to just pack them away in long term storage or find new homes for them.
10) Read another book about painting - I've already got a great book sitting on the shelf about the history of pigment that I'm very keen to read. I just needed some motivation.

Whew! That's a lot of goals. Some of those are pretty small though. I am a little concerned though because there's 3 big "distractions" from these goals that I can already foresee:
1) Diablo3 2.4.0 patch - Whenever it hits, it will definitely distract us with a big rash of playing.
2) Malifaux - The new campaign rules have us very intrigued, so I suspect that we'll play a bunch of that and I'll want to paint a new crew for it.
3) Unbound at Lock and Load - If they have it again, I will most definitely want to play in it and I already have a scheme in mind for it. But I'll save that for a future post.

On the topic of playing tighter games, there are 3 specific things I want to start doing in every game this year. First is use a tray to roll my dice to eliminate confusion and cocked dice. I think this is just a good practice in general and avoids lots of problems with hitting models as well.
The second is to not do any more rewinding of model moves. This is something that I've grown to dislike a lot. positioning is really important in this game, and as soon as a model is picked up and moved at all, it can completely skew things. Whenever people back things up, it always becomes a "I think it was about here and had a line to this" sort of thing, which usually benefits the person doing the moving. I'm going to start treating it more like chess where once it's picked up, it's committed.
The third is simply to play to a death clock in every Warmachine game, even if I don't enforce it on my opponent. I want to play faster and get used to making sharper decisions quickly. I find that mistakes breed better future choices better than spending lots of time mulling over options.

And that's it. Here's to a great 2015 and hopes for a great 2016. Cheers to all!