Saturday, 7 April 2012

Baldur the White

After reading the story of Baldurs return to the world in the domination book I was instantly struck with the similarity to the return of Gandalf the white in the Lord of the Rings. I decided that I would like to paint up eBaldur with a white colour scheme. This would give me the chance to see if I can use the techniques I have been using a lot recently to paint green robes to paint effective white robes.  I used to really struggle to paint white robes in my black templars army (my first army) and it was partly this that made me want to try again.

The base looks a little weird in pictures due to the angle of the log - this looks quite good in person when you can turn the model around etc. I really wanted to give him an 'epic' base as the new epic casters do not have the same board presence as the old ones which came with pre-supplied 'epic' bases.

Now I have pBaldur and eBaldur painted perhaps I need to get some wolds painted up....

Heres a work in progress Megalith (as you cant really have Balder without his favourite pile of wold rocks).

P.S. Now we know why they call him 'Balder'.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Some more painting - Plastic Feral Warpwolf

I know I promised some more battle reports in my next blog but putting up pictures is a much easier way to fill a page.

I have done quite a bit of painting recently and have a lot of models half finished. I am hoping to use the Easter bank holiday weekend to get most of these finished off and posted here so expect a few posts.

First off I wanted to post images of the new Feral Warpwolf that I painted fairly quickly this week. It was a great model to paint as the skin gives you some lovely space to work with.

You may also notice that I have tried something new with the base (using insta-mold to create some interesting carved rocks).

Monday, 2 April 2012

York tournament

This weekend I attended a tournament in York ran by Brett Wilkie and Paul North. The event was one the best I have attended since I started going to Warmachine tournaments last year. It was held in a hotel conference room and this allowed for a very pleasant setting with the ticket price including 9 games and an excellent lunch.

The games where split into a 5 game 35 point steam roller format with a 'shrinking killbox' twist and a 15 point mangled metal tier tournament. 

In this blog I will go over the mangled metal event as the games are fresh in my mind and also quicker to describe. In my next blog I hope to give an overview of the steamroller games I played in.

List Selections

List 1
eBaldur +5
Megalith 11
Woldwarden 9
Total: 15

My eBaldur list works largely around huddling together with every model under the spell effects of roots of the earth. (+3 ARM, cant be moved, placed or knocked down). Often behind a wall and with protective animuses up. As I was safe from being dumped out of the mosh pit I only had to advance a small distance before I settled down to wait whilst the opponent closes with my list. I could then wait until eBaldurs tokens built up to a level he can take down jacks himself and exploit any mistakes from my opponent. This is a super high arm, super defensive list which I hoped would be simple to play with 3 minute timed turns after a long and frantic days gaming.

eBaldur defence

List 2
eKrueger +5
Feral Warpwolf 9
Warpwolf Stalker 10
Total: 14

I wanted to choose a list that represented the exact opposite of my eBaldur list - this would mean that opponents couldn't be sure what they would be facing and would be gambling if they picked a list to defeat one list or another. 

In order to be the opposite it needed to be very quick, higher DEF rather than ARM and attacking rather than responsive. I chose eKrueger with a Warpwolf Stalker and a Feral Warpwolf. These would be able to tear through armour - and with eKruegers telekinesis spell they should largely be able to get the alphastrike. Telekinesis and his feat may also help me pick up a scenario win.

Game 1: 
Opponent: Paul Riddel
Warcaster: pStryker
Faction: Cygnar
Rough list: pStryker - Iron clad - Defender - Charger

I was pleased to see that I had Paul in the first round, I had enjoyed our game earlier in the day and had found him to be a pleasant opponent with a well painted Cygnar army. Given how close our earlier game was I wasn't surprised that he chose to use pStryker again. I had already decided before the day that I intended to use my eBaldur list as much as possible as I knew I would be pretty exhausted by this point and the I had a fixed battle plan that I could stick to without to much thought in the first few turns.

During this time eBaldur is building up his wurm tokens to the level when he is a serious threat to heavy jacks and warbeasts. When the opportunity comes to either alphastrike an opponent or counter attack I will be looking for an opportunity to hit hard and then feat (grants all friendly models roots of the earth - so I can save my fury for damage output) leaving me fairly secure from damage.

I stuck to my battle plan although I was a little worried that the damage I was receiving from the defender and charger would be enough to force me to advance if he chose to sit back and be content to hit me from range. Luckily Paul decided to come to me and charged megalith with his Ironclad. My armour was enough to keep Megalith fully functional with about a third of his damage grid marked but spread across his aspects. 

However, by keeping his jacks spread out to threaten me from all sides he had left them too near to the edges of the pit. On my turn eBaldur charged and killed the Ironclad, freeing Megalith to slam his defender out of the pit. The woldwarden charged Paul's charger and boosted his hit rolls to ensure that he got to use his 'Smite' ability and slam the charger out of the pit. With about 2 second left in my turn I was left with sole possession of the Mosh Pit and as this was my 3rd turn I was able to score a control point and win the scenario.

A good start for eBaldur. Many thanks to Paul for the game, he had spotted his error as soon as I moved to slam his first jack and was resigned to losing the game that turn, although in the end the time pressure of 3 minute turns almost gave him a chance to hit back and without Roots of the Earth up I am sure he would have been able to take out Megalith and put him ahead on the war of attrition.

Result: Win to eBaldur by Scenario 

Game 2: 
Opponent: Mark Evans
Warcaster: Thyra
Faction: Protectorate of Menoth
Rough List: Thyra, 2 heavy jacks and a light (probabaly began with the letter R)

Another rematch from earlier in the day, except this time we where on table 6 instead of table 16. When we had played in the second round Mark hit me with a Thyra assassination run which I hadn't seen coming. I am sure he had picked her as soon as he had seen my name come out of the hat but I was actually very pleased to get another chance to go up against her now I knew a little about her abilities. 

I selected eBaldur again - not wanting to change a winning formula. In the first round I stuck to my plan and let Thyra and her jacks approach. I was shielding Baldur with Megalith and the Woldwarden and I think Mark thought that I had not learned my lesson about her acrobatics allowing her to move through models and ignore free strikes.  This lead him to play Thyra fairly far forwards (looking to charge me the following turn) - relying on her high defence to keep her safe from any charges by the wolds.

However I saw an opportunity to charge one of his jacks with my woldwarden and use his 'smite' slam once again to slam the jack into Thyra and Megalith was able to charge her and jump up and down on her with his big obelisk sized feet to get me a cheeky caster-kill on turn two.

Mark was a pleasure to play in both of my games and I was pleased he had made the long trip up for the day and hope to cross paths with him at another tournament in the future.

Result: Win to eBaldur by Caster kill 

Game 3: 
Opponent: Adam Wilkie
Warcaster: Saeryn
Faction: Legion of Everblight
Rough list: Saeryn, Angelius, Angelius, Lesser beast

Adam has attended some of the tournaments in Hull but I have never found the chance to have a chat with him during the days so I was glad to finally get the chance to give him a game. Adam only had one list but it caused me a bit of worry. Not having many opportunities to play Legion has not given me the opportunity to quite work out the correct way to deal with their beasts and in the few games I have played no beast has caused me as much of a headache as the Angelius. Adam had two in this list alongside a caster with a very complimentary feat. I decided to take my eBalder list again as I felt that roots of the earth would be useful against their armour piercing attacks and I didn't like to change a winning formula - afterall if I won this I would be on the top tables in the final round! Regardless of what happened from here I was pleased with how the mangled metal had gone and I thought that one more win would put me at 5 wins for the day out of 9 games and I would have snapped your hand off for that at the start of the day.

Adam won the first turn and ran forward with his fast beasts. Due to the slightly smaller mosh pit and the speed of his beasts I was worried that if I stuck to my normal plan we would be engaging outside of the pit on my side so decided to make sure I made it to the pit by running my two beasts on the first term. As they could not use geomancy to put up their protection I decided to pop eBaldurs Feat on turn one to get roots of the earth up. 

As expected I took the charge from the two Angelius, one on each beast. Their armour piercing attacks stung! but not as much as it would normally do due to my feat. Saeryn moved up and popped her feat basically granting him immunity to my attacks and ensuring that all that I could do next turn was put up roots of the earth all round and hope I could survive to fight another round.

Adam hit me hard again with the Angelius and managed to take out the woldwarden but megalith was left with a good amount of boxes left and I was hopeful that now I had weathered the storm that I may be able to kill one Angelius with Megalith to get me back in the game. I have not worked out what average dice would have got me but my damage rolls where poor and the Angelius survived.  This was pretty much game over and as expected Adam finished me off on the next turn.

He played the game well and deserved the win but I don't think I would have changed any of my decisions in the game as I feel they gave me the best chance of success but alas it wasn't to be.

Result: Loss to Saeryn by Caster kill 

Game 4: 
Opponent: Andy Garrard
Warcaster: pDoomshaper
Faction: Trollbloods
Rough list: pDoomshaper - Mulg - Bouncer - Impaler

As the final draw of the day was posted I was delighted to see a game against Andy was to be the finale of the day. I always enjoy playing Andy (he usually gives me some useful advice for my Circle) and we had shared a car ride to York and would share one back after the conclusion of the game. The only disappointment was that he was playing with his Trollbloods so we would not have our usual Circle civil war.

I let Andy know that I was locked in to using eKrueger (both lists have to be used during the tournament and I had played eBaldur in every game so far). Andy decided to use pDoomie and I politely asked to look through his cards, as to be honest the Trollcasters are a bit of a blur to me - another faction I need to play more I suspect...

I got the first turn and ran my beasts to just shy of the pit. Andy had the second turn and ran his to just inside the pit. He put the Bouncers animus onto the Bouncer and the Impaler which where either side of Mulg who was sat a few inches back. This was a very clever trap - the natural threat range of my stalker and feral would allow them to get to the two light beasts with a charge but they would only get one attack before being bumped back... perfectly set up for Mulg to smash into tiny little pieces.

However, via using telekinesis from eKrueger on both of my beasts to get a couple of inchs closer - I was able to charge them both into Mulg. The Stalker warped for strength and charged putting a lot of damage on to Mulg but not maxing out on fury as I wanted to be able to transfer to him if necessary. The Feral warped for strength and charged in to finish the job. I was pleased that this put me up on attrition and I was also looking in good position to pop my feat on my turn 3 to try and get a control point but Andy is an experienced player and I knew that it was going to be a tough shout to see out the game.

As predicted Andy came back strong in the next round - using the spell Rampager to take control of my Stalker and whack my feral in the back. Ouch! Luckily both beasts survived the onslaught from the impaler and the bouncer. However Andy had moved his bouncer deep into the mosh pit which had made my plan to get a scenario win more difficult.

I tried to finish off the Bouncer with the stalker but Andy had popped his feat which meant I took damage each time I forced a beast. Time was running low and I decided to try another tact. I moved up Krueger and popped my feat pushing Doomie and the impaler out of the pit and pushing the bouncer to the edge of the pit. Kreuger then cast telekinesis on the Bouncer and in the last few seconds of the game we moved him the bouncer the two inches and he was outside the pit by a few millimetres. This scored me the point and won me the game. 

I was pleased with how I played this game but in truth it came down to a mistake on Andys part - mostly down to the timed turns I am sure. I have no doubt balance will be restored when we play next.

Result: Win to eKrueger by Caster kill 

Overall this put me with 3 wins, 1 loss and two control points. This got me a 6th place finish which I was delighted with. Especially as I am usually propping the table up from the other end. Mangled metal with 3 minute timed turns was loads of fun - I think the format benefits from less time to deliberate over every decision and the action was instinctive and frantic. I really hope to be able to attend more events with this format.

I will try to put together some thoughts on the rest of the event in a subsequent post.