Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cygnar or Retribution

Long time no see guys, I haven't posted on this blog in quite a while as I haven't been playing much Warmachine, but last week a new store opened here and is going to be running tournaments and gaming nights and just everything I'd like to do with the hobby.

So the first tournament is coming up in January and I'm trying to decide what I want to play. I still have my Retribution but I painted up a Cygnar army to practice painting green (pictures will come later). For this first tournament I can't decide if I want to play Retribution (A Kaelyssa list and a Vyros list) or play Cygnar (E Nemo and possibly E Haley/Prime Haley/Prime Stryker).

I feel like playing something a little more "broken" than Retribution can currently muster, but I would have little to no experience with the army, so it's power VS experience.

What do you guys think? Fully painted Cygnar VS half painted Retribution

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Long time no see

Hey folks, been quite a while since I posted. I'm still not really back into Warmachine but I felt like painting something so I've been painting up my metal Cygnar battlegroup in an olive green to try and improve my green and black painting skills. The Lancer is now finished and the Charger is half done, so I thought I'd post up some pics.

I shall post more when I've finished the Charger. I can't decide if I want to use the Ironclad or not. I know I'm replacing Stryker with Hailey as I think she looks more gritty in her original sculpt than Stryker does and I want the dirty infield look.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Like Rocky but with less punching.

For the next 2 months this blog will be a personal ramble on finding tournament skills. After becoming the Event planner at my local Wargaming club I've been busy setting up events and getting people to run them, well now it's set and on September 25th we will be holding our first national sized tournament. And since I'm not running it (I just pulled the strings to get it done), I get to play in it! If you're in the UK, it would be awesome to see other IABN guys there, so keep the Saturday free and when the tickets go on sale (only £10 including lunch) grab yourself one and come throw some yellow dice with me.

So I decided I need to tighten up and start to play a couple of games of WM a week, maybe even go as far as one a day. After my break from WM I returned and found I had lost what skills I had got (I took about a year break in total, so obviously I lost a lot), which means I now need to get back into estimating stealth ranges and such..

I also filled out my Retribution army (at the cost of selling my never used Legion stuff), so I now own every Warcaster and every released unit except the houseguard. I'm a few solos off but I have enough left over from the legion stuff to grab them and a unit or two.

So I sat down and made 2 lists I wanted to use at a tournament level of play.

List 1,

Full sentinals + UA + Soulless Escort
A pack of Mittens
E Eiryss

List 2,
Full Sentinels + UA
A pack of Mittens

So I'm already some what used to Kaelyssa (although no where near enough, I will dedicate at least 2 weeks to playing her into the ground. But I've been playing Rahn a lot lately and I'm getting a good feel for him.

Here is what I've learnt over those games.

-Stealth rapes Retribution, we just have no answer to stealthed Heavies except Sents, who are priority one.
-I need to learn to guess Stealth range much better.
-I need to use a 'caster not just 1 of their abilities.
-Rahn's feat is rarely powerful, but it's useful for a double force hammer turn or wiping infantry off the board with 12" of AOEs
-Mittens are great for my style of play, they increase ranges
-I need to protect my solos better, I offer them up too easy and always call people's bluff on the MHAs, which they either run from or take out turn 1. I need to try holding them back or at least 1 of them.
-Forcehammer is very good but risky and expensive, the D6 slam can be a bad thing more than it's good.
-Don't get frustrated when the game looks over and you're going to lose. I did this in a game I had tonight and pointed out to my opponent how he could kill me, I should of shut up and let him miss it, he didn't take it any way and I later got a 11.7" line on Lylyth including 2 free strikes on Rahn, took it and if the dice hadn't failed me I would of beaten her down. As long as you have a high focus model on the table you can do something.
-I need to protect my Sentinel officer better.
-I don't value my models enough, I always play high risk high reward and it makes me give up points I shouldn't be. I need to stop throwing away stuff and making bad trades, I have to look at this more like Magic where you only trade if you get a perk from it or you have no choice but to.

That's it for my ranting now. If any one wants to give me any suggestions and feedback or set up a game of Vassal below I'd be up for that. I need to play games and I've met some great guys on IABN I'd like to play with.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Why I play the lists I play #1

A few minutes ago I just finished a game on Vassal VS Harbinger, it ended in the way I like all my games to end with an Elf putting a crossbow bolt in an opposing 'casters face. Which made me think why I like the lists I like and play the way I play. At a club night a week previous someone asked me why I liked Elves (while unpacking my Wood Elves after rocking him with my Retribution), my answer was thus "I don't like Elves, they like me". Elf factions tend to be fast and nimble with a preference for long ranged combat, that is the way I like to fight in games, that's how I like to be on the tabletop.

I know there are a lot of people who like Khador being tanks and just shrugging off blows but I've never felt happy with that. If I'm playing something I want skill to be the defining factor not luck and having high armour stats just doesn't give me that feeling, so I've always been drawn to relying on my reflexs in games and positioning in Wargaming. Due to this the first faction I picked up was Cryx (Cryx Trixs used to be a common phrase), then I picked up Cygnar and found they lacked the mobility I wanted even though I liked the 'jacks and Warcasters. After much time with Skorne I read the Retribution army book (as I was intending to buy all the books at that stage but got burnt out on the game before I did so) and found -my- faction. They have the mobile ranged theme while not sacrificing melee, they have a Warcaster (Kaelyssa) who allowed me to turn my biggest fear of assassination into a strength (camped fury/focus) yet still the faction has a nice melee unit to hold scenario against those players who just want to zerg rush you with arm 20+ models.

Next post will break down the exact list I play and why I use each model. I recently got a new diagnosis for my illness and if it turns out to be correct I maybe able to attend larger tournaments in my area and if I did the list would be my A-list for 35 point games.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


The last week or so has been an exciting time and by exciting I mean I did stuff. I'm now one of the 3 guys in charge of the local wargaming club, which has got a name change, has an upcoming Campaign and Warmachine Tournament!

I've been playing a lot of Warhammer fantasy the last few weeks, really enjoying it. It's a nice balance between Warmachine and Warhammer 40k. It's not as deep as Warmachine but not as bland and lifeless as 40k, I could happily play it.

Any way at the club I'm arranging a 15 point Mangled mental tournament, I will be using Retribution of course. Probably Kaelyssa with 2 heavies and a light if I can fit one. More than likely the Heavies will be Hydras due to keeping high focus camping ability. But a phoniex would be nice for the arc node. I'm playing Kaelyssa for sure, she punishes people too well for mistakes not to take it.

I also have to write a story line for the 40k campaign, it's going to be Order VS Disorder. Chaos and Orks will have invaded a world and the Order forces will have to capture it back for the Imperium. Each month one side will gain a bonus for winning/losing. Since the campaign is an escelation there will also be rewards for painting as the event goes on and such, not sure what yet but there we go. Hopefully it'll end in 1 big ass apocalypse game, where everyone just mauls each other.

I shall be fielding a Chaos Red Corsairs army, lead by Huron Blackheart. No idea exactly what but I shall none the less do it.

If you're in the Midlands area and wanting to play some Tabletop games check us out at http://www.facebook.com/?sk=2361831622#!/group.php?gid=390808245455 . We're friendly and only slightest demented.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Miss me?

Did any one miss me? Didn't think so.

The last few days I haven't been feeling too bad so I've been about to get out to my local gaming club and after playing one game of 40k I was about ready to kill myself. So this week I played a game of Warmachine, and it was fun, which it's meant to be, so I shall be playing more and I'll resume blogging about it.

I had the following.

Mage hunter Strike force + UA
Invcitors + Ua
Stormfall archers

My opponent was playing Trolls and had roughly this

Fenn blades
Kriel stone unit

He decides to take first turn and runs everything at my lines, I pop my feat turn 1 and wipe out half the fennblades and knock the rest down. Narn and the MHA run to the opposite side of the board to the troll brick holding the scenario.

Turn two the fenn blades and Pygmies mince half the mage hunters and in return I kill all but 1 Pygmy and finish off all but 2 fennblades, then the archers step up and start lighting crap on fire. Most the stone dudes burn up and all is well and good.

Turn three Borka pops feat, a Mauler grabs the fellcaller and tosses him at Ravyn through a line of dudes, rolls the dice and my opponent goes "15 damage" and I'm like "ouch, but she lives" then he goes "no wait 16" and I'm like "She's dead.." and extend my hand as we both laugh.

At that point in the game I had taken enough out that I could attrition him out and playing hide and seek until I could set up flank on the invictors to take out the dires and then Ravyn would take out Borka or win via scenario at that point. But as I haven't played in so long I was rusty and left Ravyn open in a position she really didn't need to be.

Still was a fun game and it was nice to see MKII trolls and get a grasp of their power level.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Being disheartened by WM

I'm not going to write a huge long blog post how PP is evil and I think they are turning into GW because it's not worth the time or effort, but I am being more and more disheartened in the PP community and company.

I look at the way PP is acting and it feels more corporate and less fair than it did before. People say "PP have great customer service" and act like this is a defense, but GW have flawless customer service to the point where you can steal from them if you really wanted to, I don't see how this is a magic bullet that solves all.

The community seems to have shifted since MKII hit as well. We're starting to see less of a "everyones a bro" and more of "OMG BNF! OMG LISTEN!" with several people in the community. BNF (big name fans) belong in the livejournal communities not in the Wargaming one, we're more mature than that (or I'd hope we were). But instead I've seen several names start to pop up and favouriteism and and all the bullshit I can't stand. I could go "Bobaferret did X" and "Gdaybloke did that" but lets be blunt. I don't do BNF type bullshit and I feel the Warmachine community is now doing just that. Either I changed or it did and either way, it's making me feel like I would rather not be part of it.

To go along with the above point, the community quality has dropped below an acceptable standard. We have Podcasts like Focus and Fury, Guts and Gears and to some level Iron agenda that is just releasing terrible quality podcasts that aren't enjoyable to listen to. Then PP goes and gives the worst of these favourtism out the ass, when EVERYONE hates their damn podcast. The only podcast I feel is worth listening to any more is Boosted damage and at times they skirt the quality line as well.

Maybe I've outgrown warmachine and it's time I found a new game or maybe the community has grown, either way I've lost interest in Warmachine. MKII has killed most my interest and PP has finished off the rest of them.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Vyros uses a Trackball mouse

Yesterday I finally got to play some Warmachine again for the first time in months.

I played with the following list

10 Sentinels + UA
Stormfall archers
2 Mage hunter assassins

It's a list I use on Vassal and enjoy using, it's low model count but high quality and it can do a bit of everything. I knew my opponent would play Cygnar (probably Stryker) but I didn't build an anti Stryker list, I built what I wanted to play. My opponents list was thus

-Old Rowdy
Stormblades + UA
Full Long gunners
Black 13th.

So he had a similar list to mine except I had another heavy and our unit sizes were switched around, then we both had a set of killer solos (even if 1 is a unit persay). We discussed his list while playing and I asked why he didn't include Jr. He had discussed it with another player and they had decided both Jr and Eiryss was "just because" and had no real point in the list and I pointed to my Eiryss on the right flank and went "Is Stryker ever going over that side of the table?" his response was "No" and then he finally got why 3 points was worth it, My Eiryss did nothing but kill 1 Stormblade all game, but she funneled Stryker into the side of the board I was controling. I only include Eiryss if I'm left with 3 points after I add the solos I want, she's not an auto include, but if I have the points I will take her as a tool box solo.

He decided to set up second, so I deployed my sentinels in the middle with hydras flanking either side, Vyros a bit back, Eiryss and the stormfalls on the right flank (hilly goodness) and my 2 MHA on the left flank.

He deployed Stryker, old Rowdy and the squire center, long gunners with the B13th mingled among them on the left flank and the Stormblades on the right with the hunter just ahead of them.

Turn 1 I moved everything up, Eiryss playing distance games with the Hunter and the stormfall taking a hill in range to attack it next turn with snipe rounds if it didn't move. The MHAs moved up and hid behind a tower.

His turn he just moved the Stormblades, Old Rowdy, Stryker, Hunter and the squire about a bit, nothing exciting.

Turn 2 the hunter gets wrecked, Stormfalls brutal shot it to death with the final shots coming from a hydra with 3 focus. I positioned my Sentinels in groups of 4 and figured he would kill 1 or 2 in the coming turn giving me vengenace and getting some face raping in. Everything else just moved up into higher ground positions or looked scary and shuffled a bit.

His turn 2 he pops feat and stormblades kill 4 sentinelss (arm 19 is a bitch to crack) and takes more shots with the long gunners but can't crack the arm on my dudes.

So my turn 3 I decided I wanted those storm blades gone and took my vengenace move my left bubble moved towards the long gunners and my right bubble took some swings at the stormblades, 2 were dead from the vengenace attacks (arm 23 VS weapon masters, yum yum). My opponent was just like "what the hell?" and I'm like "I did tell you everything is a weapon master". I use Eiryss, Stormfalls and the hydras to clear out some charge lanes in the stormblades to get my extra dice and then charge with the sentinels, they clean up the unit except for 1 or 2, they constantly pass command checks and hold though). The other sentinels run up to engage the B13th and long gunners, with the MHA moving forward ready to hit Stryker next turn. At this point I had Stryker staring down 2 fully loaded Hydras, 2 MHAs and other nothing but Old Rowdy to protect him.

So his turn is pretty much going "oh shit.." and trying to clear out the Sentinels in his long gunners, which he fails to do leaving 2 alive and just in command range of the officer on the hill. Some sentinels die and next turn I forget my free movement and swings, which I knew I would at some point. My sentinels are pretty much wiped out as are his stormblades.

So turn 3 hits and I know I can nail him to the wall, except my dice disagree. Sentinels miss, MHA misses, Stormfall miss, Eiryss misses, Hydras miss. I just can't hit that def 16 and had it been a tournament I would of been frustrated, but it was not so meh. Old Rowdy is all up in my face at this point and I have to wiggle around his 6" bubble of countercharge insanity. I put Vyros on a hill with the sentinel standard bearer blocking the charge lane (and Vyros is just a bit out of range incase) and pass turn.

His turn 4 is trying to work out how to get an assassination, but it just doesn't happen, the B13th can't clean out the Sentinels and the long gunners can't really kill Vyros, Old Rowdy turns up and engages Vyros and we decided turn 4 was the end since we had to leave soon after.

So my turn 4 involves everything shooting at Stryker with everything it has and doing absolutely nothing to drop him below 4 boxes. I always underestimate Def 16 and it's not like Stryker has low arm either. I was wishing I had Ravyn with me as I could have wrecked Stryker, but I think Vyros's +2 arm spell is so insane on sentinels that he played a good roll in the game and I really enjoyed that. He even got to cast Elimator on Stryker at the final attack of the game, boosted to hit and just got no where.

At this point we shook hands and called it a draw. We added up points of models lost and I had killed 16 points of his stuff and he had killed 15 of mine, but it was a draw as far as I'm concerned. Both armies were wrecked and it was all down to the dice as to who won on turn 5.

I think Vyros is a competitive 'caster and can not only support the 2 Hydras but his infantry at the same time. His 6 focus is the perfect point for him, he uses 1 to upkeep Resolve then 2 to cast mobility and has 3 to play with each turn or just camp, which is generally enough to restock your Hydras if they need it since they won't spend more than 2 a turn unless they are in melee at which point your other one should still hold his focus. He has insane mobility and can threaten people from miles away if you want him to. His feat is pretty lame but it's extra focus if you really need it, the problem with Hydras is that you can't load them up only restock them due to the focus on them counting for allocation purposes, but hey I'm a focus 12 'caster already so whats a narrow feat? Sure I'd love something insane, but it's not needed.

I think I will be playing Vyros for the near future, I really enjoyed the game and found he had more options than Kaelyssa did and while you lose the focus stealing your army becomes a real problem to deal with unlike with her who just can't support them beyond "No Magic plz, oki".

Hopefully I will get to make it again next week and play some D&D (I want to play a Dwarf based on the MMORPG fanbase), but as a back up plan I'll play Warmachine. My other Wargaming club is meeting Sunday, I may venture out to it if I'm up for it.

Saturday, 27 February 2010


I'm in a lot of pain at the moment and not been able to do anything Warmachine related, but before I went too under the weather I managed to finish a birthday present for a friend. So I present to you, K-9.

He's found his way to America land now, but this is what he looked liked before he went.

Monday, 22 February 2010

STFU, I'm a Timelord bitch

So between watching a lot of Doctor Who (Sixth Doctor era) and playing AvP, I've been trying to work out a list for the Warmachine tournament tomorrow. I had originally want to run Vyros but Maelstrom games still haven't sent my 2 Heavy kits. So instead I decided to make a Kaelyssa/Ravyn list and go from there.

Kaelyssa's list is thus.

10 Dawnguard Sentinels + UA + Soulless escort
10 Mage hunter strike force + UA
Stormfall archers
Mage hunter assassin
Mage hunter assassin

And Ravyn gets this

10 Dawnguard Sentinels + UA
10 Mage hunter strike force + UA
Stormfall archers
Mage hunter assassin
Mage hunter assassin

I think the lists pretty much speak for themselves. One is anti Warmachine with Eiryss and 1 is more Anti hordes. I'm pondering if maybe with Ravyn I should drop the one of the units for Invictors instead, but I think the sentinels are nasty and the mage hunters with snipe and her feat can kill Warlocks.

The Kaelyssa list is a bit more interesting, it will completely shut down magic against my units. Ehe Soulless makes anything but a close arc node impossible to hit them with (and if it does then that arc node is getting wrecked by the vengenace counter attack, leaving my Sentinels free to do what they wish the next turn) and the mage hunters can just have full magic denial on them.

The Sentinels are to hold objectives, the Stormfall are to clear enemy troops and the mage hunters enemy jacks/whatever presents it's self. I expect some heavy jacks to be around and my list can wreck those since everything in the list is a weapon master against them except Kaelyssa and the Hydra, who will have other jobs to do/make them stationary. I think as an all comers list this is solid and should be able to play Scenario or 'caster kill. I'll prefer 'caster kill but I'll take scenario.

I think Kaelyssa will be my primary caster due to being able to play her at more speed than Ravyn. I want to try and play quickly and not have to read my own cards more than is really needed. Every other unit I'm familar with except for the stormfall and I remember Snipe and brutal shot so what else do I need?

If you guys have any thoughts I'd like to hear them.

Tonight I should probably read the SR2010 scenarios but they all seem to be capture an area so why bother? The lighting at the club is terrible so I don't know if I'll be able to get any pictures, but if I go I'll write a report.

Friday, 19 February 2010

This blog is all about the bitching

I was going to make a post on running a IABN Vassal league but then I started listening to the latest IA and just cringed.

Last week I thought the episode was bad but it feels like it's going downhill fast. I enjoy IA as a Warmachine podcast but it feels less like a Warmachine podcast and a lot more like a fratboy podcast.

I'm all for banter and chit chat in podcasts but not when that is limited to family guy jokes and your mum jokes, it gets pretty old fast.

Monday, 15 February 2010


I don't trust Battlefoam. I know this may come across as some random internet hatred but I just have this bad feeling about the bags and Romeo. I just ordered a new carry case and considered battle foam, tried to contact them and got zero response, so in the end I followed Loftybloke's lead and got a KR case.

Any way, back on topic.. I've been keeping my eye on various forums and podcasts and I've noticed the battlefoam name leaking into more and more places. Since it's a new company this is to be expected when they hit it big with people like PP, but I've found Romeo's attitude to be.. suspicious. Every post he makes is "My shit is superior to everything, we have super secret tech, super magic glue and our bags give you a handjob when you turn them sideways." And that's fine, to a point but he's just come out of no where and is doing it.

I checked his handle online and he has a few models on Cool mini or not and that's pretty much it. For someone claiming he's been a gamer for such a long time isn't it weird he says he's only been painting for 2 years on CMON? Why does he not take part in the PP forums if he's a Warmachine player?

I'm not going to write a huge rant on this and do massive amounts of research to prove or disprove my point, but I thought it was worth expressing my thoughts on this. He seems to have got into bed with PP and many podcasts and Plykon's keep from Fell Calls is still fresh in my mind. The PP community has been taken for a ride before and can't afford another.

Friday, 29 January 2010

busy busy busy

I can't remember if I posted about this before, but the LGS group has founded a games club now and it's pretty much the same thing but in a pub. They're running a 35 point tournament in the coming months and I'm going to take my Ret to it. Not sure on the list yet but I'll post about that another time.

I've also become addicted to the Shin Megami Tensei MMO and got a puppy this week.. Which isn't exactly a positive thing on all fronts. The puppy's name is Eevee and she's a black labrador, 5 months old and just starting to realise chewing things is entertaining..

But now onto the meat of the post. I picked up a cheap Orc and Goblin army on ebay (aka, I stole it because I paid so little for what I got) and I'm going to be running a build up campaign over the next 6 months, but we're starting at 500 points and going to build up to 2,000 points and I, being the idiot that I am is going to do a Goblin army.

I laid out all the models and took some pictures, all of them (except maybe the night gobbos) will be stripped and repainted or just have the sprue remains removed from them and painted as is in the case of priming. In an ideal world I would clean them up and paint them all to display quality and base them and blah blah blah, but this is a "STFU and play" army. It's going in a carry case and if it gets broken or whatever then it gets duct taped together and done with.

Here are the pictures

The orcs can be ignored, I may include the old shaman but nothing more, I like the idea of a gobbo horde.

I'm not 100% sure on the quality of this but I'm looking at about here. There is shading on the face and shield but nothing more. They can be done in 30 minutes each, which is acceptable. The thing I'm pondering is the teeth, it wouldn't be hard to pick them out and it would increase the quality quite a bit, but messing up would take more time to fix than it's worth, so undecided.

Now back to Shin megami tensei! I'm turning 24 on Sunday and I think I have enough 50 years of life to waste and better get to wasting it in a construtive way!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Playing the game instead of being played and WiP diorama

I think I may have found a way I can play GW games and not hate them. So I thought I would write a post on this and how I managed to play systems that don't fit me.

I'll start out with this. I don't like GW, I will not buy anything from GW except paints (the only good products they do and not all of them are), if I'm buying models for a GW game, then I will buy them from Ebay used and fix them up. I do not like the company, I do not like how it acts, I do not like it's attitude towards the games they release. The only reason I am going to play GW games is to have a back up plan for when no Warmachine players are around.

One quirk I have is I love unusual things, not 'omg I'm a goth, I'm so strange' unusual but strange objects, weird traits, odd colour choices. My pink Retrubution idea is a prime example. I do strange things for the sake of doing strange things, like I will play Halo and wear pink armour and refuse to shoot any one just to see how people react to it. I love pushing buttons and seeing what happens, even if pushing those buttons is not my best option at that point in time.

If I play Warhammer fantasy in a "quirky" way then I know I'm not trying to "win", I'm trying to push buttons and see what happens. I'm making an interesting situation, and I can enjoy that part of it rather than hate the bigger picture it's contained in. If you enjoy the shiny thing, you don't notice it's a chainsaw about to cut your face off.

So with that mentality in mind, I decided I should play Goblins. They're weak, can't really win and yet they are full of quirks and random fun. If I'm not trying to win, just trying to mess around then I can do that. The same way in Magic multiplayer I often play a deck that just causes complete chaos, I don't intend to win, just to see some awesome stuff happen. And that mentality is something I must force into my Wargaming..

I remember the time when my Arcanist killed a Great bear, I don't recall killing every 'caster I ever have. So I'm trying to make that happen rather than win, that way when the rules screw me over I can shrug, I was playing to see my Goblin kill a Dragon or to see how many Goblin units flee turn 1.. I'm going to try applying this to my painting for Warhammer as well. Get the basics down and leave it done, no shade, no highlight, tabletop basic as can be. Maybe in 2 weeks time I'll flip out and be my usual control freak perfectionist self again when it comes to Warhammer as I am with Warmachine but we'll see.

My gaming group survived, we have a new venue, I'll blog about that in a few weeks time when I have more experience. But for now here's 2 pictures I'm working on for the WAMP diorama contest.



Friday, 15 January 2010

I'm bored!!

Is anyone else getting tired of MKII? It seems every podcast is talking about the fieldtest or the MKII books/new models and it's just leaving me completely burnt out. I'm at the point where I'm losing interest in Warmachine due to MKII being so damn forced in the community. I say it's about time we stop the theorymachine and reviews and start doing some tournament and displaying some toy soldiers.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Life hates me.

So yesterday sucked ass and can be summed up with "My dog dropped dead 2 hours before I was meant to go wargaming, then the wargaming got canceled 1 hour later". So I spent the evening playing Borderlands and Bayonetta (Bayonetta dressed as a cheerleader is scary, every single groin shot is suddenly much much dirtier..), but enough of that, Warmachine time.

The new Menoth cover is out. Sucks to be you guys, by far the worst one so far, the art is bad, very bad. It's almost as if they got someone from a furry deviantart gallery to colour it. It's got absolutely no colour balance and just plain looks crap.

I picked up some magnets to use on an interchangable heavy 'jack at some point in the future. They are pretty damn strong and making a hydra/manticore mix shouldn't be too hard. But it does bring up one issue WM lacked and has now gained. Warmachine kits always made sense, how long is it before we see little kits "kitbashing" jacks completely wrong and having to rip them apart?

I want to try and get some more games of Vassal in, any one interested? I need me a fix..

I also may have ordered an Orcs and Goblin army off Ebay on a whim.. it was so cheap and gives me an alternative if GW is my only outlet for wargaming, it just included -everything- and I figured why not. I may also pick up an Ogre Kingdom army being sold (amazingly) cheap locally. I'm thinking if I get it and paint it up to a solid standard I can sell it on for a BIG profit. Even if I only managed to sell it on at 50% retail it would still be a 200% profit (at least). I know I have the skills to do it, it's just a question if I have the health to work through it.

Either way this decade blows. We need a new Decade, in pink.. oh wait that was last Decade!

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Friday interview : Jon Webb

Okay guys, I decided to try and do a weekly community interview. Poke some of the Warmachine community members and get to know them better. First up we have Jon Webb from Boosted damage. The interview is novel length, so make sure you have a pack of biscuits before you start reading.

Hi guys, as some of you know I am Jon (beard/hat/teacosy) Webb of Booosted damage. Stephen has asked me to put up some thoughts about my experiences with PP and Warmachine. What follows is the rambling diatribe of my addled mind... so enjoy :)

1) Most people play multiple factions, but you only play Cryx. Could you tell us why this has come about and what it is about Cryx that has kept you interested in them for so long?

Heh, three things: Zombies, Goths, Pirates.

Put simply Cryx tick all my boxes. I love the figures, I love the pay style. When I started PP it came down to Khador or Cryx. Cryx won out. Way back in the mists of time I was living down in Bournemouth and I used to visit a little LGS. One day the owner showed me these four boxes of robots, each with some random wizard dude (or dudette) At the time I was a huge GW player, trying to get a job in the store. The models looked cool, in particular the black box with the chick and three little chicken leg models.

I decided not to buy, but picked up a poster (the quickstart rules) and went on my merry way. A couple of years later, I had been with GW for a while and was getting burned out. A buddy asked if I fancied playing Warmachine. I had some idea of what it was from reading Harbinger (a now defunct UK gaming mag) and I suddenly remembered that poster. The intro was interesting... he didn't explain that you didn't need to charge to get into melee and he was using Stryker so my poor Driller kept backing away. also, we rolled 1d6 for every point of damage to scatter around the grid, making killing things take a while. Still, the experience was great and I was hooked.

After that I started casting around for models, picked up NQM and was pleased to see a mag in the style of White Dwarf of old and had recently discovered the joys of internet forums. I had another buddy who had picked up the Cryx box set but never done anything with it. One small cash transaction later and I was away.

When it comes to the factions, I am a purist. I own almost everything for Cryx and am always filling up the gaps. I don't use mercs to fill holes in the play style (God I wish we had a shooty unit or two sometimes!) and I am always trying to find new ways of dealing with the enemy.

With the event of MKII I am finding things that were previously of limited use have really stepped up. I have so many plans for themed lists and new paint schemes I just don't have time for other factions. Plus they just are not as cool. I've painted pretty much every battlebox, models from all over the place and I always come back to the dead guys.

With models like Epic Skarre, Morty and Cankerworm there is such character and interest I just can't think about other factions. Plus PP has the best release strategy of any game I've played. By drip feeding us new stuff and creating new interactions the army always feels fresh.

I admit I own a battle box for Khador, Mercs, Cygnar and Ret, as well as Skorne and Circle. I'm thinking of taking the ret to 35 pts as a back up, but every time I think about other factions I remember I have yet to ever field Terminus, the Deathjack (really!) Soulhunters of cephalex and realise my time with the Cryx is far from over.

2) As a player what do you think your strengths and weaknesses are?

Awesome good looks, the tactical genius of Sun Tzu, charm, wit and the sexual prowess of Ron Jeremy.

Nah, not really. I think what my real strength is, is that I am 100% invested in the game and the hobby as a whole. I eat, sleep and think wargaming. My missus might say it is actually a weakness though...

I read voraciously. NWM, rulebooks, gaming literature, websites and so forth. Not just PP. The more I read, the broader my pool of info to draw from.

I game as much as I can. I think things through, I play hard but fair. If I lose, I try to see how I could have changed the result and like to talk games through with my opponent afterwards.

The real strength is knowing the game intimately. Denny sleeps with me at night you see. I mean.. Umm... heh. I have played so many games with my armies I know their limitations. I am always keen to reduce chance as much as possible. Clever use of support spells and in depth knowledge of the rules will allow you to stack the odds to earn you the win. I don't mean be a rules lawyer, but knowing how things pan out ahead of time lets you set up kills.

Added to this is a little luck. This is mostly gamer psychology and bullshit, but my Cryx dice tend to roll well. Ask the Snape. If I need nine or ten on 2d6, somedays I will risk it for a big win.

My weaknesses are Epic Hayley. :) She stumps me.

Seriously, I have moments where I get so excited by a plan I forget to activate properly, or allocate focus or stupid things like that. However, that then creates an interesting process where I have to replan on the fly. I'm a fairly good lateral thinker so I can spitball things on the fly.

Sometimes my sense of distance lets me down (I swear its ten inches). I try for ridiculous charges or to get unreasonable kills. However, judicious use of the control area measuring help me out.

The other thing is I always look deadly serious when I play. I find people think I am quite intense when I play, sometimes a bit serious and dour. However, its because my tiny little brain is working overtime so my social functions shut down. I'm a nice guy really.

Other weaknesses are that I can't drink and am a vegetarian which makes me a pussy in the eyes of my fellow gamers. Also, without my hat and beard I have no super powers and will be easily defeated.

3) How do you see Warmachine and Hordes moving forward in the future?

Its crunch time in PP land. MKII is massive. PP is evolving as a company. I hope they will see it through and continue to provide the best damn games system on the planet. I have faith in them.

Its always good to see new gamers and we are seeing growth in UK numbers. Hopefully MKII will see this only increase.

I am ultimately expecting (but kinda dreading) a switch up in game size. I love skirmish level and PP fills the gap between skirmish and full scale combat. To continue growth, the game can only get bigger. This is a worry.

The story continues to interest me, its the main reason beyond painting that I play these silly games. I'm hoping some of these damn warcasters will retire or die one day (I know why PP won't, but I'm happy with death. I've still got the rules and models so its all gravy). Hopefully it will continue to push things forward, opening up new combat fronts and new technologies to batter each other to death with.

Maybe some new games in their IP. Ship combat would be great, although uncharted seas is kinda taking that one up.

Looking forward to the relaunch of the RPG in the dim and distant future. I love the IK as a world, so the fluff books only increase my enjoyment.

Ultimately, I hope PP manages to balance growth and profitability with creating games and minis I want to play. GW ultimately lost me with their attitude and behavior. PP has made a good career out of avoiding many of the pitfalls. Long may that continue.

4) As one of the "celebrities" in the UK Warmachine community, how do you think the UK community and US community are different? Many people seem to think the US tournament scenes are more vicious than the UK, have you found this to be accurate?

We are smaller. Pure and simple. The PP scene is still evolving over here. GW continues their stranglehold over the gaming market and people are still put off by the MTG analogies. However, every tourney I go to we see bigger numbers and new faces. Press Gangers are popping up all over the UK and new groups are joining in the fun.

There is some talk about the USA being super competitive, with one day events, Hardcore and so forth. Many of the guys on the UK scene are ex GW tourney players. This brings other tourney ideas, soft scores, two day events, team events and so forth.

Having sworn never to be part of the tourney scene after my experiences working in GW, I accidently fell into it after moving to London. I don't have the emotional attachment to the UK style tourney, so I love the balls to the wall mentality of the PP tourney set up. I get annoyed when tourneys are not decided by victory alone. Sportsmanship and painting are fundamental to any event, but they should reflect in other areas.

Its different strokes really. I'm sure there are soft events in the USA and I'm sure we play hard sometimes. It depends what you are after from the game. I think one of the major strengths of the PP games is that they were written with tourneys in mind. The way a PP game goes, it is hard to feel down about losing most times. When you lose, you lose hard, outplayed and out maneuvered by a stronger foe. This actually makes the games more fun to me, and gives a stronger event overall. The concept of soft and hard events is slightly adrift from the way the game plays. Its a hard game. Hence the pg5 mentality and play like you have a pair and so forth. It is often taken as a negative, but I think it is an honest reflection of the flow of the game.

This is a hard thing to explain, not sure I am conveying what I mean very well, but its almost like there is no hard or soft in a PP event. There is only the PP game.

I love the concept of celebrity status. Hell, the adoring fans and crowds of baying woman that singularly fail to materialise says it all. Does anyone even listen to our show? I have been recognised by voice twice now, but to be honest the UK scene is so close we all have grown to know each other pretty damm well.

Add to that my erstwhile colleagues Conrad and John who have been renowned characters on the UK scene for so long and you see I am just a bit part character who likes the sound of his own voice. (Actually, I don't even like that. I hate being the posh sounding one despite my mundane state education). Since joining the London crowd I have met some brilliant guys through them, many from the Warhammer scene, and been exposed to a whole new side of Wargaming. So cheers for that lads.

5) It seems many Warmachine players clash with Warhammer players (especially 40k). Have you had any experience with this before and why do you think the two communities have generated hostility between each other, when most wargamers tend to get along despite system preferences?

I really pissed my boss off at GW one night after spending a whole vets evening promoting PP. Whoops...

Ultimately, PP trod on GWs shoes a little. However, GW is still this lumbering behemoth, ambling through the forest of gaming. PP, Rackham and so forth are little nimble (though lamed in Rackham's case...) creatures slowly encroaching and picking away at GW's territory.

I think most gamers are not that bothered. Hell, I still keep up with GW, I just grew bored of their game style and find the new models, while technically brilliant, are really lacking in a style and character I relate to.

Ultimately its vocal fan boys. The silent majority are looking to get a good game in. Nothing more, nothing less. They are happily playing whatever system they want to. But one or two fanboys get jumped up and start baiting each other. Its a vicious cycle. Often based on ignorance .

Having played my fair share of GW, PP and others, I have grown to love the PP game. Its right for me. This doesn't mean its right for everyone. I would say to people, try it out, ignore the hyperbole and crap surrounding any game. If it works for you, go crazy, if not then find what does.

6) In your opinion, how do the 6 Warmachine factions rank in power in a tournament setting?




The MKII meta is still settling. I haven't played a fraction of the combos, tricks and casters yet. However, I am seeing an increased strength in the shooting and denial meta. Casters like E Hayley (notice a theme?) are proving real sticking points to me, but other factions and layers will decimate them.

Menoth got out of MKII really well, and Cygnar are strong. Khador seems to be the most akin to their MKI format so I guess I know how to kill them. Doesn't make it easy. Mercs are always the wildcard as you don't see them much in the UK scene. Hell, there were so few Warmachine players here anyway. everyone played Hordes, with Circle and Legion taking top spot.

Cryx have completely changed in playstyle, to more closely match their fluff. Our jacks have really stepped up and our magic dependance has started to die away a little so Cryx players are having to relearn the rulebook and find new strategy.

Once we get a few tourneys in we will see how it shakes down. At a push I would say the following:

Retribution... need more toys, but they have some crazy options. I don't think they got the MKII memo ;)
Mercs (wildcard, could be anywhere)

7) Do you think the Hordes and Warmachine factions change in the tournament scene and if so how would you define each faction's character compared to casual play?

In MKI, there were obvious choices. Cryx had two units. Bile Thralls and Bane Knights.
With MKII we are seeing a better spread. hell, I have yet to play either unit. I think MKII has seen a massive change for the better with many units stepping up and balance being restored. Is it perfect, hell no, but its a lot better.

With the advent of tiers we will hopefully see some strong themed armies, and I am expecting a doubling up of thematic units to create strong visuals. EG: Mid based and cav banes, Satyxis Pirates and so forth. We are seeing this with the Winterguarde and Trencher options.

Once the hard core guys start to work through the lists we will see the strong competative builds come out, but hopefully MKII has enough internal balance that EVlad, Sorscha, Denny and so forth step away from THE caster to become part of a balance whole.

8) How has doing a podcast changed your wargaming, do you find you look at the game in a different light now or find people look at you differently?

Women... Again, I jest. I think the podcast is an extension of our gaming community. We sit chew the fat about games all day long, often while we should be working. By putting our thoughts on to the recorded medium and putting them out there we open that up to others.

I am a trained, but unemployed journalist. The podcast is currently the closest I can get to writing about my true passion. My college portfolio is full of gaming related articles so I aim to take these ideas further and embrace the power of the net (its not just obscene porn you know!)

I did work for the sadly deceased Firebase for a while, taking on the Specialist Games. I'd love to be part of a gaming mag again, but the UK is too frightened of such a thing and the industry panders to Supermarkets, making a breakout startup mag impossible. Hell, I even approached the UKs biggest publisher as well as an indie mag produced by an ex White Dwarf editor to see if they were interested and they wouldn't tough the idea with a barge pole. Maybe I need to fire some ideas off to PP about stuff for NQM? Or if they want to offer me a job :) "General gaming guy" could be my title.

I am hoping that the cast continues to grown and people continue to interact. The best bit is knowing people are listening and responding. Things like this communication with you are great as it shows we are creating bridges and finding common ground to share ideas with people.

I wouldn't really say people look at me that differently. Most people don't know who I am. In the club maybe I get asked a few more questions about the game, but that's more down to being a Pressganger. Not that I always know the answers.

I think my only real worry is that I seem to spend more time on the net talking and reading about gaming than actually doing it, but such is the price of (non)fame

9) You're known as the painty one over at Boosted damage and as such, what modeling tools and techniques do you swear by? Is there any technique you really abuse?

To be fair to the guys, all the BD boys can paint. Conrad is really stepping up and that keeps me on my toes. He brings models to the table that make me question my skill and buck up.

Chris has a very bold and direct style that I think is in part to his colour blindness. Much like other painters I know who are colour blind he highlights with dramatic layers that really make his style stand out. He has the paint fast ability and I've seen him churn out stunning retribution force in the time its taken me to paint four models.

John is also a good painter. He's just happy to pay others to do his dirty work. It kept me a roof over my head while I was looking for work so I'm not complaining. He is a gamer first though ,so his stuff is always that blend between quality paint and good to go.

I am always looking to step up. I have won a few trophies this year, but continue to doubt my work. I think its a hang up from Art School. I see all the amazing work out there on the net, and look at my dark, muddy little creations and it makes me sad. But always I try harder.

In terms of tools, I use pretty much all the paints out there. I grew up with the classic GW round pots with the white lids (Coat d Armes in new money). They were great, and I used to try to emulate the 'eavy metal style. After working for GW I was exposed to new ideas and broke old habits. I moved away from a dependance on ink for shading and now I favour paint washes.

Contrary to Snapey's belief I don't blend, instead using thin paint for semi transparency and glazes to unify highlights. I use bone or flesh to highlight most colours and use a lot of natural colours. PP's palette is pretty good in this respect as many of their colours are drab and neutral.

Devlan mud is a secret weapon. It shades so much, along with Badab black I rely on them to get my current scheme working.

If you look at my armies, from my Dark elves, to my Rackham forces, you see a lot of silver, black red/crimson and grey. I just found a way of painting these colours that looked good and applied it.

My advice is be an anti social git. My friends at school stopped playing so I had no choice but to paint my models. Each model painted taught me a new lesson and my skill grew. Joke is until PP came along I never used fully painted armies. I had so many ideas and played ever GW game that I couldn't commit to one project.

Also, good brushes. I own W&N series 7's, but am often too afraid to use them. Instead I use good quality mid range sable brushes. A size one, size two and a 000 for detail work is about all you need.

The more paint you own, the more options. While I am comfortable mixing, I prefer speed. By buying a good range of paint and experimenting you can find colour groups that help ease things along well.

Don't get too despondent, always ask for ideas and don't be afraid of positive criticism. While sites like CMON are awe inspiring, remember you are painting to play and NMM is an evil sent by Satan ;) Develop a style if you can and just keep painting.

10) Do you have any single model you are most proud of and would you be willing to show us a picture or two and run through how you painted it and explain why you love your little toy soldier so much?

Its usually whatever I ma half way through painting. Then I finish it and feel sad that it doesn't live up to my expectations. However, my test model for my as yet unpainted Revenant crew was a high point. Once I figure out a decent varnish regime I might actually get round to finishing the units I own. EAshpyxious was pretty good, but he has a few rough patches.


Anyway, this has turned into quite an epic so I will leave it there. Hopefully someone will get a positive note or two out of this. Apologies if it got dull. If anyone wants to get in touch to ask questions or discuss anything further please don't hesitate to drop me a line at webb@boosteddamage.com

Enjoy the show, keep rolling sixes and hope to meet you across a gaming table


Jon was awesome to talk to and we tossed around a few e-mails, a great chap in general. Hopefully some time in the future we'll get to throw some dice and have a war of the teacosy hats.

If you guys have any comments or suggestions for future interviews drop a comment below.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Dat Assassination attempt. and why I hate Hordes

So between bouts of Bayonetta I managed to get some games in yesterday against Lofty. I felt like a jerk when I ganked him turn 2 with Kaelyssa, but hey it's a lesson all newbies must experience at some point, we all walked into it at some stage. So instead of ranting how awesome Bayonetta is (although at the end the cut scenes are a BIT excessive and need more crotch shots) I decided I would rant about Hordes and while I'm selling my Skorne stuff.

I need to point out I'm not a complete idiot (although some will disagree), but I find the fury mechanic is too complex for me to enjoy using. Now here is the thing, it's not that the system is complex but it's the options it gives you make the game slow to a crawl when you're a person like me. I look at the situation and consider every option I see for maybe 5-10 seconds then move onto the next, in Warmachine I have my limit of focus and as such I think my options through at the start of the turn/my opponent's turn and then I put it into action. Where as with Hordes every time I boost or use fury in any manner my situation has then changed and become a new set of options, which a control freak like me then has to take a minute or two considering. So lets take a scenario and play with it.

We'll have a generic Warlock and a heavy and a light example here.

I charge a Heavy beast in, I spend 2 fury on attacks and I'm left with 1 open. Now I have to spend a minute debating if I want to leave the heavy open for transfers and use the light to finish the enemy model, or do I want to use the light else where or even move it to a better position and let my heavy get hit a little? All those options come from a single charge and then whatever I decide I must then do something with my Warlock to get the fury off, which takes a couple of seconds to decide too.

Now when you spread this over even a battlebox game, the fury mechanic is not enjoyable to me. As a control freak who must consider everything giving me too many options doesn't make it harder (I can do it), but it makes it frustrating because I feel like an asshole because I'm spending so long thinking, but if I don't then I'd feel like an asshole for not playing my best.

I think focus also fits my balls to the wall style, with fury if I want something done I can always play around with fury and get it done, which leaves the risks a little more managable, and as such I'm less likely to take the big risks I pride myself on taking. If I'm completely in a corner than I will find a way out of it with focus, with fury I'm more likely to just go "HULK SMASH!" and miss chances. As I played Lofty yesterday I noticed this, I left Mordikar wide open because I was losing the attrition war and instead of trying to beat Stryker (I had a chance to Essence blast the Canoneer and Cyclops Savage right on top of him), I fell back on trying to beat an Ironclad with a very hurt Canoneer. I had so many options that instead of taking the risky one that could win me the game (as I should have) I tried to play it safe and let the fury mechanic pull me back into the game instead. I should point out that Lofty is new and I could of gotten away with it IF I hadn't of pointed out to Lofty his 'clad had Mordikar dead if he just walked over to him, but I feel like I'd rather be punished for screwing up than beating a new player due to his inexperience, plus it helped Lofty learn to look at the game a bit differently.

I love the ability to transfer, but I find fury just gives me too many options and due to my nature it slows the game to a crawl. So with this in mind I'm going to... dun dun dun, sell my Hordes stuff. I really have no interest in playing Skorne at this point and after thinking through the fury slow down I think I would rather put that money into Retribution. Yesterday I picked up a box of Sentinels, Nayl and another soulless for about 35% off from the closing store, so I now have everything I want except for a UA and a couple more heavies. Looking at Ebay right now it seems a lot of people are selling Warmachine stuff and I don't think models are earning their value. So I think I'm going to paint up an army to a really high quality and sell it when the final pdf is released. I'm looking at Mordikar, Molik Kahn, Savage, Gladiator, min Unit of Venators, min Ferox, Agonizer and a soul ward and then pad from there. I think a white and red colour scheme should look unique and hopefully sell well. Doing snow bases is always impressive and I'm pretty sure I can pull this all off and paint better then 90% of the "Pro painted" stuff on Ebay. The question is how do you value a Hordes army? Warhammer is pretty easy to value as you have a lot of references but none for Hordes. I think I may just put it up at retail -10% and free postage and let people bidding decide the value on the models.

Any way I have to go play in the snow and start Hard mode in Bayonetta. Forcing angels to orgasm here I come!

P.S. I'm trying to set up more interviews, but doing something different than Gday did, as in have decent guests ;)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

I think I'm going to start making puns here.

It looks like I may have got my community sorted at least a bit. We're going to meet some time next week and discuss the future. I really hate the side of me that steps up and sorts stuff out when it needs sorting. Now I have to be responsible. :(

I've played a couple of games on Vassal and I've noticed the game plays quite differently. Often I can get 2-3 models in an assassination position and get the kill in 1 turn, but the games I've played so far I've been struggling to get it in 2. The player quality is just much higher and that's pretty cool.

Yesterday I played Clayton and my dice were insanely bad. The first 3 rolls in the game for me were all Double 1s. I was like "only need a 5 to hit, I'll take a pot shot". And then 1-1 and I'm just like "Really vassal?". Bad dice really defined the game. My theory is because the text is pink and there is no yellow counter balance they roll bad, you need 1 of each as discussed earlier. I took some stupid riskes, but honestly that's how I play and it's what I find fun. I've got the mentality "When you're screwed, you're at your best", and when dice hate you and your dice are at -7, you've got to take that shot! Sadly that shot was an Arcantik bolt which then proceeded to nail my Griffon and let his Mariners smash face. But I've rambled enough on this since Clayton is doing a battlereport, I must warn you that I come across as angry and pissed off in some lines, but I was laughing the entire time, I found it sadistically amusing and look forward to playing with him some more.

Since my LGS is closing down I picked up a box of Sentinels cheap and I'm going to order Prime MKII from Maelstrom some time this week. I wasn't sure I wanted to invest in Warmachine at this point, but I think getting the rulebooks and NQ at least is a good idea. I'm going to continue to play on Vassal and the information is damn useful. Plus I likes reading the books. I think when the store is truly dead I'm going to post my thoughts on it and what was done right and wrong, but until it is dead and gone I'm not going to insult it on a public forum with the Iron agenda's popularity, it's just not a good idea.

I'm hoping to get a game in against Gdaybloke in the near future, I want to play E Morghoul, but I knew Clayton was taking Bart and an Arm 13 'warlock just isn't going to cut it with all those AoEs. I know I'm good with Kaelyssa and I can get wins with her, but I want to so some fieldtesting and I'm interested in Skorne or Vayl for that.

I wanted to get some painting done today but I can't prime because there is snow every where... wait, why am I blogging when there is snow outside!? Screw you guys! SNOW!!!

Saturday, 2 January 2010


My LGS is officially dead. :(

Looks like I'm going to be playing on Vassal now and grabbing the old game here and there. This makes me very sad.