Some Cryx Minis

 
A unit of Soulhunters, 2 War Witch Sirens and a Helldiver bonejack.
 
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Some Helljacks & Bonejacks

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Some Painted Trollkins

 
My Cryx army is for sale over on Bartartown. These are some requested pics of Boomhowlers and Bloodgorgers.
 
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One of the Bloodgorgers has a studio paint scheme. I bought the unit from Bartartown, and he came fully painted like that. Looked good to me, so I left him alone. Just based him. Now people always ask, “What’s so special about that guy?” =)
 
-David

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My Warmachine/Hordes Quest: Playing the Perfect Game

 
At this point in my Warmachine/Hordes career, my main quest, my primary goal, is to play a perfect game.
 
Which doesn’t mean winning. Though, don’t get me wrong, winning is nice. But playing a game to win is sort of a given. Almost goes without saying.
 
No, what I mean by a “playing a perfect game” is making no mistakes in how I play. Which encompasses the entire game: playing by the core rules, precise movement of models, proper sequencing of unit/model activation/orders/mini-feats, remembering to apply the effects of feats, spells and abilities (both mine and my opponent’s), and so on.
 
I started playing Warmachine (Cryx) in January 2011, learning the game along with friends. I can still remember some of the worst Rules Offenses all of us committed, but I especially remember my own (like when Gorman somehow benefited from Skarre1’s feat; oops). We taught ourselves by playing every week, reading the rules over and over, and reading the Privateer Press forums. Only toward the middle of the year did we start playing against other people who had real experience with the game. Warmachine Weekend 2011 was a huge learning experience for me.
 
Every game is a learning experience, actually. My background in software development included experience with post mortem reports, so I’ve written notes about nearly every game I’ve ever played. Writing down “what went right” and “what went less right” strategically and mistakes made with models/units/rules. When I screw up a rule–and recognize that I’ve done so–I try to play that rule perfectly from then on.
 
I’m not sure if I’m going Zen with this approach to playing, or just being a perfectionist. 🙂
 
I like to think I temper my perfectionist tendencies by not holding my opponents to my self-appointed level of precision (that is: by not being a dick about it). And I try not to beat myself up too badly when I screw up. Hell, I screwed up in my game last night (forgot about Batten Down the Hatches being active–and forgot to heal my Bull Snapper’s Mind aspect before attempting that doomed Slam attack), and I screwed up in my game last week (forgot to heal my Blackhide Wrastler’s Spirit aspect before using him to attack a Galleon). In the both cases, I opted to live with my bad decisions so maybe someday I’ll remember that I need to heal those damn aspects during my warlock’s activation. But even with those mistakes fresh in mind, I also know I played well in other ways. Both games were against players I like, and the games were a lot of fun and went smoothly. I got to use my newly painted Bog Trog Ambushers for the first time (last week), and Wrong Eye & Snapjaw for the first time (last night). I learned stuff. 🙂
 
I love Warmachine/Hordes. Pretty much all of it. The setting. The rules. The way the game plays. The players. I love my one-ish game(s) per week. I love my Copper Gators (maybe more than I love Cryx; sorry, Toruk).
 
At my one-ish game(s) per week pace, it might be a long time before I play that perfect game, but I expect to have a lot of fun on the journey.
 
-David

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Gator Toss Math

 
Conclusion (TL;DR): The Gator Toss is risky. =)
 
Risks:
  • Missing the initial melee attack (costs 1 Fury, 2 if boosted).
  • Missing the STR check.
  • Deviating from the intended LZ and/or out of the Wrastler’s Rise range.
  • Spiking damage and killing the thrown model (some cases).
 
Best choices:
Wrastler Throws Spitter (or Swamp Horror) (least miss chance: 2.32%)
Wrastler Throws Gatorman Posse Trooper (least miss/dead chance: 7.4%)
Wrastler Throws Wrastler (least miss chances: 9.73% – 13.89%)
 
Showing my work…
 
Wrastler Throws Wrastler
 
Melee attack miss chance (normal): 27.78%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc): 8.34%
Melee attack miss chance (normal, boosted): 4.63%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc, boosted): 0.47%
Strength check miss chance: 9.26%
Average throw damage (dice – 7): 0.97
Spike throw damage: 5
 
STR 12 vs STR 12 Potential Miss Count

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
3
1
4
1
2
5
1
2
3
6
1
2
3
4
 
Possible misses: 20 (20/216; 9.26%)
 
Wrastler Throws Spitter (or Swamp Horror)
 
Melee attack miss chance (normal): 8.34%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc): 2.77%
Melee attack miss chance (normal, boosted): 0.47%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc, boosted): 0.47%
Strength check miss chance: 1.85%
Average throw damage (dice – 6): 1.56 (or 2.28 for SH)
Spike throw damage: 6 (or 7 for SH)
 
NOTE: Swamp Horror has Steady, so no Rise animus is needed.
 
STR 12 vs STR 10 Potential Miss Count

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
3
4
5
1
6
1
2
 
Possible misses: 4 (4/216; 1.85%)
 
Wrastler Throws Bull Snapper
 
Melee attack miss chance (normal): 41.67%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc): 16.67%
Melee attack miss chance (normal, boosted): 9.26%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc, boosted): 1.86%
Strength check miss chance: 0%
Average throw damage (dice – 2): 5
Spike throw damage: 10
 
STR 12 vs STR 7 Potential Miss Count

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
3
4
5
6
 
Possible misses: 0 (0/216; 1.85%)
 
Wrastler Throws Thrullg
 
Melee attack miss chance (normal): 41.67%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc): 16.67%
Melee attack miss chance (normal, boosted): 9.26%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc, boosted): 1.86%
Strength check miss chance: 0.46%
Average throw damage (dice – 4): 3.11
Spike throw damage: 8 (2.77% chance of dead)
 
STR 12 vs STR 9 Potential Miss Count

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
 
Possible misses: 1 (1/216; 0%)
 
Wrastler Throws Gatorman Posse Trooper
 
Melee attack miss chance (normal): 27.78%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc): 8.34%
Melee attack miss chance (normal, boosted): 4.63%
Melee attack miss chance (back arc, boosted): 0.47%
Strength check miss chance: 0%
Average throw damage (dice – 4): 3.11
Spike throw damage: 8 (2.77% chance of dead)
 
STR 12 vs STR 8 Potential Miss Count

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
3
4
5
6
 
Possible misses: 0 (0/216; 0%)
 
Swamp Horror (or Spitter) Throws Wrastler
 
Melee attack miss chance (normal): 27.78% (or 41.67%)
Melee attack miss chance (back arc): 8.34% (or 16.67%)
Melee attack miss chance (normal, boosted): 4.63% (or 9.26%)
Melee attack miss chance (back arc, boosted): 0.47% (or 1.86%)
Strength check miss chance: 25.92%
Average throw damage (dice – 9): 0.27
Spike throw damage: 3
 
STR 10 vs STR 12 Potential Miss Count

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
1
1
2
1
2
3
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
 
Possible misses: 56 (56/216; 25.92%)
 
-David
 
PS I’m pretty sure I have the math right, but please feel free to correct me. =)
 
Sources:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AoTn0CxhVUk5dFhBdnM5UElJSk8xZ2NVX092eUtEQkE#gid=0
http://warmachinehordes.wikia.com/wiki/2d6_vs_ARM
 

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Copper Gators go to HBGCon!

 
The Historic Board Game Convention (HBGCon) is this weekend. They have three Warmachine/Hordes tournaments planned, including a Warmaching Weekend Invitational Qualifier.
 
I will be playing in the “Opening Salvo” 35-point Steamroller Friday afternoon/evening, and the 50-point WMW Invitational Qualifier on Saturday. These are my first tournaments in a year-and-a-half, and my first ever with the Blindwater Congregation. Odds are good I’ll be one of the only Minions players there.
 
Both tournaments are Divide and Conquer, so I have to have 2 lists for each.
 
35-point Lists
 
  • Bloody Barnabas (+6)
  • Blackhide Wrastler – 9
  • Ironback Spitter – 8
  • Bull Snapper – 3
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Witch Doctor – 3
  • (15 models, fully painted)
 
  • Maelok, the Dreadbound (+6)
  • Blackhide Wrastler – 9
  • Bull Snapper – 3
  • Bull Snapper – 3
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Witch Doctor – 3
  • Thrullg – 3
  • Feralgeist – 1
  • Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew – 1
  • (19 models, 1 unpainted)
 
50-point Lists
 
  • Bloody Barnabas (+6)
  • Blackhide Wrastler – 9
  • Ironback Spitter – 8
  • Ironback Spitter – 8
  • Bull Snapper – 3
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Witch Doctor – 3
  • Gatorman Witch Doctor – 3
  • Thrullg – 3
  • Feralgeist – 1
  • (19 models, 2 unpainted)
 
  • Maelok, the Dreadbound (+6)
  • Blackhide Wrastler – 9
  • Bull Snapper – 3
  • Bull Snapper – 3
  • Bull Snapper – 3
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Posse (max) – 9
  • Gatorman Witch Doctor – 3
  • Gatorman Witch Doctor – 3
  • Thrullg – 3
  • Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew – 1
  • Feralgeist – 1
  • (26 models, 3 unpainted)
 
I have Rask, but I’ve never played him, so I’m sticking with Bloody Barnabas and Maelok. I have the most experience with Bloody Barnabas because I played him exclusively in the recent Journeyman League. I think I have just over a dozen games with him, though only a couple at 50 points. I’ve played Maelok twice.
 
I’m also sticking with units/models I ‘ve played. I have a unit of Bog Trog Ambushers I’m itching to play with Bloody Barnabas (at both 35- and 50-point levels), but I’m not finished painting them, and I’ve never played them, so they’re staying home. I also have Wrong Eye & Snapjaw that I’d love to play with Maelok. But I’ve not played with them yet, either (not even with Cryx, who I bought them for), so they’ll stay in their foam.
 
I’m still getting a feel for which list to drop versus which factions or specific warlock/warcaster matchups. In fact, I might just randomly choose each round… 😉
 
My previous tournament experience was all Cryx. I’m hoping the lower model count armies I’m fielding will help mitigate my lack of recent practice with timed turns.
 
Obviously, I’m going with a primary goal of having fun and picking up some tournament experience. And to support a local WMW Qualifier event. =)
 
-David

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Totem Hunter Lessons

 
So far I’ve fielded the Totem Hunter in 3 or 4 games. He “worked” properly in one of them. Here are the lessons from the rest of those games:
 
Stay back! Get within 10 inches of a range model/unit with SPD 5/6, and they will walk up close enough that Stealth no longer matters and shoot you. Dead.
 
Don’t stand out in the open! DEF 14 isn’t *impossible* to hit from range (especially with multiple tries).
 
Don’t pretend you’re a front line melee model! DEF 14 is *also* not impossible to hit from melee (especially with multiple tries).
 
-David

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Gator Dojo: Gators vs High ARM

To see the latest updates and discussion on this list, check out the PP Minions forum:
Gator Dojo: Gators vs High ARM

 
This is a collection of tactics used by the Blindwater Congregation to deal with ARM skew. These are collected from the forums. I’m a new Gators player, so I haven’t used all these yet (throwing warjacks into Swamp Pits is fun).
 
The Blindwater Congregation has a history of struggling when faced with high ARM lists. This got more pronounced with the release of Collosals and Gargantuans–and then was somewhat mitigated by the release of Rask.
 
In fact, Rask has become the de facto, go-to response to high ARM for Minions players. The spell Fury (+3 melee) being the main reason (but not the *only* reason). So “drop Rask” is the first option on this list of ways for Gators to deal with high ARM.
 
Warlocks
 
Rask
  • Fury spell (+3 melee damage, -1 DEF, model/unit)
  • Plus Boundless Charge and Inhospitable Ground and that really spiffy gun…
 
Barnabas
  • Swamp Pit spell
  • Warjacks can be two-handed thrown into Swamp Pit, targeted at a Feralgeist positioned on the exact center. Feralgeist positioning prevents deviation out of the Swamp Pit.
  • Issues:
  • Warjacks only (sadly, no drowning warbeasts).
  • Doesn’t *destroy* the warjack, just costs it a turn or two.
  • Not useful versus Collosals/Gargantuans.
  • Iron Flesh spell (+3 DEF)
    • Used in conjunction with Spiny Growth (below), pinning Posse troopers can be harder to shift.
     
    Calaban
    • Parasite spell (-3 ARM, model/unit)
    • Issues:
    • Only RNG 8, which puts Calaban dangerously close to the front line.
     
    Maelock
    • Malediction spell (-2 DEF and ARM)
    • Issues:
    • Puts Maelock right there on the front line.
  • Revive spell (destroy high ARM target via Gatorman Posse “sandpaper”)
  •  
    Units/Solos
     
    Wrong Eye & Snapjaw (Throw-and-Voodoo)
    • Heavy throws the high ARM model, then Wrong Eye casts Voodoo spell and removes Spirit (can’t force or shake).
    • Issues:
    • Warbeasts only.
    • Doesn’t destroy the warjack/warbeast, just sidelines it.
    • Can’t throw Gargantuans.
     
    Gatorman Bokur & Bog Trog Shamblers (NEW!)
    • Buyable/Boostable P+S 12 melee attacks can be situationally useful versus ARM 20/21.
     
    General Concepts (Not Specific to a Warlock)
     
    Throw-and-Pin
    • Heavy throws the high ARM model, then Gatorman Posse troopers (2-3) charge the model to keep it occupied the next turn.
    • Issues:
    • Doesn’t destroy the warjack/warbeast, just sidelines it temporarily.
    • Can’t throw Collosals/Gargantuans.
     
    Spiny Growth – Bull Snapper animus
    • Gatorman Posse – Posse troopers charge to attack (ARM 20 with Spiny Growth + Unyielding). If the heavy has P+S 16 or less, it’ll take more than one attack (on average) to kill the Posse troopers, allowing 1-2 Spiny Growth d3 hits (on top of damage already done).
    • Issues:
    • Anything with P+S 18 or higher will need only a single hit to kill a Posse trooper, bypassing Spiny Growth.
     
    That’s all I’ve found so far. As I learn more, I’ll add them to the list.
     
    -David

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    My Growing Blindwater Congregation

     
    Here are my Copper Gators & Friends.
     
    Warlocks
    • Bloody Barnabas
    • Rask
     
    Warbeasts
    • Blackhide Wrastler
    • Ironback Spitter
    • Bull Snapper
     
    Units
    • Gatorman Posse (Copperbacks)
    • Gatorman Posse (Bronzebacks)
    • Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
     
    Solos
    • Feralgeist
    • Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
     
    The Totem Hunter and Thrullg were *supposed* to be in the picture, but they exercised their Stealth ability and remained in their trays.
     
    Copper Gators and Friends
     
    -David

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    Gator Dojo: Turn 1 Swamp Pits

     
    As I’ve played Bloody Barnabas and my slowly growing force of Gators, it has occurred to me that I could come up with a good rule of thumb for dropping Swamp Pits on my first turn.
     
    I tend to deploy my battlegroup and units somewhat symmetrically, as you can see in the first picture. I’ve found this handy for placing Swamp Pits. If I go second, I can, of course, adapt somewhat.
     
    Anyway, I did some experimenting today, looking for the optimum distance to cast my first 2-3 Swamp Pits. The magic number I’ve found is: 7.5
     
    If I drop the first Swamp Pit 7.5 inches directly in front of Bloody Barnabas, I can then place the 2nd (and optional 3rd) Swamp Pit at the same distance (from the deployment zone), and get good placement after running everything my first turn.
     
    Turn 1 Swamp Pits Placement
     
    Swamp Pits placed, Barnabas then does a failed charge into the Swamp Pit directly in front of him (either into the center or off to one side). The Blackhide Wrastler and Bull Snapper can run to join him.
     
    Then the Gatorman Posse runs to the other Swamp Pit, spreading themselves along the edges, leaving room for the Ironback Spitter to join them. And if two Posse end up base-to-base with the Spitter, that’s a bonus.
     
    DSC_5990.jpg (422.9KB; 800x533 pixels)
     
    Terrain placement can impact this, of course. But Posse can give itself Pathfinder, which means terrain shouldn’t get in the way too much.
     
    A third Swamp Pit could be placed on the opposite side to make room for a 2nd Posse. If the Wrastler went to the other Swamp Pit, it could share it with the 2nd Posse, while most of a 3rd Posse joins Barnabas.
     
    Here’s what I’m seeing as additional benefits:
    • Barnabas has a way to advance/charge into a new Swamp Pit he casts on the next turn.
    • Spitter has a screen–and offers blast damage protection to a Posse member or two.
    • Wrastler has lots of charge/run angles open.
    • 3 Gatormans can charge in just about any forward direction.
    • Bull Snapper is somewhat screened by the Wrastler.
     
    I am a Gator newb, having only been playing the faction for 4 weeks now, but the logic seems sound. I’ll be playing with a 35-point army this coming week, with a 2nd Gatorman Posse, so I’ll get to put it to the test.
     
    -David

    Update: A recent game against Gorton Grundback has taught me that for some warcasters/warlocks the best defence is simple distance. For that case, I think the initial Swamp Pit, the one that Bloody Barnabas will hunker down in, should be centered 5 inches directly in front of him. Then he can simply walk in, and the Wrastler (and maybe some other models), can run in front to screen him.

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