Bobby's Games

I will be posting monthly recaps of my gaming which I have been doing in GeekLists. I'll also be commenting on games on occasion, though I can tell you that I will be behind the curve because I just don't get to play the new games as soon as some people do.

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Legion of Everblight all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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Dragons in the world of Warmachine and Hordes are not what you see in other fantasy worlds. They are demigods which were created by Toruk and rebelled against them and failed and went into hiding. While Toruk is looking for his hidden spawn, one of them has awoken and is forming an army to march across the continent to face the Cryxian forces of his father, who he plans to kill. The Legion of Everblight is the army of the dragon Everblight. The core of the army is the beasts supported by corrupted Nyss elves and Ogrun.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight (-5 pts.)
• Angelius (9 pts.)
• Neraph (7 pts.)
• Scythean (9 pts.)
• Nephilim Bloodseer (5 pts.)

Strider Rangers (6) (6 pts.)

Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1 pt.)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1 pt.)
Strider Deathstalker (2 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight is all about staying away from the enemy, though she can defend herself, while the beasts kill, kill, kill. She has a ranged and melee weapon and both are Magical Weapons and cause Grievous Wounds, which removes Tough from a model hit and it cannot heal, be healed, or transfer damage.

Abilities

The only ability that matters for this army list is Force Barrier, which means Saeryn gets +2 DEF against ranged attack rolls and does not suffer blast damage. This means it's just harder to hit her with ranged attacks and that she needs to be directly hit to take damage from (most?) AOE attacks. Her second ability, Channeler [Rhyas] only comes into play when there are more than one warlocks on a side and at least one of the others is Rhyas.

Feat

Holy crap, do I want to play her just to use Foreboding! It prevents models in her battlegroup that are in her control range from being targeted by melee attacks for an entire round. That's the Legion's turn and the opponent's turn!

Spells

A useful protection spell for Saeyrn's units and beasts is Banishing Ward. It is an upkeep spell that cancels enemy upkeep spells on target friendly model/unit and prevents them from being targeted by enemy spells or animi.

Blight Bringer is a huge area attack (5" area) which is centered on target friendly Faction warbeast. Enemies in the area are hit with a corrosion attack and the area remains toxic to enemies for a round.

Breath Stealer is a nice spell for softening up a target. The target model/unit suffers -2 SPD and -2 DEF for one round, both softening it up and slowing it's progress.

Hellfire is a ranged attack spell that also forces the attacked model/unit to pass a command check or flee if it was hit.

A hugely annoying spell, for the opponent, that should always be kept up on one warbeast is Respawn. It allows a warbeast in this model's battlegroup that is disabled by an enemy attack to be resurrected, though in barely functional condition, anywhere within 3" of its current location.


The Battlegroup

Some of the cheese the army is known for are a couple of abilities most of the warbeasts have. Eyeless Sight lets the possessor ignore cloud effects and forests when determining line of sight. It also ignores concealment and Stealth when making attacks. All four of the warbeasts have it.

The Nephilim Bloodseer is the only warbeast that doesn't have Blood Creation. A model with it will never attack friendly Faction warlocks and cannot choose them as its frenzy target.

And most of them are Souless which means it does not generate a soul token when it is destroyed.

The Angelius has the three abilities above and it has Flight which lets it move through terrain and obstacles without penalty and it can advance through obstructions and other models if it has enough movement to move completely past them. When it destroys one or more enemy models it can Overtake and advance up to 1". Its Serpentine so it cannot make slam or trample power attacks and it cannot be knocked down.

It has two "weapons": A flame attack and a tail strike. The Flame Jet attacks a single target with fire attack that has Critical Fire which sets the target on fire with a critical hit. The Tail Strike has Reach and is Armor Piercing halves the base armor stat of hit models that have medium or larger bases and it gains +2 to damage rolls against models with small bases.

The angelius' animus is Repulsion. It pushes enemy models that are within 2" of it directly away from it.

The Neraph has Eyeless Sight, Blood Creation and Soulless. Like the Angelius, it also has Flight and Serpentine. Also like it's serpentine cousin, the Neraph does not have any arms to attack with. It can attack with its head and Grasping Tail. The tail has the Coil ability that, if it hits, means the rest of the melee attacks made by the Neraph against the enemy model hit automatically.

It's Vortex animus has a range of self and enemy models currently within 2" of it are pulled 2" directly toward it. Out of range? Not anymore! The 2" range isn't as useful as it could be, but there are times it will be just what's needed to get the enemy in range. Teamed up with the angelius' Repulsion, it creates a push-me-pull-you which might be fun to try and pull off.

The Scythean also has the four abilities mentioned above. Instead of fists or hands, the Scythean has long chitinous blades at the end of its arms that have Reach and with which it slices and dices anything that gets in its way. It also has Chain Attack: Bloodbath, so if it hits the same target with both its initial attacks with the scythes, it can immediately make one melee attack with this weapon against each model in its LOS and in melee range.

It's not surprising that the animus for this nasty beastie is called Slaughterhouse. It has a range of self and gives the model the Take Down ability which prevents Tough rolls from being made and the dead thing doesn't generate a soul or corpse token.

The Nephilim Bloodseer has Eyeless Sight but has a soul and doesn't care who it munches on when enraged. It also has Flight.

It has Primal Magic which means he can use the animus of any friendly faction warbeast in its command range as if the animus were its own. It also has Telemetry which gives friendly faction models gain +2 to magic attack rolls against enemy models that are within 5" of the Bloodseer.

It's armed with a Gaff, a pole arm with a hook, which has Reach. The model also gets +2 to damage rolls when charging because of the Brutal Charge ability the weapon has.

Witch Blood is its animus and it has a range of self and lasts for a round. When an enemy model casts a spell while within 5" of the Bloodseer, increase the spell's cost by one. Enemy models cannot upkeep spells on models within 5" of this model.

Units

Units? Make that Unit. (Not U.N.I.T.)

The Strider Rangers are called Blighted Nyss Striders in the forces book. They have Advance Deployment which lets them set up after the opponent's initial set-up, Pathfinder which lets them ignore movement penalties for difficult terrain, and Stealth which prevents them from being hit by ranged attacks that are from further than 5" away.

They also have Combined Ranged Attack which lets more than one of them combine their shots for better chances to hit and damage while reducing the number of attacks they have. They are armed with a longbow and a sword.


Solos

Like the Strider Rangers, the Strider Deathstalker has Advance Deployment, Pathfinder, and Stealth. It also has Swift Hunter which lets it advance 2" after destroying an enemy model with a ranged attack. Its Leadership [Striders] ability confers Swift Hunter on Strider models within its command range.

It also has Snap Fire which lets it take a second shot with the longbow if it kills an enemy with it, but no more than the one extra attack. Finally, Sniper which means it can either do normal damage or choose to do one point of damage to the target. It also allows them to select the column/spiral they are going to damage on a warjack/warbeast.

The Blighted Nyss Shepherd is essentially a solo similar to the Skorne Paingiver Beast Handlers. Their Beast Manipulation is a little less efficient but still useful. Its two options when using the ability are:

Condition allows them to place or remove any number of fury points from a warbeast.
Medicate heals d3 damage points and can only be used once per turn on a beast.

The shepherd also has Beast Master which lets it force friendly faction warbeasts in its command range as if it were their controlling warlock, which is really useful when there are four beasts in the battlegroup.

It is armed with a staff that Reach but I doubt that you'd want it to be in combat all that often.


Summing it all up

There's no wonder why this is a beast-centric list with just the one unit. It's because Saeryn's abilities not help units a whole lot. Her best attack spell is also centered on one of her warbeasts.

So what's the plan? Death to the enemy!

The army is very mobile. Because of their flight and eyeless sight, the neraph and anglius make great choices for sending after the enemy warcaster/warlock. If you can pop Saeryn's feat as the beasties go in for the kill, it will make it that much more difficult for the enemy to save their caster.

Meanwhile, the rangers and deathstalker can be used to contain enemy units try and keep them off objectives while the scythian and the nephilim can be used to try for objectives, kill other things, and generally be difficult for the other side.

The Blighted Nyss Shepherds should be kept around the beasts to heal them and control their fury. Having a shepherd near a beast that respawns from the spell would be most useful, especially if a healing can be gotten off before the warbeast activates.

For me, this appears to be the most straight-forward of the armies I've looked at so far.
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Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:05 am
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Trollbloods all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The Trollbloods are a loosely united band of troll races who are fighting to defend their lands from encroachment by the warring human nations, the duplicitous Circle Orboros, the invading Skorne, and Everblight's expanding plague. The core of the forces are the Trollkin, which stand around seven feet tall and are thicker and bulkier than humans. They command full-blood Troll and Dire Troll beasts. Also part of the forces are their smaller cousins, the Pygmies.

This was the faction I have been most attracted to and have built over time. I haven't played them as much as I had many of the figures off being painted when we were regularly playing. This is another one I don't have the actual army box because I had all the figures already, except for the Dire Troll Blitzer.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller (-5 pts.)
• Dire Troll Blitzer (9 pts.)
• Dire Troll Mauler (9 pts.)

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribe (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4 pts.)
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10 pts.)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8 pts.)


Universally Tough
One thing I won't be mentioning in the descriptions is the Tough ability, because all the Trollkin have it. As a reminder, when a model is killed, it can make a Tough roll and is not killed if a 5 or a 6 is rolled on a single die. The figure is instead knocked down. The Dire Trolls do not have Tough.


Warcaster/Warlock

I've played using Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller a couple of times in the past and she just didn't work for me. I was going to sell her along with some of my extra metal trolls, if I ever get around to it, but since she is in the army list I'm keeping her.

She's armed with a big mallet and can also create a sonic blast. The club is a Magical Weapon and has Critical Smite, which allows Grissel to slam a model that is critically hit, knocking it away from her d6" and doing slam damage. The sonic blast is an 8" spray attack with a decent power.

Abilities

Fell Calls are songs sung by rare members of Trollkin society that train to inspire warriors to great feats. Bloodsong can make one of the three following fell calls each turn and each model can only be affected by only one call each turn and they last one round.

Cacophony prevents enemy models in Grissel's command range from giving or receiving orders and they cannot cast spells for one round.
Heroic Ballad gives a friendly unit Fearless and then the model(s) can make one additional melee attack during their activations this turn.
Hoof It. A friendly model/unit can make a full advance at the end of this turn after all friendly models have ended their activations. They cannot be targeted by free strikes during this movement.

Feat

Fell Chorus combines all three of Grissel's fell calls into one effect. That's it, that's the explanation.

Spells

Calamity targets an enemy model or unit, is an upkeep spell, and friendly models gain +2 to attack and damage rolls against the target.

Hallowed Avenger targets one a friendly warbeast in the battlegroup and it is also an upkeep spell. When an enemy attack destroys or removes one or more friendly Faction models within 5" of target warbeast, the affected warbeast can charge an enemy model.

The one attack spell is Rift, which has a radius of 4" and a decent power. The AOE is rough terrain and remains in play for one round.


The Battlegroup

Both of the Dire Trolls have the same two abilities. The first is Regeneration[d3] which allows the beast to be forced one a turn to heal d3 points of damage. The second is Snacking which is another form of regeneration. When the Dire Troll takes a model to zero wounds, the model is removed from play and the Troll heals d3 wounds.

A Dire Troll Blitzer is a big troll with a big machine gun attached to its shoulder with a small Pygmy (a smaller genetic cousin to the Trollkin) riding on the back of the Troll and firing the gun. The gun has Rapid Fire [d3] which means that every time it is fired it can make one to three shots. It has Gunfighter and can make ranged attacks against those that it is in melee combat with. It's also a Virtuoso meaning it can make melee and ranged attacks during the same combat action.

The Blitzer's animus is Repulsion and enemies currently within 2" of it are pushed 3" away from the Blitzer. It's got a range of "self" so it can only be used by the Blitzer and the warlock.

The Dire Troll Mauler doesn't need to be armed. Its only ability is Chain Attack: Grab & Smash. Should it hit the same model with both its initial attacks with its fists, it can immediately make a free power attack (double-hand throw, head-butt, headlock/weapon lock, push, or throw) against the poor model it got its hands on. It's animus is Rage and it gives the target model +3 strength for a round.

I was never a big fan of the Blitzer, but looking at it now I appreciate more than I had. I will proxy the figure for now, though if it performs well I will end up getting one. The Mauler has always been a favorite of mine and nothing has changed that.


Units

The Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes unit is about support. It's doesn't appear to be in as many required lists as the Choir of Menoth, but still is extremely popular. The unit is Fearless so they won't flee. Sure they have hand weapons and pack a decent punch, but they all about the big stone.

The leader of the unit, the one carrying the huge stone, has the three abilities. The first is Fury Vault which lets the warlock move fury to the stone as kind of a bank, and also leach fury from the stone when needed. The reason it's considered a high-priority buy in army lists is the Protective Aura, which allows the leader to spend one fury point to give friendly faction models within 4" of this it, plus 1" per fury point on it, +2 armor.

Finally, the Bearer has Self-Sacrifice and is able to remove another model in the unit when he would be killed and he heals one wound.

Trollkin Champions are a Fearless killing machine. They have two attacks because of their two hand weapons, have a high melee attack skill, and are Weapon Masters, dealing an extra die of damage with each hit. They also have Defensive Line which increases their armor by +2 when they are in base contact with one or more models in the unit. They have eight wounds each so are hard to put down.

Trollkin Warders have a single weapon and shield. They also have Fearless and Weapon Master plus their weapons have Reach. They are a little slower than the Champions, who aren't exactly speed demons, but have one higher armor. They also have the Battle-Driven ability. When one of them is damaged by an enemy attack, the unit +2 STR and ARM and Pathfinder.

Summing it all up

My initial thoughts when looking over the list is one of worry. They only have two combat units that only have five figures each and no solo support. I thought adding a unit of Fennblades with their Officer & Drummer in place of the Champions, or just the unit in place of the Warders. The advantage the Warder and Champion units have is it takes 40 wounds to fully remove each units, not including made Tough rolls, so they have some staying power.

For me, Bloodsong's fell calls are not as useful as the Fell Caller solo, but a combination of Heroic Ballad and her Calamity spell will give either unit, especially the Champions a major boost when attacking an enemy. Her Cacophony call can annoy and frustrate the enemy. The Dire Trolls appear to be forgotten in her abilities. Hallowed Avenger will let a beast charge out of turn, but that's about it.

The list has some powerful offensive options, can frustrate enemy options, and a Dire Troll Mauler. But I feel it might not have enough figures to cover the battlefield and compete in control scenarios. Here's hoping I'm wrong about that.
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Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:53 pm
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Skorne all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The Skorne are the invaders from the east. They are a society of warriors and are an entirely different race than humans, though they are man-sized. They have crossed a great desert to expand their influence and prove their worth as warriors, which is the basis of their society.

In my limited experience, I have not played against nor watched a Skorne army. I do have this army box and used the tips and tricks to help me with the write up.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Supreme Archdomina Makeda (-5 pts.)
• Molik Karn (11 pts.)
• Titan Gladiator (8 pts.)
• Aptimus Marketh (3 pts.)

Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
Cataphract Incindiarii (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9 pts.)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Supreme Archdomina Makeda is a commander that is focused on boosting her army's killing power. Her weapon is a Magical weapon.

Abilities

Makeda's first ability, Elite Cadre (Praetorian Swordsmen) makes the Praetorian Swordsmen unit, which is included in this army, a more mobile and deadly by bestowing it with Vengeance, the ability to move 3" and make a melee attack if one or more models in the unit is destroyed or removed from play by enemy attacks.

Inspiration (Skorne models) means that she's also quite inspirational (or terrifying!) and prevents Skorne units within her control range (2 x fury stat of 6 in inches) from failing morale checks and fleeing.

Using Stay Death, she can also prevent one trooper model from dying each turn, which is a great way to keep a living shield in the way of enemy, possibly blocking attacks by leaving the model in the path to block the enemy's movement.

Feat

Her feat is called Instruments of War and it's all about killing with a little murder on the side.

It boosts melee attack rolls (makes it easier to hit) and prevents the models from being knocked down. It also makes them immune to being targeted by free strikes, which is an attack an enemy can make if a figures moves past it in its melee range. This allows the Skorne forces to move through screens of figures set up to protect soft, valuable targets and attack those targets.

Spells

Makeda has four spells.

Engine of Destruction can only be cast on herself and boosts her offensive melee capabilities for a round.

Leash is an upkeep spell that cast on a warbeast and allows it to move 3" toward Makeda after she finishes her move.

Road to War lets friendly Skorne models in Makeda's control range move an addition 2" the turn it is cast.

Stranglehold is Makeda's only attack spell. It can damage an enemy and if it does the enemy will have to forfeit its movement or action on its next turn.


The Battlegroup

This army comes with two heavy warbeasts one of which might be described as cruise missile and the other is a land fortress.

Molik Karn is not the biggest heavy warbeast, but he's one of the really dangerous ones. He's the missile you will want to be launching at the enemy warlock or warcaster. He's armed with two falchions which have Reach and he's a Weapon Master with them, which means his damage rolls get an extra die. He also has Combo Strike which combines two attacks into one, boosting the power of the attack.

He has Affinity [Makeda] which boosts his fury to 5, making him more dangerous because he's already pretty efficient using it because of Future Sight which lets him boost attack and damage rolls after rolling!

Karn's Intuition is a nice defensive ability that allows Makeda to force him to gain a fury when he is hit by an enemy which forces the enemy to reroll the attack dice. He also has Side Step which lets him move 2" after one of his initial attacks hits, which grants him some nice mobility one combat starts. His final ability, Chieftain [Cyclops], has no impact on this list.

Fate Walker is Karn's animus and can only be cast on himself (and Makeda can cast it on herself). It allows Karn to make a full advance after all models have moved at the end of the turn.

The Titan Gladiator is the closest thing to a living Khador warjack that you will see. It's slow, has a high armor, and hits really hard, but what else would you expect from a four-armed giant anthropomorphic pachyderm? It has three initial attacks: a war gauntlet on each arm and his tusks. The Gladiator also has a Hard Head which allows it to add the power of the tusks into head-butt and slam power attack damage rolls.

It's Bullheaded which has it make slam power attack instead of a charge if it frenzies. Follow Up allows it to move directly up to a model it hit and knocked back with a slam attack, which is really nice because Grand Slam lets it make slam attacks without being forces and models it slams are moved an additional 2" away.

The Gladiator's animus is Rush. It targets a friendly warbeast, including itself, and it gives +2" of movement and the Pathfinder ability.


Units

The Cataphract Incindiarii is a heavy-armored light mobile artillery. They are armed with an Incindus and an Incindus Blade. Both weapons cause the Continuous Effect: Fire when a model is hit by one of them. The Incindus is essentially a grenade launcher which is good at clearing out infantry by roasting them. The Incindus Blade is a decent melee weapon when they have to get into HtH combat. They have Combined Ranged Attack which lets them focus their fire on an target and gain pluses to hit and damage. They are also Fearless and have eight wounds each.

Praetorian Swordsmen are an offensive machine. They are armed with two swords and can attack with each of them separately, or use the Combo Strike to make one attack which is stronger. They have Penetrating Strike so when they hit they can just do one point of damage instead of rolling for damage, which is a great way to weed out troopers. They also are granted Vengeance by Makeda, allowing them to be more mobile when they are being attacked by the enemy.

Paingiver Beast Handlers are included to handle the warbeasts.
I know it's not obvious, but follow along and you'll see why the Beast Handlers are meant for that. The Beast Handlers are armed with a barbed whip which has Reach and Inflict Pain which lets it add or remove a fury point from a warbeast that is hit. This can be used mess with the enemy's plans for fury and can end up forcing beasts to rage. Like many support units, they have an ability that grants one of three options a turn to a faction warbeast. It is called Beast Manipulation and each beast can be the recipient of only one them a turn. The three possible actions are:

Condition allows them to place or remove any number of fury points from a warbeast.
Enrage gives a warbeast +2 STR and it must charge or make a slam or trample power attack without being forced during its next activation.
Medicate heals d3 damage points and can only be used once per turn on a beast.

The Paingiver Beast Handlers are also quite capable of whittling down enemy troops of the living persuasion because of their Anatomical Precision ability which lets them choose to do one point of damage after rolling for damage and not penetrating the target's armor.


Solos

Only Aptimus Marketh who is attached to Makeda's battlegroup.

Aptimus Marketh is character that is attached to the Warlock Warlock's battlegroup. His main purpose appears to be to cast one of Makeda's spells (including the animi from the warbeasts), which he can do once each turn. The strategy guide included in the box suggests casting the Titan Gladiator's Rush animus is the obvious choice.

He also collects "soul tokens" when a friendly model is killed within 8" of him. He can use the soul tokens to increase his number of attacks, his chance to hit, or his damage. Makeda can also use soul tokens in place of fury to maintain upkeep spells, which are spells that generally cost one fury/focus to keep going on turns after they are initially cast.


Summing it all up

The infantry of the Skorne does not get a lot of the bonuses that the Khador and Protectorate of Menoth units get. They are pretty much left to fend for themselves and the best strategy might be to use them to clear the way for Molik Karn, who does get all kinds of upgrades from others to move in and create mass amounts of havoc.

As I said above, Molik Karn is the missile. Here's what you need to do to launch him at his greatest capability.
• Be sure to have Makeda's Leash spell on him.
• Have Makeda or Aptimus Marketh cast the Titan Gladiator's Rush animus on him. (+2" of movement and Pathfinder.)
• Move Makeda towards the enemy, making sure Karn's target ends up in her control area if at all possible. Molik Karn then moves 3" towards Makeda. (+5" bonus movement so far.)
• Have Makeda cast Road to War (+2" movement -- +7" total)
• Have Makeda pop her feat (boosted attack rolls, immunity to free strikes).
• Enrage Karn with the Beast Handlers.
• Unleash the hounds!

Karn will be able to charge 13" from his starting spot, which is 3" closer than where he started. He has reach, so he can hit anything that is within 15" of where he charged from. Once he likely hits the first target with an initial sword attack, he can use Side Step to move 2" more, make another initial attack, move 2" more if he needs to, and he will still have all his fury, boosted melee attacks, and the ability to boost damage after seeing what was rolled.

If, for some reason, he ends up with a couple fury left after making his power play, he can use his own Fate Walker on himself and make a full move to put himself in better position, though if you pull this off there is a good chance that the enemy just lost their warlock and the game.

And if that doesn't work you still have the Titan Gladiator which is capable of dealing out all kinds of damage.

It appears to be a nice army built mostly around the Molik Karn missile tactic. Others can work, but this army doesn't feel as well-rounded as the first two I looked at. But does it need to be since it has the most powerful single tactic so far with enough support to clear out any annoying infantry and solos that might stand in the way.
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:45 pm
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Protectorate of Menoth all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The Protectorate of Menoth is rebel scum. Not the friendly rebel scum you might see a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away or somewhere in the Americas in the mid-1770s. No, these are religious zealots that want to spread their strict beliefs to everyone and to burn all heretics, i.e., those that think different from them. At least Cryx has the decency to reanimate you after they kill you!

Considering how many times I have played against Menite forces, I really don't know much about them. They are known as being an army that is all about synergy and the list below really highlights that.

I wrote this up without having the Army Tips from the all-in-one box because I don't own this one. Mike has it and I wanted to see what I would be facing in a week or two, and I am not sure I like what I see.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Grand Scrutator Severius (-6 pts.)

• Reckoner (8 pts.)
• Vanquisher (8 pts.)
• Redeemer (6 pts.)
• Hierophant (2 pts.)

Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3 pts.)
Knight Exemplar Errants (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8 pts.)

Exemplar Errant Seneschal (2 pts.)
Vassal of Menoth (2 pts.)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Grand Scrutator Severius has mad skills. His Focus stat is an 8, which is one of the highest in the game. You don't want to see him in HtH combat with most other warcasters because he's just not that skilled at melee attacks. He's armed with a staff which is a Magical Weapon and has Reach.

Abilities

Convert is the reason I might end up hating this guy more than any other I've faced in the past. It allows him to take control of a living enemy non-character trooper model for the rest of the game if the model fails a command check.

Sacred Ward is a nice defensive ability. It means he cannot be targeted by enemy spells. Ever.


Feat

Divine Might might better be called Nullification. When the feat is activated, enemy models in his control range cannot cast spells, do not replenish focus, and lose their Arc Node advantage; essentially castrating warcasters and spell casters.


Spells

Ashes to Ashes is an attack spell that targets a model. If the model is hit, it and d6 nearest enemy models within 5" of it are hit by a fire attack.

Death Sentence is an upkeep spell that targets an enemy model/unit and lets friendly units reroll missed attacks against that model/unit.

An awesome defense buff, Defender’s Ward is an upkeep spell that gives a target faction model/unit +2 DEF and +2 ARM. It's definitely something that should be on something in the army every turn.

The Eye of Menoth is an upkeep spell that he casts on himself. It give friendly faction models in his control range +1 to attack and damage rolls.

Immolation is an attack spell that targets an individual model which, on a hit causes, you guessed it! The fire continuous effect.

Vision is yet another upkeep spell and looks to target just a model, not an entire unit. The next time the model is directly hit by an attack, it suffers no damage from that attack. Put this on a heavy warjack and sit him in front of one of the enemy's big guns. Yowzer!


The Battlegroup

The Reckoner carries a big stick, and that's not all. It is armed with a big club named the Consecrator that has reach, and a cannon named the Condemner that has the standard Menite ability to set things on fire, though this one requires a critical hit to set things ablaze. Because of its Assault ability this warjack can shoot the cannon at the target of its charge. On top of that, it has the Ashen Veil ability which makes it harder for living enemies within 2" hit it. All-in-all, it's a solid warjack.

The Vanquisher is armed with a huge ball and chain and a cannon that has a large area effect attack. The cannon causes all the normal Menite fire effects as well as having a 4" area instead of the much more common 3" AOE. So set those enemy troops on fire and watch them burn!

The Vanquisher's ball and chain has the Chain Weapon special ability which lets it ignore any DEF and ARM bonuses the its target gets from shields. It also has the Thresher special attack which allows it to attack every model in its melee range. This is the warjack that should be used to clean out enemy units both by its cannon and its swinging ball of death.

One of only two different light warjacks in any of the all-in-one armies, the Redeemer is one of the two sources of area effect attacks in the army. Its missiles have a terrific range of 16" but are Inaccurate and this makes them -4 to hit anything. Its melee weapon is a mace and it packs a standard punch for a Menite light warjack. Since there is just one army box with a light warjack, I suspect this one will spend a lot of time protecting Severius or hunting solos and damaged large 'jacks and warbeasts.


Units

When I was initially looking into playing Menoth a few years ago when I started playing the game, there was one thing which seemed required in every Protectorate list. That is the Choir of Menoth which is nothing but a support unit for warjacks. Their only ability is called Hymn and it only works on warjacks. There are six of them in the full unit. Here are the three possible benefits:

Battle: Gives a warjack +2 to hit and +2 to damage rolls for the turn.
Passage: Prevents the warjack from being targeted by non-magical ranged attacks and gives the warjack the Pathfinder ability for the turn.
Shielding: Prevents the warjack from being targeted by enemy spells for a round.

The Hymns have a range of only 3", so the Choir needs to stay close to the warjacks to help them out. Basically, if you have a Menoth army and you don't have a Choir, you're doing it wrong. Every member of the Choir is armed with a staff which has reach and they are capable of protecting themselves against enemy units, but if you are attacking with them you're probably in a position where the game is almost over and you are likely losing.

The Exemplar Errants were used against me in the first game I played with constructed armies. I hated them then and looking over them now I still hate them. That's a good thing if you are playing this army. They are armed with a magic crossbow and a sword. The unit has Advance Deployment which allows them to be placed closer to the enemy at the beginning of the game.

They are also Fearless and will never flee and have the Self Sacrifice ability which is more annoying than it might sound. With Self Sacrifice, they are able to remove another model in the unit when one of them is killed. This means a single figure can remain in place, blocking an attack path or holding an objective, until the last model is killed. The heavy crossbow is Blessed and ignores spell effects that boost the target's defense and armor. They are also Weapon Masters which means they add a die to their damage rolls.

The Errants are both a nice tarpit as well as being an efficient killing unit which become even more efficient when the Exemplar Errant Seneschal solo is in play, which he is in this list. If you end buy the army box and end up expanding your army, look at the unit's leader unit attachment. It makes them even a bigger pain to face. I hate these guys.


Solos

Including the Hierophant, This army comes with four solos.

The Exemplar Errant Seneschal explains why the Exemplar Errants UA was not included in the army. This guy is everything an Exemplar Errant is and more. He's armed just like the unit with the magic crossbow and sword. He also has the Weapon Master ability with the sword and both the Advance Deployment, and Fearless abilities. His Commander ability means units in his command range can use his command stat when making command checks, which in this army doesn't come into play too much since most everything has a high CMD value. He also has the Assault ability so he can shoot the at the target of its charge, even if he ends up short of being in combat with the target.

Two of the Seneschal's abilities work really well with the Errants. His Call to Sacrifice [Exemplar Errants] works like their Self Sacrifice ability except he heals a wound when of his men die. The Seneschal's Hunter ability ignores forests, concealment, and cover when determining LOS which is cool for the solo, but his Leadership [Exemplar Errants] gives the Hunter ability to the whole freaking unit of Exemplar Errants. I hate those guys.

The Sycophant, umm, Hierophant is attached to the warcaster and is support model for Severius. Its Harmonious Exaltation is an action it can take which reduces the focus cost of one of the warcaster's spells by one. The Hierophant's Spiritual Conduit ability boosts the range of the warcaster's spells by 2". He's also a healer when he uses the Heal action to heal 1d3 from a living model in base contact with it. He's the equivalent to boosting Severius' focus by one for casting spells with some healing thrown in for good measure.

The Vassal of Menoth is all about boosting warjacks. He has the Iron Sentinel ability which gives him +2 DEF and ARM and cannot be knocked down when in base contact with a faction warjack. He also has a Magic Ability which is the statistic he uses when making a magic attack. He has two actions that target a faction warjack and a spell; he can use one of them each round. The actions are Ancillary Attack which lets the faction warjack make a normal attack and Enliven make a full advance after taking damage. The spell is Arcane Bolt which is a decently-powered magic attack.

Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord is a nice supporting mercenary character. He has three tunes he can play which affect a friendly unit in his command range.

Dirge of Mists gives the unit +1 DEF and they cause Terror for one round.
Heroic Call makes affected models Fearless and Tough for one round.
March makes the unit Pathfinders for one turn.


Summing it all up

This army is all about having two alpha units and making sure they are buffed to the highest possible level. First you have Severius' battlegroup which is supported by the Hierophant, that buffs Severius. Then there's the Choir and the Vassal that increase the effectiveness of the warjacks. Add Severius abilities and spells and this is a dangerous group to face.

Then there's the Exemplar Errants which are a really good unit on their own. Adding the Seneschal's Hunter ability and the musical styling of Carvolo and they just become tougher and even more annoying. Did I mention that I hate these guys?

The trick, like with pretty much every army in the game, is to activate the units in the right order and use the right abilities at the right time to give the attacks the biggest punch possible. If you are wanting to be forced to learn how to make good tactical decisions in Warmachine, this might just be the army to play.

Important safety tip: Remember is make sure you have plenty of markers to indicate which figures are on fire when playing this army or playing against it.

I really need to look at the strategy tips and growing your army cards the next time I'm at Mike's, because adding things to this army will just make them even more annoying and I'm interested in their suggestions.
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Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:20 am
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Wins, losses, and more

Bobby Warren
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Since I am planning on getting several of the upcoming and already-released all-in-one army boxes for Warmachine and Hordes and am posting my thoughts on those armies, I decided to look at the games I had played and then ended up breaking it down by factions and warcasters/warlocks.

Here are the factions I've played with my record with them.

Khador (3 wins, 4 losses)
• Butcher of Khardov, a.k.a. pButcher (2-2)
• Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff, a.k.a. pSorscha (1-2)

Mercenaries: Searforge Commission (2 wins, 4 losses)
• Gorten Grundback (2-3)
• General Ossrum (0-1)

Trollbloods (0 wins, 4 losses)
• Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia, a.k.a, eDoomshaper (0-2)
• Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller, a.k.a, pGrissel (0-2)

Minions: Blindwater Congregation (3 wins, 4 losses)
• Bloody Barnabas (3-4)

These are the factions I've played against and my record against them.

Cryx (1 win, 1 loss)
• Iron Lich Asphyxious, a.k.a pAsphyxious (0-1)
• War Witch Deneghra, a.k.a. pDeneghra (1-0)

Khador (0 wins, 7 losses)
• Supreme Kommandant Irusk, a.k.a. eIrusk (0-1)
• Karchev the Terrible (0-1)
• Old Witch of Khador (0-2)
• Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff, a.k.a. pSorscha (0-1)
• Vladimir Tzepesci, a.k.a. pVlad (0-2)

Menoth (4 wins, 2 losses)
• High Exemplar Kreoss, a.k.a, pKreoss (4-2)

Retribution of Scyrah (1 win, 1 loss)
• Kaelyssa (1-1)

Circle Orboros (0 wins, 1 loss)
• Baldur the Stonecleaver, a.k.a pBaldur (0-1)

Legion of Everblight (1 win, 4 losses)
• Lylyth, Herald of Everblight, a.k.a. pLylyth (1-2)
• Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight, a.k.a. pThagrosh (0-2)

Trollbloods (1 win, 0 losses)
• Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftan, a.k.a. pMadrak (1-0)

My overall win-loss record is a little better than I thought it would be, but several of the wins were against brand new players.

I had forgotten that I actually beat one of Alex's Everblight lists, though it was Lylyth and not Thagrosh. I also figured my record against Khador would be bad, but this is even worse than I thought it would be.

I have never played a game that included Cygnar, Skorne, or the Convergence of Cyriss. I don't plan on getting the Cygnar all-in-one army box, so unless someone starts hanging out with us who plays them, I doubt I will play against them anytime soon. I already have the Skorne box so they should be represented soon and if a Convergence of Cyriss box is announced and released, I will definitely get one of those as well.

I already have the Khador and Trollbloods armies so I didn't get their boxes, I just picked up a couple of figures that I needed. I am not going to get a Dire Troll Blitzer and will proxy a Dire Troll Bomber in its place because I never liked the Blitzer. If I change my mind on it I will buy one later.

I have purchased the Skorne box and the models are assembled and off to be painted (as are a couple of Trollblood figures). I just pulled the trigger and picked up the Legion of Everblight box, which means I am going to end up with all four of the Hordes armies. I am planning on getting the Cryx and Circle Orboros boxes next month and am likely to get the Retribution of Scyrah box though I might skip it if a Convergence box is announced.

I don't plan on buying any extra figures for any of the armies which I didn't already own, though I do have a few random Cryx figures that I got on eBay over the years, usually in lots with other things.

So when all is said and done, I will have six or seven 35-point fixed armies that I can use to get others to play the game. Is having that many a bit of overkill? Yeah, but it's me we're talking about and that's my M.O.
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Thu Apr 9, 2015 3:35 pm
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Khador all-in-one army overview

Bobby Warren
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Khador is one of the human super powers. They are analogous to Imperial Russia and have great manpower but limited tech resources, so their warjacks are all heavies because they have fewer of the resources to make their cortexes, or brains, and want to protect them as much as possible. They invaded their neighbor Llael, which started a war with their rival, Cygnar.

Their army is not the most mobile nor best equipped, but it is massive. Their warjacks can take the most punishment, and can also deal out quite a bit. One of their weaknesses is also a limited amount of magical attacks.

I wrote this up without having the Army Tips from the all-in-one box because I had practically everything I needed to create the army without it and picked up what I needed to fill out the list.

Here is the contents of the all-in-one army box:

Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff (-6 pts.)
• Demolisher (9 pts.)
• Spriggan (10 pts.)
• War Dog (1 pt.)

Widowmakers (4 pts.)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6 pts.)
• Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeer (x3) (3 pts.)
• Winter Guard Officer & Standard (2 pts.)
Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt (4 pts.)

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich (2 pts.)

Warcaster/Warlock

Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff has a little attack, a little defense and boosts her army a little, making her a well-rounded warcaster that should work well with the army in the box. Like all warcasters and warlocks, her attacks are magical. Her weapon is melee only but has a reach of 2" and has the Critical Freeze ability. Critical freeze makes a model stationary if the to-hit roll is a critical hit and the target is not immune to cold effects.

She is also armed with a gun, the Quad-Iron, which has the Multi-Fire ability which lets her make additional attacks against the last model hit or a target within 2” of it as long as she keeps hitting, stopping at three additional attacks.

Abilities

Immunity: Cold is exactly what it sounds like. Sorscha is immune to cold effects.

She also has a couple of abilities which boost the abilities of Winter Guard units. Desperate Pace [Winter Guard] is a command she can give during her activation to give a Winter Guard unit +2" of movement for a turn. The Elite Cadre [Winter Guard] lets the Winter Guard units reroll missed ranged attacks.

Finally, Warjack Bond allows her to bond with one of her warjacks which gives it Immunity: Cold. When an enemy model ends its activation within 2" of the bonded warjack, the enemy model becomes stationary for one round unless that model has Immunity: Cold. Bonding a warjack also allows Sorscha to apply one more focus to the bonded warjack each turn.


Feat

When Sorscha pops her feat, Winter’s Chill, damage in excess of an enemy model's ARM that does not have Immunity: Cold gets doubled.


Spells

Boundless Charge is a spell that can be cast on a unit or individual model that gives the unit Pathfinder and +2" of movement. This would be cast when you want to move some something through rough terrain, or right before attacking.

Cyclone has a range of "self" so Sorscha would cast it on herself. It allows her to make a full advance, which is up to her SPD stat in inches, plus any bonuses, and then make a melee attack against every model in melee range, which is 2" since her weapon has reach. While moving, she can't be targeted by free strikes.

Freezing Grip is an expensive attack spell that makes a model/unit Stationary unless it is immune to cold.

Iron Flesh is a great way to boost the DEF of a model or unit, but at a small price: the target unit loses 1 SPD and gains +3 DEF. This is an upkeep spell that can be maintained.

Razor Wind is another attack spell. It has a range of 10" and decent punch. I don't see using this a lot, but it could come in handy against solos or wounded warjacks or beasts.

Shatter Storm is spell which buffs attacks and would work really well with the Winter Guard or Widow Makers. Any model killed by an attack from that model/unit explode, creating a 3" diameter explosion centered on the model killed.


The Battlegroup

The Demolisher is mobile bunker. It comes with two arms built like reinforced shields which it holds against itself as it advances, giving it an incredibly high armor while the arms are intact. This is the Armored Shell ability. It also has the Bulldoze ability, which pushes any model it comes into base contact with back up to 2". This can be useful for clearing the way for something else to see or charge through the new gap towards a previously-protected target. It's also Girded, which means it does not suffer damage from blasts and neither do friendly models in base contact with it. It's armed with two shoulder-mounted cannons that have a nice kick and cover a 4" radius blast area. It can also punch with both hands and has the Gunfighter ability which allows it to use both either its cannons and or fists when it is in melee combat. The Demolisher looks to me to best be used as a screen while using it's cannons on the enemy, but I wouldn't be afraid of running up against a threat.

The Spriggan is armed with a couple of shoulder-mounted grenade launchers, a nasty lance, and a carried shield which boosts it armor value. The grenades have a decent range and power and also have the ability to launch flares, which place a 3" diameter template which reveals hidden and camouflaged models. The war lance adds two to the strength of +2 to hit during a charge. The Spriggan also has the has the Bulldoze ability. Like all Khador warjacks, it is tough, slow, and hits hard. This is the one which I would use as the main attacker of the pair of warjacks and would likely choose as the one bonded to Sorscha.


Units

The Widowmakers are a small, four-model unit of snipers. They have Advance Deployment and Pathfinder. They also have Camouflage, which makes them harder to hit when they are in cover, and Sniper, which means they can either do normal damage or choose to do one point of damage which is enough to kill most trooper units. It also allows them to target the column they are going to damage on a warjack or warbeast.

The Winter Guard Infantry included is known as the Winter Guard Death Star, which is a full unit of 10 troopers, three Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeers, with the Winter Guard Officer & Standard. By itself, the unit is an average unit of soldiers with a combined ranged attack. The three Rocketeers give them some area-effect ranged attacks to help soften up the enemy. The Officer bestows combined melee attack upon the unit, as well as allowing the unit to advance defensively with the Bob and Weave order, making them harder to hit. The Standard Bearer's Grapeshot lets the unit make spray attacks instead of normal shots which target one model. The additions make the unit tougher and hit harder, but the advantage is there are now fifteen models that can be used as a screen to slow down the enemy advance. This is called being a tarpit unit and this is supposed to be one of the best. But wait, there's still more to come.

Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt is a mercenary unit of two figures. Lady Aiyanna's job is to protect the two of them with her defensive spells, then mark a target, making it easier to hit damage, much like a modern trooper will mark a target with a laser for a missile strike. She can also make a unit or model's attacks magical, which fills in a gap in Khador's, and this list's, weaknesses. Holt is a shooting machine, with two shots and a high MAT. He can also shoot twice and melee twice the same turn. They are a nice support unit that can also help protect a flank. Aiyanna's spell which give's them Stealth will also be useful when there are objectives to occupy.

Solos

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich is like that party official you read about and see when stories are being told about the Russian army in WWII. He marches along with the unit spouting propaganda and stories of heroism to inspire the troops. He has three speeches to choose from each turn.

Bear's Strength gives the unit +3 STR.
Courage of the Forefathers makes the unit Fearless and Tough.
For the Motherland gives the unit boosted attacks.

For me, it's all about the Courage of the Forefathers because of Tough. That ability means when a model is killed, it makes a roll and survives 1/3 of the time, getting knocked down instead of being removed from the table, possibly leaving the model around to slow down their advance even more. And when it is time to make the final assault, there is Bear's Strength and For the Motherland.

The War Dog is not a warjack. It's a dog that is attached to a warcaster. It's job is to protect the warcaster and it is good at what it does. First, it has the Counter Charge ability, which allows it to interrupt the enemy's turn when an enemy model ends its move within 6" of it. The dog then gets to attack the figure. It also has the Return ability, which lets it move back to Sorscha once it's finished attacking. Is the enemy being sneaking and hiding in the woods or some other cover? It won't matter because the war dog is also a Hunter which ignores forests, concealment, and cover when determining LOS. Finally, the Guard Dog ability boosts Sorscha's DEF, making her hard to hit, and also protects her flank by negating any bonus a model would get by attacking her from the back.


Summing it all up

The real keys to running this force are using Kovnik Joe's speeches to first make the Winter Guard tough while advancing them, then causing as much havoc as possible with the boosted attacks, Grapeshot, any other boosts or spells (such as Elite Cadre) to make them as dangerous as possible. Meanwhile, the Widowmakers and Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt can work on guarding flanks, harassing the advancing enemy, and generally being a thorn in the plans of the enemy.

Sorscha and the warjacks should advance behind this as support artillery until they have the chance to grab the objective or kill the enemy leader.

It all sounds easy. My problem playing the game system is I forget to activate the units the proper order, meaning I don't operate at maximum efficiency. This seems like a nice list to help me learn to do that.

Next I am going to look at the Protectorate of Menoth box. I don't plan on getting it, but Mike has it and I'll be facing it sometime in the next couple of weeks with the Khador list and probably should scout the enemy ahead of time.
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Thu Apr 9, 2015 12:25 am
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Warmachine and Hordes - starting up again...

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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Privateer Press, the maker of Warmachine and Hordes has been releasing all-in-one army boxes for the various factions in the games. These are 35-point armies and include a small version of the game's rule book as well as some tips for playing and growing the army.

These armies are a terrific deal and I thought I would pick up one or two of them so I would have armies that I could use to let my friends play and that would be generally balanced against each other.

The problem with these armies is they are very limited and are selling out practically right away. I've picked up one and have my eye on a couple of future ones. I also have everything included in two of the boxes, so I can build those forces as well.

As I get the boxes, I will try and write up an overview of the figures included in the armies and discuss their purpose and use in the game. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons. First, I just haven't played the game as much as I would like and I still don't understand a lot of the subtleties and timing needed to be really good at the game. Doing this will force me to look closely at the interaction of the specific models and think of ways they can be best used.

I also wanted to have something written down for my friends to look at to help them decide which of the armies they might want to try.

A quick overview of the games

Both Warmachine and Hordes forces are built around a leader and their battlegroup. In Warmachine the leader is called a warcaster and their battlegroup consists of one or more warjacks, which are large, steam-powered machines of war.

In Hordes, the leader is called a warlock and instead of machines, they command large beasts such as dire trolls and dragon spawn.

The leaders are the most important models in the game. No matter what the scenario's victory conditions are, a player loses immediately if their leader is killed.

Depending on the size of the battle, each force is complimented by squads of soldiers, solo characters, and even an occasional artillery piece. The 35-point armies in the all-in-one battle boxes are for one of the more popular battle sizes.


Differences in the games

While the games are designed to be played against each other, there are is one significant difference, which is how the leader and their battlegroups operate.

In Warmachine, the warcaster's magical power is represented by their focus statistic. Each turn, they either allocate some their focus to allow their warjacks to take actions beyond a normal walk and/or attack, or they 'caster will keep some or all of their focus to cast spells.

A warjack with focus allocated to it can run, make special attacks, improve its chance to hit or do damage, or use the focus to make an additional attack. A warjack can be allocated no more than three focus a turn and any unused focus is removed at the beginning of the next turn.

Hordes handles warbeasts in an almost reverse manner. Each warlock has a fury which represents magical power that the warlock draws from their beasts and they use to cast spells and can even spend it to transfer damage they take to one of their beasts.

When a warlock wants a warbeast to take one the expanded actions that a warjack can spend focus to do, the beast has to be forced. Forcing a beast adds a fury point to the beast and then the beast will take that action. Each beast has a limit to the number of fury points it can have on it. At the beginning of the next turn, a warlock can remove an amount of fury from his warbeasts up to his fury stat.

Should a beast have any fury remaining on it, there is a chance that it will frenzy and it will lash out in an uncontrollable rage, possibly attacking a friendly figure, possibly the warlock!

Each warbeast also a spell-like ability called an animus which they can be forced to use. A warlock can also cast the animi of their warbeasts like a spell.

In each game, the leader has a powerful ability called a feat, which is a one-use power that can change the flow of the battle. They are varied and, along with the character's spell list, help define play style of the commander's force.

So that's a rough overview of game. There are a lot of how to play videos on You Tube, and Privateer Press made a couple of videos a few months ago. The first is a 38-minute video on how to play Warmachine and the second is a short video discussing using terrain the game.
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Wed Apr 8, 2015 5:00 pm
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Tripods, steam tanks, and relics

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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Mike and I played Relic Knights last Friday and it was a blast. He played the Noh Empire starter box with an additional Berserker for his 35 points, and my 35-point list was the Shattered Sword Paladins starter with an extra Paragon.

The biggest thing to get used to is the flow of adding units to a queue to activate, which means some of the figures might not activate even once during a game. There are also a lot of powers that some of the characters have which they may activate, and not all of them are on their cards. This could end up being the one really annoying thing about the game which keeps people from wanting to play it regularly.

The game didn't flow like I suspect it will once we are familiar with the rules and various abilities. None of the rules questions we had were really contested except on line of site issue which I now suspect I am the one who took the incorrect stand. I still need to ask for a ruling from Soda Pop. Some of the key words and concepts could use better definitions and a little more time in the rules going over what they can and cannot do, but nothing was so incomplete that couldn't come up with a solution after scanning the various sections indexed in the book.

I am also not a fan of the play style of the Shattered Swords. They are more defensive than I would like to play in a fast-flowing game. I need to study the units I would use when my painted Black Diamond figures arrive in the mail.

We plan on playing it again soon so we don't forget what we learned and maybe we'll use some of the abilities which we didn't try the first game.

On the other hand, All Quiet on the Martian Front might end up being the one Kickstarter campaign I most regret dropping out of. I picked up the rules and read through the basics then ended up buying the starter box.

Nothing about the rules appears to be anything spectacular and new, but they do look like they will capture the feel of a steam vs. Martian war.

The reason I dropped from the campaign is I had/was spending too much as it was when this was going to end (June 3, 2013). I had already spent money on:

Myth: ended 4/24/13
Krosmaster: Arena: ended 5/1/13
Snowdonia: ended 5/13/13
Galaxy Defenders: ended 5/21/13
Dungeon Dice (relaunch): ended 5/25/13
Deadzone: ended 6/2/13

I'd happily trade the money I spent on Myth and probably even Deadzone for this.

So far I have built the six tanks that came in the starter box, added some ballast to their coal bins, and cleaned the metal infantry figures. I still need to build the Martian tripods and then prime everything. Yup, I plan on painting these all by myself. Nope, I don't think I will finish, but I hope to prove us all wrong.

I won't be buying any more U.S. figures. I plan on building a British force but those figures aren't out yet. In the meantime, I will increase the size of the Martian forces I have. For the U.S. forces I will be using Army Painter's "Army Green" as their base color. I was thinking of painting the pods/cockpits of the Martians "Alien Purple" also from Army Painter while keeping the legs and tentacles a silver color.

Once everything from the starter is built and painted, I want to try and get Alex and maybe Nico, Nick, or Ben to try it out at the store. It wouldn't be a demo, but hopefully people seeing it played will become interested enough to try it out. Dave said that some of his Flames of War players were interested in the game, so hopefully it will catch on.
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Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:20 pm
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Never going back?

Bobby Warren
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I was recently contacted and asked to join a Valley-wide DreadBall league.

I declined, in large part because I am still cheesed at Mantic for their poor packing, piss poor customer service when dealing with missing things for Deadzone, and the out-and-out lies told on KS campaigns that were never addressed. (Has anyone ever seen differently-colored plastic factions for Deadzone as promised on the KS campaign page?)

Okay, so the rant is done. One small paragraph, so I must be getting better.

I began to think about other reasons why I didn't want to play, and the biggest is that the league system just doesn't work in the real world away from pub and game club meeting days that just focus on one game. In other words, like nothing I've ever experienced. The game is awesome. It's a quick, simple-to-learn game which feels like a fast and furious sports game is unfolding in front of the players. The first eight teams are fairly well balanced (we haven't played with any of the later ones) and there is little player down time because of the interaction during turns.

The rules for experience are decent, but the initial death rules were way too penalizing. Some of the experience combos feel like they can be hard to beat, but they still don't create auto-wins for their teams and there were some rules fixes for living or dying in one of the expansion books which were a little better.

The use of hired guns/MVPs/ringers/star players is where the league rules really starts to falter. In the published rules, everyone is supposed to get together, figure out who they are playing, then bid on the services of the MVPs for a single game. The reason it is done after figuring out the matches is that players with the weaker teams will get some virtual cash which they might be able to spend on the available MVPs or a random one-use player.

That means that everyone participating has to be together and ready to play at the same time. Forget real life with jobs, wives, girlfriends (maybe all three at once!) and/or kids. Playing the game is supposed to be the most important thing, which is completely unrealistic.

I suspect the leagues we've had might have done better if there were effective ways of handling the MVPs. It's possible that DreadBall Xtreme might address issue, but the game has died in my group and I can't see myself having the energy to expend on getting it played. Mike and I will likely play one-off games, but the chances of having another league is zilch.
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Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:15 am
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Relic Knights figure assembly

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I recently received the Relic Knights models from the Kickstarter campaign. I ended up getting three of the six factions, the exclusive figure(s) for each faction, the four prismatic figures, and the Super Dungeon Explore crossover figures.

I ended up receiving everything I pledged for and it came nicely packed in the retail packaging, not in the messy Mantic way. Since the campaign ended, the contents of the starter boxes has changed, but everything that was promised was included so I don't have any complaints. The Cerci Speed Circuit faction backers did not get a starter box because of the drastic changes in contents, but did get everything from the starter they pledged for as well as everything that would be in a starter box.

Over the past few weeks I've been building the models for my three factions and am done building them, except for the prismatic figures which I can't see using anytime soon. Generally speaking, the figures went together well. There are some mold lines which needed to be filed/trimmed, but generally the quality of the figures is good. I'll dole out praise and criticisms when talking about specific figures.

First up was the Black Diamond. I chose this faction as my primary because it felt more like something that would be fighting battles than most of the other factions and did not have as much cheesecake as them. The starter comes with Leopold Magnus, his cypher*, Static; an M8-Blitz Auto-Tank; and a five-man Diamond Corps squad. Part of the pledge included a second the squad of Diamond Corps and another tank. I also received One Shot and her cypher, Fritz; Suspect 7, a three-woman unit; the Diamondback; a PC-9 Breaker Team; a three-man squad of Black Dragons; and the limited Darkspace version of the Iron Chef.

One of the things that the backers received were base inserts. I used them for this faction. When choosing the inserts for the squads, I made sure to use the same one for each member of the squad.

The first thing I noticed when assembling the figures is how well keyed they are. For the units, it was a pretty easy process to figure out which pieces went with which figure. The larger figures were really easy to assemble and perfectly keyed.

My one complaint with the figures from this faction is the three Suspect 7 figures are all running and only have one toe which contacts the ground, so getting them firmly on a base was difficult. It would have been nice if there was a nub or tab molded onto the foot (that could be safely clipped if the modeler chose to) which would allow the figure to be glued into a hole or slot in the base. Fortunately the base inserts have features which allowed me to get a little extra contact with the base.

While working on the figures I decided I wouldn't use the base inserts for the other factions. Like I said, there are features which let me better anchor the Suspect 7 figures, but that also means when the figure has a good amount of flat surface to glue to the base, the amount of contact is reduced by the sculpted terrain. Some of the inserts weren't too bad, and the multiple choices for the 30 and 40 mm bases meant finding something compatible wouldn't be too hard, in most cases. The 80 mm bases only have one insert sculpt and it does not create a good surface to glue the huge model onto to them. I used some green stuff putty to put under the feet of the Diamondback because it is such a heavy figure.

One of the advantages of the bases is each baggie of them came with a few small stone or crystal outcroppings. I used these as push-off points/anchors for the running figures, like Suspect 7 when needed.

Next up were the Shattered Sword Paladins. This starter comes with Francis Mallory and Quill (cypher); a two-man squad of Paragon armor; and a five-man Sword Sworn squad. The extras from the campaign were duplicates of the two squads. I also ordered Sebastian Cross and Rook; Isabeau Durand; Austrican the Ogre; Navarre Hauser; a three-woman squad of Purifiers; and the Darkspace version of Fiametta.

When I said I was done building everything but the prismatic figures, I guess I lied. I haven't even opened the second box of Sword Sworn because the first squad was such a pain to build. They may be keyed as well as the Black Diamond figures, but it was hard to tell. Each torso has large shoulder pads that extend out over the shoulder, covering almost 180 degrees of the access to the holes that the arms go in to. The problem with these is it's really difficult to line the arms up and hold them into place while the glue sets. One of the figures has both arms and the gun as one piece and the arms need to be spread to fit over the torso so the keyed nubs and slip into the holes. I almost broke the gun doing this. I also had problems bending the swords while trying to get the arms into the holes all the way.

The bending of the thin weapons is one of the problems with the soft resin plastic. It was an issue for me with the Sword Sworn, the Purifiers, and Isabeau Durand.

The rest of the heads and capes for the Sword Sworn went on easily. There were also sword scabbards that were meant to be attached to the back and there was a small nub on the backs of the figures to attach them. I chose not to attach them because they are mostly covered by the capes and it would just mean more to paint. I later noticed that they weren't attached in the video showing the figures sent out to the KS backers. It was nice that they were included for those who would want to use them. At some point I might end up building the second unit, but after dealing with them and the Purifiers, the squad was dead to me for now.

The Purifiers were also a mixed bag when it came to assembling them. Their torsos and miniskirts (yes, miniskirts) were the main portion of the figures. The legs were cleverly slotted and keyed so it was obvious which leg went where. The arms and heads, on the other hand were the worst-keyed of any of the figures I built from the three factions. I had so many problems figuring out which of the three sets of arms went with which figure, that I ended up drilling out the holes in the torso of one of the figures and did my best to make the pose look like the artwork. Again, the swords were bent and almost broken in the process.

The only other issue I had with the faction is Durand's arms didn't line up as nicely as they should have and the sword is really flimsy for such a large weapon.

I used a few of the terrain crystals/stones to anchor some of the figures. It worked really well on them. One of the figures needing this treatment is a Paragon, which is a larger-than-man-sized figure and I was a little worried about it staying on the base without the addition.

Then came the Noh Empire.

Ah, the Noh. These guys, except for the cyphers, are all large figures with terrific keying that went together easily. The figures I have are Zinenda and Spite, a two-demon Berserker squad (with a second included) and a Render (also a second included). Besides them, my forces include Kasaro-to and Azi; Marikan-To and Lakmi (a second Questing Knight for the faction); a Beast Master; a four-dog unit of Agha hounds; a Serpent Priestess; and Darkspace Rin Farrah.

The trickiest of the figures for me was Zinenda. I trimmed what I thought was a superfluous piece of plastic from a bell on one of her braids and it turns out it was a nub that was supposed to go into a slot to anchor the hair to the body. I was able to fit the piece where it was supposed to be glued and it stayed firm even though the nub was gone.

The Agha hounds were one large piece, with the legs from one side being separate pieces. They fit really well, but the seam is visible. If they were metal figures I would use some green stuff to fill the seams and then file/sand down the area to make them invisible. I am not sure how this would work on the plastic figures.

The Render figures have really huge guns. The gun and parts of both arms are one piece that attach to the body. The fit is pretty snug, but one of the two has a slight gap where the bottom of the right arm connects to the top of the arm at the shoulder pad. I suspect it won't be noticeable once the figure is painted.

Final thoughts

I'm really happy with the figures and what I received from the Kickstarter campaign against what I paid. I wish I had picked up the limited figures for the other three factions. They would be playable when I get around to building and using the prismatic figures.

Having the play mat would also be nice and I wish I had ordered one. It would be nice to have the well-defined 3' x 3' play area. No, it's not a necessity to play, but would make it easy to set up quick games. But one of the negatives of backing on Kickstarter is once I start spending a lot of money I start holding back on some of the extras because of the delay in getting product.

I haven't decided what to do with the SDE figures. I did back the Forgotten King on Kickstarter and will have more heroes to play than I will likely use in the foreseeable future. Should I sell them or keep them? I'm leaning towards keeping them, but selling them is tempting.

I have read about half the rules and sent my Black Diamond figures off to be painted. Mike and I have talked about getting together sometime soon to try it out with Jerry, possibly trying a three-player learning game. We'll see what happens. I've also talked to some acquaintances at the Game Depot who backed it and might get in games with them at some point.

Here's hoping the game is as fun to play as it looks to be.


*Cyphers are essentially the familiars for the questing and relic knights.
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Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:46 pm
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