Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lookit! I bought a neat thing!

Specifically, I bought some Wargames mats from Deep Cut Studios.

I like 'em. My initial impression is one of quality; they easily seem equal to the Zuzzy mat I got, but obviously lack the texture that the Zuzzy has. What these mats have is pretty much unroll it and play ease, as they're pre-printed and colored.

Color me fond. The only problem is making winter themed terrain, but if that's the worst part about it, I'm okay with it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WIP Rail Crew

Good enough for the table, but still not finished.

Faced off against Zach again tonight with 'tina at 35ss. Reckoning, Line in the Sand and Vendetta for me, Vendetta and Bodyguard for him (on Killjoy. Ugh.)

We played with huge amounts of cover, which killed my LoS with Raspy, and it really hamstrung me. Most of the schemes flipped were counter to the main strat, and so I felt up against the wall from the get go. Turn three saw Vik of Blood in base contact with 'tina, and only a Golem and the Essence of Power were left.

At that point I conceded rather than waste both our times.

I can't wait for Snow Storm to be official, rules wise. He's superior to the golem in most aspects, and only one point more. January can't come fast enough.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tried to do some OSL, and also finished a December Acolyte

I was somewhat stumped as how to paint Misaki and her crew, when it occurred to me that they are the midnight assassins of the Oyabun's forces in Malifaux. They strike from the the smoke and shadows, literally. So, I thought about painting them in the in a half lit hard shadowed OSL, something I've never attempted before. And it's obvious from my first attempt that I need some refinement.

It's good for table top quality, but I think I'll need more practice before I'm truly happy with it.

Moving onto firmer ground here, I also whipped up a more standard model, that of the December Acolyte. It's a great model, and I really wish there was an alternate of it, as I'd love to have two in the crew, and I don't want to have clones in my forces. That's why I spent so much time converting my Gaki. The December Acolyte, however, is far too mono-pose for someone of my meager talents to convert. I'll likely proxy the second one until they come out with a new plastic model.

Of course, I also need a Snow Storm model, a Blessed of December, and probably a Silent One, as the rules for those have just recently come out in the Wave 2 beta, and I don't think their models are in the pipe just yet.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Some models done and dusted

Seems I'm on a bit of an Archanist bent recently.

I really like how they all turned out. Thank you, every Hollywood movie poster/Battlefield cover for my color scheme for the Essence of Power. :) It might be tried and true, but it sure does pop.

I'm going to go back and do some more work on the bamboo on the bases of the Gamin/Golem, but for now, they're playable.

Monday, October 14, 2013

For all sins great and small, there will be a reckoning

Jeff and I ended up playing a 50ss game.

My list:

Kirai  (Absorb Spirit,Bloody Sheers, Swirling Aether)
Datsue Ba (Spirit Whispers, Immediate Vegeance)
Izamu the Armor (Aura of Decay)
Grave Spirit
7 Stones

Jeff's List, from what I recall:

Vik of Ash
Vik of Blood, Mark of Your Armor Doesn't Matter
Student of Conflict
Friekorps Librarian

A great game.  It ended during the 5th turn, with me getting approximately 3 points, and Jeff getting 5 due to him actually killing things during a Reckoning Game. Odd that.
An error I made: someone pointed out to be that if I marked my own models with the Feast trigger, that the gaki summoned would be under my **opponent's** control. 

So much for that strategy, then. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vengeance is mine

The 35 Soul Stone Crew

My List:

Kirai  (Absorb Spirit, Immediate Vengeance, Swirling Aether)
Datsue Ba (Spirit Whispers)
Izamu the Armor (Aura of Decay)
Grave Spirit

7 in the cache

Jeff's Guild list (approx)
Lady J (Vendetta?)
2 Death Marshalls
3 Guild Rifleman

My opponent for the evening was Jeff Schmaley. He and I had agreed to a 35ss fight, but we decided at the last minute to go for 50ss. It wasn't a problem for me, as all I needed to do was add in Izamu with Aura of Decay and promote two Gaki to Onryo. We ended up playing Turf War with a standard six inch deployment. I took a revealed Breakthrough and Vendetta on a Death Marshall with one of the Onryo being the bearer of the Vendetta. Jeff revealed Kill Protege and concealed his breakthrough, IIRC

The board was filled with terrain, with an acropolis at the center breaking up line of sight quite well, making his guild riflemen less than useful. 

I ceded choice of sides to Jeff, allowing me to set up second. For a while I was afraid that we would put his riflemen in an elevated position, allowing him to pick me off, but he kept them on ground level, a mistake in my opinion. They weren't much of a factor in the game. Jeff kept his crew to my left, and I chose to respond by advancing right center behind a building. I won initiative, and again ceded first activation to Jeff. As with most first turns, this was less than exciting, as it was mostly maneuver. Jeff advanced straight into the acropolis with his guild rifles, and his melee moved behind it out of sight. I moved straight ahead, bulling a few movement/summoning shenanigans with Datsue Ba and Kirai, enough to get me a Gaki right on the guild master in the first turn. Of course, as Lady J had a full hand and with Gaki only having a ML of 4, that Gaki went nowhere fast, and ended up dying quite quickly (mainly because I forgot Hard to Kill).

The second turn had me in a good position to advance to the center, and start claiming Turf War points. Not a lot happened this turn. I got my one of my spirits in position to drop a scheme marker for Breakthrough, and moved to block Schmaley's advance into midfield. He seemed hesitant to commit, allowing me to claim an unanswered point for the strategy. He did shoot Izamu with a guild rifleman, and ended up flipping the red joker for damage. I had put the grave spirit in base with Izamu the activation prior, however, and so seven damage became three. 

The third round was when it all seemed to come apart for me. I foolishly charged Izamu into Lady J, only to have her easily survive the assault due to a better hand/soulstone use. Her ripose hit Izamu hard, but allowed for me to summon Ikiryo since an undead model had been damaged (Izamu). Lady J activated and took Izamu down, fulfilling the Protege scheme. He then advanced the exorcist, and let me tell you how awful that was. The exorcist shuts down all spirit and undead triggers, so my gaki had no access to feeding frenzy on the Judge or Lady J. I did get off a cast of Sundering on a Death Marshall, with the double crow trigger making him a potential Gaki. I also fulfilled the first part of my vendetta scheme. At this point, the Guild forces were close enough to start gaining turf war points, and so the score was now Guild 4, Ressers 3

From then on it was a scrum in the center, with the Guild slowly gaining the upper hand. That was until I was able to kill the marked Death Marshall with Datsue Ba's Weigh Sins, gaining me two models  for the price of one. It almost made up for the Exorcist paralyzing half of my crew the last two turns with Turn Undead. The problem for Jeff was that he couldn't kill anything I had. Spirit made me too resilient. He kept attempting to kill Kirai, but due to her being living, the Exorcist's Damning Oratory didn't apply to her triggers. Thus Kirai was able to shunt off Lady J's damage to spirits close to her. Somewhere in all this, I was able to drop off a second scheme marker for breakthrough.

As it was, the game ended on turn five, with Jeff only having one point for break through, three points for Kill Protege, and three for Turf War. That left me gaining three points for my announced breakthrough, one point for Vendetta, and 4 points for the Turf War, allowing me to squeak by with a one point win.

Final Score:
Kirai: 8
Guild: 7

An exhausting victory: those glass stones mark the models paralyzed by the Exorcist in the last round.

What won me the game: aggressive movement towards the center in turn two, and focusing on getting whatever scheme points I could. Listening to a few recent Malifools podcasts reminded me that I'm no longer playing 40k. Killing things are secondary to gaining points. I think I was stuck in the mindset of "if you're not killing, you're not winning." The Malifool's advice was simple: most of your points are tied into schemes, and since schemes are relatively unknown or unknowable until they're revealed, denying your opponent their strategy point for a turn is likely the most controllable, obvious way of winning the game. It's
simple advice, but it really saved my bacon in the last two games.

The new Beta is here! The new Beta is here!

And that makes Kirai a real person!
I'm playing my first 2E Kirai game tonight, and I'm keeping it 35 points for simplicity.

Kirai's upgrades are cheap, thankfully, and are pretty useful. The upgrades are needed to bring her back to the power level she enjoyed prior to the 2E change over.

Here's the list:

Kirai  (Absorb Spirit, Immediate Vengeance, Swirling Aether)
Datsue Ba (Spirit Whispers)

Grave Spirit

7 in the cache

For my 50, I'm considering adding Izamu the Armor with Aura of Decay. Should be fun.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rasputina Thoughts

I've played a few games with my new favorite Master, and here are my thoughts:

  • The more Soulstones the better
  • Essence of Power is more useful than Wendigo in most situations
  • Despite its low Defense, a Golem with Subzero is worth it.
Rasputina is going to be getting most of your kills. And she can start doing that from about 23 inches away. A probable six casts on CA7 (8 if EoP boosts her), plus a positive twist if a soulstone is used (again from EoP) means the first two turns are going to crucial. You're going to have a high model count crew given the low cost of Ice/Metal Gamin and Molemen. Use that to your advantage and out activate your opponent. If you keep an Ice Gamin within six of 'Tina, your zero can boost her damage as well, and given the fact that she already has a respectable 2/4*/5**, you'll be sitting pretty. 'Tina works best when she can wipe a model out in one activation, and that means she usually won't be acting until about the third activation (if not later) because of those EoP and Gamin buffs expiring at the end of every round. Because of that need to activate later, she's vulnerable to fast movers. Bear that in mind and keep blockers handy. 

Don't be afraid to hit your own models in an engagement, especially if they're Ice Gamin. If you hit your own, and it's a large scrum, you can cheat your Gamin's defense number down and (hopefully) get the big numbers on your opponents. And if you run into the hard to kill issue (like I did with Taelor), the subsequent icy explosion of the Gamin will kill them off. I'll trade a 4 point model for Taelor/Vik, etcetera every time.

Metal Gamin are resilient as hell, but have the added bonus of making another model Def 6 for 1 AP. I'm considering having one shepherd the rather ponderous Def 2 Ice Golem so he can retain the Sub Zero upgrade. Once a henchman is released for her crew, Sub Zero is moving over to the hench. At that point, he'll get the generic Archanist upgrade that makes him Def 4.