Sunday, November 21, 2010

More Angels Sanguine

Our clawless Terminator friend had an unfortunate accident when I let someone with two-left-hands try to pic him up...Sigh... More to be fixed...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

3rd Annual Gigabites Win-An-Army 40K Event

1850 pts, Win-An-Army Tournament, with your host, Mr. Black!

East Lake Shopping Center
2145 Roswell Road
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 578-1497

December 12th, 2010,  10:00 AM


Da Rulz
This rules packet contains all the information needed to participate in the rough and tumble Win-An-Army.

*Note about Judges: All participants be advised: all judges rulings are final.This applies to rulings during games as well as all
matters of health and safety.
We're out to win and kick ass! At its heart though, the tournament is about having fun. So don’t be a git! In other words do
your best to win, but win nicely. Anyone not adhering to these principles may be asked to leave the tournament without refund.

Entry Fee
•$25.00, there will be no club or store discounts for entry to this event. You're playing to win an army, this stuff costs money.

What to Bring
• Your Army
• At least four (4) copies of you army list
• Rulebooks and any other books you need
• Pen and paper
• Dice and templates
• Tape measure
• Super glue (accidents will happen!)

What is Allowed
• Codex Chaos Daemons
• Codex Chaos Space Marines
• Codex Dark Eldar 2010
• Codex Eldar
• Codex Daemonhunters
• Codex Witchhunters
--Inquisitorial armies may take Imperial Guard and Space Marine allies, chosen from the latest versions of their codices. As both of these codices have changed recently, use the following amendments to the list on pg 30-31 of the Daemon Hunters book and page 26 of the Witch Hunters book:

Space Marine Tactical Squad, Space Marine Scout
Squad, Imperial Guad Infantry Platoon, Imperial
Guard Veteran Squad. Unit upgrade characters
may NOT be taken (i.e. Commander Chenkov,
Sergeant Bastonne)

Fast Attack
Space Marine Assault Squad, Land Speeder
Squadron, Space Marine Bike Squadron, Scout
Sentinel Squadron, Armored Sentinel Squadron,
Rough Rider Squad, Scout Bike Squad

Heavy Support
Space Marine Devastator Squad, Space Marine
Land Raider (Crusader and Redeemer as well),
Space Marine Dreadnought, Space Marine
Predator, 0-1 Leman Russ Squadron (Pask may NOT
be taken)

• Codex Imperial Guard 2009
• Codex Necrons
• Codex Orks
Space Marines
• Codex Space Marines 5th edition
• Codex Dark Angels
• Codex Space Wolves
• Codex Black Templars
• Space Marine may take Inquisitorial Allies as defined
in Codex Daemonhunters or Codex Witchhunters
• Blood Angels
• Codex Tau Empire
• Codex Tyranids

Army Selection
No more than 1850 points may be used in the selection of an army. Only the main army lists may be used for the army in
question. No appendix lists are permitted. Special Characters are permitted, subject to the normal restrictions for that character in the Codex. Only armies listed in the Approved Army Lists section may be taken. Any armor, weapons and upgrades must be modeled
on the miniatures (WYSIWYG). Models should start the tournaments fully assembled. Models breaking are a part of the game, but models that are not fully assembled at the beginning of the tournament should not be used. Forge World models are permitted in the tournament but they can only be used to represent models from existing Codex list. No Forge World rules are allowed.

The tournament will consist of three games of Warhammer 40,000 for each player. The 5th Edition Rulebook will be in use for all games and will be the definitive guide for all rules. The time limit for each game is 2 1/2 hours (150 minutes). At the end of this
time limit, time will be called and all games must be finished immediately. No additional time will be provided. Note: do not begin a round unless there is ample time for both players to receive their turn! In each game, players will play a scenario. Each scenario will have a list of special rules and other information. Players will be informed at the beginning of each round as to what scenario will be used.

There are a possible 72 points that you can earn per tournament. Base battle points should be determined
by the chart below:

Major Victory--17--3
Minor Victory--13--7

Parameters to determine the base battle points will be explicit in each scenario. In addition, each scenario will have up to four (4)
additional battle points possible. These will be listed in order from easiest to hardest to achieve. Pay strict attention to the scenarios. You don’t want to be the guy who demolishes his opponent and fails to gain any objectives!

The Loot
The winner of the event will receive one token redeemable for all their wildest dreams- As long as those dreams revolve around an 1850 pt. army* of their choosing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Angels Sanguine Updates

Here is a quick W.I.P of some converted Space Hulk Terminators, now with helmets and Lightning Claws:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Needed: Limited Edition Lord Chompy Bits

Can't find the guy...

Hello loyal viewers! Hate posting something like this on the blog but literally running out of areas to check. I have a friend who is desperately trying to find a Gencon Limited Edition Lord Chompy Bits for his son's birthday at the end of the month. We've checked ebay, bartertown, any a few other websites but just can't find the model. If you have one or know someone who would be interested in trading or selling it please let me know!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Teaching 40K: Into the Fire

Entering 40K can be a bit overwhelming, so here is a little tutorial to get things rolling.

Mr. Black here, and over the years I've taught many a newcomer the game of 40K, and over that time I've developed a little scenario I use most every time just to show someone the basics of the game.

The overall point is to accomplish the following:

1. Show them a snippet of how the game is played.
2. Introduce them to a variety of units and how they interact.
3. Prove just how cool these little plastic army men are.

Given that, I've created this little mini-scenario to ease someone into the basics of 40K, similar in design to the old Battle For Macragge and Assault on Black Reach! starter rules, except I've thrown in a bit of a narrative to spice things up a bit. Of course this isn't a stone-set scenario, as we all know things don't always go to plan, but if the events happen to take a left turn from the initial plan just roll with it!

For the Purposes of the following scenarios I usually use half a standard  table (36 x24).

Part I: Isolation

"The Forces of Chaos have launched a sudden assault on the sector, under your control are the last remaining members of Tactical Squad Invictus. Survivors of the initial battle they have fallen back to a safer position to await reinforcements, but the legion of the Chaos Gods is not far behind...

Set Up
*3 Tactical Marines (Blue)   
*Sergeant with Power Fist
*Tactical Marine with Plasmagun

*5 Chaos Marines (Red)

The Space Marines will be held up on the hill (brown), sparse forests dot the landscape (light green), allowing the Chaos Marines some avenue of cover as they advance from the devastating effects of the Plasmagun.

This initial scenario should be used to demonstrate how basic movement and shooting works, as well as basic mechanics of armor saves (or in the case of the Plasmagun, lack there-of). Usually I ignore the Get's Hot! rule for this, as having the weapon blow up on the first shot is not cinematic when its in the hero's hands. We're also trying to minimize the lesser rules since, again, this is an introduction.

The Chaos Marines should move forward and then run in the shooting phase, all in an attempt to get into melee with the last remaining Space Marines, who in turn will be mowing them down with gunfire. This is to be expected, and is the actual point of the scenario: let the new player feel the power of Space Marine weaponry, being sure to explain how Rapid-Fire weapons work and reminding them should the Chaos Marines draw close enough. Should the Chaos Marines actually get into melee, then so be it- Show them how close-quarters-killin' works!

Part II: Reinforcements

Tactical Squad Invictus has managed to quell the scouting Chaos Marine party, but it seems far worse threats have moved over the horizon; the legion moves closer, more heretical followers of the Chaos Gods march forth, bringing with them their machines of war 

Set Up
*3 Tactical Marines (Blue)   
*Sergeant with Power Fist
*Tactical Marine with Plasmagun
*7 Assault Marines (Gray)
*1 Assault Marines with Flamer
*1 Assault Marine with Meltagun
*1 Assault Sergeant with Power Fist

*2 Chaos Rhinos w/ 5 Chaos Marines Each (Red)

The Rhinos will move up turn one, giving the Space Marine player a demonstration in vehicle movement speed as well as how different Strength weapons interact with Vehicle Armor (aka the Bolter doing exactly nothing and the Plasmagun having a decent chance to do something). Should the player Wreck or Immobilize a Rhino all the better! Again, the initial turn should show how well protected the troops inside actually are compared to their now-dead comrades before them. If you're like me, also talk about how dangerous the Chaos Marines inside are, and instill a sense of dread over the player not being able to stop the full tide as it sweeps forth. Making sure they do not arrive is necessary for survival!

Turn 2
"The thundering sound of jets echo through the air as the marines of Assault Squad Calidus arrive to reinforce their brethren! Combining speed with the devastating close-combat prowess only the Assault Company can bring they move to intercept the oncoming Chaos hordes! 

Now the Space Marine player has the chance to launch the offensive and really have some combat fun! This also does a good job of introducing Jump Infantry and how they work to the player, and with their sheer number the player should get a sense that the role has switched from offense to defense. Sure, they still have to deal with the Rhinos, but now that they have a Meltagun this should prove little issue, plus it allows them to see the penetrating power of the weapon itself while still being able to assault the units inside. They should lose some casualties in melee, but other all it should be an easy win for the marine player.

Part II: Resurgence
"As both armies march to the fight Tactical Squad Invictus and Assault Squad Calidus man the front lines, but Chaos cannot be stopped so easily, and now the main bulk of the Chaos incursion move to destroy them... But the Imperium is far from defenseless..."

Tactical Squad Invictus has been reinforced and is now brought up to a full ten marines strong, and any casualties that befell either squad have now been restored.

Set Up
*10 Tactical Marines, Plasmagun, Lascannon, Sergeant with Power Fist (Blue)   
*10 Assault Marines, Flamer, Meltagun, Sergeant with Power Fist (Gray) *Deadnought with Assault Cannon and DDCCW (Blue Circle)

*10 Chaos Marines with Plasmagun in Rhino (Red Box)
*5 Chaos Terminators with Power Weapons (Purple)
*Defiler with Dual DDCCW (Red Circle)

The Defiler is a big and scary model in it's own right and this should be expressed to the Space Marine player, if not already apparent... Don't worry too much, one shot from the Battle Cannon and they will see the immediacy of it's threat. Luckily they have acquired the use of the Lascannon and can use that to their advantage, also taking into account the Plasmagun as well as the Meltagun from the Assault Squad. Here you give the player a taste of target priority- What do they shoot at? The oncoming Chaos Marines or the large and deadly daemon vehicle coming at them? Overall the threat isn't as scary as it could be and it introduces Cover Saves into the game, as well as how walkers function.

Turn 2
"Gun fire heralds the arrival of further reinforcements, this time the aid coming in the form of Brother Galius, who's shattered body is now protected within the steel frame of a mighty Dreadnought.

Really the overall threat to the Space Marines is low, they have massive amounts of fire-power at their disposal to take down both the Defiler and the ten Chaos Marines, just be sure to take it a bit easy as, again, this is a learning game, it's supposed to heavily favor the new guy while still giving him a challenge. By this point the Assault Marines may even have killed the Chaos Marines, if not then take a turn or two more to fight it out, until the Chaos Marine forces begin to dwindle a bit.

Turn 3 (or later)
"The battle seems to be turning in your favor: The Traitor Legion's number dwindle and your blows reign heavy upon them... But the tide of battle can turn swiftly, and with a raging howl the very fabric of reality tears open as Chaos Terminators teleport onto the battlefield, their ancient armor decorated with the skull of past victims.

The Chaos Terminators pose a serious threat to the troops of the Space Marine player and by this far in the demonstration they should have a good grasp over each units capabilities and strengths. That being said don't feel bad about decimating a squad with the Terminators just to show how dangerous they really are! This is the last leg of the tutorial, the "boss fight" if you will! Make it challenging, make them worry about their odds against such a powerful foe (and keep in mind to yourself that the Dreadnought can wreck them completely... So don't Deep Strike them too close).

In the end the Space Marines should emerge triumphant, as the old edict goes when teaching someone a new game system "Let the newbie win!" You don't want their first experience to be a crushing defeat- You want it to be a glorious victory in the name of the Imperium! You want them revved up at how their band of little plastic army men totally annihilated your band of little army men (of course it close! In true Space Marine faction they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat!).

The final scenario was close to 500 pts. on each side and over the course of all the games they learned the basics of vehicle and squad movement, as well as shooting and assault rules. Hopefully from there they can choose exactly which aspect they liked best for when they make their army- presuming they decided they liked the game in the end. But really, after such a climactic battle of sheer awesome, who could say no? And that's the point in the end isn't it? Pull them in and make them want more!

~Just remember that the initial delve into the game will leave a lasting impression on players! You want them to think this is the coolest thing since the invention of the Chainsword, so talk it up, make it bigger than life, and most of all remember: FOR CHAPTER AND EMPEROR!  So how do you like my scenario, and how do you bring newcomers into our glorious hobby?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Troubles...

So with no major plans this evening... Which in itself is a huge issue to me... I decided to pick up an old game which I've had sitting on my shelf for some time yet never got around to playing for more than ten minutes: Fatal Frame 2.

Not much of a way to spent Halloween in my mind, but given that we had a late-night birthday celebration yesterday for a friend I figured it wasn't all bad... Didn't much feel like re-creating my costume from the night before anyway. Point being, I go and fetch the case and get everything just right, wait till around 7 when the sun is setting and the air is right, turn off all the lights and settle in on the couch in front of Titaniclese (the name given to my 64 inch). All is well, pop the game into the PS2 and let's roll.

So the game wasn't in the case.

No idea where it got to and I spent the better part of an hour turning everything upside-down inside-out looking for it, no luck and no idea where it may be... Now I'm a bit pissy, don't want to simply play a game I have beaten already, which narrows it down to two choices: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Silent Hill 5: Homecoming... Nether of which I found scary due to Shattered Memories having no enemies and 5 having your character be a combat machine... And with my luck, because I had decided to wait until 7 to start playing Gamestop was closed, so I couldn't simply go out and RE-BUY Fatal Frame 2, which I would have done... I wanted to play it that much...

So just finished up a two-hour playing of Silent Hill 5, not a bad game, just not the Halloween scare I had wanted... Sigh... I know it's just a day, just a holiday and I can have pretty much the same experience whenever I want... But something about just the, I suppose the best word is "romanticized" concept I had of playing a creepy horror game on Halloween at home by myself... Sigh... Try again next year I suppose...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Odd Man Out: Venomthropes

Some units just never find a place; usually this is deserved, but sometimes they're just the odd-man-out.

So I've been back on my Tyranid binge these last few weeks- The irony that all my time has been spent painting Angels Sanguine and playing Tyranids... Anyway, as of late I've been experimenting with units I usually don't take, mainly due to trying this with Ravaners some months back and finding I absolutely loved the unit and its capabilities. That being said I recently tried out some Venomthropes, which are usually neglected in favor of more stable choices such as Deathleaper, The Doom of Malan'tai, or simply more Hive Guard (and one game were I used some Ymgarl Genestealers.. Ehhh....). The list I have been testing them with has been the following:

-Hive Tyrant (Duel Scything Talons, Hive Commander, Paroxysm, Leech Essence)
--Tyrant Guard x2
-Tyranid Prime/Alphakrieger (Duel Boneswords, Rending Claws)

-Hive Guard x3
-Zoanthrope x3
-Venomthrope x3

-Hormagaunts x17 (Toxin Sacs)
-Hormagaunts x17 (Toxin Sacs)
-Hormagaunts x17 (Toxin Sacs)
-Tyranid Warriors x3 (Bonesword/Lash Whip, Toxin Sacs)

-Ravaners (Rending Claws)
-Warrior Shrikes x3 (Bonesword/Lash Whip, Toxin Sacs)



So, some initial thoughts on the list:

A. No Swarmlord.
As a usual staple of mine I decided to try and save some points in not including him. I honestly feel the extra wound and abilities are worth the points, and there are few things I love more than giving out Furious Charge to Hormagaunts with Toxin Sacs, but the basic Hive Tyrant is almost 100 pts. cheaper and allows a Troop unit to outflank, so I'm giving him a go.

B. No Tervigon. This is a hard one for me, as I love Feel No Pain, as well as having a gigantic T: 6 Troop squatting on objectives that also makes other Troops to do the same; what I don't like however is every list I've made since the codex's release has included one. Looking at him more I had to ask- Is he good? Well, his abilities are good... Are those worth it? Well he's around 200 pts. and requires another fifty to be a troop, and he may not make those points back through the game. All it takes is one bad hatching roll and he's a big 200 pt. Feel no pain dispenser... For those points I can get a Trygon, who eight-out-of-ten times will make his points back, one way or another. For those reasons I have excluded him from my current lists.

C. I love Warriors! I have said it before so no need to delve back into the details, but it feels just right running a unit or two of the guys, and without the staying power of the Tervigon and his brood backing up my Troops selection I felt I needed something durable for those objective-based missions. No one, no one wants to engage Tyranid Warriors, especially those backed by an Alphakrieger/Tyranid Prime, because those units will die, and die horribly.

But this article isn't about the list above or the dos-and-don’ts of the Tyranid codex as a whole, but specifically about the Venomthrope Brood elite choice.

So then, what have I gathered in giving them a try over the last few games? They are worth every bit of their points.

First off they give me a cover save if I'm out in the open, which is nice. I'll always choose to place half the unit if I can in actual cover, but there are times when you don't want to go out of your way to do so. This also extends to Monstrous Creatures... Well, not so much in the above list, as the Trygon hopes to Deep Strike into the enemy line and not near yours and the Hive Tyrant is getting a cover save due to the Tyrant Guard anyway. Having the option is still nice regardless, I don't consider it the best option it has, merely the most obvious. Should I have a list that ran more monsters, such as three Tervigons and Two Trygons or something similar I would give no hesitations to running them specifically for this use alone.

Next we have the Defensive Grenades- a handy ability who's main benefit will probably go unnoticed, after all less attacks aren't the easiest benefit to tangibly see. It adds up though, the typical unit losing a third of its potential kills right off the bat, before any blows are even swung. Now I know Tyranids are an assault army and given such you'll be the one usually making the charge- after all, the Hormagaunts having an eighteen inch threat range is nothing to sneeze at, run some Genestealers or other fasty-nasties and you see what I mean, but it is important to note we are not the only assault army: Orks are faster due to their transports, Blood Angels have their Assault Marines and jump infantry, and don't even get me started on Dark Eldar Webway Portals and Raiders...

The point being we're not always going to get our way, and any chance to cancel out some potential deaths, especially in an army like mine, not making use  of Tervigons, every little bit helps. Last thing to mention about Defensive Grenades is a seldom used rule: Against vehicles they can be used to make one S:4+1d6 attack, meaning those Hormagaunts that I didn't feel like giving Adrenal Glands can now surround and Glance a vehicle to death, thus dooming the inhabitants to Sudden Emergency Disembark Death.

Last, and most importantly of all their unique abilities is the fact that charging them or any unit within six inches results in a Dangerous Terrain test, and I cannot personally say enough how much entertainment I have garnered from this one ability alone! Really I think it's the more of the psychological effect this has- No player wants to needlessly lose models and that's just what will happen should they charge. It's just not fair losing guys before the actual combat even begins. So the opponent is now left with a lose-lose decision: charge the Tyranid Swarm without gaining the benefit of charge attacks and running the risk of losing models before the actual combat even begins- and probably swing after them due to terrain/higher initiative, or sit back and just shoot/rapid fire against opponents who get at the worst a 5+ cover and will charge you on their turn with the full benefits of such.

Maybe I'm just a fan of forcing my opponent into no-win scenarios, the joy of them choosing their own destruction rather than being forced into it... But then again I've been called a bit sadistic in my play-style... And everything else for that matter... Getting off topic here, ahem...

The end result is I have been above-impressed with my Venomthropes and will continue to find a place for them in the much-coveted Elite Slot and eagerly await trying them against whatever threats my opponents, new and old, can throw at me... Even as the irony of painting an Angels Sanguine Flamestorm Baal Predator lingers over me and my Tyranid fun.

~Should we discuss more "Odd-Men Out" units? Was fun this week and I can't help but look into my Blood Angels and the Chaos Space Marine codex before it for potential candidates. What are some of your own strange/questionable units you enjoy using? 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Diceheads ROAD TRIP!

Getting ready for some Team-Tournament Action!

This weekend I'll be heading up to Diceheads in Tennessee for their team tournament. My usual partner, Boss Greennutz, will be unable to make it so no Ork action this time. Instead I'll be bringing along my friend George with his Eldar. Still debating on Tyranids or Angels Sanguine for the trip but I'll be testing out my new mini-camcorder for the whole thing! Video should be up Sunday to log the trip. Hooha!

Monday, October 11, 2010

WARMACHINE: Mr. Black's Top Cryx Warcasters

or "How I Learned to be the Dirtiest Player at the Store"

Mr. Black here, and you'll have to excuse me because my inner bastard tends to come forth when speaking about Cryx. Perhaps it's the play-style, maybe it's the dirty tactics you get to employ against your opponent, or maybe it's because half my chosen faction is a bunch of women who carry with them equal parts visual appeal and a thirst for cold-blooded murder... Yes, I have unique tastes.

(We're not adding a picture of that, I don't care what your "unique" tastes are- Photo Editor)

The point is almost more-so than any other faction, in any game, Cryx allows me to cater a play-style that I really love, and returning to the game has reminded me of such. Thus I have taken the time to reacquaint myself with each of my old favorites as well as the newcomers to the party. That being said, let's take a look at a few of my favorite Warcasters that Cryx has to offer. This will probably end up being a two-parter, so let's jump right in!

Oh, and on that note, this is all completely subjective and is my personal opinions, I do not recommend nor can I condone in any way, shape, or form anyone following my thoughts or opinions... Unless you're into the same kinda things I am, in which case stay the course...

War Witch Deneghra
"The evil twin is always the hot one."

 Deneghra in a way really embodies the Cryx mind-set, she is stealthy, trixy, and can utterly decimate the opponent's defenses if they are not careful (well, ok, even if they are careful. She doesn't take no for an answer!). Basically she plays like the quintessential spellcaster-type you can probably visualize in your head... Except less Hermione Granger and more Naughty-Goth-Librarian-Covered-in-Spikes...

(Can't show that either. Suggest PG-13 photos or I'm just going to start using bunnies and kittens. -Photo Editor)

Deneghra utilizes her arsenal of spells of de-buff the enemy first and foremost with the likes of Parasite and Crippling Grasp, which both reduce the target's stats (most notably ARM), thus making them an easy target for most anything else in your force to slaughter. Added to this she has a great arsenal of direct-damage and utility spells to boot, being able to take out formations with the template-attack Venom and deliver high-POW hits with Scourge (which to note also knock the target down, thus making them much easier to hit... Which is kind of a de-buff in it's own right). As far as her utility aspect she has Ghost Walk for terrain manipulation and (new to MKII) Influence, which takes temporary control over an enemy model- useful for turning those nasty solos against the enemy!

Her weaknesses however are that she's quite fragile should she get into melee and thus it's strongly advised to take advantage of the other great Cryx asset the Arc Node, which allows her to maintain her firm grasp of control from the rear, safe from danger though still allowing her to reach out and touch things (Crippling Touch of course).

When it comes to her Feat, The Withering, basically it's going to function like her go-to spell Crippling Touch, except on en masse- that's right, Deneghra isn't happy exhausting just one target, she can take on a whole board of them and still keep going. Combine all these elements together and during her Feat turn Deneghra can remove most any form of defense from any target she wants, stacking all her effects together and creating a massive -7 to ARM and -4 to all other stats, meaning if she wants something dead it's pretty much going to happen!

Final Review: A great starter-caster for new players as well as a dangerous vixen for the veterans. Deneghra embodies the fundamentals for Cryx as well as being a great spell-slinger in her own right. Plus few other casters could rock a mid-rift as well as her. Haley? Please!

Pirate Queen Skarre
"My what a Great Rack you have..."

While Denehra likes taking the "lead from behind" approach Skarre prefers the up-close-and-personal style, dominating from the front with all the bloodshed and spender of a Satyxis unbound. Basically while with Deneghra you'd probably take a few Arc Nodes and let her do most of the work Skarre takes a different approach, instead forgoing rampant use of Arc Nodes for the ability to buff units around her and lead them to greater effect- that's right, this lovely lady has had tons of experience and will gladly show you the ropes. Of course I am speaking of arguably her best ability, Dark Guidance, which allows all friendly faction models near her to roll an additional die when attacking, almost guaranteeing that you're going to hit your target- this ability alone makes her phenomenal and already worth taking. Basically your troops will hit easier and your Warjacks won't need to waste those Focus Points on the attack, instead saving them for sheer, raw damage. 
Now, as I said, Dark Guidance is arguably her best spell, I say arguably because she also has Ritual Sacrifice, which for the mere cost of a nearby troop model (Mechanithall and Necrosurgeon anyone?) will give her an additional +D6 focus next turn, add in the fact that it will usually be a Skarlock casting this spell for free and you understand why this maneuver is called the Focus Factory. So, not only does she have spells that save you from wasting resources but she will also have plenty to spend on Warjacks. On that note, Skarre likes 'em big. It's personal choice on which to take, but with her I've always loved the Reaper, mainly due to her synergy with it's Sustained Attack. Skarre already helps him drive the big spike home with Dark Guidance and with the extra focus saved (as well as allocated due to Ritual Sacrifice) the Reaper gains the ability to dig in and keep going, and few things are going to survive that may P+S: 16 thrashings, as illustrated here:    

 (I warned you- Photo Editor)

Now, let's talk briefly about three other things that make Skarre my absolute favorite Warcaster in the game. First, her Feat; not much to say other than it turns everything in your army into a powerhouse for a turn, it seems Skarre can cause even the most homicidal tendencies in her troops with something as simple as a little bloodletting- but then again who amongst us can say otherwise? Basically, unless things are dire, you'll be granting the army a +5 S +5 ARM bonus this round, which means they hit harder and can take more punishment- exactly the kind of ability I'd expect from someone who was lead by the Pirate Queen herself; it takes a strong force of will to dominate someone to that degree!

Next is her Great Rack. Which I can safely say is the Greatest Rack in the entire Cryxian fleet and probably in all the land. Sure, the normal Satyxis have decent Racks, but can theirs knock down something the size of a Juggernaut? Yeah, didn't think so. With the merest effort the Pirate Queen can unleash the full-boasting furry of her Great Rack, setting up virtually any opponent for an easy kill. As I've said before, Knocked Down opponents are easy prey in Warmachine and giving her an attack that causes just that is completely befitting a woman who likes being on top!

Last thing to mention is the key to her old Skarre Bomb strategy: Sacrificial Strike. Toned down from it's MKI version due to balance issues the old favorite stills packs quite the punch- able to hit anything within her LoS with a decent POW (boostable) auto-hit, all at the mere cost of one troop. Combine this with his ARM models such as Bane Thralls and you have a threat that, while a bit pricey, will deal some serious hurt. Personally, I always run a unit of Bane Thralls and Tartarus with her, as an easy way to re-coup loses... Or just spam Mechanithralls with her and let the Necrosurgeon fix things up after Skarre gets all riled up.

Final Review: Who can resist suck a lovely lady and her Great Rack? What? Oh, I never did notice she had horns before... Heh heh, guess that makes her Horny eh? 

Iron Lich Asphyxious

Now the last impression I want the readers to get is that I only care about the lovely ladies of Cryx! Oh no no! Quite the opposite really, I will praise the merits of all of our casters, whether they be male, female, or... other... That being said, let's now look at the Iron Lich himself, Asphyxious.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Damn, look at that guy. Seven feet tall, covered in bling, has a gigantic rod. He must be one bad melee motha- Shut your mouth!" And you would be partially correct. Asphyxious is no slouch in melee, get close to him and he'll be more than willing to show you how well he can use his big rod Soul Splitter, which I assure you will live up to it's namesake as it has Sustained Attack, so once he starts he won't be stopping anytime soon- probably sometime after your dead- as if that means anything to a necromancer. The truth is, while he is a potent melee threat, he excels best using the same tactics as his cohort Deneghra, that is to say he loves leading from the real and making use of Arc Nodes.

Unlike Deneghra though, Asphyxious has a mixed bag of tricks, he is not limited to one focal strategy of de-buffing. He does retain Parasite, this is true, but instead of something like Crippling Touch, which lowers opponent's defenses, he makes use of Scything Touch, which boosts your friendly units MAT and STR, also granting them Critical Corrosion, but let's be honest, Critical Corrosion is really an afterthought in the matter. Basically in the comparison between Asphyxious and Deneghra consider it something of a Good Touch, Bad Touch scenario. Asphyxious can boost your own troops, Deneghra cripples the opponent's.

(No.Just No. Replacing that picture. -Photo Editor)

Also in his arsenal of spells we have two great offensive spells in Hellfire, and great POW 14 hit, and Breath of Corruption, which is a small AoE and basically forces the opponent to move his unit or die in the following phase- a great tactical spell if used for the occasion. Lastly he also has Teleport, which means he can charge right up there into melee then bounce back to (relative) safety. Again I will note though that while he is effective in melee he prefers being in the back, so don't get twitchy and dive forward, thinking your seven-foot-tall-bling-monster will just wreck everything or you'll soon find out how easy such things die.

Lastly let's talk about Asphyxious' feat, Consuming Blight, this is where he just lets it all hang out and proceeds to wreck things. This is the exception to the rule- Should your opponent's caster have foolishly wandered close then charge Asphyxious right up into them and Soul Splitter the heck out of them. Once you have that rod firmly implanted then Sustain Attack until your spent then pop your feat- BAM 'nother Seven Focus, ready for more. They think Asphyxious can't keep up with these youngsters just because he's a few thousand years old? He'll be glade to show them how that's the last mistake they'll ever make! Opponent not close enough? No worries, just hit them with a few boosted and Arc Noded Hellfires and, should you believe them low enough, pop that Feat and hit them some more! Definitely one of the less subtle feats in the game your opponent will probably know when you're going to use it just as soon as you do, but oh well, nothing they can do about it until Asphyxious has taken care of business.

Final Thoughts: A nice upgrade from the starter-box Deneghra. Has a similar play-style but offers enough variety to help a fledgling player make the change from the raw spellcaster feel of Deneghra to some of the more trixy Cryx casters such as Skarre or Lich Lord Venthrax.

Master Necrotech Mortenebra
"You have to respect a lady who knows how to work her tools."

(Ok I honestly don't know what  that was a picture of, other than I think it was Japanese. I've replaced it with this kitten, who's face matches my own upon seeing it... No more pictures, I'm done. -Photo Editor)

Mortenebra is a relative newcomer to the party, but what she lacks in experience she makes up for in raw talent for the job. A necrotech like no other she has gone so far as to craft her own body to be the ultimate tool for any occasion, much as the figure above has. Basically, she is the missing link in our first four casters. We have the sultry librarian-sorcerer Deneghra, the dominating troops-en masse Skarre, and the mixture of the two, Asphyxious, except without being female... or really male anymore... So now we have our Warjack-focused 'caster Mortenebra, who forgoes the fancy magics, the inspirational Great Racks and just focuses merely on making her machines and playthings run at optimal efficiency- love to see someone taking pride in their work.

At the initial look we see she has three great spells for turbo-charging her playthings: Terminal Velicity, Jump Start, and Overrun. Each of these spells basically causes your warjacks to be better, faster, stronger, so don't hesitate to pump her list full of Helljacks. This is also one of the cases where I'd make strong use of her Tier Lists, which lower the overall cost of your jacks, bringing the Slayer down to a steal at a mere five points! As you can see, Mortenebra loves the big muscles and can handle upwards of five/six before getting spread too thin. it's worth noting though that, like anything, Mortenebra thrives off of variety, so while it may be tempting to slam as many Slayers into a list as you can it's best to spread the fun around! Don't neglect the aforementioned Reaper, who's pull and stab motions have already been covered, the Harrower, for all your meat-blending needs, or even the big daddy the Deathjack, who can cast some of her better spells all by himself! Mortenebra may seem like a niche' chick, but she needs variety!

Speaking of man-servants, Mortenebra has her very own Skarlock Thrall by the name of Deryliss, meaning that by just including her in the list your already going to be saving points since she has a build-in sidekick. Ask any Cryx player worth his merit and they'll tell you one of the most widely used models is the Skarlock! He has his own little unique tricks, but honestly they're situational at best, and while I hate using that term in a game build off of situations there are better things to discuss about the lovely lady...err...spider... Spider-Lady.

  (I quit. -Photo Editor)

The last thing I'll mention about Mortenebra is her fantastic ability to Interface with her 'jacks. Yep, just by being in base-to-base with them they can freely use her focus as their own, meaning that something like a Reaper can harpoon in an unsuspecting Warcaster and kill-them-dead. It's a handy little ability, the best? No. But when it's successfully used the effects will be absolutely devastating. That's pretty much my feelings on Mortenebra, and I know it probably didn't do her justice. She's a fantastic warcaster and I love the feel of her... Oh yes, cold, hard steel... She's great for a newcomer to use and her Tier List is a great asset to the seasoned player who wants something a bit more straightforward and brutal compared to some of the more common Cryx Tryx!

Final Thoughts: I like Mortenebra a lot, the ability to run so many warjacks and have them be effective is great fun! Again, I believe she's one of the best choices for a newcomer, but if your like me and like the idea of having Warmachines in your game of Warmachine then perhaps her long, cold, steel appendages are meant for you as well!

~And thus we have concluded Part I in Mr. Black's list of favorite Cryx warcasters. Next week we'll be looking at some other favorites, but I won't spoil the surprise for you! See you next time readers, and in the mean time I'll be looking for a more open-minded Photo Editor! -Mr. Black  

Monday, October 4, 2010

RTGamer's Casterlock- Breast Cancer Awareness Project

Please read here about the start of a rather ambitious, but worthy, goal by a Warmachine/Hordes player.

This just came up on the Privateer Press forums, a user by the name of RTGamer has started a rather ambitious project in an attempt to garner charitable contributions and awareness for Breast and other forms of Cancer. RTGamer has stated that he is footing the bill for each caster out of pocket, but I simply couldn't let that happen without giving some assistance, thus I went a head and donated some of my Cryxian casters to aid him in his goal, and having spoken with him on the matter I do believe this is a project worth backing.

That being said here is his initial post on the subject, I'll be speaking with him more in the next bit of time to see what he needs and how to best get things rolling, but I'm sure the idea of donations in the form of warcasters/warlocks/painting supplies would be appreciated, but that's a matter yet to be discussed!

So for now, if you would, please take a read about this worthy cause:


By: RTGamer

What is CasterLock?

CasterLock is my challenge to paint all Warmachine Casters and Hordes Warlocks that exist for their games. I have even included the Lesser Warlocks because they need love too.

Why CasterLock and not just picking a faction and playing?

Well I could have done this but there are no real gaming groups in my town or stores so I wanted to do something different. Oh did I mention that I will be painting them all with pink in their colour schemes?

PINK?! Why?

This project is starting in October which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I wanted to do something that will last all year (if not more) to remind people that Cancer is serious and that you must do everything to catch it early with regular check ups and your own testing for any lumps or bumps!

I was also inspired by "Project : Paint Pint" which is all about painting pink to raise awareness it can be found here *CLICK*

So how will it work?

What I intend to do is paint all 105 Warcasters, Warlocks and Lesser Warlocks over the next year or so and post my pictures here. I will then creat a display board for each faction and sell them off for charity. Hopefully I won't run out of cash before then or pink paint!

Each warcaster will have their normal and Epic versions painted and I will choose the best model if a model has had a resculpt.

To the List...

The list will be updated as i buy the models, Build them, Prime them, Paint them and then Base them.

The legend for this will be:

Need to Buy = BLACK
Bought = DARK RED
Built = RED
Primed = ORANGE
Painted = GREEN
Finished = PINK



Iron Lich Asphyxious
Lich Lord Asphyxious
War Witch Deneghra
Wraith Witch Deneghra
Goreshade the Bastard
Goreshade the Cursed
Master Necrotech Mortenebra & Deryliss
Skarre, the Pirate Queen
Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast
Lich Lord Terminus
Lich Lord Venethrax
The Witch Coven Garlghast


Lieutenant Allistair Caine
Captain Allistair Caine
Commander Coleman Stryker
Lord Commander Stryker
Captain Victoria Haley
Major Victoria Haley
Commander Adept Sebastian Nemo
General Adept Sebastian Nemo
Major Markus “siege” Brisbane
Captain E. Dominic Darrius
Captain Jeremiah Kraye
Captain Kara Sloan


Butcher of Khardov
Kommander Orsus Zoktavir
Kommander Sorsha Kratikoff
Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff
Vladimir Tzepesci, Dark Champion
Kommandant Irusk
Supreme Kommandant Irusk
Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova
Kharchev the Terrible
Zevanna Agha, Old With of Khador & Scrapjack
Kommander Oleg Strakhov

Protectorate of Menoth

High Exemplar Kreoss
Grand Exemplar Kreoss
High Reclaimer
Testament of Menoth
Grand Scrutator Severius
Hierarch Serverius
Feora Priestess of the Flame
Feora, Protector of the Flame
High Allegiant Amon Ad’Raza
Harbinger of Menoth
High Executioner Servath Reznik
Vice Scrutator Vindictus

Retribution of Scyrah

Adeptis Rahn
Dawnlord Vyros
Garryth, Blade of Retribution
Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper
Ravyn, Eternal Light


Captain Bartolo Montador
Durgen Madhammer
Gorten Grundback
Fiona the Black
Magnus the Traitor
Magnus the Warlord
Drake MacBain
Ashlynn D’Elyse
Captain Phinneus Shae


Circle Oboros

Baldur the Stone Cleaver
Casius the Oathkeeper & Wurmwood, Tree of Fate
Kaya the Wildborne
Kaya the Moonhunter & Lanis
Kromac the Ravenous
Krueger the Stormwrath
Krueger the Stormlord
Mohsar the Desertwalker
Morvahna the Autumnblade

Legion of Everblight

Absylonia, Terror of Everblight
Bethayne, Voice of Everblight & Belphagor
Lylyth, Herald of Everblight
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
Rhyas, Sigil of Everblight
Saeryn, Omen of Everblight
Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight
Thagrosh, Messiah of Everblight
Vayl, Disciple of Everblight


Borka Kegslayer & Pyg Keg Carrier
Calandra Truthsayer, Oracle of the Glimmerwood
Chief Madrak Ironhide
Madrak Ironhide, World Ender
Grim Angus
Grissel Bloodsong
Captain Gunnbjorn
Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls
Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia


Archdomina Makeda
Supreme Archdomina Makeda
Dominar Rasheth
Lord Tyrant Hexeris
Master Tormentor Morghoul
Lord Assassin Morghoul
Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Korvaas
Tyrant Xerxis
Void Seer Mordikaar


Bloody Barnabas
Calaban the Gravewalker
Dr Arkadius
Lord Carver, BMMD, Esq. III

Lesser Warlocks

Brun Cragback & Lug
Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath
Rorsh & Brine
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Warmachine: Back to the Darkside

Have you heard about the new miniature craze all the youngsters are playing called Warmachine?

Let me start by saying I love Privateer Press, and I could write an entire article just talking about how I love them as a company, but I'm sure I would come off as some raving fan-boy in the end, despite the fact I have not played their game in years. That being said, time to have a flashback to my first encounter with the game...

I remember way back in the dark times of 2003 when the company first came to light- and I remember how I laughed at the name Warmachine, calling it a Warhammer clone that would die off soon enough... As I said, they were dark times, people just weren't as smart back then as they are now, myself non-withstanding.

I remember picking up the rulebook and giving it the twice-over, seeing if the rules backed up the cool looking miniatures that taunted me every time I walked past, and much to my surprise the rules-set seemed really solid. Given that I picked up the Cryx starter, promptly lost the tiny Deneghra head on the floor only to have a random child find it after some fifteen minutes of looking, and complained about how flimsy the joint holding the Deathripper's leg was. All those concerns faded though after my initial games and as more and more waves of cool miniatures began to be released over the coming months- and yes, I still hated the flimsy joints on the bonejacks.

Point being, in the end I had close to every Cryx miniature released up until Superiority, when the game unfortunately took a downward slope, soon after I stopped playing, the legions of the Nightmare Isle being assigned closet guarding duties. Now here we are in 2010, MKII Warmachine and Hordes have been released, all the faction books (for Warmachine) are now out, and we even have new-fangled plastic warjacks.

Plastics! Introducing you to the World of Tomorrow! Today!

Now, just to note, I've kept up with all the Warmachine action since the beta of MKII was announced, so I'm not just stumbling back into this blind. As I said, I love Privateer Press, if we where in high-school I'd be putting little I-Heart-U notes in it's locker everyday until it got boarder-line creepy. I've watched the evolution of the company and it's games over the last few months and have been super excited. So why haven't I, you know, actually played the game in all that time? Well, you see being a writer for Bell of Lost Souls, and by extension a puppet to the maleficent entity known as Bigred, I'm required to (The secret must not be revealed!- Bigred). So now that you know not only why I've been neglecting such a great game, but also the horrible secret of BoLS, we can move onto actually looking at some starter lists and basic tactics, at least those of you who's heart did not suddenly stop at the sheer scale of the terror I have revealed to you.

For those of you who don't know, I have what is clinically referred to as Skarreomania, which would be an unhealthy-obsessions with Skarre, the buxom pirate-queen of the Satyxis Raiders and one of the High Commands of the Cryxian navy. That being said, initially I was going to crawl right back to her and hope she wasn't to mad at me for keeping her locked in the miniatures box for this time. After some thinking though, while she is a fantastic Warcaster, her curve is a bit higher than what I'd want to use just starting out- not that she's overly complicated or anything, just there are simpler options to look at for someone who hasn't even played a dozen games of MKII... It totally has nothing to do with the fact I think she feeds off of spite and anger and would be impossible to control should I release her...

Anger and spite never looked so appealing...

Anyway, for the purposes here we'll be looking at another lovely lady of the Nightmare Isle: Warwitch Deneghra,  who hopefully doesn't hold too much of a personal grudge against me. Looking at her from an MKI to MKII angle not much has really changed, she is still the powerhouse hexer she used to be, capable of crippling the opponent's forces just like old times. Back in the day you ran her with five+ Bonejacks, basically swarming the enemy with them until you found that chink in the armor and finished them off and really since then not much has changed, she still embodies that tactic as well as ever.

So first thing first I researched the caster as mentioned above, got a feel for her play-style before moving on, taking careful note of her spells and which ones I thought would be the most utilized of the lot. Now, all her spells are great, they really are, she is what I would think of when I think of "sorceress", but of the available ones Withering and Parasite will probably see more play- again with the hexing and weakening theme.

Next I took a look at her Tier Lists, a new-fangled contraption in MKII which utilizes a restriction/reward system in list building. Taking a look at her templates I immediately notice her Tier 3 list, which gives her a free Bonejack... Hell, free bonejack, that's another five points, or another 8% to my army! Legal cheating is so much better than plain cheating!

Alright, so I've decided that I wish to go with the Tier 3 Deneghra list, as the Tier four simply didn't seem feasible in 35 pts, not did the rewards for utilizing it seem worth it. That being said, the first thing I'll look at is Warjack options:

Bonejacks: Deathripper, Nightwretch, Ripjaw, Defiler, Stalker, Helldiver
Helljacks: Slayer, Reaper, Nightmare, Corruptor, Leviathan, Harrower 

Ok, well of the lot of Bonejacks I like Deathripper due to cost, Ripjaw due to melee power, and Defiler due to acid template... I feel slightly bad all my Defilers in MKI were used as Scrap Tokens...Oh well, an excuse to buy the new starter!

So, looking at the list I need at least four Bonejacks to net myself a freebie. Since there isn't a point restriction on the free one best to save the slot for an expensive one vs. spending the points on my actual list (I would like to think most people thought of that already...). Well, I have a starter, so let's work with what we have in there:

-Deathripper x2, Defiler x1

Right there we have already spent 13 pts of our available 40 (35+5 warjack), yet we still need to add at least one more warjack to attain our free one. Coincidentally Ripjaws come in packs of two and I just happen to love Armor Piercing and Deneghra loves Arc Nodes, so we'll add in one and claim the other as our freebie Bonejack. I will note here that other options are fine as well, I personally love the Stalker bonejack and believe it has great synergizes with Deneghra's abilities, but in the end I believe more Arc Nodes and the AP of the Ripjaw are a better addition to the army... And being a fancy new plastic model has nothing to do with it, at all.

-Deathripper x2, Ripjaw x2, Defiler x1- 18 pts. (Including one free Ripjaw!)

In those 'jacks we've set up a nice start with something that can hurt infantry (Defiler), deal with solos and other mild annoyances (Deathrippers) and something to deal with heavy ARM models (Ripjaws). All in all a nice well-rounded base to build from. Next we look at the Tier 2 qualifications, as we need them to make this list legal! I know some prefer working up from the starting Tier, but I find it's easier for me to start at the Tier I want then work downwards, filling in any requirements as I go. Again, personal choice, but that's what this entire thing is!

Ok, so now we need four solos to fulfill our Tier 2 requirements, easy though as Cryx has access to some great ones! The first is a no-brainer, Deneghra needs a Skarlock Thrall. Some 80% of the Cryx casters are instantly made 76% better with the addition of a Skarlock Thrall, and the frustration of the opponent will rise 24% should you make good use of it, thus granting you a 41.3% higher chance of winning the game. (Those "statistics" seem really made up.Where are your sources? See me. -Editor)

Taking a look at the other Solos available I'm a big fan of Pistol Wraiths and the new Warwitch Sirens, but I also notice that the Necrotech grands me 1/2 of the Tier condition all by itself, as in paying the points for it actually grands me a Scape Thrall solo as well. So if I were to take two Warwitch Sirens and one Necrotech I'd actually fulfill the condition needed. I can't resist that so we'll go with that set-up for now.

-Deathripper x2, Ripjaw x2, Defiler x1- 18 pts.
-Warwitch Siren x1, Necrotech w/ Scrape, Skarlock Thrall- 5 pts.

23/40 used.

The Warwitche will be a nice addition as it gives me two vital things: more focus to throw around on the jacks, thus giving Deneghra more to cast her spells with, and more anti-infantry power in the way of Venom. It's win-win. The Necrotech, while originally included as a cost saving method, does have his uses as we're running a lot of 'jacks here, and being able to repair/Scrape Thrall them means even should the bonejacks be slain they are still of use, and it's hard to turn down that kind of utility.

So we have our basics down and still some 17 points left to manage. Whatever shall we do with them?!

Well, for starters we're a tiny army, we need some bulk! Looking at our available units, Bile Thralls and Mechanithralls, we see both offer some great utility to the overall army, Biles being great anti-troop and Mechanithralls offering a large bang-for-the-buck. Taking into account the rest of our list though we have a decent amount of anti-troop in the Defiler, Warwitch Sirens, and Deneghra herself, and point-for-point the Bile Thralls are expensive compared to the super-cheap Mechanithralls. Adding into the equation Deneghra's ability to lower opponent's DEF/ARM and the Mechanithralls duel-purpose P+S 12 or 15 attacks and the choice is rather clear for me. Also, since I may or may not have cheated a bit and though a head, I'm going to add a second small unit of Mechanithralls... Small unit for future points purposes... Yes, I can see into the future, or perhaps I'm merely planning a head.

-Deathripper x2, Ripjaw x2, Defiler x1- 18 pts.
-Warwitch Siren x1, Necrotech w/ Scrape, Skarlock Thrall- 5 pts.
-Mechanithrall Unit (Max), Mechanithrall Unit (Min)- 8 pts.


Now we're getting down to crunch time, only nine points left and still a lot of options available. For me, I believe I want a Helljack in the army. There are a few reasons for this, one being that they're just plain cool, two being they add a bit of a hard-hitting punch to the army, and three because it puts me a step closer to the Tier 4 list should I want to expand to 50 pts. in the future.

Looking at our options the Slayer would be a natural choice as he comes in the starter... But for a mere point more we get the Reaper, and frankly the Reaper is a 'jack I've wanted to use since MKI, where he unfortunately was... well, let's face it, not worth the points. But now that he can reel in the big 'uns I can't wait to play this guy! The only issue in putting in another 'jack is we're spreading Deneghra a bit thin now- she only has so much Focus to go around and most of it she want's to keep to herself. Sure, you can just run the Bonejacks around plain, only dumping Focus on them when needed, but even then she will still be at less-than-optimal levels! How can we best fix this? Well another Warwitch Siren wouldn't hurt! We'll add her for the same reasons we added the initial one, another focus to spend as well as some more anti-troop power! With those two additions we bring the final list to the following:

Warwitch Deneghra
-Deathripper x2, Ripjaw x2, Defiler x1, Reaper x1- 25 pts.
-Warwitch Siren x2, Necrotech w/ Scrape, Skarlock Thrall- 7 pts.
-Mechanithrall Unit (Max), Mechanithrall Unit (Min)- 8 pts.


Here we are, a full track of my list-building thoughts beginning to end, even if they are a bit scrambled! We have created a list that has a huge amount of Arc Node threats coming at you from every angle, some sneaky Warwitches roaming around to decimate your ranks, and the legions of Mechanithralls moving forth to smash whatever lies in front of them. To top the whole thing off we still have the dirty tricks and tactics that make Cryx so much fun to play and such a pain to play against! Again this is just a simple list, nothing flashy, nothing overly ornate, just Deneghra and her cronies doing what they do best!

~I can already feel the Cryxian mindset settling back into me! Few things get the gears turning and the blood flowing like some strategic list building, so what do you say next we look into the mindset of playing Cryx? Let's take a look into the mindset of what makes Cryx the dirtiest, sneakiest faction around, and just how fun that can all be... Heh heh, see you next week! -Mr. Black

Have you heard about the new miniature craze all the youngsters are playing called Warmachine?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WFB Tactics: Rise of the Skaven, Themed 2500 pts.

We've been leading up to it, and today, from Eshin to Pestilen, we're taking a look at Skaven at the 2500 pt. level!

Alright, so Island of Blood has been out a week or so and people now have a growing horde of Skaven to amass upon the battlefield! But where to start? What are some of the fundamentals? And just how many rats am I going to have to paint to reach 2500? Well that's what we're here today to talk about, so let's dive right in:

Skaven Overview
Skaven are a horde army, if you didn't know this coming in then I weep for you. On average you'll be fielding 200-300 models and should outnumber most any other army you will ever come across- it is in this basic fact where the strength of the army lies. You will always have another unit to throw at something, and as long as you're killing the enemies forces then things are going well- after all, they have a finite number of threats to you while you, on the other hand, being the grand Skaven force have wave after wave of cheap, disposable infantry to throw into the grinder! No threat should be too large were fifty or so rats all charging forth should fail at killing it. Combine this factor with expert war-machines and weapon crews that can reek untold devastation upon the battlefield and you can see clear as day that if you have a properly built Skaven army then no other force should be able to come close to beating you in any way, shape, or form. Ever.

... ... The above would most certainly be true if our army wasn't composed of ramshackle leftovers that barely work at their best and are pressurized crock-pots full of the Old-World equivalent of Moonshine at worst, as well as our individual troops being prone to panic, fear, sudden fainting, and sudden cases of spontaneous, explosive death.

One thing you must grasp when playing Skaven- things will go wrong, and it will probably do so at the most inopportune time, and yes, this may end up costing you games- even if you planned everything perfectly. It's just the nature of Skaven, and if you can't handle that fact then perhaps the High Elves with their perfect poofy-hats are more to your liking. But, if you can handle this fact, even endear yourself to it, hell, maybe even plan for it then you'll find Skaven a flavorful and fun army to field. Just don't go getting your hopes up, it's then especially that you'll be reminded most of your engineer's incompetence. 

Ok, so let's get on to some army lists shall we?

Clan Skryre

For Clan Skryre you have to embody the element of crazy-as-hell war-machines and weapons crews, so we're going to jam as many in the list as we can. Another nice thing I'm going to take advantage of here is Skavenslaves- after all, we need test subjects for our new weapons, and what better thing to do then send a horde of slaves to tie up enemy units in combat and then fire wave after wave of projectiles at it?

Grey Seer on Screaming Bell (Power Scroll, Skalm)- 505 pts.

Warlock Engineer (Lv. 2 Wizard, Warp-Energy Condenser, Doomrocket)- 150 pts.
Chieftain (BSB- Standard of Discipline)- 85 pts.

Clanrats (x30, Shields, Rattling-Gun Weapon Team)- 190 pts
Clanrats (x25, Shields, Musician, Standard, Rattling-Gun Weapon Team)- 180 pts.
Clanrats (x25, Shields, Musician, Standard, Warpfire Thrower Weapon Team)- 195 pts. 
Clanrats (x25, Shields, Musician, Standard, Warpfire Thrower Weapon Team)- 195 pts. 
Skavenslaves (x50, Musician, Spears)- 127 pts.
Skavenslaves (x50, Musician, Spears)- 127 pts.
Skavenslaves (x25, Musician, Spears)- 65 pts.
Skavenslaves (x25, Spears)- 63 pts.

Warplock Jezzails x5- 100 pts.
Poisoned Wind Globadiers (x7, Bombadier, Death Globe) 100 pts.
Poisoned Wind Globadiers (x6, Poison Wind Mortar Weapon Team) 125 pts.

Doomwheel- 150 pts.
Warp-Lightning Cannon- 90 pts. 
Warp-Lightning Cannon- 90 pts. 


The above list mixes a heavy assortment of shooting with almost all the spells from the Skaven Lore of Ruin. The Warlock Engineer will of course get Warp Lightning while the Grey Seer handles the rest, including The Dreaded Thirteenth Spell, common combo of Power Scroll to assist in getting it off and Skalm to treat any issues from the resulting Miscast or lucky shots at him. Initially I also wanted to give him the Shadow Magnet Trinket to give those shooting at his unit (the large Clanrat unit, bell, and Chiefain to give the Seer Ld: 8) a -2, but it had to be cut for points.

Aside from the above we have a large wall of Skavenslaves moving a head of the central army. Basically place the two larger units in front of the main forces and the smaller ones to the flanks. One thing to also make vivid use of are the Musicians, allowing you to reform the massive fifty-man units into 5x10 or 10x5, as the situation warrants.  Usually I would start them 5x10 as not to block any needed movement from the rest of the army and then, when near combat (or even after round one) switch to the 10x5 formation. Either way it gives you a certain tactical viability in it... Even if you're just going to be using the units to tie the enemy up as long as possible as you fire wave after wave of Skryre war-machines into the amassed combat. 

Clan Pestilen 

Lord Skrolk- 470 pts.

Plague Priest on Plague Furnace (Extra Hand Weapon)- 252 pts. 
Plague Priest on Plague Furnace (Extra Hand Weapon)- 252 pts. 
Chieftain (BSB, Sword of Might, Warpstone Armor)- 120 pts.

Plague Monks (x30, No Upgrades)- 210 pts.
Plague Monks (x30, No Upgrades)- 210 pts.
Plague Monks (x25, Musician, Standard)- 190 pts. 
Plague Monks (x24, Full Command, Storm Banner)- 243 pts. 
Skavenslaves (x25, Spears)- 65 pts.
Skavenslaves (x25, Spears)- 65 pts.

Plague Censer Bearer (x7)- 112 pts.
Plague Censer Bearer (x7)- 112 pts.

Plague Catapult- 100 pts. 
Plague Catapult- 100 pts. 


So we're now gone the opposite approach from the Clan Skryre list, now we have a melee heavy army with very little in the way of shooting! In addition, we also know all the Skaven Spells of Plague between Lord Skrolt and the two Plague Priests, as well as having two large and unbreakable units with some severe melee power. Overall the above plan is pretty simple, stick Skrold in the 24 man unit, the BSB someplace safe and begin the march forward, throwing down the Storm Banner around your opponent's second shooting phase to minimize casualties as you march forth. Hopefully you've ravaged their line with your spells by now (hitting the trouble units especially with spells such as Wither, my personal favorite Plague spell) and your Monks should be able to trample through by sheer volume of attacks.

-On a side note, even if you, for whatever reason, do not care for the above list, I must say- I love Plague Priests. The state-line, the options, they are truly a fantastic buy for their points and even if you don't wish to go Pestilen heavy or don't adhere to a clan at all they are a fantastic choice to look at! I can't recommend them enough, and that's coming from a Skryre devotee.

Clan Moulder

This one was a bit tricky, as Moulder has very few actual units in the book, despite being one of the wealthiest clans. Despite that, I've still coupled together this list which swarms your opponents in Rat Ogres and uses Skavenslaves to bulk out it's numbers... And it uses two Hellpit Abominations. Yes, yes, I know some people will cry  "Cheese!" on this one (heh heh...) but really I have two things to say about that: one, it fits the theme of a list that, honestly I think can be scary, but is limiting itself severely to keep a theme going, and two... Man up and just play the game.  

Warlord (War-Litter Warlock-Augmented Weapon Enchanted Shield Talisman of Protection) 225 pts. 
Throt the Unclean

Rat Ogres (x6)- 248 pts.  
Rat Ogres (x6)- 248 pts.  
Skavenslaves (Musician, Spears)- 65 pts.
Skavenslaves (Musician, Spears)- 65 pts.
Skavenslaves (Spears)- 63 pts.
Skavenslaves (Spears)- 63 pts.
Rat Swarm (x3)- 75 pts
Rat Swarm (x2)- 50 pts.

Rat Ogres (x6)- 248 pts
Rat Ogres (x6)- 248 pts.
Rat Ogres (x6)- 248 pts.  

Hellpit Abomination- 235 pts. 
Hellpit Abomination- 235 pts. 


This is another one of those lists that may do well or do horribly. To be honest the closest to something like this I've ran would be a Troll themed Warriors of Chaos army, and at least they had Regeneration. Simple concept, stick the Warlord in the five man Rat Ogre unit and run across the table, using the Skavenslaves and Rat Swarms to tie the enemy while more Rat Ogres arrive to smash things up. From a tactical standpoint the army has a lot going against it, on the other hand it's a huge mob of Rat Ogres charging across the table, and that sounds like fun from any standpoint... Well, unless you're on the receiving end I suppose... But really, we're playing Skaven, how much should we care about the Man-Things and the Elf-Things?

*I will note that I do feel some small, three man unit of Rat Ogres would have been beneficial, but we had to work within the restrictions to Special Choices and, despite that Throt allowed two units to be Core Selections, in the end I simply ran out of room and decided that more Rat Ogres would be better in the end. The Skavenslaves are there to make up for the lack of bulk in the army due to the predominance of the smaller six-man units but should serve their purpose accordingly.

~And there you have it readers, several theme lists for Skaven at the 2500 point level representing all major clans! Hope you enjoyed this week's- What? Eshin? What about them...? Aw hell... 


...Ahem. As some of you may have noticed, Clan Eshin has not made an appearance with a themed list of their own. The reasoning behind this is simple- while they have dedicated characters in the Assassins (hell, even a special character of their own), a core unit in the Night Runners, and a special in the extremely good Gutter Runners... That's really it, and while you can make a list composed of nothing but the above it won't be very good and you'll find it even more limiting than the Moulder themed list. Now, Eshin can be very powerful, and you can build some lists that adhere to their theme and units, but not in the manor of the above lists, so I can't in right mind include such a list in this article as I'd feel it's to much of a general list and that's not what we're about this week.

Basically, I'll handle Eshin the same way they handle themselves a lot in the fluff and stories, that is they seldom appear in full fighting force on their own. They are sell-swords, they ally themselves with the highest bidder and when the job is done they depart, and perhaps that's how they best used, not as an actual army, but as a highlight to an existing force.

~In the end your army is yours, whether you wish to maintain a Clan theme or make one up yourself the Skaven Army Book allows for all sorts of devious and fun tactics to bring to the table, so get out there and spread some woe in the name of the Horned Rat!