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?