Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Circle Orboros: The Theory

Greetings from Baltimore where it is... gasp... raining. Hey, it's ok, because the new forecast for the weekend includes "wintry mix." Not even freakin' Halloween yet...

"Here lies D-9... Maryland weather finally drove him so mad his brain asplode'"

Well with the tournament last weekend in the "done" column, I figure it's time to shift focus to a different one of my 4 Warmachine Factions.It's time for werewolves and angry hippies, it's time for heart eatin', forestwalkin', pathfindin', and all sorts of other fun things it's time for Circle Orboros.

Now, I've had my Circle army since early on in our dabblings with Warmahordes (dabblings... makes it sound like witchcraft on the after school specials... "those kids were never the same after they started dabblin' in that witchcraft....") but I am notoriously bad with them. I mean really, really, really bad. I think it's time to change that, so I'm declaring the Circle as my faction of choice for the Fall and early Winter. (plus when I play an army it makes me want to paint it... I'd really like to get some paint on some of these models.)

So in trying not to repeat the past, I'm trying to figure out what makes Circle "Work." Here's my preliminary findings.

1: They ignore rules: Of course they do, they're Whordez! But more than just the every day Hordes ignoring rules, Circle ignores rules about line of sight and movement. Many models have pathfinder and some have, or can be given, hunter. Being able to make warpwolves ghostly is another neat trick. This is the key in my plan. I need to maximize moving the army in and through places others can't/ aren't expecting me to be.

2: They're the manuever kings: This is nothing new to me. I played Ravenwing in 40k. When I first tried this faction though I had only ever played my Satyxis lists. Now after a solid year of playing Cygnar I understand just how fast a Circle list can be. Combined with the ability to ignore certain rules, this is the armies single greatest strength. We should not ever be stuck in an unfavorable match up. I'm working on plans to "swing deploy" the entire army. This was a favorite trick of mine with the Ravenwing. You set up in a very balanced spread across the entire deployment zone, then with advanced deployment/ advanced move or just through run moves the first turn, you shift your entire army to one flank and then turn the battle field. If your opponent set up to deal with all the threats you laid out initially, and is from a slow faction, you should be able to isolate and crash down on a large part of his army before the second can effectively react.

3: They are made to counter an opponent, not go for the throat: I tried to play the Circle very agressivly, and failed. Now it's time to take a much more relaxed approach. Annoy the oponent, shut down his casting with bestial, push him away with hurricane, flee behind the woods so he has to work to get at me... and then, snap the trap shut as the army moves apart. Easy to say, hard to do... but I think this is how the army will win.

MY LIST: 35 points
-Kromac the Ravenous
-Feral Warpwolf
-Pureblood Warpwolf
-6 Bloodtrackers
-3 Tharn Wolf Riders
-4 Ravagers

Everything has pathfinder or can be given ghostly. Most of the units are frighteningly fast and Kromac can aid the beasts' speed with his spells...

I plan on setting Kromac and the wolves up dead center with the riders off to one side. Everything else has advanced deployment and will allow me to "swing the flank" very early on. The ammount of damage this list can drop on infantry is incredible, but heavy warjacks and beasts will give this list a lof of trouble. We'll be relying on a warpwolf or beastly Kromac to handle anything big and scary. The feral is my assasination bullet with Kromac himself able to jump in and do the deed if the situation is correct.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tournament Results

After a week of prep Sunday was tournament day! 8 people showed up including three of us from the Carney Garage Warmachine League. The armies were Cygnar heavy with a Cryx army, 2 rets and minions rounding out the field. Overall everything was very well organized and laid out. The store is a great place to shop and play and if you live near Harford County, Maryland you should definitely check out Critical Hit Games.

GAME 1: eNemo vs. pCaine  WIN
My first game was against a very well played pCaine tier 4 list. Through some lucky repair rolls and Nemo's spells I was able to pop the pulse from t-head twice, frying a lot of gun mages. I eeked out a scenario win... barely. This was one of the most enjoyable games of Warmachine I've played in a long time.
GAME 2: eStryker vs. Barnabas LOSS

Meh. I lost to Hanan. I lose to Hanan in the garage all the time, why should a tournament be any different? I hate the gators. I know people complain about Legion being broken, but the damn gator list is just unfair. Barnabas pulled off a caster kill, but only because I was out there collecting victory points after I knew I was going to lose on scenario the next turn.

GAME 3: eStryker vs. pSkarre  WIN

Last game was a pSkarre/ eStryker show down. My feet turn worked very well allowing my storm guard and stormblades to roll a lot of thralls and satyxis. Skarre feated and sat on focus until her armor was 28. While her armor was 28, the path to her was clear. I over boosted, rolled an 11, rolled 7 for damage, then energized and charged smashing skarre down with my second hit. Caster kill win, turn three. The cryx player was another really nice guy. All and all, an enjoyable game.

So by my math, I came in third in the tournament. I'll warn you that my math sometimes ignores the laws of the universe so I may be off by 1 or 10 places. I had fun though and am looking forward to the next event.

Thinking of finishing off my Siege army and then taking a painting break from Cygnar (so.,.. much.... blue...) which might see the Circle coming off the shelf.

Be well!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tournament Packing List

Great night of D&D...errr... Pathfinder tonight. Lots of fun with the adventure path we're running, but tomorrow's day of nerding is all about Warmachine.

I condensed the models I'm using tomorrow into a small Sabol case to make it easier to move them around. I have the huge armored company bag for my Cygnar collection, and that puppy is just too big to take to the store. Besides my models, here's my packing list.

-cards in sleeves
-2 dry erase markers
- block of d6s
- template set
-tape measure
- rule book
-carrying tray

I try to go as light as possible. Check back tomorrow night for a complete run down of how the Carney boys did!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tournament Armies: Final Touches with 4 days to Go!

As predicted... it is raining in Baltimore. (Any other Counting Crows fans that get the reference? no? didn't think so...) I knocked out a 12 hour work day today so tonight's tourney update may be a bit abbreviated.

In getting ready for this weekend's shindig I wanted to take a look at my armies and see if there was anything they needed. I touched up a few paint chips here and there, but there was something else that I've been putting off for way too long.

Arc Markings.

Not to be confused with things measured in cubits or the autobots ship, arc marks are (for the non warmahordes crowd) simply two marks placed on a model's base to delineate front and rear arcs. They are also a fiddly little bit of painting that I have been ignoring up to now. So before Sunday I have to mark two entire 35 point armies...

I made a template to help things move a little faster.
And then started the process of putting base markings on the models. I went for a gradient of blue with a pattern to make them a little more unique. Here's the rough take:

It looks pretty good on all the models I've finished, and goes a long way towards tying the lists together. Tomorrow night should see all the infantry finally finished and then the armies will be ready to go. Here's a shot of everything I'm taking in both lists:
So that's it for tonight. I hope to give one last update pre-tournament and then check back Sunday night for all the various sundry details from a day of Warma-fun.

Oh... while I had the camera out, I took a few shots of some of the things both done and in progress on my painting table:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Warmachine Tourney Prep. 5 days out

Greetings from B-More where we had a beautiful day. After work I jumped on the bicycle and pulled a quick 27 miles of hills and soaked up some fall sunshine.

Tomorrow. It will rain. It's been like freaking Seattle here lately...

Anyways, you; my fellow nerds, care not for my weather commentary or how insane my bike ride was today, so let's talk little toy soldiers!

Tournament draws closer. 5 days out. My wife and I have tickets for Macbeth on Friday night and we're playing D&D on Saturday night, so that timeline is even more abbreviated!

So today's blog entry, eNemo. yesterday I blogged about the eStryker list I plan on using. I definitely think Stryks is the more powerful list (at least in my unskilled hands) but my second list is going to be eNemo. Take a look at yesterday's blog for what's in the list.

I don't know this list as well as the Stryker list, and that's got me worried. This list is my counter to a stealth incorporeal threat, as the Black 13th make an appearance along with the Storm Callers.

A pulsing thunderhead can help clear pesky infantry and the Stormguard are great for holding an objective or chunking medium toughness enemies. Stormcallers are fun, I don't usually go for the crazy triangulations of doom as eNemo's bonus for the 'callers makes them great at simply sniping enemy models. The infantry though is not very important.

This list is all about the 'jacks. Thunderhead is my distractor. He's a big point sink and people seem to respond to him proportionately. While everyone is focusing on the Head (who is much more survivable with Polarity Shield or Fail Safe), my Hammersmith is loaded up on focus, upkept with lightening shroud and moving faster than expected under energizer to bash up what ever target is most juicy. The charger hangs back with Nemo giving him a LOS block and taking pot shots when possible until feat turn when it is loaded with focus and hopefully dropping a light jack or beast or at least a solo.

This list will have trouble winning scenario based games, but can do ok as long as it doesn't have to spread out too much. I'll have to be heads up if my opponent brings any warjack shut down lists (Skarre with Satyxis or any Ret list bringing Mage Hunters) and just use eStryker if possible.

 tomorrow's entry: Getting the models ready for play.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Heading to a Warmachine Tourney! Six Days Out!

So yesterday I laid out my considerations when choosing two armies for a tournament situation. I've come to my conclusion for the tournament. eStryker and eNemo.

Now if you don't play these casters (or if you don't enjoy a sneaky glimpse into the vast primordial chaos that is my mind) you might want to go read some Necron rumors or something, because I'm gonna get a little specific here.
You have been warned.
Wait a minute... I haven't read Necron rumors yet today.... brb...

The C'tan are gone? Really? Dag... anyways... back to our regularly scheduled series of rambling thoughts and half formed ideas already in progress.

So the lists.
Ol' Rowdy
6x stormblades + UA+ 1 WA
6x stormblades + UA+ 1 WA
6x stormguard

3x storm callers
Black 13th
Arlan Strangeways
6x stormguard

 Under my own criteria, the first thing about the list is Do I Know the List? I have played the eStryker list more than any other list I have owned so it's a big yes. I've won with eStryker, I've lost with eStryker, I've won on assasination, I've won on scenario (lost on both of them a lot too...) but I do feel comfortable with the list. eNemo is a little more of a wildcard, since I've only had about 10-12 games with the angry old man and his giant electro jack of doom, but I have at least played him a little bit.

Now some theory on the Stryker. eStryker is a very different game than eNemo, hence why I'm pairing them together. eStryks can handle a heavy infantry army with things like man o' wars and bastions or a jack heavy or beast heavy army. The stormblades hit hard with assault and a well placed feat turn can turn a battle line to pulp. Both heavy jacks are the best beat sticks that Cygnar can bring, and are relatively efficient focus wise leaving Stryker with enough focus to beat some things down, or take well aimed hand cannon shots. Rebuke is a powerful spell if I have to play stryker up.
 Stryker has enough infantry to try for a scenario win if the assasination isn't favorable, but it certainly isn't my first choice. Weaknesses are stealth and incorporeal models, in fact if I see an opponent carrying undead models with green glowy bits I might just park Stryks and take Nemo. Huge horde armies are also troublesome. The ideal win vector with this army is a path being cleared by stormblades and jacks so eStryker can blast through the hole, supercharge, and chop the enemy caster neatly in half with his ever so big sword.

The army is totally painted too, which is a big thumbs up.

Tomorrow: eNemo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Heading to a Warmahordes Tourney! 1 week out!

Hey folks! D-9 here, back after an extended hiatus. For anyone who cares, the new job is great and I'm starting to see a little glimmer of free time here and there, so it's time to get the blog rolling again.

One week from now we'll hopefully be wrapping up a Warmachine steam roller event. I figured it would be fun to catalog the prep as the week leads up to the tourney and then give you all the gory details when the tournament was done. So today's topic... choosing an army.

Last time we played Warmachine anywhere outside of the garage I took pSkarre and eSkarre. My day was a loss overall, but it was a lot of fun and taught me a lot about the game. It's been almost a year since that tournament, so I feel like I know what I'm doing going into this experience. Still doesn't mean I'll win... but in theory I have a better chance! So... what army to take? Here's my take on picking a solid tournament army.

1: Do I know the army?  This is probably the biggest consideration. Warmachine is a game of, sometimes, minute interactions. Knowing the army means having played with it, relatively extensivly, so you have the experience of knowing what the army can do in a host of situations. It also speeds up gameplay when you know your army, as you don't have to reference your cards quite as much. I know a Stormblade is def 12 arm 12, whenever anyone asks, I don't waste 20 seconds checking...

2: Does the army actually have a shot at winning some games? I love fun fluffy armies. Tier forces in Warmahordes just make me smile, but the question is, can the army actually take on some of the more hardcore lists in the game and win? You can expect that people will play Cryx, can you handle the incorporeal? Can you break the trollkin brick? Can you down a mass of Khador heavies? Can you sacrifice something to the Winterguard deathstar and still win a game? I guess a great player can use any caster and win, however I am most definitely not a great player, more accurately I am barely a moderately not-awful player, therefore I need to make sure my army has some capability built in.

3: Is the army fun to play against? No one likes "that guy." Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I want to have a good time, and I want the guy beating me to have a good time. Playing annoying casters just to be annoying (eHaley, eGaspy) or an all infantry army or all jack army could really  make someone's day awful.

4: Can the army be shut down totally by any of the other armies you are likely to face? The shooty cygnar list will be boned against a jack heavy Menoth list or even worse Barnabas and his damn gators. While this moves into #1's territory it's worth considering. As awesome as the satyxis heavy Skarre lists are, they lose effectiveness against a hordes army where backlash and feedback isn't as useful. The great thing about the Steamroller format is the two list format, so you can take a second list to deal with those factions who can really stick it to your main list.

5: Does it look good? I know many people don't seem to care on this one, but I don't want to bring anything not painted and based. Again, people are at a tournament to have fun playing the game. For many people that's seeing a well painted force across from their well painted force.

So the outcome?

Looks like I'm going to roll with eStryker and eNemo this weekend.

Tomorrow: thoughts behind my lists.