Saturday, August 24, 2013

Feast of Blades List Discussion Morvahna2

First, I am saying that this is a list discussion, but it only becomes that if others participate, so please feel free to provide feedback, opinion, or hate if you feel the need.

Disclaimer: I do not believe that I am an expert at this game or at this faction.  These are my opinions after 2+ years of playing, and lots of games.  I did not build these after other people's lists, but with most Warmachine/Hordes lists, some things work and some don't, so there the similarity is only coincidental and the lists are designed based on the way I enjoy playing.

Enough of that.

Let's start with my Morvahna2 list.  Morvahna2 has been played pretty consistently as a Circle tournament warlock since her release.  This isn't due to her being the shiny new tow for the army either.  Pound for pound, she brings one of the best spell list/ability/feat combinations in the Circle army.  I won't go into her details here, but I will talk about how they work with the list I have picked.  50pt list first:

Warpwolf Stalker
Warpwolf Stalker

The stalkers are my heavy hitters.  There are others in the army, but between the points available, and the need to be able to do high damage, these were my best choices.  The Gorax is support for giving the Stalkers Primal, and increase in strength and MAT.  It also gives me a throwing option for medium and small bases if the situation arises. EDIT: Additionally, the Stalkers can pick Prowl as their Controlled Warping for a turn.  This combined with Morvahna's Fog of War spell give the Stalkers, as well as the Gallows Groves stealth.  Stealth is very handy when running up to ranged armies that cannot counter it.

Wolves of Orboros Max
Wolves of Orboros Chieftan/Standard
Warpborn Skinwalkers Max
Warpborn Alpha
Shifting Stones (x2)
Stone Keeper

The two units of stones is somewhat standard for a Circle 50 point list.  Double teleport is a very useful option, plus the additional Fury management and healing comes in handy.

The Wolves of Orboros serve 2 main purposes for me.  1. 4d6 + 9 on the charge and a MAT of 10 (charge plus Carni will do a lot of damage.  Gets even better if I use the CMR as well.  2. They are also good for bringing back with Morvahna's feat.  They are not that tough once the get engaged, but they can do a considerable amount of damage for an 8 point unit and provide a small based model set for the feat.

Warpborn Skinwalkers are now a viable unit with the UA.  Enough power to do some good damage, especially on the charge, 2 attacks with the UA, and a decent amount of damage boxes.  They serve as a good jamming unit as well as a multi-wave killing machine.  I usually play them on the opposite side from the Wolves, but have been testing out a front line multi-wave mix.  This unit also gives me medium base options for the feat, which can be handy for blocking charge lanes, blocking enemy model movement, or for a scenario shift if they need to be in a zone or on a control point.

5 points left and this is where I am still deciding what to do.  I have been testing using a unit of Tharn Bloodweavers.  This is a handy unit with 8 MAT on the charge, and can be the equivalent of weapon masters against living models.  They also serve as a debuff unit against upkeep spells when using Purification might not be a good idea. My second option is Wolf Lord Morraig.  WLM has great synergy with the Wolves, getting +2 on the attack and an additional die on the damage roll when flanking with one of the Wolves.  This means his initial attack is 13 P&S plus 5d6 on the charge, 4d6 on a cleave, and 12 P&S plus 3d6 on the mount attacks.  His decent defense, great movement, and decent armor also make him valuable.  As a light cav model, he also gets some good movement shenanigans that help keep him alive.  I should have a decision on this in the next couple of games.

Overall I like how this list plays.  It gives me good troop options, enough beasts to take down a Colossal or Gargantuan if I play it right, and good synergy with Carnivore, units with lots of attacks, and models to bring back on the feat.  This is a fun list for me to play and I hope to get a good number of games in before Feast of Blades to be competitive in tournament play.

Thanks to Sam Hake for providing feedback on the initial post.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Feast of Blades Prep Blog


October 11th to the 13th is Feast of Blades.  Although filled with lots of gaming action, my focus will be on the Warmachine/Hordes tournament and gaming scene.  I am traveling to the site with two of my best friends and we are staying at the site.  This will be the first major tournament for me, and I am very excited.  I decided to write a continuing blog to document my preparation for the tournament.  This will include list preparation and decisions, painting efforts, and anything else I might want to write about before this happens.  I do want to thank my wife for giving my the opportunity to be gone for three days while she takes care of the kids.

Here is a link to the event:

I plan on participating in two of the Master's qualification tournaments.  They are the 42 pt, 2 list tournament and the 50pt, 2 list Divide and Conquer tournament.  More to come later this weekend, but thought I would get this started.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Denver Comic Con 2012

I am finally getting to sit down and work on this blog entry. It has been a while since I have posted anything it seems, so I know I need to get back on the horse.  So here we go...

The Denver Comic Con (@DenverComicCon) was held in Denver from 15 Jun until 17 Jun.  We arrived on Friday after waiting for an exterminator to stop by the house.  Well he did not show up during the 2 hour window.  So we decided to say screw it, called up the company to cancel the appointment, and head on up to Denver.

Day 1 - We arrived at our hotel (Denver Hyatt Regency) and were very happy with what we saw.  The first thing I noticed was that the gaming activities were being held in our hotel.  This would have been made better if there was going to be some Warmachine/Hordes gaming going on, but I took care of that for next year (more on this later).  You could see the convention center from our room, and once we had settled in, we walked over to the convention center.  We decided not to get into costumes that night since we would not be over there very long.

Upon entering the convention center, we were greeted by a friendly faced volunteer who immediately asked up how they could help us.  We asked where the VIP registration was, and she gladly told us exactly where to go.  Now I know this seems mostly normal, but I think it is important to point out that all of the volunteers (except one I will discuss later) were extremely friendly and helpful.  The organizers did a great job of making sure people were in the right places and that they had all very friendly volunteers.  Helping people in this type of venue cannot be done by just anyone and I was happy to meet all of them.  Once we got into the main area, we were greeted by some people already in costume.  Members of the 501st Mountain Legion who wore some great Star Wars costumes.  We took a walk around the center and really liked how the organizers laid out the booths and areas.  My wife thought the full size TARDIS was great as she is a big Dr. Who fan.  When we got to celebrity row, we noticed it was almost empty, but were pleasantly surprised to find Colin Ferguson (@colinferg) star of the SyFy series Eureka.  Since Wil Wheaton (@wilw) dropped out of the convention (DAMN YOU WIL WHEATON!!!) Colin Ferguson was easily the person we wanted to see most there.  My wife and I are both big Eureka fans and so this was great for both of us.  He was really nice, and it was amazing to see how happy and kind he was.  Almost the same exact bubbly personality he has on the show.  This was a great experience for both of us.

After some more walking around, it was getting late and we had to get the kids some sleep.  So we headed back to hotel in great anticipation for the next day.

Day 2 - Well it was time to get dressed up.  After a wonderful breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we got dressed in our outfits.  We decided to go basic but fun for this comic con since it was really our first.  Our son dressed up as Captain America, our daughters were fairies, and my wife and I dressed as F-302 pilots from Stargate.  We were able to get the patches over Ebay and got the Velcro done thanks to a great company call Thomas Name Tags (  We had the flight suits from our time in the Air Force, so this was easy and fun.
We ventured off to the convention.  We had a great time while in the convention.  We saw lots of great costumes, met a bunch of people, and saw some of the most creative and spectacular artistic work I have ever seen.  We ran across a group of other people dressed in gear from Stargate and decided to get a photo of all of us together.
Following this, it was nap time for the kids.  So we walked out of the convention center for much needed rest.  After a couple of hours, we went back to the convention center, we ran into a familiar face.  It was some guy dressed in a very awesome Captain America costume.  My son thought it was the real Captain America.  It made it so happy to see him, my son ran up and gave him a big hug.  It caused me to tear up a bit because to my son, he was meeting one of his heroes.
Once we got back inside, we went and checked out who was in Celebrity Row.  First I feel really bad because we missed a chance to meet with Tom Kane.  Although I knew he had done voices for the Transformer series (one of my favorite) but he also did voices on Next Avengers which is one of my son's favorite movies.  If I would have put 2 and 2 together, I would have brought the DVD and asked him to sign it.  Regardless, the next person we met was someone we also both looked forward to meeting.  Aaron Douglas (@theaarondouglas), who we knew from Battlestar Galactica and Stargate.  The first thing I noticed was that Aaron had a picture of him and Wil Wheaton.  I had no idea of their past together, but I took it as a chance to pull out the #VandalEyes to take a picture (with permission of course from Mr. Douglas).  I have traded occasional #VandalEyes tweets with Bonnie Burton (@bonniegrrl) and Anne Wheaton (@AnneWheaton) and I thought that this was the culmination of all the hard work trying to find the perfect place for #VandalEyes.  Here it is:
Meeting Mr. Douglas was great and here is the picture we got of my wife and him.
What happened next will be one of those events that I will always remember.  We walked around and I noticed a booth that identified Allen Bellman who was one of the original artists on Captain America.  Although he was selling some of his works, I walked over to the people with him and asked if it was possible for me to get him to sign my son's Captain America shield.  Although I know my son didn't realize the significance of this, I started tearing up seeing this very important person in the comic book world sign the shied and pose with my son for a couple of photos.  I will never forget this as it will always hold a special place in my heart.
It was a short time after this that we heard Stan Lee will be at next year's Denver Comic Con.  So we are planning to bring the shield back to get his signature on it as well.  Until then, it will hang on my son's wall.

After coloring some shields, and face painting, we got in line for our picture with James Marsters (who was really nice when we met him for both his autograph and the picture), we ran into Thor and Sif.  My son, a huge Avengers fan if you could not tell, thought this was great.
Some other stuff happened that I won't go into great detail.  Meeting Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan, and getting them to autograph the same picture, was another highlight of the day.  No pictures from this, but we had a nice conversation with both of them.  After some more walking around, we decided to go get some dinner.  While at dinner we saw the folks from IBOTKS which put together awesome Iron Man looking cosplay outfits.  They had a Iron Man, War Machine, Captain America (more like Iron Patriot but we won't get into that) and actually now that I am thinking about it, they would pass for the robot Avengers from the Next Avengers movie I talked about earlier.  Either way, my son was really excited so I got at few pictures.

Day 3 - We went back on Sunday, not in costume, and walked around some more.  We purchased each of the kids a stuffed "squishy" toy, and took some more pictures with stuff we had missed earlier.  It was much quieter than Saturday, but a really nice time to just chill and relax.  We went and said goodbye to Colin Ferguson, which was nice.  We picked up some pictures we had taken, and proceeded to head back to the hotel and head home.

Final Thoughts - The Denver Comic Con was a great experience.  The VIP tickets we purchased were well worth the cost, and the people we met there were great.  I won't go into the details about the one bad apple that we met there because it could just have been the case of poor planning.  The basics of it was bad planning for the lines to take pictures Saturday with James Marsters, and how they split the lines.  When I explained the error in the logic the volunteer was using in how she had people get in line, I was met with a blank face.  Once one of the organizers came over and asked me what was going on (presumably she had said something to have them come over)  he listen to what I had to say, and proceeded to fix the problem.  

This was one of the best experiences of this sort I have ever had, and I really appreciate all of the hard work the organizers put into getting the event going.  Over 20,000 people attended which was pretty amazing considering there was not a huge amount of advertising.  I think with the involvement I have seen in the Twitter and Blogging community, and the additional help they will get next year, it should be able to be twice as big.  I have already volunteered to help organize and run a gaming event for them, so I hope to be involved more hands on next year.  See you all there next year!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

3 Things I Wish I Had Known

3 things you wish you had known when you first started playing Warmachine / Hordes

1. Which armies were the best to learn the game - Having played WHF and WH40k for a few years, I never really looked into any other tabletop games.  I knew of the existence of Warmachine, but never thought of checking it out.  The first army I picked was Retribution.  I picked them because I had played the Tau in WH40k and really like the futuristic look of the warjacks.  I did not realize that Retribution was one of the latest army to be release and would be very difficult to learn.  It also did not help that the main army I would face for a long time in my meta was Legion.  I won very few games while losing many to an overpowering army.  It was this reason I switched to Circle.  Although Circle is not near as easy to win with as Legion, it has epic casters and a better set of tools to learn from.  It was interesting to switch from Focus to Fury, but I found that the Fury mechanic fit better to my play style.  I was also able to blame myself for loses much more readily than I would with Retribution.

2. The existence of the deathclock and scenarios - When I started playing, my meta only played open time games and caster kills.  Since I had started with Retribution, this caused me a lo of frustration trying to figure out how to get a enemy army's caster with the tools in the Retribution army.  Part of this also included my need to better understand the overall game.  I have found that with scenarios, kill zone, and scenarios, the game allowed for me to use more thank one strategy and left my opponent guessing as to whether I was going to the scenario win or a kill.  It was before this that I switched over to Circle, and I found really enjoyed the game since.  I still have Retribution and plan to play it again eventually, but I have been having too much fun with Circle to worry about trying again yet.

3. The types of gameplay available - Only in the last few months my meta has been enjoying playing mini tournaments on our own.  Lately it has been grow league play starting with 15 point and then 25 and 35.  This way of playing has helped me to get a better understanding of each of the Circle warcasters.  By playing multiple people with the same list while that list grows to include more and more models, really helps you gain a better understanding of each of their strengths and weaknesses.  It also lets you test out caster with different jacks and beast to see which combinations have the best synergy.  This would be much more difficult with Warhammer given the game and list mechanics.  I have had a lot of fun while learning this game, it just took a few months to really see how much fun it is, and how much I would enjoy it more than those "other" games.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Modeling: Gorax Complete

Well, it is great to be back from  a long break.  I have a  lot of blog posts to work on, so I thought I would throw this one out there since it has been a bane in my life recently.  This model is the Circle of Orboros Gorax model.  My first impression of this model is that is looks like a feral Donkey Kong.  I was seriously looking for a toy barrel to in his hands.  I did not get any pre-painting pictures of this model so I will just use the post-painting pictures throughout this blog.  

The model arrived pretty clean, without taking much cleanup of model.  The first thing you might notice is that the model is leaning way forward.  Now while this might seem like a great design based on the Gorax's story line and abilities, it made it a pain to put together.  The rock, rope, and main model are three separate pieces and they do not line up very well.  It took multiple attempts to get everything to work together.  While I am happy that I got it all together, that was when I noticed the model was very top heavy.  This causes the model to fall forward quite often, which makes playing with the model difficult.  I plan on gluing some metal pieces under the back of the base to help make it stay upright better.

I am not particularly happy with my painting of this model.  I believe that this model will finally push me to start into the adventure of air brushing my models.  I have found that my mixing of colors did not really give me the coloring affects that I was looking for. One of the changes I made to my coloring scheme was the graying of the hair bundles.  I had been using a darker brown (brown/black mix) and wanted to try something different.  Although I am not sold on the look yet, I think it is closer to what I am looking for in the warbeast's look.

At the time I took these pictures there were some painting issues that I have since fixed.  I got some of the white used to grey there hair on the base and the model's leg.  This helped me work on my technique so that I could make sure it did not happen again.  I did a lot of paint mixing on this model to achieve slight differences in the colors used on the body.  Although it did not have the affect I wanted, I see the benefits of expanding my paint collection and changing some of my techniques.  It is not showcase ready, but I am happy with it for now for table top.  With the amount of models I still have to paint, this one will have to sit for a while and wait for clean up.

 So I am on the the next model, which should be Megalith.  I am really looking forward to working on that model since it has some nice designs.  I am also going to start working on video blogs and model reviews to help fill the void now that I am re motivated to get this blog going.  I make no claims that I am professional at painting these models.  I believe that my technique and creativity have been increasing as I go and hope one day to be able to really produce high quality models.  More to come....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Journeyman Tournament Results

There are in reverse order with the newest matches on top.  These are just summaries and not fully detailed battle reports.

Round 2 - Game 1 (Circle vs Cygnar)

The addition to make my round 2 army was a Gorax.  My opponent added a Sentinal.  Cygnar is the army that scares me the most in this tournament, and this battle proved to me that it was not by chance.  The layout had two forests with an open area in the center.  This made it tough trying to corner my opponent while still providing some protection by the forests.  I was able to get an angle and the distance to get close to his group with a charge by an Argus on his Lancer and then Spirit Door'd in.  But having done very little damage to the Lancer, the turn just got me in close but not close enough.  My opponent proceeded to Earthquake my group at the beginning of his turn, stood his guys up, and proceeded to woop up on me.  I was able to get my other argus next to his caster as well as my caster, but I left too much room and he was able to kill me with his heavy that he squeezed in behind her.  Overall my opponent played very well and left me with a huge need to strategize better to face him next round.

Round 1 - Game 4 (Circle vs Cygnar)

This was a really tough game.  The ending was a little goofy as my opponent forgot for the third turn in a row to use his feat.  I offered to let him do it each time, and he turned it down each time.  After killing my Feral and one of my Argus, I was able to directly attack pStryker with pKaya (got there with Spirit Door again before that Argus died) and was able to get him to about 6 damage boxes left.  Knowing I would die next turn, I took my last Argus and had him move from combat with one of the Impalers to attack pStryker with a boosted Combo Strike, and was able to finish pStryker off.  It also helped that pKaya rolled a crit on one of her attack allowing me to not have to boost the attack roll for the combo strike.  Another challenging game.

Round 1 - Game 3 (Circle vs Trolls)

Another really close game.  I was able to do a couple of new things against this army since it was the first Hordes army that I have faced.  I was able to use Baying of Chaos once with the Feral and twice with pKaya to cause my opponent to only have 1 fury for his second turn.  This allowed me to get my beasts into a decent position.  Everything went to hell two turns later as he killed one of my Argus and my Feral. With one Argus left, I stepped out to in view of pMadrak and casted Spirit Fang a couple of times to kill him. Next turn, he was sure to kill my last Argus or just kill pKaya, so I felt this was just the luck of the dice again.

Round 1 - Game 2 (Circle vs Khador)

I was really afraid of this battle.  Although the Khador battlebox does not really have much synergy, the pSorscha is an assassin and the with 2 heavy jacks, easily out-powers my army.  I definitely won by the luck of the dice.  I was able to get one of my Argus behind his jacks and near the warcaster.  I brought pKaya and the Feral over to him with Spirit Door.  Knowing that Kaya would have a hard time killing pSorscha, he came in and tried to kill the Feral with her.  He was 1 dmg away from killing him.  I believe he had also killed both of my Argus, or very close that turn.  The Feral survived and I rolled really well and killed her.  Although it took all of my possible attacks as boosting to do it.  It was a fun and exciting game and was the first real time I was able to execute the Spirit Door assassination somewhat correctly.

Round 1 - Game 1 (Circle vs Menoth)

This was my first battle of the tournament and it was a very good learning experience for me.  Although I have played a few battle box matches, this one felt different since it was part of the journeyman tournament.  It has been a little bit of a while since this match, just over a week, but I remember I was trying to get into position to Spirit Door.  One the turn before, I was able to get off a few casts of Spirit Fang.  I then used pKaya's feat to reload.  I learned from this that I have to make sure I leave enough fury on my beasts to be sure I can get them next turn.  I only left myself with three fury for the next turn.  After  casting I then Spirit Door'd to the caster.  I then was able to spirit door the Feral over and kill the caster the next turn.  The Feral had almost died as well as one of the Argus.  I got lucky with being able to get rid of the fire damage before it did too much to my force.  A well played game by my opponent and I got lucky with dice rolls to win.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Video Game Review: Skyrim

This is my first written video game review.  I am not sure how often I might do this since I very rarely get new games, but I thought I would give it a try.  I purchased the game on Friday and have about 6 hours played so far, so this will be my initial thoughts on the game.

First I want to say that I was impressed that my first generation XBox 360 was able to handle the game.  I have heard that if you have not received the "red ring of death" yet, the newer games will almost guarantee that it will happen. So far so good.  Let's just hope I did not jinx it when I try to play again later today.

The game began much as I expected.  There was some good story telling and dialog at the beginning of the game setting up the story.  Within 5 minutes, one NPC had an arrow in the back and another had his head cut off.  I could tell that it was a good thing I was not playing this game in front of my kids.  Then came the reason I knew I was going to love this game.  DRAGONS!! The first dragon attack was exciting and I was even more impressed with my 360 because the performance was seamless.  I will try to not go into to much detail as I do not want to spoil some of the key game elements.  I will instead go over the aesthetics and human-machine interaction pieces.

This game is definitely beautiful.  Although I do not see many improvements from Oblivion, that was also a great looking game.  There was general color scheme of gray that washes over the entire game.  I would like to see some more contrasting in colors, but overall it is still impressive.  The fire elements of the game really shine and the spell casting graphics seem improved over Oblivion.  Combat graphics seem a little better with a nice graphical flow between non-combat and combat activities.

The game controls seemed very similar to Oblivion with just a few minor changes.  This is where my one gripe of this game would occur.  In Oblivion, you would be able to preload spells so that you could seamlessly switch between spells while in combat.  If this feature exists in Skyrim, I have not found it.  What I did find is a "Favorite" system where you can press up on the game pad to bring up a list of items that you have designated.  Doing this stops combat and makes it difficult to really enjoy the combat if you are like me and want to switch spells often during combat.  I would rather be limited to a few spells I can use in combat, but switch easily, than a system that allows unlimited options, but stops the game each time you want to use it.  I will say that it has a lot of utility since you can use it to switch spells, weapons, and probably almost every usable item in the game.  I just do not like having combat stop 3 or 4 times just to I can switch spells.  Movement control is pretty smooth throughout the game, with only a little practice at horse riding being needed.  The biggest help I would recommend is getting the spell Clairvoyance.  This will help guide you in the right direction to your destination and can be a huge help if you get out into the wilderness and lost.  It also helps when you have to go around or up mountains and cannot seem to find the right path.

The combat system is very smooth.  I had not problems casting or hitting my targets.  I have two complaints in this area.  First, archery is still only a minor use skill and at least so far does not seem like a viable combat method.  The hit are usually too weak to take out a target on one or even two shots, and hitting a moving target is still a little tough.  I would have liked to see a little more viability for this to be a primary combat technique.  Casting in combat works well, as well as the normal hack and slash.  Time for my rant....  My biggest complaint with Oblivion has not been fixed here.  The tendency to accidentally hit a friendly NPC while in combat is very annoying.  I am pretty sure my horse has no hair left after I have burned him while trying to cast a fire spell on wolves we are fighting.  It is even worst when it is character NPCs where your faction can accidentally drop or they will flat out come and kill you if you kill one of them.  My suggestion is to save right before every combat, and just be careful.

These are just my initial thoughts on the game.  So far I am really enjoying the game, especially fighting giants, dragons, and trolls.  BTW, trolls hit hard.  The game has no problem giving you quests that will be impossible to complete if you are too low of level, so be careful out there.  Have a great time.  I will post another review as I get farther into the game.  Happy Holidays and Happy Hunting...