Friday, September 30, 2016

Using Makeda 3: My First Impressions

Sorry for the lack of battle report this week.  I didn't play on Tuesday, and I didn't really feel like dredging my phone for ancient pictures.  Life is busy, but I'm scheduled to play tonight, and I hope to have a report written up by next Wednesday.

Now on to the main topic.  As I've said before, Makeda 3 was my favorite Warlock in MkII, and I've been spending a fair amount of time seeing what I think of her in MkIII.  There have been some major changes in the way Mak3da plays, and the way Skorne needs to play to keep up with a meta which - you guessed it - has charged a lot.  So I'm going to try to look at Makeda 3 with fresh eyes, and talk about her in terms of what works with her now.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The WTC Results Are In...

...And it doesn't look great for Skorne.  There weren't a lot of Skorne players, and collectively, they got a 39% win rate (the lowest of any faction).  It's possible that's just chance or a result of good matching against Skorne players, but a lot of people of all factions are saying that Skorne needs something to bring it back in line with the rest of the factions.  In my first post of the new schedule, I said there were a lot of legitimate gripes about Skorne.  I'm not going to write the whole list of grievances - there are plenty in the Skorne Community on the PP forum.

I haven't played enough games to know what the deal is.  I suspect that we're weak into the current meta of 'jack spam and gun lines.  Jacks are just so much cheaper than our beasts for the damage output, that we have trouble trading against them.  We might learn how to build lists that solve this problem well, and we might not.  I started out pretty excited by our anti-shooting tech, and I personally haven't run into a gun line that's blown me away.  But I'm hearing a fair amount about games that end before they begin, and Skorne might have to over-invest in anti-shooting tech that doesn't bring a lot to the table offensively.

I'm still excited about Skorne, and I'm still going to play Skorne.  There's enough good stuff here to keep me interested for sure, even if it's a limited model selection.  I'll have to see if there are any tournaments coming up (I bet there are, but I don't do Facebook often so I don't know for sure), and see how I do.

I'll be trying out all our other 'casters, and practicing hard with Mak3 and Hex2 in the meantime.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Maxtermynd Returns! A Khadoran Tournament Report, pt 1

Greetings komrades! I've finally emerged from my work induced hidey hole and have actually played some games of the new edition! I've chosen to hang up my pointy ears for a bit and go back to my first love, the Empress and her Imperial Fists.

This past weekend I went to a small local tournament, the first that I’ve entered with Khador in Mk 3. In practice testing I was playing a lot of Kozlov, but I decided to “git gud” and play the following lists instead, because who needs practice?

  • Juggernaut x 2
  • Spriggan
Kovnik Joe
Max Rifle Corps + 3 Rocketeers
Min Uhlans x 2
Lady Aiyanna and Master Holt + Valachev

  • Juggernaut
  • Spriggan
  • Sylys
Kovnik Joe
Max Rifle Corps + 3 Rocketeers
Max Uhlans
Max Iron Fang Pikemen + UA
Winter Guard Mortar

Game 1: Irusk2 vs Wurmwood in Outlast
First round I got a Circle opponent running Wurmwood and Kromac2. We joked around a bit and I asked her to guess my caster choice (Irusk2, obvs), and we got going.

Throughout the game my opponent played very conservatively, setting up her forest wall and keeping all of her troops behind it. On turn 2 she started setting up for the feat turn, but after the second standing stone moved into position I checked to make sure she knew what Irusk2’s feat was as she was putting them in easy charge range of my Uhlans. She did not, and adjusted the rest of her game plan accordingly but still didn’t put anything into the zones.

So, my turn 2 my Uhlans charged out and destroyed the two Standing Stones, allowing me to control both zones. The Pikemen stayed back to guard Irusk while the Winterguard advanced cautiously to put some damage on the Razorwing Griffon.

Her turn 3 saw two of my Uhlans killed but not much else- she tried to do some Hellmouth tricks to get a charge from her Stalker on the other Uhlans, but failed to contest my second zone. So I went to three control points on her turn, then ran Irusk to dominate for the win.

Game 2: Vlad1 vs Kaelyssa in Recon
Second round I got paired against our local pointy ear running Kaelyssa and… Ossyan? I think? It shames me as a former elf that I don’t remember. Anyway, I zeroed in on Kae Baeby being his probable pick and decided to go with Vladimir purely on his ability to raise his base armor with spells. Blood of Kings pushes him up to 18/19, which pushes him to a non-aiming Hydra needing 13s to hit him.

His list:

  • Hydra x2
  • Daemon
  • Sylys
Arcanist x 3
Stormfall Archers x 2
Max Sentinels + UA

He won the roll to go first and I chose a side that had a trench for Vlad to hide in. While it wouldn’t help against Phantom Seeker it would at least make Kaelyssa waste 4-6 focus if he wanted to try to assassinate Vlad. Uhlan pods went on either side with a Juggernaut, Spriggan in the center and Rifle Corps across from the Sentinels. A+H+V went on the left center.

Round 1: He ran up, his jacks in the center, Stormfalls on my left flank and Sentinels on my right. Blur went on the Sentinels and Refuge on Kaelyssa.

I advanced to outside his threat ranges, the Spriggan running right up next to the objective and Vlad ran into the trench and put up Blood of Kings.

Round 2: When reviewing my opponent’s list I questioned his inclusion of a Daemon- here he started to prove it’s worth. I had put Vlad within 2” of the Spriggan, and the Spriggan wasn’t basing the trench. Kaelyssa moved up, hit the Spriggan with a Stationary shot, cast Backlash on it and refuged back behind his objective after feating. The Daemon then moved up, hit the Spriggan with his mini-hellmouth gun and dragged Vlad out of the trench, boosting damage on him and cranking the damage roll, putting some points on him. The Hydras followed up but failed to do much more damage to Vlad, and the Stormfalls lit Vlad and the Spriggan on fire and put some damage into it, and also damaged one of my left Uhlans.

Here my opponent made a slighly suboptimal choice and didn’t disrupt the Spriggan with Eiryss, instead opting to Deadly Shot my wounded Uhlan. The Sentinels ran up in three man pods, threatening my objective.

My turn I was faced with a dilemma- unfortunately my force really needs to get the charge off in order to be effective (dammit cav!). I went in the tank for a few minutes, and while I still didn’t have a great plan I came up with something- use the Spriggan to flare six of the Sentinels and have the Rifle Corps shoot them, while a feated Juggernaut would eat the closest three. The real question was whether I could safely cast Signs and Portents, as with it a single Rifle Corps member could kill a Sentinel pretty reliably, but without it I would need to do two man CRAs.

After thinking about it I decided discretion was the better part of valor and cast Blood of Kings. The Spriggan walked up, flared some sentinels, and the Rifle Corps got to work. Unfortunately my CRAs had some terrible dice and I only managed to pick up 4 Sentinels with them, but blast damage from the Rocketeers was surprisingly effective and netted a further two including the officer. The Juggernaut killed the two Sentinels that were in range, leaving three functional weaponmasters in play.

I made a questionable decision here and ran the left Uhlans and Juggernaut into his Stormfalls, tying up Eiryss in the process. The main reason was I couldn’t get Holt in range to shoot Eiryss, so A+H+V hung back and stealthed

Round 3: My opponent went in the tank for a while, trying to determine where to Vengeance to, but eventually decided to go for a scenario play. The Sentinels charged into the Spriggan and leveled it, the Daemon sucked up five Winter Guard to their untimely deaths, and one of his Hydras fired on the objective. At this point I reminded him that it was a bunker, and his face fell. Still he continued forward, plinking some damage on with the Hydra. Kaelyssa stationaried all of my jacks and refuged to the edge of the zone. His second Hydra took out the Uhlans and put some damage on the left Juggernaut, freeing up the Stormfalls to shoot the objective. This left it on 1 box. This left Eiryss, who walked up, shot at the objective… and rolled double 1s.

To be honest, I was planning on him killing my objective, in which case I was going to try to pull off an assassination on him with my remaining Winter Guard, razor winds from Vlad and A+H+V getting the final damage. With the objective in the way this became much more difficult… though honestly I probably should have still gone for it as he was only camping two.

But, I decided to go for attrition. Due to my incredible strategic planning my left Juggernaut was out of my control range, so he stayed stationary, but I shook the other. I was hoping to have him murder the right Hydra but a Soulless escort in the way ruined my charge path, and I didn’t like the prospect of trampling and chopping. Still, I could at least take out the remaining Sentinels, the Daemon, and a number of Stormfalls.

Vlad put up Signs and Portents and continued to cower in the trench, moving slightly up to get the left juggernaut in his control range. Valachev Zephyr’ed, Holt aimed and shot Eiryss and Kaelyssa, and Aiyanna Harmed the Daemon. The Uhlans crashed into the Daemon and destroyed it, reforming slightly back and into base to base. The Juggernaut advanced up slightly and chopped the soulless in half. My Rifle Corps shot a few Stormfalls to pieces.

Round 4: His left Hydra beat my Juggernaut the rest of the way to scrap, Kaelyssa shot an Uhlan and did some damage and refuged backwards. The right Hydra walked into the back arc of my Uhlans, head butted the Juggernaut and punched an Uhlan to death. The Stormfalls finished off the objective and killed the remaining Uhlan. Sylys ran into the zone to take him to two.

My turn the Juggernaut eliminated the right Hydra and my Winterguard + Holt mopped up the remaining Stormfalls, Sylys, and an Arcanist. Vlad continued to cower. The Winterguard mobbed the zone under Tough.

Round 5: Kaelyssa and the Hydra removed A+H+V and moved towards the left flag.

My Juggernaut eliminated the objective… and I made a terrible mistake. Vlad was sitting on 8 boxes left and I feared for his life. For some reason I forgot about the flags being scorable and figured that if I could keep him out of the zone I would win so long as I wasn’t assassinated. So I left Vlad in the trench and only scored two this round.

Round 6: Kaelyssa gets to the flag and goes to three, killing a few more Winterguard. The last Arcanist runs to contest the zone.

I make another terrible mistake, using the Juggernaut instead of Joe to kill the Arcanist (he has a hand cannon! Remember!). My Winter Guard get Tough’ed and they run to contest the flag. Vlad dominates the zone, taking me to four.

Round 7: The Hydra walks up and throws my Juggernaut out of the zone, leaving just Joe and Vlad in it. Kaelyssa walks up, shoots Joe dead, and refuges into the zone, dominating for the win.

There were a couple of things I could have done to win this: going for the assassination on turn 3, dominating with Vlad the first round I had cleared the zone, or simply leaving the Juggernaut at the edge of the zone. Any of these would have secured me a victory, but my general rustiness with Warmachine due to lack of practice and the little amount of time I had left on the clock (I think I finished with 4 minutes left) didn’t get me there. I am actually pleased with this game for the most part, though, as I thought it was pretty much over after my turn two, but sticking with it (and, to be fair, a little luck) really paid off.

Next two games up later this week- thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Battle Report: Makeda 3 vs. Rhyas 1 - 75pts

Hey everyone.  My internet is fixed!  Meaning I can post again from a platform other than my phone.  I didn't get the chance to play yesterday, so here's my second game from last week.  I'd been brainstorming about Makeda 3, and I wanted to try out one of my lists:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Much Delayed Wednesday Battle Report: Hexeris 2 vs. Jakes 2 - 75pts

Hello again everyone.  My internet troubles continue unabated, but I did play a game on Tuesday, and here's the report.  I decided to take Hexeris 2 out for what would be my third game with him in MkIII.  He's unquestionably powerful, and I've had a lot of fun with him so far.  This game, I brought:

Friday, September 9, 2016

Using Makeda 2: My First Impressions

I've been having a lot of fun and success using Makeda 2 so far this edition, so I decided to write up a quick take on my experiences with her so far.
I love the pose on this model.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday Battle Report: Makeda 2 vs. Magnus 2 - 75pts

I didn't get the chance to play any games yesterday, so here's one of my battles from earlier this summer.  This past Friday's tactics post was about Ferox, so here's the game that literally sold me on them (right after this game I picked up Tower's min box of Ferox that had been hanging around since MkI, and ordered two blisters).  I was very interested to try them out with Makeda 2, and here's the list I played.  Be warned, the Ferox are proxied by whatever spare large based models I could find: Molik Karn, my Archidon, my Aradus Sentinels, and my Tiberion.  In fact, since this was in late June, we were both playing a bunch of new things we didn't own.  I'll try to keep all the proxies straight.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Mak3da Musings

I'm trying to try new things with Makeda 3 right now, to figure out what I want to do with her in the new edition.  I've tried the Mammoth build, and couple of heavy beast builds, but nothing has really clicked for me so far.  I've spent a lot of the weekend wondering what I really want from a Makeda 3 list, and I keep on coming up with things similar to the Brute Squad I was running in MkII.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Using Ferox: My First Impressions

One of my favorite things about Skorne right now is the all new Praetorian Ferox.  I talked up Ferox a fair amount in my take on growing a Skorne army through a Journeyman League last week, where I recommended Ferox if players were planning to switch to a troop-oriented 'caster like Xerxis 1 or Makeda 2 at the 50pt level, and mentioned them as an option with Xekaar when expanding from 50pts to 75pts.  This time, I'm going to take a look at the pros and cons of the cat-valry so people have a better idea of whether they want to invest in a unit.