Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Warmachine Action: Epic Deneghra Takes the Field

Tonight Marc and his lady accompanied Allison and I to the Hong Kong restaurant for some decent Chinese food. After stuffing ourselves silly, Marc and I thought that a couple of games of Warmachine would make for a fine dessert, so it was off to my trusty geek-room. Ken gave Marc a very finely painted Epic Deneghra for Xmas (more on that at the end-JET), so Marc brought her to the table for a 35-point smash-up against Haley.

Early on in the first game, Marc moved the bulk of his force up behind the stone walls (pre-painted resin scenery from Marc for Xmas - JET) while I spread the Cygnar force out, ready to shoot down whatever I could.

Haley kept Temporal Barrier going for the entire game. The impeded movement combined with the lowered DEF is particularly crippling to most Cryx forces.

Notice the placement of the bloat thrall? The next turn, he was even closer to the Necrosurgeon and Deneghra. A well-placed shot from the Defender caused the bloat thrall to explode, taking a number of mechanithralls and Gorman with it. The POW 14 blast caused seven points of damage on Dennie as well.

I had planned on casting Temporal Barrier again and picking off another couple of models. However, since Deneghra was almost at half DMG, I moved Haley up, feated and took a couple of hand cannon shots, and then, using the arc node from the Lancer (top left), cast Arcane Bolt at the Cryxian caster and finished her off.

The first game went relatively quickly, so we decided to throw down again. I advanced with a pair of Lancers, ready to cast Scramble or Chain Lightning at the first opportunity.

This time, however, Marc kept the majority of his force to my extreme right and marched his infantry through the canyon.

Haley prepared her shooting line. The idea here was to take down the entire unit of mechanithralls so that they Necrosurgeon couldn't revive any of them.

Haley feated. The Long Gunners moved up and annihilated the thrall unit. Haley kept Temporal Barrier going, and more importantly, camped a couple of FOC so that she could use her Vortex Spear to negate enemy spells. After nullifying spells cast by Deathjack and the Skarlock, Deneghra moved up onto the nearby hill and tried to spell Haley with very little effect.

Even though Marc had made Dennie ethereal, Haley's spear is a magical weapon, so she charged in and with eight focus (thanks to the Squire), she finished off Deneghra again.

We managed to play two great games, but I suffer no inflated ego. Marc was clumsily using a new caster while I was using an old stand-by. Still, we all had fun - even Ken who sat in the bleachers nodding off throughout the action.

And speaking of Ken, he and I played a game of Hordes last night at Marc's house. It was a Troll vs. Skorne smashathon, and what a lot of smashing there was! We each annihilated the other's force, and although I never took many clear photos, here's a shot of an epic melee between the Dire Troll Mauler and the Titan Gladiator. The Titan took the Dire Troll down to one damage point, and the next turn, the Troll killed the Titan. I almost felt bad (almost).

Anyway, after a lot of smashing, I had almost taken out Morghoul. On Ken's last turn, he had one long shot (literally) to take out Hoarluk. The Titan Cannoneer shot, missed, but still hit Hoarluk with the scatter.  Furthermore, although Hoarluk had three fury, the Impaler was the only surviving beast and was already at its maximum fury allowance of three, so damage transference was not an option.  However, Ken would have to roll a 17 or an 18 on three dice to win. Sadly, the photo tells the story.

Finally, Ken gave Marc and I very thoughtful and individualized gifts for Xmas this year. He purchased, and more impressively, painted each of us a model for our armies, in our colour schemes. For Marc, he painted the Epic Deneghra model featured in the battles just covered. For me, he painted Viktor Pendrake, which was very cool, since I can field him in both my Cygnar and Trollblood armies.

For those of you who have seen photos of Ken's Menoth and Orboros forces throughout my previous battle reports, you'll have noticed that he's no slouch with a paintbrush, and the value of these gifts (and I feel comfortable speaking for Marc here) cannot be measured monetarily.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Impetus Battle Report - The Flight of the Free Company

Chris had recently finished painting his first 300 points of Milanese, so in spite of the many chores leading up to Xmas, we had to find time to throw down earlier this week. The native Milanese general Francesco Prosciutto surveyed the battlefield before the engagement, determined to send the mercenary forces of John Stockwood fleeing from the field.

The Battlefield:

The terrain was rather typical. We casually laid out some hills, a forest, and a couple of fields, with the center of the battlefield left more or less open. The top of the photo shows Chris's main line (CPx4 screened by Sx4) with infantry to his left, ready to defend the hill.

The bottom of the photo shows the mercenary force deployed in groups. From L to R: two units of javelinmen, three groups of longbowmen supported by men-at-arms, and finally, two units of mercenary knights and a unit of javelinmen.

Right Flank:

Etienne De Garde (fair general) led the mercenary right-flank. Stockwood had coincidentally sent his nephew Rodger of Lynn on a minor diplomatic errand to the south of France just a day before the battle.

Across the field, the Milanese city militia were ordered to march to the hill and to entrench themselves as speedily as possible.

De Garde urged the knights towards the Italian line, convinced that the crushing speed of the warhorses would ride down the enemy.

Unfortunately, just as the mercenary knights began to crest the hill, the evening sun shone blindingly in their faces. The ensuing confusion caused the cavalry line to break formation, and the necessary force was lost. The Italian militia, holding the high ground with spears set to take the charge, drove the mercenaries back down the hill.

Before the battle had ended, De Garde's command was routed and fled the field.

Main Line:

While Etienne and his men were bringing shame to the De Garde name, Stockwood advanced the main line cautiously and began raining arrows down on the approaching Italians.

The Milanese cavalry advanced steadily despite the long-range missile threat.

In a shocking display of zealous chivalry, Francesco Prosciutto and his personal guard charged forward towards the mercenary infantry. Before making contact, some Italian knights were injured or killed by well-aimed arrows.

The longbowmen fled through the men-at-arms to their rear, and before long, a desperate melee had broken out. Stockwood was sure that the Italian general would be captured or perhaps even killed.

Just as the center unit of mercenary men-at-arms was re-deploying to come join in the melee, the Italian knight Giovanni the Black led a ferocious charge against them. (I took a photo of the dice roll to accurately capture said ferocity - JET)

Needless to say, Giovanni and his men were the decisive victors of the engagement.

Stockwood and his veterans found themselves in melee as well. Unfortunately however, the battle had already been decided, so Stockwood had to give the order to fall back. Another victory for the Italians.


How I love this game! Impetus is one of those rare games (much like Legends of the Old West for me) where I don't care whether I win or lose - I always have fun. I think my line was spread too thin, and I was too aggressive with my right flank. With my core of archers and footmen, I should be holding my heavy cavalry back in support of the infantry line. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Chris is painting his elite Familia Ducale and his artillery unit, which will take him to the 400-point goal for this project. I expect that one of our next battle reports will be a a 400-point engagement. In the meantime, it's midnight on Christmas day, my wife and son are long asleep, and I think it's time that I followed their example.

Thanks for reading (and Happy Holidays),

Friday, December 18, 2009

Workbench Update: Projects Old and New

With Xmas day just a week away, and being bombarded with lots of Xmas-related responsiblities, my geeking has certainly slowed down. That's not to say it's stopped, however. More importantly, I'm off during the entire week after the big day, and I plan on accomplishing something geek-related during that time.

Last night I cleaned up and mounted all of the models for my Chaos in Carpathia Werewolf warband, as shown above. Rumour has it that I'll be getting a collection of 28mm rural eastern european buildings for Xmas, so it shouldn't take very long to get this project up and running. After writing this post, I'll be getting the base-material down on these minis and plan to prime them sometime tomorrow. Chris E. plans on starting his Monster Hunter warband as well, and I believe that both Marc (probably Monster Hunters) and Ken (probably Vampires) will find themselves involved in this project before long.

For the Impetus fans out there, here's a shot of the first unit-in-progress for my 28mm Corrupted army for Impetus Fantasy. This base will obviously be a base of CP with my one and only general. When the painting is finished, the minis will be removed from the black bases and mounted to the wooden base under them. I predict that their first opponents will be Marc's Elves.

I'm just finishing up a couple of Stormguard for my Cygnar army so that I can field a 10-man unit. Warmachine and Hordes are both growing in our group right now - In addition to Yours Truly (Cygnar, Trollbloods), we have Ken (Menoth, Orboros, Skorne), Keir (Khador, Cryx), Marc (Cryx), Chris H. (Khador), Stu (Cygnar), as well as Nick (Orboros) and Jordan (Everblight), a couple of new recruits with armies in progress. Although the Privateer Press games aren't my main gaming interest anymore, I still love both games, and am especially excited about playing a common game with a larger group. I would say that in a year we'll be having some truly grand Warmachine & Hordes tournaments.

And finally, again for the Impetus fans, all that Chris E. has left to paint for his 400-point Milanese army is one unit of artillery and one unit of heavy cavalry. When that happens, I'll be taking a bunch of photos and putting up a gallery post. Until then...

Thanks for reading,

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Call of Corruption - Impetus Fantasy in 28mm

Although I quite recently updated you all on my upcoming projects for 2010, I've already added another to the list. Ever since some of the guys on the Impetus forum released the unofficial fantasy supplement, I've been digging through some odds and ends I have lying around and plan on putting some long-forgotten chaos models to good (evil?) use. This won't stop me from working on 15mm Dark Age Irish, Chaos in Carpathia, or Alkemy - it will just be thrown on the pile, and I'll hopefully have all of these projects accomplished before the baby arrives in July.

I plan on aiming for 400 points as it seems to be the most common game size in our group. Of course, many fantasy armies are composed of more expensive units, so a 400-point fantasy army will generally be smaller than a historical one. I'll briefly outline what I plan on doing.

Chaos Knights x 1 (CP)
I recently bought a box of the GW plastics, and it has to be said, they are awesome. I'm not as much of a fan of the GW sculpting style anymore, but the new Chaos units are an exception. I think I'll be putting three on the base, representing the general and his men. I was pondering four, but these guys are fairly bulky.

Chaos Warriors x 2 (FP)
Ken was kind enough to give me a box of chaos warriors some time ago, and it's high time that they were put to use. I have six models to use per base, so I'll likely add a little "something" to each unit to fill it out a bit. Can't tell you everything - there have to be some surprises ;).

Chaos Sorcerer x 1 (CH-Wizard)
The fantasy supplement has some new unit types, including the CH (or character) type. When fielded individually, these special units are based at half of the regular frontage and operate as any other unit in the game... except for the special abilities and spells of course. I have one of the newer plastic Empire wizards from GW which I may use for this unit, or I may go ahead and buy the current GW metal sorcerer with the horns.

Chaos Spawn x 1 (M)
The M (or monster) is another new unit type in the game. Most lists that include monsters have a generic enough stat line to allow any number of models to be fielded. Although a chaos army would look great with a shaggoth, giant, ogres, or even dragon, I just happen to have a metal chaos spawn still in the box. I look forward to putting it on the field.

Chaos Hounds x 2 (CL)
Although there aren't any light cavalry units in the Corrupted army list, the designers encourage players to use units from any of the other lists in order to accurately represent their armies. Since I have a box of the lovely plastic chaos hounds, I've decided to field a couple of units of close-combat light cavalry borrowed from the Orc list.

Evil Men x 3 (S)
I 'm generally not a rash consumer of geekly wares. In fact, I often put more thought into buying a $5.00 model than some of the guys put into buying a $500.00 army. However, about a year ago I bought a box of plastic GW crossbowmen. I'm going to do some minor conversions and paint them up as traitorous crossbow-toting cultists. It should be fun.

Daemons x 3 (S x 2 and FL x 1)
I have eight metal daemonettes and eight metal horrors of Tzeentch all painted-up for my Lost and the Damned army for 40k. Since I don't play 40k anymore, I am overjoyed to pull these guys out of storage and to re-base them for Impetus. The daemonettes will function as close-combat skirmishers while the Horrors will be a FL unit that my sorcerer will (hopefully) be summoning.

Anyway, that's the plan for now. Models for the first unit have been primed, so I expect to have a completed unit posted for your viewing pleasure in the not-too-distant future.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Irish Bonnachts (unit #1)

Impetus Unit Type: FL
Base Size: 8cm x 4cm
Special: javelin
Manufacturer: Feudal Castings and Corvus Belli
Ever since I developed an interest in historical wargaming I've wanted to play a dark age army. When Extra Impetus #2 came out I had a quick glance through the lists in the "Year 1000" section and decided on Norse-Irish. I'll initially be completing a core of light foot and skirmishers. Since there's an option to add Norse allies I'll likely add some huscarls down the road.

The models are from Feudal Castings' feudal/medieval Irish range with a couple of exceptions. The figure to your left is a CB Irish Kern from their HYW range. I had some lying around and thought they looked more dark age and decided to mix them throughout the army. The model with the blue shield is a Feudal Casting Pict model. I also have a few of those lying around and thought they would mix nicely.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Free Company Army for Impetus

Although I've displayed each individual unit of my Free Company army as part of my Hundred Years War (Impetus) thread, I wanted to formally finish-off the project by showing some photos of the entire 400-point force arrayed as an actual army on the field. First the photos - then all of the boring commentary.

Mercenary men-at-arms gallop into position before battle. The three units are led by (L to R) the impetuous Rodger of Lynn, the battle-hardened Etienne de Garde, and Beauregard LeFleur, a great French tactician, as well as something of a charmer with the ladies.

Commander-in-Chief Sir James Stockwood (black and white livery, holding helmet) employs units of out-of-work English archers to form the main battle line of his army.

Chief Engineer Marcelo Rocco (far right) adds long range fire support during siege warfare and defensive actions.

Mercenary crossbowmen fan out ahead of dismounted men-at-arms in an attempt to soften up the enemy.

Terrain that would be impassable to many is easily traversed by the skilled Breton javelinmen. The combination of their fleet-footedness and fieldcraft makes for highly mobile and effective skirmishers.

Reflections & Commentary:

The rest of the posts in this thread display each unit individually and form the "living" gallery that I used to track my progress. Now that I've completed Impetus armies in 6mm, 10mm, and 15mm, I can say with assurance that 15mm is my favourite scale, both as a painter and a gamer. I find that this scale allows me to approach each figure as an individual, but the smaller size (relative to 25/28mm) allows me to paint at a speed that gets results in a reasonable timeframe. That isn't to say that I'm done with 6mm or 10mm - far from it. However, for the forseeable short term I will be sticking with 15mm projects.

If I may presume to advise, I would strongly recommend the unit-by-unit approach when painting an Impetus army at this scale. I found that concentrating on selecting, cleaning, painting, and basing one unit at a time helped me to stay focused and kept the oppressive "Will I every finish this project?" feeling at bay. A medieval army provides the perfect project for those who get bored easily and who don't want to get caught in painting the same colour scheme over and over and over again.

Thanks to all who followed me on this project. The enquires, comments, and compliments were very motivational and I hope you'll all be sticking around to watch the next army grow.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mounted Men-At-Arms (unit #3)

Impetus Unit Type: CP
Base Size: 8cm x 6cm
Special: Impetuous
Manufacturer: Corvus Belli
My third unit of heavy cavalry is led by French knight Beauregard LeFleur. I tried out some new horse colours this time round, including black (blue & yellow heraldry) and the rusty brown (yellow tack on the edge of the base). This marks the final unit for my 400-point force.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Geek Day Diary Entry #5: "Mk II Warmachine and Hordes Tournament"

It's been a while since I've posted a Geek Day entry. Although we had a day in October (Halloween actually), we played a six-player game of Twilight Imperium that turned out to be a bust. The game really dragged and we never finished it. The game seems to borrow elements from a number of other games, and then attempts to combine them rather unsuccessfully. But I shall reserve my TI criticisms for the present.

Our November Geek Day, by contrast, was a smashing success. Keir, one of our geeks abroad made the hellishly eight-hour long drive over a dark, wet, and fog-ridden highway in order to be present. In the end, he won our modified steamroller tournament, so I'm sure the driving was worth it in the end.

Five at the table; one behind the camera - all ready for action!

With the recent release of the Hordes Mk II Beta Rules, we had a mix of Warmachine and Hordes armies on the table. Those present included Chris H. (Khador), Ken (Orboros), Marc (Cryx), Keir (Khador), Stu (Cygnar) and me (Trollbloods). Stu organized a customized Steamroller tournament where players could earn one tournament victory point for completing the scenario objective and one victory point for a caster kill. So, if the timing was right, one could earn two victory points per scenario. Here's the brief run-down of my three games:

Game #1: Hoarluk (my Trolls) vs. Kaya (Ken's Orboros)

It was fitting that the first match-up was an all-Hordes smashathon. Ken and I played a scenario with two objective points on the table. Victory was achieved by controlling a five-inch radius around each objective by the end of a player's turn. After a couple of rounds of combat between our thinly-spread forces, I managed to use the Troll Champions to decimate all-comers near one objective, while the Pyg Bushwackers rushed out to claim the second. I earned one VP for claiming the objective, but failed to kill (or even engage) Kaya.

Hoarluk stayed in a central position in an attempt to keep his beasts under control.

The ground shook just before the Dire Troll threw the Warp Wolf away from the objective, allowing the Pygs to move in and claim victory.

Troll Champions pulverized the Bloodtrackers.

Game #2: Madrak (my Trollbloods) vs. Karchev (Chris's Khador)

When Chris and I played, the table was divided into six zones - three on each side of the table. The first player to control two of his own zones and one of his opponent's was the winner. I also won this scenario by accomplishing the objective before Chris. Chris managed to get a Spriggan into combat with Madrak, but thanks to damage transference and the Scroll of Grindar's Perseverance, Madrak survived. The following turn, my units moved into the necessary zones and ended the game. Again, there was no caster kill so I scored 1 VP.

Karchev and his battlegroup advanced towards my line.

Madrak taking a pounding.

The Pygs claimed their second objective of the day.

Game #3: Madrak (my Trollbloods) vs. Vlad (Keir's Khador)

The final scenario had two markers placed in each player's deployment zone. The scenario objective was to move heavy hitters into the enemy zone and to destroy or seriously damage the markers. Our game involved a lot of melee, and eventually saw the two casters locked in mortal combat. Madrak came out short, and Keir earned victory points for both the objectives and the caster kill.

Battle was joined under the shadow of the watchtower.

The champions had their work cut out for them.

Khadorean battle prowess overcame troll savagery.

Game 4: Caine (my Cygnar) vs. Vlad (Keir's Khador)

Although the tournament ended at supper time, after a hearty meal, Keir and I adjourned to the basement and played a game of Warmachine. He used the same list from the tournament and I broke out the Cygnareans. As it turns out, the mass of Cygnar shooting took its toll on the Khador forces, and as the battle neared its end, even the mighty dark prince went down to a shower of magelock pistol fire.

Caine's forces advanced with guns drawn.

After Caine's feat, the first wave of the Khador force was seriously diminished.

The Khador heavy jack and Great Bears caused massive damage on the Cygnar warjacks.

Anyone doing up a Camaro? Cheap spare parts.

What's worse than a Man-O-War Kovnik? Two Man-O-War Kovniks.


As far as the tournament went, Keir won the day with a total of four victory points, and I think everyone had a good time. In fact, it's been some time since so many of us played Warmachine and Hordes at one time. In any event, I'm sure Keir drove home with a tremendous smile on his face as he reflected on his victory. Hopefully he'll find his way in again before too long. I don't know about any of you, but I think he should get back at that 15mm Medieval French army for Impetus. ;)

And although Chris E. isn't really a Warmachine or Hordes player, even he made an appearance during the afternoon and managed to paint a couple of units of crossbowmen for Impetus.

Thanks for reading,