Sunday, September 28, 2008

Building Simple Fences

After turning my hand at making some cheap card buildings from scratch for Old West gaming, I realized that I would need some fences to keep livestock in order. I looked around the house for materials (not wanting to spend money on terrain as usual). Here's what I used - long matches, large popsicle sticks (do the British call them lolly sticks?), and white glue.

The sticks are six inches long, so I cut four posts for each stick base (I did 8 all together), and spaced them evenly. If you try this, make sure that the end posts go right to the edge, otherwise there'll be gaps in your fence. Each post was put in place with a dollop of white glue. Try to line the posts up, more or less. They will seem flimsy at first. They'll be strong enough when the glue dries.

I then start cutting the match sticks to finish off. Simply hold the matchstick in place, mark with a pencil, and cut a shade larger than you need. Sand until the piece fits snug. If this is taking a long time, you're being too particular. Here's a finished length.

Here's a gate piece in progress.

When these are assembled, I'll sand the bases as usual, and will probably paint to match the stable I made. My mission of being the cheapest terrain-building geek continues successfully!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cygnar Gallery

After I started getting my Trollblood force together for Hordes, I realized that I wanted a Warmachine force for variety of play. I thought long and hard about which faction I would collect, but fate intervened and made the choice for me one day during the summer of 2007 when Ken offered to sell me his Cygnar starter box. Although I was strongly drawn to both Mercenaries and Cryx, it's hard for any geek to turn down the option that he holds in his hand. I'm glad I made the choice I did - The Cygnareans have served me well in both victories and the fun factor.

Commander Coleman Stryker
Captain Victoria Haley

Lt. Allister Caine

Commander Adept Nemo

Major Victoria Haley

Jeremiah Kraye

Squire (caster attachment)

Journeyman Warcaster

Arlen Strangeways

Gun Mage Captain Adept #1

Gun Mage Captain Adept #2





Light Warjack Wreck Marker





Long Gunners

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages

Chief Mechanik & Goblin Bodgers

Reinholdt the Goblin Speculator

As a gamer...

To date, I haven't enjoyed playing any force for any wargame more than I enjoy playing my Cygnar army for Warmachine. The army is elite in nature, and there are many options for long range and melee combat. The warcasters are generally great at buffing the army's offensive and defensive capabilities. The best thing about playing Cygnar is the sheer number of possible combinations when designing lists. The units aren't too linear, and almost any combination of my collection has its merits on the field.

As a painter...

The Cygnar models (and Warmachine models in general I think) are visually an acquired taste. I find that the Cygnar collection specifically has a cartoon or comic-book steampunk look to them. My bright blue and in-your-face "golden" yellow scheme is meant to mimic the look of comic book art rather than any kind of reality. I realize it's a preference thing, but I'm pleased with the effect, and the army is sure hard to miss on the table.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Battle Reports: two for the price of one

Saints preserve us! Is Saturday night upon us again? The answer was yes, and you know what that means - to the table! Ken purchased a new digital chess clock and we restricted ourselves to seven-minute turns. Let's get to it.

The first game was a 500 point match-up between my Cygnar and Marc's Cryx. The lists were as follows:

Cygnar - 468 pts (played by me)
Captain Victoria Haley w/Ironclad x 1 & Defender x 1, Journeyman Warcaster w/Sentinal, Long Gunners x 6, Stormsmiths x 2, Gunmage Captain Adept x 0

Cryx - 516 pts (played by Marc)
Warwitch Deneghra w/Nightwretch x 2, Deathjack x 1. Slayer x 1, Mechanithralls x 6, Skarlock x 1, Pistol Wraith x 1

An few notes before we begin. Sitting here writing on Sunday afternoon has brought a few oversights to my attention (no, we weren't drunk last night). First of all, I had an exact 500 point list made up, but forgot to deploy my GMCA, so I actually played 468 pts. Marc (the bastardly cheater! jk) played 516 points of Cryx. I assume that the Skarlock wasn't supposed to be in the list, but its contribution was more or less irrelevant to the out come of the game.

The Cygnar battle line ready for action.

And those pesky Cryx bastards once again defiling my table.

Marc's right flank (i.e. cowards) shaking behind the forest.

My long gunners bravely run for cover...

...and the rest of the army moves up aggressively.

The Deathjack and a Nightwretch lead the way.

Marc keeps his other arc node back as reserve.

The pistol wraith cuts wide around my left flank.

Deneghra casts venom on the long gunners and misses.

The top of my second turn I allocated focus. I kept the bulk of my force within three inches of Haley so that they could be protected by Arcane Vortex.

Haley casts Temporal Barrier and the long gunners annihilate a nightwretch.

A stormsmith hits and disrupts the Deathjack with a stormcall.

The Cryxian forces prepare to counter. The other arc node moves into position.

The Cryxian right flank moves into position.

Deneghra takes the hill where she begins by feating with the Withering and capturing everything but the long gunners.

A few Venom shots are cancelled by arcane vortex. However, the third takes out a stormsmith and the journeyman.

The leftovers after the Venom attack.

Haley moves behind the jacks, casts Temporal Barrier, and reactivates the Sentinal. Thanks to the Withering, there isn't much else for me to do.

The Cryx forces move in for the kill.

The Deathjack does very little... does the pistol wraith.

Then (and I didn't see this coming) Deneghra charges Haley. Three attacks, and by the end, Haley still had almost half of her damage left. Cygnar turn four saw Haley (with better dice) take down the warwitch.

The second game was a Hordes vs. Warmachine affair featuring Ken-oth of Men-oth's cowardly Kreoss army taking on the couragous forces of Madrak Ironhide. The lists shook down like so:

Trollbloods - 500 pts (played by me)
Madrak Ironhide w/Diretroll Mauler & Troll Axer, Trollblood Champions x 5, Scattergunners x 6, Fell Caller x 1, Totem Hunter x 1

Menoth - 498 pts (played by Ken)
Kreoss w/Revenger x 1, Devout x 1, Repenter x 1 & Redeemer x 1, Temple Flameguard x 7 + unit attachment, Choir x 6, Rupert Carvolo.

I should mention that during this game, Marc was busy fratenizing with my wife and one of the neighbours, there was the time limit... in short, I kept forgetting to take pictures. But here's the few I did get.

The Menothians prepare to engage...

...and the Trollbloods are happy to oblige...

Ken starts off with a very aggressive advance towards the enemy.

Kreoss casts Protection of Menoth of the TFG.

The Devout stands near at hand to deal with any funny business.

Kreoss also cast Lamentation (i.e. it cost double for me to cast spells while within his control area). The Choir sang the "make all menoth jacks more choppy and shooty" hymn.

The trolls get on the move, and Madrak casts Surefoot on himself in an attempt to make the core of his force invunerable to Kreoss's feat.

The totem hunter moves into the ruins.

The choir increases the warjacks' martial ability again.

And the Redeemer starts unloading that rocket launcher on my champions. There was some damage, but none died.

The TFG charge the line. Ken's dice rolling was uninspired to say the least, and the turn ended on this sour note.

During the next turn, I killed some TFG and not much else. The key mistake of the turn - I only moved Madrak about 13 1/2 inches away from Kreoss, and therefore, he couldn't cast Surefoot this turn.

During Ken's turn, Kreoss predictably popped his feat and knocked my entire army down. Without his high defense, the totem hunter is consumed in the flames of the Repenter.

The Redeemer unloads it's rocket launcher at the prone chieftan. After three shots, Madrak had taken a few scratches and transferred the rest to his beasts.

The Dire Troll takes a couple for the team.

To end the turn, the TFG screen their caster.

I started the next turn by moving the champions out of the way. I needed a charge lane and a clear line of sight for Madrak.

Madrak stood up and stayed still. He threw Rathrok at the enemy, and thanks to a Ricochet, took out the two TFG blocking Kreoss. Meanwhile, the Axer casts its Rush animus on the Dire Troll Mauler and the Fell Caller used its Revielle song to make the Dire Troll stand up.

The Dire Troll charged Kreoss, and I think we all know what happens when Dire Trolls charge warcasters ;)

Overall, we had great two games. Marc won two last week, and this week (as Marc would say), I was "awash with victory." The pressure is on Ken to win two games next week.

I had two casters who were matched with opponent's with whom they could deal effectively. From here on in, we will play tournament style - lists are devised and presented on game night without any previous knowledge of what one's opponent is bringing to the table. I think this will make our games more dramatic still.

But it never ended there...

Come on... Saturday night? We have to stay up until at least 1:30, even if we are old farts! The next order of business was a game of Puerto Rico. We haven't played in so long - it was quite refreshing.

Ken lectures all present on his mastery of colony management and corn dealing.

I'm not so sure Ken knows a whole lot about the corn business. I just nod and smile anyway.

Marc, in typical diva-style refused the camera... or maybe he took the pics, can't remember.

Here we are, ready to go.

Here was my board at game end...

...and Marc's...

...but the victory went to Ken. Who knows, maybe Ken knows more about corn-dealing than I give him credit for.

And as always, the casualties of war.

Another fun night and good times all around.

Thanks for reading,