Dropping The (Great Big Iron) Gloves   1 comment

Well, to begin our re-entry into Warmachine, Andrew and I brought our starters to the table and had a go at Mk II rules.  We both played a game or two of the new rules back when they were in beta, and I think when they were brand new.  But that was TWO years ago, now, so it has been quite a while.  We were both well-versed enough, though, to be able to get through the game in a short time, figuring out our new battlegroups and re-learning some things about the game.

The Game

We set up in regular fashion, I think.  I had Sorscha inbetween her two Heavies, while Kreoss was hiding behind his wall of metal.  Pfft.  Menoth panzies.*

I went first, moved up under Fog of War (giving me Concealment) and that’s all.  Menoth moves up, and not much else.

Turn Two I moved up again under FoW, and this time sent a Bombard shot at the Repenter.  It hit, did a little damage, and actually hit Kreoss for 2 points.  Menoth moved up, made my FoW disappear, made it harder for me to cast spells in Kreoss’ Control Range, and shot at the Destroyer with the Vanquisher, doing some damage.

The Game After Turn 2


Turn Three I pop my feat making all the Menoth models Stationary, then move back and give both ‘jacks Boundless Charge (letting them go further and get past the terrain in their way).  Both ‘jacks, with 2 Focus each, run up and smack the two Heavies a little.  The Juggernaut hits the Vanquisher, the Destroyer hits the Crusader.  A bunch of damage done, for sure.  The Juggernaut managed to Cripple the Vanquisher’s Movement and gun arm.  But they hit back and put some hurt on my Heavies, especially with Kreoss Charging up behind them.  Thankfully Andrew had to spend 4 Focus just to get them all out of Stationary, so they didn’t hit as hard as they could have.  Kreoss did Feat, though, knocking all the Khador models down.

Turn Four Sorscha stood up and gave all of her Focus to the ‘jacks, instead of trying to Shoot and Magic Kreoss in the back.  The ‘jacks do plenty of damage, with the Juggernaut killing off the Vanquisher and the Destroyer bringing the Crusader down to a SINGLE point of damage.  One.  Yeesh.  Well, it was easy for the Kreoss and his remaining ‘jacks to destroy both of my ‘jacks.  So now Sorscha was staring a smoking Heavy, a nearly-fine Light and Kreoss, who was only one damage point lower than her now.  Oi.

We considered calling it at this point, but I’m not one to give up!  So Sorscha cast Wind Rush giving her a free move up (and added Def), then Charged Kreoss.  Swipe-swipe-swipe with Frostfang and she brought Kreoss down to…wait for it…a SINGLE point of damage.  Big yeesh!  So here she was, ready to take a beating from two ‘jacks and a ‘caster when we realised something.  Something potentially huge!

The Game During Turn 5


We realised that Andrew had mis-read the stat card for Kreoss and had been giving him Weapon Master instead of a Magical Weapon!  So the 6 or whatever hits he had laid on my ‘jacks had gotten a free boost each time!  We figured it had amounted to a lot of damage.  Whether my ‘jacks would have survived one more turn or not, we will never know, but we called the game here as a Draw.  I didn’t want to take a win because of a mistake like this, especially since it could have gone either way.

Thoughts on the Game

Well, Andrew’s mistake was just one example of how it’ll be a few more games until we are re-familiarised with the system and with our armies.  Back when we used to play, we didn’t have little icons to memorize.  I’m still not sure if all of the icons are helpful or not.  It was an honest mistake (unlike that time he kept Upkeeping a non-Upkeepable spell with Haley that helped win him that game…or multiple games, I’m not sure), and I just chalk it up to us being new to the game.  We’ll figure out the general and army-specific rules and tactics sooner or later.

The game also helped me remember that I DO like this game.  It’s no Malifaux or WHFB for me, still, but it’s good.  Right now I feel the decision-making is more daunting than Malifaux, even though more of the models on the table in a Malifaux game have their booklets full of options and rules like Warcasters do in Warmachine.  Familiarity will definitely change this, but I don’t think I will like this game MORE than Malifaux or WHFB.  Possibly nearly equally, but likely not quite up there.

One thing that is nice about this game over the other two is simplicity in performing actions.  You have straight up numbers with some modifiers, you add 2 or 3 (or 4, I know) dice, and roll, trying to meet or beat one number, then do it again if you’re successful trying to very much beat another number.  And the numbers are there, unchanging.  Easy peasy.  In Warhammer you’ve got your stats, the target’s stats, two charts and usually a bunch of dice.  Attacking is a lot more complicated, AND THEN there are the save rolls.  In Malifaux you have your stats, then you both flip cards and can change the cards and add more cards.  Not so simple.  DO NOT GET ME WRONG, though. I have NO issue with either of those systems.  In fact, I love the variety of methods these three games use, and I think all three are enjoyable and have their place.  I do not favour one over the other, as each have their pros (simple vs. lots o’ dice! vs. cool card management) and cons (almost boring vs. lots of work vs. lots of work).  Whichever game I am playing, I like how it works.

One thing that I do like in Malifaux, and the other games that use it, is alternating activations.  In WHFB, I think IGOUGO works just fine, and I wouldn’t ever consider it any other way.  In Malifaux and Dark Age, etc. I love how you can react quickly to certain events with alternating activations.  In Warmachine, IGOUGO of course works, but it’s a game where I wonder, how would this play out using alternating activations?  It’s an experiment I would like to try at some point.  Would it break the game?  Would it make the game better?  Or would it just be a waste of time because it’s not broke, so why ‘fix’?

Thoughts on Khador

So far, I like this faction.  The ‘jacks are beefy with a touch more Armour, a few more damage boxes and the fact that there are NO Light ‘jacks.  They hit hard and they don’t fall easily.  That’s cool.  Sort of like the Ogres I am getting into for WHFB.  Interesting.  Sorscha is cool, and I will learn to use her to the best of my abilities.

I know the rest of the army well-enough from going through the book.  If we end up continuing to play Warmachine, and build off of these battlegroups, I am going to stick with Sorscha.  I will likely build towards her Tier list, as I am a theme-oriented kind of guy (in fact any force I go with from WarmaHordes will be Tier-based themed).  If we REALLY continue with it, and I want to stick with Khador, I will go with Koldun Kommander Zerkova for the Greylord/Doom Reaver theme, who I like for some reason.  But while I run Sorscha I will go with some Widowmakers and Winter Guard.  While I don’t need another ‘horde’ army to worry about, the foot-soldiers are way more appealing to me than the Man-o-War units.

But that’s a decision for the future.  Might I eventually pick up thematic additions even if we don’t play it alot?  Yeah, probably, as I’m that kind of guy.  Might I eventually pick up thematic additions for OTHER forces and armies even if we don’t play it alot?  Heck yeah, as I’m REALLY that kind of guy.  If I end up with a lot of pretty models in the end, then I win.

The End

Well, for now, that’s all.  My Juggernaut is almost painted up, only slowed down by my son being very sick for most of this past week.  I’ve got a Workbench Update coming this weekend on my blog, so check that out to see where I am at.  I’ll show off the finished product here, too, as soon as it’s done.

Otherwise, I am stuck at home for the next while with the new baby coming very soon, so as long as Andrew and Rob and now Loy can come over, I’ll be playing Warmachine as much as possible.  And WHFB.  And Malifaux.  And Dark Age.

I really need to stop playing so many games.  It’s hard to juggle so much hobbying and gaming!

…but I love it.

Thanks for reading.

*N.B. I actually like Menoth as a faction, and have almost gone with them before.  But since I am now fighting for the Mother Khador, I have to heckle my foes, whether I like them or not.


Tabula Rasa   2 comments

Let’s say that you had to start miniature gaming from scratch. Let’s say that you didn’t have the mountain of lead and the cluttered workstation. Let’s say that you could choose from any of the games out there. What would you do?

So, I asked myself this question last week. For me, it’s as much about optimizing my gaming time and experience as well as cleaning out some the stuff I won’t be touching for a while.

Here’s some assumptions I made:

  1. I only want 1 years worth of miniatures. That means that if i’m not going to use it in a year, I don’t want it.
  2. A large army game (WHFB, 40K, DBM, WM/H, Heavy Gear) needs about 3 months of painting and playing time to really appreciate them.
  3. A small army game (Mercs, Dark Age, Helldorado, Infinity) needs about 1 month of painting and playing time to really appreciate them.
  4. Just because i want to own fewer miniatures, doesn’t mean that i’ll never play another system. I still want to demo new games and do some ToG projects.

With that in mind i started to do some calculating and fantasizing. I came to the realization that I can really only support 4 large armies and 2 skirmish armies. Even four armies is a full schedule of gaming throughout the year. With these numbers in mind, I listed the possible candidates and came down to the following choices:

  • WHFB High Elves
  • 4ok Orks
  • WHFB Tomb Kings
  • 40k Ultramarines
  • Warmachine Khador
  • Hordes Trollbloods

I look at the list above and realize that even half of those armies would be a ton of work. The above has to be the upper limit for me, at least while I’m still employed full-time.

So now the selection is done, let’s get down to optimizing. To me, optimizing includes:

  • Finding great opponents and playing them as much as possible
  • Fielding beautifully fully painted armies
  • Being so well versed in the rules i only have to peek a few times into the rules
  • Finding that third or fourth layer of strategy and depth in the play of an army

40k Orks

This army was the first I ever started and will probably be the last one I hold at the Apocalypse. Currently I’m playing in a GREAT campaign league and having a ball. I own all the models I want for now. The only thing is that the painting is a bit of a slog. Orks are one of the easiest armies to paint, but at the same time the most difficult. You can get away with a rough slapped on paint job, but if you really want to do them nicely you realize that orks have multiple levels of painting complexity. Painting worn, dirty clothing, rusty metal trucks, battle damage and haphazard primative glyphs require a lot of work to get right…and believeable.



As for play commitment, this one’s a bit softer than the Orks. I’m definitely sure that the ToG on this one will go a few posts, but I’m worried that it will lose steam. On the bright side, we’re only doing starters so we probably won’t be broken by the sheer weight of the models we have to paint. I’ve got four trolls, nicely assembled by azmzero, that need painting.


WHFB High Elves / Tomb Kings

Here’s where things get muddy. Fantasy, while beloved by our group, is mostly a series of pick up and play games at random points values. I find that the inspiration to paint comes a lot from the anticipation of throwing down your force in front of another. That’s why my Orks, though difficult to paint, are so far along. The added difficulty is that i’m not sure which army to pick up and paint up first. The High Elves are newer, so the experience is fresh. Their elegance is also a nice sharp contrast from the feral quality of the Orks and the Trolls. Tomb Kings are an older army of mine. They are kinda all over the place, both physically and in their state of repair. Still, aesthetically I find them among the most interesting armies in minis gaming.

WH Khador

Most of these guys are done and ready to go. I’d love to throw them into the ToG, but Justin has claimed the Khador hat. So, i get the feeling my Winter Guard will be waiting in the drawer for the rest of the winter…

40k Space Marines

Last and least. I don’t own any of these so they are more an idea than a reality. They are on this list because they are iconic and have so much variety. Who knows, maybe in a few months I’ll replace this selection with a Historical Japanese Samurai Field of Glory army. Or a Mercs squad. Or a Dust Tactics Axis force. Or a Lord of the Rings Skirmish starter. Or a…well you get the picture.





Posted December 4, 2012 by coffeedream in Uncategorized

Wood Elves vs. Tomb Kings   2 comments

Justin and I managed to get in our match, and while I can’t write a battle report(yet), I did want to say a few words about the game and both armies.

First thing is that there were a lot of quirky things that happened.  This means that there were quite a few laughs, always good when your goal is to enjoy yourself.  I made 3 channelling attempts in a row.  Justin rolled 4 sixes to hit but got no wounds.  He made two killing blows against a unit that is immune.  I forgot ALL my champions for the first few turns.  He forgot that each charioteer gets two attacks.  He then missed casting his spell that gave everyone in his army double-shot, twice. Both times just by one.  And more.  There were lots of silly mistakes, odd dice rolls, funny happenings.

Laughing is cathartic.

Tomb Kings

I can’t write at length about the Tomb Kings so I will do them first.  Justin brought a pretty interesting list to the table.  A level one and two priest buried in a horse archer unit, the casket of souls, two units of chariots, and a unit of three tomb swarm.  He designed his list to stall and take shots at me with magic and bows and it did a great job of putting the pressure on me to engage. The bulk of his spells were dispelled thanks to very lucky Wood Elf dispel dice and a few unfortunate rolls, as mentioned above.  Several times the casket managed its spell effect that causes the target to take a leadership test on three dice and take wounds equal to anything over their Ld stat.  This ability almost eliminated my unit of Treekin.  By the time they had crossed the board and engaged the Casket (killing the Horse Archers on the way) they had been reduced to one model with two wounds left.  All from the casket.  Targeting Forest Spirits with magic attacks is really good.  Other than the casket, Justin’s archers were the next most effective incentive for me to get into close combat as fast as possible.  In a surprise move he held back his chariots and used them to shoot arrows at me.  Wow, annoying. Probably this is the smart way to use them.  When I owned the army he is playing I always tried to advance them up into a charge opportunity but that would only work less than 50% of the time.  This way Justin effectively forced me to move my units into his charge range or be eliminated by ranged attacks.

Wood Elves

I have heard it mentioned that the Wood Elves are by far the weakest army in Warhammer Fantasy right now.  This thinking must be mostly held by the tournament community because on a first perusal of the army book and after my first battle I’m not sure I agree.  At least from the perspective of a very casual gamer.  I’m not sure what hardcore GW gamers use when they build a Wood Elf list but I am going to focus on Forest Spirits.  The Dryads are my favourite models in the army.


First thing I’d like to mention about my Wood Elf list is what I would call my best purchase of the game, Pageant of Shrikes.  This is a single strength 4 ranged attack with a range of 18″ that is capable of picking out single models in units purchased for the Branchwraith that let my Dryads into battle.  I used this very effectively to eliminate Justin’s level 2 priest in the second turn of the game.  This one thing, I believe, cause me to win the game.  Because of this, and the Branchwraith also being fairly good in combat I would say that she was my MVP.


As I mentioned above the Dryads are my favourite model in the Wood Elf army, they just look amazing.  It doesn’t hurt that they are a great close combat unit with some excellent abilities.  They have a natural armour save of 5+ and also a ward save of 5+.  Unfortunately this ward save is circumvented by magic attacks…odd…whatever, I can work around it.  An argument could be made that they are slightly over-costed  coming in at 1 point more than a Saurus Warrior.  The big differences being that the Dryads have a ward save and skirmish whereas the Saurus get all the benefits of being a core regiment (command, unlimited ranks, rank bonuses).  The final perk for them is that they can be joined by a Branchwraith.

Glade Guard

After my first play with them I felt very strongly that they were too expensive for what they could perform on the table but after “unit analysis” conversation with Justin I think that these guys are costed just right compared to most other ranged units.  The key deciding factor for me was that, due to the extra range from longbows, the Glade Guard can get short ranged attacks in outside of almost every close combat units average charge range.  In our game Justin won the first turn and dropped 25% of my Glade Guard with ranged attacks and, of course, they panicked.  Having a very high Ld they rallied but the whole mess took them out of position and caused them not to be able to fire.  One interesting side-effect was that they were in a perfect position to deal with the Tomb Swarm when they surfaced.  Thanks Justin.  Despite a lacklustre showing I will still field at least one group, and probably multiple groups of Glade Guard in the future.

Eternal Guard

These guys don’t really do it for me.  I think they are a capable close combat unit.  Their stats and their special abilities are pretty good.  My interest in them is pretty low.  I misread the note on the Eternal Guard and assumed that if I bought a Noble with the Eternal Kindred that they were core.  Oops!  Though I had enough core without them and enough (just!) room in special with them so I didn’t actually cheat so everything is good.  I didn’t really get to see them perform because of the type of list Justin brought.  He started reducing the Eternal Guard right away and I, in an act of desperation, advanced them quickly, and straight into a charge from some chariots.  They took very heavy casualties.  They still managed to defeat the chariots but that is ALL they did.  Rob has provided me with a full unit of 20 (with a Noble/Highborn added to them) and a nice movement tray to load them on so they will no doubt have a place in my army in that state for the foreseeable future.

As a whole I am pretty happy with the Wood Elves.  I am definitely happy I swapped the High Elves for them.  I was really dreading the thought of all that assembly.  I was pretty worried at the beginning of the game when I saw how Justin’s list was going to work.  Elves started dying all over the place, my archers were out for the first few turns, and I had a wall of chariots on the horizon looking pretty menacing.  In my typical fashion I started getting a little cranky about how the list was performing (sort of a “par for the course” reaction in my head).  Historically I am pretty slow at adopting new army tactics.  I am still trying to figure out the Lizardmen!  Things started turning around after a turn or two of marching to meet Justin’s line.  The charge turn was pretty demoralizing but once the casualties had been removed and everyone held I started feeling better.  Pageant of Shrikes took out a caster, the Dryads laid a smack-down on some chariots, the Eternal Guard held their own.  The tide seemed to be changing.   And, for a change, we played it out to the very end.  Probably because of how close it was.  Could have gone either way.  All this eventually translated into a win for the Elves (Yay!  Sorry Justin.)  Nice to have a brand new force work out, regardless of mistakes, and bring home a win.  All-in-all I felt Justin’s list was a good one, interesting to play against and, despite crumbling during close combat, was fairly strong. I’d like to replay the game to see how it would go with us both learning from our mistakes.

Rebooting Warmachine (& Hordes)   4 comments

The optimistically long list that was my Game Plan for 2012 included many hopes and dreams.  As it turns out, even after revamping the list, nearly every project on the list failed to start or get anywhere significant.  One such project was rebooting Warmachine, and halfway through November I had already given up on it as a goal and left it for dead.  Well, miracle of miracles, I somehow managed to convince Andrew that Warmachine, a game we quite enjoyed just a few years ago, was worth coming back to.  Lo and behold, in between typing this post and watching videos on youtube, Andrew and I are simultaneously assembling our brand-new Battlegroups!  I guess it should not have come as a surprise, as we don’t usually have trouble convincing each other to buy into new game systems, but I was not sure that resurrecting an old one would be as easy.  Hah, oh me of little faith.

And so, here I am, introducing our return to the wonderful world of Warmachine, Privateer Press’ “Steam-Powered Miniatures Combat” game where one of the rules is “Play Like You’ve Got A Pair!”

You know the game, of course.  I’ve heard it spouted as one in the current trinity of most popular tabletop games (aside 40k and Infinity).  I’ve also heard, and seen, it rise in popularity over the past year or so.  More and more youtubers are posting videos about the game, and some of my favourite Warhammer Fantasy battle-reporters on the video site have gone and switched over to WM/H.  And I will say, that after a few years’ hiatus I was ready last year to get back into it, just about the time that our WHFB Tale of Gamers Challenge started to crumble (for reasons unrelated to WM/H, I’m sure).  In fact, since last year I have started collecting new forces, planned to start collecting new forces, and even just recently started going back to paint the forces I already own.  Now, I will be happy to sell off or trade away my old stuff, if for nothing else but to pay for new purchases (a cyclical nature of my hobbying that I believe keeps the economy running smoothly).  While Rhulics and the Pirates served me well(ish) in the past, there are two other forces that currently hold my interest:

  • Nemo running a force of lightning-immune Cygnarians (“No Lightning, No Thank You”)
  • Baldur and a Sticks-n-Stones Circle force

Now, of course not only are these not starter box forces, you actually won’t find anything I want to run in these lists in their faction’s starters at all!  Not very helpful.  So I have to do it he hard way.  I actually already have a few pieces from Cygnar that will fit into Nemo’s theme.  Baldur, not yet, but they will likely start making their way into my collection soon.

So, instead, when it came time just recently to decide how best to get back into the game, Andrew found an ebay-seller parting out the 2-player starter boxes.  So we had to decide between Menoth, Khador, Circle and Legion.  As the two Hordes factions did not appeal to me, it was between Menoth and Khador.  I would have been fine taking either one, as over the course of my re-interesting myself in the game I poured over the various faction books and found plenty of characters, units, ‘jacks and themes that I enjoyed, and would like to build up.  Andrew’s preference was Menoth, and so it made it easy for me to go with Khador.  We picked up the battlegroup’s models (so just the ‘caster and the ‘jacks, not the units) and the mini rulebook, all for a fraction of what the whole thing would cost us.  Yay!

And now we are assembling or small forces in preparation for this whole Warmachine Reboot project, of sorts.  I will say it up front that this is not a Tale of Gamers!  Every time we try that sordid challenge out, we fail miserably.  So, this is just a couple of guys painting some models, playing some games, and trying to recapture the spirit and joy of our earlier endeavour into Warmachine.

Actually, a trio of guys, as we have (easily) convinced Rob to join us.  He will be fielding Trollbloods (hence Hordes in the title), and luckily he has an unpainted starter box to work with, meaning we will all be starting fresh with new armies.

We are not exactly sure how this is going to look on the blog.  Joint posts?  Frequent posts?  Etc.  Eventually we will figure it out, of course.

So keep an eye out for more on this.  I am sure we will have pictures, posts and even batreps to show you in the very near future.

Thanks for reading.

Posted November 27, 2012 by mrborges in Warmachine Reboot, Warmachine/Hordes

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First game with my new Wood Elves   7 comments

Heading over to Justin’s tonight to give my newly acquired Wood Elves a try.  Here’s my list:

Heroes (220pts)

  • Branchwraith – A Pageant of Shrikes, Wizard level 1
  • Noble – Eternal Kindred

Core (582pts)

  • Dryads – Branch Nymph, 12x Dryads
  • Eternal Guard – 19x Eternal Guard, Eternal Guardian, Musician, Standard Bearer
  • Glade Guard – 12x Glade Guard, Lord’s Bowman, Musician, Standard Bearer

Special (195pts)

  • Tree Kin – 3x Tree Kin

Not sure what Justin is bring to the table but he said he was going to use Tomb Kings.

Other than the Branchwraith (I’m using the Drycha model) this list is fully painted…unlike all my other games.  I’ve been told that playing with painted models means I will win.  We’ll see.


I hate to paint #6   4 comments

Welcome to the (possible) last instalment of this series.  Life has gotten in the way of hobby so much that I just don’t paint at all anymore.


Snow Storm revisited

Snow Storm

– Several successions of dry drushing using a big brush and Space Wolves Grey to try and fix the disaster that was Asurmen Blue
– light white drybrush
– touched up some sloppiness on antlers
– wash of sepia on antlers

I am back to being happy with this model.  Disaster averted!

Alt Rasputina

Nice model…too bad I hate this game now too.

– Primed with gesso
– Based cloak in Shadow Grey

Warhammer Fantasy


– Primed with gesso
– Based with Codex Grey
– Generously washed with Badab Black.

Dark Age

Gazelle/Red Hot

Sorry about the odd perspective.

– Primed with white gesso
– washed with Gryphonne Sepia
– white dry brish from knee up to elbow and onto face
– Baal red wash on feet, hands, and tip of tail
– washed hair red and added red wash spots to calves and knees


A bit too dark.

– Primed black with Vallejo brush on primer
– Painted underbelly with Rotting Flesh
– Painted back down to a hard line on side (to clean up sloppy r.flesh painting) with Dark flesh


Acid Spraying Goliaths.

– Primed black with Vallejo brush on primer
– Blocked in flesh with Fortress grey
– planning on doing a purple wash…maybe…
– Leviathan Purple wash done, very lightly.
– Rotting flesh base on skirt.


The line trooper of the Brood.

– Primed black with Vallejo brush on primer
– Roughed in some codex grey on non-arm/non-armour plates

Unlikely to be another post after this one but if there is it will probably be about the Menoth starter for Warmachine… we’ll see.

All the best,


Immortals Wave 1   Leave a comment

Just a quick update on what’s been occupying my table for a bit.

I’ve finished up my first wave of Helldorado Immortals.  Basically this set includes 6 models.


Here’s the peasants.  A great melee group that deal impressive damage at a low cost.  Being peasants, they were a fairly easy paint job.  I kept them drab and dirty.  I also kept the brushstrokes visible to give them rough look.


The Lemures were again an easy job, mostly because they are tiny.  Still each of them keep their quirky character.


The real meat of the job was the leader, Li Tsu Tsin.  She’s very detailed and extremely tiny.  Basically I spent a great deal of time squinting througha  magnifying glass with a 00 brush.  If i do any more of her, i’ll have to upgrade to a big dazer.

I found that the effect was not as good as the effort.  Her robes are just a simple shade of red.  Looking at her now, she looks as though there are few fine details.  Even the blue jewels that i painted on her don’t show at all.  Oh well.

Next up…ORKS???

Posted August 15, 2012 by coffeedream in Hell Dorado, Workbench