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Wednesday, December 24, 2008 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I’ve had a good Christmas break so far, although it has been a bit more hectic than expected. I still managed to get some paining in, as well a few good games of Warmachine.

I played my first 750 point games this week against Jen, our local Press Ganger. We really played three games, but the first ended really quickly thanks to some sloppy positioning on my part, allowing Epic Madrak to deliver the “axe to mouf” as Jen likes to say. The second game was a pretty epic affair against a Nemo list. This was my first outing with Nemo, and I like the old man pretty well. The list looked something like this:
Jen did a great job writing up each game (with pictures) on her blog over at Ghettokore Studios. You can read about the first match-ups here.

The idea behind this list was to turn Nemo into a focus monster by having Jr. and Strangewayes cast each turn, feeding extra focus to him for the next turn. As the action gets hot, Nemo could pull one more off of the Squire each turn, making him a 10 focus caster. That means he should be able to put 5 on Rowdy, and still have enough to toss out Chain Lightning amd boost a couple of damage rolls or upkeep both Electrify and Disruption field (for the +1 STR). I’ll admit, most of Nemo’s bag o’ tricks isn’t that useful vs. Hordes, but in a way, it also simplifies things and allows Nemo to run a very in your face kind of list. In the end, I lost the second game as well, but it was an epic four hour affair and I killed a pile of trolls in the process. I had all the warbeasts dead and eMadrak within 4 wounds when he finished off Nemo by ricocheting his axe off of the Squire.

A misplaced Nemo takes an axe to the face, and dies early ending game one.

Looking back, the Defender didn’t pay off, and certainly not for 122 points. Too many targets, too few shots. I need something that kills faster. The Bokur also died fast and ugly, but I’m not sure that was his fault - he just got unlucky and took a charge for something like 33 damage in one hit. Long gunners more than earned their points, holding down an entire flank on their own – they would have even dominated that flank if a Fell Caller (who earned a fancy base and the nickname “Juan Cinco”) hadn’t made a ridiculous FIVE tough checks in a row against full unit CRAs. For next time, I will drop two long gunners, the defender and the bokur, and replace them with the Thunderhead. I’m hoping that will give me the mass-killing capability that the list lacked before. Plus, Rowdy and the Thunderhead rolling together should have a good intimidation factor.

The Bokur eats triple boxcars

A couple days later, we took Jen’s adjusted troll list out for a test drive again Hailey. Jen had switched it up by dropping one of her warbeasts (a Slag Troll) and replacing it with a THIRD unit of Kriel Warriors.

This time my list looked like this:

(Notice the exclamation point behind Thorn’s name. That is because he is perfect in every way. )

I was hoping the Stormblades would give me the punch to deal with the Trollkin Champions, as they just ravaged me last time. I had only played them in one other game, in which they got dark seduced by Denny, and I had to kill them off myself, so I kind of wanted to see what they could do.

This was also my first game with the Black 13th and Finn. The Black 13th have a lot of rules, and as a noob, I don’t so much like things with a lot of rules, so I had avoided them to this point, but eventually I had to give into the hype. I don’t so much care about Finn in this list, but he was the right number of points to fill the list out, so he got to come along and play. If the Sword Knight UA was out, he would have been benched.

That is a shitload of trolls.

My Stormblades died quickly and horribly to a jacked-up caber toss, only managing to kill 2 champs and not earning anywhere near their points. The Black 13th turned out to be as sick as everyone says, tearing up a most of two units of Kriel Warriors. After of two turns of a mostly failed offensive I switched from the Chain Lighting blitzkrieg to Temporal Barrier, which really screwed the trolls - the only ranged option in their army was an Impaler, who was unfortunately (for Jen at least) frenzying all over her Krielstone bears at that point. We had to call the game for time, and I took the win by VPs, although things were starting to feel pretty good – I think had it gone to its natural conclusion, I could have pulled out the win – baring some kind of heroic assassination run, which you can’t put past Madrak. Again, Jen did a great write up in battle report format. You can read about the match in detail (along with my comments) here.

I feel like I’m really starting to get better with my army, and I’m finding my own play style. That is one of the things I really enjoy about Warmachine – even within one army, there is a lot of latitude for different ways to play them. You can take an army, fit it to your style and make it your own.

Now I’m looking forward now to Christmas morning, and then getting back to the painting table. Merry Christmas to all of you. May the holidays find you healthy, happy and safe. And maybe if you were really good, you’ll have some pewter, a sourcebook or two, and maybe a good video game under your tree.

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Great write up, Mike.

I think you need to give the Storm Blades another go, but give them a Stormclad. I know you can get more bang for you buck for the points, but the synergy they have with that jack... Staggs has those guys down. I have seen that unit clear a flank; they are nigh unstoppable with eStryker (grrrrrr).

I thought your Haley list was really solid. If time hadn't been a factor, I might have been able to do something with my Champs, but you had the upper hand and were able to dictate tempo -- something Haley is very good at.

You got just a glimpse of the joy of Sword Knights and flank. I love those guys. Between the UA, Haley's feat and piping March on them... for the point cost, there are few units that stack up against them.

Going to be switching back to Cygnar for the next month or so. I'll post a blog about why shortly. :)

Hope you had a great Christmas! And have a fun trip!

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