Archive for November, 2011

The slow grow league at Aero Hobbies in Santa Monica has begun. It is a super slow-mo-grow league which is basically following the Journeyman format except rather than over 6 weeks it is over 6 months. Also, custom battleboxes are allowed since a pretty heavy majority of the players are “vets”. The choice of battlebox is important because you must use those models in the following months kind of as the core of your force.

I decided to go with Jarl because I like the image of a trollkin highwayman. I can’t help but think of Rob Roy and thus my Jarl speaks like Liam Neeson in my head. Also, in a game of inches movement shenanigans are gold and 3 of his 4 spells are movement buffs. I’m going to be writing more on him soon but suffice it to say that I like him.

By God, you have a style to you! I like that!

By God, you have a style to you! I like that!

Since Jarl’s main weapons are ranged attacks it only makes sense to bring along everyone’s favorite animus, er, light warbeast the Impaler. His snipe buff is huge with withe 12″ range on Jarl’s guns. It allows him to aim at targets up to 16″ away for a couple of boostable pow 12s. The Impaler himself isn’t too shabby in the support role – he can take a punch for the team when the enemy gets close enough that the animus isn’t as important and his short ranged throwing attack has crit knockdown and while you can’t count on it, it is a pleasant surprise when it happens.

Rounding out the force I wanted a beatstick that would work well with Jarl’s hit and run play style. The eathborn dire troll fits the bill nicely. He has a decent speed buff of his own which combined with some of Jarl’s spells can give a truly frightening threat range. His adaptation ability combined with a ridiculous 5 fury enable him to hold his own in these battlebox games as most of the other warjacks and beasts people take have pretty solid POW on their weapons.

So basically the theory behind the list is to take little bites out of the enemy with Jarl at range while keeping back out of range and then when the enemy gets too close to go full monkey on them.

Alright, this is the new name for this regular feature. This week we take a look at Cygnar’s true King. This quote is from book 2 of the Witchfire Trilogy as is the art.

Nine years it has been since I was exiled from my homeland.

Nine years the usurper has violated my crown, my throne, my kingdom.

Nine years my subjects have had to forget the old ways…

Nine years is long enough.

When I make my return to Cygnar, the very stones will cry out for mercy.

– Vinter Raelthorne IV

So, as the Emerald Knights Comics journeyman league winds down the Aero Hobbies slow grow league starts up. Unfortunately since November is also nanowrimo I am not going to do much gaming this month as I furious write. Also, one of my little ones has a double ear infection and the other is trying to catch up with one of her own. So that means I will be lucky to get in any more games at EK. It was a good league, and a whole lot of fun. I am looking forward to playing at tourneys and campaigns there more in the future as PG Dave sets them up.

Anyway, the point of this post is not what has passed, but what is coming up. I had planned on doing Khador for the Aero campaign (I have a ton of it sitting in my closet) but a conversation with Ryan changed all that. He mentioned wanting to dump his trolls and go in with Everblight. I have some Everblight sitting around and have been interested in trolls since the game came out, but Ryan “claimed” them. In my immediate gaming group we have an unspoken rule that if someone has an army, it is theirs and nobody else can move in on it. So I have bided my time seriously since the release of the original Hordes game. I read their initial fluff and just fell in love the background. I have a soft spot in my heart for the downtrodden but noble warriors. Throw in a bit of Celtic and Native American influence (both of which are in my family line) and you have something that would really appeal to me. Add in the ability to take a solid punch and get back up for more, and, well it is like they were custom made for me. Then I had to stop because, well, I would have gotten a bit covetous. Sad to say, but that is just my way.

Now, after many long years, I saw my opportunity and took it with both hands! So after the above rambling it should be no surprise that I am now going to be doing Trolls for Aero and this blog will follow up me painting/playing games with them.

Not only that, but I am taking a cue from Shawn and am declaring this the year of the Troll. I am going to try and overcome my debilitating Faction ADHD and stick to just Trolls for this year. There will still be some other topicss posted in this blog, for instance, I am going to finish my “Thoughts On…” series on the Thornfall Alliance before moving on to Trolls and the weekly fiction callouts will continue to just be on whatever I want.

Okay this one isn’t technically a callout – maybe I need to rename this because there are lots of spotlights I want to do. Hmm. Ideas for a new name?

Anyway this one is from the 10th Anniversary No Quarter Magazine (aka the black album magazine). I love the simplicity of it and the fact that Mulg basically had someone “tag” himself with graffiti under threat of violence. That is totally gangsta, yo. Also, it sums him up really well.

Mulg is the great hunter of the mountains. Mulg is the great hunter of the world. Men think they are hunters, but they cower in fear of Mulg, their cave-piles smashed beneath Mulg’s club. Mulg smashes their walls and eats their food. Mulg eats the weak hunters as well. All who hunt on Mulg’s mountains and take Mulg’s food will become Mulg’s food.

We was just about to call a halt for the night when the wagon in front of me shattered into a mess of broken wood and screaming horses. The brigands came at us from the rough scrub bordering the road to the West. The sun was so bright behind them that we couldn’t make them out at first. Then there was another explosion at the back of the caravan. It was then I saw two of those beasts standing almost twice as tall as the biggest farrow I had ever seen. They had cannons strapped to their back and as I watched they fired again, this time in unison. I broke and ran, but the damn explosions and all that screaming haunt me to this day.

Ah, the gun boar. The oft-maligned light warbeast choice for the Thornfall Alliance. He is 3 points cheaper than the war hog (2 in an Arkadius theme list) and I think that is where much of this comes from. It is hard to compare him to the war hog and think, for only 2-3 more points I can have that?!?

So, for the purposes of this writeup we are going to ignore that fact. Instead of looking at what he isn’t, we will look at what he is. He starts off with a decent speed but as a light warbeast his stats are all pretty mediocre across the board up until you come to his armor rating. It comes in pretty high – almost as high as heavies in other factions. When you consider the Carver’s spell Batten Down the Hatches it actually pulls him up to Khador level armor, which is no joke.

Okay, so we know he can take a punch so let’s take a look at how he deals it back out. He has a big gun (seriously, that is what it is called). It is a decent range, ROF 1, 3″ AOE with a pow 13 (making blast damage that critical 7). People tend to underestimate the value of this gun. Do I wish it were a better in any of the categories? Of course I do, but it’s not that bad and does give you a way to deal with annoying high def models and it is boostable.

In addition to this gun he also has 2 open fists. I am not 100% sure on this, but I would be willing to bet that the P+S is among the lowest on warbeasts in the game. As open fists you have the full range of power attacks available but as a light warbeast it can’t throw or headbutt anything on a larger base. His speed (especially buffed) does enable you to get off some nice slams from time to time, though.

He does have the special rule “Bacon” which means that if he is killed, each warbeast in b2b with him heals d3 wounds. Note that “friendly” is not specified anywhere in the description so if your opponent goes all the way to base to base, they will heal too, so it is something to be aware of if you are facing them. You might want to go all the way in, rather than just stopping at melee range and support beasts base to base will also heal, so if you are running two together, may as well have them touching bases.

Finally, his animus – counterblast. The first downside of this animus is that it is a self only animus, meaning that the bonegrinders won’t be able to harvest it. Just as a fluff aside here, it is pretty annoying that we have a unit that lets us use a dead beasts animus, and then half of our animi have a range of self. This is a bit of a digression, though.

This is actually a pretty decent animus however his low command and the fact that it takes 2/3 of his fury means you won’t use it on him very often. It is a really interesting addition to the warlocks, though. Dr Arkadius can use mind control serum and if you get off a hit you can place the attacking model (assuming it is living) somewhere to block LOS or charge lanes to the good doctor. With Carver an extra spray can be pretty brutal. You have to remember that it is an optional use ability so you don’t have to fire at the first thing that comes into range. Note however that you DO have to target the model that triggered it.

Overall, he is a utility beast. He isn’t really great at anything, but he does his job adequately. If he were 1 point cheaper he would be an auto-include but that probably means he is priced correctly. I guess I can sum him up by saying he’s not that bad – which isn’t the same as saying he’s good, unfortunately. He is the only game in town for Farrow when it comes to light beasts though. I had hoped Domination would change that, but apparently it won’t. Don’t be afraid to include him in your lists. He will have a place and do okay, just don’t ask too much of him.

One of the most amazing things about the Iron Kingdoms setting for Warmachine and Hordes is the background. Privateer Press began with an incredibly interesting and creative roleplaying game campaign for the d20 system called The Witchfire Trilogy. The world they created is a very interesting mix of steampunk and magic which is torn apart by wars of expansion and survival.

I firmly believe that because the setting was founded on a roleplaying game the Iron Kingdoms have a very strong (and moving!) narrative. The fiction is top notch and each of the books has both a through line story which moves the overall narrative forward as well as a contained story focusing on the topic of the book at question. In addition to that there are a number of callouts throughout the book. A callout is basically a small bit of background or story that really serves to arouse the imagination without bedding her down again.

I absolutely love the callouts. They contribute to my favorite avocation of day dreaming but they are often overlooked in the main cannon. This regular feature seeks to alleviate that oversight. In addition to callouts, I will also likely choose to spotlight the occasional bit of “card fiction” or quotes in the future as well.

So, now that you know what the point of this is I present the very first stand out callout! I chose this piece to lead the series because it has stuck in my head since the book in question (Iron Kingdoms World Guide) was released way back in the first part of 2005. In fact, this callout is the reason I bought the book despite not roleplaying. It also helps that it features one of my favorite characters.


“When the first waves of Menites began to defect at the behest of Heirarch Garrik Voyle, Queen Ayn Vanar XI thought it best to remind the Khadoran people of the price for treason. One of her favored patriots, the infamous Butcher of Khardov Orsus Zoktavir, was sent to serve summary justice. He single-handedly slaughtered an entire cathedral full of would-be defectors, piled their heads on a wooden barge, and floated it downriver as a sign to all who would dare leave the Motherland in its time of need. It was a time of war and the Motherland would need every one of her sons and daughters.

At the nearly the same time and with the support of the kayazy the queen mobilized her forces against Llael intent on reclaiming Khadoran lands…”

If you are interested in purchasing the the Longest Knight, I am a big fan of drivethrustuff.com –
and the world guide is here – though if you can find the hardcopy it has a great map of Western Immoren in it.