Monday, February 5, 2018

AAR - Outlast the Enemy

Welcome back, everybody!  Well, we finally had our first gaming meeting at the Fukuyama Gaming Club of the new year, and we had a great time!  It was very productive, and I'm pleased to announce that my decisions have been made!  The two warcasters that I will use for the Japan Open Team Tournament in October are going to be the Testament of Menoth, using a Faithful Masses theme force, and Sovereign Tristan Durant, using the Guardians of the Temple theme force.  Phew!  It's actually a really great feeling to have that decision made.  As you will see, I had a great game against DTB using Malekus, and while I liked using him and I think he could make a great army, I decided that Tristan is going to make the cut this year, and maybe I can bust Malekus out next year.  I've got a couple of decisions left to make, a few tweaks to units or 'jacks, but for the most part everything is set... and my painting list is set.  And those lucky models to hit the painting table are... (drum roll, please...)
     1 - Sovereign Tristan Durant (most important... have to have painted 'casters)
     2 - Paladin Order of the Wall solo (making the 3rd paladin in the list)
     3 - Champion of the Order of the Wall dragoon solo (which just got delivered, woot!)
     4 - Deliverer Skyhammers x 4 (6 already finished, 4 to go for a full unit)
     5 - Deliverer Arms Master solo
The Deliverers and the Arm Master are a list addition I'm toying with... it's going to be probably either them or Zealots with a Monolith Bearer.  My goal for next month's meeting is to run TOM with both these ideas and deciding which I'm going to go with.

Guns Vs. Flamethrower
The next meeting for the Fukuyama Gaming Club will be on February 11!  Come play!
Also!!! and this is exciting... some of our good friends from the Iwakuni Air Base are currently at Bally's Casino for the Las Vegas Open.  Sarge is joining in the Games Workshop Blood Bowl Tournament, and some of the other marines will be joining in the Warhammer 40K and Warmachine/ Hordes events.  Good luck, everyone!  I can't wait to hear how it went!

And this is going to bring us to a new segment!  For the first time, welcome to.... dun dun dun....

Working Hard or Hardly Working
In this segment, we'll be looking at projects that finally got finished, WIP's that I'm currently working on, and models that are getting ready to go.  And today, I present to you 2 models.  One is finally complete!  My first warcaster for the year, the Testament of Menoth is done!  And the second model was just delivered to my door and is going to be getting put together and painted up ASAP, the PoM model from the 12 Factions of Christmas that Privateer Press put together for the holidays, the Champion of the Order of the Wall!
     Completed, TOM:
Aw, yeah!  He looks ready to shepherd some souls to Urcaen.  I'm rather pleased with the way he came out.  My new painting technique is coming along!
     Getting Ready, Champion of the Order of the Wall
Fresh to my doorstep, the newest model for the Protectorate has arrived!  I can't wait to get started, and the model looks like a lot of fun to put together!

This month, I was hoping to get a game in with Leland, but with this and that and some other things we didn't manage to face off against each other.  Next time, I'm really going to hope for a game against Cygnar!  I did get two games in against two of DTB's Trollkin lists.  Both times I used my list for Malekus, but was never really able to make it work the way it was supposed to.  I'm hoping with a little more time, I'll get Malekus to be the super badass that I know he can be!  Gunnbjorn came out guns blazing to try and take him down, but Malekus was not afraid!  I used the Guardians of the Temple theme force, which means that my Temple Flameguard cannot be knocked down while in base to base, and a Daughter of the Flame unit gains Ambush... but, I didn't use a DoF unit in this list, so alas, that will go to waste!

Army list, Trollkin:
Grrr, growl, snarl!
Uh, okay... that's a whole lot of Troll...
   Warlock - Gunnbjorn
                    Mountain King
                    Dozer & Smigg
                    Dire Troll Bomber
                    Dire Troll Blitzer
                    Swamp Troll
                    Dhunian Knot
This is a Power of Dhunia theme force, which means that DTB can start the game with Gunnbjorn's
upkeep spells in play, so he put Explosivo on the Mountain King and Snipe on the Dire Troll Blitzer.  Also due to the theme force, the Dhunian Knot can calm one beast per model (so, up to three) for 1 fury... wow!  Good stuff!

Army list, Protectorate of Menoth:
A force full of Menoth's might!
 Finally, Malekus is on the table!  I've been looking forward to this for a long time!
 Warcaster - Malekus
                    Eye of Truth (proxied by the Indictor)
                    Phyrrus, Flameguard Hero
                    Choir of Menoth (minimum unit)
                    Temple Flameguard (maximum unit)
                          - Officer and Standard bearer
                    Flameguard Cleansers
                          - Officer
This is a Guardians of the Temple theme force, so as I mentioned a minute ago, Temple Flameguard can't be knocked down while in B2B and my non-existant Daughters of the Flame unit gains Ambush.

Setup, Trollkin:
Ready for Round 1
So, when you put a bunch of beasts in your list and only one unit, your setup is pretty compact!  The front line had the Swamp Troll on the left, next to the Dire Troll Bomber, the Blitzer, the Runebearer, Dozer & Smigg, and the Mountain King on the right.  Behind them, Gunnbjorn took the middle, with Janessa between him and the Mountain King and the Dhunian Knot spread out behind him.

Setup, Protectorate:
Not the best set up in the world..., problem number one to winning this game was this set up.  Do you see this?  What the heck was I thinking???  The Cleansers should have been in the middle, followed by a skirmish line of the Flameguard, with the 'jacks bringing up the rear.  Did I do that?  NO I DID NOT!!!  Ugh.  Instead, I came up with this master plan to spread my forces out as far as possible.  Temple Flameguard and Phyrrus on the left flank in two groups, starting the game in Shield Wall.  Next to them, the Purifier, the Eye of Truth, Malekus, the Reckoner and the Vanquisher, and the Mechanik in base to base with the Vanquisher.  The Cleansers took the right flank, and the Choir spread out behind the jacks.

Advanced Deployment, Trollkin:
Hahahahahha... none.

Advanced Deployment, Protectorate:
Nicia set up at the corner of the cottage, ready to swoop in to kill some Troll! 

We rolled the Outlast scenario, which is not that great for DTB since it consists of two zones that can only be controlled by units.  There are also two flags that can be held by solos and 'casters/ 'locks.  Good for me, if I can keep his beasts out of the zones.

Our Story:
As the Protectorate tried to strengthen its boarders after the conclusion of the Northern Crusade, Malekus the Burning Truth was ordered to take a force of Flameguard along the Cygnar boarder.  As they neared their destination, a force of Trollkin from the north appeared, intent on the same mission.  The two forces appraised each other across the field for a moment before Malekus raised his sacred flamethrower and motioned his Cleansers to destroy the army of Dhunia.

Round 1, Trollkin:
Here they come!
Trollsus (the Runebearer) moved up and put Harmonious Exaltation on Gunnbjorn.  The Mountain King and Dozer & Smigg ran forward.  Gunnbjorn moved up and made a rock wall next to the flag before casting Swarm on himself.  The Blitzer, Bomber and Swamp Thing ran forward.  Behind them, Janessa walked forward and made a hill for Gunnbjorn.  Finally, the Knotts Berry Farm ran forward to be near the beasts.

Round 1, Protectorate:
Forward, mighty army!
The Cleansers ran forward, followed by the amazingly speedy Nicia.  The Flameguard also ran, getting into B2B to prepare for Shield Guard next round.  Phyrrus followed them, also in B2B to activate his special ability to ignore normal damage while he is in B2B.  The Purifier, Vanquisher and Reckoner ran forward.  The Eye of Truth moved up, keeping one focus on himself just in case he needs to use Orracular Vision.  The Choir moved up, giving Passage to the 'jacks, and the Mechanik ran up to stay in B2B.  Malekus walked into base to base with the Eye of Truth and cast Ignite on the Flameguard.

Round 2, Trollkin:
Brave Trolls, hiding behind a wall
Gumbjorn upkept all three spells, leaving him with 3 fury.  Yikes!  That is not a lot!  Luckily he has a Runebearer, who walked forward and gave him Harmonious Exaltation.  Knott's Berry Farm spread out to cover as many beasts as possible and put Puppet Master on the Mountain King, Dozer, and the Blitzer.   Swamp Thing ran towards the wall, and Gunnbjorn walked up after him and cast Guided Fire.  I really hate that spell.  DTB already rolls with unholy luck... he doesn't need a boost on every roll!  And then the murder began.  The Mountain King moved forward and killed 3 Flameguard.  The Blitzer moved up to the wall as well and killed off a Cleanser and 2 Flameguard and Dozer killed another 2 Cleansers, right before the Bomber killed Nicia.  Oof... I thought that her stealth would keep her safe... alas.

Round 2, Protectorate:
No Retreat!
I'm not gonna lie... I got a little frustrated at this point.  Nicia's death hit me pretty hard, and add to that the feeling like I really didn't know what I was doing with all the new models I've never played in my list, I wasn't having a great time... but that's when my Commissar training took over.  Never retreat!  Time to regroup and fight back.  The Cleansers began by setting Dozer & Smigg on fire.  Take that!  The Flameguard charged the Mountain King and made a combined melee attack for 7 damage.  The Vanquisher shot Dozer and the Blitzer doing no damage, but setting them both on fire as well.
How's that fire, guys?
The Purifier charged the Mountain King (I'm going to KILL THAT GUY SO BAD!!!) doing another 9 damage... not too bad!  And, with the Purifier's special rules, setting the Mountain King on fire was a little bonus.  Malekus moved up behind the Vanquisher and FEAT!!!!  The Eye of Truth and the Reckoner double charged the Mountain King, finally killing it.  VICTORY!!!  Oh, wait... the game's still going... Phyrrus ran into B2B with the flag, and the Mechanik finished up by moving forward.  And at the end of the turn, I took one CP for the central flag.

Round 3, Trollkin:
 First thing this turn, fire damage... mua-hahahaha!  Thanks to Malekus' feat, it has no chance of going out, so now time to roll some damage!  The Blitzer takes 5 and Dozer took 6.  Then Trollsus moved forward, giving Harmonious Exaltation to Gunnbjorn.  The Dhunian Knot moved up and put Puppet Master on all three heavy beasts, which the Blitzer promptly used as he moved forward and took a shot for 9 damage at Malekus.  Swamp Thing charged the Cleansers, killing 2.  Gunnbjorn cast Guided Fire again and Snipe on himself.  Then he moved up and took some shots at Malekus for another 7 damage... eep!
Galloping Whelps!
The Bomber put Far Strike on himself and threw two bombs, killing 2 Flameguard and the Officer and putting 2 damage on Phyrrus and breaking the gun on the Reckoner.  Then the little Whelps ran around, trying to be annoying and getting in the way in my zone!  And a second CP comes my way with Phyrrus still sitting on the flag.

Round 3, Protectorate:
Time to win on scenerio!
The Flameguard started the round by killing 2 Whelps.  The Cleansers charged (with Assault!).  One killed one Whelp..another charged Swamp Thing... and a last one charged the Blitzer.  The Purifier, ugh... I wanted to do something useful with him but I had to get that last irritating Whelp out of MY zone, so off he went to squish himself a mini-troll.  Only one Whelp left on the board... the best of them all, the Party Whelp.  I almost can't bring myself to kill him, he's so awesome!
Party on, brah!
The Mechanik fixed 3 points on the Reckoner, fixing his gun just in time for him to shoot with it.  And shoot he did, slamming Gunnbjorn for 2 damage.  The Vanquisher followed, shooting Gunnbjorn as well and dealing another 6 damage!  The Eye of Truth readied his massive Eye Beam, aimed at Gunnbjorn and BEEBEEBEEBEEB!  Time up!
(But 2 more CP's go to me!)

Victory for Trollkin!  Malekus lowered his flamethrower, and gazed around at the fires his Cleansers had set in the Troll flesh... but the Trolls were already beginning to regenerate their burning limbs, while his own forces were falling one by one.  Finally he had the Eye of Truth send a rending blast of steam, calling his men back.  If the Trollkin wanted to take on the Cygnaran troops at the border, he would let them, and follow at a distance to clean up the remnants of both armies...
Most valuable model!
MVP for today totally goes to the Dhunian Knot!  The Puppet Master was so important for DTB, his already suspiciously good rolls becoming oh so close to 100%!  He never even used the theme force benefit for removing fury, Puppet Master was so good!  Good game, DTB!  I look forward to another game against the blue horde, but next time, I'm going to win!

See everyone on February 11th!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Widower's Wood, Chapter 4

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope all festivities and such were satisfactory and many games were had.  2018 is starting with a bang, and I can't wait to get in my first game of the new year!  Over the break I managed to get a lot of things painted, and built a few more, making me feel pretty productive!  Now I just need to decide who my second caster is going to be, and which theme force I'm going to use for the Testament of Menoth!  I know the tournament seems a long way away, but if you keep in mind that we only get in games once a month, it's a mere 9 meetings until go time!  But before we jump into today's games, I wanted to take a moment to talk about Privateer Press' No Quarter Prime magazine, the new incarnation of No Quarter.

At the end of last month I received my second issue of No Quarter Prime, and I can't seem to decide how I feel about it.  It's completely different from the old magazine.  The first article in issues 01 and 02 were back story to the current timeline in the Iron Kingdoms, both to bring new players up to speed on the battles and story lines from the past, and to remind older players about what happened.  But that's not all!  They add new stories about what famous characters were doing during those time periods.  It's been some pretty good reading!  Then an article on Company of Iron, the new skirmish game of Privateer Press.  I don't play COI, but it sounds pretty interesting, and a lot of what they mention in the articles can be adapted for all Warmachine/ Hordes games.  And then some painting tips, color scheme ideas, the new CID information, and a final article on the newly released Theme force.  All in all, I like it!  Good articles, good photos, good ideas.  BUT!  and here is the big but... they cut a lot of the things that I liked a whole lot about the original magazine.
1) And for me, most important... the Battle Report.  There is no longer a battle report at all.  I used to love reading about the new models and units, or about the combinations of units and abilities that I hadn't thought of before.  It was a great way to learn new things about the game.
2) Current Events...It was always nice to hear about the conventions and tournaments that people around the world were having.  Special events like the Orange Crush Challenge also were often featured, and I'm going to miss that connection to the community.
3) Painting Challenge... every month they had a painting/ modeling challenge, and though often the same few people won, it was still great to see all the different ways people had of making models look great!

All that being said, I think the new incarnation of the magazine has a lot of really great stuff, and I'll continue to enjoy reading it!

The Fukuyama gaming club has two meetings coming up!
     January 21
     February 11
Save the date and come get a game on!

At our last meeting of 2017, we continued to follow the adventures of Agata, Skarg, Olo and Vaskis as they made their way through the Widower's Wood.  When last we left, we had just finished chapter 3.5, a Kickstarter exclusive mission.  Four chapters and two more Kickstarter exclusives left to go!  We rolled a dice to see if we were going to play the floating exclusive chapter, but the roll was against us, and so we moved on to Chapter 4!

The story so far...
When last we left our amazing heroes, they had just stopped several crates of weapons from falling into the claws of Rasheldonak the crazy Witch Doctor with an insane desire to control the Widower's Wood.  Instead, our valiant four took the loot for themselves, in the way of an Oroboros Dagger for Olo and a Bone Fetish for the Queen of Carnage, Agata.  Leaving the banks of the river where the loot had washed ashore, the adventurers continued on to their goal. The Bog Trogs that they had helped before had revealed to them that a group of Swamp Gobbers are being used as messengers to coordinate Rasheldonak's forces.  The only way to keep everyone from being overrun will be to stop the Gobbers!  The Queen of Carnage of my Heart of course came to me, as did Skarg on his continuous rounds between DTB, Leland and I.  Olo went to DTB, and Leland again took control of Vaskis.

Chapter 4, Gobber Stoppers
Ready to go!

On our board today are 6 location tokens.  These are the locations that Gobbers may possibly pop up and run amuck across the area.  They pop up and down all game twice a round, and are pretty much going to be a giant pain in the swamp.  Also, for the first time, we have perils to face!  Two event cards this time trip the perils, which in this scenario is going to be Stranglevine appearing in the tree spaces that are scattered across the board.  After the first Swamp Gobber is incapacitated, the finale begins... spawning a Gatorman Warlock and two viper Tatzelworms.  To win the game, we have to kill off both Gobbers and the Warlock, and we've got 10 rounds to do it in!  Let's go!

Love the colossal hand terrain
Our group had to split into two teams on opposite ends of the board, so we had Vaskis and Skarg on one side, and Olo and Agata on the other.  We had another amazing start, pulling the Perilous Journey card that spawned Stranglevines on a tree space near Olo... how do we always get starts like this???  Anyway... the Gobbers spawned, and while Olo made a run for the Side Quest card closest to him and Vaskis cast some magic voodoo to help Skarg kill off a nearby Trog, Agata took a charge at a Gatorman and Trog, killing them both.
The Warlock
Aaaaaand round 2 brought ANOTHER PERILOUS JOURNEY!!!  Stranglevines popped up around Agata, but she fears NO VINES!!! She continued her killing spree, and Skarg and Vaskis followed her lead.  The next round brought Swamp Gasses, but it didn't bother anyone, and Olo managed to kill off the first of the Swamp Gobbers, triggering the finale and spawning the Warlock and 2 Tatzelworms IN AGATA'S SPACE!  She used 2 great powers (take down and savegery) in order to kill off both Tatzelworms, a Bog Trog, and put two damage on the Warlock, but missing an incredibly lucky Gatorman TWICE!
I can't tell if this was lucky or really really bad
A Mist Speaker came within attacking distance of Vaskis and Skarg, who were being a bit overrun with trogs and gators!  The Mist Speaker sprayed it's venom blast at Vaskis... and missed!  But he managed to kill off both of the villians in the square with the blackclad, hahahahaha!  That Mist Speaker must be afraid of the Warlock finding out about that!  Hide your head in shame, Speaker!  A Patrol card brought a Gator running toward Agata, but he got caught in the Stranglevine and had to make a tough roll to not get incapacitated!  Wow, this turn is really going our way!  The Warlock took a swing at Agata but missed her, and she in turn did one more damage to him!  Three down, three to go to win the game!
That's a lot of bad guys!
Menacing Ripples brought a Gatorman in the waterspace near Agata... ooohhh, it's starting to look a little desperate for our porcine heroine... I mean, she's been the finisher for us every game, but at this point, it may be a little hard for her to close the deal... she's down to 3 health, and no one else is close enough to help out!  In good news, Olo got to his Side Quest, and came away with Improvised Traps, which is a perfect fit for Olo!  Skarg killed off one of the Bokor skulking around, and Agata did another damage to the Warlock... 2 to go!
Gobber 2 goes down
Skarg took out the second Swamp Gobber... that'll teach them to dodge around and cause trouble!  We have three rounds to kill off the Warlock and win the game!  More Menacing Ripples brought another Gatorman within striking of Agata, and even though the Warlock missed her, she took one damage from the Gatorman before dealing one more damage to the Warlock... One to go!  Noticing the danger, Olo tried to make it to Agata to help out, charging a Gatorman himself for the extra movement and trapping another, but will he be able to make it?
Oof... my heroine is down
Oooohhhh, and the answer is no...Agata goes down to an attack by the Club Gatorman... and without anyone nearby to help out, our options are a bit limited... the Warlock has only one damage left, but he had tough, so to make sure that he dies, we need super damage to make sure he goes down.  I don't know if Olo can do it, but he's the only one close enough, so we have to hope for the best!  On the other end of the board, Vaskis and Skarg have everything under control!  Villain after villain spawns near them, but they're a great team and are killing off everything that comes near them!

Nooooooo!  Agaaaaaataaaaaa!
Yikes!  That does not look good!  Round 8 event card time... Buzzard Beetle Swarms!  Anyone (villain or hero) that is in a space with at least one other model has to take a hazard roll or be covered in flesh eating beetles and take a damage.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  What are the chances that the Warlock, in a space with three characters, may take beetle damage?  Nah.... But just in case, we decided to start at the other end of the board.  Skarg and Vaskis were fine, though some Trogs went down to the beetles... Olo was alone, so he was fine... the two Gators made their rolls... then the Club Gatorman who knocked out Agata fell to the swarm, eaten alive in a most horrible way.  Agata was already passed out, so she didn't have to make a roll.  Finally, the Warlock was the only one left... DTB rolled his hazard roll... 6!!!!!!!!!  AAaaaaaahhhhhhhh!  The Warlock, too focused on dealing the finishing blow to the Queen of Carnage, didn't notice the beetles as they swarmed over him, and failing his tough roll, they proceeded to munch upon his soft fleshy bits until there was nothing left but a rough hide and bone.
Wait.... did that really just happen?

Some beaten up heroes here

Yikes!  This was a hard fight!  At the end, everyone had two or less hearts... the closest we have ever been to all going down.  Phew!  This was also the first time that we faced a 6 heart villian, and he was tough as nails.  Luckily, because of all the Gatormen, Bokor, Mist Speakers, Trogs and Tatzelworms that Skarg and Vaskis were keeping under control wracked us up a huge amount of XP!  We came away with 17 each, and I can't wait to spend them!

Can't wait to get our new year started with some games this weekend!  Catch up with us at the community center behind Fukuyama Castle on Sunday!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Very Trollful Menothmas

Deck the hills with Wracks of heretics,
     Fa lalalala la la la la
Feast on the flesh of a Seige Animantarax
     Fa lalalala la la la la
Menoth's coming to purge with fire
     Fa lalalala la la la la
Pray you don't wind up on the pyre
     Fa lalalala la la LA LA!!!!

That's right, it's that time of year again... time for festive songs, twinkling lights, and a deep, bone aching cold that makes you understand why ancient peoples worried about whether or not the sun would ever return.  I hate the cold.  But I do love the festivities!  Whether you believe in the big red guy coming down your chimney with a sack full of toys, Menoth of the Wall, or even the Eternal Emperor of Mankind, there is no better way to show your devotion than throwing some models down on the table!

For your holiday enjoyment, I bring you ... a Menothmas Stand Off between the Trollkin led by Madrak 3 and the Protectorate led by the Testament of Menoth.  I realized that we don't have much in the way of Holiday-ish terrain, which is a total shame, as it would lend a little pizzaz... not that there is much sold in the way of seasonal terrain, which is why I have decided to make my own for next year.  As you may know, the Privateer Press store has a section of pins available, which I really adore.  And every Christmas, they have a special holiday pin... for example, the Santa Butcher, the Christmas Snow Troll, or the New Year Siege.  Well, one of their Christmas pins was Wurmwood, Christmas Tree of Fate, and I am going to try and make that model for a Holiday objective next year.  Maybe it will be enough of an adventure to write about right here!  Anyway, we'll see how it goes and I'll let you know.  For this year, though, no special terrain (awww, man!).  But let's have a festive throw-down and see who Santa is coming to give presents to this year!

Have a joyous and safe holiday season, everybody!  We'll see everyone back a the Fukuyama Gaming Club on January 21 to kick off another great year of gaming!

Our scenario for our Menothmas battle came up as the stand off... Lots and lots of zones.  Two circular zones for units to hold on each side, and two rectangular zones between them for beasts and 'jacks to hold.  In the middle of each rectangular zone is an objective.  Ugh, if I know DTB, I know at least one or two gargantuans is going to make it into this list, which is going to make it a bit more difficult for me to contest the rectangular zone on his side of the table.  So, it's time to take a look at just what he's going to be throwing at my poor, oppressed Menites today!

Army List, Trollkin:
Look at this bunch of Grinches
 Haha, yup.  There it is.  I guess it's just not the holidays without a giant frosty giant trying to freeze everything around it!  This is my first game against Madrak 3 (that's the Madrak after he lost his giant mind controlling axe and is back to being a sane person).  Actually, I kind of like him!  He's got a lot of interesting rules that make him an amazing leader for his people.  For example... Madrak has Shield Guard.  That means he can jump in front of one of his companions and take a shot for them!  Hahaha!  Usually warcaster and warlocks have 'jacks or beasts near them with Shield Guard to protect them!  Not Madrak, nope, he'll throw himself into danger for his dudes.  Also, Madrak acts as a Kriel Stone!  For any focus he is storing, he can project a Stone Aura to grant benefits to nearby Trollkin.  Hey, Madrak!  You got it backwards, buddy!  Everyone else is supposed to protect you!
     Warlock:  Madrak 3
                      Glacier King
                      Swamp Troll
                      Boomhowler & Co.
                      Scattergunner (Maximum unit)
                           Officer and Standard bearer
                      Pyg Bushwackers (Maximum unit)
                           Mortar and Officer
                      Fell Caller Hero

This is the Kriel Company Theme force, which means that DTB can add the Boomhowlers as a Partisan unit, he will get +1 to the starting roll, and his units can shoot through friendly models.

Army List, Protectorate:
We just want to decorate our tree!
Look at this magnificent army!  As I mentioned before, I am wavering between either an exemplar themed army or a paladin themed army to use with the Testament, so here is the Exemplar Interdiction Theme... we will see if they can save Menothmas for the Protectorate!
                       Warcaster:  Testament of Menoth
                                          Exemplar Knights
                                          Exemplar Errants (Maximum Unit)
                                               Officer and Standard bearer
                                          Exemplar Errant Seneschal
                                          Warder Gade
                                          Cinerators (Maximum Unit)
                                          Bastions (Maximum Unit)
                                          Bastion Seneschal
                                          Carvolo, the Piper of Ord
The theme force gives me 2 extra inches on my deployment zone and my warjack's weapons gain Blessed!  Not super helpful against Trollkin, but all warjacks with Blessed weapons could turn the tide against a Grymkin or Cryx army!

Setup, Trollkin:
Holiday wreckers are go!
This is a pretty big army!  I mean, are you going to be able to fit everything on the board?  I kid, I kid.  About two year ago, I was playing a Vindictus army that had so SO many models, (this was Mk. II, and Vincictus loved to have units around him, so a ten man squad of zealots, ten Flameguard, etc.) 
The Glacier King got dropped in the center of the zone next to Madrak, and the Scattergunners and the Fell Caller Hero went on the left of them.  On the other side of Madrak went the Swamp Troll and the Impaler.  Boomhowler and his buddies made a skirmish line next to the Swamper, and behind them was a line of Pygs.  This army stretches from one side to the other!  A little intimidating, I'll admit, but a Kommissar never retreats!

Setup, Protectorate:
Save Menothmas!
I'm clearly outnumbered, but I'm not worried... Trollkin are a dime a dozen, and I'm leading an army of one of the most elite forces in the Iron Kingdoms!  Time to show Immoren what the Exemplar knights are made of!  The Bastions and their Seneschal went in the center, my unbreakable wall!  Next to them on the right went the Reckoner, and on the other side of the forest I put the Cinerators, who should be able to hold their own without much assistance.  TOM and the Vanquisher went on the left side of the Bastions, and the Knights Exemplar spread out next to them, the Officer behind them.  The Piper settled in near the Knights to help them with that forest ahead of them, and the Mechanik took position next to the Templar.  And since the Trollkin don't have any advanced deployment today, I went ahead and put the Errants and their Seneschal in the zone, since they're speedy like that!  And the Wrack got placed in the forest, within TOM's control range, but out of the way of units moving up the field.

We are not afraid of you!
Our Story:  On this blessed day, the Testament of Menoth and his force of Exemplars were taking a day off from making war and enjoying decorating a Menothmas tree in a remote village on the boarder of the Protectorate.  Just as they were putting on the finishing touches, Madrak and his pillaging blue ruffians appeared, hoping to disrupt the festivities with a holiday dedicated to Dhunia!  As the Stand Off of holidays stretched across the field, it was only a matter of time until violence erupted!

Round 1, Trollkin:

Pygs hiding in the fog?  Typical!
Boomhowler took the lead, running forward with his men and using the Call of Defiance to keep Tough even when knocked down.  The Pygs ran forward into the fog, managing to get all of them into the terrain.  The Impaler riled and ran forward, and behind him the Swamp Troll walked up.  Madrak walked forward, casting Fortune on Boomhowler &Co., Swarm on himself, and keeping the rest of his fury to put up a 6" protective aura (silly living kriel stone!).  The Fellcaller Hero used March on the Scattergunners, and then moved up to not get left behind.  The Scattergunners ran forward, ignoring all terrain thanks to March, and the Glacier King walked forward and cast Frozen Ground, making a giant skating rink around his feet.

Round 1, Protectorate:

Speedy Menoth army!
The Cinerators ran forward toward the zone.  The Piper gave March to the Knights before walking up his full move.  The Errants moved up past the zone onto the hill and took some pot shots at the Howlers coming towards them, managing to kill 3!  First blood to me, then!  Not something I'm used to with the Protectorate, a notoriously slow army, but I'll take it!  The Seneschal and Gade moved to keep up, but had no targets for killing stuff.  The Reckoner ran forward, as did the Templar, and the Mechanik followed.  The Bastions ran into the middle zone and got ready to hold strong!  TOM moved up until he was lipping the zone and put Cloak of Ash on the Errants to help protect them in the next round and Hallowed Avenger on the Vanquisher.  To finish, the Knights ran forward.

Round 2, Trollkin:
The Glacier King needs a Santa hat
Madrak upkept Fortune, and the round began.  Boomhowler used the Call of Defiance again.  The company moved forward and took some shots at the Exemplars.  They managed to kill one Knight, but missed all the Errants in their Cloak of Ash.  Madrak walked forward and put up another Protective Aura.  He then cast Farstrike on himself and lobbed a spear at an Errant who was promptly impaled, and then cast Fortune on the Scattergunners.  The Scattergunners moved forward into the central zone, and proceeded to kill off 4 Errants.
Argh, growl, smash, EAT!
The Impaler moved up and used Farstrike on a boosted attack to hit a Bastion, dealing 9 damage that was spread around.  The Swampie moved up again, as did the Fell Caller Hero.  The Glacier King walked again, killed another Errant with his Frozen Breath, and made another skating rink.  With the exception of three very cowardly Pygs, the Bushwackers moved out of the cloud and made 4 3-man CRA's, missing one, hit one but did no damage (hahahaha, suckers!) and 2 dead Errants. 

Round 2, Protectorate:
Errants, taking it in the teeth
Vengence!  But, only a 3" movement, since they were too far away for an attack.  TOM upkept his spells, and the round begins.  The Piper gave tough to the Knights.  TOM moved into the middle zone, raised a dead Errant, and took a focus off the Wrack, which promptly EXPLODED!!!  Luckily, there were no troops nearby.  The Errants charged, their Standard bearer showing no fear as he came face to face with the Impaler.  5 Howlers were knocked down by making their Tough rolls, one died, and Boomhowler himself took 7 damage.  The Knights pressed forward, one managing to make it's charge and the rest ran forward.
Shield guard for TOM

The Cinerators also charged, and one Scattergunner died while a bunch of other gunners were tied up.  The Reckoner took a shot, killing another Scattergunner.  The Bastions spread out in the zone, trying to be as irritating as possible.  The Templar moved back to make sure TOM had some protection while the Mechanik snuggied up to it.  And that makes one CP to me for completely controlling the bottom rectangular zone!

Round 3, Trollkin:
Madrak upkept Fortune, and leeched up to his full 6 fury.  The Scattergunners fanned out and killed 2 Cinerators and 2 more Errants.  Oof, 2 Cinerators is brutal!  Yikes!  Madrak moved forward and put Fortune on the Boomhowlers.  Sneaky, sneaky, DTB, getting double use out of that spell this round!  The Howlers killed off two MORE Errants, knocked down one of the Knights, and KILLED GADE!!!  Noooo!  Not Gade!  Luckily, one of Gade's friends saw the danger and selflessly lept in the way of danger, keeping Gade on the board.  Phew!  The Fell Caller Hero sprayed through his own friend to hit a Cinerator.  His friend disappeared in a welter of gore, but the Cinerator was untouched.  The Impaler made a critical hit on a thrown spear at one of the Bastions... I decided it would be better to just let that single Bastion perish rather than try to keep spreading around so much damage.  The Swamp Troll, for the third turn in a row, simply moved up and looks repulsive.  I guess that's what it's supposed to be doing?  I don't know.
Who wants to go ice skating?
Anyway, the Glacier Grinch... I mean, King, slid forward a bit and punched a Cinerator so hard he wound up in the City of Man before he even knew he was dead!  And to wrap things up, the Pygs made a 9-man CRA into one of the Bastions, killing him instantly as well, and a 3-man CRA into a Knight, who was only knocked down due to Tough from the Piper.  And as this turn ended, DTB fully controlled his rectangular square with the Glacier King taking a CP for it, and I fully controlled MY rectangular square with both jacks holding it, giving us one control point each and bringing the total to 2-1 Protectorate favor.

Round 3, Protectorate:
I think, with a mere one remaining Errant, it was time to let go of Cloak of Ash... also, since most of the troops had left the two jacks behind, I let Hallowed Avenger go as well.  Time to start bringing some troops back!  The Piper gave tough to the Knights again.  The Knights charged the Boomhowlers killing two, and the most awesome of Knight Officers finished off Boomhowler himself!  And I'm claiming the victory right there!  Oh, no, I guess we keep going, but with Boomhowler dead, I've got the moral victory clinched!  The Reckoner shot the Impaler for 7 damage, which wasn't as good as I wanted, but could have been very much worse.  The Cinerators CHARGED!!! AAAAAND.... whiff on the attack on the Fell Caller Hero.  D'oh!  But one of the Scattergunners fell to their mighty attacks.  Then the Bastions left their Seneschel to hold the zone behind them and charged the scattergunners as well AND.... BEEPBEEPBEEP... time over.  Noooooo!

Victory for the Trollkin.
The Madrak who stole Menothmas

The Exemplars did their best, but the blue skinned Scrooges would simply not budge.  Finally, the Testament had his Templar vent a blast of steam, a sign to his valiant warriors to quit the field.  If the worshipers of Dhunia would not budge, then he and the Interdiction would move on to find a more fitting site for their festivities.

Come on, guys, let's go somewhere else!
Always fun to play against the Trollkin.  I like the new Madrak, and I hope DTB had a good time with him.  As for the Exemplar theme force... I liked it a whole lot.  It's hard to argue with 31 high MAT weapon masters.  Next month I'll give the Faithful Masses theme a whirl and then decided which list I'm going to go with.

That's it for this year!  We've had a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to another great year of gaming with the Fukuyama Gaming Club!
Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Widowers Wood, Chapter 3.5

Winter, dear friends, is creeping up upon us... and here in Japan, that means that It. Is. Cold.  Brrrrr.  No central heating means that inside the house it is only nominally warmer than outside.  Good news for your models, I guess, since there is no danger that you may accidentally leave them near a heating vent and come back to find them a bit droopy... bad news for pretty much everything else.  It's hard to work up the motivation to start painting when you don't want to leave the protection of your warm spot on the couch.  Luckily I'm looking like I won't have too much to work on.  I'm almost finished with the Testament of Menoth, and then I need to finish one more warcaster, a few solos, and maybe one unit, plus two and a smidgen models for DTB that I've been working on.

So, to chase the chill away, gather close, and listen in to the continuing tales of our heroes of the Widower's Wood, and we impart on our next step in their story... and I have only two exciting words to describe the next chapter.... Kickstarter.  Exclusive.  WOOOOOT!  That's right, when I got my kickstarter for Widower's Wood, it came with a zillion goodies, and several of them were extra adventures, three for Widower's Wood and another three for the Dead Man Walking expansion.  The Widower's Wood exclusives came with a additional chapter for after the 3rd chapter, the 5th chapter, and a floating extra that can go anywhere before the finale.  We've been rolling a die after each chapter to see if we're going to play the floating chapter, but no luck so far, and so here we are, chapter 3 finished, and time to bring on Chapter 3.5, Treasure Hunt, our first kickstarter exclusive.  But before we jump into it...

We have the next set of dates for the Fukuyama Gaming Club!  Yes, it's going to be a great new year!  New Year in Japan is a busy time, but this is definitely something to look forward to through the trying times ahead!
December 17
January 21
February 11
And that will bring us to the end of the winter!  Also, the Saijo Gaming Club in Hiroshima City will be meeting for the last time this year on December 10.  And don't forget about the Las Vegas Open January 26-28 that some of our good friends from Iwakuni Air Base will be attending!
And a quick announcement about the new skirmish game from Privateer Press, Company of Iron.  Now, I don't really know much about Company of Iron, but after reading No Quarter Prime #1, I'm pretty excited to learn more for one very, VERY good reason... Agata, the Farrow Slaughterhauser that I've been playing in Widower's Wood, my piggy princess, IS A MAIN CHARACTER IN COMPANY OF IRON!!!  Squee!  And she is known, now and forever, as the "Queen of Carnage."  So, if you've fallen head over heels for our porcine heroine, you may want to check it out!

The Story so far...
Last time we met, our intrepid heroes had stopped the Gatorman ritual to raise an army of Swamp Shamblers that Rasheldonak, the power crazy, water fearing Gatorman Witch Doctor was going to use to take over the swamp.  Continuing their way to find Rasheldonak, our team moves along the river in the falling rain and comes across a team of Gatormen and Swamp Gobbers trying to free crates of weapons from the muddy embankment.  Certainly those would do more good in our hands than theirs, so it's up to us to get to the crates first!

As usual, the Queen of Carnage came to me (I'll bite the fingers of any who try and take her from me, HA!) DTB took over Olo, and Leland got both Vaskis and Skarg.  We had quite a bit of XP saved up, so Agata picked up Meat Thresher, Skarg got Marksman, and Olo took Wily, Outrider and Trailblazer, all of which will make him "Side Quest Guy."  We got the Side Quest bug last chapter, and now we must have more!  And Olo is just the Croak to get them for us.

At the bottom of the game board is a chest marker for each column on the map.  As we play, these "promising locations" will be moved up their respective columns.  It's us against the two Gobbers to check the locations to see if they hold either of the two chests.  We need to open both chests before the Gobbers can leave the board with either one of them to win the game.  Woot!  This is a great chance to pick up some goodies!  But there could be some trouble... reoccurring Bokors... that could be a problem... And we lose if even a single crate makes it off the board... the good news is that there are only two Gobbers, and they don't respawn after they are killed, so looks like we might want to take them out first... then we just have to worry about Bokor and Gatormen and Tatzelworms, oh MY!!  Well, better get to work!
Bokor sure are a pain in the ....
 We started the game at the bottom of the board.  Since we didn't know where the promising locations were going to end up, Olo took advantage of his new abilities to go after the nearest of the side quest cards, just on the other side of some impassable terrain from us.  Everyone else tried to just move out towards where we might be helpful in later rounds.  Round 2 brought some High Water as our event card, flooding the board and making it hard for all of us except Olo to move around... and as Olo tried to keep going towards the Side Quest, of course he got jumped by no less than two Gatormen and a Tatzelworm!  Poor Olo!  Agata charged another Tatzelworm, using her great power that allows her to ignore rough terrain, and smushed it into fish food!
Choppa choppa into fish food!
Luckily for Olo, Skarg's got an ability that lets him shoot into a melee combat without having to worry about hitting his friends, and cleared out some of the awfulness that was threatening Olo, freeing him up to get closer to the side quest card...

Round Three saw the waters recede and the Swamp Gasses come out, making us take hazard rolls if we charge this round.  A Gatorman near Agata moved a space, and the Slaughterhauser used a feat card to immediately charge and kill him, and passed her hazard roll to take no damage from the gas!  Skarg and Vaskis got a little stuck in the back field, but they were doing a good job of killing Gatormen and Bokor to keep them off of Agata and Olo, who finally made it to the first side quest card.  Turns out, this side quest is actually a QUEST!  It's the first of a set of three cards, and it came with a ton of XP... the other two cards may show up in later games!
Skarg lets loose!
One of the Gobbers made it to the first of the promising locations, but after digging around for a moment, realized that there was nothing there, and the first of the six location tokens vanished from the board.  And this brought us to this games' first Menacing Ripples event card... sigh.  At least we didn't tie.  The second Gobber tried a location chest and it vanished as well, but not before he was dangerously close to Agata, who promptly killed him for his efforts.  This left her a little exposed and alone, but hey, she can handle it, right?  Another Mendacing Ripples card, the second in a row!  WTH?  And of course, this time there is a tie... between Skarg and Vaskis!  Uh-oh, they look like they could be in trouble!  Vaskis is pretty slippery, though, and instead of getting stuck in a huge melee, he whisked away and checked another location for a chest that promptly vanished... three locations left, two of which have chests!
Don't worry, Skarg's got this
Agata found herself in a little bit of trouble now, surrounded by two Gatormen and a Tatzelworm... with a Bokor just a space away, egging on the Tatzelworm and literally standing on one of the location markers... she does have her great power that allows her to take a melee attack against every character in her space for every attack she makes, but this might be a little out of her ability, and she started taking some pretty heavy damage... though she did manage to kill off one Gatorman and the Tatzelworm, leaving one in her square and the Bokor staring over her shoulder.  Vaskis started making his way her direction to help out while Skarg continued to bring the pain to all the villains around the back of the board.
Hey guys!  Nice weather, eh?
Olo made it to one of the remaining markers, and not only did he find a chest in the space, but managed to break it open and found an Orboros Dagger hidden inside!  Ooohh, that's a good find for Olo!  It'll help him a bit in melee where he's a little bit weak.  Only two possible locations for the last chest left!
Round seven... only three rounds left... still one Gobber left on the board... but we're in not too bad of a shape.  Except for Agata, who is in a bit of trouble.  The event card gave us one we haven't seen before... Buzzard Beetle Swarms!  They attack any character who is in a space with another character, making those people take hazard rolls.  We all made it out okay, but it could have spelled the end of the line for Agata if she had rolled badly.  Vaskis moved into Agata's square to help withstand some of the punishment she was getting.
You got this one, Vaskis?
Skarg made it to the location marker near him, but turned out to be another red herring, leaving the marker next to Agata definitely containing a chest!  The Bokor charged into Agata and Vaskis' space, but because of the targeting priority, he attacked Vaskis, who, sneaky little Blackclad that he is, managed to evade the attack.  And lovely Agata waltzed out of combat, passing both of her combat checks, and found the final chest!
Looky what I found!
 In the same action as finding a chest you can make a strength challenge to break it open, and, of course, Agata is strong as only a Farrow Slaughterhauser can be, and broke it open no problem.  Inside, amazingly, the perfect loot for a Farrow, the Bone Fetish!  I mean, what are the chances that she would find the card that fits her background story that well?  It must be fate!
More loot!
And with that, our heroes claimed the victory!

We got a bit scattered!
Bokor are sure a pain in the booty... three wounds each (guaranteeing that a single character cannot kill them in one round), beast master to push nearby beasts to greater ferocity, and a magical attack that makes you lose feat cards.  But you do get a lot of XP for killing them.  And we killed a LOT of Bokor this game.  By the end of the game, our treasury tile was full to bursting! 

Yummy XP, drool drool
 Looks like the start of next game is going to see all of us getting some new abilities that will help turn the tide in our favor!

Anyone who's looking for a game, we'll catch you on the 17th!