Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Widower's Wood, Chapter Three

Hey there, everyone!  Sorry for the long break between posts.  What can I say?  When your family travels over 5,000 miles to spend some time with you, you put everything else on hold!  So, a look back at what's been going on with the Fukuyama Gaming Club since the tournament.  What an amazing tournament we had!  I can hardly wait until next year to meet everyone again.  Thanks to everyone who made it down and took part in the fun.  Our next gaming day was October 29, and I tried out the first of a couple of different casters to see who my picks for next year are going to be.  Right now, I'm leaning towards the Testament of Menoth and either Soverign Tristan or Intercessor Kreoss... but there are so many that I want to work with... Malekus, Durst, and Thyra are all in my "want to use" list.  On the 29th I got in a couple of games with ToM, and I LOVED him!  So, I think he's definitely in!

But before we get into another great year to tabletop battles, it's time for a little breather, and chapter 3 of our Widower's Wood Campaign!  Our continuing quest to save the wood from the ravages of a water fearing, crazed Gatorman Witch Doctor.  But first!

Announcements:
Not too many announcements this time... the next several meetings for the Fukuyama Gaming Club are as follows...
November 19
December 17
And that takes us into next year... holy crap!  Is it really that late in the year already?  Ugh, where did it all go.  Anyway, we'll be getting in some Warmachine/ Hordes games, probably a little more Widower's Wood since, you know, it's awesome, and possibly some other small games.  Feel free to pop by and grab a game!
Next... this is more of a public service announcement... No Quarter, the Privateer Press bi-monthly magazine, has changed!  It is now No Quarter Prime, and it is chock full of awesome.  Mine even came with a little model of Eilish, a member of the Black River Irregulars who also does a cameo in the Strangelight Workshop novel Wicked Ways, and I will NOT say no to that!  Anyway, check out the new magazine (and the novels), it's good reading!

The Story So Far...
Last time, our intrepid heroes saved the Mist Speaker of a Bog Trog tribe in an attempt to convince the Trogs to help them find out what Rasheldonak is planning.  As they make their escape from the Gatormen that had been herding the Trogs, the Mist Speaker tells our great leader Olo that Rashedonak's bokor's are about to start a ritual to make an army of Shamblers.  So, looks like it's up to us to stop them!

We've heard that this is one of the hardest chapters, so fingers crossed that we can get through this in one piece!  We'll be using two new pieces this time around, a ritual circle and some bone piles... should be some good times.

DTB retained control over Olo, Leland continues his work with the enigmatic Vaskis, and I kept on with my darling Agata and since there were only three of us this time, Skarg got handed over to DTB.


Chapter Three:  Fish or Cut Bait
Once all the Trogs were safe, the Mist Speaker appeals to Olo, the group "good guy", to help liberate the rest of their tribe.  Rasheldonak is using them to dig up as many corpses as possible for his Bokors to use to raise an army of Shamblers.  And these shamblers will help him to take over the entire Wood!  Though Vaskis was against it, the others realized that saving the Trogs will be one step closer to saving the Widower's Wood, and head further in to the wilderness to assist the enslaved tribe.

More trogs, grumble grumbel.  But stopping an evil zombie making ritual seems like it could be fun!  I have a feeling that the difficulty that we heard about is an unending swarm of shamblers coming to eat our BRAINS!!!

The board is set and ready, so off we go!  For this chapter, our four heroes have to kill the Bokor and interrupt the ritual by destroying the circle.  Once two of the bone piles are destroyed or the Bokor is taken to half his health, the finale is triggered, spawning two Club Gatormen.  We've got 10 rounds to get this done, so we've got to bring our A game!  To destroy the ritual circle, you need to pass an Intelligence 13 check, so we sent Olo off to take care of it, and Agata went with him to put the hurt on the Bokor as early as possible.  Skarg was tasked with trying to keep the shambling horde off of our backs, and Vaskis was going to fill in as needed.  Maybe this time we can actually get a hold of one of the side quest cards on the board!

Alright team!  Let's disrupt this ritual!
The heroes started out in the middle of the board.  The Bokor was across a square of immpassable terrain, so we would have to go around through some forests to get to him.  There were two side quests on the table at opposite ends, and WE ARE GOING TO GET ONE TODAY!!!  Plus, four bone piles that are going to make zombies every round while the Bokor is active and unoccupied with one of the heroes.  So we need to destroy them ASAP.
First off, our event card for round one!  Wouldn't you know it.... I mean, could you even guess... Menacing Ripples AGAIN!!!!!  Argh!  The bane of last game.  Okay, okay, all we have to do is not tie on the roll for who gets the spawned gatorman.... HOLY CRAP WE TIED AGAIN!!!!  Hahahaha, I can't believe it!  Ugh.  Okay.  Everyone got into position to do some damage next turn.  Olo set some traps to kill anything that moved into his square, and Vaskis did the same with his new spell, the Sunhammer.

And boom!  Both Vaskis and Olo managed to wipe a couple of the first swarm of Shamblers off the board.  Several more were just knocked down, but it was a great start to our game!

Agata managed to destroy one of the bone piles on the way to catch up with the Bokor... with her mighty power to move through rough terrain as though it was open terrain, she should be able to make it to the Gatorman next turn!  Vaskis began to lead all the Shamblers and Gators on a merry chase around the forest on the right side of the board... as long as he keeps them busy.

Piggy Power!  Agata got a charge off and dealt 3 damage to the Bokor, launching us straight into the final.  Wow, this is the first time that we've been this ahead of the game... third round in and we are on the final!  The best thing is that though we spawned the two Club Gatormen, we don't have to kill them, just avoid them until Agata can finish off the Bokor and Olo can take down the circle.

Well, well, well.... Vaskis, as he made his way around the forests, managed to pick up this lovely gas mask!  Great work, Vaskis!  Our first Side Quest of the campaign!  (Due to some group discussion, we changed the Side Quest to Article 1135 to avoid a rule that we wern't sure on).Skarg decided to make a run for the other side quest... we'll see if he can get there in time... six rounds to go. 

Another Menacing Ripples card, and since we were out of Gatormen to spawn, one of the Gatormen closest to Vaskis activated... no problem!  Vaskis has his side of the board well in hand!  And with that, Olo unleashed upon the shamblers around him!  Abilities and feat cards, and Olo was literally standing on a pile of dead shamblers, ready to come across and destroy the circle as soon Agata could do in the Bokor.  And then he proceeded to get smashed by the Bokor and his stupid hand of glory!  If he hits you, then you lose a feat card!  But I need them to keep on track to kill him!  DON'T TAKE MY FEAT CARDS!!!

Skarg made it to the side quest card on the left side of the table, but was not able to make the intelligence check needed to find it!  Oh Skarg!  Why are you so oblivious!  It's right there!  Sadly for Skarg, he then got jumped by several bad guys, and wound up knocked on his ass in the corner. 

But in better news... it's Agata's turn to bring the pain!  I was down a couple of feat cards thanks to the Hand of Glory attack, but I still think I could do it.  On a nine or better on two dice, I would kill him outright.  Her first attack did one more damage, but there was one more to go... and BOOM!!!  Piggy power!  Agata takes down that scaly monstrosity, and paves the way for Olo to do his thing!
With four rounds to go, we were ready for Olo to take a try or two to break the circle.  Having the hightest initiative of the group, Olo went first.  If he failed to break the circle, then Skarg was going to try to drag his sorry corpse closer to us so that Vaskis could use his restorative potion on him.  But Olo, our mighty Olo,  broke the circle in one try!  Wow!  That was an amazing roll!  He needed a 10 on two dice, and DTB managed an 11!  And just like that, on Round 7 of 10, the game was over!

VICTORY!!!
Conclusion:
 Wow!  For a chapter that was supposed to be the hardest of the entire campaign, we crushed it!  This was by far the best game that we have had so far!  We had luck with the dice, and a good solid plan to get us to the end.  And!  We hit a side quest!  May next game go as smoothly as this one!  Leland looks like he's really starting to settle in with how to use Vaskis, and my piggy princess continues to shine as the melee power house that we need her to be!

Next gaming day is November 19th!  Come down to get in a game!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Warmachine Hordes Japan Open Team Championship

Finally, the day has come!  The Japan Open Team Championship has arrived!  That's right, it's time for the Rumble Round the Ramparts... the Clash at the Castle... and it was every bit as amazing as it should have been.  Seven teams from around Japan joined us in Fukuyama for two days of gaming and camaraderie, meals and chatting.  The weather couldn't have been better, and this year everyone made it on time for the opening speech (last year the train from Tokyo was unexpectedly late and one match got started late).  Sadly, we were not able to create a final 8th team, so every turn one team had a pass.  Hopefully next year we will be able to fill in the final three spots! Hopefully next year Leland will be ready to join us, and our coordinator for the last 5 years, Sarge, is stepping down, so that he can take part as well... so there's two right there!

The teams for this year!

TEAM ORDO NON PANTICUS  (Hiroshima A team)

Named for this team's disdain for anyone trying to play with an unpainted army, tied together with their enjoyment of the Warhammer 40K universe, Hiroshima's top players have become a unit fighting against the unpainted in the darkness of the far future.

DTB, with his Trollblood army, using Doomshaper 3 and Calandra

Rantei, with his Skorne army, using Rasheth and Makeda 1

The Kid, with his Cryx army, using Deneghra 1 and Goreshade 1

These guys are going to be hard to beat!  Rantei is one of the best players that I've had the pleasure to play against, and The Kid is a total up and comer.  Fingers crossed that we don't have to play them.

TEAM TRI ARROWS  (Hiroshima B team)

Our team name is a shout out to Hiroshima prefecture.  Long long ago, the warlord of this area was trying to convince his three sons to work together by asking them each to break one arrow.  When they were all able to do so, he gave them three arrows together, which none of them could break.  So, teamwork and stuff.  Beru and I were both awarded the Diplomat award last year, so this is apparently also known as "Team Good Sport."

Kommissar Koala, with my Protectorate of Menoth army, using Severius 2 and Reznik 2

Beru, with his Cygnar army, using Stryker 1 and Sloan

Tetsu, with his Mercenary army, using Ossrum and Magnus 1

Woot!  We're looking good and ready to roll! 

TEAM BAND OF HEROES  (Osaka A team)
As the name suggests, this is a team completely made of Trollblood players.  The rules for team tournaments state that teammates cannot share the same caster, so these Heroes decided to each play one version of Doomshaper plus another warlock!

Kimamana, with his Trollblood army, using Doomshaper 1 and Madrak 3
Tabibito, with his Trollblood army, using Doomshaper 3 and Borka 1

Genki, with his Trollblood army, using Doomshaper 2 and Gunnbjorn

Yes, that is a Sea King.  It looks AWESOME!  Not only are Trolls tough, but this team has brought four... that's right, FOUR... gargantuans... yikes!  Osaka A is full of very very good players.  This will be a hard team to beat!


TEAM SECRET WEAPON  (Osaka B team)

One word.... Grymkin.  The secret weapon.  And this team is fielding TWO Grymkin armies.  For most of us, myself included, this will be the first chance to face off against Grymkin, and I can't help myself... I want to play against them so badly!  Let's hope the match ups work in my favor!

JC, with his Grymkin army, using The Dreamer and The Heretic

Niwaniwa, with his Retrubution of Scyrah army, using Thyron and Ravyn

Enzo, with his Grymkin army, using The Child and The Wanderer
Enzo's paint job is OFF THE HOOK!!!  I mean, WOW!!!  Wow!!!  Now I REALLY WANT TO PLAY AGAINST THEM!!!!  Here... more photos of this amazing army...
In case you are wondering, yes, I did shake that Cage Rager... and the cages are on real chain!  So they rattle around and wiggle as you shake it!  Hahaha!

TEAM DRAGON FORCE     (Team Tokyo)
This is a great team.  I only get to meet these guys once a year, but Daizo and Mitchell are always good for a game.  I played both of them last year, and I'm really looking forward to facing off against them if we can!  Daizo is a fellow Protectorate player, but for some reason he decided to bring his Skorne army this time!  HERESY!!!

Daizo, with his Skorne army, using Makeda 2 and Xerxis 2

Mitchell, with his Cryx army, using Denegrah 2 and The Witch Coven

Nobi, with his Retribution of Scyrah army, using Issyria and Vyros 2

Another set of well painted armies and quality players behind them!  While I'm not sure that I could beat any of the guys on this team, I really hope that we get matched up for a fun game.

TEAM THREE DIRTY SCARECROWS     (Hiroshima C Team)
The last of the Hiroshima teams... named because these guys are tall, extremely lanky fellows, though... I'm not sure how dirty they are, hahaha!

Baru, with his Cryx army, using Venethrax and Denegrah 1


Ryosangata, with his Retrubution of Scyrah army, using Issyria and Vyros 2

Race, with his Legion of Everblight army, using Llylith 3 and Thagrosh 1

With three teams, Hiroshima Prefecture is the most represented, followed closely by Tokyo and Osaka, so hopefully at least one of our teams can go the distance and win the day!

TEAM ONE HANDED BOXER VS. THE FLYING GUILLOTINE      (Team Toky-oka)
Okay, so there is no real place in Japan called Toky-oka.  This team is a mash-up of two Tokyo players and a Fukuokay player.  The name may seem weird, but it gets even stranger when you realize that one of the players literally has only one arm... so, yeah.

Aoichiro, with his Convergence of Cyriss army, using Axis and Father Lucant


Yamanaka, with his Mercenary army, using Magnus 1 and Ashlynn d'Elyse

M-saya, with his Cygnar army, using Captain Darius and Constance Blaize

I don't know this team very well.  I played Aoichiro three years ago at the 2nd Japan Open (this is the 5th JO).  He seemed nice enough, though a truly tough nut to crack.  Not to mention, I don't think a lot of people have a chance to play a good amount against the Convergence, so it's hard to come up with a strategy to beat them.

Well, that's all the teams!  Good luck, everyone!  But before I go into the different rounds, time for a word from our sponsers!

THE SPONSORS
Yes!  That's right!  This year, the Japan Open had sponsorship from several companies who did a great job helping promote the tournament.  Those sponsers are... drumroll please!
discountgamesinc.com , with a $25 gift certificate for the members of the 1st team
brokenegggames.com , $35 gift certificate for the members of the 1st team
gamemat.eu , who, of course, donated 2 mats
privateerpress.com , naturally, with pins and certificates for the top 3 teams
Look at that table!  Full of prizes to give away... and if you can believe it, that's not even all of them!  In addition to prizes for all three members of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams, everyone was also given two raffle tickets, and prizes were picked randomly throughout the day.  We had 2D terrain sets generously donated by gamemat.eu, measuring sticks gifted by Broken Egg Games, some goodies from Privateer Press' Summer Rampage, one of the always appropriate Shredder plushies, the gift certificates mentioned above, and of course, as I also mention, the 2 mats from gamemat.eu.  Whatever it takes, I'm determined not to go home empty handed this year!! (I didn't last year, either, as I came away with the coveted Diplomat award!)

Alright, that's all the preliminaries!  Time to get down to the games.  DTB and Sarge had spent a large part of the day before setting up tables, and they came out great!  Observe!
I like to imagine that this table was a shout out to me!  That's right, a Protectorate table!  What's that you say?  They had a table for almost every faction?  Doesn't matter, this table was made just for me!
A nice, volcanic lava table, with plenty of burning ground terrain features!  This devastated landscape is of course the Cryx table... I told them they should add a giant dragon figure, and if the game went past the 6th round, Lord Toruk would arise from the bowels of the volcano and eat everyone!
Northkin Trollblood table!  You can tell DTB definitely had a hand in crafting this table!  I can tell just looking at it that we may have to deal with a Northkin army next year, now that the new Trollblood Theme force for the wintery cousins to the trolls is out, along with one of the BEST BATTLE ENGINES EVER on the way (really.  I mean, REALLY.  A giant beer keg pulled by two polar bears?  EPIC!)

These are just a few of the amazing tables that teams used to battle to the finish on.

Round 1
Here are the match-ups for the first round!  Applause, please!
     Ordo Non Painticus  Vs.  Band of Heroes
     Dragon Force Vs. Three Dirty Scarecrows
     Tri Arrows Vs. Secret Weapon
     OHBVFG took the pass for this round
The pass round was too bad during a tourney, but there was nothing that could be done about it.  Each member of the pass team received a small gift from Sarge, 3 control points and 100 army destroy points to make up for it, and the members were able to have practice games to keep their edge... Leland took on M-saya and his Constance Blaize force with his own Cygnar army, while Aoichiro and Yamanaka took on each other.

Tri Arrows against Secret Weapon!  Yes!  I got to face off against J.C., using his The Dreamer force, and I was loving it!  The Dreamer is one of the Defiers that I am the most interested in, so I was excited to see her in action, and I was not disappointed!  I felt bad that I had to keep asking J.C. about his rules, but he was super patient with me, and we had a great game!  I took on his force with Reznik, hoping make sure his beasts' Flesh Was Weak!!!  That and, maybe for the first time, I might get to use Spellpiercer to hand out magical weapons to fight off the hordes of incorporeal models that were flooding at me!  Sadly, Reznik was not able to overcome the tide of storybook horrors that flooded the field, though it was a pretty close battle!  All I can say is that the Blood of Martyrs took three turns to kill off a Cage Rager that should have only taken one round, thus ruining my plans to disrupt The Dreamer.  Alas, we ran out of time, and it went to control points.  J.C. had 4 to my 3, not to mention about 30 more destroyed army points than I did, giving him the victory!  Well played!

The winners for this round!  Ordo Non Painticus, Dragon Force, and Secret Weapon!

I've Got a Golden Ticket
After the first round, we took a lunch break.  While everyone was away, Sarge was busy looking over the armies to decide who would go into the finals for the painting competition.  When the teams returned from delicious dining, the armies selected had a Golden Ticket waiting for time!  All tournament members would vote on the winners after the final matches.  Those teams with the golden tickets were...

Mitchell and his Cryx army!
Enzo with his Grymkin army!
Genki with his Trollblood army!

Difficult choices!  All of these are really beautiful armies with very talented painters.  I can't wait to see who will win!

Round 2
This year, the Japan Open had only 3 rounds, so round 2 was VERY important for deciding who was going to wind up at the Championship tables!  The matchups!
     Ordo Non Painticus Vs. Dragon Force
     Band of Heroes Vs. Three Dirty Scarecrows
     Secret Weapon Vs. OHBVFG
     Tri Arrows took the pass this round.

Well, taking the pass wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it did have an upside!  It was the only chance I had to play against my teammate, Beru, who is one of my favorite people to play against.  I took out Severius to get a little practice against his Stryker army, and we had a rousing battle... on the Protectorate table!  Hahaha!  It was tons of fun.  Though I did end up losing the game, it was probably the best match I had all day! Tetsu paired off against Leland, and proceeded to completely wipe the floor with our newest member... a bit of a face palm moment.  Listen, you don't destroy a new player just because you can.  It's just mean, and it makes them wonder if this is really such a fun game.  Sorry, Leland!  We'll get you a better game next time!

The winners for this round... Ordo Non Painticus, Band of Heroes, and Secret Weapon!

Round 3
This is it!  The last round of the day... and on the Championship table, our very own Ordo Non Painticus!  The other two Hiroshima teams have not had a great showing (though we all had fun), both of us losing both rounds (well, ok, Tri Arrows did "win" the pass round, but still).  Ordo is our last hope!  Good luck! The final matchups!
     Championship: Ordo Non Painticus Vs. Secret Weapon
     Dragon Force Vs. Tri Arrows
     OHBVFG Vs. Band of Heroes
     Three Dirty Scarecrows took the pass this round.

I can't believe it!  At the beginning of the day, I wanted to play against a Grymkin army, Beru, and Mitchell... and here in the final round, I got the hat trick of wish granting, and faced off against Mitchell's Denegrah force with Severius (thank goodness I had a practice round with Beru!).  As always, Mitchell was a joy to play against.  He's incredibly knowledgable about not only his own army, but the other armies as well, and he pretty much was in control of our battle the whole time... it didn't help that I forgot he had a unit of ambushing mechanithralls that got into my back field and put my 'caster on his heels pretty effectively.  But, it was still an amazing game!  My MVP though was the Judicator.  In our last round, it took everything that Mitchell could throw at it to destroy it, due to sheer dumb luck on my part.  Nightmare even charged, boosting damage while Judicator was suffering under Shadow Bind, and still only did about 10 damage total!  Boom!  Carrion Thralls, Mechanithralls, Pistol Wraiths, Bile Thralls, all they did was chip away when they should have been melting it to slag.  Finally, in the final attack that Mitchell would be able to take against the colossal, a Bile Thrall was able to hit with an acid shot and finally the valiant machine went down.  Sadly for me, my super colossal was contesting a zone and a flag, so Mitchell was catapulted into the victory with more than enough control points.  So.  Much.  Fun!

The winners for this round... Dragon Force and Band of Heroes... and the winner or the champion table was....

Results!
Ordo Non Painticus WINS!!!!!!
Good job, Ordo!  Keeping the dream alive for Hiroshima Prefecture!  In a 2-1 victory over Secret Weapon, they sealed the victory, and took home the goods!
1st place:  Ordo Non Painticus
2nd place:  Band of Heroes
3rd place:  Secret Weapon
Then, it was time for voting on the best painted army... I'm sure you could already guess who I voted for!  The results for Best Painting!
3rd Place:  Mitchell and his Cryx army!

2nd Place:  Genki and his Trollblood army!

And the winner is..... Enzo with his Grymkin army!

So, here are a few more shots of that amazing army!
Look!  Models specifically for the shadow arcana!  Look at that Cage Rager base.
I love how he re-posed this Child model so that Dolly is holding her!
And for his prize, Enzo received one of the game mats!  Congrats!  Job well done!

Then, it was time for the raffle!  And wouldn't you know it, I won both of my tickets!  I picked up some warjack damage tokens and one of the 2D terrain sets, desert themed, of course, for the Protectorate!

As we wrap, here are a few more amazing models that came out to play!
From Race's Legion army...
From Rantei's Skorne army...
From DTB's Trollblood army...
From Genki's Trollblood army...

And with that... the day was over.  A big thanks to Sarge for putting on a great day for everyone!
I look forward to seeing everyone next year for the 6th Japan Open!
The next gaming day for the Fukuyama Gaming Club is October 29th!  Come get a game!