Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans?
Six short weeks ago I was agonizing (inside joke for Skorne) over the question of choosing Elephants or Wolves to play in the local Warmachine & Hordes Journeyman League: Skorne or Circle.  It wasn't an easy choice, and in the end the close call fell in favor of the Elephants. I didn't do much in the way of blog reporting on those weekly games- they were very hard to squeeze the time in to get to, and when there I was playing with and against mostly unpainted armies (not the best photo material) and trying to learn a game that has a lot to learn and many options to consider.  So not much opportunity to record info or take pictures.

But I can't let the end of the league go by without a report on the overall.

The league had a very good turn out- I don't know how many total players there were,but attendance ranged from about 8 on the lowest night to at least 18 on the most crowded: a good turn out. Faction representation was heavily weighted toward hordes, with 3 Skorne, 3-4 Circle a Troll or two, Pigs and 2 Gators, and surprisingly, no Legion. Warmachine was lighter, with a Retribution, a Menoth, Magnus Mercs and Rhulic Mercs and a Cryx. 

Some nights I had as many as 5 games, and one week I had only 1.  Got there a bit late and had one long epic slug fest against Circle.  It was a real 'chess mach' of a game.  We took our time and enjoyed it.  he got the win in the end, but it was so very close.  I engaged his epic Kaya and her wolf with gators, but couldn't do damage. The wolf had been damaged previously and he ran the wolf out of combat to use a magic effect to transport her to within range of the wolf and got the caster kill. The gatorman I had did hit the wolf on the free strike, but left it with one wound. That was game right there.  He later realized he'd probably marked the damage on an argus by accident, so the wolf would have died and I'd likely have won, but regardless it was a close and complex game.  I also had several good games against the other Skorne player who shoed up every week- each game we had was close and got down to very few models left. In one we were both down to our casters and 4 beasthandlers: in chess this would be both having a king & pawn.  Great stuff.

In gaming I got about 50% win/loss which I was happy with.  In the hobby portion the organizer said he was pretty sure,without having the totals handy, that I'd won. I am more than a hobbyist than gamer, so I can't complain about that :)

I started with the Skorne battlebox and while I like the caster, Morghul, there is one aspect that I didn't like: he has only 5 focus (this is a very low power level) and that meant his range he could magically assist beasts is only 10 inches.  Very hard to keep the beasts from getting away from you and the leader remaining safe at the same time. So at week 4,when allowed to change casters I tried the new 'epic' Hexaris. he fit my play style better: more power (7) more spells and able to 'lead from the back' more. he also has a great ability that lets you heal a point on himself or his beasts when  a living enemy dies in his control range (14 inches) 
-This was amazing.  While Morghul inflicts damage on his beasts to get them to cause more damage, Hexaris keeps his beasts alive longer while the enemy is suffering.   I also added Gatormen to the army, which are amazing.  I used different miniatures to fit my desert theme. 

OK, on to some pictures of minis!

This is my starting Battlegroup: Cyclops Savage, Morghul, Titan Gladiator & another Cyclops Savage.
I really liked this starting group. Everything except that 10" range. 
I chose a very simple color scheme: dry red 'Martian' desert bases (So I can use them for VSF Martians!)
Brown natural Linen cloth, and light bronze armor with ivory inlay and plates.  The scheme was inspired by some Eastern Orthodox churches I saw while in Belarus. I thought it would look good with a desert theme to have almost no significant color(other than the red desert). Except for some pink inside mouths and some reddish skin tone there's no primary or secondary colors. Brown and Ivory and pale matallics for 95% of it. 
It was fast, pretty easy and I like the overall result.  

The first thing I added to the list was Beasthandlers.  This cheap troop selection is so amazingly good. 
They are quite a toolbox.  They can heal the beasts, they can enrage them so that they charge for free with a boost to their strength and they can manipulate the beasts' fury which in simple terms means that the more beasts do, the more energy they generate- the leader can tap into that energy to use to fuel his own spells and attacks, but if the beasts get too much fury for the caster to clear then they may lose control and go berzerk attacking whatever is near, friend or foe.  It's a delicate symbiosis and the beasthandlers make it a lot easier to get right. 
The beasthandlers. The one at the end is a special solo who does a similar job for the gatormen. 

Next big jump in power level I added one of my favorite miniatures, the Bronzeback.
You might remember him from the Babylonian-themed Chaos Dwarf BB team (Check the Hall of Fame page at the top)
Here he is, dwarfing the large-in-his-own-right Gladiator.  He might deserve (or demand) a few more shots:
This is one impressive beast on the battlefield.  If he connects, he is going to wreck whatever he touches. 
The only downside: if he does die early it can be very hard to recover and enact a new plan. 

Here's another guy I like a lot.  There are two types of Basilisks, male and female.  Both are fun.
I actually have an idea for a 'reptile' themed Skorne army, where instead of using the Titans, relying on pairs of these Basilisks and the Terradactyl-like Archidon, with a unit or two of the lizard 'gatormen'. Tempting!

Speaking of (not)Gators:
I really really like these minis.  They are just what I wanted.  Not that the Privateer Press Gatormen aren't nice, they are- I like them, but they are decidedly 'swampy' and would not have fit in well in a desert army. 

My final 35 pt army list replaced Morghul with eHexaris, exchanged both Cyclops Savages for a Cyclops Shaman (to get rid of enemy upkeep spells mostly, and to cast more of my own spells) and the Basilisk.
The Gatormen and packmaster gave good support and I added a 'feralgheist' for the last point- a spirit that can inhabit a dead beast so you can keep using it (until it gets smacked for a tiny 3 more damage) -I used a reptile spirit type mini from Reaper instead of the feralgheist model,since it fit the look of the army more. 

Just a nice coincidence, the store has one Martian-red desert board and I got to play one of my games the last week on that table.  

The Journeyman league gets rebooted on July 24th.  Since it will likely keep to the official Battlebox core, I'll probably not play the Skorne for it again, and so I may give the Wolf the chance that the Elephant took.  
Or maybe Trolls... or... well, we'll see. 

Thanks for wading through all this! 

By the way, I finally found a fix for the broken Followers widget, so I now can see the people who added to follow in the last 4 months, welcome and thanks for following! 

Some impressive elephants (and cute lion cubs), enjoy!


Thomas said...

Nice color scheme!

Mr. Lee said...

Great color scheme indeed for the armor there. I see a nice reference topic under the article also of Edgar Rice Burroughs and his John Carter reference.

I see other models in the last photo that could use some close ups.. that leaping croc, and the red skin guy..

Great as usual mate!

Spacejacker said...

Beautiful work. I really like limited palettes like this one.. And what incredible beasts!

Laughing Ferret said...

Thank you guys :)

Glad you like the scheme. Not too common to see something without much of any color, but it appeals to me for some reason.

Mr. Lee: I'll update for Skorne soon and add some more pictures of the reptilegheist and the shaman.

Anonymous said...


I really like the count-as you used for the gatormen and the shaman.

I'd like to steal the idea. Can you help me finding the models' reference ?


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