Painting Skorne #3: First model is finished!

I finished my first model, and I’m happy for it. Attempts at painting with a higher quality result do mean more time is spent painting.

The finished model is a Incindiarii grunt. Sadly that means 5 more to go before I can really say I finished something. Then again considering I was still trying different colors and approaches, it took longer for the 1st one to be done, so the others should finish faster.

Not the best pictures, late at night and sup-optimal lighting.

I’ll post more pictures once more models get done and I’ll try to take pictures in daylight like I usually do.

 

Painting Skorne #2: They warned me about orange.

Well it’s actually less complicated than I was made to believe when reading up on other painters. This doesn’t mean that it’s easy either.

I prime all my models with a gray primer from Vallejo. Black and white have their advantages, but I feel gray works for all colors, and it works best for me.

I was told base coating in red would be a good start; however I wanted to see how many layers it would take to get good coverage with the orange. Turns out 3 is the magic number.

3 layers look like lots of work when I’m used to getting away with 1 layer in my other schemes. But the result is good and starting with red, I would need about the same amount to get the orange solid.

The combination I have worked out so far is as follows:

3 layers of Khador Red Highlight (P3)

Carroburg Crimson wash (GW) (not to heavy, but the orange needs to get that red hue for the darker areas)

1 layer of Khador Red Highlight

1 layer of Ember Orange (p3) as highlight

I was contemplating on using a further highlight using Heartfire (P3), but the current result seems just fine. And when I add all the other colors I will have a clear picture of how the orange pops out. Adding a further highlight at that stage will still be possible if required.

I already painted up all areas that need to be black. The armor parts will need no highlighting; the cloth on the other hand, will require some gray highlights.

I’ll have to do some experimenting to get the right gray tone in, I have a few dark grays in my collection, I’m just not sure yet which one would be best.

I’ll take some in progress pictures after I finish painting tonight. If all goes well there’ll be some gold on the models and I’ll be able to show how the orange turns out.

Painting Skorne #1: Preparation, and more preparation

Choosing a new or next faction is one thing, playing it is another, but the most interesting is where to start with color schemes and basing.

Except for my Cryx, I tend to use custom bases, rather than flocking a normal base with sand or rocks. For the huge base format it depends on the model, my Hyperion and AFG are on a custom base, while both my Axioms and Kraken are on flocked bases.

The site I use for my custom base purchases has always been: Model Display products UK. They have some really nice designs, and when ordering from Europe the UK is more beneficial compared to ordering from the US.

Before I would spend time calculation which amount I needed for each base size, and I would order them all. While I find this manufacturer to pretty cheap I still wanted to see if I couldn’t make it cheaper for myself, as the amount of bases I have already used and will use in the future, do add up to a big number.

I looked up information on casting bases, and after a few trial and error stages, I was able to cast some decent molds, and I’m currently casting bases at home.

The picture below shows the original bases in gray, the copies in white, and some painted up copies to the right.

The set I used is called: Cracked Earth and these bases are just wonderful.

The resin I use to cast the bases is Polycraft PG2000, and as I understand it this would be one of the most popular casting mixes used for this sort of casting. (Available on e-bay from the UK)

Having a cool set of bases and a nice color scheme for them is a good thing, but that still left me with the harder choice the color scheme for the models themselves.

I started looking in the usual spot, the almighty Google. I was going to look at green, blue and orange for a main color, as I had seen some nice examples with those colors in the past. Purple was also a maybe.

Then I came across pictures of the Skorne army painted up for Trevor from Chain attack.  It uses a vibrant orange for the armor, a more red orange for the cloth and a nice blue for the ropes. When you search for “orange skorne” in Google this is the first image that pops up, and this is the scheme I will attempt to reproduce. The painter has a facebook page here, his name is Ashton Holbrook.

So far I’m testing out orange colors, and my first test with P3 Khador red highlight looks promising. It will need at least another layer (2 done already in the picture).

It looks solid on photo however it still has some coverage issues in reality. (Still it’s already quite good considering I’m painting orange, and it’s tricky)

I will add another layer tonight and then experiment with some washing for the darker areas. My goal is to get an end result that resembles the picture below as much as my skill allows.

I can only hope my end result comes close to this one. At the very least this will be a good model to experiment on with the color variations I will need for the armor and cloth on the other models.

I will continue painting / assembling / priming tonight, I’ll share some more progress shots soon.

 

My gameplay needs revision.

At this point while my understanding of the game and the quality of my play are slowly on the rise, the main conclusion is that I still haven’t found THE faction that clicks for me as it should.
Last weekend I went to a SR tournament in Roeselare (Belgium), nothing large, we ended up with just 4 players. And of those 4 I placed last.
Sadly not because of play style or player skill, just because “no answer to opposing models”.

This doesn’t mean I played perfect games, the match-ups were just very “uneven” for a Cyriss army.

First game I faced Testament of Menoth, which completely removed my recursion mechanic and without recursion, Cyriss is a sad faction tbh. The Menoth models were more resistant to damage and handed out more punishment so I held them back as much as I could before the inevitable feat turn where all those incorporeal models assassinated Lucant and the game ended.

The second game was Vs. Vlad1, the caster was not the issue here, the high Def all across the board was a rather huge issue.
I fielded Mother, the Assimilators get around stealth with ground pounder, but with Def 14-16 on the board rolling to hit on each model results in more miss then hit and you can’t aim to get a higher rat.

Popping Mothers feat to remove about 10 models (when lucky) isn’t the best use.
I was able to remove quite a number of the Kayazy Assassins and their Underboss. I was able to remove Joe from the game by dominating a Spriggan.
If only mother’s Shrapnel swarm was an actual aoe, and not an aoe on a direct hit, it would have some game in this match-up. Against Winter Guard it’s just really hard to land hits.

The spriggan utterly destroyed the monitor, shortly after did the same to an assimilator. The monitor managed to do a measly 4 damage to the Spriggan on a charge.
It seems that when facing Khador the caster doesn’t matter that much, the units are what makes it a hard match-up. And more so the high Def stacking. I can already hear the masses call out “Flare”, and yes Flare was applied plenty, and it helped for 2-4 attacks during the entire game, the others either drifted to irrelevant locations, or only clipped 1 model after scatters, none managed to actually hit any models.

The 3rd game was more even, in the sense that the problem wouldn’t be hitting or doing damage, the math indicated things were possible on average rolls, and it wouldn’t require rolling boxcars ¾ of the time. The matchup was Mother vs. Skarre1.
The challenge was to remove enough models to even out the model count. He was fielding, Bloodgorgers, Gerlack, Blood witches + ua, Raiders + ua, Necrosurgeon X2, Mcthralls X2, scarlock, 2 Helldivers, raider captain, Saxon,. Which totals on 66 models.
I managed to remove the raider Sea Witch turn one using the monitor, this made me very happy as that also meant 4 raiders were now outside of command. I also removed another 4 raiders (who were in command), making the unit less respectable the next turn. Turn 2 came the incorporeal Blood witches; the rest of the list just ran up.

This list is surprisingly fast to play for the Cryx player since the first part of the game is more about placement and running up than it is about attacking and removing key pieces. The main goal is to have scenario and board presence so far up the board the opponent won’t be able to advance to a place where he can threaten the scenario. This list is really nice and works like a well oiled machine.

I removed one Necrosurgeon and most of the thralls early on using the ground pounders. I managed to remove infantry using them and shrapnel swarm from mother, I was able to use her gun to good effect a few times as well. The feat turn was not too bad either. In the end there were too many models to remove and not enough shots to pull it off. The obstructors were all removed in one turn; overtaking Bloodgorgers are good at what they do.

The foundries leaving were full and had nothing they could spend souls on…
The Obstructors did do their part, I lost 1 jack in the entire game, the monitor was MVP for holding the zone 2 turns in a row and staying alive without repairs. A special mention to mother’s 2nd servitor who also held the zone for a turn.
In the end having to sift through all those models with the full amount of ranged / melee attacks at my disposal each turn, really took a bite out of my play time, and my timer ran out…

Rather depressing day regarding results, and as such I’m going to go back to the drawing table and do some dojo with one of our most experienced locals, to see what we can do to make my games worth playing.
I feel like I need to broaden my way of thinking and really get some advice on the spot for certain game phases so I can come out of it a better player.

 

EU Masters 2014 recap

Last weekend the EU Masters took place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

84 players took part, which is only 6 less than the number of inscriptions, pretty much everyone made it to the event.

To give you an idea of the origin of the players and the faction spread, these are the graphs provided by the tournament organizers:

The faction spread, may be slightly off, as some players changed their faction between inscription and registration. (I’m one of those since I first chose Cryx and opted to bring Convergence in the end) And there’s a group called “No response”.

I had a great time this weekend, met lots of new people from all over Europe; saw some familiar faces as well. The social aspect of these events is just as fun as the competition.
The event lasted its full 7 rounds, it almost ended at round 6 but there was no clear winner yet, so we got to play it out.

I faced Minions, Trolls, Ret and Khador on Saturday and Khador, Cygnar, Trolls on Sunday.

The first game vs. Minions, he chose Lord Carver and I went with Lucant as I had no experience with Piggies at all. Turns out they pack a huge punch and one shot entire units of Reciprocators while in shield wall. The Scenario was Destruction.

I ended up going second after the roll off. I moved the Lucant brick forward, attrition was going well. The fact that he failed pretty much all of his tough checks was a great help.
When his 3 heavies got in charge range, I had to use the feat the turn after because 3 charging war beasts is never a good thing. Turns out it just postponed the event for a turn.
I was able to drag in one of the war beasts with the Axiom, leaving it on 1 box, and then put an elimination servitor into play in the beasts back arc. The servitor aimed, and did the last point of damage.

1 of the 2 units was wiped out by the Reciprocators, as I said before tough is a nice ability, but the dice favored me and none of them made it.

I made the crucial mistake of not sacrificing Obstructors to keep the objective alive. This costed me dearly because he managed to score a point for the objective and dominated the zone that same turn, leaving us at 3-0 for scenario.

It also didn’t help that it was his feat turn. The first heavy left the Axiom on 3 boxes, the second boxed the axiom and then went on to destroy the entire unit of Reciprocators in one go. I was left with enough models to continue the fight, however with his zone presence and the inability to get something into the zone that wasn’t going to be removed with ease, he won on scenario.

Again, remembering the special properties of the objectives could have won me this game, something to remember for next time.

 

The second game vs. Troll bloods, I went in knowing the faction is a hard match-up for COC in general. Having a really experienced troll player at the LGS is always a good preparation for such match-ups.

The troll player didn’t opt for his Runes of war list, and went with eMadrak instead. That made me happy inside, Runes of war and Meat Mountain are just up-hill battles with no real positive outcome in sight.

We roll off to decide who gets to go first, he wins the roll and decides to go first. I look at the table and the terrain, and realize that there’s a wall placed diagonally on one side. This got me thinking, trolls want to get to my Axiom and they want to get as many models is as possible. He is also fielding burrowers, so he’s able to approach free of opposition.
I choose the side with the wall and on turn one I run the axiom so it’s about half an inch removed from it, making it so that it blocks access to half the axiom’s base.

As it turns out this was a golden move. Turn 2 the Burrowers manage to charge the axiom, only 4 make it (technically 5, one was boxed by triggering Watcher). The first damage rolls were spiking so hard I feared for the axioms life even with the limited exposure. Then the rolls averaged out and Axiom was alive and well.

Next the Fenblades popped their mini feat and charged the Axiom, because of the wall and placement of the Burrowers not a single Fenblade made it in melee range. The Buffalo cav was next, one made it to the Axiom, and it was still alive. He then feated, with minimal effect since those who were in melee were still the same 6 models and they did minor damage.

Now on my turn, the 6 Optifex Directive models made repairs as well as 1 foundry, and Axiom was brand new. In retaliation, the axiom did a sweep attack and boxed 4 burrowers and a Buffalo. He bought 2 attacks boxing another 2 burrowers, after which the unit failed its command check.

The rest of the game the Obstructors kept the Buffalo’s busy; with neither unit gaining ground, the Obstructors kept returning and even with combined attacks they failed to remove more than 1 Buffalo. On the bright side, the Buffalos were occupied and didn’t do anything more use full.

I noticed during the game that my opponent really had a fixation for removing the Axiom so I spent most of my effort in making sure he kept his focus on it and in return my other models were left alone.

The game resulted in a win for me by Death clock. The list simply put itself in place and stayed there winning on attrition. The simple activations (shield wall order, move attack rinse repeat) make the list easy to handle time wise. The recursion means the other player has to face the same models over and over. Repair makes the match-up look like a hordes one, as with beasts, a jack left alive, is a jack that’s fully operational the next turn.

 

The 3rd match on Saturday, I faced a Ret player, and since he had Ossyan as one of his 3 list options, I knew what he would choose from the start. Once Again I was fielding Lucant.
I was really happy when I didn’t see the mage hunter strike force in his list, that unit would have been a serious problem under the feat, and would have been a guarantee for Axiom’s demise.

Turn 2 he provides his halberdiers with desperate pace and Quicken, they charge my Reciprocators, do minimal damage, and they will end up being slowly eaten away by the unit of recips over the course of the game. The recips were already touching the zone so I did not mind them staying exactly where they were.
On the other end the obstructors also had a foothold in the zone and the axiom was in as well.
Deceleration as usual was a money maker vs. a ranged list. With Stormfall archers, missing their to hit rolls and then doing no damage on the scatter due to high armor values with shield wall.

Eiryss was removed trough an 8 man combined melee attack from the Obstructors. Later on Ayana shared the same fate. (Ofc this was after she kissed the Axiom good night.)
I had the pleasure of charging in the corollary with positive charge on it and using a slam attack to knock down the Banshee.
When the ranged models on his side met up in melee with the obstructors they were removed one by one. The opponent ended up death clocking himself, another win for Lucant.

 

The 4th and final game of the day I had to face Khador (I really have a dislike for this match-up, doesn’t even matter which caster / list, Khador just isn’t fun to play against)
He opted for Irusk and I decided it was time for Mother to enter the ring.
Obviously I ended up losing; winning against Khador would have been a serious feat, unless the Khador player was clueless, which he was far from.
Fun moments were one-shotting an Ulan with the Monitor and Modulator shenanigans. The rest of the game involved not being able to do much at all and ending up with a loss on scenario.

I had high hopes of this being my final Khador match-up so I stood a chance in getting to at least 3 wins. Then we got the pairings for the first round of day 2 and I got Khador again.

 

Day2, first game, Khador, Butcher3… I played Synth, because all lists had to be played once and it was going to be a loss by default. It was a normal aggressive Butcher 3 game, he ran turn 1, he ran turn2, he won con caster kill turn 3.

The second game was a very possible win, facing Cygnar (eStryker) with Lucant, but I made a big mistake from the start. I won the start off roll and decided to go first, leaving the other player the choice of side. This meant he put me on the side with the house in the middle of the table, forcing me to split up and go around it.
Normally the Recips can hold their own and don’t have much to fear, Rebuke changes that. I managed to put stuff in contest range for a few turns, but lost on scenario in the end.

 

The 7th and final round I got another Troll match-up, and I had to face the famous Meat Mountain, it went horrible, needing shield wall and a feat to match the armor values on the other end and Mulg munching Colossal with ease, the attrition game was impossible to maintain. Another scenario loss.

 

So end result: 2/5, 3 losses due to horrible odds, 1 due to not knowing the opposing faction and 1 due to horrible starting choice.

I had a few bars set for the event:
-Win at least one game.
-Don’t end up on the last spot
-Don’t end up last of the LGS group present at the event.

I won 2 games so the first goal was met, I ended on the 70th place so while not a spectacular performance, and I’m more than ok with this. I was 4th out of the 5 players from my LGS, and since I’m the newest player I’m happy with that.
I have been playing this faction seriously for about 2 months now, so the result is pretty nice in perspective.

While there are clear limitations to COC as a faction, and the bar is set pretty high in order to play them on a decent level, they provide me with the most joy while playing out of all warmachine factions I have tried.

I can honestly say I have found my main Warmachine faction.

Now the challenge is to have a hordes faction I enjoy playing so I can get a better understanding of the workings of the Fury system and so I can play something other than COC from time to time, as a small faction with limited model count, becomes rather boring after a while. More on that later.

 

Expect painting / playing experiences on both COC and Skorne soon.

Road to the EU Masters 2014 #2

First of all, the blog hit 500+ views this week, so a big thank you to all of you who come here and read my ramblings 😀

This week I got 3 games in, Lucant vs. eTagrosh, Mother vs. pGrissel and Lucant vs. Siege.

The Mother game was to give our local Trolls player an idea of how she plays. It was a bad match-up for Mother from start to finish, and if I had won that game I’d have been amazed. Not only is Mother not in her prime vs. Hordes in general, the list she runs atm is focused on removing single wound infantry by the bunches and fast.

It’s not a wonder she had less success when facing multi-wound infantry that’s tough to crack…

In the eTagrosh game, I made about 4 really crucial mistakes, we ended up with just 6 models left on the table and it was an attrition battle all the way.

The first big mistake was not positioning better for scenario. The legion forces took advantage of their superior speed and went straight for the friendly flag in order to get dominate points early on. Knowing I would take a while to get there, this was a more than sound strategy.

I made a move toward my own friendly flag with the same idea in mind. The big mistake at this point was forgetting to trigger Watcher twice in a row, when he moved in the Raek’s to hold up my advance towards his flag.

If I had triggered it I would have been able to move the inverter in closer, sparing me a whole bunch of movement activations the next turn to get the same result. And Lucant would have had the option to go to the flag and dominate.

I blame the fact that I was exhausted from lack of sleep.

He committed 2 Scytians to take down Axiom; I took down both the Scytians with Lucant and the inverter. So I was down an axiom (my power hitter) and he was down 4 beasts.

After some more back and forth, his Seraph charges Lucant (wasn’t camping much, can’t recall exactly how much at all), and ofc he hits and rolls triple box cars on damage, Lucant goes down.

I don’t know how I contracted this curse, but since Clogcon, when people try to assassinate my caster they roll triple box cars on damage somehow, it’s the 6th time or so and I am starting to get suspicious of it 😀

The last game was Lucant vs. Siege. Spoiler Siege dies…

The scenario was incursion.

Siege had a nice shot at winning on assassination, but the Siege player made some strange choices on his feat turn. In terms of attrition, he fell behind from the start, having trouble getting trough the shield wall + deceleration with POW 10’s. He also got Eiryss in charge range of half a unit of Obstructers who chose to go for a 5 man combined melee attack. In the end I had a unit of Recips around the flag in shield wall with set defense and the center field had models from both players, so no scoring was going to be done any time soon.

The Siege player ended the game when he didn’t see any solutions to keep me from scoring that didn’t give me a clean pick at Siege the turn after.

Tonight we are having a Tuesday game night again (getting as many games in before the EU masters as possible). I hope to have maybe 2 games (playing brick style means long games so it might get tied down to just one game)

I’ll see if I can get a small report up after. (And I should really take the effort of documenting my games in more detail, which I will do after the Masters.)

I also have a small painting update, my 2nd unit of Optifix Directive is done, and as such I will have a full range of painted models at the EU Masters.

Left on the painting/ assembly list are: 3 units of Angels, Aurora, Axis, Perforators, my second unit of Reductors and Reciprocators, the additional arms and heads for the hover jacks, my 2nd Mitigator.

Still some models to go until I have a fully painted faction indeed.

Once I get some testing done with Axis’ tier list, I just might order a second unit of obstructers and 2 more foundries, but time will tell, and for now I don’t want to invest in those models as they won’t see play outside the tier list.

And ofc if PP ever decides to release the rumored Battle engine the faction is supposed to receive one day at an undisclosed time (^^), I will take 2.

That’s all for now, I will try to post either this week on my battles tonight or after the EU Masters.