29 December 2012

Inn of Odd Wanderings

Doctor here again. Still making my attempts at figuring out the wargaming side of things but until I have something worth mentioning on that end you'll just have to 'listen' to the ravings on the RPG side of things.

So with that out of the way, for those of you doing the RPG side of things, here's a new piece for you. I've been thinking of a shared space for one shots. Play By Posts, and such, tend to have a lot of characters posted, and there are nearly always some folks who don't get into the games. So I thought of having a space where characters could sit in common. And so was born the Inn of Odd Wanderings. Here's the description from one Traveling Adventurer's journal:

The Inn of Odd Wanderings is pretty non-descript. A single building by the roadside, no town near it. It serves as an overnight stop over and has since before even the Orgoth invaded. The building itself, a wooden structure, is well enough maintained but wears its age proudly. The downstairs is wholely given over to the tap room and the kitchens, large enough for a small crowd, though often enough it's a quiet place, depending on where people are coming from or going to. The upstairs has rooms for travelers, both communal rooms as well as a few private rooms for those wealthy enough or important enough to need them. The area immediately around the inn is well groomed enough. A small garden sits in back providing much of the seasonings and some of the vegetables served at the inn. The small stable and 'Jack hall sits to the side, away from the main building, and sturdy enough for even the worst of weather.

20 December 2012

Removed from Play Features Goris!

I sit in on a podcast with the Removed From Play guys from www.Handcannononline.com We drink, we talk and we are merry! Omnus expresses his bromance! Come listen and see what they are about!


Straight Trollin', a Guide to pDoomshaper ~ by Beckman

pDoomshaper is a Troll. And he's not even nice about it. He wants to deny your opponent the ability to do anything, stop him from moving, strip all his buffs, and take his candy. He doesn't even care if your opponent's a child. pDoomshaper's such a jerk that he even steals from the person who plays with him because in order to play him correctly, you have to drop ~$164 on Runeshapers (retail).

We pretty much stole pDoomshaper straight from Menoth.

18 December 2012

Journeyman League Cygnar Week 3

Week 3 is upon me and I have been given 25 points to work with. Originally I postulated that I wanted to bring a hunter with my Kraye list, but I switched it up with great effect. See how Long Gunners served me in week 3 below.

Week 3: 25pts
The List

Points: 25/25
Captain Jeremiah Kraye (*6pts)
* Ironclad (7pts)
* Stormclad (10pts)
Long Gunner Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
* Long Gunner Infantry Officer & Standard (2pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)

As it stood, I felt a marked lack of ranged power with Kraye and I didn't feel like just adding Hunters would present me with enough options as more and more infantry hit the table. So I went to the shooting well and brought Long Gunners and 2 Stormsmiths. The Stormsmiths could help with my jacks and infantry getting caught up and provide some key model removal. Might I add that these things are solid gold.  I don't know if anything for 1 point is quite as good as these are. Anyway, this gave me a whole new look at the game and sort of sold the combined arms thing for me.

Having a concentrated ranged threat really had a profound effect in my games.  I now had a way to really soften hard targets on their way in. Making my jacks more effective at removing the pieces that could threaten my Warcaster in the late game. 

I wish I had such effective 1pt solos in Trolls. Having the ability to remove key blocking models or help to disengage things so effectively is really sweet. They won me 2 games simply by getting my long gunners out of melee so I could use them more effectively. 

At this point level it is really hard to say that what I am experiencing is a true representation of the faction.  I get that.  It however, is making me take a look at my list building in Troll in an effort to spread my model choices out and see if I can achieve the same success.

17 December 2012

The Scrum Cast Ep.15

Episode 15 is up over on the Scrum Cast page and probably in itunes (I haven't checked yet)  come give us a listen.

Also please forward any positive comments to TheGreatBlah.

Criticism and Complaints should all be sent to Goris.


16 December 2012

Mechanika's Heaven: The Intro

With the cast introduced, we have our first day. Having left Ord to make our fortunes we have settled into an area halfway between Corvis and Fort Falk, east of Ironhide's Hold. The Mechanika's Mercenaries mostly does repairs, we have a small rented shopfront where we bring in jacks and do repairs, but also do heavy/dangerous labor out on the warfront. The area here is dangerous. Trollkind, Skorne, Menites are all common to the area. Circle of Orobos arn't uncommon either. Then there is the constant threat of bandits, potential Khadoran patrols and even Llaelese 'patriots'. In short, the perfect place for a starting mercenary charter to set up shop.

So we do. It is a typical morning, quiet, not much work today lined up, our jacks are currently standing outside with us as the four of us run some tuning on the jacks, a common enough occurrence in a group of Mek heads like us. The first signs that something isn't right is the sounds of gunfire followed by explosions and smoke rising over the far side of town. That's the direction of the Cygnar Barracks, but nothing should have been able to get close enough to the city without being challenged. Not in any significant force. The confusion for us was compounded when an Iosan, in heavy armor, behind two strange looking light warjacks came around the block heading straight for our shop. Weapons drawn and blood in his eyes. Nearby another Iosan, whirling a bladed chain weapon of some sort ran towards us as well. Our shock and confusion was nearly complete.

The Retribution had come to our city, and intended to lay waste to all of the jacks and warcasters within the city. But they hadn't come to simply kill the casters, no, their plan was more insidious. It was to weaken Cygnar enough that the Skorne would roll over the city and wipe out the rest of the humans here, as well as moving into the soft area of Cygnar, flanking Fort Falk and Corvis. If the Skorne couldn't do it then forces of Menoth could be directed towards the weakened area, or others. But first all jacks and those who ran them, be they marshals or warcasters, had to be eliminated. And so a massive strike force hit the city. Their information was quite good so they knew too of our small mercenary company and deemed two Griffons, a Dawnguard Scyir and a Mage Hunter Assassin(12 points) to be sufficient. Eiryss lead the assault on the main encampment, which was a total success and would arrive a little later to check on her strike force and their progress.

To build the list I used Warroom and used the stats as they are in the cards. The only change to the stats was to improve the Vitality of the Scyir and Assassin from 5 to 15 each. This put them on par with the PC's but I didn't give them life spirals, mostly because tracking it would have been a pain. This seemed to work just fine.

And so it was that our band of mercenary field mechaniks sat outside our shop, waiting for work, our jack's moving scrap around the yard when enemy arrived!
Battle of the Forge Start: Yes some of those are D&D tokens, and for those in my PBP Blackwoods campaign, Yes I reused the Blackwoods map.

The party stood up, confused by this turn of events, they had no idea what was happening and the initiative fell to the Retribution War party. The party had little time to do much more than gape as the griffons charged into the party, intent on immediate death. The first one fell on our surprised warcaster, who while fully focused, had nothing else up. The blow was heavy but a heroic dodge later, combined with the over charged field and the extra health of the powerfield, he was standing unharmed, but clearly shocked(12 damage over a 4 point boosted armor left us clearly understanding that IKRPG meant business). The other griffon's assualt went after the Mek and Lucky was the unlucky recipient of that blow, though it didn't do much to him. Neither of the two Myrmidon's had much luck getting any damage in with their shields, and the Dawnguard was just outside of charge range, so he was relegated to closing the distance. The same was true for the assassin who simply closed, planning to assault the party. The valiant mechaniks recovered quickly and as a group urged their jacks into combat. Lead first by our warcaster, who cast aura of protection and kept the other two focus to boost his armor rating. He used his actions to boost the attack and damage of Andrew 'Jackson who proved that even a labor jack, armed with a flail can be dangerous, though he did only minimal damage to the Griffon. This was followed by Lucky and Finnegan proving that this dangerous combination of human and jack can sometimes be completely ineffective as the two failed to hit or damage their target at all beyond taking out the Griffon's shields.

But it was our Arcane Mechanik's turn that turned the tide. Starting first with free casting of temper metal on Arkadi, followed by Positive Charge on Arkadi and Drive: Boosted Damage, Arkadi proceed to nearly drop the Dawnguard  in a single hit. This was followed up by Taltos failing to finishing the job, despite being driven to boost attack and damage by Emma, who, like Andrew, is primarily a ranged character.

It rolled around and the Dawnguard drove his jacks to reroll misses. The one on top turned to Finnegan, while the one on the bottom, with the Dawnguard turned on Arkadi. That was the danger to them it seemed.

Finnegan suffered greatly taking 8 points of damage(heroic dodged to 4) while arkadi laughed at the inability to crack his armor 18, despite being hit several times. This was the real sign of trouble for the Retribution force. The assassin closed the distance and hit Taltos, beating his armor by a couple points but with his bonuses the party realized  he was a real threat.
Round 2 after the Retribution Actions

The Party responded and things turned ugly for the Retribution now. Andrew and Jack put a world of hurt on Griffon 2, boosted by Positive Charge on Arkadi(we determined that 1 round means such spells last till the casters next initiative), and Andrew using his actions to drive boosted attacks and damage from 'Jackson. The flail also proved it's usefulness in ignoring the shield on the Griffon and with nearly max damage, took out  half the Griffon's health. Moving around to the back of the Griffon proved fortuitous as Finnegan and Lucky, through Drive Ancillary Attack, and their own well placed hits, crushed the griffon between leaving it with a single box of movement left.

Arkadi took out the Dawnguard, renewing positive charge and upkeeping temper and things looked grim for the Retribution. Taltos suffered in silence, managing only to do some minor damage to the other griffon, taking down it's shields.

15 December 2012

Journeyman League Cygnar

Well we are drawing near on my week 3 games so I wanted to post a few reflections about my experience with the faction and some insights I am having as I play. This has certainly been interesting.

Week 2: 15pts

More stuff on the table
As the lists started hitting the table my patented Stormclad to the face combo was becoming harder to pull off. My hopes that more infantry would hit the table were also dashed as I saw more walls of metal and my choice to add a Sentinel to my list was going to fall flat. So simply, it was becoming harder to piece trade or out and out win games with more crap in the way. There were a few ways I tried to mitigate this...

- Use my Sentinelas bait to have my opponent throw a heavy at and perhaps leave a gap in his lines I could open for the Stormclad bullet.

- Things like throws and slams are really effective for getting stuff out of the way and making room for large bases. So with my mat 7 Ironclad I was having no trouble pulling off slams.

- Shield guard is pretty good it turns out. My Menoth opponents were having fits because they just couldn't connect with the targets they wanted consistently.

Piece trading was becoming harder and I'm starting to notice there is a marked difference in the power of focus v fury. Cygnar does have very focus efficient jacks and I think that my selection of the Sentinel will probably be changed into a hunter in the coming point additions.

A strong ranged presence I think it was what I really need as time goes on to ensure that I can get the most damage out and not just rely on my 2 heavies.

12 December 2012

The Scrum Painting Challenge II: Week 4

Sorry for the delay folks, The Scrum has been abuzz with activity lately and I have fallen behind.  Never fear though! I have all the pretties from week 4 for you and we are only two weeks away from picking our winner. And man will it be tough! So view on my brothers and sisters!

07 December 2012

Mechanik's Heaven: The Cast

In my last article I talked about the online game being run. Today we'll talk about what we've got.

So first off, we have a group that has very little experience with the Iron Kingdom's world. But with lots of experience as Role Players. We also have a group that tends to be more passive personalities, but who love a good role play session. And a group that likes humor more than dark humor. And we all love big robots.

So this lead to a concept, as we started going through character generation of the fact we all like robots.. Why not an entire group of Field Mechaniks. A 'Jack for everybody and everybody for the Jacks! The starting rules were that players could swap starting abilities out for other abilities, starting weapon levels for other weapons, and same with skills. All have to stay within the original career, but using the rules as laid out in the core IKRPG. Given the fact that the folks were all generally not as familiar with the world setting everybody also went as a human.

So on to the cast of Mechaniks in the group:

Finnegan Kilbride('Jack Lucky) - Group Lead - Intellectual Knight/FM - Played by Me
Emma Bartley('Jack Taltos) - Skilled Bounty Hunter/FM - The Wife!
Andrew('Jack Andrew 'Jackson) - Gifted Warcaster/FM - The Quiet 'Ninja'
Dimitry('Jack ) - Gifted Arcane Mechanik/FM - The Engineer

For a detailed break down I'll give you me(Shared GM so every person has a PC as well as potentially GMing).

Finnegan Kilbride - Knight/Field Mechanik

While I talk about my character first(possibly only), he was actually the last one created. And it came down to a desire to take a combination that was a little different. But as I'm making him to him Jack's are the continuation of the traditions of the Knights. Fighting beside them, against other Jack controllers is the new ideal. Not being familiar with the Knight Orders I still have to resolve that one, but Finnegan started from this idea of the warrior who also has a bit of a mechanikal bent. I also know I have one of the strongest personalities in the group. Given the passive nature of our group it would be natural and easy for me to play the group leader, in terms of taking the lead. It also leads to hilarious(for my friends and wife) situations where I am talking and arguing with myself.

Archetype: Intellectual - (Genius)

The nature of our team also meant that I knew we'd have lots of people who can improve the 'Jacks during the fight and outside of it, so I decided to concentrate on the leadership role. To that I took Intellectual as my archetype and the bonus of Genius, after all this guy has gone and gotten into Jack's. Has to be a reason why. He just really likes these things. This leads into an interesting idea of a story where Finnegan was always a bit of a bookish young man but his family had expectations. "You will be a Knight. All of our family has done that. This 'Jacks thing is just a phase, you'll grow out of it." So we have a young man who spent time with an order of knights, learning and training to be one but whose first love is 'Jacks and who finds a way to do both.

Weapons: Great Weapons 1, Pistol 1, Shield 2

He's a knight! Going to definitely enjoy using a great big weapon, and in fact I know just the weapon. While the Jack Wrench is that big weapon it's not quite what i had in mind. Something similar but nearly as good, while still being one handed is the Warhammer! Also useful for breaking loose those stuck parts at -1 attack and POW 5 it's one of the most powerful one handed great weapons. Only the Storm Glaive and Iron Fang Pike are stronger(or equal). The one handed nature of it also means I can use a shield.

Shields are rather nice as well. The extra armor bonus really makes this character survivable in the complex nature of melee. To get to 2 we had to agree that the rules that allow you to swap out starting abilities(knight gets great weapon, shield and hand weapon) for something else on the list would allow us to swap one handed for shield. Not an unreasonable approach. In addition moving to Field Mechanik's options this knight has a bit more of the modern in his area of interest so Pistols seemed like something he'd enjoy using.

Abilities: 'Jack Marshal, Ace Commander, Drive: Ancillary Attack, Cleave, Precision Strike

This character is about running a Jack in a fight and then adding it. Standing beside it and really doing a number. So to me it seemed the best option was to maximize the damage output my Jack could do, and then control where my damage could do the most good, whether that meant putting the damage against multiple small guys through cleave, or in dropping specific attributes on other jacks or creatures through the use of Precision Strike. Both gave me some flexibility to keep my jack and I moving through the battlefield.

Skills: The Defaults
Here I didn't make any changes. The different skills just stacked up nicely together and I left them as they were.

Overall I'm happy with Finnegan and his jack and I'm looking forward to the first session, which you'll hear about shortly.

04 December 2012

Journeyman League - Goris' Journey Into Cygnar

So, our shop is doing a Journeyman and in an effort to refresh my enthusiasm in the hobby I have decided to pick up Cygnar and get a feel for a new play style and paint scheme.  So aside from it being a pallet cleanser I feel playing roe then one faction will help me understand the game better. Stay tuned for weekly updates and pictures of my Cygnar as the weeks go by.

The List
Our PG decided to let us build custom battle boxes of 11 points for the league so instead of going with Stryker, which was my first choice actually, I decided to field my favorite Cygnar cast, Captain Jeremiah Kraye.  From the beginning his fluff and model always intrigued me. So, when I saw no one was playing him I was surprised.  His rules looked good to me and it seemed like he would be good in this format. So here's the list I decided to go with.

Points: 11/11
Captain Jeremiah Kraye (*6pts)
* Ironclad (7pts)
* Stormclad (10pts)

 Aside from this list looking awesome on the table I really like the ability to just slingshot my Stormclad across the table and take out whatever I feel is the biggest threat. This leads to an already favorable piece trade on my part and the Stormclad is pretty resilient when it gets there. In the limited points format it's really hard to stop.  As I build up I plan to add a Sentinel at 15 points but I am not sure where I want to go from there.  Kraye runs jacks every well and the light Cav nature of his light jacks screams at me to run multiple Hunters.  I feel like some infantry might do me well in the later stages of the league. We'll see if I end up running jack spam or if I decide to sprinkle in some trenchers or long gunners for fun. I'm 4-1 with this list and leading the league so far with the most game and hobby points.  Hopefully I can keep the lead...

I plan to keep doing updates on my progress as the league goes on and I fill the holes in my list and get a better feel for Cygnar as a whole.  I'll be playing other games with the stuff that I have to get a feel for how the faction goes, so expect some more articles about Cygnar from a Troll perspective.

03 December 2012

The Scrum Painting Challenge II: Week 3

We are half way through our competition and the models submitted are looking better and better.  You are really starting to see the themes coming through.  Look below to see this weeks entries!

Week 3