Monday, November 25, 2013

Where is your Menoth now?

I've seen Berserkers before, but this one was different. It looked... wrong somehow, like such a thing should never have existed in this world. And that sound; when it vented steam I could almost hear words... I know you'll think me crazy for this, but I swear it sounded like it was trying to say "Kill me"...

I wanted the Khador Berserker for my army as it's cheap and can charge for free. But the model is one of the ugliest warjacks I've seen. The thing is, it actually has some reasonably nice elements, like the shoulder pads. After staring at it for a while, I finally figured out the two elements that most ruin it for me. The head and the exhausts. It has this stupid dinky little golf-ball head and these ugly squared exhausts.

Now I don't have any spare warjack heads. But it turns out the head is about the same size as a Space Marine helmet, and I've got plenty of those lying around. So I figured if it was going to look ugly, it would at least look ugly on my terms. Plus at least this way it's somewhat unique.

I also chopped the rear part of the body in half in order to reduce it's excessive bulk and get rid of the ugly exhaust pipes. It took some greenstuff work to meld the boiler with the front of the body, but I actually kind of enjoyed that. I gave it a single small exhast pipe that I made from a section of perspex rod; I figured that was good enough.

I painted it the body the same way as I did Jughead, except that I used the quickshade before applying the weathering. The idea was that this way the metal exposed under the paint looks "fresher" than the actual metal parts. In practice it didn't make all that much difference, it seems that the purity seal rather than the quickshade is largely responsible for dimming the metals. I don't know if that particular to purity seal or just a consequence of matting them down, I may need to run some tests.

I decided to paint the head white (which I didn't do a very good job of, but whatever, I figured it's good enough) as that's a common colour for space marine veterans heads, and I wanted it to stand out from the rest of the model and serve as the centre of attention. I want people to look at the model and think "Ok, it's a warjOH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT! IT'S A MONSTER! KILL IT WITH FIRE!". Hence it's name: the Abomination.

So yeah, I kinda like him in the end. I actually rushed to finish him so I could stick the arms on in time for a Warmachine "Mangled Metal" event. The idea was to bring a 25pt warjack-only army, which suited me fine. Unfortunately, for some reason I though we were playing at 30 points, so picked up a Spriggan, which together with the Berserker, Juggernaut and Destroyer came to 27 points. When I got there and realized it was a 25 point event, I had to take the Abomination out of my list. Another player lent me a Decimator to use instead of the Juggernaut, which gave me a 23 point list, so that had to do.

However, being somewhat distracted, I actually used him instead of the more expensive Destroyer, meaning I actually played my first two games four points down. Not that it mattered; the only damage my first opponent took was from himself, and the second assassinated my caster at the very start of his second turn.

In my first game my opponent was using a Cryx list with three heavy warjacks that had three attacks each and, through a combination of built-in abilities and an event-specific upgrade, all generated focus (I think they were generating a total of four focus points a turn). He moved them forwards so they were right in front of my jacks, then used a feat that prevented me from attacking them. So there was pretty much nothing I could do in my turn but shuffle around a bit. I ran my Decimator past him in order to try to reach his caster, but got bogged down by rough terrain. Next turn he killed my Spriggan and Juggernaut, while my Decimator was too far from my caster to get focus and so couldn't run. After he surrounded my Decimator, and ran his caster far away, I conceded.

In the second game, my opponent castled up in his deployment zone. I moved all my jacks up, with Sorscha hiding behind the Decimator but moving up with them in order to stay in focus-allocation range and not leave them dry like last time. I think my opponent was playing Kreoss, who's feat is that he knocks everyone down. It turns out that knocked-down models don't block line of sight, so he simply shot over the fallen Decimator and killed Sorscha before the fight had event begun.

In the third game I played against a Cygnar list with Striker, two Stormclads, a Defender, and maybe something else. This time I woke up and played the Destroyer instead of the Juggernaut, so I was only 2 points down. He didn't move forwards very much, so I came to him. Running my spriggan up my right flank I ended up just in melee range of Striker. Not wanting to take a free strike from moving away, he attacked the Spriggan with Striker and a couple of jacks, but unlucky to-hit rolls saw the Spriggan survive the round (I was at def 12 thanks to the event-specific upgrade I had chosen for it), although it was disrupted. It didn't help that he spent some of his focus casting a defensive spell on Striker, which I didn't think he needed seeing as he also feated for +5 armour. In my turn I couldn't allocate any focus to the Spriggan so it took a few ineffectual swings at Caine while the rest of my army moved up. In his turn he finished off the Spriggan, but he made a mistake by attacking with Striker first, so he couldn't move away afterwards. This meant Sorscha was in range for an assassination run over the Spriggan's dead body. Funnily enough I hadn't realised this until he told me about it; my plan had been to arc spells into him through the scenario arc node, which wouldn't have been enough to do the job. Anyway, she wind-rushed then charged in and just managed to finish him with her last attack. So yeah, my first victory. Ever. Yay!

I played a fourth game against a Cygnar player, who wanted to try to run Stormwall in an attempt to destroyed the arm-25 node that was part of the scenario. I had been asking him about Kraye, so he took him with two hunters to fill out the list. Watching a collosal with it's speed doubled by Kraye run 20 inches over the table was slightly scary. Next turn he did something (I don't remember if it was Kraye's feat or a spell) that boosted all his shooting attack rolls. Then he reminded me that the Stormwall had an upgrade that increased it's shooting range by 4 inches, which meant it's main guns had an 18 inch range. Let me tell you something; watching my jacks move forwards four inches, then watching a colossal move forwards 10 inches and fire 18 is rather depressing. Anyway, he found line of sight to Sorscha and a few shots later it was over.

Since that game finished so quickly we played again, this time he replaced the Stormwall with a Stormclad and a Centurion. I ran forwards while he shuffled around a bit, then I decided to attack the arc node with my Spriggan while the other two jacks caught up. Eventually I managed to put 15 points of damage on the arc node, but he managed to take off the last five. This actually cleared an opening for my Spriggan to charge his jacks. While the Spriggan fought the Centurion and one of the Hunters, he charged my Destroyer with his Stormclad and arced lighting in to Sorscha, who was in base contact. He didn't roll well enough though, and she was left with seven damage boxes (and the Destroyer with eleven). After my jacks wrecked his Stormclad and his Hunter, he used the second hunter to take out the Destroyer (he just managed to put exactly eleven damage on it), then moved Kraye around the engaged Spriggan to put boosted rifle shots into Sorcha. He was rolling hot at this point, and his second shot (of three) was more than enough to kill her.

So five games, one win. Not bad really, and it was fun. I did find the slow speed of Khador's jacks to be a big disadvantage, especially when rough terrain enters the equation. Sorscha's feat is a lot less useful when they can so easily shake it off with a few focus points - although poor positioning was a big part of the problem. Every game it seemed like she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Loosing didn't bother me really, but something else did. Maybe it's just the nature of this kind of jack-only event, but I noticed that unless they had some ready gimmick - like the Cryx player's feat preventing me from attacking him, or the Stormwall - everyone preferred to just castle up in the back and wait for me to enter their charge range, so they could get the first round of attacks. Yes, I get that it makes tactical sense, but I just feel like it put the burden on me to move forwards and let myself get attacked in order for the game to be fun, and not just be two armies staring at each other not moving.

It just feels like a problem inherent to the system: there's no degree of randomness in movement, and getting the first turn of combat is a big advantage, so whoever is better at mentally measuring ranges and is more stubbornly willing to wait the other player out is in a better position to win. I expect this to be much less of a problem in larger games with more units and better objectives, I guess I'll see.

No comments:

Post a Comment