Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Calculating... please wait...

I started working on a Warmahordes battle simulator a long time ago, but I've been spending less and less time on it as my interest waned (not like I don't have other things to do after all; so many unpainted models...). However, with the announcement for MkIII, I decided to just post it in it's current state, since it'll be outdated soon anyway. I'll try to at least get all the model and weapon special rules working before the new edition comes out. Fingers crossed.

Right now the basic simulation should be functional: just enter the attacker and defender stats and the number of simulations to run and it should pretty much work. I tried to make it as simple as possible while still encapsulating most of the model rules that I am familiar with, but there are some fiddly bits; for example boosting, dropping dice, etc. Hover the mouse over any labels for an explanatory tooltip.

If you're familiar with javascript you can view the page source code to see how it works. Let me know if you catch any bugs or anything.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Warmachine MkIII Wishlist

PP recently announced a new edition of Warmachine and Hordes. Amongst other things, they say that they have rebalanced every model in the game. I figured this was a reasonable justification for jotting down a quick wish-list of changes I would like to see.

This list is actually a bit meaningless since it is based on the MkII rule-set, so it might not make very much sense depending on what changes are made to the core rules for MkIII. I suppose it's more about things that I think were a little off in MkII. I think they are mostly relatively minor changes; but still things that I think are justified. Oh, and it's mostly Khador-centric, because that's what I know.

- Give the Spriggan base ARM 20
The basic Khador jack chassis is ARM 20. So it makes no sense to me that the Spriggan, which is mentioned in the fluff as being a bigger and heavier chassis, should have a lower arm then be given a shield. Lots of factions have ARM 19 heavies with shields; Khador is the faction with slightly higher natural ARM on it's jacks, but (almost) no access to ARM buffs, so it just doesn't feel right for the Spriggan to be ARM 19; especially not when it's 3 points more than the basic ARM 20 Juggernaut.

Actually, that's something that annoys me a little. The Spriggan costs 3 points more than the Juggernaut, but there aren't many ways in which it's a straight upgrade. It gains a shield but loses a point of ARM. It gains Reach but loses a point of POW on both it's weapons. It gains Powerful Charge but loses Crit Stationary. In terms of versatility it gains a couple of guns but loses an Open Fist. Ok, Bulldoze is cool.

I would be OK with giving the Spriggan base ARM 20, then swapping the shield for a buckler if PP doesn't like the idea of a natural ARM 22 jack. Actually, increasing the P+S of it's left hand (the shield currently has a lower POW than a buckler or empty hand) would be nice as it's shield is quite wimpy, and giving it an Open Fist would increase it's utility as a toolbox jack.

- Give the MOW Kovnik Reach
The MOW Kovnik needs a boost. Everyone who finds out he doesn't have Reach is surprised by that fact, so that would be a nice start. I don't think it would be quite enough to justify his points though. Perhaps the best change would be to make him cheaper, so he'd be a more point-efficient jack marshal. Personally I think it would be nice if his drive boosted all attacks, rather than just initials, or at least boosted chain attacks as well as initials. That small change would make him work so much better with Kodiaks and Berserkers.

- Torch should be able to see through smoke
Every thing else related to Strakhov does; if the average Assault Kommando trooper gets alchemically treated lenses, why doesn't Strakhov's personal warjack? Also, his flamethrower really should have longer range; how is it that the model carried by Assault Commandos is longer range than the one carried by a warjack?

- Give the Decimator Point Blank
I just think this would be really cool, and give him a slight boost without being too powerful. Also, I kinda feel like he should have a slightly longer range with that massive cannon, but then firearm ranges (and POW for that matter) in Warmachine have little relation to the actual weapon firing them - handguns often have longer range than long guns for example.

- Give Khador jacks head spikes
It seems that in MkI, Khador jacks had head spikes that actually did something. The models still have the spikes, and other factions have models with head weapons that are actually used (Skorne, Cryx). Why did they decide Khador doesn't get them? Give us back our head spikes!

- Give the Wardog Pathfinder
Seriously, it has Hunter but not Pathfinder? What?

- Give us Morrowans
What? I like Morrowans. I'm not sure why Cygnar gets them and we don't. I mean, Harlan Versh works for Khador, so it's not like we shoot them on sight or something.

- Give Strakhov a bit of a boost
I really feel like he's almost there; he does great things with one jack, but only one; I just don't feel he does quite enough for the rest of his army. Yes, he helps your infantry get the alpha (as long as your opponent doesn't have ways of preventing you from getting it, like most control feats or cloud walls or whatever), but he doesn't help his infantry make the most of that alpha. Which is why I think the biggest thing he needs is an offensive infantry buff. Even just Fortune would be worth trading Rift for.

Also, I would happily trade Brutal Charge for Powerful Charge; I'm often charging infantry to try to trigger Overrun, the added accuracy is usually more important for that than added power.

Dropping the cost of casting Superiority by just a single point would help him so much; it would allow him to get all his upkeeps out turn one, or pay two jacks to run, plus it would mean he could actually re-cast it mid-game, making it much more viable to run multiple jacks with him (allowing him to continue using his multiple jack benefits).

I think Sentry needs to be tweaked. If it only allowed you to shoot once per round, but didn't expire, then it would be good because you wouldn't need to keep casting it. If it wasn't an upkeep, so you could cast it on multiple models, then it would be expensive but potentially powerful as you could spam it on early turns. If it at least gave you a boosted attack roll then it would be worth casting on something with a powerful gun. As it is we have very few models with guns that are both powerful and accurate (at least without boosting), meaning I rarely find it's worth it - especially to someone as focus-strapped as Strakhov - to pay two or more focus for a single unboosted shot. If we had a faction model with a powerful fire-type AOE, then he might be able to use it defensively to kill models that charge him before they can attack, but all we have are low-accuracy sprays.

- Give Karchev base ARM 20
Again, he's a Khador jack, he should be base ARM 20. Yes, this means his ARM can get very high when he camps; so what? ARM stacking is nothing special right now. It's a fluffy thing, but it's also an issue since his model, rules, and gameplay style mean he's often going to be up front and easy to hit.

- Give Karchev a battlegroup repair spell
Karchev has good ARM and a lot of boxes, but he has poor DEF and a large base, and (I think) he's the only Warcaster who actually gets crippled when he takes damage. On top of that, he's the only Warcaster who can't heal himself - other than just his three "body" boxes. Plus he's supposed to be a jack-caster, yet he lacks so much for running large battlegroups when compared to even a basic Hordes Warlock. Giving him a spell or ability that would allow him to repair himself and his warjacks would be a massive boon for him.

- Give Karchev a feat
I'm thinking something that helps infantry would be nice. His current feat is just really minor; yes, a free charge helps when you're going in for the powerslide, but just compare it to some of the other feats out there.

- Kill any model that flat-out stops core game mechanics
There's too many models that effectively shut down the core game mechanics with little effort. This needs to be reigned in.

That's it for now. I tried to avoid core game mechanics since those are going to change. I may come back and add to this list if I think of more. Now let's see what actually happens, eh?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Some time back a fellow by the name of Lacerto posted photos of a couple of models he had put together that included light-up lamp posts. So when I saw that the Batman minis game included lamp posts as objectives, I decided to get some to light up.

These were actually the fastest light-up models I've ever put together; that's largely because the model and LED are already done so all I needed to do was the base, and partly because I've done enough bases in this style that it doesn't take me as long anymore.

I sculpted the bases to try to match the Knight Models minis I've been putting together recently came on, although on the second lamp post I experimented with a slightly more complex herringbone pattern; I think it looks much better than the first and better captures the "urban ruins" look I was going for.

The lamp posts had to be black, and I decided to just leave them in flat black for simplicity and because I didn't think I could make them look any better if I tried to shade and highlight them; I think lamp posts tend to look pretty flat in real life after all. I'm using a warm brown colour scheme for my bases as I'm expecting to use lots of cool colours for the models.

The lamp post models look good, but I after assembling the second one I discovered that the little cross-bars are quite flimsy; I snapped one off almost without noticing and had to replace it with a pinhead. It wasn't an exact match, but I figured it was good enough and I couldn't be bothered to try to fabricate anything more complex.

I'm happy with the lamps; I think that despite being very simple they give a lot of atmosphere. Here they are with some ninjas that I speed-painted. Taking "dark" photos is hard, I'm afraid these two are the best that I managed:

I really love the poses on these minis, really the most dynamic Ninja miniatures I've seen. However, the models aren't exactly covered in detail; that's not a complaint or anything, the level of detail looks completely appropriate and adding more details just for the sake of would probably have made them look stupid.

The point is that I didn't feel like it was worth putting too much effort into this bunch since they are just henchmen and the models are a little plain, so I basically just basecoated the cloth with Codex Grey, the armour with Vallejo Model Colour "Black Grey", drybrushed them both with Vallejo Model Colour "White Grey", then washed both with Badab Black. The skin was painted with Elf Flesh then washed with Ogryn Flesh. I think the wood was Skrag Brown with wood grain painted on in in Bleached Bone, then washed with Devlan Mud or Ogryn Flesh - I don't really remember to be honest. The ground was Doombull Brown drybrushed with Blazing Orange then washed with Devlan Mud.

Thanks to their lack of detail and my super-simple paint scheme, they took far less time per model than is usual for me. The cloth and armour are closer in final colour than I expected considering how different the base colours were, but overall the models look good enough for tabletop-quality Ninja henchmen in my opinion.

Their names are, from left to right:
- Ninja 01
- Ninja 02
- Ninja 03
- Lars Andersen

If you don't know who Lars Andersen is, look him up on Youtube. He is somewhat unusual in that he shoots from the outside of the bow, hence my naming the archer Ninja after him.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cor Blimey! Look at all those Crocs!

I finally got the chance to try MacBain!!!! against Gru's gators. I brought the Freebooter because it's amphibious and I really like the model. This list included pretty much all the Merc models I have.
Nyss Hunters
Croe's Cutthroats
Alexia & the Risen
Aiyana & Holt
Kayazy Eliminators
Ogrun Bokur (proxied by MOW Kovnik)
-Blaster (2)

Gru had a new trick in his list: ambushers!
Gatormen (5)
Gatormen (5)
Gatormen (3)
Witchdoctor (2)
Bog Trog ambushers (10)
Gobber Bellows Crew
Victor Pendrake

We got the scenario with three flags. I won the roll and chose to go second. I picked the side with the forests because Nyss Hunters.

He deployed fairly symmetrically. I put my two big Pathfinder units on my left, behind the forests. This left my jacks, solos, and Alexia on the right.

Round 1:
Gru put out some swamps and ran into them.

I couldn't shoot at him because of the swamps, so I spread out my models around the flags. He had Iron Flesh on the central unit of Gators, so I put Fortune on the Freebooter, as it was probably going to have to try to do something about them. Maddie hugged Alexia, to extend corpse collection range. The Blasters flanked hard to my right. Kell ran up and stood just in front of the house.

Round 2:
His Gator unit on the left killed a couple of Cutthroats. The Bog Trogs moved in and killed another, along with some Nyss Hunters (CMA is a thing). The central unit walked into another swamp, while the rightmost unit hid behind a smoke cloud. He made some order-of-activation mistakes and ended up leaving his Witch-doctors very far back.

Kell put a respectable amount of damage on a Gatorman from the left unit, then the Cutthroats charged in and finished it off. Nyss Hunters killed some Bog Trogs. Eliminators ran up to be ready to counterpunch. Risen jammed his central unit. The Bashers walked up and shot at the Gobbers, killing one. MacBain!!!! threw out a Rift, the idea being that if he used Pathfinder to charge my stuff it would prevent him from using one of his other abilities.

Round 3:
The Spitter shot at the Freebooter, catching MacBain!!!! and Reinholdt. Did you know Reinholdt has ARM 9 and only 1 damage? I think he's the flimsiest solo in the game (well, if you can land a hit). That meant that Gru only needed to roll a 3 on the Spitter's blast damage to kill him! Guess what he rolled?
Wah waah waaaah...

Barnabus feated, catching most of my Nyss and Cutthroats. The Gatormen and Bog Trogs then killed everything, leaving only Cylena - who failed her command check - and the Eliminators. The middle unit of Gators cleared out the Risen, and the remaining gobber charged in and killed one himself! The last unit of Gators charged the Blasters, leaving the nearby one on two boxes.

Sadly Reinholdt died to the acid after all. The Freebooter ran up under a full load of focus and killed one Gator, then Macbain!!!! used the rest of his focus for Jackhammer attacks, which all missed, before advancing backwards (which is funnily enough not an oxymoron in Warmachine). The Eliminators charged a Gator, killing it. Cylena ran away and rallied. Alexia threw more Risen at the central unit of Gators to keep them busy. One Basher took a freestrike to walk backwards and shoot up the rightmost Gator unit, putting a bit of damage on them. Kell missed a Gator. Holt killed some Bog Trogs. The Bokur moved up to protect MacBain!!!!

Round 4:
The Gators in the center put some damage on the Freebooter, then the Boneswarm charged in and did a bit more, knocking out his right clamp. The Gators and Bog Trogs on the left put everything they had into the Eliminators but only managed to connect on one attack, killing one. One the right, one Gator killed Thor while the other two finished off the engaged Blaster. Pendrake killed Sylyss and the Spitter killed the Bokur.

Things were not looking good, but I saw a potential Hail Mary: Barnabus had spent all his Fury putting out Spiny Growth and swamps, leaving him with no camp. First Maddie triggered Intrigue off the Gator that killed Thor, using it to move Alexia up, who was then able to drop a Risen on the left behind the line of Gators. I dropped Fortune and gave the Freebooter three focus. The last Blaster (would be a good name for a band) aimed and shot at the two Gators that killed it's friend, doing very little. Maddie then walked up and Seduced the Gator that had killed Thor, getting it to walk back and finally kill one member of the unit.

MacBain!!!! moved up a bit and cast Failsafe on the Freebooter, then shot the seduced Gator in the back, killing it. This left the Gatormen unit on the right unable to score. The Freebooter used a double-hand throw, boosting all the way, to toss the Boneswarm (don't ask me how you pick up and throw a pile of bones) into Barnabus, knocking them both down. Alexia activated next; three Risen finally took down the scrappy little gobber, while the one behind the Gators leveled-up into his evolved form and slapped Barnabus for a respectable amount of damage.

Aaaand... this is the part where I screwed up. I moved Kell to be able to shoot at Barnabus through a gap in the Gators, and somehow derped completely and moved him up into engagement with the Gator wall. The rest of my army pretty much just whiffed on everything.

Round 5:
Barnabus killed the Thrall to trigger Warpath, allowing the Spitter to walk over the wall then charge the Freebooter. With help from the Gators they finally put the jack into the dirt, along with Kell and Alexia. The last Gator on the right killed Maddie. The ones on the left whiffed on the Eliminator. The Bog Trogs killed Holt.

Well, I had a plan: if I could get MacBain!!!! over the flag on the right and keep clearing it, and if the Eliminator could survive for five more rounds, then I might still have a chance. Hey, it can't be worse than the chance of winning the lottery, can it? Hmm, maybe it can.

MacBain!!!! charged and killed the last Gator on the right, then Energized as close as he could to the flag (not close enough). The Blaster walked over to shoot at a couple of Gators for no damage. The Eliminator killed a couple of Bog Trogs.

Round 6:
The Gators finally killed the Eliminator. So much for that plan. The Blaster survived because the Gators couldn't reach him under Iron Flesh, but in my desire to get as many Gators as possible with his spray I had forgotten to get him in to contest the flag. Pendrake killed the single contesting Risen model, allowing Gru to score two points this turn for controlling two flags.

Well, I wasn't going to win on scenario, so it was time for plan C: get...
Shot dooooown... in a blaze of gloooryyyy!

A Risen missed his attack on Pendrake. Aiyana tried to Kiss the central Gator unit and whiffed. MacBain!!!! charged in and spent his stack to kill 3 Gators, showing the rest of his army what they should have been doing the whole time. Well, obviously they couldn't actually see it because they were dead, but I like to think that somewhere in Urcaen, they were feeling pretty bad about themselves.

Round 7:
The witch-doctor killed the last Risen to free up Pendrake, who knocked down MacBain!!!! with his bola. Well, MacBain!!!! could still survive the Gator and Spitter, all he needed to do was pass seven consecutive Tough checks. It could happen, right?

He passed one.

My infantry do not like getting knocked down! In retrospect I might have been able to protect some Nyss Hunters from the feat by hugging the Freebooter, except then I expect they would have died to a Spitter shot or something.

I put both Pathfinder units on the left to take advantage of the forests, and ended up putting Alexia on the right to have a Risen screen for my jacks and solos. This meant that I wasn't able to collect most of the corpses from my units. I think perhaps it would have worked better to balance out my forces a bit more; putting one infantry unit and a battlegroup on each side.

Gators are a very well rounded unit, and they get really tough when you put Iron-Fleshed on them. I might have been able to wear the other units down eventually if it hadn't been for that feat, but my Mercs don't really have a solution for Iron Flesh right now, so the best I probably could have done about the middle unit was keep jamming him with Risen.

I should mention that near the end it was getting late and we were both getting fatigued. We started making a lot of mistakes in the last few rounds; I don't think MacBain!!!! would have killed very much at all if Gru hadn't forgotten to upkeep Iron Flesh. I really should have cast Fortune on him the turn before. That's something I need to remember to do: when I start running out of models, put Fortune on MacBain!!!! for the inevitable last hurrah.