Monday, January 21, 2013

Two big arrivals

Please excuse the lack of updates, January 18th was a big day.  I received notification that my Sedition Wars shipment had arrived.  Anyone not familiar with this awesome kickstarter put on my Mike and Ali McVey I'm sorry to hear you missed out but the core set, Battle for Alabaster, should be arriving in stores shortly.  The second, and far bigger impactful arrival was my new daughter, Isabelle Ann Drescher who slalomed her way into the world at 9:19am.  I'm going to be very tied up with getting everything re-situated for the next week or two.  Hopefully after that a suitable hobby time can be found and properly utilized.  In the meantime:
My two girls

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beware the Guns of Cygnar...

So, due to the vagaries of photo hosting sites, a ruthless, power-hungry moderator, and a work computer whose entire software suite needed redeployment, my pictures from last post, A Brief Stop in Immoren, were sadly lost to the void.  Now that my home computer is fixed, the whole "upload photos to the blog" thing is no longer an issue but I say that in a bittersweet tone:  those pictures were epic.

Baby Drescher #2 is still clinging stubbornly to the idea that it can stay in utero and has been the subject of much debate as to when it will actually arrive.  The plus side of this unexpected delay is that I was able to attend week 2 of the Warmahordes Journeyman League being held at the Wandering Dragon.

After witnessing the carnage and epic dice rolling last week, there was no doubt in my mind who my opponent would be this round:  Dan of Cygnar fame.  Aside from the awesome game I witnessed between he and Alan, I harbor a spiteful grudge against anything in a gold and blue color scheme so it gave me a chance to scratch that itch as well.
 Ultramarines:  their very presence causes my neck frill to stand up and I start spitting blinding venom...

It seemed like a match made in heaven as Dan is a very laid-back guy like myself so I knew the throw-down would not result in any dickering or rules lawyering.  My bullet point review of the game is as follows:
  • There were several desperate "I'll do this to kill your guy otherwise I'm probably dead next turn" moves made on both sides.  Some paid off more than others
  • I still manage to roll very well to hit and then deal out damage like pacifist with a nerf bat.
  • Ranged weaponry can be much more effective than I originally thought.  This is probably a side effect of playing against melee-heavy factions up to this point.
 'Jack tossing:  my favorite tactic now in the hands of my enemy...

Our initial turns went well.  A particularly well placed Bombard shot on turn 1 put some early damage on Dan's caster (Coleman Striker) while his 'jacks were still getting into position.  In response, Dan moved Striker out in an all or nothing earthquake strike against my grouped force to bring the hurt as only blue painted minis can to an entirely knocked-down enemy.  Fortunately for me, the spell deviated out of harm's way and I was free to engage unimpeded.  Then it was my turn.

First, Sorscha popped her feat, rendering all Cygnar forces stationary for one round (effectively giving me two turns in a row).  My Destroyer charged in on a boundless charge from Sorscha to engage Dan's heavy 'jack while my Juggernaut benefitted from the same spell to come to grips with the Lancer blocking my way to his caster.  The Juggernaut did moderate damage with it's initial attacks then my signature coup de grace came into play: 'jack tossing.  The throw was successful and Striker lost a few more hit points to a couple tons of flying metal but still remained standing.  Another turn of the same followed with marginal damage rolls to Stryker thanks to Dan popping his feat (giving his stationary models +5 ARM for the turn).  My last ditch effort after a turn of heated combat to end the game is most definitely what cost me the match in the long run.  My Destroyer moved into the clear, hoping to end Striker's days with a couple bombard shots, but the free strike granted to his heavy 'jack from moving out of it's melee zone cost me the Destroyer's Bombard arm, negating my killing strike.  Now it was Cygnar's turn.

Dan's riposte was one I honestly didn't see coming.  Charging his heavy jack into the melee, he rolled dice like some sort of heathen demigod and was able to toss my Juggernaut into Sorscha, knocking them both down and darkening out several of her damage boxes.  The newly opened lanes of gunfire mowed Sorscha down where she lay and the game was over.

  Channeling Mighty Zeus:  Dan unleashes the Kraken on my stricken 'caster.  That's what I get for painting her this week I guess...

All told it was another great game and an opportunity to learn more about my faction and the mechanics of the game.  Dan played a good game and it stung a bit to have my all-time favorite dirty trick turned against me.  I'll definitely be more wary playing against Cygnar in the future.

The face of victory.  Or someone who just ate a really spicy taco.

On the hobby front, I was able to complete my work on the Kodiak and finish up Sorscha for today's round.  I've got the Man-o-War Shocktroopers and some Widowmakers sitting in the queue, but with Sedition Wars due to arrive on my doorstep at any time, the painting focus might become a bit muddled.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Brief Stop in Immoren

Happy Birthday to me!  I'm officially celebrating 31 years of cheating death and since baby Drescher #2 has yet to emerge from it's ever more cramped apartment, I was able to make a trip over to the Wandering Dragon last night for the opening night of the Warmahordes Journeyman league.  For anyone interested in starting up Warmachine or Hordes, I highly recommend stopping by as it was a great atmosphere and there was no shortage of players:
The hills were alive with the sound of curb-stomps...

Initially the league is focusing on the contents of each faction's battle box so it's a quick way to jump in and learn the rules.  I was paired up with Carlos, whom I've known since waaaaay back in the Games Workshop days for my initial game.  Now Carlos is a great guy and we've known each other for a good spell so that's all peaches and cream but then the twist comes in:  he plays Khador too.  Normally, that's no big deal, but we're in a Journeyman league...focusing on the contents of the faction box...that means we have the same exact models:  Sorscha Kratikoff, 1 Destroyer, 1 Juggernaut.  To this point I've felt that the trick to Warmachine is negating or balancing your opponent's cheesy, over-the-top attributes with your own, but in this case, my nasty bag of tricks was the exact same nasty bag of tricks Carlos was pulling from as well.

Get me some of this...stat!

Despite any initial mental reservations, the game went really well and I'm glad I played against him because not only did I learn about my faction from playing on my end, but also observing what Carlos did with the exact same models.  Without going into a full battle report, I'll break down the mojo of this game bullet-point style:
  • We both had awesome luck with rolls to hit followed by abysmal damage turnouts
  • 'Checking your focus area' is a hilarious and legal way to pre-measure distance
  • My ultimate victory strategy remains the same:  Grab the biggest warjack you can and toss it into their caster.
So we had a great battle that I took a lot away from.  Fun sidenote to this evening is the exceptionally long match played between Carlos' friend, Dan, and my buddy Alan featured a couple posts ago in my initial Warmachine playtests.  Once you completed your game you had the option of finding a new opponent and diving back in, but Carlos and I became engrossed in the epic struggle between Alan's Protectorate and Dan's Cygnar.  When I say epic, I mean most people were on their third match-up by the time Alan and Dan finished their first game:
    Me, Dan, and Carlos enjoying the game.  Alan successfully passed his Dodge test and escaped out the left side of the frame...

This game, unlike Carlos and my precision scalpel strikes, was a saturation bombing of pain.  Nearly every 'jack was crippled and destroyed, spells and bullets were flying wildly askew, and people and constructs were running around on fire.  I'm pretty sure Michael Bay is negotiating for the movie rights as I type.
  The killzone:  a buckshot mess of metal and s$*&

Eventually Alan ended the victor.  How?  He set Dan's warcaster on fire and chuckled gleefully as he limped off to have his multiple bullet wounds attended to.  I'm looking forward to next week's session to see what my opponent has in store.  Since my last post, I've managed to finish the Kodiak and begin work on my Sorscha model.  Honestly, I don't have pictures of them yet.  I'm still recovering from witnessing the carnage above. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bring on the Reds!

Just a quick update for everyone, I've managed to get some quick pictures uploaded of my Khador force in progress.  I didn't have time for a proper lightbox setup so these are literally taken using my task lamp base as the backdrop and were not passed over with photoshop to adjust the lighting levels as my home computer is still in the shop.  That being said, the first off is the Butcher of Khardov.  This model was extremely fun to paint despite a few casting errors that had to be rectified beforehand. 
Orsus Zoktavir:  the Khadoran Mr. Congeniality

For anyone running Khador, you know (especially with the butcher) your next choice always has to be a war dog.  For one point this puppy gives a defense buff to his warcaster and can do a hit and run POW 11 attack against any enemy model that ends its movement within 6" of him and is in LOS.  That and it's a huge bull mastiff in armor:  who doesn't want that?

He shall be mine and I shall call him Snugglecakes.  Good boy, Snugglecakes

Next came my first warjack, the Juggernaut.  This model was actually the test scheme for my color palette so it took me much longer to complete than I would have initially liked.  I based the paint scheme off the Extreme Juggernaut model from Privateer Press which i felt had a little more character than the standard pics I found. 
I think I'll call him 'the Negotiator' because he seems the most even-tempered of the lot thus far...

Currently I'm working on my Kodiak for three reasons:
1)  He's one of the new non-red 'jacks in the Khador army and even I needed a break from painting red
2)  The Grab and Smash chain attack was too goo to pass up
3)  It gave me a chance to do some conversion work using the heavy warjack kit.  The old metal PP model for the Kodiak had a bit of the "Captain Static" pose you would find in an early '90s Games Workshop character.  To me that's about as intimidating as the "Good Job" Commissar:
If the Imperial Guard is the Emperor's Hammer, this guy is the Emperor's throw pillow...

I used a standard Khador heavy 'jack kit and added the spikes on the main chassis and formed the big spiky fists from some plasticard and GS.  The head was actually an extra Juggernaut head that I pared down and resculpted the details.  At this point, the Kodiak is only 75% complete as I still need to finish the shading and details on the legs and get the blood effects going on his big, spiky mitts.  More to come as things progress.  I'm hoping to make it to the initial league opener at the Wandering Dragon on Tuesday, January 8th.  That is, if my second baby doesn't arrive then.  I'm pretty much on high alert from this point forward. 
Snugglecakes is already taken?  Crap...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Song of Ice and Fire: The Krumpening

So I'd mentioned previously that I'm participating in the Warmachine starter league at my local gaming establishment, the Wandering Dragon.  I figure it's a good idea as that's how I was able to ease myself back into Warhammer after a long hiatus.  The downside is I'd never played Warmachine and knowing the tendency of the game to be much faster paced than I'm used to, I figured some playtesting was in order else the green monster I keep bottled inside bursts forth at the first instance of rules-lawyering.
I swear, if you reference the Errata one more time you're entering a world of pain...

I enlisted Alan, an equally laid-back friend of mine who is also starting up his own Warmachine army and we decided to write up some 15 point lists and throw down to teach ourselves the general rules of play and get a grasp on how our factions work.  Given my sometimes insane love of painting red (possibly a side effect of so many Ultramarine commissions) and an affinity for over-the-top Russians, I sided with Khador as my beatstick of choice.  Before I go into my selections let me remind you of the fact that even at my best I am a mediocre, fluff-based gamer.  I paint and play with models I like because if I'm buying a model and painting it for myself, chances are I'll be staring at it for around 10 hours under my task lamp before it's completed.  Now that you know tactical relevance had no part in my decision making process, here was my initial list:

pButcher          +6
war dog           -1
Juggernaut        -7
Kodiak            -8
Man-O-War Shock Troopers (leader +2)     -5*
TOTAL = 15 points
*normally the shocktroopers cost 6 points, but this was a tiered list so I got the cost break there
I figured this was appropriately heavy and hard to kill with a nasty, hard-hitting feat which combined with the full throttle spell makes for all sorts of nastiness in the form of heavy warjack charges.  I'd normally have pictures of the models right about here but my personal computer is in the shop and my loaner is not quite up to the task of uploading new photos to the blogosphere.  I'll post a follow-up with my Khador painting progress once this issue is resolved.

I was playing against the Protectorate of Menoth (hence the clever Game of Thrones reference in the title) with a force comprised primarily of what's found in the two-player battle box so right away Alan and I ran into our first bout of hilarity:  our forces are stitting nearly 3' away from each other and the longest ranged attack either of us possesses is 10":

After swallowing that last bit of pride and spending 1.5 turns doing nothing but sprinting straight towards one another, initial contact was made and I started liking my faction choice a whole lot more.  The Butcher cast Obliteration, a handy 4" AOE, POW 15 haymaker that obliterated two of Alan's grouped Cinerators and grievously wounded the third.  Fire from my Shocktrooper's shield cannons finished the third off.  My Kodiak speared in from the left flank and engaged one of Alan's warjacks while my Juggernaut sprinted in and started swinging at the other.  Blows were traded and much fun was had.  With the iron curtain swiftly advancing on his 'caster, Alan popped his feat, knocking all models in his control area down and re-engaging with abandon.  Sadly, his damage rolls didn't do much over scratching the paint of my two jacks.  My next turn I focused on the jacks to have them shake the knockdown and popped my feat (which adds an additional die to damage rolls) for extra krumping.  My Juggernaut re-engaged while my Kodiak plowed past his opponent to get to grips with Kreoss himself.  Two open fist attacks with 4 damage dice apiece and a headbutt later and the match was over.

Some folks would be elated with such a crushing victory, but games that one-sided always ring hollow with me.  I felt like I didn't learn anything to help advance my own knowledge of the game or my faction.  Alan and I quickly rematch and I walked away the victor again, but not after losing my Shocktroopers to some well placed spells and my Kodiak took a pounding from some concentrated warjack melee fun.  The Butcher also took some damage as well, making for a much more rounded and enjoyable gaming experience.  I've come to the conclusion, at least initally, that the Protectorate has some awesome spells and buffs but they may require a bit more finesse whereas the iron machine of Khador has the subtlety of a 6-pound sledge to the face.  To be honest, that seems to suit their fluff and I kind of like it.

I'm looking forward to trying the game out against other opponents in the league though my initial options are limited to the faction battle box for starters.  I guess it's time to investigate the Sorscha/Juggernaut/Destroyer road... 


Welcome, wary traveler to the workshop!  I've been meaning to start a blog regarding my miniature commissions and personal armies for quite some time to help keep me motivated through the whole process, but the fact remains that I'm a complete luddite.  Yes, my phone still flips open.  Yes, it just recently got the ability to send out them newfangled text messages.  Yes, it's a major source of mockery from my work colleagues and friends.  I get that.  That being said, I think this will be a fun way to post up some of my thoughts on work as it progresses and will post up as much as a late-adopter of new technology can.

I'm currently painting up a Khador faction for the Warmachine intro league at the Wandering Dragon in Plainfield, finishing up the paint jobs of several one-off sets (Dreadfleet, Space Hulk, etc), and anxiously awaiting the release of Studio McVey's Sedition Wars which will be the source of a fair amount of personal and commission work on it's own.

I'll try to post up some battle reports of the few games I do get to play and reviews of the campaigns I've been involved with along with my normal painting buzz.  Until the next post, courage.