Saturday, September 8, 2007

Just Checking In

Nothing new to report other than painting statuses. I ended up going on a date instead of going to my Hordes night, oh bother. Ended up meeting a new local guy and might try out a new group for a bit.

I've gotten two Ferox painted, and for some reason they were pretty hard. I tried mixing for a kind of yellow brown type of coat, but it didn't work out how I liked and just ended up painting the thing Snakebite Leather. Otherwise as I've said before I think its a great cast.

I'd like to get all my current models done before the next model, the Agonizer comes out. I'd also like to get another two AGs for Zaal, but mostly get my current Skorne workload done.

Let's not even talk about the box of Satyxis Raiders that's still in the packaging...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Evolution Thoughts

Wow. Looking through the Skorne section, I'm pretty impressed at what we got, but then again everyone made out like a bandit, it seems. Also, it might just be me but it seems like all the warlocks saturated with special abilities, and that's even before the spells start. Kegslayer, for instance seems like a neat concept, but it dosen't seem like he needed all those rules attached to him. That's even before getting around to Kromac, who's abilities make him even more ridiculous.

I'm going to throw my two cents in on the entire argument with the Gnarlhorn Satyr's animus, and say I think its kind of gimped of PP to do something like that. Argue all you want that the factions are designed to be balanced against each other (thus why Skorne, with the higher amount of slamming beasts is more likely to benefit from Rampage), let's get some Skorne units with Pathfinder or someway to negate terrain features and then bring that up.

To be honest, I really think the status quo has simply been maintained, beyond the "but everything is broken!" mantra I hear from PP apologists (oh Lord, did I just use apologist in conjunction with a game company? Shoot me now) we're on the bottom of the barrel again. However, I'll admit to no small degree of theorycrafting, and will wait to see our models get released before screaming about the sky falling. That being said, I hate the idea of the WoldWyrd, think that Saeryn and Rhyas are disgustingly broken (Saeryn gets 7 fury why?), and that the Trollbloods are suffering from what I like to call "poor development".

Though, I'm glad to see that not every faction got an Officer + Standard Bearer.

Bitching aside, I did pick up Zaal. I'm going to have to play with him a bit, but I think he might be the most powerful warlock our faction has, and possibly in the top three in the game. He seems like he has a hearty bag of tricks, a nice level of troop buffs, and he's death to anything that gets in range of that eyeball of his. A warbeast with Str 12 is getting hit with a Strength 20 attack. Unfortunately, I think the ROF is one, otherwise it'd be a great ability to spam. However, we'll have to rely on Soulfire, it seems.

I'm about to settle down and paint my Ferox for this Thursday, as well as basing and coating Zaal and Xerxes. I haven't been in contact with my press ganger, but I'll give him a call tomorrow to see if he's interested in a 1K game, even if it means I'm going to get fed my lunch by the twins.

Oh, and the fluff. Excellent, as usual though I'm a huge fan of what was done with Morghoul. I'm also impressed by the charecterisation of all the warlocks. Hexeris comes off as two faced and scheming (though they don't hit you over the head with it), Xerxes as straight forward, honorable, but perceptive (his thoughts on Hexeris were a treat. I loved the exchange between the two). Makeda seemed to be the weary "never say die" type of commander that John Wayne used to play in WWII serials, determined to see everything through or die trying.

Let me go back to the exchange between Morghoul and Magnus though... Hell, let me dedicate a paragraph to Morghoul. I'm hoping the epic version of him (Renegade Tormentor has replaced my ideal of Dominar Tormentor) does an eKreoss type of upgrade, where he's actually more useful then his current limitations allow him. I thought he was charecterized wonderfully. Alten's descriptions of him as being full of confidence and grace are exactly how I thought he would be, supremely confident in all things. Morghoul's own thoughts shed light on Skorne society, the Paingiver caste, and himself. I really think he's going to end up being one of the more important figures in the Horde fluff.

I had been waiting since Evolution dropped to know the details of him and Magnus out in the desert, and the second hand stories I received did it no justice. His last block of speech to Magnus was chilling, especially as it portended great and terrible things for the Skorne. I look forward to seeing if this is further expanded on in other PP publications, especially seeing as how Morghoul seems to believe that they are linked. If Epic Magnus can be featured in a Skorne army, can Morghoul in a Legendary Magnus army be far off?

My bitching about seeing all the other toys the other factions got aside, bravo on that writers. You did an excellent job setting the stage for the next series of battles. I eagerly await what you have in store.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pain and Agony.

Or how I got my ass kicked by Legion.

To be fair, our Press Ganger is probably the best player we have around. However, there were some things I did that I admittedly could have done better. He was running Saeryn, who's a damn beast of a warlock. I'm not even kidding here, its so ridiculous. He was also running two Nephilim Soldiers, who are pretty reliable warbeasts, and an Angelius from Evolution. I got to play my Ferox for the first time, and I used them exactly how I said I wasn't going to: as skimishers all by themselves.

The enevitable happened. They got chewed up by the Swordsmen and a Soldier, and that was curtains for them and half my Praetorians. The other half got killed by Blightchoke or whatever that AOE she does is called, and from there on it was just curtains.

Lessons learned:

1) I should have used my Ferox more wisely. As it stands now they got chewed up by a basic infantry unit. I was too eager to Spring around the board, when it would have been better for me to run them the other way and tackle his Blighted Ogrun.

2) I think I took too many warbeasts with Makeda. Probably should have dropped something like the Brute and added in some Venators. I'm actually thinking of buying more Cetrati.

3) I didn't control the flow of the game, though his abilities were better suited to it. What I should have done after he threw half his army at my Ferox was run the fuck away and then charged everything I had into his backside, with the Cetrati leading the way.

I won't be back until next week (to the game store, that is), so that gives me time to refine my strat in my head and prepare to play him again. We're talking about a 1K game next time that we both come in early for. I'm going to be running Makeda and Xerxes, and he wants to run the twins.

This should be interesting.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Purchases, Thoughts on Evolution

Evolution arrives for the rest of us on the 31st of this month, but the spoilers from GenCon are already flying across the intarwebs. We've seen some of what we were getting: the Bronzeback, Brute, two warlocks, and the Ferox cavalry. We knew we were getting an unit attachment, probably a weapons crew as well, and another warbeast. Pictures had been flying around of the "Ancestral Guardian Cricket Team", but I think that our biggest gain came out of the blue.

I'm speaking of the Praetorian Karax. The "ignore all blast damage", Shield Wall, Rank Attack, Reach ability Praetorian Karax. I'm not going to lie, while we made out like bandits in Evolution (at least model wise - storyline wise we seemed to have gotten our asses handed to us, but that's the matter for another post), some things shine brighter then others. I think the Karax are going to be a real diamond in the rough, as it were. The entire ignore all blast damage is pretty ridiculous, and rumor has it any model in b2b is granted the same ability. The fact they can be fired through makes is almost as good as an UA for Venators, as it gives them an entirely new lease on play, as opposed to only being run in Xerxes units or 1000+ point games.

I'm really fond of the catapault as well - power increases as the enemy gets bigger, and its about as accurate as a Khadoran Mortar. I really look forward to seeing this sucker in action, and I think its going to be nice to fix one of our deficits in the lack of pathfinder.

Speaking of Pathfinder, our Praetorian Ferox give us some flexibility in that arena. Spring and Leap give us 5 inches to clear whatever is in our way, be it woods or enemies or whatever else is there. Often ignored on paper are what Makeda's buffs do to them. Defender's Ward makes them ridiculously hard to kill (at wounds 8/10, even!) and Savagery pushes their range into 18 inches of threat, though you'd do best trying to get them within range for a Bite or Charge attack, but the option is there for them to be hauling ass all over the field.

I'm going to reserve judgement on the Immortals, the AG unit, until I get more feedback. Depending on who's talking they're either a unit that you won't see below a 750 point game, but are still great for what they do, or they're the beginning of Skorne dominance across the game tables. Skorne players hold the former opinion, while the other factions seem to hold the latter.

I've had the luxury of playing with both of the warbeasts that have been released. The Bronzeback not only adds onto the layers of Skorne synergy but somehow improves how our Paingivers and Titans work in concert. Herd Patriarch is nigh ridiculous when your Titans are lumbering across the field and charging 11 inches with Paingivers doing their thang'. The beast itself is ridiculously powerful with three attacks - throw something like Prescience on him and anything that gets in his way is meat. Though I must admit, he's somewhat of a situational warbeast - I've had too many times where he lumbers around the backfield, looking for a way to get a shot in, and by the time he's lined up his charge/slam, something else has already taken care of it. In those cases I would have liked more troops, or perhaps a Cyclops Savage.

Speaking of Cyclops, the Brute fills a special niche in the Skorne Empire. A light warbeast with two attacks and the armor of a Gladiator, a tweak here and there could have shoved it up into the "must have" reaches of our warbeasts. Specifically, I would have liked to have seen something where it could have joined in a Cetrati or Kerax Shield Wall. Probably not getting the full buff, but still it would have been nice to have slapped one of those Brutes on point of a Cetrati line and said "come get me". Wishes aside, let's talk about Foresight and Safeguard. Foresight is the ability of the Brute which amounts to slap a fury on him and reroll the attack roll. While at first this sounds pretty omgwtf, its a somewhat situational ability. Mainly I've used it in three cases:

  1. When an attack has a Critical Effect (Take that Impaler!)
  2. When an attack will hit by a hair (Alten Ashley firing into melee with a Krea buff going on)
  3. When the warbeast is about to die (Nuttin to lose)

Other than that, its best to just let him take it on the chin of his 19 ARM stat. He can hold a flank for a turn, though there might not be much left of him next turn. But that's what you've got your Praetorians for.

Oh yes, our Praetorian Officer and Standard Bearer. Almost forgot the little guy who turns our already above average Praetorian Swordsmen into the cause of many a future temper tantrum. First, you've got the Forefend ability, which lets them whack anyone who moves into their melee range. Combine this with something like Carnage and you've got a lot of death during their turn. They've also got a feat that lets them do an auto point of damage to infantry when they attack. This is a big deal when you think about it. Kriel Warriors, Druids, Wolves of Ouroborous, Tharns, etc..Not like our Combo Attack on the charge wasn't nasty enough.

All in all I'm pretty pleased. I've also got some Ferox that need to be scrubbed and based tonight, as I've got a game tomorrow (my first in three weeks) that I'd like to playtest them on. If all goes well, I'll have details for that too.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I found myself picking up Hordes earlier this year based on a recommendation, and fell rather heavily for the Skorne Empire. So why a blog dedicated to the Skorne? Because I can't talk about them enough, and I feel as if other people on the internet are getting tired of hearing about my love affair with the pale invaders from the East.

I'm going to try and cover tactica, models, fluff, and how other armies react to the Skorne. With Evolution coming out, it looks like I'll have enough to talk about for a little while.