Get it Painted! (July, Update)

So I’m sure if I have any returning people that they’ve noticed a distinct lack of “Get it Painted” posts (I’m 5 models behind currently). Simple reason, in the continuing struggle against/with my camera, it ambushed me on a flank and caught me flat-footed (oops). Until I can get a replacement or get it fixed, no pictures (but I should be back online soon). In the pipeline, I’ve got a glorious collection of Temple Flameguard to color fun colors! I just need to go get more red paint (I went a few days ago and got the wrong red paint….guess who didn’t take the empty to the store). Cheers!

tl;dr Camera broke, should be back online with pictures/content soon.

Why Take Mercenaries?

Mercenaries got an indirect, but huge change from mk II to mk III, buffs requiring a faction friendly unit. This leads to the question, “why take them”? The easiest way to explain this is to take a quick look at two very comparable units, Temple Flameguard and Steelhead Halberdiers. Both of these units cost the same number of points, fulfill the same role on the battlefield (a jamming/tarpit unit), nearly same stats and have nearly the same rules. The main difference, where Flameguard have the Shield Wall order, Steelheads have Powerful Charge (Steelheads hit a little harder than Flameguard, but Flameguard are slightly more accurate). The way these two units actually play on the battlefield is different despite their roles being identical. The Halberdiers want to charge their tarpit target and they threaten 11″ while doing so (and charging mitigates their lower accuracy for a turn). Flameguard tend to be slower since they want to stay in Shield Wall for the most part.

So we have two units that are nearly identical, but with the change to buffs, why would I ever take the Steelheads? Because I can’t put Defender’s Ward on two units simultaneously. Buffs are selfish, they can only be put on one unit/model per use and that unit/model can only ever have one buff. For Protectorate, there are a number of casters that have one defensive upkeep that they’ll want on their jamming unit, one offensive upkeep that gets cycled between units/models that are doing work and that’s  it. This means that often, some units on the table will not get buffs until the game is hopelessly lost or won (#winmore_optional). With this consideration of one upkeep per faction friendly unit, there is some merit to running the Steelheads with the Flameguard as the first wave tarpit (since they are almost sitting on victim stats…). The Steelheads race down the board and spread out, trying to catch as many things as possible (14″ run to engage isn’t shabby at all!). The buffed Flameguard then follow-up, giving the things that the Steelheads caught something much stiffer to chew on (15/19 with Defender’s Ward isn’t shabby at all for such a cheap unit). Now all that is left to do is to figure out how to kill the things that have been caught!

Get it Painted! (July, MoW Shocktroopers 2/5)

Wow, I’m so close to getting this unit of guys done (I’ve had them longer than my puppy dog…4, 5 years now). Part of the challenge is cleaning up my old mistakes (like using a white layer paint as a primer…) and the other is that these guys are just big. I knocked one of these guys out right after I got them, one when I was working on the MoW Bombardiers, and I just finished number 3!

 

Running Tally for July
MoW Shockie #2: 2
Last Widowmaker: 1
Laser Eyeball Bossman: 1
Circle Laser Eyeball x2: 2
Circle Laser Eyeball: 1
Circle Laser Eyeball: 1
Undercity Sword Thugs x5: 5
Fancy Pants Choir Member: 1
Duke Horror, Lord of the Swamp: 3
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance: 1
Skarath, the Lava Snek: 3

21/31

Rate That Caster! (73, Skarre2)

Another new thing, more for my benefit than for anyone else. I’m going to ramble on about a random Warmachine caster for a while (my thoughts/opinions, strengths and weaknesses, ups and downs, why I like them, why I don’t). No set schedule for this, but I have punched all the casters into a random number generator, so lets see what comes up! (also, no warlocks because I have very limited experience with Hordes, I might add them in one day *shrug*). So, without further ado, here’s number 73, Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast!

Summary

So Skarre has one of the better field marshal abilities in the game at the moment, Future Sight (she also personally has Future Sight). This means is that she wants to be running a decently sized battle group because her field marshal ability allows her jacks to be very focus efficient. There are a number of jacks that she wants to take; my number one pick for her is a Corrupter. Due to its second shot type, a Corrupter servers as a limit breaker for Skarre, enabling her to expend hp to maintain upkeeps without much risk of being low hp on your opponent’s turn (you cut to maintain upkeeps, the Corruptor heals the damage in the same turn). This allows for more focus to be fed to jacks or used for spells. Coupled with Black Spot, a Corrupter can put a staggering number of boxes back onto Skarre. It also serves to free up points in the list via its arc node shot. Any of the harpoon jacks are also quite solid due to Black Spot, it can shoot and reel one target in, kill it, then pull the next target in via a second shot from Black Spot. Unlike most of the Cryxian casters, Skarre lacks an armor debuff, with that in mind, she really wants a jack that can bring the pain. Deathjack is a touch pricey, Seethers, on the other hand, are fantastic! Punching at only at -1 POW from Deathjack, the fact that they can run or charge for free is a wonderful combo with Skarre (load it up with focus, send it in, 5 POW17 attacks will do work, Future Sight helps to extend that focus). Unlike the majority of Cryxian warcasters, Skarre doesn’t want (or take) souls, this opens her list up to units and solos that do want souls (Pistols Wraiths, Soulhunters, etc). Skarre doesn’t really demand anything but hitting power from her list which means she’s a very flexible caster.

Battlegroup

Skarre wants a battlegroup. As mentioned above, Future Sight is one of the best Field Marshal abilities in the game. She’ll run pretty much any Cryx jack decently, but she needs them to hit the opponent fairly hard on their base numbers alone. Unfortunantly, she does very little outside of her field marshal to support her battlegroup.

Defense

I’ll list her defensive tech (spoiler, it’s a short list): Feat, Admonition, Death Ward. That’s all folks. Skarre really is a offensive caster who wants to be slinging spells, not delivering her army to the enemy.

Feat

I misread this feat at first, I thought it was a DEF adjustment of ±5 depending on whether you were an enemy or an ally. It is not that. It is a defensive feat, dropping charge immunity and +5 defense on allied targets and passive out a -5 penalty to attack rolls for enemy targets. This feat is absolutely marginal even in the best case scenario (you get contest a zone for a turn). While a 5 point swing in never a bad thing, it does little to enable Skarre or her army to kill things (which is really what she needed).

Offense

Skarre will spend most of her time slinging spells around at the enemy. She two moderate nukes that are prime targets for a Skarlock to replicate (one passes out continuous corrosion, the other is basically a trick shot). Skarre is also deadly dangerous in melee with 3 initials and future sight to conserve focus (also, 13+5d6 on the charge!). If she ever gets a charge lane on the opponent’s caster, the game is probably over (and she threatens 11″).

Spells

Not my favorite spell list. There are a couple of nukes, an amazing DEF debuff (like OMG Black Spot! Extra attacks for everybody!), a situational debuff and a couple of minor buffs (ARM and Admonition). With her ability to pay HP to maintain upkeeps, Skarre has the potential to start every turn with a full load of focus while also running her 3 upkeep spells (which is an impressive thought). With Future Sight serving to compensate for her Focus stat of 7, she’s likely to be able to toss out two offensive spells a turn without missing any (although that does leave her without a camp).

Survivability

Things are not fantastic for Skarre. She has the inklings of a glorious DEF skew caster, she is just missing the DEF buff. Under feat turn, she’s sitting at an unholy DEF 21 (which is nigh unboostable). Unfortunately, she suffers from what all DEF skew-ish casters do, she will die to fire and blast damage…Nothing especially amazing stands out beyond her feat (Admonition saves her from 1 charing model).

Ratings
Battlegroup: 7/10
Defense: 6/10
Feat: 4/10
Offense: 8/10
Spells: 7/10
Survivability: 7/10
Composite Score: 6.5/10

Synergies/Tactics

So as I mentioned previously, Skarre wants at least one Corrupter to add to her focus efficiency. Coupled with Future Sight, she’ll want 4 to 6 heavies to really bring the punch to her debuffed targets. Skarre doesn’t demand any specific units, but she doesn’t mind seeing Satyxis scattered around (as well as the Satyxis Raider Captain since she herself is a Satyxis model and benefits from being knockdown immune).

Weaknesses/Counters

#1, Grievous Wounds! Skarre can really leverage her health bar for a number of different purposes but without healing, she’ll bleed out long before the enemies factor in (on a big turn, she can cut herself for 9 boxes, over half of her hp). She suffers from upkeep removal (most of her spell list are upkeeps) and like any defense incline model, knockdown and stationary are both beautiful assassination options. Fire isn’t such a big threat to Skarre (being able to cut for upkeeps means that she doesn’t suffer from camping that last focus for the burn) BUT she is looking at an average of 4 damage a round from being on fire. Lastly, Skarre really struggles into ARM skew. She has no method of buffing the hitting power of her army, so if her jacks can’t kill it, she won’t be able to remove it from the board.

Warcaster Jacks Units Solos
Durst
Kreoss1
Harbinger
Reznik1
Indictor
Reckoner
Daughters of the Flame Alten Ashley
Eyriss2

Pretty standard fair here, Warcasters focus on Purification ARM skew or Attrition (hello Brand of Heresy!). The Reckoner can help lower Skarre’s defense to open her up to assassination. I mention the Indictor specifically for the potential of it denying her upkeep game late in the game (also because Skarre struggles against ARM skew). Ashely is an obvious threat (risk cutting if you can’t heal?) and Eyriss brings an interesting dynamic to the list (probably the most interesting counter piece). Eyriss gives the caster of upkeep spells on units she shoots with an option, maintain the upkeep spell and take d3 damage, or loose the upkeep spell. Skarre is especially vulnerable to this source of chip damage since she runs 4 upkeeps (and there’s always shooting your own models in the back of the head to try and clear  Black Spot…).

Get it Painted! (July, Widowmaker 4/4)

Late for today, my apologies. Here’s the last Widowmaker I needed to paint to finish the unit off. I overdid the wash on one of these guys but it’s not tremendously obvious. Overall I really enjoyed painting these guys due to the great balance between simplicity and detail. It made easy to make these guys look good.

Running Tally for July
Last Widowmaker: 1
Laser Eyeball Bossman: 1
Circle Laser Eyeball x2: 2
Circle Laser Eyeball: 1
Circle Laser Eyeball: 1
Undercity Sword Thugs x5: 5
Fancy Pants Choir Member: 1
Duke Horror, Lord of the Swamp: 3
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance: 1
Skarath, the Lava Snek: 3

19/31

Get it Painted! (July, Circle Laser Eyeballs 6/6)

Finished my first black clad! Well, not technically the first since the warlocks are also blackclads, but the first that’s actually wearing a black cloak. This finishes this unit! It’s been about a month since I’ve finished painting a unit and puts my circle at 58% painted! I only have the Skinwalkers left (and those guys aren’t even primed yet :<)

Anyways, that’s it for painting today, a finished unit! I’ve got terrain to work on and games to play, until next time!

Running Tally for July
Laser Eyeball Bossman: 1
Circle Laser Eyeball x2: 2
Circle Laser Eyeball: 1
Circle Laser Eyeball: 1
Undercity Sword Thugs x5: 5
Fancy Pants Choir Member: 1
Duke Horror, Lord of the Swamp: 3
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance: 1
Skarath, the Lava Snek: 3

18/31

 

Get it Painted! (July, Circle Laser Eyeballs 5/6)

Well my painting marathon was mostly interrupted (just like I cleverly predicted yesterday!) so I was only able to finish the last two of the laser eyeballs. The commander is currently about 30% of the way done so I’ll probably finish him next. Not too much more to add tonight…my Crusader actually has paint on it other than the primer (I started it tonight then had to put it down about 5 times so I gave up). Anways, here’s some pictures.

Thank goodness for small models! I’m actually a day ahead now! Also, happy halfway point! Maybe I’ll have time tomorrow for something a little more impressive! (and if anyone knows how to actually use this unit, please let me know 😛 )

Running Tally for July
Circle Laser Eyeball x2: 2
Circle Laser Eyeball: 1
Circle Laser Eyeball: 1
Undercity Sword Thugs x5: 5
Fancy Pants Choir Member: 1
Duke Horror, Lord of the Swamp: 3
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance: 1
Skarath, the Lava Snek: 3

17/31