Surprise Terrain!

So I’ve been chewing on some ideas for modular terrain for quite some time now and I’ve finally started prototyping some of the concepts for actual table play (these are the things that keep me up at night). I’m not quite ready to share the designs or the tech behind them (they’re still prototypes, I’ve got a growing list of annoyances and things that need fixing), but this terrain makes it super easy to create an elevated battlefield to fight on. Small based models (barring the super tall ones with back banners) can pass under the bridges with little issue. I’m super excited to get a game or three done and see what I can add/fiddle with to make it even better.

Here’s some fairly awful pictures with a mock game set up (I’m really super excited about this!).

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My IK:RPG Backup Characters

I’m on something of an IK:RPG (Iron Kingdoms RPG) kick currently. I got invited to a group and we’ve been having fun hunting down a necromancer. My first character is something of an abomination, an Iosian Field Mechanik/Ice Sorcerer that runs around with an effective defense of 19. As I’m wont to do, I’m starting to prep back up characters with the player experience I’m gaining for how the game plays and flows. Couple things that I’ve noticed (and thus are guiding my character design):

  • Magic shouldn’t be used for combat purposes early on. 2d6 + 2 or 3 (ARC) is just miserable. Magical buffs on the other hand…
  • Taking damage is not fun. Going down is horrendous (changes recovery time from hours to weeks).
  • DEF skewing is probably the best plan when combined with blast damage ignoring.

So on to the characters! I’ve been digging into some of the supplementary material that PP has produced and scattered around for IK:RPG and come to the conclusion that whoever is planning these books and releases needs to have a serious rethink about layouts and deployment plans (#grumble). The first character I’m toying with is a Stormcaller/Investigator.

Stan Topher – Human (Cygnaran) Stormcaller (KNG 89)/Investigator (IK:RPG 132)

The stormcaller career is based around zapping people with giant lightning bolts from on high using the power of SCIENCE instead of magical voodoo powers. This is done via an occupational skill instead of a military skill and that’s where things start to go a bit pear shaped. The Stormsmithing skill is based on perception and has some interesting utility built in (AoE concealment, weather control, AoE knockdown) in addition to the tasering. As written, all of these abilities require the character to make a PER + Stormsmithing roll which makes this roll both a perception roll and a stormsmithing roll (lack of playtesting, huzzah!). Coupled with Hyper Perception from the Intelligence archetype (granted through Investigator), this makes all of the Stormsmithing rolls boosted (so I’m rolling 3d6 + 1 (skill) + 5 (PER)) right out of the gates to land lightning bolts on people which is pretty good. It gets better when coupled with the Astute ability (also granted by investigator) which allows this character to reroll failed PER rolls. Because Hyper Perception is granted through Investigator, I’m free to pick another another Archetype. I went with Gifted, grabbing Fast Caster for the future class expansion. Since Stormsmithing strikes are full round actions, this would allow me to also toss out buffs to my party mates and make enemies regret their lack of electricity immunity.

Stats PHY 5| SPD 6| STR 4| ALG 4| PRW 4| POI 4| INT 4| ARC 3| PER 5|
Abilities Astute, Language (any), Specilization (Stormcaller and Lightning Rod), Weatherman, Weather Vane
Archtype Gifted (Fast Caster), Hyper Perception
Connections Cygnaran Military
Military Skills Great Weapon 1, Pistol 1
Occupational Skills Detection 1, Forensic Science 1, Interrogation 1, Law 1, Mechanikal Engineering 1, Medicine 1, Stormsmithing 1, Sneak 1
Starting Gear Stormsmith Armor, Stormcaller and Lightning Rod, 100gc


Flint Stonespray
– Dwarf (Rhulic) Artillerist (KNG 304)/Rhulic Field Mechanik (NQ_49 63)

This character is attempting to capitalize heavily on the light artillery weapons added in Kings, Nations and Gods (because the core book had none…at all) in a unique way. So most of the light artillery weapons that aren’t strange (such as shield guns) require a tripod to be deployed and a full round action to set up the gun. There are also comical penalties for lugging these things around (even though they aren’t heavy enough to threaten load capacities…). Normally I’d avoid this sort of weapon like the plague, they typically aren’t worth the action economy but I had a thought (and here’s one of the inconsistencies in the IK:RPG system, jack weapons are basically equivalent to artillery, they just incorporate integrated autoloaders and/or magazines), what if the artillery gun in question was mounted on a jack? This alleviates the action economy issues of having to deploy/undeploy the gun but still puts an action economy tax on the player character (the jack can’t make unassisted ranged attacks). When I tripped across the Rhulic Field Mechanik, I finally decided to put all of this down on paper (NOTE: This does require GM permissions because the rules don’t exist to allow this…yet). The basic idea is that the Grundback Runner has a foot platform at the rear and it’s head ranged weapon slot outfitted with a light artillery mount. The ‘Jack Marshal stands on the footplate and fire the artillery gun. I’m leaning towards a Slugger or Chain Gun since the single shot guns (Light Cannon, Deck Gun, etc) require reloading between each shot (which is a full action).

Stats PHY 8| SPD 4| STR 4| ALG 3| PRW 4| POI 4| INT 4| ARC -| PER 3|
Abilities ‘Jack Marshal, Battle Plan: Close Fire, Bodge, Hit the Deck, Load Bearing, Scorched Earth
Archtype Intellectual (Battlefield Coordination)
Connections Dwarf Clan
Military Skills Head Weapon 1, Heavy Artillery 1, Light Artillery 1, Pistol 1, Rifle 1
Occupational Skills Command 1, Craft (Metalworking) 1, Detection 1, Driving 1, Mechanikal Engineering 1
Starting Gear Deck Gun (10 ammo), Grundback Runner w/ Hailshot Cannon, Mechanik’s Tool Kit, 100gc


Nottia Jack
– Human Ironhead (NQ_52 33)/Knight (IK:RPG 134)

This is a fun character and probably my first “tank” character I’ve seriously considered. She is a late game character based around overwhelming enemies with a large number of attacks and leverages the Ironhead Armor to make those attacks hurt (for those unfamiliar, Ironhead armor is steam powered armor that is highly customizable, think Man-o-War armor and that will get you 90% of the way there). One of the big decision points I had to make with this character was what archetype to take, Mighty or Skilled. Mighty has most of the “tank” and “dps” benefits, namely Righteous Anger, Feat: Invulnerable, Feat: Vendetta and Feat: Revitalize. Coupled with the fact that might characters are weapon masters with all melee weapons, there’s a tremendous amount of damage potential to be had, but at lower accuracy and a low number of attacks (a huge hit every turn). Skilled on the other hand, seems to offer a large selection of utility to this character, an extra attack every turn, Virtuoso, Sidestep, Preternatural Awareness and Ambidextrous. Coupled with some of the career abilities I’m planning on and the power lended to the character from her Ironhead armor, I think that overall Skilled offers the better utility. Because this is a character that really needs some experience and gold to function correctly, I’m building her with 30 xp (this puts her online and ready to rumble).

Stats PHY 7| SPD 6| STR 6| ALG 3| PRW 5| POI 4| INT 3| ARC -| PER 5|
Abilities Cleave, Defender, Ironhead, Makeshift Engineering, Tinkerer
Archtype Skilled (Sidestep, Virtuoso (Great  Weapon))
Connections Mechaniks Association, Knightly Order
Military Skills Great Weapon 2, Light Artillery 1, Hand Weapon 1, Shield 2
Occupational Skills Climbing 2, Command 1, Craft (Metalworking) 2, Detection 2, Etiquette 1, Intimidation 2, Lore (knightly order) 1, Mechanikal Engineering 2, Streetwise 2
Gear Ironhead Armor, Adventuring Tack, Mechanik’s Kit, War Hammer, Combat Shield, Boot Dagger, Assault Commando Armor, Purifier, 15ft Collapsable Pole
Ironhead Armor SPD: -1, DEF: -3, ARM: +10, HP: 12. Can run or charge

Heavy Boiler (free starter), Weight Compensators x2 (150 g), Ablative Armor x2 (250g), Hardened Case x2 (150g) (550g spent on upgrades)

Additional Career Cutthroat

 

Grymkin Announcement Video

Last updated 2/20/17.

So, this video released at Smogcon today. Figured a quick tl;dr style post would be appropriate. Not every model in the new faction was detailed but we’ve got some delicious pictures, some serious spoilers and some new models that weren’t discussed.

First, big mechanic shift. Grymkin are warlocks without feats. As far as I can tell, they still use fury and have spell lists. Instead of feats, they have a new mechanic called, Arcana. Each warlock has one “Trump Arcana” and two additional arcanas that are selected by the player. Each arcana has a specified “trigger” that causes a feat-tier effect on the board. These are voluntary, the trigger occurs (such as killing models), then the Defiler player can choose whether to pop the arcana or not. Each Defilier has their own unique trump arcana and chooses 2 more (from a common list of 10 shared between the 5) after the opponent has revealed their list.

Spoiled example of an Arcana.

The Shadow.
Trigger: A model of yours is engaged by a model with a larger base size.
Effect: Put a brand new warbeast in to play in melee range of the triggering model. It can’t move but is otherwise a fully functional warbeast in the casters BG. After one round it is removed from play.

Warlocks (4 Spoiled, 2 Mentioned)

So there’s some fluff, 5 of these warlocks are ancient creatures that spurned Menoth when he brought civilization and laws to the world. In response, Menoth chucked these 5 into the most hellish depths of Ur-Cain (the “spirit world”). The Old Witch has set things in motion by freeing them, oopsies. These 5 are known as “Defilers”.
the-child

The Child
An embodiment of anger and wrath, has a personal heavy bodyguard/warbeast called “Dolly”. Her trump arcana says that when you kill her battlegroup, she sets all enemies on fire. From what the narrator in the video said, it seems that she’ll have some sort of field marshal that is conducive to constant aggression (counter charge or hyper-aggressive maybe, perhaps something new). The video card types The Child as a “front line brawler”. Apparently she’s a large based caster with Dolly on the same base as The Child.

the-dreamer

The Dreamer
This model looks incredible. She apparently embodies “Deception and Trickery”. Her two gimmicks that were mentioned seem to be split between control and attrition. Models that kill her friendly models are knocked down and she clones enemies that are killed with “figments” or “ghosts” (she comes with a small, medium and large based model for these, a mouse, a pumpkin snowman and a “Titan Pinata”). The narrator also mentioned briefly that she’s so powerful that she transforms her enemies into forms that they are more suited to (the video had a Man-o-War Shocktrooper being turned into a pile of pumpkins…).

the-heretic

The Heretic
An ex-Priest King from the time when Menoth was busy passing out law, order and walls to the human population, apparently this guy recognized that each person had a spark of divine power within them and that spark could be used to power divine magic. So this guy stole some of Menoth’s power and started to use it against Menoth (I’m not sure how this guy walks around). Billed as an infantry caster, his trump arcana reads as Synergy for troops that stacks based on you killing his troops. Narrator also seemed to imply that he’ll also be waving some sort of anti-magic tech around. Probably my favorite based on fluff (but we’re still missing details on the other two). He’s on a medium base and sounds like he has steady. Either fury 6 or 7.

the-wanderer-and-the-king-of-nothing

The Wanderer
Star Crossed, Fog of War, Fury 6
The King of Nothing

Fury 8, debuff caster. Has an aura of -2 arm to everything around him.

the-old-witch-2The Old Witch
The last warlock detailed was none other than the Old Witch herself! Its been a while since we’ve seen a battle engine sized caster…and this is a pretty model (she turned Scrapjack into a Baba-Yaga style witch hut)! She has a traditional feat (narrator said that she was the only one with a traditional feat) and probably more exciting for people, she’s also cross faction, a Warlock for the Grymkin and a Warcaster for Khador. Her stated gimmicks were “summoning Grymkin” and “enhancing her magic”, whether this was her feat or just mechanics was unclear. It’ll be cool to see what exactly she brings to the table (and I’m absolutely digging the this model and its styling). Confirmed to have Scourge and Boundless Charge as spells, and a “pick 1 of 3 each turn” style ability, one of which is reduce a spell or spells costs by 1 for the turn. Still some nonsense with the faction identitiy. Old Witch2 is a Grymkin warlock. Old Witch3 is a Khador caster.

Spoiled along with these guys were 3 beasts (2 heavies, 1 light), 3 infantry selections (2 small based, 1 medium) and 1 large based solo. These had a lot less information given and a lot less screen time was spent on them. In the video, there were several models shown that were talked about (a solo and a warbeast). I can’t get pictures to format nicely (I’ve gotta run out the door in about 6 minutes so speed is of the essence).

Warbeasts

Skin and Moans
Heavy, looks like 2 initials (one weapon on each hand). Collects corpse tokens, gains +Strength and +Armor for corpse tokens (probably the same rule that Boneswarms have, Death-Powered).

Cage Rager
Upkeep assitance, Channeling, Arcane Vortex. From what the narrator said, it sounds like all of these mechanics are powered by soul collection (that this beast does).

Rattler
Billed as the anti-infantry choice, from what the narrator said it has Berserk. Range 1.

Unmentioned Light Beast
Some sort of hellhound, it has the night troll’s crazy tongue and hands for paws.

“Horse Head Light”
Ranged light.

Crabbits
Lesser warbeast with Leap and Shieldguard. There’s a theme that grants them for free. 2 for 7 points.

Troops

Hollowmen + Laternmen (CA or WA)
Small based infantry, appear to be based on trenchers (lookwise). They have eyeless sight, some sort of ranged attack and the laternmen CA/WA seemed to allow the unit “strong recursion”.

Dread Rot
Small based infantry, Weaponmasters, Tough. They collect corpse tokens and can donate them to other friendly model/units. They are Jack-o-Latern themed farm murderers.

Piggyback
Medium based infantry. Snacking, Impervious Flesh, Shield Wall, Tough. Not much more to say. Arm 15 base (Shield Wall to 19, 21 with battle engine).

Neighsayers
Small based, single wound cav with Armor Piercing lances.

Murder Crows
Small based infantry. Stealth and maybe prey.

Mad Caps
Artillery, makes “Cask Gimps” and might have Stumbling Drunk.

Twilight Sisters
Character Unit. Returns 2 models a turn, any infantry.

Solos

Witchwood
Larged based, amazing model. The video said that it teleports, has POW15 attacks and some sort of ability that bewitches warrior models. Has prowl, no drag and “unspoiled things”.

Glimmer Imps
On hit blind. 5″ -2 DEF aura.

Trapper Kin
Burrows. Back arc bonuses and sprint.

Lady Karianna Rose
Character. Only form of fury management. Enrage. If killed +1 to hit/damage for entire army.

Lord Longfellow
This guy was shown again. During the ARG, we got a spoiler video that matched this release video coupled with a backwards voice that mentioned black penny. Spiderman is apparently a gunmage. He also showed up in some of the pan shots (around 14:15 in the video, right side, pans into view/focus briefly). Finisher. Spider in clothes. Gains bonus dice against characters. RAT 7. 2/4 shots.

Battle Engines

Deathnail
Battle Engine. Fuels a Krielstone style +ARM aura with corspes. Costs somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 points (which is…cheap for a huge base…)

That’s all for the moment, I’ll try to keep this post (or another similar one) updated as a reference as we go through the next couple months.

Harby Build Log, Part 2 – The Initial Build

Boom! Wrecking my own plans! I had planned to take pictures of each step and…that didn’t happen. I’ve been quite busy and today I needed to blow off some steam and so I sat down and got my Harby assembled and ready to paint. This model has…5 pins in it, one for the waist-torso joint, one for each wing, one for the shield arm and one for the base-loincloth connection. I’m happy with the overall look (still dynamic and floaty looking but missing the the extra base bloat), some of the minute details need a bit of putty or greenstuff work to fill the gaps (her torso didn’t want to settle in a flush position) and the wings didn’t mate flushly with her hoodie. I might base coat the areas and see how noticeable the gaps still are. Anyways, pictures are worth all the words in this post.

Link to part 1.

One more (low quality) picture, size comparison next to heavy jacks and some other stuff.

20170217_031133-1

Hook City!

So there’s a new competitive Cryx podcast, Chasing the Dragonfather (link here), that’s focused around what in Cryx works, cool interactions and how Cryx isn’t such a burning dumpster fire. One of the things that they covered was Gaspy2 combo-ing with Reapers to project threat and rack up an attrition advantage (clouds + drag). I liked it enough to fiddle my own list together based around that interaction.

Hook City
Lich Lord Asphyxious – WJ: +28
–    Reaper – PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
–    Reaper – PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
–    Cankerworm – PC: 9 (Battlegroup Points Used: 2)
–    Nightwretch – PC: 7
Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist – PC: 4
Warwitch Siren – PC: 4
Scrap Thrall – 3 Scrap Thrall: 2
Soul Trapper – PC: 1
Bane Warriors – Leader & 5 Grunts: 10
35 / 35 Army

Gaspy2 brings two main things to the table, a rolling cloud wall and Parasite. I’m not tremendously concerned about any other text on his card (it’d be cool if Excarnate could return Scrap Thralls but it doesn’t).

The Banes and Gorman stack with Parasite for a potential 7 ARM swing (which is big). Banes are also Weapon Masters that can clean up/off anything that the Reapers fail to finish off.

The Nightwretch is the token Arc Node (with a POW14 thud gun), Cankerworm is just a good model to have around (really hard to kill, occasionally you’ll get to mount a colossal gun on its tail, good times to be had!).

The Warwitch is around to ease the focus burden on Gaspy2 and the Soul Trapper is around just because I couldn’t buy another 3 Scrap Thralls.

The Scrap Thralls are kicking around as utility pieces. They can make a big hit against a hard target that the Reapers have drug in, can contest/control flanking objectives and threaten infantry (run 10” and jam, creates a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” moment). This does give rise to an interesting question, why pay 2 points for Scrap Thralls instead of 2 points for a Necrotech who can make a bunch of Scrap Thralls? The Necrotech relies on having jacks die to produce Scrap Thralls. I’m fairly certain that my jacks aren’t going to be dying and I’m not sure how often enemy jacks are going to be dying. I’d like to run this list a few times but until the theme force drops that has the benefit “Necrotechs start the game with a scrap token” or I have a better idea how often I actually get to drag in and kill enemy jacks, I’m going to start with the Scrap Thralls instead of the Necrotech (I suspect that the Necrotech will end up being the proper choice in the end).

Lastly, the Reapers. These guys are the main point of the list. They walk 6 inches, shoot and drag in a heavy, and kill it. Gaspy2 then drops a line of clouds in front of the Reapers, protecting them from any retailation.

Overall, I think that this is a fun list that has some good potential. Currently it won’t fair tremendously well into infantry blobs, nothing in the list has enough output to clean up 30 or 40 bodies quickly (more scrap thralls?). Pushing the list to 50 points, I’d look into beefing up its ability to handle infantry.

PPS_Matt Statement Reference

This is less a post and more documentation for myself, PP_Matt (Matt Wilson, the Chief Creative Director) popped up on the official boards and wrote some wonderful posts that people refused to link to (which made their discussions hard to follow). What follows is the copy+paste of the source condensed in once place.


PP_Matt (post #10)Given that you (Oncoming Storm) are pleased with the recent errata, that should give you some confidence that things are going in a positive direction. While your concerns are entirely justified, we want to recap what has transpired over the past few months to frame this all in the proper context and to hopefully put your (OP and the collective ‘your’) mind(s) at ease.

First and foremost, we made some mistakes. No, we did not release the new editions as an open beta. But what became apparent after the new editions came out were that some aspects of development (eg. the Skorne factions) did not get the attention they deserved or required during our development process. Recognizing this, we have made a strong effort to rectify the mistakes and revise rules where necessary to make sure that your models represent a good value to you on the tabletop. And where we have applied these efforts, they have been widely met with a positive approval.

What this should tell you is that we are attentive to the concerns and desires of our community and we are willing to do whatever it takes to create the best possible gaming experience for our customers. We hope that provides you some comfort and confidence in Privateer as a company. No, we’re not perfect, and yes, we are more than capable of making mistakes. But we own our mistakes and we’ll clean up after them to the best of our ability because we care very much about the experience our players have with our games.

The second point we want to make is that the entire purpose of our Community Integrated Development initiative is to again, offer you confidence that whatever you purchase has gone through sufficient play testing that it should not undergo immediate rules revision. While we have made several adjustments over the past few months, we don’t want an environment where your expectation is that things might change at any moment any more than you do. If you can’t purchase our models with confidence because you are afraid that they won’t retain their gameplay value, then the bottom line is, we can’t stay in business. The purpose of the CID is to make sure that in an environment where a single new model can change the entire meta, those new releases have been properly vetted by the community who is going to be playing with them. Our goal with CID is to stabilize the rules environment so that neither you nor we feel the need for something to change.

Will things change in the future? Yes. It is unavoidable and it would be misleading to try and get you to believe otherwise. We release new models every month and have several new factions in the works for future release. While all of these will go through the CID process, there are bound to be instances where something makes it through even our CID process, undiscovered and unchallenged. But through our CID process, we expect to be able to minimize these occurrences such that you should not feel trepidatious about making a purchase. And when things do change, they are changing for the betterment of the overall play environment.

We believe that a continued commitment toward offering the best gaming experience possible is superior to letting mistakes or unexpected issues go without being addressed. While we realize this does mean that we’re asking you to put trust in us as a company that truly cares about the quality of its customers’ experience, we hope that what we have been demonstrating to you over the past several months has proven that we are deserving of that trust.

PPS_Matt (post #18): I can tell you that as a Minions player, a year from now, you’re going to be very pleased, especially if you’ve been looking forward to something on a huge base.

We have a plan right now that stretches through 2019 into 2020 and beyond, that details our model releases each month. For your own sake, and ours, I will not share that plan because it would be suicide (for us). The plan is ever evolving as we continue to respond to the needs of our community, changes in our production processes, and whatever other conditions that may occur that influence how we develop and produce models for WARMACHINE & HORDES. What I can tell you is that every single faction we have produced models for to date is accounted for in that plan, with new additions scheduled for future release. However, with twelve current factions, a new one on the way this summer, and multiple sub-factions within those greater factions, releases for any specific faction are going to be spaced out by longer spans of time than they were in the past. Our goal is to be shipping all new releases around a themed force in a 1-3 month span of time, rather than broadcasting the eventual release of something a year or more ahead of time without a clear release date (which is kind of what I just did for you, apologies, but you know you wanted to hear that!). The point of this is that if you don’t see anything on the immediate horizon for your faction, you should not feel at all like you are ‘less important’, but rather, that you’re just like everyone else, because every faction is at some point going to be in that situation where many months are going to go by without news or a new release. This is a very different approach than what we have done in the past with our anthology books that were created in an effort to provide some level of parallel development to all of the factions of WARMACHINE or to HORDES, where what was published was essentially an imprecise schedule of what was to be released in the coming year. Over time, as the games grew and more factions were added, that approach became flawed. Only so much can be released in a given month or year, and trying to make sure every faction was addressed in parallel meant that each book could only have a few offerings for each faction, which was its own different kind of frustration. So, that’s changing. After the new faction releases in July, what we’ll be doing is releasing blocks of content for one faction at a time. Sometimes it will all come out in one month, and other times it will span two or even three months, depending on the size of the block of content. We feel pretty confident that these blocks of content will be more than sufficient to keep devotees of that faction busy until the next time their faction comes up in the rotation, but it does mean that there will be spans of time without new releases, but we think this will allow us to deliver a much more satisfying offering when we do get around to your faction.

At the same time, we’re not cold hearted monsters that enjoy making people wait! And we also love the holidays. I’m going to get myself in trouble for jumping the gun, but we have a plan to make sure that most (if not every) faction has something under the tree at the end of the year (so to speak). December is going to be a month that falls out of our normal release cadence and lets us have a bit of fun, hopefully delivering to each faction what they want most, or at least something that is going to be a lot of fun to get onto the tabletop. And hopefully this breaks up the wait time between releases for your chosen faction, at least a little. Again, I’m working without a net here and divulging things that we aren’t ready to discuss in detail. But I want you to know that no faction is being overlooked or diminished. We have a vested interest in all of them and are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to build on each one of them.

PPS_Matt (post #36)The new HORDES faction will comprise all of our in-store model releases in July, August and September, which I think will make it officially our most aggressive new faction release schedule, ever. So, no effort is being spared to push the faction out and get players everything they need to build an army.

At the same time, expectations should be realistic. We’ve got 15 years worth of Khador releases in the catalog, for instance. New factions aren’t going to express that kind of volume of offering. But they will be robust. The new faction, for instance, has six new warlocks, which should provide a great amount of variety and different play styles and experiences. The intention is that they will provide more than enough to be competitive and well tuned, with plenty of variety. And you’ll get to help ensure that’s the case very soon!

PPS_Matt (post #93)I am cautiously optimistic about CID as well. As a standard operating procedure, it’s new territory for us. It’s sure to be an evolving process as we find all find our groove.

With regards to models that may appear to need some tuning upward, in some cases (not all), the reason we feel they are performing as intended might be because we know what’s coming around the corner. Model X that seems underwhelming right now might suddenly become very interesting when model Y is released in its theme force at some point in the future. That doesn’t necessarily help the performance of model X right now, but what we don’t want to do is jockey the same model up and down the curve just to make it appealing in the moment. For some things, there is a plan, and that plan just has to come to fruition. In other cases, as we open up a new theme force for CID, we might take a look at an existing model or two make sure it has a desirable role within the theme force. In such a situation, those models would become part of the CID rotation and would be visible to everyone so that you know what is under scrutiny.

Again, the primary goal is to make sure that the environment feels stable and that we’re not randomly changing things. Change and evolution should be an expectable part of the environment, but through the CID process, we want this to become something that has a comfortable level of transparency and predictability for you.

Homebrew Sentinel Characters

I got it in my head at some point today that there are some interesting potential rule interactions that exist inside the rules of Warmachine (currently, I can’t think of any widely available options for these interactions but a couple of these can be forced within the game). I started to craft together a jack or two that had some of these interactions and it dawned on me, I could just make these character sentinels! It’s cleaner, I don’t need to muck around deciding what 1 point of defense is and it’s easier for other people to understand if the rule interactions are mounted on something familiar. So onto the rule interactions themselves!

All of these started with the same thought, Shield Guard is a cool rule. What sort of nonsense could models with Shield Guard get into if they had a second rule to synergize with it?

The first one is obvious (and easy to do in Skorne), Carapace. Shield Guard forces the model to suck the hit. If the model has to take the hit, it either should be immune to the hit (which PP tried to head off at the pass) or comically tanky against the hit (so you can shield guard multiple hits). Carapace is a great rule to have with Shield Guard.

This led to another rule that has interesting interactions with arbitrary ranged attacks, Quick Draw. While not worded exactly like it needs to be, it does look like something could be really cool for a model with low armor. Ultimately, I think it would be better served as an individual rule separate from Shield Guard (call it “Interception”, Once per round, when a friendly model within X inches of this model would be hit by an enemy ranged attack, this model may make a ranged attack roll. If the result is higher than the enemy hit roll, that attack is considered to be a miss.). So this is cool alternative to Shield Guard that rewards high RAT instead of high ARM but not fantastically applicable to this project.

As I was chewing on the previous two concepts, another cool idea for a character Sentinel occurred to me. Cygnar has an expensive solo (both in points and dollars) called a “Trench Buster”. Not the most Skornegistic model ever to exist, but a fairly shiny example nonetheless, the Trench Buster blows himself up if he uses Assault (#AoE Guns with Assault). My idea was to apply the “Trench Buster” concept onto a Sentinel. Create a light jack that is focused around making that initial charge into the enemy and perhaps surviving the turn.

Now I had originally planned to create three character Sentinels, one for each thing I mentioned previously…but Interception is just cleaner without a additional rules interaction muddling the water. So without any further rambling on my part, I humbly present Rampage and Vigor (a PDF will be at the bottom of the post for any interested parties). Having said that, it turns out that WordPress hates my formatting so I’ll have to describe them (they have identical hard stats to regular sentinels).

First Rampage. He is bonded to Sturgis! I wanted to have a bond and rather than leave it blank, I picked the most aggressive Cygnar caster without a character jack. Rampage costs 10 points, has Assault, Relentless Charge and Unyielding. Its bond grants Uncontrollable Rage (that special rule Cryx Seethers have that forces them to run or charge for free all the time). The interesting part of Rampage is its weapon loadout. Taking a page from Khador, its shield has a 6”, POW10 spray with the Anatomical precision special rule. This allows Rampage to clear out shield-walled troops while still leaving his spray on the low end of the POW spectrum. Its other weapon is a “Piston Spike” (again, stealing from Khador’s design aesthetic). It is a P+S 13 melee weapon with Critical: Brutal Damage. I wanted to spice this up, make it armor piercing or sustain attack coupled with critical shred…but that’s starting to clutter the card with special rules (and Rampage’s card is already fairly full). That’s about all she wrote for Rampage, onto Vigor!

If Rampage is all about busting trenches and putting the fear of Jacks into shield wall troops, Vigor is all taking Shield Guard shots to the chin and continuing to function. I’m not tremendously happy with the current collection of rules on his card, it achieves my purpose (Carapace on a Shield Guard model) but doesn’t feel that “flavorful”. Anyways, you lot need a summary not rambles so Vigor features Carapace, Shield Guard and Steady. Its weapons are a shield named “Barrier” (P+S:12 and Repel) and the “Boom Tube” a 12”, AoE3, POW12 gun with High Explosive(12). I’m left feeling rather underwhelmed with how Vigor turned out, it works but it isn’t a elegant solution. I’ll probably revisit Vigor at a later date (probably scrapping Carapace in favor of something a little more clever and dynamic). Hopefully I’ll be able to con some poor sole into giving them a spin.

Aforementioned PDF link: (sentinel-character-variants-rampage-and-vigor).