Monday, July 6, 2009

Sin City Dispatch #21: "No, we really did warn you. Didn't you get the memo?"

Hey everyone and welcome to another issue of the Dispatch!

In this issue, we have more Retribution goodness with the upcoming release of varitable butt-load of new Retribution minis! PP is not messing around with these guys and it looks like their force book will contain just as varied a mix of units as all of the other more established armies that they have been developing over the past six years. Now that is a lot of material!

In addition to all of that, we will also take a look at the new board game that PP is releasing (no, I'm not talking about the Scrappers game), there is also a brief battle report, a top five list, and even a look at a completely new game. This is looking to be the longest Dispatch ever, so sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Upcoming Releases for Warmachine

As we get closer to September, PP has brought more Retribution goodness out for us to see. Starting off from the top, tere is the picture of the third warcaster for this faction. Say hello to Garryth, the Blade of the Retribution.

There is no fluff for this mini so far but he still looks pretty cool. There have already been comparisons to Caine for the dual pistols which is understandable really. That has always been Caine's thing. Then again, who doesn't like a good gun fight? Think of it, get Caine and Garryth together, then you could have the shootout at the OK Vale. :) I couldn't resist, though perhaps I should have tried harder in this case.

Anyway, a very nice looking miniature and oddly enough much better looking than the artwork which will be gracing the cover of No Quarter #25.

In the artwork, the blades just look too ridiculously long while the actual miniature seems to be much more balanced. Overall, definitely one that I am looking forward to getting and I think he will be a nice compliment to Vyros and Kaelyssa.

Next up is the one of the nastiest sounding units for the Retribution so far, the Mage Hunter Strike Force.

"Mage hunters are expected to function in extreme circumstances, such as surviving hand-to-mouth deep in enemy territory while isolated from friendly support. At home in any environment, they learn to scavenge and improvise, and to kill without hesitation. Their first priority is always the elimination of enemy arcanists and mechanikal constructs—which they believe harm Scyrah."

Yes, that's right, a whole unit of Eiryss clones. No, I doubt they'll be quite that bad, but it sounds like they will still pack a nasty punch. I am thinking pathfinder, camouflage, advance deployment and stealth right off the bat plus some kind of bonus when attacking 'jacks and 'casters. So individually, I don't think they will be as bad as Eiryss... but there are six of them in a unit.

And as if a couple of units of Mage Hunters wasn't enough, now you can throw in the Mage Hunter Commander to lend a hand.

"Veteran teams led by senior commanders are well versed in advanced Retribution techniques. Slipping past the outer defenses of an enemy base, they fire bolts through intervening walls to kill without a trace. Working alongside other soldiers in the Retribution military, these teams apply similar methods to erase vital targets before they can even join battle."

I am thinking that this guy will have all of the perks of the Strike Force (pathfinder, camouflage, etc.) and he will be able to use phantom bolt as well. That last sentence is kind of scary though. "...these teams apply similar methods to erase vital targets..." Does that mean that he can give a unit the ability to shot a phantom bolt? That might be a little over the top, but we'll find out soon enough.

"While Retribution handlers endeavor to train soulless as soldiers, some are destined to serve another function. Energy flows sent to destroy Retribution soldiers are siphoned into the body of the soulless. If they siphon too much it prompts complete organ failure. Heart and lungs burst from hostile energy pouring into the soulless, while leaving those allies around him untouched."

I love that they have included this part of the fluff in the army. For those of you not in the know, the Soulless are basically what the Iosians are becoming. As Scyrah gets weaker and weaker, more of the Soulless are born instead of Iosians. As for the abilities, it sounds like maybe they might be able to cancel spells that target a nearby unit. Not quite sure how that would work but it sounds like a pretty cool twist.

"Battle mage magisters manipulate invisible energies to tear an enemy limb from limb or to haul weighty machinery around like pieces on a game board. The massive arcanika gauntlets they wear not only serve as conduits for their powers, but can deliver tremendous crushing blows and send opponents flying."

This one kind of caught me by surprise. Featured on the cover of the Retribution forcebook, I figured that this character was going to be another 'caster but that is definitely not the case. Instead, this one sounds like it is going to be some kind of a close combat bruiser. In addition to a high strength, I expect that this one will also have the ability to either slam or throw his opponents which is a pretty crazy for a small base model.

"Nayl is one of the soulless, destined to stand forever apart from his people, an uncomfortable reminder of the doom awaiting Scyrah and all of Ios. At rest Nayl seems empty, yet a blade in his hand moves with a will of its own, expressing echoes of emotions. Nayl’s trainers prepared him from youth to serve as an arcane vortex when he at last perishes, striking against the Retribution’s enemies even as death consumes him."

Nayl is another interesting twist since he is a Soulless character. I am going to guess that he will be a weapon master and have multiple wounds to make him a little more survivable since it seems like he will be most effective against the enemy warcaster when he becomes an "arcane vortex". Sounds like that will probably be some kind of area effect that either sucks up focus or maybe acts like a short term mage blight. Could be really nasty and do both! Sounds really nasty but I suspect that if he does do something like this then it will effect all models within the area instead of just enemy models, making positioning a little tricky with him.

"Ghost snipers are specialized and secretive hunter-killers employed ostensibly to help patrol the borders by employing powerful rifles to bring death to hapless intruders who wander into their sights. Many were already sympathetic to the Retribution while others seek profit and a chance to exercise their skills abroad. These killers stand ready to aim their formidable rifles at the enemies of the Retribution."

Elven snipers with big, freaking rifles. Never mind bows or crossbows. Nope, these guys just bring a gun instead. Very cool idea IMO. Probably will have at least pathfinder and camouflage, plus I think that it will have the sniper ability like the Widowmakers. Then there is the sight. I imagine that having some equivalent to eyeless sight with that wouldn't be out of the question but I think that might just be wishful thinking on my part. Either way, it is a cool model and sounds like a nice addition to the army.

"Even the most masterfully crafted myrmidon requires repair and support, particularly after the rigors of battle. Arcanists are seasoned mechanics with a broad working knowledge of arcanika that allows them to piece together shattered and broken hardware to get even a mostly ruined myrmidon working again. Their expertise also allows them to lend subtle arcane power to push these machines past their normal operational limits."

For me, this was a sign as to just how much PP was looking at packing into this book. How often to people really field mechanics and here the Iosians are with one available right off the bat. I don't know how useful they will be but it is good to see PP doing everything they can to make this book equal to all of the future army books for the established factions. Of course it also says that they can help push the myrmidons beyond their limits but the question is how? Given my own non-existent experience with mechanics (ah yes, the joy of Cryx), I am not sure how this will translate in game terms but it will be cool to see.

"Invictor captains are veterans who have endured long years of service under merciless superiors. All Invictors are extensively drilled and trained to take part in complex coordinated actions, and this is particularly true of the veterans chosen to accompany each captain. Relying on this discipline, Invictor officers can deliver devastating concentrated fire at unprecedented range."

Hmmm... Sounds like this guy will give the unit CRA which is kind of an odd ability to have an officer add. Again, this is an aspect of the game that I am not that familiar with (Ranged attacks? What are those?) but it will be interesting to see just how he buffs the unit.

"Sentinel captains will commit any action that will bring honor and glory to the order and thereby to House Nyarr. The Sentinel discipline is the one most often chosen by heirs of House Nyarr's bloodline, for it exemplifies Dawnguard virtues. Banner bearers carry aloft in imperishable metal the oaths by which they live as a visible reminder to all their men of their purpose."

As with the Invictor unit officer and standard, I am not sure just what these guys will do. The fluff doesn't really provide many hints beyond the fact that it is an officer and a standard bearer. The first line almost sounds like it might make them fearless but with the lack of fearless minis in Mark II, I don't think that this will be the case. Hmmm... Looks like another wait and see with this one.

And there you have it! Lots of minis will be coming out over the end of this year and the beginning of the next to get them caught up but it does seem like PP will be staggering their releases, a move that is doubtless easier on them and definitely easier on everyone's wallet. Overall, I am really looking forward to getting the official stats in NQ so that I can try these guys out. I definitely like the overall feel of the army as it is much more of a military structure than I find Cryx to have plus it is something new. The other true militaries in the Iron Kingdoms (Khador and Cygnar) are both very rich in their fluff and their rules but I really like the idea of trying something totally different. But more on that in the next Dispatch after I get a few games under my belt...

And Now For Something Completely Different...

The next new release has nothing to do with Warmachine or Hordes... well, not directly at least. Back in issue #10 of No Quarter, PP released rules for what amounted to their own version of Bloodbowl. The main difference was Bloodbowl was played by humans (more or less) while Grind was played only with 'jacks.

An interesting idea but it was not something that I ever wanted to get into. The 'jacks are expensive enough to field just for Warmachine without getting more of them to paint up in Grind team colors. Well, it looks like all that is going to change in October with the release of the Grind board game. Here is the blurb about it...

"Suspended just above a lake of seething magma, this flame-scorched arena is ground zero for the most brutal sport ever created—Grind! Here 10-ton, ash-spewing, steam-powered robots called steamjacks fight to move a giant, spiked ball into the other team’s goal. Using every weapon in their arsenal, these steamjacks slam, smash, and crush their way through the opposition as they tirelessly slug it out for the title.

The Destructodome is the battlefield for two rival teams of armored metal warriors: the Iron Storm and the Steel Fury. With their eyes on the prize these two teams will stop at nothing to own the blistering field, so pack your playbook with cunning maneuvers, loadout your team with devastating weaponry, and get ready to stake your claim to glory.

Your strategy must be merciless. Your resolve, indestructible. In Grind, only victory can quench the burning fury within these unstoppable machines.

The Grinder is about to drop. Stoke your fire and brace for battle!"

This sounds cool enough to be interesting, but then you look at the back of the box.

Yes folks, that's right. The 'jacks are now made out of plastic. As if that wasn't enough, they also have interchangeable weapons. Admittedly there are basically just two forces to choose from for how (Cygnar and Khador) but even so they have got me interested! No idea on the price yet but once I find out, I'll be sure to pass it along!

The Top Five

This is a new segment that I am thinking about making a regular part of the Dispatch depending on how well it is received. Why? Well, why not? So without further ado...

The Top Five Things That Drive Me Nuts About Privateer Press

#5. They made Monpoc collectible. Yes, I'm still annoyed by this.

#4. With all of the different books over the years, the rules have become incredibly clear, easy to interpret, and never contradict themselves. (Nope, there's no sarcasm in that sentence.)

#3. They keep coming out with new models for different factions that look so cool that I want to buy them all!

#2. As if my wallet wasn't screaming for mercy already, they had to come out with a Grind board game complete with plastic minis.

and the #1 thing that drives me nuts about Privateer Press...

#1. They painted the Retribution 'jacks so that they look like they are made out of marshmallow, but still managed to make them look cool enough that I really want to get them all.

Battle Report
Taking the field with the Butcher

This past weekend I finally managed to get in a small game of Warmachine against Dylan, one of our local Cygnar players. Normally, I would play Cryx but at the time I just wanted to play a beatstick-style army list so I wanted to dust off the Trolls to try out some new tactics with them. The only problem was that I couldn't find my copy of Primal and there was no way that I would go to the store to game without a copy of the rules for reference. With that in mind, I decided to break out the oldest Warmachine minis that I have, dating from back in 2003 when the game first came out.

I didn't even have a gaming group back then but I saw the Khador miniatures and loved the look of them, so I bought a copy of Prime and the Khador battlebox. As luck would have it, I also received a free Butcher mini as part of a special promotion and I was inspired. Looking like some kind of a steam powered Space Marine, I thought that the Butcher was the best thing since sliced bread and started thinking up army lists that I could build with him. Time went by and my Warmachine was put away for years.

When I finally decided to get back into Warmachine years later, I decided to focus on Cryx instead as I had been told that Khador was the most represented faction locally (though all the players said they were Russian instead of Khadoran). I never got rid of those minis but never expected to use them... until last Saturday night.

To keep things simple, we only played a 350 point game. Neither of us had played in a couple of weeks so a nice quick refresher sounded perfect. Dylan broke out Stryker with a Ironclad and a Lancer, a Gun Mage Adept, and Junior with a Hunter, while on my side of the table was the Butcher, two Juggernauts, a Manhunter, and a unit of Widowmakers.

The die was cast and amazingly enough, I actually won the roll! I had a feeling that this game would all be about who was able to draw first blood so naturally I choose to go first. Now I had originally thought about making this a full battle report but as I forgot to take pictures after the first turn (can you say oops?), I'm just going to recap the highlights instead.

Of all of the units in the game, the award for LVP (least valuable player) would have to go to the Ironclad. While it was facing off against two Juggernauts and the Butcher, Dylan decided to do the tremor special attack. With a Juggernaut as his target, there was virtually no way that he could possibly miss which would put both of my 'jacks and my 'caster into a very dangerous position. It sounded so good... until those two dice both came up with 1's. "It's a swing and a miss! Strike three and he is outta there!"

That same turn, Stryker popped his feat to try to protect his beleaguered 'jacks from the inevitable onslaught but this is the Butcher we are talking about, who was the MDP (most devastating player). Charging forward, he swung Lola down with the force that only pure madness could grant to a mortal man, destroying half of the boxes on the heavy 'jack. With an enraged bellow, he heaved Lola over his head again and smashed the Ironclad to the ground, crippling it with his second blow. That's right, two hits from the Butcher against an Ironclad with armor 23 and it was out of the game. Now that's what you call brutal damage.

For the icing on the cake, the next turn the Butcher was able to charge the Lancer which had come over to take a swing at him. Charging while you are in melee... it's twisted and wrong but man did it let me demolish that Lancer!

Even with those two massive blows dealt to the forces of Cygnar, in the end the Butcher's rage left him vulnerable. Stryker managed to get a charge lane and with two mighty blows of his own was able to silence the madman. Overall it was an awesome game and it was nice to have a 'caster that I could just point at the enemy and say "Kill". No matter which faction I might focus on, the Butcher is one 'caster that I am never going to part with.

The Parting Shot...

And that's another one in the "books"! I have tried to add in a few new segments to the Dispatch with this one so please take a minute to tell me what you think. I enjoy writing these but I also enjoy sharing all of this with you guys so any feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading and until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!


Dylan Yach said...


I'm in it!


Great report man, I know what you mean about MonPoc! lol.

Let me know when you want to get another game in, I got too many damn models now lol.


Snowman said...

You are not kidding, my friend. What are you at now, 3000 points of Cygnar? That's just insane! :)

Dylan Yach said...

OH almost forgot, I have a few pics of the openning with Butcher with his 2 Destroyers and the unit of widowmakers, and I have a few pics of my Jr. just because I couldn't get over the fact that I painted him lol.

Here's the pics:

there ya go!

Anonymous said...

We need to get in a game of 40k. You'll have to remember to bring your Waagh when you head this way on vacation.
As far as the blog goes, good job, man! How about an article on what you think the current edition of 'nids need in their next codex?

Snowman said...

I definitely agree and it might happen within the next ten years... maybe...

As for the article, it wouldn't be a bad idea except that I have not played any 40k since back in January and that was with the Orks. I had put the 'nids on the shelf for a while after having my Carnifex taken out by a Kommando with a slugga. There is just something fundamentally wrong about that.

Anonymous said...

Well, there will always be those fluke rolls...
The big rumor is that the 'nids will get a Trygon for 40k. I'm hoping for some plastic gargoyles and a cut to the point cost for hormagaunts. And maybe some reason to actually field a Biovore for once.