Saturday 28 May 2022

Deadzone: Battle for Magnetar City - Scour

We played out our 2nd campaign game last night with Veer-myn once again taking on the Forge Fathers in Scour. This missions sees points gaining for bringing back items to a cache next to your starting area which score 2 VP's per item, in addition no VP's are scored for kills until turn 4. The campaign special rules saw Plague Victims potentially spawning at random on the board at the end of each turn, these would then attack the closest non-Plague model.

We both played the same lists as last week but Mr T remembered to put out all his models this week so the Forge Fathers started a little stronger than last time.

1 * Master Creeper + Smoke Grenade
5 * Stalker
2 * Nightmare
1 * Night Terror with Spitter
2 * Malignus - Heavy Ray Gun
1 * Malignus - Chem Spitter
2 * Creeper

1 * Chief Brokkr
3 * Brokkr
2 * Militia
1 * Brakkarim - Hailstorm Cannon
1 * Magma Issilgarim
1 * Forge Guard
1 * Iron Ancestor - Twin Hailstorm & Heavy Hammer

As it all got rather exciting in the middle rounds I forgot to get any pictures but the rats started well by claiming multiple items on the first round due to their superior speed and the Scout moves of the Creepers. Scout allows you to take a free Sprint action after setup, as the Creepers have a Sprint of 3 cubes this means they can move up-to 6 cubes from their starting place by the end of the first turn which is a long way on an 8 by 8 cube board.

The rats did manage to kill some dwarfs on the first turn but as these did not score VP's it wasn't as beneficial as it could have been. There is a balancing act in this mission around to kill and make life harder for your opponent or to leave the models alive and so you can score VP's later on.

At the end of turn 1 we got 2 Plague Victims and one charged into my Master Creep and wounded her. I moved the Night Terror in to help my leader out and a series of bad rolls over a couple of turns saw the Plague Victim take out both the Terror and my leader. The Victim was finally killed at the end of turn 5 by shooting.

The middle stages of the game saw the dwarfs killing multiple rats with the rats taking out the dwarfs as well. Most of this happened before turn 4 so neither side scored any VP's for the slaughter. We also had some more Plague Victims spawning who piled in and helped with the killing.

By turn 5 I only had 1 Creeper and 2 Stalkers left with the Forge Fathers having the powerful Iron Ancestor, Chief Brokkr & Brakkarim left on the table. My rats wisely decided to lay low for the last couple of turns as they had a decent lead in VP's due to the items claimed early on. 

As we completed the fifth turn the Veer-myn had held on for a 15-6 victory, it would have been much closer if VP's for kills had counted.

All the dead rats

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Painting: High Contrast Style

As I've been posting some of my Carnevale miniatures recently I had a few people asking about the technique I was using to paint up the models. I thought it would be useful to write up a quick guide I could refer to so I didn't need to keep typing it up.

The method is very straight forwards and works on the basic theory that the steeper the gradient of dark to light you apply the contract paints over the more the highlighting effect stand out. The recommended method for using contrast paints is to put them over a white / bone undercoat and then to let the paint do all the work. I'd tried that method and wasn't entirely happy with it. I've also used the contrast paints over the top of a normal base colour as a kind of ink wash, that works well and gives a nice bright look. This method is more of a grim or dulled down style which I also really like the look of.

Most of the time is actually spent getting the model ready to paint so I start with a blank undercoat and then work up through progressively lighter greys.

The last dry brush is with white. The model is then ready to paint. Contrast paints will manage to colour even the darkest surface a bit so most colours will even show on black or near black. 
At this stage I just pick the colours out and work through the model until they are all done, it's surprising quick as you are essentially just filling in the areas with the colour required. Once I've put all the colours on I then apply the metal's which I normally shade with a black ink. I don't put any ink or further highlights on the model.

On these models I also used some rust paint from Army Painter to dirty up the armour. For the metal parts I try to almost dry brush the larger areas and leave some of the black to grey base showing so I don't get a large area of bright metal.

In order to make the most of this method you need plenty of areas with raised detail to catch the lighter paints, but it does also work with larger models with flat areas as you can see on the Forge Father model from Deadzone. I also chose to use Gryph-Charger Grey on the weapons to give a metallic feel rather than an actual metallic paint.  

Here are a few more examples of models I've painted using this method.

Sunday 22 May 2022

Deadzone: Battle for Magnetar City - Patrol

 This week the Deadzone summer global campaign kicked off, The Battle for Magnetar City. The website is being used to set the scene and also collect the results so we can see which faction is winning in each district. Each week a special condition will be available to add to you game, this week it was a scavenger that needed to be captured. The scavenger would be randomly place on the board at the end of Turn 1 and would be worth 4 VP's when captured, as we played at 200 points a total of 20 VP's would be needed to win. We played the Patrol mission which has 4 control points ( 2 * 2 VP's & 2 * 1 VP's).

We'd not played Deadzone for a little while but the rules are so straight forwards it didn't take long to get back into the swing of things. Mr T brought his Forge Fathers and I went with the Veer-myn list I intend to take to a competition later in the year.

Whilst checking the lists I noticed that the Forge Fathers decided to play on hard mode by leaving a Militia-dwarf in the box. They went with a reasonably elite force of hard hitters with plenty of melee power in the form of four Brokkr's

1 * Chief Brokkr
3 * Brokkr
2 * Militia - only 1 used
1 * Brakkarim - Hailstorm Cannon
1 * Magma Issilgarim
1 * Forge Guard
1 * Iron Ancestor - Twin Hailstorm & Heavy Hammer

I've discussed my list before but essentially it's got a good amount of anti-armour and fast units, so should do well against slower and more armoured opponents.

1 * Master Creeper + Smoke Grenade
5 * Stalker
2 * Nightmare
1 * Night Terror with Spitter
2 * Malignus - Heavy Ray Gun
1 * Malignus - Chem Spitter
2 * Creeper

One thing that hadn't occurred to me before was how full my deployment zone would be with a large force, against an enemy with plentiful indirect fire this could be an issue. I will need to have some practice around setting up to avoid being wiped out on the starting line.

The Forge Fathers of course had no such issues as they only had nine models, the only minor issue is that the Iron Ancestor being size 4 fills a cube on it's own.

My plan in general was to rush up onto the objectives with my cheap Stalkers and then hope to kill off enough FF's to get over the 20 VP's. My my speedy troops I also hoped to be able to pickup the 4 VP's for the scavenger.

As luck would have it the Scavenger popped into existence in a square adjacent to my forces.

He was then promptly hit by an 8-train riding Nightmare and died in one round.

Obligatory 8-train

The rest of the game saw the Veer-myn whittle down the Forge Fathers who having started with a lower model count suffered with each loss. 

The Veer-myn did lose a couple of Stalkers and a Nightmare but mostly they managed to stay alive and keep scoring points on the objectives.

In the end the Veer-myn ran away 25-5 VP's at the end of turn 4 with most of the Forge Fathers being killed they had been reduced to four models left.

Things I took away from this is that the Veer-myn list seems pretty nasty, but it's hard to tell after only one game. I did forget the scout move on the Creepers which would have seem them on objectives on Turn 1, so I need to remember that in the future. The Forge Fathers did suffer a little from low model count so an extra body would have helped, but I'm not sure it would have changed the outcome.

Saturday 14 May 2022

Carnevale: Wings in the Night

The second gang box I purchased with the release of the Blood on the Water book was the Airborne Cannibals set. This contains five Strigoi all of whom can fly, in a game with a lot of vertical movement the ability to ignore the need to climb along and up terrain seems like a great advantage.

This is a 'Complete Gang' box so contains a Leader, 2 Heroes and 2 Henchmen (children), so it can be fielded as a legal gang coming in at only 70 Ducats.

The Leader is the Stryha Crone who likes to spend her time hanging around lamp-posts. This means she is a tall model in a true LOS game. In theory you can draw LOS to any part of the base or model, but it would seem harsh to shoot her in the light-bulb. She rather sets the tone for the rest of the models in the box with her decent Dexterity and low Protection, you want to avoid being hit and having to rely on Protection saves. Her Concealment (+2) gives her two extra Protection  dice if saving whilst in cover, but the fact she starts off with only one means it practice it didn't seem like a massive boost. Her command ability is nice if you are up against ranged opponents but with only 3 CP's to spend I doubt you will want to use it more than once.

She is more expensive than the Noble Strigoi and more fragile as well, you are paying a premium for that 15" Flight range, so it's something you want to make the most of.

The first Hero is the Strzyga who is essentially a flying Hulking Moroi, for a few more points you lose the 2 extra attack dice whilst charging but gain 1 Protection, not being Mindless, not being Crazed (costs extra life to convert Life to Will Points) and Fly, you also get to re-roll two of your attack dice. Mindless means whilst you can pickup / control objectives you cannot gain VP's for them.
Given it's only 2 points I think the choice between taking a Strzyga or a Hulk is a no-brainer, the Strzyga wins out easily for me. You could run a list with both these big boys in, especially now you have an extra cheap Henchman unlock choice.

The Strige is the second hero and one I'm not so keen on, at 16 Ducats she feels a bit fragile for the cost. Having only 9 Life Points with Protection 1 means she will not stick around. Again with her Dexterity of 5 and Move 5 with Flight she wants to stay out of LOS as much as possible and ambush her enemies.

Lastly we have the Harpies, who are children who have received the Vampires blessing. At only 6 Ducats you can't expect much from them but they are a cheap and fast Hench-child unlock so you could use them in a list which concentrates on powerful Hero choices. Given how good the Common Strigoi is though, I'm not sure if that would be the best way to go. I can see a use for the Harpy for picking up objectives to take to another character who can score. You could also use them to tie down a model for a turn as throw-away chaff, but with only 6 LP's they probably won't last more than a turn.
I'm waiting on a pack of bases so haven't been able to base them both up yet.

We played another game this week and both took forces themed around the new models I'd completed for The Guild and Strigoi.

Playing the Strigoi I went with:

1 * Stryha Crone
1 * Strzyga
1 * Strige
1 * Highborn Servant
1 * Common Strigoi
1 * Thrall with xbow
1 * Harpy
1 * Flashbang

Mr T went with the following:

1 * Harbourmaster
2 * Fishermen
1 * Baba Yaga
1 * Shipwright
2 * Mariner

I won't do a blow by blow but will give some thoughts on the new Strigoi. In general the Strigoi are a high risk faction, you constantly need to balance spending life to gain extra dice to kill against retaining enough life points to not be wiped out. The flying versions double down on that playstyle with the low protection values the models have. 

To offset that fragility you have decent Dexterity and flight. The tactic I tried to use and one which is made easier by Flight is to mob one enemy model at a time. Models which would normally be pretty safe against an opponent that needs to climb up and down and then walk along (or risk a long jump) can more easily be setup for multiple charges by enemies that can fly straight to them. 

The Crone has a movement radius of 15" and the Strzyga and Stirge can manage 12" & 15" if given an extra action point, this is more than enough to cover most charges given the size of the playing area. You also don't need LOS to initiate a charge as you just move into contact, so hiding on a roof out of LOS is the ideal scenario. It's also worth keeping in mind the bonus for starting >3" above your target and getting into combat, it doesn't need to be a jump.

So in an ideal world your flyers will move into range of an enemy but out of LOS so they cannot be shot and then launch a series of charges until that enemy is dead. In a game with a low model count then losing one Hero or strong Henchman can put a real dent in your plans.

In the game we played I did manage to stay mostly in cover and swarmed a Fisherman who died in one turn and also took out the Shipwright in one turn. Being able to move from rooftop to rooftop against an enemy that was happier at street level gave a good advantage in the positioning party of the game.
You do I think need a more durable ground force to go with the fliers and in fact my Common Strigoi and Highborn Servant taking the mobile objective is what won the game, but the fliers made sure they could get away.

Next week we are taking a bit of a break from Carnevale to take part in the Deadzone global campaign. This is a Mantic run event that sees players playing games and uploading results which should then have an impact on the lore of the Warpath universe. So time for Mr T to pull out his Forge Fathers and for me to give those new Veer-Myn a try.