Archive for the ‘Warmachine and Hordes’ Category


I checked the SMOGCON website yesterday and it told me there were 54 days to go. While I am quite excited about attending what is currently the only tournament I make the committment for, I am hopelessly underprepared. I’ve barely played Warmahordes since the last SMOGCON and my plans to up my painting have come to nothing – in fact my painting standard has dipped since last year.
Although I’ve left this late there is still time to get myself in reasonable shape. I’ve decided to set myself three targets following on from the experience last year:

1)  Enter a Warmahordes tournament which will require rehearshing three lists.

2) Learn High Command and play a couple of tournaments in this lower key system.

3) Prepare a couple of entries for the P3 competition but avoid making this the focus of the weekend.

Thinking about the fairly tight time scale and my limited preparation time, I’ve decided to go back to familiar territory and concentrate on Trolls. Reading Battle College and the PP forums the Troll meta has evolved since I last studied them. Particularly noteworthy is the improvement in choices for Gunnbjorn via Dozer and Smigg and Highwaymen, the minor buff the Mountain King recieved and finally Calandra’s Elemental list which seems to be favourite. I’m also quite interested in doing a Runeshaper list with Doomshaper but I’m far more familiar with Grim who I’ve enjoyed playing. Gunnbjorn will of course be my number one and I will consider which two of the other three I use nearer the time. I’ll paint the new models I need for these lists and if any look promising they will become my  P3 entries. Of course it goes without saying I’ll be using Trolls in High Command too, and just for a giggle I’ll use the same three Warlocks in this system too. 🙂

Without further ado I dug out Gunnbjorn for a 35 point this evening…….



Another Deathclock game this time against pMorghoul. This time we were more generous with the clock taking an hour. This made for a more relaxed game but forced an exciting ending.

In this game I kept pretty much the same list I’m practising and across the table was a Bronzeback, Titan and a few heavy infantry. Pretty much a staple Skorne list but I was pleased not to see Kharn. In the early exchanges my Woldstalkers made reasonable progress down the flanks while Ghetorix and the Stalker held the middle ground. The Skorne list was tier 4 and this allowed it to gain extra movement toward the objectives so I gave away 3 control points early. This put the pressure on and I had to contest objectives to avoid a fast whitewash. I somewhat reluctantly pushed most of the force at the objectives but managed to get Ghetorix in a decent position to have a pop at Mourghoul.

Unfortunately I was not aware of Mourghoul’s feat and this stopped Kromac from being able to force Ghetorix into making the attacks needed for the kill. To add insult to injury Mourghoul slipped away in his turn using Parry and moved into a dangerous mid-table position. However by this time the clock has nearly run down and the Skorne only had 3 seconds on the clock. Kromac has 5 minutes and this proved just enough for him to beast out and get into Morghoul for the win.

A close game that benefited in the latter stages from the Deathclock. In this game I learnt the importance of getting bodies on the objectives and I have sat the heros of the game were my Swamp Gobbers who successfully tied up the Bronzeback and stopped it wrecking Ghetorix. Their defence of 15 is a real pain to deal with!


Played a 50pt Deathclock game against Legion this weekend. I played the Kromac list I would like to make my staple with :





Stones with Keeper


2 x Woldstalkers

Lord of Feast

Across the table was Thagrosh and assorted nasty Legion filth. We played the first scenario from the Steamroller 2015 pack but the game was decided by ‘Caster kill.

In the early action the forces closed and a pair of Legion Deathstalkers showed their value picking off the best part of a unit of Woldstalkers. On the other side of the board a unit of Woldstalkers, backed up by the Lord of the Feast, returned the favour knocking out a unit of Swordsmen. In the middle of the table the heavies were squaring off for the scrap that would likely decide the game. The first couple of turns passed very quickly as we were both keen not to run down our clocks – the pace of the game was good. 

In the following couple of turns the Legion initially took the upper hand getting into the scoring zone and leaving the Circle beasts tangled up on the edge. However, a viscous counter attack lead by the Ghetorix saw a Carnivean taken down and a Seraph and Scythean beaten up. Here I made a fatal error though. Kromac moved into the back arc of the Scythean a fair distance away. It didn’t occur to me that Kromac could have used reach to put in the final few boxes of damage needed to take th Scythesn down and of course he was now in reach range for the Scythean to turn around and get some Attacks in. Sadly for Kromac this is exactly what happened and a potential winning situation turned into a bloodbath for the hapless Circle Warlock.

It was a good game played at excellent pace thanks to the clock. At the end I had about 10 minutes of my hour left and this would have been enough to secure the win if Kromac had not messed up. My opponent also forgot to use Thagrosh’s feat to bring the Carnivean back so we were both guilty of an apalling howler. All good fun though and looking forward to more timed turn practice in the future.

We departed SMOGCON about 4ish on the last day. Overall I had a good weekend and I will probably be back again in 2016. The most positive aspects for me were the PP lectures, the higher profile P3 painting competition and simply getting away for three days in good company. On the downside I missed the non PP systems, was annoyed with some aspects of the painting competition and didn’t play as many games as I should have done. The latter grumble is entirely my fault and I intend to practise more thoroughly for next year and get stuck into a tournament or two.

The painting competition is something I’ve given a fair amount of thought to and I’ve listened carefully to feedback. Mark felt the entries lacked high level techniques like NMM and freehand. His winning Terminus had these aspects so these are techniques I will practise for next year. My freehand is shocking so Ken suggested buying some ‘how to draw fantasy books’ and I’ve since done exactly that. I’ll post some pics of any work I manage to get round to doing. I’m also going to try exchanging some WIP with Mark over the coming months to see if I can raise the bar on my work – hope you’re still up for that if you’re out there dude!

I  had a chance to get some feedback from Ron Kruzie the PP Studio Director. Ron felt some aspects of my models were underpainted, for example straps and belts. Personally I like that style to draw attention to the more striking features of the model, but I had this feedback last year too so clearly it is an issue, at least in painting competitions. Ron also said that some of my zenithal lighting was not quite right. He suggested picking a direction the light comes from and thinking very carefully about how that would  illuminate the figure. Finally, he felt in some places another highlight would benefit my models. In addition i picked up from Ron that Windsor and Newton Series 7 brushes are his first choice (I’ve ordered some to try alongside my Rafaels) that attention to detail in telling a story is essential in a diorama, and that he uses a lot of two brush blending with saliva to do the PP in-house style. I’ll need to find out more about this.

Lots to think about. I’m feeling quite enthused to take this learning forward ….. Just need to find the time!

The final day of SMOGCON was perhaps the most important to me due to the judging of the inaugural P3 UK competition. I had been keeping an eye on the cabinet over the weekend and there was some nice stuff in it but nothing really spectacular. I thought I might have a chance so I entered all of the categories including the Diorama category that was the leanest. On the final morning I put a few finishing touches to my models and took them down to the cabinet. I was a bit surprised to find they were starting to judge the entries even though there were 30minutes to the deadline! Nonetheless I got my stuff in, and knowing Mark had still not put his stuff in, warned the team manning the cabinet there might be others to come. Sure enough Mark turned up pretty much on the deadline and pulled the model he had been working on all weekend out his bag. It looked ok but he then pulled out a Terminus model that he had previously done that looked fantastic. For a moment I selfishly hoped he wouldn’t enter it, but had he not the whole weekend might have been a washout for him, so I was pleased he got it entered in the nick of time. It went straight to the judging table and the model immediately made an impact. Talk about cutting it fine!

I have to say I was surprised the team were making a bit of a mess of the deadline and even more surprised the judging was being done in the dingy corner of a room under poor artificial light. While I’m having moan I will also say that the entry pack had promised numerous medals that didn’t seem to appear and the diorama category seems to have been ignored entirely which is pretty bad form. On the plus side the prize money for the winners was far in excess of anything I had seen at events before. Finally, my best entry, Extreme Ghetorix was dropped and broken during the judging which didn’t down too well! To be fair the organisers were very apologetic and I did receive a fistful of vouchers to spend in the venue shop which did make up for the repair work that will be needed.

The results: As I was walking back from the shop with a bag full of new Troll and Khador stuff, I noticed people were gathering for the announcement of the winners. As the list was read out  I will admit to being disappointed I had not won anything this year, not even a medal! However, I was delighted to hear that Mark’s Terminus took the best Warrior model category and went on to win best in show. Well done that man, and for a model that he was not even going to enter! I dashed off to deliver the good news, and being the humble chap he is, Mark initially didn’t believe me. 

So, the painting competition was a bit of a washout for me, but there are important lessons for me to learn. I did manage to get 15 minutes of feedback from Rob the PP studio director which was invaluable. I’ve put a few pics below of my stuff and Mark’s winning Terminus. I’ll be commenting on what I picked up in a later post.

Late in the afternoon of the second day I grabbed a game against a Skorne player. The chap was a nice guy from Norway and he was playing a Xerxes list with heavy infantry spam. It’s a type of list I have seen before but he had taken two units of Incendari.

There was a forest near the centre of the board so I decided to go with Grim Angus. We closed on each other in the initial exchanges and it look fairly even.

Unfortunately I made a big mistake not using Grim’s fear to stop charges and with the Skorne heavy infantry I the centre of the table sporting weapon master I lost the Mountain King and Bomber very quickly. Another loss but it was good to play a pleasant over-seas opponent. 

In the evening we went for a curry (and a damn good one too!). Before coming back to hear all about the new Gargantuan’s release. There was a really good atmosphere in the room as the PP guys introduced the video. The new Gargantuans were much better than the new Colossals. The Desert Hydra in particular caught the imagination of the audience and it looks like a really exciting new addition for the Skorne.

I had originally planned to bring a Convergence force to SMOGCON, and although my force is base coated and based, I eventually decided on my old favourite the Trolls instead. Looking around I wasn’t the only one! It seems that Trolls are the flavour of the month so it was no surprise to find another Troll player across the table for my first game.

We decided to play 50 points and feeling a bit rusty I put Gunnbjorn on the table with the Mountain King. The other guy had a more up to date Troll list that included a unit of Highway Men lead by eAngus. I was interested to see how these played as I love the models.

Feeling a bit nervous I just rushed my Trolls forward and popped Gunnbjorn’s feat hoping to weather the storm. Unfortunately the Mountain King was taken down by a buffed unit of Pyg Burrowers which was going to make the game an uphill struggle. The Highway Men looked quite tasty with their combined ranged  attack and having two ranged attacks made them look even more dangerous. By the end of turn 2 things were looking pretty dire do I risked putting Gunnbjorn in a crazy mid board position in order to get a shot on eAngus. Although the shot worked it was no surprise when Gunny was taken down in the next turn.

Not the best start but I was pleased to have got a game in against a pleasant opponent. It was also good to see the Highway Men in action and they are a unit I would like to add to my collection.

I should mention at this point that I also managed to do some ninja shopping picking up a shed load of Khador and Cryx models at a very reasonable price. An unexpected bonus to day one 🙂