Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Fundamentals part 3 - What to do to reliably hit your target

This article is going to cover when too boost and when not too boost, how to counter high defense models and over all statistical information to on what you need to hit. This is based off of my normal practices and would love to hear any counter arguments! Please post if you have any.

Lets start this off with a true evaluation of the statistical information. The following is going to a be a wall of numbers, please skip it if you just want my conclusions. This is for the people who want to follow the process or come up with their own conclusions. If you are skipping it drop down until you hit the END OF NUMBERS section.

Base Statistics Averages:
1D6 = 3.5
2d6 = 7
3d6 = 10.5 (when rolling in a game I base most of my assumptions on 10 aiming high is usually a bad idea)
4d6 = 14
5d6 = 17.5

Base Statistics with +2 effect averages:
1d6 = 5.5
2d6 = 9
3d6 = 12.5
4d6 = 16
5d6 = 19.5

Base Statistics with Manifest Destiny/Sign and Portents/Pin Cushion averages:
1d6 = 4.47
2d6 = 8.45
3d6 = 12.24
4d6 = 15.93
5d6 = 19.56

Anyone who puts much effort into seeing stats can get roughly close to these numbers. Now lets put this into a % format.

The # followed by the % when rolling 2D6

2 = 2.78%    or  2+   = 100%
3 = 5.56%    or  3+   = 92.23%
4 = 8.33%    or  4+   = 91.67%
5 = 11.11%  or  5+   = 83.34%
6 = 13.89%  or  6+   = 72.23%
7 = 16.67%  or  7+   = 58.34%
8 = 13.89%  or  8+   = 41.67%
9 = 11.11%  or  9+   = 27.78%
10 = 8.33%  or  10+ = 16.67%
11 = 5.56%  or  11+ = 8.34%
12 = 2.78%

The # followed by the % when rolling 3D6

3 = .46%         or  3+   = 100%
4 = 1.39%       or  4+   = 99.74%
5 = 2.78%       or  5+   = 98.35%
6 = 4.63%       or  6+   = 95.57%
7 = 6.94%       or  7+   = 90.94%
8 = 9.72%       or  8+   = 84%
9 = 11.57%     or  9+   = 74.28%
10 = 12.50%   or  10+ = 62.71%
11 = 12.50%   or  11+ = 50.21%
12 = 11.57%   or  12+ = 37.71%
13 = 9.72%     or  13+ = 26.14%
14 = 6.94%     or  14+ = 16.42%
15 = 4.63%     or  15+ = 9.48%
16 = 2.78%     or  16+ = 4.85%
17 = 1.39%     or  17+ = 1.85%
18 = .46%

Common Mat vs. Def

Mat 6 vs. Def 10 = 91.7% with 13.9% critical chance, boosted 99.5% with 44% critical chance
Mat 6 vs. Def 12 = 72.2% with 11.1% critical chance, boosted 95.4% with 39.8% critical chance
Mat 6 vs. Def 14 = 41.7% with 8.3% critical chance, boosted 83.8% with 33.8% critical chance
Mat 6 vs. Def 16 = 16.7% with 5.6% critical chance, boosted 62.5% with 26.4% critical chance

Mat 7 vs. Def 10 = 97.2% with 13.9% critical chance, boosted 99.5% with 44% critical chance
Mat 7 vs. Def 12 = 83.3% with 11.1% critical chance, boosted 98.1% with 42.6% critical chance
Mat 7 vs. Def 14 = 58.3% with 8.3% critical chance, boosted 90.7% with 38% critical chance
Mat 7 vs. Def 16 = 27.8% with 5.6% critical chance, boosted 74.1% with 29.6% critical chance


Understanding your army and what will hit what.

First thing I'd like to bring up is do no be overwhelmed by the numbers. There is definitely a lot to digest if you want to balance the game and everything as a whole. Luckily your not designing and balancing the game.
Lets tackle this by a simple process.

  1. Look at the common Mat/Rat of your models. Typically you'll find a theme. Most armies have a low Mat for non elite troops 5/6 range. Elite troops are in the Mat 7/8 range.
  2. Look at the common Def of the armies you fight against. If you play in a large meta this can be harder, but typically you can find a trend inside of opposing factions. Warcaster/warlocks have common trends in their Def. The backfield casters with high amount of support spells are Def 14, mid line casters that have a hybrid spell lists are in the Def 15/16 range, aggressive/assassin casters are Def 16/17.
  3. Identify what your non elite troops can hit reliably (in this case I am referring to 50% or higher). Some factions can buff MAT/RAT. Factions with this available (Ex. Trolls - Felcaller / Cygnar - Rangers / Menoth - Choir) can turn non elite into elite troops.
  4. Now you need to identify how your faction hits high defense targets. The typical methods are Mat/rat buffs, elite troops, lots of boostable models and aoe attacks.
  5. Make sure lists you build can handle high defense targets. If your building 2 lists for a steamroller, make sure one of them can reliably hit Def 16 or higher.
Boosts! When to do it and when not too.

Being able to boost attacks is amazing. You can reliably hit Def 16 with a Mat 6 model if you can boost it. Always boost to get your attack if you fall below 50% chance to hit. The exception is if your trying for a Hail Mary and you can't mathematically kill the model unless you can take more attacks.

Whenever you need that 7+ on dice to hit I would also boost the too hit in a charge scenario. This is because I've committed either a fury/focus or gained a free charge. You don't want the charge to go to waste and the chance too miss is high for my taste. When talking non charge attacks this really comes down too how many times you need to hit the model to kill it? Will crippling do? 

Boosting for damage is also a commonly debated topic. Though this is off topic of the subject matter, but I'll cover it quickly since it can be directly affected by how hard it is too hit. I'll boost anything that is -4 on dice rolls, most of the time on -3 to my dice rolls and almost never on my -2 to dice rolls. This is all contingent on my too hit roll. If I have to boost my to hit roll then I'll boost all damage rolls vs. the target unless their is 0 or + modifier to the damage roll. I'll even boost that roll if my too hit roll is below 60%.

The biggest no nos when boosting.
  1. Boosting to hit a model needing 5+ to hit. The exception here is if you hit the model it's a game ender or their is a on hit affect like enliven or poltergeist where you'll only get one attack so you might as well.
  2. Boosting damage rolls when you need a 6+ to hit and your at 0 or + on the damage roll.
  3. Boosting a 4+ or 5+ to hit because you've missed your last attack.
  4. Boosting damage roll on a model when you have 2 more focus/fury available and you need to boost to hit. The exception to this rule is if you are -5 or more on damage.
Hardest to hit targets and solid ways to counter them. - Going to go over the hardest culprits of high Defense jamming and solid counters.

Kayazy Assassins/Nyss Hunters - Can be very hard to kill. The best response I've had to these models is aoe attacks or incredibly high Mat troops. Usually above and beyond "elite troops." Trolls and Menoth both offer aoe attacks and high MAT models so if your list needs Kayazy to jam your opponent take your other list vs. them. In my personal experience Cygnar seems to suffer the most vs Kayazy. Minuteman and Avenger warjacks that aren't out yet will be great answers. Certain casters can offer a ranged threat too them with Caine2 and dead eyed gun mages.

Iron Flesh - This is a spell ripe for upkeep removal. Purification casters, Eyriss2 and any other dispel affects that can reliably hit high defense is the best solution. Trying to win the fight by trying to hit them can prove to be difficult. Aoe attacks are the next best thing, though only effective if you know the target will be low armor.

High Defense Warlock/Warcasters - Boostable attacks are the most reliable method that every army has availability too. One thing about Warcaster/Warlocks is you should use all methods. As players we can get deterred when attacking these models since they seem out of reach and it's true sometimes it's better to attack something you can kill to help win the scenario or protect your caster from attacks. Take these considerations in to your decision to attack them, but never let the odds stop you from throwing the dice.


Hope this helped with your list construction and help with your decision of "should I boost?" and good luck on the battlefield!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Troll Battle Wagon

I received a great gift Wednesday from my good friend Steve. He purchased me the troll battle wagon. I've been on a circle kick for awhile and felt very successful in the painting depeartment with them. When I got the Battle Wagon I struggled with the concept of moving on to Trolls again.  But my hobby ADHD kickes in. I cracked this amazing model out in 4 days. I normally don't have that much drive but I knew I wanted to paint the crew separate from the wagon and I don't like playing with incomplete models and above all I really wanted to place 5 inch pie templates that knock everything down.
My first game with the battle wagon was vs. a good friend of mine Roman. Roman brought a very nasty Vyros list that included 2 mage hunter assassins. My first shot of the game being the first  time I've ever used the wagon I got a lucky scatter onto both of them and blew them to pieces. After that beautiful display I am now left wondering if I have a new favorite model in Warmahordes.

Troll Battle Wagon Photo's
I really enjoy the look of the battle wagon, the crew have great character and the impressive cannon on top is very cool too see on the table top.

As with most of my painting I tried something new on this model. I decided to try and rust out the metal. The results worked out really well and I was quite happy with the ease in which my idea which was a variation on the technique Steve uses worked well. 
  1. I simply applied a coat of cold steel, washed it with devlun mudd. 
  2. Then applied a stippling of mecharius orange then washed it was devlun mudd again.
  3. Then I stippled vermin brown onto the mecharius orange following it up with an ogryn wash.

Get ready for some pain!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tharn Blood Trackers

Finally finished painting up my Blood Trackers.

They are easily my favorite unit Circle has because of their crazy versatility. Rules wise they are very unique with having ranged weapon master attacks something that is very uncommon in Warmahordes. This is coupled with prey, movement 7 and stealth makes them a very mobile deadly force.

The units table top performance only gets better by adding Nuala. She brings reform and quick work to a unit helping deal with the 7 inch range on their spears.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Orccon - Road to Gen Con Tournament

This last Saturday I had the opportunity to play in the Road to gencon tournament at orccon. It was 50 point tournament that hit max size of 32 people. I'd like to start by saying thanks to Robyn and Anthony for running it. It ran very smoothly.

The Crew
 I went with three of my friends Chris, Greg and Steve. Chris showed up with Cryx using his Mortenebra and Goreshade 2 lists. Greg brought Protectorate of Menoth using Severius 2 and harbinger lists. Steve brought Legion of Everblight using Kallus and Lylith 1 lists. I brought my Circle Oboros with Baldur 1 and Morvhanna.

Chris went 1 -3 loss / win / loss / loss
Greg went 2 -2 loss / win / loss / win
Steve went 3 -1 loss / win / win / win
I went 2 -2  win / loss / win / loss

The Lists
Even though I brought two lists I stuck with my Morvhanna list the entire tournament, which I had never played before. I really thought the list was strong and it showed very well in my games. Even battles I had lost were close or was one good dice roll away from winning.

Baldur the Stonecleaver (*6pts)
* Megalith (10pts)
* Woldguardian (8pts)
* Woldguardian (8pts)
Druids of Orboros (Leader and 5 Grunts) (7pts)
* Druid of Orboros Overseer (2pts)
Sentry Stone (Leader and 3 Manikins) (3pts)
Sentry Stone (Leader and 3 Manikins) (3pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
* Stone keeper (1pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers (5pts)
Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers (5pts)

Morvahna the Autumnblade (*6pts)
* Woldwatcher (5pts)
* Woldguardian (9pts)
* Woldguardian (9pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
* Stone keeper (1pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
Tharn Bloodtrackers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Nuala the Huntress (2pts)
Wolves of Orboros (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* Wolf of Orboros Officer & Standard (2pts)
Blackclad Wayfarer (2pts)
Gudrun the Wanderer (3pts)
Wolflord Morraig (5pts)

The Games

Game 1

Morvhanna vs. Borka

I had really anticipated him picking his other list, because Borka is very much a grind fest. That being said Morvhanna is a master at grinding. We had a great battle of attrition in the end though I was able to jam more points into the objective.

His major infantry unit that seemed to be the back bone of his army was a full unit of fennblades. On the turn they charged they didn't do enough damage and moved too far ahead to receive iron flesh again. I took this opportunity to destroy most of the unit that then broke for 2 turns.

With his major unit gone we did a beast trade of Wold Guardian for Mauler, leaving Mulg and another Wold Guardian to stare each other down. While my wold watcher played tar pit to a unit of burrowers. In the end only Borka was in the objective while I had a unit of WoO, Morraig, Shifting stones and Morvhanna.

Game 2

Morvhanna vs. Krueger 1

I had never played against Circle before being the only one in my local meta. Though I know the faction well enough to know Morvhanna was a terrible choice and I thought I'd be able to attrition through his feat and chain lightning. What I missed was the bloodweavers in his list that offer him dispel. Very foolish of me.

We played the scenario where you have 3 flags in the middle and 1 of them disappears.

It started out as I had anticipated with lots of heavy charges then followed by a dispel on my regrowth unit. I had hoped he would over extend and misplay the objectives as it was my only chance of winning this match up. I put my wold watcher in the middle to tar pit again and my wold guardians to the right flag. This all worked as plan.

My next step of the plan was to use my WoO and Morraig to counter punch the left objective. I only needed them to clear it for 1 turn to get me 1 objective point to win me the game. I used my mini feat of making my WoO weapon masters and charged a Feral with 3 plus Morraig. All 4 hit, but to my dismay I only did a paltry 4 damage.

The scenario ended with me up 2-0 on objective points and Morvhanna assassinated. I think that match up is winnable, I just need to be much more careful in the future.

Game 3

Morvhanna vs. Amon

This was a serious grind fest. My opponent was using 2 vanquishers, 2 reckoners, 2 repenters and a devout.  I was able to alpha strike him first and tore off 2 reckoner melee weapons and damaged their cortexes. He then punched back pretty hard but I threw restoration on my front most Wold Guardian putting him up to armor 22. He eventually killed it through synergy and his feat. But in the end armor 22 wold guardians and regrowthed Tharn Bloodtrackers were too much for him.

Game 4

Morvhanna vs. Irusk

This game I played very badly and my opponent played very well. That being said the scenario gave me zero chance. He jammed me with defense 16 iron fang and Kayazy assassins on his feat turn being immune to knock down and tough on a 4 up. Then proceeded to score 3 objective points to my 1. Just needing to contest your opponents zone and hold yours for control points is a jam lists dream.


I definitely had a great time at the tournament. I learned a lot about Circle and the new steam roller 2012 scenarios. The kind of lists I should expect at least in this local meta. But here I think it's best to do a simple bullet point of things I learned.
  • You need 1 list that offers solid shooting
  • Most scenarios are winnable (last year there were a lot of dead scenarios where you ended up just playing caster kill)
  • Most people know to kill off 1 of your shifting stones
  • Don't play Morvhanna vs. lists that have any dispel capabilities (already knew this 1, but decided to learn it the hard way anyway)
  • Morvhanna is amazing vs. Trolls
  • Practice the scenarios before the tournament. Even if it makes sense reading it you need to fight over it to understand it better.
  • Bring two very different lists to force your opponent a touch decision. My lists were far too similar.
  • Bring dispel capabilities and something to deal with high defense. If in only 1 list.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Celestial Fulcrum part. 1

I've really enjoyed the addition of battle engines to Warmachine/Hordes. The one's I've personally used are the Cygnar battle engine and Circle battle engine. They've both impressed me much more then expected. The new flavor they bring to the battlefield is a welcomed asset to the game.

I find the Circle battle engine a little less versatile in lists it can still offer a really solid punch to the army.  It's currently found it's home in my Baldur2 list because I believe it synergizes well with his roots of earth spell. With it's immunity to the elements plus being able to throw +3 armor on it getting it up to armor 21 makes it a very hard to take down shooting platform that can remove swathes of infantry while still throwing boostable pow15 shots at harder targets. Here is the list that I've tried a few times to very high amount of success.

Baldur the Stonesoul (*5pts)
* Woldwatcher (5pts)
* Megalith (11pts)
* Woldguardian (9pts)
* Woldguardian (9pts)
Celestal Fulcrum (9pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
* Stone keeper (1pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
Blackclad Wayfarer (2pts)
Blackclad Wayfarer (2pts)
Gallows Grove (1pts)
Gallows Grove (1pts)
Gallows Grove (1pts) 

I had planned on taking this as 1 of my lists for orc con on Febuary 17th, but since the release date of the Gallows are on the 22nd I'll have to devise a new list. I currently think Baldur2 needs either a few wardens/megalith or some gallows groves to support his non upkeep support spell.

I have started painting my battle engine and am relatively happy with it. I still need to do the druids and the rock stands they are on then attach them to the rest of the model. I am not incredibly experienced with doing gems but I am pleased with the one's that I did for the orbs. I also played around with a painted rock scheme instead of dry brush for the base. It was a fun experiment and took a very long time. I probably won't repeat it, but I might experiment with variations on it for smaller trinket style rocks. The 3 layers of highlighting on the green runes was probably the most tedious part of the project.

With the battle engine and a lion share of my warbeasts done, it's time to finally start painting some infantry. I love Circle infantry models, but I keep shying away from them. Running out of alternative paint projects!

Pureblood Warpwolf - A test of painting shading

My major test for this model was to try and paint the shading instead of creating it with washes. My major motivation behind this was I rely too heavily on games workshop washes for most of my painting and wanted to break out of the box.

To start I base coated it with Khemri brown(gw foundation). Then mixed thorwnwood green (pp) to Khemri brown to create a shading color. Once I applied the shading I went through and highlighted it with Khemri brown and bleached bone. Applying a little more bleached bone for a few layers. The trick to prevent too many brush strokes from showing is to keep the paint wet on the model while you highlight. Once I got the skin where I got the highlights where I liked them I did another layer of shading. This one was a lot more subtle. 

Overall I really enjoy the hand painted shading technique. Typically in the past I had just highlighted up from a dark base color. So starting with a medium color and creating a shade and a highlight I feel like I have more control over all with the look. Though I do find it more time consuming.