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Guild Ball is the game of medieval fantasy football from Steamforged Games. The Century War has wracked the land, and all that forges the fractious nations of the new Empire together is the blood-sport of Guild Ball, brought together by the scheming Guilds. Will you play the slippery Fishermen, the arcane Alchemists, or the suspicious Union? Read some articles, listen to some podcasts, watch some videos, and maybe you’ll find out which is best for you!

Playing the best: Major Victoria Haley Part 1

Posted by on 1:00 am

by Ben Rislove   Playing the best, Major Victoria Haley Part 1   I’ll start with an introduction: My name is Ben Rislove, I have faction ADD and a lot of competitive TCG experience; Ranging from M:TG nationals competitor, to many Pro Circuit and 10k money finishes in UDE’s Vs. Trading Card game. I won a couple grand (2 spectral tigers and some gadgets) playing UDE’s WoW Miniatures game as well, in its very short life. I also recently went 6-0 in the last chance qualifier at Warmachine Weekend, playing The Protectorate of Menoth.   In this article series I will be focusing on the best of the best, how to maximize their effectiveness, and make them live up to their reputations as the most frightening casters in all of Warmachine and Hordes.   Now on to the fun part – MAJOR VICTORIA HALEY I’m not going to give a primer on how good her spell list or feats are. This is discussion of what she does, and how she does it, and how I build a list to maximize it.   First I want to suggest that there are only 3 primary ways to win in Warmachine; Assassination, Scenario, and Attrition. I don’t think that any of the best casters in the game excel at more than two of these areas.   Major Haley excels in Scenario and Assassination. Despite having excellent attrition tools, Cygnar is not designed for this type of play, and factions/casters that focus on attrition are going to beat you more often than not if you attempt to play their game, luckily we don’t have to. Today I’m going to focus on the most fun and explosive way to play Haley.   Assassination: abuses defense reduction (Timebomb/Telekinesis) to open up lanes for a Defender or Stormclad with Temporal Accelleration to end the opposing caster. The primary goals of Temporal Shift  in this match-up are to set-up the assassination or help ensure it by granting you a second attempt.   The plan is to kill the opposing caster, you’re not here to out attrition their army If they are forced to keep enough models back because of your assassination threat that you can pick their army apart piece by piece, more power to you!   Here is my assassination Haley2 List   Major Victoria Haley (*5pts) * Thorn (8pts) * Squire (2pts) Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts) * Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts) * * Defender (9pts) Stormblade Infantry (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts) Sword Knights (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts) * Stormclad (10pts) * Sword Knight Officer & Standard (2pts) Captain Arlan Strangewayes (2pts) Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts) Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2pts)   1st threat: Stormclad has 21” threat assuming TA and TK on the target and the Stormclad. It does this with 2 Focus, a free attack and a Jack’ Marshal boon which is 4 or 5 PS 19 attacks   2nd Threat: Defender From 20”s away 2 boosted to hit and one boosted damage (Deadeye+TA+Arlan+Marshal)This gets a little more dangerous with critical brutal damage if you’re a little closer.   3rd Threat: Spell assassination, against softer casters thorn running 14 and Haley following up with TimeBomb+Arcane bolt this is only really effective against squishy casters...

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The Modern Major-Mercenary – Fiona the Black

Posted by on 1:00 am

I am the very model of a modern major-mercen’ry, forgoing so-called ‘factions’, running sellswords as my primary. And though it’s said that mercen’ries aren’t totally competitive, all other factions feel like moving models under sedative. -ok I’ll stop.   As the Wrath releases begin to finally filter into stores and frenzied theory-machine gives way to tabletop experience, I thought it a good time to look back and see how one of my own primary factions, the humble mercenaries, have changed and evolved as a result of the latest Warmachine expansion. These rambling dissertations will focus in particular on some of our older ‘casters, and look at what new ways of playing them have opened up as a result of Wrath, and maybe give readers a few new ideas in the process. I don’t plan to cover everyone, both because not everyone has changed (Shae, I’m looking at you) and there will reach a point where I just begin repeating myself when talking about how great Rocinante is. With that in mind, let’s start with one of our leading ladies, Fiona the Black. For those unfamiliar with Fiona, Battle College has an entry on her that you can read to familiarize herself with her spells and abilities. Just try not to read too much of the commentary; that way lies madness…   An Ode to the Eliminator Fiona has undergone something of a renaissance with the arrival of Wrath, chiefly as a result of the release of the Kayazy Eliminators. These new models (to be released early 2012) are Khadoran Ally units that can be included in the Four Star Syndicate mercenary contract. Two-woman Kayazy kill teams, they have stats similar to their regular assassin colleagues, but with a few definitive differences; they are more survivable thanks to higher DEF and multiple wounds, more mobile thanks to higher SPD and acrobatics as a permanent rather than once per game ability, and have a more versatile offensive punch with their multiple attacks with the option to combo strike. Fiona, not to put too fine a point on it, loves these girls. Their incredibly mobility makes them ideal targets for Telgesh Mark (Fiona’s spell that turns a model into an arc node); SPD 7 acrobatic arc nodes with side-step are both horrifyingly mobile, impossible to tie down by engaging them and, importantly, able to function as an arc node without sacrificing their primary purpose (i.e. stabbing things). This represents a significant change for Fiona, since one of the problems she had previously with selecting her arc node model was that many of the models she wanted to use as a node could perform well in either that role, or their normal one, but not both. For example, many people espouse using Eiryss as an arc node, but to do so requires that you place her much closer to danger that you would otherwise like to, or run with her rather than shooting. Conversely, using Wrong Eye or Snapjaw as an arc node gives you a survivable spellslinging platform, but not a relatively mobile one. With Eliminators, this isn’t an issue. You can happily launch your node-Eliminator into combat against any target you would normally, safe in the knowledge that there is almost no combat situation you can throw an Eliminator into that...

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Thursdays with Thanan: Cygnar Battle Box

Posted by on 1:00 am

Welcome back to another semi-exciting Thursdays with Thanan! Today, we look into the iconic faction of Cygnar. The Cygnar battle box comes with Stryker 1 (aka pStryker), an Ironclad heavy warjack, a Lancer light warjack, and a Charger light warjack. This battle box contains a very mixed arms approach to Cygnar, with a dependable, if basic heavy, an arc node to sling spells through, and a light with a good gun. This pack has a little of everything and does most things pretty well, focusing on giving good options in each situation instead of dominating any one particular part of the game. Stryker 1 – Stryker is Cygnar’s poster boy. He is pretty OK at just about everything, with stats to match. He is slightly better at hitting in melee than at range, and has slightly above average defensive stats, with defense of one higher than his armor. His average focus allows him to cast all 3 of his upkeep spells on turn one, and then upkeep them and have 3 left over each turn to boost his armor a bit, or use to pass out to his jacks for charges, boosts, and such. Both Stryker’s weapons have the disruption ability, which is good against jacks, a disrupted warjack loses any focus currently on it, cannot be allocated focus next turn, or have spells channeled through it. This can, potentially, help minimize retaliation or stall an opponent’s battle plan. Arcane Blast– A small AOE to take out clumps of infantry. Probably not going to use this too often in the battle box, but it hits hard enough that when boosted, it can definitely put some damage on most things. Arcane Bolt– A ranged magic attack. Mostly useful for taking out solos or key individuals in a unit through the arc node on the Lancer. The POW is one better than Stryker’s gun, but the spell costs more focus than just shooting and boosting. Arcane Shield– +3 armor? Yes please. Put this on squishy things and they live longer. Put this on your jacks, and they become very hard to crack. Put this on Stryker, and he is suddenly pretty darn tough! Turn 1 + upkeep. Blur– +3 defense against ranged or magic is pretty awesome on the approach. If your opponent has shooting or arc nodes, this is a good thing to put out there. If you’re facing an all melee list, this clearly won’t help as much, but does still help against magic. Turn 1 + upkeep. Earthquake– large template, and everything is knocked down. Arc this through your lancer, and you can knockdown a heavy or light (or a caster!) and make them super easy to hit! Suddenly defense 17 doesn’t seem so bad, as the large template probably won’t deviate that far off your target. Do beware, however, as your own models can be knocked down too. If your own guys get knocked down on your turn, that sucks, because they have to sacrifice either their movement or their activation. Snipe– this spell is great, +4 range on any gun. Put this on your charger, and he will be able to gain the aiming bonus on so much more! Or put it on Stryker and take pot shots to disrupt those jacks from a somewhat safer...

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Riding a Dark Horse – Amon ad Raza

Posted by on 1:00 am

by Chuck Elswick   I have been asked to write about an Amon list I would run.  I am scaling this list up to 50 points though I usually run him more at the 35 point level, so I will start off giving the models I use for him at 35 then what I added at 50.  Please keep in mind that since I play everything that I usually don’t have access to multiple models/units, this list is something different from that as it is something that I ran a little of back in MK I.   35 point: Amon +6 Crusader (6) Crusader 6 Crusader 6 Crusader 6 Dervish 4 6 Choir 3 Wracks 1 Allegient Monk 2 Allegient Monk 2 Hierophant 2 Vassal 2 Total 35/35   at 50 points I add: Gorman di Wulfe 2 Reclaimer 2 10 Temple Flameguard w/UA 8 Vassal 2 Vassal Mecanik 1 Total 50/50   Though I did mention earlier I usually only own one of anything this does go against that.  The reason being is I came to own 4 crusaders, back when Warmachine first came out I liked the idea of playing a 1000 point game, the same as playing a 100 point game now, and I didn’t want to paint any more infantry (I hate painting by the way but never play with unpainted models, I know, weird right?).  I bought 4 crusaders but played 1 game with them all.  When Amon came out in MK that is when I made the decision to make him my “if I ever play Amon I will field as many crusaders as I can with him to get the dust of them,” and I have yet to be disappointed. I have a 2nd monk and vassal because I have won store credit for tournaments and those were the models just in the price range.  Though I prefer the 35 point list I will focus on the entire list as it stands at 50 points.   Though Amon has, in my opinion, low survivability stats, his DEF is above average but his ARM is below most warcasters and with average FOC he at best sits just above Khadoran heavy ARM if he camps all his focus and pulls one from a wrack.  His spell list is great. With Mobility granting bonus to SPD to his battlegroup as well as pathfinder, keep in mind Protectorate does not have a lot of access to pathfinder for its warjacks.  He has Synergy, no not just literally, and this spell gives a cumulative bonus to all models in his battlegroup, as his battlegroup hits enemy models (add 1 to each attack and damage each time you do hit an enemy model).   If you need to get him into the mix he has a spell that gives him arcane assassin and ignores tough.  The last spell is Convection, where if you destroy a living enemy model you get a focus point.  All this aside he also has a decent melee weapon with reach that has the ability, as a special attack, to either Thresher or Smite.  His feat is his warjacks gain immunity to combined range attacks and combined melee attacks and immunity to free strikes. Whenever Amon spends a focus he gets to also allocate...

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Mind Tricks #2 — Thagrosh1

Posted by on 4:31 pm

by Jake VanMeter   Who’s the man? pThag’s the man!   pThags has a pretty interesting playstyle and it is quite unique to legion as he is more attrition based that most of Legions warlocks, and has defense and armor buffing spells and abilities. This can help deliver his army to the opponent if they have average RAT troops that don’t ignore concealment. His passive ability Death Shroud allows his army to be a little more durable when the front lines are clashing. Death Shroud is pThag’s best ability outside of the free animus each turn. This allows his heavies, with the help of the Carnivean, to become armor 22 in melee and inflict some damage to warbeasts and warjacks with Spiny Growth, while making the opponent waste more resources to take down a single target.   pThag’s has an interesting feat. At lower pt games it is a ball buster that helps brings back a lot of points onto the table. At the 50 pt level his feat doesn’t have nearly as much power as it does at lower point levels. It is still a good feat if you use it properly. To use the feat well you need to setup a trade in which you bait the opponent into giving you a heavy from their army in exchange for your heavy. If you are lucky the opponent might not even be able to break through the armor 22 beast. That would be the ideal situation but that doesn’t always happen. If your warbeast dies you just bring it back, have another heavy kill the heavy that’s in front of you and proceed to trade heavies until you come out ahead. That is the power of his feat at higher pt levels. It can be stopped, however, by any RFP (remove from play) effects. You just have to be aware of which models can RFP and also read their cards to make sure there isn’t something that has to happen in order for it to take place. A good example of that would be snacking.   Next we look at his spell list; starting with an awesome spell that is matchup dependent, Bad Blood. Bad Blood is a complete kick in the nuts for any Hordes opponent without upkeep removal. With spell martyrs and a 10” range on the spell there is very little that can avoid it outside of Circle druids giving models protection from magic. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bad Blood it’s a spell that prevents a warbeast from being healed, having damage transferred to it and causes damage to the warlock for each damage point of fury they leech off the warbeast. Once you get the chance to throw this on a warbeast you take it. A warbeast with bad blood and no spirit is pretty much dead in the water and isn’t doing much for the rest of the game. Bad Blood is also important against Trolls, as it prevents healing which means it stops snacking from triggering, which means your heavy that just baited out that Earthborn Dire Troll wont be removed from play if the Earthborn was already hurt.   Next pThags has a control area wide defense buff against ranged and magic attacks in Fog of War....

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Toruk to Tyrant – My Journey with Skorne

Posted by on 4:02 am

by Brian Giese I have played Warmachine since 2005.  I started with Cryx.  About a 6 months after Hordes came out I started playing Skorne.  I love both factions almost equally for a variety of different reasons.   Before 2011 started I decided I would choose 1 primary faction to play all year, and shelf my 2nd main faction. (I still dabble a little with Minions/Cygnar.)   I played 162 games with my Cryx in 2011 (Jan thru Nov). I played around 30 or so games with Minions/Cygnar.   Some stats 94 tournament games 68 friendly games Won 73% of my games. Most games played with Epic Goreshade  – 51 (won 75% of Tournament games with him) 2nd most games with Epic Denny – 40   I did fairly well at both local and major events  during the year.  I won the Team Event (with sepher32) at Adepitcon and made the finals. I  placed 3rd at a theme tournament at Diecon, and made it to Final 4 for the WMW Invitational at diecon.  I also qualified for the WMW Invitational later in the year. I was able to win multiple tournaments locally and in nearby metas with my Cryx.   Now that 2012 approaches I have put my Cryx away and started getting some practice games in with my Skorne.   I focused on only 3 or 4 casters when I played Cryx, so I’m trying to go through all my Skorne casters and pick a couple I want to focus on this year.   With Domination, there are some new exciting Skorne models  and new strategies to use, but it could be months before some of the models I want to use will be released, which makes me a little sad, and may change up my caster choices during the year.   I plan on making posts once to twice a month on my progress with Skorne.  I track all my games mostly to keep notes for myself on any mistakes I made or to remind myself any really good tricks I discover or get caught with.  I do not know if I will do as well with my Skorne, as my Cryx, but I look forward to the challenge.  I imagine my blogs might be filled with some steep learning curves and some pain and agony.   I try to keep my skorne fully painted. As soon as the weather cools down I can prime Epic Hexeris and my 2nd paingiver task master   Skorne gallery...

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A Study in Purple #1.5

Posted by on 3:45 am

Greetings, and welcome again to A Study in Purple. This will be a supplementary installment. I had a chance to play a game with one of the lists I talked about on Wednesday, and I would like to share a battle report of the game. I’m here in Iowa so I had an excellent opportunity to play against my friend John DeMaris better known as Phatasian. We played down at the local game store here in Des Moines Mayhem Comics and Cards, the original home and sponsor of the Mayhem Cup. The cup will be returning to Mayhem on January 7th and 8th after an extended stay in my hometown of Madison WI. At any rate, onwards to the report. First things first, here is the list:   Pirate Queen Skarre (*6pts) * Helldiver (3pts) * Stalker (4pts) * Stalker (4pts) * Skarlock Thrall (2pts) Blackbane’s Ghost Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts) Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (5pts) Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts) Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts) Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts) * Satyxis Blood Hag (2pts) Soulhunters (Leader and 4 Grunts) (9pts) Darragh Wrathe (4pts) General Gerlak Slaughterborn (3pts) Ogrun Bokur (3pts)   John was playing a new Sevvy1 list, that was a bit unconventional.   Grand Scrutator Severius (*6pts) * Redeemer (6pts) * Redeemer (6pts) * Repenter (4pts) * Repenter (4pts) * Repenter (4pts) * Repenter (4pts) * Reckoner (8pts) Vessel of Judgement (9pts) Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts) Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts) Vassal Mechanik (1pts) Vassal Mechanik (1pts) Vassal Mechanik (1pts) Vassal of Menoth (2pts) Vassal of Menoth (2pts)   On the surface it looks like sheer lunacy, but it is quite unnerving for an infantry heavy list to stare down that level of ranged power. The Redeemers produce a high volume of power 9 blast templates. The Reckoner and the Vessel of Judgement have the ability to surgically remove key models, and the Repenters are the true terrors. Effective Rat 8 sprays at power 15. With two Ancillary Attacks available, this list can remove a staggering number of models from the table on any given turn.   Luckily for me the matchup was not all bad news. Without an arcnode the only magical attacks that Blackbane and co. had to worry about were from the Vessel. This would also allow me to move the Blood Witches up the field safely. Dispell on the Blood Hag’s dagger the only way I had to remove Defender’s Ward. The Helldiver can’t be prevented from moving up the table and represents a serious threat to anything within 12″ of the burrow marker. Also, Blood Magic is a great feat to have when facing down 7 warjacks and a battle engine.   The scenario is Process of Elimination. A winable scenario, but not the easiest to win by any means. If you aren’t familiar with it there are two rectangular zones set side by side, each can only be scored once and you have to score both to win. There was a forest along the right scenario zone on his side, a hill off to the left on mine, a wall just in front of the zones on my side, and another behind the left zone...

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Riding a Dark Horse #3

Posted by on 7:28 pm

There was a domination tournament out in Lansing, Michigan on 12/3/2011.  For those of you who don’t know what type of tournament that is  here is the run down.  We played 50 point games with no time limits. The tournament ran from 12:00pm to 7:30pm. You try to get as many games in within the amount of time with as many different people as you can. You play the same scenario every round.  And throughout the tournament you gain points by winning games and by meeting various conditions in list building and game play.  If you want to know more you can go to the Privateer Press website and find the PDF file on their home page.   One of the ways you could earn more points towards the overall champion title was using only one character model in the list, your warlock (I say warlock as this is a tournament format geared towards Hordes).  Another way was building a list that consisted of entirely battlegroup models. When building a list with a 50 point battlegroup the warlock has to be able to handle a lot of fury. ‘Locks like Kaya1 who are very fury efficient made for good choices.   I took the opportunity to earn some extra points when I built my Trollblood list, so Mulg was not present.  But I thought I would have some fun with the event and picked a warlock that was neither high fury  nor had any way to deal with all the fury that would be out there.  Trollbloods have Doomshaper1 that can at least once per game pick the frenzy target of  one of his warbeast or Calandra who has soothing song (a spell that removes fury from your battlegroup), but I decided to go a more humorous route and chose Madrak1.  More often than not I will see the strength or strategic value of a model as I play the game, not before, so I was not discouraged.  Here is my list for a 50 point battlegroup only:   Prime Madrak +6 Dire Troll Mauler 9 Earthborn 10 Earthborn 10 Axer 6 Pyre Troll 5 Winter Troll 5 Swamp Troll 4 Impaler 5 Total 48/54 points   My battle plan with this list was very simple, cast Sure Foot on Madrak and upkeep it (the spell gives a bonus to DEF and immunity to knockdown for the effected model and friendly faction models nearby).  Madrak would cast the Earthborn’s animus twice on nearby warbeasts and sit on one fury, or none if I felt safe (Madrak also has an ability to once per game ignore any damage from one attack).  Then the Earthborns would cast their animi on 2 other warbeasts. That’s how the army would move up the field.  Not many opponents could crack through the high ARM (usually around 18 for lights and 20 for heavies). In addition I would keep the warbeasts close to Madrak so they would benefit from Sure Foot, making their average DEF score 14.   There were times I had to make multiple frenzy checks, even one time I almost killed one of my own beasts. If I had to run “fury hot” on a beast then I would try to make sure enemy models were the closest models to them.  I...

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MOM’s Podcast #1

Posted by on 8:25 pm

    Episode 1 of the new Muse On Minis Podcast   Topics:  Wrath Casters Revisited,  Domination Epics Evaluated,  News and Events Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:28:55 — 136.3MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Riding a Dark Horse #2

Posted by on 11:13 am

I was trying to figure out who I should write about first. I got the idea for this warlock based on my friend the great Legion of Jake. He and a couple of others have put the challenge forward that I am to play Kaya1 at a hardcore tournament, so I must give them credit for giving me the idea for my first article about warcasters/warlocks that seem underpowered.   First and foremost the key to anything is understand the model’s strengths. Though many will look at her and think she doesn’t have many I feel she has a lot more to offer than what most people think.   Yes she no longer has her assassination trick from MK I but she does have the best hit and run trick in the game. Here is where I think her greatest strength lies.  Yes, spirit door does not allow her or the beast to do much of anything after it is cast. It does allow you to send a beast forward and whether it kills its target or not it can be brought back to her. This is a great hit and run tactic. It gives you about 14″ of safe zone for the beast, or even her.   Though she has a great ability, pack hunters, for living beasts in her battlegroup I still like to take a woldwarden and megalith with her.  Though they won’t benefit from pack hunters they do give her 2 more spell shots with spirit fang.  All you have to do with spirit fang is damage the target model and now the model’s DEF and SPD are lowered, which means no charging, trampling, or slamming.  This in turn controls your opponent’s ability to get at you with key models.   She also has a spell that gives a model/unit stealth, which is always good to put on a hard hitting unit or even herself.  Lastly someone might ask “what do you use her feat for?”  One thing I have used her feat for is to try and spell assassinate.  When you have the 2 wolds starting off the attempt as long as one damages your target Kaya can get up to 6 spell attacks, this is of course without boosting to hit or damage.  And of course if you get the chance to get a charge lane on the enemy caster then 12 fury on a feat turn will more than likely get the job done.  One other thing I have seen the feat used for is when you send out all your beasts to go kill the enemy then she pulls back all of her beasts.  Though this is not the usual use of her feat it does mimic other annoying effects in the game.   Below is a list I have used and had success with in the past, feel free to give me your feedback or even to try it out.  I like to stealth the tharn until they hit the enemy line and then I cast it upon Kaya.  With the list I have the ability to run fury “hot,” pull the beast back with spirit door, and have the wilder condition to get rid of the fury.  Also with the stalker in there I now have access to lighting strike, allowing...

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