We love all sorts of games at Muse! Our big focus is on miniatures gaming, but we enjoy cardgames, boardgames, video games…all sorts of games in fact! So do our content producers, we have some fantastic articles, podcasts and videos which will show you how these games are played, and maybe give you some ideas for what to pick up next!

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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Thursdays with Thanan: Circle Orboros Battle Box

Posted by on 10:50 am

Hey all, my name is David Counts, and I go by Thanan on the forums. I’ve been tabletop war-gaming off and on for 10ish years. I started playing Warmachine/Hordes back in May 2011. My factions are The Circle of Orboros and a brand new Cygnar force that I just started up. This regular-ish column will contain some hopefully useful advice, primarily geared towards beginning players. One thing most new players will look at is the battle box. Battle boxes are an easy introduction to the game, containing just about everything you need to start playing, like quick start rules and a warcaster/warlock as well as a couple warjacks/warbeasts. Since I started with, and own Circle Orboros, I’m going to look at their battle box first. Today, just an intro to what comes in the battle box, and what simple things you can do to make life difficult for your opponents, straight out of the box. The Circle battle box comes with pKaya, used interchangeably with the slightly more legitimate Kaya 1 (pronounced like kayak not Kayla), a feral warpwolf, and 2 argus. A great many Circle players hate on the battle box, as Kaya 1 is a bit of a one trick (albeit sweet trick) pony, and players very rarely, if ever, use 2 argus outside of this format. Regardless, a feral is a strong investment, and Kaya 1 can actually be awesome if you know what to do. Kaya 1 – Kaya has some very average stats. One thing of note is her above average speed. Her strength is very low, and her mat is nothing to write home about, very average. This can, ironically, turn into a bit of a strength. She needs to boost to hit, and when you boost, you have better odds of getting a critical hit – knockdown, which makes everything easier after that point. But, as any experienced player will tell you, relying on critical effects to win is a bad idea. Defensively, Kaya is harder than average to hit, but she takes damage really easily; she can even be threatened by deviating blast damage. Kaya’s spell list is not overly powerful like Kromac’s or Krueger2’s, which makes a lot of people consider her not very competitive, and her fury is also only average. Kaya also has a special ability granting an effective +2 on attack rolls to all her beasts in her control area. I cannot express to you how awesome this is (I suppose I just did, actually) or how often you’ll probably forget it. Remember!!! +2 on attacks for beasts in control area = amazing! Occultation – grants target model / unit stealth; a solid get into position spell. It is also a solid defensive spell to put on Kaya. This spell won’t really shine until you expand into higher point games and add infantry. Soothing Song – this allows you to drop a fury from beasts in her control area. This, I think, should be used mostly to keep transfer targets open and better allows running your beasts with lots of fury, and not risking too much frenzy. Spirit Fang – this is her damage spell, and the target suffers a speed and defense debuf. Which prevents them from making charges or slams and can really help you...

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Happiness is Rolling Dice – Super Dungeon Explore

Posted by on 2:38 am

Walking through your local hobby shop, a box may catch your eye in the board game section.  The chibi anime styling of Super Dungeon Explore is hard to miss.  And that isn’t surprising given that the aesthetic comes from the strange and wonderful minds at Soda Pop Miniatures.  Likely your first question will be somewhere in the neighborhood of, “What exactly is that”, though you may choose to be more colorful. If you’re a fan of miniatures in general you may be familiar with the two names you’ll see printed on the front.  The first is Soda Pop Miniatures, the creative force behind the game as well as the Relic Knights line of 32mm scale, Anime styled Miniatures.  The other, Cool Mini or Not, is working to distribute the game and is renowned for their extensive selection of amazing miniatures. Those are two names you wouldn’t expect to see in the board game section.  That brings me to what the game is.  In a nutshell, Super Dungeon Explore is an old school dungeon diving adventure that takes you back to video games akin to Gauntlet; the video game influence is clear when you see that actions are represented by buttons and movement on a d-pad graphic.   Flipping the box over you’ll get a better idea of what you’re dealing with.  The game consists of over 50 miniatures, far more detailed and of higher quality than what you would expect see in a board game, a set of custom dungeon battle dice, stat cards for the heroes and minions, cards to make up the loot you’ll have to find to stay alive and a set of double sided boards that make up the dungeon. To focus in on the minis a bit further, these are not your everyday board game minis.  They are detailed, multi-part plastic affairs like you would expect to find in the product lines of a table top game such as Warmachine or Warhammer.  One part of that previous sentence may have jumped out at you, yes they are multi part minis.  That can be a shock to someone buying a board game and expecting to find the usual bland, soft plastic one piece items.The parts are already cut and are keyed to allow easy assembly but you will need to get some good super glue before you start.  Assembly is pretty straightforward thanks to the keys but Soda Pop Miniatures has also released an assembly guide to help you through the process. (find it at their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Soda-Pop-Miniatures/99556434458)  How long assembly will take is going to depend on your experience with mini assembly, but in the end it will be worth it.  I’d recommend considering scraping or scoring the locations you will have the glue contact, the red plastic in particular is very smooth and can lead to a long cure time for the glue otherwise.  A few of the smaller pieces and the dragon may try your patience. Use care, the pieces will bend, but only so far.  The quality of the minis is such that hobbyists will be happy to paint them, the plastic isn’t brittle and is stiff enough that you won’t have to worry as much about them bending and ruining the paint job.  The chibi look will give you...

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To MoM’s Readers

Posted by on 1:10 am

Welcome to Muse on Minis. Today is Wednesday December the 7th 2011 our official launch day. I’m Keith Christianson the editor for MoM. We have a bunch of great articles posted already, and more on the way. Here’s a brief glossary of the current articles and authors you can find.   Strategy and Tactics Riding a Dark Horse- Tournament pro, all-faction-collector Chuck Elswick (pg_Bulldog) brings you his thoughts on models and lists no sane person would think to play. Read how he makes it work and take away some new perspective.   This Guy!!!- “Sportsman” John (Phatasian) DeMaris shines some light on the Menoth perspective. Tips, tricks, new lists, and play experiences for the faithful.   A Study in Purple- I named my article with my favorite Sherlock Holmes novel and my awesome purple shirt in mind. I will be starting with a Cryx focus and expanding to talk about my other factions as the mood strikes. Write-ups on casters, tournament reports, etc.   Mind Tricks- Gencon champion Jake (Neutralyze) VanMeter offers insight and advice on playing the Legion of Everblight.   Strategy and Tactics will be expanded soon to include articles from other names you’ve heard. Players like Chad Shonkwiler, Will Pagani and more.   Something for the New Player   Climbing the Mountain- Lance (judgeito) Becker is a newer player who is working to break into the competitive scene. Read about his experiences from local tournaments and conventions as he works his way towards the top of the mountain.   New Player’s Guide- Nate Kapke takes his readers step by step through learning to play Warmachine. Starting with reading the rules, Nate will take walk his readers past the pitfalls of learning a complicated wargame.   Thursdays with Thanan- Starting on Thursday Dave is taking a look at all the battleboxes with new eyes. Where he goes from there, remains to be seen.   Painting Modeling and Terrain   Carnage4u’s Terrain Blog- Brian (Carnage4u) Giese will show his readers pictures and give tips on building beautiful and functional terrain for local play and tournaments.   Last but not least…   Weapons of Mass Distraction- Josh Holt takes us on a frenetic journey as he plays every game that crosses his path. Along the way he may stop for a smoke break or two and document some of his painting and modeling work as well.   Chunder from Downunder- Ben (Chunky04) Hayes will tell you tales of gaming in the Australian Outback. I hear they use poisonous animals for terrain there. And being a world traveler Ben can compare and contrast trends in Warmachine worldwide.   Hapiness is Rolling Dice- Ryan Miesen’s premier article takes a look at the Board Game Super Dungeon Explore. After that, who knows?   Building a Warmachine Community- Brian (pg_Finkmonkey) Finken, a pressganger in a growing community shares his experiences in planting and nurturing the Warmachine seeds.   We’re are looking for more contributors. If there’s something you want to talk about this is the place to do it. Contact us....

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