Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Great Work Continues

Little to no updates as a result of little to no play....

I now have all the jacks I could ever want (except a Prime Axiom), 4 of the 5 casters and 9 Reflex Servitors. You end up with wierd things when you buy many package deals...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Convergence wins Gencon Masters + IG

Jason Watt - usually the second best player at any large given US tournament (with occassional exceptions) - has added two nerd championships to his name with a large convention clean sweep.




Axis (tier 4)
2x Inverter
4x Enigma Foundry
2x Full Obstructor
Full Reductors
3x Clockwork Angels
Optifex Directive

Max Reductors
Min Reductors + UA

Prime Axiom
2x Enigma Foundry
2x Accretion Servitors
Full Obstructors
Full Reciprocators
Optifex Directive

2x Clockwork Angels
Min Reductors

Probably the most popular SR CoC pairing at the moment. Axis' theme provides a Cryx-like infantry rush with Cryx-like infantry recursion backed by a Cryx-like 2 turn feat.
The ADR choices likely revolve around switching out some Obstructors for Reciprocators to help against either infantry swarming or anti-melee tech, and putting in an Inverter if you need more punch against beast-heavy tank lists.
It is a very strong attrition and scenario list. Its primary weakness is accurate shooting which can take out the Foundries or snipe out Axis.

Which is why you pair it with Lucant, who can not only grind like a boss but is excellent against ranged. The ADR choices are interesting, seeming to revolve around improving the range of the list (which otherwise has none outside the Axiom).

Iron Gauntlet 

Lucant 50 

Prime Axiom
2x Enigma Foundry
2x Optifex Directive
Full Obstructors
Full Reciprocators

Axis 50 (tier 4)

2x Inverter
4x Enigma Foundry
2x Full Obstructors
Full Reductors
3 x Clockwork Angels
Optifex Directive

Syntherion 50 (Tier 4)

Prime Axiom
Galvanizer (free)
2x ADO
Accretion Servitors
Optifex Directive

Lucant 75 (Gauntlet Rounds)

Prime Axiom
3x Inverter
2x Enigma Foundry
3x Clockwork Angels
Full Obstructors
Full Reciprocators
2x Optifex Directive

A few (uneducated) thoughts:

On the choice of lists:
As mentioned, Axis Tier 4 and Lucant are currently the most popular Convergence pairings. From my understanding, the field at Gencon was also quite light in RFP tech (one thing that quite hurts both lists), likely because Lich2 and Morvahna2 aren't considered super trendy anymore.

Syntherion is also a caster that fits his theme force like a glove, as it is essentially "don't play infantry = get free stuff". He does very little for infantry, so it's not a hard choice. The TEP also helps a lot. I am guessing this was selected over Iron Mother as the "ranged list" partially out of familiarity, and partially because it also can pack a mean melee punch thanks to Synergy.

On Lucant in Gauntlet Rounds (final vs Ret):
Lucant is recognized as CoC's strongest caster so logically he is expected as the Gauntlet drop. Additionally, he scales quite well with points increases on account of his feat & Deceleration affecting all his models, Watcher having more angles as BG size increases, Purification, and his Shield Guard Field Marshall.

Retribution is primarily a range attrition or assassination faction, both of which Lucant defends quite well against. I don't know what the other final was against, but I'd suspect Legion?

On the heavy use of Inverters:
Inverters are boss. They are great at what they do, which is blow shit up in melee. That is it. They are arguably one of the hardest hitting heavies in the game, and synergize excellently with Axis and Lucant due to both having out of activation attack options (Counter Charge & Watcher), and both having a melee damage buff (Feat & Positive Charge).

In a meta what ARM stacking and Trolls are increasingly popular, Inverters shine. And here they are.

On Max FA of Clockwork Angels w/ Axis:
Angels are really good at two things: being ranged skirmishers, and not getting shot. I can understand why you want to put them with Lucant (Deflection for DEF 18 vs ranged), but why Axis? Since at the time of writing I've yet to play them, I can only speculate that it is much like taking Spitters and Croak Hunters with Rask in Blindwater - having accurate, long-ranged ranged attacks to clear charge lanes or remove important enemy models drastically improves the melee centric function of the rest of your list. I would suspect that they are not rushed forward, but stay within range of the Foundries (either on a flank or behind your Obstructors) so they can be returned if necessary.

On TEP in Syntherion
One of the good things (or stupid things, depending on how you feel about BATLs) about Syntherion's theme force is that you can take the TEP. This gives you a model that can potentially deal out a large number of attacks (through sprays), at respectable accuracy and/or POW, without needing any support from Syntherion.

Hopefully we will have Watt post or record his thoughts in the coming weeks so we can get some informed opinion on the matter, rather than my poor speculation.

Actual valuable info:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The CoC All-In-One Army Box

Being a newfound fan of the CoC (picking it up for something to do after having kids), and not having played a faction other than Gators for the last few years, PP could not have timed the release of the 35pt All-In-One Army Boxes better.
I am not sure of the discount percentage, but it must be quite significant as it retails about the same as Lucant + Walker vector kit + 2 Enigma Foundries, ie. free Eradicators, Reductors, Accredition Servitors, 2 Lights, UA and Optifex Directive.

The only 'useless' thing in my case was the Walker vector, as I already have 5 (through circumstance more than design).

In any case, I believe this is the best package deal PP has ever put together. Not only does it come at a bargain price, but you get a mini version of the full rulebook (same as the two-player boxes, I believe) and some sweet cards:

Contents of the Box

Reverse side of the cards

There are 3 A5 sized cards included:
  1. Convergence rules cards - info regarding Induction, MAT/RAT transference, remote reactivation and so on.
  2. List Tactica - short summary of what each unit can do and how you can use them.
  3. Growing Your Force - a few suggestions on models you can add to bring your list to 50pts, as well as alternate 35pt lists using only a few models (CoC Bbox, Directrix and one Hoover Jack).
You may also notice that things have been repackaged quite a bit - while the plastic kits all came in their usual boxes, all the metal models were reorganized to minimize the packaging.

Anyway, just wanted to show how sweet these package deals are. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to stabbing myself and glueing my fingers together while assembling Lucant (spindly-legged motherf*cker - pro-tip: PIN EVERYTHING).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Initiation Trials - Stage 1

Finally got to play some non-BB games with CoC. Thanks to Dr.D.D and Gospod Jaksic for exposing me to more Legion & Cryx - exactly what I need in life #refuelingthehatetank

As any veteran player knows, being a noob in Warmachine is borderline hazing as you get metaphorically dumped on, crushed, punched, beaten, dessicated and humiliated (usually by some very friendly and forgiving opponents) in your first few games.

I can say that after not playing any WM at all for many months, playing a game with arguably the most complicated and rigid faction in the game made me feel like a massive noob again. Small amounts of alcohol and mild sleep deprivation probably didn't help things either.

But I learned a lot. Here is a summary of things I learned for your present entertainment and my future shame:
  • Magnetic Hold RNG:8 makes the ADO essential. It's a great spell but you gotta get it out there, and doing so is basically the only thing Syntherion will do that turn so you don't want to leave him exposed.
  • CoC is really slow off the mark, which hurts in scenario play. This is why you play Axis tier!
  • Induction makes everything super efficient (Corrolary basically runs any number of jacks by himself, giving out up to 4 focus a turn which in turn multiplies itself), but also order of activations make PoM look easy.
  • If you float above the ground, you usually have pathfinder. Funny that.
  • Convergence have no reach warjacks (except Inverter and Axiom). You don't really think about this too much when looking at the faction, but it's a real kick in the balls on the table.
    I am a strong supporter of adding 1" melee range to large and huge bases, and having reach be only 1" for small-based models. That single change would have a huge impact on the jack vs infantry inefficiencies #mk3
  • Repair is a surprisingly good ability when paired with Syntherion's Field Marshall and when tacked on as an ability to models you usually take for other stuff (Galvanizers, Optifex Directive). It almost feels like playing Hordes - almost.
  • Pro-tip with the Modulator: Target larger bases behind what you actually want to kill. Wish I had thought of that....
  • Hot Shot Ciphers can do a surprisingly amount of work with 2x 4" AoEs.

I would write battle reports but they wouldn't be entertaining in the least (basically get rushed jammed out of scenario by worthless infantry I can't kill, and fail potential assassination runs by misevaluating resources/activation order).

All 3 games were 25pts (which hurt my brain enough) with the same list:

Syntherion - The Great Machine
Tiers: 4
Forge Master Syntherion (*6pts)
* Corollary (3pts)
* Galvanizer (0pts)
* Galvanizer (3pts)
* Cipher (9pts)
* Modulator (6pts)
* Monitor (8pts)
Optifex Directive (Leader and 2 Grunts) (2pts)

I think the list is neat but the Modulator isn't great at low points levels since the number of infantry is much lower, and he isn't that good at taking clumps.

If I were to make changes, I would probably change the list up for:

Faction: Syntherion - The Great Machine
Tiers: 4
Forge Master Syntherion (*6pts)
* Corollary (3pts)
* Galvanizer (0pts)
* Mitigator (4pts)
* Mitigator (4pts)
* Assimilator (8pts)
* Cipher (9pts)
Optifex Directive (Leader and 2 Grunts) (2pts)
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex (1pts)

The ADO is vital for Magnetic Hold, the Assimilator provides good AoE damage and still some anti-stealth capability, and the Mitigators help in controlling other heavies or taking out infantry. You lose a little bit of heavy hitting power, but should still be more than enough to handle a "normal" sized battlegroup thanks to Synergy.
Alternatively you can trade the Mitigators for an Inverter or Monitor depending on the meta of your journeyman league, or one Mitigator for a Diffuser and play a point down (probably worth it) :)


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Assembly Line - Progress Report #1

After a Bbox, a few additional purchases, and a very good second hand deal, I now have a crapload of walker vectors:

Two of the crab vectors are 100% modular in their weapon loadout, meaning I can field 3 of any in any given army, which should be more than enough flexibility. There is one included in the All-In-One Army box, so I will unfortunately have yet another walker when I would prefer a Hover vector.

My paint scheme has been pretty simple but I'm happy with the way it has turned out. Metallics are really straight forward to apply and with some preparation are "self shading". The red brings the army together well and the yellow glow really makes it pop.

I also fixed Syntherion's arms to be the "correct" way :)

Maybe I'll even get to play a game with them sometime this year!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning review - completely baseless first impressions

I started writing this for my colleagues in the Slovenian Warmachine scene on a message board, then it got so huge that I figured I may as well post it here to reflect on how wrong I am about everything a year down the line. I decided to post here rather than on Rot 'n' Roll since it is Warmachine related.


In my opinion, the way to think about the Berserker chassis is to expect it to explode and play it that way. Think of "they may blow up" as a good thing. They are shit jacks with shit stats - you just give them 3 focus for one turn to run in and hopefully put a big hole in the enemy army (because POW 14 8" AoE is pretty big). Otherwise, just get a Juggernaut.

Mad Dog is great at doing the Berserker thing (better than the regular Berserker) because it is cheap and has an in-built SPD buff and can kill a bunch of stuff trampling in, or trampling around if it's still alive with its movement (all it needs). I'm sure there's some decent tiers that allow you to take them for 4pts - 2 or 3 of these can get chaotic and really mess things up with the explosions.
The problem of course is that it is a 50/50 at best and most (competitive) players aren't going to take that chance and certainly not build a strategy around it because if they never explode they are, as we say, pretty shit. But the more yolo players will, and it's a hell of a lot more fun than gambling on Tough. This model is for them - it'd be for me if the odds were slightly better with full focus (66% rather than 50%).

The Rager I don't get so much in that train of thought however.... I guess if it doesn't blow up post charge then it can tank better? I dunno, it's an in-faction Shield Guard in a faction that crutches super hard on Mercs and takes Bokurs anyway. I guess it looks cool, everyone loves tiny Gladiator swords. Apart from the Shield Guard, I don't see why a humble Juggernaut isn't better almost all the time (which I guess is the reason to take it when you want to spend as little on jacks as possible). I guess the reason they put this on a Zerker chassis is so it doesn't get to ARM 22 or cost 9pts.

Zerkova2 seems good. Not really interesting or full of tricks but good. Spellcast spam is something different for Khador, maybe she'll have better synergy down the line than just Greylords on foot and horses. There might be some sweet Special Actions in Khador I'm not aware of that this feat synergizes fantastically with though so she might be more impactful than I think.

Victor is nice overall (naturally though he is Harkevich's best friend). I don't think he's a fantastic Colossal but I think he is better than Conquest most of the time in the context of a list other than the sniping potential.
Conquest was the exception to Khador gun laws: LOW POW = Accurate and HIGH POW = Innacurate (or tiny range). Conquest has both (with boosting) but little else other than the big physical stats. Victor has the same beefy stats, but more generally useful weaponry. 2d3 POW 12s is generally better than Conquest's shitty blast damage AoEs (even at a bad RAT), and his mortar is good support in almost every situation.
In terms of Mortar comparisons, POW 15 and POW 16 have the same blast damage anyway and I don't see it directly hitting too often so that is irrelevant.
Plus he techs hard against Grotesques, which as we know are bending the meta right now.

The one thing Khador actually needs to be made interesting is for the focus rules to be rewritten, at least for their jacks. Their troops are ok - maybe a good MoW support solo and a good AK support solo would open things up there some more.

Favourite release: Mad Dog (Ruin is the best though - basically a really good solo that can also be fed focus, which is how the really good jacks are designed now)


Hayley3 is really wierd as we all know. Too different to really tell. I think she'll be good - really good. And not the 100% negative play experience the previous 2 Haleys are. She brings back the Trencher smoke wall which itself is pretty bonkers, and her tier is like PLEASE BUY TRENCHERS. Apart from that, who knows.

I like the idea of Ace. However it is pretty expensive at 7pts and probably not ever going to be played outside Caine unless the infiltrate things turns out to be super legit with Stryker3 or whatever.

Hurricane is neat. It's no Stormwall but his pushback is going to be total AIDS with Haley1+2. What a crock of shit. Also more anti Legion tech!

I dunno what to think about the Trench Buster. I haven't seen Trenchers since Mk1. I guess he is ok. His main strength is being resilient and having a pretty sweet gun that can douche your opponent. I think Flank is just a bonus, the main thing is just getting good cinder bombs.

Favourite release: Haley3


Durst seems really, really sweet. I like the idea of bricking up in Protectorate and they have gotten away from that a lot in the new releases. He is a beast personally to boot.
I also really like how his Wall of Steel spell is almost a straight up better version of Karchev's Sidearms. Poor Khador.
I am surprised his tier doesn't include Cinerators - missed opportunity I guess.

Hand of Judgment is basically like "hey if you were planning to use a lot of Fire, then this guy is a pretty sweet beaststick for your list!". 10pts is quite a bit for a Protectorate jack but if you want Fire, he works with it and even without it, the Choir makes his stats get Avatar crazy. Flame Burst is also really legit against medium infantry due to his "+2 damage to fire roll" thing. Obviously combos with either Feora, even without the affinity.

EDIT: it has recently come to my attention that damage rolls from the Fire continuous effect are not actually Fire damage type. GG, PP.

Purifier - this guy is cute. More Fire basically, but could also be good with Amon since 2x P+S13 Chain Weapon is legit on top of his Fire explosion thingo (which double dips on Fire). Solid at killing Shield Wall infantry of all kinds.

Pyrrhus is like the rebirth of Mk1 Vilmon (alongside his kindred spirit Skyreth Issyth aka "Mk1 Vilmon on a horse"). Resilient, buffs stuff, good melee damage. Full package IF you want to play Temple Flameguard (that's the catch that keeps him balanced).

Finally we have the Revelator which teaches us that you can totally make up words like 'Feretory' and get away with it. All I can say is that it is good as long as it Feretorizes. Once it no longer has Feretory, it loses it's Feretoriness.

Good PoM releases as usual. However, I think these are a lot more exciting than the last few releases for them. I like more or less everything here whereas the only Mk2 PoM release I've really liked in is Kreoss3. I think these all have potential to shake up the Protectorate meta a bit.

Favourite release - Anson Durst


Denny3 we kinda know already. I like her mechanics, and her spell list is really nasty. Her feat is also like a straight up better version of Nemo2's feat, so much so that it is almost insulting given than she can give 3 focus to SEVEN warjacks AND/OR can also use the souls for support spell spam. The only catch is that she loses a lot of trickiness relative to her previous incarnations and relies heavily on soul collection to be really impactful (besides feat). I think a lot of her depth will come from her speed and mobility.
She also seems extremely vulnerable to accurate Purification shooting as her defensive tech is entirely based on camping/Grave Wind.
But PP is scratching the bottom of the jack barrel hard enough to make her take a couple of heavies I think - it solves the focus efficiency problem by shifting the traditional focus equation and filtering it through a unique take on souls as a resource. Bring your Leviathans, Harrowers and Krakens....
Her tier is also decent.

Barathrum is named after Spirit Breaker:

Like Spirit Breaker, he likes to charge stuff and pop up out of nowhere. He does look very Cryxian and sweet but 10pts is a lot for a jack without reach and ARM 17 (Dig In or not). If Drag Below worked with Counter Charge he would probably be considered a lot more powerful. I still like him though but dunno whether he will get played much.

Shrike seems like the Cryx version of the Razorwing Griffon. Identical rules, slightly different stats. Neat, I guess. Don't think it'll get played unless there's some sweet interaction with Mortenebra I'm not bothering to check but cute nevertheless. Now if this thing could blow up like a Berserker, we'd be talking.

The Sepulcher is a really big Necrosurgeon (a virulent form of cancer) combined with decent range and melee. I think a jack-focused Cryx ranged game is where Denny3 is at and this thing can be the backbone - it offers a different type of ranged than the Kraken which is good (RNG 13 Arcing Fire Paralysis is dumb), and Pull on Chain Strike is very good.

Finally is the Soul Trapper solo which is just stupid. It basically gives every Cryx warcaster a huge soul collection range for 1/2pt, more or less negating any reason for them to move up for the souls (which they didn't do before anyway) and giving them all the benefits they didn't get before. Not to mention putting souls on Pistol Wraiths and Soulhunters or whatever. Huge buff to the whole faction IMO. Fortunately they have garbage defensive stats, but unfortunately they are small bases so will hide behind the sea of OP dudes. Maybe one of the most powerful releases in the book.

TL;DR Cryx stuff is good as usual but Cryx players won't be happy.

Favourite release: Barathrum (def. not the best, that's the Soul Trapper)


Thyron is a beast. I think this is the first Ret caster that can shit on Gators pretty hard - Rahn had game but this guy probably has the advantage. He is personally very tanky and hits hard, has a great Field Marshall to deal with low-model count medium based armies in Cleave, has Onslaught to deal with the rough terrain and Spellpiercer to sweeten the deal. Only big downside is that like all Ret, he doesnt grind too well and if his alpha doesn't do the required damage, his lack of defensive support (outside Storm Rager) means his army will get shredded if there is enough stuff left to kill it. At least it comes down to a skill game rather than "Rask wins 95.4% of the time".
Tier is generic.

Helios is interesting. I think he is good at 17pts if you take him into consideration when building your list - he's certainly not a token "Colossal" that you drop in because you want a Colossal to do Colossal things. Respectable defensive potential, focus multiplication and Triple Tractor Beams (+ virtuoso) make him pretty scary in the right context.

Electromancers are doing the Iron Maiden triple guitar pose. That is sweet. Pretty much a "generic" Cygnar lightning unit with a Retribution twist, which is great in something like ADR when you know you're playing against Warmachine (a few jacks, light infantry and power solos). RAT 6, RNG 10 POW 12 is solid regardless of the special abilities.

Soulless Voidtracer is a really, really good 1pt filler. Not only does it protect your units from enemy spell caster units (Greylords, Druids, Mittens, Hex Hunters, etc) but it also damages enemy casters when they buff their OWN stuff that's within 5" of him (or Focus Booster or whatever). Good at all stages of the game against most opponents (outstanding ADR selection).

All up, another solid round of Ret releases that grow the faction.

Favourite release - Voidtracer 


No jack previewed. trolololol. But really, CoC players should expect nothing. I only play factions that don't get releases.


Cognifex Cyphon basically has a better version of Naaresh's feat, and a Cryxian version of Caine's Spell Amplifier (neat design). As expected, he has a pretty strong spell list with two new spells - one of which is probably best thought of a neat variant on Hellmouth, the other is the resurrection of Mk1 Inviolable Resolve. Seems cool, and hopefully has a giant bubble head and a tiny crab body. I am guessing he will run mostly cheap Monstrosities whose lives are expendable.
Then again, I have zero Cephalyx experience so my opinion is not super relevant.

The Rhulic Battle Engine, Hammerfall Siege Crawler, seems pretty decent to me. It's like a very manly version of the Sacral Vault - no flash, all brawn. Bulldoze is one of the best rules in the game IMO, and coupled with a couple of meaty guns and base RAT 6, I think this can do a decent amount of work. It's not super impressive or tricky, but that's Rhul for you.

Finally we have the Gobber Raider pirates, who are more 'fun' than good but my optimistic take on them is here.

Overall, "traditional" Merc players didn't get much out of this book and should feel mad.

Favourite release: Probably the Gobber Raiders, since I can take them in Blindwater

EDIT: Apparently the entirety of the Cephalyx ebook was reprinted here as the Merc section (that's Exulon, 3 heavies and the mind control UA dudes). That means Mercs get a sizable release.

Who "won the book"?

aka. who gained the most in terms of interesting or competitive options

1st - PoM / Retribution
I feel these two factions got the most out of the book. PoM has been in a bit of a creative rut recently. They have quite a lot of options in game and some really competitive list but a lot of the new releases just haven't "clicked". Here I think most of the releases are interesting and open up new types of lists, and Durst looks really good.
Retribution also got a lot of depth with Thyron for a more melee-centric force, and I think Helios is incredible for a ranged assassination or scenario game. Excellent 1pt filler in the Voidtracer too.

2nd - Cryx
The biggest thing by far here is the Soul Trapper solo. Holy crap is that thing dumb. The addition of Denny3 and Sepulcher also makes Cryx jack lists a lot more appealing. I am skeptical whether this will dislodge the S-tier casters in competitive Cryx, b

3rd - Cygnar
I'm not quite sure about this one, mainly because Haley3 is so different from the usual stuff. The Hurricane too. Dynamo is also sweet (lest we forget). I think this book will be as good for Cygnar as Vengeance was for Khador.

4th - Mercs/ Khador
Mercs got Cephalyx. Technically, that opens up a massive area for new play options but since it is very limited at present, I think many Merc players will feel disappointed with this release and won't want to buy into Cephalyx heavily yet. The Dwarf battle engine is pretty neat for those who like Rhulic stuff though.

For Khador, the outcome hinges on whether Zerkova2 will be sweet to play, but I don't think we are there yet. Ruin will almost certainly go in every Khador list pair simply on his statistical superiority. Victor is also a viable alternative Colossal to Conquest since he does more or less everything Conquest was taken for (big meaty jack). And while I like the idea of Berserker jacks, I dunno whether they will catch on. People only have so much disposable income!

Overall I wish PP would release more anti-Undead tech rather than anti-Flight tech. There has to be SOME disadvantage to being Undead other than eVlad doing more damage to you in melee? Right? RIGHT?

This is a good book with some very interesting releases but again I really feel like the focus mechanic has to be addressed in order to really revitalize Warmachine list building.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Irrestitable Attraction, or how to magnetize your CoC

Hobby article! How the mighty have fallen.

When I started buying Convergence vector kits, I had a bit of trouble finding good articles about magnetizing the warjacks and what kind of magnets to use.  I found some decent videos on youtube (eg. Crippled System and Fresh Coast Gaming) which weren't concise enough for my tastes, so here is my summary:  

What you need

  • 3mm x 1mm rare earth/neodymium magnets
    These are really strong magnets that you need for this stuff to hold together. These by law cannot be displayed in stores in NZ (kinda like tobacco products) due to issues with small children swallowing them. I had to order them from an online distributor, but make sure you are VERY CAREFUL with these as they are very small and easy to lose. 3mm is the perfect size for the Hover Vectors (you barely need to use a drill.
  • Drill bits! 1mm and 3mm are what I used. Basically you need one drill bit for pinning, and one drill bit to drill shallow holes for the magnets.
  • A good hand drill or small dremel drill. Hopefully big enough to fit the 3mm drill bit, because the two I had weren't. Using your fingers as a pin vice is very time consuming and not all that fun.
  • Paper clips or whatever you use to pin things (and something to clip them)
  • Super glue (obviously)
  • A positive mental attitude 


Tips on preparing your pieces

  • See the photo dump below for specifics.
  • Most preparation ends up drilling wholes where stumps are on the original model. The weapons should also be put together.
  • For the walker vectors, you want to put the shoulders together.
  • Make sure you double check the polarity of the magnets before gluing them. They are VERY hard to take back out after the glue has set due to their size. 

Untested Advice!
The Walker vector's right arm is a bit special. There are 3 pieces that can potentially go there:
  1. Cipher's Piston Spike
  2. Monitor's Saw flinger
  3. Inverter's Phallic Dongalator
The reason it is wierd is that the Saw Flinger piece includes the whole shoulder piece, and the Dongalator piece includes the swivel part that is glued into the shoulder piece (see the first picture below for what I mean).
While I chose to set up the right arm just like the left arm (thereby cutting the Dongalator swivel part away), I theorize it would probably be better (both visually and practically) if you did not glue the swivel part into the shoulder piece and instead glue the swivel part permanently onto the Cipher's Piston Spike attachment.
Then you can magnetize the Dongalator's and the Piston Spike's respective swivel parts, which would be a stronger and tighter joint by far, reducing weapon flaccidness on the table. Nobody likes a flaccid Dongelator.

Walker Vector:

Left + Right shoulders - glue in the lower piece.
Pin inserted for stability.
Walker body side - notice the pin hole.
Walker body front.
Walker heads
This piece is the reason the shoulders aren't glued on: the Monitor's right arm is a complete piece. I guess you could glue the Vector's left shoulder on as all the left arm pieces are detachable (see below)
All the left arm pieces. Notice the use of green stuff to fill the hole, as it is a little too deep by default.

Hover Vector:

Body for the Hover Vector. There is a magnet under each arm, where the little stumps were.
Reverse of the Hover vector. This magnet is entirely for the Modulator backpack. It's not necessary but it looks cool, and when painted shouldn't show much.

Modulator backpack. After everything has been glued, you can put this in hot water or under a strong light for a few seconds to lightly bend the cables to the appropriate place.

Some of the Hover weapons. The hole fits magnets almost perfectly by default.
Bad photo of a Hover head with magnet showing.

Now you just need to undercoat everything, and weep in pain at the trauma you have just inflicted on yourself.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Eat a Box of CoCs

Starting right at the beginning, like a noob. I've managed to play a few Battlebox games with Convergence and thought I should write my thoughts on the matter, to tag along with some pictures of my CoC :O

Bright red CoC, ready to party


I think the CoC Battlebox is actually quite strong and well put together compared to some of the others (1). It has a good single target damage output thanks to the Cipher and the Synergy spell, it has good survivability thanks to Syntherion's toolkit and Field Marshall bonus, and has good control options with the Cipher and Mitigator's guns. It does suffer a bit in that it lacks ranged damage output, and the two lights hit like wet noodles compared to other Battleboxes so if you lose the Cipher, your CoC is deep in a hole.


The first thing to point out about Syntherion is that he quite respectable defensive capabilities in the Battlebox, largely because he is able to camp quite a bit of focus thanks to Induction and is Repairable (by the Galvanizer and his Field Marshall). This makes him quite hard to kill. He also is pretty good in melee, with 2xP+S 14s thingos to swing with (which can get pretty threatening with Synergy).

His abilities are also quite sweet - Resourceful allows him to upkeep for free (even more focus efficiency to allow him to camp more focus) and Field Marshall: Auto Repair, which makes a huge difference in a format where things are not usually one-rounded.

His feat Technological Superiority - average at the best of times - is certainly not stellar in the Battlebox. It is used primarily for free charges but that extra pseudo focus can make all the difference to your charging Cipher as it is effectively an extra attack. The Weapon Platform effect is situationally useful. The main thing to remember is that although you can shoot while engaged, if you shoot something that is engaged, you get a -4 to hit. I find the best use of it is to get extra range on a KD/Flare shot via the Mitigator/Cipher, or to throw out a Crater shot on a potential counter-charging warjack. It is also pretty much a guaranteed +2 to hit for your Cipher when he throws it on his charge target and it deviates 0".

Horrible sculpt/model, but I think the red baboon face gives him some personality.

Moving onto spells, he has 3 shining stars:
  • Reconstruct is amazing in a Battlebox game when put on your Cipher. This is because a lot of Battlebox games basically come down to who loses their heavy first, since it is rare for other models to be able to deal enough damage to take out a healthy heavy. Furthermore, because of the low number of attacks, it is actually quite likely that your opponent will not have enough attacks to finish off the Cipher. Next turn the Cipher auto repairs, you stack Synergy, and get their heavy, then probably manage to win (especially if you can repair the Cipher up some more).
  • Synergy is quite good in Battlebox games despite the limited number of models - it is worth the upkeep slot at a mere +1/+1. Even the Galvanizer becomes (somewhat) threatening at MAT 9 P+S 15. 
  • Last but not least, Magnetic Hold is a generally nut-stompingly good debuff that simply becomes ok in a Bbox game. The catch is that without arc nodes, Syntherion has to get pretty far up to cast it, and that means you probably want to charge and kill whatever you put it on or risk losing your caster. Thus the -2 SPD and upkeep aspect mean very little. Regardless, +2" of charge threat and -2 DEF is quite good and can win games.

He does have two spells which are more or less 'useless' (aka. 5% spells) in the Battlebox format - Hot Shot and Convection. Convection is basically a shitty 2 cost nuke with no opportunity to grant an extra focus (which with Induction is actually quite valuable) and Hot Shot only really affects Syntherion since the Mitigator only ever does 1pt of damage, and the Cipher has a POW 6 blast AoE that can't really harm anything in a Bbox format outside the squishiest casters.


The Cipher is your heavy hitter. It has 2xPOW 18 Penetrator Pistons that stack up very nicely with Synergy. What the Cipher does bring which hard hitters usually don't is buckets of utility, primarily via its phallic face gun.

  • The most important shot of the three available in the Battlebox format is the Crater shot. If your opponent lacks pathfinder, this basically takes a model out of the game for a round.
  • Secondly, our gun-faced friend can also throw out a POW 6 blast damage AoE. Great for churning up lightly armored high DEF infantry, but in a Battlebox game this is pretty useless unless you're just fishing for boosted damage on a caster when you have focus to waste.
  • Finally, Flare is also very helpful if for some reason the target can't be KD first by the Mitigator or in combination with Syntherion's feat as mentioned before.
  • Oh, he is also RoF: 2. Neato. Throwing out 2x 4" Craters on Turn 2 can seriously slow down an opponent in a Battlebox match.

Having a gun for a face is certainly logical.
What need does a machine of war have for a face?

Last point - remember that the Cipher is Steady. This means you can do some cool stuff with it, like hitting it with your Mitigator's Bola to unengage it from nearby models so it can walk off and kill something.


This little dude is pretty sweet. I find I get a lot of work out of his gun to KD things. The AoE Puncture does very little in Battlebox games but it is regardless very useful just for the KD. Chewing up your opponent's resources on shaking makes a big difference to your survival in Battlebox games - that's one less attack on your heavy or caster if they get the jump on you!
Furthermore, although he is terrible in melee, you can still use him to build Synergy stacks - even better if you do so via a push or slam. 
I quite like the glowing crotch lamp. Nice touch PP.

The relatively short range of his gun means you have to play him a little further forward than you might like to with a ranged-only jack, but you have so few models in this format that this doesn't matter too much and you can use him to roadblock a bit.


Very cute. He doesn't do much, except threaten that he might do something as a result of Synergy stacks. And he can repair everything in your list, which is cool. Grievous Wounds can also be super sweet against Hordes, since taking out an aspect will be quite meaningful. Or taking transfers away. Basically I just use him as a gadfly on the flank, a synergy stack for Syntherion/Cipher, or a friendly little repair bot you can always deal some pain on the counter charge.

Galvanizer's best side.


So the overall generic strategy is to put Reconstruct on the Cipher, Synergy on Syntherion and run everything turn 1 (for 1 focus!). After that, you want to try to kill their heavy-hitter with your Cipher and try to control their models as much as possible with KDs and Crater shots to limit retaliation and give you the opportunity to have good board positioning. Use your lights and terrain to try to control charge lanes, and always keep your eyes on the assassination.

Remember your win conditions - you win when their caster is dead OR all their warjacks are dead. The CoC Battlebox isn't especially great at achieving the former, is decent at achieving the latter, but is quite good at stopping both from happening!

(1) This isn't hard since I think most of the Battleboxes are crappy, especially the Hordes ones.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Reboot... Initiated

First post on this new blog. Just wanted to say hi and lay down some guidelines (pretend this is a sweet rap and I am not a pasty white guy).

This blog is likely to be very similar in structure and feel to my other Warmahordes blog, Rot 'n' Roll. Namely, it will primarily be about my opinions, thoughts and experiences painting, playing, theorymachining and simply enjoying CoC in all its phallic glory.

Some things you can probably expect to read here in the forthcoming months:
  • Tactica articles for models (written in my inimitable style, after I actually get to play them)
  • Rage posts
  • Pictures of stuff I've painted
  • Limited BatReps as a method for demonstrating certain finer points or anchoring a rage post
  • Theorymachine
  • Really bad CoC jokes (possibly mixed with dad jokes for a ruthless, brainmelting combo)
  • More rage posts

Why I chose CoC

Recently my wife gave birth to twins, which essentially means that the next few months of my free time are 99% taken up with looking after them. After that, probably only about 85% for a few years. Long story short I currently have decent amounts of free-but-not-really-free-time at random hours of the day (2-7am is currently really popular) which are wonderfully filled by easy-to-drop activities like painting, modelling, playing guitar (unplugged, like a peasant), reading, watching TV and listening to podcasts. Basically anything that keeps me awake + aware and I can stop doing within 5 seconds to deal with spontaneous crying fits or vomit.

To help keep myself (partially) sane, I decided to start another army since Gators get very few releases. This army is the Convergence of Cyriss. But why CoC?

 1. Games Design

I've wanted to play a Warmachine faction since dropping Khador many years back. There was always one problem though - the focus mechanic is simply boring compared to fury (1).  It isn't dynamic at all and jacks are an inefficient use of resources in most factions.
There are two exceptions to this observation: PoM and CoC. PoM gets around jack focus inefficiency by spending army points on awesome support pieces to make the jacks significantly better (ie. Choir/Vassals) and produce more effective focus (ie. Reclaimers). CoC gets around this by modifying focus allocation and use via Induction (and the Corollary), which not only makes it efficient (over 100% more efficient) but makes it interesting! CoC is basically a huge piece of Hordes penetrating into Warmachine's dried-up womb.

Secondly, I believe that on average, competitive Hordes lists are more balanced than Warmachine lists, with again the aforementioned two factions. CoC allows you to play a decent number of warjacks with any caster without huge loss, thanks to Induction, the Corollary, and the Field Marshall bonuses. You have some casters that run more optimally when spamming infantry (Axis tier), and casters that really prefer having heaps of jacks (Syntherion) but overall the balance is far better than Cryx, Khador, Cygnar, Ret or Mercs.

Third, not being able to take Mercs is awesome. Primarily because you don't have to buy any! It greatly reduces your model pool and greatly improves your design space within that faction. All the OP Merc solos have been making Cygnar and Khador significantly less interesting for while a while, at least in my eyes. Plus I hate them. This is where CoC starts to edge out PoM in my book (2).

Fourth, CoC is currently free from the games design plague that is Tough. As far as I can see, there is ZERO tough in the faction. Instead, PP has used revolutionary concepts like 'repair', 'ARM buffs' and 'revive' in order to make things more survivable and grindy. F*ck Tough.  

Finally, CoC always wins ADR. With such a small pool of casters, who are all viable and competitive (to different degrees, but they are all above the mark), you can't lose. I've yet to play ADR and probably won't for another season, but the idea of it warms my heart.

Basically, what I am getting at is that CoC is the best designed faction in the game at the moment by a significant margin. It is probably where Gators would be if a) they weren't mercenary and b) they weren't lumped in with Pigs. This isn't really surprising, considering CoC were designed 100% with Mk2 in mind and were DC's brain child.

Looking down the steep hill at CoCs.

2. Aesthetics

I didn't like the models a lot at first (primarily because the Bbox molds are kinda crappy flashspams and I had bad experiences with the early PP plastics) but I think the TEP turned me around with its sweet hard plastic shaft. The jacks look pretty cool when fully-painted up and the heavy infantry is legit (I really like medium infantry, which is part of the reason I like Gators).

Another thing I like about the models is that they are representative of the faction's aesthetics and philosophy - modular, synergistic and potentially complicated as hell.

When the Convergence was announced, I didn't think too much of the fluff I had read. Which isn't saying much, since I stopped really enjoying WM fluff after the Kromac fluff drama and the general lack of permanent death in a war-torn environment. However during my sizable stay in hospital earlier this year, I managed to read through the entire CoC book on my phone (yes, this is as time consuming as it sounds) and I surprisingly really liked the Lucant origin story and the Cyrissian aesthetics and philosophy. The sweet irony of a religious order of physical scientists worshipping a science deity was also pretty cool.

This die is thorougly CoC-ed.

3. Practical Reasons

This is perhaps where I do most of my decision making. I have to like painting the models and playing the faction for sure, but practicality is where CoC distinguish themselves from competitors in my mind.

First, they mostly have plastic models. This is good because plastic is light, and pretty chip proof. Just varnish your models and throw them in a box, and you're good to go. Sweet. Also painting plastic feels very different to painting metal in my experience. Since Minions are almost 100% metal (resin battle engines aside), this is a good change for me. Also magnetizing jack kits is awesome (it saves money). I generally dislike painting plastic models, but I managed to solve this problem by buying some really good primer spray and choosing a color scheme and paint style that require only one uniform black undercoat.

Second, CoC is not a main faction and it was made quite clear by PP that they wouldn't get regular releases. Then PP releases AT LEAST 2 things for them next book (caster + 2nd Colossal). So basically as many releases as Gators. Sweet. 4 Warmahordes releases per year is cool for me and easy to keep up with, after the large initial time + money investment. And if CoC gets nothing, then it's not like there were any expectations in place. It's like you get all the benefits of being a real faction, without any of the downsides. And unlike Gators, it is actually a real faction.

Third, I can make penis jokes.

Fourth, I was looking at buying into Pigs as an alternate thing to do at 3am, but figured playing a real faction would be a better use of my resources, since Pigs are still craptacular and give me seizures just reading their stat cards. Thus I conclude that Pigs are much more valuable to me as a running joke than a Steamroller option I never chose to drop.

So there you have it - prepare for a really slow excretion of terrible reading material and increasingly horrible jokes.

A glorious CoC in its majestic state of dominance.

(1) Khador had Butcher2 who sort of makes up for it, but playing only one caster for over a year grinds you down eventually.
(2) PoM was actually my first 'serious' army. I was initially playing Cygnar for my first 10 games or so, but after getting a huge nerd boner over eKreoss' art in Apotheosis, I bought into PoM pretty hard and played that for about 2 years. I sucked at it, primarily because I liked to take jacks in Mk1 and their casters are boring in Mk2 (by design).