Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We can Rebuild Him! Mercenary theme list league and painting blog. Part 5: 30 points Bad Seeds trying new things, more painting progress

It's been a couple years, but I'm getting back into playing Bad Seeds.

I did some retouching for my Trencher Infantry after playing them last game- since they did well, I felt they were due for a little attention. I rebased them and tried some drybrushing techniques to get their gear dusty looking.

I've always been happy with the sand bags they have, though felt that the colors were never quite right. I think that the dusty look finally has it, though.

Kell got similar treatment, since I thought it would translate easily to his coat, and give him a bit more rugged look.

Finally, progress on the Galleon. The base is finished (and similarly dusty), and I'm mostly done with the torso. I started the harpoon gun while I was waiting for more primer for the last pieces of the Thousand Sons army I've been working on. I used the same mixes on the banner that I did on said Thousand Sons, so I could work on both projects at once. I thought the brighter blue would nicely contrast with the darker blue in the rest of my army.

Game 6
This week, mostly because I was on  foot and realized, part way there, that I had forgotten to lock up, but also because the league's rather poor turnout meant there was a chance I wouldn't get a game in, I didn't get a league game in this week. However, my wife and I played another game, and I decided that I wanted to try out sword knights as a line unit in Bad Seeds, which meant several firsts for me.

Her list:
Precursors (min) & UA

Mine (T2)
Sword Knights (max)

As I said, my list started with the concept of a Sword Knight unit at the core. Normally, I've either played with Commandos as my main unit or just Rangers blocking charges when necessary, and a minimum Sword Knight unit as backup.

From here, I dusted off my Talon and set it to work, and took a Nomad to help against heavies.

Since eMagnus needs a single Renegade even more than pMagnus*, tier 2 granting me Kell for free made the Rangers too good of a deal to pass up, but I didn't go past that because 2 points for Midwinter and extra focus the first turn wasn't very exciting because I wasn't taking a Charger (didn't need much focus) and was likely to be up against Stryker and/or Precursors, meaning his offensive stuff wasn't amazing. This is actually the first time I've played below T4 except in Mangled Metal, but 30 points is a strange little niche where, at least here, I felt really strapped for support points: Orrick, the Sentinel, and the SK UA all got cut to be sure I had enough raw hitting power to hold my own.

*pMagnus does a lot to help Renegades be their best, but eMagnus needs them for the arc node.

My wife went first, setting up entirely to the right of a pair of forests, which largely defined maneuvering for the rest of the game. Her Precursors and gallant took the far right flank, while the rest of the army was between that and the forests (with the hunter ADing just behind the forest). My army mostly mirrored this, with my knights and their jack opposite hers, my battlegroup in the middle, and the Rangers opposite her Hunter. Kell hit mostly behind a tree.

Early Game
The Hunter got Arcane Shield, meaning my hopes of whittling down the Hunter with my Rangers went nowhere. The first major thing to happen after a few shots was I realized that my Renegade had a clear lane of fire to Stryker, so I took it (with help from aiming and the Rangers), and, with the Defender, got him down to around 5 health, which took a lot of pressure off of me.

Kell was doing his usual thing, attempting to make a mess of the shield wall, but then got Gallant to the face, which ended in a pulverized Kell, but this left Gallant in charge range of a few of my Sword Knights and the Talon, which ended equally poorly for the Morrowan jack.

Rowdy came to the rescue, Tremored with some ridiculous hit roll, knocked down four Sword Knights, and obliterated the prone Talon. The Precursors advanced with Tough from Rhupert (he used that one most turns).

I feated here to delay the attack (Morrow's Name was something my Merc Jacks weren't looking forward to), and took out the Journeyman with the defender. My Nomad and remaining Sword Knights did a pretty poor job fighting Rowdy, only doing about half his health, and clogging up some attack lanes with the remaining Knights who had been knocked down.

Stryker came to the rescue, reactivated the Hunter, healed himself, and was healed by the Precursor Battle Chaplain (I miss the old officers who each had a title), for a pretty defensive turn... except for Rowdy beating my Nomad to death with a great big hammer and minimal effort (though taking a nasty free strike for his troubles).

My Renegade moved up and arced Obliteration**, pasting Rhupert, annoying some precursors, and boosting to bring Stryker back down to dangerous health levels, and my Defender and remaining knights were largely ineffectual.

**though I later realized it was RNG 10, not 8, which would have kept my Renegade much safer

Late Game
Rowdy, beaten to the point that only his legs and hammer were working, knocked down the Sword Knights surrounding him and just caught the Renegade, too. Stryker mashed the A button a lot, and the Renegade was dead, and feated to reposition and kill some knights.

I was basically out of options at this point. I had a mostly healthy Defender, looking at a half-dozen very angry knights, and one very angrier electroknight; Magnus; and three Rangers who had refused to die, despite the Hunter, JWC, and Stryker going after them repeatedly.

I activated the Defender and hoped I didn't get a one: I slammed Rowdy into Stryker's defensive line of Precursors about an inch and a half away, and not only didn't get a one, but I got a six, plowing straight over Stryker, too(!).

Magnus walked up and cast Obliteration for the second time, this time in person, ending the game. (A bit of a newbish mistake here, though: I'm embarrassed to say that I was so busy checking to be sure that I was at the spell's maximum range to make any retaliation more difficult, should I fail, that I'm not 100% sure that Magnus had the movement to hobble up within range... realized this some time after we had finished the game...)

Sword Knights made a respectable front line: I was pleased by that, though still prefer the flexibility of Commandos. In larger games, I expect I'll run a first wave of Commandos, backed up by Sword Knights, and a minimum flanked unit. Also, minus assigning damage, I didn't feel I missed much without the officer, which was good to know. Without Reach or a gun, I needed to use my feat more conservatively, rather than just getting an extra round of attacks with it.

I was pretty happy with mostly running a melee army in Bad Seeds. In larger games, I'd want a Charger  and/or second Renegade there for good measure, but it's definitely possible to go mostly melee.

This was the first game that I cast Obliteration twice (and got the kill with the second). I was pretty pleased about that one, since I've never really seen the point to it. It wasn't an amazing spell (and I still wish it were something else), but having boostable POW 8 blast damage is nothing to scoff at. I also was surprised at how far 10" really is.

If I get a larger game in, I may even try the much maligned Trenchers UA with a Sentinel, to see how some of the other unloved pieces in my collection fare together...

Regarding my wife's list, she decided that the Hunter really hasn't been pulling its weight, so will likely get swapped out for a Charger, freeing up a couple extra points, but, otherwise her list was running pretty smoothly, and Gallant's only gotten one game in...