Tag Archives: Warmachine

Trying to dive back into painting – Warmachine Wednesday!

It’s been a while – what with packing up, leaving my models at Chad’s house, and moving in – but I thought I would try to get some painting going on my Trollbloods! I was just getting this going before things like that got set down in our lives several months ago, so I needed a way to get back in.

One thing is that I picked up a good red color I plan to use for the Tartan area of the models. I have tried green, but red will I think stand out better from the blue skin and the various leather and metals. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s the final piece that will let me start finishing models.

However, actually getting models out and getting some paint on them – in our new space – was what I needed to do. So I decided to go with something simple, and which will help when playing the game. I got some arc markings painted! So that you can tell what the front half of the model is, for showing where the models can see.

Oh, and I think I’ve figured out my basing, as well. With the Northkin coming soon – and the general Northkin bent of my collection – I think that the snowy north sounds good. Also, I won these wonderfully painted models on eBay…

Whoa, that ended up quite dark, didn’t it? Let’s try with one of the new lights in the house…

Wow, that almost give a light box effect. Maybe I need to get something to put things on to hold under the light, for photography!

Anyway, the snow basing on these guys is awesome, and a simple touch to make a Northkin army! I’ll be looking into how to do this, to truly be able to finish models. But for now, I’ve gotten paint on some models, and broken the ice, so to speak. Now it’s time to go play with my new buffalo riding trolls!

Trollbloods in Theme

With my upcoming appearance on the Trollbloods Scrum, well, I’m thinking a lot about Hordes, and my Trollbloods army. Rather than stop myself and write something else, it seemed like time for one of my occasional Warmachine & Hordes articles. I’ve been thinking about doing these more frequently – “Warmachine Wednesday” has a nice ring to it, since alliteration is all the rage online…

If you’re new to the site because of my appearance on the Scrumcast, welcome! (I remembered to plug the site while I was on the ‘cast, right?). I tweet about the game occasionally @CompGeeksDavid (also my forums handle). And write about it occasionally. And I want to interview my former PG about his experience at Lock & Load, so when we catch some time for that it’ll be part of our podcast, Comparative Opinions (here’s the last time I interviewed him). And you should be able to find all my posts about the game under our Tabletop category (and there’s related tags as well).

For normal readers… yeah, this one may be more of a deep dive than usual. Whereas I often try to talk about the game at a high level, because I’m currently way more into specifics, that’s where I’m going to be writing. I’ve talked about how the game is mainly envisioned now for play in thematic groupings (like the Northkin), and with the Northkin Trolls will now have 4 themes to choose from. So I’m going to go through each of the Warlocks and talk about which theme I think fits them best, and which one is a good secondary, and a few thoughts on each. Like I said, deep dive! Editor’s Warning: Long Post!


A quick breakdown on the 4 themes:

Power of Dhunia: This is the theme based around the Warbeasts in the faction, as well as the various sorcerers and magic users. Troll beasts are quite good, as are troll beast-focused warlocks, and this theme is very popular and good.

Band of Heroes: This is a theme based around the elite, hearty Trollkin infantry. It also allows some of the other excellent melee infantry. It’s basically just a bunch of melee, so any guns you want need to come from beasts or your warlock. It has a distinct advantage in removing destroyed enemy models from play, stopping a whole host of abilities – basically, when they kill you, you’re just dead and gone. Not a bad rule for the elite trolls!

Kriel Company: This is a newer theme, based around the various shooting Trolls. These are not considered super great, but you can bring a bunch of them in the list and it tends to have the largest number of models and attacks you can fit into any one theme. There are several ranged support warlocks, and there’s promises of new models in the works (like the Pyg Lookouts) which will hopefully all focus on support. Because you generally play with two lists, I like this one as a counter-point to a melee force.

Storm of the North: The upcoming Northkin theme force. With the other three highly focused, this list feels like a generalist in comparison. I think it will often have a solid mix of melee and ranged, of warbeasts and infantry and often a battle engine. If the change sticks to make all of the infantry in the list Northkin models, there’s a lot of list building potential here. Several excellent support pieces tie the whole thing together with great buffs. It doesn’t seem overly strong, but it does seem well balanced for a lot of potential.

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Alternate Me Was There… Lock & Load 2017

Today is the first day of Lock & Load 2017, the convention run by Privateer Press! My friends headed down to that but with our last trip, traveling now didn’t make sense. However, I’ve gotten to watch some of the spoilers and all that came out of it today. They did a good job on some video work for their keynote, and it’s all that’s buzzing in my head, so I thought I would share!

First, a totally hilarious video for their upcoming painting tutorial series (something I should probably watch more of):

Next up, a voice over video with a ton of spoilers to round out potentially the whole next year of their major focus and releases! Lots of cool art and spoilers both.

And finally, their next project (and apparently an annual one): the 12 factions getting something for Christmas. So that everyone always at least gets something each year…

Chad (from the podcast) and probably the rest of my friends made it to the front row, so I could have been there! Alternate reality me was there. But hey, I get a little bit of the fun…

Are we doing more than playtesting?

I mentioned a while back that for the wargame I play, Warmachine & Hordes, they have opened up playtesting to their community. They’re a few cycles in now, and it’s interesting to reflect – especially given how much it’s getting talked about on the podcast circuit. Like normal, I’ll try to talk broadly about the game so you can follow along if you’re interested!


The first thing they put through the testing paces was a whole new faction coming out in July, so that got everyone interested/excited in checking out that many new rules at once, and got everyone playtesting as well on either the side of the new army, or playing against them.

Then, after a short break, they started testing the new scenario & tournaments ruleset, which they change on an annual basis so that they can keep the game changing and shaking up without having to redo the core rules and model rules constantly. Just changing the rules of engagement, so to speak, can do a lot to shake up the game. With this testing, they invited everyone to join in, and to even run tournaments using these playtest rules, so that they could get a large amount of playtest data.

Then (and concurrent with the end of the last test) they put through testing the Battle Engines in the game, which exist in every army. These are the large engines of warrior, so chariots and siege engines and such. So once again, they got everyone theoretically interested and involved, following the rules changes on models in their army, and in other armies as well, and playing test games where maybe both players had a Battle Engine, but maybe just one player did.

Last week, again after a bit of a break, they’ve finally begun what they have billed as the “normal” sort of playtesting cycle. This is the testing for the first of their new Theme Books, so it’s centered around a subset of one single army faction, with a number of new thematic releases, as well as testing for the existing models in that theme. It’s bled over a bit to the rest of the faction on a few things, but they’ve still kept a pretty tight focus on what they want people playtesting/talking about.


However, by this point – and especially if you listen to some of the podcasts – people are beginning to feel exhausted by the playtesting cycle. For the last several, we’ve all been engaged and paying attention, and so I imagine at a whole lot of game stores around the world, people were playing playtest games and not “real” games of Warmachine Hordes.

Many people consider those game night games to be their practice for the few tournaments they get to play in every year; maybe a bigger number locally, and then a lot of people seem to make their way to a convention or three a year and play in bigger tournaments. Stuck in Alaska, that’s a lot harder for us; the people who get to road trip for a weekend to do it obviously have a much easier time of it.


Which brings me to us playing, locally. We really liked the new scenario rules in playing them, and the shift it brought to how the game progressed. However, most of the guys at game night are headed to the big Privateer Press convention in July, Lock & Load, and they found out that they will still be playing the “old” scenario rules there (in fact, it’s the last hurrah for those rules, and the new ones start the Monday after the con). So we played our playtest games, started to wrap our heads around the changes, and we’ve had to try to snap back to the “real rules” and play games so that they can practice before they travel and compete!

And I imagine this is the sort of thing that others are experiencing and feeling. There’s a time and a place for playtesting, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of not playing the core, “real” game. Changes have been coming fast at times in the playtest realm, and so the things you play might not remain at all for future games.

Indeed, the last lingering doubt we all seem to have is that we have not seen any “final” models out of the community playtest yet – the first ones will be out next month. So we’re assuming that this is progressing well, but the proof will be in the “real” rules that come out at the end of it.


Meaning it feels like there is a bit of a backlash against playtesting right now, right as they get into full swing of doing “normal” playtesting. Luckily, it’s a narrower focus with it being just one army involved (and whatever opponents they can rope into playing a playtest game), and by all expectations it’s my army, the Trollbloods, next – but again, still just one army). So we can all take a breather now and play more normal games.

So maybe they just did a bit too much full-community-engagement playtesting right from the get-go. Or maybe it has to do a bit with the old Privateer Press forums going away – so now the interesting forums to go to are the playtest forums.

Maybe it has to do especially for the podcasters with them trying to keep up with the news. The news used to be, hey we saw this art, or they announced this thing coming soon, or oh hey a whole new book is out with tons of legal rules (even though the models wouldn’t be out/legal often for a year or more) to go over. Now, all of those sorts of news items are happening through the playtesting – so trying to give the news and talk through rules, when they then change the following week and you’re about to podcast on them again and go through the minute changes and details… it’s perhaps a little disheartening. The podcasts very quickly seem to have dropped going into details about the changes and playtest model details – but with that, they’ve kind of generally lost the ability to talk about the news in a detailed way.

More than anything, this feels like growing pains. We’ll have a better sense of this all in about a month, when we see final rules after playtest. And then we’ll see if there’s something new to be concerned about!

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Doing some magnetizing!

So I totally had this one planned, and then apparently my phone failed to take/save the first picture… oh well. Suffice to say, I was trying to do something new in my hobby work with my Trollbloods!

Here’s the Bomber model that my friend Chad helped put together. It comes in a three-pack of models, with 3 different heads, 3 sets of hands, and 3 forearms even so you can choose which two to go with. Oh, and 2 backs, with three different sets of things to sit on the back. The missing picture would be all sorts of various pieces laid out ready to start assembling!

Of those pieces, the back seemed right out – too tight a fit to be putting on and taking off again regularly. Really, all that needs to be different to represent the three different models it could be are the hands, and the back attachments somewhat. For instance, we can tell this is a Bomber because of the two powder kegs in his hands – easy! On his back is a pygmy troll (Pyg) with a torch, to light them up… on another model (the Blitzer), it’s a machine gun with a Pyg gunner on the back.

Chad had said the magnetizing on this one was pretty easy for the hands, because there was enough spare space in the joints to put the magnets in without having to drill them in to fit. Well, that seemed easy enough, so it was time to give it a try.

It turned out pretty well! We went with a fixed head (glued on) for the first one, so I chose a different head for this second. I also changed the positioning of the arms. Meanwhile, the magnets in the arm sockets did indeed turn out easy enough!

I was worried about how I was going to keep all the polarity going the correct direction, but that turned out to not be a problem. The tiny rare earth magnets used are strong, but the epoxy that I used to hold them in place turns out to be stronger – so I could have the magnets attached (and thus pointed the right way), then use epoxy to attach the pieces to the model, then I could actually separate the magnets. Easier than I could have hoped.

From this point, it’s a work in progress. I got a custom base for the new one to stand on as well, so that’ll be nice. And then it’s time for chucking a lot of explosive barrels.


Bonus picture!

I got started building something of the Circle Orboros models that we picked up for Holly to paint and potentially play a bit of. She likes the idea of the ancient powerful sentient tree, Wurmwood, who also happens to be crazy good to play. Anyway, I got the tree built!

Yeah yeah yeah, pretty easy. It’s past time to get some painting going, but it’ll be nice for Holly to maybe have some to paint too – and it’s been nice to do a bit of hobby work to get me back into the swing of things.