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  • Hand Of Silence

    Hi Ho, Silver -Awaaaaaay! Who’s riding through the desert to uplift the faithful and purge the heretics? Hand of Silence! Who’s thundering hooves resonate with the pure and strike terror into the hearts of Cygnaran scum? Hand of Silence! Why, no, I’m not biased against Morrowans at all, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I *do* know that Hand of Silence is out know and while I’ve still got some touch-ups to do, he’s close enough to being done that my painting table can stop holding its breath, and now I can share him with you. Behold his magnificence.

    Five resin pieces and two metal! Incredibly simple assembly! A horse in a gas mask! It’s Hand of Silence!

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  • Reclaimers

    I had hopes of sharing Hand of Silence with you today, but alas I haven’t had as much time at the painting table this week as I’d have liked. His horse is almost done, so there’s that at least! The Reclaimant Order is one of my favorite subsects of the Protectorate of Menoth. No other group in the faction exudes such an enigma, to me. The High Reclaimer was one of the first four Protectorate Warcasters way back in Mk1, along with Kreoss, Severius and Feora. The other three all set out to embody the Protectorate’s themes of anti-magic and fire, but the High Reclaimer came out with something else – a gatekeeper between the living and the dead.

    Every faction in Warmachine and Hordes has its subgroups, but the bulk – the vast bulk – are groups with different military application. The Reclaimant Order is almost unique in that their primary function, while certainly having battlefield application, isn’t one of war. Their role is to usher the souls of the dead and dying into Urcaen. They’re funerary priests, and even though the most recent fiction shows how little mercy the Reclaimers can have in the zealous fulfilment of their duties (I have no illusions about most Menites being jerks virtually devoid of compassion), the Hand of Silence represented in Of Dust And Ash wasn’t headed onto a battlefield, into a warzone, but rather to an an otherwise peaceful (if beset by a sandstorm) village.

    It’s elements like this that really draw me into the character of a model. Sure, your RPG character is a kick-ass taker of names and chewer of bubblegum, but what made him start adventuring? What does he do in his downtime, if any? The exemplars, the flameguard – these are models who are purpose-built for combat. Reclaimers? They’re ushering the souls of the departed into Urcaen, it just happens that in the process they can use the energy released to make obscuring clouds and stuff.

    Back to the High Reclaimer. Aside from the sheer enigma of someone leading an army while operating under a vow of silence (the same conundrum that makes me love Black Bolt as king of the Inhumans), his evolution to becoming the Testament is one of the most epic tales in the Iron Kingdoms. For many other characters, the difference between their versions is a promotion, aging, mutation, or heck, they just got a new ride. The High Reclaimer tapped into Ancient Greek myth, entered the underworld while still living, waded through a horde of hungry, twisted souls that I imagine was something like that scene from the Keanu Reeves Constantine movie with all the gribblies that only had half a head, and basically found the Ark of the Covenant and brought the original stone Ten Commandments back with him. Now with the Omegus he’s the arbiter of souls in a game where multiple factions rely on them to fuel their abilities. He’s still enigmatically silent, but now he’s even more badass.

    Then there’s the Reclaimers. Well, Reclaimer Gatekeepers. Their role has changed a little on the table since their earlier incarnations. They don’t fuel warjacks with souls anymore, but now they’re actual Jack Marshals, which is a real boon for some of the lower focus Warcasters of the Protectorate. Someone to sit back and run the Redeemer is handy. They can still put up their 3″ self-centered smokescreen, but they can also grant Ashen Veil and, more importantly, Future Sight. Reclaimers were always something of a support solo, as they wandered through the lines of infantry reciting litanies of the grave and planting markers, but with Glimpse Of Fate working on any model – not just warjacks – the potential to up your Focus-spending efficiency has increased. At this point I’d like to mention that you can totally play a Reclaimer in the IKRPG, though it will make for some real challenges in roleplaying.

    Hand of Silence is, of course, the latest member of the Reclaimant Order to hit the tabletop, and yes, I will make a separate post once I’m finished painting him. A 19″ threat range with an assaulting, boostable flamethrower spray is a pretty amazing thing. Like the Testament, he can hamper enemy models collecting souls, and he can use those he collects himself to boost, buy extra melee attacks (more auto-fire!) or to actually fuel warjacks in the same manner the Reclaimers used to. Of course, this does mean that he could funnel souls into a warjack marshaled by a less horse-based Reclaimer…

    I’m hanging out for the day Privateer opens up the Monastery of the Order of the Fist and releases trainee initiates and other kicky monk variants, but for now? The expansion of the Reclaimant Order makes me happy.


  • Shrine of the Lawgiver

    Warmachine and Hordes, as a game, has constantly evolved over the years. At first there was Warmachine. Then Hordes. Then Cavalry. Then Battle Engines. Then Colossals and Gargantuans. Caster units. Heck, some warcasters have even bounced across factions. We’ve seen the Iron Kingdoms grow through conflict, with the main factions joined by smaller factions like the Cephalyx, Convergence, Cruicible Guard and… well, we have Infernals on the way but their name doesn’t start with C so I’m not sure it counts…

    One addition to the game that has somewhat caught my imagination, though, is structures. As much as the Vessel of Judgment looks like a structure that’s being towed along against its will, as much as Zevanna Agha’s Scrapjack Mk2 is a house with legs, the Trencher Blockhouse was the first actual, immobile, hey-it’s-a-building introduced to the tabletop. I mean, it’s Cygnaran, so clearly it’s housing filthy heretics, but let’s talk the second Black Anchor Heavy Industries structure release: The Shrine of the Lawgiver.

    Yeah, I preordered it. Yeah, I got the oven mitt. Hot stuff, comin’ through…

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  • The Exemplars of August

    We’ve had a busy month of photodumps in the aftermath of GenCon, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t new shinies to show you! Oh no, you faithful adherent of Menoth’s True Law, don’t despair! Strap on your pauldrons, the Exemplars march to war! Cyrenia strides forth as High Exemplar, and the Warders hoist their consecrated halberd and the Cinerators are supported by their officers. Time to distribute the Heirarch’s mandate across Caen…

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  • October Releases

    Continuing off the last two posts talking about sculpts, we’ve had the renders and some of the painted models for October’s Warmachine and Monsterpocalypse releases drop. Naturally, the list is dominated by Crucible Guard models who are all-to-eager to beat the Khadorans out of Llael but I would hope they were wise enough to recognize Menoth’s will in the presence of the Northern Crusade, but heck, these disposessed Llaelese, who knows… In the meantime – MODELS!

    “I want YOU for the Northern Crusade!” – which would be exceedingly alarming words to hear from the Hand of Silence, given that he’s taken an oath of… well, silence…

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  • Lock & Load 2018!

    It’s Lock & Load weekend! I’m not there, but many peeps are, and we wish them groovy gaming times. It’s sucky for those of us who can’t be there, but we’re not completely left out of the shenaniganry! Privateer Press will be streaming several streamy things for us all to enjoy, from gameplay to Iron Painter. The Keynote is, of course, bright and early this morning at 9:00AM PST – which is Noon for me, and I’ll be at work, but hopefully someone will let me know what’s going on…

    We’ll be sharing things on the Lost Hemisphere Facebook feed as we’re able, and those of you who are all giddy and stuff about convention prereleases should be able to snaffle them off of Privateer’s online store at LINKY! Remember to preorder your Shrines of the Lawgiver to get your free oven mitts!

    Crisp high fives to the first people to pick up Cyrenia and get her painted!

    Image may contain: shoes and text

    Oh, and don’t forget to ogle all the Crucible Guard stuffs in War Room. Someone playtest MonPoc 2.0 and smuggle me some Martian Menace!


  • Shikkakku on the Shrine of the Lawgiver

    Greetings, Brethren in Menoth. I am Shikkakku, and I am the Scrub of Menoth.

    No, really. I’m horrible at this game. Which is why I was surprised when G’daybloke asked me to contribute some thoughts regarding the currently ongoing (at the time of publication) Exemplar CID.

    “But Mr. Bloke,” I asked, “surely its not just my good looks and stunning personality that convinced you to have me on as a guest writer? Surely a modicum of skill is required too?”

    He then muttered something about needing a nap and told me to write 500 words minimum or else be wracked.

    (It’s true! I was very sleepy – Gday)

    I might’ve paraphrased that a tad, but either way, here I am.

    Of all the new models that have been announced in this eagerly anticipated CID, the one I’m looking the most forward to is the Shrine of the Lawgiver, aka the Church. Only the second structure announced for Warmachine after the Blockhouse, Protectorate players have long been speculating on what a Protectorate structure would look like. And the Shrine doesn’t disappoint. It is literally a church on the battlefield, and a relatively large one too.

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  • CID ponderances: Exemplar Bastions

    It hasn’t even been a full week since the Exemplar CID launched and we already have a significant update. As a reminder, this is just the CID, these rules aren’t canon yet, but Fire of Salvation and Visgoth Juviah Rhoven are now both legal for the Exemplar Interdiction theme force, and Rhoven can now take advantage of Exemplar effects such as Grand Exemplar Kreoss’ Tactician. Hand of Silence and the Shrine of the Lawgiver have received clarification on wording, but one of the more interesting updates is for the Exemplar Bastions.

    • The first CID entry had the Bastions benefiting from a point reduction, to 8/13.
    • The update has the Bastions back at 9/15, but also packing Defensive Strike.

    Either iteration has the Bastions as a meatwall of wounds (though granted not as meatwally as when they had 8 wounds each), and they’re still MAT 7 P+S11 Reach Weapon Masters, so the riddle-me-this portion is which angle to take? Is the point reduction preferred, making them more cost efficient, or Defensive Strike, making them even more resilient in melee with the potential to completely end a charge by cutting down the charging model before they even have to deal with Set Defense.

    My thought is that Set Defense only really makes a difference against model with MAT 5 or lower (since MAT 6 still hits the Set Defense boosted DEF 13 on an average roll), meaning that on a low DEF model like an Exemplar Bastion, Set Defense is primarily useful against a rather limited number models. It really won’t significantly hinder charging infantry or anything that is an actual threat to the Bastions – even a Rhinodon hits with MAT 6 – which leads me to think that unless we want to up the base ARM of the Bastions (which would in turn mean upping the ARM on the Cinerators with their shields), Defensive Strike will go a long way towards given them a defensive ability that can make a difference. In addition, it’d bring them more in line with their Seneschal.

    In either case the unit is still prone to incoming fire from opposing gunlines, which makes their competitive viability dependent on the meta and what other tools you have to protect them as they advance.  My immediate answer to this is my old favourite 15” smokewall from the High Reclaimer. Yes, there’s lots of threats that ignore the smokescreen nowadays, but there’s lots that can’t as well, and it can really mess with blocking charge lanes. In a list that isn’t -as- reliant on the heavy hitting oomph of warjacks thanks to pretty much everything in an Exemplar Interdiction being Weapon Masters, and with the Bastion Seneschal bringing Flank to his driven warjack, I’m curious to see how ole’ Silent Bob would fare with Defensive Strike Bastions.

    Let the playtesting continue…

  • The Exemplar CID: New toys

    Faithful, your devotion has been rewarded. Menoth has heard your prayers, and the Exemplar CID has dropped. Not only are we getting the option to revisit some existing models, but we’re also getting some new toys. I bet those Morrowans are nervous now!  Throughout the CID we’ll be picking individual models and pondering their rules, kicking some tires and stuff, but for now let’s roll into the weekend with a quick look at the new entries.

    The Exemplar Cinerators are already some rather ornate models, so finding design room to make a fancier version can be a challenge. The addition of the cape and some extra tassels should make him stand our amidst his brethren. In the initial iteration of the CID, the Cinerators see a point reduction, and the Officer here brings Take Down, Shield Wall and an anti-upkeep minifeat to te table. I wonder if anyone’s regretting not painting their models from the Mk2 Two-Player Starter yet…

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  • Blood, Eye, Fire, Hand, Scourge

    I’m pondering centrepiece models. Yes, as usual, I’m thinking about Protectorate models, but the same thought processes could be applied to any faction. Sure, we’ve got our Colossals and our Battle Engines, but there’s a sort of synchronistic magic about a character warjack stomping around with its bonded warcaster. Blood of Martyrs with Thyra. Eye of Truth with Malekus. Fire of Salvation with Kreoss. Hand of Judgment with Feora. Scourge of Heresy with Reznik. Each brings a certain je ne sais quoi to a Protectorate list. Yes, yes, Blessing of Vengeance is out there too, but unless Privateer gives Amon Ad Raza a character light warjack, my focus will remain on the heavies.

    Each of the character warjacks not only has their own schtick, but also brings a bit of their thematically linked warcaster with them. This is, if you’ll excuse the sidebar, why I never understood the hate for Triumph, who did diddly squat in a Siege list back in the day, butbrought some Siege flavour to lists with other warcasters. Scourge of Heresy was a prime example of this for me, since he basically felt like Reznik would be, if Reznik was a heavy warjack.

    Now I find myself sitting here staring at the Protectorate of Menoth Command Book and wondering which would be the cooler model to build a list around.

    Image result for blood of martyrsBlood of Martyrs is surprisingly mobile for a Crusader-chassis warjack, thanks to Apparition giving it an extra 2″ of movement every turn. This can move it into or out of combat, around cover, into a charge lane. Hand of Vengeance can translate to MAT 9 P+S 18 attacks, potentially with an extra 4″ of movement from two sidesteps, and Greivous Wounds means somewhere behind that grill there’s a cortex grinning wickedly at Trollkin. Also, with the two blades, Blood of Martyrs fits beautifully visually with Thyra, the Daughters Of The Flame and the Flamebringers.

    Eye of Truth is a beautifully ornate model. Immunity to Fire is a fun trick, and while the concealment granted by Ashen Veil won’t to a lot, the attack debuff against living enemy models may occasionally prove useful. Bonded to Malekus he becomes an arc node. A P+S 18 sword with Flame Burst is nice, but can I just say how nice it is to have a boostable POW18 ranged attack? Sure, it’s not a huge range, but damn… He’s also resilient as heck with a shield pushing him to ARM21 and the ability to ignore a damage roll once per turn.

    Fire of Salvation will no doubt see some more love in the immediate future with the Exemplar CID dropping. There’ll be new Knight Exemplar models to play with, which means we’ll probably see one of the three Kreoss variants, which in turn means Fire of Salvation has an opportunity to shine. Righteous Vengeance adds some mobility, Holy Fervor grants boosted melee attacks and the potential for freebies, and bonded to Kreoss all of his attacks gain Dispel… and of course, his mace sets things on fire. On the downside, despite the beautiful scrollwork on the model, he hasn’t aged well. Fire of Salvation is the smallest Crusader chassis ever, making him much less impressive as a centrepiece of an army.

    Image result for scourge of heresyHand of Judgment, however, is on the new plastic Guardian/Indictor chassis, and has towering banners to make for a more imposing figure. Bonded to Feora, all of the attack rolls from its immolator cannon are boosted. That’s a 10″ spray of boosted attack rolls at POW13 that set everything on fire. Oh, and Fire damage rolls are POW14 if you’re too close to the Hand. Add in that, like Fire of Salvation, Hand of Judgment has three different iterations of its bonded warcaster to choose from, and there’s some significant play options…

    Finally, Scourge of Heresy. I’ve long been a fan of Scourge’s ability to pop Arcane Vortex and mess with incoming spells, and Purgation on his sword  – which, is yet another weapon on a Protectorate character warjack that sets things on fire – is golden. Additional dice on attack and damage rolls on models that have an upkeep or animus active? Why yes, thank you. That’ll help me save my Focus for other things… Scourge may be the least ornate of the character warjacks, but there’s beauty in the simplicity of his design, with the classic Crusader chassis accented by two extra smokestacks and a nice, pointy sword in a faction that generally prefers maces.  There are also two versions of Reznik to consider with Scourge, but Reznik2 is likely to steal the limelight as a centerpiece model, what with his being a chariot and all that.

    There’s clearly more pondering to be done, but there’s some fine contenders in the stable. Have you made a character warjack or warbeast your centrepiece? Who’s stealing the limelight in your lists?