Monday, 27 June 2011

How line of sight & elevation interacts

I can never remember the interaction between LOS and Elevation. Warmachine is such that if I can see you, it doesn’t mean you can see me.

Last night’s confusion brought me to check the rules once again and I’ve decided to post this here for the benefit of everyone as a quick internet reference in case it ever comes up.

First, lets quote Prime Mk. II, pg 43.
When Model A is on terrain at least 1˝ higher than Model B, ignore intervening models on terrain more than 1˝ lower than Model A except for those within 1˝ of Model B. Additionally, ignore those models within 1˝ of Model B that have equal or smaller-sized bases than Model A.

When Model A is on terrain at least 1˝ lower than Model B, Model A ignores intervening models on terrain more than 1˝ lower than Model B.

Consider the pic on pg. 44.

Keep in mind that Sorscha and the mechanik are within 1” of the model/unit in front of them. From points taken in pg. 43, here are the following facts from the picture.

(1) Charger has LOS to the Manhunter
(2) Charger has LOS to the Mechanik
(3) Charger does not have LOS to Sorscha
(4) Sorscha has LOS to Charger

Point (2), a surprise for some, is true because none of the intervening models (IFP) have a base larger than the Charger. Point (4), perhaps a surprise to many, is true because intervening models  on lower ground is ignored.

Now consider the following.

Keep in mind that Sorscha and the mechanik are within 1” of the model/unit in front of them.

In this scenario, the Charger still has LOS to the Mechanik. Note how the same rule-of-thumb for determining a leveled LOS does not apply here.

Here’s a refresher on leveled LOS’ rule-of-thumb. Keep in mind that one of the requirements for a LOS is that the line (of sight) must not pass over the base of an intervening model that has a base size equal to or larger than the intended target.

From the pic above, the Charger cannot see Sorscha but Sorscha can see the Charger. The rule-of-thumb is to always consider the base size of the intervening model and the target. NEVER consider the activating model’s base size.

When elevation is factored in, the rule-of-thumb changes. Keep in mind that when elevation is involved, 2 things are required to block LOS.

- a larger sized base (compared to your model) as an intervening model
- target is within 1” behind intervening model

From the pic above, the Charger can see Sorscha even if Sorscha is within 1” away from her winterguard.  Now if that winterguard is a Man-O-War, the Charger can still see Sorscha. The intervening model in this case must be a larger based model to block LOS to Sorscha. The rule of thumb here is to always consider base size of the activating model and the intervening model. Don’t forget the within 1” rule too!

tl; dr
Use the following when determining LOS.
No Elevation: consider the base size of the intervening model and the target.
Elevation is involved: consider base size of the activating model and the intervening model. Don’t forget the 1” rule.

I wrote this a few months ago and felt compelled to share this once again. If you have read it, try having a go at it again as it is a good refreshe. Was this article helpful? What are your 'shortcuts' in remembering how LoS interacts with elevation?

Friday, 24 June 2011


Following off from the previous article, let’s take a look at cavalry units in Warmachine.

Menoth: Exemplar Vengers

A knightly ride.

Arguably the weakest cavalry in the game, but that does not mean it is unplayable. They need to get damaged in order to get benefits. Don’t let the weapon master ability on the sword fool you as with PS 9, it pretty much does as much damage as your lance. The most attractive part about this unit is that it is considered to be an exemplar. Abilities that only benefits exemplars (i.e. Gravus’ Brother’s Keeper) will also benefit this unit. Defender’s Ward on this unit makes them great, but Defender’s Ward on anything makes it great. Testament of Menoth loves this unit. Vengers greatly benefit from his feat and with the Revive spell, you can be sure that the whole unit will be charging on feat turn.

Cryx: Soulhunters

How did you not see this coming?!!

So far, the only Light Cavalry unit in Warmachine. Being Undead helps sometimes and having the Body Count ability makes it an absolute nightmare to be in melee with. The unit excels further when led alongside by Darragh Wrathe, the Cryx cavalry solo. Gaining Incorporeal is such an underestimated effect. eGaspy use to love the Soulhunters but post-Errata, eGaspy’s feat does not work on them anymore. Terminus makes them Tough and Coven is able to make them Stealth. The only problem is that you barely see Cryx players play them because of Bane units. Bane units solves everything. XD

Cygnar: Storm Lances

Lightning and horses goes together.

Storm Lances have so many things good about them. Being Cygnaran, they have access to Arcane Shield from either a warcaster or a jr. warcaster. Assault Order gives them an additional attack to play with. Electro Leap kills warrior models not only in melee, but from afar when you shoot your own stormblades to clip that stealthed model via the leap. Being immune to electricity allows it to fight alongside the Thunder Head and contribute to Electro Leap shenanigans. With Kathy Laddermore, their attack and damage rolls are further boosted. Under eStryker’s feat, you can be assured that models WILL die in the masses. Unfortunately due how Cygnar casters play, this unit is often overlooked!

Scyrah: Dawnguard Destors

Was supposed to be a fabled unicorn pic, but PP had to spoil the part and actually release models for these...

The reason why the Exemplar Vengers are “arguably the weakest cavalry in the game” is because of the Destor’s existence. Due to the ‘interesting’ nature behind the history of the Destors, I can bravely say that there just isn’t much experience surrounding this unit’s capabilities. Having a ROF 2 ranged weapon and Dual Shot makes this a weird unit to play with. Unyielding does help but having an ROF 2 ranged weapon makes you want to just stand and shoot with it. Ravyn’s Snipe is a good ability for the Destors to have, but there are many other units you can play with Ravyn instead of the Destors for better army effectiveness.

Mercenaries: Steelhead Heavy Cavalry

Steelhead Heavy Cavalry, not Steelhead Trout!

Assault, Backswing, Brutal Charge. This unit needs to be played more. The flank ability makes it brutal, but you will be forced to play the steel head halberdiers. The best part about this unit is that it is cheap compared to other cavalry. With Ashlynn’s Quicken on it, it boast a frightening 15” charge range or a 10” ride-by-attack! Damiano’s Money shot makes it hit as hard as some of the hardest cavalry hitters out there in the game!

Khador: Iron Fang Uhlans

If only...

Relentless Charge is such an underestimated ability. Pathfinder is such a simple rule, yet it can determine the tides of the battle. While Khador have ways to give its unit Pathfinder, Iron Fang Uhlans (IFU) have it inherently when they charge. This assures you that the Cavalry Unit WILL GET THERE. IFUs tend to work best with eVlad. Under feat turn, these horsies becomes warjack material. Units will have a tough time to bring it down, hence allowing Khador to win the attrition battle.

Which cavalry unit do you think is the best and the weakest amongst the lot? Why?

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Cavalry in Warmachine

Not many people I know play cavalry units. It could be that they are generally tough to paint, expensive in monetary terms, or expensive in game terms. However in the hands of the right general, cavalry units can decide whether the game is won or lost. Cavalries in Warmachine are broken down into 2 sub-types: Normal (heavy) Cavalry and Light Cavalry. Analogically speaking, I find that Heavy Cavalry are like spearheads. When they hit you, they hit you hard. Their hit can shake the core of your army so hard that in some cases, you just cannot recover from it. I remember the first time I played against a cavalry unit in Warmachine. When it broke through my ranks, I was simply stunned!

On the other hand, light cavalries are like arrows. They are light (pardon the pun), silent, and deadly. Light cavalries usually flanks the enemy. When they attack you, you feel like you just got hit by a precision arrow striking a crucial body part. You can still fight, but unlike the heavy cavalry ‘shaking and stunning’ you, the light cavalry just disabled your arm. There are differences between the two but similarities do exist. One similarity is that they both put you in deep shit.

Cavalry units follow standard unit rules, but have the following additional rules.

Charging bonus: When charging, models get +2 to hit
Very useful ability to have as it makes your cavalry hit more accurately. Just don’t forget about it!

A search for an impact attack related picture yielded this.

Impact Attack: Allows mounts from heavy cavalries to make attacks.
Impact attacks allows the cavalry model to break defensive lines/intervening models when making a charge. Unfortunately due to its “all comes down to one hit” nature, it is mostly used as an “additional attack” on the charged target instead after using other models to take down defensive lines/intervening models.

 Perhaps the movie is about cavalries hitting over intervening models.

Tall in the Saddle: Ignore intervening models with bases smaller than their own when making melee attacks.
I believe this is the reason why most cavalries were given Reach-based weapons besides the aesthetical nature of it. Mostly under-used, but it does come in handy from time to time.

Ride by attack! (see what I did there?)

Ride by Attack: Can combine its normal movement and action when activating.
Like Tall in the Saddle, this is mostly an under-used ability. However, the potential of ride-by-attacks with ranged weapons is simply too sweet to not try out at least once.

Light Cavalry movement: After completing its action, light cavalries can advance up to 5”.
Light cavalries cannot perform ride by attacks and impact attacks. They can, however, use their mount as additional attacks (when not charging) and have a light cavalry movement to reposition them after completing their actions. This rule is the reason why light cavalries are really good flankers besides their high speed in nature.

Albeit being a tad bit expensive, calvaries offer you a bang for your buck. The downside is that according to some local buddies, they can be quite difficult to paint. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend giving these horsies a try as it will open up some pretty interesting dynamics within your game.

If you can change/add/delete one thing in the Cavalry rules, what would it be?

On The Net #2

 Lock and Load

Lock and Load is finally here!! Big Blue is seen is its full glory, awesome tables, Circle of Orboros battle engine mock up is seen, eAlexia (and her card) is spoiled, etc. Head over to these threads for more details and pics!

Among rumours discovered in L&L includes:-
-          Metal Warpwolf warbeast kit released in 2012.
-          At least 1 new character warbeast for each Hordes faction in Domination.
-          2012 expansions will include Gaspy3 and Lylyth3…


Wrath has been released and the interwebs is buzzing with what’s new and what’s worth it. Scyrah got the most toys (as expected) and the Menite Battle Engine abilities are finally known. If you haven’t got your hands on this book, I strongly recommend getting one asap!

Diecon 2011

Diecon has concluded and Cryx brought a strong showing (  Most played casters were the following:

Cryx: Mortenebra
Cygnar: eCaine, eHaley, eStrkyer
Khador: pButcher
Menoth: Harbinger
Scyrah: Rahn
Merc: Ashlynn
Circle: Baldur, eKaya, Kromac
Legion: pThagrosh
Trollbloods: eDoomshaper (!)
Minions: Lord Carver

eDoomie was a surprise, considering that the trollblood community around the net agreeing that it is their weakest warlock among the lot.

Southpaw Art & Design

Stumbled upon a very interesting site, Southpaw Art & Design (, that provides 3rd party Warmachine wreck markers of all sizes. They are affordable and really add some aesthetic value to the game. Another interesting token that they provide are called “basehuggers”.  It’s pretty much a token that hugs your base, providing some tidiness amongst the chaotic battlefield.

Rumours from Lock and Load definitely got lots of tails wagging. What do you think of the 3rd iteration of Gaspy and Lylith? Should PP release more epic versions of existing characters before introducing the 3rd iteration level?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

UK Masters 2011

The UK Masters 2011 ( just concluded. It is basically UK’s biggest Warmachine tournament and with approx. 120 participants this year, it has turned out to be one of the world’s largest WM tournament ever held. It was won by none other than Jamie Perkins of Team Octopii, who also won a major tournament in Holland (if I’m not mistaken) a few months ago. He played Old Witch, pVlad and pIrusk of Khador in a rather diverse meta. Khador and Trollbloods are known to be popular in the UK and this shows from the meta breakdown below.

Khador = 18
Trollbloods = 15
Circle = 12
Cygnar = 12
Legion = 11
Cryx = 10
Menoth = 10
Mercenaries = 8
Skorne = 7
Scyrah = 4
Minions = 2

A link to the results can be found in the following link. (

Top 8 consist of:
1. Khador
2. Cryx
3. Cryx
4. Circle
5. Legion
6. Trollbloods
7. Menoth
8. Menoth

Unlike last year, players need to bring 3 list and play them at least once in the 7 round event. Jamie P playing Old Witch was expected as it is his "go-to" caster. What intrigued me was the inclusion of Behemoth and no Beast-09. To many people, B-09 is a khadoran auto-pick but Jamie P's win proves that you don't need a Beast-09 to win.

Team Octopii are, if not, THE team to beat at the moment in Europe.

What do you think of the tournament and the metagame? The top 2 Cryx (2nd and 3rd placings) have the highest strength of schedule points in the tournament. Could this be an indication of Cryx's generally being better than other factions?